Puppet MastersS


Best of the Web: Court Upholds Arrest of First US Citizen Based on Drone Surveillance

us map
© Unknown
Judge: No Improper Use of Drone

A judge at a district court in North Dakota has issued the first ruling on domestic drone use, saying that the arrest of a man during which surveillance drones were used was not "improper" and that it has "no bearing" on charges brought against the man.

The arrest was the result of a dispute over laws in North Dakota surrounding wandering livestock, and police attacked the man, Rodney Brossart, on his property after he refused to return six cows which had wandered onto his property.

Bad Guys

Best of the Web: Senate Forces Pentagon to Buy Drones and Ships it Doesn't Need

drones espías‎
© hispantv.com
Even though next year's Department of Defense budget has been slashed, a Senate panel voted on Thursday to fund more ships, cargo plans and drones - equipment that the military neither wants, nor can afford.

­The Pentagon's requested budget fails to include some surveillance drones (known as the Block 30) and a C-27J propeller-driven cargo plane. Additionally, the Navy chose to retire nine of its old ships, rather than spend the maintenance cash required to keep them in service.

But the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the two most powerful committees in Congress, voted for a $604.5 billion defense budget for next year, which is $100 million less than what the Pentagon wanted. The budget includes money for the equipment that it planned to get rid of.

If the committee has its way, the Air Force will be forced to buy drones it doesn't want. Each Global Hawk Block 30 drone costs $218 million. The entire Global Hawk drone program costs $12.4 billion. The Air Force wants to continue buying other Global Hawk drones that are cheaper and more effective, but the Senate committee would force it to buy both types.


Reuters Hacked: Bogus Blog Posts Claim Syrian Rebel Exodus

Screenshot from the Reuters website (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/03/us-reuters-syria-hacking-idINBRE8721B420120803)
Several Reuters blog posts claimed that the Free Syrian Army was withdrawing from major cities and acquiring chemicals weapons from Libya. The news agency now says the posts were fake, as their blogging platform had been hacked.

The company suspended blogging on Friday, and no new posts have been made since.

"Reuters.com was a target of a hack on Friday," Thomson Reuters, the news agency's parent company, said in a statement. "Our blogging platform was compromised and fabricated blog posts were falsely attributed to several Reuters journalists."

The bogus posts have now been removed, though their cached versions are still available online.

One fake post alleged that Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Riad al-Asaad told Reuters in a telephone interview that "the Syrian Free Army (sic) will withdraw from all Syrian cities." Al-Asaad purportedly said that the regular army had killed 1,000 rebel soldiers, and that the heavy losses, coupled with internal wrangling "for money and positions," as well as betrayals, were forcing the rebels to leave Aleppo and other major cities, and head to Turkey. There they would "re-coordinate" at secret bases set up "under the supervision of the Turkish government and the Israeli intelligence service."

The rebel commander's fake statement also contained allegations that Qatar and Saudi Arabia betrayed the Syrian opposition and "made a secret deal with Damascus" in exchange for "investments" and "privileges" in post-conflict Syria.

The phony blog post was said to have been written by Jeffrey Goldfard, who, according to his profile "writes about investment banking and the financial sector."

Arrow Down

Lack of job growth holds economy in cycle of weakness

© NBC News
As the U.S. economy limps along into its fourth year of a tepid recovery, its job creation machine remains badly broken.

Friday's monthly employment report was better than many forecasters were expecting, showing a relatively strong gain of 163,000 new jobs in July. But the rise of the jobless rate - - up a tenth of a point to 8.3 percent -- was a painful reminder of how many sidelined workers have been left behind by the weakest rebound in six decades.

As the subpar recovery drags on and growth appears to be, in the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, "stuck in the mud," the weak pace of hiring may be doing lasting damage.

"You destroy human capital, and the problem is it's difficult for those individuals to come back," said Ed Lazear, a Stanford economist who served as adviser to President George W. Bush. "People who are in their mid- to later 50s -- who would otherwise be working for another 10 years or so -- now may simply decide to stay out of the labor market. That's a lot of lost manpower and lost productivity."

Though the headline jobless rate that attracts the most attention in the media has been trending lower from a peak of 10 percent in 2009, that doesn't capture the large group of Americans who have given up looking for work.

Comment: One might wonder if the people in many U.S. cities were aware the recession ended in 2009.

California Cities May Cease to Exist
America's Third World Economy

Please note those who are no longer able to collect Unemployment, due to loosing their benefits, are not counted among the unemployed.Then of course, there are Storm clouds looming over the global economy


Clinton Hopes for Improved Drones to Find Kony

© The Associated Press//Jacquelyn Martin/PoolSecretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, at the Presidential Office Building in Juba, South Sudan.
Entebbe, Uganda -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she hopes drones will soon be able to see through jungle cover so they can locate warlord Joseph Kony.

Clinton made the remark in Uganda as she watched a small U.S.-made drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida-linked militants.

The U.S. last year sent 100 special forces advisers to Central Africa to help hunt Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a band of jungle-roaming militants known for kidnapping children, taking girls as sex slaves and disfiguring victims. Ugandan forces are at the forefront in the hunt for Kony, whose campaign of terror originated in Uganda but who now is elsewhere in central Africa.

"Now we have to figure out how we can see through thick vegetation to find Joseph Kony," Clinton said at a Ugandan military base on Lake Victoria shortly after meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. She chuckled as she made the comment, but it was clear she was serious about boosting the capabilities of troops searching for Kony.

Kony's terror rampage was made famous earlier this year by a viral Internet campaign by the U.S.-based aid group Invisible Children. The U.S. troops helping in the hunt are in Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Congo.

Comment: US is just using "finding Kony" as a justification for more drone use in other countries. And if they do happen to find him (with or without the drone help) it'll give a good bolster to the drone program and justify more killing of innocents.
For more information on Kony and the Invisible Children campaign read:

Sott Focus: The Kony 2012 Delusion by Joe Quinn, and
Kony 2012 video is misleading


British Ships Banned from Docking in Buenos Aires

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
© The Associated PressArgentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner Photo: AP
Ships flying the British ensign have been banned from docking in Argentina's largest province under a new law passed yesterday.

The legislature of Buenos Aires province voted to prohibit vessels sailing under the British flag from "mooring, loading or carrying out logistical operations" in any of its ports.

The bill was brought forward by Patricia Cubría, a deputy belonging to President Cristina Kirchner's Front for Victory coalition.

It was nicknamed 'Gaucho Rivero' after Antonio Rivero, nicknamed the 'Gaucho', an Argentine cowboy who led an uprising in the Falkland Islands against the British in 1833.

"He fought so that the Argentine flag could fly in the Falklands," Ms Cubría said.

The law is designed to hinder British ships involved in oil exploration in waters belonging to the islands and will be seen as the latest in a series of provocations in the run up to the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.


US Troops 'Kept Dogs in the Same Beds as Their Prostitutes'

© Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesUS Secret Service and military personnel allegedly took as many as 21 women back to their hotel, ahead of Obama's trip to Cartagena
US troops who caused scandal by sleeping with prostitutes ahead of a visit to Colombia by President Barack Obama also allowed sniffer dogs to sleep in hotel beds and defecate on the premises.

A partially redacted report into April's incident released Friday by the Pentagon revealed little that was not already known about how 12 soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors had taken prostitutes to their hotel rooms.

The team was in place as part of the security detail for Mr Obama's visit to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, and their behaviour came to light after nine civilian US Secret Service officers were caught for the same offence.

The report concluded that, while servicemen had breached US military law by consorting with sex workers and in some cases by committing adultery, and had shown bad discipline by drinking, they had not endangered national security.


Mother of Vietnamese blogger dies after self-immolation to protest government harassment

The mother of a blogger in detention has died after setting herself on fire ahead of her daughter's trial for propaganda against the Communist state, sources close to the family said on 30 July.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng is the mother of Ta Phong Tan, a 43-year-old Catholic former policewoman, who was arrested on 5 September 2011 and has been held in detention since. She is due in court in Ho Chi Minh City on 7 August alongside the two other bloggers Nguyen Van Hai also known as 'Dieu Cay' and Phan Thanh Hai, who blogs under the name 'Anhba SG'.

Ta Phong Tan used her blog to denounce corruption and injustice in Vietnam's legal system.

The three bloggers face a possible 20-year jail sentence for violating article 88 of Vietnam's Criminal Code oultlawing anti-government propaganda.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself on fire in front of the People's Committee in Bac Lieu province.


Senate Candidate Clark Durant Took 95% of Charity's Money

© clarkscharityscam.com

The Michigan Democratic Party has accused Republican Senate candidate Clark Durant of illegally profiting off a "sponsor-a-child" charity.

The charity, Genesis Foundation, was created to provide tuition for children attending Cornerstone Schools, a system of nonprofit schools Durant co-founded in Detroit. But tax returns showed that about 95 percent of all funds donated to the charity go directly to Durant and his daughter, Hope Durant Loomis.

"For that reason it does not appear that this Foundation is organized and operating as a tax-exempt charitable organization," attorney Tammie Tischler explained in an IRS complaint filed on behalf of Democrats Monday. "Contributions come in from two donors and go directly to Mr. Durant and Ms. Loomis as compensation for program services."

She said the Genesis Foundation "appears to be a complete sham organization."

Star of David

British ambassador says Jewish state losing mainstream political support over lack of peace progress and West Bank expansion

West Bank Kalandia checkpoint
© Oliver Weiken/EPAIsraeli border police at the Kalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The British ambassador says Isreal is losing international support, and is being perceived as Goliath, and Palestine as David.
The British ambassador to Israel has said international support for the Jewish state among those in the political mainstream is eroding, driven by settlement expansion in the West Bank and continued restrictions on Gaza.

There is "growing concern" in the UK over lack of progress towards peace with the Palestinians, and Israel was now being seen as Goliath against the Palestinians as David, said Matthew Gould, in reference to the biblical story.

In an unusually forthright interview for Israel's Channel 10 news, Gould said he detected a shift among the middle ground of British members of parliament towards a more critical view of Israel.

"Israelis might wake up in 10 years' time and find out that the level of understanding in the international community has suddenly changed, and that patience for continuing the status quo has reduced," he said.

"Support for Israel is starting to erode and that's not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it. The interesting category are those members of parliament in the middle, and in that group I see a shift."

Comment: Israel was losing public and international support in the couple years before 9-11. Connection??