28 June, 2010
One of the benefits of the corporate form is that it gives giant corporations the ability to escape liability. BP may or may not choose to capitalize on such escapes, but it would be foolish to presume that it won't. …
Some of the ways that BP could substantially lower their payments on the oil “spill”.
1. The AH Robins/Dalkon Shield Bankruptcy Scam
A.H. Robins, the manufacturer of the defective Dalkon Shield intrauterine device, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1985. Women who were victims of the dangerous device received less compensation than they otherwise would have. Meanwhile, with the company's otherwise open-ended liability demarcated in the bankruptcy process, Robins' value shot up. AHP (now part of Wyeth, itself now part of Pfizer) acquired the company at a premium, with the Robins family making off with hundreds of millions of dollars.
BP wouldn't follow the Robins' model exactly. The play for BP would not be to declare bankruptcy for the parent company, but for BP America or another subsidiary that could be tagged with the liability for the Gulf of Mexico gusher.
In advance of such a move, BP might try to move assets out of the designated subsidiary and into other subsidiaries in its vast network. Such asset shifting is not permissible, and creditors would challenge any such moves, if they could discover them. But using its labyrinthine structure, BP might hope to evade the creditors. Even without the asset shifting effort, bankruptcy for an affiliate could prove attractive for BP.
2. The Union Carbide Disappearance
Union Carbide was the company responsible for the world's worst industrial disaster. A gas escape from its chemical facility in Bhopal, India killed many thousands (likely tens of thousands) and severely injured tens of thousands more. After settling for a paltry amount with the Indian government, Union Carbide disappeared as a standalone company. It is now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical.
Says Dow: "Dow has no responsibility for Bhopal." Moreover, "The former Bhopal plant was owned and operated by Union Carbide India, Ltd. (UCIL), an Indian company, with shared ownership by Union Carbide Corporation, the Indian government, and private investors. Union Carbide sold its shares in UCIL in 1994, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India, Ltd., which remains a significant Indian company today."
BP might conceivably be acquired by another oil major. Or, more likely, it might just sell some or all of its U.S. subsidiaries. If the liability cap in the Oil Pollution Act works to protect BP from legally recoverable claims (perhaps less likely than has been reported, since the cap does not apply to a spill caused by violation of applicable federal rules), an acquiring company could simply state that it refuses to make good on the liabilities that BP now says it will voluntarily accept. A new company would also benefit from operating BP assets with a new, uninjured brand name.
3. The Shell Company Game
A variant on the Union Carbide Disappearance gambit would involve selling one or more subsidiaries' assets, but leaving the current corporate structure in place. Liability would still attach to the old subsidiaries, but it would be devoid of assets to pay - if BP could find a way to move the cash it received for selling assets out of the subsidiary and out of reach of creditors.
Again, such a move should not be legal. But it would be a mistake to assume that formal legal rules provide guarantees when billions or tens of billions of dollars are at stake for a giant, global multinational.
4. The Exxon Hardball Approach
BP's lawyers are undoubtedly considering other, more straightforward approaches to limit the company's liability. Under the Exxon Hardball approach, BP would follow its oil company brethren's approach to the Valdez spill. Drag out compensation payments. Challenge adverse legal rulings. Rely on a corporate-friendly judiciary to overturn or scale back any large scale jury verdicts or government-proposed fines.
5. The Big Tobacco Global Deal
Another approach might be for BP to offer a "global settlement" of all claims arising from the Gulf Oil gusher. This would follow the precedent of Big Tobacco, which in 1997 offered to put hundreds of billions of dollars on the table, and accept some regulatory restraints, to settle lawsuits for its past misconduct and effectively preclude new litigation. (This deal was ultimately scuttled.) For BP, the play would be to put a "shock and awe" amount of money on the table to resolve all claims and penalties. Its aim would be to eliminate the prospect of getting hit with outsized punitive damages or fines, and escaping payment for ecological damage that may not be apparent for many years - amounts that might vastly exceed what BP pays.
Against this panoply of available maneuvers, public officials have limited options. The Obama administration is finally doing the right thing in, first, talking about the danger of BP draining company assets via dividend payments, and, second, demanding the establishment of an escrow fund. Calling attention to abusive corporate stratagems not yet underway is one of the best ways to prevent their deployment. And an escrow fund would establish a guaranteed pool of available money for victims - establishing the fund apart from BP's control is at least as important as ensuring fair and independent handling of victims' claims.
What this and future administrations also need is a way to exert control over companies facing environmental or other liabilities of the scale now facing BP - a kind of receivership to prevent manipulations of the corporate form to enable corporate goliaths to escape liability.
Forcing corporations to pay for the damage they cause is not sufficient to prevent them from recklessly endangering people and the planet, but it is certainly necessary. Permitting them to avoid liability and foist costs on to others is to ensure more and worse corporate catastrophes.
This is hiliarious! This website appears to have been created for school children.
There are also several videos and links to official disinformation sites.
Under Resources for Misinformation:
Urban Legend Reference Pages: Links to the completely asinine webpage: http://www.snopes.com/
The 9/11 link links to the officially asinine CIA disinfo page:
There is also an associated officially asinine blog by Todd Leventhal, here: http://blogs.america.gov/rumors/
"Todd Leventhal is the head of the Counter Misinformation Team, of the United States Department of State's International Information Programs Bureau. The team responds to misinformation and disinformation about the United States government."
“Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas. Click on the text boxes below to learn about popular conspiracy theories.”
Health is a critically important issue for everyone. When new, life-threatening diseases emerge, such as AIDS, the H1N1 flu, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), people are alarmed and can seize on conspiracy theories to explain their sudden appearance.
Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov has admitted the Soviet KGB concocted the false story that the AIDS virus was created in a U.S. military laboratory. Scientists now believe that AIDS most likely spread to humans from a West African chimpanzee in about 1930, long before genetic engineering existed.
When new, immune-suppression drugs made life-saving organ transplants much more feasible in the 1980s, false organ theft rumors began to appear, reflecting deep-seated fears about body integrity. Illegal organ transplants for payment do occur, however, and coercion can happen in this black market.
Dramatic, polarizing events often give rise to conspiracy theories, and the September 11 attacks were the most dramatic terrorist attacks in history. Nonsense about them abounds, especially in the popular video “Loose Change.”
See “The Top September 11 Conspiracy Theories” for an overview. There was no “controlled demolition” of the World Trade Center towers. Instead, the unprecedented attack by hijacked airliners full of jet fuel destroyed support pillars, loosened fireproofing insulation, and ignited fires that destroyed the twin towers. The collapse of the north tower heavily damaged World Trade Center 7, igniting fires and causing its collapse.
A hijacked plane, not a cruise missile, hit the Pentagon, as detailed in a photo gallery. Four thousand Jews did not miss work at the World Trade Center on September 11. And al-Qaida has admitted, many times, that it carried out the attacks.
As a powerful force in society, the military is naturally feared, and fear plays a major role in conspiracy theories.
Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but "depleted uranium" might sound scarier to you.
North Korea has waged a nearly-60-year disinformation campaign to try to convince the world that the United States used biological weapons during the Korean War. Such claims are false.
Biological weapons evoke the nightmare fear of uncontrolled, deadly mass epidemics. The United States eliminated all of its biological weapons in the early 1970s. Those who falsely claim otherwise rely on the extraordinary power of this fear to overwhelm facts.
Outer space is the realm of the unimaginable. An encounter with intelligent alien life would be the most extraordinary moment in human history, which is precisely why it would be absolutely impossible to keep such an encounter secret if it were to occur.
As space travel began to become a real possibility in the 20th century, aliens in “flying saucers“ became a focus of fears and anxiety, replacing earthbound spirits. We project onto imaginary aliens some of our deepest fears — that we could be victimized, enslaved or exterminated by a technologically superior civilization. Typically conceived as highly intelligent, imaginary aliens represent the ultimate unknowable, feared “other.”
In addition to conspiracy theories about aliens, other conspiracy theories surround real space exploration. The first heavier-than-air craft flew in 1903; only 66 years later, men landed on the moon. This rapid technological progress can be difficult to comprehend, which may make it easier for some people to mistakenly believe the moon landing was a hoax.
Economic conspiracy theories are often based on the false, but popular, idea that powerful individuals are motivated overwhelmingly by their desire for wealth, rather than the wide variety of human motivations we all experience. (This one-dimensional, cartoonish view of human nature is at the heart of Marxist ideology, which once held hundreds of millions under its sway.)
One fantasy, reflecting this simplistic, unimaginative way of interpreting human events, falsely claims that U.S. national security agencies employ “economic hit men” to entrap countries with huge amounts of debt.
Within the United States, those who fear international influences may believe false stories that, with Canada and Mexico, the United States is replacing the dollar with a new “Amero” currency, patterned after the Euro, or that the United States is sacrificing its sovereignty to an imaginary “North American Union.”
Perhaps more conspiracy theories surround Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John Kennedy in 1963, than anyone in American history. The Soviet KGB, Cuba, the mafia, the CIA, and others have been blamed for killing Kennedy, but all evidence indicates that Oswald acted alone.
Today, some conspiracy theorists falsely claim President Obama was not born in the United States, making him ineligible to be president. However, there is no doubt that he was born in Hawaii.
The so-called “Franklin Prophecy,” which continues to appear in various countries, is an anti-Jewish forgery that first appeared in the United States in 1934. It falsely claims that American founding father Benjamin Franklin warned against Jewish influence in America and proposed that Jews be expelled from the United States.
U.S. and Islam
The false notion that the United States is engaged in a “war on Islam” has all the elements of a classic conspiracy theory: exaggerated, irrational fears; no evidence for the charges; and yet widespread belief they are true.
As President Obama said, “The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.” He noted that “America and Islam … share common principles — principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
Another false charge is that the United States has created an American Quran. A third is that a grandfather or ancestor of President George Bush wrote a book harshly critical of Mohammed.
There are a number of false conspiracy theories about U.S. actions or intentions in Latin America.
One totally untrue claim is that the United States plans to establish a military base in Paraguay.
Another, a forgery with many misspellings (apparently crafted by a Portuguese speaker), falsely claims the United States and the United Nations have assumed control of the Amazon rainforest in order to safeguard its treasures for all mankind.
A third false charge is that the United States is planning to invade Venezuela in an operation called “Plan Balboa.”
Finally, the so-called “Cuban Five“ are agents and officers of Cuba’s foreign intelligence service convicted of committing crimes in the United States as part of a Cuban intelligence spy group, not victims of American injustice as Cuban propaganda claims.
After the December 2004 South Asian tsunami, a conspiracy theory arose that the United States allegedly had “foreknowledge” of the tsunami, but withheld it from South Asian countries while warning the U.S. base at Diego Garcia. Others falsely claimed the tsunami was caused by underground nuclear tests.
Perhaps the world’s most famous, widely believed forgery is the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a more-than-100-year-old document that purported to detail how the Jews allegedly planned to take over the world. Articles in The Times of London in 1921 definitively showed the “Protocols” to be a fake, with large sections copied from a book published in Geneva in 1864, Dialogues in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu by Maurice Joly.
See this overview on how to identify conspiracy theories, urban legends and misinformation.
24 June, 2010
JFK’s Address to ANPA – American Newspaper Publishers Association (1961)
Is JFK describing secret societies, the covert government, or the CIA-military-industrial complex, describing in great detail the very conspiratorial forces that took him down?
Or is he talking about Communism?
Is he talking to the press about their cooperation with the CIA? Or is he talking about the press and national security?
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
22 June, 2010
18 June, 2010
Oil spill communities have been experiencing odors and health complaints consistent with exposure to oil spill chemicals. At the same time, EPA is reporting “typical” air quality for the areas monitored. This disconnect reflects gaps in the current monitoring and communication plans employed by EPA that must be remedied.
Expand monitoring to includes Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs)
Monitor wind patterns
Obtain all relevant data on pollutant releases
Ensure public disclosure
Communicate monitored results on a website
Let’s go EPA!
16 June, 2010
Unaminously passed the Icelandic Parliament. 50 votes were cast in favor, zero against, one abstained. Twelve members of parliament were not present.
Video features interview with Julian Assange of Wikileaks. Go Iceland!
The southern Louisiana towns of Diamond, Morrisonville, Sunrise and Revilletown - all founded by former slaves - met similar fates. After years of chemical-related poisoning, the remaining residents have been relocated and the corporations that drove them out now own their land. In most cases, only a cemetery remains and former residents must pass through plant security to visit their relatives' graves.
The town of Diamond, founded by the descendents of the participants of the 1811 Rebellion to End Slavery, the largest slave uprising in US history, was relocated by Shell in 2002, after residents had faced decades of toxic exposure. Morrisonville, established by free Africans in 1790, was bought out by Dow in 1989. Residents of Sunrise, inaugurated near Baton Rouge by former slaves in 1874, were paid to move as the result of a lawsuit against the Placid Refining Company. In the mid-1990s, chemical producer Georgia Gulf Corporation poisoned and then acquired Revilletown, a town free Africans had started in the years after the civil war.
"We make the mistake of thinking this is something new," says Harden. She adds that the historic treatment of these communities, as well as the lack of recovery that New Orleanians have seen since Katrina, makes her doubt the federal government will do what is necessary for Gulf recovery. "Since Obama got into office," she says, "I have yet to see any action that reverses what Bush did after Katrina."
15 June, 2010
After two serious oil spills and other mishaps, the BP employees fingered a long list of safety issues that have not been adequately addressed, making the Prudhoe Bay oilfield vulnerable to a devastating accident that potentially could rival the havoc in the Gulf.
"The condition of the [Prudhoe Bay] field is a lot worse and in my opinion a lot more dangerous," said Marc Kovac, who has worked for BP on Alaska's North Slope for more than three decades. "We still have hundreds of miles of rotting pipe ready to break that needs to be replaced. We are totally unprepared for a large spill."
Kovac, a mechanic and welder who is the steward of the United Steelworkers union local 4959, said a lot of employees share his feelings, but "don't want to risk their jobs for speaking out." Kovac said he was willing to take the risk because BP has been slow to deal with the Prudhoe Bay problems and that "many lives are at stake."
Some of the employees, speaking anonymously, said BP follows an "operate to failure" attitude. Kovac said that means BP Alaska avoids spending money on "upkeep" and instead runs the equipment until it breaks down.
WASHINGTON — Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure's on to allow them in the skies over the United States.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been asked to issue flying rights for a range of pilotless planes to carry out civilian and law-enforcement functions but has been hesitant to act. Officials are worried that they might plow into airliners, cargo planes and corporate jets that zoom around at high altitudes, or helicopters and hot air balloons that fly as low as a few hundred feet off the ground.
On top of that, these pilotless aircraft come in a variety of sizes. Some are as big as a small airliner, others the size of a backpack. The tiniest are small enough to fly through a house window.
The obvious risks have not deterred the civilian demand for pilotless planes. Tornado researchers want to send them into storms to gather data. Energy companies want to use them to monitor pipelines. State police hope to send them up to capture images of speeding cars' license plates. Local police envision using them to track fleeing suspects.
Like many robots, the planes have advantages over humans for jobs that are dirty, dangerous or dull. And the planes often cost less than piloted aircraft and can stay aloft far longer.
"There is a tremendous pressure and need to fly unmanned aircraft in (civilian) airspace," Hank Krakowski, FAA's head of air traffic operations, told European aviation officials recently. "We are having constant conversations and discussions, particularly with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, to figure out how we can do this safely with all these different sizes of vehicles."
There are two types of unmanned planes: Drones, which are automated planes programmed to fly a particular mission, and aircraft that are remotely controlled by someone on the ground, sometimes from thousands of miles away.
Last year, the FAA promised defense officials it would have a plan this year. The agency, which has worked on this issue since 2006, has reams of safety regulations that govern every aspect of civilian aviation but is just beginning to write regulations for unmanned aircraft.
"I think industry and some of the operators are frustrated that we're not moving fast enough, but safety is first," Krakowski said in an interview. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Iraq. This is a part of the world that has a lot of light airplanes flying around, a lot of business jets."
One major concern is the prospect of lost communication between unmanned aircraft and the operators who remotely control them. Another is a lack of firm separation of aircraft at lower altitudes, away from major cities and airports. Planes entering these areas are not required to have collision warning systems or even transponders. Simply being able to see another plane and take action is the chief means of preventing accidents.
The Predator B, already in use for border patrol, can fly for 20 hours without refueling, compared with a helicopter's average flight time of just over two hours. Homeland Security wants to expand their use along the borders of Mexico and Canada, and along coastlines for spotting smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens. The Coast Guard wants to use them for search and rescue.
The National Transportation Safety Board held a forum in 2008 on safety concerns associated with pilotless aircraft after a Predator crashed in Arizona. The board concluded the ground operator remotely controlling the plane had inadvertently cut off the plane's fuel.
Texas officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, have been leaning on the FAA to approve requests to use unmanned aircraft along the Texas-Mexico border. FAA recently approved one request to use the planes along the border near El Paso, but another request to use them along the Texas Gulf Coast and near Brownsville is still pending.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has told lawmakers that safety concerns are behind the delays. Cornyn is blocking a Senate confirmation vote on President Barack Obama's nominee for the No. 2 FAA job, Michael Huerta, to keep the pressure on.
Continue reading here:
In February, we reported that in 2010, Social Security would start running deficits in 2010. Well, Social Security deficits have officially arrived, as analyst Michael Barone lays out in the Washington Examiner:
Social Security tax receipts for the first half of 2010: $346.9 billion; Social Security benefits payments for the same period: $347.3 billion. Before this year, projections have always been that Social Security wouldn’t cross that line into negative cash flow for five years or so. Now it’s a reality. Congress has been spending Social Security’s positive cash flow for years. Now there’s no positive cash flow to spend.
These deficits are a result of the current economic climate. Federal revenues have continued to dwindle as job creation stagnates, reducing tax collection along with it. Unemployment has also forced many Americans into early retirement, adding to the ranks of those dependent on Social Security.
Whether the current Social Security deficits are temporary or not, they are projected to become permanent in 2016. From then on, the Social Security Trust Fund is expected to pay out benefits until 2037. But as Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute explains, even that isn’t reassuring, since “the Trust Fund contains no actual assets. The government bonds it holds are simply a form of IOU, a measure of how much money the government owes the system. It says nothing about where the government will get the money to pay back those IOUs.” In other words, the Trust Fund doesn’t actually have any real money in it.
Social Security benefits will not be reduced in response to today’s growing deficits. Instead, taxpayers will pay the difference, via the Treasury, to keep benefits checks from bouncing.
The early arrival of the need for a Social Security bailout should serve as a severe reminder to the Obama Administration that entitlement reform is needed now to ensure a sustainable economic future for the country.
Heritage expert David C. John writes, “Social Security’s future has arrived early. After years of talk about how well-funded the program is, the reality is that never-ending deficits will eat up money that could be used for other programs or tax cuts. Despite reassuring words that these deficits are temporary, the reality is much worse. These deficits are likely to be permanent, and the only way out of this cash crunch is to fix the program.”
14 June, 2010
But people said, “'this would never happen if an American company was operating.”
Bullshit! It took Pemex three months to drill two relief wells. And that was 150 feet down.
This is a mile down! Oy! Who are they kidding with August? They can't do that by August!
13 June, 2010
So I just had this big realization that politicians and CEOs and other dirty rat bastards should have "middle names" like Mafia hitmen do.
“The guy that runs BP, (Tony “this is a very big ocean – I’d like my life back” Hayward), didn’t exactly go down there and blow up the well… BP should be left alone until the recovery operation is complete. If you want him to fix it and they’re the only ones with the expertise, I think I might wait to assign blame till we get it fixed." -- Michael “the bashing of Wall Street is something that should worry everybody” Bloomberg.
The gaffe-prone Mr. Hayward has emerged as a favorite punching bag of critics. He once tried to play down the environmental damage caused by the spill, saying the gulf was “a very big ocean.” He apologized to families of those killed in the explosion after he said, “I’d like my life back.”
David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, took issue with the mayor’s remarks. “There are still clear indications that BP is not being as responsible or responsive as it should be,” he said. “This is not a question of the extent to which the C.E.O. or company is responsible for the initial event.”
It was not the first time Mr. Bloomberg, who owns an eponymous media company, had leapt to the defense of his business brethren. In April, as President Obama stepped up his attack on financial firms and sought to end risky trading practices, the mayor warned that “the bashing of Wall Street is something that should worry everybody.”
And in 2006, Mr. Bloomberg drew criticism after he publicly praised the performance of Consolidated Edison in the midst of a nine-day blackout in Queens.
11 June, 2010
The Obama Administration and senior BP officials are frantically working not to stop the world's worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual ecological catastrophe. Senior researchers tell us that the BP drilling hit one of the oil migration channels and that the leakage could continue for years unless decisive steps are undertaken, something that seems far from the present strategy.
In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States "could go on for years and years many years."
According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, "What BP drilled into was what we call a 'migration channel,' a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia." Ghawar, the world's most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.
As I wrote at the time of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster, Haiti had been identified as having potentially huge hydrocasrbon reserves, as has neighboring Cuba. Kutcherov estimates that the entire Gulf of Mexico is one of the planet's most abundant accessible locations to extract oil and gas, at least before the Deepwater Horizon event this April.
"In my view the heads of BP reacted with panic at the scale of the oil spewing out of the well," Kutcherov adds. "What is inexplicable at this point is why they are trying one thing, failing, then trying a second, failing, then a third. Given the scale of the disaster they should try every conceivable option, even if it is ten, all at once in hope one works. Otherwise, this oil source could spew oil for years given the volumes coming to the surface already."
He stresses, "It is difficult to estimate how big this leakage is. There is no objective information available." But taking into consideration information about the last BP 'giant' discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, the Tiber field, some six miles deep, Kutcherov agrees with Ira Leifer a researcher in the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara who says the oil may be gushing out at a rate of more than 100,000 barrels a day. What the enormoity of the oil spill does is to also further discredit clearly the oil companies' myth of "peak oil" which claims that the world is at or near the "peak" of economical oil extraction. That myth, which has been propagated in recent years by circles close to former oilman and Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been effectively used by the giant oil majors to justify far higher oil prices than would be politically possible otherwise, by claiming a non-existent petroleum scarcity crisis.
Obama & BP Try to Hide
According to a report from Washington investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, "the Obama White House and British Petroleum are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP's liability for damage caused by what can be called a 'mega-disaster.'" Madsen cites sources within the US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for his assertion.
Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Salazar, are working with BP's chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. According to informed estimates cited by Madsen, however, the disaster has a real potential cost of at least $1,000 billion ($1 trillion). That estimate would support the pessimistic assessment of Kutcherov that the spill, if not rapidly controlled, "will destroy the entire coastline of the United States." According to the Washington report of Madsen, BP statements that one of the leaks has been contained, are "pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration., according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources."
The White House has been resisting releasing any "damaging information" about the oil disaster. Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers experts estimate that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a "national security issue." Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano's actual reasoning for invoking national security, according to Madsen, was merely to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.
The Obama administration also conspired with BP to hide the extent of the oil leak, according to the cited federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day were gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day. However, submersibles monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what they describe as a "volcanic-like" eruption of oil.
When the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick, which is larger than is being reported by the media, it was reportedly denied the access. By chance, National Geographic managed to obtain satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site. Other satellite imagery reportedly being withheld by the Obama administration, shows that what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to Madsen's sources.
The Corps of Engineers and FEMA are reported to be highly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only now has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. Under the loose regulatory measures implemented by the Bush-Cheney Administration, the US Interior Department's Minerals Management Service became a simple "rubber stamp," approving whatever the oil companies wanted in terms of safety precautions that could have averted such a disaster. Madsen describes a state of "criminal collusion" between Cheney's former firm, Halliburton, and the Interior Department's MMS, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.
Silence from Eco groups?... Follow the money Without doubt at this point we are in the midst of what could be the greatest ecological catastrophe in history. The oil platform explosion took place almost within the current loop where the Gulf Stream originates. This has huge ecological and climatological consequences. A cursory look at a map of the Gulf Stream shows that the oil is not just going to cover the beaches in the Gulf, it will spread to the Atlantic coasts up through North Carolina then on to the North Sea and Iceland. And beyond the damage to the beaches, sea life and water supplies, the Gulf stream has a very distinct chemistry, composition (marine organisms), density, temperature. What happens if the oil and the dispersants and all the toxic compounds they create actually change the nature of the Gulf Stream? No one can rule out potential changes including changes in the path of the Gulf Stream, and even small changes could have huge impacts. Europe, including England, is not an icy wasteland due to the warming from the Gulf Stream. Yet there is a deafening silence from the very environmental organizations which ought to be at the barricades demanding that BP, the US Government and others act decisively.
That deafening silence of leading green or ecology organizations such as Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and others may well be tied to a money trail that leads right back to the oil industry, notably to BP. Leading environmental organizations have gotten significant financial payoffs in recent years from BP in order that the oil company could remake itself with an "environment-friendly face," as in "beyond petroleum" the company's new branding.
The Nature Conservancy, described as "the world's most powerful environmental group," has awarded BP a seat on its International Leadership Council after the oil company gave the organization more than $10 million in recent years. Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked with BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. An employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska. In addition, according to a recent report published by the Washington Post, Conservation International, another environmental group, has accepted $2 million in donations from BP and worked with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, then BP's chief executive, sat on the CI board. Further, The Environmental Defense Fund, another influential ecologist organization, joined with BP, Shell and other major corporations to form a Partnership for Climate Action, to promote 'market-based mechanisms' (sic) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental non-profit groups that have accepted donations from or joined in projects with BP include Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and Audubon. That could explain why the political outcry to date for decisive action in the Gulf has been so muted. Of course those organizations are not going to be the ones to solve this catastrophe. The central point at this point is who is prepared to put the urgently demanded federal and international scientific resources into solving this crisis. Further actions of the likes of that from the Obama White House to date or from BP can only lead to the conclusion that some very powerful people want this debacle to continue. The next weeks will be critical to that assessment.
08 June, 2010
President Barack Obama’s appointment of retired Gen. James Clapper as the director of national intelligence demonstrates the Pentagon's enormous influence over the president and indicates that there is little likelihood of genuine reform of the intelligence community. Once again, the president has appointed a general officer to an important strategic position that should be in the hands of an experienced civilian who understands the need for change.
President Obama has given retired generals the key positions of national security adviser, ambassadors to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and DNI (on two occasions in a 17-month period) to career military officers. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is about to name a retired general who was responsible for special operations in Afghanistan as the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism. These career military officers are not known for strategic thinking, having been trained to focus on worst-case assessments of geopolitical problems. It is no wonder that there have few diplomatic successes during the Obama administration, that the State Department remains underused and without influence and that the humongous Pentagon budget remains largely untouchable.
07 June, 2010
The government-approved or run whorehouses with kidnapped sex slaves who service male "pilgrims" and others are Iran's "dirty little secret," which mainstream media and human-rights activists may be ignoring as a "cultural idiosyncrasy" or "religious freedom" but which is in reality the cause of the intense suffering of thousands of Persian girls and women, as men have turned them into sex slaves, to be used in Iran as well as to be sold to men in other countries, including in the West, according to Dr. Donna M. Hughes of the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Hughes is a "leading international researcher on trafficking of women and children" whose studies have included the trafficking of girls and women in such diverse places as not only Iran, Russia and Korea, but also the United States, France and Great Britain. In "Islamic Fundamentalism and the Sex Slave Trade in Iran" (2005), Hughes writes:
"A measure of Islamic fundamentalists’ success in controlling society is the depth and totality with which they suppress the freedom and rights of women. In Iran for 25 years, the ruling mullahs have enforced humiliating and sadistic rules and punishments on women and girls, enslaving them in a gender apartheid system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death.
"Joining a global trend, the fundamentalists have added another way to dehumanize women and girls: buying and selling them for prostitution. Exact numbers of victims are impossible to obtain, but according to an official source in Tehran, there has been a 635 percent increase in the number of teenage girls in prostitution. The magnitude of this statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that reportedly operate in the city. The trade is also international: thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad.
"The head of Iran’s Interpol bureau believes that the sex slave trade is one of the most profitable activities in Iran today. This criminal trade is not conducted outside the knowledge and participation of the ruling fundamentalists. Government officials themselves are involved in buying, selling, and sexually abusing women and girls.
"Many of the girls come from impoverished rural areas. Drug addiction is epidemic throughout Iran, and some addicted parents sell their children to support their habits. High unemployment—28 percent for youth 15-29 years of age and 43 percent for women 15-20 years of age—is a serious factor in driving restless youth to accept risky offers for work. Slave traders take advantage of any opportunity in which women and children are vulnerable. For example, following the recent earthquake in Bam, orphaned girls have been kidnapped and taken to a known slave market in Tehran where Iranian and foreign traders meet.
"Popular destinations for victims of the slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. According to the head of the Tehran province judiciary, traffickers target girls between 13 and 17, although there are reports of some girls as young as 8 and 10, to send to Arab countries...."
Hughes's article also reports the breaking up of several prostitution networks thriving in Turkey and Europe, extending to Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. In the Islamic fundamentalist country of Pakistan, she explains, also exist institutionalized brothels in which these sex slaves often end up.
Islamic sexism and misogyny
While Islamist apologists may argue that sex slavery exists around the world, exploiting innocent girls, women, boys and men, the fact will remain that in these Muslim nations this human-rights abuse has become institutionalized, with government-run brothels in Iran, for instance, offering what is called mutah or a temporary contract that allows men to "marry" for sexual purposes women other than the four concurrent wives alloted by Muhammad. Many of these brothels are near "holy sites," so that male pilgrims can "relieve their urges" while on a "religious" pilgrimage.
These sexist practices are justified by Quranic verses and other Islamic texts that proclaim women to be inferior subhumans to be used and exploited at will by men, who are given permission to beat and control them as they would property and animals.
For example, the Quranic verse or ayah 4:24 is held up as justification for mutah:
"Also [forbidden to you are] married women, except those whom you own as slaves. Such is the decree of God. All women other than these are lawful for you, provided you court them with your wealth in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their dowry for the enjoyment you have had of them as a duty; but it shall be no offense for you to make any other agreement among yourselves after you have fulfilled your duty. Surely God is all-knowing and wise."
Believers in a literal and eternal interpretation of the Quran/Koran seem to have only one place to go with this verse, which basically says that Muslim men can own sex slaves. Moreover, according to Islamic or sharia law, a woman has no right to divorce, as only a man does, a right he may freely exercise in some Muslim areas merely by saying the word talaq—"I divorce you"—three times. A man can then proceed to marry another woman and another after that by doing the same thing.
The notorious Quranic ayah 4:34 makes men superior to women and allows them to beat them:
"Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them."
As concerns the guarding of "unseen parts," in some Muslim sects, a woman's entire body is considered awrah or "naked" and thus must be completely cloaked. In other words, a woman is wholly a sex organ. In other sects, a woman's hands and face may be exposed, but the rest of her is a "walking vagina" and must be covered up in loose-fitting clothes so that no man but her husband-owner may see her shape.
Additionally, there are many hadiths or commentaries on the Quran and Muhammad that disparage women and essentially allow for their subjugation and enslavement. In the Tabari (9:113) or History of the Prophets and Kings, written in the 10th century by a respected Islamic scholar and theologian, we read the following about women:
"Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Qur'an."
Islamic misogyny is so rampant that it extends to the Muslim hell, the main occupants of which are women, allegedly seen by Muhammad himself:
"I stood at the gates of Paradise, most of those who entered there were poor, I stood at the gates of Hell, most of those who went in there, were women."
Forced prostitution is illegal in civilized countries
While it may be argued that even the United States has legal, government-approved brothels, as in the state of Nevada, the fact is that forced prostitution is against American law and is generally vigorously prosecuted wherever it is found. The victims of forced prostitution in Western countries are not imprisoned and raped as they are in Iran and elsewhere, as part of the "religious" punishment according to Islamic or sharia law. Nor is the sexploitation of women in the West justified by "sacred scriptures" or "religious traditions" of any sort, although sexism and misogyny themselves are also common to the other Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity, as well as other religions.
05 June, 2010
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary US Treasury, Associate Editor Wall Street Journal, Professor of Political Economy Center for Strategic and International Studies Georgetown University Washington DC.
Question: Dr. Roberts, the United States is regarded as the most successful state in the world today. What is responsible for American success?
Dr. Roberts: Propaganda. If truth be known, the US is a failed state. More about that later. The US owes its image of success to: (1) the vast lands and mineral resources that the US “liberated” with violence from the native inhabitants, (2) Europe’s, especially Great Britain’s, self-destruction in World War I and World War II, and (3) the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism.
After World War II, the US took the reserve currency role from Great Britain. This made the US dollar the world money and permitted the US to pay its import bills in its own currency. World War II’s destruction of the other industrialized countries left the US as the only country capable of supplying products to world markets. This historical happenstance created among Americans the impression that they were a favored people. Today the militarist neoconservatives speak of the United States as “the indispensable nation.” In other words, Americans are above all others, except, of course, Israelis.
To American eyes a vague “terrorist threat,” a creation of their own government, is sufficient justification for naked aggression against Muslim peoples and for an agenda of world hegemony.
This hubristic attitude explains why among most Americans there is no remorse over the one million Iraqis killed and the four million Iraqis displaced by a US invasion and occupation that were based entirely on lies and deception. It explains why there is no remorse among most Americans for the countless numbers of Afghans who have been cavalierly murdered by the US military, or for the Pakistani civilians murdered by US drones and “soldiers” sitting in front of video screens. It explains why there is no outrage among Americans when the Israelis bomb Lebanese civilians and Gaza civilians. No one in the world will believe that Israel’s latest act of barbarity, the murderous attack on the international aid flotilla to Gaza, was not cleared with Israel’s American enabler.
Question: You said that the US was a failed state. How can that be? What do you mean?
Roberts: The war on terror, invented by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime, destroyed the US Constitution and the civil liberties that the Constitution embodies. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. The Obama regime has institutionalized the Bush/Cheney assault on American liberty. Today, no American has any rights if he or she is accused of “terrorist” activity. The Obama regime has expanded the vague definition of “terrorist activity” to include “domestic extremist,” another undefined and vague category subject to the government’s discretion. In short, a “terrorist” or a “domestic extremist” is anyone who dissents from a policy or a practice that the US government regards as necessary for its agenda of world hegemony.
Unlike some countries, the US is not an ethic group. It is a collection of diverse peoples united under the Constitution. When the Constitution was destroyed, the US ceased to exist. What exists today are power centers that are unaccountable. Elections mean nothing, as both parties are dependent on the same powerful interest groups for campaign funds. The most powerful interest groups are the military/security complex, which includes the Pentagon, the CIA, and the corporations that service them, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the oil industry that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street (investment banks and hedge funds), the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the agri-companies that produce food of questionable content.
These corporate powers comprise an oligarchy that cannot be dislodged by voting. Ever since “globalism” was enacted into law, the Democrats have been dependent on the same corporate sources of income as the Republicans, because globalism destroyed the labor unions. Consequently, there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, or no meaningful difference.
The “war on terror” completed the constitutional/legal failure of the US. The US has also failed economically. Under Wall Street pressure for short-term profits, US corporations have moved offshore their production for US consumer markets. The result has been to move US GDP and millions of well-paid US jobs to countries, such as China and India, where labor and professional expertise are cheap. This practice has been going on since about 1990.
After 20 years of offshoring US production, which destroyed American jobs and federal, state and local tax base, the US unemployment rate, as measured by US government methodology in 1980, is over 20 percent. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled. Millions of young Americans with university degrees are employed as waitresses and bartenders. Foreign enrollment comprises a larger and larger percentage of US universities as the American population finds that a university degree has been negated by the offshoring of the jobs that the graduates expected.
When US offshored production re-enters the US as imports, the trade balance deteriorates. Foreigners use their surplus dollars to purchase existing US assets.
Consequently, dividends, interest, capital gains, tolls from toll roads, rents, and profits, now flow abroad to foreign owners, thus increasing the pressure on the US dollar. The US has been able to survive the mounting claims of foreigners against US GDP because the US dollar is the reserve currency. However, the large US budget and trade deficits will put pressures on the dollar that will become too extreme for the dollar to be able to sustain this role. When the dollar fails, the US population will be impoverished.
The US is heavily indebted, both the government and the citizens. Over the last decade there has been no growth in family income. The US economy was kept going through the expansion of consumer debt. Now consumers are so heavily indebted that they cannot borrow more. This means that the main driving force of the US economy, consumer demand, cannot increase. As consumer demand comprises 70% of the economy, when consumer demand cannot increase, there can be no economic recovery.
The US is a failed state also because there is no accountability to the people by corporations or by government at any level, whether state, local, or federal. British Petroleum is destroying the Gulf of Mexico. The US government has done nothing. The Obama regime’s response to the crisis is more irresponsible than the Bush regime’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Wetlands and fisheries are being destroyed by unregulated capitalist greed and by a government that treats the environment with contempt. The tourist economy of Florida is being destroyed. The external costs of drilling in deep waters exceeds the net worth of the oil industry. As a result of the failure of the American state, the oil industry is destroying one of the world’s most valuable ecological systems.
Question: What can be done?
Roberts: The American people are lost in la-la land. They have no idea that their civil liberties have been forfeited. They are only gradually learning that their economic future is compromised. They have little idea of the world’s growing hatred of Americans for their destruction of other peoples. In short, Americans are full of themselves. They have no idea of the disasters that their ignorance and inhumanity have brought upon themselves and upon the world.
Much of the world, looking at a country that appears both stupid and inhumane, wonders at Americans’ fine opinion of themselves. Is America the virtuous “indispensable nation” of neoconservative propaganda, or is America a plague upon the world? 2
Bin Laden Says He’s ‘Professionally Envious’ of BP
‘I’ve Got to Step Up My Game,’ Says Madman
THE BOROWITZ REPORT – In a new video that is light on his usual
threats but heavy on admiration, Osama bin Laden admits that he is
“professionally envious” of oil giant BP’s massive oil spill, saying
that it puts his efforts to create destruction and chaos to shame.
“There are times in an evildoer’s life when one has to stand back and
admire a job well done,” Mr. bin Laden says in the video. “BP, you
blow me away.”
The Al-Qaeda mastermind adds that his first thought upon seeing BP’s
spill was, “Man, I’ve got to step up my game.”
Mr. bin Laden claims in the video that he rarely feels envious towards
other evildoers, but says he likes “to use that energy to push myself
to be the best terrorist I can be.”
As for the envy he felt after seeing BP’s handiwork, the madman says,
“I haven’t felt this way since the whole Toyota thing.”
The traditional lands of the Hopi people are not far from the Gulf Coast.
Hopi Prophecy: "This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea
turning black, and many living things dying because of it."
Oil Apocalypse Foreseen By Credo Mutwa, Hopi Indians Zulu Shaman, or Sanusi, Credo Mutwa
In a stunning revelation, Credo Mutwa is reported to have foretold the Gulf oil disaster four months before it happened. In a notice sent out from a conference he was addressing he implies a coming oil apocolypse before 2011. However, he would not elaborate, much to the frustration of the attendees.
Following is the message that was reportedly sent from the conference.
"Credo Mutwa apparently just now said half the world's population won't see 2011 at a gathering where I'm attending.
Some delegates have walked out because he didn't want to give an acceptable explanation, he just said " it's no asteroid, comet, plague, ... just OIL."
The Hopi Prophecies Also Foresaw "The Sea Turning Black"
Famous for their accurate depiction of the damaging onslaught of "civilization" on their lands, the Hopi prophecies distinctly describe oil pollution of the seas. It is the seventh prediction in this poignant video. How big will the black spectre grow?...
“NO progress made by TOP KILL method… toxic dispersants have polluted the water column to the seabed where shrimp, crabs and oysters are found … this area supplies one third of the seafood consumed by Americans.
Six weeks after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, no substantive progress has been made in stopping the oil that's gushing from a mile below the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The top kill method, the latest maneuver employed by British Petroleum to stop the leak, failed.
According to many scientists and environmentalists the oil, along with the toxic dispersants that have been used to break up the spill, have polluted the water column - descending to the seabed where bottom residing organisms such as shrimp, crabs and oysters are found. The spill has also fouled Louisiana's shoreline estuaries and threatens the coasts of neighboring states. BP's oil blowout, the largest in U.S. history, has already had a severe environmental and economic impact on one of the richest fisheries in the continental U.S., which supplies one third of the seafood consumed by Americans.
Wilma Subra is a Louisiana chemist and founder of the Subra Company, a chemistry lab and environmental consulting firm that provides technical support to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. She is a past recipient of a MacArthur fellowship grant, the so-called "genius award." Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Subra, who discusses her concerns about the toxicity of the oil and dispersants on people exposed to them during the clean up -- as well as the long-term impact of the oil spill on the environment.
Interview here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/06/04/18649777.php
04 June, 2010
“The bird was standing right next to me on the ship, it didn’t stumble or get woozy. It just instantly fell over dead!” The diver was upset telling me this. He continued, “I immediately became nauseous with a pounding headache and vomited. I had to get out of there but couldn’t, because we were on a ship sitting on top of the oil slick. Everybody on the ship was sick. You could actually see the gas bubbling up from underneath us. It was the dispersant that was making us all sick and killing the birds. They are injecting this toxic dispersant directly down into the oil stream as it is gushing out of the mouth of the well.
The pounding headache will just not stop. Now it’s a week later, and I still have this constant painful pounding headache. It’s apparently going away slowly, but it should not be staying with me like this. It was all over my head, then on both sides of the top of my head, and now it’s on just one side.
On top of what is washing up on the shores and what you can see in photographs, the dispersant has turned some of the oil into a huge blob that is now 22 miles long, and 6 miles wide! But you can’t see it. It’s hugging the sea floor, silently , invisibly killing everything, and heading around the tip of Florida and is going to go all the way up the East coast.”
This is what a volunteer master diver who was out with the company formed after the Valdiz disaster told me personally last night (5/27/10) at an open mic music event here in a Florida bar. He had just come back from the Gulf disaster, and was very upset he got so sick, and was quite emphatic that this huge blob was going to be an even bigger disaster.
I advised him, and told him to tell all his friends and workers, that what had happened to him was that a toxic group of probably hydrocarbons has entered and contaminated his blood and cells by going straight through his lungs. The poor bird was more fragile. The reason he was seeing the pain so slowly die down, was that he did not have a lot of oxygen reserves. (Example, his beer was “working” by denying oxygen to his brain.) So, due to pollution, lifestyle, and everything that assaults us daily in our lowered oxygen level atmosphere, unless you regularly take an oxygen supplement, you simply cannot have lots of stored cellular oxygen reserves to call on. His body simply couldn’t oxygenate, neutralize, and wash out the toxins quickly, because he was low on oxygen.
Continue reading here:
Money manipulators hold the propaganda megaphone.
Government has no sovereignty unto itself. It can only respond to Financial Terrorism by telling us they are "too big to fail".
It's a lie and a conspiracy! But watch that "C" word!
Please watch this excellent video:
03 June, 2010
"Today, Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it. Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded "anti-American," "anti-semite" or "conspiracy theorist."
"Today, many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. "Free market economists" are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relics from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by "the New Economy," a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this "new economy" are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs. Economists who were once responsible took money to contribute to this myth of "the New Economy."
"And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in peer-reviewed journals concocted "studies" that hype this or that new medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the "studies." The Council of Europe is investigating the drug companies' role in hyping a false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales of the vaccine. The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in Afghanistan, describing Marja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of village farms. And there is the global warming scandal, in which NGOs, the UN, and the nuclear industry colluded in concocting a doomsday scenario in order to create profit in pollution."
"As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S. corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage of lowest labor costs and maximum CEO "performance bonuses", have moved the production of goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and elsewhere abroad. When I read economists describe offshoring as free trade based on comparative advantage, I realize that there is no intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession.
"Americans, or most of them, have proved to be putty in the hands of the police state. Americans have bought into the government's claim that security requires the suspension of civil liberties and accountable government. Astonishingly, Americans, or most of them, believe that civil liberties, such as habeas corpus and due process, protect "terrorists," and not themselves. Many also believe that the Constitution is a tired old document that prevents government from exercising the kind of police state powers necessary to keep Americans safe and free.
"For years, I was a mainstay at the Washington Times, producing credibility for the Moony newspaper as a Business Week columnist, former Wall Street Journal editor, and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. For the last six years I have been banned from the "mainstream media."
"America's fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government's 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government's account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.
"With over 21% unemployment as measured by the methodology of 1980, with American jobs, GDP, and technology having been given to China and India, with war being Washington's greatest commitment, with the dollar over-burdened with debt, with civil liberty sacrificed to the "war on terror", the liberty and prosperity of the American people have been thrown into the trash bin of history. The militarism of the US and Israeli states, and Wall Street and corporate greed, will now run their course."
Biographical info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts
02 June, 2010
01 June, 2010
Greg Evensen is a former Oklahoma state trooper, very reliable. Anyone within a thousand miles of the Gulf of Mexico needs to listen to every word of this. Don't be put off by the religious tone of this; the info about the troops at 500 mile intervals is true.
Forced evacuations will begin in less than weeks. If you don't leave now, you will never make it. You will either die on the road, or in a FEMA camp. The troops are already in place.
Subject: The potential disaster and evacuation plans.. Must listen..
Notes from interview: Beginning June 15 to July 1, as many as 40 million people will begin to be evacuated from the Gulf area. This evacuation has been dubbed Operation Deadly Tide. The command troops are U.S. based, but will be reinforced by UN troops, Canadian, British and Russian. These troops will engage people at every 500 mile intervals to keep them moving.
Benzene in the air in the Gulf is at very high toxic levels. If people don't get immediate medical care or leave the area, it can be fatal. Evacuation needs to start soon. The east coast may later evacuate 10 million people, depending on whether the oil doesn't actually end up on British beaches.
Worst case scenarios: the fracturing of sea bed will cause more and more oil. Evacuation looks reasonable under the circumstances, especially w/ the chemical dispersants.
200,000 local police and 300,000 volunteer and regular rescue personnel will be called to area along with military. Border enforcement will collapse and Mexican people will look to come north. This is an unprecedented situation. Traffic saturation on highways will be unprecedented as well. Checkpoints will direct the traffic to FEMA camps (that don't exist?). If you can leave, leave now. Go north. Take a vacation.
Report: "There have been previously unseen ground units emerging from otherwise inactive areas in the desert southwest, including New Mexico." "These gaurd units are emerging from the middle of nowhere. Speculation: .... perhaps underground areas ... heading easterly. perhaps hybrids - say what? - aliens disguised as U.S. troops." OK, ignore this part if you will, but pay attention to the rest of it!