Archive for US economy

BEFORE TERRA CHANGED THE NEWS OF THE DAYS PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

Posted in FRED SCHWARTZ OPINIONS, HOW HELL WORKS, IN HINDSIGHT with tags , , , , , on 08/09/2013 by Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

fred_schwartz_4

I’ve been working on this post for the better part of five years and today I am finally ready to write what should have been very easy to do since we started this little Hell to Terra exchange eight years ago. There have been a lot of people her in Dis who have asked me what the news would have been like on September 11, 2001 had there been no terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Hopefully from examining some of the news in the week that led up to the attacks I can piece that together for you.

We start out with the New York Times, as they have one of the most robust archive systems, on the morning of September 4, 2001. On that day Judith Miller writes about the US germ warfare program that may have been testing the international ban on the development of biological weapons. Here’s an excerpt:

Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons.

The 1972 treaty forbids nations from developing or acquiring weapons that spread disease, but it allows work on vaccines and other protective measures. Government officials said the secret research, which mimicked the major steps a state or terrorist would take to create a biological arsenal, was aimed at better understanding the threat.

The projects, which have not been previously disclosed, were begun under President Clinton and have been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.

Earlier this year, administration officials said, the Pentagon drew up plans to engineer genetically a potentially more potent variant of the bacterium that causes anthrax, a deadly disease ideal for germ warfare.

The experiment has been devised to assess whether the vaccine now being given to millions of American soldiers is effective against such a superbug, which was first created by Russian scientists. A Bush administration official said the National Security Council is expected to give the final go-ahead later this month.

Two other projects completed during the Clinton administration focused on the mechanics of making germ weapons.

In a program code-named Clear Vision, the Central Intelligence Agency built and tested a model of a Soviet-designed germ bomb that agency officials feared was being sold on the international market. The C.I.A. device lacked a fuse and other parts that would make it a working bomb, intelligence officials said.

At about the same time, Pentagon experts assembled a germ factory in the Nevada desert from commercially available materials. Pentagon officials said the project demonstrated the ease with which a terrorist or rogue nation could build a plant that could produce pounds of the deadly germs.

Both the mock bomb and the factory were tested with simulants — benign substances with characteristics similar to the germs used in weapons, officials said.

A senior Bush administration official said all the projects were ”fully consistent” with the treaty banning biological weapons and were needed to protect Americans against a growing danger. ”This administration will pursue defenses against the full spectrum of biological threats,” the official said.

The treaty, another administration official said, allows the United States to conduct research on both microbes and germ munitions for ”protective or defensive purposes.”

Some Clinton administration officials worried, however, that the project violated the pact. And others expressed concern that the experiments, if disclosed, might be misunderstood as a clandestine effort to resume work on a class of weapons that President Nixon had relinquished in 1969.

Simultaneous experiments involving a model of a germ bomb, a factory to make biological agents and the developoment of more potent anthrax, these officials said, would draw vociferous protests from Washington if conducted by a country the United States viewed as suspect.

Administration officials said the need to keep such projects secret was a significant reason behind President Bush’s recent rejection of a draft agreement to strengthen the germ-weapons treaty, which has been signed by 143 nations.

I can’t remmeber the last time I heard anyone mention this gray area in the US policy regarding biological weapons. Of course, we all know that 13 days later the first anthrax letter was found in a Florida newsroom and these attacks led to five deaths. The blame for these attacks and the deaths were laid at the feet of one Bruce Edwards Ivins, a researcher in biodefense at the United States Army Medical Institute for Infectious Disease Research [USAMRIID]. To this day neither the Laal Hethri of anyone independent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been able to confirm Ivins’ role in these attacks or have they duplicated the nature of the anthrax and the medium in with it was contained.

From the LA Times letters to the editor there was this from Jay Stevens of Long Beach, CA on September 5, 2011:

Re “A Separation of Church and Hate,” Sept. 1: As I read this article about the Church of the National Knights in Osceola, Ind., and the damage this church is doing to its neighbors’ peace of mind and property values, I couldn’t help wondering if this faith-based organization would be eligible for federal tax dollars to provide social services under President Bush’s proposal.

I would be very much opposed to my tax dollar going to the Church of the National Knights, but if the federal government uses tax dollars to fund faith-based organizations and state and federal prohibitions against discrimination are waived for sectarian groups, what would prevent these hatemongers and followers of Hitler from receiving federal funds?

Jay Stevens

\o7 Long Beach

I just find that this was a curious reaction the the Bush Faith Based Initiatives idea.

On Spetember 7, 2001 Constance Hays writes this article on the state of the US retail sales market for the month of August 2001:

The federal tax rebates, which were supposed to stimulate demand for consumer goods, failed to transform America’s shoppers into bigger spenders in August, resulting in disappointing sales for many stores and renewing fears that the December holiday shopping season will be one of the most lackluster in years.

Sales over all rose 2.8 percent for the month, according to the Goldman, Sachs retail composite index issued yesterday, but sales at many department stores fell, as expected. Consumers appeared to head instead for discounters like Wal-Mart Stores and T. J. Maxx, a unit of TJX, if they were going to part with their cash. But even Wal-Mart executives, who had offered to cash the rebate checks for shoppers right in their stores, said on Wednesday that there had been no ”overly significant” impact on sales as a result.

”The tax rebates have been a nonevent,” said Shari Schwartzman Eberts, a retail analyst for J. P. Morgan. Even President Bush acknowledged last month that instead of rushing to the nearest mall to spend his own rebate, he had given it away to an unspecified charity.

Wal-Mart’s same-store sales grew 7 percent in August, according to Goldman, Sachs, while Target’s same-store sales increased 2.4 percent. Shares of Wal-Mart fell $1.78, to $47.37.

Kmart, the nation’s second-largest discounter after Wal-Mart, increased same-store sales 0.2 percent, according to the Goldman, Sachs index. Costco Wholesale’s same-store sales rose 4 percent.

Inside the no-frills discounters, customers appear to be cutting back their spending. ”America has become a nation of bargain-hunters, but not only that, they are buying less than they bought last year,” said Kurt Barnard, president of Barnard’s Retail Trend Report.

Continuing worry about the economy, and personal concern about job layoffs, have made many consumers skittish about spending money, Mr. Barnard and others said. Many companies are announcing second rounds of layoffs as the economy continues to falter, and shoppers tend to put off purchases if they do not think they will have the income to pay for them.

”Job layoffs and the news surrounding job layoffs have affected consumer confidence,” said Jeffrey Feiner, a retail analyst with Lehman Brothers. ”The discounters did better, reflecting the fact that people are trading down.”

The last part of this quote from the Hays article is what I find most interesting. Jeffrey Feiner was at Lehman Brothers and you know what happened to Lehman Brothers in mid September 2008. Don’t worry though Feiner is doing just find teaching at Columbia Business School and working for Brett Barrakett’s Tremblant Capital Group. maybe some of the early signs that the housing market was slipping and that the stimulus offer by the Bush administration wasn’t enough might have been bigger news had 9/11 not happened.

In more business news the US unemployment rate rose in August 2001 to 4.9% up sharply from 4.5% the previous month. In David Leonhardt’s article of September 9, 2001, Wall Streeters and economists build a gloomy sand castle that was washed away when America was attacked:

The nation’s unemployment rate jumped sharply in August to 4.9 percent from 4.5 percent in July, the biggest one-month rise since the spring of 1995, dashing hopes that the bleak economic climate was starting to improve.

The 4.9 percent jobless rate in August, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, was the highest since mid-1997. Businesses eliminated more than 100,000 jobs last month, suggesting that the economy remained at risk of falling into a recession. And companies, in an effort to halt steep profit declines, made more cuts this summer in the hours their employees worked.

“The economy is facing bigger threats than we had thought,” said Jim Glassman, a senior economist at J. P. Morgan Chase. “It’s a very weak picture.”

The grim economic news prompted a hastily arranged appearance by President Bush on the White House grounds yesterday, where he sought to assure the public he was aware of the human toll the job losses were taking. [Page A9.]

“I want the American people to know we’re deeply concerned about the unemployment rates and we intend to do something about it,” said Mr. Bush, who has long been aware that the nation’s last recession at least in part caused his father to lose his 1992 bid for re-election.

Mr. Bush called for a “growth plan” to reverse the downturn, but offered no specifics beyond pushing policies that he has advocated before. He urged Congress to move on his proposals for increased energy production and to give him more leeway in negotiating international trade agreements.

The job figures prompted a broad sell-off on Wall Street, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell to its lowest level in almost three years. The dollar also dropped against the euro, and economists said that the Federal Reserve was now likely to keep cutting interest rates until signs of a rebound emerge. [Page C1.]

A month ago, the Labor Department had offered some reason for optimism, finding that manufacturers in July cut the fewest jobs in almost a year and reporting a rise in the number of people in the labor force — those with a job or actively seeking one. But the August numbers erased nearly all of the hopeful signs.

“Today’s unemployment numbers are obviously higher than expected,” Elaine L. Chao, the secretary of labor, said. “It’s disappointing and sobering.”

Manufacturing companies — hurt badly by the plunge in business investment and by the strong dollar, which makes it harder to compete against foreign goods — accounted for the entire August decline in jobs.

Since early last summer, factories have cut more than one million jobs, or 5.4 percent of their payrolls, and fewer people now work in a manufacturing plant than at any time since 1964. The South and the Midwest have been hardest hit by the manufacturing slump.

hindsight 2254
In Hindsight

This is just a tip of the iceberg from what will be a series of columns. They serve a purpose to inform what could have been “big news” had the really “big news” not happened. I’m not trying, as many have in the Terran and Hellac press have, to show that there were omens foretelling the planes flying into the towers. I’m just trying to show what the other stories were and where America’s head was before all Hell broke loose and the dinosaur realized its tail had been lopped off.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
114 Colnu 2 AS

THE ISSUES THAT MATTER TO THE CONSERVATIVES IN AMERICA: ABORTION, RACISM AND THE WAR ON WOMEN

Posted in 2012 US ELECTION, ABORTION RIGHTS, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT, AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, AMERICANS AGAINST THE TEA PARTY, ANDREW BRIETBART, BAIN CAPITAL, BIG LABOR, BIGOTRY, BIRTHERISM, BLOGS 4 VICTORY, CONSERVATIVE FEAR, CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY, CONSERVATIVE IGNORANCE, CONSERVATIVE NEWS, COUNTER-THEOCRACY, DAWN PATROL, DREAM ACT, DRUDGE REPORT, ERICK ERICKSON, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, FASCISM, FEARSPEAK, FOLLOW UP, FREEDOM, FUNDAMENTALISTS ACTING BADLY, GLBTQ RIGHTS, GLOBAL ECONOMY, GOP MELTDOWN, HOW HELL WORKS, HUMAN BEAUTY, HUMAN BEINGS, JIM HOFT, JT READY, JUDGE JERRY D BASS, JUSTICE, KOCH BROTHERS, L BRENT BOZELL, LAAL HETHRI, MAINSTREAM MEDIA SHORT ATTENTION SPAN, MARK EDWARD NOONAN, MITT ROMNEY, MORNING JOE, NEOCON1, NEWSBUSTERS, OBAMACARE, OCCUPY DC, OCCUPY WALL STREET, OFFICE OF THE TORTURER GENERAL, PAT BUCHANAN, PAUL RYAN, POLITICS, POOR WHITE TRASH, PRESIDENT OBAMA, RACE AND POLITICS IN AMERICA, RACIAL VIOLENCE, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, ROCK THE SLUT VOTE, RUSH LIMBAUGH, SARAH BLOCH OPINIONS, TANF, TEA PARTY, THE AMERICAN TALIBAN, THE GREATER FOOL, THE IGNORANT TENTH, THE MATING HABITS OF CONSERVATIVES, THE RICH STILL DIE, THE WAR ON WOMEN, THEOCRACY, U.S. ECONOMY, VOTER SUPPRESSION, WELFARE REFORM LIES FROM THE RIGHT, WHITE PRIVILEGE, WORLD NET DAILY, YOUR DAILY SIMPLIFICATION, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, حرر سوريا! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29/08/2012 by sarahbloch

I read a Blogs 4 Victory post entitled, “The False Narrative” last night and went to bed with the words of a commenter turned poster Cluster ringing in my ears. That ringing turned to laughter as I thought of how I would reply to his positions on abortion, racism and the War on Women. Here’s the gist of his argument:

Abortion –The party with the extreme position on abortion is the democrats. They currently support federal funding, partial birth, and live birth abortion, and essentially the right to kill the unborn without question at anytime. This position is far out of the mainstream, and voters need to know this. Conservatives support life with the rape/incest exception, which is optional, and that position is actually the real pro choice position.

– Racism – Honestly the political party that harbors racists, are the democrats. Most of them simply believe that people of a darker skin color are victims of this society solely because of their pigmentation, and that without government help, they are incapable of living a productive life. This mindset is deplorable and offensive. They also believe apparently that they need to be the protectors of our first black President, because obviously he is unable to withstand criticism of most any kind, due once again to the color of his skin.

– War on Women – Once again, the political party that is waging war against women is the democrats. How offensive is it for most women to know that Obama and Sandra Fluke believe that women are incapable of providing for their own contraception needs? How hypocritical is it for liberal feminists to say “keep your hands off my body” but then expect us to pay for their abortion and healthcare needs? How denigrating is it to believe that a pregnancy is an obstacle in a woman’s life? The fact is, women are incredibly strong and more than capable of determining, and paying for, their way through life without anyones help.

Here is my response:

Abortion—The facts on this are simple. The Democratic Party supports a woman’s right to choose when she has a child. Thereby, a woman to the Left has a right to choose to have an abortion that takes place within the time allotted by federal law. I repeat federal law dictates the time span of fetal development where an abortion is legal. In some cases, where the life of the mother is in jeopardy, an abortion is medically necessary beyond this federal limit. I woman cannot, in any jurisdiction in the United States of America have an abortion procedure beyond 21 weeks simply by saying she wants and abortion. I do not know anyone who supports partial birth abortion on demand. I also understand the law that says any viable fetus born alive even in an abortion clinic must be kept alive or the physician and anyone attending can be charged with murder. What you have written is hyperbole for the conservative base and nothing more.

Racism—It is easy to throw this term around but I find this very dangerous. I think America has progressed concerning race more in the period from 1950 to 2000 than it has at any other time in its history. Since 2000 however, there has been a turn from the institutionalized racism of the last century to a reactionary bigotry over the last 12 years. One has to understand the difference between bigotry and racism to even engage in this conversation. Racism needs power to fuel it. The power comes from politics. If those in charge all come from the same racial demographic then it is far more easy to keep another racial demographic at bay with laws that segregate them. The post Civil War Democratic Party in the South, made up of the most ardent conservatives of the time, saw the opportunities they had once the Reconstruction ended to initiate laws that would secure them power for what they thought would be forever. Those conservative Democrats could not have seen the Federal Government ever exercising its power below the Mason-Dixon line again and for over one hundred years they were right. So instead of having the vision for the future that Grant held blacks were put into a lower caste by the ruling white elite in the South and life for them remained that way until 1946 when the first stirrings for a second emancipation began. By the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed by President Lyndon Johnson the white powerbrokers in the South realized they needed a new strategy, one less embarrassing than the overt bigotry supported by racist thinking that has been broadcast to the world by CBS News night after night. It took four years for a savior to come to the conservatives in the South who while Democrats were more than willing to shed that label to keep the suffering status quo in regard to the Negro. President Nixon utilized the animus between working class white and working class blacks in the South to march to victory in 1968. Reagan in his very first campaign speech did the same in Neshoba County, Mississippi and reinforced the new ethic of conservative views on race with his alliance with the Moral Majority in 1980. Race was cast aside in the late 1980s by President George H. W. Bush in the name of continuing economic prosperity. Demographers, however, knew that in a generation a great decline was going to take place among the white electorate. Younger white voters were becoming more and more liberal. Black voters had allied squarely with the new Liberal post-Kennedy Democratic Party led by Northern Liberals and Midwestern moderates. The GOP once a party of Ed Burke of Massachusetts and Barry Goldwater was now the party of Strom Thurmond and David Duke. The overt race baiting politics of the 1930s and 1940s no longer had a place among the Conservatives as it was no longer socially acceptable. The bigotry had to come from a dedicated and older bloc of conservative voters who see blacks and Latinos as a drain on their wealth [keep our taxes low], see minorities as a violent threat to their personal security [flash mobs] and demand that any leader of the country be able to prove he is American even if it is clear he was born in the US [birtherism]. Conservatives don’t need Racism because as their demographics shrink over the next 20 years, with the dying off of the Baby Boomers having begun in earnest, the power base that would have driven it too will have died off. Young Conservatives will take a new more inclusive tack. They will put the moralizing and religious traditionalism behind them and work to make their party a more populist and albeit nationalist simulacrum of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party. The next fifty years will be very interesting politically for America. On December 31, 2064 the last Baby Boomer will be 100 years old. The country that you know now will be long gone. I imagine it will still be prosperous but that prosperity will be dominated by Liberal married couples made up of majority that is composed of those that conservatives most fear the most. Educated white women will marry outside their race more as more and more blacks and Latinos earn higher education degrees in a truly level playing field. Gay and Lesbian couples will become full citizens as their marriages will be recognized as marriage in every state in the Union. Abortion will become rarer as government provided contraception is made cheap and widely available as Obamacare proves to be as effective for the young worker as Social Security is for the elderly. Churches will once again be filled with people of Faith rather than peasants of Fear. I feel that America in 2064 might be in the shining diamond midst of a new global golden age and she cannot be that with retrograde racial thinking but only by the continuing efforts of Progressives to keep up the pressure on the wobbling old man of Conservatism.

The War on Women—Post Clinton America finds itself in that phase the demographers of the 1980s warned conservatives about. Not to beat the issue to death but the pro-life position on abortion, as a political issue, while cloaked in the sweet intentions of preserving life is really nothing more than the most desperate reaction to a societal failure by white conservatives. The birth rates of Latinas and black women outpace that of white women nearly 8 to 1. Double that number for college educated white women over the age of 30 while the same demographic of black and Latinas is still a 4 to 1 advantage. It is politically perfectly understandable why a group of people who wants to stay in power, to have the America that they want would turn to issues of abortion and contraception when they are being beaten in the breeding race by such a wide margin. Also, marrying race with gender, this gives the Right another canard they can use—that women are to blame for the loss of white conservative political power through their desire to hold positions of power in a world they see as a man’s domain. American women don’t like this and they don’t like Mitt Romney no matter how many times Ann Romney begs for America to get to know her husband.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
12 Low Lux Negro 2 AS

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