Saturday, November 26, 2005

Times Union Publishes My Letter

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I used to write lots of letters to the editor. Got published a lot, too, until 9/11. Then no matter what the topic, my letters were rejected across the board. Now, this last year, I started to pester the media again on occassion and so far have a 100% publish rate. Not that there are three a week like in the Clinton years. I recommend all my readers write short letters to the editor, they can't tolerate anything longer than two short paragraphs. Already, my intro is longer than most letters...! Meanwhile, the GOP tries to get through more tax cuts, a disaster if there ever was one.

From the Times Union, Albany, NY:
With $200B misspent, Iraq will only get worse

First published: Saturday, November 26, 2005
I don't care if all the soldiers we sent to Iraq love being there. We are going bankrupt keeping them there.
Already, we have misspent more than $200 billion on this ridiculous war. We have vastly strengthened al-Qaida and the Islamic jihadists. Congress is madly cutting school programs and loans in America, so soldiers can sit in Iraq. Medical care, housing and social services are all slated to be slashed, so soldiers can Humvee around Baghdad.

This wasteful war is decimating life in America. It is going to get worse and worse, the more this red ink flows.


Already, I got one obscene picture email concerning this. Rape, of course. Ta-da dear right wingers! Guy too scared to fight in Iraq, of course. Too scared to meet me face to face, boo. Got nice emails, too. Seems I am not the only soul in America alarmed at the high expense of this war.

So what is Congress doing today? From the NYT:
Republicans of all stripes want to cut taxes, but rarely have they been in so much disarray about whose to cut.

If House Republicans and President Bush have their way, more than half of tax reductions over the next five years will go to the top 1 percent of households, those with average incomes of $1.1 million.

House leaders are pushing a $63-billion tax-cutting package that would extend President Bush's tax cut on stock dividends, protect oil companies from a windfall profits tax and shield people caught using illegal tax shelters.

The Republican-controlled Senate, by contrast, has passed a bill that would cut taxes by $59 billion but ignore Mr. Bush's top priority, and that contains two other provisions that have provoked his wrath.

The Senate bill omits an extension of Mr. Bush's tax cuts for stock dividends and capital gains, which are to expire at the end of 2008.

Instead, almost half of the bill is devoted to shielding middle-income and upper-income families from the alternative minimum tax.
All the damn bills are for the upper 20% of America. It is just the far right wing one is for the upper 1% and the other, more liberal one spreads it to the white suburban minimansion class. Whoopee. The financial squeeze on the lower 80% of America is being dealt with via cuts to student aid, school funds, foodstamps and medicine. Isn't this charming? Even as we slid over the $8 trillion red ink marker towards the dead zone of bankruptcy, Congress passes tax cuts and gives themselves pay raises and loads on the pork. All government systems outside of death machines and graft are being starved to death. Meanwhile, we are told to frantically shop for foreign goods because this is an "economy."

This idea that we can't afford our government even as we expand our war machine's money eating, cutting taxes so we can feel richer even as we go poorer is like using credit cards to buy food and pay the mortgage.

No! No...Absolutely no. This leads to bankruptcy. The party is over, dudes. We lost the war. We lost our industrial base. We lost our minds.

Time to go cold turkey.

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Greenhouse Gasses Highest in Over Half Million Years

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Greenhouse gasses are highest in last half million years according to largest ice core study. Seas are rising at twice the rate as before according to a New Jersey mud core study. Greenland glaciers are in obvious retreat, melting ice that is on land. Volcanoes are more active along Antarctic fault and yet another killer earthquake, this time in China. The planet continues to change at an increased pace. I suppose Brownie can expect big business in his future.

From the LA Times:
An ice core about two miles long — the oldest frozen sample ever drilled from the underbelly of Antarctica — shows that at no time in the last 650,000 years have levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane been as high as they are today.

The research, published in today's issue of the journal Science, describes the content of the greenhouse gases within the core and shows that carbon dioxide levels today are 27% higher than they have been in the last 650,000 years and levels of methane, an even more powerful greenhouse gas, are 130% higher, said Thomas Stocker, a climate researcher at the University of Bern and senior member of the European team that wrote two papers based on the core.
The human brain evolved rapidly during the crisis of the Great Ice Ages. Once we got a big enough brain to figure out several important processes, how to handle fire, turn mud into durable pots using fire, weaving, taming animals so we wouldn't need to hunt for them any more and of course, the entire agricultural revolution, we were able to kiss the problems of living in a fluctuating climate goodbye. Indeed, our species spread all over the planet thanks to the bigger brain's vast powers.

Of course, the drawback is that we now dominate the ecosystem and this means it is out of balance and we are the cause of this and our actions are now tipping it into hyperdrive changes. The changes will come faster than our ability to adapt to them, indeed, this race of our turning everything into a savanah is tied in with desertfication which is impossible for us to live in except in very restrictive numbers, like nearly no one.

From Live Science:
Earth's oceans are rising twice as fast today compared to 150 years ago, according to a new study.

The rise is nearly 2 millimeter per year. At that rate, sea level will be 1 inch higher in 13 years compared to today.

The increased pace is evidence for human-induced climate change, say researchers at Rutgers University, where the study was done. The results are detailed in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Science.

Professor of geological sciences Kenneth Miller and colleagues examined sediment taken from drill sites along the New Jersey coast to establish a steady millimeter-per-year rise from 5,000 years ago until about 200 years ago. Sea-level measurements since 1850 from tidal gauges and more recently from satellite images reveal the current annual rise of two millimeters per year.
This rate is accelerating. Some studies peg the potential rise to over 3' within this century. Since the American plan is to find and consume as much fossil fuel as humanly possible as fast as possible, the chances of this future happening is around 100% unless we go bankrupt which is a serious possiblity at this point.

From the same source, another good story (this site is, in general, pretty good)--From Live Science:
A new study reveals one of the largest glaciers in Greenland is shrinking and speeding to the sea faster than scientists expected. If it continues, Greenland itself could become much smaller during this century and global seas could rise as much as 3 feet.

"The rates of change that we're observing are much higher than expected," said Ian M. Howat of the University of California, Santa Cruz. "If these rates of response continue, it is not unlikely that Greenland could shrink by several tens of percent this century."

Howat cautions, however, that it's not known how quickly this coastal response of the Greenland ice sheet melting will affect the vast inland ice.

"The ice sheet becomes less sensitive to climate as it retreats," Howat told LiveScience. "It sort of flies off the handle at first and then re-adjusts, so it is extremely unlikely that all of the ice sheet will disappear."
According to the satellite photos, the greatest glacial retreat was this year especially since August. The sun spat out at us some serious fireworks back then as this blog chronicled. Ultimately, the sun herself is the arbeiter about global warming. If the sun's variabilty sets itself on "cool" again like it has repeatedly this last 2.5 million years, then we will have a ferocious ice age no matter what we do with gases.

On the other hand, with increased gases that bring greenhouse effects, shots like last summer and fall's blasts will stay within the ecosystem for a lot longer than they normally would, building up the over all temperatures.

Then there is the volcano factor. From Live Science:
A rare volcanic eruption is rapidly expanding the size of an island in the South Atlantic, scientists announced today.

New satellite images show that Montagu Island, a volcano in the South Sandwich Islands, has grown by 50 acres (0.2 square kilometers) in the last month as lava pours into the sea.

"Red hot lava has formed a molten river 90 meters wide [99 yards] that is moving fast, possibly several meters per second and extending the shoreline on the north side of the island," said John Smellie of British Antarctic Survey (BAS). "This event is special because Montagu Island is mostly ice covered and it's very rare that we get to make direct observations of eruptions under ice sheets."
The entire crust is heaving and shaking because the Antarctic continent is slowly freeing itself from its icy tomb and the weight there is shifting which is causing it to move again. Volcanoes around the planet are feeling this which is why they are all coughing and shivering. The chances of one in the Indonesian chain blowing out is very high. This is a big climate changer for not only are many gases ejected, so is a lot of dust which usually causes temperatures to plunge world wide if the eruption is big enough and dirty enough. Changing rain to snow has a huge effect.

Last night on TV, I saw a story about people living right off the Gulf complaining about how insurance doesn't cover water damage and they want it and will sue for it. Like Californians or others living in geological or meteorlogical danger zones, they want full coverage while paying little insurance. Namely, they want me, in my strong, weather proof New England home to subsidize their mild climate/dangerous geology zones while they don't have to do the same.

No way. Build so the properties can't be destroyed so easily and then come to me and talk about shared risk. In tornado/hurricane zones, dome buildings out of strong ferrous/cement structures and no buildings within one mile of ocean front water...Hahahaha. Yeah. Right. No way. So, if people insist on living in inappropriate building for their climate and geology, well, they will have to pay for it themselves. Just like the solar energy solution, the government should have great, very cheap loans for properly designed homes in various situations. One can choose whatever expression of building out of a set of restrictions, namely, one has to obey certain sane building rules first. Of course, everyone wants to live in an European house build for the much mildler, forgiving European climate. Even so, Europe is discovering they are suffering from climate related instability, too, even tornadoes, though only catagory ones, are popping up.

From CNN:

At least 12 people were killed and 397 wounded, 20 seriously, when a 5.5-magnitude quake struck eastern China, according to Chinese officials and reports from state-run media.

The quake struck Saturday at about 8:49 a.m. (00:49 a.m. Friday GMT) cording to China's Xinhua news agency and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was on the Hubei-Jiangxi provincial border, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi province -- home to 361,000 people, according to the USGS -- and 88 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of Huangshi in Hubei province, which has a population of roughly 569,000 people.
Another earthquake, nearly all the deaths due to building failures thanks to weak materials. In Pakistan, a much worse quake killed over 80,000 people (the survivors are nearly forgotten by all except people like bin Laden who is very active out there, wonder why!) because of poor construction especially in the big apartment buildings.

In Japan there recently was a scandal over this matter. From Japan Today:
Japan's infrastructure ministry questioned an architect on Thursday over his falsifying quake-resistance data in connection with at least 21 buildings that could collapse in the event of a strong earthquake.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport separately conducted on-site inspections of a government-designated agency that checked the building plans the architect, Hidetsugu Aneha, submitted.

During questioning, Aneha told the ministry three of his major clients ordered him to reduce the quantities of reinforcing steel. The half-hour interrogation was part of revoking Aneha's first-class architect's license.
This is quite common. No one can see the rebars once you pour the cement. One can detect them but building inspectors usually rely on eyes only. Cheating on rebar is dangerous and shows up when failures occur and this is unfortunately all too often.

My house's foundation has a lot of rebar in it. I put it in personally, tied it together carefully, layered it well. I pounded in the cement in the forms so it would settle properly. All this time and attention pays off over the years. It costs money and time. Most people want safety on the cheap so the usual practice is to pretend all is well and make the exterior look sturdy.

I know because when I beg people to let me do something right, they immediately start to complain. "I can't see it!' is the common cry. Well, don't come wailing to me when the cheaper alternative turns deadly.

Even more: building sanely saves energy. A dome home in the Midwest and South is sane. Comfortable. Easy to heat or cool. In the Northeast and far North due to snows, it is impractical so we have to have deep eaves, something I nearly never see on any new buildings at all, steep roofs and deep eaves! My house has them. The average eave here is around 2"! Mine are over 2 FEET. This keeps snow off the foundation and where the wood joins the cement basement. This protects the sides of the house as well as the roofline. Oh, all the calls I get about leaks due to ice creep on houses with no eaves! The damage is considerable and they have to fix and fix and fix it.

It is far cheaper to build it correctly. Not that anyone does this.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

China Needs An EPA and America Needs a NASA

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Even as our own newsmedia belatedly takes up the story of the Harbin pollution mess, the Chinese decide to remind us about our own collapse, this dealing with NASA. Seems, we are too poor to fund it anymore, pretty much.

From Xinhuanet:
A large deficit in NASA's shuttle program could cause at best a serious delay in the space exploration initiative by President George W. Bush if without planned shuttle flights reduced or a budget addition of billions of US dollars, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

NASA is negotiating for extra money with the White House to deal with a shortfall that some space experts say could exceed 6 billion dollars from 2006 to 2010, when NASA plans to retire the shuttle for good, the report said.

The White House, struggling with the costs of Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, has no intention of giving the green light.

The deficit came as a result of shuttle safety problems such asinsulation foam loss from the fuel tank during liftoff, which doomed Columbia in Feb. 2003 and recurred in the July launch of Discovery.

One option for NASA is to reduce the planned 18 shuttle flightsfor international space station and one to service the Hubble Space Telescope, to two per year, or 10 in all, and cut the workforce.

"NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin has said that terminating the shuttle program would be just as expensive as keeping it going", it is reported.
Note the quiet glee in the Chinese official press. They know the EPA-style disaster can be dealt with the same way all such things are dealt with: knock down some underlings and promise to patrol things better in the future.

This reminds me, Brownie, the flunky who flunked hurricane Katrina, is now open for business.....Advising people about how to deal with disasters. I hope he is hired by the Chinese and then put in jail when he fails there. Seems they will actually send failures to prison.

So before we get all bloated up about how great we are, just remember: we lost a major port city and fixing this mess will cost around $250 billion which we can only get from the Chinese and Japanese and they are coping with their own problems, no? Eh? Are we offering to fix the Chinese water problem? Hello? What?

Oh, we are too busying buying Chinese and Japanese goods today to afford fixing their countries. They must deal with this on their own!

And NASA, the home base that shoved forwards technology in a million ways we take for granted today: an Immobile Dick.

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Just One Day's Shopping Spree And We Think This Will Be Forever

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Just one day's shopping and stocks are way up because everyone thinks there is a pot of gold here somewhere. I examine the truth of what is going on and why this day's shopping is a disaster in disguise.

From Yahoo:
The pre-dawn sales frenzy is over — and now the tally begins. Steep discounts and expanded hours drew hordes to the nation's malls in what merchants hope are signs consumer spending will be lively for the holidays. More people jammed the stores early, according to early reports, and more than a few testy shoppers scuffled in a rush to grab bargains, from notebook computers to cashmere sweaters.

Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Macy's, as well as mall operator Taubman Centers Inc., estimated they drew bigger crowds on the official start of the holiday season than a year ago. Lena Michaud, spokeswoman at Target Corp., which had a strong holiday season a year ago, said traffic was at least as heavy.
Every year, the discounts and sales grow bigger and bigger and the profit margins smaller. Comparing dollar amounts versus last year is a totally false reading of events. For inflation has set in, places where it can't be easily cut. To fill and run the big box stores costs more this year. To make up for this, no pay raises for the workers at any level.

Indeed, workers are losing jobs at an accelerating pace, most spectatular being Delco and now General Motors as well as Ford. This is bad, very bad. The high energy costs are lurking there right behind it all. The entire planet is cutting back on energy use and trying to keep the energy inflation out of the things they plan to export to America who is now running an amazing trade deficit. From Yahoo:
Heating oil and other energy prices are up to 40 percent higher than three years ago. That translates into bad news for Northern Hemisphere consumers whose budget is already stretched by a summer of high prices at the gasoline pumps — and into opportunities for those who cash in on the cold.

In South Korea, where a vigorous save-energy campaign is under way, the clothing industry expects a 10 percent rise in profits from sales of warm apparel. But not only manufacturers see an opportunity.

"We have seen a lot of thefts of heating oil ... stolen from private properties and construction sites," says Peter Josephsen, a police officer in Ringkoebing, 140 miles west of Copenhagen.
Half of America doesn't give much of a hoot about winter so they feel they can keep the spending expanding. In the northeast, we are buying...Things to survive a colder winter. Also, the bad news about declining housing values is only barely setting in. Banks are getting cold feet but thanks to the draconian bills passed by Congress, credit cards are pouring out the debt instrumens at an amazing pace now they know they have consumers on the hook for literally forever.

People across the planet will shiver this winter because we have decided to consume to the max yet again for our consumption is what is making fuel so expensive for everyone. In Japan, China and Korea, our main suppliers and inflation sinks, they can't manipulate their currencies out of this mess because being artificially cheap, they have to pay more for fuel so they are getting people even in seemingly "rich" Japan to stop the energy use and bundle up so they can continue shipping stuff to Americans. Oh, isn't this going to be popular in the end!

From the BBC:

Large parts of Italy's transport system have been brought to a halt by a nationwide strike.
The protest led by the country's three largest unions has also closed banks, post offices and government buildings.

The action by the unions, which have 12 million members between them, is against the government's proposed cuts in next year's budget.

After the morning rush hour, demonstrations began in squares across Italy, including Rome's Piazza Navona.

The political temperature has been rising here since the government announced its budget for next year.
Exports are down and fuel prices up. No nation dares to run a trade deficit like America's. It is worse, many have to import most of their energy like Japan, Italy or Germany, but they have to counterbalance it with a trade surplus with the only country running up the bill: America.

And this gravy train is doomed. Right now, we are simply churning out the dollar bills and shipping them out to everyone. These IOUs are being collected in the form of lost American jobs. The job loss is now so fabulous that if you look for anything made in America and not some off-shore "America" which they get away with these days, it is few indeed. Very few items.

Note how the Italians are dealing with the situation. They are being quite loud about their unhappiness. Of course, Italy always has had snap strikes, it is infamous. Germans joke about it, how trains seldom run on time even when they are not on strike, gads, look at the USA. No striking train personnell, indeed, no decent train service, it is in the state of "perpetual strike" as morale and service collapses year by year.
Protesting musicians will also be playing simultaneous renditions of Verdi's Requiem in cities across the country.
Heh. They should play Wagner to punish the Italian populace (opera joke time here).

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Again and Again, Our Soldiers Hand Out Toys And Children Are Blown Up

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Every so often, soldiers are allowed to or ordered to, I can't tell, the Pentagon won't say, hand out toys to tots in Iraq. We are obviously at war there, we go about heavily armed and armored, attacks kill our soldiers and the civilians every day, 4 more soldiers died and many more were maimed yesterday, yet we still persist in pretending that we are Santa Claus and are there to hand out goodies, not steal all their oil wealth. I wish they would stop doing this. If they want to distribute candy and toys, give them to the Iraqi adults and let them dispense them.
From the Washington Post:
A suicide attacker steered a car packed with explosives toward U.S. soldiers giving away toys to children outside a hospital in central Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 31 people. Almost all of the victims were women and children, police said.

In all, 53 people were killed in bombings and gunfire across the country, including two American soldiers who died in a roadside bombing near Baghdad. The U.S. military also reported the deaths of four American troops on Wednesday.
The first time this happened a year ago, I was shocked and horrified. My blog talked about how soldiers in battle should never ever lure little children over and try to befriend them when the parents are so obviously opposed to this. It is like going to a busy intersection and holding up candy and toys and calling children over. You don't do it! It is wrong!

If the situation is such that our soldiers were walking around with no more than a light sidearm if even that, fraterizing with friendly children, then they could indulge in displays of charity and fun. But they are target number one in an insurrection that is very serious, very effective and very obvious. Luring children to surround our troops in this hostile situation is insanity.

The Pentagon last year should have put out a directive forbidding this. The sole reason is to protect the children from the battlefield which is all of Iraq. Of course, the urge to win the hearts and minds of tots by bribing them is very strong. We hoped they would go home and lobby mommy and daddy to stop fighting us and let us pump Iraq dry and leave them with nothing at all.

This is like the Europeans offering the natives glass beads for Manhattan. After the first incursions, the natives realized this would be a fight to the death and it was, wasn't it?
"It was an explosion at the gate of the hospital," a woman who had wounds on her face and legs told the AP. "My children are gone. My brother is gone."

With no room left at the hospital, emergency workers rushed victims to hospitals in Baghdad, about 15 miles to the north. And when the hospital morgue was full, the workers were forced to place the dead in the hospital garden so family members could find them.

Ahmed said late Thursday that an Iraqi parliament member, Jafar Muhammad, was among the dead. His death would bring to three the number of National Assembly members killed in insurgent attacks.
Just the other day, a top Sunni leader and his entire family were massacred. This is a massive civil war and it will get much worse, not better. The "elections" there were a sham, the "constitution" is as strong as tissue paper. Heck, we don't honor our own "Constititution" so why would we think they would honor theirs, especially since so many Sunni made it crystal clear, the document is bad for them!

There is no way of fixing what is wrong in Iraq because we went in, determined to take, by hook or crook, the oil. This has been our main goal from day one and since it involves destroying the country, it happened. Now our only hope is to escape the mess we made.

And, I hope, pay reparations. Like Germany, we have to learn how to control our urge to steal.

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More Chinese Chemical Factory Fires, Problems Like We Had Before EPA

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

A second chemical factory blew up in China, more pollution in rivers, this time in the south. Russia and China start new accords for alerting each other if Chernoybl-style disasters occur. Europe and America have been down this road before, too.

From the BBC:
Hundreds of villagers in north-eastern China are being evacuated from their homes following the pollution of the local river by a chemical explosion.
The evacuations, from villagers in the suburbs of Harbin, came as 3.8 million people in the city centre endured a third day without mains water.

The water supply is not expected to be turned back on until Sunday.

In south-west China, another chemical factory explosion has led to warnings of more benzene pollution.
Many forms of pollution are global in impact. Water and air are the twin forces that keep us alive. We abuse both at our own peril.

Massive, out of control industrialization is very dangerous. Not too long ago, we were exactly like China is today. From the Volokh Conspiracy:

The story of the Cuyahoga River fire is a canonical tale, but my friend Jonathan Adler -- a law professor at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University -- argues in the Fordham Environmental Law Review that much of the story is a fable.

While many point to the fire as evidence of ever-worsening environmental conditions, Jonathan argues that water quality had already begun to improve before the fire. The Cuyahoga River was heavily polluted, to be sure, but it was starting to turn the corner.

From the 1880s to 1950s, fires on industrial rivers and harbors were rather common, and rarely elicited comment. Much pollution was accepted as the inevitable and unavoidable cost of industrialization. As the nation became richer, attitudes changed, and cleanup efforts began, even before the adoption of federal laws. River fires were rare by the 1960s, largely due to state and local cleanup efforts.

The 1969 fire attracted national attention more because of increased environmental consciousness than because environmental quality was steadily getting worse. It's a complex story, but quite interesting. I'm not an environmental expert, but Jonathan is, and I've found his work to be trustworthy and eminently readable.

One item of note from Jonathan's article. The fire received national attention when highlighted in Time, but the picture of a river aflame accompanying the article wasn't of the 1969 fire at all -- it was of a much worse 1952 fire. There are apparently no pictures of the 1969 fire itself because the fire was out before any photographers arrived. So the image many remember of the river on fire isn't of the famous fire at all.
This right wing site is rather funny. The spontaneous combustion of a river is OK because it burned out before it could be photographed and the much worse sponaneous fire 15 years earlier was used, but who cares?

The fact that the river caught fire REPEATEDLY is what matters! Like the Chinese today, we were willing to pay the price, we don't care. Now that we are living longer but more miserably thanks to the rapid rise in cancers, we are changing our minds. I remember the sixties and seventies! We got the government to lean on factories to clean up the water and the air which they did....By moving away! The water and air pollution in Mexico where all those factories moved is horrific in the extreme. Now, they are moving to China with similar results. This is why true "free trade" people advocated uniform pollution controls. Namely, we shouldn't get a free ride transfering our pollution to other, poorer nations.

Europe is no better. They have tried shipping out all sorts of toxins to dump in Africa and all nations allow their decommissioned ships to be torn apart in India, in a very primative, polluting fashion we don't dare do here! And as for river pollution and factory fires, here is another story I remembered, from Google: From Kent UK:
The Rhine and pollution

Many years ago, the Rhine was considered as one of the most polluted rivers in Europe. In 1986 the river was severely polluted by a chemical factory fire. 30 tonnes of pesticides (used for farming) ended up in the river killing many animals and fish for 100-200 kilometres downstream of the spill. But the governments of the countries through which the Rhine flows cleaned up the river and made it habitable again for wildlife. The Rhine Action Programme has been set up to check the levels of pollution in the river.
Many factories need gastly amounts of water to function. So they tend to hug rivers so when they fall apart, so do the rivers and all the living things nearby.

This is why very strict controls over how chemicals are stored and used are so vital. I used to say, all OSHA rules are written in blood, namely not one of them gets inplimented unless people actually die, in the case of asbestos, lots of people die. The Bush machine is rapidly dismantling the EPA and OSHA because it interfers with making profits. This is their plan: to turn back the clock so the USA is like China, whole cities becoming uninhabitable because of cheap, careless handling of toxic materials!

Way to go! Of course, Bush and his loopy buddies can't figure out, pollution travels far and kills many including possibly themselves.

The Family Enjoys Dinner and Thank You, Everyone

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

It has been only half a year since Culture of Life News was launched and we just want to thank our readers for taking the time to look into this blog. We hope to keep this going, see no reason why not. So many things to say, so many things to do! Enjoy life, for living is the whole point of being alive, no?

My dear husband, Chris, and his parents, Stan and Rosemary, sat at one end of the table.

My son, Dan, peace.

Dan and his sister, Isadora at the opposite end of the table, their dad in the back, checking out the apple pies he and Rosemary, my mother-in-law backed. Everyone made pies so we get to eat them for the next week which is OK with me.

The clean-up crew arrives just in time to clean the floors, wash the dishes and quarrel with each other over the right to lick the turkey bowl. They do a pretty good job. Nothing is missed.

This morning, it is 12 degrees F outside. Ice on everything. The chickadees are all over the peach tree outside my window, each pecking apart their sunflower seeds. The chickens descended upon the remains of dinner, eating the potato peelings and salad left overs. Sparky gets another apple, of course.

I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday as much as we did. Life can be sweet, we enjoy those moments that are like this. And happy birthday, Dad! I love you.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Feast Cooked Victorian-style

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

My family has celebrated the end of harvest and beginning of the harsh New England winter since the mid 1600's, The Hudson Valley was rich with hunting, unlike in Europe, anyone could hunt deer and eat venison, without a patent from the Crown, there were wild turkeys and of course, all that wonderful food the natives had tamed and cultivated like potatoes and squash, corn and various beans.

We owe everything we have today to the natives. So today, we should remember who brought the first baskets of bounty in the New World, who saved us when we invaded, generously sharing their skills and knowledge. Thank you. Wish we were nicer about it all.

My husband and son and I plus assorted friends over the years, lived for ten years in a tent complex we built on the side of a mountain. I prepared all our meals and tended the home fires, literally, as if I were a Victorian woman, we even had to carry our water by hand or make it out of snow.

Now we live in a very modern house but I still heat it Victorian style and I love my woodstove for baking and so today, everyone in my clan are coming over to eat a Victorian style turkey dinner.

I got up as usual at 4:30 am to start the cookstove. It involves chopping firewood to really slender girth, matting up paper and some cardboard and throwing a match at the whole thing. Boof! The fire comes to life.

Gradually, it heats up the big cast iron beast. I watch both the chimney thermometer to insure no chimney fires and the woodstove' thermometer on the door which was a fine invention back in 1889 when this fine machine was cast in New York, back when we were an industrial base.

Went outside to feed the animals and surprize!

Next week it is going to be super-warm. But today is a Santa-white-Christmas holiday. Ho ho ho.

Sparky was bred to gad about the Alps. He is an old breed of horse. Thick necked and thick headed. Took a while for him to figure out who is boss. Well, don't ask him. He lies. I am the boss. Sort of. When riding him, if you pull on the reins to turn his head, his neck is thick, he can ignore this. Worse, you can turn his head all the way around until he is nibbling at your boots and he will still go straight ahead. So I have to talk him into going places.

Back in the kitchen, it is time to assmble the ingredients for cooking the turkey, it is about 7:30am.

The turkey, of course. 19 pounds. Must cook for at least six hours, the cooking is a tad slower in old fashioned ovens. They get warm but don't have the intense super hot/no heat cycle that modern oven have. Instead, the temperature slowly goes up, hovers there for as long as one feeds the fire and then slowly declines. No cycling. So cooking times are quite different.

I place a grill at the bottom of my biggest mixing bowl. This is round which is nice because the heat in the oven comes mostly from the left side where the grate is. The fire bricks inside the firebox diffuses the heat but it is still significantly warmer on that side so every 15 or 20 minutes or so, I bast the turkey and rotate the bowl. Spin that wheel!

Here are most of the ingredients: celerty, portabello mushrooms, yellow onions, Macintosh apples (organic, not computer!), oysters and potatoes. I dowse the turkey with dill vinegar, rub in olive oil and scatter rosemary on top. I then fine chop the celery, half the mushrooms and one onion and sautee.

They cook over the hottest burner of the woodstove. I then chop and cook the oysters seperately.

I mix it altogether with the breadcrumbs, butter and vegetable soup stock to make the stuffing.

Here is mother's helpers, making the stuffing. I cook it all in the big pot on the woodstove. It doesn't burn because the heat is very diffuse.

I then "rape" the turkey, yes, it is pretty much the same in a Freudian way. Stick my arm deep inside and jam the stuffing there. Ick. The turkey is cold. At least it isn't frozen. I cut up the apples and last onion into quarters and grace them about the turkey in the pan. Throw in the rest of the uncut mushrooms and this bakes along with the turkey and is basted with the juices so they form a sweet, succulent sauce. The flavor is awesome and it is so easy to do.

Kneeling on the floor, I tuck the turkey into the oven. Akamaru wonders why bother cooking it? Why not tear it apart and gulp it down now? The poor dog knows we do dumb things to food but she will eat later with gusto.

"No! Please! Do put it away! I want it now!" She telegraphs to me. Sorry, chibi-maru, in it goes. I don't do raw turkey. Sushi, yes. Turkey, no way.

Here we can see what the oven looks like inside. I have a pizza stone on the bottom since the turkey is too big to sit on a rack. The stone holds heat really well, too. It helps the heat diffusion. Even in my modern oven, I use the stone for everything for the same reason. If you don't have a pizza stone, try to get one. They are wonderful.
Now we wait for several hours, time to clean the house and prepare for the guests!

I hope your are all having a good Thanksgiving, too, today. Will post about the dinner later.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chemical Factory Explosion Destroys Water to Chinese City

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Two weeks ago, I read about a chemical factory explosion while reading about financial matters. Looks like the chemicals have destroyed the water quality of the city of Harbin in Manchuria. Water to 4 million people has been cut because it is too polluted for humans or animals. As usual, at first, the government lies about all this (like the EPA lying about the air quality in Manhattan after 9/11).
From the BBC:
The major Chinese city of Harbin is facing four days without water because of an unexpected mains stoppage.

The announcement that water supplies would be cut off from Tuesday has sparked panic-buying of bottled water and other drinks at local supermarkets.

There is confusion over why the authorities are cutting off the water.

Xinhua agency cited fears it had been contaminated by a chemical blast, but the China Daily quoted the government as saying it was for mains maintenance.
I read Xinhuanet because it carries standard diplomatic messages which amuse me greatly. I place the propaganda content there at a much lower level than the hysterically funny American diplomatic reports which are nearly 100% bullshit at this point. Only this month have the American press covered any real information in the diplomatic world. Like the NYT featuring Bush's idiotic "press conference" in China where he not only cut off questions in a snit but got beached by a locked door and couldn't move because his pea brain shorted out. Well!

The only security a population has from being literally poisoned to death is a free press that doesn't lie, cheat or steal! Here is Xinhuanet today:
The government of Harbin yesterday made a U-turn by admitting that fears of water contamination in Songhua River, which supplies the capital of Heilongjiang Province, were behind the city's four-day water supply cut.

On Monday, it rejected such fears as "just a rumour," saying the stoppage scheduled to begin late last night was for a thorough check of the water-supply system.

Students at Gongbin Primary School in Harbin join in the water-storage exercise as the city suspended its water supply at midnight Monday.[China Daily]
A government statement said yesterday that the environment bureau had forecast that possibly-contaminated water could arrive from the upper reaches of the river in the coming days following a chemical plant blast on November 13.

The chemical plant in Jilin city, in the neighbouring Jilin Province, is only a few hundreds metres from the banks of the 1,850-kilometre Songhua. Harbin is on the middle reaches of the river.

The water-supply cut, earlier announced to be from noon yesterday, was postponed to midnight as the government called on residents, work units and businesses to store enough water.

All the city's wells will be used to supply drinking water and the health department should ensure safety, the government said, adding that water tankers would be on standby.

City residents, who number 3.8 million, continued to buy and stock up water. All utensils, such as pails, kegs, thermos flasks, and washbasins in the city were filled; and containers enjoyed brisk sales.

Bottled mineral water remained out of stock in supermarkets and shops but beverages and milk were available.

However, there was no panic buying like on Monday or long queues at shopping centres because tap water was available.

At noon, the government issued a statement saying the water quality in Songhua was normal, and called on citizens to remain calm.
This is their New Orleans moment. Will the Chinese equivalent of Brownie now step forth and be equally clueless? Don't panic! There is no water, it is poisoned, yeah! One of the things Bush's maladministration couldn't do was provide water to the people huddled in government shelters long after the hurricane passed. It was a defining moment in our history. This, too, will define the rulership of Hu and Wen. They have been very good at the diplomatic stuff, very, very good. But domestic?

That is their weak point. Worker/peasant restiveness is growing and this isn't going to help the rulers at all. As long as rampant capitalist industrialization raises all boats, the people will be happy. But not if it kills them all! All over the planet, workers and peasants grapple with the downside of industrialization. The upsides are nice but like all yin/yang forces, the downsides are brutal. Indeed, this tandem force might annihilate us. This is why rushing into projects is so dangerous. Look at New Orleans! The health ill-effects of the hurricanes are barely understood. The entire city is caked in a thick, toxic mud that is now bone dry because they are in a drought now and the fine dust of all sorts of chemicals and carbons is now blowing about the place and you can bet, this is destroying people's basic health.

It is not being looked at very carefully because we don't want the bad news that the city is now uninhabitable except for desperate people who don't care if they die.

Here is more news from the BBC:
"Benzene levels were 108 times above national safety levels," said China's Environment Protection Administration.

The contamination followed an explosion at a chemical factory upstream of the Songhua river.

Some schools and businesses have closed in Harbin, a city of 3.4m people; flights out of the city are sold out.

"Everyone wants to leave Harbin and it is very difficult to buy tickets," a factory manager told Reuters.

Benzene is a highly poisonous toxin that is also carcinogenic.

Fifteen hospitals have been placed on stand-by to cope with possible poisoning victims.

The rivers of Europe when I lived there in the frantic sixties, as everyone was rebuilding after WWII, were filthy. I couldn't believe how horrible the water was. No one seemed to notice and I went around, pointing this out. When I came back to America, I noticed the same thing going on here. You see, I grew up in the wilderness, in pristine nature, it was quite a shock to see pollution.

Actually, I also lived in Death Valley. The water there is naturally polluted. You don't dare drink from any watering hole except for very special ones which were very tasty.

There is a cancer epidemic in the world. Americans are suffering from it. Part due to massive nuclear bombs going off at frequent intervals during the Cold War, a great deal due to industrialization and the spread of chemicals. We accept the poisoning of workers in factories. But when we poison everything, everything dies. Here is a classic example.

We citizens had to agitate for antipollution laws in the past. Here in NY, we are still fighting with GE over the pollution of the great Hudson River which was so polluted 30 years ago, the water changed color regularily as chemicals were flushed. These factories are now...In China! And the same old raging pollution is in China. Like our inflation, we exported our pollution.

I hope the Chinese can fight for their own country. I hope they can start Green Parties or Earth Days or find a leader like the Udalls to spearhead environmental protections. After all, we are the ultimate beneficiaries if we don't pollute! Unfortunately, here in America, the Bush gang is trying to undo as many antipollution laws as possible. The EPA no longer protects us or the planet. It exists only to serve the capitalists who can't figure out, you pollute the planet, you die.

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Now Condi Claims We Are Pulling Out of Iraq!

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

After attacking Democratic war hero, Murtha, a severely wounded Bush retreats. Today, Condi decides we will pull out troops because we have Iraq under control. That is, only 200+ Iraqis and 20 Americans were blown up last week. Victory!
Sieg Heil, Hitler won Stalingrad!

From Yahoo:
The United States may not need the number of troops it has in Iraq "all that much longer," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said amid reports the Pentagon may pull back three combat brigades.

With political pressure building on U.S. President George W. Bush to shift course in Iraq, U.S. officials are trying to reassure Americans that sufficient progress is being made in training Iraqi forces to possibly permit some U.S. troops to leave.

"I suspect that American forces are not going to be needed in the numbers that they're there for all that much longer, because Iraqis are continuing to make progress in function, not just in numbers, but in their capabilities to do certain functions," Rice told CNN on Tuesday.
Desperately, we are trying to install Saddam Program 2.0. It is full of bugs. We don't care, the program can crash and burn since we will be using a different computation system. It will show us in victory, haha!

Of course, not even dictators can conduct imperial wars in the teeth of vast popular disapproval! They suffer either assassination or coups. The 9/11 propaganda isn't working its wonders anymore because too many people are wondering if maybe they were duped by PNAC and the neocons who show utter indifference to the deaths of Americans in pretty much all circumstances. The real eye-opener was the hurricanes. Even now, today, at Thanksgiving, the neocons begrudge giving any aid at all to the many refugees of these hurricanes. They wanted to toss them into the street just before Christmas!

Jesus loves me!

Well. Merry Christmas and all that rot. Bush knows he broke many laws in this war of his. The revelations about him trying to conspire with Blair to bomb Quatar so he could murder al Jazeera reporters is just one of many indications that Bush is a pathological psychopath.From Al Jazeera:

The five-page transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals that Blair talked Bush out of launching a military strike on the station, unnamed sources told the daily.

The transcript of the pair's talks during Blair's 16 April 2004 visit to Washington allegedly shows Bush wanted to attack the satellite channel's headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Blair allegedly feared such a strike, in the capital of Qatar, a key Western ally in the Gulf, would spark revenge attacks.

Aljazeera has said in a news statement that it is investigating the report and urged the US and British governments to challenge it.

A British civil servant has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking the government memo.
Bush and Blair, the Corsican Twins of War Crimes, claim they bonded because of Jesus. The fact that Blair had to plead with Bush to not commit even more crimes shows what sort of demented god bonds them and I would suggest it was the Devil that is Death and the bond is Carlyle. Namely, when Bush stole the White House, he summoned Blair and showed him all the riches that would be his if he only obeys Bush and ignores his own people.

Blair is as unpopular as Bush. Because Britain has a three party system, he got away with remaining in power by only one third of the populace. This is not good. Instead of building coalitions, his own party is now voting against him and in the next six months, he will propably be forced down.

Here in America, ditto. Bush is trying to brush off this latest example of his criminal mind at work by pretending he was only joking! Like Reagan "joking" about nuking Russia, the fact that Americans sit here and drool while their bloody rulers make merrry about murder should stop for once and all our delusions of being "good guys."

The real reason why Condi and Bush and their ilk are suddenly changing direction is very simple: we ran out of money. As my blog has detailed over and over, the sea of red ink unleashed by these psychopaths is now up to our chins and we are about to drown. We cannot afford this war. We can't rebuild New Orleans or prepare for the next massive wall of future hurricanes much less the inevitable blow out of the San Andreas. Mt. St. Helen's belched some more yesterday. She is a harbinger for volcanos and great quakes work in tandem. In a five year timeframe, they bounce off of each other. For example, the Great New Madrid Quake was followed by Mt. Tamboor blowing up and this caused a terrifically cold year, no summer up in upstate NY, it was a deadly five years.

Bush, in a panic, has tapped the national oil reserves. This has brought down the price of oil but in return, he has given the oil giants huge tax breaks. Now the American owned auto industry is dying. We think we can attract Japanese and German auto makers here by telling them our workers will work cheaper than Germans and Japanese workers who supposedly lost WWII. We will be on our knees begging them both to save us from becoming peasants. What a sight.

Stocks shot up this week because so far, whenever America killed off unions or destroyed workers at home, we got "richer" because our enemies would extend more and more credit for us to spend. This made us feel really good. So when the news that one of our very last industries was being butchered hit and GM and Ford announced they would ditch all workers into the abyss, this caused false joy. As if the now poor workers will go on shopping sprees at Christmas!

The Dow Jones should change their classification of businesses. Namely, call them Import Companies. We can track how well this importation is going and each time the trade deficit widens, Americans can celebrate by popping French champagne.

Of course, we are dying. We don't know what to do. Well, this is going to bite back no matter who we arrest or impeach.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cheney X'ed Out on CNN

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Drudge dredged up this screen snap of Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute. By accident, he was x'ed out and Drudge thought this was funny, after all, nearly no one likes Cheney now, not even right wingloons! Cheney continues to attack Americans while the Iraqi government says their people have the right to kill Americans. Our allies! Hoorah.

From Rense:
Matt Drudge reported that a strange "X" appeared to flash over Cheney's face on CNN during a televized speech, and offered the freeze frame below as proof. Others have noticed there was also black text below the X, and some managed to pull that data from the image, showing it was merely a technical glitch of the monitors -- not an intentional "X" cast over Cheney's image.
The gremlins and goblins lurking deep within our TV sets did this. Heh. Since Cheney and Bush are both satanists, this is rather fitting, no?

Cheney's speech was equally inspired today. From Yahoo:
Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday accused critics of "corrupt and shameless" revisionism in suggesting the White House misled the nation in a rush to war, the latest salvo in an increasingly acrimonious debate over prewar intelligence.

Cheney also denounced proposals for a quick U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "a dangerous illusion" and shrugged off the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. "We never had the burden of proof," he said, adding that it had been up to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to prove to the world that he didn't have such weapons.
Um, hate to say this, but Saddam showed the inspectors he had nothing, they found nothing, we claimed he was lying, went in and found nothing. I would suggest the burden of proof lay on the USA and especially the PNAC people running our government along with the pesky AEI clowns.

And what is "corrupt" about suggesting our excuses to invade were discovered to be false? I would think this is a Freudian slippage of the spine. Cheney's dark, satanic mind can't help but use the correct words to describe himself. Unlike Bush, Cheney seldom slips up. Bush blurts out the truth quite often like when he said he wasn't going to fund "No Child Left Behind" when he introduced it in Congress. Well, he is cutting funds for it just as he promised!

Cheney continued to thrash on the floor.
"Those who advocate a sudden withdrawal from Iraq should answer a few simple questions," Cheney said, such as whether the United States would be "better off or worse off" with terror leaders such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri in control of Iraq.
Well, "those" people seem to be around 63% + of Americans. Half a year ago, I noted the sudden disappearance of all those ubiquitous magnet ribbons. Well, more and more, cars are sporting what my car has: peace signs!

It is particularily amusing to see Cheney corrupt and shameless rewriting of history concerning bin Laden. If anyone kicked open the front door for him, it was Cheney himself! But then, Bush and Rummy and Cheney left America's front door swinging wide open on 9/11 and even after 2 attacks, did virtually nothing to protect anyone. Not until after the Pentagon was hit, that is!

On the other hand, the Democrats have little imagination for understanding just how badly we messed up in Iraq. Here is an example:
Meanwhile, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he wouldn't go as far as Murtha but would like to see a gradual transition out of Iraq over the next two years. "That will require the administration not to stay the course, but to change course," Biden told the private, nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Withdraw over two years? Why in heaven's name? OK, list the names, at around 80+ a month, of the future dead American soldiers. That is about another 2000 dead and 20,000 losing arms, legs, eyes, you name it. Not to mention dead Iraqis all over the place.

Like a bear chewing off its leg to escape a trap! Why can't all our politicians who put them there volunteer to take over and be the unlucky 2000 dead? I could live with that.

Starting with Cheney and Bush, they need to hike over and stand up and take it like men, not the mice they are.

From the Washington Post:
Iraqi leaders at a reconciliation conference reached out to the Sunni Arab community by calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and saying the country's opposition had a "legitimate right" of resistance.

A day after the communique was finalized by Iraqi Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders, Washington reiterated Tuesday that the United States would stay only as long as it takes to stabilize Iraq.

The communique condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if they don't target innocent civilians or institutions that provide for the welfare of Iraqis.
Obviously, the Iraqis know how to fight. They certainly know how to fight each other. They are quite good at fighting us. Time to say goodbye.

After all, I keep pointing out, we cannot afford this war at all. Not even slightly! The rebuilding of New Orleans is collapsing.
From the Washington Post:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave a holiday reprieve to about 150,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees yesterday, saying the vast majority will not lose government subsidies for the hotel rooms where they have been living until Jan 7.

A week ago, FEMA warned hurricane victims living in every state except Louisiana and Mississippi that it would stop paying for their hotel rooms by Dec. 1, which it said was an attempt to encourage them to find permanent housing. But the announcement sparked widespread protests from state and local officials and housing advocates, who said the huge number of evacuees in hotels could not find permanent housing in 15 days.
What a mess. As the money for "refugees" runs out, there is still a lot of loot for rebuilding after the Big Boys decide what they want to rebuild. Like the WTC mess, there is lots of contention and something stupid will probably result from all this.

The pretense is, this is like an earthquake: once ever 100 years sort of event. Alas, it isn't. In a mere 10 months we could see this all over again! Florida has soaked the nation for humongous amounts the last three years all because of predictible storms. And Mother Nature isn't finished with us at all.

I will note there is near zero news about the various gas and oil rigs in the Gulf. It is like they are under a security blanket, to hide from us, what is going on there. And remember: next summer, a replay!

From Skiracing:
Low snow and unseasonally warm temperatures in Scandinavia and in the American West are creating problems for U.S. nordic combined skiers as they try to make final training adjustments before the start of the World Cup -- and Olympic -- season.

Veterans Todd Lodwick, former sprint world champion Johnny Spillane and Bill Demong head to Norway over the weekend to start their final preparation for the annual "Nordic Opening" Nov. 25-27 in Kuusamo, Finland. But they’re not sure where they’ll wind up by the end of the week for training ... or perhaps even the first World Cup start.

"Kuusamo had its snow laid down, tracks cut [for cross-country] and were just about ready to go and then it rained and they lost everything," coach Dave Jarrett reported Friday. "And it’s pretty much the same report everywhere; no one’s got snow, it’s been warm and no one’s training.
Santa is going to surf this year.

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Unconstitutional Detention of an American--Padillo's "Trial"

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Just before Thanksgiving, the Bush junta decides to not go to the Supreme Court to justify an obviously unconstitutional detention of an American citizen so they suddenly file charges against Padillo---years too late, and not even remotely part of the original excuse for detaining him. Arrest Bush, arrest Ashcroft, arrest Cheney. Detain them without trial. Sheesh.

From the NYT:
Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for three years as an enemy combatant suspected of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on charges that he conspired to "murder, kidnap and maim" people overseas.
What? Did they torture him while he was held in incommunicato for all these years, unable to talk privately with a lawyer, never commmunicating with friends or family? Huh? Since we know our government endorses and uses and justifies torture, any "confession" has to be thrown out, period.

There isn't any way shape or form this man can be put on trial for anything at this point. Holding him while trying out one thing after another? Secret witnesses he and his lawyers won't be able to cross examine or even read their "testimony"? And how much of this swill is from CIA or military tortures? Eh?

This farce has to end with the unconditional release of Mr. Padillo. You can't convict someone of plotting against America without following all those damn rules our Founding Fathers thoughfully enshrined in the Constitution so we won't live in the sort of tyranny that characterized all of Europe back then.

"The man in the iron mask" was a real person put in prison with no trial, no hearings, no lawyers and no one was allowed to visit him or talk to him or anything. He was moved from prison to prison and legends grew up around the poor man. He is the symbol of all that is hateful in tyranny and oppression.

Bush has the nerve to lecture China about freedom and prisoners. This sickening episode in bad blood diplomacy would be funny if it weren't for the fact that Americans are torturing, murdering and oppressing so many humans. Bush is a butcher dripping with blood lecturing us about vegetarianism.

I don't care what Padillo was plotting at this point. The destruction of my political powers, my civil liberties, my own life and limb, is why I call upon the pathetic remains of our so called democracy to free this man and apologize for holding him in secret, in isolation, for so long.

Free Padillo now. Period. We have no grounds for charging him with anything.

And arrest Bush. He has plotted to and carried out "kidnappings, murders and maimings."

And arrest Rumsfeld, his chief operations officer. Ditto charges.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

GM Killing 30,000 Jobs, Workers Thrown To Sharks

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

General Motors just announced they are killing 30,000 American jobs, closing the factories and relocating them in places like guess where? I can't wait for Boeing to do the same, they will, it is inevitable now. Will workers wake up?

From the NYT:
General Motors said it would cut up to 30,000 jobs and close a dozen automobile and parts factories and distribution centers in the next three years in an effort to stem the company's billion-dollar losses.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Rick Wagoner, G.M.'s chairman and chief executive.
Rick Wagoner, G.M.'s embattled chief executive, announced the cuts this morning at the company's headquarters here before trading began on Wall Street. The company will offer early retirement packages to employee at the plants that will be closed.

Hahaha! This is what GM intends to ditch soon enough. As a junk-bond status company teetering on bankruptcy, think "early retirement" means anything aside from instant poverty? Hell's bells, the article doesn't note that the government insurance for these funds is in the red and unable to function anymore! Much less pay gold plated retirements for auto workers!

From the NYT:
Ford Motor Co., facing a deepening financial crisis, said on Friday it plans to eliminate 4,000 salaried jobs, or 10 percent of its North American white-collar work force, as part of a larger restructuring plan.
They decided to call the whacks a few thousand at a time. Like a leaky bucket, drip drip drip.

GM is in dire straits so they had to assure investors they will ditch all possible American workers so they can make money. Lots of people are making oodles of money using Chinese labor. This is the 21st century gold mine supreme. This is why Bush is alternately attacking and kissing ass in China! He and his buddies make money off of Chinese sweat and pollution and in return, they demand democracy and freedom in China.

I wish! Imagine the Chinese peasants and workers getting some say in all this! More than one capitalist shrieks in horror at night at this nightmare vision! Bush doesn't care, he knows he is a a liar. The Chinese people know this too which is why they ignore him.

From the NYT:
"The days when blue-collar work could be passed on down the family line, those days are over," said Gary N. Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. "Where you did have automobile plants it was always looked at as an elite job. It was hard work, but good, steady work, with wonderful benefits and good solid pay, and you were in the upper middle class."

Now, with G.M. and other domestic automakers and suppliers fighting to survive brutal global competition, Detroit is planning to cut even more manufacturing jobs. At the same time, the industry is moving to rewrite or even tear up its labor contracts in a bid to turn itself around by drastically reducing both wages and benefits. Today, Mr. Roy and Gerald, 71, who once helped him get his job, are both preparing to make sacrifices.

Robert S. Miller, the turnaround specialist who became chairman and chief executive of Delphi in July, said in an interview in October that Delphi and the United Auto Workers would have to grapple with how much to take from the retirees pockets and how much from workers.

"This is a tradeoff," he said. "I can't satisfy what everyone would like to have."

[But Delphi is pressing for such large cuts from both constituencies that one top U.A.W. leader, Richard Shoemaker, recently called the company's proposals a "roadmap for confrontation."] Not only is the company seeking to cut two-thirds of its 34,000 hourly workers in the United States, it wants to cut wages from as much as $30 an hour to as little as $10.
Workers of the World Unite, eh? I remember when proud, pissant American flag wavers attacked any and all leftists who wanted a united front. They sided with the capitalists who said "We are on the same side," which is why communist China is taking all the jobs out of America. Why should they give a hoot? After all, we attacked the entire idea of a worker's state, didn't we, not that anyone had such a beast, of course.

But the ideology was capitalism is good for workers IN AMERICA.

World wages will level out which means the American empire's workers will be at the same level as coolies and peasants overseas. And we will not be able to afford the life styles we are used to now. So. Do we stop this flag waving and understand that free trade means trade unions have to be international? And this means working with people in other lands? A dangerous thing. For the capitalists will use the military and governments to attack anyone organizing anything that interferes with them and their buddies ripping off the workers.

This is why they hate socialistic Europe. They want to work us all to death and then kick our bodies out to sea for the sharks to eat. You will see! Already, we are doing this to the victims of the hurricanes who are being kicked to the curb in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone, burn Tiny Tim's crutch.

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Israel and America Build Huge Wall Around Bethlehem

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This isn't in American news but from overseas: Israel, using our money, built a huge ghetto wall around Bethlehem. This is like walling up Detroit to stop crime. Of course, this is OK with American Christians and Jews who are at full war with Muslims now. We also shot dead a family in Iraq at one of our mobile checkpoints. Apocalypse, anyone?

From the Australian:
O LITTLE town of Bethlehem. O very big wall around it.

Already broke, and haemorrhaging a Christian population reduced to desperation by five years of intifada, the birthplace of Christ was sealed off from Jerusalem last week -- just in time for Christmas -- by an 8m wall and huge iron gate resembling a nuclear shelter.

The wall and sentry posts are the latest stretch of the controversial 680km barrier that Israel is building through Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Israel regards it as the linchpin of the strategy by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of separation from the Palestinians, pointing to its success in stemming the flow of suicide bombers and gunmen into Israel.

But, on the ground, Bethlehem's 30,000 Palestinians are walled off from Jerusalem, two of the most popular destinations for visitors to the Holy Land.
The devolving mess in the Unholy Land is our responsibility. There is no way in hell Israel could build these illegal, amoral, disgusting ghettos if Americans didn't cheerfully fork over money we owe to China and Japan to build all this. Israel can't go directly to China and Japan for loans to do this because they have rotten credit. So they piggy back on American tax payers.

Our grandchildren will pay for this wall in 100 ways especially with the future terrorist attacks since Palestinians can't hit Israel and it doesn't matter, anyway, the true cause of all this woe and evil is in the USA anyway. We have paid a lot for control of the Holy Land. We will pay a tremendous amount in the future especially if the Apocalyptic war against the Muslims heats up fatally.

Iran is now totally determined to have nukes. And why not? Pakistan and India, two bitter rivals, have them now! And the most insane country on earth, the USA not to mention equally insane North Korea, talk openly about using nukes for political or military advantages!

We have no shame as we do increasingly Nazi acts. The left is totally fractured about this, worrying about Muslims in Iraq while torturing and murdering Muslims in Israel. This myopic, insane approach to foreign and domestic policy is fatal. We can't have a dual system. Just as the Jews impose totally Nazi style population controls on a captive people, we do the same in Iraq. The battle for power in the Middle East is a feed back system, the push in Israel belches out deat in Iraq and the intercinine wars rage ever hotter.

Eventually to consume the world just like WWI and WWII, both wars were imperialist projects run amok.

The left in America has been fatally fractured by all this. Jews in the left want peace in Iraq but also want Israel to build giant walls around all Muslims and Christians in Israel. This is why we have nearly zero debate about this in America. Indeed, one will be banned from a number of leftist sites for talking about this when it is part of the war discussion. In many sites, people agree to be silent because they want some "unity".

Well, silence is shit, everyone! The mess in the Holy Land is destroying our democracy at home for you can't be a part-time fascist, one has to embrace real liberalism or end up schizophrenic. This is bad because being mentally ill isn't useful for dealing with developing problems.

And the need to colonize and terrorize Muslims so we can have our way and do as we please is a great way to launch a world wide confragation. As the flames leap ever higher, we will spend more and more money in a frantic effort to douse the flames. But this conflicts with our desire to kill off the Muslims so we can steal their lands and goods so naturally, the Muslims are fighting back as hard as they can.

Right now, we have the upper hand. We can murder everyone by dropping nukes on them. We hope to draw China and Russia into our conspiracy. Both hate Muslims, too! So why not murder all of them, we say? This is the Great Temptation. As the devil grins, "religious" people really consider this as a great opportunity. To have our Apocalypic cake and eat it too!

Alas, we will eat dust. This is what the Antichrist is all about: using religion as an excuse to steal, murder, rape. Whatever sympathy Jews got for the hideous crimes of Hitler dissipate in the dust of their own collective crimes. Every year, they approach the Nazi altar and worship the monster that squats there. American Christians are even worse: they hypocritically pretend to be the friends of Jews only they believe Jews, their "friends", will burn forever in hell and suffer unimaginable (except Nazis imagine this easily!) torment and torture. Secretly, and I know this for a fact, living deep in Jesusland in my youth, Christians take great glee in this idea, that the Jewish Jesus will welcome them to Paradise while they get to watch the torture of the Jews from above, laughing with Jesus. Hahahaha.


Right now, the lunatic Born Again Christians are all howling about saying "Merry Christmas" at retail stores selling junk for self-centered consumers. Well, maybe they should be yelling about tearing down the ghetto wall penning Joseph and Mary inside of Bethlehem. Shades of Herod!

Bring on Salome.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Startling Pictures Showing Bush Acting Stupid On Chinese TV

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bush, in a disheveled suit, tries to go out fake doors after fake speech. When the doors refused to open, he stood there like a cow with mad cow disease, clueless. I drew his face exactly as it is in the photo. Put this man in a mental hospital, please.

From Atrios:See the entire series at Atrios. It would be funny except it is terrible. When Reagan was going obviously insane as well as selling his services to the Japanese as if he were a private citizen, he should have been put away. We are very fortunate Gorbachev was a good man. Reagan went off with him in Iceland and made a deal which was good because Gorbachev had a nice deal for him.

But he was totally senile at that point and would of or could have done anything. As it was, he let Ollie North run riot in the White House basement.

This guy is much worse. He shows all the trademarks of a brain dead drunk. His clueless features when confronted with a door that wouldn't open is a sign he is mentally incapacitated. His goofy behavior after this bizarre episode is just like a typical drunk. To laugh it all off and make a goofy, vacuuous smile. Wave the hand limply, make a lingering exit, unable to comprehend how to be dignified, acting as if he were in some comedy show.

This isn't funny. Everywhere he went, he did stupid things. Luckily for us, the Chinese want America intact right now and were very careful to keep Bush propped up and to keep a straight face when he acted like a clown. Unlike Putin who can barely hide his rage and disgust when he watches Bush blunder about. It takes all his KGB skills to pull a straight face when Bush turns to look at him but the cameras catch his frequent rages and looks that could kill.

The Chinese overlords, Hu and Wen, have totally impassive faces. They smile with the lips. They don't need to gladhand anyone, they make deals. They show courtesy and restraint and keep things moving along. They don't care if Bush is lying on the ground, drooling, so long as he signs on the dotted line.

Which he does, without question.

The diplomatic dance this week was won, hands down, 100%, by the Chinese diplomatic duo. They used all their human resources to corral and capture the Americans. They endured many insults and difficulties and still won. They got their contract by giving a contract. Tit for tat. With the status quo in their favor, ongoing.

If Bush tries to force them into concessions, they can cancel the Boeing deal. It is a great tool for them. They love it.

Meanwhile, we must demand Congress remove this idiot. I don't even want to see him arrested, I want him in a mental ward.

One Fluke Over the Coo-Coo's Nest indeed.

If finding a way out of Iraq is an immediate problem for Mr. Bush, then dealing with China's increasingly assertive tone on economic and military issues, and with Mr. Hu's quiet resistance to Washington's calls for political liberalization, is a challenge that will last far beyond his presidency.

After a day of talks that began with a 90-minute meeting inside the Great Hall of the People, Mr. Bush emerged with little progress to report beyond a $4 billion deal for 70 Boeing aircraft for China.

Even that agreement - to purchase the 737-700 and 737-800 jets as part of a larger order that Boeing officials hope will total 150 airplanes - seemed highly preliminary. One person with detailed knowledge of the negotiations said that the actual contract, including the price tag for each aircraft, was still being discussed. He declined to be identified because of the commercial sensitivity of the pending contract. That strongly suggested that the deal had been announced ahead of time to provide the White House with a concrete accomplishment during Mr. Bush's visit.

Mr. Bush appeared to be tense during much of the day. When asked about that later by a reporter, he said, "Have you ever heard of jet lag?"
Hahahaha. Gads. So, Bush got all snippy, didn't he? Now it seems all the niceties are falling apart because Bush is an idiot. Complaining about clearing out dissidents so Bush can't see them? Hahahaha. Welcome to America, Hu and Wen!

Arrest Bush. Arrest his entourage. Obviously, they are Manchurian candidates here at home. Why do they want freedom in China and can't give it a chance here? Eh?

I can't imagine Hu or Wen being snappy at anyone in public. I suppose any aid who screws up in public gets screwed over in private. Thus, the emotionless faces. I wish I were at their meetings. I remember the Chinese officials who lived with me once. They called me the White Bone Demon in Chinese. One day, I enlightened them as to my knowledge of this. And cackled like her. Hehehehe. Actually, it was an honorific to be called this. It meant they were scared of me.
American officials had set low expectations for what Mr. Bush might accomplish today beyond deepening his relationship with Mr. Hu, a man he had expected would embrace reforms more quickly than his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.

But while administration officials stressed that they felt that the two men had begun to develop a personal chemistry that made it easier to grapple with trade, currency and geopolitical problems, none of that comity was on public display.
Always the low expectations! "He is expected to walk across the room and go out the door, " they say as Bush goes the wrong way and stands clueless at a blank door. Ok. So he is expected to sit and not barf. Wow, he did it! Unassissted!

The NYT twaddle about "personal chemistry" is worthy of a Commedia del Arte skit. Geeze. They are warm and friendly only in public, they are cold and distant! Another low expectation! This is much better than Putin giving muderous looks to Bush's back!
On economic issues that are of major concern to American businesses - letting market forces set the value of the undervalued Chinese currency and protecting intellectual property from rampant piracy in China - Mr. Bush made marginal progress. He secured a public statement from Mr. Hu that he would "unswervingly press ahead" to ease a $200 billion annual trade surplus that wildly outstrips anything Mr. Bush's father faced with Japan in the late 1980's.

But Mr. Hu set no schedule for further currency moves, which are politically unpopular in China because they would make Chinese goods less competitive abroad. An American participant in the meetings in the Great Hall of the People said it was clear that "no Chinese leader was going to act immediately under the pressure" of a request from a foreign leader.
Gods, get Bush outta there now! Each hour that goes by tempts the Chinese. Putin knows how to deal with someone like Bush. The Chinese are even better at the dark arts. They invented much of the interrogation techniques that we are so fond of today! On second thought, let's leave Bush in China. Serves them right.

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Washington Pest is a new web page which will run concurrent with the mainpage of the Culture of Life News II. There are so many things with "culture of life" within them that Google doesn't put up my homepage except deep inside which means it is hard to "find" the news service I run.

So this is just one mirror page which will make browsing easier and quicker.

Thank you.