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Wolf

UK - Israel hides colonization policy with fake archaeological digs

An Israeli government preservation agency is working with Israeli settlers who are colonizing Palestinian territory and displacing residents under the guise of protecting historic archaeological sites, according to the British Foreign Office.
© Flickr/ ChadicaNews
Ministers say they are concerned that the Israel Antiquities Authority - the Israeli government agency in charge of preserving historic artifacts - is undermining efforts for peace in the region by working with "radical" settlers, the Elad group.

"We are aware of the link between the Elad group and the Israel Antiquities Authority. We are concerned that this link has led to Israel Antiquities Authority's support of radical settler activities in and around the Old City under the guise of tourism and protection of Jewish history," Conservative Foreign Office Minister Joyce Anelay was quoted as saying by the Independent.

"Such actions not only aggravate mounting pressures in East Jerusalem but serve to increase tension around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and further complicate future attempts to negotiate a political resolution on the city."

Comment: There is no end to Israel's arrogance. They have been digging in Palestine for over sixty years trying desperately to prove the mythical Hebrew empire actually existed. In the meantime the "research" provides one of the covers for the continued persecution of the Palestinian people.


Compass

Sott Exclusive: Putin's phone call to Obama and its significance

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You may have heard that President Putin placed a call to President Obama on Thursday, June 25th. As many in the media have noted, this call came after several months since they last spoke directly, and many more months of 'estrangement' and strained relations between the two.

According to the Kremlin's website, Putin and Obama discussed the crises in Ukraine, the on-going war in Syria, the Iran nuclear deal and the growing menace of terrorism in the form of 'IS'. Out of this discussion, says the website, an agreement was made between the two presidents that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry would hold a meeting to discuss this last issue. It was also agreed that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin would be in contact to discuss implementation of the Minsk agreements.

But as anyone who has been following the developments of all of these flash points might rightly predict, the meetings and the discussions to come will probably amount to absolutely nothing; the U.S. is relentless in its crazed drive for world dominance at any cost. And we know from Putin's and the Russian government's many protective countermeasures - militarily, economically and diplomatically - that they are acutely aware of this.

So why make the call?

Leaving this question aside for a moment, and the ability of Putin to engage in realpolitik when he needs to, a sampling of the Western take on the conversation will prove useful.

Quenelle - Golden

Greek "crisis" about political ideology and psychopathology, not finance

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© Unknown
Now that's reality.
With recent news of Greek bank closures and something called "capital controls", ignorant hysteria is spreading, virus-like, through the mainstream media over the "inevitable contagion" that threatens to do away with the EU and, (ultimately no doubt) leave us vulnerable to the unsavory predilections of the jihadi hoard on the doorstep. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, so to speak.

Attention

The way of the psychopath

© David Blackwell
Christian Sell - General on the Battlefield - ca. 1648
Human beings have been domesticated like cattle over millennia by insidious and ruthless predator-parasites who easily walk among us. Their predatory nature has been largely sanitised and camouflaged by centuries of our begrudging tolerance and cowardly acceptance. Almost all of our great institutional ideas have been adjusted, perverted, corrupted and even radically transformed into environments that greatly favour their ways and tactics.

Economics, governance, education, welfare, health, are now little more than facades of their original ideals filled with processes of entrapment, exploitation and frustration of potential that are working solely to empower and enrich the predators who control them.

Now through the focus of a number of researchers, these predators are coming to light and being described as "successful psychopaths" -- they are composed of the majority of a 5% of humanity, who have successfully avoided being diagnosed clinically and have not been apprehended during criminal and immoral activities and then institutionalised.

The "ways" of the psychopath are simplistic and become easy to observe when we finally learn to see "the wood for the trees" and we learn that many of our critical social and economic "givens" are in fact evolutionary artefacts of the influences that psychopaths have had on our cultures and societies for millennia.

They have told us that, like domestic cattle, we need their fences (controls) and their oversight (surveillance) to protect us from the wolves (or terrorists) that would come and decimate us and our little ones and we have been told that the world is a terrible hostile place and that life is fraught with adversaries, a self--fulfilling prophecy when societies and cultures are governed by psychopaths. Their measures are in reality to make us defensive, terrorised and so easily influenced and ultimately such fear will intellectually infantilise us, divide us and then herd us like cattle for a more thorough and systematic control and exploitation.

The psychopath is operating cognitively at what Economics Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman called "System1" or fast thinking, this is a cognitive template that is in place in infancy, the processes of which are situated largely within the limbic system, memory based and emotionally controlled. This type of primitive "fast and dirty" thinking when amplified through trial and error experiences is ideal for operating in chaotic and conflict based environments such as on the battlefield or in video games.

Gold Bar

Iran repatriates thirteen metric tons of frozen gold from Central Bank

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© Presss TV
Iran has repatriated 13 metric tons of gold blocked in South Africa under sanctions.
Iran has secured the release of 13 metric tons of its gold assets blocked in South Africa under US-led sanctions, central bank Governor Valiollah Seif has said.

The repatriation came thanks to the Iranian negotiating team's follow-up of the matter in the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said in a statement.

"An equivalent of 13 tons of gold purchased before and held in South Africa over the past two years due to sanctions and certain obstructions arrived in the country in three consignments and was delivered to the CBI treasury," Seif said.

The transfer took place over the past week and the last consignment, including four metric tons of gold bullion, arrived in Tehran Tuesday night, he added.

"With the efforts of the diplomatic apparatus, the problem of transferring part of Iran's gold assets was resolved on the sidelines of the Vienna negotiations," the CBI statement said.

According to the CBI, the removal of sanctions and Iran's unfettered access to its assets abroad is one of the main objectives of the country's negotiating team in nuclear talks.

As much as $100 billion of Iranian assets, mostly from oil sales, are reportedly blocked overseas under the sanctions regime aimed at choking the country's economy.

Comment: Yet another country repatriating their gold. What big 'to-do' are they preparing for, and when?


TV

South Front Crisis News 3 July: European mercenaries in Mariupol, Ukraine

The Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire regime 46 times over the last 24 hours, the Donetsk People's Republic defense ministry said on Thursday. The Kiev forces used multiple rocket launchers, artillery, battle tanks, anti-aircraft guns and small arms, the defense ministry said. A lot of settlements and cities of DPR came under fire were.

Kiev uses foreign mercenaries against the DPR, DPR Defence Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Thursday. Basurin noted that among them were "Croats, Poles, Lithuanians, Norwegians, Danes and even Germans" who are fighting with the Ukrainian forces against the Donetsk and Luhansk republics. Foreign mercenaries are particularly numerous in the Mariupol area.


Star of David

Blowing smoke: Netanyahu warns ISIS threat 'nothing' compared to nuclear Iran

© Reuters / Atef Safadi / Pool
As the Iranian nuclear negotiations teeter on the brink, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is saying the world has more to fear from a nuclear-capable Iran than ISIS terrorists. The statement comes after the jihadists threatened to "uproot" the Jewish state.

Netanyahu's statement was made on Thursday, as the talks over Iran's nuclear program held in Vienna showed no clear sign of progressing to a solution acceptable to all sides.

The Israeli PM, famous for showing a cartoon with a bomb at the UN to illustrate his fears, made the warning during a visit to Israel's cyber park in Beersheba.

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 frequently 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.