Corporate Crimes

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Quotes

Dakota Scum--email 9/12/16

Remember the corporation trying to build a pipeline through native land in Dakota?

They've bought a judge who has okayed their plans, despite tribal protests which are growing daily--the biggest gathering of native peoples in a century,

.... and issued an arrest warrant for Dr. Jill Stein, presidential candidate, who was participating in the protest. And now, today's news: Arrest Warrant Issued for Journalist Amy Goodman for Coverage of Dakota Access Pipeline.

As a big corporation, nothing is below these people.

"criminal, n. A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation": Howard Scott

"It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion."- Aristotle in Politics, J. Sinclair translation, pg. 226, 1962

"...it is a government by the corporations, for the corporations."--Rutherford B. Hayes19th President of the USA.

"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.''-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy" ---John Pierpont Morgan

"But that's the whole point of corporatism: to try and remove the public from making decisions over their own fate, to limit the public arena, to control opinion, to make sure that the fundamental decisions that determine how the world is going to be run -which include production, commerce, distribution, thought, social policy, foreign policy, everything-are not in the hands of the public, but rather in the hands of highly concentrated private power. In effect, tyranny unaccountable to the public".- Professor Noam Chomsky, interviewed in Corporate Watch

"Can it be believed that the democracy which overthrew the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists?" Alexis de Tocqueville1805-1859

"A recent Harris Interactive poll showed that about 90 percent of the American public believes that big business has too much power" (Matthew Rothschild. "Condolences." The Progressive, Feb, 2006: 4).

"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"...consumer culture's pseudo-democratic claim that satisfying consumers' every desire was the equivalent of universal justice and fairness. By analyzing and weaving together the export, to Europe, of chain stores, big-brand goods, corporate advertising and PR, the Hollywood star system, the supermarket, and the ideal of the wife as "Mrs. Consumer," de Grazia makes us see the incremental yet sweeping success of consumer culture abroad" (Susan J. Douglas. "Our Favorite Books of 2005." The Progressive, Dec. 2005: 46).

"The ratio of average CEO pay (now $11.8 million) to worker pay (now $27,460) spiked up from 301-to-1 in 2003 to 431-to-1 in 2004, reports United for a Fair Economy. If the minimum wage had risen as fas as CEO pay since 1990, the lowest paid workers in the US would be earning $23.03 an hour today, not $5.15 an hour" ("CEO Inflation." The Progressive, Nov. 2005: 11).

PDA:
Issues Addressed by this Team
Wasteful military spending, nuclear proliferation, the expansion of US Special Forces operations, increasing use of drones for both strikes and surveillance, the continued growth of the US global military presence, human rights abuses, secret training camps, and the use of terrorism as an opportunity for global military expansion.


"Consumers, farmers, environmentalists, and other sane people don't want the Monsantos to use us as their guinea pigs, so they have already gotten more than 100 local governments to ban GMO crops within their area. This has infuriated the corporate powers, who have spent tons of money to defeat these local bans--but lost. So, for the last couple of years, they've been sneaking off to state legislatures to pass laws (often with no debate) that take aaway our local control over this health issue. To date, 14 states have stripped this decision-making power from local people; corporate lobbyists are moving to take it away from local governments everywhere" (Jim Hightower. "Defense.com." Texas Observer, April 21, 2006: 15).


"I've come across the website of America's largest, oldest, busiest, and most successful corporation. At least, that's how this outfit defines itself. It's not Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, or GM--it's the Pentagon. Go to www.defenselink.mil and you'll find "DoD 101: An introductory overview of the Department of Defense." This official site present the US military not as a government agency, but as a corporation. The Pentagon puffs itself up like a corporation running an image ad. It brags that the DoD is "the nation's largest employer, and that it has the highest level of annual revenues of any company in the country. The site points out that DoD Inc. far outdistances such competitors as Wal-Mart, the number two employer and revenue generator...

"Excuse me, but our government is not a business. It's a government with broad and deep democratic responsibilities that no corporation can achieve. By their very nature, corporations are top-down, hierarchical operations that exist not to serve the public good, but to profit the few. They are anti-democratic, excluding the vast majority of people (including the shareholders) from decision-making. They operate in a closed culture of secrecy and are aggressive expansionists, relying on PR, lawyers, and lobbyists to cover up their waste, fraud, corruption, environmental contamination, and abuse of people. The corporate model is anathema to a free, just, democratic society" (Jim Hightower. "Defense.com." Texas Observer, April 21, 2006: 15).


"...a Kansas corporation called Westar Energy, Inc... wanted an exemption from a federal regulation and hoped to have its exemption slipped into an energy bill.. the [company] Veep bluntly named the price: "The total package will be $31,500 in hard money (individual) and $25,000 in soft money (corporate)." He then identified the four Congress critter who named the price--Reps. Tom DeLay, Joe Barton, Billy Tauzin, and Sen. Richard Shelby. The money was paid--and sure enough, Rep. Barton slipped Westar's exemption into the bill...

And Corporate Reform?

"We're really teaching those high-flying CEOs a lesson in corporate ethics, aren't we? The latest to have to take their medicine are six former top execs at Xerox Corporation. The SEC recently determined that they cooked the company books and illegally inflated profits by $1.4 billion over four years, fraudulently misleading investors and allowing themselves to pocket millions in undeserved personal pay. But the SEC regulators have now socked the slippery-fingered six with $22 million in penalties! But under the sweetheart corporation bylaws, $19 million of this legal assessment will be picked up not by the executives, but by Xerox and its insurance companies --plus, Xerox will pay the legal fees for the six.

"So it's you shareholders of Xerox and you ratepayers of the insurers who'll pick up the bulk of the tab. Ultimately we taxpayers will be hit for it, since Xerox can deduct a chunk from its corporate income tax as a cost of doing business. Crime pays! Paul Allaire, for example, was the Xerox CEO who presided over this shameful ripoff, and he has to pay a million-dollar fine out of his own pocket. That sounds like a serious bit of punishment... until you do the math. The SEC found that he had put $5.7 million worth of fraudulent gain in that pocket during the four-year scam. His haul is a net of $4.7 million--good work if you can get it!"


"That child [sent to Iraq] is ours. He does not belong to the neocons. They don't care who these kids are. They demand warm bodies to send into this black hole they created. I will spend every breath of my life working to get that lowlife fratboy dragged out of the White House in chains.." (Letters. The Nation. April 5, 2004, 23).


"...while hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqies have died in the combat for dubious objectives, American corporate interests are rollicking as they count their war profits...

"The corporate free-for-all has proven to be quite expensive for U.S. taxpayers. We pay American engineers 10 times the amount normally charged by their Iraqi counterparts.

"...the administration... has jettisoned basic safeguards like competition and supervision that are needed to protect the public interest" ("A Corporate Free-For-All Becomes a Fee for All." The Washington Spectator. July 15, 2004: 1).

"Now five former employees and one former executive have come forward to describe serious examples of Halliburton's waste and fraud in Iraq...

"...brand-new trucks worth $85,000 were abandoned if they got a flat tire or experienced minor mechanical problems.

"...employees spent weeks in Iraq with virtually nothing to do, they were instructed to bill 12-hour days 7 days a week on their time sheets.

"...rampant overcharging and mismanagement... the company refused to comply with the Army's request to move its employees from a five-star hotel in Kuwait -- which cost U.S. taxpayers about $10,000 a day -- into air-conditioned tent facilities that cost less than $600 a day... total losses due to waste and fraud... could amount to billions" ("A Corporate Free-For-All Becomes a Fee for All." The Washington Spectator. July 15, 2004: 3).


"Fact is that Nike doesn't lower the price on its shoes just because it pays workers in Indo-someplace a dollar a day, instead of the $10 an hour it used to pay U.S. workers. No, Nike simply pockets their savings. Also, if "Momma" hadn't had her middle-class job offshored by the likes of Nike, she wouldn't be poor---and then she could afford those $50 shoes made in America" (Jim Hightower. Hightower Lowdown. June 2004: 2).


"...Syracuse University analyzed IRS data and found a sharp decline in action against corporate tax cheats under Bush, with fewer audits, fewer prosecutions, and fewer penalties... IRS audits of the largest corporations have fallen almost by half" (Jim Hightower. The hightower Lowdown, June 2004:4).


"Every December for the past nineteen years, marchers in Bhopal, India, have paraded an iffigy of Warren Anderson through town and burned it. Anderson is despised because he was the CEO of Union Carbide on December 3, 1984, when an explosion at the company's Bhopal factory leaked deadly methyl isocyanate gas over the city's shantytowns in the worst industrial disaster in history. The exact death toll will never be known -- many corpses were disposed of in emergency mass burials or cremations without adequate documentation -- but the Indian government now puts the total at more than 22,000 and climbing...

"...Bee and Shukla are leading the fight to hold Union Carbide and its new owner, Dow Chemical, accountable for the Bhopal disaster, which the two women assert is still killing and injuring thousands of people a year through poisoned groundwater... A 1999 study commissioned by Greepeace International but conducted by independent scientists concluded that Bhopal's groundwater contains heavy metals, volatile chemicals and levels of mercury millions of timems higher than is considered safe...

"...an Indian court reinstated criminal charges against Union Carbide and Warren Anderson in 1991. When neither the corporation nor Anderson showed up for trial, they were declared fugitives from justice. The Indian government is now seeking their extradition, but Washington has not honored the request..." (Mark Hertsgaard. "Bhopal's Legacy." The Nation, May 24, 2004: 6-7).


"In early 2002, Erle Nye was the toast of the business world. As chief executive of TXU, he had managed to keep the Dallas-based, multibillion-dollar energy firm healthy and profitable at a time when many other energy companies stewed in disarray...

"But despite all the happy talk, TXU was actually careening toward bankruptcy. Just three months after that upbeat July earnings report, TXU abruptly disclosed that its European subsidiary had glaring financial problems. Executives were forced to sell off the European outfit at a $4 billion loss. The price of TXU stock plummeted 75 percent, and many elderly shareholders saw their life savings vanish in a matter of days...

"One of the lawsuits... is a whistleblower claim filed by a former TXU senior vice president. It is believed to be the first case to test the whistleblower protections of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress in response to the Enron fiasco. If the accusations are correct, then TXU violated the very laws designed to prevent another Enron..." (Dave Mann. "Power Players." Texas Observer, 9/10/04: 4-7)


"The coup d'etats of the twenty-first century will follow the Argentine model, in which the international banks seize the financial lifeblood of a nation, making the official presidential title holder merely inconsequential except as a factotum of the corporate agenda" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 199).

Venezuela represented a threatening example that could not be allowed to succeed" (199).

"An lastly, there is the all-important propaganda war aimed at U.S. citizens to ensure that Americans remain ignorant and quiescent when a democratically elected president is assassinated, overthrown or houded from office" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 200).


"America regulates industry like no other nation on Earth -- and for good reason. America tried it the other way, hoping the marketplace would reward enlightened producers and drive out the rogues. Not a chance...

"Andrew Jackson ran for president on the platform of outlawing that dangerous new concoction called the "corporations"" (227).

"Jackson and his ally, Thomas Jefferson, feared this faceless, heartless creature made of stock certificates. Before the advent of the stockholder corporation, business owners had names and faces. They could be held personally accountable for their evils before courts or mobs... But, ran Jackson's manifest, "Corporations have neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn." President Jackson could not stop the corporate dreadnought. Instead... Jackson established government regulation as the means by which the democracy would impose a sense of morality upon these amoral entities" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 228).


"Victims' rights are under attack. Waving the banner of "Tort Reform," corporate America has funded an ad campaign portraying enterpreneurs held hostage by frivolous lawsuits. But proposed remedies stink of special exemptions from justice...

"The tort reformers' line is that fee-hungry lawyers are hawking bogus fears, poisoning Americans' faith in the basic decency of the business community..." (235).

"...the massive increase in litigation has a single cause: a corporate civil crime wave" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 233).


"Since 2001 corporate profits are up 70 percent, and CEOs are diverting America's investment capital into buying out their competitors, shrinking both jobs and consumer choice" (Ed. by Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer. "More Brand Names Behind the Bush Agenda." Hightower Lowdown, Feb., 2005: 3).


"These days, we tend to take the principle of limited liability [corporate owners and managers are not held responsible for the crimes they commit] for granted. However, for a few centuries after its invention in the sixteenth century... it tended to be regarded with great suspicion...

"Adam Smith argued that limited liability would lead to shirking by managers... an important cause of financial speculation. Britain banned the formation of new limited liability companies on these grounds with the Bubble Act of 1720...

"...limited liability provides one of the most powerful mechanisms to "socialize risk" [read "steal from the common people"], which has made possible investments in unprecedented scale. That is why, despite its potential to creatte "moral hazard," all societies have come to accept limited liability as a cornerstone of modern corporate governance" (86)...

Anti-Trust Laws

"Contrary to what is assumed in much current literature on the subject, corporate governance is not simply a matter internal to the corporation in question. Actions by very large firms with significant market power can have consequences for the whole economy... In this context, corporate governance becomes a matter for society as a whole...

"...the most easily identifiable institution of "societal" corporate governance, namely, competition law (anti-monopoly and/or anti-trust legislation)...

"The USA was the pioneer in "modern" competition law... the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890... it was in fact mainly used against labour unionsrather than against large corporations" (Ha-Joon Chang. Kicking Away the Ladder: Developement Strategy in Historical Perspective. London: Anthem Press, 2002. page 91).


"The world's largest gold mining company has gone on trial in Indonesia accused of dumping millions of tonnes of mercury and arsenic-based pollutants in a picturesque bay, causing villagers to develop skin diseases.

"The case against the US-owned Newmont Mining Company is being closely watched by investors and environmentalists, who are waiting to see whether the Indonesian government will be prepared to punish a multinational company" (John Aglionby. "Gold mining giant in court." Guardian Weekly, Aug. 12, 2005: 10).


"Bernard Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom, was jailed for 25 years for his role in the $11bn fraud that drove the US firm into the largest bankruptcy in corporate history...

"Enron agreed to pay up to $1.5bn to settl allegations that it manipulated the energy markets for its own gain during the blackout crisis of 2000-01 on America's west coast("News In Brief." Guardian Weekly, July 28, 2005: 27). [Corporations claimed legal personhood, so why isn't Enron--or at least its officers and board of trustees--in jail for such highjinks?]


"Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is buying Miami-based Ivax Corp for $7.4bn to create the world's largest generic drug company" ("News in Brief." Guardian Weekly, Aug.4, 2005: 25).


"The recent conflict over what America eats, and the way the government promotes food, is a disturbing example of how in Bush's America corporate interests trump public health, public opinion and plain old common sense...

"...July 14-15, when the Federal Trade Commission held hearings on childhood obesity and food marketing... FTC chair Deborah Majoras had declared beforehand that the commission will do absolutely nothing to stop the rising flood of junk food advertising to children. In June the Department of Agriculture denied a request from our group Commercial Alert to enforce existing rules forbidding mealtime sales in school cafeterias of "foods of minimal nutritional value"--ie., junk foods and soda pop...

"...late 2001, when a Surgeon General's report called obesity an "epidemic"...

"... the President's Council on Physical Fitness... partners with... Coca-Cola, Burger King, General Mills, Pepsico and other blue chip members of the "obesity lobby"...

"Not a lot of subtlety is required to understand what's driving Administration policy. It's large infusions of cash...

"For their money, the industry has been able to buy into a strategy on obesity and food marketing that mirrors the approach taken by Big Tobacco... denial that the problem (obesity) is caused by the product (junk food). Instead, lack of exercise is fingered as the culprit... the fault not of food marketers but of parents" (Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor. "Junk Food Nation." The Nation, Sep. 5, 2005: 15-17).


"Over the course of about twenty years, Texaco dumped some 18 billion gallons of oil and toxic waste into Ecuador's lakes and streams, contaminating groundwater, rivers and fisheries and causing hundreds of Ecuadorians to die of strange cancers, according to the plaintiffs. Their lawyers and scientific experts insist it's the worst oil-related contamination in the world today--thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill" (Daphne Eviatar. "The high cost of oil." The Nation, Aug. 8, 2005: 28).


"Within the corporate culture in general, achievement is no longer connected to reward or failure to punishment. CEOs routinely see their earnings rise by millions while their companies' stock plummets. Meanwhile, at lower levels in the hierarchy, white collar folks get laid off simply because they have been successful enough to make their salaries a tempting cost cut. Thus, the relationship between accomplishments and success seems to have been inverted. "Wall Stree has traditionally rewarded people who succeeded," a consultant on executive pay tole The New York Times. "Now they are rewarding people who fail"" (Barbara Ehrenreich. "Perverse Rewards." The Progressive, Sep. 2005: 20-21).


Getty Museum Knowingly Buys Stolen Art

"The world's richest art institution knowingly bought scores of archaeological treasures looted from Italy, it has been alleged.

"Despite being warned as far back as 1985 that dealers were selling stolen goods, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles continued to buy them. The practice continued for so long that, according to the museum's internal review, almost half the masterpieces in its antiquities collection are likely to have been acquired illegally.

"New evidence of the scale of what Italy is calling "the Getty scandal" emerged on Monday, painting a picture of the favulously wealthy institution riding roughshod over a ban on taking Italy's historic treasures out of the country" (Barbara McMahon. "Getty Museum 'knowlingly bought archaeological treasures stolen from Italy'". Guardian Weekly, Sep. 30: 7).

News Articles

Email from Economic Policy Institute, 8/13/17

Corporations pay far less than the statutory tax rate

~

As the GOP pushes to pass tax reform, policymakers will begin debating whether the corporate tax rate—which is set at 35 percent—is too high or too low. But in a new Economic Snapshot, EPI’s Hunter Blair explains that, because of various loopholes, corporations actually pay between 13 and 19 percent in taxes, far lower than the official 35 percent rate. Blair says that if policymakers want meaningful tax reform that helps working people, they should close corporate tax loopholes and make corporations pay their fair share.

Trump’s Worst Collusion Isn’t With Russia — It’s With Corporations By Peter Certo [the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of OtherWords.org. ] July 14, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

The billionaires who backed Trump are making out a lot better than Putin.

“The effects of the crime are undetectable,” the legendary social critic Noam Chomsky says of the alleged Russian meddling, “unlike the massive effects of interference by corporate power and private wealth.”

The top priority in Congress right now is to move a health bill that would gut Medicaid and throw at least 22 million Americans off their insurance — while loosening regulations on insurance companies and cutting taxes on the wealthiest by over $346 billion.

Meanwhile, majorities of Americans in every single congressional district support efforts to curb local pollution, limit carbon emissions, and transition to wind and solar. And majorities in every single state back the Paris climate agreement.

Yet even as scientists warn large parts of the planet could soon become uninhabitable, the fossil fuel-backed Trump administration has put a climate denier in charge of the EPA, pulled the U.S. out of Paris, and signed legislation to let coal companies dump toxic ash in local waterways.

Meanwhile, as the administration escalates the unpopular Afghan war once again, Kushner invited billionaire military contractors — including Blackwater founder Erik Prince — to advise on policy there.

Elsewhere, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other architects of the housing crash are advising Trump on financial deregulation, while student debt profiteers set policy at the Department of Education.

Chomsky complains that this sort of collusion is often “not considered a crime but the normal workings of democracy.” While Trump has taken it to new heights, it’s certainly a bipartisan problem.

The Death of the Republic By Chris Hedges [best journalist extant in my opinion] May 22, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

Corporations, cannibalizing the federal budget, legally empower themselves to exploit and pillage. It is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries can hold sick children hostage while their parents bankrupt themselves trying to save their sons or daughters. Those burdened by student loans can never wipe out the debt by declaring bankruptcy. In many states, those who attempt to publicize the conditions in the vast factory farms where diseased animals are warehoused for slaughter can be charged with a criminal offense. Corporations legally carry out tax boycotts. Companies have orchestrated free trade deals that destroy small farmers and businesses and deindustrialize the country.

Labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders have been defanged. The Supreme Court, in an inversion of rights worthy of George Orwell, defines unlimited corporate contributions to electoral campaigns as a right to petition the government or a form of free speech. Much of the press, owned by large corporations, is an echo chamber for the elites. State and city enterprises and utilities are sold to corporations that hike rates and deny services to the poor. The educational system is being slowly privatized and turned into a species of vocational training.

One million prisoners work for corporations inside prisons as modern-day slaves.

Slavehood 2017 By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.] May 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

When in the 18th and 19th Century African slaves did not ‘behave’, they were cruelly beaten sometimes to death as a deterrent for others. They were deprived of food for their families. Their women were raped. They were traded to even harsher white masters. Their lives were worth only what their labor could produce. They were treated as subjects, devoid of human warmth.

Today we have become all slaves; slaves to the powers of mafia bankster of finance; slaves to the western lie-propaganda; to the lobbies and their giant all dominating corporations – to the war-industry, because we happily believe what we are told about ever-increasing terrorism that needs to be fought with eternal wars; slaves to the environment-destructive hydrocarbon industry; to the pharma-industry; to the Monsanto-ized agroindustry; to senseless consumerism – and foremost – and summing it all up: to greed, endless greed that drives endless growth, nurturing endless competition fomenting adversity, destroying solidarity, instead of amical cooperation for a harmonious human cohabitation.

As people of western nations, we are enslaved to an all-engulfing neoliberal fascism – to a predatory economy. Corporate lie propaganda drip-feds our brains. We haven’t even noticed it. We are enslaved to so-called ‘leaders’, put in office by obscure foreign masters of deceit – the ever-stronger corporate controlled propaganda machine – the six all controlling Zion-Anglo media, whom we believe whatever lie they vomit – because it is more comfortable to believe a lie than to confront the truth – that’s self-imposed slavehood.

That’s how far we have gone. Because we are clearly on an almost irreversible downward track – sliding and running towards our own demise – into darkness – the darkness of chaos and bloody wars, endless wars against self-invented terrorism; wars that keeps our western economy running – and our armchair politics alive. Wars that kill and slaughter millions and millions – but all in ‘far-away’ lands. We are told we are protected. Our police and military watch over us. The new gods – money and military.

Although ‘pride’ was never an appropriate term to integrate our soul and minds, as we the western powers – have for centuries enslaved, raped, exploited and slaughtered the indigenous people, those who have for millennia, for history of mankind survived and passed on our human genes from one murderous civilization to another, always in the hope that the new one would see the light.

We can only hope that the patience of these native people, the survivors, our saviors – will prevail, that before we disappear in darkness, in the void of a manmade blackhole, we will awake, open our eyes and seek the light – become finally human, the term we have fraudulently applied to ourselves – the western civilization.

Independent thinking has become a crime, as it impedes the advancement of slavehood. Education is designed to kill individual thinking and the wide range of inventiveness – because it’s dangerous – for those who enslave and control us. ‘New-speak’ education has to make us thinking what the system wants us to think. That’s what western education has become in the last 50 years – a farce to keep us as non-thinking idiots.

Idiots are easily enslaved and exploited and sent to wars – to steal foreign resources to satisfy the greed of a few. We love to be cannon fodder, as we were told – enslaved – to believe that good patriots love to die for their country. We are blinded and avoid seeing that we are dying fighting to satisfy puppet leaders’ greed for power and money – whose power is nothing more than that allowed them by the Masters who control the world and who pull the strings on their marionettes.

Chris Hedges: The Mexicanization of the United States The neoliberal ideology that is the engine of corporate capitalism spews its poison around the globe. Constitutions are rewritten by judicial fiat in a mockery of democracy. Laws and regulations that impede corporate exploitation are abolished. Corporations orchestrate legally sanctioned tax boycotts. Free-trade deals destroy small farmers and businesses along with labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders. The press is transformed into an echo chamber for the corporate elites. Wages stagnate or decline. Unemployment and underemployment soar. Social services are curtailed or abolished in the name of austerity. The political system becomes a charade. Dissent is criminalized. The ecocide by the fossil fuel industry accelerates. State enterprises and utilities are sold to corporations. The educational system mutates into vocational training. Culture and the arts are replaced by sexual commodification, banal entertainment and graphic depictions of violence. Infrastructures crumble.

The working poor—sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit and suffering job losses, bankruptcies, foreclosures, harassment and arrest—watch helplessly as their dreams for themselves and their children evaporate. Some are forced into an underground economy dominated by drugs, crime and human trafficking. Some turn to opiates to blunt the despair. (Heroin use in the United States has doubled since 2007.) Suicides mount. (There are more than 40,000 a year in the U.S.) Hunger spreads. (Some 48.1 million Americans, including 15.3 million children, live in food-insecure households.) The state, to prevent unrest, militarizes the police agencies and empowers them to use lethal force against unarmed civilians. It fills the prisons.

From Mexico to Greece to the United States, the scenario is the same, varying only in degree. Neoliberalism and globalization create a vast race to the bottom. Duplicitous political elites, epitomized by Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, are or will be highly compensated for doling out trillions in “quantitative easing” to banks and other financial firms while delivering credulous voters to the corporate guillotine. Everyone and everything, including the natural world, is transformed into a commodity to exploit for profit.

The corporate pillage, as the Argentines have recently discovered, is limitless. The new Argentine president, the right-wing Mauricio Macri—put in office by corporate backers—has agreed to pay billions to a handful of hedge funds that bought up the country’s debt for a pittance and then demanded full repayment. Paul Singer’s Elliott Management alone will make $2.4 billion, as much as 15 times its initial investment.

The corporate looting is impervious to regulation or reform. It will continue until there is nothing left to exploit or is halted by popular revolt... Mexico is not an anomaly. Mexico is the future.

In the U.S. there is the added dead weight of the war industry. We have spent or obligated $4.4 trillion for the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. In 15 years of war we have produced hundreds of thousands of dead, millions of refugees, wholesale devastation in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Islamic terrorists, a series of failed states that stretches from Iraq and Syria to Libya, and obscene profits for the arms manufacturers, who constitute the only real reason these wars are still being fought. The national treasury is being drained for military adventurism that makes us one of the most reviled nations on earth.

The continued reliance on established mechanisms of political participation and reform—the chief mistake made by the supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—will not work. The entire system has to be demolished, as radicals in parties such as Syriza and Podemos understand. The effort is not only a war to bring down financial systems. It is a war to bring down political systems. It is a war that requires widespread and sustained popular revolt dedicated to overthrowing all the mechanisms of corporate power.

VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges and Jill Stein Confront the ‘Corporate Leviathan’

The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History Chris Hedges. Posted on Nov 6, 2015

The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared.

“The TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.”

The TPP is part of a triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services, is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017.

These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement.

The TPP removes legislative authority from Congress and the White House on a range of issues. Judicial power is often surrendered to three-person trade tribunals in which only corporations are permitted to sue. Workers, environmental and advocacy groups and labor unions are blocked from seeking redress in the proposed tribunals. The rights of corporations become sacrosanct. The rights of citizens are abolished.

There will be a mass mobilization Nov. 14 through 18 in Washington to begin the push to block the TPP. Rising up to stop the TPP is a far, far better investment of our time and energy than engaging in the empty political theater that passes for a presidential campaign.

The agreement is the product of six years of work by global capitalists from banks, insurance companies, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and other corporations.

The agreement has built within it a deep antipathy to state-supported or state-owned enterprises. It gives away what is left of our democracy to the World Trade Organization.

The agreement, in essence, becomes global law. Any agreements over carbon emissions by countries made through the United Nations are effectively rendered null and void by the TPP.

The way to stop corporate lawbreaking is to prosecute the people who break the law says Robert Reich ".. calls for holding more corporate executive lawbreakers criminally liable for corporate crimes.

"After reviewing allegations that GM, Credit Suisse, and Arthur Anderson broke the laws, receiving relatively trivial fines, which they consider part of the cost of doing business, Robert Reich notes that no executives have been charged with any crimes and suggests that until we start putting senior corporate executives in jail, we will see no diminution of corporate wrong doing.

"The truth is, corporations aren't people -- despite what the Supreme Court says. Corporations don't break laws; specific people do. In the cases of GM and Credit Suisse, the evidence points to executives at or near the top.

"Conservatives are fond of talking about personal responsibility. But when it comes to white-collar crime, I haven't heard them demand that individuals be prosecuted.

"Yet the only way to deter giant corporations from harming the public is to go after people who cause the harm."


Corporate Personhood?

Reclaim Democracy "restoring citizen authority over corporations
Alliance for Democracy "progressive populist movement--not a political party--setting forth to end corporate domination, to establish true political democracy and to build a just society with a sustainable, equitable economy"

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers COMCAST CABLE: One Philly resident after another described Comcast as an appalling combination of high prices and terrible customer service... Consumerist named Comcast “Worst Company in America” thanks to its ever-increasing prices and endless stream of consumer complaints.; TIME WARNER CABLE: Deceptive marketing and misleading promotions, billing practices--they were ridden with questionable or bogus fees; VERIZON: Verizon agreed to pay a $90 million penalty after the FCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went after it for cramming, the unethical practice of adding unauthorized third-party charges to a customer’s bill in exchange for a commission.; AT&T: The most common complaints included slow data connections, dropped calls and billing errors, and exorbitant fees for early termination. UNITED AIRLINES: there have been so many mergers that only four airlines—United, American, Southwest and Delta—now control 85% of domestic air travel. The result of all this consolidation: higher fares and worse customer service. AMERICAN AIRLINES: Canceled flights were a common complaint in OSPIRG’s report, while “other top problems were about baggage, customer service” and “issues with reservations, bookings, and boarding.” BANK OF AMERICA: Two-thirds of those complaints, CFPB found, involved debt collection, loan modifications and foreclosures. WELLS FARGO: In both lawsuits, Wells Fargo is accused of exploiting customers by opening unwanted accounts in order to generate fees. AETNA: has a long history of raising premiums considerably while subjecting Americans to abysmal customer service. ANTHEM BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD: In 2011, the American Medical Association reported that 19.3% of health insurance claims were being processed incorrectly in the U.S. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, aka Anthem, Inc., was among the worst offenders: only 61% of its claims were being processed correctly. But despite its bungling and atrocious customer service, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield wasn’t exactly known for reasonable prices.

You deserve the facts Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, "People don’t go hungry in a capitalist economy." There are 16 million children on food stamps in America... Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, and nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, who average about $5 a day for their meals. Yet the 2014 farm bill cut almost a billion dollars a year from the food stamp program...

Even more disturbing is the reality of homeless children. As America's wealth was growing by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion, the number of children without homes was also growing by 60 percent. For every two homeless children in 2006, there are now three... From a global perspective, the U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world.

Our nation ranks near the bottom of the developed world in the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education. Yet Head Start was recently hit with the worst cutbacks in its history... Most Americans express shock upon hearing these figures. They should be shocked. And the media should be reporting the facts, no matter how unpleasant they may be.

Could Veganism End World Hunger? The World Health Organization calls malnutrition "the silent emergency", and says it is a factor in at least half the 10.4 million child deaths which occur every year.

If you’re concerned about animal rights, water conservation, clean air and health then you may already be on the road to becoming vegan – so why not take five minutes and find out how veganism could end world hunger?

There is more than enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world twice over.

The problem is, our meat-based diet means that land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead.

70% of U.S. grain production is fed to livestock.

One-third of the world's fish catch is fed directly to livestock.

In cycling our grain through livestock, we waste 90% of its protein and 96% of its calories.

An acre of cereal can produce five times more protein than an acre devoted to meat production. Legumes [beans] can produce ten times as much.

"Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food." (Lester Brown, president of Worldwatch)

The truth can no longer be dodged. Livestock farming gobbles up agricultural land, water and energy that could be far more efficiently devoted to growing food for people.

The cost of an 8 ounce steak will fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains.

Livestock now outnumber humans by almost three to one. In the last 40 years, the number of cattle has doubled and the fowl population has trebled.

The meat and dairy industry is also putting a huge strain on our water supply.. it is unsustainable.

"The American fast food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry" [Dr. Waldo Bello].

It would take just 40 million tons of food to eliminate most world hunger, yet a staggering 760 million tons of grain will be used to feed farmed animals this year.

An individual can make a huge difference. They can stop supporting the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries. They can become vegan.

In the U.S., 64% of cropland produces feed for animals, while only 2% grows fruit and vegetables.

It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.

Fact: You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.

Veganism is about wanting something better.. for the future of our children and the world as a whole.

Veganism is about making the world we live in a better place for people and animals alike.


Links

Diet and Global Warming If one takes the threat of global warming seriously, the most powerful personal step you can take may well be choosing a vegetarian diet.

All State Insurance Sucks
Amex Sucks
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) MOVEMENT
Costco: "A Corporation That Breaks the Greed Mold" by Jim Hightower
Delocator find locations in cities where Starbucks is not and where good independent houses are... a direct way for anyone to strike a blow against the corporate machine
Monsters, Inc. "According to the DSM-IV, the corporation is ... a prototypical psychopath"
Paypal Sucks
United Package Smashers (UPS)
Verizon Pathetic
WAL-MART lot of quotes on them
Wal-Mart Blows
War Profiteers Exactly one year after the United States launched the dawn invasion of Iraq, war profiteering by multinational companies is at an all-time high with military contractors dramatically boosting revenues
Corporate Accountability International John Stewart. WE protect human rights, public health and the environment from corporate greed and abuse around the world.

The Shocking Tax Loophole for Corporations that Commit Crimes This is how taxpayers end up subsidizing corporate criminals. Jim Hightower


Oil Spills, Mining

Will the Gulf of Mexico Remain a Dumping Ground for Offshore Fracking Waste? Federal documents obtained this year by the Center for Biological Diversity revealed that the Obama administration approved more than 1,200 offshore fracks in 630 different wells in the Gulf from 2010 to 2014. The fracking took place off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — with no public involvement or site-specific tests done beforehand to evaluate the environmental impact.

Map of Fracked Wells in the Gulf of Mexico

Given that it takes millions of gallons of water to frack a single well, and that on its way into the earth to force out oil or gas reserves the water becomes contaminated with radioactive elements, heavy metals and other toxic compounds, you might wonder: Where is all that offshore fracking wastewater going?

Directly into the Gulf, as it turns out.

How You Can Support Standing Rock This is your pipeline battle too. Whatever you have to offer, we need it. Wherever you are, take one step deeper. Find your voice. Find your own front lines.

I am a settler on this land but have spent the past couple of years supporting indigenous battles against new oil pipelines. These are the front lines of the struggle to end the desecration of Mother Earth, the catastrophes of climate change, and the ongoing genocidal occupation of Indigenous lands that makes that all possible.


Sunrise on the Cannonball River and the Oceti Sakowin camp, Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Photo by Thane Maxwell.

Across the continent, Big Oil is pushing a massive new network of oil and gas infrastructure, retooling in a desperate attempt to extract the dirtiest fuels on the planet and squeeze the last few drops of profit out of an era that clearly needs to end. Without exception, these projects threaten tribal lands, and without exception, they face bold Indigenous resistance.

A historic new chapter in this story is now unfolding on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of people from hundreds of tribes and First Nations have gathered in solidarity to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. I am one of the organizers helping to leverage resources and coordinate the campaign, and every day I hear from allies across the continent asking how to support the movement.

Federal Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years Even as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Standing Rock has galvanized Native Americans across the U.S., a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Utah Republican Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz seeks to take 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies.

The proposed bill also seeks to remove protection from 18 million acres of land in eastern Utah and prevent President Obama from designating the Bears Ears area a national monument.

Adjoining Canyonlands National Park and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Bears Ears is an unprotected culturally significant region that contains more than 100,000 Native American archeological sites. These sacred sites are subject to continual looting and desecration. More than a dozen serious looting cases were reported between May 2014 and April 2015.

The area has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years. Many Southwestern tribes have longstanding connections to this land, including Navajo, Ute and Paiute peoples. The Navajo Nation and the White Mesa Ute Reservation border Bears Ears. Rock paintings and petroglyphs are found throughout the area.


"Capitalism" & Globalization

Arundhati Roy Confronts the Tyranny of the Free Market Perhaps the most revealing words on the topic of globalization in recent years came not from the pen of Thomas Piketty, nor were they written by Robert Reich or Joseph Stiglitz or Paul Krugman — rather, they can be found in the pages of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, written by the notorious New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

“The hidden hand of the market,” Friedman notes in a particularly telling fragment, “will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglass, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.”

Friedman isn’t known for his subtlety or sincerity, but the above passage strikes at a crucial truth. So much so, in fact, that Arundhati Roy christened it “the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalization that I have read.”


Please send comments to: co@dadbyrn.com Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Professor Emeritus