Tag Archives | Corporations

Ralph Nader: How Corporate Espionage on Nonprofit Watchdogs Goes Unpunished

Ralph_Nader_in_Waterbury_12,_October_4,_2008

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaking at a campaign event in Waterbury, CT at 195 Grand St. By Sage Ross via Wikimedia Commons.

Just thought the Disinfo crowd might find this piece interesting. It was posted originally on AlterNet, so click through the link to read the entire thing.

via AlterNet:

Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: corporations conduct espionage against US nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.

Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.

The evidence abounds.

For example, six years ago, based on extensive documentary evidence, James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones on a major corporate espionage scheme by Dow Chemical focused on Greenpeace and other environmental and food activists.

Greenpeace was running a potent campaign against Dow’s use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics.

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[Poll] The Poll of Polls

coverThis week, I’m pushing my work off onto you, dear Disinfonauts. Help me come up with new weekly poll topics. I’ve listed five that I thought of, but feel free to send in ideas or leave ‘em in the comment section.

The Poll of Polls

Which poll topic would you like to see?

• Favorite political cartoonist
• Most effective torture device
• Favorite paradox
• Least effective president of the last 20 years
• Favorite conspiracy theory

Most hated company?

So, Monsanto won by a landslide, with Walmart in second and Koch Industries in third. I thought Monsanto might win as it’s the corporation in the news as of late, but I didn’t expect this big of a blowout. I also didn’t expect Disinformation to beat out Amazon!

Monsanto (40%, 430 Votes)
Walmart (13%, 138 Votes)
Koch Industries (10%, 108 Votes)
JP Morgan Chase (5%, 59 Votes)
Comcast (5%, 51 Votes)
Facebook (5%, 49 Votes)
McDonald’s (4%, 41 Votes)
BP (3%, 35 Votes)
21st Century Fox (3%, 34 Votes)
Apple (3%, 31 Votes)
Google (2%, 26 Votes)
Pfizer (1%, 15 Votes)
Disinformation (1%, 13 Votes)
Verizon (1%, 10 Votes)
Microsoft (1%, 10 Votes)
Amazon (1%, 9 Votes)
General Motors (1%, 8 Votes)
Syngenta (0%, 5 Votes)
Novartis (0%, 3 Votes)
Merck (0%, 3 Votes)
Johnson & Johnson (0%, 2 Votes)
Glaxo (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,082

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[Poll] Most Hated Company

OUTFOXED-foxattacks_frontThis week, I thought we’d focus on corporations and the deep resentments many of us harbor for them. Most of the ones I’ve listed are US companies (I am, after all, most familiar with them as I live here). But, as always, feel free to lament missing companies in the comments.

Most Hated Company

21st Century Fox
Amazon
Apple
BP
Comcast
Disinformation
Facebook
General Motors
Glaxo
Google
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Koch Industries
McDonald’s
Merck
Microsoft
Monsanto
Novartis
Pfizer
Syngenta
Verizon
Walmart


Last week’s poll was actually way more popular than I expected. I assumed that “War Pigs” would win and it did by a pretty significant margin.

Favorite Vietnam Protest Song (from the ones listed)?

  • “War Pigs” – Black Sabbath (1971) (19%, 124 Votes)
  • “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” – Country Joe and the Fish (1967) (12%, 82 Votes)
  • “Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones (1969) (12%, 78 Votes)
  • “Ohio” – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (1970) (7%, 47 Votes)
  • “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye (1971) (7%, 43 Votes)
  • “Eve of Destruction” – Barry McGuire and P.F.
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The Corporate Rape of the Great Lakes

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 6.25.54 PMBy Alec Cope

The Great Lakes, 5 bodies of water that collectively make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for 1/5 of the planet’s fresh water; are currently being ravaged by corporate interest. As of 2006, a loophole in the Great Lakes Compact has allowed for private parties to exploit the Great Lakes for corporate profit. The corporation, Nestle, is leading the charge. Nestle is selling actual boatloads of Lake Michigan water to China for a profit of $500,000—$1.8 million per day. Although some have linked Obama to the exploitation, the Great Lakes Compact is ultimately a state agreement, not federal.

Former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has stated that access to water should be privatized and should not be a “fundamental right” because people have a sense of “entitlement” that makes them waste the water.

Their arrogance knows no bounds.

Nestle constantly damages the environment of the planet on a global level.Read the rest

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Would Bankruptcy Protect You from Being Prosecuted for Murder? Then Why Are GM and Its Officers Getting Immunity?

PIC: US GOVT (PD)

PIC: US GOVT (PD)

via chycho

It should be obvious by now that corporations have more rights than humans in the United States, but GM’s corporate and executive immunity from civil and criminal liability and prosecution for putting shareholder value ahead of safety is mind boggling; that there is even a debate about this is insane:

“GM is a different legal entity than the one that filed the 2009 bankruptcy that shook the U.S. economy. The so-called new GM is not responsible under the terms of its bankruptcy exit for legal claims relating to incidents that took place before July 2009. Those claims must be brought against what remains of the ‘old’ or pre-bankruptcy GM.

“But the proposed class action, filed in federal court in California, said plaintiffs should be allowed to sue over the pre-bankruptcy actions, ‘because of the active concealment by Old GM and GM.’”

If GM is allowed to buy their way out of this mess by settling out of court and taking no responsibility for the death and misery that they caused, then we know that the status quo of protecting the rich is intact (2).… Read the rest

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Google Is Now Pouring Money Into Far-Right Wing Organizations

google earthPR Watch notes that Google’s political activities don’t necessarily match up with the views held by its workers:

Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.

Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.

In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.

What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.

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Anti-advertising is the New Advertising

A great essay over at Aeon Magazine reveals how the establishment wants you to know they have gone total anti-establishment and hey, buy our product, we’re on your side!

In 1796, the English physician Edward Jenner injected an eight-year-old boy in Gloucestershire with cowpox. Reasoning that absorbing a small amount of the virus would protect the child from a full-strength attack of smallpox in the future, Jenner’s bold experiment founded the practice of vaccination. Two hundred years later, the marketing industry has cottoned on to Jenner’s insight: a little bit of a disease can be a very useful thing.

If you’re one of the more than 7 million people who have watched the global fast-food chain Chipotle’s latest advertisement, you’ll have experienced this sleight of hand for yourself. The animated short film — accompanied by a smartphone game — depicts a haunting parody of corporate agribusiness: cartoon chickens inflated by robotic antibiotic arms, scarecrow workers displaced by ruthless automata.

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Immigration Reform 2013: McDonald’s Supports Immigration Reform — But For All the Wrong Reasons

AynRand-NewYork

Low wages make Ayn Rand smile

Is McDonald’s and the Cheesecake Factory concerned about losing access to cheap labor?

via Policy Mic

McDonald’s might be adding a new item to their value meal: amnesty.

The company was among the 104 co-signers of a letter addressed to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) advocating for the legalization of 11 million undocumented residents through new visa programs. You may be wondering why places like McDonald’s and the Cheesecake Factory are lobbying for immigration reform in this manner. While they have stated that they wanted to “bolster the availability of a workforce at all skill levels,” that is likely not the only reason.

The Center for Immigration Studies points out that this letter cited a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that stated the immigration reform would bolster the economy. This means that these corporate giants are channeling their moral compass and bettering our country, right?

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Switzerland To Vote On Radically Limiting CEOs’ Pay Nationwide

ZurichMontageMost likely with fists clenched and all the blood drained from its face, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Switzerland is expected to vote later this year on a proposal to place further limits on executive pay, the latest effort to govern corporate compensation in a country that recently approved some of the world’s strictest say-on-pay rules.

The Young Socialists have collected more than 100,000 signatures—the threshold needed to call a vote—in support of a referendum to limit executive salaries to 12 times those of a company’s lowest-paid employee.

The campaign, dubbed the 1:12 Initiative for Fair Pay, is named for the organizers’ belief that no one in a company should earn more in one month than the lowest-paid employee makes in a year.

The Swiss Federal Council, the country’s cabinet, has advised the parliament to recommend that voters reject the proposal. However a poll earlier this month showed 49.5% of respondents were in favor of the 1:12 Initiative, 40.5% against and 10% undecided.

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A Profit Margin is Daemonic by Its Very Nature

lazerbeamheatherIn the course of everyday conversation, if you were to make a remark about humans being controlled by nefarious inhuman forces, you’d typically get people calling you overly paranoid and probably accusing you of smoking way too much pot. On the other hand, you’d be entirely and quite demonstrably accurate. We have an expansionary agenda we’re all seemingly beholden to in one manner or another, and we execute this subconsciously programmed agenda through our desire to put up greater and greater numbers. Isn’t that what the stock market is all about when you get right down to it? Tracking our progress on breeding irresponsibly and churning out environmentally toxic bullshit? Hey, we made a lot of new soulless crap today. Numbers are skyrocketing. Where are we going with all that exactly? When wealth equality’s cartoonishly heinous and our government breaks, you’d think we’d start wondering now wouldn’t you? Go team nowhere!… Read the rest

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