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Corporatism and Fascism


Corporatism and Fascism

BP's Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Policy: The Well's Corked, but Public and Government are Left in the Dark

By Dave Lindorff

Prof. Bob Bea, of UC Berkeley, a civil engineer with years of expertise in marine oil drilling, says he is concerned that during the current crisis of BP’s blown-out well deep under the Gulf of Mexico, government scientists may not be getting all the information they need from the secretive oil company in order to make intelligent decisions about shutting down the gusher.

“Certainly we independent investigators are not getting information about the condition of the well or about the leaks in the surrounding sea floor,” says Prof. Bea, who is a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group at UC Berkeley’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, where he is co-director, “And I don’t think the expert investigators at the Department of Energy are getting it either.”

Truth About the BP Damage Fund

Mike Papantonio, host of Ring of Fire Radio, joined us once again on GRITtv to tell us about the BP Damage Fund -- will it really compensate victims of the oil spill?

 

The Witch Hunts of a Self Destructing Society!!

KO Says Allot and Right On Point

 

But there's much more to this, started before the previous decade but ramped up with extreme speed during that and really ramping up in the direction of the new elected officials even before they took the oath of office. Societal destruction being repeated!

And Rachel adds her own right on point as to this present extreme witch hunt "scare the white folks!", this in our "Pretend" civil society!

 

Oil Spill's Impact in Gulf

Smithsonian holdings may show oil spill's impact in Gulf

Jacquelyn Martin / The Associated PressPink shrimp, right, and other specimens collected from the Gulf of Mexico are seen at the Smithsonian Museum Support Center in Suitland, Md. on Tuesday. The museum complex holds a complete set of the invertebrate species that live in the Gulf of Mexico.

July 21, 2010 Scientists are beginning to determine the full impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and help guide its recovery. And they will need to know about all the creatures that lived in the water before the oil began gushing -- from the commercial shrimp to rarely seen giant squid and microorganisms.

"Wings and a Prayer", Gulf Oil Spill

The pelican and the Gulf oil spill, in pictures and music

 


July 21, 2010 "Wings and a Prayer," a mythical journey of Louisiana's endangered state bird, the brown pelican, is told in art and music. Continued

U.S. security turns corporate

And adds to what already has taken place in the previous decade, brought on by the same, to make National Security Much Less Secure!!

Some of the nation's most sensitive duties have been doled out to private contractors, with exploding budgets and little oversight.

In June, a stone carver from Manassas, Va., chiseled another perfect star into a marble wall at CIA headquarters, one of 22 for agency workers killed in the global war initiated by the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The intent of the memorial is to publicly honor the courage of those who died in the line of duty, but it also conceals a deeper story about government in the post-9/11 era: Eight of the 22 were not CIA officers at all. They were private contractors.

Public Anger and Distrust of Business and Government

Public Anger and Distrust of Business and Government - by Stephen Lendman

An April 2010 Pew Research Center (PRC) for the People & Press study and others report growing public anger, distrust, and hostility toward business and government because of a "perfect storm of conditions" - wrecked economies, fueling "epic discontent" toward responsible officials.

PRC found nearly 80% of Americans don't trust government to do the right thing, the highest distrust level in half a century, this writer's April 28 article, titled "Growing Public Anger in America," discussing its findings, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/growing-public-anger-in-america.html

People want help when they most need it, but aren't getting it, privilege always trumping the public interest, getting more extreme in America, Canada, and throughout Europe, a prescription for greater outrage, perhaps fury for beneficial change.

Marie Mason: Victimized by Green Scare State Terrorism

Marie Mason: Victimized by Green Scare State Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman

In May 2005, then FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, John Lewis, told a Senate panel that ecoterrorism is "one of today's most serious domestic terrorism threats," the 2001 USA Patriot Act creating the crime of "domestic terrorism," broadening the definition to apply to US citizens as well as aliens - henceforth, the Bureau dividing the crime into two categories, international and domestic, the latter changing dramatically in the past decade.

$5 Friday: Move To Amend .org

For today's $5 Friday I gave my $5 to the cause of getting money out of politics, dollars out of protected speech, and corporations out of the list of being who get to have human rights at http://movetoamend.org Go forth and do likewise.

Operation Free

On a boat… in the Gulf

14 July 2010 I just spent four hours on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico with fellow veterans and two retired Generals, touring the damage that the oil spill has had on the coast and the economy here in Louisiana. As a Gulf native, I know how much this will hurt the people here, and across America, who depend on the region for their livelihoods. But I also came as a veteran to see just how bad it would be if oil platforms were attacked by terrorist groups.

USAG HOLDER: "We will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who are sworn to protect the public."

Translation: "We will not tolerate wrongdoing by small fry (just forget Bush/Cheney, etc., etc., etc.)."

Six more policemen charged in Katrina killings

5:14pm EDT
By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six more New Orleans police officers have been indicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of four others who were walking on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

U.S. prosecutors unsealed a 27-count indictment that charged three current officers and one former officer with the killing, and subsequent cover-up, of James Brissette, a 17-year-old city resident, and Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man who suffered disabilities and was shot in the back.

Fair Elections Now!

The Battle Between the First and Second Amendments

By John Grant

There is a contest going on in America between the First and Second Amendments as to which has more favor in our court system. It's a face off between gun violence and freedom of the press and it involves individuals, giant corporations and standing armies.

Last week in Oakland, CA, demonstrations followed the manslaughter conviction of a white police officer who claimed he had meant to shoot a young black man with his Taser but grabbed the wrong item from his belt. That whole incident was “shot” by two citizens with cell phones.

Deciding what trumps what in this kind of conflict between rights is an issue relegated to the Supreme Court, an aloof entity accountable to no one. The question that should concern every American though, is how this court and those below it have their fingers on the scale when it comes to the first two amendments of the Constitution.

A New Year's subway shooting

wink;o} wink;o} Ginning up WMD Intelligence

Brit War Inquiry EXPLODES with Damning Testimony! Will the Chilcot group take this and remove the somewhat gentlemanly gloves of questioning so far and get tougher, will it also bring about a re-questioning of earlier participants, like Blair and company, who might have thought they were through with their spinning of facts! Will documents not intended for public view suddenly become very public to answer what isn't known but said only behind closed doors!

Tony Blair 'intentionally talked up WMD', Iraq inquiry told

13/07/2010 Tony Blair "intentionally" exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq inquiry heard yesterday.

We Need Some Journalists With Guts to Take on the Government and BP!

By Dave Lindorff

The Obama administration and BP have clearly been conspiring to hide the magnitude of the Gulf oil catastrophe from the public. One way they're doing this is by threatening jail terms and $40,000 fines against those who go to document the fiasco.

That is ridiculous. There is not a conceivable justification for banning the media from fully covering this environmental disaster.

Dr David Kelly,

a death that won’t be buried

From 1991, Dr David Kelly was one of the chief weapons inspectors with the UN in Iraq. He is seen leaving the House of Commons after giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2003. His body was found three days later. Johnny Green / PA Archive

July 10. 2010 It was Brock, a cross-border collie working with the civilian Lowland Search Dogs Association, who found the body, shortly after 8am on July 18, 2003. Slumped against a tree, not far from his home in the Oxfordshire countryside, lay one of the most surprising victims of the West’s invasion of Iraq.

Bloated Defense Budgets

Doesn't bring National Security, now frankly destroyed with the extreme rise of hatreds towards us and other so called Western Powers after the previous decade!!

 

And not to leave out the huge amount of graft, corruption and political crony-ism embedded with the budgets of each contract!

 

Capitalism is an Anti-Social Disease

By Dave Lindorff

Looking at the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, where impact of the greed of corporate executives at British Petroleum, TransOcean and Halliburton, not to mention the greed of paid-off regulators in the Minerals Management Service and the members of the House and Senate who took dirty money to water down drilling regulations is evident, I was reminded of a prominent business leader in New York, recently deceased.

Told by his sister of a young woman she knew who had posted a sign on her wall saying, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have,” this executive, who had held a top position in the media, sniffed, “Ugh! That’s terrible. If people thought like that, no one would strive to do anything.”

Tom Dispatch: William Astore: Hope and Change Fade, But War Endures, Seven Reasons Why We Can't Stop Making War

From TomDispatch today: How war has become the new American norm and seven ways to cap the wellsprings of American war -- William J. Astore, "Hope and Change Fade, But War Endures, Seven Reasons Why We Can't Stop Making War."

These days, American war is characterized mainly by its enduring quality and this country seems to accept enduring war as the new norm. "Why," asks retired Lieutenant Colonel and TomDispatch regular William Astore, "do our elites so readily and regularly give war, not peace, a chance? What exactly are the wellsprings of Washington’s (and America’s) behavior when it comes to war and preparations for more of the same?"

He suggests seven such "wellsprings." These include our pride in supposedly being good at making war, the fact that we've already committed so many of our resources to it, the fact that we've left its emotional costs on the shoulders of a tiny percentage of Americans, the use of high-tech war and other techniques to limit American casualties (and so anger and debate at home), and the doomsday scenarios of Washington experts which always suggest that, if our wars don't continue, even worse is in store for us.

"Put metaphorically," writes Astore, "our nation’s pursuit of war taps so many wellsprings of our behavior that a concerted effort to cap it would dwarf BP’s efforts in the Gulf of Mexico." Nonetheless, in response to his seven wellsprings, he suggests seven ways in which the American urge for, and comfort with, enduring war could be "capped."

Do check out this original look at America in a "state of war" and in a war state -- and what might be done about it.

Unfit for War Duty, Occupations Military Toll

The wars {occupations} physical and mental tolls!

Thousands of Soldiers Unfit for War Duty

6 July 2010 More than 13,000 active-duty Army soldiers -- the equivalent of four combat brigades -- are sidelined as unfit for war because of injury, illness, or mental stress.
In an unmistakable sign that the Army is struggling with exhaustion after nine years of fighting, combat commanders whose units are headed to Afghanistan increasingly choose to leave behind soldiers who can no longer perform, putting additional strain on those who still can.

Obama warns corruption erodes faith in government: Hillary Clinton Blasts Steel Vise of Government Crushing Dissent

By Dave Lindorff

Finally, a politician has stood up and boldly denounced the creeping fascism that is gradually crushing democracy and political activism.

Not mincing her words, or trying to justify the jackboot, Secretary of State and 2008 presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton roundly condemned government actions that she said are “closing in the walls” on unions, rights advocates and organizations that press for social change or that shine a light on government shortcomings.

“Democracies don’t fear their own people,” she declared in ringing tones. “They recognize that citizens must be free to come together to advocate and agitate.”

Clinton even got the normally taciturn President Obama to join her, releasing a statement in which he said he was concerned about “the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of law to curb rather than enhance freedom, and wide-spread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their government.”

Some thoughts on "patriotism" written on July 4

The Anti-Empire Report
July 5th, 2010
by William Blum
www.killinghope.org

Most important thought: I'm sick and tired of this thing called "patriotism".

The Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor were being patriotic. The German people who supported Hitler and his conquests were being patriotic, fighting for the Fatherland. All the Latin American military dictators who overthrew democratically-elected governments and routinely tortured people were being patriotic — saving their beloved country from "communism".

General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, mass murderer and torturer: "I would like to be remembered as a man who served his country." 1

P.W. Botha, former president of apartheid South Africa: "I am not going to repent. I am not going to ask for favours. What I did, I did for my country." 2

Pol Pot, mass murderer of Cambodia: "I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country." 3

Corporate Corruption and Crime News

(Another) West Virginia miner killed in Massey operation.

Massey Staff Charged Criminally (The charges here are among those actions Velvet Revolution pointed to as criminal in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, and among those Massey's lawyers said were not criminal).

Scott+Scott LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Diebold Inc. and Others on Behalf of Investors (This is lawsuit started by Velvet Revolution).

Iraq: Not Just 'wrong' but Criminal!

Did Blair know it was wrong to invade Iraq?

4th July, 2010 EIGHTY years ago, just after the First World War and with the world rapidly sliding towards the next, the French philosopher Julien Benda wrote a book called "The Treason of the Clerks" "clerks" in the medieval sense, educated men, intellectuals, who despite their high calling chose to serve the State rather than Truth.

They were the ones who provided the justification for the wars and made them possible.

Curiously, nobody has ever written a book called "The Treason of the Lawyers." Nobody has ever accused Lord Goldsmith of being an intellectual, either. But while the Law is not exactly the same as the Truth, it is certainly possible to betray it in the service of the State. That is what Goldsmith did, and it ended in a war.

Ring of Fire “Flash Crash” Financial Terrorism Interview

Ring of Fire “Flash Crash” Financial Terrorism Interview
By David DeGraw | David DeGraw.org

“On May 6th of this year, the stock market took a tremendous plunge in a matter of minutes, sparking fears that the recovery we’re seeing in the economy had all been undone. But miraculously, and very suspiciously, the market skyrocketed again and all was fine. We were told that the so-called flash crash was merely the result of a trader with fat fingers who hit the wrong buttons. But Congress isn’t so sure about this, and the timing of the crash coincided with a vote on a bill that would have broken up the big banks that caused our financial meltdown. Mike Papantonio talks with David DeGraw, who submitted a report for the House Homeland Security Committee about how this crash could have been the work of financial terrorists.” Read more.

Activists’ Letter to the Justice Department on Guantánamo, Torture and Accountability


Activists’ Letter to the Justice Department on Guantánamo, Torture and Accountability
By Andy Worthington | AndyWorthington.co.UK

On Tuesday, June 15th — a day after the acquittal of Witness Against Torture members in D.C. Superior Court of charges stemming from a January protest — a coalition of groups and individuals met with Portia Roberson, the head of the Office of Public Liaison at the Department of Justice. Our goal was to express our frustration with detention policies under the Obama administration and articulate steps we’d like to see the Justice Department take. The letter we submitted to DoJ, which outlines those steps, is attached [I’ve posted it below].

The meeting included Richard Sroczynski, Matt Daloisio, Helen Schietinger, and Jeremy Varon from WAT; Sue Udry from Defending Dissent; Leili Kashani (Education and Outreach Director) and Bill Quigley (Legal Director) from the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Orlando Tizon from the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International. We were honored to have, as late additions to the meeting, Syed Anwar Hashmi and Jeanne Theoharis. Syed is the father of Fahad Hashmi, a student from Queens, NY, who spent over 3 years in severe pre-trial solitary confinement at the MCC prison in New York City. He was accused of housing a suitcase with waterproof socks and rain ponchos that were delivered to a terrorist organization in Pakistan. Fahad continues to be subject to draconian “special administrative measures” (SAMs) that create conditions of detention amounting to torture [Note: Fahad Hashmi received a 15-year sentence for providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization on June 10]. Jeanne Theoharis, Fahad’s academic advisor at Brooklyn College, has done extensive work to publicize Fahad’s plight, rally support on his behalf, and expose the unjustifiable brutality of SAMs.

The meeting was both interesting and constructive. Ms. Roberson conveyed repeatedly that she appreciates our disappointment and anger even, and was very intent on learning more about our point of view. She was particularly impressed that we are not, for the most part, professional human rights advocates but instead “everyday people.” Her message was that she’d love to advocate, internal to DoJ, on our behalf. She would therefore like from us documentation supporting our position and demands. She also expressed a strong willingness to have a follow-up meeting. Read more.

Should BP Nuke Its Leaking Oil Well?

Should BP nuke its leaking oil well? | Reuters via CNET

His face wracked by age and his voice rasping after decades of chain-smoking coarse tobacco, the former longtime Russian minister of nuclear energy and veteran Soviet physicist Viktor Mikhailov knows just how to fix BP's oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

"A nuclear explosion over the leak," he says, nonchalantly puffing a cigarette as he sits in a conference room at the Institute of Strategic Stability, where he is a director. "I don't know what BP is waiting for, they are wasting their time. Only about 10 kilotons of nuclear explosion capacity and the problem is solved."

A nuclear fix to the leaking well has been touted online and in the occasional newspaper op-ed for weeks now. Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea, and BP executives say they are not considering an explosion--nuclear or otherwise. But as a series of efforts to plug the 60,000 barrels of oil a day gushing from the sea floor have failed, talk of an extreme solution refuses to die.

For some, blasting the problem seems the most logical answer in the world. Mikhailov has had a distinguished career in the nuclear field, helping to close a Soviet Union program that used nuclear explosions to seal gas leaks. Ordinarily he's an opponent of nuclear blasts, but he says an underwater explosion in the Gulf of Mexico would not be harmful and could cost no more than $10 million. That compares with the $2.35 billion BP has paid out in cleanup and compensation costs so far. "This option is worth the money," he says. Read more.

The Erosion of Individual Liberties: When Justice and Politics Become One

The Erosion of Individual Liberties: When Justice and Politics Become One
By Lt. Col. Barry Wingard | Truthout

In the "War on Terror," I am amazed how every time our enemy takes action, it sets into motion a scramble by our government to take away the individual rights of Americans. Will we reach a point at which we will be completely stripped of our civil liberties in the name of eliminating danger from external threats?

I am hopeful that this won't happen for two reasons. First, my travels have shown me that the world as a whole is closely scrutinizing American policies and behavior. Second, American history is replete with examples of the government making mistakes that went too far by denying rights or privileges to particular groups or individuals. In each instance, society stood against these practices and demanded the same rights for everyone, eventually returning the equilibrium in a way that could never have been accomplished by a single person.

Despite our victories of the past, unjust treatment of groups and individuals continues in the world we live in today. It is being played out every day at Guantanamo Bay and throughout America, where to be Muslim is to be suspect.

At Guantanamo, we have been detaining prisoners for nearly a decade without charges or trials, claiming that the detainees fall into a special category that allows us to treat them differently from the mandates of our justice system and our values as Americans. The presumption of innocence is one of the great hallmarks of the American judicial system. At Guantanamo, the government presumes the opposite. If you are caged there, you are guilty, and you will serve a life sentence, regardless of the evidence against you. Read more.

How Goldman Sachs Caused a ‘Silent Mass Murder,’ Gambling on Starvation in the Developing World


How Goldman Sachs Caused a ‘Silent Mass Murder,’ Gambling on Starvation in the Developing World
How Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and others caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.
By Johann Hari | Alternet via People for Freedom

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You’re wrong. There’s more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here’s the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.”

Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami. “My children stopped growing,” a woman my age called Abiba Getaneh, told me. “I felt like battery acid had been poured into my stomach as I starved. I took my two daughters out of school and got into debt. If it had gone on much longer, I think my baby would have died.”

Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn’t happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn’t because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent. Other factors – like the rise of biofuels, and the spike in the oil price – made a contribution, but they aren’t enough on their own to explain such a violent shift.

To understand the biggest cause, you have to plough through some concepts that will make your head ache – but not half as much as they made the poor world’s stomachs ache. Read more.

Speaking Events

2015

April 25 Houston

May 8 New Jersey

May 30 NYC here and here

August 27, Chicago

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