Thursday, March 31, 2005
NewsStand - Thursday, March 31, 2005
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Crude-oil futures climbed back above the $55 a barrel level in premarket trade Thursday, extending the prior session's late gains, after Goldman Sachs raised its oil price outlook. "We believe oil prices have entered the early stages of a superspike period," said analyst Arjun Murti, who raised his superspike range to $50-105 a barrel from $50-80. Investors are also awaiting the release of weekly natural gas supply data. The crude contract for May delivery was last trading up 2 percent at $55.09 a barrel. May natural gas was up 1.1 percent at $7.55 per million British thermal units. Enercast analysts are expecting the Energy Department to report a withdrawal of 49 billion cubic feet.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I had this idea in the seventies to create a new country called The United States of North America, and I wrote a screen play entitled “The Third American Revolution”, explaining how we get there. Somehow I have lost the original, but the idea is straightforward.
Nicely convince Mexico and Canada to join us, each bringing its respective states with it (already conveniently organized.) to form the United States of North America, a federation of even more states. Card every last citizen of these states and allow freedom of travel throughout and then staunchly defend the new borders. Build entire cities in the North to harvest the vast mineral resources. Let there be three capital cities for a period of time, and then build a brand new hub capital city somewhere in the middle of the entire land mass, or for that matter, anywhere that we would agree on..
This new union would have a fighting chance against the European Union and other such entities which will form in the future. (Instead, by the way, we are standing by while China either buys outright or partners with Canadian commodity producers. Instead of taking positive action we continue to dig ourselves a deeper hole, now net $7,000,000,000,000 , that’s right trillion, mortgaged to foreigners. If we don't soon change our ways, we will become a third world country if and when China pulls our chain.)
I was a kid when Alaska and Hawaii suddenly became states. I was astounded. How could you just declare that these two lovely but non-contiguous entities were now states? I guess I hadn’t been reading the newspapers I delivered back then.
So let's do it again, but even bigger. Canada has 10 provinces, Mexico has 31 states, and the US 50. Okay 91 STATES! Great. Or, let some of the territories become states until you have 100. That’s even better ….100 STATES STRONG.
New roads, less wasted border bullshit. Let the free markets boil and bubble. You can spend hours imagining how this might work, and solve many of our current problems. For example, let the Mexicans send their hard-earned money back to our own country, the USNA.  We could pronounce it us nah.
Back to the screen play; the only way I figured this could get done was if a really famous rock star wrote a song that would convince the populace that this was a good idea. So that was the movie's story; a rock star gets this idea and etc. Also, all voting was done by encrypted telephone (I didn’t discover the internet until 1980). There were a few other niceties to make it what I thought was a cool story.
I made the mistake of giving the only hard copy to a lady named K.G. Cribbs who wanted to show it to a professor at Metro State College. Later she said he didn’t like it and never returned it to me. (She went on to marry her 6th husband and moved to the North East, I’m not sure where. I think she and her husband were going to finance a bird/wildlife preserve on his estate. I don’t know her married name but if you happen to know her tell her to get in touch with me. You know, 6 degrees.)
Anyway, that’s the idea. The United States of North America. A Federation of 100 States. I’m sure it is not a new idea. Every idea I’ve ever had has always proved to have already been had or just being had at the same time. Even my arcane Ph. D. thesis involving a pineal gland pathway mediating the Liske Effect in rats, was, it turned out, being done contemporaneously by a guy in California and another in Tokyo. So I’m not claiming any glory here. Just an idle thought for this afternoon.
 If memory serves, the USA was actually called the United States of North America for a year or two before it became the USA. Please comment if you know the history.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The StarPetaling Jaya, Malaysia
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia -- The U.S. dollar is facing an imminent collapse, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad warned yesterday. The former prime minister told a conference of some 650 chief executives from 30 countries in Kota Kinabalu that a standard gold currency was the best alternative for international trade. The dollar was only retaining some value because of fears of a global economic catastrophe if it was rejected as a currency of trade, he said in his keynote address, "Leadership in the Age of Uncertainties -- The Effect of Global Events in Business."
"But the catastrophe will come one day, because even the most powerful country in the world cannot repay loans amounting to US$7 trillion," Dr. Mahathir said at the closing of the three-day international CEO conference.
"The uncertainty is with the timing, not whether it will collapse."
Eldorado Springs, Colorado, Water Supply Intake, 2004
Maybe I was too obscure in my "Red Pill" blog of a few days ago. Here I refer you again to the same article, by Matt Savinar:
"Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is the scientific conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected geologists, physicists, and investment bankers in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by a phenomenon known as global “Peak Oil.”
I noticed that Matt has updated this site recently, and has added a third item at the end of the article under the heading of What Can I Do To Prepare. That item:
Number 3: Pray to whatever God or higher intelligence you believe in.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
I was going to write an article about how everything seems to be going wrong for the Bushies these days, and in the pursuit of additional information I found an article (A Fall From Grace) better than what I would have written, and then I read a number of this guy’s articles and was soon laughing out loud. He is a very good writer.
But before I turn you over to him let me mention that I think the impending “crash” of the Bush façade will center on "turd blossom" (Bush’s nickname for King Karl Rove) and as yet unknown damage which may have been done to him by the Guckert/Gannon fake-reporter thing with its sexual perversion overtones. And let’s not forget the still-looming Valerie Plaine outing.
In fact John Dean has made a list of these looming “secrets” about to explode in his Worse Than Watergate. But who would have thunk that a brain-dead woman would be the poster child for the wedgie that split the Republican’s ass into two stupid butt-cheeks.
Also note the rapid rehiring of Karen Hughes, another part of Bush’s Brain, who, after apparently having had enough of her family, returns to be – what? – The Arab World PR Person? What is going on in there? Are they nuts?
Perhaps there was something to that internet rumor that Bush’s jacket and shirt wires were a prosthetic device worn by Graves disease sufferers, and that his mental capacity is, like his surrogate father Ronald Regan before him, turning to mush.
Some have postulated that Bush and some of his supporters act like they think the rapture is coming and there is no need to worry about the environment, the budget, or the future as they will soon ascend to the right hand of God.
I think their fiscal suicide mission for this country is fueled by the certain knowledge of the coming of Peak Oil, permanent global warfare, with impending marshal law for the USA, and who knows, maybe even brain rot.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Wolfowitz - The man who licked his comb on national TV before combing his hair (yes, I actually saw it), left Iraq a day early and $9,000,000,000 short, and is now being proposed by Bush to be the head of the World Bank, seems about to be outed, or is it ousted.
“His womanizing has come home to roost,” a Washington insider told reporters. “Paul was a foreign policy hawk long before he met Riza but it doesn’t look good to be accused of being under the thumb of your mistress.”
But then again, maybe not ...
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is no longer in the running to head the World Bank, outgoing bank president James Wolfensohn said Thursday. "Mr Wolfowitz is no longer part, I think, of the exercise, so I don't think there is any need to comment," Wolfensohn told reporters after meeting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels.
Today's Denver Post reports that Churchill will not be fired for his two-year old essay, but that allegations of plagiarism and his Indian heritage will be further investigated. I’ve researched this issue extensively and read many of his essays and publications (available on-line; the guy is very prolific).
The Indian heritage issue is pure bullshit, created by the Federal government in 1887 by the Indian Allotment Act when they forced the Indians to give up communal ownership of their tribal lands (against their will) and divided it up among those who could prove a certain percentage of Indian “blood”, varying from tribe to tribe. And guess what, after these sovereign lands were divided up into tiny parcels, anything left over was sold to whitey. Harhar! http://www.ilwg.net/impact.htm
Imagine having to try to prove your heritage with documentation; German, Irish, Scottish, English, Italian, Serb, Croat, Russian, whatever, and being told that just having one grandmother of one heritage won’t make it for you. Nope. You are not an Indian, you’re just a mongrel.
An aside: Funny how it works just the opposite for Blacks. Oh, you had a Black great-grandfather, you be Black! No percentage calculations here. And you have kinky hair, so you must have some Black blood in you! Do the math. Eventually there will be no Indians, and everyone will be Black!
Likewise, the plagiarism issue is also a non-issue, often raised in academic circles to discredit a despised colleague. As I understand it, the suspect reference was in a footnote to a chapter written by Churchill. Oh woe is me, an un-attributed footnote.
And by the way Mr. Churchill, if I may presume to give you some advice; do watch your back. They murdered Black Panthers in the 60’s for saying what you are saying; for lining up the consistent record of mass murder which is the history of the USA. And if you do consider a “buyout” of your contract at this University, don’t settle for anything less than $1,000,000. You are definitely worth that for them to get rid of you, and then you will be able to get an appointment at a much better institution which values independent thought, and maybe with your new wealth and influence you will be able to do something about getting back the BILLIONS owed to you and your brothers by the Federal government, which has been holding this money in trust (sic) for you.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Boy, am I glad there are some really smart people around. I spent today reading extensively from some of their writings and I'm telling you, the future is not as murky and unclear as your buzzing brain may think.
The 2000 coup, the secret oil meetings, the neocons, 9/11, Dick Cheney, The War in Iraq; It all fits together.
The title link is A MUST READ! (And yes, I was shouting.) I know you don't have time to read this stuff and it's all so dreadful and you need to go watch American Idol right now, but I'm telling you, you’ve got to read this article. And read the links too.
I'm doing the best I can to alert you to the facts, and I hope you are taking heed. It’s all coming down, friends. Get ready.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
"Finally, a story was printed in the Beijing Daily yesterday which said China will change the yuan's peg from the dollar to a basket of eight currencies and widen the band in which it is traded starting in May. The Beijing Daily said, citing unnamed financial sources, that the government will allow the renminbi (yuan) to fluctuate in a range of between .6% to 1%. Currently the currency is only allowed to fluctuate .3% above and below the pegged currency rate. This is what we have thought China would do all along; ease the currency upward on a slow but steady appreciation using a basket of currencies to regulate its value. The timing is all that is left. We still think investments in other Asian currencies such as the Thai Baht, Singapore Dollar, or Japanese Yen are going to perform just as well if not better than investments in the Renminbi. I haven't been able to find any other stories on this, so take it as just another indication of what will eventually happen."
Monday, March 21, 2005
Frist, DeLay, and Bush apparently know no limit to the depths they will go to energize their fanatical base of religious zealots. Dragging this brain-dead woman Terry Shiavo around for their political purposes is possibly the worst case of the misuse of power I have ever witnessed. The fact that it violates their own stated beliefs; states rights, individual rights, and is in fact unconstitutional seems not to matter if they can get the Jesus Jerks riled up. This woman is not in a coma and has no hope of ever “waking up” from her permanent vegetative state. Her delusional father appeared this morning on TV reporting that he told her they were going out to breakfast and she smiled in response.
The Democrats who joined this travesty so as to not be left out of the “values” game are even more despicable. A pox on all of your houses.
Fifteen years of living death and they now use her as a political football.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
"Even heroes of mine like Jon Stewart and my buddy Bill Maher have hopped on the Bush bandwagon. "I've been supportive of President Bush," Maher told Wolf Blitzer this week, "now that I think Iraq is turning around. . . . He had a bigger and better idea than the rest of us. (What color is the kool-aid, Bill?)
"How did this cozy unanimity come to pass? Is it something in the water, a byproduct of Bush gutting the EPA? But then I thought back to my time at Cambridge, taking a course in elementary logic, studying the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle.
For those of you in need of a refresher on the concept, here's an example from the first chapter of my Logic 101 textbook: "All oaks are trees. All elms are trees. Therefore, all oaks are elms." See how easily you can go from point A to point Z, jumping over all the important steps in between?
So: We invaded Iraq. Change is afoot in the Middle East. Therefore, the Middle East is changing because we invaded Iraq. Q.E.D. G.W.B.
See how simple it is? And how illogical? The Bush White House has been masterful at this infantile reasoning: America is free and democratic. Terrorists attacked America. Therefore, terrorists hate freedom and democracy. And that's all anyone needs to know."
Friday, March 18, 2005
I had been attending my local neighborhood association meetings for about a year when I brought up a subject which I thought would be appropriate for consideration: unsightly telephone poles covered with outdated posters and flyers. Since posting these flyers is illegal in Denver, I suggested that the association could write a letter to the (ir)responsible party (a local band promoter) and suggest that they stop putting them up, or at the least, take them down after the event. The president of the association stated that she liked the way they looked because they made Denver look like a “real city”. When I mentioned that they were illegal, her reply was that she didn’t like that law anyway.
So I gave up. I gave up on the association, that is, and decided to take direct action. I stopped attending the meetings, and instead spent an hour every Sunday morning walking around my neighborhood removing the signs. (One pole had over 30 signs dating back a year).
I have to admit, it was therapeutic. After a few weeks, the number of signs dropped dramatically. Then I noticed that the signs were being taken down before I could get to them on Sunday. Someone else had also started to take direct action. Hmmm….direct action is contagious?
An imaginary White House scenario.
“Let’s see, who can we get to head the World Bank?”
“Ah….I know a guy who would be great! How about Paul Wolfowitz!”
“But didn’t he sneak out of Iraq a day early with $9,000,000,000 in Iraqi reconstruction funds unaccounted for? Didn’t he say they didn’t have time for normal accounting practices?”
“Yeah…exactly…that’s why he would be great!”
“Alright then…Wolfowitz it is!”
Monday, March 14, 2005
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law and reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can, but I need some advice from you regarding God's laws and how to follow them.
For instance, when someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination, however:
1. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is also an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?
2. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
3. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
4. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
5. I know from Lev. 11:6 -8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
6. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10 - 16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)?
Mr. Bush, I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging. "
Sunday, March 13, 2005
You Can't Bet Bottom Dollar
By Tom Plate
The Korea Times, Seoul
Sunday, March 13, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a major test of the core stability of the global financial system.
How do we know that a jolt is coming? It's simple. Just consider:
-- How world markets went into a serious dipsy-doodle dollar tailspin the other day after Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi raised the specter of his treasury "diversifying" its foreign-currency holdings. Implicitly referring to Japan's huge savings pile of $840 billion, Koizumi bluntly told a Diet parliamentary committee: "I think it's necessary to have diversity." The prime minister's candor then triggered a selloff of U.S. treasury investments by foreigners (who feared a plunge in the value of the dollar) that jacked up some U.S. bond prices to a seven-month high.
Today's markets are nervous about excessive foreign capital flows into the United States -- and they should be. Imagine an alcoholic whose friends "help him out" by delivering vodka instead of milk bottles to the door every day for breakfast. This is what in effect Japan (solid ally) and China (sometime economic partner) are doing by providing foreign funds to an American culture that is overspending and under-saving.
-- How Japan and China will continue to act this way, right up until the dollar breaking point, because the practice is in their economic interest. The large-scale dollar-buying keeps the exchange-rate value of their countries' own currencies from rising too high, which would raise the price tags of their exports in the all-important U.S. market.
-- How so many officials moved so quickly to poo-poo the selling frenzy as a minor overnight down-tick. All rally-round-the-currency syndromes rightly make us extremely nervous. For starters, Japanese economic officials quickly sought to downplay the prime minister's comment. Said Hiroshi Watanabe, vice minister of finance for international affairs, "We don't plan to take action now at all" to diversify out of dollars. Although Japan "is always considering if it's appropriate in the long run" to hold its reserves in certain securities, he added, "nobody is considering" a shift out of dollars now. Notice, though, the qualification "now" -- twice in those two sentences alone.
And note the feel-good debt-serving comment of U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who said, "The U.S. remains the best, safest, most secure place to invest in the world. Our markets here are the deepest, the most liquid, and most efficient anywhere in the world. We produce the best risk-adjusted returns, so no, I'm not worried.
"Well, I am.-- How a nightmare scenario -- of a possible stampede from the dollar -- would play out emotionally in a place like Asia. Remember, China and Japan together account for about 77 percent of these foreign dollar holdings. Both countries benefit enormously from strong American consumer demand and a strong dollar. But they also remember how crudely and rudely the United States conducted itself during the Asian financial crisis (1997-98). Washington let troubled Asian countries stew in their own negative economic juices, prevented Japan from taking a strong role, repeatedly offered China bad currency advice, and didn't pitch in to help until the currency virus was almost on its own doorstep.
To conclude: Asians remember things; Americans do not. "One of America's biggest strengths is that it is a nation with limited memories," writes the astute Kishore Mahbubani in his new book "Beyond the Age of Innocence," a truly timely and essential volume of Asian political wisdom. "Asians, by contrast, have long memories. They can recall important historical events. The Asian financial crisis will be remembered for a long time. The lessons will be complex. But one clear strand will emerge in the historical memory: how a generous country walked away from them in their hour of need.
"The Bush administration is scarcely responsible for the sins of the predecessor administration. But, like it or not, it inherits those Asian memories, and even though it is very much in the interests of Asia to not see the U.S. economy fall on its face, Asians are human like the rest of us. Just as Osama bin Laden punched America in the face on Sept. 11, 2001, and some people in the world cheered, don't be surprised if Asia were to be forced into executing a serious run on the U.S. dollar and few tears are shed in Asia.
Perhaps the only question is which Asian nation will be the first to "diversify" from the dollar in large quantities. The truth is that no one wants to be the first out the door in the selloff. But it is also true that no one wants to be the last out the door when and if a dollar panic sets in. Keep those seat belts in sight.
By Tom Dyson
Saturday-Sunday, March 12-13, 2005
"At some point the other afternoon, Addison Wiggin approached our desk with a twinkle in his eye."The Japanese are about to start dumping their dollars," he said.We didn't even bother asking for details; the dollar/yen chart we quickly pulled up said it all. The rate had moved from 104.67 to 103.70 in a matter of minutes...The spike was caused by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, we found out later, as he answered questions before a parliamentary committee."I think it's necessary to have diversity," was all he said, answering a question on Japan's reserve.
But when you have the international currency markets hanging on your every word -- currency markets that are extremely sensitive to the idea of central bank diversification -- these were big words.Immediately following Koizumi's comment, top officials at the Ministry of Finance denied there were plans to dump the dollar -- but Addison didn't believe a word of it. He thinks they've let the cat out of the bag.
So does Dennis Gartman. He writes, "We suspect that Mr. Koizumi gave voice to the one truly great concern that the monetary authorities in Japan have quietly been discussing amongst themselves over the course of the past several months: 'How do we get ourselves out of the positions we (and the Chinese) have gotten ourselves into regarding these bulging foreign currency reserve positions so heavily skewed to the dollar?'""As we have long said, it takes buying and a lot of it to put a market up; it takes a mere lack of buying to send at market down. We fear the lack of buying ... and that is a fear far large enough!"
Dennis Gartman fearful? What if he had a $700 billion long position in U.S. Treasury bonds to worry about?Japan does. And on Thursday they had to swallow news of a $113.9 billion budget deficit in February, the biggest monthly gap ever seen.On Friday, fingernails would have been gnawed again. January's trade deficit came in at $58.3 billion, the second largest one-month shortfall in history.This news didn't escape the bond market. The 10-year note jumped 24 basis points last week, representing the largest one-week down-move in government bond prices since the week ending April 26, 2004.How much longer can the Japanese maintain their composure?
We don't dare to blink."
"Note how the dollar index has broken out of the uptrend channel formed during its recent bear market rally. Note too that this index - currently at 81.42 - is just 89 pips, or a mere 1.1%, above its December 30th low of 80.53. It could break through that low at any time, and if it does, the dollar could plummet.
At some point or another, the dollar will indeed plummet, which is the conclusion of my book, The Coming Collapse of the Dollar. I thought that we might have more time to prepare for this coming debacle, but the above charts suggest otherwise. They are signaling profound weakness in the dollar. We know from the growing federal government deficits, the trade deficits and the mountain of debt in the US that the dollar is indeed sick. But these charts suggest that the dollar is on its deathbed.
In my alert of February 14th I advised: "It will be worthwhile to watch the Dollar Index carefully here. Any sign of weakness will be an indication that the bear market rally in the dollar is finished, and that its long-term downtrend is about to resume." The long-term downtrend in the dollar is about to resume.
I find it hard to believe that the dollar cannot mount any meaningful bear market rally, but it hasn't. So get ready. The dollar looks ready for another waterfall decline, like the one we saw last Fall. Another waterfall decline in the dollar would mean that gold is ready to soar."
Saturday, March 12, 2005
But let’s get real … we are spreading capitalism, with a thin coating of democracy, to ease the insertion of capitalism into the yet un-enrolled parts of the globe.
As usual, it’s “follow the money” when trying to understand the current Bush foreign policy.
Has everyone forgotten that Iraq had just switched from accepting US dollars to Euros for payment for its oil just before we attacked, and that switching Iraqi oil sales back to US dollars was one of the first things we did after we took over? Have we forgotten that Wolfowitz privatized all of the businesses in Iraq (including the successful health care system), not just oil, and then awarded contracts to US firms instead of Iraqi? (And BTW, what happened to that 9 BILLION dollars that went missing when Wolfowitz ducked out a day early? Oh, I forgot, they “didn’t have time for normal accounting procedures”.)
The fact that our own democracy has been completely taken over by corporate interests and that our current government no longer represents our wishes in any way, should make the concept completely clear. What we are spreading is consumerism cake with democratic frosting.
I haven’t been able to come up with a good name for this combo of global exploitation … Democracy and Capitalism ….democrapitalism, democratism, depatalism…any suggestions?
Friday, March 11, 2005
This could be the start of a long haul for Dr. K, guilty of war crimes dating back to the 1970’s. Maybe what goes around does come around.
"An indictment of Henry Kissinger for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes would include (but not be confined to) the following:
VIETNAM: Kissinger scuttled peace talks in 1968, paving the way for Richard Nixon's victory in the presidential race. Half the battle deaths in Vietnam took place between 1968 and 1972, not to mention the millions of civilians throughout Indochina who were killed.
CAMBODIA: Kissinger persuaded Nixon to widen the war with massive bombing of Cambodia and Laos. No one had suggested we go to war with either of these countries. By conservative estimates, the U.S. killed 600,000 civilians in Cambodia and another 350,000 in Laos.
BANGLADESH: Using weapons supplied by the U.S., General Yahya Khan overthrew the democratically elected government and murdered at least half a million civilians in 1971. In the White House, the National Security Council wanted to condemn these actions. Kissinger refused. Amid the killing, Kissinger thanked Khan for his "delicacy and tact."
CHILE: Kissinger helped to plan the 1973 U.S.-backed overthrow of the democratically elected Salvador Allende and the assassination of General René Schneider. Right-wing general Augusto Pinochet then took over. Moderates fled for their lives. Hit men, financed by the CIA, tracked down Allende supporters and killed them. These attacks included the car bombing of Allende's foreign minister, Orlando Letelier, and an aide, Ronni Moffitt, at Sheridan Circle in downtown Washington.
EAST TIMOR: In 1975 President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger met with Indonesia's corrupt strongman Suharto. Kissinger told reporters the U.S. wouldn't recognize the tiny country of East Timor, which had recently won independence from the Dutch. Within hours Suharto launched an invasion, killing, by some estimates, 200,000 civilians."
You, dear reader, may be forming the impression that I am a broken record, preacher of doom and gloom, and predictor of impending global financial disaster. It’s true, I am. But only because I feel obligated to alert those around me that it is time to take precautions now. I am taking precautions as if the scenario painted in “As the World Burns”, which I consider to be a realistic worst-case scenario, were going to happen. If you haven’t read this document, PLEASE DO SO NOW. And if you do read it and think it is totally loony, please comment and let us know what parts you think are incorrect.
Also, for your own edification, please visit The Daily Reckoning and sign up for their free daily newsletter. The writing is entertaining, diverse, and with interesting guest essays. A quote from today's:
"We pause, pull out our sextant and take a sighting. For many months now we have been at sea. We wonder where we've come to. The sun, the moon, the stars are all we have to steer by. But we see nothing. Overhead, the clouds of news are so vast that they obscure our view.
So, the best we can do is dead reckoning.
We reckon today that we are near the end - finally - of the great rally. We have reckoned this before; we don't deny it. But it has to come someday. Stocks have been in a bear market rally since October of 2002. They are destined to go down. Like death, we don't know when exactly it will come. But it is the sort of thing you want to be prepared for all the time. You do not want to go to your grave after saying an unkind word to your mother. Neither do you want to wake up to a market crash with a portfolio of junk bonds and tech stocks. So, we avoid unkind words and unsound investments - and wait.
Americans are getting poorer. They don't realize it. No newspaper tells them. No politician dares even to whisper the truth. No Fed economist proposes a remedy. Still, real wages are less today than they were a year ago...and no higher than they were at the bottom of the recession in November 2001. Worse, unmentioned in the "real" calculation is the cost of housing. Depending on where you live a house today could cost twice as much as it did in November of 2001. This, of course, is taken as good news to most people. But it is only good news if you are ready to leave the country or die. Otherwise, you are going to need some place to live. And it will cost you a lot more than it did a few years ago.
GDP figures are not bad. Inflation is under control. Consumers keep spending. Unemployment is low. And stocks are high. But beyond the fog of numbers, the stars put the U.S. economy at a completely different latitude. Each day, Americans spend 5% more than they make. That is the implication of a $600 billion current account deficit in a $12 trillion economy. And every day that passes, workers in India, China, Indonesia and many other countries become more skilled - readier to compete with Americans for the world's resources. Oil goes up. Copper soars. Soon it will be meat.
Jobs are created in America...but they are poor-paying jobs, most of them merely helping to pave the road to ruin, as almost all of them are on the consumption side of the ledger. We build houses. We work in health care. We finance houses and business mergers. We lend. We sell. If ever you want to go into debt, dear reader, there are plenty of people to help you do it."
P.S. The markets did not react as violently to the "arrow to the heart" of the dollar from Japan mentioned in yesterday's blog as I thought they would. Although the DOW is down only 75 today, the slide has begun. Often these foreign verbal arrows take a few days to reach their target. The market often seems myopically focused on the ground in front of it, but the arrow is already in the air. I can hear it whistling.
“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“There are three lights on, on the front panel.”
“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“One, two, THREE lights!”
After about a half-hour of this he gave up, gave me a case number, and said someone would call me within an hour. Four hours later, as I was dozing off, the call came. I had an even greater difficulty in understanding this guy, and he ran me thru an amazingly arduous series of plugging this into that, and me with my back killing me.
“Have you done that yet?”
“No, I’m doing it now?”
“Have you done that yet?
“NO, I will tell you when it is done….Okay, its done.
“Have you done that yet?”
“Yes, its done.”
Sound of page turning….
After 45 minutes he gave up and said someone would call me in a half-hour. That call never came.
I solved the problem myself the next day, after undoing all of the parameter changes that I had been instructed to make.
Conclusion: Outsourcing isn’t working.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
11p ET Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Argument over excessive holdings of U.S. dollar reserves has broken into the open again at the highest levels of an Asian government. The other day it was South Korea. Tonight, as you’ll see by the news stories appended here, it’s Japan. Whatever governments and central banks end up doing about it, their nervousness about their growing expropriation by the United States through the devaluation of their dollar reserves is on display almost everywhere.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Koizumi Says Japan Needs to Mull Diversifying Reserves
By Mayumi Otsuma
Bloomberg News Service Thursday, March 10, 2005
TOKYO—Japan should “in general” consider the necessity of diversifying the investment of its foreign reserves, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said. ”I think it’s necessary to diversify the investment destinations” of foreign reserves, Koizumi said today at the budget committee of the upper house of parliament in Tokyo. “At the same time, we have to make a judgment in general, considering what’s profitable and what’s stable.”
Japan’s official reserve assets, the world’s largest, totaled $840.6 billion at the end of February. The government projects that unrealized losses in its foreign reserve holdings will reach about 11.4 trillion yen ($110 billion) by March 31. U.S. dollars account for a majority of the world’s foreign-exchange reserves, which are holdings of foreign currency at central banks. The dollar share was 63.8 percent at the end of 2003, down from 66.9 percent two years before, according to International Monetary Fund figures released in April last year.
The yen was at 104.05 to the dollar at 11:49 a.m. today in Tokyo, compared with 103.93 late yesterday in New York.
Japan Finance Minister Tanigaki: Be Very Cautious On FX Reserves
By James Simms
Dow Jones Newswires
Thursday March 10, 2005 TOKYO—Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said Thursday that the government must be very cautious when discussing the issue of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves portfolio. ”With (foreign exchange) reserves this large, we must consider various factors, and we must take serious consideration of the markets as well,” Tanigaki told reporters after an Upper House budget committee session. ”We have been very cautious in the decisions we have taken on foreign exchange reserves,” he added.
Tanigaki was speaking shortly after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told a parliamentary committee that in general, it is better to diversify investments. The finance minister said the prime minister’s remarks may have been taken as meaning there has been a change in Japan’s policy regarding foreign reserves. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen following Koizumi’s remarks. The dollar, which was trading above Y104.00 before the comments, tumbled to a low of Y103.70, while the euro rose to $1.3458 from just around $1.3400. But the U.S. currency regained ground a bit after that. As of 0316 GMT, it was trading at Y104.02 and $1.3409.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
“Defense manpower officials concede there are critical shortages of military personnel with certain special skills, such as medical personnel, linguists, computer network engineers, etc. The potentially prohibitive cost of ‘attracting and retaining such personnel for military service,’ the memo adds, has led ‘some officials to conclude that, while a conventional draft may never be needed, a draft of men and women possessing these critical skills may be warranted in a future crisis.’”
Similarly, USA Today reported last week that the US Army and some elite commando units "have dramatically increased the size and the number of cash bonuses they are paying to lure recruits and keep experienced troops in uniform." For some special elite units, the Pentagon is offering up to $150,000 in bonuses, while more than 49 percent of the job categories in the Army can now receive $15,000 bonuses, and "16 hard-to-fill job categories, including truck drivers and bomb-disposal specialists" are eligible for $50,000 bonuses."
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Does anyone know of any that are still active?