On today’s episode of Off The Grid Radio, host Bill Heid interviews the man behind The Mining Speculator newsletter, Greg McCoach. They discuss the violation of certain moral foundations, which makes the case for $22,000 an ounce gold. Bill and Greg also talk about the economy and why at the end of their analysis it becomes a “when” and not “if” scenario.
Bill also interviews Constitutional Attorney John Eidsmoe and discusses what the Constitution really says about who can and cannot declare war. You’ll be surprised about what the supreme “law of the land” really says.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: September 5, 2013
Bill: And welcome, everybody, to Off the Grid radio. It’s Bill Heid, your host today with very special guest, Greg McCoach of the Mining Speculator. Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg: I’m glad to be here, Bill.
Bill: Always a pleasure to have you and I guess one of the things I’d like to discuss, it seems like the markets in general – whether it’s the gold stocks that you follow, whether it’s the DOW – it just seems like there’s never been, I don’t know about the word weird, but there’s never … has there ever been a weirder time where making money, being able to find something that’s a solid investment … has there ever been a time in history that’s been like this? It just seems like everything you try to do is either high risk or you can’t make anything. In other words the rates are so low. You know where I’m going with that?
Greg: Oh, absolutely. We wrote about that last month in the Mining Speculator, in the lead article, that in 2,500 years of economic history, never has it been harder to make money! It’s really been a shocking development and part of that is because governments are trying to create outcomes on everything. They’re trying to control all the markets. They’re trying to control the stock markets. They’re trying to control the data that comes out to us, regardless whether it’s even close to the truth or not. They’re trying to control all outcomes. So this is just typical of a government that’s run amuck, that’s out of control, and it really points to the fact that we’re getting closer to a situation where they lose control of everything.
Bill: Well, in some ways, during the Second World War, during the depression, Lord Keynes was a big advocate of government coming in. Of course he wasn’t the first advocate of this, but coming in and sort of trying to manipulate. Trying to hold off losses. Trying to sort of create something out of nothing. And I think even Keynes would be shocked today at the extent of not only the government, but the complicity of the media in terms of perpetuating the big lie, right? I mean, doesn’t it seem like even Keynes himself would be aghast?
Greg: Yeah. No, this is, this is just shocking. And it, the way it’s happening, it’s so fast the way this agenda has been pushed on us. It’s happening at breathtaking speed. You know, for the average investor, I think the title of my lead article last month was “Where do Investors Turn?” To try and make a buck these days, it is, it’s very difficult. Everything is in chaos. In commotion. Nothing can be trusted. Look at the recent polls about what Americans believe from their leaders in regards to the Syrian situation. It’s, I think the poll was like 70 to 80 percent of the people think our, our government officials are lying about it, right? So what does that tell you, when the polls are that slanted in that direction? People are starting to figure things out. They’re not listening to the same playbook that the media gives us about why we need to do this or why we need to do that. We don’t believe it anymore. We don’t trust these people.
Bill: So in history, where I think you and I are both going with this, in recorded – with respect to recorded history – the amount of manipulation that exists today, both in news feeds and, again, the players, the big guys, are manipulating everything, Greg, from policy, in attempts to policy, but also they float stories to the news media to sort of substantiate what they’re trying to do, so this big agenda, it’s like a monster at this point. And I don’t know that, you know, you can look at Rome, you can look at a lot of the big powers that have existed historically, and I don’t know that there’s any precedent for something this large.
Greg: No, no. This is… you’re right. This is a first and we’re going to … I think we’re going to witness the greatest crash of these, you know, these markets that we’ve enjoyed for so long. We’re just going to see an abrupt change at some point, where none of this is sustainable. What’s happening is not sustainable, and when it’s over, it’s going to be a big mess for awhile, until things can get clear of all of this. And I do believe – I’m, I’m not a pessimist as far as – to me I’m actually encouraged because more and more people are waking up. And when the people wake up, then things can really change. Right? But first the populous has to wake up. And, and we’ve talked about this before, Bill, that there’s still a lot of people that don’t get it yet, that can’t see it, but, but since we last talked, many more have. But when the mass, when the masses have to struggle for food or basics, when all the sudden their lifestyle is gone, then all the sudden they’re going to get angry. And that anger is going to cause major changes in the whole system. And we’ll, we’ll get rid of these politicians and these fed policy makers that basically have created this terrible environment for the average person to try and survive in. And once that happens, then real change can happen. And I believe we could go back to a system that is liberty based again, where we, we are all moving forward. For those that want to work and get ahead, we can, we can get this thing going in the right direction again.
Bill: No, I think that’s a great perspective, but here’s, here’s what I want to kind of prepare our listeners for. And I want your take on this. If you look at sort of the financial debacle, perhaps we can look at Germany and what created conditions for Hitler. When people do get hungry – and this happened here in this country too, during the depression – there were forces, Greg, that wanted sort of either a fascist perspective, not unlike Hitler’s, or a very radical, even further to the left of FDR, so those forces are going to appear again in history. And they’re going to try and tempt us into saying – to tempt the common people into saying – “You know what the problem was? The problem was they didn’t put enough money into government programs. They didn’t do enough for the working man. They didn’t do enough.” So this is the propaganda that’s coming in a crisis. And you’re going to have every extreme. We talk about what’s an extremist? Well, you’re going to have every kind of what used to be sort of labeled as an extremist come out of the woodwork with their concept of what to do now, and some of it, Greg, is not very good! Some of it’s very, very … in other words I think our listeners have to … you know, your readers of the Mining Speculator, our, our listeners, our readers of Off the Grid news, need to be ready about what’s coming down the pipe. Because what you’re going to see is a conflict and a battle of ideas. And if you don’t have your ideas down – if you can’t sort of have an apologetic, if you can’t have a good, honest debate with your neighbor about where this takes you, because ideas have consequences. Where this takes you, where that idea takes you – what happens is you can go the direction that Nazi Germany went, pretty easy.
Greg: Oh yeah. No, no, that’s for sure. You’re right on there. We’re going to go through a terrible time. With the – When this all catches up with itself, the chaos – and I believe they, they want this chaos because they’re trying to gain more power out of the elitist bankers who are really the enemy of all of us, right? The politicians in my mind are just the puppets of the elitist bankers who are running the show. And, you know, they don’t care about our sons and daughters. Which war they send them to. It’s about gaining more political power, misusing our military the way they want to move the pawns on their chessboard around so they can get more power out of it. They make more money out of it. We’re not even a consideration. That’s why I think our politicians, they don’t represent the people anymore. There’s, there’s this two-party system that’s catastrophically failed us, and you know, just because a big portion of the population still doesn’t understand this, there’s a time coming with the chaos on the economic problems and the difficulties, you know. We’re going to have problems with food delivery, food distribution. You’re going to have problems with, you know, the law. There will be no such thing as, you know, the law as we know it now. It’s all going to collapse. It’s going to fall apart. There’s going to be terrible chaos and civil unrest and it’s going to be a terrible time. So that’s why we prepare. You and I have talked about this, being prepared. Those that understand this know this is coming. You just deal with it and, you know, it’ll cause a revolution. Major change of ideas, and I think the American people will throw all these bums out on their ear. Right? Throw out the Federal Reserve. Throw out the Congress. You know? Start this thing over again. That’s my hope anyway.
Bill: Looking at the, perhaps, we can use the same guiding light that the founders used, which really was … it had religious or theological basis. In other words, you have to have some kind of foundational principle. What makes something right? What makes something wrong? And then you can kind of work it out from there, but it seems like today, Greg, the definition of right and wrong is kind of existential. It’s like, whatever is pragmatic. You mentioned Syria. I can’t figure that out. I don’t know what’s even … You know, it’s like the tower of Babel here. Even the things that are pragmatic, in the old days you used to be able to say, “Well, I can see why they did that. I don’t agree with it but I can see why they did that.” There’s a certain sense of pragmatism. Then you can condemn pragmatism over against, you know, what you consider to be right. But today, I don’t even see … I don’t even see or understand that’s truly pragmatic.
Greg: Right. No, it’s … you can’t even understand who’s right and who’s wrong in all of this. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? It looks like America is funding Al Qaeda, who’s supposed to be our, our, our enemy, right? Al Qaeda is our enemy, then you know we have, we have the tools and the power to take Al Qaeda out, but it’s not like we want to do that. We, we, we only get into the conflict so far. It’s almost like they want war. They want continual war, because it’s so profitable for them. Right? The people who are running the show. They like war because they make so much money from it. And they use war when the economic system is having trouble and then the chessboard gets realigned again. But the chessboard is always, if the chessboard gets aligned it always – according to their wants and their desires – it all stems from, you mentioned a moral basis. The problem is that political power corrupts the morals and the judgments and what we have is a situation where the political power has now overrun the people so badly, we’re all hanging onto the last vestiges of our, what we knew as our lifestyles, right? And even those of us who have worked hard and gotten ahead are starting to say, “Hey. I’m, I’m, this is going to hurt me. I can’t survive in this.” And as more and more people feel that, that’s when I think the big changes are going to come. But it’s all due to political power. That it’s the worst of all the, the vices, you know. Political power corrupts the minds and the judgments of the people who are running the show and leads us in a bad direction.
Bill: Yeah, absolute power corrupts absolutely, one of Lord (inaudible 13:10) little premises. And I think it’s true then, it’s true today. It’s always been true. It’s very difficult for people in power to sort of maintain a clear head, if they’re not guided by some kind of thing that’s, you’d say in theological terms, maybe that’s transcendent, right? That’s something bigger than themselves that has to kind of guide their behavior. Otherwise, what’s right and wrong just becomes a function of brute force, which it seems, or manipulation, which it seems that’s what we really have today. I was looking at the headlines and I noticed there’s a dead dog in a reservoir that’s forcing everyone in Venezuela to sort of drink bottled water. I wish our problems were as simple as a dead dog in the reservoir. Because that seems like you could get a handle on that. You remove the dog, you don’t drink the water for awhile, use a water filter, whatever. But that’s a, that would be a – a dead dog for us, in a reservoir, would be a good problem because it would be somewhat easily handled. But I don’t see our problem being anywhere near that. As you say, we really have something that’s deeper, something that’s really, I guess the word systemic comes from it, until we bottom.
I think, Greg, that’s the way it is with people too. If you look at cultures and people, people have to hit bottom. Let’s say you’ve got a friend that maybe got an addition or something. You can send them to counseling, there’s a lot of things you can do to try to help them if you love them. But at the end of the day, I think the best medicine, probably, for most folks is hitting some kind of bottom, as you say. Because it’s a dose of reality. And there’s nothing quite like reality to sort of help, whether you’re a young person, whether you’re a young person. Whatever it is. If you’ve got a disease, wouldn’t you want someone to say, “Greg, you’ve got cancer and here’s your MRI or here’s, here’s your ultrasound and here’s where it is.” You wouldn’t want someone to, to perpetually tell you some sort of fabricated news about your medical condition. In order to get from point A to point B, you need as much real data as you can get. And the real data, I mean, where’s it at? Economic data? What’s unemployment? I mean, really, what’s the unemployment rate? All of these things are now manipulated.
Greg: Oh, absolutely manipulated. Government is trying to control the outcome of everything. This is, this is just the shocking reality of what we’re dealing with. And as you say, when the average person, right, the people who still believe in the system, everyone’s starting to struggle. It’s going right up the economic curve, right? People that never struggled before suddenly struggling. And you know, as that, as people start to realize, “Hey, I can’t go out anymore with my family. Go to have a nice meal at a restaurant, or I don’t feel safe anymore. I don’t, I don’t feel this, I don’t feel that.” All the sudden, this is all being taken away from us. And you, you get back to the morals you talked about. The, the theology or whatever. I had a client the other day, he brought this up. He said, “You know, Greg?” I was talking about it from a moral standpoint, and he brought up the topic of God. That the founding fathers at least had a guiding principle. They had a, believed in a higher authority than them. Okay? Well, in today’s culture and today’s society, God is dead. Government is God, right? Government is God, and that is the Richard Mayberry quote. I always loved that his quote, “Political power is the legalized privilege of using brute force on persons who have not harmed anyone. Only governments have this privilege and it is wide. Power corrupts the morals and the judgment.” And it’s true. We have a society that doesn’t believe, for the most part, in any higher authority. They look to government as the solution to everything. And, and government is based on such a, a, a house of cards. When you look at how are they funding all of this, they’re creating money out of thin air and there is no, there is no basis for, for any higher authority.
Bill: Yeah, and when, the thing is, when you put God away and you say, “Okay, this is similar to what happened in Israel with Saul, right? They said, well you don’t want sort of a republic. You want a guy to, you want some strong leader to run you, just be careful. He’ll tax you and he’ll send your kids off to war and so forth. And so, we don’t care. We don’t care. We want a king like everyone else has. We don’t want to rule ourselves or be self-governing or be a republic or whatever.” So you get what you ask for. The problem Greg, is God himself is omniscient and as being someone that’s sort of a personality, that’s responsible for providence, and that’s something that’s certainly even (inaudible 18:08) in the founding stage of our country, (inaudible 18:11), like Jefferson and folks like Franklin, would say, constantly, when they pray they talk about how God is providential. Well, think about this – when you remove God, government wants to be providential then. If you remove God and say, “Okay, we want a strong government.” It shouldn’t shock or surprise us that the government wants to be providential and predestinating. Just like God. In other words, it wants to control the universe!
Greg: They, they think they can control everything by manipulating and force. Of course economic history and, you know, just general history shows us that can’t happen. There’s no way that any government can get away with that. Sooner or later, they’re going to meet their consequences. And I think the consequences are coming … you know, it seems like it’s always hard to predict this. We’ve been talking about, we see the problem coming, when it actually manifests itself and all its ugly consequences, we don’t know. But it looks like we’re getting very close again, yeah.
Bill: Well, it does. And one of the things that’s the practical outworking of this is something that you’ve written about before and that we’ve discussed before. What prompted me to get ahold of you, to have Sara get ahold of you last night, was I noticed that Paul Craig Roberts, in other words we’re saying ideas have consequences. What you do, there’s consequences to it, and you can’t go sideways forever. Predicting the exact date of something is pretty tough for an economist or someone writing a newsletter, it’s pretty tough, because that’s only God knows those things. But, I saw the other day, Paul Craig Roberts had predicted a $30,000 an ounce gold number. Now, we’ve heard this kind of thing before, but there’s this tremendous consequence of paper gold that exists and the backward-ization of gold and so forth. I’m wondering what your thoughts are in terms of, you know, we’re speculating and we’re talking about these generalized principles. But let’s hone it down to gold itself. In other words, I think it was Emerson that says, you know, you can’t stand up in a parade for long, meaning then that everyone stands up and then you can’t see the parade and then you’re out of things to do. So one guy can stand up and you have these principles that seem to exist in the universe that are bigger than governments. So, right now with respect to gold, what prompted Paul Craig Roberts, former Reagan treasury secretary, to say that, is there’s all these contentious factors that are sort of lining up and together, they create quite a force. It’s what you said – if there’s a collapse, how, where is all the physical gold and here you’ve got a situation, Greg, with so much physical gold, excuse me so much paper gold, an infinite amount of paper gold, just the same way they’ve done that to the currency, but yet a finite amount of gold. How do you think Paul Craig Roberts came up to that conclusion?
Greg: I can tell you exactly how. Because I talked to many people like this who come up with these numbers. First, let me say this. We talked about governments trying to control the things. Here’s my business. I write a newsletter for the precious metals, precious metal mining stocks. I own a (inaudible 21:26) dealership to have a safe, reliable place for all my clients to buy and sell the metals, in a, in a, you know, safe manner, without any game playing. That’s my business. I’ve been doing very well at it for, you know, 14 years. The last several years, gold and silver have been manipulated against. Okay? I mean, it’s not; it’s not even a question anymore for anybody who wants to do the research. Governments manipulate things. They manipulate the data; they manipulate markets, blah, blah, blah. They’ve manipulated against gold. It’s clear to see for anybody who wants to look. So they’ve hurt my business. They’ve hurt my subscribers. They’ve hurt my clients, because they don’t like high and rising gold and silver prices. So they do things at times. And in the short term, they can win the day. But in the long term, they can’t. And when things fall apart, then all these prices will go sky high because all of their game playing and all of their jacking around with this market really is just setting us up for numbers people can’t even understand at this point.
Now, just, let me give you the basis right now, financially, why someone comes up with a number like $30,000. Are they just picking that out of the air? I don’t think so. I think there’s real thought behind it. When you look at the total money in the money supply, worldwide, and it’s increasing, you know, everyday, because every government in the world, practically, is just creating money out of thin air. People talk about the United States being the abuser of, you know, with all their money creation. Well, you know, look at Japan. Look at Euro-land. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Look at China. Everyone’s doing this. It’s just that our situation, particularly with the banks and the derivatives, is particularly worrisome. But when you look at the gold market, okay? How high could gold go? In such a collapse, if an economic collapse comes – and for me it’s not a matter of if it comes, it’s a matter of when, and predicting it is just too difficult. We don’t have crystal balls. We can see that, hey, in the fall the weather is changing and winter is coming, right? Well, it’s as simple as that. We see winter is coming. And when you take all the physical gold that exists in the world above ground – not that’s still in the ground and hasn’t been mined – all of that gold, melted into a giant cube, okay? All the jewelry, all the bracelets, rings, necklaces that people own. All the bullion coins and bars that exist worldwide, all of it melted into a giant cube, measures 20 yards by 20 yards by 20 yards. You could lower it in any sports arena in the country. Football field, baseball stadium, hockey rink, basketball court, everybody in the audience could sit and look at it. On a football field or baseball field it wouldn’t take up even the baseball diamond, you know? It’s a very small amount. That’s why they call it precious. Precious metals.
Now, in good times when governments are performing well and economies are doing well overall, there’s no need for gold as money. It’s more of a commodity. It’s cool for jewelry. Its, it’s an asset. It always has value. Everyone always agrees it has value. It’s one of the few things in the world that everybody can agree on has value. But, in chaos, which we see coming, when you look at these oceans of (inaudible 24:57) money that exist and all these different currencies, when all the sudden the panic button gets pushed and these oceans of (inaudible 25:06) all try to go in to gold, as they will, because everyone will look for safety all at once, there will be no where to turn but gold. That’s the reason why people say that gold will go to these levels. Now, just to give you a, a framework, right now that calculation – if you took all, you know, how much, what would the gold price have to be per ounce to cover all the (inaudible 25:27) money, worldwide right now, with all the debts and all the money – it would be well over $22,000 an ounce right now. That’s just the, the, the foundation for where gold could go. In a panic, just like any market, what happens is it spikes higher. Okay? So bottom line, to me, gold will go to $22,000 an ounce, at least, and probably much higher then as it spikes to, to a level before it, you know, retracts.
So, $30,000 is not out of the question, okay? Very, very conservative people who know these markets better than anyone I know like the Jim Sinclair, you know he’s talking $3,000, $3,500 minimum now. Now he’s talking $5,000, you know? Those are very conservative ways of looking at the market. We’re definitely going to hit those benchmarks. I think gold’s going to $3,000 this next run up higher. I think we’ve hit the bottom. I think we’re starting to recover. Those that have been playing around with the shorting of our mining stocks, they’ve got to buy back at some point. They have to cover those short positions, and that’ll start a new bull market again. And with all the other problems going on, I think this could really snowball to the upside where, people can make obscene amounts of money very quickly if they’re in the right assets at the right time. We’ve had to suffer. The last two years in our market has been a suffering one. We’ve, I’ve never experienced losses like this, in, in my career, as an investor. And I’ve invested in these junior mining stocks for, you know, 30 years. I’ve only been doing it as a newsletter writer for the last 14, but you know, we had a good run the early years. The first seven, eight years, since the meltdown in 2008, it’s been an assorted affair with the last two years being a total drubbing for anyone who’s invested in this sector. It’s hard to make money.
I believe it’s because government has interfered with our markets. And yet, we’re the market that’s proving the basis for economic reality, you know? You can’t have all this stuff without mining, right? Base metals, precious metals. You know, our iPhones. Our iPods. Our computers. Our cars. Our homes. You can’t have it without mining. I was recently asked to speak at a high school audience, and I said to the kids, “How many people here have a bad opinion of mining?” Well, half the, half the hands went up. It was me on the stage and a trash can and I said, “Okay, everyone who put their hand up, I need you to put all your iPhones and laptop computers and Gameboys into the trash can, because without mining you can’t have this.” And so I went through how many pounds of copper, lead, nickel, zinc, they’re all going to use during their lifetimes to have the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to. At the end of that I said, you know, after I explained all that, I said, “So now, how many people have a bad opinion of mining?” Not a hand in the audience. Right? So there’s a disconnect, and there’s a disconnect in our society about a lot of things. But it’s all going to come to a head here, and for those of us who are invested in the right areas, precious metals being one of them, I think we’ll do very well.
Bill: Greg, as we run down on time here, I really appreciate your perspective as always. One of the things that I wanted to just get your final comments on and of course everyone should know that they can find your, at Angel Publications, is that correct? AngelPublications.com, you can find the Mining Speculator there. I’m a subscriber, and I think one of the things that is important is, is the psychology. You know, Jim (inaudible 29:22) and others have written about this, about mass psychology, but when do people want to buy gold? They want to buy gold when it’s at $20,000 an ounce. And when do they want to sell gold? They want to sell gold when it’s at $1,300 an ounce. So what do we have to do to ourselves, psychologically, to sort of actually be these great investors that we hear about historically? The guys that really have made a lot of money. It takes a lot of guts to go against the grain.
Greg: Oh, absolutely. It’s one of the hardest things to do. It took me … you know, I thought I was a pretty smart guy. I’m 56 this year, and it took me 14 years of, I mean, investing over a long period of time. Like I said, I’ve been a serious investor for probably 30 years, and particularly in these precious metals and these mining stocks, for 30 years. And you know, it took me 14 years just to learn you have to force yourself to buy low, when the market is in its absolute worst condition, right? These markets are volatile. To protect yourself, you have to make sure you buy low. And when it spikes higher and everybody’s excited, you’ve got to sell. Right? But obviously the masses don’t do that. A buddy of mine, I told him to sell one time and I thought he did. Six months later I get a call from him, say, “Hey, I need to know which one of my mining stocks to sell. I’ve got a tax bill due.” And I said, “Well, didn’t you sell last fall?” He said, “No, no. I – this was it. I thought I was going to become a multi-millionaire.” You know? He got greedy and instead of selling when he should have sold, he held on. Well, that’s, that’s the mistake we all make. Right? We get greedy when we should be selling. We get stingy when we should be buying. And the people who learned this lesson, the faster you learn it, right now you should be buying precious metals, and quality. Put an emphasis on quality right now because there’s a lot of garbage in the junior mining stock market. But those who buy the quality mining shares right now, the precious metal mining shares, the physical gold and silver – you want to take physical delivery. You don’t want anything to do with any paper representation of it. The ETF nonsense. The pooled accounts. The certificate accounts. That’s all, all fraud. And it’ll be proven as fraud when gold goes to whatever level it’s going to – $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 an ounce – those products won’t be standing. They’ll probably all be sued because they couldn’t deliver the performance, because they didn’t have the physical metal behind their product.
Bill: Greg, thanks so much for being with us today. We’ve got to run, so we really appreciate your time. As always, it’s great chatting with you and we’ll be right back, right after this.
Greg: Always a pleasure, Bill.
Bill: And we are back, with a constitutional attorney and theorist, our good friend John Eidsmoe. John, welcome back.
John: Great to be with you again, Bill.
Bill: Always a pleasure to have you as well, John. And here we are. We’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s always important when we get into situations, everyone, all of the media, is talking about what’s going to happen in Syria, what are we going to do, do we vote on this? Do we not vote on this? And so I love coming back and getting your perspective on, what’s the Constitution say about war. How are wars prosecuted, under what circumstances do we prosecute wars? What’s legal, by the definition of the Constitution, and what’s not legal? And of course, this isn’t a discussion that you hear on mainstream media. So if you help us out a little bit, with the war situation.
John: Well, I’ll be glad to Bill. And of course you know we have the product that you produced here, the Institute on the Constitution, the series of 12 roughly half-hour lectures that your audience may be very interested in if they want to look through the Constitution phrase by phrase, article, section by section.
Bill: Which, John, is found at TheFoundersPlan.com. That total package, if you want to know more about the Constitution and what it says, and go do the research yourself, John. Takes you through the Constitution, just line by line and teaches you what, what, what, in many cases, John, the intention of the founders as well that you’ve got in there. So thanks so much for bringing that up.
John: Great. Now, on the question about military action in Syria, the Constitution isn’t quite as clear as people on either side want to think. On the one hand you have people say that Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution says Congress has the power to declare war and no the President and therefore the President, who’s outside authorization, have no validity whatsoever. On the other hand, you look to those that say that Article Two says that the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces and therefore he can disregard Congress on this matter. I don’t think either one of those quite answers the question. First of all, it is correct. Article One, Section Eight says Congress has the power to declare war, not the President. However, it does not say that any military action of any kind constitutes war. In other words, the idea that Article One, Section Eight means that the President cannot commit one soldier into hostility without a Congressional declaration of war, that’s stretching it beyond what I think the framer’s intended and certainly the way it would have to be interpreted in light of today’s reality. We’re living in a nuclear age of course and if some Russian general had a little too much vodka and pressed the wrong lever and launched a missile attack on the United States, by the time we find out about this, we have less than an hour before those missiles are going to strike. Now, during that time, we don’t have time to call both Houses of Congress together and pass a declaration of war and I don’t think we really want to say that the President is completely tied up in a situation like that. And as to where the President’s authority is, and the Congress’s authority, basically, the Congress has the ultimate authority to decide foreign policy. The ultimate authority to decide policy concerning our troops. The President’s authority as Commander in Chief is somewhat broad, but you might say that there is a line where the President’s authority ends and Congress’s authority begins. Defining that isn’t always that easy.
Congress tried to define this back in the 1970s, with what we call the War Powers Resolution. The War Powers Resolution simply says that before the President commits troops into hostilities or situations where hostilities are eminent, he must inform Congress. And it doesn’t say he has to get their approval, he has to inform them. And then, if Congress does nothing in response to that, the President can commit troops into hostilities for up to 60 days and if the Congress authorizes that action – either by a declaration of war or by some lesser authorization – then he can act pursuant to that declaration or authorization. If Congress says, no, we’re not going to, then he has to withdraw the troops. If Congress does nothing, he has to withdraw the troops at the end of the 60 days, except that he can take an extra 30 if necessary for the safety of the troops. So realistically, you could probably claim that in any circumstance, so realistically, he can commit troops for up to 90 days, without Congressional authorization. That’s the War Powers Resolution that was passed by both Houses of Congress over a Presidential veto. No President – Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative – has ever acknowledged the validity of the War Powers Resolution, and several times when it’s brought to the courts, the courts have found ways of ducking whether to rule on its constitutionality, but I think it is a legitimate attempt to try and define where the President’s authority ends and where Congress’s authority begins.
Now one thing else I think we would have to note here is, from a political standpoint, I think President Obama probably has played it pretty smart politically, by sending this to Congress. That way he quells the criticism of those who say he’s acting without Congress’s authority. If Congress grants him the authority, then he can always say, “I’m acting pursuant to their authority.” If they don’t, he can always tell those who wanted him to act in Syria, “Well, I tried, but Congress wouldn’t authorize it, so my hands are tied.” Constitutionally, since he has done this, I would say that his options are probably more limited than they would have been otherwise. In other words, it’s one thing to just go ahead without Congressional authorization, it’s another thing to ask for authorization, be refused, and then go ahead anyway, which Obama says he has the power to do. And that’s questionable. Anyway, that’s, in a nutshell where we stand on the Constitution. Just bear in mind, basic foreign policy things like declarations of war are to be determined by Congress, but not every military action is going to be an act of war.
Bill: So, John, is there any remedy, then? Let’s say you’ve got someone – a President, perhaps – that has interests in oil fields some place and he wants to use – this is just speculative or theoretical – and he wants to use forces to protect his interests. It could be anything, really. But is there any checks and balances? Is there anything that can keep a President from just continually playing the, “I’m not going to ask you but I’m going to play the 90 day card anytime I want to, and for any reason I want to?” Is there anything that Congress can do, short of impeachment or something?
John: Well, I think they do have some options. One of those is to refuse to fund anything. The other is if, rather than just not acting at all, if they were to pass a resolution, telling the President, “We do not authorize this. We require that you bring the troops home immediately,” then I think in a circumstance like that, the President’s authority can be limited far more than if Congress just doesn’t act. I might have something else here. I do think that there are a lot of considerations that we need to look at here, and of course yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the President’s proposal by a vote of 10-7, and if I recall correctly, the 10 who voted for the President’s actions were seven Democrats and three Republicans. Of the seven who voted against it, five were Republican and two were Democrats. So it appears to be dividing a little bit along partisan lines, but certainly not clearly that way. And anyway, we’ll see what the entire Senate does, and after that of course what the House does. But I think there’s some things we need to consider here, and first of all, we need to consider this appears to be a religious war that is going on, and you have (inaudible 41:44) and his administration that are largely affiliated with the Alawites of the Muslim world. The Alawites are kind of an off-chute of the Shiites, which control Iran and now seem to be a majority in Iraq as well. They’re a minority in Iraq, but they represent the government. And Assad is part of that action. The rebels seem to be largely out of the (inaudible 42:10) branch, which controls Saudi Arabia, and most of the rest of the Arab world.
And so we’re getting involved in a religious conflict that’s, I’m not sure is really something we want to resolve or we want to be involved in. Second thing is, by taking this action, if it is simply going to be what President Obama has called a shot across the bowel, which it really isn’t. A shot across the bowel, that’s a Navy term – and I’m Air Force so I don’t know what to say on this – but that involves a canon shot that doesn’t hit the enemy ship, just goes over and splashes in the water, but demonstrates to the enemy that, “Look, we’ve got the capacity to inflict some real damage on you and we are serious about this, so you better leave us alone!” But anyway, we’re not talking about a shot across the bowel. Although President Obama has said that, and I’m not sure he really understood the term. What we’re talking about is some limited military action that would inflict some damage. Now, if we’re going to do that, something short of an all-out assault, let’s suppose it’s not enough. Are we going to go further or are we going to admit defeat and go back home? And another thing we haven’t considered is what is the rest of the Arab world going to do about this? What is Israel going to do about it and when much of the rest of the Arab world is more aligned with the (inaudible 43:43) and the Syrians and the Iranians and probably the Iraqis as well, we’ve got a really question as to what they’re going to do, particularly with Iran. Would Iran come into the defense of Syria in this case? And of course Syria does have a couple of really big allies here, one being Russian, the other being China, and whether or not they would come into defend Syria in this case, the possibility of escalation and saying no boots on the ground, I think that’s just saying that we’re going to admit defeat if we don’t accomplish our legitimate objective here. But, I just don’t think realistically we can say that this is going to be limited in the way the President is trying to tell us it’s going to be limited now. I mean, let’s face it. We heard that in Vietnam. We heard that in Korea. And we heard that in Iraq. And once you commit, you’re in for a lot more than what they’re suggesting to us right now.
Now here’s another concern I have on this, and that’s that I don’t think there’s anybody that I know of at least that would deny that Assad is a brutal dictator and certainly nobody who we would want running our country. But, I don’t think we have any assurance at all that the rebels are any better. First of all, there might be a question as to this chemical attack, who really did do it? Now, Rush Limbaugh in the last couple of days has presented some evidence and from some pretty credible sources, that suggests that the chemical attack might have been staged by Al Qaeda. And Al Qaeda being allied with the rebels in this case, and so whether the Assad administration is responsible for this or whether this is something done by somebody else, that we don’t know about. And secondly, let’s suppose that the rebels were to topple Assad, as they did with Mubarak in Egypt and with Gaddafi in Libya, do we have any reason whatsoever to think that these rebels, once they take over, are going to be any better than Assad or Mubarak or Gaddafi? We don’t really know what we’re getting here, and that I think distinguishes this a little bit from the Desert Storm operation, or Vietnam, or our action in Korea. We’re helping people here that we have no reason to think are going to be any more sensitive to human rights, and I think maybe my ultimate concern out of this – it probably overrides the other things is – the long term interests of the United States. The real goal of Muslim brotherhood here, as in Yemen and as in Egypt and as in Libya, has been the establishment of a unified Islamic, Arab state, that would run the entire Middle East. And if we think we have problems with the Arab world now, once they get their acts together, they will be a major world power and then we’ll really have problems. And some are saying that President Obama is just weak and vacillating on this. That may be true. I’m concerned that he’s not weak and vacillating. I’m concerned that he has a sinister purpose here that may be very much in line with the goals of Muslim brotherhood, (inaudible 47:27), lesser extent Al Qaeda, and the Arab Spring, as they call it, that I think are sinister.
Bill: Well, gee, John, you bring up a lot of interesting points. Probably the idea that … what’s interesting to me is, it’s almost like the Robespierre, like the revolution always consumes its children. I don’t know if it was Lennon that said that or Robespierre, you’ve got revolutionary activity. What happens when revolutionary activity or rebel activity finds itself in power? It’s pretty vicious generally as it works itself out. I mean, there’s a lot of historical precedent for that. Who, I see the Christians as being the group that get punished the worst out of this whole thing. How about you?
John: Well, you’re correct on that. The Christian community, in Syria right now, is very concerned, that persecution will be stepped up a great deal if this rebel group succeeds. And I know the (inaudible 48:33) church in Egypt is under persecution right now, far more than they ever were when Mubarak was in power. And likewise, I understand that Christians in Libya are much more concerned now than they even were about, or even were about Gaddafi. The thing is, we’ve seen some brutal dictators here. But those brutal dictators did not constitute a threat to the United States, and they were fairly tolerant of Christians. And we’re looking at the possibility of turning power over here, as we have in Egypt and Libya, to people who are every bit as brutal and much more of a threat to the United States. Somebody made the observation a couple of days ago, that Assad has not bombed the United States and isn’t expected to. I don’t think we can say that about the rebel group.
Bill: Yeah, the rebel group is motivated, perhaps, by something at least in their minds, John, something transcendent. Something bigger. Those rebels that are at least motivated by religious beliefs, I think that they’re kind of the rationality side of this. Kind of off the table. You make a good point, even Hussein in Iraq had a handle on how the Christians were treated in his country, with this, our state department’s policy of sort of upsetting all these guys, it seems like it’s creating, as we were saying, a bit of a dislocation. A bit of persecution, for the Christian community. I don’t know how that will end up resolving itself.
John: Well, Bill, I have a book that came out recently. It’s a three-volume series titled Historical and Theological Foundations of Law. It’s about 1,400 pages, but it talks about the development of law over the ages here. And one of the observations I make there, I have about 300, 250-300 pages, on biblical law. And the question is how much do we apply biblical law to other societies? And anyway, one of the observations that (50:43) makes, and his, in his work on the subject which I site quite extensively, is that in applying biblical principles to a government, you’ve got to consider the nature of the people you’re applying them to. You’ve got to consider their culture, their literacy, their climate, their neighbors; you’ve got to consider a lot of things here. And to try and set up a constitutional republic in an Islamic country, where they don’t have the ideological basis for this, that Christian country – particularly a Protestant Christian country – would have, is going to be difficult sometimes. And I mention that to say that I don’t like this thought at all, but maybe it took a strong man like Hussein or like Gaddafi or like Mubarak or like Assad to hold a country like those countries together. And some are talking about the only solution to Iraq is partition. Partition into a Shiite state in the south, a Sunni state in the northeast and a – trying to think of the other group, the group out in the west there, who I can’t even think what they are right now, the northwest – but maybe partitioning is the answer, but to hold them together into one country, maybe nobody but somebody like these characters who we’ve been overthrowing are the ones who can do that.
Bill: It would certainly seem that to be the case, John. I certainly think your point is a really brilliant observation because, what created our country, the differences – and we’ve just got a couple of minutes here to finish this up, but I think this is a great point on which to finish this up – what created our country was a constitutional republic that really kind of came from the ground up. And I mean in other words it came from the religious (inaudible 52:44) of the people, and to do what Bush did to Iraq and say, “Here’s your constitution,” and hand them a stack of papers, that has no basis in reality for who they are as a people, really is, I mean, I don’t know. There’s been some foolish things done and I’m sure he didn’t wake up and say, one morning, say, “How can I do something foolish?” I don’t believe that about Bush, but I think inevitably though, it, it is revelatory of what you’re saying. You can’t impose something on people like that that they themselves don’t understand.
John: Well, I agree with you. And in fact, in Iraq, now generally I defended our actions in Iraq, at the time. When we first went in, just before we went in, I thought it might be a mistake. I thought maybe what we needed to do was hit some hardened military targets there, because this is Saddam’s clear violations of the treaty agreements to demonstrate to him that we’re not going to let him get by with this. I was thinking at the time that a total regime change was going to be a lot harder to put into effect. You know, Saddam is a tyrant, that many times people would prefer their own homegrown native tyrant to freedom or republic imposed upon them by an outside force. But, anyway, once we got in there, I was ready to support the administration. I figured they had considered the difficulties, the regime change and would then have a plan for that. And now I’m not sure they did. I, I think Bush had good intentions. I think that he, his heart was on the right side on things like that. I’m not sure that was thought through as carefully as it should have been.
Bill: Well, John, that’s all the time we have today. I really appreciate your comments. As usual, you now can, our listeners can go to the TheFoundersPlan.com, to learn more about the, the work that you’ve done there, and just explaining the Constitution, I think that’s valuable. One other quick thing is how can people get a copy? Can you get your books on Amazon? Can you get your, your (inaudible 54:45) on law?
John: Some of them you can. That one is not on Amazon yet. The best way to get that would be to simply email me. I’ll give the email address here – granted, it’s a little difficult, maybe you can repeat it afterward – but that is [email protected]. The set sells for $75, and I include USPS priority mail postage with that.
Bill: John, it’s a fantastic work. I’ve read it and I don’t think that there’s a work of its kind anywhere on the planet, so congratulations again on that. And, we look forward to having you back again.
John: Well, I appreciate it. And I’d be delighted to have you carry that book. I’ll give you a wholesale price on that.
Bill: We’ll take care of that, have Stephanie call you and get right on that after the show. All right, John. Thanks so much for your time, man.
John: And thank you, Bill.
Bill: God bless. Bye-bye.
Bill: We are back for our last section with our good friend, Andreas Georgiades. Andreas, how are you today?
Andreas: I’m doing well. Hi, Bill, how are you?
Bill: I’m great. I’m great. I wanted to have you on just for a few minutes, just to give people a little bit of a dose. Now, for the folks, for the uninitiated, those that have never been to our fall festival, our melon festival that we have in beautiful sunny Thompson, Illinois, you’re the guy that brings the camels and the animals up here and everybody looks forward to seeing you, Andreas. What do you got for us this year?
Andreas: I’ve got some real cool videos to watch, if you could give them the link. We’re ring riding, training shot of a camel that was introduced last year. Our newest camel. I’m ring-riding her down the road, and we’re having fun training her to even pull a wagon.
Bill: Very cool. We’ll have that up, so people can get a link to that. And of course, you offer camel rights. That’s what people – I’ve got to tell you this, Andreas. I talked to someone, actually, at a family reunion. One of my family members said that they knew somebody who was out of work, and so here’s what they did. They wanted to go on a camel ride so bad, I think – what do we charge to get in this year, Jeremy? Seven dollars to get in for an individual, and then $12 for a family, which is, there’s a lot going on for that. We’ve got a lot. We’ve got face painting and all of your animals and everything. But here’s the story. This was at my family, one of my family reunions. Someone said, “One of my friends was, wanted a camel ride so bad that they walked up and down the highway to try and find tin cans – they were unemployed – until they had enough money to ride one of your camels.” What do you think about that?
Andreas: I think it’s, I’m being floored right now. That’s awesome to hear that. I get calls throughout the different days of people saying it’s on their bucket list. I, I never knew that people had that ambition to ride a cool animal like a camel.
Bill: If, if it’s on your bucket list and you want to ride a camel, make sure you come here to the Heirloom Market on September 21 and your, your show starts at – with the camels and the petting zoo and the horses and everything – that starts at 11:00 until 4:00. So phone the neighbors and wake the kids, as they say, and show up that day. Anything else? How, what kind of animals are you going to have in the petting zoo this year?
Andreas: We have numerous types of animals. We have llama, alpaca, mini-horse, mini-donkey, Alpine (inaudible 58:23) dwarf goat, pigmy goat, sheep, (inaudible 58:27), rabbits, numerous other, some ducks and chickens. But wouldn’t it be awesome if they had a chance to peek at the crazy billboard website we have at AllTheFunin1.com? To visually see the fun stuff we will be bringing.
Bill: Sure. Say that website one more time. AllTheFunin1.com, with the number one.
Andreas: With the number one, dot-com. AllTheFunin1.com. (Inaudible 58:55). We’ve brought to many events like yours.
Bill: Yeah, there’s a lot of cool pictures and I’m telling you, people will line – you know what it’s like here. It’s really almost pandemonium when people lining up, when the camels come in. At 11:00 we’ll start, but at 10:00 people will start lining up, just to get in line. And I don’t like standing in long lines myself, but if you’ve got a bucket list, folks, I guess it’s something that you want to do? Come on over. September 21. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s always been a lot of fun. We have music later in the day as well. Bluegrass music, a lot of great bands. But, Andreas, I really look forward to seeing you and your – are you going to bring your family again this year?
Andreas: You know, I’m going to try. I know I’m going to bring my extended family which is the animals, and all my friends and relatives that help me. We do want to mention we’ve got over, over 1,500 videos on YouTube, if they click on one, it’ll take them to our YouTube channel. I believe proof is in the pudding always works. That old saying, proof is in the pudding. So check us out. One link will take you to the YouTube channel. Again, the main website, AllTheFunin1.com. Please take a look, I guess. We’d love to be there again as well. We look forward to seeing everyone again.
Bill: Well Andreas, thanks so much for spending some time with us. We really do look forward to seeing you. We know that your time is valuable. We thank you for spending a few minutes with us today and look forward – as I said – to seeing you September 21. And for our listeners, we also know that your time is valuable. We thank you for spending it with us here at Off the Grid Radio.