Tag Archive | xenophobia

Tanzania Demands Reparations for German Colonial Atrocities*

Tanzania Demands Reparations for German Colonial Atrocities*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

 

Germany’s colonial role in Africa has been highlighted again as the Tanzania government placed the European state on notice that it will file an official complaint over the atrocities committed during the early 20th century.

This report comes in the aftermath of a similar effort by representatives of the Herero and Nama peoples of the Republic of Namibia, formerly known as South-West Africa under imperialism. Approximately 80% of the population of these two groups died as a result of a German extermination order issued by General Lothar von Trotha during the anti-colonial revolt of 1904-1907.

In the East African state of Tanzania, the government informed the National Assembly on February 9 that it would pursue an apology along with monetary damages for the crimes carried out in the years of 1905-1907 when an uprising occurred in the southern region of the country. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, who serves as Minister for Defense and National Service, informed the Parliament of its intentions to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop the proper approach to the issues involved.

The Maji Maji War (1905-1907)

Colonial authorities under the direction of Karl Peters, the founder of the German East Africa Company, imposed a draconian system of land theft, forced labour, economic exploitation and unjust taxation. Africans were forced from their traditional societies in order to make way for the European military and administrative apparatus.

Africans were mandated to leave their villages to produce wealth for export to other European nations. The levying of a tax on the people was designed to compel men to work for the colonial firms in the sectors of agricultural commodities, mining and railway construction.

Resentment quickly grew and an uprising erupted in July 1905. It was led by Kinjikitile Ngwale, also known as Bokero. The first wave of Africans attacked German garrisons as well as cotton fields from the Matumbi Hills utilizing traditional weapons and a formula composed of water, castor oil and millet.

Bokero believed that the formula spread over the bodies of the warriors would protect them from the high-powered German weaponry. The uprising was not just limited to the Matumbi and in a matter of weeks other ethnic groups including the Mbunga, Kichi, Ngoni, Ngindo and Pogoro joined in the campaign to eliminate European rule. This anti-colonial movement represented a significant development in that it transcended sectional divisions embarking upon a Pan-African approach to the national liberation struggles that would reach fruition decades later in the mid-to-late 20th century.

According to an entry published by the Black Past website:

“The apex of the rebellion came at Mahenge in August 1905 where several thousand Maji Maji warriors attacked but failed to overrun a German stronghold. On October 21, 1905 the Germans retaliated with an attack on the camp of the unsuspecting Ngoni people who had recently joined the rebellion. The Germans killed hundreds of men, women, and children. This attack marked the beginning of a brutal counteroffensive that left an estimated 75,000 Maji Maji warriors dead by 1907. The Germans also adopted famine as a weapon, purposely destroying the crops of suspected Maji Maji supporters.” (blackpast.com)

Bokero, the spirit medium whose propaganda inspired the war, was captured and executed for treason on August 4, 1905. Nonetheless, the struggle continued for another two years under the renewed and expanded leadership.

Superior military weapons and reinforcements by the German government crushed the uprising by August 1907. Not satisfied with this military defeat of the Africans, the colonial authorities deliberating withheld food from the people leading to widespread deaths from starvation, thirst and disease.

German Colonialism in Africa

With the failure of German imperial ambitions at the conclusion of World War I, the role of this European nation in the rise of colonialism on the continent became obscured. Other imperialist states such as Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, the United States and Italy would continue their economic plunder of Africa past the conclusion of the War in 1918 earning enormous wealth for the multi-national corporations and international finance capital.

However, it was in Germany under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck that the gathering known as the Berlin West Africa Conference was held from November 15, 1884 to February 26, 1885. The aim of the meeting, called for by Portugal, was to bring together the leading European colonial powers and the U.S. to divide the continent in order to facilitate greater cooperation and consequent profit-making for the imperialists.

An article by Elizabeth Heath published in Oxford Reference notes:

“Rivalry between Great Britain and France led Bismarck to intervene, and in late 1884 he called a meeting of European powers in Berlin. In the subsequent meetings, Great Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, and King Leopold II (Belgium) negotiated their claims to African territory, which were then formalized and mapped. During the conference the leaders also agreed to allow free trade among the colonies and established a framework for negotiating future European claims in Africa. Neither the Berlin Conference itself nor the framework for future negotiations provided any say for the peoples of Africa over the partitioning of their homelands.”

Resulting from the imperialist consultations was the German Act of the Berlin Conference. The document sought to guide the Europeans away from conflict in order to guarantee a workable process of super-exploitation of African resources and labor.

Germany was awarded colonial territories not only in East Africa which encompassed modern-day Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania but also Togo and Cameroon in West Africa and Namibia in the sub-continent. Additional settlements in Guinea and the area around Ondo state in Nigeria were attempted without success. Other locations within contemporary Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo were also under the control of German imperialism during various periods between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collapse of the German imperial state in the years of 1915-1918 prompted the invasion and occupation of their colonies by the military units of the so-called Allied Powers during World War I. By 1919 these territories had been wrested from German colonial domination at the aegis of the League of Nations and soon parceled over to Belgium, France, Portugal, South Africa and Britain.

Reparations Needed to Renew African Development and Unity

African Union (AU) member states are more than justified in demanding official apologies and compensation for the enormous damage done by imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact it was the Atlantic Slave Trade beginning in the 1400s and extending into the 1800s that created the conditions for the rise of colonialism in Africa.

Even today the economic dependency of independent states is rooted in the colonial period of relations with Europe. Although African nations won formal national independence over a period of decades between the 1950s and the 1990s, with the exception of the Western Sahara still under Moroccan occupation inherited from Spain four decades ago, these post-colonial governments are limited by the develop model based upon supplying raw materials, agricultural crops and cheap labor to the industrialized countries.

Consequently, the debt owed to the capitalist financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank remains an impediment to both national reconstruction and continental unification. If the African continent speaks with one voice on this question it will serve as a mechanism for acquiring the necessary resources to break with the imperialist system of resource extraction and labor brokerage.

Africa must build its own internal industries and economic system which serves the interests of the majority of workers, farmers and youth. The enormous wealth of the continent should be harnessed for the benefit of the people.

Source*

Related Topics:

Namibian Indigenous Groups Sue Germany for Genocide*

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

Somali Man Takes Legal Action against US, Germany Over Father’s Drone Killing*

Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder*

You’re not a ‘Hitler’ if you Kill Ten Million Africans*

Unpaid Debts: Reparation For Colonialism*

Crispus Attucks: A Black and Native Shared Narrative*

Crispus Attucks: A Black and Native Shared Narrative*

By Gyasi Ross

Crispus Attucks is about combined Native and black lineages that resisted, suffered and caused a revolution.

Crispus Attucks, Circa 1750

Crispus Attucks, Circa 1750

Crispus Attucks, Circa 1750.

Since white colonization of this continent, Black and Native lives have always been valued less than other people.  The story of Crispus Attucks was an early illustration of how there seems to always be a reason why black and Native people get killed that somehow exonerates the authorities of guilt when they harm us.  “Self-defense.”  But, perhaps most importantly, the story of Crispus Attucks is about combined Native and black lineages that resisted, suffered, but through that resistance caused a revolution.

The year was 1770 and the scene was the Massachusetts Colony.  Boston was hot with anger and resentment toward England. 150 years after Pilgrims originally occupied the homelands of the Wampanoag people, the descendants of those Pilgrims felt like they were losing control of the land they called “home.” At that time slavery was legal in the Massachusetts Colony—white colonists enslaved Natives and blacks alike in Massachusetts.  For example, in 1638 during the so-called “Pequot Wars,” white colonists enslaved a group of Pequot women and children. However, most of the men and boys, deemed too dangerous to keep in the colony. Therefore white colonists transported them to the West Indies on the ship Desire and exchanged them for African slaves.

The British Parliament was taxing the colonies something vicious.  The Sugar Act set a tax on sugar and molasses imported into the colonies and also taxed additional foreign goods including wines, coffee, cambric and printed calico. Timber and iron were included in the products that could be traded only with England. Additionally, there was the Stamp Act, where Parliament taxed everything from newspapers to liquor licenses, to diplomas, contracts, legal documents, calendars, wills and bills of sale.  Shortly thereafter, Parliament forced Quartering Act down the colonists throats. The Quartering Act required the colonies to provide housing, food and drink to an additional 40,000 British troops in the American colonies.

“We gotta feed and house these people who are taking all our money??  Awwwww hell naw…!”

Life was hard for a colonizer. But it also made life hard for the Indigenous people and the black folks in the Massachusetts colony who were also subject to those taxes.

Crispus Attucks was both Indigenous and black and a product of the slave trade. He was brilliant in the survival skills that is common and necessary amongst both Indigenous people and black people since the brutal regime of white supremacy came to power on Turtle Island.  His mother’s name was Nancy Attucks, a Wampanoag Native who came from the island of Nantucket. The word “attuck” in the Natick language means deer. His father was born in Africa. His name was Prince Yonger and he was brought to America as a slave.

Attucks was himself born a slave. But he was not afraid to actively seek his own (or others’) liberation. For example he escaped from his slave master and was the focus of an advertisement in a 1750 edition of the Boston Gazette in which a white landowner offered to pay 10 pounds for the return of a young runaway slave.

“Ran away from his Master, William Brown of Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last, a Molatto Fellow, about 27 Year of age, named Crispas, 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair…,”

Attucks was not going back though—he never did.  He spent the next two decades on trading ships and whaling vessels.

 

The next time history speaks on Attucks, this Native and black escaped slave, he was in Boston in 1770. Tensions were peaking and the colonies thinking “revolution.”  It was more than a little bit ironic that the person who sparked revolution for the colonies was a product of Indigenous and black lineages.  On March 2, 1770, a fight erupted between some Boston rope makers and three British soldiers. Three nights later, a British soldier looking for work entered a Boston pub and was verbally chided by some Bostonians, including Attucks. In today’s terms we would say that Attucks was engaged in non-violent direct action.  All of the Bostonians were unarmed.

The situation quickly escalated. A group of British redcoats came to the defense of their fellow soldier; that caused more Bostonians to join the verbal altercation and they began throwing snowballs at the troops.  The British troops returned snowballs with musket fire, (it was called a “brown bess.”)

Attucks endured and escaped from slavery. That was horrible and shameful enough. Yet it was when Attucks was killed that we truly see that much of white supremacy is almost unchanged from centuries ago. Like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, John T. Williams, Sandra Bland, the people of Flint Michigan, the people of Standing Rock, etc., etc., Attucks essentially became a martyr for white outrage and change.  Brown-skinned people have historically been that—a spark for outrage that is co-opted by white causes.  With Attucks, he was “the first to defy, and the first to die.” Attucks was not only unarmed, but he was also not fighting.  History says that Attucks “was leaning upon a stick when he fell.” Yet, when the British opened fire he was the first of five men killed. Although Attucks was not a commissioned soldier, he died for freedom and his murder made him the first casualty of the American Revolution.

John Adams later defended the armed soldiers in almost exactly the same way that white prosecutors defend police officers when they shoot a brown-skinned or black-skinned person. Acknowledging that Attucks was unarmed, Adams nonetheless said that Attucks “very looks was enough to terrify any person” and that should be enough to acquit the soldiers. Six of the soldiers were acquitted of all charges and two of the soldiers were found guilty on manslaughter. Those guilty soldiers punishment was to be branded on their thumbs.

The story of Crispus Attucks is powerful. Native and black people have been facing the same tribulations and common enemies for a very long time.  For most of the time since white people have been on this continent, black folk and Native folk have had no choice but to work together and have.  If we look at statistics today—from expulsion/suspension from schools, to the blacks and Natives going to prison, to getting killed by law enforcement—not a lot has changed.  We still share very common narratives and need each other.

We still need to work together.

Source*

Related Topics:

Black History Month and Indigenous Americans*

Black Lives Matter Fighting Alongside Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters*

#Arabs4BlackPower Releases Movement for Black Lives Solidarity Statement*

The Doctrine of Discovery

The Flames of the Doctrine of Discovery Burns within the NWO*

Pope Francis to Get the Doctrine of Destiny (Inter Caetera Papal Bull) Revoked*

The Vanishing Indigenous Nations of the U.S. – Five Facts*

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

By Daniel Fisher

Congolese people continue to pay a steep price in their resistance to a dictatorial regime backed by the U.S. and its allies. The world takes little notice. Congo is an immensely rich nation, but it is among the poorest due to a history of political meddling and resource theft by Western powers. The time has come to stand in solidarity with Congolese people.

Thirty-four Congolese civilians were murdered last December and hundreds detained after calling for President Joseph Kabila to respect his constitutional term limits and leave office. If you are anything like the average American, you probably haven’t heard any coverage of the Congolese youth risking their lives for political, social, and economic justice. News from Central Africa is sporadic, decontextualized and confined to a modern version of the ‘dark continent’ narrative.

Researchers have found that there is “a widespread belief in broadcasting that audiences are not interested in factual programming on the developing world.”

But: “Apparent in all of the groups was a greatly increased level of interest in the subject matter once the conflict was understood as resulting from a system of relationships in which the group members themselves were in some way involved.”

In other words, contextualized discussions re-conceptualized African problems as human problems that are interconnected to global structural problems.

The western corporate press is either silent or frames Congolese news in the least productive way imaginable. As we go about creating a new media in light of the abject failures of our corporate mainstream media, we must make sure we don’t leave behind some of the most courageous and democratically principled people on the planet: the Congolese population.

The ghost of Christmas past

Throughout King Leopold II of Belgium’s life he sought to acquire territory around the world for colonial purposes. In the mid-1870 he found a piece of territory that he believed had immense potential for riches: the remaining territory of the Kingdom of Kongo.

Subsequently, Leopold launched a propaganda campaign to gain formal recognition of his territory which he would later rename the Congo Free State. Pushed by lobbying efforts from the United States Chamber of Commerce, wealthy businessman Henry Shelton Sanford, and Congressional allies like former Confederate General/then Alabama Senator John Tyler Morgan, the United States broke the glass ceiling for King Leopold by becoming the first country to formally recognize his colony.

It would be a costly recognition. Leopold’s 23-year reign as owner of the ‘Congo Free State’ would kill an estimated 10 million Congolese. King Leopold unleashed one of the largest state terrorist campaigns in modern history. His 23-year imperial rule institutionalized beheadings and forced children to rape/kill their mothers/sisters if they did not meet their forced labor quotas on palm oil plantations.

Overcoming decades of brutality, Congo won its independence in 1960. In their first election as a free country, they elected anti-colonialist Patrice Lumumba. The 34-year-old’s time as prime minister would be short-lived. Immediately the United States sought to remove him from power. Former head of the CIA Allen Dules stated that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective” of covert action. President Eisenhower “expressed his wish that Lumumba would fall into a river full of crocodiles.”

The prospect of Congolese citizens self-determining how to allocate resources was simply too risky for the United States. At first, the CIA tried to poison Lumumba but couldn’t get close enough. Undeterred, the United States decided they would pay off future 40-year dictator Mobutu Seseseko to murder him. By handing the Congo to one of the most notorious kleptocrats of the 20th century, the United States and other western allies ensured this would be the last peaceful transfer of power until today. With funding and military assistance, the United States and its western allies would help Mobutu crush and rob the Congo (which he renamed Zaire) of its natural resources until the end of the last century.

In the early 1990s, Congolese youth again overcame a brutal regime and took to the streets to demand democratic reforms. With great sacrifice, they slowly won reforms from the government. At the same time, America was shifting from Cold War dictatorial allies to a ‘new generation’ of leaders who would open their countries up to neoliberal reforms under the guise of promotion of democracy.

Mobutu was suddenly described as a ‘dinosaur’ who had to step down immediately. If he refused the U.S. and its allies would have the ‘responsibility to protect’ the Congolese citizens. This responsibility to protect doctrine would prove to be a leading argument for humanitarian imperialism.

Mobutu refused to leave power and so began what is typically referred to as Congo’s first war (1996-1997). United States regional allies successfully invaded Congo (Zaire) and successfully overthrew Mobutu and installed Laurent Kabila as leader of the newly named Democratic Republic of Congo. Laurent proved to not be as willing to allow the West and regional allies to loot Congolese resources as originally imaged.

Again, the American allies invaded DRC and, in 2001, assassinated Laurent Kabila and installed his son, Joseph Kabila, as president of the DRC. The war resulted in approximately 5 million deaths. Following the war, the United Nations found that Rwanda and Uganda systematically looted billions of dollars in resources from the DRC. Uganda was ordered to pay $10 billion by the International Court of Justice for their plundering. Apparently, after almost a decade, paying the fine is still being considered by President Yoweri Museveni.

The minerals include cassiterite, or tin ore, as well as coltan, used in devices such as mobile phones

 

The idea of humanitarian imperialism is quite striking. Namely, our allies could openly repress their populations, but if enemies of the state violated democratic principles they could be overthrown for humanitarian purposes. For example, Rwanda for a decade has been carrying out a global assassination campaign of Rwandans who have fled President Kagame’s autocratic regime. Presidential candidates have been jailed and former military officials have been killed for challenging Kagame’s narrative of the Rwandan genocide as well as his role in it. Yet, the U.S. continues to praise Kagame as a shining example of democratic values. President Museveni meanwhile has successfully blocked an international criminal court investigation into atrocities committed during the Congo war.

The ghost of Christmas present

Since being appointed as the head of the DRC, Joseph Kabila has won presidential elections twice. Both times were rife with voter suppression and irregularities. In 2011, Kabila was not able to secure 50% of the vote, but that was enough. Before the election he successfully removed the electoral runoff requirement. Despite the voter repression and boxes of votes apparently never counted, the United States endorsed the election results both times.

Throughout Joseph Kabila’s tenure he has jailed protesters, incorporated war criminals into positions of power, and unleashed his security forces on the Congolese population to quash dissent. The U.S. has at most voiced ‘concern’ (they endorsed plans to incorporate Rwandan war criminals into the Congolese security forces and were silent on the runoff removal) but has continued to support the Kabila regime because he allows (and gets a cut of) American allies to plunder Congolese resources.

As long as Kabila allowed access to what NATO refers to as critical resources and what the Pentagon calls strategic minerals, the U.S. would allow him to consolidate power by robbing the Congolese population of billions of dollars for his corporate western partners and himself.

The U.S. has gone as far as blocking language condemning the Rwandan M23 proxy invasion in 2012. After a year of the M23 using child soldiers, murdering civilians, raping women, and occupying cities to solidify criminal resource smuggling networks, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Kagame and told him to knock it off. Bosco Ntaganda would emerge from the woods and turn himself in to the ICC shortly after the call.

About a decade ago the United Nations recommended actions taken against western corporations for illegal dealings in the DRC, but again, the report was ignored by all parties. The social consequences are devastating. The United Nations Human Development Index ranks the DRC near dead last. Humanitarian intervention doesn’t apply when it suits our geopolitical interests.

But now Kabila’s second term has ended. Thanks to the courageous activism of Congolese youth, years of trying to change the constitution to increase the term limits have failed. Unsurprisingly, they have paid a heavy price. LUCHA, Telema, and other Congolese civilians have been killed (the UN described the pattern of killings as shoot-to-kill orders) and arbitrarily detained for demanding Kabila follow the constitution and to stop stealing billions of dollars of their resources.

LUCHA activist Luc Nkulula described why Kabila is having difficulty crushing the Congolese youth:

“The government is scared of us because we are calling for change and we are not like the opposition groups it is used to dealing with. We have no single leader so the government does not know how to control us.” A true democratic movement.

Instead of throwing diplomatic weight behind these peaceful democratic youth groups, the United States has reduced their statements to a timely election (that is, years past the constitutional deadline). Even more disgusting, the United States issued its standard “both-sides-should-stop” statement that is eerily similar to Obama’s call for the American indigenous population and the North Dakota police to BOTH knock off the violence.

Spokesman John Kirby stated,

“We appeal to all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from statements or actions that could incite further violence.”

A meaningless statement. The press didn’t ask a single follow up question after this statement, instead the discussion largely focused on Russia.

At the same time the United States is calling for Kabila to not change the constitution, they are silent about Kagame changing the constitution so he can run for a third term! To the United States, the DRC must continue to be a weak state for the Congolese people. The only function of a state that the DRC is allowed to exercise is violence on their population. This suppresses Congolese self-determination. At the same time, the DRC’s designed institutional corruption allows the US to maintain a footprint in a critical part of the continent while wearing a humanitarian veil.

The ghost of Christmas future

Unfortunately, for Congo it may soon find itself in the war on terror narrative. As one LUCHA activist put it, “If the government squashes the Lucha, this not only means the failure of the Lucha, but the failure of non-violence, which is extremely dangerous.”

That’s probably okay in the United States’ mind, for one, the United Nations Security Council has already approved a drone program in the DRC. A resolution passed under the cover of the Rwandan sponsored M23 invasion. As the U.S. continues to expand the world as a battlefield through drone warfare, raw materials required for drone assembly will become increasingly critical. The U.S. has no domestic coltan so expect the ‘American interests’ in the region to expand in a country that has 24 trillion dollars’ worth of mineral reserves.

 

Days to leaving office, Obama formally declared war on Al-Shabab. The United States and the Africa Union rely heavily on Ugandan troops in Somalia. “Kampala is the political equivalent of a brokerage firm for rebels, rebellions and peace missions. It has more troops abroad than any other country aside of the U.S. itself.” That will mean the continuation or furthering of American diplomatic immunity provided to corrupt Congolese forces and the American regional allies.

As Central Africa is incorporated into the war on terror and the United States continues its long legacy of defining democracy as choosing between candidates that ensure access to ‘American interests’ we must counter this narrative with a deeper contextual discussion of African problems as our problems. Supporting and standing in solidarity with groups such as Friends of Congo, Telema, and LUCHA will begin to make up for the atrocities committed in our names. Challenges to corrupt institutions are rightly being covered by alternative news outlets, but we will never be able to create a just world system without standing in solidarity and listening to those who have experienced the brunt of the injustice.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. Sponsors Rape in Congo*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

You’re not a ‘Hitler’ if you Kill Ten Million Africans*

What Does Ebola, Gas and Oil Have in Common?*

 

James Baldwin Issues a Wake-Up Call to Black America*

James Baldwin Issues a Wake-Up Call to Black America*

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Death has this way of making truth-tellers seem harmless.

Alive, Martin Luther King provoked a president and divided a nation with his truth. Dead, he is an image on a commemorative place mat, his words safe enough for recitation by children.

This also holds, albeit to a lesser degree, for Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. Dead, they were no longer dangerous.

“We took out all the radicality of their legacy,” says Raoul Peck.

Peck is the director of “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary built on 30 pages of notes James Baldwin wrote for a book he never finished, a meditation on race, America and his three murdered friends: Medgar, Malcolm, and Martin.

The film, which opened in wide release Friday, is a melange of arresting images, film clips and music framing Baldwin’s lacerating words as heard in archival footage and in readings by Samuel L. Jackson. It is nothing less than a masterpiece, fully deserving of its rave reviews and Oscar nomination and it demands to be seen more than once. Trying to absorb everything it has to say in one sitting is like trying to catch Niagara in a teacup.

But what is most stunning about “Negro” is its prescience and, more to the point, what its prescience says about what America still is. Here are the words of a man who died in 1987 and yet, those words somehow contain Trayvon Martin, the Ferguson uprising, the election of Donald Trump and all the other broken promises.

“People finally say to you,” says Baldwin through Jackson,

“in an attempt to dismiss the social reality: ‘But you’re so bitter.’ Well, I may or may not be bitter. But if I were, I would have good reasons for it, chief among them that American blindness or cowardice which allows us to pretend that life presents no reasons for being bitter.”

As he speaks, you are watching a kneeling Rodney King get kicked in the back of the head by an L.A. cop.

And you might, if you are African American, want to shout hallelujah at hearing those who blithely chastise your “anger” thus elegantly rebuked.

“There are days,” says Baldwin, “…when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. How, precisely, are you going to reconcile yourself to your situation here and how you are going to communicate to the vast, heedless, unthinking, cruel white majority that you are here?”

And you might, if you are African-American, want to bow your head and lift a hand to the ceiling, because you have wondered, too, but did not have the words to say.

“When the Israelis pick up guns,” says Baldwin, “ or the Poles or the Irish or any white man in the world says ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ the entire white world applauds. When a Black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one and everything possible is done to make an example of this bad n*gger so there won’t be any more like him.”

And you might, if you are African-American, just want to pat your feet and say Amen. Even now. Even still.

“The scariest thing,” says Peck,

“is that it is so precise and dead on the point of what is happening right now. …We have been somehow in a sort of lethargy. We’ve been sleeping and we’ve been lazy. We’ve got Black History Month and we have Martin Luther King Day and we have new laws, etcetera, and we pretend as if everything is OK now. Which it’s not.

“We’ve just buried the corpse even deeper.”

If so, then “Negro” is a disinterment. More than a work of unparalleled brilliance, it is an urgent reminder that when it comes to race and America, the truth is not “safe.”

And it never was.

Source*

Related Topics:

#WeShallNotBeMoved: Civil Rights Groups March on Washington*

MLK Assassination: The Evidence You’ve Not Seen

Dream Defenders Score Victory against ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom!

Jewish Mobster-Music Manager, the Mind behind Gangster-Rap, Dies at 75*

Malcolm X: The Truth Seeker*

Ruby Dee: Farewell to Another Meaningful Life

The Radical Work of Healing: Fania and Assata (Angela Davis) on a New Kind of Civil Rights Activism*

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

Maya Angelou on Facing Evil*

The Strange Death of Dr. Sebi the Man Who Cures AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes

Court Order: The Re-Education of Lauryn Hill for Speaking the Truth!

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

Knowledge of Life*

Yoga, Race and ‘Colour Blindness’*

 

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

An al Qaeda “number two” gets killed every ten days, making it one of the worst jobs in the world

 

Eleven militants with links to Al-Qaeda, including a senior operative, were killed in two U.S. sorties in Syria’s Idlib province, the Pentagon has said. It comes after the opposition on the ground blamed mass loss of civilian life on recent airstrikes in the area.

U.S. warplanes hit “an al-Qaida meeting place” on February 3, killing “10 terrorists” who were inside the building at the time, Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement released Wednesday.

US B-52 bombed Idlib, Syria, killing over 20 civilians – Russian MoD

Another raid on February 4 targeted a high-profile Al-Qaeda operative Abu Hani al-Masri, believed to be behind multiple terror attacks, including a foiled plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Albania in 1998. Al-Masri is said to have belonged to a narrow circle of Al-Qaeda’s top commanders and have had ties to Osama bin Laden as well as the terrorist group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

As one of Al-Qaeda senior leaders, al-Masri had a lengthy record of terrorism-related crimes, going back to the 80s. He “oversaw the creation and operation of many Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and ’90s, where he recruited, indoctrinated and equipped thousands of terrorists,” the statement reads.

Trump says: “I killed bin Laden’s grandma”

Trump says: “I killed bin Laden’s grandma”

Trump says: “I killed bin Laden’s grandma”

Pentagon says al-Masri has become the fourth Al-Qaeda leader it killed since the start of the year.

Earlier Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon reported that the raids on February 3 and February 4 were “two precision strikes” with one of them deliberately targeting al-Masri.

“We are assessing the results of those strikes and will announce definitive results as soon as practicable,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

Moscow dismisses reports of Russian airstrikes on Idlib

Meanwhile, opposition activists in the rebel-held Idlib province have been claiming the ongoing bombing campaign in the area is targeting innocent civilians. Reports attributed to opposition sources on the ground say that up to 30 people, mostly women, fell victim to the Tuesday airstrike which targeted the city of Idlib.

With no information on exactly who carried out the strike immediately available, the Russian Defense Ministry was quick to dismiss reports of its alleged role in the bloodshed, calling it an example of “fake news.” The ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said that Russian warplanes “have not conducted a single airstrike in the city of Idlib yesterday, or last week, or even since the beginning of 2017.”

On February 1, the headquarters of the Syrian Red Crescent in the province were badly damaged in the airstrike labeled by the President of the Turkish Red Crescent Kerem Kinik a “clear war crime” perpetrated by the U.S.-led coalition in violation of the international law.

Following the strike, at least four of the Red Crescent staff members suffered injuries and one was in critical condition.

A Pentagon spokesman reported late January that over 150 Al-Qaeda affiliated militants have been killed in U.S. airstrikes since the beginning of 2017. In another “precision airstrike” targeting an Al-Qaeda training camp in Idlib, over 100 “terrorist fighters” were killed.

Source*

Related Topics:

Water Supply Cut off in Raqqa City due U.S.-led Coalition Airstrikes*

Turkey Continues Repeated Violations against the Sanctity and Unity of Syria’s Sovereignty*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Who’s Paying Amnesty Int’l to Lie about Syria?*

A Flemish Priest in Syria, “Putin and Assad saved my life”*

Russia Hammers ISIS in Deir Ez-zor, Airlifts Syrian Troops There*

Soros Partners with MasterCard to Profiteer from his Engineered Mass Migration*

Syrian Army Kills Scores of ISIS and al-Nusra Terrorists in Deir Ez-Zor and Homs*

U.S. to Take Control of British Nuclear Deterrent*

S. Voter Fraud Investigation Order Quietly Trashed*

The ‘Jewish National Fund’ and Its Role in Israel Thus Palestine*

The ‘Jewish National Fund’ and Its Role in Israel thus Palestine*

Iconic “blue boxes” used for JNF fundraising worldwide. Photo credit: Alan English, CC license.

By Maya Schkolne

On Jan. 18, 2017, Israel’s Yoav police unit, specifically set up in 2012 for tasks related to “Bedouin resettlement,” faced off against residents and activists when it tried to demolish the Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran in the Negev region.

This pre-dawn evacuation and destruction involved the use of extreme physical force, stun grenades, pepper spray and rubber and copper bullets. Following the fierce onslaught, resident schoolteacher Yaqub Abu Qi’an and police officer Erez Levy were killed.

The conflict didn’t begin or end in demolition and bloodshed, either. This Bedouin community had already experienced forcible relocation from Khirbet Zubaleh in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel, which Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” (Arabic for catastrophe), and which saw more than 700,000 Palestinians expelled from their homes.

With this history of “catastrophe” in the region, media outlets regularly find fault with the policies of the Israeli government, but journalists rarely have much to say about the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), better known as the JNF.

What is the JNF?

According to the “Nakba Files,” a joint project launched by Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (a Palestinian-run NGO based in Haifa), and the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University:

“The JNF is a worldwide network of Zionist charities dedicated to acquiring and settling land on behalf of the Jewish people. The JNF’s Israeli branch is a parastatal organization that enjoys special status under Israeli law in the management of land.”

As one of the key entities designed to ensure the Jewish demographic majority necessary for the solidification of a Jewish state, the roots of the JNF go back to the World Zionist Organization conference in 1901, which envisioned a fund to purchase land in Palestine for transfer to Jews. This ambition turned reality six years later through the official formulation and incorporation of the JNF into a company in Britain. After receiving chartered status to assist Israeli governmental functions in 1953, it obtained sizable swathes of Palestinian land from the Israeli Knesset.

The JNF currently has direct access to approximately 13 percent of pre-1967 land, mainly in the Negev and the Galilee, as it transferred urban land to the state for privatization. Moreover, though the Israeli Land Administration (ILA) administers 93 percent of Israel’s land, the JNF has considerable sway over its programs and policies with representation through 6 of the 14 members (43 percent) of its governing board.

In other words, as the Nakba Files reiterates:

“The JNF ceded management of its own land to the state in exchange for a major share in decision-making power over all state-controlled lands. The petition recently filed by Adalah and its partners challenges the constitutionality of this arrangement.

The JNF’s role on the ILA Council affords it enormous influence over the allocation and use of lands. Israel has one of the highest proportions of state control of land in the world; most of that land is held in long-term leases. A considerable portion of state lands were expropriated from Palestinians — refugees of the 1948 Nakba as well as Palestinians who were displaced from their homes but nevertheless became citizens of Israel.”

In the 2016 film “Junction48” by Israeli-American filmmaker Udi Aloni, a lawyer from Adalah points out the role the JNF plays in displacing Palestinian families from their lands:

Director Udi Aloni’s film @Junction48 features Adalah lawyer explaining role JNF plays in displacing Palestinian families from their lands pic.twitter.com/BPfpRK5h40

— Adalah (@AdalahEnglish) 19 décembre 2016

Indeed, over the rubble and dust that the bulldozers will leave in the wake of Umm al-Hiran, fresh layers of brick and mortar funded by the JNF will construct the town of “Hiran” for Jewish residents.

In response, deputy editor and blogger at 972mag Edo Konrad tweeted:

When people tell you that the term “ethnic cleansing” offends them, tell them about Umm al-Hiran. Tell them it’s happening now, in 2017.

— Edo Konrad (@edokonrad) 18 janvier 2017

The neighboring village of Atir faces a similar fate, and its ruins will be cleared to make way for a JNF-sponsored forest called Yatir.

Once Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel are expelled from their homes, they are cast off to consistently under-resourced township areas such as Hura. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Yossi Maimon, an assistant to the director of the “authority for the settlement and development of the Bedouin,” confirmed on Jan, 16 that “the state is pressing for all the approximately 400 residents of the village to relocate to the nearby township of Hura.”

Atwa Abu al-Kaeean, a 62-year-old resident of Umm Al-Hiran told The Jerusalem Post that police called him five times in the course of 10 days to tell him he must “conclude matters with the authority because we will demolish your home.”

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the state currently refuses to recognize villages that are home to more than half of the 160,000 people in the Negev Bedouin population. As a result, they suffer under the constant threat of demolitions, which is enforced by the Unit for Enforcement in Open Spaces, or the “Green Patrol,” that works in conjunction with the ILA, the JNF, and the Israeli Defence Forces. The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality lists more than 70 cases of home demolitions and crop destruction that occurred in the Negev in 2016 alone.

The Israeli government insists that these villages are ‘illegal’ and justifies its actions on the basis of “restoring the law.” However, as Ron Dudai, an associate editor of The Journal of Human Rights Practice, who previously worked at B’Tselem and Amnesty International, explained his objections to the government’s position:

Let me emphasize what makes it so appalling is the open, internally legal way in which it is done … an independent and competent supreme court with judges who teach at Yale, which sits calmly and declares those actions to be legal, and eloquent spokespersons who wholly admit to and justify the demolitions, which take place in broad daylight and in front of the media’s cameras. In a sense, it is this constrained character that makes them so distressing.

Various commentators have discussed the ideological background of such practices. Some have pointed out that much of the logic surrounding current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s politics can be traced to the political philosophy of early revisionist Zionist thinker Ze’ev Jabotinsky, whose essay, “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs),” praised the “virtue” of driving Palestinians to such a state until they lose hope, compelling them to make concessions and accept their oppression:

“My readers have a general idea of the history of colonization in other countries. I suggest that they… see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonization being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.”

To the wider public, the practices of the Jewish National Fund aren’t well-known. But you can’t understand Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land without knowing the JNF.

Source*

Related Topics:

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

Sky Trumpets over Palestine*

Israel Weaponizes it’s Rape Culture against Palestinians*

70 Nations in Paris to Discuss Two-state Solution without Palestine and Israel*

Abbas Rejected Biden’s New U.S. Peace Initiative, which Makes Palestine Jewish*

Belgium to Arrest Former Israeli FM for “war crimes”!*

Dutch Reject Calls to Cease Funding Palestinian Groups*

A 1829 Newspaper Reports on the Rothschilds and Jerusalem*

Buffet, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline

Buffet, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline

By Pamela Williams

If you Google “phillips 66 DAPL investment” right now, -unless a new divestment announcement is resulting in an algorithm smackdown of the headlines as we speak, your search will turn up a mass majority of articles stating how President elect Donald Trump is (mainly was) invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) through both Energy Transfer Partners LLC and Phillips 66, at a maximal of $1 million that was reduced to between $15 000 – $50 000 for the former (which Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks announced was divested of) and an investment which may maximally be a quarter million in the latter, Phillips66, which has not garnered any response of whether Trump divested or not. These reports give you confirmation that Phillips66 has a 25% stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline.  This is what Google’s search algorithms latch onto. In November, the other two majority stakeholders consolidated.

Trump’s investment is hailed of interest for its conflict of interest, and may rate as a calculated smackdown of Trump targeted at the environmental constituency, echo-chambered by the mainstream media to swamp searches on the subject in the last heat of the election. (Google “Trump DAPL investor October 2016”. It hit then. Stories on this went so far back as May, 2016 (see Sources; they remain focused on the subject to this day.

The next focus of aspersion and the sole focus for financial punishment designated by environmental groups and indigenous activists as the rightful target for a divestment campaign has been the banks funding the project, a campaign more or less launched by Food & Water Watch. What is interesting about this is that in terms of the banks loaning credit to the DAPL, not one of these banks exceeds an investment of $600 million.

 

 

Hardly a murmur is heard on the media or inter-webs as per the billionaire investors in DAPL’s fruition, but Counterpunch made mention of Warren Buffet, invested in Phillips 66 at over $6.8 billion through Warren Buffet’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, making Berkshire Hathaway the majority shareholder of Phillips 66 at 22%. (The second ranked investor, Vanguard Group, sits at 8%.) Phillips66 is Berkshire Hathaway’s 6th largest holding and 5th largest percent stake. Phillips66 is responsible for building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Perhaps even curiouser given Berkshire Hathaway is invested in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline over a hundred times as much as any of these banks, it owns a host of subsidiaries, many of which are easily boycott-able by the general public, starting with Geico and Dairy Queen. Curiously, the most significant of Berkshire Hathaway’s “wholly owned subsidiaries”, which figures significantly in the scenario about to be laid before you of who’s been deep down and dirty in the Bakken, North Dakota, is not on that list. BNSF and its fracking holding company, Burlington Resources, figure prominently in this New York Times’ expose dated November, 2014. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) belongs to Berkshire Hathaway. At $44 billion it was the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway’s history, which would be common knowledge to anyone in the NYT readership with a memory, but was a curiously omitted fact in the above expose on state corruption in the Bakken five years later.

The expose delineates pay to play collusion involving the then current North Dakota Governor and state officials (the director of mineral resources) with the oil and gas industry with respects to mineral rights (i.e., fracking rights, helpful hint: mineral rights trump surface rights), which BNSF had originally owned through land it had been historically awarded including those rights. When they sold off surface tracts of land in North Dakota, they were not selling the mineral rights. Those rights “were managed by its energy company, Burlington Resources.” Burlington Resources was sold to Conoco Phillips for $36.5 billion. The NYT article does not provide the crucial purchase date, but this does (Feb. 1, 2006), so it was a Conoco Phillips entity when this corruption scandal transpired (by three years), a date of transaction curiously omitted by the NYT that was pretty essential for clarification. Incidentally Phillips 66 was created and spun off from this parent company in 2012, meaning Conoco Phillips investors received two Phillips 66 shares for every Conoco Phillips share they owned.

Take it as a promise that these financials are being laid out to deliver the juice. The NYT expose had a Part 1, depicting how oil and gas resource industry was an old-school regulatory douche-nozzle we normally identify as structured unbridled corruption with ghastly spill rates, (precisely the sort of situation completely ripe for an explosive protest with the level of ineptitude just waiting to blow), accompanied by the above Part 2 pointing out the level of corruption that is legally structured into state governance around oil resources in North Dakota, as well as a history of connective issue informing us that these are more or less the same corporate players. The most salient point is that NYT would make no mention of Warren Buffet’s ownership of BNSF or lend any clarification with regards to its subsidiary, Burlington Resources although this would have indicated it avoided a direct conflict of interest on the part of the companies and himself. The basis for this became clear with the fact that NYT pointedly omitted on its description that the photograph of a charred skeleton of an train engine from a rail explosion outside of Casselton, ND, that it was a BNSF train. If you avoided the train was BNSF’s, the query of conflict of interest would not even arise at all for those who didn’t already know that. They certainly weren’t bringing up who owned it to those not in the know of their readership, and that was the priority

On its website, BNSF reported that a westbound grain train with 112 cars derailed at about 2:10 p.m. Monday about one mile west of Casselton, hitting an eastbound 106-car train carrying crude oil on an adjacent track and causing it to derail, as well. An estimated 21 cars caught fire, some exploding and sending huge fireballs into the blue sky.” [Source] Photo Credit: Shawn Rode Photography

To give you some curious foreshadowing (think of if it as appropriate visual and musical montage  for accompaniment) you can opt to interrupt this broadcast by taking note of how a shot of a BNSF train running through the southwest graces the opening credits of Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers”  (and reappears throughout). That won’t be a left field statement by the time this report is concluded; indeed the movie might almost seem peppered with the visual spice and splice of foreshadowing itself, were it not for the truth that the architects of human global imminent peril are not, and never have been, individual mass murderers. They’re the opposite. That aside, even the death toll (48 before Mickey and Mallory go to prison) will have a curious resonance (not to mention the 666 motif almost already does), so let’s get back to it.

NYT’s photo of the charred shell of an train engine whose company they wouldn’t name makes a picturesque omission that should have been worth a thousand words, or could have easily held the potential for a Part 3; -the trace remnant of a BNSF train that exploded near the governor’s birthplace of Casselton, ND (with such fierceness that the town had to be evacuated). In fact it was BNSF’s first Bakken oil train explosion, and it was truly spectacular. However these were not new. The first explosion of fracked product out of Bakken immolated the town center of Lac-Megantic along with 47 people. Homes were burned from the inside out while “fire erupted from water pipes, drains and sewers”:

“The Lac-Mégantic disaster generated an estimated $2 billion in liabilities with the cleanup alone projected at $200 million. The train’s operator, MM&A, a short line railroad transporting the crude from a Canadian Pacific (CP) yard to a refinery in New Brunswick, had just $25 million in liability insurance. Soon after the accident, MM&A filed for bankruptcy protection.” – Sightline Institute

While there was obvious negligence at fault (brakes not set properly on a single engineer run train at the top of a hill) and these problems increased, rather than decreased in Canada afterwards) -this was clearly not simply the problem as evidenced by the barest of timelines offered by Sightline, which marks the BNSF train at Casselton as the third such explosion. This is problematic as many actual explosions are treated as spills or derailments in the press, and additionally many accidents were omitted. Two reports have reached a consensus of 14 such headline accidents by multiple carriers, whereas Sightline lists eleven. In the instance of the Gogoma ON oil train fire mentioned by all three, that was in fact the fifth derailment in Ontario alone for that year (in less than three months) of just CN trains. There were more (of just CN trains for that period) in other provinces, actually seven additional derailments, five in Canadian provinces, and two more in the US.  This article on the second oil train accident/fire listed in Sightline’s timeline in Alabama mentions another one in Alberta. By the time of the Timmins ON derailment (and massive fire), that was the third such derailment in less than a month. Noteworthy incidents like two Wisconsin accidents two days in a row  and one in Buffalo don’t make the list. Neither do products other than crude oil, like a CN coal spill in Vancouver that took out a river Streamkeepers had been rehabilitating for salmon, due for its biggest run in 80 years , or a train carrying ‘liquid petroleum’ (propane) that caused the evacuation of hundreds in Tennessee.

Another fine example of this type of downplaying of events (though they mention 17 such derailments, 10 of them “terrifying”) is a far more recent piece of glaring headliner clickbait by Chicago Magazine that states the energy potential of a single oil rail car is the equivalent of ‘2 million sticks of dynamite’, a piece designed to at once to frighten and soothe the Chicago populace. Chicago was where Buffet was apparently behind forcing rail yard workers not to unionize for anything above minimum wage.

Chicago Magazine labeled this BNSF Casselton explosion (mushroom cloud is more like it) a collision. Initial reporting of this accident by eye-witnesses said this was between standing rail cars, and that a grain car tipped off its rails onto the adjacent oil train. For Chicago Magazine’s citation the Lynchburg derailment in Virginia was treated was as a spill into the river (with 50 000 gallons of crude oil ‘missing’  that endangered the drinking water supply), when it had an explosion from the derailment that sent ‘flames stories high’ and set the river on fire. Likewise, Sightline’s listing of the same accident treats the Lynchburg derailment as just that. The same watering down is apparent in Sightline’s ambiguity as per the second Bakken oil train fire in the timeline at Alliceville, Alabama which they dubbed “derailment and river contamination” when the accompanying blaze could not be approached for eighteen hours, was referred to as hundreds of feet tall and could be witnessed from ten miles away. Ignited Thursday, it was still burning on Saturday, and kept going. Ergo, by the time of the second major headline accident, it was already known that a simple derailment could engender massive combustion with large fires.

The third explosion in the rail accident chronology by BNSF outside of Casselton stands apart for one thing, it brought about a report by Truthout that all trains out of Bakken were being permitted to carry highly volatile VOC’s, alleged by non-corporate testing of the Bakken product to easily range between 30% and 40% of the product. (Casselton got the undivided attention of Mark Ruffalo.) Also, those in receivership of BNSF Bakken trains had to obtain “special conditions” permits, requiring them to “flare-off” the dangerous VOCs before barging them down a river, the Mississippi. This wasn’t your usual crude. (The article doesn’t even mention the obvious potential of residual methane, which in fracking operations was being flared off all the time.) The permit process showed that those in receivership knew the volatility as they were required to treat the product, which means so did the shippers. What was AWOL was Federal regulation of the product out of North Dakota, and this was because volatility equated with profitability, especially with respects to jet fuel.

At this threshold the salient point to be derived from the New York Times expose on the prior coexistence of BNSF and their spin-off Burlington Resources becomes very clear. BNSF had a subsidiary dealing in this product that was more than likely offloaded at the right time to prevent any conflict of interest being thrown into relief by a subsequent explosion, a situation that would would have surely made it liable, whereas after Casselton, Buffet was campaigning for the equivalent insurance exceptions as nuclear power plants, despite a record of 721 safety violations in North Dakota alone since 2006. After all, you cannot obtain such exemptions in the face of such a record when you can in no way have claimed ignorance after 47 people got immolated, which you could not when the same company that ships the product has an existing subsidiary fracking the product. By the point of purchase of BNSF, Buffet was in the clear of such a glaring direct conflict of interest. Nonetheless there is no way those responsible for shipping product out of Bakken could have been any more naive than those in receivership who were being regulated to treat the contents for volatility, and even if one could have laid claim to ignorance, after the second conflagration in Alabama, there was really no question anymore. Really there should have been no question after Lac-Megantic, but strike 3, you’re out. The BNSF Casselton explosion resulted in a nigh instantaneous safety classification alert by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Canadian pipeline corporations immediately followed suite. (Look at the photo caption. -Little late to protest the Keynote XL, -weren’t we?)

Yet rail companies continued to insist on not even upgrading their tanker cars, as well as one engineer per train after 47 dead, (which has met with consistent resistance). BNSF was spearheading continual lobbying efforts against safety regulation, -including against upgrading the braking system to ECP (electronically controlled pneumatic braking system), right up to the present day.

Buffet himself needed no more hints after Casselton, he diversified into a subsidiary pipeline company of Phillips 66 within 24 hours, whose specialty was “lubricating oil’s movement through pipelines, increasingly crucial for the industry to move both tar sands crude and oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) in an efficient manner.” At that point he was already invested in Phillips 66 to the tune of 27 million shares. This article cites shipment of Bakken crude by BNSF at “over 1 million barrels per day”. This move to formulation is pertinent if one were to consider the question of whether the mixture ratios for transport via pipelines would be dissimilar to the necessary need for viscosity to get the substance into individual train cars. With respects to the tar sands/diluent formulation, this would be especially likely since you are dealing with bitumen, literally sand granules individually coated in tar, where they’ve managed to get the guck off the sand granules. And the truth of the substance is that it was being cut 30% with “diluent” (out of Texas) to get it to even move through a pipeline. This logically constituted natural gas, combined with all those undisclosed chemicals that went into fracking the product. “Increased demand for diluent among Alberta’s tar sands producers has created a growing market for U.S. producers of natural gas liquids, particularly for fracked gas producers.”

This question of what amount of diluent would be needed to get the tar sands product in and out of individual rail cars was brought instantly to the fore by the fourth listed oil train accident, a CN train in New Brunswick. At the time of the fourth listed “derailment” in New Brunswick (by Sightline and the rest), Reuters was deceiving the public as to the train’s point of origin. (They literally claimed it was from Toronto, with a straight face. Oil does not come from Toronto.) It was later confirmed to have originated from “western Canada”. This vague imputation (which was about all you would find) was deliberately framed to avoid the determination whether it was tar sands with diluent or Bakken “crude”, as western Canada is home to both. CN callously refused to disclose to the shaken Canadian public the train’s point of origin at the time in order to avoid the nature of the contents, but after all, this was the same corporation that after Lac-Megantic “argued against an emergency provision that trains loaded with dangerous goods such as crude oil [which should be put in the requisite air quotes, as it was never dangerous before Bakken] never be left unattended.

Transport Canada was no help at all. They announced in 2013 that CN was failing to disclose “hundreds of derailments, accidents”, a discrepancy which began ten years after privatization in 2005. They were also classifying the safety exemptions they gave to rail carriers, (including and especially CN, who was still favoured by laws that remained in on the books from when CN was Canada’s national rail company, -exercised to brutal effect), and were heftily to blame for the failures that led to Lac-Megantic. Before Lac-Megantic, the Bakken oil trains had been labeled with the wrong hazard class in Canada, one that gave no warning of their explosiveness. They were classified the same as regular crude.

While the New Brunswick rail fire has been clarified as three cars of propane and one of ‘crude’ (-that’s in the “Oregon Live” accident summary, we never got to know where it came from or what it constituted), –since the deliberate venting post fire involved three cars carrying “liquified petroleum”), it’s safe to conclude the three propane cars involved did not explode in the first place. Oh geez, lucky us. What a boom that would have been! Now you’re beginning to grasp why this accident was the subject of such cover-up. It was, given the product portfolio of “western Canada”, (and the nature of the burn), likely from the Athabasca tar sands and diluted bitumen (shortened in the parlance to ‘dilbit’), and not Bakken product involved in the conflagration. After all the cat was already out of the bag about Bakken, so why was this one hush-hush? Additionally this Global News article on the vent taking place points to the same venting technique having to happen at another Alberta oil train fire, which otherwise would not have made mention.

What is dilbit? This answer shows you how easy vague reportage on these explosions could be by describing different aspects of the product. It was in fact devilishly difficult to track and quite some time before reportage started declaring which oil train fires were diluted bitumen shipments. With the New Brunswick accident, no one was the wiser. Seattle fire chiefs were certainly alarmed by that point, an unavoidable consideration since Seattle had experienced a BNSF/Bakken “crude” derailment the July prior at only 5 mph. By the time of their communication of disclosure demands for the sake of safety by BNSF, “North Dakota [Bakken was] principally responsible for increasing domestic production from 5 million to 9 million barrels of oil a day.”

The dawning of this insight (the looming question of what was the diluent percentile of tar sands bitumen/diluent needed for sufficient viscosity to transfer “dilbit” in and out of rail cars and how volatile that might prove (as already indicated)) was made irrevocably clear in the accidents to follow. The article that cleared this one up is referring to the fifth oil by rail accident on Sightline’s timeline, the Timmins Ontario CN fire, which was dilbit (as was the ninth listed (CN) rail accident fire at Gogoma ON). In fact the volatility of tar sands with diluent, while not quite as explosive as Bakken product, was certainly as volatile and produced burns that lasted for days, -so volatile that it was just as explosion prone in the newly issued CPC-1232 tank cars brought in to replace the vulnerable DOT-111’s that weren’t designed for oil transport. (The BNSF oil by rail explosion at Galena IL also involved safer rail cars upgraded for the purpose, showing these upgrades also did not solve the problem for Bakken shale product. )

Further complicating the issue, while there was always an interest in flaring off the additives that originated in the Bakken ‘crude’ (or they could be subject to pre-treatment if anyone cared), diluent was added to tar sands bitumen to make it in any way viable in the first place, and it was exploding in Ontario at minus 40 degrees Celcius. Not only was Buffet’s acquisition of stock in the Phillips 66 subsidiary, Phillips Specialty Products, pivotal, it already looked like they’d proven incapable of the job. It was either that or it was impossible to do the job safely. While the constraint to oil by rail was making money hand over fist for everyone involved, something had to give, and that give was to transition to pipeline. But that did not mean the abandonment of Buffet’s original strategy, either, which was to divert and attenuate the environmental climate movement and use them to prevent the Keystone XL and maximize the oil by rail profit boom.

At this point it should be brought into the record that Bill Gates has the majority investment stake in CN (Canadian National Railway), and it is the Gates Foundation Trust portfolio’s third largest investment (it was second in 2015). His private investment is the maximal investment permitted under the rules of CN’s privatization. As a personal investment (after the 28,000% increase in oil by rail shipment out of Canada in only four years), it was Bill Gates’ second biggest milk cow after Microsoft in 2013, thanks to a 34% share increase that year.

Opposing DAPL: Billionaires are Philanthropists because they’re DAPL investors (and much more)

Gates and Buffet both got into oil by rail nigh simultaneously, -after touring the Alberta (Athabasca) tar sands in 2008. (Cory Morningstar provides an invaluable timeline on this, though it doesn’t capture Bill Gates’ point of purchase until attaining majority control (they might have been one and the same). Her own online version of this is visually fab.) The tar sands tour article mentions that in 2006 Buffet was notably invested in Conoco Phillips, which means his hands weren’t entirely clean of what went down in North Dakota with the Burlington Resources subsidiary (owned by Conoco Phillips when BNSF sold it). The reason Bill Gates sought majority control of CN at all was in order to cash in on the 28 000% increase in oil by rail shipping out of Canada, driven in no small part by bitumen export to the United States, basically cashing in on the dirtiest oil cash cow on earth. That was the long game.

As a sideshow amusement (which for Canada wasn’t amusing at all), their tour host was a Canadian dilbit billionaire named Murray Edwards. He had the usual PR BJ from Forbes, and still appears listed by them as the 25th richest Canadian (he was 14th at the time he committed one of the worst bits of corporate environmental negligence Canada’s ever seen). Forbes makes no mention that the Albertan instantly engaged in tax flight from the province the moment the NDP party got elected to power, ending over 40 years of conservative rule furnished by the Alberta oil patch.

Tl’abane Declaration, Kablona Keepers

 

As CEO of Imperial Metals, Edwards was responsible for the largest mine tailings spill to ever occur in Canadian history. Despite clear abrogation of safety regulations, Imperial metals ignored the Liberal (which should read ‘neoliberal’) provincial government’s warnings on the dam multiple times, (there was no reason to heed when they simultaneously made spine snapping allowances). The dam blew, and released “10.6 million cubic metres of water, 7.3 million cubic metres of tailings and 6.5 million cubic metres of ‘interstitial water’” into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which fed a tributary responsible for up to 25% of the Fraser River’s annual salmon run. The BC provincial Liberal government was simply giving themselves a paper trail to legally keep them out of liability should the inevitable consequence of such corporate negligence prove devastating, which it did. There were no consequences.

It should also be noted (as it has now caught the attention of the New York Times), that rules for election donations and political party funding in British Columbia (BC) might rival behaviour in North Dakota (this is the same formula for all the resource hinterland extraction areas needed to fulfill the demands of the ultra-consumerist West). In particular among the Liberal Party’s biggest donors last election were Imperial Metals (after whence they had their massive mine tailings spill in Beautiful BC), and (wait for it, as this will sound off by article’s end like a gong) a foreign multinational shat out of Enron’s carcass named Kinder Morgan. Murray Edwards himself hosted a million dollar funding [election] campaign luncheon for the BC Liberals in Alberta:

“When British Columbia’s Liberal Premier, Christy Clark, was in danger of losing last spring’s election, Edwards helped sponsor a fundraiser in Calgary; he advised Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the controversial takeover last year of Nexen Inc. by China’s CNOOC Ltd. and on future foreign investment by state-owned enterprises; he was instrumental in clenching a deal with Jean Chretien in 2003 that limited the oil sands’ financial exposure to the Kyoto Accord on greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, he co-hosted a tour of the oil sands for Warren Buffet [together with Bill Gates], one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s top advisors [italics mine] who has since invested in oil sands producers Suncor Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.” – National Post

In light of the need for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline to furnish shipment of Alberta diluted bitumen to Vancouver’s ports (for export beyond, which newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau just granted them), this should be as incontrovertible in its logic as basic addition. When the price of “dilbit” is depressed, the product is being exported out of Vancouver by Kinder Morgan to California. As we of BC know all too well, California’s consumer demands are truly inexhaustible.

The year Bill Gates was raking in his peak oil by rail profits (2013) “just happened” to be the same year that U.S. records showed that rail related oil spills were more frequent in that one year than had occurred in the four decades prior, (bear in mind CN transports in the U.S.), -and accidents at CN’s newly acquired (and thereby privatized) BC Rail went up 21%. US rail clocked in 88 oil by rail accidents for 2013 while oil by rail in the U.S. “increased by 423 percent between 2011 and 2012 and in 2013 had surpassed 400,000 rail carloads per year.” CN used backed to work legislation on its workers seven times, who were suffering from exhaustion and genuinely worried about safety. Rail on both sides of the border prioritized oil by rail to the point that grain transport was severely constrained. (Ranchers on Vancouver Island were three days away from having no grain for their cattle during a year with a 60% grain surplus boom crop sat in silos.) It was so bad General Mills complained to the Federal Government of factory shutdowns due to lack of grain. And then fortunes began to shift. 2014 was the year Bill Gates’ CN basically graduated to being a gong show on rails (derailments soared 73% that year), but his profits pulled ahead of Buffet’s BNSF.

I suppose you might be wondering why I’m inserting Bill Gates into the fray, but the answer’s obvious, as in herein lies the crux. It is Bill Gates who has succeeded in turning Bono’s philanthropic endeavours into pure philanthrowash of he and Buffet’s investments. After all, ONE was Gates’ brainchild as much or more than it was Bono’s. Bono’s ONE and RED are more or less Gates Foundation funded affairs, (with 81% of ONE’s budget dedicated purely to generating awareness). This obviously cuts both ways, i.e., in generating awareness for the funding target, it simultaneously generates a benevolent awareness about the funders. There are years when half ONE’s funding has been from Gates Foundation, and with ONE’s  $31.8 million dollar budget for 2014, -obviously Gates Foundation’s self-declared $135 million over the years to ONE is not insignificant. Gates Foundation’s beneficence to RED (that flagship of “consumer activism”) is not insignificant either. This was the Gates Foundation funding grant Bono rapturously announced out of Davos next to a grinning Gates on a snowy alpine slope for January, 2016 on RED’s Facebook home page.

Back in 2006 Buffet matched Gates Foundation’s funding 50%, to the tune of $30 billion -which he gives them incrementally in Berkshire Hathaway shares at a rate of 5% annually, -which brings us right back to the beginning financials I labored to show you, because that’s right, 54% of Gates Foundation portfolio is Berkshire Hathaway stock (2nd quarter, 2015). The second ranking in the portfolio, CN, is only 5.81%. (This puts Gates Foundation’s BH holding at 58% with CN as the third ranked investment for the third quarter, 2016.) This means in fact Bono’s RED and ONE were indirect but definite financial beneficiaries of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Furthermore, Bill Gates has been sitting on Berkshire’s Hathaway’s Board of Directors since 2005. So it’s literally impossible he doesn’t know about the goings on with DAPL stakeholder Phillips 66, -he was there seven years before they even existed. It’s literally impossible that he has not decided upon the entire course of this DAPL investment, yet you’ve never heard of the connection. Furthermore, it should begin to dawn you that there cannot exist such two disparate sides to the same coin. They are inherently incompatible. You are either charitable or predatory. They are mutually exclusive. From a PR standpoint, now you know exactly why Bill Gates went all out this Christmas as Secret Santa on reddit.  He had something very big to hide, -that Warren Buffet’s beneficence in the way of Berkshire Hathaway shares meant over half of Gates Foundation’s portfolio was invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline via Phillips 66, making him a very big investor indeed (much bigger than Trump ever was), -and that given his directorship in the company, he not only was apprised of every detail, he was in charge. He had surely overseen the purchase and continually approved of it given he was on Berkshire Hathaway’s Board of Directors long enough to have overseen and approved the attainment of majority control of Phillips 66[6], though it had been Buffet’s acquisition all along,  -and definitely his favorite.

When it comes to Berkshire Hathaway, Bill Gates was still buying in as of December 2015.  (Coincidentally this was the month Congress lifted the 40 year ban on oil export out of the US. )

Phillips 66 was still Buffet’s big stake, even with #NoDAPL going on. (The protest began April, 2016.)
Seeing as North Dakota state’s corruption was at a level where his BNSF Bakken bomb trains were simply a matter of zero concern (Heimdal included, which again was the new generation rail cars), clearly there was no reason to worry. (Maybe it was that North Dakota knew it needed the Dakota Access Pipeline at any cost. All its spectacular rail accidents went eastward and the pipeline went south of Chicago.)

#Cringemas was one of RED’s promotional twitter hashtags for #shopathon December 2016 (the youtube online gamer portion), -a RED campaign that was matched by the Gates Foundation to the tune of $78 million.) While RED’s page for this bears no date, you can take it from me that this was announced in conjunction with RED’s Shopathon launched on December 1st, 2016. #Cringemas it is! –#Cringemas is arms lost to the 1%. Sophia Wolansky sure could have used Secret Santa’s help for her two years of reconstructive surgery; her father was trying to crowd fund it just before RED kicked off on Jimmy Kimmel with their Gates Foundation matched #Shopathon funding drive. With his usual canniness, Bono launched RED’s spending drive on Jimmy Kimmel by resurrecting Mac Phisto (a play on Mephistopheles, meaning he came out as the Devil) for the first time since 1993 (when he actually was a bit dangerous). Mac Phisto entered the “REDtm Pack” little celebrity sing a long ditty “We’re Going to Hell” (with celebrities he’d managed to gull into the celebrity contest portion of RED’s promotion) with the opening line “welcome in to my cauldron of sin”. (The’s song title is, from a planetary perspective (if you know the Biblical mistranslation involved), literal.) This exact same promotion using meet celebrity contests you paid to play (you could throw the thing with entries of up to $25 000, which was commensurate to the number of entries you received) was launched last year. That announcement was made on U2’s official Facebook; -the brand-bleed crossover was officially begun, and officially offensive. Those celebrity stakes included a chance to bike ride with Bono, the promotion of which was through U2’s FB site. (U2’s FB announced the happy winner.) As of December 2015 they were now targeting U2 fans as the fundraiser, but last year’s was the first disclosure this was all being officially matched by Gates Foundation, as the entirety of RED’s funding drives had been for 2016. This time, you could meet the entire band and have them play for you exclusively.

 

Bill Gates surely would have known the #NoDAPL protest suppression was completely off the chain by the time of U2/RED’s 2016 Shopathon, just as it’s surely known Sophia’s never going to get a Secret Santa down her chimney. In fact the Guardian’s hit piece targeting Trump as an investor was timed to target the blame after the attack dogs had been deployed. Actually it was right on cue with when police and military moved on the Oceti Sakowin camp. 141 arrests followed.  The attack dogs were unleashed by private security, but they weren’t the ones who got kenneled. We got to find out who they were and that they weren’t licensed to work in North Dakota and were from out of state and may be criminally liable, but we never get to hear who hires them. The Guardian will only repeat Trump’s nigh bogus connection to the project.

However, in terms of modus operandi (if not involvement), BNSF was already using private police to perform arrests in Washington State at protest blockades and they were already being blockaded there by climate protests. The public was much more aware of the oil by rail issue than the media gave credit.

#NoDAPL would prove to be the rumble, and why would it not? It was the place and tribes who wiped Custer off the face of the earth Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, ground zero of the longest war in American history, in a manner of speaking. The strongest point of Native American resistance, against which a grudge was held ever since. In truth it was the Seven Fires Council who wiped out Custer. #NoDAPL was the first time in 150 years they reconvened (since 1867 –at 0:45) #NoDAPL was a treaty dispute over lands the tribes first relented to being confined to by the U.S. in the Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1851. While the reservation tract is much smaller than that original territory agreement thanks to the second Treaty of 1868, they never surrendered hunting or fishing rights, nor water rights over the land reserved for them in the Treaty of Fort Laramie and the land is unceded meaning “owned by the Sioux, outside of the reservation.” “Almost the entire pipeline from the source to the river” the Treaty of 1868 defined as “unceded.”

This doesn’t quite gel with Obama’s statement that “the pipeline cuts too close to tribal lands in North Dakota.” It’s true the land is outside of the reservation. The Federal government tried to force the issue by giving them money for the land, which the Sioux refused. The Federal government is still sitting on over a billion dollars in trust for that land, that the Sioux still refuse, demanding to retain title. They never let it go. Despite their impoverishment, they never took the money. Obama fed the misapprehension about the Treaty deliberately. He did everything he possibly humanly could to kick the ball and the entire issue past his tenure in avoidance of the interests of his billionaire sponsors, to a president who would surely vet the DAPL, while the injuries, arrests and camp population mounted. He abandoned the issue to brute force by rumble. Of course he was going to vet the pipeline come hell or high water. He as well as anyone else could see where the bomb trains situation was headed.

The Army Corps of Engineers is involved only due to land expropriated from the tribe against their wishes to build the dam that created Lake Oahe. (The dam was just outside the reservation. The USACE expropriated the land inside the reservation to remove several native communities that would be submerged due to the flooding.) But the tribe accepted the monies offered by the Federal Government decades later for that incursion, so they no longer have a leg to stand on that one.

The Black Snake is what Lakota people call the Dakota Access Pipeline. It will extinguish the world. For a people who have endured the end of their way of life so many times, who can doubt the truth of their vision, which coincides with scientific truth about the relationship of fossil fuels to catastrophic climate change?” – New York Times

In keeping with a rumble, police were brought in from seven states under an emergency assistance clause (for natural disasters) enacted under Bill Clinton. A security force named TigerSwan who collaborated with Blackwater and was a sub-contractor in the Iraq occupation was brought in to gather intelligence and oversee security. Private security forces brought the usual roster of agent provocateurs. Water cannons were used on 400 water protectors in freezing temperatures at night. Arrests exceeded 600. When 2000 veterans were set to arrive the day before eviction of the camp (set for December 5th), Army Corps of Engineers suddenly announced they were denying the easement through Lake Oahe.  (WP still couldn’t resist braying about Trump’s investment whenever they ran a piece.) It’s like the Army Corps switched sides. (As for the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) notice of intent the Tribe was waiting for, that was announced on January 18th.) Public input as to why an EIS is needed is being accepted now. This is the legal way to stop (as in reroute, because nothing else is going to come out of this with it 90% done) the pipeline. But you can put yourself on record arguing the climactic scope of the issue and what should have been. You’ve got until February 20th, but it’s a serious affair.

Trump’s executive order does not change this. It simply orders the acceleration of the process, and it was a Memorandum, not an Executive Order. He can’t legally make one in this arena. And the USACE is not longer pliant.

Upon USACE’s denial of the Lake Oahu easement, Energy Transfer Partners LLC and Sunoco immediately issued a formal statement. In it they stated they were still “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” Phillips 66, the 25% stakeholder, was notably absent. For some reason they were evading publicity, or putting their stamp on any response, even though they were players.

The entire #NoDAPL protest was (and is) a win-win for Buffet. It delays the pipeline sufficiently long enough to keep boosting his flagging oil by rail shipment, but even if the Standing Rock protestors win their re-route (which was about all you could hope for with the pipeline over 90% complete), he is still going to profit from the pipeline regardless, a pipeline he was forced to diversify into because oil by rail has proven so manifestly unsafe. Even Buffet can register a mushroom cloud for what it means.

This is the world we live in. Callous corporate indifference (structured into governance as we now know with the entire State of North Dakota, with their mighty and brutal enforcement) is compensated for by the appearance of DAPL investor Bill Gates acting as random reddit Secret Santa, though the general public has no clue they bear any relation. That’s the point. They are only supposed to be aware of Secret Santa. Gates himself knew though. In much the same manner the billionaire class purported to be of conscience ‘compensate’ for profiting off global depredation of the planet by funding philanthropic foundations utterly hamstrung by the implementation of their benefactor’s ideology, the PR equivalent is Secret Santa. In the same manner and same respects, philanthropy can never and in no way compensates for planetary depredation. We are dealing with two of the eight richest men on the planet, who possess the same amount of wealth as the lower half of human kind. Think then on what that means if we calculated each of these individuals’ true ecological human footprint, which certainly provides an indicator that all it not well. (According to this critique, our collective human footprint would be worse than 1.5 earths, and it’s all down to deforestation and carbon.) We are dealing with the existential apex of individualism, the very essence of what we’ve internalized so much we can’t break away from it, the very nature of “Consumer Hell”. Is there any compensation this precious minority of eight can provide to the 50% of the human race that somehow or in any way compensates for their acquisition, unique to all of human history and more serious to the planet than it’s ever been when we’re dealing with the specter of catastrophic climate change? No, they could never come close. In short, you can’t save Africa when you’re invested in cooking Africa, i.e., sunk bigger than practically anyone into the Dakota Access Pipeline.

According to this latest figure, Gates Foundation was invested in Berkshire Hathaway at $10.74 billion.  Buffet’s sunk Berkshire Hathaway over $6.8 billion into the Dakota Access Pipeline. 15.77% of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio has majority control of Phillips 66 (22%). That’s the equivalent of a $1.69 billion investment in Phillips 66 on the part of the Gates Foundation. The entire climate movement (it doesn’t merit the term ‘protest’) had you chasing after a list of parties (who were loaning/financing the pipeline, not investors) at under the under $600 million mark, down to a paltry $45 million. You wanna Boycott? GOOD. You start with Warren Buffet. And you wallop those philanthropies with a  good ol’ counter awareness campaign, -especially the ones where that’s all they’re good at in the first place. YOU BLOODY PRIORITIZE according to THE BLEEDING MATHs. The Guardian/350.org/tcktcktck consortium of climate “activism” (which doesn’t merit the term resistance), -their “keep it in the ground” campaign’s entire focus was the $722 million Gates Foundation had invested in fossil fuel corporations, one tar sands operation included.

Image VS. Reality: -Plus What’s Wrong with the DAPL 

Fifty years of tailings mismanagement in Alberta: How did we get here, and where are we headed? – The Pembina Institute

The tar sands’ other output is over 176 km of open toxic tailing ponds  that are death to migratory birds, will be death of the Athabasca River they sit next to the moment we have a sufficient flash flood  (as they are now providing slow death by seepage since there is no impermeable shield between the toxic ponds and the soil), and provide death to the people living there. I suppose you didn’t know this is all sitting on the Athabasca River, which is a tributary of the 2nd largest watershed basin in NA next to the Mississippi, -the Mackenzie. -Good one! The Federal Government of Canada knows all of this, and has deemed it to be in our best interest. -Whose interest, precisely? Surely not Fort McMurray’s, the tar sands boom town where you can make over $100 000 grand per annum with a high school diploma. It just went up in flames last spring (the wildfire precluded the official start of fire season by starting in May) due to the brand new climatologically induced raging wildfire regime consuming the North. This one was of such severity it was dubbed ‘“The Beast”. It was the largest fire driven evacuation in Alberta’s history. It generated its own super cells, winds and created its own lightning. It leapt the Athabasca River and was clocked moving at 30 to 40 meters per second, reaching temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celcius. It consumed nearly 600 000 Ha and made it into Saskatchewan. It now lies smoldering underground in the peat, waiting to resurrect this spring. -That’s a real problem with northern fires. -Ask Alaska.

Welcome to the dilbit/frack billionaires’ not so invisible, off-set costs (visible from space) that are absorbed by society and the environment at large. These are the self-same billionaires who regard divestment from fossil fuels as a “false solution”.  (He’s right but for the opposite reason, it’s the very least of what should be done. Face it, no one who sinks themselves into rail just because of the tar sands/shale boom is going to think divestment is the solution! Get Real!)

The Gates Foundation has a history of responding to public pressure, while simultaneously not admitting they are responding to public pressure.

-It took protests outside their Seattle office every day (for months), a petition signed by over 300 000 as part of The Guardian’s “keep it in the ground” campaign; (which took no notice of CN, or whether Gates might be otherwise privately invested, in which case the Gates Foundation divesting might simply have been a PR exercise). Gates eventually listened (not 100%, but kudos for divesting from the big one Exxon at $662 million). Honestly given the fall out of events and when in the timeline protests would have even had to be engaged in on the DAPL to even be effectual from a climactic standpoint (when instead we ended up in this brutal confrontational mess because these investors (not to mention the corrupt state of North Dakota) were treated with total kid gloves all this time), what good did the climate movement do -? They missed Gates Foundation’s biggest/worst investment BY A MILE, literally until there was no chance of stopping it. You’d think if tcktcktck was serious about their divestment campaign launched at the Gates Foundation, they could have landed on a lightning rod of an issue like #NoDAPL. It had all the right stuff from a PR perspective. How on earth if this is your campaign do you bloody miss this? Oh, wait

How can Bill McKibben even claim he’s serious about this?! Oh, wait

Ha-ha-ha!

Are you seriously going to tell me that not one of these campaigns, focused on precisely the investor issue, -when it involved one of the most headline grabbing protests we’ve seen in years, (forget the somnolent the media, the Gates Foundation funds The Guardian’s Global Initiative page), simply didn’t notice who the investor bloody was? All those announcements were going on that Buffet was investing hand over fist in Phillips66 the entire period. They were all over the financial news. Everyone knew he bankrolled Gates Foundation by half. If the environmental groups coordinating the climate divestment campaigns are this incompetent at their calling, we might as well all go bury ourselves right now. It’s no wonder Bill Gates responded by telling them how redundant their divestment campaign is if they can’t even FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The fact that all of the above was going on and you never heard of the connection; -you heard plenty about Bono and the benevolence exacted by ONE and RED and their benefactors, should be enough for you to register how philanthrowashing works on behalf of the benefactors more than those they’re benefitting. If not, watch and learn, -because I am going to show you how this works with the transition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. You should recognize that the entire transpiration above was effectively philanthro-washed by Bono’s philanthropic endeavours already, because those philanthropic efforts being bankrolled by the above billionaires are what you heard about, -not the sordid actions of their investments that were bankrolling those endeavors. That’s what human “superbrands” like Bono are for.  Philanthro-washing is for providing a subtext of sanctity and doing good so impervious that the entire host of media will simply self-censor as they’re simply overwhelmed in the face of your good image. They find it unassailable. Who on earth is willing to jeopardize their career in order to be such a churl as to challenge the most generous and charitable billionaire on earth?

However, that is not simply what is going on in the philanthropic endeavour of Mr. Gates, who is literally curating the image of the Gates Foundation through coordinated funding that works as a stranglehold preserving self-censorship within the most laudatory founts of what we consider the liberal/left media.  Read the list of Media Partners,

New York Times, NPR, the Guardian, NBC, Seattle Times and a number of other news organizations, non-profit groups and foundations. Not all were grant recipients, or partners. Some just came to consult.

It goes without saying this is ripe for investigative reportage, and I’m sure this is not happening because it is, outside of those favored, decidedly opaque. That it will never happen among those with access goes without saying. I’d like to know who everyone is on that list and what their basis for invitation is myself. (It also indicates that if Trump’s defunding plan succeeds, NPR will likely be in the Gates Foundation’s pocket. Let the partisan media wars begin, -except that Obama thought it perfectly fine to create a Federal propaganda division and hand it off to Trump after he won.)

Voila, there’s the New York Times at the top of the list! This self-censorship (after all, you don’t get any Gates Foundation funding if you say anything negative about Gates Foundation or their sponsor) protected Buffet and kept them from touching the bomb trains when NYT did their two part expose on the Bakken and North Dakota state corruption, which has already been demonstrated to extend the bomb trains themselves. The point is the New York Times wouldn’t investigate or touch it, even though the incautious shipping and total absence of regulation on what was effectively a new hazardous substance (they left Canada none the wiser about) resulted in 47 dead. New York Times’ censorship is so strong on the matter that you can’t post a comment pertaining to the bomb trains that mentions either Gates or Buffet by name. I know because I tried, and I tried the same reply to a second individual without their names immediately after it did not work (three times). Without their names, the same text and links posted.

Now it is true that North Dakota State avoids direct culpability for the bomb trains since regulation of rail shipment is a federal concern (they could have petitioned the Feds, of course), but there’s no evasion possible on DAPL’s enforcement, –isn’t it lovely? -Incidentally, here’s a lovely 25 point chart of everything wrong with DAPL’s construction plan under Lake Oahe as stands by an engineer with a life time career in the business listing how they deliberately cocked up the original Environmental Assessment (EA) in order to ram through DAPL’s permission. (His name is Steve Martin. His full report on behalf of the tribe fighting the DAPL in court will be out any day now.) His original thrust is about how a full Environmental Impact Study was avoided by the DAPL consortium making their applications for the pipeline piecemeal and how they did this deliberately to avoid the much more stringent Environmental Impact Study (EIS, -called elsewhere “Environmental Impact Statement”), and he has a lot more to say about what’s wrong with the DAPL. This is something North Dakota State could have easily called them on, demanding an EIS be done. When they’re allowing much worse projects by Phillips 66 to fly (the pipeline under Lake Sakakawea that endangers the drinking water of several North Dakota cities; Steve Martin has plenty more to say about the design flaws and danger on this) -if North Dakota State is granting permission on pipelines like these, it’s not like they care. No one cared about the Phillips 66 pipeline under Lake Sacagawea (Native spelling) in North Dakota, which has already been whistle blown for shoddy construction. Once it’s under, it’s done. There’s no going back. The pipeline is set to service a rail terminal for BNSF trains, so you never heard of it. The Natives didn’t protest that one. They bought in.

You can ask a large margin of those who voted for Trump about how and why this could have happened. They were revolted and disgusted by the collusion that went into making Buffet and Gates rail barons that could corner oil shipment into oil by rail using the Keystone protest, bomb trains and all. To them it’s just an adjunct conspiracy to their climate change denial, because pipelines were better (the truth is pipelines also have serious problems with the highly corrosive nature of dilbit). On the Republican side, the rail monopolization of oil transport by the Democrats’ favorite billionaires is broadly public knowledge. The billionaire cronyism relationship on exhibit between Buffet and the ruling Democratic Party, Obama, and Hillary Clinton was a factor in their loss.  And they were right on that count.

The philanthrowash effort in Buffet’s hands is also a lucrative greenwash; it included the protracted foundation funding by Buffet through Novo and Tides Foundation to manufacture the 350.org movement  in order to attenuate and direct the environmental movement towards the Keystone pipeline because that would secure his and Gates’ oil by rail profits. There is also a decidedly partisan connection between Buffet and Bill McKibben, and Bono as well. Between them is the confluence of the neoliberal. Neoliberal is an epithet to me because this is what they are. These are the crimes committed on their watch. They are partisan first, and that means they are not environmental. They are the very opposite, the covert sanction of everything rejected by the Left hiding under the skirt of identity politics.

OK, so in case you’re just too lazy to hop links or too busy read a five part series, in a nutshell McKibben’s 350.org is tied directly to Buffet through his Novo Foundation’s funding of the Tides Foundation, which funds 350.org. Which is bloody brilliant, because it channelled all climate activism to the Keystone XL (when it was already too late to protest that one’s completion as well), which should have aroused the question “Who benefits?” It sure explains a lot at any rate. Like how you could magically de-prioritize the investor who’s into the DAPL for $6.8 freaking billion as unmentionable and invisible. I’m sure the fact that, after all, he’s the one giving you the money surely helps. The #NoDAPL protest marks the second time Bill McKibben’s coordination or involvement with a pipeline protest has directly benefitted Buffet’s economic interests. Here, asked point blank by Amy Goodman where Hillary Clinton stood on the DAPL, he actually declared “One has no idea.” He also remained true to the formula of mentioning only one of the corporations with a stake in the DAPL (albeit the majority one) -Energy Transfer Partners LLC. But that keeps anyone from landing on Phillips 66’s connection to Warren Buffet in an inter-webs search, -that is if they aren’t drowned by Trump articles in the attempt anyhow. McKibben’s main function in this regard is to insure the water gets deep enough you’ll never touch bottom.

Anyone remotely aware of Buffet stumping for Hillary on the campaign trail (or any of the above) should have fallen on the floor laughing at McKibben’s reply to Amy. Really, you kill me. When Clinton finally managed a tepid statement on the DAPL, -a statement that had been literally forced from her by a #NoDAPL protest at her campaign headquarters which she steadfastly ignored, not even accepting a letter, McKibben finally managed to bark a single tweet. McKibben did not even bother with repudiation he should have been well capable of, namely her affiliation and donor support from one of DAPL’s biggest investors, who had been Obama’s biggest individual donor for his 2012 election campaign. Buffet “approves of Trump’s cabinet ‘overwhelmingly’”, by the way.

Singer of Irish band U2, Bono (L) poses with Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 22, 2016 in Davos to mark the 10 years of (RED). Launched at Davos in 2006, (RED) has raised $350 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, impacting 60 million lives. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Between them (Buffet, Gates, and their Bono AIDs charity charm offensive on the one hand, with Bill McKibben flying wingman one the other), it’s no damn wonder you’ve never heard a damn thing about this. Cory Morningstar has provided in depth coverage of Buffet and the “Democrat” (neoliberal) administration’s attenuation of the environmental climate movement. I am going to provide you with some indicator of how Bill Gates turning the media into media partners effectively helped silence the press on their connections to the Dakota Access Pipeline, maybe even to the extent of actively thrusting Trump into the position of drowning the search algorithms to the point you’d never, ever find out just who had control of Phillips 66. Omission in the press means the general public never lights upon the terms to search for. The thrust of the Trump story, and story it was given the relative scale of the investments, was designed to insure what terms were searched and what terms weren’t. Furthermore, Buffet’s foundation funding insures that not only the media are in collusion downplaying the #NoDAPL protest thanks to participating as Gates Foundation “Media Partners” (this in addition to completely avoiding the perpetrators they are protesting), -it is, through its funding control of environmental groups, actually shown to be damaging to the climate change resistance movement (see the above wrongkindofgreen urls, but I’m going to pull some explicit examples for you of how this is attenuated in the press), and most especially damaging to the indigenous resistance movement.

This is highlighted by the spectrum of Bill McKibben’s public interviews on #NoDAPL, especially with The Guardian, who launched the Trump DAPL investment story in the final election heat of 2016, after Trump had already divested. They did this after Washington Post already had gone on record already showing this just three days before. The Guardian performed this fake expose that was echo-chambered around the entire leftist media in the last heat of the election (and still is). Just keep reminding yourself, the Gates Foundation is responsible for funding The Guardian’s Global Initiative section.

Then I’m going to show that while Bono may have easily been unaware about this entire business about the bomb trains and the DAPL investment, (which he could and should have known), he’s certainly over a barrel, because it’s fairly demonstrative that RED is, as per the very nature of “consumer activism” a philanthro-washing outfit, and it doesn’t take too much to show you.

 RED is a Philanthro-washing Operation, -Plus Everything Bill McKibben Insured You Did Not Know

So what makes RED a philanthrowasing outfit? Let’s begin with the declaration from RED’s official site that a percentile of all corporation affiliated RED products you buy go directly to the Global Fund (all of it -RED claims this can be up to 50% of a purchase, but this is effectively not disclosed), -and 50% percent of those sales revenues go to fight AIDS, and that over its course RED has managed to raise $365 million in this manner. This is a report that was attempted on how that all worked in 2009, when the monies raised by RED stood at $135 million. The monies the corporations claimed as going to the RED cause were simply sequestered from their pre-existing marketing budgets. It short for them the RED cause was a marketing campaign based on human lives; granting them life was really their PR promotion for themselves. These corporations would not disclose the amount of sales that were apportioned to RED. Rather than just contributing to the cause directly themselves by donating, they commandeered witless consumers to spend on their product to do it, while adding a small cut. This is called consumer activism.

Let’s consider Apple, who is hailed in the afore-referenced link announcing RED’s funding January 2016 as a “founding partner” who has since raised $110 million for the cause. Apple is one of the biggest tax evaders on the planet, along with Microsoft, and most of the Silicon Valley corporations sitting here at Trump’s table. (This includes Facebook, who Bono was an invitation only investor of before the stock opened to the public (it made him a mint); -incidentally Facebook’s lead independent Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Gates Foundation.) They have collectively managed to evade U.S. taxes to the tune of $560 billion. A not insignificant number of these (including Google and Facebook) are based out of Ireland expressly for the purpose of evading taxes in the E.U. In fact it was Apple who was penalized for this just recently with the largest settlement the E.U. has ever exacted for tax evasion, and they were ordered to give Ireland restitution to the tune of $13 billion with interest (which put it over $14 billion). According to the press release on the penalty, Apple’s exclusive Irish tax rate steadily declined from 1% to 0.5%, -coinciding rather remarkably with the period that U2 were shilling expensive, exclusive Apple iPods with their entire song catalogue on them. (With countrymen like this, who needs enemies?)

I’m not sure whether this qualifies the band as uncultured, uneducated, social media Luddites, or just plain naive at this point, so I’ll just stick with my true epithet, as it looks like we’ve found what Bono truly believes in, which is philanthro-washing tax evaders at fractions of pennies to the dollar giving them wonderful RED PR out of their already allocated marketing budget to drape themselves in the red cloak of sanctity of charitable life giving operations, while getting consumers to foot most of the bill, which serves to increase their total sales revenue (win-win-win as PR coup), -whilst simultaneously utterly reneging on social contract with tax evasion that is wholesale divestment of society of astronomical amounts of revenue (not just of nations but entire continents) that would otherwise provide for the population they still manage to convince to spend money on them, by making them feel all warm and fuzzy about themselves because they chose this purchase for RED in order to save lives. That divestiture is in the billions to one, and these corporations have decided where their substituted penny tokenism goes, not governance, and not society. Bono hails this as consumer activism, when it’s really just the targeted exploitation of human conscience in a deliberate displacement designed to maintain corporate total divestment of the consumers themselves. Of course, Apple is one of Warren Buffet’s high dividend stocks. And of course, it looks like Apple will get their US tax break, -from Trump.

I think you can see where this is going, so let’s return our attention to Bill McKibben.

McKibben struck next with a “thought piece” on Grist, apparently designed to develop empathy towards the Native American resistance that created the #NoDAPL protest, as well attempting to ground it in a sense of history, titled “After 525 years, it’s time to actually listen to Native Americans”. He goes onto to instruct the general public to Google “Wounded Knee”, “Custer”, “Washita River”, and “Pine Ridge.” While I’m sure the general public needs an overview, only Custer was directly pertinent to the #NoDAPL location in North Dakota, having suffered the defeat of The Battle of Little Bighorn of 1876 on the bank of the Greasy Grass River (-tributary of the Missouri River, -even rock band The Black Crowes know the name of this river for this reason, which has since been reduced to Greasy Creek). And if Bill Mckibben was advocating for empathic awareness and unity with the natives on this issue, you would think instead of mentioning the white man involved, he could have had the grace or knowledge to mention who some of the Native historic actors in this defeat were, namely Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. (Canadian musician Neil Young knows who Crazy Horse is.) This helps evade what this confrontation is rooted in, which is Native American warrior culture. This is not rooted in the civil disobedience pacifism defining the civil rights movement. However it may define itself now, it’s an entirely different resistance movement, definitely rooted in something else, and the defeat of Custer was their greatest victory.

Wounded Knee took place in South Dakota. The Washita River massacre took place in Oklahoma. The Pine Ridge Reservation is in South Dakota, and while it brings up the Treaty of Fort Laramie, you’d be left with no clue at all THAT THIS IS THE TREATY AT ISSUE in the #NoDAPL protest. It is no disservice to reference all this, not at all. The problem is that in allying yourself with a particular Native American cause, you should be aware of its existing roots, and if you’re not providing and sharing that awareness, you’ve defeated the cause by failing to equip the general public to be able to inform themselves of what this contest actually is by exercising their own judgment. If you are aware of these existing roots already (as he well should be in this context), this amounts to a failure in disclosure, a vital one, because it leaves the public ultimately and completely uninformed on this issue that caused this Native American confrontation with North Dakota State at this location in the here and now. There is no mention and no reference whatsoever to the Great Sioux Reservation in North Dakota where this is all taking place, when everyone could have really, really used a map right about now. This from a “Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and a founder of 350.org. He is a member of Grist’s board of directors.” -How nice. As a director, he could have laid out anything he wanted to. He didn’t even mention the Treaty.

-How come a Canadian, Cory Morningstar, is left to provide the history of the Treaty(ies), provide the maps of the existing reservation and the land allocated by the Treaty of Fort Laramie? -How come we know better than you? It’s not a question of superior knowledge, it’s that in devising a statement apparently designed for the public to develop empathy with the Natives, he wasn’t even grounded enough to focus on the background and history of #NoDAPL itself. Which would be a fairly slight slight, -apart from the fact that it left the general public he was purportedly informing completely without compass or reference point, and yet, paradoxically, if they’d followed McKibben’s instructions, feeling completely grounded in what was in fact a total evasion of the issue at hand. Amazing, what?

The implications of this piece are much worse. It takes a Cory Morningstar to not only give you the history, but name all the tribes involved and ground you in the financials of the here and now (as her piece does, Buffet included), including again a realm of scam and fraud over leasing rights to frack, directing you to the frack boom in Fort Berthold Reservation and the Lake Sacagawea (Sakakawea) pipeline. It remains to her to delineate the entire scope of oil and gas (and nuclear) development presently going on in the Bakken, and who benefits, -the sponsor of 350.org twice removed that Bill McKibben will never reference. But worse yet, what is truly astounding about McKibben’s total omission of this pivotal investor behind the DAPL, is that this isn’t, given his massive array of investments, the first time Buffet has targeted a Native American tribe over a Treaty issue for fossil fuel development, or was met with the resistance of several tribes. In particular, Buffet was going head to head with the Lummi Nation in Washington State over the development of a coal port at Cherry Point. Once again it remains to Cory Morningstar to set you straight. This fight also got dirty, with “Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are now laundering funds through the Washington Republican Party to donate to pro-coal candidates for Whatcom County Council.” -Oh. You don’t say.

If Bill McKibben was onside with the Native American cause, he’d bloody mention the opposition, as well as knowing who and what they’re up against elsewhere. It’s not like a new coal port (Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT), for export to China) is an unsuitable point of resistance for the climate movement.

This might be considered a mis-step unless it were patterned behavior, which was indicated when he provided an ultimate capitulation of sorts by way of The Guardian while touting the victory at Standing Rock when USACE denied the last needed easement for completion the DAPL. What’s truly astonishing about this one is that while he touts the alliance of 200 tribal nations that came together and made the #NoDAPL protest win this unprecedented battle, he then doesn’t mention the most significant bi-national tribal alliance that developed in tandem with this resistance, even though he asserts that in the near future, they’re going to be responsible for “Standing Rock North” around two tar sands pipelines in Canada he doesn’t bother to specify at all, namely the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Energy East. If you’re participating in climate resistance, you sure as hell be specific as to the next points of resistance where public participation will prove needful. Indeed one of these, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline had already been the site of multiple arrests at Burnaby Mountain. This is again a catastrophic failure to convey information to the general public, information he is not remiss about. As for the “Canada First Nations” organization he said would be behind the protest but didn’t even bother to name, he himself had retweeted them, knew they were the Treaty Alliance (against the Tar Sands), but here he was not only evading their name but the fact that he knew they had a homepage. This prevented the general public from Googling both the Native center of the pipeline resistance and the prospective pipelines involved. This was particularly true with respects to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly approved less than one week before, so it just had hit the media fan, and both Canada’s environmental and indigenous movements were up in arms. But unless they were already this well informed about Canada, The Guardian’s readership were rendered incapable of putting 2 + 2 together thanks to McKibben. Talk about dropping the ball.

When Canada’s Prime Minister was asked whether he was willing to arrest tribal elders (which is sure to happen), Justin Trudeau’s reply was Canada was a nation under “the rule of law” (15:50). No one in the Liberal government would rebut “a pledge made [two days after Trudeau’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline] by federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr to use Canada’s military to deal with ‘non-peaceful’ anti-pipeline protests” inveighing the government would willingly militarily enforce the Trans Mountain pipeline’s construction against Canada’s First Nations people for the sake of a foreign multinational, Kinder Morgan. (Trudeau’s father is the only Prime Minister to invoke the War Measures Act (basically martial law) outside war time, dubbed the “October Crisis”.)

Given the mass arrests to prevent the logging of virgin coastal temperate rainforest that occurred on the BC coast in the past (namely Clayoquot Sound, the largest civil disobedience action mass arrest site in Canadian history at well over 800 people, -at a site that was pretty inaccessibly remote, yet managed to become a standing camp of over 5000 people, which is really saying something for a nation with a similar population size to California, where the vast majority of those arrested under what were arbitrarily made criminal charges were BC residents), -given the way the people of BC are willing to put themselves on the line for the environment, resistance to the Trans Mountain on the west coast in Canada’s third largest urban center could end up making Standing Rock look small. It may also well prove the biggest challenge the Treaty Alliance has to face. Bill McKibben found neither worth mentioning by name.

McKibben’s gloss over article in The Guardian also meant no one knew how unprecedented the Treaty Alliance is, and was deliberately misleading as to the fact that it is a bi-national alliance that has since expanded to include over 120 Native tribes in both the US and Canada, -not to mention that they all co-signed a Treaty to do it. It has the strength of an actual Treaty between this number of tribes. In all probability McKibben was averse to making any reference to a movement that wasn’t just against a pipeline here or a pipeline there, but had been co-signed to curtail any and all tar sands development, which is again aversion on Bill McKibben’s part to any climate resistance action that’s really real. And again, he avoided framing the confrontation in terms of the real opposition (namely the investors) completely by framing the opposition solely in terms of Trump.

Getting the general public to participate on effectively stopping the DAPL was worth one tweet;  the Women’s March was worth over ten times as much to Bill McKibben. He couldn’t even issue a statement as to what the implication of finally obtaining the EIS declaration of intention meant and what you as a citizen could now do to legally oppose the DAPL. That pivotal discussion was left to YES Magazine.

-I think we’re done now. Let’s finish roasting Bono. Where the eye gazes, it burns; fire is all it sees.

Let’s start with one of RED’s seminal partners (that’s a cool $10 million from them right there ) – Bank of America. Bank of America is indelibly imprinted with the slogan “Too Crooked to Fail”. $10 million seems incredibly generous. $8 million of this was a grant outright, and $2 million was a match fund that would depend on how many people chose to download U2’s “Invisible” song for free in the first 24 hours it launched. (Someone b****-slapped @BofA on twitter about how there should be no $2 million funding cap on this drive; they removed the cap and the result was they ended up matching the drive based on total downloads for a cool $3.1 Mil.)

When you realize that this was launched for the Superbowl and a Superbowl slot would have cost them $4 million for a 30 second commercial slot, and U2 gave them a 4 plus minute slot launched during the Superbowl of impeccable marketing with their name on it for the cause of saving lives, surely, given their patronage was about the equivalent of purchasing papal indulgences in real lives, -surely it was the least they could have done! At that point it just becomes good marketing for Bank of America, which God knows they needed at that moment, after all, this is what they’d done to America. Nor were they going to pay for it, at least not to those they really hurt. Millions of American homeowners got shafted.

The point was, this settlement had just been announced for Bank of America in January. The philanthrowash could not have proven more timely. And compared to how they’d screwed over mortgage securities and compared to the fines levied on them for their crimes, the image makeover RED provided was practically nothing. The settlement for the millions of homeowners they’d destroyed was still in process, and God knows they needed to look charitable before that one came down the pipes. At the going rate, had they purchased the best PR money could buy in the attempt to redress their image on Superbowl Sunday, RED probably cost them less. This is not to impinge on RED’s good deed. Rather it’s pointing out just how little of a good deed it is for a very bad corporation.

This Christmas Season Bank of America helped paint New York Times Square REDtm. This year, Bank of America are subject to the boycott campaign to divest of the banks loaning credit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. They’re in for $350 million.

-It so happens if you look at the list of the seven largest tax evaders in Europe, four of these appear on RED’s corporate partner list in this 2009 article. And that’s not looking into the matter with any scrutiny. One of them likes stripping the Boreal to the tune of 4 billion disposable paper cups annually (as if that’s “normal”).

Yet even Bono managed to outdo himself, by getting named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” precisely for becoming this sort of paragon of “consumer activism”.

He literally hijacked feminism and made it #brandfeminism, -merely an adjunct to the philanthrowash of his billionaire benefactors and a philanthrowash the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all of #NoDAPL’s brutality, against women. Lots of Women. Lots and lots of them. We stand with Sophia.  We stand with the women of Standing Rock.

While all these women were being brutalized and Bono was simultaneously receiving his “Woman of the Year” award for successfully performing the philanthrowash of those whose investment was being enforced by this brutality, the whole U2 band put themselves forward as a contest reward where you could meet them this year’s Shopathon, funding matched by Dakota Access Pipeline investor Gates Foundation. Post holiday binge and post Trump, The Edge made a point of performing at the #WomensMarch with Julliette Lewis (who played Mallory in “Natural Born Killers”). It’s like the hijacking of authenticity’s never going to stop.

I wanted to double over and vomit. I wanted to double over and vomit when Lac-Megantic burned alive; I was writing this essay before that happened. Bono’s succeeded in insuring the feeling’s never left.

On January 27th, 2017, it was announced that Gates Foundation is set to Sell Almost $10 Billion Worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares. Wow. Now you know I was right on my numbers, Gr. 5 maths. In fact it appears they’ve been divesting steadily as of September (that’s the latest available update period in share transactions on this page, and the above announcement chronicles the same thing happening as of November). It was even going on as far back as March.

Someone must’ve said ‘Boo’.

“The Gates Foundation has a history of responding to public pressure, while simultaneously not admitting they are responding to public pressure.”

A little late, mate. I think the fact it happened at all means a bill is still due.

So’s RED’s page has no announcement of the winners of this latest and greatest Gates Foundation matched Shopathon shizzle (they’ve probably done it by e-mail). The winners were supposed to be informed on Friday, January 27th. Those winners won’t ever even know what they were actually participating in.

How sexy am I now?” (Since I have a twee bit more identity with this plot line, than U2.)

After all, I was tying this booming boondoggle to U2’s, Buffet’s, Gates’, ONE’s and GatesFoundation’s twitter since Lac-Megantic in real time. My tweet to Buffet when Casselton’s evacuation was announced was “roll the dice again, b****”. The weekend USACE announced they were denying the DAPL easement, I was twitter campaigning all of them to this effect for four days prior (the last 48 hours non-stop outside of sleep), namely U2, RED, @BofA, Gates Foundation, Warren Buffet, @POTUS, Hillary Clinton, and every celebrity gullible enough to participate in Omaze’s RED meet a celebrity contests.

Canada’s Postscript: -An interview with the inventor of human ecological footprint calculus, Bill Rees, provides more proof that economists aren’t engaged in anything akin to reality when discussing carrying capacity. At Bill’s first presentation of his application, an economist gave him this rebuttal:

“’Look, economists have long ago resolved this issue. Carrying capacity has no meaning, whatsoever, because, after all, we can trade. Almost any area, like the lower mainland here has certain resources in surplus. And, if there is anything in short supply then we just sell off what we have in surplus in exchange for what we need, such as food, and thereby we can overcome any local limits to the carrying capacity of the area. And if trade doesn’t work, then there is technology.’ In fact, it’s almost a doctrinaire position in modern economics, that human ingenuity is capable of substituting for almost any good or service provided by nature.”

-Food was and is what BC is in shortage of; 70% of BC’s produce comes from [drought stricken] California. -And here we are about to sink 30 000 acres of prime agricultural land for the Site C dam (capable of feeding at least 1 million people) for electrical power BC residents don’t even need. It’s been asserted the excess power is for export to California. Its immediate use will be for corporations to frack with. It’s other use (potential and logical, given the total illogic of its construction) is so we’ll be perfectly situated for water export in cooperation with NAFTA conditions, -to drought stricken California. Rather than achieving self sufficiency on our own land (by watering agriculture with the river in its very own fertile valley), we’re going to drown the land, just in order to pollute the living f*** out of BC’s North for foreign multinationals to frack, and we’re going to basically rape BC residents’ utility bills and tax rates to do so, just to export the bloody water so California can sell the produce back to us at extortionate prices that will also be accounting for the cost of shipment or our water. Yes, neoliberal Trudeau vetted that one too.

-And I’m supposed to be thrilled I’m part of the human race. With corporate globalization structured like this, who needs enemies?

Source*

Related Topics:

One of the Largest Banks Funding DAPL Just Pulled Its Assets from the Project*

Seattle Council Votes to Divest Billions from Wells Fargo over DAPL Support*

The ‘Defund DAPL’ Campaign Succeeded in Moving $28mn in Personal Accounts*

How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline*

Trump Team Tied to Atlantic Coast Pipeline Now Being Pushed by White House*

Standing Rock Sioux Speak Out Following Violent Removal of Water Protectors*

Dakota Access Company Seeks to Block Pipeline Environmental Study*

Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp*

Native Tribes in U.S. and Canada Sign Treaty Again Opposing Oil Pipelines*

Indigenous Women Shut Down Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing*

Jury Finds Eight #NoDAPL Protectors Guilty*

Jury Refuses to Convict Activist for Shutting Down Pipeline*

Two Major Pipelines Spill the Same Week Trump Advances KXL, DAPL*

U.S. Army Corps Told to Clear Way for DAPL Construction*