Puppet MastersS


Bizarro Earth

Gulf Oil Spill Called the Biggest Cover-up in the History of America

clump of oil and dead marsh grass
© Gerald Herbert/AP Robert Barham, head of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department, holds a clump of oil and dead marsh grass from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill during a tour of Bartaria Bay on Friday.
Federal and Louisiana officials got into a heated argument Friday over the cleanup of oiled marshes during a tour of an area that remains fouled 8½ months after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

State and Plaquemines Parish officials took reporters on a boat tour of Barataria Bay, pointing out an area where oil continues to eat away at marshes and protective boom is either absent or has been gobbled up by the oil. The heavily saturated area that reporters saw was 30 feet to 100 feet wide in sections. No cleanup workers were there when reporters toured the area.

The marshes are critical to the Louisiana coast because they protect the shore from hurricanes and serve as a nursery for Gulf sea life.

"This is the biggest cover-up in the history of America," Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser told reporters, gesturing with his gloved right hand, which was covered in oil.

Heart - Black

Bradley Manning Now "Catatonic"; Obama ENOUGH!

bradley manning
© UnknownBradley Manning
As Obama's crime of the destruction of Bradley Manning continues to unfold before our very eyes, Manning friend David House now tells us that over 8 months in isolation with movement and sleep restrictions placed on him have been having their intended effect. House has told MSNBC that by the end of January Manning appeared "catatonic" and that he had "severe problems communicating," with it having taken House nearly 45 minutes on a recent visit to engage in any meaningful way (video below.) House said Manning's demeanor was as "if he had just woken up and didn't know what was going on around him." Manning was "utterly exhausted physically and mentally...it was difficult to have any kind of social engagement."

Also, a full month after Congressman Dennis Kucinich formally requested a visit, the Army has stalled on the request.

All for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq.

Bad Guys

Child Abuse, IDF style: B'Tselem volunteers film soldiers waking children in Nabi Saleh to take their photographs

Israeli Channel 10 TV aired yesterday footage filmed by Nariman and Bilal a-Tamimi, volunteers in B'Tselem's video project and residents of Nabi Saleh, offering a rare glimpse into a new method employed by the army: soldiers enter homes at night to photograph youngsters from the village. The soldiers enter the homes and demand that every child and youth over the age of 10 be wakened. They then photograph the minors and leave. B'Tselem knows of at least four incursions of this kind during January 2011.

Video in Hebrew:


Footprints

Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm

Looks like the New World Order isn't going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:
Nolan chart
© Camilo Sanchez (CC)Nolan chart
Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two "interest groups" - I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase - have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate - and the Humans are losing.

Eye 1

China City To Install 500,000 Surveillance Cams

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© AGP/GETTY IMAGESA group of defendants face sentencing for a variety of charges linked to organised crime in 2009
The Chinese mega-city of Chongqing plans to build a $2.6 billion (£1.6 billion) security system that will be one of the world's largest with 500,000 surveillance cameras, China's state media said on Tuesday.

Wang Zhijun, the city's police chief, said the system would be the world's largest new security network since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the Global Times reported.

The system would dwarf a network of 40,000 security cameras installed in the capital of China's far-western Xinjiang region last year, following deadly July 2009 clashes between Muslim Uighurs and members of the majority Han group.

Chongqing's more than 500,000 cameras, which are due to be installed by 2012, will mainly be used for crime prevention, emergency controls and rescue operations, a police spokesman told the Global Times.

2 + 2 = 4

Gubmint and how Gubmint works

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© Despair.com
Gubmint and How Gubmint Works

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people, one to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions, a time keeper and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, an Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year, and we are $918,000 over budget. We must cut back." So they laid off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let that sink in.

Bizarro Earth

Economic Manipulation: Stocks rise amid optimism over oil, economy

Oil eases on talk of a production hike, boosting hopes for the economy

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© Mike Keefe/Denver Post
New York - U.S. stocks hit session highs midmorning Tuesday, led by bank and industrial shares, as a tick down in crude prices shifted investor attention to a stronger U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80.27 points, or 0.66 percent, to 12,170.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 8.15 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,318.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 16.60 points, or 0.60 percent, to 2,762.23.

Earlier, stocks had seesawed in early trading Tuesday as oil prices pulled back on prospects of an OPEC production hike after recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Oil fell $1.22 to $104.22 a barrel after Kuwait's oil minister said that OPEC members are in informal talks about raising oil output. They have yet to make any decisions about changing supplies.

Equities have been closely tied to oil prices recently, as investors worried that consumer spending may be curtailed by higher oil and gas prices, choking off an economic recovery.

Bizarro Earth

Yes, the world still has plenty of oil, but..

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© msnbc.com
Let's get this straight: At the moment, the U.S. has plenty of oil.

Let's get another thing straight: The price of oil is likely to keep rising because of market psychology and buyer panic about Mideast turmoil. And there's nothing you can do about it.

To understand why, start with the fact that the price of a barrel of oil or a gallon of gasoline has little or no connection to the cost of producing it.

As of last week, there was some 346 million barrels of oil in American storage, according to the Department of Energy, comfortably above the five-year average range for this time of year. Reserves represent about a 25 day supply for the U.S., a comfortable cushion by historical standards. But, that has done little to keep prices from surging. On Monday, amid news that Libya's civil war posed a new threat to that country's oil exports, the benchmark price of U.S. crude hit $107, the highest level in over a year and a jump of nearly 30 percent in less than a month.

Gasoline prices have also surged in the past month, even though roughly 234 million barrels of it were sloshing through the system as of last week, well above five-year averages. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline hit $3.51 last week, up 13 percent in a month.

Attention

US, Allies Edge Closer Toward Formulating Military Options to Halt Violence Against Libya

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© AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Canadian PressPresident Barack Obama, right, with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, left, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday March, 7, 2011, in Washington.
President Barack Obama warned Libya's leaders that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options in response to what he called "unacceptable" violence perpetrated by supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.

"I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Gadhafi. It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward. And they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place," Obama said during remarks in the Oval Office Monday.

Libyan warplanes launched multiple airstrikes on opposition fighters in the second day of a government crackdown to thwart rebels advancing on Gadhafi's stronghold in Tripoli.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said a military response was no more likely Monday than it was before the surge in violence. He said the U.S. and its partners are considering a wide variety of military actions, including a no-fly zone, but said deploying ground troops "is not top of the list at this point."

Carney said the U.S. is also considering providing weapons to rebel forces, though he cautioned that there were still many unanswered questions about what groups comprise those forces. He said the U.S. is using diplomatic channels, as well as contacts in the business community and non-governmental organizations, to gather information about the opposition.

Cheeseburger

North Korea Asking Poor Africa Nations for Food

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© Agence France-PresseNorth Korean workers are seen in a field behind a barbed wire fence. The hardline communist state is pleading for food aid even from some of the world's poorest nations such as Zimbabwe, a report has said, amid suspicion the aid may be used to boost the regime's political standing.
North Korea is pleading for food aid even from some of the world's poorest nations such as Zimbabwe, a report has said, amid suspicion the aid may be used to boost the regime's political standing.

JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, citing a Seoul diplomatic source, said the communist North sought food not only from the United States and Europe but also from poor African countries.

"Now they are begging for food even from the world's poorest countries in Africa such as Zimbabwe where annual per-capita income is only around 200 dollars," said the source quoted by JoongAng.

Pyongyang officials stressed to visiting officials a "dire" and "urgent" need for aid, but diplomats based in the North were relatively upbeat about the recent food situation, it said.

"Western countries have started to suspect that the North was begging for food because of internal political campaigns... rather than a genuine need for food," the source was quoted as saying.