Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Archive for the 'Corruption Watch' Category

NEWS WATCH! CHENEY REPORTEDLY TAKES KNIFE TO CLIMATE TESTIMONY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans on July 8th, 2008

ALLEGEDLY SHREDS THE SECTION LINKING CLIMATE CHANGE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

cheneycowboyhat.jpgEver the oilman, Vice President Dick Cheney stands accused, today, of pushing for major deletions in congressional testimony linking the health of the general public to climate change. Per a former EPA official quoted by the Associated Press in their posting on the matter, earlier today, the ‘Dark Lord’ was concerned that the presentation of the data “might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases”.

Continue reading

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

BUSH ADMIN BUCKLES AND GRANTS PROTECTED SPECIES STATUS TO THE ALASKAN POLAR BEAR

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on May 20th, 2008

BUT DID THE RULING COME IN TIME TO SAVE THE POLAR BEAR?

polarbearice_djc.jpgWell, the good news, if you can call it that, is that the polar bear got finally some protection from the Bush Administration last week. The bad news is that in typical George Bush fashion, the ruling granting endangered species protection to the polar bear is chocked so full of loopholes favoring the oil companies and other corporate polluters that many, including Natural Resources Defense Council President, Frances Beinecke, believe that it will be years and a number of successful court battles before the legislation “offers any real protections”.

Sadly this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the workings of the Bush administration, particularly when it comes to protecting the environment. Specifically speaking, one can only wonder if the polar bears, already living on borrowed time, will even be around by the time the Bush Administration’s ruling works its way through our court system, and is challenged by every two-bit polluter and oil company despot who ever bribed a congressman, or funneled undeclared money to a lobbyist?

The facts in this matter are indisputable; as I write this, the polar bears natural habitat is melting out from underneath them far more rapidly than even the most aggressive predictions had foreseen. Now I might be paranoid in making this observation, but as I see it, the only reason that the Bush administration finally went ahead and granted endangered species protection to the polar bears, after years of stonewalling, was because they knew that by the time that the ruling had withstood all challenges, Global Warming would have destroyed most of the Polar bears remaining habitat and the matter would become moot. Either way, with less than a year remaining on George Bush’s term, this matter would be someone else’s problem.

As angry as this sort of political gamesmanship makes me, I have to keep reminding myself that we are talking about a species of animal here, and in the Bush administration and corporate America’s worldview – an all too prevalent worldview in America today – the plight of animals means little when weighed against the potential for profit.

It is no secret that the oil companies have been maneuvering for some time now to get the right to drill in the Alaskan Wilderness preserve. Millions of dollars have been spent to sell this to the American people as the only viable way to end our nation’s dependence on middle eastern oil, and by extension the problems that come along with doing business in that region

The only problem with this contention is that it is not true. Granted it sounds plausible and to a nation of people concerned for their and their family’s future, sounding plausible is often all that it takes.

For the record, the only way to break our dependence on foreign oil is for this country to get behind cleaner, more modern power technologies such as wind, solar, hydrogen and cellulosic ethanol. Corn based ethanol, the standard in this country, is a fine example of what happens when corporations are allowed to dictate policy to politicians. Not only has this movement created worldwide food shortages, but the little publicized fact is that it takes more than a gallon of fossil fuels to make a gallon of corn based ethanol. More importantly, a gallon of corn based ethanol is only about 70% as effective as a gallon of the fossil fuels that it aims to replace.

So who benefits from this exercise, other than the corporations making the ethanol and receiving generous federal subsidies to do so? Certainly not you and me, that’s for sure! But this is a matter for another posting, so we won’t dwell on it here.

Returning to the protected species ruling, the oil companies’ official position is that it will prevent them from drilling in much of the wilderness. They further note that the ruling will force the establishment of buffer zones to protect nursing mother bears and their cubs from the deafening seismic testing, frequent spills, and other distractions so much a part of modern energy exploration.

Now in a better world, this ruling would be a catalyst for change, a reason to begin aggressively developing new sources of energy. But not here! Here it is just a cause for law suits pitting well heeled hired guns against an already overworked and underpaid infrastructure, bled to the bone by a president concerned for little other than that which benefits his rich friends. Sharing the blame for this is a corporate structure that would rather exploit existing technologies regardless of their potential harm to mankind then to spend the money required to make any of the newer technologies commercially viable.

To change this will take leadership the likes of which this country has not seen in seventy years, not since the days of Franklyn Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. To change this will take great courage, courage of the sort exemplified by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and the previously noted FDR, but which we have not seen lately in this country.

One thing is certain, we cannot continue for much longer on the path on which we are heading, not and retain the essence of what is great about this country.

So my friends, it is up to each and every one of us to make this happen. The alternative is just too horrible to consider.

-LIB

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

NEWS WATCH! JUDGE TELLS BUSH TO STOP STONEWALLING THE POLAR BEARS

Posted in Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Humane Treatment of Animals, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Sustainable Values on May 8th, 2008

ADMINISTRATION ORDERED TO DECIDE ON POLAR BEARS ELIGIBILITY FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION BY MAY 15th

polarbearice_djc.jpgGood news for our furry white friends, the Polar Bears, came earlier this week when a courageous federal judge ruled that the Bush Administration had violated federal law by delaying it’s decision as to whether it will allow polar bears to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act.

In her ruling, Judge Claudia Wilken of Federal District Court in Oakland, Calif., ordered the Bushies to make such a decision by May 15th or be held in contempt of court. Additionally the judge ordered that the decision take effect immediately, setting aside the usual 30-day grace period

Currently, our nation’s polar bear population faces the threat of extinction from rising temperatures and rapidly melting sea ice, two conditions, which have caused food shortages, and led to the destruction of much of their native Alaskan habitat.

Kudos to our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Biological Diversity, and Greenpeace for pursuing and financing the litigation, which led to this important victory.

Not surprisingly, the boys and girls in the executive branch have used the delay to ram through questionable gas and oil leases in the area in question.

Additionally, if I had to venture a guess as to whether the polar bears will receive endangered species protection from the Bush administration, my guess would be no. Drilling in the Artic has long been a goal of the Bush administration and granting polar bears protected status would bring an end to such activities.

Thankfully, the NRDC, for one, has pledged to continue the good fight until all of America’s polar bears win the protection they so urgently need. Should any of our loyal readers have a few spare bucks lying around – I know, what’s the chance of that in this economy – consider sending them off with a letter of support to the good people at any of the groups listed above.

- LIB

READ MORE ABOUT THIS COMPELLING STORY

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

PLANT RESPONSIBLE FOR 143 MILLION POUND BEEF RECALL, EXPECTED TO CLOSE

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Greed, Corruption Watch, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on February 25th, 2008

CALIFORNIA MEATPACKER A MAJOR SUPPLIER TO THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

sickcowa11.jpgThe death knell is sounding for Chino, California meatpacker, Hallmark/Westland, following last weeks recall of 143 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef processed at the privately held California plant.

The recall, the industry’s largest, was ordered by the USDA following the release of an undercover video by the Humane Society of the United States, showing workers at the company’s Chino, California facility attempting to force injured or sick cows to stand with forklifts and electric-shock devices.

USDA rules prohibit “downer” cows from entering the food supply as the inability to stand can often be a symptom of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known to us mere mortals as mad-cow disease.

But the company’s alleged offenses did not stop there. The USDA also claims to have evidence that Hallmark/Westland employees had permitted some “downer” cows to go to slaughter after the cows had previously passed a preslaughter inspection. In such instances, meatpackers are required to contact USDA veterinarians for an additional inspection, something that the regulatory agency claims that Hallmark/Westland did not do.

As one who enjoys a good cheeseburger from time to time, I find myself unable, no make that unwilling, to feel all that bad for this company. Mad cow is nothing to be trifled with, as is any of the food borne illnesses. The failure to be conscious of this and to act accordingly reflects that this company, like so many others, possesses a culture which rewards greed and not employees dong what is best for their product’s end users. Employees do not make these sort of decisions on their own. Management was either aware of this or was so incompetent that they do not deserve to be in a business where their actions can impact on so many of our lives. What makes this situation particularly infuriating is that Hallmark/Westland is a major supplier of meat products to the National School Lunch Program.

Hopefully a fair investigation will be pursued and those found culpable charged in the appropriate jurisdiction.

One of the unfortunate realities of life today is that the majority of American corporations cannot be trusted to act in the best interest of their customers. The lure of record profits is enough in far too many instances for companies to be willing to play the odds. In this case, they got caught. But what about all of the times that this sort of action takes place and the first we know of it is when people start getting sick? Perhaps if we started holding the leaders of companies personally responsible for the actions of their companies, sincere efforts would be taken to ensure safer manufacturing processes. There is nothing like the threat of a protracted legal matter to make one think twice about committing criminal acts.

But then again, to do this, we would need to have a sufficient number of line inspectors to oversee these plants. Maybe when George Bush has ridden off into the sunset we will once again return sanity to the corporate arena.

- LIB

READ MORE….

Link to Humane Society Video

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

RECORD BEEF RECALL

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corruption Watch, Health Watch, Toxic Food on February 19th, 2008

CALIFORNIA SLAUGHTERHOUSE PROVIDED BEEF TO SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS

2007-10-05-meat_patties1.jpgThe US Agriculture Department has ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from Chino, California based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. The slaughterhouse, the subject of an animal-abuse investigation, is alleged to have not routinely contacted its veterinarian when cattle became non-ambulatory after passing inspection, which is a violation of health regulations.

READ MORE….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT REJECTS BUSH ADMIN FUEL-ECONOMY STANDARDS FOR LIGHT TRUCKS AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES

Posted in Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, News Brief on November 16th, 2007

RULING IS A MAJOR SETBACK FOR BOTH THE AUTO INDUSTRY AND THE WHITE HOUSE

suv.jpg A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, voided the new regulations for 2008-2011 model year vehicles and told the Transportation Department to produce new rules taking into account the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The court, siding with 4 environmental groups and 13 states and cities, also asked the government to explain why it still treated light trucks — which include pickups, sport utility vehicles and minivans — more mildly than passenger cars.

Under the rejected rule, the average fuel economy of light trucks was to rise to 23.5 miles a gallon in 2010, up from the current standard of 22.5 m.p.g., but still well below the current standard for passenger cars of 27.5 m.p.g.

MORE….

Source: NY Times

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

CARMAKERS LOBBY BEHIND THE SCENES TO KILL HIGHER FUEL EFFICIENCY FUEL STANDARDS

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corruption Watch, News Brief on November 14th, 2007

PLAN WOULD REQUIRE AUTOMAKERS TO ACHIEVE AN AVERAGE OF 35 MILES PER GALLON ACROSS THEIR FLEETS BY 2020, AN INCREASE OF 40% FROM CURRENT STANDARDS

image1414171g.jpg Despite a well-funded attempt to position themselves as “friends of the environment”, it is apparent that other than the mountains of green hype extolling the benefits of the latest hybrid, electric, or fuel cell technology, little has actually changed in the way that the auto industry does business. Hence, it should come as no surprise that while the automakers wrap themselves in all things green, they are working behind the scenes to kill legislation, which would mandate higher fuel efficiency standards in the not-too-distant future.

Under a plan, which passed the Senate in June and is currently wending its way through the House of Representatives, automakers would be required to achieve an average of 35 miles per gallon across their fleets by 2020. This represents an increase of 40% from current standards.

By their unwillingness to comply with this remarkably sane proposal, automakers are tipping their hands and telling us what they really think of the long-term potential of the alternate technologies currently in development. This leads me to conclude that their greenness is nothing more than marketing hype designed to sell cars to socially conscious consumers.

More importantly, their position shows a complete lack of concern for today’s ecological reality and the problems that we, as citizens of the earth, are encountering from greenhouse gasses emissions directly related to the burning of fossil fuels.

While none of this is all that surprising, it is disappointing to see that once again, unmitigated greed has trumped creativity and society is the loser.

Shame on them.

- LIB

Touting a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet, a Lincoln with a super-efficient gasoline engine and a hybrid Dodge, car makers plan to use the Los Angeles auto show this week to demonstrate that they’re on a fast track to delivering vehicles that offer dramatically improved fuel economy.

But in Washington, where the rules on reducing gasoline consumption are made, car makers are fighting to block the toughest proposal under consideration for raising federal mileage standards.

MORE….

Source WSJ

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

ADVISORY PANEL TO ADMINISTRATION: EMPOWER FEDERAL REGULATORY AGENCIES TO ORDER MANDATORY RECALLS OF UNSAFE PRODUCTS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corruption Watch, Health Watch, News Brief on November 6th, 2007

CURRENTLY FEDERAL AGENCIES CAN ONLY “SUGGEST” A RECALL AND OFTEN MUST SHAME THE COMPANY INVOLVED TO COOPERATE

2007-09-28-money.jpgAn advisory commission created in response to concerns about recalls of dangerous toothpaste, dog food and toys will recommend to President Bush that the Food and Drug Administration be empowered to order mandatory recalls of products deemed a risk to consumers, an administration official said Monday.

Currently, the FDA lacks the authority to order recalls, but works with producers on voluntary recalls. The new proposal would give the agency far more clout.

The panel also will urge increasing the presence of U.S. inspectors from Customs, the Border Patrol, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies in countries that are major exporters to the United States.

MORE….

Source: The Associated Press

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

A DIFFERENT WAY TO STRANGLE A FREE PRESS

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corruption Watch, Government Shenanigans, News Brief on November 5th, 2007

POSTAL SERVICE SAYS KILLING SMALL PERIODICALS IS A “WIN-WIN”

bushstamp21.jpg The founding fathers when designing the model for what would be our democracy, realized that an independent, free press was the lifeblood of that democracy. To encourage its growth, they created a postal system, which gave favorable rates to small periodicals and journals of opinion. This tradition carried on, for the most part, unchanged, until this past summer.

Similarly, the Bush administration also recognized the importance to the democracy of a free and independent press. The difference being that the administration, up to its ass in all manner of questionable behavior, hates democracy, fears free speech, and has worked tirelessly to stifle it at every turn.

Granted, this fear is not without good reason. Believing that criminal behavior functions best in an information vacuum, the Bushies have lashed out against media outlets, large and small, devoting particular attention to those independent publications unwilling to toe the party line and keep silent about the President’s end run around the constitution and his other crimes against humanity.

What better way to silence these dissenting voices than to make it difficult, if not impossible, for many of those loudest in their criticism to remain financially viable. This is precisely what the new postal code revisions were engineered to do.

Under the new pricing structure, the favorable rates guaranteed to smaller periodicals since the days of the founding fathers have been abolished in favor of the publications paying their fair share. Publicly, the administration claims that making every class of mail cover the cost directly attributable to carrying their mail was an attempt to make the postal rates fair for all. Right! Believe this and I know of an abandoned bridge in Alaska, I can sell you.

Coincidentally, the revisions were suggested by Time Warner, publisher of many of our nations most popular and least relevant periodicals.

I guess in the twisted world view of the administration, we’re supposed to believe that Time Warner did this so as to eliminate competition from a group of publications, which combined and multiplied by 10 probably would not have the circulation of one of Time Warner’s least profitable books.

But then, Time Warner with its extensive media portfolio is probably beholden to this administration for its continued corporate well-being. Perhaps playing ball in today’s corporate world means shilling for the administration as well.

-LIB

POSTAL SERVICE SAYS KILLING SMALL PERIODICALS IS A “WIN-WIN”

Defying the founding fathers, Bush appointees at the USPS have decided to strangle the free press.

Elijah Cummings was angry. The Democratic congressman from Baltimore represents a district that is home to the Afro-American Newspaper, a weekly publication that is in jeopardy of going out of business due to the United States Postal Service’s recent rate hike on small periodicals. Cummings’ testiness showed when a House subcommittee heard testimony on the rate increase from a host of postal officials earlier this week.

“If these small publications go out of business, is that a win-win?” Cummings asked James Miller, chairman of the USPS’s Board of Governors, the entity that approved the rate hikes, during one tense exchange.

“That’s a hypothetical,” Miller protested.

“Nah, nah, nah,” Cummings said. “You got a lot of businesses that put out publications that are saying that this is going to affect them in a negative way…. I’m asking you a simple question. If they go out of business, is it a win-win?”

MORE….

Source: Mother Jones

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION CHIEF TRAVELS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE INDUSTRIES SHE’S SUPPOSED TO REGULATE

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corruption Watch, News Brief on November 2nd, 2007

SOME OF THE THIRTY TRIPS WERE SPONSORED BY LOBBYING GROUPS AND LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE MAKERS OF TOYS, APPLIANCE AND CHILDREN’S FURNITURE INDUSTRIES LINKED TO CONSUMER HAZARDS

toys.jpgThe chief of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and her predecessor have taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children’s furniture industries and others they regulate, according to internal records obtained by The Washington Post. Some of the trips were sponsored by lobbying groups and lawyers representing the makers of products linked to consumer hazards.

The records document nearly 30 trips since 2002 by the agency’s acting chairman, Nancy Nord, and the previous chairman, Hal Stratton, that were paid for in full or in part by trade associations or manufacturers of products ranging from space heaters to disinfectants. The airfares, hotels and meals totaled nearly $60,000, and the destinations included China, Spain, San Francisco, New Orleans and a golf resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

MORE….

Source: WaPo

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace