Tag Archives | Corruption

Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?

Corrupt Legislation

Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elihu Vedder (1896).

Via ScienceDaily:

Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in — a government, company, or marriage — even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust?

A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we’re motivated to defend the status quo — a process called “system justification.”System justification isn’t the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Kay, a psychologist at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-authored the paper with University of Waterloo graduate student Justin Friesen. “It’s pro-active. When someone comes to justify the status quo, they also come to see it as what should be.”

Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, the paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control …

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Was Blagojevich Arrested On Corruption Charges After Going Up Against Bank of America?

Site' editor's note: Former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years this week after being convicted of a wide range of corruption charges, including the allegation that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. You won't see the talking head presttitutes discussing the fact that former Governor Rob Blagojevich was arrested exactly one day after he announced he was "...asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America" ... Here's Rod Blagojevich uncensored on We Are Change Chicago:
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Media Roots: Greg Palast on OccupyWallStreet & U.S. Corporatocracy

On November 14, 2011, Abby Martin of Media Roots interviewed award-winning journalist and best-selling author Greg Palast after his talk at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. Greg Palast, a freelance journalist for the BBC as well as British newspaper The Observer, discusses his newly published book Vultures' Picnic, corporate collusion, the bought-and-paid-for-media establishment, the role of citizen journalism around the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and the value of organisations such as Project Censored.
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President Obama Has Raised More Money From Wall Street Than Any Politician in American History

CasablancaThis opinion piece from Joe Scarborough in the Politico is worth a read:

One of the most famous scenes in movie history comes from “Casablanca,” when a corrupt official shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s cafe. Bogart asks the French captain — who also happens to be a gambling aficionado — why he’s closing the joint down. His response is a classic.

“I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here.”

Political commentators have referred to Capt. Renault’s uproarious line for years when calling out hypocritical politicians. But few political narratives ever fit that scene as tightly as President Barack Obama’s bipolar approach to Wall Street. To fully understand the extent of Obama’s double-speak, it helps to let the “Casablanca” scene play out a bit, because after the corrupt captain makes his self-righteous declaration, a croupier hands him cash and says, “Your winnings, sir.”

Capt. Renault quietly thanks the croupier and then quickly returns to the role of reformer by shouting, “Everybody out at once!” Like that old movie character, Obama seems capable of effortlessly floating between demonizing Wall Street gambling one day and profiting from it the next.

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Congress Got 25% Richer During Height of Recession

Rich CongressSeems like time to Occupy Congress … Paul Singer and Jennifer Yachnin report on Roll Call:

Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members’ financial disclosure forms.

Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress.

Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.

According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion.

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NYPD Commonly Planted Drugs On Innocent People To Meet Arrest Quotas

02FLAKING-articleLargeEver watch that show Punked on MTV with Ashton Kutcher? The NYPD narcotics squads do something that’s kind of like that. The New York Daily News reports:

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.

“Tavarez was…worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.

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EPA Puts Former Senior Administrator Who Supported Whistleblower in Prison

EPAVia Corporate Crime Reporter:

Where are the criminal prosecutions of the major corporations responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Still nowhere to be found. Where are the prosecutors? Where is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Not prosecuting major polluters.

Instead, what are they doing? Cracking down on whistleblowers. And those who support whistleblowers. While the corporate crooks are running free.

Next time you think of this disparity of justice, remember these two words: Jon Grand.

For more than twenty years, Grand was a senior administrator at the EPA in Chicago. Never had a run in with the law. Then, he made the mistake of supporting an EPA whistleblower.

In 2000, Grand was talking on the phone with colleagues in Washington. And the EPA people in Washington were making disparaging remarks about Marsha Coleman-Adebayo – a young African-American EPA staffer who was suing the EPA and its administrator – Carol Browner – for race and sex discrimination.

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Where in the World are Obama’s Blunders (That is, Bundlers)?

Suitcase Of MoneySeth Cline writes on Open Secrets:

Nearly lost in the troves of campaign finance data recently released by presidential candidates was an updated list of bundlers for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. These 359 well-connected supporters have raised at least $56 million for Obama and the Democratic National Committee so far this year, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama’s campaign, the sole presidential campaign to disclose information about its bundlers, only gives broad ranges for the amounts these elite fund-raisers have raised, so the exact amount they’ve raised is unknown.

But because the campaign releases a figure for the minimum amount bundled, it’s safe to say that bundlers constitute a sizable portion of the fund-raising for Obama and the DNC.

In fact, more than $1 of every $3 donated to Obama and the DNC so far this year has come from bundlers, according to the Center’s research.

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Media Roots: Occupy Wall Street, Divide & Conquer, Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Via Media Roots: Abby & Robbie Martin cover the Occupy Wall Street Movement: the divide and conquer tactics being used to discredit OWS, the different schools of thought and ideology within the movement and the original demands made by the U.S. Day of Rage; the Obama administration's shocking crackdown on medical marijuana and new federal law banning medical marijuana card holders from owning firearms; Blackwater and the privatization of the armed forces: is the corporatization of the U.S. military preventing an anti-war rebellion similar to that seen in the '60s?
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