Puppet MastersS


Iran Rejects New York Judge's Finding that Tehran is Liable in Sept. 11 Attacks

Iran has rejected a New York judge's finding that Tehran is liable in the Sept. 11 attacks along with the Taliban and al-Qaida.

According to state TV, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman referred to last week's judgment as "clumsy scenario-making" by the U.S.

The spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, repeated Iran's insistence that al-Qaida has no presence in the country.


Mitt Romney: Vladimir Putin 'a threat to global peace'

In an attempt to display his statesmanship potential, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wades into deep foreign policy waters discussing Iraq, North Korea and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Speaking on his campaign bus in New Hampshire, the presidential hopeful spoke bluntly on foreign affairs saving his strongest words for Mr Putin whom he called "a real threat to the stability and peace of the world."

With Republican rival Newt Gingrich invoking former president and party idol Ronald Reagan in foreign policy debates, Mr Romney also referred to the Cold War spirit as he harked back to a time when the US defined itself by its opposition to the former-Soviet Union.


Best of the Web: A Very Scary Christmas And An Incredibly Frightening New Year

© Unknown
Can you hear that? It almost sounds like a little bit of peace and quiet. This year, the holiday season has been fairly uneventful, and for that we should be very grateful. But it isn't going to last long. 2012 is going to be a much more difficult year for the U.S. economy and the global financial system than 2011 has been. So if things are going well for you right now, enjoy this little bubble of peace and tranquility while you can. Because while things may look calm on the surface right now, the truth is that this is a very scary Christmas for financial professionals and world leaders. Most of them know how fragile the global financial system is at the moment.

Most of them know that we are living in the greatest bubble of debt, leverage and financial risk that the world has ever seen. As I wrote about the other day, world leaders would not be throwing huge bailouts around like crazy if everything was going to be just fine. The truth is that we are rapidly approaching another financial crisis that may end up being even worse than the horrific crash of 2008.

Despite unprecedented efforts by the European Central Bank, the yield on 10 year Italian bonds is nearly up to 7 percent again.

Keep an eye on the yield on 10 year Italian bonds. That is going to be one of the most important financial numbers in the world in the coming months.


Top 100 Corporate Crime Stories of 2011

corporate crime prosecutions
© Syracuse University A new study out from Syracuse University shows that the number of federal prosecutions for fraud at financial institutions has been steadily decreasing since 1999.
Here's the other difference between the one percent and the rest of us -

The crimes of the one percent inflict far more damage on society than those of the 99 percent.

And they tend to get away with their crimes.

While we tend to get nailed.

The big multinational corporations, which are the primary delivery systems of wealth to the 99 percent, have rigged the justice system so that when they get in trouble with the law, they either aren't prosecuted for their crimes, of if they are, they get special treatment - non prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements.

If they end up in the civil courts, they also get special deals - like neither admit nor deny consent decrees.

True, they pay fines, often in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, but this is pocket change to them - the equivalent of a parking ticket for serious wrongdoing.

They marinate the halls of power with campaign cash, flood them with lobbyists, and lubricate the revolving door - all to undermine our system of justice.


Obama and Geithner: Government, Enron-Style

© Bloomberg/GettyObama and Geithner: Government, Lehman-style
Strongly recommend this piece at the Huffington Post by Jeff Connaughton, a former aide to Senator Ted Kaufman. Jeff is one of the smartest guys on the Hill and is particularly strong on issues surrounding Wall Street and the regulatory system. In this piece, he takes apart the oft-stated mantra that what Wall Street firms did during and after the crisis was maybe unethical, but not illegal.

He takes particular aim at Barack Obama, who recently tossed that line out on 60 Minutes in what I thought was one of the real low moments of his presidency. Here's Jeff's take:
Speaking in Kansas on December 6, [Obama] said, "Too often, we've seen Wall Street firms violating major anti-fraud laws because the penalties are too weak and there's no price for being a repeat offender." Just five days later on 60 Minutes, he said, "Some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street wasn't illegal." Which is it? Have there been no prosecutions because Wall Street acted legally (albeit unethically)? Or did Wall Street repeatedly violate major anti-fraud laws (and should thus find itself in the dock)?

The President is confusing "legal" with "difficult to prosecute successfully."


Pope: Look Beyond 'Glitter'

© Max Rossi/ReutersPope Benedict XVI led the Christmas mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday.
Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI decried the increasing commercialization of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass on Saturday night, urging the faithful to look beyond the holiday's "superficial glitter" to discover its true meaning.

Benedict presided over the service in a packed St. Peter's Basilica, kicking off an intense two weeks of Christmas-related public appearances that will test the 84-year-old pontiff's stamina amid signs that fatigue is starting to slow him down.

The Christmas Eve Mass was moved up to 10 p.m. from midnight several years ago to spare the pope a late night that is followed by an important Christmas Day speech. In a new concession this year, Benedict processed down the basilica's central aisle on a moving platform to spare him the long walk.

Benedict appeared tired by the end of the Mass and a dry cough interrupted his homily.

Comment: The Pope appears to bring a lot of 'superficial glitter' with him.


Egypt Islamists Take Two-thirds of 2nd-Round Vote

Egypt's two leading Islamist parties won about two-thirds of votes for party lists in the second round of polling for a parliament that will help draft a new constitution after decades of autocratic rule, the election committee said Saturday.
© Amr Nabil/Associated PressWith the army on guard, an Egyptian election worker carries a ballot box Thursday at a counting center in Giza.

The party list led by the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 36.3 percent of the list vote, while the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party took 28.8 percent, pushing the liberal Wafd party into third place.

The vote, staged over six weeks, is the first free election Egypt has held after the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who routinely rigged polls before he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February.

The West long looked to Mubarak and other strongmen in the region to help combat Islamist militants, and has watched warily as Islamist parties have topped votes in Tunisia, Morocco and now Egypt.

Parliament's prime job will be appointing a 100-strong assembly to write a new constitution which will define the president's powers and parliament's clout in the new Egypt.

Second-round results for party lists gave the liberal Wafd Party 9.6 percent of the vote. The Egyptian Bloc of mostly liberal and leftist parties won 7 percent of the list vote.

Analysts say poor coordination among non-Islamist groups has divided the liberal vote, sometimes handing the majority to an Islamist by default.


Russia: Mikhail Gorbachev Calls for Putin to Resign

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to heed protester demands and quit politics.
© The Associated Press/Getty ImagesRussian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev called on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin not to seek a third term as president next year.

He told the Moscow Echo radio: "I would advise Vladimir Putin to leave now. He has had three terms: two as president and one as prime minister. Three terms - that is enough."

Mr Gorbachev, 80, has been virulently critical of the elections that took place on December 4. Soon after the poll he said that the results of the poll should be annulled and new elections held due to "numerous falsifications and rigging."

"The results do not reflect the will of the people," Mr Gorbachev said at the time. "Therefore I think they [Russia's leaders] can only take one decision - annul the results of the election and hold new ones."

The former president was considering attending the march in central Moscow today, to which thousands ventured. He was, however, unable to appear but passed his greetings to the protestors.


Merry Monsanto - Military Industrial Agriculture

© skeptisys.wordpress.com
Today I read an article on slashdot titled "New Study Confirms Safety of GM Crops". Before you navigate away from this article, please be assured they were not citing the National Enquirer. The study was conducted in France, with assistance from the usual suspects (British universities, biotechnology corporations, etc).

Also involved in the study were rodents - clearly a dietary staple of the French, and biologically (or psychologically?) identical to certain English academics.

The "evidence" cited in the study shows that - at least to monocled marsupials - GM plants are "nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed." Of course "food and feed" are not exclusive aspects of GM agriculture - or even agriculture - but corporate-sponsored research has its own perspective . . . Never mind the trace minerals and everything else!

As usual, the slashdot comments were many, and the views varied; organic versus conventional, ridicule and support of both, with lots between - all shedding light on people's views of the subject. Admittedly, geeks may not be the best authority on such topics - often compiled of pizza and soft-drinks - but I fear they do provide an example of popular opinion regardless. Many see GM as a noble science, helping to feed the world's growing population. Some see "organic" anthropocentrically, reducing it to a matter of pesticides, nutrition, and prices. Few seem to have a balanced perspective though.


Propaganda Alert: Iran, Hezbollah Involved in 9/11

© Unknown
The killing of Osama Bin Laden in May brought a sense of resolution to Americans, but a ruling by a federal judge shows justice has not been delivered. In a decision that should forever change the story of 9/11 and the West's Middle East policy, Judge George Daniels has just ruled that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for 9/11.

Judge Daniels concluded that 9/11 happened because of Iran and Hezbollah's direct support for the plotters, especially the hijackers, and probably would not have happened without it. The evidence presented in court goes even further, strongly indicating that 9/11 was a joint operation between Al-Qaeda and the Iranian regime. It took over 10 years after 9/11 for Iran's covert involvement to be exposed, a frightening testament to the ineptitude of our intelligence community and the experts who assured us that Iran would never work with Bin Laden's terrorist group or directly target the U.S.

Eight law firms acting under the leadership of Thomas E. Mellon presented reams of publicly-available information and over 25 hours of testimony from three Iranian intelligence defectors, whose accounts were deemed credible by Judge Daniels. The three defectors provided first-hand information to prove the culpability of Iran and Hezbollah.

Comment: As has been stated countless times and for many years. The United States and her Western Allies will press for War with Iran.

In September: US threatened Iran for 9/11 probe offer
"Last year, we called for the formation of a fact-finding commission with regards to this incident, but the US government, rather than welcoming the suggestion, threatened Iran," said President Ahmadinejad.."
The references to the 9/11 commission Report are a total farce as the commission met behind closed doors, not under oath and not in a public court room. They've put the spin on this and will likely launch a war based on more false information. They do not even have to use a catalyzing event anymore, simply twist a few old lies into a new war.