Greece: Banks closed - Aggregate economic slowdown hits European currency iceberg and Chinese equities bubble

Seems like an intense week for economic crises is brewing: Greek banks will be closed till July 6 and also China's stock market is tumbling, Japan down today as well. Who knows how much bad sovereign debt lies in random Japanese or Chinese banks? Credit default swaps or other derivatives? The Chinese "equities bubble" happens to really be cracking the same week as Greece's deal runs out and the biggest IMF payment default ever is about to hit the books.

The massive debt complex only escalated by the post 2007 bailout. It's like the financial equivalent of 'entangling alliances' in WWI. The global aggregate demand slowdown continues. Puerto Rico is also struggling with systemic debt. None of this stuff got solved, central bank intervention, bond purchases and printing only can paper over some holes in the situation. More so than usual, *brace yourselves*

.. - probably reasonable places to start monitoring developments - the zerohedge sidebar of recommended sites has some very informative ones as well. I ain't got the time to get into all this stuff…

Over at there is a big roundup article getting put together as we speak.

If anyone is interested in an alternative economic tool, Integral Community Exchange System provides both timebanking and mutual aid / need want listings. (GPL free software license, tweak as you like)


Review: "Contagion": Minneapolis faces instant social collapse in latest Hollywood portrayal of martial law!


SPOILER ALERTS! -- Plagued man (lower left) staggers off bus at Lake & Lyndale; Paltrow croaks at Fairview University Medical Center; MDH painted as buffoons; Matt Damon defends saddest Minnesota XMas ever w/ shotgun & sweaters!


Snagged advance tickets to Steven Soderbergh's A-List disease disaster flick "Contagion." Rumpled but sagacious institutions going through the motions make for a dour rhythm & pacing. Overall it resembles a video news release designed to make us feel comfortable with lining up for shots at the FEMA/Red Cross center -- that's the whole catharsis at the end basically. Thanks to Cryptogon for the tip on this film!

But weirdly, a whole vision of wintertime midwest social collapse goes down in my general neighborhood -- Minneapolis to the Martial Law-lockdown Wisconsin border!

The Minneapolis Armory downtown is transformed into a pandemic doomcenter!


It's kind of an initiation into USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 2591 for Dummies: Line up You Crazed Minnesotans! It's NCIS: Team Bacteria, basically plodding dialogue rarely gets any humor catharsis.

It's too bad this stolid film could have been so sardonic – come on, with Fargo you've got a real Minnesota film. Even though few shots except say the downtown Armory actually appeared to be shot here. Still, the blue light & Thanksgiving-Xmas interval of complete doom bore the mark of a dark winter experience. Still this film needed humor -- they just couldn't put much in at all.

Quickly in Minnesota, panic and total social collapse sets in at martial food distribution ops and the grocery store.

contagion-mpls-foodfail.png contagion-groceryfail.png

Army trucks all over downtown in the morning hours:

contagion-mpls-martial-law.png contagion-groceryfail2.png

Martial law is setup at the Minnesota/Wisconsin border -- closed by the Wisconsin National Guard. Not filmed in Stillwater but should have been. I actually made a sketch of similar Wi/Mn border bridge freakout one time -- this film has it all!




Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) deserves far more credit than the obligatory "baffled public official" exposition scene. They're actually very good at tracing outbreaks -- E Coli strains in industrial food for example -- but get zero credit really. Except for a You-Betcha-Bubble-Suit-Next-to-Mass-Graves type moment.



No one is really portrayed solving things cleverly except Fishburne's people. Will this look kind of like a Duck-And-Cover propaganda film in 50 years? "Cheating" or taking risks bending the rules is peculiarly rewarded -- i.e scientist with Biohazard Level 3 lab still finds the virus growth medium after they try ordering him to shut down.

Jude Law is a pigeonholed as conspiracy disease blogger and you never ultimately see if he's a shady fear profiteer. By the end he's painted as vaguely pitching profitable homeopathic cure for a possible hedge fund payoff. The hedge fund turns him in to Homeland Security. Doesn't make sense. He's left filming silently people lining up at a Red Cross/FEMA arena as they peacefully await shots like lambs.


Even as masked pillagers go through "suburban Minneapolis" in no sense are neighbors considered to be banding together in Minnesota -- though in China a whole village tries to hold the health scientist Cotillard hostage for vaccines.

It felt like there'd been battles over the script. Something about the way that the plots were stubbed out...

Adjuvants get a mention as needed to really get the immune response kicked into action. Delicious thimerosol win! (of course high levels of gross damaging adjuvants are needed because frequently vaccines are weak failsauce)

Just-in-time commercial inventory spells direct social fail: Surprise! I felt like the kind of preparation which local organization like the U of M's top notch Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy which advises better supply chain strategies during dangerous pandemics. The pandemic supply chain fail basically leads straight to pandemonium in Minnesota.

There's no real sense of proper preparation -- a lack of creativity here. Actor Bryan Cranston as the military guy was pretty good.

Spoiler deets-

-- the crucial clue on Paltrow's camera -- Damon finally notices month later. Seriously they never found this earlier?



-- if they point out that fatality level from malnutrition is variable to nutrition, they could have promoted vitamin D but didn't

-- You get vaccinated == Arm Band seemed like prescripting or an introduction, as well as catharsis in plot!contagion-vaccines.png

-- At least no one gets chipped (altho vaccine fans will point out you can hide unique signatures in vaccine fluid)

-- No real 'mitigating' approach - be it neighborhood security radio or taking more vitamins -- no one is really creative outside of the government

-- Dr. Sanjay Gupta - CNN, NBC/Comcast KARE 11 are the media snippets. Gupta mediates the Fishburne/Law throwdown between CDC & Conspiracybloggers.

-- Chinese cooks hug western executive while greasy with pig guts fresh from the Chinese interior.

-- People coughing in the theater are scary!

-- Big FEMA Red Cross polite line of vaccine recipients is the catharsis "landing" basically


I didn't bother to stick around and look at the thank-yous to see who was involved in production. The way that it feels like you're mainly plodding, tumbling through the CDC's cogs reminded me of another similar film The Next Three Days wherein Russell Crowe triggers off similar National Security machinations. Hell the new Transformers movie has the military as a major character collectively. It just doesn't make the stories move along to cover all these institutions and their fictionally presented wonderful operations.

This site is promoted on the trailer -- it doesn't even mention Minneapolis after all this trouble!


Matt Damon gits a shotgun which weirdly wasn't looted from his neighbors -- while the food was.


Chicago gets the martial law treatment like the FEMA Region V headquarters it is.

contagion-chicago-femaregion.png contagion-martiallaw.png

Homeland Security Guy always seems like a douche but He Means Well.


Dimitri Martin handles yr viruses


I think this scene was cut? Or was I not paying attention.


Obligatory red blooming map


That about covers it. I always wash my hands and try to avoid touching my face. Minnesota is kind-of used to this stuff so I rather resent we are now portrayed as the exemplars of public panic!

Afghanistan UN elections approval unit breaks up under fraud pressure; Gold explodes as foreign banks start pacing back from the dollar!

Gold busted up and out of the old confines as good ol' snarly British antiwar journalist Robert Fisk broke the big news: the Petrodollar cycling system is finally going off the rails as the world's central bankers start digging for a new solution. [This Petrodollar system was the big achievement of the Bush-Kissinger-era big players, they just can't cook stuff up that good anymore. Sorry guys...]

These people are in no mood for all their oil dollars to get devalued by the inflation disaster cooking in the Federal Reserve System, so why not make a new basket currency?! I kind of thought that the "COMEX paper gold" racket would unravel before Petrodollars. Shows what I know :-P

The demise of the dollar

In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

......The Chinese believe, for example, that the Americans persuaded Britain to stay out of the euro in order to prevent an earlier move away from the dollar. But Chinese banking sources say their discussions have gone too far to be blocked now. "The Russians will eventually bring in the rouble to the basket of currencies," a prominent Hong Kong broker told The Independent. "The Brits are stuck in the middle and will come into the euro. They have no choice because they won't be able to use the US dollar."

Chinese financial sources believe President Barack Obama is too busy fixing the US economy to concentrate on the extraordinary implications of the transition from the dollar in nine years' time. The current deadline for the currency transition is 2018.

The US discussed the trend briefly at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh; the Chinese Central Bank governor and other officials have been worrying aloud about the dollar for years. Their problem is that much of their national wealth is tied up in dollar assets.

"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," one Chinese banker said. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. Bankers remember, of course, what happened to the last Middle East oil producer to sell its oil in euros rather than dollars. A few months after Saddam Hussein trumpeted his decision, the Americans and British invaded Iraq.

Reuters covers the shockwave of fallout over this report, which left gold prices spiking up and out of previous containers.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan the UN Mission is breaking up & having mass epic fail resignations over the failure of a massive election fraud coverup, which was necessary to continue the fiction of Hamid Karzai's 'widespread popularity.' So sad! No, really, though, a lot of people have died to bring things to where they are today -- now the 'State,' such as it was, is further hobbled & ready to be displaced by the Islamic Sharia structure & local ethnic warlords that has only gotten stronger in the region since 1979.

[If the U.S. banking system loses its grip on the opium money, another nail in the coffin there as well.]

UK Times:

The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan has been accused by his former deputy of ordering a

In an attack on the role of the UN in the elections on August 20, Peter Galbraith, who was sacked as Deputy Special Representative to the UN mission in Kabul last week, says that Kai Eide ordered him not to reveal evidence of fraud or to pass it to the authorities.

As a result, he said, the elections had handed the Taleban “its greatest strategic victory in eight years of fighting the United States and its Afghan partners”.

He says that the UN collected evidence that a third of Mr Karzai’s votes were fraudulent. If the claim was found to be true it would push Mr Karzai below the 54 per cent that the preliminary election results give him, necessitating a second round of voting.

Another note -- the radically fuzzy nature of Federal law, which can let people get prosecuted for truly nasty and open-ended reasons. US Attorneys have so many options, their whole layer of the law enforcement system needs further examination...

All credits on these links to, which is terrific for all matters along these lines.

Too many Toys for the Boys: incompetent counterintelligence lets sneeky Chinese run rampant in U.S. security systems

Lately it's become pretty clear that 'they' are running a lot of domestic surveillance and data mining schemes - a huge wasted effort that enriches contractors while making policymakers paranoid. In other words, it's the boondoggle from hell, the logical trap of building the biggest possible haystack in order to theoretically have all the needles.

A profitable venture, ominous, sexy, whatever gets these people off & convinces them it's real. I'm pretty sure Booz Allen Hamilton is making a ton of money on this. SAIC too. Anything to keep the contracts rolling.

Dumb, corrupt contractor ventures like MZM's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) and TALON will keep cropping up, and they have to get exposed and cut off from their juicy funding as rapidly as possible.

These systems have a voracious appetite for data, which, regardless of quality, gets spit out as 'actionable intelligence.'

Once they get these dumb Microsoft Fusion Centers set up, we're truly fucked because desk jockey chumps will be grepping everyone's email for keywords and then scurrying around. (Here's the google search from the Orwellian Hell coming soon to your state: the modular MS Fusion Center)

In one key juncture, the U.S. military bombed the shit out of Iraqi automobile repair shops because some Arabic keyword was like 'bomb' or something. This is what happens overseas: mindless machines spitting out shitty data leading to lots of pointless death.

Meanwhile, it's clear that via systems like MAIN CORE, all kinds of dumb things, including huge volumes of inaccurate data, get funneled into super-databases that they never tell the judges about. (the programming language to filter these illegal data inputs is called Hancock, by the way).

Whenever it feels like The Man or the various machines doing voice recognition against domestic communications are possibly running against me, I'd point out that the black boxes and/or interested agents that their systems totally suck.

Or rather: it's easy to spy on Americans. It takes some goddamn skill to keep foreign intelligence agencies from playing with all the toys, and even stealing the marbles.

I wish these people would leave us all alone, sure, but it's really even worse that their fancy gear is thoroughly penetrated by foreign intelligence agencies and miscellaneous bad actors. How lame is that?

One of the better tacks I've taken over the years on my website is how, for example, networks of foreign spies have manipulated America's intelligence pipelines and thus, the foreign policy. That's where many things, including the arms trade, the Sibel Edmonds scandal, and likely even 9/11, all really come around to.

(complaints about foreign actors can be directed to Marc Grossman, Richard Perle and the usual suspects... If anyone takes on the American Turkish Council, then we'll know someone actually gives a damn.)

Another fine example is how various Israeli firms are all over the telecommunications and DOJ wiretapping system, but at the same time they tend to leak the secret DOJ data out to their buddies among the Russian-Israeli mafia, as FOX News, of all places, documented to an absurd level of detail back in 2001. (i believe the choice wiretapping penetration is in part 3 or 4). Way to go Amdocs & Comverse Infosys.

In any case, everyone gets a piece of this action. So here's my message to the ELINT geniuses: kick the fucking Chinese hackers out of your shitty Wintel boxes (and counterfeit routers!, more) before you keep spying on us.

Because your dragnet is also catching all the competitive commercial data they want too. Sooo... please quit forking everything over to China. Thanks.

National Journal Magazine - China’s Cyber-Militia

Corporate IT Security Strategy - Briefing Center

China's Cyber Attacks Signal New Battlefield Is Online: Scientific American

China Targets U.S. Computers For Espionage, Report Warns -- Network Security -- InformationWeek

Report: China stealing 'vast amounts' of data from U.S. computer networks - On Deadline -

Report: U.S. Influence Will Fade By 2025, National Intelligence Council Predicts Scare Resources, Loose Nukes, A Rising China - CBS News

Seriously, people. Is Panopticon Professionalism too much to ask!?!!

It's unconstitutional, but above all, it's an embarrassment.

Alex Jones Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement: Actually, pretty good!

"Countless people will hate the New World Order and will die protesting against it."
--HG Wells - "The New World Order" (1939). This quote opens the flick.

The rich are going to kill everyone, then try to merge with technology and live forever!!!1!!! w0000

Get ready for the Internet Paranoia Movie of the Season, everyone! Texas loud guy Alex Jones has just released Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement! And it's free to copy on the Internet: Get the Word out against the New World Order!! etc!!!

Basically, it goes through history, looking at various evil empires that dominated and killed the masses all along the way. Combine eugenics, false-flag terror, war financing, and the big NWO scheme, confronted by a loud Texas guy with a bullhorn. Result: Pretty good stuff!

There are some fun guerilla video adventures: Jones turns up at the mysterious Bilderberg Group meeting in Ottowa, wherein the Evil Schemers plot their stuff. Jim Tucker, crusading Bilderberg watcher in cowboy hat, knows the ways around their devious schemes. They catch numerous officials, including George Pataki (of the Patakilluminati) violating the Logan Act by meeting in secret with foreign politicians. (someday we gotta nail the neocons with Logan. More later on that).

A major element is how the Global New World Order Microsoft McDonalds Dictatorship will create regional super-governments. First the European Union. Makes the point that the African Union is really the gendarme force of the NWO in Africa. The Asian Union and North American Union are examined. Secret plans for the SPP - Security and Prosperity Partnership - are revealed for all. Secret summits plotting the merging of military and trade, so that more goods may flood into the USA via Mexico from Asia.

Crusty old Texans bitch about how they're going to kill the New World Order and its Trans Texas Corridor schemes first of all. RFID tags will be installed on your car to tax you for the global empire - just like the Romans!

Modern China is the test case for the New World Order, the laboratory if you will. Organ harvesting of prisoners and other total Capitalism police state elements are examined in jarring detail (as is David Rockefeller's enthusiasm for Mao).

Technological sophistication and the secret history of eugenics are examined with great care. An Aldous Huxley clip where he talks about how the "Brave New World" plan was basically real, combined with an ugly Texas bureaucrat explaining how the foster kids need to be pumped full of drugs because they come from a bad gene pool. Excellent work! Margaret Sanger's eugenics schemes financed by the Rockefellers - that's really the nut of it. Points out that the big environmental groups are purchasing all the land, perhaps intending to depopulate rural America, but don't give a damn about genetic engineering.

Lastly, probably my favorite element (besides the choice quotes from Kissinger et al about Total Depopulation of the Third World) was how trans-humanist New Age hippiedom with the synthetic cyborg stuff fits into the Big Plan. The rich are going to kill 80% of everyone, then try to merge with technology and live forever!

Carbon trading is just there to kill the middle class and finance the elite schemes. Police forces and the military are recruiting foreigners to repress the domestic population. Etc!

Well that's about it. I have to say, I was impressed. The visual trimmings are the most sophisticated Jones has released. He doesn't ever bother to even say that 9/11 was staged by the Secret Government, which of course has been his bread and butter for a while. Instead, Jones takes a step back, and his core point is that "Governments are more likely to kill people than anyone else. The elite always do this shit!" Fair enough, sir.

I have been worrying about Rationalized Annihilation for quite a while. Living in these times of war, extreme annihilationist ideologies are very chic. Look at TV for a bit, or listen to the corporate talk radio. People that make a lot of money are telling you to kill, and everyone else to kill.

Say what you will about Alex Jones: he is definitely against the perpetual war agenda, and it takes a guy like him to run around and yell at "those guys", the rich and shady cats that have been fucking everything up.

Better yet: It's free! Legally!

Take a look at your typical BitTorrent sites for downloadable/DVD burnable versions. Also posted on Google Video, but it's too chunky on parts with text. Here is the promo copy:

For the New World Order, a world government is just the beginning. Once in place they can engage their plan to exterminate 80% of the world's population, while enabling the "elites" to live forever with the aid of advanced technology. For the first time, crusading filmmaker ALEX JONES reveals their secret plan for humanity's extermination: Operation ENDGAME.

Jones chronicles the history of the global elite's bloody rise to power and reveals how they have funded dictators and financed the bloodiest wars—creating order out of chaos to pave the way for the first true world empire.

* Watch as Jones and his team track the elusive Bilderberg Group to Ottawa and Istanbul to document their secret summits, allowing you to witness global kingpins setting the world's agenda and instigating World War III.

* Learn about the formation of the North America transportation control grid, which will end U.S. sovereignty forever.

* Discover how the practitioners of the pseudo-science eugenics have taken control of governments worldwide as a means to carry out depopulation.

* View the progress of the coming collapse of the United States and the formation of the North American Union

Here it is on Google Video: it's two hours long though, I would make a new window and so forth, or find a sharper download somewhere:

All right Alex, way to fuck up the program. Go have a margarita or something, just relax a bit before you get an embolism, dude!

I've got a very bad feeling about this: Your everyday jumble of notes and impending Iran doom!!

Generally speaking, 80 percent of the information one needs to form judgments on key intelligence targets or issues is available in open media.

--Ray McGovern, old-school CIA veteran

With reports of loose nukes and impending economic disruptions on the credit market, I've had a weird bad vibe for the last couple days. Having to take funny paths around the crashed I-35W bridge lately just underscores a sense of discontinuity.

Right now I am listening to CSPAN2, where Michael Ledeen drones on about the Mullahs in Iran and how Ledeen is gonna stage the covert war in Iran. James Woolsey and Clifford May all agree at the American Enterprise Institute, it's time for the fuckin Apocalypse! And oddly, Woolsey is a fan of South Park..... Ledeen says "they don't expect to survive" because Iranians put their money outside the country. Bizarre.

 1.Mpicons NewhYeah so I was around the insane Internet fringe recently, which is where I discovered the Morgellons!. Mwahaha... Anyway, the Jeff Rense website, is a fine place to get up to your neck in everything outside the conventional political spectrum, from UFOs to government-sponsored AIDS to Holocaust deniers. It helps that Rense has crazy-guy hair on his old GIF.

Since our theme with the Morgellons has been medical paranoia, why not include: Bush greases skids for UN Pandemic power grab, via the Alex Jones infowars black helicopter world. The idea is that the World Health Organization and the UN will come take your guns after they release the engineered Morgellons. Supposedly at the recent Canadian Security and Prosperity Partnership they signed rules that "Establishes U.N. law along with regulations by the World Trade Organization and World Health Organization as supreme over U.S. law during a pandemic and sets the stage for militarizing the management of continental health emergencies." w0w!

Early reports said that there were mysterious gigantic put options purchased to expire by September 21st. Official type guys say it looks to be nonsense. It's possible that really the put options are just the downside half of a large deal, designed to offer a hedged bet for both big falls and a big rise. Ron Paul says the stock market is gonna collapse.

A variety of insane war crimes perpetrated in Iraq. Pretty hard to dispute anymore. Anyone who disagrees should think about depleted uranium for a while.

The Air Force outlines how they support insurgencies. Here's the doc (PDF).

Here's the sorta-banned book Deadly Deceits: My 25 years in the CIA by Ralph McGee. How did the CIA spin the media in the old days? Operation Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation

There are new regional power blocs forming. Here is one: Putin denies Shanghai regional group is military bloc. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Russia, China, and 4 ex-Soviet states.

Google censors another 9/11 documentary by knocking down the view counts.

Is the federal government using Neo-Nazi provocateurs? How many big rollers in these kinds of organizations are really informants, etc.

Gonzales is gone but all the insane spying remains and Democrats probably aren't going to do anything.

Dems are not going to stop "World War IV" it seems like. Buchanan says mass murdering Iranians will be popular in America. The CIA fabricated Hezbollah threats, shady business in the National Intelligence Estimate. When the Iran war apparently starts, the War Criminal is in the Living Room, indeed.

The Power of Narrative! Some older material, but I thought clear and relevant. Our Date with Armageddon: a pretty good overview of the factors adding into the Iran war. Trapped in the Wrong Paradigm: Three Handy Rules. The Paradigm that Will Not Die. Undying Myths, and Sullivan's Lies on the Path of Penance. The Intelligence won't matter because they'll spoof it. An excellent point. Walking into the Iran Trap, I: A Decision of Policy -- and the Intelligence Won't Matter. The Irrelevance of Intelligence Again, and Collective Illusions. Yeah. And Still One More Time: Stop Helping the Warmongers. How the Foreign Policy Consensus Protects Itself.

Other stuff: Dirge for the 'Surge'- by Justin Raimondo Blog · Bogus War Party Propaganda, Juan Cole on History of Western Incursions in the Mideast. Crackpot Realists and Permanent War - by Ann Berg

80% of the intelligence you need is already out there. You don't need some fancy cloak-and-daggers to find out!! This is why everyone and their mom is hooked on the Internet. If you read nothing else, read this!! Ex-CIA dude Ray McGovern:

The craft of CIA analysis was designed to be an all-source operation, meaning that we analysts were responsible - and held accountable - for assimilating information from all sources and coming to judgments on what it all meant. We used data of various kinds, from the most sophisticated technical collection platforms, to spies, to - not least - open media.

Here I must reveal a trade secret and risk puncturing the mystique of intelligence analysis. Generally speaking, 80 percent of the information one needs to form judgments on key intelligence targets or issues is available in open media. It helps to have been trained - as my contemporaries and I had the good fortune to be trained - by past masters of the discipline of media analysis, which began in a structured way in targeting Japanese and German media in the 1940s. But, truth be told, anyone with a high school education can do it. It is not rocket science.

More following up that idea here: You, Too, Can and Should Be an "Intelligence Analyst". Don't buy the 'appeal to authority' argument.

Ok now I realized a lot of the crazy paranoia stuff is stashed somewhere else so I will have to get it later.

Flying killer robots; Russians up to something

UK Register: USAF seeks control of aerial kill-bots:

Everyone knows about the current rise of the aerial killer robot. These machines are now in operation across the US military, and have already reaped a deadly harvest in Southwest Asia.

But the big deathbot battle isn't, in fact, in Iraq of Afghanistan; it's between the various branches of the US armed services, regarding who will be in charge of all the new flying slaughter machines and spy-eyes.

The United States Air Force (USAF) has been engaged for at least two years now in an attempt to seize control of almost all US military drones and flying kill-bots. The USAF was arguably left at the starting line in this rapidly-growing death-tech arena, perhaps due to the natural reluctance of human pilots to see their jobs automated out of existence.

Both the US Navy and Marines have strong aviator subcultures, of course, and even the US Army has huge numbers of helicopter drivers, but only in the USAF is the aircrew dominance total.

USAF generals are often vocally sceptical about unmanned aircraft, and the USAF has so far failed to move forward with serious, heavy, jet-powered drone combat aircraft.

Even its prop-driven Predator-B/Reaper hunter-killer, thus far the heftiest aerial death-droid in operation, must be handled remotely by a fully-qualified human pilot and sensor operator.

Yikes. Relevant article I can't find a fulltext of, but very sweet: The Coming Robot Army: America's future killing machines. Sweet in an evil way. It was pretty creepy how all these military-industrial pitchmen kept talking about Hollywood-oriented styles and prospects for more wars with fewer casualties. Far more cash for the military-industrial complex, they're circling it like vultures.

Doonesbury has had a thing about shady Beltway lobbyists working for brutal dictators, a subject of a sweet undercover story in Harper's by Ken Silverstein. Sorry, pay only :(

Bush wants the money.

Russian Tu-95 bombers cruised over to Guam in a new example of Russians acting like Russians.

Paul Craig Roberts is an old conservative guy who's turned way against the Bush administration, going far enough to warn of staged false-flag 'Gulf of Tonkin' style incidents to start a war with Iran. "Uncle Sam, your banker will see you now" and "US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance."

I just posted a huge summary of the MnDOT bridge collapse documents at Politics in Minnesota. I will repost it here later. That is all right now.

Iraq: at least prisons are going up; Financial derivatives up to $415 trillion; Turks & Kurds set to kill

Some misc bits for you. First check the Google Zeitgeist, the global popular search phrase listing.

First the Econ: has a bunch of economic stories up today (and most Mondays) to get you thinking seriously. The total value of derivatives rose nearly 40% to a whopping $415,000,000,000,000, which of course dwarfs the national debt and national economy. More on that here. The 1929 Stock Market's got nothing on Modern America!! Who needs to worry about margin calls when you can just make up some more devious debt instruments until next quarter? Real America's economy sucks, but in pretend derivatives-world it's all gravy.

Amazingly, a funny article about adjustable mortgages. Lying cheerleaders on CNBC blame the recent Sarbanes-Oxley for everything - bullshit! This guy thinks that bubbles are good because after they Pop, they leave infrastructure behind. Seems dumb to me.

Hearts and minds:

Supporting the security and justice systems in Iraq is one of the main challenges that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confronts to help the Iraqi government develop the infrastructure countrywide.

According to Rick Mers, a project engineer with the Gulf Region South District the New An Nasiriyah Maximum Security Correctional Facility, which is built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the Dhi Qar Province, is considered to be the biggest prison in the south of Iraq. "The project is a new maximum security correctional facility located near the city of Nasiriyah. The prison will hold up to 800 inmates and includes holding areas, laundry, dining facilities, and administrative offices," he said.

Michael Osborne, a resident engineer with Gulf Region South, said that the prison will help to provide employment for security personnel, medical personnel and support staff. It will also improve the quality of security correctional facilities south of Iraq.

Meanwhile the Turks and Kurds are gearing up to kill each other across northern Iraq:

While President Bush's new strategy in Iraq focuses on stopping the violence in Baghdad, trouble threatens to boil over in Iraq's Kurdish region to the north, which the administration frequently holds up as an island of stability and a model for the future.

The long dispute between Turkey and Iraq over renegade Kurdish fighters camped on the Iraqi side of their shared border reached new heights last month. When the head of Iraq's Kurdish regional government threatened to provoke an uprising among Turkish Kurds, Turkey responded with warnings of direct military action and an angry complaint to Washington.

Ankara has massed thousands of soldiers on its side of the border and has warned it will dismantle the camps in Iraq if the U.S. military will not use some of its nearly 150,000 troops in Iraq to do it.

.....On the Iraq side of the seam, there is wide concern that the administration has already given Turkey a green light to act in northern Iraq, one State Department official said, although others insist that Washington has urged restraint.

Looming over the conflict is the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The postwar Iraqi constitution calls for a referendum in December to determine if the population wants to become part of the Kurdish region. Turkey has made clear it would view that as a direct threat to the rights of Kirkuk's large minority of ethnic Turkmen.

Turkey believes that "if the Kurds get Kirkuk, it will mean an independent Kurdish state," said Qubad Talibani, the son of Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and the Kurdish regional government's spokesman in Washington. "We've seen Turkish groups lobbying quite actively" against the referendum.

Alleged Turkish interference over Kirkuk sparked a flare-up last month when Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq, threatened retaliation if Turkey continued "interfering" in Iraqi affairs. It would be easy, he warned, for Iraqi Kurds to stir up their 30 million ethnic brethren in southeastern Turkey.

Turkey's military chief, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, responded with a warning of a cross-border attack, and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul demanded that the United States restrain Barzani. Ankara sent sharply worded notes to Baghdad and Washington, and Erdogan said publicly that Barzani would be "crushed under his words."

An old story, but interesting: a guy found MS Word documents from the old Coalition Provisional Authority, then used the Track Changes feature to reveal secret material from 2004. The secret material proves the CPA were a seriously dumb bunch of gringos. In particular they said that a healthy dose of violence would intimidate foolish Arabs - a classic racist stereotype that has carried America far.

One of the American outlying patrol outposts got overrun by Iraqi guerillas at 0400, and the media termed it an "ambush" even though the American forces were stationary. Is this intentional spin or just journalistic ignorance, Pat Lang asks.

Chalmers Johnson is the scholar of the current global American empire, especially the military base structure that underpins everything. He's concerned the military-industrial complex is going to bankrupt America. Check out "Ending the Empire" for the problems today, and how to shutdown the military-industrial complex.

John Bolton shrewdly advises bombing the fuck out of Iran immediately. This guy's one long-term thinker. He sucks as someone on the Internets managed to point out.

Chinese wheat gluten is contaminated with melamine, just one situation among many. Huge setback for Chinese agriculture.

Old school spy angle: Phil Giraldi, an old CIA hand, enumerates the way Tenet has been lying about his record.

The so-called Class Action Fairness Act is gonna screw regular people. Sweet.

Freight rail works. I agree. You can get a ton of cargo 400 miles on a gallon of fuel - that's what we need right now. Auto manufacturers conspired to kill rail back in the day, blah blah blah...

The War Czar may be illegal. Where's Congress?

Lobbying reform might not work as Dems sink into the Beltway swamp.

Major strategy writer Andrew Bacevich's son, also named Andrew, was killed serving in Iraq. Our condolences to the family. The father's book "The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War" is excellent! Even handles the eschatology of the military-industrial complex and evangelicals.

Bridges to Money from Nowhere: Alaska Senator Ted "Shut Up! It's a series of tubes" Stevens has more corrupt friends still trying to get bridges to their property holdings.

Once there was a joke called the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, who can't release their own reports without political hacks scratching out the bad stuff.

Feel sorry for the Schloz: another doomed gremlin in the Department of Justice, Bradley Schlozman, is pretty much screwed. Schloz is the kind of lawyer you send when you need to get more black people kicked off the voter rolls in Missouri. Good times in Purple America. Fox "News" features only black people in stock footage suggesting illegal voting. Nothing new, just visual shorthand for what they always say.

Murdoch trying to take over Wall Street Journal: A WSJ China specialist talks about how Murdoch would sugarcoat China news to help his own bottom line. More on this.

Rovians were counting on ratfucking the Dems via the DOJ in 2008, Pelosi has visual handle on Bush, 2008 Campaign Bits, you banned in China?

Are you banned in China? Find out at the Great Firewall of China! Evidently ain't!

Daily Kos: A Young Voter's Response to the Democratic Strategist about modern message-targeting for the younger set. Makes sense to me.

More bullshit from the Washington Post Establishment Brownnosing Dept: Democratic Victories Bad For Dems, Good For "Gleeful" Republicans via TalkingPointsMemo.

 Mugbook Thugs Assets Seal1Drugwarz: Interesting segment on the War on Drugs on Minnesota Public Radio Monday. Listen! Fuck it: I'm going to hang out with Barry Seal in Mena, Arkansas. This particular version of the Seal/Contra story is by one of Seal's co-pilots and brother-in-law who claimed that he had far less CIA linkage than generally mythologized. His description of how Ollie North "blew the cover" of the operation in order to protect it seems to basically track with what I've heard. Good Times Barry at right:

Gonzo Justice Scandal + Campaign 2008 = Rovians were counting on ratfucking the Dems via the DOJ in 2008. That's a pretty good headline! Dave Johnson: Rove Knows That Voters Have Short Memories. "Ratfucking" is just plain dirty campaign ops. Read today in Newsweek that the DOJ in New Mexico was supposed to attack ACORN, the poverty/homeless people! Ugly voter suppression! w0w!

Campaign 2008: New York Sucks: Well not really. The people were nice to me there, but this campaign season I hate how it looms so large and self-important on the landscape these days.

Pelosi puts Bush "On Notice" observed in the fine photo-politics blog BagNewsNotes. Politics is theatre and you can see here how Pelosi visually flips the Dem stereotype on its head: "touché to Nancy for killing with kindness -- and for driving it home at last night's Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner with this fantastic "we've got our hands on you!""

 Bagnews Images Bush-Pelosi-Rtca1 Bagnews Images Bush-Pelosi-Rtca2 Bagnews Images Bush-Pelosi-Rtca3

Photo credits: (image 1,2, 4: Jason Reed/Reuters. image 3: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP. Washington March 28, 2007. via YahooNews.)

Just thought this was cool: via the ChefMojo blog, Hunter:

 Photos Uncategorized Hunter1

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