Saturday, August 29, 2009


President Obama will be speaking at Ted Kennedy's Funeral today. Since dying from brain cancer on Tuesday, Ted Kennedy's death has been treated as the death of Royalty. When one looks at the political legacy within the Kennedy family it is hard not to understand why there is so much attention over Ted Kennedy's Funeral.

Ted Kennedy's Funeral will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Basilica basilica in a working class section of Boston. After the Ted Kennedy Funeral, Ted Kennedy's Body will be flown to Washington and taken to Arlington National Cemetery, where Ted Kennedy will be buried close to his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy.

Although many members of Congress and other leading U.S. political figures, including former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, are expected to attend the service, all eyes are on President Obama and his Eulogy Speech for Ted Kennedy's. Presidential aids are all hushed about the contents of Obama's Ted Kennedy Eulogy.

It is expected Obama's Ted Kennedy Eulogy will focus on Obama the impact Kennedy had on American life and politics since Ted Kennedy was first elected in 1962. Obama's Ted Kennedy Eulogy speech will go through some details of Ted Kennedy's 47-year political career which spanned the assassinations of his brothers, President John and Robert Kennedy; the civil rights era; and Apollo moon landings.

Obama and his speech writers definitely had their work cut out in writing the Obama Ted Kennedy Eulogy speech as Obama was only 18 months old when Ted Kennedy first took office.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ryan Jenkins Dead of Apparent Suicide

Ryan Jenkins, reality TV show "star" and key suspect in murder of Jasmine Fiore has been found dead in the Thunderbird Motel just outside of Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. Ryan Jenkins apparently died as a result of suicide and was found hanging from his neck in the Hope, BC Motel.

Police found Ryan Jenkins' body hanging
from a rope at the Thunderbird Motel. Jenkins
died of an apparent suicide

At this time, the District Attorney in Orange County CA is not planning on charging anyone else with the murder of Playboy Model Jasmine Fiore, as Ryan Jenkins was their sole suspect.

Jasmine Fiore was found murdered on August 15th, 2009, the day after she had been reported missing by Ryan Jenkins. Jasmine Fiore's mutilated body was found stuffed in a suitcase which was thrown into the garbage. Immediately after the body of Jasmine Fiore was found, Ryan Jenkins disapeared.

The Internet has been flooded with searches with regard to Jasmine Fiore, her playboy pictures, pictures of her body as well as various Reality TV based searches on Ryan Jenkins.

RCMP Sgt. Duncan Pound indicated staff at the Thunderbird Hotel, in Hope BC, entered Ryan Jenkins' room and found the body. At around 5PM PST, local Police confirmed the identification of the body as that of Ryan Jenkins.

“At this present time the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests he took his own life,” Pound said in a news conference held in Surrey, BC, about 1 1/2 Hours from Hope.

Pound would not say how long Jenkins stayed at the hotel or how he got there. “Any further details will not be released at this time as this investigation remains in its infancy,”

Ryan Jenkins - Key
suspect in Murder of
Jasmine Fiore, now dead

Related Links

The Hunt for Jasmine Fiore's Killer

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hunt for Jasmine Fiore Playboy Model's Killer

This is a rather disturbing story, Playboy model Jasmine Fiore was reported missing on Friday by her Ryan Alexander Jenkins. On Saturday morning, Jasmine Fiore's body was found dead. Apparently, Playboy model Jasmine Fiore was choked to death and then stuffed in a suitcase

Jasmine Fiore met her reality show husband at a strip club in Los Angeles. Since police found Jasmine Fiore's body, authorities have been unable to locate Jenkins for questioning with regard to the murder of his Playboy model wife, Jasmine Fiore.

Since the announcement of the murder of Playboy model Jasmine Fiore, there has been a flurry of Internet search activity around the key phrases Jasmine Fiore Playboy Pictures. Although slightly morbid, this is not all to unique. The same thing happened for Internet porn star / college student Emily Sander, AKA ZOEY ZANE

This last month has proven, sex sells, aside from the searches for pictures of recently murdered women, recent internet searches have included Erin Andrews and her now famous peephole video, Heidi Montag's Playboy pictorial, Ashley Greene's Leaked Naked pictures and not to be outdone, Vanessa Hudgens and her Leaked naked pictures.

If there is anything this should teach us, give the male human the most powerful tool in the known world and he will manage to find a way to use it to look boobies. God, I love technology. Sad for the awful death of Jasmine Fiore though. Here are some more pictures of Playboy model Jasmine Fiore to remember her by.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tokyo Japan hit by 7.1 Earthquake raises concern over Tsunami

A 7.1 earthquake shook Japan this morning, the August 9th 2009 Japan Earthquake struck 200 miles south-southwest of Tokyo Japan at 7:55 PM. The epicenter of the Tokyo Japan Earthquake 188 miles deep, the United States Geological Survey reported.

Although many reports are calling the earthquake in Japan, the Tokyo Earthquake, the August 9th 2009 7.1 Earthquake in Japan was centred in the Izu islands off the eastern coast of Japan.

With the Japan Earthquake originating under water, there was an initial concern of a Tsunami, which would have been tragic as the Eastern Pacific is already being hit hard by Hurricane Felicia which is currently heading straight for Hawaii. The Tsunami threat was quickly lifted as all sources indicate there is no threat of a Tsunami resulting from the Tokyo Japan Earthquake on August 9th, 2009.

The Japan Earthquake did, however, stop a baseball game as well as several Bullet trains as Japanese officials waited for the shaking to stop. Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, and experts believe Tokyo has a 90 percent chance of being hit by a major earthquake over the next 50 years.

In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Paula Abdul After Idol

Ex American Idol Judge, Paula Abdul, may not be that bad off after leaving her long stint, as the "nice judge" at American Idol. According to reports, ABC's entertainment president Steve McPherson would "love to have" Paula Abdul on Dancing With The Stars.

In addition, So You Think You Can Dance Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe said earlier this week he would love to have Paula Abdul on So You Think You Can Dance and was scheduled to meet with Paula Abdul this weekend to talk about the possibility of Paula Abdul being featured on So You Think You Can Dance.

As for American Idol, they seem to be fairing ok with the loss of Bubblegum Judge Paula Abdul. Recent audition replacements for Paula Abdul's seat on American Idol include ex Pop Tart Victoria Beckham, AKA Posh Spice. Other Paula Abdul sit-in's include Katy Perry who will take Paula Abdul's seat while American Idol producers search for a replacement for Paula Abdul.

According to reports, Paula Abdul, and her new management team, rejected a 30 percent pay raise at American Idol for the unemployment line. Perhaps with these new Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance offers popping up, this may not have been a bad business move on the part of the ex pop-tart Paula Abdul.

If Paula Abdul does, in fact, ink a deal with producers of So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing With The Stars (or Both), it is unclear whether Paula Abdul will appear as a Guest, a Dancer, or a Choreographer. Whatever the case, you can be sure she will demand a high pay cheque for the stint.

Related Links

Paula Abdul at Planet Breast

Helicopter and Plane Collide over Hudson River - No survivors expected

When researching this story about a Helicopter and plane coliding in mid-air, I was confused for a few minutes as one report said everyone survived, while the other report said everyone died. Then it became obvious, this mornings' mid air collision

Above - Large Splash as the Helicopter drops into the Hudson River

bewteen a Helicopter operated by Liberty Helicopter Tours and a Piper PA-32 owned by LCA Partnerships of Fort Washington, Pa., was not the first crash for Liberty Helicopters.

The earlier crash was a few years ago on Saturday, July 7th 2007 when a Helicopter operated by the Helicopter tour company made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. As I mentioned, everyone in that accident survived relitavely unscathed.

This, however, was not the case with the Mid-air colission over the Hudson today. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to todays' Helicopter / plane crash in the Hudson River as "not survivable." Bloomberg added "This is not going to have a happy ending, this has changed from a rescue to a recovery mission."

Two bodies have been recovered from the helicopter crash scene and Divers are currently searching the Hudson River, near West 14th Street in Manhattan, for more bodies as well as debris from the Helicopter / plane crash which may have left all 9 passengers and crew dead.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Hurricane Felicia is bearing down hard towards the Hawaiian Islands. As Hurricane Felicia heads towards Tropical Storm Enrique it is gathering speed and strength. As of 8PM PST on August 5th, Hurricane Felicia has been upgraded to a Catagory 4 Hurricane with wind gusts sustained at up to 140 mph.

The American Red Cross in Hawaii is already preparing with warnings and instructions on what to do in the case Hurricane Felicia hits Hawaii this weekend. The key phrase being echoed everywhere is to be prepared for the potential of disaster.


If you evacuate to a hurricane evacuation shelter, there most likely will be no amenities. This means no food service, established sleeping areas or supplies. Hurricane evacuation shelters provide safe shelter to ride out the storm and may be limited to standing room only. It is critical that everyone take the time now to follow these steps to prepare.

1. Assemble a Family Disaster Supplies Kit

When a disaster strikes your community, you may not have access to food, water, electricity and other essential supplies for days, or even weeks. A disaster supplies kit should include nonperishable food and bottled water (one gallon per person per day) for a minimum of five to seven days, nonelectric can opener, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, tools, extra clothing and bedding, prescription and nonprescription medications, pet supplies, cash, sanitary supplies, copies of important papers, contact information, maps and other special items for infants, pets, and elderly or disabled family members. This kit should be in an easy-to move container so that it can be used at home or taken with you in the event you must evacuate.

2. Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan

Disasters often strike quickly and without warning and, when they do, often leave a wake of chaos and emotional trauma. People should determine their actions before a disaster occurs. Planning ahead of time makes it easier to make decisions in a potentially stressful time and helps to know what to do if separated from others in the household. Families can — and do — cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. They do this by deciding in advance what they will do when their daily routines are disrupted by an emergency. Planning what each person is to do, where each will go, and how they will get there makes a big difference. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose two places—one place within your neighborhood and one outside of your neighborhood, maybe a friend's home. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. In case you have to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter, be sure to bring your family disaster supplies kit along with bedding. Be sure to also make advance preparations for your pets and people with special health needs like children, frail, elderly and people with disabilities.

3. Be Informed

It is important that people learn about what disasters or emergencies may occur where they live, work and play. Learning vital lifesaving skills such as First Aid and CPR/AED can help people take care of their loved ones after a disaster occurs and can equip them to become resources to their communities. We also encourage people who are interested in helping out during a disaster to take free disaster training from the Red Cross and find out how you can help with sheltering, mass feeding, health services, crisis counseling and client casework.

More details are available at A variety of ready-made disaster kits are available for purchase and a schedule of lifesaving classes are online.

As Hurricane Felicia progresses, stay tuned to the HTBW Hurricane Tracker blog for updates and live webcam views of the effected area's. We have already compiled a number of Hurricane Felicia Web Camera's on the Hawaiian Islands. We will strive to keep you informed as much as technology will allow.


George Sodini - LA Fitness Shooter Diary of a Madman

Only hours after the shooting massacre at the Bridgeville PA LA Fitness, authorities have found an online blog of sorts of the shooter, George Sodini. Reading through the blog of George Sodini, one must shake their head and wonder how this could have been missed. Yes, George Sodini looks like an average white male who has problems getting layed.

In his blog diary, which started in December of 2008, George Sodini outlines his discontent with life the universe and everything. Particularly his inability to attract women and his "constant rejection"
In his December 2008 entry, George Sodini indicates his frustration with single life.

I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne - yet 30 million women rejected me - over an 18 or 25-year period. That is how I see it. Thirty million is my rough guesstimate of how many desirable single women there are. A man needs a woman for confidence. He gets a boost on the job, career, with other men, and everywhere else when he knows inside he has someone to spend the night with and who is also a friend. This type of life I see is a closed world with me specifically and totally excluded. Every other guy does this successfully to a degree. Flying solo for many years is a destroyer.

In later blog diary posts, George Sodini started to point out his anger and discontent towards family and other acquaintances, speaking about his father, George Sodini said "He was just a useless sperm doner." feeling, I guess, that he should have been more of a role model or support system.

In his blog/diary George Sodini later went on to lament about his mother, brother, sister and other family members. He referred to his mother as a controlling, his brother as a bully and his sister a victim who exercises too much control over her children.

According to George Sodini's blog / diary postings, the original LA Fitness shooting was to take place at 8:15 on January 6th, 2009, except he changed his mind at the last minute. Perhaps the one indication of any sanity in his mind. Unfortunately for his victims, George Sodini continued to fantasize about his plan.

Throughout his blog / diary, George Sodini goes through rants about life the universe and everything, blaming everyone for his misfortunes and not taking and responsibility for his shortfalls. In a June blog entry, George Sodini went on to say

I was reading several posts on different forums and it seems many teenage girls have sex frequently. One 16 year old does it usually three times a day with her boyfriend. So, err, after a month of that, this little hoe has had more sex than ME in my LIFE, and I am 48. One more reason. Thanks for nada, bitches! Bye.

Even after a promotion and raise in July of 2009, George Sodini was still not happy with his life.

Everything still sucks. But I got a promotion and a raise, even in this shitty Obama ecomomy. No more grunt programming. Go figure! New boss is great. He tactfully says when you did something wrong or complements on good things. Never confused with him. But that is NOT what I want in life.

In his final blog / diary entry on August 3, 2009, George Sodini took the day off work to "practice". Indicating is displeasure over his one moment of sanity in January, George Sodini said he needed to remain focused and that the "positive and upbeat" nature of his neighbour was a distraction.

I took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished. I need to work out every detail, there is only one shot. Also I need to be completely immersed into something before I can be successful. I haven't had a drink since Friday at about 2:30. Total effort needed. Tomorrow is the big day.

Unfortunately I talked to my neighbor today, who is very positive and upbeat. I need to remain focused and absorbed COMPLETELY. Last time I tried this, in January, I chickened out. Lets see how this new approach works.

Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid. People judge but that does not matter. I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them.

I will try not to add anymore entries because this computer clicking distracts me.

The rest of this story continued with the mourning of the families of the lost souls. Innocent people caught in the psychosis of a madman with a lack of concern for anyone but himself. George Sodini may blame all those in his life for his actions, as evident in his online ramblings, however he only has himself to blame for his life and the direction it took. There are those who are searching for the link to George Sodini's blog. Personally, I think the George Sodini blog was a bunch of whiny ramblings. Just posting on how everyone was to blame except for himself. Sometimes people just have to take personal improvement on themselves, nobody is perfect and everyone has personal problems.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


There is news tonight of a deadly shooting / massacre at a LA Fitness in Bridgeville Pittsburgh which has taken the lives of at least 5 people including the shooter.

Sometime during the early evening of Tuesday August 4th, a shooter entered an L.A. Fitness Center in Bridgeville PA. According to reports, the LA FITNESS SHOOTER came in through the excercize room glass double doors and walked to the back of the room near some weights. At that point, the LA Fitness Shooter set down a bag, fumbling with it for a few minutes and came up with what appeared to be two guns and began shooting up the Bridgeville PA LA Fitness centre.

The LA Fitness Centre shooting victims were taked to at least three different Hospitals in the Bridgeville area. UPMC Mercy Hospital says the admitted five critically injured women. Allegheny General Hospital says they received two women with gunshot wounds from the LA Fitness Massacre. St. Clair Hospital indicated that one of the victims of the LA Fitness shooting died at their hospital.

According to St. Clair Hospital Spokesman Rich Sieber the woman who died was shot in the chest. He says two other victims were taken to his hospital, both are currently in stable condition.

Bridgeville PA is a small community of about 5,000 residents not far from downtown Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Bridgeville LA FITNESS location is located in the Great Southern Shopping Center and is fairly new, having been opened for only a year.

According to reports, there were several programs going on at the Bridgeville PA LA Fitness Center at the time of the shooting. Neither the name of the LA Fitness Shooter or the victims of the LA Fitness Massacre have been released. A motive for the LA Fitness shooting is not known and Pittsburgh police continue to investigate this tragic LA Fitness Shooting.

File under

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in China Causes Mass Quarantine

Thousands of people have been placed in quarantine in north-western China after two people died of pneumonic plague. At this time, the China Outbreak of Pneumonic Plague is limited to 10 people who are apparently relatives of those who died of Pneumonic Plague.

The Chinese government has not yet said when the man died but it has sealed off the town where the outbreak occurred. According to reports, there are enough supplies to feed the 10,000 or so people who live in the town of Ziketan, near Xinghai in Qinghai province, during the quarantine period.

Pneumonic plague is a virulent form Pneumonia. It can spread from person to person, or from animals to people. Initial symptoms of Pneumonic plague include fever, headache and shortness of breath. To reduce the chances of death as a result of Pneumonic plague, anyone infected with Pneumonic plague must receive treatment within 24 hours of when the first symptoms appear.

This Pneumonic plague outbreak in China comes just months after a worldwide outbreak of H1N1 Swine flu which originated from China and has also led to thousands of people being quarantined.

Early reports from the W.H.O. indicate this outbreak of pneumonic plague in China is unlikely to cause the mass fatalities associated with historical outbreaks.

While Pneumonic plague can kill 60 percent of its victims if left unchecked, early diagnosis and treatment of Pneumonic plague with generic antibiotics such as streptomycin and tetracycline cuts plague patients’ mortality rate to less than 15 percent. Pneumonic plague is the most serious and least common of three forms of the infectious disease. Plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria, found mainly in rodents, particularly rats, and in the fleas that feed on them.

Pneumonic plague, on the other hand, occurs when the bacteria infect the lungs, causing symptoms including fever, headache and weakness, and may lead to potentially fatal cases of pneumonia. In almost all cases, only the pneumonic form of plague can be passed from person to person.

Vivian Tan - spokeswoman for the WHO in China said “These things do happen sporadically in different countries. It’s not something we’re very worried about, but we are keeping an eye on it.”

Pneumonic Plague is not to be confused with the Black Plague which kill Millions. The Black Plague was initially spread by rats. This does not seem to be the case with this outbreak of Pneumonic Plague in China, although the W.H.O. is not taking any chances.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Looking at the downloaded torrent Video of the Erin Andrews peephole video it is quite evident the person responsible for filming Erin Andrews naked through a hotel room peephole was familiar with Erin Andrews and her Hotel room activities.

When I looked at the Erin Andrews Peephole video closely (For research purposes only) I immediately noticed several different hotel rooms. Logically, this would indicate the person responsible for video taping Erin Andrews through a Hotel room peephole was part of the same media circuit as Erin Andrews and ESPN. This makes on wonder if the person who video taped Erin Andrews through the hotel room peephole was in fact part of the ESPN staff.

Of course, there are those conspiracy theorists who believe the whole Erin Andrews ESPN Peephole video scandal is nothing more than a publicity stunt for Erin Andrews and that she was fully aware someone was video taping her through the hotel room peephole. Perhaps the Erin Andrews peephole Video Torrent download was planted on the internet by Erin Andrews herself in hope of getting more media attention for her already booming career.

Whatever the source, lawyers and agents for Erin Andrews worked feverishly to remove traces of the Erin Andrews peephole video, which was taped through a hotel room peephole, from the internet. In doing so, Erin Andrews was hoping to stop the spread of the Erin Andrews Naked peephole video through torrent downloads or RapidShare downloads. The thing is, the Erin Andrews Peephole video had already gone viral by the time it was noticed by Erin Andrews. Millions of copies of the Erin Andrews peephole video are floating through the internet alongside those containing malware and viruses. The best bet for anyone is to search for screenshots of the Erin Andrews peephole video, although that may be difficult as it seems even Google image search is filtering out the actual pictures as there are plenty out there. Here are a couple of links


There may be a few harmless ads in these locations, at least there are no viruses or downloads required.

File under

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JACKSON FOUR??? OMER BHATTI the fourth Child of Michael Jackson

Aside from the continual search for the NAKED ERIN ANDREWS PEEPHOLE VIDEO AND PLAYBOY PICTURES, the hot topic of the day is going to be the fourth spawn of Michael Jackson. At least he says he is Michael Jacksons' fourth child.

Omer Bhatti, a 25-year-old Norwegian man is claiming to be the fourth child of Michael Jackson and he was born as a result of his mothers' one-night stand with Michael Jackson in 1984. OMER BHATTI is claiming although

nothing came of the relationship between his mother and Michael Jackson, the family have always remained close to Michael Jackson. Reports are even indicating OMER BHATTI sat with the Jackson Family at the Michael Jackson Memorial at the Staples Center earlier this month.

Aside from hunting down the Michael Jackson fortune, OMER BHATTI has made the news in the past for being a Michael Jackson impersonator. OMER BHATTI gained alot of notoriety after he was befriended by Michael Jackson.

Another news article indicates OMER BHATTI has had some some in's with the law. In fact, in 1994 OMER BHATTI was arrested was arrested for possession of small amounts of drugs. The arrest of OMER BHATTI occured less than two weeks before he was scheduled to perform in front of 20,000 soccer youth at Norway Cup’s opening show.

OMER BHATTI is now seeking a DNA test to prove he is the fourth bastard child of Michael Jackson. Regardless of how this turns out, I am sure Michael Jackson's Father, Joe Jackson, will jump all over the opportunity to put together a Jackson 4 tour consisting of the four children of Michael Jackson. To be true to history, Joe Jackson needs only find one more child to make it the Jackson five, a task which would have been made easier had Michael Jackson not been so interested in little boys.

Related links


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I'm not going to be one of those hypocrites who talks about all drugs as evil while smacking back a few behind the scenes. Yes, I have done blow, and I liked it... at the time. The problem is and always be the dependence it causes in those who take it. As I was more of a "recreational user" I did manage to get that monkey off my back. There are others, however, who lack the willpower and or social graces to realize or care what they are doing is self destructive and will eventually lead to a gutter.

Cocaine being fairly expensive, many people have been resorting to less expensive solutions which is where Crack Cocaine came into the pictures, now there seems to be another drug derived from the outwardly screamingly harmless Coca plant. The PACO DRUG is derived from the residue of the Cocaine manufacturing process and is initially fairly useless until it is cut with the real poison... Rat Poison that is. Yes, you heard me right, there are some wacked out people out there who seem to think smoking rat poison infused PACO DRUG is the way to get a high.

The high from PACO DRUG is reportedly very short lived, which inturn creates a much faster dependence on PACO DRUG. PACO DRUG is currently gaining its' popularity in the slums of Argentina and, if search trends are any indication, PACO DRUG will soon be moving north as the recession takes its' toll on traditional Cocaine users looking for a cheaper substitution.

Here is a write up on PACO DRUG from Guy Taylor

Beginning in mid-2006, news reports in English began appearing about paco, a cheap, highly addictive form of cocaine ravaging the impoverished neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. By early 2008, at least eight major news outlets—including The Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and The New York Times, as well as Al Jazeera, the BBC, and Deutsche Presse-Agentur—had covered the story. In February, Slate media critic Jack Shafer noted that the paco story had become a “journalistic staple.” Indeed, the narrative about paco offered by the news media varied little.

Most of the reporting from Buenos Aires barrios emphasized paco’s link to impoverishment in Argentina following the country’s 2001–02 economic meltdown. Official poverty among residents of Buenos Aires suburbs reached 61% in 2003, according to the Argentine National Institute of Statistics and Census. And in neighboring Montevideo, Uruguay, where cheap cocaine has also taken root, unemployment surged to more than 20%.

The media identified paco as pasta base (“base paste”), or cocaine sulfate, the form of the drug that both precedes its conversion into powder (cocaine hydrochloride) and is left over, in small quantities, when that process is completed. Selling for less than 50 cents per dose, the drug is said to have saturated the street-corner drug market. Between 2004 and 2006, paco consumption increased 200% in Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine government. United Nations and U.S. State Department narcotics reports cite similar figures, while some Argentine newspapers put the number even higher. About 70,000 Argentines between the ages of 16 and 26 have tried the drug in greater Buenos Aires, according to the Argentine Secretariat for Prevention of Drug Addiction and Control of Narco-trafficking (Sedronar).

When I visited Buenos Aires in the summer of 2007, the people I spoke to did connect paco to Argentina’s economic struggles—but also to the broader dynamics of the cocaine trade. The emergence of a generation of young men growing up in neighborhoods plagued by unprecedented levels of unemployment and social disarray gave dealers and traffickers the gift of a previously nonexistent marketplace, said Ricardo Nadra, an official at Sedronar. The economic crisis created “a great lack of everything, including drugs, and as a result drug traffickers quickly sought to broaden their market in response to a lack of cocaine.” He said dealers discovered that cheap, easy to get chemicals like mannitol and caffeine, mixed with a tiny bit of cocaine, could be sold to compensate for the shortage. In no time, what began as a makeshift market for this “cocaine trash” swiftly evolved into a sophisticated industrial system of producing paco to meet the demand for a cheap cocaine high.

While conditions in Argentina and Uruguay have improved markedly since the economic crisis, paco’s spread continues unabated. “There are still large sectors of the population living under the poverty line, and once a [drug] market is created, it’s very difficult to get rid of it,” said Tom Blickman, a researcher at the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute and co-author of a 2006 study called “Paco Under Scrutiny.” “Once it’s there, it doesn’t go away very easily, especially with something so addictive as paco.”

My visit to Villa 20, a Buenos Aires barrio on the outskirts of the city, confirmed the drug’s tenacity. People described starved-looking addicts, most of them young men, willing to sell everything and betray anyone to get high. And as a number of news reports mentioned, many addicts’ outraged mothers have organized local anti-paco organizations that advocate for better prevention programs and law enforcement. The electricity had gone out at the community center I went to, where former addicts and addicts’ relatives gather to share their stories and strategize. Since it was too dark to see inside, we stood outside on the sidewalk. A small crowd gathered around as a hardened-looking, teary-eyed woman, who asked to be identified only as Cristina, told her visitors about her 18-year-old paco-addicted son, who had stolen everything from her, “even my jewelry.”

As she spoke, young men on motorbikes roared onto the street every few minutes, discreetly handing packages to other young men milling about on the curb before loudly peeling away, leaving plumes of bluish exhaust in their wake. It was the only sign of economy I saw in Villa 20. Cristina paused for a moment as the growl of another motorbike drowned her out. When it passed, she said, “Here the problem is not the kids. It’s the dealers and the people who should take charge of the problem. The police know who’s selling, that’s the truth of the matter, and I don’t care what could happen to me for saying this.”

A former paco user, who asked to be identified only as Matías, told me paco suddenly appeared in his neighborhood in 2004, when Peruvian dealers began selling it. Describing his addiction as an isolating, alienating experience, Matías, 24, said once he was hooked, the addiction broke apart his most cherished relationships, even with his beloved younger brother, who steered clear of the drug. “I’m proud of him,” he said. “Often in my craziness, while I was using, I wanted a brother who would use with me.”

Matías was receiving treatment at Casa Joven de Flores, one of only two publicly funded clinics that provide outpatient care exclusively for young paco addicts. Ignacio O’Donnell, the clinic’s director, said paco is “much more addictive” than alcohol or heroin. “The effect lasts for only five to eight minutes, and it takes about 30 seconds to hit, so it’s a very big high and a very big crash,” he said. A lot of users, he said, are initially attracted to paco for it cheapness. But once they become addicted, they will smoke as many as 100 doses a day. “That’s the paradox,” he said. “People say it’s cheap, but it’s not cheap at all compared to how many doses users have to take in a day to feed their addiction.”

The paco-poverty association seems easy enough to establish—although there are many hidden middle-class users, who didn’t merit much attention in the mainstream coverage—but Milton Romani Gerner, Uruguay’s chief counter-narcotics minister, insisted there is more to the story. “I don’t want to commit the stupidity of looking for a direct connection between poverty and pasta base consumption,” he said, though he acknowledged that poverty and high unemployment have played their part. Gerner pointed instead to the cocaine industry itself and its flexibility in the face of counter-drug operations. The Transnational Institute’s report on paco comes to much the same conclusion, noting another crucial factor in the drug’s appearance: “a general transformation in the production, trade and trafficking of cocaine hydrochloride, and not merely the increase in poverty.”


While the “paco phenomenon” may be a novelty for Argentina and Uruguay, it is well-known elsewhere in the region. Pasta base appeared in the Andes during the cocaine boom of the 1980s, where it was known by different names in different countries—
bazuco (Colombia), pitillo (Bolivia), kete (Peru), baserolo (Ecuador), mono (Chile). The epidemic was especially widespread in Colombia, and was indelibly linked to the wider international cocaine trade; that is, while most of the Colombian cocaine was produced for the lucrative export market, some of it stayed and underwent a degree of product differentiation, serving both the local middle- and upper-class markets, as well as the barrio poor in the form of cheap, heavily diluted pasta base.

The recent appearance and prevalence of paco in Argentina is, then, largely an indication of the country’s new status as a cocaine producer, as well as its continuing importance as a transshipment point for the European market. As Diego Álvarez, a program coordinator at Sedronar, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur: “Where there is paco, there is also cocaine.” Thus, the key to understanding paco may be Argentina’s changing role within the international cocaine business as a result of the U.S.-funded, multibillion-dollar counter-drug program, Plan Colombia, implemented in 2000, on the cusp of Argentina’s meltdown. Nadra of Sedronar said that since Plan Colombia, it has become “much more economical and less dangerous for drug traffickers to bring the raw material, pasta base, directly to Argentina, where the [chemicals used to produce cocaine], while controlled, are legal.” He added: “Before, cocaine hydrochloride would pass from the producer countries into Argentina. Now what enters is the pasta base, which is much cheaper. In the past, Argentina was a transit country. Now it’s a country of transit, consumption, and production.”

According to Adam Isacson, director of the Washington-based Center for International Policy’s Colombia program, “The geography of cocaine production really hasn’t changed much since the mid-1990s—meaning which countries are growing the most coca—but the geography of cocaine marketing and transshipment and demand has changed.” International Colombian cocaine cartels that were broken up by increased law enforcement have been replaced by Mexican cartels to the north and Brazilian cartels to the south, he said, and “they have found new ways to market cocaine in the south.” The Transnational Institute’s Blickman adds that the past decade has seen “a change in global cocaine markets, in the sense that Europe is a growing market while North America is much more stable.”

European cocaine use has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, the United­ Nations reported in 2006, with 3.5 million users who make up a quarter of the global market. An EU report the following year put the number at 4.5 million. As Mother Jones reported in March, U.S. cocaine prices increased by more than 40% in 2007, a predictable result of the U.S. dollar’s precipitous drop in value, which makes exporting the drug stateside far less lucrative an enterprise. Meanwhile, wholesale cocaine prices in Europe are roughly double those in the United States. Reflecting the importance of this European demand, South American traffickers have gone to great lengths to get their product to market. Deflected by the Mexican cartels in the north and heavy interdiction efforts in the Caribbean, the U.K. Guardian reported in March, traffickers now follow a transshipment route from Brazil, Colombia, or Venezuela to Europe via West African nations, especially Guinea-Bissau, which the United Nations has called “Africa’s first narco-state”—and where, like Argentina, a cheap, smokable cocaine product (known by its Brazilian name, pedra) has taken hold among locals.

Part of this rerouting of cocaine traffic through Argentina came about as a response to a U.S.-led crackdown on the chemicals necessary to produce cocaine. The crackdown on “precursor chemicals,” as they’re known, began almost simultaneously with Plan Colombia, in 1999, with Operation Purple, a multilateral effort to track the movement of potassium permanganate, an oxidizer used in the powder-making process to remove the residue of kerosene, gasoline, acid, and other toxic chemicals used to isolate the drug from the coca leaf. This “cleansing” yields a “very white and fluffy” powder, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), while poorly oxidized cocaine is a “dark, lumpy, and less attractive product.” The anti-precursor­ effort also includes the DEA-led Operation Six Borders, launched in 2000, as well as Operation Andes III, supervised by Interpol and the World Customs Organization.

The South American counter-drug officials speaking to foreign reporters covering the paco story all mentioned the anti-precursor offensive as a cause of the epidemic. A Brazilian official told The New York Times that the paco surge results from “a crackdown by [Argentina and Brazil] on the chemicals needed to transform cocaine paste . . . into powder form.” Argentine officials told The Miami Herald the same thing, while the Los Angeles Times noted that the phenomenon reflects “the [co­caine] indus­try’s adaptation to enforcement measures.”

The newspapers, however, avoided a substantive discus­sion of the relationship between the precursor crackdown, paco’s emergence, and the con­tinuing importance of Argentina as a transshipment point for the European market. Such a discussion would have required an account of what’s known in Mexico as el efecto cucaracha—the cockroach effect. Set a trap for the pests in the kitchen, and they scurry away to the bathroom; set another trap for them in the bathroom, and down they go to the basement. The metaphor, also known more politely as the “balloon effect,” nicely captures a basic feature of the War on Drugs: A heavy-handed crackdown on producers and traffickers in one place inevitably leads to their reappearance elsewhere. It is well-known in Colombia, where after eight years of the U.S.-funded drug war, the country’s cocaine industry remains as robust and adaptable as ever.

In the Argentine case, producers and traffickers responded to the crackdown on precursors by simply moving production closer to the source of the chemicals—of which Argentina is a major producer. Cocaine laboratories (known as cocinas, or kitchens) in Argentina have proliferated: Whereas Argentine authorities raided 15 small labs between 1999 and 2003, they found 20 in 2004 alone, including one capable of manufacturing 660 pounds a year, according to data collected by the Transnational Institute.

Only the BBC came close to a critique, quoting Hugo Miguez, a Buenos Aires psychiatrist who treats paco addicts, who said of the precursor crackdown: “It was a very ill thought out strategy.” The New York Times, meanwhile, did not mention the appearance of Argentine cocaine production at all and instead pointed the finger at Bolivian president Evo Morales. Apparently referring to Morales’s “coca is not cocaine” approach—in which forced eradication is eschewed in favor of allowing farmers to grow a certain amount of coca for traditional uses—the Times reported that the paco surge has been partly fueled by “the rolling back of restrictions on coca growing since [Morales] took office in 2006.” Although the Times did not elaborate, this claim contradicts the official U.S. estimate, released in April 2007 by the State Department’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which announced that Bolivian coca cultivation in 2006 was “statistically unchanged” compared to the 2005 estimate. (Cultivation in Peru, in contrast, was up 17%, while Colombia’s numbers remained unchanged.)

The Times went on to mention the precursor crackdown, noting that it effectively debased the quality of Bolivian cocaine, which the European market rejected, forcing the Bolivians to “flood” the region with pasta base and low-quality cocaine, turning the Southern Cone into a “dumping ground.” The latest State Department figures do indeed register a spike in Bolivian base exports: U.S.-supported Bolivian counter-narcotics units seized 11.4 metric tons of cocaine base in 2007, an almost 200% increase over the four tons seized in 2001. But most of the Bolivian base going to Argentina and Uruguay is likely not meant to serve the local paco market, as the Times seems to imply, but to be processed into the far more profitable powder for export.

Paco’s link to the more lucrative cocaine-powder market is apparent in its very composition. While the news reporting on Argentine paco identified it as diluted pasta base, much of the drug is, in fact, diluted cocaine powder. So said Roberto Máximo Silva, head of the provincial police department’s Illegal Drug Trafficking Investigations Unit, which has carried out systematic chemical analyses of paco. Silva keeps a tidy office, with specimens of confiscated drug paraphernalia adorning his shelves like trophies, at the back of a small brick building in La Plata, the quiet capital of Buenos Aires province.

“This is new!” he exclaimed, his eyes widening. “It’s a new strategy of commercializing cocaine hydrochloride [powder cocaine], of selling it with a different name and a different method of administration.” According to Silva, paco is powder cocaine that has been heavily diluted with whatever chemicals drug traffickers can get their hands on (unlike crack, which is made by reverting cocaine to its previous base form using ammonia or baking soda, resulting in a solid that produces inhalable smoke at relatively low heat). The cutting agents that have appeared in Silva’s lab tests include dipirona (an anti-inflammatory drug usually used on farm animals), mannitol (a sugar alcohol widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries), lidocaine (an anesthetic commonly used in producing powder cocaine), and caffeine. Paco is on average only a third cocaine; the rest is a mixture of cutting agents, according to Christina Ramerta, a chemist who works in Silva’s unit.

“But what do they smoke it with?” Silva asked, his eyes widening again as he explained that paco can’t be smoked exactly like crack because it still contains cocaine powder, which vaporizes at a high temperature. In a laboratory next to his office, he pulled a small steel pipe from a wooden box. “They smoke it with this,” he said, pointing to a sinewy chunk of bronze sponge jammed in the pipe’s mouth. When the user’s flame touches the bronze, Silva said, it turns fire red, reaching a high-enough temperature to break apart the cocaine molecule.

This is not to say that all “paco” contains cocaine powder. South American counter-drug authorities have yet to agree on a single definition of the drug, said Gabriel Abboud, an official at Sedronar. The cheap cocaine market is fairly differentiated, and may include diluted powder as well as pasta base. “It’s a family of products,” he said.

Paco was at the top of the agenda at an Informal Dialogue on Drugs Policy, convoked in September by the Transnational Institute and the Washington Office on Latin America, bringing together 25 Latin American government officials involved in drug policy, with a few NGO participants, in Montevideo. Operating under the Chatham House rule, in which participants’ views are made public but their identities kept secret, the dialogue yielded a number of dissenting views on the matter.

There was a general consensus that paco had been demonized as an especially harmful, insidious drug, as well as stigmatized, given its frequent association in media portrayals as a “drug of the poor.” Yet “despite the problems it has caused very vulnerable populations,” those problems remain “on a small scale,” compared with the damage still wrought by the more damaging legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. One participant went so far as to say that “it is difficult to talk of a ‘paco boom,’ ” calling it “a media creation.”