How To Help Feed & Support Children of The Gaza Strip & West Bank By Tom Feeley + audio link

Dandelion Salad

By Tom Feeley
ICH

01.27.08

I have been asked by many ICH readers if I can recommend a way for them to help the children of Palestine. I would like to suggest the Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund.

The Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund is an enterprise that was established by a group of individuals whose goals are to improve the living standards of the children of Palestine in the refugee camps inside Palestine. The group aims to provide the children of the refugee camps with better educational opportunities, health facilities and a bright future without violence, hatred and discrimination. The organization has branches and volunteers in more than ten countries and is not connected with any militant or political association of any kind.

The group is a non-political, non-religious enterprise whose aspirations are purely humanitarian and for the purpose of emancipating the children of Palestine and the human rights of the people and children of Palestine.

One hundred percent of the donations go to the children in Gaza and other children throughout Palestine. There are no administrative costs due to the fact that all staff is made up of all volunteers who work out of or our homes or businesses.

You can make a one time donation by clicking here, or sponsor a child on a monthly basis by clicking here.

Visit their website http://www.pcwf.org/

***

Charles Goyette Interviews Mohammad Omer

A student in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah and author of the Website RafahToday.

Mohammad Omer, author of Rafah Today, discusses the exodus of Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt, breaking the Israeli blockade and engaging in peaceful commerce with the Egyptians. Click here for MP3 file.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Kucinich Urges Restoration of Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

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Kucinich Urges Restoration of Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

Washington, Jan 24 – Yesterday Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), along with 10 Members of Congress, sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging her to exert her influence to lift the blockade of Gaza.

“The U.S. must exercise its role as the honest broker in the region to help lift the Israeli blockade of Gaza and to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territories. It is not possible for Gaza to live on emergency aid forever and Israelis, especially those in southern Israel, deserve to live without fear,” Kucinich said.

Gaza is home to 1.5 million Palestinians and is primarily dependent on Israel for its energy supply. The Gaza Strip border crossings have been closed since Thursday causing the blockade of fuel, food, medical supplies and water sanitation equipment. The World Food Program may suspend food distribution as early as today due to a lack of fuel for their trucks. The Red Cross has requested regular access to the territory to avert a total breakdown of health and sanitary services. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has placed the ultimate blame of the humanitarian crisis on Hamas, which has escalated their rocket attacks against Israel in the past ten days.

“Threatening the public health of 1.5 million people is not an effective or lawful means to ensure the security of Israel,” Kucinich said. “Collective punishment will not stop the rocket fire; it only creates a questionable “balance” of suffering on both sides of the border.

“The United States must support a viable peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis” Kucinich said. “The Administration has a responsibility to act as an honest broker of peace.”

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Padilla Trial Highlights Bush Administration’s Manipulation Of Justice By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
ICH
27/01/08 “Jurist

“The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on US civil liberty that Bush and the DOJ justified in the name of “the war on terror.” The government gave assurances that the draconian measures only apply to “terrorists.” “Terrorist,” however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to decide who is a “terrorist” without having to present evidence or charges in a court of law.The Bush administration’s policy comprises an end-run around any notion of procedural due process of law. Administration assurances that harsh treatment is reserved only for “terrorists” is meaningless when the threshold process for determining who is and who is not a “terrorist” depends on executive discretion that is not subject to review. Substantive rights are useless without the procedural rights to enforce them.

Jose Padilla, a US citizen, was accused of intending to set off a radioactive “dirty bomb” in an American city. He was denied due process and the protection of habeas corpus. He was held for years under harsh conditions that brought about “essentially the destruction of a human being’s mind,” according to Dr. Angela Hegarty, a psychiatrist who spent 22 hours examining Padilla.

Eventually, the courts intervened. In December 2003 an appellate court ruled that Padilla could not be denied habeas corpus protection. To forestall another Supreme Court ruling against the Bush administration, the administration withdrew Padilla’s status as “enemy combatant” and filed criminal charges that bore no relationship to the administration’s original allegations that Padilla intended to explode a “dirty bomb.”

The only case the DOJ was able to manufacture against Padilla was that he was a “terrorist-wannabe.” Padilla was thus indicted on the Benthamite grounds that he might commit a terrorist act in the future.

By the time Padilla went to trial, he had been demonized for years in the media as the “dirty bomb” terrorist. In the Washington Post, August 17, 2007, Peter Whoriskey described the Padilla jury as a patriotic jury that appeared in court with one row of jurors dressed in red, one in white, and one in blue. As Lawrence Stratton and I write in the new edition of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: “It was a jury primed to be psychologically and emotionally manipulated by federal prosecutors. No member of this jury was going to return home to accusations of letting off the “dirty bomber.”

The main “evidence” introduced against Padilla was an unrelated 10-year old video of Osama bin Laden, which served to arouse in jurors fear, anger, and disturbing memories of September 11.

The prosecutors also claimed to have a form that Padilla is alleged to have completed in 2000, prior to September 11, 2001, to attend an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. At that time Al Qaeda and the Taliban were fighting against a remnant of the Northern Alliance containing elements of the old Soviet regime to unify Afghanistan as an Islamic state. Although it is far fetched that al Qaeda sent out applications to attend its training camps, any such application by Padilla predated the 9/11 attack and was related only to domestic affairs in Afghanistan. Any such application has no relevance to any act of terrorism.

Padilla was convicted on all counts. In handing down a 17-year sentence, US District Judge Marcia Cooke denied the prosecutors’ request for a life sentence and observed: “There is no evidence that these defendants personally maimed, kidnapped or killed anyone in the United States or elsewhere.”

Under Blackstonian law, the basis of the US Constitution, the Padilla case has no crime and no intent to commit a crime. Judge Cooke vaguely recognized this, but US law has been pushed off its Blackstonian basis and is being reconstructed on a Benthamite basis.

Benthamite law is the great ally of tyranny. It permits people to be arrested on the suspicion that they might commit a crime in the future, to be tortured, and to be held indefinitely. In other words, suspicion leads to imprisonment without the check of warrant, judge, trial or jury.

This is the law that the Padilla case has given us. Padilla, an American citizen, was denied habeas corpus, tortured, and convicted of the Benthamite crime of being suspected of possibly committing a real crime in the future. The fact that judge and jury went along with the Benthamite proceeding shows that Benthamite justice can operate within the old Blackstonian process.

The Justice Department that manufactured the case against Padilla is the same DOJ that wrote memos justifying torture and findings that the President of the US need not obey federal statutes such as FISA or abide by the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution. It is the same DOJ whose attorney general told Congress that the Constitution does not provide habeas corpus protection to every US citizen.

This same DOJ is the product of an administration the highest officers of which have been documented to have lied about Iraq 935 times in the two years following 9/11.

If the Bush administration will lie about matters of war and death and fabricate evidence to justify war, why won’t the administration lie and fabricate evidence in order to convict accused “terrorists” like Padilla and whomever else they please?

Harvey Silverglate has noted that the legal changes we have experienced since 9/11/2001 have destroyed the common law basis of US law. In terrorist cases, prosecutors do not need to fabricate evidence, because they can make crimes out of innocuous and even constitutionally protected activity. A case in point is the federal indictment of a Saudi graduate student at the University of Idaho who operated some Websites, a constitutionally-protected activity, where some participants in discussion groups advocated jihad. Applying a provision of the US PATRIOT Act, federal prosecutors indicted Omar Al-Hussayen for providing “expert advice or assistance” to terrorist organizations (see Silverglate, The Boston Globe, June 28, 2004). What prosecutors are doing goes beyond fabricating evidence. They are using amorphous terrorism statutes to criminalize ordinary aspects of everyday life. Another way of putting it is that prosecutors take ordinary events and stretch them to fit an expansive interpretation of a terrorism statute. A large amount of effort is committed to prosecuting activities that do not fit any common sense meaning of crime.”

Paul Craig Roberts [former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury; co-author (with Lawrence Stratton) of The Tyranny of Good Intentions]

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Why Jose Padilla’s 17-Year Prison Sentence Should Shock & Disgust all Americans By Andy Worthington

Dead For Lies by Cindy Sheehan

Dead For Lies by Cindy Sheehan

The Real Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Jan. 27, 2008

Once, before I camped out in Crawford, Tx, I was speaking at a venue in DC and I called George Bush a “lying bastard.” This was in May 2005; right after we discovered the revelations of the Downing Street Minutes which we believed was the smoking gun that would bring down BushCo in short order.

We held hearings in June of 2005 that Congressman John Conyers convened (in a crowded basement room in the Capitol) that exposed the deceit of the “yellow cake uranium from Niger” lie and the fact that Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby made many trips to the CIA offices to “cherry-pick” intelligence. Along with myself, Ambassador Joe Wilson, and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern: Constitutional Attorney John Bonifaz wrapped up the panel to explain how and why the criminal Bush regime should be impeached and imprisoned.

Since then, I have been hailed or condemned for my strong language and told that if I “framed” my language better, I could be more effective. On the other hand, some people have told me to not dare temper my language because what our government is doing to people is so heinous that someone needs to strongly speak out against it. Now something has again surfaced that alternately angers and sorrows me.

A recent report found that BushCo told 935 lies in the two-year run-up to the war! We all know they lied, and frankly, I am surprised that the number is only 935, but it was an apparently exhaustive study by two media analysis groups.

Calling the President of the USA a “lying bastard” may, on the face of things, seem disrespectful, but there are two definitions of the word that seem appropriate to BushCo: 1) something of illegitimate or dubious origin (stolen elections) or 2) someone mean or nasty.

After nearly four years of living with the horrible knowledge that my son was killed in Iraq for the lies of the lying bastards of the Bush regime, I still mourn him and miss him with all my heart and soul and I don’t know if I will ever be able to go through a day without being reminded that he should be alive and well and home with his family. Presidential daughter Jenna Bush will be getting married soon and I can’t help but feel that Casey should have been able to have the same opportunity to get married and have his own children and future.

We cannot place the blame solely at the foot of BushCo, though. We have two Senators vying for their party’s presidential nomination who are nothing but spoiled Demo-Brats who snipe and bicker at each other instead of calling for the immediate removal of our troops from Iraq and the ouster of the liars who are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the tragic creation of millions of broken hearts (when we buried Casey, I discovered that the term is not just a figure of speech).

We have a Speaker of the House who has taken impeachment “off the table” and refuses to even consider doing her job because impeachment would be too “divisive” when so many families have been physically, emotionally, and politically divided by Republican and Democratic war crimes and support of war crimes.

It is imperative that BushCo be impeached for past, present and future high crimes and misdemeanors. They have not only lied about the reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, but they have used their war of terror to redefine and lie about torture and commit unspeakable crimes against humanity.

Accountability should not be a politically partisan issue. No one should be above the law in a democracy and this is not a game of power plays or revenge for a past impeachment for lying about oral sex in the oval office.

We know they lied and now we must demand hearings from our dysfunctional employees in DC to find out why they lied so we can prevent it from ever happening again.

What’s more obscene? The word “bastard” or the travesty and tragedy of wars based on so many lies told by so many liars?

Please Contribute to Cindy’s Campaign – Get Cindy updates Here

see

Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel

Olbermann: National Measure + Uncle Sam Is Watching YOU! + Worst + Bushed! (videos)

Charles Lewis (Center for Public Integrity) 935 Lies (and Counting) (video)

Bob Drogin: Curveball: Spies, Lies & the Con Man Who Caused a War (video)

Olbermann: Carolina On His Mind + Fool Me 935 Times… + Cash For Campaign + Bushed + Worst (videos)

Cafferty: Study: 935 False Statements Leading up to the War with Iraq (video)

Center for Public Integrity documents orchestrated campaign that led to Iraq invasion “under decidedly false pretenses”

A Government of Lies Must Be Brought Down By Dave Lindorff

Cafferty File: What Else is Our Govt Lying to Us About? (video)

They Lie! Impeach Bush/Cheney! (music video)

 

It’s Time to Hold Democratic House Leaders in Contempt by Naomi Wolf

Dandelion Salad

by Naomi Wolf
Commondreams.org
Huffington Post
Saturday, January 26, 2008

Enough is enough.

Like many of us, after having watched helplessly as the Bush administration trampled the Constitution and made a mockery of checks and balances over the course of five bitter years, I was hopeful when the American people elected a Democratic Congress in November of 2006. Finally, I imagined, we would have a whiff of legality and the hint of a restoration of the rule of law in the land. Perhaps we would even have congressional committees to oversee the administration’s subversions of the rule of law and investigate the wide range of abuses that it had perpetrated since 2001.

There has been a bit of movement — which is why the thousands of Americans I have met who are appalled at these abuses but feel powerless to raise their voices effectively should take heart, but not stop their fight. To some extent, these raised voices have yielded some action: Congress has in fact held numerous hearings on issues — ranging from torture to warrantless wiretapping — that had been taboo to contend with when the administration was heedlessly, and unopposed, using a hyped narrative of `the global war on terror’ to subdue American liberties. Most prominently, we got some of the bad guys out of town. Citizen-driven congressional investigations into the politicization of the Department of Justice, for example, spurred the resignations of many key Bush administration officials, including the mild-mannered gatekeeper of the first bolgia of Hell, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

And yet, where it counts most, Democratic leaders in Congress have completely abdicated their constitutional oversight role. What they are doing now reprises the worst failures of other self-paralyzed Parliaments in societies that were facing crackdowns on civil liberties and the rule of law, and their voluntary self-emasculation may go down in history as one of those turning points at which leaders cave shamefully to transformative pressure that leaves a country far less than its founded ideal. Through their actions, they are potentially causing irreparable harm to the institution of Congress itself.

At issue is the failure of White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers to comply with congressional subpoenas to testify about the 2006 firings of a handful of U.S. Attorneys. We now have an America in which Congress says, “We subpoena you.” And potential criminals say, “Yeah? F— off.”

As most people know, the Bush administration asserted executive privilege on behalf of Bolten and Miers and refused to allow them to comply with the subpoenas to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last July. It is widely understood that executive privilege only protects certain conversations and correspondences with the president and is not intended to be a blanket privilege — protecting possible wrongdoers against having to appear before Congress AT ALL.

By going far beyond specific exchanges between the president and other officials, the White House essentially asserted that Congress has no power over the executive branch and could not question executive branch officials about their activities. This is an affront to our Constitution. In the shootout of this executive power grab, it effectively leaves one branch of government fatally wounded on Main Street.

Guess what? In America, Congress is not supposed to be tied up and left for dead as potential criminals walk away with impunity. Within weeks, the few brave members of the House Judiciary Committee who were apparently still sentient and still aware of their role as Americans appropriately passed a criminal contempt resolution against both Bolten and Miers.

It was then in the hands of Democratic leaders in the House to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote.

Since then, the citizens of this High Noon scenario have been hiding under the bar stools as the black hats swagger through the nation’s abandoned thoroughfare, and chaparral rolls through the streets. Democratic leaders are hiding from the call of destiny and offering nothing but delays and excuses to avoid producing any semblance of cojones.

In July, they said there would be a vote in September. In September, they said there would be a vote in October. In October, they said a vote would be “more likely” in November. In December, it appeared as if there would be a vote in December – which was then changed to January. If this was my twelve-year-old justifying an unfinished school project, she would be grounded. If it is your congressional representatives justifying an advanced case of cowardice, they should be fired.

Then, less than two weeks ago, on January 14, the Washington Post reported, under a headline, “House Democrats Target Bolten, Miers,” that the House would likely take up the resolutions in the next “couple of weeks.” With this information coming from “Democratic leadership aides,” it appeared as if — Hallelujah! — the long wait for some semblance of justice and a faint breeze of courage might be over.

But two days ago, Politico reported that the votes on criminal contempt citations had been — Say it ain’t so! — “postponed” by House Democrats. Now they were not expected “for weeks.” Moreover, after “Democratic leadership aides” asserted in October that Congress “would be able to round up the 218 votes needed to push through the resolution from Democrats alone,” a Democratic “insider” was now saying, “When we have the votes, we’ll go ahead with this. Right now, the votes are just not there.”

So let me get this straight. The Democrats in Congress cannot even get their own members together to defend the Constitution against a supremely unpopular executive who has essentially spit in their faces, eaten their lunch and the nation’s, and publicly called them out as powerless. Not to mention the fact that they are setting a precedent for the future that any executive can emasculate any Congress and defy any subpoena after having committed possibly any crime. Still they are trembling under the barstools — summoning up, perhaps, the courage to crawl out fully prone and toss their untouched guns humbly at the feet of the posse.

Remember this: each and every member of Congress took an oath — and the oath was not to some abstract government, it was an oath TO YOU — to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Unlike many good people across the political spectrum who are appalled at this dismantling of the three-part system the founders put in place and the besmirching of the rule of law, Congressional Republicans have clearly decided to place their allegiance to the president and their party over their allegiance to the Constitution. This is bad enough; this is, in fact, treason. But the Democrats do not even have that party allegiance as an excuse for their treachery. They would be standing up for their party, the institution of Congress, and the Constitution by passing the contempt resolutions. What more will it take to get them to act?

Those who think — as Pelosi apparently does — that they may rock the boat through a contempt citation in a way that endangers a possible Democratic victory in September are badly misreading the public mood — as well as severely misreading the historical record. If you don’t punish those who break the law at this stage of a crackdown on liberty — through contempt citations, through the use of Congress’s jail cell for those who are found guilty of contempt, and/or through the investigations of a truly independent prosecutor — you are not going to have a transparent, accountable election in November. You will have set a benchmark for impunity and you will get greater and greater crimes committed in the certainty of impunity.

If you doubt the dangers of this, think of the Gulf of Hormuz threat a few weeks ago — oops, hoax. Because the press is actually asking questions, the Pentagon’s narrative of a vicious Iranian provocation was sidelined. But it is purely naive to believe that a White House that would ignore subpoenas and impose yet another false threat scenario on the American people will conduct a transparent election in the fall, especially if it can get away with murder — the murder of the rule of law — today.

Tell your representative to move forward with contempt. And if your representatives fail to act, the punishment should not just be removal from office in the next election; they should also be subject to investigations themselves — for abetting crimes against the Constitution.

Contempt is at issue, indeed.

Naomi Wolf is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The End of America” (Chelsea Green) and is the co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign.

© 2008 Huffington Post

h/t: TheZoo

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Does carbon trading really work? + global recession + unions (videos)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

Does carbon trading really work?

Larry Lohmann critiques cap-and-trade

Saturday January 26th, 2008

Larry Lohmann is the editor of Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change . He also works with The Corner House, a research and solidarity NGO in the UK and is a member of the Durban Group for Climate Justice

Continue reading

Bill Moyers Journal: John Grisham + Who’s Picking Your Judges? + Winning the Vote: Campaign Ad Spending (video; links)

Dandelion Salad

PBS

Bill Moyers interviews John Grisham, best-selling author of The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and The Rainmaker, in a far-ranging conversation that gives viewers insight into the beliefs and background that influenced Grisham’s work and provides an unexpected look at his views about the state of the nation.

Bill Moyers Journal
January 25, 2008

Critics have acclaimed John Grisham’s novels for their detailed portrayal of the intricacies of our legal and political systems — with a sinister twist. Grisham’s ability to portray the worlds of law and politics comes from experience — he has been both a trial lawyer and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from January 1984 to September of 1990. As Grisham notes “All my books are based, in some degree on something that really happened. There’s an element in truth in all these books.”

After 18 novels, John Grisham turned to non-fiction for the first time in his career. THE INNOCENT MAN was Grisham’s investigation into why Ron Williamson and another man were wrongly convicted of a 1982 murder, and why he spent eleven years on death row before D.N.A. evidence finally set him free.

…continued

Who’s Picking Your Judges?

When you get your day in court, would you rather your judge were a Republican or a Democrat? Would you rather the money for their election campaign came from business groups or lawyers? How about a religious group?

These are not questions Americans are used to asking themselves. Yet, if you live in a state where judges are elected, you might start.

Few people stop to think about how a judge becomes a judge. The most visible process is the US Supreme Court, whose members are appointed by the president for life terms. But the states are different. Almost every one uses a unique combination of systems to select judges for each level of the court. Many states use some form of merit selection, 21 states hold popular elections for their supreme court, and eight of those use partisan elections.

…continued

Winning the Vote: Campaign Ad Spending

It’s no secret that during the campaign season the candidates are pulling out all the stops — and a lot of cash — in order to win your vote. Indeed, the 2008 campaign season is breaking the record for political advertising — a record set in 2004.

But what are the viewers of these ads really getting from all that advertising?

Consider the stats below:

  • Spending on TV ads 2008: an estimated $2.5 billion. That’s two-thirds more than the 1.6 billion they spent in 2004, which set the previous record.
  • The Presidential race will account for at least 1/3 of the total — some $800 million.
  • If you’d watched every single ad that the candidates ran Before the Iowa caucuses it would have taken more than 15 days.
  • Scholars found that local TV news coverage in 2004 spent just 86 seconds on each political story — much less than on weather, sports, and crime. And nearly half of all campaign reporting was of the “horse-race” standings.

Take a journey through campaign ads of the past, learn how to fact-check current ads online and then tell us what’s getting your attention this campaign season on the blog.

Video link

Katherine Newman on the Downturn on the Homefront

The possibility of a lasting economic downturn is the talk of the globe. From the gathering of the world leaders at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, to the 24-hour cable market analysts, to the White House and all those on the campaign trail, reassurance, blame and proffered solutions are a dime a dozen. Many of the new headlines seem to focus on the big players — banks, countries, corporations and markets — not individuals. Sociologist Katherine Newman returns to THE JOURNAL to talk about how Americans all over the economic spectrum are affected by the ups and downs of the global economy.

Katherine S. Newman

Katherine S. Newman is the Malcolm Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and the Director of the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. Formerly the Dean of Social Science at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Urban Studies in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Newman has also taught at Columbia University.

…continued and video link

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Dollar’s Reserve Currency Role Is Drawing To An End By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
January 25, 2008

It is difficult to know where Bush has accomplished the most destruction, the Iraqi economy or the US economy. In the current issue of Manufacturing & Technology News, Washington economist Charles McMillion observes that seven years of Bush has seen the federal debt increase by two-thirds while US household debt doubled. [The Economic State Of The Union — 2008, January 24, 2008]

This massive Keynesian stimulus produced pitiful economic results. Median real income has declined. The labor force participation rate has declined. Job growth has been pathetic, with 28% of the new jobs being in the government sector. All the new private sector jobs are accounted for by private education and health care bureaucracies, bars and restaurants. Three and a quarter million manufacturing jobs and a half million supervisory jobs were lost. The number of manufacturing jobs has fallen to the level of 65 years ago.

This is the profile of a Third World economy.

The “new economy” has been running a trade deficit in advanced technology products since 2002. The US trade deficit in manufactured goods dwarfs the US trade deficit in oil. The US does not earn enough to pay its import bill, and it doesn’t save enough to finance the government’s budget deficit.

To finance its deficits, America looks to the kindness of foreigners to continue to accept the outpouring of dollars and dollar-denominated debt.

The dollars are accepted, because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency.

At the meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, this week, billionaire currency trader George Soros warned that the dollar’s reserve currency role was drawing to an end: “The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom, it’s basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency. Now the rest of the world is increasingly unwilling to accumulate dollars.” [Dollar’s golden era is ending, warns Soros By Edmund Conway, Telegraph, (UK), January 25, 2008]

If the world is unwilling to continue to accumulate dollars, the US will not be able to finance its trade deficit or its budget deficit. As both are seriously out of balance, the implication is for yet more decline in the dollar’s exchange value and a sharp rise in prices.

Economists have romanticized globalism, taking delight in the myriad of foreign components in US brand name products. This is fine for a country whose trade is in balance or whose currency has the reserve currency role. It is a terrible dependency for a country such as the US that has been busy at work offshoring its economy while destroying the exchange value of its currency.

As the dollar sheds value and loses its privileged position as reserve currency, US living standards will take a serious knock.

If the US government cannot balance its budget by cutting its spending or by raising taxes, the day when it can no longer borrow will see the government paying its bills by printing money like a third world banana republic. Inflation and more exchange rate depreciation will be the order of the day.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The Myth of Free Trade by Chalmers Johnson

Why Tax Rebates Won’t Work by Josh Sidman

How to Sink Americä: Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson

US Financial Powerhouse: “House of Cards” by Jim Miles

Anti-Bush Facebook Group Hits Million, Massive Book Giveaway by Heather Wokusch

Heather Wokusch

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
27 January, 2008

HeatherWokusch

The Facebook group “I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who dislike George Bush!” will reach one million members soon. As a proud member and bestselling activism author, I will give away free downloads of my books for two weeks to encourage ongoing “armchair activism.”

Note: this isn’t just for Facebook members.

Here is the link for the book giveaway: www.progressiveshandbook.com/1000000/

***

From my Books page:

The Progressives’ Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now

by Heather Wokusch

heather wokusch vol 1

Vol. 1: US Weapons of Mass Destruction, Women’s Issues, Education, Mainstream Media

Order the book

Vol. 2: Elections & Voting, Environment and Foreign Policy

Order the Book

Senator Mike Gravel on the Oppressive Nature of Religion (video)

Dandelion Salad

gravel2008

One question that seems to embarrass all Presidential candidates is the question on Evolution. Some refuse to recognize its existence as a legitimate theory and prefer to let religious beliefs dictate their political message. Others refuse to discuss or advocate for the views of atheists, merely because they represent a minority of voters.

In this video, Sen. Gravel discusses his thoughts on evolution, creationism, and ultimately, the inherent oppression associated with religion and its marriage to the state.

“There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”

George Washington, 1790

http://www.gravel2008.us
http://www.ni4d.us

Order a copy of Citizen Power:
http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/…

see

Just a Theory: Ron Paul Doesn’t “Accept” Evolution By Manila Ryce (video) (updated)

Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel

Gravel-Mike