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8/31/2003



The Memory Holes in Google :.

We need an open source search system. DMOZ is a start, but that's more of an edited index. No human operated system can ever approach a Google-scale search capability. The folks at the Nutch project have the right idea, but it's just an idea at the moment.

As far as I'm concerned, all corporate controlled search engines are potential memory holes*. If someone can force Google to censor searches for file trading software, what do you think Uncle Sam is capable of compelling Google to censor? Keep in mind, Google refused paid advertising from me because they felt that Cryptogon promoted hate speech.

"If you search Google for Kazaa Lite, you'll find the results a bit lacking. Ironically enough, Sharman Networks, using the DMCA, filed a legal complaint to block Kazaa Lite sites. " Google links the DMCA request at the end of the results which contain the URLs in question, but the URLs aren't really the point. It's scary that the DMCA makes URLs a copyright violation. How long before libraries can't index books? Or own them?

* If you don't know what a memory hole is, read 1984 by George Orwell.


8/29/2003



No More Smiling on Canadian Passport Photos :.

Hissing, snarling fascism coming to Canada:

Close your mouth. Look into the camera. Don't smile. Don't frown.

Canadians applying for passports must now submit photos showing "neutral expressions". They cannot be smiling, frowning, glaring or grimacing, the Canadian passport office said.


Are Canadians allowed to flip the camera the bird?

Research Credit: BH





CIA Enlists Tits and Ass for Recruitment Effort :.

It's all about maintaining appearances. Nothing more:

Jennifer Garner will soon be bait for potential real-life spies.

The CIA announced Thursday it has enlisted the 31-year-old "Alias" star to appear in a recruitment video to be shown at job fairs and college campuses. On the series she plays secret agent Sydney Bristow, who subdues bad guys with a combination of smoky sexuality and karate kicks. On the CIA video, Garner would provide the introduction and possibly a closing statement, said Chase Brandon, the agency's liaison to the entertainment industry.





This Is Where Capitalism* Meets My Delete Key :.

Free as in beer, free as in freedom, free as in the slowly collapsing pretense that 1s and 0s are worth any money, to anybody, anywhere. The culture-centric take: The Internet, built by professors and soldiers, went bust in the private sector's fumbling hands. Come 2003, ecommerce is all spam, fraud, and piracy, with the shadow of copyleft eclipsing revenue. Open Cultures aims to finish the job. They'd like to see free software evolve from a nifty way to program computers into a broad wave of social reform. It's Solidarnosc for the technosphere.

Logically - indeed, free-software geeks are the most logical hippies in the whole wide world - the revolution is at hand. Why should anybody pay for software? What do you get for your money besides shrink-wrap licenses, potential lawsuits, DRM cuffs around both wrists, and a cloud of viruses? "Property relations" are blocking social and technical progress. Secure computing and digital rights management are coercive regimes that would make George Orwell blush. The free market is a tissue of political fiction as brittle as an Eastern European regime. With open source code on tap, the software trade will collapse under its own weight.


* Capitalism does not exist, never did and never will, but it's fun to talk about destroying it anyway.


8/27/2003



Britain: Borrowers Pile Up Debt to Pay Off Bills :.

Nearly one in four people are turning to loans and credit cards just to pay their household bills or meet day-to-day living costs, research said today.

According to accountancy firm KPMG, just over half of the 2,000 people questioned owed up to �10,000, excluding their mortgage, while 16% had accumulated debts of between �10,00 and �40,000.

Fifteen per cent of people said their debts were spiralling out of control or keeping them awake at night, while 45% admitted they regularly failed to check their bank statements and credit card bills.





Total Madness: EPA Exempts Plants From Clean-Air Rule :.

The Bush administration on Wednesday exempted thousands of older power plants, refineries and factories from having to install costly clean air controls when they modernize with new equipment that improves efficiency but increases pollution.





Pacific Yurts: New Web Site :.

As you may or may not know, I want a yurt. Even if I decide to eventually live in an underground house, straw bale, cob, earthbag or geodome freak structure, my personal ecovillage will also include a yurt. Why?

Because the yurt calls to me.

I have actually visited Pacific Yurts in Cottage Grove, Oregon. I spent a few minutes inside the thirty footer. I said to myself, "Oh yes, this must be done."

So, forget about all the heinous crap occuring in the world---and dutifully documented on Cryptogon---and check out the beautiful structures designed and built by Pacific Yurts. I really like the new Yurt Configurator and Build a Virtual Yurt features.

If you're in the Cottage Grove area, feel free to stop by and visit the friendly folks at Pacific Yurts.





Total Madness: Black Projects Spending at Highest Level Since 1988 :.

"Black," or classified, programs requested in President Bush's 2004 defense budget are at the highest level since 1988, according to a report prepared by the independent Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The center concluded that classified spending next fiscal year will reach about $23.2 billion of the Pentagon's total request for procurement and research funding. When adjusted for inflation, that is the largest dollar figure since the peak reached during President Ronald Reagan's defense buildup 16 years ago. The amount in 1988 was $19.7 billion, or $26.7 billion if adjusted for inflation, according to the center.


8/26/2003



Iraq: Mad Max Style :.

CMCC [Civil-Military Coordination Center] cites Adhamiyah, Rusafa, Thowra, al-Muthanna, Shaab, Hurriyah, Shuahla and the area around Saddam International airport as uncertain or hostile areas.

Carjacking is rife in the capital. Do not walk around the streets with bags or mobile/satellite phones.

The curfew in Baghdad begins at 11pm and ends at 4am.

Iraq�s highways are considered dangerous. Highway 10 between Baghdad and the Jordanian border is especially hazardous, particularly around the Ramadi area. Armed bandits operate this route, using fast cars to stop large convoys of vehicles. Highway 8, between Baghdad and Hillah is also considered a no go route by humanitarian organisations. Highway 1, between Baghdad and Qasim is also very dangerous.

Police are present on the streets of the capital but they are Out-gunned and outnumbered.





RFIDs on Food :.

Still stinging from failed attempts to introduce radio tags to consumers, retailers and their suppliers are now adding features to the technology to make it appear essential to the safety of the nation's food supply.





Bank for International Settlements :.

Good introductory article on BIS. Note: The web layout for this article is terrible. Highlight all the text to make it more readable:

While the Federal Reserve is a private corporation, it is also one of the owners of the Bank for International Settlements-BIS which America helped establish in 1930. Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University, Dr. Carroll Quigley, said the BIS was to "serve as a 'Central Bankers' Bank'". The BIS is where all of the world's central banks meet to analyze the global economy and determine what course of action they will take next to put more money in their pockets since they control the amount of money in circulation and how much interest they are going to charge governments and banks for borrowing from them. Quigley further explained, "[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations."





U.S. Torture :.

�We won�t know, will we, until we have an opportunity to visit with him?� CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid told the expectant press when Chemical Ali�s capture was announced.


8/25/2003



Beyond Absurd: Florida Wants to Tax Your LAN :.

HAHAHAHAHA! Total collapse must be imminent:

A new rule now being formulated in Tallahassee could lead to a state tax of 9 percent -- or higher -- on computer networks commonly used in businesses.

"The standard response is on the border between surprise and outrage," says Arthur Simon, senior vice president of big-business lobby Associated Industries of Florida.

The proposal has its roots in a legislative directive handed down two years ago. It aimed to modernize how the state taxes communications.


HAHAHAHA! Did the Romans come up with unimaginable taxes as their show came down? HAHAHA! This is a good one.





Secret Saudi History :.

Just in case you need another glimpse at snarling, hissing fascism in the U.S., here's a blow by blow account of what one can expect when attempting to view public information at the National Archives. Never mind the fact that the public records are now, "theoretically" public:

"Ask again," he hissed, "and I will call security to remove you from the building and have you barred as a security risk."





Fluoride Linked to Low IQ :.

The same people who tell you that fluoride is good for you also tell you that vitamins are useless:

Children's intelligence declines as their natural drinking water fluoride levels increase, concluded a Chinese study in the May 2003 journal, "Fluoride."

Children scored inferior IQ's even when fluoride levels were similar to that added to U.S. water supplies to prevent tooth decay(1).

"As the fluoride levels in drinking water increased, the IQ fell and the rates of mental retardation and borderline intelligence increased," write researchers Xiang, et al.

Tested were 512 children, aged 8-13 years from Wamiao, a high-fluoride village, and Xinhuai, a low-fluoride village. The high-fluoride village was divided into five subgroups by water fluoride levels, from 0.62 mg Fluoride per Liter to 4.38 mg F/L. As water fluoride levels increased within the high fluoride village, IQ decreased.





Last Gasp: Existing Home Sales Surge :.

Sales of existing homes jumped to a record in July, a real estate group said Monday, as rising mortgage rates apparently spurred some indecisive potential buyers to jump into the market before rates get too high.





U.S. Gas Prices Make Record Jump :.

Supply shortages pushed average retail gasoline prices up more than 15 cents a gallon nationally during the past two weeks, the largest retail price hike on record since the Lundberg Survey began keeping records 50 years ago.


8/24/2003



U.S. Military Short of Rifles, Some Soldiers Use AK-47s Found in Iraq :.

America, the piss poor imperial power:

U.S. troops in Iraq may not have found weapons of mass destruction, but they're certainly getting their hands on the country's stock of Kalashnikovs � and, they say, they need them.

The soldiers based around Baqouba are from an armor battalion, which means they have tanks, Humvees and armored personnel carriers. But they are short on rifles.

"We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon ... demonstrate an ability to use it," said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.





The Nightmare in Britain: Surveillance Chips in Every Car :.

DRIVERS were reeling last night at Government plans to put a computerised spy in EVERY car.

The hi-tech gadgets will record each time a motorist DRIFTS over a speed limit, WANDERS into a bus lane or even STOPS on a yellow line.

And it means the Government will hit Britain�s hard-pressed motorists with even more fines � and bring extra millions flooding into the Treasury.

The proposed scheme is guaranteed to cause outrage among Britain�s 38million drivers.





U.S. to Pump Oil from Iraq to Israel :.

Well, well. Isn't that convenient:

The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.


8/22/2003



SoBig.F: Zombie Army to Download Orders at 12pm PST :.

UPDATE: 3pm PST: SoBig turned out to be nothing much... for the moment, anyway. NY Times did pull the plug on its network, however.

I just shorted the QQQ again. The current short squeeze must be nearly over. If the oil traders and these worm writers manage to create enough chaos, I might be able to buy a couple of buritos from my winnings. With my luck, however, the Nasdaq will rally to new highs now that I'm short. Oh well:

Security experts are warning of a possible attack or mass action by machines infected with the Sobig.F worm scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. EST on Friday.

Code buried deep in the Sobig.F worm will cause afflicted Microsoft Windows machines worldwide to simultaneously connect to an as-yet unknown Web page and download a software program, according to security company F-Secure of Helsinki. The machines are using a number of atomic clocks worldwide to synchronize activities and coordinate the mass action, F-Secure said.


Related: F-Secure Page on SoBig.F :.

F-Secure has a ranking system for malware. SoBig.F is Alert Level 1, indicating the greatest possible threat. What I don't understand is why some whitehat network security freaks don't simply compromise the remaining command nodes and drop in their own code that directs all infected clients to stand down!? This seems easy enough. Unless this entire thing is some sort of swindle.





Something to Keep in Mind as You Pay Record Prices for Gas :.

Electricity from solar power could be used to generate a carbon based fuel from water that can run the internal combustion engine in your car. Check out BingoFuel and Aquafuel. I've posted so much on this in the past I'm sick of talking about it:

The highest gasoline prices in history appear to be just down the road.

Dwindling supplies in the face of increased demand threaten to push pump prices over the national record set last mid-March, when markets were shaken by the prospects of a war with Iraq.

On Thursday, the markets "went ballistic," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in Lakewood, N.J. That means the highest pump prices ever seen are just a few days away.





Arbeit Macht Frei: The End Arrives in India :.

TR writes:

Now that the globalists are shifting IT jobs to India, the Indians are able to wallow in the same vacuous trash that is shoved down everyone's throat here in the Homeland.

From the article:

On the table lies Kedia's prized possession, an Ericsson feature-loaded mobile phone with PDA-like functions that cost him nearly $400, almost as much as an average Indian earns in a year. That night he plans to watch X2: X-Men United at a posh, newly built multiplex theater south of New Delhi and then sip cappuccinos with friends at one of the city's hip new coffee shops, a twice-weekly indulgence for Kedia. With his job as a computer-call-center manager, he is earning enough to consider buying a car and even his own apartment. Kedia is a new breed of consumer in India � young, increasingly wealthy and willing to spend on everything from mobile phones to sneakers to French fries.

More: Another Bright Idea, Foiled Again :.

Just as I was writing the above post, I was thinking, "I'd like to have a high quality t-shirt enscribed with, Arbeit Macht Frei. I thought it would make a nice gift that people could give to their PHBs, or just wear around the office on those casual Fridays. Well, someone else beat me to it. All order of lovely tchotskes are available:

A Polish artist has sparked controversy in the Netherlands by selling "Auschwitz souvenirs" -- from crematorium fridge magnets to "Arbeit Macht Frei" key rings -- to remind people of the horrors of the Nazi death camp.

T-shirts with the menacing skull-and-crossbones symbol from the camp's electric fences and key rings bearing the camp gate's infamous German inscription "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) have been on sale at a Dutch art show since late July.

The difference between Auschwitz and your cubicle is that They have figured out how to keep you showing up to work without having to point a gun at you. If you think I'm being insensitive, etc. you're an idiot. Go away. Get back to work, important matters require your attention.





Work

I have to do some work that has nothing to do with the nonsense on this site. Very draining work. Since everyone is busy rearranging the deck chairs on this sinking ship, I thought that I might as well join in. As such, I'm only interested in posting the most far out stuff at this point. So, if you come across something that is totally off the rails that I haven't posted, send it over.


8/20/2003



Land of the Free: The U.S. Has the Highest Incarceration Rate in the World :.

More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to a new report by the Justice Department released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.

It's the first time the US government has released estimates of the extent of imprisonment, and the report's statistics have broad implications for everything from state fiscal crises to how other nations view the American experience.

If current trends continue, it means that a black male in the United States would have about a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison during his lifetime. For a Hispanic male, it's 1 in 6; for a white male, 1 in 17.





Slammer Worm Crashed Ohio Nuke Plant Network :.

The Slammer worm penetrated a private computer network at Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in January and disabled a safety monitoring system for nearly five hours, despite a belief by plant personnel that the network was protected by a firewall, SecurityFocus has learned.

The breach did not post a safety hazard. The troubled plant had been offline since February 2002, when workers discovered a 6 x 5in hole in the plant's reactor head.





Start Em' Young: Police State Lego Sets

This is one for the I-Shit-You-Not File. We need something like The Spies in Orwell's 1984; a special homeland security academy for the uncontrollable spawn of the most patriotic and ignorant Americans. The kids could sit around all day getting fat, playing with their Legos, eating twinkies and drinking red, purple and green "fruit" punch. Over the loudspeakers, the little ones would listen to John Ashcroft lectures on how great the Patriot Act is and an occasional rendition of the all time classic, Let the Eagles Soar. So, the next time you're wallowing around in the muck at Walmart, get in the spirit and give your little hellions the gift that keeps on giving!*

LEGO World City: Surveillance Truck

The eyes and ears of the law keep LEGO World City safe. Police keep the 10-wheeled Surveillance Truck on the scene to watch and listen for potential trouble. Officers use antennas to send and intercept radio communications, and a satellite dish to monitor transmissions from around the world. A three-wheeled vehicle accompanies the LEGO World City: Surveillance Truck at all times to catch criminals in the act. Includes two police agent mini-figures. 266 LEGO pieces.

LEGO World City: Helicopter

Fight crime from the air with this powerful police helicopter. It gives World City officers a sweeping view of activity on the streets below. The helicopter plays an important role in catching escaping crooks and monitoring high-speed car chases. Includes mini-figure police pilot. 87 LEGO pieces.

LEGO World City: Police 4WD and Undercover Van

Use this fully-equipped Undercover Van and Police 4WD to stop crime in World City. The undercover officer monitors criminals using high-tech surveillance equipment in the Undercover Van. When it's time to go in for the arrest, the Police 4WD swoops in and catches the bad guys in the act. Includes two vehicles, two mini-figures and accessories. 151 LEGO pieces.

LEGO World City: Police Headquarters

The World City Police Headquarters is the place to go for action and adventure. The latest satellites and computers keep track of all the trouble in town. When an alarm comes on, the police ATV and van are ready to roll at a moment's notice. Create your own World City stories and bring in the bad guys every time. Includes police ATV and van, four policeman and crook mini-figures, accessories and more. Set contains 418 LEGO pieces.

LEGO World City: Armored Car Action

The police armored car carries a fortune in gold and cash to the bank. Crooks can try to slow it down, but no barricade can stop the armored car. Create your own exciting World City adventures with the Armored Car Action set. Includes armored car, three-wheel escape vehicle, two mini-figures and accessories SRC6 LEGO pieces.

* May result in your arrest.


8/19/2003



Incredible Laptop Deal

HP Pavilion ze4430us Notebook PC (1.80--GHz Athlon XP-M 2400+, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD-RW Drive)

My sister is going to buy a laptop computer and she asked me to make a few suggestions. I made the rounds. I looked at them all. In the end (not to be confused with The End) this is the most incredible deal running at the moment. Now, besides the fact that this laptop kicks ass, consider the following benefits of ordering this machine from Amazon right now:

* Chances are, you will not pay sales tax.

* There are no shipping charges.

* You will get a $100 refund.

* Your purchase will support my efforts on Cryptogon.

Price Too Low To Mention! Limited Time! Screamin' Deal! Don't Wait! This Is The One You've Been Waiting For! Etc.

More: Incredible Laser Printer Deal

Samsung ML-2151N Laser Printer

Check the specs and compare prices. This is an incredible value.

Related: Cryptogon Reader TM Adds

You fucking tool.......
Carly Fiorina and HP are shipping jobs out of the US faster than DUBYAS daughters can down a fith of Jim Beam. Check the web sites.


Thanks TM. Of course, you're right. But until I find a big enough refrigerator box to sleep in, I'm bound by this beast, just as much as you are. By the way, which brand of computer do you use?


8/18/2003



Dying to Tell the Story: U.S. Soldiers Kill Reuters Cameraman :.

International media rights bodies called on the United States on Monday to launch a full inquiry into the killing of award-winning Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, who was shot dead by U.S. troops in Iraq.

Soldiers on an American tank shot at Dana on Sunday while he filmed outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad which had earlier come under a mortar attack, witnesses said.





Phoenix: Gas Running Out :.

This story goes to show just how close to chaos our society really is on a daily basis. What if there was a sustained interruption in the delivery of gasoline?

Gasoline here has been treated like liquid gold in the week and a half since a rupture forced the sole pipeline to the city to shut down.

Motorists drove on fumes from gas station to gas station Sunday night, searching for one that still had fuel. The stations still open had drivers lined up for hours waiting for their chance to pump and pay an increasingly high price for the privilege.


8/17/2003



The Transformation of Tax Protestors Into Terrorists :.

Watch for tax protestors to be branded as terrorists. It has to happen. The government must create this linkage in the public mind or the system will collapse sooner rather than later.

As all levels of government begin to turn the screws on the public, increasing numbers of people will simply opt out. The unthinkable thought is that people stop paying their taxes, en masse. Well, it's happening; people are flipping the IRS the bird. The obvious scam of the government swindling the public and redistributing the money to the most wealthy individuals is becoming a little too obvious. The seeds of collapse are sewn, and that's a beautiful thing, if you ask me:

These folks either don't see the connection between the taxes they pay and the services they want -- the price we pay for a civilized society, in Oliver Wendell Holmes's famous phrase -- or they don't feel the services are worth the money.

...

So what's going on?

Looking back, it seems that where once taxes were viewed as a communal effort -- we'll all chip in and pay for things we couldn't afford individually, with the rich paying more and the poor paying less, but with wide agreement on what we need -- they are now seen as a feeding trough for interest groups. Combine that with the growing cynicism about who actually pays taxes, and you have a recipe for systemic breakdown.


More: Irwin Schiff Case in New York Times! :.

Can a man be held in contempt of court and jailed for selling copies of public records?

Irwin Schiff, the nation's best-known proponent of the idea that people are not required to pay income taxes, has put that provocative question to Lloyd D. George, a federal district judge who held a hearing here on Thursday on a Justice Department request that Mr. Schiff be put behind bars for civil contempt.

On June 16, Judge George issued an injunction ordering the 75-year-old Mr. Schiff, who has twice gone to prison for tax offenses, to stop promoting his "zero tax return," which he says allows anyone to legally list no income and so pay no taxes. At least 5,100 such returns have been filed in recent years, the Internal Revenue Service says, costing the government $51 million in taxes and tying up law enforcement resources needed to pursue the filers.

...

In interviews, many of those supporters described the federal government as a criminal organization systematically destroying economic opportunity for all but the elite and using the tax code to undermine what they called a right to not have their labor taxed.


I'll drink to that.





Did U.S. Transport Planes Fly Saddam Out of Iraq? :.

Do I doubt it? Yes. Would it surprise me if it was true? No.

Then early on the morning of April 9th, as the remnants of his unit were close to being overrun, a general cease-fire was unexpectedly declared for 6 AM. Shortly after it went into effect, and in broad daylight, the officer claims a motorcade of 10 Mercedes stretch limos suddenly barreled onto the airfield, carrying Saddam and his entourage. Almost simultaneously, a flight of what the officer asserts were four USAF Hercules transports swooped down and landed on the lone stretch of intact runway. All four C-130s dropped their rear loading ramps and the limos drove up into the cargo bays of the waiting planes, which then took off. The officer insists he has no idea where Saddam or any of the other members of his party may have gone.

Dillon says his film lends major support to what many have believed for years: that Saddam was little more than an American tool, a stage-managed "evildoer", just one in a long line of useful villains bought and paid for by the United States in order to better manipulate international politics and commerce.





Homeownership in a Bubble: The Fast Path to Poverty? :.

Bend over, Joe and Jane Six Pack, here it comes:

While homeownership may be indeed be desirable in normal times, it is not clear that encouraging moderate income families to buy homes at present is a good strategy. There is good reason to believe that the nation is experiencing a housing bubble very similar to the stock bubble of the late nineties. Nationwide, the rise in home prices has exceeded the overall rate of inflation by more than 30 percentage points since 1995. This sort of run-up in home prices has no precedent in the post-war period. No economist has been able to put forward a plausible explanation for such a sudden run-up in home prices, apart from a speculative bubble.


8/15/2003



It Was Like a Committee of Bank Robbers Figuring Out How to Make Safecracking Legal :.

Greg Palast on the energy deregulation boondoggle:

Enron circled California and licked its lips. As the number one contributor to the George W. Bush campaigns, it was confident about the future. With just a half dozen other companies it controlled at times 100% of the available power capacity needed to keep the Golden State lit. Their motto, "your money or your lights."

Enron and its comrades played the system like a broken ATM machine, yanking out the bills.


Research Credit: CW


8/14/2003



Bond Rout Will Push Fed to Tighten :.

Low interest rates have shored up the financial system and created a hot housing market over the last two years. But the days of easy money may soon be over, as the Federal Reserve could be forced to quickly correct mistakes it has made in conducting the nation's monetary policy.

Bond market moves and economic statistics strongly suggest that the Federal Reserve will have to raise short-term interest rates far sooner than many investors and economists believe. A hike in short-term rates could cause a selloff in bonds and stocks and a drop in house prices, but failure to act quickly could create even steeper declines.





Major Power Outage :.

A major power outage simultaneously struck dozens of cities in the United States and Canada late Thursday afternoon.

Cities affected include New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Toronto, Ontario; and Ottawa, Ontario. The power outage occurred shortly after 4 p.m.

State officials said the Niagara-Mohawk power grid was overloaded. The grid provides power for New York and stretches into Canada. The officials said the outage is a natural occurrence and not related to terrorism.





Schwarzenegger Selects Warren Buffett for Senior Economic Advisory Position :.

Maybe Schwarzenegger will select the ghost of Joseph Mengele to work in some sort of public health capacity. Reader NF asks, "What's next? Brittany Spears and George Soros?":

Seeking to add muscle to his team, Arnold Schwarzenegger named financial heavyweight Warren Buffett his senior economic adviser on Wednesday as the actor prepared a high-profile run for California governor.

...

Schwarzenegger was assured a place in the crowded field that ranged from serious politicians to pornographers. Schwarzenegger received a boost with Buffett on board, pairing a movie star completely untested in politics with a Wall Street sage who is the world's second richest man.

"Warren is helping me bring together a world-class team to assist me in addressing the problems and challenges facing businesses, investors and job creators in California," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Warren has a common sense approach to business issues and an integrity that is unmatched. That's the same way I want to approach governing."





The Boodle Boys :.

Some interesting info on the opium trade and Skull and Bones:

William H. Russell (Skull &Bones; co-founder-1833) cousin Samuel Russell formally established Russell & Co. on January 1, 1824 for the purpose of acquiring opium and smuggling it to China. Russell & Co. merged with the number one US trader, the J. & T.H. Perkins "Boston Concern" in 1829. By the mid-1830s the opium trade had become "the largest commerce of its time in any single commodity, anywhere in the world." Russell & Co. and the Scotch firm Jardine-Matheson, then the world's largest opium dealer working together were known as the "Combination." George HW Bush (S&B 1948) was born in Milton, Massachusetts not far from the historic home of Robert Bennett Forbes, a Russell partner. Many great American, European and Chinese family fortunes were built on the "China"(opium) trade. Yes, they sold porcelain, tea, silks and other items at home in the US, but they "needed" the trade in opium for silver to pay for the desired goods and�opium smuggling returned "handsome" profits.





Lloyds Bank Fraud!? :.

One of the most respected financial institutions in the world accused of swindling? Imagine my feelings of shock and surprise...not:

Lloyds TSB Bank has in operation an ongoing and quite deliberate management driven fraud involving fictitious made up false Foreign Exchange Rates in which they are stealing between 1% and 2% of their trusting customers money on every foreign exchange transaction completed.





America, the Fourth Reich :.

Americans are the new Nazis. There, that's earned me a lot of enemies very quickly hasn't it?

"How dare you," comes the riposte from the neo-cons in the administration and the right-wing think tanks like JINSA and the PNAC, as well as the "Fox news compliant" brigade whose heads are still stuck up their backsides enjoying the televised view. "America is a democracy, a free country run by a democratically elected government. It is the land of the free, the home of the brave and the protector of the free world," I hear them chorus.

To that I say, bullshit.


More: Did Goebbells Write the Bush Administration's Speeches? :.

From an address to a joint session of the US Congress: President George W. Bush.

"Americans are asking ``Why do they hate us?'' They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. " George W. Bush, 20 September, 2001

From Goebbels' New Year address to Germany

They hate our people because it is decent, brave, industrious, hardworking and intelligent. They hate our views, our social policies, and our accomplishments. They hate us as a Reich and as a community. They have forced us into a struggle for life and death. We will defend ourselves accordingly. All is clear between us and our enemies. Goebbels 31 December 1939


More: The Rise of the Fourth Reich :.

Everyone likes to say, "Hitler did this", and, "Hitler did that". But the truth is Hitler did very little. He was a world class tyrant, but the evil actually done by the Third Reich, from the death camps to WW2 was all done by German citizens who were afraid to question if what they were told by their government was the truth or not, and who because they did not want to admit to themselves that they were afraid to question the government, refused to see the truth behind the Reichstag Fire, refused to see the invasion by Poland was a staged fake, and followed Hitler into national disaster.


8/12/2003



Gunbattle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia :.

Things would get very interesting if a real insurgency picked up steam in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. would have to invade in order to prevent the ascention of an Ayatollah Khomeini style theocracy on top of the world's largest oil reserve. But a not-real insurgency would be much better. Here's what I think They should do.

Get Osama bin Laden to ride into Riyadh with a sword in one hand and an AK47 in the other. How great would that be? Then it could be Dubya vs. bin Laden in a fight to the death over control of Saudi Arabia. HAHAHAHA. Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't joke around like this:

Three Saudi police officers and a suspected terrorist were killed Tuesday in a gun battle between security forces and Islamic militants in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an Interior Ministry official told CNN.

Seven terrorist suspects with possible ties to al Qaeda were arrested, the official said. Another 10 suspects fled from a house in the area, sources said.





Homelessness Grows as More Live Check-to-Check :.

What follows will be familiar to anyone who has studied the decline of states into civil war. If the domestic economic situation in the United States isn't yet a national security issue, it will be soon. I am shocked that a story with this level of candor appeared in major establishment newspaper:

Homelessness in major cities is escalating as more laid-off workers already living paycheck-to-paycheck wind up on the streets or in shelters.

As Americans file for bankruptcy in record numbers and credit card debt explodes, more workers are a paycheck away from losing their homes. Now the frail economy is pushing them over the edge. With 9 million unemployed workers in July, the face of homelessness is changing to include more families shaken by joblessness.

Former neighbors and co-workers are on the streets, live with relatives or stay in shelters. Unemployed managers are living with their elderly parents. Families who once owned their own homes now sleep on bunk beds in homeless shelters. Job seekers in suits and ties stop by soup kitchens heading out to afternoon interviews. With no place to live, some homeless are camping out in their cars until work comes along.





You�re Fired, Now Train the New Guy :.

If someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to start digging a hole, would you do it? If your work innvolves sitting in a chair, that gun is at your head at this very moment:

Scott Kirwin clung to his job at a large investment bank through several rounds of layoffs last year. Friends marveled at the computer programmer�s ability to dodge pink slips during the worst technology downturn in a decade. But it was tough for Kirwin, 36, to relish his final assignment: training a group of programmers from India who would replace him within a year.

...

And some labor experts say out-of-work programmers should stop complaining, and focus on their own re-training, just like the Rust Belt assembly line workers whose factory jobs migrated to Mexico and Asia in the 1980s.


I have a better idea. Instead of focusing on useless "re-training" that will only be used for swindling, why not become proficient with a wire stripper and a roll of electrical tape and build yourself an etherkiller?! Yes, that's right! For the cost of a morning latte you could easily fashion an implement capable of destroying most or all of your soon-to-be-former company's IT infrastructure in the building where your cubicle/cell is located? Hmm. Imagine that.





Liberation: Family Shot Dead by Panicking U.S. Troops :.

No, this isn't Chechnya, and the soldiers aren't Russian. But blood splatters the same way regardless of geography. Just remember, your hard work at the job you hate makes all of this possible. Your hard work bought the M-16 rifles used to kill these innocent people, the bullets, the soldiers' uniforms, etc. etc.:

The abd al-Kerim family didn't have a chance. American soldiers opened fire on their car with no warning and at close quarters. They killed the father and three of the children, one of them only eight years old. Now only the mother, Anwar, and a 13-year-old daughter are alive to tell how the bullets tore through the windscreen and how they screamed for the Americans to stop.

"We never did anything to the Americans and they just killed us," the heavily pregnant Ms abd al-Kerim said. "We were calling out to them 'Stop, stop, we are a family', but they kept on shooting."

...

Empty bullet casings lay everywhere. Bullet holes marked the walls and gates of nearby houses. Several parked cars were riddled with bullet-holes, their windows smashed and tyres shredded. From the spread of the bullet holes all over the street, it was clear the soldiers had fired in every direction.





Dead Microbiologists Linked to Ethno-Specific BioWeapons :.

The two American scientists he had worked with were Benito Que, 52, and Don Wiley, 57. Both microbiologists had been engaged in DNA sequencing that could provide "a genetic marker based on genetic profiling." The research could play an important role in developing weaponized pathogens to hit selected groups of humans - identifying them by race. Two years ago, both men were found dead, in circumstances never fully explained.





Illegal to Boycott Israel Story 1 Story 2

Commerce Under Secretary for Industry and Security Kenneth I. Juster today reiterated to U.S. companies that the Department will vigorously enforce its regulations prohibiting U.S. persons from taking any action in support of foreign government boycotts against Israel.

"The U.S. Government stands firm in its policy of opposing restrictive trade practices or boycotts against Israel," Juster said. "The Commerce Department is committed to using all of its resources to oppose economic boycotts against Israel and corporations that do business with Israel."


8/11/2003



Police on Alert for 'Imminent' al-Qa'ida Terror Attack on Britain :.

The Brits ran the IRA for thirty years, but now there's another terrorist organization in town. Yep. Sure. Why not?

Police in London have been put on their highest state of alert after warnings were received that an al-Qa'ida suicide attack may be imminent.

Frontline officers in the capital are being given fresh instruction on spotting and tackling suicide bombers. Similar guidance is to be issued to officers in other large urban forces next month.

The moves come after the FBI uncovered and passed on new intelligence that the threat was growing of an al-Qa'ida outrage in the capital.





Missing Boeing 727 Plane from Angola

I received the following email from someone claiming to be Joseph B. Padilla, Sr., brother of Ben Charles Padilla, the man accused of stealing the Boeing 727 from Angola. He has sent this around to a few other places. The pictures he mentions in the email were not included:

Yes,
I am Joseph B. Padilla, SR.
I live in Pensacola, Florida - U.S.A.
I am the Brother of Ben Charles Padilla Jr.
He is suspected to be the Pilot of the Missing Boeing 727 Plane that left the Airport in Angola on May 25 2003.
I am tring to reach news organizations to help me locate anyone that has seen or heard anything about this missing plane or my brother.
I appeared on ABC's , Good Morning Amercia alone with my Sister Benita Padilla-Kirkland on June 19 2003 in hopes to get the story out and to Locate my brother.
We both also appeared on CNN's Morning show, American Morning on June 24 2003.
Can you please help me by broadcasting a story or by your website news or newspaper?
I have alot of information about the dissapearance of the plane and my brother.
You can contact me at : 850-944-9688 or either by e-mail -
[email protected]
I hope that you will give me your help in hopes that someone seeing the story will either know something about the dissappearance of the plane and my brother or know someone that does.
Here is what I have so far about the story.

As in the begining as I told ABC News on The Good Morning America Show that I appeared on in New York, I thought that the Boeing 727 Plane had been sitting there in Angola for 14 months unattended to and not maintained.
Now, I have found out that My Brother, Ben Charles Padilla, Jr. had been in Angola for 2 months overseeing a crew of aircraft mechanics re-working the plane from one end to the other.
A B-Check was done and it was found to be fine.
I talked to the owner of the plane, Mr. Maury Joseph, which is also the owner of Aerospace Sales And Leasing in South Florida.
I too live in florida, Pensacola, Fl. and my brother too was born and raised here.
Maury Joseph told me that he was there in Angola two weeks before the disappearance to see how things were going with the re-build of the 727 and also talked to my brother 2 days before the plane became missing and he had sent my brother $43,000.00 for him to pay the fees to the airport there in Angola. My brother paid the airport and faxed Maury Joseph the reciept, This is what Maury Joseph told me this past friday night during our two and a half hour phone conversation.
My brother was also incharge of the hiring of a pilot and co-pilot. He was to be the Flight Engineer for the flight out of Angola for the repossession of the Boeing 727 plane.
My brother is not licensed to fly a 727 and never has flown an aircraft this large.
He is a Licensed Aircraft Mechanic, Flight Engineer, and Pilot of smaller airplanes.
I was told that he had took the plane out to the end of the runway and ran the engines up to check to see how they performed.
I feel that when my brother was checking the engines, someone was on the plane and hijacked him.
My brother isn't a criminal nor has never done any wrong doings.
Maury Joseph told me that he trusts my brother and doesn't believe the reports of my brother stealing the plane.
Maury Joseph also told me that he had talked to the Airport there in Angola and had found out that the control tower had radioed the 727 and told them as they were headed out to the runway to take off, that they didn't have clearance nor permission to take off and the tower never recieved a response from the 727.
I talked to my brother Ben Padilla, Jr. back in either Jan. or Feb. and we talked about the Sept. 11 2001 ordeal and he himself told me that if this sort of thing ever happend to him, that he would down the plane in a New York Second.
So, with that said I really believe my brother was hijacked and taken prisonier and held against his will and possibly was killed.
My mother had a heart attack on Mothers day and my brother was e-mailed about this and he responded to the e-mail he recieved from another brother of ours and told him that he would contact us as soon as he could and we haven't heard anything from him. So, that tells me that something isn't right since he would of contacted the family about our mother.
I have talked to the FBI and State Department in Washington, D.C. and all they are willing to tell me is that they have not found my brother nor the plane. So, I am tring to search for any information that I can get thru news organizations.
I find alot of stories on the internet and try to get any of the news organizations to run this story.
I also include a couple of pictures of my brother so incase anyone knows anything or has seen him before, to please contact me.
I am including in this e-mail 2 pictures of him incase you run this story inwhich I hope you do.
I would like to include my e-mail address and phone number incase some one reads or sees this that they can contact me.
My phone number is, 850-944-9688 and my e-mail address is, [email protected]
Our family has already lost 2 siblings and can not bear to lose another one.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
If you need any additional information, Please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you so much for your time.
Joseph B. Padilla, SR.





American Reich: Americans Pay Price for Speaking Out :.

Dissent, once an ideal cherished in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, now invites media attacks, hate Web sites, threats and job loss.

After Zinni challenged the administration's rationale for the Iraq war last fall, he lost his job as President George W. Bush's Middle East peace envoy after 18 months.

"I've been told I will never be used by the White House again."


Related: Col. David Hackworth Calls Rumsfeld an "Asshole" :.

When I examined the task organization, my estimate was totally contrary to this asshole Rumsfeld, who went in light and on the cheap, all based upon this rosy scenario. I never thought this would be a fight without resistance. And there was another guy who thought the same way I did; his name is Saddam Hussein. He looked at the awesome array of forces being set up against him and said, "Wait a minute, no way can I prevail, I tried that in '91 and just saw in Afghanistan what happened to Taliban and Al-Qaida, I will run away for another day."





IRS Loses a Big One :.

Pay only the income tax that you are required to pay by law. That is, pay no income tax:

On Friday, a Memphis federal jury acquitted FedEx pilot Vernice Kuglin of six counts of felony Tax Evasion and Willful Failure to File tax returns.

Ms. Kuglin's attorneys, Tax Honesty Movement barristers Larry Becraft and Robert G. Bernhoft, told reporters that Kuglin was indicted seven months ago and had refused to plead the case out for a lesser sentence. During her testimony Kuglin testified that since 1995, she had sent numerous letters to the IRS requesting that they inform her of what law required her to pay the Individual Income Tax. To this day, she has not received an answer.

At 1:30 Friday afternoon, the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all counts.

After the jury had been excused the U.S. Attorney reportedly demanded that the Judge order the defendant to file her forms, pay her taxes and obey the law. The Judge reportedly replied "Sir, I don't work for the IRS."



Related: Irwin Schiff


8/9/2003



Smart Mail :.

A presidential commission charged with studying ways to make the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) more efficient has recommended that the agency work with the Department of Homeland Security to develop sender identification technology for all U.S. mail.

In a final report released July 31, the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service said sender identification technologies such as "personalized stamps" that embed digital identification information would not only improve mail tracking and delivery operations but would also enhance the security of the entire mail system.


8/8/2003



RFID to Protect You from the Terrorists :.

I hate to say I told you so, but I nailed this one exactly. (Alex Jones is going to pop a vein over this.) Just over a month ago, in my commentary on Walmart's decision to "drop" RFID, I wrote:

Pay close attention because this is an excellent example of how public opinion is managed. The firestorm of pissed people stopped this from going into Wal-Mart... for the moment.

RFID is going to be everywhere. Do not doubt it for one second. But because so many people freaked out so fast over this, They realize that it's a no-go...for the moment. We will probably enter a "cooling off" period, as the people behind the RFID wait for angry consumers to forget about this. Then, guess what? After some period of time...

It's back.

When it comes back, it will be back with a vengeance, and it will probably be legislated into existence for some bogus reason or another. When corporations realize they have hit an obstacle with public opinion, they simply pay the whores on Capital Hill and the various federal agencies, and that's it. The next thing you know, it's, "RFID is for the children," or, "RFID protects you from the terrorists."


Today's top story on wired.com is Claim: RFID Will Stop Terrorists. I knew it. It sucks when you're right about predicting The End. Oh well, someone has to do it, I guess:

Facing increasing resistance and concerns about privacy, the United States' largest food companies and retailers will try to win consumer approval for radio identification devices by portraying the technology as an essential tool for keeping the nation's food supply safe from terrorists.

...

To win the hearts and minds of consumers, retailers and food and drug companies may portray the technology as an antiterrorist tool. They say the technology can help them keep precise track of all goods and help in recall efforts should their products be contaminated or laced with poison during a terrorist attack.





Death Sentence for Dietary Supplements :.

Each time I visit a health food store that has a large selection of quality supplements, I think to myself, "Take a good long look because this just won't be allowed to continue." Establishment medicine is about 90% overt fraud mixed with quackery. As information about ways to prevent and cure chronic disease with nutrition and supplementation becomes more widespread, the quacks will lobby for a crackdown on the stuff that actually works:

The underlying purpose of S.722 is to move the burden of proof from the FDA (to show a supplement is not safe and must be removed from the marketplace) to the manufacturer (to show a supplement is safe and can continue to be available to consumers). However, its methodology hands the FDA a blank check for removing any supplement it chooses from the marketplace. Given the FDA's continuing hostile stance on supplements (as shown in its 400-page preface to newly proposed good-manufacturing-practice regulations), it is safe to predict that safety criteria would be set excessively high, and ephedra would be only the first of many supplements to be banned.





The Shocking Antics of Fannie Mae :.

They say this thing is properly hedged. Yeah, right. Fannie Mae's business model is nothing more than institutionalized check kiting. Eventually the swindle breaks down. When this thing finally unwinds, it's going to make Enron look like a bumfight over cigarette butts:

If the change in interest rates is gradual, then Fannie Mae will lose less money from the change than it makes on the rate spread between mortgages and the debt it has issued. But if rates change quickly, Fannie Mae can lose billions of dollars almost overnight.

The models provided by the former employee offer a glimpse of the risk that Fannie Mae takes and the leverage it uses to increase its profit at times when interest rates are relatively stable. Fannie Mae has more than $50 in debt for each $1 in equity capital, according to its most recent annual report.





George W. Bush - U.S. President and Naval Aviator - 12" Action Figure :.

BBI proudly introduces the latest issue in its Elite Force series of authentic military 12- inch figures, President George W. Bush in naval aviator flight uniform. Exacting in detail and fully equipped with authentic gear, this limited-edition action figure is a meticulous 1:6 scale recreation of the Commander-in-Chief's appearance during his historic Aircraft Carrier landing. On May 1, 2003, President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in the Pacific Ocean, and officially declared the end to major combat in Iraq. While at the controls of an S-3B Viking aircraft from the "Blue Sea Wolves" of Sea Control Squadron Three Five (VS-35), designated "Navy 1," he overflew the carrier before handing it over to the pilot for landing. Attired in full naval aviator flight equipment, the President then took the salute on the deck of the carrier.





Unipolar Moment? Not So Fast :.

Some analysts are calling the New World Order dead. What will replace it? The Next World Order, of course. In the Next World Order, the international system that will be shaped and managed by U.S. global hegemony.

And now for the reality check:

After 9/11, I thought the U.S. would aspire to empire, but it simply won't happen. In short, the U.S. isn't going to be able to rule the world. (It can't even rule Iraq.) Consider these realities:

* The U.S. military is stretched very thin already.

* Most of the world hates the U.S.

* The U.S. will suffer a Soviet style bankruptcy if it proceeds on its present course.

* Domestic and international economic policies are weakening the U.S. with each passing day.

* The manufacturing sector has been eviscerated.

* With increasing numbers of people, including top salary earners, out of work, less coin is available to fund the requisite foreign adventures required for empire.

In other words, I think it's safe to forget about Pax Americana for the moment.

In my opinion, the key phrase to remember is, "ordo ab chao," Latin meaning, "order out of chaos." As the U.S. declines, and chaos ensues, watch for voices to come out of everywhere blaming the profligate, unilateral foreign policy of the U.S. during the Bush years. Watch for a renewed call for a strengthening of international institutions, the United Nations, a global income tax to fund peace making and peace keeping operations, multinational armies, etc.

This is the point at which the RFIDs will be in all currency and national I.D. cards will be required for just about everything.

Ordo ab chao, my friend, order out of chaos:

The big question is, can the world be run from one city? Does the U.S. Congress have the wit and the wisdom -- let alone the resources -- to run the globe? I, for one, do not believe it does. For all of its glory, indeed its past magnanimity, any attempt by America to take on the mantle of empire is to deny the very precepts of its founding.


8/7/2003



Editorial Integrity Notice

I shorted the QQQ (Nasdaq 100) two days ago. I have the brokerage system set to cover the position at 33, in case I'm wrong.





German Unemployment 10.4% :.

Germany's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.4% in July, up from 10.2% in June, the country's Federal Labour Office said.





9/11 Credit Card Transactions :.

German computer experts are working round the clock to unlock the truth behind an unexplained surge in financial transactions made just before two hijacked planes crashed into New York's World Trade Center on September 11.

Were criminals responsible for the sharp rise in credit card transactions that moved through some computer systems at the WTC shortly before the planes hit the twin towers?

Or was it coincidence that unusually large sums of money, perhaps more than $100 million, were rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded?

A world leader in retrieving data, German-based firm Convar is trying to answer those questions and help credit card companies, telecommunications firms and accountants in New York recover their records from computer hard drives that have been partially damaged by fire, water or fine dust.

Using a pioneering laser scanning technology to find data on damaged computer hard drives and main frames found in the rubble of the World Trade Center and other nearby collapsed buildings, Convar has recovered information from 32 computers that support assumptions of dirty doomsday dealings.





DARPA: Brain Machine Interfaces :.

Even by Washington scandal standards, the "terrorism futures" scandal was strange and dramatic.

It started when two senators discovered an obscure military program designed to gauge the chances of various geopolitical developments, including terrorist attacks, by asking people to bet money on them. Within 48 hours -- or, more precisely, two news cycles -- the program was canceled and the man behind it, John Poindexter of Iran-contra fame, had tendered his resignation.

What most people don't know is that the Department of Defense is already funding a research program with far creepier implications.

The $24 million enterprise called Brain Machine Interfaces is developing technology that promises to directly read thoughts from a living brain -- and even instill thoughts as well.





Schwarzenegger Announces Bid for California Governor :.

I don't know what to make of this. Frankly, I don't even have the energy to look into it:

After dropping hints about his political ambitions, movie action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday that he will run for California governor in October's recall election.

More: Bohemian Grove Candidate :.

From what we've hear, the Republican hierarchy -- especially those close to former Gov. Pete Wilson -- would favor Schwarzenegger. At least that's the word that came out of the Bohemian Grove this past weekend, where a number of state and national GOPers, including presidential adviser Karl Rove, happened to have gathered at a club getaway.


8/6/2003



Gaze Upon It





How Robots Will Steal Your Job :.

No high paying jobs, no low paying jobs. This is fantastic!

The finish line in the race to the bottom isn't in India, China or Russia, but in robotics. I, personally, doubt we will make it long enough to see the really incredible/frightening developments in AI and robotics. That's ok, there's always Primate Programming Inc. for your most pressing software development needs! (All that's left to do is laugh.):

Listening to Marshall Brain explain the future as he sees it, it's relatively easy to suspend disbelief and agree how plausible it is that over the next 40 years most of our jobs will be displaced by robots.

After all, it only takes a typical round of errands to reveal how far we've come already. From automated gas pumps to bank ATMs to self-service checkout lanes at major retailers, service jobs already are being replaced by machines on a scale of obvious magnitude.

Fast-forward today's innovations another few decades, and it doesn't require a great leap of faith to envision how advances in image processing, microprocessor speed and human-motion simulation could lead to the automation of most current low-paying jobs.





Uncle Sam Shocks Some Veterans with Recall to Duty :.

Read the fine print before you sign up for cannon fodder duty:

Hinman is an Individual Ready Reservist, one of about 300,000 former service members available for active duty in a time of crisis, according to the Pentagon. Each year, as thousands of military personnel finish their terms of active duty, they are placed on IRR status for a period that varies according to agreements they signed when they joined the service.

In some cases, a person on IRR status can be called up as many as 10 years after departure from the armed forces, the Pentagon says.





SCO Wants to Collect Up To $1399 For Each Machine Running Linux :.

My advice to the PHBs at Santa Cruz Operation: Lay off the crack pipe:

Linux users face a serious question. Is $699 too much to pay for a good bath?

The $699 scrubbing fee is exactly how much SCO wants for one CPU's worth of a Linux license, and that's just for the time being. Come October 15, the single CPU fee jumps to a whopping $1,399.


8/5/2003



Job Cut Announcements Up 43% :.

U.S. job-cut announcements jumped in July to their highest level in three months, an outplacement firm said Tuesday, another sign that the longest job-market slump since World War II continues.

U.S. employers announced 85,117 job cuts in July, a 43-percent jump from 59,715 in June, according to Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which publishes monthly tallies of job-cut announcements.





Market Storm May Threaten Stability :.

"Bad things tend to happen when interest rates rise as much as they have and as quickly as they have," said Wachovia chief economist John Silvia.

The jump in interest rates is choking off the refinancing boom that has been one of the main supports of an anemic recovery.





Morgan Stanley: Warning Shot :.

It�s a nightmare scenario, even for me. Sharply rising real long-term interest rates are the last thing an economy on the brink of deflation needs. Such an outcome would depress an already weakened state of aggregate demand, conjuring up notions of the dreaded deflationary spiral. The extraordinary correction in the bond market over the past seven weeks tells us not to dismiss such a possibility out of hand.

On the surface, it�s hard to conceive of a more bizarre outcome -- rising long-term interest rates in a deflation-prone economy. The experience of Japan suggests it can�t happen. After all, nominal yields on 10-year Japanese Government Bonds fell from 3.7% in early 1995 to a mere 0.4% in early June 2003. But there�s an enormous difference in the internal financing capacities of America and Japan. Awash in saving, Japan has long had the world�s largest current account surplus. As a result, it funds its economy largely on terms set by domestic investors. The United States, by contrast, is a saving-short economy running a chronic and ever-widening current account deficit. As such, it is dependent on the good graces of foreign investors to fund its economy -- on terms set largely in international capital markets. So far, those terms have been favorable. There�s no guarantee that will continue to be the case.

Therein lies the potential of rising long-term interest rates for an economy on the brink of deflation. There comes a point in every current account deterioration when enough is enough -- when foreign investors demand a premium to keep funding a saving-short economy.





Interest-Rate Moves Warn the Economy May Be Broken :.

My hands are trembling a bit as I post this one. Just because it isn't a surprise doesn't mean it's any less frightening:

THE U.S. economy may be broken.

That's different from saying that the economy is - or isn't - improving. It is like saying it can't improve. And the idea that the nation's business cycle is "broken" is a lot more troubling than what you are hearing economists and politicians arguing about these days.

First, let me say that I hope I'm wrong about this. But the way in which interest rates have behaved over the past month or so should be causing serious concern that the country has gotten itself into a fix that can't be remedied in any conventional way.

Since the Federal Reserve reduced interest rates in early June, the actual rates that people and businesses have to pay to borrow money have soared like a rocket. The interest rate on 30-year government bonds - which are no longer issued by Washington but still trade - has risen from around 4.20 percent to about 5.50 percent.

That has caused 30-year mortgages, for instance, to rise from an average in the very low 5 percent area to over 6 percent.

Why has this happened? That's a good question, and one for which nobody has an answer.





Reuters to Shift Core Unit to India :.

News and financial information provider Reuters is planning to move much of the core of its operation to India in an attempt to save money.

The move, unveiled on 28 July in a simultaneous presentation to 1,100 staff worldwide will see new products being developed at either Hyderabad or Bangalore.


8/4/2003



Go Long the Bush Impeachment Futures :.

After the DARPA cockup over the Terrorism Futures Market, some nerds are turning the tables on the imbeciles running the U.S. government:

Though there was an outcry over the Pentagon's terrorism futures market, a similar online exchange is in the works to predict what the U.S. government is up to.

The American Action Market will offer various Washington "futures" that can be bet upon and traded. Examples include:

�Which country will the White House threaten next?

�Who will be the next foreign leader to move off the CIA payroll and onto the White House's "most wanted" list?

�Which corporation with close ties to the White House will be the next cloaked in scandal?

The AAM will begin registering traders in September and plans to open for business Oct. 1 -- the same launch date proposed for the Pentagon's terrorism market, until it was shelved.





The Road Not Taken: Thoughts While Passing the Point of No Return :.

This is an excellent essay. I don't, however, share Kaminski's relative glee about the 60's and 70's. When JFK's head exploded in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, that was the last nail in the coffin of our republic. When Americans bought the official explanation of that event... well, that was the point of no return.

From, The Road Not Taken: Thoughts While Passing the Point of No Return:

America has been twisted from an example of hope for the world into an armed robber intent on fleecing everyone it meets. Just recently, America has changed the world from a place of hope to a place of fear.

We pass by these significant events as the newsreel of our memories unfolds before us. We show appropriate horror at the mangled bodies of people we never knew, then go on about our business " to the mall for those birthday presents meant for people we hardly know, to work on time to meet the daily shift quota, or to our homes to retreat from the daily assault of debilitating images that assail us by using whatever substance pleases us at the moment. So many events we try to pass by and forget. Some can't, but most do.





The Most Sweeping Gun Ban Ever Introduced in Congress :.

H.R. 2038, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), does not just "reenact" or "reauthorize" the 1994 Clinton ban, the so-called "assault weapon" law. It bans millions more guns. And it begins backdoor registration of guns. All told, it's a giant step closer to the goal stated by Clinton gun ban sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), on CBS 60 Minutes "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it." There is no 10-year sunset provision in the bill. H.R. 2038 permanently bans every gun that is currenoducbanned and, with numerous, overlapping provisions...





U.S. Homelessness and Poverty Rates Skyrocket :.

The situation is devolving very fast:

As I watch far away images of body bags being filled, I see much closer images of bodies. I went by a local park the other day and it looked like a concentration camp crossed with a mass murder scene.

There were people in rags and covered with filth lying scattered all over the place. At least twenty people were on crutches, had parts bandaged, or with open wounds not even covered. They were all hungry and a large majority were sick.

All around this city I live in, and nation-wide, the level of homelessness and poverty is growing alarmingly. From the last counts and estimates nation-wide, there has been at least a 35-45% increase in homelessness and poverty. The increases have come over the last two years with the biggest increases being in 2002 and especially in the first six months of 2003.

Add to that the barely subsisting or borderline homeless/poor, and we start to see a very alarming trend that shows no sign of going away. Over 30% of Americans are on the borderline of poverty. A lot just do not quite make the cut to receive food stamps or some kind of benefits and live on a razor edge of desperation and starvation.





Congressman Ron Paul Risking His Life: Introduces Honest Money Act :.

Ron Paul is incredibly brave! If you live in his district (isn't this Alex Jones territory?) please write Congressman Paul and let him know that you appreciate his effort:

Congressman Ron Paul, a leading advocate of sound money policies and an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve, recently introduced legislation to repeal legal tender laws. The Honest Money Act, HR 2779, would eliminate forced tender laws that compel Americans to accept fiat irredeemable paper-ticket or electronic money as their unit of account.

Absent government intervention through legal tender laws, individuals acting through the market decide what they will use as money. Historically, the free market has chosen some combination of gold and silver whenever they were available. As Dr. Edwin Vieira, the nation�s top expert on constitutional money, stated: �A free market functions most efficiently and most fairly when the market determines the quality and the quantity of money that�s being used.�

When government creates fiat money out of thin air, the purchasing power of existing dollars falls. Fiat money erodes the value of savings, and is especially harmful to those living on fixed incomes. Paul believes centralized planning in monetary affairs is as harmful as centralized planning in economic affairs.

�Fiat money is widely accepted only because of legal tender laws,� Paul stated. �Throughout the 20th century, the legal tender power enabled politicians to fool the American public into believing the dollar no longer meant a weight of gold or silver. Instead, the government told the people that the dollar now meant a piece of government-issued paper backed up by nothing except the promises of the government to maintain a stable value of currency. Of course, history shows that the word of the government (to protect the value of the dollar) is literally not worth the paper it is printed on.�





Major Media Memos on How to Bullshit the Public :.

This might be one for the it-may-not-be-real-but-it's-exactly-how-things-are file. Of course, they may be real. It doesn't matter anymore, since nobody even cares:

If they are authentic, these memos represent the most important revelation of government deception since the Pentagon Papers, and suggest the "news" is little more than mass psychological control. There are shocking references to cover-ups of government domestic terrorism, SARS, Mad Cow, and events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Iran and much more.

In mid-March TBR Webmaster Walter Storch received an email from a man who claimed to be a mid-level executive at a major U.S. TV network. He said he had "serious doubts" about the strict control of the media by the government.

He sent Storch a disc containing 1500 pages of memos dating back to 2001. All were on corporate stationery signed by the sender and recipients in the News Division.





Oblivion: Massachusetts School Superintendent Fails Must-Pass English Test :.

This city's superintendent of schools, who recently put two dozen teachers on unpaid leave for failing a basic English proficiency test, has himself flunked a required literacy test three times.

Wilfredo T. Laboy called his failing scores "frustrating" and "emotional." He blamed his performance on a lack of preparation and concentration, as well as the fact that that Spanish is his first language.

"It bothers me because I'm trying to understand the congruence of what I do here every day and this stupid test," Laboy told The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence in a story published Sunday.

"What brought me down was the rules of grammar and punctuation," Laboy said. "English being a second language for me, I didn't do well in writing. If you're not an English teacher, you don't look at the rules on a regular basis."


8/3/2003



U.S. Fascism Discussed in Mainstream Newspaper :.

But then it was too late:

THESE ARE troubling times for Americans who cherish their freedom.

A few days ago, a public official called me over to his car to discuss his displeasure with the war in Iraq and the way the Bush administration is handling the nation's economy. This well-respected man would talk only from his vehicle, saying he was fearful of criticizing the president or his policies in public.

Before our conversation ended, the man told me of other public officials who also are fearful of speaking out. "You have to be careful what you say in public these days," he added.

I instinctively looked around to see if anyone was hiding in the gathering twilight. For a moment, I felt like I was in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Never did I think I would live to see the day when an honest man was afraid to speak his mind on political issues in America.

These days, it happens all the time. For the first time in my life, I see concerned Americans who are afraid to criticize Washington.





Afghanistan Opium Production Up 1400% :.

The war to liberate the poppies!

BRITAIN has abandoned plans to wipe out Afghanistan's poppy fields despite fears this year's opium harvest will be the biggest ever.

Customs and police are bracing themselves for the arrival in the next few months of a glut of cheap heroin from the war-ravaged country, source of 90 per cent of the Class A drug on our streets.

Two months after the September 11 atrocities which led to the attack on Afghanistan and the fall of its cruel Taliban regime, Tony Blair pledged Britain would take the lead role in wiping out the lethal Afghan opium trade. He said: "In helping with the reconstruction of Afghanistan we shall make clear we want it to develop farming of proper agricultural produce, not produce for the drugs trade.''

The reality is a scandal. While the US spends an estimated �600million a month on military operations in Afghanistan, Britain has pledged just �70million over three years to build up an anti-drugs force.





Earth Liberation Front Destroys Massive Apartment Development :.

The ELF is a leaderless resistance movement. While individual cells may form, there is no organization. Because of this, ELF cannot be infiltrated and compromised by government operatives. Inter cell communication and coordination is discouraged.

The leaderless resistance model is chosen by the most desperate insurgents who face opponents (state governments) with incalculably greater power, cohesion and resources:

A suspicious fire that tore through a construction site early Friday, destroying the wood skeleton of a five-story apartment complex, may have been set by an underground group that claims to combat urban sprawl, authorities said.

San Diego officials called in the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to assist in the investigation after they discovered a banner nearby reading, "If you build it, we will burn it," with the initials "ELF."

The initials are presumed to stand for Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group that has taken responsibility for torching development projects, sport utility vehicles, ski lifts and genetic engineering labs across the nation.


8/2/2003



David Kelly: Electrodes Attached to Chest :.

I'm basically speechless on this one:

Heart experts today said it was "unusual" for someone to wear electrode pads while walking following revelations that government scientist David Kelly had four of the special monitors on his chest when his body was found in an Oxfordshire wood.

Dr Kelly - the BBC's source for a report claiming the government altered the contents of a dossier about Iraq - had probably been wearing a 24-hour electro-cardiogram recorder, also known as a Holter monitor, medical experts said.

But it was odd that the pads that are connected to the device had not been removed by doctors and were left attached to his chest, they said.

"If I was in a morgue and his body was presented to me I would have thought it had come out of a coronary care unit or an operating theatre," said Professor Konrad Jamrozik, of Imperial College Hospital London.

"It would be unusual for someone to be walking around wearing these pads," he told the press association.

Another heart specialist, who declined to be named, also said it was "very unusual" for someone to be found wearing the pads.





The Nearly Forgotten Execution of Barry Seal Still Echoes :.

Every once in a while, I like to have a few drinks and read about Barry Seal. Tonight turned out to be one of those nights.

Barry Seal was a CIA contractor. He also happened to be one of the most notorious narcotics traffickers in history. But with two quick bursts from a silenced MAC-10 sub machine gun, Barry Seal passed into legend... Not a surprising end for a man in a position to turn the screws on the Clintons and Bushes.

Now, to the current story. Did Fabio Ochoa have anything to do with the murder of Barry Seal? Probably not. My guess is that the guy who blew Barry Seal away that night in February, 1986 is pushing up daisies himself somewhere:

Prosecutors have decided to drop the 1986 murder of shadowy drug pilot and informant Barry Seal as a sentencing issue for former Colombian drug cartel leader Fabio Ochoa.

Ochoa was accused in an indictment of ordering Seal's murder, carried out in Louisiana by a Colombian hit team. Prosecutors in a separate drug case decided last month to use it against Ochoa to try to get a harsher sentence.

But the defense repeated old allegations that retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North had Seal killed in an Iran-Contra cover-up, and defense lawyers subpoenaed key figures in the Reagan administration scandal.


Related: Namebase Proximity Chart for Barry Seal

Related: Why Does George W. Bush Fly in Drug Smuggler Barry Seal's Airplane?

Related: Barry and the Boys by Daniel Hopsicker

Related: Compromised by Terry Reed




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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.

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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.