Puppet MastersS

Bad Guys

If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA

Image by mermadon 1967 via Flickr
© mermadon 1967 via Flickr

When sites like Wikipedia and Reddit banded together for a major blackout January 18th, the impact was felt all the way to Washington D.C. The blackout had lawmakers running from the controversial anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA, which critics said threatened freedom of speech online.

Unfortunately for free-speech advocates, censorship is still a serious threat.

Few people have heard of ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, but the provisions in the agreement are just as pernicious as anything we saw in SOPA. Worse, the agreement spans virtually all of the countries in the developed world, including all of the EU, the United States, Switzerland and Japan.

Many of these countries have already signed or ratified it, and the cogs are still turning. The treaty has been secretly negotiated behind the scenes, with unelected bureaucrats working closely with entertainment industry lobbyists to craft the provisions in the treaty. The Bush administration started the process, but the Obama administration has aggressively pursued it.

Indeed, we've already signed on to the treaty. All it needs now is Senate ratification. The time to stop the treaty is now, and we may need a second global internet blackout to call attention to it.

Heart - Black

Newt Gingrich: Latinos, Blacks Don't Understand 'Key To Future Wealth,' But Asians Do

Gingrich
© AP

Does the "key to future wealth" divide along racial lines? OR is it more of a representation of a system entrenched in marginalization of our communities? It seems there would need to be an attitude adjustment.

Washington - At the height of his career in Congress, Newt Gingrich used to tell audiences that renewing American civilization was "the central challenge of the rest of our lives."

He first laid out this theory in January of 1993, in a hand-written treatise outlining the "five pillars of American civilization": 1) quality, 2) technological advance, 3) entrepreneurial free enterprise, 4) principles of American civilization, and 5) psychological strength. Over the next five years, the thesis would serve as a speech, a political framework, and a battle cry for Gingrich, who said the pillars would "allow [Americans] to break out of the welfare state dilemma of more taxes or less government."

But before Gingrich could deliver his grand new theory to the public in a speech later that month, his deeply divisive racial stereotypes would need to be removed.

V

Libyans Storm Transitional Government Headquarters

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© Reuters/Esam Al-FetoriPeople burn copies of the ''Green Book,'' Muammar Gaddafi's eccentric handbook on politics, economics and everyday life, and pictures of Muammar Gaddafi during a demonstration demanding the Libyan National Transitional Council apply Islamic sharia rule in the country and declare Islam the state religion, in Benghazi January 20, 2012.
Hundreds of angry Libyans on Saturday stormed the transitional government's headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, carting off computers, chairs, and desks while the country's interim leader was still holed up in the building.

Libyans have grown increasingly frustrated with the pace and direction of reforms in the country more than three months after the end of the civil war that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Those concerns spurred residents in Benghazi, where the uprising against longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi broke out in February, to begin protests nearly two weeks ago to demand transparency and justice from the country's new leaders.

The melee at the National Transitional Council's headquarters began after protesters broke through the gates using hand grenades and streamed into the grounds of the headquarters. They banged on the building's doors and demanded officials meet with them.

Rocket

Russian Newspaper Reports Russia to Deliver Combat Jets to Syria

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© Misha JaparidzeIn this file photo taken on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, a Russian Yak-130 training jet is seen at MAKS-2009 (the International Aviation and Space Show) in Zhukovsky, Russia. Business daily Kommersant said Monday Jan. 23, 2012, that Russia signed a contract to sell 36 Yak-130s to Syria in a show of support for President Bashar Assad's government.
Russia has signed a contract to sell combat jets to Syria, a newspaper reported Monday, in apparent support for President Bashar Assad and open defiance of international condemnation of his regime's bloody crackdown.

The respected business daily Kommersant, citing an unidentified source close to Russia's Rosoboronexport state arms trader, said the $550-million deal envisions the delivery of 36 Yak-130 aircraft. A spokesman for Rosoboronexport refused to comment on the report.

If confirmed, the deal would cement Russian opposition to international efforts to put pressure on Assad's regime over its attempts to snuff out the country's uprising. The U.N. says more than 5,400 people have died over 10 months. The report of the sale comes the same day that Human Rights Watch called Russia's backing of the Syrian regime "immoral."

Chess

Mubarak Defense Tells Court That He Still Rules Egypt

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© Reuters/StringerFormer Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is seen on a stretcher outside the courthouse where he is standing trial at the police academy in Cairo January 5, 2012.
Hosni Mubarak is still the president of Egypt and the court trying him has no legal jurisdiction to do so, his defense lawyer said on Sunday, trying to undermine the prosecution's case against the leader deposed in a popular revolt last year.

Lawyer Farid el-Deeb was defending Mubarak for the fifth and final day of his closing remarks in a trial that Egyptians who rose up against Mubarak's 30-year-rule hope will bring justice.

The prosecution is seeking the death sentence on a charge that Mubarak was involved in the killing of some 850 protesters in the uprising.

Mubarak's defense has denied those charges and attacked the prosecution's case on other charges of corruption and abuse of power. Many Egyptians who want to see Mubarak held to account worry the case is not as strong as it should be.

A light sentence or an acquittal may fuel more rage and is likely to lead to street protests. Activists are calling for mass demonstrations on January 25, the anniversary of the uprising.

Propaganda

Wishful Thinking: America Overcomes the Debt Crisis as Britain Sinks Deeper into the Swamp

Britain has sunk deeper into debt. Three years after bubble burst, the UK has barely begun to tackle the crushing burden left by Gordon Brown. The contrast with the United States is frankly shocking.
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The latest report on "Debt and Deleveraging" by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that total public and private debt in the UK is still hovering at an all-time high. It has risen from 487pc to 507pc of GDP since the crisis began.

As the chart above shows, as recently as 1990 Britain's debts were still just 220pc of GDP. Has a rich country ever been debauched so fast in peace time?

The ordeal of belt-tightening will be grim, dragging out for a generation if Japan is any guide. The Japanese at least began their post-bubble debacle as the world's top creditor nation with a trade super-surplus and a savings rate of 17pc. Britain has no such buffers.

It is a very different picture in the US where light is emerging at the end of the tunnel. American banks, firms, and households have been chipping away at their debts, more than offsetting Washington's double-digit deficits.

The total burden has dropped to 279pc, down from 295pc at the peak of the boom. Households have purged roughly a third of the excess, roughly tracking the historic pattern of post-bubble deleveraging.

Dominoes

Canada: 'U.S. Economy Unlikely to Fully Recover': Carney

Mark Carney
© Chris Wattie/ReutersBank of Canada Governor Mark Carney
Canada needs to look beyond its southern neighbour for markets because the United States economy is unlikely to ever fully recover, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said Sunday.

In an interview with CTV's Question Period, Carney said that it is vital for Canada to look for new trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere to prevent the economy from being dragged down by the U.S.

"It's going to take a number of years before they get back to the U.S. that we used to know - in fact, they are not, in our opinion, ultimately going to get back to the U.S. that we used to know," he said.

Carney pointed to China as a market with great potential and as a place where Canada is currently under-represented, but cautioned it would take time to enhance trade between the two countries.

Newspaper

US: Georgia Judge Orders President to Appear at Hearing


Atlanta - A judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta for a hearing on a complaint that says Obama isn't a natural-born citizen and can't be president.

Bad Guys

Davos Elites to Seek Reforms of 'Outdated' Capitalism

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© Agence France-PresseWorld Economic Forum (WEF) founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab gives a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, on January 18.
Economic and political elites meeting this week at the Swiss resort of Davos will be asked to urgently find ways to reform a capitalist system that has been described as "outdated and crumbling."

"We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations," said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.

"Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole.

"We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual," the 73-year-old said, adding that "capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us."

Bizarro Earth

European Union adopts Iran oil embargo

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© Shutterstock
Brussels - The European Union adopted an oil embargo Monday against Iran and a freeze of the assets of the country's central bank, part of sanctions meant to pressure the country to resume talks on its nuclear program.

Diplomats said the measures, which were adopted in Brussels by the EU's 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products, while existing contracts will be allowed to run until July.

EU diplomats are calling the measure part of a twin track approach toward Iran: Increase sanctions to discourage what they suspect is Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons but emphasize at the same time the international community's willingness to talk. Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the embargo part of "an unprecedented set of sanctions."

"I think this shows the resolve of the European Union on this issue," Hague said.

Comment: Who is Maryam Rajavi? Where does she reside? What is her main part in the over theme of generating more data to bastardize Iran?

The forces of conquest and pillaging are aligning against a generally peaceful country, once again.