Puppet MastersS

Chart Pie

Paul Ryan's Economic Policies - Tax Cuts for Wealthy, Spending Cuts for Everyone Else

Game changer" is a fitting description of Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate. Saturday's announcement has been widely hailed as a bold political choice that's reinvigorated Romney's campaign and shown him to be an effective executive who shrewdly oversaw the decision and kept the process a secret - no small feat in the era of the 24/7 news cycle.

But good politics does not necessarily make for good policy. While Rep. Ryan gets credit for proposing solutions to the federal budget deficit - rather than just criticizing President Obama's handling of the nation's finances - he's offering the wrong prescription for what ails America, according to Mark Dow, a former policy economist at the IMF and Treasury Department and author of the Behavioral Macro blog.

"Just because rich guys will believe any economic theory that ends up in a tax cut doesn't make it the right policy for the time - even if it will get you their vote," he quips.

In a nutshell, Dow says supply-side economics - the basis of Ryan's budget proposals - will not work in today's economy.

Bad Guys

False Flag Terror and Conspiracies of Silence

CIA seal
The news media's readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of "domestic terrorist" incidents contributes to the American public's already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while it further rationalizes the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.

Some may recall "Bugs Raplin" (Giancarlo Esposito), the resolute investigative journalist depicted in Tim Robbins' 1992 political mockumentary Bob Roberts. After being framed as the culprit in a false flag assassination attempt by corrupt political huckster Bob Roberts (Robbins), Raplin delivers a perceptive soliloquy that among other things effectively describes the American public's moribund civic condition and short-circuited democracy. "The reason Iran-Contra happened," Raplin begins,
is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate. And the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs. They're all the same operatives - the foot soldiers at the Bay of Pigs, the plumbers that got busted at Watergate, the gunrunners in Iran-Contra - all the same people, same faces. Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out the connection here: A secret government beyond the control of the people and accountable to no one. And the closer we are to discovering the connection, the more Congress turns a blind eye to it. "We can't talk about that in open session," they say. "National security reasons." The truth lies dormant in their laps and they stay blind out of choice. A conspiracy of silence.
Twenty years later amidst the vast outsourcing of intelligence and military operations many more events may arguably be added to such a shadow government's achievements - the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, the September 11 terror attacks, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction prompting the occupation of Iraq, the July 7, 2005 London tube bombings, the shoe and underwear "bombings" - all of which have contributed to the official justification of imperial wars abroad and an ever-expanding police state at home.

Lacking meaningful contexts with which to understand such events in their totality the general public is incapable of recognizing the road it is being forced down. The most recent set of events that give pause are the horrific, military-style shootings in Aurora Colorado and Oak Creek Wisconsin that authorities maintain were carried out by "lone wolf" gunmen.


Dozens killed in Afghan suicide bomber attacks

Islamist suicide bombers targeted markets crowded with Ramadan shoppers and a major provincial hospital in Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 38 people and wounding close to 100.

The bloodshed underscored a surge in fighting ahead of a withdrawal by most Western combat troops and handover to Afghan forces winding up in 2014. NATO-led forces have been struggling to eliminate Taliban insurgent bastions, especially in the east.

Suicide bombings in markets in the southwest province of Nimroz killed at least 28 people - 18 of them civilians and three policemen - and wounded over 70, police said, in the deadliest day of violence in the normally peaceful region since 2001.

Women and children and at least three members of the Afghan security forces were among the dead in Zaranj, the capital of the largely rural province, which lies on Afghanistan's western border with Iran.

Comment: The cycle of Violence continues.


US Officials: Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks?

© APRussian Akula Submarine
A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. It is only the second time since 2009 that a Russian attack submarine has patrolled so close to U.S. shores.

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

The submarine patrol also exposed what U.S. officials said were deficiencies in U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities - forces that are facing cuts under the Obama administration's plan to reduce defense spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years.


Ecuador to Respond to Assange Plea This Week

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
© unknownJulian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
Quito - Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has said he expects to respond to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's application for political asylum some time this week.

"Hopefully this week we will be able to make a statement on the matter," the leftist leader said in an interview with public broadcaster ECTV late Monday.

Assange, 41, took refuge at Ecuador's embassy in London on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sexual assault.

"We expect to have a meeting no later than Wednesday," Correa said, referring to his diplomats in London.

The WikiLeaks founder fears that from Sweden, he could subsequently be re-extradited to the United States to stand trial for espionage, after a trove of leaked US diplomatic cables and military logs were published on his website.

Mr. Potato

Honeymoon Over, Outlook Worse for French President

Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande will celebrate 100 days since his election as French president on Tuesday knowing his honeymoon with the electorate is over and that life is not going to get easier any time soon.

Record unemployment and an economy headed back into recession provide a sombre backdrop to an event Hollande will mark by interrupting his summer break to visit police officers in a village where two of their female colleagues died in a shootout in June.

The village, Pierrefeu-du-Var, is located close to the Fort de Bregancon presidential retreat where Hollande has been on holiday with his glamorous journalist girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiller, since the beginning of August.

Political observers say the choice of location is no accident as Hollande attempts to portray himself as a president who shares voters' concerns over insecurity and is willing to take tough measures to fight crime.

On Saturday, after attending a memorial service for the 88th French soldier to die in Afghanistan, Hollande made an unannounced detour to Grenoble to visit victims of a recent violent hold-up, promising that the city would be added to a list of priority areas for tougher action on crime.

Arrow Down

A Mutual Fund Master, Too Worried to Rest

Vanguard, the penny-pinching mutual fund company founded by John C. Bogle, has become a colossus. Its index funds - once derided for not even trying to beat the market - are now the industry standard.

And after at least six heart attacks and one heart transplant, Mr. Bogle has managed to witness this triumph. "It's all a kind of a miracle," he says in a booming baritone. "It's really nice that I'm able to see this happen in my own lifetime."

With this kind of medical history, any other man of 83 might simply enjoy his success. But not John Bogle. He is still on a mission, as outspoken as ever and nearly as vigorous - thanks, he says, to the heart of a younger man. He's not done yet.

"It's urgent that people wake up," he says. Why? This is the worst time for investors that he has ever seen - and after more than 60 years in the business, that's saying a lot.

Star of David

Former Israeli Shin Bet Chief Claims Netanyahu and Barak are Motivated by 'Messianic Feelings'

Political tension is simmering inside Israel's political circles over latest remarks made by a former spymaster, who said the entity's leaders are guided by "messianic" impulses and are exaggerating the effectiveness of a possible military attack on Iran.

The Israeli cabinet met on Sunday to express anger over the scathing attack launched by former Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security service, director Yuval Diskin on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Speaking in a meeting with the residents of Kfar Sava city on Friday, Yuval Diskin said the pair is not worthy of leading the entity as they are making decisions 'based on messianic feelings,' Ha'aretz reported.

"My major problem is that I have no faith in the current leadership, which must lead us in an event on the scale of war with Iran or a regional war," he said.

"I don't believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings," Diskin added.

The former Shin Bet chief also said, "I don't trust a leadership that relies on messianic leadership. Our two messiahs from Caesarea and from the Akirov Towers are not fit to stand at the helm of the administration."

Star of David

Israeli speculation over Iran strike reaches fever pitch

An Israeli woman tries on a gas mask at a distribution centre in Tel Aviv
In the past few days, the Israeli public has been hit by a blizzard of speculative articles suggesting a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites is imminent.

The talk is now of a timetable of weeks, rather than months and some observers believe that Israel will act in the runup to the US presidential election - at a time when it could be difficult and damaging for President Obama to withhold his backing in the face of a hawkish and vehemently pro-Israel opponent, Mitt Romney, who has already indicated his support for unilateral action by the Jewish state.

On Tuesday, an article in Ma'ariv suggested that Netanyahu and Barak have set a deadline of 25 September for Obama to clearly state that the US itself will take military action. The date is the opening of the UN general assembly in New York, and also the eve of Yom Kippur, one of the most significant dates in the Jewish calendar.

The implication is that, in the absence of a public declaration, Israel will press on with its own plans to strike at the Iranian nuclear programme.

Comment: Here we see a perfect example of the way in which the global elite are frantically attempting to induce fear and dependency on authority in the population. The idea that Iranian nuclear weapons would ever constitute an existential threat to Israel (or any other nation) is nonsense. Such an idea is only believable to the extent that people buy the lie that Iranian leaders are 'crazy' enough to attack Israel and, in doing so, ensure their own annihilation by way of a massive Israeli nuclear response. Logic suggests that the Iranian leaders very much enjoy their country and the positions of power they hold. The idea that they would throw it all away just to destroy Israel, and leave no Iranians (and not much of Iran) to proclaim 'victory' is utterly bogus.

The real threat here is a threat to the global elite's hold on power by way of impending cometary bombardment, a threat against which they can do nothing to protect the people. If the people were to become aware of this, they would very quickly ditch any allegiance to their truly impotent 'leaders'. And so, bogus threats of the terrestrial kind must be continually marketed to the people to keep them in thrall to, and dependent on, the elite for false protection against phantom enemies.

Bad Guys

Criminalizing Dissent

US flag/ bars
© CTJ71081 (CC-BY)
I was on the 15th floor of the Southern U.S. District Court in New York in the courtroom of Judge Katherine Forrest last Tuesday. It was the final hearing in the lawsuit I brought in January against President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. I filed the suit, along with lawyers Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran, over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We were late joined by six co-plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg.

This section of the NDAA, signed into law by Obama on Dec. 31, 2011, obliterates some of our most important constitutional protections. It authorizes the executive branch to order the military to seize U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists or associated with terrorists. Those taken into custody by the military, which becomes under the NDAA a domestic law enforcement agency, can be denied due process and habeas corpus and held indefinitely in military facilities. Any activist or dissident, whose rights were once protected under the First Amendment, can be threatened under this law with indefinite incarceration in military prisons, including our offshore penal colonies. The very name of the law itself - the Homeland Battlefield Bill - suggests the totalitarian credo of endless war waged against enemies within "the homeland" as well as those abroad.

"The essential thrust of the NDAA is to create a system of justice that violates the separation of powers," Mayer told the court. "[The Obama administration has] taken detention out of the judicial branch and put it under the executive branch."

In May, Judge Forrest issued a temporary injunction invalidating Section 1021 as a violation of the First and Fifth amendments. It was a courageous decision. Forrest will decide within a couple of weeks whether she will make the injunction permanent.

In last week's proceeding, the judge, who appeared from her sharp questioning of government attorneys likely to nullify the section, cited the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a precedent she did not want to follow. Forrest read to the courtroom a dissenting opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in Korematsu v. United States, a ruling that authorized the detention during the war of some 110,00 Japanese-Americans in government "relocation camps."