The Cook Plan (video)

by Richard C. Cook
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
February 8, 2009


Richard C. Cook proposes “A Bailout for the People: Dividend Economics and the Basic Income Guarantee.” Cook is a former analyst for the U.S. federal government. His book on monetary reform “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform” is available at He can be contacted at

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America’s New Asian Quagmire – Graveyard of Empires by Tom Burghardt

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by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, February 7, 2009

With the situation on the ground rapidly deteriorating, U.S. imperialism’s South Asian adventure is going off the rails.

The New York Times reported February 4 that supplies “intended for NATO forces in Afghanistan were suspended Tuesday after Taliban militants blew up a highway bridge in the Khyber Pass region, a lawless northwestern tribal area straddling the border with Afghanistan.”

The 30-yard-long iron bridge, located 15 miles northwest of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) provincial capital, Peshawar, a thriving metropolis of several million people, was a major supply route ferrying some 80 percent of NATO supplies into Afghanistan.

Tuesday’s attacks were followed-up Wednesday when insurgents torched 10 supply trucks returning from Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times reported. Supplies destined for NATO forces in Afghanistan–primarily food and fuel–are trucked through Pakistan by local contractors. Many are now refusing to drive the circuitous route through the Khyber Pass because of the dangerous conditions.

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Bank crisis? Reform! By Rudo de Ruijter

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By Rudo de Ruijter,
Independent researcher,


This article describes an idea for a bank reform, with which the enterprises are protected against the antics in the banking world and which enables better economic policy, also in hard times.


There are many analyses about the causes of the bank crisis. Many explain it like a consequence of greed, insuffiscient regulations and failing control by central banks.

Governments were completely surprised when the banks started to fall and they were suddenly confronted with the consequences. Ministers of Finance got carte blanche to get the banks back on track with billions of euros of support. All this because they are so important to the economy. Continue reading

Australia struggles to battle wildfires + Australian bush fires + Fire Hell

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Thousands of firefighters and hundreds of volunteers are battling wildfires in southeastern Australia. In the state of Victoria, dozens have been killed and at least 100 homes destroyed in the blazes. People are busy trying to protect their homes and to avoid the heat, as the temperature reaches record levels. Al Jazeera’s Jayne Azzopardi reports.

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The Politics Of Bollocks By John Pilger

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By John Pilger
Information Clearinghouse
February 06, 2009

Growing up in an Antipodean society proud of its rich variety of expletives, I never heard the word bollocks. It was only on arrival in England that I understood its majesterial power. All classes used it. Judges grunted it; an editor of the Daily Mirror used it as noun, adjective and verb. Certainly, the resonance of a double vowel saw off its closest American contender. It had authority. Continue reading

Republicans, democrats and the British Constitution By Michael Faulkner

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By Michael Faulkner
February 08, 2009

Its masthead proclaims that TPJ Magazine is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of constitutional democracy. Not surprisingly given its provenance, most TPJ columnists concern themselves primarily with the defence of constitutional democracy in the United States where, during recent years, the Bush/Cheney inspired accretion of executive power has been most egregious. In Britain it is widely assumed that the prevalent parliamentary system of government, despite occasional irregularities and abuses, works pretty well and does not need to be changed radically.

This is a view I have never accepted. Recent exposure of some rather shabby practices by four obscure Labour members of the House of Lords (the second chamber of the British parliament) has prompted me to reflect on some of the constitutional questions involved. The shabby practices concerned are merely the latest episode in the seemingly unending series of exposures of venality in government. The facts of the case – as far as they are known – may be stated simply. The Labour peers (Lords Taylor, Truscott, Moonie and Scape) were entrapped by reporters from the Sunday Times, posing as lobbyists for a fictitious Hong Kong based businessman. They discussed the possibility of using their legislative powers to amend actual legislation – a business rate supplement bill – in order to favour a projected business enterprise.  Payments for such services, ranging from £24.000 to £120.000 were mentioned by the peers. Of course, no payment was actually made but it seems clear from what transpired that such corrupt practices are common in the House of Lords. They are, however explicitly prohibited by the chamber’s code of conduct, according to which peers ‘must never accept any financial inducement as an incentive.’ However, those who choose to feather their nests in this way cannot be stripped of their peerages. As Lord Moonie commented, there is ‘nothing they can do with you unless you break the law.’

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Israeli jets stage mock raids in Lebanon airspace

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Press TV
Sat, 07 Feb 2009 17:15:09 GMT

Israeli fighter jets have carried out mock attacks and reconnaissance missions in border regions with Lebanon, Press TV has learned.

Violating the Lebanese airspace, the warplanes carried out reconnaissance flights over border regions including Hasbaya, Arqub, Shaaba farms and Western Beqaa on Friday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The military jets also overflew several other regions at low altitude and launched mock raids against Lebanese targets.


via Press TV – Israeli jets stage mock raids in Lebanon airspace

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Mosaic News – 2/6/09: World News From The Middle East

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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 expels Gaza aid ship team,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Stories of Victory,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Palestinians Reject Hamas’ Call to Replace PLO,” Palestine TV,” Ramallah
“When Gaza and Sports Collide,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“AQ Khan, Pakistani nuclear scientist, freed by Pakistan court,” Press TV, Iran
“Maliki’s party gains victory in Iraqi provincial elections,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Election results show secular powers emerging in Iraq,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“US Launches PR Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“The Lesser of Three Evils,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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What is this, the jungle? by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 8, 2009

I used to write small blogs, quick riffs on the day’s headlines. Being a poet by nature, I found it easy to spot jarring but apt connections. Then things began growing Really Serious about two years ago and, being also a scholar by nature, I was driven to learn about economics and finance.

Now I’m bowed under a burden of research and insight so heavy that the blogs I need to write are massive. Nothing less complex will reveal all the relevant connections. Several of those are in the works now, some having been in development for months.

It’s hard to set those projects aside, because I’m so keen to finish them, but this is a moment for listening to the little bells again.

An e-mail received yesterday invited me to join a gang of speculators who, at their pack leader’s cue, spring to short something — and U.S. Treasuries are slated to be their biggest, juiciest prey. If word of this play has filtered downwards to embrace even me, you can be certain it’s part of a mighty assault. Shorting, you know, makes visions of disaster come true. It brings down companies such as — oh, let’s see, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and predators shorting its currency and banks even brought down Iceland.

Remember when Paulson and the boyz declared all remaining major financial firms off-limits to shorting last fall — lest it also bite the likes of Goldman? These guys get it. And they do it.

This morning, I read of a cadre of American generals marshaling forces with Gates’ Pentagon and the media to overrule President Obama’s plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. Their scheme was presented dully, with no tinge of outrage, as if it’s perfectly respectable for unelected ideologues and profiteers to rule the world, scorning the public will and that of our president.

In a more civilized time, wouldn’t both of these attacks be regarded as treason?

And then there’s the TARP, yet more of the bloodyeffing TARP. Its creators now want to bestow a Bad Bank on American taxpayers (as if we weren’t cursed with more than enough evil ones).

As all these little bells ring, I see wild animals with their teeth in our throats, intent on shaking out every last penny, bleeding us fatally, soon to consume our torn carcasses at their drooling leisure.


Tax The Speculators, by Ralph Nader

Bailout for the People: “The Cook Plan” by Richard C. Cook

Dennis Kucinich Takes An Hour To Explain Our Current Economic Situation

Gareth Porter: US military leaders are pressuring Obama to cancel his Iraq withdrawal promise

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2