Thursday, December 29, 2005

Treasury Sec. Snow Blizzard: We Are Out of Money, Spent Over 8 Trillion!

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Treasury Sec. Snow warns us he is going to eliminate Social Security unless Congress raises the debt ceiling another trillion dollars to over $9 trillion. The GOP is spending over $500 billion a year more than we take in as taxes!

From Yahoo:
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow warned lawmakers on Thursday that a legally set limit on the government's ability to borrow will be hit in mid-February and urged Congress to raise it quickly.

Failure to do so potentially risks throwing the country into its first default in history, Snow warned in what has become virtually an annual rite as U.S. borrowing needs spiral.

"The administration now projects that the statutory debt limit, currently $8.184 trillion, will be reached in mid-February 2006," Snow said in a letter to 21 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate released by Treasury after financial markets had closed.
They waited until dark, eh? Can't have the sheep panic and run off the cliff, can they? And they commit the crime just before New Years, betting most investors will not pay attention until after Monday!

Hahaha. Fleece time!
Snow said that Treasury, if the debt limit was not raised by then, would have to take "extraordinary actions" to keep paying its bills for everything from Social Security to national defense spending.
OK, everyone, listen very carefully: they plan to steal all the Social Security money so the baby boomers can't retire! Got that? Shall I repeat?

The plan is to work us all to death. It wasn't accidental that they ignored the screams of the dying in New Orleans. That was the IMF/NWO/WTO plan for America. That is our future. All those elderly who died? That is you and me, babe!

From the Washington Post:

As noted by recent cover stories in Newsweek and Business Week, the first of the roughly 77 million baby boomers turn 60 in 2006. J. Walker Smith of the polling firm of Yankelovich Partners told Newsweek that many boomers "think they're going to die before they get old" -- a reference to one survey in which boomers defined old age as starting around 80. Business Week asserted that fifty- and sixtysomethings consider their "middle age a new start on life" to indulge hobbies, begin new careers or remarry. These portraits of vigorous baby boomers clash with another reality: Their huge federal retirement benefits may seriously damage the economy and American politics.

Our continued unwillingness to address this disconnect counts as one of 2005's big stories. We should ask ourselves: Why? After all, the need is well known. Consider the Congressional Budget Office's just released projections. By 2030, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid may cost 15 percent of national income -- almost double their level in 2000 and equal to 75 percent of today's federal budget. Left alone, these programs would require massive tax increases, cause immense deficits or crowd out other important government programs. We also know of at least partial solutions: curb costs by slowly raising eligibility ages and cutting benefits for wealthier recipients.
See? This is from a neo-nazi clown who doesn't do a stitch of real work. He bloviates and then lays about, sucking on his hookah and then reemerges to scold us about working.

These monsters are circling us like the sharks they are. They can't wait to say, triumphantly, "Well, we just had to stop the Social Security payments because there are too many of you!" and then force us to go back to work, cut medical care and in general, drive us all to an earlier grave while they live in gated communities, well fed, good doctors, full insurance, our ruling class will be oh so happy.

Well, if the average American is happy about this, it would be rather interesting to watch the much feister Chinese take over the planet since we won't deserve to run it anymore, will we?

Also, I track the data about finances and all year long, the neo nazis and Greenspan lied to everyone about financing. "The deficit is lower," they lied. They didn't say it was because of two things: all the big stuff was set "off budget" and Social Security payments were flowing in and the government was conficating them as swiftly as they came and sent them all to China and Japan!


So now we learn it wasn't really $325 billion in the red but over $500 billion in the red. As I expected. Each year under Bush and the GOP has been around $500 billion in the red and thanks to the recent huge tax cuts and corporate hand-outs, the deficit next year is going to be over $680 billion. Well, just remember, we hit $12 trillion, we die.

Yes, death. Like for real, not pretend. I would guess about 24 million American citizens will be forced into a death march. Families who have the income to prevent this will struggle to keep family members alive but quite a few people will starve/freeze/work to death. And all to pay for a stupid war in Iraq and to keep corporate America happy as they relocate overseas.

Or we can listen to the Chinese and Korean peasants. They seem to have a plan.
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Chinese Rulers Fear Peasant Power, Vote End to Farm Taxes!

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Chinese government just removed all farm taxes! First time in 2,600 long years, the yoke of paying for the ruling class has fallen on the shoulders of the mass of toiling peasants. Fearful of uprising, the government has decided to address the income disparity of farm vs industry. I pay a lot of taxes on my farmland....hmm.

From Xinhuanet:
China's 2,600-year-old agricultural tax will be rescinded as of Jan. 1, 2006, after China's top legislature voted on Thursday to adopt a motion on the regulations revoking the agricultural tax.

The motion with only 94 Chinese characters was voted favorably by 162 lawmakers and abstained by one.

Wan Baorui, former vice minister of agriculture and vice chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of National People's Congress told Xinhua that the abolition of the agricultural tax demonstrates that industry has outgrown agriculture to some extent along with the country's economic development. And the country ushers into a new era of "industry subsidizing agriculture".

Official figures show that agriculture contributed to 13.1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2004, and industry and tertiary trade contributed to 46.2 percent and 40.7 percent respectively.

Agricultural tax, China's most ancient tax category, started to be collected in 594 BC. From that time, agricultural tax has existed for 2,600 years in China with dominant rural economy.
If the countryside was quiet, this would have never happened. But the actions and riots of the peasants has proven quite effective. The communist party runs China and they teach revolutionary politics in school and here they are, the ruling elite, worried about peasants who are told that they are the real rulers.

Whenever workers here resist the rulers, they are chastized by the media and the government and much of academia, too. They are told over and over again, riots and insurrections are evil and good people kneel down and let the rulers kick dirt in their faces. Today, some more workers just voted to cut their own throats! Like the autoworker's unions, the airline industry people are cutting back, reducing pay, eliminating health care, they are all, across the board, in full retreat. All over America, workers are giving back hard won work privilages and even now, the GOP plots to cut access to overtime pay and other things of great importance to the labor movement, meanwhile, everyone is well behaved and quiet. No agitators are yelling, unlike the Chinese, they aren't throwing fireworks at cops or overturning cars and burning them, they aren't beating on the cops with sticks like the South Korean farmers and workers. Geeze.

Talk about a difference. We can see plainly that fighting back works. DUH. Since when has anyone wrest anything from any ruler in any other fashion? Our Founding Fathers are called that because they fought the King of England and won!

Taxs on peasants is so ancient, it is part of the art of writing, the peasant view of all this. Namely, the picture for "tax collector" is a devil with a tail and pair of horns (head is the square) grabbing a stalk of rice. So even way back, you can see, the peasants didn't view all this tax stuff as a wonderful time.

But patiently, they paid. When Ghengis Khan defeated the emperor of northern China, he wanted to kill all the peasants and turn it into grazing lands for Mongol livestock only one of the court prisoners he was using as a translator interceded and explained how taxes from these peasants would make the Great Khan filthy rich. So only (a horrible massacre) a quarter of the peasants were murdered.

The Japanese came in and tried to force Chinese peasants to raise rice for Japan so they could conscript all the males working Japanese farms into the immense imperial forces. Fighting to keep the peasants productive was as frustrating for the Japanese as stealing oil from Iraq is for us today. The Japanese tried to instill fear by massacring hundreds of thousands of Chinese but this didn't work.

Here is a photo of my farm today:

Note that the fields are fallow, though it is funny to see green grass instead of snow! For it is raining today, how bizarre is that! Anyway, I pay taxes year round! Yet my farm is fallow more than half the year. This is why profitable farmers use Federally subsidized water to farm year round in dry climates and why they are killing the smaller, northern farms off. The taxes we pay is a huge burden. I pay over $5000 a year on my small farmhold!

In France, for example, the government helps farmers out because otherwise, no one would farm since it is hard work and very variable, subject to the capricious whims of Mother Nature. The free traders are working day an night to end government aid to farmers and note the WTO rioters are nearly all farmers in the third world and should be farmers in the first world, too, for they are being dragooned into this folly just as certainly as the factory workers were snookered!

Time will tell. All I can say is, power to the people, may a thousand Chinese peasants bloom!
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Chinese Start Jet Fabrication Plant and Europe Launches GPS Test Satellite

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

China breaks ground for their first, Chinese designed and run jet fabrication plant. Meanwhile, Europe continues to develop their own satellite system by launching a GPS system of their own design. Many of these moves irritate American power brokers but then, they are the ones who have broken the bank here at home which is why our space program is floundering and our factories are leaving these shores.

Chinese airplane manufacturers hope to make a big splash in the global aviation industry with a new made-in-China regional jet that went into production over the weekend.

Production of the ARJ21 started simultaneously at factories in Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shenyang on Saturday.

By 2005, the Shanghai facility will assemble the finished planes out of parts produced in factories across the country, according to officials.

China Aviation Industry Corp I, a state-owned manufacturer of both civilian and military planes, set up a subsidiary - AVICI Commercial Aircraft Co Ltd - to make the regional jet, which it says will cost 10 percent less than regional jets produced by foreign rivals.
Many bloggers tracking China look only at the crummy things happening there. It being a huge country with a quarter of the world's population, it is easy to find quite a few things amiss. But to focus on them is stupid since that isn't the direction China is going.

They are going forwards. Look at who is going backwards. Even our nostalgia is backwards. Our movies are old stuff. King Kong and Narnia are WWII stuff repackaged with big special effects. Our cars we design are throwbacks. Everyone is facing backwards, it seems, without seeing what is what.

The last remains of our aerospace industry will be completely removed from America by 2012 if not sooner.

There isn't much left besides that, is there? This is why Bush was trumpetting the cynical Chinese jet deal, one which was totally misinterpeted by the American press when it happened, I called the shots correctly. Well, now we see the unveiling of the next step. Even if we compete with China, we will be forced to reduce prices drastically, killing the profit margin.

From the BBC:
With the Chinese economy expected to have grown by a further 9.3% across 2005, most economists now predict that China will rise still further in 2006 to fourth place in the global GDP list, easily passing both the UK and France in the process.

"For sure by 2006 China will become number four and by 2010 it will be more than Germany," says Chen Xingdong, an economist at BNP Paribas in Beijing.
It is much worse. Our economy is a hollow shell. Lots of money being spent not on building things that will increase our capitalist powers but indulgences. Sort of like building cathederals. It is a business but it is a net loss.

Building massive numbers of private homes that are ill suited for any extended habitation is a really wasteful enterprise!

Houses, like palaces, eat money and resources. The ideal is for people to live in tiny cells like monks did and work all day. Then it is pure profit. Sounds like the Chinese, like here: From Boston:
''Profit is what we want," said Liu ''Johnny" Jian Wei, 39, the company spokesman in Angola, sitting next to the bank of computers and like the others, dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. ''We can make a profit because we have an advantage over other foreign companies -- we work holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, most evenings, and we cost a lot less."

Meanwhile, the financial advisor to Putin suddenly quits. Seems Putin has zero interest in Friedman's Flat Earth American style business culture! What a surprize. From the BBC:
Economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said Russia was no longer politically free but run by state corporations acting in their own interests.

"I did not sign a contract with such a state," Mr Illarionov told reporters.
Far from American-style "democracy" (sic) spreading, everyone reads the oolang tea leaves and sees clearly, letting the citizens vote themselves endless red ink is a sure fire way to end up in history's garbage can, all the despotic rulers are looking to China for guidance. And despite our yeowls, China is a shining star to them, not the evil place we like to imagine.

For you see, the road to destruction is easy to spot. It is covered with red ink and red blood and our road is under 20 feet of the stuff. We lost our space program with NASA floundering due to lack of funds and our government is cutting money going to educate our youth in college. Meanwhile, the space programs elsewhere are flourishing. Russia singlehandedly now supplies and controls the International Space Station, China has sent more people into orbit than we have, and Europe is launching their own satellite systems, the lastest being the GPS system with a different design from ours and they will undercut our sales abroad by offering better service for less! Yikes!

From the BBC:

Giove-A will be lofted into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The demonstrator, built in the UK by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, will test key components in the Galileo network, notably its atomic clocks.

It also has the job of securing the radio frequencies allocated to the project under international agreements.

This requires Giove-A to transmit a sat-nav signal of the correct structure from orbit within the next six months. The SSTL team hopes to do it within a matter of days.

The Galileo project is costing some 3.4bn euros (£2.3bn; $4bn) in public and private finance. It is the biggest space project ever undertaken in Europe, and will eventually comprise a constellation of 30 satellites.
Note that Russia is launching this, too. We dropped the ball and the other team has dribbled away with it while our team stands inert, arguing about if it is worth even throwing a ball at the basket anymore. We decided to stand at the opposite end of the court and fling the ball with all our puny might and hope it scores.

Right. And how many times has Bush mentioned the word "Mars"? How about as often as he has mentioned his buddy, the anthrax killer.
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Monday, December 26, 2005

Congress Seeks to Cut Vet Benefits Yet Again and Shoppers Slip Out of Stores

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

More gloom and doom: Congress is worried about all the money flowing to victims of our stupid imperialist wars and so they want to make it harder for those welfare queens: sick or injured vets. And who votes for these stupid Congress critters? Also, the American consumer is fading fast thanks to inflation and flight of good jobs to distant shores. Fun.

From the Washington Post:
The spiraling cost of post-traumatic stress disorder among war veterans has triggered a politically charged debate and ignited fears that the government is trying to limit expensive benefits for emotionally scarred troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the past five years, the number of veterans receiving compensation for the disorder commonly called PTSD has grown nearly seven times as fast as the number receiving benefits for disabilities in general, according to a report this year by the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A total of 215,871 veterans received PTSD benefit payments last year at a cost of $4.3 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 1999 -- a jump of more than 150 percent.
Maybe Babs Bush can go to Walter Reed and say, "Let them eat depleted uranium." Geeze. They cut taxes for the very rich how long ago? Last month?

This really steams me since they pretended four years ago that we could cut taxes and go to war, an insane proposition. Now we have to tighten our belts but only if we are patriotic unlike the owners of those off-shore corportions and of course, Halliburton.

From the New York Times;
Many retailers hoping for a big finish to the holiday season instead had lighter-than-expected crowds over the long Christmas weekend, according to anecdotal reports, leaving stores to rely heavily on the next few days to pump up December sales.

Explanations for the lackluster finish varied: an unusually warm winter hurt cold-weather clothing sales, greater gift card use delayed purchases and higher energy costs discouraged splurges.
When oh when will businesspeople finally learn, if you spew or demand propaganda instead of intelligent analysis of reality, reality will bit like a Great White Shark. The stockmarket shot up on fake news. This cynical ploy set in motion by the big trading houses on Wall Street and Bloomberg, the mayor/owner of economic newspapers, will now leave the average investor,namely Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class Chump, out on the limb yet again. Think Bloomberg believes the garbage he sponsors?


From the Times Union, Albany:
Rising natural gas prices are not hurting just consumers and businesses, but also the power plant companies that make electricity by burning natural gas.
Natural gas futures are trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at roughly $12 per 1,000 cubic feet, nearly double what the price was a year ago.

That is costing electric power plants in New York, many of which use natural gas as fuel, said Gavin Donohue, chief executive of the Independent Power Producers of New York Inc.

"It certainly is a big dramatic impact, as it is for all businesses and consumers alike," Donohue said. "There obviously is no end in sight. It's a big impact, and it obviously impacts everybody's bills."
For ever-loving Marie Antoinette, in the name of all the devils in the Yale Crypt of the Skull and Bones, it was ridiculously obvious to me since last summer that this was going to happen. Dozens of cartoons expressed this obvious truth: we are in serious trouble on every possible level thanks to rising energy costs coupled with inflation and rising interest rates!

This isn't rocket science, this is simply, I don't seen to have Economic Pundit Alzheimer's disease which seems to be required of every paid economic pundit in America. Friedman gets his stupid books and columns sold over every counter in America and they are worthless except to burn in the fireplace when the money runs out for paying the fuel bills.

Note that I run this service for free and have few readers. This doesn't matter to me for this is just another chapter in the future saga, a big fat book called, "The Fall of the American Empire/ World War III". And I won't make any money on that one, either.

Probably will have to write it on clay tablets, or maybe paint it on cave walls. Gads.
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The Alternate Minimum Tax Is DC's ATM Machine

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Otherwise eager, the tax cutters in Congress can't muster the moxie to cut taxes to the middle class. The contempt they have for the average voter never ceases to amaze me. The ones benefitting from tax cuts are only 2% of the population! Amazing.

From Yahoo:
The alternative minimum tax is becoming even stickier — and could entangle even more taxpayers next year.

Congress is expected to recess for the holidays without an agreement on how to limit the effect of the AMT for 2006. While the AMT is expected to affect about 4 million taxpayers for 2005, that number will swell to about 21.6 million for 2006 unless Congress acts to lessen the impact.

Congress has said it will do so next year, making it retroactive to Jan. 1, but it's still unclear exactly how that will play out, since other initiatives, like extending cuts on capital gains and dividends, loom in the background.
They never ever index anything the poor or middle class uses. Never. When forced to index Social Security of be hounded out of office, they did so but after a few years, rigged the statistics by leaving out all those things the elderly must pay for due to being on a fixed income and not likely to be buying the stuff young people buy, now Social Security falls further and further behind, this year being a huge insult to all retired people since the hike was less than the health care deductions so everyone had a net LOSS. Congress scrambled to make it the same as last year but no hike to make up for the huge inflation in essentials.

So it is with the taxes: the GOP cheerfully and without much debate, in the teeth of a flood of red ink, drowning in red ink, cuts taxes to the rich, the corporate, the oil barons and Wall Street. But facing the rising wrath of the middle class which has seen the tax cuts of 2001 burn in the bonfire of government created inflation as the Fed pumps money and hides the results by refusing to publish any more M3 stats....Well!

Welcome to hell, dear Middle Class America! You all thought the fires and pitchforks would be reserved for Welfare Queens. Well, your welfare irks the GOP and they will crown you all with a crown of thorns. As they rip apart your wealth, simultaneously decreasing the value of your house and cars while reducing the value of the dollar, we will all kiss our pretend prosperity goodbye.

As a very long range bad news forecaster, well known at economic sites as the Cassandra of the Titanic, I assure everyone, in this matter, I will have the last bitter laugh as everything I have put on the web for years comes true, one item after another. Lord help us this doesn't end up in the Apocalypse as desperate middle class Americans run from one side of the ship to the other screaming at the lifeboats leaving, rowed by our politicians, desperately rowing away with the rich, to far shores, anywhere, as bombs rain down on our heads and the cities burn with riots and insurrections.


I have seen this happen to other lands. We have seen world wars and we know they can and do happen and that economic mayhem causes them as great empires teeter and fall in flames.

The fact that Congress can't just gaily go off cutting taxes they need while cutting taxes their owners don't want to pay, we end up bankrupt. Congress will pass this tax cut and "save" the middle bankrupting America. Will the last taxpayer, probably a waitress somewhere, please turn out the lights as you leave, OK? We won't be able to afford the electric bill.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

After Secret Trips, Cheney Emerges Into Daylight To Cut Funds To the Poor

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I hope there is a baby Jesus who will do something about this! Cheney, our resident VP Vampire, sneaking home after sneaky trips to where we are spending over a billion dollars a week, killing Iraqis, comes home to cast the tiebreaking ballot on the budget that cuts funds that go only to Americans. Obviously, the plan is to spend all our money warmongering, eh? Kill Tiny Tim time!

From Yahoo:
The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote.

The measure, the product of a year's labors by the White House and the GOP in Congress, imposes the first restraints in nearly a decade in federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and student loans.

"This is the one vote you'll have this year to reduce the rate of growth of the federal government," said Sen. Judd Gregg (news, bio, voting record), R-N.H., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, in a final plea for passage.
Cut our military budget by 50% and we won't see budget deficits. Heck, cut the funds to Congress and cut Bush and Cheney's aircraft and ground support. Make them fly in regular planes like the peons. And make them walk in public and use public transportation.

After all, if they are so honking popular, why all the troops and security and scrubbing away all real Americans whenever these bubble boy toys?

Our imperial empire is tremendously expensive to run and protecting the world's most unpopular emperor is ruinously expensive. Of course, like all cruel despots, to make the appearance of being fiscally responsible, has to attack the poorest, the weakest people in the empire! As Bush drapes himself with gold and purple cloth lined with ermine, he is telling the poor to go beg at someone else's palace, he hasn't a dime to spare for them!

Far from being a scrooge, he is proligfate in spreading the cheer for his fellow courtiers. More tax cuts, more spending on pork projects, the sky is the limit on seeking loans for one thing after another! To hell with the poor! Let them go to Venezuela for heat, for food! Are there no workhouses there? Ship them out!

Reminds me, Great Britain, when a vast empire, did exactly that. And this is how large parts of America were colonized! From Scotland, from Ireland, from the teeming cities in England itself, they were herded aboard ships and removed to where the Crown, living in palaces, didn't have to see or hear them except when they revolted or rioted.

The French tried this, too. Still didn't stop revolutions and insurrections from happening. The Russian empire shipped out the poor and troublemakers to Siberia and still were annihilated in the end.

Maybe Americans are happy with this Brave New Chickenhawk World. All I know is, I am not. And everyone who isn't must let their voices be heard, don't we? This is going to be one long, hard winter and is the beginning of other, harder winters. We can't just sit here.

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Honda Announces They Will Build New Tech Solar Panels

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Japanese company, Honda, announced they will begin production of a revolutionary new type of solar energy panel, the first factory will be built in Japan, of course, and sold only to Japanese first, of course. The Japanese always take care of home base first before reaching outwards. I explain why Japanese companies can afford to have many ventures and try new things.

From Yahoo:
Honda Motor Co. said on Monday it plans to start mass-producing solar cells in 2007, eyeing growing demand for environmentally friendly energy sources.

Japan's third-biggest automaker said in a statement it would build a new factory for solar cells on the site of a car plant in Kumamoto prefecture, on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu.

The company aims to generate annual sales of 5 billion to 8 billion yen ($40 million to $70 million) from solar cells once the factory's output reaches full annual capacity of 27.5 megawatts, enough to power about 8,000 households.
Japan has to import much of its energy that isn't water power or nuclear power. So the government and the business consortium that runs Japan have a very strong self interest in making Japan as self sufficient vis a vis energy use as possible.

Why are all the Japanese corporations expanding and doing so much research? Let's visit Honda's world-wide research facilities. Honda's research facilities are in three major countries: the USA, Japan and Germany. Note the symmetry here. The USA defeated, temporarily, the Japanese and German empires and then, in a power struggle with the Russian empire, we rebuilt the rival empires and militarily secured them virtually for free. Instead of ending this over the years, we extended this fatally as all empires tend to do. When we "defeated" the Russian empire by bankrupting it with the help of bin Laden, we didn't immediately retract our own military obligations and resize ourselves so we could devote those wasted trillions for military occupations and instead, invest it all in business research projects, we handed the keys to the future to our former military rivals, Germany and Japan.

Germany has had to cope with absorbing the mess of East Germany which has been a huge financial drag on them but at least they don't have to invest vast sums in a military system. Japan has no such problem being unified in all ways possible.

The Japanese, since they process much of the American red ink, have been able to keep interest rates way below world levels. The super cheap loans plus direct government grants, give the Japanese companies room to experiment and play around with future technology. So they happily build robots and rockets, for example. Meanwhile, our businesses are collapsing, contracting and squeezing themselves to death, paying back loans at a ruinous rate vis a vis the rivals in Japan who have it extremely easy.

These super cheap loans aren't accessible to us. They exist only for Japanese nationals. This is because Japan actually has people running it who think preserving the protecting Japan is their number one priority! There is no way they will allow Japanese workers to become fatally discontented! This would mean riots in Tokyo and other things and could bring down the business/government duolopoly.
Honda has brought the world a myriad of leading-edge technologies, such as the CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion), the first automobile engine to meet US Clean Air Act requirements. More recently, we led the world in bringing to market a fuel cell vehicle, the FCX.
Our ongoing efforts in research and development play a central role in helping us to create original, innovative products that meet both the expectations of our customers and the needs of society. The Wako Research Center focuses on fundamental research in such fields as electronics, biotechnology and new materials. Four facilities share the initiative in developing new products for tomorrow, with a focus on increased durability, reliability, and performance. The Asaka R&D Center handles motorcycle R&D; the Wako R&D Center is primarily responsible for automotive design development; the Tochigi R&D Center handles automobile R&D; and the Asaka Higashi R&D Center oversees power product R&D.
Note the directions Honda is moving in! They spend a lot on research so they can get patents and lock in control over future use of technology! Meanwhile, America tries to milk money from whatever we have left in our eternal fire sales. Company after company is trying desperately to raise stock value in the short run by cutting funds to research. Or farming research out to China or India.

As Americans get degrees in fields ripe for research, they can't find work here in America unless they hire themselves out to foreign competing companies. This means they end up with divided loyalties as our country fritters away its social base. Instead of protecting our shores, they must work at opening up our markets even more to foreign domination. As we give up being the inventors and become mere consumers, we lose in many ways down the line.

A dear friend of mine just earned his first patent for IBM this month. Congratulations, Van! He didn't get a degree in "Inventions" but we knew as he attended classes at the tech institute that he was a genius for figuring out ways of doing processes. We encouraged him to roam about freely, his tinkering we tried to reward. Verbally, we told him over and over that being able to see something new is a special talent and it was annoying, watching him try to build a career at first.

But then, when he got a temporary job at IBM, they began to relax the controls over him and allowed him to roam more and more and in less than five years, here he is, creating stuff! And I see many patents in his future. He is working for a company that is struggling to keep their research and development alive. It is very hard for them. Our government is handing out money for research but it is often for military stuff and can't be shared with anyone so it is like inventing inside a cave under a dragon's mountain.

Namely, only when the dragon emerges to kill do you get to see it.

Young inventors need to see each other and the work being done around the world. They need to chat, to look at blueprints (sic---now it is strictly CAD data!) and to muck around since creativity is very elusive, you need the right amount of sunshine and water and soil to get those blossoms to bloom.

Honda has announced they are developing robots to use at home. They have a light weight, inexpensive private jet ready for sale in the near future. They have so many things and what do we have?

General Motors.

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Toyota Races Towards Number One World Wide

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

For many, many years, Ford and GM and other American auto companies dominated the world. Thanks to domestic sales to unionized workers and white collar middle class, we sold more cars than the rest of the world put together. The sun is setting on American owned/American designed auto industry and Japan is colonizing our country, building assembly factories like crazy in North America.

From the New York Times:
Toyota and General Motors will be in a neck-and-neck battle for the title of the world's biggest carmaker in 2006, a race that will pit the industry's strongest company against a struggling giant.

Toyota announced in Japan today that it planned to produce 9.06 million cars worldwide in 2006, a 10 percent increase for a company whose plants are now spread across every major continent.

General Motors has not forecast its production for next year; it had planned to build 9.1 million cars in 2005. However, G.M. has announced it will shut three plants in North America next year, part of a plant to close all or part of 12 plants through 2008.
Toyota isn't closing plants in Japan. They are merely building more over here to secure the market here. They are increasing output worldwide while General Motors is shrinking rapidly in the USA. The plants GM is building overseas or in Mexico isn't a good sign, it is a very bad sign for, unlike Toyota, this means they are abandoning their country of origin in search of cheap labor and easy profits. There is no way Toyota would do this to Japan. At the very least, the Japanese insure that cars made for Japanese people are made at home, period.
And, indeed, some analysts said G.M. could stay ahead of Toyota, given the American company's expansion outside the United States. G.M., which now makes more vehicles overseas than at home, plans major investments in China, which it wants to make its second-largest market, behind the United States.
The pretense will be, these factories will make cars for sale to the Chinese by you and I know these cars will end up here in America. The cars made in Mexico are sent up north already.
During the third quarter, for example, Toyota earned a $2.6 billion net profit. G.M., weighed down by heavy pension and health car costs, lost $1.63 billion, and some analysts expect it to lose as much as $5 billion on its North American operations this year.

Toyota has long been coy about its ambitions to become No. 1, preferring to stay out of the spotlight as it grows.
Now why is that? Isn't that odd, not! The reason they don't want us to be aware of the growing power they wield is because they don't want us to do anything! Duh! Our industrial kingpinheads all do dumb things because they really don't understand or care to understand what is happening to the world. Efficient, well designed vehicles have been thrown to the wayside by many Americans who simply wanted fast, fat, gas guzzling monsters so they could feel like brutal bullies. Crowd everyone out, king of the road, me, number one dude, dude!

Our love affair with the gas guzzler/mega bubble lifestyle runs head long into reality and is crashing the planet earth. From the New York Times:
American emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming reached an all-time high in 2004, rising 2 percent from the year before, the Energy Department said, nearly double the average annual rate measured since 1990.
Great. Just great.

The Kyoto Accords negotiations just ended in Canada and we managed to mangle it all and even pretended we aren't so terrible, really, we have reduced pollution only this was all one big fat lie, as per usual these days under Republican controls. The Europeans and Asians want some sort of structure to cope with all this and we just want to guzzle to our heart's content. This is dumb because industries and countries that do curb pollution and prevent gas guzzling are flourishing and ours is dying.

The financial figures that has everyone so happy are dire. We now are in 100% deficit mode, running in the red within our companies, within our government, within trade. This troika usually ends up in causing a depression and this coming depression won't be a fun ride! The government, the financiers and industry owners all think breaking unions, dropping wages, suppressing or diluting labor will make them rich. This impulse to prevent workers from gaining any money or power always ends up in depressions when workers can't buy anything because they have no money.

Since Asia wants the American worker spending money, they lend it out to banks who then tack on a 21%+ interest and relend it to the fast fading workers who then go out shopping.

One reason the hurricanes didn't kill the only because a boatload of money was lent to us to tide us over and some of this was handed out to the populace at large who then spent most of it on Christmas-style presents. Many of the people surviving the hurricane wanted to feel better so they bought inappropriate things. Now they need more money and it is getting harder and harder to get the government to give it to them. So that boost to the economy is about to end. Starting cold, hard January.

The budget cuts to aid programs set in after January. The money stream flowing to the lower classes is rapidly being shut off. And with the new bankruptcy bill, it will never open up again, either, since one can't "start over again" anymore except if one is very rich.

Then the government steps in and insures rebirth.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Japanese Manipulate the Price of Gold

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Suddenly, today, the world price of gold which has been climbing rapidly ever since our government went wild with printing dollars and world oil prices began to sprint to the high heavens, fell. This fall wasn't mysterious. It was premeditated and deliberate. The Japanese temporarily stopped gold from topping $600 to the ounce. This is part of propping up the dollar so the yen stays cheap.

From Bloomberg News:
Gold in New York plunged 2.8 percent, the biggest drop in a year, on speculation demand will slow from Japanese investors after the Tokyo Commodity Exchange increased the cost of trading the metal.

The Tokyo exchange, the world's second-largest metals and energy futures market, boosted minimum deposits for trades to curb speculation after gold surged to a 24-year high of $544.50 an ounce on Dec. 12. Gold sold in yen climbed 18 percent in the five weeks ended Dec. 9. Tokyo gold trading last month was the most since February 2003 at 1.92 million contracts.

Tokyo's higher margin payments have ``pulled some of the speculative interest out of the market,'' said Paul McLeod, vice president of precious metals at Commerzbank Securities in New York.

Gold for February delivery fell $14.60 to $509.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day decline since Dec. 8, 2004, and the lowest closing price since Dec. 2. The metal fell 1.4 percent yesterday.
Every time there is some escape from relentless forces at work, governments redraw the boundries, reset the game and ream everyone out. Many people have been lied to about the ability of gold to protect oneself from currency manipulations.

I have always contended, this is a false hope for governments can and will and have ruthlessly dealt with people who have little or no faith in paper currency. There are many tools in the government's kit to knock down gold as a currency haven. This is why I don't bother with such things. You see, the only really safe investment is to organize with others to effect political change. Period.

Of course, all governments resist changes and ours is certainly at the head of the class in this regard. The seeming wealth of America is all fake. We have mortgaged our future and will pay through the nose for it and running off to gold when our currency tanks won't work.

One can avoid personal danger by avoiding certain things: houses that consume vast quantities of energy to be habitable, deep high interest debts, learning how to eat healthy and be as fit as possible and of course, be aware and alert and be able to step into the public arena and take a stand---these things are the key to a good future. This is why I am often antiwar. I feel, unless there is really good reason to fight, sacrificing lives and our finances on risky imperialist adventures is a bad choice as we can plainly see today.

Speaking of community exerting influence, in my Ford articles about the decision to cut off all contact with the gay community has not only backfired but forced Ford to backpedal. From CNN:
Advertisements featuring Ford Motor Co.'s eight vehicle brands will run in gay publications, the automaker said Wednesday, acting after gay rights groups complained when Jaguar and Land Rover pulled their spots.

Ford is not ordering those luxury brands to resume their specific ads. Rather, the company's ads in the publications will promote all of its lines, which also include Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Volvo and Aston Martin.
Kudos to Americablog and John Aravosis! See what he managed? Just using the magic of the internet, he forced a major corporation to change course. It is a small but significant victory and should teach us that giving up is stupid, fighting back is smart!

This blog isn't as big as Americablog but we are just one tiny vioce in the growing chorus of activists. The more we support such blogs and join in various actions including spreading information the mainstream supresses, our success at forcing the Downing Street Memos into the public eye in America is just one of many examples of how even this small effort on the web is possible.

We can, over time, win even more victories. I hope, a great number of them. Thank you, readers, for joining me on the web. Onwards and upwards! Have hope and faith in ourselves. We can win.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Consumer Prices Fall Because Windfall Price Hikes In Oil Drops

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Like naughty children, the economic pundits and professionals munch on the data and spit out bad results because they refuse to look closely at the numbers and closely at system dynamics. We are heading off a financial cliff and they claim there is no inflation just because oil companies stopped the windfall profits temporarily.

From the NYT:
A record plunge in the cost of gasoline pushed consumer prices down by the largest amount in 56 years in November while industrial production posted a solid gain.

The new government reports Thursday provided further evidence that the economy is shaking off the blows delivered by a string of devastating hurricanes. But analysts cautioned that the huge drop in consumer prices was overstating the improvement in inflation.

The Labor Department report showed the Consumer Price Index fell by 0.6 percent last month, the biggest decline since a 0.9 percent fall in July 1949. It reflected a record fall in gasoline prices, which have been retreating since they surged to above $3 per gallon right after Katrina hit.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose a solid 0.7 percent last month following a 1.3 percent rise in October. Industrial output had plunged by 1.6 percent in September, reflecting widespread shutdowns of oil refineries, chemical plants and other factories along the Gulf Coast.

The decline in consumer prices was better than the 0.4 percent drop that analysts had been expecting. Outside of the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices were up 0.2 percent, matching the October increase. Both months showed a pickup in core prices from benign readings of 0.1 percent in the previous five months.
So, once again, when we go through energy price hikes, this causes inflation and everyone recognizes this but after six months, the economists will all be back to their same old tired tricks. Pretending it doesn't fuel inflation and that manipulating currency values and interest rates will fix everything.

Of course, this doesn't work except in a very brutal form: people cut back on energy because they can't afford it and thanks to higher interest rates, can't afford to go into debt to maintain older rates of energy use! Ie: you travel less, are more uncomfortable or even freeze or over heat to death and everyone looks the other way.

Note that prices are going up, there is inflation. And the energy companies said they didn't have any windfalls yet the sudden rush of inflation is an indication they were charging windfall prices. They can't have it both ways.
In other economic news, the number of people who have lost jobs because of the string of devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes climbed to 602,200 last week. That gain reflected a rise of 1,500 jobless applications linked to Katrina and Rita and an additional 1,000 claims linked to Wilma, which hit Florida in October.
Gross numbers can conceal vital problems. As we all know, the red slips are going out this Christmas and they are mostly aimed at high paying, unionized jobs. The quality and type of pay and work matters a great deal. If we have a zillion more nannies and gardeners this isn't a sign of a healthy capitalist system if the number of factory workers and high skilled labor plummet.
Overall, energy prices were down a record 8 percent, reflecting not only the fall in gasoline but also declines of 6.1 percent for home heating oil and 0.5 percent for natural gas. Those drops still left prices higher than a year ago and homeowners will feel the pinch when they pay heating bills this winter.
You ain't kidding. Fuel bills are horrible. Everyone I know is very worried. For political reasons, Bush's Windfall Buddies in Texas decided to import like crazy and drive prices lower because they were terrified of Bush's plummeting popularity and talk of impeaching him and investigating them!

So bingo! Our trade deficit goes through the roof and we owe the world immense amounts of money which the Fed is printing with Weimarian madness. This is why analysis that looks only at one tree and ignores the forest fire is bang stupid.

This story has been delayed by 8 hours because my computer was malfunctioning and I went to the Apple store at Crossgates Mall in Albany which is hours away from my mountain and we fixed what was wrong, sort of. But what I noticed was how deserted the mall was. No hordes of merry shoppers. Every store had big "prices slashed!" signs up. The data for October and November don't show the real tragedy here for both months were wonderfully warm here in the Northeast, nay, the wind blew from the south, not the north, confusing migrating birds and many remarked that it looked like late spring, not mid November which is usually a dank and dark month up here.

Well, Old Man Winter came with a roar and temperatures plummeted this last two weeks and the last five days, record setting cold gripped the Northeast. It went well below zero here which is mid January weather.

The reverberations are already moving through the system, the world price of oil climbed again, imports of oil climbed again, all the bad stuff, up and up. And as per usual, when oil climbs, everyone cuts profits to keep inflation at bay and this causes them to lay off workers and the workers get ill paying jobs and go bankrupt and this same old stupid obvious cycle is rolling along, the worst effects will be next year when unemployed workers or poorly paid workers can no longer fund this merry-go-round sponsored by Asia.

Why do you think we, the main target country for all Asian exports, were excluded very pointedly from discussions at ASEAN about the future of trade in the Pacific? Eh? Gads, I wish I was there.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

America Totally Locked Outside of ASEAN Meeting

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Bush/Condi diplomatic disaster just keeps on going. Record trade deficits not only in total but individually with each of our major trading (sic) partners. We would have to sell 5000 Boeings each month to break even. Meanwhile, Japan plays coy with various suitors.

From the Washington Post:
Asian leaders agreed Wednesday to create a new, loosely united regional grouping, including India and Australia, to work on combating Asia's economic, security and political problems.

The 16-nation association, which will hold annual summit conferences, significantly widened the traditional circle of cooperation among Asian nations represented by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a sister group, ASEAN Plus Three, including China, Japan and South Korea.

Its formation, decided at the first East Asian Summit, marked an attempt to respond to a growing conviction among Asian leaders that their region requires a stronger independent voice in world affairs and a new forum without the preponderant role that has been played here by the United States since World War II.
They are slamming the door in our stupid face. Japan will be the doorkeeper. We will come and go on their say-so. Namely, the choke chain around our military's neck will be firmly in the hands of the Japanese who obviously won WWII which is why, when Koizumi visits the war criminal shrine and bonzais, Americans are respectfully silent and obedient.
Underlying the ambiguity about the new group's role and degrees of membership was concern over evolving power relationships as China becomes stronger and increasingly willing -- even eager -- to exercise regional leadership and Japan moves strategically closer to the United States.

China and Japan also have been divided by increasingly tense differences over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's regular visits to a shrine honoring Japan's war dead and rival claims to oil deposits and several small islands in the East Asian Sea. Those differences were on vivid display here in Kuala Lumpur, where Premier Wen Jiabao refused to sit down with Koizumi for a regular China-Japan-South Korea meeting.
You know, if we are insuring the safety and working to defend these so-called allies, we should have been at this meeting, right? Right?
Seeking to soften the atmosphere, Koizumi leaned over during a signing ceremony Wednesday to ask Wen to loan him a pen. When the Chinese premier smiled and handed it over, assembled diplomats applauded.
Note the diplomatic finesse! Note how small gestures translate into policy? Note how everyone there understood the secret negotiations which were 100% about AMERICA. We will learn the results in due time. Gack.

And so, Japan shoves us outside to stand at the locked door and to wait for further orders. Japan will make whatever deals she wants with China and then inform us of what we are to do next. In these secret negotiations you can bet, Japan waves the American sword as a leverage vis a vis China. And we have no idea what the heck is said, do we?

Well, I can guess! From the NYT:
The United States' trade deficit ballooned to a new record in October, the government said Wednesday, with imports climbing much faster than exports even though prices for imported oil declined.

The trade deficit widened by $3 billion, to $68.9 billion, confounding forecasts on Wall Street that the gap would narrow and signaling that the nation's huge trade imbalance has not begun to stabilize.
Stabilize? We are sinking faster than the Titanic! The stern of our ship is pointing straight up in the air! We are going to be running nearly a trillion a year in the red!

The trade deficit with Japan has grown immensely. Aiming for over $76 billion this year. With China, $200 billion. China's larger deficit isn't as bad as Japan's because Japan is poaching on our top industries not lower level, low per unit value stuff. Soon, China will be doing what Japan is doing, already, they export more electronics than America exports and this is going to grow vastly.

What can I say? With our present leadership and our present philosophical system, economic pundits and professors and those idiots running the Fed, except for a few lorne voices, indeed, virtually none, all screaming for a flat fucking earth and free fucking trade.

Can you all read the writing on the wall??? Gads.....!!!!!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Inflation Roars: Rubber Worker's Unrest In Asia Raises Rubber Prices

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Muslims fighting Buddhists in Thailand shuts down rubber plantations causing the world price of rubber to shoot up. As the pain of inflation is taken out on the backs of workers, unrest and fury rises even in America, there is growing unease and anger.

From the International Hearld Tribune:
Rubber prices may rise to the highest in 21 years as violence in Thailand prevents the world's biggest supplier from meeting Chinese demand.
Plantation owners in Thailand, which supplies 38 percent of the world's rubber, are being hampered by fighting between Muslim activists and the police in the southern part of the country. Production, already hampered by heavy rains, may fall further because a curfew and fear of attacks are reducing the time workers spend tapping rubber trees.
Ok, timely story for me! As my blog has detailed, the Amazon is having one of those pesky droughts which seem to be alternating with torrential rains. Of course, the rain is falling in South East Asia this year so they have way too much and the Amazon, way too little. This is one of the many side effects of global warming/forest cutting in jungles dynamics.
Chinese automakers are increasing output by about 15 percent and their demand for rubber is rising. Rubber supplies have plunged 78 percent this year in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Commodities from copper to crude oil are surging because of orders from China. Prices for copper, oil and iron ore rose to records this year, helping lift the Total Return index of the Goldman Sachs Commodity index 22 percent in the first 11 months, compared with a 3 percent gain by the Standard and Poor's 500 index.
Geeze. I saw this happen before! The price of oil shot up and then the price of all other raw materials shot up, too. Because of timelag effects, when massive inflation rears its ugly head, the effects at first are contrary, namely, the price of consumer goods which are not time-dependent like health care or food, tend to fall rapidly as sellers desperately try to eliminate excess capacity and inventory.

So the inflation which we know will show up with a vengence, doesn't at first. This always gives the professional economists and pundits cause to bray that high energy costs don't cause inflation. Always, when energy costs escalate rapidly, gold suddenly takes off in value because all consumer nations respond by encouraging the printing of dollar bills so the energy price hikes can become meaningless. The holder of these increasingly worthless, vis a vis oil, dollars then retaliate by buying gold to lock in value.

One time, when the Iran/Iraq war was raging, the price of gold hit $850 per once. Inflation then began to rage in the USA and interest rates shot up to over 11%.

Well, the Fed just decided to stop publishing the M3 statistics which tracks how many dollars the Fed prints up. For obvious reasons. They feel they can fool someone this way. Who?

The American consumer.

Great wars have been waged over commodities like oil as we see clearly today in Iraq. But great battles have been fought over rubber, too. And vast labor struggles. Rubber gold rushes have been just as amazing as gold rushes, huge cities suddenly springing upriver in jungles. During WWII, we had to evict the Japanese from Asian rubber plantations as quickly as possible to cripple not only the Japanese but the German war efforts.

When rubber, copper and gold shoot up in price alongside oil we will see a lot of inflation. Once the big manufacturers cut down on their own inventory, to restore the profit margin, they will begin to hike prices even if this means fewer customers. After all, it is the profit margin that matters, not how many you sell. And market share, but only if you make a profit. The American auto makers ate up their profits this year trying to unload stock. Now their credit rating stinks, General Motors just had theirs degraded yet again this week!

And the biggest customer for loans, the US Government, is raising interest rates yet again and simulatneously announcing they have killed inflation and so won't need anymore raises.

Gads. In a rat's ass! Talk about liars! They are my age or older, these clowns. They should be able to remember the past but I bet, they cannot. For they are delusional and deliberately so.

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Koreans Battle Police In Hong Kong at WTO Meeting

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The scariest thing for any ruling elite is to see workers uniting or farmers on the warpath. All revolutions happen with these two forces coincide and cooperate. We are seeing this beginning to happen as the capitalists work hard to make a flat earth with workers and farmers flat on the ground under their bootheel. I feel a rising windstorm here.

From Yahoo:

Several dozen protesters struck security forces with bamboo sticks and tried to ram through a police roadblock Tuesday as the World Trade Organization meeting opened in Hong Kong. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The confrontation occurred after several thousand protesters marched through the city against the WTO and globalization, which many of them believe benefit primarily the rich and powerful. Some of the protesters — mainly South Korean farmers — punched their fists in the air and beat drums and gongs, while others held signs saying "RIP WTO" and "World Threatening Organization."

Riot police with helmets and shields tried to fend off the protesters with pepper spray a few blocks away from the WTO meeting venue. The scuffle lasted about a half-hour and died down as police reinforcements arrived.

Earlier, dozens of South Korean farmers jumped into Victoria Harbor and tried to swim a few hundred yards along the coast to the WTO venue. Police intercepted them before they reached the venue.
Koreans have become ferocious street fighters. They know they must be visible and strong in order to shove events in their favor. At previous WTO meetings, they have committed ritual suicide, they drum loudly and refuse to retreat when the frightened capitalist tools inside order the police to get rid of them.

I have met some of these protestors in the past, at protests, of course. I, too, drum, I learned Asian drumming in a temple and can whale away without much effort for it is a skill, holding the sticks and going basically into a trance. There are whole organizations devoted to ritual drumming and nothing is more energizing than to walk into a cherry tree grove, hearing dozend of drummers striking their drums in unison, the ground trembles.

One Japanese religious cult, the one I learned this from, goes about the world, drumming for peace.

From the BBC:
The BBC's Chris Hogg in Hong Kong says there was a carnival atmosphere with protesters carrying colourful banners with slogans denouncing globalisation.

Other demonstrations are planned for the opening day of the summit on Tuesday, and also for next Sunday.

Around 10,000 activists are converging on Hong Kong to demonstrate at the summit, which will bring together nearly 150 rich and poor nations.

The demonstrators say the meeting will largely benefit rich countries at the expense of developing ones.

But supporters of the summit maintain that an international trade deal could generate billions of dollars in benefits and possibly lift millions out of poverty.
If WTO meetings were so uplifting, they wouldn't be so hated, would they? Many countries have witnessed ferocious WTO riots when that organization forces governments into draconian economic actions.

Now there is a new conflict that is tearing in two directions. In places like America, Japan or France, the farmers, thanks to quirks in proportioning districts and political power, have much greater influence on political choices than farmers in China, for example. So they are coddled by the government which gives them huge subsidies and help (which is why they hate welfare people who get the same!).

The first world countries produce too much food so they ship it to third world countries. The USA used to run a trade surplus with food vis a vis the world but thanks to various free trade agreements, we now are a net importer. Of course, to create the impression of free trade, Congress and the bubble boy President have worked hard to "free" American farmers from being on welfare which is now causing greater and greater distress. America, unlike Japan and France, for example, has pretty much killed off the small farmer, now the big guys are beginning to hurt, thanks to the rising cost of energy upon which they depend.

Japan, this week, has decided to let a ritual amount of American beef into the country but only if it is raised "properly" which restricts the amounts allowed pretty severely. The mad cow disease, like the avian flu, have hit farmers hard across the planet. These blows along with the cutting down of rain forests for temporary farming advantage coupled with air pollution in the form of acid rain and rising global temperatures are causing increasing problems for farmers. I see it first hand, on my own property, as I struggle between flood/drought cycles that are becoming monotonously on each other's heels. All rain or no rain is terrible in my climate.

Acid rain is also killing my forest which is a money maker for me and the best woods I raise, red oaks and maples, are rapidly dying instead of living hundreds of years. So farmers are naturally in the forefront of the battle for planet earth, both as destroyers and protectors. The tensions created by this complex convergence is roiling the planet, politically and physically.

Smart farmers know you have to nurture the earth and carefully cultivate. The Dust Bowl disaster in the USA was partially farmer-made. Scientists knew you need hedges and tree rows and contour plowing as well as cycling fields by not planting the same crop over and over again. Yet, farmers were forced into doing the bad things because of competition. Bad farmers could, in good years, drive out good farmers.

So the government rewarded good farmers and paid them to NOT overproduce and kill the land! This evolved into welfare for big farmers who didn't plant hedgerows or trees or contour plow. It ended up going to the bad farmers who wiped out everything in their path, overproducing. Alas. Over grazing public lands while taxing farms like my own to death, farmers raising beef responsibly, like myself, were driven out of business by careless ranchers who create desertfication. It is no surprize that our own nation teeters on the edge of a very destructive Dust Bowl Era yet again as the drought/flood cycle intensifies in the Midwest as well as up here in New England where it is much more moderated, relatively speaking.

So now we should have a world-wide "good farmer" organization that protects ecologically balanced farming and works like a giant collective, encouraging tree planting and careful forestry. Protecting the world's wetlands and glaciers that feed so many important rivers.

Something like what the WTO should be but is not.

On with the struggle. It is going to be quite vicious.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Billionaire Bill Gates' Dad Frets About American Red Ink

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bill Gates' dad recently warned us about the impending bankruptcy of America. Both of the Gates are very pessimistic about all this stuff which is why they are rapidly relocating to China and India. Great. Some help, they are.

From the Seattle PI:
Bill Gates Sr., co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, gave a CityClub gathering their money's worth Friday at a luncheon to review the year almost gone.

As a participant on a panel that included Sen. Patty Murray, state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky and Issaquah developer George W. "Skip" Rowley, Gates, along with the others, was asked to tell about someone he'd been impressed by and to say why.

He picked Wall Street big shot Pete Peterson, who, Gates said, has warned against "the pending bankruptcy of the U.S."

His response drew shocked laughter from the crowd. But Gates wasn't kidding, and he would return to that theme later in the luncheon.
He also thought outsourcing is a great idea and that the world should be flat and that everyone should "rise" to the same level without mentioning this means sinking an awful lot of little boats.
"We need to get over it," he said. "Seems to me it's the only way to raise all ships" and create what he described later as a truly "flat earth."

The present era's left-right polarity came in for a thumping by panelists who warned generally that it isn't a good thing. As a solution, however, the best they could do was plead for "more community."
Oh dear, once again, the happy news/happy face people get mad at us for daring to argue and make noise instead of polite laughter as our doom approaches! Hahaha. Laugh, clowns, laugh.

As peasants across the planet die in clashes with imperial authorities, they do this because they are angry and desperate. They don't want to be polite when they are being oppressed, when people are stealing their lands, their crops, their sons and daughters. They are understandably angry and won't let it all slide.

Others are angry. Like Atta. Goofing around, smiling and patting ourselves won't stop angry people like Atta from taking action. Our response to his action was to drive America very deep into debt, ravage our own economy by waging futile wars and spending money like there is no tomorrow. How the hell are we going to avoid bankruptcy if we are pouring all our future wealth into weapons and wars that don't make us one bit safer?

And the debate about all this has to be loud, long, hard and might even end up very violent. Like in China. The Chinese people have finally figured out that if they don't make a tremendous noise, they will be stripped of everything good. So the agitation against authority rises higher and higher as it ought. And here?

The last unions are quietly packing their bags and departing. The people who benefitted from this system are quietly going bankrupt or cutting back to the bone, retreating silently. Occassional cries of pain, suicides and murders leave a bloody trail but our rich don't want to hear any leftist debate about all this!

This week, the Chinese have overtaken America in electronics exports. As I also predicted, they are busy building the intellectual infrastructure to challenge our own research and developments in this area just like the Japanese have homegrown many things and now beat us on our own turf. The Gates family has relocated research and development to China and India so they can make oodles of more money. This is why they love outsourcing. Not because there are no Americans who can be hired, it is because it is cheaper in other lands. And since few Americans with degrees in computer programming can get stable jobs, fewer and fewer are taking the courses and so the giant corporations say, they need the overseas facilities due to lack of interest in America as if we suddenly didn't care about good jobs or need them!

So, even as the Gates family stuffs their moneybags full, they have the temerity to warn us about thieves. This is why I avoid all Microsoft products if I can. I am happy the Gates family is against the Republican desires to cut taxes all the time. But there is a futher step for them: to stop stealing money from the masses via their near monopoly. To stop crushing other businesses. To stop outsourcing. Stop it, now.

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

New York Times Calls Our Sucking Up of All World Financing "An Addiction"

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As Americans pile into their huge SUVs that are polluting the planet and go off Xmas shopping using credit courtesy of Asia and Europe both of whom are frantically offering us billions in debt instruments so we will keep on buying their stuff while we lose one factory after another here at home, the NYT calls this "an addiction". Well, I call it "Traitors in America selling us down the river."

From the NYT:

t's an addiction. Every day, the United States sucks in more and more of it from abroad, just to keep the nation going. We speak, of course, about foreign money.

At our current rate of trade and budget deficits, foreigners need to purchase $2 billion in dollar-denominated assets each day just to keep the dollar stable, said Axel Merk, who manages $60 million at Merk Investments and runs the Merk Hard Currency Fund.

Over half the national debt is now financed by foreigners, according to Roger Ibbotson, chairman of the financial consulting firm Ibbotson Associates in Chicago and a professor at Yale School of Management. That's been true since 1980, but the difference now, he says, "is the scale of the game."

"I guess everyone wants to keep this game going," Ibbotson said. But if one of the countries we're most dependent on drops out, it could be "like a bank run."
When empires fall apart financially, the whole world trade systems collapse. It happened to the Spanish empire. It happened to the British Empire. It will happen to our empire. Anyone who knows anything about history minus the stupid propaganda points (like pretending we were fighting for democracy during WWII) knows that when an empire reaches its apex it nearly always goes into a financial frenzy, building palaces and stadiums, getting more and more reckless with their currency, wild military exploits that bring home no spoils, only corrupting the empire further. Diminishing returns on a shrinking market as the distant provinces demand support. All empires react by pulling back but only after they go bankrupt and it is pointless.

Why is the interest rate in Japan so pathetic? They have inflation. They import 100% of their oil, for example. Yet they are flourishing while our economy is on the ropes, kept alive only by history's biggest spending spree. One last time, we rush to the stores to buy stuff we no longer make. Once more, we fall into the same, stupid trap. As the sun sets on our empire, we send our leader (snark) abroad to be insulted and laughed at, a caged bear with a begging bowl, covered with fleas. Even now, the lesser provinces like Israel and Poland, drags on our diplomacy, demand we pay them tribute, not the other way around.

We now pay the highest interest rates in the world and the money we print like crazy comes flowing back home in a tidalwave of red ink. We then shoot this into our arm to feel no pain and to feel invincible even as our health declines and we are obviously in serious trouble. I have known heroin addicts. None of them made it past their 40th birthdays. Over doses, shoot outs during bungled muggings or break-ins. Committing ever graver crimes and getting less and less a hit off of a shot.

Spending all their time looking for horse.

Dead. And this is what America will be, financially, when we can no longer demand the entire planet feed our frenetic addiction. Our desire is bottomless. The bottom line isn't infinity.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Housing Boom Bombs, Up to 800,000 May Lose Jobs, Homes, Everything

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I have been very busy running around, getting everyone ready for this deadly winter, trying to help everyone deal with the high cost of energy, didn't post about this nice story. Well, the obvious is going to obviously happen: our Japanese-sponsored property bubble is popping! Japan's economy took off, our will now deflate. They successfully transfered a mountain of bad Japanese property loans to us! Now we get to have a depression/inflation thanks to high fuel costs denominated in dollars, not yen.

From Yahoo:
A sustained decline will hit the U.S. housing market next year, costing the nation as many as 800,000 jobs, according to a new economic report released Wednesday.

The slowdown is likely to last several years, with as many as 500,000 construction jobs and 300,000 financial sector positions lost, the quarterly Anderson Forecast predicted.

"We expect housing to start slowing the economy this quarter or the next," said Edward Leamer, director of the study done at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Some jobs in manufacturing might well disappear as a result of weakness in housing, but this may be offset by jobs brought home or not lost to foreign competition," he wrote.

The forecast said eight of the last 10 economic recessions were started by housing market slowdowns. Though the coming cooldown will cause a drag on the nation's economy, it will fall short of triggering a recession, the forecast said.
The temporary job boom in trash hauling/sheetrock removing jobs the hurricanes spawned upped the employment figures this fall but most of these jobs fell to illegals who jumped our borders. On the manufacturing front, this fall has been a deadly tsunami of pink slips and as xmas approaches with the same fury and malice as the hurricanes, we see desperation shopping as people pretend January's fuel bills won't bankrupt them. All housing booms end in busts. This is a simple rule. If you look at the value of property, it rises and falls like a mighty ocean. The higher it rises, the nastier the fall.

Some places, because of population rises, keep going up like California. Of course, a really nasty earthquake which is a very reasonable event to expect, will kill this market, too. People will, like in the seventies, try to flee the cold north because heating costs will be killing them. I already see this at work here in my own community. Many homes for sale as the people in them attempt to flee but there are precious few takers right now and prices are now declining relentlessly. Everyone who can wants to bail.

I don't fear winter because I own my own energy heating system, my forest. But the stresses of global warming is taking a toll on my fine trees. Nearly all of the over 100 year old maples are dying rapidly. The saplings and younger maples barely hanging on. This is quite distressing. We all live in the same system and stresses in one sector reemerge elsewhere as some other force. The deep south without the energy bubble is a terribly hard place to live in when summer shines brutally. Most people can't live without airconditioning.

In Doha, the UAE, they built a snow resort that is inside a huge tube where they can go skiing while the temperature outside soars past 120 degrees. The ultimate energy bubble for the sporting youth who own the oil wells we need.

The developing housing crash will be most spectacular since nearly all our buying fenzy of the last four years came from tapping the inflation in home values and spending it on goodies. Since interest rates were well below real inflation, this magic money scheme seemed eternal. Of course, we should have questioned why no society on earth managed to run like this for more than five years. A sober look at history tells us that this scheme always blows up in the faces of the investors and lenders and leads to depressions and revolutions.

Greenspan knows this. Barneke knows this. Heck, even Bush learned this at Harvard! I knew this when I was around 11 years old, listening to adults talk about this stuff. Since so many people are aware of this history, why did they all pretend it doesn't apply to today? Why?

Heh. The key to the criminal mind! Arrest them all. Con artists are regularily sent to prison!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Gays Spearhead Ford Boycott

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

A right wing Christian group conspired with Ford's executives to cut off all advertising and support of the gay community. After Ford boasted about this, the liberal community struck back, spearheaded by Americablog. The last thing Ford needs is to alienate Ford customers like myself.

From Americablog:
Lie number one is in Ford's recent open letter to its gay and lesbian employee group. It's Ford's description of what the extremist anti-gay hate group was upset about:
"The boycott, the purpose of which was to protest certain Ford marketing activities aimed at the gay and lesbian community, was announced in May and temporarily suspended in June."
In fact, while Ford would have you believe the American Family Association was simply complaining about some ads, in fact the AFA was protesting what it called Ford's support of "gay marriage."
Americablog goes on to detail all the lies, all the evasions, all the negative feedback Ford has resorted to in its attempts at pleasing a bunch of right wing lunatics. Microsoft did this too, withdrawing support for a gay right's bill in Washington. This is one of many reasons why I avoid Microsoft as much as possible.

As the boycott from the liberal side, outraged at Ford's pandering, the Washington Post finally notices something is happening. One would hope Ford stock owners would not sit up and take notice, this is developing into a serious problem, I, for example, own a Ford tractor and a 350 diesel truck. I am very annoyed with them. My side of the boycott can be very serious when I replace the truck in another year!

From the WP:

Ford Motor Co. said it will stop running ads for its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in the gay press, helping to avoid a confrontation with conservative Christians but setting up a fight with gays and lesbians.

The American Family Association, a conservative religious group, launched a boycott of Ford this year for extending marriage benefits to same-sex couples and giving "thousands of dollars to support homosexual groups and their agenda," the group said in written statement. The group criticized Ford for supporting gay commitment ceremonies and gay pride parades.

Ford spokesman Mike Moran said the move to stop advertising Jaguars and Land Rovers in gay publications such as the Advocate was based on a decision to streamline marketing budgets. Moran would not say what other magazine categories might be affected, citing competitive reasons.
Moron Moran thinks he fools us? Har.
"Ford Motor Co. has a big public relations mess on its hands that it needs to clean up in short order," Solmonese said. He said his group is galvanizing its 600,000 members to protest Ford's advertising decision with letters and e-mails.

"Ford has been a friend to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers and employees in the past," the group said in an e-mailed "Action Alert." "E-mail Ford today -- ask them to reject the American Family Association's assertions . . . and reaffirm their support for fairness."

Late yesterday Ford noted in a written statement that it would not change its employment policies: "Ford's commitment to diversity as an employer and corporate citizen remains unchanged. Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain wrong."
If this were so, they would have never met with the right wingers nor issued statements agreeing with the right wingers. But they did and they can't undo this by lying about doing it. This modus operandi of all such people is most annoying. Denying the obvious is nearly impossible today, thanks to bloggers and the internet. We are not nearly so easily appeased as the press simply because we don't accept advertising that much, the less, the better. My blog has zero advertising so I can tell the truth about the economy, for example.

Ford better figure this out before they go bankrupt. They should have told the right wingers, "We want all customers. If one group of customers hate other customers, we can't do anything about this. We take no sides." Right wing Christians want to destroy the holiday season, they want to beggar sales, kill entertainment, destroy cities, all because they hate guys who hang out with each other like Jesus and his 12 buddies who slept together, traveled together, ate together and basically were pretty gay.

Insane, isn't it? Hold corporation's feet to the fire! Don't let them screw us! On any level.

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New York Times Can't Puzzle Out Why Japan is Flourishing And We Are Collapsing

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Of course the NYT won't read my blog or look at my cartoons so they are clueless about the yen/dollar dynamic that eats away at our infrastructure every time we let the yen drop in value. To keep this unhealthy dynamic, the Japanese peddle loans for us which only makes things much worse in the long run! During the Clinton Golden Years, we spurned Japanese loan offers because we were solvent and could keep the value of the yen at 100 or less per dollar. Now it is back to the Bush I value: 130 yen to the dollar! Sinking ship, America!

From the NYT:
New Optimism About the Japanese Economy After a Bleak Decade
No kidding. The boom years when America sailed ahead, optimistic and powerful, balanced budget and prosperity, Japan did terrible! Boy, did they do badly. I remember the eighties. We were all supposed to imitate the Japanese business style. Of course, they left out the important lesson: close the country to free trade at all costs whatever means possible, the trickier the better, and manipulate the currency for trade advantage which also locks out imports!


Clinton and his group, being smart people, increased the value of the yen vis a vis the dollar and forced the Japanese to open their markets. The Japanese responded by committing economic hari-kari and simply shut down. They waited impatiently for another corrupt Ronnie Reagan to bribe and along came Bush and his merry family of thieves! Now Japan is enjoying a very unbalanced trade with America.
College graduates face the best job market in a decade, and wages are rising again. The lead stock market index has doubled in value in two years. Corporate profits are the highest in recent memory. And for the first time since 1990, land prices in Tokyo are up.
Andy Rain/Bloomberg News
Shoppers in the Ginza district of Tokyo are considered more likely to spend money if they see the country's economic prospects as promising.
Could it be that Japan, long the sick man among major global economies, has finally recovered?

This is, after all, the country where the words "gloom" and "malaise" have been used for so long that many Japanese have come to view them as facts of life. Even the upturns, such as they were, proved to be short-lived as Japan was unable to shake off the doldrums it fell into in the early 1990's, when its stock and real estate bubbles burst.

But this time, most economists and analysts agree, the recovery seems to be real, its roots extending through the Japanese economy. After more than a decade of working off excessive debt, bloated payrolls and overbuilt factory capacity, Japan seems to have addressed its bubble-era problems and emerged leaner and more competitive, the economists say. In fact, the economy here is projected to be growing at a faster rate than Europe's this year.
Hahaha. The "lean and mean" hoax raises its ugly head. Why isn't Europe's economy taking off? Guess what happened to the euro! The USA caused the euro to shoot up in value while the Japanese purchased an absolute mountain of endless American red ink and so the dollar increased in value against the yen and decreased against the euro, knocking the European export market for a loop-de-loop while the Japanese ran all over the American import market, increasing the trade deficit we carry by over 11% during the Bush reign of terror.

This is insanity! The article which proports to explain this oddity while not once mentioning currency values and debt loads, except to only talk about how the Japanese "wrote off bad loans" from their real estate/business collapse during the Clinton years...Guess where all those "bad loans" were cleaned up?

Here. We now carry the Japanese load of bad loans, they are our debts now! By devaluing the currency, they could "write off" loans made when the yen was worth 89 to the dollar as 130 yen to the dollar significantly reducing the risk and downside of these loans! On top of this, the loans we get from Japan are at an interest rate of over 4% while they loan each other at 0.1%, a tremendous differencial!

Click here for many charts on Japanese trade.
In recent years, Japan has continued to produce a trade surplus. Regarding Japan's international trade on a customs clearance basis in 2004, exports (FOB-type value) showed an annual increase of 12.1 percent to 61.17 trillion yen, marking the third consecutive year of increase. Imports (CIF-type value) grew by 10.9 percent to 49.22 trillion yen, an increase recorded for the second consecutive year. As a result, Japan's trade surplus increased by 17.3 percent to 11.95 trillion yen -- the third straight year of the growth.
Note the "third straight year." Ever since Bush aggressively and deliberately drove our government into the red, our control over interest rates and the value of the dollar has collapsed. Each year, it gets worse. This hemmoraging of power has only one ending: bankruptcy and poverty. Our nation will sell its soul for a handful of beans.

Look at the charts about major exports. Automobiles: 39% of their auto exports are to the USA and this stat is from last year. This year it is nearly 50%! Anyone yapping at me about how we are building Japanese autos here should hang their heads in shame. As I keep saying, the factories here are all Potemkin enterprises to keep Americans silent and stupid.

Figure 11.5 shows relative trade of Japan with the world. The USA is the most imbalanced by far. Nearly 14,000 billion yen exporting to America and only 6,000 billion importing. Namely, they have a 50% trade advantage over us and it is increasing. Normally, when this state of affairs exists, the currency of the trade winning country rises in value. But not in this case. The greater the trade imbalance/the cheaper the yen.

During the Clinton years, the Japanese had no mechanism to drop the value of the yen because America wasn't printing up dollars at a mad rate. And we were slowly bringing our trade into some sane balance. Now, everything on our end is out of control. Like a drunk buying drink after drink from the bartender, yelling, "Put it on my bill!", we will swill away all our wealth. Our seeming prosperity has been dearly purchased.

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