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101 Ways to Get Rich Without Doing Anything Socially Useful

101 Ways to Get Rich Without Doing Anything Socially Useful 
by William Blum
Why do we have this thing called a "financial crisis"? Why have we had such a crisis periodically ever since the United States was created? What changes occur or what happens each time to bring on the crisis? Do we forget how to make things that people need? Do the factories burn down? Are our tools lost? Do the blueprints disappear? Do we run out of people to work in the factories and offices? Are all the services that people need for a happy life so well taken care of that there's hardly any more need for the services?
 
In other words: What changes take place in the real world to cause the crisis? Nothing, necessarily. The crisis is usually caused by changes in the make-believe world of financial capitalism.
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Israel's Homegrown Terrorists

Israel’s Breeding Ground for Jewish Terrorism
by Jonathan Cook
The words “Jewish” and “terrorist” are not easily uttered together by Israelis. But just occasionally, such as last week when one of the country’s leading intellectuals was injured by a pipe bomb placed at the front door of his home, they find themselves with little choice.

The target of the attack was 73-year-old Zeev Sternhell, a politics professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem specializing in European fascism and a prominent supporter of the left-wing group Peace Now.

Shortly after the explosion, police found pamphlets nearby offering 1.1 million shekels ($300,000) to anyone assassinating a Peace Now leader. The movement’s most visible activity has been tracking and criticizing the growth of the settlements in the West Bank.
 
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Piggie Wonder and Prop 2

Piggie Wonder and Prop 2 
from Free Range Studios 
Dear Free Range Fan; California's farm animals are dusting off the smash hit "Superstition" in a last-ditch, election day effort to end their terrible suffering and protect people from greed agribusiness. "Proposition" is the 2008 Farm Music Video of the Year and it carries an important message: Vote Yes on Prop 2 for family farmers, consumers and the animals.

Watch this hilarious new Free Range movie, produced with the Humane Society of the United States. Then if you live in California, make sure you vote Yes on November 4. And wherever you live, make sure your California friends know about this exciting ballot initiative. It looks like it has a good chance of passing, but the polls show it's a close call.
 
 
 


 
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First Shot of the Second American Revolution: The Battle for Wall Street

The Shadow of the Pitchfork: Elite Panic Attack as Bailout Goes Bust
by Chris Floyd    
The vote by the House of Representatives to defeat the Wall Street bailout plan is the first act of political courage that the Congress of the United States has mounted in the last seven years. The fact that it was due largely to right-wing Republicans afraid of going down with the sinking ship of the witless leader they have followed blindly throughout his reign is a delicious irony -- but the whys and wherefores of the vote are not important.
 
What matters is that one of America's moribund institutions has flickered to life long enough to derail a disastrous action that would have shoved the nation even deeper into the pit of corruption and ruin where it has been mired for so long.
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Two War Presidents Better Than One?

How Forgotten Iraq May Elect the Next President: Whose War Will Win the Election -- McCain's or Obama's? 
by Ira Chernus
In 1932, in the midst of a disastrous economic meltdown, Franklin D. Roosevelt made "the forgotten man" the centerpiece of his presidential election campaign. Far more than we suspect, this year's election may turn not on a forgotten man, but on a forgotten war in a forgotten country.

Even before the present financial meltdown hit the news, the Iraq War had slipped out of the headlines and off the political stage. Now, as investment houses totter and bailout plans fill the headlines, it will be even harder for Iraq to get major media attention. Yet the war remains just beneath the surface of the presidential campaign, and so is sure to affect the outcome in ways too complicated to fully grasp.

Think of that war not as one, but two currents, affecting the coming election all the more powerfully because they are out of sight, out of mind, and -- interacting in unpredictable ways -- out of anyone's control. 
 
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Reviewing Canada's "Unexpected" War

Book Review - The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar
by Jim Miles 
Afghanistan may have been a war unexpected in Canada, but a familiarity with American expectations concerning the New American Century combined with the fawning willingness of the Canadian military would make it more probable than improbable. 
 
In “The Unexpected War” the authors Stein and Lang continually highlight two motifs: first, the degree of appeasement towards Americans by the Canadian government for its lack of commitment to Iraq and its lack of commitment to missile defence; second the obsequious manner in which the Canadian military tried to ingratiate itself to its American counterpart, wanting to prove itself with the big boys.
 
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Bailout Bail?

Taxpayers to Bailout Wall Street?
by TRNN
Danny Schechter: The bailout will preempt any new administration from following through on promises.

 
  

Following the collapse of some the biggest names on Wall Street, the Bush administration is asking congress to pass a 700 billion bail out package to take over bad debts from risky and careless investments. Legislators are divided and many commentators feel this is just another dubious effort to bend the rules further. The Real News Network spoke to journalist and media critique Danny Schechter.
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The Second Great Depression

The Creation of the Second Great Depression
by Ron Paul
Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister.
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Sacred Swords: The Bottomless Military Budget

We Have the Money - If Only We Didn't Waste It on the Defense Budget
by Chalmers Johnson
There has been much moaning, air-sucking, and outrage about the $700 billion that the U.S. government is thinking of throwing away on rich New York bankers who have been ripping us off for the past few years and then letting greed drive their businesses into a variety of ditches. In fact, we dole out similar amounts of money every year in the form of payoffs to the armed services, the military-industrial complex, and powerful senators and representatives allied with the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, September 24th, right in the middle of the fight over billions of taxpayer dollars slated to bail out Wall Street, the House of Representatives passed a $612 billion defense authorization bill for 2009 without a murmur of public protest or any meaningful press comment at all. (The New York Times gave the matter only three short paragraphs buried in a story about another appropriations measure.) 

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Retaking Venezuela: Murmers of a New Coup

New Coup D’Etat Rumblings in Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
Since taking office in January 2001, the Bush administration targeted Hugo Chavez for removal. It tried and failed three previous times:

– in April 2002 for two days; aborted by mass street protests and support from many in Venezuela’s military, especially from its middle-ranking officer corp;

– the 2002-2003 general strike and oil management lockout causing severe economic disruption; and

– the August 2004 national recall referendum in which Chavez resoundingly prevailed with a 59% majority.
 
 
Other disruptions have occurred since and now may again be ongoing.
 
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Congress Passes Bailout Package in Wee Hours

Wash. Post: Congress Passes Bailout Package in Wee Hours 
by C. L. Cook
The Washington Post is reporting Congress passed in principle a bailout package for the troubled financial industry early Sunday morning.  
 
 
 
The so-called 'Bailout' is a controversial salve to the banking and investment sector, with no clear consensus on its effects on the economies of the United States, and beyond. Last week, Ohio congressman and former Democratic party presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich spoke in the house against the deal. Meanwhile, in the shadow of the Bailout, congress is spending the weekend voting on a plethora of contentious bills.
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