Puppet MastersS


Bad Guys

China: Foxconn Workers Treated Like Animals Because Management Believes They Are Animals

Foxconn
© Minyanville

Remember Foxconn? The massive Chinese conglomerate that manufactures products for Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, HP, and many, many other companies. That's right, the one with all the human rights problems.

Recently, a group of Foxconn workers threatened to commit suicide in response to their abhorrent working conditions - of course, the company has had issues with worker suicides for a while, hence the infamous nets. According to a recent article in the Want China Times, the suicides made Hon Hai (Foxconn's parent company) chairman Terry Gou aware that "China is no longer a cheap labor camp where young workers will accept any hardship."

This revelation did not, however, make Gou any more sensitive to the plight of his workers. At a recent year-end party, he reportedly sought sympathy from his fellow guests over the difficulty he had in managing "one million animals."

Apparently, Foxconn treats its workers like animals because, to the company, that's what they are. Go figure.

Of course, the company is currently facing a bigger issue than terrible PR. As China's population has become more educated, it has been increasingly difficult for the company to maintain its workforce and Gou fears future labor shortages.

Dollar

Why All the Robo-signing? Shedding Light on the Shadow Banking System

robo signing machine
© n/a
The Wall Street Journal reported on January 19th that the Obama Administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the "robo-signing" scandal. The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation reveals that it did not just happen occasionally but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail - fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.

To the President's credit, however, he seems to have shifted his position on the settlement in response to protests before his State of the Union address. In his speech on January 24th, President Obama did not mention the settlement but announced instead that he would be creating a mortgage crisis unit to investigate wrongdoing related to real estate lending. "This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans," he said.

Dollar

Behind Gingrich's Rise, Billionaire Pal Sheldon Adelson

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© ABC NewsBehind Gingrich's Rise, Billionaire Pal Sheldon Adelson
Before Newt Gingrich dominated the South Carolina primary, a so-called super PAC supporting him spent millions of dollars savaging Mitt Romney in negative ads and fliers.

A driving force behind that super PAC is Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino tycoon who has translated his deep friendship with Gingrich into a financial bonanza to buoy his candidacy. Adelson gave the PAC, Winning Our Future, $5 million just before the South Carolina primary, and this week, his wife gave the group another $5 million.

The Adelsons make Mitt Romney look like Tom Joad. Adelson, the eighth-richest American, is worth more than $20 billion. He built the iconic Venetian hotel (and another in Macao to match) and has given to a host of Jewish causes - in addition to funding a nonprofit group that led to Gingrich's presidential run.

Adelson met Gingrich when he was the speaker of the House, and they bonded over their dedication to support Israel as Congress debated passing a bill that would encourage the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem, the capital. Since then they've been friends, with obvious benefits.

Arrow Down

U.S. Fueling Human Rights Abuses in Colombia in Violation of Its Own Laws

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© laprogressive.com
As Noam Chomsky has often cautioned, when considering foreign relations, and especially military intervention, states should always heed the primary Hippocratic oath -- "First, do no harm." The U.S. has certainly disregarded this admonition with reckless abandon in Latin America, and Colombia is the foremost example of this, at least at the present time. Human Rights Watch appears to concur with this judgment.

Thus, Human Rights Watch (HRW) just released its annual human rights report on Colombia, and it is not pretty. The punch line of the report is most damning of the United States and its role in that country's abysmal practices -- undoubtedly, the very worst of this hemisphere.

As HRW concludes, after its litany of atrocities being committed by the Colombian state and its paramilitary (death squad) allies,
The U.S. remains the most influential foreign actor in Colombia. In 2011 it provided approximately US $562 million in aid, about 61 percent of which was military and police aid. Thirty percent of US military aid is subject to human rights conditions, which the US Department of State has not enforced. In September 2011 the State Department certified that Colombia was meeting human rights conditions.
In other words, the U.S. is acting in direct contravention of the Leahy Amendment, which forbids the funding of military units which fail to honor basic human rights norms. Sadly, the Leahy Amendment appears to be a dead letter.

Bad Guys

Pups on Parade: EU Obediently Pushes Toward War with Iran

threatening iran graphic
© WhoWhatWhy
This week, the warlords of the West took yet another step toward their long-desired war againt Iran. (Open war, that is; their covert war has been going on for decades -- via subversion, terrorism, and proxies like Saddam Hussein.) On Monday, the European Union obediently followed the dictates of its Washington masters by agreeing to impose an embargo on Iranian oil.

The embargo bans all new oil contracts with Iran, and cuts off all existing deals after July. The embargo is accompanied by a freeze on all European assets of the Iranian central bank. In imposing these draconian measures on a country which is not at war with any nation, which has not invaded or attacked another nation in centuries, and which is developing a nuclear energy program that is not only entirely legal under international law but is also subject to the most stringent international inspection regime ever seen, the EU is "targeting the economic lifeline of the regime," as one of its diplomats put it, with admirable candor.

The embargo will have serious, perhaps disastrous effects on many of Europe's sinking economies, which are heavy users of Iranian oil. This is particularly true in Greece, the poster boy for our modern "Shock Doctrine über alles" global economic system. For even as Greece writhes beneath the blows of European bankers determined to bleed the country dry to avoid the consequences of their own knowingly corrupt loan policies, the Iranians have been giving the Greeks substantial discounts on oil, which has helped ease -- at least in some measure -- the economic ruin being imposed on the "birthplace of democracy."

Vader

The Reality Behind the Coming "Regime Change" in Syria

syria next graphic
© n/a
After meeting again to decide Syria's fate, the Arab League again decided to extend its "monitoring mission" in Syria. However, some Arab League nations under U.S. diplomatic control are clamoring for blood. These countries - virtual sock puppets of U.S. foreign policy - want to declare the Arab League monitoring mission "a failure," so that military intervention - in the form of a no fly zone - can be used for regime change.

The United States appears to be using a strategy in Syria that it has perfected over the years, having succeeded most recently in Libya: arming small paramilitary groups loyal to U.S. interests that claim to speak for the native population; these militants then attack the targeted government the U.S. would like to see overthrown - including terrorist bombings - and when the attacked government defends itself, the U.S. cries "genocide" or "mass murder," while calling for foreign military intervention.

This is the strategy that the U.S. is using to channel the Arab Spring into the bloody dead end of foreign military intervention.

For example, the U.S. media and government are fanatically giving the impression that, in Syria, the native population would like foreign militarily intervention to overthrow their authoritarian president, Bashar Assad. But facts are stubborn things.

Radar

US/Israel: Iran NOT Building Nukes

Obey graphic
© Obey Propaganda
Recent comments by U.S and Israeli military leaders indicate that the intelligence services of the two countries agree that Iran has not decided to build a nuclear bomb, a crack in the Western narrative that the U.S. press corps won't accept, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Has Iran decided to build a nuclear bomb? That would seem to be the central question in the current bellicose debate over whether the world should simply cripple Iran's economy and inflict severe pain on its civilian population or launch a preemptive war to destroy its nuclear capability while possibly achieving "regime change."

And if you've been reading the New York Times or following the rest of the Fawning Corporate Media, you'd likely assume that everyone who matters agrees that the answer to the question is yes, although the FCM adds the caveat that Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. The line is included with an almost perceptible wink and an "oh, yeah."

However, a consensus seems to be emerging among the intelligence and military agencies of the United States - and Israel - that Iran has NOT made a decision to build a nuclear weapon. In recent days, that judgment has been expressed by high-profile figures in the defense establishments of the two countries - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Oscar

WikiLeaks founder Assange to host TV show

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Julian Assange, accustomed to the spotlight
Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is getting into the television game.

Assange, who has made headlines with his disclosure of government secrets along with allegations of sexual misconduct, will host a TV series comprising "in-depth conversations with key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world," WikiLeaks said late Monday.

The title of the series has not been announced yet, but the theme will be "the world tomorrow."

The series -- which is scheduled to premiere in mid-March -- "will draw together controversial voices from across the political spectrum -- iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders -- each to offer a window on the world tomorrow and their ideas on how to secure a brighter future," WikiLeaks said.

MIB

WikiLeaks: Al Jazeera now controlled by US Government

It wasn't all that long ago the Al Jazeera news network was considered, quote 'evil' by Washington. But the White House has certainly changed its tune, recently praising its ground breaking coverage. That's little surprise, say critics, after Wikileaks revelations exposed the director general of the Qatar based network of having links to the CIA, and promoting him to hurriedly quit. RT's Anissa Naouai takes up the story.


Bad Guys

Drowning in Hypocrisy

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© onlyinamericablogging.blogspot.com
The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy. Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the US is maintaining a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers in order to project sea power against Iran and to convince Iran that "it's better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy." (Source)

If it requires 11 aircraft carriers to deal with Iran, how many will Panetta need to project power against Russia and China? But to get on with the main point, Iran has been trying "to deal with us through diplomacy." The response from Washington has been belligerent threats of military attack, unfounded and irresponsible accusations that Iran is making a nuclear weapon, sanctions and an oil embargo.

Washington's accusations echo Israel's and are contradicted by Washington's own intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Why doesn't Washington respond to Iran in a civilized manner with diplomacy? Really, which of the two countries is the greatest threat to peace?