Puppet Masters
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Wall Street

Did the IMF just open Pandora's Box?

By now it should be clear to all that the only reason why Germany has been so steadfast in its negotiating stance with Greece is because it knows very well that if it concedes to a public debt reduction (as opposed to haircut on debt held mostly by private entities such as hedge funds which already happened in 2012), then the rest of the PIIGS will come pouring in: first Italy, then Spain, then Portugal, then Ireland.

The problem is that while it took Europe some 5 years to transfer a little over €200 billion in Greek private debt exposure to the public balance sheet (by way of the ECB, EFSF, ESM and countless other ad hoc acronyms) at a cost of countless summits and endless negotiations, which may or may not result with the first casualty of the common currency which may prove to be reversible as soon as next week, nobody in Europe harbors any doubt that the same exercise can be repeated with Italy, or Spain, or even Portugal. They are just too big (and their nonperforming loans are in the hundreds of billions).

Comment: My oh my, what the psychopaths have wrought.


Light Saber

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: The professional that amateurs love to hate

© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe
There is no room for personal sympathies in big politics. But there is always room for assessing individuals or their actions. One can like or dislike one's opponent, but still regard their strategy favorably.

That's the case with Lavrov. The minister everyone "loves to hate" is respected for his diplomatic prowess.

For example, in a Foreign Policy interview, the foreign minister of a developing country, who preferred to remain anonymous, named Lavrov as one of the most effective foreign ministers today.

1. Good

Generally speaking, in the West Lavrov is characterized as a "negative hero." He is working with his fourth US Secretary of State, each of whom suffered at Lavrov's hands. Only Madeleine Albright remembers him fondly, but she was "fortunate" not to have to work with Lavrov. The best impression of Lavrov comes from Ursula Plassnik, the former foreign minister of Austria. She was met by Sergey Viktorovich with a big bouquet of yellow flowers near the legendary Kafe Pushkin restaurant. Ursula subsequently and frequenly referred to Lavrov as "one of the smartest, best-informed, and most-respected foreign policy players on the world stage."

Bad Guys

Attempting to stave off the inevitable - nurturing a financial black hole

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A while ago I had the pleasure of hearing Sergey Glazyev—economist, politician, member of the Academy of Sciences, adviser to Pres. Putin—say something that very much confirmed my own thinking. He said that anyone who knows mathematics can see that the United States is on the verge of collapse because its debt has gone exponential. These aren't words that an American or a European politician can utter in public, and perhaps not even whisper to their significant other while lying in bed, because the American eavesdroppers might overhear them, and then the politician in question would get the Dominique Strauss-Kahn treatment (whose illustrious career ended when on a visit to the US he was falsely accused of rape and arrested). And so no European (never mind American) politician can state the obvious, no matter how obvious it is.

The Russians have that pretty well figured out by now. Yes, maintaining a dialogue and cordial directions with the Europeans is important. But it is well understood that the Europeans are just a bunch of American puppets with no will or decision-making authority of their own, so why not talk to the Americans directly? Alas, the Americans too are puppets. The American officials and politicians are definitely puppets, controlled by corporate lobbyists and shady oligarchs. But here's a shocker: these are also puppets—controlled by the simple imperatives of profitability and wealth preservation, respectively. In fact, it's puppets all the way down. And what's at the bottom is a giant, ever-expanding, financial black hole.

Do you like your black hole? If you aren't sure you like it, then let me ask you some other questions: Do you like the fact that your credit cards still work, or that you can still keep money in the bank and even get cash out of an ATM, or that you are either receiving or hope to eventually receive a pension? Do you like the fact that you can get useful things—food, gas, airline tickets—for mere pieces of paper with pictures of dead white men on them? Do you like the fact that you have internet access, that the lights are on, and that there is water on tap? Well, if you like these things, then you must also like the financial black hole, because that's what's making all of these things possible in spite of your country being bankrupt. Perhaps it's a love-hate relationship: you love being able to pretend that everything is still OK even though you know it isn't, and you wish to enjoy a bit more of the business-as-usual before it all goes to hell, be it for a few more days or another year or two; but you hate the fact that eventually the black hole will suck you in, after which point things will definitely... suck.

Comment: The black hole may shrivel up and die, but unfortunately it will not be without a lot of suffering on the part of ordinary people. As for the psychopaths who created this whole situation, there's really no hope of them 'snapping out of it', nor much for their authoritarian followers.


Magnify

Preparing for collapse? FBI reveals 11 attacks against internet lines in California

On Tuesday, someone broke into an underground vault in Sacramento, and cut several high-capacity internet cables. Nobody knows who this person is or why they did it, but since that time the FBI has revealed that it was not an isolated incident. They've been investigating 10 other recent attacks on the internet infrastructure of California, and they seem to be deeply troubled by the vulnerability of these cables.
The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.

Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state's capital.

FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday's attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.

The attacks date back to at least July 6, 2014, said FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich.

"When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing," Wuthrich said. "We definitely need the public's assistance."
A security professional who was interviewed for that article, also suggested something that should perk the ears of any American that hears it.
"When it's situations that are scattered all in one geography, that raises the possibility that they are testing out capabilities, response times and impact," Thompson said. "That is a security person's nightmare."

Comment: TPTB may have a plan in place to control or instigate a collapse of the system and economy at the time of their choosing. A part of this plan could be pulling the plug via electrical and internal infrastructure disruptions, but first they would need to know their vulnerabilities and test out these weaknesses in preparation for a bigger event. These disruptions could even be blamed to any number of entities, such as China, Russia or ISIS. As this article points out this probing seems to be deliberate and done by professionals and might just be such preparations. It also just so happens that Arizona and California are part of the Jade Helm 15 military exercise taking place this summer. Could there be a connection?


No Entry

U.S. rebuking Israel? State Dept. says it has no objection to BDS aimed at occupation

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John Kirby, spokesperson for the State Department
In yet another sign that the American government is reassessing the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and that BDS is gaining traction, the State Department yesterday said that it did not oppose BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions actions, aimed at the occupied Palestinian territories, because Israeli settlements "make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith."

The statement was a special clarification of White House policy on the new fast-track trade bill, which contained a provision that Congress had included at the urging of Israel lobby groups: to punish European companies and governments that support BDS of Israel - including Israeli activities in the occupied territories. The legislation purposely sought to protect settlements; and yesterday the Obama administration said it isn't buying.

Liberal Zionists are enthused by the White House statement. J Street:
Attempt to block EU steps against Israeli settlements backfires as USG issues statement starkly refusing to legitimize settlement activity

Comment: If the U.S. was sincere in it's words it would be reflected in its policy of funding Israel's war machine - which amounts to tacit support of the IDF's atrocities in Gaza. So what's the U.S.'s game here? Perhaps its just more smoke and mirrors designed to deflect away from the fact that it really supports all Israel stands to do in its own goal towards creating an 'greater Israel'. Or is there some other plan afoot?


Boat

The flotilla didn't make it to Gaza, but Israel didn't win

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© Freedom Flotilla
Activists aboard the Marianne before it shipped off, Gaza bound.
Israel Defense Forces violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza, using tasers against unarmed passengers. The 18 passengers, whose mission was to break the siege of Gaza, were taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod and the non-Israelis will be deported from Ben Gurion Airport.

The Marianne was originally part of a flotilla comprised of four boats with 48 passengers, including human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. Three of the boats returned to ports in Greece

Comment: No, Israel didn't win and hopefully the international community will face up to Israel's crimes against humanity.


Blackbox

Bizarro World: Politico claims Putin is involved in Texas Independence Movement

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© Unknown
Since the leftist media has adopted a neoconservative/ liberal interventionist line toward Russia and Putin, it came as no surprise to me when the left-wing Politico published an article accusing the Russian government of involvement in the Texas independence movement. Said article came across the Russia Insider desk last week and the only thing positive that I can say about its contents is that shortly after its publication, somewhere a bell rang and a neo-con got his wings.

"Putin's Plot to Get Texas to Secede" by earnest Columbia grad Casey Michel, draws a specious link between the Texas Nationalist Movement, right-wing Russians, and Vladimir Putin.


Comment: Really? They can say anything they want without any sense of the consequences.


Comment: Welcome to Bizzarro World. Many people are happy spouting whatever nonsense will get them a place at the table.
Obviously, if people who are not 'Bizarro' wake up and find themselves in Bizarro World, or denizens of Bizarro World have landed on earth and taken over, it might require some adjustment for many people. Of course, we notice that a great number of people do not require adjustment to whatever the authorities proclaim or do. That is pretty well explained by psychologist, Bob Altemeyer's work on the Authoritarian Personality.



Vader

The mask comes off: EU plans to force 'communists' Tsipras and Varoufakis from power, regardless of referendum outcome

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'What do you think, Yanis, should we just go quietly?'

'I think we should tell them to go to hell!'
Greece will not get a cent in new eurozone bailout loans while Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis remain in power, because Germany will block any such deal, one of Europe's most influential politicians has told The Times.

"Today there is the question of do we trust Tsipras and Varoufakis? The answer is clear to all parties, no," the senior German conservative said.

He also lifted the lid on a European Union attempt to push Mr Tsipras's left-wing Syriza out of power regardless of the outcome of the vote on July 5.

If Greece's prime minister and finance minister remained in office, even after a "yes" vote in Sunday's referendum, then Athens would stand no chance of a new bailout, he indicated.

Under the rules of the European Stability Mechanism, the euro's bailout fund, the German parliament, or Bundestag, has a veto or blocking vote over any new programme such as that requested by Greece at the 11th hour.

Comment: Tsipras all but conceded on every point yesterday... but the Money Masters of the Universe still said 'no more money'... because it's not about the money.

See how this has little to do with finances and everything to do with politics?

Greece 'voted the wrong way' when it democratically-elected the Syriza party into power in January.

Greece must therefore be 'course-corrected' via external financial warfare.

Will Greeks give in to fear? Or will they stand up for humanity against the banksters?


Dollar

Bank Indonesia announces ban on foreign currency payments

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© Reuters / Yusuf Ahmad
The Central Bank of Indonesia has put into force a complete ban on the use of the US dollar and other foreign currencies in all financial transactions in the country to stop the rupiah free fall.

The ban, effective from July 1, 2015, was first announced by the head of Bank Indonesia Eco Yulianto in April.

He said then that the ban is on any transactions, including payments for hotel accommodation, flights, rental property and the payment of wages, as well as fixed prices in any other currency except the Indonesian rupiah. Breaking the law can be punished with imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of $15,000.

However, the central bank later said it made an exception for international companies who will still be allowed to pay their foreign employees in dollars.

Comment: No surprise the American dollar is losing its dependence in the world market.


Document

The Brookings Institute's plan to destroy Syria: ISIS creates the 'safe zones', U.S. military moves in

Unbeknownst to the general public, their elected politicians do not create the policy that binds their national destiny domestically or within the arena of geopolitics. Instead, corporate-financier funded think tanks do - teams of unelected policymakers which transcend elections, and which produce papers that then become the foundation of legislation rubber stamped by "legislators," as well as the enumerated talking points repeated ad nauseam by the corporate-media.

Such a policy paper has been recently written by the notorious US policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution, titled, "Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country." The signed and dated open-conspiracy to divide, destroy, then incrementally occupy a sovereign nation thousands of miles from America's shores serves as a sobering example of how dangerous and enduring modern imperialism is, even in the 21st century.

Comment: ISIS is simply the U.S.'s mercenary army to effect this slow-motion invasion. The U.S. used this tactic successfully in Libya, but Syria has held out these last 4 years. If there's one thing we know about the American Empire, it would rather destroy itself than admit defeat. And that does not bode well for the world.