Friday, September 30, 2005

CHINESE PEASANTS ARE DANGEROUS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The party is over for the USA. We thought the Chinese would cynically plow all their profits back into America and now we expect them to give us $250 billion to rebuild after hurricanes destroyed a goodly chunck of the deep South.

Well, it ain't happening!

From the Washington Post:
The ruling Communist Party vowed Friday to spread the benefits of economic growth more fairly among all levels of Chinese society, seeking particularly to close the yawning income gap between farmers and city dwellers.

The pledge, issued by the Politburo, the country's top policymaking body, was seen in part as a response to growing unrest, especially in small towns and villages, by peasants who feel they have been left out of the economic boom that has transformed China over the last two decades.

"In the next five years, China should pay more attention to social fairness and democracy and earnestly solve the problems closely related to the people's interests," said a statement relayed by the official New China News Agency. "Development of economy and society, of cities and the countryside, and of different regions, should be more balanced and harmonious in the 2006-2010 period."
Hello, Beijing! I am the lady who, according to one author, you guys hate more than any meddlesome American. I know the revolutionary undertow that lurks in the deep, red hinterlands of China. This is because I was a revolutionary, myself. I know how this kit and kaboodle works. Here, on this blog, I have detailed stories that have leaked out of China concerning this matter, did a cartoon about the Chinese Dragon which are the Peasants. We, we Americans, have ridden on their back for quite a while. They move into slums to work in harsh conditions so they can clothe us and make us comfortable and all the money they generate ends back in our greedy wallets so we can buy more stuff these people sweat out for us.

And now they have let everyone know, they are done subsidizing us and now demand, yes, demand they get their fair share of the prosperity pie. And they will get it or China will burn down.

Period.

Here, we think Santa Claus will keep coming and his elves won't revolt and we can goof around, destroying our own country because we get "free" money to rebuild, hahahaha! Lah dee dah! Whoopee doo.

Well, all those billions of dollars ain't gonna come.

Just this week, Bush, thanks to pushing from the neocons, dissed the Chinese and refused to sign an important document ending the Korean War formally. Instead, we sat on our hands. This was the last straw for the leadership who thought their huge purchases meant something.

I keep saying, the Chinese COMMUNIST leaders will slit the throats of the multi-millionaires if this means keeping the peasants happy and they will, they will. Period. And of course, we are the ones with the throats that will be slit, of course, because we frecklessly handed our heads to the COMMUNIST Chinese and told them it was OK, do whatever.

So don't blame me. But this will end us as a super power because the great industrial/money/oil flow will stop and we, not China, will be "holding the bag" or shall I say, "bagged." Namely, they will have the factories and the facilities and we will have a dying military/industrial base that is already being eaten out by our traitorous leaders who work for other countries.

Did you know, not only is our protector in chief, Chertoff, a double agent, his wife is slated to take over Immigration and she, too, is a dual citizen/double agent. Great, isn't it? Just great. Out of all the masses of Americans who are not dual citizens, the only people we can tap are these two?

Well, China's peasants aren't writing letters or marching peacefully.

They took up arms, they rioted. They burned down stuff. They fought back, they died! They put their very lives, everything, on the line and stood firm.

I think we see something important in all this, don't we?

America isn't ready for this. We still hope we can slip history's noose. As economic events close in on us, just remember: To the Barricades! Freedom and Democracy!

Our founding forefathers would be proud.

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Monday, September 19, 2005

PSYCHOPATHS ARE GOOD TRADERS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Just over the wires comes this stupid story that I just have to comment on, my brain must be disintigrating. Oh well. From Yahoo News:
A team of U.S. scientists has found the emotionally impaired are more willing to gamble for high stakes and that people with brain damage may make good financial decisions, the Times newspaper reported Monday.

In a study of investors' behavior 41 people with normal IQs were asked to play a simple investment game. Fifteen of the group had suffered lesions on the areas of the brain that affect emotions.

The result was those with brain damage outperformed those without.

The scientists found emotions led some of the group to avoid risks even when the potential benefits far outweighed the losses, a phenomenon known as myopic loss aversion.

One of the researchers, Antione Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, said the best stock market investors might plausibly be called "functional psychopaths."

Fellow author, Baba Shiv of Stanford Graduate School of Business said many company chiefs and top lawyers may also show they share the same trait.

"Emotions serve an adaptive role in speeding up the decision-making process," said Shiv.
We already know that psychopaths run our economic system which is why it always ends up going off the damn cliff. Always! My thesis is, doing it makes one become a psychopath! Look at all the manias that have swept humanity for centuries. All follow the same path: a clever way is discovered to make money without doing anything useful at all, more and more people do it more and more and go insane and then the whole sheebang collapses into rubble, destroying the lives of everyone.

This "thoughtless" method of making money is certainly true...only in an up market. In a down market, everyone loses money the exact same way! Previous studies, pitting monkeys throwing darts or bananas always show the monkey, via random chance, beating out the professional investors! So we can truly say, being stupid means winning the trifecta like Bush...NO!

What it means is, the irresponsible, reckless psychopaths destroy economies just as relentlessly as they destroy humans, our planet and our collective sense of sanity.

Humans are the insane ape. This is our strength but also our weakness. We are creators who destroy almost as rapidly. Watching the coming train wreck, one can only say, unemotional, stupid husksters can ride this mess all the way down into the pit of hell. The same brainless idiots who are adding on hundreds of billions of dollars in debt while destroying whole cities and building nothing very useful in the long run are asking for trouble in a big way. They are not prudent, wise or useful, even, they are leeches of the worst sort.

If allowed free rein, they go out of control and take risks that are totally unacceptable. Grasshoppers playing the fiddle while the ants work only to freeze each winter, that is what they are.

The fact that this stupid, heartless article celebrates these sorts of people ticks me off as one can obviously see.

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BAD NEWS BEARS

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

After cutting off service to hospitals filled with the very ill and very helpless all so the work crews could concentrate on getting more gasoline running up for motorists driving fat SUVs, the government assured us all the nightmare was over and all was well and OPEC was going to humor us all and funnel all the world's oil into America and thusly, bring prices down.

Simultaneously, this coincides with Bolton removing all script in the UN concerning protecting our planet. And this month, the Kyoto Accords is now in effect for everyone but...the USA. Heck, even Russia is going to follow the protocols!

As usual, Mother Nature, in her kind and loving way, has decided to play ninepins with our oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and so, up goes the price of oil, down goes more rigs and la de dah all the way home. Right? The first hurricane to slap down our rigs several months ago (as detailed in this news service here!) the media tried to minimize the damage, deliberately supressing photos of messed up oil rigs.

As they scrambled to fix those, Katrina poked around, knocking over many more and ripping apart the main port for transfering oil to facilities for processing it and land transportation systems. They couldn't pretend all was well but they tried, oh, they tried! "Only a few rigs were destroyed! The port is sort of OK, the refineries can run...after we drain out the places...And so it went...pretending that oil will flow effortlessly, never mind those dead bodies in the way! Who cares? They were probably going to die anyway!

Ever see "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang? It is a silent German film about workers being abused. In one scene, the machinery blows up and bodies fly everywhere. They are cleaned up and a new crew hoves into view to keep it running at all cost. This is the hard facts of the hard world we are entering.

From Bloomberg:
Crude oil, gasoline and heating oil rose for the first day in three on forecasts Tropical Storm Rita will strengthen into a hurricane, threatening refineries and natural gas production in southern Texas by the weekend.

Four refineries along the Gulf of Mexico coast may not resume output until next year after Hurricane Katrina damaged them last month. U.S. natural gas futures jumped as Rita headed for producing areas. OPEC, meeting in Vienna today, is close to an agreement to offer customers all the crude it can pump.

``The storm situation is of concern, obviously, from the point of view of the damage that Katrina has done,'' said Kevin Blemkin, a broker with Man Financial in London. ``Going into the fourth quarter, refineries are going to be the main issue. There's no shortage of crude, so I don't think more output from OPEC is going to be necessary at this time.''

Crude for October delivery climbed $1.10, or 1.8 percent, to $64.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:47 a.m. London time. Prices have declined 9.5 percent from a record $70.85 on Aug. 30. They have still almost doubled since the end of 2003.

Katrina forced at least eight refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi, accounting for about 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity, to close as it battered the Gulf coast on Aug. 29. Rita would be the ninth storm this year to enter the Gulf; five, including Katrina, have disrupted production or refining.

``Refineries are running at full speed already,'' said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in New York. That's ``compounded by the problem that 5 percent of U.S. refining capacity got knocked out by Hurricane Katrina.''
Over and over, the leaders tell us, there is no inflation...heh....And today? Last month's inflation was 0.8% EXCLUDING FOOD AND FUEL!. Add those babies and it is a roaring hot fire!

From the Chicago Sun-Times
Hurricane Katrina triggered the biggest one-week surge in jobless claims in nearly a decade, and analysts warn that's probably just the beginning of the bad economic news ahead as the nation starts paying for the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.

Consumers, already feeling the pinch at the gas pump, should be braced for price increases for various products and services. Everything from food to furniture to shoes could start becoming more expensive as retailers pass on higher shipping costs to consumers.

''We are just starting to see the impact of Katrina. We are going to see awful inflation numbers, awful employment numbers and awful industrial production numbers for a few months,'' said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight.
Ya don't say? Bubble Boy Bush said we don't need tax hikes nor do we need to change our lifestyles nor alter any jot or whit of anything. All is going well. Greenspan marvels at how well America runs minus a major city, with fuel costs through the roof and thousands of people dying all over the place.

Well, they aren't dying on 65th and Park Ave in Manhattan! Hey, the view looks good from there!

Now for the real fun guys, the vultures who deal in bonds. A gloomy, green eyeshade group, they are getting restive. Nervous. Seeing the dead pile up, brings them closer to look. Hmmmm. Sharpen those knives.

Bloomberg again:
Wall Street's biggest bond-trading firms cut their forecasts for the 10-year Treasury yield after Hurricane Katrina sparked some doubt that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow for the 11th straight time.

The note's yield, a benchmark for company borrowing and mortgage loans, may reach 4.48 percent by year-end from 4.26 percent today, based on the median estimate of the 22 primary dealers of U.S. government debt that trade with the Fed. The median was 4.63 percent in a survey published Aug. 8.

The costliest U.S. natural disaster drove consumer confidence to the lowest since 1992 and led economists to cut their growth estimates. Economists at four firms including UBS Securities LLC said the Fed won't increase its benchmark interest rate tomorrow -- the first time since at least May when all 22 haven't agreed on higher rates.

``With Katrina the potential for rates to stay lower than they otherwise would have is greater,'' said Gerald Zukowski, deputy chief economist in New York at Nomura Securities International Inc., who forecasts the Fed will leave rates unchanged tomorrow. ``If the Fed pauses, it takes additional reasons away for yields to rise.''

Nomura predicts a 4.25 percent year-end 10-year note yield, down from 4.6 percent in August. HSBC Securities USA Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. are the other firms that said the Fed will keep its key rate at 3.5 percent tomorrow.

Estimates for the 10-year note's yield at year-end range from 4 percent at HSBC to 5 percent at Bear Stearns Cos., Deutsche Bank AG and UBS.
The only reason they are not running around with a necklace of skulls and sword in hand like Kali is because they have been assured by China that China wants America intact for future use. After all, a totally rancid country isn't fun, is it?

Look at Iraq, home once to one of the seven wonders of the earth: the hanging gardens of Babylon!

&spades Lastly, the Sept. 24th marches, yes, there is more than one!---are on going. And DC is planning for them, for the IMF and World Bank will be meeting to talk about our debts and our obligations and worry about the French Revolution which had NO commies yet still killed off the aristocrats.

They are scared.

From the Washington Post
The umbrella organizations staging the rally -- United for Peace and Justice and the ANSWER Coalition -- say they represent thousands of people and dozens of causes. They obtained permits for public areas that can hold about 100,000 people.

Organizers are asking protesters to gather at 11 a.m. Saturday on the Ellipse, where the rally is scheduled to take place. The march will cover a stretch of streets in the blocks surrounding the White House and Justice Department and wind up at the Washington Monument, organizers said.

Counter-demonstrators, who are planning rallies before and after the antiwar gathering, are expected along the march route.

To control crowds, D.C. police officials said they will have dozens of officers directing traffic at 110 spots. Other officers will be stationed along the march route. D.C. police said staffing levels in the city's police districts will not be affected by the special deployment.

U.S. Park Police will join D.C. police in the crowd-control effort. Park Police also have canceled days off for officers who patrol the Ellipse and other federal areas where the main antiwar rallies are to be held. Scores of Park Police officers will be in uniform Saturday, including some on horseback and bicycles.

Undercover officers will mingle among demonstrators. Others in riot gear will be ready to respond to an emergency, said Park Police Sgt. Scott Fear.
Yeah, undercover cops! We know them well. If someone suggests people do something illegal like throw rocks or run into buildings or attack the police, well, undercover cops at demonstrations need to make things happen, don't they?

We call them "agents provocatures".

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Friday, September 16, 2005

READ MY LISPS

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bush answered questions today. Some reporters even inquired about financial matters, knock me over with a feather! Wow. They are getting pretty cheeky lately, no? From the NYT:
President Bush ruled out tax increases to pay for hurricane and flood recovery today, saying instead that federal spending would have to be cut to help the Gulf Coast recover.
OK, think about that baby for a minute.

What on earth will he cut? Medicaid? Education loans? Vaccinations for children?

You can bet, the highway pork bill won't be trimmed by even a penny. Nor will military waste in Iraq be cut or Star Wars. Bases will close but then, that seems to be the plan to strip us of all protection, doesn't it? You can bet, the Chinese overlords are very pleased about that."We got to maintain economic growth, and therefore we should not raise taxes," Mr. Bush said. Working people have already been subject, in effect, to a tax increase through higher gasoline costs, he said, "and we don't need to be taking more money out of their pocket." Um, paying through the nose to the oil overlords is NOT A TAX. Not even remotely. It is money, but it doesn't discharge within our government which is for everyone. It goes to Saudi Arabia or the Texan oilmen. They don't work for us nor perform any public services.
"You bet, this is going to cost money," Mr. Bush said at one point. "But I'm confident we can handle it, and I'm confident that we can handle our other priorities."

A moment later, the president said, "It's going to cost whatever it costs, and we're going to be wise about the money we spend." He said inspectors general would oversee the spending, much of which would be on roads, bridges, schools and water and sewage systems.
Um, we have this farking huge $265 billion highway bill. All we have to do is transfer a number of projects going to Alaska, for example, and viola! All OK. Ditto the schools and water/sewage systems.

On the other hand, this doesn't do the people of New Orleans and other devastated communities much good. Being able to flush a toilet in a house in splinters is not going to help them much.
Heated discussions between the White House and Congressional leaders, including some Republicans, over how to pay for the recovery effort now seem inevitable. Some Republicans were worrying publicly about the rising federal deficits even before Mr. Bush pledged a huge federal role in the recovery in a speech Thursday night in New Orleans - and before his "no new taxes" pledge today.
There he goes again. "Read my lisp" time.

We are going to feel the sting of massive taxation in due time. We have at best, 8 more years of fun and then wham.
Before Hurricane Katrina, the deficit for the fiscal year that ends two weeks from today was projected to be about $330 billion.
This is why I absolutely despise the NYT. They know perfectly well the deficit was not going to be $330 billion. They know that Social Security money is covering an additional $160+ deficit and so our real overrun of the budget is over half a trillion smacker-oos.
Soon after the storm, Congress and the White House approved emergency spending of some $62 billion for recovery costs. Mr. Bush said that was only a "down payment" on what Washington would ultimately pay, and some lawmakers have predicted that federal spending on the recovery could approach $200 billion.
Already, we are rapidly scaring off China and Japan. They know they can't keep up this level of funding forever. Japan already carries over a trillion in American red ink and China is nearly at a trillion. Anything over this will tip the scales with both countries who don't want to take on the risk of total economic collapse if and when we bellyflop onto the WTO and IMF.

&spades From MSNBC:
More than 500 specialists are working to clean up 44 oil spills ranging from several hundred gallons to nearly 4 million gallons, the U.S. Coast Guard said in an assessment that goes far beyond initial reports of just two significant spills.

The report comes nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and reflects the fact that the Coast Guard and other agencies are able to only now tackle environmental problems since the search and rescue effort is winding down.

The Coast Guard estimates more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled from industrial plants, storage depots and other facilities around southeast Louisiana.
The clean up from this will be horrific. All the mud in New Orleans is contaminated with toxins. All of it is bad for the health. Removing it, a nightmare. The cost, horrific.
Of particular concern is a spill in Meraux, a town just outside New Orleans on the Mississippi River, where oil mixed with floodwaters and sediment to submerge hundreds of homes.

Murphy Oil, which owns the refinery where the spill occurred, said Friday that two class action lawsuits were filed in federal court against the company seeking damages for residents.

The company said the lawsuits, filed in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, are seeking damages for residents of St. Bernard Parish in southeast Louisiana, parts of which were covered in oil and sludge after the spill.
Of course, it is increasingly hard to sue in these situations. Much of the south voted against Kerry and Edwards because one was a war hero and the other a lawyer who represented exactly who these people are, the latest victims.

The curse, "May your wishes come true," are most apt here.

&spades And for a last note here, many airlines are going belly up. The price of oil is dropping to a "mere" $65 a barrel but isn't that loverly? Yeah. Whoopee. From Gainesville Times:
When Delta Air Lines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday, it came as a cruel blow to one of metro Atlanta's largest employers. But the effect on consumers is expected to be minimal.

"I don't think passengers will notice anything different," said Reuben Black of Gainesville, who retired from Delta in 1996 after 34 years as a pilot and administrator. "Delta's already taken away the pillows and the food (in an attempt to cut costs)."
The race to the bottom. Like in Africa or parts of Asia, we will soon ride trains on the roof and hanging onto the sides, no? Seriously, as our lifestyle goes into collapse, it will start exactly this way, little things removed, more indignities added, treated like cattle being herded.
"The federal program doesn't nearly cover the current retirement benefits," he said. "We could also lose our medical benefits, which really concerns me because we have a good prescription drug plan right now."

Black said pilots who retired at the end of a full career may be able to keep much of their pensions. But many Delta pilots, in a cost-cutting measure last year, agreed to retire early and take some of their retirement income up front as a lump sum.

"Those who took early retirement will lose 75 to 80 percent of their pensions," said Black.
Many American corporate entities are doing this, going "bankrupt" but not folding, going on with business minus the "overhead". Meanwhile, financially, the workers watch the waters rise over their heads! Expect Ford and GM to do likewise. It is 100% certain, 100% predictable. They are stuck out on a limb with a mountain of debts, pensions and SUVs.

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NEW ORLEANS REBIRTH IS DEATH OF AMERICA

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Flemish medieval tapestry

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Ah, the buccolic joys of rebuilding constantly over and over again! Broken windows only make the glass maker happy but what if we always get "free' money to rebuild? Then everyone is happy. The same windows can be broken over and over, every year, forever! And as it is destroyed, we all become billionaires.

Karl Rove is in charge of handing out the candy canes this time around---just like in the Iraq "rebuilding." The same cast of characters will get the money yet again. Already, grandiose ideas of how to rebuild are dancing like sugar plum fairies in the heads of the gang who plans to pocket the loot with as little interference as possible.

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Little Nemo in Slumberland by McCay

No one, absolutely no one is remarking about where this money is coming from though a few note where it is going. From the NYT:
Now it begins: America's biggest relief and recovery program since the New Deal. And the omens aren't good.

It's a given that the Bush administration, which tried to turn Iraq into a laboratory for conservative economic policies, will try the same thing on the Gulf Coast. The Heritage Foundation, which has surely been helping Karl Rove develop the administration's recovery plan, has already published a manifesto on post-Katrina policy. It calls for waivers on environmental rules, the elimination of capital gains taxes and the private ownership of public school buildings in the disaster areas. And if any of the people killed by Katrina, most of them poor, had a net worth of more than $1.5 million, Heritage wants to exempt their heirs from the estate tax

.Still, even conservatives admit that deregulation, tax cuts and privatization won't be enough. Recovery will require a lot of federal spending. And aside from the effect on the deficit - we're about to see the spectacle of tax cuts in the face of both a war and a huge reconstruction effort - this raises another question: how can discretionary government spending take place on that scale without creating equally large-scale corruption?

It's possible to spend large sums honestly, as Franklin D. Roosevelt demonstrated in the 1930's. F.D.R. presided over a huge expansion of federal spending, including a lot of discretionary spending by the Works Progress Administration. Yet the image of public relief, widely regarded as corrupt before the New Deal, actually improved markedly.

How did that happen? The answer is that the New Deal made almost a fetish out of policing its own programs against potential corruption. In particular, F.D.R. created a powerful "division of progress investigation" to look into complaints of malfeasance in the W.P.A. That division proved so effective that a later Congressional investigation couldn't find a single serious irregularity it had missed.
OK, a quick quiz: how many wars has the USA won since WWII? The invasions of unarmed tiny entities that can't fight off a mosquito attack don't count. Just those who had allies and fought back.

The answer is zero. We cannot win any organized war against any organized state that has allies. Period. Why? Corruption. We go bankrupt in a tizzy the minute we have to fight for real. Even the police actions against disarmed, disorganized states like Afghanistan and Iraq fail because we run up such huge bills so fast, we can't afford to do it.

What is different this time around? Why are we spending like crazy and there is seemingly no consequences that we can detect (except for me, evidently)?

From the BBC:
Congress had been due to vote on the Bush administration's plan to make permanent the abolition of estate (death) taxes - which are due to expire in 2010 - but this vote has now been postponed.

As for Mr Bush plan's to reform the US Social Security system - which pays old-age pensions - they were already in trouble.

Now, however, their requirement for huge "transition costs" which would increase the size of the budget deficit in the future mean they are likely to wiped off the agenda.

Spending would be even harder to curb, despite the calls of conservative think tanks like Cato for cuts in government programmes.

Congress recently passed a huge highway construction bill, which included a string of pet projects introduced by congressmen, such as a $238m bridge to an uninhabited island in Alaska.


Overall, discretionary federal spending has risen from $600bn to $900bn between 2001 and 2005, an increase from 6.5% of GDP to 8% of GDP.

And House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

"Nobody has been able to come up with any (cuts) yet," he said.

What about the overall effect on the US economy?

The Katrina disaster is likely to have a significant effect on US economic growth in the third quarter of the year, reducing the country's GDP growth rate by about 0.5 percentage points.

But the additional funds for reconstruction are likely to boost GDP in the following quarter.

Any significant slowdown in growth, however, would also have a knock-on effect on the budget deficit - as it was the increased tax revenues from higher growth which helped limit the growth of the deficit so far.
Hahaha. This sort of article illustrates how leaving out vital information makes the entire analysis a crock of spittle. Namely, our GDP isn't really growing at all if it is 100% due to recovering losses and going steeply into debt! DUH. All the American businesses will flourish because of this disaster and our Titanic will sink faster, not slower. Namely, this is our death-knell.

Much of the stuff that will be sold in the next five years will come from China. The factories that were destroyed in the south will be rebuilt in China. The money shipped to America via China, our inflation moderator, will be a lever with which the Chinese will control our every move. As time passes, they will make us jump through more and more hoops for less and less money.

No one mentions the horrifying fact that already, China bankrolls our government and in the future, will virtually own it outright. Namely, they call our bluff and dump our securities on the open market, we go belly up. And this is their plan, to hollow out our finances, to prop up the GOP, party of traitors, all, and keep the Americans on the lead line, running in a circle.

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From the US Budget Department, heavily modified by me reflecting the addition of hurricane Katrina.

This graph, which is ridiculously optimistic, when I added the realistic costs of this hurricane, or rather, the Chinese willingness to put us much deeper into debt, the numbers are frightful! Our deficit will be over $600 billion a year. The desire to please the GOP base by cutting taxes and spending like crazy will now overwhelm the last levees seperating us from a sea of red ink as my cartoons have detailed here in the past. Using a calculator, this is what I figure, roughly 8 years are left to our shopping spree. So in 2013 we will be totally bankrupt. $12,000,000,000,000 in debt.

Of course, there isn't a chorus of doomsayers in the mainstream media pointing out the obvious. Indeed, there is astonishment that we are being granted endless debt. Examining this closely doesn't seem to be part of the thinking process. You can bet, the rebuilding of New Orleans will be, like the rebuilding of hurricane ravaged Florida last year, gold plated and excessive.

The numbers I crunched left out the reality that we will be spending a fortune rebuilding over and over again as global warming frees up Antarctica which has sprung free the Australian plate which is now sailing gaily northwards. It is going to destroy our cities along the Gulf and East coasts for the forseeable future.

From Innovations Reports;
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s, according to a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The shift occurred as global sea surface temperatures have increased over the same period. The research will appear in the September 16 issue of the journal Science, published by the AAAS, the science society, the world’s largest general scientific organization.

Peter Webster, professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, along with NCAR’s Greg Holland and Tech’s Judith Curry and Hai-Ru Chang, studied the number, duration and intensity of hurricanes (also known as typhoons or tropical cyclones) that have occurred worldwide from 1970 to 2004. The study was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"What we found was rather astonishing," said Webster. "In the 1970’s, there was an average of about 10 Category 4 and 5 hurricanes per year globally. Since 1990, the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled, averaging 18 per year globally."

Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds from 131 to 155 miles per hour; Category 5 systems, such as Hurricane Katrina at its peak over the Gulf of Mexico, feature winds of 156 mph or more.

"Category 4 and 5 storms are also making up a larger share of the total number of hurricanes," said Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech and co-author of the study. "Category 4 and 5 hurricanes made up about 20 percent of all hurricanes in the 1970’s, but over the last decade they account for about 35 percent of these storms."
Very powerful hurricanes do several things that are rather hidden. They deform the ocean bed and press down on the earth's mantle. They alter the flow of the upper atmosphere winds. They change the flow of the ocean's underwater streams.

There are fewer hurricanes when big ones are at work because the big ones soak up so much energy. But who wants a hurricane season with just one mega hurricane? Like winds of 250 mph and 60" of rain? Guess what?

Absolutely nothing built by humans will survive these!
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We are in a race against time. We don't want to change and note the hysteria after this latest monster hurricane, we couldn't wait to get more oil to burn and to burn it even faster! The logic of Mother Nature's earth ecosystems will relentlessly move forwards even as we struggle to fix what will be utterly destroyed in the end.

Namely, not only is New Orleans doomed, so is much of America. With global warming, most of Florida will be undersea by the end of the century, much less New Orleans. Frankly, NYC will need Dutch style sea walls to stay above water. Hurricanes will breach these dikes with ease, if we project merely having a sea surge of say, 25' in every hurricane, kiss your ass goodbye.

The Chinese have made if very very clear, they are bankrolling us only for their own ends. The end for us is simple: remember the Soviet state? As Reagan called them "the Evil Empire" he stopped Carter's grain embargo and fed the beast he railed against. In return, the Soviets tried to extend power until they went bankrupt and we pulled out the rug from under them.

The Chinese studied this closely even as it was happening. They also studied how the Japanese were purchasing Reagan and all other "legislators" so they could control America and even when Japan, a smaller nation, over did it and nearly went bankrupt themselves, enduring a long depression at home, they didn't release the reins hooked to the bit in the American horse's mouth, they still own our Presidents on down! They consider this a cost of doing business. Note here on my blog, they are the number one purchasers of luxury items! And the Chinese are rapidly becoming number two in this regard.

Both parties, say, if they join forces which I am betting on in the long run since it makes sense, will rule the entire world, but not nakedly like us, both have learned as empires this is a sure fire way to go bankrupt. They will keep our military afloat just enough to keep us distracted and hemorraging money and blood, so long as we obey them and fight only those entities they want supressed.

Russia has noted this and already is allying itself with China. Bet only on winning horses, you can get rich at the races! Unfortunately, for America, winning the trifecta for Bush means losing everything.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

HALLIBURTON GETS HUGE CONTRACT

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

A picture is worth a thousand words and there are a million words needed to describe the systematic looting of America thanks to the GOP and lobbyists and unprincipled traitors. The pigs running Halliburton and their protector/sponsor/stock owner, the Vice President, Cheney, are now so famous for ripping us all off and thriving on disasters that Bush should never have allowed in the first place, even while suffering from the effects of Kathrine, an angry citizen erected this sign in New Orleans:
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Not only that, Cheney, trying to pretend to be concerned about the welfare of the people he is ripping off, was doing a cheesy photo-op down in the hurricane death zone and an outraged citizen yelled, "Fuck off, Cheney," plus more choice words.

Cheney thought all this was funny. Indeed, I have seen many a laughing GOP face from that Ma Kettle Clone, Babs Bush, her son, all their courtiers and so on. In picture after picture, they are laughing. They only frown or snarl when cornered by angry questions and angry people who have finally broken through the protective bubble that protects this army of Marie Antoinettes. Then they are hurt, oh so hurt, and they just want to banish us all.

Well, the first contracts for the hurricane damage are now being awarded! From ABC News:
Companies with ties to the White House and the former head of FEMA have clinched some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group and the other is Halliburton-subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR). Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Bechtel National, a unit of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp, has also been selected by FEMA to provide short-term housing for people displaced by the hurricane.

Mr Bush named Bechtel's chief executive to his Export Council and put the former chief executive of Bechtel Energy in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Mr Allbaugh is also a friend of Michael Brown, director of FEMA who was removed as head of Katrina disaster relief and sent back to Washington amid allegations he had padded his resume.
What a surprize! We all wondered why, on 9/11, Bush and Cheney didn't react nor even want to be bothered to be told that several jets were hijacked out of Boston. For over an hour, the two jets flew, unimpeded and unwatched, until they flew into the WTC. I saw it happen. I reacted, after the first jet, with horror. Bush heard about it while driving to the school. In the school, he learned about the second jet. Hearing this news, he SMILED and then read a book to kids.

This disaster, he again, laughed about the hurricane coming. Laughed when it hit. Goofed around with his buds after it hit and then laughed when he flew over and I saw a TV spot where he was hugging victims and LAUGHING. We know why!

His oil buddies are raking in the dough. His Halliburton buddies are now going to get more billions. Everyone is going to get tons of blood stained loot and this fills him with joy. He now can cut services to all Americans, ruthlessly, because we have no money and he doesn't care, it is all going to off shore bank accounts!
Halliburton alone has earned more than $US9 billion. Pentagon audits released by Democrats in June showed $US1.03 billion in "questioned" costs and $422 million in "unsupported" costs for Halliburton's work in Iraq.
Hahaha, he laughs. All that money coming from Uncle Hu and Uncle Wen. Bush will wave the flag and drive us into another disaster and his Communist uncles will bankroll everything. All he has to do is secretly sign certain documents turning over America to them. He doesn't care. He plans to leave.

&spades From CNN:
At the request of CNN, a federal judge in Texas Friday night blocked emergency officials in New Orleans from preventing the media from covering the recovery of bodies from Hurricane Katrina.

Attorneys for the network argued that the ban was an unconstitutional prior restraint on news gathering.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison issued a temporary restraining order against a "zero access" policy announced earlier Friday by Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who is overseeing the federal relief effort in the city, and Terry Ebbert, the city's homeland security director.

A hearing was scheduled for Saturday morning to determine if the order should be made permanent.
Bush and the military, after successfully hiding all the dead Iraqis and dead Afghanis and dead American soldiers are now trying to hide the dead American citizens. They should quiz some Nazis about this art form. fAlready, a ghoulish fashion designer has made a dress based on the photo (which I posted here) of the impromptu grave of "Vera".

America didn't go bankrupt during WWII simply because the Democratic President wouldn't let the industrialists charge an arm and a leg for everything. No one got filthy rich but no one was beggared, indeed, we flourished and America came out stronger.

Now they are leeches and vampires and we get weaker and weaker, look at our debts we are accumulating! We know for certain that Bush will laugh when California blows out. His minions will joke about it. They will say, we won another trifecta! And count the dollars. Like vandals breaking windows for the glass factory, they will imagine rebuilding America at tremendous cost will make us all billionaires.

It will make us all slaves.

Rome was trashed over and over, too. And laid in ruins for 1,000 years.

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BANKRUPTCY STARING AT US IN THE FACE

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Some of the readers of this blog have given me interesting URLs. The most interesting ones come from far away or overseas. I can understand why these articles aren't being written by Americans---they are about how we are going broke. My favorite financial topic.

From the London Times:
The US military intervened to keep Iraqi troops out of Baghdad International Airport today after a British security company grounded civilian flights to force the Iraqi Government to settle six months of unpaid bills.

The London-based Global Strategies Group has looked after security at the airport, Iraq's main link to the outside world, since June 2004, but the $4.5 million-a-month contract it agreed with the now defunct US Coalition Provision Authority has lapsed.

Global closed the airport this morning after lengthy negotiations on the contract failed to produce any payments. Its move infuriated the Government, which said it was sending in troops to take over the airport and get flights moving again.

Esmat Amer, the acting Transport Minister, told Reuters: "My forces have entered the airport. The airport is not closed. We are taking some technical measures now and will soon resume the flights, maybe in the next few hours... It is a matter of sovereignty for us."
What a nest of snakes we have here in this little story. To get the ruling elite of England on board for yet another goofy imperial looting expedition, Bush said to Blair he would give private contracts to all and sundry in England. Why we are paying for our military to patrol Iraq but have private guards at tremendous expense running the Airports, guarding embassies, etc. is sheer insanity. This is to loot us, the tax payers who are footing the bill. We aren't paying now because we are going deeply into debt so it doesn't show up in the actual amount wrest from our wallets but already the effects of this is showing up in us losing a major port city due to lack of maitenance.

The Iraqis want sovereignty and they are getting pretty pissed off that money that is supposedly going to them is actually being funneled to crummy English or American companies that are out for pure loot. This is why little has been built after the war we started. The price of oil is now very high. They can boot us out and rebuild immediately giving contracts to themselves. All they have to do is get rid of the plague of useless locusts eating away at their economy!
The US military intervened to keep Iraqi troops out of Baghdad International Airport today after a British security company grounded civilian flights to force the Iraqi Government to settle six months of unpaid bills.
So, we are going to FORCE Iraq to pay for this crummy, useless company which is doing what the Iraqis can easily do themselves except if we let them run the airport, they will have a noose around our silly goose necks! So instead, our military is being used to strongarm our FRIENDS in the Iraqi government into paying loot to England so the English can pretend they are giving services which they are not doing at all, this is pure corruption.

Both the American taxpayers and the Iraqi citizenry should put a halt to this. Of course, probably the only people to know about this news will be readers of this blog and the British people (bless them, they did try to stop the war!)

From the Guardian:
Key rebuilding projects in Iraq are grinding to a halt because American money is running out and security has diverted funds intended for electricity, water and sanitation, according to US officials.
Plans to overhaul the country's infrastructure have been downsized, postponed or abandoned because the $24bn (£13bn) budget approved by Congress has been dwarfed by the scale of the task.

"We have scaled back our projects in many areas," James Jeffrey, a senior state department adviser on Iraq, told a congressional committee in Washington, in remarks quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "We do not have the money."
We are stealing 100% of their oil profits but we can't pay our bills! Want to bet that the oil companies, laughing all the way to the bank as we struggle to pay for energy, they are fatted pigs while Iraq is going bankrupt alongside America?

Are we going to tolerate this?
Stuart Bowen, the US special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction, said he was reluctant to ask for cash immediately after Hurricane Katrina: "It is an issue that we need to address at the right time."

He said non-US sources might be asked to plug the gap.
You bet we can't go to China and ask for more money! We already, via the news, told the Chinese we will need $200 billion from them. Japan can't give this, China can. But why should China give us $200 billion? Huh? There has to be an exchange and it won't be IOUs. To watch Congress who slapped China hard over the Unocal deal going to China with their beggar's bowl is horrifying. Note how silent they all are about the yuan. China raised the value of their currency a miniscule amount and Congress was gearing up for more yelling at them and wham.

Down for the count.
"It seems almost incomprehensible to me that we haven't been able to do better," said Don Sherwood, a Pennsylvania Republican. Another Republican, the committee chairman, Jim Kolbe, said the Bush administration's vision of stabilising Iraq by funding reconstruction was "a castle built of sand".
Our entire economy isn't just built on sand, it is quicksand. And we can't pull out of it. We decided to mortgage our future hopelessly just so we could feel better about ourselves after 9/11. "Go shopping, go on vacation" our leaders said. To fund this, they cut taxes over and over.

Now, when things go badly, we must raise taxes over and over even as we cut social services. We have to eliminate around 50% of our military expenditures which dwarf all other nations and indeed, the world put together doesn't equal our lavish spending on the military. And our military is useless to us, nearly totally bereft in their duty to protect us, just last month Rumsfeld OKed the latest round of hollowing out our troops at home! If this goes through, we will be truly a paper tiger.

The mythology of private enterprise being more efficient and cheaper than government is dying, too. It is obviously much more expensive to hire private guards in Iraq at $1000 a day and private truck drivers at $1000 a day than using soldiers. Our entire military/industrial complex has devolved so much now that it is ridiculously expensive to build anything at all. The skimming of money so executives can live in $10 million dollar mansions and have five vacation homes and private jets and $20 million in bonuses every year is killing the tax payer and has delivered us into the hands of the Chinese who are not our allies. We trade with them but we are no allies. I hope everyone can understand the huge difference here. I know our traitors running America deliberately ignore this.

From Counterpunch;
(refering to Israel) But who are these "Settlers"? Why expend such media time on 8000 people being evicted from their homes? They are in truth "Squatters," people who knowingly and willingly accept government financial support to move onto land illegally confiscated by the Sharon government under the pretext that it is "annexed" or "appropriated" land available because Israeli law has legalized its theft contrary to international law or the conventions of the United Nations. These people know that they live on Palestinian land the ownership of which can be traced back through centuries. They accept suburban town home housing provided by the Sharon government and military protection provided by the Sharon government and they, in turn, harass their Palestinian neighbors with impunity. None of this reality is presented to the American people. They are presented as citizens of America's only friend in the mid-east, Israel, having to pullback from their rightful positions in order to accommodate the political process.

By contrast with the thousands left behind as Katrina and the broken levees pulled New Orleans into the mud hole of the lake that once made possible its existence, thousands left behind because they had no means of evacuation no cars, no buses, no trains, no military transport, no helicopters the Israeli squatters were provided free transportation, new housing within the state of Israel, grants of $30,000.00 each and, additionally for seniority, NIS 4,800 for each year they lived in Gaza for each family member, in addition to reimbursement of moving expenses to the tune of NIS 14,000-21,000.00 to the Negev, Galilee and Nitzanin. In short, Sharon made sure the settlers he had encouraged to settle on his illegally obtained land were well compensated for as he demanded that they leave.

Why mention these matters in conjunction with the events that have ravaged the Gulf Coast these past two weeks? Because the American taxpayer paid for the settlers to be moved and to cover the "disengagement plan" proposed by Sharon: U.S. aid for the pullout "was slated to offset the cost of implementing the disengagement plan." (Ha'aretz 4/9/05, Yoar Stern). Israel asked for and received more than 2 billion, including the U.S. aid package (Ha'aretz, 24/8/05, Shamuel Rosner; Jerusalem Post 1.27/05, Janine Zacharia). In the CRS Report to Congress, "Israel's Proposal to Withdraw from Gaza," Clyde Mark notes "Israel will offer compensation to the settlers, but the amount and the source of the funds are uncertain. It is estimated that the 1,500 Israeli settler families in Gaza would receive between $200,000 and $750,000 each to move into Israel. The compensation would be for their homes and businesses, but also include additional funds for new housing allowances, business and household relocation, or other expenses." The total cost of the disengagement is estimated "at about 8 billion schekels ($1.74 billion)." (Truth seeker," 7/8/05). These pullout costs are "included in the new U.S. aid package" according to the Jerusalem Post (_7/05).
Anyone who talks about Israel bleeding money from us is attacked with screams of "antisemite!" Alas, this charge, recklessly tossed at us like handgrenades, is beginning to backfire.

The American media won't talk about all this. Indeed, the lavish coverage and preening of the Israelis as they played this little con game with us, the coverage aimed at making them appear sympathetic, the poor babies! Was designed to mislead us into opening our purses to people who are pickpockets supreme. Even as the spy scandal in Washington unfolds which clearly show how the Israelis, the neo cons and the Jewish community have co-conspired to steal state secrets to use for their own ends...well, they are traitors. Every American who places Israel or England or Europe or Asia or any place before America and then uses their misplaced patriotism to another government to undermine or steal from or make weaker, our own government is a traitor.

Period.

Chertoff has weakened America very significantly and this dual citizen works for Israel, not America. Why he is still glowering over us freaks me out. I suspect Bush is setting up the Jewish community for a very big fall. I know the Bushes were very sympathetic to Hitler. They are eugenists going way back. Their anti abortion stance is a recent political ploy cynically pursued.

The American far right hates Jews. Traditionally, Jews have been liberal for they, like blacks, have to fight for their own civil rights and are often menaced by others. But ever since taking over key government and civilian positions, they have been servitors to the euphonious "real rulers" who since the Roman Empire, have manipulated the Jewish community into being their fall guys.

Yes, fall guys. By favoring Jews in Israel over American citizens, these same people set them up as a deflection point. So when angry mobs of peasants storm the palace, they can shove the Jews in front and say, "Blame them! They made us do it! It is all their fault!"

Over and over again, this stupid game has been played. One would think, the victims would figure it out. After WWI, the Jews, anxious to be finally playing the political games everyone else got to play, stepped up to the plate and said they would conduct negotiations with the Allies in Paris. They then worked hard to pass the Versailles Treaty with the German people. Then Hitler rose up and used this against all Jews, blaming them for Germany's defeat and the treaty's harshness. This was quite popular. Ahem.

You can bet, the racists running the GOP can't wait to shove Israel and the Jews in America, in front of a runaway express train and with America going bankrupt and our real rulers quietly moving themselves out, setting up alternative residences and bank accounts out of the reach of outraged Americans, this looks like their obvious plans.

We have to keep our eye on the real people here. On Sept. 24th, we will be calling for the arrest of traitors, the impeachment of those responsible for America's fatal weaknesses and an end to imperialism. Forget "peace", we have to save ourselves from drowning in blood and red ink.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

FUNNY MONEY--MONEY MAD

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Demonstrators today in DC thanks to Moveon.org

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

A new hurricane following the track of the previous one, stalled out next to Florida and is gathering strenght, churning away there. Hurricane Fran did this, too. She caused a lot of destruction especially overflowing pig ponds in Georgia and destroying beaches and such. The Feds spent many millions putting sand back on the beaches for the rich vacation home owners. Seems they are good at that.

There seems to be total confusion about getting money to the dispossessed. It was grandly announced this morning and the news traveled like wildfire, $2000 per victim adult (kids get nothing?!!). So a mother with five children gets the same as an elderly man who is alone. Yeah, this is going to work.

The poor can't imagine a nicer boon despite the obvious inequality. They have literally nothing and it is past the first of the month, the hurricane hit the same day frames that the elderly and poor get the monthly checks so they need something, anything! But as everyone became expectant, the offer altered by the hour. Last I heard, they were going to get checks and only if they can produce 2 ID and a letter showing they lived where...My god. I really can't stand this stupidity. Ack.What happened was what I did on my trusty calculator: someone rang up how much money this would be and then blanched. Spending $2 billion on Halliburton is OK. Giving it to poor people so they can do whatever they want=revolution.

So they will be literally short changed. The option will be, to sit there idle and accept old clothing and cheap food and odds and ends while living on exactly one cot in a cavernous hell or to escape and restart somehow. Penniless, this can't be done unless one mugs or steals from someone else, pronto.

Now I used to be a hippie in SF in the sixties. I know all about how to get bread without holding down a real job. But asking mothers with small children means either they turn to prostitution or begging or both. Most likely both.

Men? Mugging and second story work.

The real muggers reside in DC. I pulled up this story today and it thoroughly enrages me because we New Yorkers complained loudly that virtually none of the 9/11 money for businesses or security came to our city. It was spread like peanut butter and jelly all over America in huge amounts and spread thinly here where it matters.

From Yahoo:
The government's $5 billion effort to help small businesses recover from the Sept. 11 attacks was so loosely managed that it gave low-interest loans to companies that didn't need terrorism relief — or even know they were getting it, The Associated Press has found.

And while some at New York's Ground Zero couldn't get assistance they desperately sought, companies far removed from the devastation — a South Dakota country radio station, a Virgin Islands perfume shop, a Utah dog boutique and more than 100 Dunkin' Donuts and Subway sandwich shops — had no problem winning the government-guaranteed loans.

Dentists and chiropractors in numerous cities, as well as an Oregon winery that sold trendy pinot noir to New York City restaurants also got assistance.

"That's scary. Nine-11 had nothing to do with this," said James Munsey, a Virginia entrepreneur who described himself as "beyond shocked" to learn his nearly $1 million loan to buy a special events company in Richmond was drawn from the Sept. 11 program.

"It would have been inappropriate for me to take this kind of loan," he said, noting that the company he bought suffered no ill effects from Sept. 11.

Arvind "Andy" Patel, 50, said he used his $350,000 loan in fall 2002 to remodel his Dunkin' Donuts shop in western New York state and never knew it was drawn through the Sept. 11 program.

"Not at all," Patel answered, when asked whether his business had been hurt by the attacks.

Government officials said they believe banks assigned some loans to the terror relief program without telling borrowers. Neither the government nor its participating banks said they could provide figures on how many businesses got loans that way.

But AP's nationwide investigation located businesses in dozens of states who said they did not know their loans were drawn from the Sept. 11 programs, suggesting at least hundreds of millions of dollars went to unwitting recipients.

The Small Business Administration, which administered the two programs that doled out Sept. 11 recovery loans, said it first learned of the problems through AP's review and was weighing whether an investigation was needed. But officials also acknowledged they intended to spread the post-Sept. 11 aid broadly because so many unexpected industries were hurt.

"We started seeing business (needing help) in areas you wouldn't think of — tourism, crop dusting, trade and transportation. ... So there were a lot of examples you wouldn't think of, at first blush," SBA Administrator Hector Barreto told AP.

In all, the government provided, approved or guaranteed nearly $4.9 billion in loans, and took credit for saving 20,000 jobs. That would put the average cost of saving a job at about a quarter million dollars each.

Of the 19,000 loans approved by the two programs, fewer than 11 percent went to companies in New York City and Washington, according to an AP computer analysis of loan records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

"I had nothing here," said Shirla Yam, who runs a clothing store in the former shadows of the twin towers that got a $20,000 grant from a local advocacy group but no federal aid after Sept. 11. "I don't know if I'll be here next month."
Now how did all this loot end up in banks across the land? Want to know?

Ask K Street. In the news recently was the astonishing story that since 1/22/1, the number of lobbyists in DC went from 5,000 to 12,000. More than doubled. This is off the top of my head. We know the banking/loan guys have been pouring money and effort into changing laws and grabbing funds, look at the bankruptcy bill! And one thing they did was leap upon the carcasses of the poor office workers in Manhattan and like the vultures they are, they conspired with the GOP to steal this money and ship it to the far corners of America.

This money doesn't come cheap. It comes from the Japanese and Chinese governments and they expect many things in exchange for it. It drove our debt way up....so people could redecorate their donut stores? We are going to pay for this through the nose as well as a tremendous loss of power overseas! Talk about government waste!

Just as the blusterers were not serious about chasing down bin Laden, they were not serious about building NYC back up and defying terrorists much less protecting us from them...they viewed the dead as a great business opportunity. True, the 9/11 families got lots of money for themselves...to shut them up. But Katrina's victims are far too many. To seriously take care of all of them requires spending an average of $20,000 per family for the next year. Multiply this by a million and your head will spin.

Already, the unemployment paperwork is pouring in, about 500,000. The measly job numbers for August, 123.000 jobs, nearly all service or real estate, will be swamped by Sept. numbers. I recieved an email from a reader concerning the state of oil production and refining. According to various stories, all is well but anyone looking around can see something stinks. The oil companies are making huge profits in an emergency and this is roiling the rest of the planet which is why so many countries have released stored oil to bring down the price. But evidently, the damage to the rigs and system down there is very severe and isn't in the news and I certainly believe this myself because I scour for pictures of oil wells and got virtually none just like after the previous hurricane.
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Here is one! Only it is about Iran! They got oil! And more importantly, they are preparing to open an oil market sort of like ours, one that buys and sells oil on the open market...for euros.

Sounds familiar? It should. This is what Saddam set up right before America attacked him. This time, we can't attack Iran because the Chinese are their allies now. And the Chinese own us. Sigh.

Back to why the Chinese own us now. Last year, on Labor Day, southern Florida got a huge boon from the government after Hurricane Frances brushed by southern Florida. From the Sun Sentinel:
Hurricane Frances hit South Florida Labor Day weekend, 100 miles north of Miami-Dade County, but Sun-Sentinel reporters found that the federal government approved $28 million in storm claims there for new furniture and clothes and thousands of new televisions microwaves, refrigerators and other appliances. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for new cars, dental bills and a funeral even though the Medical Examiner recorded no deaths from Frances. In an ongoing series of reports, the newspaper also found FEMA inspectors were given only cursory training and attributed damage to tornadoes - there were none recorded in the county - and in six instances listed “ice/snow’’ as the cause. The reports have prompted calls for investigations by federal and state officials and the beginnings of an inquiry by the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security.

FEMA gave $21 million in Miami-Dade, where storms were 'like a severe thunderstorm'
The four hurricanes that pummeled the rest of Florida hardly brushed Miami-Dade County. Only Hurricane Frances was a factor there -- packing the punch of a bad thunderstorm.

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Here are some real victims of a very nasty hurricane, unlike southern Florida: the Louisiana National Guard.

As I predicted, they were near mutiny when they saw the news. Many of them have lost everything they own. They are angry and upset, they are also very restive. According to the news, so are the police and sheriffs in the small towns dotting the coastline as well as the city and suburbs surrounding New Orleans. Very quietly, the government is bringing all of them home. Now the other National Guard want to go home too.

They are correct. This is where they belong. We need them here. No ifs, ands or buts. If America takes any more blows, we sink.
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The American Energy Sec. Bodman (Oilman) and his very good buddy, Ali of Saudi Arabia, have a big laugh today when appearing together to talk about how we are going to either pay through the nose or freeze to death this winter.

From Yahoo:
The U.S. economy will face a tough winter due to high energy prices caused partly by a disruption in oil and natural gas supplies from Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman warned Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

"There is no doubt that this is going to be a very tough winter season for the American economy (and) for American homeowners," Bodman said in an interview on the Fox news channel.

The Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday Americans who warm their homes with natural gas could see their fuel costs jump by as much as 71 percent this winter in some parts of the country.

Residential heating bills for heating oil will increase by 31 percent, and electricity users will see their costs rise by 17 percent, the Energy Department's analytical arm said in its latest monthly energy forecast.

Separately, Bodman said he expected the drop in crude oil prices from last week's record of over $70 a barrel to be passed on to consumers in the form of lower gasoline costs.
Expect the ghoul, Greenspan, to say there is no inflation since no one is buying anything but energy, the price of all other things will drop even more.

Yeah. That's the ticket!

And the final item in the grocery basket of goodies: War and Peace:
The guy who callled me back yesterday who was supposedly a spokesman for FEMA? It turns out the WaPo reported as recently as March 2005 that he had been hired as one of three staffers to run a Bush administration Social Security "war room", modeled on the "Coalition Information Centers that promoted the administration message around the world during the war in Afghanistan":

The Treasury Department yesterday announced the formation of a Social Security "war room" and the hiring of three full-time employees to help coordinate and refine the administration's message on the issue. The war room, which the administration is calling the Social Security Information Center, will track lawmakers' remarks to their local news outlets, to help the White House detect signs of Republican concern or Democratic compromise.

The office, modeled after the Coalition Information Centers that promoted the administration message around the world during the war in Afghanistan, will also help target speaking trips by top administration officials...

The center is to be headed by Mark Pfeifle, an administration veteran who has been a spokesman for the Interior Department and last summer's Republican National Convention. Working with him will be Shannon Burkhart and Jill Willis, both of whom worked on the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. The three were hired about two weeks ago.

What's he doing at FEMA now? Is FEMA's only purpose under the Bush administration to do damage control and photo opportunities for the Bush administration? What was it doing 10 days ago? Where were all these folks who should have been applying their skills doing emergency management? When did their contracts start? Were they hired on the plane back from the Devenish-Wallace wedding party?
I am parking this item here so I can google all the names tonight at some time. These criminals are all from the same den. Flushing them out is quite a job.

I will end this tonight with this warning: the press, taking advantage of many people's racism, has decided Bush will get another brush off and they are now propping him up yet again...all for those wretched tax cuts he dangled in their faces this last week.

This is why there are zero reports in American news about the Chinese diplomatic initiatives nor has there been even the slightest word about where the $50+billion we need just for this month alone, coming from. Nada. Certainly not from the oil companies!

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

CHINA TO THE RESCUE

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bush was supposed to be visited by Uncle Hu, one of China's top rulers. They were supposed to parade around DC together with Bush announcing that Hu is our best buddy and a good friend too. Then Hurricane Katrina destroyed a major port. We are literally on our knees, begging. The Japanese, assaulted by several typhoons with America ignoring it all, is so miffed, they sent us only $200,000. But China opened their purse. It comes with a very hefty price tag.
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The Chinese are sending us $5 million in aid. When typhoon after typhoon hit China, we sent them little. Basically, we ignored it. But this token aid is merely photo op time for the Chinese rulers. They flashed many pictures all over the world, showing them saving America. This has been a big political boon for them! As our empire flounders in the sea of red ink caused by Bush's tax cuts and wars, China sails merrily past us and tosses us a few life savers. Maybe they will give us a life boat and oars too.

From Associated Press:
Cost estimates for relief and recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina are running as high as $150 billion, making it clear that a federal budget deficit picture that only weeks ago seemed to be brightening has now gotten considerably worse.

In July, with great fanfare, the White House announced a $94 billion improvement in the deficit outlook for the current budget year and promised that President Bush would easily fulfill his pledge to cut last's year's record deficit in half by the time he leaves office.
Typical Bush. A triumph is to be twice as bad as Clinton! But like his dad, it only gets worse and worse. The present deficit of "only" $333 was a disaster to begin with, just compared to more than half a trillion last year made this look "good".
The White House budget office in July was predicting that the deficit for the budget year ending Sept. 30 would drop to $333 billion, $79 billion below last year's record, and that next year's deficit would be $341 billion. Now, both figures are rising fast as the government spends about $2 billion a day on the Katrina relief effort, all of which adds directly to the deficit.
Note that these bastards were planning on having a bigger deficit next year! This is progress? And $2 billion a day for Katrina is more than the $2 billion a week we are wasting in Iraq.
At this point, the government is spending whatever it takes. Even the most severe spending hawks say there is no other course.

"Yes, it will cost an extraordinary amount of money ... and yes, it will obviously increase the deficit significantly in the short term," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
What on earth is "short term" to these clowns? The poor people scattered hither and yon are going to cost a lot for a long time!
The White House is sticking by its prediction that the deficit can still be cut in half from the $521 billion deficit once projected for last year to $260 billion by 2009. That presumes the costs of Katrina are largely absorbed in the next couple of years and don't weigh on the deficit over the long term.
Only bleeding $250+ billion a year? My god.

Bush has been told by Hu that we haven't reached our spending limit on the open ended loans China is granting us. So the Bush team and Cheney will spend like drunken sailors. Everyone will rejoice because the housing bubble will continue to swell even as part of it was brutally chopped off. To prevent mortgage defaults, Uncle Hu Sam will give everyone cheap loans on top of the mortgages and we can all toil to pay it back only we never will for we want to live as if we are a first world country, not a client state of the communist Chinese.

From Prison Planet

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury on New Orleans: "Americans Are Being Brainwashed"
Mentality is "like that of the brown shirts that followed Hitler"

Steve Watson/Alex Jones | September 6 2005

Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Regan administration.

Roberts followed up his commentary Impeach Bush Now, Before More Die with an interview on The Alex Jones show on Monday 5th September 2005. The former Assistant Secretary had noted of the New Orleans disaster "If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history." and went on to spell out how the disaster was left to happen. He succeeded these comments on Monday by laying out the facts again and asserting that the Federal government has been criminally negligent and should be held up to accountability.
The far right wing is now in full alarm. Yesterday, to massage the south western states absorbing the flood of humanity from New Orleans, Bush declared a state of emergency in 8 states....concerning Mexico's borders and the flood of economic refugees from there. Many wonder why the borders aren't patrolled better, sort of like back in 1900, for example.

It is simple. We buy a lot of oil from Mexico. So we can't push them around. Mexico, like China, is sending military troops here to help us because our troops are in Iraq. Worse, many of our own troops have been recruited in Mexico because we don't want to die in Iraq! So the state of emergency isn't really aimed at the borders, it is aimed at the people pouring out of Louisiana. Namely, the states in the executive order are all states accepting these sad people.

From the NYT:
THE old work-force compact is in shreds. Paychecks that rose with productivity gains through the middle decades of the 20th century no longer do so. Since the early 1970's, national product per person has grown more than 75 percent, but the median wage of male workers has risen barely two cents, adjusted for inflation, from $15.24 in 1973 to just $15.26 last year. Family incomes are up only because wives have gone into paid work and everyone's putting in more hours. Job loss often means loss of health insurance and a tax-advantaged pension.

Oil shocks, hurricanes and housing bubbles aside, consumers who are worried about their jobs and wages will be reluctant to buy goods and services, thereby dampening any recovery. But the new insecurity is undermining our national interest in other, less predictable ways by setting off political resistance to economic change, with negative repercussions that ripple beyond the economy.

Forty years ago, free-trade agreements passed Congress with broad backing because legislators recognized that they helped American consumers and promoted global stability. But as job and wage insecurity have grown, public support for free trade has declined. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which passed by 34 votes in 1993, was a hard sale for the Clinton administration. But the recent Central American Free Trade Agreement, embracing a far smaller and less populous area, was an even harder sale for President Bush. Despite Republican control of Congress, the trade deal cleared the House in July by just two votes, and then only after heavy White House pressure.

The increasing insecurity of ordinary workers also imperils our national defense by handcuffing the Pentagon. It can't shift the defense budget to fighting terrorism because of local fears that well-paying jobs will be lost. Contrast this with the comparative ease by which the Pentagon downshifted from fighting World War II to the cold war, more than 50 years ago. Its recent base-closing recommendations ignited a political firestorm, causing even the apolitical Base Closure and Realignment Commission to retreat. The commission's chairman justified its decision to save the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, for example, by noting that the base "is the second-largest employer in western New York."
According to Kennedy's famous book, "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers", all empires end up as military/industrial complexes that get stretched ever thinner as the empire swells in size and all corners have to be defended equally which leaves the center destitute as well as devastated because the troops are far away when disaster hits as it always does eventually. One of the hilarious chapters of this book is how Spain was fighting the Netherlands while going to Antwerp for loans. Guess who won that struggle for power?

From the BBC:
Phone equipment manufacturer Ericsson said it plans to invest $1bn (£544m) in China over the next five years.
The money will fund research and development, as well as expanding manufacturing facilities to meet the increase in demand for phone services.

Ericsson said that it would focus on 3G systems, which allow users to download larger amounts of data more quickly and access services such as music videos.

Ericsson also plans to use the money to finance "significant local purchasing".
So, this is the end of Ericcson building plants all over the place. They ain't spending a billion in America. We lag the entire world in putting people on cell phones. The Chinese, unlike the Japanese, have a gigantic internal market to sell. Namely, a billion potential customers. America has barely a quarter that! The money invested in China will mostly stay there, at least, this is the intention. The Chinese government, worried about unrest, are anxious to start spreading the wealth. They need to spend money on themselves but are willing to spend money saving America as it sinks, only to drown us in the end, when the time is ripe.

If we lose any more major cities, that time will be swift in coming. Think this can't happen?

California. Earthquake.

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