Puppet MastersS

Bad Guys

The Globalization of Hollow Politics

T-shirt depicting Francois Hollande
© AP/Francois MoriA supporter wears a T-shirt depicting French Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande and the legend “H is for hope,” echoing the Obama campaign of 2008.
I went to Lille in northern France a few days before the first round of the French presidential election to attend a rally held by the socialist candidate Francois Hollande. It was a depressing experience. Thunderous music pulsated through the ugly and poorly heated Zenith convention hall a few blocks from the city center. The rhetoric was as empty and cliché-driven as an American campaign event. Words like "destiny," "progress" and "change" were thrown about by Hollande, who looks like an accountant and made oratorical flourishes and frenetic arm gestures that seemed calculated to evoke the last socialist French president, Francois Mitterrand. There was the singing of "La Marseillaise" when it was over. There was a lot of red, white and blue, the colors of the French flag. There was the final shout of "Vive la France!" I could, with a few alterations, have been at a football rally in Amarillo, Texas. I had hoped for a little more gravitas. But as the French cultural critic Guy Debord astutely grasped, politics, even allegedly radical politics, has become a hollow spectacle. Quel dommage.

The emptying of content in political discourse in an age as precarious and volatile as ours will have very dangerous consequences. The longer the political elite - whether in Washington or Paris, whether socialist or right-wing, whether Democrat or Republican - ignore the breakdown of globalization, refuse to respond rationally to the climate crisis and continue to serve the iron tyranny of global finance, the more it will shred the possibility of political consensus, erode the effectiveness of our political institutions and empower right-wing extremists. The discontent sweeping the planet is born out of the paralysis of traditional political institutions.

The signs of this mounting polarization were apparent in incomplete returns Sunday with the far-right National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, winning a staggering vote of roughly 20 percent. This will make the National Front the primary opposition party in France if Hollande wins, as expected, the presidency in the second round May 6. Jean-Luc Melenchon's leftist coalition, the Front de Gauche, was pulling a disappointing 11 percent of the vote. But at least France has a Melenchon. He was the sole candidate to attack the racist and nationalist diatribes of Le Pen. Melenchon called for a rolling back of austerity measures, preached the politics "of love, of brotherhood, of poetry" and vowed to fight what he termed the "parasitical vermin" who run global markets. His campaign rallies ended with the singing of the leftist anthem "The Internationale."

Star of David

Israeli War Propaganda: 'Moment of truth is near', Israeli Air Force set to attack Iran

Israeli Air Force fighter F-16
© AFP Photo / Menahem KahanaIsraeli Air Force fighter F-16C taking off from the Uvda Air Force base in the southern Israel
Israel has once again demonstrated its readiness to launch a massive assault on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Israeli Air Force is geared up and ready to strike as soon as the order is given, a major Israeli TV station reported.

­A reporter from Israel's Channel 10 TV station has spent several weeks interviewing pilots and other military personnel at an Israeli air base. Dozens of pilots are inspired with the prospect of Israel's first full-scale air campaign in 30 years. Most of the interviewees spoke openly about the "year's preparations" that are now almost over, as the country heads towards a hot and tense summer.

Eye 1

Chris Hedges, activists, sue Obama and others over National Defense Authorization Act

© AP Photo/David Goldman / April 17, 2012Activists have sued the president for signing a military authorization bill which they claim threatens civil liberties.
A coalition of well-known journalists, activists and civil libertarians have sued President Obama, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other members of the U.S. government to push them to remove or rewrite this year's defense appropriations bill, saying it chills speech by threatening constitutionally protected activities such as news reporting, protest and political organizing in defense of controversial causes such as the Wikileaks case.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was launched by former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges, claim that the new provisions, which went into effect March 1, not only put them at risk of arrest but also allows indefinite detentions of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, and that the provisions are too vague.


Mandatory GMO Labeling Bills Introduced by Hawaii and Vermont State Representatives

© blog.friendseat.comFDA Ignores 1 Million Signatures Supporting GMO Labeling
Two women legislators representing the people of their state by introducing a Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill, now find themselves facing GMO seed maker Monsanto in two different ways. One faces a long-standing physical presence and the other a lawsuit.

Elle Cochran, Maui Council Member and Kate Webb, Representative for the State of Vermont are both facing corporate giant Monsanto head on by filling state bills for mandatory labeling of all their genetically modified products (GMOs) sold in Hawaii and Vermont. Elle and Kate have filed the bills in response to an overwhelming outcry from the people they serve who say they want to know if GMOs are in their food.

Public upset is increasing as more people become aware of the replacement of traditional crops with GMO crops over the past ten years with some as high as 96% of the total crop grown in United States. When you learn 80% of processed foods found on store shelves contain GMOs, consumers feel they are helpless to get away from them. Surveys show that as many as 90% of consumers want GMO information on labels so they can make a choice. Organic is currently the only way of being sure GMOs are not added to products.

When it became clear that the Kate Webb's Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill was probably going to pass because of strong support from other Representatives, Monsanto then publicly came out with a statement saying they would sue the state of Vermont if the bill passed.

Alarm Clock

North Korea Vows to Turn Seoul to Ashes

© UnknownNorth Korean Army
North Korea vowed today in an alarming announcement to "soon" reduce parts of South Korea's capital to "ashes" for insulting North Korea's leadership.

Regular programming was interrupted on North Korea's state TV today by a special report declaring that "special actions" will be carried out "soon" and aimed at parts of the South Korean capital Seoul.

It said the military attack will use "unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style."

"All will be reduced to ashes in three to four minutes," and will involve "form of fire."

"The special actions of our revolutionary armed forces will start soon to meet the reckless challenge of the group of traitors," read the statement.

The targets Pyongyang pinpointed are South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and "the group of rat-like elements including conservative media destroying the mainstay of the fair public opinion."

Alarm Clock

Pedophilia Coverup? Secret Service "Prostitutes" were children

Columbia prostitution
© Unknown
A not so funny thing happened on the way to the Summit; the emerging scandal involving the U.S. military and the Secret Service presidential advance team's procurement of prostitutes during a night of drinking and carousing preceding the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Columbia will leave a trail of victims as long as the Amazon River.

Despite the Secret Service's denial, the scandalous and irresponsible actions jeopardized the protection of the President and his entourage and brought disagrace on the U.S. government. At the very least, their actions were a gross dereliction of duty, and quite possibly, illegal.

The duties of the 11 Secret Service Agents who arrived in Cartegena in advance of the President's trip to the Summit of the Americas should have kept them busy 24/7. Like every country visit, this Summit had a vast array of critical assignments to ensure the safety of the President. The U.S. Secret Service website clearly delineates the complicated and formidable requirements of a presidential advance team:

Comment: Worse than shameful, it's pathological if true. For more information on child sex rings and pedophilia, see these Sott articles:

Dutroux Cover-up Protected Pedophile Networks

Government officials in Montenegro pimped hundreds of women in major sex trafficking operation

UN Peacekeepers and 42 NGOs Under Investigation for Sexual Abuse of Children at Refugee Camps

Portuguese Pedophile Network: Popular TV host and UN Ambassador among those sentenced for raping children

6,000 children adbucted annually for European pedophile networks

Arrow Down

Dutch Cabinet Resigns After Austerity Talks Fail - Another One Down?

© Dennis Flaherty / Getty ImagesAmsterdam, the Netherlands
Prime Minister Mark Rutte meet the Dutch queen on Monday afternoon and tendered his government's resignation after talks on austerity collapsed at the weekend.

The Dutch government's failure to reach an agreement in talks to achieve tough spending cuts could see ratings agencies cut the country's prized AAA-rating and nervous investors push up the country's borrowing costs, and it will also have wider implications for the euro zone as a whole, analysts said on Monday.

Dutch Finance Minister Jan-Kees de Jager sought to reassure investors on Monday, telling CNBC in The Hague that the Netherlands had always displayed budget discipline and would continue to do so.

"The perception of financial markets is always important...and that's why I also have the message for financial markets that for decades the Netherlands have shown a solid fiscal budgetary policy and this will not change. In any government we have seen in the past we have seen solid policy and this will remain in the future," de Jager said.


US Border Patrol Beat and Taser Man to Death: Video

A new video shows Anastacio Hernadez-Rojas lying on the ground in the fetal position, circled by at least a dozen federal agents as one repeatedly shocks him with an electric stun gun.

The video was shot by a passer-by and was obtained by the lawyer for the Hernandez-Rojas family as they push on with their wrongful death suit against the US government.

Full Program Below This video

No Entry

Mavi Marmara attack: Turkey blocks the participation of Israel in a NATO summit, demands apology for the murder

© DHAMinister Davutoğlu conveys Turkey’s veto on Israel to a NATO summit
Turkey has blocked the participation of Israel in a key NATO summit that will take place in Chicago on May 20 and 21, despite calls from influential allies including the United States, Western diplomatic sources have told the Hürriyet Daily News. The veto was conveyed to the NATO bodies by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during the Alliance's meeting last week in Brussels.

"There will be no Israeli presence at the NATO meeting unless they issue a formal apology and pay compensation for the Turkish citizens their commandos killed in international waters" a senior Turkish official told the Daily News.

"There are demands from us for the removal of our veto, but this is out of question."

"Those countries who wish to see normalization in ties between Turkey and Israel should advise Israel to apologize and to compensate the killing of Turks in international waters," the official said.

Turkey has vetoed a number of Israeli attempts to deepen its partnership with the alliance - such as opening an office at the NATO headquarters and participating in the activities of the Mediterranean Dialogue group - on the grounds that it should first bear the consequences of its unlawful action against Turkish citizens. This reflects the two-year old strife between Turkey and Israel, which is a result of the Mavi Marmara incident that claimed the lives of eight Turkish and one Turkish-American citizen. The level of diplomatic relations between the two has been reduced to the level of "second secretary" since then.

Brick Wall

Oppressive Sanctions! EU Fascism Condemned in Defense of Syria

Russia on Friday condemned as unacceptable a fresh round of sanctions being prepared by the European Union against the Syrian regime.
© unknown
"Our position concerning such sanctions is well known," said foreign affairs ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. "We judge them unacceptable from the point of view of international law.

Diplomats in Brussels had said earlier that the new sanctions would ban exports of luxury items and goods which can be used for internal repression.

"The sanctions are ready," said an EU diplomat who asked not to be named. The timing for their adoption however "will depend on the situation on the ground."

A decision could be made at talks in Luxembourg on Monday between foreign ministers from the 27 EU nations.