Learning From History: Don't Think Fascism Can't Happen in America Today

In 2017, Nazis and racism have somehow made their way to the forefront in America. If we want to combat fascism today, we need to look at what happened in history.

The Nazi movement in 1930s Germany managed to convince people to overlook, tolerate and participate in horrifying crimes against others. How did they pull off their massive scam and persuade the German people that they were standing up for their “heritage”?

Glenn took a historical look at fascism in the hopes of stopping people today from going over the cliff on radio Wednesday. The key issue was how people were trained to believe that their suffering was the fault of the Jews, giving them an excuse to look the other way during Hitler’s atrocities.

“How did the Nazis actually pull this off?” Glenn asked the difficult question. “How did something so evil become something that so many people, and some of the best-educated people in the world [fell for]; how did they fall for that?”

Part of the problem was how society slowly began to devalue human life, while simultaneously turning to science as the answer to all of people’s problems.

“’Science will solve everything,’” Glenn paraphrased the thinking of the time. “’If we can just get rid of the stupid people, if we can just get rid of the handicapped people’ …”

GLENN: Hello, America. There's a couple of stories that are really fascinating. One is in the Washington Post. The road to hate. For six young men, Charlottesville is only the beginning. And it talks about how these guys have fallen in with neo-Nazis. And it's very, very clear and easy to see what's happening. But it is a difficult conversation to actually come at this and try to have a real conversation in more than a seven-second sound bite.

And so for the love of our nation. For the love of each other. For the love of decency, common sense, and our very survival, we're going to try every day to have an actual conversation. I don't know if that's even possible anymore.

But we're going to take another step towards it, beginning right now.

(music)

GLENN: How did the Nazis -- how did the Nazis actually pull this off? How did something so evil become something that so many people -- and some of the best educated people in the world, how did they fall for that?

It is the question that I don't think that we've ever really, truly answered. We have spent -- at least me -- we have spent our lives watching all these World War II documentaries. And if it's black and white and it's got Nazis in it, guys somehow or another are always flocking to those documentaries. We're fascinated by this.

And we're fascinated because it is so clearly evil. And it just swept a nation. And almost swept the world.

How? How?

There's been a lot of surface answers. But the real answer, to me, is pain and humiliation. The pain and the humiliation that was caused by World War I. And then the indoctrination that -- that happened in the -- in the universities, beginning at the turn of the century, long before the Nazis. The devaluing of life and the sanctity at this time of life and the -- the elevation of science, to get rid of all of our problems. Science will solve everything.

If we can just get rid of the stupid people, if we can just get rid of the handicapped people -- excuse the language, but this is the language they used to use, if we can just get rid of all the retarded people, we're going to be fine.

But we don't have time. You want to make the world a better place: We've got to get rid of those people. And that quickly turns into: If we would just get rid of all of the greedy people. If we just get rid of all of these bankers because, you know, the bankers were involved.

Let me say this to you: Do you believe the Nazis are good?

Okay. I think that's -- I didn't even need to pause. I think everybody's like, "Nope."

Do you think -- now, here's where it's going to get complicated for some people, "Do you think the Nazis have some good points that they're making?" Think about that.

Your knee-jerk is no. But how many in the audience are like, "Well, they are standing against the -- wait a minute. A door is opening. They are standing against the erasing of our heritage. A door has just opened.

If I said, "Jews, Jews, Jews, they all must die. They're bad. They're keeping you down," I don't know a soul that's going to believe that. Not a soul is going to believe that. But then let's take it to the next chant that they do, the next chant is, "Jews, they run the banks."

Okay. I don't know anybody of any intelligence that believes that and is going to say, "You know what, that Nazi is making a good point."

"Jews, they run the banks, and the banks are getting rich off of your back."

Now, wait a minute. The door is starting to open a crack because the average person who is suffering will dismiss the Jew part, but begin to see, "Yeah, well, wait a minute, the banks are getting rich."

And the smart Nazi will say, "The banks are getting rich. They got a bailout. Did you get a bailout? I didn't get a bailout. They got a bailout, and it's the -- it's the banks, and it's the corporations that are doing it."

Now that door is open to anyone who suffering. And that door is there. And all of a sudden, the guy who didn't say Jews, didn't say Jews are running the world, didn't say Jews are running all the banks, but that's implied because he's a Nazi.

Because he has found that one place of connection and he looks like you. Read the story in the Washington Post. The guys who went down there, they never saw themselves as Nazis. But I know this to be true because I've joined another very unpopular club. I hate to say this. But I am a big supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I remember the first time I went to an AA meeting, my first thing I said was, "I think I'm an alcoholic." And the room laughed. And they said, "Well, brother, if you think you're an alcoholic, I mean, there's usually a reason for that. You know, people who aren't, you know, having blackouts don't generally think they're an alcoholic. You've got some signs. So if you're thinking that way, you most likely are."

And I said, "Well, here's my problem: You guys don't look like alcoholics."

And a lady -- an old lady with pearls and a sweater set, who looked like a grandma and a really respectable wealthy grandma -- not my grandma. A really respected wealthy grandma, just without even turning around said, "Oh, honey, we're all drunks in here." All of a sudden, I could accept that I was an alcoholic, because they didn't look like I thought alcoholics looked.

The Nazis are coming out. And did you hear about the Antifa protester that was beaten up by his own people because he looked like a Nazi? And he was like, "I'm not a Nazi. I'm on your side." And they beat him within an inch of his life. Because he looked like a white supremacist Nazi.

Well, when you're coming in -- why do you think -- do you know who designed the Nazi uniform, the storm trooper, the SS, the black uniform? That was Hugo Boss. Hugo Boss, the designer. He's the one who designed those uniforms.

Oh, but his suits aren't oppressing you, right? Or should we burn down all Hugo Boss uniforms, I mean, stores?

Somehow or another, he gets a pass. They get a pass.

Volkswagen gets a pass. Volkswagen, you put the little flower in the little cannister there, the little vase by the steering wheel. Volkswagen is a thing of peace and love. Volkswagen. The people's car. The people's wagon. It was a national socialist design and commissioned by Adolf Hitler.

Oh. But they get a pass. We're not burning Volkswagens down, are we?

Why? Because they've changed their image. They no longer have Adolf Hitler going, "This is the people's car." They have a little flower by the steering wheel.

We're being tricked by image. And people are falling into it for a couple of reasons: One, they are actually hurting. People are going to Antifa, and they are excusing -- they're not joining. They're excusing Antifa, even though there are many people on the left who do not believe what Antifa is doing is right. They do not believe that burning the city of Berkeley down to the ground is a good thing. They don't believe any of that.

They're actually afraid of Antifa. But they're excusing it, because, look at the other side. Look at what they're doing. We got to stop that, right? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

No, the enemy of my enemy may be your friend, but he also may be your enemy.

And Antifa is your enemy. Same with Nazis. They are your enemy. You cannot stand with them, no matter how much you want to dismiss the bad parts about them. No matter how much they image themselves just like you. That's not who you are.

There was something that happened yesterday that is the cliff of insanity. And I refuse to go no further.

And I'm going to ask you to join me on something. But everything in you will say, "I'm not going to do that." Everything in you.

And, you know what, partially, you will be justified in saying it. Because you're tired. And you've been convinced you don't make a difference. But I'm going to ask you, "Don't go over the cliff with the rest of humanity. Take a stand."

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.