Professional Scam Artists – part 17

From Truthdig:
Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a 2008 visit to Kosovo with U.S. Army troops on foot patrol in the town of Gnjilane. (The U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0)

“The Pentagon Can’t Account for $21 Trillion (That’s Not a Typo)” by Lee Camp (Truthdig)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything…

The human brain is not meant to think about a trillion dollars.

And it’s definitely not meant to think about the $21 trillion our Department of Defense can’t account for. These numbers sound bananas. They sound like something Alex Jones found tattooed on his backside by extraterrestrials.

But the 21 trillion number comes from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General—the OIG. Although, as Forbes pointed out, “after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, the OIG’s webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported “accounting adjustments,” was mysteriously taken down.”

From The Toronto Star:
The Falcon 7X business jet is manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA. The $54-million jet is apparently what televangelist Jesse Duplantis needs. (Mark Dadswell / Bloomberg)

“U.S. televangelist says he needs $54 million for his fourth private jet — and he wants his followers to pay for it” by Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (Washington Post via Toronto Star)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Why would He choose anything less than the Falcon 7X, a private jet that nears the sound barrier but also has noise-limiting acoustic technology, a bluetooth-enabled entertainment centre and an optional in-flight shower?

Duplantis, saying he needs roughly $54 million to help him efficiently spread the gospel to as many people as possible, has asked the Lord — and hundreds of thousands of hopefully deep-pocketed followers across the world — for just such a plane.

He is the latest aircraft-seeking preacher to draw raised eyebrows and outright condemnation from critics who say asking for a multimillion dollar luxury jet is not exactly what Jesus meant when he said “store up for yourself treasures in heaven.”

“Greyhound Bus Under Fire As More Reports Of Immigration Searches and Detentions Surface” by Joe Wright (Activist Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

As the immigration debate continues to rage in America, the application of the Constitution-Free Zone that extends 100 miles inland around the borders of the U.S. is creating a quandary for private companies forced to comply with a federal mandate.

Greyhound Lines, Inc. is one of America’s longest-running transportation companies at 104 years and now finds itself at the center of a growing number of reports about random searches and even detentions that are occurring along its line from Florida to Texas to Seattle. All told, its compliance with border patrol puts an estimated 18 million passengers per year at risk across 3,800 destinations.

According to a company spokesperson, as reported by, Greyhound is not pleased with the position they have been put in, but so far has not taken a definitive stand against the government by requiring probable cause to enter its private property and harass its customers…

“Amazon Shareholders Call On Jeff Bezos To Stop Selling Facial “Rekognition” Software To Police” by Aaron Kesel (Activist Post)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

An astounding 20 groups of Amazon shareholders sent its CEO, Jeff Bezos, a letter urging him to stop selling the company’s face recognition software to law enforcement, CNN reported.

The software, called Rekognition, came under greater scrutiny last month when the ACLU published revealing internal documents related to its use by police. Numerous civil rights organizations co-signed a letter demanding Amazon stop assisting government surveillance, and several members of Congress have expressed concerns about the partnerships.

“We are concerned the technology would be used to unfairly and disproportionately target and surveil people of color, immigrants, and civil society organizations,” the shareholders, which reportedly include Social Equity Group and Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, wrote. “We are concerned sales may be expanded to foreign governments, including authoritarian regimes.”

From Dandelion Salad:
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

“The Unsurpassed Power Trip By An Insuperable Control Freak” by Ralph Nader (Dandelion Salad)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Dear Mr. Bezos:

You’ve come a long way from being a restless electrical engineering and computer science dual major at our alma mater, Princeton University. By heeding your own advice, your own hunches and visions, you’ve become the world’s richest person – at $141 billion and counting. You must feel you are on top of the world.

You are crushing your competition—those little stores on Main Street, USA, and other large companies that are still in business.

Your early clever minimizing of sales taxes gave you a big unfair advantage over brick and mortar stores that have had to pay 6, 7, 8 percent in sales taxes. Your tax-lawyers and accountants are using the anarchic global tax avoidance jurisdictions to drive your company’s tax burden to zero on a $5.6 billion profit in 2017, plus receiving about $789 million from Trump’s tax giveaway law, according to The American Conservative magazine (see Daniel Kishi’s article, “Crony Capitalism Writ Large,” in the May/June 2018 edition).

Amazon has been a leading corporate welfare King and is about to reap more of this extorted harvest once you decide where to locate your second headquarters…

“New Report Points To Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Abuses in Eritrea as Canadian Company Goes To Supreme Court Over Allegations of Forced Labour” by Jamie Kneen (Mining Watch Canada)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It was sheer coincidence, but more than a tinge of irony coloured yesterday’s news that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear Nevsun Resources’ appeal of a court ruling that accusations against it regarding the use of forced labour at its Bisha mine in Eritrea should be heard in British Columbia, not Eritrea, just as a new report revealed evidence of the Eritrean regime’s use of forced labour and exposed transnational mining companies’ contributions to supporting the regime.

A group of Eritrean refugees allege that as military conscripts, they were forced to work for an Eritrean military contractor at Nevsun’s Bisha gold-copper mine, in violation of international laws against forced labour, slavery, and torture, and that Nevsun was complicit in their treatment. The allegations have not been tested in court. So far, Canadian courts have rejected Nevsun’s arguments that the case should be heard in Eritrea, not in B.C. where it is based. In November 2017, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld lower court’s ruling that there was a real risk of corruption and unfairness in the Eritrean legal system, while acknowledging the considerable practical difficulties of hearing the claims in British Columbia.

Dr. Vandana Shiva

“The Bayer-Monsanto Merger: Empowering a Life-Destroying Cartel” by Michael Welch, Vandana Shiva, Nick Meyer, Ellen Brown (Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Vandana Shiva: First thing that people should remember is Monsanto and Bayer were one during the war. They were called Mobay. They worked together to sell poisons on both sides of the war. It’s only after the IG Farben trial at Nuremberg that the separation took place. So, in a way, the Bayer-Monsanto merger of the contemporary times is just a coming together in an open way of a hidden marriage that always was there. Second, even if you look at cross licensing arrangements, they’ve been working together.

When the BT Cotton of Monsanto failed in India in 2015-16 of the states of Punjab, 80% of the cotton was hit by White Fly. Who sold the pesticides? Bayer. So they work as one. As a poison cartel. Right now, buyers trying to push a GMO mustard. At the same time, Monsanto is trying to dismantle our patent laws which say we cannot allow patents and seeds, plants, animals, because these are not human inventions. They have their own self-organizing capacity to organize life, regulate life reproduce life, multiply seeds. What will this new open merger mean?

First is, I think the numbers like 66 billion are just games for the public. I’ve done an analysis. It will be out in my new book on the resurgence of the rial. The true owners of all of these corporations, down to the Coca Colas and Pepsis, all of them are the new investment giants, which are the cartel of the rich men, who have now designed ways of using their money to basically control the future of humanity.

And, for them, there is more future in collecting rents from seeds which they never invented, from selling more poisons, including corrupting governments, including denying the fact that even the W.H.O. said glyphosate is a carcinogen, so they’re putting their money to tell lies to defend killing and destroy democracy.

So, in effect, actually, the merger is more power in the hands of criminal corporations.

I don’t agree with all that Vandana has to say. For example, “every plant, every microbe, every animal, was an intelligent and sentient being” is rubbish in my view. Nor do I believe that humankind has been on earth for more than just over 6000 years. Otherwise, What she says about professional scam artists like Monsanto/Bayer is obviously true.

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