Remember when Bitcoin was $100? You know, like 2 months ago? Well now it has leaped up $100 in just 4 hours, rising from $500 to $600 USD before retreating slightly.

Bitcoin on Nov 18, 2013

It seems the Little Currency That Could is making a run at $1000. We’ll soon see if it can make it before the bubble bursts again.

But why  are people investing in this crazy “virtual currency” anyway?
When I first stumbled across Bitcoin back in 2011, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It seemed a pretty quixotic goal, making a new currency just for the internet. I knew the network effect was critical for gaining any traction, and at the time it was just the province of a few cypherpunks, led by a mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto who hasn’t been heard from since 2010. This person or group started the whole thing with a white paper laying out how it would work. Soon the system was up and running. There were a few bumps along the way but this resilient idea has since caught on and now there are a flurry of competing crypto-currencies — that is, digital money that’s secured by lots of complex math.

There’s more to Bitcoin than just another internet scam or tulip craze. The underlying technology that makes Bitcoin work is not smoke and mirrors. You can see it working every day as money is transferred all over the world, nearly insantly. All you need is an internet connection, which of course is needed for any sort of online banking you do with traditional money. Bitcoin’s genius is making large-scale, distributed cryptography work for the masses.

That’s the important point: Bitcoin works for the masses, unlike traditional fiat currencies like the US Dollar. Despite our democratic ideals, American money policy is decided behind closed doors by a secretive agency that fiddles with interest rates and makes huge bond purchases with money it creates from nothing. Transparency is not the Federal Reserve’s style.

Money for the masses
With Bitcoin, the code is open source and there is no central authority or bank — the job of verifying transactions is distributed across the globe. Don’t trust Bitcoin? Review the source code yourself and suggest changes if the security is not up to snuff. Let there be no mistake — Bitcoin is not yet out of “beta” and is not financed by a huge corporation with a strict delivery timeline. Nope, this is a bunch of self-appointed Guardian Nerds who mostly have day jobs not related to Bitcoin (except lead developer Gavin Andresen, who is paid by the nascent Bitcoin Foundation).

With that in mind, it’s best to think of Bitcoin as something that will be really cool and world-changing…

But it isn’t yet. Not until an easier payment system is deployed (it’s being developed now) and a stronger ecosystem of merchants accepting the currency emerges. What we’re witnessing now is a speculative landgrab because smart folks know that Bitcoin’s current market cap of 5 or 6 billion is chump change compared to what a fully mature, global digital currency would have if it were successful. To put it in comparison, Bill Gates could buy the whole Bitcoin economy nearly 10 times over, even in this midst of this bubble.

But is this a bubble or merely staggered massive growth?

Bitcoin versus traditional forms of money
Many valuations have been tossed about for Bitcoin. Most are probably overly optimistic, but the naysayers ignore the fact that Bitcoin was cleverly designed to be a store of value first and a currency second. It’s been derided as a “deflationary currency” even though it’s presently inflating at over 10% as new bitcoins are mined and put into circulation. Though misunderstood, Bitcoin is just on a somewhat-flexible schedule of inflation that will limit it to at most 21 million coins. It will take nearly 100 years for it to inflate from the present total of 12 million to its final total of 21 million. That’s not a bad thing — you can plan your life around that, whereas the Fed could change course tomorrow and you’d have no recourse except to try and compensate for what you think might be their new strategy.

Make no mistake: Bitcoin threatens inflationary currencies because it offers a release valve available to regular folks if the government and/or central bank decides to inflate your currency (as they inevitably do). That’s a good thing because competition among currencies can only help consumers and merchants. Central banks won’t be able to inflate secretly without the price of Bitcoin being affected.

Bitcoin is still pretty clumsy as a currency, but it works well as a store of value as long as you follow proper security procedures and principles. Does your password contain your name or birthday or even the word “password” in it? Does it have the string “12345″ in it? Perhaps you should not buy any bitcoin until “Bitcoin Banks” emerge to offer security to the security-impaired. The bad thing about a global, distributed currency is that it can be stolen remotely too. Don’t skimp on the passwords and don’t keep everything all in one place, like your email account which could itself be hacked. Enable 2 factor authentication where available.

Soon, major merchants will start accepting Bitcoin because they want to save money on credit card transaction fees and/or Paypal charges. Bitcoin is close to free (currently around 3 cents, regardless of the size of the transaction) versus the 2 or 3% fee associated with credit cards.

China: the sleeping giant awakens
Much of the current boom has been driven by enthusiasm in China. During the last huge bubble in April China was barely a participant. This time they are driving the whole market and are responsible for more than half of all exchange trades which consistently outweighs the USD. The Chinese seem to like Bitcoin. A lot.

That means we’re in uncharted waters. Who knows the depths of their desire for bitcoin? Their proclivities could change the world because the Chinese and westerners have different philosophies of money. The Chinese are savers whereas the West has encouraged spending and investment through inflationary currencies that need to be earning you money or solving a problem, or else they are losing value. Much of western civilization is predicated on this quirk of our monetary system. Before, the only way to opt out was to buy gold and silver, but Bitcoin offers a new way to preserve value over time, but has the advantage that it can be sent anywhere in the world cheaply and in about an hour.

That’s why people have taken to calling Bitcoin things like Digital Gold and Gold 2.0. It could become a whole new asset class.

Bitcoin is a blessing and a curse for the Obama Administration
That’s been a problem for the US Government  – it doesn’t know how to classify Bitcoin for tax and regulation purposes. Is it a currency? A store of value? An asset? A security? A collectible? A stock in some hippy/libertarian enterprise? All of the above?

While many observers thought that the US regime would quickly make Bitcoin illegal because of its threat to the US Dollar, it now appears Washington is going to take a more wait & see approach, partly because the Chinese boom seems certain to incubate a new wave of start-ups and millionaires just like the early PC revolution did in the 80s and the internet boom did during the late 90s. Lawmakers face a stark choice: Do you want this new round of innovation to happen in Silicon Valley… or Shanghai?

Besides, Obama/Congress making Bitcoin illegal would only apply to the US and would only serve to drive it underground.  The Feds could try to eradicate it on the internet (at the cost of our liberties), but they would ultimately succeed only restricting commerce. Bitcoin is easy enough to hold offline as a paper wallet. I’m not sure if the US government even still bothers to feign interest in the plight of oppressed peoples living under dictatorships unless there happens to be some oil nearby, but if they did care, Bitcoin is a great way to effect commerce outside the grip of a despot. The obvious early candidates for Bitcoin merchants is any business involving the internet so buying a web domain with bitcoin is already possible. Soon other anti-censorship tools could become available with a digital currency that is difficult for authorities to track if you use appropriate anonymizing tools.

Is Bitcoin anonymous? Sort of.
It should be noted that Bitcoin is not fully anonymous. In fact, every transaction ever made is stored in a huge public ledger (the “Blockchain”) that is hosted and shared by anybody running a Bitcoin node. This helps verify that coins aren’t spent twice and ensures that only the person with the private key can access them. However, you can take steps to make sure no one knows you have that address. Bitcoin addresses are called “wallets” and they are basically both the wallet and bank account of Bitcoin. You can create a new one with a click of a button. No identifying information is required, but the NSA will still be spying on all your activities on the internet (as I’ve been saying for years, but we’re all supposed to be shocked) so tread with caution.

Golden Future: What does the future hold for Bitcoin?
So what does the future hold for Bitcoin? No one knows for sure, but I think we are watching history unfold. People scoffed at the idea of a personal computer. They scoffed at the internet and at mobile phones too. Yet the tide of history flows onward like the River Nile, demolishing our preconceptions and old ideas that no longer serve us in its inexorable ebb and flow.

In the wake of the financial disaster of 2008 and the lingering malaise (even as the Dow breaks 16,000), we have to wonder if our current concept of money is still working. In the old days, money was gold. Or silver. But we banished that idea to the distant past when paper money (which were originally certificates redeemable for gold or silver) caught on. But in the age of derivatives and CDOs and quantitative easing, perhaps it’s time to reassess if paper money — which somehow transformed into digital money in the last few decades — is really helping us.

So the idea of digital money isn’t even new. And neither is Bitcoin’s slow, steady inflation level because it mimics how gold is mined. But the idea of a currency created through cryptographic equations and run on normal PCs is radically new and revolutionary. Could it be that Bitcoin is the best of both worlds, the best of the old and the new?

Time will tell. But Bitcoin is just the first of what promises to be many cryptocurrencies. If Bitcoin doesn’t get it right, it’s likely that some other crypto-coin will.

Learn more about Bitcoin at WeUseCoins.com. Bitcoin has a significant learning curve and it’s worthwhile to invest some time into understanding it before you dive in. And if you’re going to buy in, wait until this current bubble pops. And pop it will, but I bet it will still be higher than it was 2 months ago.

You might be telling your grandkids about way back in your day when a bitcoin was only worth 600 dollars. And your grandkids will ask, “What’s a dollar?”

If I were running for president, I would stake my campaign on a single issue. An issue of the utmost importance in our time of existential peril. I’m talking of course, about my plan to give the Statue of Liberty a boob job.

The Statue of Liberty -- See? She's totally flat.Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why is he running on this issue when the economy, the environment and our political system are on all on the brink of collapse? It’s because of that last, actually. Our political system is so fucked up that the candidate that’s making the most sense right now is Stephen Colbert. That’s why giving the Statue of Liberty a boob job is so important. In a system where nothing makes sense, only the absurd can be enlightening.

I’m sure there are legitimate concerns with my plan, such as, What will France think? That’s fair, since they gave us the landmark back in 1886 in return for the cessation of France jokes (oops?). But you know, if any country is going to be okay with sexing up a work of art, I think France is that country. Heck, they banned the burqa over there; so now French women have to show skin. It’s the law! I can’t wait for whatever form of titillation they enshrine into law next. I’m betting on National Bikini Month during June. What a great country!

Here in America, our culture reflects our simultaneous fear of and obsession with sex. Our Puritan past manifests in both our paleo-conservative candidates and our raunchy television, even though nudity is practically verboten. Our brave entertainers have managed to squeeze every last drop of titillation out of our FCC censorship regime. In order to honor Hollywood’s quest to defend liberty and show boobies, it’s clear that we need to give Lady Liberty a Wonderbra and some serious cleavage.

Besides, the Statue of Liberty should reflect our shared culture. We’re pretty crass by this point so we might as well embrace it. So we should make sure to give Lady Liberty a handgun and a cheeseburger while we’re at it.

The whole “liberty” thing is pretty played out, too. I mean, come on — liberty is no longer a priority for our country. If it were, why would we have a not-so-secret torture camp on Cuban soil called Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp? It’s beyond the normal laws of our fair land and exists only to torture and imprison those foreigners we’ve captured — but not tried in a court of law. No, that would respect our (outmoded?) tradition of due process and equality for all. Now that Republican crowds will regularly boo the Golden Rule, peace, gay soldiers, uninsured Americans and the mere mention of Mexico, I think we can put the whole “Liberty” thing to bed. What Americans really want these days is Vengeance. So I suggest we drop the Flame of Liberty (put it in a museum, where it belongs) and give Lady Liberty a battle-axe instead. All the better to behead the terr’rists with, right?

The State of Liberty used to be a mirror of what we’ve achieved as nation. Now it’s an embarrassing reminder of how bad things have gotten, like how an old photo of you (from when you were young and fit) mocks the present reality. We need to bring the Lady into alignment with our present-day existence so we can forget about how out of whack things have gotten. To that end, Lady Liberty is going to need some tatoos (a tramp-stamp, obviously), an Oompa-Loompa-colored fake tan (Jersey is right next door, they should have enough spray-on tan for the whole statue), and a WWJD bracelet that she never looks at.

It’s not easy to be the guy who points out that shit’s fucked up, but I will be that guy (until I get tired) and I will fight for you in Washington (unless you elect a bunch of assholes to Congress — which you do every time) and I won’t shy away from the truth (but the truth will make you shy away from me).

So when it comes time to cast your vote just write in “Vemrion” and then we’ll get going on this boob-job thing. You deserve it, America.

The fact that no group of disaffected Washington insiders have even attempted to form a centrist third party is, in itself, a pretty strong argument that all the insiders already know the game is rigged. There’s no chance of a moderate third party gaining significant support anymore. The time was ripe, even just a few years ago, but as this article about the decline of the Blue Dog Democrats — the conservative wing of the Democratic party — points out, voters are voting out moderates.

There is an element of irony to this; the Blue Dog’s centrism was directly responsible for the toning down of some of the most progressive aspects of the original House version of the Affordable Care Act (AKA healthcare reform) and the elimination of the “public option.” Republican and moderate voters rewarded their centrism by voting them out. Despite some of these members’ popularity, the Democratic brand in their districts had been too tainted.

As the first commenter on the above article mentions, the same is true of moderate Republicans. Moderates on both sides of the aisle are being ostracized by their parties and shunned by voters (partially as the result of decreased financial support from the party apparatus, which means less TV ads).

Cast out of their jobs and their respective parties these wandering politicians and their staff would no doubt commiserate at the bar and start unifying into a cohesive new political force, right?

Wrong. There has been no serious attempt at centrist third party and it’s really suspicious that there has not been one. The idea is so obvious that you have to wonder if the insiders are afraid of something. Instead of the natural fractioning and reassembly of a multi-party system we are watching the two parties get more extreme and less able to agree on anything (except their mutual preference for a two-party system), so it leaves us with a completely deadlocked Congress. Voters on both sides thought the solution to the financial crisis was to swing the ship of state to their side, but in the end we just kept going straight. The so-called “super-committee” set up to shave trillions off our debt failed, just as it was designed to do. The rocky shoreline is now dead-ahead.

Who can turn this ship? Obama? No, he has no real power. With a completely deadlocked Congress the president is rather impotent. Any radical solutions on Obama’s part will be crushed with fervor by the right and with meekness by the paid-for left. The number of uncorrupt, intelligent and generally decent congress-critters probably numbers less than 100. The other 435+ will simply outvote the patriots and the zombie system will continue on its merry way towards the threatening shoals.

I wrote earlier that the chance of forming a third party to rebut the extremism of both parties is now zero. That’s for two reasons: First, the jagged shores are too close and second, the Occupy Wall Street has already claimed the political center and simultaneously radicalized it.

I must admit, I’m delighted by the movement’s acceptance by the mainstream population. Around 70% approve of or don’t mind the protesters nationally and 87% of New Yorkers are okay with their branch of Occupy Together. That’s a fantastic number for a protest group, and the weasel-faced party apparatchiks in Washington have surely taken notice by now. There must be a barely-controlled sense of panic in their hearts as they notice that OWS is out-polling Obama, either party, Congress (which recently came in at a laughable 9% approval rate) or basically any other institution like journalism, banks or the Supreme Court.

Despite the general perception that Occupy Wall Street is a leftist group, most of the people actually camping out are political independents. That means they either don’t vote because they think it’s rigged or they vote mostly third party and for the occasional mainstream politician who has won their support. Barack Obama was that candidate in 2008; can he be the one again in 2012? Things look doubtful, but Obama has wisely positioned himself near the group that is, essentially, more popular than he is. Will that lead to a more radical campaign platform, even one featuring bold, but practical solutions to the problems we face?

Anything is possible, but the conventional wisdom says … what? What does the conventional wisdom say we should do in a time like this?

There isn’t any “conventional” wisdom for these unconventional times. And any attempt at forming a moderate coalition will be crushed by the two-party apparatus — the only time they work in unison is when the two party system is threatened.

Humanity is facing a triple crisis: The most powerful nation is politically deadlocked and fading fast, the world’s economy is deeply sick and appears to be close to slipping into a coma from which it can never fully return, and the planet’s environment is calling out in pain and metamorphosing at an alarming rate. We are changing, but into what?

Maybe we should take a look at the birth-place of civilization as we contemplate its demise. In Egypt, there is hope.

First Egypt united to overthrew their rancid dictator in-all-but-name Hosni Mubarak, and now they have wisely and quickly sniffed out Field Marshal Tantawi’s attempts to subvert the transition to democracy by grabbing more power for the military. The people are back in Tahrir Square, protesting and dying for their freedom. It is heartening to see such a brave stand for democracy in Egypt, something we haven’t seen in America in a long, long time. But the Occupy Wall Street movement is borrowing the energy and idealism of the people of Egypt — and Syria and Tunisia and Yemen and even Israel! There are tent cities springing up all over the tiny state as its economy is squeezed by the global crunch.

We are in global revolution territory, folks.

The Occupy Together website shows just how global the movement really is. There are activities happening on every continent. There’s even an Occupy Antactica. Seriously.

As usual, the politicians are way behind the people. I’m not sure how much time is left before the 3 major crises’ Rubicons are reached, but somebody needs to do something before it’s too late. I don’t expect the current economic system to survive 2012. It might not even survive 2011 with the way things look in Europe. Every major economy is running on fumes, even China’s. We now stare down the precipice of complete and total collapse.

The powerlessness of Obama’s office notwithstanding, it is still an important center of symbolism in America. If he can find a way to tap into the Occupy Wall Street anger to effect real change in Washington it could be the trigger that’s needed to unleash the new world. The old economic system has to die, and politics-as-usual has to find a new normal. Then we can clean up this planet, unleash the hidden technologies suppressed by the oily elite and begin our journey into a Star Trek-esque future instead of a Terminator-esque future. Until the kidney-stone that is the global elite is removed from its obstructive position there will be little to no positive change on this world. To that end we must unify, occupy and reclaim the sword of liberty.

So rejoice, for the spirit of democracy still flows through the people. That is enough for me to sleep a little sounder at night, even as Late-Stage American Capitalism approaches the End-Stage. I hope there is a solution waiting in the wings (and I think there is), because this was is teetering on the edge. When it falls, Occupy Wall Street will only get more powerful. So you might as well occupy the future now.

President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden with great formality and solemnity tonight. This news has the potential to change our nation’s direction for good. It will be interesting to see what happens next as the global hoax that is the War on Terror (war of terror, more like) is getting wound down. That seems to be the natural course for things to take: We set out to kill bin Laden and we finally did it nearly 10 years later. It makes narrative sense to wrap this story up and move on.

Obama announcing the death of Osama bin Laden

And that’s what it is: A narrative, a story. The president took no questions and presented no evidence, be it DNA, a scrap of clothing, a gun, a flack jacket or even a Quran. No, what he did was tell a story. First, he told the story of 9/11, using the simplest terms and the broadest strokes, but identifying al-Qaeda as the perpetrator. Then he told a tale of how he was given intel on bin Laden’s possible whereabouts, followed up and eventually gave the order to move in and capture/kill.

Beyond the Official Stories
Seems simple enough until you remember that Osama bin Laden had been on dialysis as far back as 2000 because of a kidney disorder that the CIA said would kill him by 2010 at the latest. He also took time out his busy schedule to meet with the CIA shortly before 9/11; receiving last-minute instructions no doubt. The War on Terror has been fake from the beginning. Al-Qaeda was created by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the 80s; they never really left. They’ve been operating in the hills crossing Afghanistan and Pakistan ever since. The ISI, Pakistan’s version of the CIA, has been instrumental in this whole affair.

The whole government-sponsored astroturfing of the al-Qaeda brand is an interesting tale in itself. If you have time I highly recommend watching The Power of Nightmares, a BBC documentary about how fear is used to control the populace and how threats like Al-Qaeda are magnified or even created in order to manipulate the masses.

That’s how things went during the Bush and Blair years, but we’re seeing a new path emerging ahead. Is Obama showing the way out of the War on Terror’s Twisted Hall of Mirrors?

A Chance for Obama to Show his Quality
That’s what he has the chance to do. Will he seize it? It all comes down to what you think about Obama. He’s a tough guy to figure out. Don’t listen to the Birthers and the racists and the Islamophobes and the knee-jerk conservatives. Hate Obama if you want, but you should at least take the time to figure out why you hate him. There’s certainly a lot to take issue with on civil liberties, the escalation in Afghanistan, his dopey dismissal of the marijuana legalization movement, the limping economy and the way his administration has handled Bradley Manning. But I’m not convinced we can paint Obama with the tyrant brush. Tea Partiers who compare him with Hitler are out of their minds. GW Bush killed probably over a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan all told, but Obama has only a few hundred deaths by his order (which is not great, but seems to be par the course for American presidents). This new death is probably more of an illusion than reality, but it seems to be a lie with a somewhat more noble purpose than Bush’s lies leading to the invasion of Iraq. Obama is no saint, but painting him as a sinner like the Bushes is bit much.

Who is Barack Obama? A smooth operator, for one. He knows the game of politics as well as anybody. He has a way of floating above the fray. His “take the high road” approach is not an occasional tactic; it’s at the core of his strategy as a politician. But there are many times when a politician can only take the “somewhat less than the lowest part of the gutter road” because the political establishment has aligned itself in such a way that there are no good options. This happens quite a bit, unfortunately. The whole Beltway establishment is invested in the War on Terror and the Hunt for Bin Laden. You can’t just show up on the first day in office and pull the plug on the media’s favorite storyline. You’ve got to write the next couple chapters, as Obama did by ramping up our forces in Afghanistan — the Afghan Surge.

Next Obama set up the operation that would provide the cover to announce what he wanted to announce 2.5 years ago, but couldn’t because telling the truth in Washington is a good way to get mocked and ridiculed — or even assassinated.

Bin Laden in 2004 and fake in 2007No doubt bin Laden has been dead for quite some time; running around with a dialysis machine while being chased by American special forces in the wasteland of Tora Bora is not a good way to extend your lifespan. Around 2003 or 2004 Osama bin Laden stopped making videos… so the CIA and Intelcenter started making some fake videos for him! Most likely he was dead by then but the Bushies wanted to continue using Osama to spread fear and justify the War on Terror so they kept it quiet. Benazir Bhutto mentioned that Bin Laden was dead and managed to get assassinated herself shortly thereafter.

Stories Matter. Evidence? Not so much.
Was Obama able to procure bin Laden’s body? Who knows, but the physical evidence doesn’t really matter that much from a political point of view. The evidence has never mattered. There was never any evidence directly connecting bin Laden with 9/11 any way. The FBI never even put it on his wanted poster. There was never a good explanation for why 2 planes hit 2 buildings and yet 3 buildings fell down. A lot of people don’t even know about WTC Building 7 even though it was a 40+ story office building that hosted office space for the CIA, SEC, Secret Service and many more. A lot of people don’t know that the BBC reported that the building had collapsed before it did, despite it happening at 5 in the afternoon after some minor fires.

Evidence, I’m afraid, does not matter in Washington. What matters is the ability to tell stories and have people believe you. George W. Bush told a story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The story turned out to not be true later, but it was too late by then. That story had given the neo-cons the cover they needed to invade, and once that was done they cast it aside and didn’t bother to defend its veracity anymore.

Osama bin Laden's secret underground lair... was a lie

Stories are powerful. They don’t even have to be plausible to get us hooked. Remember the story about bin Laden hiding in huge James Bond villain-esque underground fortress with cave entrances that Donald Rumsfeld told? Yeah, that was another fake story. But it worked, didn’t it?

Osama bin Laden was our bogeyman, our Emmanuel Goldstein, our Ernst Blofeld, our Commie-Nazi enemy par excellence. He was straight out of a James Bond movie and the mainstream media went wild with his tale, elevating him to Darth Vader status in our collective imagination. The stories were endless and they all came back to fear — that is if this guy seemed remotely threatening to you (he always seemed a bit fey and soft to me). The story always ended with the government needing more power to fight this shadowy enemy. Don’t ask questions, just let the nice man grope you at the airport.

The great thing about imaginary wars is that you can imagine a conclusion to them whenever you want. That seems to be what Obama has done to his near namesake, Osama. Now the story is over. People can start to relax, right? I’ve seen a bunch of people on Twitter asking if we still have to take our shoes off at the airport.

“Can we travel with big shampoo again??!”

“Guy on CNN, “Killing Osama ends the war on Terrorism.”  Yeah, um, does that mean I can have more than 3.4oz of liquids in my carry on?”

“Ok. So *now* can we start the 21st century?”

“Is gas still $4+? :/”

It’s time to end this story and start a new one. A better one.

Beautiful Execution
In a brilliant move to avoid being discovered, the Obama administration has said that bin Laden’s body will be treated in accordance with Islamic law. That means it will be buried within 24 hours.

Update: They claim they buried him at sea! No one will ever find the body now! So, we hunt for this guy for almost 10 years and first thing we do after catching him is chuck his body over the side of a boat? Okay…. (By the way, Abbottabad, where the operation took place, is hundreds of miles from the ocean.) I did some quick research on Islamic Burial Law and guess what — burial at sea is only permissible if the corpse would start to decay or cause problems:

620. * It is obligatory to bury a dead body in the ground, so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out, and, if there is a danger of such beasts digging it out then the grave should be made solid with bricks, etc.

621. If it is not possible to bury a dead body in the ground, it may be kept in a vault or a coffin, instead.

622. The dead body should be laid in the grave on its right side so that the face remains towards the Qibla.

623. * If a person dies on a ship and if there is no fear of the decay of the dead body and if there is no problem in retaining it for sometime on the ship, it should be kept on it and buried in the ground after reaching the land. Otherwise, after giving Ghusl, Hunut, Kafan and Namaz-e-Mayyit it should be lowered into the sea in a vessel of clay or with a weight tied to its feet. And as far as possible it should not be lowered at a point where it is eaten up immediately by the sea predators. [emphasis mine]

It would’ve been perfectly acceptable to keep the body in a coffin until the Navy returned it to American shores. Instead, they decided to dispose of the evidence — if there even was a body in the first place. It’s perfect — they don’t have to show us anything, except maybe some grainy photographs a few weeks later. This is a smart move on Obama’s part; Islam provides cover for the quick burial (or at least enough to keep Islam-ignorant Americans satisfied) and Obama can pretend he did it to appease Muslims. He also made a point of saying we were not at war with Islam during his speech. Most Americans won’t question the obvious because they’re so glad to finally be rid of Bin Laden and Muslims won’t raise a stink in the hopes that America will stop persecuting them.

Obama is finally mopping up the remnants of the Bush administration’s horrible stench. The Global War on Terror, the Invasion of Iraq, the Hunt for Bin Laden, the Crusade Against Islam — all of these elaborate tales are being given their dénouement. And all on the anniversary of the announcement of Hitler’s death in 1945, too. It all seems so staged, but Obama has to play the game if he wants to change the rules. And now that he has successfully wrapped up Bush’s parade of lies Obama will reap the benefits of it in his approval rating. It also buys him more time to sort out the economy, which was teetering on the edge of utter collapse. Obama, in his deceitful way, has given us hope.

Are we finally free from the clutches of the powerful cabal that still strangles the world under the economic tyranny wielded by the Federal Reserve’s fiat money system? No, but we do have some breathing room and the wind at our backs for once.

I must be getting so old and cynical that I’m not really bothered by Obama’s go-along to get-along deception, perhaps because he understands the power of stories and how they can affect our collective mood. Obama has given us the happy ending we wanted when this story started 10 years ago. Who cares if it wasn’t a true ending? The beginning wasn’t true and neither was the middle. It was all a big fairy tale to cause fear, mistrust and anger, which the neo-cons could then use to make one last stab at complete world domination. But they failed, and now they’ve let Obama act as a Presidential Pooper-Scooper and clean up the office for the next deranged neo-fascist warmonger. But Obama is making the most of his role and moving us forward in a way that might push him to an easy re-election (given that the GOP’s leading candidates are either punchlines or wallpaper) and spare us another dip into madness for awhile. If he plays his cards right he might just tell us enough stories to permanently put the American oligarchy out of business. We’ll see. It’s a lot to ask of a guy, but these are stressful, dangerous times. We’re staring at so many economic, political and environmental problems that to do nothing is suicide. The Shadow Government thrives in the darkness. But expose it to the light and it shrivels up like a snake’s skin. Obama needs to seize this moment and move forward boldly to push his agenda (which manifestly seems to be much more positive than Bush’s even though Obama is not perfect by any stretch).

It’s strange that he’s been parrying with a man named Trump recently over his birth certificate. First he laid down the long-form certificate in question (a low-res PDF…), and how he’s played his presidential trump card to great effect, with perfect timing and excellent execution.

Obama's trump card

All Part of the Plan
He even seems to be trying to make friends with Pakistan, praising the country for its help (despite not clearly indicating that he asked permission to launch such a mission in their country) and hopefully signaling a withdrawal from that country’s western mountain-land. In another amazing “coincidence”, Pakistan/US relations are at an all-time low after CIA agent Raymond Davis killed two ISI agents on the streets of Islamabad and was arrested (and outed as CIA) by the Pakistanis. Obama really had no choice but to end the charade since the CIA could no longer freely operate in Pakistan; hundreds agents were being kicked out by the local government (there are supposedly 3,000 CIA spooks operating in Pakistan — and that’s the official number! One can only imagine how many there really are). Now that Obama has done so, he has the political cover necessary to drastically scale back the CIA’s operation in Pakistan and eventually get us out of Afghanistan, too. We’re looking at a whole new national security paradigm.

In another timing “coincidence” Obama just reshuffled his national security team as Secretary of Defense Gates retires again and Leon Panetta replaces him, who, as head of the CIA, needs to be replaced, which opens the door for Petraeus to step into the role. And that’s not the only ground-shaking national security event that has taken place in the last week or so! There was a new national security grand strategy floated by the office of Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces (all the heads of each branch of the military). It replaces the “containment” strategy that the US used during the Cold War — and even afterwards since it was not replaced, only tweaked for the War on Terror era, which is now ending. The new document is credited to a Mr. Y, the pseudonymous follower of the Containment Strategy’s Mr. X. The new document suggests ways to shrink the military and completely realign our national security posture. Look at these 5 key strategic shifts:

  1. From control in a closed system to credible influence in an open system.
  2. From containment to sustainment.
  3. From deterrence and defense to civilian engagement and competition.
  4. From zero sum to positive sum global politics/economics.
  5. From national security to national prosperity and security.

Read the whole National Security Narrative article here. They even use the same story metaphor I’ve been using in this post:

A narrative is a story. A national strategic narrative must be a story that all Americans can understand and identify with in their own lives. America’s national story has always see-sawed between exceptionalism and universalism.

A New Hope?
Obama is ending the Bush-era story of terror and beginning a new narrative of peace. It’s hard to overstate just how incredibly important this change is to our nation. Prepare for a couple weeks of breathless analysis from the media. No doubt few people will point out how ridiculous the whole story is — it’s too much fun to ruin it with reality. Nobody will question why Navy Seals were involved (in the most mountainous and landlocked part of Pakistan), or how Osama managed to live in a million dollar mansion undetected for months (even years) and nobody will question a dialysis patient supposedly firing his gun at US troops (but missing — bad guys have bad aims, right Hollywood?) or that Osama was hiding just 50 miles from the capital of Pakistan. But that’s besides the point. The point is that we have a chance to write a new future that doesn’t include the paranoia, aggression and hatred that the Bush admin’s narrative did. We can unify the world under peace instead of terror. Let’s all celebrate this happy news, even if it is totally fraudulent. Why? Because buried at sea along with Osama Bin Laden is the War on Terror, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and the whole wretched Bush presidency. Good riddance to them all.

Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!

This story is old and played out. Let’s write a new one that includes peace and unity throughout the world… and beyond.

They walk among us. Normal people, like you or me. But inside the corners of their ratty little minds they carry a dark, hideous secret: They own a leaf blower.

I know, I know. It’s easy to hate them, like SUV drivers, sweet sixteen psycho-princesses and those happy-slapping chavs who run around hitting unsuspecting people and filming it. But owning a leaf blower does not make you a shitty person. A crappy one, yes. But not shitty.

It’s not the individuals who own leaf blowers who concern me; it’s the whole problem of Leaf Blower Culture that keeps me up at night (that, and the noise). This is not to say the leaf blower wielders are innocent however. It is their weakness that ruins things for the rest of us. But what flaw in our collective psyche allowed it get to this point?

The Human Flaw
The skull-rattling noise of leaf blowers is the real reason that people use them, I suspect. Far from being the biggest flaw, it’s actually what attracts these weak, pitiful souls to it, desperately wanting to make some impact in the world, wrongly or rightly.

Backpack leaf blowerAlthough commercial grade leaf blowers are spendy at around $500, a small consumer version can cost as little as 40 bucks (plus gas). Like SUVs, the relatively cheap price combined with the vibrant feeling of pure mechanical power gives consumers a drunken sense of maniacal glee.

A few hours after the purchase you can find many people softly, sickly laughing as they swirl the leaf blower around like a bloated magical wand, causing a small wind storm along with an incredible cacophonous noise heard blocks away. Screaming over the monstrous din, they dance through the lawn with their mechanical version of Voldemort’s wand spewing forth a steady stream of devilish noise and blustery fury. Somewhere deep in their gollum-like mind the voice of a mad-man rings loudly in their hollow hearts:

“HAHA!! Yes!! I am making those leaves flee before me! I am invincible with my precious blower! Cower before me, you stupid leaves! I’ll blow you clear across the lawn! MUAAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!”

He is no longer a balding and pot-bellied middle-aged suburban dad. He is Leafmancer the Majestic, master of all who cross his path. Dare ye to speak to him over the bilious noise of his quivering instrument of power? Nay, he will not hear your pleas. He does not concern himself with such trifles as your feelings. “Back off, before I blow you off!” he hisses in an inaudible whisper.

A Cost/Benefit Ratio Forrest Gump Could Deduce
This simple device encapsulates everything that is wrong with American culture from a social, environmental and technological standpoint. Let’s look at what a leaf blower does and it’s advantages versus disadvantages.

A leaf blower is basically a reverse vacuum cleaner. It blows instead of sucks. But what goal does it accomplish, what societal need does it address?

It replaces a rake.

That’s it. As far as I know, there is no other common use for a leaf blower than the function that is easily accomplished by the common rake, which can be purchased at hardware store for 20 bucks and requires no fuel or maintenance and operates nearly silently.

The leaf blower does its job extremely poorly — and it does so very loudly — yet people still flock to this useless, feeble technology.

5 guys with leaf blowers

To really drive this home, and be fair to leaf blowers, I will now list the advantages and disadvantages of this machine:

Leaf blower pros:

  • Slightly faster? Maybe, but I’ve seen workmen accomplish virtually nothing in an hour’s time, like a retarded monkey pushing around a box of sand
  • Some can suck up and mulch the leaves, but most people don’t have or use this functionality; the device is technically referred to as a “blower vac” in this capacity
  • Although they ostensibly reduce human energy output, using high-powered machines is somewhat difficult and still makes you sweaty. I don’t see many grannies using them

Leaf blower cons:

  • Loud as a fucking airplane
  • Expensive compared with a rake
  • Requires continual purchase of costly fossil fuels
  • Causes air pollution and leaves the stench of gasoline
  • Creates huge plumes of dust & debris, some of which can lodge themselves in your eye
  • Not as good at creating leaf piles as a rake
  • Heavier than a rake
  • Bulkier than a rake
  • Has moving parts and requires regular maintenance such as:
    • Cleaning or replacing the filters
    • Replacing the spark plugs
    • Cleaning the fan blades
    • Cleaning the air intake
    • etc. etc.
  • Doesn’t work without a fuel source yet still requires human control/power
  • If you’re using a leaf blower, you’re pissing off everybody around you

Meanwhile, a rake just fucking works. (Plus, it can be used to sneak up and attack people using leaf blowers.)

Leaf blower mouth

A Cultural Sickness that Reveals Our World’s Rotten Soul
Our world teeters on the edge of economic, environmental collapse and I’m worried about leaf blowers? Well yes, because if we think leaf blowers are a good idea then I weep for our noisy, pointless future. Why does our culture accept and use these technologically gimmicky bullshit tools when perfectly acceptable old-school tools exist? Is it sheer laziness or a delirious lust for auditory power? I’m afraid our leaf blower addiction reveals far more about our society than we would ever want to grok.

Corporate priorities tend to distort things. In recent years the idea that there’s a technological solution to every problem has been driven into the corporate drone’s head. He knows all his competitors are using leaf blowers. He thinks that a rake looks low-tech and that customers are more impressed with technology than simplicity. He expects a lawn care service company to show up with a trailer full of gas-powered goodies, all of which make an unholy racket. It’s part of our cultural expectations at this point: If you’re not making a shitload of noise, are you really doing anything?

Blame it on our Genes
Our monkey brains are helpless before the lure of shiny, noisy tools. If this is the best we can do, perhaps the world would be better off without us. Dolphins don’t have leaf blowers. When they enslave us, they will say it’s for our own good and they might actually be right. That’s what scares me. Still, rakes sit lonely and dust-covered in millions of garages, wondering, like some jilted lover, what it did to push us into the arms of that supercharged demon-mistress next to it. Will America remember the simple, subtle beauty of the common garden rake before it’s too late?

We could certainly use the exercise.

This is one cultural deficiency I can’t blame solely on the Oligarchy (although our elite-encouraged oil addiction is a contributing factor). It’s our own stupid lust for power that led us to this point. If we keep this up I’m gonna start cheering for the goddamn lizard people. Bring on the brainless zombies (armed with leaf blowers, of course).

C’mon, folks: Evolve already!

A Future Fraught with Free Leaves
I’m not the first person to complain about this plague; leaf blowers are illegal in several cities and people have bitched about them for decades. Yet, here we are in 2011 and they’re still fucking here.

The most ironic part is that leaves will win this battle in the end. Leaves will be blowing freely long after humanity has slit its own throat and withered, gurgling and gasping, into the heedless sands of history.

Are leaves such a horrible infestation that they must be removed from our urban green spaces? What about the incredible amount of noise and air pollution that is being added to the atmosphere in their place? We are truly a sick culture if we think this is an acceptable trade-off. I will risk the fucking leaves, thank you very much. Maybe our feral, wretched descendants will use them as currency.

The guy who invented the rake must be rolling in his fucking grave. He’s just lucky he can’t hear it when they blow the leaves off his gravestone.

Mind-control. MKULTRA. Brainwashing.

The above words tend to stop rational conversation in its tracks, sending it down a slippery slope of confusion, conspiracy and mockery. We like to think we’re too smart to fall for that Hollywood crap. This is the real world, and anybody who thinks mind-control is real needs to re-adjust their tin-foil hat, right?

Er…. not really.

The Elephant in the Room
Mind-control is real. It’s in the public record. The CIA has admitted that they had a super-secret program called Project MKULTRA that was focused on brainwashing people so they could become the ideal assassin. From Wikipedia:

The published evidence indicates that Project MKULTRA involved the use of many methodologies to manipulate individual mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs and other chemicals, sensory deprivation, isolation, and verbal and sexual abuse.

Project MKULTRA was first brought to wide public attention in 1975 by the U.S. Congress, through investigations by the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed in 1973…

So let’s get this straight right up front: Mind-control experiments are in the Congressional Record. They were front-page news back in ’75 and the CIA has admitted that they tried their best to create a mind-controlled assassin program. They claim that they failed (after torturing and ruining the mental states of many unwitting “volunteers”, often grabbed from the military or prison). But the Church Committee is considered by many to be a “limited hangout”, which basically means admitting to a minor crime in order to cover up a major one.

Why was the CIA trying to create a mind-controlled assassin? It was widely believed that the Soviets were working on a similar program — and they were. But after the Cold War ended and some of Russia’s records opened it was revealed that they were not nearly as far along as the CIA was. Oops.

Warfare is used to justify a great many things, and in the context of the Cold War, the CIA’s mind-c0ntrol program seems almost justifiable. Unfortunately, despite the destruction of most of the MKULTRA records, the program appears to have been simply renamed and continued.

The Manchurian Candidate brought the mind-c0ntrol issue to the fore in 1959 via Richard Condon’s book. It was made into a movie in 1962 (and again in 2004). The plotline has the Communist Party brainwashing Americans into committing crimes, which probably only encouraged the CIA to continue its research.

Dirty Laundry
Congress has virtually no oversight over the CIA’s black-operations programs (because, by definition, they are “black”; meaning hidden and completely off-the-record) because the black-ops programs are funded by the CIA’s illegal drug-smuggling operations, thus ensuring there isn’t a line-item in a Congressional budget somewhere for “mind-control.” That doesn’t mean the program isn’t getting funded somehow, of course. Congress never authorized Project MKULTRA in the first place, of course; it still happened.

The CIA is widely thought to be behind the crack-cocaine epidemic of the 80s. Many former gang members have since revealed that they were getting their supply directly from CIA operatives. San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb wrote a serious of articles (and eventually a book, Dark Alliance) about how the CIA funded the Nicaraguan Contras using illicit funds generated by the sale of crack-c0caine (smuggled in from Nicaragua) in Los Angeles and other major U.S. cities. This was part of the Iran-Contra scandal, but it was largely obscured by the limited hangout that saw Ollie North take the fall (he later became a right-wing talk-radio host and Fox News correspondent; yes the same guy who did time for illegally selling weapons to Iran to fund the Contras got his own show on Fox News. Go figure.)

The CIA’s Mind-Controlled Assassin Program Hits the Road
Now, I’m not saying everybody in the CIA is a completely-immoral, evil genius, but like any powerful organization there are different factions. A lot of CIA folks seem to be trying their best to serve their country, but others have different motives, often because of financial ties, paranoia, political ideology or even darker agendas.

Whatever the reason, it seems that the mind-controlled assassins started popping up in the 1960s and have surfaced regularly since then. Like many MKULTRA victims, Sirhan Sirhan, the guy who supposedly shot Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, couldn’t remember the actual crime. If you do some research into RFK’s murder you’ll know that there were more bullets fired at the scene than could be loaded into Sirhan’s gun. It’s likely that there were multiple gunman and that Sirhan was not technically the assassin. The brainwashing process tends to be incredibly destructive and the mind-controlled slaves are not always the best shots. In those cases they still make excellent patsies.

“Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident.”
–John Lennon

Another likely mind-controlled assassin was Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s assassin. After Chapman shot Lennon 4 times he calmly sat down and waited. And waited. And waited until the police came and arrested him. If he had wanted to get away it would’ve been simple to blend into the NYC crowd and disappear into a subway. But killing the target is just the first part of an MKULTRA subject’s programming. The next step is to take the blame.

It’s so simple to blame everything on a lone-nut. These so called “lone-nuts” basically cleared the field of left-leaning presidential candidates and influential pro-peace figures in the 1960s. John F. Kennedy, RFK, and Martin Luther King Jr. were all supposedly killed by “lone gunman” who just happened to target the 3 leading lights of the Democratic Party during the tumultuous (but hopeful… until the gunfire) 60s. These assassinations are inherently political acts and we have to ask “who benefits?”, because somebody did.

Before They Scrub History Clean
The process seems to have improved in efficacy over the years, but it’s still incredibly destructive to the mind-controlled victim’s psyche. Look at our most recent example of an MKULTRA assassin, Jared Lee Loughner. He is a shell of a man. A cursory glance reveals him to be utterly insane. But why is he insane; what brought him to this point?

There’s so much more we need to know about Jared Loughner that I can’t be absolutely sure he’s an MKULTRA victim, but it’s looking extremely likely at this point. It’s doubtful there will ever be a thorough investigation; most likely the authorities will cover up any evidence that doesn’t fit the official story so these first few hours are essential in getting an accurate picture before it all goes down the Memory Hole.

I’ve already seen multiple news reports that suggest that Loughner was not the only assassin. Mind-controlled slaves often need their puppetmasters close at hand in case they go off the script; they also need to be triggered into going from dormant mode into kill-mode. However, the cover-up is already in full swing:

Dupnik said authorities were all but certain Loughner acted alone, saying “he’s a typical troubled individual who’s a loner.”

This is conflicted by an earlier report that authorities were seeking a second individual. There’s even a security camera photo of him.

Investigators said they were looking for an accomplice, believed to be in his 50s, who may have assisted in the attack.

Don’t let this information slip down the Memory Hole. The story is titled, “Cops hunt 2nd suspect in deadly Ariz. rampage.” It’s likely that the 50 year old gentlemen in the picture was Loughner’s controller. He waited until the time was right and then gave Loughner the pass-phrase that triggered his attack, possibly using a cell phone.

As of this writing Gabrielle Giffords is miraculously holding onto life despite having a bullet go through her brain. Even if she survives it seems unlikely she’ll ever fully recover. Please send your thoughts and prayers her way as she struggles for life; also her family must be in agony right now. I’m sure they want to see justice done. In order for that to happen we need an investigation that leaves no stone unturned. I’m extremely doubtful that the authorities will allow that to happen since the evidence is already pointing back to the CIA and most of the right-wing political elite has every motivation to paint Loughner as a lone, deranged nutcase. Certainly he was insane, but let’s look at his particular obsession:

“He was one of the last kids tocome [sic] in, and he sat down and almost immediately started laughing to himself in a way that was just kind of creepy,” a classmate, Alex Kotonias, 20, told USA Today.

“As soon as the teacher started going over the syllabus, he had this outburst out of nowhere, didn’t even raise his hand, and started asking the teacher some sort of weird questions about whether he believed in mind control.”

So the suspect was talking openly of mind control in the weeks before the shooting. Perhaps you think I’m stretching a bit, except that I’ve watched the videos on Loughner’s YouTube channel. Amazingly, 4 out of 5 of them talk about mind control! Often, the context is completely missing (as is logic and grammar, but that’s a side effect of being brainwashed); instead he just blurts it out like he did in class.

One of Loughner’s videos is all about mind control. It’s called “How To: Mind Controller“. I’m going to post it below, but don’t worry if it doesn’t make much sense to you (be worried if it does):

Okay, so clearly he’s nuts. But his obsession with mind control is telling. On some level he knows his brain is under attack. Check out his other videos for a deeper window into his damaged psyche.

The mind control video ends with Loughner claiming to be the mind controller: “I’m able to control every belief and religion by being the mind controller!” If you’ve looked at his other videos (which are mostly text-based writings) you’ll know he’s in control of two things: Jack and shit. However, from a certain point of view he has affected all of us. If you let fear and confusion and anger overtake you then you are letting Jared Lee Loughner control you. Don’t give in to fear… or the mainstream media’s storyline.

Fear is the Mind-Killer
Fear and control are big business and they are not left to amateurs. If you recall the run-up to the Iraq War you’ll know that the real masters of fear are the folks in charge; they are the government officials and spoonfed reporters who scared us into thinking war was necessary. They are the mind-controllers: the military-industrial-media complex managed to swing public opinion around from mostly against the war to a majority in favor of invading Iraq. They lied about it and they all got away with it too. The liars and cheats are mostly still in Congress or still pretending to be fair and balanced on our TVs.

Mind control is real.

It’s likely you are a victim at some point in your life. But there are different levels of mind control and fear-based propaganda is an inexpensive and non-invasive technique designed to work in aggregate on the masses. MKULTRA assassins are the other end of the spectrum; they are the focus of much work by the controllers. They are brainwashed using various techniques including drugs, torture, deprivation, isolation, hypnosis and more we can’t even know about yet. Personally, I suspect that there are implants that can be put in the subject brain (or maybe just their ear drum) so that they will literally hear voices. Who knows what the latest technology has allowed the puppetmasters to do?

Loughner tried to join to the Army a few years back. Supposedly he was rejected, but it’s also possible he was shunted into a super-secret MKULTRA program and spent the next two or three years being subjective to incredible abuse, drugs, hypnosis and the rest. Hold your hate until you can be sure that Loughner was in his right mind. I suspect that he is just as much of a victim as Representative Giffords is.

All I know for sure is that this requires more investigation but it’s not going to happen because people are too eager to accept the lone gunman theory because the alternative is too horrifying and crazy. It’s our fear that enables this trick to work again and again. Not just the fear of the government but the fear of being mocked and ridiculed for even suggesting such a thing. I felt that same fear myself while writing this post: “Will people think I’m nuts?” I’m sure some of you will, but I think you’re nuts if you’re bound and determined to overlook the evidence. MKULTRA is real. You can’t deny that. Your only escape from that reality is to believe the CIA’s assurances that the program has been discontinued. I think you’d have trouble finding a less trustworthy organization than the CIA. Disinformation is their job! And they do it well.

So don’t be surprised if, when Loughner starts to talk, he claims not to remember the shooting spree. He probably doesn’t; he was in a hypnotic trance at the time and that information (and so much more) is blocked to him. Also, don’t be surprised if you never hear about the accomplice/controller again. His picture is on this page if you doubt your own mind. Don’t worry; you’re not going crazy, you’re just waking up to a nightmare reality.

Are all of these corruption scandals and bailouts for the rich just a ‘confluence of interest’ wherein the richest people in the world just happen to all be on the same page? Did all of these attacks on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange just materialize out of the shared frustration of ultra-rich patriots?

Or is there something darker at work?

While I agree confluence of interest makes it possible for the elite to work towards the same ends without ever talking to each other, doesn’t it also make it more likely they would see the benefit in conspiring since their interests are already aligned? Why not coordinate your attacks?

It’s not like we can stop them either way.

The editor of the New York Times has recently admitted they let the US government review all of the WikiLeaks docs the NYT published, before they were published. While not technically a conspiracy (because it’s not illegal), this is just one more example of how the supposedly independent news outlets of the US are really just state-run media with a few corporate strings attached. I highly recommend reading this Glenn Greenwald article.:

It’s extraordinary that the New York Times is clearing what it says about this with the U.S. Government, but that says a lot about the politics here…

The independent mainstream press is a fantasy.

There are all of these datapoints (secrecy, lies, corruption, bailouts for the rich, etc.) that obviously point to a conspiracy by the powers that be and yet many are still bound and determined to not look deeper into the maw of malfeasance that has engulfed our political and economic systems.

I guess I’ll mention the “I” word since we’re heading that direction already: Do you know who the Illuminati are? They’re glorified bankers. They are behind-the-scenes power-brokers who have enough money to make or break nations by either granting or denying loans. Look at the Rothschild family for a quick overview and just remember what happened when the bankers collapsed our economy 2 years ago. The government and the Federal Reserve (which the Illuminati basically owns outright) were quick to give them trillions upon trillions of dollars. That’s why you buy government officials off; it’s well worth it.

The natural course of human economic affairs is towards consolidation. Think of the Illuminati as a criminal gang who managed to forge a monopoly/oligarchy. They are the ultimate cartel. Do you believe in the Mafia? Well, believing in the Illuminati is no different; just a more refined — almost classy — version of Sicilian justice. Instead of controlling prostitution, gambling and drugs, the Illuminati control whole countries (wherein they let the Mafia run the aforementioned underworld black-markets).

I think we need to look at the endemic corruption that surrounds us as an invitation to dig deeper. Don’t flinch and stop looking because the horror is too great. We have no hope of getting our country back as long as we believe the party line that corruption in government is just the result of a few bad apples.

Here’s a question: How come (according the Media) corruption in banking, government and other white collar jobs is always the result of “a few bad apples” but whenever some dumbass Muslim kid buys an explosive it’s always a huge, global, interlocking terrorist conspiracy sworn to destroy us for our freedoms?

Seems awfully convenient.

Meanwhile the Democrats are caving on extending Bush’s tax cuts for the richest 2% — at a cost of $700 billion — in order to get a measly $60 billion in unemployment benefits from the Republicans. What a fucking joke. As per the usual plan the Democrats pretended to fight the good fight, then took a fall in the last round to give the Republicans another preordained victory. You’d think the party that controls the Senate and the presidency could scrounge a bit more out of the party that will soon control only the House, but that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world of conspiracies. If it gets much more obvious, those of you who still deny it will be the ones accused of being nutjobs. In fact, I think we’re at that point. How do you explain this and the other issues I’ve raised, if not through the machinations of the ruling class? And if the ruling class does act as one being through a confluence of interest, how is that any functionally different from a nefarious conspiracy?

Either way we’ve gotten to the point where the system does not even pretend to work for the common man anymore. We need more organizations like WikiLeaks to shed light on the inner working of our government, the banking apparatus and high-powered corporations.I highly recommend this article, which is itself a summation of a post by Julian Assange on how WikiLeaks hopes to disrupt the ability of conspirators to plan and execute their conspiracies by throwing their communication into the light. A taste:

Conspiracies are cognitive devices. They are able to out-think the same group of individuals acting alone. Conspiracies take information about the world in which they operate (the conspiratorial environment), pass through the conspirators and then act on the result. We can see conspiracies as a type of device that has inputs (information about the environment), a computational network (the conspirators and their links to each other) and outputs (actions intending to change or maintain the environment). Since a conspiracy is a type of cognitive device that acts on information acquired from its environment, distorting or restricting these inputs means acts based on them are likely to be misplaced. Programmers call this effect garbage in, garbage out. Usually the effect runs the other way; it is conspiracy that is the agent of deception and information restriction. In the US, the programmer’s aphorism is sometimes called “the Fox News effect”.

So basically, Assange plans to starve the beast of its communication system and limit its ability to act unobserved. This will send a shockwave of panic and inaction through the mind of the conspiracy, rendering it unable to formulate new plots and execute them with any efficacy. It’s a bold aim, to be sure. But something has to be done. Conventional attempts to solve the very real problems have not worked. They haven’t worked because the game is rigged; you can’t vote “Them” out of power; they own both parties. Only when people start to see the very real conspiracies that perpetuate our very real problems will we get close to solving said problems. The current system is set up so we have no real choice or voice.

Before you let America’s (or your own) apathy subsume your hope for the future just take a closer look at what Assange is doing. He’s trying to cripple the conspiratorial consciousness. It’s not fantasy — after Iceland decided not to bail out the bankers it caused a temporary breakdown in the control-grid. That created an opening and Iceland is using it to write a new constitution.

It’s not going to be easy, but this is our moment. We’re finally seeing the control-grid crack and openings start to appear. Maybe if/when the banksters demand another bailout we can mount a better organized campaign to make sure Congress doesn’t accede, then use the momentum to bring our own Constitution back online.

Darkfold’s video for Echelon

I’m in a band. We make rock music. We occasionally make videos for our songs. This one is for a song called “Echelon.” For those of you who are aware of the ECHELON program, you might find greater resonance in the song and its meaning. As it’s our first real attempt at a ($0 budget) music video we’d love to hear what you think!

More info on Darkfold:

One of the neat things about using WordPress is the iPod app that allows me to post remotely. Let’s see if this puppy works!!

Hopefully I will update the blog more often now. I know that I have barely updated this thing during most if 2010 even though lots of interesting things have been happening on the world stage. You better believe I have an opinion about most of it. These are exciting times. I hope things keep getting better.

Going through my old posts I was overwhelmed with my angry and frustrated tone, which of course can be blamed on the Bush administration. The Republicans made a big comeback during the election earlier this week and have claimed the House, proving Americans have a very short memory. Ah well, there are always silver linings. Now the Republicans are at least represented in Congress so they might feel less inclined to obstructionism… Yeah right. Well, at least Ron Paul might be the next chairman of the monetary policy subcommittee. He will be eager to hold the Federal Reserve’s feet to the fire. This should be fun!

Welcome to the new and improved Electric Monkey Pants!

Ever since Blogger shut down my FTP-run blog I’ve been working to migrate all the posts over to WordPress and start anew! I hope you like the new look and the new features this platform offers. I spent 4 years on Blogger and it was great, but I knew it was time to leave. WordPress is an amazing platform and I’m looking forward to using it, starting now. However, moving all 500+ posts from the old platform to the new one has been an incredible chore. I’ve been procrastinating because I knew it would be a pain in the ass — and it was. But now it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it anymore! Let’s hope WordPress is here to stay!

Please let me know if you notice any problems with the site. Just leave a detailed comment below and I’ll take a look. Thanks for reading and thanks for helping me make Electric Monkey Pants a popular resource for internet weirdos.

As you may be aware, Japan recently elected a new party into power after decades of dominance by the Liberal Democratic Party. The new party (Democratic Party of Japan) promised to be less “passive” in regards to the US. This has not gone over well within the bowels of the Pentagon:

In November last year, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned Japan that it would face “serious consequences” if the new government did not honour the commitments on the bases given by the former government. During his visit, Gates loudly lobbied for an extension of the military bases agreement.

Imagine if a foreign emissary came here warning us to do as he says or there will be “serious consequences”. Such arrogance is why the Japanese are unwilling to continue being our thankless sidekick.

China is also a factor. Japan seems to be throwing its lot in with China and other eastern countries, probably because our bullying behavior and rapidly-declining-in-value currency are getting really annoying.

Is this The Powers That Be’s way of getting back at Japan? It’s more of a warning than a crippling blow, but things could escalate quickly if the wall of secrecy continues to crumble:

The recent revelations of secret security pacts with the U.S. have inflamed public opinion. The Japanese Foreign Minister has appointed a team of scholars to delve into the Foreign Ministry’s archives to track down secret documents relating to security ties with the U.S.

“Secret agreements”? Yeah, this is when the conspiracy theorist in me starts paying attention. There is a lot more underneath the surface if you start to dig. If you find anything juicy, let me know in the comments.

I should also note that the US Government is currently the majority stakeholder in a direct Toyota competitor: General Motors. If “investigating” a foreign competitor to a state-owned business isn’t a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. Congress has jumped the shark; we’d be better off with a bunch of muppets in charge.

Meanwhile, he Japanese people and their media are watching events in Congress closely, and they are familiar with Kabuki drama.

Still, the Japanese media have carried a number of articles and broadcast segments analyzing the meaning of the upcoming hearing, many pointing to what they saw as political motives behind the actions by lawmakers and regulators.

Mark my words, this bit of political theater is not a coincidence.

“Happy new year. Aren’t you tired of all the false-flag attacks?”

That’s what I want to say to people. I certainly think it would be a conversation-starter, but probably not the kind I’d want. I imagine I’d spend much of the time explaining that I’m not crazy.

I think you have to be crazy to think that a guy can slip through our ridiculous airport security even though he had every red flag in the book blinking around him, including being ratted out by his own dad as a potential terrorist. Yeah, I’m talking about that tool, Mutallab the Underwear Bomber or whatever we’re calling him.

This whole episode stinks to high heaven. There is a big part of the story that the media is not focusing on:

Kurt Haskell is an attorney. He and his wife were in Amsterdam that day after a safari and Kurt witnessed the underwear bomber (Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab) before the flight being aided by what Haskell described to be an older Indian gentleman who was well dressed. (emphasis mine)

Who was this sharp-dressed man (besides a ZZtop fan)? No doubt he was Mutallab’s handler.

Since Mutallab is a classic patsy, he has the intelligence (and loyalty) of a particularly gullible puppy. He needs help dressing, tying his shoes, boarding flights… and making his bombs work, too. (Thank Allah for that!)

Webster Tarpley has a good analysis of this event and the importance of it in the geopolitical sense. Long story short: Certain parties are trying to involve us in yet another war against yet another Islamic country. Yemen, this time.

But Obama and his advisors should be urged to consider a third explanation far more plausible than either of these. This third explanation would include the desire of a rogue network inside the US government to unleash a new wave of Islamophobic hysteria to rehabilitate the discredited “global war on terror” strategy in a new and more sophisticated form, while imposing a new round of outrageous and degrading search procedures at airports (such as the full body scanners peddled by the venal Michael Chertoff) to soften up the American people for heightened totalitarian control and political repression. All of this, moreover, in ways that will be politically harmful to Obama.

But this Underwear Bombing farce is a double-edged sword; it provides Obama and those who are opposed to this rogue Anglo terror network a chance to follow the clues back to the real puppetmasters, and perhaps even reveal the existence of the moles and their shadow government to the American people.

That may be a bridge too far, but these false flag terror attacks a getting increasingly ridiculous and unbelievable. Are we really supposed to believe that Mutallab was alloweded to fly without the intervention of a politically-connected CIA “handler”?

Mutallab had been denied a visa to enter the United Kingdom, despite the fact that his family owned a luxury apartment in London’s West End. His name had been placed on the UK watch list. Mutallab’s father, a prominent Nigerian banker, personally denounced him to the CIA and the State Department as a possible extremist who was then in Yemen, most probably at a training camp. Nevertheless, Mutallab’s visa was not revoked. Mutallab had met the infamous Anwar Awlaki, who had just received a wave of publicity for his relations with Major Hasan the Fort Hood patsy. Chatter from the Yemen patsy milieu monitored by the US contained references to “the Nigerian” – meaning Mutallab. Mutallab paid cash for his ticket in Ghana, checked no luggage, and entered Nigeria illegally, but was nevertheless permitted to embark on the first leg of his mission. (emphasis mine)

This man was practically a walking, talking, blinking red flag. The excuse that got him past security — without a passport — was that he was a Sudanese refugee. But nevermind that; Mutallab was the son of a wealthy Nigerian banker. His own father pointed him out as a threat to the CIA and what did they do?

Nothing.

It sure seems like the infiltrated CIA is only concerned with getting more power to interfere with our lives, not doing their job with the considerable power they already have.

This is the classic false flag mindset; it’s right out of the playbook the neocons used after 9/11. Instead of blaming Bush for the security lapses they screamed that Bush needed more power to intercept these terrorists. Never mind that there was ample warning (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”). There was also a condescending dismissal of the importance of the warning and related intelligence:

We’ve known for years now that George W. Bush received a presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, in which he was warned: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” We’ve known for almost as long that Bush went fishing afterward.

What we didn’t know is what happened in between the briefing and the fishing, and now Suskind is here to tell us. Bush listened to the briefing, Suskind says, then told the CIA briefer: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”

Neocons and their rogue network within the government are not interested in stopping terror, only creating it. They use false flag attacks to gradually expand their powerbase while counting on the zero-sum nature of politcal power to drain their enemies of power. We are their enemies, unless we are their (straight Republican-ticket-voting) patsies.

Don’t be a patsy. The neocons will keep doing it until they get caught. And as they get increasingly desperate the attacks may grow more deadly.

Please do your part and speak up so the public is primed to absorb this startling information. I already have to take off my shoes at the airport, which is bad enough. Are soon going to have to fly commando-style? Trust me, people, you do not want me taking off my stinky skivvies at the airport security scanner in front of you. Do yourself a favor and stop this joyless game before the next false-flag patsy sticks a bomb up his ass and we all have to get a public rectal exam to board a flight home.