Israel Threatens to Assassinate a Democratically Elected Head of State :.

I keep one eye on the nauseating situation in Israel, and I usually don't bother mentioning any of it.

This, however, is notably frightening and serious:

ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.

The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.

It came as Israeli military officials readied a second invasion force for a huge offensive into Gaza.

Hamas's Gaza-based political leaders, including Mr Haniyeh, had already gone into hiding.

But last night's direct threat to kill Mr Haniyeh, a democratically elected head of state, sharply raised the stakes.

More: Amnesty International: Israel AND Palestinian Militias Are War Criminals

Ethanol Pickup

Have any of you converted your car or truck to run on straight ethanol? Are you making your own ethanol? Please let me know.

Ethanol is absolutely NOT a solution to Peak Oil. It might, however, be a temporary fix for our NZ$115 problem. A fill up for our pickup truck costs NZ$115 (USD$70). While we don't use the truck for anything except critical trips, we would clearly like to find an alternative. With heavy loads, which is all we carry on that thing, it gulps the juice.

Jerusalem artichoke is a no-brainer here. We can see multiple uses for that crop, besides fuel.

Assuming we can grow the white lightning, I would probably do a duel fuel configuration with a t-valved fuel line for gas and ethanol tanks. I would use a completely different carb for ethanol running, to avoid any chance at all of screwing up my stock carb.

Note: I'm really looking to hear from people who have personally done this and not just thought or read about it. Thanks.

Piss Poor Superpower Can't Deploy 2,500 Troops to Its Own Border :.

The Bush administration has been unable to muster even half of the 2,500 National Guardsmen it planned to have on the Mexican border by the end of June.

As of Thursday, the next-to-last day of the month, fewer than 1,000 troops were in place, according to military officials in the four border states of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.

President Bush's plan called for all 50 states to send troops. But only 10 states---including the four border states---have signed commitments.

We Really Don't Want to Know

Would you leave your children alone with a judge, a former congressman or a head of state?

Not only no; hell no.


Man Arrested After Videotaping Police :.

Turn the cameras on the filth and you're going to have a problem.

They hate us for our freedom:

NASHUA - A city man is charged with violating state wiretap laws by recording a detective on his home security camera, while the detective was investigating the man's sons.

Michael Gannon, 49, of 26 Morgan St., was arrested Tuesday night, after he brought a video to the police station to try to file a complaint against Detective Andrew Karlis, according to Gannon’s wife, Janet Gannon, and police reports filed in Nashua District Court.

Police instead arrested Gannon, charging him with two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device to record Karlis without the detective’s consent.

Companies Offer 'Mind Reading' Technology to Government :.

Have you ever heard of spectral evidence?

The U.S. government is going to spend millions of your tax dollars to strap people---at gunpoint---to machines that are going to produce the modern day equivalent of spectral evidence.

Try to picture the scene! Freaky dudes, almost certainly wearing black ninja outfits, goggles and brandishing machine guns, will escort the 'suspect' into a neuroscience crypt in some undisclosed location. There will be people with PhDs and white lab coats and computers. Needles. Electrodes. We probably don't want to know what else...

What has America become?

It's much weirder and darker than the standard sci-fi dystopias and political nightmare scenarios that come to mind. America is now like that frightening part of a county fair. You know, the carnival part, with the creaky rides, loose cotter pins, questionable odors and eerie music blaring from blown out speakers atop the Freaky Fun House. In this America, however, the carnies aren't just a bunch of ex-convicts and weirdos with too many tattoos. These Jesus-fearing clowns are wielding machine guns and They want to strap people into mind reading machines!

If I remember correctly, the exit from the Freaky Fun House was past the wall of mirrors... the convex and concave mirrors that will force America to gaze upon itself; frightening, twisted, bloated and distorted.

Don't be afraid of the guys guarding the exit. You know, the ones dressed in the ninja suits and holding machine guns. They just want you to stay a bit longer, to make sure you experience enough Freedom:

The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the primary American security agencies for information relating to the use of "cutting-edge brain-scanning technologies" on suspected terrorists, RAW STORY has learned.

Two private companies have announced that they will begin to offer "lie detection" services using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), as early as this summer. fMRI can produce live, real-time images of people's brains as they answer questions, view images, listen to sounds, and respond to other stimuli.

These companies are marketing their services to federal government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and the CIA, and to state and local police departments.

"There are certain things that have such powerful implications for our society -- and for humanity at large -- that we have a right to know how they are being used so that we can grapple with them as a democratic society," said Barry Steinhardt, Director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Project.

Equally worrisome to the group is the fact that experts in the field have told the ACLU that the science to back up any reliable use of fMRI as a "lie detector" or "mind reader" simply does not exist. At most, correlations have been observed between certain brain patterns and particular, highly controlled behaviors produced in laboratory experiments.

Experts also note that these early experiments on a few American college students are a long way from real-world settings, involving individuals in widely varying situations and with widely varying cultures, intelligence levels and states of mind.


Cryptogon Reader Signs Up With Blue Host :.

Cryptogon receives $65!

Thanks to an anonymous reader for choosing to host with Blue Host via Cryptogon!

We haven't done the exact arithmetic, but Becky thinks that Cryptogon contributors covered our living expenses this month!

It will be interesting to see just how low we will be able to get our costs. Eggs, dairy, fruit and vegetables are expensive, and totally doable at home. It just takes time to get everything going. Everyday, we're working on firing it up.

The large pitch fork has arrived at the store in town. We're going to get it, along with some nails and maybe a couple of other bits for the chicken tractor. I'd say that 99% of the chicken tractor will be built from free, scavenged debris. I'm noticing that rather than thinking in terms of designing something and writing out a shopping list, I'm looking at what I have on hand, or can find for free, and making it work... somehow or another. Well, I tried straightening old nails that I had pulled from my scavenged lumber, but that didn't work out too well. I think a box of nice new nails is a justifiable expense. :)

Thanks again, anonymous, and to all Cryptogon contributors!

Related: Hosting with Blue Host


Industrial Organic Dairy Growth Raises Concerns :.

Any organic certification that allows feedlots in its specification is meaningless. If it's not pasture raised, it's nonsense:

A different kind of organic dairy farm is emerging out west---corporate-owned feedlot operations with thousands of cows that are fed organic grain but, according to critics, get little chance to graze.

Fears that big operations will muscle out family farms have produced a backlash, including a boycott by the Organic Consumers Association against the country's biggest organic milk brand, Horizon Organic.

Organic farmers and consumer groups are hoping the U.S. Department of Agriculture will level the field. The agency is considering whether to mandate that milk bearing the "USDA Organic" seal come from cows that have significant access to pasture, a move smaller producers say would give them the protection they need.

Simplified Wood Gas Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion Engines :.

This report is one in a series of emergency technology assessments sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of this report is to develeop detailed, illustrated instrucions for the fabrication, installation, and operation of a biomass gasifier unit (i.e. a "producer gas" generator, also called a "wood gas" generator) which is capable of providing emergency fuel for vehicles, such as tractors and trucks, should normal petroleum sources be severely disrupted for an extended period of time. These instructions have been prepared as a manual for use by any mechanic who is reasonably proficient in metal fabrication or engine repair.

PDF Version


Priceless :.

Cost to U.S. tax payers for the Iraq war so far: About $292 billion

Number of Iraqi civilians killed: About 40,000

Flying around in a military helicopter, above rebel controlled Baghdad, so Dubya can have a photo op: Priceless

Mission accomplished, right?
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, left, and White House Counselor Dan Barlett, ride in a military helicopter wearing helmets and flak jackets for a trip from Baghdad International Airport to U.S. Embassy in the Greenzone Tuesday, June 13, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq. Snow and Bartlett traveled with President Bush who made a surprise visit to Baghdad.

Related: Mastercard Priceless Parodies


Our steers are dropping glorious heaps of steaming sh*t all over the pasture. Now that Becky and I want to activate our compost heaps, we have been making runs with the wheelbarrow to load up!

Gazing at the pile of cow manure this afternoon, I thought, "It's not illegal to have cows here!" Having lived in a place where the length of the toxic lawn is regulated by legally binding contracts, it felt exhilarating to be meandering around our property with a big load of cow sh*t!

I was so overjoyed that I thought I'd share a picture of it with you guys, probably reading from work, just in case you needed reminders of what the good life and freedom look like. If your PHB hasn't taken away your permissions for desktop customization, feel free to make this your desktop wallpaper:

GM to Shed Quarter of Workforce this Year :.

General Motors will on Monday disclose details of one of most dramatic corporate downsizings in US history, exceeding a key target of its turnround plan and accelerating the demise of the privileged American car worker.



Becky and I finally found a reasonably priced pickup (pronounced 'yute' like 'utility' if you're speaking Kiwi).

Our neighbors up the road told us about a woman who was interested in selling this 1990 Nissan Navara for NZ$2000. Knowing such a deal wouldn't last long, we quickly traveled down to see her and the pickup. After about 20 minutes of looking over the vehicle, and test driving it, we neatly stacked the precious cash on the table in front of her. No need to try to get a better bargain, Becky and I felt, since she was asking roughly half the price of what vehicles like this are selling for. (We had considered sh*tty rust buckets that were older and cost more than this.) This thing had never even been used on a farm!

We're glad that we weren't more desperate to get a pickup beforehand. Time and luck were on our side with this thing.

I hate to say it, and it seems contradictory, but if you want to travel "the path to freedom," you better have a pickup truck. There might be ways of getting the farm underway without a pickup, but it sure as hell wouldn't be easy.

In the initial phases, at least, a pickup is the would-be farmer's most valuable asset. It allows you to take advantage of opportunities that you would otherwise have to pass up. For example:

Becky's cousin, Paul, has a bunch of busted-open silage bags on his dairy farm. The hay is well rotted and totally useless for feeding his cows. Well, one man's rotted silage is another man's compost. I drove our "new" ute over there and loaded up nearly two cubic meters of this stuff. It was full of earthworms! I'll keep going over there and hauling away as much of that stuff as I can. We've added fresh cow manure and covered it with a tarp. (I refer to this pile as "My Precious.")

Becky's mom and dad have invited us to remove all the debris we can carry away from the farm they're selling down in Kaikohe. Things like old lumber, weed cloth, piping, hose, pots...

In other words, the pickup is a strategic asset. Make sure you factor the cost of the purchase and operation of a pickup into your plans. Alternatively, come up with a scheme to share a pickup with friends, family or neighbors.

Cryptogon Reader Signs Up With Blue Host :.

Cryptogon receives $65!

Thanks to for choosing to host with Blue Host via Cryptogon!

PLEASE NOTE: Sadly, there is some confusion about how I receive Blue Host referral payments.

IN ORDER FOR ME TO RECEIVE CREDIT, YOU MUST CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS TO BLUE HOST FROM CRYPTOGON.COM AND SIGN UP FROM THERE. If you just go to Blue Host, without clicking a link from Cryptogon, and sign up, I won't and can't get credit for it after the fact. So far, this has happened twice.

It's my fault for not making this explicitly clear in the first place. Sometimes, computer people, like me, assume things that shouldn't be assumed. This was one of those cases.

Related: Hosting with Blue Host

Cryptogon Readers Contribute $20 and $25

MW ($20) and GW ($25) have been donating to Cryptogon at these levels for months! Thank you both very much.

Here's how these generous contributions will be used:

For some inexplicable reason, full sized pitch forks are very hard to find in the Far North of New Zealand. My local RD1 carries them, but they are always sold out. The RD1 guys told me that the fork they carry is very high quality and that the people who buy them are extremely pleased with the tools. I placed one on order and should have it by next week.

I will use the rest of the funds to purchase, Organic Dairy Farming: A Resource for Farmers, by Jody Padgham.

Thanks, again, MW and GW, for making these critical purchases possible.


King Fish

I've been collecting bits and pieces for a fishing post ever since I've been in New Zealand. Well, my Father in Law, Bruce Thom, forced the issue this afternoon when he returned from fishing with this 35 pound king fish. According to legend, this fish was caught just outside the harbor with a live yellow tail used as bait:

KingyAlison and Bruce Thom operate Cable Bay Cottages. If you're looking for a beautiful place to stay on the scenic East Coast in the Far North of New Zealand, book accomodation with Cable Bay Cottages and Bruce might tell you where he caught that bruiser.

UPDATE: Fish Remains Dug Into Garden Rows Next Day

That king fish and a few kahawai nourished our bellies, now they're going to nourish our garden. We thank the creatures for the incredible bounty they provide to us:

Netvocates PSYOP Teams for Hire :.

Pay the goon squad to flood the signal with noise:

...the gist of it is that NetVocates appears to offer a service whereby they will target weblogs which might "impact an organization and its products and image in uncontrolled and often unexpected ways", and they then hire individuals to post comments on those weblogs which will, presumably, help to create more "controlled" and "expected" impacts.

In other words they pay people to troll.

When 'Stupid Hippy' Just Won't Cut It :.

Do you ever get a "bad vibe" from hippies? I always have. Hippies alternate between sloth and frenetic, purposeless action that results only in Joe and Jane Six Pack thanking Jesus for cops and soldiers. That's about all hippies have ever accomplished. Well, the stench is impressive, I must say.

Cui bono?

Revolutionaries? No. The entire scene is a PSYOP engineered to defeat revolutionary behavior. Whenever there is a movement, lists of names are maintained by professional, full-time counter-insurgency operators. These guys dress like hippies, smell like hippies, smoke the same dope as hippies, and punch a .mil or .gov time clock every day. Public events, protests, demonstrations, etc. are easily managed. The most dangerous radicals can then be executed, or better yet, transformed into leaders of the revolution... Which really means, fodder for the nightly news, in case the general population needs to be reminded of why they need to pay The Man for protection:

The Yippies were trickster revolutionaries, who staged shamanic acts to advance social transformation. They led thousands to the Pentagon in 1967 to attempt its levitation. They crashed the galleries of Wall Street to shower money on the trading floor. They ran a pig for president. But the decade, in America's memory, belongs to the Hippies.

The misty-eyed nostalgia has created bitterness and confusion over how members of the Grateful Dead can also be members of the Bohemian Grove. Before Neil Young's change of heart, there was dismay at his support for Ronald Reagan and at his "Let's Roll" jingoism. And there's the resistance I still feel within myself to the consideration that Hunter S Thompson may have been up to some pretty weird shit with some disturbed company, even though Michael Aquino is also a fan, and Thompson said in 2003 that he didn't "hate Bush personally. I used to know him. I used to do some drugs here and there."

But where the hell did the hippies go? They entered into power, and the institutions of selfishness, because If it feels good, do it is a philosophy of life that doesn't shy from power, because it needs power to feed the habit.

The Sixties, at least as romantically recalled, is one of the most debilitating things that ever happened to progressive America. A mass, Dionysian movement for social justice became co-opted and debased into Bacchian self-indulgence, and was called a triumph.


Bank Data Sifted in Secret by U.S. :.

If the Bank for International Settlements is the evil wizard, SWIFT is his staff of power.

Gaze upon BIS and SWIFT long enough and you'll begin to see the veil between worlds become thin:

Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.

The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database.

Cryptogon Reader Signs Up with Blue Host :.

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Thanks to for choosing to host with Blue Host via Cryptogon!

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Who Killed Philip Merrill? :.

Washington GOP insider Philip Merrill's body was dragged from Chesapeake Bay on Monday, 11 miles from where his sailboat was found last week, an anchor tied around his ankles and his head disfigured from a shotgun blast.

It now appears the multimillionaire publisher who held top Bush Family appointments at NATO and the Pentagon mysteriously "committed suicide" in exactly the same fashion as CIA-Watergate operative and JFK-assassination figure John Paisley.

Janitor Strives to Unlock Code Behind Graffiti :.

HAHAHA! This guy is like Agent Moulder, with a soggy mop. Queue the X-files title track as you read this:

Ken Roberts has seen plenty of graffiti, but a spray-painted message that appeared on a Boone County government building during the weekend still has him scratching his head.

"It's not your basic vandals; it's actually a conspiracy movement," said Roberts, who heads the county's facilities maintenance department.

In neatly scrawled red paint, the graffiti artist sometime over the weekend wrote, "problem reaction solution... get it yet?" on a shed near the Boone County Johnson Building. A small stencil sketch of what appears to be a Continental soldier is next to the message.

Roberts didn't know what to think when he first saw the graffiti yesterday. Later, inspired by crime scene investigation TV shows and "The Da Vinci Code," Roberts researched the message using Internet searches and was bowled over by what he found. According to various Web sites, the graffiti traces back to a government conspiracy theory. The idea is that when the government wants to do something, such as start a war or pass a law, officials create a problem that causes the public to demand a war or a law.

The writing was much different than other messages that have appeared on county buildings through the years.


North Korea Fuels Missile, Readies Launch :.

Believe it or not, but this is going down right as the Valiant Shield and bunker antics are getting under way:

North Korea is believed to have completed fueling a missile capable of reaching Alaska, raising the probability of an imminent test launch, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

The United States plans to join Japan in a sharp response if the test goes ahead.

Washington has warned Pyongyang against the launch in a message passed to North Korean diplomats at the United Nations but there was no response, American officials said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Pyongyang could still decide to scrap the launch, but that was unlikely given the complexity of siphoning fuel back out of a missile prepared for launch.

The test is expected to involve a Taepodong-2 missile with an estimated range of 2,175 to 2,670 miles (3,500 to 4,300 kilometers). At that range, parts of Alaska in the United States would be within reach as well as Asia and Russia.


Smithsonian Removes Electric-Car Exhibit :.

Just weeks before the release of a movie about the death of the electric car from the 1990s, the Smithsonian Institution has removed its EV1 electric sedan from display.

The National Museum of American History removed the rare exhibit yesterday, just as interest in electric and hybrid vehicles is on the rise.

The upcoming film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" questions why General Motors created the battery-powered vehicles and then crushed the program a few years later. The film opens June 30th.

GM happens to be one of the Smithsonian's biggest contributors. But museum and GM officials say that had nothing to do with the removal of the EV1 from display.


74% Hate Their Job :.

Jobs today provide just enough rope for most people the hang themselves. Have a nice day:

The main problem is that most companies are simply rotten places where people are forced to waste their lives in exchange for a paycheck that will never be big enough.


Personal Data on 1,500 Nuclear Weapons Employees Stolen :.

One for the "I Sh*t You Not" file:

Around 1,500 workers for the nuclear-weapons unit of the Energy Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico have been left vulnerable after a hacker stole sensitive information. Names, Social Security numbers, information where the employees worked, security clearance and birth dates were taken during the theft. The incident took place last September, but the proper authorities were not notified until several days ago, it was reported during a congressional hearing last Friday. It is unknown what impact the breach had on the 1,500 employees.

News of this attack, especially after the larger breach of the Veterans Affairs Department, may put more pressure on the government to do a better job of securing its networks and databases against cyber attacks. Another serious concern is why it took so long before the theft victims and proper government officials were notified. Linton Brooks, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, believed the counterintelligence office would tell employees of the security breach -- but that never happened. One of the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked Brooks for his resignation.

Global Equity Meltdown "Wiped Out" More Than $2 Trillion :.

Oh, just wait:

The month-long slide in global stocks has wiped out at least $2 trillion in wealth, leaving investors few alternatives to preserve their holdings aside from bonds and money markets.

Investors have been dumping stocks, commodities and emerging market assets on growing concerns that economic growth will suffer from higher inflation and interest rates.

Gold Gapping Down Along with Global Stock Markets? Sure, Why Not?

A few weeks ago, in a forum post on gold and silver, I wrote:
I have no idea where prices are headed, or even if prices (quoted in fiat currencies) will mean much. That's why I got completely out.
And in a recent email to a reader, I wrote:
If it has quotes that are updated in real-time, chances are, it won't be useful for much when the sh*t hits the fan.
Lots of people holding gold, as it gaps down along with global stock markets, are probably scratching their heads right now.

Gold should be going up when markets fall...

Gold is a safe haven...

Gold is real money...


It's like this: people just aren't thinking weird enough. There's a reason why institutional traders call retail investors dumb money. It's because the retail investor---if you trade your own account or pay a broker to do it, you're a retail investor---is trying to play by the rules established by the most criminally corrupt and diabolical economic system that the world has ever seen.

Here's a question for retail investors out there: Would you show up to a gun battle with a butter knife?

That's pretty much what you're doing when you enter a trade in any equity, commodity or currency market right now. Like showing up to a gunbattle with a butter knife, there's a chance that you'll be the last one standing, but not much of a chance.

I came to the conclusion that gold wasn't the way to go because A) my wife and I needed a farm, not gold, and B) gold transactions and contracts are settled in, guess what: fiat currency.

Funny money.

It makes no sense that gold should be available for purchase with U.S. dollars. It makes absolutely no sense. If gold is the "real money" gold bugs (I used to be one) believe it to be, it makes no more sense to be able to buy gold with U.S. dollars than it would make to be able to buy a cow with a cupful of rocks.

"Yes, Kevin," I can hear you guys thinking, "but you and your wife bought your land with your fiat currency. How does that make sense?"

It doesn't. The difference is that there is a much better chance that this farm will sustain us than there is that gold will be as safe a haven as people are expecting it to be. Gold could go to $1000, $2000, $5000 per ounce. It could also go to $100 per ounce. My wife and I have much more control over what happens in our dirt than what some criminal syndicate says the value of the "real money" should be.

As someone who used to daytrade my own account to survive, mark my words: All equity, commodity and currency markets are scams. You're playing the House's game when you're screwing around with any of it. You may come out on top, but if I was a betting man, which I'm not, my money would be on the House.

If there's one thing I've learned in all my years of looking at events, it's that events never go the way anyone thinks they're going to go in the future. It seems so obvious that gold is the way to go with the instability and precarious nature of the global economic system. Right?

Explain gold's recent leg down, in the face of crashing global stock markets.

Actually, I don't want you to explain it to me (because I've read all the theories, which are starting to sound more nuts than a Baptist revival). That's the beauty of being out.

If you're long (or short) gold, silver or sea shells, best of luck to you. Also, best of luck in not having to rely on luck anymore. The people you're betting against don't.

Outlaw Biodiesel Brewers :.

If you think you're not going to pay the Man with your fart scooter, corn Porsche or grease bus, think again:

In Salt Lake County, making biodiesel, at least on a homebrew level, has come to a screaching halt due to a law on the books that makes it against the law to collect waste veggie oil unless you have a "Liquid Waste Handling Permit".

To get one runs you $125.00/year, an inspection from the health dept, and proof of a general liability insurance policy with $1 Mil in the environmental liability section.


NIKKEI SLAMMED DOWN -614.41 -4.14% :.

NASDAQ down seven days in a row. Asia clobbered. All red.

Where's the damn Plunge Protection Team?

TOKYO, June 13 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average plunged 4.14 percent on Tuesday to book its biggest one-day percentage loss in two years...

The Nikkei has now dropped about 20 percent since April 7 when the benchmark hit its intraday high for the year.

Related: Investment Advice

Rigorous Intuition V2.0 :.

Jeff Wells ran into some trouble publishing Rigorous Intuition with Blogspot. * Imagine my shock * He is in the process of sorting out a more reliable and secure solution. In the meantime, update your bookmarks:

Rigorous Intuition V2.0

If you run a site, please help spread the word.


Iraq Contractors (Mercenaries) Make Billions on the Front Line :.

There is no "front line" in a guerilla conflict, but anyway... What's important is that the whores of war get paid:

Private military contractors are earning billions of dollars in Iraq -- much of it from U.S. taxpayers.

Business is booming for those willing to tackle one of the most dangerous jobs on Earth. Lucrative U.S. government contracts go to firms called on to provide security for projects and personnel -- jobs that in previous conflicts have been done by the military.

A single contract awarded to Britain's AEGIS Specialist Risk Management company by the Pentagon was worth $293 million, and while the government says it cannot provide a total amount for the contracts -- many of which are secret -- industry experts estimate Iraq's security business costs tens of billions of dollars.


Why isn't this BREAKING NEWS on all of the corporate news sites? The reason is probably that the authorities don't feel as though they can spin this into some sort of 'terrorist' yarn just yet:

A family court judge was shot and wounded as he stood near a third-floor courthouse window Monday, and police sealed off the area and searched nearby parking garages for a sniper.

Chuck Weller, 53, was hit in the chest around midday by a shot or shots that came through his office window at the Mills B. Lane Justice Center, authorities said. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was reported in serious condition.

Asia's Oil Drilling Fails to Increase Production :.

Asia's expanded oil drilling, spurred by record prices, has failed to boost supplies and ease the region's growing reliance on the Middle East, said Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of the Asia Oil & Gas Conference.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Middle East producers will provide 70 percent of any additional oil demand over the next five years, said Fesharaki, chief executive officer at oil consultant Facts Inc.


Increased spending in Asia by explorers such as Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. reflect soaring costs as they chase oil in deeper waters offshore and prices of steel and raw materials rise.

"The spending will go up, but I don't think they're drilling more wells," David Morrison, chairman of energy at Wood Mackenzie, an oil consulting group, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, before the conference started. It's because of "the cost inflation in the service sector."


June 19, 2006: "Valiant Shield" and the Bunker

UPDATE: AF.MIL Hits Related to Valiant Shield

I have no idea what this means, if anything, but lots of U.S. Air Force users are searching Google for information on Valiant Shield; what we think is a U.S. Naval exrercise...

- - - - -

What do the largest U.S. Naval exercise in the Pacific since the Vietnam War and the largest continuity of government drill ever held by the United States Government have in common?

June 19, 2006.

Probably nothing. Maybe something:

Carriers Ready for War Games
The Navy will make a point of demonstrating its carrier strength in the Pacific this summer.

Three aircraft carriers will head to Guam for military exercises later this month. One will later take part in upcoming Rim of the Pacific war games off Hawai'i, and two carriers will train in the western Pacific in August, the Navy said.

Officials yesterday said the carriers Reagan, Lincoln and Kitty Hawk will participate in the Valiant Shield exercise from about June 19 to 23. The Reagan and Lincoln are expected to make port calls at Pearl Harbor.
Valient Shield - Largest Military Exercise in Pacific Since Vietnam War
... the "Valiant Shield" U.S. military exercise in June that will be held near Guam. Three aircraft carriers are expected to take part in exercises that month in the biggest carrier operation in the Pacific since the Vietnam War.
Back to the Bunker
On Monday, June 19, about 4,000 government workers representing more than 50 federal agencies from the State Department to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will say goodbye to their families and set off for dozens of classified emergency facilities stretching from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to the foothills of the Alleghenies. They will take to the bunkers in an "evacuation" that my sources describe as the largest "continuity of government" exercise ever conducted, a drill intended to prepare the U.S. government for an event even more catastrophic than the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Again, probably nothing...

Garden Preparation

Becky and I are converting some of the "house paddock" into garden space.

We needed a nontoxic way of taking out the kikuyu grass, temporarily, in order to get some raised beds and walkways in. For the uninitiated, kikuyu grass is a fast growing grass that is common in New Zealand. If I told you just how fast it grows in this environment, you probably wouldn't believe me. I've watched what it does from day-to-day and I don't believe it. The good news is that with thorough composting, we can repurpose the kikuyu into a nice mulch. I've got some of it well rotted and it makes a beautiful compost.

Becky's dad gave us a large roll of this black poly stuff. Shade really knocks kikuyu back. We're going to keep this on for a while and see how it goes.

The amount of rainfall here is surreal. It just tips out of the sky, sometimes for days. The gumboot picture below will give you an idea of what happens to the soil here in the winter. Obviously, raised beds aren't optional.

We have made a tentative decision to build the raised beds out of wine bottles. The raised bed material had to meet three criteria:

1) Free
2) Non toxic
3) Won't break down

I think we will be able to attain a bed height that will be barely adequate for many of the crops we want to grow. I wish we had piles of river bottom rocks close by, but alas, we don't. Note: We don't drink that much wine, so we'll be scavenging up most of the bottles from here and there.


'Mind Over Matter' No Longer Science Fiction :.

I wonder what They have down in the crypt:

Sitting stone still under a skull cap fitted with a couple dozen electrodes, American scientist Peter Brunner stares at a laptop computer. Without so much as moving a nostril hair, he suddenly begins to compose a message -- letter by letter -- on a giant screen overhead.

"B-O-N-J-O-U-R" he writes with the power of his mind, much to the amazement of the largely French audience of scientists and curious onlookers gathered at the four-day European Research and Innovation Exhibition in Paris, which opened Thursday.

Brunner and two colleagues from the state-financed Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York were demonstrating a "brain computer interface (BCI)," an astounding technology which digitalizes brain signals emitted as electrical impulses -- picked up by the electrodes -- to convey intent.

Cryptogon Reader Signs Up With Blue Host!

Cryptogon receives $65! Thanks! And he has posted a Blue Host signup link on his site that credits Cryptogon.

I immediately used this commission payment to buy the large NightStar LED flashlight, via Deconsumption's Cata'blog.

Besides food, the things Becky and I are buying now fall mainly into three categories:
1) Tools that will last a very long time
2) Inexpensive tools that speed up the building of our permaculture farm
3) Plants, animals, seeds
That NightStar light is a Category 1 purchase.

Thanks to Steve at Deconsumption for providing such consistently great content!

Related: Hosting With Blue Host

The Monkey Chow Diaries :.

Although this is offtopic, it must be posted:

I'm tired of cooking. I hate scrubbing pots and pans. I've wasted too much time in the checkout line. It's time to eat chow.

The Al-Zarqawi Circus :.

I couldn't bring myself to take seriously any of the nonsense surrounding this al-Zarqawi circus. It's a bit like when the media is consumed by the kidnapping of a blond woman. Or, in other news, Michael Jackson diddles _______ <--- fill in the blank.

Al-Zarqawi, Satan's Lieutenant, Killed by the League of Justice, or whatever the headlines read... Tell me another one.

Weirdly, Jeff hasn't dealt with it yet. I wonder if the entire thing is too stupid for him to bother with...

Sploid has a roundup, if you're interested.

MIT's Super Battery :.

They turned to the capacitor, which was invented nearly 300 years ago. Schindall explains, "We made the connection that perhaps we could take an old product, a capacitor, and use a new technology, nanotechnology, to make that old product in a new way."

Rechargable and disposable batteries use a chemical reaction to produce energy. "That's an effective way to store a large amount of energy," he says, "but the problem is that after many charges and discharges ... the battery loses capacity to the point where the user has to discard it."

But capacitors contain energy as an electric field of charged particles created by two metal electrodes. Capacitors charge faster and last longer than normal batteries. The problem is that storage capacity is proportional to the surface area of the battery's electrodes, so even today's most powerful capacitors hold 25 times less energy than similarly sized standard chemical batteries.

The researchers solved this by covering the electrodes with millions of tiny filaments called nanotubes. Each nanotube is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair. Similar to how a thick, fuzzy bath towel soaks up more water than a thin, flat bed sheet, the nanotube filaments on increase the surface area of the electrodes and allow the capacitor to store more energy. Schindall says this combines the strength of today's batteries with the longevity and speed of capacitors.

"It could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours," he says.

Reader Email: Money Talks and Bullsh*t Goes Into My Compost Heap

I thought I'd open this up to everyone, in case it's useful.

Robert wrote:
Subject: Comments on Gold/Stocks?

I enjoy the financial commentary on your blog, and while it may not be the central focus, I am curious to hear your thoughts on the current trends in gold and stocks. I am a novice at best when it comes to economics and market analysis, but it would stand to reason that gold would be trending upwards as stocks decline and investors look for safer investments. At the moment both gold and stocks are trending down. Perhaps there really is no logic left in economic decisions?
I wrote back:
Hi Robert,

How the system is up at all right now is a COMPLETE mystery to me. Specifically, I don't understand how the U.S. dollar is still viable, with the national debt closing in on $8.4 trillion... It's probably sheer voodoo and black ops at this point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that it's up, because it would be difficult for my wife and I to establish our permaculture farm with the global economy in a state of collapse. After all, the same economic system that produces tanks, rockets and bombs also produces chicken wire.

We need chicken wire.

I think that the rest of the world will continue to prop up the U.S. for as long as possible, simply because the rest of the world has gotten used to exchanging its goods and services for funny money. How and why that state of affairs came to be is a long and complicated story that doesn't even matter anymore; not at this late stage of the game. But once it's clear that the scam is unraveling, the U.S. will just print money at will. Paying off the massive debt will then simply be a matter of zapping X trillion nearly worthless U.S. dollars into the central banks of America's creditors.

The global economic system could, should and probably would collapse at that point.

When will it happen?

Who knows? Certainly not me. Maybe it will never happen and the U.S. national debt will be allowed to go to $50 trillion or $100 trillion and it will be new Hummers and iPods for all!

Or... Maybe the collapse is happening now, in slow motion. Look at the growing list of states that are divesting away from the dollar. Russia is the latest and most influential state to do this. Why is that happening? Because the U.S. has a bright future ahead?

The U.S. dollar works because people pretend that it's real, and nuclear weapons, thirteen carrier strike groups, and millions of soldiers make it so. As more and more major actors wake up to the fact that the dollar represents a total joke, and that the joke isn't funny anymore... Watch out.

Over the last few decades, the most powerful states in the world have lashed themselves to the mast of a sinking ship. It's that simple. And I'm not being cavalier about it! I don't feel financially secure because my money is out of the U.S. I firmly believe that, when the U.S. goes down, it will take the rest of the global economy down with it.

I now view security in terms of self and small group sufficiency. My wife and I are using the assets we have at our disposal to build viable biological systems that have a chance of sustaining us as we head into the collapse of the present economic system. As for investments? We paid cash for our land and we're investing what we have left in tools, creatures, seeds and piles of biomass to jumpstart our gardening efforts. Dividends and profits from these investments literally DO grow on trees!

If you're interested, there was some talk about metals in the forum. But... If it has quotes that are updated in real-time, chances are, it won't be useful for much when the sh*t hits the fan. Rather, I would think in terms of community, clean water, shelter and viable, small scale food production systems, in that order.



You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows:

Russia became the latest country to shift a chunk of its central bank reserves out of the dollar, further eroding the standing of the greenback as the world's de facto reserve currency.

Sergei Ignatyev, chairman of the central bank, said 50 per cent of its forex reserves were now held in dollars, with 40 per cent in euros and the remainder in sterling. Previously it was believed that just 25-30 per cent of the reserves were in euros, with virtually all the remainder in dollars.

Moscow's reserves have grown rapidly in tandem with high oil and gas prices. The central bank now boasts the world's fourth-largest reserves, after China, Japan and South Korea, with its gold and forex holdings rising by 36 per cent so far this year to $247bn.

The move ties in with increasing signs that cash-laden Middle Eastern oil exporters are also looking to diversify reserves out of the dollar, following hints from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

"This is a bearish development for the dollar," said Chris Turner, head of currency research at ING Financial Markets. "It reminds us that global surpluses are accumulating to the oil exporters, and Russia is telling us that an increasingly lower proportion of these reserves will be held in dollars. This suggests there is a trend shift away from the dollar."

Russian Oil Exchange is Just a Roulette Wheel... For Now :.

There is no way to take delivery of oil, the underlying comidity! HAHA! At the moment, this is just a racket to swindle exchange fees out of punters:

Although the Urals prices are quoted in dollars, the contracts are settled in rubles according to the Central Bank's exchange rate. Investors cannot get delivery of any physical oil through the exchange -- all contracts are cancelled and settled in cash.

"Oil companies are not involved in this -- it's just a financial instrument," said Valery Nesterov, oil analyst at Troika Dialog. Nesterov said the contracts would provide "more opportunities to ensure market stability and hedge against price fluctuations."

In the future, the exchange will begin trading refined oil products, according to an RTS spokeswoman.

Machine Makes Building Materials Out of Waste Straw :.

This is the best news I've seen in months:

Developed mainly by Ward in his backyard shop and relocated to big shops in Talent last year, Strawjet Inc. produces a machine that gleans waste straw from fields, weaves it into cables, then, using a clay-cement material, binds the cables into building materials, such as blocks and beams.


Rig Exodus Impacts Production In Gulf Of Mexico :.

Say what?!

Just days into this year's hurricane season, Morgan Stanley forecasted that the migration of oil rigs to the Middle East for longer-term contracts could hurt production in the Gulf of Mexico, which is still recovering from last year's storms.

Analyst Ole Slorer said GlobalSantaFe's announcement that it was sending four of its jackup rigs to Saudi Arabia, in a deal with Saudi Aramco, is part of an ongoing exodus to the Middle East that could cut shelf production in the Gulf of Mexico by as much as 20% over the next 18 months.

These kinds of announcements, Slorer told investors in a research note Monday, tighten the supply of rigs left to address the spot market in the Gulf of Mexico and could have "severe implications" on medium term natural gas production capacity.


Why Are Americans so Lukewarm on Solar Hot Water? :.

Becky and I used to live in a place where we would be fined for using a clothes line to dry our wash. Some of you will think I'm exaggerating, but it's true. I wonder if the pigs will be coming around to fine people for drying their laundry in the sun when the brown outs become routine???

Cheap and effective enough to make economic sense to middle-class urbanites, Huang's basic models start at around 1,500 yuan ($190), although for a luxury home this could rise to 18,000 yuan ($2,250).

With technology so efficient they can work at temperatures well below freezing and under cloudy or smog-choked skies, they soon pay for themselves, he says.


Special Forces to Use Strap-On 'Stealth Wings' :.

When will Cheney have teleportation capabilities?

Elite special forces troops being dropped behind enemy lines on covert missions are to ditch their traditional parachutes in favour of strap-on stealth wings.

The lightweight carbon fibre mono-wings will allow them to jump from high altitudes and then glide 120 miles or more before landing - making them almost impossible to spot, as their aircraft can avoid flying anywhere near the target.


45% of Americans Doubt 9/11 Story :.

I don't know which is worse, that roughly half don't believe the story, or that the other half does believe it???

The credibility of Washington leaders is now so critically eroded that one of every two Americans would now support an international tribunal investigating the actions of the U.S. government.

Wal-Mart's Data Center Remains Mystery :.

What do you expect from a company that operates dungeons?

Behind a fence topped with razor wire just off U.S. Highway 71 is a bunker of a building that Wal-Mart considers so secret that it won't even let the county assessor inside without a nondisclosure agreement.

The 125,000-square-foot building, tucked behind a new Wal-Mart Supercenter, is only a stone's throw from the Arkansas line and about 15 miles from corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

There is nothing about the building to give even a hint that Wal-Mart owns it. Despite the glimpses through the fence of manicured grass and carefully placed trees, the overall impression is that this is a secure site that could withstand just about anything. Earth is packed against the sides. The green roof - meant, perhaps, to blend into the surrounding Ozarks hills - bristles with dish antennas. On one of the heavy steel gates at the guardhouse is a notice that visitors must use the intercom for assistance.

What the building houses is a mystery.

Research Credit: MM


Back to the Bunker :.

More chatter about June:

On Monday, June 19, about 4,000 government workers representing more than 50 federal agencies from the State Department to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will say goodbye to their families and set off for dozens of classified emergency facilities stretching from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to the foothills of the Alleghenies. They will take to the bunkers in an "evacuation" that my sources describe as the largest "continuity of government" exercise ever conducted, a drill intended to prepare the U.S. government for an event even more catastrophic than the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The exercise is the latest manifestation of an obsession with government survival that has been a hallmark of the Bush administration since 9/11, a focus of enormous and often absurd time, money and effort that has come to echo the worst follies of the Cold War. The vast secret operation has updated the duck-and-cover scenarios of the 1950s with state-of-the-art technology -- alerts and updates delivered by pager and PDA, wireless priority service, video teleconferencing, remote backups -- to ensure that "essential" government functions continue undisrupted should a terrorist's nuclear bomb go off in downtown Washington.

Outing to the Top of New Zealand

We went on a family outing to the farthest northern tip of New Zealand. I thought I'd share a couple of images to lighten things up a bit.

Houhora Harbor:
Cape Reinga:

In Maori tradition, Cape Reinga is where the souls of the dead leap from Aotearoa and return to Hawaiki. It's an amazing spot:

Bonus: 2006 Houhora Big Game and Sports Fishing Club's Ultimate Challenge

On our way home, we checked in to see if we could meet up with Tony, Becky's cousin, who was competing. If it walked on all fours, swam in the ocean or flew through the air, teams of men hunted or angled for it. The team with the heaviest haul is the winner. Now, who gets to butcher all of those carcasses?

Note: Becky wants readers to be aware that all of the creatures killed in this event are: pests that threaten New Zealand's ecology; and/or species that are traditionally hunted/fished for food.



In the mid-19th century, the Australian brush tailed possum was brought to New Zealand in an abortive attempt to establish a fur trade. The possum has been running roughshod over New Zealand ever since, wreaking havoc on native plants, birds and animals. With no natural predators and a mild climate, New Zealand has become a massive breeding ground for the possum. The creature is a menace.

Our friends and neighbors, Terry and Krissy, are keen trappers and conservationists who wipe out non native and invasive plants and animals with a ferocity that is hardly believable. They trap everything from rats to cats to possums to weasels. When they're not trapping, they're certifying organic farms and working on Kiwi preservation efforts in the region.

Becky and I walked the trap line with them on their 100 acre ecotopia. I won't get too grisly, but these people are NOT messing around. There are traps everywhere, their rifle aim is true and their Rhodesian Ridgeback is fierce. I was left speechless by the beauty of native bush areas that have been allowed to flourish due to their efforts. And I made a point of observing how they used the traps...

Back at our place, Becky and I are using the winter months to prepare our garden. Our house garden paddock is a possum playground. Since we don't have a dog yet, our land is literally crawling with possums. Becky's dad lent us a Timms trap to get us started. I set the trap in the evening, and by morning, I had caught the bruiser you see above. The shocker came when I went to lift the thing out of the trap. What did it weigh? Ten pounds? Maybe more? I plan on burying the creatures in our soon to be orchard. We will plant trees on top of them. I'll also expose the occasional carcass to the hawk that I've seen working our main pasture. He should like that!

Related: New Zealand Department of Conservation: Possums

Water Fuel Experimenter and Team Threatened at Gunpoint :.

Why not just plaster the thing all over the Internet anyway? It might put Them in a weird position to have to follow through on the threat AFTER the information is out there.

Hint to anyone who has something real: It's clear that you're not going to be allowed to profit from it in any normal way. Why not just open source it for all to see and use?

On May 16, a technician who was one of a team of garage experimenters investigating a hydrogen-on-demand technology was run off the road near a rural intersection and accosted by four white, middle-aged males in black suits, carrying Glocks and Mac tens. The assailants were driving a late model, black Lincoln Town Car.

This comes just one month after Bill Williams was similarly threatened because of his experimentation with running a vehicle on a Joe cell.

The victim in this latest incident is an associate of New Energy Congress member, Ken Rasmussen, who also runs an alternative energy news service at They had been working on the project together.

A week before the incident, Rasmussen learned of the work being done by Professor Kanarev in Russia. Both use a pulsed signal, and are yielding similar performance rates. Kanarev holds multiple patents, and is widely published. A day before the incident, a person who was interested in funding the project of Rasmussen et al., and had been trying to reach him since November, had finally made contact.

Rasmussen reported the incident for the first time publicly in his news today. He said, "As editor of this page, my life has now been threatened by 2 loaded guns pointed in the face of a good friend."

"Using information which could only have been obtained by monitoring digital cell phones and e-mail, the assailants portrayed to the victim that they had total control over his personal life and was told to remain silent and to not talk to government authorities." He was told that if he did not comply, a family member would be killed. The assailants produced extensive details about this target family member. The threat also included himself, his family and all associates if he did not stop work on the process immediately. The threats made actually applied broadly to anyone working on overunity.

"I'm breaking the story to warn others who might be involved in similar technologies," said Rasmussen.

Freewheelin' :.

Remember, they only want you to think they're out of their heads.

And many people will be so inclined, and receive that lie's sad comfort, now the Department of Homeland Security has cut anti-terror funding to New York City and Washington DC by 40%, and slashed in half New Orleans' grants for security and disaster preparedness on the day that marked the beginning of hurricane season. (New York, according to the DHS risk assessment, boasts zero "national monuments and icons," and only four banking and finanacial assets.) Meanwhile, huge increases in DHS dollars were won by company towns such as Jacksonville, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina and Omaha, Nebraska. (Omaha might be justified, if the money were to be spent to liberate Boys Town from black ops' sexual predation.)

Are these bizarre choices? Is it incompetence? We may think so, if we mistake Chertoff's Homeland for the United States.

Hundreds of Rockets Left For Anyone to Grab :.

If this is a joke, it's entertaining. If it's not a joke, move along, there's nothing to see here.

U.S. Troops Murder Pregnant Iraqi Woman on Way to Hospital :.

Mission accomplished!

A pregnant Iraqi woman in labour and her cousin were shot dead by US forces as they rushed to hospital along a closed road, police and relatives say.

US forces said their car "entered a clearly marked prohibited area near coalition troops" in Samarra city and failed to heed warnings to stop.

The driver, who was injured, said he had not seen or heard any warnings.

Another Day, Another U.S. Atrocity :.

Bring 'em on!

With US commanders still struggling to contain the fallout from the alleged Haditha massacre, the US military announced it was investigating charges that American soldiers rounded up and shot 11 unarmed civilians, including five children - one six months old - and four women in the town of al-Ishaqi in March.

It also emerged that murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges are likely to be brought imminently against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman for killing an Iraqi civilian near Baghdad on April 26. They are being held in solitary confinement at Camp Pendelton Marine Corps base in California.

The Iraqi civilian they killed was allegedly dragged from his home and shot. The troops are alleged to have planted a shovel and an AK-47 rifle next to his body to make it appear as if he was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb.

Former CIA Analyst: Staged Terror Attacks "Probable" to Justify Iran Invasion :.

Back in mid-May, murmurs about Iran and June started coming in from all over the shop. I'm now starting to doubt it, simply because it seems obvious that it's going to happen:

Former CIA analyst and Presidential advisor Ray McGovern, fresh from his heated public confrontation with Donald Rumsfeld, fears that staged terror attacks across Europe and the US are probable in order to justify the Bush administration's plan to launch a military strike against Iran, which he thinks will take place in June or July.

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, McGovern was asked about the timetable for war in Iran and said that behind the diplomatic smokescreen, the final chess pieces were being moved into position.


Proposal to Implant Tracking Chips in Immigrants :.

Oh sure! Why not!?

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has proposed implanting the company's RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers. He made the statement on national television earlier this week.

Silverman was being interviewed on "Fox & Friends." Responding to the Bush administration's call to know "who is in our country and why they are here," he proposed using VeriChip RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace. He added, "We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...."

More: A Tracking Device for Immigrants


:. 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.