cryptogon.com
   HOME
9/30/2005

NSA Applies for Patent to ID Physical Address of Web Surfers :.

They already have you via the ECHELON and CALEA infrastructures; and who knows what else...

Hmm.

I wonder how the billion dollar spook nets deal with the greasy nerd who knows how to use his Pringles can and MAC spoofer properly? My guess is that we probably don't want to know:

Patent 6,947,978, granted this week, describes a process based on latency, or time lag between computers exchanging data, of "numerous" known locations on the Internet to build a "network latency topology map" for all users. Identifying the physical location of an individual user, reports CNET News.com, could then be accomplished by measuring how long it takes to connect to an unknown computer from numerous known machines, and using the latency response to display location on a map.

Research Credit: PW



Venezuela Dumps U.S. Assets :.

I've been doing it for months:

Venezuela has moved its central bank foreign reserves out of U.S. banks, liquidated its investments in U.S. Treasury securities and placed the funds in Europe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday.

"We've had to move the international reserves from U.S. banks because of the threats," from the U.S., Chavez said during televised remarks from a South American summit in Brazil.

"The reserves we had (invested) in U.S. Treasury bonds, we've sold them and we moved them to Europe and other countries," he said.



Free Food for the Homeless Lures People Who Are Too Lazy to Cook :.

SOUP runs in London are being increasingly abused by people who are not poor, needy or homeless, according to research that claims there is now one for every two rough sleepers in the capital.

Research for Westminster City Council has found that many of the capital's 65 soup runs, which provide good quality sandwiches and hot and cold drinks, are attracting people with homes from all over London, who regard them as a convenient, free catering service.

On a recent sweep of soup runs in the capital, the council's researchers came across one man, John, at a soup run in Victoria, who said a friend was "saving up money for a football season ticket". John said the friend "takes the cheese sandwiches home with his mate to toast and eat while watching TV".


Research Credit: hereticfig.com



New Orleans Ethnic Cleansing :.

Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, during a visit with hurricane victims in Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of "500,000 people for a long time," and "it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."


9/29/2005

Gold Taps $477 to Trade at Week High :.

As Rita was drawing a bead on energy production infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico, gold was soaring. I wondered if people were taking positions in gold as a hedge against possible damage to the economy.

This is from today's CBS MarketWatch:

Gold futures climbed as high as $477 an ounce Thursday to mark their loftiest level in a week as traders continued to eye developments in the energy and currency markets.



All Gulf Oil Output Shut Down :.

The Minerals Management Service reports that all oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has temporarily ceased.

M-M-S says its survey indicated that 100 percent of oil production in the Gulf is shut down as well as more than 80 percent of natural gas production.

The Gulf supplies 29 percent of the nation's oil and 21 percent of the gas.


9/28/2005

Overdue Credit Card Bills Hit Record High :.

Charge it! That familiar refrain is producing an unwanted response for more Americans: Your bill is overdue! Surging energy prices, low personal savings and the higher cost of borrowing have combined to produce a record level of overdue credit card bills.

The American Bankers Association reported Wednesday that the percentage of credit card accounts 30 or more days past due climbed to an all-time high of 4.81 percent in the April-to-June period. It could grow in the months ahead, experts said.



Weird Winter Ahead :.

Yesterday, I wrote:
If you rely on heating oil or natural gas for survival during the winter months, you better have a contingency plan.
From today's Financial Times:

Refineries that normally would be building inventories of fuel oil have been instead replenishing petrol supplies lost in the hurricanes and the evacuation. That has set the stage for reduced supplies of heating oil that will drive up prices as winter approaches.



Heretic Fig Radio Show :.

that's right! live from KUCI, the little station that could, the last bastion of goodness in orange county, i'll be broadcasting a humble talk show about the politics of food.



U.S. House Majority Leader Indicted On Criminal Conspiracy Charges :.

U.S. Representative Tom DeLay, the second-highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a single count of criminal conspiracy, according to the grand jury clerk.

...

The indictment stems from a grand jury investigation into alleged use of illegal corporate contributions by DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, in the 2002 races for the state House of Representatives.


Related: Subgovernment: Concentrating Benefits, Diffusing Costs



First Woman Bomber Kills Six Iraqis :.

A woman disguised as a man and strapped with explosives blew herself up outside an Iraqi army recruitment centre in a northern town, killing at least six would-be recruits and wounding 30 in the first known attack by a female suicide bomber in the country's bloody insurgency.



Confessions of an Engineering Washout :.

The social-life-killing workload was the stuff of gallows humor among the three or four upper-class engineers who could still laugh. "Sleep is for the weak!" they bellowed, when gathering at the listless engineering parties. "Your underwear has two sides," they whispered, pressing their furry acne-ridden faces into the ears of bewildered freshmen. "Use them."


9/27/2005

JAPAN'S NATIONAL DEBT HITS US$ 7.1 TRILLION :.

How does this show stay up on a day to day basis? HOW!? Japan is keeping the U.S. afloat by buying up U.S. debt. But who's buying Japanese debt to the tune of 7.1 trillion?

Don't get caught without a chair when the music stops playing:

Japan's government debt, already the highest in the industrialized world, rose 1.7 per cent to a record high of 795.8 trillion yen ($7.1 trillion US) at the end of June, according to a report released by the Finance Ministry.

The latest figure marked an increase of 14.3 trillion yen from the end of March, the ministry said Thursday. The amount is equivalent to about 6.24 million yen ($55,900) for every Japanese.

Japan has relied on government bond issues to make up for falling tax revenues, turning into one of the world's most indebted countries.

Japan's public debt burden is almost 160 per cent of its GDP and already the highest in the industrialized world.



Saudi Arabia Makes It a Double! :.

Sure. Why not?

Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer, and Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company, yesterday declared that the world had decades' worth of oil to come, in an attempt to calm fears about the record prices experienced in recent weeks.

Forming a powerful alliance, the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said, at an industry conference in Johannesburg, that the country would soon almost double its "proven" reserve base, while Exxon's president, Rex Tillerson, spoke of 3 trillion or more barrels of oil that are yet to be recovered.



Woman Ticketed for Sitting on a Playground Bench with No Kids :.

Supersize your freedom fries, but check park benches for end user license agreements...

Welcome to Hell:

It's an only in New York story. A woman was given a ticket for sitting on a park bench because she doesn't have children.

The Rivington Playground on Manhattan's East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child. Forty-seven-year-old Sandra Catena says she didn't see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start. Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a one thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.



RITA CAUSES RECORD DAMAGE TO OIL RIGS :.

If you rely on heating oil or natural gas for survival during the winter months, you better have a contingency plan:

Hurricane Rita has caused more damage to oil rigs than any other storm in history and will force companies to delay drilling for oil in the US and as far away as the Middle East, initial damage assessments show.

ODS-Petrodata, which provides market intelligence to the offshore oil and natural gas industry, said it expected a shortage of rigs in the US Gulf this year.

"Based on what we have right now, it appears that drilling contractors and rig owners took a big hit from Rita," said Tom Marsh of ODS-Petrodata. "The path Katrina took was through the mature areas of the US Gulf where there are mainly oil [production] platforms. Rita came to the west where there is a lot of [exploratory] rig activity."

Ken Sill of Credit Suisse First Boston said: "Early reports indicate numerous rigs are missing, destroyed or have suffered serious damage and several companies have yet to report. Rita may set an all-time record."

The US Coast Guard said nine semisubmersible rigs had broken free from their moorings and were adrift.



Greenspan: America "Lost Control" of Its Budget :.

Bitter disagreements over global economic policy broke out into the open yesterday as the French Finance Minister claimed that Alan Greenspan had admitted America had "lost control" of its budget while China warned the US to drop demands for radical economic policy changes.

In an extraordinary revelation after a meeting between Thierry Breton and Mr Greenspan, M. Breton told reporters: "'We have lost control,' that was his [Mr Greenspan's] expression.

"The US has lost control of their budget at a time when racking up deficits has been authorised without any control [from Congress]," M. Breton said.

"We were both disappointed that the management of debt is not a political priority today. The situation that is creating tension today on the currency market ... is clearly the American deficit."



U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops By Most in 15 Years :.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. dropped by the most in 15 years in September after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and pushed gasoline prices to a record.


9/26/2005

Rita Sinks Offshore Rigs; Capsizes Tension Leg Platform :.

If these early reports are any indication of the total offshore facilities damage caused by Rita, natural gas and oil prices will be moving up smartly to new highs in the weeks ahead.



U.S. Coast Guard: Rigs Adrift After Rita :.

Several rigs and platforms were broken, missing or adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and energy company statements.



RITA: OFFSHORE PLATFORM DAMAGE WORSE THAN THOUGHT :.

Late Friday night, I was looking at this map wondering why the platform story wasn't big news?! The was lots of talk about Rita weakening and Houston avoiding disaster, etc...

And now back to our usual programming:

President Bush on Monday urged Americans to cut back on car trips amid warnings that the energy disruption from Hurricane Rita could be worse than initially thought.

Although Rita spared massive refineries and chemical complexes in the Houston area, the first reports about damage to offshore production of crude oil and natural gas were grim.

"The early indication is that at least as many rigs are going to be impacted from Rita as Katrina. Rita went through an area of the gulf where there simply were more mobile offshore rigs," said David Kent, owner and editor of Rigzone.com, a Web site devoted to offshore oil production. "Rita cooled off once she got to shore, but she was churning out there for a while pretty viciously."



ENTIRE 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION DEPLOYING TO IRAQ :.

The ENTIRE 101st is deploying to Iraq... to train Iraqi cops?

Uh, sure stupid:

The 101st Airborne Division is once again answering the call to serve in Iraq.

Around 20,000 soldiers got their final briefing Friday afternoon at Ft. Campbell. It's been two years since the division was last deployed to Iraq.

Soldiers will board planes and be heading off Friday to do numerous duties, including helping train Iraqi law enforcement.


Related: 82nd Airborne Deployed to Iraq in Mid-September

Related: U.S. Now in Possession of "Superbase"



IRA Has Scrapped Its Entire Arsenal :.

The IRA has scrapped all of the weapons used to wage its 30-year armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland, international monitors said on Monday.

The move is historic for an organisation that once viewed arms disposal as akin to surrender, but its significance for Northern Ireland politics will take longer to assess, given the deep mistrust of the IRA among the main pro-British parties.


9/25/2005

Here's What Counterinsurgency Bait Looks Like, Don't Take It

Hello Freespeaker,

First of all, you are either:

A) a federal agent or ;

B) so ignorant of information security concepts that your days as a revolutionary would end before they even got started. Hint: By sending your message in a way that only requires the recipient to answer a question that anyone could answer, you have compromised yourself. Your message was saved at multiple points along the way to my inbox. National security organizations from at least three governments had access to that message. If hushmail.com isn't a honeypot---which, personally, would come as a shock to me---all nodes to and from it are fully compromised.

Second, all insurgency movements are compromised. The message you sent to me is exactly the type of message that the federal government uses to get people to say stupid things that could land them in jail, or worse.

Third, mounting an insurgency against the American Corporate State by conventional methods is impossible. If you want to bring this thing down, become self sufficient and teach others to do the same. Stop buying crap from WalMart! Another alternative is to walk away from it, leave the country. Without your tax money, the American Corporate State will collapse. Still another alternative is to sit back and watch. This thing is very close to collapse as it is.

If you're not a fed, you should remember, .mil and .gov are just waiting to say that Middle Eastern terrorists have joined forces with domestic/American terrorists. The second you go violent, you're with Bin Laden.

Again, if you're not a federal agent, you quite literally have no idea what you're dealing with. The American Corporate State has mastered violence and PSYOPS. You're not going to beat Them at that game. You should do some reading about insurgency/counterinsurgency AND modern communications security; that might prevent you from meeting with a VERY bad end in the future. I hate to sound like I'm lecturing, but what you did was VERY, VERY stupid.

So, Freespeaker, this is my response to you. I had to make it public, though, because I think you're a fed and you forced me to cover my ass.

The message:
From: [email protected]

Hey there,

You don't know me, but I've been reading your page for a while now. I want to say that you do some great work, and I'd like to pose a question to you. Is it time for revolution in the United States? Do you think it's the right time to make a move, and that that move should be a full-on Neo American Revolution? Or, rather, civil war? I personally believe it is time, and I'm currently looking into a few different options. I've grown too disgusted with the state of things to allow them to continue any longer, and I'm tired of waiting for someone else to make the first move. What I'm primarily interested in is finding out how much support there might be for the movement, although I'm fully prepared to stand alone on this.

Keep up the good work,
Freespeaker
Let that be a warning to the rest of you out there: As things fall apart, .mil and .gov will start trying to figure out who They need to take down first. If someone is talking about "starting the revolution now" or some similar nonsense, you're almost certainly dealing with a counter insurgency operative of some kind. Out them. Make it clear that you want nothing to do with it. Have a nice day.

Related: Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)

Related: Pseudo Operations and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Other Countries

Related: Low-intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping

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



Bill Would Permit Forced DNA Collection From All Those Arrested :.

Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data.



Georgia Closes Public Schools to Save Fuel :.

More fuel for the Hummers, praise be to Jeebis for that:

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue Friday asked the state's schools to take two "early snow days" and cancel classes Monday and Tuesday to help conserve gasoline as Hurricane Rita threatens the nation's fuel supply line.

If all of Georgia's schools close, the governor estimated about 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel would be saved each day by keeping buses off the road.

Perdue also said an undetermined amount of regular gasoline also would be saved by allowing teachers, other school staff and some parents to stay home. He says electricity also would be conserved by keeping the schools closed.


More: Kentucky Shortens School Week to Four Days



Armed Dolphins Let Loose by Katrina :.

I sh*t you not!

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.


9/23/2005

White House Military Office Searches Operation SEASPRAY

The White House Military Office user (host: marcus.whmo.mil, ip: 214.3.140.16) conducted the following Google search: seaspray cia.

This Cryptogon page is the top result for that search as of 2pm PST 9/23/05.



Today in DC: Commandos in the Streets? :.

Via Ran. Bush is going to hole-up inside the mountain (U.S. NORTHCOM). And .mil is running some kind of classified operation inside DC. Has a Continuity of Government plan been executed?

Today, somewhere in the DC metropolitan area, the military is conducting a highly classified Granite Shadow "demonstration."

Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmented operation related to the military's extra-legal powers regarding weapons of mass destruction. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.



Pseudo Operations and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Other Countries :.

Special thanks to an anonymous author in the forum for this one. The document was found on the Blackwater USA website. Blackwater is a large private military contractor (mercenary organization):
Pseudo operations, in which government forces and guerrilla defectors portray themselves as insurgent units, have been a very successful technique used in several counterinsurgency campaigns. Pseudo teams have provided critical human intelligence and other support to these operations.

These operations, although of considerable value, also have raised a number of concerns. Their use in offensive missions and psychological operations campaigns has, at times, been counterproductive. In general, their main value has been as human intelligence collectors, particularly for long-term background intelligence or for identifying guerrilla groups that then are assaulted by conventional forces. Care must be taken in running these operations both to avoid going too far in acting like guerrillas, and in resisting becoming involved in human rights abuses.
And for those of us following the El Salvador/CENTCOM story:
More recently, the Salvadorans used pseudo teams for intelligence collection during their civil war.
Related: Two British SAS Soldiers Dressed as Arabs, Shoot at Iraqi Police



U.K. Police State: Girl Arrested Over Bollocks to Blair Shirt :.

A girl was arrested for wearing her "Bollocks to Blair" T-shirt at the Midlands Game Fair last weekend. Charlotte Denis, 20, a gamekeeper from Gloucestershire, was stopped by police as she left the Countryside Alliance stand because of the "offensive" slogan.


9/22/2005

Basra Attack Echoes SAS Actions in Northern Ireland :.

Sinister covert operations by British forces in Iraq are "reminscent of the activities of the SAS" in the North, a leading human rights campaigner said last night.

Paul O'Connor, of the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre (PFC), .... was speaking to Daily Ireland after further details emerged about an incident in Basra on Monday afternoon involving undercover British operatives.

The incident drew parallels with the March 1988 attack on the funeral of IRA volunteer Caoimhghin Mac Bradaigh.

During that incident, two armed and undercover army intelligence operatives drove directly at the cortege in west Belfast. After firing a shot, both soldiers were subsequently captured, beaten and shot dead by the IRA.


Research Credit: Anonymous Forum User



Deadly Plague Hits World of Warcraft :.

The genetic engineers out there could learn a valuable lesson in unforseen consequences from this:

To give these powerful characters more of a challenge, Blizzard regularly introduces new places to explore in the online world.

In the last week, it added the Zul'Gurub dungeon which gave players a chance to confront and kill the fearsome Hakkar - the god of Blood.

In his death throes Hakkar hits foes with a "corrupted blood" infection that can instantly kill weaker characters.

The infection was only supposed to affect those in the immediate vicinity of Hakkar's corpse but some players found a way to transfer it to other areas of the game by infecting an in-game virtual pet with it.

This pet was then unleashed in the orc capital city of Ogrimmar and proved hugely effective as the Corrupted Blood plague spread from player to player.


Research Credit: Ran Prieur



Recurring El Salvador Theme at Centcom.mil :.

They like that model, for some reason.

Related: U.S. Central Command Hits Cryptogon



Rita and Katrina Have Shut 23% of U.S. Oil Refining Capacity :.

Live it up... while you can:

Hurricanes Rita and Katrina have shut more than 23 percent of total U.S. oil refining capacity of 17.1 million barrels per day.


9/21/2005

GOLD TOPS $475 IN AFTER-HOURS :.

There is potential here for Rita to deliver a refinery-related kill shot to the economy. I wonder if people are exiting to gold at these levels because of that threat...



Hurricane Rita Becomes Category 5 :.

Hurricane Rita strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it moved across the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas and Louisiana, surpassing the power Katrina had when it swept ashore three weeks ago and became the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.



U.S. Joint Forces Command Google Search

The U.S. Joint Forces Command user (host: uhqpx2.jfcom.mil, ip: 137.246.104.101) conducted the following Google search: sean gorman. The user was interested in this Cryptogon post.



"Rita Is Developing Into Our Worst-Case Scenario" :.

"Rita is developing into our worst-case scenario," said John Kilduff, vice president of risk management at Fimat USA in New York. "This is headed right into our other major refining center just after all the damage done to facilities in Louisiana. From an energy perspective it doesn't get any worse than this."



EU Executive Unveils Plan to Store Electronic Data :.

The EU wants its own ECHELON:

The European Commission adopted proposals on Wednesday to log details of all telephone, Internet and e-mail traffic to combat terror and serious crime, throwing down the gauntlet to European Union member states who are negotiating a rival plan.



Britain to Use Military as Armed Police :.

How about being bold and arresting Tony Blair?

The military could be hired by chief constables to work as temporary armed police, Britain's top policeman has suggested.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair called on officers to be "bold" and consider a range of radical changes to police pay and working practices.

Sir Ian's proposals on using soldiers as firearms officers are hugely controversial after the mistaken shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in July.

"Could we bring staff directly in from the armed forces, give them a small amount of basic training and then clear instructions as to their firearms duties," he said.



Pentagon Nixes 9/11 Hearing Testimony :.

Shocker:

The Department of Defense forbade a military intelligence officer to testify Wednesday about the work of a secret military unit that identified four 9/11 hijackers more than a year before the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, according to the man's attorney.

In written testimony prepared for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, attorney Mark Zaid, who represents Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said the Pentagon also refused to permit testimony there by a defense contractor that he also represents.

The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hear testimony about the work of a classified unit code named "Able Danger."

In his prepared remarks, Zaid was ready to say on behalf of Shaffer and contractor John Smith that Able Danger, using data mining techniques, identified four of the terrorists who struck on Sept. 11, 2001 - including mastermind Mohamed Atta.

"At least one chart, and possibly more, featured a photograph of Mohamed Atta," Zaid said in his prepared remarks.

Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a Defense Department spokesman, said Wednesday that open testimony would not be appropriate.

"We have expressed our security concerns and believe it is simply not possible to discuss Able Danger in any great detail in any public forum," he said.

Swiergosz said no individuals were singled out not to testify.

"There's nothing more to say than that," Swiergosz said. "It's not possible to discuss the Able Danger program because there are security concerns."

On three occasions, Able Danger personnel attempted to provide the FBI with information, but Department of Defense attorneys stopped them because of legal concerns about military-run investigations on U.S. soil, Zaid said in his prepared remarks, encouraging the panel to locate a legal memorandum that he said Defense Department attorneys used to justify stopping the meetings.


Research Credit: GS



Rita, Now Category 4 :.

She's going to rip right through the already Katrina-battered Gulf of Mexico energy infrastructure. Check The Oil Drum for energy related developments.


9/20/2005

Confirmation: SAS Op :.

It's either a Phoenix-type program, or the acme of skill. Take your pick. If you don't get the acme of skill part, read Jeff's post about this again:

AN SAS team used the noise of armoured vehicles bulldozing their way through a nearby police compound to mask the raid that freed their comrades.

The rescuers, from the same squad as the captives, blew out the doors and windows of the smart suburban villa with plastic explosive and hurled stun grenades at the militiamen guarding the two undercover soldiers.

A short, intense burst of automatic gunfire was heard before the men were freed and their captors were seen being dragged away, hoods over their heads and their hands tied behind their backs.

Neighbours said the entire operation took only a couple of minutes while attention was focused a hundred yards away on the army's invasion of the main Jamiat police compound.


More: Forum Discussion



Tons of British Aid Donated to Help Katrina Victims to be Burned :.

HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned.

US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees.

Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.

And unless the bureaucratic mess is cleared up soon it could be sent for incineration.



Carry on Killing :.

These hard men, likely SAS ops, must have had some stories to tell, otherwise tanks would not have negotiated their way through the prison walls of Britain's reputed hosts so soon after their capture.

Walking into the untidied mess of this astonishing and grotesque and predictable story feels a bit like the British detective catching the killer red-handed: "Well well well, what have we here?" We have long had reason to suspect imperial instigation to Iraq's sectarian violence, but here, as clearly as we've ever seen it, is the provocateur state revealed: two British "undercover soldiers" in Arab dress, caught firing upon police from a car laden with explosives. And the British government all but admitting its culpability by breaking them out of prison.

It doesn't make sense? Only if you haven't been paying attention. This is the subtext of the Iraq tragedy: blow up the Hajis and play the Sunnis on the Shias; create the chaos that introduces the conditions necessary for the long-game, and the long-held aspirations of the neoconservatives to divide Iraq into ethnographic bantustans.



Wanted: Psychopaths to Play the Stock Market :.

This also applies to CEOs and politicians:

...now a study by a group of eminent American academics suggests that star performers on the stock market... could best be described as "functioning psychopaths".

Research Credit: GS



Katrina Corpses Get 'Chipped' :.

A company that makes ID chips for humans said Friday it has started "chipping" corpses in the Katrina-ravaged region of Mississippi to help expedite the identification process.

Florida-based VeriChip said it has already implanted radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into 100 corpses in the state for the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The company, which is a subsidiary of publicly traded Applied Digital Solutions, said it is also in talks with Louisiana health authorities, though no agreement has been reached.

"These bodies are in an advanced stage of decomposition," said John Procter, VeriChip's director of communications. "Many of them have no identification marks, no wallets, no IDs. In some cases a toe tag is not even viable."

Mr. Procter said the procedure costs $200 to tag each corpse, though the company is providing the service for free.



Iraqi Prison Stormed by British Tanks and Helicopters :.

The clusterf*ck of the day goes to the U.K.:

British forces in tanks and helicopters stormed an Iraqi jail tonight to rescue two service personnel who were arrested after allegedly shooting dead a local policeman and wounding another, the governor of Basra said.

The two men had been taken to the Basra jail after violence erupted earlier today in the southern Iraqi city.



Two Britons Held in Iraq for Firing at Police :.

WTF?

Angry crowds attacked a British tank with petrol bombs and rocks in Basra on Monday after Iraqi authorities detained two British undercover soldiers in the southern city for firing on police.

Reuters photographs showed a British soldier engulfed by flames as he scrambled out of a burning tank.

Two Iraqis were killed in the violence, an Interior Ministry official said.

"We can confirm that a shooting incident involving U.K. military personnel has taken place which is currently being investigated," a British military spokesman said in a statement.

"Two U.K. military personnel have been detained and we are liaising with the Iraqi authorities on this matter."

An Iraqi official in Basra said the British military had informed him the detained men were undercover soldiers.

"They were driving a civilian car and were dressed in civilian clothes when a shooting took place between them and Iraqi patrols," the official told Reuters.

"We are investigating and an Iraqi judge is on the case questioning them."

Reuters photographs showed one of the two detained men with a bandage on his head. Police and Interior Ministry officials said the men were wearing traditional Arab headdresses for their undercover mission.

Mohammed al-Abadi, an official in the Basra governorate, said the two men looked suspicious to police.

"A policeman approached them and then one of these guys fired at him. Then the police managed to capture them," Abadi told reporters.

"They refused to say what their mission was. They said they were British soldiers and (suggested) to ask their commander about their mission," he added.


9/19/2005

Energy Gaps Up on Rita :.

Crude oil and gasoline jumped, as natural gas surged to an all-time high, on forecasts that Tropical Storm Rita will strengthen into a hurricane and impede efforts to restore production in the Gulf of Mexico.



How About That Gold!? :.

Gold rose in New York for a fourth straight session, extending a rally to a 17-year high, as a surge in energy costs renewed concern the pace of inflation is accelerating.

Related: Kitco.com


9/16/2005

Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return' :.

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating.

The greatest fear is that the Arctic has reached a "tipping point" beyond which nothing can reverse the continual loss of sea ice and with it the massive land glaciers of Greenland, which will raise sea levels dramatically.



Feds Plan Tent City Suburbs :.

How about forming intentional communities where small-group self sufficiency is the goal? HAHA! Think again:

The settlements would range from 2,000 to 25,000 units - mostly prefabricated houses and mobile homes - arranged in loose street grids. They will ideally be placed within a short drive of pre-existing shopping centers, grocery stores and gas stations to make life easier for evacuees.



Solar-Augmented Toyota Prius Project :.

The only shocker here is that it took this long for someone to do it!

A Canadian engineer has prototyped a Photovoltaic Prius---a 2001 Prius augmented with roof-top solar panels and an additional battery system to supplement the charge in the original equipment NiMH batteries.

More: Photovoltaic BingoFuel Hybrid Car



Crazy Loans: Is this How the Boom Ends? :.

I wish I could tell you what I know...

Lenders are pushing risky loans with low payments. Desperate home buyers snap them up. Worried yet?

Term of the Day: Scratch and Dent Loans


9/15/2005

Dead Birds

I ride an electric scooter to and from work. Over the last 24 hours, I've seen four dead crows and three dead ducks on my commute. The crows were all near busy roads. The ducks were adrift in the shallow water in the Santa Ana River.

Possible explanation for the ducks: A few days ago, in the morning, I passed a crew that had strung a spraying device across the entire width of the river. I assumed it was some kind of mosquito eradication effort? I don't know what they were spraying. I noticed that on my ride back home, ALL of the ducks were gone. There are usually hundreds of ducks in that stretch of the river in the afternoon.

Maybe it's all A-OK, situation-normal in Irvine, CA to see lots of dead birds. I mean, this place is so f*cked up---who is to say what's normal or not normal in this place?! I guess I'm wondering if any of you have noticed birds dropping dead where you are over the last few days. If you have something to say, consider using the forum.

Thanks.



Atta Papers Destroyed on Orders :.

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" - as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.



Gold Stays Close to 17-Year High :.

Gold on Thursday moved to within striking distance of its highest level in more than 17 years as speculators continued to buy the precious metal as a hedge against further falls in the dollar due to the high US trade and budget deficits.

Bullion peaked at $455.10 a troy ounce in London trade, its highest level since last December's peak of $456.75, which in turn was a level previously reached in December 1987.



Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

Thanks MW!


9/14/2005

Cheney Diverted Power from Hospitals to Oil Pipeline :.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.

That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt.

...

Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.



Certified Jeans Seattle :.

If you're like me, you can feel the aura of death that surrounds clothes made in a dungeon. Certified Jeans cost the same as the Lucky Brand jeans I've been buying for the last fifteen years. I don't know if they are as good, so if you get a pair, let me know.

Note: Buying guilt free jeans is not a substitute for substantive, lifestyle altering behavior, but it's better than buying clothes that were made in a dungeon.



Philadelphia Highschoolers Build Hybrid Supercar for $15,000 :.

No comment necessary:

The West Philadelphia High School Electric Vehicle Team built this biodiesel car that gets 50 mpg (4.7l/100 km), has over 300 hp and does 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds, all that with a budget of $15,000!

TH writes:
Sorry,
Story is bullsh*t....
Would be nice if everyone got freebie handouts from corporations looking for
tax-deductable donations and free publicity.... Hell, I would even go build
one (I'm a girl-motorhead) Then we could say it really is 15K
The just the kit costs more than a assembled H2 Hummer (as per website)
TH has somewhat of a valid point. I guess.

Let's say the total cost was $100,000. Let's say it was a million dollars. Two million. Ten million. Whatever! What's bullsh*t, TH, is that no major auto company has made a car like this available. How many billions of dollars have been spent on hybrid research and design by these crooked corporations? And what have we got to choose from? Prius? Insight!? Etc. Blah. * yawn * Ok, so, in reality, the kids' project cost somewhat more than $15,000. The point is that they managed to do what all the auto manufacturers on the planet REFUSE to do.

More: Watch NBC News Video About the Attack Hybrid


9/13/2005

Skin of Executed Chinese Prisoners Made Into Beauty Products :.

Nope. This isn't a joke:

A Chinese cosmetics company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe, an investigation by the Guardian has discovered.

Agents for the firm have told would-be customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot. The agents say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is "traditional" and nothing to "make such a big fuss about".


More Cryptogon coverage of Chinese fascism.

Research Credit: AM



Collapsitalism :.

As I was reading this article, a new term came to mind: Collapsitalism. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it pretty much sums up the situation:

A team of investigators is being sent to the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to follow the money - namely, billions of dollars in relief aid the federal government is pouring into the region without normal contracting safeguards.

The 30 Homeland Security Department investigators and auditors are part of what officials call an unprecedented effort to ensure federal funds are properly distributed in a rescue, relief and rebuilding process expected to exceed $100 billion.

The team is being dispatched to monitor government contractors' work in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as critics call the spending deluge a disaster in waiting if not properly controlled.



Subaru R1e :.

It might be too little, too late, but I still wouldn't mind having one:

Japan's biggest power company is teaming up with Subaru's parent company to develop environmentally friendly electric vehicles that can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge.

Fuji Heavy Industries will provide Tokyo Electric Power Co. with 10 vehicles based on its Subaru R1e minicar, and TEPCO will develop a recharger that works in about 15 minutes, the companies said last Friday.


9/12/2005

U.K.: Petrol Panic Begins to Spread as Oil Prices Rise :.

Punters:

EMERGENCY powers to reserve fuel for essential users will be reviewed by ministers and oil companies today amid panic buying at petrol stations across the country.

Dozens of filling stations ran dry yesterday after bogus reports of weekend panic proved self-fulfilling when motorists rushed to join queues at the pumps. Hundreds more forecourts are expected to run out of fuel by lunchtime today despite concerted efforts by oil companies to calm the situation by denying that there was a problem.



Worker Error Kills Power to Half of L.A. :.

If this is the result of worker error, why haven't the "terrorists" taken the U.S. down to its knees? Hmmm? Anyone?

Maybe the terrorists don't have access to ladders, hatchets and other goods available from Home Depot:

A power failure in Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, darkened downtown and several nearby cities, trapping people in elevators, disrupting refineries and snarling traffic.

The blackout started around 12:35 p.m. local time, and almost all who lost power had it restored by 2 p.m., said Kim Hughes, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest municipal utility.

Power was lost in an area with about 2 million people after a worker with the utility accidentally overloaded a transmission line, tripping circuit protectors, Hughes said. Overloading the line caused an automatic shutdown of other lines to prevent damage to equipment.


9/11/2005

Firms with Bush-Cheney Ties Clinching Katrina Deals :.

The links that bind the subgovernment together are strongest when the stench of death is still hanging in the air:

Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Bechtel National Inc., a unit of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., has also been selected by FEMA to provide short-term housing for people displaced by the hurricane. Bush named Bechtel's CEO to his Export Council and put the former CEO of Bechtel Energy in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Experts say it has been common practice in both Republican and Democratic administrations for policy makers to take lobbying jobs once they leave office, and many of the same companies seeking contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have already received billions of dollars for work in Iraq.



Cryptogon Reader Orders Limu

Thanks for trying some Limu, WS. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


9/10/2005

ASPARTAME = DEATH :.

Once upon a time, aspartame was listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent. Today it's an integral part of the modern diet. Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet and Canderel, aspartame can be found in more than 5,000 foods, including fizzy drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.


9/9/2005

FEMA Scraps Debit Cards for Katrina Victims :.

When will the chipping begin? I can't believe They haven't gone that route yet:

"We tried it as an innovative way to get aid to evacuee populations in Texas. We decided it would be more expeditious with direct deposits," she said, citing the large staffing operation that would be required to replicate the Texas operation in other states.



Disarming Grandma :.

See the tough men disarm grandma and load her on the back of a truck.

Research Credit: BW



Water Crisis Looms as Himalayan Glaciers Melt :.

Imagine a world without drinking water.

It's a scary thought, but scientists say the 40 percent of humanity living in South Asia and China could well be living with little drinking water within 50 years as global warming melts Himalayan glaciers, the region's main water source.


Research Credit: KH



Private Property Seized in Houston :.

Mayor Bill White commandeered a vacant supermarket Thursday so it could be used as a central location for administering federal aid to Katrina evacuees in the area.

White had been involved in negotiations for several days with the owners of a large empty warehouse at 6059 South Loop East that once housed an Auchan supermarket.

The owner declined Wednesday to lease or rent the building as offices for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, prompting White's action.

FEMA officials have not said whether they will need the building, but White said he wanted to ensure it is available.


Research Credit: BW



The Pentagon's Freedom Walk Lockdown :.

Via ranprieur.com:

The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense.

The U.S. Park Police will have its entire Washington force of several hundred on duty and along the route, on foot, horseback and motorcycles and monitoring from above by helicopter. Officers are prepared to arrest anyone who joins the march or concert without a credential and refuses to leave, said Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford.



New Orleans Begins Confiscating Firearms as Water Recedes :.

The Blackwater mercs can keep their guns, as for the rest of you, get on the truck, or else:

Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.



ABC NEWS VIDEO OF GUN CONFISCATIONS IN NEW ORLEANS :.

"No one will be able to be armed. We will take all the weapons."

Research Credit: BW


9/8/2005

Mexican Military Enters U.S. to Give Aid :.

In other Superpower news:

Mexican army convoys and a navy ship laden with food, supplies and specialists traveled to the United States Wednesday to help in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. It was a highly symbolic journey marking the first time Mexico's military has aided its northern neighbor.

A convoy of 45 vehicles and 196 soldiers arrived at the border city of Nuevo Laredo Wednesday night. It was to cross into U.S. territory early today, Gen. Francisco Ortiz Valadez told reporters as his men refueled at a local gas station.



CNN Live: Go F*ck Yourself, Mr. Cheney :.

Nice one.



Powerful Solar Flare Erupts :.

The lunatic fringe is talking about unusually high earthquake activity in the Western U.S. I noticed that some of the maniacs were waiting for a, "trigger event." You know me: Whenever lots of freaks think something is about to happen, it doesn't. But if there's a massive earthquake in the Western U.S. over the next few days, the freaks called it:

One of the largest solar flares on record was recorded by the NOAA Space Center in Boulder, Colo., at 1:40 p.m. EDT on Sept. 7. Forecasters are predicting significant solar eruptions over the next few days.

Electric power systems, high-frequency communications, low-frequency navigation systems and spacecraft operations may experience disruptions over the next two weeks.



U.S. Seeks Larger NATO Role in Katrina Aid :.

The STRATFOR analysis of New Orleans as a strategic asset makes even more sense as we see NATO mobilizing to assist:

The United States asked NATO on Thursday to take on a bigger role transporting European aid to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina and the alliance immediately ordered military experts to draw up plans to offer more assistance.

The U.S. made the request at a special meeting of ambassadors from the 26 allies. After getting their orders, NATO military experts began discussing ideas, including the possible use of ships from the elite NATO Response Force, with the U.S. Northern Command.


9/7/2005

Refinery Crisis Faked to Drive Up Gas Prices :.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today exposed internal oil company memos that show how the industry intentionally reduced domestic refining capacity to drive up profits. The exposure comes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as the oil industry blames environmental regulation for limiting number of U.S. refineries.

Research Credit: Sploid



New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize :.

Excellent article about New Orleans, in terms of strategic commercial value:

New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to.

Research Credit: PT



New Orleans Mayor Orders Forced Evacuation :.

To the estimated 10,000 residents still believed to be holed up in this ruined city, the mayor had a blunt new warning: Get out now - or risk being taken out by force.

As floodwaters began to slowly recede with the city's first pumps returning to operation, Mayor C. Ray Nagin authorized law enforcement officers and the U.S. military to force the evacuation of all residents who refuse to heed orders to leave.


9/6/2005

FEMA Accused of Flying Evacuees to Wrong Charleston :.

WTF? WTF? WTF?!

Add geography to the growing list of FEMA fumbles.

A South Carolina health official said his colleagues scrambled Tuesday when FEMA gave only a half-hour notice to prepare for the arrival of a plane carrying as many as 180 evacuees to Charleston.

But the plane, instead, landed in Charleston, West Virginia, 400 miles away.

It was not known whether arrangements have been made to care for the evacuees or transport them to the correct destination.

A call seeking comment from FEMA was not immediately returned.



FEMA Cut Phone Lines?! :.

According to Broussard, FEMA prevented water shipments from reaching the parish before the storm, stopped aid shipments after the storm and cut phone lines of emergency personnel. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee had to post deputies to protect the parish's communication network from being destroyed by FEMA, our own federal government! While FEMA has been causing havoc in Jefferson Parish, they have been doing next to nothing throughout the state to provide aid to hurricane victims. According to Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter, the agency deserves a "F."

More:

Other reports indicate that FEMA blocked the Coast Guard from providing 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, turned away three trailer trucks sent by Wal-Mart filled with water, refused an offer from the American Ambulance Association to provide 300 emergency vehicles, and rejected major assistance from the city of Chicago. FEMA apparently cut the emergency communications line to Jefferson Parish. When the sheriff fixed it, he assigned armed guards to protect it from FEMA.

Research Credit: RT



Fire Fighters Forced to Sit Through FEMA Public Relations Class :.

BEYOND BELIEF! F FEMA!

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.

Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.

On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.

The firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of them came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.

"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."

The firefighter, who has encouraged his superiors back home not to send any more volunteers for now, declined to give his name because FEMA has warned them not to talk to reporters.


Research Credit: Sploid



Feeding the Oil Monster with a Dixie Cup :.

But these steps, however welcome, aren't likely to calm a supply chain where players at every level -- refiners, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers -- fear a supply squeeze and price hikes.


9/5/2005

Oil Prices Fall :.

Take a breath and calmly get out, while you can:

Oil prices fell on Monday, extending Friday's sharp drop, after the release by industrialized nations of emergency stocks to prevent a U.S. fuel crisis after Hurricane Katrina.



Scholarship in the Shadow of Empire :.

I took a Middle East area studies class with Professor Brand when I was a student at USC. She is one of the few people I know in "polite circles" who isn't afraid to let it rip:

...my point is that if one has reservations about aspects of US policy, one cannot simply accept one's Fulbright and then deny implication in the broader imperial/political system because the funding comes from the Department of Education, as opposed to a department that militarily invades another country or an agency that hides away so-called illegal combatants. If we take funding from the empire, we cannot deny a degree of responsibility for its actions. When bombs drop on Iraq, when Apache helicopters are used against a refugee camp in Palestine, to one degree or another, we are implicated.



French Quarter Holdouts Create 'Tribes' :.

Do you know your neighbor?

In the absence of information and outside assistance, groups of rich and poor banded together in the French Quarter, forming "tribes" and dividing up the labor.

As some went down to the river to do the wash, others remained behind to protect property. In a bar, a bartender put near-perfect stitches into the torn ear of a robbery victim.

While mold and contagion grew in the muck that engulfed most of the city, something else sprouted in this most decadent of American neighborhoods - humanity.

"Some people became animals," Vasilioas Tryphonas said Sunday morning as he sipped a hot beer in Johnny White's Sports Bar on Bourbon Street. "We became more civilized."


9/4/2005

The Ugly Truth :.

Bubbling up from the flood that destroyed New Orleans are images, beamed around the world, of America's original and continuing sin: the shabby, contemptuous treatment this country metes out, decade after decade, to poor people in general and the descendants of African slaves in particular. The world sees New Orleans burning and dying today, but the televised anarchy - the shooting and looting, needless deaths, helpless rage and maddening governmental incompetence - was centuries in the making.


9/3/2005

Rehnquist Dead :.

Oh man. Now what.



U.S. Military Begins Combat Operations in New Orleans :.

Insurgency?

Combat operations are underway on the streets "to take this city back" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This place is going to look like Little Somalia," Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. "We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control."

Jones said the military first needs to establish security throughout the city. Military and police officials have said there are several large areas of the city are in a full state of anarchy.

Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

"We're here to do whatever they need us to do," Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard's 1345th Transportation Company. "We packed to stay as long as it takes."

While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes.


9/2/2005

HALLIBURTON HIRED FOR STORM CLEANUP :.

Cui bono? Cheney, that's who. Man, wherever there are corpses, Cheney stands ready to harvest profits:

The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.



More Cruel Than Crazy :.

this is what it means to have an alcoholic psychopath as our national father.

when he's drunk, you never know which one he'll take a swing at. we write checks to the red cross with one hand and squeeze the last drop from the pump with the other, because we know when he tires of one target, if he's still full o piss he'll find another. and who’s next?

when he's sober it's worse, that's when your hopes reawaken and your hands stretch out to receive him. you might get a cuddle and a meal, but there's a bottomless coldness to his affection. he senses your need and dangles it in front of you. sometimes he goes away for days, sometimes for good. the abandonment in all its forms is not an accident, it's strategic. he's slowly trying to kill you.

even though for most of us the punishment is vicarious, the strategy is working. five long obvious days we have watched, waited. we squirm in disbelief. where have you been, papa? surely you could not mean to do that, i know you love me, you must have just been passed out somewhere.



For the Commodity Traders Out There

DISCLAIMER: The following is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial instrument.

To me, this looks like a, "Shaking the apple tree," formation, or what TR referred to as the Magic Mystery Dot play. In an uptrend, weak hands sell at the first sign of a pull back. What's the larger trend? The smart money buys long contracts at a discount before the next leg up.

If you have a good strategy for timing entry into a long play from here, my hat is off to you. Out of the money call options might be the way to go for more risk averse traders.



More Americans Living in Poverty :.

Does anyone admit voting for Bush anymore? (Not that it matters.)

Even as the economy strengthened in 2004, Census Bureau figures show 37 million Americans lived under the poverty line, a jump of 1.1 million from 2003.



A Can't-Do Government :.

America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job.

Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.


Research Credit: AV



Bush Gives New Reason for Iraq war: Oil :.

Shocker:

"If Zarqawi and [Osama] bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seizeoil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."



Energy Prices Drop Sharply

Oil, gasoline and natural gas are all down this morning. It's nice to finally be able to post good news; no matter how fleeting it may be.


9/1/2005

Pentagon Finds More Who Recall Atta Intel :.

Pentagon officials said Thursday they have found three more people who recall an intelligence chart that identified Sept. 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta as a terrorist one year before the attacks on New York and Washington. But they have been unable to find the chart or other evidence that it existed.



GASOLINE DELIVERIES FALTER :.

The more you fight it, the worse your pain will be:

"Out of Gas" signs and yellow caution tape were draped across pumps in parts of the United States early Thursday after many retailers were overrun by panicked motorists looking to top off their tanks as prices soared past $3 per gallon and reports of shortages spread.

Gas stations in and around downtown Atlanta had temporarily run out of gas. The same was reported elsewhere, including parts of North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona. Many retailers who did have gas had no clue when their next shipments would come in.

"People have kind of panicked and they're waiting in long lines because they're afraid the prices are going to go up," said Jan Vineyard, executive director of the West Virginia Oil Marketers And Grocers Association. "We're going to have some outages."

Price hikes were first evident at stations nationwide Wednesday as gasoline costs breached $3 a gallon for the first time in numerous states, the result of fuel pipeline shutdowns and delayed deliveries since Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and Mississippi earlier this week.



U.S. GOVERNMENT: REFINERIES SHUT FOR MONTHS :.

Eleven percent cut in refinery capacity?! Uh... I honestly thought we had until 2007 until this thing came down via the energy scenario:

The Energy Department's analytical arm said nine major oil refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi remained shut from the hurricane. Those refineries account for about 11 percent of total U.S. refining capacity.




Google


cryptogon.com
www

:. 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.