December 2011 -







21
Dec 11

U.S. Holds On To Biometrics Database Of 3 Million Iraqis

(Spencer Ackerman)The troops have come home, the flag has been been lowered, and the Iraq War is officially in the past for the U.S. military. But the military is holding on to a major souvenir of the war: a massive database packed with retinal scans, thumb prints and other biometric data identifying millions of Iraqis. It will be a tool for counterterrorism long after the Iraq War becomes a fading memory.

U.S. Central Command, the military command responsible for troops in the Mideast and South Asia, confirms to Danger Room that the biometrics database, compiled by U.S. troops over the course of years, will remain U.S. property. “Centcom has the database,” says the command’s chief spokesman, Army Maj. T.G. Taylor, who says it contains files on three million Iraqis. The U.S.-sponsored Iraqi government, in other words, doesn’t control a host of incredibly specific information on its citizens.

For much of the war, U.S. troops carrying viewfinder-like scanning devices kept digital records of the Iraqis they encountered. Some Iraqis got their unique identifiers recorded because they were suspected insurgents on their way to detention centers. Residents of violent cities like Fallujah would only get to return home from travel if they showed U.S. troops an ID card complete with biometric data. Iraqis underwent iris scans when they wanted to join the police. So did Iraqis who worked on U.S. bases.

It was all part of an effort to answer the war’s most vexing challenge: distinguishing insurgents from Iraqi civilians. And that effort isn’t going away, even after the war technically ended. It’ll be part of U.S. counterterrorism missions for a long time to come.

“Certainly, if someone was in another country or another place and showed up somewhere, we’d compare information to see if it’s someone we had info on,” Taylor explains. For instance, “if they show up in Afghanistan, we collect biometric data [on the individual, maybe] we don’t see them there. But we run it through this database and we see them show up.”

The digital database is the property of Central Command’s intelligence shop in Tampa, Florida. It is conspicuously not in the control of the Iraqi government. Taylor says that the Iraqis might be able to access the database’s contents if they go “through the [U.S.] embassy” in Baghdad.

“Common sense-wise, we still have an interest there in helping our Iraqi partners,” Taylor explains, “and that information might be helpful to them should there be any issues.”

Taylor doesn’t say why the U.S. didn’t hand over its biometrics toy to the Iraqis. But there’s an obvious reason: Iraq’s sectarian divides have not healed. And a database filled with uber-specific information about approximately 10 percent of Iraq’s population could represent a wish list for a death squad, militia or insurgent group — some of which are aligned with Iraqi political parties.

It’s not an idle fear. The day after the U.S. departed, a court beholden to Iraq’s (Shiite) prime minister issued an arrest warrant for the (Sunni) vice president on terrorism charges. “Three of my brothers have been killed because of my participation in building a new Iraq, regardless of all I have done,” the incredulous VP, Tarek al-Hashemi, told Eli Lake of Newsweek. Hashemi, who is Iraq’s highest ranking Sunni, blamed the U.S. for leaving Iraq in Maliki’s hands.

Iraqis aren’t the only ones to wind up in huge U.S. biometrics databases. Afghans, too, have been scanned by the millions. As far back as 2005, detainee biometric data from both Iraqis and Afghans turned up in an obscure Pentagon anti-terrorism database called the Department of Defense DNA Registry. Documents released by WikiLeaks suggest that the U.S. even seeks to collect bio-data on foreign leaders.

Now that Central Command is keeping the Iraqi database, it’s clear that the military isn’t going to get rid of its troves of super-specific data once the wars end. Nor will it trust its nominal local allies to maintain them. (Some in the military have complained to Danger Room in the past that the Iraqi soldiers and cops they train aren’t great at taking eye scans and thumb prints from detainees.) It’s an intelligence tool, Taylor says, not a broad targeting list.

“We have this information, and rather than cull through it all and say ‘bad guy, good guy, bad guy, good guy, it’s better to just keep it, because that would be very time consuming,” Taylor says. “Biometric data was collected on people who worked on the bases. You’re a good guy; you worked here. It’s not like we’re collecting [data] on an enemy.”
Source-http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/iraq-biometrics-database/


21
Dec 11

IBM Predicts Mind-Reading Machines

(Fox NY) Century-old technology colossus IBM on Monday depicted a near future in which machines read minds and recognize who they are dealing with.
The ” IBM 5 in 5 ” predictions were based on societal trends and research which the New York State-based company expected to begin bearing fruit by the year 2017.
“From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, mind reading has merely been wishful thinking for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true,” IBM said in its annual assessment of innovations on the horizon.
“IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone,” it continued.
IBM gave the examples of ringing someone up just by thinking it, or willing a cursor to move on a computer screen.
Biological makeup will become the key to personal identity, with retina scans of recognition of faces or voices used to confirm who people are rather than typing in passwords, the company forecast.
“Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye,” IBM said.
“Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet,” it continued.
Technology will also be able to produce electric power from any types of movement from walking or bicycle riding to water flowing through pipes of homes, IBM predicted.
Mobile phones will narrow the digital divide between “haves and have-nots” by making information easily accessible and junk email will be eliminated by smarter filtering and masterful targeting of ads people like,

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/ibm-predicts-mind-reading-machines-20111221-ncx#ixzz1hBo9wBb6


20
Dec 11

10 Ways The U.S. Gov’t Has Destroyed Its Own Declaration Of Independence

(Activist Post) The irony cannot be escaped that a country that issued a document codifying independence for free citizens, should turn into one that declares outright war on all that signifies independent living and prosperity.

It is not a king this time who is exerting ownership over the land and its people, but it is a similar top-down tyrannical system that employs police state enforcers in much the same manner.

In America, this tyranny has remained largely disguised behind pleasantries and a growing bureaucracy centered around Orwellian safety measures, but those days are over; the king (the tyranny) has returned to make its move from the shadows out into the open square for public view. Its kid gloves have transformed to an iron fist, which always seems to herald the final phase.

The Declaration of Independence has been inverted in 10 key ways:

1. The refusal to assent to law:
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

These are just a couple of excerpts from the beginning of the list of grievances that set the tone for a criticism of rule by federal force, rather than rule by local law. Currently, we have seen an official elimination of the 4th Amendment in Indiana, which is a clear precedent-setting ruling to say that the State now believes that it owns the property and person of its citizens. TSA groping and sexual harassment anywhere it deems fit, public school surveillance, and a plethora of other federal initiatives have created a top-down managed society promoted through federal grants. These agencies such as the TSA actually believe they rule supreme over the states and sovereign citizens. This is perhaps most pronounced in the federal intervention over the legalization of medical marijuana. We now have a textbook tyranny in America, which operates with two separate definitions of legality: impunity for those in control, and an ever-increasing rule book whereby average citizens are likely to be in violation of something at any given time, and are stripped of their right of representative self-governance.

2. Imposition of bureaucratic rule:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Regulations and licenses coordinated between private companies and government have been handed down by political and corporate leadership, and have become de facto laws enforced by compromised judges. This has resulted in an almost impossible environment for entrepreneurial success.

Independence has been criminalized, most notably by food safety laws, which have stripped the rights of individual farmers and use of their private land. In fact, there is only one growth industry left: government.

3. Standing armies (military rule):
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
The militarization of local police has been going on since the advent of the War on Drugs. SWAT team raids are now common even on raw milk vendors and natural health practitioners. More than that, Army and Marines have been called to man checkpoints and have been called in for support in any situation deemed an “emergency.” TSA has groped and abused air travelers, and are rolling out to other modes of transportation with their VIPR teams. These actions are anathema to the Constitution of the United States in which the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 expressly prohibits military operations to be conducted on American soil. Naturally, this is why the National Defense Authorization Act has declared America to be a war zone, thus eradicating that illegal activity and allowing for the military to operate independently.

4. Economic warfare:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.

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The policies of the American government have fully emboldened every other nation, except our own. The “trade” spoken of in the Declaration of Independence was based on concepts of free market trade, not free or fair trade. As a perfect example, one study by the Congressional Research Service identified 751 different types of barriers to American exports worldwide. Current policies have built-in exploitation and a lowered standard of living that is unrewarding to American innovation and excellence. It is no mystery, then, why the entire world is becoming poorer. Hidden taxes plague independent small businesses and reward only the governments and mega corporations which benefit from specially written tax loopholes and foreign account holdings to help them pay nothing, while enforcers of the IRS have been unleashed in greater numbers against everyday citizens — soon they’ll even do your taxes for you, or enforce compliance through pre-crime measures.

5. Removal of trial by jury:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury
This has been made complete by the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains provisions for American citizens to be detained in America indefinitely without formal charges or jury trial.

6. Permitting citizens to be detained outside America:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.
America has indeed enlarged the boundaries of its sovereign law and jurisprudence by declaring the entire world a war zone in which American citizens under suspicion of loosely defined terrorism can be sent to any other country for interrogation, torture, and detention.

7. Fundamentally altering the role of binding laws of government:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Government encroachment on civil liberties is now pervasive and obvious. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is effectively dead; our laws are subject to the interpretation of a selected Super Congress, thus eliminating proper representation; and the office of the president has been given dictatorial power. The fundamental structure of government and its laws has been upended. Peaceful protest against such incursions are being violently oppressed, and our right to free speech has come under attack whether in the physical domain, or the virtual domain of the Internet.

8. Internal war on American citizens:
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
It should now be clear just how much the USA PATRIOT ACT, and its even worse brethren such as the National Defense Authorization Act have played in the incremental inversion of the Declaration of Independence. As someone recently lamented, “How can I have a Merry Christmas when my own government can kill me?” The U.S. Government has, and it will. The overseas killing of U.S. citizens by drones is something that is ready to come to American soil. The (il)legal framework is now in place, and the precedent has been set to use drones for domestic law enforcement. Meanwhile, other “free” military hardware is being handed out to local police nationwide to further militarize American neighborhoods. Furthermore, documents like the MIAC report of 2009, as well as many other leaked policy papers, are evidence that the federal government views its own citizens as the greatest threat of all.

9. Use of mercenary armies:
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
The behavior of mercenary groups like Blackwater used overseas, as well as paid security forces to protect large domestic corporations like BP during the Gulf Oil disaster are completing the works of “death, desolation, and tyranny” referenced above. They are held unaccountable for their war crimes and atrocities committed abroad, as well as on American soil, while employing foreigners as well. Additionally, public servants such as the NYPD have become more beholden to large banks that contribute to their retirement funds than they are to the people they swore to protect and serve.

10. Use of false flag terror
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.
It has been admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, as well as the latest Fast and Furious scandal, were both conducted expressly to bring America to war — whether foreign, or now the domestic War on Drugs. This was done knowingly and premeditatedly to cause increasing strife and economic hardship to American citizens, and to enrich international banks and organizations. This is merely the latest in a long history of American false flag terror that has been used to drum up support for various political and corporate power grabs. This use of criminal acts to spread fear and contrived problems among civilian populations for political power and financial gain is the very definition of terrorism and warfare.

In conclusion, we find it difficult to improve upon, or add anything to the summary of a document created expressly to declare a proper evaluation of the conditions which require immediate action by free people to protect themselves against tyrants.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/10-ways-us-govt-has-destroyed-its-own.html


20
Dec 11

Iowa Governor: If Ron Paul Wins, Ignore It And Look At Who Finishes Second

(Paul Joseph Watson) From rightly heralding the Iowa primary as a crucial indicator as to who will eventually capture the GOP nomination, the establishment has closed ranks and now decided that a Ron Paul victory doesn’t count and that the focus will be on who finishes second.
A Politico article entitled Ron Paul panic seizes Iowa establishment perfectly illustrates the supreme arrogance of the very political elite Paul is fighting against and goes a step beyond Fox News pundit Chris Wallace’s insistence that the Iowa result “won’t count” if Ron Paul wins.
Despite the fact that two out of the last three winners of the Iowa primary have gone on to successfully capture the Republican nomination, the political class have decided that Ron Paul doesn’t deserve the opportunity to build the same kind of momentum, and that a victory for him in Iowa “would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.”
The hierarchy is so petrified at the possibility of a Ron Paul win that the state’s own Governor, Terry Branstad, has pre-empted the result by urging people to ignore Paul if he secures a first place finish and instead concentrate on who comes second.
“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Branstad, adding, ““If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”
As we have seen from the Republican race thus far, the identity of the frontrunner has changed several different times. Rick Perry, Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich all saw their campaigns rise and fall dramatically. Ron Paul is the only candidate to slowly build momentum and not suffer any major setback.
Yes, it’s true that Ron Paul’s national figures are significantly lower than both Gingrich and Romney, but the Texan Congressman would have a very real chance of overturning that deficit if his potential victory in Iowa was treated with a modicum of respect, but the establishment are determined not to let that happen. This is why we are now seeing a deluge of whining “Ron Paul can’t win” articles every day.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The establishment has gone all out to virtually sabotage the credibility of the primary weeks before it even takes place, terrified that a Ron Paul success could upset the apple cart of the two RINO establishment candidates.
In addition, the Politico piece floats the hoax that a Ron Paul win would ensure an Obama re-election, when in reality Ron Paul has the best chance of beating Obama out of all the Republican candidates.
Isn’t it fascinating that the political class doesn’t consider how Newt Gingrich, who is about as conservative as Mao Tse-Tung, would also cause “irreparable harm” to the reputation of the primary if he won? Their concern for the potential harm caused by a Mitt Romneycare victory is also notable by its absence.
Ron Paul has the most conservative voting record since 1937 – so why on earth should a Paul victory cause “irreparable harm” to Iowa?
His success in the state should be celebrated as a sign that the Republican Party is finally starting to return to its constitutional principles.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/iowa-governor-if-ron-paul-wins-ignore-it-and-look-at-who-finishes-second/


19
Dec 11

No Fear: Memory Adjustment Pills Get Pentagon Push

(Wired) The Pentagon hasn’t come close to solving the PTSD crisis plaguing the current generation of troops. And the top brass looks like it’s ready to try anything — like a major push into a cutting-edge, controversial realm of treatment. One that’d see military personnel popping a pill to wipe away the fear they associate with traumatic memories.

The Pentagon this week announced an $11 million grant doled out to three research institutions, all of them long-time hubs for the military’s ongoing PTSD investigations. Experts at Emory University, the University of Southern California and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center will study the effectiveness of D-Cycloserine (DCS). DCS is a pharmaceutical thought to help extinguish fearful memories. It’s usually taken right before exposure therapy, a process that involves recalling traumatic experiences in an effort to nullify the menacing associations that accompany them.

“We already know that exposure therapy is an effective [therapy] for PTSD, and we want to figure out how to optimize it,” Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, who will lead the Emory team’s research, told Danger Room. “I really think that this study will move beyond the theoretical. We can rescue people.”

Exposure therapy is thought to work by allowing patients to revisit traumas in safe settings. Every time the mind remembers an event, it “rewrites” that recollection. By helping a patient rewrite traumatic memories to be less frightening, studies suggest that exposure therapy can significantly improve symptoms like nightmares and flashbacks.

Adding DCS seems to hasten that process, targeting the precise brain pathways responsible for regulating fear responses.

Researchers will look at two different kinds of exposure therapy: Virtual reality, where a patient is fully immersed in digital combat scenarios, and prolonged imaginal exposure therapy, which asks them to simply remember and recount fearful memories. A total of 300 patients, all of them veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, will partake. They’ll undergo seven individual weekly sessions of one of the therapies. Before each session, half will receive DCS, and the rest will get a placebo.

Experts have already spent plenty of time figuring out how DCS works. It’s been around since the 1960s, when it was used to treat tuberculosis. Now, however, researchers are more excited about the drug’s potential ability to alleviate symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and, of course, PTSD — without a lifetime of pill-popping.

“Most drugs, you dose every day,” Rothbaum says. “But DCS is only useful during exposure therapy, so you’re taking the drug right before the session. And when your series of sessions end, the medication ends too.”

DCS seems to enhance the brain’s learning process. For PTSD treatment, the drug could, ostensibly, help patients more quickly internalize that, say, driving down a suburban American highway is far different — and less dangerous — than driving on a Baghdad street. The drug also binds to receptors in the amygdala, the region of the brain that governs fear response. So by blocking out fearful reactions while a patient revisits trauma, experts think DCS can, literally, “extinguish” fear right at the source.

Emory researchers have already tried using DCS and virtual reality in humans with PTSD, fear of heights and obsessive compulsive disorder. Since 2006, Rothbaum and a team of experts have been comparing exposure therapy, used along with DCS, Xanax or placebo, in patients. “Results so far are positive,” Rothbaum says, though they haven’t finished analyzing the data.

That said, results from other human studies on DCS aren’t encouraging. Just last year, several disappointing trials using DCS were presented by researchers assembled at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference. “The early results are not as positive as we [had] hoped,” noted Dr. Charles Marmar, head of the psychiatry department at NYU, of his team’s study that combined DCS with cognitive behavioral therapy.

But even a glimmer of hope seems to be enough for the Pentagon. So far, what they’ve tried to treat PTSD — which afflicts at least 250,000 of this generation’s soldiers — isn’t working. Conventional approaches, like antidepressants and behavioral therapy, have been a massive failure. So it makes sense that military officials are increasingly open to out-there ideas: They’re already funding research into yoga and acupuncture, neck injections and “digital dream” computer programs — although promising approaches taking advantage of “illicit” substances, like marijuana and ecstasy, have thus far been nixed.

Of course, this latest study will be bigger and more thorough than its failed predecessors. It also builds on years of animal research suggesting that DCS has potential. And there’s no doubt the project is calling on some of the Pentagon’s top civilian scientists. Dr. Rothbaum has been evaluating PTSD treatments, including preliminary studies on DCS, for decades. And Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, from the University of Southern California, pioneered the use of virtual reality therapy to mitigate PTSD symptoms.

Not to mention that this research team will also be conducting genetic tests on every patient. In particular, they’ll be looking at a gene dubbed “BDNF.” Experts already know that a variant of the BDNF gene can make fear extinction tougher. By comparing patient results to genes, Rothbaum says they hope to “figure out what’s the best treatment approach, and whether DCS can really rescue those patients, where maybe therapy alone can’t.”

Of course, the idea of using drugs to tweak memories isn’t without controversy: An online debate flared last year among two camps of neurologists and neuroethicists, arguing over whether the existence of such drugs would “alter something that makes us all human,” or open a Pandora’s Box of illicit use “by people doing things they’d like to forget themselves, or that they would like others to forget.”

Then again, those debates hinge on DCS, or some other memory extinguisher, actually working. DCS’s efficacy is far from proven. And earlier research efforts that tested supposed “fear-extinguishing” drugs, most notably a series of much-touted, Pentagon-funded studies on Propanolol at Harvard, have all been disappointments.
Source-http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/fear-erasing-drugs/


19
Dec 11

Gingrich Collapses In Iowa As Ron Paul Surges To The Front

(Atlantic Wire) A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul has taken the lead in the Iowa caucus race, while Newt Gingrich’s support is fading fast. A different Gallup poll shows Gringrich still holding the lead, but slipping, while The New York Times has Paul in the lead as well.

Gingrich has seen his numbers in the PPP poll drop from 27 percent to 14 percent in just three weeks, while his favorability rating is now split at 46 percent for to 47 percent against, the worst of any candidate not named Jon Huntsman. That’s quite a fall for someone who looked to be running away with the state and taking charge on the national level.

Mitt Romney has also seen his numbers tick up slightly (to 20%), putting him just behind Paul (23%) for second place. The poll measured voters who are planning to vote in the Republican caucus.

Perhaps the most telling secondary question was, “Do you think Newt Gingrich has strong principles?” Only 36 percent say that he does, but for Paul that number was 73 percent.

The bad news for Paul, however, is that when asked for their second choice for President, only 9% said they would vote for him after their preferred candidate. That means if supporters of any of the second-tier candidates sense defeat and decided to abandon their choice at the last minute, those votes are more likely to go to Romney. Even if Romney doesn’t win, the stronger than expected showing could be the snowball that starts a primary avalanche for him.

One other tidbit from the PPP poll, the first question about Barack Obama asked if the respondents think he was born in the United States. Fifty-two percent either said he was not or they’re not sure.
Source-http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/12/gingrich-collapses-iowa-ron-paul-surges-front/46360/


18
Dec 11

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dead

(AP) Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

In a “special broadcast” Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a “great mental and physical strain” on Dec. 17 during a “high intensity field inspection.” It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and “fully confirmed” the diagnosis.

Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media. The communist country’s “Dear Leader” – reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine – was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

“It is the biggest loss for the party … and it is our people and nation’s biggest sadness,” an anchorwoman clad in black Korean traditional dress said in a voice choked with tears. She said the nation must “change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties.”

South Korean media, including Yonhap news agency, said South Korea put its military on “high alert” and President Lee Myung-bak convened a national security council meeting after the news of Kim’s death. Officials couldn’t immediately confirm the reports.

The news came as North Korea prepared for a hereditary succession. Kim Jong Il inherited power after his father, revered North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

In September 2010, Kim Jong Il unveiled his third son, the twenty-something Kim Jong Un, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts.

Traffic in the North Korean capital was moving as usual Monday, but people in the streets were in tears as they learned the news of Kim’s death. A foreigner contacted at Pyongyang’s Koryo Hotel said hotel staff were in tears.

Asian stock markets moved lower amid the news, which raises the possibility of increased instability on the divided Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s Kospi index was down 3.9 percent at 1,767.89 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,331.00. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 2 percent to 17,929.66 and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2 percent to 2,178.75.
Source-http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_KOREA_KIM_JONG_IL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-18-22-08-46


16
Dec 11

Video-The Real Newt Gingrich

(LNN) John F. McManus anaylzes the voting record and actions of former Congressman Newt Gingrich, revealing that Gingrich is not the conservative he portrays himself to be. This is a must see video that touches on Newt’s career and Larry Mcdonald. If you don’t know who Mr. McDonald is please vies his skewed Wikipedia page to get a taste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_McDonald


16
Dec 11

Corporate Sponsored Internet Bill Will Turn YOU Into A Criminal

(Wired) The House Judiciary Committee debated the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act for hours Thursday — and despite protracted criticism of the bill from the nation’s leading internet engineers and companies, lawmakers repeatedly rejected attempts to water-down the bill.

About five hours into the 11-hour hearing, the committee voted 22-12 to reject an amendment that would do away with the bill’s most controversial provision that lets the Attorney General order changes to core internet infrastructure in order to stop copyright infringement.

Despite that vote, members on both sides of the political aisle also expressed reservations that the internet-blacklisting legislation was moving too fast.

“I would just ask: Why is there this rush?” Rep. Dan Lungren (R-California) said. He mentioned there were exigent circumstances when lawmakers approved the Patriot Act weeks after 9/11, but none existed here. “For the life of me, I can’t understand it.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) had similar thoughts, and added that the measure went too far. “We never tried to filter the telephone networks to block illegal content on the telephone network, yet that is precisely what this legislation would do relative to the internet.”

The legislation’s most vocal backers are the recording and movie studios, who say online piracy is killing their business. The measure’s detractors are civil liberties groups and internet architects who say the bill amounts to censorship and a fundamental alteration of the internet itself.

At the outset Thursday, lawmakers demanded that the entire 70-plus-page bill be read into the record. It took a House clerk an hour to read Rep. Lamar Smith’s SOPA bill, which is an amended version of legislation he introduced last month.

“While the internet should be free, it should not be lawless,” Smith, the committee’s chairman from Texas, said.

The measure effectively grants private companies the ability to de-fund websites they allege to be trafficking in unauthorized copyright and trademark goods. The latest version requires a judge’s signature to order ad networks and banks to stop doing business with a site “dedicated” to infringing activities.

What’s more, SOPA originally required ISPs to alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS, so that users couldn’t navigate to the site. Under Smith’s amendment, ISPs would not be required to introduce false information into DNS at the urging of the Justice Department, but they would be mandated to employ some method to prevent American citizens from visiting infringing sites. ISPs, could, for instance, adopt tactics used by the Great Chinese Firewall to sniff for traffic going to a blacklisted site and simply block it.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) urged panelists to remove the DNS and firewall aspects of the bill.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) said he was not a technological “nerd,” but said he did not “believe” security experts who said that the internet would become less secure unless Issa’s amendment was adopted. “I’m not a person to argue about the technology of this,” Watt said before he voted against the amendment. Issa’s amendment failed 22-12.

Stewart Baker, the former policy director of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a paper that he believed SOPA was dangerous, as do some of the internet’s founders.

“The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry,” wrote 83 prominent internet engineers, including Vint Cert, John Gilmore and L. Jean Camp.

At last month’s hearing on the bill and on Thursday’s, not one technical expert was called to testify. Many lawmakers urged Smith to continue the hearing to enable the committee to hold another hearing with technical experts. Smith declined.

No vote was taken on whether to send the measure to the House floor as lawmakers debated for nearly 12 hours a host of amendments. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) proposed a measure that the pornography industry would not enjoy the Justice Department protections of the measure. He said the Justice Department “should protect pornographers last.” That amendment failed, with nine members favoring and 18 against.

Chairman Smith recessed action about 9:30 p.m. EST, saying the hearing would resume at 10 a.m. EST time Friday.

“It’s going to be a long day tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier in the day, lawmakers also defeated an amendment that would have excluded universities and research institutions from having to blacklist sites. So that means those institutions would be included in Justice Department orders demanding Internet Service Providers like AT&T and Comcast to block their customers from visiting infringing sites.

The legislation also gives legal immunity to financial institutions and ad networks that choose to boycott “rogue” sites even without having been ordered to do so.

Smith’s measure, as amended, also clarifies that sites ending in .com, .org and .net are not covered by the bill. Only foreign sites fall under the revised SOPA’s wrath.
Source-http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/sopa-stalls/


16
Dec 11

MF Global Black Box: A Minute By Minute Breakdown Of The Doomed Broker’s Last Week On Earth

(Zero Hedge) In order to get to the bottom of every collapse (or death), a forensic analysis of the last minutes of any transition from life to death has to be perormed. So far, we have only had broad strokes of the key events in the last days of MF Global as obviously many of them will implicate the management team in gross criminal behavior. Until now, when courtesy of the CME we have received a full breakdown of every key events in the chronology of MF Global’s last days on earth, starting with October 24, and the rating agency downgrade of the futures broker (the same catalyst incidentally that started the AIG death spiral waterfall… and yet clueless pundits will tell you the ratings are totally irrelevant), and ending with the firm’s filing for bankruptcy protection. Anyone who has any interest in the MF Global collapse, which incidentally should be anyone who has capital in third party possession and thus has counterparty risk, should read this narrative from first to last bullet.

October 24, 2011

Mike Procajlo (“Procajlo”) speaks with Mike Bolan (“Bolan”), MF Global, Inc.’s (“MFGI”) Assistant Controller. Bolan gives Procajlo a heads-up that a downgrade is forthcoming and that the earnings call for MF Global Holdings, Ltd. (“MFGH”), scheduled for Thursday, which is expected to report losses, is being moved up to Tuesday.
Moody’s downgrades MFGH and MFGI.
October 25, 2011

Procajlo speaks with Bolan via phone; Bolan confirms there has not been a customer run on the bank since the downgrade news.
CME senior management, including Kim Taylor (“Taylor”), Terry Duffy (“Duffy”), and Craig Donohue (“Donohue”) are in Florida at the Global Financial Leadership Conference.
Taylor is advised by an MFGI customer of rumors circulating about problems at MF Global (“MFG” with respect to information not given as specific to a particular entity) stemming from OTC activity.
11 a.m.: Taylor speaks with Laurie Ferber (“Ferber”), the General Counsel of MFGH, and Steve Monieson, another MFG employee, who tell Taylor that the rumor about problems at MFG stemming from OTC activity is not accurate. Procajlo speaks with Bolan about OTC questions.
11 a.m.: Taylor, Donohue, and Duffy seek and obtain Jon Corzine’s phone number. They do not recall speaking with Corzine.
11:54 a.m.: Procajlo emails Grace Vogel at FINRA to see if FINRA has any additional concerns or is imposing any additional requirements in light of the downgrade news.
1:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Ferber again, who informs Taylor that MFG does not have any large losses attributable to OTC activity.
2 p.m.: CME Audit Department members, including Procajlo and Anne Bagan (“Bagan”), as well as CME Risk Department members, including Dale Michaels (“Michaels”), Amy McCormick (“McCormick”) and Bryan McBlaine (“McBlaine”), speak with Bolan about MFGH’s earnings release and Moody’s downgrade. MFGH’s net losses reported were $192M. The CME employees ask about MFGH’s liquidity resources. Bolan confirms that any further downgrades will only trigger covenants related to interest rates. Bolan also confirms the firm is well-capitalized and states that MFGI has not seen customers looking to transfer.
7 p.m.: At this point, CME is taking the following steps to monitor the situation:
(1) keeping MFGI on daily financial reporting;
(2) monitoring MFGI’s positions, exposure, and customer transfer/segregated funds balance changes for signs of a significant loss of customer confidence;
(3) drafting a “good standing” press release to have ready if necessary;
(4) establishing a process to ensure customers looking for information get answers to their questions;
(5) establishing an industry call process to ensure information flows to other affected clearing houses and regulators; and
(6) considering whether other financial measures are in order, in coordination with other regulatory bodies.
October 26, 2011

4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MFG situation.
6 p.m.: Taylor, Bagan, Tim Doar (“Doar”) and possibly other CME personnel participate in a conference call with Ferber and Henri Steenkamp (“Steenkamp”), the CFO of MFGH. Ferber and Steenkamp give Taylor and Doar the sense that MFGI is actively engaged in conversations with their customers in an attempt to preserve the business.
7:45 p.m.: Taylor emails Ferber regarding CME helping “to ensure a good outcome for MF and your customers. You and your clients are important to us, and the clients’ continued protection is paramount.”
October 27, 2011

MFGI and MFGH are downgraded to junk this day.
Members of CME’s Risk Department — Michaels and Suzanne Sprague (“Sprague”) — as well as Scott Malcolm (“Malcolm”) from CME’s Audit Department — meet with MFGI in New York (planned earlier in the week) to do a risk review, the purpose of which is to talk with the firm about their liquidity and assess the situation. At the time, CME is starting to have concerns that MFGI’s liquidity is drying up.
Michaels, Sprague, and Malcolm meet with a number of individuals from MFGI, including Stephen Hood (“Hood”), MFGI’s Market Risk Manager, Dennis Klejna, MFGI’s Compliance Officer, the CRO Michael Stockman, and the CFO (Steenkamp). Edith O’Brien (“O’Brien”), MFGI’s treasurer, may have been on the phone.
At the conclusion of the meeting, CME- continued to have concerns regarding MFGI’s liquidity and the ability of the company to continue normal operations without a sale of all or part of the business, notwithstanding MFGI’s assurances.
10 a.m.: Procajlo emails Bolan, who is at MFGI in New York, for a copy of the liquidity analysis being prepared by MFGI’s broker-dealer side. Bolan responds saying the analysis will be ready later that day. Procajlo never receives the analysis.
1 p.m.: CME decides to send members of the Audit Department out to MFGI in Chicago. Silmar Ramirez (“Ramirez”) and Jason Guch (“Guch”) arrive at MFGI and request documents to tie out the Daily Statement of Segregation Requirement and Funds in Segregation for Customers Trading on U.S. Commodity Exchanges (“seg. statement”) for the close of business as of 10/26. They start working on tying out the 10/26 seg. statement, which shows excess segregated funds of $116,164,132.
In addition to tying out the 10/26 seg. statement, another purpose of their presence is to have CME people at MFGI to assist in obtaining information quickly if necessary.

The CFTC — Melissa Hendrickson (“Hendrickson”), Lisa Marlow (“Marlow”), and Tamara Durvin (phonetic) (“Durvin”) — is already present on site at MFGI when CME arrives.

CME begins making contingency plans for transferring MFG customer accounts to other FCMs.

2 p.m.: Individuals from MFGH and CME communicate via email to set up a conference call to discuss a number of items including: (1) MFGI’s liquidity; (2) repo counterparties update; (3) any issues with transfers of customers to other FCMs; (4) margin calls resulting from downgrades; (5) amount of segregated assets not currently pledged to a DCO; (6) contingency plans.
2:50 pm: Taylor communicates with Ananda Radhalcrishnan (“Radhakrishnan”), Director, Division of Clearing and Risk, at the CFTC regarding an FCM that has the capacity to take on some portion of MF Global’s business. CME President Phupinder Gill (“Gill”) also communicates with Radhakrishnan via email throughout the day.
3:53 pm: Procaljo emails a letter to Christine Serwinski (“Serwinski”), the CFO of MFGI, Ferber and Bolan stating “Effective immediately, any equity withdrawals from MF Global Inc. must be approved in writing by CME Group’s Audit Department.”
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MF Global situation.
5:30 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI for the night, having completed work on documents and information supplied by MFGI as of that time.
Evening: Procajlo, Taylor, Doar, Gill and others participate in a call with Ferber and Steenkamp, who are in New York. Ferber and Steenkamp provide assurances that MFGI has appropriate liquidity and also that MFGI is taking steps to reduce its securities inventory (not on the FCM side).

Additionally, CME encourages MFG to pursue a strategic solution for the company. Ferber provides comfort that MFG is aggressively pursuing a transaction.

October 28, 2011

7:30 a.m.: Ramirez and Guch arrive at MFGI and continue trying to tie out the 10/26 seg. statement. They still have not received all of the documents they requested from MFGI and that they need to complete their tie out. They are also working on tying out the Daily Statement of Secured Amounts and Funds Held in Separate Accounts for Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Customers Pursuant to Commission Regulation 30.7 (“secured statement”). CME and CFTC are in communication throughout the day about MFGI’s 30.7 secured computations and MFGI topping up the 30.7 secured assets.
The CFTC — Hendrickson, Marlow, and Durvin — is again present on site at MFGI in Chicago and appears to also be working on tying out MFGI’s seg. statement.

Morning: Duffy receives a call from Radhakrishnan and Gensler. Radhalcrishnan and Gensler tell Duffy that the CFTC has concerns about MFG and ask him about CME’s thoughts with respect to MFG. Duffy tells them that he does not have the information they seek, and suggests they speak with CME Clearing House personnel. Radhakrishnan speaks with Gill later that day.

Procajlo and senior management at CME have another call with MFGH, including Steenkamp and Ferber, who assure CME that they have drawn down all or substantially all of their line of credit — which has a limit of approximately $1.2 billion — but are not yet using the money.

They confirm that MFGH believes finding a buyer is the best option at this point.

3:54 p.m.: MFGI submits its 10/27 seg. statement showing excess segregated funds of $200,178,912.
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MF Global situation.
6 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI, expecting to come back Monday and finish tying out the 10/26 seg. statement. At this time, Ramirez and Guch do not yet have all of the documents necessary to tie out the 10/26 seg. statement. Based on their review of the documents they have received, they have no reason to believe that the segregated account is out of compliance as of 10/26 close of business.
8:25 p.m.: Taylor emails Radhakrishnan at the CFTC to relay information she received from Ferber. MFGI has a “very motivated buyer” and needs to obtain approvals from the SEC, F1NRA, and CFTC.
October 29, 2011

Procajlo is in communication with Hendrickson of the CFTC via phone about a potential sale of MFGI’s FCM business.
2:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Radhakrishnan regarding a potential asset sale of MFGI’s assets. The CFTC is concerned with a transfer because of the CFTC’s rules on bulk transfers, though note that they will waive the rule if an asset sale works out.
3:40 p.m.: Taylor forwards to Radhalcrishnan a Bloomberg News report stating that MFGH’s Board of Directors will be meeting later that day regarding options to sell the company.
4:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Radhakrishnan, who states that the SEC told him the FSA in the UK may be starting to panic. Radhakrishnan says he is going to call the FSA to share insights into his thinking and learn FSA’s thinking. Taylor and Radhakrishnan also discuss additional details regarding a potential sale.
7:50 p.m.: Radhakrishnan forwards to Taylor an email chain between Ferber and Radhakrishnan regarding a meeting of MFGH’s Board.
11 p.m.: Interactive Brokers (“IB”) is the leading candidate, looking to buy either the entire business, or possibly just the FCM.
October 30, 2011

8:30 a.m.: Taylor speaks with Paul Brody (“Brody”) at IB regarding details of the potential transaction.
8:45 a.m.: CME is making contingency plans in case the proposed sale falls through.
12:30 p.m.: Taylor receives email correspondence from Radhakrishnan indicating that the CFTC is concerned about having a contingency plan for MFGI if the IB deal falls though.
1 p.m.: Conference call between CME and IB regarding operations issues in the event the sale is completed.
Approx. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m..: Taylor participates in a conference call with the CFTC, SEC, and MF Global.
Approx. 2 p.m.: Taylor, Procajlo and others arrive at CME offices to work on matters that need to be addressed to facilitate the MFGI transaction.
Approx. 2 p.m.: Hendrickson, who is present at MFGI in Chicago, calls Procajlo and tells him that she has seen a draft of the 10/28 seg. statement and it shows a deficiency in the segregated funds.
After 2 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch are sent to MFGI’s Chicago office. Malcolm is sent to MFGrs New York office.
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MFG situation.
4:18 p.m.: Bolan responds to an email from Procajlo, in which Procajlo had indicated that Malcolm is on his way to MFGI’s office in New York, by stating that MFGI has been working with Hendrickson at the CFTC and that he will update Procajlo later.
Late afternoon or evening: Taylor briefs the CME Emergency Financial Committee concerning MFGI’s status. The CME Emergency Financial Committee is composed of Donohue, Duffy, Taylor, Gill, and CME Clearing House Risk Committee Co-Chairs James Oliff and Howard Siegel.

6 p.m.: MFGI forwards to CME a draft press release announcing deal with IB.

Approx. 6 p.m. and into the evening: Procajlo and Taylor engage in a series of phone calls with Ferber, Bolan and/or O’Brien. Initially, Ferber and Bolan explain that there is an apparent deficiency, which they believe is an accounting error. At some point, MFG representatives state that they believe they found the error and it is on the liability side.
Procajlo calls Ramirez and Ouch, who are at MFGI’s offices in Chicago, to confirm that the accounting error has been identified. Ramirez and Ouch inform Procajlo that MFGI has not found the error.

Procajlo asks Bolan to explain what the error is in an in-person meeting with Malcolm (CME) and Jerry Nudge (CFTC), who are in MFGI’s New York office.

30 minutes or so later, Malcolm calls Procajlo and tells him that Bolan says the accounting error is based on a $450M mis-posting. The error Bolan described to Malcolm is not on the liability side.
Procajlo again calls Ramirez and Guch to confirm that the accounting error has been identified. Ramirez and Guch again inform Procajlo that they are with MFGI individuals working on the reconciliation, and they are not aware of anyone having found the error.

Taylor and others at CME have calls with O’Brien regarding the potential error.

Approx. 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.: O’Brien, MFGI’s treasurer, calls a meeting with the CFTC, CME, and MFGI employees present at MFGI’s Chicago office and confirms that MFGI has a potentially huge deficiency in the segregated account due to what MFGI states is an unidentified accounting mistake, such as a mis-booking.
Later that evening, while at MFGI, CFTC’s Marlow gives Guch and Ramirez a disc containing documents the CFTC received from MFGI supporting the 10/26 seg. statement. At this time, however, Ramirez and Guch are assisting with trying to locate the accounting error and therefore do not look at the documents to tie out the rest of the 10/26 seg. statement at this time.

8:30 p.m.: Radhakrishnan talks to Gill.
8:40 p.m.: Procajlo sends an email to Bagan and Debbie Kokal (“Kokal”) stating that MFGI’s “explanation of the $900 million shortfall proved to be unsubstantiated.”
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Procajlo arrives at MFGI. He speaks to CFTC’s Hendrickson and gets a status update.
Christine Serwinski arrives at MFGI.
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Procajlo speaks with Serwinski and O’Brien, who repeat the explanation that the deficiency must be an accounting error and make statements to the effect that it is too big to be anything else.
10 p.m.: Procajlo meets with Serwinski and O’Brien again and asks if MFGI has tried to locate funds MFGI can transfer into segregation first thing in the morning as a contingency in the event that they cannot locate the accounting error.
10:50 p.m.: CME requests via email that “MF not add any further exposure to your house account.” CME does not request MFGI to “liquidate the positions that you have in place, but that you not add to them at this point.”
11:30 p.m.: The CFTC leaves MFGI’s Chicago offices.
11:40 p.m.: Procajlo emails Bagan and Kokal, stating that he is now at MFGI’s offices and the shortfall, of approximately $950 million in segregation, is still a “huge issue.” No one has found the error, but the belief is still that there is an error. Serwinski is looking into coming up with additional funds to transfer into segregation as a contingency in the event that they cannot locate the accounting error.
Procajlo also states that he understands IB is now aware of the potential shortfall.
October 31, 2011

12 a.m.: Ferber emails Taylor, stating only: “we may have it.”
Approx. 12:30 a.m.: At this time: (1) The IB deal is ready to go — apparently including regulatory signoffs; (2) there is still a $900M apparent segregation shortfall and MFGI says it is an accounting error; (3) the transfer cannot happen until it is clear there is no segregation shortfall; (4) MFGI is starting to identify sources of funds available to top up segregation — and the latest report from MFGI is that they may have sufficient funds; (5) IB and MFGI have spoken to CME and both seem aligned on the importance of the transfer occurring promptly, and state they are open to the suggestion of having MFGI top up segregation and TB making corresponding adjustments to the deal economics.
Approx. 1 a.m. —2 a.m.: CME learns the deficiency is real: Serwinski and O’Brien call Procajlo into Serwinski’s office and tell him there is an actual shortfall; about $700M was moved to the broker-dealer side of the business to meet liquidity issues in a series of transactions on Thursday, Friday, and possibly Wednesday. Additionally, Procajlo is told there was a loan of $175M of segregated funds to MF UK.
CME stops its efforts to look for the accounting error. CME understands that MFGI is attempting to find available funds and get Fedwire to open early so they can start transferring money into the segregated account.
2 a.m.: Taylor emails the FSA and CFTC to let them know that IB has gone home to get some sleep, but may still be interested in the transaction.
2 a.m.: Procajlo communicates via email with Thelma Diaz from the CFTC Washington D.C. office, who is on a regulatory call at the time, and discusses whether Fedwire can open early so MFGI can start transferring funds into segregation.
3 a.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI for the night. Procajlo stays until 8 p.m. the following day.
During the night, Procaljo also participated in a phone call with senior MFG employees wherein one employee indicated that Corzine knew about loans that had been made from the customer segregated accounts. CME Group has provided information about this call and related conversations, and the names of the individuals who participated, to the Department of Justice and the CFTC who are investigating these matters.

4 a.m.: Taylor and Gill participate in a call with MF Global and the regulators.
4:37 a.m.: Procajlo emails others at CME with a list of potential assets MFGI has identified that it could move into segregation.
The deal with IB to buy MFGI collapses.
6:45 a.m.: Taylor emails CME senior management to inform them that the deal has collapsed, the shortfall is real, and there will likely be a bankruptcy.
7:30 a.m.: Procajlo, Ramirez and Guch are on site at MFGI while MFGI attempts to make transfers of funds back into segregation. The CFTC is also present.
8:30 a.m.: Taylor and Radhalcrishnan communicate via email regarding MFGI bulk transfers.
9 a.m.: MFGH files for bankruptcy.
10 a.m.: Taylor and Radhakrishnan communicate via email regarding the amount of shortfall.
10:30 a.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee orders that all trading of MFGI and its customers be for liquidation only. Taylor’s assistant emails a letter from Taylor to Dennis Klejna (“Klejna”), Assistant General Counsel of MFGI, stating the Committee’s order. The letter further states that CME will no longer permit floor trading to be guaranteed by MF Global, and that CME will process account transfers at the Friday settlement price but that customers will need to re-margin transferred positions.
Moody’s further downgrades MFGI.

S&P and Fitch downgrade MFGH to default following MFGH’s filing for bankruptcy protection.

11 a.m.: A SEPA proceeding is filed for the liquidation of MFGI and a SIPC Trustee is appointed.
12:15 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee orders that MFGI liquidate its house proprietary positions. Taylor’s assistant subsequently emails a letter to this effect to Klejna and Serwinski. The Committee also authorizes CME to liquidate securities held as house and customer collateral under the control of the Clearing House to cash.
Throughout the day, Ramirez and CME staff— Guch, Jared Jarvis (“Jarvis”), Procajlo, and Mudassir Arby (“Arby”) — attempt to tie out the 10/28 seg. statement.

7 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee approves a rule change releasing members qualified by MFGI, such that those members could become qualified and guaranteed by another clearing member in order to resume trading.
7:46 p.m.: CME receives the amended MFGI seg. statement for 10/27 showing a segregation deficiency of $213,062,967.
7:55 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee (i) authorizes the Clearing House to conduct an auction of MFGI’s house positions in order to transfer the positions to another clearing member, and (ii) authorizes the Clearing House to accept certain deliveries from MFGI customers through Friday November 4 in order to minimize disruption to the markets.
8 p.m.: CME notifies MFGI that it is suspended as a clearing member on all CME Group exchanges. Taylor’s assistant subsequently emails a letter from Taylor to Klejna and Serwinski confirming the suspension.
8:06 p.m.: CME receives MFGI’s seg. statement for 10/28 showing a segregation deficiency of $891,465,650.
Source-http://www.zerohedge.com/news/must-read-presenting-mf-global-black-box-minute-minute-breakdown-doomed-brokers-last-week-alive


15
Dec 11

Anonymous Attacking Creators Of Indefinite Detention Bill

(Russia Today) With President Obama read to sign away the freedoms of Americans by inking his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, opponents are already going after the lawmakers that made the legislation possible.
The act, abbreviated as NDAA FY2012, managed to make its way through Congress with overwhelming support in recent days, despite legislation that allows for Americans to be detained indefinitely and tortured by authorities for the mere suspicion of committing “a belligerent act.” The Obama administration originally decreed that they would veto the bill, only for the White House to announce a change of heart on Wednesday this week.
With the passing of the act almost certain at this point, hackers aligned to the massive collective Anonymous are taking a stab at staking out the politicians that helped put the bill in the president’s hands.
On Wednesday, Internet hacktivists gathered on the Web to find a way to take on the lawmakers, who have allowed for this detrimental legislation to make it all the way to the Oval Office desk. Upon discussion of routes to take to show their opposition to the overwhelming number of politicians who voted in favor of NDAA, Anonymous members agreed to begin with Senator Robert J Portman, a Republican lawmaker from the state of Ohio.
By Thursday morning, an Anonymous operative released personal information pertaining to the lawmaker, and revealed that not only was Sen. Portman among the politicians to vote “aye” on the legislation, but it has also been revealed that the senator had good reason to do so.
According to a OpenCongress.org, Sen. Portman received $272,853 from special interest groups that have shown support for NDAA.
“Robert J. Portman, we plan to make an example of you,” writes an Anonymous operative. The hacktivist has also released personal data including the senator’s home address, phone number and social networking accounts in an attempt to further an infiltration from the Internet to show the opposition to the bill that colossally impacts the constitutional rights of Americans.
According to the information posted by the operative, the nearly $300,000 in special interest monies lobbied at Portman could have helped him purchase around $1.7 million in real estate in Ohio.
The next lawmaker to receive anywhere near as much as Sen. Portman is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and third-ranked official in Congress, who pulled in more than $100,000 less than his Ohio counterpart with $172,635.
Among the supporters of NDAA are California-based manufacturer Surefire, L.L.C., who won a $23 million contract from the Department of Defense three months ago. Also contributing to the cause (and the lawmakers who voted ‘yes’) are Honeywell (who secured a $93 million deal with the Pentagon last May and a $24 million contract this year) and Bluewater Defense, a longtime DoD-ally that produces, among other garments, fire resistant combat uniforms.
When the military storms down your door for suspicion of “belligerent” acts, you can thank Bluewater and Senator Portman for the lovely flame-proof attire the soldiers will be donned in as they haul you off to Gitmo.

Source-http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-ndaa-portman-torture-913/


15
Dec 11

Obama To Fill Gitmo With Americans As NDAA Law Passes

(NaturalNews) The right to due process in America is coming to a sudden end as traitorous members of Congress have now passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which gives the U.S. military the power to arrest, detain, interrogate, torture and murder U.S. citizens inside the United States, with no due process.

President Obama, who had previously said he would oppose the bill (because he claimed he already had the power to kill Americans outside the law), now says he will support it and presumably sign it. The White House even issued a statement, which is one of the most astonishing and Big Brother-ish examples of doublespeak yet observed coming out of the Obama administration:

“We have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the President’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto…”

Of course, by “protect the American people” what they really mean is that they will shred the Peoples’ protections under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/201…)

Obama’s Christmas gift to Americans: Complete nullification of the Bill of Rights

Under the NDAA:

• You may be arrested and indefinitely detained merely for being “suspected” of any involvement whatsoever with “terrorism” — a term that can be twisted to mean almost anything, including protesting against animal testing laboratories or chaining yourself to a tree as an environmental protester.

• You no longer have a right to legal representation.

• You can be held for life without ever being charged for any crime.

• You no longer have a right to a trial by a jury of your peers.

• You can be murdered by the government — legally! — without ever being charged with a crime.

• The government does not have to present ANY evidence against you to take all these actions. The government merely has to assert that you are “suspected” of being involved in “terrorism.” Such suspicion, of course, could be dreamed up against anyone! Political opponents, Free Speech proponents, protesters, dissenters… anyone at all.

283 traitorous, criminal members of the House voted YES

The complete list of the traitorous, criminal members of the House who voted YES on this bill — all of which must now be arrested and prosecuted under the laws of the U.S. Constitution — is available here:

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/rol…

Read these names well, because they will go down in history as the seditious elitists who betrayed the American people in their most desperate hour, unleashing total police state tyranny against the innocent.

That these people in Congress somehow think they have the right to strip away the very freedoms GUARNTEED the American people under the U.S. Constitution is an outright violation of their own sworn oaths to protect that Constitution. It is also a deeply spiritual violation of natural law and a fundamental betrayal of the very principles upon which this country is founded.

We warned ya, and you didn’t listen

Here at NaturalNews — and even more so at places like InfoWars.com — we warned you about this very thing, sometimes screaming at the top of our lungs that if we didn’t reverse the Patriot Act and stop the irrational and unrelenting “war on terror,” we would all end up slaves under a system of total government tyranny.

The public laughed and mocked us. “That will never happen in America. We’re a free country,” they insisted. The trolls accused us of fear mongering. The mainstream media said we were crazy.

And now, here we are, with the indefinite military detention bill passed by both houses, and the White House saying it will sign it, granting the military the “administrative right” to kidnap you in the middle of the night, steal you away from your family, throw you in a secret military prison and hold you there for the rest of your life without ever being charged with a crime or given legal representation of any kind.

The time for denial is over, friends. We warned ya! Over and over again, screaming for anyone intelligent enough who might listen, we warned about the Patriot Act, the Bush-era “war on terror,” the government’s false flag 9/11 attack, the secret military prisons, and the criminality of key people within the Obama administration such as Eric Holder who ran Operation Fast & Furious.

We warned you, and you didn’t listen. So now here we are on the verge of the Bill of Rights being nullified by Congress and President Obama, and most of America remains hopelessly asleep at the wheel, having no idea what they have allowed to unfold right in front of them. Tyranny is like a serpent that slithers into your tent, silently and maliciously, coiling around your torso and neck while you sleep. By the time you notice what’s happen and try to scream, it’s already too late.

People will start to “disappear” across America

So now, thanks to the NDAA and the Obama administration — which has proven to be a far greater threat to our liberties than even the Bush administration was — people in America will simply “disappear” in the middle of the night, as covert military teams kidnap them, take them away, and torture them — all with the full approval of President Obama who once promised he would close Gitmo.

Close it? Heck, this guy’s planning on filling Gitmo with Americans!

Every President, when sworn into office, swears upon a bible that they will protect and defend the United States Constitution. The NDDA law is a gross violation of that oath to God, and that makes the passage of this act not merely a betrayal of the American people, but a spiritual betrayal to a higher power. And that’s something these members of Congress who voted for this bill will have to answer for.

Their souls are marked for eternity. This is a betrayal of natural law and spiritual truth. It is also, of course, a gross violation of U.S. law and the Constitution itself. That the passage of such a law is even contemplated by members of Congress is, all by itself, such a malicious violation against America that if a law with the exact same wording were proposed in 1789, those who voted for such a law would have been shot on sight and memorialized as criminal traitors to the United States of America.

It only took 222 years for the American people to forget what freedom means, apparently. And now, Americans are so asleep, drugged up and ill-informed that they won’t even speak out against the very government that’s coiling around their necks and strangling them to death.

“It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish,” writes David Seaman from BusinessInsider.com (http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa…). “Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.”

Sources for this story include: (must read)

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/rol…

http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa…

http://www.unitedliberty.org/articl…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/201…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162…

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12…

http://www.infowars.com/indefinite-…

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ameri…

http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytime…

http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-nd…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034414_NDAA_military_detention_Bill_of_Rights.html#ixzz1gfJPyVde


15
Dec 11

Cashless Voice Recognition System Now Being Converted To Analyze Behavior

(Activist Post) In 2011, it is scarcely even possible to keep up with the new methods of surveillance and control being introduced by governments, corporations, and universities on what seems like a daily basis. I, myself, have had quite a time over the last few months trying to keep track of them all.

Indeed, in just a matter of months, we have seen the implementation of the Google Wallet Smartphone app in places like New Jersey and New York transportation systems, as well as the development of implantable microchips that can both react to — and control — the human brain. Not only that, but we have recently witnessed the introduction of vein scanners to the general public for the purpose of payment and identification.

However, with a recent announcement made by Homeland Security News Wire, it appears we can add one more strand in the web of the high-tech security grid that is being built before our eyes.

According to Homeland Security News Wire, research teams from all across the United States are hard at work developing a new voice recognition software that can analyze and determine whether or not a person is drunk, angry, or lying.

Dr. Julia Hirschberg, a computer science professor at Columbia University, is described in the article as being one of the researchers working on such a program. Her project involves the creation of a computer program that can “deconstruct an individual’s speech pattern to see if they are being honest by searching for cues like volume, changes in pitch, pauses between words, and other verbal signs.”

So far, Hirschberg’s team claims they have been able to tell whether or not an individual is lying with 70% accuracy.

The technology being developed by Hirschberg is similar in scope to the “emotion detectors” set to be implemented in Western airports, which claim to be able to translate subconscious eye movements, dilated pupils, biting, nose wrinkling, heavy breathing, pressing lips together, blinking, swallowing, and other facial movements into mathematical algorithms capable of predicting potential “terrorist” activity or emotions such as anger and resentment.

Another speech analysis research program, being conducted by Shrikanth Narayanan, a University of Southern California engineering professor, is set to develop a system that can analyze “an individual’s emotions using by using mathematical algorithms that scan hundreds of vocal cues like pitch, timing, and intensity.”

Although Narayanan claims that some emotions are difficult to determine, he says that anger is relatively easy to spot. He is also at work on a program that will be able to determine if an individual is drunk. However, that program, according to the report, has not progressed as far as the one focused on anger.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research, particularly of Hirschberg’s programs, is the source of funding.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Hirschberg recently became the recipient of $1.5 million dollars by virtue of a grant from the U.S. Air Force to work on algorithms to analyze Arabic and Mandarin speakers. The grant also includes a directive to analyze English speakers, a very important tool if one is intent on tracking and tracing American citizens.

Of course, a $1.5 million grant from the Air Force simply means a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. taxpayer. So, ironically, the American people are funding the Big Brother control grid with their own money, but, unfortunately, with the level of knowledge currently held by the general public, that irony is likely to be lost forever.

In addition, Dr. Dan Jurafsky, a Professor at Stanford University whose research focuses on “the understanding of language by both machines and humans,” recently headed a study of the ability to analyze short conversations for qualities like friendliness and flirtatiousness. Dr. Jarufsky, whose research is quite similar to that of Dr. Hirschberg and Dr. Narayanan, was awarded a fellowship from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, an organization that is a major supporter of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as numerous overseas and domestic programs that focus on “Sustainability” and “Population and Reproductive Health.”

However, programs that recognize voice prints are already in existence on the private market. Like the Google Wallet apps and the vein scanners that I have discussed previously in other articles, voice print recognition-based software is nothing new.

Indeed, in an article published in the New York Times, entitled “Software That Listens for Lies,” Anne Eisenberg writes that programs have been in place at call centers for some time with the ability to alert operators to potentially irate customers holding on the line.

Similar to the other forms of biometric identification, voice print software is also available for online payment. In what is being termed “Voice Biometric Technology,” a product created by VoiceVault (known as VoiceAuth), now allows shoppers to add items to an online shopping cart via their smartphones and subsequently make payments on the phones using their voice as an authorization program.

As seen in part one of the demonstration video below, once the product is brought up on the screen and the checkout steps have been taken, a randomly generated numeric code appears on the screen. At this point, the user must read the numeric code into the phone and the VoiceVault software will analyze and confirm the user’s identity based on their voice print, as seen in part two.


Another company, Perceive Solutions Inc., has also developed voice recognition software. However, Perceive Solutions Inc.’s version of the technology goes beyond the applications seen in VoiceVault’s version and it is also more indicative of the direction this technology will be headed once it is fully implemented in society.

Perceive’s software not only recognizes voice prints based on those voices already programmed into the system for authentification purposes, it allows for voice recognition and categorization of voices not yet entered into the system by the user.

Essentially, the software allows for users to receive calls or record the voices of others (by whatever means available) and then program those voices into the system for future recognition. This can easily be done without the other party’s permission or their knowledge.

The demonstration video below for the Voice Biometrics Software program offers a better understanding of how this works.

Also, be sure to visit Perceive Solutions’ website to view the logo of the company. The all-seeing eye seems to be an increasingly popular symbol these days.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the technology on the scale of that being produced by Perceive Solutions is simply another brick in the Berlin wall of the high-tech security state. With these programs, each and every login serves as a data mining operation. Even better, it functions at the pleasure of the plebs who use it voluntarily, and not the result of a security state snooping project directed by force. Users of these programs unwittingly register and categorize themselves, so the majority of the work is essentially done for the technocratic authoritarians who wish to implement such a system in the first place. All the controllers need to do is introduce the surveillance net and the prey will take the bait and ensnare themselves.

Not only that, but the fact that this technology is able to catch voice prints from unwitting victims should also give rise to great concern about its use if it were to fall into the wrong hands – namely, those in the U.S. Corporate Government who would use it to document and spy on its own citizens, something that it has become rather open about as of late. Indeed, there is little doubt that this is the ultimate purpose of the technology to begin with.

With this in mind, imagine a surveillance state with the capability to record conversations held online or over the telephone. Now imagine that this surveillance state possesses the capability to record the voice prints of those conversations and store them in a database. Combine this technology with the incessant and voluntary online chatter by virtually every person in the country, digital accounts, palm scans, vein scans, blood databases, and Patriot Act snooping powers and, by now, you should be getting the picture of humanity’s future.

All of these capabilities are not only possible in the current system, they are readily available and they are being utilized. Never mind the fact that the private sector has had this type of technology for some time but, governments — particularly the United States — have had far more sophisticated systems for many years.

It is absolutely true that any system released and introduced to the general public has been obsolete for at least several generations and voice print recognition technology is no exception.

As a society, we have shown no signs of resisting this obvious encroachment on our basic freedom and, unfortunately, we have only helped to enslave ourselves that much more.

If the American people do not sever their gross attachment to convenience and gadgetry, there will be no hope for us in the future. For those of us who do value liberty and privacy, we must make our voices heard . . . even if they are being recorded.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies and Five Sense Solutions.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/cashless-voice-recognition-system-now.html#more


15
Dec 11

Boston Middle School Bans Christmas Cookies And Cakes In The Classroom

(CBS) – Westford school officials are getting tough on classroom holiday parties.

They’re banning sugary snacks and sweetened beverages from the celebrations this year.

Students are being told to leave the Christmas cookies, cakes, candy bars, and soda at home and to bring fruits, unsweetened juices, popcorn and raisins instead.

Superintendent Everett Olsen says the ban on holiday sweets has nothing to do with being politically correct, rather, his motive is simply promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“We aren’t trying to take the Christmas out of Christmas. We’re not trying to take the enjoyment out of children’s lives. We’re just trying to act responsible,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mike Macklin.

The school’s goal is to avoid the types of sweets that pile on empty calories and contribute to childhood obesity.

School officials say they’re also hoping to protect the growing number of children with severe food allergies.

The new policy comes as schools across Massachusetts get set to implement stricter state-mandated food policies aimed at reducing child obesity.
Source-http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/12/15/westford-students-told-to-leave-the-christmas-cookies-at-home/


15
Dec 11

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

(Brandon Smith) A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold. He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke. I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system. Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sufficiency, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment and, so, they are the first to become politically active against it. That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture.

While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag.

The overall consensus within the prepper community is that survival planning is expensive, and yes, it certainly can be.

Another consensus is that you “get what you pay for”; also true…to a point.

My belief is that while no prepping model is free of expense or of quality concerns, perhaps there is a middle road that activists with thin wallets can take which will provide solid gear for less money, and that will serve most of the functions of high-end gear that is ten times as expensive.

Let’s examine a foundation list of those items that can help get you started now….

Backpack (Bug Out Bag)
You can literally spend hundreds of dollars on many top-of-the-line framed backpacks, and some may even be worth it, but it is not necessary to spend that kind of cash to purchase a decent bug-out-bag. In fact, surplus ALICE packs with frames can be had online for as little as $30-$60, sometimes even less if they are a bit worn. The ALICE system provides adequate back support for your needs, for a low price, and the quality of the design is military proven.

www.govtslaves.info

www.govtslaves.info

Camouflage Clothing

Camouflage clothing and gear runs a wide spectrum in price, and it’s hard sometimes to find the colors you want at a discount. One trick is to buy any camo you find on the cheap, and then lightly dye it to match the colors you want. For instance, one could gauge the dye levels with small samples, find the right strength, and then dye light camo like Digital ACU a darker green. Eventually, you may be able to make your own camo with any clothing you come across. It sounds like a pain, but it’s actually quite easy, and could save you considerable amounts of money.

Extreme Weather Protection
Gortex is outrageously expensive, unless you get lucky and find it used or discounted.

While it is difficult to beat the quality (or the warranty) on most Gortex cold weather gear, there are cheaper alternatives that get the job done almost as well. A great extreme cold weather coat is the N-2B Flight Jacket designed to mil spec and resistant to most wet weather conditions. The jacket was meant specifically to deflect freezing temperatures and it can be had for around $120 or less.

Purchasing several packages of polypropylene thermal underwear could also save your life in extreme weather situations. They are lightweight, can be easily layered, can be packed into a tiny corner of your B.O.B., and will retain much of your body heat. Even if you don’t have a lot of winter gear with you, absolutely do not forget to bring the poly-wear! $30-$50 for a shirt and pants together is well worth it.

Finally, buy wool socks. Buy plenty. Look for deals, but do not cut them out of your budget. Any weather below 20 Degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll want to double up. Cold feet, on a march, on patrol, on guard duty, sucks. They can be damaged permanently if you are not careful.

Combat Boots

Top quality combat boots traditionally run anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the brand. One rule that you cannot break regardless of the circumstances; always treat your feet right. They hold up your entire body. Surplus boots are a good place to start when looking to cut costs, but usually you won’t be saving much. To be honest, there are plenty of knockoff combat boots found in sporting goods stores, usually in the hiking section, that are just as durable as the expensive models but for much less. You can go far in a pair of $60 boots. Be sure, though, to thoroughly check for poor sewing on the seams, crap laces, and light construction. If they feel heavy, they are probably made well enough.

Camp Heater

Unless you have your own oil well, or a line on a hidden vein of coal (some preppers I have met actually do), then your best bet for efficient heat during the winter weather in a tent, a makeshift shelter, or a house, is a wood burning stove. Timber fuel sources are everywhere. A couple cords of wood are enough to heat most homes and shelters through the colder months.

Gasoline and propane storage is possible, but the likelihood of shortage is high, and arranging a practical supply lasting a year or more is incredibly expensive. Solar power systems and battery banks are recommended, but again, this is another option that requires moderate to substantial investment when it comes to heating a house. A very affordable alternative for your heating needs would be the M-1941 Military Tent Stove. The cylindrical stove is portable, burns quite hot, and can be had usually for $100 or less.

Survival Knife

Some knives deserve the amount of attention and the high price tag they have garnered, but many are just….well….regular knives with a fancy name engraved in the blade. You are buying a knife for its functionality, not its sex appeal. Gerber, SOG, and Kershaw make plenty of knives which work just as well for $80 or less than any $400 cord wrapped Strider knife. Again, pay for the tool, not the name or the artificial commercial mystic.

Communications

Good HAM radios, base stations to handheld models, can be had for around $200-$300, but even this amount is sometimes too high for a limited prepper budget. Unless you plan to coordinate operations over longer distances using repeaters, or set up a HAM alert system with multiple members of your community, regular two-way radios costing around $40 to $60 like those produced by Midland should suffice for communications. Consumer models often advertize an effective range of 20 to 30 miles, but this is in totally flat terrain. If you can get five miles out of them in rough terrain, you are doing well. This range is adequate to handle most tasks required during a survival situation.

Electricity
Gas powered generators are unnecessary long term survival situations, primarily because the amount of fuel they use is impractical and the noise many of them produce could make having electricity a daily temptation of fate. Solar is really the best way to go. Unfortunately, many people assume solar power solutions to be too technical and overwhelming. In fact, setting up a solar power system is so straight forward it makes all the prepper uneasiness a bit laughable.

A simple and comparably affordable set-up would include one 180 Watt solar panel (which can quickly charge your battery bank during the day), one deep cycle battery, a charge controller, and an inverter. This kit can be had for $600 to $1000, is compact enough to fit a medium Rubbermaid storage bin, and will power almost every appliance and charge every electronic device that would make life easier during a collapse. Remember also that every Watt of power you produce by the sun reduces your on-grid electric bill, saving you even more money.

At the very least, a portable solar powered battery charger is a must have item. Doing without gear like radios and flashlights is simply not an option. Going caveman is the most ill conceived method for living through the worst of all possible situations.

Survival Tin

Pre-made mini survival kits are a rip off. Most of the items they contain (matches, fishing line, compass, small knife, firestarter, wire saw, water purification tablets, etc.) can be easily purchased separately for half the cost. Making your own mini-kit is also a good exercise in efficiency. Being able to prioritize gear and understand what is truly useful versus what is a waste of space is as important a skill as being able to shoot or navigate a map. It does not take a lot of money to build a solid base kit for emergencies….unless you buy one that somebody made for you.

www.govtslaves.info

www.govtslaves.info

Emergency Medical Kit

Again, all items within most pre-made medical kits can be bought individually for much less. Celox blood stopper, silk sutures, surgical tools, transfusion bags, and other goods should be added in with the staples, raising the cost slightly, but rounding out your kit and allowing for more critical injuries to be cared for. Bulk over the counter medications, especially for stomach ailments, would be highly valuable post collapse, and can be bought wholesale. Medicinal teas, at least the organic brands, work very well! These can be bought for reasonable prices and will boost your immune system, preventing illness before it ever occurs.

Food Production

If you have enough land to keep them, a half dozen chickens, a half dozen breeding rabbits, and a goat, will produce milk, meat, and eggs daily, providing valuable sustenance, reducing the amount of stored foods you need to use in a day, and reducing the amount of time you have to spend hunting for food in a dangerous collapse environment. Chickens and goats practically feed themselves with whatever is available on your land. Rabbit feed is easy to store, and can also be made at home. These animals are indeed worth their weight in gold.

Seeds are, of course, a currency in and of themselves. Non-GMO seed and strong gardening knowledge will save you and your family. Gardening is not as easy as it seems, however. Extensive practice, trial and error, and an understanding of regional climates will improve your crop yields dramatically.

If you are looking to survive on the cheap and avoid paying thousands of dollars for years worth of freeze dried goods, sustainable food production is the only way to go. Foraging and scavenging is NOT a reliable alternative.

Security Systems

Trip wires and tin cans are certainly cheaper than thermal security cameras, and a few well trained guard dogs can put your mind at ease, but sometimes more silent or less obvious methods are in order. I would recommend the MURS radio and infrared alert system for perimeter defense. As far as force multipliers go, MURS is relatively inexpensive. MURS motion detectors are wireless, weather proof, have a beam range of around 100 ft, and can be placed up to 4 miles away from your radio base station. Intruders crossing the infrared beam will set off an alert on your base station and all MURS handheld radios. Some MURS systems even have underground probes designed to detect the movement of vehicles. Up to four motion censors can be linked to one base station and each can be designated for a sector, telling you exactly where on your property the intrusion is occurring. A full MURS system with multiple motion detectors can be had for $300 or less. Other comparable outdoor security systems often cost $500 or more.

Night Vision

The price range of night vision devices is truly staggering. Some can run as little as a few hundred dollars, others climb into the thousands. For the prepper with low cash flow who feels the need for night time security, a couple models offer good quality at a lower price.

For typical surveillance and overwatch, the Bushnell 2.5 by 42 night vision monocular creates a strong image with quality construction for around $200.

For combat, the Yukon Nvmt Night Vision Scope offers many of the advantages of high end systems for only $350 or less.

Night vision may seem like an unnecessary expense, even at these prices, but any edge one can get in survival is a good thing. Being at a disadvantage monetarily does not mean you have to be at a disadvantage tactically.

Self Defense

Yes. Guns. Big-scary-guns. Guns and survival go hand in hand, especially during an economic or social collapse. To bring up guns in a prepping article almost always draws criticism of militancy and extremism from suburban basted over-privileged adolescent hippies who have read “Into The Wild” way too many times and think survival is about “communing with nature”. Sorry kids, but as much as I love nature, as soon as you turn your back on it, you end up a pre-digested meal spread like almond butter across 30 acres of grizzly valley. On the other side of the coin, firearms analysis always draws endless opinions and puffy chested “expertise” from armchair generals and “invincible special-ops superheroes”.

Frankly, after years of survival writing, you stop caring what other people think. That said, for those of us with limited resources (of which I would include myself), firearms purchases are much less about technical proficiency and more about affordability.

I won’t be delving into sidearms here. Instead we’ll focus on what you cannot conceivably live without. Purchasing a primary battle rifle should always be the prepper’s first concern as far as firearms go, whether he is rich or poor. Semi-automatic, accurate, reliable, hard to damage, fires a common military caliber (.223, 7.62 by 39, .308). There’s your list. Finding cheap rifles that meet that list is another matter, but here are a few that come pretty close:

SAIGA

The Saiga is a high capacity AK variant that comes in all common military calibers as well as a 12 gauge shotgun model (I’m amazed it’s still legal). Works great, shoots straight, built tough, runs between $450 to $650. For the price, you can’t go wrong.

www.govtslaves.info

www.govtslaves.info

A Spanish made .308 semi automatic rifle with a similar design to the HK G3. Many in circulation have been pieced together with surplus parts, and it is wise to get yours checked out by a trusted gunsmith. A little tuning may be required. Otherwise, a pretty solid 300 yard gun running at $450 to $600.

FN FAL

The FAL is a Belgium made semi auto .308 rifle. Accurate and well made. Effective range of around 700 yards. Can be found for $600 to $800.

AK 47

Will you look like a terrorist holding this gun? Yes. But beyond that, the AK is synonymous with dependability, and affordability. Though gun prices the past few years have skyrocketed in ridiculous fashion, the AK 47, a 7.62 by 39 caliber rifle, can still be found for around $300 to $600 depending on the make, the age, and the honesty of your dealer. This is not a very accurate gun beyond 100 yards. Can you hit a man sized target beyond 100 yards with an AK? Yes. Can you do it accurately and consistently? No. You want pinpoint sniper accuracy from a Russian made weapon? Get a Dragunov. You want a close quarters weapon that you can clean with a dish rag and motor oil and still have it fire? Get an AK.

SKS

The SKS used to be a good deal. Four years ago you couldn’t spit without hitting one priced at around $200. Nowadays, many gun shops are fishing for $400 to $500. Do not pay this for any SKS. It is not a $500 gun. It is a $200 to $300 gun. Period. Deals can still be found if you are patient. The 7.62 by 39 rifle is relatively accurate and solidly built. The bayonet is a bit of a pain, but removing it is apparently an ATF no no. Technically you are required to remove the bayonet mounting lug and the grenade launcher attachment along with the blade for the gun to be legal (I’m not going to go into the absurdity of ATF assault rifle guidelines). Honestly, if you don’t like the bayonet, just take it off, and don’t let any of your ATF buddies shoot it at the range.

RUGAR MINI-14

Another rifle that used to be a good deal, now ruined by overenthusiastic gun shop owners. Private sale at a gun show is the only way lately to find this rifle at its traditionally suitable price of $350 to $450. Gun shops today will ask $600 to $800. The .223 rifle, designed after the M1 Garand, is light, easy to wield, and pretty accurate out to 300 yards. Lighter ammo means more rounds can be carried at a time.

Long Range Sniper Systems

For long range at an affordable price, you just can’t go wrong with Savage Arms. The company has maintained the great quality of its products, kept their prices low despite the Obama gun boom, and most of their rifles compete equally with guns twice as expensive. One issue to keep in mind, though, is optics, which can sometimes cost as much as the gun itself if you are not careful. Long range shooting platforms are essential for a small force defending against a larger or better supplied enemy. The more you can increase your standoff distance when at a disadvantage, the better chance you have of survival. One or two long range experts can wreak havoc on a seemingly unstoppable foe, making the cost of operations so high the enemy begins to question the practicality of moving forward. In collapse environments, snipers, amateur to professional, always come out of the woodwork to dominate the landscape. Preppers have the ability to counter this threat, and with very inexpensive firearms.

SAVAGE MODEL 10

This is a .308 sniper system commonly found with a precision stock and a heavy barrel. Range of around 800 yards. Can be found for $600 to $700. Modified systems come more expensive, but the standard model is all you need.

SAVAGE 111

A highly accurate rifle utilizing the effective 300 Win Mag cartridge. Range exceeding 1000 yards. Can usually be found for around $700.

SAVAGE 111 BA

The “long range hunter” model of the Savage 111 in .338 Lapua costing less than $1000. The .338 is an incredible cartridge with an effective range of about 1 mile. The Savage has been found comparable to sniper systems three times as expensive. The only problem with the .338 is the price of the ammo, which usually runs around $60 to $70 for a box of 20 rounds, almost twice as expensive as 300 Win Mag. Man, does that sting! This rifle should be considered a poor man’s substitute for the .50 Cal, a rifle that will always be undeniably expensive, considering one round usually sets you back $4 to $5. If you want the capability of a .50 Cal but not a quite so outrageous ammo price, the Savage is your best bet.

Procrastination Is Something We Cannot Afford

Preparation is not limited to the realm of the rich. Ultimately, survivalists with limited incomes must pursue their prepping MORE vigorously than those with expendable cash exactly because they are at a greater disadvantage. Being poor is no excuse for procrastination. Great gear can be had for little money, as long as purchases are approached intelligently. Budgeting for survival is not an enterprise for some future date in which we imagine ourselves to be better off than we are now. It should be a part of our daily life, even when times are tough.

Self discipline gets things done. Making a plan and then sticking to that plan despite our inner weaknesses and apprehensions gives greater returns in the long run. This method not only earns the respect we hold for ourselves, but also the respect others hold for us. The flaky and indecisive cannot be relied upon. The gravity of the socio-political situation we face in the near term demands that we shake off our fears and our apathy, step out of our baby cradle comfort zone, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Backing out is not an option. Otherwise, we simply defeat ourselves, and we let each other down.

Special Note: Obviously, an entire book could be written on this subject, which is a task beyond the scope of this article. The purpose of the following piece is to give those with financial difficulty a foothold on prepping without added pain. It is meant to be a starting point, not a compendium.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/poor-mans-guide-to-survival-gear.html


15
Dec 11

Obama’s U-Turn On Indefinite Detention Bill A “Historic Tragedy” For Rights

(Paul Joseph Watson) Human Rights Watch has labeled President Obama’s U-turn on his decision to veto the NDAA bill, which empowers the government to indefinitely detain Americans without trial, a “historic tragedy for rights,” but should we really be surprised given the fact that it was Obama’s White House which ensured language that would have protected U.S. citizens was removed from the bill in the first place?
With the House passing a revised version of the bill last night and the Senate set to follow, Obama could sign the legislation into law before the end of the week after the White House dropped its threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which under Section 1031 empowers the government to arrest Americans and hold them in a detention camp with no legal recourse.
“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”
HRW describes Obama’s about-face as a “historic tragedy for rights”.
The ACLU strikes a similar tone, warning “it will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law,” if Obama signs the bill.
HRW and the ACLU’s opposition to the bill is commendable, but in none of their press releases does it point out that it was Obama’s White House itself which demanded language be removed from the original version of the bill that would have protected U.S. citizens from its most dangerous provisions.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Obama’s veto threat was never about stopping detention without trial of American citizens, it was about ensuring that the federal government didn’t completely hand such powers over to the U.S. military, and enshrining into law Obama’s unconstitutional policy of targeting Americans as terrorists without the legal requirement to offer any proof.
Indeed, as the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor last week, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have precluded Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”


15
Dec 11

Military Given Go-Ahead To Detain US Terrorist Suspects Without Trial

(Chris McGreal) Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.

The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention.

The legislation’s supporters in Congress say it simply codifies existing practice, such as the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. But the law’s critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.

“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent.”

There was heated debate in both houses of Congress on the legislation, requiring that suspects with links to Islamist foreign terrorist organisations arrested in the US, who were previously held by the FBI or other civilian law enforcement agencies, now be handed to the military and held indefinitely without trial.

The law applies to anyone “who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban or associated forces”.

Senator Lindsey Graham said the extraordinary measures were necessary because terrorism suspects were wholly different to regular criminals.

“We’re facing an enemy, not a common criminal organisation, who will do anything and everything possible to destroy our way of life,” he said. “When you join al-Qaida you haven’t joined the mafia, you haven’t joined a gang. You’ve joined people who are bent on our destruction and who are a military threat.”

Other senators supported the new powers on the grounds that al-Qaida was fighting a war inside the US and that its followers should be treated as combatants, not civilians with constitutional protections.

But another conservative senator, Rand Paul, a strong libertarian, has said “detaining citizens without a court trial is not American” and that if the law passes “the terrorists have won”.

“We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at Guantánamo Bay and held indefinitely. It puts every single citizen American at risk,” he said. “Really, what security does this indefinite detention of Americans give us? The first and flawed premise, both here and in the badly named Patriot Act, is that our pre-9/11 police powers were insufficient to stop terrorism. This is simply not borne out by the facts.”

Paul was backed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“Congress is essentially authorising the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” she said. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.”

Paul said there were already strong laws against support for terrorist groups. He noted that the definition of a terrorism suspect under existing legislation was so broad that millions of Americans could fall within it.

“There are laws on the books now that characterise who might be a terrorist: someone missing fingers on their hands is a suspect according to the department of justice. Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weatherproofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist,” Paul said. “If you are suspected because of these activities, do you want the government to have the ability to send you to Guantánamo Bay for indefinite detention?”

Under the legislation suspects can be held without trial “until the end of hostilities”. They will have the right to appear once a year before a committee that will decide if the detention will continue.

The Senate is expected to give final approval to the bill before the end of the week. It will then go to the president, who previously said he would block the legislation not on moral grounds but because it would “cause confusion” in the intelligence community and encroached on his own powers.

But on Wednesday the White House said Obama had lifted the threat of a veto after changes to the law giving the president greater discretion to prevent individuals from being handed to the military.

Critics accused the president of caving in again to pressure from some Republicans on a counter-terrorism issue for fear of being painted in next year’s election campaign as weak and of failing to defend America.

Human Rights Watch said that by signing the bill Obama would go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.

“The paradigm of the war on terror has advanced so far in people’s minds that this has to appear more normal than it actually is,” Malinowski said. “It wasn’t asked for by any of the agencies on the frontlines in the fight against terrorism in the United States. It breaks with over 200 years of tradition in America against using the military in domestic affairs.”

In fact, the heads of several security agencies, including the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general objected to the legislation. The Pentagon also said it was against the bill.

The FBI director, Robert Mueller, said he feared the law could compromise the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be more complicated to win co-operation from suspects held by the military.

“The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain co-operation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

Civil liberties groups say the FBI and federal courts have dealt with more than 400 alleged terrorism cases, including the successful prosecutions of Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber”, Umar Farouk, the “underwear bomber”, and Faisal Shahzad, the “Times Square bomber”.

Elements of the law are so legally confusing, as well as being constitutionally questionable, that any detentions are almost certain to be challenged all the way to the supreme court.

Malinowski said “vague language” was deliberately included in the bill in order to get it passed. “The very lack of clarity is itself a problem. If people are confused about what it means, if people disagree about what it means, that in and of itself makes it bad law,” he said.
Source-http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/americans-face-guantanamo-detention-obama


15
Dec 11

Obama Will Not Veto National Defense Authorization Act

( Eric W. Dolan) The White House on Wednesday said it would not veto the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). President Barack Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney said lawmakers who crafted a compromise version from rival Senate and House versions of the legislation had addressed his worries about proposed tough rules on detainees.

The legislation has been the subject of considerable criticism.

At one point the bill contained a provision that would have authorized the U.S. to use military force anywhere there were terrorism suspects, including within the U.S. itself. The American Civil Liberties Union described it as authorizing a “worldwide war without end.”

The section was removed from the bill in July.

But other controversial provisions, Sections 1031 and 1032, remained. The provisions authorize the U.S. to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists anywhere in the world without charge or trial, and require them to be held in military custody. Civil liberties advocates and others were furious at lawmakers for the broad scope of the provisions, which could have allowed U.S. citizens on U.S. soil to be indefinitely detained without trial.

Democratic senators tried amend the provisions, but failed. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warned the provisions “put every American at risk” of being sent to Guantanamo Bay. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said it violated the Constitution because U.S. citizens could be apprehended on U.S. soil and held without a trial.

Obama threatened to veto the entire bill because of the provisions, which he said were “inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

The latest version of the bill, drafted by the House-Senate conference committee, kept both provisions. But it exempted U.S. citizens from the requirement for terror suspects to be held in military custody and included language stating that the bill did not extend new authority to detain U.S. citizens.

The bill forces federal agencies to treat non-citizen terrorism suspects as enemies waging war against the U.S. rather than criminals. FBI Director Robert Mueller said the provisions would disrupt, rather than strengthen, efforts to fight terrorism in the U.S.

“The statute lacks clarity with regard to what happens at the time of arrest,” he explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It lacks clarity with regard to what happens if we had a case in Lackawanna, New York, and an arrest has to be made there and there’s no military within several hundred miles.”

“What happens if we have … a case that we’re investigating on three individuals, two of whom are American citizens and would not go to military custody and the third is not an American citizen and could go to military custody?”

The House approved the $662 billion Defense Authorization bill, which also sets high hurdles for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, by a 283 to 136 vote Wednesday afternoon. The Senate still must approve the bill before it heads to the president’s desk.

“As a result of these changes, we have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the President’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto,” Carney said.

“However, if in the process of implementing this law we determine that it will negatively impact our counterterrorism professionals and undercut our commitment to the rule of law, we expect that the authors of these provisions will work quickly and tirelessly to correct these problems,” he added.

The White House, which had threatened a veto of the original House and Senate versions of the legislation, said it “remained concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counterterrorism professionals.”
Source-http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/14/white-house-will-not-veto-national-defense-authorization-act


15
Dec 11

Leave The USA Before The Collapse? Words Of Wisdom From Someone Who Tried

(NaturalNews) One of the most common questions I’m asked today from people who are aware of what’s really going on is, “Should I leave the USA to get away from the coming police state?” Three years ago, I would have said YES, but today, after having experienced such an effort myself and now having a clear understanding of the ramifications of such an effort, I must urge people to reconsider. As you’ll read here, you may ultimately be far safer and more successful living right where you are, in your “home country,” even if that home country becomes a police state.

I’ve lived in many countries, by the way: Taiwan, Australia and Ecuador. I’ve traveled extensively throughout Asia, giving seminars in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. I’ve traveled across England, France, Spain and even Portugal. Spent quite a bit of time in Central America and South America. I speak decent Spanish and decent Chinese, so there’s almost nowhere I go in the world that I can’t speak to the local people in either English, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. I’ve seen extreme wealth, extreme poverty and extreme corruption in all its world flavors, and I’ve seen what corruption does to nations and its populations, first hand.

I don’t claim to be a prophet of any kind, but today I’m a bit wiser, a bit more experienced and a bit less foolish than I was a few years ago, and I’d like to pass on whatever nuggets of wisdom might help you and your family prepare for the powerful global changes which have already begun to unfold.

Here, I share with you five powerful realizations you need to keep in mind when considering where to locate (or relocate) before the collapse becomes a reality. (Time is growing short, so read up…)

For starters, there is a universal truth you must accept if you hope to make a truly wise decision about where to locate: Corruption is everywhere.

Realization #1 – Corruption is far worse outside the USA

If you think the USA is corrupt, you should try living in Peru, or Bolivia, or Panama. And if you think that’s corrupt, head over to Haiti for a double heaping serving of corruption.

Yes, we may all legitimately complain about the USA, but from what I’ve seen everywhere around the world, the United States is still less corrupt than most places in the world. Yes, there are bad apples everywhere throughout local police, federal FBI agents and even the court system, but for every bad apple there are probably three times as many honorable people who are truly just trying to do their jobs.

In years past, I served in a non-profit support role, the local police in Tucson, Arizona, and I came to know them as some of the most upstanding, honorable peace officers I’ve ever met. Yes, they had a history of outrageous corruption (which you’ll find in every police force from time to time), but they rooted out that corruption and restored integrity to their operation. You’ll find the same dedication to honest public service all across the nation, even if there is a little corruption that normally goes along with it.

So don’t make the mistake of thinking you can escape corruption by leaving the USA. You are actually likely to discover MORE corruption elsewhere. For example, in Ecuador, where I lived for two years and held a local driver’s license, it wasn’t unusual for me to be stopped at an armed military roadblock and asked questions. These were staffed with soldiers carrying what appeared to be variants of the standard U.S. issue M4 rifles (AR-15 in the civilian editions). They never gave me any trouble, it turns out. They asked a couple of questions and looked at my documentation, then waved me through.

In fact, I had many friends in law enforcement in Ecuador, and I spoke with them regularly. Sure, they were a little corrupt, but not in an over-the-top criminal way like we see with the FBI in the United States actually masterminding terrorist plots and then magically “discovering” those plots just in time to halt them (http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_F…).

Costa Rica has been described as a “police state” by numerous people who have visited or even lived there. Yes, the country if a beautiful paradise in terms of climate, and it is perhaps the most socially advanced nation in Central and South America, but like all such nations, it has a socialist police state mentality.

South Americans love socialism, it turns out. And this has everything to do with preparedness…

Realization #2 – Many cultures do not practice long-term preparedness thinking

In observing all this first hand, I’ve come to the conclusion that the embracing of socialism throughout South America is the result of cultural short-term thinking.

For example, throughout South America, people often buy prescription medicines one pill at a time. They buy a bag of twenty screws from the hardware store, then return to the store after they run out to buy another twenty. This is often infuriating to the “gringos” who are trying to build a house, for example, because they operate with the idea that you should just buy 5,000 screws all at once and have plenty to get the job done. I can assure you from first-hand experience that such a concept is completely alien to a great many South Americans (most notably in rural areas).

I make no judgments about this, by the way. There are pros and cons on both sides of this equation. But in my experience living in Ecuador, finding people engaged in preparedness planning was virtually impossible unless they were of European descent. For example, rural Ecuadorians often buy a small baggy of spices in a quantity for cooking one meal. And in doing this kind of thing, they nickel-and-dime themselves into actually losing money because they don’t take advantage of the purchasing efficiencies realized through long-term planning. The idea, for example, of buying large quantities of facial tissue at a Costco or Sam’s Club is completely foreign to most South American cultures (more so in rural areas than urban). Even if they might save 40% from buying in bulk, their cultural tendency is to buy one tissue box at a time, paying a much higher overall price over time.

This concept is also reinforced by the very heavy reliance on state-run lotteries throughout South America. In any nation, high participation in lotteries is a powerful demonstration that a culture lacks the cognitive coherence necessary for intelligent financial planning. You see this heavily reflected throughout Peru and Brazil, by the way. You’ll even find this in many poorer areas of rural USA where the lack of mathematics education (and, perhaps, an irrational belief in luck) motivates many people to hand over their money to the state. That’s why the mathematically inclined call the lottery “a tax on people who can’t do math.”

There is, of course, an interesting up-side to short-term thinking, because the very same phenomenon might also be called “living in the moment.” Some in the new age movement call it “the power of NOW.” South Americans know all about the power of NOW, as you’ll clearly see on a Sunday morning when driving your car down the road, weaving around drunken citizens sleeping in the ditches, sometimes still clutching an empty bottle of sugar cane alcohol. The night before, they all lived in “the now,” you see, and they weren’t necessarily thinking about the hangover implications that would inevitably arrive the next morning.

You see, to actually get anything done in society, you have to live at least a little bit in the future.

On the food production front, by the way, it is extremely difficult to buy a John Deere tractor in many Central and South American nations. Much of the food production there is still done by hand (not as much in Brazil, of course, where agricultural mechanization is in full swing…).

In Texas, by comparison, John Deere tractors are available everywhere. More importantly, there are lots of people who know how to fix ‘em. Given that a tractor is one of the most fundamental work multipliers in agriculture, if you hope to survive the coming collapse, you need a reliable tractor on your land in a community that’s familiar with tractors, and you need a few hundred gallons of stored diesel fuel to power it through the disruptions. It’s no exaggeration to say that one gallon of diesel fuel can replace the labor of twelve men working twelve hours. It’s a powerful force multiplier if you own the right hardware.

If you get a tractor, by the way, avoid all those more recent John Deere tractors which are fifty percent electronics and plastic. Buy the old ones, made out of iron and grit, because they’re the only ones that will still operate after an electromagnetic pulse attack, in case you were wondering.

Climate reveals a lot about the planning tendencies of any culture

Getting back to the preparedness mentality of different cultures, climate shapes cultural tendencies, too. The climate in Central and South America is so much more amenable to easy food production (except at very high altitudes) that there really isn’t a cultural impulse to engage in behaviors such as “storing food to survive the winter.” With food literally falling off the trees year-round in places like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, generations after generations of people there have settled into a rhythm of day-to-day living with relatively little planning. The very best preparedness planners, not surprisingly, are people whose ancestors survived harsh climates and brutal winters.

A lack of planning in South American culture is also evident in the surprising lack of family planning you’ll find there, where it’s not unusual to find women with four, six or even ten children, none of which seems to own a decent pair of shoes. It makes you seriously wonder about the “thinking ahead” portions of the brain and why they have not been activated in some people. There is a part of the brain — the future planning part — that can imagine a particular future emerging as a result of today’s actions and then use that imagined future to reshape today’s actions in order to improve the future (which eventually becomes the NOW, of course, as you’ve no doubt noticed). People who are cognitively skilled at this process are, by definition, good planners. They tend to have better outcomes in life. Those who are poor at this skill, for whatever reason, tend to have poorer outcomes in life.

Women’s rights advocacy groups correctly point out that a lack of family planning among women usually stems from a cultural devaluing of the female, which then leads to a chronic lack of women’s education, subsequently correlated to startlingly high birth rates. The best way to reduce birth rates in developing nations, it turns out, is to either build more schools or just go the Bill Gates route and vaccinate everyone into a state of total infertility. (If you’re an evil globalist, it’s so much easier to just inject women than educate them…)

Why does all this matter? I’ve learned over the last few years that the best place to be in a collapse scenario is living around a bunch of other people who are also prepared because they are long-term thinkers and planners. You might want to live in a Mormon community, in other words, as they are typically the best prepared.

You might also find some preparedness communities in places like Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama or Costa Rica where there exists a critical mass of preparedness-minded people who tip the scales in your favor. So that’s definitely a solid option for those who are still intent on leaving the USA or Canada and looking for preparedness options elsewhere. I do know first-hand that there are some very viable ex-pat communities in both Panama and Costa Rica where a critical mass of aware citizens already exists. Lots of libertarians down there… but watch out for “retirement communities” in these countries, which are populated by people who have no interest in actively surviving anything because they figure they’re close to dying anyway.

You do NOT want to live around a whole city of people who culturally and habitually lean toward short-term thinking rather than long-term planning. A city full of starving children with mothers living in total poverty who can barely afford their next meal is not a good backdrop against which you want to build a survival retreat, especially if you’re living out in the country by yourself.

Read books by Jared Diamond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_…) if you really want to understand the long-term implications of geography and climate on the development of human culture. You will come to understand that in cultures where food comes too easily, over time there comes to exist a systemic lack of long-term planning in the minds of the citizens. This is a red flag for anyone seeking a preparedness destination.

Realization #3 – Don’t be the foreigner

Another important point to remember in all this is that if you’re, let’s say, a white person living in a white town in America, you blend in. You can walk around anonymously — at the grocery store, the shopping mall, the gas station, whatever. But the minute you move to some country town in South America (or Thailand, or whatever), then you suddenly stick out like a sore thumb.

In other words, if you’re a 6′ 1″ white guy walking around a town of 5′ 8″ brown-skinned people, do ya think anyone will notice?

You bet they will, and when they see a 6′ 1″ white guy walking around, what they really see is a walking ATM.

You’re a symbol of wealth, and the poorer the country you go to, the more wealth disparity you’ll find, of course. And what you need to understand is that wealth disparity breeds contempt. So while you’re driving around in a brand-new Toyota 4×4 (which I never did, by the way), the locals are looking at you and thinking to themselves that they could never afford that vehicle in their LIFETIME.

Why does this matter? From a practical perspective, it means that in a social breakdown scenario, these people have an instant idea of where the goods are. Who has the money? The white people! Who has the nicest houses, cars and electronics? The white people! (Or “the foreigner,” even if you’re not white.)

What I learned from this is that I’d rather be an “average” white guy living in an average neighborhood, driving an average car than sticking out like some sort of person who appears to be relatively well off. That’s why today I still live in a modular trailer unit in Austin, I still drive a Toyota pickup truck, I dress like a rancher in blue jeans and flannel shirt, and nobody gives it a second thought when I’m out in public. I blend in, and that’s far wiser than sticking out.

Some people want to look rich and popular, so they wear a lot of bling, and they drive a high-end car they can’t afford, and they live in a house they can’t pay off, and they try to fool everybody into thinking they’re rich and powerful. I’d rather fool people into thinking I’m NOT powerful. Because underneath all that, I actually am quite capable of defending myself, or taking decisive action, or just quietly removing myself from the situation if required.

God help the mugger who tries to mug me on the street someday, because I don’t dial 911. Then again, I don’t walk around looking wealthy enough to mug in the first place. In fact, half the time when I walk into a hardware store in Austin to buy some equipment, I still have dirt and grime on my face from working on the farm that morning, and I’ve got mud on my jeans and grease on my shirt from greasing the hydraulics of the tractor loader bucket.

The point is, if you try to stand out in a time of crisis, you’re an idiot. Blending in is so much wiser, I’ve learned. And I learned some of this the hard way, being an idiot myself in years past.

So the bottom line on this point is simple: Live where you fit in. If you speak with a Cajun accent, live around Cajuns. If you’re black, don’t be the one black guy in a white neighborhood (nor do you want to be the one white guy in a black neighborhood). It’s not racial segregation I’m advocating, by the way, it’s simply a preparedness attitude of blending in so you don’t attract unwarranted attention to yourself and your daily activities.

Don’t draw attention to yourself

You’re going to have far better success at preparedness, survival and even home defense if you can engage in preparedness activities without drawing attention to yourself. So if you’re out at the local Wal-Mart, let’s say, buying up a case of rubbing alcohol to add to your first aid kit, you don’t want to leave any kind of strong impression a cashier there who, for example, might later tell some FBI agent, “Oh yeah, there was this 6′ 2″ guy with red hair and an old-style Western mustache, and he bought up a cart full of shotgun ammo, rubbing alcohol and bandages. I thought that was kinda weird…”

So another tip in all this is that if you’re buying first aid supplies, or stored food, or anything you need to stay prepared, buy things in small quantities, and better yet use the self checkout lanes at local retailers, so you’re not even interacting with a cashier at all. And don’t be a moron and buy too many items of anything at once. It’s far better to make multiple trips (to different stores, preferably), buying up smaller quantities of things and then combining them at home.

And what kind of things should you have? Well, if you want the full details, get my Be Prepared, Not Scared course that I recorded with Robert Scott Bell, as we go over the entire preparedness list covering food, first aid, emergency communications, lighting, safety and much more:

Food Security:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Be_Pr…

Economic Security:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Be_Pr…

I’ve also created what I believe to be a very powerful audio recording called “Five Mental Strategies for Surviving Anytime, Anywhere” which is included as a free bonus to our “Surthrival” course recorded with Daniel Vitalis. Read about it here:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033985_S…

…or download the full course at:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Surth…

Realization #4 – You cannot escape the global police state

I learned this with the help of Alex Jones of InfoWars.com. I was talking to him in the studio one day, during a commercial break, and he was asking me about Ecuador. Then he said something profound: “You can’t escape the police state, you know. It’s global.”

And he’s right. Think about the controllers and how they operate: It’s the global banksters, the global pharmaceutical giants, Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Exxon and all the other evil corporations that infect our world with disease and suffering. These corporations run the global governments, and if you don’t believe me, just ask John Perkins, the former “Economic Hit Man.”

Listen to my interview with Perkins here:

http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=8…

You will be astounded by what you’ll learn there, probably. But the upshot of it is that tyranny is a global phenomenon, and you cannot escape it by simply crossing some national boundary.

The simple truth is that our entire world is under assault by criminals right now, and those criminals are deeply embedded in the financial system of Goldman Sachs crooks and Federal Reserve elitists. They are dominating economies across Europe, North America, Asia and even Central and South America. They are planning an economic implosion so they can steal the world’s wealth. All assets backed by paper may become worthless in 2012 in the years soon thereafter. This is all by design, and it’s global.

With economic implosion comes social unrest, and with social unrest comes martial law. So you can expect martial law to be declared in many nations around the world, and in my experience, if you’re living under martial law, it’s preferable to blend in so that you don’t attract unnecessary attention to your own activities. (And by this, I don’t mean anything unlawful or subversive. I just mean fundamental commonsense things like buying extra food and supplies, for example, to defend your family and your local community. And have yourself a reliable mechanical lead-slinger as well.)

Realization #5 – You are far safer to hunker down than try to go mobile

A lot of people talk about having a backup retreat somewhere that they will “drive to” or “fly to” when the collapse strikes. In my view, this is foolish. Highways will become kill zones targeted by marauders, and using vehicles on roads will only get you either robbed or dead (or maybe both).

To a gang of armed looters who forgot to plan ahead before the collapse, there’s no more juicy target than an RV loaded down with stored food, ammo and gold, and if you’re stupid enough to drive one of those as you’re trying to get to your destination, you’d better have your own cavalry along for the ride, or you probably won’t get very far.

Anyone who has studied military tactics, gang mentality or historical accounts of what happens when governments fall knows that roads are to be avoided at all costs. The only safe way to go from point A to point B is to hump it on foot, cross-country style, and even then you’d better only walk at night or you risk being shot by someone defending their own land.

Once you start actually thinking about all this, it doesn’t take long to realize that the far safer strategy is to live in your castle starting right now. Stay put, stock up, and find a way to defend it.

Want a great book on how to accomplish that? Buy and read “Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/06…)

It’s written by “Joe Nobody,” which itself is a lesson in laying low. This book isn’t about turning your house into a concrete bunker armed to the teeth, because that’s just an invitation to be hammered by an armed gang of looters. Rather, it’s just as much about using cosmetic deception to fool would-be marauders into thinking your place has already been hit, for example, and is therefore worthless. This informative book is really an example “The Art of War-” style thinking for defending your home and your family, using very clever techniques that go far beyond “shooting back.”

Don’t expect the book to be well edited, by the way. A lot of the best survival and prepper books have lousy editing because they’re written by people who are experts in practical skills but relatively inexperienced writers. But who cares? I’m not looking for Shakespeare here. I’m looking for tactics that really work, and this book delivers. (Wish I could find who really wrote this because I’d like to interview them here on NaturalNews…)

Getting back to the point at hand, even with a vehicle you can’t possibly carry everything you need to stay safe and prepared, and on top of that gasoline supplies may be impossible to find for a while, so the very best place to hunker down is the place where you live. That’s where you can store your food, emergency first aid supplies, communications equipment (wind-up emergency radios, for example), defensive items such as defensive items, solar battery chargers, cooking gear, instructional books, garden seeds and whatever else you might need to survive an economic collapse.

That’s why I’ve decided to ride out the collapse in Austin, Texas, by the way. Well, not exactly in the inner city itself, but near enough to the city to be considered an Austinite.

Why Texas? It’s not perfect, but it’s well-armed

Why Austin? Because Texas has its own power grid unlike the rest of the nation. Texas can grow its own food. Texas is the energy capital of the nation and can produce natural gas, diesel, oil and even jet fuel. Texas has masses of armed patriots who own more guns than they do pairs of shoes, and that makes Texas practically impenetrable to any invading force.

For example, suppose North Korea launches an ICBM into the high atmosphere over North America and unleashes an EMP weapon that destroys nearly all electronics (http://www.naturalnews.com/034344_E…)

This could theoretically be followed by a naval invasion of forces from Red China and North Korea, both of which suffer from too many young males that can hardly be fed and might as well be thrown at some enemy nation as cannon fodder. These forces would plow right through Southern California, with all its anti-gun laws and totally unprepared populations. Oregon would fare a lot better, thanks to the country folks who know how to live off the land, and although Seattle would be quickly overrun by enemy forces, the eastern (country) parts of Washington state would put up a fierce resistance. And any enemy forces foolish enough to try to make it into Idaho would, of course, be viciously intercepted by highly capable resistance forces that would snipe, explode and shred the enemy’s supply lines, halting any advance no matter how strongly intentioned. (You do not want to mess with American rebels and patriots in Idaho, for the record.)

If some enemy force was foolish enough to try to enter Texas, they would be obliterated by a mass of Texas farmers, ranchers, National Guardsmen, law enforcement officers and ex-military men who are all locked and loaded to the hilt. That’s where I feel safest, in the midst of the best-armed and most well-skilled riflemen in the country, most of which are upstanding, community-minded citizens who defend life and liberty. Texas is a fortress of determined men and women who will not, under any circumstances, willfully surrender their freedoms or their Bill of Rights.

Interestingly, Austin is also a progressive town with lots of raw foods, vegans, yoga studios and amazing artists. It’s a progressive, almost liberal town, surrounded by conservative country folks who ultimately serve as a safety buffer that protects the city of Austin itself. When SHTF time comes, you can bet all the unarmed Austin residents will be begging the rural cowboys to protect them from looters and armed gangs.

That’s why people who don’t own guns dial 911 — because they want men who DO own guns to arrive as quickly as possible and solve their problem.

Are your current skills based in reality? Or fiction…

As you consider where to go in a time of crisis, think about where you are right now. Is your local community able to defend itself? Do you live among people who know how to repair cars, weld equipment, repair a rifle, clean fresh fish, grow vegetables, raise chickens and chop firewood? If not, you might want to think about relocating to a place where you live among some more capable people rather than the city-minded people who — let’s face it — live in an artificial reality that’s extremely fragile and won’t last but a few days in a true collapse scenario.

If your top skills today are things like: texting while driving, finding the best sales at Macy’s, and beating the level 12 boss on your Xbox video game, then you’re not likely to survive very long in a real crisis. Xbox skills, it turns out, do not translate into the real world. All those people who are currently experts at artificial skills need to think long and hard about picking up a few reality skills that might help them in the real world.

You don’t know jack, Jack!

Above all, as much as you think you know about preparedness, survival and the like, you probably don’t know jack.

And that goes for myself, too, even as I study this subject and work to learn as much as I possibly can in the short time remaining. Do you know how to suture an open wound? I have literally spent an afternoon reading a suture book and practicing stitches on chicken meat bought from the grocery store. Seems silly, right? Who spends their Saturday suturing a chunk of chicken? Then again, if you’re cut and bleeding more than a little, I’m the guy who knows how to apply a tourniquet in 60 seconds, sanitize the wound and sew it up. It will be ugly as all hell, as I’m no cosmetic surgeon, but as long as you didn’t sever some major artery, you’ll probably live.

I’ve also been known to pack open wounds with freshly-cut aloe vera gel. I just stuff it right into the wound then use a skin stapler to staple the surface shut. Never had an infection problem, as aloe vera gel is a powerful antibacterial substance that also pulls the wound shut as it dries. It’s crude, free and highly effective. Just the kind of country remedy I like to have handy in a time of crisis. That’s why I always grow aloe vera everywhere I go.

Get some skillz, Jack!

These days, my goal in preparedness is to know as many useful skills as possible, which is why I study emergency first aid and other practical skills. In a crisis, I can prep emergency food for an entire community, sanitize water for a small group, perform basic emergency medical procedures on the wounded or even be part of a rifle fire team that defends a church, for example, against a band of armed looters. I’m not the best at any one of those things, but I’m useful in them all.

I know how to grow medicine, grow food and (somewhat) handle farm animals. I know how to clean a rifle, repair a torn belt on a broken piece of farm equipment, operate a John Deere tractor, start a fire without matches, and stitch back together a torn piece of canvas or clothing.

I still don’t know how to field dress a wild pig or deer, but I figure I can always barter with someone who does, as I’ve got a complement of other useful skills that they probably don’t possess. (I’m not into hunting or skinning anything. Can’t stand to shoot live animals. That’s just not my thing, y’know?)

Most of all, I’m determined to survive, and I’m determined to help as many of my fellow human beings survive with me, to the best of my ability and resources. And that’s ultimately what’s going to get me through the coming collapse, so help me God.

Wherever you go, assess the basics

The other day I was thinking about Jim Rogers, the wealthy investor who lives in Singapore and often appears on alternative news shows like RT America or InfoWars. As much as I totally agree with Jim’s advice on learning Chinese (which is one reason why I speak a fair amount of Mandarin myself), if you know anything about Singapore, you also know it is perhaps the last place in the world you want to live in a collapse scenario.

Singapore is a concrete jungle with virtually no usable space for growing food in proportion to its population. Even worse, Singapore has virtually no water supply and must import a huge portion of its water from Malaysia, a nation with which Singapore has dicey relations.

The food for Singapore must all be imported from surrounding nations (such as Malaysia), and Singapore’s claim to fame — a financial hub of Asia — is in many ways based on the very false derivatives and fragile debt instruments that are on the verge of total collapse in the years ahead. If Asia suffers much in the way of economic collapse, Singapore may become a desperate place. Certainly, a resourceful guy like Jim Rogers can probably weather the storm and still come out on top (he’s got assets in multiple currencies, in many financial institutions around the world), but for your average run-of-the-mill citizens, Singapore could become a very dangerous place to try to survive.

When people look at relocating for preparedness reasons, they often overlook the basics such as water resources. That’s why I recommend people buy the book “Strategic Relocation — North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition” (http://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Rel…) by Joel Skousen. I’ve been a fan of Skousen for over a decade, and this book will walk you through the key decision-making process of finding a place that can keep you and your family alive. That place is NOT New York City, nor Los Angeles, obviously. Those are places to go if you want to DIE in a collapse.

But there are many places across North America that are quite suitable for creating your preparedness retreat as a primary residence. Many of these places even have internet bandwidth available, so you can potentially earn a living on the ‘net while you prepare your location.

If you read the book, you’ll discover that Austin has its own pitfalls, including being relatively close to both nuclear power facilities and the border with Mexico. Both of those are legitimate concerns, of course, and there’s no perfect spot that has everything you want. You have to find the best combination of factors that matter to you, then do the best you can with the time, skills and resources available to you.

Timing: Are you prepared yet?

If you’re not already well along with your own preparedness plans, you run the risk of missing this train entirely. 2012 is nearly upon us, and while I don’t believe all the Mayan calendar nonsense being rumored around the internet, I certainly see a financial collapse headed our way in 2012 or very soon thereafter.

It takes 2-3 years to really get squared away with your retreat if you consider the process of making good quality soil for gardening, planting some fruit trees, squaring away your irrigation system, getting some backyard chickens and so on. You can’t just “buy a place” and move in and suddenly expect to be fully covered. Building a retreat requires experience that only time will deliver — experience dealing with weather, garden pests, wild predators, knowing the lay of the land and so on. Just squaring away your own home water supply can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin, and even getting a well drilled can be a six-month process in terms of acquiring permits and waiting on drilling companies (which are often backlogged).

Time is running short. If you’re not already in the process of storing the supplies you need — and learning the skills that go with them — you’re late. Get on top of this NOW.

And don’t worry if you’re not in the “perfect” geographic location or the perfect house or whatever. Work with what you have. A family with skills and just a few basic supplies is far better off than a wealthy family with a house full of gear they don’t know how to use. I can’t even tell you how many people out there just buy stuff, toss it on a shelf and never learn how to use it. That’s about as silly as owning a guitar and thinking you’re suddenly a “musician” because you have the gear.

Whatever you buy to be prepared, practice with it and practice with your entire family. Even if you don’t own firearms (or don’t want to), a family of four armed with a few cans of heavy duty pepper spray can make a small group of attackers think twice. Plan ahead for what’s coming, and you won’t be left behind.

Source-


15
Dec 11

Congress Authorizes Pentagon To Wage Internet War

(Wired) The ancient art of war is coming to the internet.
The House and Senate agreed to give the U.S. military the power to conduct “offensive” strikes online — including clandestine attacks, via a little-noticed provision in the military’s 2012 funding bill.

The power, which was included in the House version but not the Senate version, was included in the final “reconciled” bill that is all but guaranteed to pass into law.

Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests, subject to–
(1) the policy principles and legal regimes that the Department follows for kinetic capabilities, including the law of armed conflict; and
(2) the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).

While “offensive” action isn’t defined, that’s likely to include things like unleashing a worm like the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, hacking into another country’s power grid to bring it down, disabling websites via denial-of-service attacks, or as the CIA has already done with some collateral damage, hacking into a forum where would-be terrorists meet in order to permanently disable it.

The conference report goes on to say:

The conferees recognize that because of the evolving nature of cyber warfare, there is a lack of historical precedent for what constitutes traditional military activities in relation to cyber operations and that it is necessary to affirm that such operations may be conducted pursuant to the same policy, principles, and legal regimes that pertain to kinetic capabilities.

The conferees also recognize that in certain instances, the most effective way to deal with threats and protect U.S. and coalition forces is to undertake offensive military cyber activities, including where the role of the United States Government is not apparent or to be acknowledged. The conferees stress that, as with any use of force, the War Powers Resolution may apply.

Despite mainstream news accounts, there’s been no documented hacking attacks on U.S. infrastructure designed to cripple it. A recent report from a post-9/11 intelligence fusion center that a water pump in Illinois had been destroyed by Russian hackers turned out to be baseless — and was simply a contractor logging in from his vacation at the behest of the water company.

Over the last few years, there’s been a drumbeat from D.C. and security contractors about the possibility of “cyberwar,” and the military has been pushing for, and largely receiving, increased funding for internet security research and more power to monitor and operate on the civilian internet.

Chinese hackers, perhaps affiliated with the government, have targeted large U.S. corporations, defense contractors and human rights groups with data-stealing trojans, something Bloomberg News trumpeted Tuesday as an “undeclared global cyber war.”

However, spying isn’t an act of war — just ask the NSA and CIA, who spend billions of dollars a year spying on other countries by intercepting communications and persuading foreign citizens to give the U.S. valuable intelligence. It’s certainly an aggressive state action, and a diplomatic issue. But if spying was an act of war, every CIA agent hiding under diplomatic cover would count as cause for a country to attack the U.S.

After perfunctory votes in both the House and Senate, the spending measure — and the cyberwar green light — will go to the President for his signature.
Source-http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/internet-war-2/