All posts tagged: corruption

Jeremy Hunt and his war against ‘fake news’

Kevin Smith INTRODUCTION I thought it would be helpful to explain my general perspective on the media and the endless warmongering by our governments. One of my observations about many independent news sites is that while you can see much of the readership is enlightened and knowledgeable on these matters, sometimes people feeling vindicated for their beliefs retreat back to their comfort zones. For example, this site may include many discerning ex-Guardian readers who’ve seen the light and are content they are reading articles which represent their views. But what’s next? My thinking is we need to reach out to others and the way to do that is appeal to the ‘lurkers’ reading this site. In my experience on a site like this the majority of readers are lurkers and never comment because they are slightly behind the curve and don’t feel knowledgeable or confident enough to join the debate. So my take on this is that to some degree we now need to take the next step, gather what we know and put this …

The People vs Artificial Intelligence

In the fertile Arkansas Delta lies a small town called Cash. Its name is an Anglicized version of a nearby river, Cache, which in French means “hidden.” A cache is also a computer term.

It’s therefore ironic yet appropriate that one of Cash’s aldermen, Bradley Ledgerwood, helped discover a hidden artificial intelligence (AI) program that has devastated people living with physical disabilities in the state of Arkansas.

You might be asking, why does this matter to me?

Three Point Failure: The Guardian’s racist campaign against “dirty Russian money”

by Kit Since the initial press hysteria over the Skripal case, the major political parties of the UK have been clambering over each other in an effort to scale the highest peak of moral high ground. Every paper, pundit and career minded MP only too eager to denounce the inherent badness of Russia, and everything Russia-related. RT was attacked again – despite having literally nothing to do with the Skripal case – and threatened with having its broadcasting license revoked, whilst the Tories and Labour argued over who appeared on the channel the most. The “liberal” press, and even some Labour MPs who should know better, went on the attack over “dirty Russian money” in the Tory party. Just as in the US, with the ludicrous “Russia-gate” investigation, any kind of connection to Russia was treated as an automatic taint, and MPs and journalists alike rushed to wash themselves clean and make it clear they were the most anti-Russian. The pro-Corbyn Left missed the mark to greatest degree, overly keen to smash their “soft on …

America is one-dollar-one-vote, not one-person-one vote

Eric Zuesse The only comprehensive and scientific study which has ever been done of whether the U.S. is a democracy or instead a dictatorship, was published in 2014. It studied the period during 1981 through 2002, and it found that:  In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.” And this is quoting now directly from the study itself: The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” A study published two years later (in 2016) reviewed the entire relevant scientific literature and found that “responsiveness [to the American public’s preferences] seems to have declined during the late twentieth century” and might be getting worse yet than that: The picture appears to be even more ominous — that is, opinion and policy are negatively related — on highly salient issues that attract media attention.” Consequently: the more media-attention, the less that the Government’s policy will reflect the public’s preferences on the given issue. …

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton’s New Book

Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened”, a memoir of a fairly disastrous and ridiculously expensive Presidential campaign, went on sale a few days ago. Within hours it had over 1500 reviews on Amazon, many of them very, very negative. Amazon responded by deleting over 900 of them. 95% of those left are 5 star reviews. Zero Hedge have a great selection of screengrabs showing the progression. Putting aside the questions of corruption and corporate censorship, this is not new ground for Clinton’s camp, or for power structures in general. During the early stages of the Ukrainian coup in 2014, many mainstream news outlets (and especially the Guardian) responding to dissention in the comments by deleting swaths of them. That policy is the very reason this website exists. During the Presidential election the press was filled to the brim with babble, that never once touched on some important issues. American TV networks cut-off people mid-interview for saying the wrong thing. Three. Separate. Times. The media completely denied Clinton was sick, deriding it as a “conspiracy theory”, until …

Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For

Now, and for many decades past, the American public has displayed far higher confidence and trust in “The Military” than in any other “Institution” (including than churches, schools, the Presidency, the police, courts — any). And yet — according to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense — many billions, and sometimes even trillions, of dollars, in the Department’s periodic financial reports, are not documented.

Why are these oligarchs so concerned about African “corruption”?

Anton Du Plessis, of the ISS in South Africa, writes that “we” should no longer tolerate corruption in Africa undermining human rights.

Of course, when he says “we”, he doesn’t mean us. You and I – We don’t “tolerate” African corruption, for it is not in our power to do anything about such things. You know who does tolerate African corruption? Billionaires, oligarchs and corporate monopolies.

The Rise of the Corporatocracy

by Graham Vanbergen, via Transnational corporations are wreaking havoc on financial, economic, social and ecological systems in a creeping colonisation of public life where just 147 organisations now controls 40 per cent of global trade. We all have a feeling that something is not quite right any more. We know there is a creeping colonisation of public life by corporations because we know a slow motion coup d’état is taking place by transnational organisations facilitated by our political leaders. The incontrovertible proof stares at us in the face every day with wave after wave of financial, economic, social and ecological crisis. A clear and troublesome picture of corporate power has emerged in recent years where rising inequality is now simply the distinction of expanding corporate activity and those being left behind. A study in 2000 by Corporate Watch, Global Policy Forum and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) revealed some alarming facts about a rising corporatocracy that should have been brought to heel by western government’s years ago. Instead, corporations are now literally at …

Britain’s Tax Office, HMRC sold 600 state owned buildings to offshore property company

by Graham Vanbergen There are a number of interesting facts and figures emanating from the various offshore leaks of recent times. One of them involves Britain’s tax office HMRC, where there is a history of double dealing when it comes to tax haven transparency. Last February HSBC’s Swiss banking arm got caught ‘red-handed’ assisting wealthy customers concealing millions of dollars of assets and then literally and quite unbelievably found to be handing out bricks of untraceable currency to them. HSBC was, at the same time, providing these clients the facilities and information needed to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files. The leak clearly demonstrated that HSBC was providing account facilities to international criminals, corrupt businessmen and other high-risk individuals from all over the world, Britain included. The leaked HSBC files, which covered the period 2005-2007, amounted, at the time, to the biggest banking leak in history, shining a very bright light on about 30,000 accounts holding almost $120bn (£78bn) of assets, an average of £2.6 million …

Freedland: “I, for one, welcome our Corporate American Overlords”

American lawmakers are a global force for good, one for which we should all be grateful…according to the Guardian. Too often, according to Jonathan Freedland, the term “self-appointed global policeman”, when applied to America, is used in derogatory fashion because: …it serves as shorthand for the arrogance of American power, invading countries and imposing regime change, charging about the world heedless of everyone’s needs but its own. A war here or there, a fascist coup every now and then, these are just little foibles. The geo-political equivalent of putting the milk back empty, or clicking your knuckles.

How a Candidate’s Mega-Donors Get Served After the Election

by Eric Zuesse An example will be described here of a way in which corrupt Presidential candidates load up their campaigns’ advertising budgets by pushing for policies to increase the percentage of America’s prisoners who are locked away in for-profit prisons, corporate-owned prisons — basically, for those politicians pushing to privatize the imprisonment function of government. To provide depth in this account, we’ll focus specifically on privatization of the imprisonment of “illegal aliens” or “undocumented aliens.” (The official definition of that concept: “An ‘Undocumented Alien’ is an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended, or an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen ‘out of status’ and is deportable.”) We’ll also explain here why our government requires that at least 34,000 suspected ‘illegal aliens’ must be imprisoned at any given time. (Basically, it’s mandated in order to pad the profits of imprisonment-corporations. That’s how corrupt our country is, as will here be documented.) And we’ll discuss how the Obama Administration insists upon this 34,000-prisoner-minimum policy, …

America’s Founding Principles Are in Danger of Corruption

by Gary Hart, former United States Senator, via Welcome to the age of vanity politics and campaigns-for-hire. What would our founders make of this nightmare? Four qualities have distinguished republican government from ancient Athens forward: the sovereignty of the people; a sense of the common good; government dedicated to the commonwealth; and resistance to corruption. Measured against the standards established for republics from ancient times, the American Republic is massively corrupt. From Plato and Aristotle forward, corruption was meant to describe actions and decisions that put a narrow, special, or personal interest ahead of the interest of the public or commonwealth. Corruption did not have to stoop to money under the table, vote buying, or even renting out the Lincoln bedroom. In the governing of a republic, corruption was self-interest placed above the interest of all—the public interest. By that standard, can anyone seriously doubt that our republic, our government, is corrupt? There have been Teapot Domes and financial scandals of one kind or another throughout our nation’s history. There has never been a …

In the Grip of Corruption

by Vaska According to a Princeton University study, public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law. One thing that does have an influence? Money. Nearly every issue [Americans] face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption. Read more here.