Saturday, November 29, 2008

Readers have been sending in enormously helpful articles and insights, almost tantamount to on-the-scene reporting, from India and Pakistan. Among the contributions, the following from Russia Today, submitted by Larry Bolenbaugh, which corroborates Mike's suspicions about Chechen training for the Mumbai attackers.

It also highlights the 'misguided' allocation of so called anti-terror funding as a result of which, Cui Bono?

In light of the hope voiced at the end of the article by Russian presidential envoy Anatoly Safanov for a meeting of the Russian-Indian counter-terrorism working group, the two countries' joint naval exercise in January comes not a moment too soon.


Mumbai terrorists used Chechen tactics - Russia Today - 2008-11-28

The terrorists in the Indian city of Mumbai, who killed more than 150 people and injured over 300, used the same tactics that Chechen field militants employed in the Northern Caucasus, says Russian counter terrorism presidential envoy Anatoly Safonov.

In towns of the Northern Cauasus in 1990s, terrorists seized homes and hospitals and took numerous hostages.

"These tactics were used during raids by militant Chechen field commanders Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev against the towns of Buddyonnovsk and Pervomaiskoye. For the first time in history the entire towns were terrorized, with homes and hospitals seized. The Mumbai terrorists have learned these tactics well," Safonov told Russian news agency Interfax on Thursday.

Safonov says that the terror in Mumbai is proof that the anti-terror measures on a regional level are insufficient.

"The world is spending enormous resources to fight nonexistent threats and to support the military adventures of the leaders of certain countries. And it turns out that a big city may be unprotected against the raid of a handful of terrorists. This is another warning that in the global world terrorism truly remains the greatest challenge," Safonov said to Interfax.

He also pointed out that now it's the task of Indian special services to track down the terrorist group behind the attack on Mumbai. Safonov said they would need to determine whether it was "a subsidiary of some prominent terrorist organization".

The presidential aide expressed hope that the Russian-Indian working group for combating terrorism will meet in the near future.

"We express our support and condolences to the people of India and sympathize with the families that lost relatives and dear ones in the terrorist attack in Mumbai," Safonov said.

On Thursday terrorists attacked 10 targets in Mumbai, including several five star hotels, a cafe and a railway station.

Police say they have regained full control over the city.

Friday, November 28, 2008


(I have asked Jenna to put this on the Main Page and added new material from my last entry in the comment section. As we set basic ground rules for conduct and discussion here, it will make us all more efficient. )

For Ruiz and Nosucthingas...Quite frankly the intellectual dishonesty in both your comments is very disappointing. If you reread my last post again you will see that it is filled with disclaimers saying that I have NOT blamed anyone yet because there is not enough evidence to do that. So, both of you, stop putting words in my mouth. I won't tolerate it with me and I won't tolerate it being done to others on this list. It is you who are unfairly saying that I have already blamed Russia or Chechnya. I could not possibly have qualified that statement more thoroughly. So back off and play fair.

Russia and Chechnya are two opposing entities. I never even thought --and I sure did not write that I thought -- they were working together. That's impossible. I am merely scanning the history of terrorism to find groups or intelligence services that have demonstrated the kinds of capabilities and MOs we have seen in Mumbai. It is a logical and prudent investigative method.

The pseudo/wannabe experts who post ill-informed comments here are either scared to the point of losing rational and critical thought or else they have other agendas. I always welcome healthy, constructive intellectual criticism when it is founded on the reality of something I said and the issues that are on the table for discussion. But neither of you posted your comments in good faith. I'm sorry, but saying "I love you Mike but you are either mentally unstable or egotistical" is still an insult in a velvet glove; in this case an unjustified insult.

I will say this again and it's the last time I will say it. I have drawn no conclusions as to who perpetrated the attacks. I must have said it four or five times in my original post. I am following leads based on available information and building working hypotheses along the way. That's the way a detective works. Right now I must take into account that this attack was so well organized, funded and planned that the attackers had actually penetrated the Mumbai police department and knew its emergency response plan.

In that manner they knew that the three top officials of the police department would walk (or run) into a secondary ambush at the start of the operation. They then decapitated Mumbai's police command and that was CLEARLY a part of the plan. The Viet Cong were masters of this. It was the killing of those three -- I'm almost certain -- that allowed the rest of the attack to succeed and last this long. Sorry folks, but that's something Chechen rebels know how to do and have done. And it may well have been done through ELINT or SIGINT, another thing which SUGGESTS state sponsorship or massive amounts of money far in excess of anything an indigenous terror group might have. The Chechens aren't the only ones, but it is something they do know. It is something Al Qaeda knows. They are that well trained, equipped and financed. It is also clear that the Mumbai terrorists have previous COMBAT experience. Chechnya is full of Muslim combat veterans who also know how to behave like Europeans. Another factor to consider is that, based upon my knowledge, Russia is the only major country that does not have substantial outsourcing in Mumbai.

The alternative question to Who Benefits? is, Who Loses? (Or who loses least?) I don't see Russia losing much here, whereas every other industrial power has a major stake in Mumbai. That alone proves nothing and I may be wrong. It is a dot in a sea of dots that have not yet formed a clear image. But that goes to partially answering the question about Cui bono? Who benefits? I am merely working with available leads and sharing with you all as we think this through together.

And please, when I put in a post (see Rubicon and FTW) about Chechnya that means that if you don't know what I mean, you should get off your butt, go get your copy of Rubicon, look up Chechnya in the index and read the five or six pages in the book that will answer the question for you. You can go to FTW and enter "Chechnya" and partially answer your question as well. I refuse to do this work for you. Participation in this list, with the high-performance souls who contribute so much here, assumes a certain skill level. We are all feeding each other. I refuse to let this list be taken over by people who only wish to eat and who bring nothing to the table for anyone else. That is an essential component of sustainability. I will do everything I can to keep the thoroughbreds running as fast as they can rather than let us be slowed to a crawl by those who have no business picking up a glove in a major league baseball game when they can't play Little League. A basic first lesson is to offer comments on what people actually write rather than on what you wanted to criticize just to make yourself feel like you know something.

Play fair or don't play here. I'm sure that the thoroughbreds are quite capable of wrangling the list and addressing your offensive comments without me and I encourage them to do so. It lightens the load for me and Jenna both.


P.S. -- For those who aren't in the majors yet... The decades long Russia/Chechen conflict is a place where every medium and large RFM (Radical Fundamentalist Muslim) group sent cadres for the best training and actual, real combat experience for many years. Muslims were sent to Chechnya from West Africa to East Timor. It was the only place to get infantry and combat experience. The Chechens got compensated for the training. They were only too happy to have the bodies. They could teach everything from bomb making to C3. It's like a soldier getting Ranger training. In one case, all roads lead to Chechnya. In the other they lead to Fort Bragg. When I say I smell Chechnya in this I smell people who have been trained and who have fought in Chechnya. I smell people familiar with satellite phones, GPS systems, covert surveillance and recon, and encrypted communications. I smell people with the ability to pre-position necessary supplies well in advance... in secret. That still leaves open the question of where the massive funding and logistics came from. But I can guarantee that this was not indigenous or domestic to India. Many Pakistanis did go to Chechnya to fight and gain experience and training. But Chechnya is the nexus for where the knowledge and experience required to execute this attack came from. I'd bet on it.

As for the people who think Israel or the U.S. did this, please go to Alex Jones' blog and leave us alone. That's the government disinformation site.

It was not necessary to explain any of this to those on this list who make the real contributions and who add to our discussions instead of slowing them down. It wouldn't have been necessary for anyone if they'd picked up Rubicon like I asked, looked up Chechnya, and read a few pages instead of asking or expecting me to rewrite them again.

Half of you tell me to take time off and the other half expects me towork 24/7 over nonsense like this. -- We do not have to be this FUBAR.

I can already tell what the next comment will be. – "Mike, what does FUBAR mean? Pls explain." Some people really get that we are team-building here and that this requires team members to behave in certain ways with each other and to carry their own loads. That's why teams are better than individuals. The learning accelerates. And I will do everything in my power to make this an intellectual speedway.

[Note to NbPatton. I may well be a self-absorbed asshole. But what has been revealed to me as I healed from February on is the knowledge that I am a good, decent, honest and caring asshole. Thank you for the Patton analogy. I do wish sometimes… Ohhh do I wish.]


c. 6 PM EST (i.e before the above post)

Following a phone call and several emails among allies in which he emphasized that his hunch is no more than that, Mike has clarified the MO of the Mumbai attacks which he feels points towards Russian or Chechen origin (underscore "MO;" the motives of the two entities are opposed):

The key fact that everyone seems to have missed is that the operational response plan of the Mumbai police was compromised so that Mumbai's top three police officials walked directly into a secondary ambush at the start of the attacks. THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY PLANNED! Mumbai police security was compromised, and that smacks of state-sponsorship because in almost every case, only national intelligence services even aspire to that kind of penetration. Quite frequently it's technical... eg. PROMIS.

There are as yet not enough dots to make firm connections. But it's interesting to review Russian/Indian relations from this point of view:

In addition to being dependent on Russian energy, India is a major consumer of both Russian and U.S. arms whose manufacturers vye for its business.

The Chinese press nervously reported last week that come January, Russia and India are scheduled to engage in joint biennial naval exercises.

PS: To any readers who are guiltily puzzling over FUBAR (or ELINT or SIGINT) and not daring to voice their quandary: When in doubt, google. The sorts of questions that should be asked on the blog are the sort that cannot be answered by other readily available means.



Michael C. Ruppert

(c) Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. Michael C. Ruppert

(Send it. Use it. But leave my name on it and don't change it. -- Especially you, Gore Vidal.)

Thanksgiving, Nov. 27,2008 – 00:30 PST – (After my last post I'd better start putting a time sig on these.)

I do not know how many other corporations are affected; but they will be many, if not most of the Dow 30 and the Fortune 500. And I can tell you that on Friday morning, any customer or client of Citigroup, Symantec or Hewlett-Packard will be unable to get customer assistance over the phone. Warranty service for these corporations will stop. I know that because I have been through that horrible grind with all of them in the last year or so. All of their calls are taken in Mumbai, by Indians. Nothing is working in Mumbai and there can be no certainty when anything will be working. Because the attacks included the premier hotels in the financial district, no multi-national will ever trust the city again. The risk is too great. I can almost bet that the multinationals are all well prepared for attacks on their own facilities, but were totally unprepared for an attack that pulled the city out from under them.

I think many corporations also have data processing and IT centers there are well.

The Achilles tendon of globalization has just been severed.

The Achilles tendon of globalization has just been severed.

Ordinarily, I would go out and start researching to see how bad the exposure is but I already know that it is catastrophic. The markets will do all our research and reporting very quickly for us. Citigroup will be devastated. Its CEO Vikram Pandit, is Indian.

I am certain that this was the intended outcome of the attacks.

Fingers have been pointing to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Depak Chopra has even pointed at Saudi Arabia as a possible financier… with the whole world watching. He is a fine soul, but I wonder if he knows what he's doing. Every head of state in the world with an IQ above 70 is right now living his or her worst nightmare. (You know who that leaves out.) But something in all this smells Chechen or Russian to me in terms of style, organization and capability. No way did this one originate in the States.

I have scanned my memory banks from Munich to Mogadishu; from 9-11 to Tanzania; from Tet to London…. And I keep coming back to Beslan as the closest model. All the CIA hands and terror experts, some of the very good "experts" fail to mention the many similarities this has with Beslan. It's just my gut. Yet no one on CNN or anyplace else I have seen has even mentioned Chechnya. Still, this is truly an entirely new species of terror attack. There is a reason why science does not rush to name and certify new species.

I can draw no conclusions yet, nor should anyone else. Chechnya is bad enough as a possible source, but I pray that these attacks are not Russian. If they are then all I can say is "Duck and cover." This is about as heavy as it gets. There is a strong stew of CIA, Al Qaeda, Russian DFS and Taliban simmering there, (see Rubicon). But, to quote our frequent contributor Victoria, "We are all standing in a pool of gasoline"… and someone just threw the match.

Sometimes understanding is the booby prize; like the guy who stood on the bow of the Titanic screaming, "I'm not getting off this ship until I find out why this happened!"

What scares me most about the Mumbai attacks is the following:

1. They are not over yet.
2. We don't know who did it.
3. At this level of sophistication I would expect the capacity for a "follow-on" in the near future. If the intent of the attack is to put the United States completely out of business it will have to do so quickly.
4. The United States still has enormous military power which might be viewed in some DoD circles now as "Use it or lose it." They too can see the writing on the Imperial wall.
5. The attackers have made no demands.
6. To even publicly breathe that it might be state-sponsored puts us (i.e. all mankind) a hair trigger away from nuclear conflict in any off our theaters tactically and on a MAD basis strategically.
7. The logistics and C3 (Command, Control and Communications) for this looks state-sponsored.
8. This is an absolutely brilliant and potentially fatal blow aimed precisely at the weakest spots we have mapped in "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil" and at "From The Wilderness".

The fact that there are no convincing suspects as yet also points to a state-sponsor trying to disguise itself as a large terror group. That might explain why there are no demands... Demands identify the suspect.

I am being very careful right now. There are many intriguing threads and it is too early for any of us to rush to judgment. It took me two and half years and many tens of thousands of dollars in research and investigation to conclude and write that Richard Cheney had masterminded and executed 9-11 for the purpose of seizing Iraqi oil. My book has never been challenged or even acknowledged by the U.S. government; a government which spent millions on web sites and press releases to (rightfully) discredit all other 9-11 investigations. My book is in the Harvard Business School Library. It has a thousand footnotes. It has sold a lot of copies.

The analytic construct for Mumbai I have is this:

It is clear that the United States is imploding and that its economic, military and political influence are dying. As with all empires, it was the power of the state; whether economic, cultural, or military, which held the divergent parts together. In many cases enemies were bound next to enemies like two cats tied so tightly in a wet burlap sack that they could not move. But if the sack were to loosen, weaken…and expand? What if six wet cats were in the sack as it started to rend?

Our present, publicly-acknowledged cats include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Now throw in Russia and Chechnya… Shake and stir.

Is it sinking in how dangerous this is?

I think I understand how Edward R. Murrow felt in London during the Blitz… What a giant he was… Maybe I know what I want to be when I grow up.


Jenna Orkin

The Hindustan Times reports that India's security agencies are blaming the attacks on the Al Qaeda linked group, Lashkar-e-Taiba ("the Army of the Good"). While Lashkar was officially condemned in Pakistan in 2002, it reportedly receives clandestine support from members of the Pakistani army and intelligence communities, whether 'rogue' or officially sanctioned.

According to a new book, "The Search for Al Qaeda," by Bruce Riedel, an advisor on South Asia to Obama, Lashkar-e-Taiba was the offspring of the Pakistani Intelligence agency, ISI and Osama Bin Laden in the late 1980's. Its immediate goal was to dislodge Indian rule in Kashmir.

The current goals of the group, as set forth in a pamphlet entitled "Why We Wage Jihad," have evolved to promoting the installation of Islamic rule in all Muslim dominated regions of Asia including not only Kashmir but also South Asia, (in view of Mike's suspicions, note this one) Russia and China. And, again in view of Mike's suspicions, recall the comment sent in by someone yesterday which quoted Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad on what the Brits would call a "busman's holiday:"

They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed.

Today Pakistan is taking the extraordinary step of sending Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the director general of ISI, to India in an effort to allay concerns that ISI was involved in the attacks.
The last time tensions between India and Pakistan reached this pitch was around this time of year, 2001. The threats to the New York subway system yesterday highlight the ways in which this situation mirrors the aftermath of 9/11, with the two hubs, New York and parts of India, under siege.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I swear that I wrote my post "Comments on Comments" and sent it to Jenna -- with the parts about India and Kashmir (or Kashimir) -- a full 14 hours before today's attacks. I do not not understand how I am able to see things like this before they happen and the only credit I take is that I have studied hard, asked to be of service, and remained as open to inspiration as I can be. I just watched former CIA-DDI, Johnny McLaughlin on CNN stating clearly that there was likely an Al Qaeda influence seeking to inflame tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. What little we know of the logistics of the attacks is pretty consistent with that. These are serious developments and, given our experience with asymmetric warfare over the last five years, they make sense. We (the U.S.) are trying to separate Al Qaeda from the Taliban, we have telegraphed increased military activity in Afghanistan. What's the asymmetric answer? Start trouble on another border. Pakistan is being forced to decide whether it is a middle eastern country or a western country. Pakistan's crisis is a little more immediate than India's but both are within eyeball range. A significant part of our world future will be shaped by what emerges. Ultimately both countries will find themselves separated from the west because of energy. I have long predicted that one day Mexico will forced to choose to be a Latin American country rather than a North American country as the Pangea of globalism separates and spreads apart.

In other words, what McLaughlin said made immediate sense whereas the initial explanations for 9-11 never did. Instead of viewing these attacks as an attack on American interests (surely a strong component of the overall motive) view them instead as the initial stages of a conflict for who will control that geographic region as power vacuums increase in number and size. Mumbai is a city of 19 million people. It is locked down. Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers. I'd bet that Islamabad will strongly condemn the attacks in very short order. If they do not, then we all might start holding our collective breath. The rest of the world is already moving to exploit an American power vacuum. Time and initial advantage are of the essence. The Empire is collapsing. There is blood in the water: bright red, fresh American blood.

ON A POSITIVE NOTE -- What amazingly wonderful comments to my last post. Praise to all but especially to Jackie, Bob Paulsen, and D'Napoli. But Sonofafarmer, my friend; I am absolutely delighted to see your input and hope that you will share your thoughts with us frequently. You are our eyes and ears on what is probably the most important front. I just can't thank you enough for sticking your head up and providing such valuable and intelligent.

I'm going back to watch more from India. -- What happened to my rest, someone asked?... As usual, God had other plans. Just call me Charlie Brown these last couple of months. "Snoopy" is right beside me in the psychiatrist's chair.

Happy Turkey

-- MCR

P.S. -- What major banking giant has massive outsourced operations in Mumai. Clue: It's CEO Vikram Pandit happens to be Indian. I see another five hundred billion or so on the line almost immediately.

From the "Life Copies Mike" department: the slug from the email in which Mike sent his article predicting trouble in India/Pakistan. You may see for yourselves that he did indeed write it hours prior to the attacks in Mumbai:

Date: 11/26/2008 3:22:59 AM Eastern Standard Time

Of course something had to happen over Thanksgiving. The activist can never blink. It's precisely when our minds are elsewhere - on the secret ingredient for stuffing - that the enemy pounces.

Thanksgiving, 2001 or 2, FEMA closed their services for Lower Manhattan residents. Over Christmas, 2002, the EPA closed its hotline for a cleanup.

In the heart of August, 2003, when everyone was at the beach not reading the newspaper, the EPA Inspector General's Report was released revealing evidence that lies were told compromising the lives or health of thousands, for the express purpose of reopening Wall Street ASAP.

The purpose of the timing was to minimize the exposure of an embarrassing event. By contrast the attacks in India seek maximum exposure. But the lesson remains: Someone needs to be on active duty at all times.

Meanwhile, I watch the various squabbles unfold on the blog and am constantly reminded that the left is notorious for self-destructing. The powerful keep their eye fixed on the goal. It is close enough that they can smell it so they focus like a dog in chase.

The left have no such prize within grasp so they claw at each other.

Not that I think we're in danger of that but there are shades of it in the annoyances that people voice. We get caught up in the moment, the fleeting insults. And this being the internet and most of us being, for all practical purposes, anonymous, we feel free to vent. A few hours later, the sun comes out again.

It harks back to a line someone once said about academia: The reason the fighting is so fierce is that the stakes are so low.


You guys bring some good stuff out of me. Wow. Thanks guys, we seem to be feeding each other well.

I wondered if anyone would object to the preaching. That's a line I never cross. If someone asks what I believe, I tell them. If someone asks for what I have, I give it. But -- and this is definitely a line I DID NOT originate. Spirituality "is a program of attraction, rather than promotion."

Some pretty good insights lately. RanD, you are a breath of fresh air. Keep chiming in. Actually, all of you are working very hard at this and I think we are all tasting the fruits thereof. You all have my respect and I am glad to be in your company.

We are discussing serious topics. I just don't think a lot of you understand how serious or imminent they are yet. By this time next year, few will recognize the United States of America. Sure, old Bob Gates is staying on for a year or two. Yeah, he was Iran-Contra and a lot else. He and I even exchanged emails once, way back in 1998 when I broke FTW's first major expose on Sarin gas in Laos (thanks to CNN's April Oliver). -- He tried to mislead me then. But I was raised in a military and intelligence family and this will far and away not be the FIRST time a SECDEF has straddled two administrations for a year or two in wartime. Check it out. It is a regular occurrence and established in tradition. The military needs that kind of continuity during war and this is the most unstable period in American history since the Civil War. It is inevitable that the Imperial Forces will retrench and return home en masse. We will not pull completely out of Iraq, of course. But we have known that for at least four years, haven't we? Don't expect me to get excited about it. The United States is going out of business and not even Bob Gates can prevent it.

You guys who whine about these jerks assume that the US will be operating like you knew it in five or eight years. I think we all agree that it will not. What I am saying -- that about half of you will not comprehend -- is that the life game for mankind has changed. You are like the French in September, 1939. You are perfectly prepared to fight the First World War.

The military power vacuums being created all over the world by American collapse are terrifying and I can say this: If I were President I would be in command and I would also have Gates stay for a year or two, at most. I would make sure that he followed my policies or else. I have followed Gates for decades. From the federal bench to the FBI to CIA. He's a manager and an order executor, a very good one. He is not a policy architect and has no aspirations in that arena. He was a judge. His life is following rules, written and unwritten. Under him, I would know that the Chain of Command was functioning effectively to all parts of the military. If I wanted to replace Gates I would first stabilize my administration and get as good a handle on the domestic issues and cabinet as possible. Because if there is ANYTHING that will prevent Barack Obama from ever having a chance it would be Pakistan's nukes getting loose... like next Wednesday. Or it might be India and Pakistan exchanging a few over Kashimir. It might be pirates from any of four countries shutting down the Straits of Malacca. No, maybe a massive civil uprising in Saudi Arabia when falling oil prices collide with the corruption and when it's finally acknowledged that Saudi has passed peak. Or how about those Somali pirates? What about Russia? Russia is going to push and test because that is the Russian nature. Remember Kruschev and Kennedy? I have to admit that I enjoyed Russia and I think I understand a lot of the Russian soul. When she worked for the ASA/NSA my mother worked on Russian codes which tracked their nuclear physicists. She was iinvolved n the Teheran conference of 1943. Army Security Agency advance teams travelled to Moscow before that. She told me a lot right before she died. I would like to go back and visit one day. But my hard travels have taught me that I am an American first, last and always. Even when I went to Venezuela, furious with my government, I was fighting for America and not against it. I guess the reason I did all that was because I care about her and her stupid, lazy, indolent, spoiled, belligerently-naive people who have forgotten that they were once strong, resilient, caring, fearless pioneers who went boldly into the unknown, convinced that with freedom and fair shot they could handle anything. Isn't that a spirit we need now? Right now?

The dialectic underway here is between those who believe that every step of this is a plan being executed by-the-numbers by TPTB -- and those who believe that the TPTB are losing control and vulnerable. I am absolutely in the latter camp. All the big banks are going down in rapid-fire succession. Hey dudes, those ARE the elites! That's just one HINT that the same people many of you call the TPTB are taking big hits. You guys who are so obsessed with the cabinet on the one hand, argue that it doesn't matter who's there, it all be the same result. Then you all turn around and start obsessing about who's there and what you can read from the entrails of each new appointee's name. You guys go back and look at any empire that ever collapsed: Rome, Persia, Sumeria, The Incas, The Aztecs, The Mayans, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, Napoleon's France, Victoria's Britain, The Ottomans, Tha Hapsburgs in Austria, Nikolas II's Russia, the USSR... I defy any of you to historically demonstrate that the collapse of any of those empires and civilizations was some kind of a planned conspiracy carried out by the people who benefited most from the empire they were destroying. Those empires existed to support the elites!

You cannot do it. What was ubiquitous in all cases was a paradigm of infinite growth, plus resource scarcity, and coupled with a decline in moral and intellectual standards, parochialism, and the fetid, intellectual inbreeding of uninterrupted opulence, laziness, privilege and power. I must give credit to Fitts for this one, "THOSE WHO WIN IN A RIGGED GAME GET STUPID." I submit that our elites are talking stupidly, acting stupidly, making stupid decisions, and that this is apparent to the entire world. But now, what is at stake is not just one empire, or one civilization. It is the entire human race. Your asses and mine.

The American people, perhaps many of you, are going to be scrambling just to eat and stay warm by this time next year. What are WE going to do about that? Screw Robert Gates! Whether he is at DoD or not, regardless of who is SECDEF, that is the future we face. And -- for the sake of new readers who are trying to figure out what's going on and what to do to take care of themselves and their children -- I don't care about Robert Gates! Him staying for one or two years is fairly common when changing administrations. We know his moves when he's in his element. BUT THE WORLD IS NO LONGER ENTIRELY HIS ELEMENT IS IT? -- Get that!

Brarack Obama is THE PRESIDENT-ELECT. He will be Gates' CINC. He will have control, or not, in varying degrees. We mapped this out a long time ago. We mapped out Russian ships going to Venezuela and just about everything that's happening. But chaos and the law of unintended consequences is solidly in play now. It is giving us openings as the Empire's vulnerability becomes daily more apparent. Another term for "opening" is POWER VACUUM.

That being said... Man do I love you guys. Keep it up. These dialogues help clarify things quickly. But please focus on that which will probably change your lives first. It will not be Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton, or even Tim Geithner. It will be THE COLLAPSE. The collapse is a fait accompli. We must let the ever-diminishing Powers That Be show us their intent, their ability to execute it, their strengths,...and their weaknesses.

Now let's try to find knowledge and share thoughts that will help all of us with collapse. The fight for influence in Washington and NY is just beginning and I believe some serious inroads are being made. Nothing will tell me as much about the Obama administration as its actions in its first 100 days. We do not know how the President's cabinet is going to act yet. They are after all, politicians and politicians have a rep for changing with the winds. What we need to do is start blowing.

My bet is that there will be many surprises, both good and bad. Remember, that we have already had a few early Christmas presents. So shut up until they ACT. That will tell us in an instant a hundred times more than than dead-end speculation. The first 100 days of the Barack Obama administration will give us real and trustworthy, "eyeball" intelligence so that we can decide where and how to blow.

Am I getting clearer?


The above from the guy who wrote the book, literally, that defies the Bush administration's contention that 9/11 was the result of a mindboggling series of mishaps, missteps, mistakes and missed opportunities because no one had ever flown a plane into a building before.

Some of you feel betrayed. What happened to our favorite "conspiracy theorist?" Or, since Mike has accurately stated that he doesn't deal in conspiracy theories but in conspiracy facts, our favorite conspiracy chronicler? You mean the wizards behind the curtain, those 'masters of the universe,' are losing control? Now who can we hate? Where shall we direct our rage? At each other? Who else is there?

The question of how TPTB will behave during the chaos of collapse comes down to the tragedy of the commons.

In the 'parable,' which was published in 1968, a group of herders graze their separate herds on commonly held ground. Each will reap personal benefit from increasing the number of cows he puts on the commons. However the more cows that use the commons, the greater the degradation and the sooner the commons will be destroyed.

Thus the short term benefit will be to the individual farmer. But if each herder, or perhaps if even one herder opts for maximum short term gains, then over the long term, the commons will become useless and everyone will suffer, including him.

It is this Yin-Yang balance between the individual and the group, between short and long-term benefits, that is the sword of Damocles dangling over our heads right now. What TPTB choose will depend not on their seeing the light and converting to altruism but on their perception of their own best interests. And like King Midas, they may come to understand that ultimately, for their own sake as well as their children's, even they have to care about something other than personal profit.

Switching metaphors, the ship is heading towards the iceberg. Will the captain change course enough to steer it away from total destruction?

It seems to be moving too slowly for some. That's the way ships move, say others.

The problem with that metaphor is that the people on board get a say too only most of them don't know it.

And while we're on the subject of ships:

Citi's Saviour Found: Somali Pirates
On the subway yesterday I also saw the headline: Citi of Fools, an allusion to Katherine Anne Porter's classic, Ship of Fools, about an ocean liner c. 1938 bearing passengers from various walks of life and with varying understanding or lack thereof of where the larger ship of fate was leading them.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Adn way down at the bottom it says that Morgan Stanley is vulnerable and likely to ask for the same thing.


Now that I have your attention... After Citigroup collapsed and was bailed out in a stupid and futile effort, the end has become visible. I watched and read the pundits all day. They were beyond headscratching. They were stupefied. They couldn't find words except "socialism"... (or perhaps national socialism), and "incomprehensible"or "ridiculous". They had seen the writing on the wall in capital letters with Citigroup's "bailout". More of you might be paying attention now because I called Citi's demise quite a while ago. And for that reason I have delayed in writing about what I saw coming next. I needed for you to see this.

I, and all of us who contribute to this work, do so because we know --and we have seen -- that the more who listen, the more who learn, the more are helped. The more who can read the "map"... the more will survive. We aren't charging for this and I ask is that you buy my old book and soon, my new one... frequently.

"U.S. Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Ease Frozen Credit" -- Bloomberg

The United State government has already committed a total that surpasses TARP by a factor of ten. Citigroup got $326 billion in commitments today but their exposure is many, many times that. How can the government do that? Here it is... in one simple sentence: "Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis." This from the Bloomberg story Jenna just found.

It's over. Money has no meaning without energy. The economy is finished. The money supply has been tripled or quadrupled or more...out of thin air since last summer. That's what bubbles do as they burst. It all must collapse now and everyone who understands a $700 trillion derivatives bubble understands that what happened today was that the elites, being the scorpions that they are, could do nothing else. (Someone else please tell the story of the scorpion and the turtle.) They have committed to ride the collapse all the way down. The United States government has committed to bailouts of financial institutions until everything shuts down or there is no more money to"create". That's what happens when paradigms end. Dinosaurs didn't know they were going extinct. They ruled the earth. They could not comprehend "climate change". They could not adapt, nor could they act like anything except dinosaurs. A few had skills or special "deviant" traits and they "evolved" and survived. But as the dinosaur paradigm ended, openings -- vacuums -- were created in a completely new ecosystem. And nature abhors a vacuum.

What are we in now except an economic "climate change"? We, those on this blog and in the Peak/Sustainability movement, are the deviants!

I cannot see everything. But here's how I see the end of the U.S.economy. What is trickling from Wall Street to Main Street will arrive in full force by March or April. And around that time, perhaps next summer, the thing that started the collapse will return to deliver the coup de grace: oil prices. By that time a return to $100 or higher oil will bring back $3.00 gasoline and no one will be able to afford it. This was always, all about Peak Oil. The dinosaurs of our age know it and they assumed they could manage it. That's what our map has always said, the one that has enabled us to make so many accurate predictions for so many years. J. P. Morgan is the next domino in line and it is one of the deepest players in government intrigue and especially PROMIS software and P-Tech. (Sorry newcomers. I don't have time to slow down right now. Pls read the book or go to FTW.) Morgan is also one of the biggest gold manipulators. As it weakens, its ability to suppress the price of gold along with its allies will weaken. Bravo GATA!

I wrote in September that gold might reach $2,000 within six months. People laughed as prices fell into the low $700s. Six months from September takes us to next March. In the Citigroup bailout the smart money saw the same chosen end game that I see and gold shot back to $850 rising more than $50 just today. Now add a $300 street premium over $850 an ounce and we're at $1,150... The real breakout hasn't even happened yet because this collapse is only just beginning. And that's something else I saw over and over on CNBC and CNN today. " The worst is yet to come". "Darker days ahead". That's what the slugs at the bottom of the screen said. -- All of this BECAUSE of and AFTER the Citigroup "bailout".

I would say that by the end of next summer, as the corn comes in, this nation will be sensing that it is in the grips of something ten times worse than the Great Depression... Shock and Awe. By then you can forget about ethanol. People will be screaming for food. Perhaps Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland will start to receive some long overdue karmic payback.

Ignorant people have been tossing the word revolution around like a used Hustler Magazine on this blog. (Sorry Larry Flynt. You were good to me and you saved the First Amendment. I was your "Hustler" interview of the month twice.) Revolutions start when the people rise up. Revolutions start when people are hungry. They start when a tipping point is reached and it seems they are all being reached at once, doesn't it? Energy, money, climate, food, fresh water; take your pick. Seven years ago I and Catherine Austin Fitts were screaming our lungs out about $2.1 trillion that went "missing" from the Pentagon in one year. No one listened. No one cared. People are starting to listen now because they have become the pig end of a ham and eggs breakfast. But the prep work isn't done yet. The people aren't ready. Quite frankly, however, Messrs Bush, Cheney and Paulson are doing a very good job of firing folks up...

Always remember that revolutions can take many different forms and that only the worst are bloody.

The dinosaurs are going to leave bigger and bigger openings in the months ahead. The shape of the next paradigm will be determined by the organisms that fill those spaces in the new ecosystem. I am working to see that it is us "deviants"; that we have a seat at the new table. We will be able to at least partially solve the problems of Power Down and sustainability that they cannot, the problems they cannot even fully comprehend. That was the recent great pain of Robert Hirsch. This is now a race to save as much and the best of human civilization as possible. Thank you M. King Hubbert. Thank you Colin Campbell. Thank you Matt Simmons. Thank you Jay Hanson. Thank you Al Bartlett. Thank you Richard Duncan. Thank you Richard Heinberg and Julian Darley. Thank you Matt Savinar and Mark Robinowitz. Thank you Barry Silverthorn. Thank you Robert Hirsch. Thank you all.

The question is, with so many openings, who will exploit them? What philosophies will fill the vacuums in the new economic ecosystem? The terms capitalism, socialism, communism etc are archaic now. They describe nothing that is emerging, or will exist, in our world and the sooner we dump the terms, the freer we will be to create something that actually works. I'm totally with Jefferson here. Throw it all out, get a blank piece of paper and start over... with the needs and informed will of the people leading the way. (I know, there's a lot of things that need to be worked on in that last sentence).

The question is not Cui bono? anymore. Cui bono assumes a stable and continuous operating paradigm. It takes no account of chaos and our oh-so-obvious human weaknesses. Cui bono has become a fear-based question that doesn't have the ability to explain much. Cui bono needs for someone to be in charge and in control because Cui bono's greatest fear is that no one is really in control at all.

We... what we write on this blog, and on many other good blogs and websites, are the new Federalist Papers.

And if I didn't know better I would think that someone was deliberately engineering a fast crash... and that Hank Paulson was the point man for it. In this case, understanding why is the booby prize. Just take it because that's what we must have to allow our children to reach and survive the next two or three decades. That is our mission.

I am really tired. I may take a few days off. You guys run with this for a while. You've been doing great. When I come back I'll learn from you as I always do.



The scorpion needed to cross the river so he asked the turtle for a ride.

"What do you think I am, crazy?" the turtle said. "You're a scorpion. You'll kill me."

"What do you think I am, crazy?" the scorpion answered. "I'm not going to kill my only means of transportation across the river."

The turtle saw the wisdom of that and with the scorpion on his back, started swimming.

Half way across, the scorpion stung him.

"What are you, crazy?" said the turtle.

"Couldn't help it," said the scorpion. "I'm a scorpion. It is my nature."

I saw that $7.7 trillion article last night, noted the "1900 times previous weekly average" tidbit, shot it off to Mike and other trench buddies and waited for the "Holy Shit!"s to echo back from the opposite coast.

Of course, so far no one but Bloomberg acknowledges the existence of this behind-the-scenes aspect of the 'economic crisis' for which the President elect is going to have to find a 'solution.' But then, it is only Bloomberg that is suing to disclose the terms of the federal bank loans.

Remember when, in a moment of honesty, Bush said he spoke to the American people as though they were ten years old? (He was unusually well cast for the role, too.)

It worked for far too long. For in fact, most of us are. Certainly with respect to economics. The environment, too. All those hard subjects. Leave it to the Experts, the suits.

For all our vaunted 'independence' and rugged self-reliance - those qualities which supposedly made this country what it is (what tense shall I use? "will have been?") - we have become some of the most spoiled, helpless, insecure people in the world. We rely on the literal armor of our army as well as of our corporations to cling to the superiority to which we feel entitled.

The only thing you can say on our behalf is that this infantilism is a condition to which the rest of the world aspires.

One of the most gratifying jobs I have these days is teaching foreign students. They come from every conceivable country including North Vietnam, all the "stans" and countries in Africa from which I'd never met anyone.

The other day I asked a woman from Moldova what the population of her country was.

"Four million," she said. "But half of them are here."

They want the seat at the table which they think we still have. What a surprise when I tell them that the grandmothers they left behind, with their knowledge of berry cultivation, may in fact be the new gurus.

But the pundits are still talking the old talk. Job creation. Economic stimulus.

It will take a while longer to wean the American people off their expectations. Time is measured by change. As long as the status quo is tolerable, there will be no incentive towards a paradigm shift in thinking. When TSHTF, evolution will speed up markedly.

The layabout will wake up to the realization which had been lingering in his semi-consciousness his whole life: "The party's over."

For haven't we always known this day would come? Isn't it encoded in our DNA? Long before you ever heard of Peak Oil, didn't you every so often think, "Gee, I'm glad I'm alive here, now, with penicillin, plumbing, food from everywhere in the world?"

Beneath that observation lurks the question: "What am I without all that?"

I, for one, do not look forward to learning the answer. On the other hand, there's solace in facing reality.


Monday, November 24, 2008


I absolutely do not believe this. But I do. It is 10:16 PM PST on Sunday, Nov. 23rd. This story broke in the last twenty minutes. Since I sent my last post! Now let's get this straight... The automakers flew in their private jets twice to attend open public hearings in congress and get their feet fried. But they showed up and they answered questions. They got nothing. But Citigroup -- one of those "Wall Street banks" that started all this mess -- gets into well-deserved deep doo doo and it receives 25 billion plus a lot more over the weekend?... with no hearings?!!!... Sure, Paulson had that authority under the TARP bill. But can anyone imagine a more direct slap in the face to the American people. Citigroup just got the BigThree's money! And congress is going to take a huge hit for this. Save a big bank but put nine or ten million out of work. No problem.

That's how the American people are going to see this.

Whoaaaaaaa doggies! Everybody put on your football helmets, grab a beer, and sit back in a safe corner to watch. Take some food too. Because there is going to be one hell of a marathon barroom brawl starting any second now. That should distract everybody long enough for a few more trillion to be stolen. Wait... I just heard a big thud... Oh, that was two simultaneous thuds. One was Hank Paulson landing on someone's roof after being thrown and the other was Tim Geithner fainting. No... wait. There's more. I just heard shots fired in a few corporate-owned major media outlets. There's a battle going on over whether they'll report things the people can easily see for themselves, or whether they will continue to feed a corporate propaganda that's wearing very thin... People are reading the map. Lots of people.

See what I mean?... Openings!

Tick, tiick, tick... The Bush-Cheney endgame continues.

OK, someone check the Vegas odds on us actually having an inauguration. This is just insane... And so obvious!



Asian markets see the writing on the wall. In the meantime the government is signalling a half-assed bailout in quiet, weekend leaks. This is a recipe for mayhem and, at this point, I must assume it to be intended. If, on the one hand, the US is trying to assuage Asia with this nonsensical trial balloon, it signals how far out of control things are. Asia knows that a 150-pound fisherman just hooked a 250-pound Marlin; and the fisherman ain't strapped in. On the other hand, if this maneuver is purposeful and deliberate, the theBush-Cheney end game has entered warp drive for its last phase. It just seems appropriate to say "Oh shit!" right about now. You just couldn't write horror like this.

Citigroup's "Bad-Bank" idea is one of the most brazen thefts I have ever seen.

"Here! Let's just take all our criminal crap, tie it up in a bow, and flush it through the Treasury. We've already gotten the wealth out of it. It's just another anchor to drag down anyone who might object...After all, people who are starving rarely have enough energy to revolt." -- Well, something happen in Russia. Oh yeah, and in Weimar Germany.

FOR THE RECORD: Tonight I believe I have received a warning (not a threat, a warning) that my life may be in danger from someone qualified to know such things.

Oh God I hope so.

War Games, 2008
Relax, at least so far as these war games go. This is not by way of warning. History repeats itself but never verbatim. Keep your well merited anxieties directed towards the economy.
Free Documentaries
The good, the bad, the compromised by mis- or disinformation and the interesting.
Free Buck
Crime of the Century Movie
About the global economic crash caper.
Alison Johnson Memoir
Memoir about a father who stashed two tons of gold and silver coins in buildings he owned in a God-forsaken Nebraska town, without leaving clues as to where they were. By a woman who made a documentary about 9/11 health consequences focussing on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
From the "Not All The News Is Bad" file
Two minute video about reunion between man and former pet lion, the latter now all growed up and living with his new, species-appropriate family.

I spent four years in London as a child and remember the pet department at Harrods where you could pick up a baby jaguar. (That's where Christian, the star of the youtube video, came from, at least as far as his first owners were concerned.) There's something to be said for living in a country that hasn't strangled itself with red tape. On the other hand, doctors who've worked in both systems maintain that the litigiousness here does elicit greater care, believe it or not.
FOIA Guide, 2008


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Citigroup Failure Imminent
The above article was sent with a comment which is partially reproduced below:

Martin Weiss knows what [Mike has] already told us. He adds a few gruesome details on the nature and extent of the impending demise.

This leaves JPMorganChase as the last behemoth standing. GATA has fingered JPMorganChase (JMPC) as the biggest gold manipulation culprit. How well-connected is JPMC in comparison to any other bank? Does it connections into the CIA and the other intelligence organs go that much deeper than Citigroup and other banks? Deeper than AIG/C.V. Starr? How much does its Rothschild pedigree continue to benefit JPMC?

Which bank has more links to Cargill? I watch Cargill here because... it has so much influence over the food industry that few people really understand.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It's quite clear to me that those of you leaving comments critiquing my analysis of the nascent Obama administration really don't have a clue as to what I am saying. On the other hand I see many who do. Rather than write three thousand words trying to explain it again I think I'll just let the next months demonstrate what I have been saying, I thought rather clearly.

I have not rolled over for anyone and those who know me understand that it's not in my DNA. Having a body and a soul replete with scars I no longer run out with people who want to risk their lives in Quixotic, ill-conceived skirmishes. Stop saying that it's the same people, doing the same things, in the same old game. The people may be the same but the "things" and the "game" have changed. Hell the gameboard has changed too. I don't have a complete pithy response and it's frustrating. But play with these ideas...

Take this as a given: The people who will be occupying the White House are not running the collapse. The collapse is running them.

Never in my lifetime have I seen The Powers That Be as vulnerable as they are at this moment. In my lifetime, the closest it ever came was 1968. That's when they killed Bobby and Martin. After Newark and Detroit and a four or five other riots; after the Chicago convention; after Tet... Shit, the whole country almost came apart. But they kept control. Now, assassinations and troops in the streets will only lose them more control. The assassinations were tools of that era. Martin and Bobby were visible heads of movements and ideologies that threatened the system. So were the Panthers... OK, so tell me, who is at the visible head of the "collapse" movement? What's the name of the charismatic leader of chaos and panic?

We are much farther off the tracks now than in 1968.

One of my intelligence mentors, CW4 William McCoy of US Army (Ret.) CID fully articulated something I had already pretty much figured out by 1993. When you're fighting against overwhelming odds, the first thing you want to do is find a way to make the enemy deviate from its order of battle. Every time an enemy deviates from his plan he leaves openings that can be exploited. This has always been my first goal since day one. It was my wish behind every FTW article and Rubicon. Make them break stride. Stan Goff, bless his sweet soul, understands this perfectly. Well, guess what?" They have. In fact, they're tripping all over themselves. And the work that I and the rest did at FTW; the work in Rubicon, the magnificent job Jenna has done here, have helped bring that about. I am suggesting that we are far more influential than we know and we should act like people are actually listening. They aren't going to listen to people singing a song they've heard too many times. Too many people are reading the map --or significant parts of it. We did that. Of course, the lion's share of the credit for making the old paradigm waver is the whirlwind they unleashed this summer. It's a bucking bronco and they are not steady in the saddle.

I just finished chatting with an old friend and former member of congress (guess who?). She agreed with me completely that there are more openings now to get in and "make an impression" than ever before. It was she who came up with term "vulnerable" and it was THE word I'd been looking for, for days.

Here are two more pieces of shared mentoring.

1. Don't shoot unless you have a head shot.

2. A young bull and an old bull are standing on top of a hill, looking down on a herd of lovely cows. The young one grins and looks up at the old bull and says, "Let's run down and have our way with a few?" The old bull shakes his head and said, "No, son. Let's WALK down and have our way with all of them... One at a time."

Just play with this stuff for a while. I'd rather get back to figuring out what's going on... Don't blink.

And God do I love this blog and all of you who make it such fertile intellectual ground. We all must care for this soil.

(I'll bet Jenna will write something beautiful as a counterpoint... Just call us Gilbert and Sullivan.)



Unleashed this summer...bucking bronco and they are not steady in the saddle.

Of course, I couldn't help remembering a bucking bronco last summer in the middle of traffic outside Prospect Park and its rider, unsteady in the saddle, who landed on his thumb.

Right. Ouch. Remember those nifty hierarchies of pain with third degree burns and getting shot at the top? Out the window.

But back to the matter at uh.... hand.

I think what Mike's saying is reminiscent of those psychological tests where they show you a picture of a guy smiling next to a benign, sunny picture. Then they show someone else the same picture next to a sinister picture.

The subjects' interpretation of the guy's entire character changes.

Thus the Obama drama is peopled with a familiar cast of characters but the mise-en-scene has shifted and therefore, so have the goals.

It is against this new backdrop that the new administration's actions must be seen and weighed. Their primary goals are not so malevolent as those to which we have become so cynically accustomed. Their primary goals will be to salvage what they can and not only for themselves and their kind since they are now able to see that such a course of action would in fact be against their own interests. Therefore they will not be so paranoid nor so antagonistic towards the likes of us.

Ultimately, it comes down to a question of timing (the headshot.) There are times when taking to the streets is called for as it's the only show of power TPTB respect. But given the worldwide relief at the election results, does anyone think now is such a time? (I await your response, NB Patton.)

That's my reading of Mike's take. But, speaking of Gilbert and Sullivan, some might still feel:

Though to catch your drift I'm striving,
It is shady it is shady;
I don't see at what you're driving,
Mystic lady mystic lady.

Sorry but it rhymed.


Friday, November 21, 2008



All things considered, the appointment of Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary was probably the best-possible choice. That's not because he's Tim Geithner. He'll have a mixed record I'm sure. That's not the point. It's because he's the current Chairman of the NY Fed, which is the real seat of economic power in many areas. He knows the NY Fed and that's important because it's become totally apparent that no one else knows what the heck to do. He will bring some stability which is essential for all of us. It's much easier to build lifeboats when the mother ship is a little steady on the way down. Hillary at State doesn't scare me that much either. She could be very useful there. Holder at Justice isn't frightening. Waxman chairing the House Energy Committee is a great windfall!. Those who would call me a Clintonophile missed the first three years of FTW. They should go back and check it out before they diss me in comments. Hillary's asset is the degree to which she is trusted in so many countries; all of which are panicking at the moment. Though I never really cared for her, she has shown some heavy and classy chops and gained a lot of gravitas after the campaign. She is formidable. What we all have to see is whether Barack Obama will be holding the reins and guiding the team or not. These people see that the world is falling apart. They also see that they are going to be judged on how they handle it and they will know -- for a change -- that accountability will be sure and swift.

All of the economic signals indicate chaos rising; a new Zodiac sign I think. Citigroup is toast. I just love that Prince Alwaleed had to up his stake in Citi (see Rubicon and FTW). This confirms again that "the unwinding" [Great title for a Jack Nicholson movie] is out of control. The Saudi kingdom might soon be looking as unsteady as Pakistan. World leaders are freaking that things will get out of control everywhere. Soon enough. Soon enough. -- One or more of the big three will likely go down in December or early January. All of the unemployment numbers are exploding. States and cities are failing. Deflation is setting in. Retail and manufacturing are imploding. And I just heard numbers predicting three million more foreclosures next year. -- Oh yes, and Christmas will be a disaster of course.

Picture a nice Brooks Brothers suit on a handsome guy. (Me for example.) Now picture that while I am standing still, every piece of stitching, every inch of thread, suddenly vanishes. If I stay perfectly still things might be OK. But as soon as I start to move, the sleeves, lapels, lining, etc will start falling off. All that is happening at the moment with the economy is that the stitching is coming out. A couple of frays may have shown and maybe a pocket is dangling but that's it. Suze Orman (Will someone please explain Peak Oil to her?!) is still getting it right... up till the collapse thing. She said today that the stock market and the economy are two different things. Right on! What happens on Wall Street doesn't hit Main Street for months. Main Street hasn't felt the full effects of what happened in September yet.

And we are still nowhere near a bottom. I have not seen a single"credible" expert even suggest that we might be. This economy is in a power dive.

We have yet to see where Bill Richardson will land. He's been at Energy once before. We could do much worse. We could do better. Too bad Matt Simmons isn't interested.

Today's announcements were essential for Mr. Obama. The 500-point rally at the close was perfectly understandable -- if futile in the long run.

Next week will be a contest between cascading economic disasters, and the hope inspired by today's appointments and the faith the market shave in them. Any bets? -- Oh yeah, and I picked up a bit that the former chairman of Citigroup, Sandy Weill, is forming a new venture cap firm to go after "overlooked" (I think it was) industries. (Iwrote a lot about Mr. Weill and his Citigroup in FTW.) Yeah, like blacksmithing operations maybe; or how about small local foundries and metalworking operations. I think the real elites -- their self-sustaining castles and fiefdoms as secure as they're going to get-- have disengaged enough that we are seeing a "clean up" crew. My guess is that half or more are suckers. But all of them will have to perform and before long they will comprehend the stakes.

In the meantime all eyes await Mr. Obama's demonstration of what kind of president he will be.

RECOMMENDED READING from the FTW archives:

AND HERE'S a couple of recent stories very much worth reading too. It'sapparent from the second story that Bush-Cheney (remember them?) are full speed in their end game.,0,6868742.story

Have a good weekend... I'm going out on a boat tomorrow.


This is an era in which calamities don't get fixed; they are simply superceded by even bigger calamities. Nothing surprises us anymore but it is still possible to be left breathless by quotes such as the following:

From the day of its founding in 1913 to September 24, 2008 the Fed’s assets – the aforementioned cornerstone capital for the US financial system – grew to $1 trillion. By November 14, 2008 the amount had grown to over $2 trillion. And in a speech in Texas, the head of the Dallas branch of the Fed said he expected the total to reach $3 trillion by year-end.

We re-read the paragraph. Yes, in the seven weeks that ended last Friday, the fed's assets grew by the same amount which had previously taken 95 years. And even as we speak, the Fed is doing the same trick again.

It feels like becoming aware of how fast the earth is spinning beneath your feet. You feel a little off balance, about to fall, which indeed you are...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MCR wrote:


I have not checked out the site mentioned in one of the comments and I won't. As I have always said, "Buy nothing but tangible, physical gold bullion that stays in your close possession and is accessible."

The key here is not where you buy, but what you buy. Are you buying gold bullion for guaranteed-insured delivery within x days? I wouldn't accept any wait longer than four weeks if I was placing an order. To be honest though, the current situation might well justify a wait of up to eight weeks if all other standards are met. Of course, the simplest thing is where you go visit a local vendor, see the gold, buy it, and walk out with it. I happen to be a fan of doing business locally. (Ahem!)

I do not understand the meaning of "tax free" Venezuelan coins. Gold isn't taxed in the U.S. If you mean buy without sales tax, that's not difficult and can be done in many ways, very legally. Whether a coin is Venezuelan, South African, U.S., Canadian or Swiss makes no difference. Venezuela is a gold producing country. The only thing that matters is, "Is it .999 Fine?" I happen to like Canadian Maple Leaves and I pay extra for them, but it's not necessary.

The web site may be OK, or it may not. Sorry, I don't do that kind of research for people. I have never seen a simple, straight forward position of mine so fernargulated and overanalyzed.

1. Want gold.
2. Find gold.
3. Make sure it is all gold. (Not plate or less than .999 Fine)
4. Pay for gold.
5. Walk out with gold.


Steps 1-4 ditto.
5. Deal with reputable broker who can insure and guarantee delivery (usually via Insured/Registered U.S. Mail which is very solid.)

All we can do is pray for whoever it is on the other side of the Looking Glass that laments about his paper gold and then wants to go back and play in the same paradigm that is being flushed down the toilet in front of his eyes. I have never owned a publicly-traded stock in my life and I cannot imagine that I ever will. The Titanic is sinking and I can see no reason to invest is a boiler, a wireless...or even a stateroom!

By Christmas, things should be pretty much unglued altogether. How many pieces will have fallen remains to be seen. All we are watching now is the stitching being pulled out. And and I predict that this will be a New Year's Eve that none of us will ever, ever forget. I hope I wind up with someone special on that night... But then there's always my buddy Rags.

JO wrote:

Kruggerands are heavier than other bullion products because they're alloyed with a stronger metal to make the coin more durable. But they still contain an ounce of gold.

To the person who asked, in essence, which was more important to have, food or gold:

We'll dispense with the obligatory admonition about King Midas. You sound desperate. Only a person in a heightened state of anxiety would ask total strangers about your own unique, personal circumstances.

In other words, only you know precisely how much food and other essentials you have access to as well as how much 'shiny shit' as one commenter so pithily put it.

While perhaps leaving you at a loss temporarily, it should ultimately empower you to realize this.
MCR writes:


It won't be long this time. I'd write more but I've been overwhelmed by your responses to my last long entry. That made me want to be sure that everything I put up was worthwhile. I don't want to turn this into my "dumping" ground. It's been a tough week for me. Part of that is that it's still very difficult to watch all this come undone and to be able to see so much of it coming. What was it, five or six weeks ago I told you to start watching Citigroup?... Citigoup stock fell 23% today.

I'll have comments on the cabinet when it's more filled out. You can rule out Robert Rubin for Treasury. He's on the board at Citigroup and that's going to be real messy and won't look good. Today's Dow drop told everyone that we are nowhere near close to a bottom yet and I'm narrowing in on an eventual capitulation maybe in the low 5,000s. But things are so volatile that a metaphoric zero is not out of the question. It is becoming very clear that government leaders around the world are pretty much out of their pay grade, so to speak. The good news from this is that some of them -- and those who work for them --are starting to look all around for options, information and solutions in all kinds of previously ignored places. It's a good thing. We don't know how good yet. We have to let them at least take office before passing judgment and I've been a little pissed at some who have.

As a side note, I really had to laugh my ass off at two of the reactions to my brief spiritual discourse. One said that I was not a Christian if I didn't accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the only path. etc. That has no connection to what I believe. Another comment called me a crazy apocalyptic Christian and said they were "out of here". Cheez!... Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there, thank you!

I give Citigroup two and a half weeks at most. It might well fall sooner and there will be no bailout. That would start a revolution I think. The automakers are screwed and, for the first time today, the news commentators started talking about Chapter 7 rather than Chapter 11. That is liquidation as opposed to restructuring. A Chapter 11 filing is based upon restructuring and an influx of new capital... Excuse me??? "New capital"??? If the government won't invest $25 billion does anyone think the private sector is going to risk a nickle on those behemoths when the financials are trying to hold on to every dollar they have? It was always going to be Chapter 7 liquidation. That was obvious to me. They may pass through Chapter 11 on the way, but there's no way the big three would ever emerge from "Debtor in Possession" status. To make a sick joke... The wheels really are coming off.

Gee, I guess it's OK if I feel a little messed up... Don't we all?

Sending all of you a cyber hug. Thanks for those amazing responses. And yes, after about 18 years I managed to hook up with my old, long-lost pal, Nik P. It was a Kodak moment. -- I'm going to go hug my dawg now.

You go read all the grizzly details about Citigroup and think of all those people who bought all those put options last weekend. There's going to be a big feast over this carcass.

"Step right up! We have it for sale NOW! The United States of America is open for bidding!"... I guess you could say that we sold our soul a while ago, and it feels like there's just a few trying to redeem it as the lights go out. Soon we might just get to emerge from the shadows a bit and we might discover that there are more of us than we think.

JO writes:

The Daily Reckoning also anticipates the Dow going to 5000.

An interesting ratio to keep track of is the one between the value of the Dow and the price of an ounce of gold about which DR says:

In 1982, briefly, you could have bought every one of the stocks in the Dow index for a single ounce of gold. But by the time the stock market finished its epic rise, in January 2000, (while gold was doing an epic fall!) you would have needed 44 ounces of gold to buy the Dow. Now, that ratio has come down considerably. You only need about 13 ounces of gold to buy the Dow. And as stocks come down, the ratio is likely to fall below 5…and eventually back to 1 to 1 (at which time, remember, it will be time to sell gold and buy shares).

Obama Policies on Secrecy
Secrecy News hopes that the policies of the new administration will go further than suggested by the head of the transition team, John Podesta, in recent testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Podesta, who played an influential role in the development of Clinton administration classification policies, suggested a rollback of Bush's Executive Order 13292 and a reinstatement of "the provisions of [President Clinton's] Executive Order 12958 that establish a presumption against classification in cases of significant doubt."

But, writes Secrecy News,

[R]estoring a 'presumption against classification in cases of significant doubt' will not accomplish much since executive branch classification officers do not experience significant doubt....

A better starting point would be a systematic review of all of the thousands of agency classification guides, geared towards eliminating obsolete or unnecessary classification instructions. Classification guides are the secrecy system's "software." Revising and updating them would be likely to pay immediate dividends in reduced classification....

There is an old story of a Russian soldier who saved the life of the czar and was told that as a reward he could have anything he wanted. "Please change my commanding officer!" he begged.

In the coming weeks and months, it should be possible to do a lot better than that.

Obama Letters on Federal Agencies
I Wonder If Al Franken Still Is Dismissive Of Voter Election Fraud Now
by Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform
CNN Recognizes The End of Suburbia
Rank and File Spies for Obama
Though the election is history in more ways than one, the above article gives some indication of the forces that were at work during this election. Talk about broad support.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From an email sent by Le Metropole Cafe, newsletter for GATA:

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Wachovia Securities this month alerted its brokers and clients that it no longer would purchase precious metals for brokerage accounts, only shares in precious metals exchange-traded funds. In an explanation given to its brokers, Wachovia said the precious metals markets "are illiquid with wide bid/ask spreads and minimal transparency......"

This implies that real metal is awfully hard to get these days, and maybe that some brokerages would prefer that their clients not get it.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Green New Deal Makes Sense But Unlikely


Right now, if you can get any pure gold and walk away with it for as much as $300 over the spot price I'd do it. This story all but screams that a monstrous breakout is on the way. And the economic news is all bad and seemingly in high gear.

-- MCR

On the gold front, the New York Post's John Crudele continues his one man media crusade (with the alliance of GATA) to uncover the machinations of the gold cartel.

The disconnect between the suppressed price of bullion and the shortage of products requires an acknowledgment of manipulation or a flight from reality, a suspension of one's knowledge of the laws of supply and demand.

Northwest Territorial Mint has added new phone lines to deal with the deluge of calls, in addition to lacing its over-the-phone contract as well as its website with new provisos such as the following:

The US Mint has again announced production delays and rationing (emphasis, the blog's) for silver American Eagles. We will continue to ship silver Eagles from our stock when they arrive from the US Mint, but in order to expedite delivery will need to ship dates of our choice. These orders may experience significant delays (about which your bullion sales representative will tell you), but you can be confident that all trades locked in will be shipped expeditiously as we receive supply of product from the US Mint. For those of you who wish to ensure a place in the queue, we will continue to lock in trades at our low premiums over spot.

Kitco offers similar cautionary statements.

Franklin Saunders' The Money-Changer seems the most flexible of the three although it is also elusive by phone.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Thank goodness y'all have read Rubicon. I don't need to 'splain nuthin.


Consider the following two quotes from the attached story:

"So far this year, 23 major auto-related companies, most of them parts suppliers, have filed for bankruptcy, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton. They are struggling since car makers have cut back as sales have slowed and raw-material prices have risen."


"As supplier companies fail, that [a GM bankruptcy] would have a direct impact on Ford and Chrysler, since the three domestic automanufacturers share about 70% of their suppliers, Rodriguez estimated."

Now just think about those statements for a while. Let them rattle around. This is what happens when complex civilizations fail. I forget when I wrote it... Some of you wonderful, dedicated, FTW archivists will probably remember. But it's like walking into a room and turning on the light switch. Not only does the bulb burn out; but a leg falls off the coffee table and the cat dies -- all at the same time. The U.S. government should do NOTHING to help the Big Three. Let them go extinct. They ARE extinct. Dead men walking. But please do it quickly. Show mercy by at least making it decisive and quick. And it looks like that decision has been made and (yes, I'm actually writing this) it was the right one. No matter how steep the price, or how much pain is involved; GM, Ford and Chrysler can only become parasites that will soon outweigh the host and drag us all down deeper; before mankind is finally set free to swim for the surface and rebuild. None of the Big Three will ever see the new paradigm because they, like Robert Hirsch, are incapable of seeing it. To truly see it is to have some real hope for mankind and the evolution of our collective soul. (I love the band too.)

There is only one thing that is too big to fail. That is the United States of America. And it's time some real Americans grabbed a saddle and mounted up, not to fight for but just to express it.

I have not said much lately because there wasn't much to say. From what I see now, those who read this blog are some very sharp cookies. You make me feel so much less alone than I used to. Thank you.

Another thing I will comment on is Robert Hirsch's plea that Peak Oilists shut the fuck up because we might actually scare somebody. WTF???? We've been scared for years, haven't we? I met Hirsch in Sacramento at ASPO-USA. We talked. He ferdamnsure knew who I was and he asked twice for me to send him a draft of my book so that he could "look" at it. (Only about five people are going to see it outside of the publishing process. He's not going to be one of them. We're in some very "spicy" talks with several publishers. That's all I will say until there's something else to say.)

Robert Hirsch is a scientist, an engineer, and as rooted in his thinking as John McCain; no ability to see the inevitable -- to embrace it as we must. He must be near a breakdown and, frankly, I feel for him. I watched my father; a decorated Air Force aviator and former aerospace exec who dealt with USAF and CIA, come to understand that the CIA actually dealt and smuggled a lot of drugs -- and nearly killed his son. It only took him twenty-five years to "get" it. But what Robert Hirsch asked of us was absolute bullshit and we all know it. Pathos ad infinitum. It was as lame as the plea he made in Sacramento at the end of his speech that sounded like something out of a Ronald Reagan, WW II, rah-rah movie. It landed with a thud in the audience that might have registered on seismic scales and -- to be honest -- I felt for Hirsch then too. He knew that he was in a different movie from everyone else. He had seen... but he has not"seen".

Dontcha love the Saudis bragging about the IEA report somehow proving they aren't in decline? Sweet, Jesus, Mary and Joseph! We are so far through the looking glass that Alice just took a vicodin and a Valium, and the Mad Hatter leased a cardboard box on skid row.

BTW -- Don't get too sensitive about my comments about Christians (which I always categorize as Fundamentalist Right-Wing Christians). Those who know me well, know the extent of my spiritual studies. It is so amazing that real Christians have become so defensive; so demonstrative of the battered-wife syndrome. (I did a freelance piece for the L.A. Times on that in '85.) Jesus Christ was a prophet and a real-life demonstration of what can be unleashed of the God which lives in all men, women and children -- in everything. That is what Jesus taught. He taught how to find and release a kingdom that was within, all of us, in the here and now. That is also what Buddha taught. It is what the Tao teaches. It is what Mohammed taught and it can be found in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. It is also richly in the books of Isaiah, Psalms and John. The evil that Fundamentalist Right Wing Christians represent is that they (in an unbroken continuum) have taken the truth and the teachings of some really cool souls and used it for political purposes; for selfish ends. I can trace the pattern back to the Council of Nicea in about 315 AD. (I may be off on the year). "Virtue, the minute it recognizes itself as a virtue, becomes a vice." (Thank you Chuck C.) What that is, is the biggest part of man's soul that needs to be shed for evolution to occur. Whether we want to or not, we -- as a species --must surrender to something bigger than ourselves. Whether one calls it God or Peak Oil is utterly irrelevant.

I have prayed in churches, synagogues, mosques, ashrams, temples and also while going to the bathroom and making love. -- And do you know what? I found the same God, equally, in all places.

I need to ask the "loyalists" for an opinion. Lately, I have found myself writing as a means of dealing with all this crap. It's a departure from the two-million or so words I have written trying to be so factual and clear. It's helping me, but what I would like to know is, is it helping you too?

Why do I feel like an involuntary character in "Atlas Shrugged"?


The Robert Hirsch comment to which Mike is referring is here:

I suggest that the peak oil community minimize its efforts to awaken the world to the near-term dangers of world oil supply. The motivation is simple: By minimizing our efforts in the near term, we may not add fuel to the economic fires that are already burning so fiercely...

Businesses and the markets are in what might be called a free fall. If the realization of peak oil along with its disastrous financial implications was added to the existing mix of troubles, the added trauma could be unthinkable.

He's right. It is unthinkable. We should know. We've been thinking it for the last several years.

Hirsch is a really nice guy. We've had occasional e-contact (as well as meeting in Sacramento) since he answered a few questions after his first report in '05. Such was the suppression of peak oil back then that the article based on that e-interview used to show up in third place when you googled "Robert Hirsch" and "peak oil."

But the suggestion that we should tiptoe around the subject for fear of frightening the horses smacks of the same patronizing attitude we saw after 9/11 when TPTB lied about the record-breaking levels of toxics and carcinogens downtown for fear of creating panic. As a result, untold thousands are sick and some are dying, all unnecessarily.

Thus History is also repeating itself with respect to the sacrifice of human lives on the altar of the economy.

What is this panic that everyone so afraid of?

Fear is the underrated emotion, the nerd of human behavior that has its day of vindication in the end.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself," ring out the statesmen as they lead us (deftly, without going themselves,) into war. Perhaps it is they who are afraid of our fear. Perhaps that is why they are depriving us of it, at all costs.

If there's a fire, shall we keep mum for fear of creating panic? Or shall we point out the exits?

Ah, there's the rub. In the case of peak oil, no one knows where the exits are. Also, there aren't enough; they're far away and too small for everyone.

Still, who are we to decide that The Public is not mature enough to handle the reality that we realized years ago?

Particularly if the bad news comes coupled with some solutions, however meager - the way a doctor would present a grim diagnosis - it will be more palatable.

And there is something bracing and reassuring about knowing the truth, even when it's dire. You have the sense of ground beneath you, as opposed to tremulous uncertainty which is what the gyrating markets are reflecting now.

Corroborating Mike's first point, about letting the auto companies die, The Daily Reckoning presents cogent arguments for letting the chips fall etc; for acting as though we really had a free market system. What we have now is a perverse, heads-I-win-tails-you-lose socialism in which the market is free as long as Wall Street profits; interventionist when it doesn't, and only on its behalf.

But oi, the symbolism of letting GM fail. As GM goes, so goes etc.....


Friday, November 14, 2008

CITIGROUP UPDATE -- Cue Theme Music from Jaws

Citi announces it's going to cut 35,000 more jobs


Worst Is Yet To Come For Citigroup
Thomas Friedman's 11,000 Square Foot Home
...every inch of it, green. If you want to partake of some delicious malice at Friedman's expense, check out the eye-rolling newsletter Daily Reckoning managed by the producers of the film and authors of the best-selling book, I.O.U.S.A.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Victoria H. commented "The gas is all over the pavement, now all that is needed is the spark."

I envy her eloquence.

Between the Bloomberg suit (which is being largely ignored by the ms), and the auto industry... AND the brilliant stuff that Peter N. found on tax breaks in the bailout, that was some of the best dialogue and thinking I have ever seen. I will try to offer a response equally as eloquent.

We are so F-CKED!

The tax breaks being given to banks, Wells Fargo being one of the largest, to keep them alive are taking maybe hundreds of billions in tax revenue right off the top next year. There goes our chance for infrastructure change in the face of Peak Oil. The Dems will do everything possible to save Detroit and that's what they have to do. There are no easy choices now and none will change the End Game. It'sanybody's guess as to how much each choice, right or wrong, will delay or accelerate it. The only game being played is "forestall the inevitable": the collapse of industrialized civilization. I really do believe and am sensing that it is starting to sink in, in some very important circles. Those of us who made FTW, Rubicon and this amazing blog have greatly facilitated that.

And in the midst of all this Bush/Cheney are playing their own end game.

Stop calculating the deficit, it's a spinning meter now. Stop calculating the national debt. Fuggedaboudit! There is only one thing to do when a debt becomes so large it can never be repaid: go bankrupt and liquidate. We saw the first signs when rumors surfaced (and were quickly quashed) that Hyundai, I think it was, was looking to buy parts of Chrysler, including the Jeep line. There again, is something we described for years as en route at FTW and in Rubicon...

Hooray! The map is accurate.

Oh shit! The map is accurate.

I wonder how long before rumors surface that Disney and Coke are having trouble. The American brand name is dead.

Look guys, this is it. It can't possibly be long now until j6p and the rest of us get our teeth kicked in. And man is he going to be pissed off. Those of us who prepared to whatever extent will have it much easier than almost everyone we meet. I am so grateful that so many of you have let me know in so many ways, that you got it. You changed your lives because of the work I and the FTW gang did. Now we must realize that we have a blessing and ask how we can use it to best serve the rest. Go watch "Schindler's List", identify, and then understand that we won't be able to help everybody. Forgive yourself and do it now. The tension is surely getting to all of us, as it should be. Don't try to deny it or pretend it isn't there. Embrace it and respect it. It is something that bonds us to our fellows. Give yourself room to act and respond differently and don't judge yourselves too much if you screw up. I know too many in our not-so-little movement and we all share common traits. I acted out recently and really wounded someone who was and remains very special. Amends were made and accepted but our paths parted way too soon. --I'm sorry LB.

We must keep the human part of this process involved in all of this for our own health. I don't think anyone could ask for a better support group than what we have in this blog and beyond.

Now I'm going to go pester my agent about selling a book which really needs to come out soon.

FWIW -- I believe that's in God's hands -- a God who looks after all religions and peoples.


JO writes:

From The Writing On The Wall Department
Russia Signals Depreciation of Ruble

The central bank faces the danger that, by signalling a devaluation may be on the cards, it may spark a run on the rouble. Russia's stock market on Tuesday fell more than 10 per cent, and trading was halted briefly.
The Two Faces of Money
Insider Crimes, Funny Money and Options Rackets
They Made a Killing: The Use of Knowledge of Covert Operations in the Stock Market