America is Now Rome By Stan Goff

Dandelion Salad

By Stan Goff
09/16/08 “Counterpunch

An Open Letter to Christian Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

On February 1, 1996, I retired from the United States Army. I had served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam as an infantryman, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Ranger Battalion, the Jungle Operations Training Center, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta, the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1st Ranger Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, 75th Ranger Regiment, and finally 3rd Special Forces Group. I worked all over “hot spots” in Latin America during the 80s and early 90s. I participated in Grenada and Somalia; and I was the team sergeant for a Special Forces A-Detachment during the 1994 invasion of Haiti. In all that time, I was one of those atheists in the foxholes they say don’t exist. I could never have known that I’d find the faith to follow Christ and be baptized on Easter of my 56th year. But I did, even when I’d never grasped for spiritual reassurance as I slogged through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, leapt from airplanes into the night, or had helicopters shot out from under me. I’ve been taking up residence close to death for a long time. My faith isn’t about jumping over death. It’s about reconciling with God, who Jesus Christ showed us is Love. Continue reading

Federal Corruption and Meaningless Elections By Timothy V. Gatto

Dandelion Salad

By Timothy V. Gatto
09/16/08 “ICH”

Just as I expected, these political campaigns of both Barack Obama and John McCain are totally mindless and mind-numbing. This is unfortunate because our republic is probably teetering on the brink of extinction due to the self-serving, Empire fostering policies of the currant administration. Americans are experiencing a palatable anger toward the two- party duopoly that has followed its corporate leadership into wars for resources and the complete disregard for the Constitution.

It is apparent that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have no regard for the intelligence of their constituents. Since this Presidential race began, we have been sidetracked with barbs and inferences as well as “straw man” arguments. Neither corporate candidate has addressed the real concerns of Americans. The saddest part of this travesty we call an election is that both parties are well aware what arguments they want to put out in front of the people and what issues they would prefer not to talk about.

The term “principles over personalities” has not entered the mind-set of both campaigns. The United States is much like the Titanic, listing to one side and ready to take the long dive to the bottom. We have a 9.5 Trillion Dollar deficit that is being held by foreign countries. The biggest part of our economy, home ownership that makes up approximately half of the assets of our country in mortgages sold to trust funds, retirement plans and government bonds and other investment vehicles is quickly going “bottom up”. This isn’t conjecture, it is fact. A fact that both corporate parties have no answer to. We are facing a depression not seen since the 1930’s and the corporatist parties are still arranging the deck chairs.

We spend 48% of the entire world’s military expenditures’.

The truth is that even with this massive amount of military spending; both candidates promise more of the same. The candidates appear on the corporate-controlled media and no media “personalities” ask them how they are going to pay for more military expenditures or why we need military bases in 140 different countries. Obama, the former “anti-war” candidate panders to the Republican base by promising to increase troop strength in the Army by 65,000 soldiers. As a former Army recruiter, I will say that would be a neat trick. Just how does he believe he will entice that many young people to join the Army when they see soldiers spending multiple tours in combat year after year?

The corporate duopoly doesn’t mention the debasement of our Constitution in the last seven years. They turn a blind eye as the Bill of Rights has been reduced to just another historical document that has only a sentimental value. The Republic is financed by a central bank that Americans are becoming increasingly aware of. The Federal Reserve, a privately owned bank sells us our own money at interest while it prints fiat money of no value. These issues are of no interest to the corporate parties, they won’t talk about the abandonment of the Constitution, The Bill of Rights or the failed economy that practices “corporate welfare” as thousands of Americans are thrown from their homes.

Both corporate controlled parties still echo the false rhetoric that Russia is the looming menace. They decry the “invasion” of Georgia when the facts are that the Georgians started the war with American and Israeli support. They are both committed to military superiority as the most important facet of our foreign policy. This is occurring in spite of the fact that our constitutional rights, our homes and our money are becoming worthless.

The time has come to give up the American Empire and concentrate on our own nation instead of trying to control all events that take place in the world. We can no longer afford our super-inflated military in a time when there is no direct threat of invasion from anywhere. The Democrats and Republicans throw issues out like “gay rights” and “a woman’s right to choose”, taxes and healthcare in order to take our minds off of what is really happening in this period of our history.

Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin are talking about these issues but the corporate controlled media won’t let them speak to the people. The time has come for the people of the United States to wake from their slumber and turn their backs on the Democrats and Republicans that have become corrupted by corporate money beyond redemption. There must be a third party candidate that rises above the others. We need a candidate that all of us can rally around. We can no longer play “party politics” with two political parties that no longer care about the interests of the people.

This election is not going to be a turning point regardless of who captures the Presidency. One man or woman or one political party is not going to save this nation from becoming just another failed state. This week-end, there was a Conference for the Planning for Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals. The following was discussed;

* What international and domestic crimes were committed, which facts show crimes under which laws, and what punishments are possible.

* Which high level Executive officials — and Federal judges and legislators as well, if any — are chargeable with crimes.

* Which international tribunals, foreign tribunals and domestic tribunals (if any) can be used and how to begin cases and/or obtain prosecutions before them.

* The possibility of establishing a Chief Prosecutor’s Office such as the one at Nuremburg.

* An examination of cases already brought and their outcomes.

* Creating an umbrella Coordinating Committee with representatives from the increasing number of organizations involved in war crimes cases.

* Creating a Center to keep track of and organize compilations of relevant briefs, articles, books, opinions, and facts, etc., on war crimes and prosecutions of war criminals.

We are at a time in our history when, like other societies that could no longer count on their government to govern by “The Rule of Law” to work outside of the Federal government. Conferences such as the one mentioned should be taking place on an ongoing basis. A “Shadow Government” should be established to monitor the legality of actions by the Federal government under domestic and international law.

The point that I am making is that our government is failing the vast majority of American citizens. We as citizens must hold them accountable for their actions. If that means coalescing into a united front to restore the rule of law in this country and take the government to court for their malfeasance than that is what our obligations should be. We can no longer trust the corporate controlled Democrats and Republicans to obey the Constitution, or International Law. –

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Nader on bank woes: ‘I predicted this’

Bleak Sunday, Momentous Monday, and Nader/Gonzalez

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

The U.S. Financial System in Serious Trouble by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay
Global Research
September 16, 2008

“… a bailout of GSE (Fannie and Freddie) bondholders would be perhaps the greatest taxpayer rip-off in American history. It is bad economics and you can be sure it is terrible politics.” Matt Kibbe, President of Freedom Works

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), (September 1932)

[After the Bear Stearns bailout] “As more firms lost access to funding, the vicious circle of forced selling, increased volatility, … and margin calls that was already well advanced at the time would likely have intensified. The broader economy could hardly have remained immune from such severe financial disruptions.” Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman (March 2008)

In August 2007, at the very beginning of the subprime financial crisis in the U.S., and referring to the alchemy-like practice of creating artificial financial instruments, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), here is what I wrote: Continue reading

Who Is A.I.G. And Why Should You Care? By Mike Ruppert (2001)

Dandelion Salad

An Investigative Series, By Mike Ruppert, 2001
Speaking Truth to Power
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

[“It is in our national interest that A.I.G. survive,” says former AIG Chairman, Hank Greenberg. But just who and what is AIG? And why is it important to know? This is Part One of Mike Ruppert’s 2001 investigative series on an enormous player in Wall Street’s drug money laundering scam. Drug money, Ruppert has demonstrated, has kept the markets from crashing for many years. Now however, it appears that “plunge protection” is in over its head, and no amount of laundered cash can prevent the inevitable that is taking place before our eyes, namely, the collapse of A.I.G. and the U.S. financial system itself.–CB]

Continue reading

Fed nears a deal to take over ailing AIG

Dandelion Salad

Sept 16, 2008

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve is close to a deal to take an 80 percent stake in American International Group in exchange for an $85 billion loan, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

AIG’s failure could open the ugliest chapter yet of the financial meltdown.

“The glimmer of hope has turned into a ray of hope,” said the person, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the talks to help AIG.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke met with members of Congress to brief them on options the government is considering. The meeting ended without Bernanke and Paulson commenting.


Fed nears a deal to take over ailing AIG – U.S. business-

h/t: CLG


Fed takes control of troubled AIG, will lend it $85 billion

How the Masters of the Universe ran amok and cost us the earth

US Economy: Rudderless and Reeling From Direct Hits – A raid on private pensions? By Paul Craig Roberts

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Tomgram: Tariq Ali, Has the U.S. Invasion of Pakistan Begun? + video

Dandelion Salad

By Tariq Ali
TomDispatch (Tom Engelhardt)
September 16, 2008

The American War Moves to Pakistan – Bush’s War Widens Dangerously

The decision to make public a presidential order of last July authorizing American strikes inside Pakistan without seeking the approval of the Pakistani government ends a long debate within, and on the periphery of, the Bush administration. Senator Barack Obama, aware of this ongoing debate during his own long battle with Hillary Clinton, tried to outflank her by supporting a policy of U.S. strikes into Pakistan. Senator John McCain and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin have now echoed this view and so it has become, by consensus, official U.S. policy.

Its effects on Pakistan could be catastrophic, creating a severe crisis within the army and in the country at large. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are opposed to the U.S. presence in the region, viewing it as the most serious threat to peace.

Why, then, has the U.S. decided to destabilize a crucial ally? Within Pakistan, some analysts argue that this is a carefully coordinated move to weaken the Pakistani state yet further by creating a crisis that extends way beyond the badlands on the frontier with Afghanistan. Its ultimate aim, they claim, would be the extraction of the Pakistani military’s nuclear fangs. If this were the case, it would imply that Washington was indeed determined to break up the Pakistani state, since the country would very simply not survive a disaster on that scale.


Tomgram: Tariq Ali, Has the U.S. Invasion of Pakistan Begun?.


Tariq Ali: The Tangled U.S.-Pakistani relationship on the edge of war


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Tariq Ali: The Tangled U.S.-Pakistani…“, posted with vodpod

Tariq Ali: Barack Obama’s disastrous plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan


From CLG

‘The unsavoury prospect of having to take a crack at its one-time ally has surfaced most starkly in the skies over the Afghan-Pakistan border.’ US faces the F-16s it supplied Pakistan 14 Sep 2008 The United States is suddenly faced with the uncomfortable scenario of confronting the very same weapons and military hardware, including F-16 fighter jets, it has armed Pakistan with for decades. The unsavoury prospect of having to take a crack at its one-time ally has surfaced most starkly in the skies over the Afghan-Pakistan border this weekend after the Pakistan Air Force deployed its US-supplied F-16s to challenge the violation of its airspace by US drones, and in one case, an airborne assault that landed US Navy Seals inside Pakistani territory.

US drones prowl as Pakistan Army bombs Taliban positions10 killed as helicopter gunships, fighter jets fire shells in Bajaur 17 Sep 2008 Ten Taliban were killed and several others injured on Tuesday as Pakistan Army helicopter gunships and fighter jets fired shells at ‘militant hideouts’ in Bajaur Agency as United States’ drones prowled the sky over another Taliban sanctuary on the Afghan border.


Pakistan army ordered to hit back at U.S. forces

Gareth Porter: Pakistani Air Strikes + Leaked US-Iraqi Draft Agreement

Kucinich: Bush-Ordered Attacks in Pakistan Further Destabilizing World Security

Do ISPs pose a bigger online privacy threat than Google?

Dandelion Salad

By Jaikumar Vijayan
September 15, 2008

Law professor warns of “a coming storm of unprecedented and invasive” surveillance of users by ISPs

The increased monitoring and profiling of Internet users by companies such as Google and its DoubleClick online advertising subsidiary is widely seen as one of the biggest threats to online privacy. But in reality, said university professor Paul Ohm, the potential for the same kind of activities by ISPs poses a much greater privacy risk.

Ohm, an associate professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, published a research paper titled “The Rise and Fall of Invasive ISP Surveillance” late last month. The 77-page document chronicles the different market pressures and technology advances that are shaping the behavior of ISPs and warns of “a coming storm of unprecedented and invasive” surveillance of users by such companies.


Do ISPs pose a bigger online privacy threat than Google? | InfoWorld | News | 2008-09-15 | By Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld.


“Change” Part II: Could An American Nationalist Party Make a Difference? by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Sept. 16, 2008

Part I of this two-part article on “Change” asked, “Has the West reached its limits?” The answer increasingly seems to be, “Yes, it has.”

The U.S., as the main agent of expansion for global finance capitalism, has been declared “functionally bankrupt” by economists close to the Federal Reserve. (Journal of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, August 2006). But no one has wanted to listen. What is really behind the ongoing financial collapse is the ruin wrought by a debt-based monetary system, and it is clear that those who run the system have no answer.

The financial collapse is dragging down the producing economy as job losses mount. But relations with other nations are affected as well.

Nations outside the Western sphere of influence, most notably Russia, have declared that “enough is enough.” For Russia and nations such as Venezuela and Iran, and likely many more struggling with the question of where their real interests lie, a unipolar world where the U.S. military serves as the police force for the New World Order’s outrageously overextended financial empire is no longer acceptable.

Through the election of 2008, the citizens of the U.S. have the latitude to choose their next step, though some say they don’t, because the Republication Party knows how to rig the electoral process. But the public also has the ability to put a stop to that if they so choose. Human beings are not innocent of their fate.

Basically there are only two options for a nation that has painted itself into a corner by hosting a predatory financial system, including the system of dollar hegemony where other nations purchase that nation’s debt to finance its fiscal and trade deficits. So what does that nation do when those other nations start to resist?

The options are 1) to continue to subjugate those other nations through covert or overt warfare, which is what the U.S. has been doing since the national security state took over in the 1950s; or 2) change its financial system to one that is non-predatory and does not require a steady diet of victims to assuage its internal contradictions and appetite for gain.

With the foregoing as a touchstone, we can evaluate the desirability of voting for one or another of the current presidential candidates.

Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin may be the most dangerous political candidates in the history of the U.S. They are the representatives of the Bush-Cheney-Neocon-Zionist-Cabal that seems to view World War III as not only the favored method to avoid facing our economic plight but also something really exciting and justifiable in its own right. McCain fits in perfectly with that view—the only thing that really seems to turn him on is the prospect of more war.

McCain admits he knows little about economics, yet he has endorsed George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. This plan would result in large fees and commissions for the financial industry while reducing benefits for most workers. (Dean Baker, “McCain Would Privatize Social Security,” Truthout Perspective, September 15, 2008) McCain has also declared the present U.S. economy “fundamentally sound.”

“Caribou Barbie” Palin serves as a comely cheerleader to get Christian Zionist fundamentalism behind the ticket. She is a member of an aggressive right-wing Christian cult known as “Joel’s Army,” an offshoot of Dominionism, which says that in the “end times” they will “rise up and battle evil and retake the earth for God.” (Bruce Wilson, Sarah Palin’s Churches and the New Wave Apostolic Reformation,

The Religious Right gives the impression of frightened and ignorant people whose angst is being diverted toward political extremism by unscrupulous preachers who are being paid off by the financier-corporate elite so their flocks will not take a hard look at the financial system which is driving them toward poverty. German psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich captured some of the flavor of this phenomenon during Hitler’s rise to power in his famous book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism.

Palin has spoken casually of war with Russia as a real possibility. The Republican party platform is heavily oriented toward preemptive and aggressive war. The fact that a huge segment of the U.S. economy makes its living off military spending obviously predisposes a large number of voters to select the candidates who seem to provide them with job security.

There are people in my family who work for military contractors and believe that only under a Republican regime will they have jobs. Also supporting McCain/Palin are the beneficiaries of “Big Oil,” since they would gain substantial tax breaks under McCain’s proposals.

In a column titled “Blizzard of Lies,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that the Republicans are running the most blatantly dishonest campaign in history: “What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.”

Democrat Barack Obama, far from being the peace candidate he seemed to be early in his election bid, when he said he opposed the Iraq War from the start, has clarified his position to mean that he opposed that war because we should have been focusing our military efforts more on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama accepts permanent bases in Iraq, so has bought into the George W. Bush policy of U.S. military conquest of the Middle East. He has thereby lost much support and enthusiasm among the progressives who typically vote Democratic.

He also said, in accepting the Democratic Party nomination for president, that he would “truly stand up for Georgia” and “curb Russian aggression.” Vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden referred in his speech to “Russia’s challenge to the free and democratic country of Georgia.”

These positions, which justify thoroughly documented U.S. aggression, misjudgment, and falsehoods in the Georgia debacle, are utterly irresponsible. Though Obama and Biden do not seem to be as pathologically attached to warfare as McCain/Palin, their passive acquiescence to the imperatives of a foreign policy based on armed world conflict could just as easily lead to World War III.

Obama-Biden appear to be the candidates most favored by the U.S. establishment elite, headed by the New York financial circles that provided the backbone of the Democratic Leadership Council which put Bill Clinton into office.

The Clinton economic recovery of the 1990s was based on a huge influx of foreign capital that inflated the bubble. That opportunity does not exist for Obama, who wants to apply some progressive band-aids, like tax cuts for the middle class, to a hemorrhaging economy that is overwhelmed by bankruptcies, foreclosures, and lost jobs.

The response of the so-called Third Party candidates, including Ralph Nader, has been strident but fragmented.

Nader has come to constitute America’s “official opposition.” In 2000 he served the purposes of the Radical Right by drawing off enough votes from Al Gore to make the designation of George W. Bush by the Supreme Court a possibility.

Nader has not really gotten beyond complaining about corporate corruption, though he has recently come out in favor of an assessment of the Federal Reserve System and a new 9/11 investigation. But he has never seemed to understand or strongly question the underpinnings of the debt-based monetary system as the cause that drives our nation to bankruptcy at home and war abroad.

With all due respect to Dr. Ron Paul, who has led the way in criticizing the Federal Reserve, his solution to our economic ills of letting the Libertarian faithful use gold and silver for money while anyone else who wants to do so can continue to use Federal Reserve Notes, is a ludicrous suggestion for managing an industrial economy. (Dr. Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto, 2008.)

Running for president for the Libertarian Party is former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr. Barr recently asked Ron Paul to run as his vice-presidential candidate though Paul has refused this invitation in the past. Unfortunately, the Libertarians’ anti-government message is not much more than a prescription for anarchy.

It comes at a time when the failure of government to work on behalf of the people rather than the corporate and financial controllers is clearly the real problem. Government has an essential role to play in assuring prosperity and fairness, which Libertarianism is ideologically incapable of addressing.

The Green Party, while having a progressive platform that includes monetary reform, has never presented a practical and coherent strategy for redirecting the economy, Its presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, will not gather more than a handful of votes. The Green Party has never had the leadership and credibility at the national level to make an impact.

There are a number of other parties that may attract a few voters, including the Progressives, the Socialists, and the Constitution Party, which may have excellent ideas but little effective following. Past reform movements such as the Reform Party, Common Cause, etc., had a temporary impact, especially when Ross Perot ran in 1992 as the Reform Party candidate, but no staying power.

Lyndon LaRouche, as usual, says he is running for president, but he is in his 80s and is advocating as a main platform plank that the Federal Reserve raise interest rates. LaRouche, for all the good he has done in exposing the control of the financiers over the world political and economic system, is still a central bank advocate. He is a self-admitted “New Hampshire Whig” in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, who started the U.S. on its trajectory of out-of-control debt over two centuries ago.

Of course the laws and traditions of the U.S. strongly favor a two-party system, and Third Parties have never had a chance at mainstream media coverage. This does not mean that a new political party with grassroots support could not emerge where others have failed.

But all the Third Parties have a fundamental problem in that real reform must move from the top down as well as from the bottom up. Certainly what the present system lacks is a voice for the people. But throughout world history such a voice has been most effective when spoken by strong leaders, who join with the people to fight against the oligarchs who would take away their freedom.

Strong presidents like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt governed on this pattern, which was why, after Roosevelt died, a constitutional amendment limited the number of terms a president could serve to two.

Another such pattern occurred in Tsarist Russia. Contrary to decades of Western pro-communist propaganda that portrayed Russia’s pre-Revolution peasantry as downtrodden, that country had a tradition of an autocratic czar working against the Russian oligarchs in favor of the peasant class. Actually the Bolshevik Revolution succeeded because of the stresses of war and because Lenin and Trotsky had money provided them by the Western financiers. The financiers saw business opportunities through confiscating the money the Tsar had on deposit in the Rothschild banks and in action by the Rockefellers in taking over the Baku oil fields.

The pattern of the strong leader battling the oligarchs is also being followed by Vladimir Putin in Russia today. This is why he has such a high approval rating in the Russian public opinion polls and why he is hated so much by the Western financier press.

A good example is the recent deeply dishonest anti-Putin screed in Vanity Fair, entitled “Dead Soul.” Actually, most of the democracy-loving Russian businessmen which the Western press blames Putin for oppressing are little more than gangsters.

The same phenomenon of a strong, popular anti-oligarch leader can be seen in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez. What we need in the U.S. today is a strong president, someone like Putin or Chavez, who will do battle with the financial and corporate elite in order to take back the freedoms of the people. The first of the freedoms which must be addressed is real income security, not freedom to go ever deeper into debt to purchase the necessities of life or freedom to scrounge desperately for a job that may or may not pay a living wage.

A political party that could bring about real reform must be organized from the top down in order to meet the appeal for justice and humanity that is coming today from the bottom up. Such a party can only be organized by individuals from the American leadership class, including experienced corporate, military, intelligence, academic, and political figures who understand and are truly disgusted by what is coming out of the existing political parties.

Over the last several decades the financial controllers have worked through their minions in the intelligence and police agencies to eliminate or marginalize such leaders. It’s why JFK, MLK, RFK, Paul Wellstone, and JFK, Jr., were gotten rid of. It’s why the remaining New Deal Democrats in Congress were purged in the 1970s. Key to the New World Order strategy is to assure that no strong leader who cares about the interests of ordinary people ever takes power, or, if any do, they are rendered helpless to govern.

Certainly Bill Clinton had populist leanings. But he was harassed throughout his two terms by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the Republicans in Congress who impeached him, and the European controllers who unleashed NATO against Yugoslavia with U.S. forces that Clinton had little control over.

Hillary Clinton was the favorite of the working class in the 2008 Democratic primaries, but she was fiercely attacked by the media who seemed to be a deciding factor in influencing the superdelegates to hand the nomination to Obama.

Today, if any genuine populists still exist among the American ruling class they must come forward now, because their country is being destroyed. They know very well that grassroots movements without top down support will be murdered in the cradle.

Any political party that seeks to make a difference must have a strong nationalistic orientation and be dedicated to reforming the nation by replacing the power of the global financial elite with a party based on the welfare of the people as expressed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

This movement could either be one that takes over the existing Democratic Party or a new party that combines the appeal of the Third Parties with a new element of elite support. The platform of such an American Nationalist Party could represent real “change” and should include such features as the following:

  • Nationalize the bankrupt U.S. monetary, financial, and banking system.
  • Nationalize the energy industry, including oil.
  • Place the U.S. national debt under bankruptcy reorganization.
  • Institute an immediate annual citizens’ dividend, similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund, of $12,000 per legal adult resident and $4,000 per child.

These four elements alone would constitute a Second American Revolution. Of course some would call this a socialist agenda and oppose it solely on those grounds. But the fact is that any modern industrial economy must be a mixture of public and private sector activity. And it must be done if the U.S. economy is to be saved.

What we have today with unbridled finance capitalism is not a free economy at all. It is one where the rich own the government, privatize resources and utilities that should be part of the societal commons, pay with bribes and campaign contributions to get the political leadership they want, and put ordinary people increasingly into debt and poverty.

Under a program with a nationalistic agenda, the money supply would be issued by the government through payments for services, infrastructure financing, and a citizens’ dividend. The energy industry should be nationalized, because every public and private activity depends on energy for its functioning.

This agenda would address the number one economic problem that faces the the U.S. today. This is the wholesale collapse of consumer purchasing power due to the fact that in an industrial economy earned income is always insufficient to match the prices of production. The main reason is that prices must include enough savings—retained earnings—for technological innovation to counter the rate at which resources are used up. A secondary problem is the export of millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs overseas and the destruction of labor unions as a political force.

This conundrum of an endemic gap between prices and purchasing power was identified decades ago by the British Social Credit movement which understood that the gap could be filled by monetizing savings through a citizens’ dividend. Instead this gap is filled by bank lending, which is the underlying cause of the gigantic debt pyramid that is destroying the U.S. economy.

The one political party which today has identified this problem and has a platform to meet it is not a U.S. party. It is the Democratic Party for Social Credit of New Zealand. (See

The party platform states: “Development of modern banking has resulted in nations losing the power to issue most of their own money. The present economic system, worldwide, is based on debt” Among its platform provisions are:

  • A social credit economy based on a citizens’ dividend and consumer price subsidies;
  • A guaranteed basic income regardless of employment status;
  • Grants and interest-free loans for public works and community projects;
  • A strong public health system;
  • Fair regulations and reduced compliance costs for business;
  • A fair tax system based on a financial transactions tax;
  • Publicly-funded education with no student loans;
  • Full public ownership of strategic assets; and
  • A national program of public housing.

If the U.S. adopted these policies, along with national single-payer health insurance and public financing of all federal, state, and local elections, an entirely new type of economic and monetary system would come into existence. It would be a system that would eliminate the need for the U.S. to cover up its economic and financial failures through foreign conquests. The following measures could then be taken:

  • Begin negotiations with Russia for a full-spectrum economic, military, and cultural alliance.
  • Freeze all U.S. military combat activity overseas until withdrawals can be negotiated.
  • Outlaw all acts of undeclared covert warfare by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Such policy changes as the foregoing would be a real prescription for “change” in the 2008 presidential election. The fact that these are not likely to happen shows the desperation of the present situation, the paralysis of the U.S. political system, and the failure of those running for office. Consequently, individuals and groups who understand what is going on must take action now to protect themselves in the face of chaos that can only get worse.

Copyright © 2008 by Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared on numerous websites and in Eurasia Critic magazine. His book on monetary reform, entitled We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform, will be published soon by Tendril Press. He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years.” His website is at Comments may be sent via email to


“Change” Part I: Has the West Reached Its Limits? by Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook: Poverty In the Midst of Plenty (audio)

The Real Reasons for the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Takeover by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Cook-Richard C.

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos




US Economy: Rudderless and Reeling From Direct Hits – A raid on private pensions? By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
09/16/08 “ICH”

We were promised a “New Economy” of high-tech tradable services to take the place of the offshore manufacturing economy. Wondering what had become of the “New Economy,” Duke University’s Offshoring Research Network searched for it and located it offshore. Yes, the activities of the “New Economy” are also outsourced offshore.

Call centers, IT operations, back-office operations, and manufacturing have long been moved offshore. Now high-value-added proprietary activities such as research and development, engineering, product development, and analytical services are being sent offshore. All that’s left is finance, and it is crumbling before our eyes.

Independent broker-dealers are disappearing: Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers. These venerable institutions were too thinly capitalized for the risks that they took. Merrill Lynch is now part of the Bank of America, and Lehman Brothers is history.

Ill-advised financial deregulation led to financial concentration and not to more efficient markets. Independent local banks, which focused on financing local businesses, and Saving and Loan Associations, which knew the local housing market, have been replaced with large institutions that package unanalyzed risks and sell them worldwide.

Regulation over-reached. The pendulum swung. Deregulation became an ideology and a facilitator of greed.

Deregulating electric power gave us Enron.

Deregulating the airlines destroyed famous American brand names such as Pan Am, shrank the number of companies, and caused a decline in service. When airlines were regulated, they could afford standby equipment, and canceled flights were rare. Today, the bottom line prohibits standby equipment, and mechanical problems result in canceled flights. When economists calculated the benefits of deregulation, they left out many of its costs.

There are no longer any blue chip companies, which means that investing for retirement has become a crapshoot. People realize this; thus, the privatization of Social Security has no support.

If we look realistically at the US economy, we see that what is not moved offshore is being bailed out. Last year, the US Department of Energy was authorized to make $25 billion in loans to auto manufacturing firms and suppliers of automotive parts. Last week the Secretary of the Treasury took $5 trillion dollars in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac home mortgages under its wing.

The Congressional Budget Office says this action by the Treasury means “that the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be directly incorporated into the federal budget.”  Their revenues would be treated as federal revenues, and their expenditures as federal expenditures. If the former were greater than the latter, there would be no reason for the takeover.

The open question is: what do these new liabilities do to the Treasury’s own credit standing?

For now, this question is submerged. The traditional practice of fleeing to the US dollar and US Treasury bonds during periods of financial stress and uncertainty has boosted the dollar and kept interest rates low. But sooner or later the large US budget deficit, worsened by recession and bailouts, and the large trade deficit, which requires constant recycling of dollars held by foreigners into US financial and real assets, will result in renewed effort on the part of foreigners to lighten their dollar holdings.

When this time arrives, US interest rates will have to rise in order for the government to be able to continue to rely on foreigners to recycle the dollars acquired in trade to finance the US government’s annual budget deficit.

The current financial problems have pushed into the background the larger problems of the US budget and trade deficits. Goods and services for American markets that US corporations outsource offshore return as imports, which widen the US trade deficit. Moving production offshore reduces US GDP and employment and increases foreign GDP and employment. Moving production offshore reduces the export capacity of the US economy while raising the import bill.

Therefore, how is the trade deficit to be closed? One way is through the dollar’s loss in exchange value, which would reduce American consumers’ real incomes and leave them too poor to purchase the offshore goods and services.

How is the budget deficit to be closed when jobs are disappearing and GDP (tax base) is being relocated offshore?

Not by higher taxes. Higher taxes are problematic for a recessionary economy in which unemployment, properly measured, is already in double digits ( ).

Some people have speculated that the budget deficit will be closed by dismantling entitlement programs such as Medicare. However, considering the cost of medical insurance, this would be catastrophic for tens of millions of older Americans.

The more likely avenue will be a raid on private pensions. The Clinton administration’s appointee, Alicia Munnell, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy argued that private pensions should face a capital levy to make up for the fact that their accumulation was tax free. I expect that the federal government, faced with its own bankruptcy, will resurrect this argument, as it will be preferable to printing money like a banana republic or Weimar Germany.

In the 21st century, the US economy has been kept going by debt expansion, not by real income growth. Economists have hyped US productivity growth, but there is no sign that increased productivity has raised family incomes, an indication that there is a problem with the productivity statistics. With consumers overloaded with debt and the value of their most important asset–housing–falling, the American consumer will not be leading a recovery.

A country that had intelligent leaders would recognize its dire straits, stop its gratuitous wars, and slash its massive military budget, which exceeds that of the rest of the world combined. But a country whose foreign policy goal is world hegemony will continue on the path to destruction until the rest of the world ceases to finance its existence.

Most Americans, including the presidential candidates and the media, are unaware that the US government today, now at this minute, is unable to finance its day to operations and must rely on foreigners to purchase its bonds. The government pays the interest to foreigners by selling more bonds, and when the bonds come due, the government redeems the bonds by selling new bonds. The day the foreigners do not buy is the day the American people and their government are brought to reality.

This is not the financial position of a superpower.

Will what happened to Lehman Brothers today be America’s fate tomorrow?

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The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Can 2.5 Million People Be Wrong? by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
September 15, 2008

In setting a money-raising monthly record for August of $66 million the Obama campaign reached a total of 2.5 million campaign donors.  Of course, this sounds astounding and, to Obama supporters incredibly terrific.  I read this the same day that I read a most informative article in Rolling Stone: Candidates for Sale by Matt Taibbi,  The point was simple: both Obama and McCain have sold out to corporate interests, leading Taibbi to say: Continue reading

Mosaic News – 9/15/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here:
“Israel Closes Gaza Crossings,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Olmert makes 11th-hour pitch for peace deal,” IBA TV, Israel
“Assassination raises tension as Lebanon seeks to bridge divide,” Dubai TV, UAE
“US threatens Iran with new sanctions,” Press TV, Iran
“Pakistan Denies Interfering with NATO,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Deadlock in Mauritania,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Iraqi Families Live on Landfills,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
“Farmers in Rabat Demonstrate Against Land Development,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Nader on bank woes: ‘I predicted this’

Dandelion Salad

[There are a couple of short videos at the original source, click the link below.]

By Alexander Burns
9/15/08 1:39 PM EST

“The rubber band eventually snapped,” said Ralph Nader of the recent investment bank troubles.

As banks reeled and presidential campaigns scrambled to react to the crisis on Wall Street Monday, color one man unsurprised.

“I predicted this,” said Ralph Nader, the independent presidential candidate. “All this I’ve written about five, 10 years ago.”

In a meeting with Politico reporters and editors, Nader laid the blame for the current economic upheaval squarely at the feet of corporate America.


Nader on bank woes: ‘I predicted this’ – Alexander Burns –


Bleak Sunday, Momentous Monday, and Nader/Gonzalez

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Countdown: Paul Krugman on the Econimic Crisis

Dandelion Salad

Sept. 15, 2008

Keith reports on the crisis coming out of the financial markets today and Paul Krugman weighs in.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Countdown: Paul Krugman on the Econim…“, posted with vodpod


Tonight’s: Unitary Executive-Gate, Stop Giving Me Such Good Material-Gate and GOT-Gate.


The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

Dandelion Salad

By Barry Grey
16 September 2008

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.

On Monday, global markets fell sharply in a sign of mounting panic and doubt over the stability of the entire US banking system. Throughout Europe stock markets plunged by as much as 4 percent.

The fall on Wall Street was even steeper, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 504 points, or 4.42 percent. There is every indication that the sell-off will intensify, with the full implications of the collapse of the two Wall Street banks as yet far from clear.

The immediate concern is the fate of American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, and Washington Mutual, the largest savings and loan bank in the US, both of which are teetering on bankruptcy.

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism.


More US corporate bailouts on the way

By Barry Grey
16 September 2008

The US government, brushing aside its constant invocations of “private enterprise,” has dispensed hundreds of billions of dollars in cheap loans to prop up the banks. Last March, the Federal Reserve Board paid JP Morgan Chase $29 billion to take over the investment bank Bear Stearns when Bear was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

Only a week ago, the US Treasury committed at least $200 billion in taxpayer funds in the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—a move that makes the government responsible for the two companies’ combined $5.3 trillion in mortgage liabilities.

The claims that the government, in allowing Lehman Brothers to collapse, has “drawn the line” on further taxpayer bailouts of failing corporations are false. The government decided to let Lehman fail, in part, to conserve the dwindling funds at the disposal of the Federal Reserve and calibrate hand-outs from the Treasury—which faces record budget and trade deficits and a soaring national debt—to be used to rescue more strategic companies.

More US corporate bailouts on the way.


Lehman, Bear, Freddie, Fannie: What Does It All Mean??? by Josh Sidman

Capital Punishment: Lehman on its way to the Gallows? By Mike Whitney

Marc Faber about Lehman Brothers bankruptcy

Wilbur Ross: Possibly a Thousand Banks Will Close + Nouriel Roubini: If Lehman collapses expect a run

Merrill now in shorts’ sights as Lehman crumbles

“Change” Part I: Has the West Reached Its Limits? by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse