International Forecaster Weekly

Good Luck Staying Warm This Winter

Good luck staying warm this winter...Incarceration as a profit center, making prisoners pay for their own room and board! Keeping America's roads unsafe...the pension bomb circling overhead... making kids insane.... criminalisation of discussion..spying on whoever disagrees.... torture by contractors in Afghanistan......and more!!!

Bob Chapman | August 24, 2004

The increase in debt as a result of abnormally low interest rates and phenomenal credit growth is at massive levels, which are absolutely unsustainable. The center of the excesses is in the mortgage market, which has created an enormous unbalancing in the credit system, which has put the economy into an unbalanced state, which eventually means when the correction comes it will pull the entire economy with it.

The American public sees no trouble on the horizon. Sales of RVs are up 15% and towables are up 14.9% in the first five months of the year. Who cares if you get seven miles to the gallon. One of the reasons is that people are so turned off by the terrorist situation at airports that they won’t fly anymore.

To help cover the costs of incarceration, corrections officers and politicians are more frequently billing inmates for their room and board, an idea popular with voters. Inmates are billed $8.00 to $56.00 a day, depending on the ability to pay, which has to be unconstitutional. When they are released, the sheriff’s office goes to court to collect the unpaid bills, seizing cars or putting some people back in jail. Incarceration has become a profit center for politicians. We are not pro-prisoner, but they do have constitutional rights. Again, is this ethical and constitutional? It certainly further impoverishes inmates, making it impossible to reenter society and not revert to crime. This is far from rehabilitation and certainly constitutes unusual punishment. In fact, the billing can be so onerous that it would create involuntary servitude. Upon being jailed, money is taken from the accused, put in an account and officials draw fees from that account for costs before the alleged perpetrator has been tried and convicted. That is simply unjust. This issue should quickly go to the Supreme Court so guidelines can be clear. This is either constitutional or it isn’t.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a regulation that would forbid the public release of some data on unsafe motor vehicles, saying that publicizing the information would cause substantial competitive harm to manufacturers. We know that is hard to believe but it is true. After being barraged with complaints, the neocons said, that they were trying to balance the needs of consumers with the competitive needs of business. The only President more favorable to industry in recent history was Herbert Hoover.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp believes defined benefit pension plans are under-funded by $450 billion and PBGC is in the hole $12 billion. The $450 billion is probably understated by 50% because as companies head toward bankruptcy they stop payments and the stock and bond markets could take a dump cutting more off value, perhaps up to 50%. Corporations are hiding their pension fund liabilities and Congress knows it and refuses to do anything about it. In fact, they have given them a two-year reprieve, which will only lead to more avoidance. We believe the only way corporations can be brought into compliance is proof of funding, segregation of assets and criminal penalties for willful fraud and that is what we are seeing now. The PBGC insures pension benefits of $1.5 trillion and has to pay current and future benefits to nearly one million people in more than 3,200 terminated plans. They paid out $12.5 billion in 2003 and will pay $3 billion in 2004. Their reasonable possible exposure to future liabilities they say is $83 to $85 billion as of 9/03 up from $35 billion in 2002. Other than bankruptcy, pension problems also emanate from the average male worker who lives 18.1 years in retirement compared with 11.5 in 1950. They will live even longer in the future. As you can see, pension plans are in trouble and we see worse trouble in the future. We are in a bear market and that means the 8% return pensions expected are not going to be there and as interests move higher bonds and real estate investments will also bring lower returns. If corporations fund pensions properly then profits will plunge and take stock values even lower. This is a pension bomb, make no mistake about it. S&P 500 companies are already under-funded by $300 billion, which makes the PBGC $450 billion figure very suspect. There is no question this is going to be a time bomb and that is why many retirees and early retirees are taking lump sum payments. That removes them from the clutches of the corporation. PBGC usually pays out 20% to 50% of the liability, so retires take a major hit. It is all actuarially unsound and the corporations and Congress know that. There you have it and it isn’t pretty.

George W. Bush has to be the most deceitful politician in history. In September, he unveils his “New Freedom Initiative.” This is straight out of Orwell or a horror movie. It proposes to screen every American, including you, for mental illness. To this end, he has established a New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, ostensibly to study the nation’s mental health delivery service. The staff, of course, is comprised of America’s legal drug dealers, who will be the main beneficiaries of the invasion of privacy. He has even included our children. Now in your guts you know he is nuts. Schools will do the screening. The teachers are not for the most part qualified to teach, how can they possibly determine if your little June or Johnny is truly insane? Then there are the medications, millions of them. At the top of the list is Ritalin and anti-depressants. As we reported before when discussing this, he is using the Texas Medication Algorithm Project, or TMAP, as the model medication treatment plan that “illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better consumer outcomes.” The program enriches drug companies and allows government to take people like us and put us into mental institutions to shut us up. This is all modeled on the Soviet system and parts of the Nazi protocols.

People like us, hard cases, will be lobotomized and then liquidated. This is a political/pharmaceutical alliance to promote the use of newer, more expensive anti-psychotics and anti-depressants. Private insurers would then be forced to pick up the costs, which will be passed on to you in the form of higher premiums.

Needless to say, all those involved are heavy contributors to the Bush campaign. Essentially this amounts to class warfare, a homicidal dream by fruit loops in the White House. This is another cog in the wheel of deliberate influential destruction of the American people. It is all about control and profits. At all costs, we have to get these lunatics out of the White House. Vote independent and often.

In the history of man, his story has had changes. We make the same mistakes or similar mistakes over and over. As Ben Franklin said, “Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither liberty or security.” That again brings us back to the Patriot Act. A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll recently showed that 91% of registered voters say that this act invades their privacy and fundamental rights. Our government can check your credit card records, scan your Internet activities, and confiscate your records if they deem you suspicious, intercept your mail and bug your phones. You would probably never know what they had done unless they told you. They would do this if they deemed you suspicious. They could then put you on a government watch list and you probably would never know it. Your rights, freedom and privacy are being stolen every day and Americans are just too busy, too trusting or too complacent to be concerned about their own safety and security. Every day that goes by George W. Bush, his neocons and Attorney General Ashcroft are engaged in a fight to relieve you of all your rights and freedoms in the name of terrorism. The principle components of the Patriot Act are constructed to ensure that you will never know what is being stolen from you. The government can conduct secret searches without obtaining a warrant or showing probable cause that you have or plan to commit a crime. Your editor has already been subject to such violations of his Fourth Amendment rights. Having his mail monitored, his bank accounts and brokerage accounts accessed, his credit record searched and an attempt to monitor his phone. This is what happens when a writer tells people the truth about what is happening in our country. The Act carries a gag order, criminalizing any discussion of FBI searches, which prevents those affected from revealing that they have been targets of searches, even when no threat is found. As you can see, we have committed a felony by telling you what our government has attempted to do to us. We became targets of the government in the mid-1960s and have been targets ever since. Prior to the Patriot Act we were threatened, our phones bugged and we were consistently audited by the IRS for 15 years.

We were targeted long ago for exercising our rights of free speech, now we have become felons for being loyal Americans. Readers, this is what America is all about today. We live in a police state and it is not going to get better, it is going to get worse. Our government can gather evidence on you without even suspecting a crime has occurred. There are enormous implications that this legislation carries. That is why we cannot understand why a Congressman or Senator could vote for such an act when 91% of Americans oppose it. This is why it is vitally important that you vote against anyone in Congress who has voted for the Patriot Act or who is for unbridled illegal immigration. These people should not remain in office. They have allowed George and the Neocons to change our country into a fascist police state. Key provisions of the Act are set to expire on 12/31/05. They are called “Sunset Provisions.” Electing John Kerry will not change this. You must vote for the Constitution Party and let Washington and the elitists know that you are ready to challenge them in anyway necessary to end the legislation. The elitists have to continue to have this Act and Patriot Act II in place to subject you to police state tyranny, which they have already begun to do to activists on both the left and right. There will be no dissent in the new world order’s corporatist fascist state.

The Patriot Act was rushed through Congress on 10/26/01, just six weeks after 9/11 and it is a wonder they did not try to sneak through gun control at the same time. Believe me if they thought they could have they would have. Congress passed this act and only a few even bothered to read the text. What a sad commentary on the meatheads and crooks we send to Washington. It is no wonder we hold almost all of them with contempt. How could they do this having watched our government use demolition on the buildings? They cannot be that dumb. The real threat here is not the terrorists, although their threat should not be dismissed, it is our present government and the elitists behind the scenes who control our government. We have lost our First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Our Congress has allowed our executive branch to institute a fascist government. Terrorists did not execute 9/ll. George W. Bush and his neocons did. We are the ones being treated like terrorist, we loyal American citizens. In this process, our privacy has been stolen. There is nothing that can now escape the watchful eye of your government and if you dare expose the truth about our government, you are the conspiracy’s enemy. Civil protests are now subject to enforcement. Speaking out in a negative manner concerning government is called domestic terrorism. Politically controversial groups are subject to continual investigation. If you lodge or assist someone whom our government deems as so-called outlaws, then you are considered for prosecution. Then there is lobbying, mailing and using the airwaves and television to criticize government, all of which are terrorist acts your government wants them to be. Terror lies in wait everywhere and that is why we have a new “voluntary” registered travelers program. Upon clearance, you receive a smart card including biometrics, an iris scan and thumbprint. This is a police state dictator’s dream come true. Being a registered traveler is about as voluntary as being subject to federal income tax and Social Security. We have had our government access our bank, brokerage and telephone records and they also attempted to access our business records. Fortunately, we were one-step ahead of them. They can also access credit unions, S&Ls, real estate agencies, travel agencies, car dealers, post offices, pawnbrokers, casinos and any concern that can have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters. They even attempt to access foreign bank accounts, credit cards, businesses and trusts coercing foreign government to relinquish such information, if it exists. Over 200 cities and towns and municipalities have declared official objections or rejections of key provisions of the Patriot Act, yet our Congressmen and Senators do nothing to protect us from the lunatic in the White House. You can strike a blow for every American’s freedom by voting every one of these miscreants out of office who voted for Patriot I or II.

Our FBI has been questioning political demonstrators across the country and in some cases even subpoenaing them to intimidate them from demonstrating, particularly at the Republican Convention in NYC. They even have a list of these possible adherents of free speech. This abrogation of rights emanates from our Justice Department, who has the FBI running around the country terrorizing people who do not agree with war for profit. They have even roped local police into the action. Of course, these actions blur the line between lawfully protected speech and illegal activity. The same order resulted in the authorization of the use of torture against terrorism suspects in some circumstances, which they disavowed. This, of course, violates First Amendment rights. Under the USA Patriot Acts, they are bugging phones, accessing records and following suspects to intimidate them. They are also using Grand Jury Subpoenas to keep protestors from attending major events. The FBI agents went out with a list of questions to ask about possible criminal behavior and asked for cooperation because they can do so under the Patriot Act and if you do not cooperate they can take you to jail. You cannot refuse to answer their questions. The aggressive tactics by the FBI have all the earmarks of George and the neocons’ strategy of preventive war. Exterminate any possible enemy before he can move on you in any way. This is systematic elimination of any possible opposition as was practiced by Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The psywar people at the CIA and FBI know what a chilling terrifying affect this has on perfectly legitimate political activity. People are going to be afraid to go to a demonstration or even sign a petition if they justifiably believe it will result in their having an FBI file opened on them. The FBI has thousands of such files and so does every police department in the country. We have also begun to see people accusing people they do not like of being terrorists and turning them in. They want to get them out of the way or punish them. Again, this happened all over Germany and Russia in the 1930’s and later under the Stasi in East Germany. All those questioned are suspected domestic terrorists. This is our thought, police in action. Americans had better get with it and stop Washington because if they do not they are next.

We have a fascist government in America today because the goals of international elitists have not been able to be achieved via democracy, so the rights of the individual citizens and the sovereign nation-state has to be liquidated and be replaced by government by regulation and corporatist, monopolistic, nationalism. A form of socialism every bit as bad as communism. It reminds us of the great Europeans we have interviewed in the past, who are all almost now gone, who lived through the years after World War I and through World War II. When asked why they did what they did, the answer was, you had two choices, join the communists or the fascists. Most motivated individuals joined one side or the other and the sheeple in the middle acted like sheeple act today. A good example of one-world fascism is our state department’s invitation to the UN to monitor our elections. Kofi Annan was happy to do that to take the heat off the investigation of the stolen billions of dollars via Iraq oil. Thus, you may go to the polling booth on 11/02/04 and find blue helmeted foreigners making sure you do the right thing because you cannot be trusted anymore. Your President does not believe you are capable of voting honestly. He has allowed this to happen, you are to be treated like Venezuelans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Angolans and the voters of Mozambique. You are to be observed by inspectors of world government. Idiots in the Democratic Party welcomed the inspectors. They have to be from another planet. How can they be so stupid? Worse yet, we have not heard a peep from Republican legislators. The cat has their tongue. What a sniveling group of cowards.

Martha Stewart has a cash flow problem although she is stock and real estate rich. Her attorneys’ are sucking her dry. None of her so-called friends have come to her aid. The bottom line is, real estate is illiquid so you can certainly own too much. Never cooperate with investigators, always tell them see my attorney and never be uncooperative with our fascist government, especially when they want high profile sheep to slaughter.

NYSE profits plunged 53% in the second quarter, as the anachronism struggles in its death thrones. Revenues increased 1% from 2003 as major advertising increased and legal bills from its attack on former Chairman Dick Grasso escalated the cost of its ill-advised vendetta. It has cost $14 million in legal fees already and they are not even half way there. The other $6 million in legal fees was due to investigation of its members trading frauds. What a fowl kettle of fish.

Our government and our military are lying again. Former US soldier, Jonathan Edema, mercenary and Edward Caraballo and Brent Bennett, face charges of hostage-taking, torture, illegally entering Afghanistan and running a private jail. They will produce evidence that they were contract employees of the CIA under orders from George and the neocons. They were even directed by Secretary Rumsfeld’s office, who now disowns them. The government has been doing this contract scam since after WW II; we know we are very familiar with it. In spite of neocon denials, there is a slew of evidence that proves our government is lying again. Of course, there is no due process in Afghanistan, so once tried; our government will arrange that they will to never be heard from again.

What difference does it make when our country is run by a lunatic serial killer? We have close to 2,000 US military and mercenaries’ dead in Iraq, 30,000 wounded and God only knows how many Iraqis dead. We conveniently do not get those figures. It is like the 19 who died in Punta Gorda, Florida due to Hurricane Charley, when the figure is over 400. George W. will next invade Venezuela so they will not invade the US. George invents enemies out of whole cloth. He has also seen to it that Halliburton just made $12 billion. Hugo Chavez’s sin is that he has used the countries oil reserves to pay for citizens’ health care, food and education. We will follow the trial of these three mercenaries and the actions of our government with great interest.

Irrespective of what our government and media say there is no excess oil capacity. The extra oil now being pumped by the Saudis is heavy oil of inferior quality and demand. What we are witnessing in oil is the result of 10 years of under exploration and complacency. Now we have confusion regarding Yukos in Russia; a temporary halt of mainline oil production at Basra, which is shutting off 1.8 million barrels of oil a day; persistent fear of political and labor unrest in Nigeria which produces 2.4 million barrels of oil a day and the Bush administration attempting to overthrow the Venezuelan government, which pumps 2.2 million B/D. Least we also forget the fundamentalist problems in Saudi Arabia. Then we have unbelievable world demand. The IEA says oil demand will increase 3.2% this year or double original estimates. We also have to consider dwindling levels of oil kept in storage in the US as an area of growing concern. The supply of commercially available crude on any given day has fallen by 15% over the past decade in spite of steadily rising demand. This is a tight market beset by political questions and possible terrorism. Thus, we believe prices are going higher.

The DOE showed crude oil inventories down $1.3 million barrels. Gasoline inventories were down 2.6 M/B and distillates down 2.1 M/B. Oil moved higher on the news.

OPEC has again raised oil demand estimates for the fourth quarter to 28.25 M/B/D, up from 27.45 M/B/D. They believe demand may reach 30 M/B/D in August and 30.5 M/B/D in September.

The World Bank subsidizes all companies because people in developing countries need energy, yet 82% of the bank’s oil extraction projects end up supply the US and Europe. It will cost consumers 15% more money to stay warm this winter.