Puppet MastersS


Dollar

10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians)

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Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.

Here's a look at the 10 most profitable tax evaders and the politicians their CEOs, employees, and PACs give the most money to,

Info

War on Drugs 'Not Working,' Harper Says

Stephen Harper
© The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks with the media during a news conference following the closing of the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Sunday April 15, 2012.
News conferences with Canada's Prime Minister don't happen every day - which, of course, increases the likelihood that, when he does hold one, he'll make news.

But it's even rarer that you'll hear Stephen Harper concede that the war on drugs is a failure.

It happened, though, after two days of listening to Latin American leaders explaining just how costly, and bloody, the war is.

Harper met Canadian journalists and readily admitted differences over the exclusion of Cuba from the Latin summit. He admitted, too, to a disagreement over British rule in the Falkland Islands.

But he was not ready to agree that the division over drug policy is so clear-cut. Rather, he insisted that there is much agreement. Then came the most interesting quote of the day.

"What I think everybody believes," Harper said, "is that the current approach is not working. But it is not clear what we should do."

Eye 1

Spain plans 'draconian' new social networking laws in street protest clampdown

Spain has been accused of planning "draconian" new laws against street protests by curbing the use of social networking.
general strike, Madrid, Spain
© ReutersProtesters shout slogans during a general strike in Madrid, Spain in March 2012
Jorge Fernandez Diaz, the Spanish interior minister announced in Congress on Wednesday that a reform of the penal code was planned to criminalise those involved in organising street protests that "seriously disturb the public peace".

Under the laws, a minimum jail term of two years could be imposed on those found guilty of instigating and carrying out violent acts of protest under a new package of measures unveiled on Wednesday.

Magic Hat

The Corruption of Science: Why is Oxford University Press publishing books lacking even basic citation of sources - Cheerleading for Monsanto?

Library
© Nrbelex
Eighteen months ago I read a book that changed my life. Yeah, yeah, I know... sounds corny. But it's not what you think. This book changed my life not because of what it said but because of what it didn't say.

On a nothing-special summer afternoon in 2010, I sat in the Cambridge Public Library preparing a speech on something I'd been studying for decades. I plugged "world hunger" into the library's computer. Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know popped up.

Perfect, I thought. I knew I would have differences with the book because I'd just read a critique of the views of its author, Robert Paarlberg, by my daughter Anna Lappé on the Foreign Policy website. But I'm always eager to know how those with whom I disagree make their case. Noticing that Food Politics was published by Oxford University Press, I felt confident I could count on it being a credibly argued and sourced counterpoint.

So I began reading.

"I couldn't believe my eyes" doesn't do justice to the shock I experienced.

The book's subtitle suggests coverage of essential food issues and its back cover indicates Food Politics is not just another example of "conflicting claims and accusations from advocates," but rather "maps this contested terrain." Yet, I was finding only one piece of the "map" with key issues at the center of the global food debate omitted altogether. But what was jaw-dropping for me was that Food Politics lacked any citations for the book's many startling claims.

Cell Phone

UAE to Integrate National IDs with Smartphone NFC Technology

Smartphone
© Khomulo Anna / Shutterstock
The UAE has just launched an effort to embed its National ID card system into smartphones. Yup, that could mean you have to carry your phone at all times. Scary. Could it happen here?

Attention

You Are Free To Travel - If The IRS Lets You

Passport Denied
© Gonzalo Lira Blogspot
A bill that nobody is paying any attention to is sailing through Congress: Senate Bill 1813. It passed the Senate by 74 to 22, and is expected to sail through the House as well. It's an act "[t]o reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes."

It's the "and for other purposes" part of the title that has me worried - specifically Section 40304: "Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain unpaid taxes."

This section would give the IRS the power to keep a U.S. citizen from traveling -

- and it's another example of Executive Power run amok. It's another example of how the United States is turning into a police-state.

The right to travel freely is sacrosanct - it's not some privilege that the government bestows on us: It's one of our basic freedoms as citizens. In point of fact, the countries that have limited their citizens' ability to travel - the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba - were all rightfully called "police-states": It's one of their defining characteristics - the fact that they were keeping their citizens hostage.

In the United States, there are several, clearly defined reasons why you would have your passport either denied or revoked - and all of them pass the smell test.

In the case of a passport being denied, according to the U.S. State Department, the reasons are:
"a federal warrant of arrest, a federal or state criminal court order, a condition of parole or probation forbidding departure from the United States (or the jurisdiction of the court), or a request for extradition [by a foreign country].
Additionally, failure to pay a court-ordered child-support in excess of $5,000 can also be grounds for the State Department to refuse to issue a passport to a U.S. citizen.

Nuke

Media, Academia Join Forces to Downplay Dangers of Nuclear Power

nuke plant
© n/a
Last April 20 the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published an on-line article entitled "Short-term and Long-term Health Risks of Nuclear-Power-Plant Accidents" by Dr. Eli Glatstein and five other authors. The article was riddled with distortions and misinformation, and overall was very poor research. As the NEJM is a peer reviewed journal and has a significant letters section, I wrote a letter pointing out some of the errors committed by the authors, and a longer piece containing a comprehensive critique.

The NEJM demands that letters to the journal contain material that has not been submitted or published elsewhere, so I had to refrain from submitting my longer piece anywhere until the NEMJ made a decision on my letter. When my letter did not appear after a couple of weeks I inquired, and was told that the article would soon appear in the printed version of the Journal, and that no letters about the article could be published until after the print version came out. The printed version finally appeared on June 16.

However, on July 1,I was notified by the NEMJ that they would not publish my letter due to "space constraints." The four letters that they did publish in response to the article were at most only mildly critical and missed the glaring short-comings of the report. In other words, NEMJ sat on my letter and effectively stifled my critique of what can only be described as industry propaganda for almost three months until public attention had moved on to other matters. However, with attention once again focused on the still-out of control Fukushima reactors on the first anniversary of the accident, my expose on how the media and academia have joined together to downplay the dangers of nuclear power is a poignant as ever.

Since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima started in March, the media has been full of misinformation about the dangers posed by the nuclear accidents and the damage caused by past accidents such as those at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Whether it is Jay Lehr on Fox News1 or George Monbiot on Democracy Now,2 the story line is the same: there were only dozens of deaths from the Chernobyl and none from TMI, the health consequences for the general population are negligible, and all things considered nuclear power is among the safest forms of energy. In some cases the lines are spoken by industry hacks whose true motive is to protect profits, while other times the spokesperson is a global warming tunnel visionist who has lost sight of the fact that we as humans have ingeniously devised a multitude of ways to mess up our planet, including nuclear wars and disasters.

Bad Guys

Archbishop Covers for Archdiocese and Shredded List Reporting 35 Active Pedophile Priests

The trial over pedophile priests, cover-ups, and
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© UnknownMonsignor William Lynn
Monsignor William Lynn took a new turn when in a bid to save his skin Lynn submitted that he had prepared a list of 35 actively pedophile priests and submitted it to late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. While trying to establish that Bevailacqua had ordered the list to be destroyed (pretty easy since Cardinal Bevilacqua can't speak back from his grave) Lynn inadvertently admitted the charges of the prosecution. The fact that he had prepared such a list in 1994 only backs the prosecution's contentions that pedophilia was widely practiced and systemically tolerated for long in the Philadelphia Diocese.

Reverend Thomas Doyle, an expert on Roman Catholic law, testified at the trial and said that Church law requires church officials to investigate such complaints and requires the archbishop to offer pastoral care to the victims.

Reverend Doyle, the expert on Canonical law, was angry and incredulous: "He's got a list of men who are sexually abusing children, and he's going to shred it?" The defense lawyers of Lynn failed to explain why Monsignor Lynn did not take any action when the Cardinal Bevilacqua shredded the list of pedophiles. And why Lynn remained silent for so long until he has been dragged to court.

Cult

SOTT Focus: New Sott Report: MIVILUDES, Cults, & the Protection of Scientology

In this new Sott Report, Joe Quinn reveals the shocking truth behind modern 'suicide cults' and how they are used by Western government-sponsored 'anti-cult' organisations to suppress basic human freedoms and true human evolution.


The following documentary, Scientology, the CIA, and MIVILUDES: Cults of Abuse provides compelling evidence of deep and disturbing connections between intelligence agencies, abusive cults, pedophile networks, and the refusal of government sponsored so-called anti-cult organizations like MIVILUDES to investigate the widespread reports of ritual child abuse around the world. Understanding these connections is key to understanding the psycho-political control of human beings around the world.


Comment: Be advised that this documentary contains information that many viewers will find extremely disturbing, involving the ritual abuse of children.



Comment: SEE ALSO: Gerry Armstrong speaks about Scientology

Gerry Armstrong, Ron Hubbard's former personal secretary, talks about his twelve years in Scientology, his reasons for leaving the organization, and Scientologists' attack on his speeches denouncing Scientology. Armstrong talks about psychopaths, sociopaths, Nazis and Scientology's Teachers.

And: Scientology: James Randi on L. Ron Hubbard

And: Panorama The Secrets of Scientology


Handcuffs

Tarek Mehanna Case: And Then They Came For The Muslims

Mehanna protestors
© AP
29-year-old Tarek Mehanna, a United States citizen and graduate from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was recently sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison, followed by seven years of supervised release, on federal criminal charges of "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and providing or attempting to provide material support to terrorists."

Mehanna, through instant messages and emails, communicated his opposition of U.S. military operations in the Middle East and openly criticized what he viewed as "the oppression of Muslims in the United States"; as per his defense council, Tarek had been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to his knowledge, since approximately 2005 wherein he was periodically interviewed and monitored:
"The FBI has monitored a large amount of Internet-based text conversations that involve Tarek. The instant messages reveal that Tarek was aware of the monitoring activities, or at least believed that they were occurring. Despite this awareness, he did not cease speaking online. He discussed the monitoring activities with his friends and correspondents, and he was repeatedly clear as to why he would not stop his online activities: he was breaking no laws."
In US v. Mehanna the State's case largely relied on allegations of his watching videos about "jihad", discussing his views about suicide bombings online, translating texts readily available on the Internet, and looking for information about the 9/11 attackers.

Tarek Mehanna's research, commentary and viewing of alleged "jihad" footage have condemned him live with the label of damnation, the elusive characterization of "terrorist." His Muslim faith, his beard, his seemingly atypical beliefs which challenge the mainstream and corrupt American ethos in regards to terrorism and his defiance all played a role in his sentencing.