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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
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Puppet Masters


Slovakia's real tax lottery prize goes to tax man

© Samuel Kubani/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images
When Jozef Lazarcik, a 35-year-old factory worker, heard his number called on national television here recently, he pumped his fists, hardly believing his luck.

He had registered only nine receipts with Slovakia's new tax lottery, and yet he had just won a new car. ''It's a heavenly feeling,'' he said before leaving the studio, ready to encourage all of his friends to register their receipts, too -- which is exactly what Slovakian officials were hoping for.

Over the last 10 years, Slovakia's revenue from value-added taxes, a type of sales tax, has declined. But hiring auditors and pursuing individual merchants and service providers in court is expensive and slow. So last fall, the government decided to put a lottery in the mix.


'Big Brother' government bureaucrats claim right to determine (control) what is "truth"

The United States Supreme Court
Political campaign case argues state cannot ban billboard speech

Whether "Big Brother" government bureaucrats have the right to determine what is "truth" will be the focal point of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing Tuesday.

The Susan B. Anthony List is fighting to overturn an Ohio election regulation that allows state bureaucrats to censor statements on election-campaign billboards if they believe they are false.

The case originated in 2010 when SBA List tried to put up billboards to educate the constituents of then-U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio, about his vote in support of taxpayer-funded abortion under Obamacare.

Driehaus was one of the key votes for the controversial health insurance law. He had been holding out because he didn't want to support abortion funding but eventually was convinced to support the bill.


Spin control released! Clinton files on media enemies

If you want to learn what Hillary Clinton meant by "the vast right-wing conspiracy," part of the extensive collection of dossiers the Clinton White House kept on its media enemies was released Friday by the Clinton Library.

The most important of the documents, "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce," originally some 331 pages, was reduced to only 28 pages in the sanitized and heavily redacted version posted by the presidential library.

"The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media," explains the report. "This is how the stream works: Well-funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Next, the stories are reprinted on the Internet where they are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) the story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media, (i.e. the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and New York Post) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the Internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center media covers the story, congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a 'real' story."


9/11 WTC Attacks Disinfo: "Terrorist body found in plane cockpit wreckage"

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, "law enforcement sources" apparently told Fox news that a body, possibly one of the "terrorists", had been found in the "cockpit ruins" of one of the planes. The same "sources" also said that a body of a flight attendant had been recovered from the wreckage at the WTC with her hands tied behind her back with wire.

These claims were quickly dismissed when it became apparent that no complete bodies were recovered from the passengers or crew of either plane that hit the Twin Towers. Indeed, given the fact that both planes exploded inside the twin towers and then both towers completely collapsed into dust and rubble, it seems highly unlikely that a complete or partial cockpit with a recognizable body inside could have been found. This raises the question of which "law enforcement sources" were spreading this kind of information, that can only have been entirely fabricated, and why.

The answer seems clear; as soon as the 9/11 attacks occurred (or indeed beforehand) a narrative about "hijackers" had already been prepared and disseminated to the mainstream media.


Obama pledges support to Japan in China dispute

© Reuters / Kyodo
A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island (top), Minamikojima (bottom) and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen in the East China Sea
US President Barack Obama is set to throw his support behind Japan in its territorial dispute over a group of islands with China, citing a treaty between the two countries, which would lead Washington to intervene military if Beijing attacked.

The tiny islands in the East China Sea have been a source of tension between the two Asian nations. But Obama says they are covered by a bilateral security treaty that would oblige the US to come to Japan's defense if China decided to take the islands by force.

"The policy of the United States is clear - the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of ... the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security," Obama said, using the Japanese name for the islands that are known as the Diaoyu in China.

However, Obama's comments did not seem to worry China, with Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang saying: "The so-called US-Japan alliance is a bilateral arrangement from the Cold War and ought not to harm China's territorial sovereignty and reasonable rights."

Comment: The Chinese have this one picked. Just another part of the US strategy to contain China, and it comes at the same time as the US signs a treaty with the Philippines, which of course has nothing to do with China but is concerned with being able to provide "humanitarian aid" the the region.

Eye 1

U.S. denies 10-year Philippines security pact aimed against China

Marine 1
© AFP Photo / Ted Aljibe
An armed US marine patrols next to seahawk helicopters on the deck of 7th Fleet command ship, USS Blue Ridge shortly after arriving at the international port in Manila on March 18, 2014, for a port visit.
A new security treaty between the US and the Philippines to be signed Monday isn't aimed at containing China's military might, but is rather ensuring stability in the Asia-Pacific region, American officials said.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement would permit the enhanced "rotational presence" of US forces in the Philippines.

The American military will also be able to train and conduct exercises with their Philippine counterparts for maritime security, disaster assistance and humanitarian aid.

It would also allow US troops, aircraft and ships to pass through the Philippines and see the creation of storages facilities for American equipment.

Comment: No, nothing to do with China, just somewhere from where we can provide "humanitarian aid" to the region. Amazing that the "humanitarian aid" the US provides is always provided by their military.

Brick Wall

US failing to push economic sanctions against Russia through EU allies

© Reuters / Larry Downing
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during joint news conference at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya, April 27, 2014.
The new round of sanctions against Russia, which the EU and the US plan to unveil Monday, will not target the Russian economy. Washington said it won't use economic sanctions without the EU also signing up to them.

G7 members agreed Friday to roll out a third round of anti-Russian sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis. But those would be an extension of the previous two rounds of sanctions, which targeted 33 individuals in Russia and Ukraine and a Russian bank, which the Western government deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine or close enough to President Vladimir Putin to have leverage on him.

"What we will hear about in the coming days, what we will agree ... is an expansion of existing sanctions, measures against individuals or entities in Russia," UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sky News on Sunday.


Unite against imperialism!

In countless interviews, in personal letters, in face-to-face discussions, the questions I keep being asked are becoming very similar: "Now that it is obvious that the West is ready and willing to destroy everything that stands in its way to the total domination of the planet, what can still be done?"

Some say: 'Nothing'. There are plenty of discouraged, scared voices of people who have already fully given up, and come to the conclusion that the Empire is too powerful, too determined, and therefore, unstoppable.

Others are praying. And there are also some, who are putting all their trust into those few brave ones that are 'still fighting'.

Hopelessness, fear and defeatism - this is how the Empire wants you to feel.

Do not! Defeat is only purposefully encoded in the propaganda that is being spread by the West. In reality, nothing is lost.

Actually, working all over the world, I am increasingly optimistic. People in the Middle East, in Africa, in many parts of Asia, are now waking up. People in Latin America woke up long time ago - they are alert, vigilant!


Malcolm Fraser: An unlikely radical

Hated by progressives for his role in Gough Whitlam's dismissal and his ultra-conservative foreign policies when Liberal PM, Malcolm Fraser today believes Australia should cut all military ties to the US.

Everyone is familiar with the political movement of youthful leftists to the right. The alternative drift - of conservatives to the left - is far less common. As I read Malcolm Fraser's new book on Australian foreign policy, Dangerous Allies, which advocates nothing less than the end of the Australia's military alliance with the United States, the career of the towering 19th-century British Liberal, William Gladstone, came to mind.

Gladstone began his political life arguing that the great parliamentary Reform Act of 1832 "threatened to change the form of the British government and ultimately to break up the whole frame of society". He ended it, more than half a century later, almost tearing his party and his country apart by his determination to end the centuries-long British oppression of Ireland. Fraser's political metamorphosis has been no less dramatic.

Pocket Knife

Army seizes National Guard's Apache attack helicopters

© U.S. Army photo by CW4 Daniel McClinton, 1-227th, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Two AH-64D Apache attack helicopters from 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, taxi back to their parking spots after mission Aug. 15 at Camp Taji, Iraq. The Attack battalion supports ground troops through reconnaissance and aerial weaponry. The Apache crews of 1st ACB have disrupted numerous roadside bomb indirect fire attacks aimed at Iraqi civilians and coalition forces throughout the Baghdad area of operations.
The National Guard is following a direct order - but it's not happy with it.

All of the Guard's AH-64 Apache helicopters are scheduled to go to the active Army, and there's nothing its top brass can do about it.

"None of us like what we're having to do," National Guard Chief Gen. Frank Grass told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the military website Defense One reported. "My big concern right now is figuring out how I'm going to move, and how many states I'm going to have an impact on, and what's the cost of facilities and to retrain pilots. I've got to tackle that because the decision's been made."