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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sheldon Wolin exposed our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new, terrifying creation of corporate power he calls "inverted totalitarianism."

He was one of the first to explain the transformation of our capitalist democracy into a new form of totalitarianism. He warned us of the consequences of unbridled empire or superpower. He called on us to rise up and resist.

Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state. Our inverted totalitarianism pays outward fealty to the facade of electoral politics, the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, and the iconography, traditions and language of American patriotism, but it has effectively seized all of the mechanisms of power to render the citizen impotent. read more


Friday, November 17, 2017

The death (or murder?) of CIA scientist Dr. Frank Olson hinted of an enormous secret CIA program into techniques of mind alteration and control. The enterprise was assigned the code-name MK-ULTRA and was headed in the 1950s by Willis Gibbons.

MK-ULTRA was inspired by reports of mind-control work in the Soviet Union and China. The CIA's Office of Security attempted to develop techniques in hypnosis, drugging, electro-shock therapy and even brain surgery on unsuspecting humans in various projects over twenty years whose object was to get an individual "to do our bidding against his will and even against such fundamental laws of nature as self-preservation."

The CIA labored secretly on poisons, gadgets to maim and kill, techniques and implements of torture reaching agonizing fruition. They also developed surveillance tools for espionage. All of these activities made the Technical Services Division a vital partner of the covert operations wing of the Agency. read more


An estimated 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota. Crews shut down the pipeline yesterday. Officials are investigating the cause of the leak, which occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst.

This was the second and largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota. The leak comes just days before Nebraska officials announce whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline can move forward. In April 2016, there was a 400-barrel release with most of the oil cleanup lasting two months.

The existing Keystone pipeline transports crude from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. It can handle about 23 million gallons daily. Operations began in 2010.

President Donald Trump issued a federal permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline in March after it had been rejected by the Obama administration. The Keystone XL project would move crude oil from Canada to existing pipelines feeding refineries along the Gulf Coast.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Throughout the campaign, Trump refused to release his tax returns claiming that he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This excuse disappeared on Election Day, when Trump claimed that the public had voted and decided they didn't care if Trump shared his returns.

Trump refused to either divest from his business empire or have his assets placed in a blind trust. Instead his holdings were placed in a revocable trust, which allows him to retake control at any time. His children have responsibility for running the business and daily access to their father.

Trump has appointed officials to head departments and regulatory agencies with closely ties to the industries they are supposed to regulate.

Trump openly uses his office to profit from his business. He also spends weekends at his various resorts where he causes the government to run up huge bills paying accommodations for his Secret Service protection, as well as for aides. read more


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

From members of Trump's cabinet to the British Royal Family, a document dump in offshore dealings shows how political leaders, rich celebrities and the ultra-rich shelter their assets, keep shady secrets and game the tax systems of nations around the globe.

This group are not subject to the law, by design, as the rest of us. The 'Paradise Papers' explain how these elites secretly manage their wealth. Economist Gabriel Zucman says the interplay between tax havens and global inequality are intricately linked. Sanders considers these extra legal operations the basis for an international Oligarchy.

A "trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump's billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of more than 120 politicians around the world. At the center of the leak is the law firm Appleby which operates in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. read more


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