Puppet MastersS


Officials Tell Blogger to Stop Giving Advice on Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet has been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to passionate followers who believe eating and living as our Paleolithic ancestors did can help them avoid modern-day ailments such as obesity and diabetes.

Among the outspoken devotees is Steve Cooksey, who has chronicled his transition from a 235-pound diabetic to a trim Paleo supporter on his website. He also encourages others to embrace the lifestyle - and that's what landed him in trouble with the government.


Blogger Told 'Get a License' For Giving Nutritional Advice

© baretnews.com
Steve Cooksey eats what he calls a cave man diet - lots of meat and greens, no bread or pasta. He says it has helped him conquer life-threatening diabetes.

But when he wrote about his experiences and offered advice on his Web site, officials in North Carolina said he was breaking the law by "providing nutrition care services without a license."

Charla M. Burill, the executive director of the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, called Mr. Cooksey in January to tell him so. The conversation was by all accounts civil, and Ms. Burill had a state law on her side.


The Latest Howlers From Human Rights Watch on Venezuela

Predictably, election season in Venezuela has come with yet another voluminous report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that mostly rehashes the debunked claims of its 2008 report. Over a hundred scholars, including Noam Chomsky, signed a letter to HRW protesting the shoddiness of that 2008 report.

More Than 100 Latin America Experts Question Human Rights Watch's Venezuela Report

HRW's response to that letter was underwhelming:

Human Rights Watch's Response to Academics' Criticism

HRW bowed out of the debate after the devastating reply to its response:

Academics Respond to Human Rights Watch Director's Defense of Venezuela Report

One need not even wade through that debate (though everyone should) to know that HRW is ridiculously biased against the Chavez government. Ken Roth, HRW's executive director, very recently used his Twitter account to call Venezuela and a few other ALBA bloc countries (specifically Bolivia and Ecuador) "the most abusive" in Latin America.[1]


GAO Warns Of Nuclear Smuggling From Mexico, Canada?

Although significant efforts have been made in recent years to enhance border security in the United States, nuclear smuggling from Mexico and Canada might still be a problem if further changes are not instituted, a new report released in late July said.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report, which was accompanied by testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security on July 26th, credited the Department of Homeland Security with making significant strides in border security since 2005.

"Over the past 10 years, DHS has made significant progress in deploying radiation detection equipment to scan for nuclear or radiological materials in nearly all trucks and containerized cargo coming into the United Stated through seaports and border crossings," Homeland Security and Justice Director David C. Maurer said.

"However, challenges remain for the agency in developing a similar scanning capability for railcars entering this country from Canada and Mexico, as well as for international air cargo and international commercial aviation," he added.

Bad Guys

Government appeals ruling against military detention law

New York - Federal prosecutors on Monday appealed a judge's order barring enforcement of part of a law that permits indefinite military detention for those deemed to have "substantially supported" al Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces."

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest in May ruled in favor of activists and reporters who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The government says indefinite military detention without trial is justified in some cases involving militants and their supporters.

The judge's preliminary injunction prevents the U.S. government from enforcing section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act's "Homeland Battlefield" provisions.

Light Saber

Venezuela arrests American mercenary in clampdown against US shenanigans ahead of elections

Thousands of American solidarity activists, torture survivors, union workers, people of faith, students, immigrants, veterans and others protest at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia on November 18-20, 2011 to take a stand for justice and remember the tens of thousands murdered by US-backed coups across Latin America and calling for the closure of the so-called 'School of the Americas' where death squads are trained.
Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, is claiming a US citizen has been arrested and interrogated on suspicions he is a mercenary involved in a conspiracy against the government.

Chávez, who faces an election on 7 October, suggested the man is part of a plot to destabilise the country if he is re-elected.

Chávez said the Hispanic man was detained on 4 August while crossing into Venezuela from Colombia. The president said the man was carrying a US passport with entrance and exit stamps from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya as well as a notebook containing geographical co-ordinates.

The man's identity was not released. Chávez did not say where he was being interrogated.

Comment: Chavez has the overwhelming support of his people. As we have seen again and again in countries that don't play along with the US and the international financial institutions it controls, "rising tensions" are instigated from without.

War Whore

Amid austerity measures at home, UK government gifts £5m to Al Qaeda-in-Syria

Hague and Hillary's boys in Syria
The UK is to increase the support it provides to rebel fighters in Syria.

Foreign Secretary William Hague is committing an additional £5m to fund communications equipment and medical supplies - mostly to the largest rebel group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Comment: Yeh, that's "communications and medical supplies" in inverted commas, like how the Scott Inquiry confirmed that the UK government was brokering contracts with Saddam Hussein in the late 1980s to sell him "farming equipment."

However, the assistance will not include any weapons.

The BBC's James Robbins says the move is a significant shift in policy after months of British frustration about divisions within Syria's opposition.

There have also been complaints that the opposition has failed to set out a clear programme for good government, our correspondent added.

Attempts to oust President Bashar al-Assad have led to 17 months of unrest, during which activists claim more than 20,000 people have died.


Stratfor Emails Reveal Secret, Widespread Trapwire Surveillance System

© Agence France-Presse/Valery Hache
Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology - and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It's part of a program called Trapwire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America's intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who's who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation's ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.

The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent Trapwire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program's public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year's hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.

Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks began releasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of Trapwire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.


WikiLeaks Shut Down by American Hackers

wikileaks symbol
© JD.Gizmodo
WikiLeaks remains offline after days of distributed denial-of-service attacks rendered the website inaccessible. Now a group calling themselves AntiLeaks is taking credit and says their actions are in protest to the whistleblower site's founder.

Through Twitter on Wednesday, the self-proclaimed leader of a group going by the name AntiLeaks says that their organization is responsible for a barrage of DDoS attacks on WikiLeaks.org and other affiliated sites that has temporarily wiped one of the most controversial outlets for whistleblowing off the Web.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks is a popular method of over-flooding a Web server with traffic until, ideally, the site is crippled and can't support any visitors. Activists have since mirrored WikiLeaks - hosted documents on other sites, but those too have been hit hard by AntiLeaks. By Thursday afternoon, the mirror at Cabledrum.net was still offline and external e-commerce sites launched to raise donations for WikiLeaks were ravaged by DDoS assaults as well.

WikiLeaks was targeted with DDoS attacks earlier this year, but so far the assaults reportedly launched by the AntiLeaks group have made the website unavailable to visitor for nearly a week. In their tweet, a user named DietPepsi identifies himself as the leader of the group and says that their mission is aimed not specifically at WikiLeaks, but Julian Assange, the website's founder and editor that has been in London's Ecuadorian Embassy for over a month awaiting a decision on an appeal for political asylum.


Rand Paul: Government Spied on Americans 'Gazillions' of Times

Rand Paul
© Agence France-Presse/Mark WilsonSen. Rand Paul
Does the government really peer into the personal business of everyone in America? According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has put the number of instances that the feds have spied on Americans in the "gazillions."

In a column published this week by the frequent cable news commentator, Judge Napolitano explains that members of Congress are barred from quoting certain statistics disclosed during secret security briefing, so Sen. Paul - the son of GOP congressman and presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) - has reportedly relayed the actual information as accurately as he can without providing a real number.

Gazillion, suggests Napolitano, is close enough.

"[W]hen asked what he learned at these secret briefings and aware that he could be prosecuted for telling the truth, [Sen. Paul] chose a fictitious word to describe the vast number of violations of privacy at the hands of federal agents: gazillions," writes Naolitano in an op-ed he has titled "What Rand Paul Learned From Secret Security Hearings."

Napolitano explains that elected lawmakers can "interrogate government officials about government behavior that they are afraid to reveal," but are prohibited from publicizing that intel outside of Capitol Hill.