TBR News August 14, 2010

Aug 13 2010


The Voice of the White House (Reprinted with permission from the Slaughterhouse Informer)

            Washington, D.C., August 11, 2010: “Poor PFC Bradley Manning was suckered into providing “a friend” with an enormous number of secret email messages which, he was told, would make the innocent Manning “very famous.” The documents were forthcoming but the “friend” then told his superiors and after the documents were sent to WikiLeaks, as intended, Manning was duly arrested. However, the reason why all of Washington, especially the Department of State and the White House, is terrified is not because of the relatively low-level military reports but the very damaging, and I mean very damaging, diplomatic messaging. Once the authorities discovered the degree and extent of the leakage, they panicked and immediately shoved poor Manning into solitary confinement, Their reason, “a suicide watch” is not the real reason for locking him away. The real reason is to try to find out to whom the explosive DoS documents might have been send, aside from WikiLeaks. Manning is not to talk to anyone but his interrogators and must never, ever be let loose around a computer. Apparently the authorities do not realize that computer code writers and hackers represent the elite of the computer world and they love to interface with each other and pass bits of interesting information back and forth. While Julian can be trusted, others cannot and now the fear is that deadly secrets will suddenly appear. Like here. Like on a thousand websites. Bradley did the right thing but for the wrong reason and as long as he is locked up in solitary confinement, instead of keeping his secrets safe, they will be, in Biblical terminology, “be proclaimed throughout the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof.” Selah!

Herewith appended is an interesting study in political realities:”


Ryan C. Crocker

Ambassador, Islamabad

Monday, February 19, 2007


I am informed by Chief of Station that he is maintaining a humint asset codenamed STETHOSCOPE within the Pakistani secret biological weapons program. The program is highly compartmentalized within ISI, and is unknown even to members of the Musharraf government. According to STETHOSCOPE it is judged by the ISI that governments in Pakistan are so corrupt, and come and go with such regularity, that they cannot be trusted with this knowledge. 


STETHOSCOPE is a medical doctor whose motives in passing us information are his devotion to Islam and his belief that biological weapons are against the precepts of the Qur’an. Being seen by his employers and colleagues to be a devout Muslim assists his cover. He hopes that we will use our knowledge and influence to prevent their use in the event of war between the countries.


STETHOSCOPE informs us that the program has two components: (1) A study and development of hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Marburg, and (2) Development and stockpiling of anthrax in aerosolized weapons form. The program fortunately does not have access to smallpox, which the Station Chief assures me is held only by us, Russia and Switzerland, which took the precaution of stockpiling the  virus shortly before its eradication 1977, as a future resource for their drug companies, which are an important part of their economy.


STETHOSCOPE explains that the proposed deployment of a biological weapon or weapons would be at the main railroad station in New Delhi near Karol Bagh. From here 300 intercity trains depart daily to destinations all over India, which has the largest interlocking rail network in the world. The method of deployment would be via numerous operatives posing as “tea wallahs” or sweet vendors, selling contaminated cups of tea or sweets to passengers on trains waiting to depart. They could probably operate for some days until the outbreaks began all over India, at which time they would be discovered, or might even have fallen sick themselves.


It is planned that this deployment would occur only in the event of an existing war between the countries, and not as one of the ongoing annual terrorist attacks sponsored by ISI, as the use of a biological weapon as a terrorist act would be clearly not accidental or within the capability of any of the numerous terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, and would inevitably provoke India to war. In the event of a war, all travel and communications between the two countries would be suspended, thereby insulating Pakistan from contamination. The anticipated result would be civilian panic and chaos throughout India, thereby causing India to have to divert military and medical resources from the war on its western frontier to maintain order and to contain and treat the epidemic of disease.


While we are not concerned with the hemorrhagic fevers, our concern rests in the fact that ISI was given a supply of anthrax from Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, and the technology to manufacture and aerosolize it into a deployable weapon, by the CIA under the administration of George H. W. Bush, a former Director of that entity. In the event of deployment of weaponized anthrax in India by Pakistan, subsequent genetic testing of the bacillus would reveal the distinctive profile of an American strain, which would bring worldwide suspicion and condemnation upon the United States. Our future relations with India, which features prominently in our global strategy, would be irreparably compromised.


Chief of Station asserts that he was not aware of this technology transfer at the time, not being part of the compartmentalized group which conducted it, and informs me that we cannot reveal our present knowledge of the program, as STETHOSCOPE would be compromised and probably discovered. This would remove our ability to monitor the program and the intentions of ISI. However, our planning for the future eventuality of war between India and Pakistan should include a strenuous effort to prevent Pakistan at that time from deploying anthrax within India. Our representations should include an appeal to Muslim morality (many of the ISI are fundamentalist Muslims,) an assessment that this act would provoke India to the use of nuclear weapons, and a credible threat that the United States would take the side of India in the conflict, instead of maintaining our customary neutrality. (End) 


India draws a line over Kashmir

August 10, 2010

by Sudha Ramachandran

Asia Times

             BANGALORE – A statement on Kashmir that the United Nations press office issued recently has ruffled feathers in India, forcing UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s office to clarify that the offending words were not uttered by the secretary general himself.

            Sent via e-mail on July 28 to a handful of reporters, the statement said that the “secretary general is concerned over the prevailing security situation there [in the Kashmir Valley] over the past month”. It called on all parties to show restraint and while welcoming the recent resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan at the level of foreign ministers, the e-mail said the secretary general “encourages both sides to rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue, which was initiated in 2004”.

            The expression of concern came in the wake of unrest in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) over the past two months that has claimed the lives of about 51 people, mainly civilians. While India is engaging in talks with Pakistan, it has suspended the composite dialogue since the bloody Pakistan-linked attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 as Delhi believes Islamabad has not acted robustly enough to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

            An incensed India asked the UN for an explanation for the “gratuitous advice”. The secretary general’s office quickly responded by playing down the e-mail, describing it as “guidance” rather than a statement by the Ban. “The Spokesperson’s Office released to the media guidance which was prepared by the UN Secretariat, and that seems to have been taken out of context. This was not a statement of the Secretary General,” the secretary general’s spokesperson said at a media briefing.

            India is one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping missions worldwide and is seeking a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

            India’s response to the “guidance” has been criticized as rather excessive. But it has a long history.

            The UN’s role in the India-Pakistan conflict over disputed Kashmir has raised hackles in Delhi for decades. Delhi has been opposed to the UN, indeed any external attempt to resolve the conflict. It has been of the view that while UN resolutions have kept secessionist sentiments alive in Kashmir, arms supplied by Western powers to Pakistan have fueled the latter’s military adventurism vis-a-vis India and encouraged it to pursue the military rather than the dialogue option with Delhi.

            However, it was India that first took the problem to the UN Security Council.

            Following Pakistan’s aggression on the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947 in violation of a standstill agreement that the governments of India and Pakistan had with its ruler, India referred the issue to the Security Council on December 31, 1947, asking for Pakistan to stop. Instead of taking note of the aggression, the council declared Kashmir a disputed territory, thereby supporting the Pakistani position.

            An August 1948 council resolution called for a plebiscite to determine the future of Kashmir. At that time, India was not opposed to such a move. At the time of Kashmir’s accession to India, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said that this was conditional on a plebiscite. That position changed with the Security Council’s handling of the issue. “Pakistan’s only locus standi in Kashmir was that of an aggressor,” an official in India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. “The UNSC made it an equal party to a dispute that in fact did not exist as India’s rights over J&K were clearly established by the treaty of accession.”

            With Pakistan becoming a part of two US-led Cold War military alliances, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the Central Treaty Organization, by the early 1950s and Western powers taking a pro-Pakistan line in the UN, India’s distrust of the UN and the West deepened. The promise of a plebiscite was put on the backburner, as was any role for the UN on Kashmir-related matters. From 1954 onwards, the Soviet Union used its veto in favor of India against UN resolutions on Kashmir and with that the impact of the UN’s “meddling” on India was effectively blunted.

            Unlike India, Pakistan favors a solution according to UN resolutions. This isn’t surprising as the UN plebiscite envisages giving Kashmiris a choice between accession to India or Pakistan. It is silent on independence or freedom from Indian and Pakistani control, which is the option most popular among Kashmiris.

            Pakistan has repeatedly sought to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums, although under the 1972 Simla Agreement with India it pledged to use bilateral dialogue to resolve it. In fact, diplomats who participated in talks that culminated in that agreement have written that the two countries had reached a tacit understanding on converting the Line of Control (LoC) (the ceasefire line of 1948, which with some small changes was made the LoC under the Simla Agreement) into an international border. That is, the two countries had agreed to give de jure status to the de facto situation. Domestic changes in the two countries in the 1970s prevented this from being implemented.

            The policies of the major powers towards the Kashmir dispute were driven by their global interests or the agendas of their regional partners. Thus, right through the Cold War, Western powers backed Pakistan’s claims over Kashmir, just as the Soviets recognized J&K as an “inalienable part of India”.

            During the Cold War, Western powers favored a plebiscite and a third party role to resolve the conflict, but this began to change in the 1990s. The end of the Cold War, India’s growing economic clout, the lure of its giant market, the reality of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the region and the realization that the dispute would be best resolved by the two countries themselves have contributed to this shift in position.

            Since the 1990s, the major powers have endorsed the Indian position, that is, conversion of the LoC into an international border. In 1999, for instance, when Pakistan violated the LoC at Kargil in J&K, it was sharply criticized. The joint statement issued by US president Bill Clinton and Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on July 4, 1999, in Washington expressed respect for the LoC in accordance with the Simla Agreement. That idea was echoed by a Group of Eight communique as well.

            During the Cold War, Western powers were not averse to an independent Kashmir, where they would wield influence. This was an attractive option, given Kashmir’s proximity to the former Soviet Union and China. In the post-9/11 scenario, an independent Kashmir is not that attractive any longer. “The international community has little appetite for redrawing maps, especially in this part of the world,” the MEA official said. “It has realized that J&K is in safer hands under India than it would be either independent or in Pakistan’s hands.”

            If in the past Western powers never hesitated to proffer advice to Delhi on the Kashmir issue, they have become more circumspect in recent years. Warm relations with India have always hinged on the support a country gave India on the Kashmir issue, a fact that the US has learnt and Britain is learning more slowly. At stake are ties with India, an emerging economic powerhouse. None of these countries would like to jeopardize their relations with India.

            While the US is nudging India quietly to engage in talks with Pakistan, it has avoided advising it publicly. It prefers to manage a crisis as and when it erupts rather than engage itself fully in the Kashmir quagmire.

            With the major powers shifting their line to match that of India’s, Delhi has been more willing to allow US facilitation. Policymakers recognize that the US is India’s best bet to get Pakistan to stop sponsoring anti-India terrorist groups.

            However, this does not mean that India will take “gratuitous advice” quietly, as evident from the public ticking-off that visiting British dignitaries offering to mediate have repeatedly received from India or the recent response to the UN “guidance”.

            Some years ago, the UN, in the words of then-secretary general Kofi Annan, said that in the changed international context, UN resolutions on Kashmir were “obsolete”. But Delhi is not taking any chances. Decades of distrust don’t go away that easily.

            Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.

UK doctors: New superbug gene could spread widely

August 11, 2010

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — People traveling to India for medical procedures have brought back to Britain a new gene that allows any bacteria to become a superbug, and scientists are warning this type of drug resistance could soon appear worldwide.

Though already widespread in India, the new superbug gene is being increasingly spotted in Britain and elsewhere. Experts warn the booming medical tourism industries in India and Pakistan could fuel a surge in antibiotic resistance, as patients import dangerous bugs to their home countries.

The superbug gene, which can be swapped between different bacteria to make them resistant to most drugs, has so far been identified in 37 people who returned to the U.K. after undergoing surgery in India or Pakistan.

The resistant gene has also been detected in Australia, Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands and Sweden. The researchers say since many Americans and Europeans travel to India and Pakistan for elective procedures like cosmetic surgery, it was likely the superbug gene would spread worldwide.

In an article published online Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, doctors reported finding a new gene, called NDM-1. The gene alters bacteria, making them resistant to nearly all known antibiotics. It has been seen largely in E. coli bacteria, the most common cause of urinary tract infections, and on DNA structures that can be easily copied and passed onto other types of bacteria.

The researchers said the superbug gene appeared to be already circulating widely in India, where the health system is much less likely to identify its presence or have adequate antibiotics to treat patients.

“The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and coordinated international surveillance is needed,” the authors wrote.

Still, the numbers of people who have been identified with the superbug gene remains very small.

“We are potentially at the beginning of another wave of antibiotic resistance, though we still have the power to stop it,” said Christopher Thomas, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Birmingham who was not linked to the study. Thomas said better surveillance and infection control procedures might halt the gene’s spread.

Thomas said while people checking into British hospitals were unlikely to encounter the superbug gene, they should remain vigilant about standard hygiene measures like properly washing their hands.

“The spread of these multi-resistant bacteria merits very close monitoring,” wrote Johann Pitout of the division of microbiology at the University of Calgary, Canada, in an accompanying Lancet commentary.

Pitout called for international surveillance of the bacteria, particularly in countries that actively promote medical tourism.

“The consequences will be serious if family doctors have to treat infections caused by these multi-resistant bacteria on a daily basis,” he wrote.

Pakistan ISI behind Mumbai attacks: India official

July 14, 2010


(Reuters) – Pakistan’s intelligence agency controlled and coordinated the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a top Indian security official said, in what is the most direct accusation yet of Pakistan by India in the strikes that killed 166 people.

Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s comments to an Indian newspaper published on Wednesday come a day before the foreign ministers of the nuclear-armed rivals meet in Islamabad to repair relations worsened by the attacks.

The two sides are trying to revive a peace dialogue crucial not only for improving their ties but also the security outlook in Afghanistan where the two countries vie for influence.

India last year linked Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) with the attacks, saying the perpetrators were “clients and creations” of the agency.

But Pillai’s remarks are more direct and could find resonance in the foreign ministers’ meeting.

“It was not just a peripheral role,” the Indian Express newspaper quoted Pillai as saying. “They (ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end.”

Pillai was not immediately available for comment.

India has blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants for the Mumbai attacks. It broke off a 4-year-old peace process with Pakistan, saying reviving the dialogue would depend on action against LeT and its chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.

Pillai said the evidence against the ISI emerged from the interrogation by Indian officials of a Chicago man, David Headley, who pleaded guilty to working with LeT to plan the attacks.

“The sense that has come out from Headley’s interrogation is that the ISI has had a much more significant role to play (in the attacks),” said Pillai, the top-ranking official in charge of domestic security.

“The same goes for Hafiz Saeed. He was not a peripheral player. He knew everything.”

India has handed over to Pakistan several dossiers of evidence, including against Saeed, but Islamabad says there are no grounds to try the LeT chief.

Pillai said he was hopeful that Pakistan would share information on steps it has taken against the Mumbai planners.

“We have given them a whole series of data and information that we have. We have given them the names, we have given them the descriptions, we have given them what their height is or their complexion is,” he said.

“Now it is up to them.”

(Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee, editing by Andrew Marshall)

Tales from Stasiland: The letter that makes you disappear

August 10, 2010

by Scott Horton


One of the creepier weapons in the arsenal of the national-security state is the “national-security letter” or NSL. It’s no ordinary letter, and it travels postage-free, but at enormous expense to the taxpayers. The FBI issues roughly 50,000 of them a year, and the Justice Department’s own internal review in 2007 concluded that many of them were issued abusively, skirting the law and internal rules. The idea is simple: the device is something like a subpoena, though it doesn’t require approval of a judge to issue. Instead, the FBI requires the recipient to help it in an investigation targeting a third party. It might be dropped on a librarian, with a demand that she tell the FBI every book that a certain subscriber checked out, every magazine he perused, and every time he accessed the Internet using a computer at the library. Or it might go to an Internet service provider, requiring information about every website viewed by a certain customer.

But the NSL also imposes a gag order on its recipient: you may not tell anyone you got this letter. On several occasions, the issuance of an NSL has been challenged by the recipient, but then the gag order applies to the litigation as well. The suit is brought by “John Doe,” and the claimant is required to keep the whole matter secret. One recipient wrote an anonymous op-ed in the Washington Post:

living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case…from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been.

But how can long-term gag orders be reconciled with the Constitution’s protection against warrantless search and seizure and the protection of free speech and press? Judge Richard Cardamone, writing a concurring opinion for the Second Circuit in one NSL case, acknowledged that a gag order might be imposed for a short period, but he observed that “a perpetual gag on citizen speech of the type advocated so strenuously by the government may likely be unconstitutional.”

Now as a result of a partial settlement in one of several cases in which the FBI’s use of NSLs is being successfully challenged, one of the recipients has been allowed to emerge from the shadows. His name is Nicholas Merrill, a Manhattan native who ran an Internet start-up named Calyx. He was hit with an NSL demanding that he “provide 16 categories of ‘electronic communication transactional records,’ including e-mail address, account number and billing information.” That isn’t all of it—but the FBI insists that most of its requests remain secret. The FBI withdrew its NSL to Merrill in 2006, apparently after concluding it had bitten off more than it could chew. Ellen Nakashima profiles Merrill in a piece in the Washington Post:

For six years, Nicholas Merrill has lived in a surreal world of half-truths, where he could not tell even his fiancee, his closest friends or his mother that he is “John Doe” — the man who filed the first-ever court challenge to the FBI’s ability to obtain personal data on Americans without judicial approval. Friends would mention the case when it was in the news and the normally outspoken Merrill would change the subject. He would turn up at the federal courthouse to hear the arguments, and in an out-of-body moment he would realize that no one knew he was the plaintiff challenging the FBI’s authority to issue “national security letters,” as they are known, and its ability to impose a gag on the recipient.

What led Merrill to mount a challenge against the use of NSLs?

Two things, he said, “just leaped out at me.” The first was the letter’s prohibition against disclosure. The second was the absence of a judge’s signature. “It seemed to be acting like a search warrant, but it wasn’t a search warrant signed by a judge,” said Merrill. He said it seemed to him to violate the constitutional ban against unreasonable searches and seizures. The letter said that the information was sought for an investigation against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. Merrill said he thought it “outlandish” that any of his clients, many of whom were ad agencies and major companies as well as human-rights and other nonprofit groups, would be investigated for terrorism or espionage.

In the view of the national-security state, however, the prohibition on warrantless searches and seizures doesn’t apply to national security matters. They’ve argued this proposition for some time, with a good deal of success—especially with judges appointed by George W. Bush, who seem inordinately beholden to the concept of national security. Although other judges have found that the Fourth Amendment can’t simply be brushed aside, the experience with NSLs is a good demonstration of how the civil liberties envisioned by the Framers are being frittered away–in the hypothetical interest of national security.


Welcome to Mexico! Excuse the MessWere Remodeling  

by Keith Johnson
Revolt of the Plebs
August 11, 2010

If you look beyond the barebacked illegal alien scaling a barbed wire fence, you’ll discover a trail of dead that leads all the way back to Mexico City.  There you’ll find President Felipe Calderon—chillin’ like a villain—with a motley wrecking crew of CIA operatives, Latin American drug lords and an assortment of corporate henchmen from such infamous organizations as Halliburton, DynCorp and SYColeman.  Look beyond them, and you’ll discover a trail of cash that leads all the way back to Wall Street and Washington D.C. 

Mexico is going through some big changes, but not the kinds of changes contained in any of Calderon’s political speeches.  The Mexican President is working off blueprints drafted by the Anglo-American establishment.  By the time they’re through, you won’t recognize the place.  It may not become a suitable place to live, but it will certainly be a plunder friendly environment for rich carpetbaggers (the people Obama likes to call “The Titan’s of Industry”) intent on exploiting all of Mexico’s vast natural resources.  But—of course—you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and that’s precisely what Calderon and his staff of short order cooks are frying up in Hell’s kitchen.

Since Calderon took office in 2006, almost 30,000 lives have been lost to a nonsensical military offensive against the minor players in Mexico’s drug trade.  Funding for this colossal disaster was made possible through the Merida Initiative of 2008.  This military aid package is a creature of the Bush administration, and was introduced as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership’s (SPP) plan to merge the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a militarized tri-national Homeland Security force.  Since it was signed into law, roughly 1.4 billon American tax dollars have been flushed down this money pit to create a boondoggle for U.S. defense contractors, IT companies and private mercenary firms.  The recent upsurge in violence on both sides of the border, along with the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens into the United States, is a direct result of this unholy alliance.

Calderon himself is merely a puppet of the United States government.  Throughout his entire term in office, the drug war has taken precedence over everything.  As a party to the Merida Initiative— also known as “Plan Mexico,”—Calderon is obligated to put U.S. security objectives ahead of all domestic policies.  Pursuant to the agreement, Mexico is required to adopt and maintain an aggressive counter-narcotic, counter-terrorism and border security strategy that adheres to a strict military model. 

The objective is not to stop the free flow of narcotics across the border but rather to eliminate smaller drug gangs that compete with the larger cartels who launder their money through U.S. and British banks. 

Meanwhile, at least 49% of the Mexican population continues to live below the poverty line on less than US$2 per day. Projects to improve infrastructure have fallen to the wayside.  Public services are minimal to non-existant.  Wages are low and the gap between the rich and the poor is larger than all but six other nations in the world.  Despite being the 11th richest economy on the planet, only a privileged few reap the rewards of Mexico’s vast wealth of natural resources like oil, gas and minerals. 

Mexico is the first of the three North America countries to fully embrace the SPP.  It is no longer a sovereign nation.  Ever since Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) took control in the year 2000, U.S., British and Spanish companies have taken possession of almost every bank in Mexico.  Citigroup—for instance—owns Banamex, the largest and most influential of Mexico’s financial institutions.

Both Felipe Calderon and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, are devout globalists.  They are the anti-thesis of the previous nationalist government—the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)—that ruled Mexico for over 70 years.  Their strategy for dealing with the drug trade was far different than the current administration.  During their reign of power, the PRI had an iron grip on Mexico and controlled everything from natural resources, the press and even the cartel’s themselves.  Though narcotics trafficking flourished during the PRI years, the government was able to control the gangs under strict rules that forbid kidnapping, the killing of civilians and the encroachment upon another cartel’s turf. When the PRI lost the Presidency in the year 2000 to Vicente Fox and his National Action Party (PAN), all of those controls went with them.

Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that the Calderon government was in bed with Mexico’s largest drug cartel, the Sinaloa Federation, which controls more than 45% of the drug trade.  In February, Al-Jazeera posted a video expose, which suggested that the Calderon government was favoring the Sinaloa Cartel. They interviewed a leading Mexican law professor—Edgardo Buscaglia—as well as a prominent Mexican journalist— Diego Enrique Osorno, both of whom determined, through research, that the federal government was targeting the weakest organized crime groups in Mexico and all but ignoring the main organized crime group, the Sinaloa Federation.  An analysis of over 50,000 Mexican drug arrest documents dating back to 2003 showed that only a tiny fraction of those arrests were against Sinaloa cartel members, and none have been against cartel leaders. 

This led many to surmise that the PAN was becoming just as corrupt as the PRI, and that the war on drugs was nothing more than an expensive bloodletting to purge the narcotics trade of low level upstarts.  This has led to resurgence in popularity of the PRI, who has promised to get the cartels under control if elected in 2012. National Public Radio recently interviewed Denise Dresser, a political scientist in Mexico City, who stated, Its as if the Communist Party were resurgent in Russia. Were witnessing, in many ways, the return of an authoritarian party that governed Mexico for 71 years.

Now, just as Calderon’s popularity was beginning to wane, we learn thast Mexican troops have very conveniently found and killed one of the Sinaloa Cartel’s #3 man, Ignacio Coronel “Nacho” Villarreal.  This gave Calderon a much needed boost, which he has now used to justify continuing on with the drug war on its present course.  At first glance, this killing would appear to dismiss speculation of Calderon’s ties with the Sinaloa Federation.  But does it really?  Is it not realistic to assume that Nacho is merely a sacrificial lamb, or perhaps a rogue  element within the cartel that needed to be eliminated?  Notice that he was not taken alive.  Surely his capture would have been an invaluable intelligence asset.  Surely, Nacho took a lot of valuable information to his grave.  It has recently been discovered that Villareal was implicated in CIA operations in Yucatan.  According to an article by Mario Andrade,  Thanks to the arduous work of the Mexican newspaper Por Esto!, it was discovered that Nacho Coronel was literally running El Chapo Guzmans cocaine operations in the Yucatan Peninsula since 2004, when evidently, he became the visible head of the Sinaloa Cartel which operated out of the cities of Merida, Cancun, and Cozumel. This was known as the Yucatan Peninsula Route.


On September of 2007, there was a plane crash in Yucatan. When authorities arrived at the crash site, they discovered well over 3 tons of cocaine onboard the Gulfstream II aircraft. The narcotics reportedly belonged to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, under the command of El Chapo Guzman and the local control of Nacho Coronel. However, after further investigations into the origins of the aircrafts markings and registration number (N987SA), it was discovered that it was used for CIA rendition flights. Later that month, another drug bust took place involving a DC9 aircraft transporting cocaine, registered to an American business (although the American owner was never arrested, and the identity was not publicly revealed).

Again I ask:  Does Villarreal’s killing strike a significant blow to the Sinaloa Federation, or does his death serve the dual purpose of getting rid of a dangerous liability while also giving Calderon a much needed publicity boost?

You can expect to see more convenient killings as the system purges itself of rogue elements.  The PAN will use these executions for propaganda purposes in an attempt to win back dissenters from the PRI and get public opinion back on their side.  They’re also using Vicente Fox, who has now become a vocal supporter in favor of drug legalization.  Are his declarations sincere, or is he simply putting out campaign rhetoric for the PAN?  Don’t be surprised if Calderon himself comes out and promises to strongly consider the legalization of narcotics if the PAN is re elected in 2012.  We’re all familiar with Obama’s promise to end the wars in the Middle East during his campaign, only to reverse his position the minute he took office.  The same thing will happen here.

That’s not to say that it’s entirely unrealistic to imagine an open drug market in Mexico.  Legalized drugs would allow Wall Street investors to reap huge profits by investing in U.S. drug companies trafficking in a legalized drug trade.  Demand for drugs would soar in the U.S. as previously abstinent Americans took trips south of the border for a little recreational drug experimentation, only to return as hardcore addicts.  Of course drugs would remain illegal in the states, and those returning across the border with souvenirs would make welcome additions to the penal system. 

Whether Mexico will ever legalize drugs or continue on their present course is still a matter of speculation.  But one thing is certain: nothing that any of these people decide to do will be done for the benefit of the people.  The New World Order is weighing its options, and the eradication of narcotics is not part of their agenda.  There are far too many profits to be made from drugs, whether they are illegal or not.  Catherine Austin Fitts, a risk management professional, has stated that narcotics annually bring in an estimated $400 billion globally and about $150 billion plus in the United States.  In part one her series, Narcodollars for Beginners, Fitts states that, “According to the Department of Justice, the US launders between $500 billion $1 trillion annually. I have little idea what percentage of that is narco dollars, but it is probably safe to assume that at least $100-200 billion relates to US drug import-exports and retail trade.

In her article, The Red Button Problem, Fitts states, In the summer of 2000, I asked a group of 100 people at a conference of spiritually committed people who would push a red button if it would immediately stop all narcotics trafficking in their neighborhood, city, state and country. Out of 100 people, 99 said they would not push such red button. When surveyed, they said they did not want their mutual funds to go down if the U.S. financial system suddenly stopped attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion a year in global money laundering. They did not want their government checks jeopardized or their taxes raised because of resulting problems financing the federal government deficit.

The only real solution for Mexico and the United States is to call off the war on drugs and legalize them universally.  Mexico must work to regain its sovereignty and break its ties with the IMF and World Bank.  These institutions have only made the economic conditions in Mexico much worse—especially for the poor.  They lend money to Mexico on condition that they cut social expenditures in order to repay the loans.  Mexico should take its lessons from the Icelandic people and default on their loans.  The United States government should promote political parties whose government model is based on the original Republican form of government—designed by our Founding Fathers—that includes an identical Constitution and Bill of Rights.

As for the United States, the $400 million dollars paid annually to Mexico to fight its drug war could be used to strengthen our own border security.  Does anyone find it odd that our government provides billions of dollars each year in support of apartheid Israel’s border war, yet no such support is given to the gallant Sheriff’s who are single-handedly fighting the war that rages on our own border?

Some of the same people who provide material and moral support of Israel’s efforts to displace Palestinians from their own land are also the most vocal critics of Arizona’s immigration law.  The Democrats, rich billionaires and—of course—the Anti-Defamation League are all among these groups of hypocrites.  Their agendas should be quite transparent to everyone.  For the Democrats, providing amnesty to illegal aliens gives them a significant voting block.  For rich billionaires—like Michael Bloomberg—illegal aliens make useful tools to drive down wages and destroy the middle class.  For groups like the ADL, illegal aliens are just another group it can infiltrate so they can later be used as soldiers in their on-going war against American traditions and family values.

Right now, the Mexican people are among the only groups who have resisted the secularism promoted by the ADL, who annually give their “Torch of Freedom” award to pornographers like Hugh Hefner.  But if they allow themselves to become allied with that organization, they can expect their women to be seduced into aborting their children, their strong family units broken apart and their Catholic religion attacked.  This is the modus operandi of the ADL.  And if anyone doubts that, just ask members of the African American community whose groups were infiltrated by the ADL and have since wised up and (for the most part) distanced themselves from this poisonous and destructive influence.

As Americans, we should be concerned about our Mexican neighbors.  If your neighbor’s house falls into disrepair and becomes unlivable, you may take those people in for a time.  But if they fail to do the proper repairs themselves, you may offer to lend a hand.  This is exactly what we need to do with Mexico.  We need to help make their country a place worth living in.  That’s exactly what needs to happen—and that’s precisely why it won’t happen.  What’s good for the people is not what is good for the New World Order.  They don’t want you to have a nice house on a nice street.  They want to bulldoze both your properties.  Then they’ll whisper in your ear, your neighbor did it and whisper the same thing in your neighbor’s ear.  Then you’ll both be homeless, penniless and fighting in the street until a police car rolls up and takes you away.

When the New World Order comes to town, they set up shop just like Wal-Mart: a giant alien spacecraft that lands in the center of town.  They say they come in peace as they pull out their ray guns.  Moments later—three family grocers, two pharmacies, a tire shop, a photo mat and an appliance center are all vaporized.  And instead of storming the behemoth—the locals flock to it, become its slave and wonder how they ever lived without it.


Now, if you’ll excuse me…I need to go out and buy a replacement printer cartridge.  Let’s see, it’s 3am….hmmm.  I wonder what might be open at this hour?



Pakistan floods drown economy hopes

August 12, 2010

by Syed Fazl-e-Haider

Asia Times

            KARACHI – The floods scouring through Pakistan, in a catastrophe that may be bigger than the combined effect of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Kashmir and 2010 Haiti earthquakes, are throwing into doubt all forecasts for an economy already struggling to survive amid terrorism, high inflation and widespread grinding poverty.

            The political outlook is also increasingly dark. President Asif Ali Zardari is facing heavy criticism after being in the United Kingdom and France while flood waters ripped a 1,000 kilometer path of destruction from the far northwest to southern Sindh province. The standing of the military, which is spearheading relief efforts, has by comparison climbed. Religious groups are also welcomed by desperate citizens for the help they are providing.

            The damage has affected up to 14 million people and destroyed 650,000 houses, according to local estimates. As many as 4 million people have been displaced or made homeless and at least 1,600 killed. UN spokesman Maurizio Giulian told Associated Press that if the estimate is correct, the total affected would exceed the number hit by the tsunami and the two noted earthquake disasters of the past six years.

            Reflecting the chaos and outlook, stocks are tumbling, with the benchmark Karachi 100-share index dropping 2.8% on Monday to 10,026 and falling below 9,950 in early Tuesday trade.

            The country has suffered estimated losses of 40 billion to 60 billion rupees [up to US$800 million], Business Recorder reported, citing Farhan Mahmood, analyst at Topline Securities. This may be a gross underestimate. Farmers in northwestern Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa reportedly lost crops worth 35 billion rupees.

            The floods may cut economic growth by up to a half percentage point from the 4% growth target for the current fiscal year, the Topline report said. Inflation, meanwhile, is set to rise as the loss of crops drives up food prices and the government borrows more to meet relief costs. Entire towns, infrastructure, livestock and crops have been swept away. Electricity generation has been hit in a country already suffering crippling energy crisis.

            “The damage to crops, supply disruption of essential food commodities and the impact of reconstruction and rehabilitation costs on government finances has significantly increased inflation risks,” The News reported, citing a Standard Chartered Bank report. Crops such as wheat, cotton, rice and sugar cane contribute about 7% of GDP.

            Inflation may climb to 12% over the next 11 months, against the government’s 9.5% target, the central bank said. Headline inflation averaged 11.7% in the year to June 30, against a 9% target after increases in power and gas tariffs that are still feeding into the economy. The rise in inflation may prompt a 1 percentage point increase in interest rates by next July, which will force up business costs and hinder economic growth, analysts said.

            The fiscal deficit – the gap between what the government spends and what it raises through taxes – is expected to widen further, even beyond the central bank’s forecast of 6% of GDP. That will take it above the 4% target that is one of the conditions attached to an International Monetary Fund bailout package initially agreed in late 2008 as the government struggled to meet international debt obligations.

            “If the fiscal deficit goes more than last year’s expected 6% it would be disastrous for the country as it would face another spell of very high inflation which could force the State Bank to further tighten monetary policy,” Dawn reported Mohammad Imran, head of research at Arif Habib Investment, as saying.

            The central bank in its most recent monetary policy statement at the end of July increased its key discount rate to 13% from 12.5% after refusing to accept the government’s fiscal targets.

            “Fiscal pressures are expected to mount further [… on] expenditure for rebuilding the calamity-hit areas, and with tax exemptions being announced for them,” Dawn reported Khurram Shahzad, Head of Research at InvestCap Research as saying.

            Extensive loss of crops, including cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize, threatens the government’s 3.8% growth target for farm output this fiscal year

            Damage to cotton in the Punjab may lead to higher imports, Bloomberg reported, citing the Pakistan Kissan Board, a farmers’ group. Rice exports may be cut after the loss of as much as 5% of the rice crop.

            The country will need billions of dollars more from international donors to recover from the floods, a daunting prospect at a time when the financial crisis has shrunk aid budgets in many countries. The US and other international partners have so far donated tens of millions of dollars and providing relief supplies and assistance.

            The White House said US helicopters have helped to save more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan. Washington has provided US$35 million in aid, including 436,000 meals and 12 prefabricated bridges.

            The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has reportedly announced relief assistance worth 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in addition to 10 million yuan announced by the Chinese government. Last week, three Chinese aircraft delivered tents, medicines, water purifiers and generators to the country.

Syed Fazl-e-Haider (http://www.syedfazlehaider.com) is a development analyst in Pakistan. He is the author of many books, including The Economic Development of Balochistan (2004). He can be contacted at sfazlehaider05@yahoo.com.

The Conversations with the Crow

          When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert  T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

            Crowley did not listen to them (noe one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

            Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:


Here is the twenty-second chapter


Conversation No. 22

Date: Friday, July 5, 1996

Commenced:   1:45 PM CST

Concluded:   2:10 PM CST

GD: Did you have a safe Fourth, Robert?

RTC: Oh my, yes, Gregory. I was out in the street firing off rockets at passing police cars. And you?

GD: No, I stayed inside. Little children setting the garage on fire with Grandma tied up inside or shooting bottle rockets into gas tanker trucks on the freeway. Plastic surgeons must have loved the Glorious Fourth back when we had real firecrackers to fire off. Missing eyes, fingers and other body parts. Terrified and singed cats and dogs, not to mention grass fires and burning shake roofs. I can just see you firing off rockets into passing cop cars, Robert. With your training and previous employment, no doubt the rockets blew the occupants into bloody cat meat.

RTC: Such an outburst of rage, Gregory.

GD: I am a man of sorrows and acquainted with rage, Robert. How about the Company setting off a small A-bomb in some hitherto harmless country and blaming it on mice?

RTC: Now that’s something we never did. In fact, we prevented at least one nuclear disaster.

GD: What? A humanitarian act? Why, I am astounded, Robert. Do tell me about this.

RTC: Now, now, Gregory, sometimes we can discuss serious business. There were times when we prevented terrible catastrophes and tried to secure more peace. We had trouble, you know, with India back in the 60s when they got uppity and started work on an atomic bomb. Loud mouthed cow-lovers bragging about how clever they were and how they, too, were going to be a great power in the world. The thing is, they were getting into bed with the Russians. Of course, Pakistan was in bed with the chinks, so India had to find another bed partner. And we did not want them to have any kind of nuclear weaponry because God knows what they would have done with it. Probably strut their stuff like a Washington nigger with a brass watch. Probably nuke the Pakis. They’re all a bunch of neo-coons anyway. Oh, yes, and their head expert was fully capable of building a bomb and we knew just what he was up to. He was warned several times but what an arrogant prick that one was. Told our people to fuck off and then made it clear that no one would stop him and India from getting nuclear parity with the big boys. Loudmouths bring it all down on themselves. Do you know about any of this?

GD: Not my area of interest or expertise. Who is this joker, anyway?

RTC: Was, Gregory, let’s use the past tense, if you please. Name was Homi Bhabha. [1]That one was dangerous, believe me. He had an unfortunate accident. He was flying to Vienna to stir up more trouble, when his 707 had a bomb go off in the cargo hold and they all came down on a high mountain way up in the Alps. No real evidence and the world was much safer.

GD: Was Ali Baba alone on the plane?

RTC: No it was a commercial Air India flight.

GD: How many people went down with him?

RTC: Ah, who knows and frankly, who cares?

GD: I suppose if I had a relative on the flight I would care.

RTC: Did you?

GD: No.

RTC: Then don’t worry about it. We could have blown it up over Vienna but we decided the high mountains were much better for the bits and pieces to come down on. I think a possible death or two among mountain goats is much preferable than bringing down a huge plane right over a big city.

GD: I think that there were more than goats, Robert.

RTC: Well, aren’t we being a bleeding-heart today?

GD: Now, now, it’s not an observation that is unexpected. Why not send him a box of poisoned candy? Shoot him in the street? Blow up his car? I mean, why ace a whole plane full of people?

RTC: Well, I call it as it see it. At the time, it was our best shot. And we nailed Shastri [2]as well. Another cow-loving raghead. Gregory, you say you don’t know about these people. Believe me, they were close to getting a bomb and so what if they nuked their deadly Paki enemies? So what? Too many people in both countries. Breed like rabbits and full of snake-worshipping twits. I don’t for the life of me see what the Brits wanted in India. And then threaten us? They were in the sack with the Russians, I told you. Maybe they could nuke the Panama Canal or Los Angeles. We don’t know that for sure, but it is not impossible.

GD: Who was Shastri?

RTC: A political type who started the program in the first place. Babha was a genius and he could get things done, so we aced both of them. And we let certain people there know that there was more where that came from. We should have hit the chinks, too, while we were at it, but they were a tougher target. Did I tell you about the idea to wipe out Asia’s rice crops? We developed a disease that would have wiped rice off the map there and it’s their staple diet. The fucking rice growers here got wind of it and raised such a stink we canned the whole thing. The theory was that the disease could spread around and hurt their pocketbooks. If the Mao people invade Alaska, we can tell the rice people it’s all their fault.

GD: I suppose we might make friends with them.

RTC: With the likes of them? Not at all, Gregory. The only thing the Communists understand is brute force. India was quieter after Bhabha croaked. We could never get to Mao but at one time, the Russians and we were discussing the how and when of the project. Oh yes, sometimes we do business with the other side. Probably more than you realize.

GD: Now that I know about. High level amorality. They want secrets from us and you give them some of them in return for some of their secrets, doctored, of course. That way, both agencies get credit for being clever.

RTC: Well, you’ve been in that game, so why be so holy over a bunch of dead ragheads?

GD: Were all the passengers Indian atomic scientists?

RTC: Who cares, Gregory? We got the main man and that was all that mattered. You ought not criticize when you don’t have the whole story.

GD: Well, there were too many mountain goats running around, anyway. They might have gotten their hands on some weapons from Atwood and invaded Switzerland.

RTC: You jest but there is truth in what you say. We had such a weight on us, protecting the American people, often from themselves I admit. Many of these stories can never be written, Gregory. And if you try, you had better get your wife to start your car in the morning.

GD: How about my mother-in-law, Robert? Now do you see why Kimmel doesn’t want me talking to you? It isn’t that he’s afraid you might talk to me; I think he’s afraid I might corrupt you with my evil designs.

RTC: Tom means well but he’s dumb as a post. Most of the FBI are keyhole peepers at heart and should keep the hell out of espionage. Yes, Tom thinks I am getting senile and you are persuading me to give up state secrets. I may be old and I do forget names sometimes but I am not gaga yet, not by a long shot, and I’ve done a lot more important things than Tom ever did chasing car thieves and people dragging whores over state lines to a cheap motel.

GD: I don’t think you’re crazy, Robert and, you know, I once discussed you with him. He wanted to know what you were talking about with me and I told him we were discussing stamp collecting. He was not happy with this. I know he views me as a terrible person, but I can’t help that. He said you weren’t the person you used to be and I said who was? I asked him if he was better or worse that he had been at twenty and he got mad at me. Self-righteous, Robert, self-righteous.

RTC: Well, you certainly aren’t that, Gregory.

GD: Well, you’re not crazy and I’m not wicked. I am right, aren’t I? Please tell me I’m right, Robert. I’ll cry myself to sleep if you don’t

RTC: (Laughter) You’re a truly bad person, Gregory.

GD: I know. I told Jesus that last night when we were playing poker. He keeps hiding cards in that hole in his side.

RTC: Tell that to the Pope.

GD: We don’t get along anymore since I ran over his cat.

(Concluded at 2:10 PM CST)


Dramatis personae: 

James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organizaion eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired and lives in retirement in Florida

Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarian and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.

Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers.




Mass Paperback Publisher Goes All Digital

August 6. 2010

by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

Wall Street Journal


As digital books continue to gain market share, one of the country’s oldest mass paperback publishers is abandoning its traditional print books and making its titles available in digital format and print-on-demand only.

Dorchester Publishing Inc., a closely held book and magazine house, said it is making the switch after its book unit sales fell 25% last year, in part because of declining orders from some of its key retail accounts, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart declined comment.

“It wasn’t a long, drawn out decision, because we’ve been putting in the effort but not getting the results,” said Dorchester Chief Executive John Prebich.

The move comes at a time when electronic-book sales are gaining popularity with readers. Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants, predicts that digital books will be 20% to 25% of unit sales by the end of 2012, up from around 8% today.

The decision to go digital could be a sign of things to come for other small publishers facing declining sales in their traditional print business. Dorchester’s switch will likely result in significant savings at a time when it expects its digital sales to double in 2011.

Dorchester, which has been publishing mass market paperbacks since 1971, publishes 25 to 30 new titles a month, approximately 65% of which are romance works. The company launched its first mass paperback titles in 1971.

Romance fans in particular have already embraced e-books, in part because customers can read them in public without having to display the covers. In addition, type size is easily adjusted on e-readers, making titles published in the mass paperback format easier to read for older customers.

Mr. Prebich estimated that 83% of the books published by Dorchester are priced at $7.99. By comparison, the larger trade paperback format is typically priced at about $14.95.

Dorchester’s switch to e-books is effective Monday. It plans to make new titles available on a print-on-demand basis through retailers later this year. Ingram Publisher Services, a unit of closely held Ingram Industries Inc., says it will ship orders to retailers as demand arises. News of Dorchester’s decision was first reported by Publishers Weekly.

Some authors, Mr. Prebich conceded, may be unhappy if their titles are available only via e-books and print-on-demand, but he said that so far the response has “been receptive to what we’re doing.”

Hard Case Crime, an imprint owned by closely held Winterfall LLC, said it may seek to move its mystery books from Dorchester to another publishing house.

“It’s been a good run, but if they aren’t publishing mass market paperbacks, we’ll have to decide what to do. I’m a believer in the mass format, but I do understand the reality of the marketplace,” said Charles Ardai, who owns Hard Case Crime.

The country’s largest consumer book publisher, Bertelsmann AG’s Random House Inc., said it continues to be a strong believer in mass paperbacks. One of the country’s most successful mystery writers, the late John D. MacDonald, is available from Random House exclusively in mass paperback.

“It’s still a viable, popular, lower-priced alternative to the other reading formats,” said Stuart Applebaum, a spokesman for Random House. “It also has a committed readership. Will that commitment be forever in a transformative marketplace? We’ll have to wait and see.”

Extreme Weather Experienced Worldwide

August 4, 2010

by Carolyn Presutti

Voice of America

These past few months have been filled with extreme weather in many parts of the world, and climatologists are trying to figure out what to make of it.

            From flooding in China to wildfires in Russia, strong winds in Australia to stifeling heat in the United States, with waterspouts over Miami Beach, Florida.  It’s the season of unusual weather. In Pakistan, floodwaters have swallowed whole villages and killed 1,500 people. “It rained the whole day and night. We did not sleep,” said Mohammad Yaseen, a retired solder.

            In China, torrential rains brought on the worst floods in a decade. Roads under two meters of water. Landslides surprising drivers. “I saw a rock falling down and then suddenly I heard a terrible noise, and another boulder hit my car and I was stunned,” said Jiang Qidi, a driver.

            In Russia, weeks of record-breaking heat and little rain are hampering efforts to extinguish wildfires.  Flames surrounded and nearly trapped this group of volunteers.

            Analysts say the world should be aware of the consequences. “We pray to God day and night for rain to fall, to change this weather.  It is the only thing which can help us,” said Igor Vlaznev, a Russian firefighter.

            Russia is the world’s third largest wheat exporter and officials there say the drought will cut the grain harvest by 25 percent. Grain exports could drop by a half this year.  World wheat prices are already up nearly 50 percent since early June.

            “Grain prices are going up.  Food prices are going to be going up,” said Lester Brown, who is with the Earth Policy Institute.

            So what is going on?  Is it simply a coincidence that this extreme weather is occurring at the same time worldwide. Or is it a warning of catastrophic climate change?  The U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration says the earth has been warming over the past three decades and the most recent decade is the hottest ever.

            “Even if the temperature trend were flat, we would see extreme weather. What we will see in a changing climate is that these things are more frequent. They may be of higher magnitude, meaning more severe when they happen and that’s what we can truly see in a changing climate,” said Deke Arndt, with NOAA.

            Brown says it does not necessarily mean global warming, but “what we can say is that given the projections for future temperature rises, that we will be seeing more and more Russias around the world.  The next time it may be in China, may be in the U.S. midwest or Great Plains.  Could be in two or three of them at once. Then we are in real trouble.”

            Brown says to watch for three key indicators — the number of hungry people in the world, the price of grain and the number of failing states.   

[1] Homi Jehangir Bhabha,  October 30, 1909 – January 24, 1966 was an Indian nuclear physicist who played a major role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program and is considered to be the father of India’s nuclear program. He died when Air India Flight 101 crashed near Mont Blanc in January 1966. Strong  evidence pointed to a sabotage by the CIA intended at impeding India’s nuclear program. ,

[2]  Lal Bahadur Shrivastav   October 2, 1904 – January 11,1966 was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a significant figure in the Indian independence movement. After the declaration of ceasefire, Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan), organised by Kosygin. On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration.The next day Shastri, died, supposedly of a heart attack, at 1:32 AM.He was the only Indian Prime Minister, and indeed probably one of the few heads of government, to have died in office overseas. Like the death of Homi Bhabha a few daye later, the fatal heart attack has long been suspected as a means on the part of the Russians to remove a potential enemy armed with nuclear weapons.

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