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1/31/2005

Halliburton to Pull Out of Iran :.

My guess is that this has more to do with the fact that the U.S. military is already conducting operations inside Iran, rather than a "poor business environment":

US energy services company Halliburton is to end its operations in Iran after existing contracts come to an end.

Several American firms have been able to legally work in the country in the face of a US trade embargo, through foreign subsidiaries.

Halliburton, once run by US vice president Dick Cheney, said its Cayman Island unit secured revenues of $30m-$40m (£16-£21m) from Iran in 2003.

It said it was winding down its work due to a poor business environment.


Research Credit: JJ



U.S. Students Say Press Freedoms Go Too Far :.

Welcome to oblivion, it's lovely this time of year:

One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.

The survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.

Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.



Monsanto to Buy Seed Company for $1 Billion :.

Agriculture products company Monsanto Co. on Monday said it will buy Seminis Inc., the world's largest commercial fruit and vegetable seed company, for at least $1 billion from a private equity firm to capitalize on the trend toward healthier eating.

Monsanto, a leading developer of genetic modifications for crops like soybeans and corn, said biotechnology modifications to Seminis' fruit and vegetable lines were an option, but the initial focus would be on leveraging Seminis' conventional breeding programs with Monsanto's advanced research and development to develop improved product options.

"In the near- to mid-term this is going to be about breeding," Monsanto Chairman Hugh Grant told analysts and reporters on a conference call. "In the long term, there may be an opportunity in biotechnology."

Seminis has only one biotech seed on the market now, a virus-resistant squash introduced four years ago.

Grant said the vegetable seed market is enjoying solid growth, thanks in part to healthier eating habits, and that Monsanto wants to capitalize on that.


Research Credit: JH


1/27/2005

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $50

ML supports alternative information sites like Cryptogon. Thanks, ML.



Harvard Medical School CIO Gets Chipped :.

The chief information officer at Harvard Medical School has a chip, but it's not exactly on his shoulder. The executive last month received a VeriChip from the Delray Beach-based company of the same name.

VeriChip Corp. a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions (NASDAQ: ADSX), said John D. Halamka said he wanted to receive the under-the-skin transponder about the size of a grain of rice to assess it.


1/26/2005

Diebold Settles with Bev Harris for $2.6 Million :.

Nice one, Bev:

Renton elections activist Bev Harris has been called a fruitcake and a muckraker. Her book and Web site about the hidden evils of modern election equipment have drawn the ire of a number of officials around the country, who say there is nothing to Harris' claims that elections systems are profoundly vulnerable to hackers and other tampering.

"Dean Logan is not fond of me," Harris says of King County's director of elections.

But not everyone thinks all of Harris' claims are "a bunch of poppycock," as she puts it: The attorney general of California recently took up a whistle-blower claim filed by Harris against Diebold Election Systems and settled with the company for $2.6 million in December.

Diebold provides the systems used to tally votes and register voters in King County and in many other counties around the country.



Bush Discusses Columnist Buy-Offs :.

President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries Wednesday not to hire columnists to promote administration agendas after disclosure that a second writer had been paid to assist an agency.

"All our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda," Bush said at a news conference. "Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet." The president said he expects his agency heads will "make sure that that practice doesn't go forward."

Bush's remarks came a day after syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher apologized to readers for not disclosing a $21,500 contract with the Health and Human Services Department to help create materials promoting the agency's $300 million initiative to encourage marriage.



Psychotronic Weapons Deployed in Iraq :.

The grunts call the plastic devices "poppers" or "domes". Once activated, each hidden transmitter emits a widening circle of invisible energy capable of passing through metal, concrete and human skulls up to half a mile away. "They are saturating the area with ULF, VLF and UHF freqs," Hanks says, with equipment derived from US Navy undersea sonar and communications.



Alarm at New Climate Warning :.

Global temperatures could rise by as much as eleven degrees Celsius, according to one of the largest climate prediction projects ever run.

This figure is twice the level that previous studies have suggested.



Animal-Human Hybrids :.

Game over:

Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal.

Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies.

And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains.

Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing "spare parts," such as livers, to transplant into humans.



Students Arrested Over 'Violent' Stick Figure Drawings :.

Two boys, ages 9 and 10, were charged with felonies and taken away from school in handcuffs, accused of making violent drawings of stick figures.

The boys were arrested Monday on charges of making a written threat to kill or harm another person, a second-degree felony.



UK Woman Ticketed for Eating an Apple While Driving :.

Police have come under fire after spending £10,000 to prosecute a woman for eating an apple as she drove her car.

Nursery nurse Sarah McCaffrey, 23, was fined £60 and ordered to pay £100 for driving while holding the piece of fruit in her hand.



Cop Threatens to Arrest Woman for Anti-Bush Sticker :.

Some people are angry when they see Shasta Bates' derogatory bumper sticker about President George W. Bush -- but she didn't think she'd be threatened with arrest because of it.

The Denver Police Department is investigating a sergeant who allegedly threatened to arrest the 26-year-old for displaying the bumper sticker.

Bates said she was told by the sergeant Tuesday that her bumper sticker was illegal because it was profane. She said he told her he'd arrest her if she didn't remove it.

But City Attorney Cole Finegan said he doesn't believe there's any city ordinance against displaying a profane bumper sticker.

Colorado ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said the alleged threat of arrest clearly violates First Amendment protection.



Deadliest Day for U.S. in Iraq War :.

Thirty six Americans dead:

Thirty-one Marines were killed in a helicopter crash near Iraq's border with Jordan, bringing the number of U.S. troops killed Wednesday to 36 -- the deadliest day for U.S. forces since the start of the war in Iraq.

Four U.S. Marines were killed during combat in Iraq's Al-Anbar province, and a U.S. soldier died when insurgents attacked a combat patrol north of Baghdad, according to the U.S. military.



CRYPTOGON ONE DAY CONTRIBUTION RECORD

What was it about Monday!? I received $120 from readers!

JG $25
PT $50
EA $25
MW $20

You guys (and girls) are keeping me alive. It's as simple as that. I'm humbled and grateful. Thank you.

I'll take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you about the future of Cryptogon. Over the last few years, I've worked hard at trying to build a useful site, but I've finally gotten it through my sometimes thick skull that no man is an island! I will soon be moving to a completely different system that will allow Cryptogon to become more of a community building resource; where we can all share information in a collaborative way.

I routinely communicate with many of you. These communications serve as indicators to each of us that we are not alone on this quest. We may be in different states, and in many cases, different countries, but the links are there. Maybe you've been reading for a while and think you're alone. Believe me, you're NOT alone. There are many others who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

When I started Cryptogon back in 2002, I never thought that a community could spring from the effort. It just never crossed my mind. I now see the many-heads-better-than-one opportunities as the most valuable aspect of this work. Let's face it, the work alone is a quagmire. The community that has resulted, from our common interest in attaining a more complete understanding of things, is the reward.

Soon, you will be able to post comments on stories and engage in discussions with other Cryptogon readers. There will be forums. One of them will be called something like, "What Should be Posted on Cryptogon, but Isn't." The main page limits the flow of information, by necessity. The forums are going to open up the process so more ideas, even more speculative information, can have a place to germinate into potentially useful intelligence.

I'm totally convinced that no single individual is capable of doing "all of it" on their own. No way. We all get bits and pieces of it right and some of it wrong. I've been sharing my perspective with all of you. I hope you will be willing to share your insights with the rest of the Cryptogon community in the future.


1/25/2005

San Francisco May Charge for Grocery Bags :.

I support this, in theory, but the limousine liberals are botching it up.

Hear me out.

I don't want to spend too much time elucidating what my vision of a decent government structure would look like. I do think about this, believe it or not, but my time would be better spent flapping my arms in an attempt to fly. Let it suffice to say that my concept of an ideal government is pretty close to anarchy. Not anarchy. Close to anarchy, relative to today's standards of government. (Anyone who advocates pure anarchy is nuts. In short order, anarchy gives rise to warlords and some warlord eventually would become an emperor. In other words, you're back to square one.) The government should exist to accomplish a few narrowly defined tasks.

One of the things the government should do is require that the externalized costs of goods and services become a component of the prices for these things in the marketplace. The revenue collected, in addition to paying for the real costs associated with the good or service, should support individuals and groups who make a point of living in a sustainable manner. This starts slowly. The most egregious, wasteful and polluting goods and services get nailed first. This is stuff that impacts all members of society and may have planetary implications.

(There's really no point in discussing the details of this because if we were required to pay for all of the externalities on something like 5% of present U.S. GDP, my guess is that the global economic system would collapse. But let's take this down to the street level anyway.)

Grocery bags.

Grocery bags.

Grocery bags.

Man, nothing winds me up more than people pushing grocery bags on me. My girlfriend is absolutely militant about re-using bags, and I fully support her in this. We buy our food at two venues. We buy our fruit, vegetables and eggs from organic producers at a local farmers' market. We carry a bag-of-bags with us. (I think it's funny that even organic farmers try to give us bags.) We actually return egg cartons to the man from whom we buy our eggs. We buy everything else from Trader Joes. When we get to the checkout area, I immediately move into position to begin packing the groceries in our reusable cloth bag. I find that it's easier to head off the strong desire of the store employee to give us bags if he or she sees me using the cloth bag.

If I'm forced to shop in a conventional supermarket, I practically have to fight my way out in order to leave without bags. You politely tell the checker, "No bags please." Nope, they don't get it. Tell them again. Nope. Then a bagger shows up, "Paper or plastic?"

"No bag please."

"But you have bottles, sir. Are you sure I can't bag this up for you?"

Sometimes, when I'm on the verge of losing it, I can shoot people a pretty frightening gaze. (Maybe it's a scorpio thing?)

"N O B A G!"

The bagger looks at the checker, the checker looks at the bagger.

I'm nuts because I don't want a bag.

There isn't much we can do as individuals, but I'll tell you something, you can end the madness with regard to the grocery bag atrocity.

The grocery bag situation is a metaphore for the wider Matrix in which we find ourselves. It only becomes apparent once you attempt to side step it. When you want to do something as simple as making a little less waste, notice the constant drive to get you to waste more. It's incredible!

And now, let's talk about this grocery bag tax proposal in San Francisco...

I don't like the fact that the revenue would be split between the PHBs and the city. That's really a stupid move and it demonstrates that this proposal is nothing more than a standard, limousine liberal swindle. I wouldn't trust the PHB to establish sustainability programs any further than I could throw it. And the city gets the other half of the revenue! Oh goody. More cops.

The smart way to run this program would be to immediately transfer the funds collected from the bag tax to people who use their own bags. Don't transfer the reveune to criminal PHBs and city governments! If the people behind this genuinely wanted to make an improvement, they would pass the money right back to the consumers who act in a sane manner.

Beware of limosine liberals who talk up progressive causes, eat Ben and Jerry's ice cream and drive hybrid SUVs with Greenpeace and Kerry 2004 bumper stickers. Hold on to your wallet! They generally want to rip you off just as bad as Cheney wants to slaughter helpless animals with a shotgun. The only difference is that the limo libs have a kinder, gentler appearance:
Supermarkets could keep up to half of the bag fees they generate to set up city-approved programs such as providing reusable bags to low-income shoppers who use food stamps or setting up in-store bag-recycling centers.

The rest of the fees would go to the city treasurer.
The Berkeley professor got it right, though:
"Christine Rosen, who teaches business history and environmental history at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, agrees.

"I think you need a reward as well as a penalty," she says. For example, stores could charge shoppers 17 cents to buy a bag or give them a 10-cent credit if they use their own.
That's the way to do it.



Advisor to Carlyle Group to Serve as Canadian Ambassador to U.S. :.

The prime minister has spoken repeatedly of his desire to strengthen Canada's tattered relationship with its closest neighbour and largest trading partner and of the need to appoint more politicians to key diplomatic posts.

Traditionally, such a position as this would go to a career diplomat like Michael Kergin, who is the current envoy to Washington.

But Mr. Martin believes the skills of a politician would better serve Canada when it comes to resolving contentious issues between countries. Mr. McKenna would be the first former politician to head the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Mr. McKenna is on the advisory board of the powerful Carlyle Group, a private, $18.9-billion equity firm that boasts some of Washington's most influential players, including former U.S. treasury secretary James Baker, former U.S. defence secretary Frank Carlucci, and former British prime minister John Major.

Former president George Bush Sr. has worked for the Carlyle Group and is a friend of Mr. McKenna. The two have golfed together and this friendship will undoubtedly help open doors to the White House. His friendship with Mr. Baker, who is considered the ultimate Washington insider, will also pay huge dividends for Mr. McKenna on Capitol Hill in reaching the top ranks of government departments.



Bush Crony Full-Employment Act of 2003 :.

True to form, with the press seemingly unwilling to publicize the war profiteering aspects of the war in Iraq, the formation of New Bridge basically went unnoticed by the American public and only briefly showed up in the headlines.

It deserved public attention because of the Republican heavyweights on its board that were linked to one or the other Bush administrations or to the family itself. The members not only included Allbaugh, but also Ed Rogers and Lanny Griffith, former George H W Bush aids.

The president of the company is John Howland, and Jamal Daniel, (business partners of first brother Neil Bush), is a principal.

Josh Marshall says New Bridge is actually an outgrowth of Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR). Josh says he came to this conclusion after he learned that both firms were located in the same office space. And also because Griffith is the CEO of New Bridge and Rogers is the vice president. Sounds to me like he reached the right conclusion.

Others agree. "The bottom line on New Bridge is that it appears to be very closely linked to BGR, which has many overlapping ties to the highest levels of the Republican Party," said Thomas Ferguson, a campaign finance expert at the University of Massachusetts, the Oct 15, 2004 Village Voice reports.

So here's the setup. Bush’s main man Joe, quits FEMA to spend time with his family, right before the bombs start falling in Iraq. He then moves into the offices of one of the biggest and most politically connected GOP lobbying firms in Washington and starts advertising services to clients who want to win reconstruction contracts in Iraq. How could it possibly get any sweeter than this?



RFID at U.S. Border :.

U.S. officials want to see if the same technology that speeds cars through highway tolls and identifies lost pets can unclog border crossings without compromising security.

Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that the government will begin testing radio frequency identification technology at this crossing and four others by midsummer.

Weeding out potential terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals from shoppers, truckers and tourists who regularly pass through border crossings takes time. The RFID technology is designed to reduce the wait while giving authorities more information on who's coming into the country and who's leaving.



Move to Euro Hits U.S. Finances :.

Central banks are moving out of dollars and into euros, a shift that will make it harder for the US to finance its huge current account deficit, it emerged today.

According to a survey sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, almost 70% of the 65 central banks that provided details of changes in their reserves said they increased exposure to the single currency over the past two years. Meanwhile, 11% said they reduced exposure to the euro.

Any sudden move away from the dollar, which has fallen in value for the past three years, spells trouble for the Bush administration, as the US depends on the willingness of foreigners to hold US dollars to fund its huge current account deficit.

Robert Pringle and Nick Carver, authors of the study conducted by Central Banking Publications, wrote: "Many central banks have increased exposure to the euro over the last two years. Diversification from dollar-denominated to euro-denominated assets appears to be taking place more rapidly than had been anticipated."


1/24/2005

Forbes: Doom For The Dollar--And Everything Else :.

The stock market is up and economic growth has been steady, if unspectacular. But, an increasing number of economists are seeing serious storms build on the horizon. They point to ever-growing federal budget deficits, a record current-account deficit, increased consumer debt, a real estate market that looks like a bubble ready to burst, a surge in personal bankruptcies and the prospect of inflation.



Unusual Suspects :.

“In November or December, I really can’t remember, I was in a room and could hear sounds coming from outside,” he says, drinking tea in an Amman hotel room. “The windows were broken, and they were covered with wooden panels. Sometimes I could hear screams and shouts. Women were calling for mercy. There were also children between the ages of 10 and 12. The children became hysterical. I was told the women were tortured in front of their children. One day, a sheik came back from a medical clinic where he’d been treated. He was in tears. ‘What happened?’ we asked. He told us he had seen a young girl, 15 years old, with internal bleeding. She had been raped over and over again by the soldiers, and she could no longer talk. He is a deeply religious man. But that night, he shouted at Allah. ‘How is it possible that you are there and these things are happening?!’ he said.”

A former diplomat who attended the UN General Assembly in New York in December 2001 (“I had an administrative job,” he says), Nabil says he was forced to hear the cries of women during his own interrogations. “I feel this was part of the psychological warfare on me,” he says. “They told me, ‘You are a diplomat. You once visited countries as a VIP and had diplomatic immunity. This means nothing to us. And we will prove it to you. Everything you have heard about the concepts of democracy, liberty, religious tolerance, and human rights -- you can throw them away,’” he says. He grabs a handful of air and pretends to toss something over his shoulder. “They said, ‘We are above the law. We have no limits. They call us the special ops. No one has power over us -- not even President Bush. If someone dies during interrogation, that is normal.’



U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Hits Cryptogon

The CIA user (host: relay2.cia.gov, ip: 198.81.129.194) navigated directly to:

http://www.cryptogon.com/2004_04_11_blogarchive.html



Rumsfeld's Personal Covert Army :.

I post a lot of stories on Cryptogon. I realize that most of it just flows down the page and into archive oblivion. You should, however, take the time to read this Washington Post story carefully.

Rumsfeld has created a personal covert army, made up of Delta Force, Navy SEAL and other military special forces operators. This was accomplished through the use of "reprogrammed" funds, without congressional authority or appropriation:

The Pentagon, expanding into the CIA's historic bailiwick, has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad, according to interviews with participants and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The previously undisclosed organization, called the Strategic Support Branch, arose from Rumsfeld's written order to end his "near total dependence on CIA" for what is known as human intelligence. Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces.



Ground Control to Mr. Bush :.

"There's a trade deficit. That's easy to resolve: People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit."

-George W. Bush, December 15, 2004
Reminiscent of the callous 'Let them eat cake” reputedly uttered by Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine, President Bush's remarks show how out of touch he is with the economic reality most Americans face. Apparently, the president hasn't visited a shopping mall or Wal-Mart lately. If he had, like the millions of Americans who flocked to our nation's stores this holiday season to buy toys, bicycles, computers, sneakers, clothes, telephones, cowboy boots (yes, Mr. President, cowboy boots!), even artificial Christmas trees and decorations, he would surely know that an overwhelming majority of these products were made overseas, mostly in China.

Research Credit: AV



The DREAD Centrifuge Weapon :.

Imagine a gun with no recoil, no sound, no heat, no gunpowder, no visible firing signature (muzzle flash), and no stoppages or jams of any kind. Now imagine that this gun could fire .308 caliber and .50 caliber metal projectiles accurately at up to 8,000 fps (feet-per-second), featured an infinitely variable/programmable cyclic rate-of-fire (as high as 120,000 rounds-per-minute), and were capable of laying down a 360-degree field of fire. What if you could mount this weapon on any military Humvee (HMMWV), any helicopter/gunship, any armored personnel carrier (APC), and any other vehicle for which the technology were applicable?

I still wouldn't have a yurt, a goat and a few chickens.



Robots Bound for Urban Combat Duty in Iraq :.

Would you believe me if I told you that the Carlyle Group is behind the design and construction of killer robots? HAHA! I can't make this sh*t up!

The armed robots will begin urban combat operations in Iraq in March or April:

It was a joint development process between the Army and Foster-Miller, a robotics firm bought in November by QinetiQ Group PLC, which is a partnership between the British Ministry of Defence and the Washington holding company The Carlyle Group.


1/23/2005

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $3

Every little bit helps! Thanks AC.



Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil as Antiterrorism Efforts Expand :.

Mr. Arkin, in the online supplement to his book, says the contingency plan, called JCS Conplan 0300-97, calls for "special-mission units in extra-legal missions to combat terrorism in the United States" based on top-secret orders that are managed by the military's Joint Staff and coordinated with the military's Special Operations Command and Northern Command, which is the lead military headquarters for domestic defense.


1/22/2005

Mike Ruppert Gives Up on 9/11, Tells Large Crowd: Make Your Time :.

In front of a wildly enthusiastic throng of supporters, listeners, activists, and those just needing to learn and listen, Ruppert explained to them that although the 9-11 cause is still alive it is no longer useful as a political tool by activists. The window on 9/11 has closed. Simple as that.

Mike told the crowd to be prepared for a tremendous devaluation of the dollar; that the housing boom is ending; that we should begin to look at putting our money, or whatever cash we have left, into precious metals; that we must rid ourselves of debt, get out of the stock market and begin to think about a more self-sufficient living style. We must reduce personal consumption. We should understand that OIL and natural gas are the governing issues that control what the present administration does and we should stop the pipedreams of launching criminal action against the Cheneys, Bushes, et al., because it just isn't going to happen. Not in this version of America.


1/21/2005

Facing Prosecution for War Crimes in Germany, Rumsfeld Cancels Trip :.

Poor Rummy. He needs to start using the State Department to make sure he's not wanted for crimes against humanity in the states to which he's planning on traveling. This strategy has worked well for Henry Kissinger, another war criminal:

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cancelled a planned visit to Germany after a US human rights organisation asked German authorities to prosecute him for war crimes, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) has learned.

Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy that he will not take part in the Munich Security Conference in February, conference head Horst Teltschik told dpa on Thursday.

The New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint in December with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against Rumsfeld accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection with detainee abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Rumsfeld made it known immediately after the complaint was filed that he would not attend the Munich conference unless Germany quashed the legal action.



America's Day of Shame :.

In yesterday’s inaugural address, George W. Bush gave notice to the world that American imperialism intends to press forward with its drive for world domination. The US president issued a call to arms, a jihad, making clear that no country or government will be permitted to stand in America’s path.

With this speech, Bush and those elements in the ruling elite for whom he speaks set out to dispel any illusions that either the disaster in Iraq or mass international opposition to Washington’s militarism will deter his new administration from pursuing its reactionary goals.

True to form, Bush delivered a series of disconnected assertions, lies and banalities. He made no coherent argument, but repeated certain key phrases over and over again, centering on the God-given mandate of the US to intervene anywhere in the world to advance the cause of “freedom.” In a 20-minute speech, the president uttered the words “free” or “freedom” 34 times, and the word “liberty” another 12 times.

The absurd repetition of “freedom” is unlikely to deceive anyone, certainly not victims and opponents of his first administration’s crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the rest of this government stand waist deep in blood and filth, responsible for the killing of more than 100,000 Iraqis and the death and maiming of thousands of American soldiers.

The US government and military have spelled out what sort of “freedom” they have in mind for the Iraqi people and the rest of the world in Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and Fallujah: repression, torture, military occupation, the destruction of entire cities. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan also promised to “liberate” the populations of Europe and Asia.

The reactionary, fantastical substance of Bush’s speech cannot be separated from its setting. The freedom that Bush continually invoked to justify militarism and war was conspicuously absent at the inauguration. Virtual martial law had been imposed in the nation’s capital. Thousands of protesters were kept out of sight by an army of police.

At one point, while Bush was reaffirming his dedication to the cause of liberty, a policeman could be seen demanding that a banner be taken down. Toward the end of speech the television cameras showed protesters, who had apparently dared to boo Bush’s remarks, being taken into custody.


1/20/2005

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $15

JM helping to keep food in the belly!



U.S. Keeps Locations of Iraqi Voting Booths Secret :.

Secret candidates. Secret polling places. Oh sure, this is a victory for Democracy!

US authorities say Iraqis will vote in the insurgent centres of Fallujah and Ramadi but officials will keep the number and location of polling stations secret until the last minute to prevent attacks.



George Bush's Calling from Beyond the Stars :.

What the #%!*??? Any guesses on the nature of the "supreme being" that these guys serve? Does it unfurl before them and require an oath of allegiance? Perhaps an offering of bones or entrails?

"We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom, and America will always be faithful to that cause."

America will always be faithful... to a calling from beyond the stars???



Chinese Fascism :.

My mantra has always been: Trade with China should be outlawed. Trade with states that trade with China should be outlawed.

It's so simple and obvious, yet it sounds like the ravings of a lunatic under the present economic paradigm.

Note to the people who write in to defend the Chinese regime- I'll make you look foolish in public this time. You have been warned:

China remains "highly repressive," with routine violations of basic rights and widespread corruption despite promises of legal and political reform, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said Friday.

Human Rights Watch complained of a "culture of impunity" for abusive officials and said a justice system that relies heavily on confessions leads police to torture suspects.

The report said that in its campaign against separatists in its northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang, China also has tried to crush peaceful dissent. It said the campaign is marked by "systematic human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, closed trials and extensive use of the death penalty."

Human Rights Watch welcomed promises last year by communist leaders to reform the ruling party's internal workings and to promote the rule of law. But it said that such commitments have "been compromised by continuing widespread official corruption (and) party interference in the justice system."

And though the government allows more independent news reporting, it tightened controls last year on the Internet and other media, expanding a list of topics for censorship and banning reporting on rural land seizures, the report said.

Human Rights Watch also complained of abuses against Chinese workers and residents who are evicted for real estate development.

Workers "have yet to reap the benefits" of China's two decades of economic boom due to lack of enforcement of safety and wage laws, the report said. It noted that many areas of the country have seen huge labor protests.

The group urged the United States and other governments that hold human rights dialogues with China to set specific goals for improvement and a timetable for achieving them.



Warren Buffett: Make Your Time :.

The dollar cannot avoid further declines against other major currencies unless the US trade and current account deficits improve, legendary investor and businessman Warren Buffett said.

"I think, over time, unless we have a major change in trade policies, I don't see how the dollar avoids going down," the world's second-richest individual told CNBC television.

"I don't know when it happens. I don't have any idea whether it will be this month or this year or next year, but we are force-feeding dollars on to the rest of the world at the rate of close to a couple billion dollars a day, and that's going to weigh on the dollar."


1/19/2005

Iraq: U.S. Soldiers Murder Husband and Wife, Orphan Their Five Children :.

What am I supposed to write?




.Gov and .Mil Madness

Cryptogon has been swamped with recent traffic from .gov (U.S., Canadian and Australian) and .mil. domains.

Users from Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department, State Department, Special Operations Command, Central Intelligence Agency, every branch of the military and many others are showing up regularly. And there are thousands of hits from IPs that originate in Northern Virginia and Maryland and Washington DC that don't resolve to any specific domain. Sure, some of them are regular home and business users. But you can bet your life that some of them aren't. If I can make my web activity look like it originates from a different domain than the one I'm physically connected to, all of the rest of these guys can do the same thing. It's not hard. What I don't understand is why any of these domains still resolve at all!? You would think .gov and .mil would have done something about that by now.

It's funny. I'm a guy who shows up to a restaurant before 8am, because if you get their before 8am, an omelet and all the coffee you can drink costs only $4. I haven't bought new clothes (except for a pair of boxers that were on sale for $5) in about two years. I'm a guy who laughs at the stupidity of government. I have a degree in International Relations and I've never once tried to get any job related to government work. The entire thing is a scam, a lie that is feeble at best! Even so, I have people from all branches of the military and most of the government reading my site on a daily basis. In some bizarro twist of fate, more people in government are reading my bum level analysis than would have ever read my work if I had become a paid, appearance-maintaining bullsh*t scribbler for any of those acronym agencies you see below.

Man, it's a weird, weird world.

Recent .gov

fernwood-arbiter-b.net.nih.gov, internet1.irs.gov, sherman.state.gov, nwg001-ce2.customs.treas.gov, nat.jccbi.gov, gatekeeper4.fcc.gov, clayton.state.gov, vicce004.net.gov.bc.ca, dknrgwpxav01.defence.gov.au, internet2.irs.gov, res11.gtwy.uscourts.gov, relay1.ucia.gov, moltar.llnl.gov, ip209128029254.gov.nf.ca, dal.net.va.gov, internet3.irs.gov, ws125-042.f04.nsf.gov, lsm9n.gtwy.uscourts.gov, lgraves.wasc.noaa.gov, denver-254.blm.gov, n021.dhs.gov, gk-west-24.srvs.usps.gov, cerf.grc.nasa.gov, amcproxy.jccbi.gov, cache2.cdc.gov, mdrd.aphis.usda.gov, www.ns1.ftb.ca.gov, wolfson.health.gov.il, tias-gw1.treas.gov, gk-east-7.usps.gov, c329972.ne.anl.gov, secfwopc.sec.gov, troy.defcen.gov.au, ellisonjgx270.ornl.gov, lnx121.ncep.noaa.gov

Recent .mil

gateway-fincen.uscg.mil, rockriwkcg938.ria.army.mil, ce1.leavenworth.army.mil, ca160itn.aphill.army.mil, firewall.msiac.dmso.mil, wdelhjk4z01u.hq.af.mil, cacheflow2.plk.af.mil, falcon3.langley.af.mil, bluecoat01.randolph.af.mil, dhcp097079.apg.army.mil, gate1.dsid56.usmc.mil, cache2.amc.af.mil, gate16-quantico.nmci.usmc.mil, wwwgate.benning.army.mil, masonary.everett.navy.mil, p533wp1.patrick.af.mil, hulk.gunter.af.mil, webproxy.crrel.usace.army.mil, usma-cce.usma.army.mil, gate8-norfolk.nmci.navy.mil, hic1.hickam.af.mil, ce.heidelberg.army.mil, in40-91.in.nps.navy.mil, m1b-166.dau.mil, tensors.3tc1c170.rl.af.mil, cits-pr2.hickam.af.mil, gate5-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil, asoc3.soc.mil, bliswk99.bliss.army.mil, sc215019.robins.af.mil, cits-pr1.hickam.af.mil, gate5-norfolk.nmci.navy.mil, python.brooks.af.mil, spfwall.ssp.navy.mil, wdelw2101au.hq.af.mil, dodig.osd.mil, host-141-116-244-98.ptr.hqda.pentagon.mil, noca.ior.navy.mil, oki198-248.oki.med.navy.mil, eg-046-016.eglin.af.mil, system212-8.losangeles.af.mil, gate2-hawaii.nmci.navy.mil, wcs2-scott.nipr.mil, gtp000001gts.polk.army.mil, n02241.efdsw.navfac.navy.mil, fsh-proxy.samhouston.army.mil, dna-proxy.kadena.af.mil, cumulus.centcom.mil, dmafb1.dm.af.mil, scully2.mugu.navy.mil, gate6-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil, gate3-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil, jcassell.nocc.disa.mil, zues.robins.af.mil, nocc.ior.navy.mil, netcache2.redstone.army.mil, gate17-quantico.nmci.usmc.mil, gate3-norfolk.nmci.navy.mil, r3cacheflow.ddeamc.amedd.army.mil, jtfgtmo.southcom.mil



With a Little Boy in the Back :.

This is excellent:

In today's security-obsessed, post-9/11 era, one might think that it would be difficult to haul a convincing replica of an atomic bomb across the country. Not so, as John Coster-Mullen inadvertently proved in October 2004.

"We drove a full-scale WMD 800 miles across the United States and no one stopped or questioned us," Coster-Mullen told me. "In fact, it was quite easy!"

In this case, the "weapon of mass destruction" would more appropriately be called a "weapon of mass duplication"--a nearly 600-pound, shiny steel replica of "Little Boy," the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, painstakingly recreated by Coster-Mullen with help from his son Jason.



California: P2P Software Authors Are Criminals :.

Those of you who contributed to Cryptogon, and read my essay on militant electronic piracy, should find this especially interesting:
A bill introduced in California's Legislature last week has raised the possibility of jail time for developers of file-swapping software who don't stop trades of copyrighted movies and songs online.

The proposal, introduced by Los Angeles Sen. Kevin Murray, takes direct aim at companies that distribute software such as Kazaa, eDonkey or Morpheus. If passed and signed into law, it could expose file-swapping software developers to fines of up to $2,500 per charge, or a year in jail, if they don't take "reasonable care" in preventing the use of their software to swap copyrighted music or movies--or child pornography.
Authors of any software capable of transmitting information over a network would be subject to this! What about FTP or email clients, etc.?



Four Car Bombs Hit Baghdad in Ninety Minutes :.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. Well done Condi:

In 90 minutes, four suicide car bombings Wednesday killed at least 25 Iraqis in and around Baghdad, the U.S. military said.



Technology for Women that Makes Sense

Lots of women read Cryptogon. How do I know? Not only do they send in story tips, but about 30% of the financial contributions come from women. So, guys, if you think this is "off topic" or otherwise unpleasant, relax, and pay attention. You might actually find this interesting.

What I'm about to tell you is pretty incredible, but, believe me, it's no joke. It's real. It works.

The Ladycomp uses a woman's basal temperature to determine when she's ovulating, and when she isn't. Each morning, upon waking, she holds a thermometer under her tongue for a few seconds. After a few months, the machine can calculate when she can get pregnant and when she can't. It literally gives her a green light or a red light. When the light is green, she can have sex without any form of birth control and not get pregnant. When the light is red, to avoid pregnancy, barrier methods (condoms) or abstinence are the options.

I know. This sounds nuts. But why? The pharmaceutical companies have trained people to believe in the medical industrial complex. As a result, women by the millions eat dangerous birth control pills everyday. And they pay, every month, with their money and their health. The pharmaceutical companies like it that way.

Of course, those pills are unnecessary!

The Ladycomp was designed by doctors in Germany and clinically tested in Germany, Switzerland and Mexico. The device has a Pearl Index score of 0.7. This means that over the course of a year, less than one percent of women who use the device will get pregnant. In other words, it's as effective at preventing pregnancy as the birth control pill.

So, if you know someone who is taking (or considering taking) birth control pills (the shot, the patch, etc), let them know about the Ladycomp.

The Ladycomp isn't cheap, but it will pay for itself within one to two years, depending on the cost of the birth control drugs it will replace. When you consider the potential risks of pharmaceutical contraception, it may be a VERY smart investment, regardless of the cost.

My girlfriend uses the Ladycomp, and we're both very happy with it. ;)

If you want to have a baby, check out the Babycomp. Its capabilities are almost frightening. I don't even want to get into it. Check it out for yourself.

Cyclebeads are a somewhat less hi-tech (and much less accurate) version of the Ladycomp that demonstrates the concept. They cost about $11. Ex-girlfriend and current Cryptogon reader, JH, told me about Your Fertility Signals: Using Them to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy Naturally by Merryl Winstein, which gives women detailed, physical protocols to determine where they are in their monthly cycle.

Well, since we're on the subject of pregnancy, lets talk about what happens each month when women don't get pregnant! Isn't this fun?

Several years ago, I was in a health food store and I noticed a little cup shaped thing called the Keeper. I picked up the package and read a little bit about what the device was used for. It's a re-usable cup that women can use during menstruation. Women can simply use, wash and reuse the cup, rather than having to buy disposable pads and tampons throughout their childbearing years.

There are several reasons why the menstrual cup makes sense. First, billions of tampons and sanitary pads (and their packaging) wind up in landfills each year. That's very bad. Second, these products cost a lot money. Again, corporations love it when women use these products, thinking that there is no other option.

There are actually two types of cups that I know of. There is the Keeper (mentioned above), which has been around for a long time. Then there is the DivaCup, which is newer and made out of silicone. You can read about both and decide which one is best.

I don't know exactly how this topic came up, but I mentioned to my girlfriend that I saw a cup-type-thing a long time ago and that it seemed like an interesting concept. (She may have run out of, you know, feminine hygiene goods that month. I think that's why I mentioned it.)

She got on the Internet and looked at both types of cups. She decided that she liked the DivaCup and ordered one. She loves it! When she tried it for the first time, she came out of the bathroom and did a little dance. "It's so cool!"

So, that's the update on technology for women that makes sense. I hope you found it useful.



Firefox Grabs More Market Share from Microsoft :.

This article indicates that 5% of all computer users are running Firefox.

Look at the numbers for Cryptogon!

MS Internet Explorer 51.9%
Firefox/Mozilla 30.1%

Firefox is great. I use it with the Googlebar and occasionally, the Web Developer toolbar. <--- Don't hurt yourself with that thing! That plugin is sick. I've recently been using it to determine the nature of Drupal's style sheet system. The webdev toolbar allows you to take any web page, and in-split screen mode, modify the CSS code and see the results in realtime. Nice.


1/18/2005

Homeland Security Briefing Documents :.

WARNING: This document is FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). This document is to be controlled, handled, transmitted, distributed, and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to FOUO information and is not to be released to the public or other personnel who do not have a valid “need-to-know” without prior approval of the Homeland Security Operations Center Senior Watch Officer (HSOC SWO) at (202) 282-8101. Where appropriate, U.S. person identities have been removed. Should your agency have a requirement for particular U.S. person identity information, contact the HSOC SWO.



Catastrophic Failure of IntelSat-804 Cuts South Pacific Communications :.

The "total loss" of a US$73 million satellite on Saturday morning left several Pacific Islands and Scott Base in Antarctica without telephone communications to the outside world.

The Bermuda-registered Intelsat IS-804 Satellite, on which Telecom New Zealand rents capacity, moved out of alignment and was lost at 11.32am on Saturday, leaving Scott Base, the Cook Islands, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Chatham Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Vanuatu, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Tonga without communications to other countries.

Scott Base has access to emergency-only back-up services through the United States' McMurdo Base.

Telecom says communications have since been restored to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, Western Samoa and Solomon Islands through alternative satellite options.

Most of the islands still without satellite services have local phone and data services but will be without international calling and data access until alternative arrangements can be made, Telecom spokeswoman Sarah Berry said in a statement.

Several other countries not serviced by Telecom were also affected but have alternatives available.

New Caledonia, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, East Timor, Vietnam, Korea and Saipan were among those with alternative arrangements.

"Telecom customers in New Zealand, along with customers of all other providers internationally will not be able to make calls or send data transmissions to those islands which have been isolated," Ms Berry said.

"Bank services, eftpos services, Reuters, and airline data circuits have also been impacted and this could lead to some flight delays to and from these locations.

"Some services out of New Zealand and Australia may also be partially affected to east Asian locations such as Vietnam and Beijing."


1/17/2005

Off Topic: Content Management System Hell

This message should be ignored by most Cryptogon users.

I think I'm going with the Drupal content management system. If you have hard, specific information about why I shouldn't use Drupal, please let me know. (I'm going more for functionality and less for form. Mambo is nicer to look at, out-of-the-box, but Drupal seems to offer more possibilities for user management, subscriptions and interaction.)

-Begin Rant-

The open source CMS community represents the epitome of BAD when it comes to complexity and crappy documentation. Drupal seems pretty good, relative to the rest of the nonsense available. These packages are way too complicated and difficult to use, even by someone with a fair amount of technical acuity. I find myself in the unenviable position of knowing more than a little, but not enough to make this happen in a sane way.

I'm managing to make this project work only because I must like struggles with mysterious nonsense. I'd like to provide a more useful and informative site for Cryptogon readers, but, my God, at what cost to my sanity? The more I'm forced to use "modern" web technologies, however, the more I hate computers.

I seriously contemplated taking the whole damn show back 10 years to the days of plain text and simple, static html. I agree with just about everything Ran Prieur says, and I'm starting to like his web development strategy more with each hour I spend pounding my head against these content management systems. And look at Cryptome! John is going strong and he could code that thing with notepad (or vi, or pico, etc.).

I have a feeling that, no matter which CMS I go with, it's going to crash and set my show up the bomb in a serious way. If I can't even visualize the structure of how that thing works, how would I troubleshoot it when it breaks? And it will break, you can practically bet money on it. *sigh*

Thank you. That is all.

-End Rant-



McDonald's Ex-CEO Dies at Age 44 :.

Do you get it yet?

A charismatic leader who said he ate a McDonald's product most days, Bell was diagnosed with colorectal cancer just weeks after being named to the company's top job in April.

Related: Red Meat Newly Linked to Colorectal Cancer



The Coming Wars :.

U.S. Special Forces are now carrying out target selection operations inside Iran:
"We're not dealing with a set of National Security Council option papers here," the former high-level intelligence official told me. "They've already passed that wicket. It's not if we're going to do anything against Iran. They're doing it."
This is a sweeping article that covers much more than the SPECOPS that are underway now. As usual, Cryptogon readers are already up to speed on most of it.

This story is everywhere: BBC, Guardian, CNN, etc.



Jesus Freaks Threaten Tsunami Relief Efforts :.

There's no free lunch, even for disaster victims, but there's always room for Jesus! Notice how the dispicable freaks use classic PSYOP strategy by engaging in recruitment efforts when people's lives have been shattered:

Many evangelical Christian groups, which put a stronger emphasis on winning new converts, believe relief can be packaged with religion as long as immediate needs are addressed first. After all, they say, this is when people are asking life's deepest questions.

That logic motivated Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family to include excerpts from a book written by Dobson, founder of the influential media ministry, in 300,000 survival packets bound for the region.

The convergence of these opposing philosophies could lead to conflict, some relief workers say. The agencies that shun evangelization say those that follow other rules risk undermining everyone's work with locals and government officials.

It remains to be seen whether U.S. Christian relief groups will inflame religious tensions or enhance the image of Americans abroad. The Bush administration has expressed hope that U.S. tsunami relief efforts will improve relationships, especially with Muslims.


Related: Villagers Furious with Christian Missionaries :.

Rage and fury has gripped this tsunami-hit tiny Hindu village in India's southern Tamil Nadu after a group of Christian missionaries allegedly refused them aid for not agreeing to follow their religion.

Related: Dawn of the Dead

Related: Multi-Level Marketing



Rigorous Intuition :.


1/16/2005

"Let the Eagles Soar" :.

As far as I can tell, this story is real:

Guy Hovis, a former singer on the "Lawrence Welk Show" who runs Mr. Lott's state office, will perform "Let the Eagles Soar," a song written by Mr. Ashcroft and a favorite of Mr. Lott's.

Related: Ashcroft Performs "Let the Eagles Soar"

Related: Ashcroft Performs Other Jesus Related Songs



Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy :.

President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.


"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."


...And: Ohio Goes Back to Paper Ballots



Washington State: 2005 Senate Bill 5113 :.

The state of Washington wants to require people to obtain permits in order to collect rainwater.

Let that sink in for a minute...

The state of Washington wants to require people to obtain permits in order to collect rainwater.

What other activities will require a permit? Keeping chickens? Organic gardening? Clearly, the Humanure Handbook is a terrorist operations manual and composting toilets are weapons of mass destruction:

Introduced by Sen. Paull Shin on January 13, 2005, to authorize the department of ecology to require any person using rain barrels and cisterns to collect rainwater to receive a permit from the department prior to collection of rainwater. Rainwater must be intended for beneficial use on the same property from where it was collected.

Related: The Humanure Handbook (Free Online Edition)

Research Credit: KH


1/15/2005

Ngugi and Njeeri Solidarity Action :.

I met Ngugi and Njeeri on New Year's Eve. That was when I first heard about this incident. The brutality involved with this attack is shocking. Please take a moment to let the Kenyan authorities know that YOU ARE WATCHING this case. Click here for more details:

Dear Friends,

As you may already know, world renowned Kenyan playwright, novelist and social critic Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and his wife Njeeri Wa Ngugi were brutally attacked on August 11, 2003 in an apartment in Nairobi, Kenya. Ngugi was severely beaten and burned with cigarettes, and his wife, Njeeri, was raped in the ordeal.

Subsequently, several people were arrested in conjunction with the attack, and it is becoming increasingly clear that this was a politically motivated assault on a leading international intellectual and his wife. It was the first time that Ngugi had returned to his home country after 22 years of political exile.

We are writing to ask you to take a few minutes of your time to send a letter to the addresses appended below to encourage the Kenyan courts and government to take this attack seriously, and to prosecute not only the direct attackers, but all those involved in the attack. This is not only an issue of paramount importance for political liberties and the rights of intellectuals. It is also a critical test case for overcoming a culture of silence and impunity surrounding violence against women in Kenya (and, in many ways, the world at large).

We have included a letter, both in the body of this mail and as an attachment, that exemplifies the spirit of the pressure that we believe it is necessary to put on the Kenyan government to insure that these attacks are treated in the most appropriate and deliberate matter. We fear that without this pressure, the political forces behind this attack may go unpunished, and the issue of rape glossed over. A letter of any length, either in your own words or borrowing from the language of the one included here, would make an immense difference. Please send your letters to as many of the appended addresses as you wish and also forward our call to others who might want to join our efforts. If the Kenyan government in compelled to see the overall importance of this trial, we will win an overwhelming victory in our struggle against violence against women and for the rights of public intellectuals.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Gabriele Schwab
On behalf of The Ngugi and Njeeri Solidarity Committee



Count Me Blue: The Crackpot Left's Attempt at a Group Hug :.

I can see it now. The limousine liberals are going to get decked out with all of the appropriate gear: SUV hybrid vehicle (with Kerry bumper sticker), pink tutu and a count-me-blue-bracelet. Wow. If that's not a rebellion, what is?

Count me blue = You're part of the problem!

The people who go for this nonsense are as lost as the dopes with the Bush/Cheney stickers on their Chevy Suburbans.

Express your outrage at this election by wearing a bracelet... In other words, compensate for your total lack of power with mindless, feel-good, me-too consumerism.

HAHA! Nevermind the fact that Kerry was in on this scam to begin with. (That's the unthinkable part for the limo libs.) Just wear a bracelet and grumble about Bush for the next four years. Good plan.

Oh yeah, don't forget, Cheney gets a percentage of the procedes from every bracelet that's sold. That's right, you count-me-blue twits. Those bracelets are made out of oil:

After spending 10 days in London with friends who were outspoken about their disdain for President Bush's policies, Berns Rothchild came home wishing she had a way to show the world she didn't vote for him.

"I sort of felt ashamed, and didn't really want to be associated with being an American," said Rothchild, who lives in New York City and voted for John Kerry.

Her mother had a suggestion: bracelets, inspired by the Lance Armstrong Foundation's popular "LIVESTRONG" bands, that would signal opposition to Bush.

Thousands of miles away, two women in Idaho had the same idea. So did a woman in Kansas. The result? At least three separate bracelet ventures targeting left-leaning citizens who want to wear their political affiliation on their wrists and at least one competitor bearing the opposite message.

Rothchild, 35, is selling blue bracelets that say "COUNT ME BLUE," while Laura Adams, of Fairway, Kan., offers blue bracelets that say "HOPE." The McKnight family, of Moscow, Idaho, is even more direct; their black bracelets proclaim: "I DID NOT VOTE 4 BUSH."

"It's kind of like saying, 'This is my tribe,'" said Adams, 43, a Kerry supporter, who was inspired by her 14-year-old stepson's yellow Lance Armstrong band.


1/14/2005

Oracle to Fire 5,000 Workers :.

Oracle Corp. unveiled plans to fire about 5,000 employees Friday, the result of the database firm's hostile takeover of PeopleSoft Inc.

The job cuts, which had been expected to number between 5,000 and 6,000, are being felt on both sides of the San Francisco Bay, with workers at Redwood City's Oracle and Pleasanton's PeopleSoft expected to get the axe.



Monsanto Suing Farmers Over Piracy Issues :.

I'm beginning to think that we're existing in a post-collapse world already. Most people just can't see it yet:

Monsanto Co.'s "seed police" snared soy farmer Homan McFarling in 1999, and the company is demanding he pay it hundreds of thousands of dollars for alleged technology piracy. McFarling's sin? He saved seed from one harvest and replanted it the following season, a revered and ancient agricultural practice.

"My daddy saved seed. I saved seed," said McFarling, 62, who still grows soy on the 5,000 acre family farm in Shannon, Miss. and is fighting the agribusiness giant in court.

Saving Monsanto's seeds, genetically engineered to kill bugs and resist weed sprays, violates provisions of the company's contracts with farmers.

Since 1997, Monsanto has filed similar lawsuits 90 times in 25 states against 147 farmers and 39 agriculture companies, according to a report issued Thursday by The Center for Food Safety, a biotechnology foe.

In a similar case a year ago, Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was sued by Monsanto and sentenced to eight months in prison after he was caught lying about a truckload of cotton seed he hid for a friend.

Ralph's prison term is believed to be the first criminal prosecution linked to Monsanto's crackdown. Ralph has also been ordered to pay Monsanto more than $1.7 million.

The company itself says it annually investigates about 500 "tips" that farmers are illegally using its seeds and settles many of those cases before a lawsuit is filed.

In this way, Monsanto is attempting to protect its business from pirates in much the same way the entertainment industry does when it sues underground digital distributors exploiting music, movies and video games.

In the process, it has turned farmer on farmer and sent private investigators into small towns to ask prying questions of friends and business acquaintances.

Monsanto's licensing contracts and litigation tactics are coming under increased scrutiny as more of the planet's farmland comes under genetically engineered cultivation.



Secret Candidates in Iraqi Elections :.

Secret ballots are the cornerstone of any democratic process. But little more than two weeks before Iraq's first free elections on Jan. 30, the country is finding that secrecy is being taken to new heights.

The identities of many of the candidates haven't been publicly disclosed and are likely to remain secret until after election day, an illustration of the difficulty in mounting an election amid war.



Cops Get UAVs :.

IF all goes well, this year a remote-controlled portable airplane will be taking to the air over Southern California, providing a low-cost eye in the sky for law enforcement.

Chang Industry of La Verne, Calif., is one of dozens of companies working on portable unmanned aerial vehicles, or U.A.V.'s, that can be equipped with cameras to transmit live video feeds to law enforcement officers on the ground, miles away. While larger and more sophisticated unmanned aircraft have been in use by the military for several years, this new breed of U.A.V.'s is small enough to be transported in the trunk of a patrol car, for example, assembled and flown by officers near a developing crime scene.

Dr. Yu-Wen Chang, the company's president, said that he expects to sell his Kite Plane, which has a wingspan of about 4 feet and weighs less than 5 pounds, for $5,000 apiece. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will be the first law enforcement agency to test the plane, probably in April, Dr. Chang said.


1/13/2005

New Exclusive Content For Cryptogon Contributors Coming Soon

There is some follow up material to the Militant Electronic Piracy article.



CRYPTOGON READERS CONTRIBUTE $95!

Absolutely incredible!

ET (thekind.com) sent $50.

And JF (bendcyclecab.com) contributed $45. John is also the co-owner/pilot of a biodiesel shuttle bus. Please contact Green Energy Transportation & Tour (541-610-6103) for all your transportation needs in and around Bend, Oregon. Here's John in the Bend Bulletin.

Additionally, John has graciously offered to show an ad for Cryptogon on a video display on his bus!



Bush's Reelection Ignites the Religious Right :.

Every time I post a message along these lines, I get email from several Christian Cryptogon readers who go on and on about how these stories refer to fake Christians, apostate Christians, and how either A) the Devil has tricked these people into serving the antichrist, or B) they haven't spent enough time studying the Word of God, etc.

Fine. I get it already. I understand your perspective. You should spend less time differentiating yourself from the certifiable lunatics and more time trying to do something about those freaks.

Don't email me about "God" issues. I won't waste any more of my time writing emails on this. I post stories about ANY groups that pose a clear and present danger to the rest of us. If you have a problem with that, tough sh*t:

It appears that members of the Religious Right feel empowered these days following the reelection of their man, George W. Bush. In addition to the usual social and cultural issues that incite these people, they also have strong views on the war in Iraq and the environment.

In a speech at Harvard Medical School, Bill Moyers lamented the twisted views of many on the Religious Right. Moyers writes that these are people who subscribe to the fundamentalist doctrine of the Apocalypse and the related Rapture, which concepts "[are] rather simple, if bizarre....

"Once Israel has occupied the rest of its 'biblical lands,' legions of the anti-Christ will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts, and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow."

Moyers continues:

"I’m not making this up. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious, and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations.... A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed -- an essential conflagration on the road to redemption."

And there is official support in Washington for these Apocalyptic views. According to an article by Glenn Scherer in Grist, House Majority Leader Tom Delay -- a self-declared member of the Christian Zionists, an End-Time faction numbering 20 million Americans -- was present at a fire and brimstone sermon at John Hagee's San Antonio-based Cornerstone Church in 2002 when Hagee told his congregation, "The war between America and Iraq is the gateway to the Apocalypse." After Hagee's sermon, Delay was quoted as saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, what has been spoken here tonight is the truth from God."

In Delay’s view, and those of others End-timers, our soldiers are being thrown into combat to help fulfill a two-thousand year old Biblical prophecy that intelligent people know to be myth. It's true that since WMD and a connection to al Qaeda have both been discredited, George Bush's rationale for the war in Iraq has been forced to shift to "higher ground." But Bush has yet to lay this one on the American people. Perhaps this will come after the Iraq democracy experiment fails.



Fossil Fuel Curbs May Speed Global Warming: Scientists :.

HA! Tell me another one! It's probably good for one's health to laugh this hard:

Cutting down on fossil fuel pollution could accelerate global warming and help turn parts of Europe into desert by 2100, according to research to be aired on British television on Thursday.

"Global Dimming," a BBC Horizon documentary, will describe research suggesting fossil fuel by-products like sulfur dioxide particles reflect the sun's rays, "dimming" temperatures and almost canceling out the greenhouse effect.

The researchers say cutting down on the burning of coal and oil, one of the main goals of international environmental agreements, will drastically heat rather than cool climate.



Bush: Slaughter to Continue :.

President Bush said Wednesday spending $87 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in the next fiscal year is "worth it" for national security and he rejected any call to raise taxes to pay for it.


"The $87 billion, it's important to spend that money. It's in our national interest that we spend it," Bush said following a White House meeting with Kuwait's prime minister.


"A free and peaceful Iraq will save this country money in the long term. It's important to get it done now."



U.S. Trade Deficit Soars to All-Time High :.

How many stories have I posted like this? Dozens? More than a hundred?

America's trade deficit soared to an all-time high of $60.3 billion in November, reflecting record levels for imports of everything from oil and consumer goods to farm products, the government reported Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said the November deficit was up 7.7 percent from an imbalance of $56 billion in October, which had been the previous monthly record. The new record caught private economists by surprise. They had been forecasting a slight narrowing in the November trade gap.

"This caught a lot of us by surprise. We had been anticipating a pull back in the November deficit because of a decline in the price of oil," said Jason Schenker, an economist at Wachovia Bank in Charlotte, N.C.

The trade deficit through November totaled $561.3 billion, far above the previous annual record of $496.5 billion set in 2003, and put the country on track to record a trade imbalance topping $600 billion when the December figures are added.

The November deficit reflected record imbalances with a number of countries including Canada, South Korea and Russia. The largest deficit as usual was with China, although the $16.6 billion gap was down slightly from October.

Critics point to the yawning deficits as evidence that President Bush's trade policies are not working. Democrats contend that the administration has not done enough to protect American workers from unfair competition from low-wage foreign countries such as China.

The administration counters that the trade gap is primarily a reflection of a U.S. economy that has been growing faster than most of the rest of the world.

Private economists are concerned, nevertheless, about whether America will have the ability to continue finance trade deficits at such high levels.

If foreigners suddenly decide that they do not want to hold dollars in payment for the foreign goods that American consumers love to purchase, it could put added downward pressure on the American currency, which has been declining in value against a number of other currencies for the past three years.



OXFORD UNIVERSITY WILL CARRY OUT TORTURE EXPERIMENTS :.

Paging Doctor Mengele:

Volunteers are to undergo torture to see if faith eases pain.

Oxford University scientists will carry out experiments on hundreds of people in a bid to understand how the brain works during states of consciousness.

One aspect of the two-year study will involve followers of both religious and secular beliefs being burnt to see if they can handle more pain than others.

Some volunteers will be shown religious symbols such as crucifixes and images of the Virgin Mary during the torture.

Researchers believe the study may improve understanding of faith, how robust it is and how easily it can be dislodged.

The team from the newly-formed Centre for Science of the Mind also want to include people with survival techniques in the torture experiments, which may help the special forces easily identify people with high pain thresholds.

Volunteers will have a gel containing chilli powder or heat-pad applied to the back of their hand to simulate pain.



Royal Family Caught up in Nazi Row :.

Clarence House was last night forced into a major damage limitation exercise after Prince Harry was pictured in Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party.

The photograph, splashed across the front page of the Sun, showed the Prince of Wales's youngest son enjoying a drink and a cigarette while dressed as a member of Rommel's Afrika Korps, complete with a prominent swastika armband.



Pair Arrested for Telling Lawyer Jokes :.

Did you hear the one about the two guys arrested for telling lawyer jokes?

It happened this week to the founders of a group called Americans for Legal Reform, who were waiting in line to get into a Long Island courthouse.

"How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?" Harvey Kash reportedly asked Carl Lanzisera.

"His lips are moving," they said in unison.

While some waiting to get into the courthouse giggled, a lawyer farther up the line Monday was not laughing.

He told them to pipe down, and when they did not, the lawyer reported the pair to court personnel, who charged them with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.



Police do not Need Court Authorization for GPS Tracking :.

A federal judge in New York ruled last week that police did not need court authorization when tracking Moran from afar. "Law enforcement personnel could have conducted a visual surveillance of the vehicle as it traveled on the public highways," U.S. District Judge David Hurd wrote. "Moran had no expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle on a public roadway."

Last week's court decision is the latest to grapple with the slippery subject of how to reconcile traditional notions of privacy and autonomy with increasingly powerful surveillance technology. Once relegated, because of their cost, to the realm of what spy agencies could afford, GPS tracking devices now are readily available to jealous spouses, private investigators and local police departments for just a few hundred dollars.

Not all uses are controversial. Trucking outfits use GPS boxes to keep track of their drivers' locations, and companies sell software to dispatchers that instantly calculates which taxi is closest to a customer. OnStar uses GPS tracking to provide roadside assistance to owners of many General Motors vehicles.

What's raising eyebrows, though, is the increasingly popular law enforcement practice of secretly tagging Americans' vehicles without adhering to the procedural safeguards and judicial oversight that protect the privacy of homes and telephone conversations from police abuses.



Red Meat Newly Linked to Colorectal Cancer :.

As millions of Americans fill their plates with protein-rich steak and burgers rather than carb-heavy pasta or potatoes, researchers are reporting the strongest evidence yet that eating a lot of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Those who ate the equivalent of a hamburger a day were about 30 percent to 40 percent more likely to develop cancer of the colon or rectum than those who ate less than half that amount.

Long-term consumption of high amounts of processed meat such as hot dogs increased the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent.

The findings, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, join a growing body of evidence linking diet and certain types of cancer. By some estimates, as many as 3 million to 4 million cancer cases could be prevented worldwide each year simply through healthy eating and lifestyle changes.


1/12/2005

21-Year-Old Hacker 0wNeD T-Mobile :.

A sophisticated computer hacker had access to servers at wireless giant T-Mobile for at least a year, which he used to monitor U.S. Secret Service e-mail, obtain customers' passwords and Social Security numbers, and download candid photos taken by Sidekick users, including Hollywood celebrities, SecurityFocus has learned.

Twenty-one year-old Nicolas Jacobsen was quietly charged with the intrusions last October, after a Secret Service informant helped investigators link him to sensitive agency documents that were circulating in underground IRC chat rooms. The informant also produced evidence that Jacobsen was behind an offer to provide T-Mobile customers' personal information to identity thieves through an Internet bulletin board, according to court records.

Jacobsen could access information on any of the Bellevue, Washington-based company's 16.3 million customers, including many customers' Social Security numbers and dates of birth, according to government filings in the case. He could also obtain voicemail PINs, and the passwords providing customers with Web access to their T-Mobile e-mail accounts. He did not have access to credit card numbers.



Another Dead Microbiologist :.

Can you believe it? These people are being targeted for termination:

A retired research assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia died of multiple stab wounds before firefighters found in his body in the trunk of a burning car Friday.

Boone County Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said after an autopsy that Jeong H. Im, 72, of Columbia was stabbed several times, but she declined to elaborate.

MU police yesterday named Im as the victim. His body was found in the trunk of his burning white, 1995 Honda inside the Maryland Avenue parking garage, MU police Capt. Brian Weimer said.

The case was under investigation by the Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad. No arrests had been made by last night.

Im was primarily a protein chemist. Mark McIntosh, chairman of the MU department of molecular microbiology and immunology, said he doubted the crime could have been the act of an angry student.


Related: Microbiology: The Most Dangerous Area of Inquiry in the World

Not Yet on the List: Robert Leslie Burghoff



War Hero: Murders Woman, Jumps to His Death :.

A SOLDIER suspected of murdering Sally Geeson, the forensic science student who disappeared on New Year's Day, has killed himself in Glasgow.

Lance Corporal David Atkinson, who had recently returned from service in Iraq, set himself on fire before jumping to his death from an upper floor of the Corus hotel in the city centre at 4.30am on Saturday.



War Hero: Suicide by Cop After Lengthy Gunbattle :.

A 19-year-old Marine from Ceres, California, shot and killed a police officer and wounded another before dying in a weekend gunbattle.

Investigators said he may have been driven by a desire to avoid returning to Iraq.

According to the Marines, he had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.



War Hero: Homeless, Sleeping in Car :.

Not long ago, Pfc. Herold Noel proudly rumbled through the Iraqi desert with the first wave of American troops.

Today, he rambles through the streets of Brooklyn in an SUV looking for a place to sleep.

The 25-year-old father of four, who suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and has been homeless for the better part of six months, may represent the beginning of a wave of troops returning from battle with no place to go.

"When I was in Iraq, I was fighting a war for the American dream," Noel told The Post. "Now, I'm fighting a different kind of war, but it's still a war for survival."

His wife and toddler son may join him on the streets. They are living with Noel's sister-in-law, but she is moving to a smaller apartment and can't take them in.



Police Begin Fingerprinting on Traffic Stops :.

If you're ticketed by Green Bay police, you'll get more than a fine. You'll get fingerprinted, too. It's a new way police are cracking down on crime.

If you're caught speeding or playing your music too loud, or other crimes for which you might receive a citation, Green Bay police officers will ask for your drivers license and your finger. You'll be fingerprinted right there on the spot. The fingerprint appears right next to the amount of the fine.

Police say it's meant to protect you -- in case the person they're citing isn't who they claim to be.


The article goes on to say that you can refuse. Uhhh huh.



'Radiation-Proof' RVs to Launch Soon in U.S.

There is something irresistable about supersized Americana at the edge of oblivion. It's like a bad traffic accident, at night, in the rain. I can't look away.

My personal favorite was the SUV with fly-by-wire Ma Deuce:

Two private U.S. companies have designs on building the first luxury recreational vehicle that could withstand nuclear radiation.

Parliament Coach Corp., a privately held company in Clearwater, Florida, which converts Prevost buses into high-end RVs, has partnered with Homeland Defense Vehicles to offer consumers a luxury motor coach that can protect occupants against nuclear radiation from dirty bombs as well as biological and chemical attacks.

The idea is to offer the option on the pricey vehicles to consumers worried about terror attacks, officials for both companies said Tuesday.

"Many people enjoy the RV lifestyle, but we also live in an era when people have some level of fear about terrorism," Parliament Chief Executive Harvey Mitchell said in a statement. "These concerns about terrorism are linked to states where people with RVs like to travel."

The vehicles, costing from $1.2 million to $2 million, will be introduced Wednesday at the Tampa Super RV Show in Florida.



'No Election' for Parts of Iraq :.

This thing is 0% legitimate:

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has admitted for the first time that violence will prevent some parts of Iraq voting in this month's election.

"There are some pockets that will not participate in the election, but they are not large," he said.

He spoke on a day when at least 15 people were killed across the country.



Mobile Phones: Tumour Risk to Young Children :.

CHILDREN under the age of eight should not use mobile phones, parents were advised last night after an authoritative report linked heavy use to ear and brain tumours and concluded that the risks had been underestimated by most scientists.

Professor Sir William Stewart, chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), said that evidence of potentially harmful effects had become more persuasive over the past five years.

The news prompted calls for phones to carry health warnings and panic in parts of the industry. One British manufacturer immediately suspended a model aimed at four to eight-year-olds.



Like, Oh My God, I'm a CIA Case Officer :.

This Albanian I was trying to recruit wanted to sleep with me. I'm so sure! I just wanted to go see my boyfriend in Bulgaria. Yeah, the spy business is fully icky. You have to lie a lot and use people. Like, totally.

Well, at least she quit before she got in too far over her head.


1/11/2005

Report: U.S. Lost 1.5 Million Jobs to China in 1989-2003 :.

The United States lost nearly 1.5 million jobs between 1989 and 2003 because of increased trade with China, according to a report released on Tuesday by a government watchdog committee.

The report was prepared by the pro-labor Economic Policy Institute for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressionally-appointed panel that has pushed for a tough U.S. approach to China on trade.

The study estimates that imports from China displaced 1.659 million jobs between 1989 and 2003, while exports to that country generated only 199,000 additional U.S. jobs.

The job losses have accelerated and moved into unexpected new sectors as the trade deficit -- which reflects the gap between imports and exports -- with China skyrocketed to a record $124 billion in 2003, report author and EPI senior international trade economist Robert Scott said.

"The assumptions we built our trade relationship with China on have proved to be a house of cards. Everyone knew we would lose jobs in labor-intensive industries like textiles and apparel, but we thought we could hold our own in the capital-intensive, high-tech arena," Scott said in a statement.



Conspiracy of Silence: Disappeared Documentary Exposes Elite Pedophilia :.

It started in Omaha, Nebraska and went all the way to the White House. This documentary exposes realities that are, quite literally, unthinkable. Obviously, They had to eliminate this film.... but copies survived.

Alternative Download Link: 41MB - Windows Media



Slow-Motion Collision Near Antarctic Research Station Imminent :.

I guess the request for help from the Russians makes more sense now:

It is an event so large that the best seat in the house is in space: a massive iceberg is on a collision course with a floating glacier near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. NASA satellites have witnessed the 100-mile-long B-15A iceberg moving steadily towards the Drygalski Ice Tongue. Though the iceberg's pace has slowed in recent days, NASA scientists expect a collision to occur no later than January 15, 2005.


1/10/2005

Congress Passes 'Doomsday' Plan :.

And remember who's the President of the Senate:

With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

"I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I think it's unconstitutional," said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel created to study the issue. "It's a very foolish thing to do, I believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish."

But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow the government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis.

GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes, most of which were dropped.

Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress - are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or declaring war.

But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer will be needed to do business under "catastrophic circumstances."

Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or less.


The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber would effectively not be counted as a congressman.

The circumstances include "natural disaster, attack, contagion or similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the proceedings of the House."

The House could be run by a small number of lawmakers for months, because House vacancies must be filled by special elections. Governors can make temporary appointments to the Senate.



FORBES: WORLD ECONOMY ON THE BRINK OF RUIN :.

When it finally comes down, don't say that it caught you by surprise:

Alan Greenspan, that Matador of the Money Supply, the esteemed Impresario of Interest Rates, has suffered precious few slings or arrows over his many years as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Even the White House has had to offer its critiques off the record for fear of roiling the markets or upsetting the chairman's Elvis-in-Vegas-like following. So when the chief economist of one of the world's most prestigious banks calls Greenspan a bum, that's a big deal.

And yesterday it happened. Stephen Roach, the chief economist for Morgan Stanley & Co., one of the most powerful investment banks and one of the 50 largest companies in the world, says Greenspan has "driven the world to the economic brink."


Writing in an upcoming issue of Foreign Policy, Roach says that when Greenspan steps down as chairman of the Federal Reserve next year, he will leave behind a record foreign deficit and a generation of Americans with little savings and mountains of debt. Americans, Roach says, are far too dependent on the value of their assets, especially their homes, rather than on income-based savings; they are running a huge current-account deficit; and much of the resulting debt is now held by foreign countries, especially in Asia, which permits low interest rates and entices Americans into more debt.


RELATED: ASTONISHING ECONOMIC WARNING FROM PIMCO MANAGING DIRECTOR



Crosses Aren't Permitted in Jesus Land? :.

What the hell? Maybe some of these alleged Christians who voted for Bush should ask him what happens inside the crypt of The Order of Death?

Oh yeah, when you attend the coronation of your King, make sure you don't commit any facecrimes in the presence of the paramilitary cops that will be swarming the area.

Victory for democracy and Jesus!

Public display of crosses at President George W. Bush's Inaugural Parade on January 20 will be prohibited, according to a letter sent to the National Park Service by the U.S. Secret Service last month.

On December 17, 2004, the Secret Service sent a letter on U.S. Department of Homeland Security letterhead to Terry Carlstrom, who serves as the regional director of the National Park Service in the National Capitol Region.

A list of banned items during the Inaugural Parade is outlined in the letter, including firearms, ammunition, explosives, weapons of any kind, aerosols, sign supports, packages, coolers, thermal or glass containers, backpacks, large bags, laser pointers, animals, structures, and anything else determined to be a safety hazard.

Specifics are mentioned in the letter about the size and scope of any signs brought to the Inaugural Parade, including being made with materials that do not pose any danger to parade participants by means of concealing a weapon.

Other prohibited items that the Secret Service deems as threatening to parade participants are also listed within the text of the letter, including props, folding chairs, bicycles, puppets, paper mache, coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages, and statues.



Gibraltar's Military Commander Found Dead in Pool :.

UK political assassinations require a dedicated site:

The commander of Britain's military forces in Gibraltar, who was found dead in his swimming pool over the weekend, was under police investigation, officials said.

A spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Commander David White, 50, had been called back to London to face unspecified allegations.

"He was the subject of an MoD police investigation," the spokesman said in a statement on Sunday. "Pending its outcome, it had been decided to return him to the United Kingdom."

Monday's Times newspaper said White, who was single, was found in civilian clothes in the swimming pool at his house in an exclusive residential area of Gibraltar on Saturday.

The defence ministry spokesman refused to disclose the nature of the police investigation and declined to comment on a report in the Sun newspaper it was related to White's personal life.

The cause of death is not yet known but it is not being treated as suspicious, official sources said earlier.


Other Recent UK Assassinations: Two British Bankers Murdered On December 2

Research Credit: GR



Facecrime: D.C. Police Using Behavioral Profiling Techniques :.

Metro police officers are using new behavioral profiling techniques as they patrol subway stations, identifying suspicious riders and pulling them aside for questioning.

The officers are targeting people who avoid eye contact, loiter or appear to be looking around transit stations more than other passengers, officials said. Anyone identified as suspicious will be stopped and questioned about what they are doing and where they are going.



National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Hits Cryptogon

The NOAA user (host: lgraves.wasc.noaa.gov, ip: 161.55.204.2) conducted the following Google search: "michael aquino" 2005.

I think this is somewhat interesting, considering the fact that Aquino wrote the PSYOP thinkpiece, "Mindwar." (No I didn't forget to include the hyperlink. You can find it for yourself if you wish.) I wonder what press releases NOAA is drafting about the weird weather with users of that organization looking for information related to one of the most infamous figures in the PSYOP/MK community?



Presidents: Bubba and Dubya - Warming Up :.

Senior, Dubya and Bubba, sitting around, enjoying lunch together. Touching.

Do you get it yet?

I hope all of the Dems out there are paying CLOSE attention:
Four years ago George W. Bush used to call him "the shadow" and promised a fresh start by pledging to "uphold the honor and dignity" of the presidency. He even joked to late-night TV's David Letterman that one of his top 10 priorities in the White House would be to give the Oval Office "one heck of a scrubbing."

But when President Bush welcomed Bill Clinton into that same office last week, those barbs were ancient history. After Clinton remarked how much he liked the new Oval Office rug, Bush encouraged him to praise his interior designer—Laura. (He did.) Over lunch with the president's father, the compliments flowed the other way. When Bush 41 inquired whether Chelsea Clinton had marriage plans, Bush 43 declared how impressed he was with the former president's daughter.

For two men at opposite ends of the political spectrum, the relationship between the 43rd and 42nd presidents has grown surprisingly warm and personal over the last six months.
Clinton has been close to the Bush cabal for much longer than that. Someone should ask Clinton about what it was like serving Senior in Mena for all those years. What did Senior do, Bill, make you an offer you couldn't refuse, or did you just view those CIA ops as another cash cow that you could use to line your pockets?



Life, Reinvented :.

At least Icarus didn't take us all with him. These jackasses just might:

Endy is the newest recruit to a cabal of MIT engineers gathered around one of the university's computer science gurus, Tom Knight. Their aim is to create a field of engineering that will do for biological molecules what electronics has done for electrons. They call it synthetic biology.

"I think this will likely be the most important thing I've done," says Knight, whose track record already includes designing some of the earliest network interfaces, bitmapped displays, and workstations. "We're at the cusp of some dramatic changes."

If the notion of hacking DNA sounds like genetic engineering, think again. Genetic engineering generally involves moving a preexisting gene from one organism to another, an activity Endy calls DNA bashing. For all its impressive and profitable results, DNA bashing is hardly creative. Proper engineering, by contrast, means designing what you want to make, analyzing the design to be sure it will work, and then building it from the ground up. And that's what synthetic biology is about: specifying every bit of DNA that goes into an organism to determine its form and function in a controlled, predictable way, like etching a microprocessor or building a bridge. The goal, as Endy puts it, is nothing less than to "reimplement life in a manner of our choosing."



Scientists Developing Heart Attack Prevention Pill :.

HAHA!
Scientists are developing a pill to stop people suffering heart attacks and strokes. The drug would be taken regularly by middle-aged men and women to prevent their arteries clogging up or developing fatal blockages in later life.
These criminals hope you don't know about Vitamin E...

"Vitamin E, either in supplement or in food, appears to prevent coronary heart disease," said American Heart Association (AHA) president Dr. Jan Breslow. The AHA listed Vitamin E research as the fourth most noteworthy accomplishment in heart and stroke research advancement for 1996.

Dr. Breslow cited a British study of patients with heart disease conducted by the University of Cambridge. "In a study of 2,000 patients with heart disease, Vitamin E supplements reduced heart disease by 75 percent," Dr. Breslow said.

The Cambridge study found that Vitamin E reduced the risk of both fatal and non-fatal heart attacks by 47 percent and non-fatal heart attacks by 77 percent. "Our findings support the use of a high dose of Vitamin E to prevent non-fatal myocardial infarction (heart attack)," the study concluded. Professor Morris Brown, the study's lead researcher, said: "Now we can confidently say that Vitamin E protects against heart attacks -- I will be recommending that patients with angina and those who are at risk of heart disease should be given supplementary Vitamin E at high dose."


...Or capsicum. I use this one. WOW! Those are hot. When my Dad had a heart attack, I saved his life with those.



Cocaine Now Cheaper than a Cappuccino :.

The failure of the government's policy to stem drug imports is revealed today by research which shows that Britain is awash with cheap drugs, with a line of cocaine now costing less than a cappuccino.

The price of ecstasy, heroin, crack, cocaine and cannabis has tumbled to a record low in the last year, as dealers pumped ever greater quantities onto the market, encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to become regular users.



AlsoAlso Makes NSA Joke then Sends Department of Homeland Security to Cryptogon :.

The AlsoAlso author writes: "I warn you that if you spend much time at Cryptogon, the NSA will hoist red flags with your name on them. :)"

HA! Hey AlsoAlso, I noticed a Department of Homeland Security (host: n021.dhs.gov, ip: 63.162.143.21) hit today. Guess where it came from? Look in the mirror, buddy. We're all on the same list:

63.162.143.21 - - [10/Jan/2005:16:19:41 -0700] "GET /2005_01_09_blogarchive.html HTTP/1.1" 200 24181 "http://alsoalso.typepad.com/" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; IE6.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)"



Fusion.mil

We see you.
02/04/05 14:32:12 dig fusion.mil @ 68.4.16.25
Dig [email protected] (214.4.236.3) ...
Authoritative Answer
Recursive queries supported by this server
Query for fusion.mil type=255 class=1
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
fusion.mil SOA (Zone of Authority)
Primary NS: ns1.fusion.mil
Responsible person: [email protected]
serial:2003103001
refresh:10800s (3 hours)
retry:3600s (60 minutes)
expire:604800s (7 days)
minimum-ttl:3600s (60 minutes)
fusion.mil MX (Mail Exchanger) Priority: 10 mail.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
ns1.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.3
ns2.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.4
mail.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.5
Dig [email protected] (214.4.236.4) ...
Authoritative Answer
Recursive queries supported by this server
Query for fusion.mil type=255 class=1
fusion.mil MX (Mail Exchanger) Priority: 10 mail.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
fusion.mil SOA (Zone of Authority)
Primary NS: ns1.fusion.mil
Responsible person: [email protected]
serial:2003103001
refresh:10800s (3 hours)
retry:3600s (60 minutes)
expire:604800s (7 days)
minimum-ttl:3600s (60 minutes)
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
mail.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.5
ns1.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.3
ns2.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.4
Dig [email protected] ...
Non-authoritative answer
Recursive queries supported by this server
Query for fusion.mil type=255 class=1
fusion.mil MX (Mail Exchanger) Priority: 10 mail.fusion.mil
fusion.mil SOA (Zone of Authority)
Primary NS: ns1.fusion.mil
Responsible person: [email protected]
serial:2003103001
refresh:10800s (3 hours)
retry:3600s (60 minutes)
expire:604800s (7 days)
minimum-ttl:3600s (60 minutes)
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns2.fusion.mil
fusion.mil NS (Nameserver) ns1.fusion.mil
mail.fusion.mil A (Address) 214.4.236.5
If you know what fusion.mil is, please email me.


1/9/2005

THE SALVADOR OPTION IDENTIFIED BY CRYPTOGON :.

Cryptogon readers were informed that a major U.S. policy shift in Iraq might be underway a full four days before it was reported in mainstream news.

My analysis of server logs indicated that a user from the U.S. Central Command was looking for information about counterinsurgency operations in El Salvador.

I assumed that a military analyst was working on something related to covert counterinsurgency operations, and that a flawed analogy was being drawn between El Salvador and Iraq.

Cryptogon post from 1/4/05:
U.S. Central Command Hits Cryptogon... Again

The CENTCOM user (host: cumulus.centcom.mil, ip: 192.31.19.50) conducted the following Google search: RAND: Counterinsurgency in El Salvador.

HINT to the CENTCOM user: If you're an analyst trying to use analogical reasoning to link the tactics that resulted in "success" for the U.S. in El Salvador to Iraq, you can forget it. The U.S. will bankrupt itself, economically and politically, before an El Salvador-type horror show could ever work. Besides, El Salvador was a covert war. Iraq is much more in the spotlight. How many U.S. trained death squad members did it take to terrorize El Salvador into semi-submission? Scale that up to the Iraqi situation. The FMLN never had the level of public support the Iraqi insurgency has now. And, the last time I checked, FMLN guerrillas weren't willing to use their bodies as weapons delivery platforms in suicide attacks by the thousands... but I digress.

Wow, brother, it's not going to be easy to torture all those women and children to death... Maybe you should think about letting Saddam out of his cage so he could get up to his old tricks, eh? Maybe keep him on his leash this time?

What? You don't find my humor amusing? Well, all that's left to do at this stage is make jokes about the absurd state of reality, so, get used to it.

Why don't you consider a different line of work? Surely, by now, you know your education and your career have been a fraud. You must also know that the beast you're serving will eventually eat you.

Related: The Other CENTCOM Hit from a Couple of Days Ago...

The CENTCOM user (host: cumulus.centcom.mil, ip: 192.31.19.50) conducted the following Google search: map of fiber optic network in Iraq.
And now, MSNBC/Newsweek from 1/8/05 (yesterday):
WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Michael Hirsh and John Barry
Newsweek
Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2005

Jan. 8 - What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal.
When that CENTCOM user hit Cryptogon, the darkness reached out and touched me, and it told me what it was going to do. I didn't want to believe it, but as soon as I saw the domain name from where the search originated, I felt a chill shoot down my spine. I thought, "Maybe I can talk some sense into the person who's working on this policy. Maybe I can influence someone enough to make a difference."

It's difficult to describe the feeling of shock that set in when I saw this MSNBC/Newsweek piece. My hands began to shake and I felt sick. You might think that I would have been excited about making the connections based upon a single entry from an Apache web server log. Nope. I thought about corpses. Oscar Romero. Wiped out villages. Nuns, raped and executed.

If El Salvador was a success, what counts as failure?

The Crucifixion of El Salvador

Death Squads in El Salvador: A Pattern of U.S. Complicity

Justice Denied

El Salvador - Lost History: Death, Lies and Bodywashing

Dick Cheney's El Salvador


1/8/2005

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $8

JH (a different JH than the one who contributed $13) is helping out! Thanks!



If You Sent Email, Standby

Several of you have sent email and I haven't replied yet. I will soon. Thanks.



RUSSIA ASSISTS WITH EMERGENCY RESUPPLY OF MCMURDO STATION :.

Something is really wrong. It's Summer in Antarctica. This is the time when operations should be easiest down there. But no... It's either get help from the Russians or abandon the base!?

Then there is the story about the ice bergs off New Zealand... Just how much of that thing is breaking up?

Make your time, all your ice-base are belong to us:

Russian icebreaker the Krishna owned by the Far Eastern Sea Shipping Company () has crossed the Equator, passing half the way from Vladivostok to the place of operation to assist American Antarctic station McMurdo, which is the main scientific base of the US National Science Foundation's Antarctic program on the coast of the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

The press service said the Krishna icebreaker was to ensure that transport ships with fuel, food and medicine reach McMurdo Station; otherwise, the stations personnel would have to be evacuated.

This operation will be fulfilled on the instruction of the Russian Government following the request of the US Government, notes the press service. Its coordinator is the president of Polar Explorers' Association, Hero of the Soviet Union Arturo challengers.

challengers emphasized that "for the first time of polar stations' existence, the U, which considers itself the leader of Antarctic exploration, asked Russia for help."

Traditionally, ships providing McMurdo Station with all necessities are conducted by US Coast Guard icebreaker the Polar Sea and the Polar Star, whose power is several times less that that of the Krasin. But due to the fact that one of the American icebreakers is under repairs, and due to the deterioration of the ice situation and the threat of the station's blockade, the decision was made to urgently dispatch the Russian icebreaker to Antarctica, reads the statement.

The Krasin icebreaker left the port of Vladivostok on December 21. The meeting of the Russian and American icebreakers is expected to take place January 20.

DVMP General Director Yevgeny Ambrosov said that "the US Government addressed Russia for assistance not by chance. Russia has the most powerful icebreaker fleet in the world, and Russian icebreaker crews have the biggest experience of sailing in ice."



Weather

I just heard on KFI AM 640 (out of Los Angeles) that hundreds of cars have been stranded in snow in the local mountains around Big Bear Lake. People are being rescued with Sno-Cats. In case you don't know, a Sno-Cat is a tracked vehicle that can travel in any level of snow. They are typically used for grooming ski slopes. If they are being used to rescue people, it means the roads ARE TOTALLY IMPASSABLE BY OTHER VEHICLES. Several roads are closed until the end of the storm. I can't say, for certain, that this has never happened in these mountains, but I've never heard of this happening around here. If anyone can recall hundreds of people needing to be rescued with Sno-Cats in the San Bernadino mountains, please let me know the last time this happened.

Confirmed: Snow Strands Hundreds In Big Bear As Storm Pelts California

Deep snow stranded as many as 200 vehicles Saturday in the San Bernardino Mountains as the latest in a series of storms struck California, and more heavy snow shut down a pair of highways in the Sierra Nevada.

Snow piled up 3 to 4 feet deep along a 5-mile stretch of Highway 18 between the Snow Valley ski resort and the Big Bear dam in the mountains about 90 miles east of Los Angeles, said Tracey Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County fire department.

"People were panicking and calling 911 on their cell phones," Martinez said. "It's going to take us awhile to get all the folks out of there."

No serious injuries were reported as rescue crews used tracked vehicles to pick up the snowbound motorists.


Other Weird Weather News:

Watching out for 2 Feet of Rain in Santa Barbara/Ventura/Los Angeles?!

Snow on the Las Vegas Strip

Ice Bergs up tp 3KM Wide Spotted Off New Zealand



Iraq: U.S. Airstrike Kills 14 Civilians :.

Winning the hearts and minds of the civilian population in a guerilla war by bombing homes with fighter-bomber aircraft...

A U.S. warplane has mistakenly bombed a house in northern Iraq, killing several people in an attack likely to inflame anti-American anger ahead of controversial elections due at the end of the month.

Furious residents of the village of Aaytha, south of the city of Mosul, said the air strike on Saturday flattened a villa and killed 14 civilians. Reuters television pictures showed 14 freshly dug graves after the bombing in the early hours of Saturday.


1/7/2005

Toyota Will Cut Manufacturing Costs to Chinese Levels Using Advanced Robotics :.

100% robotic assembly line is planned:

Toyota Motor will introduce robots which can work as well or better than humans at all 12 of its factories in Japan to cut costs and deal with a looming labour shortage as the country ages, a report said on Thursday.

The robots would be able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously with their two arms, achieving efficiency unseen in human workers and matching the cheap wages of Chinese labourers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

Japan's top automaker currently uses 3 000 to 4 000 less advanced robots at its domestic factories but their use has been confined mostly to welding, painting and other potentially hazardous tasks, the economic daily said.

The new robots would also be used in finishing work, such as installation of seats and car interior fixtures, that have been too complex for conventional robots up to now, the daily said.

Toyota plans to become the first in the automobile industry to use the advanced robots in all production processes in the future, it said without giving the timeframe.

"We aim to reduce production costs to the levels in China," the daily quoted an unnamed company official as saying.

Toyota also took into account the looming labour shortage in Japan due to a declining birthrate, the report said.

Japan's population is forecast to peak by 2006 with the average number of children a woman has during her lifetime standing at a post-World War II low of 1.29, according to the latest government data.

Japan has so far rejected calls to open up to large numbers of unskilled immigrants, fearing the effects on the country's social framework.

Toyota has been increasingly turning to robot development and plans to welcome visitors to its pavillion at the World Expo in Japan in March with humanoid robots jamming in a brass ensemble and performing hip-hop.



Monsanto Fined $1.5 Million for Bribery :.

This is standard operating procedure:

The US agrochemical giant Monsanto has agreed to pay a $1.5m (£799,000) fine for bribing an Indonesian official.

Monsanto admitted one of its employees paid the senior official two years ago in a bid to avoid environmental impact studies being conducted on its cotton.

In addition to the penalty, Monsanto also agreed to three years' close monitoring of its business practices by the American authorities.

It said it accepted full responsibility for what it called improper activities.

A former senior manager at Monsanto directed an Indonesian consulting firm to give a $50,000 bribe to a high-level official in Indonesia's environment ministry in 2002.

The manager told the company to disguise an invoice for the bribe as "consulting fees".

Companies cannot bribe their way into favourable treatment by foreign officials
Christopher Wray, assistant US attorney-general

Monsanto was facing stiff opposition from activists and farmers who were campaigning against its plans to introduce genetically-modified cotton in Indonesia.

Despite the bribe, the official did not authorise the waiving of the environmental study requirement.

Monsanto also has admitted to paying bribes to a number of other high-ranking officials between 1997 and 2002.



Paging Dr. Mengele: U.S. Army Doctors Participated in Torture :.

We've gone totally off the rails:

A medical journal says U.S. Army doctors violated the Geneva Conventions by helping carry out abusive interrogations of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere.

The doctors gave military interrogators access to patient medical files and collaborated with interrogators and guards to use psychological and physical means of breaking down prisoners' resistance. According to the article in the Jan 6. issue of the New England Journal of Medicine the doctors cooperated both at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba,

The article was written by a Georgetown University law professor and a British bioethics professor. They reviewed documents obtained from the government by the American Civil Liberties Union and interviewed military personnel.

The military sought and received from the Pentagon and White House additional latitude in interrogating particularly recalcitrant prisoners captured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Clearly, the medical personnel who helped to develop and execute aggressive counter-resistance plans ... breached the laws of war," the article states.



9 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq :.

A roadside bomb killed seven U.S. soldiers in northwest Baghdad, and two Marines were killed in action in western Iraq on Thursday, the deadliest day for American forces since a suicide attack last month, the U.S. military said.



Rumsfeld Seeks Broad Review of Iraq Policy :.

The Pentagon is sending a retired four-star Army general to Iraq next week to conduct an unusual "open-ended" review of the military's entire Iraq policy, including troop levels, training programs for Iraqi security forces and the strategy for fighting the insurgency, senior Defense Department officials said Thursday.

The extraordinary leeway given to the highly regarded officer, Gen. Gary E. Luck, a former head of American forces in South Korea and currently a senior adviser to the military's Joint Forces Command, underscores the deep concern by senior Pentagon officials and top American commanders over the direction that the operation in Iraq is taking, and its broad ramifications for the military, said some members of Congress and military analysts.



Reservists May Face Longer Tours of Duty, More Frequent Call-Ups :.

A draft!? Why would there be a draft?! There's not going to be a draft! There isn't! There isn't!

Army leaders are considering seeking a change in Pentagon policy that would allow for longer and more frequent call-ups of some reservists to meet the demands of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Army official said yesterday.

Reservists are being used heavily to fill key military support jobs, particularly in specialty areas, but Army authorities are having increasing difficulty limiting the active-duty time of some normally part-time soldiers to a set maximum of two years, the official said. He described the National Guard's 15 main combat units as close to being "tapped out."

To avoid pushing reserve forces to the breaking point, the official also said, a temporary increase of 30,000 troops in active-duty ranks that was authorized last year will probably need to be made permanent, especially if U.S. troop levels in Iraq remain high. He said significant troop levels may be required in Iraq for four or five more years.


Remember all the stories about a possible draft in the Spring of 2005? I first mentioned it back in April 2004. Well, well, well...

The official declined to be named because of the political sensitivity of the troop issue and the lack of decisions. But he said that the Army probably will ask Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the next several months to change the policy on mobilization of reservists. "It's coming," he told a small group of Pentagon reporters. "I think we're going to have this discussion this spring."

The reservists aren't going to be the only issue on the agenda. In other words, hide your sons and daughters.



Cryptogon Reader Contributes $15

NS is on board! Thanks man!



18 Year Old Cryptogon Reader Contributes $50!

Wow!

I don't post too many Cryptogon praise letters, but this one means a great deal to me. You see, I was 18 when I started down this path. I hope DB doesn't have too much trouble maintaining appearances at school and work as a result of Cryptogon. It's definitely not easy to do if you choose to actually look at what's happening. But nobody said it was going to be easy!

DB writes:
Hey Kevin,

I've been meaning to put in a contribution for a while now and you offering your new essay to donators only made me get my ass in gear ;)

I'm an 18yo long time Cryptogon reader from UK. I must credit you and your work to getting me into most of what I understand and preach now. Cryptogon was one the first sites I read regularly after leaving the mass media. (yeah, that was quite a transition from Sky News to Cryptogon, haha). Cryptogon (and some of the other sites I read daily like GNN, WRH, Indymedia and Ran's great site) are responsible for opening my eyes to much of what I now know, so take this as repayment and a sign of my gratitude.

Thanks, and keep up the great work! (Be sure to let me know how you spend this)

DB
How will I spend the money? I'll send another $5 to the Red Cross. The local farmer's market is tomorrow. My girlfriend and I buy all our fruit and vegetables directly from organic growers. My car is out of gas... So, I'll fill it up. ;) I only fill up the car about once per month.

Oh, I bought a coffee maker today. Wow. That was a thrill. It's a big deal when I actually go shopping for something other than food. Try to find a coffee machine that's not made in China! TRY IT! I drove around to a few places.

Then Ikea. They should fly a Chinese flag outside of that thing, not a Swedish flag. EVERYTHING I looked at in there was made in China. Everything. They didn't have coffee machines, but I considered a French coffee press, but guess where that was made. *sigh* I left Ikea and went to the next place, in search of my Not Made in China coffee maker.

Finally, I wound up in some Bed Bath and Beyond thing. Pretty much the same story. Made in China. Made in China. Made in China.

I noticed that the corporations are trying a new trick. Remember when you used to see American flags on products to indicate that the stuff was made in the U.S.? Get this: I saw a coffee maker with an American flag on it. Holy sh*t! Stop the presses! I grabbed it and read the small print underneath the flag. It says:

"American Based Company."

"No..." I squinted at the box. "They wouldn't try such a feeble PSYOP swindle! Would they?"

I flipped the box over.

"Made in China." HAHAHAHAHA!

Finally, I found one that was made in Mexico. I considered it. Conditions are marginably better for workers in Mexico. Barely better. Slightly better. Then I started thinking about Juarez. Ok. It might not be much better. So, I was standing there in the store, holding the $20 coffee maker, trying to talk myself into thinking it was ok to buy the thing.

"Well," I actually said outloud, "I don't think Mexico uses mobile death vans."

I was laughing to myself, thinking, "This thing is coming down! All of this plastic sh*t in here is made out of oil!"

(I'd love to see the security camera footage of me going through this process in the store: flipping over all the boxes, shaking my head, then setting them down; mumbling to myself like a deranged lunatic because everything in the place is made in some dungeon or another.)

I made for the checkout area with my possibly, slightly, hopefully less evil, Made in Mexico coffee maker.

Ahhh, consumer bliss.



Icebergs Spotted off New Zealand :.

Do you think, someday, far in the future, people will find these messages on old harddrives and be able to make sense of what happened?

Icebergs have been spotted in New Zealand waters for the first time in 56 years, with some of them as large as two miles wide, a scientist said today.



Outlaw Sink :.

The Nazis ran death camps. This thing doesn't want to do that. (Not yet, anyway.) It wants to rob you at gunpoint. It wants to take you for everything you've got. It sets up stupid rules that should be ignored by all thinking people, and if you don't comply, it whips out a gun and says, "F*ck you, pay me!"

When a police cruiser and three town officials arrived with a search warrant at Barbara Burbank’s Hampton home on Nov. 19, she asked, "Is this a drug raid or are you afraid we’re washing dishes?"

Empowered with the warrant to search the home Burbank shares with her daughter and 95-year-old aunt, Myrtle Woodward, the town officials were indeed afraid the women were washing dishes. Their warrant, issued through Hampton District Court, authorized a search for evidence of an illegal apartment in the women’s single-family home.

"There had been gossip that I’d put a kitchen sink in," said Burbank. "I knew what they were there for. They were searching for a sink."

As a result of that search, during which Burbank said there was no evidence of anything illegal, Hampton Building Inspector Kevin Schultz filed legal action against the women for zoning violations.

The action, filed Dec. 13 in Rockingham County Superior Court, asks a judge to order the women to demolish everything not approved by the town, prohibit further construction, and pay the town’s costs and attorney’s fees. It also asks that the town be reimbursed for time the building department spent on the case and that the women be fined $275 per day, for every day since Feb. 27, 2003, when they allegedly violated their permit.

Burbank estimates the cost of the civil penalties alone to be $185,075, as of Thursday.

"My aunt will be 96 in February, and she loves this old house. I promised not to put her in a nursing home, and my daughter lives here, too, but is allergic to my aunt’s long-haired cats," said Burbank, explaining why they wanted to build a separate apartment for her daughter. "Now I have to spend the money to fight them. I have no choice."



U.S. to Buy Ammunition from Taiwan :.

Every week, the U.S. borrows billions of dollars from Japan and China... so it can buy rifle cartridges from Taiwan... to kill Iraqis?

Is this the most piss poor empire the world has ever seen!? The absurdity of this is beyond belief!

If the world isn't a mass of smoldering rubble after the collapse of the U.S., people are going to scratch their heads and say, "Was that thing really the most powerful country in the world?"

Nearly eight trillion dollars in the hole, and having to buy ammo from Taiwan... Man oh man, TELL ME ANOTHER ONE! I couldn't even make it up:

The United States is planning to buy hundreds of millions of bullets from Taiwan in the first such deal as its supplies are running low after wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a report said Thursday.

Citing Taiwanese military sources, the United Evening News said Washington had made the request to acquire some 300 million 5.56-millimeter bullets for rifles for an estimated two billion Taiwan dollars (62.5 million US).

The deal was yet to be finalized pending price negotiations, it said.

An unnamed general quoted by the paper said it would be the first time for Washington, Taiwan’s leading arms supplier, to acquire arms from the island.

In line with its usual practice, Taiwan’s defense ministry declined to comment on the report.



Bill Gates Eats it Again :.

I love it:

Bill Gates's legendary luck failed him during his keynote presentation at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

His demonstration of Microsoft Media Center crashed during the presentation on integrating digital photography, and later a Microsoft product manager failed to access the internet with a Tablet PC.

A new game, Forza Motor Sport, also triggered the dreaded Windows blue screen of death.

The presentation started on a jokey theme, with late-night TV host Conan O'Brien presenting a mock version of his own show and a video diary of his and Bill's 'lost weekend' in Las Vegas.

"I got too drunk, I woke up with a hooker," O'Brien said. "Bill got too drunk, he woke up with an Apple computer."



Experimental License-Plate Scanners Track Cars on Highways :.

At its start, the experiment was denounced by civil liberties interests, on the grounds that it could be used to compile surveillance records of all vehicular activity.

Jeff Gamso, the Ohio legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said he is "still skeptical" that the technology's application won't eventually be extended beyond identifying stolen cars or wanted drivers.

"Good for them for having recovered stolen cars," Mr. Gamso said. "But I remain concerned about the incremental invasion of people's privacy."

While the highway patrol promises that any data about vehicles that doesn't generate a "wanted" match is not retained, Mr. Gamso said, "What I'd like to know is that they're continuing to 'lose' that information three years from now."


1/5/2005

Three Storms Threaten to Strike U.S. at Once :.

Could be a pretty good one this weekend... Yep, it just might be the weather that takes this thing out, afterall:

Moisture-laden storms from the north, west and south are likely to converge on much of America over the next several days in what could be a once-in-a-generation onslaught, meteorologists forecast yesterday.

If the gloomy computer models at the U.S. Climate Prediction Center are right, we'll see this terrible trio:

• The "Pineapple Express," a series of warm, wet storms heading east from Hawaii, drenching Southern California and the far Southwest, already beset with heavy rain and snow. Flooding, avalanches and mudslides are possible.

• An "Arctic Express," a mass of cold air chugging south from Alaska and Canada, bringing frigid air and potentially heavy snow and ice to the usually mild-wintered Pacific Northwest.

• An unnamed warm, moist storm system from the Gulf of Mexico drenching the already-saturated Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi valleys. Expect heavy river flooding and springlike tornadoes.



Militant Electronic Piracy: Non-Violent Insurgency Tactics Against the American Corporate State

This extended analysis is available only to readers who have financially supported Cryptogon over the last year. If you have made a contribution, you will receive this essay via email within 24 hours. Thank you for your generous support.

Title: Militant Electronic Piracy: Non-Violent Insurgency Tactics Against the American Corporate State

Length: 7 pages

Sample:

INTRODUCTION

The germ of this essay was a Wired article about electronic piracy called, "The Shadow Internet." The following Cryptogon analysis will focus on the nature of insurgency in the U.S. and critical national security aspects of electronic piracy that the article failed to address.

The Wired article does not mention that there is now a strong ideological motivation driving some actors in the piracy scene. Back in the 1980s, piracy was mostly for the fun of it, as the article indicates. Now, though, some militant anarchists see piracy as a way of bankrupting corporations and view their activities as a form of warfare against corporations and the governments that serve them. The supporting material for this statement is available on the Internet. I will not provide direct links to information related to the operational aspects of militant electronic piracy because doing so could subject me to criminal prosecution.

This analysis will use the term "militant electronic piracy" to refer to the high level, massive theft and distribution of copyrighted material for purposes of politico-economic warfare. This may be viewed in stark contrast to the more ubiquitous activity of "file trading," where individuals use peer-to-peer software to download music, movies and software for free. Casual file traders ascribe no political motivation whatsoever to their actions. "The American Corporate State," (ACS) refers to the existing power structure in the U.S. This system is characterized by the fascist convergence of corporate and government interests.

In order to understand the national security implications of militant electronic piracy, an examination of conventional insurgency against the American Corporate State is necessary.

Contents:

DISCLAIMER

INTRODUCTION

THE NATURE OF ARMED INSURGENCY AGAINST THE ACS

- Political Activism and the ACS Counterinsurgency Apparatus
- ACS Full-Spectrum PSYOP Dominance

MILITANT ELECTRONIC PIRACY: MILITARY-STYLE DAMAGE WITH NON-VIOLENT TACTICS

- Bankrupt ACS
- Casual Downloaders Unknowingly Assist Insurgency
- Militant Electronic Piracy Operations
- Just Kids Having Fun?

THE ACS RESPONSE

CONCLUSION

NOTES



No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society :.

Commentary from yesterday:
Believe it or not, the problems facing humanity now are nothing compared to what we will see if They manage to keep this thing from collapsing.
Oh... Just wait:

George Orwell envisioned Big Brother as an outgrowth of a looming totalitarian state, but in this timely survey Robert O'Harrow Jr. portrays a surveillance society that's less centralized and more a joint public/private venture. Indeed, the most frightening aspect of the Washington Post reporter's thoroughly researched and naggingly disquieting chronicle lies in the matter-of-fact nature of information hunters and gatherers and the insatiable systems they've concocted. Here is a world where data is gathered by relatively unheralded organizations that smooth the way for commercial entities to find the good customers and avoid dicey ones. Government of course too has an interest in the data that's been mined. Information is power, especially when trying to find the bad guys. The mutually compatible skills and needs shared by private and public snoopers were fusing prior to the attacks of 9/11, but the process has since gone into hyperdrive. O'Harrow weaves together vignettes to record the development of the "security-industrial complex," taking pains to personalize his chronicle of a movement that's remained (perhaps purposefully) faceless. Recognizing the appeal of state-of-the-art systems that can track down a murderer/rapist with heretofore unimaginable speed, the author recognizes, too, that the same devices can mistakenly destroy reputations and cast a pall over a free society. In a post-9/11 world where homeland security often trumps personal liberty, this work is an eye-opener for those who take their privacy for granted.

Related: The Business of Fighting Terror



Cryptogon Readers Contribute $35 and $13

MW with $35 and JH with $13!

Guys, thanks for starting 2005 off right!

I will immediately contribute $5 of this to the Red Cross for the South Asian tsunami victims. I'd like to give more, but I kinda need to eat somehow as well.


1/4/2005

U.S. Military Aircraft in Iranian Airspace :.

I hate to say I told you so, but remember my commentary back on 4/4/03 about the superbase in Iraq... At the time, the "news" was that it as a victory for human rights as the base would be used to ferry humanitarian supplies to the Iraqi people... Here was Cryptogon's response to that one:
The U.S. now controls a strategic jumping-off point to the rest of the region. I love how they mention how useful the long runways will be for bringing in humanitarian aid. HA. This is the gateway to the rest of what's left to conquer beyond Iraq. All your base Superbase are belong to us U.S.
Flash forward to today:

U.S. military warplanes flew over Iranian air space, raising Tehran's concerns preparations are being made to knock out its nuclear facilities, according to Iranian news media reports.

The U.S. jets reportedly flew out of bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the latest coming Saturday when a fighter buzzed at low altitude an area in the northeastern province of Khorrasan, which borders Afghanistan.


"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
-Bob Dylan



U.S. Fails to Make List of World's Freest Economies :.

Maybe the U.S. military will bomb the The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal for their insolence:

The United States is missing for the first time from an annual ranking of the world's 10 freest economies.

The Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal since 1995, finds that the United States is letting Big Brother grow obese as other countries get lean and fit. Chile, Australia and Iceland improved enough to leave the U.S. in a tie with Switzerland for 12th place.

"The United States is resting on its laurels while innovative countries around the world are changing their approaches and reducing their roadblocks," said Marc Miles, a co-editor of the book, along with Ed Feulner and Mary Anastasia O'Grady. "The U.S. is eating the dust of countries that have thrown off the 20th-century shackles of big government spending and massive federal programs."

The top 10: Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, Estonia (yes, the former Soviet "republic"), Ireland, New Zealand, U.K., Denmark, Iceland and Australia, followed by Chile.



Renewable Energy Deployment Becomes a National Security Matter... In Polite Circles :.

Believe it or not, the problems facing humanity now are nothing compared to what we will see if They manage to keep this thing from collapsing:

If one actionable priority could be distilled from the chorus of support expressed for renewables at last week's conference of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), it's that the time has come to shift the nation's priorities from an era of research and development to one of major deployment. And the one mantra rising above the conference chatter that might create enough political muscle to kick-off that shift can be summed up in two words: National Security.

At the packed conference, 24 national leaders spoke to over 500 experts from industry and finance in the Cannon Caucus Room of the U.S. House of Representatives, sharing their experience, expertise, and hopes for the various renewable energy technologies that scatter the broad energy landscape. The conference was convened primarily to acknowledge that the past three decades of research and development in the U.S. have yielded positive results and that it's time to move into a new phase -- a broad and deliberate deployment phase.



U.S. Central Command Hits Cryptogon... Again

The CENTCOM user (host: cumulus.centcom.mil, ip: 192.31.19.50) conducted the following Google search: RAND: Counterinsurgency in El Salvador.

HINT to the CENTCOM user: If you're an analyst trying to use analogical reasoning to link the tactics that resulted in "success" for the U.S. in El Salvador to Iraq, you can forget it. The U.S. will bankrupt itself, economically and politically, before an El Salvador-type horror show could ever work. Besides, El Salvador was a covert war. Iraq is much more in the spotlight. How many U.S. trained death squad members did it take to terrorize El Salvador into semi-submission? Scale that up to the Iraqi situation. The FMLN never had the level of public support the Iraqi insurgency has now. And, the last time I checked, FMLN guerrillas weren't willing to use their bodies as weapons delivery platforms in suicide attacks by the thousands... but I digress.

Wow, brother, it's not going to be easy to torture all those women and children to death... Maybe you should think about letting Saddam out of his cage so he could get up to his old tricks, eh? Maybe keep him on his leash this time?

What? You don't find my humor amusing? Well, all that's left to do at this stage is make jokes about the absurd state of reality, so, get used to it.

Why don't you consider a different line of work? Surely, by now, you know your education and your career have been a fraud. You must also know that the beast you're serving will eventually eat you.

Related: The Other CENTCOM Hit from a Couple of Days Ago...

The CENTCOM user (host: cumulus.centcom.mil, ip: 192.31.19.50) conducted the following Google search: map of fiber optic network in Iraq.



Group 13 :.

This article also mentions a deep black NSA assassination team called I-3. That's a new one on me, but it has long been suspected that NSA runs the very blackest ops simply because of its isolation from oversight, both in terms of activities and budget. Very interesting article:

It is the number that carries the most occult significance. Throughout Europe it has historically been regarded as an ill omen. In Norse mythology, the number 13 often signifies death. Today, in the United Kingdom, there exists a paramilitary unit called Group 13. The sole purpose of this ultra secretive unit is deniable assassination and it operates in the world of shadows. So little is known about them, that it is exceptionally hard to document its activities with any certainty.

One individual - a former civilian undercover agent for the security services, recounted his story of a encounter with Group 13. Gary Murray, author of “Enemies of the State” had decided to research Group 13 to write a book on them. He soon changed his mind. One day during his research phase he was forcibly dragged in to the back of a Transit van and had a gun stuck to his head. A voice told him it would be unwise to continue his project. Sensibly, he decided to abandon the project and instead write a book on an altogether different subject.



Intelligence Satellites: Billion Dollar Boondoggles :.

For military and intelligence communities, outer space has become a highground, hide-and-seek arena -- a kind of "now you see me, now you don't" espionage playing field.

Over the decades, spying from space has always earned super-secret status. They are the black projects, fulfilling dark tasks and often bankrolled by blank check.

"There is a certain inequity built into the multi-billion dollar intelligence appropriations process. Industry lobbyists holding security clearances are free to advocate for their preferred programs. But critics or skeptics are not even permitted to know what is at issue. So it is not surprising that there will be enormous boondoggles from time to time," Aftergood said.



Governor of Baghdad Region Shot Dead :.

Things seem to be shaping up well for the election later this month:

Gunmen killed the governor of the Baghdad province, Ali al-Haidari, and six of his bodyguards on Tuesday, officials said.

Al-Haidari's three-vehicle convoy was passing through Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Hurriyah when gunmen opened fire, said the chief of his security detail, who asked only to be identified as Maj. Mazen.



Eli Lilly Covered Up Prozac Suicide Risk :.

The 1988 document indicated that 3.7 percent of patients attempted suicide while on the blockbuster drug, a rate more than 12 times that cited for any of four other commonly used antidepressants.

The document, which cited clinical trials of 14,198 patients on fluoxetine -- the generic name for Prozac -- also stated that 2.3 percent of users suffered psychotic depression while on the drug, more than double the next-highest rate of patients using another antidepressant.


1/3/2005

New Essay Soon

I'm preparing an extended essay related to an emerging insurgency against the American Corporate State.

I'd like to hear from people who have made financial contributions to Cryptogon in 2004: Would you guys like to receive the analysis exclusively, or should I release it publicly? Since most Cryptogon readers don't contribute anything, I feel like I should be doing something for the people who do contribute. Since this latest analysis examines a pretty interesting and weird issue, I felt obligated to offer it you folks exclusively, or to at least give you a chance to chime on on what should happen when material like this emerges. Besides, it's marginably unsuitable for public posting. ;)



U.S. Central Command Hits Cryptogon

The CENTCOM user (host: cumulus.centcom.mil, ip: 192.31.19.50) conducted the following Google search: map of fiber optic network in Iraq.


1/2/2005

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Bohemian Grove :.

Los Angeles Times, 12/31/2004:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts since joining the high court, including $1,200 worth of tires, valuable historical items and a $5,000 personal check to help pay a relative's education expenses.

The gifts also included a Bible once owned by the 19th century author and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, which Thomas valued at $19,000, and a bust of President Lincoln valued at $15,000.

He also took a free trip aboard a private jet to the exclusive Bohemian Grove club in Northern California — arranged by a wealthy Texas real estate investor who helped run an advocacy group that filed briefs with the Supreme Court.

Those and other gifts were disclosed by Thomas under a 1978 federal ethics law that requires high-ranking government officials, including the nine Supreme Court justices, to file a report each year that lists gifts, money and other items they have received.


Research Credit: Mark R


1/1/2005

ASTONISHING ECONOMIC WARNING FROM PIMCO MANAGING DIRECTOR :.

This is from Chris P. Dialynas, the Managing Director of Pimco, one of the largest bond management firms in the world. I encourage everyone to read the entire report carefully. They are now telling everyone: It's coming down.

I hate to say I told you so, but I did... Dozens of times over the last couple of years. But forget about what I've said. Get it straight from the horse's mouth:

Today, the global economy is on the threshold of upheaval. The U.S. has borne the majority of the costs associated with the substantial structural change in the global economic architecture of the past ten years. Severe trade and financial imbalances pose grave risks to international stability. Keynesian spending policies and monetary stimulus predicated upon by Adam Smith’s free trade dogma, and the importance of global growth have produced the vulgar externalities of unsustainable indebtedness in the U.S. and Japan and excessive reliance on foreign capital in the U.S. As shown in Charts I and II below, domestic, non-financial business debt outstanding in the U.S. roughly doubled from approximately $3.8 trillion in 1994 to approximately $7.6 trillion today. Over the same period, the U.S. current account deficit soared from approximately 2 percent of U.S. GDP to nearly 6 percent, or by about $3 trillion, accounting for 75 percent of the increase in U.S. debt formation. Absent a long overdue global restructuring, status quo policies yield to these imbalances. The U.S. current account deficit is forecast to grow to 8 percent of GDP in a few years.

The potential for a dangerous financial crisis exists wherein the burdens of increased debt in the U.S. are transferred from the suppliers of leverage, mainly Asian central banks, back to the leveraged, namely U.S. citizens. Capital inflows into the U.S. have provided for debt formation, which has in turn resulted in an even greater U.S. dependency on foreign capital. Misguided Federal Reserve policy based on a flawed understanding of the natural rate of unemployment is at the heart of the problem. During time of war, such as today, full employment must prevail at all times, so Fed policy is constructed around a variable, theoretical rate of unemployment that is itself a fiction. Current and past Fed policies have promoted consumption, encouraged debt formation and contributed substantially to the trade and global imbalances of today. The objective function for the Fed therefore requires immediate Congressional amendment. Congress needs to impose trade and financial balances as critical variables in central bank policymaking.



Current Situation & 2005 Projections :.

Easing energy prices for the next couple of years, before the hammer comes down:

So for the next two years prices will tend to be soft, though they will remain volatile due to production disruptions caused by natural catastrophe, warfare and a host of other causes. In other words, we may have a cushion for the next couple years. But how are we going to use it? If we provoke supply disruptions, the price will bounce up. Once the disruption is over, prices will drop.




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