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Corporatism and Fascism
Corporatism and Fascism
OK Hockey Puck, where ya at, oh wonder woman of oil and so much more, Snark, quick go to your talkin points think? tank and see if they can give ya an update!!!
Since taking office, Obama proved himself a machine politician, not a man of the people, an earlier article explaining it this way:
He promised peace and delivered war; real health and financial reform, not same old, same old; help for millions losing jobs, homes, hope and futures, not handouts to Wall Street and other industry favorites; regulatory oversight, not the usual incestuous government-industry ties, making disasters like in the Gulf possible, and when they happen conspiring with offenders in coverup, distortion, lies, and a total disregard for the environment, wildlife, and way of life for thousands - let alone permanent damage to a vital ecosystem.
At the same time, Big Oil gets billions in subsidies, special tax breaks and other financial benefits, besides being free to operate recklessly in a regulatory-free environment. Little wonder that a disaster now threatens to become the greatest ecological one ever, gushing oil that's potentially unstoppably from multiple sea floor ruptures, worsened apparently by BP fix attempts done as PR stunts, the company and administration knowing they wouldn't work but used them anyway as a charade to fool the public.
In addition, for nearly two months, company officials:
James Bovard at Antiwar.com points out one of the more egregiously sick-making of the many atrocious "arguments" employed by Barack Obama in his successful effort to block the efforts of Maher Arar to seek justice for his unjust rendition and proxy torture in the Great War of Global Terror.
Obama bade his legal henchmen -- his own personal John Yoos, as it were -- to tell the Supreme Court that it should kill the Canadian citizen's case seeking compensation for his unlawful arrest by U.S. officials, who then rendered him not unto Caesar but to the untender mercies of Syria's torture cells. The Robed Ones agreed, dismissing, without comment, Arar's appeal of a lower court ruling that quashed his case -- a decision that Scott Horton rightly likened last year to the Dred Scott case, which upheld the legality of slavery, even in states which prohibited it.
The Arar ruling upholds the "legality" of a new, universal form of slavery, i.e., the United States government can deprive anyone in the world of their freedom, and dispose of their bodies as it sees fit: torture, "indefinite detention," or even "targeted assassination." The fact that it is a man of partly African descent who is now outstripping the Southern slavers in this extension of servitude to the entire world is one of those poisonously bitter ironies with which history abounds.
But grim and depraved as Obama's position is, it is not without its comic elements. As Bovard notes, one of the "arguments" offered by the Obama/Yoo administration was that the case should be dismissed because it might call into question "the motives and sincerity of the United States officials who concluded that petitioner could be removed to Syria." We kid, as they say, you not. Read more.
How Halliburton is profiting from the Gulf oil spill
By Matt Rocheleau | CSM
Shortly before the Deepwater Horizon blowout, Halliburton bought an oil spill prevention firm. The oil-services industry is consolidating, which is not necessarily good news for quality, experts say.
Eleven days prior to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon blowout, Halliburton Co., the contractor in charge of cementing the rig's well, agreed to purchase a little-known company.
The firm, Boots and Coots, focuses on oil spill prevention and blowout response. Now, it is assisting with the relief well work – under contract to BP – to help stop the Gulf oil spill.
What appears to conspiracy theorists as more than a coincidence is nothing out of the ordinary, say oil-industry experts. Increasingly, oil-industry titans are buying up smaller companies that provide all manner of services.
But this trend is worrying in itself, the experts say. As companies grow and work both to drill wells and potentially clean up their own mistakes, the result can be unintentional, but riskier decisionmaking over time due to a lack of focus – particularly in an industry that is poorly regulated. Read more.
Elizabeth Flores, Dml - Star Tribune
A statue marks the Cabelas store near Owatonna where Paul Giovanni de la Rosa purchased many of the weapons he transported to Mexico.
An Exclusive (Somewhat Apocryphal) Interview With Stephen Hawking on the British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Event - Deepwater Horizon
An Exclusive (Somewhat Apocryphal) Interview With Stephen Hawking on the British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Event - Deepwater Horizon
By Gary Corseri
All this nambypambyism about the Gulf Oil Spill has got me down, so I figured I’d go to the smartest guy on the planet to get his what’s what.
I met Stephen Hawking at his perch at the Mt. Palomar observatory. It took me a few moments to get used to his computer-generated voice, but once I did, it was the only voice I could imagine being attached to that kind of cerebrum.
“I like to look at the stars,” he told me. “It puts our little mortal lives into high relief.”
“I would have thought they would shrink our little lives.”
“That, too. … It’s all a matter of perspective.”
The Sovereign State of BP - Down for the Count?
By Michael Collins | Election Fraud News | June 16, 2010
British Petroleum has operated as though it were a sovereign state since its inception. When they blew the well at their Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, it never occurred to them that they would have to take orders from anybody. But that may change largely due to their inability to stop the flow of oil after nearly sixty days of gushing.
President Obama was clear in his speech last night. If any entity is going down as a result of the catastrophe, it will be BP. Today, Obama meets with BP's Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, and the man he told the chairman to fire, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.
Two sovereign states will collide. The outcome is a foregone conclusion.
BP's Global Reign
British Petroleum began under another name in the oil rich section of Iran. Britain's William Knox D'Arcy convinced Iran's leader to grant an exclusive concession for the tidy sum of £20,000 in 1901 ($16 million current). BP grew on Iran, infecting its politics and economy to assure that the flow of oil never stopped.
By 1953, Iran's new democracy had a movement and leader that lost tolerance for BP's strangle hold on Iranian oil. The government nationalized BP assets. Undeterred by the will of the Iranian people, the company was the beneficiary of the British secret service-CIA staged Operation Ajax; a not-so-covert plan that deposed Iran's duly elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and installed a puppet regime.
Iran's emerging democracy was assassinated in the service of BP oil assets and income.
There was just one hitch in the post-coup arrangement with Iran. The Shah's government got 50% of the take and BP no longer had a monopoly. They had to share the concession with U.S. oil companies, thus ending their exclusive control of Iranian oil.
The White House is intervening at the last minute to come to the defense of multinational corporations in the unfolding conference committee negotiations over Wall Street reform.
A measure that had been generally agreed to by both the House and Senate, which would have affirmed the SEC's authority to allow investors to have proxy access to the corporate decision-making process, was stripped by the Senate in conference committee votes on Wednesday and Thursday. Five sources with knowledge of the situation said the White House pushed for the measure to be stripped at the behest of the Business Roundtable. The sources -- congressional aides as well as outside advocates -- requested anonymity for fear of White House reprisal.
The White House move pits the administration against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to stand strong against the effort.
"I met with the Speaker today and she said, 'Don't back down. I'll back you up,'" Frank, the lead House conferee, told HuffPost. "Maxine Waters is very upset, as are CalPERS and others."
Advocates said that the corporations fought the issue primarily over executive compensation concerns. Given proxy access, investors could rein in executive salaries. The Business Roundtable is a lobby of corporate CEOs. Read more.
New Bill Gives Obama ‘Kill Switch’ To Shut Down The Internet
By Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet
The federal government would have “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative “kill switch” to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.
Lieberman has been pushing for government regulation of the Internet for years under the guise of cybersecurity, but this new bill goes even further in handing emergency powers over to the feds which could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency.
“The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined,” reports ZDNet’s Declan McCullagh.
Distraught Shrimper Disrupts BP CEO Tony Hayward Testimony | Press Release
Demanding Hayward’s Arrest and Permanent Moratorium on Offshore Drilling
Diane Wilson, a fourth generation shrimper from Texas, confronted BP CEO Tony Hayward during his testimony this morning, to advocate for his arrest as well as a permanent moratorium on offshore drilling. She stood up and shouted “Arrest this man, he is a criminal, his company is stealing the livelihoods of thousands of us in the Gulf and killing our coasts. Tony Hayward should be arrested.” Instead, Wilson was arrested and it is unclear when she will be released. Wilson was also arrested in Congress on June 9 for dousing herself with oil to protest BP's dumping on the shrimpers.
Before the hearing Diane made this statement: I came to DC to confront Tony Hayward for the devastation his company has brought to the fishing communities along the gulf. BP is a criminal company that has ignored safety regulations at the health of our oceans and even its own workers. Tony Hayward and BP need to be held accountable for their criminal activities as well as paying every last cent they may have to the families in the Gulf affected by their willful, criminal neglect. Our message to Obama, and Congress: BP must pay to clean up this mess and our government must move to end offshore drilling and move us into a new century of clean energy.” She added, “Pouring a jar of fake oil on myself I can get a year in jail. Tony Hayward’s company is pouring millions of gallons of oil into the gulf every day. He should be the one going to jail.”
Wilson is also a co-founder of the organization CODEPINK Women for Peace. She was in front of BP HQ in Houston, Texas two weeks ago to protest the oilspill and draw attention to BP’s legacy of negligence. Read her most recent article, “The BP oil gusher is just the latest in a long line of assaults on the Gulf of Mexico” published on Grist.com.
Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America: Use War Funding Cuts To Balance Budget, Not Social Security, Medicare
PDA on ABC 40 June 17 2010
June 17, 2010 As federal officers took their time searching Paul Giovanni de la Rosa's silver minivan, a steady stream of motorists passed by, unaware that anything beyond a routine inspection was happening at the side of the road.
Barton Well-Funded By Big Oil, Including BP; Barton Apologizes to BP: "Sorry...Shakedown...Slushfund"
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, set off a mini-storm with his apology to BP for its dealings with the Obama administration.
Federal Election Commission records show that during the current 2009-10 campaign cycle, the oil and gas industry has been the second-biggest contributor to Barton, at $100,470, behind only the electric utility industry ($162,800).
FEC records show that BP has given Barton an average of $1,350 a year since 1990.
Public Campaign, which calls itself a nonpartisan advocate for reducing campaign costs, said its analysis shows that he has received $27,000 in contributions from BP since taking office in 1985.
Corporate Apocalypse vs. Solartopian Survival
By Harvey Wasserman
BP’s apocalyptic Gulf gusher has put our ability to survive in serious doubt.
We have no reason to believe the end is near---or even in sight. Nor can we begin to calculate the damage to our Mother Earth…to her oceans, to the core of her being…and to each of us as individual organisms.
Only one thing IS clear: we cannot ultimately survive without a rapid conversion to a Solartopian economy that is totally green-powered. That transformation will be forced by biological imperatives, not money or markets.
The powers that be studiously avoid the core reality that this disaster stems from the ability of large corporations to make all of us pay for their irresponsible greed.
The black poisons killing our global body are gushing from a system that grants corporations human rights but does not demand human responsibility.
The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) studies and reports on the phenomenon, including its causes and consequences. On March 10, 2009, it launched a Campaign to End Child Homelessness, and on the same day released "America's Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness." It discovered one in 50 homeless children annually (about 1.5 million), saying it's dedicated to ending the problem - now even greater than during the timeline of the study, largely preceding the current economic crisis.
Whether homeless "by economic hardship, domestic violence," war, or other reasons, affected families lose more than homes. They lose health, safety, and the ability to support themselves, their children especially impacted.
Data from 2005 - 06 was the most complete available for the report. Selected 2007 - 08 data was used when possible, including for minimum wage and Fair Market Rent. The last National Survey of Children's Health was completed in 2003.
Though perceived as an urban issue, rural homelessness is some of the most hidden - complicated by limited access to services, transportation, and affordable housing. Some families move in with relatives or friends. Many others find shelter in abandoned shacks, vehicles, campgrounds, or dilapidated structures on private land. Overall, an estimated 9% of homeless people are rural. Their lower visibility, however, "suggests that this subgroup is not fully represented (in the study) and may contribute to a significant undercount."
BP: Eco-Terrorism Inc. They Should be Prosecuted, Tried and Convicted Under Eco-Terrorism Laws Passed by the Right Wing
For many years, as part of the right wing thuggish putsch in America -- and their great skills at "framing" public policy issues -- environmentalists trying to aggressively save our natural heritage and keep our lives free of industrial toxins have been increasingly classified -- with legal punishments -- as "environmental terrorists." This has included every one from people who sit in trees to try and prevent excessive and ruinous logging to Greenpeace activists merely painting messages against deep sea oil drilling or trying to prevent the killing of whales.
In fact, BuzzFlash just a short time ago awarded our coveted "Wings of Justice Award" to 7 Greenpeace Activists who -- during the height of the BP oil Gulf catastrophe -- were arrested and threatened with being charged as eco-terrorists for painting an anti-deep sea drilling message on the side of an oil company ship docked in a Louisiana port. As we noted on May 25 of this year:
7 Greenpeace protestors were arrested in Louisiana for an act of civil disobedience: painting an offshore drilling message on the side of a ship that will assist Shell Oil in drilling in the Arctic. They should have been given a parade and welcomed as heroes instead of being charged with "crimes" that could net them up to 7 years in prison. Read more.
This gets extremely little play in this country but Especially by the intolerant racists who totally ignore it's even going on!
In small-town Minnesota, folks knew him as the ex-bullfighter who was a family man, a soccer dad. What they didn't know was that he was buying firearms here and smuggling them into Mexico.
"Halliburton & BP, You Suck!"
“If all of us rednecks leave the Republican Party, the party is going to have one hell of a void,” Knotts told other senators.
A racist pol finally speaks of What that so called republican party Really Is. Caught the comment in an NPR report a short while ago and it wasn't hard to quickly find an article with not only that but his ranting about the Hypocrites attacking him, which seems rather odd as Hypocrisy has been a mainstay especially of the modern once GOP, even in their so called base!
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Activists to defiantly return to secret base after court
Activists opposed to the war in Afghanistan, will today blockade the secret military base at Swan Island near Queenscliff.
The action will take place after members of the Bonhoeffer Peace Collectiveface trespass charges in the Geelong Magistrates Court for blocking the road and shutting off power and satellites at the base on 31 March this year.
“Last time we managed to push the emergency stop button on a satellite dish. This time our message is that all of us need to push the stop button on this war,” the group said. “Australians can not sit in silent opposition to this war that is costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives”.
Supporters from Queenscliff and around the country are joining the group who vow to continue to nonviolently resist the war.
Members of the Bonhoeffer Peace Collective in court tomorrow are Rev Simon Moyle, Simon Reeves, Jessica Morrison and Jacob Bolton. Their group is named after Kevin Rudd’s hero, and WW2 war resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“We are taking responsibility for opposing the war ourselves rather than waiting for politicians to do it,” Rev Moyle said.
9.30am Court hearing at Geelong Magistrates Court
2.00pm Action at the gates of Swan Island, Bridge Road, Queenscliff
Photos and footage of the day available on request.
No Nukes/No Empire: The Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Requires the End of the U.S. Empire
By Robert Jensen
[A version of this essay was delivered to the “Think outside the Bomb” event in Austin, TX, on June 14, 2010.]
If we are serious about the abolition of nuclear weapons, we have to place the abolition of the U.S. empire at the center of our politics.
That means working toward a world free of nuclear weapons demands we not only critique the reactionary wing of the U.S. power structure, the Bushes and Cheneys and Rumsfelds -- call them the reckless hawks. A serious commitment to a future free of nuclear weapons demands critique of moderate wing, the Obamas and Bidens and Clintons -- call them the reasonable hawks. The former group is psychotic, while the latter is merely cynical. After eight years of reckless reactionary psychotics, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security by reasonable moderate cynics. But we should remember that a hawk is a hawk.
The next step is asking whose interests are advanced by the hawks. Even though in the post-World War II era the hawks have sometimes differed on strategy and tactics, they have defended the same economic system: a predatory corporate capitalism. Let’s call those folks the vultures. Different groupings of hawks might be associated with different groupings of vultures, giving the appearance of serious political conflict within the elite, but what they have in common is much more important than their differences. The political empire of the contemporary United States serves the corporate empires that dominate not only the domestic but the global economy, and it all depends on U.S. military power, of which the nuclear arsenal is one component.
George W. Bush was the smirking frat-boy face of the U.S. empire. Barack Obama is the smiling smart-guy face of the U.S. empire. Whoever is at the helm, the U.S. political/economic/military empire remains in place, shaky at the moment, but still the single greatest threat to justice and peace on the planet. Any serious project to rid the world of the particular threat of nuclear weapons has to come to terms with the more general threat of the empire.
Building on my Af-Pak War Racket report, a few recent news items help expose the true drivers of current wars around the world.
#1) Wherever there is a war, look for CIA/IMF/private military war profiteers covertly funding and supporting BOTH sides in order to keep the wars raging and the profits rolling in. As former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell explained: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.”
Here’s an important glimpse of truth to seep through last week in the NY Times, via Raw Story:
US-backed ‘bribes’ in Afghanistan may be funding Taliban
On June 7, the day Afghanistan became America’s longest-ever war, the New York Times reported on an ongoing investigation poised to prove that private security companies “are using American money to bribe the Taliban” to fuel combat and thus enhance demand for their services. The news follows a “series of events last month that suggested all-out collusion with the insurgents,” the Times said.
“The American people are paying to prop up a corrupt government that may be using our money to pay private companies to drum up business by paying the insurgents to attack our troops,” [Kucinich] said.... The Times interviewed a NATO official in Kabul who “believed millions of dollars were making their way to the Taliban.” Read more.
We're going to make sure there are no backroom deals that effectively gut the best reforms currently in the bill -- we've launched "Call-in Days for the Big 3 No Bailouts Reforms" (over at anwf.org) to put every decision maker in the spotlight for gutting or keeping the Big 3. We have 14 days until June 24 to influence the financial reform bill to be something worth passing. So, on Tuesday (6/15), Wednesday (6/16), and Thursday (6/17), please help us get enough people so it's like we're walking right into the backroom with them and slapping their hands if they do something bad. We'll update our list on the slimiest and worst on financial reform. See the list below.
Sign up for a day that works for you -- you just need a 5 minute chunk of time free -- and we'll make your call effortless. If you've already signed up, thank you. You've come to the right place. Add what you find out on your calls in the comments here, as soon as we hear back from you, we'll update who is acting the sleaziest (you can also report back at #finreg #save716 on twitter).
We need to call as much as each of us can to stop government support and incentives for banks to become bigger and riskier - this is structural reform.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE LAST LEG OF FINANCIAL REFORM?
The financial reform bill is going into the final stage in the legislative process this week and bought-out members of Congress are trying to stealthily remove all the provisions in it that the big banks oppose. The financial reform bill would be a pure product of lobbying and big banking if it were not for the just a handful of "No Bailout Reforms" that are still in the bill as we speak. Can you join us in making sure that conferees don't gut the strongest provisions in the financial reform bill behind closed doors?
A full whip list for derivatives reform is here. We need your help finding out where people stand.
TAKE ACTION! NO MORE GAMBLING WITH TAXPAYER MONEY! | Press Release | June 14, 2010
Reckless swaps and derivatives trading played a critical role in the financial crisis, inflating the domestic housing bubble and turning it into a global economic catastrophe. As the House and Senate conference committee begins final work on the financial services reform bill, it is critically important to preserve the strong language cracking down on those "financial weapons of mass destruction" contained in the Senate bill. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz makes the case for Senate derivatives chapter plainly, "If [Congress] fails to pass strict oversight of dangerous over-the-counter derivatives and swaps, the U.S. economy will continue to be vulnerable to significant financial risk."
Currently the five largest banks in the United States have an anti-competitive strangle-hold on 90 percent of the U.S. swaps and derivatives market worth some $300 trillion. The five banks are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. These five bank-dealers can fund their swaps trading units with FDIC-insured deposits. They have access to the Federal Reserve's discount window, which allows them to borrow money for gambling in swaps at near-zero percent interest rates. But these government supports were created to reassure the public that their deposits are safe, and to protect banks from runs on their deposits -- not to help banks finance their own casinos.
This added Corporate Incompetence is going to take much more than resilience as to the Gulf Waters, the Gulf Coast and the Gulf People, directly affected! This will affect the whole country, especially the Eastern States, as the other Industries and Corporations already have, and this will be felt in many ways as well! Seafood stocks as well as other food sources, weather and the moisture of that comes out of the Gulf and covers Florida as well as the Eastern States, and many other issues way to many to list.
By Dave Lindorff
By Dave Lindorff
What does it say about the the American government, its president, and its military today, that the the largest military/intelligence organization in the history of mankind has launched a global manhunt for Julian Assange, head of the Wikileaks organization? And what does it say about corporate American journalists that they attack the only real journalist in the White House press corps, when she alone has shown the guts to speak truth?
The Hunt for Julian Assange