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French cancel auction of Nazi property after Jewish protest: political pressure, insulting emails

© AP Photo/Vermot de Pas Auction House
This image provided Monday April, 14, 2014 by French auction House Vermot de Pas shows Nazi leader Hermann Goering's passport. The auction house is abandoning plans to sell dozens of items from Nazi Germany including a small wooden box bearing three swastikas that was once owned by Adolf Hitler. The Vermot de Pas house says about 40 items including passports of Nazi leader Hermann Goering, silverware and a German aviator's watch will not be sold as planned on April 26.
A planned auction in Paris of personal items belonging to Adolf Hitler and Herman Göring has been cancelled.

The Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (CVV) said that the sale at Drouot on April 26 would not go ahead following protests from Jewish organisations. It said that the auction house had decided to cancel the sale.

The Vermot de Pas auction house, which had organised the sale said that it had faced "political pressure" including "insulting emails and phone calls".

The 40 items intended for sale included a monogrammed towel belonging to Adolf Hitler, a wooden chest emblazoned with swastikas, Herman Göring's passport and a 17th-century manuscript presented to Göring in 1935.
Books

Aleksandr Dugin: Letter to the American People on Ukraine

In this difficult hour of serious trouble on our Western borders, I would like to address the American people in order to help you understand better the positions of our Russian patriots, which are shared by the majority of our society.

Difference between the two meanings of being American (in the Russian view)

1. We distinguish between two different things: the American people and the American political elite. We sincerely love the first and we profoundly hate the second.

2. The American people has its own traditions, habits, values, ideals, options and beliefs that are their own. These grant to everybody the right to be different, to choose freely, to be what one wants to be and can be or become. It is wonderful feature. It gives strength and pride, self-esteem and assurance. We Russians admire that.

3. But the American political elite, above all on an international level, are and act quite contrary to these values. They insist on conformity and regard the American way of life as something universal and obligatory. They deny other people the right to difference, they impose on everybody the standards of so called "democracy", "liberalism", "human rights" and so on that have in many cases nothing to do with the set of values shared by the non-Western or simply not North-American society. It is an obvious contradiction with inner ideals and standards of America. Nationally the right to difference is assured, internationally it is denied. So we think that something is wrong with the American political elite and their double standards. Where habits became the norms and contradictions are taken for logic. We cannot understand it, nor can we accept it: it seems that the American political elite is not American at all.

4. So here is the contradiction: the American people are essentially good, but the American elite is essentially bad. What we feel regarding the American elite should not be applied to the American people and vise versa.

5. Because of this paradox it is not so easy for a Russian to express correctly his attitude towards the USA. We can say we love it, we can say we hate it - because both are true. But it is not easy to always express this distinction clearly. It creates many misunderstandings. But if you want to know what Russians really think about the USA you should always keep in mind this remark. It is easy to manipulate this semantic duality and interpret anti-Americanism of Russians in an improper sense. But with these clarifications in mind, all that you hear from us will be much better understood.
Bulb

The Controversy of Zion - Interview With Gilad Atzmon

Last Sunday SOTT Talk Radio talked with world-renowned Jazz musician, essayist and author, Gilad Atzmon. Touring the world with the Orient House Ensemble he founded in London in 2000, Atzmon is an outspoken critic of Israel's policies, not least towards the Palestinians and neighbouring countries.

Born in Israel and grandson to an early Zionist 'freedom fighter', to say that Atzmon's insights about Israel and 'The Jewish Question' have raised a few hackles would be an understatement! Despite receiving support from such high-profile public figures as U.S. academic John Mearsheimer and U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, Atzmon's book The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics has been roundly condemned in Western media.

Accused of being 'anti-semitic' and a 'self-hating Jew', Atzmon counters his critics by continuing to shed light on the strong taboo against questioning Israel or the involvement of high-profile Jewish figures in global 'big power games'.

In this interview Gilad reveals some fascinating information about Jewish political ideology. Don't miss it!

Bad Guys

Russophobia, obsession of the UK elite

© Reuters / Paul Hackett
The gap between the views of the elites and the people in the UK is wider than at any time in the last 100 years.

I mentioned it in an RT OpEdge in September, and now the democratic deficit has once again been highlighted by the relentless attacks on Russia and President Putin from members of our political and media elite. We've seen article after article and heard speech after speech attacking Russia and its president for what has happened in Crimea, and regular attempts to scare the public about the Russian 'threat'.

We've had articles claiming that Putin wants to 'regain Finland', and a warning that he could play the 'Crimean card' in the Baltic states. Yet, despite the torrent of crude anti-Russian propaganda we have been subjected to, which has surpassed anything we had in the coldest part of the 'Cold War' in the 1980s, there's plenty of evidence that this elite Russophobia is not shared by the general public.
Cowboy Hat

Harper: America's useful idiot

harper obama
© unknown
Stephen Harper's acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric -- must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes -- or cares -- what the larger game is.

And that game may include a Russia-driven shift in global currency allegiance that could devastate the economies of the U.S. and Canada.

The generals surrounding him in the ridiculous war-room setting where he announced Canada was sending six fighter jets to bolster NATO's military build-up in eastern Europe looked very uncomfortable. Who likes being used as a prop for a faltering politician? The setting was a bad case of over-acting -- as if we were joining the Allies in another world war rather than engaging in what one expert called "incremental posturing."

Is Harper just a useful idiot to the U.S. -- ranting and raving about Russian expansionism and imperialism so that the U.S. position looks more reasonable by comparison?
Stock Down

Collapse of the Empire: Washington has lost friends and influence in the BRICS

When Barack Obama took office, he pledged a new overture to the world's emerging powers. Today each of the Brics - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - is at loggerheads with America, or worse. Last month four of the five abstained in a UN vote condemning the fifth's annexation of Crimea. Next month India is likely to elect as its new leader Narendra Modi, who says he has "no interest in visiting America other than to attend the UN in New York". As the world's largest democracy, and America's most natural ally among the emerging powers, India's is a troubling weathervane. How on earth did Mr Obama lose the Brics?

Some of it was unavoidable. Early in his first term Mr Obama called for a "reset" of US relations with Russia. His overture was warmly received by Dmitry Medvedev, then Russia's president, who was considerably less anti-western than his predecessor, Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately for Mr Obama, Ukraine, Pussy Riot and many others, Mr Putin repossessed the presidency. The US president can hardly be blamed for that. Things have gone downhill since then.


Comment: Downhill for Washington, that is.

Light Saber

Secrecy breaking down? Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose 'black site' details to USS Cole defense lawyers

Accused USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri


Accused USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi, shown at left in a photo before his capture by the CIA in 2002 and by sketch artist Janet Hamlin during a 2011 arraignment at Guántanamo.
The military judge in the USS Cole bombing case has ordered the CIA to give defense lawyers details - names, dates and places - of its secret overseas detention and interrogation of the man accused of planning the bombing, two people who have read the still-secret order said Thursday.

Army Col. James L. Pohl issued the five-page order Monday. It was sealed as document 120C on the war court website Thursday morning and, according to those who have read it, orders the agency to provide a chronology of the overseas odyssey of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, from his capture in Dubai in 2002 to his arrival at Guantánamo four years later.

The order sets the stage for a showdown between the CIA and a military judge, if the agency refuses to turn over the information to the prosecution for the defense teams. The order comes while the CIA fights a bitter, public battle with the Senate on its black site torture investigation.

The judge's order instructs prosecutors to provide nine categories of closely guarded classified CIA information to the lawyers - including the names of agents, interrogators and medical personnel who worked at the so-called black sites. The order covers "locations, personnel and communications," interrogation notes and cables between the black sites and headquarters that sought and approved so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, the two sources said.

It does not, however, order the government to turn over Office of Legal Counsel memos that both blessed and defined the so-called Torture Program that sent CIA captives to secret interrogations across the world after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks - out of reach of International Committee of the Red Cross delegates.
Dollars

Over 15,000 federal employees made at least $200K in 2013

© AP
More than 15,000 federal employees are made at least $200,000 in 2013, according to a new database compiled by FedSmith.com.

Those 15,000 employees represent just one percent of all federal workers.

National Journal reports:
"The vast majority of the top 1 percent of feds were doctors at the Veterans Affairs Department. The highest earning employee was a Veterans Health Administration doctor in Pittsburgh, who took in just more than $400,000 last year. More than 1,200 employees made more than $300,000.

Other agencies that require a highly specialized workforce paid several employees at least $200,000, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Financial Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission."
Bad Guys

Kidnapping, torture, assassination, and perjury are no longer crimes in Washington

© Reuters / Jim Young
How the mighty have fallen. Once known as "Obama's favorite general," James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars. Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history -- the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran's nuclear program. A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S. district judge who told him that his "criminal act" was "a very serious one" and had been "committed by a national security expert who lost his moral compass." It was a remarkable ending for a man who nearly reached the heights of Pentagon power, was almost appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had the president's ear.
Horse

The Geneva agreement on Ukraine - Kiev asked to prove that they actually are in control

The talks in Geneva resulted in an agreement that is in favor of all that is good and opposed to all that is bad. That's the basic gist of it; but what does that mean? Let's translate this memorandum from the language of high diplomacy into the language of the Ukrainian crisis.

Kiev's government representative was invited to participate in his role as a potted plant - because there is nothing to discuss with him. On this all the participants were in complete agreement. That is, there is no government in Kiev, in the sense of an entity that exercises sovereign authority over the territory of Ukraine. This is understood equally well in Moscow, in Brussels and even in Washington. Thus, the actual talks were between USA+EU and Russia.

Russia's position is that Kiev doesn't have a government, it has a God-only-knows-what. It makes no difference what they are called or who they are. They have no power and they control nothing. They do not control the economy, or energy, or the army, or the police, or even their supporters who are running around waving machine guns.

The position of USA+EU: "That's not true! There's a perfectly nice government in Kiev, we made it ourselves, and we hold discussions and even sign agreements with them."
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