Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nikkei Shoots Up As Yen Falls--Japanese Hate Diplomacy Pays Off

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Japanese frontal attack on trading partners pays off as once again, Japan fends off all forms of mutual trade, making it either unsavory or physically impossible for anyone who is a competitor to do business within Fortress Japan. As I keep pointing out, reading diplomatic cables is very productive towards understanding economic plans for the future.

From the BBC:
Japan's Nikkei share index has touched the 15,000 mark for the first time in five years, as strong demand for domestic shares continued.
Investors have been inspired by signs of recovery in the economy, and a rally in US tech stocks has also helped.

Recent data shows industrial output up, improving production and household spending, and more people seeking work.

The Nikkei briefly rose as high as 15,013.24, before it slipped back to 14,872 at the end of trading.

Market 'breather'

Japan's economy has bounced back this year as a pick-up in consumer spending and capital investment has made up for a slowdown in exports, particularly to China.
Alarmed at the potential inroads the South Koreans and Chinese were making in Japanese domestic markets, the ruling party of Japan (with permission from the Emperor's all powerful Household Advisors) undertook a deliberate strategy of culturally and diplomatically alienating their rising trade partners.

Anti-Chinese and anti-Korean propaganda and lessons in school were paired with manga and news commentary that is inflamatory and racist. Then Koizumi deliberately gave honor to war criminals America unilaterally executed. The curious silence in America, the chief victim of Japanese machinations, isn't surprizing when one considers how easily they purchased Ronald Reagan's devotion.

Our own rulers and industrial capitalists are all traitors so seeing them enable or assist the Japanese in humiliatiing America doesn't surprize me. I happen to love parts of Japan's culture, I love anime, for example. Many animators who I admire are anti-militarist/anti-war. They tend to be humanistic and emotional, but they are only a segment of Japan, not the ruling class. They tend to be subversive which is why they appeal to me.

But let's face it: the industrial capitalists and the paramilitary nationalists have formed a fascist front and are in full assault on their trading partners including especially America.

From Xinhuanet:
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is not considering a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during the ASEAN-plus-three summit next month in Malaysia, according to the South Korean foreign minister on Wednesday.

"President Roh is not considering any meeting with (Japanese) Prime Minister Koizumi," South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said during his weekly news briefing earlier in the day.

But the South Korean top diplomat said he may exchange views on history issue with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso on the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-plus-three summit meeting in Kuala Lumpur in mid-December.

"In the case of Foreign Minister Aso, I will be able to exchange history views naturally and deliver the government's position," Ban said.

"I plan to say that the Japanese foreign minister's prudent attitude toward such an issue will be helpful to South Korea-Japan relations," he added.

However, Ban said nothing has been decided on whether he will meet with Aso. "I don't even know whether he will accompany Prime Minister Koizumi (to the upcoming summit)," he said.
Nothing raises the hackles of the Japanese fascists than a united Korea. It benefits them to keep Korea split and weak. Always, for the last 500 years, Japan has expansionist attitudes towards Korea. This is where WWII really began: in Korea, not Europe.

The Koreans will not get the Japanese to cooperate because they undersell the Japanese in Japan and closing down Korean businesses is vital to the Japanese fascists. So there is no way they will be nice to Koreans, ever.

From Xinhuanet:

An official from China's Foreign Ministry said here Wednesday that it is "impossible" for Chinese and Japanese leaders to hold bilateral meeting in the December summits in Kuala Lumpur due to current chilled relations between the two Asian neighbors.

Cui Tiankai, director of the ministry's Asian Department, said the relations between China and Japan are in difficulties because the Japanese leader stubbornly persists in paying pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the convicted class-A World War II criminals along with others died in war.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine in October, the fifth since he took office in April 2001, which angers China and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

The shrine visit "has severely damaged the feelings of the Chinese and other Asian peoples," said Cui at a news briefing on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Malaysia to attend the ninth Summit between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ninth ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK Summit and the First East Asian Summit.

"Under such circumstances, the Japanese side wishes everything proceeds normally as if nothing has happened. That is impossible," said Cui.

Cui said the trilateral meeting among China, Japan and ROK could be decided through consultations of the three parties, but the bilateral meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders is "impossible."

"The Japanese side should bear full responsibility for the difficulties China and Japan are facing in their relations," he added.
You bet! The Japanese aren't doing any of this accidentally. It is a deliberate slap in the face and the rising economy in Japan is proof locking out trading partners pays off!

I no longer bother with even "liberal" economic websites because the bloggers there are all "free trade" despite the obvious glaring example of Japan. Japan can keep their people employed and happy by severely restricting competition. The many levels of barriers, customs, rules, laws, and sheer nastiness is deliberate and carefully crafted. They will stop at nothing including putting a death grip on our currency, if this makes them stronger.

The worst thing of all is how we fell into this trap: our leaders in the GOP work for the Japanese. They deliberately run up huge deficits so the Japanese can do the currency exchange to keep the yen weak. Note how Bush cuts taxes, even today, he is cutting taxes. This helps the Japanese immensely. It increases their sales in America and increases their leverage over our currency which we have ZERO control over at this point.

When Greenspan tried to raise interest rates, this went agaisnt the Japanese plan so they shot it down. So the housing boom continues as interest rates are below the dollar's inflation, this contrary inflation is a balloon just like our asset market. The Japanese experienced this accidentally in the eighties and they learned that high property values is of course, they are enabling this to happen here for unlike the Chinese, they sell us high cost items like cars which require huge debt loads to purchase!

Even though the Chinese trade surplus with us is much bigger than Japan's, little of it is in the high-value spectrum such as very expensive cars. The Japanese are not selling us cheap cars, they are selling very expensive cars, remember! High profit margin cars!

As our own auto industry is rapidly dying, theirs is roaring ahead. Korea has successfully made much cheaper proto-Japanese style cars...I own one...appealing to penny pinchers like myself. I said to the Toyota dealer, "Even if your car is more efficient, the price is twice as high and one would have to drive it for over 20 years to make up the difference," well, you can see why Japan wants us to join in hating China and the Koreas!

Being sucked into the conspiracy, unable to even pry open the door to beef, we go down in flames! The Japanese love "McDonalds" but they eat JAPANESE products there, unlike any other places, the food isn't processed in America and shipped there, it has to be made there, this is why Koizumi pulled buddy Bush's nose very hard and sneered he would not open their markets to American beef!

So, why can't real economic professors or news reporters cover this amazing and upsetting story? Why am I virtually the only person alarmed about the fall in the value of the yen and the diplomatic disaster unfolding in Asia?

Casandra was ignored, too.

Then there is this week's very curious news about Bush and the yuan: From Asia Times:
The November 28 decision by the Bush administration not to name China as a "currency manipulator" has disappointed industry and labor groups here, which say they will resort to international institutions and the US Congress for tougher action. The groups have been seeking an end to China's alleged manipulation of its currency, which they argue makes Chinese exports artificially cheap and puts US jobs and products at risk.
This article as well as the people quoted in it are clueless about Asian manipulation of currencies. I am assuming, I don't have the data to prove this thanks to the Fed making it harder to obtain, the Chinese have resumed buying American bonds and dollars, sinking our inflation into a locked box so the Fed can print oodles of dollars that won't circulate. So it doesn't matter what the relative value of the currencies are, the machine is still grinding along merrily which is why the Fed expects Americans to go even deeper into debt this merry Xmas.

Here is Bloomberg trying to riddle out what is happening: From Bloomberg:

Anyone notice how quickly ``overheating'' has been dropped from investors' China lexicon? In the annals of word-disappearance cases, it merits a mention.

``Not long ago, overheating was all anyone could talk about,'' says John Chan, managing consultant at Shanghai-based China Streetsmart Inc. ``Now, fears of China getting too hot rarely come up.''

Give credit where it's due: Chinese officials seem to be pulling off an orderly deflating of their nation's economic bubble. Along with this year's deftly handled 2.1 percent revaluation of the yuan, the feat suggests leaders in Beijing know what they are doing.

The risk is that China may be flirting with the opposite of overheating: deflation.

Sound like a reach? Not to economists such as Andy Xie of Morgan Stanley. He's eyeing a scenario in which Asia's No. 2 economy experiences falling prices as soon as next year. The reason: overcapacity. China is still producing too much cement, aluminum, textiles and other goods. It's also constructing too many factories, buildings and resorts.
So why is Japan, the most likely place for China to sell increasingly cheap goods to, a closed door? Note that Japan isn't being flooded with cheap Chinese goods! Is the yen strong against the yuan?

Hahaha! Talk about bizarre! The Japanese endured years of depression when the yen was strong under Clinton rather than open their markets to American competition and now, sucking America dry, they end deflation to keep Chinese from underselling them. This means making Chinese goods artificially expensive by deflating the value of the yen, this game is very destructive and usually ends with a war of some sort. In this case, probably WWIII.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Corruption Charges Brings Down Canadian Government

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Prime Minister Martin of Canada is brought down by corruption charges. New elections in Canada. So, I ask, why not here, too? The mountain of GOP corruption literally stinks to high heaven!

From Yahoo:
Canadian politicians will hit the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.

Monday's loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet will continue to govern until then.

The Conservative Party teamed up with the New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties to bring down the government, claiming the ruling Liberal Party had lost its moral authority. Recent polls have given the Liberals a slight lead over the Conservatives, with the New Democrats in third place.

The same surveys suggest the Bloc Quebecois would sweep the French-speaking province of Quebec, making a majority government unlikely no matter which party wins the most seats.
Across the planet, in countries with real elections, the populace is very divided. This, I would suggest, is due to globalization of capitalism and free trade. The more the trade is removed from domestic controls, the more divided the government becomes. Canada's main trading partner, the USA, has a huge trade deficit with Canada. At the same time, the gargantuan appetite for energy and raw materials keeps this trade imbalance running. The Canadians, unlike the Japanese and Chinese, are not playing games with us, it is just that they are few and we are many and we produce virtually nothing to trade now. What we want now is to control trade with Canada so we can have protectionism while we go about other countries demanding free trade!

All governments are being corrupted by the churning trade issues. Governments strive to corrupt other governments. Businesses know the golden rule is gold rules. So it is no surprize to see corruption issues all over the place. Except for America....Until this year. Now, we have a plethora of corruption investigations which are, unlike the Clinton ones, very serious since unlike in the Clinton years when our economy was doing rather well and our government was cleaning up the budget messes created by corrupt Reagan and Bush terms, we enjoyed relatively good governance.

We know we have a corrupt government now because the number of lobbyists and the money they spend has absolutely mushroomed. We stagger from one economic mess like Enron cutting energy off to California, plunging the nation into a recession, the oil companies overcharging grossly during a hurricane emergency and the roaring budget deficits and massive corruption in Iraq bleeding a quarter trillion from our future, this spiral down into the economic pit of bankruptcy has to be terminated....TODAY.

Here is one example of a festering scandal that has finally taken down a corrupt GOP pro-war hack who milked the Pentagon for his own enrichment: From the LA Times:
A tearful, trembling Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe) resigned Monday after pleading guilty to receiving $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors and evading more than $1 million in taxes.

The money involved makes Cunningham's the largest bribery case since several members of Congress were convicted of the crime in the early 1980s.
There is the developing Abramoff bribes business which is slowly moving through the Justice system. This one is going to take down nearly all the top GOP leadership in the House and Senate! Frist sold his family stock illegally, another scandal. Grasping for dollars is leading to grasping at straws. Then there is Cheney, the Beast of Scandals to Come. Like a giant toad, he squats in the middle of this mess. He should be arrested, quickly.

For we can't afford to wait for another three years, this means at least another TRILLION in red ink! Gads! We passed the $8 trillion mark last month, we can't pass yet another one! Fixing this will take more than a year! Time is running out rapidly.

The cumbersome method we have is impeachment and driving a government into bankruptcy because a President and his cronies encourage corruption is a number one reason to impeach. The fact that Bush can't run our economy is all the reason I need to impeach him. Impeach all the Republicans! They are the ones who preside over the budget mess! Under Carter, back in 1980, we reached the one trillion point in debt. We now are at eight and climbing. Bush has rung up more debt than all the Presidents put together, 200 years worth! This is insanity! I am alarmed but it seems that even the red ink bleeding in Iraq isn't alarming Americans sufficiently.

This is the fault of the press which hides the facts. They are so eager to sell stuff they won't talk about this on the front page. Every day there should be an alarming headline concerning this but it seems I must be running one of the few news services that does this. We Cassandras are basically ignored by the general public but I fear, not for long.

Our particular party is nearly over. The advertisers in the mainstream media desperately wanted good news stories after Thanksgiving so they had emergency panic sales which produced zero profits. The media went along with the hoax, and it was all a hoax, trumpetting the tales of estatic customers rushing to snatch what were basically give aways. Now that sober reality has set in, the real bad news is taking an economic toll as it ought to.

I liken this to a weather service lying about storms, predicting pleasant weather right before a hurricane or line of tornadoes hit. It is a criminal act to deceive people.

Blair deceived the British people. He openly lied about nearly everything having to do with their personal security. His lies have killed people including a government official who committed suicide after being reamed out by Blair's gang of thugs. He then went on to destroy one of the few good news services in the world, the BBC, and muzzled them until this fall when his dropping popularity reinvigorated real news gathering again.

I applaud Canada for having a real democracy. I look forwards to their election and hope everyone votes. I wish the jerry-rigged Constitution we coughed up didn't happen that way, but we had to endorse and protect slavery so we got stuck with clumsy system which is hard to change once entrenched powers take over using our electorial college and rigid election schedules.

This means our rulers can contentedly loot for at least four years at a time and look at it! Just this week, the GOP tried to pass more tax cuts for the rich even as we bleed red ink like a decapitated prisoner of rebels in Iraq.

Arrest them all. Have real elections. Let's sing "O, Canada"!

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Japanese Purchase of American Bonds Drives Value of Yen Even Lower

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Japan's stockmarket is up, their trade surplus with America is up, they are opening more assembly plants in America to keep their customer base quiet while they carefully exclude American products from Japan. The exchange rate is again becoming so stupid that it pays Japanese to go to America to buy Japanese goods. This impossible situation is even worse today with the yen falling rapidly in value despite the obvious economic imbalances in Japan's favor.

From Yahoo:
Japanese stocks opened higher Monday following gains on Wall Street last week. The dollar was up.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 63.29 points, or 0.43 percent, to 14,847.58 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange shortly after the open. The index on Friday gained 41.71 points, or 0.28 percent, to finish at 14,784.29, its highest since December 2000, marking seven straight sessions of gains.

The broader TOPIX index was up 5.48 points, or 0.36 percent, at 1,535.15 points early Monday.

Technology and exporter blue chips were mostly higher, with major banks narrowly mixed.
Duh. Exporter stocks are the key here. They export mostly finished products. If they have factories in America, they export all the parts and such and can squeak under the auto export thresholds. Also, thanks to the collapse of our unions, American labor is becoming cheaper and cheaper.
Wall Street ended with moderate gains Friday, extending a November rally in light post-Thanksgiving trading amid signs of a decent start to the busy holiday shopping season. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 15.53, or 0.14 percent, to 10,931.62, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 3.03, or 0.13 percent, to 2,263.01.

In currency trading, the dollar was trading at 119.73 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market early Monday, up 0.11 yen from late Friday in New York. The euro fell to $1.1703 from $1.1713 late Friday in New York.
First, the big sales day that boosted stocks was a fake enterprise. Call it Potemkin Shopping Spree, they practically gave away all sorts of stuff....Much of it made in China or Japan! It didn't help our manufacturing base at all nor did it bode well for our terrible trade deficit. It points to seriously bad future problems.

The dollar/yen mess worsens. The Japanese will not let go of our economic throats, they will debase their currency and run up prices at home rather than cut on export power. Under Clinton, we forced the yen to a more realistic 100 yen to the dollar but they are busy returning it to the hacylon days of 130 yen to the dollar. Already, we are pushing on 120 yen to the dollar.

I remember four years ago when the trade deficit was half of what it is today, Bush and his Treasury agents were boasting they would cut it in half by dropping the value of the dollar vis a vis the yen so 95 yen buys a dollar. Instead, thanks to our budget deficit, we have to send trillions to Japan to be isolated from the financial markets. Because of this, the Japanese yen becomes cheaper and cheaper.

From Nouriel Roubini and David Backus' Macroeconomics lectures:

The Classical theory of exchange rates is basically the quantity theory of money and the theory of purchasing power parity, or PPP, which we looked at in Chapter 3 of these lectures. The first ingredient is the quantity theory, which tells us that prices of goods reflect stocks of money:

P = MV/Y

Pf = Mf Vf /Yf
The "f" stands for "fucked".

Here is an older article about our nearly invisible car sales in Japan: From Auto News:
Here we go again. It seems like I'm frequently cast in the role, or rather cast myself because no one else is doing it, of trashing conventional wisdom. Especially as it applies to matters automotive. Let's take the common belief that you can't give away American cars in Japan. This wisdom, usually passed on to journalists by Japanese auto companies or government officials, holds that (1) American quality is unacceptable to Japanese customers, (2) Americans are really stupid to think Japanese would buy left-hand drive cars in a right-hand-drive autoscape, (3) American cars are too overpriced by the time they are homologated to meet Japanese regulations and (4) they are just too big for narrow Japanese streets not to mention the necessity of having a parking space where land is precious. I have heard myself that the only Japanese who would dare to drive an American car is a gangster, a racketeer. Everyone looks down upon them as the dregs of society, so no respectable Japanese would think of driving an American car and having their neighbors and relatives think they were low-lifes. Indeed, the new-car sales statistics reported by Chrysler, Ford, and GM cars in Japan are so close to zilch that no one even bothers to question this conventional wisdom,
This is insanity. At no point did our government lay down the law of "free trade" to force open Japanese markets this time around. Perry had to go in with ships and threaten them to get them to open in the past and this should have happened recently but instead, Reagan was bargaining FOR the Japanese and Bush is too, it appears!

The attacks on China from Tokyo that Bush indulged in were due entirely to the Japanese who fear the Chinese market prying open their squirrely system they built up to exclude ganjin. The Chinese are so much cheaper, the Japanese rulers decided to risk alienating an important market in order to keep the system intact. So they raised the volume of anti-chinese rhetoric and kicked the Chinese repeatedly in the shins to rouse them into anti-japanese riots and voila!

They won't see any Chinese stores open in Japan, will they? The Japanese people will continue to live rather miserable lives, supporting the present system, locking out all foreigners if possible.

Here is more bad news for us and proof our trading partners are shafting us over "free trade": From the Progressive Policy Institute:
In 2004, the world's automobile plants produced about 64 million cars, of which 11.6 million were made in the United States. Americans imported 8 million more cars -- 3 million from Japan, 2 million from Canada, 1 million from Europe, 900,000 from Korea, and 650,000 from Mexico -- and exported 1.4 million. This year's total should be considerably higher. Sales to Britain, Germany, and Japan seem to have dropped in the first six months of 2005, but exports to most other major markets -- Canada, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, China -- are all growing fast. There is a strong case, though, that (with the possible exception of China) sub-Saharan Africa is America's fastest-growing auto export market.

American car sales to Africa have nearly quadrupled since the turn of the century, from under 7,400 in 2000, to over 27,000 last year. Based on early results for 2005, Africans may buy 50,000 American-made cars this year. Africa is already well ahead of ASEAN and South America as an American auto export market, and could conceivably place above East Asia this year. (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, Mongolia, and Taiwan combined to buy about 40,600 American cars last year, and sales seem likely to end 2005 between 50,000 and 60,000.) Africa is a smaller market for parts, but a fast-growing one, likely to approach $100 million worth of brakes, shock absorbers, gear-boxes, bumpers, and miscellaneous parts this year.
Isn't that cute? Africa produces no export cars. The big car exporting countries of Asia don't buy our cars. All the stories about why are hogwash. They always managed to not buy cars from us once they start exporting. Since China is following Japan's style of business, it is no wonder the numbers there are becoming as miserable as in Japan. The stats here make Japan look better than it really is because it is lumped in with China who still buy our cars and trucks.

Here is a good site concerning Japanese sales hurdles designed to exclude or exhaust competitors: From JAMA:
But last year's slowdown in the Japanese economy exposed the weak strategic position of the American manufacturers for all to see. Sales of U.S.-made vehicles dropped nearly 18% and were off even more sharply in the first quarter of 1998. This has once again raised the specter of potentially divisive and economically damaging trade disputes, as U.S. government officials and executives blame Japan for the decline. This study — based on an in-depth analysis of the Japanese distribution system and extensive interviews with auto dealers and industry executives in Japan — shows this would be a mistaken course for America. Specifically the study reveals that:
The following is all the usual stuff about how we failed one way or another but note the date!

This is when Clinton balanced our budget, the need for the Japanese money hole disappeared! So suddenly, Japanese didn't want to buy our stuff even though the yen was getting stronger and stronger vis a vis the dollar. Note too that this is when Greenspan decided to raise interest rates, too. The Japanese were supposedly mired in a depression even though their currency was getting stronger and stronger vis a vis the dollar. Obviously, they were in trouble since their entire premise for existing is to undercut American industry!

Now, all that is fixed, their economy is sailing along happily, we are hemmoraging red ink all over the place, losing factories, the Japanese are happily building more factories in America as they take over our entire auto industry. Bonzai!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Times Union Publishes My Letter

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I used to write lots of letters to the editor. Got published a lot, too, until 9/11. Then no matter what the topic, my letters were rejected across the board. Now, this last year, I started to pester the media again on occassion and so far have a 100% publish rate. Not that there are three a week like in the Clinton years. I recommend all my readers write short letters to the editor, they can't tolerate anything longer than two short paragraphs. Already, my intro is longer than most letters...! Meanwhile, the GOP tries to get through more tax cuts, a disaster if there ever was one.

From the Times Union, Albany, NY:
With $200B misspent, Iraq will only get worse

First published: Saturday, November 26, 2005
I don't care if all the soldiers we sent to Iraq love being there. We are going bankrupt keeping them there.
Already, we have misspent more than $200 billion on this ridiculous war. We have vastly strengthened al-Qaida and the Islamic jihadists. Congress is madly cutting school programs and loans in America, so soldiers can sit in Iraq. Medical care, housing and social services are all slated to be slashed, so soldiers can Humvee around Baghdad.

This wasteful war is decimating life in America. It is going to get worse and worse, the more this red ink flows.


Already, I got one obscene picture email concerning this. Rape, of course. Ta-da dear right wingers! Guy too scared to fight in Iraq, of course. Too scared to meet me face to face, boo. Got nice emails, too. Seems I am not the only soul in America alarmed at the high expense of this war.

So what is Congress doing today? From the NYT:
Republicans of all stripes want to cut taxes, but rarely have they been in so much disarray about whose to cut.

If House Republicans and President Bush have their way, more than half of tax reductions over the next five years will go to the top 1 percent of households, those with average incomes of $1.1 million.

House leaders are pushing a $63-billion tax-cutting package that would extend President Bush's tax cut on stock dividends, protect oil companies from a windfall profits tax and shield people caught using illegal tax shelters.

The Republican-controlled Senate, by contrast, has passed a bill that would cut taxes by $59 billion but ignore Mr. Bush's top priority, and that contains two other provisions that have provoked his wrath.

The Senate bill omits an extension of Mr. Bush's tax cuts for stock dividends and capital gains, which are to expire at the end of 2008.

Instead, almost half of the bill is devoted to shielding middle-income and upper-income families from the alternative minimum tax.
All the damn bills are for the upper 20% of America. It is just the far right wing one is for the upper 1% and the other, more liberal one spreads it to the white suburban minimansion class. Whoopee. The financial squeeze on the lower 80% of America is being dealt with via cuts to student aid, school funds, foodstamps and medicine. Isn't this charming? Even as we slid over the $8 trillion red ink marker towards the dead zone of bankruptcy, Congress passes tax cuts and gives themselves pay raises and loads on the pork. All government systems outside of death machines and graft are being starved to death. Meanwhile, we are told to frantically shop for foreign goods because this is an "economy."

This idea that we can't afford our government even as we expand our war machine's money eating, cutting taxes so we can feel richer even as we go poorer is like using credit cards to buy food and pay the mortgage.

No! No...Absolutely no. This leads to bankruptcy. The party is over, dudes. We lost the war. We lost our industrial base. We lost our minds.

Time to go cold turkey.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Just One Day's Shopping Spree And We Think This Will Be Forever

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Just one day's shopping and stocks are way up because everyone thinks there is a pot of gold here somewhere. I examine the truth of what is going on and why this day's shopping is a disaster in disguise.

From Yahoo:
The pre-dawn sales frenzy is over — and now the tally begins. Steep discounts and expanded hours drew hordes to the nation's malls in what merchants hope are signs consumer spending will be lively for the holidays. More people jammed the stores early, according to early reports, and more than a few testy shoppers scuffled in a rush to grab bargains, from notebook computers to cashmere sweaters.

Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Macy's, as well as mall operator Taubman Centers Inc., estimated they drew bigger crowds on the official start of the holiday season than a year ago. Lena Michaud, spokeswoman at Target Corp., which had a strong holiday season a year ago, said traffic was at least as heavy.
Every year, the discounts and sales grow bigger and bigger and the profit margins smaller. Comparing dollar amounts versus last year is a totally false reading of events. For inflation has set in, places where it can't be easily cut. To fill and run the big box stores costs more this year. To make up for this, no pay raises for the workers at any level.

Indeed, workers are losing jobs at an accelerating pace, most spectatular being Delco and now General Motors as well as Ford. This is bad, very bad. The high energy costs are lurking there right behind it all. The entire planet is cutting back on energy use and trying to keep the energy inflation out of the things they plan to export to America who is now running an amazing trade deficit. From Yahoo:
Heating oil and other energy prices are up to 40 percent higher than three years ago. That translates into bad news for Northern Hemisphere consumers whose budget is already stretched by a summer of high prices at the gasoline pumps — and into opportunities for those who cash in on the cold.

In South Korea, where a vigorous save-energy campaign is under way, the clothing industry expects a 10 percent rise in profits from sales of warm apparel. But not only manufacturers see an opportunity.

"We have seen a lot of thefts of heating oil ... stolen from private properties and construction sites," says Peter Josephsen, a police officer in Ringkoebing, 140 miles west of Copenhagen.
Half of America doesn't give much of a hoot about winter so they feel they can keep the spending expanding. In the northeast, we are buying...Things to survive a colder winter. Also, the bad news about declining housing values is only barely setting in. Banks are getting cold feet but thanks to the draconian bills passed by Congress, credit cards are pouring out the debt instrumens at an amazing pace now they know they have consumers on the hook for literally forever.

People across the planet will shiver this winter because we have decided to consume to the max yet again for our consumption is what is making fuel so expensive for everyone. In Japan, China and Korea, our main suppliers and inflation sinks, they can't manipulate their currencies out of this mess because being artificially cheap, they have to pay more for fuel so they are getting people even in seemingly "rich" Japan to stop the energy use and bundle up so they can continue shipping stuff to Americans. Oh, isn't this going to be popular in the end!

From the BBC:

Large parts of Italy's transport system have been brought to a halt by a nationwide strike.
The protest led by the country's three largest unions has also closed banks, post offices and government buildings.

The action by the unions, which have 12 million members between them, is against the government's proposed cuts in next year's budget.

After the morning rush hour, demonstrations began in squares across Italy, including Rome's Piazza Navona.

The political temperature has been rising here since the government announced its budget for next year.
Exports are down and fuel prices up. No nation dares to run a trade deficit like America's. It is worse, many have to import most of their energy like Japan, Italy or Germany, but they have to counterbalance it with a trade surplus with the only country running up the bill: America.

And this gravy train is doomed. Right now, we are simply churning out the dollar bills and shipping them out to everyone. These IOUs are being collected in the form of lost American jobs. The job loss is now so fabulous that if you look for anything made in America and not some off-shore "America" which they get away with these days, it is few indeed. Very few items.

Note how the Italians are dealing with the situation. They are being quite loud about their unhappiness. Of course, Italy always has had snap strikes, it is infamous. Germans joke about it, how trains seldom run on time even when they are not on strike, gads, look at the USA. No striking train personnell, indeed, no decent train service, it is in the state of "perpetual strike" as morale and service collapses year by year.
Protesting musicians will also be playing simultaneous renditions of Verdi's Requiem in cities across the country.
Heh. They should play Wagner to punish the Italian populace (opera joke time here).

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Washington Pest

Monday, November 21, 2005

GM Killing 30,000 Jobs, Workers Thrown To Sharks

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

General Motors just announced they are killing 30,000 American jobs, closing the factories and relocating them in places like guess where? I can't wait for Boeing to do the same, they will, it is inevitable now. Will workers wake up?

From the NYT:
General Motors said it would cut up to 30,000 jobs and close a dozen automobile and parts factories and distribution centers in the next three years in an effort to stem the company's billion-dollar losses.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Rick Wagoner, G.M.'s chairman and chief executive.
Rick Wagoner, G.M.'s embattled chief executive, announced the cuts this morning at the company's headquarters here before trading began on Wall Street. The company will offer early retirement packages to employee at the plants that will be closed.

Hahaha! This is what GM intends to ditch soon enough. As a junk-bond status company teetering on bankruptcy, think "early retirement" means anything aside from instant poverty? Hell's bells, the article doesn't note that the government insurance for these funds is in the red and unable to function anymore! Much less pay gold plated retirements for auto workers!

From the NYT:
Ford Motor Co., facing a deepening financial crisis, said on Friday it plans to eliminate 4,000 salaried jobs, or 10 percent of its North American white-collar work force, as part of a larger restructuring plan.
They decided to call the whacks a few thousand at a time. Like a leaky bucket, drip drip drip.

GM is in dire straits so they had to assure investors they will ditch all possible American workers so they can make money. Lots of people are making oodles of money using Chinese labor. This is the 21st century gold mine supreme. This is why Bush is alternately attacking and kissing ass in China! He and his buddies make money off of Chinese sweat and pollution and in return, they demand democracy and freedom in China.

I wish! Imagine the Chinese peasants and workers getting some say in all this! More than one capitalist shrieks in horror at night at this nightmare vision! Bush doesn't care, he knows he is a a liar. The Chinese people know this too which is why they ignore him.

From the NYT:
"The days when blue-collar work could be passed on down the family line, those days are over," said Gary N. Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "Where you did have automobile plants it was always looked at as an elite job. It was hard work, but good, steady work, with wonderful benefits and good solid pay, and you were in the upper middle class."

Now, with G.M. and other domestic automakers and suppliers fighting to survive brutal global competition, Detroit is planning to cut even more manufacturing jobs. At the same time, the industry is moving to rewrite or even tear up its labor contracts in a bid to turn itself around by drastically reducing both wages and benefits. Today, Mr. Roy and Gerald, 71, who once helped him get his job, are both preparing to make sacrifices.

Robert S. Miller, the turnaround specialist who became chairman and chief executive of Delphi in July, said in an interview in October that Delphi and the United Auto Workers would have to grapple with how much to take from the retirees pockets and how much from workers.

"This is a tradeoff," he said. "I can't satisfy what everyone would like to have."

[But Delphi is pressing for such large cuts from both constituencies that one top U.A.W. leader, Richard Shoemaker, recently called the company's proposals a "roadmap for confrontation."] Not only is the company seeking to cut two-thirds of its 34,000 hourly workers in the United States, it wants to cut wages from as much as $30 an hour to as little as $10.
Workers of the World Unite, eh? I remember when proud, pissant American flag wavers attacked any and all leftists who wanted a united front. They sided with the capitalists who said "We are on the same side," which is why communist China is taking all the jobs out of America. Why should they give a hoot? After all, we attacked the entire idea of a worker's state, didn't we, not that anyone had such a beast, of course.

But the ideology was capitalism is good for workers IN AMERICA.

World wages will level out which means the American empire's workers will be at the same level as coolies and peasants overseas. And we will not be able to afford the life styles we are used to now. So. Do we stop this flag waving and understand that free trade means trade unions have to be international? And this means working with people in other lands? A dangerous thing. For the capitalists will use the military and governments to attack anyone organizing anything that interferes with them and their buddies ripping off the workers.

This is why they hate socialistic Europe. They want to work us all to death and then kick our bodies out to sea for the sharks to eat. You will see! Already, we are doing this to the victims of the hurricanes who are being kicked to the curb in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone, burn Tiny Tim's crutch.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Koizumi Screams About Chinese Military

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

No sooner have the Chinese won this latest round with Japan than Koizumi begins to scream about Chinese military strength. How charming. He still won't allow American cattle to be sold in Japan.

Tokyo is worried about China's recent arms buildup but wants to build friendly relations to prevent conflict between the Asian giants, Japan's defense chief said Sunday.

"We are greatly concerned," Defense Chief Fukushiro Nukaga told the television talk show "Sunday Project," citing China's rapid military spending in recent years.

He also said Chinese military vessels have been repeatedly spotted in recent months near disputed waters in the East China Sea.

"We have to be careful and deepen our exchanges (with China) before these things actually turn into military threats," he said, proposing joint defense exercises and defense policy dialogue between the two countries.

Nukaga also urged China to be more transparent in its defense policies.
Hey, Japan could look at it this way: more heroes to put in their military shrine! Endless chances to visit this shrine, what is left of it when WWIII is done! The Japanese negotiate with fellow Asians by being insulting and snappish. They disrespect their neighbors and openly taunt them. When this diplomatic stupidity backfires, Japan jerks the American leash and sets our dogs yapping.

Only the Chinese muzzled the dog!

Easy to do! I have done this many times in the past. Once, a man wanted to intimidate me with his Great Dane. But he was mean to his dog. So every day, when he went to work, I fed his Great Dane and trained it to respond to my voice even though it couldn't see me. The day he unleashed his ferocious, hungry dog on me, it ran up, licked my hands, I petted him and then said, "Sic em!" The dog turned on his master and attacked.

Needless to say, the cops had to come and collect the dog from me. It got a better home.

Another man used his dog to harrass school girls when I was younger. I trained it via goodies to respond to my commands. He told his dog to bite me and it bit him. I laughed so hard, I nearly pissed in my panties.

See? To retrain a dog, feed it beef! And China, instead of stonewalling Bush's requests, bequethed upon him something they were getting anyway. Nice to attach it to his visit so the poppinjay could parade about with his pigeon puffed chest out.
Tokyo and Beijing have been quarreling over issues including undersea gas deposits, ownership of some islets in the East China Sea and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to a Toyko shrine that honors war criminals.

Koizumi visited the shrine last month, sending Japan's relations with China to their worst low in decades. Some Asian nations see his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine as a symbol of Japan's ambitions to return to its militarist past.

Koizumi and other Japanese ministers did not meet with Chinese officials during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Busan, South Korea.
Heh. The Chinese don't bother with visits if they can't exchange goodies. No treaties or joint friendship deals, no chats! The Chinese are blaming the Japanese for the collapse of the Korea talks. This is quite appropriate. Japan isn't a great market for China because of all countries, the Japanese believe the least in free trade. Why America allows Japan total access to our markets baffles me. This shouldn't happen. But then, the Japanese have bribed more than one American President and official. It works!

Now they have serious competition. The financial black hole the Japanese set up to suck in all our IOUs is teetering on implosion. The Chinese know they can't keep this going forever or at this level. So the Chinese encourage Bush to run up even more debts because they will cover it, not Japan! Heh.

In all this, we are the idiots. We should be running the show not running from boyfriend to boyfriend, asking for rings or wedding bells!

And Japan! Someone has to tell those men, you court women by being nice to them, not by abusing them! Why do you think the marriage rate in Japan is collapsing? Indeed, Valentine's day, women give men chocolates! Not the other way around. Talk about stone stupid.

Get a clue.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Old Boeing Contract Is Pretend Victory For Bush!

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Readers of this blog from day one know that I have talked about the negotiations for the Boeing plane contract for China from nearly the beginning of this blog. Today, Bubble Boy Bush got to announce "winning" this contract I knew we won six months ago. Read my earlier stories on this with updates!

First, today's propaganda story from the Telegraph:
President George W Bush was greeted in Beijing last night with the news of an aircraft deal that could be worth up to $9 billion (£5.25 billion), a welcome sweetener before his talks on human rights and America's ballooning trade deficit with China.
Bwahahaha. Damn, the Chinese are so smart it hurts! They sat on this for six months, waiting for the right moment to announce what this blog knew since before last June!

Bush went over to Asia announcing he was going to fail in all his negotiations. The Chinese knew they needed to please the enfant terribulus so they allowed him to announce what was already 100% in the bag already, on his little trip. This way, he can trot home and say, he is a great closer. An economic wonder boy! Wow.

Hahaha. Any Americans falling for this ruse deserve to be sold a clinker by a used car dealer.
China was expected to announce the purchase of up to 150 Boeing 737 jets during Mr Bush's three-day visit. It will ease some of the tensions over the trade deficit, which is projected to reach $200 billion this year.
Of course, other papers give closer to the real number: 70 jets, not 150 (gads!). And to understand the negotiations for these jets, let's go back to my earlier articles about this subject!

Boing boing Boeing by Elaine Meinel Supkis:
Har. Our good corporate entities are doing a great job for the Chinese. Boeing builds stuff for our military and in turn, will do the same for China! Anything for a yuan!

Currently, only 1.5 percent of the $35 billion in U.S. exports to China requires a government export license, the department says. Depending on how the new rules are structured, U.S. industry lobbyists say, the proportion could grow to more than 10 percent.

The Chinese invented not only paper money but red tape. Their concept of Heaven is a place run by bureaucrats who have to be bribed! How very logical. We have a problem. We are restricting not only exports but them purchasing stuff here like Unacol. So how are we planning to bring trade back into some balance?

Boeing, which this year won orders from Chinese airlines for 60 of its new 787 Dreamliner jets, said in June that it would use about $600 million in parts from Chinese companies.

The Bush Administration is still debating the details of the new regulations, and an intense lobbying campaign is being waged to influence the outcome, Bloomberg report

The ultimate plan is to get Boeing into a large enough contract and then wait a while and then make a nifty deal: they transfer the factories wholesale to China and get the planes cheap and can keep the profits of this contract while it is finished by Chinese workers. This has to be introduced very slyly, at least, they hope.
Geeze. Crystal ball time, no? My article continues relentlessly:
I have chatted about this plan before. It is very obvious now. Note this article:
US$6b deal for 50 Boeing jets in sight......Airbus hopes to clock up some 200 firm orders by the end of the year for its A350 whilst it is also pushing hard its A380 super-jumbo, of which it has sold five to China Southern.

Boeing has so far registered 261 orders for its 787, while Airbus currently only has 10 firm orders for the A350, which is expected to be in service by 2010.

To cater to domestic needs, China is also keen to build its own short-haul aircraft and so wean itself off dependence on Airbus and Boeing, the world's top major commercial aeroplane builders.

China is trying to develop a market for domestically built 70-to-90-seat regional jets.

The hint is there! Whoa. They finally said it! More: the plan isn't to confine themselves to their own domestic market. No way in hell. Imagine if they have clones of our jets only they cost one third to build? Hmm? Guess what.

Our trade deficit is going to really stink.

This deal is one honking huge trojan horse. Here is more news about the Boeing deal which is the same damn deal Bush announce today, not an old one, and my explanation as well as Chinese speculation about the real meaning of this deal:From another article by myself:
Last month, Boeing was boasting about landing more Chinese contracts. The trade deficit was declared much lower thanks to this and the news was trumpeted far and wide as if the Apocalypse Angels were blowing away. I was more dour and noted that the contracts can be easily cancelled and the problem here is the Chinese will eventually refuse to pay for Americans building what they should be building and the end game will be for them to demand Boeing build factories in China.

Well, as usual, I was right! The campaign to force Boeing to build the factories in China is now commencing!
n the CEO's office at Xiamen Airlines, one of Boeing's most loyal customers sits beside a photo of a 737 cockpit and describes the humiliation he felt trying to enter the United States last year.

Wu Rongnan runs the only domestic carrier in China that still has an all-Boeing fleet. As he takes a long draw on an English 555-brand cigarette, however, the 62-year-old Wu says the affronts he experienced on his way to Seattle in December were "a bitter pill."

To obtain a visa, he spent three hours in line at the American consulate in far-off Guangzhou and was fingerprinted, something he considers suitable only for criminals. Then, at the immigration counter in Los Angeles, he was treated rudely and escorted to a room for questioning, despite the invitation from Boeing in his hand.

"It must be that America is so rich that they don't want our money," he said. Wu's reaction is a symptom of problems that have compounded to erode Boeing's longtime dominance in China, handing the advantage to European rival Airbus in the world's most promising growth market.

Some of the problems are beyond Boeing's control. But others stem from the company's own mistakes, according to interviews with a range of Chinese airline executives, government officials, former Boeing employees and others.

After its longtime China manager left the company unhappily, a revolving door of executives were dispatched for short-term stints in China.

Translation: doing business in America is unpleasant and annoying. Homeland security means disrespecting Chinese businessmen. The lack of courtesy and calm is difficult to live with and besides, the food is terrible and there is a pea under the mattress. Boeing can't please them except one way: to build a factory in China.
Golly. Will I now laugh to death? All the pretty stories today about this great deal are poorly researched and the analysis is exactly one millimeter deep.
Everyone in Asia buys American aircraft as a sop to America so we won't interfere with them flooding us with goods. But China is utterly and totally committed to dominating and controlling the aerospace industry, the very first person they asked for when they opened up relations with America in the seventies was for my dad to come over and revive their training of students in physics and space technology! The American auto industry bellies up and sinks, shot in the hull by the successful Japanese, the Chinese move in to sink the Japanese auto industry but this doesn't interest the Central Committee nearly as much as the aerospace industry which they have had their eyes on for the last thirty years. This is the big kahuna, the whale they want to harpoon.

And to make our trade deficit look good, we have to assist them in this project. We are both Ahab and the Great White Whale. We hunted ourselves down and harpooned our own industry.
Even as our government arrests Chinese spies as well as other spies who sell aviation and rocket secrets we go over to China begging them to buy our aircraft.

The deal is to sell them all our top military jets....Secretly, of course. After all, there is a lot of money to be made that way! Drug dealers risk death and prison for the huge money they can earn selling drugs. Heck, Israel openly spies on us and is totally contemptuous about it and they are a client state, not someoone we need for business!

The Japanese run the biggest trade surplus in the world and they have played a clever game but the hopes that egging Bush into attacking Hu and Wen and enraging them failed utterly which doesn't surprize me, note the dragons in my cartoons, the expression is one of bemusement or even open mirth.

Maybe the plan is still to make them laugh to death, that has to be it, right? Hahahaha....(expiring)

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Federal Reserve Will Conceal M-3 Monetary Aggregate To Hide Inflation

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Stark memo with no mainstream press trumpets, the Fed decided they are fed up feeding us vital financial information. So they will simply hide it from us so we can't see how much money they are creating out of thin air.

From the Federal Reserve:
Discontinuance of M3
On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars. The Board will continue to publish institutional money market mutual funds as a memorandum item in this release.

Measures of large-denomination time deposits will continue to be published by the Board in the Flow of Funds Accounts (Z.1 release) on a quarterly basis and in the H.8 release on a weekly basis (for commercial banks).
So, they will still continue to show us large-denomination "time deposits"-- but they won't show their own contribution to this! You can bet in a year, even that will be hidden from view so the mooing herd of investors can't panic. You know, if you want to kill a lot of cows, you herd them in a large group into an ever tighter corral, smaller and smaller until each one is forced into the ramp that takes them into the slaughter house.

Restrictions, restrictions. Note the currency that will be hidden from view will be the euro. Can't let the Europeans see how the yen/dollar black hole operates. They must be kept guessing.

This news, and I look for this sort of news, slipped by like a thief in the night on 11/10 late in the day, the following day being a holiday and a weekend. This sort of bad news dump is what Bush and his Skull and Bones minions like Greenspan are addicted to doing. It is the "news black hole" they use when they don't want us to talk about something.

Google this information and up until today, you get very little.

Daily Kos caught this news:
First of all it's important to understand that the M3 report is the broadest measure of the supply of money in the economy.
Secondly, it is important to note that the M3 has literally doubled in less than 9 years. In other words, there is twice as many dollars out there than there while the economy has grown far less.
Lastly, it is important to understand what inflation actually is:
There is no inflation because of two forces: the Japanese have yoked the yen to the dollar in such a way that dollars will dissappear into Japanese government run banks to never see the light of day again, ie, it becomes a dead currency. It then morphs into loans, government and consumer, both way below the real rate of inflation. The Japanese have tricked their own people into believing they are in this tremendous depression which is a vast lie.

Japan has a huge trade surplus with the world. It is brimming with business. It dominates American industry even in America. So where is the depression? They aren't even cutting their retirement funds or cutting back on home spending. They are cementing over much of Japan's river banks and shoreline. They are doing just fine yet have only .01% interest rates.

This is insanity, of course.

Ever since Greenspan and Mr. Dollar in Japan discovered, back when the Bretton Woods Accords collapsed with the bust of the Japanese investment bubble, that the wreckage of that bubble could be concealed by "investing" in American governmental debts, it has been a fun ride, hasn't it?

Well, the numbers are insane now and going crazier by the hour. We passed the $8 trillion mark this fall and Congress is supposedly cutting budgets but they didn't, they increased the national debt even more, by the way, last night, after screaming at each other, they passed PAY RAISES for themselves, over $3000 worth! Way to go, Mr. and Mrs. Productivity! And they voted to continue the ruinous war in Iraq, too!

Further, during the Soviet Union dying years, they upped the value of the ruble by simply faking it, a ruble was set to be worth one deutschemark. Then the dollar fell apart in value and instead of buying 4 dm, it got only 1.6 dm. So the Russians discovered a gold mine as the forced people doing business with them to cough up the equivelent in dollars for worthless rubles! Suddenly, black market ruble sellers sprang up and the real value was established, in the end, at about 100 rubles to the dollar. Goods dissappeared from shelves and everyone wanted to sell directly to dollars instead of doing the lopsided exchanges.

The the Soviet Union collapsed into a financial heap. Just like we will in the end.

Aside from exporting our inflation into China where the goods return home, cleaned of dollar value, we have figured out how to tap the world of peasants to bring down costs here at home in domestic industries we can't export such as homebuilding, our big moneymaker this last five years.

We aren't seeing inflation at home because nearly all our homebuilders now are illegal aliens from Eastern Europe or Mexico (and increasingly, China). So it is cheaper and cheaper to build here. From CNN:
A raid by federal, state and local authorities at a Wal-Mart Stores construction site in Pennsylvania netted about 125 arrests for alleged immigration violations.

Schuylkill County Capt. Dennis Kane confirmed the raid to CNN. USA Today reported that the workers were working on a million-square-foot distribution center in eastern Pennsylvania.

Kane said immigrants who were arrested were taken to nearby Philadelphia. The county police worked in conjunction with Pennsylvania state police and federal immigration agents, he said.

Wal-Mart (Research) officials told the newspaper those arrested were employees of a subcontractor and that the nation's largest retailer has contracts with subcontractors requiring that they follow all federal, state and local laws.
It is pretty blatant now. Wages in the building trades collapsed some time ago which is why we are seeing a building boom. Cheap labor+expensive landrent=big profits for property owners. We outsourced our manufacturing while undercutting wages at home via workers who can't protest lower wages or even being paid at all.

Witness the ones in New Orleans, deported whenever they demand full wages!

Keeping the fiction of zero inflation going is getting much trickier now. I see prices in grocery stores climbing relentlessly. Building materials, ditto. The raw business numbers look great if you pretend there is no inflation, say, up 3%, for example. Well, this is part of the huge lie. That 3% increase in consumer spending is inflation. They aren't buying more, they are spending more for less!


I know I am. I have to stretch dollars more and more and it is pissing me off. People on fixed incomes are in terrible pain because the pretense there is no inflation means robbing them of their inflation hikes. The Fed already screwed around with those numbers by excluding the outliers of inflation: food, medicine and energy. This troika always shows inflation first because you can't evade them. You can avoid buying other stuff which falls in value as people stop buying them because of inflation in the essentials!

And free trade: gads! It is killing us. It is a total, unmitigated disaster. So of course, in China, Bush declares he will increase free trade and hide the effects even more.

When will we have our very own IMF riots? When? (After March 20, 2006, I am betting)

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Bush Propaganda That Asia Loves Him Collapses As Peasants Riot

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The American media put out stories about how Asia loves Bush more than South America. But peasant riots in South Korea shows this is all wishful thinking. Specifically, the peasants were screaming at Bush more than anyone.China cements inner coalition against the two victors in WWII, Japan and the USA (Japan didn't lose that war at all, it seems).

From the Washington Post:
Thousands of farm activists and union workers clashed with police not far from a meeting of Pacific Rim leaders on Friday, hurling bottles and swinging bamboo sticks at police who responded with water cannon.

The clash broke out about two km (1.25 miles) from the convention centre where leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies were meeting.

About 2,000 farmers and farm activists and 3,000 union workers took to the streets of Pusan to denounce APEC, the World Trade Organisation and U.S. President George W. Bush, who was among those attending the leaders' meeting.
Popular, isn't he? Certainly is the uniter we on the left always wanted. Has drawn people across the planet together in loathing and rage!

Bush and his entourage who can't tour anything tore into patriotic Americans at home even as they kissed Japanese ass, practically cringing on the floor, begging for bones from our ruling superiors. The Japanese are still pretty steamed we let their rivals, China, to have a bigger trade deficit than Japan currently runs. They aim to fix this except the imbalance already has destabilized Japan increasingly.

From Yahoo news:
Under government pressure not to choke off an economic recovery, the Bank of Japan policy board voted 7-2 Friday to leave its ultraloose monetary policy unchanged because consumer prices are still declining.

The board left the target range for liquidity, measured through commercial banks' account balances at the central bank, in the 30 trillion yen to 35 trillion yen range ($252.31 billion to $294.37 billion).

The board also left unchanged its monthly purchase of government bonds at 1.2 billion yen ($10.1 million).

Since March 2001, the central bank has maintained a quantitative easing that targets short-term interest rates near zero and floods the financial system with ever-larger amounts of cash.
Think about it. Why does Japan have too few yen chasing after products? Eh? Why?

Well, the dollar/yen/IOU black hole is running at warp speed now and no matter how many yen are engineered by the government, all of it is soaked up and stashed away instantly electronically so the trade surplus with America can continue. As American buying power falls, the Japanese have to reduce the value of the yen accordingly to keep the trade imbalance intact. This is the opposite of Weimar Germany and hyper inflation. This is worse because the ill effects won't show up until the entire spooky system collapses with a sudden roar.

Zero interest rates when energy inflation is raging is insanity. The only way to get around energy price hikes is to export the inflation into cheaper labor zones which happens to be....Ta-da, CHINA. This is why China's economy is roaring along right now. Unlike ours which has pretty much given up the ghost, producing virtually nothing, now the housing bonanza is folding, really nothing, China is doing just fine because of this labor sink effect.

There are obvious side effects to all this, easily tracked and foreseen: From Newsday:
It's bigger, faster and ready to throw its weight around.

When China joined the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum 14 years ago, it was the lone communist behemoth among a field of nimble market economies. Today, it's a leading actor in the annual forum that represents about 60 percent of the global economy and nearly half of world trade.
China is the largest export market for the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, six of whom are APEC members. While Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and other regional economies once focused on the United States for trade opportunities, they now look closer to home.
Yup. These smaller countries are being pulled into China's orbit. And this blog has noted over and over again, the tender loving care of the Hu/Wen duo wooing and flattering these nations. This is why American dimplomacy is so bad now: Bush can't help but come in, chin up, sneer plastered on his face, gooning around like a two year old with too much sugar in him, throwing temper tantrums, mocking people. He can't help it.

And we will pay the price. His stupid, Japanese egged-on frontal attacks on China sets the stage for China to humiliate him. Will they be as crude and simple as Bush?

Hahaha. Who invented "Chinese torture"? Especially the drop-drop-drop of water on one spot until the victim collapses?
The United States has welcomed China's increasing willingness to use its political clout to press neighbor North Korea on nuclear disarmament talks. But Washington has major concerns about Beijing's trade practices, such as its hesitation to revalue its currency against the U.S. dollar or limit the flood of cheap textile exports that the U.S. says threatens American manufacturing jobs.
Unlike Japan, changing the yuan by China won't change trade at all. The labor is still ridiculously cheaper than American labor! What American companies want is to import into China stuff made in our factories in places like Mexico. Not one American manufacturing job will appear because of currency changes.

This is NOT TRUE OF JAPAN. Japan's workers get paid at American/European levels! They need a cheap yen to make it appear cheaper than American labor! This is why the huge fiscal black hole opened up. Japanese need to buy American dollars to keep them scarce no matter how many we print and we can force them to eat all our red ink for the same reason!

This isn't going to end with all Americans winning the lottery. Hell, we just lost WWII.

And the Korean war. Which we asked China to fix for us and then today, kicked them in the teeth....Gads. This stinks.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Democrats Defeat Bush Budget Cuts For Us Citizens

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Amid calls from the Democrats to pull out of Iraq before we go bankrupt, the Bush bill cutting already meager funds to Americans was defeated by both Democrats and Republicans from liberal states. If we are spending money, we should spend it on good things for good citizens, not burn it up in futile wars!

From the Washington Post:
Legislation to fund many of the nation's health, education and social programs went down to a startling defeat in the House Thursday, led by Democrats who said cuts in the bill hurt some of America's neediest people.

The 224-209 vote against the $142.5 billion spending bill disrupted plans by Republican leaders to finish up work on this year's spending bills and cast doubt on whether they would have the votes to pass a major budget-cutting bill also on the day's agenda.

Democrats, unanimous in opposing the legislation, said it included the first cut in education funding in a decade and slashed spending for several health care programs. "It betrays our nation's values and its future," said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. "It is neither compassionate, conservative nor wise."
I do hope the mass media owners get scared. Already, all of them across the board are firing people and freaking out because they are losing their customer base. When all of them tried to appeal to only wingbatty right wingers, they went off the cliff and can't fly. Like a lead weight, they fall. So now, instead of reflexively attacking the Democrats, they report the news in a neutral way.

Well! Kind of late!

The Pentagon gobbles up a stupendous $450 billion a year. To patrol 75% of the planet and to keep in check 24%, namely, China. Of course, to pay for this, we have to go to China for money. Geeze. Anyway, $145.2 billion is less than half the Pentagon budget. The super secret security budget of bizarre things is another $44 billion! This is to protect us from Atta wherever he is! Like, the $25 billion we spent before he and his gang attacked us was doing any good, was it? Doubling it won't do squat, either.

None of this fixes anything, by the way. The Bush Budget Bills cut the deficit by pennies while increasing the money being burned in Iraq and by Homeland Security (sic). $400 billion in the red is nothing to crow about. Indeed, we will be eating crow if this keeps up. Already, just five GOP/Bush budgets have eaten up around half a trillion in Social Security money which we owe to ourselves which means, to pay for it, we have to tax ourselves, no?

You might say, this is a double debt since it is supposed to be paid out very swiftly once we boomers retire, hahaha. As if!

This boomer retirement dream will be a nightmare. We will all be in the St. Rita Nursing Home as the fiscal red ink rises. So easy to foresee, no? I will suggest the only reason funds to Americans are being cut is because no oversea bonds buyers benefit from money flowing to American citizens! Get it? Money for the Pentagon is spread all over kingdom come, our entire empire sucks it up. Money for security, ditto! Ask Israel who gets all sorts of contracts for HS via their fellow citizen, Chertoff.

Yes, spending on war and security pleases our masters. Spending on keeping granny from dying in the St. Rita Nursing Home pisses them off. They want her on an iceflow or drowning like a rat which is typical IMF behavior. Ask Argentinians!

And if anyone wonders why they set everything on fire when Bush came! Heh.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

GOP Congress Cuts Firemen's 9/11 Money While Giving Alaska $442 Million

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Today, to "balance the budget" and pay for hurricane Katrina, Congress cut $125 million in aid to sick 9/11 firemen in NY, told victims of the hurricane, no more money after Dec. 1st and then turned around and gave Stevens of Alaska a free $442 million with no strings attached so he can build his damn bridges!

Congressional budget negotiators have decided to take back $125 million in Sept. 11 aid from New York, which had fought to keep the money to treat sick and injured ground zero workers, lawmakers said Tuesday.

New York officials had sought for months to hold onto the funding, originally meant to cover increased worker compensation costs stemming from the 2001 terror attacks.

But a massive labor and health spending bill moving fitfully through House-Senate negotiations would take back that funding, lawmakers said.
Bush was laughing as he stood on the smoldering ruins yelling, "I can hear you!". His joy at standing on dead heroes while he is a total coward must have given him a big hard on, didn't it? Couldn't wait to bugger the firemen in the ass afterwards.

They asked for it. They booed Hillary and cheered Bush. Now I hope they put 2+2 together and see who is their enemy.

Congress is cutting all sorts of things, frantically. For example, they trumpetted that they cut Senator Steven's costly, stupid bridges to nowhere. But hark! From the NYT:
ongressional Republicans decided today to legislatively raze two Alaskan bridge projects that had demolished the party's reputation for fiscal austerity.

Straining to show new dedication to lower spending, House and Senate negotiators took the rare step of eliminating a requirement that $442 million be spent to build the two bridges, spans that became cemented in the national consciousness as "bridges to nowhere" because of the remote territory and small populations involved.

The change is not going to save the federal government any money. Instead, the $442 million will be turned over to the state with no strings attached, allowing lawmakers and the governor there to parcel it out for transportation projects as they see fit, including the bridges, should they so choose.
This is insane. They can't even do a timid excision without backing down 100%.

Arrest these clowns! They are thieves and fools!

This is an attempt at bamboozling people. They want pretty pictures of them denouncing frivolous spending while cutting aid to orphans and widows and firemen. But it is all just another GOPotemkin Village Idiot moment. Everything is cardboard fronts. Everything is fake. They can't help it. Desperate to cheat us as if they are selling us used cars heisted from flooded cities, they spin back the speedometer and lie about the little old lady who never drove it.

Speaking of which, FEMA stopped looking for bodies and now over 100 new corpses have been found by very unhappy people. Like, who wants to find a two month old corpse laying around? What is this, a third world country? China? Naw, China wouldn't be so callous, would they?

From the WP:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday warned an estimated 150,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in government-subsidized hotels that they have until Dec. 1 to find other housing before it stops paying for their rooms.

The announcement effectively starts the clock ticking toward a new exodus of Gulf Coast storm victims who have been living rent-free in 5,700 hotels in 51 states and U.S. territories under the $273 million program.
After spending HALF of what those bratty bridges cost, Uncle Scrooge Sam has run out of money and patience and wants to kick a zillion displaced Americans to the curb?

To do what? Does Stevens intend these bridges to be where they get to live under? Gads.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Now We Learn the Pension Trust Fund is Going Under Too!

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Nearly everything important is now running in the red, deep in the red. Today, we learn the Government program to guarantee pensions of companies that fold or relocate to China is now over $22 billion in the red. Worse to come, of course.

From the Washington Post:
The federal agency that insures the private pensions of 44 million workers said Tuesday that its deficit was $22.8 billion in 2005, as big airlines in bankruptcy dumped their pension liabilities.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. disclosed in its annual financial report that as of Sept. 30, it had $56.5 billion in assets to cover $79.2 billion in pension liabilities.
So the pension fund that is supposed to be funded by the corporations using it is now going bankrupt, too! What a hoot. Too bad, lots of workers will be tossed into this sea of red ink to drown! Of course, they can stretch their dollars by going back to work at, say, Walmart, or selling apples on street corners, buddy, can you spare a dime?

Everything is heading into red ink territory. Might as well rename the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, "the Red Sea" to express exactly how bad this sea of red ink has become! Some people play with numbers to make it look as if this is no problemo. Well,
wishful thinking won't float anyone's boat!
There has been an explosion in recent years in the number of big, ailing companies _ especially in labor-heavy industries like airlines and steel _ transferring their pension liabilities to the PBGC. With billions of dollars flying out of the agency's door, concern has been mounting in Congress and elsewhere over its financial footing.

"Unfortunately, the financial health of the PBGC is not improving," the agency's executive director, Bradley D. Belt, said in a statement. "The money available to pay benefits is eventually going to run out unless Congress enacts comprehensive pension reform to get plans better funded and provide the insurance program with additional resources."
Well, our kids won't have any pensions like their elders so that will solve the problem, eh? Put your money in...Banks! Yes, like in the 1920s! That will be there when...Ask Argentinians what happens to bank accounts! What if a do-nothing Fed chief refuses to raise interest rates because the Japanese won't let him, and money in bank accounts accrue only 2% or 4% a year in interest and investment funds go negative and the money in those 401k accounts become worthless because it won't buy a tank of gasoline for the car in ten years?

Yes, there are many merry ways to part people from hard earned cash. Ask the Germans! They can tell you how fast money can be stripped from accounts!
Traditional employer-paid pension plans, giving retirees a fixed monthly amount based on salary and years of employment, are now estimated to be underfunded by as much as $450 billion. That could jeopardize the retirement security of millions of Americans, lawmakers have warned.
OK, if this is happening, why are executives getting gigantic bonuses? Hmmm? Why are they rewarding themselves to the tune of trillions? The missing money is right in front of us!

Congress knows this. These same people who are "underfunding" pensions are certainly pouring money into someone's pockets! Ask DeLay! Frist! Anyone in Congress! The money is gushing to them!

And so, like with other currency or trade or war issues, Congress huffs and puffs for the media and then turn the taps on even higher! For this is a comedy to keep Americans quiet, to make it look as if these clowns are doing something instead of increasing the red ink flows.

At this point, since nearly everything Congress has say in is now running deep in the red EXCEPT for Social Security (which they tried to convert into a red ink enterprise, too) it is time for us to do something like clean out DC, a dreadful task. Will take more than a mop and bucket.

More like a giant vacuum.

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Bernanke Says He Will Continue Disasterous Policies Until We Die

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Today, Bernanke told the Senate he wasn't going to change anything at all, indeed, he was going to be passive even about inflation. He said he wasn't going to be "political" which means he is a naive fool and Mr. Dollar in Japan is laughing like a loon.

From the NYT:
White House chief economic adviser Ben Bernanke pledged Tuesday to run the Federal Reserve independent of political influences, a promise aimed at reassuring investors and central bankers worldwide as well as the American public. He also promised to move slowly on inflation targeting - an area where Bernanke and Alan Greenspan differ.
You can bet, everyone outside the USA is elated the disasterous status quo that is eating away the heart and soul of America is going to continue until America dies.

Great. Whoopee. What a relief.

Gads. What ails us? Do the corrupt clowns in DC, both parties, think we can do this forever? There is no pay-off, no downside? Has everyone lost their mind? Bernanke "studied" the Great Depression. Well! What did that loon learn? Eh? Since he lived his pointless life deep inside academia, he never had to worry about money, had everything on that ole silver platter, he is the perfect Ivory Tower Rupunzel. He thinks the red ink will never rise to his window. Well, it will. And then it will be too late!

His counterparts elsewhere in the world rejoice we will have another effete running our money instead of the sorts of people such as Japan has, men who work in concert with the ruling party to rule America, trapping us in traps we set for ourselves because we are greedy.

Preventing this is what the Fed is supposed to do and it is a very political job. Alas, to be popular and happy, all one has to do is go along for the ride with the rest of us! Bernanke will be riding in the back seat while irresponsible drunks drive our economic car off the cliff. He might remark on how similiar this is to his studies, oh my!

I wonder if he figured out how international currency games triggered the Great Depression when the premier currency of the world, the British pound, collapsed? Back then, America thought the dollar would be insulated. It was! It became amazingly strong, a nickle could buy a loaf of bread!

This is what "depression" means: dollars buy a lot in a depression only no one has them! Duh.

Right now, we have this Asian Ponzi scheme going with Japan that involves preventing inflation here by pouring fake money into Japan in the form of unending IOU's that get bigger and bigger each swing of this pendulum. As both countries juggle long and short term debt, each owing the other, this is what Enron did! Off shoring the losses (that is China's job for us!) and juggling the deficits in the books so they looked like positive profits, churning the money through fake companies so it looked as if it were circulating, earning profits...Enron was supposed to be the strongest of all companies! They could manipulate huge markets world-wide and even squeeze California for vast profits which dissappeared into the crazy quilt of deficit spending fake companies: this looting ended in a vast crash that nearly took down the American economy only the economic advisors for Bush, people like Greenspan and Bernanke, figured out how to hide this economic mess by aping Enron on a grand, amazing trillion dollar level for this plot has in a mere five years, loaded up more debt for America than ALL of our history from day one to 2000!

This catastrophe requires huge change and bravery and a total turn around! Not more of the same! This is insanity! It can't and it won't go on. Physically impossible. Bernanke should refuse this position if he is too chicken to tamper with the present rigging. If he wants to sail into the teeth of this developing catagory five financial hurricane, well, that is totally irresponsible and insane.

He is younger than me. He still should know better.

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Bush Bumbles Around Asia While Hu Takes Europe

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

In stark contrast with America, China sends Hu out on missions that have many good outcomes, the signing of trade agreements, bilateral cooperation, mutual educational organizations. This week, while Bush bungles over to China, Hu isn't even in Asia. He is inking agreements all over Europe!

From Xinhuanews:
China and Spain agreed on Tuesday to cement cooperation in economic and cultural fields as part of their efforts to push Sino-Spanish relations forward greatly.

The two countries will fully exploit the functions of the Sino-Spanish Mixed Committee of Commerce and Trade and try to enlarge two-way investment, said a joint communique released during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Spain.
I highlight "joint" because this isn't Xinhua news parrotting something. This is real.
They expressed a willingness to tackle frictions and disputes through dialogue and consultation and beef up cooperation in other regions of the world, Latin America in particular.

The two countries said in the communique that they respected cultural differences and backed setting up a channel to enhance mutual knowledge and understanding, which is considered conducive to cultural exchange and cooperation.
Both Spain and China noted the literal blood in the water when Bush traipsied through South America and both saw his drunken return with him staggering about, sloshed. Think the Chinese ignore this stuff? Heck.

Fox of Mexico was one of Bush's few supporters willing to prop up this drunk and he came home to an intermural spat with Chavez of Venezuela. Chavez is no diplomat but he is a sly fox and he baited the Mexican President in order to show how pathetic he is, calling him basically a Bush poodle.


And he is, of course. This is why he is increasingly unpopular in Mexico. The Mexicans have noted that Fox sent aid to America but America isn't exactly raising money to fix Mexico's hurricane damages! Indeed, we barely noticed and only did so because of so many Americans trapped down there. Not that they were happy, either. This requires fixing, doesn't it? And who can't dare show his face in public in Mexico? Hell, New Mexico!


Chavez is strengthening the case for replacing Fox with someone who won't be a Bush toady. Thus the little spat. Fox could have done something about this if Bush weren't one of the most hated men on earth but then, this is the whole problem. Bush can't go anywhere except Japan because everyone hates him. The Japanese don't hate us, they simply despise us which is different. Sort of.
Spain will open cultural centers in China and vice versa, according to one of the 16 bilateral accords inked during Hu's visit.

The two countries are ready to realize the goal that China will hold the Year of Spain and Spain will host a Chinese art festival in 2007, said the communique.

Under the circumstances of economic globalization, education exchanges and cooperation have significant meanings for mutual understanding between the two peoples, especially between young generations.

They agreed to encourage contacts and exchanges between local governments, academic circles, press agencies and folk organizations as part of an effort to expand the social basis of bilateral ties.
Bush's misuse of Spain as cover for invading Iraq led directly to the al Qaeda attacks which drove out the right wing government in Spain. The left, far from being on the ropes, is morphing rapidly across the planet. The Chinese now realize American style capitalism is bad and they are looking for other models and semi-socialist Europe intrigues them.

From the BBC News:
A Chinese metals trader is rumoured to have lumbered China with a giant bill after a disastrous gamble on copper prices.
Liu Qibing, a copper dealer for the Chinese State Reserve Bureau, has disappeared, apparently after betting wrongly that prices were going to fall.

Mr Liu allegedly agreed to sell copper he did not then own, expecting he could buy it more cheaply later.

But the price of copper rose to record highs, leaving him with large losses.
The Hunts brothers in Texas tried this with silver, back in the seventies. Same results. A number of Chinese studied American finances. The problem with this is, our finances are terrible but being a formerly wealthy empire, we could stumble along even though Enron's looting of California, for example, nearly brought down our entire economy, as it is, the debts incurred by reckless spending to avoid a short recession will come back and bite us very hard just as this foolish speculation in copper will bite the Chinese in more than one way.

Live and learn! Since no one will bail out China, they have to take the hits and keep on trucking. An interesting side article I found today is this: From the China Economic Review:
The head of a rocket and space technology company linked to Russia’s space agency has been arrested on charges of spying for China, the Federal Security Service announced. Igor Reshetin, director of TsNIMASH-Export, was charged with the illegal transfer of state-controlled technology to a Chinese company. China allegedly bought the Russian technology that formed the basis of its manned space program. The Chinese company is also Russia’s biggest weapons customer.
He wasn't spying, he was simply doing what Americans do openly: selling off everything to the Chinese for personal gain. Of course, China now is building a joint relation with Russia to do space exploration so this becomes moot now but eight years ago it was a different story but then, Clinton, an ace at negotiations and international relations, was President back then and Russia our buddy. The reason why the Russians arrested this guy is because Putin is not going to tolerate traitors.

A reasonable policy.

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