America’s Favorite Racist: Obamacare like Nazism

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 1:53 pm by George Smith

Please proceed, Ted.

Bowing to reader request, more Ted Nugent!

Today, from Media Matters where they listen to all, and I do mean all, his radio broadcast appearances:

NUGENT: Well I got to tell you, Dennis, I just don’t agree at all. There was an incrementalism to what happened in Germany and other places historically, where they came in slowly. And they started, you know, the power struggle between the different races, and the power struggle between different elements of society. And they incrementally worked their way in. And I think that’s what Obamacare is, that’s what I think most of what he represents. The IRS — I really believe that what we see with the IRS can be compared accurately and historically to the early maneuvers of people like jack booted thugs, like the brownshirts. I really believe that and I think that you are being too soft on them, because —

DENNIS MILLER: No, we just disagree Teddy.

NUGENT: I think [Obama] really wants to destroy America. I think he wants to follow the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals book, destroy our economy, have a — I can’t even think of the term right now — but the war between the haves and the have-nots, when the haves have because they try really hard and the have-nots don’t have because they don’t try as hard.

Give the poor, like me, access to health care they didn’t have before, or who paid out for years into useless junk policies, it’s just like Nazism. But still rather mild when put alongside the routine of comparing a couple famous Jewish people to Joseph Goebbels.

I doubt Ted Nugent has ever read the must cited Saul Alinsky. It’s something he learned about from watching Glenn Beck on Fox News a few years ago.

“He’s a little over the top but he’s funny,” said Mitchell Creson of Nugent.

The above, from a North Carolina newspaper, today, on Nugent being given two handguns decorated with a custom decal process made by a local company.

In Texas, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbott, still has a significant polling lead over Democrat Wendy Davis. Despite Nugent, Texas will elect the Republican.

On Friday I asked a couple rock journalists who were in Michigan at Creem magazine in the early-70’s if Ted Nugent had actually always been like this, just without the media megaphone and people willing to reprint it.

No one seemed to know or be willing to comment directly although they did inform that he’d always been something of a fraud.

Also confirmed by a friend from Texas: In the context of state politics Nugent is not much of a liability because his presence brings people to rallies and, paradoxically, the base shares his “family values.” Or they think they do. The distinction between what is reality and what’s imagined is not important.

Krugman, on the GOP and Obamacare, today:

Even supporters of health reform are somewhat surprised by the right’s apparent inability to come up with real cases of hardship. Surely there must be some people somewhere actually being hurt by a reform that affects millions of Americans. Why can’t the right find these people and exploit them?

The most likely answer is that the true losers from Obamacare generally aren’t very sympathetic. For the most part, they’re either very affluent people affected by the special taxes that help finance reform, or at least moderately well-off young men in very good health who can no longer buy cheap, minimalist plans. Neither group would play well in tear-jerker ads …

No, what the right wants are struggling average Americans, preferably women, facing financial devastation from health reform. So those are the tales they’re telling, even though they haven’t been able to come up with any real examples.

Hey, I have a suggestion: Why not have ads in which actors play Americans who have both lost their insurance thanks to Obamacare and lost the family farm to the death tax?

Comparison to Nazism apparently not working.

However, in California some agency has been working to convince seniors that signing up for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, here it’s called Medi-Cal and it’s what I have as of January 1, may have their estates seized as part of the state’s attempt to recoup medical costs after the patient dies.

From the LA Times, over the weekend:

Despite government assurances that the vast majority of Medi-Cal patients needn’t worry about the state trying to claim their assets, growing numbers of new enrollees under Obamacare are voicing concerns after reading warnings on healthcare notices that after their deaths the state “must seek repayment of Medi-Cal benefits” for services provided once they turn 55 …

Established in 1993, the federal government’s estate recovery program was chiefly intended to recoup outlays for lengthy nursing home stays and skilled nursing care, which are among its biggest expenses.

But California and other states have exercised an option in limited instances to recover payment for medical services, from doctor visits and surgeries to managed care payments and drugs.

Norman Williams, a spokesman for the state Department of Health Care Services in Sacramento, says only a tiny fraction of the 9 million patients using Medi-Cal will be affected by cost recovery actions against their estates. Less than a quarter of a percent of the more than $600 billion the state spent on Medi-Cal over the past 20 years has been recovered, he said …

Doreena Wong, a project director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, an advocacy group, said that the estate collection program is “a barrier to our community” and discouraging many people from completing applications for coverage.

At the Chinatown branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, where Wong’s group has stationed a Chinese-speaking health educator to assist with enrollments, a quarter of potential Medi-Cal recipients are walking away instead of signing up, she said. Many, she added, cite worries about losing their estates.

The newspaper estimates that an additional 2 million people in California will be covered by Medi-Cal through the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare.

It also notes that some Medi-Cal eligible readers have written letters to the newspaper citing fear for their estates after they are die. Health care advocates tell the newspaper when the conflict between the state law and the new conditions of nationwide health care where not forseen. They believe the problem can be remedied by making only nursing home care potentially recoverable or extending exemptions because eligibility is now being determined by income, not including assets like homes and cars.

No longer made in China

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 10:35 am by George Smith

From USA Today:

Here’s a Stars and Stripes shocker: Prior to Friday, flags bought by the Department of Defense weren’t necessarily 100% American-made.

But going forward, flags purchased by the military must be wholly sourced from the U.S. — and not have any elements from overseas, according to a Department of Defense purchasing rules amendment that went into effect Friday.

While the Department of Defense’s major flag vendors are American companies, the flag material — such as ink and fabric — could have come from foreign markets prior to the change.

“Our men (and) women in uniform should serve under American-made flags,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said on his Facebook page last week. He proposed the legislation requiring the flags to be 100% American-made.

“After Thompson posted news of the regulation on his Facebook page, it spurred much debate among users on that site … Some applauded the rule … Others said flag production should be done by the most cost-effective source, even if that meant going outside of the U.S.,” it continues.

“I would like for someone to offer one economically sound reason we should show preference to the more expensive American made American Flags, rather the affordable flags made in other countries,” reads one such comment. “I cannot support this crony capitalism.”

Markets must not be constrained by government order! Liberty! Atlas will shrug!

Whenever you see the slogans and beliefs now it’s always the property of the WhiteManistan boys club, people who deserve a kick in the butt and superciliousness.

China makes American flags more cheaply, the article notes.

In 2003 I sent off a parcel of cheer-you-up-type stuff to an US Air Force friend who was serving in Iraq. In return he sent back an American flag in a box that contained an official notice that said flag had been flown in a combat mission in an A-10.

I was informed the flags were bought and sent out on sorties for just such purposes. The flag, which was made a nylon fabric or something similar, had a made in China identification.

I no longer have it.

I don’t care whether stuff is made in China. It’s all I or lots of Americans can afford.

The piece of minor legislation by a Democrat is very small beer. It makes no difference at all to our collective fortunes. If an American corporation must now have the flags it supplies to the US Dept. of Defense made in America, it will either find a way to still use Chinese-made flags and have them fall under the made-in-America stipulation by having US workers add one little thing before they’re put in boxes or pass the slightly higher price on to the taxpayer.

Big deal.

My Fender telecaster is made-in-China.

It’s part and product of an economy where American corporations have been allowed to prey on the civilian population for decades, pushing pay for work down until all that could be done to keep a semblance of middle class life going was to buy goods made by ever cheaper labor. Nationally, paying people fairly became equated with the source of all evil, government.

Of course, you can have an economy in which people are paid more and the corporations are allowed to do many things, just not cannibalize and liquidate the lives of their domestic workers.

We don’t have it. Some European nations and other more progressive economies, places that aren’t slumped like the US, do.

A telecaster guitar has a simple specification. It can be made anywhere.

A Chinese factory can make them as effectively as the Fender Custom Shop and its alleged Master Builders.

The only reason the “Master Builder” employee description took hold in this country is its convenience as a marketing tool for the artisan work “crafted” for the snob buyer market. In this market the guitar is an investment, to grow in value as it ages.

But electric guitars are by no means scarce goods. They are not precious jem stones, old classic muscle cars, gold, the first Amazing Spider Man comic book or even BitCoin.

Leo Fender would have snorted at the warping in today’s American guitar markets.

“China Toilet Blues” is, amazingly, four years old. Which is when I started doing my “protest” music set to video. It was the first.

At 21 seconds, the commonly seen American flag lapel pin on insincere patriots and politicians. There’s Hugo Chavez, now dead. And who’s the crazy mullah? I don’t remember.

I still have my Mojo Deluxe harmonica but I no longer see the original book it came with and it’s no longer being marketed as new.

The market for weekend retreats in which corporate middle-managers have their leadership and creative skills strengthened by learning to play blues harmonica never blossomed as planned.

The image of a roomful of managers from Kraft Foods or directors from the American Society of Forensic Laboratories learning to “blow their blues away” on Chinese harmonicas during a compulsory leadership get-together is a shattering one. You would be hard-pressed to think up a situation containing less “mojo,” creativity and fun although you might be able to imagine it as a potential TV movie in which special punishments in Hell are meted out to the deserving. — 2008

Of course, you can still buy many harmonicas from China. My favorite package, from a couple years ago, was the Piedmont Blues pack.

The $180 3D-manufactured American super harmonica flopped.

The company, tits up, two years ago:

The only harmonica made in the U.S. was manufactured right here in Rockford. It was a business so unique, many thought it would take-off and create a hundred jobs. Instead, Harrison Harmonicas abruptly closed about a year ago, leaving no employment future and customers without their pre-paid orders or a refund.


A blast from the past, February 2010:

Fender Musical Instruments is another example of ‘artisan’ business.

The book on its musical amplifiers entitled The Soul of Tone is an unintentional profile of a company that went from being a middle class employer in California, one making things for the middle class, to a company that sent all its manufacturing overseas, reserving its domestic manufacturing — greatly decreased — to stars and big deal corporate lawyers.

In the context of the book, it’s written of as straightforward smart business. When it was published, three years ago, it seemed that way.

Now it reads poorly. The first part of the book is filled with great amplifiers made in America by guys and gals in Hawaiian shirts.

The end of the book is quite different. It’s filled with oral history from its current designer/artisans explaining how they ship their everyman stuff manufacturing to whatever overseas place is the cheapest.

Coincidentally, all the guys pictured in the front of the book are dead.

This transformation is encapsulated in a quote about one premium domestically made guitar amplifier, the Vibro-King, a $2500 item used by Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend.

“If you’re a rock star or a lawyer who wants a Vibro-King, you’re gonna get one, but the Cyber-Champ (a low end Chinese-made Fender-branded amp) is an example of the relentless march to Asia for manufacturing,” states Shane Nicholas of Fender.

Coincidentally, all economic reports indicate that class hit hardest by the Great Recession has been the low wage earners, those customers targeted by Fender’s cheap goods made in China.

And, of course, the update, a Captain Beefheart-themed version starring Tom Friedman, quoting from one of his columns:

Well, folks, Sputnik just went up again: China is going clean-tech!

What a perfect asshole.

And this week, an odious lecture from someone at Google, passed off as how-to-get-hired advice.


America’s Favorite Racist gets the fear

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 12:42 pm by George Smith

It was all the usual good fun for Ted Nugent when he called the President a “subhuman mongrel” for his base of crazy and rotten middle-aged guys from WhiteManistan at a gun show last month. After all, this is a man who’s made a routine of comparing Jewish people to Joseph Goebbels in the last couple weeks.

But then Ted Nugent went on the campaign trail with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbot. The media interest in the Texas race refocused on his history. And the “subhuman mongrel” bit, along with his other things, are exploding in his face.

Told ya so.

This, at images.google.com, is really bad juju.

The world Google-bombed Ted Nugent and he is now inextricably linked with calling the President a “subhuman mongrel.” Everyone knows what he really wanted to say.

At the LA Times, minutes ago:

“I did cross the line. I do apologize — not necessarily to the president — but on behalf of much better men than myself,” Nugent said Friday in an interview with Ben Ferguson, a Dallas-based conservative talk radio host.

Nugent said he regretted “using the street-fighter terminology of ‘subhuman mongrel’ instead of just using more understandable language, such as ‘violator of… the Constitution…. the liar that he is.’”

As an apology, it’s small beer. As well as tortured.

Nugent has crossed the line many times. But this is the first instance in which he seems to be regretting it. If he he now feels some fear it’s only because he may realize what the media could do to him.

The mainstream media pretty much made Ted Nugent over the last two to three years. They considered him controversial, clickbait and good for views, a charismatic character.

But Ted Nugent’s soul is twisted and stained in ways most can’t imagine. He is as vile a figure as you can find in the public light in 2014 and he has never had any sense of self-control. The “subhuman mongrel” moment and his applauding audience of gun-nut riffraff are on video and it cannot be removed from the net.

The mainstream media can turn on people like Ted Nugent, as quickly as they hoisted them up. And no one will mourn the passing.

Other Republicans, famous ones, have been forced to confront Ted Nugent’s poison. Rick Perry, Rand Paul and John McCain are three who have denounced him for it, according to the Times.

Actually, this is what Rick Perry said:

“I’ve got a problem with someone calling the president a ‘mongrel.’ That is an inappropriate thing to say.”

So the subhuman part was OK, though.

This is your Republican Party. The people running the show are, as said in the lede, crazy and rotten men from WhiteManistan, the same demographic defined by Ted Nugent.

America’s favorite ranting racist is their guy!

Please proceed, Ted.


BitCoin speculation

Posted in Fiat money fear and loathers at 4:55 pm by George Smith

The BitCoin community has turned on Mt. Gox, it’s old favorite exchange, at least for the moment.

Today the rate hit a low of $109 with the average being $159.

At the Financial Times, the feeling is the jig is up:

Protester Kolin Burges, who started dabbling in virtual currencies last summer, says that he should have known Mt Gox was “a bit dodgy”, and accepts that he should not have stashed all his Bitcoins – the proceeds of a well-timed sale of Litecoins – in the exchange’s vaults as late as January 28. (To see Kolin, check “They had a Bitcoin sad” where the programmer indicated he had “hundreds” of them locked up at Mt. Gox.)

In the vacuum between Mt Gox’s public statements, he notes, rumours and conspiracy theories are rife.

“Exchanges need to prove that they have X amount of coins, and X amount of cash,” says Mr Burges, an Android games developer hoping to “semi-retire” if he gets his coins back.

Prices on Mt Gox have been removed from a benchmark Bitcoin index run by Coindesk. BitcoinEast, a start-up incubator, says it will take Mt Gox off its site, howtobuybitcoins.info.

An online petition to remove Mt Gox managing director Mark Karpelès from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a non-profit that serves as the industry’s governing body, has attracted more than 750 signatures.

A Los Angeles seller of BitCoin who I have linked to is currently advertising at $112, pegging his asking price to Mt. Gox. One might come to the conclusion he is trying to unload.

All other sellers are keeping their prices high, at anywhere from the high 500s to mid-600, in effect, seemingly market betting that Mt. Gox will fail and be removed from the BitCoin economy.

This has led to what has typified BitCoin, speculation, and behavior that is just like that of Wall Street with some rushing to buy the rights to Bitcoins at Mt Gox at the depressed price, betting that eventually the system will restore itself and they will have turned a nice profit.

Of course, if it does not, they lose everything.

“BitCoin exchange faces ‘Whirlpool of Death,'” reads the International Business Times.

Of course! You can donate to this blog in BitCoin, through Coinbase.
Donate Bitcoins

Or, if my system is up, you can send direct to my old Bitcoin wallet.

How to be a success in the Culture of Lickspittle

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 3:36 pm by George Smith

Today’s thrilling mail:

In today’s world, interaction between companies and their potential and existing customers is carried out through social media.

I offer what follows: What I suggest is to raise the ranking of your website DICKDESTINY.COM on the most popular social networks by placing more than 700 likes using Facebook accounts.

The high rating will help increase the credibility of your website and of the services which you offer.

For this offer you won’t even need a Facebook account.

The cost of the service is only – $ 49. I work without pre-payment. Payment is carried out after all the work is done. You pay only once and all Facebook Likes are placed permanently.

Only 14 “likes” per dollar?! Frowny face. And he was offering 2000 for 70 dollars a year ago!

I wish people would like me.

America’s Favorite Racist & his endorsements

Posted in Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 2:19 pm by George Smith

When Ted Nugent called the President a “subhuman mongrel” in January at a gun expo it cost him nothing. In fact, it got him cheers from his usual base of rotten and crazy dudes in WhiteManistan.

However, Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s choice to campaign with Nugent has taken both of them into the media spotlight, and not in a good way.

What had been generally ignored a month ago is no longer.

The consequences are read, provided by a political correspondent at a Houston newspaper:

Most political prognosticators, including yours truly, have been predicting that while state Sen. Wendy Davis will probably make the best showing by a statewide Democratic candidate in Texas in decades, she still is likely to come up short in beating Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott in November …

However, this week, Abbott may have made just the fatal mistake we did not expect. For reasons beyond comprehension, Abbott decided to campaign with rock star-turned-political wacko, Ted Nugent …

He has admitted that he frequently slept with under-age girls while on tour, a felony in Texas. Although he frequently invokes fallen American military servicemen in his political rants, he also admitted to an elaborate scheme to dodge the draft and the Vietnam War.

But what Abbott is going to really find problematic in his quest to become the next governor is that there is no governor on Nugent’s mouth. According to him, President Obama is a “subhuman mongrel” and a “piece of s—.” He referred to Hillary Clinton as a “bitch” and worse. He has said he would shoot those crossing the border illegally, that it might have been better if the South won the Civil War, that feminists are “fat pigs” and he sees nothing wrong with using the N-word.

The media have exploded with stories about the joint appearance, and each one has chronicled some of Nugent’s most despicable comments or positions. Now Abbott is stained with Nugent and has provided Davis with material for powerful negative campaign ads. The campaign event was a potentially catastrophic blunder …

“I think the GOP has grossly underestimated the depth of resentment the Nugent episode has engendered with women,” continues the Houston columnist. He adds that some Republican voting women have told him they will be quietly voting for Abbott’s challenger, Wendy Davis.

He also uses the word “despicable” in describing Nugent. It is one of the most honest pieces on Nugent that I’ve seen from the mainstream in a while. And it was published in Texas.

“Subhuman mongrel” in the Google News tab.

“Subhuman mongrel” — Google general search.

And most choice — “subhuman mongrel” — at images.google.

Slowly but surely, this one’s going to hurt America’s most public bigot.

However, I have my doubts whether being tarred with Nugent’s comments means much in Texas politics.

Nationally, though, a different story.

At WorldNetDaily, Ted makes no mention of this. Instead, today, he devotes his column to naming all the hunting gear companies that send him stuff.

Excerpted, it’s pathetically amusing:

We practiced diligently with our Mathews bows and Excalibur Matrix crossbow and headed out for afternoon number two …

Shemane [Nugent’s wife] settled into her Primos Double Bull blind with ace SpiritWild VidCamDude Kris Helms running the camera for her. The nonstop flutterfest of birdlife is always fascinating …

Shemane had her Matrix solidly on her Caldwell portable shooting bench when a handsome butterball forkhorn … She is a patient hunter and was committed to wait for a nice buck for her Queen of the Forest hunting segment on our “Spirit of the Wild” TV show on Outdoor Channel.

Shemane smoothly squeezed the Excalibur trigger, and the glowing orange Lumenok

You will see the moment of glory on high definition video when this Queen of the Forest episode of “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild” airs on Outdoor Channel later this year…

Kris and Shemane walked straight to the mighty buck that died within a few yards and a matter of seconds from the razor-sharp Muzzy Trocar three blade broadhead.


And, Sarah Palin: “If [Greg Abbott] is good enough for Ted Nugent, he is good enough for me!”

Rich Men of Rich Man’s Burden discovered!

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 10:02 am by George Smith

Peggy Noonan, syndicated right wing columnist, plutocrat and Ronald Reagan’s most famous speechwriter, has discovered she lives in a corporate fascist plutocracy. She is shocked, just shocked at the personal awfulness of the 1 percent and greed and looting as the images of American exceptionalism.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, syndicated here at the Beaufort Observer:

We’re at a funny point in our political culture. To have judgment is to be an elitist. To have dignity is to be yesterday. To have standards is to be a hypocrite …

They are America’s putative great business leaders. They are laughing, singing, drinking, posing in drag and acting out skits. The skits make fun of their greed and cynicism. In doing this they declare and make clear, just in case you had any doubts, that they are greedy and cynical …

They’re making their videos, holding their parties and having a ball. OK. But imagine you’re a Citizen at Home just grinding through—trying to do it all, the job, the parenthood, the mowing the lawn and paying the taxes. No glamour, all responsibility and effort. And you see these little clips on the Net where the wealthy sing about how great taxpayer bailouts are and you feel like . . . they’re laughing at you.

What happens to a nation whose elites laugh at its citizens?

What happens? Everyone but the bankers at the secret party gets worked over. You get to go on Medicaid and sell your guitars to pay bills. Maybe you can get on food stamps.

And next year they have another party just like the one before.

That’s because, ah, “we are at a funny point in our society.”

The should have asked me to play this at the St. Regis Hotel Ballroom. And unlike the singing bankers, I would have been cheap, can hold a tune and teach everyone the words.

One Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: That which caused the scales to fall from Peggy’s eyes.


The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people …

The second thing I realized was that Kappa Beta Phi was, in large part, a fear-based organization. Here were executives who had strong ideas about politics, society, and the work of their colleagues, but who would never have the courage to voice those opinions in a public setting. Their cowardice had reduced them to sniping at their perceived enemies in the form of satirical songs and sketches, among only those people who had been handpicked to share their view of the world. And the idea of a reporter making those views public had caused them to throw a mass temper tantrum.

The pure Culture of Lickspittle.

Via Frank.

You don’t have to listen to lousy recordings from the St. Regis Hotel Ballroom to be entertained! If you find yourself in Pasadena on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons, you can hear “Rich Man’s Burden” and other things, in person!


Nugent calls enemies Nazis, spells Goebbels wrong

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Psychopath & Sociopath, Ted Nugent at 11:07 am by George Smith

Overnight Ted Nugent was criticized by Wolf Blitzer of CNN for a comment, now about a month old, in which he called the President a “subhuman mongrel.”

The segment, in connection with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s choice to use Nugent as a public campaign booster, immediately spawned a Twitter response from America’s most public bigot.

From Media Matters:

This is most ungenerous since it is the mainstream media that butters Ted’s bread. It has made made him enough of a national celebrity to guarantee he earns more money being WhiteManistan’s favorite racist than actually playing guitar to riffraff on the county fair and casino circuit.

In any case, blog readers know Nugent always calls his enemies Nazis. And (Mao-Tse Tung Fan Club) Commies, although the latter seems to have gone to into disuse over the last six months.

In January of this year Nugent compared movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is Jewish, to Joseph Goebbels. And the parents of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer were Holocaust survivors.

And, writes Media Matters: “In March 2013, Nugent compared Obama to ‘a German in 1938 pretending to respect the Jews and then going home and putting on his brown shirt and forcing his neighbors onto a train to be burned to death.’ ”

Of course, it’s not news to readers that Nugent is both repugnant and a gold-plated idiot. If you’re going to repeatedly compare your enemies to Joseph Goebbels, perhaps you ought to be able to get the Nazi’s name right before blurting it out with whatever comes into your head.

In the future perhaps Himmler would be easier to spell.

Ted Nugent, as a psychopath, is certainly the best man for the Republican Party as well as another pretty good example of daily malice and indecency as American virtues.


Republican Catch Phrase

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 12:48 pm by George Smith


Jesse Korff and the legacy of the Poisoner’s Handbook

Posted in Bioterrorism, Fiat money fear and loathers, Ricin Kooks at 12:06 pm by George Smith

A 19-year-old boy in south Florida is set to be imprisoned, possibly for life, as the result of a federal investigation of the Black Market Reloaded website, a replacement for the infamous Silk Road, where there were “numerous offerings for the sale of illegal and harmful goods, including but not limited to biological agents, toxins, firearms, ammunition, explosives, controlled substances, counterfeit goods and fraudulent documents,” according to an FBI document here.

Jesse Korff of Labelle, Florida, was arrested by agents of the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations when he delivered two vials of liquid containing a small but detectable amount of the poison abrin to them. It was the final part of a transaction started on the Black Market Reloaded site when one of the undercover men contacted Korff, inquired about buying the poison and advanced him 1.608 Bitcoin for it.

Like the Silk Road, Black Market Reloaded was hosted on the encrypted Tor network where many people seem to still believe federal agents cannot get at them. Black Market Reloaded was subsequently taken down and the sting shows that Homeland Security and the FBI are well into operations aimed at keeping similar websites and Bitcoin markets for crime under heavy surveillance.

From the Department of Justice website:

“HSI has worked tirelessly with the FBI and other law enforcement partners to combat underground websites such as BMR,” said Andrew McLees, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Newark. “Anyone who can sell abrin, a potential agent for chemical terrorism, must be stopped. The arrest of Korff shows HSI’s commitment to protecting the public from individuals who show a callous disregard for their safety in the interest of making a buck.”

Beginning in April 2013, HSI special agents conducted an investigation of illicit sales activity on BMR. The website provides a platform for vendors and buyers to conduct anonymous online transactions involving the sale of a variety of illegal goods, including biological agents, toxins, firearms, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and counterfeit items. Unlike mainstream e-commerce websites, BMR is only accessible via the Tor network – a special computer network designed to enable users to conceal their identities and locations. Transactions on BMR are conducted using Bitcoin, a decentralized form of electronic currency that only exists online.

Korff maintained a seller’s profile on BMR, through which he negotiated the sale of two liquid doses of abrin to the undercover agent. During their online conversations, Korff told the buyer about his delivery methods – concealing vials in a carved-out and re-melted candle – and discussed how much abrin was needed to kill a person of a particular weight and how best to administer the toxin.

Korff and the buyer agreed on a total purchase price of $2,500 for two doses of the poison. The undercover transferred a deposit – the equivalent of $1,500 in Bitcoin – from a bank account in New Jersey to Korff on Jan. 6, 2014.

A federal task force then raided the house where Jesse Korff was living. A local news report reads:

Investigators tell WINK News they found a pipe bomb, firearms, ricin and meth labs at Jesse Korff’s home in Muse. After hearing of the evidence, the judge said Korff should stay behind bars.

The photo of the task force raid is from this blog.

Abrin, a poison extracted from the fairly common Precatorius, or rosary pea plant, has, to my knowledge, never killed anyone in the US during my time. It doesn’t happen. It’s not a hazard, even accidentally.

Seeds and the plant can be easily purchased on-line. It is even common in the woods of south Florida.

Nevertheless, abrin is a poison, related to and more toxic than ricin.

And well over 20 years ago, before Jesse Korff was born, young men began copying the poison and bomb-making self-published pamphlets by America’s survivalist right into cyberspace. From there, they traveled around the world.

So one reads in the FBI document:

Abrin can be extracted from the seed. The extraction of the abrin from the seeds is relatively easy and does not require technical expertise. Procedures and methods for extracting abrin are available from open sources on the Internet.

With regards to abrin recipes and the poison’s lure as an efficient and untraceable way to put someone to death, Maxwell Hutchkinson’s pamphlet, The Poisoner’s Handbook, published by Loompanics in 1988, is the main source.

Many readers are familiar with my comment on it, which can be reviewed here.

Terrorists have never used abrin as a weapon of mass destruction although the FBI and Homeland Security special agents mention their expertise in WMDs in the Korff document.

Nevertheless, eight years ago at the height of the war on terror Homeland Security conducted exercises imagining they could.

This was part of the national security megaplex belief that everything deadly that could be dreamed up or theorized was “easy for terrorists” to do.

From Steve Aftergood’s Secrecy Bulletin in 2005:

The notion of a hyper-competent terrorist who can easily overcome the physical and technical obstacles that perplex and detain ordinary mortals has become a common rhetorical trope in public discussions of terrorism.

George Smith of GlobalSecurity.org conducted a Nexis search for the phrase “easy for a terrorist” (and similar formulations) and found about one hundred mainstream media citations over the past two years.

Judging from press reports, nearly everything comes “easy” to terrorists:

“From food terror, to manipulating the flu virus, to blowing up chemical plants, to getting driver’s licenses, to coming across the Mexican border, to buying large caliber guns, to shooting down planes with ground-to-air missiles, to spreading hoof-and-mouth disease and destroying the cattle industry, to paralyzing Los Angeles by attacking power stations, to causing major blackouts, to putting anthrax in bagged rice,” Smith found. “There really is no end to it. It’s stupefying in its universality.”

Such glib assessments of terrorist capabilities are worse than simply wrong. They spread fear and a sense of helplessness, doing the work of the terrorists, and they threaten to dissipate limited security and financial resources in a hundred different directions.

I wrote about the Homeland Security exercise positing abrin as a terrorist weapon on the blog around the same time.

It was also published at The Register and here are parts, excerpted:

Did you know you can buy a WMD on eBay? It’s true …

[It’s] rosary peas, seeds of the Crab’s Eye weed, which is commonplace in Florida and known as ratti in India. It also contains the protein abrin, which is more toxic than ricin, another similar enzyme.

Somehow mankind has muddled through, managing not to exterminate itself with rosary peas, which have been used in ornamental jewelry and ripped out of lawns by annoyed gardeners.

That is, until the US-led war on terror, a war in which the incompetent concoct terror scenarios about weapons of mass destruction, scenarios which toss common sense and critical-thinking out the window. With GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow T-shirt on, it has been determined that this is done so that “readiness” may be practiced and the public convinced the tax dollars going to the Dept. of Homeland Security are well spent.

By-lined FORT INDIANTOWN GAP (a dilapidated Pennsy US army post where Cuban refugees were once held and DD rode in an armored personnel carrier as a Boy Scout), the Lebanon Daily News reported a week or so ago:

“With the early morning frost still coating the grass, the men raised their guns and slowly moved in.

“Clad in white-and-blue HazMat suits, bulletproof vests and gas masks, the men split into three groups and waited for the signal. Then, with the sudden crash of battering rams smashing into doors, they sped into action.

“The raid at the Gap was part of ‘Exercise Wide Vigilance,’ a bigger training simulation held yesterday by the South Central Pennsylvania Regional Counter-Terrorism Task . . . ”

And what was the terror plot that was being broken up? A lab said to be using rosary peas to make a weapon of mass destruction.

Terrorists planned to explode bombs at the two sites, sending the [abrin] into the air. [One man who designed the exercise] said that, according to his calculations and the size of the lab, enough of the chemical was made to kill 2,500 people.”

But abrin has never been used as a WMD.

Without getting into the technical details, it’s not possible to make rosary peas into a WMD. Technically speaking, it is possible to envision people being individually poisoned by abrin, if they were a target of a single assassination, or somehow mistakenly chewed and ate a couple rosary peas. Because of the latter, the FDA has been doing a small bit of work aimed at examining how to look for abrin in food.

But the US government has gone well beyond this, constructing a public belief system in which demonic menace is said to lurk everywhere and where death by exotic means is easy to achieve. It’s a system in which terror advisors and consultants simply make things up on a frequent basis. And they make such useless exercises up because it is a way in which to get paid by the government for aiding in alleged terror preparedness.

“Yesterday’s exercise, the biggest of its kind in the region, was funded through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security” wrote the Lebanon newspaper.

Readers of this blog may suspect that the addled concept of rosary peas as a WMD has filtered down from sources it has read of previously. Like the benighted chemical warfare recipes in the Afghan Manual of Jihad or Maxwell Hutchkinson’s Poisoner’s Handbook.

And they’re right!

The Hutchkinson book, which has been responsible for so much trash belief re the capabilities of terrorists and their chemical dreams of mass death, does not disappoint. It furnishes the usual “wisdom” – wisdom in this case meaning the lack of it – on the subject.

On abrin, from page 8, in a section entitled “precatory beans:”

“Precatory bean plants may be purchased at nurseries nationwide.

“Some years ago, a few very stupid people came up with the idea of using the attractive scarlet and sable beans for rosary beads… If your target is strongly religious, then these beads can easily be modified to kill.”

Hutchkinson continues with the advice to scarify the rosary peas so that the abrin might leak out and poison anyone who handles them. Since abrin is a protein, it can’t be much of a contact poison, any more than you can eat a piece of meat by putting it on your skin, but Hutchkinson, of course, does not know this. He is more interested in poisoning the Pope.

“As the abrin slowly kills your target, an interesting cycle will begin,” he writes. “The worse your target gets, the more he will pray with his rosary beads, which will only make him worse… ”

“These items make wonderful presents for the religious target. We’d send one to the Pope, but he already has nineteen hundred years of Christian spoils to adorn himself with.”

So what is to be thought when a local government carries out a terror exercise in which the threat is based upon such wretched mythology? To paraphrase Hutchkinson, “Some days ago, a few very stupid people came up with the idea . . .”

“[When] you handle the abrin you should were [sic] gloves,” Jesse Korff writes to an undercover agent at one point, indicating the lore of Hutchkinson, that you can poison someone with it through their fingers, has passed down through the terror age.

Well over a quarter of a century ago I was always able to find Hutckinson’s recipe for abrin at the end of a telephone line. With the squeal of a US Robotics modem you’d find it archived, along with lots of other alleged means to easy mayhem and malice, on bulletin board systems run off PCs in the bedrooms of young men.

With regards to the poison and other informations from the computer underground, what it was called back then, not much has changed.

You can do it cheaper and faster, and find a black market for it on the Tor network. You can even pay in Bitcoin!

But selling vials of a solution containing the grinding of rosary peas is a terribly awful way to earn money.

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