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Today's Stories

November 28-30, 2008

Alexander Cockburn
In Time of Trouble

Mike Whitney
The Obama "Dream Team": Rubin Clones and Other Fakers

Tom Kerr
Preserving Filthy Lucre (Or Becoming My Dad)

Deepak Tripathi
Uproar in Police-State Britain

Sonja Karkar
Gaza's Death Throes

Ramzy Baroud
Salvation in a News Broadcast

Stan Cox
The Most Disappointing Gift

November 27, 2008

Tariq Ali
The Assault on Mumbai

Steve Hendricks
Thanksgiving We Can Believe In: Justice in Indian Country

Ralph Nader
Open Up Those Corporate Tax Returns

John Walsh
The Root Cause of the Crisis of 2008

Dave Lindorff
The Department of Homeland Lunacy

Christopher Brauchli
Thanks A Lot, Mr. Meese: How Alberto Gonzales Learned to Get You to Pay for His Legal Bills

Matthew Koehler
Giving Thanks for Burned Forests

Website of the Day
John Trudell: "Crazy Horse We Hear What You Say"


November 26, 2008

Michael Hudson
The Obama Letdown

Alan Farago
Bailouts and the New Math

Stanley Heller
Don't Bail Them Out, Take Them Over

Kevin Zeese
The Real Cost of the Bailout

Steve Conn
Now It Can Be Told (Except in North Carolina)

Ray McGovern
Kafka and Uighurs at Guantánamo

Ron Jacobs
King George is Gone: Now It's Time to Organize

Eric Walberg
Obama's Odious Entourage

Martha Rosenberg
Pay No Attention to That Turkey Being Slaughtered (Or How Sarah Palin Created a Whole New Generation of Vegetarians)

Matt Siegfried
Back to the Future With Barack

Website of the Day
"Every Time I've Compromised, I've Lost"


November 25, 2008

James Abourezk
Of Arrogance, Bailouts and the Big Three

Ralph Nader
Don't Suppress Carter

Patrick Irelan
PBS Reports for Big Oil on Venezuela

John Ross
Obama in Bedlam

Fred Gardner
Dr. Goodwin and the Infinite Con

Dan LaBotz
The Auto Crisis: a Big Caravan to Washington?

Tom Barry
Napolitano and Immigration Policy

Norman Solomon
The Ideology of No Ideology

Richard Morse
Memo From Haiti: Where the Culture of Corruption Meets the Corruption of Culture

Chris Strohm
The Missing Rules of Engagement in Cyberwar

Website of the Day
Green vs. Green?

November 24, 2008

Mike Whitney
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Pam Martens
The Rise and Fall of Citigroup

Laray Polk
Bush's Library: the Kurds, Oil and Missing Records

David Ker Thomson
American Friends: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Canadians?

Uri Avnery
Likud Rising

Joe Mowrey
Deprivation and Desperation in Gaza

Ramzi Kysia
An Administration in Search of a Progressive: the Team Obama Should Have Picked

Kevin Zeese
The Causes of the Auto Crisis

Dave Lindorff
Rescuing the Blob: Idiots and Bailouts

David Macaray
Seven Reasons You Should Join a Union

Howard Lisnoff
Inaugurations Past and Present

Website of the Day
I Hate the Beatles

November 21 / 23, 2008

Alexander Cockburn
The Honeymoon is Looking a Bit Wan

Michael Hudson
Paulson's Cascade of Lies

Mike Whitney
Time to Move to Plan B ... If There is One

Barbara Rose Johnston /
Holly M. Barker

Cautionary Tales From a Nuclear War Zone

Serge Halimi
The Gloom of Empire: Downhill All the Way

Alan Farago
The Suburbs March On

Ralph Nader
Changing With Retreads: the Third Clinton Administration

Saul Landau
When Old Axioms Don't Apply

Robert Bryce
From LBJ to Obama: the End of Texas Dominance

Shannon May
Ecological Crisis and Eco-Villages in China

Binoy Kampmark
The End of the Yugo

Jack Ely
The Fate of the West's Wild Horses

Ramzy Baroud
The Rights of Women in War Zones

Missy Beattie
Why Vote, Anyway?

Larry Portis
Women Soldiers Serving in (and Barely Surviving) the Israeli Army

James McEnteer
Colombia's Laboratory of Failure

Christopher Brauchli
A Tale of Two Whales

David Yearsley
Real Swords, Fire and Don Giovanni

Adam Engel
Power Down

Ron Jacobs
The Continuing Saga of the White Album

Lorenzo Wolff
Honky Tonk Heroes: When Country Got Real

Poets' Basement
Raza Ali Hasan

Website of the Weekend
Lips and Fingers

November 20, 2008

P. Sainath
The Jurassic Auto and Idea Park

Brian McKenna
How Dow Chemical Defies Homeland Security and Risks Another 9/11

Paul Craig Roberts
What Uncle Sam Has to Say to His Creditors

Andy Worthington
How Guanántamo Can be Closed

Peter Lee
India Doubles Down in Afghanistan ... Maybe

Dr. Eyad al-Serraj
At the Erez Crossing

Sen. Russ Feingold
The Bush Pardons

Lance Selfa
Who Made the New Deal?

Ray McGovern
Keeping Gates

Benjamin G. Davis
Ending Torture; Prosecuting the Torturers

Tracy McLellan
Obama's Crony Democracy: the Return of Tom Daschle

Website of the Day
Finally, a Victory for Palestinians

November 19, 2008

M. Shahid Alam
Obama and the Politics of Race and Religion in America

Mario A. Murillo
Holder, Chiquita and Colombian Death Squads

Martine Boulard
Escaping the Dollar's Shadow

Robin D. G. Kelley
Will Obama be the First "Freedom" Democrat?

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi
Obama and the Iron Cage

Jonathan Cook
Who Will Stop the Settlers?

Steve Conn
Spare Change or No Change at All

George Wuerthner
The NYT and the Beetles of Mass Destruction

Michael Winship
This Just in From Middle Earth

Stephen Martin
The Other Side of the Pleasure-Dome

Website of the Day
An Important Holiday Message From Kristen Johnston

November 18, 2008

Chellis Glendinning
Cheering for Morgan Stanley

George C. Wilson
Perils of Pakistan: Will It Prove to be Obama's Cambodia?

Franklin Lamb
Who Will Evict Israel from Lebanon: Hezbollah or the UN?

Bill and Kathleen Christison
The Irresponsibility of Appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State

Roger Burbach
Orchestrating a Civic Coup in Bolivia: How Bush Tried to Bring Down Morales

John Ross
Drilling vs. Direct Democracy in Mexico

Wajahat Ali
Is Obama the Muslim World's Superman?

Damien Millet /
Eric Toussaint

What Really Happened in Washington? The G20 and the Inconsistent Script

Marc Gardner
When Mooning is a Sex Crime

Eric Walberg
Courting the Bear: a New Era for Russian/Western Relations?

Wendy Williams
The Bottled Water Con

Website of the Day
Where's Zappa When We Need Him?

November 17, 2008

Michael Hudson
Bankers Shake Down Congress and the G-20

Paul Craig Roberts
When It's a Clear Day and You Can't See GM

Mike Whitney
Busted in Washington

Steve Conn
Where is Nader Country 2008? Mapping the Nader Votes

Andy Worthington
Closing Guantánamo: Advice for Obama

Jonathan Cook
The Real Goal of Israel's Blockade of Gaza: "They Are All Hamas"

Rannie Amiri
Dual Loyalties Will Doom Obama

David Macaray
Bailing Out the Automakers

David Michael Green
Twelve Victories

Charles Modiano
Sports Illustrated and Sexism: Tokenism or a New Day?

Website of the Day
The South Sea Bubble

November 14 / 16, 2008

Alexander Cockburn
Heading for the First Hundred Days

Jeffrey St. Clair
How Bill Clinton Doomed the Spotted Owl: a Cautionary Tale for Greens in the Age of Obama

Mike Whitney
Paulson the Bungler

Sasan Fayazmanesh
RIP: the Experts, 1929-2008

Moshe Adler
Keynes: China's Greatest Export?

Anthony DiMaggio
Transcending Race?

Jean Bricmont
Cats, Dogs and Creationism

Sheldon Rampton
The Eisenstadt Hoax: a Real Life Example of a "Fake Fake"

Douglas Valentine
Let the Trials Begin!

Joseph Nevins /
Timothy Dunn

Barricading the Border

Tom Barry
Rahm Emanuel's Political Pragmatism on Immigration

Ron Jacobs
Che Guevara Meets Trashman: the Genius of Spain Rodriguez

Larry Portis
The State of the Israeli State

Mary Lynn Cramer Obama's Brain Trust: Seems Like Old Times

Sherry Wolf
The Myth of the Black/Gay Divide

Peter Cervantes-Gautschi
Secretary of Greed: How Larry Summers Championed Wall Street by Impoverishing the Mexican People

Jacob Hornberger
The Conservative Malaise
: Hey, Brother, Can You Spare Some Habeas Corpus?

Lance Selfa
The Center-Right Nation Con

Benjamin Dangl
Vermont Against General Dynamics

Seth Sandronsky
Lifelines in Hard Times

Russell Mokhiber
Time to Give the Friends of Big Coal the Boot

Allan Stellar
Nuke a Gay Whale for the Navy

Kelly Overton
Get Thee to a Shelter: the Obamas and the Million-Mutt March

Martha Rosenberg
Why Mink are Cheering the Economic Crisis

Richard Rhames
Palling Around with Ray the Plumber

David Yearsley
How I Played Hooky from "High School Musical 3"

Lorenzo Wolff
Zach is Back: Songs of Hurt, Rage and Resistance

Poets' Basement
Gibbons, Ford and Buknatski

Website of the Weekend
The Eyes Have It


November 13, 2008

Pam Martens
The Two Trillion Dollar
Black Hole

Vijay Prashad
Guilt by Participation: Sonal Shah's Membership Has Expired

Patrick Cockburn
Who is Paying for the Iraqi National Intelligence Service?

Jonathan Cook
The Withering Palestinian Economy

Ralph Nader
Obama and the Rogue Regime

Bill Quigley
McCain Owes America an Apology

Lee Sustar
Bailing Out the Big Three

Omar Barghouti
Boycotting Israeli Settlement Products

Steve Conn
More Alaska Fun

Howard Lisnoff
The Last Bastion of Hate

Jeff Cohen
What Indy Media Heroes Can Teach Us

Website of the Day
Who are the Obamagelicals?

November 12, 2008

Johanna Berrigan
Scattered Families: the Iraq Refugee Crisis

Steve Conn
The Big Mystery Election in Alaska

Patrick Bond
Against Volcker

Bokar Ture /
Dedrick Muhammad

Remembering a Black Radical in a Barack Obama America

Alan Farago
The Hispanic Vote in South Florida: Not Dyed Blue Yet

Dave Lindorff
Rescuing Joe Lieberman

Karl Grossman
Break Up Big Oil: Tyranny in the Tank

David Macaray
An Obama Litmus Test: Will Labor Have a Seat at the Table?

George Wuerthner
Act Now to Save America's Public Forests

Susie Day
Heavy Weather

Website of the Day
Does the Planet Have a Future? an Interview with Derrick Jensen




Weekend Edition
November 28-30, 2008

The Chain Reaction of Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction Deployed

The Electromagnetic Pulse and Economic Warfare


The atomic bomb was more than a weapon of terrible destruction; it was a psychological weapon

-- Henry L. Stimson

When the decision was taken to allow Lehman Bros (7.1 trillion in derivatives – all figures taken from OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives activities, June 30 2008) to go under, unlike that as with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, AIG and now Citigroup (37.1 trillion in derivatives), the full nature of consequences were as unseen. The first factor was that the Europeans elected not to buy up the ‘toxic’ debt as had been circulated as a weapon of financial mass destruction, but to take equity in ‘their’ banks. The second factor is that the system of ‘Global Finance’ is not just something that can be switched on or off at will, like a light bulb, change of name ‘overnight’ of supplier on power station courtesy of corporate takeover, new terms as applied, normal service resumed - and apologies for any inconvenience issued. The third factor that there is always the unknown when one is dealing with ‘mass destruction’ – and this particularly the case in dealing with ‘psychological’ aspect;  as in consequence of ‘Shock and Awe’ - and the chain reaction of a derivatives market unfolding.

This small article examines the parallel which exists in the ‘dropping’ of a financial weapon of mass destruction with the explosion of a nuclear device, and in particular the EMP or ‘electromagnetic pulse’ as psychological counterpart in economic warfare to the paralysis of electronic circuitry caused by EMP in conventional thermonuclear warfare, parallel being as of ‘circuitry’ neurophysiological in economic warfare. The ‘scorched earth’ of economic warfare is that of belief destroyed; buildings may be left intact, environment habitable and ripe for ‘invasion’ - but still there be ‘debris’; form of belief, ruination psycho political, and  requirement  of currency transfusion in the invasion or defense?

As figurehead, but an important one at that, Henry Paulson has much to answer for,  but less than the organ grinders behind same.

It still wide open to speculation as to the nature of the machinations surrounding the creation and circulation of CDO’s and CDS’s as financial weapons of mass destruction, and the rationale underlying the selectivity of allowing certain  institutions to fail while ‘rescuing’ others, results still to be seen thereof - courtesy of psychology in form of ‘shock and awe’?

The opinion represented herein this small article is that drawing heavily upon insight Jeffersonian concerning financiers as those who prefer ‘demoralizing pursuit’, rather than  the insight of those inclined to interpret the current financial meltdown in progress as but product of lack of regulation and the action of a few reckless, albeit powerful individuals under ignorant greed. Call  the latter the ‘lone gunmen’ account of assassinations financial as opposed to the ‘scheming and co-ordinated warfare’ theory concerning same; or madness pure and simple, as opposed to there being method in the madness; and scheming gone agley. Regardless of how called this much holds, this much verifiable; as a result of meltdown financial power in America has been consolidated into fewer hands. There has been a further concentration of wealth which is anathema to Democracy.

Let us be clear about this one demonstrable fact. JP Morgan Chase (91.3 trillion in derivatives), and Bank of America (39.7 trillion in derivatives) now have more control of Finance in America than ever before, and it was unprecedented that the American Government was held to ransom by such as Henry Paulson in his demand for release of funds from the public coffers, and complete control over same; issues of transparency aside.

Northcom does not exist without reason, alongside NSPD-51.

This is as documented and irrefutable; as fingerprint upon corpse as may yet be of Democracy, weapon lying beside Constitution shredded -  to interpretation albeit.

It does not take the account of numerous representatives of Government in their confession as to such pressure, such fear, as was brought to bear to ‘drive through’ hand over of control financial - in similar sense as the abhorrence of the concentration camp system does not require testimony of such as Goering or Speer to verify.

 History is witness; facts are facts.

It is in the connection as causality, as expression of reasoning and calculation as in the scheming as there will be disputation, accordant as to ‘side’.

Until battle, if not war won, so it goes.

To the victor go ‘the spoils’, and such including ‘interpretation’ oft as ‘rationalisation’ – and of  also as complete ‘fabrication’ - as Orwell wrote.

The case stated here by way of side, and declaration.

As one of so many ‘little men’ damaged by the acts of such detailed above; in respect of  home under threat, life savings wiped out, livelihood destroyed, in respect of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness being endangered. Living in the fear which would prevail, and as undermines quality.  Gathering amidst the debris of ‘meltdown’ as shared with so many others, and more as yet to be joining such angst as part of  tragedy. Stooping to re-build with worn out tool…

No more than ‘collateral damage’ - to scheme gone wrong?

Like most, the essential unfairness of the system realised; that ordinary working humanity as Citizen pays disproportionate share, that work is not rewarded as to real value at all, that real pleasure is not found in money or possession; but in the eyes of others cared for as genuine treasure and time shared in joy for, and as to dreams and aspiration, ‘spirit’ being foremost and eternal, the material transient and grubby in aspiration; as mere bauble and bangle be.

But the bottom line daily crust requisite, and margins existing; as in the crossing of the line, in going beyond the pale.

The Gini coefficient as expressive of margins, and within such it can be believed that the boundaries of Democracy are delineated? Democracy and Humanity is as dangerous to those who would covet ever more materially; greed and Democracy are opposite as seen, and ‘Socialism’ can be as dirty word in apperception thereby.

But economic repression beyond a certain level demands political repression?

As Carnegie put it:

The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.

Anyway, back to that EMP effect psychological in financial warfare.

The premise: Lehman Bros was as financial nuclear bomb dropped. Factors involved in considering the EMP in a nuclear explosion include, altitude, yield, distance and geographical depth or intervening geographical variables. There are also four types of EMP, surface burst, high –altitude, source region and system generated.

Sept 15 2008. Lehman Bros became the largest bankruptcy in American Financial History, 7.1 trillion in derivatives; the shockwaves felt around the world, in London, in Tokyo, in Frankfurt,  in Hong Kong. In  Reykjavik.  A measure of the altitude of the bomb; in 2007, non US subsidiaries of Lehman Bros were responsible for over 50% of Global revenue produced by the company. 400 Billion Dollars were ‘lost’ alone in months before filing according to James Giddens as trustee overseeing.

Images of Lehman Bros office buildings being ‘evacuated’, and shocked employees leaving carrying boxes,  played around the world. The shock precipitated was indeed immense, and further exacerbated mistrust between Financial Institutions unprecedented. Here today, gone tomorrow. No one knew exactly how bad their own books were, let alone how bad that of their competitors. Correspondingly, no one wanted to lend. In course of just three days, the London Interchange Bank Office Rate (LIBOR) doubled; it’s biggest jump in at least seven years. Share prices tumbled further.  In parallel terms the EMP pulse (timed in billionths of a second, much more rapid than lightning) can render unshielded electrical equipment inoperative. In financial warfare parallel, EMP as a consideration is as aspect of ‘shock and awe’, destroying trust, destroying confidence - with just as devastating results concerning functional operability, and the extension of damage collateral – few of us being ‘shielded’.

Fast forward: October 10.  The G7 meeting.  A pivotal  moment in the expression of ‘shock and awe’, whence a clear difference emerged between Europe and America.  The solution: not as to buy up debts using funds from the IMF, but for States to take equity in the banks.  A temporary shutdown of the ‘free market’ in form of State ownership; taking out of private hands.  This; the real parallel of fear which the Citizen experiences, as held by small proportion of society which now has unprecedented level of control over assets financial. The power of State concerning belief, the polymorphous nature of ‘Social Contract’; the mighty nature of pen upon paper legal - as within sequestration. Shouting that last word at the rich; it be as ‘cranberry sauce!’ to turkey indeed.  Yet the damage done in terms of the effects of EMP paralysis electronic as in the parallel psychological being as dose of curare; in the lack of confidence, the mistrust, the hoarding attitude, not easy to turn around; and it too has own collateral damage radiating outwards and backwards from Main Street to Wall Street. Consumer confidence hit - as part contributory of downward spiral.

As with ‘Humpty Dumpty’,  it is very difficult to put back that shattered; to contain the expression of ‘shock and awe’ when unleashed on such scale,  to get the worms back in can, or shut lid on Pandora’s box. The reality is that the derivatives market unfolding is like a nuclear chain reaction – and the distinction between controlled as in nuclear reactor, and uncontrolled as in  nuclear weapon also finds parallel – over 95% of derivatives are not regulated – so called ‘over the counter’.  ‘Fear’ is indeed the key, and hope yet remains. But with the collapse of every additional company on Main Street, such fear grows, expressed in mistrust, in hoarding, holding on; in greater demands upon the State which finds resources shrinking, such the viciousness of cycle.  In the exercise of discretion remaining;  between essential and not so.

For what is ‘Society’ or ‘Nation’ but at the end of the day no more than ‘belief shared’? This the greatest damage of the EMP psychological, that when unleashed  the paralysis consequent can destroy such belief shared – and bring with it misery unrivalled.

The greatest challenge facing the Western World right now: the containment of fear and the reconstruction of belief; in the Economy, in the Politicians, in the Financiers, in the Nation, in the Democracy. Fear as a tool double edged in the instability it precipitates – we have already seen reversal of private finance and free market dominance in the ‘Socialism’ of State taking ownership of institutions. An electromagnetic pulse can render particular types of low voltage electrical equipment permanently inoperable.

The hope herein that fear can be contained, and as for a poison where it is said that if it does not kill it makes stronger; that an important lesson for mankind be learned from this financial disaster. But that it not be at such a great price as makes ‘too dear’  in terms of the sufferance of common humanity, and that we have not to lose Democracy, before sense gained, and balance re-established, as eventuality?

Because such can be the impact of psychology of weapons of financial mass destruction; as dog of war unleashed, or  as electromagnetic pulse causing havoc with ‘systems’ built upon circuitry neurophysiological; the scheming of which as within psychophysical parallel of conscious epiphenomenon produced such as ‘derivatives’ - and such as causes me desire to spit when I hear the very word.

But such it is also as of hope being left in box - and as springs eternal in the human breast.

Stephen Martin can be reached at: stephenmarti@yahoo.com


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