Puppet MastersS


India Tests Nuke-Capable Missile Able to Hit China

© Reuters/Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation/DRDO/Handout A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012.
New Delhi - India announced the successful test launch Thursday of a new nuclear-capable missile that would give it the ability to strike the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai for the first time, a significant step forward in its aspirations to become a regional and world power.

The Agni-V missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), still requires a battery of tests and must clear other bureacratic hurdles before it can be inducted into India's arsenal. But officials hailed the launch as proof the country has taken its place among the world's most powerful and scientifically advanced nations.

"The nation stands tall today," Defense Minister A.K. Antony said, according to the Press Trust of India.

The test came just days after North Korea's failed rocket launch, but sparked none of the same global condemnation aimed at Pyongyang, an internationally isolated regime that has been banned by the U.N. from testing missile technology.

China is far ahead of India in the missile race, with intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching anywhere in India. Currently, the longest-range Indian missile, the Agni-III, has a range of 3,500 kilometers (2,100 miles) and falls short of many major Chinese cities.

"At the moment there is a huge assymetry in China's favor," said C. Uday Bhaskar, the former head of the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses. After it adds the missile to its arsenal, however, "India's deterrent profile in the region would be appropriately burnished."

Video released by the government showed the Agni-V taking off from a small launcher on what appeared to be railroad tracks at 8:07 a.m. from Wheeler Island off India's east coast. It rose on a pillar of flame, trailing billows of smoke behind, before arcing through the sky.

Bad Guys

King of Spain's Elephant Hunt is Disgrace to Humanity

King Juan Carlos
© Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty ImagesSpanish King Juan Carlos leaves a hospital on April 18, 2012 in Madrid where he was admitted after breaking his hip during an African elephant hunt. The trip provoked a scandal in Spain.
It's been a terrible week for King Juan Carlos of Spain and, more importantly, for elephants.

The 74-year-old potentate broke his hip trying to slaughter elephants on a hunt in Botswana.

News of his accident didn't play well back home, where high unemployment and bad loans darken Spain's economic future.

Unsurprisingly, the king soon apologized for not hanging around to render comfort to his anxious citizens and lament the rising deficit.

Astonishingly, the King is the honorary president of World Wildlife Fund Spain, a conservation group that takes a dim view of shooting animals.

The group's secretary general, Juan Carlos del Olmo, quickly wrote to the palace to "convey WWF's profound discomfort and concern at recent developments in Spain and the world, which has caused outrage from our partners and the general public against hunting elephants, even when it takes place in a legal and regulated environment."

(The Botswana hunt was technically legal, if morally repulsive).

According to del Olmo, tens of thousands of people have registered their dismay on numerous platforms.

The Spanish WWF has been flooded with calls demanding that the king resign his presidency.


Swedish Culture Minister Sparks Outrage with Racist Cake

The National Afro-Swedish Association has called for Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth to be sacked after she was pictured cutting the 'genital mutilation' cake
racist cake
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A top Swedish politician is at the centre of a race row storm after she was pictured cutting up a cake depicting a naked black woman.

Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was pictured enacting female genital mutilation on the racial stereotype cake, prompting calls for her resignation.

The self-confessed 'anti-racist' attended a party at Moderna Museet, the museum of modern art in Stockholm on World Art Day on April 15.

Liljeroth was pictured laughing and joking as she cut the macabre cake was designed by Makode Aj Linde.

The sweet treat featured a black woman's naked torso with the artist's own head, painted black, at the top.

Once cut open, the cake sponge was red, depicting blood.

It is believed the art installation was intended to highlight the issue of female circumcision, as the minister first cut a slice of cake from the 'clitoris'.

Green Light

US Supreme Court: Law says organizations cannot be sued for torture

The United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a law on the books since 1991 precludes organizations, both political and corporate, from sued for torture or murder outside of the U.S.

In a unanimous ruling on Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority (PDF), Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the careful text of the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991, the way it is written "convinces us that Congress did not extend liability to organizations, sovereign or not."


Anti-Smoking Fascist Bloomberg Proposes Law To Identify Buildings With Smokers

© unknown
New York apartment buildings that permit smoking would be identified under a new law proposed Wednesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Landlords of buildings with three or more units would have to inform prospective tenants and purchasers whether smoking was allowed in apartments and on balconies, as well as in common outdoor areas like rooftops.

Bloomberg said this would give potential renters the chance to choose a smoke-free environment, free from wafts of cigarette smoke from other apartments.

"Smoking kills and people have the right to know if they are going to be exposed to secondhand smoke," Bloomberg said.


Best of the Web: The TSA's mission creep is making the US a police state

A TSA 'viper' (VIPR) team patrolling mass transit
© GuardianA TSA 'viper' (VIPR) team patrolling mass transit
The out-of-control Transportation Security Administration is past patdowns at airports - now it's checkpoints and roadblocks

Ever since 2010, when the Transportation Security Administration started requiring that travelers in American airports submit to sexually intrusive gropings based on the apparent anti-terrorism principle that "If we can't feel your nipples, they must be a bomb", the agency's craven apologists have shouted down all constitutional or human rights objections with the mantra "If you don't like it, don't fly!"

This callous disregard for travelers' rights merely paraphrases the words of Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano, who shares, with the president, ultimate responsibility for all TSA travesties since 2009. In November 2010, with the groping policy only a few weeks old, Napolitano dismissed complaints by saying "people [who] want to travel by some other means" have that right. (In other words: if you don't like it, don't fly.)


Wanting It All: America's War for Global Domination

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
© Fred TittmannProf. Michel Chossudovsky
The following is the background text of Michel Chossudovsky's public lecture at the Society for the Defense of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, 10-11 December, 2003 and Humboldt University, Berlin, 12 December 2003.

On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2003, Michel Chossudovsky was awarded The 2003 Human's Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM).

America's War for Global Domination

We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.

The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.

The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).

The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors.

US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the "free market reforms" imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people.

Eye 1

Precrime in America

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working on a project called FAST, the Future Attribute Screening Technology. FAST will remotely monitor physiological and behavioural signals like elevated heart rate, eye movement, body temperature, facial patterns, and body language, and analyse these signals algorithmically for statistical aberrance in an attempt to identify people with criminal or terroristic intentions.

FAST graphic
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It's useful to briefly talk about a few of the practical problems that such a system would face.

Firstly, the level of accuracy in remote monitoring. Is it possible to engineer a system that can remotely tell you the heart-rate of a hundred passengers passing through a TSA checkpoint? Yes. Is it possible to do so accurately? That is much, much harder. The obvious conclusion is that such a system, were it to be deployed in the wilds of airports (and presumably, other locations where our ever-benevolent technocratic overlords determine "terrorists" or "criminals" may be operating) would - given a large enough number of scans - produce a lot of false positives stemming from erroneous data.

But let's assume that such a system can be calibrated to produce a relatively accurate data set. Now we are faced with the problem of defining "suspicious" behaviour. Surely a passenger with the flu or a cold - who might have an elevated body temperature and a faster heart rate - would set alarm bells ringing. So too would someone suffering from pre-flight anxiety, people taking certain medications, the elderly and so on. Given that TSA screening protocols have prevented precisely zero terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11 (even in spite of the fact that 630 million passengers fly each year ) this merely suggests that vulnerable people will end up getting hassled by the TSA to an even greater extent than they already would be today. This is no laughing matter - a nervous but otherwise perfectly innocent passenger might end up getting tasered and die - something which of course has happened multiple times already. Or - under the NDAA (2011) - false-positives might end up being indefinitely detained on totally erroneous grounds.

Heart - Black

Birthday Fundraiser For Ann Romney Hosted By Man Who Once Barbecued A Dog

© unkFred Malek
When Mitt Romney strapped his dog to the roof of his family's car to go on vacation, he clearly wasn't thinking. And that decision has come to a haunt this election year as many Americans see this action as animal cruelty. It has been less than a boon to the Romney campaign. So it begs the question: How dimwitted does Mitt Romney have to be to associate with a guy who is guilty of extreme animal cruelty? Because that's exactly what Mitt Romney did on Monday by throwing a birthday fundraising party for his wife Ann at the home of Fred Malek, a Romney supporter who once took part in skinning and barbecuing a poor dog on a rotating spit in a city park in Illinois in 1959. To make matters worse, Malek was also the advisor hired by former Republican President Nixon to purge the Jews from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Dogs Against Romney:
"When asked about the incident in 2006, Malek offered this explanation: He said he went to Peoria in the summer of '59 to visit friends at Bradley University. They got "drunk out of their minds" and he "didn't know why" one of the other men had killed the dog, that he was "not a participant" and that he was in "no position to stop it."


U.S. Troops Posed with Body Parts of Afghan Bombers

An American soldier says he released the photos to the Los Angeles Times to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline. The Army has started a criminal investigation.
A soldier from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division with the body of an Afghan insurgent killed while trying to plant a roadside bomb. The photo is one of 18 provided to The Times of U.S. soldiers posing with corpses.
The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification.

The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan's Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held - and others squatted beside - the corpse's severed legs.

A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.

Two soldiers posed holding a dead man's hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man's hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading "Zombie Hunter" next to other remains and took a picture.