Meanwhile in Mexico :.

As faraway war and chaos dazzle the United States, the massive crisis brewing in Mexico is all but ignored. Civil unrest, paramilitary killings, stolen elections, satanic murder cults, child-sex rings, drug-gang beheadings ... Mexico's got it all.

Just two months ago, the biggest threat to U.S. citizens was an immigrant Mexican dishwasher getting the right to legally work for long hours and low pay.

But now that Mexico is on the verge of civil war -- a war that would send millions of Mexicans running for the safety of the United States -- the national media and Washington politicians are only interested in Israel's tragic yet distant war against Lebanon.

Raise Readiness, Assad Tells Syrian Army :.

Well, friends, this might be it...

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian military on Monday to raise its readiness, pledging not to abandon support for Lebanese resistance against Israel.

"We are facing international circumstances and regional challenges that require caution, alert, readiness and preparedness," Assad said.

"The barbaric war of annihilation the Israeli aggression is waging on our people in Lebanon and Palestine is increasing in ferocity," Assad said in a written address on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the foundation of the Syria Arab Army.

Diplomats in Damascus say the Syrian army has been on alert since the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon began on July 12 after Hizbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border operation.

Russia's Main Oil Link to Europe Leaks Near Belarus :.

Keeping an eye on it...

Russia's Druzhba oil pipeline, the supplier of an eighth of Europe's imports, sprung a leak near the Belarus border, spilling crude over at least 10 square kilometers and sending oil prices higher in London.

The rupture in the Soviet-built pipeline may cause ``ecological catastrophe'' in the Bryansk region in western Russia, the Natural Resources Ministry said today in an e- mailed statement, citing local environmental groups. The ministry didn't say if deliveries to Europe were affected. Crude rose as high as $73.74 a barrel.


Storm Troopers Bust Cellphone Photographer :.

They hate us for our freedom:

A Philadelphia man is free just days after local cops humiliated themselves by unlawfully arresting a man for taking pictures with his cell phone.

Neftaly Cruz, a 21-year-old senior at Penn State, was at his parents home Wednesday night when he heard a ruckus outside. He stepped out of the house and saw a line of police cars on the street.

"I opened (my camera phone) and took a shot," Cruz told NBC 10's Harry Hairston.


"They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation," Cruz said. "They said, 'You were impeding this investigation.' (I asked,) "By doing what?' (The officer said,) 'By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone.'"

Cruz's mother, Aracelis Cruz, says she was told the same thing.

"He said he was taking pictures with his cell phone and that was obstructing an investigation."

After an hour of desperately trying to find a law Cruz had broken, cops came up empty. Lacking the courage to admit their mistake, they told Cruz they were going to do him a favor.

"They said if the supervisor was there I wouldn't be a free man and that he is letting me go because he felt that I was a good person," Cruz said.

Democracy in Iraq: Work for the U.S. or Die :.

Are you interested in obtaining the intellectual equivalent of a degree in International Relations by reading just two sentences?
"One of the things I want to do is get to the point where I'm not killing so many people a day. I want to give them jobs."

-U.S. Marine Colonel Sean MacFarland, from Ramadi, Iraq
Serve the machine, or be eaten by it.

Bush Urges Mideast Peace 'For the Sake of Children' :.

Has Bush gone off his meds?
'Today's actions in the Middle East remind us that the United States and friends and allies must work for sustainable peace, particularly for the sake of children,' Bush said.
In other news, the U.S. rushes arms shipments to Israel to insure that the extermination of Lebanese civilians continues.


Help some of the Reddit users Gettit. This story is being modded down. I wonder why...

Israel is systematically exterminating Lebanese civilians with U.S. made and supplied weapons. In other words, America is systematically exterminating Lebanese civilians. In other words, Americans who pay federal taxes are systematically exterminating Lebanese civilians. In other words, I am systematically exterminating Lebanese civilians.

Never mind the writing on the wall. Pay closer attention to the writing on the bombs:

Ireland Refuses to Participate in Holocaust :.

BOMBS destined to be used by Israel are being flown via Scotland only because the Irish government refused to allow them to land on its soil.

Scotland on Sunday can reveal that after the conflict in Lebanon began three weeks ago, Ireland turned down a United States request for planes carrying 600lb so-called bunker busters to refuel at Shannon airport in Co Clare.


An Israeli bombing raid killed 54 people in the southern Lebanese town of Qana, prompting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to postpone a trip to Beirut for talks aimed at stopping the fighting.

Fifty-four bodies were removed from the rubble of a three- storey building, at least 20 of them children, according to a Lebanese police spokesman, who asked not to be named.

Jews Against Zionism :.

True Torah Jews is a non-profit organization formed by a group of religious Orthodox Jews dedicated to informing the world and the American public and politicians in particular, that the idealogy of Zionism is in total opposition to the teachings of traditional Judaism.

Research Credit:


The Them: Interlocking Directorates and Political Cohesion Among Corporate Elites :.

Our reality is shaped by a handfull of people who share similar world views and have the ability to allocate resources to values.

Say 'hello' to The Them:

When we consider that, on average, the top officers of large corporations are linked to roughly a third of all other top officers of large corporations through chains of interlocking directorships of no more than four or five links, and that linkages of this distance are significantly associated with similarity of political behavior, then the thesis that interlocking directorships enhance the potential for political cohesion across the entire big business community becomes more persuasive. Remember also that this includes only links that are created through corporate boards, ignoring the numerous ties created through noncorporate boards, not to mention social ties of various kinds.


As this study shows, social ties among actors have significant consequences for political action that go beyond anything that can be explained in terms of attributes measured at the level of the individual actor. The study thus speaks to the merits of a structural perspective on political behavior and the importance of gathering and analyzing data not just on individual actors, but on the network of social ties among those actors.

Read More About Them: interlocking boards directorship OR directors OR "directorship networks"

Related: They Rule

Americans to be Detained Indefinitely and Barred from Access to Civilian Courts :.

Will you be disappeared?

Will your family know what happened to you?

Will you allow yourself to be taken alive?

All Americans need to think about these questions:

U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.

A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon's tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.

According to the draft, the military would be allowed to detain all "enemy combatants" until hostilities cease. The bill defines enemy combatants as anyone "engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners who has committed an act that violates the law of war and this statute."

Legal experts said Friday that such language is dangerously broad and could authorize the military to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens who had only tenuous ties to terror networks like al Qaeda.

"That's the big question ... the definition of who can be detained," said Martin Lederman, a law professor at Georgetown University who posted a copy of the bill to a Web blog.

Scott L. Silliman, a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, said the broad definition of enemy combatants is alarming because a U.S. citizen loosely suspected of terror ties would lose access to a civilian court - and all the rights that come with it.

Administration officials have said they want to establish a secret court to try enemy combatants that factor in realities of the battlefield and would protect classified information.

Israel Created Worst Ever Environmental Disaster in Mediterranean :.

Who are the terrorists?

The Mediterranean is threatened by its worst ever environmental disaster after Israel's bombing of a power plant in Lebanon sent thousands of tonnes of fuel gushing into the sea, the environment minister charged.

"Up until now 10,000-15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil have spilled out into the sea," after Israel's bombing of the power station in Jiyeh two weeks ago, Lebanese Environment Minister Yacub Sarraf told AFP Saturday.

"It's without doubt the biggest environmental catastrophe that the Mediterranean has known and it risks having terrible consequences not only for our country but for all the countries of the eastern Mediterranean."

Israeli forces bombed the tanks at the power station on July 14 and July 15, just days into their offensive on Lebanon which has seen blistering air strikes across the country and a bloody ground incursion in the south.

The leak from one of the tanks, which are located just 25 metres (80 feet) from the sea, has now stopped but another containing 25,000 tonnes of fuel oil is still on fire and is in danger of exploding. Between 8,000-10,000 tonnes of fuel are on the shore and 5,000 on the open water.


Activists Elect Cops to Leadership Roles in Anti War Group :.

Two Oakland police officers working undercover at an anti-war protest in May 2003 got themselves elected to leadership positions in an effort to influence the demonstration, documents released Thursday show.

The department assigned the officers to join activists protesting the U.S. war in Iraq and the tactics that police had used at a demonstration a month earlier, a police official said last year in a sworn deposition.

At the first demonstration, police fired nonlethal bullets and bean bags at demonstrators who blocked the Port of Oakland's entrance in a protest against two shipping companies they said were helping the war effort. Dozens of activists and longshoremen on their way to work suffered injuries ranging from welts to broken bones and have won nearly $2 million in legal settlements from the city.
More: Political Activism and the American Corporate State

Here's more information on activism from my essay, Militant Electronic Piracy: Non-Violent Insurgency Tactics Against the American Corporate State:
Political Activism and the American Corporate State (ACS) Counterinsurgency Apparatus

The ACS employs a full time counterinsurgency infrastructure with resources that are unimaginable to most would be insurgents. Quite simply, violent insurgents have no idea of just how powerful the foe actually is. Violent insurgents typically start out as peaceful, idealistic, political activists. Whether or not political activists know it, even with very mundane levels of political activity, they are engaging in low intensity conflict with the ACS.

The U.S. military classifies political activism as "low intensity conflict." The scale of warfare (in terms of intensity) begins with individuals distributing anti-government handbills and public gatherings with anti-government/anti-corporate themes. In the middle of the conflict intensity scale are what the military refers to as Operations Other than War; an example would be the situation the U.S. is facing in Iraq. At the upper right hand side of the graph is global thermonuclear war. What is important to remember is that the military is concerned with ALL points along this scale because they represent different types of threats to the ACS.

Making distinctions between civilian law enforcement and military forces, and foreign and domestic intelligence services is no longer necessary. After September 11, 2001, all national security assets would be brought to bare against any U.S. insurgency movement. Additionally, the U.S. military established NORTHCOM which designated the U.S. as an active military operational area. Crimes involving the loss of corporate profits will increasingly be treated as acts of terrorism and could garner anything from a local law enforcement response to activation of regular military forces.

Most of what is commonly referred to as "political activism" is viewed by the corporate state's counterinsurgency apparatus as a useful and necessary component of political control.

Waving banners...
"Third" party political activities...
Taking beatings, rubber bullets and tear gas from riot police in free speech zones...

Political activism amounts to an utterly useless waste of time, in terms of tangible power, which is all the ACS understands. Political activism is a cruel guise that is sold to people who are dissatisfied, but who have no concept of the nature of tangible power. Counterinsurgency teams routinely monitor these activities, attend the meetings, join the groups and take on leadership roles in the organizations.

It's only a matter of time before some individuals determine that political activism is a honeypot that accomplishes nothing and wastes their time. The corporate state knows that some small percentage of the peaceful, idealistic, political activists will eventually figure out the game. At this point, the clued-in activists will probably do one of two things; drop out or move to escalate the struggle in other ways.

If the clued-in activist drops his or her political activities, the ACS wins.

But what if the clued-in activist refuses to give up the struggle? Feeling powerless, desperation could set in and these individuals might become increasingly radicalized. Because the corporate state's counterinsurgency operatives have infiltrated most political activism groups, the radicalized members will be easily identified, monitored and eventually compromised/turned, arrested or executed. The ACS wins again.

Footnote 4 Low Intensity Warfare represents a nexus of insurgency, counterinsurgency and psychological operations. Detailing this massive area of inquiry is far beyond the scope of this essay. Some useful materials are: U.S. Army Field Manual FM 100-20, Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict; documents on the Information Warfare PSYOP site; and Low-intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping by General Sir Frank Kitson.
Additionally, all activists must read Endgame: Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization and Endgame: Volume 2: Resistance, both by Derrick Jensen. The publisher has sent me both of these books for review and I am currently digesting them. I have, however, read enough of them to know that ALL activists must read them and confront Jensen's argument.

California: Apocalypse Now :.

CORPSES piled up in mortuaries yesterday as the death toll for California's record-breaking heat wave rose above 120.

After nearly two weeks, during which temperatures have regularly exceeded 49C (120F), the state was taking emergency measures to stem fatalities.


In the mortuary at Fresno County the walk-in freezer was packed with bodies, with some piled on top of others, said Loralee Cervantes, the Coroner. With limited air conditioning, employees worked in sweltering heat as the coroner's office investigated at least 22 possible heat-related deaths. "It's never been like this in my years here," Ms Cervantes said. "This is really tragic."

The heat also brought with it wildfires and blackouts for millions, with the state's electricity grid coming close to meltdown as reserves dropped below 5 per cent.


Humans were not the only ones to suffer. According to California Dairies, the heat killed 16,500 cows or 1 per cent of the state's dairy herd. Cows do not have sweat glands and produce less milk when they are overheated.

As a result milk production has been down by up to 20 per cent. Under normal circumstances California produces more milk than any other state, providing about 12 per cent of the country's supply.

Among the 123 fatalities so far were a 38-year-old farm worker found in a field; an unidentified man who got himself to a hospital emergency room where his body temperature was 109.9F, and a 58-year-old man who had been drinking. The youngest casualty of the heat was 20, the oldest 95.

Israeli PSYOP Mobs Unleashed :.

WHILE Israel fights Hezbollah with tanks and aircraft, its supporters are campaigning on the internet.

Israel's Government has thrown its weight behind efforts by supporters to counter what it believes to be negative bias and a tide of pro-Arab propaganda. The Foreign Ministry has ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages.

In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special "megaphone" software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.

"In One Hour We Will Blow Up Your House" :.

The voice sounded friendly enough. "Hi, my name is Danny. I'm an officer in Israeli military intelligence. In one hour we will blow up your house."

Mohammed Deeb took the telephone call seriously and told his family and neighbours to get out of the building. An hour later, an Israeli helicopter fired three missiles at the four-storey building in Gaza City, destroying the ground floor and damaging the upper storeys.

Mr Deeb was on the receiving end of a new Israeli tactic of using telephone, radio and leaflets to warn Gazans of impending attacks. The army claims it is an attempt to minimise civilian casualties, but Palestinians say it is a new way of terrorising the population.

Could U.S. Troops End Up in Lebanon? :.

There's much discussion of putting a multinational, NATO-led force in southern Lebanon as part of a ceasefire agreement in the Israel-Lebanon conflict, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to a story in the Washington Post, has said that she does "not think that it is anticipated that U.S. ground forces... are expected for that force." However, a well-connected former CIA officer has told me that the Bush Administration is in fact considering exactly such a deployment.


Gold Behaving Again :.

They don't want to make it easy for you. But then again, nobody said it was going to be easy:

Gold prices jumped nearly two percent to one-week highs in Europe on Thursday, supported by weakness in the dollar, firm oil and the Middle East tension.

The precious metal hit a session high of $633.90 an ounce, the highest since July 21. It has climbed more than five percent from a three-week low of $601.60 reached on Monday.

"The dollar and oil are causing the move higher. A couple of weeks ago, it had broken away from the dollar moves but now it seems to be back in line again," said a precious metals trader in London.


WalMart Is Clean and Green, Don'tcha Know? :.

Oh sure, why not? It'll be Walmart, "organic" freedom fries and fair trade coffee from McDonald's inside the domed cities, the only places left on Earth where humans will be able to survive. The rest of the surface of the planet will be a moonscape. Don't worry, there will be "free speech zones" in the domed cities where activists (arrving in fuelcell SUVs, corn Jettas and fart scooters) can wave their signs:

The retailing giant is placing bets on an environmentally friendly future.

Related: Walmart Dungeon

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

Judge Throws Out ATT/NSA Case :.

Imagine my shock:

"The court is persuaded that requiring AT&T to confirm or deny whether it has disclosed large quantities of telephone records to the federal government could give adversaries of this country valuable insight into the government's intelligence activities," U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly said.

Orange County Foreclosures Nearly Double :.

HAHAHA! This is the place Becky and I fled, the place I grew up. Jesus fish stickers on the SUVs, fake boobs, grass under renovation, jewel encrusted cell phones...

The horror. The horror of that place...

Choke on your dry-rotted, stuccobox McMansions and re-fi one last time to pay your bankruptcy lawyers!

Orange County's foreclosures nearly doubled in June, rising to 65 property sales from 35 in May, according to RealtyTrac Inc.'s monthly foreclosure report.

Overall, foreclosure activity, including default warnings to delinquent homeowners, was up 60 percent last month, the report shows.

The county had 639 new foreclosure filings last month, up from 399 in May, RealtyTrac reported. That includes 574 default notices issued to homeowners behind in their monthly loan payments.

Orange County's increase in foreclosure activity was the highest in the area. Los Angeles County's activity was up 15.7 percent; Riverside County's was up 25 percent; and San Bernardino County's was up 11.7 percent, RealtyTrac reported.


Ford Trying to Get a Clue?

I routinely look at Cryptogon's logs to find out who is looking for what. I especially liked this one:

A Ford Motor Company user (host:, ip: conducted the following Google search: tesla motors roadster.

HAHA. Wake up, you dolts!

Related: Ford Reports $123 Million Loss


The ambulance headlamps were on, the blue light overhead was flashing, and another light illuminated the Red Cross flag when the first Israeli missile hit, shearing off the right leg of the man on the stretcher inside. As he lay screaming beneath fire and smoke, patients and ambulance workers scrambled for safety, crawling over glass in the dark. Then another missile hit the second ambulance.

Even in a war which has turned the roads of south Lebanon into killing zones, Israel's rocket strike on two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances on Sunday night set a deadly new milestone.

Six ambulance workers were wounded and three generations of the Fawaz family, being transported to hospital from Tibnin with what were originally minor injuries, were left fighting for their lives. Two ambulances were entirely destroyed, their roofs pierced by missiles.

The Lebanese Red Cross, whose ambulance service for south Lebanon is run entirely by volunteers, immediately announced it would cease all rescue missions unless Israel guaranteed their safety through the United Nations or the International Red Cross.

U.S. Air Marshals: Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List' to Meet Quota :.

Welcome to the Soviet Union:

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they're reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they're required to submit at least one report a month. If they don't, there's no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

"Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft ... and they did nothing wrong," said one federal air marshal.

These unknowing passengers who are doing nothing wrong are landing in a secret government document called a Surveillance Detection Report, or SDR. Air marshals told 7NEWS that managers in Las Vegas created and continue to maintain this potentially dangerous quota system.

The O'Connor Hush Turbine :.

Cool design for a wind turbine.

Teen Forced to Take Deadly Cancer Treatment :.

They hate us for our freedom:

A 16-year-old cancer patient was headed to court Tuesday with his lawyers to try to block a judge's order requiring him to report to a hospital the same day for treatment as doctors deem necessary.

Fleeing Civilian Vehicles Hit by Israeli Missiles :.

WITH an expression of utmost calm on her blood-masked face, the woman allowed herself to be gently lowered from the minibus into the waiting arms of two Lebanese Red Cross volunteers.

The rescue workers had extracted her through a jagged hole in the roof of the crumpled bus, created by a missile fired minutes earlier by an Israeli helicopter that had blasted the vehicle off the road. Left behind in the vehicle, slumped over each other and soaked in blood, were the bodies of three people.

The narrow roads that meander through the valleys and undulating chalky hills east of Tyre were a place of terror and death yesterday as Israeli helicopters attacked civilian vehicles fleeing Israel’s 11-day onslaught in south Lebanon.


Cryptogon Open Source Intelligence Service

An open source intelligence service is now available to Cryptogon readers. For a fee of US$50 per week, I will actively monitor, research and collate information on any area of inquiry that you specify. You will have access to a password protected web site that is dedicated to your open source intelligence product. You may monitor developments by logging into the site or via RSS news feed. Initially, this service will only be available to three clients.

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Cryptogon Reader Contributes $10

BB sent $10 and wrote:
Do the Baby Boomers a favor and determine where we should put our wad of dollars prior to the poop hitting the fan. Like you say; gold is a conundrum now. Best of luck in all your efforts!
Maybe my response will be useful to some of you:
Thanks for your contribution!

I can safely say that I have no for-sure strategies for preserving wealth in the face of the situation facing the U.S. and the world. Like I've said before, I don't think it's possible to get a grasp on the seriousness of this, a priori. If any of several different situations (financial, war/terror, energy, pandemic, weather/ecological) start to unwind, we won't be debating gold vs. silver vs. stocks vs. bonds vs. cash etc.

I'd be investing very close to home.

Is your landbase and community sorted out? Meaning, do you have good top soil and a reliable and clean water supply? Are you friends with your neighbors? Is everyone armed? They should be.

I would suggest using your money to get your land in the best shape possible, and to buy equipment and tools that will LAST for a long, long time.

While I don't think real estate makes sense anymore from the typical investment perspective, I think it MIGHT make sense IF you can own it outright and collect rent. What you're doing is trading your paper wealth for an income stream in the future. Forget about what's going to happen to the value of the property. Just forget that aspect for a moment, if you can. Unless we go to a Mad Max scenario (which could happen) there will still be owners and there will still be renters. Your U.S. dollar denominated paper assets may have long since become worthless, but you will still be collecting the coin of the realm (whatever that happens to be in the future) from your renters.

The old "don't put all your eggs in one basket" rule applies as much now as it ever did.

I, personally, wouldn't go near typical buy-and-hold investments; stocks, bonds, etc. If you feel as though you have to be in paper assets, you should be using advanced hedging techniques with options to mitigate risk. You'll be paying fixed amounts of money along the way (option expiration) to prevent potential disaster. People who were long Yahoo AND holding puts in the right ratio made out like bandits on the stock's collapse, while the regular retail investors got decapitated.

I don't see gold being a cure-all, but who knows!? It might go to ______ <- fill in the blank. Consider nibbling the dips under $600? That would be my best guess, if I was forced to make a guess.

Oil? It could just as easily go to $45 before it goes to $200. I wouldn't go near oil, long or short. It's far too volatile.

Real estate!? HAHAHA. Keep your powder dry and buy when blood is flowing in the streets. Pay cash for potential rental units that dumbsh*ts MUST sell at shocking discounts (from today's prices) to avoid bankruptcy. (If Becky and I had excess cash to deal with, which we don't, this would be our plan.) A lot of really nice apples are about to be shaken loose from the tree.

This might sound weird, but it must not be overlooked. Start up some kind of business or activity that involves young men. Look at the role of young men in any failed state. You will want to have these guys on your side when things get weird. Your life might depend on it.

Well, those are a few ideas to consider.



U.K. Government Approves Export of Dirty Bomb Components to Iranian Military :.

Do you get it yet?

Border guards seized a British lorry on its way to make a delivery to the Iranian military - after discovering it was packed with radioactive material that could be used to build a dirty bomb.

The lorry set off from Kent on its way to Tehran but was stopped by officials at a checkpoint on Bulgaria's northernborder with Romania after a scanner indicated radiation levels 200 times above normal.

The lorry was impounded and the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NPA) was called out.

On board they found ten lead-lined boxes addressed to the Iranian Ministry of Defence. Inside each box was a soil-testing device, containing highly dangerous quantities of radioactive caesium 137 and americium-beryllium.

The soil testers had been sent to Iran by a British firm with the apparent export approval of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Last night, the head of the Bulgarian NRA, Nikolai Todorov, said he was shocked that devices containing so much nuclear material could be sold so easily.


New Washers, Dryers Send Messages to PCs :.

Rather than taking a sane approach to dealing with energy scarcity, the solution, rather, is to ignore what is happening by dazzling oneself with useless technological baubles of every description.

This story gave me an idea about how I could sum up our new lifestyle, relative to that of so-called "normal" society.

Here's how Becky and I do our laundry:

Keep the above arangement in mind as you read the following story. Peggy Spencer, and people like her, are in for the shock of their lives. And if you live near someone who's washing machine has an IP address, chances are, you're going to be in for the shock of your life as well:

Washers and dryers that link wirelessly to Internet-connected home networks are being tested by consumers who are receiving updates on their dirty laundry via cell phones, computers and TV sets.

Messages not only indicate when a wash is complete but also can warn that a lint filter is clogged or a load is too large. Users can remotely command the machines to fluff dry clothes or start a load from a distance after being told - oops - they forgot to start the wash.

Peggy Spencer, a 57-year-old teacher whose family is involved in a trial of the system launched by the Internet Home Alliance, hopes to use it to monitor the wash from the comfort of a lounge chair - at her neighborhood pool.

Related: No End in Sight for N.Y. Blackout

Missing Italian Banker Found Dead :.

This is too much! Especially for all of us tinfoil hat lunatics who thought there was anything weird about the murder of Roberto Calvi. Well, at least Gianmario Roveraro wasn't found under Blackfriars bridge. That would have really given the conspiracy theorists a wind up!

I'm starting to lose track of all of the corporate criminal carcasses littering the landscape.

Hmmmm. What's a safer job, microbiology or banking?

A top Italian banker missing since early July has been found dead near a bridge outside Parma.

Gianmario Roveraro, who founded Italian financial services group Akros Finanziaria, vanished on 5 July. His body was reportedly badly beaten.

Police suspect his disappearance may have been linked to a business row. Three people have been arrested.

No ransom demand was made, but Mr Roveraro, 70, contacted his family saying he needed a million euros.

Mr Roveraro had previously been questioned by police over the collapse of Italian food giant Parmalat, which he advised in the 1990s.

Mr Roveraro had not been seen since attending a meeting of the Catholic conservative group Opus Dei in Milan on 5 July.

He did contact his family on two later occasions. First he told his wife that he needed to visit to Austria to resolve an unspecified problem.

In his second call Mr Roveraro said he needed one million euros in cash wired to him immediately.

U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery to Israel :.

Yes, Master. Right away, Master:

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hizbollah targets in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing U.S. officials who spoke on Friday on condition of anonymity, the Times said the decision to ship the weapons quickly came after relatively little debate within the administration, and noted in its report that its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others who could perceive Washington as aiding Israel in the manner that Iran has armed Hizbollah.

The munitions are actually part of a multimillion-dollar arms-sale package approved last year which Israel is able to tap when it needs to, the officials told the Times. But some military officers said the request for expedited delivery was unusual and indicated that Israel has many targets it plans to hit in Lebanon.

The arms shipment has not been announced publicly. The officials who described the administration's decision to rush the munitions included employees of two government agencies, one of whom described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel, the Times said.


How About That Gold?

A few weeks ago, in Gold Gapping Down Along with Global Stock Markets, I wrote:
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 in would make to be able to buy a cow with a cupful of rocks.


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.
And what about now? With the Middle East smoldering, Israel tearing Lebanon to shreds---the gold bugs should have been licking their chops, right?

Woops: Gold Closes Lower; Loses 7.2% on the Week
Gold futures closed lower Friday, as investors, unsettled by the metal's recent volatility, shrugged off dollar weakness and speculation that Israel is planning a ground invasion of Lebanon.

Gold for August delivery closed down $12.30 at $620.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal lost 7.2% on the week.
Did you catch that? Gold futures closed lower Friday, as investors, unsettled by the metal's recent volatility, shrugged off dollar weakness and speculation that Israel is planning a ground invasion of Lebanon. Shrugged off?!

Hint to gold bugs: gold should not be shrugging off things like dollar weakness and the potential start of World War III. Not if all the real money/safe haven talk is valid.

I'm not saying that gold is or isn't the way to go, because I don't know. Anyone who does claim to know is full of sh*t. All I'm saying is that the assumptions that go along with gold aren't holding up against real world events. That's all.



Pitched battles raged between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters on the border Thursday, and Israel warned hundreds of thousands of people to flee southern Lebanon "immediately," preparing for a likely ground offensive to set up a buffer zone.

Hacking Digital Rights Management :.

Like a creeping fog, DRM smothers more and more media in its clammy embrace, but the sun still shines down on isolated patches of the landscape. This isn't always due to the decisions of corporate executives; often it's the work of hackers who devote considerable skill to cracking the digital locks that guard everything from DVDs to e-books. Their reasons are complicated and range from the philosophical to the criminal, but their goals are the same: no more DRM.

We're going to revisit the history of the most famous DRM cracks. While the stories themselves are fascinating, one of the merits of such an exercise is to use the lessons of the past to consider the challenges of the future.

Related: Years of DRM Stories on Cryptogon


On the one hand, I like the idea of energy wasters being penalized and energy conservers being rewarded.

In theory.

On the other hand, there is no reason for energy scarcity other than to control us all. But there is another, even more frightening dimension to this. (This is a very weird and complex issue.) If you think about it long enough, you have to come to this critical question: If the technologies that have been able to provide infinite energy, for at least the last three decades, had been implemented, would civilization be any better off?

If there had been no energy scarcity over the last thirty years, my guess is that domed cities would be the only inhabitable areas on the planet by now (at best). And have no doubt about it, that is the clean, green, fascist plan for the future:

The environment minister, David Miliband, today unveiled a radical plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by charging individuals for the amount of carbon they use.

Under the proposals, consumers would carry bank cards that record their personal carbon usage. Those who use more energy - with big cars and foreign holidays - would have to buy more carbon points, while those who consume less - those without cars, or people with solar power - would be able to sell their carbon points.

Mr Miliband denied suggestions that the scheme would penalise the poor, by, for example, forcing the elderly to turn off their central heating in winter to save carbon points.

"The technical work that has been done so far suggests that poorer people would actually do well out of it," the minister told Channel 4 News at Noon.

"It is not the poor who are the biggest emitters of carbon. It is not the poor who have the biggest cars or the biggest holidays or the most aeroplane flights or the most energy inefficient usage."

Under the scheme, all UK citizens from the Queen down would be allocated an identical annual carbon allowance, stored as points on an electronic card similar to Air Miles or supermarket loyalty cards.

Related: Sustainable WalMart?! Tell me another one.

Reader Email: Causus Belli

Re: the Daniel Ellsberg story, C writes:
the "within days after" seems off to me. don't we need the terror to give our causus belli? or will the fact that such a nefarious act had to have been in the planning before we attack therefore show the necessity of our preemptive doctrine? good grief...
My response:
Does it matter? These maniacs don't even need causus belli to unleash their ghastly plans. They can do anything they wish now, causus belli or not.

I wouldn't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing the U.S. Government into a rational actor. It doesn't need to be rational. Power is the policy; that's the only rationale they need. (See Full Spectrum Dominance, their term, not mine.) Besides, Americans, generally, are in such a daze that .gov could tell them to dig their own graves, at gun point, and they'd do it.

They are doing it. Happily.

Gallery of Horror: From Israel to Lebanon :.

WARNING: Extremely graphic images.

This makes my gallery of horror on the same topic seem tame by comparison.

One suggestion to Post the captions along with the images, especially the photographer's name and the press organization.

Israeli PSYOP teams might try to discredit these images, etc. That's why I always include captions.

Research Credit: Ann, Mark, Amy,

The Insane Brutality of the State of Israel :.

The tragedy of Gaza has been described a hundred times over, as have the tragedies of 1948, of Qibya, of Sabra and Shatila, of Jenin -- 60 years of atrocity perpetrated in the name of Judaism. But the horror generally falls on deaf ears in most of Israel, in the U.S. political arena, in the mainstream U.S. media. Those who are horrified -- and there are many -- cannot penetrate the shield of impassivity that protects the political and media elite in Israel, even more so in the U.S., and increasingly now in Canada and Europe, from seeing, from caring.

But it needs to be said now, loudly: those who devise and carry out Israeli policies have made Israel into a monster, and it has come time for all of us -- all Israelis, all Jews who allow Israel to speak for them, all Americans who do nothing to end U.S. support for Israel and its murderous policies -- to recognize that we stain ourselves morally by continuing to sit by while Israel carries out its atrocities against the Palestinians.

Tesla Motors Roadster :.

If you need to waste some time at work, this should do the trick.

Daniel Ellsberg Unfurls :.


Daniel Ellsberg is a former American military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national firestorm in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, the US military's account of activities during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. The release awakened the American people to a systematic program of organized deception carried out by the Pentagon against the population to continue the Vietnam War.

Daniel Ellsberg, speaking on air to GCN radio host Jack Blood, stated his concerns that criminal elements of the US government were psychologically capable to have carried out 9/11. He warned that within days after a US military strike on Iran that Bush's handlers would probably stage some type of terror attack in the West to legitimize the new war.

Ellsberg went on to state that another major Reichstag-like state-sponsored attack would be followed by a martial law scenario which might include detention camps for American dissenters.

Ellsberg said that he worked with individuals at the highest levels of government who staged war provocations several times to whip up pro-war sentiment in the US. Daniel Ellsberg now joins the ranks of hundreds of prominent engineers, physicists, economists, military officers, pilots, high-level intelligence analysts, and cabinet ministers who are exposing the 9/11 hoax.


Is Monitor110 Parsing Your Intel? :.

I was thinking about doing this manually for clients for $50 per week; like a Private Label version of Cryptogon, tasked to order. I wonder what these guys are charging? ;)

From the Product Overview page:
Monitor, Collect, Organize and Display...

Monitor110 captures and highlights real-time activity pertinent to your investment strategy. The Company monitors over 10 million data sources including website updates, blogs, Usenet groups, online news, government postings, and other online feeds.

Monitor110 filters and organizes the data into easy to use themes. Each channel is related to a specific company, brands, topic, issue, persons or products.

We regularly expand both our data sources as well as subjects (themes) covered.

Currently Monitor110 offers three types of themes:

Corporate Themes: We monitor for internet updates related to a specific corporation. Most of the information is organized by ticker. Currently we are collecting information on over 5,700 publicly traded companies. We also monitor for activity related to several privately held corporations.

Issue Themes: Issue themes focus on topics of interest to Institutional Investors (e.g., references to asbestos, tobacco litigation, medical reimbursement). Using these themes, investors easily view content and change in volumes as well as see who is saying what about issues important to your portfolio.

Custom Themes and Data Feeds: Monitor110 works with our customers to create custom themes specific to an issue or investment strategy. Custom themes can be related to hiring activity, litigation, clinical trials, product launches, pricing, or other topics related to your portfolio.
Here are a couple of their bots: on ip on ip

YaaaHOOOooo! Wipes Out 22% of Shareholder Wealth in One Day :.

Remember the lesson from earlier today on selling outside the spread?

Yahoo's stock price plunged by nearly 22 percent Wednesday, marking its largest one-day drop ever after the Internet powerhouse postponed a pivotal change to the advertising formula that propels its profits.


The wipeout erased about $10.4 billion in shareholder wealth.

Cryptogon Experiences Record Traffic

Cryptogon received over 10,000 visits yesterday, or slightly more than 2X normal volume, thanks to links from and (two of my favorite sites).

This is the most activity Cryptogon has ever experienced in a 24hour period; and this doesn't even include feed loads.

Thanks, guys!

Home Sellers Learning Day Trading Skills :.

When I used to trade, and I wanted out of a position -NOW- I would use a technique that was referred to as selling outside the spread.

Rather than getting in line with the rest of the sheep to get a fill on a market order (which are executed in sequence), I'd enter a limit order slightly below the current bid. For the cost of a penny or two, sometimes for nothing, I'd get to jump the line of market orders and get an instant fill. Time is all that matters now. With market orders, where are you in line? Depending on liquidity, this isn't a trivial question. The axe, meanwhile, could drop the price much lower as all the market orders pile up. And it's all about getting out of the way of the axe.

Confused? Think of musical chairs. Imagine that the music has stopped and you don't have a chair. Selling outside the spread is like pushing someone, who's about to get a chair, out of the way and taking the chair for yourself.

The same technique should work for home sellers. The question is, at what cost? The ugly phase begins when lots of other sellers get the same idea at the same time. That's when---sorry for more trading lingo--- downward momentum builds and the real pain begins:

Home sellers are learning what any retailer, from Wal-Mart to the owner of the corner gas station, already knows: Low prices are one of the surest ways to beat the competition.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Massachusetts' largest real estate firm with more than 3,500 agents, is coaching agents on how to persuade clients to list their homes at an asking price that undercuts those of comparable ones on the market.

The hope is low prices will attract more prospective buyers, leading to faster sales. Other real estate agents in the Boston area report success with similar strategies in a housing market with an unprecedented glut of properties for sale.

Called "drama pricing" or "energy pricing," it is a drastic measure for difficult times. And it seems to run counter to the conventional strategy of selling your home for the highest price possible.

Pat Buchanan: Where Are the Christians? :.

[WARNING: Link contains images of Ann Coulter.]

Uh, they're waiting to be raptured, Pat:

But what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

But where are the Christians? Why is Pope Benedict virtually alone among Christian leaders to have spoken out against what is being done to Lebanese Christians and Muslims?

Chief U.S. Economist at Deutsche Bank: 'The Housing Market's in Trouble' :.

Someone give this guy an honorary degree in rocket science:

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders dropped this month to the lowest level in more than 14 years as sales fell and orders were canceled.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence declined to 39, the lowest since December 1991, from 42 in June, the Washington-based association said Tuesday. It was the eighth decline in nine months for the index.

"The housing market's in trouble," said Joseph Lavorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank AG in New York. "We have become decidedly more cautious on the outlook since the index has started falling."

Related: Housing Panic Blog <--- Hilarious and terrifying.



UPDATE: Seems back to normal...

Cryptogon was down today for about 3 1/2 hours due to a municipal power failure (dead transformer) at Blue Host's data center in Orem, Utah.

I was more concerned with all of the clients I've referred to Blue Host, over the past couple of months, than I was with my own show.

"Oh sh*t," I thought, "I feel like a real idiot."

HA! Thankfully, they were all still up and running! A bunch of older clients, including me, just had UPS, which ran down after a few minutes. The newer clients were covered by diesel generator backup.

Here's where it gets interesting...

All Blue Host domains (165,000+ of them) are now---believe it or not---powered by a diesel generator.

The BlueHost guys moved the boxes that weren't connected to diesel generator power (Cryptogon was hosted on one of these) to a different set of racks that does have diesel generator power.

If Cryptogon goes down again, it probably means the generator ran out of juice.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I love how fragile this sh*t really is.


Chinese PSYOP Forces Attempt Perception Management Online :.

Does the diabolical Chinese regime realise that they could just hire Netvocates?

China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators to try to sway public opinion on controversial issues on the Internet, a newspaper said on Thursday.

China has struggled to gain control over the Internet as more and more people gain access to obtain information beyond official sources. The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.

A special force of online commentators had already been operating in Suqian city in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu since April, the Southern Weekend said.

Their job was to defend the government when negative comments appeared on Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms, the weekly quoted local officials as saying. Suqian city's propaganda department recruited the commentators from among government officials, the weekly said, adding that they must "understand (government) policies, be versed in (political) theories and be politically reliable". "They will guide public opinion as ordinary netizens. This is both important and effective," Ma Zhichun, one of the recruited commentators, was quoted as saying.

Related: Chinese Try Mobile Death Vans

Cryptogon Blocked from U.S. Air Force Domains

A Cryptogon reader writes:
I guess you're too subversive for our delicate eyes at USAF bases in [DELETED]. This Monday morning I tried to access your page from work and was greeted by an 'unauthorized: personal/politics' banner.

We have no trouble reading Drudge, NewsMax, FreeRepublic, and WorldNetDaily. I guess I'll have to wait till I get home to see some 'reality-based' information.

Keep up the good work...
I've been noticing substantially fewer .mil visits lately. Actually, I'm not getting any visits at all from .mil, that I can ID as .mil. Cryptogon used to get hundreds per day. I just assumed that They they started routing the traffic through nodes that resolved back to civilian networks. But maybe not...

It's probably safe to assume that Full Spectrum Dominance applies to the brains of U.S. military personnel, and hence the firewall 'approved access' list.

Here's a free (but check out their paid offerings), easy-to-setup tool for folks who are trying to use the web from behind restrictive firewalls:

If you can reach from your browser, you can take remote control of any computer that has free access to the Internet; your home computer, for example. Then you will be able to browse and any other sites that are blocked from work. (Until the donkeys wake up and block, of course.) This was an excellent solution for me when I worked for a criminal Wall Street bank that had restrictive firewall policies.

NOTE: If your network warlord is logging keystrokes, it will be able to gain control of your PC. Be careful!


CIFAGB01.CIFA.MIL (Counter Intelligence Field Activity) arrived via Thanks, Mike! ;) About CIFA.MIL. It makes sense that they'd have a clear shot to the net.

It also looks like (U.S. Coast Guard) and some overseas nodes are still open.

Who's Sweet as Honey? :.

WTF? I wonder if "he" wears a hood and/or a cape?

Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing
Bush: Yeah.
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way...
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet
Blair: He is honey. And that's what the whole thing is about. It's the same with Iraq


I have to post these images, because, as an American, I am responsible for this. All Americans are responsible for this:



Our intelligence sources in Lebanon have reported to us exclusively that Israel is now using poison gas and depleted uranium shells on towns in the south of Lebanon. Residents of the small village of Kasarshoba became violently ill, experiencing severe vomiting, after the Israelis hit the village with poison gas. In other cases, underground shelters in southern Lebanon were hit by Israeli depleted uranium shells. Our sources also report that the entire southern suburbs of southern Beirut, with a population of 800,000, have been totally depopulated. Israel has targeted thousands of civilian homes for destruction.

Meanwhile, Israeli government spokespersons and Bush administration officials took to the Sunday morning talking head programs in Washington to defend Israel's barbarous actions. The networks failed to present the views of Lebanese government spokespersons. Israel's and the Bush administration's line is that Israeli attacks are "precision targeted." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointedly refused to criticize Israel on ABC's This Week.

Eight Canadians Killed in Israeli Strikes :.

The corporate media doesn't pay any attention when the Mad Dog kills Lebanese civilians. But CNN managed squeeze out one sentence on these Canadians:

Eight Canadians were among those killed Sunday in southern Lebanon, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said.

The Newt: It's World War III :.

Turn away from the flash. Drop to the ground and lay in a prone position with your feet toward the mushroom cloud. Cover your head with your hands. Close your eyes:

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so.

Gingrich said in an interview Saturday that Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.

"We need to have the militancy that says 'We're not going to lose a city, " Gingrich said.

Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly and to the administration from his seat on the Defense Policy Board about the need to recognize that America is in World War III.

Iran Warns Israel of 'Unimaginable Losses' if Syria Attacked :.

Luckily, the beer we made last week is ready:

Iran warned its arch-enemy Israel Sunday of "unimaginable losses" if it attacks Syria adding that the Islamic republic was "standing by the Syrian people".

"We hope the Zionist regime does not make the mistake of attacking Syria, because extending the front would definitely make the Zionist regime face unimaginable losses," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.


Americans Rescued from Lebanon Will Have to Pay to Be Repatriated :.

Let me get this straight... U.S. taxpayers give Israel billions of dollars per year. Without any warning, Israel, using U.S. made weapons, destroys Lebanon, striking civilian infrastructure at will, closing all means of escape and stranding tens of thousands of Americans in a swirling sh*tstorm. And what is the U.S. State Department's response to the stranded people?

You better be sitting down for this one:

The State Department added that the government would not provide free transportation but could provide repatriation loans "to those in financial need."

The Strait of Hormuz: It's Not That Bad, It's Worse

The Iranian strategic military plan for engaging the United States must include crippling oil exports from the Persian Gulf. Iran is (probably) in a position to close the Strait of Hormuz, the most strategically important waterway in the world.

While the U.S. Navy has already pledged to keep the strait open, there is no way to know if that will be possible if Iran does indeed decide to go with a scorched earth policy:
The United States would ensure the free flow of oil and trade through the Strait of Hormuz if passage was threatened, its top navy commander in the Gulf told Reuters on Monday.

Iran has a commanding position on the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic channel at the mouth of the Gulf that is a conduit for close to two-fifths of globally traded oil.

"What you are looking for here is confidence and relying on us to provide clearance of the straits, to ensure the strait remains free," Vice Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, in charge of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said in an interview.

"I can offer you our unequivocal commitment that that is our goal, that that's our job," he said, speaking by telephone from Manama, Bahrain.

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned last month that oil exports in the Gulf could be jeopardized if Washington made a "wrong move" against Tehran were the dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions to escalate.
This is the good news.

The bad news is that Iran wouldn't have to sink a bunch of vessels in the Strait of Hormuz to bring the whole damn bigtop crashing down.

If the Strait of Hormuz is the most strategically important waterway in the world, what's the most strategically important facility in the world?

Ras Tanura:
As much as 80% of the near 9 million barrels of oil a day pumped out by Saudi is believed to end up being piped from fields such as Ghawar to Ras Tanura in the Gulf to be loaded on to supertankers bound for the west.
If Iran manages to damage the deep water oil loading facility at Ras Tanura...

Well, I hope your bicycle is in good working order.

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

MW is one of a small number of hardcore Cryptogon supporters. With generosity spanning years, his regular contributions help to keep Cryptogon open and free to all.

Thanks, MW, for everything.

Federal Reserve: U.S. 'Could Be Going Bankrupt' :.

Cryptogon---and thousands of other sites---have been telling this story for years, but that has just been a bunch of tinfoil hat, conspiracy theory nonsense unsuitable for discussion in polite circles... Except for now, it's on U.S. Federal Reserve letterhead.

Have a nice day:

The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary paper published by one of the key members of the country's central bank.

A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.

Prof Kotlikoff said that, by some measures, the US is already bankrupt. "To paraphrase the Oxford English Dictionary, is the United States at the end of its resources, exhausted, stripped bare, destitute, bereft, wanting in property, or wrecked in consequence of failure to pay its creditors," he asked.

According to his central analysis, "the US government is, indeed, bankrupt, insofar as it will be unable to pay its creditors, who, in this context, are current and future generations to whom it has explicitly or implicitly promised future net payments of various kinds".


Prof Kotlikoff, who teaches at Boston University, says: "The proper way to consider a country's solvency is to examine the lifetime fiscal burdens facing current and future generations. If these burdens exceed the resources of those generations, get close to doing so, or simply get so high as to preclude their full collection, the country's policy will be unsustainable and can constitute or lead to national bankruptcy.

"Does the United States fit this bill? No one knows for sure, but there are strong reasons to believe the United States may be going broke."

Experts have calculated that the country's long-term "fiscal gap" between all future government spending and all future receipts will widen immensely as the Baby Boomer generation retires, and as the amount the state will have to spend on healthcare and pensions soars. The total fiscal gap could be an almost incomprehensible $65.9 trillion, according to a study by Professors Gokhale and Smetters.

The figure is massive because President George W Bush has made major tax cuts in recent years, and because the bill for Medicare, which provides health insurance for the elderly, and Medicaid, which does likewise for the poor, will increase greatly due to demographics.

Prof Kotlikoff said: "This figure is more than five times US GDP and almost twice the size of national wealth. One way to wrap one's head around $65.9trillion is to ask what fiscal adjustments are needed to eliminate this red hole. The answers are terrifying. One solution is an immediate and permanent doubling of personal and corporate income taxes. Another is an immediate and permanent two-thirds cut in Social Security and Medicare benefits. A third alternative, were it feasible, would be to immediately and permanently cut all federal discretionary spending by 143pc."

The scenario has serious implications for the dollar. If investors lose confidence in the US's future, and suspect the country may at some point allow inflation to erode away its debts, they may reduce their holdings of US Treasury bonds.

Prof Kotlikoff said: "The United States has experienced high rates of inflation in the past and appears to be running the same type of fiscal policies that engendered hyperinflations in 20 countries over the past century."

Related: Is the United States Bankrupt? PDF

Related: Cheneys Betting on Bad News?

Research Credit: Life After the Oil Crash and MC

Ex-Bush Aide Fatally Shoots Son, Himself :.

I did a quick look to see if I could spot any obvious reasons why Lash had to be eliminated. The guy was so connected you can just take your pick... Who knows!?
A former Bush administration official, after arguing violently with his wife Thursday night, shot and killed his 12-year-old son inside their McLean home, then turned a shotgun on himself and committed suicide, Fairfax County police said.

William H. Lash III, 45, was an assistant secretary of commerce from 2001 until last year, then returned to teach at George Mason University Law School in Arlington, where he had begun as a professor in 1994. His wife, Sharon K. Zackula, fled the house before the shootings, and police said yesterday they were not sure what ignited the murder-suicide in a first-floor bedroom.


Lash's resume was long and quintessential of the Washington elite -- an Ivy League pedigree, high-powered law firms, a presidential appointment, think tanks, boards of directors, guest spots on television news programs, and prestigious university positions.

He had an undergraduate degree from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard University. He clerked for a New Jersey Supreme Court justice. He served as counsel to the chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission during the Reagan years, worked for the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and served on the boards of directors of private and publicly traded corporations. In 1994, he found a place in academia on the GMU law faculty.
But check out this weirdly prescient exchange between Lash and a Russian trade official:
In an unusual acknowledgment of the thuggish climate, a Russian trade official, Dmitry Beskurnikov, during negotiations in July with William Lash, an assistant United States commerce secretary, explained, "People that don't understand the rules get killed." According to Lash, who later told reporters of the exchange, Lash asked Beskurnikov whether he meant that rule-breakers would face financial disaster. Beskurnikov clarified: "No, physically killed."
And their children, too.

Evangelicals to Push for More Support for Israel :.

In case you were wondering what the lunatic, death cult Christians had in mind for your tax money:
More than 3,000 pro-Israel evangelical Christians will be in town next week for a "Washington/Israel summit" to push the Bush administration toward stronger support for the Jewish state.
In other news, Israel is indiscriminately slaughtering Lebanese civilians, right now, with American made weapons.

What would Jesus do?

A baby was sliced into three and body parts hung from olive trees as the full force of Israeli military might hit rural southern Lebanon Thursday.

In the deadliest Israeli strikes in a decade, at least 47 people were killed.

As the south came under a relentless air assault that destroyed vital bridges linking one area to another, ordinary life came to a standstill as terror-stricken residents hid indoors and businesses remained closed.

The silence that reigned over southern Lebanon was broken only by the sounds of violence and its aftermath - bomb blasts and the wail of ambulance sirens.

Israel's offensive, prompted by the capture of two of its soldiers by the group Hizbollah in a bid to secure a swap of prisoners, was the most serious since it ended 22 years of occupation in southern Lebanon in 2000.

On a charred mattress rest the remains of a burned baby girl, her arm to one side. Her upper body is at one end of the bed and her lower body at the other.

Police said the 10-month-old and six other family members were killed when an Israeli missile hit their home in the usually quiet village of Baflay, near the coastal city of Tyre.

The baby, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to a hospital morgue in Tyre. Her body has not yet been claimed by relatives.

As dawn broke over the sleepy village of Dweir, near the main central market town of Nabatiyeh, tragedy hit the household of Adel Akkash, a Shiite Muslim cleric.

An Israeli missile destroyed his home, and neighbours who rushed to help met with a gruesome scene. Akkash, his wife and their seven young children were all dead.

Relief workers were called in to recover the remains of Akkash's seven children from the family olive grove, an AFP correspondent said. Small severed body parts were recovered from the branches of olive trees, and placed in plastic bags.

Eleven members of another family - including five children - met a similar fate in Zibqine, a small village southeast of Tyre.

A missile destroyed the home of a former mayor of the village who died a few years ago, burying his entire family under the rubble.

Hours after the attack, the dusty bodies of his wife, children and nephews were retrieved from the debris by relief workers who took them to a hospital morgue.

Three other relatives were found wounded, and taken to hospital.

"We were all hiding in the shelter when the house was destroyed by the Israeli jets," one of them told AFP.

"What did we do to deserve this barbaric attack on civilians? There are no resistance [fighters] here," he said.

Police said Israeli air strikes also killed two civilians in Baraashit, five in Shour and three in Srifa, three villages near Tyre.

Six civilians were wounded and taken to hospital after air strikes destroyed three houses in the village of Maarub, east of Tyre, police said.

"The Israelis are suffocating us. They destroyed our roads and bridges. We cannot even flee," said southern resident Ahmad Kamel.

"They are killing civilians because they cannot kill Hizbollah fighters. They want to bring us back to the occupation era. We cannot take this injustice any more. Will the world continue to watch them kill children without doing anything?" asked Jamil Hassan.

Research Credit: KH


A Woman's Dead Son, and Her Hummer :.

How weird is it going to get? Friend, you aint seen nothin yet:

Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.

Via: Idleworm

Sesame Street PSYOP for Children :.

The full horror of the U.S. is most visible in stories like this. This is what the killing of the future looks like:

"Our goal is to really get military families with young children ... to talk about the different stages of deployment with their children, not only talk about it but prepare them for it," said Jeanette Betancourt, vice president of content design at Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street.

Sesame Workshop has produced a DVD, in both English and Spanish, that will be distributed free to military families next month. CEO Gary Knell was to announce details Friday in Houston, joined by officials of Wal-Mart, which has committed $1.5 million to the project.

Karla Sketch, the family readiness coordinator at Fort Campbell, an Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee line, says parents often request coloring books, pamphlets or any materials that will help them discuss a soldier's absence on a kid's level.

Many parents, she said, are afraid of saying the wrong thing and frightening their children. "Are they going to tell their kids too much? Are they going to tell them enough? Some parents are new to the military. They don't even understand it themselves," Sketch said.

The DVD shows Elmo and his parents preparing for Elmo's dad to be deployed, though it doesn't say where he's going.

The characters discuss their feelings, exchange keepsakes and review the reasons why Elmo can't go, too. They promise to think about one another often, and keep up their regular practice of saying goodnight to the moon.

"Elmo, you know, no matter where I am, I'll still be able to see the moon, just like you," his dad says.


Israel Entering 'Mad Dog' Phase, Strikes Hundreds of Targets in Lebanon :.

Israeli airstrikes and artillery hammered hundreds of targets in Lebanon, including two strikes on the Beirut airport, where helicopter gunships left craters in runways and turned fuel tanks into fireballs.
Keep this quote, from Martin van Creveld, professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in mind:
We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.'


Just sit back and enjoy the show.


Enron: British Banker Found Dead :.

While you were busy watching World War III get under way in and around Israel, and oil crossing up above $75 again, some interesting Enron-related wet work was making headlines in Britain.

Who's next?

Neil Coulbeck, who was found dead yesterday, worked for the National Westminster Bank in America at the time the Enron scandal broke six years ago.

A high-flyer who had written books on business and finance, he became a colleague and friend of the three accused men, who worked for the bank's corporate finance arm, Greenwich NatWest.

Although he would have had oversight of the NatWest Three's dealings with Enron, it is unclear how much he knew about the affair. The FBI clearly felt he could provide evidence against the three, and there were claims last night that he was under pressure after repeated meetings with US agents.

Mr Coulbeck was NatWest's chief operational officer in America until the bank was taken over by Royal Bank of Scotland in 2000.

He was responsible for the approval of US transactions that the various divisions of NatWest put forward, and was a member of the executive committee that approved such transactions.

By the time he left America in June 2001 he was RBS's head of financial markets for North America and was a director of Greenwich NatWest.

On his return to London he became the head of trading and investments at RBS, but left the firm in 2004.

Related: Kenny Boy Dies of Heart Attack

Research Credit: West


Israeli tanks and troops invaded southern Lebanon today amid a series of military disasters for the government in Jerusalem after Hizbullah captured two soldiers and killed several others - compounding a political crisis over an abducted soldier held in Gaza. The Israeli air force killed a family of nine, including seven children, in a large bomb attack on a Gaza City house.

Hizbullah said it would not exchange the two captured soldiers until Israel agrees to release all Arab prisoners. Palestinian militias holding Corporal Gilad Shalit in the Gaza Strip have demanded that all Palestinian women and young people held in Israeli jails be freed.

Several other Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting after the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, ordered his forces into Lebanon in an attempt to rescue the soldiers captured today. He called an emergency meeting of his security cabinet.


Cryptogon Readers Contribute $100 and $30

There's a moment of shock when I see that someone has sent in a $100 contribution.


Some Cryptogon readers like to contribute here and there, when they can. DE decided to let it rip in one shot.

Then we have Miss GW. She's been sending $25 donations for months. This month, she kicked it up to $30.

These contributions (and all of the others that have been flowing in so generously) are impacting our lives in very tangible ways.

You guys are buying Becky and me time. You're giving us the chance to get our income streams flowing. We don't need to make much money off of this land, BUT, we have to make some money. The property tax man never stops calling, electricity, autofuel, galvanized nails, heirloom seeds, a pitchfork, etc. etc. This path is heavily laden with expenses. When you have a fixed sum of cash and it's only going one way---out---the pressure is definitely on. The Matrix has us, even out here. While its grip isn't as tight as it was back in the U.S., it has a grip on us nonetheless.

Becky and I are trying to get our heads around how expensive it's going to be to buy the dairy cows. We're going to be risking a substantial (for us) pile of precious cash on those cows and that venture working out.

Paul, of bacon fame, has a few cow legs hanging up in his tractor shed. I asked, "What's the story with that?"

"Ah, a cow got pinched in a gate. Tore up a nerve along her spine. I had to turn her into $600 worth of dog food."

That made me think pretty hard. Paul has something like 120 cows (many of them now in calf). Occasionally, bad things happen on farms. Becky and I, well, we can't afford an outcome like that if we only buy two cows. We have to be able to raise calves on them. We have to be able to sell those calves later on when they're on pasture.

I'm getting that same knotted up feeling in my gut that I used to get from playing the markets. In other words, we're back to risking capital to make profits. THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS. (Well, of course, there's always the option of getting a job again, once my immigration status is sorted out.) When that property tax bill shows up, Becky and I can't offer the warlord a side of beef to clear our account. Nope. That thing demands the coin of the realm. It's that simple.

We're having to invest some our cash in a venture based on unpredictable biological systems that A) we really don't have much experience with, and, B) in some ways have been damaged by insane behavior (overbreeding, overcrowding, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, poor stewardship). I've been reading, Organic Dairy Farming: A Resource for Farmers, by Jody Padgham, in a desperate attempt to get a clue!

There's a sane way to do it, and there's an insane way to do it. There's a dairy industrial complex that has sprung up around trying to make insane practices viable and profitable. And that thing is everywhere. Most farmers don't know any other way. We're basically going to be rolling the dice on cows that have been brought up under the insane paradigm and hoping that we can transition them to our low density, low impact, heavy metal and petrochemical free operation.

Unfortunately, some of the practices in diarying damage the calves in the first days of life, necessitating pharmacological treatments later on. Padgham's book, and my experience with the steers, seems to indicate a simple point: trying to do it outside of the way nature intended is stupid and futile. But here we are.

Why not just buy organic cows? Organics (especially livestock) really isn't that big where we are. Dairy operations up here are (as far as I know) exclusively conventional and go hand in hand with pesticide use and a jab schedule for the beasts that is, quite simply, incredible. (At least these cows are on pasture, unlike in the U.S. There are no feed lots anywhere up here.) It seems like dealing with anything organic means an initial doubling of costs. Potentially, we could buy organic cows, run into problems and be out double what we would have spent on conventional cows.

Am I complaining? Absolutely not one bit at all. Would I prefer my cubicle, headset and multiple computer systems whirring away in front of me, making some ghoulish corporation's stock holders even wealthier? F no. That wasn't living, in my opinion.

The point of me telling this story is, quite simply, that it will be easier for Becky and me to go into that dairy cow purchase with a few extra coins in reserve.

Thanks, DE and GW.


Better Living Through Chemistry: Parkinson's Linked to Common Pesticides :.

Any pesticide exposure... Uh, how about regularly eating food that has been bathed in pesticides? Does that count as, "any pesticide exposure"?

People who have been exposed to pesticides are 70 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who haven't, according to a new study. The results suggest that any pesticide exposure, whether occupationally related or not, will increase a person's risk of the disease. This means that using pesticides in the home or garden may have similarly harmful effects as working with the chemicals on a farm or as a pest controller.

Despite Heart Attack Deaths, Synthetic Blood Still Being Tested On Trauma Patients :.

The FDA really is concerned with your health and safety. Really:

Several years ago a clinical trial of a blood substitute called PolyHeme finished with worrisome results. Ten of 81 patients who received the fake blood suffered a heart attack within seven days, and two of those died. None of the 71 patients in the trial who received real blood were found to have had a heart attack.

PolyHeme's maker, Northfield Laboratories Inc., quietly shut down the trial and didn't publicly disclose the results, which are described in internal documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. It decided the heart attacks might have been due to doctor inexperience in using PolyHeme, not a problem with the product itself.

Now Northfield is in the middle of a new trial. A Food and Drug Administration official, Jay Epstein, calls the earlier data "alarming" but not sufficient to stop Northfield from trying out its product on hundreds of trauma patients.

The FDA is allowing Northfield to test its blood substitute without the consent of the trauma patients, who often are unconscious. In lieu of patient consent, the 31 medical centers testing the product are required to carry out community-awareness campaigns about the trials. Several hospitals have told community meetings that previous trials showed PolyHeme to be safe, failing to mention the 10 heart attacks in their printed materials.

Some veteran doctors are concerned about the push by Northfield, of Evanston, Ill., to test its product without publicly disclosing earlier results. Ronald M. Fairman, chief of vascular surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, says he repeatedly urged the company to publish the data but got nowhere. "Even now, it remains frustrating the multicenter results were not disclosed,"; he says.

Chemical Warfare: Inside Britain's Toxic House of Horrors :.

Servicemen were deliberately subjected to lethal doses of poison in secret tests at Porton Down, an official report will admit this week.

The Ministry of Defence is now braced for a flood of compensation claims from volunteers used in trials at its chemical weapons research centre.

The long-delayed "historical survey" of Porton Down finds that at least five sets of trials "may not have met the ethical standards required," The Independent on Sunday has learnt. They include one trial in which drops of a poison were placed on the skin of volunteers at a dosage level believed at the time to be fatal.

Another test saw six soldiers severely injured after their genitals were exposed to mustard gas to test prototype protective underwear.

The trial, in which an RAF serviceman, Ronald Maddison, died in agony after being given sarin, is also condemned in a list of cases in which scientists were acting "at the edge of their knowledge".

Ministers commissioned the report into Porton Down six years ago, under pressure from volunteers who were convinced that they had suffered long-term health damage.



Cryptogon reader SB updated and expanded a post from about New Zealand's martial law contingency planning re: pandemic flu outbreak.

The official action plan indicates that full spectrum PSYOP is being planned that will frighten New Zealanders into accepting a martial law situation; including travel restrictions, confiscation of private property, forced vaccinations and much, much more.

I've stated, from the beginning, that this global avian flu scare is an unmitigated scam. But don't take my word for it:

Bird Flu "Pandemic" Antidote: Wash Hands

Spain: Bird Flu Sparking Human Epidemic Is 'Science Fiction'

STRATFOR on Bird Flu: Calm Down

The New Zealand government, however, is following a different script. According to New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Action Plan, Version 14, National Health Emergency Plan: Infectious Diseases, Appendix III:

"The vaccine strategy is to immunise all New Zealanders once supplies are available."

And here are a couple of interesting excerpts from Bills Digest No 1363: Law Reform (Epidemic Preparedness):

Fines and prison for refusing to do what the 'Health Protection Officer' tells you to do:
Section 72 creates offences, punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months, a fine of up to $4,000, or both for-

...doing anything forbidden by a Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer under section 70 or section 71; or
...failing or refusing to comply with, or delaying complying with, a direction or requirement of a Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer given in the exercise of powers or functions under section 70 or section 71; or
...doing, or delaying ceasing to do, a thing prohibited or forbidden by a Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer in the exercise of powers or functions under section 70 or section 71.
...require to be closed, until further order or for a fixed period, all premises within the district (or a stated area of the district) of any stated kind or description...

...require to be closed, until further order or for a fixed period, all premises within the district...

...forbid people to congregate in outdoor places of amusement or recreation of any stated kind or description (whether public or private) within the district (or a stated area of the district)...
Private property:
Powers of Medical Officer of Health on outbreak of infectious requisition in writing served on its owner or occupier, take possession of, occupy, and use any land or building (whether public or private) that in his or her opinion is required for the accommodation and treatment of patients [or] is required for the storage or disposal of bodies... requisition in writing served on the owner or other person for the time being in charge of it, take possession of and use any vehicle, whether public or private...
Now, how are They going to get Kiwis to buy into this load of nonsense? Simple. They're going to frighten the crap out of people. Pay special attention to how much emphasis is going into the PSYOP component in the Pandemic Action Plan:
Know that we are preparing for a pandemic at some time

Routine media monitoring

Develop media plan for ensuing phases

Extension of key messages to cement public expectation of significant changes in the event of a pandemic

Constant promulgation of key messages via all media

Provide user-friendly version of FAQs for talkback hosts/general media use/leafletting

Secure Family Health Diary slot / television awareness

Introduce dedicated 0800 number with regular monitoring of calls used to refresh scripts

Initiate web, talkback and all media monitoring

Initiate wide distribution of short videos

Secure broadcast of short videos

Increase frequency of media updates

Review and formalise all media and comms protocols

Initiate production of new materials for paid media advertising in next/ensuing phases

Note: move to "authority figure" presenter recommended here

Initiate buying plan for national media for next phase

Secure media buy/finalise production for high-frequency, radio-loaded campaign

Accelerate production of media materials

Intensified media monitoring

Implement multi-media campaign fronted by trusted authority figure

Review and promulgation new key messages reflecting health action e.g. on vaccines, community assessment centres/isolation centres etc

Ongoing evaluation/freshening paid media campaign(s)

Ongoing review communications strategy, with special reference to audiences and key messages, incorporating material all feedback loops
I hope New Zealanders spread this information far, wide and fast. Take it from someone who escaped the U.S.: You don't want this legislation to unfurl in New Zealand.

Supporting documents (will be mirrored if necessary):

Bills Digest No 1363: Law Reform (Epidemic Preparedness)

New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Action Plan, Version 14, National Health Emergency Plan: Infectious Diseases, Appendix III

Research Credit and Special Thanks for His Efforts: SB

We Shifted the Steers

These two can be as silly as snakes, but we managed to move them about 1km down the road to a neighboring farm with a cattle yard and loading race. Our neighbor, Terry, from up the road, helped us do it.

We didn't have any working dogs on the job. It was just me, Becky and Terry. I was pretty sure that if we managed to get these steers out of the paddock and down to the road, they would be gone. But we managed to move them, no problem. Becky and Terry walked behind them. I hopped in Terry's ute and drove ahead. In case they took off [email protected] down the road, I blocked the escape with the ute and kindof angled the thing toward the gate we wanted them to enter.

The steers went right through the open gate.

I commented to Terry that I was surprised that it went so easily. Terry said, "Well, mate, it was either going to go like it did, or it would have gone to custard."

I'm glad it didn't go to custard.

We're now contemplating the purchase of (probably) two dairy cows, onto which we will hook a couple of calves. I'm going to have to build a loading race of our own.


Most Scientific Papers Are Probably Wrong :.

Hang out with people in the University Industrial Complex long enough, and you won't believe the sh*t that goes on:

Most published scientific research papers are wrong, according to a new analysis. Assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true.

Research Credit: TR

Cryptogon Readers Ordering Interesting Books

First of all, thanks to all Cryptogon readers who are ordering their Amazon goods via Cryptogon. Those small referral fees add up! It's up to something like $21 this quarter.

I noticed a couple of interesting titles that your fellow Cryptogon readers have ordered. Check these out:

Amazing and Wonderful Mind Machines You Can Build by G. Harry Stine

Handy Farm Devices: And How to Make Them by Rolfe Cobleigh

If you want to buy something from Amazon AND support Cryptogon at the same time, simply click links related to books, like the ones above, or use the Amazon search box on the upper right hand side of the page.

Hint: The Amazon search box looks like this:

UPDATED: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Wheat Beer :.

Cryptogon readers deliver the goods!


Western Union Blocks Cash Transfers to People with Muslim Sounding Names :.

About a year ago, I wrote:
It's routine for house pets to receive pre-approved credit card offers. Many people "buy" homes for hundreds of thousands of dollars with no money down. Years later, they refinance those homes with interest only loans and take cash out in order to buy groceries, SUVs etc. Sure! Haul your fat ass down to WalMart and let it rip! You're a patriotic American with equity...

But try to take your chips off the table and get the hell out of this horror show before the big top collapses and suddenly you're dealing with a national security matter.
We have now moved to the next phase, where "terrorism" is being used as the excuse to actually prevent money transfers.

What if I'd had a Muslim sounding name? I wonder if my wife and I would have been able to get our money out of the U.S.

What's next? Will you will have to apply to the Department of Homeland Security for a permit to send money out? Maybe all money transfers by individuals will be stopped due to national security reasons. Who knows?!

After all, why would any patriotic American want to send money out of the Homeland?

Money transfer agencies have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed, company officials said.

In one example, an Indian driver here said Western Union prevented him from sending $120 to a friend at home last month because the recipient's name was Mohammed.

"Western Union told me that if I send money to Sahir Mohammed, the money will be blocked because of his name," said 36-year-old Abdul Rahman Maruthayil, who later sent the money through UAE Exchange, a Dubai-based money transfer service.

In a similar case, Pakistani Qadir Khan said Western Union blocked his attempt this month to wire money to his brother Mohammed for a cataract operation.

"Every Mohammed is a terrorist now?" Khan asked.

Dubai-based representatives from Western Union Financial Services, an American company based in Colorado, and Minnesota-based MoneyGram International said their clerks are simply following U.S.

Treasury Department guidelines that scrutinize cash flows for terrorist links. Most of the flagged transactions are delayed a few hours. Some are blocked entirely.

Cheneys Betting on Bad News? :.

Maybe he's been reading Cryptogon:

Vice President Dick Cheney's financial advisers are apparently betting on a rise in inflation and interest rates and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. That's the conclusion we draw after scouring the financial disclosure form released by Cheney recently.

Research Credit: LATOC

Uncle Donald Sharpens the Axe

Becky's uncle Donald recently paid us a visit to help us get our electric fences sorted out. He also sharpened all of our handtools while he was here.

Donald knows his sh*t and he gets results. He and his family run over 1000 bulls on a vast farm. The clan has also started up a midsized dairy operation. For those of you moving to rural areas, if you're lucky, you'll meet up with a wise dude like Donald. Learn everything you can from folks like this. Decades of experience go a long way out here:


Even Bush's crap is classified top secret. According to our Austrian sources, Austrian newspapers are currently abuzz with special security details of George W. Bush's recent trip to Vienna. Although the heavy-handed Gestapo-like security measures meted out to Viennese home owners, business proprietors, and pedestrians by US Secret Service agents and local police before and during Bush's visit received widespread Austrian media attention, it was White House "toilet security" ("TOILSEC"), which has Austrians talking the most. The White House flew in a special portable toilet to Vienna for Bush's personal use during his visit. The Bush White House is so concerned about Bush's security, the veil of secrecy extends over the president's bodily excretions. The special port-a-john captured Bush's feces and urine and flew the waste material back to the United States in the event some enterprising foreign intelligence agency conducted a sewage pipe operation designed to trap and examine Bush's waste material. One can only wonder why the White House is taking such extraordinary security measures for the presidential poop.


Cryptogon Reader Contributes $25

AB continues to show her support for Cryptogon with this contribution of $25. Thanks, AB! I hope your plans are working out. ;)

Want to Move to New Zealand? Here Are Some Factors to Consider

I recently suggested to my good friend, TR, that he should think about moving to New Zealand. He asked, "Now that you've lived there awhile, do you still think NZ is the place to be? Are there any serious drawbacks that you've found?"

I thought about it.

As someone who is disgusted with the U.S. in general, and looking to live a sane lifestyle, I think he'd be really happy in NZ. But, at the same time, there are some issues that he would need to be aware of.

I thought it was worth posting my response for those of you out there (and I know there are more than a few of you) who are considering a move to NZ:
Overall, I can't think of a place I'd rather be than New Zealand. I absolutely love it here (and I don't miss the U.S. at all).

The three main reasons why I think NZ is the place to be:

1) Low population
2) Physical isolation (insuring population stays low)
3) Natural environment allowing for just about any gardening/agricultural/farming endeavor imaginable

There are, however, some things that you might need to get used to over here. If these issues don't put you off, you would probably really like it here.

In a nutshell, rural NZ would be considered DOWN by average American standards, which (I think) is why it's so nice:


The pace of life doesn't get any slower than this. I wanted to live in a place like this more than anything, but, being here, I realize that (thankfully) most Americans/Europeans wouldn't be able to handle it.

The difference is shocking. There is no urban stress/stimulation here. (Auckland has it, if you want it.) I've talked to Kiwis who said that people from urban U.S., European and even New Zealand areas often can't stand how slow it is here and move back/away. One dude, who met me when I first got here, couldn't believe I was still here after two months. "You're still here? I didn't think you'd last this long." This is probably more of a rural thing than a NZ thing.


In many ways, NZ is like a frontier outpost. The range of products available here is VERY different than what is available in the U.S. You simply can't find many things, outside of essentials. Much of what is available just seems to cost more, in general, than in the U.S. (Just keep in mind: small, remote, island nation.) Obviously, anything can be imported, if you have the ability to pay. Very high quality stuff (tools, clothes, food, whatever) is EXTREMELY expensive. It's not just, "you get what you pay for." There seems to be an over-the-top premium on high quality goods. I think retailers assume something like, "If someone is going to buy this, they NEED to buy it, or they have money to burn, and I can name my price."

The general unavailability of books, and the cost of the books that are available, is a real shocker. Amazon, though, will ship them here, for extra fees.

The same Made in China crap that is available in the U.S. is pretty much available here, and it's cheap, if you want it.

One weird and disturbing thing: Untreated wood is almost impossible to find, and when you do find it, it's stupidly expensive. I've been told that 99% of the unfinished wood available for purchase is treated. I haven't been able to find untreated pine to make simple things like bookshelves and nesting boxes for chickens. It's all covered in carcinogenic crap to make it suitable for building structures in this (wet) environment. We're having to look at milling our own lumber, which we had planned to do eventually anyway, simply because untreated wood is so expensive and difficult to find. Quality chainsaws start at NZ$1000...


NZ's voice and data communications offerings are a disgrace and a national security problem. This situation stems from the criminal nature of Telecom New Zealand's monopoly control over the physical communications infrastructure.

While the government has finally forced "unbundling" of the local loop, opening it up to competition, it will be years before the situation on the ground changes.

As it stands now:

* If you want a simple, analog voice line, you will have to pay NZ$40 per month to Telecom. That's just for the line. It includes no usage/tolls/taxes/etc. Internet service, of course, costs more, BUT STILL REQUIRES THE $40 line rental (this requirement for Internet service will eventually be eliminated, because of the recent government legislation).

* Broadband plans are slow, expensive and ALWAYS metered. They are, quite simply, a joke by developed-world standards. There is no unlimited broadband plan available at any price in New Zealand. In almost all rural areas, there is no terrestrial broadband option available at all. We had to go with a satellite service that costs NZ$90 per month for 1gb of bandwidth. We will ditch Telecom when we get this service, and suffer from not having a local NZ phone number. There is no way to get a NZ phone number without paying Telecom that $40/month ransom. People will have to reach us via VoIP session or email.

* New Zealand mobile phone service is some of the most expensive in the world. It's so expensive that Becky and I wrote the offerings off as insulting. Here, at least, you get to choose who rips you off, Telecom or Vodaphone.


What is assumed for doing business in the U.S./Europe, in terms of the web, mostly doesn't exist in NZ. Very little business is done over the web; Googling for some widget is probably a waste of your time. (See the above Telecom Disaster section as a possible explanation for why this is so.) You need to develop 'local knowledge' if you want to know where to get this, that and the other thing. Many Kiwi business people make a point of NOT using computers. They don't like computers, don't want to use them, and wouldn't know a WWW if it came up from behind them bit them in the ass.

Credit cards are NOT ubiquitous here. They are expensive for people to have and use. As far as I know, there's no such thing as a credit card with no annual fees here. As such, there's no good way for a business to "get paid" here over the Internet. Some of them engage in a clumsy scheme by which you deposit money directly into their bank account as payments for goods and services. Getting credit card transaction clearing in NZ$ is an expensive nightmare.


It's not as high as Europe, but it's probably 20%-30% more expensive than in the U.S. NZ now appears to be in the beginning phases of experiencing serious, energy related problems. Prices on everything are rising. It's a combination of rising oil prices and a weakening NZ$. I've been watching this happen even since I've arrived here. EVERYONE laments the cost of fuel. Like most governments, the NZ government runs a criminal racket on fuel taxes and seems to be willing to let the thing hit the wall because they are taking in more revenue from the high prices... for the moment. Once demand destruction sets in from high prices, who knows...


Like to go to plays, eat different types of ethnic food, see movies in big screen theaters, go to concerts? Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are probably your best bets. In much of the country, including where we are in the Far North, there's very little to do along these lines. Again, this is a rural thing.


High taxes everywhere on everything. But what's the cost of being able to breathe the air and drink the water? Fish in the sea, hang out on empty beaches, ...lush hillsides, etc? I think NZ is still intact because it's a PHB hostile environment. The PHB can't really conduct search and destroy operations as effectively here as it can in other parts of the world. Lots of professionals leave New Zealand to avoid paying the taxes here. They sometimes return because they learn that "over there" sucks pretty bad. Kiwis who want to carve it up go Australia, Britain or the U.S. Good for them!

Well, those are the factors that I've encountered here that stand out most of all.

Secret UK Counter Terror Plan Found in Ditch :.

It's strange that this much information was included in a single document. I would think that more compartmentalization would have been employed than this.

Take it or leave it:

A SECRET military file found in a roadside ditch reveals how SAS troops and bomb disposal experts would be deployed in the event of a terrorist blitz.

The dynamite document - handed to us by the Sun reader who discovered it - tells how the elite forces would fly all over Britain in an emergency fleet of scrambled helicopters. It also:

DETAILS how Cabinet ministers, top brass and intelligence chiefs meet to discuss national emergencies on the "COBRA" security committee.

LISTS a host of ongoing anti-terror operations, along with their code names and commanders.

PROVIDES an A to Z telephone directory of the nation's most important military figures, including the Defence Secretary, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Director of Special Forces, and

REVEALS the home addresses and even wives' names of the Defence Ministry's 28 leading counter-terrorist personnel, including one of the Army's most senior brigadiers.

The 46-page blueprint, which has come to light on the eve of the first anniversary of the 7/7 suicide bombings, was lost in a scandalous security blunder.

And it could easily have fallen into the wrong hands.

Research Credit: West

Man Raided After Handing Out 'Subversive' Alex Jones Material :.

Questioned about posession of George Washington speeches:

A Dillon Montana man had his home raided by 40 FBI, BATF and Canadian law enforcement agents after handing out Alex Jones' material to his local Sheriff which was subsequently deemed 'subversive'.


Hosting With Blue Host

I've been hosting Cryptogon on Blue Host for just over a year. I've been so impressed with the service that I personally started referring people to them. I know that five of these people went on to sign up for hosting.

Here's the bad news: I missed out on $65 EACH time one of these folks signed up for hosting with Blue Host.

Here's the good news: I'm now an affiliate, so now I will make $65 each time a Cryptogon reader/fan/supporter signs up for hosting with Blue Host.

I searched long and hard for a reliable and reasonably priced host for Cryptogon (after repeated disasters with other hosting companies). Check out Blue Host's features and reputation. You'll see why I went with them.

And I don't need to tell you about their reliability.

How often has Cryptogon been down over the past year? You, the Cryptogon reader, should know.

Exactly! It's never down. (Well, it may have been down once for about two hours, but I don't remember if that was their fault or mine... It was probably mine.)

So, if you're looking for the best hosting possible for a reasonable price AND you want to support Cryptogon, it's simple: Blue Host.

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.


_______<- insert meaningful comment here:

Oil prices jumped to a record above $75 a barrel on Wednesday, propelled by a rally in gasoline that analysts said could send average U.S. pump prices past $3 a gallon by the weekend.

Kenny Boy Dies of Heart Attack :.

Imagine my shock:

Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay, who was convicted of helping perpetuate one of the most sprawling business frauds in U.S. history, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Colorado. He was 64.

The Pitkin, Colo., Sheriff's Department said officers were called to Lay's house in Old Snowmass, Colo., shortly after 1 a.m. Mountain time. He was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:11 a.m. Lay, who lived in Houston, frequently vacationed in Colorado.

Related: Kenny Boy

Related: Justice Can Wait


Off Topic: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Wheat Beer :.

There are few areas where the self-supporter can make such large cash savings by creating a more delicious product to his or hew own taste---at just a fraction of the commercial cost. And what self-supporter would be without a constant and ample supply of this great lubricant for socialbility and wise reflection?

- John Seymour, The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It
Becky's dad gave me his old fermentation barrels, so I'm getting into home brewing! I have the inaugural cauldron (23 liters) of Coopers ale sitting here beside me. Becky's cousins make this stuff by the tanker load. It's pretty good.


I'm missing my favorite wheat beer of all: The incredible Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse from Munich, Germany. They've been making beer a little longer than me; since 1363 to be exact. So, obviously, I'm not getting my hopes up too high when I ask the following question... ;)

On the outside chance one of you is A) a home brewer and B) a fan of the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, maybe you have had some success is devising a recipe that... you know?... reminds you of the real thing? Maybe there's a homebrew kit out there that approximates it? Let me know!

UPDATE: Cryptogon Readers Respond

MJ ( and wrote to let me know that his wife brews some competition grade beers using Beer Captured, by Tess Szamatulski and Mark Szamatulski. He also included a link for the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse recipe from the book:
Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse (from Beer Captured)

4 oz Belgian Aromatic Malt
2 oz Acid Malt

6 lb. 5 oz. Muntons Wheat Dry Malt Extract
2 1/4 oz. Malto Dextrin

1 oz. American Hallertauer @ 3.5% (bittering hop)

1/4 oz. Spalt (flavor hop)
1/4 oz. Perle (flavor hop)

White Labs #WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast

1 1/2 cup Muntons Wheat Dry Malt Extract

OG: 1.052

1) Heat 1/2 gallon water to 155, then add the grains. Steep for 30 minutes.
2) Sparge with 1 gallon 150 degree water, then bring wort to boil
3) Add extract & malto-dextrin, top off to 2 1/2 gallons, bring to boil
4) Add Hallertauer...boil 45 minutes
5) Add Spalt & Perle...boil additional 15 mins
6) Cool and top off to 5.5 gallons
7) Pitch yeast
Bart adds:
As far as the Franziskaner hefe-weizen is concerned, my local homebrew shop, Northern Brewer, makes a Hefe extract kit that regulars on their homebrew forum swear is like Franziskaner, only better.
Thanks guys!


Air Force Office of Scientific Research Mining Blogs :.

I wonder if the .mil algorithm can figure out which finger I'm holding up right now:

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research recently began funding a new research area that includes a study of blogs. Blog research may provide information analysts and warfighters with invaluable help in fighting the war on terrorism.

Dr. Brian E. Ulicny, senior scientist, and Dr. Mieczyslaw M. Kokar, president, Versatile Information Systems Inc., Framingham, Mass., will receive approximately $450,000 in funding for the 3-year project entitled "Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information."

"It can be challenging for information analysts to tell what's important in blogs unless you analyze patterns," Ulicny said.

Patterns include the content of the blogs as well as what hyperlinks are contained within the blog.

Within blogs, hyperlinks act like reference citations in research papers thereby allowing someone to discover the most important events bloggers are writing about in just the same way that one can discover the most important papers in a field by finding which ones are the most cited in research papers.


CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs :.

Yep, and I've learned quite a bit from you spook sh*t for brains because you didn't mask your hostnames. Glad to see that you've finally sorted that out. Or, at least, think you've sorted it out. Have a nice day:

President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.

The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.

"A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to ... people putting information on there that doesn't exist anywhere else," Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.

Eliot A. Jardines, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for open source, said the amount of unclassified intelligence reaching Mr. Bush and senior policy-makers has increased as a result of the center's creation in November.

"We're certainly scoring a number of wins with our ultimate customer," said Mr. Jardines, who became the first high-level official in charge of the government's nonsecret intelligence in December.


Gardening When it Counts - Growing Food in Hard Times :.

I haven't read this book, but I have read the introduction and the contents. As far as I can tell, the book ignores the security dimension of the situation that "backyard gardeners" will be facing in a collapse situation. If you live in a city and actually had to use this book, the local warlord would take a look at your backyard garden, rub his stomach and think, "Yummy!"

Then what are you going to do?

This is where the Berkeley vegans, Kerry-2004-bumper-sticker-on-the-hybrid drivers and other associated crackpot liberals will try to change the subject.

The people who think that some kind of urban ecotopia is going to spring up out of the ashes of the "capitalistic, patriarchal, hierarchical dominator system" are out of their god damned minds. The people advocating this myth are ignorant of the plain and simple realities of life on the ground in failed states. Have you heard of the term, failed state? The people pushing the free-love-after-the-collapse world view obviously haven't. And, sadly, lots of people who know what's coming, informed people, would rather believe this myth than upset the apple cart and make substantive changes in their own lives.

My education in International Relations wasn't good for much, but I learned quite a bit about how power works, not in some pothead's dreamworld, but on the ground. You take the state out of the picture for a day or so in an urban environment and someone is going to be pointing a gun at your head, making demands that you will probably find less than appealing. (I breathed the smoke of Los Angeles burning during the 1992 riots. I saw troop carriers and U.S. Marines on the streets. I didn't see any free love ecotopia breaking out.)

Backyard gardening? How the F is a backyard garden going to help you at that point?

If you don't have an answer to that question, you need to seriously re-think your situation. Maybe the warlord will be appeased by the fruits of your labor. Then again, maybe not.

If you're not surrounded by neighbors who already have the mind-set that you have.... good luck trying to sway converts when armed men, taking orders from their stomachs, are roaming the streets. You either need to work on building a collective security plan with your neighbors now, or you need to find new neighbors who already get it; meaning, you need to move.

The most valuable lesson you could take from this book doesn't have to do with compost, seedlings, companion planting, or any of the other standard gardening topics.

Where does the author live?

From the introduction:
These days I feel fortunate to have retired to one of the world's most remote places, Tasmania, a temperate South Pacific island with a climate that is a lot like Oregon's. From here I can enjoy a slight sense of detachment as I watch how the planet is going.
Why not just stay in Oregon? Why move to the other side of the planet to find a similar climate?

Because difficult issues need to be broached in Oregon.

Very VERY difficult issues.

He may not be writing about the security dimension of backyard gardening, but he understands it.

So, having said all of that, if you are planning on staying put, with your idiot, Jesus fish-embellished-SUV driving neighbors and their ADHD kids, sure, why not learn how to grow a backyard garden?

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times
by Steve Solomon

The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering.

Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food.


:. 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.