The Secret Covenant: It May Not Be Real, But It's Exactly How Things Are :.

Every once in a while, an essay pokes its head out of the memepool that catches the attention and imagination of authors, speculators, commentators, theorists, agitators, comic book collectors, freaks, maniacs and those people who wear uniforms and makeup to the opening night showings of science fiction movies. The Secret Covenant may be just such an essay.

In my opinion, there are three core works in the It May Not Be Real, But It's Exactly How Things Are category of fringe political research:

Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars *

The Occult Technology of Power

Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace

* I read Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars over a decade ago. According to legend, the document, "Was found on July 7, 1986, in an IBM copier that had been purchased at a surplus sale." When I read it, I thought: this may not be real, but it's exactly how things are. As it turned out, Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars was ghost written by a researcher named Hartford Van Dyke. While not associated with elite interests, Van Dyke wanted to try to warn people about what he thought the corporate and banking elite were up to. He felt that by dressing up his argument in the form of an operations manual that was not meant for public release, the meme would have a better chance of spreading than if he wrote a conventional research piece. The ideas for Silent Weapons came from an essay written by Wassily W. Leontief called, "The World Economy of the Year 2000" (Scientific American, Vol. 243, No. 3, 1980).

Excellent Primer on Greatest Scam in History :.

Don't have time to read The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin? Then spend a few minutes reading Money? It's Not What You Think It Is, by Hari Heath:

Federal Reserve Governor Marriner Eccles testified before the House Committee on Banking and Currency, September 30, 1941. Congressman Wright Patman asked Eccles how the fed got the money to purchase two billion dollars worth of government bonds in 1933. Eccles answered, �We created it.� Patman asked, �Out of what?� Eccles replied, �Out of the right to issue credit money.� Patman queried, �And there is nothing behind it, is there, except our government's credit?� Eccles responded, �That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money.�

Harvest Time: Aborted Foetus Could Provide Eggs :.

An aborted foetus could one day become the mother of a new baby by "donating" her eggs to an infertile woman, say researchers.

The highly controversial idea has been suggested as one solution to a worldwide shortage of women prepared to donate their eggs to help other women become pregnant.

It moved a little closer to reality on Monday with the unveiling of research from Israel and the Netherlands which found that the ovarian tissues taken from second and third trimester foetuses could be kept alive in the laboratory for weeks.

The ovarian follicles from the foetus - which would eventually mature to release eggs in a fully-grown woman - even developed slightly from their "primordial" state when placed in special culture chemicals.


Piracy: It's As American As Apple Pie

I recently began reading Wealth and Democracy, a Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips. In the first couple of dozen pages, Phillips describes one of the most incredible open secrets I've ever come across. Many of the original American fortunes were accumulated through piracy on the high seas. Theft. Terrorism. Swindling.

Look into it. This is jaw dropping information. (Well, it was to me.) It's not disputed. It's undoubtedly real. Sure, you may have heard about England's Elizabethan era piracy, but what about post Revolution America!? Phillips borrows a quote from Harry S. Truman to open his book:

"The only thing new in the world is the history that you don't know."

Nope, we weren't absent during those wasted decades spent in one school or another. This information wasn't presented to us because it doesn't fit in with the popular pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps bullshit mythology we are fed as Americans. The fact of the matter is that fortunes are accumulated by swindling, with force of arms and with the complicity---and or overt support---of the regime in power. This is not a controversial statement at all. Spend a couple of hours reading and you will come to the same shocking conclusion.

Take a look at this brief except from Privateering, the American Revolution, and the Rules of War: The United States Was Born in "Terrorism" and Piracy By Jesse Lemisch:

The rules of war are laid down by militarily strong nations. These nations define their modes of making war as legal (although they do not always abide by their own rules), while criminalizing alternate modes of warfare rising from the limited strength of the militarily weak. During the American Revolution, the U.S. was militarily weak. It compensated for that weakness at sea by engaging in a very effective form of legalized piracy called privateering. Privateers were denounced by the British in ways that resonate with the denunciation of terrorists that we hear these days. When these Americans were captured by the British, they were not recognized as legitimate prisoners of war but were rather held in special camps, with reason to expect they would be hanged. After the Revolution, the U.S., as a small-navy nation, continued to cling to this mode of warfare, and refused to abide by international bans of privateering until it became a large-navy power and finally rejected privateering.

Note the significance of the last sentence in the above passage. After a method of swindling becomes too obvious, appearances need to be maintained. Institutionalizing the criminal enterprises with official bureaucracies, corporations and standard operating procedures masks the opaque darkness lying just beneath the surface. Needless to say, people who accumulate obscene wealth through despicable means don't appreciate upstarts trying to weasel in on the action.

To wit:

Tampa Man Ordered to Pay $180 Million for Satellite TV Piracy

His defense should have been that he was simply following in the fine traditions of Anglo American commerce:

A man who schemed to steal satellite television signals now has something much bigger than a cable bill to pay -- a whopping $180 million restitution order on which he is to make $500 monthly payments.

A full payback would take 30,000 years.

Steven R. Frazier also will serve five years in federal prison on a conspiracy charge. Frazier, 28, had pleaded guilty to a scheme to manufacture and sell devices that would decrypt satellite television signals and allow people to get premium service free.

Frazier's problem was that he didn't think big enough.

Iraq was a vast, virtually undefended, piggy bank sitting in the middle of a desert. The U.S. and Britain, the neo-Anglo American privateers, ganged up together, sought out their booty and simply took it by force.

Aaargh, Maty! Hoist the Jolly Roger. Pull her amidships and make ready to take on, cash, gold, priceless artifacts and, of course, lots of oil.


The only thing new in the world is the history that you don't know.

P.S. Can you guess what the early American "privateers" (people who stole property from others on the high seas at gun point) did with their fortunes?

They opened banks.

Recommended donation $2.

CIA Pulls "Centrifuge" Pictures :.

Someone needed their vegetable juicer parts back. That story reeked so bad that I had to clip a clothes pin on my nose just to write about it:

The URL provided six pictures of alleged nuclear-materials-processing centrifuge drawings and actual pieces with explanatory text. Since then the six pictures have been removed. Here is the text with the six removed pictures.

June 26, 2003
CIA Statement on Recently Acquired Iraqi Centrifuge Equipment

The head of Iraq�s pre-1991 centrifuge uranium enrichment program, Dr. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, approached U.S. officials in Baghdad and turned over a volume of centrifuge documents and components he had hidden in his garden from inspectors since 1991. Dr. Ubaydi said he was interviewed by IAEA inspectors - most recently in 2002 - but did not reveal any of this.

Dr. Ubaydi told us that these items, blue prints and key centrifuge pieces, represented a complete template for what would be needed to rebuild a centrifuge uranium enrichment program. He also claimed this concealment was part of a secret, high-level plan to reconstitute the nuclear weapons program once sanctions ended.

This case illustrates the extreme challenge we face in Iraq as we search for evidence of WMD programs that were designed to elude detection by international inspectors.

We are working with Dr. Ubaydi to evaluate the equipment and documents he provided us.

We are hopeful that Dr. Ubaydi�s example will encourage other Iraqis with knowledge of Saddam�s WMD programs to come forward.


Bill Gates Takes U.S. Taxpayers for $471 Million in a Single Swindle :.

I wonder how many of these U.S. Army machines will be Longhorn/Athens DRM enabled?

This commentary from Slashdot sums it up:

I never figured out if it was corruption, or just incompetence. These machines are DEFINITELY being purchased with Windows licenses already in place. Microsoft basically tells the government rep: "if you want a decent volume purchasing agreement from us you have to agree to license Windows for every PC separately". For this you get N copies of Windows, N copies of Office, and a FEW copies of some backend software like Exchange, IIS, and a few MSDN subscriptions thrown in for good measure. The Microsoft reps moan and groan and convince the government people that they have really made a great deal. The article mentions an 89 percent profit margin...I'd guess its closer to 98 percent. You don't even get a copy of the media for each machine. A few hundred CDs and an signed piece of paper and another Microsoft sales rep laughs all the way to the bank. Congratulations American taxpayer.

Wave Wand: *poof* Nuke Component Unearthed in Baghdad Back Yard :.

The CIA showed CNN parts of what the CIA says is an Iraqi gas centrifuge. And the location of this "Exclusive" briefing: CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia...

Oh my.

I'm almost starting to feel sorry for those imbecile spooks. They're not even able to make up interesting stories anymore. But I'm guessing that the average house cat knows more about nuclear weapons than the average American. Watch them---the average Americans, not the cats---wave their flags and say, "Yep, we told ya so. Dem Eye-Rakkies was gonna blow us up somethin' awful! Good thing we done blowed 'em up first! Yee HAAAA!"

Isn't it interesting that the CNN article gives the impression that this piece of metal---which looks like the grinder plate from a decent quality vegetable juicer---could be critical to building a nuclear weapon?

Let's assume, for a moment, that the chunk of metal on display at the GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH CENTER FOR CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE is actually a component of a gas centrifuge. And, let's assume, for a moment, that the thing was actually recovered in Iraq. Ok, so far? Well, this is where the story gets weird. I won't mention how many gas centrifuges would have to be running continuously, for YEARS, before enough enriched uranium could be recovered to make a single nuclear weapon. You wouldn't believe me if I told you, so I'll let The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists say it:

Iraq had been using two methods: One program involved building giant �calutrons,� a clumsy technology the United States had abandoned in the 1940s.... The second method�and certainly the modern method of choice�was to build a �cascade� of centrifuges to separate the fissile constituents of uranium from the non-fissile. A cascade consists of thousands of centrifuges, all of which must be able to withstand spinning at extraordinarily high speed.

Inspectors discovered that although the Iraqis had brought in centrifuge experts from Germany and purchased specialty steel from German and Swiss companies, they had spoiled most of the material�failing to shape it properly or otherwise maltreating it. Essentially, the Iraqi centrifuge program was a failure. And if the Iraqis were to depend on producing weapon material through the centrifuge process�rather than trying to obtain it on the black market�experts say it would probably take five or six years.

CNN deserves a public face slapping for this one:

The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology -- parts needed to develop a bomb program -- that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad, CNN has learned.

The parts were unearthed by Iraqi scientist Mahdi Obeidi who had hidden them in his back yard under a rose bush 12 years ago under orders from Qusay Hussein and Saddam Hussein's then son-in-law, Hussein Kamel.

U.S. officials emphasized this was not evidence Iraq had a nuclear weapon -- but it was evidence the Iraqis concealed plans to reconstitute their nuclear program as soon as the world was no longer looking.

The parts and documents Obeidi gave the CIA were shown exclusively to CNN at CIA headquarters in Virginia.

Music Industry Desperation :.

The spectacle of seeing evil, greedy people in suits and ties squealing can only be described as delicious. It's probably not good for one's karmic load to take so much pleasure from this, even though the people in trouble are macro scale criminals. But hey, everything in moderation. Watch what happens when their stupid lawsuits do nothing to stop the file traders. The state will be called into action to rob people at gun point in order to recover the "lost revenue":

A recording-industry trade group said Wednesday it plans to sue hundreds of individuals who illegally distribute copyright songs over the Internet, expanding its antipiracy fight into millions of homes.

The Recording Industry Association of America said it hopes to curb illegal song downloading by tracking down the heaviest users of popular "peer to peer" services like Kazaa and suing them for thousands of dollars in damages.

"We're going to begin taking names and preparing lawsuits against peer-to-peer network users who are illegally making available a substantial number of music files to millions of other computer users," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a conference call.

Using Donations to Buy Dangerous Books

A couple of generous Cryptogon contributors enabled me to purchase these books. I hope that you will check out these incredible works for yourself:

Building with Earth: A Guide to Flexible-Form Earthbag Construction by Paulina Wojciechowska

The Encyclopedia of Country Living: An Old Fashioned Recipe Book by Carla Emery

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour

The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure by Joseph C. Jenkins
Note: Most of this book is available online.

Thank you so much!

Orwell Milestone Sees Little Fanfare :.

The centenary of George Orwell's birth passed with little fanfare Wednesday, but the author of some of the most chilling vocabulary of the 20th century has become as much a part of Britain's culture as its closed-circuit cameras and favorite reality TV program.

A great many of the millions who tune in to Channel 4's "Big Brother" night after night - watching ordinary people sleep, eat and argue - probably have not read "Nineteen Eighty-Four," Orwell's 1949 vision of a totalitarian society where people are kept in line with the warning: "Big Brother is watching you."

CCTV scans shopping centers, parking lots, offices and street corners in Britain's cities and picturesque towns, an omnipresent security tool.

Orwellian, some would say.

"Nineteen Eighty-Four," published the year before Orwell died of tuberculosis in 1950, was a bitter look at a totalitarian state. In it, Orwell created a Ministry of Truth, the Thought Police and Newspeak - including such lasting terms as "unperson," "thoughtcrime" and "doublethink" - "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."

His reputation was first won with the 1945 novel "Animal Farm," a satire of Stalinist communism, depicted as a farm where the animals take over the barnyard. It, too, contributed a lasting phrase to the language: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, born June 25, 1903, in Bengal, India to an upper-middle-class British civil servant. He was educated at England's prestigious school Eton but did not go to university.


DOD Attempted To Plant WMD In Iraq :.

I figured it was something like this. Take it with a grain a salt. Take it any way you can:

In a world exclusive, Al Martin has published a news story about a Department of Defense whistleblower who has revealed that a US covert operations team had planted �Weapons of Mass Destruction� (WMDs) in Iraq � then �lost� them when the team was killed by so-called �friendly fire.�

The Pentagon whistleblower, Nelda Rogers, is a 28-year veteran debriefer for the Defense Department. She has become so concerned for her safety that she decided to tell the story about this latest CIA-military fiasco in Iraq.

According to Al Martin, �Ms.Rogers is number two in the chain of command within this DoD special intelligence office. This is a ten-person debriefing unit within the central debriefing office for the Department of Defense.

The information that is being leaked out is information �obtained while she was in Germany heading up the debriefing of returning service personnel, involved in intelligence work in Iraq for the Department of Defense and/or the Central Intelligence Agency.

�According to Ms. Rogers, there was a covert military operation that took place both preceding and during the hostilities in Iraq,� reports Al Martin, an online subscriber-based news/analysis service which provides �Political, Economic and Financial Intelligence.�

Al Martin is a retired Lt. Commander (US Navy), the author of a memoir called �The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider, " and he is considered one of America's foremost experts on corporate and government fraud.

Ms. Rogers reports that this particular covert operation team was manned by ex-military personnel and that �the unit was paid through the Department of Agriculture in order to hide it, which is also very commonplace.�

According to Al Martin, �the Ag Department has often been used as a paymaster on behalf of the CIA, DIA, and NSA and others."

Accordng to the Al Martin story, another aspect of Ms. Rogers' report concerns a covert operation which was to locate the assets of Saddam Hussein and his family, including cash, gold bullion, jewelry and assorted valuable antiquities.

The problem became evident when �the operation in Iraq involved 100 people, all of whom apparently are now dead, having succumbed to so-called �friendly fire.� The scope of this operation included the penetration of the Central Bank of Iraq, other large commercial banks in Baghdad, the Iraqi National Museum and certain presidential palaces where monies and bullion were secreted.�

�They identified about $2 billion of cash in US dollars, another $150 million in Euros, in physical banknotes, and about another $100 million in sundry foreign currencies ranging from Yen to British Pounds,� reports Al Martin.

�These people died, mostly in the same place in Baghdad, supposedly from a stray cruise missile or a combination of missiles and bombs that went astray,� Martin continues. �There were supposedly 76 who died there and the other 24 died through a variety of 'friendly fire,' 'mistaken identity,' and some of them � their whereabouts are simply unknown.�

Ms. Rogers� story sound like an updated 21st Century version of Treasure Island meets Ali Baba and the Bush Cabal Thieves, writes Martin.

�This was a contingent of CIA/ DoD operatives, but it was really the CIA that bungled it, Ms. Rogers said. They were relying on the CIA�s ability to organize an effort to seize these assets and to be able to extract these assets because the CIA claimed it had resources on the ground within the Iraqi army and the Iraqi government who had been paid. That turned out to be completely bogus. As usual.�

�CIA people were supposed to be handling it,� Martin continues. �They had a special �black (unmarked) aircraft to fly it out. But none of that happened because the regular US Army showed up, stumbled onto it and everyone involved had to scramble.

These new Iraqi �Asset Seizures� go directly to the New US Ruling Junta. The US Viceroy in Iraq Paul Bremer is reportedly drinking Saddam Hussein�s $2000 a bottle Napoleon era brandy, smoking his expensive Davidoff cigars and he has even furnished his Baghdad office with Saddam�s Napolean era antique furniture

The Iraq Debacle Du Jour has evidently been extensively documented by the DIA debriefing teams with �extensive tape recordings of interviews with the Iraqi returnees, the covert operatives (as well as their affidavits).�

Al Martin has dubbed this �Operation Skim Iraq.�


"Enemy Combatant" Was FBI Informant :.

The American al-Qa'eda operative unmasked last week as having planned to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge was first detained in March, and has been used by the FBI for months as a double agent, it was reported yesterday.

US authorities waited until last week to announce a plea bargain struck with Iyman Faris, a Pakistani-born lorry driver ordered to scout out terror targets, including the New York landmark.

They did not say that Faris, who was also ordered to study ultralight aircraft, and the possibility of derailing a train into a chemical storage facility in Washington, had been under FBI control for months.


Is It Random Noise, Or Is Something Coming Down?

What follows is pure speculation, and might simply be a collection of random events. I have no firm information on anything. I'm nervous. I feel like something is about to happen, so I'm ruminating in the hope that some of you guys can clarify, confirm or disconfirm. What follows is presented in no particular order.

This is long, so here are the bullet points in case you don't want to read it all:

* Stock Market Rising on Dumb Money Infusion
* Cyberwar: Weird Network Scan/Pre-Attack Underway Now
* Missing Boeing 727
* Greek Special Forces Intercept 700+ Tons of Explosives
* "Fatal Blow" to the "Media Serpent"?
* The Fourth of July is Approaching

Here are the details:

Stock Market Rising on Dumb Money Infusion

Sheep (retail investors) are buying stocks. Unemployment is bad and getting worse. The housing market is beginning to stumble. When I drive around, EVERY office building has FOR LEASE signs out front. The summer is statistically the worst time to be in the market, yet the whole damn show has been rallying. Has the recent run up been a set up for yet another clock cleaning?

It's looking like the Fed is going to cut rates one last time. The previous 13 cuts have done nothing to turn this ship around. That might be because interest rate cuts don't address the main problem, which is that companies don't want to pay employees a salary that would allow those employees to buy the goods and services the companies sell. How can the rate cuts "Jump Start" the economy if companies are laying people off? The argument that lower interest rates encourages companies to hire people is bullcrap.

People with money to invest, discouraged by the 1/4% interest rates paid on cash, might be rolling the dice on stocks in an attempt to earn a better return. Watch out, brother.

From Yahoo news:

There is no denying it: the bull is back. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has risen 13 percent this year, while the Nasdaq composite is up 23 percent. Individual investors are leading the charge back into the stock market, according to some brokerage firm executives who look closely at trading behavior.

"What we're seeing is the retail investor has been getting back into the market since the last couple weeks of March in a pretty broad manner," said R. Jarrett Lilien, the president and chief operating officer of the E*Trade Group, an online financial services business, who added that he was surprised by the shift. "There was a big question: When will broad-based retail come back to this market? All of us thought it would take years of healing time."

Cyberwar: Weird Network Scan/Pre-Attack Underway Now

Back on June 16, NF, a long time Cryptogon reader, made me aware of the following information that was posted on Steve Quale's website:

June 16
Steve shares an email from a P.I. warning of recent escalating Internet chatter regarding Net attacks in progress and to come. He claims that this industry wide attack is from a foreign cyber terrorism group. It has allegedly obtained e-mail addresses of users industry wide from a variety of sources, including several other database companies similar to his own private investigation business. As a result, e-mail addresses of their customers and other database companies have been receiving false or malicious attempts to access accounts for the purpose of identification theft. This investigator feels there will be a concerted cyber attack in conjunction with a "9-11 sized event". Steve shares this is not a probing attack to check defenses, but an actual attack. Steve comments on the impressive stock market rise today - the largest in the past 12 months closing up 200+ pts. at 9318.96 stating it's no coincidence. Major manipulation transpiring.

I didn't go public with this because I wasn't able to confirm anything. I saw no evidence of an ongoing attack.

Today, there is evidence that some sort of organized network reconnaissance is taking place that may or may not be related to the information above. The application that is doing this does not spread via the normal channels of email and web server exploits; it must be installed by some local process. When I read this, it sounded to me like some application might have downloaded a trojan horse via its "Auto Update" functionality and that renegade code is now running. It's easy to see how this would work. Microsoft operating systems are routinely downloading "critical" patches from Microsoft. Apple recently force fed shit down its users throats when OSX's automatic update knee capped the iTunes application.

Additionally, the trojan is taking great care to mask its activities with noise. It appears to be phoning home, but just where home happens to be is not clear. When it fails to phone home---when it fails to deliver its scan results to its handler---it deletes itself. In other words, the code's author wants it to exist in the wild as long as possible by evading detection... But for what?

The goal might me to identify systems that are open to attack via some other known or unknown exploit, one not necessarily related to the current activity. Once these vulnerable systems are identified, an unstoppable blitzkrieg attack could be unleashed across the Internet in a matter of seconds. It would happen very fast because all of the targets are known in advance.

Nerds are investigating. They have dubbed it Stumbler (an unfortunate, yet obvious reference to Netstumbler, the popular Wi-Fi network discovery tool):

Intrusec Alert: 55808 Trojan Analysis

Trojan Picks Up Steam, Baffles Experts

"Stumbler" Distributed Stealth Scanning Network

Missing Boeing 727

We've all been hearing about the missing 727 from Angola. There are a several reasons why this story absolutely REEKS:

1) The guy accused of taking the aircraft is from an aviation company in Florida. (Is it some kind of sick joke that his name happens to be Padilla? Remember accused dirty bomber, Jose?) The entire state of Florida is basically a CIA cutout operation. Covert operations (including those related to the 2000 election and 9/11) have been run out of Florida for at least 50 years.

2) The aircraft was taken in Angola. Again, Angola has been a center of CIA activity for at least 40 years.

3) The aircraft has been converted into a tanker. This could indicate that the thing is going to be turned into a guided missile with VERY large payload. An even worse scenario would be that the tanks could somehow be used to disperse VX or some other chemical or biological agent.

From ABC News:

Workers at Luanda Airport in Angola watched dumbfounded on May 25 as a Boeing 727 taxied down the runway and took off � without permission. The plane � which ABCNEWS has learned was refitted to haul diesel fuel tanks, making it a potential flying bomb � has not been seen since.

The man the U.S. government suspects of piloting the 727 is Benjamin Padilla � a U.S. citizen from Florida. Padilla, too, has vanished, and his family is worried.

See Compromised, by Terry Reed, for a description of operation SEASPRAY. The CIA and U.S. Army special forces run a secret air traffic control system that allows any aircraft to slip inside U.S. airspace undetected. I can hear the shrill screams of "Bullshit!" erupting from the peanut gallery. Yeah, well, that's how the real drug shipments move. Fake tail numbers. Insurance scams. Stolen aircraft. Cut out companies. Covert operations. Read that ABC News story and then decide for yourself if any of that sounds similar to what is described in Compromised. I don't know what that plane is being used for, but I am 100% sure that it's nothing good.

Greek Special Forces Intercept 700+ Tons of Explosives

The explosive yield from this would be easily equivalent to or greater than that of a tactical nuclear weapon. From MSNBC:

Greek special forces boarded a cargo ship carrying 750 tons of explosives Sunday and forced it to port for inspection, authorities said. The Comoros-flagged Baltic Sky was escorted by coast guard vessels to the tiny port of Platiyali, 145 miles northwest of Athens, for a "detailed search," said a statement from the Merchant Marine ministry.

"Fatal Blow" to the "Media Serpent"?

Chris, over at Back2Iraq, just put this out:

The Middle East Media Research Institute is reporting that Al Qa�ida chief of training Abu Muhammad Al-Ablaj issued a communiqu� to the Kuwaiti paper Al-Watan saying that Al Qa�ida is about to deal a �fatal blow� to the �head of the international media serpent that serves the American whims and interests.� (Fox News? New York Times? CNN?) He also claims that Al Qa�ida has an independent brigade operating in Iraq.

This scares me to death, since a �fatal blow� could mean a major (radiological?) strike on Times Square in New York, around which most major media in the country have clustered�including the magazine I do work for.

The Fourth of July is Approaching

Let it suffice to say that July 4 holds special significance to people who don't realize that the U.S. has already been taken over and destroyed from within. Also, large numbers of these people will be outdoors, at night. Explosions associated with chemical/biological/radiological weapons might be mistaken for fireworks.

Well, that's all, folks. Keep your eyes and ears open and let me know if you learn anything.

Permaculture Seedballs Seized by Sacramento Police in Dawn Raid :.

Organic gardening = Terrorism?

This morning at around 7:00 a.m., Sacramento police officers paid a visit to the WTO mobiization Welcome Center and seized over 100 permaculture seed-balls. The police claimed that the seedballs were illegal under statute 12.48.090, which is "Possession of prohibited weapons during a parade or demonstration". The fact that the seedballs were sitting idly at the edge of the parking lot, drying in the sun, rather than being part of a "parade or demonstration" was an irrelevant distinction to the police.

Takedown: French Anti-Globalisation Leader Jose Bove Jailed :.

If you stand for clean food, you better get ready to see the inside of a jail cell:

He has become a standard bearer of the movement against economic imperialism and his incarceration is likely to boost his popularity among opponents of globalisation.

The mustachioed 49-year-old sheep farmer has become increasingly known around the world for his protests, which have targeted junk food, US trade tariffs and the risks to the environment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

He spent a month and a half behind bars last year for taking part in the demolition of a half-built McDonald's restaurant in Millau in 1999.

The 10-month sentence he began serving on Sunday was the accumulation of two convictions -- four months for destroying a stock of GM seeds at a site in France owned by Swiss biotech giant Novartis in 1998 and six months for ruining GM rice plants at a laboratory in Montpellier in 1999.

The sudden police raid sparked a spontaneous protest outside Millau police station, where around 50 of Bove's supporters set a hedge on fire and hung up a banner says "GMOs - stop crackdowns on unions". Another demonstration was planned to take place outside the Villeneuve-les-Maguelone prison at 6:00 pm (1600 GMT).


Area 51: Watching Them Watch You :.

Don't watch Them too much, though, or you'll get a house call:

FBI agents have confirmed that a search warrant was served Thursday night on the home of a self-described military watchdog in the tiny town of Rachel, near the mysterious Area 51 military base. We've learned this action was initiated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The search warrant remains sealed and the FBI won�t say what was seized from the home of Rachel resident Chuck Clark. We believe the action was taken because Chuck Clark escorted the I-Team on a tour of the roads surrounding the base. During the visit, he showed us the location of military sensors, hidden on public land.


The Party Is Over: Home Foreclosures Hit Record High :.

Two things have happened since the Federal Reserve began lowering rates three years ago.

1) Companies used that low interest money to finance the closure of plants and facilities in the U.S., fire their employees and move operations to other parts of the world where labor costs are a fraction of what they are in the U.S.

2) Individuals refinanced their existing loans, took out cash and went to WalMart.

The final swindle of wealth up to the top of the pyramid is now complete. The jobs are gone. The equity is gone. Financial ruin awaits most of us. The self sufficient people out in the hills should be laughing right about now.

U.S. mortgages in foreclosure climbed to a record high in the first three months of 2003 as job losses and personal bankruptcies forced more people out of their homes, a mortgage industry group said on Friday.

The housing market has been a pillar of strength for the sluggish U.S. economy. Ultra-low interest rates have fueled record home sales and an unprecedented mortgage refinancing boom that has freed up billions of dollars in cash for consumers to pay down debt, save or spend.


Florida Connections to Missing 727 :.

This already stinks, and nothing has even happened yet:

Workers at Luanda Airport in Angola watched dumbfounded on May 25 as a Boeing 727 taxied down the runway and took off � without permission. The plane � which ABCNEWS has learned was refitted to haul diesel fuel tanks, making it a potential flying bomb � has not been seen since.

The man the U.S. government suspects of piloting the 727 is Benjamin Padilla � a U.S. citizen from Florida. Padilla, too, has vanished, and his family is worried.

"I am concerned that he might have been hijacked," Padilla's brother, Joseph, said in an exclusive interview with ABCNEWS.

"It's very painful," said Padilla's sister, Benita. "The whole family is in anguish, not knowing what happened to our brother."

The family believes Padilla, a licensed mechanic and pilot, flew to Angola on behalf of Aerospace Sales and Leasing, a Florida-based company that bought the 727 from American Airlines two years ago. The plane had not been moved for more than a year, and his family believes Padilla went to see whether it was fit to fly.

Neither Padilla's family nor ABCNEWS has been able to reach anyone at Aerospace Sales and Leasing. No one was at the office when ABCNEWS visited today and phone calls were not answered.

Scramble for Africa :.

Washington's determination to find an alternative energy source to the Middle East is leading to a new oil rush in sub-Saharan Africa which threatens to launch a fresh cycle of conflict, corruption and environmental degradation in the region, campaigners warn today.

The new scramble for Africa risks bringing more misery to the continent's impoverished citizens as western oil companies pour billions of dollars in secret payments into government coffers throughout the continent. Much of the money ends up in the hands of ruling elites or is squandered on grandiose projects and the military.

More: Big Whitie in the House :.

Step inside the air-conditioned lounge of the Viking Club and Luanda's squalor could be another universe. Here the oil executives and engineers sip beer and discuss geological reports, deals and money.

Beyond the shattered skyline of Angola's capital, buried beneath the Atlantic, is a vast store of oil, and their job is to extract it. The accents are British, Australian, French and, increasingly, American.

The "big whities", as the taxi drivers call them, have been coming for years but now the flights are fuller than ever: new offshore discoveries are expected to double output to 2 million barrels per day, prompting talk of a drilling El Dorado.

Research Credit: DG


1984 Telescreen: Microsoft Athens :.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) computers are going to be a reality just as certainly as the sun will rise in the morning. The systems will be ubiquitous within two years. But what will they look like?

Microsoft has unveiled (unfurled) its hellish vision of the future of computing: Athens. Never mind the fact that Longhorn sees all and knows all. Never mind the fact that you are not root on Longhorn. Never mind the fact that the system is fully integrated with a thumbscanner, camera, telephone and microphone. Never mind the fact that there will be no way to run a non DRM operating system on Longhorn class hardware. (Cops will show up if you somehow manage to circumvent the DRM mechanisms.)

Make sure you're sitting down for this one:

Would you believe that Microsoft's system of the future has no "Off" state? From

Speaking of mute, Athens will be a whisper-quiet, small-form-factor machine, whose power button switches between on and standby modes rather than on and off -- resuming work in no more than two seconds. In the event of a power failure, a built-in battery will last long enough to hibernate or save system status to the hard disk.

Here is more on the no "Off" feature from a Microsoft document entitled, The �Athens� PC (Microsoft Word document):

The notion of "off" is confusing to users, because the PC can be in standby, hibernation or true �off� modes, Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) states S3, S4 and S5, respectively. Each of these states has a different latency when the user turns the PC on again: it takes longer to start the PC from S4 than from S3, and still longer to start the PC from S5.

In usability tests, participants preferred a two-state (on/standby) power model over a three-state (on/standby/off) model. They felt the two-state power model was more appealing than the power model used by today�s PCs. This research suggests that users would be more likely to put their PCs in standby mode if it were more convenient to do so.

Note: The system checks your email when in standby mode, i.e. the network interface and applications are operational in standby mode. That thing isn't off. Not by a long shot.

Yes, you can pull the plug out of the wall, and let the battery go dead.

Will Microsoft call you, though, wondering if your PC is being tampered with? Is the person who unplugged the PC from the power socket authorized to do so? Maybe you will just learn from habit --- from habit that will become instinct --- to never pull the plug out of the wall.

From 1984, by George Orwell:

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live --- did live, from habit that became instinct --- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Research Credit: TR

Mike Ruppert Raises Over 100K Dollars for 12 City Ad Run :.

FTW on Monday, June 16, passed the $100,000 goal to run its hugely popular, full-page, Washington Post ad in the twelve largest papers in the country.

Senator Orrin Hatch: Whore Seeks Vigilante Justice for His Pimps :.

As I type this, war is being declared on Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. His insane utterings are evoking a jihad from hackers. He probably doesn't have much to worry about from most of the posters on this Slashdot thread. Beware, though, of the greasy guys who sleep by day and code by night. They are almost certainly devising a response to the whore Hatch and the pimps who run him:

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.

The surprise remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing on copyright abuses represent a dramatic escalation in the frustrating battle by industry executives and lawmakers in Washington against illegal music downloads.

During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading. Legal experts have said any such attack would violate federal anti-hacking laws.

"No one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," replied Randy Saaf of MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds technology to disrupt music downloads. One technique deliberately downloads pirated material very slowly so other users can't.

"I'm interested," Hatch interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."

The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.

More: Top Contributors to Orrin Hatch

Orrin Hatch is a real man of the people! From

Top Contributors
1 HealthSouth Corp $38,255
2 Pfizer Inc $34,000
3 Qwest Communications $29,000
4 Metabolife $27,250
5 AT&T $25,499
6 Torchmark Corp $25,000
7 AOL Time Warner $24,000
8 GlaxoSmithKline $21,000
9 Novell Inc $20,500
10 SmithKline Beecham $20,499
11 Oracle Corp $19,750
12 Global Crossing $19,500
12 Verizon Communications $19,500
14 Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $18,775
15 Viacom Inc $18,750
16 Schering-Plough Corp $18,000
17 Bear Stearns $17,750
18 SBC Communications $17,500
19 Merck & Co $17,440
20 Rexall Sundown Inc $17,000
20 Walt Disney Co $17,000

Housing Market Bubble :.

The housing sector is the one prop supporting an economy struggling to recover for over two years as geopolitical tension has increased and the 1990s investment bubble has burst. Analysts are watching the sector carefully for signs of weakness.

Analysts?! Are the real estate analysts any different than the stock analysts that kept most people in their mutual funds as something like 8 trillion dollars went to money heaven!?

From the Boston Globe, today:

Nearly one in seven American households spend more than half their income just to keep a roof over their heads, and lenders are giving mortgages to people with weak credit. One result: a sharp increase in defaults, according to a study released yesterday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Near the Top of the Shitlist: Eric Drexler :.

Luckily for all of us, the "establishment" seems to be turning on Eric Drexler. That's a good thing, because if his technological vision ever came to fruition, it would almost definitely lead to THE END of EVERYTHING. A nuclear bomb only explodes once. That's nothing compared to destructive capacity of malevolent, self-replicating nanobots:

This should be Eric Drexler's moment in the sun. Instead, his colleagues are treating him like the crazy uncle in the attic.

Nanotechnology, the field Drexler helped kick start, has become a far-flung, multibillion-dollar discipline, sparking innovations in medicine, consumer products and pure science. But most of today's nanotech specialists say Drexler's vision of molecule-sized robots is science fiction, not science fact. Others predict disaster if Drexler's dream ever comes to pass.


U.S. Turns to the Taliban :.


Such is the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, compounded by the return to the country of a large number of former Afghan communist refugees, that United States and Pakistani intelligence officials have met with Taliban leaders in an effort to devise a political solution to prevent the country from being further ripped apart.

U.S. Economic Depression: Company Pays Homeless Workers With Pizza :.

World War II brought the U.S. out of the Great Depression. What will happen this time around?

Instead of going Dumpster-diving for maybe a half-eaten sandwich and some cold fries, Peter Schoeff, a 20-year-old homeless man, was served a slice of hot pizza dripping with cheese.

All he had to do was hold a sign for about 40 minutes that read: "Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money."

In a tactic that calls to the mind the hiring of unemployed men during the Depression to wear sandwich-board advertisements, a Portland pizza chain has hired homeless people off the street to promote the product. They are paid in pizza, soda and a few dollars.

"I think it's a fair trade," Schoeff said. "We're career panhandlers, that's the only other way we can get money."

The signs were meant to be humorous, said Andre Jehan, founder of Pizza Schmizza, a 26-restaurant business in Oregon and Washington.

"People don't have to feel guilty, while still appreciating the person is homeless. It's a gesture of kindness more than anything," he said.

From the sandwich board to cigarette girls to aerial banners, companies are forever searching for creative means to reach customers.

The search has become more frenetic lately as advertisers try to break through what is known in the industry "ad clutter" � the way people are bombarded by commercial messages from all sides.


Solar Towers

WARNING: Paradigm shattering information follows.

Prepare yourself. You are about to see the world in an entirely different way. Andrew, a reader from Australia, sent in what is probably the most important and incredible information I have ever seen.

As soon as you grasp the concept of the solar tower technology, you will have prima facie evidence that much of what we have been led to believe about the world is wrong. The simplicity of the concept is shocking...and curiously beautiful. One would have a difficult time saying the same thing about nuclear power plants, fuel shortages, high energy costs, polution and wars for oil. Start building solar towers. Stop supporting evil.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Giant Tower Energy Deal Takes Shape
Fri, 13 Jun 2003 9:11 AEST

A deal is being formalised to sell green energy from a planned one kilometre high solar tower north of Mildura.

The company developing the project, Enviromission, says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia's largest energy provider, Australian Gas Light Electricity.

Negotiations centre on an exclusive arrangement for Australian Gas Light Electricity to take up to 100 per cent of the green energy for the power station and deliver 200 megawatts of green power into the Australian energy market.

A decision on the feasibility of the $800 million project is expected before the end of the year.

Learn More About Solar Towers:

Hint1: Solar towers can power BingoFuel reactors.

Hint2: Your car can run on BingoFuel.

U.S. Fascism: Employees Ticketed for Standing in Front of Their Workplace :.

Kim Phann and a buddy had stepped out of Sha's Big Time on Friday night to smoke a butt when a cop slapped them with a pair of summonses.

The charge: "loitering in front of business."

But Phann and Bruce Rosaro, 27, weren't just hanging outside the Bronx barbershop. They work there.

"We can't smoke inside because it's against the law," Phann, 23, told the Daily News. "What are we supposed to do? Go home to have a cigarette?"

It was 7 p.m., and Phann, who has been a barber at Sha's for two months, still had one more haircut to go before calling it a night.

But before he was able to get back to work, a police wagon turned the corner and slowed to a stop outside Sha's, at 935 N. Morris Park Ave., near Fowler Ave.

"Let me see some IDs," a cop told Phann and Rosaro, who said they quickly whipped out their driver's licenses.

Next thing he knew, Phann had the pink summons slip in his hand.

"Blame it on Bloomberg," they said the cop told them before driving away.

When asked about the summons, police spokesman Deputy Chief Michael Collins issued the same statement he has made regarding other tickets.

"As the Daily News is fully aware, or should be aware, there are administrative processes available to those who may have been issued summonses in error or for those who may have a legitimate reason for violating these regulations," he said. "Those procedures are clearly described on the summonses issued to violators."

Phann said he plans to appeal the summons, which does not specify a fine for his offense.

U.S. Fascism: Home-Schooling Standoff :.

They want your spawn:

A legal battle over two home-schooled children exploded into a seven-hour standoff yesterday, when they refused to take a standardized test ordered by the Department of Social Services.

George Nicholas Bryant, 15, and Nyssa Bryant, 13, stood behind their parents, Kim and George, as police and DSS workers attempted to collect the children at 7:45 a.m. DSS demanded that the two complete a test to determine their educational level.

After a court order was issued by Framingham Juvenile Court around 1 p.m., the children were driven by their parents to a Waltham hotel.

Again, they refused to take the test.

"The court order said that the children must be here. It said nothing about taking the test," said George Bryant.

The second refusal came after an emotion-filled morning for the family, when DSS workers sternly demanded the Bryants comply with their orders.

"We have legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit," DSS worker Susan Etscovitz told the Bryants in their Gale Street home. "They are minors and they do what we tell them to do."

Plunge Protection Team :.

This is old news, but I'm constantly reminded of it because I'm now daytrading to survive. The political and economic systems in the U.S. have already collapsed, but to most people, they still appear to be up and running.

How long can appearances be maintained?

With an ongoing criminal probe into Freddie Mack, unemployment skyrocketing and consumer sentiment plummeting, anyone who still believes in the bullshit sometimes referred to as "capitalism" should call up the Working Group on Financial Markets and tell them that their services are no longer necessary. The people who run the macro scale speculation pit, sometimes referred to as the global financial system, have contingency plans in case "capitalism" starts to break down. (Many people won't believe this, even if your give them the evidence.):

From the Washington Post, Sunday, February 23, 1997; Page H01:

The Working Group's main goal, officials say, would be to keep the markets operating in the event of a sudden, stomach-churning plunge in stock prices -- and to prevent a panicky run on banks, brokerage firms and mutual funds. Officials worry that if investors all tried to head for the exit at the same time, there wouldn't be enough room -- or in financial terms, liquidity -- for them all to get through. In that event, the smoothly running global financial machine would begin to lock up.

This sort of liquidity crisis could imperil even healthy financial institutions that are temporarily short of cash or tradable assets such as U.S. Treasury securities. And worries about the financial strength of a major trader could cascade and cause other players to stop making payments to one another, in which case the system would seize up like an engine without oil. Even a temporary loss of liquidity would intensify financial pressure on already stressed institutions. In the 1987 crash, government officials worked feverishly -- and, ultimately, successfully -- to avoid precisely that bleak scenario.

Question: If I find the stock market odious and rife with fraud and criminality, why would I be daytrading to survive?

Answer: Criminal gangs are the only organizations with any money left. Since I need money to buy things, like burritos and some dirt upon which I'd place my yurt, I'm forced to do something to get money. And since I don't want to go to jail, and since I can't find meaningful work that pays more than penury, I decided to try to rip off the criminals on Wall Street. Incredibly, stealing from these diabolical swindlers is perfectly legal. As long as you can rip them off, before they do the same thing to you, it's all chocked up to "the invisible hand of the market."

HAHA! I'm just hoping that when it comes down---and I mean REALLY COMES DOWN---I'll have enough time to get my chump change out in time. Oh well. But then again, when it REALLY COMES DOWN, my chump change will probably be the last thing on my mind.

I would appreciate any comments from the employees of the market makers, specialists and banks who read Cryptogon. Yeah, you. I see you.


Pop Goes the Housing Market? :.

John Talbott, a visiting scholar at the Anderson School at UCLA and author of a new book, "The Coming Crash in the Housing Market," said he thought the collapse in housing prices would reveal problems at Freddie Mac and No. 1 financier Fannie Mae. But Monday's news could prove to be even worse for the housing market than he had expected.

"This is the worst case scenario," he said. "I envisioned a lot of little small things that caused housing prices to decline, then reaching into the secondary market. What we're seeing is Freddie and Fannie have their own problems. This is the first big event, and there's lots more bad news coming."

RFID: Full Scale Perception Management Begins :.

Cryptogon readers first heard about radio frequency identification (RFID) back on 11/18/02. This technology is now ready for primetime:

The first wide-scale applications of RFID will be in retail. At a major industry conference next week, Wal-Mart is expected to urge its suppliers to adopt RFID�the same way that, twenty years ago, the giant retailer jump-started the use of bar codes. And some manufacturers are already on board. Gillette, for example, recently placed an order for half a billion RFID chips that they will begin to use to track individual packages of razors.

Ultimately, a reader on every retail shelf will be able to automatically sense when the store is low on inventory and automatically place an order to restock. RFID should also permit more accurate tracking of merchandise within the store�drastically reducing the theft or other loss generically called �shrinkage� in the retail business. And RFID will ultimately allow consumers to simply walk past the cash register with their purchases; the register will read the RFID chips and automatically deduct the purchase from their account. Where was RFID when Winona Ryder needed it?

Inventory and checkout counters, however, are only the start of possible RFID applications. Japanese bookstores, for example, plan to use RFID to track how customers use books in the store�how many times and how long is each book taken off the shelf to read, before someone actually buys it? The European Union is considering placing a tiny RFID chip in every paper Euro note�providing both counterfeiting protection and the ability to give each bill a unique serial number. An American company, Verichip, is developing an RFID chip implant that will permanently store your medical records under your skin, so any hospital equipped with a reader can know all your pertinent health information even if you are unconscious. A simpler version of this subcutaneous chip is already implanted to help identify pets.

Related: What Is Smart Dust? :.

The father of smart dust is UC Berkeley electrical engineering professor Kris Pister. Six years ago, he went to Darpa with a proposal for outfitting silicon slivers with microscopic surveillance equipment. Such infinitesimal devices are commonly known as microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS. Creating the dust isn't so different from making computer chips: You start with a silicon wafer, then coat it with a metal film that allows microstructures to be etched into its surface. Ultrasound or a diamond saw is then used to shatter the wafer.

The tough part is getting those little pieces to do something useful. Pister's latest functional MEMS - each smaller than an aspirin - are still 100 times bigger than his ultimate target of 1 cubic millimeter. The motes come equipped with sensors that can detect when metal objects, like tanks, move and disrupt the Earth's magnetic field. A lone particle's magnetometer reading isn't much good to a battlefield commander. But a cloud of motes swapping information like a peer-to-peer network can provide a detailed portrait of an advancing tank battalion or an ambush attack.

Pister, who heads the Berkeley startup Dust Inc., wanted to give his motes miniature radios to communicate. But each mote required so much power, he couldn't build one smaller than 200-cubic-millimeters. Then one of his grad students had a breakthrough: a stripped-down transmitter that uses less juice but can broadcast data about 30 feet. Currently, Pister's smart dust relies on solar cells measuring just a few millimeters in diameter. But at that size, power storage could be a problem, so he's considering going nuclear. Giving each mote a long-term energy supply might eventually be as simple as sprinkling it with a radioactive isotope. Pister's MEMS also carry a light-on-the-memory operating system, called TinyOS, that was designed for the project.

Feds Begin Criminal Investigation of Freddie Mac :.

Institutions continue to buy up Freddie Mac's securitized mortgage debt because there is no other place to put the money in order to earn a return. Question: What happens when that junk paper stops performing?

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday revealed a criminal probe into Freddie Mac, two days after the No. 2 U.S. mortgage finance company cleared out its senior management over accounting irregularities.

In addition, Freddie Mac confirmed the Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal investigation and said the SEC has been carrying out an informal probe since January.

But the news was tempered by evidence of undimmed market appetite for the company's debt as Freddie Mac pressed ahead successfully with a $1 billion bond sale on Wednesday.

Related: ImClone's Waksal Goes Down :.

Assume the crash position, Martha, put your head between your knees and grab your ankles. Your buddy got the max. Oh, but these are just isolated incidents:

ImClone Systems founder Sam Waksal watched his sweet life of SoHo lofts, celebrity and superwealth disappear yesterday as a judge sentenced him to the max - more than seven years in prison.


U.S. Faces Critical Gas Shortage :.

Natural gas supplies in the US have reached critically low levels in recent months and may be inadequate to meet demand during a hot summer this year.

Spencer Abraham, the US energy secretary, has called an emergency meeting of the National Petroleum Council this month amid calls for the administration to deal urgently with the shortage.

Freddie Mac: Uh... :.

In case you don't understand what is happening in the financial markets, I'll spell it out: Buy lots of food and survival products; stuff that will help you live on your own, far away from large cities. Beans, rice, bottled water, water filters, guns, ammunition, toilet paper, granola, peanut butter, sugar, salt, propane, vegetable seed packs, dried fruit, etc. etc. Make a list. Check it twice, don't wait to find out if your neighbors are naughty or nice. If you're lucky enough to have hills to run to.... Wait, isn't this a story about financial markets?

Mortgage-market giant Freddie Mac announced abruptly Monday that it had fired its president because he didn't fully cooperate with an internal review of the company's accounting, now being investigated by federal regulators.

The move unnerved Wall Street and raised alarm among lawmakers.

In a surprise shake-up, the government-sponsored company whose stock is widely traded said it had fired the president and chief operating officer, David Glenn, and that Chairman and Chief Executive Leland Brendsel had resigned. Vaughn Clarke, the executive vice president and chief financial officer, also resigned.

Freddie Mac said it had dismissed Glenn "because of serious questions as to the timeliness and completeness of his cooperation and candor" with attorneys engaged in January by the board of directors' audit committee to review the accounting problems that span three years.

Pump and Dump :.

Executives are rushing to sell their companies' shares at a pace not seen since 2001.

More than $3.1 billion in shares was sold in May by corporate insiders, the most such selling in 24 months. By comparison, monthly stock sales by insiders failed to exceed $1.4 billion during each of the previous five months, and just $630 million of sales took place in January, according to research firm Thomson Financial.

The moves are a concern because insider buying and selling -- by people who presumably are the most knowledgeable about their companies' prospects -- have been good predictors of the market's direction. For example, many executives sold their holdings in early 2000, just before a bear market in stocks began. Now, many again are locking in profits -- especially in health care, technology and finance stocks -- on the heels of the market's recent gains.

British Scientist Puts Odds for Apocalypse at 50-50 :.

This is pretty optimistic, if you ask me:

This is the way the world might end: A genetically engineered pathogen is released, debris from an erupting "supervolcano" blocks the sun or scientists in the biggest "bioerror" of them all accidentally trigger a matter-squeezing "big bang."

The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal.

Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.

The 60-year-old scientist, author of the recently published "Our Final Hour," says science is advancing in a far more unpredictable and potentially dangerous pattern than ever before.

He lists as mankind's biggest threats: nuclear terrorism, deadly engineered viruses, rogue machines and genetic engineering that could alter human character. All of those could result from innocent error or the action of a single malevolent individual.

Related: Why the Future Doesn't Need Us


War Profiteers Card Deck :.

The War Profiteers Card Deck exposes some of the real war criminals in the US�s endless War of Terror. This is no Sunday bridge club. These are individuals and institutions that stack the deck against democracy in the rigged game of global power. Exposing their place in the house of cards illuminates the links among corporations, institutions, and government officials that profit from endless war. The US War of Terror is not about liberation, democracy, or UN resolutions. Plainly put, the War of Terror--whether in Iraq, Colombia, Afghanistan, or the USA--is about subjugation, resource extraction, and opening markets: a practice once referred to more honestly as colonialism.


Escape from the Petro Prison :.

This is an essay I wrote for, but for some reason, they decided not to run it:

For at least the past 100 years, the world has been trapped in a prison built out of oil. Indeed, the primacy of oil in the domestic and foreign affairs of industrialized states is without question. But if one thinks the petroleum paradigm endures because there are no viable alternatives, one would be wrong. The barriers to the wide adoption of alternative sources of energy are political and economic in nature, not scientific or technical. This essay describes a clean, electrically generated synthetic fuel that could allow for a grass roots transformation of the global political and economic system; a system ruled by a corporate oligopoly who�s interests are inimical to those of people everywhere.

Related: Hydrogen Economy, It's Nuclear :.

In the above essay, Escape from the Petro Prison, I wrote that hydrogen is part of the energy problem, not part of the solution. I didn't realize how chillingly accurate that statement was until I read the following from the Village Voice:

On a sunny Saturday morning 30 years from now, you may decide to take your family for a ride to the country. You'll still be driving a car, and you may still get stuck in traffic. But that's OK, because the only thing you'll be breathing in is water vapor from the car in front of you.

Welcome to the seemingly benign "hydrogen economy" President Bush has touted over the past year. Pollution-free cars. Abundant fuel. A cleaner environment.

But there's one factor the president isn't talking much about: the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new nuclear power plants his administration imagines making all of that hydrogen.

The Bush administration and Senate Republicans want to give billions of taxpayer dollars to the nuclear industry to make high-temperature, gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs), which�theoretically�can co-generate electricity and hydrogen, side by side, inside cheap modular reactors. Advocates of the plants say they wouldn't need the expensive protections required for traditional models.

Please, I implore you: Start getting the word out about this dangerous and unnecessary swindle! When the oil and gas run out, they will try to con us all into believing that nuclear power is the only option. The reality is that nuclear power is the only option that will insure elite control over power generation and distribution.

More: Noam Chomsky

I never shared this with any of you, but I have been in contact with Noam Chomsky. He doesn't see the need to dwell on the alternative energy issue because he feels that the subject requires specialist knowledge that he doesn't have. Again, specialists like hydrogen-as-an-alternative-fuel, are parts of the problem, not the solution. This was my response:

Professor Chomsky,

Thank you for responding. Alternative fuels are way out of my line, too. My degree is in international relations and I have no background in science at all. The people who should be working on emerging forms of energy are too afraid of losing grant money. Those of us not bound by dogma must take up this work because the culture of establishment scientific research is not willing to question the underlying assumptions of their worldviews. As a result, the amazing stuff, the paradigm shifting stuff, remains obscure.

Politics is not your line, one might argue, since you are a professor of linguistics. Yet, you are the preeminent voice of political dissent on the planet. I first heard you on 90.7fm KPFK in Los Angeles when I was 17. That was 14 years ago. As I was getting my degree at [university name deleted], I kept asking myself: Why do I keep referring to the political writings of a linguist, rather than someone more "qualified" in international relations? Obviously, international relations, as an area of inquiry in universities, is a total fraud. These departments exist by ignoring the prima facie truths presented by you and others.

I'm afraid that the same self inflicted blindness that occurs in international relations is increasingly present in physics, chemistry and engineering circles. Indeed, what would happen to the millions of dollars worth of oil money (as grants) if researchers began to dismantle the petroleum based system in which we exist? Professor Brian Martin states, "An old saying is that 'The one who pays the piper calls the tune.' This applies to knowledge as much as to anything else." (Information Liberation, Chapter 7: The Politics of Research, What scientist is going to get a grant to develop a viable fuel based on tap water? Hydrogen research is creaking along only because it is a costly, far-off-in-the-future route that allows elites to maintain control. Aquafuel is nothing like hydrogen, and that's why hardly anyone has ever heard of it.

I'm not suggesting that you should become the underground God of physics and chemistry, like you did with politics. :) But I know you know people. Lots of people. From the fringes of the fringe, all of the way on up the social ladder. If you require a more polished and less abrasive approach than my web site is able to provide (sorry, I'm just too pissed to maintain appearances) please direct interested parties to these papers:

The Novel Magnecular Species of Hydrogen and Oxygen with Increased Specific Weight and Energy Content by Ruggero Maria Santilli


AquaFuel, an Example of the Emerging New Energies and the New Methods for Their Scientific Study by Ruggero Maria Santilli

Marching, demonstrating, etc. is not working. And violence is not an option. Energy anarchy would threaten the regime in a powerful new way. The average person on the street doesn't understand the true nature of economics and politics, and probably never will. Ask a thousand people, chosen at random, to define oligarchy. How many could do it? It's probably less than 1%. But even the serious knuckle draggers can comprehend, "Free gas." Look what happens when gas stations pull stunts that involve selling gas for a penny per gallon. They line up for blocks and wait for hours. I'm focusing on this type of sentiment because striking at core elite revenue streams is the only way I can see of affecting any meaningful changes.

I know you're busy. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


Oregon: GPS in Every Car :.

No, brother. This will not stand:

Oregon wants to know more about where people are driving -- a lot more. And it's looking at some high-tech ideas to generate tax revenue by billing drivers for every mile they travel on the state's roads.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is evaluating a scheme that uses the global positioning system to keep track of the distance every car travels in order to impose a road-use tax.

More: GPS Jamming for $50

Irradiated Beef Okay for National School Lunch Program :.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted its ban on irradiated ground beef in the national school program last week, a move that drew sharp criticism from some public health groups who do not believe safety concerns have been addressed. The USDA's decision means that school districts will be allowed to purchase irradiated meat starting in January 2004.


IBM Says SEC Probing Its Accounting :.

Come on Big Blue, let's go:

International Business Machines Corp. on Monday said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun a formal investigation of how the world's largest computer company accounted for some revenue in 2000 and 2001.

And, as an added bonus: CIA Says al Qaeda Ready to Use Nukes :.

Al Qaeda terrorists and related groups are set to use chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in deadly strikes, according to a new CIA report.

"Al Qaeda's goal is the use of [chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons] to cause mass casualties," the CIA stated in an internal report produced last month.

Cops = Terrorists :.

�It was early evening on a November day five years ago when Oliverio Martinez, 29, rode his bicycle down a path and across a vacant lot toward a row of small homes.

Two officers, Andrew Salinas and Maria Pena, had stopped to question a man they suspected, wrongly it turned out, of selling drugs. When they heard a squeaky bike approach in the dark, they called for the rider to stop.

Martinez dismounted and put his hands over his head. In a leather sheath on a waist band, he carried a long knife that he used to cut strawberries.

When the officer patted him down and grabbed for the knife, Martinez tried to run. Salinas tackled him and tried to handcuff him. As they struggled on the ground, the officer called out that the man had a huge knife. Pena moved closer and fired.

One bullet struck Martinez near the left eye and exited behind his right eye. A second hit his spine. Three more shots hit his legs.

Milk = Poison :.

WARNING: You probably shouldn't visit if you plan on having a productive day.

Protesters Attempt to Get G8 States to Turn the Other Cheek :.

More pictures of the antics are here. It's too bad that all of this will never amount to anything. There is, however, something refreshing about seeing some freak spray painting, "All cops are bastards," on a wall and a naked woman with anti corporate slogans all over her backside. Ahhh, oblivion, it's lovely this time of year:

Anti-G8 protesters have blocked bridges with burning tyres in Geneva and French police have fired teargas at activists who were trying to bar the way to the town of Evian, hours before the start of a summit of world leaders there.

In Lausanne, across Lake Geneva from Evian and another protest hotspot, a few hundred demonstrators, many wearing balaclavas and masks, marched through the Swiss city smashing shop windows and looting two petrol stations.

"No blood for oil," the Lausanne protesters, wearing the trademark anarchist black T-shirts, chanted in a clear reference to the United States' invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Police also used teargas and water cannon at one point in Lausanne to force back a group of demonstrators who tried to approach hotels where some developing country leaders invited to the summit were staying.

The small French border town of Annemasse and nearby Geneva, home to the World Trade Organisation and United Nations agencies, along with Lausanne, became the focus of anti-summit protests after French police and troops sealed off the spa town of Evian with a ring of steel.

French and Swiss police have been on high alert after the mayhem that rocked the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, two years ago when one protester was shot dead by police.

Iraqi Intifada? :.

An intifada is brewing in Iraq, and American troops are about to stop being liberators and will be forced to embrace their inner occupiers. And many Americans don�t give a damn.

Twenty soldiers have died in fighting or accidents since May 1, the day Bush declared the major fighting over. Five have died this week alone.

Ted Turner: Monopoly or Democracy? :.

I find this entire discussion ridiculous. Let them merge into a single corporation for all I care. What difference does it make? The media has been usless in this country for longer than I've been alive (31 years), so why not just let it fester into a larger pustule of lies and deceit?

At some point, people will need to realize that trying to fix something that is hopelessly broken is a waste of time. Stop consuming their nonsense. Turn off your television. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Grow some vegetables. Make some nice tasting tea. And just let the system collapse. It's near to the end. There's no sense in getting upset about it:

On Monday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to adopt dramatic rule changes that will extend the market dominance of the five media corporations that control most of what Americans read, see and hear. I am a major shareholder in the largest of those five corporations, yet -- speaking only for myself, and not for AOL Time Warner -- I oppose these rules. They will stifle debate, inhibit new ideas and shut out smaller businesses trying to compete. If these rules had been in place in 1970, it would have been virtually impossible for me to start Turner Broadcasting or, 10 years later, to launch CNN.

Research Credit: JM


:. 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.