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4/30/2006

GOLD BIDS FIRMING $660

This is nuts. What's driving this!? Don't tell me the Iran thing.

I wonder: Is an institutional short position under pressure? The sharks must smell blood in the water.



Probably Nothing Will Happen.... But...

UPDATE: Peaceful Protests

Thankfully, it's all calm out there.

- - - - -

I have no idea how this immigrant protest thing is going to go down. Here's what I do know:

1) All mass movements are controlled, top down, by national security assets. See COINTELPRO.

2) All public protests are actively infiltrated by a handful of sleeper agents who are there to give the cops an "excuse" to begin arrests, open fire, etc. at the drop of a hat.

Remember the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle? Here's what CNN had to say about who was in attendance:
In addition to hundreds of very visible Army National Guard troops called-up because of the civil disturbances in Seattle, more than 160 active duty military personnel, including a small number of Special Forces troops, were sent to Seattle by the Defense Department for the meeting of the World Trade Organization.

...

The soldiers are "operating in civilian attire -- keeping a low presence," the Defense Department documents say.

...

Troops there are from various military fiefdoms including the U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Forces Command, the U.S. Army Biological-Chemical Command, the U.S. Air Force Security Forces Command and the U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Out there in Jesusland, Joe and Jane Six Pack will lean back in their La-Z-Boys and praise God for the fearless cops, who are saving them from the marauding hordes. The clueless protesters, face down on the concrete, beaten, gassed, handcuffed and shot with rubber bullets, will be left wondering who the people in ski masks were, and why did they start throwing rocks/shooting/whatever at the cops???

Why has the U.S. border been left open for decades? Never mind that. We're well beyond dealing with that matter.

3) Just about everyone hates Bush now, except for Pills Limbaugh, fresh from his booking on drug charges. The economy is on a knife edge. Imbeciles are praying for lower gas prices. On and on. Right now, the regime could really use an excuse to seize more power.

Immigrant protests seem like an excellent opportunity for Them to turn people against one another. Who's really behind all the problems we're facing? Immigrants? Nope. Guess again...

If, by the end of the day, there is some kind of anti-immigrant meme flaring up over these protests, just know that this is the oldest trick in the book; divide and conquer. They are pulling the old slight-of-hand trick on you.

Additionally, there is a great deal of ominous chatter going on right now (on fringe sources that I don't want to be associated with). It appears to me that They are throwing fuel on the anti-immigrant fire, as well as whipping up the pro-immigrant protest sentiment. Friday's bizarro gold move is still echoing in my skull...

This won't happen, it can't happen, it must not happen, but if a Balkanization series of events is going to go down, you need get to a safe place ASAP. Don't wait for things to "quite down." If the situation gets weird, it means They are taking the gloves off. It means that They think they need to burn the village to the ground in order to save it; in order to maintain power. For the extra-cautious, now might be a good time to pack the wife and kids up in the family truckster and take a little unplanned vacation. To where?

You should have already thought of that.

Again, probably nothing will happen.



New Oil Shock Ahead as $100 Spike Looms :.

Yeah, yeah... We've heard it all before:

The growing international crisis over Iran's nuclear programme could trigger a catastrophic oil price spike, sending crude prices over $100 a barrel, senior Wall Street analysts are warning.

...

A single political shock could be enough to send oil markets into panic, said Adam Sieminski, senior energy economist at Deutsche Bank in New York. 'If we have one more big problem we are going to have triple-digit oil prices.' Sieminski points to confrontation with Iran, a worsening of the situation in Iraq or a recurrence of devastating hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico as potential catalysts for a major rise.



Mike Ruppert: Peaknics Have Lost the Plot :.

Peaknic A: Hey, man, I think we should start getting ready for this Peak Oil thing.

Peaknic B: Yeah, man, right after the next Peak Oil convention.


I'm waiting for the big name rock stars to start appearing at the Peak Oil circus events. Maybe movie stars. It'll be hybrid Toyotas and greasel Hummers for as far as the eye can see!

My advice to urban Peaknics: Live it up, while you can:

Perhaps the greatest flaw in the Peak Oil movement's current operating paradigm is that, a part of the movement at least, instead of building lifeboats in the face of an immediate disaster, is delusionally focused on trying to build alternative-powered luxury liners that operate just like the paradigm we as a species need to be abandoning.

...

If the activist paradigm that we live under says that we must slow down the process of reform and planning to make room for all and offend no one, no matter how much they may slow down or confuse the process, then we must disengage from that paradigm. This is no longer about protracted-and almost always ineffective-social change. This is about survival.


4/29/2006

The National Animal Identification System: A Brave and Terrifying New World :.

Over the years, I've posted dozens of articles about the evolving gastrodystopia/police state/frankenpHood nightmare, but this one is the sum of all fears. This article is terrifying, even by Cryptogon standards.

Yep, They have a plan for those of you in the U.S. who think you're going to fire up your own homestead.

Oh yeah, let's make it three posts in a row for: THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOM!

Close your eyes.

Now imagine a wondrous world where the organic grocery stores are stocked with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, but look closer. This isn't any ordinary produce. Those shiny red apples have come halfway around the world from an orchard in Iran where they were designed to withstand the 120 degree temperatures on the plains of the Persian Gulf. That broccoli was grown on the frozen shores of Uummannaarsuk, Greenland, inside the Arctic Circle. It contains the genes of a salmon and is a source of omega-3 oil.

In the meat case, dazzlingly perfect cuts of beef, poultry and pork, lie neatly wrapped in edible spray-on plastic packaging. All meat is 100 percent fat free and contains the genes of the soy bean. Spoil-proof, organic, yolk-free eggs, engineered with extra thick shells, come guaranteed against accidental breakage. They spent a month in a cargo container on their journey from a massive chicken factory in China. All dairy comes from plants. All meat, including fish, comes from factories.

Food animals are derived from genetically engineered clones to optimize their value to producers. Chickens are bred without beaks or feathers, fish without bones and pigs, without tails. Some foods are simply synthesized in a Petri dish. Everything there is to eat in this brave new world comes pasteurized, sterilized and irradiated. Most food comes from beyond America's shores and is completely inert. In that sense, it is no different from the package in which it is sold, but what of the people?

Sixty percent of the populace is obese, up from 30 percent at the turn of the 21st century. Diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma and cancer are so commonplace that they are now regarded as a normal part of a teenager's journey to adulthood. Billions of dollars are raised each year to; "find a cure" for these afflictions, but the cures never come. Infertility is epidemic. Universal health insurance accounts for 50 percent of expenses for those who can afford it. Street corner pharmacies, a trillion dollar industry, now outnumber fast food restaurants.

The family farm is an endangered species on the verge of extinction. Few can afford to garden anymore. Most food crops have been patented, their seeds engineered to be sterile. Washington and big business control the food supply. Government surveillance of American citizens, warrantless search and seizures, fines and imprisonment are used to force compliance with the new food laws. Citizens of this new world order must obey, must comply or they will not eat. And what they do eat is killing them.

Now open your eyes. This nightmare isn't over. Thanks to the National Animal Identification System, it may have just begun.


Related: USDA's Mandatory Property and Animal Surveillance Program



Congress May Consider Mandatory ISP Snooping :.

They hate us for our freedom:

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed.

It's not clear whether that requirement would be limited only to e-mail providers and Internet providers such as DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable modem services. An expansive reading of DeGette's measure would require every Web site to retain those records. (Details would be left to the Federal Communications Commission.)



State Secrets Privilege: U.S. Government Moves To Dismiss EFF Case :.

They hate us for our freedom:

The New York Times reports that the US government has asked a federal judge to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation's civil liberties lawsuit against the AT&T Corporation because 'of a possibility that military and state secrets would otherwise be disclosed.'



Kryptos Decrypt Error: LAYER TWO :.

The known cleartext is enough to give me the willies. I'd like to hear Jeff's opinion on this:

The decoded sections have been mundanely described by the New York Times as "poetic ramblings by the sculptor and an account of the opening of King Tut's tomb."

In fact, the three decoded messages hint at a terrible conspiracy involving the ancient Egyptians, disinformation and something powered by the Earth's magnetic field ... something invisible.

The first message reads, "BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION."

Section Two says, "IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE ? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATION WAS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS ? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION ? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY EIGHT DEGREES FIFTY SEVEN MINUTES SIX POINT FIVE SECONDS NORTH SEVENTY SEVEN DEGREES EIGHT MINUTES FORTY FOUR SECONDS WEST X LAYER TWO."

Finally, Section Three is a paraphrased version of archaeologist Howard Carter's opening of King Tutankhamen's tomb:

"SLOWLY DESPARATLY SLOWLY THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER AND THEN WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED IN THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING Q (?)"

Additionally, there are morse-code sculptures in the courtyard around the main sculpture. Those deciphered contain disturbing phrases such as "SOS, LUCID MEMORY, T IS YOUR POSITION, SHADOW FORCES," and VIRTUALLY INVISIBLE."



Britain: Finger Scanning Punters at Pubs and Clubs :.

Is there any limit to the Big Brother antics in Britain? Pay close attention to the last sentence of this excerpt! Oh sure! It's so convenient!

Revellers in a British town are to have their fingerprints scanned when they enter pubs and clubs in a scheme aimed at weeding out drunken troublemakers.

The "In Touch" project is the first of its kind in Britain.

Biometric finger-scanning machines have been installed at six venues in Yeovil, southwest England. Clubbers will be asked to have their right index finger scanned and show picture identification to register on the system.

The data is then stored on a computer network which other pubs and clubs in the scheme can access so that information on louts can be passed on quickly.

"It will identify those who have previously been intent on causing trouble," said Sergeant Jackie Gold, of Avon and Somerset Police.

"If somebody is causing trouble in one pub and is removed from the premises, from the time it takes for that person to walk to another venue, the system will have been updated and the door staff at other venues will be aware."

"It will also mean that they do not have to carry ID on them which can often be the source of inconvenience."



Cryptogon Reader Contributes $5

Thanks, Neal!


4/28/2006

Ford Offers Indulgence Payment Options to SUV Drivers :.

Oh Heavenly Father, forgive me for I have sinned. Can I still get into Heaven if I can show proof of payment on my SUV indulgence account? Ford said it was Good, so it's Good, right?

Heavenly Father? Are you there?

Ford Motor Co. said it will give consumers concerned about harmful greenhouse emissions an opportunity to invest in clean energy projects via a new Web Site that will calculate suggested investments based on the amount of carbon dioxide produced while driving.

In a program called "Greener Miles," which is expected to be announced on Thursday, consumers can go to the Web Site to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced in one year of driving. The Web site will then suggest an investment linked to the cost of producing an amount of clean energy equivalent to the carbon dioxide produced.

Ford is partnering with TerraPass, a group that helps finance solar, wind and methane-driven energy projects, for the project, Niel Golightly, director of Ford's sustainable business strategies, told Reuters in an interview.

"We know that there is a growing number of customers out there that are starting to raise questions about this whole subject of climate change and energy security... and looking for things they can do to address it," Golightly said.


Catholic Church: Indulgence



Pray for Lower Gas Prices

Are people finally starting to crack?

And Jesus Said...



Iran to Launch its Oil Bourse Next Week :.

I started looking more closely at today's gold move, because the Iran nukes story just wasn't doin' it for me. Then I found this... You know the one:

According to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Vaziri Hamaneh, the Iranian oil minister, announced on Wednesday that Iran is ready to launch its oil bourse next week after an unexplained delay in March.

The Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) is a new energy trading centre, like the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE). The difference is that while NYMEX and IPE trade petroleum exclusively for United States dollar denominated assets, the IOB will trade petroleum for Euros.


Related: Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse

MORE: Event Risk

The gold move is especially weird, given the strong finish going into the weekend. Holding derivative positions over the weekend is risky. But taking on long contracts into the weekend, after new highs are already in, is especially risky. Anything can happen over the weekend, and if you're holding those positions, you can't liquidate them because the markets are closed. But this Friday, traders see more risk in being out than being in.

Why?

I'm not saying something big is going to happen in the next few days, but if it does, just know that "the unseen hand" of the market knew about it, apriori.

The Latino protests are being hyped to no end. Maybe that could turn weird. I don't know. Of course, this gold move could be a simple short squeeze. If that's the case, nothing will happen, gold will gap down, and lots of punters who got long at the end of the day on Friday will get decapitated.



GOLD $658 :.

On 4/18 I said,
GOLD $621
Ok. Enough. Wake me up when it's at $650.
That didn't take long.

Tim said that I was salivating over the rising price of gold. FYI, I have no personal interest in gold at all. I sold all of my gold to help pay off our farm back in February.

I track gold prices because that is a collapse indicator. The higher gold goes, the worse, in general, things will get for most people.

No salivating here:

Gold futures rose more than $18 an ounce Friday to close at levels not seen since late 1980, up almost 12% from prices seen a month ago, after the U.N. Security Council said Iran failed to meet its deadline to halt uranium enrichment and refused to cooperate with U.N.-appointed inspectors.

At the same time, silver prices climbed over 8% as the first U.S. silver exchange-traded fund began trading.

"Iran continues to provoke conflict and the gold price is reflecting that sense of uneasiness," said Peter Spina, an analyst at GoldSeek.com. "Iran knows they have leverage here, especially with oil above $70 and the U.S. dollar becoming ever so vulnerable."



Cryptogon Reader Contributes $25

PT sent $25 and wrote:
Yes, the Pig story was great, though it likely made the Buddhists & vegetarian survivalists wince a bit. Doesn't take True Grit to maul a carrot... ;-D
This brings up a good point! I'm quite curious to see how vegetarians, and the vanity-diet (vegans, fruitarians, raw, etc.) crowd, are going to manage... My guess is that the bacon would slide down the old hatch pretty easily in a collapse situation, but I could be wrong.

Maintaining health on a vanity diet, after the sh*t hits the fan, will be close to impossible, whether folks want to believe that or not. Animal based foods contain very dense nutrition. That's it. End of argument.

I've heard of people thinking they're going to make it on everything from alfalfa, to green algae to prana! Whatever, man. My only suggestion is that you actually try it (meaning, produce it yourself) for a while before you assume that it's going to work.

Thanks for the $25, PT. I'm thinking about investing in a decent recurve bow and a bunch of good arrows. Wild pigs on our land, you know. ;)

Reader Comment

MM wrote:
After doing organic farming for a little over 5 years now, vegans still express shock that real, sustainable organic farming almost always relies on some animal husbandry for the nitrogen in the manure. Most veggies are grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Reminds me of that Simpson's quote:
"I'm a level 5 vegan..I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."

My experience in the US is that many practicing vanity diets do so as an obscure form of control, comparable to bulimia or anorexia. We have no real significant control over politics, world events, disease, disaster, and other aspects of our lives, so extreme control of ones diet is one of the last venues of power that can be exercised. But don't tell it to a self-righteous vegan in Berkeley, or you'll get a lecture on how your diet destroys the planet, right before they drive off in their SUV with a Sierra Club bumper sticker on the back.
I agree with all of these comments, MM. My wife reminded me of our situation back in the U.S., where we were reactionary vegetarians. HAHA! Our mainly-vegetarian diet was a reaction to the ghastly nature of the food supply in the U.S. Many vanity dieters are probably in this same (sinking) boat.


4/27/2006

Aussi: National ID Card by 2010 :.

AUSTRALIANS will need a photo identity card within four years to receive Medicare and welfare payments but will not be forced to carry it at all times.

The new "smart card" will contain "enhanced security" and replace 17 existing cards for Medicare benefits, family tax, child-care and unemployment payments, pensions, Austudy and pharmaceutical and transport concessions.

People will be able to register for the card from the beginning of 2008 and it will be phased in over two years.

The card will also be used to check identities for immigration and security purposes and to crack down on fraud. Its embedded computer chip will include a photograph, number, signature, date of birth and address.

From 2010 people will not be able to receive government health and welfare payments without a card.



Senators to Push for $100 Gas Rebate Checks :.

Can I get a large order of freedom fries with that?

Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.


4/26/2006

Keep Fat Bastard Coming and Going, from Cradle to Grave :.

Profiting off of people who make bad (uninformed) life choices is some of the easiest money around. One of the best friends criminal 'healthcare' corporations could ever hope to have is corn syrup. Products containing that stuff are mostly consumed by poor, ignorant people, (and some wealthy ones with comprehensive insurance packages) so why not make a mint off of their corpses?

Maybe, after dosing fat people up on drugs and implanting them with medical devices, 'doctors' might tell them to eat sugar free jello and diet soda, which contain asparatame, a multipotential carcinogenic compound. Hey, the oncologists need a piece of the action too.

It's all about who wins, who dies and who makes a killing:

Doctors and companies across the United States are looking at various technologies to combat obesity, including brain stimulation. These methods, though not completely understood by doctors, may be preferable to bariatric surgery since device-based treatments are reversible and have fewer side effects.

Related: DRUG COMPANIES 'INVENTING DISEASES TO BOOST THEIR PROFITS'



Foreclosures Soar 63% Over Last Year :.

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

RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its March 2006 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows 101,597 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure in March, a 13 percent decrease from the previous month but a 63 percent increase from March 2005. The report shows a March national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 1,138 U.S. households.



Lithium Battery Car :.

I hate to piss of the parade, but on what planet is a $35,000 microcar considered practical? Ah, the planet where gas costs $5 to $10 per gallon...

I still think my Nissan March will deliver a lower total cost of ownership, heading into the oil Apocalypse, than this thing:

A company may soon offer American motorists a new option to save on high gas prices -- vehicles powered by lithium batteries, according to a Local 6 News report.

A full version of a lithium-powered vehicle will be sold by Hybrid Technologies.

"Just plug in these cars for about five hours or so and you'll get about 300 miles on a single charge," Sosa said.

The cars can travel up to 100 mph, according to the report.

The vehicles cost about $35,000 or about double what buyers would pay for a gas-powered model.

Richard Griffiths is the driving force behind Hybrid Technologies' effort to make practical lithium-powered electric vehicles.



Missing Bioterror Substances Have Officials Guessing :.

Oh sure, tell me another one.

Here's a guess, maybe high gas prices won't be making the top headlines for long:

In the past year, two New Jersey laboratories have been unable to account for plague-infested mice and vials of deadly anthrax spores, and top state officials are scrambling to devise better ways to safeguard deadly material.

In both cases, authorities say they think the items in question weren't actually lost, but were simply unaccounted for due to clerical errors.

They can't say for sure - and that has a Rutgers microbiologist predicting more trouble if such substances aren't kept at a central location.

"The fact that they don't know the answer means they're not running a properly secured facility," professor Richard Ebright said of both cases. "The odds are that it was an accounting error, but it is very possible that one of the persons with access to the lab has removed that material."

Last week, state health officials said they could not account for two vials of anthrax bacteria once thought to have been stored at a government laboratory in Trenton. In September, a Newark health research lab lost track of three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague.

The mice were never located, and officials said the rodents might have been stolen, eaten by other lab animals or just misplaced in a paperwork error.


4/25/2006

Cryptogon Reader Contributions

Three contributions came in almost simultaneously!

KL sent $25, PV sent $35, DG sent $35.

Becky and I are helping out mummy and dad at the moment. As soon as we're finished with this project, we're building the chicken tractor and stuffing it full of Australorps! I think these donations will cover the costs associated with this critical project.

(The chicken tractor is one of the wonders of the world, if you ask me.)

Becky and I spend very little money, so your contributions go a long way with us. Know that we appreciate your support, as much as we need it. Many thanks to all of you guys!


4/24/2006

Sheep Dog Trials in the Wop Wops

I apologize for not providing pure, distilled Apocalyptic fare for your reading pleasure these days.

But who's got time for doom and gloom when the Broadwood Dog Trials are happening?!

We got a call yesterday morning from an 'Auntie' (Hi Linda!) who knows about cool stuff going on in the wop wops. She gave us the approximate location of a farm that was about 10 kilometers from nowhere along an unpaved road. That was where we would find the dog trials.

Becky and I finished our breakfast and took off!

I'm learning that there are different degrees of the wop wops. (The wop wops, in case you're wondering, refers to VERY rural areas of New Zealand.) I used to think that the property that Becky and I bought was in the wop wops. This farm was substantially more isolated than our place.

After a slow drive along a narrow and somewhat dangerous goat track, we saw some vehicles parked in a cow paddock. There were roughly as many dogs as people roaming about. Obviously, we knew we had found the spot.

If you ever get a chance to attend a dog trials event, make sure you bring a few things: gumboots, a bottle of whiskey (or the plonk of your choice) and your appetite. Oh yeah, bring your binoculars if you want to see the dogs when they're working at distance. I don't know how far these dogs get from their owners, but they were easily several hundred meters out.

The events I saw went something like this:

Near the gathered crowd and a judge's box, the competitors (owner and dog) get ready to go. Far away, up a steep hill, three sheep are released into a starting position and kept there by a different dog. This dog is not competing; it's just keeping the sheep stationary for the moment.

Someone yells something out of the judge's box and it's on. The owner launches the dog! And I mean launches. The competing dog goes tearassing up the side of that hill like it was fired out of a cannon. The owner, through a combination of verbal commands, and sometimes whistles, guides the dog as it sprints at maximum speed.

Part of the trial involves guiding the dog in a manner that conceals its approach from the sheep. The owner has to send the dog up the hill, but on the down slope of a ridge, out of view of the sheep. Cunning, aye!

As the competing dog approaches, the dog watching the sheep is called away. The competing dog is then commanded into position about 20 or so meters up the hill from the sheep. I was told that the sheep will come to understand that there really is no escape from that dog, and they will be easier to control if the dog is held off a bit to begin with.

After about five minutes, the owner will start issuing commands to the dog that causes it to gradually herd the sheep down the hill. This takes several minutes. They seemed to want to keep the sheep moving at a slow to medium pace.

The goal is to get the sheep into a area that has been marked out near the judges. In a later event that day, the sheep were herded down a hill and then across a paddock and into a pen.

Everything is timed. I was told that each trial is actually judged on dozens of different aspects.

Here are a few random observations from this event out in the beautiful nether realms of Broadwood (Waiotehue, to be exact):

There is no hi-tech replacement for a well-trained dog.

These Kiwis don't have much use for computers/hi-tech nonsense, in general. I heard one guy say that he might know someone who owns a computer.

Most people at the event seemed to know each other. The sense of community was palpable. For example, one of the people involved with this event married Becky and I back in March. Auntie Linda invited us. And there were several other connections between Becky's relatives and people at this event; cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

Many of the men wore large knives on their hips. Some of the sheathes contained a sharpening steel as well. These are the honest to God, no sh*t bushmen of legend. And those knives were used that day...

When I first glanced at the BBQ, I thought the guys were preparing T-bone steaks. Nope. Those were MASSIVE lamb chops. I said that I'd never seen lamb chops that size. (Kiwis must love a clueless American around once in a while.) The gigantic lamb chops were explained to me like this, "We're going to be eating a couple of big, old, dried out ewes." Sure enough, the meat was a bit tough, full of fat...and tasty. (This was a vegetarian's worst nightmare. I actually wondered how far one would have to travel from that event to find a vegetarian.) I ate about a pound of chops, with hangied potatoes, and could barely walk afterwards.

I think a fun time was had by all!

Here are a few pics:





Related: New Zealand Sheep Dog Trials Association


4/23/2006

Sweden Dumps Dollars, Buys Euros :.

The dollar tumbled to a three-month low against the yen on Monday after Group of Seven powers said China should let the yuan appreciate as a way of fixing global trade imbalances.

...

Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, said it had cut the share of dollars in its $21 billion of foreign exchange reserves in favour of the euro.



Bush Warns of 'Tough Summer' with Higher Petrol Prices :.

Unless you're an oil company executive, then it will be new yachts and mansions this summer:

US President George W. Bush has warned rising oil prices will mean a "tough summer" for US consumers as the high cost of gasoline (petrol) showed signs of becoming a big political issue.

But even as more Americans expressed discontent over the price of filling up their gas tanks, Bush suggested there was little his government could do in the short term about the problem.


4/22/2006

New Zealand Horticultural Property for Sale :.

My Mother and Father in Law are selling their farm in Kaikohe. I have been to the property and you wouldn't believe the quality of the soil out there. It's the elite, volcanic loam that most farmers and horticulturists only dream about.

There's an avocado orchard already in place, and a calla lily operation, complete with plastic houses, irrigation and packhouse. A brand new little cottage has been built on the property.

Check it out, and let Alison and Bruce know Kevin sent you!


4/21/2006

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

At a time when everyone is feeling the pinch of much higher gas prices, MW continues to support Cryptogon! His generosity, over the years, has been extraordinary.

Becky and I decided that the next Cryptogon donation would go toward a NZ$35 membership at the Koanga Institute.

Koanga Gardens is a treasure trove of organic, heirloom seeds, plants and old-time livestock breeds. Thanks, MW, for helping us support such a critical resource to Northland.



Bacon Aftermath

The Bacon story generated more emails than any other story ever posted on Cryptogon.

Some excepts:

From ML:
I LOVED the "Bacon" post! I'm a 26 year old HS art teacher living in suburban St.Louis, but I grew up on a small farm in Perry County, MO. As a result, I'm rather familiar with the process of butchering a pig (and chickens, squirrels, and deer for that matter). I've often had the same thoughts about the ability of most Americans to transition to a low fossil fuel future. I'll listen to my students' heated debates about rappers or the NBA or whatever, and think to myself "These kids don't stand a chance."
From TH:
Thanks for the hard-nosed heads-up. I agree with what is said here. The crash will knock the sh*t out of us, even those of us who think we are preparing...
From JS:
When the sh*t hits the fan, you're absolutely right. Urban survivalists won't survive. Sure, the better of them may make it a bit longer. I've tried to clue in people in LA about that. What do you do without running water, and without food being brought in by truck, train, or plane? You definitely don't survive. I can't imagine most of the population of metropolitan population centers making it for more than a week, before food supplies run out. What do we do then? Get in a car and drive?
MM, an American, on being in NZ as the curtain comes down:
We're very lucky bastards to be here, out of the herd, far from the wolves.
Thanks to everyone who sent comments!



Peak-Oil Dad, Post-Oil Dad :.

"The problem today is that oil companies are too short-sighted, the environmentalists too far-sighted, and politicians only concerned with being elected. As a result, there will be a gap between the end of oil and a conversion to less destructive forms of energy. In this gap, all hell may break loose.

In my next article, I'll go into what I'm doing to prepare for the gap, as well as why I believe the gap can't be avoided. In other words, it will not be 1973-1974, or stagflation, all over again. I believe it will be the end of civilization as we know it -- and possibly the birth of a brave new world."



Oil Breaks Through Record $75 :.

Gas shortages on the east coast of the U.S.:

Oil smashed through record highs Friday, cruising past $75 a barrel on continued fears of a supply disruptions in Iran and Nigeria and reports of spot gas shortages on the U.S. East Coast.

U.S. oil for June delivery set a new trading high of $75.35 before easing to settle up $1.48 at 75.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, also a new closing record. The May contract expired Thursday at $71.95.


4/18/2006

GOLD $621

Ok. Enough. Wake me up when it's at $650.


4/17/2006

GOLD $618 :.

Well, well, well:

U.S. stocks slid on Monday as surging oil and gold prices stoked investor fears about inflation risks and overshadowed optimism about corporate profits.

Crude oil hit $70 a barrel for the first time since Hurricane Katrina as worries increased about oil producer Iran's nuclear standoff with the West, and front-month contract prices settled above that level for the first time since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched crude oil futures trading in 1983.

Airlines ranked among the sectors that took a beating from higher oil prices.

Gold prices in New York hit a 25-year high, closing above $618 an ounce.



"When There's a Nuclear Attack, That's When Buckets Are Used." :.

I don't have a quote of the day feature, but after this, I'm considering it. HAHAHA!

A principal trying to prevent walkouts during immigration rallies inadvertently introduced a lockdown so strict that children weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and instead had to use buckets in the classroom, an official said.

Worthington Elementary School Principal Angie Marquez imposed the lockdown March 27 as nearly 40,000 students across Southern California left classes to attend immigrants' rights demonstrations.

Marquez apparently misread the district handbook and ordered a lockdown designed for nuclear attacks.

Tim Brown, the district's director of operations, confirmed some students used buckets but said the principal's order to impose the most severe type of lockdown was an "honest mistake."

"When there's a nuclear attack, that's when buckets are used," Brown told the Los Angeles Times. The principal "followed procedure. She made a decision to follow the handbook. She just misread it."


4/16/2006

GOLD $606

Mmmmm hmmm.



Bacon

I helped slaughter a pig the other day. Becky's cousin, Paul, had fattened a pig, and we were out at the farm on the creature's last day.

The setting seemed right for killing a pig. There was rain outside. A bare lightbulb illuminated the barn. The pig snorted about its pen (known on that farm as "maximum security"), oblivious to what was about to happen.

Feeling the cool evening breeze and noticing the smell of animal manure in that barn, I thought about all the pundits and articles and armchair collapse theorists (of which I am one) bloviating on the Internet. Sitting in front of a nice, clean computer, writing about corruption and fascists and Peak Oil and killer robots suddenly seemed ridiculous. None of those topics really mattered for much out in that barn.

Learning how to get food without the assistance of a supermarket or a restaurant (or a dumpster, for some of the bum pundits---bumdits?---out there) matters a lot. It probably matters most of all. (Water actually matters most of all, but that's a different story.) Talking about how everyone, the government, or the person or group of your choice should behave, waving signs about it, making websites about it, selling t-shirts with pithy comments... That's a waste of time. How many people involved with all of that can resolve the food issue for themselves?

Get food that wasn't moved by truck or plane. And get it without paying money for it.

Set your computer mouse down and try that one for a while.

Paul shot the pig in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. I expected the animal to drop dead immediately, but that's not what happened. The cartridge had gotten wet, so the bullet didn't kill the pig. Instead, the pig went nuts, running around with blood going everywhere. Paul was inside the cage with the injured pig.

I think I was partially in shock when I asked Paul, "Do you want me to reload the rifle!?"

Paul, probably assuming that the other cartridges were also wet, drew his knife.

"Nope. We're going to do this the old fashioned way." I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something like that.

He proceeded to wrestle the pig to the ground. It may have had a bullet in its skull, but it wasn't going down easily. Then Paul stabbed it through the heart, twisting the blade so as to sever as many vital veins and arteries as possible.

The sound the creature made is the part I won't soon forget. The thought of it stands my hair on end even now. The pig flopped on its side, squealing, flinching, blood shooting from the mortal wound.

Less than a minute later, we had a large, dead pig, laying in a pool of blood and slop. I'll spare you the details of how we had to immerse the pig in hot water as we scraped off the hair, and the evisceration that followed, and what happens to the tub of entrails and the severed head.

What's the point of this story, you might be wondering?

All the talk about living a sustainable lifestyle, preparing for the crash, re-visioning the future etc. etc. is mostly a waste of time. By engaging in this sort of endless babble, all you're doing is postponing the acceptance of the hard---and sometimes ugly---realities involved with practicing what you preach.

As I helped Paul lift the bloody, dead pig out of the cage, that's when it hit me:
People, in general, aren't just going to wake up one day and be able to do this. People used to do this, but too many generations have passed since this was considered a part of everyday life. How will people go from office cubes to this? No way, man. No way!
The people who supposedly "get it" are taking classes on everything from permaculture to biodiesel, they're attending feel-good-me-too Peak Oil meetings, they're making websites, they're waving signs, they're writing books, they're buying books, they're selling books. Don't forget the endless DVDs and bumperstickers... and underwear, baseball caps and pins. It's nonsense!

If all you're doing is telling people about the next big Peak Oil lecture or contemplating your navel and your Toyota hybrid's place in the universe, you are in for the shock of your life when it comes time to dispense with all the bullsh*t.

My point, with all of this, is that if you don't get off your ass and figure some of this stuff out now, while the system is still somewhat functional, you're going to be in deep sh*t when things finally unwind.



Police Surveillance Cameras in New York

They hate us because of our freedom!



Military Coup in the United States of America? :.

America slept through everything from JFK to Iraq... Then there's 9/11, probably the greatest scam in history. Americans, in general, slurped it up and went shopping afterwards.

The bigger the lie, the more Americans are willing the buy it. No, charge it. Better yet, refinance it!

So, if some military junta took over the reigns of power from the present military junta, I think the vast majority of Americans would think something like this:

Is WalMart open?

The "environment of apathy" Janos characterized as a forerunner to a coup seems to have arrived in America.



U.S. Plots 'New Liberation of Baghdad' :.

Liberation will feel even better the second time around! Yeahhhh! Man, it's going to be freedom fries all around! Get that Iran thing going too. Liberate the whole damn planet to Hell and back!

THE American military is planning a "second liberation of Baghdad" to be carried out with the Iraqi army when a new government is installed.

Pacifying the lawless capital is regarded as essential to establishing the authority of the incoming government and preparing for a significant withdrawal of American troops.



'Ugly American' Abroad: Worryingly Accurate :.

Wow.

Loud and brash, in gawdy garb and baseball caps, more than three million of them flock to our shores every year. Shuffling between tourist sites or preparing to negotiate a business deal, they bemoan the failings of the world outside the United States.

The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not, however, just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.

Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.


4/15/2006

OIL ABOVE $70 :.

* yawn *

The price of Brent North Sea crude oil broke through $70 a barrel for the first time on Thursday evening, fuelled by simmering tensions between Iran and the international community.



IMF WARNS ON PETRODOLLAR DESTABILIZATION :.

Petrodollars have returned to the world stage, and could play a potentially destabilizing role in the U.S. and global trade imbalances, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund released Thursday.


4/13/2006

11 U.S. Banks Sued Over 'Naked' Short Selling :.

If you think about how short selling is supposed to operate, this one seriously boggles the mind. No, this is unbelievable! These banks are making markets for financial instruments that don't even exist.

For about twenty years, I've known that fiat currency systems are just faith based ponzi schemes. But this goes way beyond faith. In this stock racket, the underlying "paper" isn't even there!

I've personally gone to short stocks in the past, and seen a message that says, "No shares available to short." That's what happens when the firm you're using has lent all of the shares it has available for shorting to other traders. I guess I wasn't using a crooked enough broker.

Well, bankers lend made-up money---backed by nothing but debt---to people and charge interest on it. And what, really, have they lent? Some number with a bunch of zeros after it on a computer screen. Why not let people short stock that banks don't control and then charge big fees for the privilege?

Short-selling involves a bet that a company's stock will fall. Typically, an investor sells borrowed stock, and hopes to buy it back at a lower price to replenish the lender.

In a naked short sale, the investor sells stock that has not yet been borrowed. Naked short selling is usually illegal, in part because the stock supposedly underlying the transaction may never be borrowed or may not exist. It can be permitted to promote market stability.

The 32-page complaint claims the broker-dealers charged the plaintiff and others for the cost of securities lending, when in fact the broker-dealers did not "cover" short sales, failed to disclose this, and nevertheless charged inflated fees.

"Defendants dominate the market for prime brokerage services to short sellers and tolerate among themselves chronic failures to deliver by which clients are charged for 'borrowing' when in fact NO BORROWING actually takes place," the complaint said.

"Plaintiffs and class members were charged fees, commissions and/or interest for NOTHING."


4/12/2006

The Poor Man's Airforce :.

This is an interesting article on the use of car bombs by insurgencies around the world. If you're interested in asymmetric warfare, check it out.

Run of the mill terrorism is a waste of time in the modern era, with all of the shredded limbs and crying mothers on television. It can work, eventually, against a much more powerful enemy, but why bother with such a slow, bloody process? Conventional terrorism, regardless of the amount of carnage, never inflicts strategic damage upon the more powerful enemy. If "the terrorists" were really interested in victory, they would focus their resources on destroying the critical infrastructures that facilitate corporate communications and financial transactions. These strategic targets are undefended.

Why have "the terrorists" not attacked undefended strategic targets?

In answering that question, you might find that you need to change your definition of "the terrorists."

The car bomb... became a semi-strategic weapon that, under certain circumstances, was comparable to air power in its ability to knock out critical urban nodes and headquarters as well as terrorize the populations of entire cities. Indeed, the suicide truck bombs that devastated the US Embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983 prevailed - at least in a geopolitical sense - over the combined firepower of the fighter-bombers and battleships of the US 6th Fleet and forced the administration of president Ronald Reagan to retreat from Lebanon.

Research Credit: MM



DRUG COMPANIES 'INVENTING DISEASES TO BOOST THEIR PROFITS' :.

Imagine my shock:

PHARMACEUTICAL companies are systematically creating diseases in order to sell more of their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk of harm, a special edition of a leading medical journal claims today.

The practice of "diseasemongering" by the drug industry is promoting non-existent illnesses or exaggerating minor ones for the sake of profits, according to a set of essays published by the open-access journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

The special issue, edited by David Henry, of Newcastle University in Australia, and Ray Moynihan, an Australian journalist, reports that conditions such as female sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and "restless legs syndrome" have been promoted by companies hoping to sell more of their drugs.

Other minor problems that are a normal part of life, such as symptoms of the menopause, are also becoming increasingly "medicalised", while risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, according to the editors.

"Disease-mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes precious resources and causes iatrogenic (medically induced) harm," they say. "Like the marketing strategies that drive it, disease-mongering poses a global challenge to those interested in public health, demanding in turn a global response."

Doctors, patients and support groups need to be more aware that pharmaceutical companies are taking this approach, and more research is needed into the changing ways in which conditions are presented, according to the writers.



Off Topic: Ripped Off by World Wide Marketing and Shipping

Update: My bank refunded our money and World Wide Marketing and Shipping's website has been taken down. Those filthy [email protected] are doomed.

This is a public service announcement:

My wife and I have been ripped off by a company called Worldwide-Marketing and Shipping, Inc.
Worldwide-Marketing and Shipping, Inc.
P.O. Box 408246
Chicago, IL 60640
(877) 878-3227
Tel: (773) 878-3227
Fax: (773) 878-0591
Email: [email protected]
http://www.overseasmarketing.com/
We paid them to ship our personal belongings from the U.S. to New Zealand. They took our money and left all of our stuff in a warehouse in Los Angeles.

Yes, it could have been worse. Our stuff could have gone to... who knows where?

I think I'm going to get the money back because this is fraud and I paid them with a credit card. My bank is investigating.



U.S. Bankers Charged Over Huge Insider Trading Scandal :.

US authorities charged a clutch of hotshot young traders connected to Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch over what they described as one of the biggest insider trading cases ever uncovered.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the "brazen" trading scheme -- which ran the gamut of topless dancers, covert information and stolen magazines -- netted the individuals at least 6.7 million dollars.

The top US market regulator said the masterminds were Eugene Plotkin, 26, a research analyst in the fixed income division of Goldman Sachs, and David Pajcin, a 29-year-old former employee of the premier bank.

Plotkin and Pajcin persuaded a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch, Stanislav Shpigelman, 23, to provide tips on upcoming mergers in return for a share of the trading profits, the SEC alleged.

It said they also recruited two other young men to obtain jobs at a printing plant in Wisconsin to steal advance copies of Business week magazine, and then traded in companies discussed favourably by the influential publication.

"Plotkin and Pajcin also contemplated various schemes involving exotic dancers, including having them garner information from bankers while dancing, and using them to induce investment bankers to provide Plotkin and Pajcin with information," the SEC further alleged in a statement.

Mark Schoenfeld, director of the SEC's northeast regional office, said: "This fraud is one of the most widespread, varied and premeditated insider trading rings we have ever prosecuted.

"The defendants sought out individuals working in our nation's leading financial institutions hoping to get them to betray their employer, their clients and the investing public," he said.


4/11/2006

Iran Claims Uranium Enrichment Capability :.

Cheney licks his chops:

Iran has successfully enriched uranium for the first time, a landmark in its quest to develop nuclear fuel, hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday. He insisted, however, that his country does not aim to develop nuclear weapons.

In a nationally televised speech, Ahmadinejad called on the West "not to cause an everlasting hatred in the hearts of Iranians" by trying to force Iran to abandon uranium enrichment.

"At this historic moment, with the blessings of God almighty and the efforts made by our scientists, I declare here that the laboratory- scale nuclear fuel cycle has been completed and young scientists produced enriched uranium needed to the degree for nuclear power plants Sunday," Ahmadinejad said.

"I formally declare that Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries," he told an audience that included top military commanders and clerics in the northwestern holy city of Mashhad. The crowd broke into cheers of "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" Some stood and thrust their fists in the air.


4/10/2006

New Zealand Update: Big Nerd, Little Car

Ideally, Becky and I would have bought a used, double cab Toyota Hilux (Hilux = SR5 pickup in the U.S.). Demand for these vehicles in NZ, however, far outstrips supply. Buying one new would be unthinkably expensive. (In case you don't know, New Zealand is where used cars from Japan go to die. That is, when Japanese don't want their cars anymore, the vehicles are auctioned off to brokers who sell them in New Zealand and elsewhere.)

We visited a very reputable used car dealership---that handles lots of Japanese used vehicles---and asked the owner: Why are there so few utes (pickups) available?

The owner of the used car dealership told us:
Well heeled Pakistanis are pretty much outbidding everyone at the used vehicle auctions in Japan. The utes are winding up in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's because of the war.
I never thought about this, but it makes sense. Yep, special operations require ground transportation. And used trucks from Japan, bought by Pakistanis, don't point back to the U.S. in any obvious way. Unfortunately for us, the perfect farm truck is also highly desirable for black ops nonsense in the War on Terror, or whatever it's called now.

Since used utes are stupidly expensive---the cheap ones are rust buckets from the 1980s that have done about 300,000 very hard kilometers---Becky and I decided to buy the smallest, most fuel efficient vehicle; A) that we could afford and B) that I could fit into. We would then be on the lookout for a reasonably priced ute that we will be able to use for the farm.

While gas in New Zealand is cheaper than in Europe, it costs quite a bit more than in the U.S. A gallon of gas in New Zealand, if I've done the math right, currently costs about US$3.65. I don't quite see my life flash in front of my eyes at the gas station when filling up, but this is starting to feel like Peak-Oil-Lite (or Pre-Apocalypse) pricing. And I'm not alone. Guess which other cars are really expensive in New Zealand? That's right, cars that are extremely fuel efficient. People are dumping vehicles that guzzle gas and buying smaller cars in droves.

We wound up getting an incredible deal on a pristine, 1996 Nissan March microcar that had done just over 44,000 kilometers. It has a tiny 1.3 liter engine that, thanks to the 5-speed manual transmission, does the job pretty well! We paid NZ$3500 for this car. That is an almost unbelievable deal. I guess time will tell whether or not we got ripped off. I tend to believe the story that the seller told to me about the car: older people, used in town, kept in a garage, etc. The vehicle background check showed no red flags. The mileage records made sense. Weirdly, everything, and I mean everything works.

Becky's cousin got a similarly excellent deal on a Honda Accord.

So, if you need to buy a used car in New Zealand, I have three words for you: Ellerslie Car Fair. Oh yeah, bring cash.

Cross your fingers for us in our search for a decent/cheap ute!



GOLD $603

Wheee! Breakout long. Man, I wish TR and I could get that Magic Mystery Dot thing working.



Most Human Beings 'Natural Born Slaves' :.

If you doubt it, check out the freeways in Southern California at 7am (or 5pm) on weekdays:

IN A counterintuitive paper, Malcolm Heath, of Leeds University, defended Aristotle’s politically incorrect view that some people are natural born slaves.

Aristotle argued that the majority of human beings could and should be enslaved because they are naturally slaves.

Aristotelians usually cough nervously and move on past such passages.

Professor Heath argues that Aristotle was not saying that natural slaves lack the distinctive human capacity for reason. They are not subhuman. Natural slaves may be extremely creative and intelligent. But they simply have a defect that prevents them recognising the way to live a good life.


4/9/2006

Bush Regime Planning Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike on Iran :.

Hersh:

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

More: Telegraph


4/8/2006

Total: World 'Cannot Meet Oil Demand' :.

THE world lacks the means to produce enough oil to meet rising projections of demand for fuel over the next decade, according to Christophe de Margerie, head of exploration for Total and heir presumptive to the leadership of the French energy multinational.

The world is mistakenly focusing on oil reserves when the problem is capacity to produce oil, M de Margerie said in an interview with The Times. Forecasters, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), have failed to consider the speed at which new resources can be brought into production, he believes.

"Numbers like 120 million barrels per day will never be reached, never," he said.


4/7/2006

EFF: AT&T Forwards All Internet Traffic Into NSA :.

* yawn *

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Wednesday filed the legal briefs and evidence supporting its motion for a preliminary injunction in its class-action lawsuit against AT&T.

After asking EFF to hold back the documents so that it could review them, the Department of Justice consented to EFF's filing them under seal -- a well-established procedure that prohibits public access and permits only the judge and the litigants to see the evidence.

While not a party to the case, the government was concerned that even this procedure would not provide sufficient security and has represented to the Court that it is "presently considering whether and, if so, how it will participate in this case."

"The evidence that we are filing supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.

"More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now," said Bankston.

EFF's evidence regarding AT&T's dragnet surveillance of its networks includes a declaration by Mark Klein, a retired AT&T telecommunications technician, and several internal AT&T documents. This evidence was bolstered and explained by the expert opinion of J. Scott Marcus, who served as Senior Technical Advisor for Internet Technology to the Federal Communications Commission from July 2001 until July 2005.


4/6/2006

GOLD $600 :.

UPDATE: Big Pull Back

Retail sheep get slaughtered on the long side. They'll really be scratching their heads when it breaks above $600 again. This is a classic Magic Mystery Dot move. The trick is figuring out where to get long on the pullback... * sigh *

U.S. benchmark gold futures topped $600 an ounce for the first time since January 1981 on Thursday, while silver hit a 22-year peak at $12 an ounce, as a shaky dollar and high oil prices sparked buying by investors.

Gold for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division closed at $599.70 an ounce for a rise of $7.20, or 1.22 percent, on the day.

Futures got as high as $601.90 in early morning electronic trading on the NYMEX ACCESS platform, way above a session low of $592.

The market jumped as the dollar fell to a seven-month low against the euro and oil extended this week's big gains to get nearer to last year's record above $70 per barrel.

"It was triggered by the dollar, the yen, and of course the idea of $70 crude," said George Gero, vice president at RBC Capital Markets Global Futures in New York.

"Oil didn't help the stock market, so investors were looking for another place to put their money and they seem to be looking at the metals."



Bank of America Funnels $3 Billion to Terrorists :.

Let this one tickle your chicklets for a while:

You want some 9/11 truth? You won't find it in the accretions of increasingly absurd conjecture and the tail-chasing diversions of no evidentiary value. The hard-ass, 9/11 truth has the colour of money and the sweet stink of opium, and plenty of both.


4/4/2006

Zfone: Zimmermann's New IP Crypto Phone :.

On March 14, Zimmermann released a beta version of the widely anticipated Zfone. The software is currently available only for OS X (Tiger) and Linux, though a Windows version is due in April.

The open-source software manages cryptographic handshakes invisibly, and encrypts and decrypts voice calls as the traffic leaves and enters the computer. Operation is simple, and users don't have to agree in advance on an encryption key or type out long passcodes to make it work.



U.S. Navy Sailors Training for Ground Combat :.

There's no draft. But...

With the Pentagon's call on the Navy to provide forces to ease the strain on Army and Marine Corps ground units, naval individual augmentees are flocking to South Carolina to learn the basics of ground combat.

During the 12-day training program, sailors are taught lessons that range from the proper way to carry weapons to basic warfare marksmanship, convoy operations, urban operations, battlefield first aid and land navigation, said Lt. Col. Douglas Snyder, battalion commander of Task Force Marshall and head of the Individual Augmentee Training Course at the Army's McCrady Training Center, Fort Jackson, S.C.

Snyder created a training program to accommodate as many as 600 students at once, though the largest class has been 215 students.

"We're getting everyone from E-2s to O-6s," Snyder said, adding he's been "amazed at how quickly they're adapting."

The Navy's individual augmentees deploy downrange from, and return to, Fort Jackson, complete with necessary gear and proper uniforms, to include the Army's new digital battle uniforms, if they are heading to Army units.


4/3/2006

America's War on the Web :.

The Internet could also be used offensively as an additional medium in psychological operations campaigns and to help achieve unconventional warfare objectives. Used creatively as an integral asset, the Internet can facilitate many DoD operations and activities.

Strategic Assessment: The Internet
Prepared by Mr. Charles Swett
Assistant for Strategic Assessment
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict
July 1995
Everything old is new again... Rather, they just write about it in newspapers now:

IMAGINE a world where wars are fought over the internet; where TV broadcasts and newspaper reports are designed by the military to confuse the population; and where a foreign armed power can shut down your computer, phone, radio or TV at will.

In 2006, we are just about to enter such a world. This is the age of information warfare, and details of how this new military doctrine will affect everyone on the planet are contained in a report, entitled The Information Operations Roadmap, commissioned and approved by US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld and seen by the Sunday Herald.

The Pentagon has already signed off $383 million to force through the document's recommendations by 2009. Military and intelligence sources in the US talk of "a revolution in the concept of warfare". The report orders three new developments in America's approach to warfare:

Firstly, the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyber-attacks against enemies.

Secondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media - from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys and personal digital assistants (PDAs) - to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy. Psyops involve the dissemination of lies and fake stories and releasing information to wrong-foot the enemy.

Thirdly, the US wants to take control of the Earth's electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America.

Freedom of speech advocates are horrified at this new doctrine, but military planners and members of the intelligence community embrace the idea as a necessary development in modern combat.


Related: Strategic Information Warfare

Related: Full Spectrum Dominance



Professor: Wipe Out 90% of Humanity with Ebola :.

Maybe this fat slob has seen the contents of Cheney's play book... In any event, Peak Oil is being discussed, in polite circles, as a justification for global depopulation:

Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.

He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.

Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets.

AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.

After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, "We've got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that."

With his slide of human skulls towering on the screen behind him, Professor Pianka was deadly serious. The audience that had been applauding some of his statements now sat silent.

After a dramatic pause, Pianka returned to politics and environmentalism. But he revisited his call for mass death when he reflected on the oil situation.

"And the fossil fuels are running out," he said, "so I think we may have to cut back to two billion, which would be about one-third as many people." So the oil crisis alone may require eliminating two-third's of the world's population.


Research Credit: DG


4/1/2006

Advertisement: Cable Bay Cottages :.

Looking for accommodation in Northland, New Zealand? Check out Cable Bay Cottages:

Features:

* Secluded, beach front bach and cottages

* Self contained

* Smoke free

* Perfect for holidays

* Broadband Wi-Fi access




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.