Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.1% in July, less than expected. YoY it is up 2.4%.

  • U.S. personal incomes rose 0.5% in July,

  • Consumer personal spending rose 0.8% in July, the largest gain since January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday

  • U.S. Factory orders fell in July, declining 0.6%, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

  • U.S. Jobless claims fell 2,000 last week to 316,000.

  • The European Central Bank kept interest rate unchanged at 3.0%,

  • Germany's retail sales were down 1.5% in July.

  • The DoE said that underground supplies of natural gas were up 48 billion cubic feet to 2.905 trillion cubic feet. YoY supplies are up 11%

  • The Brazilian government increased its estimate of the sugarcane crop to 471 million tons.

  • Silver futures surged to their highest level in three months Thursday, as analysts cited good investment demand a day after the amount of metal held by an exchange-traded fund climbed above 100 million ounces.

Can you really not see?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nations scour for wheat as drought shrivels supply
World wheat stocks are expected to decline to 117 million tonnes this year from 135 million a year ago, but some traders said stocks were enough to cap the price rally.
"Supplies will be a concern but will not be a huge problem this year," Moraza said. "But it can be a big issue if we see production shortfalls in subsequent years."

Quick Overview

  • The Department of Commerce said that real GDP increased 2.9% in the second quarter, up from the previous estimate of 2.5%. YoY real GDP is up 3.6%.

  • Mortgage application dropped from 561.5 to 556.5 last week, down 23% YoY.

  • China's economic growth for 2005 was revised from 9.9% to 10.2%.

  • Retail sales in Australia were up .6% in July. The September Australian dollar was down .06 at 76.30.

  • Japan's retail sales were down 1.7% in July.

  • MoM Japan's industrial production fell in July due partly to a slowdown in exports, pushing down the yen and bond yields.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that :
    Supplies of crude oil were up 2.4 million barrels to 332.8 million barrels
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were up 400,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil were up 2.3 million barrels.

The Five Morons Revisited

Now I get it. When Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilley assured us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would be used against us if we didn’t strike first, they were being manipulated by Osama bin Laden, who used America to get rid of the secular Saddam Hussein and to create a new training and recruitment ground for al Qaeda and fundamentalist fanatics.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's Cheaper to Go DutchThe Dutch are, no argument, the world's experts. Which raises a question as U.S. politicians and bureaucrats dicker over whether and how to fortify New Orleans against future storms: why not hire the Dutch?

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Consumer confidence index dropped from 107.0 to 99.6 in August, the lowest in nine months.

  • The Federal Reserve is not "behind the curve" in battling inflation after its decision to not raise interest rates in August, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said.

  • The Renewable Fuels Association said the U.S. produced 318,000 barrels of ethanol a day in June, up 28% YoY.

  • Japan’s unemployment rate improved from 4.2% to 4.1% in July.

  • Germany's consumer confidence index rose to a 5-year high at 8.6 from 8.5

Monday, August 28, 2006

Selective Prosecution of War Crimes Saddam Hussein's attorneys do not deny that innocents were killed in the gassing of Kurdish villages in the 1988 "Anfal" campaign, but they argue that those deaths were not deliberate; rather, they were unintended consequences of Iraq's combat with Iranian and Kurdish belligerents during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Although this defense might not save Saddam at his war crimes trial, Israel's supporters make a similar argument in defending its invasion of and attacks on Lebanon that have left more than a thousand innocents dead, according to Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow and Director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace and Liberty, writing in his latest op-ed.

Quick Overview

  • China will invest some $5 bln in energy projects in Venezuela by 2012.

  • The Indian government has allowed import of an additional 2 million tons of wheat at zero customs duty as part of measures to meet the shortfall in procurement. The Indian Government wants to boost stocks currently at some 8.2 million tonnes to 17.1 million tonnes.

    From Barron’s 8/21/06
  • 32.6% of new mortgages and home-equity loans in 2005 were interest only, up from 0.6% in 2000
  • 43% of first-time homebuyers in 2005 put no money down
  • 15.2% of 2005 buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth
  • 10% of all homeowners with mortgages have no equity in their homes$
  • 2.7 trillion dollars in loans will adjust to higher rates in 2006 and 2007

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Experts warn U.S. is coming apart at the seams
A pipeline shuts down in Alaska. Equipment failures disrupt air travel in Los Angeles. Electricity runs short at a spy agency in Maryland.

None of these recent events resulted from a natural disaster or terrorist attack, but they may as well have, some homeland security experts say. They worry that too little attention is paid to how fast the country's basic operating systems are deteriorating.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quick Overview

  • YoY consumer prices in Tokyo were up 0.9% in August. In Japan overall prices were up 0.3% YoY. Less than expected.

  • Statistics Canada estimates Canada's 2006 wheat crop at 25.9 million tons, down 3% YoY.
    Statistics Canada estimates 2006 canola crop at 8 million tons, down 17% YoY.

  • The Brazilian government raised its estimate of the coffee crop from 40.6 to 41.6 million bags. The USDA's estimates the Crop at 44.8 million bags.

  • Chad ordered U.S. energy giant Chevron and Malaysia's Petronas on Saturday to leave the country within 24 hours for failing to honor tax obligations, a move seemingly aimed at increasing control over its oil output.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Freedom in a Cage
In his most recent news conference Mr. Bush said: "if we ever give up the desire to help people who live in freedom, we will have lost our soul as a nation, as far as I'm concerned." Thanks to Mr. Bush the Uighurs now live in freedom in a barbed wire enclosed refugee camp in Albania where no one speaks their language. They get free room and board and 40 Euros a month. In addition to his brain, it would appear that Mr. Bush has also lost his soul. That news will not surprise the Albanian Uhguirs. No one else will be surprised.

Israel may 'go it alone' against Iran
He said there was a need to understand that "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself.

Having said this, he did not rule out the possibility of US military action, but said that if this were to take place, it would probably not occur until the spring or summer of 2008, a few months before President George W. Bush leaves the international stage. The US presidential elections, which Bush cannot contest because of term limits, are in November 2008.

Quick Overview

  • New home sales fell 4.3% in July, the Commerce Department said Thursday. For 2006, new home sales were down 14% YoY.

  • First-time U.S. jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 313,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday

  • The U.S. Commerce Department said that durable goods orders were down 2.4% in July, weaker than expected. Excluding transport, orders were up 0.5% on the month.

  • The Ifo index of business confidence in Germany dropped from 105.6 to 105.0 in August, less than expected.

  • The International Grain Council estimated Wheat 2006-2007 ending world stocks at 117 million tons, less than the USDA's 128 million tons estimate.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that supplies of natural gas were up 57 billion cubic feet to 2.857 trillion cubic feet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quick Overview

  • Existing-home sales dropped 4.1 percent in July from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.33 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported. That was the lowest level since January 2004.

  • Canada's index of leading indicators was up 0.2% in July.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that:
    Supplies of crude oil were down 600,000 barrels last week to 330.4 million barrels.
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were up 400,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil supplies were up 1.4 million barrels

US interventions have boosted Iran, says report The US-led "war on terror" has bolstered Iran's power and influence in the Middle East, especially over its neighbour and former enemy Iraq, a thinktank said today.

DNA database can flag suspects through relatives
"It's a major privacy intrusion in the life of families," says Tania Simoncelli, who studies DNA database issues for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City. "And we're effectively expanding the already huge (DNA) databases to include potentially hundreds of thousands of relatives and non-relatives. It's the worst kind of privacy intrusion."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bush's notes I took a few minutes with Photoshop, and now here are the same notes, rotated and made a little clearer, as if we're looking down from the podium ourselves:Hmm.

Bundesbank rules out gold sales to fill budget gaps
"Such one-off measures are never a good idea," the Bundesbank chief said. "Drawing on capital is not an alternative. It is better to press ahead with consistent debt reduction. And here a lot can be done on the spending side."
Germany has 3,428 tonnes of gold, worth an estimated 54 billion euros (69.5 billion dollars) at current market prices, making it the second largest holder of gold reserves in the world after the United States.
In addition, it has a further 28 billion euros in reserves of foreign currency, such as the dollar and the yen.

Quick Overview

  • French Q2 GDP rose 1.1% QoQ (4.4% annualized) – the fastest rate in five years.

  • S&P raised its 2006 GDP forecast for China to +10.5% from +10.0%.

  • Argentina's jobless rate fell to 10.4% in Q2 from 11.4%.

  • YoY Canada's consumer prices were up 2.4% in July

  • Bloomberg : Coffee production in India, which supplies 4.5 percent of world exports, will probably decline in the coming year because of damage from heavy rains and pests.

  • Hong Kong's port transshipment cargo recorded an average annual growth rate of 12% from 2000 to 2005, the Census & Statistics Department says.

  • Palladium prices advanced to hit a 10-week high on Tuesday, helped by good jewelry demand.

  • Asian soybean rust has been detected near Dayton, in Liberty County -- eastern Texas.

  • Some 100,000 farmers from southwest China's Chongqing have left their hometowns to pick cotton in Xinjiang Uygur 3,300 kilometers away after the worst drought in 50 years destroyed their crops.

Drought, water worries cloud skies for US farmersThe region under the greatest stress is the Great Plains, an area from North Dakota to Texas dubbed the Great American Desert by early explorers but turned into a garden spot in the last century thanks to a single innovation: irrigation.

China to spend US$125 billion to improve water facilities, combat pollution
Water companies from France, England, and Germany already have invested in China's water supply and treatment projects, Zhang said, adding that they have ``contributed a lot to the development of China's water sector with their technologies and experiences.''
Last year, China treated 52 percent of the 2 billion cubic meters (70 billion cubic feet) of sewage produced by its huge cities, an improvement from 2000, when only one-third of wastewater was treated, he said.

Crude oil could hit $300 a barrel "The industry cut too many corners when prices were low. For 25 years, there was not a proper maintenance programme. We backed ourselves into a system - rigs, pipelines and refineries - that rusted away."

Monday, August 21, 2006


Can taxation curb obesity?
"When two-thirds of the population of countries like Australia or the US are obese or overweight, you can't handle the problem with simple solutions like education," Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told a meeting of agricultural economists on Queensland's Gold Coast this week. Instead, he says, governments need to impose tariffs to replicate the success of tobacco taxes in reducing smoking.

Quick Overview

  • The dollar hit a fresh two-month low against the Euro on Monday as investors shunned the greenback amid signs the U.S. economy is slowing.

  • The average U.S. retail price of gasoline fell by more than 7 cents last week to $2.92 a gallon.

  • Coffee is at risk of freezing temperatures in the southern part of Minas Gerais in Brazil early this week.

The timing is political Unlike the herd of security experts, I have had the highest security clearance; I have done a huge amount of professional intelligence analysis; and I have been inside the spin machine. And I am very sceptical about the story that has been spun.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lieberman calls for Rumsfeld to quit

The Arctic and Future Energy Resources
The Northwest Passage connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by way of waters around the Arctic Archipelago. During the next 20-30 years, continually melting Arctic ice will increase access to what will become a vital shipping lane. Climate studies have shown that temperatures are rising faster at the earth's poles than the rest of the planet, which will increase annual navigation via the Northwest Passage from approximately 30 days to 120 days by century's end. As such, the Northwest Passage could reduce the trip from London to Tokyo by some 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) compared to traveling through the Suez Canal, or by nearly 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) when going through the Panama Canal.

Scientists flock to test 'free energy' discovery
McCarthy claims it provides five times the amount of energy a mobile phone battery generates for the same size, and does not have to be recharged. Within 36 hours of his advert appearing he had been contacted by 420 scientists in Europe, America and Australia, and a further 4,606 people had registered to receive the results.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mass murder in the skies: was the plot feasible?
Now we have news of the recent, supposedly real-world, terrorist plot to destroy commercial airplanes by smuggling onboard the benign precursors to a deadly explosive, and mixing up a batch of liquid death in the lavatories. So, The Register has got to ask, were these guys for real, or have they, and the counterterrorist officials supposedly protecting us, been watching too many action movies?..
..It should be small comfort that the security establishments of the UK and the USA - and the "terrorism experts" who inform them and wheedle billions of dollars out of them for bomb puffers and face recognition gizmos and remote gait analyzers and similar hi-tech phrenology gear - have bought the Hollywood binary liquid explosive myth, and have even acted upon it.

Despatches: The real threat we face is Blair
John Pilger
A senior Metropolitan Police officer, Paul Stephenson, claims the Heathrow plot "was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale". The most reliable independent surveys put civilian deaths in Iraq, as a result of the invasion by Bush and Blair, above 100,000. The difference between the Heathrow scare and Iraq is that mass murder on an unimaginable scale has actually happened in Iraq.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quick Overview

  • The University of Michigan's preliminary index of sentiment declined to 78.7 from 84.7 in July.

  • The Chinese central bank today raised its 1-year benchmark rate by 27 bp to 6.12% from 5.85%.

  • YoY Germany's July producer price index was up 6.0% versus. 5.9% exp. -- just slightly below June's 24-year high of +6.1%.

  • Canada's wholesale sales totaled C$41.5 billion in June, down 0.6% MoM, but up 5.5% YoY.

  • The U.K. posted a record high budget surplus of 6.3 billion pounds in July.

  • A Canadian ethanol plant is going on stream and anticipates to use 350 mt of feed wheat yearly.

  • The USDA said there were 10.822 million head of cattle on feed, up 7.2% YoY.

  • The Florida Department of Citrus said there were 83.4 million gallons of frozen orange juice in inventory, down 33% YoY.

A Penny Saved is a Waste of Time
Ha! Those novice debasers were pikers. It took them 300 years to steal 97% of the coin's value. The U.S. government has taken less than 100 years to strip out 99% of the value of the penny. Well, we might as well call it 100%, since these little tokens aren't worth bending over to pick up off the sidewalk.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Federal Judge Orders Halt to Warrantless Wiretapping
A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless surveillance program is "unconstitutional" and ordered an immediate end to it.

Cost of water shortage: civil unrest, mass migration and economic collapse

Cholera may return to London, the mass migration of Africans could cause civil unrest in Europe and China's economy could crash by 2015 as the supply of fresh water becomes critical to the global economy. That was the bleak assessment yesterday by forecasters from some of the world's leading corporate users of fresh water, 200 of the largest food, oil, water and chemical companies.

Worst drought hits China, 10m people thirsty A worst drought in 50 years is hitting western, central and northeastern Chinese regions, causing drink water shortages to at least 10 million people and an economic loss of 9.9 billion yuan (US$1.24 billion).

Quick Overview

  • The Conference Board Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell 0.1 percent in July.

  • The Labor Department reported that 312,000 workers applied for jobless benefits, down by 10,000 from the previous week.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional index of business activity increased from 6.0 to 18.5 in August, more than expected.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that underground supplies of natural gas were up 37 billion cubic feet last week at 2.800 trillion cubic feet.

  • Retail sales in the U.K. were down 0.3% in July, weaker than expected.

  • Taiwan's GDP was up 4.6% in the second quarter from a year ago, less than expected.

  • Italy posted a current account deficit of 2.053 bln Euro in June against a deficit of 855 mln a year earlier.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Snow White's dwarfs more famous than US judges: poll
Three quarters of Americans can correctly identify two of Snow White's seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court Justices, according to a poll on pop culture released on Monday.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Labor Department said that YoY consumer prices were up 4.1% in July. Excluding food and energy, prices were up 2.7% YoY.

  • Chinese fixed-asset investment, real estate, factories and utilities, eased to 30.5% YoY in the first seven months of 2006, down from 31.3% in the first half of 2006.

  • U.S. Housing starts were at a yearly rate of 1.795 million units in July, down 2.5% from June's pace. For 2006, housing starts were down 5.1% YoY.

  • U.S. Industrial production was up 0.4% in July, weaker than expected.

  • Mexico's economy grew at 4.7% in the second quarter, boosted by a booming construction industry and a surge in auto exports.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said that::
    Supplies of crude oil were down 1.6 million barrels to 331.0 million barrels.
    Supplies of unleaded gasoline were down 2.3 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil were down 300,000 barrels.

  • The World Gold Council said that world demand for gold totaled 802 tons in the second quarter of 2006, down 16% YoY. World mine production totaled 625 tons in the second quarter, up 2.3% YoY.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quick Overview

  • Wholesale prices, with food and fuel prices removed, fell 0.3 percent in July, the best showing for core inflation in nine months. Wholesale prices rose 0.1% , well below the 0.5 percent jump in June.

  • The U.S. Treasury Department said that foreign purchases U.S. securities totaled $84.7 billion while U.S. purchases of foreign securities totaled $9.6 billion.

  • The New York Federal Reserve's regional index of economic activity fell from 16.6 to 10.3 in August.

  • YoY consumer prices in the U.K. rose 2.4% in July

  • YoY Industrial production in China rose 16.7% in July – more than expected

Could Puno and Guantanamo Be The Next Hong Kongs? The U.S. should remember what a colossal effect West Berlin had on the other side of the Brandenburg Gate and what a damning example Hong Kong constituted for China before the British handover. Two million Cubans in the United States have accumulated twice as much wealth as the 11 million Cubans on the island by starting thousands of businesses over the years. (At the end of the 1990s, Hispanic Business magazine estimated that Cuban companies in the U.S. generated $25 billion; more recent figures are not available, it must be much higher today.) If Cubans had been allowed to turn Guantanamo into a prosperous capitalist zone, they would have been 10 times more successful than they have been at combating Castro from Miami and Madrid.

The Lebanon Curse Strikes Again
by Eric Margolis
The Bush Administration’s encouragement of Israel’s foolish invasion and laying waste of Lebanon marks its third military disaster after Afghanistan and Iraq. This from the man who styles himself “the war president.”

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quick Overview

  • Eurozone Q2 GDP rose to +0.9% QoQ (+3.6% YoY), a 6-year high. That was the first time in 5 years the Eurozone GDP beat US GDP.

  • China's July retail sales were strong at 13.7%, versus 13.9% in June.

  • Heatwaves continued in southwestern and western China, affecting more than 17 million people as the shortage of drinking water worsens, sources said.

  • Dow-Jones Newswires reports that Russia has harvested 33 million tons of grain so far, down 22% from a year ago, because of wet conditions. Russia's Ag Minister expects this year's harvest to be down 8% YoY.

  • Czarnikow Sugar estimates 2006-2007 world sugar production surplus at 3.1 million tons.

  • Shipping: China's ports post 22 % growth According to a Xinhua report, during first half of 2006, China's major sea and river ports together handled over 42 million TEUs posting a growth of more than 22 percent.

  • Disruptions continued at London’s Heathrow Airport because of last week's terrorist scare and one third of flights were canceled today.
Worlds worst internet laws sneaking through the Senate
The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries' "cybercrime" laws - even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States. That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments. American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdiction's requests to log their users’ behavior without due process, or compensation.

Rich nations under fire on pledges to fight poverty
Rich countries have largely failed to back their voluble lip service to combating global poverty by doing more to help, according to an annual assessment by a leading think-tank.
What the Hell Has Happened to the Army?
by Uri Avnery

Washington’s interests in Israel’s war.
The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How London's Terror Scare Looks From Beirut
I was amused to see that Bush--just before my electricity was cut off again--still mendaciously tells us that the "terrorists" hate us because of "our freedoms". Not because we support the Israelis who have massacred refugee columns, fired into Red Cross ambulances and slaughtered more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians--here indeed are crimes for Paul Stephenson to investigate--but because they hate our "freedoms".
The ABA House of Delegates ended the association’s 2006 annual meeting with a bang on Tuesday, adopting two key policy recommendations on issues touching on the current debate over the federal separation of powers.
After a sharp debate that highlighted the two-day session of the policy-making House, delegates voted to oppose the "misuse" of presidential signing statements

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.4% in July, more than expected and the best in six months. Excluding autos, sales were up 1.0%, also more than expected.

  • Airlines warned the British government Saturday the country's air travel is grinding to a halt because of tough new antiterrorisms security wants.

  • Japan's Q2 GDP fell to an annualized 0.8% and Q1 was revised lower to 2.7% from 3.1%

  • The Bank of Japan kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.25%.

  • French Q2 GDP rose sharply by 1.2% QoQ, which was a 5-year high and was much stronger than expected

  • The USDA's U.S. 2006-2007 ending stocks estimate for:
    Corn was increased from 1.077 to 1.232 billion bushels.
    Soybeans were reduced from 560 to 450 million bushels.
    Wheat was reduced from 438 to 434 million bushels.
    Sugar was increased from 979,000 to 1,609,000 tons.
    Cotton was reduced from 4.90 to 4.70 million bales.

  • The USDA's world 2006-2007 ending stocks estimate for:
    Corn was increased from 91 to 93 million tons.
    Soybeans were reduced from 53 to 50 million tons.
    Wheat was reduced from 133 to 128 million tons.
    Cotton was increased from 47 to 48 million bales.

Collapse of the Flanks
by William S. Lind
One pointer to a shift in the tactical balance is the comparative casualty counts. According to the Associated Press, as of this writing Lebanese dead total at least 642, of whom 558 are civilians, 29 Lebanese soldiers (who, at least officially, are not in the fight) and only 55 Hezbollah fighters. So Israel, with its American-style hi-tech "precision weaponry," has killed ten times as many innocents as enemies. In contrast, of 97 Israeli dead, 61 are soldiers and only 36 civilians, despite the fact that Hezbollah’s rockets are anything but precise (think Congreves). Israel can hit anything it can target, but against a Fourth Generation enemy, it can target very little. The result not only points to a battlefield change of some significance, it also raises the question of who is the real "terrorist." Terror bombing by aircraft is still terror.

Friday, August 11, 2006

U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution
“American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close,” said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University.

Economy Often Defies Soft Landing
To reduce inflation to the upper limits of what Mr. Bernanke and other Fed officials consider acceptable, more than three million jobs would be lost, a bigger drop than in the recession of 2001.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Proposed War Crimes Act protection for Bush administration would apply retroactively
“I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous,” said a third attorney, Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice.
Baghdad Morgue Tallies 1,815 Bodies in July

A Bush family tradition
The deficit may be down, but government is growing.

Quick Overview

  • US Initial Jobless Claims out at 319K versus 315K expected.

  • The U.S. department of Commerce, announced that total June exports of $120.7 billion and imports of $185.5 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $64.8 billion, $0.2 billion less than the $65.0 billion in May. This is the fifth largest deficit on record.

  • China's producer price index rose 3.6% YoY in July

  • MoM Australia's unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in July.

  • Canada's trade surplus grew by 14.6% in June to 4.7 bln cd, compared with 4.1 bln in May.

  • South Korea today unexpectedly raised its benchmark rate by 25 bp to a 5-year high of 4.5% in response to inflation fear.

  • China's July trade surplus rose to another record high of $14.6 billion, exports up +22.6% YoY and imports up +19.7% YoY.

  • Japan's July producer price index rose 3.4% YoY -- the strongest gain in 25 years.

  • YoY Peru's trade surplus widened to $767 million in June from $479.

  • The unemployment rate in New Zealand improved from 3.9% to a record low 3.6% in the second quarter.

  • The DoE said that underground supplies of natural gas were down 12 billion cubic feet to 2.763 trillion cubic feet. YoY supplies are up 12%.
The Resistance Always Increases
Now one may rightfully argue that fighting germs and fighting humans is not the same thing. For starters, humans are generally considered to be
smarter than germs. Germs develop resistance by dumb luck. Humans
do this too, but at least occasionally, intelligence also plays a role.
Germs have a hard time communicating their knowledge to other living
germs. Humans have cell phones not to mention other, more antiquated
modes of communication. Humans employ chemical weapons against
germs, but generally avoid using such weapons of mass destruction
against other humans. So when it comes to developing resistance, it is
safe to say that humans are at least on par with germs.

Why Do They Hate Us?

After 9/11, the greatest fear that U.S. officials had was that the American people would figure out that U.S. foreign policy was at the root of the terrorist attacks and thus demand a total reevaluation of U.S. foreign policy. That might well have meant an end to all foreign aid to the Middle East and a withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region. That could have obviously meant a significant diminution of the U.S. government’s overseas empire and the military-industrial complex, along with the enormously high taxes needed to pay for it all. Thus, it’s not surprising that U.S. officials immediately went on the propaganda attack after 9/11 in order to divert people’s attention from U.S. foreign policy and toward the “freedom-and-values” motivation for the 9/11 attacks.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

~ Summit of Indigenous Nations Sign Resolution to Rescind the Doctrine of Discovery (Papal Bulls of 1493) ~

The Indigenous Nations have resolved, here at the base of Mato Paha (Bear Butte), that the Pope of the Catholic Church and the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury rescind these doctrines of discovery as they have justified and paved the legal way for the dispossession of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of non-Christian people to the present. It has been resolved by 23 Nations and NGO’s and 100 individual signatories that the “doctrine of discovery is a legal and political fiction in violation of the rights of Indigenous People’s which has resulted in and continues to oppress indigenous people’s in the Western Hemisphere.
Foreclosure filings up 34% in Palm Beach County
Clients these days are from such well-to-do areas as The Acreage and Wellington, he said. "They're mostly (middle class) people who have financed it to the hilt, and there's really not much you can do for them."
Sixty percent of Americans oppose Iraq war: poll
It was the CNN poll's highest number opposing the war since fighting began in March 2003,

War Crimes Act Changes Would Reduce Threat Of Prosecution
The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners..

As Lebanon’s Fuel Runs Out, Fears of a Doomsday Moment Almost one month into the siege of Lebanon, with a land, sea and air blockade by Israel choking off the country, fuel reserves have all but dried up.