May 24, 2005
By David Piney
In recent news articles appended below, the US military admits to developing radio frequency --microwave-- weapons, whose effect they claim, can be programmed to range from "a tap on the shoulder", to wholly "toasting" a target. Due to numerous personal experiences, I believe Big Brother in Canada is surreptitiously using this tool against dissent within its population.
After all, the technology is well proven. The American physiologist, Sandyk, has had considerable effect in treating human physiology with emf therapies. There is much medical literature in journals defining his treatments. At specific frequencies and intensities various biological processes are profoundly effected. The endocrine system is especially reactive, and specifically, dopamine production and conversion into serotonin and melatonin is disrupted at particular emf frequencies. Wholesome sleep patterns can be noticeably disrupted in the victim and thus a spaced-out consciousness arises, with anxiety, poor concentration, memory loss, impotence and related phenomenon increasingly prevalent after a few exposures of as little as 30 min. American diplomats accompanying Nixon to the Soviet Union (where the process was first developed) were the first recorded Westerners to express some of its emotional and behavioural effects, and for example, would unexplainably begin to weep during public engagements. Thus the terminology "mind control" has been adopted to describe the phenomenon, where a vibrant and intellectually fluent individual can be reduced to a much poorer state of consciousness; and simple tasks requiring concentration, such as reading for example, becomes difficult or impossible, and memory loss and excessive emotionality are readily observable.
Many people cannot see beyond the strategic propaganda and devious secrecy that protects this powerful and most surreptitious of technologies. Thus I believe the use of schizoid articles, and other red herrings such as "mind control" terminology that's dispersed within the accumulating literature, is designed to deceive the public of the urgency of the threat. But I assure you --from much practical experience-- the threat is real, and though the term "mind control" is ill suited, it unmistakably points in the direction that these "non lethal" behavioural countermeasures are moving, where the brain itself is being surreptitiously targeted in order to achieve power over the masses --which assures a long sought public conformity. (Read "Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society", by Jose Delgado, 1969, a groundbreaking neurophysiologist at Yale University)
I've cited a few of the most eminent acknowledgements from the major world powers below to corroborate the technology's emergence.
Excerpts from the most respected objective scientist on this subject, Robert O. Becker, from his book "Cross Currents";
A recent report derived from the testing program of the Microwave Research Department at the Walter Reed Army Institute Research states; ''Microwave pulses appear to couple to the central nervous system and produce stimulation similar to electrical stimulation unrelated to heat". It appears that High Power Pulsed Microwave (HPM) is capable of altering behaviour in the same fashion as Delgado's (cited above) electrical stimulation.
The production of cognitive and behavioural alterations by HPM is a sledgehammer effect in comparison to the subtle alterations produced by Extremely Low Frequency fields (ELF). According to a 1982 air force review of biotechnology, ELF has a number of potential military uses, including ''dealing with terrorist groups, crowd control, controlling breaches in security at military installations, and antipersonnel techniques in tactical warfare.'' The same report states, '"(Electromagnetic) systems would be used to produce mild to severe physiological disruption or perceptual distortion or disorientation. They are silent, and countermeasures to them may be difficult to develop."
A new class of weapons, based on electromagnetic fields has been added to the muscles of the military organism. The C3I doctrine is still growing and expanding. It would appear that the military may yet be able to completely control the minds of the civilian population.
In numerous other articles, those in the know have called to stem the profound abuse that the covert use of this technology entails. http://www.raven1.net/emr13.htm
Because of the unexplainable and profound symptoms I've experienced for the
past almost ten years --which suspiciously developed only in direct response to
related events-- I was convinced Big Brother was surreptitiously drugging me,
but I couldn't figure out how. These symptoms became especially pronounced
leading up to my presentation to the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform,
where I proposed a contractual mandate system in order to empower the collective
with an oversight mechanism to effectively reign in the propensity for elitist
excesses. But I now believe that I was surreptitiously targeted with this pulsed
microwave technology which the military has admitted to, and with a little
covert help from trusted members of the public I know I can prove it.
The resulting emf poisoning I've experienced was designed to affect a target's adrenal/sympathetic nervous system, and interferes with neurotransmitter and endocrine production --especially affecting estrogen, serotonin / melatonin and dopamine levels. Memory loss, a "Homer Simpson" mindlessness, emotional outbursts, and impotence are a few of the most profound symptoms; but a whole host of systemic maladies are potential long term consequences. It's a cowardly assault, designed to erode a target individual's functionality, and consequentially their public credibility, self-worth and trust in their fellow human. Though it's certainly not the end-all solution to stop dissent, it is another powerful tool in the Beast's arsenal for strategically "harassing the enemy wherever possible"-- which has historically been their general orders during wartime skirmishes and thus the cultural basis of much of the operational strategy today.
For twenty years now, the vast majority of strangers who strike up conversations with me (on almost a daily basis) end up revealing that they know more about me than as total strangers they should. And most of them have been off-duty military personnel (see; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/26/AR2005112600857.html ), despite laws specifically prohibiting the military from domestic interference. I'm positive Big Brother is using this tactic as an intimidation technique against me, which, among other things, effectively alienates me from recruiting the public help necessary to collect hard evidence against them. And it weighs significant against me in a myriad of other ways when I've been made so distrustful of people generally. The tactic is abhorrent. They have wholly destroyed my once precious personal life, in what seems little more than that of a zealous development of grotesque technologies designed for any possible advantage in playing their pathetic little war games.
I've suffered massive lawlessness at their hands over the years, including violence, theft, and endless pathetic guile as a normal mode of their operations. My home is periodically entered, and thus the accumulation of evidence is impossible. It's also been a fact of my life since about 1985 that any non-routine mail I receive has been pre-opened --they are so brazen about it they don't even try to hide the fact-- and I know of one example where my mail was "lost" by Canada Post three consecutive times from a fellow classmate who tried to send me instructions for gaining employment as an ESL teacher overseas (I never did receive the information, and after three tries I simply gave up asking him to resend it). I even found my incoming email was being edited between the time it arrived on the server and was downloaded to my computer. I have no idea how much of my incoming or outgoing communications are being intercepted, diverted or altered, but according to the massive intervention I've known so far, I can only expect the worst.
When I complained to Canada Post about my land mail being opened, they put a sign on my General Delivery box in the back room of the post office to warn employees that I've complained about my mail being opened --instead of quietly setting up a surveillance camera to catch the culprit. The employee who told me about it at the time, expressed his concern about what's been going on there generally, and probably as a result I haven't seen him since, apparently he was transferred to Sidney the next day.
For the past five years I've been running a news gleaning service. Since the
vast majority of all Canadian media is controlled two individuals, Israel Asper
& Robert Rabinovitch, --with an unprecedented central control of content-- I
began comparing their mainstream news to hundreds of breaking articles from
journals, academics and independent sources worldwide in order to determine
information the mainstream was under-reporting or even avoiding. I would then post
those articles on my website (
http://victoria.tc.ca/~d.piney/currentnews.htm ) Needless to say I became
very distressed to find entire articles (and all reference to them)
unexplainably removed from my site, and even some "Favorites" links in my
Windows program on my home computer were somehow removed, such as
http://www.bioelectromagnetics.org/ , and one of them keeps
disappearing from my "Favorites" list
In fact, I've suffered through 20 years of their dirty deeds, usually every few days; and a life-crippling intimidation inevitably accompanies such massive long term surveillance, which is grotesquely abusive. I obviously wouldn't care if I didn't know they were doing it. I certainly have no interest in breaking any laws, nor have I ever had. I'm as true of a Christian as you'll probably ever meet. You'd think they'd have the common decency to remain invisible if they simply wanted to watch me. But I'm sure the intimidation is purposeful, and in fact, it defines their operating agenda nowadays, regardless of the devastating cost to my once precious life. They're simply drunk with power as far as I'm concerned, with far too many resources for Canada's own good.
Their use of surreptitious emf technology against me is a ruthless attack on my physical health, and I assure you it's nothing less than sheer torture. They use it to erode my functionality, and on occasion, at extreme intensities as a coercive attack, giving me violent headaches (in which even the skin of my head becomes tender to the touch). From fall 2004 to spring 2005 they toasted me whenever I was home. Though I built a primitive Faraday Cage, I could only find sufficient relief to sleep in the better shielded environment of my grounded bathtub. My legs finally began going bald from it in Aug/05, and I lost over 50% of my body hair before (I suppose) they seen the symptoms when I went to the local pool and thus cut back on the power dosage. My hair has since re-grown, but I believe these guys have literally cooked my endocrine system with their grotesque bungling --or more likely, their mean-spirited and dangerous agenda. I can't imagine the long term health consequences. I've since built a lead lined shield by my work area at home which offers clearly noticeable protection, profoundly mitigating the headaches instantly while within its shelter. But the whole ordeal is tantamount to torture; a willful and barbaric torture, which should forever define this Beast of raw expediency (that's wholly supported by a naive public largely because of the reputation of the once "Just Society" governance of Canada that is no more).
Someday I hope to write a book about it all, because as they've watched me all along I've sure been watching them. And the most tragic part is the wholesale support and participation the general public provides. It's as if the public believe the sanctity of "the rule of law" means whimsical rule by the cops (or their covert accomplices). No matter how grotesque the acts perpetrated against me are, or how void of common decency, there's always some little guy citizen willing to volunteer to do the front line work. But the covert field staff never put themselves in front line contact. Instead they play on people's basic need for social recognition, their intrinsic need to be "a somebody" in order to lure everyday citizens to do their dirty work.
The surfacing of the records of the Stasis after the fall of the Soviet Union was the first public view of a modern covert network, and records show there were over 250 thousand informants in East Germany alone, from a total population of 16 million. That's a ratio of about one in fifty that were informants, who kept files on 6million East Germans --or 50% of the adult population. And because Canada is richer, and is charged with the more ominous task of guarding the border flank of the US (the most notorious perpetrator of black ops against humanity) I believe the ratio of informants (coverts) is even higher than the Stasis. I've literally met hundreds of them over the past twenty years. Without question, there is a massive covert army in Canada that the media never even alludes to. The public will be shocked to learn the details of this hand-me-down WW2 power structure clique of ol' boys, and their network of liars, cheats and thieves that are running everyday life in Canada as a massive vigilante army of covert operations (as they have since war's end) who are always willing to err on the side of ...______? whatever, as long as it makes them look like heroes and it's at someone else's expense. Trudeau warned us about this untrustworthy "middle management sector", and said even the most enlightened of policies risked foundering once it fell to their sector to facilitate unless they could be better controlled. That's why he gave us principles enshrined in our great Charter of Rights, to protect us from this middle management cabal that has far too few operating principles of their own.
The guile and self interest of their elitist system becomes evermore clear when you look past the pious facade of the justice system and its human rights facilities in Canada --which I've learned is largely propaganda designed to beguile the public into naive complacency. Because the mainstream media is wholly controlled by them, the system's everyday abuses are rarely published. The only so called "justice oversight organizations" we have in Victoria certainly reveal the facade. The Human Rights Coalition in Victoria for example, was run by a former probation officer, David Turner. His assistant Steve Cassells (sp?) admitted to me that he was a former military intelligence officer; Talk about a ridiculous conflict of interest! Fortunately I found out these details before I confided in them. But when I learned of a change of staff there I naively broached the subject with them, and was simply advised to seek a medical professional in order to treat the stress this kind of surveillance would inevitably cause me. Other than that, they said they couldn't help. It was devastating to me. It seems that Big Brother is using this singular resource for the oppressed on the Island, as an outpost, in order to detect those who are speaking out, and then to prescribe "treatment" required to mollify (silence) them.
And it gets worse!
The Police Complaint Commissioner in Victoria is Dirk Ryneveld (who was the chief prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague after Yugoslavia's civil war) and therefore he must know that the war was wholly engineered by the US --who armed and trained the Kosovo Liberation Army-- yet he chose to prosecute Milosevic anyway. Canada's former ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, says the charges against Milosevic are a "fantasy", and the finding of guilt against him is essential if the Germans and the Americans who played such a critical role in causing much of the bloodshed and the violence in the Balkans are to be let off the hook. A member of Milosevic's legal defence staff, Andre Tremblay --professor of law at the University of Montréal and former senior adviser to Robert Bourassa, Premier of Quebec-- described the tribunal (for which Ryneveld was to become the prosecutor) as the "legal branch of the oppressor". "People have to realize what is really going on," he said, indicating that his audience was naive and misguided if it thought the Milosevic case had anything to do with justice and war crimes. (It's all about despicable Yankee imperialism.)
In knowing all this, it's no wonder that less than 10% of formal complaints against the police in BC are successful under Ryneveld as Police Complaints Commissioner.
Christopher Black, also a Canadian lawyer, presented himself as head of the 152 prestigious international volunteers committed to defending Milosevic against these spurious charges. He said the Milosevic administration was in the vanguard of the anti-globalization struggle, and that's why NATO bombed Yugoslavia and why the former president now finds himself facing war crimes charges at The Hague. Black's colleague, Ramsey Clark, the former Attorney General of the US, obviously agrees; he too was a volunteer member of the Milosevic defence team along with dozens of other nations' distinguished members of law, science, & government trying to mop up the grotesque injustices of US hegemony.
It's clear to anyone studying the fiasco, according to court testimony in the Milosevic trial, that the war was primarily spawned by the US, who used the al-Qaeda Mujahideen they'd trained in Afghanistan against the Soviets, to foment civil war in Yugoslavia in order to justify NATO intervention and to subdue the stubborn Yugoslav people who continued to adamantly vote for socialism even after the USSR fell. The massive US military base now located in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, stands as the remaining sentinel guarding this strategic region. Many believe it will be one of the great injustices of humanity if they manage to convict Milosevic for this dastardly imperialist deed --a long list of which were authored in our era alone by the New World Order cabal. And now it turns out that Milosevic was complaining all along of terrible headaches and an increased heart rate, which are symptoms of pulsed microwave exposure, and whose effect render him much less competent to defend himself in the trial. He thought they were surreptitiously drugging him, but pulsed microwaves leave no traces and yet does tremendous damage to the intellect and memory. All's fair in love and war says the Beast, and we are a testimony to the fact.
To have the two most important institutions in Victoria --which are supposed to be protecting the common man-- instead being run by the New World Order itself, certainly defines the dawning police state in my mind. I can only hope Canadians will wake up and understand the serious risk we face. The only chance our Just Society has now, to continue to even exist, is solely in the hands of the conscientious, to wrestle power away from this ol' boy Beast of raw expediency, whose tentacles reach throughout the bureaucracy. We must rebuild the administrative system, and protect it with fail-safe mechanisms to ensure principled management. Else humanity will never truly rise above its animal kingdom roots, and the real glory of life will have been wholly wasted because of our primitive cultural legacy.
God help us.
Sincerely, david piney
This week's top six news articles.
1. US military admit developing radio frequency (microwave) weapons. (The weapon of choice against domestic dissent?)
2.The untold plunder of Iraq.
3.Big Brother's next stage in the use of the public as coverts.
4. Harnessing China frees US economy & work force for military duty: but at what cost?
5. Ford and GM debt reduced to junk bond status.
6.Massive Decline Of Bio-diversity.
Washington threatens North Korea & Iran, while expanding US arsenal
By Joseph Kay
21 May 2005
A parallel Global Strike plan developed within the Air Force includes a plan for American military domination of space. The New York Times reported on May 18 that the Air Force is pushing for a presidential directive sometime in the next few weeks that would bring the US closer to fielding offensive space weapons. http://forum.mg.co.za/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=243093&page=2&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1 )
The goal of such a space-based weapons system would be to give the US capacity to attack any country anywhere in the world within an hour. Among the proposals for development is a program nicknamed Rods From God, which, according to the Times, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon.
program seeks to turn radio waves into weapons whose powers could range from a "tap
on the shoulder to toast", in the words of the Air Force plan.
These chilling military plans and the US position on the NPT reflect a determination on the part of the Bush administration to eliminate all potential constraints on American military dominance. Facing a persistent decline in its economic hegemony, the American ruling elite sees its unrivaled military power as the only means of maintaining itself as the principal world power.
2.Bush unveils plans for US colonial office
By Bill Van Auken
21 May 2005
The US government is creating a permanent agency tasked with the rapid consolidation of US control in countries targeted by Washington for military aggression. That was President George W. Bush's essential message in a speech delivered Wednesday to a Republican audience in Washington.
The overriding objective in Iraq was neither reconstruction nor stabilization, but the looting of the country's economy and the establishment of firm US control over its strategic oil reserves.
This was to be carried out through the privatization of Iraq's economic enterprises, services and, above all, a decisive share of its oil sector. The catastrophic deterioration of all major social indices cited in the recent report issued by the United Nations Development Programme (See UN report finds US war in Iraq yields a social tragedy) exposes the abject failure of the US authorities to reconstruct Iraq's war-shattered infrastructure. But they proved adept in the looting and privatization departments.
Earlier this year, a special inspector generals report revealed that the US occupation authority was unable to account for some $9 billion that was supposedly spent on reconstruction.
The money wasted, embezzled and stolen was siphoned out of accounts made up of Iraqi oil revenues and frozen assets of the Saddam Hussein regime. These funds were transferred largely to US military contractors, with some kickbacks going to corrupt members of the Iraqi puppet government.
So egregious is the theft of Iraqi and US funding that the government has found itself compelled to launch a criminal investigation into suspected embezzlement by US officials in connection with some $100 million of the funds designated for reconstruction projects that went missing.
Privatization has been secured, at least on paper. The single undeniable achievement of the occupation authority under US proconsul Paul Bremer was a revision of the Iraqi legal code that, for the first time anywhere in the Arab world, allows 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi enterprises. Some 200 state-owned enterprises are now targeted for privatization or liquidation by foreign capital, resulting in the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Later this year, the Iraqi industry ministry is expected to begin placing sections of heavy industry, petrochemical plants, sugar refineries and other enterprises on the auction block. The problem, however, is that the US military's inability to crush resistance to the occupation has left few foreign capitalists willing to invest in the country, no matter how favorable the terms.
Essentially, Bushs new Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization (ORS) is designed to carry out this same process in other targeted countries, but more efficiently. By stabilization, the US government means primarily the suppression of any resistance to US domination. Reconstruction, on the other hand, is a code word for the demolishing of all impediments to the exploitation of the country's resources by American capitalism.
Not surprisingly, the impetus for Bush's new Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization comes from the Pentagon. The military believes it has paid a significant price for the abject corruption and criminality that pervades the Bush administrations handling of the Iraqi occupation. These traits have helped cripple restoration of basic services, further fueling Iraqi fury against US forces. The generals see the need for a more professional setup not just in Iraq, but as an integral part of preparations for further preemptive wars aimed at asserting US hegemony in strategically important and resource-rich areas of the globe.
In a report released last summer, the Pentagons Defense Science Board counseled: US military expeditions to Afghanistan and Iraq are unlikely to be the last such excursions. America's armed forces are extremely capable of projecting force and achieving conventional military victory. Yet success in achieving US political goals involves not only military success but also success in the stabilization and reconstruction operations that follow hostilities.
The report, titled Transition to and from Hostilities, continues: For countries where the risk of US intervention is high termed ripe and important in this report the president or National Security Council (NSC) would direct the initiation of a robust planning process.
According to published reports, the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies have already drawn up a secret watch-list of 25 such ripe and important countries. The National Intelligence Council has been placed in charge of reviewing this list every six months, while the new Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization together with the Pentagon would be responsible for drawing up detailed plans for US invasion and occupation.
The identities of the countries on the list remain classified, but it is reported that they are heavily concentrated in the key oil-producing regions of the Middle East, the Caspian Basin and West Africa. Whether such Latin American producers as Mexico and Venezuela are also included is not known.
While providing advice on how to better prepare for the US takeover of targeted countries, the Pentagon study includes a cautionary note. It points out that, with US forces already involved in such operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and, to a lesser degree, the Balkans, and with the prospect for these deployments continuing for years to come, military manpower is stretched dangerously thin.
History indicates that stabilization of societies that are relatively ordered, without ambitious goals, may require 5 troops per 1,000 indigenous people, the study states, while stabilization of disordered societies, with ambitious goals involving lasting cultural change, may require 20 troops per 1,000 indigenous people. That need, with the cumulative requirement to maintain human resources for three to five overlapping stabilization operations as noted above, presents a formidable challenge.
Given the above mentioned ratio, the US should have nearly four times as many troops as are presently deployed in such a disordered society as Iraq.
Today, much of our focus is on the broader Middle East, Bush declared in his speech Wednesday, because I understand that 60 years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in that region did nothing to make us safe.
The choice of words is significant. Why 60 years? This encompasses the life span of nominally independent national states in most parts of the Middle East. Prior to the end of the Second World War, they were run by British imperialism and, to a lesser extent, the other major European powers as a collection of mandates, protectorates and puppet states.
In its second term, the Bush administration has begun to shift from justifying US militarism abroad in the name of the global war on terrorism to that of a supposed worldwide US crusade for freedom and against tyranny.
He sounded this theme in his speech in Washington, declaring that his administration has a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. In reality, what is involved here is a regressive drive to restore colonial domination, this time by US imperialism. The only freedom Washington is interested in promoting is that of the US financial oligarchy to seize control of wealth and markets anywhere in the world.
3. Proposed legislation would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors
Neighbors spying on neighbors? Mothers forced to turn in their sons or daughters? These are images straight out of George Orwell's 1984, or a remote totalitarian state. We don't associate them with the land of the free and the home of the brave, but that doesn't mean they couldn't happen here. A senior congressman, James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), is working quietly but efficiently to turn the entire United States population into informants--by force.
Sensenbrenner, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named "Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act," would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration.
Here's how the "spy" section of the legislation works: If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution" of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:
" You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife;
" You discover that your son gave his college roommate a marijuana joint;
" You learn that your daughter asked her boyfriend to find her some drugs, even though they're both in treatment.
In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could land you in jail.
In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans in danger by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.
Even if the language that forces every American to become a de facto law enforcement agent is taken out, the bill would still impose draconian sentences on college students, mothers, people in drug treatment and others with substance abuse problems. If enacted, this bill will destroy lives, break up families, and waste millions of taxpayer dollars.
Despite growing opposition to mandatory minimum sentences from civil rights groups to U.S. Supreme Court Justices, the bill eliminates federal judges' ability to give sentences below the minimum recommended by federal sentencing guidelines. This creates a mandatory minimum sentence for all federal offenses, drug-related or not.
H.R. 1528 also establishes new draconian penalties for a variety of non-violent drug offenses, including:
" Five years for anyone who passes a marijuana joint at a party to someone who, at some point in his or her life, has been in drug treatment;
" Ten years for mothers with substance abuse problems who commit certain drug offenses at home (even if their children are not at home at the time);
" Five years for any person with substance abuse problems who begs a friend in drug treatment to find them some drugs.
These sentences would put non-violent drug offenders behind bars for as long as rapists, and they include none of the drug treatment touted in the bill's name. snip...
At a time when everyone from the conservative American Enterprise Institute to the liberal Sentencing Project is slamming the war on drugs as an abject failure, Sensenbrenner is trying to escalate it, and to force all Americans to become its foot soldiers. snip...
Bill Piper is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
4. The Chinese Connection
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
Friday 20 May 2005
Here's how the US-China economic relationship currently works:
Money is pouring into China, both because of its rapidly rising trade surplus and because of investments by Western and Japanese companies. Normally, this inflow of funds would be self-correcting: both China's trade surplus and the foreign investment pouring in would push up the value of the yuan, China's currency, making China's exports less competitive and shrinking its trade surplus.
But the Chinese government, unwilling to let that happen, has kept the yuan down by shipping the incoming funds right back out again, buying huge quantities of dollar assets - about $200 billion worth in 2004, and possibly as much as $300 billion worth this year. This is economically perverse: China, a poor country where capital is still scarce by Western standards, is lending vast sums at low interest rates to the United States.
Yet the US has become dependent on this perverse behavior. Dollar purchases by China and other foreign governments have temporarily insulated the US economy from the effects of huge budget deficits. This money flowing in from abroad has kept US interest rates low despite the enormous government borrowing required to cover the budget deficit.
Low interest rates, in turn, have been crucial to America's housing boom. And soaring house prices don't just create construction jobs; they also support consumer spending because many homeowners have converted rising house values into cash by refinancing their mortgages.
So why is the US government complaining? The Treasury report says nothing at all about how China's currency policy affects the United States - all it offers on the domestic side is the usual sycophantic praise for administration policy. Instead, it focuses on the disadvantages of Chinese policy for the Chinese themselves. Since when is that a major US concern?
In reality, of course, the administration doesn't care about the Chinese economy. It's complaining about the yuan because of political pressure from US manufacturers, which are angry about those Chinese trade surpluses. So it's all politics. And that's the problem: when policy decisions are made on purely political grounds, nobody thinks through their real-world consequences.
Here's what I think will happen if and when China changes its currency policy, and those cheap loans are no longer available. US interest rates will rise; the housing bubble will probably burst; construction employment and consumer spending will both fall; falling home prices may lead to a wave of bankruptcies. And we'll suddenly wonder why anyone thought financing the budget deficit was easy.
In other words, we've developed an addiction to Chinese dollar purchases, and will suffer painful withdrawal symptoms when they come to an end.
5. Ford and GM debt reduced to junk bond status
By Nick Beams
9 May 2005
If one had to select the three most powerful symbols of the dominance of American industrial capitalism in the twentieth century it would be hard to go past Ford, General Motors and International Business Machines (IBM).
Ford pioneered the system of assembly-line production, which became the basis for the expansion of American industry in the 1920s and then laid the foundations for the longest period of growth in the world economy during the post-war boom.
General Motors became the largest manufacturing company in the world, with its multi-divisional system of management forming the standard for large-scale corporate organisation.
IBM was at the centre of the rise of the computer industry after World War II. Indeed, so great was its supremacy that it was virtually identified with it. When Stanley Kubrick made the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 he could think of no better way to devise a name for the all-powerful supercomputer, HAL, than to move back one letter in the alphabet from IBM.
Now these three giants of twentieth century capitalism confront a crisis, one that signifies not just their own decline but more broadly the decay of American capitalism as a whole.
Last week the credit-rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) announced it was reducing the corporate debt of both Ford and General Motors to junk bond status. IBM, after earlier selling off its personal computer division to a Chinese company, unveiled a restructuring program including a pre-tax write-off of between $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion and job cuts of between 10,000 and 13,000.
While the downgrading of Ford and GM had been expected, the severity of the cut, especially in the case of GM, which went down two grades, sent a shiver through credit markets. Altogether the amount of debt affected is $450 billion. snip...
The S&P statement warned that even with extensive efforts to renew its products, GM continues to lose market share in North America, despite an aggressive pricing strategy and we believe the company's reliance on discounts has itself been detrimental to its brand equity. In addition, it is questionable whether GMs relative competitive standing had improved as a result of extensive cost-cutting in its North American operations. While GM had downsized its operations and curtailed excess production capacity, its profits were still being undermined because of the steady loss of market share.
The same problem is afflicting Ford. Even though the overall American vehicle market has continued to expand, the share of the two Detroit corporations has fallen. In April, while the market for light vehicles increased by 1.8 percent to 1.5 million, GM's sales dropped by 7.7 percent and Fords by nearly 5 percent. GM's market share fell from 28 percent to 25.4 percent and Fords from 19.8 percent to 18.4 percent. snip...
Along with all other financial analysts, S&P pointed to GMs burdensome post-retirement benefit obligations as a major drain on profits. The company's unfunded retiree medical liability, it noted, increased to $61 billion at the end of last year, up from the already massive $57 billion at the end of 2003. And these obligations could become even more onerous. If GM were able to find some way to roll back its health insurance benefits then it could reduce a significant competitive disadvantage.
The Economists report on the Ford and GM downgrade was headlined Two piles of junk? snip...
Now Ford and GM are beset by international competitors, their industrial strength has severely eroded and they face a deepening crisis of profitability. Their policies reflect those of the Bush administration and American imperialism as a whole stepped up pressure against foreign rivals combined with deeper attacks on the living standards of the working class.
6. World's Biodiversity Declining at an Alarming Rate
Entitled "Ecosystems and Human Well-being: the Biodiversity Synthesis Report," it was prepared by the U.N. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment with the cooperation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
"The loss of biodiversity is a major barrier to development already and poses increasing risks for future generations," said Walter Reid, the director of the Millennium Assessment, "However, the report shows that the management tools, policies, and technologies do exist to dramatically slow this loss."
According to the report changes in biodiversity due to human activities were more rapid in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, and over the last 100 years species extinction caused by humans has multiplied as much as 1,000 times.
Some 12 percent of birds; 23 percent of mammals; 25 percent of conifers and 32 percent of amphibians are threatened with extinction, and the world's fish stocks have been reduced by an astonishing 90 percent since the start of industrial fishing.
"We will need to make sure that we don't disrupt the biological web to the point where collapse of the whole system becomes irreversible," warns Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, of Canada's International Institute for Sustainable Development, one of the co-chairs of the report.
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