When Corporate Power Is Your Real Government, Corporate Media Is State Media


31-07-20 02:55:00,

The New York Times published an astonishingly horrible article the other day titled “Latin America Is Facing a ‘Decline of Democracy’ Under the Pandemic” accusing governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua of exploiting Covid-19 to quash opposition and oppress democracy.

The article sources its jarringly propagandistic claims in multiple US government-funded narrative management operations like the Wilson Center and the National Endowment for Democracy-sponsored Freedom House, the extensively plutocrat-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the United States Naval Academy.

The crown jewel of this piece of State Department stenography reads as follows:

“Adding to these challenges, democracy in Latin America has also lost a champion in the United States, which had played an important role in promoting democracy after the end of the Cold War by financing good governance programs and calling out authoritarian abuses.”

Whoa, nelly.

I wanted to laugh but it isn’t funny that the New York Times thinks it’s okay to publish such a blatantly false statement. pic.twitter.com/cBlcf4aq1l

— Esha (@eshaLegal) July 30, 2020

The fact that America’s most widely regarded newspaper feels perfectly comfortable making such a spectacularly in-your-face lie on behalf of the US government tells you everything you need to know about what the mass media in America really are and what they do.

The United States has never at any time been a champion of democracy in Latin America, before or since the Cold War. It has intervened hundreds of times in the continent’s affairs throughout history with everything from murderous corporate colonialism to deadly CIA regime change operations to overt military invasions. It is currently trying to orchestrate a coup in Venezuela after failing to stage one during the Bush administration, it’s pushing regime change in Nicaragua, and The New York Times itself admitted this year that it was wrong to promote the false US government narrative of electoral shenanigans in Bolivia’s presidential race last year, a narrative which facilitated a bloody fascist coup.

This is propaganda.

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Corporate Karma – Gentechvrij


04-05-20 08:58:00,

Please share the video widely. Please share again and again.

A link to this video was contained in a joint press release (see below), between IRT and the German-based Coordination against BAYER-Dangers (CBG). On Thursday, April 23rd, our release went to about 700 European news outlets.

On Sunday, April 26th, CBD hosted Jeffrey at their online press event, which also featured a member of the European Parliament. Click here to view Jeffrey’s presentation.

Jeffrey also presented at the day-long online protest event that occurred in parallel with Bayer’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

He submitted two questions, with significant explanation, to be read during the shareholder meeting. Although Bayer claimed they read and answered every question during the meeting, they reduced his two minute explanation to a butchered 5 seconds. Bayer thereby depriving its shareholders and the public from hearing Jeffrey’s dire prediction about the company’s future, and specific remedies needed to help prevent bankruptcy.

What follows is the text of yesterday’s press release provides Jeffrey’s analysis and recommendations.

Press Release

Bayer Ignores Investigator’s Warning at AGM: 

“Change Course or Face Possible Bankruptcy”

Bonn, Germany, 29 April— For Bayer’s Annual General Meeting yesterday, Monsanto investigator Jeffrey Smith predicted that Bayer will face possible bankruptcy from a new wave of lawsuits linking Roundup herbicide to numerous diseases, and that the current expected payout of up to $12 billion to more than 50,000 plaintiffs with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is only the beginning. In questions submitted at Bayer’s AGM and elaborated in a short video and online presentations, Smith, the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, said Roundup is now implicated in several other cancers and more than 2 dozen diseases. “The total number of people suffering from these conditions is staggering,” wrote Smith, “thousands of times more than those currently represented. If even a tiny percentage were to receive a settlement, the award could easily bankrupt Bayer.”

In 2019, Bayer shareholders gave their leadership an unprecedented Vote of No Confidence due to its ill-fated purchase of Monsanto, the maker of Roundup. Massive jury awards in just three trials by four plaintiffs had previously caused Bayer’s stock price to plummet by more than 35% and forced its chairman to step down yesterday.

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Corporate Socialism: The Government Is Bailing Out Investors & Managers, Not You


27-03-20 08:22:00,

Authored by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Spitznagel via Medium.com,

The U.S. government is enacting measures to save the airlines, Boeing, and similarly affected corporations. While we clearly insist that these companies must be saved, there may be ethical, economic, and structural problems associated with the details of the execution.

As a matter of fact, if you study the history of bailouts, there will be.

Saving Those on the Medusa

The bailouts of 2008–9 saved the banks (but mostly the bankers), thanks to the execution by then-treasury secretary Timothy Geithner who fought for bank executives against both Congress and some other members of the Obama administration. Bankers who lost more money than ever earned in the history of banking, received the largest bonus pool in the history of banking less than two years later, in 2010.

And, suspiciously, only a few years later, Geithner received a highly paid position in the finance industry.

That was a blatant case of corporate socialism and a reward to an industry whose managers are stopped out by the taxpayer. The asymmetry (moral hazard) and what we call optionality for the bankers can be expressed as follows: heads and the bankers win, tails and the taxpayer loses. Furthermore, this does not count the policy of quantitative easing that went to inflate asset values and increased inequality by benefiting the super rich. Remember that bailouts come with printed money, which effectively deflate the wages of the middle class in relation to asset values such as ultra-luxury apartments in New York City.

The Generalized Bob Rubin Trade: Keep the profits, transfer losses to taxpayers. Named after Bob Rubin who pocketed 120 million dollars from Citi but claimed uncertainty and kept past bonuses. This encourages anyone to never be insured for such eventualities since the government will pick up the tab.

If It’s Bailed Out, It’s a Utility

First, we must not conflate airlines as a physical company with the financial structure involved. Nor should we conflate the fate of the employees of the airlines with the unemployment of our fellow citizens, which can be directly compensated rather than indirectly via leftovers of corporate subsidies.

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The Corporate Debt Bubble Is A Train Wreck In Slow Motion – Activist Post


23-01-20 10:41:00,

By Brandon Smith

There are two subjects that the mainstream media seems specifically determined to avoid discussing these days when it comes to the economy – the first is the problem of falling global demand for goods and services; they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the fact that demand is going stagnant and will conjure all kinds of rationalizations to distract from the issue. The other subject is the debt bubble, the corporate debt bubble in particular.

These two factors alone guarantee a massive shock to the global economy and the US economy are built into the system, but I believe corporate debt is the key pillar of the false economy.  It has been utilized time and time again to keep the Everything Bubble from completely deflating; however, the fundamentals are starting to catch up to the fantasy.

For example, in terms of stock markets, which are now meaningless as an indicator of the health of the real economy, corporate stock buybacks have been the single most vital mechanism for inflation. Corporations buy their own stocks, often using cash borrowed from each other and from the Federal Reserve, in order to reduce the number of shares on the market and artificially boost the value of the remaining shares. This process is essentially legal manipulation of equities, and to be sure, it has been effective so far at keeping markets elevated.

The problem is that these same corporations are taking on more and more debt through interest payments in order to maintain the facade. Over the period of a decade, corporate debt has skyrocketed back to levels not seen since 2007, just before the credit crisis. The official corporate debt load now stands at over $10 trillion, and that’s not even counting derivatives exposure.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the amount of derivatives still held by corporations stands at around $544 trillion in notional value (theoretical value), while the current market value is only around $10 trillion.  This is a massive discrepancy that can only lead to disaster.

In terms of debt-to-GDP, the credit cycle peak has spiked beyond any other peak in the past 40 years.

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Zero Percent of US Corporate Media Commentators Oppose Regime Change in Venezuela – Global Research


01-05-19 12:57:00,

A FAIR survey of US opinion journalism on Venezuela found no voices in elite corporate media that opposed regime change in that country. Over a three-month period (1/15/19–4/15/19), zero opinion pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post took an anti–regime change or pro-Maduro/Chavista position. Not a single commentator on the big three Sunday morning talkshows or PBS NewsHour came out against President Nicolás Maduro stepping down from the Venezuelan government.

Of the 76 total articles, opinion videos or TV commentator segments that centered on or gave more than passing attention to Venezuela, 54 (72 percent) expressed explicit support for the Maduro administration’s ouster. Eleven (14 percent) were ambiguous, but were only classified as such for lack of explicit language. Reading between the lines, most of these were clearly also pro–regime change. Another 11 (14 percent) took no position, but many similarly offered ideological ammo for those in support.

The Times published 22 pro–regime change commentaries, three ambiguous and five without a position. The Post also spared no space for the pro-Chavista camp: 22 of its articles expressed support for the end to Maduro’s administration, eight were ambiguous and four took no position. Of the 12 TV opinions surveyed, 10 were pro-regime change and two took no position.

(The Times and Post pieces were found through a Nexis search for “Venezuela” between 1/15/19–4/15/19 using each paper as a source, narrowed to opinion articles and editorials. The search was supplemented with an examination of each outlet’s opinion/blog pages. The TV commentary segments were found through Nexis searches for “Venezuela” and the name of the talkshow during the same time period, in the folders of the corresponding television network: NBC News/CBS Newstranscripts, ABC News transcripts, and PBS NewsHour. Non-opinion TV news segments were omitted. The full list of items included can be found here.)

Corporate news coverage of Venezuela can only be described as a full-scale marketing campaign for regime change. If you’ve been reading FAIR recently (1/25/19, 2/9/19, 3/16/19)—or, indeed, since the early 2000s (4/18/02; Extra!, 11–12/05)—the anti-Maduro unanimity espoused in the most influential US media should come as no surprise.

This comes despite the existence of millions of Venezuelans who support Maduro—who was democratically elected twice by the same electoral system that won Juan Guaidó his seat in the National Assembly—and oppose US/foreign intervention.

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5G Corporate Grail | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda


16-12-18 05:28:00,

Smart cities/dumb people?
Joyce Nelson

November 5, 2018

Photo by Alan Levine CC, cropped from original

There’s a lot of hype about 5G, the fifth-generation wireless technology that is being rolled out in various “5G test beds” in major cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, and Los Angeles. But it’s hard to see why we should be excited. Proponents talk about the facilitation of driverless vehicles and car-to-car “talk,” better Virtual Reality equipment, and, of course, “The Internet of Things” (IoT) – the holy grail of Big Tech that is just vague enough to sound sort of promising.

But when it comes to specifics, there seems to be a lot of hot air in the IoT bag.

For example, in March 2018, Canada’s Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, while pumping $400 million into 5G test beds, reportedly “gushed” about IoT applications, including “refrigerators that monitor food levels and automatically order fresh groceries.”

Then there is the 5G proponent who enthused to CBC News (March 19, 2018) about “augmented reality headsets” being replaced by “a pair of normal looking glasses,” which everyone would be wearing in 10 years. Those glasses would “automatically recognize everyone you meet, and possibly be able to overlay their name in your field of vision, along with a link to their online profile.”

Apparently, the future human will be too brain-addled to make a grocery list or remember the names of acquaintances… which may not be the image that 5G proponents are hoping for.

“There are thousands of published studies that show that even low levels of microwave radiation do cause a biological effect.”

Amidst all the 5G hype, it’s rare to find a blunt statement like this one from Eluxe Magazine’s Jody McCutcheon: “Until now mobile broadband networks have been designed to meet the needs of people. But 5G has been created with machines’ needs in mind, offering low-latency, high-efficiency data transfer…. We humans won’t notice the difference [in data transfer speeds], but it will permit machines to achieve near-seamless communication. Which in itself may open a whole Pandora’s box of trouble for us – and our planet.”

Box of trouble

Many scientists would say that box of trouble has already been opened by earlier wireless technologies,

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Meet Ten Corporate Giants Helping Israel Massacre Gaza Protesters – Global Research

Meet Ten Corporate Giants Helping Israel Massacre Gaza Protesters – Global Research

15-10-18 09:18:00,

As Israeli soldiers gun down unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in the Great March of Return, their lethal operations depend on an array of contractors and suppliers, many of them companies based outside Israel.

“The Israeli military relies on a network of international companies, supplying everything from sniper rifles to tear gas, to carry out its massacres of protesters in Gaza,” Tom Anderson, a researcher for Corporate Occupation, told MintPress News. “These companies are knowingly supporting war crimes, and are complicit in state-orchestrated murder.”

Since the mobilization began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed 205 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory reported on October 4.

There have been 21,288 injured, including 5,345 from live ammunition, resulting in 11,180 hospitalizations. Thirty-eight of the dead and 4,250 of the wounded were children.

A press release accompanying a September 25 report by the World Bank warned, “The economy in Gaza is collapsing,” adding that “the decade-long blockade is the core issue.”

Corporate Occupation and the American Friends Service Committee, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, and Who Profitsmaintain comprehensive lists of corporations enabling Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.

Here are a few of them:

Caterpillar, Inc.

Caterpillar is known internationally for Israel’s use of its bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and inside Israel itself, as well as for its role in the killing of Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement activist from the United States, who was crushed to death by one of the company’s Israel-operated machines in the southern Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. In Gaza, Caterpillar is notorious for Israel’s deployment of its equipment to reinforce a military barrier around the Strip, as well as to level Palestinian farmland inside it. These levelingoperations both destroy Palestinian agriculture, keeping Gaza a captive market for Israeli producers, and maintain a clear line of fire for Israeli soldiers to shoot Palestinians.

Combined Systems, Inc.

Combined Systems — a Jamestown, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer owned by Point Lookout Capital and the Carlyle Group — supplies light weaponry and security equipment,

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Corporate Media Is Beating the Drum of War With Iran

Corporate Media Is Beating the Drum of War With Iran

05-10-18 07:27:00,

Three years ago, as Americans debated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran—popularly known as “the Iran deal”—I highlighted a troubling media trend on FAIR.org (8/20/15): “For nearly all commentators, regardless of their position, war is the only alternative to that position.”

In the months since US President Donald Trump tore up the JCPOA agreement, his administration has been trying to make good on corporate media’s collective prediction. Last week, John Bolton (BBC,9/26/18), Trump’s national security advisor and chief warmonger, told Iran’s leaders and the world that there would be “hell to pay” if they dare to “cross us.”

That Bolton’s bellicose statements do not send shockwaves of pure horror across a debt-strapped and war-weary United States is thanks in large part to incessant priming for war, facilitated by corporate media across the entire political spectrum, with a particular focus on Iran.

Back in 2015, while current “resistance” stalwarts like the Washington Post (4/2/15) and Politico (8/11/15) warned us that war with Iran was the most likely alternative to the JCPOA, conservative standard-bearers such as Fox News (7/14/15) and the Washington Times (8/10/15) foretold that war with Iran was the agreement’s most likely outcome. Three years hence, this dynamic has not changed.

To experience the full menu of US media’s single-mindedness about Iran, one need only buy a subscription to the New York Times. After Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, the Times’ editorial board (5/8/18) wrote that his move would “lay conditions for a possible wider war in the Middle East.” Susan Rice (New York Times, 5/8/18), President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, agreed: “We could face the choice of going to war or acquiescing to a nuclear-armed Iran,” she warned. Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte (New York Times, 5/10/18) was characteristically more direct, penning an image of Trump alongside Bolton, holding a fictitious new agreement featuring the singular, ultimate word: “WAR.”

On the other hand, calling Trump’s turn against JCPOA a “courageous decision,” Times columnist Bret Stephens (5/8/18) explained that the move was meant to force the Iranian government to make a choice: Either accede to US demands or “pursue their nuclear ambitions at the cost of economic ruin and possible war.” (Hardly courageous,

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Corporate Food Brands Driving the Massive Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

Corporate Food Brands Driving the Massive Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

28-08-18 05:32:00,

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Whole Foods bills itself as “America’s healthiest grocery store,” but what it’s doing to the environment is anything but healthy. According to a new report, the chain is helping to drive one of the nation’s worst human-made environmental disasters: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

By not requiring environmental safeguards from its meat suppliers, the world’s largest natural and organic foods supermarket — and most of its big-brand counterparts in the retail food industry, like McDonald’s, Subway and Target — are sourcing and selling meat from some of the worst polluters in agribusiness, including Tyson Foods and Cargill. The animal waste and fertilizer runoff from their industrial farms end up in the Gulf of Mexico, where each summer, a growing marine wasteland spreads for thousands of miles, leaving countless dead wildlife in its oxygen-depleted wake.

“The major meat producers like Tyson and Cargill that have consolidated control over the market have the leverage to dramatically improve the supply chain,” according to the report, which was released by Mighty Earth, an environmental action group based in Washington, DC. “Yet to date they have done little,” the report’s authors note, “ignoring public concerns and allowing the environmentally damaging practices for feeding and raising meat to expand largely unchecked.”

How animal feed moves through the meat supply chain.How animal feed moves through the meat supply chain.Mighty Earth

On August 2, the day the report was released, those public concerns found a voice as citizens, environmentalists and sustainability advocates gathered outside Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, Texas, to deliver 95,000 petition signatures demanding that the company hold its meat suppliers accountable for their role in destroying the environment.

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How Corporate America Funded the Third Reich | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

How Corporate America Funded the Third Reich | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

17-08-18 01:52:00,

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

Read Part I here.

The context

A little context is mandatory to perfectly define the message that Rudolf was carrying. The outstanding works of researchers such as Anthony Sutton and Charles Higham are critical in our understanding of the real historical context surrounding the creation of the Nazi war machine. When in 1933 Hitler accessed to the Chancellery in the Reichstag, Germany was in financial limbo. Worst, the nation was in the gutters of limbs. It owed tens of billions in reparations for WW1, and its inability to comply had provoked a gargantuan-scale inflation crisis on the mark in 1923 that cut the currency to 1/500 billionth of its original value. To make matters worse, the country suffered along everyone the world Crash of 1929. So how in the world was Germany able to eradicate unemployment and create the most formidable military machine the world had ever seen in just 6 years? Over achievement is under rated when it comes to explain the German Miracle of the ’30s.

The first tool that is required in our investigator’s toolbox is to admit the very documented fact that the Bank of England, controlled by the Rothschild family, had been involved in the financing of the Nazis. It had become a common procedure for the rich European banking family to fund enemies as well as allies, in order to make profits from both sides of wars since Napoleon. The self-proclaimed French Emperor of the early 19th century had been hired as a proxy by Rothschild who wanted to impose his private central banks in the conquered countries. So, the heirs of the Rothschild family saw in Hitler their next Napoleon, who would submit rival colonial empires like Belgium, the Netherlands and France, as well as destroying the mighty USSR, in order to singlehandedly take the reins of the New World Order, which is simply the economical and political ruling of the whole planet by a handful of bankers. Even though the New World Order sounds like a supercharged conspiracy theory, it’s an indisputable and quite simple concept.


Even if the infamous banking family helped the Führer,

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Near-Lowest Ever US Corporate Taxes: Great Wealth Transfer Heist from Ordinary Americans to Corporate Billionaires | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Near-Lowest Ever US Corporate Taxes: Great Wealth Transfer Heist from Ordinary Americans to Corporate Billionaires | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

30-07-18 07:07:00,

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

The great 2017 GOP tax cut swindle reduced the nominal corporate rate from 35 – 21% – the lowest US percentage since 1940 at the onset of WW II.

Corporations in America don’t pay the nominal rate. Most pay little more than one-third that amount or less. Some corporate giants pay little or get rebates despite earning profits.

The corporate share of federal taxes has been falling for decades. They’ve paid no taxes on trillions of dollars stashed in offshore subsidiaries and tax havens, the precise number unknown because it’s not reported.

Wealthy individuals do the same thing to avoid taxes. Various other schemes are used by corporate predators and high-net worth individuals to pay minimum or no taxes.

The great GOP tax cut swindle made it easier for them to shift much of the tax burden from them to ordinary Americans struggling to get by.

Corporate tax cuts don’t create jobs or stimulate economic growth, as falsely touted. Corporate predators largely use their windfall for greater executive pay and bonuses, increased stock buybacks, along with extra funds for mergers and acquisitions, not pay raises or increased benefits for workers.

Tax cuts putting more money in the pockets of ordinary people are stimulative. When they have more money they spend it. Super-rich ones use tax windfalls for investments to gain greater wealth.

The Trump regime and GOP-controlled Congress took a giant step last year toward more greatly shifting the nation’s tax burden to ordinary Americans – accelerating the unprecedented transfer of wealth from them to corporate predators and high-net worth individuals.

Americans for Tax Fairness explained the following:

  • Corporate tax revenues plummeted to the lowest amount in modern times.
  • GDP growth since last year’s GOP tax cut heist “has been unremarkable…as measured by real GDP,” not inflated or manipulated numbers.
  • Inflation-adjusted wage growth “stagnated” post-cuts.
  • Low unemployment is pure fantasy, underemployment affecting most US workers unreported officially and by media  – my comments, not ATF’s.
  • “No evidence of an investment boom since the tax cuts” exists.
  • “Few employers have announced raises or one-time bonuses or new investments.”
  • “Corporate tax cuts are going mostly to wealthy shareholders and CEOs through stock buybacks.”

In 2014,

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Corporate Giant Demands Crackdown on Independent and Alternative Internet Content, Call for Online Censorship | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Corporate Giant Demands Crackdown on Independent and Alternative Internet Content, Call for Online Censorship | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

15-02-18 12:26:00,

The drive to censor the Internet took another step this week with a public statement by Keith Weed, the chief marketing officer for the London-based multinational Unilever, threatening to withdraw advertising from social media platforms if they fail to suppress “toxic content.”

Weed reportedly told an annual leadership meeting of the Interactive Advertising Bureau in Palm Desert, California that the company “will not invest in platforms or environments” that “create divisions in society, and promote anger or hate.” He added,

“We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society.”

Excerpts of Weed’s remarks—the most explicit of their kind from a major corporate executive—were leaked to several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. They were immediately featured on NBC News and other major American news outlets on Sunday. The Journal’s report was accompanied by an interview with Weed.

The coordinated release was designed to escalate the propaganda offensive by the Democratic Party and US intelligence agencies, together with the corporate media, for Internet censorship. The fraudulent premise for this assault on freedom of speech, both in the US and across Europe, is the claim that political opposition and social tensions are the product not of poverty, inequality and policies of austerity and militarism, but of “fake news” spread by Russia through social media.

Weed’s statements preceded yesterday’s US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, which witnessed a series of hysterical denunciations of Russia by politicians and intelligence agents. The Democratic vice-chairman of the committee, Mark Warner of Virginia, declared that Russia “utilized our social media platforms to push and spread misinformation at an unprecedented scale.”

Facebook responded to Weed’s threats by declaring,

“[W]e fully support Unilever’s commitments and are working closely with them.”

The Journal stated that Unilever “has already held discussions” with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap and Amazon “to share ideas about what each can do to improve.”

Weed absurdly framed his demand for censorship, made on behalf of a multibillion-dollar global corporation, as the expression of popular anger over the supposed spread of “fake news.” He referred to research showing a decline in trust in social media and a “perceived lack of focus” in the form of “illegal,

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Corporate online surveillance in everyday life | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Corporate online surveillance in everyday life | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

24-01-18 09:32:00,

A comprehensive guide to corporate online surveillance in everyday life

Cracked Labs’ massive report on online surveillance by corporations dissects all the different ways in which our digital lives are tracked, from the ad-beacons that follow us around the web to the apps that track our physical locations as we move around the world.

Importantly, the report shows how tracking companies join up the dots we leave behind, creating stable identifiers that can connect the data-trails from purchases, apps, devices, and clicks, creating a fantastically detailed picture of our lives built up our of these fragmentary details.

We’re creating viewer supported news. Become a member! Click Here!

This is important because each little fragmentary disclosure can feel harmless at the time, but once they’re merged into a unitary whole, the picture they from is disturbingly detailed.

I think that these disclosures are a bit like puffs on a cigarette. Any one puff on a smoke is probably not going to harm you, but statistically, if you take enough puffs, one of them will lead to a tumor, but it will be years down the road. You have to quit smoking before it manifests its worst harms to avoid those harms.

Likewise, any one tracked click, invasive app or loyalty card will not harm you, but leak enough personal info and eventually it will end up in a silo that gets spilled all over the web, or used by a merchant to profile you and gouge you, or by a political spin-doctor to try to manipulate your votes. These harms will only rise to the level of noticeability once it’s too late for you.

Smokers often quit when people who’ve been at it longer than them — their parents, say — contract horrible, smoking-related illnesses. By highlighting the plights of people caught in today’s breaches, we may be able to get people to take action on their own behalf before it’s too late.

In the meantime, there’s only four months before the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect, which will make almost all the practices described in this report illegal, on penalty of hundreds of millions in fines. No one has really done anything to prepare for this imminent day — they seem to be playing chicken with the EU,

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Corporate Mining in Latin America is the Source of Social Conflict: “The Andes now Resembles a War Zone” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Corporate Mining in Latin America is the Source of Social Conflict: “The Andes now Resembles a War Zone” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

10-01-18 07:39:00,

Featured image: Las Bambas is potentially the second largest mine in the world in terms of copper production. Despite the opposition of communities, the project continues under construction by the MMG company supported by the Peruvian state. (Source: Environmental Justice Atlas)

Mining conflicts are not uncommon in Latin America, but the Andes now resembles a war zone. In Peru – the world’s number-two producer of copper, zinc and silver – many peasant groups are revolting. Mining accounts for 12 percent of Peru’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 57 percent of its exports. As it’s mining export grows, so does it’s number of mining conflicts.

Clashes between demonstrators and the authorities between 2015 and 2016 left four dead following the opening of the Las Bambas mine – owned by Chinese companies – displaced thousands of people.

But Peru is just one hotspot. A recent study ‘did the math’ on the link between growth in mining exports and growth in environmental conflicts across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

So-called externalities

The correlation is almost perfect, thereby debunking the carefully crafted myths around new and better corporate social responsibility and sustainable mining. The study was based on Environmental Justice Atlas data from 244 environmental conflicts.

The El Cerrejon mine in Colombia is also one of them. The Colombian Government left the structure completely in the hands of foreign capital – not only with regards to its administrative, structural and financial aspects, but also including rights on all the territory that such exploitation embraced.

Entire populations of indigenous peoples and farmers were forcibly displaced. Polluting the only available water sources was just part of a strategy to make the remaining communities move away when investors wanted to expand the mine. With billions of dollars at stake, anything goes.

What happens in the Andes is related to what happens elsewhere. The last half century has been marked strongly by what economists call ‘the theory of comparative advantage’. This proposes that local communities specialise is a limited number of commodities which they can then trade globally.

But when this model is taken to extremes, the so-called externalities – costs to society not recorded on the company balance sheet – bite back. 

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