Puppet MastersS


Surprise!: Bankrupt Lehman Brothers May Escape with Public Rebuke and Little Else ‎

© Getty Images
United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigators may issue a public rebuke of Lehman Brothers Holdings and its former executives instead of suing them for actions that led to the firm's 2008 failure, say three people with knowledge of the matter.

SEC enforcement lawyers, who have struggled for more than two years to find definitive evidence that the company and its leaders violated securities laws, are concerned that a legal attack on Lehman's accounting practices would likely fail, the people said, speaking anonymously.

Instead, the enforcement staff may recommend that the agency take the rare step of publishing a so-called report of investigation, also known as a 21(a) report.


"Golden Rice," or Trojan Horse?

© panna.org
Farmers, Indigenous people and rural communities around the world celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity last week. But casting a long shadow was the news that big funders and new NGOs are teaming up with the pesticide-biotech giant, Syngenta, in a renewed effort to push genetically engineered rice forward in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Nicknamed "golden rice," this untested, highly controversial GE crop threatens biodiversity across the region and risks bringing economic and ecological disaster to Asia's farms.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has approved $20 million in new monies towards the development of "golden rice". Meanwhile, Helen Keller International (HKI), a New York-based health and nutrition NGO, has also jumped on board.

Speaking from Malaysia, Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) called on the donors and scientists involved to wake up and do the right thing:
Golden Rice is really a 'Trojan horse'; a public relations stunt pulled by the agri-business corporations to garner acceptance of GE crops and food. The whole idea of GE seeds is to make money.

On this International Day for Biological Diversity, we want to send out a strong message to all those supporting the promotion of Golden Rice, especially donor organizations, that their money and efforts would be better spent on restoring natural and agricultural biodiversity rather than destroying it by promoting monoculture plantations and genetically engineered (GE) food crops.

Mr. Potato

Strauss-Kahn Pleads Not Guilty

The former International Monetary Fund head charged with trying to rape a Manhattan hotel maid formally said he was innocent of the charges Monday in his first court appearance in the case in two weeks.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty in a strong voice at the brief proceeding, standing between his defense team as his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, watched.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus went through the formality of telling Strauss-Kahn he needed to appear in court and had a right to be present at his trial, to which the economist said "yes."

The French diplomat appeared in court for the first time since he was released on $6 million in cash bail and bond last month. He has been under house arrest that includes 24-hour monitors and armed guards, first in a downtown Manhattan apartment and now in a deluxe, $50,000-a-month Tribeca town house.


Canada: Parti Quebecois Left Reeling After Three Top Members of Quebec Sovereigntist Party Quit

© The Canadian Press / Clement AllardLouise Beaudoin, left, Pierre Curzi, centre, and Lisette Lapointe, right, appear at a news conference in Quebec City on Monday, June 6, 2011. The Parti Quebecois experiened one of the darkest days in its history, with three of the most influential members of the pro-independence party announcing their departure Monday.
The Parti Quebecois experienced one of the darkest days in its history as three of the pro-independence party's most influential members quit the caucus Monday.

The bombshell announcement included: the wife of the party's most beloved living figure; an actor-turned-politician considered the PQ's most popular current member; and an ex-cabinet minister who has served the PQ since 1970 and acted as the party's international envoy, building relationships with foreign governments and other nationalist movements.

Lisette Lapointe, Pierre Curzi and Louise Beaudoin all vowed to continue fighting for sovereignty while sitting as independents.

Lapointe is the wife of Jacques Parizeau, revered by the party's grassroots as the premier who led Quebec to within a few votes of independence in 1995. He continues to wield considerable influence within the party.

The departing members cited a variety of reasons for their disaffection. The final straw, they said, was the party's breathless championing of the Quebec City arena project without pausing to reflect on it.


Best of the Web: US: The Fascinating Story of How Shameless Right-Wing Lies Came to Rule Our Politics

R Reagan
© n/a
From Nixon's plumbers to James O'Keefe's video smears: How political lying became normal.

It takes two things to make a political lie work: a powerful person or institution willing to utter it, and another set of powerful institutions to amplify it. The former has always been with us: Kings, corporate executives, politicians, and ideologues from both sides of the aisle have been entirely willing to bend the truth when they felt it necessary or convenient. So why does it seem as if we're living in a time of overwhelmingly brazen deception? What's changed?

Today's marquee fibs almost always evolve the same way: A tree falls in the forest -- say, the claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction," or that Barack Obama has an infernal scheme to parade our nation's senior citizens before death panels. But then a network of media enablers helps it to make a sound -- until enough people believe the untruth to make the lie an operative part of our political discourse.

For the past 15 years, I've spent much of my time deeply researching three historic periods -- the birth of the modern conservative movement around the Barry Goldwater campaign, the Nixon era, and the Reagan years -- that together have shaped the modern political lie. Here's how we got to where we are.

Bad Guys

Peru accused of plotting to allow exploitation of ancient tribe's land

One of the world's last uncontacted tribes in the rainforest of Peru
© Gleison Miranda/FunaiOne of the world's last uncontacted tribes in the rainforest of Peru

Community that lived in seclusion for millennia faces threat to survival

They are some of the most isolated people on earth, a small civilisation which has spent its entire history cut off from the rest of the world by thousands of miles of wilderness, learning to eke an existence from the plants and creatures of the Amazon rainforest.

Now they face a grave threat. Fears are growing about the future of one of the world's last un-contacted tribes, amid claims by a British human rights organisation that the government of Peru is planning to re-write strict laws supposed to protect their remote jungle territory.

The community was discovered in 2008, when it was spotted by a conservationist flying over rainforest near the country's north-eastern border with Brazil. Footage showed them brandishing weapons and staring at the unfamiliar machine in the sky.

Three years later, the still-unnamed community is the subject of a diplomatic row amid allegations officials plan to quietly abolish the Murunahua Reserve, which was set up to prevent indigenous groups from coming into contact with outsiders.

Survival International says Peru's government plans to allow loggers to begin exploiting valuable mahogany and oil resources within the 1.2 million-acre reserve, hundreds of miles from the nearest towns and cities.


SOTT Focus: Hyperinflation, Nails in the Coffin and Silver Bullets

© Sott.net
In the past few years the world and the U.S. in particular has seen no shortage of economic near-collapses, boondoggles, scandals, ponzi schemes, and 'bail outs'. But before we examine the next disaster fast approaching and experience the ensuing nausea that is likely to come from knowing about it, it would help us first to just review what the definition of hyperinflation is so that all else that follows goes down easier - so to speak.

Here's how Wikipedia defines it:
"In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or "out of control". While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases rapidly as the functional or internal currency, as opposed to a foreign currency, loses its real value very quickly, normally at an accelerating rate.[1] Definitions used vary from one provided by the International Accounting Standards Board, which describes it as "a cumulative inflation rate over three years approaching 100% (26% per annum compounded for three years in a row)", to Cagan's (1956) "inflation exceeding 50% a month." [2] As a rule of thumb, normal monthly and annual low inflation and deflation are reported per month, while under hyperinflation the general price level could rise by 5 or 10% or even much more every day.

A vicious circle is created in which more and more inflation is created with each iteration of the ever increasing money printing cycle. Hyperinflation becomes visible when there is an unchecked increase in the money supply
(see hyperinflation in Zimbabwe) usually accompanied by a widespread unwillingness on the part of the local population to hold the hyperinflationary money for more than the time needed to trade it for something non-monetary to avoid further loss of real value. Hyperinflation is often associated with wars (or their aftermath), currency meltdowns, political or social upheavals, or aggressive bidding on currency exchanges."


Bilderberg 2011: Background, Preview and Predictions

Transcript and sources can be found here.

For more news and information, please visit The Centre for Research on Globalization


US Unemployment Now Worse than During Great Depression

Despite the Republican rhetoric of "jobs jobs jobs," the country is stunningly lacking them. We knew it was bad, but the latest US Unemployment Report, released Friday, proves that we are in the worst slump since the 1930s. This puts it in perspective:
About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - a higher percentage than during the Great Depression...

Here's another problem: more than 1 million of the long-term unemployed have run out of unemployment benefits, leaving them without the money to get new training, buy new clothes, or even get to job interviews.


Gaddafi's Stolen Billions: Max Keiser Explains 'Financial Terrorism'

International bankers have reportedly wasted billions of dollars invested by Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. The Financial Times says giants like Goldman Sachs were dealing with the dictator's investments when it needed to plug a hole during the economic crisis. Most of the money has been lost, but with what's going on in Libya any repayment seems unlikely.