The blow-up over the Chinese surrounding our spy ship offshore of mainland China continues to broil.  The US still is lecturing China about abusing the Tibetans while we bomb the poorest peasants on earth.  A country using flying robot assassins to murder people has no right to yap about China modernizing Tibet!  And the issue of ‘free trade’: the NYT is furious that we are restive about free trade.  The ideology that free trade will make America strong is belied by the fact that it is bankrupting us.  Yet, none of the major media will admit this, talk about this or allow anti-free trade writers to darken their doorstep.Before going into today’s issue, we must first look at this international rating list to see if the US is #1.  It is a tremendous propaganda point for the masses to imagine, ‘We are #1!’.  But if we wish to save our hides, we better be more realistic:


Institutional Investor

  1. Switzerland 94.0
  2. Norway
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Germany
  5. Netherlands
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. Canada  91.6
  9. France
  10. Sweden
  11. Austria
  12. Singapore
  13. UK
  14. Belgium
  15. US   88.0
  16. Australia
  17. Ireland
  18. Japan
  19. Spain

Let’s all chant in unison: ‘We are NUMBER FIFTEEN!’  Yipee!  And Germany is number four!  Ooops.  Norway has oil, high taxes and strict financial restrictions.  Oh, they are number two!  But number one is the Land of the Ur-gnomes: Switzerland.  Indeed, the top tier nations are all Nordic gnomes, tight-fisted countries that don’t encourage consumerism.  Canada, another oil pumping power, is in the top ten, too.  So is France.  Vive la Frog Eaters!  


Belgium beats us out and this isn’t even a country, as the Institutional Investor wryly notes.  Japan isn’t in the top ten due to this long depression which was made worse by forcing half of the workforce to be ‘part time’ even when working full time.  The dire condition of the workers there is in stark contrast with German or French workers.


All readers here who are allergic to both taxes and ‘socialism’ should look at this list very, very carefully.  The more a country protects the working classes and the majority of citizens, the higher they are on the list with the highest taxed nations sitting firmly at the very apex.  


Editorial – Mr. Obama’s Trade Agenda –


The answer is clear: Trade will play an important role in the world’s eventual recovery, transmitting economic growth from one country to the next. Protectionism leads to further protectionism, and yielding to its temptation could unleash destructive trade wars that would crush any chance of recovery.

We have been in this massive trade war nearly all my life.  The two countries we beat in WWII rebuilt themselves by exporting to the US.  Every couple of years, our country’s ‘leaders’ [sic] would attempt to claw back some respite from this endless war.  Each time, the favorite tool was to degrade our currency.  First, we despoiled the coinage in the same way all desperate ruling elites did since before the Greek Republic of 500 BC.


Then, we dumped gold entirely.  We then tried to manipulate the currency via ordering Japan and Germany to reset their own currencies.  When I lived in Germany, I felt rich because I had US dollars at four DM to the dollar.  Three years later, it was half that and today, below parity, even!


This 50 years of trade wars totally destroyed our industrial base.  Our opponents [there are NO allies in trade wars] have established beachheads here and run factories here so we won’t do the sensible thing and protect ourselves.  The Europeans even let us own European companies [which were mostly for exporting to the US].  All the factories we own in other countries focus on exporting goods to the US.  We are not exporting to nearly anyone at this point.


Unfortunately, few politicians are willing to tell their constituents that unpopular truth. Instead, governments are succumbing to protectionism’s dangerous lure. In recent months, Russia has jacked up import barriers on cars, farm machinery and other products. The European Union has reintroduced subsidies on dairy products. Europe, India and Brazil raised tariffs on imported steel…


I see nearly wall-to-wall support of ‘free trade’.  Only when threatened by angry mobs, will our Bilderberg bastards even murmur about stopping this stupid ‘free trade’.  By the way, the list of countries at the top don’t include Israel.  In fact, Israel is no where on this list.  I found that very odd, to say the least.  Little Singapore is on the list.  But not Israel.


Israel has a very high per-capita trade surplus with the US.  It is never mentioned when anyone talks about anything with trade.  It lurks in the dark, invisible and silent except if we allow anyone to speak out about any Israeli business or crimes.  Madoff is pleading guilty so no court can probe him or his All In The Family Mafioso group.  This is why no Mafia bosses ever hit the stand.

Protectionism is also taking subtler forms, like Britain’s requirement that bailed-out banks favor domestic lending. The United States is not immune. The stimulus bill had a “Buy America” provision, and it made it more difficult for companies receiving stimulus dollars to hire foreign workers under the H-1B visa program.


Perish the thought that our employers be forced to stop undercutting wages by importing cheap labor!  What next?  A demand for another flood of illegal aliens so they can cause construction working wages to collapse again?  Since when has the US had a shortage of workers, anyway?  I don’t see this.  I see armies of unemployed.  This is why we have one of the biggest prison systems on earth.

President Obama’s choice for United States trade representative, Ron Kirk, appears ambivalent about the value of free trade. As part of his confirmation hearings this week, Mr. Kirk testified that he would work to expand trade but also argued “that not all Americans are winning from it and that our trading partners are not always playing by the rules.” He suggested that the administration could press ahead on the ratification of the trade agreement with Panama, which was negotiated by the Bush administration. But he said that Mr. Obama was prepared to walk away from the Bush administration’s agreement with South Korea, calling it “unfair.”


How dare he mention the army of losers!  HAHAHA.  The Times doesn’t associate with the ragged losers who were expelled from their jobs and dumped into our prison system.  Internationalists who hobnob with each other at Doha or Davos or wherever the devil they congregate–always protected by a huge phalanx of armed goons—can’t understand why US voters are screaming at their ‘representatives’.  So far, neither political party is against flooding the US with cheap foreign labor or protecting our industries from imports.


Even talking about this is verboten.  News stories avoid connecting the dots.  For example, Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1890 – Interactive Graphic – the Times has this map.  Note how most of the places that are the epicenter of our housing collapse are co-resident to places that saw an influx of both legal and illegal Hispanic aliens:


Mr. Obama’s annual trade report to Congress is similarly worrisome. It suggested opening a “discourse with the public” on whether the trade agreements awaiting ratification — with Colombia, South Korea and Panama — are a good idea. It committed the administration to “improving” the North American Free Trade Agreement, without saying how. And it poured cold water on efforts to restart the World Trade Organization’s round of international negotiations…


OMG!  Obama might open a ‘discourse’ with us peons?  Perish the thought!  And Obama is scared of restarting the Doha rounds?  HAHAHA.  He better be scared to death.  The Times doesn’t want ‘discourse’ with anyone.  It supports free trade because it benefits Israel very heavily.  

China’s leaders, in particular, need to understand that export-led growth no longer works for them or for the world. The United States will have more influence if it stops beating on Beijing for its foreign-exchange policy and engages China’s leaders as partners, not rivals.


China knew from day one that export trade wouldn’t be forever.  Ditto, Japan.  But Japan thought the Japanese carry trade based on their ZIRP banking system would last forever!  It collapsed when all trade rivals ran off to do their own ZIRP banking.  


Again, I keep hammering at this: there is no such thing as ‘trade partners’.  They are ‘trade RIVALS.’  We might make deals that benefit us but we must never, ever forget that we are all rivals.  The European Union is a queer confederation that has papered over this issue but now that things are unwinding and all trade deals are exposed, the EU will change course, too. 


The day the Chinese declare, all world trade will focus on China, not the US, is the day we die.  We should fear this dooms day!  For our entire lifestyle is based on cheap oil and free trade goods pouring into our homes while we pay with IOUs.


China navy officers harangue U.S. over ocean spat | Reuters

Senior Chinese navy officers poured scorn on the United States in the wake of a weekend naval confrontation, with one saying the “Americans are villains”, as fallout over the incident between the two giants simmered.

In comments carried by the official China News Service, Chinese officers repeated their government’s view that a U.S. naval ship had violated the country’s sovereignty during an encounter with Chinese ships in the South China Sea on Sunday….

“The U.S. side has twisted the facts. The U.S. survey ship was operating in China’s exclusive economic zone on its continental shelf. Our vessels were just going about normal business … This was itself harming China’s sovereignty.”

A senior Communist Party commissar in the navy, Wu Huayang, told the news agency that the incident had been “stirred up by the U.S.”….

“If people are loitering outside your bamboo fence and the owner goes out to check on things, and then they say you’ve violated their rights, what’s the sense in that?” said Jin Mao, a Chinese vice admiral, according to the news agency.

The USA is in deep trouble.  Note how the above hysterical editorial from the NYT owners yaps about how China better cooperate with us.  Well, who is not cooperating here?  The US thinks we can chop up China, support insurrections there, harangue China about human rights while we torture and murder innocent people.  We are still prancing around the world stage with our underwear on our heads.  


What is it about ‘sovereignty’ the US can’t get?  We think the world is ours.  And we refuse to give our bankers, the Chinese, any sovereign powers over anything even within China, itself.  Jin Mao is correct: we are the snoops who are irritating trade partners.  The US has to face the fact that we are engaged in a global struggle with over 100 nations and even if we station troops in many of these nations, this doesn’t translate into advantages for the US.  I see no advantage to having us patrol seas around nations that are working day and night to drive us into destruction via sea-borne trade.


China says U.S. naval ship broke the law | U.S. | Reuters


“The U.S. claims are gravely in contravention of the facts and confuse black and white and they are totally unacceptable to China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular news briefing.

But the confrontation was unlikely to do lasting damage to ties between two countries as they combat the global economic slump, a Chinese analyst in Beijing said.


As we combat a global slump, we are in disagreement as to the cure.  The cure for Japan and China is a resumption of faux free trade.  The US should be throwing up barriers like the people of Moscow did when the German Wehrmacht approached.  And we have to fight our trade battles like the battle of Stalingrad, for example.

Global oil prices rose 3 percent on Monday and held above $47 a barrel on Tuesday, partly on jitters about tension between the world’s top oil consumers.


This made our allies happy.  The OPEC nations we spend trillions protecting are grateful.  But not consumers in Europe who we also protect.  The very minute world trade tries to pick up again, oil will soar in value.  Always, for the last 50 years, when oil prices climb, economies collapse.  It is a great brake on expansion.


The Chinese are dealing with this by building solar power factories, for example.  The US is dealing with this by bellowing loudly and sailing very expensive navies all over the place, aimlessly.  Unable to even stop pirates from Somalia.


U.S. Calls on China to Reconsider ‘Harmful’ Policies in Tibet –


The U.S. urged China to reconsider its policies in Tibet, saying they have created tensions and had a “harmful impact” on religion and culture in the region.

In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising yesterday, the State Department said it is “deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Tibetan areas.”


See?  The Tibet lobby is very big and very strong.  Americans who never lived in a religious dictatorship support this concept in China.  Indeed, the entire business of turning countries into religious dictatorships is very strong in the US.  This is why I cannot even slightly support the concept of ‘Israel’ which rests upon eliminating all other religions, wiping out ethnic groups, religious identity rather than national identity.  


This is a common problem: people who cleave to their religions rather than their countries are very dangerous and can destroy a nation from within.  Forcing everyone to put religion first is extremely dangerous. Imagine if the US were to push for breaking up our nation along religious lines!  The vicious wars this will spawn will be as bloody as the wars between Catholics and Protestants in Europe which continue to this day, note the Irish shootings this week, for example.


China Trade Surplus Plunges as Exports Fall by Record (Update1) –


China’s trade surplus plunged in February as exports fell by a record, adding pressure on the government to spur domestic consumption to prop up the world’s third-biggest economy.

The trade gap narrowed to $4.8 billion, about an eighth of the amount in the previous month, the customs bureau said in a statement. Exports tumbled 25.7 percent from a year earlier. Imports fell 24.1 percent.

The government has halted the yuan’s gains against the dollar and plans to cut export taxes to zero as demand dries up because of the global slump. Premier Wen Jiabao is relying on a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package to propel economic expansion after the weakest growth in seven years threw millions out of work.


Everyone at the top here in America love to talk about the millions made jobless in China.  Well, hate to clue everyone in, but this is happening here, in the US!  China, at least, has the peasant population to fall back on.  Most Americans live in suburbs or cities.  Many have lost touch entirely from any form of farming.  


Another Obama choice has been forced back into retirement.  Mr.  Freeman is not a Zionist which is the main reason he was forced out.  But he does represent what is wrong.  Remembering what I talked about above, let’s look at how the Chinese have co-opted nearly everyone who is responsible for representing the US interests.  Remember, also, that the Chinese own much of the Bush clan, for example.  Which is why, under Bush Jr, the trade deficit with China grew to over $200 billion a year:

Informed Comment: Chas Freeman forced by Israel Lobies to withdraw from NIC Chairmanship

Below is a note former MEPC president, Chas Freeman, sent to friends and supporters. 

To all who supported me or gave me words of encouragement during the controversy of the past two weeks, you have my gratitude and respect.

You will by now have seen the statement by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair reporting that I have withdrawn my previous acceptance of his invitation to chair the National Intelligence Council. 

I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.

I do not mind seeing this guy vanish.  We have precious few Americans left at the top who are ‘clean’ when it comes to their international entanglements.  Nearly 100% of the Jewish members, for example, work nearly exclusively for Israel, for example.  The inroads with England are equally bad: everyone rushes over there to bow to the Queen and get knighted.  


Far from being American patriots, they seem most anxious to ingratiate themselves with rival powers.  This inability to understand basic patriotism is a common problem.  When our forefathers went to England, they were proud to be Americans and never, ever knelt before the royals.  To get knighted, you must kneel.  The idea of being knighted was held in scorn.  Now, Senator Kennedy couldn’t wait to drag his dying carcass off to London so he could kiss the feet of the queen of pirate islands.


Intel pick withdraws

In 2006, CNOOC, with Freeman on its advisory board, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company to develop Iran’s North Pars gas field in a contract with Tehran reportedly worth $16 billion. The deal was stalled for two years after the U.S. State and Treasury Departments vowed to scrutinize the transaction to see if it violates either international or U.S. sanctions against Iran. In December, the Iranian oil company announced it finalized the development plan with CNOOC. The two companies are currently negotiating the price of the contract. Mohammad Ali Emadi, director of the Iranian firm’s research and development team, said the terms of the agreement may be finalized “in less than one month,” paving the way for the multibillion-dollar deal to be made public…

The Iran deal may not be the only controversy tying Freeman to the Chinese government. WND reported that in 2005, CNOOC made a staggering, all-cash $18.5 billion offer to buy the American oil company Unocal, topping an earlier bid by ChevronTexaco. Immediately, lawmakers and many policy experts, including a broad array of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, mounted a major opposition campaign to the bid, urging the Bush administration to have the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. determine how the deal would affect national security. “This takeover is part of a Chinese strategy to move very aggressively into acquiring natural resource assets all over the world to fuel China’s continued growth, because China is relatively resource-poor,” Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council, told reporters in 2005. “It’s also part of a Chinese campaign to move, again, very aggressively into the American economy.” There was concern the deal would give China a major foothold in the U.S. economy and would also boost Chinese influence and political clout worldwide, particularly in Asia, where Unocal maintained major holdings in Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

No one holding any position of power over trade, intelligence [sic] or negotiating treaties can hold simultaneous foreign interests.  They can’t get money from any foreign powers, corporations or think tanks.  They can’t be Lords of England.  They can’t be dual citizens of any country.  They must be hard-core, 100% American.  This means, one can associate with, talk to and visit foreign states and befriend foreigners but NOT work for them, swear fealty to them accept money [which is basically bribes] from them.


When Reagan ran off to Japan to collect $2.5 million for one speech, this was treason.  He should have been arrested upon returning.  Now, all our leaders who have power over trade, rush off to trade rivals to collect fees for ‘speeches’ no one listens to.  Who listens to a traitor or a fool?  By the way, I was very interested in the Unocal business and wrote several stories about it, in the past:


Culture of Life Energy News: 76 UNOCAL IN THE BIG PARADE



Warner Bros. Music Man

The battle for Unocal heats up. More than one person has noticed that this is an economic shot across our corporate/military/industrial prows. All the rhetoric about free trade is now being put to a test. Congress, which passed all those free trade laws and which is passing CAFTA now is blanching as they reconsider the wisdom of their ways…

Interesting. GE owns vast media real estate just like some other corporations that want to keep us under their thumbs. I will note the game of keeping the anti-Chinese talk as low as possible, raising it only to stir the pot when deal making, continues. Want to know my opinion?

All our energy systems are owned by traitors. They all have international connections and they are not shy about using and abusing us, the host nation they manipulate, to fight wars for their own business purposes. Right now, we are paying $300+ billion to hold down Iraq for them so they can make money selling that oil to Europe and Japan. This, to put it mildly, stinks since many people are dying because of this so trusting these monsters is a waste of time. The Chinese cannot be worse than our own Texan businessmen.

Culture of Life Energy News: OIL=WAR

SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2005


Original art by Elaine Supkis

Right now, the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are being abandoned as Hurricane Emily grinds ever closer, her skerry-quern of destruction mills the ocean’s depths, the continental shelf shivering under her blows. We get a lot of our oil from Mexico….

Seems the Chinese have figured out all the nicities of hostile take overs. Move over, Chainsaw Al.
The Chinese will get what they want because they have the loot. Our rulers can stymie them only if they cough up some money and they really would rather do it all on the cheap, bribe some politicians, etc. Only the crafty Chinese know the politicians all love money, too, and are for sale just like the media whores. Everyone is on the auction block. Even the rich. Everyone wants to get rich quick and not pay a price for this….
You see, Japan wanted to use money to buy influence but they didn’t want to spend political capital. They basically treated the Russians as a third world nation that needed to obey them if they wanted development. The Chinese offered the Russians a multilevel, multilateral series of agreements and treaties, all of which make Russia vastly stronger, internationally as well as on the domestic plane.

Each Chinese agreement dovetailed into the other. They were carefully crafted with one eye on history for the history of the intersection of Japan, Korea, China and Russia’s spheres of influence in that key area is long and bloody and a mess. This is why North Korea has been able to thumb their nose at America. America chose to be a tool of Tokyo and the Koreans don’t exactly like Japan for obvious reasons so they leaned towards China, an ancient ally.

So here we sit, we have our military overextended protecting various people who hate each other and don’t particularily like us, and what do we get for all this?

You tell me.





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Filed under .diplomacy, energy, Free Trade, war and peace

38 responses to “FREE TRADE FALTERS

  1. CK

    While one can “hope” that the next appointee for the intelligence management job will be even less pro-israel than Freeman, and less pro-Tibet; I expect we will see another Ross clone slipped in. I begin to believe that AIPAC is this centuries version of the Stengel Yankees of the 50’s. The always win and nobody really roots for them outside a very small circle of well heeled folk.
    Meanwhile I like the idea of chinchilla coats representing DarFUR on the runway. PETA to the left of me Aipac to the right on into the valley of mirth roared the valiant few.

  2. Simon

    Ah, Tibet
    I kinda wish they “do” something in the next month
    Would provide a great opportunity for a solution for them
    The Final Solution 🙂

  3. emsnews

    China has to imitate the US: freedom of religion. And no religion in the State. I wish the Middle East did this too. Everyone is anxious to put more religion into the state across the planet. This is awful.

  4. Gary


    The Yankees are the Legions of Satan. Believe me. Take it from a Red Sox fan.

  5. Angela

    Elaine, when reading that WE ARE NUMBER FIFTEEN and all of the rest of your flawless examples of this collective delusion we are witnessing, I was reminded of a recent email that I sent to management guru Marshall Goldsmith. His contention in his talks and his books is that very successful people have unrealistically high opinions of themselves (routinely rating themselves significantly higher than their actual real-life performance) and that realistic people are some of the most depressing people on earth. He is a Buddhist and his motto “Life is Good” as an executive coach earning $250,000 per Fortune 500(???)executive who meets his goals under his tutelege.
    My point to him was that the huge difference in the percentage of the “actual performance” versus the “unrealistically positive” ratings that he mentions is now showing up as a freaking worldwide depression and that these people were likely to be sociopaths and psychopaths. No matter, successful people must feel good about themselves anyway, even after they bilked their families and friends out of their futures.

    Also thought that you all would get a kick out of this, according to the The Guardian, the Lord of the Flies is to blame for the CDS mess at AIG,
    >> Headquartered in Connecticut but largely run from London, the division transacted billions in credit default swaps (CDS) – instruments trading financial risk – which have been dubbed “acts of SATAN” by a leading US credit analyst, Christopher Whalen.

    “These people were deluded,” says Whalen, who views the CDS as a phenomenon dreamt up by those whose obsession with the free market has caused them to lose their grip on reality. “In a world where people believe in market efficiency, in total market completion, things like CDSs make sense. It goes back to Milton Friedman.”<<<

    In spite of the insatiable demand for hideous ritual religious wars all over the planet and sicko magical sex with small children, “Satan”, or Jesus or Allah or whatever name he is being called these days, is just looking more and more like a stupid liar who can’t keep his stories stright. It also seems like his minions aren’t getting much bang for their buck from the Dark Lord either, given all of their blood, sweat and tears. When the superficial charm of the players wears this thin, the cold little reptilian con artists peep through the facade. My guess, with the internet, is that they better take cover and hide now that their names and faces are being broadcast all over the world.
    Maybe Pegasus will get some converts out of all of this, too.

  6. Rowan

    Elaine, an interesting Swiss blog (no, they`re not all gnomes!).
    “The Schweizer Narr”.Unfortunately in German language. At he argues that we are seeing the evolution of corporations into entities without ANY responsibility for their losses – part of a historical process which began in 1720 (with a corresponding parallel military development).

  7. emsnews

    Probably true, Rowan. It is worse: all the guys at the top are claiming they have no control over things and are, therefore, blameless for their own messes!
    Arrest them all! By the way, this is probably why Madoff is pleading guilty. If he goes on the stand, he can be cross examined about his entire family, who are, I believe, all total crooks like him.

  8. Gary

    OCH !….. I’ve been involuntarily watching the telly (home after a hernia operation)
    Some financial clone was droning on about how “theres lots of blame to go around
    but pointing fingers is not part of the solution”. And then Barney “Mumbles” Frankfurter came on next basically saying the same narcotic nonsense. He looked terrible. Maybe he was jilted again by one of his congressional pages. Watching these people talk and carry on is similar to being in the dentist’s office waiting
    for an appointment with only a couple two year old magazines for diversion.

  9. “The Future of Food”
    “It’s not looking good”

  10. Angela

    Tell, I spent an hour on the phone with ebay this morning after receiving 26 emails from paypal in a 3 hr. period and at least 4 from eBay regarding a purchase I made a few weeks ago from an heirloom seed seller who has mysteriously disappeared from ebay. All of my weeks old transactions (and completed purchases!) are now somehow referred to the security dept…for possible violations of terms of use. You can buy knock-off designer bags all over eBay, but don’t try to buy “non-copyrighted”, heirloom seed these days – after nearly 90 eBay purchases over 10 years on eBa ywith absolutely no problems, the alarm bells went off over this one.
    I kindly told every single cloned ebay representative I spoke to (from whichever foreign call-center that it was) to watch “the future of food” and let me know when their countries farmers lost their livlihoods, like those in Canada and the USA. I never did find out what the problem was with the transaction.

    EVERYONE needs to watch that film.

  11. Rowan

    Barney Frank is a disgusting creature…he just oozes corruption. And his oral propensities…Ugh!
    And Geithner is being a VERY BAD boy. Look at the light in his eyes…part of him is expecting to be struck dead at any moment by some kind of divine retribution. He knows he is doing wrong. People must be blind not to see this!
    He should immediately cease to associate with his present companions, they are not good for him!

  12. nah

    i saw the music man a buncha’ times… that dude is a total liar ‘hence master of the gary indianians’ they even dance like rats to his pipez’… nuf’ bout the movies i like – megadeath – symphony of destruction – like anybody who likes solid popular metal ‘which there is tons’… … as you spout godess this and godz that i think your right… free trade has to be ‘equal trade’ or some derivitave of equal value for U.S. imports… maybe the military is worth a zillion and our inchez worth $1.50/ea… but jobs are worth a bit and a crisis should be wasted on good government
    there is no secret word

  13. criticalcontrarian

    Speaking of Free Trade here is a curious article coming out of the UK about the supposed Venezuela-Cargill rift which it alleges is mostly misinformation. It seemingly supports Cargill while rants against Bush. It has a very different take on what the US has been doing in South America for decades, and why.

    And here an response in the comments section to the pro-Cargill article.

    Quite telling. What floored me was the stat that the US has 5% of world population but consumes 70% of the worlds drugs. Ouch! I HAVE TO say this, you guys really, really have to execute your leadership and elite with extreme contempt. There is no other way. Maybe Chuck Norris has a point, after all, he and his family are in the front line of the Mexican drug industry. Or is it the American drug industry run by Mexican cut outs????

  14. K-Bo

    The US is #15 for what, exactly?

    It’s for creditworthiness of the country, not some ranking on how well our system of capitalism works vs. socialism. Obviously with our enormous twin deficits (bloated government/fiscal spending to the tune of $1.8 trillion this year plus national debt now over $12 trillion, I believe, combined with our unsustainable almost $1 trillion trade deficit), as Elaine has been saying for a while now, the US is going bankrupt. Bankrupt people aren’t good bets to pay off their bills. We’re going bankrupt because of our corrupt politicians overspending (yes partly to maintain our empire via force, but also because of increasing entitlements / welfare) and because our people are over-consuming based on what we produce. That and our whole banking system of money as debt and the power of money resting in the hands of private and central bankers. So many problems putting us too deep in debt and bankrupting us …

    I agree the US has many problems, but being ranked #15 in creditworthiness doesn’t say that socialism is a better system. It just says these countries (leaders and people) have been more responsible financially. The US needs to be more responsible too – stop borrowing and spending money you don’t have! Live within your means. That goes for our government leaders and all us consumers too.

  15. David

    “Protectionism leads to further protectionism, and yielding to its temptation could unleash destructive trade wars that would crush any chance of recovery.”
    This is the stupidest thing I’ve read lately.
    When I was about fourteen years old, I was one smart assed little fellow who thought he knew everything. I also fancied myself a bit of a trader of all kinds of kid stuff. I did pretty well with my ordinary “friends” and usually “took” them in our trades, and I often wondered why they didn’t want to “do business” with me anymore. Still, I blissfully accumulated all kinds of neat items; hunting dogs, pocket knives, even a couple of .22 rifles, baseball cards and other neat stuff.
    Then I met Jack. Jack’s mom got a case of religion and attended the same fundamentalist church we attended. Jack and I skipped out of Sunday School and took either his dad’s truck or our family car and went to Jacks house and hung out during worship.
    And Jack had neat stuff also, and he valued it highly, and, to state it simply, Jack was much sharper than I was. He baited me on his trading items, building them up until I was desperate to trade something for them. Then, he collected my neatest stuff, pushing me to the limit on each trade.
    Before, I woke up and realized how inept I was against Jack’s persuasions, he had traded me out of my great grandfather’s Paris field glasses that great granddad carried through the Civil War. Also, granddad’s Ames Civil War Bowie knife, in mint condition.
    And I ended up with a collection of rather cheap items that came nowhere near the monetary or sentimental value of the items I traded away.
    Now, my little story might sound stupid, and I was stupid at the time, but it taught me that when you are doing business, you must always protect your own interests or you will be the loser every time.
    I’m still a collector and trader of modest items, but I research, research and know the value of what I’m trading away in comparison for what I’m getting. An equitable trade is ok, but an inequitable trade is stupid, and when you get that little gnawing feeling in your stomach as you walk away after a trade, you know you’ve been “had.” Well, I’m surprised that all of our leaders don’t have ulcers as much as we’ve been “had.” But I sometimes think they are too arrogant and dumb to even realize that the US is on the short end of the stick most of the time nowadays.
    Elaine, is there a historical context to this free trade ideology or mantra that these free traders keep clinging to?
    I know that the US was protectionist up until WWI, and after that, we went wild on the world trade expansion path.
    I suspect that maybe the Robber Baron banking crowd was also behind this free trade agenda because they were making fortunes from European wars and loaning money and collecting interest.. and our industrialists also were making fortunes from free trade during the world wars…so this ideology became set in stone in the minds of the financial crowd and industrialist/construction corporations. And nobody, even to this day, takes time to examine closely whether we are benefiting from free trade.
    Also, many capitalists truly hate giving fair wages to the working classes. They seem to believe that ever cheaper labor is the edge that puts them out front…so they convince themselves that wage workers are subhuman and deserve few benefits or satisfactions…just more work. They never seem to realize that they get about what they pay for…good wages and benefits and workers having a sense of belonging to the company promotes excellence in the workplace and poor benefits promotes poor work.
    Anyway, Elaine, if you could dig around in your vast knowledge of financial history a little, and let us know where you think the idea that American free trade is so good originated from, and why this philosophy keeps hanging on, even as our trade rivals slaughter us every year, and have us for lunch each day.
    This topic needs further exploration.

  16. K-Bo

    Forget that we’re going bankrupt. Here’s a nice article suggesting our own central bank, and thus our government, is already bankrupt (because the Fed took on trillions of worthless toxic assets from it’s banker buddies’ bad gambling bets).

  17. Simon

    Socialism is not a better system! it’s just a crutch being advocated by EVERYONE from rabid Denninger to talking heads of CNN
    The Gosbank is coming

  18. emsnews

    The harsh truth for all those who wish their neighbors starve to death or the elderly die of hunger or children go begging in streets: socialist countries ALL do best compared to others. And don’t drag in the few, VERY SMALL exceptions like Singapore which is a city, not a diverse country. Or tiny tax cheat islands. They don’t count in this matter.
    NO INDUSTRIAL POWER EVER SURVIVES IF IT HAS NO SOCIALISM. This is not ‘dictatorial communism’ I am talking about. Anyone who thinks no socialism is better ought to visit Mexico some time.

  19. criticalcontrarian

    Amen, Elaine! Socialism is a good compromise, the most balanced of the ism’s, and the most egalitarian in benefits to the over all majority, more so than a democracy. The only people who complain about it are either the uber rich who cannot stand equality and want to continue lording it over everyone else, and their lackeys who like feeding of their scraps and walking around with a leash round their necks.

  20. criticalcontrarian

    Here is a good video explaining the current American system, and why it is not what it is supposed to be, which is a Republic. Very good watch:

  21. Rowan

    Hey,CC…please don`t be too easy on them! “Lackeys” is too fine a word by far! “Bumboys” is much more fitting. As for their means of locomotion, the ones that I know are often to be seen wriggling about the place like maggots, drawing their sustenance from the flesh of their many victims through a kind of sucking mechanism which has developed on the front side of their mentalities. Is that a culture crisis, or not?
    Many thanks for the video link.

  22. David

    The notion that we need the rich so they can give us proles jobs and the wealth can trickle down to us is just plain wrong. The rich will keep as much wealth as they can get their hands on, and they will pay workers as little as possible, and give as few benefits as possible…which nowadays means none. That’s free market capitalism.
    Elaine is absolutely right when she says no society can prosper for very long when a few have all the wealth and do not share it (don’t have socialism).
    The reasons are pretty simple.
    The wealthy WILL NOT spend their excess wealth continuing to create more and more jobs for everyone as their wealth increases. (WITNESS THE LAST 8 YEARS OF GOP, FREE MARKET RULE).
    Many will continue to search for ways of making the most money and profits, AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE AROUND THEM with little regard for their workers or society in general (WITNESS OUTSOURCING AMERICAN JOBS TO CHINA TO GET CHEAPER UNREGULATED LABOR SO THEY PAY NO BENEFITS BECAUSE THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM PROVIDES [SOCIALIST] BENEFITS FOR CHINESE WORKERS). So, these wealthy outsourcing capitalists are simply PARASITES on the Chinese system and also on the American system.
    They are only interested in SHORTCHANGING everyone they can, both American and Chinese, to increase their own wealth (make top stockholders rich and give themselves million dollar bonuses and so on so they can build themselves several Mansions and estates around the world and dominate the little folk to whom the provide ABSOLUTELY no benefits (HIDING THEIR PROFITS IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS).
    Even if their intent is good (WHICH IT USUALLY IS NOT) it is impossible for the uber rich to keep expanding and benefiting everyone with good jobs simply because the task would be overwhelming for one person to do, and hirelings who receive few benefits, will not keep expanding their owner’s businesses for him/her without just compensation, and underpaid workers see little interest in doing a good job unless they receive fair wages. The owner’s businesses will decline over time, and with his/her declining energies to keep the business running.
    I think of Murdoch’s media empire. In our small town, we had a thriving local newspaper before NYT bought it. It had presses and ad sellers and many local people worked there, a small industry. We all subscribed to read local news as well as national. Then NYT bought it and it mainly reflected NYT editorial opinions which caused readership to decline. And NYT consolidated operations which caused half of the employees to lose their jobs. Then Murdoch bought NYT and only his approved editorial opinions are allowed. News is three days old and very selected. I just placed an ad and there was only one hourly worker in the ad office which used to be thriving, and most people, including myself have canceled subscriptions. So, our local newspaper is for all intents and purposes, dead.
    There is also an illusion that when the wealthy spend money, it will trickle down to the masses, and there will be plenty. Only a fool believes this one…even though it’s standard Republican fare at election time. The wealthy cannot spend enough on fancy,skanky women, or pretty boy gigolos, new mansions, jets, European castles,fine art objects,Mercedes S Class or Bentley or Rolls cars to spread their obscene wealth down to the masses. What they buy is produced in small amounts by a few people, and the masses are left out.
    Besides, one person, spending obscenely, still cannot spend enough to put all of the working classes to work producing goods for him or her.
    Remember, presently most of the world’s wealth is held by only a small percentage of the populations…while many starve. Ask yourself some basic questions. Is this right? Can such foolishness be sustained with angry, resentful millions waiting to pull down those who display their foolish wealth. Witness the slums and teeming masses of South American nations where the rich hire bodyguards with machine guns to protect them as they take their children to school, and their children are kidnapped and held for ransom by the impoverished,angry criminals who breed in cesspools of poverty.
    Socialism, on the other hand, taxes wealth, usually in direct proportion to how much a person makes on an increasing scale…more wealth, more taxes.
    Then, this tax money is spent building and repairing roads (need railroads)bridges, schools, ports, parks, federal and local governments, which provide defense, police, firefighters, engineers, building inspectors, health services including public clinics….all the stuff that makes an orderly nation run well.
    And yes, we do give that single welfare mother with three kids a few hundred dollars each month so her kids don’t starve. So many people resent this. Perhaps they should go travel through a country and see some starving children before passing judgment. Besides, where is the job that would allow that single mother to support and feed her three children?
    So, we resent this few hundred dollars per month keeping welfare kids fed, while we spend multi-trillions blowing up wedding parties in impoverished countries around the world. But that is fine…gimme a break!
    The main point is that evedryone in a socialist society from government buracrats to welfare moms are spending money at local businesses, the doctor, the dentist, buying food, clothing,cars, houses,paying rent, entertaiment and so on…all the things it takes to keep things going…spreading the existing wealth around.
    And, some enterprising young man or woman looks around as says, “Hey! There’s money to be made here! I think I’ll start a new business to fill a need, and then I’ll get rich….”

  23. JSmith

    “The US still is lecturing China about abusing the Tibetans while we bomb the poorest peasants on earth.”
    No we’re not. The poorest peasants on earth are found in Sudan and Somalia – we’re not currently bombing them. The peasants we are bombing are pretty damn poor, I’ll grant, but they’re not the poorest you can find.
    “we must first look at this international rating list to see if the US is #1.”
    As pointed out above, “#1” depends on what list you use. The US isn’t #1 in area, population, and many other things. We are certainly #1 in military spending, however. And we’re not half bad at civilian firearm ownership, either.

  24. Rowan

    We have to learn it again from scratch. Learn to keep money in local circulation as you say, David. Always the local producers first – in many cases they do it much better anyway, I`m thinking of food growers, furniture-makers, the small mechanic round the corner, tradesmen with small operations who can keep things going for ever, etc. My father-in-law had a snow thrower that finally died last year after 40 years of operation! A swiss machine with a Briggs and Stratton motor.
    Take out the mortgage with a regionally-owned bank for example.
    Newspapers you can`t trust at all these days if you don`t know who owns them, and even less if you do in many cases!
    Solidarity means building up relationships again with the people around us, relationships which have been destroyed by the faux culture of mass media and consumerism (sell sell sell and, in fact, nothing else apart from the usual alibi-stuff…sports news and titillation).
    There`s nothing better than having every family hermetically-sealed in their home with their TV (warm fire, thank you John Lennon) to tell them who they are…or should be…who needs neighbours?
    Cultural reform can only start in the family and close relationships before it even makes it to the front gate, where the neighbourhood begins.
    Dammit, I`ve done it again!!!
    I`ll have to change MYSELF!

  25. emsnews

    God help Darfur when we go in to ‘save’ them.

  26. criticalcontrarian

    Rowan: Bumboys it is then! Cheers! 🙂

    JSmith: Just out of curiosity, are any of your kin serving in Iraq or Afghanistan?

  27. emsnews

    No, the question is, does he have ‘kin’.

  28. Noob

    Hear, hear, David.
    To this I will also add–one $10/hr job without benefits looks just like another $10/hr job without benefits. So your employee turnover will be enormous, and therefore your hiring and training costs will also be enormous. And these will affect productivity. People will leave and find something else to do for awhile. Why stay? After all, under free enterprise, labor is an “input” and is fungible!
    Also, if you are poor–and at $10/hr without benefits you are very poor–and you cannot buy a house, or rent an apartment, or buy a car, you are certainly not “consuming.” And as long as you can eat–why go to work at a $10/hr job? Get fired? Well, you can always find another McJob that will be just enough to keep food in your belly. So–may as well go fishing, right? So how’s today’s productivity/output, boss? In the dumper because nobody showed up?
    You certainly won’t be “consuming.” And I don’t know where K-bo is coming from, but the vast majority of the South is not “consuming” but are dirt poor. And Ohio is joining them. And today I heard that Idaho is suffering rising foreclosures due to layoff. These guys won’t be “consuming” either, if they ever did.
    But all of these “wealthy, spoiled, uber-consuming” Americans can just go pound salt, I guess.
    I really and truly question the rhetoric about “consuming more than they produce.” WTF does that even mean? Everybody around is desperate, trying to study so that they can get a job, and we’re “over-consuming?” Right.

  29. David

    Thanks. After a little more thought and your mentioning 10 dollar per hour jobs, it occurred to me that what we really need in the US is a new minimum wage law….maybe 40 dollar per hour jobs…in fact, pass a minimum wage law and up the wages to 40 dollars per hour…even for McDonalds and Wally World workers.
    Then, US working people can afford to pay off their credit card debt and automobiles..and make their house loan payments at the bank…and banks can start lending again.
    This fucking corporatist game of starving the workers isn’t working worth a damn. Just ask any car dealer or local banker…or even grocery store owners.
    Now, that workers aren’t buying the cheap crap that corporations are having produced in China with cheap labor…and nobody wants to lend our banks money because our banks can’t collect the money they lend to under employed and under paid workers who are presently without jobs because of outsourcing to China….
    Good god, the present system is stupidity, backed by idiocy and controlled by pure foolishness. US corporate leaders are f…ing nuts….they need to be sent to the funny farm.

  30. K-Bo


    I’m trying to give an explanation for our national foreign trade deficit, and why US creditworthiness is down. If the factories of your country produce less products than you want to consume, then you have a trade deficit. If you sell more than you use internally, then you have a trade surplus. The US consists of 5% of the world, but consumes 25% of world oil (while producing only 10% of all oil) – that’s over-consumption, unless we can make it up with some other product.

    Regarding having a living wage, I’m all for it. All people should be able to make an honest living and live comfortably on their wages. How do we achieve this? Have the government run all businesses and dictate how much they should pay everybody? Or do free markets for labor work better? Which one more efficiently allocates labor and capital – socialism or capitalism? Have you seen how lazy the majority of our government workers are and how inefficient and fraudulent the government run systems are? On the other hand, you have ruthless capitalists who exploit the workers, so I don’t know the answer. You need some kind of balance, of course.

    Sorry that people are feeling desperate and scared – crazy economic times, and life is struggle. To make a living, people need to produce some goods or services other people need and are willing to pay for.

  31. JSmith

    “Always the local producers first – in many cases they do it much better anyway…”
    I tend to agree with that; however, I’m having difficulty finding Ohio-made Chingkiag vinegar.
    “JSmith: Just out of curiosity, are any of your kin serving in Iraq or Afghanistan?”
    A good friend of mine just completed his third combat tour in Iraq. Why?
    “No, the question is, does he have ‘kin’.”
    Lord God – it’s an attempt at humor!

  32. buffalo_ken

    I have to say two things.

    1. I think Friday the 13th is a lucky day.
    2. Despite my earlier convictions, JSmith I find myself agreeing with you more and more these days! Plus, I more fully appreciate your sense of humor.

    That is all I want to say.

    Besides this.


  33. buffalo_ken

    By the way, I am not allowed to login at WordPress these days — wait let me try one more thing — Nope – didn’t work.
    Keeps telling me I have an “invalid username”. This is sort of how I got banned from the other site. Just for holding onto my gumption.
    Anyhow, I hope these posts are getting through, but I have no idea for sure.

  34. criticalcontrarian

    Hey Buffalo, welcome back! 🙂 How goes it? Hope you’ve been keeping well.

    JSmith: I have a nephew who served in Desert Storm I, Armored Infantry. He thought he was serving his country, not a few cowboys with ulterior motives. He learned otherwise. Many have. The ones who survived.

    When the boys come back from Iraq and Afghanistan you better be busy finding them jobs so they can feed their families, otherwise its going to be like Russia after the fall of the USSR, only in the USA. And they may take to robbing and bombing the good ‘ol boys who sent them to die for nothing…

  35. emsnews

    Ken, I have not banned anyone. I just request people not abuse OTHER COMMENTATORS here. It is very simple. Civility is easy to do if we want. Being a barbarian is even easier but then, if someone does irritate me, they can end up in the spam filter IF THEY ARE TOTALLY OFF TOPIC.
    Smith, I have a LONG memory. I remember the funky thread we set up before the Dot. Com crash, the ‘DOW Will Go To 36,000’ thread. I was always right. Every prediction I made there came true. You disputed me back then and still have not acknowledged that I was always right and you were totally wrong. 🙂

  36. flash

    The bailouts have given money to the banks so that they would lend again. But many Americans are broke and unemployed, so they don’t qualify for loans. The money that is available for loans (not to cover losses) is invested overseas with better credit risks. Argh.

    A large increase in the minimum wage (I’ve been suggesting a doubling) would be inflationary, for sure. But it would put spending power widely and immediately in the hands of those who need it most. And for those who don’t need it, it would give them the opportunity to become savers again. Better to filter the government largesse through the people than to just throw it directly at the banks.

  37. buffalo_ken

    Elaine – Well then someone has banned me because I cannot log onto to WordPress, but regardless it doesn’t matter because I am still able to post here and I am thankful for that. I have learned so much here there is no way I could properly show my appreciation. I’ve tried, but we are talking from a distance using electrons and such for the purpose of communication. I’m all for communication on the internet because this offers so much promise and I know you know this so I suppose I shouldn’t even say it but others might not.
    Anyhow, just because you have been correct so far doesn’t mean you will be correct in the future. Don’t you think?
    Still it is a great indicator and that is why I have spent so much time here and so much personal effort towards clear communication.

    P.S. Remember what I said about the “Winter” – even if not, the Spring is just around the corner and I still think Friday the 13th is a lucky day!


  38. JSmith

    “I was always right and you were totally wrong.”
    Yeah, I know, my wife tells me the same thing.
    Reminds me of an ancient paradox: if a man is walking alone in a forest, and there isn’t a woman around, is he still wrong?

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