Exclusive: Derivatives for Dummies by The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Feb. 18, 2009

Recent attempts by corporate media to explain the nature of our economic meltdown have left me ready to bite the ears off mice. They’ve been superficial, profoundly misleading and, above all, apologias for the likes of

Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner. So, having spent every spare moment over the past three years studying the debacle that many saw brewing, here’s the simplest explanation I’ve come up with:

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Action Alert: Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s War Crimes, Crimes of State and Crimes against Humanity

Sent to DS from Rev. Manny, thank you.

Dandelion Salad

by Reverend Manny
Reverend Manny and The Twilight Empire
February 18, 2009

My personal Hero of the Day is H. Marshall Jarrett. Why?, you might ask. Well… Mr Jarret recently put out a report critiquing the legal advice the Bush Administration used, and created for itself, in support of torture.

Here it is at Al Jazeera magazine.

By Jason Leopold

A key line in George W. Bush’s defense against war crimes charges has weakened with the disclosure that an internal Justice Department watchdog has concluded that the legal advice, which cleared the way for Bush’s policies on torture and other abuse of detainees, was tainted by political influence.

An investigation by H. Marshall Jarrett, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, reached “damning” conclusions about numerous cases of “misconduct” in the advice from John Yoo and other lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, according to legal sources familiar with the report’s contents.

OPR investigators determined that Yoo blurred the lines between an attorney charged with providing independent legal advice to the White House and a policy advocate who was working to advance the administration’s goals, said the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contents of the report are still classified.

Here’s further conjecture on what will be in the report from The Washington IndependentNewsweek, and the Examiner.

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US occupation of Iraq: An ongoing criminal enterprise by Bill Van Auken

Dandelion Salad

by Bill Van Auken
http://www.wsws.org
18 February 2009

Recent media reports on the mounting evidence of wholesale corruption in US reconstruction efforts in Iraq are symptomatic of the criminal nature of Washington’s war and occupation from their inception nearly six years ago. These crimes are continuing under the Obama administration, with no end in sight.

Citing unnamed senior government officials and court documents, the New York Times reported Sunday that federal investigators have turned their sights on two senior US military officers who were in charge of contracting out reconstruction projects in Iraq in the aftermath of the March 2003 invasion.

[…]

This plan always envisioned tens of thousands of US troops staying behind to conduct counter-insurgency operations and protect US interests in the country. The generals are reportedly urging Obama to merely reclassify large numbers of those now categorized as combat troops and keep them in Iraq as well.

It is clear that, in one form or another, the war and occupation in Iraq will go on. The fight to bring it to an end and to hold accountable those responsible for this criminal venture is a struggle against the Obama administration, which requires the independent political mobilization of the working class against the profit system, which is the source of militarism and war.

via US occupation of Iraq: An ongoing criminal enterprise

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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A ‘fraud’ bigger than Madoff By Patrick Cockburn

Iraq on Dandelion Salad

A Day of Reckoning for the USA By Norm Lowry

Dandelion Salad

By Norm Lowry
http://normlowry.blogspot.com
February 11, 2009
Information Clearing House
February 18, 2009

“The foundation of all Mental Illness is the unwillingness to experience legitimate suffering.” Carl Jung

Lately, I have been inordinately baffled. The combined government & media sources of the world tell the tale of whole countries sitting on the edge of fiscal insolvency; civil unrest now becoming commonplace; starvation & suicide deaths soaring; staggering rises in unemployment; food shortages; rising threats & escalating wars. In my country (USA), the stories are the same…maybe 46 of 50 States, 80% of US cities & 2 of 3 US banks are fiscally insolvent; likely 1 of 5 workers unemployed or working part-time (due to lack of suitable employment); home foreclosures up 80% in 2008 (worse yet expected in 2009); the rise in homelessness expected to soon use up available resources; up to 1 in 6 go to bed hungry; likely 40% of States discussing possible secession options & Federal Government committing to unconstitutional use of US troops to quell expected civil disobedience or to enforce US sovereignty over the States. In spite of all of this, the majority of my fellow citizens seem to believe that we will somehow just be okay; that we are somehow more honorable & moral than everyone else.

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Ministers ‘using fear of terror’

Dandelion Salad

BBC NEWS
17 February 2009

A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism and trying to bring in laws that restrict civil liberties.

In an interview in a Spanish newspaper, published in the Daily Telegraph, Dame Stella Rimington, 73, also accuses the US of “tortures”.

The Home Office said it was vital to strike a right balance between privacy, protection and sharing personal data.

It said any policies which impact on privacy must be “proportionate”.

Dame Stella, who stood down as the director general of the security service in 1996, has previously been critical of the government’s policies, including its attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and the controversial plan to introduce ID cards.

“It would be better that the government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism – that we live in fear and under a police state,” she told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

[…]

via BBC NEWS | UK | Ministers ‘using fear of terror’

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UK government: People who believe in armed resistance would be considered as extremists

Police State on Dandelion Salad

Syria building chemical weapons plant

Propaganda Alert

compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
18 February, 2009

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304811448&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

excerpt from: ‘Syria building chemical weapons plant

by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2009

Syria has been conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country’s northwest, satellite images obtained by the defense analyst group Jane’s reveal.

The images of a chemical weapons facility identified as al-Safir were taken by several commercial sources from 2005 to 2008, the analyst group said.

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.

Israel’s parties fight for power + Will Obama shift US Middle East policy? + Israel’s loyalty oath

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

Daniel Levy discusses the power struggle among Israel’s political leaders and Israel’s move to the right. Part 1

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UK government: People who believe in armed resistance would be considered as extremists

Propaganda Alert

compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
18 February, 2009

[emphasis added]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/17/counterterrorism-strate gy-muslims

Anti-terror code ‘would alienate most Muslims’

by Vikram Dodd, Guardian, 17 February 2009 Continue reading

Trouble at Treasury – Geithner gets the keys to the henhouse By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
February 17, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

The Obama Team has a big problem on their hands; Timothy Geithner. Geithner was picked as Treasury Secretary because he is a trusted ally of the big banks and has a good grasp of the intricacies of the financial system. The problem is that Geithner can’t handle the public relations part of his job. His big debut in prime-time last Tuesday turned out to be a complete dud. He was thoroughly unconvincing and looked like a nervous teenager at a speech contest. He fizzled on stage for 25 minutes while the little red box in the corner of the TV screen–which shows the current Dow Jones Industrials–plummeted nearly 400 points. It was a total disaster and one that is sure to be repeated over and over as long as Geithner is at Treasury. Not everyone can be a charismatic orator like Obama and nothing short of a personality transplant will fix Geithner. He lacks gravitas and doesn’t inspire confidence. That’s a problem since, the administration’s main objective is to restore public confidence and get people spending again. They’re just shooting themselves in the foot by using him as their pitchman. Eventually, Geithner will either have to be tossed overboard or strapped to Obama like a papoose so he can share in the president’s popularity. Otherwise he will continue to be a millstone.

In truth, Geithner did us all a big favor on Tuesday by exposing himself as a stooge of the banking industry. Now everyone can see that the banks are working the deal from the inside. Geithner has assembled a phalanx of Wall Street flim-flam men to fill out the roster at Treasury. “His chief-of-staff is lobbyist from Goldman Sachs. The new deputy secretary of state is a former CEO of Citigroup. Another CFO from Citigroup is now assistant to the president, and deputy national security adviser for International Economic Affairs. And one of his deputies also came from Citigroup. One new member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board comes from UBS, which is currently being investigated for helping rich clients evade taxes.” The Obama White House is a beehive of big money guys and Wall Street speculators whose only goal is to nuzzle up to the public trough while strengthening their grip on political power.

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The President of Special Interests – The People Be Damned By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
February 17, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

The Bush/Obama bailout/stimulus plans are not going to work. Both are schemes hatched by a clique of financial insiders. The schemes will redistribute income and wealth from American taxpayers to the shyster banksters, who have destroyed American jobs, ruined the retirement plans of tens of millions of Americans, and worsened the situation of millions of people worldwide who naively trusted American financial institutions. The ongoing theft has simply been recast. Instead of using fraudulent financial instruments, the banksters are using government policy.

Michael Hudson captures the nature of the heist in CounterPunch (February 12):

“When it comes to cleaning up the Greenspan Bubble legacy by writing down homeowner mortgage debt, the Treasury proposal offers homeowners $50 billion – just [half of one percent] of the $10 trillion Wall Street bailout to date, and less than half the amount given to AIG to pay its hedge fund speculators on their derivative gambles. The Treasury has handed out $25 billion to each and every big bank, so just two of these banks alone got as much as the reported one-quarter of all homeowners in America suffering from Negative Equity on their homes and in need of mortgage renegotiation. Yet today’s economic shrinkage cannot be reversed without a recovery in consumer demand. The economy has lost the “virtual wealth” in higher-priced homes and the stock market, and must rely on after-tax earnings. But I see little concern for wage earners in the Treasury plan. Without debt relief, consumer spending and business investment will not recover.”

The big money men cannot conceive of anyone’s suffering except the mega-rich. If billions are not at stake, what is the problem? How can a family losing its house bring down the economy?

There was a time in America when the interests of elites were connected to those of ordinary Americans. Henry Ford said that he paid his workers good wages so they could buy his cars.

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40,000 demonstrate against Turkish government as economic crisis deepens

Dandelion Salad

By our correspondent
http://www.wsws.org
18 February 2009

Some 40,000 people demonstrated in Istanbul February 15 against the policies of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in the midst of the country’s enormous economic crisis.

The demonstration was jointly organised by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Turk-Is), the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) and the Confederation of Public Workers Unions (KESK) under the slogan, “We Will Not Pay the Price of the Crisis: Labour and Democracy Rally for a Joint Fight against Unemployment and Poverty.”

Marchers carried banners declaring, “Collective bargaining is our right, the strike is our weapon,” “Price hikes, persecution, torture, here you are, the AKP,” “Factories are our strongholds, they can’t be closed down,” and “We will not pay for crisis.” Demonstrators chanted slogans such as: “Let the bosses pay for the crisis” and “Stop the labour thief AKP.”

A group of shipyard workers who have lost dozens of their fellow workers in accidents over the last number of years participated in the demonstration. They wore black aprons carrying the slogan, “No to workplace murders.”

[…]

via 40,000 demonstrate against Turkish government as economic crisis deepens

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All of Them Must Go By Naomi Klein + Protests in Iceland and Latvia

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2

Brandon Neely, Gitmo Guard: I Felt Ashamed Of What I Did

Dandelion Salad

Suitsnappy
February 18, 2009

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow introduces Brandon Neely, a former soldier in the US Army who served as a guard at Guantanamo Bay. He gives Rachel an account of some of the brutal happenings at the soon-to-be-closed terrorist detainment camp.

more about “Gitmo Guard: I Felt Ashamed Of What I…“, posted with vodpod

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Testimony of Spc. Brandon Neely — The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA)

Looking for Cuba: Guantanamo Bay + Et tu, Rachel Maddow? by Jim Ryerson

‘A Brit tortured in Guantanamo’

Rachel Maddow Show: Former Gitmo Prosecutor Lt. Col. Darrell Vandeveld

Torture on Dandelion Salad

Gitmo

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

Dandelion Salad

NewAmericaFoundation

2008 marked the deadliest year in civilian casualties since the Taliban’s ouster and civilians have paid a particularly high price. CIVIC is releasing a new report on Afghan civilian casualties, programs now under way to help civilian war victims, and the challenges these programs face. The report also offers insights on how such efforts can be improved.

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The Looming Collapse of the American Empire by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
February 17, 2009

[Editor’s Note: DS added the blockquotes and footnotes to previously published text.]

Chris Hedges

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Transcript of Chris Hedges’ presentation at the University of Missouri, Columbia, February 17, 2009.  University Lecture sponsored by College of Arts and Science, Peace Studies Program, and Center on Religion and the Professions.

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time. When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability.

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