“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, The EU Announced A New Round Of Sanctions On Russia, Including Those Targeting The Country's Major Defense And Energy Companies

Ruble Falls to Record Before Rate Decision as EU Adds Sanctions
By Vladimir Kuznetsov September 12, 2014

The ruble weakened to a record for a second day as the European Union widened sanctions to include OAO Rosneft and other energy companies and Brent held below $100 a barrel. Bonds fell before an interest-rate decision.
The currency retreated as much as 0.6 percent to 37.7265 before trading 0.4 percent lower at 11.35 a.m. in Moscow, bringing this week’s loss to 2 percent. Ten-year local-currency bonds retreated for a fifth day, sending the yield up two basis points to 9.78 percent.
The EU’s expanded penalties target 15 companies, including barring Rosneft, OAO Gazprom Neft and OAO Transneft from securing financing with maturity of more than 30 days. The U.S. will “deepen and broaden” measures against Russia’s financial, energy, and defense industries, President Barack Obama said yesterday. Russia may ban some imports including clothing and used cars in retaliation, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told Interfax yesterday.
“Market sentiment toward the ruble remains negative, and retaliatory measures from Russia seem certain,” Sberbank CIB analysts led by Tom Levinson, said in an e-mailed note. “Such trade restrictions damage both Eurozone and Russian growth prospects and will keep the euro and the ruble pressured.”
The yield on Rosneft’s Eurobonds maturing in March 2022 increased seven basis points to 6.85 percent, the highest in more than a week. The ruble lost 0.4 percent against the euro to 48.6530 and weakened 0.4 percent against the central bank’s basket of dollars and euros to 42.6011.
The central bank will announce the interest rate decision at 1:30 p.m. Moscow time. While 15 of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Bank of Russia will leave the one-week auction rate at 8 percent, 10 forecast an increase to 8.5 percent and one predicted a quarter-point tightening.
Policy makers have raised borrowing costs by 250 basis points since Putin’s incursion into Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March to stem the slide in the ruble. Brent gained 0.4 percent to $98.42 today, after falling to the lowest close since April 2013 two days ago.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at Daliah Merzaban, Alex Nicholson


  1. Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu

    Chief of General Staff, Benny Gantz

    Military Intelligence Director, Major General Aviv Kochavi

    Commander of Unit 8200

    We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.

    It is commonly thought that the service in military intelligence is free of moral dilemmas and solely contributes to the reduction of violence and harm to innocent people. However, our military service has taught us that intelligence is an integral part of Israel's military occupation over the territories. The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. While there are severe limitations on the surveillance of Israeli citizens, the Palestinians are not afforded this protection. There's no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence. Information that is collected and stored harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed. Intelligence allows for the continued control over millions of people through thorough and intrusive supervision and invasion of most areas of life. This does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence further distancing us from the end of the conflict.

    Millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military rule for over 47 years. This regime denies the basic rights and expropriates extensive tracts of land for Jewish settlements subject to separate and different legal systems, jurisdiction and law enforcement. This reality is not an inevitable result of the state's efforts to protect itself but rather the result of choice. Settlement expansion has nothing to do with national security. The same goes for restrictions on construction and development, economic exploitation of the West Bank, collective punishment of inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, and the actual route of the separation barrier.

    In light of all this, we have concluded that as individuals who served in Unit 8200, we must take responsibility for our part in this situation and it is our moral duty to act. We cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people. Therefore, those among us who are reservists, refuse to take part in the state's actions against Palestinians. We call for all soldiers serving in the Intelligence Corps, present and future, along with all the citizens of Israel, to speak out against these injustices and to take action to bring them to an end. We believe that Israel's future depends on it.

    Senior academic officer Or

    First sergeant Ori

    Sergeant Ella

    Sergeant ***

    Sergeant first class Amitai

    Captain Assaf

    Lieutenant Assaf

    First sergeant Ariel

    First sergeant Guy

    Sergeant first class Galia

    Lieutenant Gilad

    First sergeant Doron

    Captain D

    Professional academic officer H

    First sergeant T

    First sergeant Tal

    Sergeant first class Yair

    First sergeant Yoav

    First sergeant Yuval

    Lieutenant Yonatan

    Sergeant first class Lior

    Sergeant Liron

    Sergeant Maya

    Sergeant Michal

    First sergeant Menahem

    First sergeant Nadav

    Sergeant Noa

    First sergeant Sa'ar

    First sergeant Eden

    Sergeant Idan

    Professional academic officer Amir

    First sergeant Amit

    Sergeant K

    Sergeant Keren

    Sergeant first class Regev

    First sergeant Roi

    Sergeant R

    First sergeant Rotem

    First sergeant Shira

    Major Shmulik

    First sergeant Schraga

    Sergeant Sheri

    Senior academic officer Tomer

  2. The current Israeli government is every bit as manipulative, dishonest and loathsome as the present US government establishment. If you doubt that, read on about Yahoo, a subject brought up by Q in the previous post:

    San Francisco: Internet giant Yahoo has said it was threatened by the US government to make it cooperate with the administration and provide its users` data under the National Security Agency`s (NSA) controversial vigilance program me, PRISM.

    "We had to fight every step of the way to challenge the US government`s surveillance efforts. At one point, the US government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if we refused to comply," Ron Bell, Yahoo`s general counsel, wrote in the company`s blog post Thursday.

    The case dates back to 2007 when the US government amended a law enabling it to seek users` data from online service providers.

    Yahoo refused to comply as it considered the move “unconstitutional” and appealed to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

    The web company, which received threats from the government during this time, eventually lost the case and was forced to share the data it was asked for.

    However, according to Bell, it focused its efforts on getting the case archive declassified so that the public could see the truth for themselves, something it has finally achieved.

    "We are working hard to make the materials from the FISC case public," said Bell, whose efforts ensured 1,500 pages from the case being declassified by the FISC.

    NSA`s controversial program me, PRISM, the existence of which was brought to public knowledge through leaks by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden in 2013, made it obligatory for technology firms to share information about their users with the government.

    Besides Yahoo, several other reputed US firms provided information to the NSA under this programme, including Google, Facebook, Apple, AOL and Microsoft.

    "We treat public safety with the utmost seriousness, but we are also committed to protecting users` data. We will continue to contest requests and laws that we consider unlawful, unclear, or over broad,” Bell said.

  3. Snowden should not be worried about being thrown into a US Supermax. US government employee shit birds should be worried.

    One question. Did all the Bush era surveillance apparatus predict ISIS or detect any US participants in ISIS? Did they make the connection and advise Obama and the Conga Line about it when they were all prepared a year ago to start bombing Syria? What did we get from this except Israeli Lite police state tactics on domestic surveillance and militarization of the police and all US government agencies?