Tag Archives | Corruption

Huey Long; Hi Popalorum, Lo Popahirum

I need to learn not to fire my guns too soon.  I hit on this a while ago in a piece titled “Louisiana Oil; From The Kingfish to Deepwater Horizon” and then I thought, “No, more should be said about Huey Long.”

As a quick recap…  In our Public School System’s version of History class we, our parents, and our children are asked to memorize names, dates and places, but not the ones we should remember the most.  And never the ones whose memory will help us out.

Here is a clip which Ken Burns picked for the beginning of his Documentary on Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935)  I did not use Ken’s film for the source, but I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t.

 

 

Many people don’t know it but Huey, as a Senator, came up with a Share The Wealth Program which featured the well known motto “Every Man A King”, though it is seldom remembered that it continued; “But No One Wears A Crown”.   The line was taken from a Williams Jennings Bryant speech.… Read the rest

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In Recognition of Endless Wars and Those Who Profit From Them: The Savage Sword of Conan

via chycho

conan_2_1d_thumbIn recognition of endless wars (2) and imperial presidencies, executive salary bonuses, maximizing shareholder value, and banking profits, in recognition of profits made from selling weapons of mass destruction, waging war, and propagating fear, and in recognition of big oil (2, 3) and profiting from scarcity, let’s remind ourselves who actually benefits from war by taking a look at a couple of pages from one of the greatest comic book series ever created, “The Savage Sword Of Conan”.

Below you will find panels from page 29 and 30 of the August 1983 issue of The Savage Sword Of Conan #91 (click images to show full pages and enlarge):

source

The story so far …

    Conan and his mercenary army have won another victory and have dispatched their fastest rider to carry the news to King Ronal of Lapis L’harr, a Corinthian city-state engaged in protracted warfare with the adjacent city-state of Razalah B’qen:










In comic books, more often than not, the good guys win.… Read the rest

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SEC Investigating J.P. Morgan For Hiring Chinese Elites’ Children As Possible Form Of Bribery

jpmorganHold a position of global influence? Then there may be a job at J.P. Morgan for your offspring. Via Raw Story:

The United States is investigating JPMorgan over its hiring practices in China, the company confirmed Sunday. The New York Times had earlier reported that the investment bank was under investigation over claims it hired the children of influential Chinese officials to secure business in the country.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission filing confirmed that there had been a request from regulators for “information and documents relating to, among other matters, the firm’s employment of certain former employees in Hong Kong and its business relationships with certain clients.”

The Times had cited one case where the bank hired the son of Tang Shuangning, a former Chinese banking regulator who is now chairman of the state-run China Everbright Group financial conglomerate. JPMorgan secured a succession of sought-after deals from China Everbright after hiring the son, Tang Xiaoning.

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Colorado Gives State Legislators “Invisible” License Plates Immune To Speed Cameras And Traffic Tickets

speed camerasDigital invisibility – top perk of the near future. CBS Denver reports:

The plates issued to the 100 state lawmakers and representatives elected to serve Colorado are preventing them not only from receiving photo radar tickets but also collection notices from past due parking tickets.

The legislative plates are not entered into the Colorado DMV database, so when photo radar cameras catch these drivers speeding, they never received tickets. That’s because of a loophole that doesn’t allow the City of Denver to electronically cross-reference those plates with a home address.

Denver Public Works spokesperson Emily Williams agrees the net effect is that lawmakers can ignore the parking tickets without consequences.

Several state lawmakers contacted CBS4 after the initial story about photo radar tickets aired last month and said they were in favor of abolishing the special license plates.

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Scumbag Judge Gets 28 Years for Role in Scheme to Incarcerate Children for Profit

mark-ciavarella-mugshot.400x800For-profit correction facilities? What could possibly go wrong?

Via Rolling Out:

Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, 63, serves as an example of why the private prison industry can do more harm than good. Ciavarella worked alongside owners of private juvenile facilities to ensure that the prison remained occupied. The more prisoners equated to more profits for the owners of the prison.

As a result, Ciavarella would sentence offenders with small offenses to months and, at times, years behind bars. He once sentenced a teen to three months in jail for creating a MySpace page that mocked her school’s assistant principal. Ciavarella also sentenced another teen to 90 days in jail after a simple schoolyard fight.

But after a federal investigation, it was discovered that Ciavarella and his colleague, Judge Michael Conahan, received more than $2.6 million from privately run youth centers owned by PA Child Care. In 2011, Ciavarella was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

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Majority Of World Says Corruption Is Increasing In Their Countries

corruptionThe advent of new technology has ushered an era of unprecedented transparency and openness – oh, whoops. CBS News reports:

According to a survey released Tuesday, a majority of people across the globe feel that corruption has worsened in their countries. And while 53 percent of respondents felt corruption had increased in the last two years, a majority also believed that their governments couldn’t fix the problem.

A new report from the international anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International finds that mistrust in governing institutions extends beyond those countries, and beyond the protests in the streets. According to the survey, more than one in four people reported paying a bribe in the past year.

In the U.S., 64 percent said the government is run by a few big interests, compared with 5 percent who felt the same in Norway, and 83 percent in Greece.

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Here is What’s Going On in Canada, Part 1: Two Telltale Speeches by Stephen Harper

via chycho

harper-images

    I. Introduction: How Far We Have Fallen

    II. Harper’s ‘Plagiarized’ Iraq War Speech

    III. Harper’s 1997 Speech to Council for National Policy

I. Introduction: How Far We Have Fallen

For those watching from afar, Canada must seem an enigma. For decades we have been hailed as peace keepers, but have lately been busy flexing our mussels at every opportunity we get (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). We are known for our pristine environment, but have been accelerating the development of the dirtiest project in the world (pics). Knowing full well the devastating consequences of America’s War on Drugs, the very same day that Washington State and Colorado legalized the recreational use of Cannabis we introduced “tough new mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana.” We are the third largest water rich resource country in the world, but have recently suspended numerous water monitoring and preservation projects:

“DFO’s [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] Habitat Management Program – which monitored the effects of harmful industrial, agricultural and land-development activities on wild fish – is gone.

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Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

via Pratap Chatterjee CorpWatch 6a0120a65d9a8c970b0148c6d1c8ab970c-250wi

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration – as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns – to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the U.S.

The pipeline from Alberta – which is to be built by TransCanada – has been delayed for over four years pending approval from the U.S. State Department which has final say because it crosses the international border. President Barack Obama is expected to announce a decision this fall in consultation with John Kerry, who took over the State Department earlier this year from Hilary Clinton.

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Since 9/11 Private Contractors Have Made $385 Billion From Overseas Bases

baseworldVia TomDispatch on the staggering sum being passed from U.S. taxpayers to a handful of contracting corporations in the name of maintaining the Pentagon’s global “baseworld”:

Outside the United States, the Pentagon controls a collection of military bases unprecedented in history. With US troops gone from Iraq, it’s easy to forget that we probably still have about 1,000 military bases in other peoples’ lands.

The Pentagon has dispersed around $385 billion to private companies for work done outside the US since late 2001, mainly in that baseworld. That’s nearly double the entire State Department budget over the same period. Almost a third of the $385 billion has flowed into the coffers of just 10 top contractors, [with the largest amount going to] KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Once upon a time, however, the military, not contractors, built the barracks, cleaned the clothes, and peeled the potatoes at these bases. This started to change during the Vietnam War, when Brown & Root, better known to critics as “Burn & Loot” (later KBR), began building major military installations in South Vietnam as part of a contractor consortium.

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The shit show that is Afghanistan, compliments of Vice: “We will survive. But they will be taking the war back to America!”

via chycho
afghnistan_vice

An excellent article and documentary on Afghanistan now available through Vice: ”This Is What Winning Looks Like”.

It should be mandatory viewing for every citizen of every country that was involved in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. It shows life from our and our allies perspective – the honest, the honorable, the gullible, the liars, the politicians, the occupying forces, the Afghan security forces, the war lords, the addicts, the desperate, the corrupt, the child molesters, the murderers, the government – the fantasy that has been defined as victory.

The documentary is well worth watching and should be sobering for anyone who has not yet come to terms with what has been unleashed. The Following quote from an elected local Afghan official sums up the consequences quite well (emphasis added):

“When they came to Afghanistan they came here for a purpose. They couldn’t fulfill their purpose and now they are trying to release themselves.

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