A spreading movement to defend and expand democracy by citizens willing to face down repressive, militarized police in the streets is now being led by the people of Brazil and Turkey but represents the aspirations of people everywhere who are concerned about civil liberties and elite abuse of power. Unfortunately, the lack of both national and international organization in support of democracy activists has left citizens marginalized–not just in Turkey and Brazil but also the U.S.— while putting the initiative in the hands of an abusive political/corporate elite. Continue reading
Political correctness is a pretense of politeness covering for abuse of power, and the most taboo of all the politically correct taboos is reference to the war that the super-rich and their political lackeys are so successfully fighting against the other 99.9%. Is it really a case of government-corporate collusion to defraud and rob the people? To answer that question, you need to look at the details.
The preliminary report detailed how the Pentagon spent $270 billion from 2007 to 2009 on 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million. Another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of hard-core criminal fraud in the same three-year period. Billions more went to firms that had been suspended or debarred by the Pentagon for misusing taxpayer dollars.
Over the three year period from 2007 to 2009, 30 DOD contractors were convicted of criminal fraud. Despite these criminal convictions, these contractors were awarded $682,141,708 in contracts during the same three year period…Over the three year period from 2007 to 2009, hundreds of contractors were found to have committed fraud in connection with a DOD contract. This apparently did not affect DOD’s contracting behavior, however. During that same three year period, DOD awarded $285 BILLION in contracts to the same companies!
the most significant risks from BP/CNPC to the Iraqi government, making the contracts considerably more attractive to the companies. In all of these changes, it is the Iraqi side that loses out. As a result of the enhanced compensation provisions, the Iraqi government could find itself payingBP/CNPC (and likely other companies) even when it is not earning oil revenues to offset those payments. Meanwhile, the changes undermine the Iraqi ability to ensure that it achieves value for money, and that oil is developed in the national interest. [“From Glass Box to Smoke-Filled Room,” Platform.]
A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. [G. William Dornhoff, Who Rules America?]
Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy… [The Nation 11/21/11.]