Puppet MastersS


Footprints

Vandana Shiva: Corporate monopoly of seeds must end

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© Gustau Nacarino / ReutersVandana Shiva is leading a two week campaign to muster citizens' response to seed slavery.
Sustainability pioneer Vandana Shiva speaks to Jo Confino about campaigning against seed slavery, corporations and patents

Vandana Shiva, one of the Guardian's Top 100 most inspiring women, is currently leading a campaign to create a global citizens' response on the issue of seed freedom.

In 1991, Shiva founded Navadanya, a movement which aims to protect nature and people's rights to knowledge, biodiversity, water and food. It does this by setting up community seed banks that generate livelihoods for local people and provide for basic needs.

Shiva, a scientist, philosopher, feminist, author, environmentalist and activist, explains why the two week campaign on seed freedom against major corporations, which culminates on World Food Day later this month, is so important and the consequences of failure.

Shiva calls for civil disobedience, quoting Gandhi who said that "as long as the superstition that unjust laws must be obeyed exists, so will slavery exist".

Comment: Bill Moyers interviews Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds.

Read the following articles by Vandana Shiva about the corporate monopoly of seeds and the lies biotech corporations peddle to ultimately patent and control life:

Great Seed Robbery
The seed, the source of life, the embodiment of our biological and cultural diversity, the link between the past and the future of evolution, the common property of past, present and future generations of farming communities who have been seed breeders, is today being stolen from the farmers and being sold back to us as "propriety seed" owned by corporations like the US-headquartered Monsanto.
Vandana Shiva: Understanding the Corporate Takeover
GMOs: Myths, Falsehoods, Superstitions
Monsanto and the Big Fat Lie of Food Safety


Attention

Best of the Web: Obama 'Care': Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering for millions

rial notes
© Abedin Taherkenareh/EPAAn Iranian man counts his banknotes after Iran's currency, the rial, crashed to a record low
Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery though a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive


The Economist this week describes the intensifying suffering of 75 million Iranian citizens as a result of the sanctions regime being imposed on them by the US and its allies [my emphasis]:
"Six years ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of "smart" sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people - only with a regime that seemed bent on getting a nuclear bomb, or at least the capacity for making one. Yet, as sanctions have become increasingly punitive in the face of Iran's intransigence, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price.

Sherlock

Turkish newspaper says Erdogan's government handed over the mortars to armed groups in Syria which shelled Akcakale town

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© Reuters Oct. 3, 2012: Smoke rises over the streets after an mortar bomb landed from Syria in the border village of Akcakale, southeastern Sanliurfa province.
Turkish Yurt Newspaper said that the government of the Development and Justice Party has to take a neutral stance on the events in Syria instead of supporting the groups of the so-called the armed opposition.

"Turkey was inevitably affected by the events in Syria... so it was very necessary for it to adopt new polices and be aware that instigating others will bring nothing but more damages.. The Turkish government was wrong at seeing the whole region through a sectarian vision," Journalist Ali Sirmen wrote in an article published by the newspaper.

Airplane

What it means to be living with death by drone

drone
© Shah Khalid / Associated Press / August 25, 2012A Pakistani villager holds a wreckage of a suspected surveillance drone which crashed in a Pakistani border town along the Afghanistan border.
Last week, Stanford University and New York University released a major study about the use of drones in the ever-evolving but never-ending war on terror. Unfortunately, many commentators missed the report's key message: Drones are terrorizing an entire civilian population.

I was one of the researchers for the study, and spent weeks in Pakistan interviewing more than 60 people from North Waziristan. Many were survivors of strikes. Others had lost loved ones and family members. All of them live under the constant threat of annihilation.

What my colleagues and I learned from these unnamed and unknown victims of America's drone warfare gave the report its title: "Living Under Drones."

People in the United States imagine that drones fly to a target, launch their deadly missiles with surgical precision and return to a U.S. base hundreds or thousands of miles away. But drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above.

And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Women are afraid to meet in markets. Families are afraid to gather at funerals for people wrongly killed in earlier strikes. Drivers are afraid to deliver food from other parts of the country.

Comment: A veritable war of terror sponsored by the Obama administration. And people still think he is one of the 'good guys'.


Stormtrooper

Israeli forces caught on video smashing Palestinian child's head to ground near Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa


A video shows Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem smashing the head of a Palestinian boy on the ground during a violent arrest, after Israeli troops stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in eastern occupied Jerusalem this morning.

The brief clip shows a boy being dragged by black-clad occupation soldiers. As the boy screams "khalas" - "enough" or "stop" - the soldiers throw him to the ground. One soldier punches the boy in the side of the head, smashing his head into the stone floor.

The video was posted on the YouTube account of QNN, a Palestinian news group that operates on Facebook. QNN identified the child as Hasan al-Afifi of the Bab al-Hadid area of the Old City of Jerusalem. The videographer is identified as Amjad Arafa.

Comment: The article adds that Twitter user @BDS4Justice, who visits Al-Aqsa mosque regularly, witnessed, livetweeted and photographed what happened. Click here and scroll down for the feed.


Pirates

German state TV reports: Syrian rebels claim responsibility for attack on Turkey

On Oct. 4th, the German state TV channel ZDF reported on the attack on Turkey several times.

In its "Mittagsmagazin" at 1300 hours it reports as follows:

02:06 - 02:32
German:
"Raketen- und Granatfeuer. Die Türkei übt Vergeltung für einen Angriff von syrischer Seite. Gestern Nachmittag hatten syrische Rebellen einen türkischen Ort in Grenznähe beschossen. Seit Wochen schon warnt Ankara davor, die Türkei zu provozieren. Inzwischen haben sich die syrischen Rebellen ganz offiziell zu der Provokation bekannt."
Translation: (emphasis added)
"Rocket and mortar fire. Turkey takes revenge after an attack from the Syrian side. Yesterday afternoon Syrian rebels fired on a Turkish village close to the border. For weeks Ankara had warned against provoking Turkey. Meanwhile Syrian rebels officially claimed responsibility for the provocation."

Comment: Turkey is a member of NATO. Is this the false-flag attack intended to give NATO an excuse to intervene directly and officially in the Syrian conflict?


Star of David

Why I Dislike Israel

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Even those pundits who seem to want to distance U.S. foreign policy from Tel Aviv's demands and begin treating Israel like any other country sometimes feel compelled to make excuses and apologies before getting down to the nitty-gritty. The self-lacerating prologues generally describe how much the writer really has a lot of Jewish friends and how he or she thinks Israelis are great people and that Israel is a wonderful country before launching into what is usually a fairly mild critique.

Well, I don't feel that way. I don't like Israel very much. Whether or not I have Jewish friends does not define how I see Israel and is irrelevant to the argument. And as for the Israelis, when I was a CIA officer overseas, I certainly encountered many of them. Some were fine people and some were not so fine, just like the general run of people everywhere else in the world. But even the existence of good upstanding Israelis doesn't alter the fact that the governments that they have elected are essentially part of a long-running criminal enterprise judging by the serial convictions of former presidents and prime ministers. Most recently, former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape, while almost every recent head of government, including the current one, has been investigated for corruption. Further, the Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.

Heart - Black

Extreme Ponerization: Israeli officials and rabbis "honor" settler who beat, tortured and stripped Palestinian teenager

Israeli settler
© Israel National NewsScreenshot: Zvi Struck, left, was convicted of brutally beating and tying up a Palestinian child and leaving him naked at the side of the road.
Frequent and rising Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians almost always go unpunished.

Indeed, often, Israeli soldiers stand by and watch as Israeli settlers go on the rampage. The situation is so bad that a boy like Yousef Ikhlayl, 17, can be killed and there is no investigation or accountability.

So when an Israeli settler got sentenced to prison for torturing and abusing a Palestinian child, it was quite an event, as Haaretz reported:
Prominent rabbis, public officials and a Knesset member, on Saturday, held a send off for a criminal about to enter prison after being convicted of abusing a Palestinian youth.

The event was held in the West Bank Shilo settlement in honor of Zvi Struck, who was convicted of abusing a Palestinian youth in July 2007, together with another man whose identity remains unknown. The two beat the youth up, bound him, fired their guns close to him, undressed him and threw him naked at the roadside. Three months earlier the two men had beaten up the same youth and killed a day-old kid [newborn goat].

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Struck to 18th months in prison, which the Supreme Court extended after an appeal to 30 months.

Dollar

Thoughts on the Economy and the End of the World

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I have been following developments in the world financial system for some time. Around 2005, I could see the systemic problems coming that eventually manifested in 2008. It was no mystery actually, provided you had the will and dedication to sift through blogs, websites and the opinions of those 'off the beaten path' from consensus economic thought. The system (the derivatives market in particular) and debt were unstable and unsustainable. It was only a matter of time before things came crashing down under the weight of debt, greed, corruption and lies. But the system did not collapse, largely thanks to the Federal Reserve recycling debt by buying up United States Treasury notes through Quantitative Easing.

The Federal Reserve, under the auspices of protecting the financial system, came to the rescue of the 'too big to fail' banks and other institutions deemed more worthy of saving than you and me. Well, that isn't exactly the case, since a few programs, such as extended unemployment, were enacted and extended to sustain the downtrodden and newly unemployed on one hand, and on the other, the big banks and powerbrokers on Wall Street were saved and enriched. Many other programs that were supposed to help those meeting mortgage payment difficulties by reducing and reorganizing the mortgages fizzled because they gave no real advantage to the banks, and yet, at the same time, banks unloaded many troubled loans onto the backs of the taxpayers by selling them at top prices to what are effectively government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were subsequently taken over outright by the United States government.

Overall, those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder have lost out and the big banks have been left to continue paying the enormous salaries and reaping the fat profits associated with the 1%, despite balance sheets that are contrived and supported by edict of the United States government. The system failed, but not completely. It was 'saved', and don't you forget it. Main Street in the United States is slowly being gutted at the same time that the 'too big to fail' banks are been propped up and protected. I'll be honest though. The economic system is NOW a complete fraud and façade, thrown up to maintain the status quo. One recent example of this that came to light in the mainstream was the publication of the monthly US employment report.

Bad Guys

US Army spends hundreds of thousands advancing fog-like obscurants

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© Agence France-Presse/ Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall
The US Army has given firms three grants to upgrade flare systems used to mask the heat signature of prized fighting machines. The heat-obscuring chemical, used for the past 60 years, has been deemed dangerous to health and the environment.

Three private companies - Lynntech, Inc., Nanotrons and Physical Sciences - will be in charge of developing new countermeasures, to replace weapons that have been accused of releasing harmful copper into the air when a smoke bomb is detonated.The US government will give the firms around $100,000 to complete the task.

The "dust clouds", which aim to impede the ability of heat-obscuring weapons to detect heat signatures, can have adverse health effects on whoever inhales the smoke particles. Most obscurants used today are made from metal particles - often bronze - and have "significant environmental persistence that may pose health hazards," Wired reports.

Ingesting too much copper, which is found in bronze, can cause gastrointestinal health problems and in serious cases lead to liver and kidney damage. Inhaling copper particles can also cause respiratory irritation, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.