Detainee Shouldn't Be Allowed to Tell Attorney About CIA's Torture Techniques :.

A suspected terrorist who spent years in a secret CIA prison should not be allowed to speak to a civilian attorney, the Bush administration argues, because he could reveal the agency's closely guarded interrogation techniques.

Human rights groups have questioned the CIA's methods for questioning suspects, especially following the passage of a bill last month that authorized the use of harsh but undefined interrogation tactics.

In recently filed court documents, the Justice Department said those methods, along with the locations of the CIA's network of prisons, are among the nation's most sensitive secrets. Prisoners who spent time in those prisons should not be allowed to disclose that information, even to a lawyer, the government said.


UPDATE: Government Disabled Access to the ENDGAME Document

Yesterday, this link worked:

Today it doesn't.

The diabolical fascists at U.S. Immigration didn't think Cryptogon readers should have access to the original ENDGAME planning document that I linked to yesterday. They have disabled access to the document via Cryptogon.

How many of your tax dollars are being spent to protect you from seeing public U.S. Government documents?

Ok guys, it's clear, if you want to reference government documents, save local copies of them on your webserver. We're clearly into the memoryhole phase of the game now. They're disappearing stuff right in front of our eyes.

Cryptogon mirror of:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Office of Detention and
Removal Strategic Plan, 2003 - 2012
Detention and Removal Strategy for a Secure Homeland

It's getting VERY frightening now. They're actively monitoring those of us who are exposing this stuff, and They're implementing countermeasures. Again, save it locally if you want to have access to it.

- - -

Would you believe me if I told that the name of this plan is ENDGAME?

Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands "a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798." Its goal is the capability to "remove all removable aliens," including "illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists."


the United States is being redefined as a vast gated community, hoping to isolate itself by force from its poverty-stricken neighbors. Inside the U.S. fortress sit 2.1 million prisoners, a greater percentage of the population than in any other nation. ENDGAME's crash program is designed to house additional detainees who have not been convicted of crimes.

Significantly, both the KBR contract and the ENDGAME plan are open-ended. The contract calls for a response to "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." "New programs" is of course a term with no precise limitation. So, in the current administration, is ENDGAME's goal of removing "potential terrorists."


Since 9/11 the Bush administration has implemented a number of inter-related programs, which had been planned for secretly in the 1980s under President Reagan. These so-called "Continuity of Government" or COG proposals included vastly expanded detention capabilities, warrantless eavesdropping and detention, and preparations for greater use of martial law.

Prominent among the secret planners of this program in the 1980s were then-Congressman Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was in private business as CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle.

The principal desk officer for the program was Oliver North, until he was forced to resign in 1986 over Iran-Contra.

When planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney's response, after consulting President Bush, was to implement a classified "Continuity of Government" plan for the first time, according to the 9/11 Commission report. As the Washington Post later explained, the order "dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans."

What these managers in this shadow government worked on has never been reported. But it is significant that the group that prepared ENDGAME was, as the Homeland Security document puts it, "chartered in September 2001." For ENDGAME's goal of a capacious detention capability is remarkably similar to Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" for COG in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States.

Military Times Media Group: Rumsfeld Must Go :.

Just days after President Bush publicly affirmed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's job security through the end of his term, a family of publications catering to the military will publish an editorial calling for the defense secretary's removal.

The editorial, released to NBC News on Friday ahead of its Monday publication date, stated, "It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads."

The editorial will appear just one day before the midterm election, in which GOP candidates have been losing ground, according to recent polls.

"This is not about the midterm elections," continued the editorial, which will appear in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times on Monday. "Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth: Donald Rumsfeld must go."

White House Visits Cryptogon

The White House Military Office user (hostname:, ip: conducted the following Google search:

They searched Google to see which sites mention the IP for their host.

Just curious??? Or...

More: Pages Visited During Session

Pages visited:
1 2005 09 18 Blogarchive
2 2005 01 02 Blogarchive
3 2004 01 18 Blogarchive
4 2005 04 24 Blogarchive
5 2003 07 06 Blogarchive
Why don't these guys use some kind of super encrypto traffic teleporter proxy thing, like any skilled 12-year-old would? I mean, if this had come from that AT&T node in Northern Virginia, I wouldn't have even noticed it. ;)

Cryptogon Readers Contribute $50 and $20

WOW! DJ sent $50 and JJ sent $20.

Becky and I just spent NZ$90 on a pickup truck full of potting soil and seedlings. And we're going to have to go back for a load of scoria to build the drainage bases for our avocado trees. If you want to see what's happening with your contributions, check out Farmlet. That's where it's all going. We're turning your dollars into a beautiful, productive, low impact farm. It's Spring down here and we're going flat out.

Thanks to DJ, JJ and all Cryptogon supporters for helping us fire it up!

Cryptogon Reader Signs Up for Hosting with Blue Host

Cryptogon receives $65!

Thanks so much!

Related: Hosting with Blue Host


Americans Will Have to Obtain "Clearance" to Leave U.S. :.

I already covered this, but it's shocking enough to justify a rehash:

Forget no-fly lists. If Uncle Sam gets its way, beginning on Jan. 14, 2007, we'll all be on no-fly lists, unless the government gives us permission to leave-or re-enter-the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all airlines, cruise lines-even fishing boats-be required to obtain clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the United States.

It doesn't matter if you have a U.S. Passport - a "travel document" that now, absent a court order to the contrary, gives you a virtually unqualified right to enter or leave the United States, any time you want. When the DHS system comes into effect next January, if the agency says "no" to a clearance request, or doesn't answer the request at all, you won't be permitted to enter-or leave-the United States.

Samsung's Terminator Robot :.

Just wait until they get the rat brains hooked up to it:

Samsung has partnered with Korea University to develop a machine-gun equipped sentry robot...


Ted Haggard: Evangelical Leader Paid for Gay Sex Monthly for Three Years :.

Family values:

Facing shocking allegations that he paid a gay prostitute for sex, prominent Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard placed himself on administrative leave Thursday from his church position and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a platform that made him a rising star in conservative politics.

Haggard, 50, said in a statement released by his 14,000- member New Life Church that he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations made on Denver talk radio this morning."

In interviews over the past two days with KHOW talk radio, 9News and The Denver Post, Michael Forest Jones, 49, of Denver alleges he had sex on a monthly basis with Haggard over three years. Jones claimed Haggard used the name "Art," admitted he was married and used meth before the two had sex.

In an interview Wednesday with 9News, Haggard denied he'd used drugs or had gay sex, saying he's been faithful to his wife. Haggard, who has five children, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Late Thursday, The Associated Press reported that the acting senior pastor at New Life, Ross Parsley, told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs that Haggard admitted some of the accusations were true, but Parsley didn't elaborate.

Conservative Republican Pays Ex-Mistress $500,000 to Keep Quiet :.

Family values:

A Republican congressman accused of abusing his ex-mistress agreed to pay her about $500,000 in a settlement last year that contained a powerful incentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day, a person familiar with the terms of the deal told The Associated Press.


The settlement, reached in November 2005, called for Cynthia Ore to be paid in installments, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is confidential. She has received less than half the money so far, and will not get the rest until after the Nov. 7 election, the person said Thursday.


Enjoy those seafood meals now, because by 2050 there may be no fish, prawns, crabs or other wild sea creatures left to eat.

Marine species are disappearing at an accelerating rate, posing a serious threat to human health and wellbeing, a four-year study of the state of the world's oceans has concluded.

Boris Worm, of Dalhousie University in Canada, said his team's research showed 29 per cent of seafood species currently fished had already collapsed, with catches having declined by at least 90 per cent.

"If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime - by 2048," Professor Worm said.

Loss of biodiversity also reduced the ocean's ability to resist diseases, filter out pollutants and cope with climate change, the study concluded.

A business-as-usual approach to the problem would increase health risks to humans, with more toxic algal blooms, fish kills, and polluted water, and this would be especially bad for coastal economies.

"Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world's oceans, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems," Professor Worm said.

"I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are - beyond anything we suspected."

More Violence in Oaxaca :.

Riot police and protesters have clashed at a university campus in the Mexican city of Oaxaca in the latest protests against the state governor.

At least eight people were injured in the clash. Police used water cannon and teargas as crowds threw petrol bombs.

Last week, 4,000 riot police entered Oaxaca, removing demonstrators from the city centre after five months there.

Striking teachers and leftist activists are demanding that Governor Ulises Ruiz be sacked for alleged abuse of power.

The Mexican senate recently urged Mr Ruiz to resign, but he has so far refused.

Reports say federal police were initially pushed back from the state university by hundreds of protesters guarding the entrance.

The protesters threw petrol bombs at riot police who had been pushing forward through barricades of burnt out vehicles, eyewitnesses told Reuters news agency.

But the police were supported by helicopters and armoured vehicles.

More: Oaxaca Rebellion in Pictures

Cryptogon Readers Contribute $30 and $19.77

Number One Son is back again with a $30 donation! And EP sent $19.77.

Thanks, guys, for starting November off right! You keep Cryptogon free and open for all.

Brain in a Dish :.

On the right track to...

In an Atlanta lab, minibrains in dishes can control robots and computer-simulated animals. They may provide a simple model to study how the brain changes as it learns. Georgia Tech researcher Steve Potter calls his biological-mechanical hybrids Neurally Controlled Animats. Each Animat's "brain" consists of cultured rat neurons growing on a plate of electrodes. This live culture is linked to an artificial body—either a robotic animal or a computer-simulated one.

The brain cells can receive input from the synthetic critter's environment, process information, and stimulate behavior. For example, one of the Animats is linked to a robot with light-detecting sensors. Information from the sensors is sent to the brain culture, which sends a signal back to the robot instructing it to move toward the light. Other Animats can chase a target around a room, scribble simple drawings, and move around obstacles. Until recently, training Animats had been tough. The cultured brain cells kept firing in synchronized bursts that disrupted learning. Potter suspected this bursting was a symptom of sensory deprivation, since the neurons weren't receiving constant electrical input as they would in a living body. He was able to quiet the neural fireworks by applying soothing background stimulation. "Now we've seen reliably detectable changes. We think we're on the right track." Animats won't be taking over the world anytime soon, but Potter acknowledges that these "semiliving objects" are smarter than your average petri dish. "They can process information from their environment and respond to it. It's not human consciousness, but it's something."


Non violent, civilian, prisoners will work in prison camps on U.S. Army bases.

Do you get it yet?

Summary. This regulation provides guidance for establishing and managing civilian inmate labor programs on Army installations. It provides guidance on establishing prison camps on Army installations. It addresses record keeping and reporting incidents related to the Civilian Inmate Labor Program and/or prison camp administration.

Note: provided a link to this document that has since been removed by the U.S. Army. I have provided a different link to the same document. If the Army removes this one as well, let me know. Never mind: Cryptogon hosted copy of U.S. ARMY REGULATION 210-35: CIVILIAN INMATE LABOR PROGRAM. I don't want to host this permanently, but I want to make sure this gets mirrored elsewhere since Google cache can't be trusted.

Additional Mirrors:

Reader DM sends additional mirrors:

U.S. Air Force Google Search

The U.S. Air Force user (ip:, hostname: conducted the following Google Germany search: cjcsi6250.01

There weren't too many results. ;)

Most .mil users can't access Cryptogon anymore. It's blocked. Mostly blocked. A couple of years ago, roughly 1/3 of Cryptogon visits were from .mil. Now, hardly any show up with hosts that resolve back to something obviously .mil. The "sorrow" users must be extra special in order to view a naughty site like Cryptogon.

Published Neocon Agenda: Prepare to Bomb Iran, Recruit Lieberman for 2008 :.

Prepare to Bomb Iran. Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office.


The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home. It will be an injection of steroids for organizations such as We need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes. In particular, we need to help people envision what the world would look like with a nuclear-armed Iran. Apart from the dangers of a direct attack on Israel or a suitcase bomb in Washington, it would mean the end of the global nonproliferation regime and the beginning of Iranian dominance in the Middle East.


Texas Senate Candidate In President's District Jailed :.

This is absolutely beyond belief.

Candidate for U.S. Senate:

Held in solitary confinement.
Not charged with any crime.
Eventually released with a traffic violation!?

Can you feel the Democracy?

Regarding his campaign, Smart said, "I didn't know if I would be out of jail before Nov. 7. What I was doing before was going out and talking to strangers and asking them, 'What's important to you? What are you concerned about? And the reception I got was very good, overwhelming. It was so positive, unbelievable. So that gave me a lot of encouragement."

Smart says that a big issue in this district is eminent domain and the Trans-Texas Corridor. He noted that his opponent, Republican Kip Averitt, will support the Trans-Texas Corridor if he gets re-elected, "for the party."

"I've talked to a lot of people and everyone is against it. I don't want it. This might die on its own, but the trouble is there would be a lot of damage done, people losing their property, their houses, and their land. But when you think about it, why would anybody be for it?"

Research Credit: MN

Is the Maniac Bitch a Felon Too? :.

But this is Florida, so, fuhgetaboutit:

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said his office has been looking into the matter for nearly nine months, and he would turn over the case to the state attorney's office by Friday.

Coulter's attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday. Nor did her publicist at her publisher, Crown Publishing.

Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

American Car Buyers Get a Case of Amnesia :.

Living outside of the U.S., I try to forget that I'm American:

Who can remember all the way back to last summer, when we had daylight saving time, baseball, and $3 a gallon gasoline prices?

Not American car buyers, apparently, and you can see the evidence in the results of October auto sales.

Sales of big pickup trucks and SUVs went through the roof - doubling from the year before in some cases. Sales of small, fuel efficient cars, meanwhile, remained stagnant. It is as if all that moaning and groaning about price gouging by oil companies never happened.

Actually, it is worse than that. American consumers have reinforced all the stereotypes they are labeled with: short attention spans, lack of social consciousness and thinking with their wallets.

U.S. Air Force Seeks $50 Billion in Emergency Funds :.

Reason: To help defer the costs of transporting the growing numbers of U.S. soldiers being killed or wounded in Iraq an Afghanistan.

Tell me another one!

The U.S. Air Force is asking the Pentagon's leadership for a staggering $50 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007 -- an amount equal to nearly half its annual budget, defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute said on Tuesday.

The request is expected to draw criticism on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are increasingly worried about the huge sums being sought "off budget" to fund wars, escaping the more rigorous congressional oversight of regular budgets.

Another source familiar with the Air Force plans said the extra funds would help pay to transport growing numbers of U.S. soldiers being killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thompson, who has close ties to U.S. military officials, said the big funding request was fueled by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. England told the services in a October 25 memo to include the "longer war on terror," not just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in their emergency requests.

Big Brother Britain 2006 :.

Britain has sleepwalked into becoming a surveillance society that increasingly intrudes into our private lives and impacts on everyday activities, the head of the information watchdog warns.

New technology and "invisible" techniques are being used to gather a growing amount of information about UK citizens. The level of surveillance will grow even further in the next 10 years, which could result in a growing number of people being discriminated against and excluded from society, says a report by the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas.

Future developments could include microchip implants to identify and track individuals; facial recognition cameras fitted into lampposts; and unmanned surveillance aircraft, predict the report's authors.

Who Ya Gonna Call? :.

American politics isn't just theatre; it's dinner theatre, on par with a Medieval Times franchise. It can put on a decent show: the way the white and black knights joust you'd think they meant it, and that the guy who falls off his horse really gets hurt and the champion wins something of meaning. Voters are "treated like royalty" - every man a king! - but their crowns are made of tissue paper. And while the menu is all you can eat, all you can order is bullshit.


UPDATE: Bomb Explodes At eBay PayPal Headquarters

Just as long as nobody starts cutting fiber...

And as a bonus, the San Jose Fire Captain assures us that, "It wasn't anything radioactive."

That's nice to know:

An explosion at eBay's PayPal division Tuesday night shattered a window and forced the evacuation of 26 employees, as crews combed the company's North First Street complex for incendiary devices.

No one was injured inside the company's four-story network operations center at 2211 N. First St. in San Jose, and no explosive devices were found in the rest of the company's 100,000-square-foot complex, which police had cordoned off Tuesday night. EBay officials say operations were not disturbed.

"Whatever caused it was pretty strong," San Jose Fire Capt. Jose Guerrero said.

Authorities received multiple reports of a smoke detector alarm sounding at 7:34 p.m., Guerrero said, followed a few minutes later by multiple calls of an explosion.

When crews arrived, they found a 6-by-7-foot window had been shattered near a first-floor exit between the network operations center and a nearby building at 2161 N. First St. The window's frame was bent and a light haze covered the area, Guerrero said. No flames, however, were visible, nor was there any other damage. Other debris was in the area, said Guerrero, who couldn't say Tuesday night exactly what the debris was.

"It wasn't anything radioactive," Guerrero said.

Meanwhile, teams from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearm and Explosives, San Jose fire's hazardous-materials crew and the San Jose police bomb squad were roaming the buildings. Guerrero said no other explosive devices were found.

Authorities have suspicions about what may have caused the blast, Guerrero said, but he declined to disclose them. No threats were reported ahead of the explosion, Guerrero said. San Jose police are taking over the investigation.

Employees were expected to be allowed back inside early today.

"It was fortunate that no one was hurt," said Catherine England, an eBay spokeswoman.

England said she expected business to return to normal today. But she encouraged employees to check their e-mail and to call the emergency numbers on backs of their badges before heading to work today.


Sydney's Pay-Later Poor :.

DEBT-stricken families with new homes, cars and plasma televisions in Sydney's sprawling housing estates are relying on charity handouts to buy food.

Welfare agencies report a worrying increase in the number of middle-income families with big mortgages seeking help to pay grocery, electricity and gas bills.

Dubbed the "pay-later poor" by St Vincent de Paul, they live in homes boasting cable television and the latest electrical goods and use credit cards to meet basic living costs.

Many of the families live in so-called McMansions.

Rising interest rates and petrol prices have hit them hard, with the latest figures showing soaring personal debt levels and bankruptcies.

With rates tipped to rise again next month, the blame game has begun, with the State Government accusing Federal Treasurer Peter Costello of economic mismanagement.

St Vincent de Paul Society chief executive officer John Picot said families were seeking cash and vouchers to buy food and clothing, and pay electricity and water bills and other debts.

He blamed a "want-it-all" attitude for the trend.

Those who took up "buy now, pay later" offers and store credit cards often found themselves in difficulty when the interest-free periods ran out, a member of the family fell ill or one of the family's breadwinners lost a job.


This article is so astonishing that I can't even believe that it appeared in a mainstream publication.


Those of you who liked my GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms post might recall this passage:
This show would have already come down if it wasn't for the macroeconomic black ops. Rather than allowing this thing to die, it is being kept in an undead state for as long as possible.

With the debt closing in on $9 trillion, we're already living well within the realm of financial make believe. Could the debt reach $46 trillion or more? There's no purely economic reason why it couldn't. I don't see any difference between $9 trillion and $100 trillion. IT'S ALL FAKE AT THIS POINT.
As usual, just more tinfoil on Cryptogon... until the mainstream press confirms it days, weeks or months later.

And to you shit for brains Democrats and limousine liberals who feel the need to post "tinfoil" warnings before linking to Cryptogon: A) I don't want or need your links (they're embarrassing to me) and B) Put this in your tinfoil pipe and smoke it:

Hank Paulson, the market-wise Treasury Secretary who built a $700m fortune at Goldman Sachs, is re-activating the 'plunge protection team' (PPT), a shadowy body with powers to support stock index, currency, and credit futures in a crash.

Otherwise known as the working group on financial markets, it was created by Ronald Reagan to prevent a repeat of the Wall Street meltdown in October 1987.


Mr Paulson has asked the team to examine "systemic risk posed by hedge funds and derivatives, and the government's ability to respond to a financial crisis".

"We need to be vigilant and make sure we are thinking through all of the various risks and that we are being very careful here. Do we have enough liquidity in the system?" he said, fretting about the secrecy of the world's 8,000 unregulated hedge funds with $1.3trillion at their disposal.

The PPT was once the stuff of dark legends, its existence long denied. But ex-White House strategist George Stephanopoulos admits openly that it was used to support the markets in the Russia/LTCM crisis under Bill Clinton, and almost certainly again after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"They have an informal agreement among major banks to come in and start to buy stock if there appears to be a problem," he said.

"In 1998, there was the Long Term Capital crisis, a global currency crisis. At the guidance of the Fed, all of the banks got together and propped up the currency markets. And they have plans in place to consider that if the stock markets start to fall," he said.

The only question is whether it uses taxpayer money to bail out investors directly, or merely co-ordinates action by Wall Street banks as in 1929. The level of moral hazard is subtly different.

Mr Paulson is not the only one preparing for trouble. Days earlier, the SEC said it aims to slash margin requirements for institutions and hedge funds on stocks, options, and futures to as low as 15pc, down from a range of 25pc to 50pc.

The ostensible reason is to lure back hedge funds from London, but it is odd policy to license extra leverage just as the Dow hits an all-time high and the VIX 'fear' index nears an all-time low --- signalling a worrying level of risk appetite. The normal practice across the world is to tighten margins to cool over-heated asset markets.

The move is so odd that conspiracy buffs are already accusing SEC chief Chris Cox of juicing the markets to help stop the implosion of the Bush presidency.

Related: The Eerie "Bid" in the Equity Markets

Related: Do You Actually Own the Stocks in Your Portfolio?


Elites are walking out onto the stage and openly trying to manage the collapse. Since there is no point in licking America's toes anymore, it's time to lick Chinese toes:

TREASURER Peter Costello has called on East Asia's central bankers to "telegraph" their intentions to diversify out of American investments and ensure an orderly adjustment.

Central banks in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong have channelled immense foreign reserves into American government bonds, helping to prop up the US dollar and hold down American interest rates.

Mr Costello said "the strategy had changed" and Chinese central bankers were now looking for alternative investments.

"Of course you can have an orderly adjustment," he told reporters. "And what I would recommend is that these matters be telegraphed well in advance. I think we should begin preparing ourselves for it."

Mr Costello said the "re-emergence" of China as the world's greatest economy "is not something to be feared".

Conde Nast/Wired Acquires Reddit :.

Imagine my shock... * sigh *

Conde Nast's Wired Digital has bought online news aggregator for an undisclosed sum, the publisher said Tuesday.

Wired Digital, based in San Francisco, will add Reddit to its stable of online properties, which include Wired Magazine and Wired News. Reddit's four founders--Steve Huffman, Alexis Ohanian, Aaron Swartz and Chris Slowe--will relocate from Boston to Wired Digital's San Francisco headquarters.

Rove Freudian Slip? :.

"When we got attacked on November..."


Pentagon Memo Reveals Launch of "New Media" PR War :.

In other words, your tax money is going to be used to pay .mil trolls to mess with people like me...

I can't wait:

The Pentagon is buttressing its public relations staff and starting an operation akin to a political campaign war room as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld faces intensifying criticism over the Iraq war.

In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said new teams of people will "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and "correct the record."

The memo describes an operation modeled after a political campaign --- such as that made famous by Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential race --- calling for a "Rapid Response" section for quickly answering opponents' assertions.

Another branch would coordinate "surrogates." In political campaigns, surrogates are usually high-level politicians or key interest groups who speak or travel on behalf of a candidate or an issue.

The plan would focus more resources on so-called new media, such as the Internet and Weblogs. It would also include new workers to book civilian and military guests on television and radio shows.

Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff did not provide the exact number of people to be hired, or the costs.

Iraqi Insurgent Snipers Train with Book Written by U.S. Marine :.

Iraqi insurgents have formed a special sniper brigade which is drawing its inspiration from a US training manual by one of America's most revered snipers.

A new insurgent propaganda video shows how guerrillas have dramatically upped their kill rate of US soldiers with the help of The Ultimate Sniper, written by a retired US Marines major, John Plaster.

Frenzy: Drug Dealers Turning to Mortgage Fraud As Crash Accelerates :.

The real estate market has never offered such opportunity for graft. Since the housing market started to soar in 2001, mortgage fraud has become the fastest-growing white-collar crime, according to the FBI. Last year crooks skimmed at least $1 billion from the $3 trillion U.S. mortgage market.

Now that the market is slowing, fraud is only rising. As business dries up, there's increasing pressure on lenders, brokers, title companies and appraisers to be profitable. That means loan and title documents aren't scrutinized as carefully as they might be, and courts - many of them so low-tech they resemble Mayberry - can't keep up with the volume of paper.

Then there's the mad rush to sell, particularly by people who paid high prices for homes and suddenly can't afford the mortgages.

It's like a tasting menu for con artists and grifters, so tempting that in some cities drug dealers have turned to mortgage fraud, plaguing lower-income neighborhoods with crooked mortgages rather than crystal meth.

"It's an easier, more surreptitious crime," says Gale McKenzie, a U.S. attorney in Atlanta (and chief prosecutor on the Cox case).

Starbucks Business Strategy: Metastasis :.

How about opening up a coffee house that sells good coffee right next to Starbucks?

The coffee chain's aggressive growth also hinges on what the company calls "infill" --- adding stores in cities where its mermaid logo is already commonplace. In some cases, that means putting a Starbucks within a block of an existing store, if not closer.

While Starbucks knows there's plenty to lure people into their stores, they also recognize that many people can't be bothered to walk very far --- or wait very long --- for an optional and pricey treat.

"Going to the other side of the street can be a barrier," said Launi Skinner, senior vice president in charge of Starbucks' store development.

As Starbucks adds a whopping six stores a day on average, the company says it continues to carefully consider everything from the direction of commuter traffic zipping by a potential drive-through site to how many people are pounding the pavement on a busy urban block.

Related: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton

The first step is to recognize who is an asshole. Sutton's blog cites one method. It's called the Starbucks Test It goes like this: If you hear someone at Starbucks order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," you're in the presence of an asshole. It's unlikely that this petty combination is necessary---the person ordering is trying to flex her power because she's an asshole.

Fried Coca-Cola Debuts in Texas :.

Can I get some freedom fries with that?

A new fast food is making its debut at U.S. fairs this fall---fried Coke.

Abel Gonzales, 36, a computer analyst from Dallas, tried about 15 different varieties before coming up with his perfect recipe—a batter mix made with Coca-Cola syrup, a drizzle of strawberry syrup, and some strawberries.

Balls of the batter are then deep-fried, ending up like ping-pong ball sized doughnuts which are then served in a cup, topped with Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry on the top.

"It tastes great," said Sue Gooding, a spokeswoman for the State Fair of Texas where Gonzales' fried Coke made its debut this fall. "It was a huge success."

Gonzales ran two stands at the State Fair of Texas and sold up to 35,000 fried Cokes over 24 days for $4.50 each---and won a prize for coming up with "most creative" new fair food.

Do You Actually Own the Stocks in Your Portfolio? :.

WARNING: The following is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial instrument.

You guys know how I feel about the equity markets. I have zero faith in them whatsoever. Even when the system wasn't so seemingly near the brink of collapse, I wasn't into buying (or shorting) and holding. As a trader, I'd seen what market makers were capable of doing and it didn't take a rocket scientist to determine that the entire thing was a scam.

As usual, it's not that bad, it's worse.

It turns out that people (individual investors and managed funds alike) who are buying and holding stocks, might not actually own the stocks that they think they own.

Darkside of the Looking Glass is an interesting examination of Failures to Deliver and Naked Short Selling. As I was watching this, I thought, "This could only be happening on low liquidity, garbage stocks." Nope. It's happening on the big daddy, household name shares that make up all the indexes that matter. How would you know if you're holding an IOU for a share of stock or an actual share of a stock?

* Drum roll *

You don't!!!

Sure, your brokerage account will show you the number of shares that you think you bought, and track the values, but you won't know whether or not you're holding an IOU or the real deal.

HAHAHAHA! Isn't "investing" fun!?

Confused? Perhaps the Money Honey Hair Indicator is what you need... What the hell, it's only your savings and retirement that are on the line...

More: This Seemed Somehow Familiar

Remember my post about working in that dodgy sub-prime paper mill? That was essentially the same scam, except with mortgages! The Wall Street firm got suckers to commit to IOUs that they'll never be able to deliver upon, while at the same time selling these IOUs to greater fools in the secondary lending markets. Why was the firm so concerned with never having any of that paper on the books after the end of each month? It's called making sure that you have a chair when the music stops playing.

Research Credit:

Motorola's "Dumb" Phone :.

My first cell phone was also my last. In 2000, the company I worked for gave me a Nokia 6190. I quit the company but I kept the phone, taking the monthly plan over for myself. I used that same Nokia 6190 until I left the U.S. in March of 2006. It had excellent reception and the sound quality was better than some landline systems I'd used.

As the years passed, I never "upgraded" to a newer phone. I laughed at people who started having to "reboot" their crashed fancy pants gaming/video/desktop replacement phones. Build quality went down. Sound quality got worse. I never found a phone that sounded as good as that Nokia 6190.

Now, as you read this article about Moto's new "dumb" phone, and whether or not it will be available in the U.S., remember that you can buy a used Nokia 6190 for about $10 on eBay:

The efficient display was attractive, she says, because, "power is an issue in rural India." The saved power allowed Motorola to use a small, less expensive battery, even though the phone offers eight hours of talk time and 12 days of standby time. According to Colorado, a user could charge the phone by riding a bicycle, a dominant mode of transportation in India. In a bike equipped with an inexpensive dynamo-based system Motorola is also developing, it would take about two hours of biking at a leisurely pace.

Britons 'Could be Microchipped Like Dogs in a Decade' :.

The only tinfoil aspect of this story is that they think it will take a decade!

Human beings may be forced to be 'microchipped' like pet dogs, a shocking official report into the rise of the Big Brother state has warned.

The microchips - which are implanted under the skin - allow the wearer's movements to be tracked and store personal information about them.

They could be used by companies who want to keep tabs on an employee's movements or by Governments who want a foolproof way of identifying their citizens - and storing information about them.

The prospect of 'chip-citizens' - with its terrifying echoes of George Orwell's 'Big Brother' police state in the book 1984 - was raised in an official report for Britain's Information Commissioner Richard Thomas into the spread of surveillance technology.

The report, drawn up by a team of respected academics, claims that Britain is a world-leader in the use of surveillance technology and its citizens the most spied-upon in the free world.

Police Terrorize School: Principal Wanted "Sense of Urgency" :.

A school safety drill that included police officers in riot gear with weapons has caused concern among some parents who say it was too realistic and frightened some students.

Police in the western Michigan community of Wyoming entered two classrooms at Lee Middle and High School on Thursday and announced there was a threat to the school, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

Students, who were unaware police were conducting a drill, were taken from the classroom into the halls, patted down by officers and asked what they had in their pockets, the newspaper said.

"Some of these kids were so scared, they just about wet their pants," said Marge Bradshaw, a parent with four children in Godfrey-Lee Schools. "I think it's pure wrong that the students and parents were not informed of this."

Officers wore protective gear, including vests and helmets, and carried rifles that were unloaded and marked with colored tape to indicate they were not live weapons, the newspaper said.

Diana Silva, a parent of an eighth-grade student, said the drill went too far.

"My child was with his face to the wall in the hallway of the high school," Silva said. "I certainly don't want anything like this happening to my child."

Principal David Britten said students weren't told ahead of time to make the drill as realistic as possible. Teachers were informed moments before it took place, he said.

"I think this is the best way to do it," Britten said. "We're not looking to scare anyone, but we want a sense of urgency."

1927-1933 Chart of Pompous Prognosticators :.

This is great.

Research Credit: MC

UK: Big Brother Adjusts Property Taxes Based on Income, Purchases, Neighbourhood :.

Families who live in desirable areas face massive increases in their council tax bills under plans being drawn up by Labour, it was revealed.

Homeowners in affluent neighbourhoods with good schools, low crime rates and clean streets could be charged thousands of pounds extra than those in more run down places.

Ministers have purchased sophisticated 'Big Brother' computer systems which calculate the desirability of an area based on the quality of local services and the types of people who live there.

The software, which will be used in the forthcoming revaluation of all 21 million homes in England, contains astonishingly detailed data on the number of households, even those who have pets, wear contact lenses or are vegetarian.

It allows inspectors to put a precise value on each home, based not only by its size and features, but its location.

The move is a further blow to homeowners who are facing the prospect of being fined for refusing to let council tax inspectors come into their homes to photograph any improvements.


The Acorn computer system uses marketing information obtained from companies, such as credit card and stores, to create a detailed analysis of individuals and their neighbourhoods based on 287 'lifestyle variables'.

This includes information on the age, sex, ethnic profile and profession of residents in different 'localities'.

Highly personalised information about what families eat, drink, and earn is also taken into account.

Research Credit: West


Wind-Powered Water Heater :.

I was looking at the various options for getting hot water from any method other than paying the power company for it when I came across this cunning invention. I don't think we would try to go this route, but it's interesting nonetheless:

The wind turbine, connected to a shaft, can be mounted on a rooftop or other location with sufficient wind to spin the turbine, which rotates an array of magnets attached to a metal plate at the other end of the shaft. The array of magnets spins in close proximity to a copper plate, which becomes hot due to magnetic resistance. The heat is transferred from the copper plate to water being pumped through coiled copper tubing that is mounted against the back of the copper plate. The turbine could also be positioned in a stream where moving water would turn the array of magnets, the students said.


:. Reading

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell Readers will come to see that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest" - fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors such as E. coli and "mad cow disease" find their way into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate farms.

Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross This is a relatively short but extremely cogent and well-argued treatise on the rise of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th century America. Author Bertram Gross' thesis is quite straightforward; the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism.

The Good Life
by Scott and Helen Nearing
Helen and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based on self-reliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating, timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings' challenging philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.

Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth by David Bollierd In Silent Theft, David Bollier argues that a great untold story of our time is the staggering privatization and abuse of our common wealth. Corporations are engaged in a relentless plunder of dozens of resources that we collectively own—publicly funded medical breakthroughs, software innovation, the airwaves, the public domain of creative works, and even the DNA of plants, animals and humans. Too often, however, our government turns a blind eye—or sometimes helps give away our assets. Amazingly, the silent theft of our shared wealth has gone largely unnoticed because we have lost our ability to see the commons.

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics Guide by John Seymour The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.

When Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten When Corporations Rule the World explains how economic globalization has concentrated the power to govern in global corporations and financial markets and detached them from accountability to the human interest. It documents the devastating human and environmental consequences of the successful efforts of these corporations to reconstruct values and institutions everywhere on the planet to serve their own narrow ends.

The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener This expansion of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended for the serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes practical and sustainable ways of growing superb organic vegetables, with detailed coverage of scale and capital, marketing, livestock, the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other topics.