Trade Protectionism and Worldwide Economic Contraction by Rodrigue Tremblay

Bookmark and Share

Dandelion Salad

by Rodrigue Tremblay
www.thenewamericanempire.com
May 28, 2009

“I almost went down on my knees to beg [President] Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot Tariff.”…“That Act intensified nationalism all over the world.” — Thomas Lamont, banker and economic adviser, June 1930

“Now is a time where we have to be very careful about any signals of protectionism.” –President Barack Obama,  February 19, 2009

“From the purely economic point of view nothing speaks against free trade and everything against protectionism.” — Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), Austrian economist

When the economy is booming, foreign borrowings and imports of goods and services from other countries are most welcome. They allow for more spending without inflation and they raise living standards. It is a version of having your cake and eating it too. In an economic downturn, however, the political reflex of populist politicians is to turn protectionist and to become economic isolationists by raising trade barriers. In such an environment, foreign competition becomes a convenient scapegoat for the crisis, even though the causes of such crisis are most often purely domestic in nature.

Continue reading

Avoiding Corporate Liability by Ralph Nader

Bookmark and Share

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
May 27, 2009

Once upon a time early in the 19th century, corporations came into existence by state legislatures approving charters, which were granted for a limited period of time and for limited purposes. These corporations – producing textiles and other products in New England – raised capital in part because their investors had limited liability. That meant they could not lose any more than their investment if things went wrong.

Since corporations were artificial legal entities and not human, these lawmakers feared that without some strong leashes, they could be creating Frankensteins.

Over the following two hundred years, these ever larger corporations and their attorneys have been driving relentlessly, dynamically to erect systems of privileges and immunities that give the corporations themselves limited liability.

Continue reading

Cyber Warfare: Building Attack Tools for Mass Destruction by Tom Burghardt

Bookmark and Share

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, May 27, 2009
Antifascist Calling…

A quintessential hallmark of an authoritarian regime, particularly one that operates within highly-militarized, though nominally democratic states such as ours, is the maintenance of a system of internal control; a seamless panopticon where dissent is equated with criminality and the rule of law derided as a luxury ill-afforded “during a time of war.”

In this context, the deployment of new offensive technologies which can wreck havoc on human populations deemed expendable by the state, are always couched in a defensive rhetoric by militarist aggressors and their apologists.

While the al-Qaeda brand may no longer elicit a compelling response in terms of mobilizing the population for new imperial adventures, novel threats–and panics–are required to marshal public support for the upward transfer of wealth into the corporate trough. Today, “cyber terror” functions as the “new Osama.”

Continue reading

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: Big Brother is back! By Jerry Mazza

Bookmark and Share

By Jerry Mazza
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted at Online Journal
www.jerrymazza.com
May 28, 2009

On April 20, I wrote an article, Big Bro’s Cybersecurity ACT: A means to shut down the Internet. Lo and behold, yesterday, this article Obama Set to Create A Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate appeared in the Washington Post.

The Post reported,

“President Obama is expected to announce late this week that he will create a ‘cyber czar,’ a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation’s government-run and private computer networks, according to people who have been briefed on the plan.

“The adviser will have the most comprehensive mandate granted to such an official to date and will probably be a member of the National Security Council [italics mine] but will report to the national security adviser as well as the senior White House economic adviser [Larry Summers], said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are not final.”

Continue reading

But Governor, You CAN Create Money! Just Form Your Own Bank. by Dr. Ellen Brown

Bookmark and Share

by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
May 27, 2009

“I understand that these cuts are very painful and they affect real lives. This is the harsh reality and the reality that we face. Sacramento is not Washington – we cannot print our own money. We can only spend what we have.”
– Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger quoted in Time, May 22, 2009

Christmas comes early, Governor. You CAN print your own money. Fiscally solvent North Dakota is doing it . . . and so can California. Now!!!

In a May 22 article in Time titled “Billions in the Red: Fiscal Reckoning in CA,” Juliet Williams reports that since California voters have now vetoed higher taxes and further state government borrowing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has indicated that he intends to close the budget gap almost entirely through drastic spending cuts. The cutbacks could include laying off thousands of state workers and teachers, ending the state’s main welfare program for the poor, eliminating health coverage for about 1.5 million poor children, halting cash grants for about 77,000 college students, slashing money for state parks, and releasing thousands of prisoners before their sentences are finished. Schwarzenegger bemoaned the fact that the state could not print its own money but said it could only spend what it had.

Continue reading

Vick and Dick by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Bookmark and Share

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com May 26, 2009
May 27, 2009

Michael Vick is one of the most talented players ever to play in the National Football League. He is a throwback to the days of the “triple-threat man.” He could run, pass, and kick. Well, offensive backs no longer kick in either the college or the pro game, but Michael Vick could both run and pass. A fine passer (quoting here from Wikipedia) “Vick owns several NFL records, including the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season (1,039 in 2006), highest average per carry in a single season (8.45 in 2006), 100-yard career rushing games by a quarterback (eight), best two-game rushing total (225 in 2004) and rushing yards in a single game (173 in 2002).” In the pro sport, where the league goes out of its way to try to protect its quarterbacks from physical contact except when it’s absolutely essential, here’s a quarterback who, when he ran, went out of his way to make it. And generally stayed healthy. And oh yes, he happens to be an African-American.

Dog-fighting is an unpleasant “sport” that is common in many countries around the world, and has a long history. It is illegal in most countries even where it is widespread (not including Japan; again, see the Wikipedia entry on “Dog fighting”). In the U.S., both the fighting itself, apparently quite widespread, usually between two pit bulls bred for the purpose, and the gambling on it, also apparently quite widespread, are illegal. For some reason that is yet to be determined, Vick, highly paid with much endorsement income as well, got caught up in both sponsoring dog-fighting and sponsoring the gambling associated with it, across state lines. He was caught, and prosecuted under both Federal law and that of several states.

Continue reading

Angels, Demons and the Roman Catholic Church by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Bookmark and Share

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com May 20, 2009
May 27, 2009

“Angels and Demons” is the second film to be made from one of Dan Brown’s books on various aspects of the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the impact of that history on its present role and structure. The first of course was the wildly successful film “The DaVinci Code,” based on the wildly successful book of the same name. Having been a life-long action-adventure-historical novel reader (I started reading the historical novels of Howard Fast, which had plenty of action in them, when I was nine), I think that Brown is good at his craft. He does keep you on the edge of your seat and has a real knack at keeping you guessing about heroes and villains. He has obviously done a huge amount of research about both art history and the history of the Roman Catholic Church. So he does have a huge treasure-trove of facts about both at his command. He liberally shares that research with his readers, while making it very clear from his fanciful plotting that he is writing a novel, not a history book.

One only need look at his hero, symbologist Robert Langdon. I am a reasonably well-educated person, but frankly before I saw “The DaVinci Code,” I had never heard of symbology. In fact, when I saw the movie I thought Brown had made up that occupation. He didn’t, but he most surely did invent a person who, without a whip and skills at the martial arts, has much in common with Indiana Jones. So much so that in “Angels and Demons” at the Vatican’s call, he is off to Rome within 20 minutes of being invited to deal with an emerging emergency. A Harvard professor who hops out of a swimming pool where he is doing laps and then barely has time to dry off before he flies off (apparently without bothering to pack for such a trip)? Once at The Vatican, he becomes not only a practicing symbologist, but also a kind of super-detective trying to figure who the bad guys are. He has got to be a fictional character.

Continue reading

Tortured Logic, Why ‘It Doesn’t Work’ Doesn’t Work by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Bookmark and Share

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com May 15, 2009
May 27, 2009

For months, the torture debate has been focused to a significant extent on the issue of whether it “works” or not for eliciting useful intelligence from captured military operatives, quasi-military operatives, suspected terrorists, or people caught in some “anti-terrorist” dragnet who might well have nothing to do with the activity. Virtually every expert on gaining useful intelligence from captured operatives “from the other side,” whatever their particular classification might be, has said that it doesn’t. One must note that there are a handful of non-experts in addition to Cheney who think that torture does “work.”

The list includes the well-known GOP shill (so The New York Times said in a May 9 editorial) and MSNBC morning talk-show host Joe Scarborough and the prominent Christian-Rightist Gary Bauer. Bauer stands in favor of the use of torture along with a number of other Christian Rightists for whom that fact that Christ himself was tortured to death by the Romans (who used crucifixion to punish their enemies over a period of centuries) seems not to be of import.

Continue reading

West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO by Rick Rozoff

Bookmark and Share

by Rick Rozoff
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Stop NATO
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/message/39689
May 27, 2009

Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the UN could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies.

At that time in 1999 the NATO alliance was waging what would become a 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia in flagrant contravention of the United Nations and of international law in general.

As two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the five permanent members being the main victorious World War II allies, with the People’s Republic of China having replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1971 and with Russia as the successor state to the Soviet Union – exactly China and Russia, not being NATO members states, opposed that war and in several other instances the use of sanctions and military force against nations targeted for both by the West.

Continue reading

Guantánamo And The Many Failures Of US Politicians by Andy Worthington

Bookmark and Share

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
27 May 2009

In the summer of 2002, as Jane Mayer described it in her book The Dark Side, “The CIA, concerned by the paucity of valuable information emanating from [Guantánamo], dispatched a senior intelligence analyst, who was fluent in Arabic and expert on Islamic extremism, to find out what the problem was.” After interviewing a random sample of two dozen or so Arabic-speaking prisoners, the analyst “concluded that an estimated one-third of the prison camp’s population of more than 600 captives at the time, meaning more than 200 individuals, had no connection to terrorism whatsoever.”

The analyst expressed his concerns to Maj. Gen. Michael Dunlavey, Guantánamo’s senior military commander, and “was further disconcerted to learn that the general agreed with him that easily a third of the Guantánamo detainees were mistakes.” “Later,” Mayer added, “Dunlavey raised his estimate to fully half the population.”

Continue reading

The Bilderberg Plan for 2009: Remaking the Global Political Economy by Andrew G. Marshall

by Andrew G. Marshall
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 27, 2009

From May 14-17, the global elite met in secret in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg conference, amid scattered and limited global media attention. Roughly 130 of the world’s most powerful individuals came together to discuss the pressing issues of today, and to chart a course for the next year. The main topic of discussion at this years meeting was the global financial crisis, which is no surprise, considering the list of conference attendees includes many of the primary architects of the crisis, as well as those poised to “solve” it.

The Agenda: The Restructuring of the Global Political Economy

Before the meeting began, Bilderberg investigative journalist Daniel Estulin reported on the main item of the agenda, which was leaked to him by his sources inside. Though such reports cannot be verified, his sources, along with those of veteran Bilderberg tracker, Jim Tucker, have proven to be shockingly accurate in the past. Apparently, the main topic of discussion at this years meeting was to address the economic crisis, in terms of undertaking, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Other items on the agenda included a plan to “continue to deceive millions of savers and investors who believe the hype about the supposed up-turn in the economy. They are about to be set up for massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” and “There will be a final push for the enactment of Lisbon Treaty, pending on Irish voting YES on the treaty in Sept or October,”[1] which would give the European Union massive powers over its member nations, essentially making it a supranational regional government, with each country relegated to more of a provincial status.

Continue reading

Countdown: Mancow Interview

Dandelion Salad

Bookmark and Share

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

May 26, 2009 MSNBC Keith Olbermann

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mancow Interview With Keith Olbermann“, posted with vodpod

see

Conservative Radio Host Mancow Waterboarded! Says It’s ABSOLUTLY TORTURE!

Christopher Hitchens on Torture, and More

from the archives:

Christopher Hitchens Gets Waterboarded (2008)

Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

Dandelion Salad

By Chalmers Johnson
Truthdig
May 14, 2009

In her foreword to “The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts,” an important collection of articles on United States militarism and imperialism, edited by Catherine Lutz, the prominent feminist writer Cynthia Enloe notes one of our most abject failures as a government and a democracy: “There is virtually no news coverage—no journalists’ or editors’ curiosity—about the pressures or lures at work when the U.S. government seeks to persuade officials of Romania, Aruba or Ecuador that providing U.S. military-basing access would be good for their countries.” The American public, if not the residents of the territories in question, is almost totally innocent of the huge costs involved, the crimes committed by our soldiers against women and children in the occupied territories, the environmental pollution, and the deep and abiding suspicions generated among people forced to live close to thousands of heavily armed, culturally myopic and dangerously indoctrinated American soldiers. This book is an antidote to such parochialism.

Continue reading

The Eight-Year-Long Psychological Operation – Osama Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive? By Tod Fletcher

Dandelion Salad

Bookmark and Share

By Tod Fletcher
May 26, 2009 “Information Clearing House

A review of a new book by David Ray Griffin

Osama Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive? by David Ray Griffin is a crucially important and timely examination of the whole range of  evidence bearing on the question, is Osama bin Laden still alive?  The importance of this question for the present comes from the fact that the United States under its new president is escalating its offensive in Afghanistan and expanding the war into Pakistan, and has claimed that the “hunt for bin Laden” is one of its principal motivations for doing so.  Either explicitly or implicitly, the US government and major media outlets such as The New York Times and Washington Post continue to assert that bin Laden is alive, hiding in the tribal territories on the “AfPak” border, posing an undiminished threat to US security.

In his gripping new book, Griffin strikes at the root of this pretext for war by closely examining all the evidence that has come out since September 11, 2001, either indicating that bin Laden is still alive or that he is in fact dead. His conclusion is that bin Laden is certainly dead, and that in all likelihood he died in very late 2001.  Griffin shows that many US experts in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency came to this very same conclusion long ago, but their views, which do not support the continuation of what President Obama, borrowing the term from Dick Cheney, calls “the long war,” have received very little media attention. Were they to do so, one of the main props for the war regime would be undermined.

Continue reading

The Next Leg Down By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
May 26, 2009 “Information Clearing House

Collapsing home prices and credit markets continue to put downward pressure on consumer spending, forcing the Federal Reserve to take even more radical action to revive the economy. Last week, Fed chief Ben Bernanke raised the prospect of further monetizing the debt by purchasing more than the $1.75 trillion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) already committed. The announcement sent shock-waves through the currency markets where skittish traders have joined doomsayers in predicting tough times ahead for the dollar. Foreign central banks have been gobbling up US debt at an impressive pace, adding another $60 billion in the last three weeks alone. That’s more than enough to cover the current account deficit and put the greenback on solid ground for the time-being. But with fiscal deficits ballooning to $3 trillion in the next year alone, dwindling foreign investment won’t be enough to keep the dollar afloat. Bernanke will be forced to either raise interest rates or let the dollar fall hard.

Continue reading