Puppet MastersS

Eye 1

Want to Get "Noticed" by US Government Spies? Just Tweet the Words 'drill' or 'recovery'!!!

The Department for Homeland Security announced plans to scan social networks for keywords such as 'human to animal', 'outbreak', 'strain' and 'drill', and then identify users, claims an online privacy group
  • Fake profiles used by Department of Homeland Security, says privacy group
  • List of keywords flags 'danger' signal
  • DHS may attempt to identify users from their accounts
  • Keywords include 'virus', 'drill' and 'illegal immigrant'
The Department of Homeland Security makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for 'sensitive' words - and tracking people who use them.

Simply using a word or phrase from the DHS's 'watch' list could mean that spies from the government read your posts, investigate your account, and attempt to identify you from it, according to an online privacy group.

The words which attract attention range from ones seemingly related to diseases or bioweapons such as 'human to animal' and 'outbreak' to other, more obscure words such as 'drill' and 'strain'.

Bad Guys

Mossad hints nuclear Iran not existential threat to Israel: report

The chief of Mossad has reportedly hinted that a nuclear-armed Iran does not necessarily pose an existential threat to the Jewish state, Hareetz said Thursday.

The newspaper quoted Israeli ambassadors at a briefing by Mossad's director Tamir Pardo Tuesday as suggesting that should the Islamic Republic attain nuclear-weapons capability, this would not necessarily pose an existential threat to Israel.

"What is the significance of the term existential threat? Does Iran pose a threat to Israel? Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an existential threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop and go home. That's not the situation. The term existential threat is used too freely," one of the ambassadors, who spoke to the Israeli newspapers, quoted Pardo as saying.

Eye 1

Best of the Web: Beware Corporate Psychopaths - They Are Still Occupying Positions of Power

© News.com.au
Over the years I've met my fair share of monsters - rogue individuals, for the most part. But as regulation in the UK and the US has loosened its restraints, the monsters have proliferated.

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics entitled "The Corporate Psychopaths: Theory of the Global Financial Crisis", Clive R Boddy identifies these people as psychopaths.

"They are," he says, "simply the 1 per cent of people who have no conscience or empathy." And he argues: "Psychopaths, rising to key senior positions within modern financial corporations, where they are able to influence the moral climate of the whole organisation and yield considerable power, have largely caused the [banking] crisis'.

Comment: The number may be as high as 6 percent of the world population.

Comment: For more information on psychopaths, see these Sott links:

Ponerology 101: Snakes in Suits

Not All Psychopaths Are Criminal

Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes

2 + 2 = 4

Best of the Web: A Tale of Two Cities: Weimar and Washington

© eaglecartoons.com
Mark Twain is credited with saying that "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." Today's United States is often compared to other historic nations, whether at their prime or about to decline and fall depending on one's own political perspective. Neoconservatives frequently eulogize Washington as a new Rome, promising a worldwide empire without end carried on the back of a Pentagon bristling with advanced weaponry. Other observers also cite Rome but are rather more sanguine, recalling how in the 5th century the empire failed dramatically and fell to barbarian hordes. Still others note the fate of the British Empire, which came apart in the wake of the Second World War, or the Soviets, whose collapse was brought about by 50 years of unsustainable military spending.

But the historical analogy that appears to be most apposite for post-9/11 Washington is that of the Weimar Republic. To be sure, any suggestion that the United States might be following the same course as Germany in the years that led to Nazism must be pursued with caution because few Americans want to believe that the descent into such extremism is even possible in the world's most venerable constitutional republic. But consider the following: both the United States and Weimar Germany had constitutions in which checks and balances were integrated to maintain a multi-party system, the rule of law, and individual liberties. Both countries were on the receiving end of acts of terrorism that produced a dramatic and violent reaction against the presumed perpetrators of the crimes, so both quickly adopted legislation that abridged many constitutional rights and empowered the head of state to react decisively to further threats. The media fell in line, concerned that criticism would be unpatriotic.

Both the U.S. and Germany possessed politically powerful military-industrial complexes that had a vested interest in encouraging a militarized response to the threats and highly polarized internal politics that enabled politicians to obtain advantage by exploiting national security concerns. Both countries experienced severe financial crises and printed fiat currency to pay the bills, and both had jurists and political supporters who argued that in time of crisis the head of state must be granted special executive authority that transcends the limits placed by the constitution.


US: Perry: Future of My Candidacy Is Up to God

© Wikipedia
The Texas governor says that God will decide his post-Iowa fate.

Washington, Iowa: If Rick Perry drops out of the Republican presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, blame it on God.

"That's God's will," Perry told a reporter when asked if there was any outcome on Tuesday that would cause him to end his presidential bid. "There might be an outcome that he decides that I wouldn't go on." But he's hoping that the big man will be there for him on Jan. 3. When asked by the same reporter if God was caucusing, Perry responded, "Pretty sure He will be."

The Texas governor wasn't leaving everything to God, though. Moments before, at a coffee shop in Washington, he took rival Rick Santorum to task for supporting earmarks while he was in Congress.

Comment: God has been speaking to Perry, Santorum, Bachmann and Cain, telling them all pretty much the same thing. Appears God must have a sense of humor after all.

Bad Guys

Israeli Operation Cast Lead-2 looming?

Israeli Defense Forces have confirmed they are preparing a possible large-scale attack on Gaza. The development has parallels with the Israeli Operation Cast Lead, which claimed about 1,400 Palestinian lives back in 2008, named a massacre by Gazans.

"We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which will be varied and different, to renew our deterrence, if we are called on to restore full quiet to the communities [in the south]," one of the IDF's military commanders Brigade General Tal Hermoni was quoted by Haaretz newspaper as saying.

The head of the division's South Brigade added, however, that he would not equate the possible campaign to Operation Cast Lead just yet. "The mild response [to Tuesday's targeted killings] is evidence that they do not want to feel the IDF's fists," Tal Hermoni added.

According to Haaretz, the next Gaza operation will be shorter than in 2008, but will employ much more firepower. The IDF explained that Hamas and other groups it considers terrorists now have more weapons than they had back in 2008. Since then the groups are said to be extensively using the Kornet anti-tank missiles against the Israeli tanks and rockets fired directly at IDF troops.

The situation on the Israeli-Gaza border has been gradually worsening since August this year. In the latest development which occurred on Thursday morning, Palestinians fired a rocket into southern Israel in reply to the Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza, Al Arabiya television reports. The rocket reportedly caused neither casualties nor damage.

The development follows the exchange of violence which has marked the week. At least four Palestinian rockets hit Israel on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Israel's targeted offensive at Gaza killed three and wounded at least nine people.

Gideon Levy, a columnist with the Haaretz newspaper, told RT that the current Israeli government has no serious intention of continuing dialogue with the Palestinians.

"The Palestinian Authority has just launched another proposal to get back to the negotiation table. They even gave up the precondition of freezing the settlements, which is a minimum condition, and they had suggested just a symbolic release of 100 Palestinian prisoners to get back to the negotiation table. And what did Israel say? 'No!'" Gideon Levy explained.

Bad Guys

Obama's Global Murder, Inc.

drone missle
© cnn.com
The Obama administration has erected a vast apparatus of global assassination involving unmanned aerial drones operated by the CIA and the military. This network of "targeted killing" machines is run in secrecy, behind the backs of the American people and with virtually no congressional oversight.

The US drone program is the subject of an exposé published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, headlined "Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus of drone killing." While restrained in its presentation, the Post article is a chilling account of a government that has asserted for itself the right to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, without even a pretense of legal proceedings. The lives of thousands of people have been wiped out in this manner.

The US drone program, according to the Post, "involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in six countries on two continents."

A study by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the US had 775 Predator and other drone aircraft, plus an unknown number operated by the CIA as part of covert operations. Not including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, assassinations have been carried out in at least three countries. The recent downing of a drone over Iran, however, points to much broader operations.


Weapons Sales to Iraq Move Ahead Despite U.S. Worries

© unknown
The Obama administration is moving ahead with the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training for the Iraqi military despite concerns that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is seeking to consolidate authority, create a one-party Shiite-dominated state and abandon the American-backed power-sharing government.

The military aid, including advanced fighter jets and battle tanks, is meant to help the Iraqi government protect its borders and rebuild a military that before the 1991 Persian Gulf war was one of the largest in the world; it was disbanded in 2003 after the United States invasion.

But the sales of the weapons - some of which have already been delivered - are moving ahead even though Mr. Maliki has failed to carry out an agreement that would have limited his ability to marginalize the Sunnis and turn the military into a sectarian force. While the United States is eager to beef up Iraq's military, at least in part as a hedge against Iranian influence, there are also fears that the move could backfire if the Baghdad government ultimately aligns more closely with the Shiite theocracy in Tehran than with Washington.


Best of the Web: US: Government of the rich, by rich and for the rich

According to a study reported Tuesday, nearly half the members of the United States Congress are millionaires. Of the 535 legislators (100 members of the Senate and 435 members of the House of Representatives), at least 250 are millionaires and the median net worth is $913,000.

Sixty-seven senators are millionaires and the median wealth of the body's 100 members is $2.63 million.

While the Senate has long been known as a millionaires' club, the transformation of the House is a relatively recent phenomenon. The median net worth of members of the House of Representatives, excluding home equity, has more than doubled over the last 25 years, from $280,000 in 1984 to $725,000 in 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars. During that same period, the median net worth of an American family fell from $20,600 to $20,500.

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times gave front-page treatment to the data, derived from figures collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. The articles reflect nervousness in the corporate-controlled media over the degree to which the rising personal wealth of members of Congress is discrediting the institution.

Eye 1

One Nation Under The Drone: The Rising Number Of UAVs In American Skies

Predator Drone
© Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Press/Newscom
A secret air show in Houston. An unmanned blimp in Utah. A sovereign citizen arrested in North Dakota.

Each of these is just one small part of the bigger story of the proliferation of unmanned aircraft use within the U.S., and each is likely to become smaller still if the FAA goes through with plans to loosen regulations governing domestic use of drones.

News reports about Predator attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan are common if not always complete, but what's gotten much less attention is the increase in unarmed drones that are buzzing around within the U.S. itself. Primarily, unarmed Predator B drones are only used by government agents to patrol the borders for illegal immigrants, but there are a (very large) handful of other agencies and companies that use smaller, unarmed drones for a slew of other purposes. And that number is only expected to grow.