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An Expose Of Petroleum Pigs And Finance

Greg Palast presents his investigation of the BP oil spill and talks about the corruption that permeates the oil industry, the financial sector, and government. Greg plays the part of a hard-bitten detective.  He participated in five movies and authored four books including Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
Source: Vulture's Picnic

The world fears the U.S.

Ex-Senator and former U.S. presidential candidate Mike Gravel says the U.S. is like a drunkard who charges to war with any country who might pose a threat.
Source: 'World fears US as a war-hungry drunk' - ex-Senator

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Yanking the BP Disaster Out of the American Memory Hole

It’s been two years. Two years since our collective shock and awe over the worst environmental disaster in American history.

Horrified we watched for three long months as hundreds of millions of gallons of oil relentlessly bled into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP pr handlers and Obama spokespeople asked America to trust that this corporation and our government were seriously responding to the crisis and would do everything possible for future prevention of another such catastrophe.

Here is a stack of resurrected revelations and new revelations about the disaster that we must not let disappear into a national memory hole.

Eleven men died when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. (Robert Weissman)

The blowout spewed nearly 5 million barrels of oil and more than 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico. (Common Dreams)

BP made a conscious decision not to install a $500,000 safety device that could have prevented the blowout. (Robert Weissman)

Cenk Uygur Slams Millionaire CNN Host Erin Burnett for Protecting Her Own With Fawning Coverage

Cenk Uygur Slams Millionaire CNN Host Erin Burnett for Protecting Her Own With Fawning Coverage

    Most of his ire was reserved for CNN host Erin Burnett, who is one of the millionaires herself that would be affected if that rule ever passed and her penchant for quoting sources like the Tax Foundation and bringing on billionaires like John Paul DeJoria to discuss why the rich should not have to pay more in taxes.

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average California Taxpayers $423 a Year, Each California Small Business $2,010

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average California Taxpayers $423 a Year, Each California Small Business $2,010

    With tax day approaching, a new study released by CALPIRG found that the average California taxpayer in 2011 would have to shoulder an extra $423 tax burden to make up for revenue lost from corporations and wealthy individuals shifting income to offshore tax havens. The report additionally found that to cover the cost of the corporate abuse of tax havens in 2011, small businesses in California would have to foot a bill of over $2,010 on average.

    Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals avoid paying an estimated $100 billion in taxes by shifting income to low or no tax offshore tax havens. Of that $100 billion, $60 billion in taxes are avoided specifically by corporations. A GAO study found that at least 83 of the top 100 publically traded corporations use offshore tax havens.

How The Wealthy Buy Politicians

Lawrence Lessig & Jack Abramoff

Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff also worked as businessman, movie producer and writer. Abramoff's lobbying and the scandals and investigation are featured in a documentary movie "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and a political satire movie titled "Casino Jack".

Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard. He has been the lead counsel in important cases concerning copyright laws for digital content. His current work concerns institutional corruption.
Source: Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff

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Privatize Everything in the Universe?

I wrote this song, "Privatize Everything," back in 2000. The song was meant as political satire, but unfortunately, many of these lyrics have already become reality in recent years.

The oceans are being privatized under NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco's "catch shares" program that concentrates ocean fisheries in fewer, increasingly corporate hands.

Ocean conservation management has been privatized under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative's creation of so-called marine protected areas in California that fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy project and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chairs the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force that imposed the "marine protected areas" that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012.

The water in Central Valley rivers and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is being privatized though the Obama and Brown administration Bay Delta Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal, designed to increase water exports to corporate agribusiness interests, including Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and the Westlands Water District, and Southern California. Habitat "restoration" and infrastructure "improvements" under this corporate water grab will be funded through the $11.4 billion Water Bond.

The Banksters Have Won: The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Fraudclosure Settlement

But first watch this ...

... and also, California AG, Kamala Harris sold us out

The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement

Here are the top twelve reasons why this deal stinks:

    1. We’ve now set a price for forgeries and fabricating documents. It’s $2000 per loan.

How Money Corrupts Congress

Jack Abramoff

Are members of the U.S. Congress using inside information to get rich? Mike Pesca talks about dirty politics and big money with a panel including former super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Source: Dirty Politics And Big Money

Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig talks to Charlie Rose

Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University is the author of the book "Republic, Lost; How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan To Stop It"
Source: A conversation with Lawrence Lessig

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Protest Corporate Rhee-form of Public Education

What: A silent protest against the Rhee-form of the public education system.

When: Wednesday January 25th 2012 at 5pm.

Where: 828 I Street inside the Sacramento County Main Library's Tsakopolous Library Galleria.


“We need to say it's wrong, and if that doesn't work, engage in direct action, it's time to organize, demonstrate, and agitate…”
~ Diane Ravitch, in Sacramento 1/20/12


Faux-Jobs-Summit 6-13-11: Obama HEARTS Corporate CEOs

RE-POST from 6/19/11

Barry Grey’s “Obama promotes corporate profits in the name of job creation” is a depressing update on Obama’s recent Durham, North Carolina meeting with his “Jobs and Competitiveness Council.” The money paragraph:

The reality is that corporate America, with the support of the government, is using mass unemployment as a bludgeon to drive down wages, destroy working conditions and force workers to accept poverty wages and sweatshop conditions. The same process is unfolding internationally, as the bourgeoisie utilizes the crisis of its own making to destroy social gains won by the working class over more than a century of struggle.

May’s jobs report revealed the continuing jobs crisis in America.

So what is Obama doing? Reassuring the private sector fat cats that they are safe from regulation and that massive cuts to social spending is the way his regime will go.

Barry Grey’s attendance list for the summit:

Occupy the Courts


Call to Action

Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 - 10:30 AM

March from Cesar Chavez Plaza

to the

Federal Courthouse (5th & I Street)

Inspired by our friends at Occupy Wall Street, and Dr. Cornel West, Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark the second anniversary of the infamous Citizens United v. FEC decision!

Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Manage One

They’re arresting the Occupy Movements for trampling grass in public squares. But the finance industry who trampled the U.S. economy in the collapse of Wall Street have yet to be punished says William Black.
Source: Prosecuting Financial Titans

Bill Black talks about the Banksters with Peter B. Collins

Bill Black, former Savings & Loan regulator talks about failure to prosecute fraudsters. Black is currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Black was litigation director for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board from 1984 to 1986, deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation in 1987. Black is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry. He takes on Attorney General Holder and the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento for failing to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
Source: Straight Talk on Banksters from Prof. Bill Black

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The Student Loan Scam

This is probably the most important article you'll ever read if you're going to college, or thinking about it ... or know someone who is

A Review of The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History – and How We Can Fight Back by Alan Michael Collinge

By Carolyn Betts and Catherine Austin Fitts

    The Preface begins:

    “The truth is that I never considered student loans to be an especially interesting topic. College debt, I believed, was a necessary evil – to be repaid expeditiously and then forgotten even more quickly. However, what I once thought of as an uninteresting issue has come to dominate my life.”

    This highly informative book was written by a 1998 graduate of Cal Tech with three degrees in aerospace engineering who, after a student loan nightmare that took him from an original relatively modest $38,000 Sallie Mae loan to an obligation of $80,000 by 2002 and $103,000 by mid 2005. At that point he started the website in an effort to hook up with others in similar straits, share stories and become politically active in restoring consumer protections for student loans.

The Powell Manifesto: How A Prominent Right-Wing Lawyer's Attack Memo Changed America

If you want to know why and how the right-wing gained and has maintained hold of American discourse and rhetoric ... read what follows. It's ten years old but the points are still valid

The Powell Manifesto: How A Prominent Lawyer's Attack Memo Changed America

    America's Second Gilded Age has been scoured of its glitter, along with the platitudes that its town criers preached -- "too much government," "market infallibility," and "prosperity forever." The policies and ethical failures that sprang from this gospel are under intense scrutiny. After 30 years, the self-serving creed of a right-wing coalition of wealth and power -- ideologues, promoters, corporate executives, and the American aristocracy of money - is under assault, its system failures increasingly apparent. Their ideology tantalized millions with the promise of "getting the government off our backs!"

    The consequences of this readily marketable guff have led us to drastically altered economic circumstances -- a ruinous drop in both stock values and ethical standards that has weakened the economy; far worse, a global loss of confidence in the American economic system, and in a pro-market administration that is squandering America's good name and credibility among allies and friends

The L-Curve, and what 99% means, and what 1% means

    Watch the video ... Actually it's worse, when you look at it the right way

    The L-Curve graph represents income, not wealth. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed. Quoting from a recently-published book by political philosopher David Schweickart,

      If we divided the income of the US into thirds, we find that the top ten percent of the population gets a third, the next thirty percent gets another third, and the bottom sixty percent get the last third. If we divide the wealth of the US into thirds, we find that the top one percent own a third, the next nine percent own another third, and the bottom ninety percent claim the rest. (Actually, these percentages, true a decade ago, are now out of date. The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%.)