Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Legendary Spanish Civil War Photograph Faked


‘Anti-Fascist’ Legend Falls in Spain
By K R Bolton
Academy of Social & Political Research, Athens


As has been commented upon repeatedly by sundry historians and authors, the Spanish Civil War served as a prelude for World War II, giving the Big Powers and competing ideologies the opportunity to test out their weaponry and tactics. Spain also served as a testing ground for propaganda, and the Franco side has expectedly come off second best, as the Popular Front are still portrayed as noble champions of liberty, regardless of the Masonic-Bolshevist assaults that were perpetrated with the same sadism that had already been manifested in Russia and Hungary.

Like World War I, with the British-US propaganda depictions of Germans bayoneting Belgian babies, and World War II with the Soviet-Allied propaganda which is still being presented to the world as though the war against the Axis remains in full swing, there are several salient propaganda devices deriving from the Spanish tragedy which have endured, one of which has recently been dealt a fatal blow (the other being the legend of the Basque town Guernica, supposedly bombed by German aircraft, but more the victim of Leftist dynamiting, the fires from which the Leftist mayor did not allow the fire brigade from Bilbao to extinguish. See for e.g. the first hand account of British journalist and author, F Yeats Brown, European Jungle, Eyre and Spottiswood, 1939; chapter on Spain available as a reprint from this writer).

The legend that has recently fallen is that of the very famous supposed photograph of the death agonies of a noble knight for democracy (aka a servant of Bolshevism and Masonry), entitled “Falling Militiaman” by Robert Capa.

An Associated Press report describes the photograph as follows:

“Robert Capa’s photograph of a falling Spanish Civil war militiaman became one of the most famous and enduring images of conflict of the 20th century.
“Now, Spanish researchers who have studied events surrounding the picture believe it was staged.” (Civil war photo ‘a fake’, AP Report, Dominion Post, Wellington, New Zealand, July 25, 2009, B3).

The picture was first published in 1936 in the French magazine Vu and then in Life magazine in the USA. The caption said that the photograph depicted the moment a Republican rifleman was killed.

Interestingly, the AP report states that the location was given as Cerro Muriano on the Cordoba front, where Franco’s forces were fiercely engaging “soldieries loyal to the elected Republican government.” Note that even in this passing reference in the AP report, the legend endures regarding the implied legitimacy of the “elected Republican government” (sic) fighting the illegitimate rebels under Franco. Regardless, the legend continues of Republic heroism against evil fascists, with little or no consideration of the causes of the civil war, of the violence perpetrated by the socialists and communists against Rightist and monarchist parliamentarians, of the cowardly shooting of Falangist leader Jose de Rivera while in government custody, of the policy of summary executions used by the anarchists, the burning of churches and the shooting of priests, in a re-enactment of the Russian Bolsheviks two decades previously. (Lately there have been ‘revisionist historians’ attempting to lower the estimates for the number of priests and monks killed by the ‘loyalists’. See for e.g. Antony Beevor, The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939-, Penguin, 2001).).

The AP report continues that the location was probably not Cerro Muriano and that the militiaman was probably not shot. After studying the photograph and new images as part of an exhibition at Barcelona’s art gallery museum, four researchers state the photographs were taken 5 kilometres away in an area where there was no fighting at that time.

‘“It quickly became obvious to us that among the new photographs – 34 attributed to Capa, six to his companion Gerda Taro – there were four that revealed the exact place where Capa had taken the shots,” film maker Raul Riebenbauer said.’ (AP report, ibid.).

Historian Francisco Moreno studied the geographical features of the photograph, including the shape of the hills, the location of two farmhouses and several roads, and identified the location as a hillside east of Espejo township.

The AP report states that “Falling Militiaman” catapulted the career of Capa as the world’s foremost war photographer. Now after over 70 years he can join the sullied ranks of one of the world’s foremost propagandist frauds in the service of the Left.

(K R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research, author of Thinkers of the Right, England, 2003, etc.; and a columnist for The [Kapiti] Watchman, New Zealand).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pius XI's Words of Wisdom on Hollywood

In his encyclical, Vigilanti Cura, Pope Pius XI wrote that he was “deeply anguished to note with each passing day the lamentable progress of the motion picture art and industry in the portrayal of sin and vice.”

That encyclical regarding film immorality was issued on June 29, 1936. The Pope lamented that “the road seemed almost closed to those who sought honest diversion in the motion picture.” The situation has hardly improved in the ensuing 70-plus years.
The best we can hope for today is that Catholics everywhere will be judicious in the choice of movies they attend – and especially those they allow their children to see – in hopes that, as Pius XI said, movies become a “valuable auxiliary of instruction and education rather than of destruction and ruin of the soul.”
In the Pope’s judgment, the art, science, and technology of movie making were all true gifts of God. Yet he admonished that these talents be used “to promote the extension of the Kingdom of God upon earth.”
Perhaps that should be our guide as well in determining which movies we, and our children, choose to watch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Income Inequality Worst Since 1917


No Wonder the Poker Game is Ending: The Wealthiest Have Taken All of the Chips

Washington’s Blog
Saturday, August 15, 2009

A new report by University of California, Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez concludes that income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression.

The report shows that:

Income inequality is worse than it has been since at least 1917
“The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007″
“In the economic expansion of 2002-2007, the top 1 percent captured two thirds of income growth.”
As others have pointed out, the average wage of Americans, adjusting for inflation, is lower than it was in the 1970s. The minimum wage, adjusting for inflation, is lower than it was in the 1950s. See this. On the other hand, billionaires have never had it better.

As I wrote in September:

The economy is like a poker game . . . it is human nature to want to get all of the chips, but – if one person does get all of the chips – the game ends.

In other words, the game of capitalism only continues as long as everyone has some money to play with. If the government and corporations take everyone’s money, the game ends.

The fed and Treasury are not giving more chips to those who need them: the American consumer. Instead, they are giving chips to the 800-pound gorillas at the poker table, such as Wall Street investment banks. Indeed, a good chunk of the money used by surviving mammoth players to buy the failing behemoths actually comes from the Fed…

This is not a question of big government versus small government, or republican versus democrat. It is not even a question of Keynes versus Friedman (two influential, competing economic thinkers).

It is a question of focusing any government funding which is made to the majority of poker players – instead of the titans of finance – so that the game can continue. If the hundreds of billions or trillions spent on bailouts had instead been given to ease the burden of consumers, we would have already recovered from the financial crisis.

As Marc Weisbrot writes in the Guardian:

John Schmitt and Nathan Lane showed that the United States is not the nation of small businesses that it is regularly dressed up to be for electoral campaign speeches and editorials. If we look at what percentage of our overall labour force is self-employed, or what percentage of manufacturing workers or high-tech workers are employed in small businesses – well, the US ranks at or near the bottom among high-income countries.

As economist Paul Krugman noted after reading the study: “One more American myth bites the dust.”

In other words, the idea that America has more small businesses than other countries is false. More small businesses would be good, as it would mean that more of the “little guys” would have poker chips to play the free market game with.

Similarly, breaking up the big banks would lead to more competition and allow smaller banks to fill the lending needs of individuals and small businesses

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Local Currency Most Popular Since Great Depression

Communities around the country are printing “scrip” at the highest rate since the Great Depression says Agora Financial

Behold the “Plenty” an alternitive currency printed and exchanged exclusively in Pittsboro, N.C., population 2,500. A couple dozen Pittsboro stores accept it as a dollar alternative, like the local feed store and a produce co-op.

The idea is nothing new… we’ve chronicled scrips like the Ithaca HOUR and Western Mass’ BerkShare for some time. Both have millions worth in ciculation.

But according to the LA Times, scrips haven’t been this popular since the Great Depression. They’ve gained significant traction in New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona and Massachusets, with many more commonities beginning to experiment.

And we’re noticing a decidedly less hippie, more snarky feel: "The Plenty is not going to get siphoned off to Wall Street,” says B.J. Lawson, president of The Plenty co-op board, “or Washington, or make a stop in Bentonville on its way to China.” In Mesa, Ariz., locals are using Mesa Bucks to essentialy stick it to the man… bring a sales receipt from inside city limits to the local arts center and they’ll give you a percentage of your sales tax back in Mesa Bucks.

So much for “E Pluribus Unim”

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Bernanke Redistributes Income Upwards: The Impoverishment of Middle America


Unemployment is rising, wages are falling and credit is contracting. In other words, the system is working exactly as designed. All the money is flowing upwards to the gangsters at the top. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Don Monkerud article that sums it all up:

“During eight years of the Bush Administration, the 400 richest Americans, who now own more than the bottom 150 million Americans, increased their net worth by $700 billion. In 2005, the top one percent claimed 22 percent of the national income, while the top ten percent took half of the total income, the largest share since 1928

Over 40 percent of GNP comes from Fortune 500 companies. According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, the 500 largest conglomerates in the U.S. “control over two-thirds of the business resources, employ two-thirds of the industrial workers, account for 60 percent of the sales, and collect over 70 percent of the profits.”

… In 1955, IRS records indicated the 400 richest people in the country were worth an average $12.6 million, adjusted for inflation. In 2006, the 400 richest increased their average to $263 million, representing an epochal shift of wealth upward in the U.S.” “Wealth Inequality destroys US Ideals”

[Here we see an economy moving in the opposite direction from the one the Distributists would understand to be desireable. Belloc always defined capitalism as "a small handful of men owning most of the productive wealth."]