As 2013 starts to fade into demonstrably unreliable memoryville, I’m sure the answer to that headline’s question for most remains no. It’s fascinating but when you think about it, last year ended up being a banner one in terms of exposing our insanely irrational cultural biases toward Gnostic spiritual concepts of any variety. Right off the bat, you had the Hancock/Sheldrake TED debacle and maybe nothing shifted in 2012, but when pretty early on you accidentally catch a discussion about Near Death Experiences on the Katie Couric Show of all places, it strikes you that maybe something did get tweaked ever so slightly beneath the surface. Of course the reason NDE’s were actually being talked about on ridiculously mainstream cultural markets like this had to do with money and the mass amounts of it Eben Alexander’s book on the topic managed to rake in. Everyone wants a piece of that action no matter how risqué.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Corruption
No big deal, they were just the company in charge of making sure that democracy happened. Via the BRAD BLOG:
… Read the rest
One of the world’s largest ATM manufacturers and, formerly, one of the largest manufacturers of electronic voting systems, has been indicted by federal prosecutors for bribery and falsification of documents.
The charges represent only the latest in a long series of criminal and/or unethical misconduct by Diebold, Inc. and their executives over the past decade.
A U.S. Attorney says the latest charges are in response to “a worldwide pattern of criminal conduct” by the company…bribing government officials and falsifying documents in China, Indonesia and Russia to obtain and retain contracts to provide ATMs to banks in those countries.
In 2010 the company settled an SEC fraud suit for $25 million. They also admitted in 2008 that they had overstated 2007 election division revenue by some 300% in hopes of manipulating stock prices.
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
In 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):
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
Hold a position of global influence? Then there may be a job at J.P. Morgan for your offspring. Via Raw Story:
… Read the rest
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.
Digital 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.
For-profit correction facilities? What could possibly go wrong?
… Read the rest
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.
The 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.
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:
… Read the rest
“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.
via Pratap Chatterjee CorpWatch
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.