Tag: corporatocracy

The Declaration of Political Independence

(My apologies to Thomas Jefferson)

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the citizen long guaranteed by our Constitution, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to that separation.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all humans are created equal, and that the People of the United States of America are endowed not only with certain unalienable rights, but also with certain rights and liberties given to them by the Founding Fathers via the Constitution of the country adopted at the birth of these United States, as well as via laws passed throughout the past 239 years. That to secure these rights and liberties, the Government has been instituted among people, deriving their power from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it.

End Game

This is a piece by Chris Hedges. I’d consider it a must-read. The last paragraph is split in two pieces by me for points of emphasis.

Revolution in America

The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation and the planet is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Most of us will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word: more.  They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem. And they will use their money to hide in gated compounds when it all implodes. Do not expect them to take care of us when it starts to unravel.

And here’s the conclusion:

We will have to take care of ourselves. We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.

Zuckerberg, the Accidental Emperor of Facebook

With each passing day, the Facebook phenomenon looms larger as a precursor of a global networked society. It is such a potent political organizing mechanism that it has been central to the recent upheavals in North Africa, and it may prove instrumental in bringing down multiple dictatorships. But the most important story about Facebook is the one that nobody in the American media is willing to write. It is the story of an accidental emperor.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is the world’s youngest Billionaire. At the tender age of 26, he personally controls the development of a global digital social network that is increasingly taking on the characteristics of a political entity. It is easy to conceive of Facebook creating its own currency, citizenship regulations, and judicial and legislative structures. Yet all of these profound potential developments are under the control of a callow young man who stumbled into fame and fortune by building a wildly popular Internet service.

Zuckerberg’s character is that of a bright super-achiever, intensely focused on growing a business. He has no interest, aptitude, or concern for governing a political institution. Indeed, his current focus is on raising vast sums to fuel further growth of Facebook. The frightening fact is that Zuckerberg doesn’t really care what Facebook becomes, as long as it becomes the world’s dominant social network. In this respect, he is quite similar to Bill Gates, who was once another young hyper-achieving billionaire. Had it not been for antitrust actions brought against Microsoft in America and Europe, Microsoft might have crowded out every competitor and put a virtual coin box on every desktop computer in the world.

Unlike the case of Microsoft, there is nothing to stop Facebook from becoming the defacto precursor of an Internet world government. This government would not be a democracy; it would be an empire, and its emperor would be 26 year old Mark Zuckerberg. What is wrong with a profit-seeking corporation, led by a super-competitive businessman, creating a global Internet social network? The problem is that corporations are not designed to govern people. They have no interest in justice or the public good. Corporations are profit-seeking engines narrowly devoted to the interests of the stockholders. In the case of Facebook, Emperor Zuckerberg controls the stock.

It is a peculiar irony of contemporary American politics that it is increasingly dominated by corporations at a time when the model of the corporation is increasingly unsuited to solving global problems. The environment is being poisoned by the toxic effluents of corporations that view pollution as an “externality.” Economic inequality is increasing everywhere as corporations tear down social safety nets and take over legislatures through bribery disguised as campaign contributions. Organized labor is being crushed by corporations intent on minimizing wages. Financial markets are destabilized by unchecked corporate greed and unlimited bailouts. The biggest corporations are not only too big to fail; they are too big to jail, and they flout the laws with impunity.

So behold Emperor Zuckerberg, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we poor citizens of his empire hope for justice and mercy. What will he decide to do to us tomorrow?

Have debts? Go to jail

Although no crime was committed, Minnesotans and other people across America are being locked up because they owe money to some corporation. This is another example of our emerging corporatocracy — Where the power of the state is just another tool for business.

The Star Tribune has published an investigative piece about the return of debtors’ prisons, “In jail for being in debt“.

It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.

Here is what is happening now to people who fall behind in paying their bills. Joy Uhlmeyer, for example, is a 57-year-old patient care advocate. She was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy and no one would tell her why, despite her pleas.

Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense — missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt.

“They have no right to do this to me… Not for a stupid credit card.”

Uhlmeyer ‘crime?’ She “defaulted on a $6,200 Chase credit card after a costly divorce in 2006.” She ignored the collection agency because she “didn’t recognize the name”.

Remember “Swine Flu”? Looks like it was a scam indeed

I guess now that it’s the dead of winter, the time when people can really get sick, the “Swine Flu” panic is a thing of the past.

We have many more things to panic about now, right?   I mean, we’ve got the official CNN 24/7 “terrorgasm”, we’ve got coffers to bill at Big Corporations who can Supply Things To Us That Will Keep Us Safe.

And considering that there was a case of a suicide bomber somewhere (Afghanistan?) hiding the bomb up his rectum, Colbert’s suggestion that all Muslim men have a colonoscopy before boarding an aircraft doesn’t seem like something that would be far-fetched in today’s world.

But that’s not what this is about.  This is about — gosh, I almost forgot it myself, how distracting today’s panics are! — “Swine Flu”, you know that thing that was supposed to kill all of us, that thing we were all geared up to be SCARED SCARED SCARED about — and more importantly that thing that was designed to open all our wallets.

You’ll never see this on our 24-hour news terror programs, but for some reason the European Parliament has decided to investigate this scam:


The Council of Europe member states will launch an inquiry in January 2010 on the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the global swine flu campaign, focusing especially on extent of the pharma’s industry’s influence on WHO. The Health Committee of the EU Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the inquiry. The step is a long-overdue move to public transparency of a “Golden Triangle” of drug corruption between WHO, the pharma industry and academic scientists that has permanently damaged the lives of millions and even caused death.

The parliament motion was introduced by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, former SPD Member of the German Bundestag and now chairman of the Health Committee of PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council  of Europe). Wodarg is a medical doctor and epidemiologist, a specialist in lung disease and environmental medicine, who considers the current “pandemic” Swine Flu campaign of the WHO to be “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the Century.”[1]

The text of the resolution just passed by a sufficient number in the Council of Europe Parliament says among other things, “In order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards to alarm governments worldwide and make them squander tight health resources for inefficient vaccine strategies and needlessly expose millions of healthy people to the risk of an unknown amount of side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines. The “bird-flu”-campaign (2005/06) combined with the “swine-flu”-campaign seem to have caused a great deal of damage not only to some vaccinated patients and to public health-budgets, but to the credibility and accountability of important international health-agencies.”[2]

The Parliamentary inquiry will look into the issue of „falsified pandemic” that was declared by WHO in June 2009 on the advice of its group of academic experts, SAGE, many of whose members have been documented to have intense financial ties to the same pharmaceutical giants such as GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Novartis, who benefit from the production of drugs and untested H1N1 vaccines. They will investigate the influence of the pharma industry in creation of a worldwide campaign against the so-called H5N1 “Avian Flu”  and H1N1 Swine Flu. The inquiry will be given “urgent” priority in the general assembly of the parliament.

In his official statement to the Committee, Wodarg criticized the influence of the pharma industry on scientists and officials of WHO, stating that it has led to the situation where “unnecessarily millions of healthy people are exposed to the risk of poorly tested vaccines,” and that, for a flu strain that is “vastly less harmful” than all previous flu epidemics.

There you have it, in plain English.    

What everybody knew, who was paying attention.  Of course NOW they decide to do this, NOW, after the pharmaceutical companies have sold all the vaccines they could, I mean, if you haven’t gotten a vaccine by now, you’re probably not gonna get one, right?

This reeks of the “I am shocked, shocked, that gambling is going on here” line from Casablanca (and forgive me if i’m not quoting it correctly).

I mean, the EU sure wouldn’t want to actually infringe on a corporation’s god-given natural rights to scam the public into making money?    But to keep a little legitimacy in the public eye, they’ll sure pretend to investigate it afterwards, probably to slap a few fines on the perps so they can share the wealth, you know?

I was saying it back when they fear was being ramped up to fever pitch (excuse the pun) over this bogus flu.   That the WHO must have been corrupted.   Because it was, well, just obvious as fuck (pardon the language)..  

The world is completely corrupt.  You can’t believe anything any more.

But the public keeps getting punked.    It seems every year the public is ever-more-easy to punk.

Why is that?

Corporate America doing GREAT while unemployment soars

So if you’re like most people, myself included, you’ve probably been wondering how the stock market can be going up while American job losses keep rising, and the dollar keeps sinking.

In fact, it seems that there’s a full economic slow-motion meltdown underway in this country, with record numbers of people on food stamps, countless people being evicted, losing their homes, filing for bankruptcy, living in tents …..

Yet the CEO class — you know, those guys who now make half the money in the country — seem to be doing just fine, and their personal little casino known as Wall Street has been having a banner year …

Doesn’t make any sense, does it?  

Well, actually, according to this blog post I just found, it does!  

It makes a lot of sense.

I’ll try to hit the broad strokes:

Daniel Gross points out that part of the reason that the American stock markets are going up even though unemployment is rising and the real economy suffering is because multinational corporations headquartered in the U.S. are experiencing strong sales abroad:

Here’s a puzzle: The stock markets are doing very well, yet the performance of the underlying economy doesn’t seem to justify optimism. The buoyant S&P 500 has risen 53 percent since the March bottom. And while the economy expanded at a 3.5 percent rate in the third quarter, unemployment is high, incomes are stagnant, and consumers are shaky…

It could be that the notion the stock market is an accurate gauge of the domestic economy’s temperature is outdated.

Ya think?   I’d say that’s an understatement.   Of course, if we come up with a new, universally accepted barometer of the domestic economy, the media wouldn’t be able to tell us every day how great the “recovery” is, now would they?   They might actually have to tell us the truth.   And they sure don’t want to do that.  

And anyway, according to the trickle-down economic theory that has been in place in this country for almost 30 years now, supposedly what is good for Corporate America is good for Americans.  Right?  

Don’t American Workers Win?

The fact that companies based in America are raking in profits from sales abroad is good for American workers, right?


Gross points out that American workers don’t benefit because a lot of the goods sold abroad by American multinationals are made abroad.

We’ve all seen that one coming for a good long time.   Sure, having U.S. companies bypass worker-safety laws, environmental laws, unions, minimum-wage laws, and pretty much every other law our forefathers fought and bled and in some cases died for does give us lower-priced goods.    For a while.    But then, the bill comes due.    Suddenly nobody makes anything any more, nobody has a job anymore, and therefore nobody can afford to buy even the cheap shitty crap made overseas.

Ah, but if these corporations are doing so well, there’s a little bit of a silver lining, right?    I mean, they have to pay taxes here, don’t they?  

Don’t Multinationals Pay A Lot in Taxes?

Well, at least the multinationals are paying a good chunk of taxes into the American economy, right?

Not exactly.

The Washington Post notes:

About two-thirds of corporations operating in the United States did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005, according to a new report scheduled to be made public today from the U.S. Government Accountability Office…

In 2005, about 28 percent of large corporations paid no taxes…

Wait a minute.  I had to pay taxes.  And I’m hardly rich, and I’m certainly not a corporation.   So I have to pay taxes, but “large corporations” can get away with paying none?

Dorgan and Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) requested the report out of concern that some corporations were using “transfer pricing” to reduce their tax bills. The practice allows multi-national companies to transfer goods and assets between internal divisions so they can record income in a jurisdiction with low tax rates…

[Senator] Levin said: “This report makes clear that too many corporations are using tax trickery to send their profits overseas and avoid paying their fair share in the United States.”

Indeed, as Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston documents, American multinationals pay much less in taxes than they should through a variety of widespread schemes, including:

Selling valuable assets of the American companies to foreign subsidiaries based in tax havens for next to nothing, so that those valuable assets can be taxed at much lower foreign rates

Pretending that costs were spent in the United States, so that the companies can count them as costs or deductions in the U.S. and pay less taxes to the American government

Booking profits as if they occurred in the subsidiary’s tax haven countries, so that taxes paid on profits are at the much lower safe haven rate

Working out sweetheart deals with certain foreign governments, so that the companies can pretend they paid more in foreign taxes than they actually did, to obtain higher U.S. tax credits than are warranted

Pretending they are headquartered in tax havens like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands or Panama, so that they can enjoy all of the benefits of actually being based in America (including the use of American law and the court system, listing on the Dow, etc.), with the tax benefits associated with having a principal address in a sunny tax haven.

And myriad other scams

As Johnston documents, the American economy is hurt by the massive underpayment of taxes by the huge multinationals.

The Health Care “Reform” Scam

…and Corporate Ownership of the R&D end

Past Posts to the Issues:

REAL Health Care Reform

Angry Letter to My Blue Dog CongressCritter

Scam of Ages

The Great Unicorn Flu Panic of 2009

Some Herbal Wonders

Every day we’re encouraged and cajoled to call and write our representatives to encourage them to include some sort of public option in their ridiculous sham of a street theater road show deceptively called “Health Care Reform,” long since bought and paid for by the health insurance industry itself. They want us to beg – and we have begged and begged some more – but they’re not going to give us anything. Never intended to, this is just a show. What is planned isn’t any sort of reform at all of a system designed on purpose to kill off those pesky (and too numerous) Baby Boomers as well as all the excess no-longer-employable working class slaves the nation’s banks and brokers no longer need or want, along with sickly citizens of all descriptions. Sooner, not later.

There are some who want to believe the current swine flu epidemic and planned vaccination program is genocide-writ-large, but it’s not. It’s just a bug that got out and deaths from it or its vaccines won’t even be half the annual toll from regular seasonal flu. Which will kill its 30-50 thousand come January/February and nobody will think a thing of it. Instead, what we’ve got is this complete sham of a health care non-debate that is really just another corporate bailout for crooks who don’t need or deserve a single cent of our hard-earned money.

Obama gives us all a grand “f**k you!”

I’m sorry, but if this doesn’t leave you feeling completely sick to your stomach, you just haven’t been paying attention.

This is one of those times where the transparency is cranked up to 11, the veil falls away, and no pretense is made as to a political figure’s true position.   This is right up there with GWB’s “I call you my base” speech, one of those sickening moments that you will probably only see in a Michael Moore film, a moment that will leave you wondering “how come nobody noticed this when it happened?”

I’ll just get right to it, even though I’m tempted to go on about how disgusting it truly is:

In a glowing tribute to a Republican predecessor, President Obama on Friday praised President George H.W. Bush as an example of someone who eschewed “a life of comfort and privilege” and instead devoted himself to public service – inside government and out.

During an evening speech to honor the public service institute that Bush founded two decades ago, Obama called for cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. The former president, he said, proved that “the R or D next to your name is irrelevant” in challenging times.

“You might not always know it from watching the cable news shows or listening to folks on the radio,” Obama said, but “I think we’re standing in one of those moments.”

They were joined onstage Friday in the Texas A&M University auditorium by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who also served in the previous administration and was CIA director under the elder Bush.

Okay, I don’t even know where to begin here ….

For one thing, here’s the statement that is so ridiculously true, it’s like they are mocking us on purpose:

“the R or D next to your name is irrelevant”

That really does say it all.   There is no difference between the R’s and the D’s, especially when the D’s are honoring one of the great criminals of the 20th century, George Herbert Walker Bush.   The Bush family is nothing more than a criminal enterprise, literally a crime family, who are responsible for literally countless deaths, destruction, coups, wars, trickery, assassinations, corporate/government malfeasance, conspiracies, and worse.  

Yet here he is being “honored” by the member of the supposed “opposition” party who was swept into power by one of the greatest con jobs of all time, that of convincing the desperate American public that he was an agent of “hope” and “change”.


Next is the “you must think we’re really stupid” bullshit of this whole “public service” thing.   Public Service?   Are you fucking kidding me?   PUBLIC SERVICE from the BUSH FAMILY?   Is THAT what you’re CALLING IT these days?

Gangsterism, pure and simple, is now being called “Public Service”?

Sure, it’s a public service to start wars, destroy governments, conspire to assassinate folks who don’t play ball with you, to give your sons entire states to play with, to manipulate presidential elections, to con, to steal, to bankrupt …… You call that Public Service?

Okay.   In a world turned completely upside down and gone completely fucking MAD, we’ll call that Public Service from now on.

And it is utterly appropriate that they these two assholes, these two criminal fucks, were joined onstage by another monster criminal fuck, one Robert Gates, who Obama had the sheer audacity to keep on as head of the Pentagon, knowing that we wouldn’t give him one iota of shit for this.   The Obama-Con was so complete that Obama could literally wipe his ass with the Constitution on live television and everybody would swoon and cheer, and this is basically what he is doing at this point — he has done nothing but go out of his way to continue the policies of George Bush, one of the three criminal sons of the master criminal he is honoring here, knowing that nobody would say a peep and what’s more important, nobody could stop him even if they wanted to.

I don’t even know where to begin with Gates.  He’s a criminal from the GHWBush school, a crony, a former CIA guy along with “Poppy” Bush, and his rap sheet is a mile long.  Here’s just a tiny sample:

NBC “news” hires Jenna Bush as “correspondent”

NBC has just hired this person, who is expressing her opinion of the media for which she will now be working:

Yup, you got that right, it’s Jenna Bush, now a budding “Washington-based correspondent” for NBC “news”.  

Maybe they need someone to give a story on where you can best get blink-stinking-drunk in Washington D.C.:

I guess it’s GE’s attempt to curry favor with the Bush family, a family who allowed GE to add billions of dollars to its bottom line by declaring an endless, massive, completely illegal war back in 2003.    GE’s annual report said that the Iraq War was going to be worth several billion dollars to its bottom line.  And that was before the war really even got going!

So the favor is returned, and the spoiled little brat gets a plum gig with Daddy’s friends.

Banks make record $38 billion in overdraft fees

At BofA, a customer overdrawn by as little as $6 could trigger a $35 penalty. If the customer does not realise they have a negative balance and continue spending, they could incur that fee as many as 10 times in a single day, for a total of $350. Failing to repay the overdraft within a few days results in an additional $35 penalty.

How do ya like them apples?

Why anyone still keeps their money in these banks is beyond me.  Oh wait.  If you have a low credit score, you can’t open a new account anywhere else.  So if you’ve had the dominos start to fall, thanks to these banksters like those who run BofA and others, you are stuck with them and their goddamn thievery.


Data from Moebs Services, a research company, show that the crisis has prompted many banks to lift charges on overdrafts and credit cards in order to boost profits.

The median bank overdraft fee has this year rose from $25 to $26, according to Moebs, the first time it has gone up in a recession for more than 40 years.

“Banks are returning to a fee-driven model and overdraft fees are the mother lode,” said Mike Moebs, the company’s founder.

Hit ’em when they’re down.  That’s a great business plan.  It’s the mother-lode, baby!  Woo Hoo!  

The highest overdraft fees were charged by the largest banks, said Mr Moebs. At banks with assets greater than $50bn – a group including Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo – the median overdraft fee is set at $33.

So those “too big to fail” continue to do whatever the fuck they want, because, hell, these banks can’t even fail if they wanted to.   They tried to fail!   Congress wouldn’t let them!   So why not do whatever the hell pops into your head to rip people off, who’s going to stop you?

In the meantime, three more little banks, I guess those who were “small enough to fail” did in fact fail on Friday.

That brings the total for the year to 72.   Yup, 72 banks small enough to fail, while the Big Boys just do whatever the hell they want.  

In other news, Obama has lost Dailykos, which is the equivalent of George Bush losing the Freepers.   Now, we have “Everybody Hates Barry” playing out in Washington.  The right hates him, and his most devoted followers are completely disillusioned and crestfallen with him, talking about being “in tears” over his actions.  They like to cry.   Crying and cats.  I don’t get it.  


What is he doing?  He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing, being an errand boy for the corporate elite that put him in power.  That’s what he’s doing.   He’s there to let Goldman bail out Goldman.  

Oh, and let’s not forget that a British General has just come out and said that the “mission” in Afghanistan is going to take a good 40 years to “complete”.     He’s probably being optimistic.

For those who claim the media isn’t right-wing

For those of you who claim that the media is anything other than owned by the right-wing and the corporatocracy, I give you this:

LA Times killed NSA whistleblower’s story

I found this story at Cryptogon, but it originated at ComputerWorld:

The NSA Wiretapping Story Nobody Wanted

This demonstrates, yet again, how incestuous is the relationship between the corporate-owned Big Brother government and its Mouthpiece Media:

I was most worried at the time when the LA Times was killing my story, but at the same time the LA Times showed it to the government. Then I really was panicking because that meant that the government knew everything and probably knew my name, but I didn’t have any publicity.

IDGNS: The media merit a full chapter (entitled: ‘Going Public vs. Media Chickens’) in your book. What happened there?

Klein: The LA Times was particularly egregious because they were planning a front-page spread. They were the first entity I’d given all the documents to. Then they talked to the government about it, and it turned out they were talking to not only the NSA director, but the director of national intelligence, who was John Negroponte at the time. So that meant the government knew it. And then a few weeks later the LA Times killed the story. So the only thing you can read into is that basically the government squashed the story. [The LA Times’ editor in early 2006, Dean Baquet, said the government had nothing to do with the decision. ‘We did not have a story, that we could not figure out what was going on,’ he told ABC News — ed.]

IDGNS: How long did they have the story?

Klein: I started dealing with them in late January 2006, and in February they showed it to the government, and then they started wobbling. By the end of March 2006, they officially told me the story was killed.

IDGNS: Did they cover it in April, after it became public?

Klein: No that was funny. After it finally hit the news everywhere else, The LA Times didn’t run with the stuff I’d given them. They’d squashed the whole thing.

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