Olbermann: Scared Mittless + Tie Fighters + A Delegate Balance + McCain Mutiny

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

Feb. 7, 2008

Scared Mittless

Keith speaks with Dana Milbank.

Tie Fighters 

Keith speaks with Chuck Todd.

A Delegate Balance 

Keith speaks with Eugene Robinson.

McCain Mutiny 

Keith speaks with Pat Buchanan.

Poor Keith, Pat calls him Chris!

World’s Worst 

Worse: Lamar Smith

Worser: Faux Noise

Worst: Lou Dobbs

Bushed!

Gulag-Gate

Gun Violence is funny-Gate

War Of Lies-gate

The Time To Act Is Now – DraftBloomberg.com (video)

Dandelion Salad

DraftBloomberg

Sign the petition now at http://www.draftbloomberg.com/.

We need Mike Bloomberg to run now, more than ever, as a pragmatic, non-partisan, and proven effective leader. Especially with the current downward economic trend, we need someone with real experience to navigate and lead us through our nation’s massive economic issues.

The petition to draft Mike Bloomberg at http://www.draftbloomberg.com/ is the nation’s largest, gathering signatures and support from all across America, from people like you who think Mike is our best choice and want to do their part to convince him to enter the race. He can and will win, if he enters, but time is short, and he needs to know now that you want him to run!

Go now to http://www.draftbloomberg.com/ and sign the petition. Tell your friends, family and anyone you know.

Why Michael Bloomberg?

A uniquely qualified and proven leader, Mayor Mike Bloomberg can:

1. Fix the economy – he’s the founder of the largest financial information, news and media company in the world.

2. Fix Washington – he’s the most non-partisan and proven CEO in American politics.

3. End lobbyist corruption – he would be a President who owes nothing to the lobbyists, the special interests or the political extremes.

Why sign the petition?

Because you’re not satisfied with the current choices.

Because you believe America needs to truly move beyond partisan politics.

Because the economic state and the good of our country needs him.

Because Mike Bloomberg is the best one for the job.

Tell Mike Bloomberg to run. Sign the petition now at http://www.draftbloomberg.com/

Immigrants Come Here Because Globalization Took Their Jobs Back There By Jim Hightower

Dandelion Salad

By Jim Hightower
AlterNet.org
Hightower Lowdown
February 7, 2008

Seal-the-border hysteria is everywhere. Instead of blaming immigrants for America’s problems, let’s look at executives on both sides of the border.
The wailing in our country about the “invasion of immigrants” has been long and loud. As one complainant put it, “Few of their children in the country learn English …The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages … Unless the stream of the importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.” Continue reading

Cable Cutting Mayhem: 5th Undersea Internet Cable Cut By Nathan Statz

Dandelion Salad

By Nathan Statz
IDM News
February 7, 2008

It began with two undersea telecommunications cables that served as data links between Europe and the Middle East being cut, but it’s now escalated with a further three undersea internet cables being cut, with major disruptions to internet services.

When the first two undersea cables went offline the blame was initially placed on ship’s anchors being dragged out to sea for too long, but this is being dismissed by the Egyptian Transport Ministry.

“The ministry’s maritime transport committee reviewed footage covering the period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the cables were cut and no ships sailed the area,” said a statement from the Ministry. “The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships.”

The third cable was cut on February 1st, located between the Qatari island of Haloul and the UAE island of Das. The cause of the third cable’s problems wasn’t identified, with ship’s anchors and possible power outages being blamed. This had spill over affects throughout the Middle East and parts of Europe, particularly as the alternative routing options were hammered by the excess traffic.

The report of the fourth undersea cable being cut in the Mediterranean was what ignited social networking discussion all over the internet as to conspiracy theories and questions of deliberate sabotage. This cable outage, operated by Flag Telecom was believed to have been caused by a power outage and not blamed on ship’s anchors like the first three.

The fifth cable which has been cut was a major undersea link to Iran and caused initial panic that the country had been entirely cut off from the internet, this was since proved false however their were widespread outages and those able to access internet services through alternative routing had services slow to a crawl.

The importance of undersea cables is far greater than most people realise, with an estimated 90% of internet traffic being routed via cables, so it’s no surprise that when major undersea cables take a hit, the disruption to internet services in the affected regions is massive.

While repairs and plans for replacement cables are being launched there is widespread concern over what’s causing all the cable cuts and whether this trend will continue. The digital economy losses have yet to be assessed, but the more cables that go down the higher the productivity losses become.

h/t: ICH

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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George Bush Delivers the Horse’s Head By Mike Whitney

01.31.08 Mosaic News: World News From The Middle East (video)

Internet problems continue with fourth cable break by Dylan Bowman

Three Internet Cables Slashed in a Week: Has Iran lost all Internet Connectivity? by Mike Whitney

In search for foreign intelligence, spies turn to YouTube, MySpace, blogs by Nick Juliano

Ron Paul speech at CPAC 02.07.08 (videos)

Dandelion Salad

unconsious767

February 07, 2008

Dr. Paul speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference

Intro

Speech

see

Ron Paul speaks to the youth at Liberty University (videos)

BBC: Romney suspends White House bid + TPMtv: Mittpocalypse Now (video) (updated)

FISA Speeches in the Senate + Feingold calls it a Police State (videos) (updated)

We’re Drunk, And We’re At The Edge Of The Roof By Sally Erickson

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 1-4)

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 5-8)

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

Paul-Ron

In search for foreign intelligence, spies turn to YouTube, MySpace, blogs by Nick Juliano

Dandelion Salad

by Nick Juliano
Raw Story
Thursday February 7, 2008

With rapidly advancing technology spreading across the globe, US spies are shifting their focus from surreptitiously photographing secret Soviet documents to trolling the Internet for what could be the next key nugget of foreign intelligence.

Among the most valuable sources, one top spook says, are blogs, MySpace and other Web 2.0 hallmarks.

“We’re looking now at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence,” Doug Naquin, director of the CIA’s Open Source Center said in a recent speech to CIA retirees.

The speech was posted this week on SecrecyNews, the blog of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy.

“I would not have thought of YouTube as an obvious source of intelligence,” Steven Aftergood, the project’s director, told InfromationWeek, “but I think it’s a good sign that the Open Source Center is looking at it, and at other new media.”

Open source intelligence collection focuses on compiling and analyzing unclassified data from publicly available sources for use by the CIA, policy makers and other law enforcement agencies. Formerly known as the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, the Open Source Center’s mission in recent years has shifted from translating newspaper and television reports from abroad to culling the Web for information on foreign targets. The center trains intelligence agents and others in government.

“This training includes everything from media analysis to advanced Internet exploitation, way beyond Googling,” Naquin said.

The goal of open-source collection is to provide information that goes beyond what appears in the morning newspaper, and analysis of Web 2.0 content has become a key part of that, he said.

“A couple years back we identified Iranian blogs as a phenomenon worthy of more attention, about six months ahead of anybody else,” he said.

Now even Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has his own blog.

“We’re looking at chat rooms and things that didn’t even exist five years ago, and trying to stay ahead,” Naquin said. “We have groups looking at what they call ‘Citizens Media’: people taking pictures with their cell phones and posting them on the Internet. Then there’s Social Media, phenomena like MySpace and blogs.”

With the end of the Cold War, Naquin said open source collection became a low priority in the Intelligence Community, causing the FBIS staff to be cut in half during the 90s. The terror attacks aimed at New York and Washington changed all that.

“[Nine-Eleven] was sort of a watershed for us,” Naquin said. “The 9/11 Commission and WMD Commission both said, ‘You know what? There are a lot of open sources out there. We should be putting a lot more attention toward exploiting those sources.”

Naquin’s full speech is available here (.pdf).
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 Limits of Individual Morality By James Rothenberg

Dandelion Salad

By James Rothenberg
07/02/08 “ICH

If we as individual citizens are to remain allegiant to the abstraction known as the United States of America, do we have to alter our innate sense of morality where it seems at variance with the morality of the state? Or, in a weaker version, to what extent do we have to alter our innate sense of morality in order to bring it into line with the morality of the state?

Thanks to a new entity known as Wikileaks and the anonymous leaker, ‘Peryton’, we are provided another formal measure of the moral capacity of our government, specifically in how it relates to our conduct in our role as invader and occupier of Iraqi sovereign territory.

The leaked document in this case is the US Forces Rules of Engagement for Iraq, classified Secret. Protocol concerning the authorization for the use of force is specified for circumstances where there can be expected a level of collateral damage.

Leaving aside the moral ambiguity inherent in the use of deadly force in an area where even “no collateral damage” is expected (but may occur), there remain the two higher classifications of expectation, “low collateral damage” and “high collateral damage”.

Dealing with the most obvious dimension of collateral damage, that of non-combatant casualties, we’re taught how to distinguish between the two. The “high” assessment occurs when there is a probability of ten percent that the damage would amount to an estimated 30 or greater non-combatant casualties (sometimes known as “innocents”).

We can infer from this that an assessment of “low”, at least as pertains to non-combatant casualties, would cover the estimated range of 1-29.

The distinction between each of the three assessments (no, low, and high) represents a shift in moral category and therefore signals a shift of moral responsibility for initiation of an action.

Upon the authority of the Multi-National Corps Commander, a low collateral damage strike can be initiated. The high collateral damage strike requires the authorization of the Secretary of Defense.

This means that it takes the Secretary of Defense to authorize a strike with consequences on the order of the Columbine massacre (counting injured as casualties) and the Virginia Tech massacre.

Since we have no hesitation in describing these school shootings as massacres, and since we have no such proclivity (officially speaking) in the case of a mission authorized by our Defense Secretary, the difference would seem to be the stakes.

From the point of view of the state, a massacre is the killing of innocents when there is nothing to be gained (low stakes). When the Secretary of Defense orders a strike with a high collateral damage assessment, the justification is (and must always be) that there is sufficient gain involved (high stakes).

If the morality of an act cannot be ascertained save for its postulated benefit, then who gets to do the postulating? If we can agree that this matter cannot be left in individual hands, this leaves only a collection of hands (an abstraction).

If we regard this collection as valuable, we are led toward answering the question first proposed in the affirmative. We will have to alter our innate sense of morality.

To pose the weaker version of the question is to admit the abdication of individual morality, which can now be no more than a reflection of the collective.

To the extent that one’s patriotism manifests itself as allegiance to the state, such patriotism will involve a forfeiture of individual morality. This is less a statement about the merits of allegiance than it is about its limits.

It simply posits a necessary sacrifice, in this case distinct from the sacrosanct sacrifice (for one’s country) customarily thought of as patriotic. This is the sacrifice of one’s own morality.

Those who regard this sacrifice as low stakes may feel comfortable in the role of patriot. Those who regard it as high stakes may feel more comfortable in the role of partisan. The words have apparent similarities, but the latter is far more involving.

James Rothenberg – jrothenberg@taconic.net

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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The Threat of Section 1222 By James Rothenberg (link)

The Bush Bust of ’08 “It’s All Downhill From Here, Folks” By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
ICH

07.02.08

I just saw a picture Bernanke stripped to the waist in the boiler-room shoveling greenbacks into the furnace.” Rob Dawg, Calculated Risk blog-site


On January 14, 2008 the FDIC web site began posting the rules for reimbursing depositors in the event of a bank failure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is required to “determine the total insured amount for each depositor….as of the day of the failure” and return their money as quickly as possible. The agency is “modernizing its current business processes and procedures for determining deposit insurance coverage in the event of a failure of one of the largest insured depository institutions.” (http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2008/fil08002.html#body)

The implication is clear, the FDIC has begun the “death watch” on the many banks which are currently drowning in their own red ink. The problem for the FDIC is that it has never supervised a bank failure which exceeded 175,000 accounts. So the impending financial tsunami is likely to be a crash-course in crisis management. Today some of the larger banks have more than 50 million depositors, which will make the FDIC’s job nearly impossible.

Good luck.

It’s worth noting that, due to a rule change by Congress in 1991, the FDIC is now required to use “the least costly transaction when dealing with a troubled bank. The FDIC won’t reimburse uninsured depositors if it means increasing the loss to the deposit insurance fund….As a result, uninsured depositors are protected only if a bank acquiring the failed bank will pay more for all of the deposits than it would for insured deposits only.” (MarketWatch)

Great. That’s reassuring. And there’s more, too. FDIC Chairman Shiela Bair warned that “as of Sept. 30, there were 65 institutions with assets of $18.5 billion on its list of “problem” institutions;” although she wouldn’t give names.

So, what does it all mean?

It means there’s going to be an unprecedented wave of bank closures in the US and that people who want to hold on to their life savings are going have to be extra vigilant as the situation continues to deteriorate. And it is deteriorating very quickly.

Right now, many of the country’s largest investment banks are holding $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities and other structured investments that are steadily depreciating in value. As these assets wear-away the banks’ capital, the likelihood of default becomes greater. This week, Fitch Ratings announced that it will (probably) cut ratings on the 5 main bond insurers (Ambac, MBIA, FGIC, CIFG,SCA) “regardless of their capital levels”. This seemingly innocuous statement has roiled markets and put Wall Street in a panic. If the bond insurers lose their AAA rating (on an estimated $2.4 trillion of bonds) then the banks could lose another $70 billion in downgraded assets. That would increase their losses from the credit crunch–which began in August 2007—to $200 billion with no end in sight. It would also impair their ability to issue loans to even credit worthy customers which will further dampen growth in the larger economy. Structured investments have been the banks’ “cash cow” for nearly a decade, but, suddenly, the trend has shifted into reverse. Revenue streams have dried up and capital is being destroyed at an accelerating pace. The $2 trillion market for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) is virtually frozen leaving horrendous debts that will have to be written-down leaving the banks’ either deeply scarred or insolvent. It’s a mess.

There were some interesting developments in a case involving Merrill Lynch last week which sheds a bit of light on the true “market value” of these complex debt-pools called CDOs. The Massachusetts Secretary of State has charged Merrill with “fraud and misrepresentation” for selling them a CDO that was “highly risky and esoteric” and “unsuitable for the City of Springfield.” (Most cities are required by law to only purchase Triple A rated bonds) The city of Springfield bought the CDO less than a year ago for $13.9 million. It is presently valued at $1.2 million—MORE THAN A 90% LOSS IN LESS THAN A YEAR.

Merrill has quietly settled out of court for the full amount and seems genuinely confused by the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s apparent anger. A Merrill spokesman said blandly, “We are puzzled by this suit. We have been cooperating with the Secretary of State Galvin’s office throughout this inquiry.”

Is it really that hard to understand why people don’t like getting ripped of?

This anecdote shows that these exotic mortgage-backed securities are real stinkers.

They’re worthless. The market for structured debt-instruments has evaporated overnight leaving a massive hole in the banks’ balance sheets. The likely outcome will be a rash of defaults followed by greater consolidation of the major players. (re: banking monopolies) The Fed’s multi-billion bailout plan; the “Temporary Auction Facility” (TAF) is a quick-fix, but not a permanent solution. The real problem is insolvency, not liquidity.

The smaller banks are dire straights, too. They’re bogged down with commercial and residential loans that are defaulting faster than any time since the Great Depression. The Comptroller of the Currency,John Dugan–who is presently investigating commercial real estate loans—discovered that commercial banks “wrote off $524 million in construction and development loans in the third quarter of 2007, almost nine times the amount of 2006”. The commercial real estate market is following residential real estate off a cliff and will undoubtedly be the next shoe to drop.

Dugan found out that, “More than 60% of Florida banks have commercial real estate loans worth more than 300% of their capital, a level that automatically attracts more attention from examiners.” (Wall Street Journal) He said that his office was prepared to intervene if banks with large real estate exposure maintained unreasonably low reserves for bad loans. Dugan is forecasting a steep “increase in bank failures.”

According to Reuters: “Dozens of U.S. banks will fail in the next two years as losses from soured loans mount and regulators crack down on lenders that take too much risk, especially in real estate and construction,” predicts Gerard Cassidy, RBC Capital Markets analyst. Apart from the growing losses in commercial and residential real estate, the banks are carrying over $150 billion of “unsyndidated” debt connected to leveraged buyout deals (LBOs) which are presently stuck in the mud. Like CDOs, there’s no market for these sketchy transactions which require billions in cheap, easily available credit. They’ve just become another anvil dragging the banks under.

On January 31, Bloomberg News reported: “Losses from securities linked to subprime mortgages may exceed $265 billion as regional U.S. banks, credit unions and overseas financial institutions write down the value of their holdings.” Standard and Poor’s added that “it may cut or reduce ratings of $534 billion of subprime-mortgage securities and CDOs as default rates rise.” Another blow to the banks withering balance sheets. Is it any wonder why the “new loans” spigot has been turned off?

Surprisingly, there’s an even bigger threat to the financial system than these staggering losses at the banks. A default by one of the big bond insurers could trigger a meltdown in the credit-default swaps market, which could lead to the implosion of trillions of dollars in derivatives bets. The inability of the under-capitalized monolines (bond insurers) to “make good” on their coverage is likely to set the first domino in motion by increasing the number of downgrades on bond issues and intensifying the credit-paralysis which already is spreading throughout the system.

MSN Money’s financial analyst Jim Jubak summed it up like this:

“Actually, I’m worried not so much about the junk-bond market itself as the huge market for a derivative called a credit-default swap, or CDS, built on top of that junk-bond market. Credit-default swaps are a kind of insurance against default, arranged between two parties. One party, the seller, agrees to pay the face value of the policy in case of a default by a specific company. The buyer pays a premium, a fee, to the seller for that protection.

This has grown to be a huge market: The total value of all CDS contracts is something like $450 trillion….. Some studies have put the real credit risk at just 6% of the total, or about $27 trillion. That puts the CDS market at somewhere between two and six times the size of the U.S. economy.

All it will take in the CDS market is enough buyers and sellers deciding they can’t rely on this insurance anymore for junk-bond prices to tumble and for companies to find it very expensive or impossible to raise money in this market.” (Jim Jubak’s Journal; “The Next Banking Crisis is on the Way”, MSN Money)

Jubak really nails it here. In fact, this is what Wall Street is really worried about. $450 trillion in cyber-credit has been created through various off balance sheets operations which neither the Fed nor any other regulatory body can control. No one even knows how these abstruse, credit-inventions will perform in a falling market. But, so far, it doesn’t look good.

The enormity of the derivatives market ($450 trillion) is the direct result of Greenspan’s easy-credit monetary policies as well as the reconfiguring of the markets according to the “structured finance” model. The new model allows banks to run off-balance sheets operations that, in effect, create money out of thin air. Similarly, “synthetic” securitization, in the form of credit default swaps (CDS) has turned out to be another scam to avoid maintaining sufficient capital to cover a sudden rash of defaults. The bottom line is that the banks and non-bank institutions wanted to maximize their profits by keeping all their capital in play rather than maintaining the reserves they’d need in the event of a market downturn.

In a deregulated market, the Federal Reserve cannot control the creation of credit by non-bank institutions. As the massive derivatives bubble unwinds, it is likely to have real and disastrous effects on the underlying-productive economy. That’s why Jubak and many other market analysts are so concerned. The persistent rise in home foreclosures, means that the derivatives which were levered on the original assets (sometimes exceeding 25-times their value) will vanish down a black hole. As trillions of dollars in virtual-capital are extinguished by a click of the mouse; the prospects of a downward deflationary spiral become more likely.

As economist Nouriel Roubini said:

“One has to realize that there is now a rising probability of a ‘catastrophic’ financial and economic outcome, i.e. a vicious circle where a deep recession makes the financial losses more severe and where, in turn, large and growing financial losses and a financial meltdown make the recession even more severe. That is why the Fed has thrown caution to the wind and taken a very aggressive approach to risk management.” (Nouriel Roubini EconoMonitor)

“In the fourth quarter of 2007, new foreclosures averaged 2,939 a day, double the pace of a year earlier.” (RealtyTrac Inc.) The banks are presently cutting back on home equity loans which provided an additional $600 billion to homeowners last year for personal consumption. Bush’s $150 billion “stimulus package” will barely cover a quarter of the amount that is lost. As consumer spending slows and the banks become more constrained in their lending; businesses will face overproduction problems and will have to limit their expansion and lay off workers. This is the downside of “low interest” bubble-making; a painful descent into deflation.

Capital is now being destroyed at a faster pace than it is being created. That’s why the Fed is looking for solutions beyond mere rate cuts. Bernanke wants direct government action that will provide immediate stimulus. But that takes political consensus and there’s still debate about the gravity of the upcoming recession. The pace of the economic contraction is breathtaking. This week’s release of the Institute for Supply Management’s Non-Manufacturing Index (ISM) was a shocker. It showed steep declines in all areas of the nation’s service sector—including banks, travel companies, contractors, retail stores etc—The Business Activity Index, the New Orders Index, the Employment Index, and the Supplier Delivery Index have all contracted at a “historic” pace. Everyone took a hit.

“The numbers are so terrible, it’s beyond belief,” said Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co.

The $2 trillion that has been wiped out from falling home prices, the slowdown in lending activity at the banks, the loss $600 billion in home equity loans, and the faltering stock market have all contributed to a noticeable change in the public’s attitudes towards spending. Traffic to the shopping malls has slowed to a crawl. Retail shops had their worst January on record. Homeowners are hoarding their earnings to cover basic expenses and to make up for their lack of personal savings. The spending-spigot has been turned off. America’s consumer culture is in full-retreat. The slowdown is here. It is now. We are likely to see the sharpest decline in consumer spending in US history. Bush’s $150 billion will be too little too late.

America’s place in the world has been guaranteed not by what it produces but by what it consumes. The American consumer has been the locomotive that drives the global economy. Now that engine has been derailed by the reckless monetary policies of the Fed and by shortsighted financial innovation. When equity bubbles collapse; everybody pays. Demand for goods and services diminishes, unemployment soars, banks fold, and the economy stalls. That’s when governments have to step in and provide programs and resources that keep people working and sustain business activity. Otherwise there will be anarchy. Middle class people are ill-suited for life under a freeway overpass. They need a helping hand from government. Big government. Good-bye, Reagan. Hello, F.D.R.

The Bush stimulus plan is a drop in the bucket. It’ll take much, much more. And, we’re not holding our breath for a New Deal from George Walker Bush.

 

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.

Iraq’s Tragic Future By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
Truthdig
Feb. 7, 2008

Any analysis of the current state of the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq that relied solely on the U.S. government, the major candidates for president or the major media outlets in the United States for information would be hard pressed to find any bad news. In a State of the Union address which had everything except a “Mission Accomplished” banner flying in the background, President Bush all but declared victory over the insurgency in Iraq. His recertification of the success of the so-called surge has prompted the Republican candidates to assume a cocky swagger when discussing Iraq. They embrace the occupation and speak, without shame or apparent fear of retribution, of an ongoing presence in that war-torn nation. Their Democratic counterparts have been less than enthusiastic in their criticism of the escalation. And the media, for the most part, continue their macabre role as cheerleaders of death, hiding the reality of Iraq deep inside stories that build upon approving headlines derived from nothing more than political rhetoric. The war in Iraq, we’re told, is virtually over. We only need “stay the course” for 10 more years.

Continue reading

Breaking Taboos In the Search For Truth by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach

Dandelion Salad

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Global Research, February 7, 2008

Arun Gandhi’s Pursuit of Peace

The fact that the fifth grandson of legendary peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, should be forced to resign as head of his own peace institute in the United States, after critical remarks he had made about Israeli policy, should set alarm bells ringing — not one, but two sets of bells. On the one hand, his forced resignation seemed to confirm the fear that anyone in the United States who dared criticize Israeli policy as aggressive, would be dubbed a “bigot” or “anti-semite,” and forced to withdraw from public life. On the other hand, however, a different alarm has been sounded, one that warns that such blanket condemnation of any criticism of Israeli policy, will boomerang, and force an open, honest, no-holds-barred debate on a crucial political and moral issue. So, from this standpoint, I say, let the alarm bells ring.

Continue reading

Carolyn Baker Reviews “The Final Empire” Part 2 By William Kotke

Dandelion Salad

by Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
Thursday, 07 February 2008

As part of my commitment to holding the tension of current reality alongside my vision, I will continue to spotlight those who are in Kotke’s words “gathering seeds of Natural cultures and the truly beneficial things created by civilization” and carrying them through the apocalypse.

We are proposing to create no less than a completely new human culture that relates to the earth in a completely different way….those who choose to respond in a positive way need gather the seeds of Natural cultures and the truly beneficial things created by civilization and carry them through the apocalypse.

~William Kotke~

Tending The Vision

In Part One of this review, I focused on the author’s stunning explanation of collapse as a kind of time bomb imbedded in civilization. What I failed to mention is that Kotke wrote this book in 1993 which makes its contents all the more momentous. Likewise, his vision of alternative communities based on the principles of natural culture was ahead of its time in terms of defining how humans need to live in relationship with the more-than-human world.

At this point, I’d like to share how The Final Empire and the timing of its appearance in my life, in synchronicity with other concepts and events, informed my vision of possibilities.

On a chilly morning in Boulder, Colorado I sat in a circle with about 34 other individuals as we concluded a weekend of deep talking, deep listening, and deep feeling regarding the topic of collapse and the end of the world as we have known it. People began to cry and allow words and sounds of grief to pour forth, and not only grief, but fear and rage. My body softened, and tears flowed. Piles of used Kleenex accumulated under my chair, and I felt the deepest connection I had ever experienced with a group of human beings in my life, many of whom had been total strangers only 48 hours before. For several moments I knew as clearly as I knew that I was sitting in a chair in a room in Boulder that these fellow humans were my unequivocal allies and that in a world of famine or thirst, I would never allow them to perish, nor would they allow me to perish.

But not only did I feel a warm, intimate connection with the other individuals in the room, but in the pit of my stomach I experienced a sensation of being profoundly and palpably connected with the earth. For a moment I flashed on an experience I had over a decade ago in Yosemite National Park when a friend and I spent a morning in silence in a secluded meadow. We wandered about, sometimes in close proximity, but most of the time hundreds of feet apart, feeling ourselves joined to the grass, the trees, the birds, a quietly bubbling stream, the sky. While those hours yielded the most intimate connection I had ever experienced with the earth until that time, I felt something far more momentous occurring in my body while sitting in the circle. For the first time in my life I experienced the earth as my family-its other-than-human members as my siblings, parents, and children. Savoring viscerally my relatedness to my family, the awareness that my family is dying because members of my species are killing it, surged through my cells and opened a floodgate of yet more grief.

But grief was not the endpoint-not the final destination of this unprecedented experience. In fact, what I noticed is that my tears had literally cleansed the doors of perception so that I began to notice and nurture a vision of the kind of world humans are capable of creating before, during, and after the collapse of civilization. It did not come from my head or intellectualizing about what would be politically or environmentally correct. It was unequivocally natural, pristine, innocent, and real.

…continued

see

Carolyn Baker Reviews “The Final Empire” By William Kotke

The Plan By William Kotke (Survival; resources)

THE HERO’S JOURNEY By William Kotke

02.06.08 Mosaic News: World News From The Middle East (video)

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

“Obama the Pride of Kenya,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Super Tuesday from an Arab Perspective,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Super Tuesday from an Israeli Perspective,” IBA TV, Israel
“What do Iraqis & Iranians Think About the US Primaries?” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Israel Continues Offensive in Gaza,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iran Achieves Scientific Success,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Where Did the Lebanese War Victims’ Financial Aid Go To?” NBN TV, Lebanon
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

What is this ‘Iraq war’ charge on my bill? Part 2 (video)

Dandelion Salad

bravenewfilms

http://lessjobsmorewars.com/

While the battle between Obama and Clinton continues, and may continue for a while, it is critically important we start getting out the message about McCain. We don’t want the only story line to be about Democrats fighting.

And thanks to Joe Scarborough, we now have a brilliant McCain campaign slogan: Less Jobs. More Wars.

For two months, we’ve been trying to come up with a good name for our Issues ’08 campaign, and there it is! Jason, Leda, Philip and Lissette jumped into action and put together these two fantastic short videos.

We need $100,000 immediately (like in the next week), so we can continue making these high impact videos, full-time, around the clock.

Can you chip in $50? We’ve got to start now. http://lessjobsmorewars.com/ 

Added: February 07, 2008

Military Budget

see

What is this ‘Iraq war’ charge on my bill? (video)

High Treason and Felonies by Ted Lang

Dandelion Salad

by Ted Lang
thepeoplesvoice.org
02/07/08

The elephant that has been swept under the carpet to protect the Cheney-Bush regime could not go forever unnoticed by the American people. The unending laundry list of so-called “high crimes and misdemeanors” described in Section 4 of Article II, powers of the President, enumerates such treason that even the Founders and writers of the Constitution, in all likelihood, never had the capacity to either imagine or foresee. Section 4 states: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” And Bush has gone on record as to what he thinks of the Constitution he swore to protect and uphold.

As former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill pointed out, Bush was obsessed with invading Iraq and going after Saddam Hussein. We will probably never learn of the real reason behind his planned vendetta, but it seems that his need to do so can be summarized thus: Who will rid me of this meddlesome competitor?

Dick Cheney saw his opportunity to fill Bush’s burning need. Never being able to become the “top gun” in the White House, Cheney saw his chance to provide the solution for Bush’s burning quest. As David McCullough pointed out in his John Adams [© 2001, Simon & Schuster – New York]: “All the frustrations and feelings of stagnation that went with the vice presidency, all that so many others who followed in the office were to bemoan down the years, were felt intensely by the first Vice President.” But with the advent of The Establishment’s New World Order launched in reality by the Bush-Clinton dynasties, strict adherence to the Constitution was seen as counterproductive to the agenda requiring the abrogation national sovereignty.

It was while at a Washington DC reception held at the residence of the Turkish Ambassador that former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV met Valarie Plame. They later married in 1998, the marriage being his third and her second. The strong ties that Plame had developed with Turkish diplomats and government officials is precisely what made her a valuable US intelligence asset. It has now, once again been revealed recently by fired former FBI linguist and Turkish translator, Sibel Edmonds, that she had uncovered astonishing, incriminating evidence that Turkey, along with Pakistan, was seeking to acquire nuclear military secrets through the United States State Department. Edmonds, along with others, has pointed the finger at Grossman. Grossman was number three at State, while Douglas Feith was number three at Rumsfeld’s Pentagon.

…continued

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see

FBI whistleblower ignored by media by Brian O’Farrell

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard by Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi chats about Sibel Edmonds by Luke Ryland

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey by Joshua Frank

Turkey’s Drug-Terrorism Connection By Martin A. Lee (1997)

Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger (must-see video)

Edmonds-Sibel