World seeking new generation of thinkers and achievers By Roland Michel Tremblay

By Roland Michel Tremblay
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Oct. 12, 2008

My Generation does not require any of this. What? Everything you are thinking and worried about right now, the nightmare we are in. I never saw the need to identify to any generation or to talk in the name of a new generation, but such a mess you have made of this world, whilst the worst is still to come, I feel now perhaps there is a need to. A necessity maybe to speak about what will come after the destruction of most of our institutions and way of life.

You have proven that none of you could be trusted with any matter relating to humanity: happiness, compassion, sympathy, functionality, stability, reliability, jobs, survival, fairness, justice, intelligence. And so it is urgent we take over and fix everything, if it can still be achieved.

Far from acting like the wise patriarchs that you are supposed to be, building institutions to last, putting into place structures that can be relied upon in a society, and acting responsibly, quite the contrary: that older generation is out of control, does not know what its doing, does not seem to care for any of us, or for any consequence for its own actions, and here we are, my generation might witness the end of everything before accomplishing anything worthwhile in life.

I’m 35 years old, that’s already an older generation. Many of you would qualify me as too young to do anything worthwhile, and it is true that I have achieved naught. Certainly not however from a lack of potential or wanting. But who can we trust?

The older generation invented nothing, they just kept what previous generations had wisely already put into place, and through some extreme greed and insanity, pushed everything to its own limits, and now everything we worked so hard for is crumbling to dust.

The younger generation is no better, it has been called Generation Kill, playing video games all day, trained from the cradle to be the perfect soldiers in the wars the older generation is so desperate to fight, in order to make huge profits through the war and security industries, and the resources it can steal, never mind if it brings about Armageddon. And me and my lost generation in between, who are we, what have we achieved? Nothing, we were never given the chance.

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Obama: Change You Can Believe In–Not (Part 1: The Economy)

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

by Kéllia Ramares
10/11/08

Simulposted with Speaking Truth to Power

[Truth To Power is delighted to publish–and Thomas Paine’s Corner is delighted to be invited to simulpost–the first in an exclusive series analyzing Barack Obama and his platform. Kellia Ramares has done her homework and documents that an Obama administration, backed by the same corporatocracy that is presiding over the largest wealth transfer in the history of the world, has no investment in change beyond rhetoric and ostensible extreme makeovers.–Editors]

It is often said that you are known by the company you keep. If that is true, then progressive voters should familiarize themselves with at least some of Sen. Barack Obama’s advisers and fundraisers, and by this I don’t mean Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I mean the real movers and shakers who are the answer to the question: “How does a young, black, first term Senator rise so quickly in politics so as to be standing at the threshold of the White House?” You will see that those who made it possible are not Weather Underground, or vociferous ministers, but are the people who will insure that Barack Obama will not make any fundamental changes to the way the United States does its business – here or abroad.

The Religion of the Free Market

The Democratic presidential candidate’s chief economic advisor is Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago, an economist described by author Naomi Klein as “on the left side of a spectrum that stops at the center-right.”1 Goolsbee is very much a home town pick, and not merely because he and Obama both live in Chicago. Obama taught at the law school of the University of Chicago for a decade, and, as Klein says, “is thoroughly embedded in the mind set known as the Chicago School.”2 The Chicago School’s long time “Headmaster” was the late Nobel Prize-winning monetarist Milton Friedman, who made a secular religion of “the free market.” According to Klein, Goolsbee qualifies as a leftist in this group because he acknowledges inequality as a problem. But his answer to it is more education.3 Sound familiar? During his years in the White House, Bill Clinton emphasized retraining for the people who were losing their manufacturing jobs to “downsizing.” But, besides the difficulties inherent in retraining someone who had spent a decade or more on an assembly line to be a computer programmer, (and helping him or her maintain a home and family during the process), there was the not-so-little matter of technical jobs also being outsourced to the other side of the world, a problem that has been growing since the Clinton Administration, as the United States loses the ability to make anything except bombs, debts, and rich executives.

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Conservative Group Is Right: Free Speech Is Not a Political Issue

by Walter Brasch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
www.walterbrasch.com
Oct 12, 2008

The Sunbird Conservatives, a student group, put out some pro-McCain literature at a recruiting table at Fresno Pacific University a week ago.

Seemed innocent enough. The conservatives weren’t harassing anyone, nor were they blocking any sidewalks.

But, administrators at this Christian-based college didn’t like it. A dean told the students to either remove the McCain literature or to agree to what he said was university policy to present both sides. The dean correctly noted that the First Amendment applies only to government intrusion. A private university, unlike a public university, may curtail any free speech it wants.

The students still argued “free speech rights.” Enter the provost, head of all academic affairs at the university. She reaffirmed the dean’s demands. One of the members shouted: “free speech” at her. They challenged her, arguing that for a political organization to present both views would defy common sense. The provost’s response, according to the conservative Leadership Institute, was “Shut-up! I’m the provost. That is disrespectful.”

The students were warned if they didn’t comply with the administrators’ demands, they would be restricted in future activities on campus.

The Founding Fathers wanted all views to be heard. Channeling the revolutionary political philosophy of poet John Milton and judge Lord Blackstone, they believed that mankind is rational, and if all the facts were available, mankind would find the truth. That became the basis of the First Amendment.

Now, the twist is that the Fresno Pacific administrators were wrong. Their own university actually believes that all views should be allowed, as long as there is the opportunity for opposing views. It does not require one organization to put out all views.

But, the Fresno Pacific administrators are also right. A private university can do what it wants to do. It can encourage or restrict free speech. Except in California.

California is the only state that extends the First Amendment to private colleges, which as a matter of educational philosophy should encourage, not restrict, freedom of expression.

This means that the wishes of the Founding Fathers have been extended into California, which many believe is a hellhole of liberalism. Disregard the fact that some rabid conservatives actively try to restrict free speech rights of others. Disregard the reality that conservatives who want to keep government out of our lives used both the constitution and state law to underscore their right to distribute political literature.

It’s time for all states, especially Pennsylvania where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, to enact legislation to assure that the principles of the nation, and especially the rights of free expression, are extended to all sectors, both public AND private.

[Dr. Walter M. Brasch is an award-winning social issues columnist, former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. He is president of the Pennsylvania Press Club, and former president of the Keystone state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist. He is also the author of 17 books, including America’ s Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Giovernment’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights (January 2005) and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (November 2007), available through amazon.com and other bookstores. He frequently writes about the media, social and political issues. You may contact Brasch at brasch@bloomu.edu or through his website at: www.walterbrasch.com.]

***

Order Your Free Pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence

h/t: jen. is v..

see

McCain-John

Palin-Sarah

Obama-Barack

Rolling the Dice on Derivatives by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
October 10. 2008
Rolling the Dice on Derivatives – The Nader Page

The derivatives markets of today have become a high stakes casino of unimaginable magnitude. Wall Street’s bets have gone bad, and now the whole financial system is in peril. In a best-case scenario, it appears, the taxpayers will be required to rescue the system from itself. This is why Warren Buffett labeled derivatives “weapons of financial mass destruction.”

Amazingly, there seems to be some lingering sense that current-day derivatives properly perform an insurance function.

Case in point: Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman. Greenspan says the world is facing “the type of wrenching financial crisis that comes along only once in a century,” but, reports the New York Times, “his faith in derivatives remains unshaken.” Greenspan believes that the problem is not with derivatives, but that the people using them got greedy, according to the Times.

This is quite a view. Is it a surprise to Alan Greenspan that the people on Wall Street — said to be ruled only by the opposing instincts of greed and fear — “got greedy?”

This might be taken as just a bizarre comment, except that, of course, Alan Greenspan had some considerable influence in driving us to the current financial meltdown through his opposition to regulation of derivatives.

A series of deregulatory moves, blessed by Alan Greenspan, helped immunize Wall Street derivatives traders from proper oversight.

In 1995, Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995, which imposed onerous restrictions on plaintiffs suing wrongdoers in the stock market. The law was enacted in the wake of Orange County, California’s government bankruptcy caused by abuses in derivatives trading. An amendment offered by Rep. Ed Markey would have exempted derivatives trading abuse lawsuits from the PSLRA restrictions. In defeating the amendment, then-Representative and now-SEC Chairman Chris Cox quoted Alan Greenspan, saying “it would be a grave error to demonize derivatives;” and, “It would be a serious mistake to respond to these developments [in Orange County, California] by singling out derivative instruments for special regulatory treatment.”

The New York Times reports how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission aimed for some modest regulatory authority over derivatives in the late 1990s. Strident opposition from Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan spelled doom for that effort.

Senator Phil Gramm helped drive the process along with the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated the derivatives market.

Defenders of deregulation argued that sophisticated players were involved in the derivatives markets, and they could handle themselves.

It’s now apparent that not only could these sophisticated players not handle themselves, but that their reckless gambling has placed the entire world’s financial system at risk.

It seems to be then a remarkably modest proposal for derivatives to be brought under regulatory control.

Warren Buffett cut to the heart of the problem in 2003: “Another problem about derivatives is that they can exacerbate trouble that a corporation has run into for completely unrelated reasons,” he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. “This pile-on effect occurs because many derivatives contracts require that a company suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral to counterparties. Imagine, then, that a company is downgraded because of general adversity and that its derivatives instantly kick in with their requirement, imposing an unexpected and enormous demand for cash collateral on the company. The need to meet this demand can then throw the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in some cases, trigger still more downgrades. It all becomes a spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown.”

That is to say, our current problems were foreseeable, and foreseen. There is no excuse for those who suggest that present circumstances –what many are calling a once-in-a-hundred-years event — were unimaginable during earlier debates about regulation.

Some ideologues continue to defend derivatives from very strict government control. As Congress moves to adopt new financial regulations next year, hopefully the proponents of casino capitalism will be given no more credence than those insisting that the sun revolves around the earth.

see

Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World’s Markets

Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed by Noam Chomsky

Who is Behind the Financial Meltdown? by Michel Chossudovsky

Jim Rogers: Nobody has any confidence in this clowns

Kucinich: If it’s just about the banks and not about the homeowners, forget about it!

Protest at the Bank of England: No Bail Out for the Bosses

Exclusive: The Big Grab, Part I by The Other Katherine Harris

How to Save the U.S. Economy by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Google’s A.I. quest to become God-On-Earth by Ignorance Is Bliss

(Lots of pictures and links on his blog post)

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

By Ignorance Isn’t Bliss
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Oct 12, 2008
Ignorance Is Futile

The vision of Google’s future, according to Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, is “it would be like the mind of God”. And it’s a future that they’re working feverishly to make a reality today.

While that quote was in reference to “the ultimate search engine”, this analysis is going to make it more than clear that he was in fact referring to Google in particular. In doing so, we’ll see numerous other quotes demonstrating their intentions, what they mean by “all of the worlds information”, how they’re on precisely the right path to achieve their goal with the U.S. military in this vast project that is set to change humanity forever.

“AI” is actually too “narrow” of a term for a cognitive system, but a “broad” cognitive system would contain many narrow AI parts. To even contemplate the notion of cognitive “Artificial General Intelligence” one must first embrace emergence. Emergence is the key to all complex systems that could be considered in attempting to create a model for an AGI system. Google’s methodology in their quest is to exploit and harness the powers of emergence, while adding ‘parts’ that perform cognitive tasks in their own right. The idea is to push the term superorganism to the fullest potential. The insights are the ant colony, and the beehive. The models are the Internet, and the human brain. The entire premise of emergence is ‘the sum is greater than its parts’.

[…]

via *EXCLUSIVE: Google’s A.I. quest to become God-On-Earth. « Ignorance Is Futile!

Mike Ruppert: Denial stops here (2005)

Dandelion Salad

Mike Ruppert: Denial stops here – From 9-11 to Peak Oil and Beyond

IWantDemocracyNow

Oct 11, 2008

See how much of this has come true!!!!!!! Mike Ruppert presents one of the most sobering, comprehensive and practically informative lectures ever given on the subject of 9/11 and its direct connection to Peak Oil. Continue reading

Definitions: The Bourgeoisie by Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Oct 12, 2008

Crossposted at Thomas Paine’s Corner (no longer available)

“We are not fighting against men or a kind of politics but against the class which produces those politics and those men.” (from Dirty Hands, a political play by Jean Paul Sartre, first performed in Paris on April 2, 1948.)

“It takes a day to make a senator and ten years to make a worker.” AND, as Caligula says to the senators: “It is much easier to descend the social ladder than to climb back up.” (from the play Caligula by Albert Camus, first performed in Paris in 1945, words I include here just for fun, mockery and a hint of warning.)

Continue reading

Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World’s Markets

Dandelion Salad

By Steve Scherer
Oct. 10 (Bloomberg)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said political leaders are discussing the idea of closing the world’s financial markets while they “rewrite the rules of international finance.”

“The idea of suspending the markets for the time it takes to rewrite the rules is being discussed,” Berlusconi said today after a Cabinet meeting in Naples, Italy. A solution to the financial crisis “can’t just be for one country, or even just for Europe, but global.”

[…]

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

h/t: ICH

see

Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed by Noam Chomsky

Who is Behind the Financial Meltdown? by Michel Chossudovsky

Jim Rogers: Nobody has any confidence in this clowns

Kucinich: If it’s just about the banks and not about the homeowners, forget about it!

Protest at the Bank of England: No Bail Out for the Bosses

Exclusive: The Big Grab, Part I by The Other Katherine Harris

How to Save the U.S. Economy by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed by Noam Chomsky

Dandelion Salad

by Noam Chomsky
The Irish Times
Fri, Oct 10, 2008

Bretton Woods was the system of global financial management set up at the end of the second World War to ensure the interests of capital did not smother wider social concerns in post-war democracies. It was hated by the US neoliberals – the very people who created the banking crisis writes Noam Chomsky

THE SIMULTANEOUS unfolding of the US presidential campaign and unravelling of the financial markets presents one of those occasions where the political and economic systems starkly reveal their nature.

Passion about the campaign may not be universally shared but almost everybody can feel the anxiety from the foreclosure of a million homes, and concerns about jobs, savings and healthcare at risk.

The initial Bush proposals to deal with the crisis so reeked of totalitarianism that they were quickly modified. Under intense lobbyist pressure, they were reshaped as “a clear win for the largest institutions in the system . . . a way of dumping assets without having to fail or close”, as described by James Rickards, who negotiated the federal bailout for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998, reminding us that we are treading familiar turf. The immediate origins of the current meltdown lie in the collapse of the housing bubble supervised by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, which sustained the struggling economy through the Bush years by debt-based consumer spending along with borrowing from abroad. But the roots are deeper. In part they lie in the triumph of financial liberalisation in the past 30 years – that is, freeing the markets as much as possible from government regulation.

[…]

via Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed – The Irish Times – Fri, Oct 10, 2008

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see

Noam Chomsky: The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System

Who is Behind the Financial Meltdown? by Michel Chossudovsky

Jim Rogers: Nobody has any confidence in this clowns

Kucinich: If it’s just about the banks and not about the homeowners, forget about it!

Protest at the Bank of England: No Bail Out for the Bosses

Exclusive: The Big Grab, Part I by The Other Katherine Harris

How to Save the U.S. Economy by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse