Puppet Masters


Presidential candidate Scott Walker plans to sign bill banning abortions after 20 weeks

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he will sign into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Mr. Walker on Tuesday issued what he called an "open letter on life" in which he stated his support for the ban, saying he expects the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass such a bill.

Mr. Walker, a likely presidential candidate, also says he supports a federal ban.

Putting a ban on abortions after 20 weeks is based on the assertion that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at that point.

Opponents of the ban say such claims are disputed in medical research, while supporters say there is evidence that by 20-weeks gestation, fetuses react to pain stimuli.

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade allowed states to limit abortions in cases where there's a viable chance the fetus could survive outside of the womb, generally considered to be between 22 and 24 weeks.

Comment: This guy is definitely proving his "worth" to the pathological elite in the US. A woman's right to choose has been a fundamental right for over 40 years, and if the elites have their way, that right along with many others will be taken away as soon as possible. No wonder he is a presidential candidate. He's doing all he can to appeal to them.

Red Flag

Italy threatens military intervention in Libya

Four years after an international coalition intervened to force the overthrow of Libya's long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Italy's government is pressing for a new military intervention.

This is being sold to the public based on the rising influence of Islamist militias, which are supposedly also threatening Italy. In reality, the drive to intervention is being driven by major Italian oil and business interests in the North African country, where Italy has a long and bloody colonial history. The sabre-rattling over Libya also serves to divert attention from the growing domestic social and political tensions.

Defence Minister Roberta Pinnotti declared on 15 February that a military mission in Libya was "urgently required." Italy was prepared to lead a coalition of European and North African states, and send 5,000 soldiers to Libya, she told the Messagero newspaper.

Comment: Could Libya cutting oil exports to Italy have anything to do with this?

Eye 2

Deputy of European Parliament from Latvia denied permission into Russia

Sandra Kalniete
© AP Photo Archive/LUXPRESS/Jean-Claude Ernst
Sandra Kalniete (right).
Sandra Kalniete — deputy of the European Parliament from Latvia, who arrived in Russia to attend the funeral of Boris Nemtsov, has not been admitted into Russia because of her "anti-Russian activities and in retaliation for sanctions taken by the European Union against a number of Russian officials," spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.

"The Latvian side had been warned about the Russian act beforehand," the spokesman said.

"The reason of the arrival of the above-mentioned deputy of the European parliament was no other than provocation," Lukashevich said.

Sandra Kalniete arrived in Moscow late on March 2 to attend the funeral of Boris Nemtsov. She was detained at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, where her passport was taken away for checks. Afterwards, she was informed that she was denied permission to visit Russia.

Comment: Ha, good on Russia!

Mr. Potato

Norway's Nobel Peace Prize Committee replaces Jagland

Thorbjoern Jagland
© AP
Thorbjoern Jagland, former chair of The Norwegian Nobel Committee, arrives at the Nobel institute in Oslo, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
The Nobel Peace Prize awarding Norwegian Nobel Committee on Tuesday elected a new chairman to replace Thorbjoern Jagland, whose six-year tenure has been lined with controversies.

Jagland will remain a member of the voting panel but was a contentious leader, attracting criticism for his dual role as committee chairman and head of the European Council when the prize was awarded to the European Union in 2012. His leadership also was clouded by the decision to give the prize to Barack Obama in 2009 after he had just been elected president, and the 2010 prize to the jailed dissident Liu Xiabo drew fury from China.

The former labor politician was replaced by the panel's deputy chairman, Kaci Kullmann Five, a former conservative party leader. She denied that Jagland's ousting had anything to do with pressure from China, which froze diplomatic ties to Norway after the 2010 award.

Comment: This Norwegian Nobel Committee is such a joke. Does anyone really care who the chairman is or who wins the prize?


Who is trying to destabilize the Balkans?

The US-NATO Empire is trying to shift the blame for the ensuing political & economic crises on the ultimate "fall country"- Russia.

Though seemingly spontaneous, it is likely that the US Secretary of State John Kerry knew that several sentences he said during the hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on February 24, 2015 could create a storm of media controversy across the Balkan region. Although he said many things concerning this year's activities of the US foreign policy establishment during the nearly three-hour long session, these few sentences took the spotlight because they had to do with the Balkans and Russia.[1] In the Washington's resurgent warmongering political discourse, Russia is once again, after two decades, being presented to the American people as the enemy number one (the "evil empire").

Comment: More and more the US/NATO machinations are becoming obvious to almost everyone.

War Whore

Nuland in Azerbaijan: Another destabilization attempt planned on Russia's southern border?

Nuland in Azerbaijan

What is Nuland up to in Azerbaijan?
The US' Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, visited Baku on 16 February as part of her trip to the Caucasus, which also saw her paying stops in Georgia and Armenia. While Azerbaijan has had positive relations with the US since independence, they've lately been complicated by Washington's 'pro-democracy' rhetoric and subversive actions in the country. Nuland's visit, despite her warm words of friendship, must be look at with maximum suspicion, since it's not known what larger ulterior motives she represents on behalf of the US government.

A Bad Omen

Nuland is most infamously known for her "Fuck the EU!" comment that was uncovered during a secretly recorded conversation with the American Ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. The two were conspiring to build a new Ukrainian government even before democratically elected (but unpopular and corrupt) president Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown by the US-supported EuroMaidan coup. Nuland played a direct role in events, not only behind the scenes, but also on the streets, since she proudly handed out cookies and other foodstuffs to the 'protesters' that would violently seize power just over two months later. Her role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

Netanyahu's Iranophobic talk to U.S. Congress before election campaign

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham.
On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham called the speech a deceitful show and part of the hardliners' political propaganda in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu (pictured below during the address) addressed the Congress earlier in the day, calling on the United States not to negotiate "a very bad deal" with Iran over its nuclear energy program. He said, "We've been told for over a year that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a bad deal, a very bad deal. We're better off without it."

Comment: Netanyahu has been warning us about Iran getting a nuclear bomb within a year since 2001. With Israel's nuclear arsenal, no other Middle East country is a threat.

Light Sabers

China's warning to U.S.: Stop the proxy Ukrainian war against Russia

A much-ignored huge news report from Reuters on Friday, February 27th, was headlined "Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia's security concerns over Ukraine."

China's Ambassador to Belgium (which has the capital of the EU) said that the "nature and root cause" of the Ukrainian conflict is "the West," and that "The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration."

By "real security concerns," he is clearly referring to NATO's expansion right up to Russia's border, and America's surrounding Russia with U.S. military bases, now increasingly including the most strategic of Russia's bordering countries: Ukraine.

In other words, this diplomat says: "the West" has a "zero-sum" attitude toward Russia, instead of seeking to move forward with an approach in which neither side among the nuclear superpowers benefits at the other's expense — the entire world moves forward together.

This is a direct criticism of Barack Obama, and of all of the pro-Obama, anti-Putin, EU leaders.

It's also an implicit repudiation of Obama's having repeatedly referred to the U.S. as "the one indispensable nation." (Another example of that phrase is here.) Obama keeps saying: every other nation, except the U.S., is "dispensable." He clearly thinks that Russia is.

That's not merely an insult: it's an act of provocation; it is virtually asking for a fight. And all for what? For whose nuclear char?

Comment: It's highly doubtful that the U.S. will listen to China. They keep doing what they've always done, destroying countries with their fascist regime change tactics and then employing the IMF to destroy the economy and plunder the resources. This is exactly what we are seeing them do to Ukraine right now.

Arrow Down

Private Police: Mercenaries for the American Police State

"Corporate America is using police forces as their mercenaries."—Ray Lewis, Retired Philadelphia Police Captain
Private Security Forces
© Flickr/​Jamie Manley
The University of Chicago Police Department is one of the largest private security forces in the country.
It's one thing to know and exercise your rights when a police officer pulls you over, but what rights do you have when a private cop—entrusted with all of the powers of a government cop but not held to the same legal standards—pulls you over and subjects you to a stop-and-frisk or, worse, causes you to "disappear" into a Gitmo-esque detention center not unlike the one employed by Chicago police at Homan Square?

For that matter, how do you even begin to know who you're dealing with, given that these private cops often wear police uniforms, carry police-grade weapons, and perform many of the same duties as public cops, including carrying out SWAT team raids, issuing tickets and firing their weapons.

This is the growing dilemma we now face as private police officers outnumber public officers (more than two to one), and the corporate elite transforms the face of policing in America into a privatized affair that operates beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment.

Mind you, it's not as if we had many rights to speak of, anyhow.

Owing to the general complacency of the courts and legislatures, the Fourth Amendment has already been so watered down, battered and bruised as to provide little practical protection against police abuses. Indeed, as I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we're already operating in a police state in which police have carte blanche authority to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance. Expanding on these police powers, the U.S. Supreme Court recently gave law enforcement officials tacit approval to collect DNA from any person, at any time.

However, whatever scant protection the weakened Fourth Amendment provides us dissipates in the face of privatized police, who are paid by corporations working in partnership with the government. Talk about a diabolical end run around the Constitution.

We've been so busy worrying about militarized police, police who shoot citizens first and ask questions later, police who shoot unarmed people, etc., that we failed to take notice of the corporate army that was being assembled under our very noses. Looks like we've been outfoxed, outmaneuvered and we're about to be out of luck.

America's Chechen proxy fighters: The big picture

georgia chechens
The media is awash with expert commentary on the various world trouble spots. Many of the reports you see make similar claims about the presence of ethnic Chechens amongst the various fighting forces in Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Ukraine and other war-torn states that the US has vested interests in. However there is one point all these authors have missed.

On September 1 Iraqi News reported that "Iraq's counter-terrorism office announced the killing of 23 fighters of Chechen nationality who belong to the organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, in Sulaiman Bek district, east of Tikrit."

Whether these people were really Chechens has not been established, as "Chechen" has been equated with "terrorist" for a long time, so if you don't know where a dead terrorist comes from he is called a Chechen. But there is a reason this state of affairs came to be, and it does not derive from Russian propaganda, as sources such as Arab News try and make out.

Comment: See: SOTT Exclusive: Nemtsov investigation round-up - suspects, revelations and speculation