Saturday, December 17, 2005

Nixon's Bane, Jack Anderson, Leaves Us Bereft


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

A rare breed like Robert Parry, real reporters, real investigators, Jack Anderson was the bane of more than one President. We owe a lot to him and wish more reporters could emulate his incorrigable investigative determination.

From Yahoo:
Jack Anderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist who struck fear into the hearts of corrupt or secretive politicians, inspiring Nixon operatives to plot his murder, died Saturday. He was 83.

Anderson died at his home in Bethesda, Md., of complications from Parkinson's disease, said one of his daughters, Laurie Anderson-Bruch.

Anderson gave up his syndicated Washington Merry-Go-Round column at age 81 in July 2004, after Parkinson's disease left him too ill to continue. He had been hired by the column's founder, Drew Pearson, in 1947.
Nixon hated Anderson as well as many others (hehe, nyaaaa, Nixon!) and we have the joy of having audio tapes of all the cheezy things Nixon plotted in the Oval Office. Wish we still had that system but nooooo.

Alas. So we can only speculate which is wrong. I believe the Oval Office should be bugged at all times and spies working for us covering the President all the time so we can figure out what they are doing, none of this secrecy stuff! After all, these creeps spy on us!

Anyhow, at one point, Nixon wanted to spike a drink with LSD. He figured this would drive Anderson to suicide or insanity. He never tried this on, say, me! Rats! Geeze, you know, the CIA had real honest to god LSD. That stuff is awesome. It isn't like the later production stuff, it really goes straight to the Id in the Brain and blooie. You get to see yourself from the inside and outside all at once and the world is illuminated with a brilliance, the main thing is, you can remember stuff. Timothy Leary, for example, once had access to real LSD.

Ahem. Heh.

Well, I suspect even Nixon knew that spiking Tim's beer with LSD would be really dumb. "Wow. Awesome beer!" Heck, if we knew back then that Nixon was in the habit of handing out real LSD tablets, we would have voted for him. And asked him to our parties. Heck, he might even had scored a chick or two if he only knew the potent power of offering them LSD!

Being an idiot, he wanted to give it to Anderson who had zero interest in enjoying communion with the cosmos or talking to chipmunks at dawn in a park.

This sort of waste always irritates me. Like Anderson, the FBI was watching me and giving me a hard time. My phone was tapped, my car bugged, I guess. Bet they wired the bedroom. Whoooeee. Wouldn't put that past them. After all, they were all men. And I was active. Very.

All long ago, no longer quite so today and besides, I am too creaky for LSD and I doubt Bush uses that. We do know that irritating reporters got anthrax letters that were traced back to a top secret military base used by the CIA. And of course, the person who sent the letters was never *cough* found *cough* but this is only because we don't have any tapes of what is going on in the White House, do we?

Rest in peace, Jack. You were a bright beacon in our lives. You looked under the bed and in the closet and you even found out about Reagan's Iran/Contra stuff just like Parry. Too bad you didn't understand that Reagan was a traitor who worked for Tokyo. Oh well. Everyone sort of gave up, didn't they? This is why Parry was fired and Anderson was pretty much shunted aside.

Well, may his spirit live on in us! Us bloggers, at least!

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The Earth Is Changing Its Shape And This Is a Violent Process Indeed


Original map here, Live Science
By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Scientists just released a map showing how not only much of the north American continent is rising due to glacier retreat but it is also moving in various directions, too. This is important information for predicting future earthquakes. In addition, the planet is changing its size and shape due to global warming.

From Live Science:
North America isn't exactly coming apart. But it is constantly on the move, and the latest discovery of geologic creep has surprised scientists.

During the last Ice Age, large portions of North America were blanketed by giant glaciers. Although they’ve been gone for more than 10,000 years, the land they once rested upon is still recovering from the weight.

Parts of North America and other continents are slowly rising due to an effect called post-glacial rebound. That much geologists knew.

But it turns out this slow recovery is also causing a very small horizontal shift, said Eric Calais, a geophysicist at Purdue University in Indiana. The movement varies from one spot to another, but the overall effect amounts to a 1-millimeter shortening per year of the distance between Florida and the Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada. That's about an inch every 25 years.
This new map should be posted in every FEMA office, at least when they aren't primping themselves to appear on TV and passing catty emails. The circles I drew show intersecting spheres of influence and the red arrows are major earth directional movement, the green arrows, lesser movement.

Where many red arrows going in opposite directions and their spheres of influence intersect are earthquake zones. Maybe these don't happen all too often, after all, the whole eastern half of this continent is relatively quiet. This quietness is deceptive. The Northridge earthquake, for example, happened very suddenly and it was a bit of subduction never noticed before by scientists.

Looking at this map, the New Madrid site is pretty obvious with two red arrows in exact opposite direction. This means, the land is bulging there again and will have yet another earthquake. The only question is when, not if.

One big surprize is the Missouri River. When I first looked at the map, it looked like "directions of vote stealing in the GOP, note how prominent Florida is, for example. And of course, all swirling around DC! But it is a geological map.

Looks like western Kansas and eastern Colorado just might get some nasty jolts in the future. But the big one is DC. Everything from the Great Lakes is moving south to the Ohio River which interrupts the flow and then with a slight change of direction, continues. But along the Appalachian mountains the continent is moving north. Guess they will clash at Gettysburg!

New York City is going into New Jersey which is heading towards Gettysburg, too. Meanwhile, Dc is heading south along with the rest of Delaware. The interesecting circles of influence, thanks to Abramoff, I suppose, are setting the stage for a big earthquake in DC.

Guess Fritzgerald is going to indite Rove.

When Rove collapses in a faint, the shaking will be felt far and wide. We shall see...Heh.

From Space.com:
Accelerated melting of Earth's glaciers in recent years has forced the planet to let a notch out of its belt as its midsection gains girth, according to a study released today.

The increased water flowing into the oceans each year since 1997 is equal to a square block of ice that would cover much of Utah, accounting for about half of a mysterious equatorial bulge first reported in August.

The other contributing half appears to involve changing ocean currents that have redirected water from polar regions to tropical areas.

The puzzling redistribution of mass actually involved a measurement of Earth's gravitational field.
Well, the entire planet is changing shape, just like I deduced. The weight of the ice as well as the releasing of water which flows naturally to warmer waters is causing the equator to bulge plus the warmer the water, the more it bulges plus releasing the weight on Antarctica means it rises but then this unlocks the other tectonic plates which shift uneasily and we have see the results of that: Australia out of control, careening in a cartwheel fashion straight towards Japan.

Which has had quite a serious of jolts this year but nothing compared to where the rift opened next to Indonesia! That is still shaking. We are nearly at the Christmas anniversary of that quake and if this latest change in our planet follows previous ones, the period of great quakes isn't over, not at all, yet.

More to come.

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Siberian Swans Come To Merry England Early


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Siberian swans from Russia suddenly show up in England in one big flock. This means a very cold winter is coming as if we don't already notice this here in America without any swans telling us this! Also, British scientists claim they know why we bicker during holidays. They blame the food. Heh. Yeah, right.

From the Guardian:
The sudden early arrival of a large flock of Bewick's swans at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, could signal a white Christmas.
Most winters some 250 Bewick's swans arrive in dribs and drabs at the reserve from Siberia, but this week 188 have arrived en masse.

The trust manager, Neil Woodward, said: "The birds try and stay one step ahead of the weather. I would say, because of their early arrival, we are going to have a very cold Christmas and hopefully a white one. If I were a betting man, I would put money on it."
The migratory patterns this year have been rather odd here in America, too. The wild geese usually ride the cold north wind south but much of our winds have been blowing from the south which makes migration a drag, quite literally, so the geese have waited until the wind picks up and then, last week, it did, with a vengence and I saw lines and lines of geese noisily honking as they sailed south at a fast clip.

Because of the unusually warm fall, the Siberian swans probably felt the same way, why beat your wings frantically to fight a head wind? So when the very cold temps suddenly surged down from the polar icecaps, off they took, en mass, moving as fast as possible. We shall see if this is a harbinger for a very cold winter in England itself!

Also in the British news is a story about scientists wanting to explain why humans at holidays, when with close relatives, bicker bitterly and do all those annoying things relatives can't help doing at home when there, en mass. Seems the veneer of civilization collapses as the physical distance between people who know each other too well as well as not at all, refusing to see or understand family members seems to be a requirement for survival, I assume. Well, the scientists think this can be fixed!

From the Guardian:
The traditional Christmas lunch: a touching scene of familial togetherness ruined only by the inevitable outbreak of hostilities between relatives, even before the Queen has uttered a word.
Now scientists believe they can explain why so many families descend into bickering and belligerence over the festive dinner table. The answer, they claim, is all in the food.

The traditional Christmas overload of turkey, sprouts, spuds and pudding can lead to repeated changes in blood sugar levels, according to Paul Clayton, a pharmacologist and president of the forum on food and health at the Royal Society of Medicine. Such yo-yoing of blood sugar, coupled with the effects of salty foods and excessive alcohol, are ideal ingredients for making us irritable and tense, he says.
Heh. Don't feed the bastards. That will fix them. No drinks, either. Yeah.

Boy, that would produce an interesting holiday fun time! No service=no complaints!

Indeed, all holidays will be most peaceful since irritating relations will all camp out somewhere else like at a local saloon. No clean ups, no headaches. I suppose all holidays should happen far from home, the further the better! At least, that is the scientific solution!

From the Guardian"
Nortours, which organises "Santa Claus tours" to Scandinavia and the Baltics, called in the administrators today and cancelled trips in the run-up to the festive period.
Around 500 families are thought to be affected, though they should be able to receive full refunds.

Amid stiff competition in the travel sector and a consumer spending dip, the administrators said high-end operators such as Nortours, which employs 12 staff and has an average annual turnover of £9m, were struggling to attract business.
And now for the energy news. Soaring energy costs is cutting down on Santa tours? Next, his reindeer won't fly? And little children everywhere will have to blame Shell Oil or Exxon? Heh.

When our rulers happily report there is no inflation it is only because few businesses can raise prices. So more and more will cease just like the Santa Tours and we will all end up hungry, cold and miserable, but no inflation!

Well, this fits in with having no food or drink for irritable relatives.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Japanese Manipulate the Price of Gold


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Suddenly, today, the world price of gold which has been climbing rapidly ever since our government went wild with printing dollars and world oil prices began to sprint to the high heavens, fell. This fall wasn't mysterious. It was premeditated and deliberate. The Japanese temporarily stopped gold from topping $600 to the ounce. This is part of propping up the dollar so the yen stays cheap.

From Bloomberg News:
Gold in New York plunged 2.8 percent, the biggest drop in a year, on speculation demand will slow from Japanese investors after the Tokyo Commodity Exchange increased the cost of trading the metal.

The Tokyo exchange, the world's second-largest metals and energy futures market, boosted minimum deposits for trades to curb speculation after gold surged to a 24-year high of $544.50 an ounce on Dec. 12. Gold sold in yen climbed 18 percent in the five weeks ended Dec. 9. Tokyo gold trading last month was the most since February 2003 at 1.92 million contracts.

Tokyo's higher margin payments have ``pulled some of the speculative interest out of the market,'' said Paul McLeod, vice president of precious metals at Commerzbank Securities in New York.

Gold for February delivery fell $14.60 to $509.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day decline since Dec. 8, 2004, and the lowest closing price since Dec. 2. The metal fell 1.4 percent yesterday.
Every time there is some escape from relentless forces at work, governments redraw the boundries, reset the game and ream everyone out. Many people have been lied to about the ability of gold to protect oneself from currency manipulations.

I have always contended, this is a false hope for governments can and will and have ruthlessly dealt with people who have little or no faith in paper currency. There are many tools in the government's kit to knock down gold as a currency haven. This is why I don't bother with such things. You see, the only really safe investment is to organize with others to effect political change. Period.

Of course, all governments resist changes and ours is certainly at the head of the class in this regard. The seeming wealth of America is all fake. We have mortgaged our future and will pay through the nose for it and running off to gold when our currency tanks won't work.

One can avoid personal danger by avoiding certain things: houses that consume vast quantities of energy to be habitable, deep high interest debts, learning how to eat healthy and be as fit as possible and of course, be aware and alert and be able to step into the public arena and take a stand---these things are the key to a good future. This is why I am often antiwar. I feel, unless there is really good reason to fight, sacrificing lives and our finances on risky imperialist adventures is a bad choice as we can plainly see today.

Speaking of community exerting influence, in my Ford articles about the decision to cut off all contact with the gay community has not only backfired but forced Ford to backpedal. From CNN:
Advertisements featuring Ford Motor Co.'s eight vehicle brands will run in gay publications, the automaker said Wednesday, acting after gay rights groups complained when Jaguar and Land Rover pulled their spots.

Ford is not ordering those luxury brands to resume their specific ads. Rather, the company's ads in the publications will promote all of its lines, which also include Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Volvo and Aston Martin.
Kudos to Americablog and John Aravosis! See what he managed? Just using the magic of the internet, he forced a major corporation to change course. It is a small but significant victory and should teach us that giving up is stupid, fighting back is smart!

This blog isn't as big as Americablog but we are just one tiny vioce in the growing chorus of activists. The more we support such blogs and join in various actions including spreading information the mainstream supresses, our success at forcing the Downing Street Memos into the public eye in America is just one of many examples of how even this small effort on the web is possible.

We can, over time, win even more victories. I hope, a great number of them. Thank you, readers, for joining me on the web. Onwards and upwards! Have hope and faith in ourselves. We can win.

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Chavez of Venezuela and Our Coming Energy Crisis This Winter


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

It is interesting watching Americans spending $200+billion to hang onto oil rich Iraq while being told to basically shiver to death this winter at home because Bush as no money to fund home heating costs, meanwhile, the man villified by the NYT and WP and all the mainstream media, Chavez of Venezuela, rides to the rescue on his white horse, unlike the Scrooges with Bush, he can spare Tiny Tim some oil for Christmas.

From the US News and World Report:
Falling gasoline prices make it easy to believe the nation has seen the last of the energy woes that swept in behind this year's Gulf Coast hurricanes. But they don't fool an unemployed woman on the Crow Indian Reservation, using the electric oven to warm her house on increasingly crisp Montana nights because her natural-gas heat has been cut off. For brickyard workers in Mill Hall, Pa., unemployment looms after the holidays, because it will be too expensive to fire the clay kilns this winter. And one retiree in a mobile home in Millinocket plans to take her asthma medication once daily instead of three times as prescribed, to save money to pay the kerosene bills that will soar in Maine's bitter cold.
This is the same trip that California had to take when Bush and his Lay buddy at Enron decided to loot California and soften them up for Schwarzenegger. It didn't matter if it tipped America into a recession. They backtracked and cut taxes and began the most ferocious public spending spree ever witnessed in our history running up almost $3 trillion in red ink. In the middle of this spending spree, they continue to cut taxes, making things worse and simultaneously piously telling the poor to go hang.

Into this breach stepped the understandibly popular President of Venezuela, shaming America by personally funding susidized oil for communities that ask for it. So far, Massachusetts and the Bronx have signed up. It will be interesting to see how many upstate NYers will die this year before NY's Repub govenor asks for help? Then the NYT will have to say something nice about Chavez which will tick them off since he isn't a tool of either America or Israel.
"A frozen New Orleans." A winter failure (in NYC, for example) could prove catastrophic, because any extended loss of heat could cause water pipes to burst in residential and commercial buildings alike. Also, the thousands of "traps" where steam escapes (and billows from manhole covers) could freeze and fail, causing distribution pipes to crack or lose pressure. Former Central Intelligence Agency chief Jim Woolsey, now active on energy issues, argues that parts of the city "could resemble a frozen New Orleans." Also, repressurizing the system could prove laborious and hazardous, because of the power of steam escaping from cracks. "Nobody could simulate the kind of disaster that could happen," says Adam Victor, president of TransGas Energy, a company that has been trying to build a backup power plant in the city but has run into opposition from residents and city officials who prefer building parkland at the old industrial waterside location. Con Edison downplays concerns about the system. "You can't say never because something can always break," says Chris Olert, utility spokesman. "But we've upgraded the plant so it's in tip-top condition, and we've bought plenty of gas for the steam system." Power will be available for New Yorkers, he says, though at a cost up 30 to 35 percent over last year.
As a super in NYC in the past, when it went below zero and we didn't get an oil delivery in the middle of the oil crisis back in the seventies, I frantically tried to keep the pipes from freezing and failed. Once we got heat going again, we had to fix the entire building and it cost the landlord so dearly, he abandoned the property.

The cascade of problems when the heat fail are significant and very expensive. Not to mention, avoidable. Most buildings and most systems are designed to use energy to create the bubble of comfort rather than, like my house, exploit as much of nature as possible to run without energy. This refusal to be sensible is going to be our collective downfall. Houses that can't be converted like operate like mine will be abandoned over the years or turned into very low quality slums with no water since the pipes will burst. Copper thieves will tear them apart, seeking the metal in the pipes.

From Yahoo:
As oil and natural gas prices soar, public schools are having to make some tough decisions: turning down the thermostat, finding alternative sources of fuel, even cutting back on the school week.

At Menomonie High School in western Wisconsin, principal Tom Wiatr has dropped the temperature a few degrees. Students started wearing zip-up sweatshirts and fleeces to stay warm, raising questions about a school rule against wearing jackets indoors.
I remember the seventies and early eighties (imagine that!) I tried to get my daughter's school in NYC to let me cover the leaky windows with plastic so the kids wouldn't freeze in the classroom facing the Atlantic Ocean's winds. They refused.

The hike in taxes to keep schools running thanks to Bush and his windfall oil buddies reaping vast profits for themselves will wipe out what pitiful pennies remain of the famous Bush tax cuts. The President could demand his rich buddies start a "Leave No Child Frozen" fund and the oil companies could dedicate, say, 2% of their vast profits to fund it and heat for the elderly and poor but of course, this will never happen unless Americas notice the grim mirror image of Bush and Mr. Scrooge only Scrooge denied himself comforts unlike Bubble Boy who lives in a splendidly warm and pleasant enviroment.

From the BBC:
The leftist front-runner for Sunday's election in Bolivia, Evo Morales, has ended his campaign saying his movement is "a nightmare for the United States".
Mr Morales has vowed to end free-market policies and legalise the growing of coca, which has traditional uses but is also used in the production of cocaine.
Bush was nearly chased out of South America. His appearances in varioius countries had to be held far from the maddening crowds and forelorn and pathetic, not to mention stewed to the gills, he stumbled about, denouncing Chavez in quavering tones.

So what has he done for anyone? Got oil?

Chavez has oil and he is using it deftly as a tool to gain political power and he is determined to shoo us out of South America. Since popular sentiment is on his side, this isn't hard to do, is it? The "free trade" free booters who work for US corporations are desperately trying to keep control of various countries but one by one, the people are electing those that we don't want. Historically, the USA murders or corrupts those it doesn't want down in the south and Bush frets about this, desperate to unleash dictators upon the populations even as he bays about how America is for freedom and democracy.

Well, we will get democracy in spades, here at home, I pray, as well as abroad. The DeLay Texas mess whereby he gerrymandered and gerryrigged an electoral map that would keep right wing whites in power is now being torn up in court just as he and his ilk are now standing trial for rank corruption. And down there is all that oil. The oil the Texan elite refuse to share with fellow Americans.

This is going to be a very interesting winter.

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Novak Says Bush Knew All Along Who Outed Valerie Plame


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Novak knows what Bush knows and what Rove knows and they all know that Fitzgerald knows and they are now beginning to snipe at each other and at the rest of us. They are on the verge of a mental breakdown only they are insane already so it doesn't matter. All that matters is, their ship is sinking...Fast. Let's punch more holes in the hull.

From Reuters:
The White House took issue on Thursday with a claim by syndicated columnist Robert Novak that President George W. Bush knows who the source is who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

"I don't know what he's basing it on," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, declining to comment further.

Novak said Tuesday the public and the news media should be asking Bush about the source rather than reporters who received the information.

"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

He added: "So I say, don't bug me. Don't bug (Washington Post reporter) Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is."
Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, has convened a new Grand Jury and is relentlessly pursuing his prey. The fact that a so called reporter/pundit, Novak, knows a lot about all this but refuses to enlighten us is very amusing for the old man is losing his grip and is on the verge of spilling them old beans.

Bush is freaking out over this and won't fire Rove for this would be admitting his office was Leak Central. So instead, his personal Titanic moment continues to crawl along in slow motion. This is causing problems because it is all attached to the mess in Iraq. Namely, Bush is a war criminal and the reasons to invade were not only spurious but seriously fake.

Bush also has destroyed our American civil rights in this pottage of pulsimony. From CNN:
President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States -- without getting search warrants -- following the Sept. 11 attacks, The New York Times reports.
Keeping track of little old Quaker ladies talking about demonstrating quietly in front of recruiting stations always ends up being the scariest thing on earth to these criminals. They have to lure the poor into fighting these illegal wars and these old ladies are interfering with the program.

This happened under Nixon.

So as usual, as we predicted during the Patriot Act passage, the military and the dictator in DC always abuse the powers handed to them, they always lie and assure us they won't spy on little old ladies yet they can't help themselves, like sick peeping Toms, they rush off to the oldest lady's house in town and press their noses against the window.

Even as Bush spies on the elderly, he refuses to allow American citizens a voice in running the USA. He teeters between buying everyone off with cheap loans with some horrible strings attached as well as bankrupting America with tax cuts, he passed even more of those this week in the teeth of the biggest trade/budget deficit in our history...And meanwhile, the clock ticks.

The elections in Iraq have to be the most expensive on earth. We spent $250+billion so far to have elections there. If the American people are happy with this business deal we are in deep trouble for this money hasn't been paid out yet, it is in the form of short term loans which, as the interest rates rise relentlessly thanks to inflation, will cost more and more. In other words, since we are charging this war, the interest payments will end up costing as much as the principle so it will be half a trillion so far.

And it isn't over. Why people think voting won't lead to terrific violence baffles me. Here in America, we have nearly come to blows over the blue/red state divide and it will get much, much worse, you will see, due to energy problems if nothing else. In Iraq, like in America in the first 50 years of our Republic, each election makes things worse until they blow up. In Iraq, I give it about one year. This year of grace, we can leave. If we stay, boom.

And about Rove: arrest him. Arrest Bush. Arrest all these idiots. Thank you.

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Fox TV's Christmas Party Celebrates Sinking of Titanic


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As we all know, Fox TV has cynically decided to wage war against civilization by screaming about how we are taking Jesus out of Xmas yet they are the first to do so. This year's Xmas party for the staff has decided to use the sinking of the Titanic as their theme. Seems about right to me. Glub, glub, Murdoch.

From Campus Progress:
ThinkProgress and The Majority Report have been covering News Corp (the parent company of Fox News) and how they invited everyone to a "holiday party."

Well it turns out that Fox is apparently a full-on combatant in the war on Christmas, since it wasn't their only one. At the end of this post is a scan of an invitation to another NewsCorp "Holiday Party," this one with a Titanic theme, which, in itself, is really, really weird.

So maybe it's time for Bill O'Reilly to start explaining why he's not objecting to his bosses having multiple parties refusing to acknowledge Christmas. (How can his heart possibly go on?)
Do click on this URL. The invitation is amazing. To think that adults will celebrate the baby Jesus by making fun of the icy, horrible deaths of over a thousand passengers on the Titanic boggles the mind. This comes on the heels of a deliberate program of fanning the flames of religious bigotry at Fox TV. On all shows featuring loudmouthed pundits, they have been pounding away at this idiotic theme and now they will get drunk and laugh themselves silly celebrating the sinking of a passenger ship!

This rampant, cynical hypocricy is the avian flu of the media. Just like them all pretending they were outraged by Clinton getting a blowjob, O'Reilly, for example, had to pay an outraged former employee millions to shut her up when she charged him with sexual harrassment. But was he fired? Did all the media attack him for being a blackguard and hypocrite? Did he apologize to Clinton?

Of course not! He roars and bellows and waves baby Jesus in the air as he tosses the Holy Child into the watery deep.

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Washington Pest

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Consumer Prices Fall Because Windfall Price Hikes In Oil Drops


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Like naughty children, the economic pundits and professionals munch on the data and spit out bad results because they refuse to look closely at the numbers and closely at system dynamics. We are heading off a financial cliff and they claim there is no inflation just because oil companies stopped the windfall profits temporarily.

From the NYT:
A record plunge in the cost of gasoline pushed consumer prices down by the largest amount in 56 years in November while industrial production posted a solid gain.

The new government reports Thursday provided further evidence that the economy is shaking off the blows delivered by a string of devastating hurricanes. But analysts cautioned that the huge drop in consumer prices was overstating the improvement in inflation.

The Labor Department report showed the Consumer Price Index fell by 0.6 percent last month, the biggest decline since a 0.9 percent fall in July 1949. It reflected a record fall in gasoline prices, which have been retreating since they surged to above $3 per gallon right after Katrina hit.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose a solid 0.7 percent last month following a 1.3 percent rise in October. Industrial output had plunged by 1.6 percent in September, reflecting widespread shutdowns of oil refineries, chemical plants and other factories along the Gulf Coast.

The decline in consumer prices was better than the 0.4 percent drop that analysts had been expecting. Outside of the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices were up 0.2 percent, matching the October increase. Both months showed a pickup in core prices from benign readings of 0.1 percent in the previous five months.
So, once again, when we go through energy price hikes, this causes inflation and everyone recognizes this but after six months, the economists will all be back to their same old tired tricks. Pretending it doesn't fuel inflation and that manipulating currency values and interest rates will fix everything.

Of course, this doesn't work except in a very brutal form: people cut back on energy because they can't afford it and thanks to higher interest rates, can't afford to go into debt to maintain older rates of energy use! Ie: you travel less, are more uncomfortable or even freeze or over heat to death and everyone looks the other way.

Note that prices are going up, there is inflation. And the energy companies said they didn't have any windfalls yet the sudden rush of inflation is an indication they were charging windfall prices. They can't have it both ways.
In other economic news, the number of people who have lost jobs because of the string of devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes climbed to 602,200 last week. That gain reflected a rise of 1,500 jobless applications linked to Katrina and Rita and an additional 1,000 claims linked to Wilma, which hit Florida in October.
Gross numbers can conceal vital problems. As we all know, the red slips are going out this Christmas and they are mostly aimed at high paying, unionized jobs. The quality and type of pay and work matters a great deal. If we have a zillion more nannies and gardeners this isn't a sign of a healthy capitalist system if the number of factory workers and high skilled labor plummet.
Overall, energy prices were down a record 8 percent, reflecting not only the fall in gasoline but also declines of 6.1 percent for home heating oil and 0.5 percent for natural gas. Those drops still left prices higher than a year ago and homeowners will feel the pinch when they pay heating bills this winter.
You ain't kidding. Fuel bills are horrible. Everyone I know is very worried. For political reasons, Bush's Windfall Buddies in Texas decided to import like crazy and drive prices lower because they were terrified of Bush's plummeting popularity and talk of impeaching him and investigating them!

So bingo! Our trade deficit goes through the roof and we owe the world immense amounts of money which the Fed is printing with Weimarian madness. This is why analysis that looks only at one tree and ignores the forest fire is bang stupid.

This story has been delayed by 8 hours because my computer was malfunctioning and I went to the Apple store at Crossgates Mall in Albany which is hours away from my mountain and we fixed what was wrong, sort of. But what I noticed was how deserted the mall was. No hordes of merry shoppers. Every store had big "prices slashed!" signs up. The data for October and November don't show the real tragedy here for both months were wonderfully warm here in the Northeast, nay, the wind blew from the south, not the north, confusing migrating birds and many remarked that it looked like late spring, not mid November which is usually a dank and dark month up here.

Well, Old Man Winter came with a roar and temperatures plummeted this last two weeks and the last five days, record setting cold gripped the Northeast. It went well below zero here which is mid January weather.

The reverberations are already moving through the system, the world price of oil climbed again, imports of oil climbed again, all the bad stuff, up and up. And as per usual, when oil climbs, everyone cuts profits to keep inflation at bay and this causes them to lay off workers and the workers get ill paying jobs and go bankrupt and this same old stupid obvious cycle is rolling along, the worst effects will be next year when unemployed workers or poorly paid workers can no longer fund this merry-go-round sponsored by Asia.

Why do you think we, the main target country for all Asian exports, were excluded very pointedly from discussions at ASEAN about the future of trade in the Pacific? Eh? Gads, I wish I was there.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Scientists Prove Bees Recognize Human Faces


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Scientists have done yet another study that proves bees can be as smart as people. Like recognize faces. Well, as a long time beekeeper, I assure you, we all know bees recognize faces and I will tell you why we know this.

From the Discovery Channel:
Don't be too proud of never forgetting a face: It turns out even a humble bumblebee can distinguish and recall different human faces, say researchers who have conducted experiments on the surprisingly canny insects.
Researchers in the UK have found that bumblebees show a remarkable ability to spot the same human face even days after training.

The training consisted of showing the bees the very same series of black-and-white pictures of faces that are used to test human memory. The bees got tasty or sour rewards for choosing correctly and incorrectly.

The newfound bumblebee ability is likely connected to their ability to recognize different flowers, says discoverer Adrian Dyer of La Trobe University in Australia and Cambridge University.

On the other hand, the discovery is one of a long string over the last decade about various animals which all point to one startling revelation: It doesn't take a huge human brain or even a mammalian brain to recognize individual human faces or do a lot of other complex tasks.
So, they figured out what we beekeepers have said for generations: bees know who is who.

The scientists speculate this is connected with recognizing flowers. This is totally stupid. As a beekeeper who works around hives in tee shirt and shorts all summer long, the bees are perfectly content not because they can tell me from a flower or something but because they know who I am, the person to cleans around their hive, chases away pesky wasps and bears and in general, work like a hive-sister so the guard bees will take but one glance at me and happily buzz in front of the hive. I often walk within 6" of the hive entrance in summer when they are busiest and not one bee will even give me an angry warning buzz.

Oh, they have different sounds for different purposes. When they are angry, they literally turn up the volume of the buzzing. Suddenly, one or two bees will be angrily buzzing in your ear. This is deliberate, they are telling you to go away. Since stinging is a suicide mission, they prefer warnings instead.

But never do I hear that buzz of danger unless I turn criminal. Namely, in the fall, after they work all summer, slaving away, flying around the community, visiting all the lovely flowers, working hard at home to make and stow away as much honey as possible, along comes the beekeeper in hat, veil, suit and smoker to steal that sweet honey.

The fury of the bees is unimaginable! Once, I tried to fool them and put a decoy honey comb on the hillside and ran off with the top box of the hive, all the bees flew to the decoy but one. She followed me into the house, flew back out the door and less than three minutes later, the entire hive was plastered to the kitchen door, buzzing with intense fury. I couldn't go outside.

All day, they buzzed the house, seeking entrance. Lord help anyone who would try rining the doorbell!

After a while, they gave up, grudgingly. But for weeks afterwards, when they spotted me, a few guard bees would buzz furiously in my face, just to tell me off. After that, I gave them daily doses of sugar water colored bright red. They not only forgave me, they became the loving insects they were before the raid.

See? I am still smarter than they! Heh! Fooled them yet again!

But trust me, you have to be on your toes with even insects. They are pretty clever. Smarter than Bush.

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America Totally Locked Outside of ASEAN Meeting


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Bush/Condi diplomatic disaster just keeps on going. Record trade deficits not only in total but individually with each of our major trading (sic) partners. We would have to sell 5000 Boeings each month to break even. Meanwhile, Japan plays coy with various suitors.

From the Washington Post:
Asian leaders agreed Wednesday to create a new, loosely united regional grouping, including India and Australia, to work on combating Asia's economic, security and political problems.

The 16-nation association, which will hold annual summit conferences, significantly widened the traditional circle of cooperation among Asian nations represented by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a sister group, ASEAN Plus Three, including China, Japan and South Korea.

Its formation, decided at the first East Asian Summit, marked an attempt to respond to a growing conviction among Asian leaders that their region requires a stronger independent voice in world affairs and a new forum without the preponderant role that has been played here by the United States since World War II.
They are slamming the door in our stupid face. Japan will be the doorkeeper. We will come and go on their say-so. Namely, the choke chain around our military's neck will be firmly in the hands of the Japanese who obviously won WWII which is why, when Koizumi visits the war criminal shrine and bonzais, Americans are respectfully silent and obedient.
Underlying the ambiguity about the new group's role and degrees of membership was concern over evolving power relationships as China becomes stronger and increasingly willing -- even eager -- to exercise regional leadership and Japan moves strategically closer to the United States.

China and Japan also have been divided by increasingly tense differences over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's regular visits to a shrine honoring Japan's war dead and rival claims to oil deposits and several small islands in the East Asian Sea. Those differences were on vivid display here in Kuala Lumpur, where Premier Wen Jiabao refused to sit down with Koizumi for a regular China-Japan-South Korea meeting.
You know, if we are insuring the safety and working to defend these so-called allies, we should have been at this meeting, right? Right?
Seeking to soften the atmosphere, Koizumi leaned over during a signing ceremony Wednesday to ask Wen to loan him a pen. When the Chinese premier smiled and handed it over, assembled diplomats applauded.
Note the diplomatic finesse! Note how small gestures translate into policy? Note how everyone there understood the secret negotiations which were 100% about AMERICA. We will learn the results in due time. Gack.

And so, Japan shoves us outside to stand at the locked door and to wait for further orders. Japan will make whatever deals she wants with China and then inform us of what we are to do next. In these secret negotiations you can bet, Japan waves the American sword as a leverage vis a vis China. And we have no idea what the heck is said, do we?

Well, I can guess! From the NYT:
The United States' trade deficit ballooned to a new record in October, the government said Wednesday, with imports climbing much faster than exports even though prices for imported oil declined.

The trade deficit widened by $3 billion, to $68.9 billion, confounding forecasts on Wall Street that the gap would narrow and signaling that the nation's huge trade imbalance has not begun to stabilize.
Stabilize? We are sinking faster than the Titanic! The stern of our ship is pointing straight up in the air! We are going to be running nearly a trillion a year in the red!

The trade deficit with Japan has grown immensely. Aiming for over $76 billion this year. With China, $200 billion. China's larger deficit isn't as bad as Japan's because Japan is poaching on our top industries not lower level, low per unit value stuff. Soon, China will be doing what Japan is doing, already, they export more electronics than America exports and this is going to grow vastly.

What can I say? With our present leadership and our present philosophical system, economic pundits and professors and those idiots running the Fed, except for a few lorne voices, indeed, virtually none, all screaming for a flat fucking earth and free fucking trade.

Can you all read the writing on the wall??? Gads.....!!!!!

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Voting Rights Activist, John Bonifaz, Running for Office in Massachusetts


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

John Bonifaz, a McArthur Foundation recipient, life long liberal activist, election fraud lawyer has decided to put on yet another hat and launch a new career as a full fledged politician. No longer an advocate on the outside, he feels it is time we work to put real activists into positions of power. The right wing is on the wane, the Democrats no longer have to chase after the right wing, it is time for the pendulum to swing towards the liberal side and time to get the Democratic Party back to its FDR roots.

David Swanson, homepage, Let's Try Democracy has been kind enough to send me regular email alerts of various actions he is sponsoring or assisting. Just this week, I recieved an email about a conference call with Joe Trippi, former campaign aide to Howard Dean and John Bonifaz who is now running for the office of State Attorney General in Massachusetts. As my state's Attorney General, Elliott Spitzer shows, this office is both important, it leads to higher political office and it can be a platform to address the nation on vital issues such as the present voting mess we are in.

The conference callers asked mostly questions about this vital matter. As we all can now see most clearly, incompetent, corrupt, ackward voting systems can have terrible repercussions. The very basis of everything that impacts us grows out of the deliberately flawed, unfair voting systems Americans are forced to use. Using these suspect, easily manipulated, utterly unreliable patchwork quilt of voting machines and protocols has enabled the far right wing to politically dominate America to our great suffering.

On November 8th, 2000, I was very aware of this and rushed down to Washington, DC, with a pile of letters to all the Senators. The title was "Uniform Voting Methods for America" and I suggested very strongly that we need a voting holiday, easier registration and a unified system for voting that is tamper-proof and reliable. All other matters were secondary, this was an emergency.

Trent Lott kicked me out of his office. But the Democrats all claimed it was a great idea and they even talked on TV that evening in the news. One senator even showed my letter. So when the Supreme Court ruled that the votes in Florida couldn't be counted because they used too many diverse systems, I said, "Yes! Now for the obvious reforms!"

Dead silence. The media assured Americans that all was well, democracy was alive and the ruling Constitutional. I wasn't the only person outraged by this. John Bonifaz immediately got to work, pushing for reforms. He told us the Supreme Court ruling should have mandated Congress to act but thanks to Scalia, they added the unconstitutional provision that the ruling can't be used by lawyers to sue to force Congress to act.

So Congress didn't act. Even when the Democrats took over, they refused to be alarmed about this and called us activists "conspiracy buffs" for suggesting that the voting systems of America were corrupt and unreliable. They always had something more important to do and when activists pressured them to act, Bush's Trifecta of Terror, 9/11 happened and everything was dropped and instead, Congress threw in the towel and granted dictatorial authority to Bush who used it to utterly corrupt the voting so that we got wonders like the five 18181 vote tallies on Diebold machines all for Republicans, a statistical improbability of the highest order and this latest election mess in Ohio which featured some of the squirreliest vote tabulations yet.

John, ever ready to spring into action, launched lawsuits in Ohio. He has worked long and hard to not only expose the problems there but push them into the courts, forcing the law to be applied, forcing events. Being a lawyer, he knew where to work on this issue and even though Kerry went wimpy on us and chickened out, you can bet, there will be no occassion that John Bonifaz will wimp out.

It isn't just voting that gets John into gear. He is also trying to force our media and the Democratic Party to respond to the war in Iraq. Here is one website he participates in, After Downingstreet.org. As we can easily see, the entire Democratic party is torn to bits over the Iraq war issue. Even seemingly "liberal" politicians have sided with Bush on this obviously illegal as well as moronic war. There are many reasons for this, one of which, in the Northeast, is the very powerful Likudnik-right wing pro-Israeli lobby. Even though liberal Jews are very much against this war, their voice doesn't penetrate very far with our local politicians who get lots of money from right wing organizations as so they support this dangerous war that is bankrupting America.

Which takes me to John's other big thing he pushes: campaign finance reforms. Like myself, he wishes to take private money out of elections, witness the Abramoff scandals that are sucking down one corrupt pol after another, like a black hole of black bag money, this is bad for America and bad for democracy.

John wants to change all this. He pushed for laws to pass in his home state giving public funds to candidates and it passed overwhelmingly only the state government refused to fund it and he had to go to court to force the issue. This is why he decided to ride the horse instead of shoveling the rear debrie all the time. And so he is running for office and needs everyone's support, even if we live far, and I live only a stone's throw from his homestate, for we are in this all together. The present occupant in this office is a Democrat but he obstructed the finance laws. And even in liberal states like Massachusetts, we need more liberal liberals. Namely, we can't move the nation to the left by only supporting the middle, it is now time to stop the "business as usual" attitude in the Democratic party and force them to take us seriously.

They need us and we are doing good things.

The other people in this conference call live in many different states, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, just off the top of my head.

I typed busily as the call progressed and guess what? This is the night my computer decided to play me for a fool and when I went off to do some evening chores like tending the fires, it was -6 last night!---My computer died on me and I lost everything I typed! Rats! A conspircay theorist should come up with something to explain this!

Luckily, I sitll have a pretty good memory. And look, at Trippi's webpage, he has the recording up. So anyone who wants to listen to us gab, can.

This coming election is important, all elections are important. I hope we can be a force of good. Keep the faith! Hope rises eternal. One vote at a time, one office at a time, we will rise up from the ashes, a Phoenix of Light and Life!

Thank you, John, for your past efforts. I hope I can thank you next year and congratulate you, too.


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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Pill Popping Rush Limbaugh Still Free While Cops Arrest Little Old Ladies Selling Pain Pills


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Prosecutors lose in court right to see Rush Limbaugh's medical records. Meanwhile, the same authorities who can't find the anthrax killer or bin Laden concentrate on the real terror in America: little old ladies selling some of their pain pills so they can pay the heating bills.

From CNN:
Dottie Neeley, 87, was fingerprinted, photographed and thrown in jail, imprisoned as much by the tubing from her oxygen tank as by the concrete and steel around her.

The woman -- who spent two days in jail after her arrest last December -- is among a growing number of Kentucky senior citizens charged in a crackdown on a crime authorities say is rampant in Appalachia: Elderly people are reselling their painkillers and other medications to addicts.

"When a person is on Social Security, drawing $500 a month, and they can sell their pain pills for $10 apiece, they'll take half of them for themselves and sell the other half to pay their electric bills or buy groceries," Floyd County jailer Roger Webb said.

Since April 2004, Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug task force created largely in response to rampant abuse of the powerful and sometimes lethal painkiller OxyContin, has charged more than 40 people 60 or older with selling primarily prescription drugs in the mountains.

"It used to be a rare occasion to have an elderly inmate," Webb said. "Five years ago it was a rarity."
Well, many, many criminals go free but not little old ladies! Can't have them hobbling about the countryside, whispering, "Hey, wippersnapper, want to pop a pill?" Nope. America will collapse, Christmas will be called off, the anthrax killer will laugh even harder than he is laughing right now if we don't capture and handcuff these dangerous 90 year old women!

The War on Drugs continues to grind onwards, crushing millions of people under its steel wheels. Ever wonder where Rush got those pain pills in Florida? From CNN:
Judge David F. Crow ruled that Florida laws do not prevent doctors from talking with prosecutors if the discussion is relevant to the prosecution of a crime.

The decision gave prosecutors permission to subpoena doctors and their staff, but it also protected confidential material in Limbaugh's medical records.

The judge noted that Florida law prohibits the discussion of a patient's medical condition and information disclosed by a patient during treatment.
From just such ladies. Oh, the humanity. Well, he is making millions on the radio, his show broadcast to our armed forces, even as the cops try to corner his elephantine mass, they are having a hard time of it. But ancient women with walkers: tackle them, mace them, throw them into the slammer and don't let them out.

Time for a rant: If there really is a baby Jesus upstairs, why can't we spend this xmas holiday screaming at him to throw some of that brimestone to Rush? Give him a lightning bolt jolt. At least have the Spirit of Christmas Future visit this blubbering ass and kick him to the curb?

Rich people can break any laws they want, the more connected, the more they can ignore the letter and intent of the law. Rich people don't say, "Shall I toss and turn at night due to the pain in my old joints and sell my meds or should I take my meds and get kicked out of my cheap apartment?" Desperate for some spare money as the monsters and clowns running America have created a fake, lying crappy "inflation index" that deliberately and maliciously excludes nearly everything that old grannies have to buy every month: food, energy, medicine, and then throw them in jail as they try to make ends meet?

What the hell is America coming to? Is this what we want to be? Shall we throw old women into prison for public begging? Or if they are too proud to beg, will we look the other way as they starve to death or eat dog food? The rip-off perpetrated by the GOP in changing the way we calculate inflation is going to KILL PEOPLE.

We are murdering people for oil, for money, for power and we are watching our rulers murder us as they, safe in their vast, expensive, inflation indexed bubble float over our heads, ordering cops to arrest little old ladies trying desperately to stretch a dying dollar.

Let them eat pain killers.

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Inflation Roars: Rubber Worker's Unrest In Asia Raises Rubber Prices


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Muslims fighting Buddhists in Thailand shuts down rubber plantations causing the world price of rubber to shoot up. As the pain of inflation is taken out on the backs of workers, unrest and fury rises even in America, there is growing unease and anger.

From the International Hearld Tribune:
Rubber prices may rise to the highest in 21 years as violence in Thailand prevents the world's biggest supplier from meeting Chinese demand.
Plantation owners in Thailand, which supplies 38 percent of the world's rubber, are being hampered by fighting between Muslim activists and the police in the southern part of the country. Production, already hampered by heavy rains, may fall further because a curfew and fear of attacks are reducing the time workers spend tapping rubber trees.
Ok, timely story for me! As my blog has detailed, the Amazon is having one of those pesky droughts which seem to be alternating with torrential rains. Of course, the rain is falling in South East Asia this year so they have way too much and the Amazon, way too little. This is one of the many side effects of global warming/forest cutting in jungles dynamics.
Chinese automakers are increasing output by about 15 percent and their demand for rubber is rising. Rubber supplies have plunged 78 percent this year in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Commodities from copper to crude oil are surging because of orders from China. Prices for copper, oil and iron ore rose to records this year, helping lift the Total Return index of the Goldman Sachs Commodity index 22 percent in the first 11 months, compared with a 3 percent gain by the Standard and Poor's 500 index.
Geeze. I saw this happen before! The price of oil shot up and then the price of all other raw materials shot up, too. Because of timelag effects, when massive inflation rears its ugly head, the effects at first are contrary, namely, the price of consumer goods which are not time-dependent like health care or food, tend to fall rapidly as sellers desperately try to eliminate excess capacity and inventory.

So the inflation which we know will show up with a vengence, doesn't at first. This always gives the professional economists and pundits cause to bray that high energy costs don't cause inflation. Always, when energy costs escalate rapidly, gold suddenly takes off in value because all consumer nations respond by encouraging the printing of dollar bills so the energy price hikes can become meaningless. The holder of these increasingly worthless, vis a vis oil, dollars then retaliate by buying gold to lock in value.

One time, when the Iran/Iraq war was raging, the price of gold hit $850 per once. Inflation then began to rage in the USA and interest rates shot up to over 11%.

Well, the Fed just decided to stop publishing the M3 statistics which tracks how many dollars the Fed prints up. For obvious reasons. They feel they can fool someone this way. Who?

The American consumer.

Great wars have been waged over commodities like oil as we see clearly today in Iraq. But great battles have been fought over rubber, too. And vast labor struggles. Rubber gold rushes have been just as amazing as gold rushes, huge cities suddenly springing upriver in jungles. During WWII, we had to evict the Japanese from Asian rubber plantations as quickly as possible to cripple not only the Japanese but the German war efforts.

When rubber, copper and gold shoot up in price alongside oil we will see a lot of inflation. Once the big manufacturers cut down on their own inventory, to restore the profit margin, they will begin to hike prices even if this means fewer customers. After all, it is the profit margin that matters, not how many you sell. And market share, but only if you make a profit. The American auto makers ate up their profits this year trying to unload stock. Now their credit rating stinks, General Motors just had theirs degraded yet again this week!

And the biggest customer for loans, the US Government, is raising interest rates yet again and simulatneously announcing they have killed inflation and so won't need anymore raises.

Gads. In a rat's ass! Talk about liars! They are my age or older, these clowns. They should be able to remember the past but I bet, they cannot. For they are delusional and deliberately so.

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Koreans Battle Police In Hong Kong at WTO Meeting


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The scariest thing for any ruling elite is to see workers uniting or farmers on the warpath. All revolutions happen with these two forces coincide and cooperate. We are seeing this beginning to happen as the capitalists work hard to make a flat earth with workers and farmers flat on the ground under their bootheel. I feel a rising windstorm here.

From Yahoo:

Several dozen protesters struck security forces with bamboo sticks and tried to ram through a police roadblock Tuesday as the World Trade Organization meeting opened in Hong Kong. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The confrontation occurred after several thousand protesters marched through the city against the WTO and globalization, which many of them believe benefit primarily the rich and powerful. Some of the protesters — mainly South Korean farmers — punched their fists in the air and beat drums and gongs, while others held signs saying "RIP WTO" and "World Threatening Organization."

Riot police with helmets and shields tried to fend off the protesters with pepper spray a few blocks away from the WTO meeting venue. The scuffle lasted about a half-hour and died down as police reinforcements arrived.

Earlier, dozens of South Korean farmers jumped into Victoria Harbor and tried to swim a few hundred yards along the coast to the WTO venue. Police intercepted them before they reached the venue.
Koreans have become ferocious street fighters. They know they must be visible and strong in order to shove events in their favor. At previous WTO meetings, they have committed ritual suicide, they drum loudly and refuse to retreat when the frightened capitalist tools inside order the police to get rid of them.

I have met some of these protestors in the past, at protests, of course. I, too, drum, I learned Asian drumming in a temple and can whale away without much effort for it is a skill, holding the sticks and going basically into a trance. There are whole organizations devoted to ritual drumming and nothing is more energizing than to walk into a cherry tree grove, hearing dozend of drummers striking their drums in unison, the ground trembles.

One Japanese religious cult, the one I learned this from, goes about the world, drumming for peace.

From the BBC:
The BBC's Chris Hogg in Hong Kong says there was a carnival atmosphere with protesters carrying colourful banners with slogans denouncing globalisation.

Other demonstrations are planned for the opening day of the summit on Tuesday, and also for next Sunday.

Around 10,000 activists are converging on Hong Kong to demonstrate at the summit, which will bring together nearly 150 rich and poor nations.

The demonstrators say the meeting will largely benefit rich countries at the expense of developing ones.

But supporters of the summit maintain that an international trade deal could generate billions of dollars in benefits and possibly lift millions out of poverty.
If WTO meetings were so uplifting, they wouldn't be so hated, would they? Many countries have witnessed ferocious WTO riots when that organization forces governments into draconian economic actions.

Now there is a new conflict that is tearing in two directions. In places like America, Japan or France, the farmers, thanks to quirks in proportioning districts and political power, have much greater influence on political choices than farmers in China, for example. So they are coddled by the government which gives them huge subsidies and help (which is why they hate welfar people who get the same!).

The first world countries produce too much food so they ship it to third world countries. The USA used to run a trade surplus with food vis a vis the world but thanks to various free trade agreements, we now are a net importer. Of course, to create the impression of free trade, Congress and the bubble boy President have worked hard to "free" American farmers from being on welfare which is now causing greater and greater distress. America, unlike Japan and France, for example, has pretty much killed off the small farmer, now the big guys are beginning to hurt, thanks to the rising cost of energy upon which they depend.

Japan, this week, has decided to let a ritual amount of American beef into the country but only if it is raised "properly" which restricts the amounts allowed pretty severely. The mad cow disease, like the avian flu, have hit farmers hard across the planet. These blows along with the cutting down of rain forests for temporary farming advantage coupled with air pollution in the form of acid rain and rising global temperatures are causing increasing problems for farmers. I see it first hand, on my own property, as I struggle between flood/drought cycles that are becoming monotonously on each other's heels. All rain or no rain is terrible in my climate.

Acid rain is also killing my forest which is a money maker for me and the best woods I raise, red oaks and maples, are rapidly dying instead of living hundreds of years. So farmers are naturally in the forefront of the battle for planet earth, both as destroyers and protectors. The tensions created by this complex convergence is roiling the planet, politically and physically.

Smart farmers know you have to nurture the earth and carefully cultivate. The Dust Bowl disaster in the USA was partially farmer-made. Scientists knew you need hedges and tree rows and contour plowing as well as cycling fields by not planting the same crop over and over again. Yet, farmers were forced into doing the bad things because of competition. Bad farmers could, in good years, drive out good farmers.

So the government rewarded good farmers and paid them to NOT overproduce and kill the land! This evolved into welfare for big farmers who didn't plant hedgerows or trees or contour plow. It ended up going to the bad farmers who wiped out everything in their path, overproducing. Alas. Over grazing public lands while taxing farms like my own to death, farmers raising beef responsibly, like myself, were driven out of business by careless ranchers who create desertfication.

So now we should have a world-wide "good farmer" organization that protects ecologically balanced farming and works like a giant collective, encouraging tree planting and careful forestry. Protecting the world's wetlands and glaciers that feed so many important rivers.

Something like what the WTO should be but is not.

On with the struggle. It is going to be quite vicious.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Another Win For Us Tea Drinking Old Ladies: It Prevents Ovian Cancer


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As a lifetime big time tea drinker who drinks cups and cups of tea while babbling away at this blog, it pleases me immensely to hear this good news: tea drinking protects women from ovian cancer. I have had my ovaries operated on when only 13 years old and my doctor told me to consume vast quantities of tea to ease the pain and so, he was right. I still have both ovaries and lots of tea kettles and tea cups and tea cozies. Would you like one or two lumps of sugar?

From Yahoo:
Swedish researchers have found tantalizing but far-from-conclusive evidence that drinking a couple of cups of tea every day might help reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The study involved 61,057 Swedish women who answered a questionnaire about their diets and then were tracked for an average of 15 years through 2004.

During that time, 301 women developed ovarian cancer. Those who reported drinking two or more cups of tea a day were 46 percent less likely to develop the disease than women who drank no tea. Drinking less than two cups also appeared to help, but not as much.

The researchers did not break out the results by tea types, but most of the tea drinkers consumed black tea. Both black and green tea contain polyphenols — substances thought to block cell damage that can lead to cancer.
My mother's godmother who was born at the beginning of the Civil War always had high tea time. She would sup her tea under the verandah, surrounded by her beloved wild birds with the California jay being the most audacious of the tea drinkers. The birds would perch on the lip of the cup and splash tea all over us with their bills. Then they would take the nuts and fly off to the mulberry tree and jay-jay-jay at us.

I am very happy I was surrounded by tea drinkers so drinking it was a natural thing. I collect tea and have many varieties as well as from various countries. Nothing is more wonderful than to participate in a proper Japanese tea ceremony. Drinking Chinese tea while eating peaches is also spiritually pleasing. Sitting on the deck, watching the clouds seethe about the mountains while sipping tea is highly recommended.

So is drinking wine, heh. But not five cups a day. As a five+ a day tea drinker, I assume my ovaries which caused endless problems back when I was very young (that, a long story, not pleasant) will be hearty and hale when I read 105 years like my mother's godmother, at this rate.

Or maybe not. Next week they will probably come out with a study showing bloggers don't live long because we annoy our readers to death. Argh. Oh well. Rock and hard place and all that. Time for another cup of tea.

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Newsweek Reads Us Bloggers: Calls Bush Bubble Boy


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

On the left side of the blogsphere, the intelligent side, we have alternated between calling Bush a chimpanzee or bubble boy. Looks like the mainstream media is sufficiently unafraid of him to pick up the bubble boy formula, now if they only see how degenerately Darwinian Bush is....Well, Bush blew up today about all this.

From Yahoo:
Bush had been asked about an article in Newsweek magazine that says he is isolated and features a drawing of Bush in a giant bubble -- the traditional term for the layers of aides between a US president and the US public.

"I don't feel in a bubble. You feel in a bubble in the sense I can't go walking out the front gate and go shopping like I'd love to do for my wife -- although I may, and I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to buy her," said Bush.

"I just talked to the president-elect of Honduras. A lot of my job is foreign policy. And I spend an enormous amount of time with leaders from other countries, and they come right here in the Oval Office and tell me what's on their mind. And I tell them what's on my mind," he said.
Bubble boy can ask Karl Rove what is going on outside the super strong solid steel in an undisclosed location bubble he inhabits! Of course, this has a wee problem, especially with the cops hot on Rove's ass.

Here is the Newsweek bubble boy picture from MSNBC:
President Bush has always shown an admirable ability to ignore the Washington pundits and make fun of the chattering classes. Yet his inattention to Murtha, a coal-country Pennsylvanian and rock-solid patriot, suggests a level of indifference, if not denial, that is dangerous for a president who seeks to transform the world. All presidents face a tension between sticking to their guns and dealing with changing reality. History suggests it can be a mistake to listen too closely to the ever-present (and often self-aggrandizing) critics. But likewise, the idea that any president can go it alone is, to say the least, problematic.
Bush mocked his own courtiers who work for rich people who wanted tax cuts and raiding the Treasury. So they put up with the patrician frat rat's mockery as he sneered at their obvious grovelling. But the little pig overstepped the bounds of grace and is not being mocked or hated by many victims of his misrule. So the press can now attack him so long as their tax cuts keep rolling in.

Of course, we are going bankrupt, our nation is bleeding red ink, hemmoraging a sea of red ink, but they and the media owners barely mention this. But they can mention Bush's obvious bubble which they helped construct. The news story won't mention this glaring fact. It will pretend that Bush build this all by his little own self! Sort of like a personal Habitat for Inhumanity.

Here is one picture of bubble boy I did in the past:

If you google "bubble boy" at the top of this blog, many a story will appear for I and a host of other bloggers have called this idiot that name for quite a while.

Well, let's hope this iron bubble of his is popped. Fitzgerald, you hear me? Pop.

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Billionaire Bill Gates' Dad Frets About American Red Ink


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bill Gates' dad recently warned us about the impending bankruptcy of America. Both of the Gates are very pessimistic about all this stuff which is why they are rapidly relocating to China and India. Great. Some help, they are.

From the Seattle PI:
Bill Gates Sr., co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, gave a CityClub gathering their money's worth Friday at a luncheon to review the year almost gone.

As a participant on a panel that included Sen. Patty Murray, state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky and Issaquah developer George W. "Skip" Rowley, Gates, along with the others, was asked to tell about someone he'd been impressed by and to say why.

He picked Wall Street big shot Pete Peterson, who, Gates said, has warned against "the pending bankruptcy of the U.S."

His response drew shocked laughter from the crowd. But Gates wasn't kidding, and he would return to that theme later in the luncheon.
He also thought outsourcing is a great idea and that the world should be flat and that everyone should "rise" to the same level without mentioning this means sinking an awful lot of little boats.
"We need to get over it," he said. "Seems to me it's the only way to raise all ships" and create what he described later as a truly "flat earth."

The present era's left-right polarity came in for a thumping by panelists who warned generally that it isn't a good thing. As a solution, however, the best they could do was plead for "more community."
Oh dear, once again, the happy news/happy face people get mad at us for daring to argue and make noise instead of polite laughter as our doom approaches! Hahaha. Laugh, clowns, laugh.

As peasants across the planet die in clashes with imperial authorities, they do this because they are angry and desperate. They don't want to be polite when they are being oppressed, when people are stealing their lands, their crops, their sons and daughters. They are understandably angry and won't let it all slide.

Others are angry. Like Atta. Goofing around, smiling and patting ourselves won't stop angry people like Atta from taking action. Our response to his action was to drive America very deep into debt, ravage our own economy by waging futile wars and spending money like there is no tomorrow. How the hell are we going to avoid bankruptcy if we are pouring all our future wealth into weapons and wars that don't make us one bit safer?

And the debate about all this has to be loud, long, hard and might even end up very violent. Like in China. The Chinese people have finally figured out that if they don't make a tremendous noise, they will be stripped of everything good. So the agitation against authority rises higher and higher as it ought. And here?

The last unions are quietly packing their bags and departing. The people who benefitted from this system are quietly going bankrupt or cutting back to the bone, retreating silently. Occassional cries of pain, suicides and murders leave a bloody trail but our rich don't want to hear any leftist debate about all this!

This week, the Chinese have overtaken America in electronics exports. As I also predicted, they are busy building the intellectual infrastructure to challenge our own research and developments in this area just like the Japanese have homegrown many things and now beat us on our own turf. The Gates family has relocated research and development to China and India so they can make oodles of more money. This is why they love outsourcing. Not because there are no Americans who can be hired, it is because it is cheaper in other lands. And since few Americans with degrees in computer programming can get stable jobs, fewer and fewer are taking the courses and so the giant corporations say, they need the overseas facilities due to lack of interest in America as if we suddenly didn't care about good jobs or need them!

So, even as the Gates family stuffs their moneybags full, they have the temerity to warn us about thieves. This is why I avoid all Microsoft products if I can. I am happy the Gates family is against the Republican desires to cut taxes all the time. But there is a futher step for them: to stop stealing money from the masses via their near monopoly. To stop crushing other businesses. To stop outsourcing. Stop it, now.

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"Happy News" Blog Story Reveals Mental Collapse of Right Wing America


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

As the right wing drags us ever deeper into terrible times, as we struggle to keep up with all the crappy news this creates, the right wing's leaders and followers both run away from reality prefering only "happy news." So it is no surprize to see all the media go ga-ga over a blog that compiles what right wingers consider to be "happy news" like soldiers handing candy to children in Iraq and aren't blown up.

From Yahoo:
Carrie Rodgers is so engrossed by cable-television news shows that her husband calls her a news addict, but lately she has found another source to balance the onslaught of stories about war, crime and natural disasters.

Two or three times a day, the 28-year-old insurance agent in Columbia, S.C., turns to a Web site called HappyNews.com.

She often clicks first to a section called "Heroes," which recently featured stories about U.S. troops rescuing two cheetah cubs in Ethiopia and the induction of 12 people into the Hall of Fame for Caring Americans.

"There's so much going on in the world that is so sad," Rodgers said. "You can go anywhere and find depressing news. I'm glad somebody has stepped up and shown there are still good people in the world."

HappyNews is the brainchild of Byron Reese, chief executive of Austin, Texas-based PageWise Inc., which publishes several how-to and advice Web sites. He decided the world needed a refuge from all the unpleasantness served up by newspapers and television news shows, so he launched HappyNews in July.
As the Mothership of the right wing neo-nazis famously said, ""Why should we hear about body bags and deaths," Barbara Bush said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on March 18, 2003. "Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

All over right wing America, people are tuning out. The refusal to view the body bags pouring into America from this woe-begotten war isn't just Bush. These people never want to see that which they wrought. It is getting so bad, the military has ceased honoring their dead when they ship them, like crates, home. From Channel 10 News:
Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.
But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.

John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who died in Iraq last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field as freight.

"When someone dies in combat, they need to give them due respect they deserve for (the) sacrifice they made," said John Holley.
I still remember the Vietnam war in gory detail. I used to go to the airport in San Francisco to leaflet. Many people didn't want leaflets reminding them about the war. I used to observe the dead coming home, there was no honor guard after 1967. The sad dark boxes were hustled out of the hold of planes and studiously ignored. This is when hyper flag waving and screaming at antiwar people demanding the war stop was at its height. This is also when the same right wingers were actively, like Bush and Cheney and the entire leadership of the GOP, scheming and pulling strings to avoid fighting in this war.

The exact same disconnect from the reality they want that we see today.

The happy face was created when America was very divided. We were all supposed to put on a happy face, take tranquilizers or sniff coke like Bush was doing at that time, and laugh and drink and be merry. My tedious job was to shove the dead bodies into people's faces and force them to see reality.

From Yahoo:
Moderates are imploring colleagues in Congress to tone down the rhetoric on Iraq as debate about President Bush's war policies has become increasingly bitter and partisan.

Their pleas are likely to be ignored.

The war is expected to be front and center in the upcoming congressional election year, particularly in several races where candidates are Iraq war veterans. Neither party has much incentive to pull its punches, with Republicans eager to paint Democratic critics of Bush's Iraq policies as soft on defense and Democrats looking to exploit his woes as polls show declining support for the war.

Nevertheless, some senior lawmakers are appealing for courteousness, saying that while debate is essential to democracy, politics and partisanship should stop at the waters' edge.
Good fucking grief. When a country runs amock abroad, you should have screaming debates at home. The screaming should be deafening. Our representatives representing us antiwar people should make life hell for the pro-war creeps who have created this mess. How dare anyone tell us to shut up? Why is being cute and friendly good when we are murdering thousands of people? Eh?

Always, we are told to not fight. Yet whenever the right wants something, they cheerfully go forth and call us names, attack us, suggest we be blown up, spread hate talk, and worse, the loopy idiots who want happy news lap it all up and ask for more violent talk, more hate. So long as they are hating fellow Americans.

Buzzflash:
In many ways -- although this is our observation and not Pickett's -- the interview with GOP/FOX shill Cavuto reminded us that so many Democratic leaders are missing the boat. The battle is not between two visions of public policy, although the differences are night and day. The major political conflict of our time is between propaganda and the truth. That is why the Bush administration is spending so much time buying off journalists and news coverage here and in Iraq.
The Vietnam war at home, our struggle for the hearts and minds of Americans, was hobbled by the desire to be happy no matter what. "Laugh-In" is an icon of the times. We were supposed to laugh and play and ignore things. Luckily for us, the news on TV wasn't profit driven at that time so reality would leak into the conscience of the audience.

Here is an interesting study about how we deceive ourselves. From Live Science:


Do you always get what you ask for? A new study finds that when you don't, you might not even notice the difference.

Swedish researchers showed a pair of female faces to 120 volunteers for 2 seconds and then asked them to choose which one they thought was more attractive. The researchers then asked the volunteers to explain their choice.

The trial was repeated 15 times for each volunteer, using different pairs of faces. but in three of the trials the faces were secretly switched after a decision had been made.

Surprisingly, not only were a large number of the volunteers oblivious to the switch when ultimately allowed to take a longer look at their choice, they were actually able to gave detailed explanations for why they preferred the face that, indeed, they had actually rejected.

It would be asking for an apple and then explaining exactly why you wanted the banana you got instead.
Everyone likes to think they control their own brains but as we well know, propagandists and con artists prey upon people's innate need to think they are in control even as someone is forcibly guiding them into a box they can't escape. The reason why news services iike mine exist is because I feel one needs to know what is going to happen next. Pretending it won't happen is futile. This is why I look to the far future, the obvious future when our planet is destroyed by our local star. Being a worry wart, I want to have the living creatures of this planet spread to other star systems. This is why I support the space program.

Many death traps in nature are set up so the victim enters willingly and can't escape. Spider webs, venus fly traps, flowers filled with fluid and cupped so one can't escape, human traps are alway baited with goodies for the unsuspecting. And this is why news is important: so one can see the traps, see the danger.

The tendency to turn our news into Pravda is very strong. All despots order news to be only happy news. Five year plan exceeded! Look at the cute kitten! Everything is coming up roses!

Here is news about the approaching mess I call WWIII: From the London Times:
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.

Iran’s stand-off with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over nuclear inspections and aggressive rhetoric from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who said last week that Israel should be moved to Europe, are causing mounting concern.
This was not a headline in America. Anywhere. You are reading it here and you hair better stand on end. This is bad news everyone should know. Relentlessly, our allies in the Middle East are shoving the world towards the Apocalypse and at home, the happy news consumers like the lady in Texas in the article at the top, are enabling this to happen because she voted for the people who are sponsoring this stupid event and many happy news readers actively desire this event because their churches have assured them that happy Jesus will happily pick them up and save them while we sinners will be ripped to shreds while they and Jesus laugh happily in heaven.

Gads. What a moronic mess. Cassandra was never popular but she was also never wrong.

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Washington Pest

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scientist Claims There Are No Super Rats...Ha.


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

According to the Associated Press, there is no such animal as a "super rat." We know Karl Rove is one. Indeed, there are infestations of such animals in DC! But aside from that, I actually fought and killed a real live "super rat" in NYC.

From Yahoo:
City officials — hoping better educated foot soldiers can wage a smarter battle against an all-time high rat population — have opened the Rodent Control Academy, an insitution of higher learning about vermin that scurry around in low places.

The city enlisted Bobby Corrigan to teach a decidedly creepy curriculum that strives to show city workers how to properly bait, trap and poison the rodents in ways that don't just drive an infestation down the block.

Rodent complaints and health department exterminations are at unprecedented highs in New York, and the little ruffians are everywhere — scampering through subway tunnels, rooting through trash, dashing across parks, burrowing into the walls of apartment buildings. They can transmit disease, start fires by gnawing on electrical cords, and sometimes bite, usually children and the elderly.
I had to deal all the time with the rodents as well as roaches. I used to be a super in slums in NYC, superwoman super. The biggest cockroaches I had to remove were about six feet tall and pretty foul mouthed. The insects were smaller but not by much. When working in the cellar to restart the boiler or fix a broken pipe, I would hit the roaches with a hammer. Bam.

But the rats. Well, they love cellars. This is their subway system. So if you want to meet a rat, go into a damp, dark NY slum cellar like I used to do. I had this wonderful street cat named Mr. Thomas. He walked like a bulldog and was scared of nothing. He roamed the neighborhood and ruled the roost. He was top tom cat. His head was broad and completely covered with scars and one ear was torn in half. I took him with me when working down below and he would remove and eat the rats. He loved eating rats. He would chomp on them and leave the head and spit out the kidney sacs as well as other unmentionable stuff. Yummy.

But some rats he left alone.

One day, I was walking down Prospect Place when I saw what I thought was Susan's black cat, Coco, trying to jump up to the cat door which was high up to prevent rats from entering. I wondered why the cat was struggling so I went over to pet him and help him.

A gigantic warf rat (who was not Karl, he can't jump!) turned and squeaked a warning at me. Susan heard something and came to open the door. "NO!" I screamed, "Keep it shut!" She looked out the window and right into the face of the furious, giant rat. She fainted.

I yelled, "I'll come in and help you," for I was worried about her, she had health problems. So I picked up a broken brick (lots of those in thes places) and aimed at the rat and struck him with considerable force. He screamed in pain and bunched up and flung himself at my face!

I grabbed a garbage can lid and he hit it with a loud, ringing bang. I slammed the lid to the sidewalk.

Now, I had a giant rat under a garbage can lid and I couldn't let go of the damn thing.

A crowd gathered, this being NYC. "Oh my god, I can't lift the lid or it will attack me!" I said, looking for help.

"I'll call 9-1-1," said Oxana, a neighbor. The cops came. The rat was running around insde the lid and every time his fat body passed under my feet which were holding the lid down, it bulged upwards.

"OK, where's the rat," said the first cop.

"Want to see him?" I asked. He showed me his teeth and decided this was a really bad idea. "Why don't you shoot it when I lift the lid," I asked.

"We can't do that, every bullet has to be accounted for and we will get in trouble if we shoot a rat, unless it is six feet tall," (yes, he really said that). The cops decided to call the NYC rat control office. This is what they said to me, via the police radio: "We will dispose of the rat if you bring it in."

This being a super rat and the idiot in the office a super idiot, I said, "Someone bring me a steel box so I can personally bring this rat to them!" Alas, we didn't have one.

The cops decided to put a heavy weight on the lid. They found some big bricks and as the little boys yelled with suspense, we piled them on and I started to step off. Super rat shoved the lid and his head came out. I stomped on the lid, being nuts. A truck driver showed up and told the cops all the traffic was stopped and he couldn't move. He was angry until the crowd told him about super rat. He came back with a huge tire iron. I took the club of the cop and he and I stood on opposite sides of the lid and began to bang on it trying to hit the bulge showing where super rat was.

We hit and hit and blood flowed out but this rat kept on going round and round. "Damn," said the trucker and hit really hard. The watching boys were jubilant. The rat shot out of the now utterly smashed lid and whirled around to attack the trucker and he and I hit it simultaneously.

Finally, super rat breathed his last.

We put him in a plastic bag and a pot dealer came with his scales and weighed the rat who bent the scales at nearly five pounds.

Months later, I and my plumber cornered a criminal. When the cops showed up, it was the same pair as before and they said, 'Good thing you surrendered. She is the lady who killed the super rat with her bare hands."

"Don't exaggerate," I said, "I used your club."

If you don't believe me, ask the 98th Precienct.

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