Japanese Workers to Go Casual This Summer :.

As the present energy paradigm collapses...

As slight discomfort gives way to major inconvenience, which gives way to shortages which gives way to chaos which gives way to... uh... yeah, just remember, it's all by design and totally unnecessary.

Have a nice day:

Japan's bureaucratic rank and file march in dark jackets and ties to government offices every day, sweating their way through the country's sticky, sweltering summers. Starting Wednesday, they'll be sweating a little less.

In a nationwide campaign to save energy by cutting down on air conditioning, the government has asked public workers to leave their ties and jackets home for the summer.

To help make the goal, air conditioners in government buildings will be set at a toasty 82, the maximum allowed by law. Offices usually keep the temperature at around 77.

Oh Ok, and Now: Deep Throat Reveals Himself :.

I need a drink:

The legendary source "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal that brought down a president was identified Tuesday by Vanity Fair magazine and The Washington Post as W. Mark Felt.

Felt, now 91, was the No. 2 official at the FBI in the early 1970s. The information he provided Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein helped them break many of the stories that led to the resignation of President Nixon in August 1974.

The revelation ended more than three decades of speculation about Woodward and Bernstein's famous confidential source in reporting on the cover-up by the Nixon White House following the bungled break-in of National Democratic Committee headquarters at the Watergate office-hotel complex in June 1972.

Woodward, Bernstein and Benjamin C. Bradlee, who was the Post's executive editor at the time, confirmed that Felt was Deep Throat in an article Tuesday on the paper's Web site.

"W. Mark Felt was 'Deep Throat' and helped us immeasurably in our Watergate coverage," according to a statement issued by Woodward and Bernstein.

Prophet Yahweh: Former U.S. Marine :.

UPDATE: This Thing Is Snowballing

I DON'T THINK RAMON WATKINS, IF THAT'S HIS REAL NAME, IS AWARE THAT HE'S AN ACTIVE COMPONENT OF A MACRO SCALE MINDWAR OPERATION. I think he believes aliens speak to him. He almost certainly hears voices. There's one difference, however, between the run of the mill schizophrenic and Ramon Watkins: Craft appear in the sky when Mr. Watkins asks for them to appear in the sky. The phenomenon is visible to others. He has probably been altered in some way (he's a PSYOP weapons platform) and isn't aware of it.

At this point, I'm ready to declare this thing a full tilt, top down U.S. intelligence operation. It's going too far in conventional media. He was on Coast to Coast AM last night. That's an audience of millions. The fact that War of the Worlds is being released in the middle of the public "summoning" in Vegas is just too damn much. I mean, COME ON!?!! This is a joke, right?

Whatever happens, try to remember that the people running this show have god-like powers. Don't let it affect you at the "gut" level. Use your skills of discernment to calmly and logically unravel this thing.

I hope Cryptogon readers in Las Vegas are standing by---just in case. Charge your video camera batteries. Load and cue fresh tape. Use a tripod. If you can, leave the autofocus off and dial the manual focus out to infinity. I doubt anything will happen (this entire episode may have been stimulus/response feedback loop), but if it does, the more tape we have to look at, the better.

Also, don't just focus on the obvious show in front of you. Watkins is almost certainly under constant physical surveillance by his handlers. It might be interesting to identify these people... If anyone in Vegas manages be around him for a "summoning," stand off and take in the big picture. Try to notice the presence of unusual military/law enforcement/civilian vehicles, aircraft, personnel and/or anything else that may be of interest. Look for vehicles with unusual antennas, circling aircraft, etc. Look for people making a point of video taping or photographing the crowd.

The one thing I'm sure of is that if anything actually happens in Las Vegas, up will be down, black will be white, nothing will be as it appears.

If I didn't have to plant my ass in this cube tomorrow morning, I'd already be driving to Vegas with my Canon GL2 cocked and locked... I'd just like to see the show.

I wonder if the people at the Global Consciousness Project are noticing anything?

- - - - - - -

I effing knew it. The former press release should read: Spaceships will appear on Cheney's signal.

Here is the Yahoo Personals page that contains the picture of Watkins dressed as a U.S. Marine:

If that link dies, here is a PDF of the same page.

PDF Credit: ME

Attack of the Drones :.

Killer robots... Blah blah blah. Wake me up when it walks on two legs, uses a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range and reports to SkyNet:

Rogers' Predator is one of more than 1,200 UAVs in the US military arsenal; three years ago, there were fewer than 100 in the field. Today drones as small as a crow and as big as a Cessna are searching for roadside bombs, seeking out insurgents, and watching the backs of US troops. They're cheap, they can stay in the air longer than any manned aircraft, and they can see a battlefield better - all without risking a pilot.

Those capabilities tell only part of the story. UAVs give rank-and-file soldiers powers once reserved for generals. They push generals into the thick of battle. And they're blurring the lines between the fighter jocks and the grunts on the ground. Firmly entrenched hierachies don't change easily, but drones are reshaping military culture.

IRobot Roomba Available in Pink :.

This is a touching story. IRobot is making its Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner available in pink and donating a percentage of the profits from the sales of those robots to breast cancer research.

Ladies, before you spend any money on this crap, keep in mind that IRobot is the same company that manufactures robots that improve the killing efficiency of the U.S. military.

When will the Packbot with shotgun mount be available in pink?

Toyota Robot to Care for Children and Elderly :.

Toyota Motor Corp. aims to start selling robots that can help look after elderly people or serve tea to guests by 2010, the Asahi daily reported on Tuesday.

Japan's top automaker sees a declining birthrate and aging population leading to growing demand for robots that can help in tasks such as child care and nursing care, the report said.

Toyota will soon set up a liaison committee to develop technology for the robots with group firms, including car parts maker Denso Corp., it added.

U.S. Marine Gladiator Robot in Combat by 2007 :.

I love the flippant tone of Wired magazine. I wonder if the jackass who wrote this will be making video game jokes when version 2 of this thing knocks on his door:

The battle bot advances on an enemy position, its knobby tires kicking up dust in a distant war zone. A flick of the joystick sends it rumbling down a side street. Blam! Blam! Blam! Another hostile dispatched.

What sounds like videogame combat will soon be the reality of warfare. By 2007, the US Marine Corps expects to deploy Gladiator, a brawny, six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle developed by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute and United Defense. Powered by a gas engine, the 1-ton drone will roll into the Fallujahs of the future, operated by a soldier wielding a PS2-style controller from a safe distance and communicating with the bot via radio control. "It's designed for dangerous duty," says Carnegie Mellon's Dimitrios Apostolopoulos. "It will replace a marine during the first wave of an attack."

Gladiator has more optional equipment than a showroom Hummer: M249 squad automatic weapon, M240G medium machine gun, 9-mm Uzi, thermal imaging equipment, GPS and laser rangefinders, day and night cameras, acoustic and chemical detectors, light vehicle obscuration smoke system. Fully loaded, expect a sticker price of $400,000. Haptic feedback controller sold separately.


"Prophet Yahweh" Stands and Delivers? :.

Try this one on for size.

Over the past couple of decades, a Las Vegas man taught himself everything he needed to know about summoning UFOs from reading the Bible. He's kept this a secret all of this time. However, just recently, he started to hear voices in his head that told him to go public. The local television news in Las Vegas got wind of this, uh, news and picked the time and place for him to summon a UFO.

A camera crew was dispatched.

I tore into a container of Trader Joes All Butter Shortbread Cookies with apricot and raspberry filling as I clicked the link to the news piece. I started gobbling, thinking, man, this is going to be a good one. I fully expected the poor, old slob to make an ass out of himself on the 11 o'clock news... except for one thing.

Some kind of weird craft showed up in the sky!

Oh yeah, did I mention that it was roughly in the area over Area 51?

I nearly choked on my cookies.

I can't let myself believe that They're actually going to play the "Alien" card. That theory has been out there for decades, and it's always been a source of a few laughs in the alt research community... And the next thing you know, an overweight man in a white t-shirt hears voices in his head and then "summons" a UFO that appears in the general vicinity of Area 51. And the entire episode runs on the 11 o'clock news in Las Vegas.

Jeff Wells sums it up nicely:

Whatever happens, and however weird it gets, don't let yourself be too astonished.

Update: Add War of the Worlds Into the Mix

I was looking at the dates for the big Las Vegas show, you know, the one where the ship will hover for days for all to see:
For only 45 days, starting June 1st until July 15, 2005, Prophet Yahweh, Seer of Yahweh, will be calling down UFOs and spaceships for the news media to film and photograph. During this time, a spaceship will descend, on Prophet's signal, and sit in the skies over Las Vegas, Nevada for almost two days.
Guess which movie will be released on June 29th? That's right. I CAN'T MAKE IT UP!

More: Several Yahweh "Summoning" Videos

Taking a Deep Hit of Consumer Crack Inside the Belly of the Beast

It's a slow news day, so...

Even though I've wanted a portable MP3 player since 1999, I never bought one. No matter how well I was doing, financially, I never succumbed to what is probably the basest consumer desire of all: The Portable MP3 Player.

The whole Apple iPod thing, I'm convinced, is the work of da Debil. Yes friends, six months ago, I wandered into an Apple store and fondled an iPod. A kind looking salesgirl walked up to me and asked if she could be of any assistance. I shook my head 'NO' emphatically. "Man, this stuff is all crack," I said. "If Steve Jobs offers you a cup of KoolAid, I'd politely decline."

The girl laughed uncomfortably, not really getting my attempt at humor, but at the same time knowing that taking the KoolAid sounded ominous for some reason.

I set the iPod down and walked out of the store. I cunningly and intentionally left my wallet in the car. If the urge to buy an iPod became overwhelming, I would have to leave the store to get my wallet. Hopefully, I would manage to gather my senses and strength in the intervening minutes.


I drove away without incident! I can resist these crack peddlers, no problem!

While eating lunch with a co-worker last Friday, I saw a Fry's newspaper ad offering this 1GB Creative Labs MP3 player/FM tuner/voice recorder/USB flashdrive for $109 (after all BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebates are applied).

It's not quite a naked girl offering a delicious apple in a beautiful garden, but it's still very tempting. (I wonder if they used that alluring, deep red color on purpose...) And I don't remember an Omnipotent Being telling me not to partake of a portable MP3 player, so how bad could it be??? ;)

Work let us out early on Friday, so I beat the Friday evening crush of troglodyte knuckle draggers to the crack dealer. In case you've never heard of Fry's... Hmm. How does one describe Fry's???

Do you need to build a server on a Sunday night? Do you need to buy just a CPU fan---right NOW? How about a $15,000 HDTV? Do you like to look at 99 pound Vietnamese women with fake breasts, wearing four inch thick platform shoes? Sometimes with dyed blond hair and blue contact lenses? Perhaps you'd like to buy some condoms and aspirin as you make your way to the checkout aisle. Don't forget the yummy dehydrated ice cream and beer nuts.

In short, Fry's is the finish line of the race to the bottom of consumer Hell. The Apocalypse never seems closer at hand than it does on Friday night at Fry's. These aren't WalMart-style of knuckledraggers. This is where the overclocked-gamers go. And on Friday, they're tanking up on soda and grabbing the sh*t they'll need to fire up LAN parties, or worse. You know, the people with potato chip particles spilled down the front of their torn, smelly black t-shirts. Grey-green complexions. Blood shot eyes... (How do I know so much about gamers? Never mind!)

Just gaze upon it, marvel at it, if you dare: Several acres of rubber dog sh*t, video game gear, refrigerators, OEM hard drives, generic motherboards, electronic gadgets of every description; most of it Made in China, all of it eventually headed for a landfill.

But wait...

Why are Indians buying power strips by the grocery-cart-full?

Can a 50 pack spindle of CD-Rs really be free after rebate?

What's that smell?

These are typical questions I have when visiting Fry's. (Oh yeah! Never take your girlfriend to Fry's for any reason. I learned this long ago. She won't appreciate it. Even if you preface the visit with, "This place is frightening, but I just need to pick something up really quick," it won't matter. Guys, go alone and don't subject your significant other to that.)

The dangerous part about Fry's is mission creep. I was there to buy the MP3 player. THAT'S IT. By design, my local Fry's has MP3 players scattered in FOUR different places throughout the store. As I was making the rounds, trying to find the one mentioned in the newspaper ad, I noticed a Pioneer dual layer DVD burner for $69 (after all BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebates are applied). Well, I'm here. Let's roll around in the slop. Made in China. Made in China. Made in China. WooHoo! I grabbed a DVD burner and a spindle of blank DVDs (also on sale). Why not!?

I mumbled to myself, "I can't believe this system is still up at all."

I knew I'd found the section with the advertised MP3 player because close to a dozen Chinese boat people were standing there, many with the same newspaper ad I was holding in my hot little hand. (Were they really boat people? I don't know. Yeah, probably.) Their hands were stained orange from decades of smoking. One guy had grease splattered on his shirt, probably from running a wok somewhere like the "food" court I ate lunch at earlier in the day. They were holding up the shiny, glimmering MP3 players (each sealed in an indestructible, tamper proof, anti-theft module).

One of these guys was looking at the 512MB version of the player.

I said, "You probably want this one." I gestured at the one I was holding. He looked. "One gig," I said, "Better than 512. Not much more money."

He looked at it. "That not right one. That not right one."

"It is, look at the newspaper." I handed over the ad. He looked at it.

He pointed an orange, cigarette-stained finger at the 1gig player I was holding, "That not right one. Different. Not on sale."

"Ok, whatever," I was just trying to help the guy, I didn't want to argue about it. I'd obviously selected the right player. I put my hand out to get my newspaper back.

The five foot tall man looked at me, "Mine."

"Uh, yours? No. Not yours. Mine."

"Na. Mine."

In the blink on an eye, I ripped it out of his hand.

"Mine, sport. Go find your own damn paper." If I wasn't in a public place, I would have been dead for sure. Oh well, all par for the course in Fry's on Friday evening.

Now, why bother keeping the ad, since I'd already found the right item?

Fry's is a slimy company. They routinely sell goods that are defective, have been returned and repackaged.... and they also seem to make a point of having stuff ring up for the wrong price when you go to check out. When you demand the price from the ad, having the paper with you can make the inevitable national security situation, involving at least three Pakistani assistant managers, go smoother. So, I hope I didn't startle the Chinese man when I snatched back MY OWN GODDAMN NEWSPAPER, but this was a really good deal, and I wasn't about to go mano-a-mano with those three Pakistani assistant managers without it.

I'm the worst kind of consumer. I show up and buy nothing but the loss leader items. Fry's makes money on this stuff because they know that A) most people will buy something else at full retail when they're in the store and B) most people won't ultimately go through the BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebate process in order to get their cigarette butts and bottle caps back in the mail.

If Fry's thinks I'm not going to get the rebates back on both the MP3 player and the DVD burner, they've got another thing coming. You don't put off buying this sh*t for years only to be tempted with the offer of succulent rebates... and then not get the rebates! Totally unthinkable. I'm going to win this bum fight.

So, after all of that, was it worth it?

The Creative MuVo 1GB is definitely dazzling. If you've been living the tech-ascetic lifestyle for a long time and are waiting for an excuse to fall off the wagon, it's tough to think of a more appealing gadget. It's the size of a large cigarette lighter, and I've never heard my MP3s sound "that" good before.

Of course, the purpose of devices like this is to help you forget the fact that you are a slave. I mean, look at that thing! Only rugged, X-treme, individualists would own something like that. Right? People who are sexy and cool and command their own destiny... (There must be an ad for this thing that involves a woman in a bikini or someone jumping off a cliff on a snowboard.) Don't breathe the air or drink the water, but go ahead and store a few hundred MP3s on a thing the size of a pack of gum.

Now, is there a way to have your crack and smoke it too? Is there a way to re-purpose technology like this in a way that's liberating, rather than repressive?

Ultimately... probably not, BUT, it does ease the pain a bit on the dark, long slog.

For example, I sit in a cube all day and I need to exercise more. The problem is that I find exercise to be as boring as watching TV. In the past, I've listened to a portable radio to try to pass the time on the treadmill, etc. I'm not really able to listen to most commercial media anymore. (In my opinion, Indie 103.1's Passport Approved and KCRW's New Ground are the only shows worth listening to on the radio in Southern California. For people in other areas, you may listen online if you wish.) My new MP3 player will allow me to get some much needed exercise while bathing my brain in material that is much more amenable to my world view and tastes.

Just yesterday, a Cryptogon reader sent me a 30 minute Alex Jones interview with Daniel Estulin about the 2005 Bilderberg meeting. I downloaded the file, copied it to my tiny MP3 player and went for a walk as I listened to the interview. Ahh, the outdoors. Sunshine. Global depopulation agendas. Man. Life in the so-called information age. This is great!

Maybe it is possible to have your crack and smoke it too.


French Voters Reject First EU Constitution :.


French voters rejected the European Union's first constitution Sunday, a stinging repudiation of President Jacques Chirac's leadership and the ambitious, decades-long effort to further unite the continent.

Chirac, who urged voters to approve the charter, announced the result in a brief, televised address. He said the process of ratifying the treaty would continue in other EU countries.

"It is your sovereign decision, and I take note," Chirac said. "Make no mistake, France's decision inevitably creates a difficult context for the defense of our interests in Europe."

With 92 percent of votes counted, the treaty was rejected by 56.14 percent of voters, the Interior Ministry said. It was supported by 43.86 percent.

Treaty opponents chanting "We won!" gathered at Paris' Place de la Bastille, a symbol of rebellion where angry crowds in 1789 stormed the Bastille prison and sparked the French Revolution. Cars blared their horns and "no" campaigners thrust their arms into the air.

"This is a great victory," said Fabrice Savel, 38, from the working class suburb of Aubervilliers. He was distributing posters that read: "Non to a free-market Europe."


Experts: Petroleum May Be Nearing a Peak :.

AP is telling people to assume the crash position. * yawn *

Could the petroleum joyride - cheap, abundant oil that has sent the global economy whizzing along with the pedal to the metal and the AC blasting for decades - be coming to an end?

Some observers of the oil industry think so. They predict that this year, maybe next - almost certainly by the end of the decade - the world's oil production, having grown exuberantly for more than a century, will peak and begin to decline.

And then it really will be all downhill. The price of oil will increase drastically. Major oil-consuming countries will experience crippling inflation, unemployment and economic instability. Princeton University geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes predicts "a permanent state of oil shortage."

Intel: DRM Inside :.

Here it comes:

Microsoft and the entertainment industry's holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset.

Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case.

While Intel steered clear of mentioning the new DRM technology at its Australian launch of the new products, Intel's Australian technical manager Graham Tucker publicly confirmed Microsoft-flavored DRM technology will be a feature of Pentium D and 945.

Related: Years of Cryptogon DRM Coverage and Commentary


Moller's Atomic Hydrogen Generator :.

Naudin does it again...

United Nuclear: Hydrogen Fuel System :.

Must see:

The United Nuclear Hydrogen Fuel System Kit is an intermediate approach that simply converts your existing vehicle to burn Hydrogen or Gasoline. The Gasoline fuel system remains intact and is not modified. This allows you to switch between running on Gasoline or Hydrogen at any time. The engine itself is only slightly modified, the conversion makes substantial changes to the computer & electrical system, ignition and cooling systems. Since they never have to be removed, Hydrogen fuel storage (Hydride tanks) can be installed in virtually any available space within the vehicle.

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

MW helps to keep Cryptogon free and open to all!

White House Wants Search Limits Overturned :.

The Bush administration asked a federal appeals court Friday to restore its ability to compel Internet service providers to turn over information about their customers or subscribers as part of its fight against terrorism.

The legal filing with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York comes amid a debate in Congress over renewal of the Patriot Act and whether to expand the FBI's power to seek records without the approval of a judge or grand jury.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero of New York last year blocked the government from conducting secret searches of communications records, saying the law that authorized them wrongly barred legal challenges and imposed a gag order on affected businesses.

Use of Encryption Software Shows Criminal Intent :.

Set the mouse down and step away from the computer!

It's really getting weird out there. * sigh *

Oh yeah, my public key is here:

A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent.

Use These Tools Together, They're Good for You: Thunderbird - Enigmail - GPG

Key management is so simple now with Enigmail. Check it out. It's very nice.

Terrorist Link to Copyright Piracy Alleged :.

Cryptogon's forward looking analysis is coming true... Again.

In Militant Electronic Piracy, I wrote:
Crimes involving the loss of corporate profits will increasingly be treated as acts of terrorism and could garner anything from a local law enforcement response to activation of regular military forces....

Expect a legislated, "national security" justification for Microsoft's long awaited (and dreaded) Digital Rights Management scheme, codenamed Longhorn. Microsoft will tout Longhorn as the solution to piracy and other "terrorist" uses of computers and the Internet. Besides turning each computer into a tamper proof vending machine (this will mean The End of general purpose computing), Longhorn will provide an astonishing surveillance capability to ACS law enforcement, intelligence and military organizations. Those who refuse to use Longhorn will increasingly find themselves locked out of networks. The goal will be to apply maximum surveillance and control to "trusted" users on the Internet.
And now, from today's ZDNET News:
Counterfeit DVDs and cigarettes may be funding terrorists.

That's what the Senate Homeland Security committee heard Wednesday from John Stedman, a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who's responsible for an eight-person team of intellectual property (IPR) investigators.

"Some associates of terrorist groups may be involved in IPR crime," Stedman said. "During the course of our investigations, we have encountered suspects who have shown great affinity for Hezbollah and its leadership."

Even though Stedman's evidence is circumstantial, his testimony comes as Congress is expected to consider new copyright legislation this year. An invocation of terrorism, the trump card of modern American politics, could ease the passage of the next major expansion of copyright powers.

Steadman said he saw Hezbollah flags and photographs of the group's leader in homes that he raided, coupled with anti-Israel sentiments on the part of those arrested.
Do you get it yet?

Toxin in Plastics Harming Unborn Boys :.

Your fetus is bathing in toxic effluvia. Have a nice day:

Scientists in America have found the first evidence that common chemicals used in products as diverse as cosmetics, toys, clingfilm and plastic bags may harm the development of unborn baby boys.

Researchers have long known that high levels of substances called phthalates have gender-bending effects on male animals, making them more feminine and leading to poor sperm quality and infertility. The new study suggests that even normal levels of phthalates, which are ubiquitous, can disrupt the development of male babies' reproductive organs.

"Every aspect of male identity is altered when you see this in male animals," said Fred vom Saal, professor of reproductive biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Levels of aggression, parenting behaviour and even learning speeds were affected, he said.

Andreas Kortenkamp, an expert in environmental pollutants at the School of Pharmacy in London, said: "If it's true, it's sensational. This is the first time anyone's shown this effect in humans. It's an indicator that something's gone seriously wrong with development in the womb and that's why it's so serious."

He added: "These are mass chemicals. They are used in any plastic that is pliable, whether it's clingfilm, kidney dialysis tubes, blood bags or toys. Sorting this out is going to be an interesting challenge for industry as well as society."

The work, which is to appear in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is due to be presented at the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Forum in San Diego on June 3.

Gwynne Lyons, toxics adviser to the WWF, said: "At the moment regulation of the chemicals industry is woefully inadequate."

The 'Sins' of The Father :.

While Catholic priests raped Orange County children, Pope John Paul II looked the other way.

Pope John Paul II knew.

Of the many shocking stories to emerge from the Orange diocese's recently released personnel files, one is likely to resonate worldwide: the pope knew that Catholic priests were accused of molesting Orange County children as early as 1987--and apparently did nothing to stop the scandal.

That disturbing revelation is included in the papers of Father Andrew Christian Andersen. His file is included in the thousands of pages of documents released May 17 as part of the record-breaking $100 million settlement reached between the Orange diocese and its victims. Andersen pleaded guilty in 1986 to 26 counts of molesting four boys while working at St. Bonaventure in Huntington Beach.

Mexican Drug Commandos :.

Blowback or by design?

They were the elite "special forces" of the Mexican military, trained in the U.S. at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia and sent to "wipe out" one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels.

But these soldiers deserted and became the muscle for the very cartel they were supposed to destroy.

According to this Department of Justice "Intelligence Bulletin" obtained by the 5i-Team, these rogue commandos now known as "Los Zetas" may be heading our way.

CIA Child Prostitution :.

During the early morning of Septmeber 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch was kidnapped from a West Des Moines neighborhood while delivering newspapers. It was silent, quick and professional. "This man has told us that at the end of their investigation that there were 834 kids involved that were kidnapped," says James Rothstein. He's talking about a former CIA agent who must remain anonymous.

Rothstein is a former New York City police detective, now a private investigator working the case for Johnny's mother, Noreen. And within the last couple weeks, Rothstein has uncovered new evidence linking Johnny's kidnapping to child prostitution. "It basically came down to one thing and one thing only. You know, it was money. These kids were being grabbed to satisfy the malignant, twisted, you know, evil depravity of very powerful individuals who have the money," he says.

Rothstein is talking about individuals who would spend as much as $10,000 to have sex with young boys and girls. And this new evidence points to the involvement of U.S. government officials. "They were using kids to compromise people. And what better way to compromise somebody than get a young boy with a politician or some powerful person that may be in the military or whatever and then you can compromise them and get what ever you want."

Bush: Catapult the Propaganda :.

Make sure you listen to the MP3. The audience applause is surreal!

"See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."


Fear of Impending Doom, Dreams and Random Number Generators

There is a heightened sense of impending doom floating around out there right now. Many people think something big is going to happen very soon. Timetable: days to weeks.

My experience with stuff like this is that whenever people think something big is going to happen within "days to weeks", nothing happens. I don't think it's helpful to propagate the specific memes right now, but if you are one of the people who have recently had a weird dream involving some kind of big/catastrophic event, please email me the details of that dream.

NOTE: I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who are NOT Evangelical Christians.

There is traffic from multiple nodes (with no readily apparent links) mentioning vague notions of some type imminent cataclysm. I, however, haven't had any weird dreams that I can recall, and I don't feel any additional anxiety about the immediate future. (For me, the disaster is that this meat grinder of a system somehow continues to function.)

I believe that there is a pre-cognitive touchdown point in the mass unconscious mind. Scientists routinely observe anomalies in the entropy of random number generators---before major world events---that may be an indication of some sort of etheric, pre-cognitive download. Take a gander at the Global Consciousness Project if you doubt it.

So, when I start hearing "It's Coming Down" from people who normally have nothing to do with that perspective, it gets my attention. There are bound to be a handful of people who are ahead of the curves that the researchers at Princeton are plotting. My guess is that "It" becomes usable by the waking consciousness of some people before "It" impacts the wider population.

Can dreams serve as a hyperdimensional viewer or portal? Why not? If we can't even explain the behavior of random number generators just prior to (and during) major events, who's to say what dreams may or may not be?

I apologize if all of this sounds nuts. I just go where the verifiable research and informed speculation takes me. I don't care how weird it gets. My mind open to all possibilities.

So, let me in on your recent, juicy End O' Days paranoia, dreams, thoughts, etc. I'm curious and would like to learn more about the current meme wave that is sweeping the noosphere.

Murdered Doctor Called for Mad Cow Testing of All Beef :.

Sixty-four-year-old Robert Lull was found murdered in his home last week. Investigators believe his assistant's son may be involved in the crime.

Police say 30-year-old Ellison Millare has a history of mental problems and criminal activity. He's been arrested before on charges of assault and robbery.

Related: Remedy for an Insane Policy-Test All Beef for Mad Cow

Amnesty International Accuses Israel of War Crimes :.

No kidding:

Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The rights group's report for 2004 says Israeli forces have killed some 700 Palestinians - including 150 children - mostly in unlawful circumstances.

The report lists "reckless shooting, shelling and air strikes in civilian areas... and excessive use of force".

Peak Oil: U.S. Military Wants 19,000 Minivans, 5,000 Pacificas :.

Thank Jesus! More HUMMERs will be available for idiot soccer moms, since the military doesn't even like having to fill them up anymore! Yippee!

A huge U.S. military order for 24,000 minivans and Pacificas means DaimlerChrysler Canada employees can work overtime most Saturdays, holidays and even some Sundays until mid-July if they want to.

Company sources say the U.S. armed forces have ordered 19,000 minivans and 5,000 Pacificas for use as light-duty vehicles in the U.S., Iraq and elsewhere in the world. It is believed the light gasoline-powered vehicles will replace the diesel-powered Humvees in use as light personnel carriers on U.S. bases around the world to reduce fuel consumption.

The U.S. military has been increasingly concerned about fuel consumption in recent years, and its commanders have complained publicly that the diesel-guzzling Humvee is extremely inefficient in non-combat use to ferry a few soldiers at a time around base.

CIA Overseeing 3-Day War Game on Internet :.

And how do they propose dealing with shovels, hatchets and publically available fiber maps? Refer to my crusty, old cyberwar essay if you don't get that last reference:

The CIA is conducting a secretive war game, dubbed "Silent Horizon," this week to practice defending against an electronic assault on the same scale as the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks.

The three-day exercise, ending Thursday, was meant to test the ability of government and industry to respond to escalating Internet disruptions over many months, according to participants. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the CIA asked them not to disclose details of the sensitive exercise taking place in Charlottesville, Va., about two hours southwest of Washington.

The simulated attacks were carried out five years in the future by a fictional alliance of anti-American organizations, including anti-globalization hackers. The most serious damage was expected to be inflicted in the war game's closing hours.

A Few Impressions of Baja California, Mexico

Each time I cross into Mexico (via Tijuana), three thoughts come to mind:

1) It's absolutely incredible that such crushing poverty exists so close to the U.S. (And, no, I've never been to Detroit or Appalachia.)

2) I can't believe that, after seeing the squalor just south of the border, I'm able to somehow put it out of my mind and go about my life... As if "that" isn't happening right next door.

3) Compared with parts of Africa and Asia, Tijuana looks like a 5-Star resort.

Other random observations:

Despite all the hardship, the Mexican people are very innovative, hard working and have a great sense of humor.

I spent a couple of hours gazing at the ocean near Puerto Nuevo. I watched the lobstermen launch their boats from the beach (in heavy surf) and row several hundred yards offshore to check their traps. I was in awe. That's not easy work. But maybe those guys will have the last laugh as supplies of hydrocarbon based fuels begin to decrease. No fuel or oil to buy. No motors to break. Muy bien.

There is a definite element of "anything goes" when it comes to building construction down there. Lots of people are living in structures that are made out of industrial refuse, old vehicles, billboards, etc. Despite all of the scarcity in Mexico, there is no shortage of labor and dirt. For very little money, people could be trained in flexform earthbag construction techniques. Comfortable, clean and functional dwellings could be built for a couple of hundred dollars.

I noticed that many people have placed black water tanks on their rooftops to heat water for use in their homes. What a concept. Compare that technique to the way it's almost exclusively done a few miles to the north, across The Fence. In each house, non renewable natural gas is burned, around the clock, to keep 80 to 100 gallons (or more) of water at a constant temperature of 140 degrees. Try to think of a bigger waste of energy. It's tough.

What's the story with the Mexican Army deployments along the old coastal highway near Rosarito? The last few times I've been down there, I've seen the Mexican Army out in force around there. And no, these aren't cops. These soldiers are dressed in military fatigues and boots. They are armed with heavily worn HK G3 battle rifles. (Those weapons are older than the soldiers carrying them.) On the way back up from Puerto Nuevo, one of the new toll plazas on the highway was manned by one of these Mexican Army units. They just waved us through, but there were about ten guys standing around with loaded G3s.


Power Goes Off in Moscow :.

Power went out in large parts of Moscow and four surrounding regions for several hours Wednesday, and President Vladimir Putin, moving with uncharacteristic speed, bluntly blamed Unified Energy Systems chief Anatoly Chubais for the outage.

The outage began at about 10 a.m. in the city and spread to the Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Ryazan regions, leaving between 1.5 million and 2 million people without electricity.

Metro trains came to a stop, running water supplies went off and hospitals and military headquarters switched to backup generators in a rolling blackout.

Not a Pretty Picture :.

"History," Hegel said, "is a slaughterhouse." And war is how the slaughter is carried out.

If we believe that the present war in Iraq is just and necessary, why do we shrink from looking at the damage it wreaks? Why does the government that ordered the war and hails it as an instrument of good then ask us to respect those who died in the cause by not describing and depicting how they died? And why, in response, have newspapers gone along with Washington and grown timid about showing photos of the killing and maiming? What kind of honor does this bestow on those who are sent to fight in the nation's name?

The Iraq war inspires these questions.

FBI's Powers May Become Fearsome :.

...the most frightening prospect for Americans is an unfettered national police force with the sole discretion to determine who can be investigated as a potential terrorist. That's the impact of little-known proposals to greatly expand the powers of the FBI, permitting its agents to seize business records without a warrant and to track the mail of those in terrorist inquiries without regard to Postal Service concerns.

Because the government can label almost any group or individual a terrorist threat, the potential for abuse by not having to show probable cause is enormous, prompting civil libertarians to correctly speculate about who will guard against the guardians. Up until now the answer was the Constitution as interpreted by the judiciary. But it is clear that sidestepping any such restriction is the real and present danger of the post-9/11 era.


Original Limu Mentioned in June 2005 Alternative Health Magazine :.

There is lots of nonsense out there. Thankfully, Alternative Health got it right:

After researching the leading health elixirs on the market, Natural Health - a hugely popular magazine found in major book stores, grocery stores and health food stores throughout America - recently featured Original Limu™ in their Health & Healing section.

Related: My Limu Story


Tortured to Death in a U.S. Gulag :.

New York Times
May 20, 2005
In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar's face.

"Come on, drink!" the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. "Drink!"

At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

"Leave him up," one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

The story of Mr. Dilawar's brutal death at the Bagram Collection Point - and that of another detainee, Habibullah, who died there six days earlier in December 2002 - emerge from a nearly 2,000-page confidential file of the Army's criminal investigation into the case, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

Like a narrative counterpart to the digital images from Abu Ghraib, the Bagram file depicts young, poorly trained soldiers in repeated incidents of abuse. The harsh treatment, which has resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers, went well beyond the two deaths.

In some instances, testimony shows, it was directed or carried out by interrogators to extract information. In others, it was punishment meted out by military police guards. Sometimes, the torment seems to have been driven by little more than boredom or cruelty, or both.

In sworn statements to Army investigators, soldiers describe one female interrogator with a taste for humiliation stepping on the neck of one prostrate detainee and kicking another in the genitals. They tell of a shackled prisoner being forced to roll back and forth on the floor of a cell, kissing the boots of his two interrogators as he went. Yet another prisoner is made to pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum mixed with excrement and water as part of a strategy to soften him up for questioning.

The Times obtained a copy of the file from a person involved in the investigation who was critical of the methods used at Bagram and the military's response to the deaths.

Although incidents of prisoner abuse at Bagram in 2002, including some details of the two men's deaths, have been previously reported, American officials have characterized them as isolated problems that were thoroughly investigated. And many of the officers and soldiers interviewed in the Dilawar investigation said the large majority of detainees at Bagram were compliant and reasonably well treated.

"What we have learned through the course of all these investigations is that there were people who clearly violated anyone's standard for humane treatment," said the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Larry Di Rita. "We're finding some cases that were not close calls."

Yet the Bagram file includes ample testimony that harsh treatment by some interrogators was routine and that guards could strike shackled detainees with virtual impunity. Prisoners considered important or troublesome were also handcuffed and chained to the ceilings and doors of their cells, sometimes for long periods, an action Army prosecutors recently classified as criminal assault.

Some of the mistreatment was quite obvious, the file suggests. Senior officers frequently toured the detention center, and several of them acknowledged seeing prisoners chained up for punishment or to deprive them of sleep. Shortly before the two deaths, observers from the International Committee of the Red Cross specifically complained to the military authorities at Bagram about the shackling of prisoners in "fixed positions," documents show.

Even though military investigators learned soon after Mr. Dilawar's death that he had been abused by at least two interrogators, the Army's criminal inquiry moved slowly. Meanwhile, many of the Bagram interrogators, led by the same operations officer, Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, were redeployed to Iraq and in July 2003 took charge of interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison. According to a high-level Army inquiry last year, Captain Wood applied techniques there that were "remarkably similar" to those used at Bagram.

Last October, the Army's Criminal Investigation Command concluded that there was probable cause to charge 27 officers and enlisted personnel with criminal offenses in the Dilawar case ranging from dereliction of duty to maiming and involuntary manslaughter. Fifteen of the same soldiers were also cited for probable criminal responsibility in the Habibullah case.

So far, only the seven soldiers have been charged, including four last week. No one has been convicted in either death. Two Army interrogators were also reprimanded, a military spokesman said. Most of those who could still face legal action have denied wrongdoing, either in statements to investigators or in comments to a reporter.

"The whole situation is unfair," Sgt. Selena M. Salcedo, a former Bagram interrogator who was charged with assaulting Mr. Dilawar, dereliction of duty and lying to investigators, said in a telephone interview. "It's all going to come out when everything is said and done."

With most of the legal action pending, the story of abuses at Bagram remains incomplete. But documents and interviews reveal a striking disparity between the findings of Army investigators and what military officials said in the aftermath of the deaths.

Military spokesmen maintained that both men had died of natural causes, even after military coroners had ruled the deaths homicides. Two months after those autopsies, the American commander in Afghanistan, then-Lt. Gen. Daniel K. McNeill, said he had no indication that abuse by soldiers had contributed to the two deaths. The methods used at Bagram, he said, were "in accordance with what is generally accepted as interrogation techniques."

The Interrogators

In the summer of 2002, the military detention center at Bagram, about 40 miles north of Kabul, stood as a hulking reminder of the Americans' improvised hold over Afghanistan.

Built by the Soviets as an aircraft machine shop for the operations base they established after their intervention in the country in 1979, the building had survived the ensuing wars as a battered relic - a long, squat, concrete block with rusted metal sheets where the windows had once been.

Retrofitted with five large wire pens and a half dozen plywood isolation cells, the building became the Bagram Collection Point, a clearinghouse for prisoners captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The B.C.P., as soldiers called it, typically held between 40 and 80 detainees while they were interrogated and screened for possible shipment to the Pentagon's longer-term detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The new interrogation unit that arrived in July 2002 had been improvised as well. Captain Wood, then a 32-year-old lieutenant, came with 13 soldiers from the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C.; six Arabic-speaking reservists were added from the Utah National Guard.

Part of the new group, which was consolidated under Company A of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, was made up of counterintelligence specialists with no background in interrogation. Only two of the soldiers had ever questioned actual prisoners.

What specialized training the unit received came on the job, in sessions with two interrogators who had worked in the prison for a few months. "There was nothing that prepared us for running an interrogation operation" like the one at Bagram, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the interrogators, Staff Sgt. Steven W. Loring, later told investigators.

Nor were the rules of engagement very clear. The platoon had the standard interrogations guide, Army Field Manual 34-52, and an order from the secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, to treat prisoners "humanely," and when possible, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. But with President Bush's final determination in February 2002 that the Conventions did not apply to the conflict with Al Qaeda and that Taliban fighters would not be accorded the rights of prisoners of war, the interrogators believed they "could deviate slightly from the rules," said one of the Utah reservists, Sgt. James A. Leahy.

"There was the Geneva Conventions for enemy prisoners of war, but nothing for terrorists," Sergeant Leahy told Army investigators. And the detainees, senior intelligence officers said, were to be considered terrorists until proved otherwise.

The deviations included the use of "safety positions" or "stress positions" that would make the detainees uncomfortable but not necessarily hurt them - kneeling on the ground, for instance, or sitting in a "chair" position against the wall. The new platoon was also trained in sleep deprivation, which the previous unit had generally limited to 24 hours or less, insisting that the interrogator remain awake with the prisoner to avoid pushing the limits of humane treatment.

But as the 519th interrogators settled into their jobs, they set their own procedures for sleep deprivation. They decided on 32 to 36 hours as the optimal time to keep prisoners awake and eliminated the practice of staying up themselves, one former interrogator, Eric LaHammer, said in an interview.

The interrogators worked from a menu of basic tactics to gain a prisoner's cooperation, from the "friendly" approach, to good cop-bad cop routines, to the threat of long-term imprisonment. But some less-experienced interrogators came to rely on the method known in the military as "Fear Up Harsh," or what one soldier referred to as "the screaming technique."

Sergeant Loring, then 27, tried with limited success to wean those interrogators off that approach, which typically involved yelling and throwing chairs. Mr. Leahy said the sergeant "put the brakes on when certain approaches got out of hand." But he could also be dismissive of tactics he considered too soft, several soldiers told investigators, and gave some of the most aggressive interrogators wide latitude. (Efforts to locate Mr. Loring, who has left the military, were unsuccessful.)

"We sometimes developed a rapport with detainees, and Sergeant Loring would sit us down and remind us that these were evil people and talk about 9/11 and they weren't our friends and could not be trusted," Mr. Leahy said.

Specialist Damien M. Corsetti, a tall, bearded interrogator sometimes called "Monster" -he had the nickname tattooed in Italian across his stomach, other soldiers said - was often chosen to intimidate new detainees. Specialist Corsetti, they said, would glower and yell at the arrivals as they stood chained to an overhead pole or lay face down on the floor of a holding room. (A military police K-9 unit often brought growling dogs to walk among the new prisoners for similar effect, documents show.)

"The other interrogators would use his reputation," said one interrogator, Specialist Eric H. Barclais. "They would tell the detainee, 'If you don't cooperate, we'll have to get Monster, and he won't be as nice.' " Another soldier told investigators that Sergeant Loring lightheartedly referred to Specialist Corsetti, then 23, as "the King of Torture."

A Saudi detainee who was interviewed by Army investigators last June at Guantánamo said Specialist Corsetti had pulled out his penis during an interrogation at Bagram, held it against the prisoner's face and threatened to rape him, excerpts from the man's statement show.

Last fall, the investigators cited probable cause to charge Specialist Corsetti with assault, maltreatment of a prisoner and indecent acts in the incident; he has not been charged. At Abu Ghraib, he was also one of three members of the 519th who were fined and demoted for forcing an Iraqi woman to strip during questioning, another interrogator said. A spokesman at Fort Bragg said Specialist Corsetti would not comment.

In late August of 2002, the Bagram interrogators were joined by a new military police unit that was assigned to guard the detainees. The soldiers, mostly reservists from the 377th Military Police Company based in Cincinnati and Bloomington, Ind., were similarly unprepared for their mission, members of the unit said.

The company received basic lessons in handling prisoners at Fort Dix, N.J., and some police and corrections officers in its ranks provided further training. That instruction included an overview of "pressure-point control tactics" and notably the "common peroneal strike" - a potentially disabling blow to the side of the leg, just above the knee.

The M.P.'s said they were never told that peroneal strikes were not part of Army doctrine. Nor did most of them hear one of the former police officers tell a fellow soldier during the training that he would never use such strikes because they would "tear up" a prisoner's legs.

But once in Afghanistan, members of the 377th found that the usual rules did not seem to apply. The peroneal strike quickly became a basic weapon of the M.P. arsenal. "That was kind of like an accepted thing; you could knee somebody in the leg," former Sgt. Thomas V. Curtis told the investigators.

A few weeks into the company's tour, Specialist Jeremy M. Callaway overheard another guard boasting about having beaten a detainee who had spit on him. Specialist Callaway also told investigators that other soldiers had congratulated the guard "for not taking any" from a detainee.

One captain nicknamed members of the Third Platoon "the Testosterone Gang." Several were devout bodybuilders. Upon arriving in Afghanistan, a group of the soldiers decorated their tent with a Confederate flag, one soldier said.

Some of the same M.P.'s took a particular interest in an emotionally disturbed Afghan detainee who was known to eat his feces and mutilate himself with concertina wire. The soldiers kneed the man repeatedly in the legs and, at one point, chained him with his arms straight up in the air, Specialist Callaway told investigators. They also nicknamed him "Timmy," after a disabled child in the animated television series "South Park." One of the guards who beat the prisoner also taught him to screech like the cartoon character, Specialist Callaway said.

Eventually, the man was sent home.

The Defiant Detainee

The detainee known as Person Under Control No. 412 was a portly, well-groomed Afghan named Habibullah. Some American officials identified him as "Mullah" Habibullah, a brother of a former Taliban commander from the southern Afghan province of Oruzgan.

He stood out from the scraggly guerrillas and villagers whom the Bagram interrogators typically saw. "He had a piercing gaze and was very confident," the provost marshal in charge of the M.P.'s, Maj. Bobby R. Atwell, recalled.

Documents from the investigation suggest that Mr. Habibullah was captured by an Afghan warlord on Nov. 28, 2002, and delivered to Bagram by C.I.A. operatives two days later. His well-being at that point is a matter of dispute. The doctor who examined him on arrival at Bagram reported him in good health. But the intelligence operations chief, Lt. Col. John W. Loffert Jr., later told Army investigators, "He was already in bad condition when he arrived."

What is clear is that Mr. Habibullah was identified at Bagram as an important prisoner and an unusually sharp-tongued and insubordinate one.

One of the 377th's Third Platoon sergeants, Alan J. Driver Jr., told investigators that Mr. Habibullah rose up after a rectal examination and kneed him in the groin. The guard said he grabbed the prisoner by the head and yelled in his face. Mr. Habibullah then "became combative," Sergeant Driver said, and had to be subdued by three guards and led away in an armlock.

He was then confined in one of the 9-foot by 7-foot isolation cells, which the M.P. commander, Capt. Christopher M. Beiring, later described as a standard procedure. "There was a policy that detainees were hooded, shackled and isolated for at least the first 24 hours, sometimes 72 hours of captivity," he told investigators.

While the guards kept some prisoners awake by yelling or poking at them or banging on their cell doors, Mr. Habibullah was shackled by the wrists to the wire ceiling over his cell, soldiers said.

On his second day, Dec. 1, the prisoner was "uncooperative" again, this time with Specialist Willie V. Brand. The guard, who has since been charged with assault and other crimes, told investigators he had delivered three peroneal strikes in response. The next day, Specialist Brand said, he had to knee the prisoner again. Other blows followed.

A lawyer for Specialist Brand, John P. Galligan, said there was no criminal intent by his client to hurt any detainee. "At the time, my client was acting consistently with the standard operating procedure that was in place at the Bagram facility."

The communication between Mr. Habibullah and his jailers appears to have been almost exclusively physical. Despite repeated requests, the M.P.'s were assigned no interpreters of their own. Instead, they borrowed from the interrogators when they could and relied on prisoners who spoke even a little English to translate for them.

When the detainees were beaten or kicked for "noncompliance," one of the interpreters, Ali M. Baryalai said, it was often "because they have no idea what the M.P. is saying."

By the morning of Dec. 2, witnesses told the investigators, Mr. Habibullah was coughing and complaining of chest pains. He limped into the interrogation room in shackles, his right leg stiff and his right foot swollen. The lead interrogator, Sergeant Leahy, let him sit on the floor because he could not bend his knees and sit in a chair.

The interpreter who was on hand, Ebrahim Baerde, said the interrogators had kept their distance that day "because he was spitting up a lot of phlegm."

"They were laughing and making fun of him, saying it was 'gross' or 'nasty,' " Mr. Baerde said.

Though battered, Mr. Habibullah was unbowed.

"Once they asked him if he wanted to spend the rest of his life in handcuffs," Mr. Baerde said. "His response was, 'Yes, don't they look good on me?' "

By Dec. 3, Mr. Habibullah's reputation for defiance seemed to make him an open target. One M.P. said he had given him five peroneal strikes for being "noncompliant and combative." Another gave him three or four more for being "combative and noncompliant." Some guards later asserted that he had been hurt trying to escape.

When Sgt. James P. Boland saw Mr. Habibullah on Dec. 3, he was in one of the isolation cells, tethered to the ceiling by two sets of handcuffs and a chain around his waist. His body was slumped forward, held up by the chains.

Sergeant Boland told the investigators he had entered the cell with two other guards, Specialists Anthony M. Morden and Brian E. Cammack. (All three have been charged with assault and other crimes.) One of them pulled off the prisoner's black hood. His head was slumped to one side, his tongue sticking out. Specialist Cammack said he had put some bread on Mr. Habibullah's tongue. Another soldier put an apple in the prisoner's hand; it fell to the floor.

When Specialist Cammack turned back toward the prisoner, he said in one statement, Mr. Habibullah's spit hit his chest. Later, Specialist Cammack acknowledged, "I'm not sure if he spit at me." But at the time, he exploded, yelling, "Don't ever spit on me again!" and kneeing the prisoner sharply in the thigh, "maybe a couple" of times. Mr. Habibullah's limp body swayed back and forth in the chains.

When Sergeant Boland returned to the cell some 20 minutes later, he said, Mr. Habibullah was not moving and had no pulse. Finally, the prisoner was unchained and laid out on the floor of his cell.

The guard who Specialist Cammack said had counseled him back in New Jersey about the dangers of peroneal strikes found him in the room where Mr. Habibullah lay, his body already cold.

"Specialist Cammack appeared very distraught," Specialist William Bohl told an investigator. The soldier "was running about the room hysterically."

An M.P. was sent to wake one of the medics.

"What are you getting me for?" the medic, Specialist Robert S. Melone, responded, telling him to call an ambulance instead.

When another medic finally arrived, he found Mr. Habibullah on the floor, his arms outstretched, his eyes and mouth open.

"It looked like he had been dead for a while, and it looked like nobody cared," the medic, Staff Sgt. Rodney D. Glass, recalled.

Not all of the guards were indifferent, their statements show. But if Mr. Habibullah's death shocked some of them, it did not lead to major changes in the detention center's operation.

Military police guards were assigned to be present during interrogations to help prevent mistreatment. The provost marshal, Major Atwell, told investigators he had already instructed the commander of the M.P. company, Captain Beiring, to stop chaining prisoners to the ceiling. Others said they never received such an order.

Senior officers later told investigators that they had been unaware of any serious abuses at the B.C.P. But the first sergeant of the 377th, Betty J. Jones, told investigators that the use of standing restraints, sleep deprivation and peroneal strikes was readily apparent.

"Everyone that is anyone went through the facility at one time or another," she said.

Major Atwell said the death "did not cause an enormous amount of concern 'cause it appeared natural."

In fact, Mr. Habibullah's autopsy, completed on Dec. 8, showed bruises or abrasions on his chest, arms and head. There were deep contusions on his calves, knees and thighs. His left calf was marked by what appeared to have been the sole of a boot.

His death was attributed to a blood clot, probably caused by the severe injuries to his legs, which traveled to his heart and blocked the blood flow to his lungs.

The Shy Detainee

On Dec. 5, one day after Mr. Habibullah died, Mr. Dilawar arrived at Bagram.

Four days before, on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr, Mr. Dilawar set out from his tiny village of Yakubi in a prized new possession, a used Toyota sedan that his family bought for him a few weeks earlier to drive as a taxi.

Mr. Dilawar was not an adventurous man. He rarely went far from the stone farmhouse he shared with his wife, young daughter and extended family. He never attended school, relatives said, and had only one friend, Bacha Khel, with whom he would sit in the wheat fields surrounding the village and talk.

"He was a shy man, a very simple man," his eldest brother, Shahpoor, said in an interview.

On the day he disappeared, Mr. Dilawar's mother had asked him to gather his three sisters from their nearby villages and bring them home for the holiday. But he needed gas money and decided instead to drive to the provincial capital, Khost, about 45 minutes away, to look for fares.

At a taxi stand there, he found three men headed back toward Yakubi. On the way, they passed a base used by American troops, Camp Salerno, which had been the target of a rocket attack that morning.

Militiamen loyal to the guerrilla commander guarding the base, Jan Baz Khan, stopped the Toyota at a checkpoint. They confiscated a broken walkie-talkie from one of Mr. Dilawar's passengers. In the trunk, they found an electric stabilizer used to regulate current from a generator. (Mr. Dilawar's family said the stabilizer was not theirs; at the time, they said, they had no electricity at all.)

The four men were detained and turned over to American soldiers at the base as suspects in the attack. Mr. Dilawar and his passengers spent their first night there handcuffed to a fence, so they would be unable to sleep. When a doctor examined them the next morning, he said later, he found Mr. Dilawar tired and suffering from headaches but otherwise fine.

Mr. Dilawar's three passengers were eventually flown to Guantánamo and held for more than a year before being sent home without charge. In interviews after their release, the men described their treatment at Bagram as far worse than at Guantánamo. While all of them said they had been beaten, they complained most bitterly of being stripped naked in front of female soldiers for showers and medical examinations, which they said included the first of several painful and humiliating rectal exams.

"They did lots and lots of bad things to me," said Abdur Rahim, a 26-year-old baker from Khost. "I was shouting and crying, and no one was listening. When I was shouting, the soldiers were slamming my head against the desk."

For Mr. Dilawar, his fellow prisoners said, the most difficult thing seemed to be the black cloth hood that was pulled over his head. "He could not breathe," said a man called Parkhudin, who had been one of Mr. Dilawar's passengers.

Mr. Dilawar was a frail man, standing only 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 122 pounds. But at Bagram, he was quickly labeled one of the "noncompliant" ones.

When one of the First Platoon M.P.'s, Specialist Corey E. Jones, was sent to Mr. Dilawar's cell to give him some water, he said the prisoner spit in his face and started kicking him. Specialist Jones responded, he said, with a couple of knee strikes to the leg of the shackled man.

"He screamed out, 'Allah! Allah! Allah!' and my first reaction was that he was crying out to his god," Specialist Jones said to investigators. "Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny."

Other Third Platoon M.P.'s later came by the detention center and stopped at the isolation cells to see for themselves, Specialist Jones said.

It became a kind of running joke, and people kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out 'Allah,' " he said. "It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes."

In a subsequent statement, Specialist Jones was vague about which M.P.'s had delivered the blows. His estimate was never confirmed, but other guards eventually admitted striking Mr. Dilawar repeatedly.

Many M.P.'s would eventually deny that they had any idea of Mr. Dilawar's injuries, explaining that they never saw his legs beneath his jumpsuit. But Specialist Jones recalled that the drawstring pants of Mr. Dilawar's orange prison suit fell down again and again while he was shackled.

"I saw the bruise because his pants kept falling down while he was in standing restraints," the soldier told investigators. "Over a certain time period, I noticed it was the size of a fist."

As Mr. Dilawar grew desperate, he began crying out more loudly to be released. But even the interpreters had trouble understanding his Pashto dialect; the annoyed guards heard only noise.

"He had constantly been screaming, 'Release me; I don't want to be here,' and things like that," said the one linguist who could decipher his distress, Abdul Ahad Wardak.

The Interrogation

On Dec. 8, Mr. Dilawar was taken for his fourth interrogation. It quickly turned hostile.

The 21-year-old lead interrogator, Specialist Glendale C. Walls II, later contended that Mr. Dilawar was evasive. "Some holes came up, and we wanted him to answer us truthfully," he said. The other interrogator, Sergeant Salcedo, complained that the prisoner was smiling, not answering questions, and refusing to stay kneeling on the ground or sitting against the wall.

The interpreter who was present, Ahmad Ahmadzai, recalled the encounter differently to investigators.

The interrogators, Mr. Ahmadzai said, accused Mr. Dilawar of launching the rockets that had hit the American base. He denied that. While kneeling on the ground, he was unable to hold his cuffed hands above his head as instructed, prompting Sergeant Salcedo to slap them back up whenever they began to drop.

"Selena berated him for being weak and questioned him about being a man, which was very insulting because of his heritage," Mr. Ahmadzai said.

When Mr. Dilawar was unable to sit in the chair position against the wall because of his battered legs, the two interrogators grabbed him by the shirt and repeatedly shoved him back against the wall.

"This went on for 10 or 15 minutes," the interpreter said. "He was so tired he couldn't get up."

"They stood him up, and at one point Selena stepped on his bare foot with her boot and grabbed him by his beard and pulled him towards her," he went on. "Once Selena kicked Dilawar in the groin, private areas, with her right foot. She was standing some distance from him, and she stepped back and kicked him.

"About the first 10 minutes, I think, they were actually questioning him, after that it was pushing, shoving, kicking and shouting at him," Mr. Ahmadzai said. "There was no interrogation going on."

The session ended, he said, with Sergeant Salcedo instructing the M.P.'s to keep Mr. Dilawar chained to the ceiling until the next shift came on.

The next morning, Mr. Dilawar began yelling again. At around noon, the M.P.'s called over another of the interpreters, Mr. Baerde, to try to quiet Mr. Dilawar down.

"I told him, 'Look, please, if you want to be able to sit down and be released from shackles, you just need to be quiet for one more hour."

"He told me that if he was in shackles another hour, he would die," Mr. Baerde said.

Half an hour later, Mr. Baerde returned to the cell. Mr. Dilawar's hands hung limply from the cuffs, and his head, covered by the black hood, slumped forward.

"He wanted me to get a doctor, and said that he needed 'a shot,' " Mr. Baerde recalled. "He said that he didn't feel good. He said that his legs were hurting."

Mr. Baerde translated Mr. Dilawar's plea to one of the guards. The soldier took the prisoner's hand and pressed down on his fingernails to check his circulation.

"He's O.K.," Mr. Baerde quoted the M.P. as saying. "He's just trying to get out of his restraints."

By the time Mr. Dilawar was brought in for his final interrogation in the first hours of the next day, Dec. 10, he appeared exhausted and was babbling that his wife had died. He also told the interrogators that he had been beaten by the guards.

"But we didn't pursue that," said Mr. Baryalai, the interpreter.

Specialist Walls was again the lead interrogator. But his more aggressive partner, Specialist Claus, quickly took over, Mr. Baryalai said.

"Josh had a rule that the detainee had to look at him, not me," the interpreter told investigators. "He gave him three chances, and then he grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him towards him, across the table, slamming his chest into the table front."

When Mr. Dilawar was unable to kneel, the interpreter said, the interrogators pulled him to his feet and pushed him against the wall. Told to assume a stress position, the prisoner leaned his head against the wall and began to fall asleep.

"It looked to me like Dilawar was trying to cooperate, but he couldn't physically perform the tasks," Mr. Baryalai said.

Finally, Specialist Walls grabbed the prisoner and "shook him harshly," the interpreter said, telling him that if he failed to cooperate, he would be shipped to a prison in the United States, where he would be "treated like a woman, by the other men" and face the wrath of criminals who "would be very angry with anyone involved in the 9/11 attacks." (Specialist Walls was charged last week with assault, maltreatment and failure to obey a lawful order; Specialist Claus was charged with assault, maltreatment and lying to investigators. Each man declined to comment.)

A third military intelligence specialist who spoke some Pashto, Staff Sgt. W. Christopher Yonushonis, had questioned Mr. Dilawar earlier and had arranged with Specialist Claus to take over when he was done. Instead, the sergeant arrived at the interrogation room to find a large puddle of water on the floor, a wet spot on Mr. Dilawar's shirt and Specialist Claus standing behind the detainee, twisting up the back of the hood that covered the prisoner's head.

"I had the impression that Josh was actually holding the detainee upright by pulling on the hood," he said. "I was furious at this point because I had seen Josh tighten the hood of another detainee the week before. This behavior seemed completely gratuitous and unrelated to intelligence collection."

"What the hell happened with that water?" Sergeant Yonushonis said he had demanded.

"We had to make sure he stayed hydrated," he said Specialist Claus had responded.

The next morning, Sergeant Yonushonis went to the noncommissioned officer in charge of the interrogators, Sergeant Loring, to report the incident. Mr. Dilawar, however, was already dead.

The Post-Mortem

The findings of Mr. Dilawar's autopsy were succinct. He had had some coronary artery disease, the medical examiner reported, but what caused his heart to fail was "blunt force injuries to the lower extremities." Similar injuries contributed to Mr. Habibullah's death.

One of the coroners later translated the assessment at a pre-trial hearing for Specialist Brand, saying the tissue in the young man's legs "had basically been pulpified."

"I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus," added Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the coroner, and a major at that time.

After the second death, several of the 519th Battalion's interrogators were temporarily removed from their posts. A medic was assigned to the detention center to work night shifts. On orders from the Bagram intelligence chief, interrogators were prohibited from any physical contact with the detainees. Chaining prisoners to any fixed object was also banned, and the use of stress positions was curtailed.

In February, an American military official disclosed that the Afghan guerrilla commander whose men had arrested Mr. Dilawar and his passengers had himself been detained. The commander, Jan Baz Khan, was suspected of attacking Camp Salerno himself and then turning over innocent "suspects" to the Americans in a ploy to win their trust, the military official said.

The three passengers in Mr. Dilawar's taxi were sent home from Guantánamo in March 2004, 15 months after their capture, with letters saying they posed "no threat" to American forces.

They were later visited by Mr. Dilawar's parents, who begged them to explain what had happened to their son. But the men said they could not bring themselves to recount the details.

"I told them he had a bed," said Mr. Parkhudin. "I said the Americans were very nice because he had a heart problem."

In late August of last year, shortly before the Army completed its inquiry into the deaths, Sergeant Yonushonis, who was stationed in Germany, went at his own initiative to see an agent of the Criminal Investigation Command. Until then, he had never been interviewed.

"I expected to be contacted at some point by investigators in this case," he said. "I was living a few doors down from the interrogation room, and I had been one of the last to see this detainee alive."

Sergeant Yonushonis described what he had witnessed of the detainee's last interrogation. "I remember being so mad that I had trouble speaking," he said.

He also added a detail that had been overlooked in the investigative file. By the time Mr. Dilawar was taken into his final interrogations, he said, "most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent."

Ruhallah Khapalwak, Carlotta Gall and David Rohde contributed reporting for this article, and Alain Delaqueriere assisted with research.


UK to Control the Temperature of Bath Water :.

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

Under plans to be decided in detail with industry leaders this week, the Government is preparing to control the maximum temperature of Britain's baths.

Regulations will require that devices limiting the temperature of water available from bath taps be fitted in all new homes. The law, which the Government says is "essential" to prevent scalding, is expected to take effect in 2006.

The measures brought criticism from both the Conservatives, who spoke of "nanny state interference", and plumbers, who called the plan "bathwatergate".

U.S. Military Killing Journalists in Iraq :.

Not exactly shocking news, but...

Linda Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild (TNG), made the comments during a seminar at the National Conference on Media Reform held this past weekend in St. Louis, Mo. Her comments were videotaped on May 13 and are available on the website that was used to advertise The National Conference for Media Reform.

Journalists, she said, "are not just being targeted verbally or politically. They're also being targeted for real in places like Iraq, and what outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq." Foley added.

Foley called the U.S. military's treatment of journalists "a scandal."

"It's not just U.S. journalists either, by the way," she continued. "They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries and news services like Al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity.

"This is all part of a culture that it's OK to blame the individual journalist, and it just takes the heat off these media conglomerates that are actually the heart of the problem," she noted.

Give Your DVD Player the Finger :.

HAHA! Tell me another one!

At the store, someone buying a new DVD would have to provide a password or some kind of biometric data, like a fingerprint or iris scan, which would be added to the DVD's RFID tag.

Then, when the DVD was popped into a specially equipped DVD player, the viewer would be required to re-enter his or her password or fingerprint. The system would require consumers to buy new DVD players with RFID readers.


Neuromarketing: Peeking Inside the Black Box :.

Neuromarketing is the application of the techniques of neuroscience to marketing stimuli---in layman's terms, to see how the brain "lights up" when exposed to our marketing efforts.

L.A. County Jail Tags Inmates with RFID :.

The next fashion accessory for some inmates at the Los Angeles County jail will be a radio frequency identification bracelet.

The country's largest jail system has launched a pilot project with Alanco Technologies to track inmates using the technology, also known as RFID.

The first phase will involve setting up an RFID system in the 1,800-inmate east facility of the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, Calif., by fall 2005. If it succeeds, and funding can be obtained, the county will spread the system throughout its prison facilities.

New Buoys Convert the Ocean's Energy Into Electricity :.

Whether witnessed as destructive waves, gently rolling swells or mesmerizing rhythms along the shoreline, the sea's energy is immense. In fact, experts estimate that just 0.2 percent of it - in the form of waves, tides, salinity and more - could power the entire world. Although the technology is 15-20 years behind that of wind energy, ocean power is a promising, clean energy source that is more predictable, available and energy-dense than wind is.

Ocean-buoy generators....promise to convert the movement of waves into energy. Voltage is induced when waves cause coils located inside the buoy to move relative to the magnetic field of the anchored shaft. This process generates electricity.

Cheney and Cattle Mutilation :.

It's a coincidence... Just make sure you forget about Cheney's shotgun rampage before you read this story:

Here's something I didn't know until recently: Dick Cheney visited Roswell, New Mexico on October 24, 2000. A few days before, there was this local story:

Mysterious Mass Death of Cattle in New Mexico

Twenty-four cattle were found dead under mysterious circumstances in Roswell, New Mexico on Thursday morning, October 19, 2000.

U.S. Economy Shell Game Winding Down :.

The March inflows fell well short of the $70-billion economists polled by Bloomberg had expected. Moreover, it is below the $65-billion to $75-billion that is needed to cover the U.S. current account deficit and outflows of foreign direct investment, according to a report by Adam Cole, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in London.

Overseas central banks were net sellers of U.S. assets for the first time since September 2002, he wrote. March's selling of U.S. dollar-denominated assets by official holders was the largest since August 1998, he said.

Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Weapons Programs :.

I'm working my ass off, trying to save up enough money to buy a few acres of land with a modest dwelling, and madmen are sorting out the details of how to spend my tax money on space based weapon systems. Tell me another one:

"We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space," Pete Teets, who stepped down last month as the acting secretary of the Air Force, told a space warfare symposium last year. "Nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities."


U.S. Scientists Want to Genetically Modify Smallpox Virus :.

US scientists are awaiting World Health Assembly approval to begin experiments to genetically modify the smallpox virus, one of the most lethal organisms the planet has known.

Researchers have already been given the go-ahead by a technical committee of the World Health Organisation, which accepts the argument that the research could bring new vaccines and treatments for smallpox closer. This week the debate will pass for a final decision to the floor of the full assembly of the WHO, whose representatives from 192 member states begin a 10-day annual meeting in Geneva today.


The Echoes of Ho Chi Minh in Iraq :.

"You can kill 10 of my men for every one I kill of yours, yet even at those odds, you will lose and I will win."

---Ho Chi Minh
More than 125 insurgents and nine U.S. Marines were killed in Operation Matador, a weeklong hunt for insurgents along the Syrian border that ended Saturday, the U.S. military said.


Farmers Affected by High Cost of Fuel :.

The Central Valley of California has become a wasteland due to industrialized agriculture. The collapse of this form of deranged, toxic food production couldn't happen fast enough:

The farmers who grow many of the fresh fruit and vegetables for the nation's dinner tables say the rising cost of oil is making this one of their toughest planting seasons yet.

And some say the cost just might shove them out of business.

Drivers nationwide have had to pay more as political volatility and increased demand worldwide push up gas prices, said Ron Planting, an economist with the American Petroleum Institute. A barrel of crude oil sells for as much as $55, up from $35 this time last year.

But farmers are caught in a "three-way whammy," said Keith Nilmeier, who just finished harvesting his 185 acres of oranges outside Fresno. He cites the costs of the diesel that runs farming equipment, the fertilizer made by combining nitrogen with the hydrogen in natural gas, and the transportation of crops to the local supermarket.

U.S. Soldiers and Police Caught Smuggling Cocaine :.

Sixteen U.S. soldiers and law enforcement officers in Arizona agreed to plead guilty on Thursday to taking more than $220,000 in bribes to smuggle cocaine from Mexico to major cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The guilty pleas announced by federal prosecutors and the FBI came after a sting operation in which undercover FBI agents posed as drug dealers and solicited help from members of the Arizona Army National Guard, local police, prison guards and a border inspector.

Prosecutors said the defendants used government vehicles and used their authority to prevent police and border searches that could have threatened what they believed to be a major cocaine smuggling operation.

The defendants agreed to plead guilty to having transported more than 560 kilograms (1,200 pounds) of cocaine as part of an undercover FBI operation that began in 2001.

In August 2002, several defendants drove two Army Humvees to a secret desert airstrip and unloaded about 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of cocaine from a plane flown by undercover FBI agents.

They then drove the shipment to a resort hotel in Phoenix where they were paid off by another agent posing as a drug kingpin, prosecutors said.

In another instance, one of the defendants working as a border inspector in Nogales, Arizona, waved a truck he thought was carrying cocaine through the border without an inspection, prosecutors said.

The defendants, who have agreed to cooperate with investigators, were expected to enter their pleas in federal court in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday afternoon.

Each faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


U.S. Army Offers Shorter Enlistment to Recruits :.

The U.S. Army will allow recruits to sign up for just 15 months of active-duty service, rather than the typical four-year enlistment, as it struggles to lure new soldiers amid the Iraq war, a general said on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Michael Rochelle, U.S. Army Recruiting Command head, also said this was "the toughest recruiting climate ever faced by the all-volunteer Army," with the war causing concern among potential recruits and their families and the economy offering civilian job prospects.

Iraq: U.S. Marine Squad Wiped Out :.

In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be.

Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here said. All told, the 1st Platoon -- which Hurley commands -- had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force.

"They used to call it Lucky Lima," said Maj. Steve Lawson, commander of the company. "That turned around and bit us."


Real ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0 :.

Write your Senator... Uh...

Up to 5% of Farmed Salmon Deformed :.

Just have a clone burger instead!

Up to five percent of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world's top producer Norway suffer deformities perhaps linked to growing too fast or pollution, a scientist said on Tuesday.

Deformities -- often a curved spine because young farmed fishes' flesh can grow too fast for their skeletons -- also affect fish in other nations and other farmed species like rainbow trout or sea bream in pens from Norway to Chile.

Real Wages Fall at Fastest Rate in 14 Years :.

Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years, according to data surveyed by the Financial Times.

Inflation rose 3.1 per cent in the year to March but salaries climbed just 2.4 per cent, according to the Employment Cost Index. In the final three months of 2004, real wages fell by 0.9 per cent.

The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991, when real wages declined by 1.1 per cent.

Stingy pay rises mean many Americans will have to work longer hours to keep up with the cost of living, and they could ultimately undermine consumer spending and economic growth.

Many economists believe that in spite of the unexpectedly large rise in job creation of 274,000 in April, the uneven revival in the labour market since the 2001 recession has made it hard for workers to negotiate real improvements in living standards.

Six Bodies Found at Rural Ranch Home After 911 Call :.

I wonder if Jeff will do a write-up on this one... His recent essay, Babyland, might be worth keeping in mind as you read today's news.

The full text from the Los Angeles Times follows:

Six people were found shot to death today in rural Riverside County at the home of an investigator for the county's district attorney, authorities said.

A handgun was found near the body of David McGowan, police said. The five other victims, including three children, all members of his family, were found shot in the head in their beds.

"Mr. McGowan was found downstairs, along with the three juveniles," said Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle this afternoon.

"The two women were found upstairs. All but Mr. McGowan were found in their beds. Their beds were undisturbed. The house was undisturbed," Doyle said. "There did not appear to be any forced entry in the home. There were no signs of a struggle whatsoever."

Authorities did not identify the two dead women at a midafternoon press conference. Doyle said the three children were a boy, age 14, and two girls, ages 8 and 10.

"There was a handgun that was found in close proximity to Mr. McGowan," Doyle said.

McGowan had worked for the district attorney for five years.

McGowan and Karen McGowan are listed as the owners of the home, which is in Garner Valley near Lake Hemet.

Doyle refused to speculate on what had occurred, but he did assure residents that no one is being sought in connection with the deaths.

"It could be a homicide, or it could be a homicide-suicide," Doyle said. "For now, we are handling it as a homicide."

He said there was "nothing to indicate" that the slayings were retribution connected to McGowan's work as a deputy district attorney investigator for five years or to his stints as a policeman in Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs.

"We are trying to find next of kin to validate this situation," Doyle said. "We want to interview anyone and everyone who knows this family to put the puzzle together. There's a lot to process with multiple deaths. We're going to be real methodical, and we don't want to miss anything."

Marianne Shumway, a neighbor who lives about a half mile away, said she is familiar with the McGowan family,

"She was a very busy person," Shumway said of Karen McGowan. "She had a lot to do with her horses and activities she was into."

"She was very work-oriented. They were a very private family."

Shumway said the family includes two McGowan teenagers who live with the family, and an older son in the military.

The county's top prosecutor, Dist. Atty. Grover Trask, canceled an appointment in San Diego to respond to the emergency, according to his office.

Investigators are exploring the possibility that the deaths were the result of gunfire connected to a domestic dispute, a source said.

The Riverside County Fire Department received an emergency call from someone at the ranch home, on Devil Ladder Road near Lake Hemet, at 4:43 a.m.

At nearby Lake Hemet Market, clerk Sasha John, 23, said, "We're all in shock. It's pretty bad. People have been coming all day, and we've been getting lots of calls."

Bilderberg on CNN :.

Why not?

Man, I remember, just a few years ago, I'd tell people about Bilderberg and some of them would say, "Bullsh*t! You're making it all up!"

* yawn *

New Mexico Plays Home To Terror Town, U.S.A. :.

I wonder if designated free speech zones are allowed?

With its pristine Spanish-style houses and flowering gardens, this remote town seems an unlikely place to be the most dangerous spot in the United States. But for the past six months it has been under siege by terrorists.

First, a man took some hostages and holed up inside No. 1 Mesquite St., threatening to blow up the place. A SWAT team had to shoot its way inside and take him out. Then came the discovery of a pipe-bomb factory in a neighbor's kitchen, and an explosion on a bus in which eight were killed or wounded. The attacks are simulations, part of a national training program for emergency personnel such as police, paramedics and border patrol officers. For the roughly 20 families who live in this government-contracted town and the several dozen others who live on the outskirts, however, the events are sometimes almost too real.

"It feels like I'm in war," said Trent Johnson, 17, who was born and raised here. Helicopters fly overhead in the middle of the night. Sometimes while he is going to school or running errands he and his parents must make their way past a maze of ambulances, fire engines and Humvees. "It's kind of freaky to see people in uniform walking down your street with M-4s."

Mercifully, evidence of the attacks does not last long. After each crisis, a cleanup crew arrives, quietly sweeping up shattered glass, replacing smashed doors, patching cracked walls. Their job is to rewind the clock, returning the town to the way it was before the attack, as if nothing had happened.

Next come a few quiet days, sometimes a few quiet weeks. Then the attacks begin all over again.

Internet Attack Called Broad and Long Lasting by Investigators :.

How this show is up at all is the major miracle... Not the fact that a teenager potentially ripped off the source code for the "big irons" that run the Internet:

The incident seemed alarming enough: a breach of a Cisco Systems network in which an intruder seized programming instructions for many of the computers that control the flow of the Internet.

Now federal officials and computer security investigators have acknowledged that the Cisco break-in last year was only part of a more extensive operation - involving a single intruder or a small band, apparently based in Europe - in which thousands of computer systems were similarly penetrated.

Investigators in the United States and Europe say they have spent almost a year pursuing the case involving attacks on computer systems serving the American military, NASA and research laboratories.

The break-ins exploited security holes on those systems that the authorities say have now been plugged, and beyond the Cisco theft, it is not clear how much data was taken or destroyed. Still, the case illustrates the ease with which Internet-connected computers - even those of sophisticated corporate and government networks - can be penetrated, and also the difficulty in tracing those responsible.

Related: Cisco Systems IOS Source Code Stolen

Research Credit: ME


California to Ban Hunting Over Internet :.

But hunting Iraqis with the SWORDS terminator robot is just fine for the U.S. military:

Wildlife regulators took the first step Tuesday to bar hunters from using the Internet to shoot animals, responding to a Texas Web site that planned to let users fire at real game with the click of a mouse.

Off Topic: Make Your Own Pruno :.

This is dark, man, really dark... And funny in some unexplainable way. If you laugh during certain scenes in Apocalypse Now, or when you see President Bush giving a live press conference, you're the kind of person who will get a kick out of this:

By most accounts, pruno isn't something a normal human would want to drink, so potent that two gallons is said to be "a virtual liquor store," enough to get a dozen people mindblowingly wasted. And while it tastes so putrid that even hardened prisoners gulp it down while holding their noses, they'll go to incredible lengths to make it, whipping up batches from frosting, yams, raisins and damn near everything.

Research Credit: EG


Computers Now Grading Students' Writing :.

Student essays always seem to be riddled with the same sorts of flaws. So sociology professor Ed Brent decided to hand the work off - to a computer.

Students in Brent's Introduction to Sociology course at the University of Missouri-Columbia now submit drafts through the SAGrader software he designed. It counts the number of points he wanted his students to include and analyzes how well concepts are explained.

And within seconds, students have a score.


U.S. to Spend Billions More to Alter Security Systems :.


After spending more than $4.5 billion on screening devices to monitor the nation's ports, borders, airports, mail and air, the federal government is moving to replace or alter much of the antiterrorism equipment, concluding that it is ineffective, unreliable or too expensive to operate.

Many of the monitoring tools - intended to detect guns, explosives, and nuclear and biological weapons - were bought during the blitz in security spending after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In its effort to create a virtual shield around America, the Department of Homeland Security now plans to spend billions of dollars more. Although some changes are being made because of technology that has emerged in the last couple of years, many of them are planned because devices currently in use have done little to improve the nation's security, according to a review of agency documents and interviews with federal officials and outside experts.

"Everyone was standing in line with their silver bullets to make us more secure after Sept. 11," said Randall J. Larsen, a retired Air Force colonel and former government adviser on scientific issues. "We bought a lot of stuff off the shelf that wasn't effective."


Driver's License = National ID Card :.

Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.



.gov bailout. Wait for it:

Standard & Poor's, in a double whammy hitting the heart of American industry, cut General Motors and Ford debt ratings to "junk" Thursday.

S&P pinned its decision on a combination of flagging product lines, crushing overheads and intense overseas competition facing the nation's two carmakers.

Massive Fraud: Iraq Reconstruction Spending Triggers Criminal Investigation :.

This is a fly farting in the wind compared to the previous $2.3 trillion that went to money heaven. The corpament criminals that run these rackets thank you for paying your taxes on time:

Investigators have opened a criminal inquiry into millions of dollars missing in Iraq after auditors uncovered indications of fraud in nearly $100 million in reconstruction spending that could not be properly accounted for.

The money had been intended for rebuilding projects in south-central Iraq. But auditors with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that of $119.9 million allocated, $7.2 million could not be accounted for at all, and $89.4 million in reported spending could not be backed up with sufficient documentation, according to a report released yesterday.


NSA Analyst Dares to Question Authority, Sent to Motorpool :.

This is really weird. I like the furniture warehouse and motorpool bits. NSA furniture warehouse. Um, yep. How does NSA find workers for their "furniture" operations---when they're not being busted down from analyst positions!?

I can see it now. Help Wanted: Warehouse personnel, be able to lift 75 pounds, SCI clearance required:

Russ Tice, an intelligence analyst for the heavily secret National Security Agency, has announced that he was fired from his job earlier this week after he stood up to protest the way the agency harassed him. Tice was one of several intelligence agents who had joined former FBI translator Sibel Edmond's new group, the National Security Whistleblowers. He appeared at an April 28 press conference on Capitol Hill to describe how the NSA treats employees it doesn't like, specifically ones who dare to be critical.

Tice's security clearance was taken away and he was ordered out as of May 16. In the intelligence community, having your security clearance lifted is like being sent to Siberia.

"Until the [intelligence community] can no longer use security clearances as weapons of retaliation without any fear of any form of oversight, there will be no incentive for them to stop this outrageous practice," he said at last week's press conference.

His problems started when he asked the agency to look into the activities of an employee he thought might be engaged in espionage. Instead, the NSA called him in for an emergency psychological evaluation, one of the usual procedures in blackballing an employee. He was duly determined to be crazy and put on administrative leave. Tice was later assigned to unload furniture from trucks at a warehouse, where he hurt his back. He also served an eight-month tour of duty in the NSA motor pool, where the analyst worked at maintaining the agency's fleet of vehicles, gassing them up, cleaning them and checking the fluids, and driving NSA big shots around town.

Tice had done intelligence work for nearly 20 years with the Air Force, with Navy intelligence, and with the Defense Intelligence Agency, before landing at the NSA. He has conducted intelligence missions related to Kosovo, Afghanistan, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and the Iraq war. Most recently he was nominated for an award for outstanding service because of his work on Iraq. It has since been withdrawn, along with the security clearance.


Malaysia to Fingerprint All Newborn Babies :.

Police officers hope to store the information on a computer database to help catch criminals in the future.

They are proposing that all newborns should also have their palm prints and footprints recorded.

Rights groups have described the proposal as ill-conceived and accuse the police of wanting to treat all children as potential criminals.

'Improved detection rate'

Police hope that computer software could allow for the growth of baby hands and feet to adult proportions, and match marks found at crime scenes to innocent dabs given years before.

Officers believe the move would improve the force's detection rate, and they may ask for a change in the law to allow it.

Research Credit: JW

Microphones to Catch Noisy Neighbours :.

Noisy neighbours have become a scourge of modern life, resulting in stress, sleepless nights and even violence.

Now Westminster Council hopes a new wireless microphone could help tackle the problem.

It plans to attach the device to lamp posts outside houses, allowing inspectors to monitor sound levels.

That's No Slave Vessel - It's an Outsourcing Innovation :.

These guys could forget the slave ship concept, "offshore" these jobs to Eugene, Oregon and pay even less! I know someone in IT up there and they're treated like dirt and paid about the same:

The public reaction was predictable when word first got out of SeaCode Inc.'s proposal to house 600 foreign software engineers on a cruise ship moored three miles off the California coast, thus undercutting U.S. wage rates and circumventing local labor rules.

The veteran technology columnist John Dvorak described the vessel as a "slave ship." Other critics preferred the label "sweatshop." The words "exploitative" and "inhumane" caromed around the Web. The image that first leaped to my own rather more literary mind was of the floating prison hulks that housed the convict Abel Magwitch in "Great Expectations."

Roger Green tried to take the rhetoric philosophically. "We know we'll be a lightning rod," Green, 58, a co-founder and chief operating officer of the San Diego company, told me. "But my hope is we'll get our story out."

The story is SeaCode's plan to help clients overcome the drawbacks of outsourcing sophisticated engineering work overseas. The chief benefit of offshoring — the low pay scales in India and elsewhere — often is offset by the cost of flying executives out to monitor progress, the time difference (you have to be awake at 10:30 p.m. in California to reach India at noon) and the doubtful security of intellectual property abroad.

When a mutual friend hooked up Green, a manager of corporate software projects, with David Cook, 42, a former tanker captain who had moved into the information technology business, their complementary skills suggested a way to bring low-cost offshore labor near to hand. (The mutual friend, Joe Conway, is SeaCode's third co-founder.)

For all the skepticism that has greeted this proposal, it hardly sounds like the launch of a slave ship. SeaCode says it will pay two to three times the going rate for foreign IT workers, which works out to as much as $24,000 for lower-level jobs and $60,000 for senior programmers. They'll work in two shifts of 12 hours each, spending four months on board and two months off, with flights home provided by contract. Assuming they're cleared by immigration authorities, they'll be able to take shore leave whenever they're off duty.

Sony Robot Attending Nursery School in California :.

Kids, meet your master:

Sony's Qrio, a humanoid robot, has been attending a Californian nursery school for the past three months where it plays with young children in a test designed to see if robots can "live in harmony with humans in the future." The robot is accompanied to its classes by a researcher.

Research Credit: SA

E-Cobra Electric Motorcycle :.

WOW! Too bad it costs about $4000 too much. Must see:

The E-Cobra is Global Hybrid's latest addition to its Lithium lineup. Reaching speeds of up to 60 MPH with a range of up to 120 miles, this lightweight electric motorcycle performs exceptionally well and is ideal for the rental market, or for personal transportation in urban areas.


Mission Accomplished. Really. :.

It's been two years since the photo-op that defined the Homeland's "War President." How's the accomplishment coming along?

U.S. in Race to Unlock New Energy Source :.

Dr. Strangelove, energy style?

More than a mile below the choppy Gulf of Mexico waters lies a vast, untapped source of energy. Locked in mysterious crystals, the sediment beneath the seabed holds enough natural gas to fuel America's energy-guzzling society for decades, or to bring about sufficient climate change to melt the planet's glaciers and cause catastrophic flooding, depending on whom you talk to.

No prizes for guessing the US government's preferred line. This week it will dispatch a drilling vessel to the region, on a mission to bring this virtually inexhaustible new supply of fossil fuel to power stations within a decade.

Unborn Baby Ornament - U.S. Troop Model :.

Brutal satire works for me. If you find this offensive, you haven't spent enough time familiarizing yourself with recent U.S. atrocities:

Protect our troops - from the womb to the war. What if the fetus you were going to abort would grow up to be a soldier bringing democracy to a godless dictatorship?

Plastic replica of an 11-12 week old fetus, 3" long, holding a firearm in its precious little hand, with an assortment of other military paraphernalia, encased in a translucent plastic ornament, with a patriotic yellow ribbon on top. Includes a metal ornament hanger. If only a womb were this safe, attractive and reasonably priced!

Show that you support the "culture of life" by buying and proudly displaying one of these patriotic unborn Americans.

Also available in a "Brown" model.


Cryptogon Reader Contributes $50

PT has contributed several times. His continuous and generous support is helping to keep Cryptogon open for all readers. Thanks again, PT.

Joseph Ratzinger and Niel Bush: Co-Founders of Swiss Religious Foundation :.

One has to wonder: Does The Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue contain a crypt, a dungeon or a portal?

All of the above, perhaps...

Be sure to check out the sources that are listed at the bottom of this astonishing Moscow Times article. This nexus makes Danny Casolaro's Octopus look like a walk in the park:

It seemed, at first, like nothing more than a novelty item in the news briefs, the kind of odd, meaningless side-fact thrown off by most major stories: "New Pope, President's Brother Had Link in Swiss Group." But a look beneath the surface of this innocuous connection reveals a vast web of sinister alliances -- and moral corruption on a world-shaking scale.

The network links a bewildering line-up of players -- the Bushes, the Vatican, bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and China's Communist overlords, among others -- in a staggering array of crime and turpitude: prostitution, pedophilia, mass death and war profiteering. Yet this is not some grand "conspiracy theory," a serpent's egg hatched in Bilderberg or Bohemian Grove. It's simply the way the Bush boys do business, trawling the globe for sweetheart deals and gushers of blood money from the war and terror they foment.

Research Credit: GH

Copy-and-Paste Reveals Classified U.S. Documents :.

Maybe. Maybe not. I'm posting it anyway. Make up your own mind.


:. Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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