Issue 09 – September 2008

Current Affairs Essay
The Great Financial Bubble Scam: How Wall Street Plays Average Investors for Chumps by J. F. Miglio
Featured Book
Sunshine Assassins  By J. F. Miglio
Book of the Year 2007 (Nonfiction)
Fooled Again  By Mark Crispin Miller
Book of the Year 2007 (Fiction)
Dream of the Dragon Pool: A Daoist Quest  By Albert A. Dalia
Book of the Year 2006 (Nonfiction)
Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds of the Past and Present  By Richard A. Singer Jr.
Book of the Year 2006 (Fiction)
Hollywood and Sunset  By Luke Salisbury
Book of the Year 2005 (Nonfiction)
Bush on the Couch  By Justin A. Frank, M.D.
Book of the Year 2005 (Fiction)
Clearing Customs  By Martha Egan
Books of the Year 2004 (Nonfiction)
The Assassination of Julius Caesar  By Michael Parenti
The War on Freedom  By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed
Crossing the Rubicon  By Michael Ruppert
Books of the Year 2004 (Fiction)
Candle in a Dark Time  By Virginia Stuart
My Life: A Story By Jesus Christ  By Christopher Miller
The Others at Monticello  By Esther Franklin
Recommended Reads
My Angels Are Come  By Art Stump
Ghost Tango  By Janeen Ledford
The Declaration of White Independence:
      The Founding Documents of Transudationism
  By Kyle McDermott
The Naked Earth  By Jonathan Adam DeCoteau
Awaken and Arise!  By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.
One Time in Paris  By Wade Stevenson
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder  By Vincent Bugliosi
The Eye of Icarus  By Michael D'Ambrosio
Prodigal of the Pecos  By C.E. Edmonson
Dolphins Under My Bed  By Sandra Clayton
Hermetica  By Paul Kiritsis
Stolen Fields  By Jean Boggio
Eleven Roses  By Alexander Hernandez
What the Hell Is a Liberal?  By David Truskoff
The Trail  By Natalia Prentice
The Shadow Factory  By Paul West
Soaring Soul  By Sonja D. Szimon
A Cross Estate  By William Thomas Kinsella
The Woman Who Wrote "King Lear"  By Louis Phillips
Hot Issues, Cool Topics  By Sandra McLeod Humphrey
The Art of Conscious Creation  By Jackie Lapin
Presidential Brainiac  By Randy Howe
The Mental Environment  By Bob Gebelein
The Energy of Belief  By Sheila Sidney Bender, PhD & Mary T. Sise, LCSW
Definitions of Some Mathematical Terms for 11-18 Year Olds  By Brainard Braimah

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

My Angels Are Come
By Art Stump


www.clumsyducks.com
(Nonfiction)
Insightful and candid day-to-day journal of how the author dealt with and survived prostate cancer.

Ghost Tango
By Janeen Ledford


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Intriguing account of a female teacher in a male prison for violent felons.

The Declaration of White Independence: The Founding Documents of Transudationism
By Kyle McDermott


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Controversial examination of race, religion, and spiritual evolution.

The Naked Earth
By Jonathan Adam DeCoteau

mmpubs.com/catalog/the-naked-earth-book-p-174.html
(Fiction)
Award-winning story about an Iraqi-American photographer who seeks redemption after he commits a brutal crime against his fellow man in Basra.

Awaken and Arise!
By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.


www.planetaryascension.net
(Autobiography)
Fascinating, mystical life journey devoted to spirituality, self-discovery and planetary ascension.

One Time in Paris
By Wade Stevenson


www.amazon.com
(Memoir)
&nbsp An engaging and passionate account of a young man’s adventures and romances in 1960s Paris.

The Prosecution of George W.
Bush for Murder

By Vincent Bugliosi


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
&nbsp A powerful and convincing case against George W. Bush and his inner circle of advisors for the murder of over 4,0000 U.S. service men and women in Iraq.

The Eye of Icarus
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.publishersdrive.com
(Science Fiction)
Exciting story of an ambitious young officer who embarks on his first space mission that sets off a chain of events that not only changes his life but much of the universe
as well.

Prodigal of the Pecos
By C.E. Edmonson


www.pecosbooks.com
(Fiction)
Gritty Western tale about a man who returns home after many years to find the land of his birth embroiled in a bitter and deadly
land war.

Dolphins Under My Bed
By Sandra Clayton


www.dolphinsundermybed.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational memoir of how two baby boomers transform their lives by quitting their jobs and living on a sailboat.

Hermetica
By Paul Kiritsis


www.paulkiritsis.com
(Poetry)
Thought provoking collection of personal myths, legends, and poems centered on Egyptian and classical mythology.

Stolen Fields
By Jean Boggio


www.jeanboggio.com
(Nonfiction)
Riveting account of a family that held out against the government’s eminent domain takeover of their farm and how it shattered their American Dream.

Eleven Roses

By Alexander Hernandez
www.myspace.com/elevenroses
(Fiction)
Passion-filled story about a high-powered attorney who is forced to make a decision between a successful career and the woman
he loves.

What the Hell Is a Liberal?

By David Truskoff
www.erols.com/suttonbear
(Nonfiction)
Hard-hitting and insightful assortment of progressive essays and observations about politics and life.

The Trail

By Natalia Prentice
www.natalia-prentice.com/buy.html
(Fiction)
Thrilling, fast-paced tale about a young financial journalist who leaves Wall Street only to get sucked into a web of violence and intrigue set up by the world’s wealthiest power brokers.

The Shadow Factory
By Paul West


lumenbooks@earthlink.net
(Memoir)
An illuminating account of a stroke victim’s experience with global aphasia told through the perception of his own aphasic mind.

Soaring Soul
By Sonja D. Szimon


www.RaiderPublishing.com
(Nonfiction)
Personal meditation on life’s meaning and attaining spiritual perfection.

A Cross Estate
By William Thomas Kinsella


www.publishamerica.com
(Fiction)
Heartfelt story of a young man who follows his parents’ wishes instead of his own dreams, which lead him to the Twin Towers and 9/11.  Read Review

The Woman Who Wrote
“King Lear”

By Louis Phillips


www.pleasureboatstudio.com
(Fiction)
A great collection of strange and unconventional stories in the tradition of Borges, Barth, and Barthelme.

Hot Issues, Cool Topics
By Sandra McLeod Humphrey


www.kidscandoit.com
(Nonfiction)
Insightful primer on schoolyard bullying and how kids and teens can understand and change this destructive behavior.

The Art of Conscious Creation
By Jackie Lapin


www.theartofconsciouscreation.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational manual on how to consciously create personal self- fulfillment and
global transformation.

Presidential Brainiac
By Randy Howe


www.kaplanpublishing.com
(Nonfiction)
Six hundred historical facts and trivia about America’s presidents and elections.

The Mental Environment
By Bob Gebelein


www.omdega.com
(Nonfiction)
Probing examination of how humans can overcome their social conditioning, change their values and beliefs, and transform
the world.

The Energy of Belief
By Sheila Sidney Bender, PhD
& Mary T. Sise, LCSW


www.energyofbelief.com
(Nonfiction)
Easy-to-read guide on how to use acupressure to overcome negative beliefs and achieve positive goals in life.

Definitions of Some Mathematical Terms
for 11-18 Year Olds

By Brainard Braimah


www.mathsshop.com
(Nonfiction)
Valuable resource for students, parents, and teachers to make mathematics simple and easy to learn.

 

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

 

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.
• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.
• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news
• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications
• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data
• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites
• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group
• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 

 

The Great Financial Bubble
Scam: How Wall Street Plays
Average Investors for Chumps

I don’t throw darts at a board.
I bet on sure things.
— Gordon Gekko

By John F. Miglio

In the 1990s, Wall Street brokers told average investors to buy stocks and mutual funds in the high-tech sector because high-tech stocks were the next big thing and investors would make a killing with them. And average investors did– for a while.

Then the high-tech bubble burst and many average Americans lost one third to one half of the money they had invested in their retirement funds and 401K plans. Not to worry, they were told by Wall Street, real estate is the next big thing, so buy property and you’ll make up the difference you lost in stocks.

Which a lot of people did, buying properties they couldn’t afford with adjustable rate loans that should have never been made by mortgage brokers who were in it for a quick buck. But it didn’t matter because prices were sky rocketing; even average investors were flipping properties for big profits.

But then the real estate bubble burst when interest rates reset and went substantially higher. As a result, home owners couldn’t pay the higher rates and began to walk away from their homes. Also, those investors who bought real estate at the top of the market (including those greedy little flippers!) were now left with negative equity, so they walked away from their properties as well, causing huge foreclosure rates.

In the meantime, average American home owners who bought their homes years ago with traditional loans have lost anywhere from 20-40% of their home equity thanks to all the homes on the market in foreclosure. This phenomenon has hit baby boomers particularly hard because they had planned to use the equity in their homes for retirement.

Don’t sit around and mope, commodities brokers advised disenchanted home owners, put your money in gold and silver. They’re the next big thing! Their prices are sky rocketing! And they were– for a while, but as of this writing gold is down about 20% and silver is down about 30%. So should investors sell or hold? Is this the end of the bull market in metals and commodities generally, or just a temporary retracement with much more upside potential?

No one knows for sure, since no one can predict the direction of a commodity with absolute certainty (as the fine print warns on any speculative contract). But forget absolute certainty. The big players on Wall Street (the hedge fund operators, the billionaire corporate raiders, the big guns at investment houses like Goldman-Sachs) may not know with absolute certainty about the future price of a commodity, but they have a pretty damn good idea which way the price is headed when they buy or sell huge blocks of commodities on the open market. And once they make their move, all their friends, associates, fellow speculators and day traders will hop on board and help push the price higher or lower, which creates a sudden price spike. And this is where they make their easy money.

It’s usually at this point that average investors hear about the “big move” and enter the market because the commodity is “hot.” But by then it’s too late; the big players take their profits and hang average investors out to dry.

This is essentially what happened with the price of gold and silver. Gold had shot up over $1,000 an ounce and silver had gone over $20– until the sudden spike down. Now gold is trading in the $800 range and silver in the $14 range.

But here’s what’s been happening behind the headlines. Last month, when gold and silver took a huge tumble, there was no fundamental reason for them to lose so much value so quickly. In other words, the fundamentals in the economy had not changed very much at the time of the plunge: inflation was still on the rise, home foreclosures and layoffs were getting worse, and the political conditions in the world were still precarious.

There was one change, however. During that same time frame, the price of oil, a commodity that influences the price of metals, had also fallen about 20%. But that begs the question: What made the price of oil suddenly change course so quickly? Less demand? True, Americans were driving less and using less gas, but that was a gradual trend, not something that happened overnight.

Was there a sudden scarcity in the supply of oil? No, not at all. So why did the price spike down? According to a report by Martin Vander Weyer in the British Telegraph, the price of oil “has finally revealed itself not as the fundamental reflection of scarce supply that its adherents liked to claim, but as a simple, speculative bubble that was always going to burst.”

The same could be said for gold and silver. In fact, when the price of silver fell, there was a shortage (real or manipulated?) of physical silver on the open market (and there still is), and even if you want to buy silver bullion or ingots from metals dealers you have a long wait.

So wouldn’t that make the price go up? If we follow the laws of supply and demand that would certainly be the case. But remember, this is Bush/Cheney America, where black is white and up is down and the normal rules of economics don’t apply. So if it wasn’t supply and demand, then what caused the sudden plunge in the price of oil and gold and silver?

Well, if you rule out Satan, then the logical deduction is market manipulation by the heavy hitters and big speculators who sold those commodities short and made huge money on the sudden spike down in price. It’s a pretty good scam; technically, it’s illegal, but the truth is, there’s market manipulation of commodities all the time.

For example, as of October 25, 2007, the Department of Justice “filed more than 60 civil enforcement actions and at least 33 criminal indictments against individuals and firms that fraudulently operated multi-million dollar commodity pools and hedge funds. These actions have resulted in numerous criminal convictions and fines and restitution totaling almost $400 million.” And those are just the ones that got caught!

As a result, average investors get played for chumps and lose big time whenever the heavy hitters decide to cash out. But hasn’t this always been the case? Yes, to a degree, but from the days of FDR until the 1980s, there were much tighter rules and regulations and more government oversight in the financial markets, as well as in the banking and real estate industries.

All that changed, of course, when Ronald Reagan became president and his gang of free market crooks took over the government (remember the savings and loan scandal in the 1980s?) and made capitalism a rigged game for the benefit of the wealthy and well-connected.

Following in Reagan’s footsteps, the Bush administration has done its best to remove or ignore government regulation and oversight of the financial markets, thus creating an ideal environment for big players to create artificial price spikes and bubbles to enrich themselves and their friends and associates.

The question is, how long can the elite class of investors keep bilking the system before it collapses of its own weight? Jim Rogers, a former partner of George Soros and one of those elite billion-dollar investors that financial analysts love to quote, is talking nothing but gloom and doom these days and has pretty much given up on America as a lost cause. In fact, he’s already moved to China, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of other big players are already beginning to bail out on the good old USA and stash their cash in Swiss bank accounts and the Cayman Islands.

After all, they know the score better than anyone else. They know our country’s financial system is basically a glorified Ponzi scheme that is not only broke but over $9.5 trillion in debt. And this year there have already been runs on some federally insured banks, including one of the biggies, the IndyMac Bank of California.

Not a good sign! But are we in for a lot more bank failures in 2009? And can Americans still be confident that the FDIC will back their personal savings accounts if more banks go under and the system begins to unravel? Or will this be the next– and maybe the last– bubble to burst?

Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group
• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.
• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.
• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays
• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

 

 

Featured Book

A bone-chilling political
morality fable…

— Midwest Book Review

Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio

 

Buy Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio
Sunshine Assassins
By John F. Miglio
(Fiction)
Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

Listen to J.F. Miglio discuss Sunshine Assassins and other issues on
Radio Power Network’s podcast archives.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2007)

OR Book of the year 2007

 

amazon.com
Fooled Again
By Mark Crispin Miller


Every American should read this well-documented and comprehensive account of the nationwide election fraud that handed George W. Bush a second presidential election.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2007)

OR Book of the Year 2007

 

amazon.com
Dream of the Dragon Pool
A Daoist Quest

By Albert A. Dalia


An unforgettable tale about China’s best-loved poet-adventurer that blends magic, myth, and occult powers with
fast-paced action.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2006)

OR Book of the year 2006

 

amazon.com
Your Daily Walk with the Great
Minds of the Past and Present

By Richard A. Singer Jr.


A terrific inspirational guide to personal transformation and spiritual development that uses quotes of famous people and insightful advice for every day of the year.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2006)

OR Book of the Year 2006

 

amazon.com
Hollywood and Sunset
By Luke Salisbury


Witty and well written story about a writer from the East who takes a life-altering tour of 1916 Hollywood– in the company of D.W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, and Howard Gaye, an actor who likes to dress up as Jesus Christ.

 

Book of the Year
(Nonfiction 2005)

OR Book of the Year 2005

 

amazon.com
Bush on the Couch
By Justin A. Frank, M.D.


A compelling and insightful look into George W. Bush’s psyche, and how his deep-seeded fears, insecurities, and megalomania have undermined the safety of our country.

 

Book of the Year
(Fiction 2005)

OR Books of the Year 2005

 

amazon.com
Clearing Customs
By Martha Egan


A sinister, yet amusing tale of an ex-hippie owner of a small, struggling Latin American imports store who joins with her friends to fight corrupt custom officials whose harassment threatens to put her out of business.

 

Books of the Year
(Nonfiction 2004)

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti


Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion of the people.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
The War on Freedom
By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed


Riveting and well-researched expose of how and why America was attacked on 9/11, including information about faked terrorism and mass media manipulation by the Bush administration.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
Crossing the Rubicon
By Michael Ruppert


Hard-hitting, iconoclastic editor/publisher of “From the Wilderness” strips the power elite to the bone and takes a shocking look at the decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil.

 

Books of the Year
(Fiction 2004)

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
Candle in a Dark Time
By Virginia Stuart


Compelling, emotionally charged story of how a Danish woman risks her life to save Jews from Nazis during World War II.

OR Books of the Year 2004

 

amazon.com
My Life: A Story
By Jesus Christ

By Christopher Miller


Innovative and provocative story of the life of Jesus Christ told as a first person narrative.

OR Books of the 2004

 

amazon.com
The Others at Monticello
By Esther Franklin


Award-winning historical novel that explores the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, especially Sally Hemings and her children.

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