Puppet MastersS

Red Flag

Iran stages 'modern warfare' drill in Strait of Hormuz

© ReutersFile photo shows Iranian Navy boats taking part in maneuvers near Strait of Hormuz.
Iran claims its capability to defend itself is growing and the Islamic republic is "prepared for any threat". The statement follows tests of "modern warfare" capabilities and exercises to hone battle tactics in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The naval force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in charge of maintaining security in the Persian Gulf area, held exercises near the port city of Bandar Abbas, which holds a strategic position on the Strait of Hormuz. The main aim was to boost its forces combat readiness, familiarize them with the latest drills, and increase their response time.

The drills also tested well-timed responses to natural and manmade disasters, and allowed IRGC forces to operate new weapons, Iranian Press TV reported.

"Our present capabilities are incomparable to the past. Today, our youth, banking on the past experiences and modern science, have managed to show their capabilities to the world and be prepared for any threat," IRGC Navy Commander Rear-Admiral Reza Torabi was quoted as saying.

Monkey Wrench

Poland's GM crop ban - Nothing more than classic political deception

Earlier this week we reported a victory for anti-GMO activists when it was announced that Poland banned GM crops under new legislation.
The North-Eastern European country, Poland, has become the latest EU nation to ban the production of genetically modified (GM) crops, although, the European Food Safety Authority has approved GM crops as being safe for cultivation. Poland's Ministry of Agriculture has opted to take advantage of a special 'safeguard clause' which allowed them to reject these GM crops, allowing Poland to protect their agricultural base from contamination. (Waking Times)
Unfortunately, however, in what appears to be a classic political deception, this recent news is, sadly, just not true.

Alarm Clock

SOTT Focus: Sandy Hook hoaxes and the terror of the situation

Many of the most notable events in modern (and even ancient) history have provoked some form of 'conspiracy theory'. That is to say, ordinary people were not satisfied with the official story about how the event unfolded because all or some aspects of that story simply did not objectively make sense. Despite what the mainstream media would like us to believe about 'conspiracy theories', most conspiracy theories are based on objective problems with the official narrative. But note that I said 'based on'. The problem with conspiracy theories is that, while they usually reflect a more accurate overview of a major event, they are forced to rely on theory (due to deliberate with-holding of data by official sources) rather than hard evidence (which would disqualify them as theories) and are therefore open to abuse by people who tend to use their imaginations to complete the picture rather than the more critical functions of the human mind.

Compared to other similar events where many people found the official story implausible, the Sandy Hook massacre has provoked a veritable flood of conspiracy theories, and many of them are not based on any hard evidence.

A large majority of the alternative news pundits that have attempted to independently investigate the Sandy Hook massacre have engaged in some seriously irresponsible and shoddy journalism. Among the more outlandish and baseless theories, we find the claim that "actors" took the place of the parents and siblings of the Sandy Hook victims, and that no children were murdered at all because, the theory goes, if they were, "why haven't we seen any bodies?" I've already exposed the logical fallacies in a few of these theories elsewhere, but there is one theory that still refuses to go away, perhaps because it is slightly less obviously bogus, and many people are still touting it as the single fact that "busts open" the official story as a "hoax".

The theory in question is that a man named Christopher Rodia was the REAL owner of the black Honda Civic, which has been identified as the car of Adam Lanza's mother that was found outside the Sandy Hook elementary school. The basis for this erroneous belief, still held by many, is police scanner audio that was picked up from the morning of Dec. 14th and which details Connecticut State Police response to the massacre.


Nazi redux: Democratic grandmothers spy on their neighbors

Credit: Rory O'Driscoll, Winona Daily News/AP
Forget knocking on doors. The "Grandma Brigade" in Minnesota gathers public info about other voters.

In Minnesota, Democratic volunteers scour their local newspapers each morning for letters to the editor with a political slant. They pay attention to the names of callers on radio shows. They drive through their neighborhoods and jot down the addresses of campaign lawn signs.

Then they feed the information into a state Democratic Party database that includes nearly every voter in Minnesota.

Some of the states' few dozen data volunteers are so devoted that they log into the party database daily from their home computers. Deb Pitzrick, 61, of Eden Prairie, convinced a group of her friends to form the "Grandma Brigade." These women, in their 50s, 60s and 70s, no longer want to knock on doors for the Democrats. Instead, they support the party by gathering public information about other voters.

Much of the data the Grandma Brigade collects is prosaic: records of campaign donations or voters who have recently died. But a few volunteers see free information everywhere. They browse the listings of names on Tea Party websites. They might add a record of what was said around the family Thanksgiving table - Uncle Mitch voted for Bachmann, cousin Alice supports gay marriage.


Malaysians gather in tens of thousands demanding political reforms

© AFP Photo / Mohd RasfanThousands of protesters gather at the historical Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.
Tens of thousands Malaysians have come out to protest in the country's capital against the government calling for reforms and possible ouster of the ruling coalition. The rally comes before Malaysia's general elections, which are due by mid-2013.

According to local police, 80,000 people marched through Kuala Lumpur to the legendary Stadium Merdeka, where the current governing alliance declared independence from Britain in 1957, reported The Malaysian Insider.

Opposition estimates that the turnout was even higher, at about 100,000, according to Malaysia Kini.

Protesters' demands included better electoral and environmental laws, improved education system, abolition of student loans and fair royalty payments to oil-producing states.

The opposition argues that the country's electoral register is fraudulent and has pro-government bias.

© AFP Photo / Saeed KhanA protestor waves flag during a grand gathering at the historical Medeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) during a rally for electorial reforms in Kuala Lumpur.


'Security delirium': Netanyahu wasted $3bn on Iran attack plan - former PM

© AFP Photo / David SilvermanEhud Olmert
Ex-Israeli premier Ehud Olmert has accused current PM Benjamin Netanyahu of spending $3 billion on a war with Iran that never took place.

Olmert pointed out that the current leader "wasted" the money on "harebrained adventures that haven't, and won't, come to fruition."

"We are dealing with expenditures that go above and beyond multi-year budgets," Olmert also said in an interview with Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 News. "They scared the world for a year and in the end didn't do anything."

The former leader also pointed out that the money was spent on "security delirium", and "the projects won't be carried out because 2012 was the decisive year." The ex-PM referred to the Israeli drive to toughen sanctions, and possibly engage in a military conflict, with Iran to interfere with the nuclear development in the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with Ehud Barak, the deputy PM and the defense minister, reacted to the ex-premier's claims in an interview with Army Radio set to be aired on Sunday, IsraelNationalNews.com reported. Netanyahu called the former PM's criticism "a bizarre, irresponsible thing to say."

The current leader also indicated, "We've done a lot to strengthen the IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet [the Israeli Security Service] in various ways."


Best of the Web: Alex Jones Wood Shed II: Post Piers Morgan side show

Ry Dawson dissects AJ's latest insane rant during his appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan TV show, an appearance that was clearly intended to discredit all alternative political views as the delusions of crazed conspiracy theorists .

Brick Wall

French government escalates row with Catholics over gay marriage plan

© REUTERS/Patrick KovarikFrancois Hollande (L) and Vincent Peillon (R), then in opposition but now France’s president and education minister, at a meeting with teachers during last year’s election campaign in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a Paris suburb, on March 6, 2012.
France's President Francois Hollande has weighed this weekend into the war of words between his government and the Catholic Church over holding discussions in schools on the planned legalisation of same-sex marriage.

He defended Education Minister Vincent Peillon on Saturday for urging Catholic schools, which teach about one-fifth of all pupils in France, to stay neutral in the debate.

Peillon's supporters and critics dominated the headlines and airwaves on Sunday, a week before a Church-backed protest in Paris that organisers say could draw as many as half a million people opposed to any change in traditional marriage.

The shrill polemics could not drown out another big news story, the growing unpopularity of Hollande and his government. One poll said 75 percent of voters doubt he can keep a New Year's promise to turn around rising unemployment this year.

Laurent Wauquiez, a former conservative higher education minister, slammed Peillon for implying that Catholic opposition to the reform was responsible for suicides of gay teenagers.

"This is a big political manipulation," he said.

Snakes in Suits

France to pursue Mali mission, raise domestic security

French President Francois Hollande
France will pursue operations in Mali to prepare a subsequent African-led intervention to oust Islamist rebels and will step up anti-terrorist security measures on its own territory, President Francois Hollande said on Saturday.

As French aircraft pounded rebel fighters for a second day, Hollande said he had given instructions that the several hundred French troops sent to Mali must keep their actions strictly limited to supporting a West African ECOWAS operation.

"We have already held back the progress of our adversaries and inflicted heavy losses on them. But our mission is not over yet," Hollande said, a day after French forces launched air strikes and reinforced the capital Bamako to pre-empt a feared rebel advance towards the city.


Libya, Algeria and Tunisia to step up border security

© REUTERS/Ismail ZitounyLibyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (C) speaks during a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmalek Sellal (L) and Tunisian counterpart Hamadi Jebali, in the border town of Ghadames, southwest of Tripoli January 12, 2013.
The prime ministers of Libya, Algeria and Tunisia agreed on Saturday to enhance security along their common borders in an attempt to fight the flow of arms and drugs and organised crime in the politically turbulent region.

Meeting in the western Libyan border town of Ghadames, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his Algerian and Tunisian counterparts said measures would include setting up joint checkpoints and patrols along the frontiers, which stretch for thousands of kilometres (miles) through mostly sparsely-populated desert.

They also expressed concern over the crisis in Mali, where an international campaign to crush rebels who seized the north of the country was gathering pace.

Mali does not share a border with Libya but it has been affected by the spill over of weapons and fighters from the war.