Puppet MastersS


Iran Says it Has Successfully Tested Missiles in Gulf Drill

© Amir Kholousi / ISNAIn this image made available by the Iranian Students News Agency, an Iranian navy vessel launches a missile during a drill at the sea of Oman, on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.
Iran has claimed to have successfully tested a new medium-range ground-to-air missile during naval exercises in the Gulf, amid rising tensions over the country's nuclear programme.

State news agency Irna yesterday quoted Iran's naval commander, Mahmoud Mousavi, as saying the missile was equipped with the latest technology and intelligent systems.

The missile test was made during 10 days of naval exercises to the east of the Straits of Hormuz, the narrowest section of the Gulf, which Iran has threatened to close in the event of western sanctions on its oil exports.

The exercises come a few weeks before EU foreign ministers meet to consider further sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo against Tehran, after an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report in November confirmed western allegations that Iran had worked on nuclear weapons designs, at least until 2003, and may have carried out experiments more recently.


Obama Crowned Himself on New Year's Eve

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These were among the complaints registered the last time this nation had a king:
"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
"He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
"He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
"He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
"For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
"For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
"For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
"He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation."
To prevent the U.S. government from behaving like a king, the drafters of the U.S. Constitution empowered an elected legislature to write every law, to declare every war, and to remove its executive from office. To further prevent the abuse of individuals' rights, those authors wrote into the Constitution, even prior to the Bill of Rights, the right to habeas corpus and the right never to be punished for treason unless convicted in an open court on the testimony of at least two witnesses to an overt act of war or assistance of an enemy.


France's Future Hangs in Balance in 2012: Sarkozy

© Agence France-PresseA tv grab taken from French TV channel TF1.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Saturday that the country's future hung in the balance in 2012 amid the eurozone debt crisis but said ratings agencies would not decide French policy.

"France's destiny could once again be tipped" in 2012, Sarkozy said in a televised New Year's address. "Emerging from the crisis, building a new model for growth, giving birth to a new Europe -- these are some of the challenges that await us."

"This crisis... probably the most serious since World War II, this crisis is not over," Sarkozy said.

"Yet there are reasons for hope... We must, we can keep confidence in the future," he said.

The speech was Sarkozy's last New Year's address before France heads to the polls for the first round of a presidential election in April.

"What is happening in the world announces that 2012 will be a year full of risks but also full of possibilities. Full of hope, if we know how to face the challenges. Full of dangers, if we stand still," Sarkozy said.

Bizarro Earth

Italian President Urges Sacrifices to Save Economy

Giorgio Napolitano
© Agence France-PresseItaly's President Giorgio Napolitano
President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday called on Italians to make sacrifices to prevent the "financial collapse of Italy".

"Sacrifices are necessary to ensure the future of young people, it's our objective and a commitment we cannot avoid," he said in a New Year's speech to the nation.

The eurozone's third largest economy, Italy sparked fears in 2011 that its toxic mix of low growth, high debt and spiralling borrowing costs could force it to seek a bailout like fellow eurozone members Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

"No-one, no social group, can today avoid the commitment to contribute to the clean up of public finances in order to prevent the financial collapse of Italy," he said.

Bad Guys

"World should be happy that Steve Jobs wasn't Israeli"

Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, Apple's slogan would not have been "Think Different." It would have been "Think Like Everyone Else."

(Inspired by the bestseller Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson )
  1. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, his father - who was of Syrian extraction - would have been hunted by the Oz immigration police. Instead of completing a doctorate in international relations at the University of Michigan, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali would have been shoved into some prison truck in the middle of the night and from there thrown into the "prison facility" near Hadera. Jobs wouldn't have been born at all and, even if he had, he would quickly have been spotted in the gunsight of Interior Minister Eli Yishai and kicked out of here, the sooner and the further the better.
  2. Had Steve Jobs been an Israeli, it is doubtful whether his fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hill, would have noticed his exceptional talents. It is also doubtful whether his literature teacher would have taken him, in his senior year, on an "inspiring snow hike in Yosemite National Park." Instead, Jobs would have been required to memorize the difference between "chalky soil" and "clay soil"; to swallow, every year, the pornography of violence toward children called "Holocaust studies in school"; and, in his last year in high school, to be preoccupied with only one question - whether to enlist in the elite Maglan unit or the elite Duvdevan unit in the Israel Defense Forces.

Bad Guys

US: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill

Obama signs bill
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President Obama signed on Saturday the defense authorization bill, formally ending weeks of heated debate in Congress and intense lobbying by the administration to strip controversial provisions requiring the transfer of some terror suspects to military custody.

"I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists," Obama said in a statement accompanying his signature.

The White House had originally threatened to veto the $662 billion bill, considered must-pass legislation, over the language that requires mandatory military custody for suspects linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even if they are captured in the U.S. Just before the House and Senate passed the bill comfortably, the White House said it would support the bill's compromise language that, as tweaked by conference committee, would not impede the administration's ability to collect intelligence or incapacitate dangerous terrorists.

Still, administration officials have admitted publicly the final provisions were not the preferred approach of this administration.


US: Singing the anthem: Are you doing it 'right'?

© Associated Press/Gerald Herbert'The Liberty Belles' sing the National Anthem at a ceremony observing the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.
Lawmaker wants rules for performances at schools

Oh, say can you . . . sing?

And, more importantly, can you sing it the "right" way -- the way one Indiana lawmaker thinks the national anthem should be sung?

Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, has introduced a bill that would set specific "performance standards" for singing and playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at any event sponsored by public schools and state universities.

The law also would cover private schools receiving state or local scholarship funds, including vouchers.

Performers would have to sign a contract agreeing to follow the guidelines. Musicians -- whether amateur or professional -- would be fined $25 if it were deemed they failed to meet the appropriate standards.

Bad Guys

Best of the Web: The spectre of 1932: How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory

The dawn of a new year is usually a time of hope and ambition, of dreams for the future and thoughts of a better life. But it is a long time since many of us looked forward to the new year with such anxiety, even dread.

Here in Britain, many economists believe that by the end of 2012 we could well have slipped into a second devastating recession. The Coalition remains delicately poised; it would take only one or two resignations to provoke a wider schism and a general election.

But the real dangers lie overseas. In the Middle East, the excitement of the Arab Spring has long since curdled into sectarian tension and fears of Islamic fundamentalism. And with so many of the world's oil supplies concentrated in the Persian Gulf, British families will be keeping an anxious eye on events in the Arab world.
© unknownThe Battle of Cable Street: Mosley's fascists tried to march through the Jewish East End, a scene that could be repeated


Positioning for War With Iran?

USS John C. Stennis
© US NavyThe United States Navy's USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)
There are some distinct geopolitical rumblings occurring in the general region surrounding Iran that is quite concerning for someone like myself and I'm sure Tehran as well.

This includes a major sale of cutting-edge F-15SA fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, Iran spotting the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier entering the Strait of Hormuz, a sale of advanced missile interceptor systems to the United Arab Emirates, warnings from the Russian envoy to the United Nations of global destabilization in 2012 and new awards for Raytheon for the AESA radar system and contracts for US/NATO missile systems.

After Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the West continued to push for sanctions on Iranian oil exports, the United States' Fifth Fleet out of Bahrain countered with similar saber-rattling.

The Iranian navy chief, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, stated that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be "easier than drinking a glass of water."


The Lies of War: Leaving Iraq, Remembering Vietnam

WW 2 soldiers
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"You are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries - from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you - men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.

The most important lesson that we can take from you is not about military strategy - - it's a lesson about our national character. Because of you, we are ending these wars in a way that will make America stronger and the world more secure."

- President Barack Obama, Address to Troops at Fort Bragg, December 14, 2011
The lies of war are forgotten as easily and readily as the wrappings of Christmas or the resolutions of a new year. Like a child still in diapers, the lessons of war must be learned again and again until finally they are taken to heart.