DoomwatchTM vs. Timesizing®

Collapse trends - March 21-31, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080 - HOMEPAGE


3/29-31/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. 3/29   The devil made them do it, by Mindy Sink, NYT, A8.
    Three states have joined forces to rename U.S. 666 because it is the number of the biblical beast.
    [Wooo-ooo-ooo!!!]
    Officials in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah have filed applications asking that the highway's name be changed to U.S. 393.
    ["If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off." (Matt.5:30). But they're gonna lose a big tourist attraction here.]
    The highway crosses the states near the Four Corners region. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico has endorsed the name change, and a resolution from State Rep. Ray Begaye (D-NM) says many people refuse to travel the road "because of the fear that the devil controls events along 666."
    [They think changing its name is going to deter the devil? Actually, we have some major scholarly research somewhere on this website about the number 666. Let's see if we can find it.... O yea, thar it be, pilgrim - 9/9/99. Let's just copy it here and make it a little clearer. God's blood & 'zounds (= God's, i.e., Jesus' wounds)! - a classical education complete with all three Biblical languages: 4 years of Hebrew, 2 of Greek and 1 of Aramaic, has gotta be good for something!
    In Revelation 13:18 (for the literature-challenged, Revelation is the last book in the Christian Bible), the number of the beast is given as 666, although in some manuscripts, the variant reading 616 occurs. The Bible clearly says, "Here is wisdom (meaning, here's a clue, a word to the wise), Let him that hath understanding count [meaning calculate] the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred, threescore [meaning 3 times a 'score' which is 20, so 3x20=60) and six." So all those who think this refers to the Devil are wrong. It refers to a beastly devilish man. And 666 is some kind of numerical clue or key to his name. Do we have any idea who he is, or was. Well guess so, considering we've had nearly 2000 years to work it out. The letters in the Hebrew and Greek alphabets doubled as numbers in ancient times. That means anyone's name written in Hebrew or Greek is going to have a numerical value, if you add up the individual values of each of the letters in the name. So all we have to do is write down the name of everybody famous in the first century AD in Hebrew and Greek, translate the letters of their names into the corresponding numbers (aleph 1, beth 2, gimel 3...when it gets to yodh 10, it starts going up by 10s: kaph 20, lamedh 30...when it gets to 100, it starts going up by 100s and we make it all the way to 1000 and slightly beyond by putting in some slightly different forms that some of the letters have when you write them at the end of words (these helped you read faster because there usually weren't any spaces between words - they were all run together). So let's see, there was Herod, nope, Pilate, nope, Caesar Augustus, nope, Caesar Tiberius, nope, Caesar Caligula, nope, Claudius Caesar, nope, and Nero Caesar, nope... - wait a minute. The numerical letter-values of Nero Csar in the Hebrew alphabet, which, bear in mind, is only consonants (NRW QSR = 50 200 6, 100 60 200) add up to 616. Hmm. That's the variant reading, so we're real close. And if we use the Greek form of his name (Neron) instead of the Latin and Hebrew form (Nero), we get an extra N which gives us exactly an extra 50 (if we don't use the special end-of-word form of the N), and, lo and behold, 616 + 50 = da dada daaa, 666. So this beastly, devilish man is none other than Nero, the Saddam Hussein of his time, who "fiddled while Rome burned" and did more than his share of persecuting Christians. The whole name is NeRoWN QaeSaR, or, taking out the vowels because Hebrew writing at this period didn't have vowels, NRWN QSR, or 50+200+6+50 +100+60+200 = 666. Sources for this sorcery? The Abingdon Bible Commentary (1929), p.1388, and Karl Menninger's Number Words & Number Symbols (1970), p.265. Shiver! ye mortals - and enjoy. Maybe if these three ignorant states and their superstitious drivers give up this wonderful highway number, we can grab it for the Southeast Expressway commute in Boston and it can caption a real hellish highway.]

  2. 3/30   With God on his side - Throughout America's history, there has been one ally presidents have invoked above all others, by Garry Wills, NYT Mag 26.
    [- another big reason for strengthening the separation of church and state, not weakening it. Summary -]
    3.30.03, editorial overview, NYT Mag, 3.
    ...As Garry Will notes in his essay, wartime leaders always invoke the blessings of God; George W. Bush is not the first...(or even the first George Bush) to claim divine sanction for a military mission. And the victors are always left with unforeseen consequences...a question that is particularly pertinent given the worldwide passions aroused by America's pre-emptive action.

  3. [and God on our side or not, we still don't have Osama or -]
    3/31   The Iraqi leader - Dead or alive? U.S. intelligence officials say Hussein's fate is still unknown, by James Risen, NYT, B7.
    [Is our current leadership pathetic or what? You'd think by now they'd be thinking, Gee, maybe we should be taking a completely different approach.]

  4. [but here's the only "different" approach George W. is taking -]
    3/31   Odd way to back the troops, letter to editor by John Murray of Somerville MA, Boston Globe, A18, flag credit to colleague Kate.
    Ray McGovern, ex-CIA agent, reported on March 22 at American University that this war was being waged on "cooked intelligence." He said that there was no credible intelligence to prove that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11, yet 50% of the American public believe it to be true. US Rep. Henry Waxman wrote a letter to pResident Bush asking him to explain how he could preemptively strike a country based on false intelligence.
    As a US Army veteran, when I ask these same questions, I am considered disloyal to our troops who are fighting for their lives. [However] I feel that by protesting this war I am supporting our troops.
    Last week Congress voted to cut $25 billion in veterans' benefits. This would include cuts to - Is this supporting our troops? Our government waves the flag when it attacks and turns its back when soldiers come home.
    [Truly this administration goes more and more insane - a complete fiasco. Here are some specifics -]
    3/31   Health care as war casualty - Reservists' families give up employer-paid insurance for coverage with big gaps, by Peter Landers, WSJ, B1.
    ...As the U.S. calls up some 217,000 troops in the National Guard & Reserves for active duty, while the law guarantees [them] their jobs [when and if they return], it doesn't require employers to keep paying for health insurance. Families...who lose insurance from employers can use Tricare..\..the Dept. of Defense's entity serving members of the military...but that can mean delaying care or paying for it themselves at a time when their income is likely to be lower than usual..\.. "Here I am on active duty protecting my country, and my daughter can't get treatment [when she needed a colonoscopy]," says..\..Douglas Dimond, a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard [who] was called to active duty in November 2001 [and] has since returned to his civilian job running the information systems at Anderson College in Anderson SC....
    [There's one guy who's going to think twice about "protecting his country" in future.]

  5. [and speaking about 9/11 -]
    3/31   Undercutting the 9/11 inquiry, editorial, NYT, A14.
    ...In the supplemental war budget sent to the Congress last week...the commission's $11m request was not there. Reasonable people might wonder if the White House, having failed in its initial attempt to have Henry Kissinger steer the investigation, may be resorting to budgetary starvation as a tactic to hobble any politically fearless inquiry. The committee's mandate includes scrutiny of intelligence failures and 8 other government areas....

  6. [more history]
    3/30   The sky was falling - War after war of bombings, viewed from the ground, NYT Mag, 22.

  7. 3/30   The global villain - Jedediah Purdy searches for an answer to a familiar question:
    Why do they hate us?
    , review of Purdy's Being America by Barry Green, NYT Bk Revu, 15.
    [If you have to ask, you're too stupid to understand the answer. But here's a hint -]
    ...Globalization, Purdy says, has produced disruption everywhere....
    [even here -]
    3/30   Mismatch: The growing gulf between women and men, contents pointer (to 10), NYT Bk Revu, 3.
    [and the indicated book review -]
    3/30   Women are from Europe, men are from America - Andrew Hacker says the sexes are farther apart than ever, review of Hacker's Mismatch by Carol Tavris, NYT Bk Revu, 10.
    [What are the latest figures about the percentage of one-person households in the U.S.? Out of five permanent-resident houses on our little E-W street, two are one-person households. The first house to the north at our street's outlet is a one-person household, the two houses to the south are one-person households.... Further -]
    3/30   Some are cooks... - Robert Kagan's essay argues that Americans and Europeans are fundamentally different and becoming more so, review of Kagan's Of Paradise and Power by Serge Schmemann, NYT Bk Revu, 7.
    ...as the U.S. amasses extraordinary military might while the Europeans seek to supplant it with international cooperation. "That is why on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus," Kagan proclaimed at the outset; "They agree on little and understand one another less and less." This, he further declared, could not be attributed to any single factor - say, the team [dba junta] currently in the White House - but rather represented a profound, long-developing and enduring divergence....
    [We disagree. The "team" currently in the White House and their violent behavior has no future - because they are too tied up with their own near-sighted absorptions to have a competitive feedback system (they will make more mistakes than their rivals in Europe) and they will continue to evoke disagreement until they fade. "Blessed are the meek (ie: the humble and teachable): for they shall inherit the earth." (Mat.5:5) Why? Because the violent tend to kill one another off. And perhaps we should make it easier for them to do so without harming others who want no longer to play these primitive games. As Brian Corr of Peace Action said this weekend, "War is a failure for the human race." Futurist Buckminster Fuller would agree. Nations have unfortunate accidents from time to time where they lose their way. South Africa lapses into apartheid in 1949. Germany lapses into anti-Judaism in the 1930s.... Such divisive courses evoke disagreement until they fade. But it takes time to fade, because it takes time to get bored with physical activity like war, and the dumber you are, the longer it takes. Smarter people are already bored -]
    Iraq around the clock, by Frank Rich, NYT, 2:1.
    And so it turned out that "Shock and Awe" - or "shockinaw" in cable parlance [or simple fireworks in the brainstem of most of us] - didn't have legs. Less than a week after it pumped up the stock market and gave the country a presentiment of a quick and tidy war, it was all but forgotten. [After that] for the first time we could smell blood, American blood, and it was far from awesome....
    [So much for our many many violent computer games that condition our young to bloodless violence.]

  8. [it had to happen, sooner or later -]
    3/30   Between Iraq and a hard place, by Charles Stein, Boston Globe, C1.
    [Oooh. But at least we've cleared that ringer out of our semiconscious and onto our tongues. Subhead...]
    - On both the international and domestic fronts, Bush is making big bets...
    [First sentences -]
    Although there was plenty of bad language used during the 1990s, there was one 4-letter word that wasn't heard enough. That word was risk....
    [here are some other words -]
    3/29   Non sequitur, cartoon by Wiley, Boston Globe, B6.
    [drawing of a couple of guys sitting opposite each other in a prison cell - one says to the other -]
    ...So, long story short, it turns out that for the rest of us, the legal term for pre-emptive strike is "felonious assault"....
    [further -]
    3/30   The war in Iraq turns ugly; That's what wars do, by James Webb, NYT, 4:1.
    [and we were fools to believe this administration's assurances that it would be surgical and swift - just a lovely 'liberation' of people who would welcome us as saviors.]
    [further -]
    3/29   Iraq says blast in Baghdad market kills dozens of civilians; U.S. blamed, continuation headline, NYT, B3, from main headline "Iraq blames U.S. for market blast in Baghdad that killed civilians," by John Burns, NYT, front page.
    [further -]
    3/29   A pause in the advance, and some time to reflect - Haunting thoughts after a fierce battle - After battle and victory, dark thoughts about killing - A sergeant doesn't want his wife and children 'to think I'm a killer', by Steven Myers, NYT, front page, B5.

  9. [and what Americans are most at risk in this war?]
    3/30   Military mirrors a working-class America, by Halbfinger & Holmes, NYT, front page.
    [Perfect, Cheney! They're exactly the people you need to thin out to create the wartime labor shortage that centrifuges and activates the unspendably hyper-concentrated spending power of the nation and delivers the notorious "wartime boom." 'Course you could have just done it the intelligent, controllable and predictable way by adjusting the national workweek downward.]
    They left small towns and inner cities, looking for a way out and up, or fled the anonymity of the suburbs, hoping to find themselves. They joined the all-volunteer military, gaining a free education or a marketable skill or just the discipline they knew they would need to get through life.
    As the U.S. engages [or better, "indulges"] in its first major land war in a decade, the soldiers, sailors, pilots and others who are risking and now giving their lives in [remote] Iraq represent...a broad swath of American society - but by no means all of it. Of the 28 servicemen killed who have been identified so far (20 white, 5 black, 3 Hispanic)...just one was from a well-to-do family, and with the exception of a Naval Academy alumnus, just one had graduated from an elite college or university....
    [Talk about "class warfare"!]

  10. [Then there's the question, "How long will it go on?" -]
    3/30   Doonesbury, by G.B. Trudeau, Boston Sunday Globe, comics 1.
    [Voices coming over parapet of White House - 6 frames -]
    1. "When will we be going in?"
      "In a matter of weeks, not months."
    2. "When will we be going in?"
      "In a matter of days, not weeks."
    3. "When will we be going in?"
      "In a matter of hours, not days."
    4. "When will we be going in?"
      "In a matter of minutes, not hours."
    5. [silence]
    6. "When will we be coming out?"
      "In a matter of years, not decades."

  11. [and for real depression about the war Cheney started -]
    3/29   Dolphins to the rescue, APTN via AP and Agence France-Presse via NYT, B7.
    [Hardly 'rescue' - they've trained these dolphins to detect mines, & what happens if they bump one?]
    Mammal mine detectors helped clear the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq, so a British ship could deliver aid supplies [and other ships could deliver war supplies?!] yesterday. At right, Bud Bickford, a Navy handler, assisted his charge, 33-year-old Makai, back into a pool. [photos caption]

  12. [and why did Cheney keep on and on and on until he got his war?]
    3/30   In the company of Vice Presidents, a big Texas contractor prospered - Since LBJ, a unit of Halliburton has gotten government contracts, by Richard Oppel Jr., NYT, 4:5.
    [and for a complete rundown on Cheney and Halliburton and war profiteering -]
    3/31   The Cheney connection - How does the VP's old firm get so many US contracts?, op ed by Ruben Navarrette Jr., Boston Globe, A19, flag credit to colleague Kate.

  13. 3/30   Markets falter, but it's not just the war, by Kenneth Gilpin, NYT, 3:15
    ...Investors also had to confront more evidence that the economy remained anemic.
    [Hey, that's what happens when we have shortening vacations and a frozen 63-year-outdated long workweek that keeps the automation-depleted human employment bunched up on an ever-smaller workforce, and loses more and more confident consumers to forced part-time, downsizing, forced retirement, unemployment, welfare, disability, homelessness, incarceration, suicide, and now, a war we've allowed our 'democratic' dictators to start against a No. 2 or 3 dangerous but currently peaceful nation. The timesizing imperative intensifies.]
    On Friday, the Commerce Dept. reported that consumer spending on big-ticket items fell sharply again in February. For the week, the Dow...fell 4.4%, or 376.20 points, to 8,145.77. Only two of the 30 stocks...moved higher. And the Nasdaq...the only major market measure that is still in the black for the year,slipped by 3.7%, or 52.24 points, to 1,369.60...the worst since the week ended Jan.17..\.. For the Dow and the S&P500, it was the worst performance since the week ended Jan.24....
    [Details -]
    3/29   Shares decline [Dow down 56] on weak consumer confidence report, Reuters via NYT, C4.
    ...The University of Michigan's gauge of consumer sentiment fell in March to its lowest level in almost a decade.... All 3 major stock gauges ended lower for the week, after 2 weeks of gains that had pushed all of them into the black for the year....
    [more -]
    3/29   Consumers tighten pocketbooks, pointer digest (to C14), NYT, C1.
    Consumer spending was flat in January and February, holding at an annual rate of $7.49 trillion, the Commerce Dept. reported....
    [and the indicated article -]
    3/29   Spending by consumers stalls for second consecutive month, AP via NYT, C14.
    [Why is modern war bad for economies? Because wartime prosperity only happens in the context of mass workforce elimination to remove the surplus, re-empower labor by means of scarcity, and rebuild the centrifuge mechanisms on national income to get the spending power out of the clutches of the few and out to the many who actually use it. Then even the few are better off because they have more personal security and their investments have more market sustainability. All this can be done simply by cutting the workweek, as we did from 44 to 40 hours a week nationally 1938-40 and as South Korea is doing currently and as France did from 40 to 35 hrs/wk nationally 1982-2002. Mass surplus workforce elimination (war) cannot compete with simple workweek reduction on one parameter vital to business, namely, predictability -]
    3/30   In war, forecasters find few data points - Economic models don't help in gauging military might, by Daniel Altman, NYT, 3:4.
    [plus the weakening of income centrifuges and the extreme concentration of wealth attacks our national feedback process and flexibility, regardless of how much Rumsfelt succeeds in making our armed forces more mobile and flexible. Our top income brackets have gathered all the major decision-making power of the nation, yet they've used their money to insulate and isolate themselves from any possible negative consequences of any of their decisions. Result? No effective feedback -]
    3/30   Dilbert, by Scott Adams, Boston Sunday Globe, comics 1.
    [Scene: rectangular conference table. 4 seats on each side, 1 on each end. We assume all seats are filled except one on one side. 8 frames -]
    1. [Pointy-haired boss (PHB) seated at one end -] Our CEO will be joining us in a minute.
    2. [PHB -] As usual, he'll be making an awkward attempt to seem like "just plain folk."
    3. [CEO, pointing to empty chair -] Excuse me - Is this ordinary chair available for an average guy like me?
    4. [CEO -] I'll roll up my sleeves and get to work. I'm not too good for real work.
    5. [CEO, to Alice on his left -] I have a secretary but it's almost as if I work for her. Ha ha! It's ironic.
    6. [CEO -] Last weekend I wore blue jeans and drove a tractor!
    7. [Uniformed chauffeur approaches behind him -] Sir, your helicopter is here to take you to your island fortress for the fox hunt.
    8. [CEO, embarrassed -] Itty bitty fortress.
      [Chauffeur -] The interns are already in full fox costumes.
    [Think this is exaggerating? Think again. Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft, has his own private island archipelago in the Caribbean and his own private jet fleet. Gradually more CEOs are realizing the dysfunctionality of uncapped levels of income concentration, but they have no idea what to do about it. The answer involves years of painstaking economic analysis and redesign - nasty work but somebody's got to do it. We've done it, for the economic core. Step one is the realization that it's a lot easier to start by deconcentrating worktime per person than income or wealth per person. Our best-candidate design is the five-phase Timesizing full-employment program.]

  14. 3/29   Brazil: Jobless rate rises, by Tony Smith, NYT, C3.
    ...in February, hitting 11.6% as the moribund economy failed to absorb new jobseekers.... High interest rates are stifling economic recovery in Brazil, and the jobless rate in major cities has risen as high as 20%. Nevertheless, this year's official figures represent an improvement over 2002, when unemployment peaked at 12.9% in March.
    [That's even higher than France's peak in 1997 = 12.6%.]

3/28/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. ['precious' productivity sinks]
    Fourth-quarter output declined to a 1.4% pace [from 4% in Q3], Reuters via NYT, C6.
    WASHINGTON - The economy slowed toward the end of last year, the Commerce Dept. said [yester]day.... For the year, the economy grew 2.4%....

  2. In other news... - 'The staff has no union', by Steve Bailey, Boston Globe, C1.
    Imagine for a minute if Boston's janitors came to work tomorrow morning and found a new employee handbook waiting for them from [a] giant cleaning company.... Imagine it began like this: "Employment at the Company is employment at will [which] can be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the employee or the Company." ...How long would it take the union to file an unfair labor practice? How long would it be before there was a...picket line around some downtown office building?
    Now substitute the word "union" for "company" and you will get an idea of what the employees [working] for the janitors' union - the Service Employees International...Local 254 - faced one recent morning when they arrived at work. "Employment at the Union is employment at will," the new handbook begins...after the 'welcome' page. "Employment can be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the employee or the Union."...
    [At least 50% of the union movement is as stupid as cinderblocks, and suicidal as lemmings.]

  3. [war profiteer quits]
    After disclosures, Pentagon adviser quits a post, by Labaton & Shanker, NYT, C1.
    [but hey, war profiteering is Rummy's and Cheney's middle name!]
    WASHINGTON - Richard Perle resigned [yester]day as chairman of an influential Pentagon advisory board in the wake of disclosures that his business dealings included a recent meeting with a Saudi arms dealer and a contract to advise a communications company that is seeking permission from the Defense Dept. to be sold to Chinese investors. The departure, announced by the administration, came after growing criticism....
    [You mean there are some things that even Cheney & Bush can't get away with?! And there is the blocking of his dufus faith-based initiative today (3/28/2003 #1). Gee, it seems like both the very evil and the very good resign. But the good resign willingly to make a statement (see last one on 3/12/2003 #1 {2nd subhead}.)

3/27/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. Early signs war is weakening economy - Pros look at car sale dip and [mall traffic and] profit warnings; Jobless numbers are key, by Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, D2.
    [Hey, it's buried inside the last section, but it's in the Bush-backing Wall Street Journal!]
    Bill Sharp...an economist with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co..\..is searching for clues about where the economy might be turning next.... "The economy is a lot weaker than most people perceive," says Mr. Sharp. "We're at the cusp where it could be contracting."
    [No kidding, Bill. As if it hasn't been weakening over the last 33 years of deepening downsizing-borne labor glut, and contracting over the last 3 years ever since the dot-com bubble began to burst. Talk of "recovery" has just been whistlin' in the wind.]
3/26/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. [one small step forward for the Bush administration, one giant step backward for America -]
    Bush orders a 3-year delay in opening secret documents, by Elisabeth Bumiller, NYT, A14.
    WASHINGTON...- pResident Bush [yester]day signed an executive order that will delay the release of millions of government documents and make it easier for presidents and their administrations to keep historical [ie: all records?] secret.
    The White House disclosed a new policy that has drawn criticism from historians in an e-mail message to reporters early [last] evening, at the end of a day of news about the war in Iraq.
    [Oh that war is sooo useful for distraction while Bush & buds rape America back home. Check out "War distracts from Bush's budget cuts," op ed by Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe, A15, which describes how Bush is calling for sacrifice, American troops in Iraq are sacrificing, and meanwhile a grateful pResident is cutting "an amazing $14.6B in vets' programs, including money for disabilities caused by war wounds, rehab and housing benefits, and even - nice touch - burial benefits." While his propaganda has millions of civilian monkeys running around intoning, "Oh I support the troops, I do!", Bush himself is playing the troops for suckers. Kuttner continues, "While young men and women risk their lives in a war whose rationale remains to be proved, the larger Bush program diverts money from services to ordinary Americans, even our homeland security - give taxcuts to multimillionaires..\.. This administration's slogan might as well be, "Sacrifice is for suckers." Yep, for all his fine words, Bush is basically stabbing U.S. troops in the back.]
    Mr. Bush's signature on the 28-page order...amends a less restrictive order signed by Pres. Bill Clinton that would have required automatic declassification on April 17 of most government documents 25 years or older. Mr. Bush's order postpones that declassification for three more years, to Dec. 31, 2006....
    [Wonder what he's hiding this time - and allowing to surface only after he's in the middle of his hoped-for second term - by which time he can prolong disclosure another 3 years. Here are some hints -]
    Mr. Bush's order stipulates that all info provided in confidence by a foreign government is presumed classified. It gives the president and the heads of government agencies the power to classify documents, as Mr. Clinton's order did, but for the first time specifically extends that power to classify to the vice president.
    [So Tricky Dicky Chancey Cheney is behind this. How comforting, not.]
    VP Dick Cheney has been the administration's leading advocate of retaining and restoring presidential prerogatives, including keep private deliberations confidential and barring scrutiny of administration actions by Congress and the news media....
    "...The Bush administration is the most secretive in recent decades...," said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project of Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.... Tom Blanton, the executive director of the National Security Archive...said that Mr. Bush's order was a significant step back from government openness. The manner in which the order was announced ["early...evening, at the end of a day of news about the war in Iraq"], he said, was an effort to generate fewer and smaller headlines about the policy.
    [So where does the NY Times stash it? Buries it on page A14.]
    "This administration has consistently opted for more secrecy, not less," Mr. Blanton said.
    [Wonder how George "Mr. Open Society" Soros feels about all this? Here's the brief Journal version -]
    Bush issued an order to delay release of millions of historical documents for more than three years and ease reclassification of data deemed of possible harm to national [or Bush administration] security.
    [Kinda makes you wonder exactly how much "democracy" we have left to defend. The troops would probably be doing a better job if they were back home arresting the White House and Congress instead of in Iraq.]

  2. [and Bush's "repression is fine" message has even got through to the heart of the "free" market, the NY Stock Exchange -]
    Big board revokes news credentials of al-Jazeera staff, AP via WSJ, B4B.
    NEW YORK - The...Arab TV network...said it has covered the exchange for years and believes it is the only channel affected by the new curbs....

  3. [well, this disaster of a "president" has sure brought out the hackers -]
    Web hacking is up as tensions rise, by Riva Richmond, Dow Jones via WSJ, B5.
    ...Recent victims' webpages were replaced with antiwar messages....

  4. [and meanwhile on the West Bank, Israel continues to disgrace its professed religion -]
    Israeli troops kill 3 gunmen and 2 children in West Bank, by Craig Myre, NYT, A8.
    [Israeli bumper sticker: "Have YOU killed a Palestinian today?"]

3/25/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. Bush is requesting nearly $75 billion for war expenses, by Bumiller & Firestone, NYT, front page (but below the fold).
    [or the Journal's even more hidden version -]
    The White House outlined, pointer blurb (to A2), WSJ, front page (above the fold but small print mid-list).
    ...a $74.7 billion spending package to pay initial war costs and bolster Mideast allies including Israel, Turkey and Jordan. Bush pressed legislative leaders for mid-April passage.
    [and this is apparently only for the first part of the war, and when we've already got -]
    Budgetary shock and awe, editorial, NYT, A18.
    [followup - yep, this $75B is just the beginning -] Bush urged Congress, pointer blurb (to A8), WSJ, 3/26/2003 front page.
    ...to speed up a $74.7B first installment to help pay for the war....

  2. Dow industrials fall 301.29 points - Worst day in six months follows weekend of bad news in war, as investors show fresh concern, by Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ, C1.
    [wrinkle -]
    Stocks plunge as some bet on long war - More small investors are selling shares short, despite the risks..., by Jeff Opdyke, WSJ, D1.

  3. America the Destroyer - The illusion of virtue clouds our destruction in Iraq, op ed by James Carroll, Boston Globe, A11.
    [How can such an illusion fool so many people? -]
    In this war, news is a weapon, op ed by Lucian Truscott, NYT, A19.
    [In fact, we have -]
    The media as war accomplice, letter to editor by Carl Koechlin of Dorchester MA, Boston Globe, A10.
    War is a human catastrophe, but you wouldn't know it listening to the media coverage of the US invasion of Iraq. It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. Our media are accomplices.
    [And media consolidation sure helps -]
    Channels of influence - Understanding America's new oligarchy, op ed by Paul Krugman, NYT, A19.
    ...There's something happening here.
    What it is ain't exactly clear,
    but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy.... On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule.... If politicians are busy doing favors for businesses, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians - by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?
    ..\..Recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn...as many people as antiwar ralles, but they have...been vehement. ...In Louisiana..\..a crowd...gathered to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash...Dixie Chick's CDs \after\ Natalie Maines [their] lead singer...criticized pResident Bush [saying onstage in London that she was ashamed he was from her homestate of Texas - glad somebody from Texas is speaking out against this insanity!] To those familiar with 20th-century...history it seemed eerily reminiscent of.... [Funny, many Jews who lived in Germany through the 1930s have been saying the same thing.] But as Sinclair Lewis said, it [couldn't] happen here.
    Who has been organizing...pro-war rallies? ...Key players in the radio industry...with close ties to the Bush administration.
    [Gee, just like the old Soviet Union - staged grassroots rallies in support of The Party.] ..\..The Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed many restrictions on media ownership \only after which\ Clear Channel..became a [media] giant.... The FCC is [now] considering further deregulation that would allow Clear Channel to expand even further, particularly into TV....
    What makes all this possible...is the absence of effective watchdogs. Anyway, don't you know there's a war on?
    [At least the Boston Globe gave Mike Moore a positive editorial for his Oscar protest -]
    Edgy at the Oscars, editorial, BG, A18.
    ...Moore was outrageous..\.. "We all like nonfiction," he said, "and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."...
    Moore did the country proud, democratically speaking.... In fact, it's an applause-worthy victory when a guy can get on national TV, bad-mouth the pResident and his military campaign, then wake up the next morning and go back to such mundane tasks as buying...maybe more film....
    [As Mike said to us when we started our website we now say to him, "Way ta go!"]

3/22-24/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. [Still think there are lots of jobs?]
    3/23   Waiting all night to work all day - Shrinking day jobs force poor to fight for spots at minimum wage, by David Abel, Boston Globe, City 1.
    [As with religious overkill, paranoid grabbiness, cluelessness about mounting high-efficiency technology, and our unwillingness even to share the vanishing work, we turn another piece of America into hell -]
    ...On a recent morning in South Boston, the line in front of Labor Ready's blue neon sign starts at midnight. It grows steadily, with gimpy men nearing retirement age or muscle-bound ex-cons too young to [have taken to] drink. Some are recently laid off with college educations; others never finished high school. There are blacks raised in Roxbury MA, local whites with Irish names, and a few immigrants with sketchy legal status. They all know one thing: get here after 4:30 a.m. and forget about working today. ...Said...Mark, who slept for 3 hours and then, at 2 a.m., hiked from a shelter in Uphams Corner, "Whatever people say about the homeless, I challenge anyone to say that those of us here are not some of the most determined guys you'll ever meet."...

  2. 3/23   Investors bet on US consumer - Looking past war, some expect uptick in retail, casino, travel-related stocks, by Andrew Caffrey, Boston Globe, C1.
    [The US consumer is no good without money, and there's no money without jobs, and there's no jobs without a much bigger war to remove a lot of employees, or, timesizing.]

  3. 3/24   Companies still teeter on the brink - Possible relief after war could arrive too late for long-battered [economic] sectors, by Clare Ansberry, WSJ, A2.
    [Especially if the skeptics are right -]
    3/24   The skeptical view of the economy takes in more than Iraq, by David Leonhardt, NYT, C1.
    With battles having begun [or, With Bush having begun battles] in Iraq, the US economy once again looks as if it might be on the cusp of emerging from its torpor.... But this has become a familiar refrain. With each new month of layoffs and other corporate cost-cutting, however, the exceptions begin to look more like a rule...the new reality...that will bedevil workers and investors for a few more years [or, years to come].
    [Bottom line - the downsizing response to technology will continue killing us until we substitute timesizing.]
    "When it all comes out, we're going to have a...less sanguine outlook than we did in the late 90s," said Dale Jorgenson, an economist at Harvard University and an expert in productivity, widely seen as the most important factor for future growth [regardless of marketability?!]. "That's something we're just going to have to get used to."...
    [Easy for him to say. He's got tenure at the richest university in the world ($19B endowment). And yet, unprecedented prosperity would be sooo easy. We only have one another, and when we become more available to one another, everything gets better. It's always been a question of advances in our technology of sharing. The thing we need to systemically and automatically share at this point in human evolution is work. And Timesizing is the most market-oriented and flexible design for doing that.]

  4. [then the root & source of all this mishigas -]
    3/24   Israeli fence may cut deeper into West Bank - A proposal to bring 40,000 settlers within a "security" perimeter [our quotes], by Greg Myre, NYT, A7.
    [Boy, they're really asking for it. They've gone completely meshugenah. But then, so have we -]
    3/23   Will Israeli-Palestinian peace ever be a priority for Bush?, inside headline, NYT, 4:14, for "Can you get to Palestine from here?" by James Bennet, NYT, 4:1.
    [And "whom the gods destroy, they first make mad" -]

  5. [ignoring Israel, the president-from-hell brings us the war-from-hell and, surprise surprise -]
    3/23   The world pushes back - Even if the US scores a quick victory in Iraq, the rest of the world won't fall in line behind America's new global agenda..., by Robert Pape, Boston Globe, H1.
    [Compare the more circumlocuitous NYT version -]
    HyperPower - The new agenda: Go it alone; Remake the world - First, regime change, then regional change, then what?
    [Then the entire world is reorganizing against the most dangerous rogue nation in the world, the USA. And all because a lot of Americans let themselves get stampeded into spiraling sensitivity to "sleeping dogs" and just could not "let sleeping dogs lie." Well, here are the realities that our paranoid fantasies and precious, spiralling, invasive sensitivities (over 20 guys with boxcutters who by pure coincidence tapped a structural weakness in 2 skyscrapers) are actually doing to others -]
    3/24   For family, terrifying wait for bombs - As the US strikes, their world changes to fear and dread, by Anthony Shadid, Washington Post via Boston Globe, A17.
    BAGHDAD -...The sleepless family listened in silence until the mother, her face lined with fear and pain, shook her head. "Siren," she whispered.... And they waited for the bombs....
    "We complain about things, but complaining doesn't mean cooperating with foreign governments," the father said. "When somebody comes to attack Iraq, we stand up for Iraq. That doesn't mean we love Saddam Hussein, but there are priorities."
    A friend of the family interrupted. "Bombing for peace?" he asked, shaking his head.
    "I don't even care about the leadership," the daughter-in-law said. "But...what gives them the right to change something that's not theirs in the first place? 'I don't like your house, so going to bomb it and you can rebuild it again the way I want it, with your money'?...

3/21/2003  headlines from hell -
  1. [American employers should be worrying about their precious productivity-regardless-of-marketability because -]
    For workers, one topic dominated the day, by Tejada & Kim & Stringer, WSJ, A7.
    Just as he had numerous times this week, Richard Garcia yesterday stopped work at his desk at a West Coast office-equipment company to read another news alert arriving on his desktop from MSNBC.com .... "Any employers who believe they can get 100% productivity out of their employees right now are fooling themselves," said Richard Chaifetz, CEO of ComPsych Corp., an employee counseling firm in Chicago....
    [compare -]
    Workplaces clouded by mood of unease, internal header C3 on article "Many grope with tasks at hand as fear and unease descend," by Kimberly Blanton, Boston Globe, C1, flagged by colleague Kate.
    [and]
    Retailers see slowdown as shoppers stay home to watch news, by Agins & Merrick & Branch, WSJ, A6.
    [and]
    World watch - Europe -...Briefly, WSJ, A12.
    LONDON - British retail sales fell for a second straight month in February....
    [and check out this ambiguous Journal headline, which at first glance, looks a lot more optimistic than it is -]
    It's not just war, Fed official says, by Greg Ip, WSJ, A3.
    [Would have been clinched if it said, "It's not a just war," but nonetheless, the Wall Streeters made a big goof in not saying "It's not only war," because they're refering to the swandive the economy was already making before the war -]
    WASHINGTON - More than worries over war with Iraq are holding back the economic recovery, a top Federal Reserve policy maker [NY Fed prez Wm. McDonough] said.... "Recovery...continues to be restrained not just by geopolitical uncertainty [polysyllabic buzzwords like this are why these guys pull the big bucks - they're anti-monetary inflation but pro-linguistic inflation] but by..\..the need for further restructuring in some key sectors [yeah, like the technologically obsolescent and anyway unenforced 40-hour workweek - but he's looking for more mergers which will just finish us off faster] \and\ caution on the part of investors and lenders....
    [Aaah, "caution on the part of investors and lenders" - another big hallmark of the Great Depression. It wasn't that the money wasn't there, it was just that the people who could actually use it couldn't get any of it.]
    The big question is whether the econony's anemic growth - underlined by yesterday's reports of high jobless claims and falling leading indicators - is a result primarily of war-related jumpiness or something more deep-seated....
    [You morons. If the economy was already tanking before 9/11/01, why would you still be asking a year and a half later if it was already tanking before Cheney's Leetle Oilwar? The "something more deep-seated" is something you in-the-box thinkers never think about. Our rising levels of work-saving technology mean that our most precious vanishing "resource" is market-demanded human employment! Read our lips - the jobs aren't there. And never mind our 1930s-era banking and bankruptcy laws that need to be gutted, oops, "reformed," we need to thaw out and adjust downward our frozen 1940's-era workweek in order to share the vanishing work. Not only has it not been adjusted downward for the last 63 years despite waves of efficient technology and robotization, but job insecurity has driven it upward for millions of miraculously still-full-time American employees. Nobody wants to be the first to leave the office at night lest they be first under the next flutter of pink slips! What does it take to wake up American business leaders to this central core strategic top-priority underlying problem? We're almost warming to Jeremy Rifkin's shock-tactic 1995 book title, "The End of Work," to wake you birds up and shake you out of the 20th, no, the 19th century!   And maybe - despite the warbubble forming in the stock market - the economy doesn't just have a war problem, but the war sure ain't helpin' -]
    Firms freeze capital outlays, by Patrick Barta, WSJ, A4.
    American companies are putting capital-spending plans on hold because of the war with Iraq, possibly setting the stage for further economic weakness, a survey...by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and Financial Executives International, a professional association for \CFO's\ said. [It] found that 67% of 187 finance chiefs surveyed Mon-Tue are spending cautiously or holding off all capital investment due to war-related uncertainty. Moreover, 45% said they have become less optimistic about the economy and 40% said they are less optimistic about their own companies. Both were record highs for the survey, which has been performed quarterly since 1996....
    [And despite the recent big stock runups in lovely warbubble fashion -]
    Short interest rose last month amid war fears - Gloomy economic outlook is expected to do little to ease bearish sentiment, by Kate Kelly, WSJ, B6.
    [and not even the recent up market??]
    NEW YORK - Anticipating the war with Iraq and reeling from the persistently gloomy economic picture, short sellers' positions on the NY Stock Exchange exploded last month....

  2. [And why all this self-destructive extremism on the part of the once-popular USA? -]
    Bush's just cause: A democratic Iraq, letter to editor by Bruce Afran of Princeton NJ, WSJ, A15.
    [Yeah, like the democratic Afghanistan that Bush has crafted since invading there last year. Or for that matter, like the "democratic" election in which even the wealth-controlled Electoral College was pre-empted by the five extremists packed into the Supreme Court over the last few decades. "Physician, heal thyself." And how much democracy has there been in the fostering of Cheney's sideshow war, hatched long pre-9/11 in secret energy taskforce meetings and prior and dumped on the American people by this double handful of oil executives in the White House? The Wall Street Journal letters to the editor are dominated by nitwits whose only thought is for their own very short-term finances.]

  3. Meeting in Brussels, [European] Union's leaders find split is too wide to mend quickly, by Elaine Sciolino, NYT, B2.
    [Easy - toss the Bush suckups to NATO and let sane EU members pull out of NATO. That way each organization becomes more truly what it is. And we've already got the braindead in the Wall Street Journal calling for the U.S. to pull out of the UN Security Council (see "Au revoir, Security Council," pointer blurb {to A14}, WSJ, front page). Turnabout's fair play, and besides, what's the use of a European Union if it's not going to provide some common sense when U.S. "conservative" leadership turns extremist?   Moreover -]
    Europeans worry about war's economic ripples, by Mark Landler, NYT, W1.
    [In fact, any sane people worry about that - American CEOs for instance, such as Marshall Carter, recently retired from State Street Corp., who says, "If we are everyone's enemy around the world, who is going to buy American goods?" See "CEOs for peace" today's random good news (3/21/2003).
    [Along the same lines -]
    Egypt braces for a serious blow to tourism, NYT, W1.
    [So much for "seeing the pyramids along the Nile." Not to mention -]
    War brings more divisiveness for Israelis and Palestinians, by Greg Myre, NYT, B9.
    [Moreover -]
    A big threat to Asia's export-driven economies, by David Barboza, NYT, W1.
    Asia did not have to wait for hostilities to start. The region, which was expected to be a major driver of global economic growth this year, has been feeling the ill effects of the crisis in Iraq for months....
    [Or maybe it was something structural that was already there, that the crisis just distracts from, considering the ongoing plight of the economic flower of Asia (Japan), ... or why couldn't it be both? Here's the evidence pointing to the Iraq crisis -]
    But if it drags on for months, big trouble looms for Asia....
    [On the other hand, the first thing Hoover did as the seriousness of the Great Depression got through to him, was shut down immigration and imports. What a 'terrible thing' it would be, eh, if we had to pay a little extra for American replacements of all the stuff we're currently importing from Asia! Damn, it might actually help us stem the deepening recession. Bottom line: no matter how smart your economic design is, if you flood your economy with imports, immigrants and births, you're toast. That's the whole reason for Phase 5 of the Timesizing Full Employment for Full Capacity program, "Plugging the leaks." And if Asia used it too, they'd be more in control of their own fate and would not be so pathetically dependent on exports.]

  4. An empty pledge to civilians? What we don't know about collateral damage, op ed by Sarah Sewall, NYT, A23.
    ...The Pentagon does not study how military force actually affects civilians....
    [So what DO we know about "collateral damage," i.e., damage to civilians is basically nothing - not surpising when the Pentagon is so careful to use the euphemism "collateral damage" in the first place.]

  5. [in fact, we even do collateral damage to our allies, but hell, who cares about them? -]
    Dismissal of charges recommended in 'friendly fire' case - Pilots may not face court-martial for "accidental" deaths [our quotes - we'd say careless], by David Halbfinger, NYT, A15.
    An Air Force hearing officer has recommended the dismissal of all criminal charges against two American fighter pilots who killed 4 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in a mistaken bombing last year that investigators said showed "reckless disregard" for orders and a breakdown in the most basic rules of combat flying....
    [Wonder how those four sets of parents feel. But hell, the U.S. Air Force rapes its female enlistees too. It's Neo-Cowboy America led by Dubya "Cowboy" Bush. Don't like it? You're unpatriotic! We shoulda kept that whole incident Classified.]

  6. [and in the future we probably will -]
    U.S. ready to rescind Clinton order on government secrets - The administration acts to ease the task of making documents classified, by Adam Clymer, NYT, A15.
    [So what use is it to get rid of a Saddam Hussein when our own pResident is turning into one?]

  7. [and back on the home front, a lonely voice of reason keeps hammering away at the question -]
    Who lost the U.S. budget?, op ed by Paul Krugman, NYT, A23.
    The Onion describes itself as "America's finest news source," and it's not an idle boast. On Jan. 18, 2001, the satirical weekly bore the headline, "Bush: Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over," followed by this mock quotation: "We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15%. And on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."
    Whatever our qualms about how we got here, all Americans now hope that the foreign front proceeds according to plan. Meanwhile...in other news, \there's\ the fiscal front.
    The latest official projections acknowledge (if you read them carefully) that the long-term finances of the U.S. government are in much worse shape than the administration admitted a year ago. But many commentators are reluctant to blame George W. Bush for that grim outlook.... Why is this line appealing? [Because] it seems more reasonable to blame longstanding problems [eg: long-run deficits of Soc Sec & Medicare & the unwillingness of either party to reform them] for our fiscal troubles than to attribute them to just 2 years of bad policy decisions. Also, many pundits like to sound "balanced," pronouncing a plague on both parties' houses.
    [Oh ya hafto, or you lose 40-50% or your audience.]
    To accuse the current administration of wrecking the federal budget sounds, well, shrill - and we don't want to sound shrill, do we?
    [Oh gawd no!]
    There's only one problem with this reasonable, balanced, non-shrill position: it's completely wrong. The Bush taxcuts, not the retirement programs, are the main reason why our fiscal future suddenly looks so bleak.
    [Guess in the long-term we better pray that wars are started by Democrats, not Republicans, because Democrats, not Republicans (recently), are occasionally willing to raise taxes where the serious money is (ie: on the rich) to actually pay for said wars (eg: WW2) and help along the real foundation of wartime prosperity = removing the wage&demand-killing surplus of labor hours in the peacetime job market (by killing and maiming employees in the war).]
    I base that statement on a new study...carried out by the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities....
    [We won't go into it here - don't wanna sound "unbalanced" or "shrill" now, do we?! Besides, it just reinforces all the bad news we've told you before. It's like the "radicals" of the 60s. All the terrible rumors that were flying around about the CIA etc. weren't the worst of it by half.   Here's just a little jab from, of all places, the Wall Streeters themselves -]
    Washington Wire -...War costs: Bush is mum but lawmakers see first bill up to $90 billion, by Jackie Calmes, WSJ, A4.
    [Two squibs later, Jackie has the following gem -]
    Washington Wire -...Remember the surplus?, by Jackie Calmes, WSJ, A4.
    The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] says a $5.6 trillion surplus it projected in January 2001, for 2002-2011, is now a $378 billion deficit. [And] that doesn't count any new taxcuts or war spending. Of the 10-year surplus forecast when Bush took office, CBO says - [With "conservatives" like this, could we possibly to any worse with "liberals," though both are beside the point?!]

  8. [But in all this moaning about casualties - enemy, ally, us, women, children - let's not forget the economist's underlying purpose for war is to kill off the surplus manhours in the job market and centrifuge all the inactive spending power so tightly and unspendably concentrated in the top income brackets. And when it comes to getting rid of over-population, some countries just don't get it -]
    Resisting birth control, the Philippines grows crowded, by Seth Mydans, NYT, A3.
    ...The population in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country has doubled in the last half-century, to 80m, and could double again in less time than that. Under the influence of the powerful church, the Philippine government has done little to curb population growth and has taken a stand against modern methods of birth control....
    [Oh well, all the more for the priests to child-abuse, and maybe the rebel movement on their outlying islands will grow and take care of things in the usual gory way.]


For earlier collapse stories, click on the desired date -

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