Airlines and oil companies are working on plans to supply jet fuel to at least ten U.S. airports that could be shut down due to a lack of jet fuel caused by refinery and pipeline shutdowns from hurricane Katrina. The airports in most jeopardy for closure include Atlanta, Charlotte, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Washington Dulles and West Palm Beach.

Post Katrina Pictures :.

Some of these images are unbelievable.

Gas Shortages Impacting Now :.

Hopefully, theoildrum will keep this thread current. They have been a great resource for tactical information as this crisis has unfolded.

Research Credit:

Eight Refineries Shut Due to Storm :.

Roughly two million barrels of gasoline (per day) have been removed from the system:

Eight Gulf of Mexico refineries remain shut and one is operating at a reduced rate while damage from Hurricane Katrina continues to be assessed by oil and gas companies.

Access to some of the refineries is difficult. Conditions at those locations are as follows:

Baton Rouge, La. - At nearly 394,000 barrels a day, one of the gulf's largest refinery owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. is running at a reduced capacity.

Pascagoula, Miss. - Chevron Corp.'s 325,000 barrel a day refinery remains shut. The company says access to the refinery remains difficult.

Norco, La. - Valero Energy Corp.'s St. Charles refinery is not likely to resume its 260,000 barrel a day operations for up to two weeks.

Garyville, La. - Marathon Oil Corp.'s 245,000 barrel a day refinery remains shut. Access is limited.

Belle Chasse, La. - ConocoPhillips' Alliance refinery remains shut. Road closures have kept the company from fully assessing damage to the 255,000 barrel a day facility, viewed only by aircraft thus far.

Convent, La. -- Motiva Enterprises's 255,000 barrel a day facility sustained minimal damage. It remains shut.

Norco, La. - Access to Motiva Enterprises's 242,000 barrel a day refinery is limited. The plant is shut while damage is being assessed.

Chalmette, La. - Exxon Mobil has not been able to visit the 183,000 barrel a day refinery, which shut down on Sunday.

Meraux, La. - The 125,000 barrel a day facility by Murphy Oil Corp. remains shut down as access remains limited because of cloased roadways.

Gunmen Roaming New Orleans :.

In a state of nature, the power vacuum doesn't last long. Warlords emerge fairly quickly:

The top Homeland Security official in New Orleans said bands of gunmen are roaming through New Orleans.

Terry Ebbert said looters have been breaking into stores all over town to steal guns. The Times-Picayune newspaper reported the gun section at a new Wal-Mart has been cleaned out. And the thieves are apparently using their new guns, with shots heard through the night.


Jaw dropper:

At least 20 oil rigs and platforms are missing in the Gulf of Mexico and a ruptured gas pipeline is on fire after Hurricane Katrina tore through the region, a US Coast Guard official said.

"We have confirmed at least 20 rigs or platforms missing, either sunk or adrift, and one confirmed fire where a rig was," Petty Officer Robert Reed of the Louisiana Coast Guard told AFP.

All of the missing rigs were in the Gulf of Mexico, Reed said citing Coast Guard overflights of the area and information from oil companies.

Research Credit: RP

NOT CONFIRMED: Report from an Anonymous Insider :.

UPDATE: See story above.

Take it with a grain of salt. Take it any way you can:

I don't know how long companies can wait before they would have to disclose the loss of these assets. My guess is that they'll get long as the oil futures stabilize (on the release of oil from the SPR). That's when the "lost platform" talk will ramp up:

There are MANY production platforms missing (as in not visible from the air). This means they have been totally lost. I am talking about 10's of platforms, not single digit numbers.

Shell's Crown Jewel: The Destroyed Mars Oil Platform :.


Water and Food

Have extra water and food on hand, in that order.

I'm not saying that a gas crisis is a mathematical certainty, but I'm seeing gas running out in different parts of the U.S., lack of jet fuel causing the cancellation of flights, and reports of multiple oil platforms that have either been sunk or severely damaged.

The release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve might be able to ameliorate the situation for a while. The immediate question, however, is refining capacity. With virtually no excess capacity in the system before Katrina, where are we now? <--- Rhetorical question.

Just look at the Nymex gasoline futures contracts. Those blinking digits are going to profoundly affect all of our lives in the days and weeks ahead.

The comments of a White House economic adviser, Ben Bernanke, are what convinced me to tell all of you to consider making emergency preparations:
"As long as we find that the energy impact is only temporary and there's not permanent damage to the infrastructure, my guess is that the effects on the overall economy will be fairly modest."
Did you get that? If people like me know that there is substantial infrastructure damage, and that capacity was against the wall before Katrina, I would expect that Ben Bernanke knows the real score.

Water and food, in that order.


Gas shortages are beginning:

Gasoline futures rose as much as 13 percent, the biggest fluctuation of any commodity today, to a record for the third straight day after Hurricane Katrina shut oil refineries near the Gulf of Mexico, leading to fuel rationing across most of the U.S.

Refiners and wholesalers are restricting the amount of fuel retailers can buy. Gasoline and diesel supplies ran out yesterday at some wholesale terminals in parts of the Midwest, South and Southeast, Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, said yesterday.

"There's still some serious supply vulnerability to the whole system," said Andy Lebow, a broker with Man financial Inc. in New York.

Gasoline for September delivery rose 20.5 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $2.68 a gallon as of 10:43 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price reached a record $2.80 a gallon in earlier trading. Prices soared 20 percent yesterday, the biggest single-day increase since the contract began trading in 1984.


The impact of Hurricane Katrina on U.S. oil production and refinery capabilities may be worse than initial reports estimated and could lead to a national gas crisis in the short-term, analysts warned Tuesday.



In case you don't know what a state of nature looks like:

Mike Perlstein and Brian Thevenot wrote that at a Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, mass looting broke out after a giveaway of supplies was announced at that location. While some did indeed carry away food and essentials, others "cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and appliances on handtrucks. Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television.

"Throughout the store and parking lot, looters pushed carts and loaded trucks and vans alongside officers. One man said police directed him to Wal-Mart from Robert's Grocery, where a similar scene was taking place. A crowd in the electronics section said one officer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn't cut themselves.

"The police got all the best stuff. They're crookeder than us," one man said. Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of law breakers.


Martial Law has been declared in parts of New Orleans as conditions continued to deteriorate. Water levels in The Big Easy and it's suburbs are rising at dangerous levels and officials stated they don't know where the water is coming from. Residents are being urged to get out of New Orleans in any way they can as officials fear "life will be unsustainable" for days or even weeks.


Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its 220,000 barrel-a-day Mars platform, equivalent to 15 percent of total U.S. Gulf oil output, suffered damage.


* Hands shaking as I type this *

Oil is kissing $70 again.

Soy Ruled No Health Food :.

The Israeli Health Ministry recently issued a health advisory strongly recommending that soy foods be eaten only in moderation. They also recommended that soy formula be avoided altogether by infants.



At least eight Gulf Coast refineries in the path of Hurricane Katrina shut down or reduced operations by Monday, according to company and U.S. Department of Energy reports. The eight represent about 2.3 million barrels of daily refining capacity.


I'm following several unconfirmed reports on the status of the LOOP. Standby.

In the meantime:

The U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday it received early reports of oil platforms and rigs adrift in the storm's wake. Shell said that two of its oil drilling rigs under contract were adrift.

Xtreme Defense :.

This is an astonishing article. You MUST read this in its entirety. I'll post a local copy of it soon.

To sum up: Satan won the Battle of Good vs. Evil. He turned the U.S. into Jesus Land. Satan's minions, always fawning at the feet of evil, are climbing all over themselves in an attempt to see who can devise the most evil weapon systems for Uncle Sam's Satan's high level managers here in Jesus Land. Why work on anything that could actually benefit society when Uncle Satan's low hanging fruit is so simple to pluck?

You don't need suitcases full of cash and hookers to be an arms magnate in the U.S. anymore. If you can mumble nonsense about Jesus and have an evil enough idea, Uncle Satan will provide the funding to make all of your dreams come true!

What a country:

Lightning guns, heat rays, weapons that can make you hear the voice of God. This is what happens when the war on terror meets the entrepreneurial spirit.

Jellyfish Cause Shutdown of Swedish Nuclear Reactor :.

Believe it or not:

A Swedish nuclear power plant shut down one of its three reactors Monday because of an abnormal accumulation of jellyfish in the cooling system.

"When there are too many jellyfish in the cooling water, the flow is hindered and we have to clean it to keep the reactor going at full effect," plant spokesman Erik Mattsen said.

Operator OKG said there was no danger to the public. The reactor was to be restarted Tuesday.

The Oscarshamn plant supplies about 10 percent of the electricity used in Sweden.

Colonization Redux :.

A friend of mine started Check it out. And why don't more women write about these issues? Come on, Cryptogon girls! Fire it up!

why should we care about the color of lentils in liberia? do we really need all those silly heirloom tomatoes? we do. because the endpoint of this process is the destruction of the bare-bones ability to feed oneself, which, by the way, is not the same as having twelve flavors of ruffles to choose from.



With crude oil prices near record levels, a hurricane targeted the heart of America's oil and refinery operations Sunday, shutting down an estimated 1 million barrels of refining capacity and sharply curbing offshore production throughout the region.

Katrina, a Category 5 storm expected to strike New Orleans early Monday, was churning through the Gulf of Mexico. The area is crucial to the nation's energy infrastructure---offshore oil and gas production, import terminals, pipeline networks and numerous refining operations throughout southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

The impact was immediate Sunday night when electronic trading resumed on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as crude oil futures spiked $4.50 per barrel, putting the cost above $70 for the first time since oil began trading there in 1983.


The Machine is incredibly fragile:

Crude oil soared to a record $70.80 a barrel in New York after Hurricane Katrina moved into production regions of the Gulf of Mexico, forcing companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to shut operations.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it shut 420,000 barrels of daily oil production in the Gulf. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which handles about 11 percent of U.S. imports, closed Aug. 27. Katrina, with 165 mile-an-hour winds, is one of the most powerful storms ever to enter the Gulf, source of about 30 percent of U.S. oil production and 24 percent of the country's natural gas.

"Forecasters are saying Katrina could do more energy damage than any storm in recent years," Jason Schenker an economist with Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the start of trading. "It's not just that there's going to be outages for the next couple of days. With shutdowns and damage at platforms and refineries, the bullish impact could be felt for the rest of the year."

Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as $4.67, or 7 percent, to $70.80 a barrel in electronic after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $70.50 a barrel at 7:05 a.m. Singapore time.


Just Keep Cashing Out, Forever! :.

As they happily watch their houses swell in value, Americans are changing their attitudes toward mortgage debt. Increasingly, a home is no longer a nest egg whose equity should never be touched, but a seemingly magical ATM enabling the owner to live it up or just live.

Homeowners took $59 billion cash out of their houses in the second quarter, double the amount in the 2004 quarter and 16 times the average rate of the mid-1990s, according to data released this month by mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

If mortgage rates rise sharply or home prices fall, many homeowners could be in financial turmoil. They may be unable to service their loans, or even could find that their homes are worth less than their mortgages.


Greenspan: U.S. Heading for House Price Crash :.

WALL STREET shuddered yesterday after Alan Greenspan, the United States' central banker, warned American homebuyers that they risk a crash if they continue to drive property prices higher.

He said that the US house-price spiral had become an economic imbalance, threatening stability like the country's trade gap or its budget deficit.


Cryptogon Reader Contributes $10

Thanks KL!

Killing the Dollar in Iran :.

Weaned off the almighty commodity, the US dollar can have a deeper impact on the US economy than a direct nuclear attack by Iran. The permanent demand for dollar-denominated paper stems substantially from the fact that until now almost all resources of the world are quoted in it. While this led to the eurodollar (US dollar-denominated deposits at foreign banks or foreign branches of American banks) market in the 1970s, the new terms of trade could ring in the demise of the dollar as the premier reserve currency.

Rolling Blackouts Cut Power in California :.

Sweltering late-summer heat and the loss of key transmission lines Thursday forced power officials in Southern California to impose rolling blackouts, leaving as many as half a million people without power for an hour at a time, officials said.

Illegal Immigrants Down Helicopter by Throwing Rocks :.

The Machine is actually quite fragile, when you get right down to it:

Illegal immigrants threw rocks at a Border Patrol helicopter, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing when one of the rocks damaged the rotor, the agency said.

Neither the pilot nor the Border Patrol observer was injured.


Ahh, another free market triumph!

I thought we had until 2007 before the death rattle set in. Maybe not:

Hawaii has become the first state in the nation to set limits on gasoline prices.

Oh yeah, I saw a PHB in full costume (suit, tie, briefcase) riding a bike along the path today.

1,500 Paratroopers Deploying to Iraq :.

This is interesting. Why send 1,500 jumpers into Iraq? Why not send regular infantry? Paras are not usually tasked for counter-insurgency or stabalization operations. Hmmm.

Possible answer: This provides the Pentagon with an offensive air assault capability in the event that a rapid deployment into Iran or Saudi Arabia becomes necessary:

More troops are headed to Iraq, this time 1,500 paratroopers to temporarily boost military strength during the fall election, the Pentagon has announced.

Two battalions of the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy in mid-September from their home base of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The deployment will include the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (AIR) and the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR).

GM, Ford Motor Debt Ratings Cut to Junk :.

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the two biggest U.S. automakers, were lowered to junk by Moody's Investors Service following two quarters of losses at both companies' North American auto operations.


OIL: $67.40 $68 Afterhours Trading

I knew that scooter was going to be a cunning tactical investment.


Lockheed Martin to Saturate New Subway with Surveillance Systems :.

Officials unveiled the high-tech future of transit security in New York City today: an ambitious plan to saturate the subways with 1,000 video cameras and 3,000 motion sensors and to enable cellphone service in 277 underground stations - but not in moving cars - for the first time.

Pat Robertson: The Monster Behind the Jesus Mask :.

America, in case you haven't noticed, has become a place of strange perversity. A place in which Robertson can fantasize aloud, before an impressionable audience of millions, about smuggling a nuclear device into the US Department of State, without fear of disappearing into the gulag from which Jose Padilla may never emerge. (And what was it he did, again?)

Disaffected Goths telling each other vampire stories - that's not Satanism. And Satanists, worshipping without doing injury to innocents or the world - that's not True Evil, however delicious it is to them to pretend otherwise.

In a world gone upside-down and inside-out, we're all dancing on the ceiling now. Don't be taken in by the surface of things. You want to see True Evil? Chip away at the paint darkening the windows of America's Hosanna Churches. You want to see a Wicked Man? Look at the desolate eyes peering out from behind his Halloween mask of Jesus.

It was Sinclair Lewis, in It Can't Happen Here, who predicted "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." Luciferianism, ritual abuse, child sacrifice - Hell came in a similar fashion.

PSYOP: Pentagon Slogans On U.S. Military Gravestones :.

Unf*cking believable:

Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.

Housing Slowdown :.

U.S. previously owned home sales slowed in July and the number of houses for sale rose to a 17-year high, suggesting the real estate market is beginning to cool.

Second Officer Says 9/11 Leader Was Named Before Attacks :.

An active-duty Navy captain has become the second military officer to come forward publicly to say that a secret intelligence program tagged the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks as a possible terrorist more than a year before the attacks.

The officer, Scott J. Phillpott, said in a statement on Monday that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. "My story is consistent," said Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon's Special Operations Command. "Atta was identified by Able Danger by January-February of 2000."

His comments came on the same day that the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, told reporters that the Defense Department had been unable to validate the assertions made by an Army intelligence veteran, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and now backed up by Captain Phillpott, about the early identification of Mr. Atta.

Pentagon in Denial Over Able Danger Op :.

A Pentagon review has so far found no evidence that a secret intelligence operation identified Mohammad Atta as a member of a US-based Al-Qaeda cell before the September 11, 2001 attacks, a spokesman said.

Representative Curt Weldon and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer have charged that Atta and three other September 11 hijackers were identified as early as mid-2000 through a data-mining program codenamed "Able Danger."

But Lawrence DiRita, a Pentagon spokesman, said a review of materials related to Able Danger has so far turned up no evidence that it identified Atta, the reputed leader of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Pat Robertson Calls for Assassination of Hugo Chavez :.

Who let the crackpot twit on the air without his medication?

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."


My Other Car Is a Bladez XTR Street II Electric Power Board :.

With gas kissing three bucks in my area, I took the plunge on a factory refurbished Bladez XTR Street II electric scooter. It cost me $259. Thanks, July and August Cryptogon contributors. You guys just took my car off the road for the morning and afternoon office commutes.

Obviously, "corn jettas and fart scooters" aren't viable, long term solutions to the world's energy crisis. (HA! Far from it.) But having this scooter will allow me to put more money into the farm and less money into my car's gas tank.

I live about five miles from work. I didn't opt for a bike because I sweat like a pig with relatively little effort. I didn't feel like sitting, cube ridden, in my own stench all day at work. The scooter is fun to ride and seems like a great solution. It will make even more sense as gas prices continue to rise.

If you're interested in ditching your car for short commutes, and a bike doesn't fit your needs, here are the best EV options:

Good: Bladez PTVs

Better: Goped ESR

Best: eGo Cycle 2

If Peak Oil becomes a die-off scale event, survivors' long term transportation plans should probably include the shoe leather express and/or horses. Bikes with LOTS of spare parts (tires, chains, cables, etc.) could be useful. Lots of people are planning on running tractors on biofuels. Fine. Stock up on tires, hoses, gaskets, etc. Your community will want to post a 24 hour armed guard around those goods, but that's another matter entirely.

Sun Launches DRM Initiative :.


Sun Microsystems has launched a digital rights management (DRM) initiative called Open Media Commons and designed to develop a royalty-free DRM standard.

Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz unveiled the initiative Sunday at a conference in Aspen, Colo., sponsored by the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a think tank based here.

Schwartz said the initiative will seek to foster open standards, reference architectures and implementations. It also stresses compensation for content creators and copyright holders, respect for users' privacy and adoption of laws and technology that foster innovation.


Peak Oil: The Breaking Point :.

I don't know. I see things like the "sustainable" WalMart and the FedEx hub covered with solar panels and I have to wonder if this Peak Oil thing is actually going to be the kill shot that we think it's going to be. (Oh yeah, did you hear the one about the 500 megawatt solar power plant in California?) Maybe They have a much better grip on this thing than we know. Maybe They're ramping up alternatives at a pace that is congruent (or somewhat congruent) with the fall-off of conventional energy sources.

Those of us who despise the present global political and economic order look to Peak Oil with a sense of hope! Yes... Hope. Something tells me, however, we're not going to be that lucky.

Peak Oil probably won't take this thing down, simply because it seems so obvious that it will.

Peak Oil looks real to me and I've made life altering decisions based on my belief that the end of cheap hydrocarbon energy is going to collapse this system. All I'm saying is that if Peak Oil turns out to be a non event, I will not be surprised in the least.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

In the past several years, the gap between demand and supply, once considerable, has steadily narrowed, and today is almost negligible. The consequences of an actual shortfall of supply would be immense. If consumption begins to exceed production by even a small amount, the price of a barrel of oil could soar to triple-digit levels. This, in turn, could bring on a global recession, a result of exorbitant prices for transport fuels and for products that rely on petrochemicals -- which is to say, almost every product on the market. The impact on the American way of life would be profound: cars cannot be propelled by roof-borne windmills. The suburban and exurban lifestyles, hinged to two-car families and constant trips to work, school and Wal-Mart, might become unaffordable or, if gas rationing is imposed, impossible.

Research Credit: AB


Army Planning for Four More Years in Iraq :.

The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq - well over 100,000 - for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.


Blackout: One Hundred Million Indonesians Without Electricity :.

D. O. W. N.

Some 100m Indonesians were without electricity on Thursday as power outages hit the country's main grid, leaving office workers in Jakarta trapped in elevators and the state-owned power monopoly struggling for an explanation.

Perusahaan Listrik Negara said power was last night being restored across most affected areas after a failure hit the Java-Madura-Bali inter-connection system at 10.23am, causing outages across the main island of Java and nearby Bali.

But Eddie Widiono, PLN's president, warned that yesterday's problems highlighted the fragile state of an electricity grid that almost half of Indonesia's 220m population relies on.

Low Volume of Updates

I've been extremely busy with work. I'll return to the "normal" volume of posts as soon as I can. If you've sent an email lately, know that I, quite literally, haven't had time to open them up. I'll be reading them soon.


World Running Out of Time for Oil Alternatives :.

Use the time you have left wisely:

The world could run out of time to develop cleaner alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels before depletion drives prices through the roof, a leading Dutch energy researcher said on Thursday.

Ton Hoff, manager of the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, said it could take decades to make alternatives affordable to the point where they can be used widely, although high oil prices were already stimulating such research.

"If we run out of fossil fuels -- by the time the oil price hits 100 dollars or plus, people will be screaming for alternatives, but whether they will be available at that moment of time -- that's my biggest worry," Hoff said.

"That's why we need to use fossil fuels in a more efficient way to have some more time to develop these alternatives up to a level where the robustness is guaranteed and their price has come down ... This could take decades for some technologies."


'Able Danger' Barred from Informing FBI :.

I'm also interested in how elements of U.S. Special Forces are running operations inside the U.S. That's pretty weird, in and of itself.

It appears that the Left hand didn't know what the Right hand was up to, but be very careful with this story. It's emerging out of crack-pot, right wing circles, Fox news, etc.:

Wednesday August 17, 2005 3:31 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army intelligence officer says his unit was blocked in 2000 and 2001 from giving the FBI information about a U.S.-based terrorist cell that included Mohamed Atta, the future leader of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said the small intelligence unit, called "Able Danger," had identified Atta and three of the other future Sept. 11 hijackers as al-Qaida members by mid-2000. He said military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the FBI.

The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks left the Able Danger claims out of its official report.

In an interview with Fox News Channel and The New York Times, Shaffer said the panel was not given all the information his team had gathered.

"I'm told confidently by the person who did move the material over that the 9/11 commission received two briefcase-size containers of documents," Shaffer said in the interview, part of which was aired by Fox News Tuesday night. "I can tell you for a fact that would not be ... one-20th of the information that Able Danger consisted of during the time we spent."

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, has said the Sept. 11 commission did not adequately investigate the claim that four of the hijackers had been identified more than a year before the attacks.

Former commission chairman Thomas Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton said last week that the military official who made the claim had no documentation to back it up.

Shaffer rejected that remark. "Leaving a project targeting al-Qaida as a global threat a year before we were attacked by al-Qaida is equivalent to having an investigation of Pearl Harbor and leaving somehow out the Japanese," he said.

Zotob: Microsoft Worm Takes Down Systems Worldwide :.


A fast-moving computer worm Tuesday shut down computer systems using Microsoft operating software, causing computer systems to crash across the United States and reportedly in Germany and Asia.

While the worm primarily affects Windows 2000, it also can affect some early versions of Microsoft XP, said Johannes Ullrich, director of the Sans Institute, a network security firm based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Symptoms include the repeated shutdown and rebooting of a computer.

Microsoft is putting a patch on its Web site,, for users to download, a company spokesperson said. The spokesperson told CNN that Microsoft would not estimate how many users have been affected and described the problem as low-impact.

Among those hit were offices on Capitol Hill and media organizations, including CNN, ABC and The New York Times.

More: /. Coverage of the Antics

July Inflation Jumps on Higher Gas Prices :.

Consumer prices shot up in July, reflecting higher prices for gasoline and other energy products while output at the nations' factories, mines and utilities slowed sharply.

U.S. Army: Able Danger Intelligence Unit and Mohamed Atta :.

9.11 Commission spokesman Al Felzenberg on Thursday excused the Commission’s decision to withhold from their Report any mention of the Army Able Danger intelligence unit in Tampa which was tracking Mohamed Atta and other members of his terrorist cadre during 1999 and 2000.

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq :.

This is an absolutely astonishing article.

Tens of thousands of dead Iraqis.

Nearly 2000 dead U.S. military personnel.

$177 million per day.


The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."


U.S. Shoots Ahead in Stun Gun Design :.

Home of the free, land of the...

WEAPONS designed to fire "electric bullets" into crowds are being developed for police and border protection agencies in the US.

The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, the domestic equivalent of the defence agency DARPA, has launched an "innovative less-lethal devices for law enforcement" programme to radically expand the capabilities of electric shock weapons.

Existing stun weapons, such as the Taser, typically fire a pair of darts trailing current-carrying wires to shock the target, with a maximum range of about 7 metres. The HSARPA programme aims to develop wireless weapons that can be used over greater distances in spaces such as "an auditorium, a city street or a sports stadium".

Related: Crowd Control via Lightning Cannon

Related: Crowd Control via Sound Cannon

Related: Crowd Control via Microwave Cannon

Chavez Makes U.S. Oil Export Threat :.

Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said.

He described recent US government actions as "aggressive" in a speech at a youth festival in Caracas.

As a result, Venezuelan oil "instead of going to the United States, could go elsewhere," he said.

Venezuela exports about 1.3 million barrels a day to the US and is the world's fifth largest oil producer.

'Marine of Year' Shoots at Noisy Crowd :.

A man who was named Marine of the Year last month for his service in Iraq injured two people when he fired a shotgun from his apartment window at a group of revellers leaving a night club.


Cindy Sheehan: I Won't Pay Federal IncomeTax :.

Sounds about right:

As she continues her anti-war protest, Cindy Sheehan is labeling President Bush a "maniac" and a "lying bastard," and she's vowing not to pay her federal income tax.

"My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004," Sheehan told an audience of Veterans for Peace. "You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny. ... You give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me [for back taxes] and we'll put this war on trial."


Border Situation: State of Emergency Declared in New Mexico :.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency Friday in four counties along the Mexican border that he said have been "devastated" by crimes such as the smuggling of drugs and illegal immigrants.

New Data Support Global Warming :.

Though most scientists agree global warming is real, a few pieces of the puzzle have proved difficult to fit into place.

Critics of the warming theory have clung to these last bits of evidence. But new research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is putting another nail in the naysayers' coffin.

Most climate models predict that loading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as humans have done for more than 150 years, should warm the troposphere - the lowest layer of atmosphere - faster than the planet's surface.

But temperature measurements from weather balloons and satellites show that while the surface has warmed, the troposphere has warmed more slowly and actually cooled slightly in some places since 1979.

"The skeptics have always used this as one of the arguments that climate scientists don't know what they're talking about and global warming isn't real," said climatologist John Chiang of the University of California, Berkeley.

Now, two groups of scientists have corrected errors in the temperature data, revealing the troposphere has warmed faster than the surface.


A Lost Dubya 2004 Election Ad? :.

For your consideration...

There's a Law :.

From Jeff's entry today:
There will be no "Please Stand By" for America. No on/off toggle for totalitarianism will be thrown with Martial Law, and those expecting one may find themselves saying "Hey, this isn't so bad." America is passing through gradations of grey, the next nearly indistinguishable from the last. It's only in stepping back, in comparing now to then - five years ago; 10, 25 or 50 - that you realize how your eyes have adjusted to the dark.
Of course, there's nothing new under the sun. From They Thought They Were Free, by Milton Mayer:
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, "regretted," that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these "little measures" that no "patriotic German" could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.
So it goes...

OIL $66.40 $67.10

Why aren't they taking profits...

I know how to kill this rally! If I went long right now, it would go back down to $20/barrel.


World's Largest Solar Installation to Use Stirling Engine Technology :.

Well, I guess They are going to try to keep this show going for as long as possible:

A Stirling engine is commonly referred to as an "external combustion engine" in contrast to the "internal combustion engines" found in most vehicles. Combine a Stirling engine with solar as the source of heat, and you have a highly efficient means of converting solar power into usable energy.

That is what Stirling Energy Systems has been perfecting for the 20 years.

Now they are ready to go big-time, with an agreement signed Tuesday with Edison International (NYSE:EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE), the nation's leading purchaser of renewable energy.

On Tuesday they announced an agreement that could result in construction of a massive, 4,500-acre solar generating station in Southern California. The completed power station would be the world's largest solar facility, capable of producing more electricity than all other U.S. solar projects combined.

Scratch and Dent Loans :.

This is an interesting bit of lingo.

Scratch and Dent Loans:

Mortgage bankers might not like to admit it, but, as with many volume-driven businesses, mistakes, sometimes referred to as "scratch and dent" loans, are bound to occur.

Such mistakes often ultimately prevent the sale of certain loans to your primary investor base. Perhaps your company is moving from broker to banker, and you are new at having to live with what you fund. Or perhaps you're expanding geographically
and entering new markets at a frenetic pace, or maybe you're rolling out cutting-edge
products with limited time for training and oversight.

Aggressive loan officers and upper management are always looking to expand market share and top-line revenue, but often it is at the expense of pushing the envelope a bit too far, resulting in an increased percentage of scratch and dent and nonconforming loans.

The list of issues can range from the somewhat innocuous, such as a missed ratio or guideline requirement, to more serious problems, including first payment defaults, valuation discrepancies or even fraud. Either way, too many mistakes can cripple your liquidity and put you out of business overnight, unless you are prepared to deal with them immediately.

Malaysia, Blanketed in Noxious Haze, Declares Emergency :.

Malaysia declared a state of emergency in two coastal cities today as smoke drifting across the Straits of Malacca from forest fires in Indonesia blanketed parts of the peninsula in noxious haze, forcing the country's biggest seaport to shut down.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office said the state of emergency had been imposed on Kuala Selangor and busy Port Klang, with residents advised to stay indoors. Schools have also been closed as the haze has spread to cover much of the populous central state of Selangor, he said, including the adjacent capital, Kuala Lumpur.

OIL $66

And all the rats just keep running around the maze like everything is fine...


Warming Hits 'Tipping Point' :.

A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

Research Credit: JJ

RUMORS: Four Star General Fired For Organizing Coup Against Neo-Cons? :.

Rumors started flowing within minutes of this story breaking yesterday. And I'm asking you to file this in the rumor category. If you email me with such-and-so isn't a credible source of information. It hasn't been triple checked. X said Y about Z. Save it. (Feel free to post your grievances in the forum.)

On the other hand, anyone who thinks a four-star general gets canned within a few months of retirement for, "personal misconduct" needs to set the crack pipe down. I'm not saying this is the explanation, but it's worth keeping in mind:

The head of Fort Monroe's Training and Doctrine Command, four star general Kevin P. Byrnes, was fired Tuesday apparently for sexual misconduct according to official sources.

Other sources however have offered a different explanation for Byrnes' dismissal which ties in with the Bush administration's unpopular plan to attack Iran and the staged nuclear attack in the US which would provide the pretext to do so.

According to reporter Greg Szymanski, anonymous military sources said that Brynes was the leader of a faction that was preparing to instigate a coup against the neo-con hawks in an attempt to prevent further global conflict.

Indications are that, much like popular opinion amongst the general public, half the military oppose the neo-con's agenda and half support it.

Further revelations were imparted by journalist Leland Lehrman who appeared today on The Alex Jones Show.

Lehrman's army sources, including a former Captain in intelligence, became outraged when they learned that the official story behind 9/11 was impossible.

They told Lehrman that the imminent Northcom nuclear terror exercise based in Charleston, S.C, where a nuclear warhead is smuggled off a ship and detonated, was originally intended to 'go live' - as in the drill would be used as the cover for a real false flag staged attack.

This website has relentlessly discussed similar style drills which took place on the morning of 9/11 and on the morning of 7/7 in London.

"Speculation exists that he had potentially discovered the fact that it was gonna go live and that he was trying to put a stop to it or also speculation indicates that he may be part of a military coup designed to prevent the ridiculous idea of doing a nuclear war with Iran," said Lehrman.

Related: Things Go Sliding

Related: Alleged Affair Involved a Female Civilian <--- Par for the course. Who is she? That might be interesting. I wonder what other cards They can play on guys at this level... Videotape of... well... Who knows? Why pull out the big guns to compromise someone when all that's required is good, clean heterosexual impropriety?

U.S. Border Patrol Agent: Illegal Alien, and Alien Smuggler :.

I sh*t you not:

A U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of being an illegal alien and smuggling other illegals into the United States faces a bail hearing today in federal court in San Diego.

Oscar Antonio Ortiz, 28, a Mexican citizen born in Tijuana, is charged with using a fraudulent birth certificate to obtain a job with the agency in 2001 and alien smuggling. The numbered certificate claimed he was born in Chicago, although authorities have since discovered it belonged to a man born a month earlier.

Research Credit: ME

OIL $64.20 $64.60 $65

* gasp *

Eat Like a Gourmand at 99 Cents Only Stores :.

I did pretty well with grocery store dumpster diving for my fresh fruit and vegetable fare back in the early 1990s. But when you need a little more:

The trick to culling the haute cuisine from the 99 Cents Only bulk and batteries is to go at it like a diamond carver. When I shop, I dedicate at least a solid hour. I start at one end, ignore the harsh and Spartan lighting, the Third World Babylon of languages---I ignore all this and methodically parse each aisle for the edibles. I read labels as if they were lurid novels. And when I find something good, I buy a lot of it because I know it won't last the afternoon. And I don't go looking for anything in particular because the 99-cents gods are random and cruel.

Disclosure Statement: JH and I dated for about a year, but I'm not the ex (with the canned fish craving) that she mentions.



Update: Sexual Misconduct?

Are they going to suicide him now, or later?

I wonder what this guy was really up to?! Notice how they took him down with merely a few months to go until retirement? The message is, "If We can do this to a four star general, imagine what We can do to you. Keep your mouth shut, or else."

The Army, in a rare disciplinary act against a four-star officer, said Tuesday it relieved Gen. Kevin P Byrnes of his command after an investigation into unspecified "personal conduct."

Byrnes was relieved as commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command on Monday by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, according to a brief statement issued by Army headquarters at the Pentagon.

In that post, Byrnes oversaw all Army training programs and the development of war-fighting guidelines.

Although disciplinary action against general officers is not uncommon, it is extremely rare for a four-star general to be relieved of command. Byrnes held the position as commander of Training and Doctrine Command since November 2002. Before that he was director of the Army staff at Army headquarters in the Pentagon.

"The investigation upon which this relief is based is undergoing further review to determine the appropriate final disposition of this matter," the Army statement said.

Man Killed by WalMart Employees :.

Always low prices... and the occasional murder in the parking lot:

Portz said three employees caught Driver, who twisted and turned until his shirt came off and he broke free and ran.

"They chased him right past me," said Portz, who followed the chase, then saw four or five employees hold Driver on the ground. Driver was pleading with them to let him up, Portz said. "The blacktop was just blistering," he said.

The high temperature at Bush Intercontinental Airport Sunday was 96 degrees.

Portz said one of the Wal-Mart employees had Driver in a choke hold as other employees pinned his body to the ground.

"He was begging, 'Please, I'm burning, let me up,' " Portz said of Driver. "He'd push himself up off the blacktop, like he was doing a push-up.

"About 30 people were saying, 'Let him up, it's too hot,' " Portz said. He said another employee brought a rug for Driver to lie on, but one of those holding Driver said he was fine where he was. "After about five minutes, (Driver) said, 'I'm dying, I can't breathe, call an ambulance,' " Portz said.

Employees struggled with Driver before he was handcuffed, Martin said.

"There was a struggle, and when they finally succeeded after getting him detained in handcuffs, he continued to struggle," Martin said.

After Driver was handcuffed, Portz said one employee had his knee on the man's neck and others were putting pressure on his back.

"Finally the guy stopped moving" and the employees got off him, Portz said. "They wouldn't call an ambulance.

"I looked at him and said, 'Hey, he's not breathing,' but one guy told me (Driver) was just on drugs. I told them his fingernails were all gray, and finally they called an ambulance."

Martin said investigators have no indication that Driver was intoxicated.

Next Generation Killer Drones: Piloted by Teenagers :.

Oh yeah, SkyNet will be handling take offs and landings:

The Army has finally settled on a company to build its next generation of long-range killer drones, according to Defense Daily.

General Atomics, maker of the wildly succesful Predator robo-plane, got the $214 million gig to build 48 of the Extended Range Multi-Purpose drones. The first of them should be ready to go by 2008. 132 are planned, all told.

Defense News notes that "unlike Predator, the ERMP will be able to take off and land automatically" -- handing off the trickiest parts of piloting a drone to a computer. Which means that the ERMP can be flown by young enlisted men, instead of by the ex-fighter pilots, who now operate the Predator fleet.

Cisco Gear Vulnerable to Hack that Could Wipe IOS :.

HA! Incredible:

During his presentation, Lynn offered a quick demo of how he could access the root of a Cisco router remotely. Like the first runner breaking the four-minute-mile mark, Lynn emboldened other researchers to go out and see for themselves.

Lynn said in his press conference one day later that his Black Hat presentation was perhaps only 5 percent of what someone would need to know to wreak havoc on the Internet, but he confirmed that his exploit, which he is legally barred from sharing, has the potential to harm hardware: "It's a software flaw that damages hardware." What he means is that by remotely attacking the Cisco IOS Shellcode, you could destroy the instruction set on the hardware that tells the router to turn on again.

Dallas Law Cracks Down on Feeding the Homeless :.

Illegal feeding?

Under a new ordinance, charities, churches and individuals will be allowed to serve food only at approved locations. Violations will be punishable by fines of $200 to $2,000.

The Monsanto Pig (Patent Pending) :.

"If these patents are granted, Monsanto can legally prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs whose characteristics are described in the patent claims, or force them to pay royalties," says Then. "It's a first step toward the same kind of corporate control of an animal line that Monsanto is aggressively pursuing with various grain and vegetable lines."


Pentagon Plans to Send More Troops to Iraq :.

Anticipating a new burst of insurgent violence, the Pentagon plans to expand the U.S. force in Iraq to improve security for a planned October referendum and a December election.

Although much public attention has been focused recently on the prospect of reducing U.S. forces next spring and summer, defense officials foresee the likelihood of first increasing troop levels.

Brace for Impact: Banking on Illegal Immigrants :.

It doesn't matter who signs on the dotted line, as long as they sign:

The banking industry is opening its doors to a controversial new market: illegal immigrants.

Despite heated political debate in Washington over illegal immigration in the United States, an increasing number of banks are seeing an untapped resource for growing their own revenue stream and contend that providing undocumented residents with mortgages will help revitalize local communities.

It's a win-win situation, they say.

But skeptics worry about the message these home loans send to illegal immigrants: break our laws and we'll reward you with a home.

"It's institutionalizing illegality," said Marti Dinerstein, president of Immigration Matters, a New York-based think tank. "Now there's no distinction being made between the people that follow all the rules and those who break our laws by entering the country or overstaying their visas."

Dinerstein also worried that lack of knowledge on the part of illegal immigrants could pave the way for abuse in the form of predatory lending.

Related: The Banks Go Begging :.

"Big banks need asset generators, and corporate loans are just not profitable," says David Hendler, an analyst at CreditSights. "Consumer loans are needed."

OIL $63.40 $64

If only I'd bought those out of the money calls... * sigh *

Video Game: Shattered Union :.

This is... Uh... I'm speechless. Utterly speechless.

Research Credit: BW

Terrorists Turn to the Web as Base of Operations :.

I shouldn't even post this article because it's so riddled with bullcrap! Just wait, only terrorists will refuse to use non DRM operating systems.

From my essay, Militant Electronic Piracy:
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.
Related: Trusted Computing

Straight-Shootin' George Galloway :.

Imagine, for a moment, that the US was invaded by an army from Saudi Arabia for the transparent purpose of securing America's great natural wealth. And, imagine that tens of thousands of American people were killed in that invasion, entire cities were leveled as reprisal for resisting, and scores of Americans were tortured and humiliated in the most despicable manner.

What type of man would risk his own life to travel to the United States to fight for the liberation of the American people from Saudi oppression?

A terrorist or a martyr?

Research Credit: GH

War Plans Drafted to Counter Terror Attacks in U.S. :.

The U.S. military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans.

The classified plans, developed here at Northern Command headquarters, outline a variety of possible roles for quick-reaction forces estimated at as many as 3,000 ground troops per attack, a number that could easily grow depending on the extent of the damage and the abilities of civilian response teams.

The possible scenarios range from "low end," relatively modest crowd-control missions to "high-end," full-scale disaster management after catastrophic attacks such as the release of a deadly biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device, several officers said.

Some of the worst-case scenarios involve three attacks at the same time, in keeping with a Pentagon directive earlier this year ordering Northcom, as the command is called, to plan for multiple simultaneous attacks.

The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Indeed, defense officials continue to stress that they intend for the troops to play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups.

But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.

"In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, a chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned -- of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved -- to take the lead," said Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the head of Northcom, which coordinates military involvement in homeland security operations.

Dem Bones, Dem Bones :.

You've probably already seen the morning buzz that McCallum is likely to be named acting deputy Attorney General, which will make him - how 'bout that? - the only official with oversight of special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's Plame investigation, the scope of which is reputed to have broadened beyond Plame, as that single thread is deeply woven into the administration's tapestry of crimes.


Cryptogon Readers Order Limu

Thanks CI and MH. I hope you enjoy your Limu! Remember to take at least four ounces per day.

Recent thoughts on Limu...

I've just written an entry about Limu, but decided not to post it here. I attached it to the bottom of, My Limu Story, if you're interested.


FBI to Dictate Wiretap-Friendly Design for Internet Services :.

Practically, what this means is that the government will be asking broadband providers - as well as companies that manufacture devices used for broadband communications – to build insecure backdoors into their networks, imperiling the privacy and security of citizens on the Internet. It also hobbles technical innovation by forcing companies involved in broadband to redesign their products to meet government requirements.

Shortages Stifle a Boom Time for the Solar Industry :.

American suppliers for the solar energy industry say that burgeoning demand both domestically and overseas, a weak dollar and shortages of raw material have created back orders of several months on electricity-generating photovoltaic, or PV, panels.

"For all the years I've been doing this," said Daryl Dejoy, owner of a solar installation company in Penobscot, Me., "I could get all the solar panels in the world and no customers. Now I have all the customers in the world and no product."

Research Credit: AB

Bush's Former Health Secretary: RFID Chips for All Americans :.

Slap another Jesus fish on your SUV for the trip down to the chipping center! Praise Bush! Praise the Lord! Support our troops! Chips for strength!

So, how will the Cult of Death/Evangelical Christians deal with this one?

President Bush's former health secretary Tommy Thompson is putting the final touches to a plan that could result in US citizens having a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inserted under their skin, The Business has learned.

The RFID capsules would be linked to a computerised database being created by the US Department of Health to store and manage the nation's health records. It could be the precursor to a similar scheme in the UK.

The president's budget for 2006 continues to support the use of health information technology by increasing funding to $125m for pilot schemes.

Thompson, now a director of Applied Digital Solutions, the company that makes the chips, intends to publish the proposal in the next 50 days, by which time he plans to have had a VeriChip inserted in his arm. Thompson believes the capsules could help save thousands of lives every year.

Researchers Create Radio Controlled Humans :.

This is pretty stupid, but give it a decade or two.


Fake Terror Attacks in New York :.

Government scientists have set up a network of sensors around midtown Manhattan to study how the city's skyscrapers and concrete canyons would affect the spread of wind-borne toxins in a chemical, biological or radiological terrorist attack.

Chemicals known as tracer gases will be released at several locations between tomorrow and Aug. 26 in tests sponsored by the U.S. Homeland Security Department, Defense Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Energy Department, officials said today.

The Urban Dispersion tests, in preparation for two years, come two weeks after New York police began randomly searching the bags of subway riders in response to terrorist bombings in London. Data from the tests will help emergency response planning, said Thomas Kiess, a Homeland Security official.

Brits Going Bankrupt in Record Numbers :.

The number of personal insolvencies in England and Wales has risen to its highest level in 45 years, official figures showed today.

In the April to June period, the number of personal insolvencies rose to 15,394, the highest since comparable records began in 1960, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Hiroshima: 60th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing :.

Tens of thousands of people from around the world gathered in Hiroshima on Saturday to mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city and to renew calls for the abolition of nuclear arms.

Interesting Biofuel Story :.

Cryptogon forum author MO describes alternative fuel developments in his area. While I don't see biofuels as a mainstream solution to the energy crisis, I think they will play a critical role in localized sustainability movements. In other words, the pockets of survivors will be making use of biofuels. Remember, though, to stock up on tires, hoses, belts and other goods that are made out of oil.

If the powerdown results in a total collapse, we will see a return to animal power. Actually, we're already seeing a return to animal power.

From MO's post:

The other day at the pub I ran into my new friend Joe. He is a farmer and grows primarily onions in the black dirt region nearby, and has about 150 acres of farmable land. Somehow we got on the discussion of oil, and he unloaded his future business model for biodiesel based on a soy crop.

Crude Oil Hits New Record :.

* yawn *


Cryptogon Reader Contributes $50

MO is the top financial supporter of Cryptogon. He's helping keep the site free and open to all!


Simon writes:
Hi Kevin... I noted that you donated $25 to Amnesty International a while back. I think next time The Memory Hole would be a good choice. They've just asked for help a few weeks ago.

Keep it up!
I agree. The Memory Hole has done great work for years. I'm zapping $20 to them now.

Two Men Held in Secret, Underground U.S. Gulag :.

Two Yemeni men say they were held in solitary confinement in secret, underground U.S. detention facilities in an unknown country and interrogated by masked men for more than 18 months without being charged or allowed any contact with the outside world, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Both men claimed they were tortured by Jordanian intelligence agents for four days and then flown to what they believe were underground jails in an unknown location.

Once there, they were held in solitary confinement for more than 18 months, interrogated daily by U.S. guards who dressed "like Ninjas" and blared Western music all day and night. No charges were ever filed against them, they said.

The men said their first jail was underground, surrounded by high walls and that it took more than 4 hours to fly there from Jordan. After six to eight months they were transferred to a modern prison run by U.S. officials a three-hour plane journey away that also appeared to be underground.

Energy Innovations: Sunflower 250 :.

The best ideas are simple and elegant. Too bad Energy Innovations is building these in China.

New British Special Forces Unit Executed Brazilian :.

A new army special forces regiment was involved in the operation that led to the killing of an innocent man at Stockwell tube station in south London last week, the Guardian can reveal.

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment, set up in April to help combat international terrorism, was deployed in the surveillance operation which led to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician, on July 22, according to Whitehall sources.

Police Agree on Shoot-to-Kill Rules :.

Ever heard of a dead-man's-switch? What's going to happen when the cops shoot the would-be suicide bomber's head off? * BOOM *

The Post said the police chiefs' guidelines say an officer does not have to wait until a suspected bomber makes a move in order to use deadly force, but just needs to have a "reasonable basis" to believe that the suspect can detonate a bomb.

Scientists Clone a Dog :.

South Korean researchers are reporting today that they have cloned what scientists deem the most difficult animal, the dog.


'Eternal Planes' to Watch Over Us :.

Unmanned surveillance vehicles are increasingly evident in a world that relies on knowing what people and places are doing.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) patrol innocuous-looking skies and silently report back streams of strategically important data, video, and images from locations around the world.

They are the ultimate Earth watchers.

Research Credit: AM

Powered On Mobile Phone Tracks Your Location :.

This has been common knowledge for years. Although, one has to wonder if They have real-time access to the system that provides the triangulation data... They must:

The wireless system used in Italy and most of the rest of Europe [and the USA] relies on a stamp-sized smart card that is inserted in the back of every handset. This removable "SIM" card stores an individual's phone number and other account data.

A unique numerical identifier is assigned to every phone and every SIM, said Bruno Errico, director of consulting for Openwave Global Services, a company that provides tracking applications and other software to wireless companies worldwide.

Wireless companies are obliged by law to keep records of the unique data that each phone exchanges with the cell network as well as the numbers to which calls are placed, he said.

Since a phone is served by several cells at any given time, investigators can easily triangulate the location of a device, Errico said. In an urban area, where the network of cells is dense and overlapping, such tracking can have a margin of error of just a few yards.

Research Credit: whisp

How Britain Helped Israel Get the Bomb :.

Documents uncovered by Newsnight in the British National Archives show how, in 1958, Britain agreed to sell Israel 20 tonnes of heavy water, a vital ingredient for the production of plutonium at Israel's top secret Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert.

Robert McNamara, President John F Kennedy's defence secretary, has told Newsnight he is "astonished" at the revelation that Britain kept this secret from America.

Research Credit: DG


Solar Within Competitive Range of Grid Power :.

Interesting... A revolutionary solar power technology goes into the deployment phase within months of Chevron announcing that, "the era of easy oil is over."

Very interesting, I'd say...

Coming into production in September, thermal solar panels from International Automated Systems will produce electricity at 3-5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Bladeless turbine has wide range of waste-heat-harnessing applications. Methanol production technique will utilize CO2, drawing it out of the environment and recycling it. New U.S. energy bill opens a financing method that will enable this technology to quickly become a foundational component of the energy-generation infrastructure.

More: Is This a Pump and Dump Scam?

Probably, maybe, maybe not. We don't have long to wait to find out.

I wouldn't trust a pink sheet company any more than I would one that's listed on the Nasdaq 100. Just because International Automated Systems has had run-ins with the law doesn't mean they don't have this technology. It doesn't mean they do, either.

Many companies have runins with the law and SEC actions, etc. The corporation exists to shield the officers from personal liability. In practice, the corporation serves as a vehicle for all order of criminal activities. Why are we surprised when those entities behave in a slimy manner?

A Cryptogon reader writes:
Hi, Kevin,

Regarding, the revolutionary solar power technology from International Automated

I have done some researching into this company and the Johnson family (Neldon,
Randale et al) that run it, and I have a strong suspicion that the press releases on their new solar power technology are either a hoax or a scam.

This company has in the past been targeted by the SEC for issueing false press releases in an attempt to boost the stock price of IAS.

Check the following links to

to get a better 'feel' of this company, and then ask yourself if their solar power
technology press releases are credible.
Studying the Cryptogon isn't like punching numbers on a calculator and getting a result. Nothing is that reliable in this world. It's mostly noise piled ontop of nonsense. Speculating that they don't have this, based on their past slimeball activities, would be as stupid as believing they do have it because their press release says so.

IBM assisted the Third Reich with The Final Solution. Do you parse IBM press releases any differently because of that fact?

Re: asking myself if their press releases are credible, HA, it's a press release. "Press release," means professionally engineered propaganda. I don't make decisions based on press releases. You'll know if it's a scam if they start making excuses about delays, etc.

U.S. Pacific Coast Dying :.

Marine biologists are seeing mysterious and disturbing things along the Pacific Coast this year: higher water temperatures, plummeting catches of fish, lots of dead birds on the beaches, and perhaps most worrisome, very little plankton -- the tiny organisms that are a vital link in the ocean food chain.

Will You Join Us? :.

I wonder if I need to consume more mass media than I'm currently getting. I don't watch TV at all, and the only paper-based periodical I read is Wired (purely for mindless entertainment). Now, when I first came across, I thought I was just looking at another Peak Oil site:
Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century. One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over. What we do next will determine how well we meet the energy needs of the entire world in this century and beyond.

So we invite you to join us for a series of discussions on some very important issues. Will you join us?
Blah, blah... Pretty standard stuff for any of about a million Peak Oil sites...

Spend a minute on the front page. Take it all in. Do you see the title of the page in your browser pane? Take a gander at the corporate logo at the lower right.

Nope. You're not smoking crack.

It's a Chevron site.

I don't know when this started, or where Chevron is running the ads, but if this is what Joe and Jane Six Pack are being fed, it must mean that we're getting close to having to make BIG changes.


Brits Might Be Issued "Carbon Cards" Under Proposed Energy Rationing Plan :.

British residents could face a form of energy rationing within the next decade under proposals currently being studied to reduce the U.K.'s carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the Kyoto Protocol.

Under the proposals, known as Domestic Tradable Quotas (DTQs), every individual would be issued a "carbon card," from which points would be deducted every time the cardholder purchased fossil fuel, for example, by filling up a car or taking a flight.

Community Solution :.

I don't suggest buying any more books or videos about Peak Oil.


Get land. Build shelter. Grow food. Raise animals. Take some close friends with you.

Do it now:

The Community Solution is a program of Community Service, Inc. Community Service is dedicated to the development, growth and enhancement of small local communities. We envision a country where the population is distributed in small communities that are sustainable, diverse and culturally sophisticated.

Research Credit: GH

The Constant Gardener :.

It's just a movie:

"Big pharmaceuticals, they're right up there with the arms dealers."

Homeland Security Nets More Than 500 Gang Arrests :.

Department of Homeland Security... In the hood?

Federal authorities arrested 582 alleged gang members over a two-week period, officials said Monday, targeting an estimated 80 violent groups they say have spawned street crimes across the country.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the gangs "a threat to our homeland security and ... a very urgent law enforcement priority."

Research Credit: PT

Hacker Forced Release of Tenth Planet Information :.

The briefing was hastily arranged after Brown received word that a secure website containing the discovery had been hacked and the hacker had threatened to release the information.

Former ECB Chief Duisenberg Found Dead :.

I'm sure there's a master Dead Banker list somewhere.

Wim Duisenberg, former president of the European Central Bank, was found dead yesterday at his villa in the south of France.

The 70-year-old's death was being treated as accidental by French police. He was found late yesterday morning in the villa's swimming pool, where he had apparently drowned.

Related? Ex-Citigroup Banker Zankel Dead in Fall :.

Arthur Zankel, a former Citigroup financier and patron of the arts, died in a fall from the ninth floor of his Manhattan apartment building, a family member said.

Zankel, 73, in a fall from the Fifth Avenue building on Thursday, his son Tom Zankel said.

Related? Two British Bankers Murdered On December 2

A Cryptogon forum author mentioned World Bank spokeswoman Cristina Mejia.

Nope, this isn't a microbiology thread. Or... Hmmmmm.

Loftus: London Bombing Mastermind Is MI6 Agent :.

UPDATE: Watch Fox News Video

Qutb, the author of this post on Rigorous Intuition's board, doesn't cite a reference for these allegations. I've emailed John Loftus, asking for confirmation that he made these comments. In the meantime...

Former Justice Dept. prosecutor John Loftus claims alleged London bombing mastermind Haroon Rashid Aswat is a "double agent" who "works for the MI6".

For those who don't know who he is, Loftus is the author of "The Secret War Against the Jews", a (highly recommended) book resulting from his research into American corporations' and intelligence agencies' collusion with the Nazis before, during and after WWII, research which he conducted with an above top secret security clearance which gave him access to hitherto secret intelligence archives. He is now usually billed as a "terrorism expert".

Prosecutors in Seattle wanted to indict Aswat in 1999 for trying to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, but were ordered not to touch him by the highest level in the Justice Department. According to Loftus, the reason was that Aswat was an agent of British intelligence. He claims that "while British police were trying to catch him, the MI6 were trying to hide him".

Oil Surges to Record on King Fahd's Death, Supply Concerns :.

Crude oil rose to a record $62.30 a barrel after the death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd heightened concern about the stability of the world's largest oil exporter.


:. 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.