Puppet MastersS


Best of the Web: US: Insider: $56 Billion Later, Airport Security Is Junk

© Flickr/Inha Leex Hale
The Department of Homeland Security has spent billions since 9/11 trying to keep dangerous people and dangerous explosives off airplanes, and treating us all air travelers like potential terrorists in the process. But according to a former security adviser to a leading airline, the terrorists have changed the game-and the government hasn't yet caught on.

According to Ben Brandt, a former adviser to Delta, the airlines and the feds should be less concerned with what gels your aunt puts in her carry-on, and more concerned about lax screening for terrorist sympathizers among the airlines' own work force. They should be worried about terrorists shipping their bombs in air cargo. And they should be worried about terrorists shooting or bombing airports without ever crossing the security gates.

Brandt says aviation security needs a fundamental overhaul. Not only is the aviation industry failing to keep up with the new terrorist tactics, TSA's regimen of scanning and groping is causing a public backlash. "From the public's perspective, this kind of refocusing would reduce the amount of screening they have to put up with in the United States," Brandt tells Danger Room, "and refocus it where it's needed."


Putin's dilemma: how to win back Russian voters?

Russian voters have sent Vladimir Putin a clear message that he must do more to keep them happy if he wants to extend his domination of the country for another 12 years.

Faced with signs of growing discontent from voters who cut back his United Russia party's parliamentary majority on Sunday, Putin faces a choice between spending his way out of trouble or getting tough to show he is still in control.

He will probably take the first option, addressing the economic problems that top many Russians' list of complaints as he prepares to reclaim the presidency in an election in March.

"He's likely to spend more. That's what he's done as prime minister. He's already raised the salaries of the army and pensioners, and he's about to do it for teachers," said Boris Makarenko of the Centre for Political Technologies think tank.

"Tightening the bolts would be the worst option. It won't work and it's not what voters who turned away from him want."

War Whore

Military Buildup in South China Sea Amid Tension

Cinese soldiers
© williamli1983 on Flickr
Several countries with overlapping claims in the South China Sea are reportedly building up their military powers in the territory - a move that may endanger regional security and stability.

According to Indonesian Center of Democracy, Diplomacy and Defense executive director Teuku Rezasyah, Malaysia has two battleships, the Philippines one, China 27 and Taiwan 26 operating in the South China Sea.

He said Vietnam had several escort vessels operating in the area, while no data was available for Brunei's operations there.

"China's 27 naval vessels do not even include the aircraft carrier and submarines [it operates in the South China Sea]," he told The Jakarta Post recently.

He said a Type 093 Shang class nuclear-powered attack submarine was observed at the pier under construction.

Bad Guys

Flashback George W. Bush Cancels Visit to Swiss Charity Gala over Fears he Could be Arrested on Torture Charges

George W. Bush
© PAChange of plan: George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Geneva for a charity gala over fears he could be arrested on torture charges
Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland over fears he could have been arrested on torture charges.

Mr Bush was due to be the keynote speaker at a Jewish charity gala in Geneva on February 12.

But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the country.

Criminal complaints against Mr Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials said.

Human rights groups said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against him in the Swiss city tomorrow for alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at Guantanamo Bay.

Left-wing groups have also called for a protest on the day of his visit, leading organisers at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner to cancel Mr Bush's participation on security grounds.

Brick Wall

S.1867: Just another brick in the police state wall

police state
© unknown
I am sometimes baffled by how quickly many people quickly assume that because they were not personally named in some piece of legislation, that somehow the provisions of that legislation do not and could not apply to them. Having spent a great deal of time over the years dissecting legislative
language, backtracking changes to code & title and the ever popular "redefinition of terms" used to change the entire common understanding of what a word or phrase means within these tortured constructs called legislation, I know better.

My recent article on S.1867 elicited comments to the effect that a few commenters had read the bill and that I was simply being inflammatory and emotional. Yes.....of course....that must be it.

Lest anyone forget:


America's Police State and the Forgotten Oath

© unknown
"Protect and Defend" along with "Foreign and Domestic," America's Betrayal

What is an oath? An oath is a promise. Those taking an oath are selected, we are told, on the basis of public trust, that they are of sufficient character that the oath they take will be the oath they keep.

Sometimes the oathtaker is elected, sometimes chosen, sometimes the position of authority and public trust was not one sought but one "thrust" upon that "oathkeeper" out of economic necessity.

What Americans have learned is that those who take oaths and those who keep them are seldom the same folks. "Oaths" seem to come with more than a bit of "wiggle-room."

Here is what an oath sounds like to a citizen:
"I (state your name) promise to protect and defend the constitution of the United States and to perform my duties with honor....."
This could be a judge, a soldier, a dog warden, even a police officer. The problem of late has been that those who take oaths seem to have held what we term "mental reservations and evasions" while taking their oaths.

They think they swore to "weasel word" oaths.
"I, (state your name or alias), promise to protect and defend my own ass and screw the rest of you...."


SOTT Focus: The Return of the Great Depression and The Establishment of a Police State

fight the empire state
© unknownHistory repeats? In an early show of totalitarian force, officers of the New York Bureau of Investigation -- the “Black Police” -- march down 14th Street in August of 1938, shortly after being recruited from the state’s penitentiaries.
"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
The United States is transitioning to the days of the Great Depression. The Great Depression of the 1930s was defined as "Great" because it affected so many places in the world. Considering the state of world economics today, this description is not far from what is happening now, especially in EU and North America. I'm going to be speaking mostly about what's happening to the US economy rather than worldwide. I will assume that if you're reading this, you by now realize that the state of the economy in the US is dire. But if you haven't yet, let's review some key issues: The above points are just some of the things going on right now that immediately affect a vast number of Americans, and this is just the beginning: I read something the other day that made me realize that things have gone from bad to worse and there is no more denying it.


BP Says Halliburton Destroyed Gulf Spill Evidence

© unknown
BP Plc accused Halliburton Co of destroying evidence that the oilfield services company did inadequate cement work on the Gulf of Mexico oil well that blew out last year, and asked a federal judge to punish Halliburton.

The accusation, in a BP court filing, raises the stakes ahead of a trial, expected in late February, to assign blame and damages for the April 2010 blowout of the Macondo well, which triggered the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Citing recent depositions and Halliburton's own documents, BP said Halliburton "intentionally" destroyed the results of slurry testing for the well, in part to "eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial."

The oil company also said Halliburton appeared to have lost computer evidence showing how the cement performed, with Halliburton maintaining that the information is simply "gone."


Climategate II: More Smoking Guns From The Global Warming Establishment

polar bear on ice
© n/a
A new release of incriminating e-mail exchanges between leading climate scientists that is now being termed "Climategate II" actually represents but another episode in a continuing scandal that has been taking place for decades. This fraud of massive scope and consequence has served as the basis for arguably the greatest regulatory overreach of all time.

It has been used to justify the EPA's demands that restrict carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gas" emissions from stationary sources they attribute to causing climate change. Included are electrical power generation facilities, iron and steel mills, pulp and paper mills, cement production, and the construction industry.

The EPA's "Endangerment Finding" applied to support these actions was based upon politically-manipulated human-caused climate warming conclusions issued by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that were even at odds with findings of its own internal study on the matter. That EPA report stated "given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based upon a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."


Pay Freeze for Queen in UK Austerity Measures

In a sign of dire economic times across the pond, Buckingham Palace is now doing some budget busting, with the queen herself due for a pay freeze and Prince Charles set to foot the bill for some major expenses.

Queen Elizabeth II will see six consecutive years of frozen pay, as new austerity measures in the U.K. have cut funding for the royal household.

Taxpayer funding for royal travel and royal palaces has also been put on the chopping block, so British taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for Prince William and Kate Middleton's travels and security. The tab for the duke and duchess of Cambridge's expenses will now be picked up by Prince Charles. The new measures also will lead to fewer royal parties and events, and no repairs for the royal palaces.