Archive | May 28, 2016

U.S. Threaten Continued Violence if Colombia Challenges Big Pharma Monopoly*

U.S. Threaten Continued Violence if Colombia Challenges Big Pharma Monopoly*

By Justin Gardner

In a display of just how far the U.S. government is willing to go in protecting Big Pharma, it was revealed that a Senate staffer hinted that peace deals in Colombia could be threatened if the country challenges a patent on an expensive cancer drug.

The controversy centres around a leukaemia drug called Gleevec, made by Swiss-based Novartis. Prices have increased 10 percent or more every year, causing heavy strain on health care systems in middle-income countries such as Colombia.

Novartis, which made $4.7 billion from Gleevec last year, has enjoyed a patent monopoly on the drug for ten years. The patent ended on February 1 in the U.S., but will remain in Colombia until 2018. While a generic version of the life-saving drug already promises to bring prices down in the U.S., Colombia is held hostage by the continuing foreign-based monopoly.

The Colombian government announced that it will give Novartis a few weeks to lower the price on Gleevec before it uses “compulsory licenses” to let companies make generic versions. It proposed a price reduction of less than half the current regulated price, which is still much higher than what generic versions cost.

Novartis refused, instead turning to its friends in the U.S. government.

“Leaked diplomatic letters sent from Colombia’s Embassy in Washington describe how a staffer with the Senate Finance Committee, which is led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, warned of repercussions if Colombia moves forward on approving the cheaper, generic form of a cancer drug…

In the second letter, after a meeting with Senate Finance Committee International Trade Counsel Everett Eissenstat, [Andres] Flórez wrote that Eissenstat said that authorizing the generic version would “violate the intellectual property rights” of Novartis. Eissenstat also said that if “the Ministry of Health did not correct this situation, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States and related interest groups could become very vocal and interfere with other interests that Colombia could have in the United States,” according to the letter.

In particular, Flórez expressed a worry that “this case could jeopardize the approval of the financing of the new initiative ‘Peace Colombia.’”

The initiative could end decades of bloody fighting and aid in efforts to remove land mines in Colombia, which is second only to Afghanistan in land mine fatalities.

U.S. lawmakers have no problem breaking patents when it serves their interest, such as the compulsory licensing granted for night vision goggles, most likely to benefit the surveillance state. But when it’s a matter of life and death in other countries struggling with health care costs, these politicians will show their allegiance to the corporatocracy.

As the leaked memos show, American politicians would even abandon the cause of making peace.

Naturally, a spokesperson for Sen. Orrin Hatch feigned ignorance, pretending that they can’t possibly have any influence over the Peace Colombia initiative. According to Julia Lawless, the Senate Finance Committee “has no jurisdiction over the Paz Colombia initiative and it was not discussed.”

The suggestion that Hatch and his cohorts would not do the bidding of Novartis is absurd, considering the ties to Big Pharma as reported by the Intercept.

“Hatch has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical and health product manufacturers form the second-largest pool of donors to his campaigns. The industry’s main trade association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spent $750,000 funding an outside non-profit that backed Hatch’s re-election in 2012. The lobbying group also employed Scott Hatch, one of the senator’s sons, as a lobbyist, while donating to his family charity, the Utah Families Foundation.”

According to Public Citizen, about a dozen countries have used compulsory licenses, mostly for HIV and cancer treatments. Novartis and its allies in Congress are worried that Colombia might set a precedent for others to challenge patent monopolies.

The pressure against Colombia is bogus but it’s real,” said Andrew Goldman, a counsel for Knowledge Ecology International, the Washington-based group that first obtained the embassy memos.

“We always assume that this kind of intervention is happening behind the scenes but rarely do you get the chance to see it up close.”

While everyone has a right to profit from their original product, using the power of the state to preserve a monopoly allows corporations to act outside of market forces and charge extraordinary prices, with poorer regions suffering the most. This collusion also lends to the broken system of politics that characterizes Washington, where the thirst for money and power has rendered voting meaningless.


Gleevec Side Effects


Related Topics:

U.S. Drug Company Sues Canada for Trying to Lower Cost of $700K-A-Year Drug*

Big Pharma Assassinations and New Toxin Found in Vaccine*

Author of Mandatory Meningitis Vaccine Bill Caught Taking $420k From Big Pharma*

Drug Firms’ Plan to Maximize Profits on Cancer, AIDS and Heart Drugs*

White House Resorts to Blackmail Over GMOs in NWOs TTIP Trade Negotiations*

Western Medicine Is Rockefeller Medicine*

Murdered Holistic Doctors Discovered Autism/Cancer-Causing Enzyme Intentionally Being Added to All Vaccines*

Spreading Cancer Reversed by a Diet of Carrot Juice*

This 19-Year-Old May Have Discovered The Cure For Colon Cancer…*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

Federation of State Medical Boards Seeks to Eliminate Alternative Medicine*

Testimony Begins on Clinton Email*

Testimony Begins on Clinton Email*

First Deposition Testimony from Clinton Email Discovery Released

The court-ordered discovery to uncover details about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email system has produced the first testimony from her top aides.

This week we released the deposition transcript of Ambassador Lewis Lukens, former deputy assistant secretary of state and executive director of the State Department’s executive secretariat.  The transcript is available here.  We deposed Amb. Lukens as part of the discovery granted to Judicial Watch by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit involving Clinton’s unsecured, non-government email system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

Lukens testified that he thought it was not unusual that Mrs. Clinton did not ask him to create a State Department email account for her.  He testified that he understood that her BlackBerry use was only to “stay in touch with friends and family.”

Lukens, according to his testimony, saw Clinton “maybe a half a dozen times” positioned “in the hallway outside the SCIF [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility] standing there looking at her BlackBerry.” Lukens testified that he saw Mrs. Clinton with her BlackBerry on foreign trips and that her aide Huma Abedin carried around two BlackBerrys.

Lukens also testified about his 2009 email exchanges with Cheryl Mills in 2009 in which he offered to set up a separate computer on non-State Department network to allow Mrs. Clinton to check her email:

Lukens also testified about his 2009 email exchanges with Cheryl Mills in 2009 in which he offered to set up a separate computer on non-State Department network to allow Mrs. Clinton to check her email:

Q: After your conversation with Ms. Mills, Ms. Mills e-mailed you, and it talks about – I’m sorry, the quality of the e-mail is a little difficult to read, but it says: “Let’s set up the office across the hall for her to use. It needs a phone, et cetera, so she can go across the hall to check her BB,” her BlackBerry.

You mentioned that you talked about setting up a computer in her office. Do you know why Ms. Mills seemed to prefer having the computer set up in the office across the hall?

A: This wasn’t for a computer setup; this was to create a space for her to go check her BlackBerry.

Q: Okay. In the Secretary’s office, is that what’s considered a SCIF?A: The Secretary’s office is in a SCIF, which encompasses a lot more of the seventh floor.

A: Okay. And the office that’s across the hall is outside that area?

A: Corect.

Lukens also testified about his idea to set up a separate computer and network for Mrs. Clinton. Cheryl Mills and Lukens discussed the email issue in early 2009:

A: So the crux of the issue was that BlackBerrys and iPhones are not allowed in the Secretary’s office suite, so the question was, how is the Secretary going to be able to check her e-mails if she’s not able to have the BlackBerry at her desk with her.

Q:And so what did you – did you propose a solution at that point?

A: So my proposal was to set up a computer on her desk, a standalone computer, for her to be able to access the Internet to check her e-mails.


Q: Do you know if this setup would have been any different from the setup of other employees?

A: Yes, this would have been different.

Q: How would it have been different?

A: My understanding is that most of the employees’ computers in the State Department are connected through the State Department’s OpenNet e-mail system, Internet system.

Q: So this one would have been separate from the OpenNet system?


Ultimately, according to his testimony, the computer was not set up for Mrs. Clinton.

Lukens is the first of seven depositions of former Clinton top aides and State Department officials that we have scheduled over the next four weeks.  Also to be deposed are Cheryl Mills (her deposition is happening today, in fact) and Huma Abedin, as well as top State Department official Patrick Kennedy, and former State IT employee Bryan Pagliano.  In granting the discovery, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan noted that “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.”

It is noteworthy that this key State Department witness was insistent that he didn’t know Clinton was using emails and computer equipment for government business.  It suggests the agency is seeking to distance itself from Mrs. Clinton’s conduct.

State Department Office of Inspector General Slams Clinton Email Practices

Hillary Clinton’s email troubles intensified this week with the release of a critical report by the State Department’s Inspector General.  In an editorial entitled “Clinton’s inexcusable, wilful disregard for the rules,” the liberal Washington Post sums things up:

“The State Department’s independent watchdog has issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email practices while running the department, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server and that agency staff members would not have given their blessing if it had been sought because of “security risks.”

The report by the inspector general’s office concludes that Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for president, handled email in a way that was “not an appropriate method” for preserving public records and that her practices failed to comply with department policy. The review found that Clinton, who has said her system was secure, also never provided security details to agency officials responsible for safeguarding sensitive government information.

Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the State Department to disclose Hillary Clinton’s secret email system that is now the subject of this scathing Inspector General report.  A statement by the State Department in a February 2, 2015, status report in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was the first notice to the public and the court that the State Department had failed to thoroughly search all of Clinton’s email records:

“[The State Department] has discovered that additional searches for documents potentially responsive to the FOIA must be conducted.”

That statement was the first acknowledgement of Clinton’s secret email.  And now, nearly a year and a half later, the State Department’s own Inspector General is confirming the gravity of Clinton’s end run around the law.  Judicial Watch already uncovered much of the information cited in this report.  But the OIG report will be helpful in upcoming questioning of witnesses about the Clinton email matter.  (Mrs. Clinton did not cooperate with the OIG investigation, which, as we told The Washington Times, is simply remarkable.)

The report refers to documents already uncovered by Judicial Watch, highlights facts first disclosed by Judicial Watch, and confirms misconduct by the agency and top officials that we’ve been highlighting in the courts for over a year.

The OIG report is an important first step in accountability. But Judicial Watch’s discovery is all the more important now – especially as we will talk to witnesses who did not cooperate with the OIG, such as Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin.


Related Topics:

Killary Disqualified in Law from Holding Fed Office*

Call for War Criminal Tony Blair to Face Trial gets Louder*

Say Hi to the Head of your NWO Nightmare Baron Jacob Nathaniel Rothschild*

80 Percent of ISIL Terrorists in Fallujah Come from Abroad*

80 Percent of ISIL Terrorists in Fallujah Come from Abroad*

Director of Iraq’s al-Nakheel News Agency Mohammad Ali al-Hakim disclosed that most of the ISIL Takfiri terrorists killed in the battle of Fallujah are from foreign countries.

“The figures show that 80 percent of ISIL casualties in the Fallujah operations are foreigners,” Al-Hakim told FNA on Saturday.

He, meantime, said that the ISIL was born and supported by Tel Aviv and Riyadh and plays a central role in Israel and Saudi Arabia’s plot to destroy Iraq.

“We are currently fighting against several governments, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, and their spy agencies and their presence in Fallujah war is quite evident,” Al-Hakim added.

He said that the Iraqi joint forces have waged a full-fledged war against the ISIL in Fallujah and will win back the city soon.

On Saturday, the Iraqi army and popular forces took control of more districts near Fallujah from ISIL militants, getting ready to enter the key town.

Iraqi army troops and volunteer forces are ready to start the new phase of the military operation against the ISIL to take back the key town from the Takfiri terrorists.

According to Iraqi Federal Police Forces Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat, the security forces have so far managed to evacuate 760 people, mostly women and children, from the Northern outskirts of the embattled city of Fallujah and moved them to a safe place away from the battlefield.

On Friday, the Iraqi military said that it had managed to evacuate 65 families, mostly women and children, from the eastern outskirts of the city.

ISIL Takfiri terrorists, who took control of Fallujah in early 2014, have prevented people from leaving the city.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government have deployed at least 20,000 troops to fight against the terrorists in the ISIL-held city of Fallujah.

Iraqi forces on Monday began a military campaign to retake the ISIL stronghold of Fallujah and made considerable advances against Takfiri terrorists in recent days.


Related Topics:

Fallujah’s Residents Starving, Murdered, Besieged by U.S. Backed Government Forces and ISIS*

29 Former German Soldiers have Joined ISIS*

France, U.K., and Germany produce the most ISIS Terrorists from Europe*

Hezbollah Captures CIA Officer in Aleppo, Commanding al Qaeda*

ISIS Stealing and Selling Ancient Syrian Artefacts to Buyers from the U.S. and Europe*

ISIS Kills it’s Own to Stem Defections*

Britain at Forefront of Deadly Mercenary Trade*

British Banking System the Pumping Heart of Terror Finance and Global Drug Trade*

A Guaranteed way to Make the Whole World Islamophobic*

Germany in the Poison Gas Business, with ISIS*

Syrian Forces Seize Turkish Aid Bound for ISIS*

Hack of Netanyahu Chief of Staff Shows Israeli Control of ISIS*

Threatened ISIS Declares Emergency in Self-declared Capital Raqqa, Syria*


The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921*

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921*

An Oklahoma lawyer details the attack by hundreds of whites on the thriving black neighbourhood where hundreds died 95 years ago

The manuscript, “The Tulsa Race Riot and Three of Its Victims,” by B.C. Franklin was recovered from a storage area in 2015 and donated to the African American History Museum. (NMAAHC, Gift from Tulsa Friends and John W. and Karen R. Franklin)


By Allison Keyes

The ten-page manuscript is typewritten, on yellowed legal paper, and folded in thirds. But the words, an eyewitness account of the May 31, 1921, racial massacre that destroyed what was known as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street,” are searing.

“I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low. I could hear something like hail falling upon the top of my office building. Down East Archer, I saw the old Mid-Way hotel on fire, burning from its top, and then another and another and another building began to burn from their top,” wrote Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960).

The Oklahoma lawyer, father of famed African-American historian John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), was describing the attack by hundreds of whites on the thriving black neighbourhood known as Greenwood in the booming oil town.

“Lurid flames roared and belched and licked their forked tongues into the air. Smoke ascended the sky in thick, black volumes and amid it all, the planes—now a dozen or more in number—still hummed and darted here and there with the agility of natural birds of the air.”

Franklin writes that he left his law office, locked the door, and descended to the foot of the steps.

 “The side-walks were literally covered with burning turpentine balls. I knew all too well where they came from, and I knew all too well why every burning building first caught from the top,” he continues.

“I paused and waited for an opportune time to escape. ‘Where oh where is our splendid fire department with its half dozen stations?’ I asked myself. ‘Is the city in conspiracy with the mob?’”

Franklin’s harrowing manuscript now resides among the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The previously unknown document was found last year, purchased from a private seller by a group of Tulsans and donated to the museum with the support of the Franklin family.

In the manuscript, Franklin tells of his encounters with an African-American veteran, named Mr. Ross. It begins in 1917, when Franklin meets Ross while recruiting young black men to fight in World War I. It picks up in 1921 with his own eyewitness account of the Tulsa race riots, and ends ten years later with the story of how Mr. Ross’s life has been destroyed by the riots. Two original photographs of Franklin were part of the donation. One depicts him operating with his associates out of a Red Cross tent five days after the riots.

John W. Franklin, a senior program manager with the museum, is the grandson of manuscript’s author and remembers the first time he read the found document.

“I wept. I just wept. It’s so beautifully written and so powerful, and he just takes you there,”  Franklin marvels.

“You wonder what happened to the other people. What was the emotional impact of having your community destroyed and having to flee for your lives?”

B.C. Franklin and his associates pose before his law offices in Ardmore, Oklahoma, 1910 (NMAAHC, Gift from Tulsa Friends and John W. and Karen R. Franklin)


The younger Franklin says Tulsa has been in denial over the fact that people were cruel enough to bomb the black community from the air, in private planes, and that black people were machine-gunned down in the streets. The issue was economics. Franklin explains that Native Americans and African-Americans became wealthy thanks to the discovery of oil in the early 1900s on what had previously been seen as worthless land.

“That’s what leads to Greenwood being called the Black Wall Street. It had restaurants and furriers and jewellery stores and hotels,” John W. Franklin explains, “and the white mobs looted the homes and businesses before they set fire to the community. For years black women would see white women walking down the street in their jewellery and snatch it off.”

Museum curator Paul Gardullo, who has spent five years along with Franklin collecting artefacts from the riot and the aftermath, says:

“It was the frustration of poor whites not knowing what to do with a successful black community, and in coalition with the city government were given permission to do what they did.”

Also in the museum’s collections is a protest sign from 2000 calling for reparations for the Tulsa massacre. (NMAAHC, Gift of Eddie Faye Gates)


“It’s a scenario that you see happen from place to place around our country . . . from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., to Chicago, and these are in some ways mass lynchings,” he says

As in other places, the Tulsa race riot started with newspaper reports that a black man had assaulted a white elevator operator. He was arrested, and Franklin says black World War I vets rushed to the courthouse to prevent a lynching.

“Then whites were deputized and handed weapons, the shooting starts and then it gets out of hand,” Franklin says.

“It went on for two days until the entire black community is burned down.”

More than 35 blocks were destroyed, along with more than 1,200 homes, and some 300 people died, mostly blacks. The National Guard was called out after the governor declared martial law, and imprisoned all blacks that were not already in jail. More than 6,000 people were held, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, some for as long as eight days.

Practicing law in a Red Cross tent are B.C. Franklin (right) and his partner I.H. Spears with their secretary Effie Thompson on June 6, 1921, five days after the massacre. (NMAAHC, Gift from Tulsa Friends and John W. and Karen R. Franklin)


“(Survivors) talk about how the city was shut down in the riot,” Gardullo says.

“They shut down the phone systems, the railway. . . . They wouldn’t let the Red Cross in. There was complicity between the city government and the mob. It was mob rule for two days, and the result was the complete devastation of the community.”

Gardullo adds that the formulaic stereotype about young black men raping young white women was used with great success from the end of slavery forward to the middle of the 20th century.

“It was a formula that resulted in untold numbers of lynchings across the nation,” Gardullo says.

“The truth of the matter has to do with the threat that black power, black economic power, black cultural power, black success, posed to individuals and . . . the whole system of white supremacy. That’s embedded within our nation’s history.”

Franklin says he has issues with the words often used to describe the attack that decimated the black community.

“The term riot is contentious, because it assumes that black people started the violence, as they were accused of doing by whites,” Franklin says.

“We increasingly use the term massacre, or I use the European term, pogrom.”

Among the artefacts Gardullo and John W. Franklin have obtained, are a handful of pennies collected off the ground from a young boy’s home burned to the ground during the riot, items with labels saying this was looted from a black church during the riot, and postcards with photos from the race riots, some showing burning corpses.

“Riot postcards were often distributed . . . crassly and cruelly . . . as a way to sell white supremacy,” Gardullo says.

“At the time they were shown as documents that were shared between white community members to demonstrate their power. Later . . . they became part of the body of evidence that was used during the commission for reparation.”

In 2001, the Tulsa Race Riot Commission issued a report detailing the damage from the riots, but legislative and legal attempts to gain reparations for the survivors have failed.

The Tulsa race riots aren’t mentioned in most American history textbooks, and many people don’t know that they happened.

Curator Paul Gardullo says the crucial question is why not?

“Throughout American history there’s been a vast silence about the atrocities that were performed in the service of white history. . . . There are a lot of silences in relation to this story, and a lot of guilt and shame,” Gardullo explains.  That’s one reason why the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921, will be featured in an exhibition at the new museum called “The Power of Place.” Gardullo says the title is about more than geography.

“(It’s) the power of certain places, about displacement, movement, about what place means for people,” he says. “This is about emotion and culture and memory. . . . How do you tell a story about destruction? How do you balance the fortitude and resilience of people in response to that devastation? How do you fill the silences? How do you address the silences about a story that this community has held in silence for so long and in denial for so long?”

Despite the devastation, the black community in Tulsa was able to rebuild on the ashes of its neighbourhood, partly because Buck Colbert Franklin battled all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court to defeat a law that would have effectively prevented African-Americans from doing so. By 1925, there was again a thriving black business district. John W. Franklin says his grandfather’s manuscript is important for people to see because it deals with “suppressed history.”

“This is an eyewitness account from a reputable source about what he saw happen,” he grandson John W. Franklin says.

“It is definitely relevant to today, because I think our notions of justice are based partially on our own history and our knowledge of history. But we are an a-historical society, in that we don’t know our past.”


Related Topics:

Black Wall Street*

‘We Charge Genocide’: Systematic Murder & Oppression of Blacks Continues in U.S.*

U.N. Team ‘Concerned’ About African Americans*

Chevron and Exxon: The Criminals Behind Katrina*

Severely Contaminated Water System Calls for Arrest of Michigan Governor, for Genocide against Black People*

Two People Involved in Flint Water Investigation Found Dead*

Govt. Created Energy Blackouts Coming to a City Near You*

Govt. Created Energy Blackouts Coming to a City Near You*

By Katy Grimes

Most countries around the world think that it’s a good thing to have cheap energy. But in California, we have plenty of cheap energy available, just not the political will to access it.

California depends on natural gas-driven turbines and hydroelectric generators to provide just 38 percent of its oil needs. The state imports 12 percent of its oil from Alaska, and another 50 percent from foreign nations, relying heavily on Canada.

So why are California’s utilities warning of potential rolling blackouts again?

It’s political. And it’s corrupt.

Highest Electricity Rates = Less Power in CA

California’s natural gas shale formation is one of the largest in the world. And, California has been a pioneer in renewable energy, albeit still unreliable and unproven. Yet warnings are already coming that Californians may have rolling blackouts this summer. While California sits on one of the largest known deposits of recoverable oil and gas, production is falling steadily, as the state ignores its vast onshore and offshore deposits, which are fully accessible through conventional and hydraulic fracturing technologies.

This is one reason California electricity costs more than twice the national median—thanks to a government-created shortage.

Another reason is that the California Public Utilities Commission, the state’s energy “regulator,” has an historic dubious relationship with Wall Street, making promises to keep the profits higher of the state’s publicly held utilities, than utility profits elsewhere. Those profits come out of ratepayers’ pockets. “You’re ego is writing checks you’re body can’t cash,” the famous quote from the movie Top Gun says.

$5 Billion Cover-Up at San Onofre

Another of the problem areas is the California Public Utilities Commission $5 billion cover up and scandal over the 2012 closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, due to the failure of the steam generators. San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson exposed the attempt to make the public pay big for utility and regulatory executives’ mistakes at the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Southern California Edison executives purchased new steam generators from Mitsubishi, but were warned that they were bigger and run hotter, and could fail. SCE executives purchased and installed the generators anyway, knowing of a flaw in the generator design, according to records. Built to last 40 years, the generators at San Onofre failed after 2 years. And, the generators’ cost had not yet been included in rates. So SCE was faced with broken generators they could not charge ratepayers for.

Then-PUC President Michael Peevey, and executives of Southern California Edison colluded in secret to saddle ratepayers with $3.3 billion of the $5 billion shutdown cost. The $5 billion recovery settlement was negotiated in secret in Poland, away from prying eyes and open records laws in California.

Blackouts coming…

The state is awash in ultra cheap natural gas, yet in California, our corrupt government finds a way to create an energy shortage, and charge rate payers the highest rates in the country.

“State officials warn that Southern California could face as many as 14 days of scheduled blackouts this summer because of depleted reserves of natural gas caused by the massive leak in Aliso Canyon,” the Los Angeles Times warned in April.

The LA Times neglected to mention that California ratepayers do have options, but its politicians have no will. The state sits on one of the largest known deposits of recoverable oil and gas—the Monterey Shale, a 1,700 square mile oil-bearing shale formation primarily in the San Joaquin Valley, which contains an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil. The Times article quoted Bill Powers, of Powers Engineering in San Diego, who said the utility’s pipeline system has not exceeded its capacity of 3.8 billion cubic feet per day during summer in the last 10 years, thus the concern of blackouts is without merit. “It is crying wolf for state agencies to be implying blackouts from a lack of gas, especially from a lack of gas in the summer time,” Powers said.

The Monterey Shale formation is estimated to be several times bigger than the Bakken Shale formation, currently delivering a record economic boom to North Dakota. But even as the fourth-largest oil producing state in the country, oil and gas production has been steadily declining here. Instead, California lawmakers turned their attention to wind and solar, and other types of alternative energy. The state has been only focused on implementing the Renewable Portfolio Standard, passed in 2011, which requires the state to be using 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.

A University of Southern California study, “Powering California: The Monterey Shale & California’s Economic Future,” looked at the development of the vast energy resource beneath the San Joaquin Valley known as the Monterey Shale. It found that hydraulic fracturing could create 512,000 to 2.8 million new jobs, personal income growth of $40.6 billion to $222.3 billion, additional local and state government revenues from $4.5 billion to $24.6 billion, and an increase in state GDP by 2.6 percent to 14.3 percent on a per-person basis.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

California politicians have gloated over being the first state to enact such aggressive green energy and greenhouse gas busting policy, but have yet to produce any proof that these oppressive and business-killing laws have had any “green” results.

All while they ignore that natural gas is clean, less expensive to extract, natural and abundant. It wasn’t that long ago that natural gas used to be the left’s preferred alternative to all other “dirty fuels.” But as the oil and gas industry found better, more affordable ways to access natural gas, it fell out of favour with emotional, whimsical environmentalists.

The last California Governor blamed for rolling energy blackouts was recalled by voters… hold that thought.


Related Topics:

Uruguay Now Generates Almost 94 Percent of Its Electricity from Renewable Sources*

France Running Out of Gasoline; Strikes Now Spread to Nuclear Plants

U.S.-NATO Next Battle Front towards WWIII in Crimea Causes National Blackouts*

British Empire Spending Increases with Oil and Gas Discovery in Falkland Islands*

Indigenous Group Rejects $1 Billion Offer for Natural Gas Terminal on Ancestral Lands*

The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields*

Netherlands Rejects Calls by Israel to Ban ‘Boycott of Israel’*

Netherlands Rejects Calls by Israel to Ban ‘Boycott of Israel’*

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders


Netherlands has rejected calls by Israel to declare illegal a growing international campaign that calls for the boycott of Israeli products. 

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said on Thursday the Dutch government has explained to Tel Aviv that people joining the campaign was an issue of free speech, to which the Dutch people are entitled.

Netherlands is the second country in the European Union to have announced its support for people’s right to join the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

“Statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by freedom of expression and freedom of assembly as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights,” Koenders said.

Dutch Ambassador to Israel Gilles Beschoor Plug defended Koender’s remarks, saying that joining the campaign in Holland “is not illegal and therefore it falls within the limits of freedom.”

“As long as what one says is not illegal you are free to say it,” he added.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon denounced the decision, saying there had to be “limits” on the concept of freedom of speech.

Israel has been pressuring the U.S. and European countries to introduce legislation and take other repressive measures to confront the BDS movement.

In February, Britain introduced new rules, banning local authorities and public-sector organizations from boycotting Israel and pledging severe penalties for violators.

Banking behemoth Credit Mutuel also shut down the account of La Campagne BDS France at the request of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) last week.

Protesters call for the boycott of Israel during a demonstration in the German capital of Berlin, May, 15 2016.


Sweden, however, supported the right to join the BDS in March 2016, saying the movement is “a civil society movement” and that “governments should not interfere in civil society organization views.”

Earlier this month, more than 300 groups in Europe urged the EU to hold Israel accountable for its human rights violations and join the global campaign for boycott of Israeli products.

The 352 signatories to a letter included human rights and aid organizations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across the continent, including France, Germany, Norway and Belgium.

The BDS movement is currently asking people to add their names to an appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take necessary measures to protect those who campaign for Palestinian rights.

The BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have joined the BDS ever since to help promote the Palestinian cause.


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People’s Movement Force Chief of Police to Resign*

People’s Movement Force Chief of Police to Resign*

By Frank Lara

The morning of Thursday, May 19, the tragic news that there had been another victim of racist police terror spread throughout San Francisco. Jessica Williams was shot and killed after a police chase while she sat in her car in the Bayview district.

In an all-too-common routine, the notorious chief of police, Greg Suhr, appeared on camera to give the “official” police version that was quickly distributed by the mainstream news. However, unlike the previous killings, that’s as far as Chief Suhr got. Within a few hours, the equally infamous Mayor Ed Lee — just one day after he repeated his support for the chief — appeared on camera to announce that he was firing Suhr.

In that instant, it became clear that the politically astute and shameless Suhr would no longer be allowed to manipulate radio, TV and the newspapers, spinning his unchanging narrative glorifying the cops and demonizing the victims. No longer would he be allowed to round up all the sell-out “representatives” of the Black and Brown communities, the heads of the Police Commission and the Office of Citizen Complaints to have a press conference claiming reform was coming as the bodies piled up in the background. No longer would he be allowed to re-enter the hearts of the Mission and Bayview neighborhoods to hold public meetings where images of machetes, aka nine-inch kitchen knives, would be put on display to justify another life taken by the gun of a cop. No longer, because Chief Suhr has been fired. And it is the people’s power that achieved this partial justice.

Jessica Nelson’s life will be remembered along with our other martyred lost ones: Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Luis Gongora, Mario Woods, O’Shaine Evans …

The small yet important victory came at a cost. Not only was another life taken, another family destroyed, but sacrifices were made by hundreds, if not thousands, who have been fighting for weeks, months and years. They risked their health, arrest, expulsions and firings to achieve justice.

When Mario Woods was killed on Dec. 2, 2015, a coalition of many groups emerged to stop the routine killing of Black and Brown people in San Francisco. The Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition galvanized City politics. From shutting down Market Street and disrupting Ed Lee’s inauguration, to making international headlines during the Super Bowl, the city elite knew well that they were being checked by a strong people’s force. Equally important was the leadership of anti-police brutality groups like the #Last3Percent and the Anti-Police Terror Project, the Justice 4 Alex Nieto and Justice 4 Amilcar Perez coalitions, along with the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition, of which the ANSWER Coalition is a part. Through the shutting of streets, freeways, vigils, marches and forums, a unity was forged of Black and Brown people allied with all justice-seeking individuals and organizations.

High school students from Balboa, June Jordan and Mission High courageously defied the warnings by school officials and took over City Hall. The San Francisco Labor Council, for the first time, demanded that the officers involved in the killing of Mario Woods be charged with murder. The General Assembly of the United Educators of San Francisco, representing more than 6,000 teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff, passed a resolution just the day before calling for the replacement of Suhr, as did the state-wide California Federation of Teachers.

As if this was not enough, five bold individuals, known as the #Frisco5, risked their own lives to achieve justice by staging a 17-day hunger strike.

Important connections among people and ideas have been made through the growing movement against police killing and abuse. Homelessness, gentrification, inequity and corruption are all ills of this city, one of the current centres of capitalist greed in the United States, defended by the police who so often resolve issues with bullets and brutality.

We must continue to fight, unite and widen the struggle so that more allies and the broader public understand that we have a common interest in accessible housing, more teachers and paraprofessionals, and real living wage jobs or income for all, and not in prioritizing the police. Imagine what we could do if instead of paying over $300,000 for a police chief with even more expensive benefits, we paid paraprofessionals in the schools a liveable income. Imagine if instead of shelling out at least $100,000 for every police officer in San Francisco, we raised salaries of educators so that they stay in the City. Imagine if instead of paying $5 million in overtime fees for the month of February’s Super Bowl activities, that money was distributed among 100 schools. Imagine if instead of a City and mayor that prioritized the rich and the cops who protect them, we finally began investing in our future and the people who make this city run.

We don’t have to imagine, we just have to build the people’s power that can achieve our demands. #FireChiefSuhr was once only a demand as well. Now, after we fought, it is a reality.


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