Puppet MastersS


Evil Rays

Sirhan can't remember shooting RFK, wants parole

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© WikimediaMugshot of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan taken after his arrest for assassinating Robert F. Kennedy in 1968
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan's parole lawyer says "it's no act," suggests his client was a "Manchurian Candidate"

More than four decades after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, his convicted murderer wants to go free for a crime he says he can't remember.

It is not old age or some memory-snatching disease that has erased an act Sirhan Bishara Sirhan once said he committed "with 20 years of malice aforethought." It's been this way almost from the beginning. Hypnotists and psychologists, lawyers and investigators have tried to jog his memory with no useful result.

Now a new lawyer is on the case and he says his efforts have also failed.

"There is no doubt he does not remember the critical events," said William F. Pepper, the attorney who will argue for Sirhan's parole Wednesday. "He is not feigning it. It's not an act. He does not remember it."

Attention

No Minorities Allowed: Texas Group Launches Scholarship For White Males Only

In an effort to address the most under-served minority in a John Travolta film, a non-profit in Texas is launching a scholarship program for disadvantaged students. The Former Majority Association for Equality is offering a $500 scholarship to those who meet one eligibility requirement: "Male - No less than 25% Caucasian":

Winklevoss
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The application for a $500 scholarship from the Former Majority Association for Equality looks pretty much like all the others out there. Well, except for this eligibility requirement: "Male - No less than 25% Caucasian."

Yes, the Texas-based nonprofit organization has launched a scholarship for white men. Members of the group, which goes by FMAFE, say they aren't racist and "have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation," according to their Web site. Instead, they say their goal is to provide financial aid to white men who might not qualify for other scholarships.

Chess

You Have More Money In Your Wallet Than Bank Of America Pays In Federal Taxes

Today, hundreds of thousands of people comprising a Main Street Movement - a coalition of students, the retired, union workers, public employees, and other middle class Americans - are in the streets, demonstrating against brutal cuts to public services and crackdowns on organized labor being pushed by conservative politicians. These lawmakers that are attacking collective bargaining and cutting necessary services like college tuition aid and health benefits for public workers claim that they have no choice but than to take these actions because both state and federal governments are in debt.

Main Street Movement
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But it wasn't teachers, fire fighters, policemen, and college students that caused the economic recession that has devastated government budgets - it was Wall Street. And as middle class workers are being asked to sacrifice, the rich continue to rig the system, dodging taxes and avoiding paying their fair share.

In an interview with In These Times, Carl Gibson, the founder of US Uncut, which is organizing some of today's UK-inspired massive demonstrations against tax dodgers, explains that while ordinary Americans are being asked to sacrifice, major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. As he says, if you have "one dollar" in your wallet, you're paying more than the "combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America":

Chess

Seymour Hersh and the men who want him committed for Knights of Malta Neo-Crusader allegations

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Postage Stamp of the Sovereign Order
It seems unusual for a staid, respected publication (one that has received three National Magazine Awards in just this past decade) to start treating a celebrated journalist (who himself has won two National Magazine Awards in just this past decade) as if he were nothing more than a paranoid crank.

It seems unusual, but it's exactly what the staff of Foreign Policy has done to Seymour Hersh, following a lecture the venerated reporter gave at Georgetown University's campus in Doha, Qatar. You may know Hersh as the dogged investigator who exposed the My Lai Massacre during Vietnam. You may know him as the staff writer for the New Yorker who published some of the earliest pieces on Abu Ghraib in May 2004. You might even know him as the man derided and then vindicated for claiming that Dick Cheney was running a secret assassination squad right out of the vice president's office. (In truth, the squad was and is a bipartisan affair, initiated under Clinton and still operative under Obama.)

Yet, given the Foreign Policy staff's derisive commentary on Seymour's Jan. 17 talk, you would think he was some credulous rube midway through his first Dan Brown novel.

Chess

As Libyan Rebels Close In On Gaddafi, US And Europe Ramp Up Intervention

With dictator Muammar Gaddafi's control over the country ebbing, the United States and its European allies are stepping up their intervention into the Libyan crisis. Their aim is to ensure that any new regime will be equally subservient to their economic and geostrategic interests.

Behind the rhetoric about democracy and humanitarian concerns, Washington and the European powers are seeking to exploit the brutality of Gaddafi to condition public opinion to accept a colonial-style intervention and the reassertion of imperialist control over the country's oil fields.

Over the weekend, Gaddafi's hold on power was further eroded by the defection of additional political and military figures and the capture of more key cities by the opposition. Most significant was the fall to the rebels of Zawiyah, an oil port and refinery city thirty miles to the west of the capital, Tripoli. The capture of Zawiyah signified the spread of the rebellion, heretofore centered in the east of the country, to the west.

War Whore

Take That, Rumsfeld! Current U.S. Defense Secretary Says Recommending Wars Like Iraq and Afghanistan Crazy

West Point, New York - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates bluntly told an audience of West Point cadets on Friday that it would be unwise for the United States to ever fight another war like Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the chances of carrying out a change of government in that fashion again were slim.

"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it," Mr. Gates told an assembly of Army cadets here.

That reality, he said, meant that the Army would have to reshape its budget, since potential conflicts in places like Asia or the Persian Gulf were more likely to be fought with air and sea power, rather than with conventional ground forces.

Crusader

Wolf in Shepherd's Clothing: 'God-like' Mysterious People Can Be a 'Funny' and Highly Pathological Lot

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The curse of the Roman Catholic Church is clericalism. Through health care and education, priests and lay people have done noble, self-sacrificing work in the poorest, most needful places. Its churches stand dressed in Gothic and Renaissance art, and house the exalted music of, inter alia, Byrd, Victoria and Palestrina. But, institutionally, it has exalted its politicians and administrators as god-like mysterious people intended to command. And god-like mysterious people can be a funny lot.

The last pope formed a cult of Padre Pio, the present one reveres the Curé of Ars. Both were mentally disturbed self-tormentors, sleeping on stone, living the lives of Poor Tom in King Lear. Popes have also been in steady denial about the male body's reliable production of sperm. Sedulously creating a tradition of priestly child molestation, the modern Vatican seems to be inhabited by mad male spinsters.

USA

Leave Libya as soon as possible; Clinton tells Gaddafi

libyan protests

In a tough message hours after the UN slapped "biting" sanctions on the Libyan regime, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told a bellicose Muammar Gaddafi to leave the country and end his regime as soon as possible. "We think he must go as soon as possible without further bloodshed and violence," Clinton told reporters as she headed towards Geneva to attend the UN Human Rights Council meeting on Monday.

"We want him to leave and we want him to end his regime and call off the mercenaries and those troops that remain loyal to him. How he manages that is obviously up to him and to his family," Clinton said.

"We have consistently in many conversations over the last week sent messages, and along with partners in the region and beyond have made it clear we expect him to leave. But we're not involved in any kind of negotiation with him over that," she said in response to a question.

Megaphone

Farrakhan: Mideast Uprisings Will Come to US

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© unknownLouis Farrakhan
Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan predicted on Sunday that America faces imminent uprisings that mirror those in the Middle East.

"What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt ... Libya, in Bahrain ... what you see happening there ... you'd better prepare because it will be coming to your door," Farrakhan said in a booming voice, thousands of followers cheering in his wake.

Farrakhan also called on President Barack Obama to allow protesters to march, urging the president not to attack innocent people when they do.

The controversial minster spoke to a packed house at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont as part of the 81st annual celebration of Saviours' Day, which marks the birth of the faith's founder, W. Fard Muhammad.

The keynote address, titled "God will send saviours," capped a weekend of workshops focused on health, preparing for natural disasters and unidentified flying objects. The Nation of Islam believes in a UFO called "the wheel" or "the Mother Plane."

Farrakhan has described a 1985 religious experience in which he ascended into a flying saucer and heard the voice of Elijah Muhammad predicting historical events that came to pass.

Chess

Madoff to New York Magazine: Government a Ponzi scheme

Bernard Madoff
© Hiroko Masuike / Getty ImagesOn December 12, 2008, Bernald L. Madoff was arrested by federal agents accusing him of running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, perhaps the largest in Wall Street's history.
Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff said in a magazine interview published Sunday that new regulatory reform enacted after the recent national financial crisis is laughable and that the federal government is a Ponzi scheme.

"The whole new regulatory reform is a joke," Madoff said during a telephone interview with New York magazine in which he discussed his disdain for the financial industry and for its regulators.

The interview was published on the magazine's website Sunday night.

Madoff did an earlier New York Times interview in which he accused banks and hedge funds of being "complicit" in his Ponzi scheme to fleece people out of billions of dollars. He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.

He said in the New York magazine interview the Securities and Exchange Commission "looks terrible in this thing," and he said the "whole government is a Ponzi scheme."

A Ponzi, or pyramid, scheme is a scam in which people are persuaded to invest through promises of unusually high returns, with early investors paid their returns out of money put in by later investors.

A court-appointed trustee seeking to recover money on behalf of the victims of Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme has filed a lawsuit against his primary banker, JPMorgan Chase, alleging the bank had suspected something wrong in his operation for years. The bank has denied any wrongdoing.