Odds and Ends

April 30, 2001

It seems American consumers have come back to their senses in regards to the economic situation. After an unexplained, perhaps spring fever?, jump in March, consumer confidence promptly went back exactly to where it was the month before. Could it be my feeling that consumers will focus on job layoffs and not Mr. Magoo and his hocus pocus interest rate cuts is right? Mr. Magoo not only has a puddle under his feet, but now I'm starting to wonder if a small brown pile will soon appear. Deep panic doesn't even begin to describe the Fed's recent actions. Hysteria would be a more accurate term. Does anyone doubt that Mr. Magoo, who once wrote a July 1966 article for Ayn Rand defending the gold standard, is now a heathen fiat apostate? Does anyone doubt Mr. Magoo will do anything he can in a feeble, failed and increasingly farcical attempt to salvage both his reputation and his bubble economy? It's said Mr. Magoo plots his daily save the economic bubble sessions in his bubble bath every morning. I've nothing against bubble baths as I take one or two a week myself. Being more than a little stressed and crazy as our lunatic age descends into chaos, bubble baths are a valid stress reduction technique. For one thing, I think bubble baths are a lot cheaper than a shrink.

Some good tunes, say Beethoven's 9th, in the background, a micro brew on the tub wall and my two rubber duckies to play with and within an hour I'm ready to emerge for another week of mortal combat with the forces of evil. One of these days I'm going to get one of those submarines that dive to the bottom of the bathtub, but for now I'm relatively non violent.

One gentleman emailed me that I was too optimistic. A friend emailed me that inside every old man is a young one wondering what the hell happened. At www.rense.com there is an article called "Proof of Suppression of Gold Prices by US and Germany." Reading this I emailed Senator Joseph Lieberman and informed him that Mr. Magoo had lied to him during hearings about the role of the Exchange Stabilization Fund in gold market manipulation. No reply yet and I'm not holding my breath. The system is beyond both reform and description of its corruption. Three things happened in April that seal the fate of America. First, the expansion of NAFTA, which I call the not anything in it for the Americans trade agreement, to include South America. Sealed off in the fortress from the rabble outside our fearless leader Bushocio bartered away the birthright of America for thirty pieces of monopoly money. Bushocio will try and get what's called Fast Track Approval so Congress will only be able to vote up or down trade agreements. No, come 2005 the New World Order will have come to the New World. Second, the five fascists on the Supreme Court repealed the Fourth Amendment. It's now perfectly legal for the police to arrest, handcuff and throw into jail anyone they want to for minor traffic offenses. The case in point involved a Texas soccer mom who was arrested, handcuffed, thrown into a jail cell and forced to pay bail that was 6 times the fine. Her children were terrorized and she was public ally humiliated for the crime of not wearing her seat belt. It's Sieg Heil time folks. Hitler didn't gas the Jews until 1943. However he started stripping them of their civil, economic and political rights in 1933. Once foot and mouth breaks out, martial law and movement restrictions will be imposed. With the massive increase in police abuse and arrest powers the Supreme Fascists have now instituted, everyone who drives will now be subject to arrest and detention on a police officer's whim. Can anyone say the American version of the New World Police State? The third and final thing was the combination of the riots in Quebec and the slaughter in China. What symbolism it was to build a wall to keep the people out of the trade negotiations. What does the future hold? It holds mass slaughters like the one in Red China. Protest taxes there and they will send in the troops and shoot you. Not that butchering a few peasants bothers the businessmen or appease China at all costs crowd. They'd never let a few gallons of innocent blood interfere with business as usual. The day will come when Americans and Canadians will be shot down in the streets just like in China. If you have any doubt at all where the United States is headed, just take a hard and sober look at the three things I just mentioned. The Oligarchy is here; the dictatorship is coming-sooner than you think. 2005 is my best estimate for the final phase, although foot and mouth disease will be used to control movement. The NWO is about control and isn't it funny this summer will see both high gas prices and a possible outbreak of foot and mouth. But there I go again, being conspiratorial.

As if all this wasn't glum enough, the economy just keeps getting worse and worse. The lapdog press trotted out its figure of 2% growth in the first quarter. Boy, were they on good acid or what! Not only do they manipulate the stock, bond and gold markets, just look at what they can do with both the inflation and growth numbers. It was also said manufacturing picked up 3%, which amused me to no end. Upon further investigation I found that civilian durable goods actually dropped 1.8%, but an increase in quote " aircraft, shipping and military tanks" led to the 3% increase. Since the United States doesn't build civilian shipping anymore, they must mean the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier just launched. Aircraft could mean Boeing 747's or the military F-16. At any rate, the breathless assertions in the article about a possible recovery showed how desperate the elite is to maintain the illusion of prosperity.

I also read the Airgonian business section every day this week and watched a couple of mainstream news broadcasts. Depression here we come. In Portland, Oregon in that one week Protection One laid off 390 employees, JC Penny 290, Wafer Tech 270, Intel confirmed 5,000 cuts and a Woodburn, Oregon agricultural processing plant, in operation for 80 years, laid off 400. The Wafer Tech factory in Camas, Washington will be down from 1300 to 900 workers in less than a year. A prepared statement said quote "...the outlook continues to be bleak, with no recovery in view." Job cuts were "necessary due to the steepest decline in semiconductor history and the very real possibility of a long and painful downturn."

TV news is no better. It seems the go-go years for college graduates are suspended. Two stories were about older workers who went $30,000 in debt to learn how to be accountants and computer programmers, only nobody is hiring these days. "I don't know what I'm going to do" says one man. National unemployment claims exceeded 400,000 last week for the highest level in five years. Understand this: you ain't seen nothing yet. The same newscast highlighted a CBS poll where fully 48% of those polled expected worse economic times ahead. So now Mr. Magoo, do ya really think cutting interest rates will have much of an impact out here in the real world? Could it be the largest drop in the trade deficit ever recorded freaked you out some Mr. Magoo? Could it be the consumer is retrenching due to massive debt loads, job worries, stock market losses and a general paranoia? Or maybe Mr. Magoo took a look at the $650 billion invested in the Telecom industry, now operating at 2.5% capacity, and saw a few banks likely to get a bloodbath instead of a bubble bath. Who knows what Mr. Magoo saw in his bubble bath, but he surely saw something that triggered his bladder.

The Tosco refinery in Los Angeles used to produce 125,000 bpd until a fire last week. Looks like gasoline will cost between $2 and $2.50 a gallon this summer. Propane has doubled in price. Oil is nearly tripled from 1998. Even sacrificing the salmon won't save us from electric brownouts and rolling blackouts. On top of everything else, our economy is going to have to deal with an old fashioned energy crisis. Who would of thunk it? Once the jobs go it's all over for Mr. Magoo. And I'm afraid Mr. Magoo can't control either the jobs going or how people react to their going.

About a year ago I wrote an essay called "Into the Kozmos and Beyond Buzz Lightyear" that chronicled the birth of Kozmo.com. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed and predicted a speedy demise. Eleven months to be precise. Several weeks ago, Kozmos dropped the com from its name and last week it ceased to exist laying off 1100 employees. The moral is those companies who don't do a business plan will end up doing a funeral plan. I personally know of three dotcom companies that have gone belly up in Portland this year alone.

A Yahoo news blurb says that April dotcom layoffs have surged 84% to 17,540 from the March total of 9,533. Last year in March there were 327. The first four months of 2001 showed a total dotcom job loss of 51,564 due to "Internet troubles for companies that have both an online and offline presence." Everywhere I look I see and hear a relentless drumbeat of job layoffs and downsizing. Mr. Magoo must be hearing it also or he wouldn't be cutting so much and so fast. Of course he'll cut in May, but so what. Take it all the way down to ZERO Mr. Magoo. You don't get it do you?

One cubic foot of gold weighs more than half a ton (1,306 pounds).

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