Puppet MastersS

Radar

Russia, Kazakhstan agree on joint air defense system

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© AFP Photo / Andrey SmirnovS-400 Triumf.
Moscow and Astana have signed a deal to establish a regional defense system, which will also include missile defense.

The document was signed on Wednesday during a meeting between Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is paying an official visit to Astana, the Kazakh capital.

The agreement between the two leading members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) comes as Russia attempts to cooperate with the US and NATO on a sea-based US-built missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Thus far, negotiations between Russia and the US over the system, which Moscow has called a potential threat to strategic balance, have produced little results.

Snakes in Suits

McCain: LGBT protections for immigrants is like taxpayer-funded 'free abortions'

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Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) says that it would be a mistake to provide protections for bi-national same sex couples in a comprehensive immigration reform bill because it is as controversial as guaranteeing a "free abortion" to taxpayers.

During a discussion about immigration reform on Tuesday, Politico's Mike Allen asked McCain about President Barack Obama's proposal to include a path to citizenship for same sex partners of American citizens.

Bad Guys

Tennessee lawmaker: Cut parent's welfare benefits if child gets poor grades

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Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) on Tuesday defended his proposal to tie a family's welfare benefits to their children's academic success.

"We have a three legged stool for education," he explained on MSNBC. "One part is the school, one part the teacher, and one part the family. Probably the most important part is the family."

"Unfortunately we have some families who really don't care about education, who don't care if their kids get an education or stay in school, and what we are saying is, if your kid is quitting school, not showing up, showing up at 11 o'clock in his pajamas, that's not a prepared kid to get an education," Campfield continued. "We need to do something to motivate these parents to see how important an education is, and unfortunately, the only tool we have left is this cash payment that we make to these families."

Eye 2

Louisiana will eliminate health benefits for HIV patients, poor children, and first time moms this week

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Last week, Louisiana's poor and terminally ill residents won a surprising victory when Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced that his state would not stop providing hospice care to its Medicaid beneficiaries. Unfortunately, that's about the only piece of good news for low-income Louisianans' health coverage, as the state is still set to implement massive cuts for Medicaid programs that "provide behavioral health services for at-risk children, offer case management visits for low-income HIV patients and pay for at-home visits by nurses who teach poor, first-time mothers how to care for their newborns" this Friday.

While Jindal administration officials argue that the cuts could be mitigated by Medicare and private managed care programs, the reality is that many of these specialty services are simply unavailable - or unaffordable - outside of Medicaid:

Magnify

Who owns the Federal Reserve?

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The 'Federal Reserve': neither federal nor a reserve; it's a private money-making machine.
"Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders."

- The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s
The Federal Reserve (or Fed) has assumed sweeping new powers in the last year. In an unprecedented move in March 2008, the New York Fed advanced the funds for JPMorgan Chase Bank to buy investment bank Bear Stearns for pennies on the dollar. The deal was particularly controversial because Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, sits on the board of the New York Fed and participated in the secret weekend negotiations.1 In September 2008, the Federal Reserve did something even more unprecedented, when it bought the world's largest insurance company. The Fed announced on September 16 that it was giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG) for a nearly 80% stake in the mega-insurer. The Associated Press called it a "government takeover," but this was no ordinary nationalization. Unlike the U.S. Treasury, which took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the week before, the Fed is not a government-owned agency. Also unprecedented was the way the deal was funded. The Associated Press reported:
"The Treasury Department, for the first time in its history, said it would begin selling bonds for the Federal Reserve in an effort to help the central bank deal with its unprecedented borrowing needs."2
This is extraordinary. Why is the Treasury issuing U.S. government bonds (or debt) to fund the Fed, which is itself supposedly "the lender of last resort" created to fund the banks and the federal government? Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:
"The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed's request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed's use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters."
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The 'Federal Reserve': neither federal nor a reserve; it's a private money-making machine.

USA

The facade of the American dream

Documentary on the life conditions of African Americans in the United States.

A cross section of people discuss the fraud of the American dream and how systemic racism keeps millions of people down while offering others hope and opportunity. Executive producer Dr. Randy Short, M.div. and senior director Marzieh Hashemi's film gives voice to those who believe that African Americans are far from achieving the American Dream in health, education, welfare, and justice.

The documentary features commentary from Dr. Vernellia Randall, Dr. Wilmer Leon, Rev. Graylan Haigler, Dr. Mary Scott, Dr. Charles Norman, Dr. Joseph Richardson, Glen Ford, Atty. Efia Nwangaza, and Dr. Mary Neal.

Part 1 - This is Why We Have the Blues


Che Guevara

Fight back against the Police State by joining the Revolution of the Mind

The government has declared it can lock anyone up forever or kill them without any proof or due process. DHS has placed an order for 450 million rounds of Hollow Point ammo. Obama can now declare martial law during peace time. I think that just about says it all.

"We are Preparing for Massive Civil War," says DHS informant.

"If you don't fight for your rights, they don't exist. Our constitution doesn't mean a damn thing if we the people don't stand up for it." Or just go back to sleep. Maybe we'll get adjoining cells one day, if we're still alive.


Star of David

Israel blows off UN review, buying time to whitewash human rights record

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© AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini
Israel has boycotted the UN human rights forum over fears of scrutiny of its treatment of residents of the occupied territories. Israel is now the first state in history to win a deferment of the periodical review of its human rights record.

Tel Aviv has refused to send a delegation on Tuesday to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review procedure where UN member states have their human rights record evaluated every four years.

Israel's cooperation with the council stopped last March after the UN set up a committee to inspect the effects of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.

Bad Guys

Who runs the world? Solid proof that a core group of wealthy elitists is pulling the strings

All Seeing Eye
© The Economic Collapse Blog
Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world? Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes? The answer might surprise you. Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control. And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.

When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars. As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.

That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible. Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments. Just look around - everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier. But the ultra-wealthy don't just sit on all of that wealth.

They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations. The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet. They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line. They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.

They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world. It is just that most people don't want to admit the truth.

Better Earth

With new constitution, post-collapse Iceland inches toward direct democracy

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© Photo: Florian Apel-Soetebeer / Government 2.0 Netzwerk DeutschlandBirgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the Icelandic parliament, at the Open Government Camp 2011.
When the global financial system crumbled over four years ago, Iceland played host to one of the most dramatic economic collapses in modern history. Its three largest banks were unable to refinance debt roughly ten times the size of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), causing one of the world's wealthiest nations to limp with hat in hand to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The island became a symbol for capitalism's systemic failure.

Now, Iceland is making headlines for more positive reasons: activists there are in the process of advancing some of the strongest freedom of information laws and journalist protections in the world, and the Icelandic economy, while still beset by problems, is significantly outperforming other crisis-stricken countries.

Most recently, on October 20, a remarkable constitution - written by an elected council with help from the public - took a step closer toward ratification after it was approved in a referendum by a 2-1 margin.