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On Deadly Ground-Climate Change Denial!

 

The following is my perspective on a PBS Frontline documentary from five years ago called “Climate of Doubt.” The correspondent is John Hockenberry and as the title suggests, it’s about the rise of the Climate ChangeDenial movement. You may feel that I’m being overly dramatic from the title I have given my essay but I’m dead serious and we all should be if we know what’s good for us or if we care about our children’s health & well-being as well as our grandchildren’s quality of life.  

Perhaps I should start off with my central thesis so as to be perfectly clear? ExxonMobil is the largest oil company in the world & the third largest corporation on the planet. In a nutshell, corporations like ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, etc. clearly have a strong financial incentive to deny climate change because their wealth comes from oil refining, drilling, etc. and to protect their interests, they’ve spent tens of millions if not hundreds of millions in funding disinformation campaigns & generate the climate denial movement. 

John Hockenberry (I’ll simply use his initials, JH, from now on) “We came here to understand how they have made their views a mainstream fact of American politics.” Of course we must bear in mind that according to Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s advisor, “There are alternate facts.” Yeah, if you live in an alternative universe as Trump & his Wall St. cabal of Wall St. wolves do, facts, truth, lies, fantasy, etc. are entirely interchangeable. 

JOE BAST, President, Heartland Institute: —”wind and solar are based on public fear of global warming, and the mainstream media has pretty much given up its role as an independent reporter on these things and has become an advocate.”

Naturally we’re fearful, anybody with a respect for science & concern about not only the fate of the planet but the future of their descendants is worried. You might care to note the names of the various organizations who have dedicated themselves to stopping us worry-worts i.e. the Heartland Institute. They always couch their attacks on everyone who doesn’t buy into their phony patriotism with clever PR language designed to dupe the rubes into believing that they alone care about America & represent the heartland of America like the vanishing small farmers that they have kicked to the curb with their agricultural behemoths like Monsanto. Why use the natural power of the wind & the sun when it’s so much easier/cheaper to just keep on sucking the oil out of the ground & polluting the waterways and bringing on global warming. 

MYRON EBELL, Competitive Enterprise Institute: If you add up all of the resources of our side of the debate and all of the resources of the other side of the debate, this is a David versus Goliath story.” 

Note again the name “Competitive Enterprise Institute.” Yep! We’re all just one big, happy family of “free enterprise believers,” and calling yourself an “institute,” lends that air of academic integrity. More importantly, they i.e. the power elite & the televangelists who have become multi-millionaires, love to cast everything in biblical terms to again deceive the naive & gullible into believing they are fighting against Satan in this holy war against liberals, gays, tree-huggers, intellectuals, communists, etc.  

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] Myron Ebell chairs a group called the Cooler Heads Coalition, one of a team of skilled policy advocates driving a remarkable turnaround that has already changed the U.S. political landscape.”

Oh how clever of these rascals to call themselves the “Cooler Heads Coalition.” Obviously the implication being that those of us who know that Global Warming is a scientific fact are just a bunch of hot-heads who should be dismissed & ignored because the rational adults know the truth not us wild-eyed, paranoid, tree-huggers. By the way, I’m proud to call myself an original, tree-hugger i.e. a Druid from my ancient Irish ancestry. And there’s nothing so exhilarating as dancing naked in the woods with some beautiful goddesses! Okay, back to the serious shit! 

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: There’s Christopher Monckton, a big draw at these meetings, who brings the skeptics to their feet every time.

CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: God bless America!”

First of all, let’s define “skepticism;”

Skepticism (American English) or skepticism (British English; see spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief.[1][2] It is often directed at domains, such as morality (moral skepticism), religion (skepticism about the existence of God), or knowledge (skepticism about the possibility of knowledge, or of certainty).[3]Formally, skepticism as a topic occurs in the context of philosophy, particularlyepistemology, although it can be applied to any topic such as politics, religion, and pseudoscience.”

A scientific (or empirical) skeptic is one who questions beliefs on the basis of scientific understanding. Most scientists, being scientific skeptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some type of the scientific method.[16] As a result, a number of claims are considered “pseudoscience” if they are found to improperly apply or ignore the fundamental aspects of the scientific method. Scientific skepticism may discard beliefs pertaining to purported phenomena not subject to reliable observation and thus not systematic or testable empirically.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism#Scientific_skepticism 

Paradoxically, it amuses me when I come across such blatant hypocrisy as these modern day, Know Nothings call themselves skeptics because traditionally, skeptics have been some of their greatest enemies along with secular humanists. My first book is about the “Christian” fundamentalists perpetual war against secular humanists whom they also consider Satanists i.e. everyone not a member of their cult of ignorance, fear, & hate is a satanist and must be converted or killed. You may recall some of the more memorable events in history like when they gave Galileo the option of recanting or being killed when he scientifically proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun, not the other way around which contradicted their nice, little religious worldview. Yeah, Galileo was a skeptic, and so was Copernicus before him. 

The Church’s long history of suppression of science & Trump & Pence are their dream come true i.e. climate denial, creationism, & prayer in school

That’s the thing about these “deep believers” i.e. they can & often do switch to whatever philosophy or science or whatever that they believe will support their position. You see, in the real world of scientific inquiry, scientists are true skeptics & don’t accept new knowledge on faith but on hard, cold, empirical evidence. Evidence or results that can be proven with repeatable, scientific trials. Scientists start with a hypothesis (a guess, i.e. if I do this action, under these specific conditions, this will be the result) and the more those initial hypotheses hold true, the more validity the hypothesis garners. And eventually, sometimes after decades or longer, the original hypothesis graduates to being referred to as a theory. And likewise, the longer i.e. the greater the number of times that theory holds true with consistent results/consequences, that original hypothesis ultimately attains the status of being referred to as a “law.” 

All the same, there are exceptions to these “laws,” and I freely admit that I am on shaky ground here because I am not a scientist but stories of instances where the laws of gravity are defied, etc. tell me to keep an open mind. I’m just saying that what bugs me most about the religious people who are so absolutely positive that they have the corner on the truth that they are willing to kill in the name of their religion,clearly are dangerous people & really don’t know their Bible’s teachings. Therefore, I have a lot more respect for scientists who concede that their hypothesis, theories, & laws are basically the best educated guesses that they can come up with so far. Now, I know that some of you will jump on this as “proof” that those of us who believe in global warming are just guessing & therefore your pseudo-skepticism is equally valid, well if you do, you’re just being intellectually & morally dishonest and you clearly haven’t done your homework or don’t care to. When 97% of the world’s scientific experts on the subject of climate change agree that it’s real & is largely caused by human activity i.e. oil drilling, etc., that’s more than enough of a consensus for me. Oh yeah, Mr. Monckton’s greeting to his audience, “God bless America!” is as transparently manipulative as every other authoritarian throughout history i.e. here it’s a popular dog-whistle tactic;

According to William Safire, the term “dog whistle” in reference to politics may have been derived from its use in the field of opinion. Safire quotes Richard Morin, director of polling for The Washington Post, as writing in 1988,

subtle changes in question-wording sometimes produce remarkably different results…. researchers call this the ‘Dog Whistle Effect’: Respondents hear something in the question that researchers do not[1]

and speculates that campaign workers adapted the phrase from political pollsters.[1]

In her 2006 book, Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia, academic Amanda Lohrey writes that the goal of the dog-whistle is to appeal to the greatest possible number of electors while alienating the smallest possible number. She uses as an example Australian politicians using broadly appealing words such as “family” and “values”, which have extra resonance for Christians, while avoiding overt Christian moralizing that might be a turn-off for non-Christian voters.[2] 

Australian political theorist Robert E. Goodin argues that the problem with dog-whistling is that it undermines democracy, because if voters have different understandings of what they were supporting during a campaign, the fact that they were seeming to support the same thing is “democratically meaningless” and does not give the dog-whistler a policy mandate.[3]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics

You may think this a gross, oversimplification but then we are a simple nation i.e. we have a president who clearly has no intellectual curiosity & only cares about enriching himself & his family members and is very talented at blowing his dog whistle & stirring the neo-Nazis to violence. But every time I hear a politician proclaim, “God Bless America,” I hear, God, Guns, & Gays i.e. all we need is to believe in God, our right to own whatever weapons we like, & our right to hate gays & even kill them because they’re a threat to everything we hold sacred & want to have sex with our children. To return to the subject of climate denial, here is more from the documentary; 

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] These political messengers rely on a small group of outspoken scientific contrarians, like climatologist Pat Michaels of the libertarian Cato Institute.

PATRICK J. MICHAELS, Cato Institute: Every paragraph can be contested.”

This implies that they are so desperate to “prove” their denial of climate change that they are going to dissect every single paragraph in hopes of finding a chink in our armor. Reminds me of the old practice of “parsing” sentences in English classes in which your assignment is to determine the function of each word in a sentence to prove your mastery of grammar. Well, please excuse the digression but I feel that my personal experience is relevant here.

When I first started attending community college back in 1972, I had to take the English Placement Test & I scored terribly on it. In fact, my score was so pitiful that they placed me in what we used to call “Bone-head English.” I had to sit at a desk with headphones on & listen to a cassette player say, “See Dick, see Jane, see Dick & Jane play with Spot.” I could only stomach that for about a week and said, Fuck this shit! I couldn’t understand why/how I had done so terribly on this test? In sixth grade they told me that I was reading at the 11th grade, sixth month level. Five years later, I was attending a different community or junior college as we called them in L.A. I was interested in some literature courses but they told me that I’d have to take the English Placement Test again. I did, but this time, miracles are happening, I scored in the top ten percent and was told that I could take any English course I wanted to. What happened? The only thing that I can surmise is that in those intervening five years, I had traveled to Europe three times & I’d met some very smart people who suggested some of the great classics. And winding-up on this subject, I was audacious enough to write to Noam Chomsky back in 2006 and told him of this experience. He was amused & he told me that the only class he’d failed in high school was grammar. You’re probably not aware of who Chomsky is? He revolutionized the field of linguistics in the 1960s (linguistics is to grammar as jet engine mechanics is to working on a Model T). Bottom-line, what does this have to do with the above quote re: “every paragraph can be contested?” Quite simply it reveals how desperate the climate deniers are i.e. they pray that by dissecting every single word in the arguments of the true scientists arguments, they may luck out and find some crumb that they can blow out of all proportion & “prove” they’re right and we’re wrong. Moving along, let’s explore the meaning of “contrarians.” (My intention is not to insult your intelligence but I’ve found over the years that I usually give people far too much credit & assume they know more than they do—I’ve spent my life reading voraciously, researching, writing, etc., so this isn’t an insult but an attempt at clarification.)

Definition of contrarian

  1. a person who takes a contrary position or attitude; specifically :  an investor who buys shares of stock when most others are selling and sells when others are buying” 

Rubins, Greenspan, & Summers, the terrible trio that brought us the crash of 2008

And how appropriate that the mention the buying & selling of stocks in this definition from Merriam-Webster because Pat Michaels is a “climatologist” from the libertarian Cato Institute (there’s that word “institute” again). For the sake of brevity–not something I’m often accused of–”Libertarians” basically believe in freedom from everything the government seeks to impose on us & believe that only the police & the military are necessary. Their queen is Ayn Rand, and she made it okay to be selfish & greedy and say, fuck the poor! Yet, they somehow fail to mention in their recruitment of acolytes that Ayn Rand spent the last years of her life collecting Social Security & relying on medicare for her health problems. By-the-way, just another bit of trivia i.e. Alan Greenspan,who was considered the guru of the American economy & from 1987 to 2006, he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve & very few dared to question his wisdom but Brooksley Born did & she tried to warn us of the coming crash & was ganged-up on by Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, & Greenspan. Alan was a fervent worshipper of Ayn Rand. I know, irrelevant, right? And when his “free market fundamentalism” proved to be utterly bankrupt what was his response? Gee, I’m sorry. He was a major player in the devastation of our economy that so many of us are still struggling to recover from & working two or three jobs in order to keep our heads above water. Oh well, capitalism does have a few, “minor” glitches or “shortcomings,” if you consider fraud a shortcoming? 

Perhaps I should remind you of the definition of fraud? Fraud: criminal deception; dishonest artifice or trick; impostor. And here are some synonyms for fraud:  bunco (or bunko), con, fiddle [chiefly British], flimflam,gyp, hustle, scam, shell game, sting, swindle. If you or I write a series of “bad checks,” we’re sent to jail or prison. If we don’t pay our taxes or falsify our tax returns we go to jail. If we’re defrauded by companies such as the big telecom companies like AT&T, Verizon, etc. & refuse to honor our contract with them, we’re given a bad credit rating & it makes it hard for us to rent an apt., get a job, do business with other corporations, etc. But, if you’re one of those Fortune 500 corporations who commit fraud on a daily basis, hide their profits in the Cayman Islands, get massive subsidies from our tax dollars, & often get tax  rebates in the tens of millions if not billions, & when they are occassionally taken to court, they’re fined a relative pittance compared to the profits they made by screwing their employees, the American public, & often causing terrific harm to our environment and don’t have to plead guilty & don’t even have a criminal record for their crimes. Why do I bring this up? Because quite simply, given the history of corrupt corporate CEOs which has resulted in the death of employees & customers as well as the death or serious disease & illness for vast numbers of citizens, I am at a loss as to why it’s so hard for those who deny global warming & the role many corporations, especially the oil, gas, coal industries play in it to believe that these behemoth corporations with no loyalty whatsoever to America could be lying through their teeth & be financing this so-called, Climate denial movement? In case I still haven’t persuaded you to reconsider your position on this issue of such critical importance to our future, let’s return to the documentary. 

John Hockenberry: “In just four years, the number of Americans who agree global warming is manmade has dropped to about half. It’s a message that is inspiring a new generation of skeptics.”

Obviously the millions of dollars that the private, oil interests have invested in their misinformation & disinformation public relations campaigns has had an affect on the public’s perception regarding climate change. Do you recall the decades of advertising by the tobacco industry claiming that not only was tobacco not harmful but that it was actually good for us? The major tobacco corporations’ CEOs sat in a row before Congress & swore that they had no idea that nicotine was addictive even though their own research had proven that it clearly was decades earlier. Exxon conducted its own research on the effects of their oil drilling on the environment over 30 years ago & when they learned that it did have a harmful effect on the environment, they buried their own research & began to sow the seeds of doubt re: global warming with their funding for various climate denial organizations, think tanks, etc. 

tobacco CEOs testifying before Congress in 1998

In other words, lie, deny, deceive, manipulate, obfuscate (obscure, confuse, stupefy, bewilder) i.e. do whatever you can to muddy the waters or cloud the issue so the general public begins to doubt the scientific consensus on the issue. The oil cabal is very well aware of the general public’s general ignorance & apathy and knows all the tricks in terms of manipulating the people to accept their positions whether it be waging war or electing politicians. Still in doubt? 

and Cheney owns $400 million in stocks

The Bush administration’s ties to oil and gas are as deep as an offshore well. President George W. Bush’s family has been running oil companies since 1950. Vice President Dick Cheney spent the late ’90s as CEO of Halliburton, the world’s largest oil services company. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron, which graced a tanker with her name. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans was the CEO of Tom Brown Inc. — a natural gas company with fields in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming — for more than a decade. 

The links don’t end with personnel. The bin Laden family and other members of Saudi Arabia’s oil-wealthy elite have contributed mightily to several Bush family ventures, even as the American energy industry helped put Bush in office. Of the top 10 lifetime contributors to George W.’s war chests, six either come from the oil business or have ties to it, according the Center for Public Integrity.”  http://www.salon.com/2001/11/19/bush_oil/

Continuing on; “Last year, Vice President Dick Cheney hosted a series of meetings with a group of energy industry representatives and lobbyists. From these meetings, the Bush administration unveiled a controversial National Energy Plan, which consisted chiefly of $33 billion in public subsidies and tax cuts for the oil, coal, and nuclear power industries, as well as provisions to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for industrial oil drilling.

What global warming?

For months, Vice President Cheney refused to release the names of participants, citing presidential privilege to conduct consultations in private. However, Congress’s non-partisan investigative and oversight arm, the General Accounting Office (GAO), filed an unprecedented lawsuit to obtain the names of the industrialists who met with the Bush Administration to shape his National Energy Plan. Environmentalists filed suit as well. The names of the industry experts are finally, if slowly, being released, revealing that the administration had given environmental groups only three days to provide input in writing, while meeting in person with the energy lobby time after time.

One participant was grudgingly revealed by Cheney early on: Former Enron CEO and George W Bush’s most generous campaign contributor, Kenneth Lay Cheney admitted that he and/or his staff met at least six times with Lay on energy policy issues. Congress member Henry Waxman (D-CA) subsequently identified 17 different provisions of the Bush National Energy Plan bill that would have benefited Enron. At least one Executive Order on energy policy was virtually identical to draft proposals submitted by the American Petroleum Institute.” http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Oil_watch/Oil_BushAdmin.html 

Georgie, the Coward from Crawford & his buddy, Kenny boy Lay

Undeniably, George W. Bush’s administration was heavily influenced by the oil industry & clearly profited from our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. You may recall that Georgie Bush, the Coward from Crawford, dragged his heels in terms of invading Afghanistan i.e. he gave the Taliban a couple of months head-start before sending troops after Bin Laden but from the day after 9/11, he told his advisors to find an excuse for the invasion of Iraq. In a perhaps Freudian-slip, they first dubbed our Iraq invasion Operation Iraqi Liberation but someone noticed that the acronym for this was O.I.L. and that clearly undermined their assertion that it wasn’t about oil. Some scholars argue that we actually invaded Afghanistan & continue our occupation there to this day because we want to protect the oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea which is another great oil reserve. And did you notice how Bush’s enthusiasm for pursuing Bin Laden soon faded into obscurity? And why didn’t we ever get tough with the Saudis given that 15 of the 19 hijackers who attacked America on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia? Conspiracy rantings & ravings you may think? But you have no trouble believing that Global Warming is a vast liberal conspiracy in cahoots with 97% of the world’s climate scientists & the Chinese according to Trump, that well-known towering intellectual? And we’re suppose to overlook the fact that the oil, coal, natural gas, etc. corporations which have trillions of dollars to gain are honest & aboveboard? Now that to me really takes an incredible level of denial!

Moreover, speaking of denial, here’s Trump’s Queen of Denial, his closest spinmeister, Kellyanne Conway;

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains–

CHUCK TODD: Wait a minute– Alternative facts?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: –that there’s–

CHUCK TODD: Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered, the one thing he got right–”

This exchange was regarding the fact that on day one of his presidency, Trump had his press secretary, Sean Spicer, claim that the number of people who attended his inauguration was far greater than was reported. This clearly reveals that Trump’s ego is everything to him and that he’s a habitual or compulsive liar & his presidency is going to be one of lies ad nauseam. He has chosen a cabinet of fellow liars, thieves, & crony capitalists who don’t give a fuck about the sufferings of the American public. This is clearly the most brazen cabinet that I’m aware of in terms of their common agendas of enriching themselves as much as possible and not giving a fuck about our economy, our environment, & the risks to not only our lives but to the survival of the entire human species!

Again, I don’t want to be accused of taking anything for granted regarding my readers’ understanding so here’s a bit on the word “fact.” 

in a nutshell

A fact is something that is postulated to have occurred or to be correct. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts.Scientific facts are verified by repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experiments or other means)…..

The scientific method[edit

what the “alternate facts” crowd can’t understand

Apart from the fundamental inquiry into the nature of scientific fact, there remain the practical and social considerations of how fact is investigated, established, and substantiated through the proper application of the scientific method.[27] Scientific facts are generally believed independent of the observer: no matter who performs a scientific experiment, all observers agree on the outcome.[28] In addition to these considerations, there are the social and institutional measures, such as peer review and accreditation, that are intended to promote factual accuracy (among other interests) in scientific study.[29]

Admittedly, I have to hand it to Trump & Co. for their sheer audacity in terms of ignoring not only the facts of science, the laws of nature, but also any semblance of respectability or accountability. And I am reminded of my 20s when I’d visit my mom’s home now & then. My mom was a heavy drinker & her home would often be a gathering place for her drinking buddies from the local bars. By-the-way, she lived in Orange County in Southern California which was known as one of the most conservative counties in the U.S. at the time. Well she & her friends often took great delight in mocking and/or dismissing me as a hopeless liberal, etc. And I was told ad infinitum, “All you need is common sense!” Of course implying that I was some kind of pie-eyed, idealist with my head in the clouds and no understanding of reality like themselves. Their smugness, condescending remarks, & generally dismissive treatment of just about everything I said, bugged me but I was naive enough to think that if I could find the right words, I could open their minds. My grandmother would occassionally be there & she was the only one who would take my side at times. And both she and I knew that Reagan was a bald-faced liar & was a mere puppet for the corporate cockroaches. It took me quite a long time to realize that “common sense” really isn’t as common as most people think it is. 

G.E.’s spokesman for 20 yrs. i.e. the Commies are Coming!

Common sense, roughly speaking, is what people in common would agree: that which they “sense” in common as their shared natural understanding. Some use the phrase to refer to beliefs or propositions that in their opinion they consider would in most people’s experience be prudent and of sound judgment, without dependence upon esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what is believed to be knowledge held by people “in common”.” 

the hog in charge

Tragically, for us in America & by extension, the rest of humanity because we represent such a real or significant threat to the rest of the world due to our overwhelming military/destructive capabilities, I believe that most Americans have little to no respect for academic accomplishments & instead, value the likes of Donald Trump because he has so much wealth. And like my mom’s crowd, they’re smug in their opinions because they’re often in the majority & bottom-line, they believe the majority are right & strange individuals like myself who try to tell them things they haven’t heard in the news or haven’t ever read must be wrong. By-the-way, if I have no common sense as I’ve often been accused of, how did I manage to hitch-hike across the U.S. & survive several trips to Europe often with a few bucks in my pocket & on a one-way ticket? Or how have I survived going into bars on my own, in some of the toughest neighborhoods in America i.e. the South Side of Chicago, Compton, Detroit, etc.? Here’s one of my favorite quotes from another guy some may also think had no common sense, Bertrand Russell, who was “accidentally” (sarcasm) awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature but was also very highly respected for his work in mathematics & philosophy.

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”

What about you my imaginary reader, do you fear thought? I kinda doubt it if you’ve made it this far in my perhaps rambling essay. I bring subjects like this up not because I am rambling carelessly but because this is such a complex issue i.e. climate change denial, that I feel it’s imperative to be as thorough as possible in my attempt to persuade you to no longer fall for the indoctrination, propaganda, & deliberate misinformation that the powers that be are deluging you with on this most critical of perhaps all issues except for the very real threat of nuclear war which Donald, the girly-man is apparently so casual about. Here’s another bit from the correspondent on this Frontline documentary;

Once upon a time, what these people call a fallacy had another name, the truth.”

As can be expected, the climate deniers like Trump, live in Alice in Wonderland & turn reality and the truth upside down whenever it suits them. Moreover, being patently absurd, ridiculous, & farcical doesn’t seem to embarrass them one iota. It could be pouring down rain & they’ll claim it’s a beautiful, sunny day. Truly mind-boggling! Thomas Jefferson was a scientist amongst several other things and he must be rolling over in his grave at the thought that we could have a president as stupid as Trump. Of course that also says a lot about all those who voted for him.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: In 2006, the film An Inconvenient Truth told a disturbing story and galvanized public awareness about the climate.” 

FOX “News” business model

Not long after this film was released, the spin-doctors & PR agencies who whore for the oil giants went to work in their attempts to cast doubt on the hard, scientific data. Again, it doesn’t matter that they are flying in the face of scientific proof because who in the lay public is going to do the research to determine the validity of their assertions? This is something Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda knew only too well i.e. the bigger the lie & the more often you repeat it, eventually the public will come to accept it as truth. By-the-way, this is FOX “News” modus operandi i.e. just repeat the lies, misinformation, & disinformation that G.O.P. presidents send them as daily talking points when they’re in power, and spread the fear & hate that distracts the simpletons while they rob us blind. If you think I’m wrong about FOX “News,” check out any of the multiple polls that have been taken on FOX “News” viewers & you’ll discover that they are generally-speaking, often more misinformed i.e. wrong on matters of national security, etc. For example, they believed that Saddam Hussein was working with Al Qaeda in the attacks of 9/11. Pursuing this further;

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: The U.N. scientists and former vice president Al Gore would share the Nobel Peace Prize. The cause had a consensus and a credible leader. The skeptics would take on both.

JAMES TAYLOR: I think Al Gore was probably the best thing that could happen to global warming skeptics.

MYRON EBELL: From my perspective, Al Gore was the perfect proponent and leader of the global warming alarmists because he’s very politically divisive and controversial.

TIM PHILLIPS, Pres., Americans for Prosperity: I think it was his tone and manner. He did at a certain point come across as holier than thou. And that’s another thing about Americans. They’re not really big on holier than thou.”

Demonstratively, the last sentence is total crap! The republican party has been the holier than thou party ever since Ronald Reagan & that’s a primary tactic they’ve employed brilliantly. Why do you think Trump chose Mike Pence as his vice-president? And look at Pat Robertson, the holiest of hypocrites when it comes to his political proclamations & his billionaire lifestyle. Continuing on, 

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Myron Ebell was acting on a broad strategy he helped create more than a decade ago. In this 1998 action plan, “Victory will be achieved,” it said, when the public “recognizes uncertainties in climate science.”

Today at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, you can see Myron Ebell’s philosophy proudly displayed on the walls.”

Another way of looking at Ebell’s “broad strategy” would be to compare it to America’s strategy during the Vietnam War i.e. winning the hearts & minds of the people in the hope that it would bring us victory. The contradictions in just about everything that comes out of the mouths of these corrupt & greedy bastards are too numerous to list so I’ll just focus on the immediate ones quoted in this documentary.  But first of all, I need to address the subject of referring to Ebell’s “philosophy.” No, it’s not a philosophy, it’s an ideology & clearly it’s the common bond between all these ideologues in the G.O.P. & the far-right, “Christian” zealots.

More specifically, over the course of my life, I’ve been frustrated over & over again in trying to make this point i.e. yes, everybody has a right to express their opinion but not all opinions are equally valid. To illustrate, let’s say that you’re a top-notch mechanic & have over 40 years of experience as a mechanic. And let’s say that I’m an educator & have over 40 years experience as an educator. For me to argue that my opinion on a mechanical problem with my car is equally as valid as the mechanic’s opinion would clearly be absurd, right? Well this is exactly what the climate deniers are doing i.e. they’re trying to convince the naive & gullible public that their politicians, pundits, public relations people, & most of their so-called “scientific experts” who often aren’t climate scientists’ opinions are equally valid as the true experts’ opinions under the guise of everybody’s opinions are equally valid. And sadly, far too many journalists, pundits for the Left, politicians, etc. out of fear of looking rude or unfair, keep their mouths shut and allow this bile to keep on spewing over the public airwaves. Moreover, the simplistic & clearly false notion that every issue can be reduced to two sides is patently false especially when it comes to issues as complex as the warming of the earth & the extent that it’s caused by human actions. I hope that my reasoning is clear on this point because it’s a vital matter. Moving along;

MYRON EBELL: They’re all CEI authors. What we’re fighting is the expansion of government. And there are many pretexts for expanding government.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Opposing government action on climate change to defend American freedom is a perfect fit.

MYRON EBELL: We felt that if you concede the science is settled and that there’s a consensus, you cannot— the moral high ground has been ceded to the alarmists.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [on camera] So you had to go to work and break down this consensus.

MYRON EBELL: Yes. And we did it because we believed that the consensus was phony. We believed that the so-called global warming consensus was not based on science, but was a political consensus, which included a number of scientists.”

Without a doubt, the claim that they’re against the expansion of our government is the centerpiece of their propaganda war against the American public. I’ll try to refrain from going too far afield here because I know that I’ve already probably gone on too long because most readers want short & to the point articles. It just dawned on me that a prime example of the lie here i.e. their desire for a smaller government is the fact that they—and I include the democrats here—have been expanding the surveillance capabilities of the government & are clearly (as revealed by Edward Snowden) spying on every single one of us via our smart phones, our web searches, our e-mail, etc. etc. etc. And of course we’re not suppose to count the nearly 800 military bases around the world & God knows how many secret bases & all the private contractors, corporations supplying the “National Defense” weaponry & all the support services that entails. Again, if you were to take an honest & objective survey of what our government spends our tax dollars on, you’d soon see just how blatant a lie it is to claim that they want to shrink government. The only depts. of our govt. that they want to eliminate are precisely those whose mission it is to help the public i.e. medicare, education, welfare, housing, social security, etc. Sometimes I despair that the public will ever wake-up to this harsh reality & now we’re witnessing the phenomenon of the simple, country folks who voted for Trump believing his populist rhetoric & racism and that he, a crooked billionaire, was somehow on their side. They’re slowly beginning to realize that they in effect, signed their own death warrants!

Lastly, on the subject of consensus, again we’re suppose to believe that their handful of scientists who they bought off & the other 97% of the world’s climate scientists is an equal balance of opinion or fact. And the overwhelming majority of citizens around the globe and the scientists who know that global warming is a fact & poses a serious threat to our survival are one vast conspiracy. All you have to do is take a quick stroll down memory lane regarding the Democratic party to soon realize what a joke this is. The democrats have consistently been disorganized & spineless in terms of standing up to the corporate cockroaches—mainly because they too are whores for their corporate masters. The G.O.P. has the advantage here because they have a common purpose i.e. profit over people. By-the-way, how I wish that we’d stop referring to them as “Conservatives.” Part of the very definition of a conservative is that they believe in conserving the nation’s finances & environment and these Robber Barons only goal is to transfer as much of the federal treasury into their own pockets as possible & hopefully without getting caught or at least not being sent to prison. 

the parent co. of ExxonMobil, etc. monopolized 90% of oil trade

The cap & trade bill that was presented to Congress in an effort to help slow down our pollution of the environment was a major turning point & marked a significant victory for the climate deniers campaign.

Cap and trade is a powerful approach to reducing pollution in our atmosphere.

It’s our best shot, environmentally and economically, for curbing emissions that drive global warming.

The cap on greenhouse gas emissions is a limit backed by science. Companies pay penalties if they exceed the cap, which gets stricter over time.

The trade part is a market for companies to buy and sell allowances that permit them to emit only a certain amount. Trading gives companies a strong incentive to save money by cutting emissions.”  https://www.edf.org/climate/how-cap-and-trade-works

Without a doubt, this is the foundation, the bedrock of every “conservatives” argument i.e. regulation is evil & it takes money out of the corporations’ pockets and the corporations are the job creators so if we harm the corporations with regulations, we’re hurting the economy & we’re causing Americans to lose jobs. Never mind the fact that corporations have been shutting-down their plants in America for decades & moving overseas or right next door to Mexico where they can pay workers a couple of dollars a day & don’t have to contend with bothersome regulations like worker safety, health benefits for the workers, pollution restrictions, etc. It’s truly incredible that so many Americans don’t seem to be able to connect the dots or don’t remember the countless incidents where the companies they worked for caused them & their loved ones to die because of the chemicals, etc. they worked with & often with little to no protective gear, the countless chemical spills in our waterways, etc. This is a good point at which to remind you of some of these “accidents” that could’ve been prevented if regulations were in place or were enforced. In case it slips my mind, I want to point out that the World-wide economic collapse of 2008 happened in brief because of a lack of regulation & non-enforcement of the regulations we do have on the books & here we are again with Donny the Duck telling us to trust him & his cabinet and he’s systematically deregulating every industry he can get his hands on including Wall St. 

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill-come on in, the water’s fine!

  1. the Dust Bowl in Canada & U.S. (1934-1939)
  2. Love Canal in New York State-toxic waste site
  3. Bhopal disaster in India caused by Union Carbide in 1984 and caused the deaths of over 22,000 people
  4. Ozone depletion
  5. mountaintop removal mining
  6. Exxon Valdez oil spill
  7. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill-BP Oil & Halliburton
  8. Chernobyl 

    Chernobyl, like G.E., “Bringing Good things to Light” i.e. a radioactive world

  9. Fukushima
  10. Hanford Nuclear Reservation-1946 to 1986 released thousands of U.S. gallons of radioactive liquids in the air & the Columbia River and they continue to spend billions of dollars per year in trying to clean it up
  11. Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone from the fertilizer runoff in the Mississippi River
  12. environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef
  13. the Great Pacific Garbage Patch-U.S. Naval ships spend the first days when they leave ports, dumping their garbage in the ocean
  14. mercury in fish
  15. ocean acidification
  16. I would add the death & destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans; The failure to protect New Orleans resulted from an inadequate plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to save the city and from the failure of federal government to fund badly needed improvements in that plan. The Corps also constructed a little used ship canal through the middle of New Orleans that made the city considerably more vulnerable to the flooding that occurred http://www.progressivereform.org/articles/CPR_Special_Levee_Report.pdf  

    Bhopal gas disaster-22,000 dead, no problem

There’s a powerful book by Naomi Klein called “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” which was published in 2007, but before I get into it, I want to point out that in each of the “accidents” listed above and in oh so many more, when the corporations responsible are finally busted, they feign innocence & claim they weren’t aware of any problems. Moreover, in many instances when a judge holds them financially responsible, they drag their feet for years & decades in paying for their crimes. So once again I ask you, do you still doubt that the oil industry in particular is behind this campaign of denial that they are the cause of global warming?

I mention Naomi Klein  because she cites what happened to New Orleans as one of her several examples in support of her theory. I was fortunate to be able to attend a talk she gave in Portland several years ago & was very impressed with her calm, rational presentation. Here’s the gist of her book which I heartily encourage everyone to read:

In the book, Klein argues thatneoliberal free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy of “shock therapy“. This centers on the exploitation of national crises to push through controversial policies while citizens are too emotionally and physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance. The book suggests that some man-made events, such as the Iraq War, were undertaken with the intention of pushing through such unpopular policies in their wake. Some reviewers criticized the book for making what they viewed as simplifications of political phenomena, while others lauded it as a compelling and important work.”

Furthermore, on the subject of Hurricane Katrina’s deadly toll on the people of New Orleans, some politician –I can’t remember his name–quipped afterwards, “Well God was able to do what we couldn’t i.e. get rid of many of the black residents.” Real estate developers had long wanted to get rid of the black residents in the ninth ward in particular, I believe? So they could tear down their homes & build condos, hotels, etc. (gentrify) the area. And again, perhaps I should share a bit about Milton Friedman because many of you, my imaginary readers, may not know much about him & the significant role he has played in the impoverishment of America & several other nations?

“ Friedman promoted an alternative macroeconomic viewpoint known as “monetarism“, and argued that a steady, small expansion of themoney supply was the preferred policy.[12] His ideas concerning monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation influenced government policies, especially during the 1980s. His monetary theory influenced the Federal Reserve’s response to the global financial crisis of 2007–08.[13]….Friedman was an advisor to Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan[14] andConservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.[15] His political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention….After 1960 Friedman attacked Social Security from a free market view stating that it had created welfare dependency.[77]

Friedman proposed that if there had to be a welfare system of any kind, he would replace the existing U.S. welfare system with a negative income tax, a progressive tax system in which the poor receive a basic living income from the government.[78] (taken from a Wikipedia article)”

And here is an important link between Friedman & Greenspan who oversaw the Crash of 2008:

During his near 20-year reign at the helm of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was among the world’s leading proponents of the free market ideology—that governments and regulators shouldn’t meddle in the markets, and instead let the financial industry regulate and run itself. You know, Adam Smith’s invisible hand,Milton Friedman and the Chicago school, all that. Observers point to a slew of Greenspan’s decisions during his tenure at the Fed—his backing of massive financial deregulation, like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, and belief that financial institutions could oversee themselves—as evidence of his free market beliefs impacting his work at the Fed.

In the wake of the crisis, Greenspan admitted that he’d found a “flaw” in his free market worldview. Big banks, investment houses, non-bank institutions, and so on couldn’t control themselves, Greenspan said; enhanced regulation was needed. It was presumed, at the time of Greenspan’s concession, that he was repudiating the ideology that guided his leadership at the Fed.”  http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2010/04/greenspan-ideology-meant-nothing

To clarify my point, the above mentioned environmental “accidents” could’ve been avoided had we not been ruled by these “free market fundamentalists” who unashamedly keep telling us that if we just leave the market alone, things will be fine. Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not calling for a totalitarian form of govt. that dictates every single aspect of how we live our lives and conduct business but it seems as clear as a bell that we (the general public through its general apathy & anti-intellectualism) and “our” political representatives who clearly don’t represent our best interests, have been way too lackadaisical in terms of allowing the corporate cockroaches to put their profits above everything else including our health & welfare. So can you understand my horror at our now being at the mercy of a greedy, self-aggrandizing piece of shit like Trump? By-the-way, there are a ton of examples of more “accidents” that multi-national corporations have caused around the globe but I felt it wise to not perhaps overwhelm you by listing them all? 

I nearly forgot an important piece that connects the climate deniers and the free market fundamentalists i.e. Milton Friedman.

The second chapter introduces Milton Friedmanand his Chicago school of economics, whom Klein describes as leading a laissez-faire capitalist movement committed to creating free markets that are even less regulated than those that existed before the Great Depression…..Part 2 discusses the use of “shock doctrine” to transform South American economies in the 1970s, focusing on the coup inChile led by General Augusto Pinochet and influenced by a prominent group of Chilean economists that had been trained at the University of Chicago in the Economics department, funded by the CIA, and advised by Milton Friedman. Klein connects torture with economic shock therapy.

Part 3 covers attempts to apply the shock doctrine without the need for extreme violence against sections of the population. Klein says that Margaret Thatcher applied mild shock “therapy” facilitated by the Falklands War, while free market reform inBolivia was possible due to a combination of pre-existing economic crises and the charisma of Jeffrey Sachs.

Part 4 reports on how Klein thinks the shock doctrine was applied in Poland, Russia, South Africa and to the tiger economiesduring the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Part 5 introduces the “Disaster Capitalism Complex”, where the author claims that companies have learnt to profit from disasters.

Part 6 discusses the use of “Shock and awe” in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, which Klein describes as the most comprehensive and full-scale implementation of the shock doctrine ever attempted.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shock_Doctrine 

The role of the military coup in Chile & Milton Friedman’s Chicago Boys takeover of the Chilean economy is a case in point of the devastating consequences of the neo-liberalism that began under Reagan & Thatcher and has brought the world economy to such a critical juncture today. I don’t claim to be any sort of authority on economics but I have been following politics closely ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers for life as his first act in his first term as president. And after decades of observation of the interplay between politics, economics, & social policies, I have begun to see the common bonds or the overlapping of these fields in a larger context. Therefore, I’m going to give you my thumbnail assessment of the situation.

Chile had its own 9/11 in 1973 as a result of the people of Chile electing a socialist leader, Salvador Allende, and its having a right-wing Congress & the fact that our President Nixon had ordered a program of economic warfare against Chile’s economy. Scholars disagree about the extent & the timing of America’s involvement in Chile’s coup but it is acknowledged that after the success of the coup, the U.S. military definitely assisted in the dictator Pinochet’s military occupation & control over Chile.

“The report stated that the CIA “actively supported the military Junta after the overthrow of Allende but did not assist Pinochet to assume the Presidency.”[39] After a review of recordings of telephone conversations between Nixon and Henry Kissinger, Robert Dallek concluded that both of them used the CIA to actively destabilize the Allende government. In one particular conversation about the news of Allende’s overthrow, Kissinger complains about the lack of recognition of the American role in the overthrow of a “communist” government, upon which Nixon remarked, “Well, we didn’t – as you know – our hand doesn’t show on this one.”.[40] A later CIA report contended that US agents maintained close ties with the Chilean military to collect intelligence but no effort was made to assist them and “under no circumstances attempted to influence them.” ….

“The other approach of the CIA, also known as the Track II approach, was an attempt to encourage a military coup by creating a climate of crisis across the country. False flag operatives contacted senior Chilean military officers and informed them that the U.S. would actively support a coup, but would revoke all military aid if such a coup did not happen.[41] In addition, the CIA gave extensive support for black propaganda against Allende, channeled mostly through El Mercurio. Financial assistance was also given to Allende’s political opponents, and for organizing strikes and unrest to destabilize the government. By 1970, the U.S. manufacturing company ITT Corporation owned 70% of Chitelco (the Chilean Telephone Company), and also fundedEl Mercurio. The CIA used ITT as a means of disguising the source of the illegitimate funding Allende’s opponents received.[45][46][47] On 28 September 1973, ITT’s headquarters in New York City was bombed, allegedly for its involvement in Allende’s overthrow.[48]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_Chilean_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat#U.S._involvement

I’m sure that by now it’s pretty obvious that I’m of a Left-leaning, progressive or liberal perspective on most political, economic, & social matters. But I am also harshly critical of many, if not most of those who profess to be liberals or democrats. Why? Because I have witnessed their hypocrisy & collusion with the corporatists over the years and the fact that most of them are cowards i.e. they won’t stand-up & speak-out on many serious issues because they too enjoy the power & profits from going along with the status quo. I’m telling you this because I hope you’ll believe me when I tell you that the environmental & economic crises we face aren’t due to a single political party but are the result of decades of both liberals & conservatives looking the other way. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky, yet but this is no exaggeration, he is the intellectual & moral giant of our times and if you read nothing except his books, you would gain a world-class education on these matters! Moreover, if you’re the typical American i.e. are the product of our public education system, you probably aren’t aware of the long list of “friendly dictators” that the U.S. has trained their secret police for, enlisted our C.I.A. & other intelligence agencies to undermine their popular leaders, and financed to the tune of billions of dollars. Again, lest you think I’m a nut-case like Alex Jones & those other conspiracy alarmists whom Trump gets his information from, look up this man & check-out his credentials: 

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was aUnited States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.”

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” (Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC)

By the way, that coup or attempt to overthrow the U.S. govt. was a group of U.S. businessmen who were furious over FDR’s “New Deal” program to help America’s starving poor.

“The Business Plot was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans’ organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d’état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1934, Butler testified before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the “McCormackDickstein Committee”) on these claims.[1] No one was prosecuted.”

THE BUSINESS PLOT TO OVERTHROW ROOSEVELT

In the summer of 1933, shortly after Roosevelt’s “First 100 Days,” America’s richest businessmen were in a panic. It was clear that Roosevelt intended to conduct a massive redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Roosevelt had to be stopped at all costs.

The answer was a military coup. It was to be secretly financed and organized by leading officers of the Morgan and Du Pont empires. This included some of America’s richest and most famous names of the time:

  • Irenee Du Pont – Right-wing chemical industrialist and founder of the American Liberty League, the organization assigned to execute the plot.
  • Grayson Murphy – Director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel and a group of J.P. Morgan banks.
  • William Doyle – Former state commander of the American Legion and a central plotter of the coup.
  • John Davis – Former Democratic presidential candidate and a senior attorney for J.P. Morgan.
  • Al Smith – Roosevelt’s bitter political foe from New York. Smith was a former governor of New York and a codirector of the American Liberty League.
  • John J. Raskob – A high-ranking Du Pont officer and a former chairman of the Democratic Party. In later decades, Raskob would become a “Knight of Malta,” a Roman Catholic Religious Order with a high percentage of CIA spies, including CIA Directors William Casey, William Colby and John McCone.
  • Robert Clark – One of Wall Street’s richest bankers and stockbrokers.
  • Gerald MacGuire – Bond salesman for Clark, and a former commander of the Connecticut American Legion. MacGuire was the key recruiter to General Butler.

The plotters attempted to recruit General Smedley Butler to lead the coup. They selected him because he was a war hero who was popular with the troops. The plotters felt his good reputation was important to make the troops feel confident that they were doing the right thing by overthrowing a democratically elected president. However, this was a mistake: Butler was popular with the troops because he identified with them. That is, he was a man of the people, not the elite. When the plotters approached General Butler with their proposal to lead the coup, he pretended to go along with the plan at first, secretly deciding to betray it to Congress at the right moment….

If this sounds too fantastic to believe, we should remember that by 1933, the crimes of fascism were still mostly in the future, and its dangers were largely unknown, even to its supporters. But in the early days, many businessmen openly admired Mussolini because he had used a strong hand to deal with labor unions, put out social unrest, and get the economy working again, if only at the point of a gun. Americans today would be appalled to learn of the many famous millionaires back then who initially admired Hitler and Mussolini: Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, John and Allen Dulles (who, besides being millionaires, would later become Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and CIA Director, respectively), and, of course, everyone on the above list. They disavowed Hitler and Mussolini only after their atrocities grew to indefensible levels.  http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Coup.htm

Too hard to believe? I can understand the sentiment because believe it or not, I shy away from conspiracy theories and have met many wild-eyed, conspiracy buffs over the years. I try not to be rude when they run their theories by me & if they are open to my perspective, I usually try to warn them that the problem with conspiracy theories is that most people’s eyes glaze over & they stop listening to what you’re saying. My goal is to reach people so I tread lightly when it comes to conspiracy theories but this one against FDR I find very plausible because of my years of learning about the everyday business practices of many of our largest corporations. So, don’t just blindly accept my perspective on any of the matters I’ve brought up, do your own research if you care about where the world is headed because in the end, you must answer to your own conscience. And no, this isn’t the end of my essay, I have more to say on the frightening future that awaits us if we let the corporate coup against global warming go about its dirty business in silent complicity.

To return to the subject of Friedman’s “Chicago Boys,”

The term “Chicago Boys” has been used at least as early as the 1980s[8] to describe Latin American economists who studied or identified with the libertarian economic theories then taught at the University of Chicago, even though some of them earned degrees at Harvard or MIT (see below). They advocated widespread deregulation, privatization, and other free market policies for closely controlled economies. The Chicago Boys rose to prominence as leaders of the early reforms initiated in Chile during General Augusto Pinochet‘s rule.[8] Milton and Rose Friedman used the term Chicago Boys in their memoir: “In 1975, when inflation still raged and a world recession triggered a depression in Chile, General Pinochet turned to the “Chicago Boys”; he appointed several of them to powerful positions in the government.[9]

Evidently, Chile was a role model of the “free market,” and here’s the recipe for success;1) with the help of the U.S., stage a military coup against your democratically-elected president, 2) lock-up and/or “disappear” all your dissenters,  3) force harsh austerity measures on your citizens & voila, you are then free to bask in the wondrous bounty & blessings that the “free market” will shower on your citizens. Above all, it’s imperative to never forget that America is the champion of freedom & democracy around the world and it’s important that you train your public to periodically sing praises or offer hymns to those precious liberties. And today, 44 years after that miraculous turn of events in Chile, neo-liberalism which also goes under the name of globalization, has bestowed upon us what Louis Armstrong referred to as “What a Wonderful World,” & Donald Trump, the bright, shining hope of mankind, sits on his golden throne (toilet) toiling hard as he twitters his pearls of wisdom to the world i.e. “I’m wonderful, believe me, it’s true, it’s really, really, really true!” Put differently, and I apologize if I sound like a party pooper;

“Neo-liberalism” is a set of economic policies that have become widespread during the last 25 years or so. Although the word is rarely heard in the United States, you can clearly see the effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer….

Economic liberalism prevailed in the United States through the 1800s and early 1900s. Then the Great Depression of the 1930s led an economist named John Maynard Keynes to a theory that challenged liberalism as the best policy for capitalists. He said, in essence, that full employment is necessary for capitalism to grow and it can be achieved only if governments and central banks intervene to increase employment. These ideas had much influence on President Roosevelt’s New Deal — which did improve life for many people. The belief that government should advance the common good became widely accepted. 

But the capitalist crisis over the last 25 years, with its shrinking profit rates, inspired the corporate elite to revive economic liberalism. That’s what makes it “neo” or new. Now, with the rapid globalization of the capitalist economy, we are seeing neo-liberalism on a global scale…..

Around the world, neo-liberalism has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. It is raging all over Latin America. The first clear example of neo-liberalism at work came in Chile (with thanks to University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman), after the CIA-supported coup against the popularly elected Allende regime in 1973. Other countries followed, with some of the worst effects in Mexico where wages declined 40 to 50% in the first year of NAFTA while the cost of living rose by 80%. Over 20,000 small and medium businesses have failed and more than 1,000 state-owned enterprises have been privatized in Mexico. As one scholar said, “Neoliberalism means the neo-colonization of Latin America.”

In the United States neo-liberalism is destroying welfare programs; attacking the rights of labor (including all immigrant workers); and cutbacking social programs. The Republican “Contract” on America is pure neo-liberalism. Its supporters are working hard to deny protection to children, youth, women, the planet itself — and trying to trick us into acceptance by saying this will “get government off my back.” The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a minority of the world’s people. For the vast majority it brings even more suffering than before: suffering without the small, hard-won gains of the last 60 years, suffering without end.”  http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376 

Some of you may happen to remember Ralph Nader, you know, that greedy bastard who is on such an ego trip that he ran for president more than once & “spoiled” the democratic party’s candidate & therefore handed the republicans the victory? Yeah, what an ego-maniac! He’s only spent his entire, adult life fighting against the corporate cockroaches i.e. General Motors “Unsafe at Any Speed,” etc. like a modern day Don Quixote. He tried to warn us about NAFTA but who listened? And for his life of self-sacrifice & dedication to making this a safer, more equitable nation, what has been his reward? So-called liberal democrats, etc. despise him even more than they despise “conservatives.” By-the-way, for those of you who inhabit the “United States of Amnesia” (Gore Vidal’s phrase) it was our illustrious knight in shining armor, Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA into law & also repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which allowed the “Super Bankers” who are too big to jail, to go hog-wild & speculate with our savings in their casino capitalism ventures like the Wild West housing bubble that brought us the latest Depression—yes, I dare to speak the truth & not white-wash it like the talking head whores on T.V. 

Do you happen to recall the snake-oil sales pitch for NAFTA that we were bombarded with leading up to Billy Boy’s signing of NAFTA? No? Well here’s a snippet; “NAFTA will raise all boats” i.e. it will raise the standard of living for working people around the planet. In other words, it was suppose to be the great equalizer & empower workers everywhere. It was going to make this a Brave New World where the corporate giants would no longer have total control over our lives, etc. Yet the reality–just in case you’ve been napping with Rip Van Winkle for the past 20 yrs.–is that the corporate cockroaches have raced to the poorest nations on earth to re-open their manufacturing plants because not only can they get away with paying those poor souls in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, South America, etc. etc. etc., mere pennies a day, “our” government rewards them with massive tax breaks, etc. and what has happened to America’s blue-collar workers? Yep, golden opportunities to work for Walmart where they’re lucky if they make minimum wage, have no benefits but are showed how to apply for food stamps. And Walmart is “the” largest employer in America. Three cheers for the “free market” and Neo-liberalism aka Globalization. To be more accurate, globalization should be called Neo-feudalism, you know, the good old days where kings, lords, bishops, etc. sat on their asses, enjoyed lavish banquets, etc. and we, the peasants, slaved away from dawn to dusk and often couldn’t even feed our children & were forced to beg for scraps from the master’s table. Isn’t freedom, democracy, & capitalism wonderful? 

Again, sorry to be such a wet-blanket but if you give a fuck, you might care to step back & notice a pattern i.e. along with deregulation & absolute belief in the efficacy of the free market, another pernicious part of the power elite’s game plan is their on-going drive for the privatization of absolutely every institution & public service “our” government has provided up to the present. But what they neglect to tell the dumb-fucks who fall for their hidden agenda is that their claim that by privatizing all these institutions & services, everything will be peachy-keen for all of us, is the fact that the reality is, we will continue to pay our taxes for these institutions & services under their privatization scheme but, any and all profits will now go to them, not us. Prima facie evidence? The Internet. Yup! It was almost entirely funded via the Pentagon which of course is funded by us. And the research & development for the Internet was mostly done at M.I.T. (where my hero, Chomsky, taught for over 50 yrs.) but as soon as the Internet began to show a profit, sorry America, the profits go to the corporate cockroaches and you will continue to pay us for the privilege of using the Internet. Are you beginning to connect the dots my friend? Do I still sound like some sour-grapes, communist or perhaps the present-day popular term of derision, “anarchist?” 

With your permission, I will now attempt to step-back for a minute and connect a few more dots or ideally shine a light on the big picture? And again, I make no claims to have a corner on the truth because I too am fumbling in the darkness. Bottom-line, this is just one man’s attempt to make sense of this chaos that is engulfing us all. I have attempted to show you the extent of the ruthlessness & corruption of not only the megalithic corporations who de facto rule the world though many of us are still under the delusion/illusion that individual governments are actually in charge. Moreover, I have also tried to reveal the significant role of the religiously righteous who have been and continue to be the dupes of the power elite in the never-ending game of domination. Politicians around the world are not the ones in control, they are merely foils that the powers that be, those behind the scenes like Soros, the Koch brothers, Jamie Dimon, etc. place in front of us as useful idiots for their agendas of stealing ever more from us. And I must remind you that no, this isn’t a “grand conspiracy” no matter what Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh & other morons ad infinitum proclaim with such earnest (faux) sincerity. Quite simply, they’re nowhere close to being so clever. Unfortunately, it really just boils down to a confluence of greed & common interests in the pursuit of ever more wealth. Okay, back to Frontline. 

Alex Jones, one of Trump’s most trusted mentors

TIM PHILLIPS: [rally] I’m Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. We’re here in Billings, Montana—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: What part did you play?

TIM PHILLIPS: We certainly did TV ads, radio ads, social media. We did rallies, events. We launched something we called Hot Air.

And we’re sending a message to Senator Baucus and Senator Tester to vote no on this job-killing, tax-increasing cap-and-trade!

We got up a hot-air balloon, put a banner on the side of it that said, “Cap-and-trade means higher taxes, lost jobs, less freedom.” And we went all over the country doing events and stirring up grass roots anger and frustration, concern.

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Cap-and-trade will slow the economy and cost American jobs.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] Americans for Prosperity’s well-financed campaign was an aggressive one, ads that went after cap-and-trade policy—

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: America can’t afford the cap-and-trade tax.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: —and said the science was a hoax.

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Congress should stop wasting our money and focus on real problems!

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Isn’t it time Congress listened to the rest of us?”

I want to seriously ask you, my imaginary reader, aren’t you sick & tired of being treated like a trained monkey? I mean, Jesus Fuckin’ Christ! when are you, when are we, going to stand-up on our hind-legs and scream, “I’m as Mad as Hell & I’m not going to take it anymore!” (from the movie, “Network”) I mean, the “Americans for Prosperity” is such a transparent ploy to dupe the yokels into believing that the agenda of the rich is synonymous with the dreams of the working class that it blows my mind & saddens me to the marrow of my bones that so many fall for it. 

we’re there Albert i.e. the Internet & Facebook

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” —Albert Einstein

I sincerely hope that by now you are beginning to realize that the Climate Change Deniers’ campaign doesn’t have a leg to stand on intellectually and it’s merely because of their backers’ ability to throw a never-ending amount of money into their propaganda campaign with the sole purpose of raising doubt, that they have managed to make it this far. Does money make right? Yeah, obviously it doesn’t–well at least for those of us who still believe in basic human dignity & right and wrong but how strong a voice do we have in this nation that worships the “Rich and Famous?” Trump represents the ascension of the banal, the crass, all the worst attributes of the power elite. And here’s another history lesson for those who care:

The Power Elite is a 1956 book by sociologist C. Wright Mills, in which Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, andpolitical elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities….

According to Mills, the eponymous “power elite” are those that occupy the dominant positions, in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of a dominant country, and their decisions (or lack of decisions) have enormous consequences, not only for the U.S. population but, “the underlying populations of the world.” The institutions which they head, Mills posits, are a triumvirate of groups that have succeeded weaker predecessors: (1) “two or three hundred giant corporations” which have replaced the traditional agrarian and craft economy, (2) a strong federal political order that has inherited power from “a decentralized set of several dozen states” and “now enters into each and every cranny of the social structure,” and (3) the military establishment, formerly an object of “distrust fed by state militia,” but now an entity with “all the grim and clumsy efficiency of a sprawling bureaucratic domain.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_Elite 

To put it in another way, Chomsky has shown us time & time again that public opinion doesn’t really matter in this country because on the major issues, the government does the opposite of what the public wants i.e. the general public want a single payer, national health insurance like most of the developed nations have but we’re told that’s not politically feasible (code for they won’t even consider it). And C. Wright Mills is clearly right on the money regarding military, corporate, & political institutions of America are an intricate & interwoven web of powers that be which only pay lip service to serving the public’s interests. We are here to serve them not the other way around. If you fail to acknowledge this complex which Eisenhower warned of as he was leaving office, you are obviously so deeply in denial that there’s nothing I can do to remove your blinders so you may as well live out your remaining days dazed & confused as reality smacks you down repeatedly. By the way, that complex that Eisenhower spoke of was originally suppose to include Congress but they persuaded him to leave it out—probably too revealing? And I would argue that this complex today includes the media & higher education. 

he wanted to add Congress to the threat but was persuaded not to

Today on Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman, she was interviewing Bill McKibben as a sort of warm-up to the People’s Climate March on Washington D.C. scheduled for tomorrow, April 29, 2017 & these words from Bill McKibben summed it up nicely; “And the GOP in Congress, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, isn’t going to do anything, either. We’re well aware of that.” https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/28/350orgs_bill_mckibben_on_peoples_climate

I would go so far as to dub Bill McKibben the grandfather of the American Environmental Movement & here’s a bit of background on this brave pioneer; “William Ernest “Bill” McKibben (born December 8, 1960)[1] is an Americanenvironmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar atMiddlebury College[2] and leader of the anti-carbon campaign group 350.org. He has authored a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature (1989), about climate change.”

Even though we are vastly outspent by the corporate oil cabal, those of us who are in this fight realize that it’s not like we have a choice or other options because we either win this war or the whole planet loses & that means all your loved ones & however many future generations that might yet be born. The game plan of the corporate cockroaches isn’t some sophisticated, highly intelligent plan, no, it’s amazingly plain & simple and that’s part of the reason why it saddens me so deeply i.e. they trot out the same old dog-whistle, emotional hot-buttons that work so well on those with little critical or analytical thinking skills/abilities just as Trump did with his Nazi-like campaign for the presidency. Here’s some more from the Frontline documentary: 

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: What part did you play?

TIM PHILLIPS: We certainly did TV ads, radio ads, social media. We did rallies, events. We launched something we called Hot Air.

And we’re sending a message to Senator Baucus and Senator Tester to vote no on this job-killing, tax-increasing cap-and-trade!

We got up a hot-air balloon, put a banner on the side of it that said, “Cap-and-trade means higher taxes, lost jobs, less freedom.” And we went all over the country doing events and stirring up grass roots anger and frustration, concern. 

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Cap-and-trade will slow the economy and cost American jobs.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] Americans for Prosperity’s well-financed campaign was an aggressive one, ads that went after cap-and-trade policy—

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: America can’t afford the cap-and-trade tax. 

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: —and said the science was a hoax.

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Congress should stop wasting our money and focus on real problems!

TELEVISION COMMERCIAL: Isn’t it time Congress listened to the rest of us?” 

Do you see what I mean? Let’s start with the last sentence, they pretend that they represent the silent majority of Americans & that Congress is on the side of the tree-huggers which is patently absurd. And you don’t need me to tell you that Congress works for the corporate behemoths who even help if not wholly write the legislative bills that Congress rubber-stamps. Yeah! I won’t go into it here but check out an organization called A.L.E.C. (American Legislative Exchange Council) it’s been around for decades & in my opinion, it effectively side-steps our so-called legislative process. 

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.”  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Corporations

A.L.E.C. is made up of over 2,000 corporate interests though they have lost some members in the past couple of years thanks to the negative publicity by those of us who aren’t asleep at the wheel. Furthermore, while we obviously still have a helluva long way to go in our fight against the climate deniers, I thought I’d share a list of corporations we have managed to shame into discontinuing their membership in A.L.E.C. so as to bring a bit of good news in this otherwise very sad state of affairs:

  • Coca-Cola Company: Gave a statement to the Washington Examiner on April 4th, 2012 stating that it had “elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council” [1]
  • Pepsi: Informed Color of Change in a letter dated January 25th, 2012 that they would not renew their membership in ALEC in 2012.[2]
  • Kraft: Announced in an email on April 6th, 2012 that “Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons…we have made the decision not to renew.” [3]
  • Intuit: Told the Center for Media and Democracy on April 6th, 2012 that they did not renew their membership when it expired in 2011. [4]
  • McDonald’s: Initially defended its membership in ALEC [5] Announced on April 10th that they had made the decision to withdraw from ALEC at the end of March. [6]
  • Wendy’s: Sent an email to the Center for Media and Democracy on April 11th, 2012 confirming that it is no longer a member of ALEC [7]
  • Mars: Sent an email to Color of Change on April 12th, 2012 stating that they had ended their membership with ALEC [8]
  • Reed Elsevier: Told Reuters on April 12th, 2012 that they had withdrawn “after considering the broad range of criticism being leveled at ALEC,” [9]
  • American Traffic Solutions: Told the Arizona Capitol Times on April 13th, 2012 that they would not renew their ALEC membership. [10]
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield: Announced on April 19th, 2012 that it had not renewed its membership in February 2012,[11] but according to an ALEC document, “left after losing on exchanges workshop” and didn’t terminate until April 4, 2013.[12]
  • YUM! Brands: Told Color of Change that they would not renew their membership on April 19th, 2012.[13]
  • Procter & Gamble: Told Color of Change that it would not renew its membership on April 20th, 2012.[14]
  • Kaplan: Wrote Republic Report on April 26th, 2012 to confirm that they were no longer a member of ALEC[15]
  • Scantron Corporation: Told CMD in May 2012 that it was no longer a member of ALEC.[16]
  • Amazon.com: Announced at a shareholder meeting on May 24, 2012 that it had decided not to renew its membership in ALEC this year.[17]
  • Medtronic: Medtronic did not renew its ALEC membership in 2011 or 2012, according to a spokesperson.[18]
  • Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart told Reuters on May 30, 2012 that it is suspending its ALEC membership because “we feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide,” according to Wal-Mart vice president of public affairs and government relations and ALEC corporate board secretary Maggie Sans.[19]
  • Johnson & Johnson: A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson told CMD on June 12, 2012, “We have been in dialogue with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for some time, and while we acknowledge ALEC’s recent decision to focus only on innovation and growth-supporting policies, we have decided to suspend our participation and membership.”[20]
  • Dell Computers: Dell confirmed on June 21, 2012, that it would not be renewing its ALEC membership.[21]
  • John Deere & Company told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it is leaving ALEC.[22]
  • CVS Caremark told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had discontinued its ALEC membership.[22]
  • MillerCoors told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership in 2012, nor does it plan to.[22]
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP) told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it is not currently an ALEC member.[22]
  • Best Buy told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership in 2012.[22]
  • Express Scripts/Medco (two ALEC members that merged in April 2012) told the Center for Media and Democracy and ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had dropped its ALEC membership.[23][24] An August 2013 ALEC board document later suggested that it had not terminated its ALEC membership until January 14, 2013, “b/c of PBM issue.”[12]
  • Louis Dreyfus, which sponsored ALEC’s 2012 annual meeting, told CMD it had decided not to fund ALEC this year.[27]
  • Amgen, which was a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force, announced its determination not to renew its ALEC membership on August 3 in response to a letter from a group of concerned shareholders and advocates led by Walden Asset Management and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).[28]
  • General Electric (GE), which was a member of ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force as of March 2011,[29] told ColorOfChange.org (CoC) that it decided not to renew its ALEC membership in July 2012.[30]
  • Sprint Nextel, which was a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force in July 2011, told CoC in August 2012 that it did not renew its ALEC membership in 2012.[30]
  • Symantec, which was a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force, told CoC in August 2012 that the company’s membership expired June 2010 and was not renewed.[30]
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group, which was a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force as of June 2011,[32]told CoC in August 2012 that it is no longer an ALEC member.[30]
  • Entergy, which was a member of ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force as of June 2011, told Walden Asset Management in August 2012 that it did not renew its ALEC membership in 2012.[30]
  • Merck, which told the New Jersey Star-Ledger in September 2012 that it would not renew its ALEC membership after 2012.[33]
  • Sanofi, which confirmed to CMD that it was cutting ties to ALEC in October 2012.[34]
  • Bank of America, which told Walden Asset Management that it was cutting ties to ALEC in November 2012.[35]
  • WellPoint, which announced on March 1, 2013 that it had not attended an ALEC meeting nor supported ALEC financially since the summer of 2011 and has “no current plans to support ALEC or attend any of their meetings,”[36] but according to an August 2013 ALEC board document, terminated April 22, 2013 and was then “considering giving funds outside of membership.”[12]
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, which confirmed in March 2013 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership at the end of 2012.[37]
  • Brown-Forman Company, which confirmed in April 2013 that the company declined to renew its ALEC membership in 2012[38]
  • Publix Super Markets, which announced on June 24, 2013, via social media that it had “not been a member of ALEC since 2011.”[39]
  • GlaxoSmithKline, whose CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said in a response to a shareholder’s question at the company’s annual meeting in May 2013 that the company had decided to sever its relationship with ALEC[40]
  • Unilever, whose president, Kees Kruythoff, stated in a letter to shareholders sent earlier this year, “Unilever is not a member of ALEC following a review undertaken at the end of 2011. We took the decision that ALEC’s agenda did not align with our business objectives and values focused on social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and withdrew as a member.”[40]
  • ConocoPhillips spokesperson Daren Beaudo confirmed to CMD in June 2013 that the company is no longer a member of ALEC, did not fund ALEC in 2012, and has no plans to do so in 2013.[40] Phillips 66 is separate from Conoco (which does not fund ALEC); Phillips66 became an independent company in 2012. [41]
  • Sallie Mae announced quietly in September 2013 that it had cut ties with ALEC, after a student-led campaign demanded its exit, gathering nearly 15,000 petition signatures in August.[42]
  • Visa told Boston Common Asset Management, which had been engaging with the company over the past year on lobbying disclosure, that it had dropped its ALEC membership in December 2013.[43]
  • Xcel Energy, the ALEC corporate state chair of Wisconsin as of August 2011, told the Boulder Weekly in January 2014 that it was a member of ALEC until 2011[44] and that it hadn’t funded ALEC since 2010.[45]
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals, a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force as of April 2012, announced that it had cut ties with ALEC in January 2014 after engagement with Trillium Asset Management[46]
  • 3M, an ALEC member in the late 1990s,[47] stated as of a company corporate governance disclosure revised in May 2013, “3M has not been a member in groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).”[48]
  • Darden Restaurants, a member of ALEC’s corporate board as of 2010,[49] confirmed in April 2013 that the company cut ties with ALEC in January 2010 in order to allocate more resources to organizational connections like its involvement with the National Restaurant Association[50] (which, like ALEC, has lobbied to override local paid sick day ordinances).[51]
  • IBM confirmed in June 2013 that it is no longer an ALEC member and does not “provide ALEC with any financial support, including financial support for their meetings.”[52]
  • Intel, an ALEC funder in 2002,[53] stated in June 2013 that it is not a member of ALEC and does not sponsor ALEC[54]
  • Nestlé USA Inc. was, according to a company spokesperson, “a low-tier member of ALEC during a several year span in the 1990s ending, as I recall, in 1999, but has “not been a member of ALEC since that time” and does “not foresee a circumstance where we would consider rejoining,” as of May 2013.[55]
  • AstraZeneca, a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force as well as state corporate co-chair of Delaware, confirmed in response to an April 2013 shareholder question that it decided not to renew its membership in ALEC’s task force.[56]
  • Ameren, a sponsor of ALEC’s 1998 annual meeting as well as of “Missouri Night” at Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans during the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is not a member of ALEC in April 2014.[57]
  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy (formerly MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company), which had a long history of involvement with ALEC, having sponsored ALEC’s 1998 annual meeting, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[58]
  • Alliant Energy, which sponsored ALEC’s 1998 annual meeting, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[58]
  • The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which funded ALEC in at least 2010 and earlier, confirmed toGreenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[58]
  • Microsoft, a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, confirmed that “in 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC. With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC” in an email to The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott and Coolidge and Walden Asset Management, which had engaged Microsoft over its affiliation with ALEC.[59]
  • Google , a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, confirmed that it would not renew its ALEC membership at the end of 2014[60] after its chairman, Eric Schmidt, told NPR’s Diane Rehm on September 22, 2014, “The consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we’re trying to not do that in the future…. The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts — what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”[61]
  • Facebook, a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, told the San Francisco Chronicle on September 23, 2014: “We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now. While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.” [62]
  • Yelp told Common Cause on September 24, 2014 that they are no longer part of ALEC. [63]
  • Yahoo Inc. announced on September 24, 2014 — after Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yelp dropped ALEC that week and ALEC responded by saying that Google had left because of misinformation — that it had dropped its membership of ALEC.[64]
  • International Paper told Common Cause September 26, 2014 that “we no longer have a membership with ALEC” and confirmed the company also no longer funds ALEC.[65]
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation had “no plans to continue Occidental’s membership in, or make further payments to, ALEC” as of September 29, 2014, according to the National Journal.[66]
  • News Corporation told Media Matters in response to an article published September 26, 2014 that the company is no longer a member of ALEC.[67]
  • Overstock.com terminated its ALEC membership in 2013, according to a spokesperson,[68] but a spokesperson told The Guardian in December 2014, “Overstock.com did re-join Alec recently. Our relationship with Alec is based on the organization’s access to lawmakers involved in the internet sales tax issue, which is a very weighty one for us.”[69]
  • SAP America told German Magazine “Manager Magazin”, on November 5, 2014, that it was ceasing funding of ALEC because of “strange policies” around climate change, renewable energy, guns and voting rights. [70]
  • AOL informed Common Cause on November 10, 2014 that it had stopped funding ALEC. [71]
  • Emerson Electric Co. told Walden Asset Management that it had cut ties with ALEC in November 2014.[72]
  • Amerigroup told Common Cause that the company no longer participates in ALEC in November 2014.[73]
  • Wells Fargo, which was a member of ALEC in 2011, told CMD in September 2012 that it declined to renew its ALEC membership in 2012,[33] then subsequently sponsored ALEC’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Chicago,[74] then told Common Cause in November 2014 that it is not a member or funder of ALEC.[73]
  • Union Pacific Corporation confirmed to Common Cause in November 2014 that the company is “not a member of ALEC and pays no annual dues to the organization”.[73]
  • EZCorp (pawn shops and payday loans), told Common Cause that it is not a funder or member of ALEC as of November 2014[75]
  • eBay tweeted on December 18, 2014, “We are not renewing membership in ALEC.”[76]
  • Northrop Grumman cut ties to ALEC in January 2015 thanks to shareholder engagement from the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes.[77][78]
  • BP announced on March 23, 2015 that it was cutting ties with ALEC. A spokesperson told the National Review, “We continually assess our engagements with policy and advocacy organizations and based on our most recent assessment, we have determined that we can effectively pursue policy matters of current interest to BP without renewing our membership in ALEC.”[79]
  • T-Mobile told Common Cause on April 8, 2015 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[80]
  • Allergan: told Common Cause on May 14, 2015 that it “is no longer an active member of ALEC.”[81]
  • Shell: released a statement on August 7, 2015 that “Alec advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own…We have long recognised both the importance of the climate challenge and the critical role energy has in determining quality of life for people across the world. As part of an ongoing review of memberships and affiliations, we will be letting our association with Alec lapse when the current contracted term ends early next year.”[82]
  • Canadian National Railway: The Guardian reported on August 7, 2015 that CNR “pulled its membership” from ALEC, but had made no public statement.[82]
  • American Electric Power: told The Guardian on December 8, 2015 that it would not renew its membership in ALEC. “We are reallocating our resources as we focus on our work with the states around the Clean Power Plan,” said a spokesperson.[83]
  • Ford Motor Company: confirmed to CMD in February 2016 that it was cutting ties to ALEC. “As part of our annual budget review, we have adjusted our participation in several groups. We will not be participating in ALEC in 2016,” wrote Christin Baker, a Ford spokesperson in an email to CMD.[84]
  • Expedia Inc.: “confirmed it had severed ties” with ALEC in an email to Common Cause on August 9, 2016.[85]
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car told The Guardian on September 21, 2016 that it would be resigning its membership with ALEC. “We have been carefully listening to those customers and partners who have expressed sincere concern about our ALEC membership.” Enterpise spokesperson Laura Bryant said.[86] “In fact, after thoughtful consideration, we have decided to resign our membership

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Corporations_that_Have_Cut_Ties_to_ALEC

Analogously, the recent firing of Bill O’Reilly from FOX “News,” shows that when the public becomes aroused & organized enough to boycott a corporation, the corporation will often acquiesce. Naturally, the fossil fuel industry is such a financial behemoth that it won’t be so easily dismantled but all great battles take sustained periods of struggle, suffer setbacks, and go at it again i.e. the Civil Rights Movement, the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Women’s Rights, etc. I am reminded of the ancient, Greek myth of Prometheus;

Prometheus (/prəˈmiːθiəs/ prə-mee-thee-əs; Greek: Προμηθεύς[promɛːtʰeús], meaning “forethought”)[1] is a Titan in Greek mythology, best known as the deity in Greek mythology who was the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind.”

And if you recall your Greek mythology, you know that Zeus was so pissed-off at Prometheus that; “He was chained on a mountain in Caucasus. There, a vulture/ eagle ate his liver every day. Because Prometheus was immortal, his liver healed in the night and grew back. This was his punishment for stealing fire for mankind, and was meant to be for all eternity. However, years later he was freed by the Greek Hero Heracles.” Well my friend, we have a Promethean labor before us in that we must preserve life for ourselves & future generations because not unlike William Blake’s “Dark Satanic Mills,” which partially referred to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England, we–all of humanity–are indeed facing a modern, dark satanic mill i.e. the fossil fuel industry. 

Trump wants us to return to the days of children working in the mills & mines & dying in the thousands

And speaking about those dark, satanic mills, when my wife, Jeri and I were on our honeymoon in England in the Winter of 1984-1985, we paid a visit to a friend of ours who lived in Manchester. He asked if we’d like to visit an old, woolen mill from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and we said sure. As we walked through the mill in the tour, we were told that many children were forced to work in these giant looms because their hands were so small that they could reach in-between what I believe they called “shuttlecocks?” Tragically, many of these children’s hands were crushed or maimed and I swear that I could feel their sad or tortured souls/spirits on that visit.

We have now reached a point in our so-called endless march of progress where we are standing on a precipice & overlooking the great abyss & it’s up to each & everyone of us to work towards preventing that collective last step into the bottomless pit or Armageddon if you like. Therefore, in the spirit of perseverance, let’s return to the Frontline documentary. 

As I mentioned earlier, the G.O.P. (Greedy Old Pigs) trot out the same, tired, & worn-out trigger words that unfortunately seem to be effective in lulling the uneducated, the apathetic, & the anti-intellectual sectors of our society i.e. any attempts to regulate the fossil fuel industry or any industry for that matter, will 1) raise your taxes; 2) take away jobs; & 3) take away more of your freedoms. 

Even though I am sick to death of having to explain/demonstrate just how bogus these justifications the corporate cockroaches spew ad nauseam, I will do so once again because there is always a glimmer of hope. As for raising your taxes, Jesus Christ people! Just yesterday, the girly-man announced his plan to cut corporate taxes from 35% to 15%. This is the same old pack of lies known as ‘Trickle-down theory,’ that Ronnie the Rodent Reagan claimed would work wonders because the rich would then invest in their companies & hire more employees. It was a Madison Avenue lie back then & his been proven false countless times ever since but still the myth persists. Why? Because evidently the truth, facts, & reality doesn’t faze the G.O.P. & their masters. Remember Kellyanne Conway’s “alternate facts?” And because as Goebbels knew, just stick to the lie long enough & the public will grow weary and stop fighting for the truth. How even the stupidest amongst us can not see the glaring hypocrisy of the G.O.P.’s constant call for reducing the deficit but at the same time, cutting taxes on the rich which costs us billions if not trillions in revenues we could use for those trivial programs like health care, education, feeding the poor, etc., is beyond comprehension. By the way, those mother-fuckers don’t, or rarely pay 35% in taxes because they have countless loopholes i.e. claiming their profits come mostly from off-shore (foreign factories, etc.), they are subsidized by us, they even get tax rebates on taxes they didn’t even pay, etc. And most importantly, millions of Americans have never thought of the fact that again, we, the suckers who must pay our taxes or go to prison, pay for the critical infrastructure of America. You know, unnecessary things like our roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, police, etc. that without which, the corporate cockroaches couldn’t get their products/services to market. 

and the biggest corporations pay nothing & get millions & billions in tax rebates

As for taking away our jobs, again, why can’t people see through this subterfuge? Like I mentioned earlier, NAFTA, amongst several other “trade deals,” opened the floodgates for the corporate cockroaches’ mass exodus to countries that tell them, sure, you’re welcome to fuck our people & pay pennies on the dollar for our natural resources as long as you grease the palms of certain politicians & elite in our country. Middle American has become one vast Rust Belt of empty, ghost towns that used to be thriving, happy, middle-class communities. Clearly these corporations have no loyalty to their employees, many of whom worked in their factories for 30 or 40 years or better. Nope! They shut their doors, often have drained their employees’ pensions, and cut-off their medical insurance that they were promised they could count on for the rest of their lives. These slimy, subhuman creatures that live amongst us but out of sight because they fear our wrath, have no loyalty whatsoever to America yet they love spouting off on T.V., etc. about how proud they are to be an American company & how they respect our soldiers who are mostly fighting around the globe to help these corporations steal other nations’ wealth & resources. And when these soldiers return, especially if they’ve been wounded whether physically, psychologically, or emotionally, what’s their reward? You got it, they’re kicked to the curb, denied benefits, etc. Do you recall Trump’s proclamations of how much he respects soldiers yet he’s trying his best to cut their benefits & he said of John McCain, “He’s a loser because he was a prisoner of war, and I don’t like losers.” Yeah, isn’t that precious coming from that fat, tub of lard who had his fortune handed to him by his sugar daddy & would probably cry & run away if a real man ever punched him. 

leveling the field with other banana republics like the U.S.

Lastly, as for “take away more of your freedoms,” oh shit howdy! Yet again I guess it’s up to me to spell it out for you? Maybe it’d be easier to use our Bill of Rights to illustrate just how “free” we are? Of course we were taught in public school about these wonderful freedoms we supposedly all enjoy & which our soldiers are fighting for around the world, remember, we have nearly 800 military bases around the globe because our freedoms are so worthy of protection & everyone else wants to take our freedoms away from us, especially the tree huggers, the liberals, the hippies, the socialists, etc. 

Clearly we’re not an empire, we’re just promoting freedom & democracy like here at home with world’s largest prison population

First I want to preface my remarks with another “inconvenient truth,” i.e. just 25 days after 9/11, Congress had this 363 pages titled, “The Patriot Act,” ready for Congress’ approval & not a single member of Congress bothered to read it before signing it? Moreover, some have pointed out that Dick Cheney et al, had lamented several years before 9/11, “What we need is another Pearl Harbor incident so we can then immediately implement our agenda” which they had already published i.e. P.N.A.C. (Project for the New American Century) Let me reiterate, No, I’m not arguing that there was a grand conspiracy & that dark forces within our own govt. conspired & committed the acts on that fateful day. I am arguing that the powers that be are always conspiring to come up with ever more rationalizations or justifications for robbing our federal treasury & ignoring our very real needs as a people i.e. health, education, welfare in a nutshell. And before getting to the Bill of Rights, here are just a few of the more prominent chicken-hawks who drafted the P.N.A.C.: 

the U.S. Air Force’s program, Full Spectrum Dominance (and the fools believed Reagan’s Star Wars program ended?)

Vice President Dick Cheney is a founding member of PNAC, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the group. Bruce Jackson, a PNAC director, served as a Pentagon official for Ronald Reagan before leaving government service to take a leading position with the weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.”  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm

By-the-way, Wolfowitz was that little fascist who testified before our invasion of Iraq, before Congress, “No worries, the oil we get from Iraq will be more than sufficient for paying for the costs of the invasion.” And one last point before I perhaps space it out re: who takes away our freedoms, ask yourself these questions if you will?

  1. Who writes the laws that we are forced to obey or are fined and/or sent to prison?
  2. Who benefits the most from the majority of laws that are passed?
  3. Do tree-huggers (choose your favorite derogatory term here) really have magical powers & just how much influence have they evidenced in their campaigns?
  4. Do corporations, especially the ones whose profits are greater than that of many nations’ gross domestic products, perhaps have undue influence over our political system?
  5. Why is it so seemingly impossible to pass a bill to stop corporate political funding?

Okay, a few questions to bear in mind while pondering our “Freedoms” as listed in our Bill of Rights & by the way, some have pointed out that with passage of The Patriot Act, they effectively or de facto shredded the Bill of Rights!

Amendment 1 

To “protect & serve” right? No, wrong, they protect & serve the rich only!


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment 3
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 4
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Welcome to Fortress Amerika, just as we treat dark-skinned people overseas, we do the same here.

Amendment 5
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. 

Amendment 6
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. 

Amendment 7
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment 8
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

organizations like A.L.E.C. profit nicely off their slaves in our prisons

Amendment 9
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Here are my judgments or perspectives as to the de facto state of these freedoms as of today in America: 

Remember Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatives” who brought us the Wall St. Crash of 2008 & the Iraq War?

  1. As Mike Pence, our new president of vice would argue along with Pat Robertson & the other wealthy televangelists, no, we are a Christian nation. Don’t forget Georgie Bush’s “faith-based initiative” which unconstitutionally set up offices in several of our top federal depts. to hand out our tax dollars to “charities” which they (the govt.) deem worthy i.e. Christian enough. Freedom of Speech? Yeah, right! A handful of corporations own something like 95% of all the media in this country (T.V. stations, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc.) and just try getting your writing published and see how far you get. I know because I have tried. The wealthy have no trouble getting their opinions published any time they want to air them. And the right to peaceably assemble? Tell that to the Occupy Wall St. movement whom the police cracked-down on simultaneously (coincidentally) overnight in several major U.S. cities and crushed them into non-existence. 

    Onward Christian soldiers who’ll kill you if you’re gay, pro-choice, or against gun violence

  1. As for a “well regulated militia,” need I tell you how perverted this “freedom” has become over the decades of our history? I presume this “militia” must be what’s morphed into “our” National Guard, you know, those called out to stop those peaceful assemblies of citizens at the bidding of the crooked politicians & their corporate masters. And now & then they become a little over zealous like at Kent State University in Ohio when they killed a few student protestors. And the right to bear arms provision in the second amendment is perhaps the most abused clause in the entire Bill of Rights because it is such a farce! This is the holy proclamation of all the Sunshine Patriots who delude themselves into believing that if the government ever goes too far, they will be our protectors. Yeah, right! The government has the mightiest arsenal the world has ever seen & spends more of our tax dollars on their weaponry than the rest of the world’s militaries combined & these simpletons actually think they’re going to be a real deterrent? It’s clearly a smokescreen which the arms manufacturers hide behind & use as the justification for the fact that we sell more weapons than any other nation on Earth—something like 41% of all the weapons manufactured on the planet are made right here in the good ol’ U.S.A. And four of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council just happen to be the four largest weapons manufacturers on the planet as well. So, we do double-duty i.e. we are both the world’s most powerful “Peacekeeper,” & the world’s largest weapons manufacturer? I’m so confused? 

    Tea Party protestors can bring guns to protests but tree-huggers get arrested for carrying backpacks

  2. Well I am not aware of any soldiers who have taken over our homes to live in but the police, the F.B.I., and other intelligence agencies sure as Hell break down our doors anytime they feel like it and nowadays, they rarely even bother to obtain a search warrant.
  3. I just covered this one but I should add that; “On December 16, 2005, the New York Times printed a story asserting that following 9/11, “President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying”, as part of the War on Terrorism:[8]As I mentioned earlier, 9/11 was a wet-dream come true for our Masters of the Universe & thanks to their clever declaration of this war on terror, which is deliberately vaguely worded & thanks to our incessant bombings around the globe with our illegal “Drone warfare program,” we’ll never run out of terrorists to kill. Thankfully for the powers that be, we live in “The United States of Amnesia” (Gore Vidal) and trivial matters such as the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials in which we & our allies hanged several of the top Nazi war criminals for their crimes against humanity, barely ruffles a feather & few are morally outraged at the glaring hypocrisy.

    we killed top Nazi officers for crimes against humanity but we’re never held accountable for our crimes

    The Nuremberg trials (German: die Nürnberger Prozesse) were a series ofmilitary tribunals, held by the Allied forces after World War II, which were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany, and their decisions marked a turning point between classical international law and contemporary international law.” Noam Chomsky has provided us with more than ample evidence that the rest of the world sees America as the greatest threat to world peace & as the most fearful state terrorist on the planet. Of course, “radical” views such as this are hidden from the American public–it wouldn’t be good for our morale or for recruitment purposes. And as I believe I mentioned earlier, Chomsky recently pointed out that the G.O.P. is the most dangerous organization on the planet and in world history with their climate denial & casual attitude towards nuclear proliferation & engagement.

  4. Due process of law. Yeah, again it would be laughable were it not so deadly serious. This “right” or “freedom” has been suspended under the Patriot Act & these days, the cops can kick your door down in the middle of the night and lock you up & they don’t even have to tell you what you’re accused of, you don’t have a right to a lawyer or to let your loved ones know where you are, and they can hold you indefinitely. You might note that under Obama’s reign, & remember, he was a Constitutional lawyer, scholar, & professor, he ordered the death by drone of an American citizen. 

    aka The Land of Law & Order

T

he most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.”  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo and note, this article was written by Glenn Greenwald, another Constitutional scholar & lawyer as well as journalist. Except Glenn defends the American public whereas Obama defends the rights/freedom of American corporate interests. By the way, Edward Snowden chose Glenn Greenwald to release his treasure trove of evidence regarding how the NSA illegally spies on every one of us. Finally, who knows just how many Americans have been locked-up for decades who were innocent but because they didn’t have the wealth that the rich do, they couldn’t hire a top-notch lawyer. Yeah, justice in America, the proud land of Law & Order!

  1. Obviously I just addressed a portion of this amendment & as I said, under the Patriot Act we’re basically totally screwed!
  2. The right/freedom of a trial by jury. Yeah, another cruel joke because I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you of the countless, probably millions of times, that public defenders “persuade” their clients to accept a plea bargain regardless of their innocence because the D.A.s & the court system are so backed-up in their calendars. They scare people into pleading guilty by telling them that if they insist on going to trial, they could get a far longer sentence in prison.
  3. Excessive bail or fines? Yeah right. A millionaire has no problem in paying say a $10,000 or even a $100,000 bail or fine but how does a guy who makes minimum-wage, pays rent, & has nothing in the bank, come up with this kind of money? As for cruel & unusual punishment, let’s see? Does being locked-up in solitary for years on end & not being able to be around other people count? Or how about being forced to work at menial tasks all day long, seven days a week often for a mere buck or two while the prison sells your slave labor to corporations that are members of A.L.E.C. count? How about the conditions in some prisons that resemble the dungeons of the Dark Ages? Yet, if you were one of the “white collar”

    Justice American Style

    criminals who stole people’s life savings, etc. and were fined perhaps a couple of million dollars but allowed to keep the hundred million or so that you stole and are sent to one of our federal prisons that resemble country clubs more than prisons i.e. your own private cell with a T.V., much better food than any of the other prisons that are often so overcrowded that some prisoners must sleep on the floor of the cell or under a bunk-bed, and they are allowed out in the sunshine every day for hours to garden, etc. Yep! Another fine example or proof of justice under the law in the U.S.

I think that’s more than enough evidence to support my contention that we are far, very far, from being a free people but you naive & gullible people who voted for Trump will continue to bury your heads in the sand with see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil on your lips until the day you die and wonder why. Back to the front of the line–excuse my poor attempt at witticism i.e. Frontline–front of the line.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: In the Tea Party’s anti-tax, anti-big government message, you could now hear the skeptic mantra attacking climate science and cap-and-trade.

TEA PARTY RALLY SPEAKER: —cap-and-trade and taxing America to death and our children—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: At some Tea Party events, global warming skeptics were a big draw.

TEA PARTY SPEAKER: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Lord Monckton!

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Introduced like a professional wrestler, Christopher Monckton is a former British journalist who admits he has no scientific qualifications.

CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON, Competitive Enterprise Institute: Now we are met on a great battlefield of a new civil war!

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: But here, whipping up the crowd is his indisputable expertise.”

Of course we just went through a torturous year & a half of Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan’s campaign for the presidency and he obviously is expert at whipping up the crowd just as Monckton is & like all effective demagogues.

A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader)[1] or rabble-rouser is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploitingprejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoneddeliberation.[1][2][3][4] Demagogues overturn established customs of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so.

Demagogues have appeared in democracies since ancient Athens. They exploit a fundamental weakness in democracy: because ultimate power is held by the people, it is possible for the people to give that power to someone who appeals to the lowest common denominator of a large segment of the population.[5] Demagogues have usually advocated immediate, forceful action to address a national crisis while accusing moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness or disloyalty.”

Yes my friend, Donald was following a centuries old, tried & true game-plan or agenda of all authoritarians and the uneducated fell for it hook,line, & sinker because they actually believe that this crooked businessman is going to “Make America Great Again.” Like PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Except on this subject of global warming, he & his ilk are playing with the future of the planet and what you don’t know about climate change can kill you, your loved ones, & all life on Earth! So, I suggest you wake the fuck up! It’s long past time to get real and stop falling for the cheap tricks of the Donald Ducks of this country that focus your attention & your hatred on the useful scapegoats/victims rather than our true common enemies i.e. the corporate cockroaches. Let’s get back to it.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: And you’re seeing something they’re not seeing?

FRED SINGER: Yes.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: So it’s 97 percent of them and one of you?

FRED SINGER: Oh, well, you can put it that way if you like, but I don’t think that’s the way it works. There’s hundreds of us— hundreds, thousands of us. Look, 31,000 scientists and engineers signed a statement to the contrary to what you just read.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: The Oregon petition?

FRED SINGER: Yes.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] The 14-year-old petition is not exactly an exclusive club. A bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document, skeptics claim, counters the scientific consensus on global warming.

[on camera] Now, are they all scientists?

FRED SINGER: Yes. One third of them have Ph.D.s. Look, they are not specialists in climate.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Well, some were celebrities and— right?

FRED SINGER: Oh—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] It’s a time-honored tactic by the skeptics, authentic-looking documents and reports that don’t stand up to independent scrutiny. Singer also signed the Oregon petition, and this is not his first time going up against accepted science.

[on camera] Was the science around chlorofluorocarbons hyped, the science around secondhand smoke hyped, the science around the ozone layer hyped, going back 10, 15, 20 years?”

In other words, whoever came up with the title of this Frontline documentary was being a little tongue-in-cheek with “climate of doubt,” because they were clearly enjoying a bit of word-smithing i.e. the subject is Climate Change Deniers & as the last sentence from the quote above suggests, the oil cabal of corporate cockroaches know that if they can succeed in creating a climate of doubt, a climate of distrust, a climate of suspicion in the general public’s mind as to the validity of the science behind global warming, that’s all they need. They don’t have to disprove it, they only have to create a significant climate of doubt to keep the public in the dark & passive or apathetic & therefore allow them, the oil cabal, to keep on destroying the environment in their ceaseless pursuit of profit.

In brief, just as with the science that proved that second-hand smoke is every bit as deadly to those around the person smoking as it is to the person who smokes & you may recall that the tobacco lobby denied for decades the hard scientific facts that showed that nicotine was addictive & even testified before Congress that it wasn’t when in fact they had known that it was for decades. Or the fact that the precious ozone lawyer which protects us from the harmful affects of the sun has been shrinking due to such things as the chlorofluorocarbons from all the aerosols that corporations have introduced in various products they manufacture & sell to us i.e. underarm deodorant sprays. I stopped buying these types of deodorants over 40 years ago but then again, I’m one of these tree-hugging ecological alarmists.

The song these cold-blooded, corporate pirates want us all singing is, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” just like all the New Age hippies who believe they have found the truth think. Note how the corporatist have usurped the Green Movement and run T.V. ads feigning concern over the environment as they simultaneously destroy it. It’s become easier over the past several decades to deceive the public thanks to the growth of the television industry. And for those of you who may need a basic primer on the insidious & destructive influence of television, here you go; 

The corporate cockroach takeover of the Green Movement thanks to New Age apathy & passivity

Like a Svengali or a Rasputin, television seduces & then hypnotizes most people into believing that they are thinking while they watch it but this is rare except in the cases of documentaries like this one that I am using in this essay. Television is all about the manipulation of images & the more rapid-fire those images, the less opportunity for our brains to process those images & as a result, our emotions are manipulated by the selection of the images the advertisers expose us to. When you are watching T.V. your brain is being passive & merely receiving input but when you’re reading, your brain is being active because it is reflecting on the meanings behind the words & you are in control because you can stop reading at will and take as long as you want to reflect on what you just read. And T.V. is a major reason we have ended-up with a president as stupid, crass, & obviously out for himself in that his only goal in life is to accumulate as much wealth as possible. But because he is well aware of how to manipulate the stupid with his racism, hatred, & fear of everything & everyone outside his tiny universe, he appears strong to the weak-minded. I know that I’m pretty harsh in some of my criticisms but it’s time you & we grew up because if we continue to remain children, the whole planet may go up in flames with food riots, genocide, floods, fires that can’t be contained, etc. And if you do nothing more than read this essay of mine, you can no longer claim that you didn’t know. Trump and all his fellow corporate cockroaches count on your passivity, apathy, & distaste for reading important political, historical, philosophical, etc. books. Why? Because as you become better educated it becomes harder for them to manipulate you into accepting the lies, the disinformation, & the deliberate indoctrination that their whole system depends on. I’m sure that some of you may think that I’m speaking like I’m some sort of know it all or something but it isn’t hard to sound like one when so many Americans don’t even read a single book in a year & I have been an avid reader all my life. This essay isn’t merely an ego-trip on my part. I truly care about humanity & have always been empathetic towards the poor, the working class, etc. because I grew up poor, and my two sisters & my brother and I had a single mom who raised us by working sometimes two or even three jobs at a time to feed us. And I basically raised my siblings because I was the eldest. I grew up in a shitty part of L.A., in a town called Paramount which is right across the riverbed from the infamous Compton so don’t you ever tell me that I’m somehow privileged because I’m well-educated. I’ve paid dearly for every bit of knowledge I’ve gained in my life. Okay, back to the education but before proceeding forward, I must return to a piece I left out i.e. Fred Singer’s comment about the 31,000 scientists who signed the petition he touts as equally valid as the 97% of the world’s climate scientists who know that global warming is a fact. By the way, this dovetails nicely with what I was just saying about how T.V. manipulates public opinion. Many corporate ads show a person in a white coat like that of a doctor to fool you into believing they are an expert. Just like many ads for lawyers will show them standing in front of a bookcase of what look like law books. Singer claimed that a third of that 31,000 who signed the petition were Ph.D’s but big deal, how do you know what their Ph.D’s are in? And the same goes for his other claim that all the rest of them had B.A. degrees. I may have said this earlier but if so, it bears repeating. The closest we can get to the “truth” of whatever someone is claiming is to A)check out their credentials; B) check out what other experts in the particular field the person supposedly is in, have to say about the person’s credibility i.e. reviews of their work, have they published in professional journals, etc. And lastly, “celebrities” have absolutely no credibility on many, if not most of the subjects they do T.V. ads for. They are used because of their celebrity i.e. fame, or the good will the public feels towards them. Socrates clued us in to this B.S. over 2,500 years ago when he showed that say a man became a master shipbuilder, he naturally gained a lot of respect & honor for his expertise in shipbuilding but human nature being what it is, often a man with expertise in one area began claiming expertise in other areas which he had little or absolutely no experience in i.e. how to raise children, etc. Okay, now I’m ready to move on:

WOLF BLITZER, CNN Anchor: —Al Gore making his case. So is global warming fact or fiction? Let’s get to a debate—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] But Fred Singer’s case was bolstered when in November of 2009, the skeptics got a break that would put climate scientists on the defensive.

CHRIS HORNER, Competitive Enterprise Institute: They falsified results. It’s the fraud, stupid, to oversimplify it. That’s what we’re talking about.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: An apparent scandal, and skeptics made the most of it.

CHARLIE GIBSON, ABC News: —some stolen emails—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: It erupted out of more than a thousand hacked emails which included scientists’ internal conversations about global temperature data.

CHRIS HORNER, Competitive Enterprise Institute: These people have already been revealed as not having any honor. Now they’re being revealed as not having a sense of shame.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: A few suspicious-seeming emails, taken out of context, would become “climate-gate.” Even though nine subsequent investigations would find no tampering with data, the impact of these emails would live on.”

In the same way that Trump distracted the American public by harping on Hillary’s e-mails during the election campaign but would never release his tax returns, Chris Horner seeks to distract the public from the fake science of the climate deniers & try to get the public to focus on the bogus e-mail scandal. And like any good magician knows, distract with one hand while you perform your “trick” with the other. And again, for people like Horner to talk about honor would be laughable weren’t it for this being such a serious issue. Moving right along;

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: This summer at the Washington, D.C., Defending the Dream summit for the group Americans for Prosperity, they have their own warning— beware the leftist agenda that they believe underlies the climate change movement. Reducing emissions is cover for reducing freedom, they say. And they have the means to carry their free market message anywhere in the U.S.

TIM PHILLIPS: This is our sixth annual Defending the American Dream summit. We launched these in the fall of 2007. It’s a great way to bring activists together from around the country to kind of bond with the organization. Moreover, it’s good to have a bunch of free market conservatives in D.C. occasionally, as well.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [on camera] How does free market conservatism relate to climate change and the scientific argument over—

TIM PHILLIPS: It doesn’t to the scientific side. It very much so relates to the policies that the left pushes in the name of global warming. I mean, every once in a while, I’ll make a statement about the science, but that’s a tiny percentage of what we do and how we spend our money.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Oh, you win on the policy, you win on the science.

TIM PHILLIPS: I think so. I do.”

In other words, they clearly know that they can’t win on what should be the only issue i.e. whether climate change is a scientific fact or not so they must double-down on their financial clout which they can use to intimidate politicians into not siding with those of us who know the reality of climate change or to at least not speak out on behalf of us who are concerned. This clearly reveals their lack of faith in their own “scientists.” Furthermore, the key phrase in the above passage from the documentary is “beware the leftist agenda.”

This brings us to a bedrock tactic of the corporate cockroaches & the robber barons who came before them i.e. always attack the patriotism of those who oppose your “free market” ideology. And again it would be funny but this is no laughing matter. In fact, I firmly believe that the so-called conservatives actually use this tactic to disguise their basic fascism. They attacked the Populists who rose up in protest in the late 1800s against the robber barons & the East Coast financial elite, the railroads, etc. They were labeled Leftists i.e. threats to capitalism & freedom and etc. just as they are today. Workers who went on strike for safer working conditions, fair pay, a 40 hr. work week, etc. were also labeled Leftists which became synonymous with communists. Yet I never hear of any middle class Americans volunteering to give up what those dirty Leftists fought for, went to prison for, & even died for? And it really makes my blood boil when I hear the same old smear tactics used against liberals & progressives. Our founding fathers were indeed liberals & they wrote our Constitution specifically in an effort to ensure the precious values & principles they derived from the Enlightenment i.e. separation of Church & State in particular because they knew the bloody history of Europe that resulted from the union of Church power & State power. But the dirty deceivers of today would have us believe that our founding fathers were in fact, tyrants, dictators, etc. if you read between the lines of what they claim our fathers stood for. The corporate cockroaches are opposed to everything America was founded upon & are the de facto tyrants of today’s America. Just look at Trump’s campaign to silence the media & glorify FOX “News” as true journalism when anybody with a high school level of knowledge of what freedom of the press knows is a farce. FOX is America’s version of Russia’s “Pravda” newspaper. 

I want to end my reliance on this transcript on this point i.e. the imaginary “Leftist agenda.” What could they mean by this? Yeah, they talk of some conspiracy of us Leftists to just waste government money on silly things like climate research, medical research, clean air, water, land, food, etc. you know, all those trivial matters that we have nothing to worry about because Corporate Big Brother is looking out for us & would never do anything to harm us, right? And for the remainder of this essay, I’m going to basically expound on thoughts or perspectives that have occurred to me over the years. Excuse me, I misspoke because I want to include this piece from my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky, on the subject of global warming:

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about this comment that you made that the Republican Party, you said, is the most dangerous organization in world history. Can you explain?

NOAM CHOMSKY: I also said that it’s an extremely outrageous statement. But the question is whether it’s true. I mean, has there ever been an organization in human history that is dedicated, with such commitment, to the destruction of organized human life on Earth? Not that I’m aware of. Is the Republican organization—I hesitate to call it a party—committed to that? Overwhelmingly. There isn’t even any question about it.

Take a look at the last primary campaign—plenty of publicity, very little comment on the most significant fact. Every single candidate either denied that what is happening is happening—namely, serious move towards environmental catastrophe—or there were a couple of moderates, so-called—Jeb Bush, who said, “Maybe it’s happening. We really don’t know. But it doesn’t matter, because fracking is working fine, so we can get more fossil fuels.” Then there was the guy who was called the adult in the room, John Kasich, the one person who said, “Yes, it’s true. Global warming’s going on. But it doesn’t matter.” He’s the governor of Ohio. “In Ohio, we’re going to go on using coal for energy, and we’re not going to apologize for it.” So that’s 100 percent commitment to racing towards disaster.

Then take a look at what’s happened since. The—November 8th was the election. There was, as most of you know, I’m sure, a very important conference underway in Morocco, Marrakesh, Morocco. Almost roughly 200 countries at the United Nations-sponsored conference, which was—the goal of which was to put some specific commitments into the verbal agreements that were reached at Paris in December 2015, the preceding international conference on global warming. The Paris conference did intend to reach a verifiable treaty, but they couldn’t, because of the most dangerous organization in human history. The Republican Congress would not accept any commitments, so therefore the world was left with verbal promises, but no commitments. Well, last November 8th, they were going to try to carry that forward. On November 8th, in fact, there was a report by the World Meteorological Organization, a very dire analysis of the state of the environment and the likely prospects, also pointed out that we’re coming perilously close to the tipping point, where—which was the goal of the—the goal of the Paris negotiations was to keep things below that—coming very close to it, and other ominous predictions. At that point, the conference pretty much stopped, because the news came in about the election.

And it turns out that the most powerful country in human history, the richest, most powerful, most influential, the leader of the free world, has just decided not only not to support the efforts, but actively to undermine them. So there’s the whole world on one side, literally, at least trying to do something or other, not enough maybe, although some places are going pretty far, like Denmark, couple of others; and on the other side, in splendid isolation, is the country led by the most dangerous organization in human history, which is saying, “We’re not part of this. In fact, we’re going to try to undermine it.” We’re going to maximize the use of fossil fuels—could carry us past the tipping point. We’re not going to provide funding for—as committed in Paris, to developing countries that are trying to do something about the climate problems. We’re going to dismantle regulations that retard the impact, the devastating impact, of production of carbon dioxide and, in fact, other dangerous gases—methane, others.

OK. So the conference kind of pretty much came to a halt. The question—it continued, but the question was: Can we salvage something from this wreckage? And pretty amazingly, the countries of the world were looking for salvation to a different country: China. Here we have a world looking for salvation to China, of all places, when the United States is the wrecking machine that’s threatening destruction, in—with all three branches of government in the hands of the most dangerous organization in human history.

And I don’t have to go through what’s happened since, but the—in general, the Cabinet appointments are designed to—assigned to people whose commitment and beliefs are that it’s necessary to destroy everything in their department that could be of any use to human beings and wouldn’t just increase profits and power. And they’re doing it very systematically, one after another. EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, has been very sharply cut. Actually, the main department that’s concerned with environmental issues is the Department of Energy, which also had very sharp cuts, particularly in the environment-related programs. In fact, there’s even a ban on posting and publishing information and material about this.

And this is not just at the national level. The Republican Party, whatever you want to call it, has been doing this at every level. So, in North Carolina, a couple of years ago, where the Legislature, mostly thanks to gerrymandering, is in the hands of the Republicans, there was a study. They called for a study on the effect of sea level rise—on what sea level rise might be on the North Carolina coast. And there was a serious scientific study, which predicted, in not—I forget how many years—not a long time, about roughly a meter rise in sea level, which could be devastating to eastern North Carolina. And the Legislature did react, namely, by passing legislation to ban any actions or even discussion that might have to do with climate change. Actually, the best comment of this—I wish I could quote it verbatim—was by Stephen Colbert, who said, “If you have a serious problem, the way to deal with it is to legislate that it doesn’t exist. Problem solved.” https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/26/chomsky_on_the_gop_has_any

Perhaps I’m just getting lazy or maybe it’s not really necessary for me to explain Chomsky’s words because he is after all considered the world’s greatest living intellectual. So, here are my remaining thoughts;

Trump and all his financial supporters are waging a war against reason, rationality, & responsibility and if you can’t see that, there’s no point in my laying it out for you. Trump and his cabal of crony capitalists want to drive us back to the Dark Ages where fear & superstition kept people cowering in their hovels and scared to question or protest their feudal lords or the clergy. Do you honestly believe that anyone like Trump or any corp. as wealthy & powerful as ExxonMobil got so rich by being honest businessmen? Perhaps a brief list of some of the environmental/ecological disasters brought to us by our kindly, corporate benefactors may renew a healthy skepticism on your part?

  1. The Dust Bowl in Canada & the U.S. (1934-1939)
  2. Love Canal-toxic waste site brought to us by corporate dumping
  3. Bhopal, India disaster thanks to Union Carbide in 1984 which caused the deaths of over 22,000 people
  4. Mountaintop removal mining
  5. Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (which they still haven’t recovered from)
  6. Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought to us care of BP Oil & Halliburton
  7. Chernobyl which spread a toxic radioactive cloud around the globe
  8. Fukushima which keeps on sharing its radioactivity with the Pacific Ocean
  9. Hanford Nuclear Plant which from 1946 to 1986 released thousands of U.S. gallons of radioactive liquids in the air & in the Columbia River (which I’ve lived next to for a good part of my life)
  10. The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone from the Mississippi River fertilizer runoff
  11. Environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia
  12. the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  13. Mercury in fish
  14. Acid rain & ocean acidification
  15. the increasing destructive capabilities of Hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina & Sandy

No big deal, right? And clearly not caused by man as the climate deniers claim. Tell me this my friend, where are you & your loved ones going to vacation if we keep this up? Where are you going to live & raise your children and grandchildren that you can feel they’re safe? The tree-hugger alarmists amongst us must be hitting a nerve in the heartless corporate cockroaches who rule this world because they have resorted to labeling us environmental or ecological terrorists and the latest label is economic terrorists. Yep! So once again, forget the Bill of Rights, they are forbidding us to assemble & protest and the leaders of these protests are being singled out and given frightening long terms in prison for standing up to the evil ones in defense of our common mother, Mother Earth!

We are suppose to believe in and trust the fossil fuel industry, Congress, & that Trump is a true populist who cares about all of us, not just the 1% who financed his fascist presidential campaign. We’re not suppose to trust our own eyes as we witness the drastic changes in our weather patterns, the shrinking of the polar ice caps, etc. I guess those billionaires like the Koch brothers didn’t waste all the millions of dollars they spent of those T.V. ads, etc. denying global warming?

Because of the stacking of the Supreme Court & the recent theft by the G.O.P. in its refusal to vote on Obama’s pick for over a year until Trump became president, the G.O.P. has a massive financial club they use to beat any republican into submission to their agenda of drill baby drill! The police are becoming more & more militarized and are being used against climate defenders & the recent water defenders at Standing Rock. 

I guess protecting museums doesn’t fall under the heading of Democracy & Freedom?

Changing the subject slightly but not really, consider the U.S. military when we invaded Iraq & their defense of the Ministry of Oil but not the Museum of Baghdad which housed hundreds of thousands of precious art & artifacts from the time of Mesopotamia. I’ve noticed over the years that once the filthy rich have become so obscenely wealthy, they then start accumulating famous pieces of art, great libraries, etc. with which to decorate their mansions. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t all about just showing off to their friends & peers in an attempt to appear to respect great art but perhaps they’re just like the gang bangers who inhabit our inner cities  in that they really only respect violence, drugs, & having a pretty hooker on their arms like Trump does? Remember how many of those Wall St. hedge fund managers, super bankers, etc. who spent millions on hookers & cocaine as they were robbing us blind in the lead-up to the World-wide economic crash of 2008? 

A very real threat many are still in denial about

On a related subject, their ceaseless agenda of privatizing everything, I’ll clue you in my friend, it too is a sham. They literally want to privatize every single resource, public service, institution, etc. not because they actually believe that private corporations can do it better or cheaper but because they want to have absolute control over us. Take Medicare for example, this government program offers better quality medical care for more people and for less & with far less overhead than private medical providers or HMOs. But they want to privatize it so they can jack up the prices to whatever they want and we’ll be forced to pay their price or die. Another example is the Internet. We paid for it mostly from our tax dollars spent on the Pentagon which financed the bulk of the research that developed it at M.I.T. (where Chomsky taught for over half a century) and once it started making a profit, they–the politicians doing the bidding of their corporate masters–declared, oh no, we have to privatize this. So now, we have to pay twice for it and they keep on jacking up the price for our use of the Internet. I could go on and on i.e. the U.S. Postal System, the public education system, water, power, oil, etc. etc. etc. 

Another example of the seriousness of the corporate assault on us is the fact that PT Barnum Trump has put a moron in charge of the Energy Dept. which is charged with regulating the Nuclear Power Plants around the U.S. and their goal is to deregulate them. No worries, nothing could go wrong, right? Three Mile Island was just a blip on the screen. Oh yeah, and our mental midget of a president was being briefly a month or so ago about our nuclear arsenal & he asked, “Why can’t we use our nuclear weapons, we have them, why don’t we use them?” The threat of a nuclear war is the second greatest threat to our survival according to Chomsky and I wholeheartedly agree with him especially when we have Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan at the helm of state.

Moreover, I find it absolutely incredible that so many Americans can believe that 97% of the world’s climate scientists agree that it’s a very real & serious threat to our survival but they can’t believe that the oil corporations could be behind the campaign to discredit climate change or global warming or that it’s caused by us?

Here are a few facts for you to reflect upon;

  1. BP Oil had a net profit of $132 billion last year.
  2. OPEC revenues were $1027 billion.
  3. ExxonMobil’s net profit was $486.429 billion.
  4. Chevron was in third place but I didn’t find a number for it.

    fraud in real estate, retail, T.V., education, marriage, & now the Fraud of a Commander in Chief

Well as our 30th president of the United States said, “The business of America is business.” And how true that is except it should be more accurately stated that the business of America is giving the business to the citizens i.e. screwing us. Fraud is standard business practice in most of our corporations and I could share with you many examples of how I’ve been screwed by some of our largest corps. like AT&T, Verizon, etc. but I’m sure you have had plenty of experiences yourself.

my mom worked for AT&T for 36 yrs. but when she died, they denied for months that she had a pension

And note that if you or I commit fraud i.e. write a bad check, we are often sent to jail but “our” legal system basically gives corporations the license to commit fraud & the rare times when they are busted for it, they pay a relatively small fine in comparison to the money they made committing the fraud & they don’t even have to plead guilty and its not on their record. 

Furthermore, mull this over if you will? The fraud of war i.e. Vietnam, based on the Gulf of Tonkin lie, the Iraq War based on the lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction, etc. In fact, just about every war, police action, etc. we’ve been in during my lifetime has been based on the grand lie that we were there defending democracy & freedom while we were de facto there supporting dictators who butchered their citizens because they allowed “our” corporations to rape, pillage, & plunder their natural resources and their people for cheap labor.

No, the Oil corporations who stand to lose billions & trillions if we were to take the threat of global warming seriously, wouldn’t be in a conspiracy to deny the facts, would they? They’re hard-working, honest businessmen, the backbone of America—remember when they use to say that about our small farmers? They’re great patriots and they’re God-fearing Christians. Global warming denial is fraud on a global scale & is a deadly serious threat to our survival as a species but of course if you’re one of those “Christian” fundamentalists, you have nothing to worry about because you’re looking forward to the end of the world. Oh yeah, speaking of fraud, need I remind you of the near total collapse of the world economy in 2008 as a result of the massive fraud of bankers, hedge fund managers, the credit rating agencies, A.I.G., the insurance giant, the politicians who didn’t & still don’t believe in government regulation of these corporate crocodiles, etc. Of course, if you were/are part of the “privileged elite,” and didn’t have your home, your pension, your life savings, your job, your health insurance, or your dignity stolen, no worries!

In the final analysis, only the willfully ignorant or the colossally naive or stupid could fall for the fraud perpetrated by the oil cabal’s corporate cockroaches and it will be on your head & you’ll have to explain to your children & grandchildren how you participated in the nightmare world they will inhabit thanks to your complicity, apathy, & anti-intellectualism!

—Rob DeLoss, May 7, 2017 Warrenton, OR

P.S.  I just happened to watch the Steven Seagal movie “On Dangerous Ground” for perhaps the sixth time & thought his speech at the end of the movie was so pertinent to this serious subject so here you go:   

Closing scene: Speech given at Alaska State Capitol building in Steven Seagal movie, “On Deadly Ground.”

“I’d like to start out by saying ‘thank you’ to all the brothers and sisters who have come here representing this cause.

I’ve been asked by Mr. Itaka and the Tribal Counsel to speak to you and the members of the Press about the injustice that has been brought against us by the government and big business.

How many of you out there have heard of ‘alternate engines’ — engines that can run on anything from alcohol to garbage or water; or carburetors that can get 100s of miles to the gallon, or electric or magnetic engines that can practically run forever? You haven’t heard about them because if they were come into use, they [would] put the oil companies out of business.

The concept of the combustion engine has been obsolete for over 50 years, but because of the oil cartels and corrupt government regulations, we in the rest of the world have been forced to use gasoline for over 100 years.

Big business is primarily responsible for destroying the water we drink, the air we breath, and the food we eat. They have no cure for the world they’ve destroyed. [They care] only for the money they make in the process.

How many oil spills can we endure? Millions and millions of gallons of oil are now destroying the ocean and the many forms of life they support. Among these is Plankton, which supplies 60-90% of the Earth’s oxygen, and supports the entire marine ecosystem which forms the basis of our planet’s food supply. But the plankton is dying.

I thought, ‘Well, let’s go to some remote state or country — anywhere on earth’ — but in doing a little research, I realized that these people broker toxic waste all over the world. They basically control the legislation; and in fact, they control the law. The law says no company can be fined over $25,000 a day. For companies making 10 million dollars a day by dumping lethal toxic waste into the ocean, it’s only ‘good business’ to continue doing this.

They influence the media so that they can control our minds. They have made it a crime to speak out for ourselves; and if we do so we are called ‘conspiracy nuts’ or laughed at.

We’re angry because we’re all being chemically and genetically damaged, and we don’t even realize it. And unfortunately, this will effect our children.

We go to work every day, and right under out noses we see our car and the car in front of us spewing noxious and poisonous gasses that are accumulative poisons. These poisons kill us slowly, even when we see no effect.

How many of us would have believed 20 years ago that on a certain day we wouldn’t be able to see 50 feet in front of us; that we wouldn’t be able to take a deep breath because the air would be a mass of poisonous gas; that we wouldn’t be able to drink out of our faucets; that we would have to buy water out of bottles; that the most common and God-given rights have been taken away from us; and unfortunately, the reality of our lives is so grim nobody wants to hear it.

Now I’ve been asked what we can do. I think we need a responsible body of people that can actually represent us, rather than big business. This body of people must not allow the introduction of anything into our environment that is not absolutely biodegradable or able to be chemically neutralized upon production.

And finally, as long as there is profit to be made from the polluting of our earth, companies and individuals will continue to do what they want. We have to force these companies to work safely and responsibly, and with all our best interest in mind, so that when they don’t, we can take back our resources and our hearts and our minds to do what’s right.”

     I feel you are now ready for this;

—Rob DeLoss, Warrenton, Oregon  May 15,2017

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