It’s Time to Break Up the Banks By Peter Rothberg

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By Peter Rothberg
ICH
June 05, 2009 “The Nation”

Last April, I wrote about A New Way Forward, a new and growing movement organized via the web and founded by young people who want to take back the power of the ordinary citizen to affect our economic structure. The organization’s coming-out party took place last April 11 with more than sixty coordinated events coast to coast all making the case for alternative bailout plans based on the public’s interest.

This new video, which neatly breaks down the causes and effects of the economic crisis, is the basis for the next day of action staged by A New Way Forward.

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Next week on June 10, at small and large events nationwide, there’ll be numerous screenings of the video along with panels, workshops, teach-ins, protests and rallies. As the banking industry continues its secret lobbying in DC, A New Way Forward advocates using antitrust laws and competition to limit the influence of big banks and shed light on the shadow banking sector. These events are part of a continuing effort to forge a serious grassroots discussion of the economy ad how to leverage antitrust law toward a more populist bailout. Find an event near you. If there’s nothing near you, click here for tips on how to host your own event.

Organizers are planning many different events, from small group house parties to large group public gatherings. In Washington DC, Former Chief Economist of the IMF Simon Johnson will be keynoting what’s expected to be a large event in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Building. The organizers hope to attract citizens with a disparate range of views who will hold one idea in common: our current economic trends must be reversed. Join ANWF’s Facebook group for updates, and learn more about the plan for structural change and what we can achieve.

Peter Rothberg writes the ActNow column for the The Nation. ActNow aims to put readers in touch with creative ways to register informed dissent. Whether it’s a grassroots political campaign, a progressive film festival, an antiwar candidate, a street march, a Congressional bill needing popular support or a global petition, ActNow will highlight the outpouring of cultural, political and anti-corporate activism sweeping the planet.

© 2009 The Nation

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Towards a sound economy By Rudo de Ruijter

Securitization: The Biggest Rip-off Ever By Mike Whitney

Illiteracy in High Places – Forgetting What We Learned By Paul Craig Roberts

Kaptur Grills Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke + State of the U.S. Economy Hearing

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2

“Guantanamo at Home”

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Democracy Now!
June 5, 2009

“Guantanamo at Home”: Muslim American Syed Fahad Hashmi Held in 23-Hour Solitary Pretrial Confinement for Over Two Years in Case Resting on Plea-Bargaining Government Informant

One day after President Obama trumpeted the achievements and freedoms of Muslim Americans in his celebrated Cairo speech, we look at the case of Syed Fahad Hashmi, a US citizen who has been held in pretrial twenty-three-hour solitary confinement in a Manhattan federal prison for over two years. Hashmi is charged with providing material support to al-Qaeda in a case that rests on the testimony of Junaid Babar, an old acquaintance of Hashmi’s who turned government informant after his own arrest on terror charges. Hashmi is being prosecuted for a two-week period when Babar stayed at his home carrying rain gear that was allegedly later delivered to al-Qaeda members in Pakistan. [includes rush transcript]

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Barack Obama: A New Beginning (Cairo University 06.04.09)

Towards a sound economy By Rudo de Ruijter

Dandelion Salad

Sent to DS by the author, thanks, Rudo.

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By Rudo de Ruijter,
Independent researcher,
www.courtfool.info
Netherlands
June 4, 2009

Sometimes money is compared with the blood of the economy. The credit crisis painfully demonstrated, that the economy depends on a permanent infusion of credits. As soon as the banks deliver a bit less credit, enterprises fail and the mass dismissals succeed each other.

We are made to believe, that the problems with the subprime mortgages were an incident. With a giga-capital injection, a bit more rules and better supervision the banking system would function correctly again. And oh yes, we must trust the banks again.

Main cause of the credit crisis

The main cause of the credit crisis lies in the bank/money system itself. The principle of the money system is, that money is brought into circulation by supplying credit and vanishes again at the moment the credit is paid back. Western banks use two game rules: 1. in comparison with the lent-out amounts, they have to dispose of only 8% of their own capital. [1]; 2. they have to keep a small percentage of reserves in their pay-desk to perform payments for their customers and to hand out cash money.

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Securitization: The Biggest Rip-off Ever By Mike Whitney

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Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
June 05, 2009 “Information Clearing House

Is it possible to make hundreds of billions of dollars in profits on securities that are backed by nothing more than cyber-entries into a loan book?

It’s not only possible; it’s been done. And now the scoundrels who cashed in on the swindle have lined up outside the Federal Reserve building to trade their garbage paper for billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded loans. Where’s the justice? Meanwhile, the credit bust has left the financial system in a shambles and driven the economy into the ground like a tent stake. The unemployment lines are  growing longer and consumers are cutting back on everything from nights-on-the-town to trips to the grocery store. And it’s all due to a Ponzi-finance scam that was concocted on Wall Street and spread through the global system like an aggressive strain of Bird Flu. The isn’t a normal recession; the financial system was blown up by greedy bankers who used “financial innovation” game the system and inflate the biggest speculative bubble of all time. And they did it all legally, using a little-known process called securitization.

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The great, international, demonic, truly frightening Iranian threat by William Blum

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by William Blum
www.killinghope.org
June 5, 2009

The Anti-Empire Report

The great, international, demonic, truly frightening Iranian threat

The United States is “facing a nuclear threat in Iran” — article in Chicago Tribune and other major newspapers, May 26

“the growing missile threat from North Korea and Iran” — article in the Washington Post and other major newspapers, May 26

“Iran’s threat transcends religion. Regardless of sectarian bent, Muslim communities need to oppose the attempts by Iran … to extend Shia extremism and influence throughout the world.” — op-ed article in Boston Globe, May 27

“A Festering Evil. Doing nothing is not an option in handling the threat from Iran” — headline in Investor’s Business Daily, May 27, 2009

This is a very small sample from American newspapers covering but two days.

“Fifty-one percent of Israelis support an immediate Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites” — BBC, May 24

After taking office, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We will not allow Holocaust-deniers [Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] to carry out another holocaust.” — Haaretz (Israel), May 14, 2009

Like clinical paranoia, “the threat from Iran” is impervious to correction by rational argument.

Two new novels have just appeared, from major American publishers, thrillers based on Iran having a nuclear weapon and the dangers one can imagine that that portends — “Banquo’s Ghosts” by Rich Lowry & Keith Korman, and “The Increment” by David Ignatius. “Bomb, bomb, bomb. Let’s bomb Iran,” declares a CIA official in the latter book. The other book derides the very idea of “dialogue” with Iran while implicitly viewing torture as acceptable.1

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Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan – Bring in the Contractors! by Tom Burghardt

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by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, June 4, 2009
Antifascist Calling

With billions of dollars in federal funds hanging in the balance, President Barack Obama unveiled the Cyberspace Policy Review May 29 at the White House.

During his presentation in the East Room Obama said that “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity” and that efforts to “deter, prevent, detect and defend” against malicious cyberattacks would be run from the White House.

How this debate is being framed however, has a familiar ring to it. Rather than actually educating the public about steps to prevent victimization, state prescriptions always seem to draw from the same tired playbook.

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Right or Left Wing Media Bias? by Cindy Sheehan

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by Cindy Sheehan
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
June 5, 2009

I am sort of confused?

When I was only protesting George Bush, his administration and the wars, I received a fair amount of media attention, especially when we were in Crawford the first summer. As time wore on and the novelty of having a mother speak out against the atrocities wore off, the coverage dwindled, but never down to practically zippo until I ran for Congress against a “liberal,” Nancy Pelosi.

After the Summer of Camp Casey and Katrina, it became really popular to protest and hate George Bush. George Bush slank out of office as the most detested president in American history. However, from the time Casey died until today, my focus has shifted from blaming George Bush only, to blaming the entire system: The Military-industrial-Congressional-Prison-Media-Banker Complex…or whatever you want to call it.

I have integrity. I oppose war, torture, economic oppression and environmental degradation no matter who is in the White House or what political party he belongs to. I have been one of President Obama’s earliest and most ardent critics, but where’s the media coverage when I protest the carnage now that Obama is president? Where’s Air America calling me to comment on the war crimes that Obama has already committed? Why won’t most “progressive” online sites print my articles anymore (except Oped News and MichaelMichael.com)?

One time when Bill O’ Reilly heard that I criticized Obama…he criticized me!

What is the bias? Is it always towards the Robber Class?

I will do what I think is right, no matter if anyone pays attention, or not.

I just think it’s weird.

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Leave that Poor Man Alone by Cindy Sheehan

Robber Class v. Robbed Class: What Can We Do? by Cindy Sheehan

A Broken Circus: Guantánamo Trials Convene For One Day Of Chaos by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
5 June 2009

If President Obama is serious about ever closing Guantánamo, and bringing justice to any of the 239 men still held there, the chaotic events on Monday, in the first hearing of the Military Commission trial system since the President’s four-month freeze on proceedings expired, should persuade him that all that awaits him, if he proceeds with his plan to revive the trials, is ridicule, frustration and injustice.

Last month, evidently scared by the advice of paranoid officials who suggested that, in some cases, trials in federal courts might fail (and ignoring the fact that no US jury would fail to convict a terror suspect against whom the merest shred of genuine evidence could be mustered), Obama announced that he was planning to revive the Commissions.

Critics bayed in disbelief. After all, the much-criticized system, conceived by former Vice President Dick Cheney and his legal counsel David Addington, ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 2006, and then revived by Congress, was, essentially, a shape-shifting legal quagmire, which, over six years, had led to only three convictions (of David Hicks, Salim Hamdan and Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, each of which had its own problems), the resignation of several prosecutors (including one Chief Prosecutor), the sacking of the Pentagon’s legal adviser, and a permanent state of semi-open revolt against the government in the military defense teams.

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Illiteracy in High Places – Forgetting What We Learned By Paul Craig Roberts

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By Paul Craig Roberts
June 04, 2009 “Information Clearing House

If a person lives long enough, he can watch everyone forget everything they learned.

Everyone includes Federal Reserve Chairmen, economists, Bank of America “strategists,” and even Bloomberg.com.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke thinks he can hold down US long-term interest rates by purchasing mortgage bonds and US Treasuries. Sixty years ago the Federal Reserve understood that this was an impossible feat. After an acrimonious public dispute with the US Treasury, in 1951 the Federal Reserve forced an “Accord” on the government that eliminated the Fed’s obligation to monetize Treasury debt in order to hold down long term interest rates.

President Truman and Treasury Secretary John Snyder wanted to protect World War II bond purchasers by preventing any rise in interest rates, which would mean a decline in the price of the bonds.

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