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Posts Tagged ‘corporations’

US Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is either too stupid, too politically corrupt, or too ideologically corrupt to be the next member of the United States Supreme Court. This guy actually believes that an idea has the same rights, responsibilities and legal protections as any person in the United States. Gorsuch is no dummy, so he must be financially or ideologically corrupt.

Gorsuch believes business corporations are people. That’s been the slogan repeated by conservatives for over a hundred years, and yet, “corporations are people” is purely and only an idea of a business structure that sprang forth from somebody’s mind and not from a woman’s womb. Conservatives faked not figuring out the difference, and in particular the legal difference, between an “idea” from a human mind and a person from a “woman’s womb.” This concept does not befuddle them. Far from it, but the concept that corporations are persons has been used to twist the law in the favor of the rich and against the 99 percent. That is the sole purpose of using this lie in legal matters.

Government enacted legislation providing a legal framework for business corporations to exist, and within the legal framework were the words “artificial person.” As any honest judge who looks to the US Constitution for original intent can determine, the word “artificial” does not appear in the great document, and therefore anybody with half a brain can determine that ideas called business corporations have no legal rights via the US Constitution. But this is a game to rig the law in favor of the rich and powerful. Besides, if somebody calls a dog a human being, does that make the dog a human being? Of course not. Gorsuch is no dummy. He knows all this, but his agenda has always been to increase the wealth and prosperity and political power of the rich at the expense of the 99 percent, and so he will maintain this lie of an idea being legally equal and having the same legal protections as real people.

Corporations are the principal conduit through which income and wealth are redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent. For example, Wall Street would not exist in its present parasitic form if corporations did not exist. Conservatives, and I should point out certainly not all of them, pushed the legal idea that corporations are persons simply to twist the laws in their favor. They’ve done a great job.

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren said it best about Wall Street Supreme Court candidate Neil Gorsuch;

“On the bench (Gorsuch), his judicial decisions show a remarkable ability to shape and re-shape legal arguments in ways that benefit large corporations and disadvantage ordinary people seeking justice. In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of women, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In consumer protection cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of swindled consumers, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In discrimination cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of employees to be free from harassment and abuse, Gorsuch sided with corporations.

Gorsuch has taken positions that are even more extreme than his extremely conservative colleagues. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than Scalia was. Gorsuch believes that courts should not be required to defer to expert agency interpretations of their governing laws. If he had his way, he’d make it even easier for corporations to challenge health and safety rules that prevent them from polluting our air and water, poisoning our food, undermining public safety, or cheating people out of their hard-earned savings.

Big companies and rich right-wing billionaires are spending top dollar to help a judge like Gorsuch get over the finish line. But that’s not how our court system is supposed to work. Our courts are supposed to be neutral arbiters, dispensing justice based on the facts and the law — not the party with the most money or political power.” (Click here for Warren’s complete op-ed on Gorsuch)

If the Democrats gave a rat’s ass at all about the 99 percent, and most don’t because they primarily represent their billionaire benefactors, they would fight tooth and nail and nuclear bomb against Gorsuch, who is nothing more than a corrupt legal assassin of the bottom 99 percent.

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Scientists employed by Exxon Mobile had the data showing climate change was occurring back in the 1970s. They also came to the conclusion that carbon dioxide emissions were the cause of it. Recently, the internal documents were leaked to the public.

This blog is about income redistribution, political power and corruption. Climate change isn’t a thing of interest for this blog, but corporate corruption is. This conspiracy is complete corruption.

According to the internal Exxon memo, Exxon executives decided to follow the path of Big Tobacco, which denied the link between tobacco and a variety of ailments, such as lung cancer, despite their own studies demonstrating these links. The GMO corporations are also following this format of lies when it comes to their products.

So Exxon executives began elevating offshore drilling platforms more than thirty years ago to prepare for rising sea levels while following a sustained public relations campaign to deny the relationship between their products and climate change.

“Here’s what senior company scientist James Black told Exxon’s management committee in 1977: “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.” To determine if this was so, the company outfitted an oil tanker with carbon dioxide sensors to measure concentrations of the gas over the ocean and then funded elaborate computer models to help predict what temperatures would do in the future.

The results of all that work were unequivocal. By 1982, in an internal “corporate primer,” Exxon’s leaders were told that, despite lingering unknowns, dealing with climate change “would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion.” Unless that happened, the primer said, citing independent experts, “there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered…. Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.” But that document, “given wide circulation” within Exxon, was also stamped “Not to be distributed externally.”

So here’s what happened. Exxon used its knowledge of climate change to plan its own future. The company, for instance, leased large tracts of the Arctic for oil exploration, territory where, as a company scientist pointed out in 1990, “potential global warming can only help lower exploration and development costs.” Not only that but, “from the North Sea to the Canadian Arctic,” Exxon and its affiliates set about “raising the decks of offshore platforms, protecting pipelines from increasing coastal erosion and designing helipads, pipelines and roads in a warming and buckling Arctic.” In other words, the company started climate-proofing its facilities to head off a future its own scientists knew was inevitable.”

Last fall, a Yale study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that money from the Koch Brothers and Exxon played a key roll in polarizing the climate debate within this nation, even though Exxon’s own science showed the climate change was on the rise due to CO2 emissions.

The company’s sins—of omission and commission—may even turn out to be criminal. New York Attorney General Eric Scneiderman has launched a criminal investigation into this matter. This may account for why Exxon’s current CEO, Ray Tillerson, no longer claims the world is cooling, and that CO2 emissions “are having an impact” on global warming.

The Washington Post reported two months ago that ExxonMobil has a far saner view of global warming than the national Republican party.

Fred Hiatt, the paper’s centrist editorial page editor, drops this bombshell:

With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.

Exxon Mobile website states the issue clearly;

“The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.”

For more on this, check out the following link.

Ecowatch Reporting

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Elizabeth Warren is a rarity nowadays. She is a US senator, unlike most senators, such as Ron Wyden, who is clearly a tool and senator of Wall Street and of perhaps even Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. In a new report prepared for Warren, called Rigged Justice, several not so shocking things are clearly illuminated which prove how corrupt the US government has become, and let’s face it, this government is one of the most corrupt in the world, at least among the so-called Democratic nations.

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“The Obama Administration,” the reports says, “has made repeated promises to strengthen enforcement and hold corporate criminals accountable, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in September that it would place greater emphasis on charging individuals responsible for corporate crimes. Nonetheless, both before and after this DOJ announcement, accountability for corporate crimes is shockingly weak.”

This is because both the Democratic and Republican establishments are completely reliant on money from the CEOs and corporations that commit these crimes. Most of the penalties faced by these CEOs and their corporations were so paltry that the report stated, “The examples (from this report) raise the disturbing possibility that some giant corporations—and their executives—have decided that following the law is merely optional. For these companies, punishment for breaking the law is little more than a cost of doing business.

There is a simple set of rules governing how US laws are applied. If you are rich, and you have used your money to corrupt the political system, the DOJ doesn’t look at you after it has caught you. The report goes on.

“When government regulators and prosecutors fail to pursue big corporations or their executives who violate the law, or when the government lets them off with a slap on the wrist, corporate criminals have free rein to operate outside the law. They can game the system, cheat families, rip off taxpayers, and even take actions that result in the death of innocent victims—all with no serious consequences.”

According to Warren, in an editorial in the New York Times, in 2015, “in case after case, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law, defrauding tax payers, covering up deadly safety hazards, even precipitating the financial collapse of 2008, and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist.” And to think that financially ordinary people go to prison for far less crimes than ripping off billions of dollars from taxpayers and investors, or knowingly selling products that kill.

“The failure to punish big corporations, the report went on, “or their executives when they break the law undermines the foundations of this great country: If justice means a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but it means nothing more than a sideways glance at a CEO who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars, (not to mention the theft of the government and their regulatory agencies) then the promise of equal justice under the law has turned into a lie.” That promise died decades ago. “The failure to prosecute big, visible crimes has a corrosive effect on the fabric of democracy and our shared belief that we are all equal in the eyes of the law.

Some of the crimes committed included:

1 “The Cartel”: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays, UBS AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland. In May 2015, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Barclays, UBS AG, and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed to pay a combined $5.6 billion settlement to the DOJ. Bank traders from Citicorp, JP Morgan, Barclays, and RBS created a secret group known as “The Cartel,” which for more than five years manipulated exchange rates in a way that made the banks billions of dollars at the expense of clients and investors. And, the fifth bank, UBS, separately agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud charges in connection with interest rate manipulation. Although DOJ required admissions of guilt as part of the settlement – a reflection of the severity of the charges – not one single individual faced any criminal prosecution. Moreover, the SEC granted waivers to each bank so that the banks could avoid the collateral consequences that were supposed to accompany a guilty plea. Those waivers meant that the banks’ much-hyped guilty pleas were ultimately “likely to carry more symbolic shame than practical problems.”

2. Novartis. In November 2015, DOJ announced a $390 million settlement of a civil fraud lawsuit with Novartis Pharmaceuticals over allegations that the company engaged in a kickback scheme with pharmacists to increase sales of their drugs to Medicare and Medicaid patients. These kickbacks allegedly were paid even as Novaris was already under a corporate integrity agreement for previous violations of the law. This $390 million represented just over 10% of the damages sought by the government. It placed no further restrictions on Novartis’ participation in federal government healthcare programs, included no admission of wrongdoing, and did not include an indictment of any individual responsible for the kickbacks. The settlement was so paltry that after it was announced, Novartis’s CEO candidly noted that “whether we change our behavior …[in response to the settlement] remains to be seen.”

3. Education Management Corporation (EDMC). In November 2015, DOJ settled a civil case with EDMC, the second-largest for-profit education company in the country. EDMC illegally paid high-pressure recruiters to enroll students and violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that it complied with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. EDMC received $11 billion in payments (90% of it via federal student grants and loans) from 2003-2011 as a result of these efforts. But the settlement recovered only $95 million –less than one percent of this total. The DOJ settlement did nothing to resolve federal student loan debts owed by those who were victims of the illegal recruitment, held no individual executives at EDMC accountable, required no admission of wrongdoing, and did nothing to prevent EDMC from receiving federal funds in the future.

What the report doesn’t mention is that US banks have been caught openly laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. They’ve been fined, and then were caught again, and not a soul has been charged with a crime.

For the complete report click the link below. http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/Rigged_Justice_2016.pdf

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THE PARIS ATTACKS

by Chuck Baldwin

“Paris, France: Muslim terrorists took the lives of over 120 people. Here are my observations:

I am aghast and flummoxed at the number of Americans who just cannot seem to comprehend the culpability that the U.S. government has in all of this. This only makes sense when one takes into account that the vast majority of Americans only know what the mainstream media tells them. And, without question, our mainstream media is nothing more than a propaganda ministry for Washington, D.C. Without a doubt, the controlled major media in America rivals the controlled major media of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union.

Make no mistake about it: the wars in the Middle East are Washington’s wars. The refugee crisis is the direct result of Washington’s wars. G.W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the continued violent attacks by the Obama administration throughout the Middle East–not to mention, the direct intervention of, and supervision by, the CIA, British intelligence, the Israeli Mossad, and the governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia–created ISIS. Furthermore, these governmental entities have all helped to arm, sustain, equip, supply–and medically care for–ISIS terrorists.

One needs to understand that violent Muslims have been killing other Muslims for centuries. In fact, the vast majority of the people killed by violent Muslims are other Muslims–NOT Christians and Jews. What happened in Paris happens routinely in Syria.”

Click on the following link for the rest of the story. The Paris Attacks–Chuck Baldwin

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According to Vermont Public Radio, US Senator Bernie Sanders will announce his bid for the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday. Sander’s is given little chance of winning the nomination by the corporate press, but there’s a reason why this isn’t so. The senator appeals to Democrats and Republicans on bread and butter issues, and he has a 100 voting score with the National Rifle Association.

Sanders will release a short statement on Thursday and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont several weeks from now.

Sander’s candidacy means the middle class wing of the Democratic Party will challenge the deep pockets of the Wall Street wing of the Party, which is represented by Hilliary Clinton.

“Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished because the rich have taken over government, and used their control to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.

“If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade,” Sanders said in a phone interview on April 23.

As the longest-serving Independent member of Congress, Sanders has been a vocal critic of the influence that large corporations have on the political process.

“All of the major corporations want to continue with this trade policy. Wall Street wants to continue this trade policy. The drug companies want to continue this trade policy. But organizations representing American workers and the environment do not want to continue the trade policy. They want new trade policies,” he said. Sanders did not point out that Wall Street’s Democratic hopeful Hilliary Clinton also supports these income redistribution policies falsely marketed as free trade treaties, and especially the TPP.

And Sanders says it is imperative that all the Democratic presidential candidates address the issue of trade and income inequality.

“So, I think that Hillary Clinton and every candidate out there should in fact address whether or not they support this T.P.P.,” Sanders said. So expect Hilliary to lie on the issue time and again in public.

In the past few months, Sanders has been actively visiting many of the early presidential primary states. Just last weekend he traveled to South Carolina to address the state Democratic Party and news reports indicate that his economic message drew a lot of support at the state meeting. The grass roots are rallying to Sanders, not to Hilliary.

The corporate propaganda machine gives Sanders little chance of defeating Clinton. However, that’s part of the propaganda ploy they play on the American people. They’ll label the best chance for America’s middle class (Sanders) as having no chance of winning the nomination, and they’ll tell voters not to waste their vote on Bernie. However, Sanders wouldn’t be running if he didn’t have the grass roots support to win.

The reality is that every vote for Hilliary and every vote for a Republican candidate is a vote to continue the political and economic policies that have been destroying the middle class by redistributing their wealth and income to the super rich for the last thirty-four years.

In other words, a vote for Hilliary or any Republican candidate by any member of the 99 percent is a vote to commit financial suicide. It’s a complete waste of your vote. Vote for real hope and change. Vote for Bernie!

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A new congressional study suggests that massive immigration increases in recent decades have hammered middle-class wages. Whether through taking jobs or casting votes, hyper-immigration is revolutionizing the U.S.

We are a nation of immigrants, it is often reflexively said. But it is a little-known fact that our foreign-born population dropped more than 11% in the quarter century after World War II.

Since 1970, however, we have become a nation of hyper-immigration, as the foreign-born among us have exploded from fewer than 10 million to more than 41 million as of 2013 — a staggering 324.5% increase.

If a job cannot be exported, then immigrants are encouraged by business and government leaders to enter the United States to generate greater competition among middle class workers, which lowers wages and benefits. For example, a recent study shows that three out of four high tech workers are unemployed in their areas of expertise, and wages in the high tech sector are the same as during the early 1990s, and yet congressional leaders want to admit more immigrants via the H1-B visa. In this way wages and salaries will continue to stay artificially low, which benefits the 1 percent at the expense of the middle class.

The difference between the old higher wages (what wages should be under normal immigration increases) and the new lower wages with hyper immigration, goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

The middle class is getting hammered by the loss of millions of jobs that are exported via international agreements falsely marketed as free trade agreements. But the middle and lower classes are also getting hammered by hyper immigration. These two governmental policies are income redistribution scams perpetrated by the leadership of both major political parties and their billionaire and corporate sponsors, such as the Koch Brothers and Warren Buffett.

How badly has immigration and free trade policies been for the middle and lower classes?

“A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service for the Senate Judiciary Committee finds that during this era of free trade and hyper-immigration, incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans flat-lined, then dropped starting in 2000. By comparison, middle-class wages increased between 1945 and 1970.

Last year, Karen Zeigler and Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies found that, according to federal government data, “since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”

In the fourteen plus years since 2000, less than six million net jobs have been created in the United States, and all of them have gone to immigrants. On the other hand, according to the Federal Reserve, 28 million jobs were exported from the USA from 1990 to 2010, and several million more have been exported since 2010.

Salaries, wages and benefits would be going up if the United States had six million less working age immigrants. More significantly, however, US wages would be surging and our tepid economy would be booming if those trade agreements hadn’t been conceived. In both cases, trade agreements and immigration, income and wealth inequality in the USA would not be nearly so significant as it is now.

While so-called international trade agreements are the major cause of the income and wealth inequality of the last thirty-five years, with the 1 percent going from taking 8 percent of all income created in the USA in 1980 to 37 percent today, immigration (legal and illegal) is another, though admittedly lesser, but still significant, culprit in the financial war the super rich are waging against the middle class.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest income redistribution scam of all time. It is falsely being marketed as a free trade treaty. The Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, have merged with the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. The TPP will provide incentives for US corporations to ship millions of US jobs overseas, and drive millions of Latin American immigrants illegally into the United States simultaneously, just like NAFTA did.

That’s why the TPP is another income redistribution scam for the 1 percent.

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Labor unions are associations of working people pooling their labor so as to demand better working conditions, as well as pay and benefits. About 99.9 percent of all US citizens produce goods and services.

Publicly traded limited liability corporations are associations of rich people pooling billions of dollars together so as to avoid having to compete against one another in separate business entities, to be better able to bribe politicians for political favors, and to fight hard for worse pay, lower benefits, and less safe conditions for their employees. About 0.1 percent of all US citizens produce nothing but political and economic power in order to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

Guess which group your government supports.

Support organized labor because it’s the only way to defeat organized money and their corrupt government.

This message brought to you by a member of the 99 percent.

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