Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tiger Party--Mission: Win Something

SCIENCE NEWS

Last night my kids and I converged on Crossgates Mall, Albany, NY, to see if we could win either an iPod or the Powerbook laptop. My daughter came first and got inside during the first half hour. At the door they were handing out scratch off lotteries and she called me on her cell phone to tell me she won...but not the best prizes, alas. It was fourth prize which she gave to me for Mother's Day. (Geek kids are awesome)

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

New WTC Target Ground Zero

From the NYT: Security concerns outlined last month by the New York Police Department have set off a serious reassessment of plans for the World Trade Center site. People involved in the rebuilding effort say that the revisions that need to be made to the site's most prominent feature, the Freedom Tower, could delay the start of construction from several months to a year.

When NYC ran a contest for new design of the WTC, pictures were put online and people were supposed to vote for the best one.

My kids and I decided the one showing a giant target bull's eye was appropriate.

Millions of dollars and zillions of meetings and wrangling later, the NYPD decided it is a bull's eye and they are against the present design.

Well...DUH. Should this prime target be built? Will anyone sane want to work there?

NYT Article About Los Alamos Bloggers

m

Los Alamos, home of the most hideous WMD ever concieved: the nuclear bomb, is in the news.

A blog rebellion among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos.

Four months of jeers, denunciations and defenses of Dr. Nanos's management recently culminated in dozens of signed and anonymous messages concluding that his days were numbered. The postings to a public Web log conveyed a mood of self-congratulation tempered with sober discussion of what comes next.


This reminds me of a childhood story from when we lived at the super secret China Lake facility:

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Nuke, Nuke, Who's There?

BREAKING NEWS

I found this poll in a rather odd corner of the net. It is pretty amusing.

According to a recent poll conducted jointly by Frontier Times and the 21st Century Research, nearly half of the people of South Korea (44.4%) believe North Korea's nukes are good for Korea. Voting for the nuclear Korea were 51.9% of the male respondents and 37% female, 56% in their 20s and 18.3% in their 60s, indicating clear gender and generation gaps. 43.8% believe North Korea needs nukes for defending against US attacks.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

While We Contemplate Trade War With China...

FINANCIAL NEWS

India takes even more computer jobs away!

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

America Plays Paper/Scissors/Rock With China

FINANCIAL NEWS

There is much startling news about our rapidly deteriorting status in Asia today. All the forces that have been subterra are beginning to start earthquakes. This is the beginning of the Great Power Tsunami.

According to the NYT, Mr. Portman's (trade negotiator) nomination was held captive for several days by Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, who was demonstrating his irritation over what he and other lawmakers consider the administration's ineffective trade relations with China.

Indeed. We are awfully irritated with China for China is doing exactly what the Japanese have done with impunity for years except for the copyright violations. The Japanese were the ones worried about us violating their copyrights (ahem)! Nonetheless, America has many worries concerning China. We want to tell them how to adjust their currency.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

As Hu and Wen Triumph USA Squabbles With Allies

BREAKING NEWS

Our military might at work:

US investigators are reported to have found the soldiers who shot up the Italian allies, "not culpable".

The Italians refused to sign the report which, as per usual, excuses the American leadership from any responsibilities. This is a diplomatic disaster. It already made the Italian government wobble very badly. It might fall because of this fracas. This is how we say, "Thank you for your support".

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

America Surrenders Power to the Chinese: China, US to enhance military exchanges

BREAKING NEWS

Before WWI diplomats were very busy. Everyone was making deals and treaties with everyone else. The King of England who took over after Victoria died of extreme old age was very busy, personally inking joint communications and concords of mutual support. Everyone emulated him. In particular, military matters were scrutinized and many deals, mostly hidden from view, were inked. The British were anxious to preserve their domination of the world and at the same time wanted to do this with minimum effort. They recognized the rising power of the USA and Germany and Japan but wanted to keep their premier position.

There was a very vibrant antiwar movement running along side all of this. The Boer war upset many Brits who thought that was enough rough housing for the time being. In France, the workers wanted to have the Internationalist Front and their slogan was "workers of the world unite!"

It all collapsed into WWI. One shot.

We are in a nearly identical phase right now:

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Testing the Water: China Plays Currency Games

FINANCIAL NEWS

sage
http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/images.html
The the longest time Americans have demanded the Chinese revalue their currency. No such demands are made with Japan who can't connect their perpetual depression with their perpetual currency game of constantly devaluing the yen by purchasing excess American dollars which we happily churn out and ship off to Japan. Since the Japanese hold much more of our debt than the Chinese, one would suppose we would be much angrier about their currency manipulations.

After all, it is Japanese cars that are killing our native car industry!

But, as usual, geopolitical games of Go trump mere domestic politics and we allow this to continue. On the other hand, our identical situation with China somehow ticks off everyone in our government! But several interesting things happened this week that roiled the international currency markets, all of which came out of China:


TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Friday, April 29, 2005

Pretending This Debate Over Healthcare is a Picnic

FINANCIAL NEWS

nurse
http://www.florence-nightingale-avenging-angel.co.uk/index.html

Everyone thinks, if you play nice, you won't get gored by an angry bull or ants won't crawl up your pants but in the real world anyone who isn't careful about these sorts of things learns the hard way. You don't play golf when you hear thunder. You don't swim in a rip tide. You don't go out in a blizzard in a bikini.

Krugman talks about medical reform and ends with this gem:

O.K., let's not turn this into a Bush-bashing session. President Bush didn't cause the crisis in American health care. His health care policies have made things only a little bit worse.

The point, instead, is that even though all the evidence suggests that we would be much better off under a system of universal coverage, any such move will be fiercely opposed, on principle, by conservatives who want us to move in the opposite direction.


TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

The Space Race and Money

SCIENCE NEWS

jaxa
http://www.space.com/news/jaxa_trouble_050428.html
Jaxa, the Japanese space program, just announced it is giving up on their recently announced plan to go to the moon which was launched when China announced they would go there. No money.

This is odd since Japan has about $200 billion a year to spend on buying US bonds to tide over the perpetually over the budget government and finances in America. Since much of the money the Japanese garnish with the uneven trade balance with America goes right back into American pockets via loans and tax cuts, one wonders if this unhealthy relationship is going to bring down Japan as a first world economy?

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Medicaid Patients Slated for Death

blog

grave
http://www.ancestralbranches.com/tombstones/gravestones.html

I didn't see this headline. But there it is: Medicaid is going to be cut again, this time a huge whack of $10 billion. This means people will die or be much unhealthier. I once took care of a man who was released from the hospital after losing his job. He had no health insurance and his teeth were rotting so badly, he was literally dying from it. Rotting teeth is what shortened the lives of many humans in ancient times like about 100 years ago. I got him Medicaid help. He couldn't get his teeth fixed but he could get them pulled so he at least wasn't running a high fever and dying.

This is what is going to be cut. Rob is alive and well and working today and paying taxes. In the New World Order of the GOP, there would be no help and Rob would be dead and his little girl begging on the streets.

Meanwhile, taxes are cut on corporate entities yet again to the tune of $106 billion.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Thank you for all your answers"....The Death of America

drunk

NYT picture showing Bush DRUNK. He is often drunk.

Bush stumblebummed to the end of his "press conference" with that statement which pretty much sums up his entire ability to convey information. One presumes the "reporters" were there to question him but obviously as we have seen for years now, they did their proper function which was to answer all his questions for him.

Not one reporter asked about bin Laden. Mr. bin Missing Laden popped into the news for an hour right before the "election" and the press all yelled that he helped Bush win because people are scared of old bin Laden and his merry band of terrorists.

Bin Laden ordered us to vote Bush into more power so he can further the Jihad. He wanted Bush to be our leader so he could succeed faster. The Communist Chinese wanted Bush, too, because he is so dumb and so easily circumvented he is the perfect foil for them. Putin wanted Bush because he can't wait for us to follow the Soviet State into bankruptcy.

Supposedly a slim majority voted for Bush but he ended up a mere few weeks later to be profoundly unpopular in the polls which is striking. It has never happened before.

The chief thing about this unpleasant exercise in self flagellation was the appearance of the American leader. Any leader of any country, SPEAKING ENGLISH can run circles around this.....ill informed simian. Every time Bush appears in public, he diminishes our country. Everyone sees a blundering fool that even "Kim Jong Ill" (Bushian for the name of the leader of North Korea) can outtalk and outsmart.

He made a number of astonishing mistatements such as how we're forming a Consortium to bring democracy to South Korea, I it's a comprehensive strategy or we shall get those out of harms way those who want to harm us or some people are trying to unwind NCLB (no child left behind act) or consensus among ourselves. Like the time he said he wouldn't debate with himself or negotiate with himself, one wonders if he is a President or Gollum/Smeagol at the Gates of Mordor.

The hissing "s" are not reassuring, either.

His inability to speak common or even semicommon English isn't a mere handicap, it is a catastrophe. All over the web I see people writing long and involved postings or articles right off the cuff just like this one here and with little effort yet our ruler can't string three words together without dropping at least one of them! Diplomacy and politics have tools and the chief tool of them all is the language. We can grunt and hit each other with clubs but the human brain evolved because smart people who could communicate with more than a grunt had an advantage over the hump and grunt groups. So the real question is, why do so many Americans follow and even love this impossible, stupid man? Do they believe there is a pot of gold at the end of this rainstorm we are in? Con men exist because of rank greed and incredible stupidity. The free lunch, the Santa Claus is real crowd seems limitless.

We are entering very dangerous times now. Already the oil wars roar in our ears as we fight for oil. Saudi Arabia attacked America directly and here we see our ruler kissing the man running Saudi Arabia and BEGGING him to give us more oil! Mexico is pulling away from us, Venezuela actively hates us, Canada is reconsidering being too close to us, all the major sources of our oil are either withdrawing from us or actively attacking us and we are on our knees, begging for more oil.

The solutions to this, as proposed by Bush and Cheney, are beyond laughable. Pitiful. The whole "hydrogen" thing is a farce. You need oil to make the hydrogen! Less than useless. Drilling for more oil won't fix things because Indonesia just stopped exporting any oil! There is less oil today than yesterday in world markets. This will continue relentlessly thanks to the iron rule of Nature: nothing is infinite.

No one asked Bush about Amtrak. No one asked him about solar energy specifically. No one asked him about CHINA!!! MEXICO!!!

Indeed, it seems as if my blog is detailing stuff from another universe. All the topics I have talked about for a month were not mentioned by either Bush nor the press. This fatal refusal to consider what is obviously the important matters at hand is depressing.

As one poster at Atrios, which is where I pulled a number of quotes, a great crew of posters, top notch!--said, "my 3 year old can ask better questions". Indeed. If the child asked, "Can I have a cookie" he would have surpassed much of the press' ability to ask questions.

Agency Says North Korea Can Mount Warheads on Missiles reads the NYT headline right below the one about the Bush pressure conference.

"My administration is doing everything we can to make gasoline more affordable," Mr. Bush said, alluding to a recent trend that polls show is annoying the American people and perhaps endangering him politically. "There will be no price-gouging at gas pumps in America."

Excuse me, but not only is there price gouging at the pumps, ditto for natural gas which comes from TEXAS as well as electricity and all other forms of energy all of which doubled this last year or tripled.

What really troubles me is Bush's promise to make America "energy independent" via drilling for oil and building refineries using tax payer's money, of course. This is not only useless, it makes things much worse. No mention about gas guzzling. The sky is the limit! There is a Santa Claus!

The Social Security plan he proposed is to remove the 30%+ top half and make them get rich via stock options...oops, market down 500 pts this last month or so!--while the poor get it until the well to do vote it into oblivion. This "divide and conquer" is old stuff. Make the rich pay for something that is only for the poor and you can bet, they will pay the politicians to cut it. He knows this, they know this. If they impose this regime on us all, we only have to look to Ukraine or Mexico or Lebanon or any other country to see how to fix this.

In the streets.

It may come to that.

Thank you for all your answers. Good night.

Bush Press Conference

chimp

Bush or Chimp.com

is all over the news, Bush is going to hold a super duper rare press conference tonight. Most of it will be him pitching a new improved Social Security plan. Then there will be a very short "question" session which he will conduct by reading off of a piece of paper the names of a few toadies and sycophants, minus super hunk, "Gannon".

I am predicting this attempt at killing Social Security will feature a thousand little bribes and a million big lies. "We will all be millionaires!" will be the sales pitch. "If you don't gamble you will be poor" will be the subtext.

Congress passed a $3+ trillion budget. This won't be the headlines because they leave out $300+ billion for the wars and other sundries. This $3+trillion is about half a trillion over revenues. Bush will not be talking about this.

He will talk about oil prices. His solution will be to build more refineries as if we need more gasoline. This is beyond stupid, this is Schiavo level brain deadness. Pull the plug, please!

He might salute the creation of a new government in Iraq, hello, Chalabi! New oil minister! Iran is happy! Bush also wants many nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, terrorist fears in DC! Bush and Cheney are rushed to undisclosed locations (Baradur is that big black tower over there...) because they are afraid things will blow up which is reasonable since bin Laden has said, he intends to take down both men.

We will discuss this press conference later. Hope to see everyone here!

Elaine Supkis, Editor.

I am Year of the Tiger and Apple Has Tiger Coming Out Tomorrow

ban

apple
Apple stock performance this year...up and away!

And I will be reporting on this, am going to the Apple party here in Albany, New York, at Crossgates Mall. Any readers in the area, hope you come too. I got an email from Apple saying A FREE POWERBOOK will be given away at the store tomorrow. Incentive time!

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Visit the New Guest Blog!

blog

Today we have three guest bloggers: Mixer, Richard and Juliedee all have fine articles to read. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

TO READ GUEST BLOG CLICK HERE

It All Falls Apart

ban

miss

For weeks we have been treated to a virtual Mississippi river of propaganda explaining how high energy costs no longer matter and doesn't effect the markets and interest instability doesn't matter either, housing values will rise forever in a hyper inflated fashion which isn't really a bubble....pop.

Economy grows at slowest pace in two years

APR. 28 8:41 A.M. ET The economy lost momentum in the opening quarter of 2005, growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. The slowest pace of expansion in two years, amid soaring gasoline prices and rising interest rates, offered new evidence the economy has hit another "soft patch."

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Mass Demonstrations Foil Fox in Mexico

ban

zap
This isn't top of the fold headline news in America perhaps because it isn't Lebanon or Ukraine and it certainly isn't what Bush wants as headlines but here it is!

The good people of Mexico are busy forcing el Presidente Fox to retreat from his plan of winning the next election by making it impossible to run against him.

The legal proceedings that threatened to knock Mexico's most popular politician off next year's presidential ballot and to plunge this country into turmoil seemed to come to a sudden end on Wednesday night, when a beleaguered President Vicente Fox announced the resignation of his attorney general and a review of the government's case against the politician.

In a nationally televised address, Mr. Fox said he had accepted the resignation of Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha, who oversaw the prosecution of the politician, Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico City, and thus became one of the most polarizing figures in the government.


TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Historic Moment: Two Foes Formally End War

b

Tsq

Now you would think this would be headline news. The news of troops withdrawing from Lebanon (hello, civil war time!) got loving and close coverage in America. Every little propaganda piece flung out of the Vatican is immediately regurgitated in America. The long death of the old previous Pope dominated headlines for weeks in between headlines about a dying brain dead woman.

But when the world's biggest economic power finally succeeds in winning over a previous foe who is vying for the Presidency of one of the world's top economies, dead silence in America.

This is most odd because "who lost China (to the commies)" wracked the State Department after WWII and led directly to the HUAC hearings run by far right winger, McCarthy. An entire era was named after him. The USA was the sole supporter of the Nationalist Party in China and when defeated, protected and coddled them when they took over Taiwan.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

America Pretends to be a Helpless Baby

fine
"The Global Savings Glut" by Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post.

We are all taught that saving is good -- indeed, Americans are often chided for spending too much and saving too little. But what if the problem of today's global economy is that people elsewhere -- in Europe, Asia and Latin America -- are saving too much and spending too little? Former Princeton University economist Ben Bernanke argues that this is precisely the case. He calls it "the global savings glut."

The power of a good idea is that it dispels common confusions. Bernanke's global savings glut is just such a notion. It helps explain (a) the huge U.S. trade deficits; (b) the weakness of the current economic recovery (now 3 1/2 years old); and (c) the difficulty of doing anything about (a) and (b).

As a rule, saving is good. It helps individuals afford big-ticket items (a home, college tuition), protect against emergencies and prepare for retirement. For societies, it provides funds for productive investments in new factories, technologies and businesses.


This article is hilarious. The economist who came up with this latest excuse for our irresponsible economics reminds me of small children when they are doing something very naughty. "He MADE me do it," the child whines while pointing to usually a smaller and younger child. Good mothers seldom are impressed with this sort of reasoning.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

Changes at this Blog

From now on, since I post several times a day, minimum, this blog will have several pages and this page will be the home page for all of them. The final format is yet to be settled so please bear with me as I try out various systems of organizing things here.

Thanks in advance,

Elaine Supkis, editor/

The Sun Rises in the East--Reports on Historic Visit by Former Foes

You wouldn't know it from the American newspapers, but great changes are happening between China and Taiwan. Not a single paper is carrying this story as a main headline, it is buried below the fold. Unlike the disasterous caroom across the planet by Condi Rice that was given breathless coverage--"Oh, look at her boots! Tres charmant!"--she was barely tolerated by our allies and our nonallies found her negioations to be laughable, she returned home nearly empty handed in stark contrast to the Chinese.

Hu

Hu suggested that, to attain this goal, China and the Philippines increase exchange of visits of personnel, work together to attain the goal of increasing bilateral trade volume to 30 billion US dollars by 2010, continue to cooperate in the development of the South China Sea, and increase cooperation in security and fight against transnational crimes, and coordinate with each other in the frameworks of ASEAN-Chinese free trade zone plan, the United Nations, the WTO and APEC.

Arroyo expressed her appreciation for the high evaluation by Huon Sino-Filipino relations. She said that the development of China is exerting a positive influence on regional and global peace and development, and that the Philippine government has opted to seek a strategic cooperative relationship based on peace and development with China.

She said that the Philippine government will make mutual efforts with China in seeking an increase of exchanges between the personnel of the two sides, and to expand cooperation in the fields of energy, infrastructures, agriculture and mining.

Arroyo also reiterated the Philippines' One China Policy, and said the Philippines respects China's stand on Taiwan.


Another day, another Go stone set on the board, another step towards victory! This got very scant mention in American news and no analysis.

But the big news overseas it the historic visit. The leaders of the Nationalist Party were nervous about what sort of reception they would find. No more worry about that. In stark contrast to the way they are dealing with the Japanese, the Communists rolled out the red carpet, poured the best tea and rained flowers down upon their former, bitter foes.

Lien Visits KMT Founder, Sun Yat-Sen's Grave
visit

NANJING, April 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan said in this east China city Wednesday morning it is an across-Straits aspiration to "continuously boost the Taiwan economy" and "further develop the mainland into a well-off society".

In a speech delivered immediately after paying respects at the Mausoleum of the KMT founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1886-1925), Lien called the aspiration a goal that both sides at the Taiwan Straits should "strive to achieve in a peaceful and going-all-out mentality" against the backdrop of the current "stalemate" in cross-Straits relations.

Calling Chinese jointly to strive for common prosperity, Lien said that "Chinese should hold their heads high in the 21st century."

The KMT Chairman also lead a thank-you applaud for the "perfect protection" of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum conducted by local administration.


The Western media struggles to understand what is happening.

The BBC's Caroline Gluck, in Taiwan, says the already strained relations between China and Taiwan have worsened in the wake of China's recently passed anti-secession law, which legalises the use of force against Taiwan if the island moves towards formal independence.

Relations with the present government of Taiwan which won a very close election. Looks to me like tension between half of Taiwan is not tense but really friendly now. Taiwan is being divided: do you want war with mega big China or reunification? The sane choice is obvious. The axe is going to be formally buried this week in Beijing. Here is some more very interesting news:

Beijing has not invited Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, to visit the mainland and has ruled out talks with him unless he accepts the "one China" formula under which Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a condition Mr. Chen has rejected.

But China's overture to the opposition groups put Mr. Chen's government on the defensive, forcing it to cede ground to politicians who tend to take a softer line on relations with the government in Beijing, Taiwanese officials and Chinese analysts said.


Evidently the Communist Chinese invited all the other opposition parties to come to Beijiing and sip tea. Pointedly, they excluded the President of Taiwan. You can bet, he is reading with rising alarm the news concerning the relentless and successful visits by Hu and Wen across the planet and in particular in Asia, setting up the coalition to support Chinese reunification.

Taiwan is isolated. Literally surrounded except for one last piece, America, the white stones on the Asian board are about to turn black as China flips them. In Go, surrounding pieces means the territory is captured.

Understatement of the century:

"It is true that these trips are creating some turmoil in Taiwan politics," Joseph Wu, who heads Taiwan's official Mainland Affairs Council, said in a telephone interview. "They are part of China's tactic of creating divisions in Taiwan that it can exploit."

Mr. Wu said the government has warned Mr. Lien and Mr. Soong not to "sign agreements" that infringe on Taiwan's rights, which he said would break the law. Mr. Chen and Mr. Lien discussed the opposition leader's trip on Monday to avoid such problems, he said.


Mr. Wu knows that if Taiwan is a renegade province of China, it has no "rights". This is the Chinese view and today they won over a major former opponent. The threats to Taiwan were very carefully attached to some tremendous goodies, this is classic Rooseveltian "Talk softy and carry a big stick". Namely, the Chinese are making it perfectly clear that Taiwan must reunify and the sooner the better and to encourage this the Chinese are willing to negotiate a good business deal making this reunification less frightening than it appears. They want Taiwan and they want it intact and friendly. They don't want to hold down a province at war like we are struggling in vain to do in Iraq. They want a win/win situation. This way they can kick the Seventh Fleet out of the China Seas.

Lien intends to seek a declaration of some kind after the talks with Hu to define the fruits of his visit for the Taiwanese people, according to a reliable account of his plans. Such a communique, though not a government document, would boost his claim that the Nationalists, if they regained the presidency, would be more able to assure peace for Taiwan.

Read that paragraph carefully. LIke reading Pravda, when you read the Washington Post or the NYT, it pays to reinterpet things. What this is saying is, Lien of the Nationalist Party agrees that fighting is futile and resistance is hopeless so he wants the best surrender terms possible. The present leader of Taiwan disagrees. This means, carrying messages of friendly reunion and a bunch of roses, Lien will return to Taiwan to agitate for reunion as swiftly as possible.

This is a major victory for China. Huge in a hundred ways. If Lien can pull this off, it means no WWIII hopefully and a big reduction of tensions in Asia. Note how unhappy America is! We have grown used to a huge empire that spans the planet. We abused our imperial privilages and are now losing it. It is no loss, we lost our democracy here at home, thanks to this vast imperial project. Time to bring down the flag overseas and do what the Chinese are doing so well: form friendships and relationships and joint ventures. Can the military stomping on toes. Note how we are losing an old ally, Italy! Spain, too! Not to mention quite a few others, Mexico, for example.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

NEW FEATURE: Culture of Life News Guest Blog!

fluff
This is where guests to our blog can run extended articles or conversations. Some of the postings under various stories are long and detailed and it would be a shame to not give them proper airing. To post an article here is very simple:

Contact me at emeinel@taconic.net or post it at the comments section in the opening page of this news site and I can transfer it over to the guest blog. If a poster has trouble with HTML coding, don't let that faze you, it is a pain to do. I do it so much it is second nature so all you have to do is give me the URL and I can do all the coding. This includes pictures. If you want a picture set up, pull it into the email and it will appear usually as code ending in jpg. I can code it so it appears. If it is too big, I can shrink it, etc.

Every time there is a new posting there, it will be highlighted here with a link.

Thanks in advance,
Elaine Supkis, editor.

More Signs of Hubbert Oil Peak

car

The good news just pours in, doesn't it?

Indonesia denies quitting OPEC

Jakarta, April 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro here Tuesday denied reports that Indonesia had sent a letter to the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) secretariat general to downgrade its status in the organization from member to observer.

"I have checked with the Foreign Affairs Ministry. There has been no such letter (to OPEC)," Purnomo was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying.

The reports said the Foreign Affairs Ministry had made a recommendation on Indonesia's membership in OPEC to free the country from the obligation to pay 1 million US dollars annual membership fee.

In its recommendation, the ministry reportedly provided several options for the government among others to maintain Indonesia's membership in OPEC until it turned into a net importer of oil, which would mean the country could no longer comply with OPEC requirements.

It also recommended the country's withdrawal from OPEC or change of status from member to observer.


A short arcane article. Here is some background: Indonesia is becoming oil importer

Bloomberg news

The country may turn to importing a net 61,000 barrels a day this year from net exports of 27,000 barrels a day in 2004, based on figures in a document prepared for the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and obtained by Bloomberg News.

Indonesia has failed since early 2002 to meet its output quota, currently at 1.425 million barrels a day, from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. An end to Indonesia's status as an oil exporter would threaten its membership of the group, led last year by Indonesia's Oil Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

Global oil prices have reached records because of limited spare output capacity among OPEC's members and increased demand from China, whose imports have risen over the past decade from zero to 41 percent of local consumption. Domestic production has failed to keep pace with demand that more than doubled to about 6.38 million barrels a day in 2004.


This is pretty significant. Indonesia's history should raise more than just my eyebrows:

Indonesian Oil History

Indonesia's oil industry is one of the oldest in the world. Oil in commercial quantities was discovered in northern Sumatra in 1883, leading to the establishment of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Petroleum-bronnen in NederlandschIndië (Royal Dutch Company for Exploration of Petroleum sources in the Netherlands Indies) in 1890, which was merged in 1907 with the Shell Transport and Trading Company, a British concern that had been drilling in Kalimantan since 1891, to form Royal Dutch Shell. Royal Dutch Shell dominated colonial oil exploration for more than thirty years. By 1911 Royal Dutch Shell operated concessions in Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan (then called Borneo), and Indonesian oil was almost 4 percent of total world production.

The Saudis admitted today that far from increasing their pumping, they are at their limit.

I lived for a while in the Hohokum reservation in Tucson, Arizona. It pleases me to see this news:

Hohokam flips solar switch

Six Tucson schools will have solar energy systems installed over the next year to both save money on their electrical bills and teach students about renewable energy.

Hohokam Middle School, in the Tucson Unified District, flipped the switch on its new system Wednesday.

"Many students don't know what solar panels look like, which is a travesty given we live in an area where the sun shines year-round," said Hohokam science teacher Ariana Wilder. "We can discuss directly how they'll benefit us in the school."


Mitsubishi Solar Panels...history.
chartSeems their stock has doubled in value in the last 16 months...hmmm.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Gremlins Away

This blog runs off a dual system of two Apples, an iBook G4 and a iMac G4 flat screen.

2

We have many other things in this network at home. One is the APC surge protector that defends these systems from lightening and other mishaps. We have a seperate hard drive for data protection, auxiliary batteries so electrical interruptions won't crash the larger iMac. We have a small TV we use on occassion when we have to watch propaganda (ech) but it is used less and less as time passes.

The Wacom work pad is used for artwork and general moving around the icons and such because frankly, it hurts less than the mouse which wrecks havoc on hands because of the way you have to click the mouse. Too much arm movements with a mouse, the Wacom pen easily moves an icon while moving only the wrist and that, slightly. I highly recommend this system especially if arthritis threatens!

You can see all our notes on the wall but not the bookcase with many CD books. We back up everything. Sometimes in hard copy.

I bring this all up because once again, Bill Gates is in the news unveiling something that isn't ready yet. Unlike Steve Jobs, he likes to tell everyone long before it happens that something might happen someday. Wow (yawn).

Gates demos 'more secure' Windows

Bill Gates said the top priority for Longhorn was better security
Microsoft boss Bill Gates has demonstrated key features of the next Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn, at a developers' conference.
The revamp is promised to be the biggest update to the operating system since Windows 95 launched in 1995.

The preview showed a new desktop design, more visual ways to organise information, and faster searching.

The full version is expected in December 2006, but a preview, or beta, could be out in the summer, he said.

"We just gave people a glimpse to show them it's an awfully big deal," Mr Gates said in an interview after his speech at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle.


Like, speedy as a snail! Will crawl into view next December at the earliest. I like the "awfully big deal" part. Awful, maybe. Big, probably. A deal? Hahaha. You decide.

The key in the article is this note: The way people can switch from window to window and the way files are presented on a PC with Longhorn is reminiscent of Apple's operating system, according to analysts.

Well, DUH. Hello, dear Microsoft users, I hate to say this, but I am spoiled rotten. I was forced to interface with a Micro computer yesterday and was shocked to see the screen. The top cut off by that ugly bar. Everything was hard to use. I had to jump through hoops constantly to access things. Rats. I washed my hands afterwards.

I am happy that in a mere 8 months 90% of the world's computer usesers will get some of what I have used for a very long time. Hello, welcome to the party!

Longhorn will make use of cryptographic keys stored in chips built into a PC for the first time. Such encryption features are usually kept as data on a hard drive.

Having encryption keys actually on a chip makes it harder for data to be compromised through hack attacks.

Some PC manufacturers have been offering computers with security chips for some time.


Ahem. Hahaha. Yup.

Bill Gates has decided to throw his considerable bulk behind Bush and the religious right wing. This is why, to the sorrow and fury of his employees who are gay and their friends, he has pulled support for gay rights. He also bribes politicians to do naughty things. This is bad. It ticks me off that Gates pays little in taxes and supports those people who are actively undermining our country. If one is a liberal one must support liberal companies. Al Gore is on Apple's board of directors. I loved Al Gore and honor him.

Cheap isn't always good or healthy. Fight back even if it means paying more. I never regretted buying Apple...IF you buy the insurance which is well worth it, you get fabulous tech support. We use it all the time, used it just two days ago because of a bug in the security system we downloaded. Apple reprogrammed their patch and sent it off to everyone. Heh. They are super nice to us because we apply things immediately when they put out new stuff and then we tell them what happens.

I would like to hear from everyone how this works. The web and our computers are truly revolutionary systems and the thing we are building has many facets and many applications that cross all over the place. The fact that computers and design morph at a high speed, higher than anything except maybe biotech stuff, is important. This is the cutting edge and it is very significant in a thousand ways.

BREAKING NEWS: Gates is giving right wing lobbyist Ralph Reed $20,000 a month to fight gays!

OK. Anyone on the sidelines: now it the time. Ditch Microsoft.

Begging for Dummies, Lesson 2.

dummies

The BBC carries this news for us all:the Japanese are worried about their great success in keeping the currency deliberately low, like the Chinese, and selling great cars that aren't rank gas guzzlers.

Toyota boss fears US trade fury

Japanese designs are proving popular in the US

Japan's car makers should consider giving their US rivals a breathing space to avoid the risk of a political backlash, the boss of Toyota has said.
Japanese car makers have taken nearly one third of the US market. Last week, General Motors posted a quarterly loss of $1.1bn, and Ford's profits fell.

By contrast, Nissan had record profits, and Honda's net profit rose 27%.

"We need to give time for some American companies to take a breath," said Toyota Motor chairman Hiroshi Okuda.

Mr Okuda, who is chairman of the Japanese employers' group Keidanran, said he was "concerned" about the situation at General Motors, the world's biggest car maker.


Ain't that nice of him? He is going to "help" us. Will he demand his government stop supporting the dollar? Heh. Stop buying American debt? Will the cow jump over the moon?

Once again, Japanese cars are taking off in America because they don't guzzle gas. This was easily foreseen and easily dealt with which is why Congress and the UAW and corporate America rose up in fury when a bill raising CAFE standards went to Congress. The old Chinese curse, "may your wishes come true" comes to mind.

The fact is, we can't yell at Japan to stop because we are beggars in Tokyo. We trot behind the Japanese begging to wipe their windshields for them. We are willing to hand over our military to them if they only give us more money. They are happy to do this. It is a great bargain. I note that the BBC article doesn't mention how Japan twists the financial markets to keep their own currency artificially low so they get a huge trade advantage over America. For some ODD reason the only country mentioned doing this is China. This is ridiculous. This is why so many economic commentators can't figure out the obvious. If the media doesn't ever mention something it becomes invisible. This is why this blog obsesses about these things. The dog that doesn't bark as Sherlock remarked is the key to solving mysteries.

China Continues as Go Champions of the World

basket

The startling news about Taiwan, namely the virtual surrender of the Nationalist Party to the Communist Party, is barely being noted today in international news in English. This amuses me. People don't look at things that are most dangerous. It is the "head in the sand" impulse that runs very strongly in humans.

Let's review what has happened since Bush "won" his "mandate": American courts continues to forgive American crimes overseas and responsibility for our war crimes and destruction. We just told the Italians that it was OK to kill the agent and shoot up the former hostage. No one was at fault. And no one running our country was running our prisons so no punishments for crimes in Iraq and no one in Iraq shot up at check points gets a day in court, either.

And Vietnam, eager to be our friend, courting us for years, wanting to counterbalance Chinese power, we slapped down yet again. Despite the Vietnamese eagerly digging up even the tiniest remains of Americans buried over there, we still fly the ridiculous "black flags" here in supposed support of assumed prisoners of war who don't exist and never existed. So our courts happily conspired with our government to overrule the Vietnamese lawsuit over Agent Orange. All they wanted was our help. We could have done this cheerfully years ago and thus earned a very valuable ally on China's southern flank and gained control of a huge swath of ocean in a major shipping corridor but our collective insanity nixed that.

So in disgust and despair, Vietnam turned to China and basically surrendered.

Just this month alone, Bush and Condi rebuffed India. We "sold" powerful, dangerous military jets to Pakistan despite warnings from India so off goes President Hu and he suddenly got India to sign a major treaty ending 50 year of cold and even hot wars over who controls the Himalayan passes. Each nation signed the other's sphere of influence and swore to uphold this forever. The bottom line of the Chinese document was that India recognizes China's rights over their colony,
Taiwan.

Today, Bush and his sultry Sultan buddy are openly conspiring to alter the price of oil. Russia likes the price of oil as it is right now. They have zero reason to lower it. This is an open economic attack on Russia. So China trots off to Russia to write up a series of oil pacts. They told the Russians, the price is right. We are happy.

America is now OPEC. We run it. We set its agenda. We are the people responsible for this stuff now. Isn't that charming? And as I have detailed, this isn't going to work since there are too many economic forces heaving away for anyone to manipulate oil prices easily.

As America isolates itself the great game of Go continues relentlessly. Taiwan will fall to the Communist Chinese. The only question now is how many people will die? I hope none. In this case, Taiwan has nothing to stand on, diplomatically. They themselves have stated for 50 years that Taiwan is part of China and reunification is the ultimate goal. There is no way around this. It can't be waved off suddenly, not without great violence. And Taiwan is very small and China is very big. Size does matter.

Today, a very happy Chinese leadership will resume their happy game. They will continue the whirlwind tour of the world signing treaties and making statements of mutal support and security. For crying out loud, they did this with Australia just two weeks ago! And we go about rebuffing people. Snapping orders at them and in general, acting like asses.

I read the NYT which is the paper that has the most international information in America and it is a sorry rag. Breathlessly they note political turmoil in Russia and on the borders of Russia. Oh boy, we can chop Russia up further! Whoopee! Meanwhile, the turmoil in Mexico goes unremarked and barely covered. Did you see all the pictures of the giant anti Fox demonstrations yesterday in Mexico City? The biggest ever? And the Mayor urging the crowd to resist the dictator, Fox? And how he thanked them for springing him from prison and told them to resist Fox's attempts at keeping democracy at bay?

Wow. A velvet revolution much bigger than in little nearly useless Lebanon and larger but not nearly as big as Mexico, Ukraine? Much of our oil comes from Mexico! It is a major trading partner! It is the second longest border for us. The mayor of Mexico City is friendly with the President of Venezuela and Brazil and Premier of Cuba! Viva la Revolutione indeed!

Because America is the sole supporter of Israel all our attention is focused on that country. we can't see what is going on elsewhere. It literally becomes invisible to the mind. I seldom talk about that hideous flash point because it is pointless. All parties want the Apocalypse and will get it if we grant them this.

The people to focus on are the American right wing which cynically wants to use Israel as the launch pad of Jesus' return. They have to be defeated here at home.

This is why the news about persecution of other religious students at the Air Force Academy is so important. Aside from the rapes and mayhem going on in that institution it seems the born again Christians are attacking fellow students. What a mess. The place should be shut down. The right wing Christians intend to take over the entire American miltiary machine so they can use it in the Apocalypse. This is not joke. It has to be stopped. They are dangerous to everyone including themselves. They don't care about the diplomatic victories of China, they think it is all a waste of time, being clever. They intend to blow up the joint so why fix the environment, for example.

Reagan's cabinet members themselves said, "We don't have to save anything because this will all be gone in a few years anyway" and just this week, Jesse Helms said, "I hope to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bolton when the Final Battle comes!" I didn't see men in white coats come and collect the old coot. I noted the press didn't go wild like they do any time Dean states the obvious. Just this week, they went deranged over Dean telling the truth. Oh, the mercy.

Hold onto your hats. The international landscape is going to change rapidly from now on.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Breaking News: For the First Time Since 1948, China and Taiwan Will Meet Directly

China
From the BBC: The leader of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang - or Nationalist - Party, Lien Chan, travels to China on Tuesday for a historic visit.

During his four-city, eight-day tour he will hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

It will be the first meeting between Nationalist and Communist Party leaders since the Nationalists fled to Taiwan after losing China's civil war in 1949.


Wow. The Chinese leadership is moving at lightning speed now. They disciplined the Japanese and now Taiwan has seen the light and is learning to kow tow properly. Of course, the Chinese leaders want a happy union and as little blut und drang as possible so they will be most accomodating.

This is an IMPORTANT MOMENT IN HISTORY. Mark this day down on a calendar. The Nationalist Party narrowly lost the last election. This election was as disputed as the Gore/Bush election here in America. It is a clear sign that Taiwan is utterly divided in serious ways. A divided nation is a weak nation.

My father, many years ago, right after Jimmy Carter recognized mainland China as the one and only China, suddenly while my dad was on a sensitive (hahaha, was it ever!) mission in Taipei--there were riots. I had fears my dad would be killed. He wasn't even ruffled by it, he was off in the countryside, visiting---the rulers in Beijing told my father he could fly directly to China to have talks with them about Taiwan. He then flew back to Taiwan and delivered the messages. This was the very first time the mainland Chinese allowed ANY direct flights from Taiwan!

So today, without warning or fanfare, suddenly the former President of Taiwan is going to the Forbidden City to talk....surrender. Yes, surrender. The only thing is the terms. He read the writing on the wall. He knows that even if America attacks China, we can't win.

it is finished.

The Great Game of Go is now showing the true strength of the Chinese team. All I can say is, "wow". Just "wow".

Blood For Oil

oil
The NYT excitedly posts:

Bush and Saudi Prince Discuss High Oil Prices in Ranch Meeting

The picture doesn't show a discussion, it shows two men having a happy hand in hand stroll. Oh, that will put Bin Laden's pants in a twist!

buddies

During the last election (sic) Bush talked about how easy it would be to get cheaper oil. "I will call my friends in Saudi Arabia and they will give us the oil," he assured his easily tricked supporters. The obvious question, why he didn't do it that very day, didn't occur to many supporters. Obviously, logic is not their strong suit.

So here comes the bride. Dressed to the nines, kissing up to Bush, thanking him, no doubt, for allowing the Saudis to totally escape the responsiblity for 9/11. Old foe, Saddam, innocent of all charges, taken down by Americans. Many of whom either died or was seriously wounded or mentally destablilized but these two buddies don't mention those details.

Saudi Arabia's plan, which it began discussing publicly weeks ago, calls for spending up to $50 billion to increase its maximum sustainable production capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day by 2009, and to 15 million in the subsequent decade, from about 10.8 million barrels now. The Saudis are currently pumping about 9.5 million barrels a day.

I remember even eight months ago. During the Bush 9/11 festival in NYC, the Saudis said they would pump 11 million barrels of oil a day. And when they announced that, prices did drop $5 a barrel...for several weeks. When the pumping humping didn't happen, the price rose again. I even remember when it was 10 million barrels a day. Seems that it is dropping, not going up. This is a mystery...for gullible people.

Asked whether that plan would have any effect soon on gasoline prices in the United States, Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush's national security adviser, told reporters, "It's hard to say."

Bush fooled his supporters last year. He hopes to continue fooling them. This is called "talking down the price" so people will imagine something magical will happen. China just did this to Japan, quite maliciously, too. It worked.

But this story won't fly. Too many supporters have been burned. They are asking questions. Like, "Can Saudi Arabia increase oil pumping?"

Some experts, including past and present officials of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, have said the plan may be too optimistic because of geological complexities in the oil fields and challenges in finding enough technology and labor.

Short answer: probably not. Any new wells going in will simply replace ones that are depleting. And even if Saudi Arabia can increase pumping which is very unlikely, depletion in other places will negate the overall amount of oil being pumped. EVEN if this came out wine and roses, China will simply soak up any oil pumped lickety split. There is one way to put pressures on price: outlaw SUVs and trucks that aren't used for real work like my truck which is used only to haul things. Put an excess tax on all such vehicles and tax them hard until people conserve.

This will never happen so we just have to wait for the cruel effects of the Hubbert Oil Peak to take hold and ravage us all.

Blogging is Hard Work

The NYT article about celebrities blogging is rather interesting. It shows that the NYT still doesn't understand what a blog really is nor do the clebrities understand.

When Somerby's The Daily Howler was launched back in 1998, he and all of us were happy about it because trying to pass information in the old way via forums was beginning to collapse. Intelligent voices like his were being drowned out by people chatting idly or right wingers howling like banshees in unison. From that day on, I was a daily visitor at his new fangled home. "The Daily Brew" was another such site early on. The motivation was the attacks on Al Gore as the impeachment unravelled. Our dear media unsheathed the shivs and started backstabbing Gore with an amazing ferocity.

To run a blog needs self sacrifice and dedication and a belief in one's self that can take the slings and slugs of interacting with hoards of humanity. Many early blogs had no means to comment on each day's postings but when this was fixed, new blogs moved to the head of the class: blogs with a community that meets and greets each day. On the left was the ever popular Atrios, the web equivelent of a running bar and anarchists of the world unite convention (hello, gang! Luv ya all!) and the much more controlled Kos which is hard core politics with a lot of criticism of each other (sorry, not a place I can handle, personally). Reminds me too much of the self critisism sessions in Maoist China...

The right has the Little Green Goofballs and other unpleasant places one can find if you look in dark corners.

Blogging is different from articles of the day or week such as professional writers like Parry of Consortium News. He has a history of great reporting, he broke the Iran/Contra story, for example, and has published many books. He has been running his professional blog for many years. It is a must read once a week.

The famousBartcop was launched at the same time as the Daily Howler and for the same reason: to give us news uncorrupted by the so called mainstream media. He calls it his tree house and it gets raided by monkeys periodically. This is his chief form of amusement aside from watching the ballet (hehehe).

To run a successful blog today one should have a community which means using Haloscan or other platforms so comments can rain down on the head of the blogger---especially pointing out editorial mistakes or spelling errors, heh. GUILTY! I appreciate the free editing, by the way. Keep nipping!

Many bloggers tire of this. They close the joint entirely like Media Whores Online or Billmon who closed the comments section.

So into this lion pit comes......Celebrities and a very rich lady, Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.

The NYT which is addicted to the obvious, note Bobo Brooks at the editorial page, gets all up in the knickerhood over this great thing, a "blog" of "celebrities". Oh, the famous names. Time to HOB NOB! They are even hiring ten, count it, ten assistants to run this blog. Talk about a bloated blog. The Titanic of Blogs. The BLOG. Sort of like the alien in the movies sloshing into the theater in a remote town in Alaska to eat dating teens!

Having prominent people join the blogosphere, Ms. Huffington said in an interview, "is an affirmation of its success and will only enrich and strengthen its impact on the national conversation." Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

This is a list of people I hear from already way too much. If they are so hot to trot they could all start a blog, each. They then can spend time inbetween trips to Paris and swimming in a big private pool with their own cabana and cabana boy to post something that might mean something to me...yeah. Right.

Blogs are PERSONAL. Just like we know dear Bartcop intimately, we know Atrios and his collection of cats and Kos and his cute kid and here at my blog, each story is salted with various tales because I am a real person just like the readers here who, even when anonymous, reveal many things about themselves because this is an open but intimite conversation.

You can't have that with a celebrity. They spend fortunes to keep us all at bay. Far away. They don't want to interact at all. This "blog" won't even have a community and if they dare try that, it will collapse because everyone will clamour for attention rather than build towards each other.

This part disgusts me: Ms. Huffington's effort - to be called the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) - will also seek to ferret out potentially juicy items and give them legs. In fact, she has hired away Mr. Drudge's right-hand Web whiz, Andrew Breitbart, who used to be her researcher.

Well, I am happy this monster is deserting his present sinking ship. Shows you this is the Twilight of the Twitchy Troublemakers but this doesn't make me want to go to her "blog" which looks more like a newsletter like Salon. I remember Salon really well. The former owners and editors and I had some very long and involved fights which ended with them banning me from communication with them. Their blog is dreadfully thin now and barely better than this blog.

Except for the comix there. They are fantastic and fun. Go visit them.

This is the worst part of the Huffy blog:

While many of the bloggers are on the left of the political spectrum, some conservatives have also signed on, among them Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of The Washington Times, and David Frum, the writer who coined the phrase "axis of evil" when he was a speechwriter for President Bush.

OK. Earth to Huffington: I know you live a sheltered life but are you nuts? What possesses you? The entire reason bloggers like this one here exists is because the main stream media has locked us out. Parry once was in the mainstream. I used to be published or appear on TV regularily. We are LOCKED OUT. Nearly totally. The right wingers she is "inviting" in are all walking through open doors no matter what they say, they can even, like Coulter, call for the murder of millions and the editors fo the NYT and still get to sip wine and play with the cabana boy at the pool!

WE ARE LOCKED OUT. My biggest fight with Salon was over David Horrorwitz and the host of rank right wingers they paid to write for them. Why? Why? The owner snipped at me, "It pisses off liberals like you". Well, piss off, Salon. Note their stock has collapsed and they are a shell of their former selves and we seldom visit them.

There is no way I would visit the Huffy blog. She can go rot.

China Tests New Powers

coin
Yuan

It is an odd side story but instructive if one knows what is going on in Asia. Readers here can see clearly, there is tremendous tension between China and Japan. The Chinese were very loud about this up until today. Now they are flexing their arms in subtle ways.

Chinese remarks cause yen to soar

The yen hit a one-month high against the dollar and a two-month peak against the euro on Monday as comments from the governor of the People’s Bank of China sparked hopes of Chinese currency reform.

Speaking in China on Saturday, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiachuan suggested that the Chinese authorities may after all respond to international pressure to implement foreign exchange reform. “If there is more pressure from outside , it will force us to speed up our reform,” he said, reinforcing mounting market speculation that the Chinese authorities will soon announce a change to the renminbi peg. Any change in the peg is expected to be a revaluation, which in turn should lead to a broad rally in Asian currencies.

The yen appreciated in early Asian trade, hitting a one-month high of Y105.27 against the dollar. However, comments from Wei Benhua, deputy director of the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange, that there would be no policy change in the “short term” saw the dollar pull back to Y105.80.


Talk about smart. The Japanese spend hundreds of billions of American dollars keeping the yen artificially low against all other currencies. This is to boost trade values. The Chinese do this too. As the Japanese joined America in calling for a stronger Chinese currency, the Chinese decided it is time for Japanese currency to go up, first.

Note how one official lights the fire, oh, hope springs eternal! America goes nuts! Finally, the Chinese will obey us! Then a Chinese official steps forward, after hours of currency turmoil to put the desired change off into the unknown future.

This is fun to watch or would be if I lived somewhere else.

Note how Americans, hysterical about rising Chinese trade power have utterly forgotten our problem with the Japanese doing exactly the same thing. You can bet, Tokyo doesn't forget this.

Meanwhile, Europe see saws on trade, too.

Gentle approach

"If there are some interests in Europe who want to see some sort of trade war with China launched over this, then they are looking to the wrong person," Mr Mandelson told a news conference over the weekend.

"I don't regard China as a threat but as a welcome and important member of the international trading community."

An EU official said that they hoped to avoid "formal" talks with China.

"If we get to formal talks, then things are pretty serious," the official said.


Gentle? Try "gingerly". Collectively, we all want cheap stuff all the time. We also know this is bad because we lose manufaturing jobs but the lure of not paying a lot is too high a temptation. Corporate powers on the planet love China because it is their dream: to make tons of money while not working at all, it just pours in. So off goes the factories to China and the rich are much richer and the workers are getting bit..not too hard because of the cheap stuff but it will change when China begins to demand a fair share of the spoils of this planet: 25% of earth's resources, not 10%.

And everyone is nervous of Chinese power and powerless to stop it because of the appearance of exploitation, namely, rich people in Europe and America are getting richer thanks to Chinese labor. So they will support this system until it collapses. I suppose the plan is for the rich to live in select enclaves protected by the new super powers. This is their hope.

Unfortunately for them, it won't work out. Not at all.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Forget Diplomacy for Dummies, This is Diplomacy for Lunatics

dummies
OK. Yesterday it looked like Japan figured out how to Kow Tow.Only they went home today and threw rocks at the Chinese:

TOKYO (AP) - Japan opened a new front in its dispute with China on Sunday by sharply criticizing Beijing's history textbooks, signaling continued friction between the Asian powers despite high-profile diplomatic moves to quell tensions.

Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura refuted Chinese claims that Japanese textbooks gloss over Tokyo's World War II-era atrocities, firing back in a TV talk show Sunday that China's schools indoctrinate their students with an unbalanced take on the past.


New friction? Like Stalingrad was a tiff?

What is this? An Amazon.com book review battle? Are the Japanese going to review everyone's histories? Like the Pope pretending he was never really a Nazi, he only looked and acted like one all his life? Doesn't anyone learn anything from history?

Well...looks like the Kamikazi Koizumi diplomacy has taken over again and he has decided to go to war with China over history. I guarantee this is a war he is doomed to lose. Japan should understand, if they choose war, it can be pretty nasty for them.

There is nothing more infurating than to have someone apologize and just as you shake their hand, they throw another punch. I have had this happen and believe me, my retaliation when this happens is much worse than the original fight. "Blood in the eyes" is and understatement. The Chinese laugh at us but they do not laugh at the Japanese. This is going to reinforce anti Japanese sentiment in China and this will cause many waves. I suppose our government is happy that China and Japan are at each other's throats. Reminds me of the old Chinese curse: may your wishes come true.

MORE NEWS: Anti Japanese demonstration in NYC in front of the UN.

NEW YORK (Kyodo) About 300 people, mostly Chinese but with some Koreans, held a rally Friday at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations to protest Japan's attitude toward its wartime past.

Demonstrators hold a banner protesting Japan's aspirations to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council during a rally Friday in front of U.N. headquarters.

The spirited but peaceful rally lasted about an hour. It was organized by the Global Chinese Alliance for the Unification of China.

Participants waved Chinese and South Korean flags in a show of unity against Japan's approach to its wartime history.

"I came here to express myself," said Li Huang, 30, who came to the United States from China about three years ago. "I think Japan is not a reasonable country. I want Japan to face the history and apologize for its deeds in the past.


MORE BREAKING NEWS:80 Japanese Officials and Members of Parliment Visit War Shrine

If you are going to be belligerent might as well go all the way, no?

Eighty mostly ruling party lawmakers paid homage Friday at Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni Shrine, setting the scene for more protests from Japan's Asian neighbors at a time when relations with China and South Korea are already very tense.

`Prime Minister Koizumi has not stated this year whether he will visit or not,'' Fujii said. ``However, I sincerely hope he will do so without fail.''


The Chinese are not amused.

China wants ``the Japanese side to be sincere about improving relations,'' Li told his counterpart, Nobutaka Machimura.

On Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference that Beijing hoped Koizumi would stop making visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

Ratzinger and I Had a Big Big Fight in 1968

cat
Elaine the pushy feminist in 1969 while visiting Smith College to talk about women's rights.

This is a TRUE STORY. I am not making this up at all.

In 1968, I was the only woman on the campus at Tuebingen, Germany, who made speeches, confronted the faculty and in general, raised mayhem concerning Naziism and the war in Vietnam and the future of humanity and my worst crime of all: arguing with the religion faculty about God. I was utterly notorious on campus. Periodically, right wingers would try to beat me up only I have many fighting skills, both Japanese as well as sword fighting and simple wrestling with horses and cows since childhood.

In other words, I was one tough bitch.

I even made "Der Spiegel" magazine. I was finally deported from Germany because of my activities!

Well, this morning I learned something amazing: the reason Raztinger gives for reverting to being a Nazi is very simple.
NYT article about Tuebingen

But while his deep reading and thinking in theology, philosophy, and history were fundamental to development as a theologian, it was the protests of student radicals at Tübingen University - in which he saw an echo of the Nazi totalitarianism he loathed - that seem to have pushed him definitively toward deep conservatism and insistence on unquestioned obedience to the authority of Rome

We met, we argued and I terrorized him so badly he decided to be a Nazi. Amazing! Will wonders nevercease. Actually, the reason we argued and I was "vulgar" was because he was already a Nazi and this ticked me off greatly! I can spot a Nazi from pretty far away.

The article details his humilation at my hands...ahem. He was oh so learned and could quote anyone but I was there and there was precious little for me to quote since most literature is anti women's rights! So we got in a classic fight over "this is MY body that I live in and YOU can't order me around" stuff. Then I accused him of being "Kinder, kuchen, Kirche" Nazi. That was so mean of me he decided on the spot to be come a Nazi. I suppose.

Reading this article irritates me because no one interviewed me about this matter. Even after I publish this you can bet the NYT will not interview me.

Ratzinger isn't shy. He is full of hostility and repressed anger. Being a shallow intellectual, he was petted by his teachers because he was a toady who wanted to please, not challenge. This is why he appeared to briefly be a "liberal" under Herr Professor Kueng. I was at the meetings detailed in the NYT piece: everyone wanted to talk about anything but women's rights. Only one voice demanded we discuss this matter. That voice, dear readers, was mine! And only mine.

I was the sole VOCAL feminist on campus at this time.

And I am a loud mouth and am famous for launching fights. In philosophy class, my male professor announced one day that women couldn't argue philosophy because they are too emotional. I raised my hand and said, "Could you please prove this?" He then let me stand next to him and we began to argue. I got the entire room mad at me. I made one feminist challenge after another, coldly and cruelly. With a deliberate straight face. What blew them up was my contention that scientists should make artificial wombs so men can do their fair share of child bearing.

Blooie. Everyone was screaming at me including the professor. I crossed my arms on my chest and stood there in the storm, triumphant.

"Case closed. Men are TOO EMOTIONAL TO DEBATE." Dead silence. The professor began to laugh. Everyone was horrified. I won the debate! It was their Waterloo.

Well, Ratzinger can't debate his way out of a paper bag. He is a classic case of "authoritarian using authorities" type of argument. "This is how it was done before and it can't change" sort of junk. A revolution of the mind is to see through all of that to a new way of doing things.

So this Pope is personal to me. I demand a rematch with him. I will volunteer to go to the Vatican and debate him. The propaganda is, he loves debates. So bring it on!!!! (Fat chance. He is a coward, even with Opus Dei holding his hand).

Saturday, April 23, 2005

America Blames China For Our Economic Messes We Made Ourselves

beg

What a week that was! Greenspan whining before Congress, blaming them for the fix we are in, whimpering that he wasn't responsible, claiming that he really didn't expect deficits to explode when he gave Bush the green light to cut taxes because of the surplus.

Excuuuuuuse me! I still remember that time, the first six months of Bush's reign. During the election, I watched with alarm as the internet bubble popped. I said, "Well, there goes the surplus!" and lo and behold, it began to melt away. Bush came into office and said, "Because the economy is in trouble, I will cut taxes" only he cut taxes far in the future, not a quickie tax cut! I wrote, "This is ridiculous. It will cut taxes exactly when an expected recession will be over!"

Well, he continues to do what is senseless.

Greenspan also whined about mean old China not doing what we want. Congress responded by cutting more taxes, passing more "emergency spending" for Iraq and other activities that made a bad situation a joke.

So time for the The Bipartisan US-China Economic Security Review Commission aka "BUCESRC" (Boopkus). The hand wringing is amusing. From Senator Byrd:

Mr. President, I will not recite all the many important conclusions and recommendations for action contained in this timely report. But I point out that the United States needs to be much more proactive and clear-thinking in managing our overall relationship with China, and far more focused on what our goals are in the relationship if we are to advance our national economic and security interests.

The report concludes, overall, that the U.S.-China economic relationship lacks active management. U.S. goals for specific elements of the relationship are too vague or even nonexistent. This is particularly highlighted in the enormous goods trade deficit, some $123 billion in 2003, and growing rapidly. The United States has the capability to nudge the Chinese into more positive policies and actions, thereby leveling a playing field which China has tilted in the direction of mercantilist behavior, including, in some arenas, intimidating tactics. Issues which have been festering in the WTO, for instance, such as China's artificial manipulation of the value of her currency, continued tolerance of high levels of Intellectual Property Crimes, massive illegal subsidization of Chinese enterprises, resistance to good faith compliance with important WTO procedures, and with many pledges made for progress in proliferation of WMD, all require heightened levels of attention and management by the United States

The United States certainly has such influence at this period, and for the next few years, because of the enormous dependence of China on our good will, our consumer markets, our manufacturing capability, our technology and our cooperation in many fields. Such dependence will not last forever, however, and it is time that we begin to manage this relationship in ways that will produce more positive and favorable outcomes.


I like it. "Enormous dependence of CHINA on our good will..." As I often encounter on line as well as in the streets, Americans think China comes to us, hands out, begging.

Time for us to review "Begging for Dummies". It is laughably simple. If one wants something and one can't get it by force or threat, one must BEG. Humbly. Just this week, Congress added another $150 billion to our overdraft with China. We decided to cut more taxes and spend more money. Ergo, we now have to return to China and beg for them to give us cheap loans.

They know this. We know this. We disguise our begging by calling it "sales" but what we are selling is....our begging for money. Seems to be our number one export! Begging. It equals the trade deficit. People send us stuff and in return, we beg.

The trade deficit and the budget deficit are both about $666 billion. We are beggars. Beggars can't be choosers. You take what is put in the bowl and you eat it or starve. We can complain and our benefactors will smile. Cranky beggars are funny. In ancient Rome, they were stock figures in comedies.

Members of a congressionally appointed commission on U.S.-China relations left the Beltway for Stanford on Thursday to find out how Silicon Valley thinks Washington should deal with fast-growing China.

They got an earful. Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry told commissioners the United States is losing its edge in the information technology that is key to this country's military superiority. And a parade of high-tech executives implored Congress and the Bush administration to get tough with China on the rampant piracy of intellectual property and Beijing's insistence on securing sensitive technology transfers.

Beggars are known to whine very loudly. These men spent fortunes to insure the present situation is just like it is now. They don't like it but refuse to fix it, of course. They want some magic to happen. Wave that wand and presto!

Wong raked China for failing to protect intellectual property of U.S. companies. "When it comes to keeping trade secrets,'' he said, "there is little hope of recourse'' if secrets leak out.

And leaks are likely, he noted, given the conditions imposed by the central government in Beijing. "Encryption methods must be acceptable to the Chinese authorities, and they must be given the keys,'' he said. "China is essentially a controlled playing field.''

George Scalise, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, based in San Jose, criticized Beijing for giving Chinese companies subsidies and grants that foreign companies operating in China cannot get.


Note how these non tax paying, military/industrial complexers are complaining about the Chinese subsidizing their own industries! Tch. Tch.

At the same time they beg for government spending! That will fix things! To get this money to spend in Silicone Valley, the government has to go to....China for loans. Oopsie.

Scalise called for making the U.S. research and development credit permanent as one way of leveling the playing field. He also urged Washington to lighten up on its post-Sept. 11 visa restrictions because they are impeding the flow of bright, foreign-born scientists and engineers to Silicon Valley.

Additionally, Scalise urged the Bush administration to haul China before WTO courts if it fails to provide open markets and protect intellectual property.


Oh those sneaky industrial titans! Once again, they try the "kill the Chinese with laughter" weapon! Seriously, the UN should investigate this nefarious Weapons of Mass Delusion! It is all the fault of those tricky Chinese and by the way, can we import them here? We need them here because we can't survive unless we have access to tricky Chinese computer experts as well as their equally tricky engineers!

So much for employing Americans.

And so it goes. The begging cup rattles, the beggar pleads and threatens, the USA comes staggering over to clean the windshield with a dirty rag. "Pay me!" yells the bum.

Video of "violent" child

Thanks to Jesus' General, here is the video

My take: the child is acting out but is remarkably quiet. Her most violent act was to push away an unsympathetic teacher. You can hear the other white staffers talking about the child as if she were a dog or something. I was really outraged by this video.

The only time the child was loud was when two adult police officers, one a woman, both white, grabbed her and twisted her arms. Up until then, she was sitting utterly still in a chair and was totally quiet! This is rank child abuse. I hope she wins her case. I wish she could find some great hearted teacher. This video made me very sad and unhappy.

It reminded me of our kindergarden. We had Korean, Chinese, Jamacian, Haitian, Anglo Saxon, Eastern European, American black children. We were very international. Our teachers were equally varied.

Rats.

I wish I was this child's lawyer....

They Wanted To Keep Terri Alive But Kill Everyone Else

x
Frist and DeLay as seen by a agnostia brain damaged person.

The entire "Culture of Life" broohaha the Republicans ran that ended with Frist and DeLay calling for the murder of judges and Bush flying to DC for an emergency passing of a bill to give Terri's parents unprecedented access to the highest courts in the land to overturn court rulings....here is reality:

Medicare Patients MAY NOT go before a judge to get treatment

A new federal policy will make it significantly more difficult for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain hearings in person before a judge when the government denies their claims for home care, nursing home services, prescription drugs and other treatments.

OK. The jarring you are feeling isn't the Boxing Day Great Earthquake. It is simply the feeling that the world is turning inside out. The very same clowns who stopped all of America to howl about a brain dead woman and who cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars running Congress for special sessions so the parents of a brain dead woman could go to courts that were utterly out of line as to refering to the laws of the land, these same clowns now are going to deny the average American to right to see ANY judge when Medicare tells them to drop dead, literally.

We firmly believe that no insurance company, no bureaucrat in a back room, no politician, no Pope has any say in what we do with our bodies.

We live inside our bodies. These objects are something very important to us since we live in our bodies and our bodies are very intimately ourselves. Ergo: only the person living inside a body knows what that body is doing and what it wants. Even if the person and the body do naughty things like smoke or drink too much, it is one and the same.

Whew.

So once again, the GOP shows themselves to be crude, self serving hypocrites.

I am really mad today. Every day, another reason to be mad.

What Is Wrong With Our Schools--open ended series.

school

A lawyer has threatened to sue police officers who handcuffed an allegedly uncontrollable five-year-old after she acted up at a Florida kindergarten.
The officers were called by the school after a teacher and assistant principal failed to calm down the little girl.

The incident was caught on a video camera which was rolling in the classroom as part of a self-improvement exercise at the St Petersburg school.


There are so many things wrong with this story in just two paragraphs!

1. Using the terms "self improvement exercise" is insanity when talking about little children. This is "corporate talk". And should be vigorously resisted by any sane child not to mention adult.

2. Once again, an issue that should be "parental control of the schools via voting and participation" becomes a lawyer thing.

3. Five year olds with tempers are laughably easy to deal with. I did this for years and years. Anyone wants lessons in this, I will be happy to oblige. I train horses and dogs and birds and fishes, too (yes, you can train fishes).

4. The police could see this was a small child. If the child were totally out of control, the teachers could have evacuated the room by herding the others out and the cops could have sat down and talked the child out of this passionate rage.

5. My Victorian great godmother would have had a caniption fit over this news. She was very strictly "children should be seen but not heard" school and she taught me how to sit up straight and be still at the age of four.

6. The BBC article notes the children were doing math. This is insanity. This is kindergarten!

So, time for my early education lecture. I have credentials in this area. When, in NYC, I had babies, I joined a nursery co-op. I eventually taught there. We were very liberal and did a great deal of research into how to conduct a nursery school. Our school was so successful it became an after school place, too, so we could do this for several more years. It was democratic. Literally. Our children learned to negotiate and vote for things and we discussed all our plans with the children in a circle each day. So we had a willing troop for all activities. It was pretty astonishing, the choices these children made. "Let's go to the science museum!" they would shout raising hands, smiling. "Let's go to the movies!" also got a big vote. We would discuss the movies, mostly cartoons, of course. "Analyze this!" we would say. They learned to dictate to us, as we used a primative typewriter, their movie reviews which we then published on a mimeo machine which they cranked out and then we passed this out to the other preschools!

The history of Kindergartens: this is a German word for "Child's Garden" and was started by neo liberal German Romanticists. Von Bismark was so impressed by them, he made them part of the German school system he was building. "Strong bones and strong minds" was his motto. You can't build a powerful army with people who worked when they were six or had rickets and bad teeth and were stunted from hunger and privation. So all children went to preschool to be fed and cossetted. This is why it was called "GARDEN" and not "WORKHOUSE".

In America, the desire to "teach" stuff has dropped down and down in age while the ability to learn is collapsing like a souffle in winter. There is zero need to teach math to five year olds. You simply make up fun counting games that make them laugh while they learn effortlessly. We had a penny jar. Every day we went shopping for lunch with the kids. The children would guess at how much something like grapes would cost and then count out the change. Each one had a seperate thing to buy and got to select it. Off we went, each child proud that they were going to buy lunch which we made from scratch with the children. They learned to cook with us as well as washing dishes which was great fun. We deliberately generated a great deal of soap and would build things out of the dishes and cups.

Many weekends the children voted to run the school for fun! We ended up, on weekends with the parents, going on vacations or long trips to just outside NYC like the beaches in summer. We were literally one big happy family. My children still talk to their nursery playmates twenty years later.

We were family.

I have tutored children. Nearly always, when I meet them, they are sullen and angry. They don't want to learn, they want to play games and watch TV. So we do this, together. Slowly I would build up a relationship and get them into discussing the shows and the games. Slowly, they open up again. It is very tedious and I always wonder, why don't adults do this earlier?

This is because most people really don't want to interact with their own children. Or if they do, they do it as if they are a child, not an adult visiting the child and guiding them to another world. The increasingly childish behaviors and attitudes and lusts seen in adults is, well, my great godmother would have been appalled if she saw what I see every day. This includes stuffing our faces or boorish driving habits.

The news media has story after story of cops going into increasingly younger school rooms to wrestle with difficult children. This is utterly unacceptable and is an indication of the collapse of our ability to learn, grow strong, be responsible. But then, look at the story below this one: our government, investigating itself, refuses to be responsible for anything at all. Bad children, bad prison guards.

Blame them.

The Buck Stops Below

This time the top generals not to mention the Attorney General of America who approved of torture, secretly, are all innocent of charges.

Every single military prison tortured. Every single one was filled with guards and others who inexplicably tortured prisoners repeatedly even photographing and filming this for future use and this was done against the desires of "bring 'em on" Bush.

Yup. And the KGB was all rogue agents who did things behind Stalin's back and Hitler knew nothing about the death camps.

Right.

The buck never stops where it belongs or rather, tons of bucks flow into the hands of the top honchos and not a penny of responsiblity for war or preventing terrorism or keeping our economy well or country solvent.

Friday, April 22, 2005

NO MORE NOAA WEATHER ONLINE!!!

hrr
Hurricane Hugo, a killer storm

Now I am really pissed off. I use the NOAA Weather service online for many things. I do a great deal of work outside as well as run my farm. I need good weather analysis and data, much of it raw to evaluate what I am going to be doing. This has made my life very nice since I can gage very closely the complex weather systems over my farm which is in the Taconic Mountains of NY.

Now the GOP wants to eliminate this!

Do you want a seven-day weather forecast for your ZIP code? Or hour-by-hour predictions of the temperature, wind speed, humidity and chance of rain? Or weather data beamed to your cellphone?

That information is available for free from the National Weather Service.
The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.


We will "go to Mars" but will die in hurricanes or floods or freeze to death or lose all our crops or die in sand storms here at home on planet earth! What a visionary proposal! We will see the weather on Mars and be left to the tender mercies of the weather on earth!

This level of insanity is breath taking. All so that the online weather services can charge a buck off of us for information we already paid for via our tax dollars! In a nutshell, this is the future for America courtesy of the Republican penny pinching "we love monopolies and hate government services that are really useful or successful like Social Security" maniacs.