Newsletter – Culture Of Deception
A recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, “The Climate Deception Dossiers,” proves that the corporations which profit from the burning of fossil fuels knew about global warming decades ago, knew their industries contributed to it and responded by funding propaganda to deny global warming and pushing policies that increased their profits at the expense of a livable future.
In “We are all Greeks Now,” Chris Hedges connects corporate capitalism to the many crises we face. He writes, “Corporate profit is God. It does not matter who suffers.” When profit is worshiped, truth is sacrificed and all manner of deception is justified.
The little known Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hides below the train tracks on First St. in Washington, DC. With its rapidly revolving door between Big Energy and “regulators,” employees must be confused about whom they serve, especially since the FERC is completely financed by the fees it charges for new oil and gas infrastructure permits. Instead of considering the impact of new projects on communities and the climate crisis, the FERC continues to lock us into a dirty fossil fuel future at a time when we should be investing entirely in clean sustainable energy.
Beyond Extreme Energy regularly protests at the FERC to deliver the voices of front line communities and to demand “No new permits!” One community is in Lusby, Maryland where FERC permitted Dominion’s dangerous fracked gas refinery and export terminal in the densely-populated neighborhood of Cove Point. Dominion lied about the population size, leaving 90% out, but FERC approved the permit anyway and denied a re-hearing when the omission was brought to their attention. The residents of Cove Point and allies are fighting back because this project will drive fracking, pipelines and compressor stations up and down the East Coast, but they need your help. Click here to learn more and donate to their IndieGoGo campaign.
Residents of Portland, OR, a city known for its commitment to sustainability, are finding that this image is a mirage and are mapping the deep tentacles of the fossil fuel industry there so they can resist them.
Communities of color have been on the front lines of exploitation for profit since the founding of this nation. Racism is systemic in the United States. Indigenous resistance and the Black Lives Matter movement are changing the national dialogue, which is positive but we have a long way to go to build real solidarity that will change the system.
One opportunity is to stand in solidarity with the Apache Stronghold Caravan that is headed to Washington, DC to protest their sacred land, Oak Flat, being given to a copper mining corporation. They will have a rally at the Capitol on July 22. In addition to stealing land, the state also takes Indigenous children from their homes, a long legacy that continues today, as Britney Schultz explains.
John Metta’s article, “I Don’t Discuss Racism With White People,” stimulated a lot of discussion this week. If you haven’t read it, we recommend it. We also recommend the writings of political prisoners Rev. Edward Pinkney and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and this open letter about President Obama by Thomas Ruffin, Jr.
This was a “Week of Righteous Resistance” organized by Black Lives Matter. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Eric Garner’s murder and though the family received a large monetary settlement, they still seek justice. The anniversary was marked by a large protest in New York City that resulted in mass arrests. Protests also took place in Hempstead, Texas over the death of activist and academic, Sandra Bland.
The International People’s Tribunal is holding several days of activities in Washington, DC this week to bring attention to the collaboration between the US and Philippines in the ‘war on terror’ that is causing disappearances, torture and the murder of hundreds of people and the displacement of tens of thousands. With the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in just a few weeks, thousands protested in Tokyo as the Diet moved to change the constitution so that Japan could join forces with the US in the Asian Pivot.
The United States and Iran reached an agreement on the manufactured “nuclear crisis,” but it is not complete yet. Bruce Gagnon writes that Israel, Saudi Arabia and members of Congress in the US will still try to kill it. Click here to send Congress a message.
There needs to be more discussion of the extermination of Yemenis that began in earnest this March. William Boardman exposes the myths about Yemen and the media silence in this article. And if you remember the ‘terror warnings’ around July 4, Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake reveals the FBI’s manufactured crisis.
The US domestic military exercises in our cities and states continue this week with the launch of Operation Jade Helm. To keep an eye on them, hundreds of people organized “Operation Counter Jade Helm.” And public pressure has finally resulted in some accountability for torture; three senior officials with the American Psychological Association were fired after a report found them to be complicit.
This week, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted an austerity agreement with the EU that is worse than the one Greek residents overwhemingly rejected in a ballot referendum the day before. Immediately afterwards, protesters around the world spread”#ThisIsACoup on social media. Solidarity actions were held on the day that the EU Parliament voted on it and 201 members of the Central Committee of SYRIZA expressed their disagreement with the package. In this revealing interview, former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis describes what happened. John Pilger criticizes SYRIZA in “The Problem of Greece: A Tragedy and a Lie.” A greater threat to the economic stability of the EU are the German banks; Deutsche Bank alone holds risky “derivatives” equal to the GDP of the whole world.
Puerto Rico is also suffering from a debt crisis caused in part by US policies that spurred manufacturers to move their operations there and then disinvest when financial advantages were taken away. Although Puerto Rico has been in recession for the past ten years, lawmakers are proposing austerity measures to finance the debt.
The triad of treaties (TransPacific Partnership, TPP; TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP; and Trade-in-Services Agreement, TiSA) will create a situation that puts all but the financial elite at risk of further economic instability. Here is an update on the TTIP, this week the European Parliament decided to move forward with negotiations after making major recommended changes to Trade Tribunals. The next round of TPP negotiations are scheduled the end of July in Maui and protests are being planned. Popular Resistance bird dogged Rep. Delaney this week, and Sen. Wyden will be protested in Medford, OR tomorrow. August is an important time to bird dog Congress because members will be home. Click here to join the TPP Resistance.
Michael Snyder predicts another major economic turn down in the United States, evidenced in part by the more than 6,000 retail stores that are closing. As US hegemony gasps and falters, alternative institutions are being built. Michael Whitney reports on the recent BRICS summit which is creating an alternative to the US-dominated International Monetary Fund. In Mexico, a caravan has begun its journey to teach about ‘Buen Vivir’ (living well), how to build autonomous resistance and create systems that provide a good life.
We close with this quote from Chris Hedges:
“The economic and political ideology that convinced us that organized human behavior should be determined by the dictates of the global marketplace was a con game. We were the suckers. The promised prosperity from trickle-down economics and the free market instead concentrated wealth among a few and destroyed the working and the middle classes along with all vestiges of democracy. Corrupt governments, ignoring the common good and the consent of the governed, abetted this pillage. The fossil fuel industry was licensed to ravage the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species, while being handed lavish government subsidies. None of this makes sense.”
It is essential in this culture of deception that we understand what is going on and the interconnections of the root causes to our struggles. Harry Targ describes this intersectionality and tells us that austerity is uniting the world in revolt.