Wednesday, August 31, 2005

LOOT

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My mountain being hit by remains of hurricane Katrina

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The wind is blowing and much needed rain is falling. Flood alert here as the hurricane just arrived at my very doorstep, much reduced, a kitten compared to the roaring lion that came ashore so few days ago.

The situation in New Orleans continues to deteriorate.
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The domed stadium is rapidly becoming the doomed stadium. The military are bringing in ever more people but the water is rising fast and it seems they no longer are bringing people in. The water is 3' deep around this "refuge" which is now a trap. People are already dying inside. Of course, the sick are the first to go. One man's oxygen tank ran out and he died. Others who need diabetes medication are now getting sicker. There is no way to dispose of the bodies but to take them outside into the hot sun.f

The humidity from the people and the rain and now the flooding waters trapped inside this near airtight container are causing huge problems. There was minimal electricity until the flood waters threatened the generators. In the hospitals, the generators are shutting down and people are dying. They are trying to evacuate all the hospitals. It is very difficult, to say the least. From Yahoo news:
Hospitals across the city faced deteriorating conditions Tuesday after two levees broke, sending water coursing through the streets of the Big Easy. An estimated 80 percent of the below-sea-level city was under water, up to 20 feet deep in places, with miles and miles of homes swamped.
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Charity's backup generator was running out of diesel fuel. Nurses hand-pumped ventilators for patients who couldn't breathe. Doctors canoed supplies in from three nearby hospitals.

"It's like being in a Third World country. We're trying to work without power. Everyone knows we're all in this together. We're just trying to stay alive," said Mitch Handrich, a registered nurse manager at the state's biggest public hospital.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said 2,500 patients would be evacuated from hospitals in Orleans Parish, but it wasn't immediately clear where they would be moved.

Police were working to get more generators to Charity and its 300 patients. The most critically ill would be evacuated first, with the rest to go later this week.

Outside Charity, water was 3 to 4 feet deep in the street. Inside, halls were dark and slippery. Workers ferried supplies up and down darkened stairs. Everyone needed flashlights.

And yet the injured kept coming. At one point, a boat pulled up carrying a man doubled over in pain.

"Where are we going to put him? We're the rescuee now. People coming in here, it's like running into a burning building looking for shelter," nursing supervisor Ray Campo said.

Helicopters landed at the hospital's parking garage — sometimes first picking up specialists from other cities — to get about 25 sick babies and take them to hospitals in Lafayette, New Iberia and Alexandria, said Richard Zeuschlag, president of Acadian Ambulance Service Inc.

Boats had to take other patients eight miles to a highway intersection, where 80 ambulances waited to ferry them for triage at the LSU Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.
The toilets in the city can't flush. This is where dysentary and typhus, the flood twins, step in. When people are jammed into castles or walled towns under seige, these diseases show up very rapidly and spread like wildfire. There are now around 30,000 people in that stadium!

History: Arles, France, when the Roman empire fell, the people moved into the stadium and turned it into their town. In our present case, this won't happen.

The evacuation of this stadium has not even begun except for a few very ill people helicoptered out. When will panic set in? There are no real beds there, the food was trucked in but that is going to fail now. What are they going to do? The people can't walk out of the city.

The looting going on is a great concern to many people.
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This is a doomed city. The goods within are going to be worthless as the waters rise. If poor people take stuff, this is unfortunate but won't change a thing. Even the loot will be useless when the last people are evacuated because there is no fresh water and no more food is coming in except that brought in by the military! All that stuff will be left behind as people are forced to evacute with only the clothes on their backs! Homeless and lootless, all those goodies like TVs--useless.

From Yahoo:
WASHINGTON - The Navy is sending four ships carrying water and other supplies to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, while medical disaster teams and Red Cross workers from across the country converged on the devastated Gulf Coast region.

The Red Cross, which sent in 185 emergency vehicles to provide meals, reported it had about 40,000 people in 200 shelters across the area.
snip
FEMA said it has 500 trucks of ice, 500 trucks of water and 350 trucks of military meals ready to eat scheduled for distribution in the next 10 days.

Four Navy amphibious ships were to leave Norfolk, Va., over the next few days for deployment on the Gulf Coast. The Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida will be a base for the relief effort.

The Coast Guard received hundreds of calls for help and has assisted in the rescue of more than 1,200 people, spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Carter said Tuesday.
You see, this isn't ordinary water. It is very filthy. I scan the photos and see oil and grease uniformly covering the water, you can tell by the ripples: long, lazy swells rather than fine curved ruffles. All the light glancing off of it is multicolored because of gasoline or mirror-black. Not brown. The brown water from the Mississippi is mixing with this mess so the oil and grease and gasoline will be embedded in the dirt that will be left behind if and when they manage to remove this water.

And removing it? It is still pouring in. And is unstoppable. All the daydreaming schemes have been dropped because from the minute they were concieved, they were doomed. I have worked with raging water and know how it works and there is no way we can stop things now until the water equalizes.

The authorities have lied, openly lied, to people, suggesting that Monday, all will be well.

This was not only ridiculous, it is dangerous. People won't leave yet who are at the high points. They think all will return to normal in just four days! Food deliveries, water, toilets flushing...all will magically resume. The million refugees see this crap on TV and remain in their hotels, running down their bank accounts, unaware that they have to find alternative housing pronto.

Jobs: not one job in New Orleans is functional now nor will be for a long time. I saw pictures of many sky scrappers with big windows, those glass boxes, all broken! On all sides! Everything inside of many of these great towers are completely ruined. Paperwork is going to rot rapidly in the hot temperatures. If you don't lay out the paper within three days, they dry together and are almost impossible to separate. The computers: shot. The data is retrievable but the longer you wait, the more the water inside them will rot everything. Literally, slime will colonize them.

Just retrieving data will be hugely expensive if not impossible.

Most businesses that are small will be bankrupt within six months, many big ones will totter. Major corporations have back ups but they don't need everyone for a skeleton crew and most people will be thrown into the Unemployment system within six weeks.

For there is no city left, pretty much. It is gone. Cleaning this mess isn't going to be easy. You can't move into the lower houses again because the oily water will permeate everything, even the very wood substructure. All of it will produce toxic fumes if you enclose a house and turn on the airconditioning! Ergo: all the houses need to be scrapped. Of course, people will try to move back in because they have to live somewhere.

But the houses will be unhealthy.

The hit this will cause our economy is enormous. Bush's energy secretary announced that laughing boy is releasing the oil reserves. Great. Only it is useless. Who is going to refine it? Even if they pump out the refineries which are in standing oil/water and easily blown up just by a lightning strike or dropped match or a house catching on fire in the vicinity, the workers will have to live somewhere and be trucked in.

This is going to be very messy.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

BULL MARKETS

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Earlier, I told the story of the farmer and his cows who lived near my farm. How he was offered a 2 points below prime for an interest only loan and how it caused his loan to swell from $350,000 to $550,000 in just ten years.

Well, the national statistics are truly horrifying. From Yahoo news:
As they happily watch their houses swell in value, Americans are changing their attitudes toward mortgage debt. Increasingly, a home is no longer a nest egg whose equity should never be touched, but a seemingly magical ATM enabling the owner to live it up or just live.

Homeowners took $59 billion in cash out of their houses in the second quarter, double the amount in the 2004 quarter and 16 times the average rate of the mid-1990s, according to data released this month by mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

People are cashing out so quickly that the term "homeowner" may soon be inaccurate. Fifty years ago, Americans owned, on average, three-quarters of their house and the lender owned the rest. These days, it's approaching an even split.
Doubled in one quarter? This is beyond balloon status. This is more akin to a black hole that is sucking in all our future wealth. Once everyone in America is in debt, you know, we end up really screwed.

Look at this hurricane, for example. Everyone in the hurricane zone has to either cash in on insurance which means it will shoot up in the future. If everything in one's house is owned by the bank including the house and it is destroyed, guess what?

You still have to pay for it. Especially after the political 'reforms' passed by mostly the GOP but also a number of Dems owned by credit companies. Our soldiers can get out of debt by literally 'buying the farm', ie, dying. If they die, their families get lots of money! This is why there aren't more Cindy Sheehans yelling at Bush. Shop til you drop morphs into drop so you can shop! The 9/11 families got an even more generous shut up money. And most of them shut up. You could not sue the USA for not protecting America if you accepted the blood money and most decided to stay mum and tak the money and live happily ever after sans whoever was the one who had to die for all this.

Not all the dead are of equal or even any value.
But the spending spree has a price. With the savings rate at zero, consumers' eagerness to tap home equity is only worsening their retirement outlook, financial advisors say.

If mortgage rates rise sharply or home prices fall, many homeowners could be in financial turmoil. They may be unable to service their loans, or could even find that their homes are worth less than their mortgages.

Such a prospect seems unimaginably distant to Doug Levy, a university administrator in San Francisco.

When his two-bedroom condominium rose in value by 10% — which took nine months in the hot Bay Area real estate market — Levy refinanced. That increased the size of his mortgage but gave him $25,000 to pay bills and take a modest skiing vacation in British Columbia. He's considering tapping his equity again if his condo continues to appreciate.
I am so very old fashioned. I happen to believe that it is OK to tap the equity of the house to fix it so it rises in value but to keep raising life long debt to pay off frivolous purchases is dumb.

The people who spent to the limit in the hurricane paths are now stuck with houses of less value as well as in grave need of repair just to be habitable! And the goodies from insurance are increasingly limited. Realistically, no insurance company would insure costal or California houses except the government insures them thus encouraging reckless building as well as reckless debts.

From Yahoo
Wholesale gasoline prices in the New York and Gulf Coast markets soared by 25-35 cents a gallon on Monday following reports that about 8 percent of U.S. refining capacity had been shut down ahead of the storm. One analyst said pump prices nationwide would likely average more than $2.75 a gallon by week's end, up from about $2.60 a gallon Monday.

"Unfortunately, I don't think $3 a gallon is a hyperbolic number in some markets anymore," said analyst Tom Kloza of Wall, N.J.-based Oil Price Information Service. He emphasized that the market reaction is a reflection of supply tightness, not shortages.
Price gouging during storms and national distresses used to be punished as thievery but then, back in those days, usury was illegal, too. Now, people are being forced to pony up every time the pony poops and our rulers laugh at us.

Things going bad? Tough luck. The consumer binge that is connected with our trade and budget deficits is being used increasingly to keep our collective heads above the tidal surges from the increasing economic head winds. From CNN Money:
Although a dollar crash is unlikely anytime soon, a Federal Reserve study says any collapse in the value of the currency is unlikely to hurt the U.S. economy. But few analysts agree.

Instead, many economists suggest an abrupt decline in the dollar's value would cause pandemonium in both U.S. credit and equity markets.

To maintain foreign interest in U.S. financial markets and prevent large investment outflows, which would disrupt the economy, the central bank would begin raising short-term rates aggressively, analysts say.

But rising short-term rates alone would choke U.S. economic growth as American consumers would be inclined both to save more and borrow less. Since the United States buys goods from around the globe, analysts emphasize the spillover would be worldwide.

"A dollar collapse would hurt everyone -- in the U.S. and around the world," said Joe Quinlan, managing director and chief market strategist with Bank of America Capital Management.

"It would force the hand of Europe, Japan and Asia and force these nations to undergo consumption-led growth, a dynamic they have long resisted."
No sane economy wants to drive their entire populace deep into debt nor are the governments willing to do the same. They couldn't believe their good fortune and of course the security of their bribes working so perfectly! They bought out our Presidents just like Carlyle owns more than one world leader, and in return, from Greenspan on down, they all service foreign powers that want us deep in debt. A sane government would have shot up interest rates and played hard ball currency games with anyone trying to flood America with cheap loans that have long, dangerous strings attached. It was plainly obvious for years that this is bad for us.

Now we are addicted to it like gambling addicts. We want to pull the one armed bandit's lever over and over again without thinking about the consequences and people are in power because of this huge lust to gamble recklessly. Somehow, everyone thinks this won't end in a huge, ugly crash.

This is like building sand castles on the beach before the hurricane hits.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

CHINESE TOOLS WANT TRADE DEFICITS

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Lots of good graphs at Marktaw.com

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Reading Xinahuanet is a great way to track American traitors. These people are the ones who take the money of various hostile interests that want to destroy us and then tell us that it is OK for America to be destroyed. Alan Greenspan is a case in point here. He, like Friedman of the NYT and a host of others want us to "globalize" even though this is killing our country. Like Reagan, they get stipends from other nations or in Greenspan's case, his buddies in the Skull and Bones get foreign money, if they open America's doors.

From Xinahuanet:
The US economy has benefited greatly from China's economic growth, and "simply blaming China will not solve issues relating to US economic transformation," an American expert on anti-dumping laws said Friday in an interview with Xinhua.

"China and the United States are the twin engines of world economic growth. China's economic development has numerous beneficial effects on the US economy," said Jeffrey S. Grimson, 38, Counsel and Chair of the China/International Trade Practice ofKaye Scholer LLP, an international law firm with over 500 lawyers on three continents.

Foremost, "Chinese goods have a reputation for being low-priced. The availability of low-priced goods has had a beneficial impact on the US economy, by enabling consumers to enhance their standard of living while keeping inflation down," said Grimson who have been working in the field of anti-dumping laws for 15 years.

Chinese products are moving up the scale of quality too, he added.

Also, economic prosperity in China means more potential customers for US goods and services, he said.

What's more, "the rise of China as a manufacturing superpower has pushed US business to modernize and achieve ever higher levelsof efficiency and productivity," said Grimson.

Grimson holds that it is not right for US manufacturers to blame China for a decline in US manufacturing jobs, saying "the transformation of the US economy started long before the current 'crises' with China's trade imbalance, the currency, or textiles. Simply blaming China will not solve issues relating to US economictransformation."

According to statistics compiled by the US-China Business Council, he said, the US manufacturing sector's share of the US economy has fallen from 32 percent in 1960 to 22 percent in 1980, and to 14 percent in 2002.
The same old problem: we think we can dominate the world via military might and at the same time make nothing for trade! True, "inflation" is low...for singular items. But inflation for essentials is through the roof, over 10% a year if not more, this year. All I have to do is look at my own finances. Property taxes, up every year without exception. Fees for registering cars, up too. School for my son, up and up and up. Health insurance, through the roof. Fuels of all sorts: heaven is the limit! Everything I need is up and up and up.

The creep parading as a pundit and working day and night to enslave us, this lawyer, Grimson, thinks it is just cool that we are losing our industrial base. He makes lots of money this way. Selling us down the river is great, for him. The sly way these people operate annoys the hell out of me. Japan has for years run an increasing deficit with the USA. For years, we tried to pry open their doors to trade by they always out manouvered us in this, simply by purchasing the services of all the negotiators from Reagan on down. So our "negotiators" were all in the pay of the Japanese!

Which is why we run a huge deficit with them, still.

This is no longer mentioned just like the Japanese currency manipulations are never mentioned. Japan was supposedly allowed to do all this because it made them strong so they could oppose the Soviet threat which died years ago and oppose the Chinese.

Who now own many of our negotiators and legislators, learning this art from the Japanese.

Our trade deficit with "the world" started with the wild spending on the Cold War particularily with Vietnam and then OPEC. We hit our Hubbert Oil Peak the very same year our trade deficit started its relentless climb. The only reason we have "trade" is because of easy money given in the form of loans, most of which are bad deals since the populace can't pay off the principal at all. This has ramafications.

One farmer I know here wanted to upgrade his facilities 20 years ago, under Reagan. He was offered a loan 2% below prime but with a huge hitch: it never paid off the principal and worse, monthly payments were set lower than the rate of paying interest and the interest was added onto the principal! So after 20 years of hard work, his principal owed went from $350,000 to $550,000! He couldn't sell his farm and became suicidal.

He recovered his senses and sold off his dairy cows and took a 'regular' job and waited until the housing balloon was big enough and sold his farm to be turned into suburbia, for $1,000,000. Seemingly, a happy end. For him. But then, this was sheer luck for he benefits from this below the inflation rate loans that have sparked heavy speculation. Not a house has been built on his farm and we were discussing how there might never be any but he was relieved that he won't be either worked to death, a bankrupt or suicide. I am happy for him.

But millions are caught in the same trap today and many enter this trap in order to buy homes in this balloon market and when it pops, there goes our trade deficit.

No one will loan money to a bankrupt country, a bankrupt people. You can't load up debt forever nor run eternal deficits that grow exponetially as well as per capita.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

GREENSPAN GRIEF

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Well, the senile old goat, Skull and Bones Greenspan, is at it again. Warning us about either the wrong things or things he himself caused. First, his blatherings in public:From Yahoo News:
Creeping trade protectionism and bloated budget deficits pose a risk to the United States' long-term economic vitality, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Friday.

"Developing protectionism regarding trade and our reluctance to place fiscal policy on a more sustainable path are threatening what may well be our most valued policy asset: the increased flexibility of our economy, which has fostered our extraordinary resilience to shocks," the Fed chief said in a speech to an economic conference here, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Maintaining economic flexibility is especially important, Greenspan said, to deal with what he called some of America's current economic imbalances: the swollen current account trade deficit, which surged to a record $668 billion last year, and the housing boom.

Greenspan also worried in his speech about what will occur with the ending of the recent sustained period of low interest rates and low risks for investors. "History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums," he said in his remarks.
Low risks? What planet does he hail from? The fatted goose of America was deliberately overfed by interested parties who want to eventually slit the guts and eat the liver. See?

We fell for it, of course, because all simple creatures want to eat everything in sight. My horse, Sparky, will stuff his gut until his hooves spit if I let him. Want to destroy a horse? Let them break into the sweetmix. Their stomachs swell up and they die. Sparky actually did this once and we ran a hose down into his stomach and sucked out all the grain. He was pretty sick at that point!

Never did it again.

The trade deficit won't be fixed by sending even more jobs overseas and buying up cheap labor products from overseas or out of country. Like Ford opening a huge factory right across the border in Mexico, callusly gambling that increasingly poor Americans will be able to afford enough debt to buy a Mexican car! Only yesterday, Moody's rated Ford as xxx risk, ie, they will be as dead as an overfed horse pretty soon so don't loan them any money! This is one of our top industries!!

We already shipped out nearly everything else. We are now cutting off arms and legs, not just fingers and toes! Actually, we are slicing our throats!

I remember the highway and energy bills we just passed. Both are budget busters. Greenspan wasn't screaming and beating himself with whips over that, was he? No, he wants to shift the burden of paying for this mess onto you and me, the non Skull and Bones folk. The non Bohemia Club people. The little people.
On other issues, Greenspan said the economy thus far seems to be weathering reasonably well the run-up in energy prices over the last two years.
Yeah, so far, all my neighbors have been hoarding firewood and cutting back on purchases at Walmart! I note, Walmart is getting rather alarmed.

And the price of firewood is rising, too. And the power was shut off in California yet again. But then, they voted for Schwarzie and so they can stew in their movie star juices for a while until they learn to not be so stupid.

All of this is shameful and horrible. Not one bad thing happening or that is going to inevitably happen should be happening. It was so easy to not do all this. But, like my horse, Sparky, he doesn't listen to me, either.

And I had to pump his stomach.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

RITE TO WORK

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Poster by Fritz Schoen, Germany, 1910, selling bikes (heavily modified by the autor)

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As I have detailed here, the Chinese workers and peasants are engaged in a whole hearted struggle for power vis a vis their rulers and their proxie rulers in America. The Chinese communist rulers can't crush the workers ruthlessly for fear of revolution, unlike the American rulers. But they are trying to figure it all out so they can imitate our oppressors.

As the American workers falls lower and lower and loses more and more comforts and civil rights, they can wave hello to the Chinese workers who are surging forwards, getting stronger and more organized and ready to kill, if necessary, for what they believe is what they deserve: a better life.

We are taught to laugh at the French and their long vacations and full school/medical care and all those other ugly socialistic stuff. We have the "right to work" laws that make unionizing impossible.

This is 100% the fault of the American workers who were propagandized into voting over stupid garbage that barely touched their own homes. They were told, all you need is cheap credit and no taxes and it won't matter if you never get another pay raise or a vacation. I often said, it is better to pay high taxes and high interest rates but get good wages that go up faster than inflation but no one listens to me!

The last of the great unions is being crushed. From the NYT:
Every morning, afternoon and evening for the last few days, groups of airline mechanics, accompanied by security guards, stride out of the Hyatt Regency hotel here. They board a pair of yellow school buses, the windows taped over with white paper to hide who is inside.
Why not make them wear white sheets? KKK employment agency, always on call!
Seconds later, the buses chug off for their destination: Northwest Airlines' operations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 10 miles away.

These men and a handful of women are at the center of the airline industry's most significant labor dispute in more than a decade. And they may be taking part in another historic moment of a different kind: busting unions, 21st century style.

They are among the 1,900 replacement workers deployed by Northwest to assume the duties of 4,430 mechanics, cleaners and other members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. The union struck the airline on Saturday over the airline's demand for $176 million in pay and benefit cuts.
Ford just opened yet another factory in Mexico this week. They are laying off Americans. Soon, that industry will be all nonunion like the Japanese factories put up as charity in the deep South to keep American politicians silent.

Let's go back in time. Why were successful unions like the Longshoremen so successful?

It was actually pretty simple.

The Mafia would kill the families of anyone caught scabbing. The long fight of the coal miner's union was the same way. Murder, arson, riots. Ditto the automaker's union. Indeed, all union organizing shed plenty of blood. Shoot outs and bombs and assassinations. Sort of like...IRAQ!

Well, fighting for freedom is a bloody hell. And we think that at home, all we have to do is goof off and get hysterical about fetuses and gays kissing and we won't end up flayed and fried by the real owners of our country. These capitalist cannibals don't care if all of us end up in rags, begging to be worked to death.

This is their dream paradise!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

WHY RICH PEOPLE CAN'T SAVE US

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Some rich people supported Kerry's Skull and Bones bid to run America for the Corporate Entities. Instead, thanks to Diebold, we got stuck with what has to be by far, the most unpopular "re-elect" in history. Within two weeks of "winning" his popularity was tanking and has tanked so far down it resembles the many tanks blown up in the Middle East.

Sad over "losing" this fake election, the rich people who want to run our party want to start a think tank that will think of things we can do and say as if we lefties who don't tank anything can't think of what to say already! From Salon via Truthout.org
Rich liberals, fed up with losing, are spending big bucks to create think tanks and training programs. Their goal isn't just to beat Bush, but to remake the American political landscape.
Washington -- "Devastated" does not do it justice. The day after the last presidential election, the millionaires and billionaires who fund progressive politics awoke to find their historic efforts had fallen flat. They had thrown small fortunes and thousands of work hours into the battle to defeat President Bush, blitzed swing states with television ads, placed millions of phone calls, and recruited enough Election Day workers to fill a small city. And yet George W. Bush won in a walk, increasing his margin of victory with gains in key demographics like black and Hispanic voters. In the House and the Senate, the GOP expanded its majority.

"We kind of pulled the covers up over our heads for a while," said Deborah Rappaport, who, with her venture capitalist husband, Andrew, funded several liberal 527 groups. Several of the largest liberal groups, like America Coming Together, closed up shop, merged or downsized. Activists polished their rÉsumÉs. The founders of MoveOn.org called themselves "heartbroken." The billionaire financier George Soros, who gave more than $25 million to the effort, admitted, "Obviously, I am distressed."

Liberal money was down for the count, but only temporarily. Now, nearly a year after their defeat at the polls, wealthy liberals are again pulling out their checkbooks.

But this time, they are looking beyond the midterm elections in 2006 or the presidential showdown in 2008. Dozens of the richest people in America have banded together to develop a new, permanent network of progressive organizations that will, they hope, fundamentally alter the political direction of the country. Their idea is to create a sort of venture capital firm for progressive philanthropy, a new organization they call the Democracy Alliance. The Alliance will do very little substantive work itself. Rather it will direct six- and seven-figure donations to those groups -- whether they are think tanks, media outlets, or training programs for young liberal leaders -- that show the most promise.
Geeze. My blog is free. They can see how thinking goes on here. Indeed, the whole net is full of thinking blogs that think about politics on the left. Of course, none of these rich people so eager to lead the left are talking to any of us. They don't see us at all. They want to talk to us but not with us.

This is why they want to ape the right which works for rich people who are corporate America and who want to make money beggaring us all.

Kerry is a rich man who is rich because workers aren't rich. He and his buddies don't want to make workers rich because every penny that goes to a worker doesn't go to him. Bush is the same. Geeze. What a surprize!

This is why they would both rather hire Chinese workers, they are cheap and easy to control but as I point out here, the controls are slipping in China as workers see the need to organize and fight the despots who are taking over their country. The Chinese rulers don't need a think tank. They use army tanks.

Come to think of it, so do our own rulers. If workers get too organized, this messes with the massive wealth transfers! The left needs leaders but they arise from the masses, not cultivated poodles groomed by rich masters. If the rich want to see us get a higher profile, they could subsidize bloggers like myself. Heh. Fat chance.

They could pour money into universities to force them to hire pro-union, pro-worker, pro-environment economics professors! Subsidize economic graduate students who write forcefully about socialist economic systems and true liberalism whereby workers get to organize and are protected by the police from the owners of businesses that try to oppress them. Ha. Yeah, like right.

The rich will never do this. They do fear the Christian right wing fundies but even more, they fear unions. The fundies might mess up the rich people's play habits but the unions might interfer with the flow of money! That is verboten.

The rich, after sitting idle while Bush cut their taxes and obligations, are worried about the budget running very deeply in the red. They dream of increasing our taxes while they use various international means to hide their own wealth overseas. Think "Soros" here. They are alarmed that Bush used our military to make things worse, they want the military to protect them and be as scarce as possible so they can gad about the planet, enjoying it, while workers toil at minimum reward to make them richer.
The effort has already attracted a group of about 80 wealthy donors who hope to eventually raise upward of $200 million for the cause. But their work has so far been kept a close secret. Eight months after forming, the Alliance has almost no public profile. It has yet to hold a press conference or issue a press release. There is nothing on its Web site, and its phone number and address, on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Va., are unlisted. The group's new office space remains unadorned, with blank walls in the conference room, and the staff roster counts less than a dozen employees, not including outside consultants like Mike McCurry, one of Bill Clinton's former press secretaries.
A secret organization...hahaha. Our Bohemian Club, our Illuminati! As the rich fight each other over who controls the minds of the masses, just remember this:

Controlling your own mind is the real battle. Being given access to any and all information that our rulers see is the real battle. Freedom of speech is the battle. We don't need money, we need to dismantle the propaganda machine that rules our airwaves and our press.

Liberating our own minds isn't easy, it is hard work. This means going out and changing minds, one at a time. No rich person is going to make your life better.

Only you and I can do this, ourselves.

Taking back the Democratic party means forgetting about getting lots of money and concentrating on getting lots of minds. To do this means everyone reaching out...next door. Boy, I live in a right wing community. They have been herded into a brick wall and now they are ready to listen to someone with a better idea of which direction we should go!

Remember, the real fight is always for the hearts and minds!

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Monday, August 22, 2005

CHINESE PEOPLE POWER

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Like any dynamic society, the Chinese people struggle with their rulers, vying for power. Since they can't vote to change, they force change by group actions. Like in America, group actions are difficult because the rulers control the media and use it ruthlessly to attack anyone who emerges as a possible leader, witness here the snarling attacks on Cindy Sheehan, the latest person to emerge from the nascent masses, a focal point of public unrest.

In China, the peasants are taking matters in their own hands and rightfully so. From Yahoo news:
Protesters demanding the closure of an eastern China battery factory they say is spewing lead into the environment clashed with police, and dozens of people were injured, witnesses and hospital officials said Sunday.

After the initial melee with police, thousands of demonstrators torched police cars and broke into government offices, witnesses reported.

Such scenes of frustration are becoming more common in rural China as villagers vent their anger against corruption, environmental degradation, pollution and the seizure of land for real estate development.
Unlike here, the farmers in China realize they can't exist unless the earth is healthy. Farmers here want to industrialize themselves to the point that they can pollute nature at will. It is very short sighted. The zones of death grow as farmers destroy nature here. It is terrible to watch.

The environmental movement terrifies the rulers but at the same time they want safe enclaves for themselves and their spoiled children so they can live long, happy lives breathing good air, etc. But to make great wealth, they have to rape the planet so they are in a conflict.

This is why understanding how we exist is vital and keeping one's eye on evolution and creation is life and death. Just like the refusal to understand how evolution works on viruses leads us to misuse medicines, misunderstanding nature can lead to our extinction.
Saturday's violence began after a large crowd gathered outside the Tian Neng Battery Factory in Meishan, a town in Zhejiang province, to demonstrate against lead pollution, said a villager, who refused to give his name for fear of retribution.

"Police fired tear gas into the crowd and beat innocent bystanders," the man said in a telephone interview. "I also saw some ambulances go through the area to pick up injured people."

He could not give an estimate of how many demonstrators were involved except to say there were "many, many people."

At the emergency ward of the Changxing County Hospital, a woman said between 60 and 70 people were treated Saturday for minor injuries related to the incident. She said most had been discharged, but she refused to provide any other details or give her name.
OK. China has brutal rulers. Now read this story: From the Washington Post:
Two women protesting the war in Iraq were taken to a hospital Saturday after police broke up an unauthorized march involving about five dozen people on a busy one-way street near an Army recruiting station.

David Meieran, who helped organize the protest, accused police of "inappropriate and excessive force."

Sgt. Clint Winkler, a supervisor on duty, told The Associated Press that one woman who would not leave was subdued with a Taser. He also confirmed that a police dog bit another woman on the leg when she refused police orders to disperse.
They were on a sidewalk, were peaceful, the recruiting station was fricking closed, even. They barely caused even a slight pause in the workings of the city's machinery and dogs were set upon them, tasers which are brutal, vicious tools, were used. The victim is reduced to screaming on the ground, writhing with severe pain, tasers can and have killed people! All because the protestors are against an imperialist war! And we are fighting for freedom in Iraq? What?

The FBI tagged Earth First as the most dangerous political group in America. They burn down buildings! My oh my. Unlike the right wingers who blow up clinics and Federal buildings.

The environment matters and how we farm and manufacture is important and the government must control how things are used so we don't die. Here is an example of how a government, fearful of unrest due to environmental matters, tries to deal with it all:From the Standard Hong Kong:
`The test results that came out [on Saturday] were preliminary and the concentration of malachite green was low,'' Chow said. ``Also, many species of freshwater fish and the local species are not affected by the substance and it would not be fair if we imposed a ban across the board. But if the public are worried, they should eat less [freshwater fish],'' he said.

Malachite green is a synthetic dye also used to color silk, wool, jute, leather, cotton and paper, and was traditionally used to treat fungal infections at fish farms.

High levels of the toxin may lead to cancer and changes in DNA, according to Chinese University biochemistry professor Ho Wing-shing.
Fresh water fish can't be sold in Hong Kong from mainland China! We struggle with our own fish problems for our reckless actions are killing fish or making them dangerous to eat. For example, we can't eat fish from our great river, the Hudson, in NY because of pollution from factories long gone still plague the river. Efforts to dredge the scum out and make the river safe for fish was a huge battle which the corporations fought to prevent. They can get their fish from some pristine environment, they imagine. They are fools.

The terrible mine tragedy that was barely mentioned in the news in the USA reverberates. 123 miners were forced to work during a typhoon and flood waters filled the caves and they died. From Xinhuanet:
Preliminary investigations have shown probably it is collusion between officials and business people that has turned the Daxing Coal Mine in southern Guangdong Province into a death trap.

Several bodies have been recovered, but most of the 123 miners caught in the flooded shaft are still nowhere to be found following the disaster on August 7.

While millions across the country are questioning why the owner of the Daxing Mine dared to operate without necessary licences and even defied the Guangdong provincial government's order of July 14 to suspend production in the wake of a disaster that left 14 miners dead, they only have to look as far as Zeng Yungao.

Zeng, the 39-year-old chairman of the Dajingli Coal Company that owns the Daxing Mine, is a smooth operator in the bureaucratic local government system. Since he bought the Daxing Mine, which was privatized in 1999, Zeng has quickly become known not only for his wealth but his extensive government connections.

Zeng knows politics and business extremely well. In the last few years he has managed to become deputy to two local legislative bodies the Meizhou People's Congress and the Xingning People's Congress. Xingning, a county-level city, is part of Meizhou.

He has also won awards from the local government, being named in "The Top 10 Outstanding Young Entrepreneurs of Xingning City" and "Person Making Great Contribution to Xingning's Economy."

Locals looked on in awe last Spring Festival when 130 cars jammed the village where Zeng was holding a feast for his business connections, or guanxi, including some local government officials.

Through Zeng's connections, the deadly Daxing Mine was named an "Advanced Enterprise" by the local government. The mine also received a "safety production" certificate just two months before the disaster, although the mine did not have mining and business licences.
Like in America, well placed bribes and manipulations by the ruling elite with the capitalist led directly to the deaths of innocent workers! I am glad the Chinese news is covering this aspect. I wish our news media took this tack. They do, to a point. I remember Ken Lay who should be in prison and the Texas government officials who colluded with him starting with a certain W. Bush, put in prison, too. But no. We are supposed to sit, slack jawed, thanks to our media.

From Wimpling Wings:
This is a synoptic entry at best, as I have a family "thing" today.

The United States government and its corporate patrons have a very complex relationship with China. The government borrows very heavily from the Chinese via United States Treasury security auctions, yet disdains China's population control programs, such that it withdrew long-standing annual funding of a United Nations family planning program, because of its supposed complicity in China's forced sterilizations and abortions. Other countries which benefit from the fund's activities are being punished, too.

Corporate America is abandoning our shores, or at least, outsourcing much manufacturing to China. Many entities have, as well, incorporated off shore in the Carribean to, frankly, avoid paying taxes in the United States where they still sell most of what they produce, either to the Chinese-funded government or to us. Many, as well, support the war in Iraq, but they don't want to pay for it via taxation (or anything else).

Recently a Chinese official essentially threatened the United States with a nuclear response if the government intervened militarily in China's reunification with Taiwan. China considers Taiwan a renegade province; the United States government heretofore considered Taiwan an ally. Today, given its debtor status vis a vis the Chinese government, our officials are quite tongue-tied about non-Communist Taiwan. What to do? Quit taking dirty Communist money?
The merger of our ruling elite continues. From Xinhuanet again:
More Chinese officials are expected to receive training in the United States, as both sides consider extending a joint programme at Harvard University, education officials said yesterday.

"We are looking at the possibility of continuing the China's Leaders in Development Programme beyond the initial projected five-year period," said David Ellwood, dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government (KSG).

Sixty-one local and central government officials, the fourth batch since 2002, arrived in the US on Saturday to take courses on public administration and international development issues, school sources said.

The programme, launched by the State Council Development Research Centre at Tsinghua University and Harvard University to train around 60 Chinese officials each year, expires in 2006.
Our foolish universities, happy that they have utterly destroyed America, are teaching the Chinese how we did it. The Chinese have a growing sense of patriotism which is in stark contrast to America where it is the working class that has the last few pitiful shreds of patriotism and this force will cause them to use the information they get differently from how we use it. We created a system whereby we can seemingly rule the earth using the American worker's honest patriotism for nasty means, sending soldiers to be blown up in places our rulers want to control for their own wealth and power, bleeding their host nation dry, putting it deeply into debt and cutting social services that help the workers, reducing their wages ruthlessly and brutally suppressing union activity, corrupt and detached, they don't even bother with the fiction of being citizens, much less patriots!

The Chinese are fascinated by this and troubled for their own rulers are becoming equally detached, note my story about $10 billion stolen and taken to the USA by Chinese officials.

Of course, the solution is to grant greater powers to the people! For there is wisdom in that. Note the de facto organizational efforts of the peasants and workers struggling to form unions in China! The Chinese rulers see how the workers are kept in chains in America and want to reproduce that system.

Well, we have to free ourselves before we can free the Chinese. And thanks to the Patriot Act, we are even more a Soviet style police state than before!

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

CROSS EYED ECONOMICS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I happen to think many economics professors are frankly, too stupid to cross a road unassisted. They exist only to marvel at things they cannot understand due to the fact that they don't want to understand. This is why all economic difficulties not only take them by surprise but stump them.

This has dire impacts on us non economic professors. None of these clueless people ever lose their stipends due to their collective inabilities. Unlike the rest of us who are flung down the abyss every time things fall apart, they go merrily on, marveling at the destruction and then, clueless forever, continue teaching.

From Detroit Free Press
The Federal Reserve's commitment to fight inflation might be keeping soaring oil prices from triggering a broader increase in consumer prices, Fed Governor Edward M. Gramlich said in an interview.

"It is a wondrous event for those of us who were here in the '70s," when oil prices caused inflation to surge, Gramlich said Tuesday from his office in Washington, D.C. The Fed's efforts may have "worked in keeping inflation at bay when oil or gas prices have gone up so much." Gramlich, 66, is leaving the Fed Aug. 31 after almost eight years to return to teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Surging fuel costs pushed the prices U.S. consumers paid in July to the highest level in three months, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Excluding energy and food, prices rose a smaller-than-expected 0.1% for a third straight month, evidence that rising oil costs haven't increased inflation.

Gramlich said he overestimated the potential for soaring oil prices to stoke inflation."I was a little too pessimistic," he said. Since the Fed began lifting interest rates in June 2004 in quarter-point moves, "inflation has stayed low and on target, the economy has recovered and unemployment has fallen." He said, "it's hard to quarrel with the outcome."
This is so stupid. If one looks at only one tree, one can't see the forest on fire. Just yesterday, Walmart was complaining about how their customer base is vaporizing due to high fuel costs! Now couple this story with yet more troubling news: From USA Today:
Single-family home prices are "extremely overvalued" in 53 cities that make up nearly a third of the overall U.S. housing market, putting them at high risk of price declines, according to a study released today.

The report, by Richard DeKaser, chief economist of National City Corp., examined 299 metro areas accounting for 80% of the U.S. housing market. (Chart: High-priced housing faces risks; 299 metro areas ranked)

DeKaser terms a market extremely overvalued if prices are 30% above where he estimates they should be based on historic price data, area income, mortgage rates and population density - a proxy for land scarcity.
Just because we haven't hit the brick wall doesn't mean it isn't there or we aren't headed straight towards it! People remember things backwards which is why so many can't riddle out the past. When oil prices shot up in 1973, it was due to a boycott and war in the Middle East. We had oil shortages but no huge price hikes because of the Nixon wage/price controls! In other words, it was artificially maintained.

As the dollar devalued and the cost of everything rose, Nixon was thrown out of office and Ford tried his Whip Inflation Now efforts and finally, the Fed raised interst rates really high and during this time, the shock of high energy prices didn't hit all sectors the same or at once. For example, the price of heating oil shot up, everyone including me, switched to natural gas, thus preventing a huge bite in our incomes. We had room to move to a better car or better heating system. Back then, the price of oil was way up but not other energy systems, mostly because natural gas and electricity were government regulated and there were intense political pressure to not raise prices. Under Reagan, this changed and now all energy rises in lockstep with the price of oil. I remember earning some good money during the oil price hike convusions. The price of fun stuff like TVs suddenly collapsed when interest rates rose too high. Cars became buyable again. Everything fell in price as desperated retailers struggled to get customers.

Today, like in the early part of the first oil shock of the seventies, interest rates are well below the rate of inflation so everyone is engorging themselves on this cheap money. We also gave up the ghost on the industrial front and now wait passively for our foreign workers to force price hikes on us as they will, in the end.

What will happen is, they will stop subsidizing us suddenly when the cost is too high. Rather than see inflation, we will see an end to selling here. There just won't be anything to sell. In other words, all our retailers will go bankrupt!

The present panic sales to keep market share can't continue forever. Detroit is praying that the price cutting will end as buyers besiege them for cars. This isn't going to happen with rising interest rates. And we have to raise them. The savings rate for America is zero.

Actually, collectively, it is deep in negative territory which is why we are running virtually all our systems in the red. A culture can't do that forever. The home ATM machine is already breaking down and the average American can't take on much more debt. Already, the average American carries $6000 in debts that pay off at nearly or over 30% interest rates. This burden is growing because of the high cost of lending. The average student in college is graduating with a lifetime burden of debt of over $20,000 and in order to continue consuming, must immediately add on more debts, on a perpetual downhill slope that will end in owning nothing.

From the LA Times
But some analysts suggest that costlier energy is beginning to throttle the economy, and the Federal Reserve should consider that as it continues its year-old policy of raising interest rates to curb inflation.

How can expensive energy limit inflation? It can make it harder to boost prices on other goods and services. With more of their budgets going to gasoline, consumers have less to spend on other stuff. And that means sellers must think twice before raising prices — on products as diverse as T-shirts at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and computers at Dell Inc. — even if higher energy bills are driving up their costs.
Yes, throttling the entire economy prevents general inflation. Translation: using fuel will be very expensive but don't worry, everything will be cheap except everyone will be unemployed! This means we will go into a fricking depression!

Depressions are always much worse than mere recessions. Inflation and recession can be pretty terrible but depressions are hideous. When you fix something by tightening a belt around the neck, you strangle to death.

Take airlines. Even as major carriers suffer rising fuel costs, heightened competition means "they've had one heck of a time raising ticket prices," said Nariman Behravesh, chief global economist at Global Insight, an economic consulting firm in Waltham, Mass. "Every time they try to raise fares, smaller players like JetBlue or Southwest jump in and take market share."

The upshot: "Unlike the past when oil had a huge inflationary impact, this time its inflationary impact is very small and it may have a somewhat deflationary impact," Behravesh said.
So, United Airlines dumps their pensions, all the airlines are facing worker unrest. The remaining workers see their wages cut ruthlessly, they can't buy more but take on mor ruinous debts to keep up the illusions of living a middle class life, the spiral downwards steepens.

Celebrating the destruction of our entire economy because there won't be any inflation this way is not only insane, it is cruel in the extreme. Just as I warn people it is better to pay higher taxes and have a job, so it is better to have inflation and jobs than no inflation and no jobs.

The celebration of the forces of depression baffles me until I realize, not one of these creeps will lose a job or any sleep when the depression starts to grind us down to dust.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

SPENDING LIMITS

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CNN Oil tanker "Pestige" sinking off the coast of Spain

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This week, Abramoff, friend of Bush and DeLay, the extrordinary lobbyist, has been indited and will face trial for corruption. One of his pet schemes was to milk money from off shore corporate entities who wanted a false "grass roots" front for changing laws forbidding government contracts to traitor American companies that use tax havens as fronts so they can avoid supporting the government which they want money from.

From the Washington Post:
Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, an associate of several influential GOP figures, appeared in federal court Friday on wire fraud and conspiracy charges and was released on $2.25 million bond.

Abramoff and a partner were indicted Thursday by a grand jury in Florida on charges they misled lenders and forged a key document used to obtain loans for the 2000 purchase of a casino boat venture.

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Here is a typical gambling boat, stranded by the drought (from the NYT). Note the lack of windows. It is a floating box used like a great trap, a parasite that eats money and spits out crime. Bankruptcies erupt all around these fly traps. Abramoff worked hard to infest America with these things. This is also what got him into trouble.
The judge also told Abramoff he needs to maintain his "course of mental health treatment."
His brain isn't malfunctioning, it is his morals. There are no pills or treatment for this disease. His willing partners in crime, much of the GOP leadership, they are the ones who need to see a psychiatrist.

Read more at the DCCC website.

From Counterpunch:
On Monday, I reported that the US, formerly a superpower until afflicted with "new economy" syndrome, has lost so much manufacturing capability that it can scarcely produce one submarine every two years and one aircraft carrier every five years. US manufacturing capability is so reduced and shrinking so fast that the president of the American Shipbuilding Association recently said that in the next several years "more and more manufacturing of ship components and systems will migrate to China."

Not to worry say free trade economists. Shipbuilding is just one of those old manufacturing things that the nanotech US economy is better off without. Alas, according to Manufacturing & Technology News (July 8), so much manufacturing capability has already left the US that American nanotechnology capability is largely limited to pilot-scale, low-volume manufacturing.

In testimony before the House Science Subcommittee on Research, Matthew Nordan of Lux Research, Inc., said that any American nanotech ideas are likely to "be implemented in manufacturing plants on other shores."
I have detailed this process here. I noted the other day how all the top corporations hired the same Chinese man to "ease" their way through the communist party's headquarters and he always ended up sucking virtually all the companies' work into China, leaving the empty husk for a new victim. Now he is being sued...for leaving Cisco Systems after he tried to move 80% of the work to China. So they moved only 40% and he quit to find a new victim.

We get empty boxes that suck out money and produce crime for vibrant businesses.

From Yahoo:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. struggled in the second quarter and offered a disappointing third-quarter profit forecast, again blaming higher gasoline prices for cutting into spending plans by its low-income shoppers. In contrast, shoppers at moderate-price department store retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc., focused on fashion rather than fuel, resulting in robust results and an upbeat outlook.

Still, while Penney's consumers have managed to absorb higher prices at the pump so far, the retailer warned that could change if prices keep rising.
The big boxes that suck out money and give crummy junk in return are struggling to get their share of the money the boxes that suck up money and spit out crime are eating. The people who can still afford to go shopping for barely useful stuff do so because up until this week, their houses were still operating as ATM machines but the rise in interest rates and the rise in the rate of inflation is killing the bouyant housing market that was, like Japan's in the eighties, a big boon but also a giant trap.

In six months, JC Penny and Target will be wailing as they cut prices and see no profit, like the auto dealers, as things collapse.

From Xinhuanet:
The World Bank said Tuesday China's economy is expected to grow by 9 percent in 2005, and about 8 percent in 2006.

In its quarterly update on the country's economy, the China mission of the World Bank said the economic outlook for China "remains good" in a stable macroeconomic environment and with favorable financial conditions.

"We now project (China's) GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 9 percent in 2005, and about 8 percent in 2006," the bank said in the report released in Beijing Tuesday.

The bank based the projection partly on global economic factors, saying the growth in world economic activity and trade is projected to slow during the rest of 2005.

"World trade growth is now expected to slow from 12 percent in 2004 to 6.4 percent in 2005, which is likely to affect China's export growth."
The Chinese say world trade will fall 50%? Excuse me, but guess what that means for us? We are 50% of world trade, more or less, you know. So the Chinese are expecting trade with us to fall a great deal, don't they? They have been working on developing a domestic market, unlike the Japanese who need us since we are more than double the Japanese population but with China it is reversed: they outnumber us and are more interested in internal markets than the Japanese who are reaping the bad side of their own economic dependence on shipping to the US rather than internal shopping.

China, unlike Japan, also can expand easily since it isn't an island. It is very much like us in many ways. Which is why we were fools to ship all our economy over there. They, unlike the Japanese, are not militarily occupied by the USA and they have no burdens of keeping bases running all over the planet and fighting peasants hither and yon.

The American DOW index has been bouncing against the 10,600 ceiling for quite a while but now it seems, investors are heading for the hills, seeking some haven in this gathering storm.

Oh, and did you see Bush boasting that we will be only $300 billion in the hole this year? Whoopee. Of course, these numbers presume many things like no more votes for more war money, and if you find that believable, I have a dead ox carcass you can buy, cheap.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

FED REX WRECKS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Corporations just don't understand us bloggers. We are not out to get rich, we want to have fun and share information for free. Well, that is revolutionary, isn't it? Information should cost one dearly, that is the view of corporations. Note how swiftly Google became a Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.From Wired News:
Most of us have been there. You can just barely afford to pay the rent. But forget about buying furniture -- not if you want to eat, anyway.

Jose Avila recently found himself in just that predicament. Although he has a good job as a software developer, he's locked into two rents after moving to Arizona, and has no extra cash for an Ikea shopping spree. But instead of scouting street corners for a ratty, unwanted couch, Avila got creative and built an apartment full of surprisingly sturdy furniture -- out of FedEx shipping boxes.Fanciful as his creations may seem, FedEx is not amused. The shipping giant's lawyers have sent Avila letters demanding he take down the site he created to document his project, invoking, among other things, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (.pdf), or DMCA.
Instead of laughing at this or better yet, sending some guys with lots of money to ask him to appear in a commercial for Fed Ex, they sued the kid.

Let's visit his parody site:
FedEx Furniture is furniture put together by empty FedEx Boxes, and held together by fedex packaging supplies. All of the furniture seen here is 100% functional. The couch is standing/sleeping approved, I sleep on the bed every night, I eat at the dining table, and I work at the desk almost 20 hours a day.
f There are several amusing pictures of the guy and his wonderful furniture. All very tastefully done, quite artistic, very funny in a good, healthy way.

So far, Fed Ex is Fed Fux. They attack him with lawyers and lawyers who hang out on the web and are like this creative young man, attack back. And so far, are winning. The corporate idiots doing the fighting obviously don't have any brains so they bellow louder and louder, desperate to stop this challenge to their authority.

If I were on the Board of Directors, I would fire whoever is running the joint. Obviously, now that this story is making bigger and bigger news as the ripples flow through the net, it appearing in Slash dot and Wired News and now appearing at news gathering sites and of course, here, the black eye Fed Ex is getting in this moronic David vs Golidiot battle should concern shareholders.

This is another sign as to why we have to keep corporations on a very short leash: for their own good. Their reflexes for self defence mostly involves intimidating, harassing and running over the little guy. Just like America, in foreign lands, refuses to understand the battle is for people's hearts and minds and bombing them is not a good way of achieving this.
If any shipping corporations have problems with our site please feel free to forward requests to /dev/null. By emailing us any questions or comments you give fedexfurniture.com the right to post any such message, and or replies on our site.
Sarcasm is so much what the internet is all about. We can talk back with impunity and do it to a considerable audience.Here is his blog about his fight with Fed Ex.

If I were running the mainstream media, I would send a video crew pronto to Arizona to interview this enterprising, talented, funny guy.

He deserves more than 15 minutes of fame. He deserves a better job: running Fed Ex!

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Friday, August 12, 2005

MEET OUR FINANCIAL JESTERS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This is the typical business news story. Ho hum. But read it with me! From CNN:
Getting a 34-year Harvard man to abandon one of the nation's most prestigious business schools for an Idaho church college seems like a task that would demand divine revelation.

For Kim Clark, who left his post as Harvard Business School dean last week, it came down to the next best thing.
OK. The head of the Harvard Business school is a religious kook.
Clark's move, viewed from inside the church, could be seen as a promotion: Some say this establishes Clark, a former Mormon bishop, as a rising star. His predecessor as university president, David Bednar, was named in 2004 to the "Quorum of the 12 Apostles," a church governing body considered by Mormons to have the same authority as the 12 Biblical apostles.
OK. He is a bad as those sexual uptights running Opus Dei. Note how all these religious nuts promote and support each other. They network like crazy, weaseling into postions of responsiblity. Religious right wingers of all faiths are busy doing this. There are many possible good choices for Harvard and they chose this lunatic.
In leaving his $407,000 post at Harvard, Clark steps from a platform that lent him instant gravitas. An expert on the international automobile industry, he sits on boards at JetBlue Airways and toolmaker Black & Decker. BYU-Idaho officials won't say how much he'll earn in Rexburg.
Um, I could run classes about internation/American car business models and explain all sorts of things to everyone and I could do it for a lot less, like, for free.

But then, I don't belong to the right wing flat earth conspiracy, do I? What I want to know, is how this man became an "expert" in international autos?
Clark, Kim B., and Takahiro Fujimoto. Product Development Performance: Strategy, Organization, and Management in the World Auto Industry.
(Harvard Business School Press, 1991) (HD 9710.A2C57 1991)
What a surprize. He works with the Japanese.
"The Product Development Imperative: Competing in the New Industrial Marathon," in Duffy, P.B., ed., The Relevance of a Decade, Business School Press, Boston, 1994 (with K.B. Clark)
Why are we losing this industrial marathon? Is it because our coaches are on the other team?

Seriously, this is the nub of the whole illness killing us. I have argued on campus with these guys and to a man, the top professors, well paid and smug, are happy about destroying the great American working class. Killing unions is their mandate and they succeeded. Working hand in claw with the mighty industrialists who want us all slaves, they happily teach how to destroy people's lives and lo and behold, they are succeeding wonderfully! They don't even have to fear elections anymore, they destroyed our ability to count votes or stop the tidal wave of bribes that corrupt our system hopelessly.

As all the numbers rack up this year, all pointing to a hell that we can't avoid by merely changing course, we can thank monsters like Professor Kim Clark and his ilk.

Oh, and now that the job is open at Harvard, my mountain isn't far away. I will be happy to work for $400,000 a year only I will not write stuff that helps the very rich.
So much for that job offer!

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FLATTER THAN A PANCAKE

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

From the Washington Post:
America's trade gap widened sharply in June as ever-galloping oil prices pushed petroleum imports to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit -- the gap between what America sells abroad and what it buys -- grew more than expected in June to $58.8 billion, a jump of 6.1 percent over May. So far this year, the trade gap is running at a yearly rate of $686 billion -- 11 percent higher than last year's all-time record.
Um, like, this is very bad news, you know. Aside from the fact that we are pouring money into Saudi Arabia. It gets worse.
The deficit with China, another politically sensitive issue, also set a record $17.6 billion in June. Already last year, America's deficit with China marked the highest imbalance ever recorded with any country, at $162 billion. And this year's gap is already running more than 30 percent over last year.
30% higher? Hahaha. Why, didn't we see the currency change? Oh yeah, like against the yen...not. Geeze. You know, I warned everyone, keep your eye on the yuan, the yen will pop you in the other eye.

Looks like we are doing the flat earth with a vengence. Good thing Bush gave all that money to build roads and refineries. Just what America needs at the very tip-top of the Hubbert Oil Peak: more roads and SUVs.

The clothing thing is sad. I look at the stores and the fashions are flatter than the flat earth. Really shabby, quite frankly. Not that this matters anymore. Natty dressers are not the in thing anymore anyway. Tent like shirts over baggy, flaccid, droopy long shorts is the fashion. Soooweee, go feed them hogs.

Is this what the Chinese are grinding out for us? These ugly clothes are as rigidly worn as Mao jackets during the Cultural Revolution! Only this is uglier. Maybe, this is the revenge of the Chinese. To manufacture the world's ugliest garb.
From AP:
More people are feeling that record-high gas prices soon will have their wallets running on empty.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed for an AP-AOL poll expect fuel costs will cause them financial hardship in coming months. That's sharply higher than in April, when about half felt that way.

"I filled up last Monday and it cost me $53," said Gary Spaulding of Fulton, N.Y., referring to his Ford Explorer. "One of the cars we're going to get rid of. We can't afford both of them."
And who is going to buy the gas guzzling white elephant? Too late.
Only about a third in the poll said they think President Bush is handling the nation's energy problems effectively, while almost six in 10 disagree. When asked whom they blame most for the rise in gas prices, people were most inclined to blame the oil companies, followed closely by politicians and countries that produce oil.

"I think they're all in cahoots," said Anna Marie Richard of Granada Hills, Calif.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Give the lady a koochy doll! She hits the nail on the head. Partially.

It is a conspiracy as well as our own stupid choices. But then, the country was very divided in the last few elections allowing the GOP to cheat on the vote counting. But these numbers! If people stop worrying about kissing gays and worry more about kissing Saudi princes, they just might end up voting for something saner.

Better still would be to prepare for the side effects of the Hubbert Oil Peak. Namely, they better worry about starving people here in twenty years much less in Niger.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

CORRUPTION HAVENS

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From Visions of Heaven and Hell by Richard Cavendish

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Americans love to think of ourselves as Law and Order people. We don't like cheats and thieves and well, you know who runs our government now, don't you?

The mythology is that places like Brazil are havens for con artists and traitors and others fleeing homelands after committing grave crimes. But guess what?

We are Brazil.

From Xinhuanet;
Chinese law experts on Wednesday said judicial reform, including death penalty exemption, may help bring back more fugitive corrupt officials.

A report issued by the Ministry of Commerce showed that in recent years, nearly 4,000 corrupt officials fled overseas with approximately 50 billion US dollars of illicit money.

Chu Huaizhi, law professor with Peking University said in an interview with Xinhua prior to the 22nd Congress on the Law of theWorld that China has signed extradition treaties with more than 20countries and judicial assistance treaties with dozens of countries. However, China has not signed such treaties with countries where corrupt officials often go to, such as the United States, Japan and Canada.

Some countries hesitated to sign extradition treaties with China, partially because Chinese courts can give death penalties to nonviolent crimes offenders, such as corrupt officials, he said.

If corrupt officials were free from the death penalty, Western countries might cooperate with China to extradite fugitive corruptofficials, or they would not flee in the first place, he said.

However, Chinese citizens have traditionally been unkind towardcorruption. They often voice their hatred of notorious corrupt officials online, asking governments and courts to stringently punish them. In addition, they say the ruling party and the central government need resolute methods to keep the government clean.
That's right, they execute people who take bribes, like Ronnie Reagan would have been executed if he were Chinese. Of course, the fiction that we don't extradite people because of the death penalty is pure hog wash. Japan is interesting in that they, like the USA, view the reception of corrupt Chinese as a way of recapturing profits. After all, both Japan and the USA run trade deficits with China.

This is why Brazil welcomed any and all bank swindlers, you know. It isn't a good sign for a country to become a haven for corrupt officials. It always bites back in the end as officials become corrupt. The mutual corruption society that the Japanse government runs alongside our own erupts into the news periodically but not as often as it occurs.

Cutting and running is what all imperial bureaucrats do. The painting above is hundreds of years old and it shows corrupt Chinese officials being caught by demons and pushed into a burning river. The Chinese have had to deal with this for eons. They have many stories and sayings concerning this.

The entire ethos of K'ung fu tzu (Confucius for those confused about the many ways of writing Chinese words!) revolves around resolving the conflict of interest between court officers and native greed. What he recognized was that individuals must honor their families and by extention, be honorable to the greater family of the empire. They are firmly woven into the fabric of the nation so they won't pick up and flee after plundering their host nations.

The near universal use of eunuchs by nearly all empires shows the failure of this ethos. The thinking was, men who can't have families won't compete to start rival families and thus would serve the emperor selflessly.

This always falls apart as the emperor's inevitable harems end up conspiring with the eunuchs to warp things to their own advantages. The last days of imperial China were a complete disaster as these forces worked to destroy the military as well as all civilian authority.

America has wrestled with our own corruption by defining it. But whenever powerful people want to be corrupt, they warp our legal and legislative machines to give cover and encourage their pet forms of corruption. You can tell when a nation is fatally corrupted by looking at the books. Are the budgets balanced?

By that scale, we are a nest of corruption. And I see no executioner in sight.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

HARD WORK

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This Washington Post article illustrates exactly why we can't go to that ruling class paper for any substantial analysis. Since it exists for the sole purpose of servicing the ruling elite, it comes up with really stupid articles like this one that was supposed to be funny. From the WP:
Boredom Numbs the Work World

When Bruce Bartlett was the deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury under George H.W. Bush, boredom occasionally drove him from his cushy Washington office to seek relief at the movie theater. One afternoon, he ran into a friend who was a senior official in another department.

"It was kind of awkward," he said.
Poor baby. All those factory workers or service workers toiling in terrible conditions, bored to death, weep.
Bartlett had a secretary, staff, an important-sounding job and the paycheck to go with it. But, like many workers, he found himself underemployed and bored out of his mind.

"There is a reason why prison is considered punishment," Bartlett said, comparing it to his former job. "You may be in a gilded cage, but if you're just forced to sit there for eight hours all day long, staring at the wall, it can be excruciating."
With rising fury, I repeat, poor baby. Gads. The man should be put in prison for ripping off the taxpayers, you and me! Note how he meets up with another Republican tool who squats on the public payroll doing squat diddley. Boy, they had it tough.
Be it at a desk at the Treasury Department, a spot on the factory floor, or a drab blue cubicle, boredom is a condition that can be more stressful and damaging than overwork, according to those who have studied the issue.

"We know that 55 percent of all U.S. employees are not engaged at work. They are basically in a holding pattern. They feel like their capabilities aren't being tapped into and utilized and therefore, they really don't have a psychological connection to the organization," said Curt W. Coffman, global practice leader at the Gallup Organization, whose large polling group measured employee engagement.
Talk about mixing apples and horseshit! By taking the true sufferings of the working class and projecting it onto the parasitical ruling class is typical of organizations like the Washington Post or the New York Times. They know they are cranking out propaganda but they must do this to keep the wheels of the machine well oiled.

The guy holding the whip isn't overworked nor is he or she suffering from anything except aenomie. Like the devils in hell, supervising the torture can be boring after a while but they are well paid and certainly feel entitled.
Bartlett's problem was that he was deputy assistant secretary for economic policy when the president "just didn't care about economic policy, only foreign policy. . . . Because the White House didn't want to do anything, there wasn't anything we could do," he said.

That problem -- a lack of autonomy and a job that has very specific instructions -- hits workers from the highest to lowest echelons of the working world. Many spend their days surfing the Internet, writing e-mails or taking care of personal business.

Bartlett spent his days writing for academic journals. Boredom has a permanent seat in many workplaces, no matter the level of employee. And people are miserable.

Kristina Henry started her career as a government contractor in the early 1990s. Her job left her so stressed, that she started grinding her teeth and was constantly looking for new work. And that stress came from the fact she had nothing to do.

"It was like Dilbert," she said. "I learned a lot about FAA regs and flight rules. And I learned a lot of acronyms. . . . . A lot of times it was just tedious, and I was thinking, I can't believe I'm here and being paid for this."

So how did she and her co-workers cope? Occasionally, they too sneaked out to movies and to museums. And she brought a copy of "War and Peace" to work. She finished it in two weeks.
Now I am literally trembling with rage. OK, last night I posted an article about the greatest terrorist attack in American history. The FAA was one of many organizations that sat idle during the entire episode, co-ordinating nothing, doing nothing, just passively sat on their collective asses watching it all unfold.

They should have all been fired and put in prison or if they were in any other country, they would have been before the firing squad.

People put in places of power have certain duties to discharge. If they fail then we should have some form of punishment like putting those whining, creepy little parasites in prison. All the people in this article who pretended to work for the government but really goofed off are criminals. Their bosses are criminals. President Reagan was a criminal, aside from taking bribes from foreign powers. Everyone who screwed the pooch on 911 are criminals. Rummy sitting at his desk while jets were on attack missions all over America, he is a criminal.

The Washington Post's editors are criminals, too. They should have explained to this dumb reporter who is obviously too lazy to think, that the article is too stupid to publish. They know perfectly well the headline should be, "POLITICAL APPOINTEES CHEAT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS." The article should be an angry denunciation of this sort of feather bedding. It could have been a muckracking story revealing the fact that 55% of the people hired by our politicians are really goof offs, 100% of them goofing off when we were attacked.

The fact that this article shows no indignation reveals the level of moral degradation afflicting the lazy ruling elite. One can imagine them waving their perfumed hankies in front of their well fed faces, sitting in rockers, drinking mint juleps, sighing, "Oh, I am so overworked. Tell the overseer to whip the slaves out there in the fields."

Well, I have to go off to work now.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

CORPORATE IRE BACKFIRE

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I thought it was an urban legend or a joke when it first came to my attention, but this story is both amusing and real.

From Earthtimes:
Google, angered by a CNET article that revealed personal information on CEO Eric Schmidt obtained from Google searches has apparently instituted a policy of “not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006”. The tech industry reporting giant CNET News.com also is reported to have confirmed that Google is no longer talking to CNET reporters.

CNET earlier while researching a news item, found a lot of information on the net about Google chief, Eric Schmidt, such as his net worth, neighborhood and political affiliation, which when published resulted in Google taking a major offence to the story. For Google, which has always maintained very strong privacy norms for its users, ironically all the information was on Schmidt was using its own search engine. While Google is within its rights by abstaining from talking to CNET, critics are likely to find this behavior odd.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment. (Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story.
I knew this would happen the minute Google got greedy and decided to be the latest cybermonster. They made oodles of money off of the gullible investors seeking easy riches and now they have to protect this stash by becoming an insane, jealous dragon like Fafner which was slain by Siegfried.

I use search engines all the time. Any name that comes up in the news gets searched. One find tons of amazing and amusing information this way, this is why we adore all search engines and heartily endorse people using them, themselves. Why Google hates googling is an old story. All corporate entities have to control information. They did this in the past by restricting information's interface with the vast public. Hiding stuff was a big enterprise, note how yet again, our elected officials are struggling with Bush to release vital information and as usual, he drags his heels.

The Dick Cheney battle plan for stealing oil was concealed from us and is still concealed from us.

What Google's corporate officer wanted was anonymity in the cyber world while he gets filthy rich and hideously powerful, undetected and inscrutible. This childish idea that he can be like Gollum and creep around wearing the Ring that Rules the Web is pathetic as well as annoying. Tolkien makes it clear that Gollum is a bitter, unpleasant creature thanks to this.

They all become bitter.

What does this creepy man have to hide? Is his private life a Never Never Google ranch? Seriously. Many people want to hide these days while they make public appearances. I must be one of the few who doesn't. Life is an open book!

The temper tantrum thrown by Google over this, the desire to censor reporters and scare off any other reporters who might snoop around, is a bad sign for the future. Now we can't trust Google! Like Cisco, they will become the butt of our jokes and our ire.

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