Professional Scam Artists – part 27

“The Colonial Broadcasting Corporation: Selling Out Canadians” by Robin Matthews (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
The phrase “As It Happens in the U.S.A.” serves well to describe, overall, what Canada’s Colonial Broadcasting Corporation ‘does’ in the world in our time. Canada’s ‘system’ is very special, I believe, devoted to dumbing Canadians, to disguising Canadian information, to broadcasting for its real (non-Canadian) audience ….

Why, do you suppose, the Canadian broadcast called “As It Happens” broadcasts trivia, tirelessly and endlessly … and often (to many of us) boringly, from “trivial nowheresville USA”? Well … simply … could it be because that’s where the biggest potential CBC audience is … and … true to Colonial loyalty … the Imperial Country matters; Canada does not? The heaps of “junk matter” from the USA are for the U.S. audience… as well as is much else on the show….

The “intelligentsia” of the CBC knows the size of the U.S. audience, and the Corporation receives communications from U.S. listeners and viewers that are never discussed or revealed (or even admitted) to Canadians…. Is it the unseen (to Canadians), unpaying, foreign audience of the CBC that really matters to many people who run the Corporation?

Besides … the more Canadians hear about Donald Trump and his antics … the less they will hear about Justin Trudeau and the antics of the Canadian Cabinet.
= == ===

I don’t have a television set, so I don’t watch CBC, which I know, and have known for years, is compromised and a tool of the American Empire and its supporters, like the Canadian Empire (which exists). Also, I take the same position that Arundhati Roy takes when it comes to the American Empire. I’m not American, but the American Empire is global and therefore, anyone in any country has the right to criticize that country and its awful ruling class.

Pierre Omidyar

“Pierre Omidyar: A Dangerous Billionaire-Backer of the “Resistance”” by Daniel Haiphong (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

By supporting Omidyar and his version of the “Resistance,” most of humanity stands to lose. Omidyar’s “soft power” network has only one mission and that is to stabilize an empire in crisis. One of the ways that Omidyar has attempted to stabilize the imperialist system is through investments in journalism. Omidyar is the principle owner of First Look Media, the parent corporation of The Intercept. While The Intercept has covered important issues in the past, it has been charged with privatizing Edward Snowden’s leaks and promoting regime change efforts in Syria through direct attacks on the democratically-elected government of Bashar Al-Assad. Furthermore, The Intercept possesses a troubling record of outing the identities of those leaking secret government information. In a word, Omidyar has used his influence over The Intercept to stifle dissent while promoting the outlet as a pioneer of “independent” media.

Omidyar is most concerned, however, with ensuring that the US empire maintains corporate and military control over the world’s nations and peoples. He has donated millions to the Clinton Global Initiative responsible for imposing ruthless austerity measures on nations such as Haiti. There is also documented evidence that Omidyar used his philanthropic network to support the “Maidan Revolution” in Ukraine in 2014 which propelled neo-Nazis into state power, much to the pleasure of the IMF. The billionaire eBay mogul has also been a critical supporter of the United States Agency for International Development or USAID. USAID is well-known for its support of “soft power” tactics to promote regime change in nations that do not bow down to U.S. military and corporate power such as Cuba.

“The Amazon Robbery” by Margaret Kimberley (Black Agenda Report)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The world’s richest man just pulled a con job on several hundred US cities, which tells us a lot about the (mostly) Democrats that run these towns.

“Public officials are the errand boys and girls for the billionaire rulers.”

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. That means he is by definition the biggest thief in the world. He proved it by pulling off a reported $2.1 billion heist against the people of New York and Virginia who will subsidize two new Amazon regional offices. Critics claim the subsidy amount is closer to $4.6 billion . But the man whose net worth is more than $120 billion didn’t have to twist any arms to get his hands on public money, regardless of the true amount of his haul. More than 200 localities entered a sweepstakes for chumps, competing with one another to offer up the fastest race to the bottom when only two of them were ever in the running. There is a sucker born every minute and they’re all in government.

It is no surprise that Bezos chose the capitals of governance and finance as the locations of his two new offices. Bezos is sole owner of the Washington Post, a move that put him in the driver seat of U.S. politics when he made the purchase in 2013. The Washington Postis also the vehicle for his Propaganda or Not project, which targeted Black Agenda Report and other outlets for 21stcentury McCarthyite censorship. Amazon also has a $600 million contract with the CIA and plays an integral role in the surveillance state.

From Corporate Europe Observatory:
[The fabulous dragon is exhibited in front of the EU Council from 26-28 November 2018. It’s the handiwork of the Break Free From Plastic Alliance.]

“Plastic pressure” by ? (Corporate Europe Observatory)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

When Collins Dictionary announced that its ‘word of 2018’ was “single-use”, it summed up the striking way that the pressing need to tackle plastic over-use shot up the public agenda in recent years. Reducing single-use plastics has become urgent, to help protect the marine environment, tackle climate change, and move towards using far fewer resources, and it formed the centre-piece of the European Commission’s May 2018 proposal on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment’. At least partly due to public pressure and concern, member states such as France and the UK have also proposed additional national measures to tackle single-use plastics. And while none of these proposals are as radical as they need to be to significantly reduce dependence on plastic, they are nevertheless a positive step forward.

Industry is on the back foot as a result of these developments. It has opposed and worked to undermine action to cut back on plastics use for years, instead funding education and litter clean-up initiatives focussed on shifting the blame to citizens instead of the plastics industry. But now, decision-makers in the Brussels bubble are on the receiving end of serious, coordinated industry lobbying, which aims to undermine proposed action on single-use plastics…

EPR [extended producer responsibity] schemes have existed for a while for some products but, as with all such polluter pays schemes, those companies which are required to foot the bill tend to resist. In this case, industry has tried to camouflage its resistance by arguing that the plastics issue is essentially a litter problem, thus placing greater onus onto citizens and communities to take responsibility, and exculpating the plastics industry from binding measures. Exemplifying this approach are BusinessEurope and FoodDrinkEurope, who have railed against producers paying the full costs to manage waste and clean-up litter via EPR schemes.

Also in this camp is the Clean Europe Network (CEN), the focus of a previous article by Corporate Europe Observatory. CEN, an NGO focussed on litter prevention, was set up by the packaging trade lobby Pack2Go Europe, with whom it shares a Brussels office address, along with other business and lobby groups…

Coca Cola, Danone, Nestlé, and PepsiCo, whose own product packaging were found to be the top four most-littered plastic items in the world, have urged member states to oppose the Commission proposal that, in order to reduce litter and boost recycling, bottle tops for drinks should be re-designed so that they are no longer detachable.

Corporate Europe Observatory
click on image for source

“[PART 1] A dangerous distraction: Seven myths industry uses to sell “renewable gas”” by ? (Corporate Europe Observatory)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
The latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for deep and urgent emissions cuts if we are to keep average global temperature rise below 1.5°c, which governments signed up to under the Paris Agreement. So can the gas industry, whose primary product is fossil fuels – the very thing driving climate change – really be part of the solution?

While industry sees renewable gas as their ticket to addressing climate change while keeping their business model – and their gas infrastructure – intact, the reality is not so clear. If created from truly sustainable, renewable sources, the gases industry claims it can create (hydrogen from excess renewable electricity or biomethane from sustainably-sourced biomass), would still be in incredibly short supply even by 2050. Moreover, producing biomethane unsustainably could lead to the same land-grabs and competition with food crops seen when the EU tried to stimulate biofuel production. So while small potential quantities of renewable gas may be suitable for a few hard-to-decarbonise industrial activities or for local heat and electricity generation, they will fall far short of projected 2050 gas demand.

Gas companies are fully aware of this. In reality industry’s core vision is about pumping fossil gas for the foreseeable future, with some small renewable gas capacity giving them a cover of sustainability. Also included under the umbrella of supposed sustainability is what industry calls ‘decarbonised’ or ‘low-carbon’ gas, which is fossil gas that in the future will possibly – through unproven, experimental and extremely expensive technology – have its CO2 emissions captured (known as carbon capture and storage technology).

For all its green talk, the gas industry’s basic plan is to continue extracting and transporting fossil gas, building new infrastructure and transferring large sums of public money into corporate wallets in the process, rather than making the urgent shift in energy infrastructure now. This spells disaster not just for the climate, but also for communities and ecosystems all along the gas supply chain. So-called ‘renewable’ gas and its ‘low-carbon’ bedfellows are therefore a dangerous distraction, a false solution engineered by the gas industry to keep itself in business but utterly inconsistent with the “rapid and far-reaching transition” demanded by the IPCC.

The gas industry is not going to plan for its own demise, which makes it imperative that governments do so, and in a way that protects workers.
Summary of the myths about so-called ‘renewable’ gas

1 It’s convenient for industry to talk about renewable gas alongside green, clean, decarbonised, low-carbon, or just plain ‘natural’ gas, mixing definitions. This hides the true impact and also sneaks fossil gas under the ‘renewable’ label. Truly renewable gas is hydrogen from excess renewable electricity or locally produced and small-scale biogas made from sustainable biomass.

2 Industry’s version of renewable gas is unlikely to be carbon neutral when you examine how it’s actually produced, and could even drive deforestation and land-grabbing.

3 The potential for sustainable renewable gas production in the EU is a fraction of what industry claims. It will never substitute current fossil gas use, and is estimated to meet just seven per cent of today’s gas demand by 2050.

4 Industry claims any non-renewable gas demand will be ‘decarbonised’ in the future, but the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology needed is still not technically or commercially available.

5 In search for new markets the gas industry is pushing for (renewable) gas to be used in transport. But transport is electrifying, and this unnecessary push has been labelled “an unrealistic attempt to greenwash the use of gas”.

6 Europe is unlikely to sustainably produce significant quantities of renewable gas, so despite industry claims, it will not provide energy security. Either the EU keeps its neocolonial mantle and imports it instead of fossil gas or, more likely, imports more fossil gas claiming to be able to decarbonise it.

7 Developing renewable and decarbonised gases is expensive, despite industry promises of savings. And if they turn out to be a dangerous distraction that slows efforts to tackle climate change, the EU’s current bill of €14bn per year to deal with its impacts will rise dramatically – paid for by taxpayers, not the gas industry.
= == ===

“[PART 2] A dangerous distraction: Industry lobbies behind “renewable” gas” by ? (Corporate Europe Observatory)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Their strategy is to claim that so-called ‘renewable gas’ is the way forward – massively overstating its climate credentials and how much we can produce by 2050 – and if renewable gas can’t meet all future gas demand, then non-renewable gas (ie fossil gas) can be ‘decarbonised’ – despite a lack of proof that this is realistic or achievable. A closer look reveals industry is more concerned with greenwashing its image and staying in business than tackling climate change. Attacking renewable electricity deployment in favour of gas infrastructure shows what lengths they will go to in order to keep fossil gas flowing well into the future.

J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited (JCB)

“JCB’s complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Furush Beit Dajan” by Eliza Egret (Corporate Occupation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Furush Beit Dajan’s residents sustain themselves through agriculture. Without water, Israel is not only stripping them of their livelihood, but the very lifesource needed to survive. Next door, the illegal colony of Hamra – which was built on the village’s land – enjoys an abundance of stolen water, with settlers growing 100 acres of dates, as well as bananas and citrus fruits.

We interviewed the head of the village, 52 year old Tawfiq al-Hajj Muhammad. His family was made homeless twice in 2017 – first when their home was confiscated by the Israeli forces and Civil Adminstration, and secondly when their replacement home was demolished using a JCB bulldozer. When the Israeli authorities destroyed his home, they made Tawfiq, his wife and his seven children homeless. Their youngest child is just five years old.

Roughly 90% of the fertile Jordan Valley is designated by Israel as Area C land, meaning that it is under full Israeli control and that it is illegal under Israeli law for Palestinian residents to build or renovate structures or connect to water sources. “The land belongs to my family and we have documents to show that we own it,” Tawfiq told us. Despite this, his land is still designated as Area C…

Al-Jiftlik is 33 kilometres north of Jericho. It is in Area C, like almost 90% of the Jordan Valley. Being designated as Area C means that Al-Jiftlik is under full Israeli control. Palestinians who have lived in the Jordan Valley for generations have to apply for permission from the Israelis for any building work, which is almost never granted.

Isa*, Akram’s 84 year-old grandfather, tells Corporate Occupation about the struggles he has had against the occupation over the decades. His family have lived and farmed in the Jordan Valley for generations – since before Israel occupied.

““I was sleeping when the bulldozers came”: Hyundai’s complicity in Israeli war crimes” by Amy Hall (Corporate Occupation)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Layla* was nine months pregnant when her home was destroyed. “I was sleeping when the bulldozers came… I was really scared,” she explains.

“When I went outside and saw the soldiers I was really shocked. At first they didn’t let us take any personal stuff like clothes from the house… Later on they allowed some neighbours helped us to take the stuff out. I was really upset…There was nothing I could do.”

Layla lives in the community of Al Jiftlik, in the Jordan Valley, West Bank. When the soldiers came her husband Akram* was at work in another village. He says:

“They came between 6.30 to 7.00am. A friend called me and said ‘the soldiers are in your house’, but he didn’t tell me why. I called my father and asked what happened. My father said that they were going to destroy the house. I was worried about Layla because she was so pregnant.”

Their daughter is four months old when we meet the family.

“The military were shouting at Layla,” explains Naima*, Akram’s mother. “I helped her to go outside. The workers started throwing the mattresses out. We tried taking them, but they didn’t want us to and they shouted at us.”

When Akram arrived back in Al Jiftlik he found the area around his house had been closed off by the authorities. “I was 200 metres from the house and they wouldn’t let me enter. I told them, ‘I have to go to my house’, they said, ‘there’s no house’.”

The family shows us photos of the Hyundai vehicle that was used to carry out the demolition. Equipment manufactured by Hyundai is used in many of Israel’s demolitions. Palestinians have made calls to boycott and divest from the company until it ends its involvement in Israel’s violations of human rights.

“On the Inside: The Chaos of Arizona Prison Health Care” by Jimmy Jenkins (Prison Legal News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Arizona Department of Corrections contracts with privately owned correctional health care company Corizon Health to oversee all medical, mental and dental care at 10 state prisons. However, that care has come under scrutiny in federal court.

In 2015, prisoners settled a lawsuit with Arizona over poor health care conditions in state prisons. More than two years later, Arizona and its provider have failed to meet the more than 100 stipulations agreed to in the settlement and a federal judge is threatening to fine the state millions of dollars…

Lucinda Jordan hadn’t talked to her father, Walter Jordan, for several years. He was serving time in an Arizona prison and they had lost touch. Then, one day in August 2017, the phone rang.

“He has a really strong voice and usually he’s pretty calm about things but I could tell he was really upset,” Lucinda Jordan said. Her father had called to tell her he had cancer.

“I asked him how bad and he said it was really bad,” Jordan said. “I asked him what kind of cancer and he told me it was skin cancer.”

Days later, Walter Jordan would file a notice of impending death with the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). He alleged that his cancer treatment had been delayed and was causing memory loss and pain. He predicted he might not make it another month. And then just weeks later, on Sep. 7, 2017, Walter Jordan died.

Now attorneys for the plaintiff class in the Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement are alleging a review of Walter Jordan’s medical records shows a history of delayed and inadequate care.

“Washington State: Jail Phone Rates Increase as Video Replaces In-Person Visits” by Steve Horn and Iris Wagner (Prison Legal News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A comprehensive set of public records obtained by Prison Legal News from the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) and most of the state’s county jails indicates that the average cost of local and in-state phone calls made by Washington prisoners has steadily increased in recent years.

The records also demonstrate an ongoing shift toward video-based calling in county jails, which in some cases has resulted in the elimination of in-person, face-to-face visits. PLN uses the term “video calling” because “video visits” implies people are actually visiting each other rather than seeing their images on a screen. The records procured by PLN further indicate that some of the money generated from phone and video calling revenue at county jails, which is placed in Inmate Welfare Funds, is used to pay the salaries and benefits of jail employees instead of benefiting prisoners…

These developments have occurred despite the state’s proclaimed desire to lower phone rates for prisoners and, ironically, are partly due to a cap on interstate (long distance) prison and jail phone rates imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Using Washington’s Public Records Act, PLN obtained and reviewed telecom contracts for the Washington Department of Corrections and local jails in most of the state’s 39 counties. The documents detail the accounting behind how companies like Securus Technologies, Global Tel*Link (GTL), Consolidated Telecom, Legacy Inmate Communications and others secure monopoly contracts with state and county officials.

The FCC took action during the Obama administration to reduce interstate prison and jail phone rates, capping them at $0.21/minute for debit and prepaid calls and $0.25/minute for collect calls. However, the agency’s rate caps on intrastate (in-state) calls were struck down by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 13, 2017, after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Trump, ordered the agency not to defend its rulemaking related to intrastate rates. [See: PLN, July 2017, p.52; Dec. 2013, p.1]. Consequently, local and in-state phone rates are completely unregulated on the federal level – meaning they often cost more than long distance calls.

I’m ambivalent about poking holes in the isolation of (some) inmates’ isolation. Most people believe in lock em up and throw away the key justice that includes hellish conditions for offenders. I absolutely do not. I don’t care how comfortable a prisoner is, which means that I do not want offenders to be uncomfortable. If you’re not going to execute them, then don’t torture them. But I also believe that those who have committed murder or rape should truly be isolated from the rest of society. Yes, That’s going to be hard on innocent family members. But it’s justice that is humane, in my view. And you don’t yank it because it’s imperfect, at least not if it works. That wouldn’t be the case for the death penalty, which should be yanked because of its imperfection. Putting death row inmates to death via methods that amount to torture (and experimentation) are unacceptable. Not to mention our inability to guarantee that we will never put to death innocent people. Just read the latest about faulty identification of perpetrators by their victims, or how the police elicit false confessions via techniques designed only to produce confessions.

“CoreCivic & GEO: Don’t cage kids!” by ? (Criminal Legal News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to Go Fund Me Campaign follows:

Recently, the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant parents from their children has made headlines across the nation and internationally. Critics have rightfully condemned the practice of separating families pending immigration proceedings. There have been disturbing news accounts of the impact this policy has had on children, as well as reports that children have been involuntarily drugged, subjected to sexual abuse and used as leverage by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to force parents to agree to deportation in order to be reunited with their children.

This is unacceptable in a country that prides itself on liberty, democracy and justice. It is also unacceptable for private companies like CoreCivic and GEO Group to profit from immigrant detention – particularly the detention of parents and children, whether they have been separated or not. Both companies operate “residential centers” in Texas that house immigrant families – in Dilley and Karnes.

Even Ivanka Trump has described her father’s family separation policy as a “low point.” Although the Trump administration has stopped separating immigrant families and is in the process of reuniting them due to litigation, that may change in the future…

Both CoreCivic and GEO Group are publicly-traded companies, and shareholders can submit resolutions to try to change corporate policies. Since 2012, the Human Rights Defense Center’s associate director, Alex Friedmann, who owns a small amount of stock in CoreCivic and GEO, has filed shareholder resolutions with both firms…

By prohibiting the nation’s two largest companies that operate immigration detention centers from housing immigrant families, whether separated or not, we hope to dramatically alter how ICE and the Trump administration handle family detention going forward.

We also hope to directly impact CoreCivic and GEO Group’s business operations. Immigrant detention is big business; both companies engage in extensive lobbying on the federal level to obtain and retain lucrative contracts. CoreCivic receives around 25 percent of its gross revenue from ICE, while GEO receives almost 20 percent.

Simply put, we believe that incarcerating people for the purpose of generating corporate profit is immoral and unethical.

Clear and right-thinking people will see from the above, and should see from the totality of our unnatural world, that capitalism does not work. I don’t think money works, period.

“The Charities Making Inequality Worse” by Sam Pizzagati (Too Much)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Not that many years ago, only corporate CEOs had the nerve to pocket paychecks over $1 million a year. But times change. Million-dollar executive pay packages have become almost routine in some corners of the nonprofit sector.

How routine? A new Wall Street Journal analysis counts about 2,700 nonprofit execs and high-powered staffers who took home at least seven digits in 2014, the most recent year with pay figures available. That total represents an increase of a third since 2011.

No exec at a U.S. nonprofit collected more compensation in 2014 than the Ascension Health Alliance’s Anthony Tersigni. Should nonprofits that pay execs lavishly be granted tax exemptions?

The nonprofit world’s most lavishly compensated execs, the Journal notes, hail from traditional charities like the United Way, major institutions like hospitals and universities, and even a religious ministry.

Anthony Tersigni, the CEO of the nonprofit Ascension Health Alliance, leads the Journal’s pay list. He collected $1.6 million in 2014 base pay and another $15.9 million in assorted add-ons. Another 30 nonprofit movers and shakers that year pocketed at least $6 million…

Why are so many of these do-good institutions letting Americans down? We don’t have far to look. The blame for pay excess in the nonprofit sector rests first and foremost in the private sector.

America’s for-profit and nonprofit sectors, we need to remember, don’t operate in separate universes. The two spheres continually interlink. Corporate execs, for instance, regularly sit on nonprofit boards of directors. They bring their ideas and values — and maybe even from time to time flash their $10,000 Rolexes.

Nonprofit boards, not surprisingly, have begun adopting corporate pay-setting procedures. Over two-thirds of the charities with million-dollar-a-year execs, the Wall Street Journal reports, hire corporate-style “compensation consultants” to aid in the executive pay-setting process. These consultants help nonprofits fashion convoluted — and lucrative — bonus and deferred compensation arrangements.

In effect, corporate executive pay practices are now poisoning the nonprofit sector.

“Morneau’s mini-budget provides billions in tax breaks to corporations, but will they even work?” by ? (Canadians For Tax Fairness)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

After months of reducing expectations, Finance Minister Bill Morneau provided corporations with surprisingly large tax breaks in his mini-budget,worth $14.4 billion over the next five years.

The tax breaks—which allow businesses to write off the cost of capital investments more rapidly—were supposedly introduced to increase the attractiveness of investing in Canada after President Trump slashed tax rates for U.S. businesses and top incomes earlier this year. They were well-targeted for short-term political reasons: to shore up business support for the Liberals less than a year before the next election. This “deficit-financing of the corporate sector” received an enthusiastic thumbs-up from business lobby groups, including the Business Council of Canadaand the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (which also called for further tax cuts and for the federal government to balance its budget without any sense of irony).

But a bigger question is whether another $14 billion in tax breaks for business will actually work in economic terms and boost business investment in Canada—and to “grow the middle class and those working hard to join it”?

Steep cuts in corporate tax rates have failed to boost rates of business investment in Canada and neither have even steeper cuts in the broader set of tax rates that apply to business investment decisions.

“Auditor General report confirms CRA more lenient on corporations, offshore than individuals” by (Canadians For Tax Fairness)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Auditor General’s Fall 2018 report on compliance activities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirms what we’ve heard from Canadians and from CRA professionals as well: Canada’s Revenue Agency is more lenient in many ways with international and large businesses and taxpayers with offshore transactions than they are with individual Canadians.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.