The London offices of BP and Shell have been raided by the European commission who’s said its officers carried out “unannounced inspections” at several offices of BP and Shell in London, the Netherlands and Norway to investigate claims they may have “colluded in reporting distorted prices to a PRA to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products”.
The government has also launched an investigation into potential rigging of the oil market because the price oil traders pay for oil is linked to a number of benchmark indices, the best known of which is Brent Crude.
The commission said the alleged price collusion, which may have been going on since 2002, could have had a “huge impact” on the price of petrol at the pumps “potentially harming final consumers”.
An EC spokesman said: “Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the prices of crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels purchases purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers.”
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary: “The allegations that have been made about these three oil companies – BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil, as well as the price reporting agency Platts, are extremely concerning.
In Eric Cantor’s February 2013 speech, he said he wanted to propose Federal Law that would end overtime pay for hourly workers. Currently, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, mandates that certain workers get paid “time + 1/2″ for overtime work. Eric Cantor wants to eliminate that law.
Cantor says its a policy that would allow workers to convert overtime compensation into time off. “I gave a talk today about helping people and about finally focusing on legislation that has understandable benefits right away,” He explained that it would help parents who wanted to go on a field trip or attend a teacher conference.
Of all the convoluted rationalizations for eating meat in an age when eating meat is not at all necessary for our survival or health, many people today are borrowing a popular slogan I like to call “the personal choice self deception.” It goes something like this: “My decision to eat meat is a personal choice.” And it is usually followed by a statement sympathetic to their vegan and vegetarian friends, acknowledging that they too are making personal choices that are right for them. Sounds great on the surface, but it’s what lurks beyond the surface that I find deeply disturbing for five key reasons.
1. Eating is a communal, multi-cultural activity until the vegan sits down at the table
First, let’s take a closer look at what personal means in the context of the highly social human activity of eating. Personal food choices had never been discussed at the dinner table until a growing number of vegans and vegetarians — by their very presence at the table — question the legitimacy of eating animals. A person who tells you that their meat eating is a personal choice is really telling you “stay away.” They don’t want you to question their highly-coveted moral beliefs or perhaps they object to exposing their unexamined moral quandary over how one can justify using and killing animals for food in an age when it is completely unnecessary. In other words, They have made this issue personal precisely in response to you making it public.
2. There is no free choice without awareness
The irony is that while meat eaters defend their choice to eat meat as a personal one, they will nonetheless go to great lengths to defend it publicly when confronted with a vegan or vegetarian. Like some apologetic white liberals who defend themselves by defiantly exclaiming to a new black acquaintance, “But I have black friends too!”, some meat eaters will go to great lengths to explain how intimately they understand veganism since they have vegan friends, have already heard and evaluated their reasons for going vegan and respect them dearly.
They’ve considered being vegan carefully, they will assure you, and have concluded that it’s just not for them. But instead of arriving at some novel new understanding of why humans should eat meat, they simply revert back to the traditional arguments that are all pretty much centered around what social psychologist Melanie Joy calls the three N’s of justification: eating meat is normal, natural and necessary. (1) But their reasoning reveals the fact that they have sorely overlooked the big idea behind veganism which author Jenny Brown points out so eloquently in her book The Lucky Ones: “We can become prisoners of our earliest indoctrinations or we can choose to look critically at our assumptions and align our lives with our values. Choosing to live vegan is how we re able to do that best.” (2)
3. The choice has a victim and the victim is completely ignored
Let’s take a look at the issue from the animal victim’s perspective which has been completely denied by the meat eater’s unexamined assumption that animals have no interest or understanding of the value of their individual lives. Does the animal who is being bred, raised and slaughtered for someone’s food care if the person who is eating meat has given the prospect of becoming vegan any serious moral consideration? Of course not.
The notion that these conscious meat eaters think they have done their due diligence by examining the pros and cons of eating animals means nothing for those that value their lives as we do. The fact is the animals we raise for meat have at least as much of an interest in staying alive, avoiding pain and suffering and seeking pleasure as these meat eaters’ pets. As activist Twyla Francois so aptly puts it: “All animals have the same capacity for suffering, but how we see them differs and that determines what we’ll tolerate happening to them. In the western world, we feel it wrong to torture and eat cats and dogs, but perfectly acceptable to do the same to animals equally as sentient and capable of suffering. No being who prides himself on rationality can continue to support such behaviour.”
4. Many personal choices we make have dire consequence for ourselves and others
Now let’s take a closer look at the meaning of choice itself. The act of making a choice implies that the actor has free will and awareness of the options and their consequences. In the spirit of justice, we live in a society where our actions and choices are governed by what society deems acceptable. We can make a personal choice to maim, rape or kill someone, but these actions will have consequences that serve as a deterrent. It is generally accepted in a democratic society that we are free to do what we want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else or infringe on the same rights and freedoms of others.
Yet, for the meat eater, the choice of eating animals is completely disconnected from this concept of justice since justice does NOT for them apply to other species, only to humans (how convenient). In other words, there are no visible, negative consequences to eating meat. The victims remain invisible and silent to those who eat them, and that is perhaps the greatest deception of all.
5. Atrocities are never personal
In reality, the choice to eat meat negates the very meaning of choice because the animal that had to be killed to procure the meat had no choice in the matter at all. And the notion of characterizing such a choice as a personal one is even more problematic since the choice required the taking of another’s life, not a personal sacrifice. Nothing could be more public than the taking of a sentient life that cares about his own life, particularly when the act is not necessary and therefore not morally defensible.
When 60 billion land animals and another approximate 60 billion marine animals are killed every year across the planet for “personal” food choices made by a single species that are based on palate pleasure alone, eating meat ceases to be a matter of personal choice; (4) it becomes a social justice movement to protect the rights of animals. To deny animals the right to live their lives according to their own interests is wrong and to attempt to defend our choice to eat them as a personal one is delusional.
Men, are you worried for your own safety because misandry?
You need to accept that misandry happens in the real world and take some precautions.
Take a self defense class, they’re only a couple hundred dollars a month.
Don’t go out after dark unless you have a woman to chaperone you.Misandrists are less likely to attack if they see you are with another woman.
Don’t wear anything too douchey. If you’re wearing a fedora or a sexist t-shirt, etc. you’re pretty much asking to get attacked. Misandrists can’t control themselves when they see a man in a fedora, their instincts kick in and before they know it they have a dead male corpse in their hands. Just be a good boy and don’t tempt them, okay?
Don’t ever invite a woman into your home. Misandrists will interpret this as consent to physical violence.
Drinking increases your risk of being attacked by a misandrist. They target drunk men because their inhibitions are lowered.
Never leave your drink unattended. Misandrists are notorious for poisoning men at parties and bars.
If a misandrist does attack you, be quiet and just let her finish or you might anger her further and you are liable to get murdered instead of just mutilated. But also, be sure to put up a good fight because a lot of men say they don’t want to be attacked by misandrists but deep down, they really like it.
And remember, accusing a woman of abusive misandry is worse than being abused by a misandrist. So before you make accusations, make sure it wasn’t all just a silly misunderstanding.
The bipartisan proposal “ends Too Big To Fail subsidies or funding advantages for Wall Street mega-banks with more than $500 billion in assets.”
In order to stop the financial bleeding, the U.S. government voted to rescue the big banks rather than allow them to fail and take our economy with them. Ever since, big banks have only gotten bigger on the premise that if they fail again, the government will bail them out.
But an amendment was offered as an attachment to the Senate budget bill and it received unanimous support; 99-0. The U.S. Senate voted to strip “too big to fail” banks of the taxpayer subsidies.
Two reports indicate that the banks were rolling in taxpayer dollars that they didn’t need. In February, Bloomberg News reported that the banks made an estimated $83 billion a year. But that number could be even higher. In March top banking analyst, Chris Whalenestimated that big banks rake in more than $780 billion of government subsidies every year. Banks have been making trillions of dollars over the last few years even though they didn’t need the money.
Now it falls to the House Republicans to approve the bill and send it to the President. Considering the conservative obsession with forcing the Ryan Budget upon America, passage of the Senate bill looks grim. Now would the time for everyone to get on the phone with their representative in Congress to demand passage of the Senate budget.
George Zimmerman, who’s trial is scheduled for June 10, has claimed he was not acting out of racist aggression but because Martin attacked him. His brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr, is not helping his cause.
Jr. went on a Twitter tirade equating the stalked and unarmed Trayvon Martin with De’Marquise Elkins, the 17-year-old suspect in the murder of a Georgia infant.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill requiring public schools in our state to develop policies under which students will be permitted to pray at sports events, school assemblies, and even over school intercom systems. Bill, HB 638, was passed under the guise of protecting students’ religious freedom; however, it is an effort to bypass Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp, returning to the days before 1962 when prayer in school was inescapable.
The law was written to bypass the prohibition on formal school-sanctioned prayer. It does so by permitting students to deliver public prayers as long as they are accompanied by some sort of disclaimer from the school. But students and teachers have always had the right to pray in school, and is commonly exercised in Mississippi. What they have not had the right to do is impose their religious views on others.
American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are widely expected to fight this new legislation, which takes effect on July 1. These groups will need complaints in order to act, which include letters attempting to educate state officials on the law. It seems unlikely that school officials will give in to the pressure from these groups. This means that it might take the family of a child adversely affected by the law being willing to come forward as a plaintiff. Unfortunately, children will have to be harmed and complaints filed before real work can happen.
This letter is an apology. An apology for being an adult who has failed to make the world safe for you. Because you should be safe. Even when you make the sometimes stupid, often naive choices that teens make, you should be safe.
Your vulnerability should not invite assault and attack of your body or your spirit. And so I am sorry, because we have failed to teach your male peers that they have no right to touch you without your consent or to use you to meet their needs or to discard you if your victimization does not fit their life plan. I am sorry we have failed you.
This letter is also a note of gratitude for your willingness to report this crime, to take the stand, and to endure the viciousness hurled at you this week. I know the words that run in a loop in your mind. Don’t tell. If you tell, no one will believe you. If you tell, everyone will think you are a whore. Sometimes he is the one who says them first, spewing the words like mold spores that grow in the darkness of your silence. Sometimes it’s your own voice telling you, I can’t tell. No one will believe me. It’s the reason 54%of survivors never report the assault. It’s the reason I kept my secret for nearly a decade. But not you, beloved. You demanded the right to be heard.
You may have lost your voice that night, but you found it again when you told the truth–even though you knew, didn’t you? You knew just how relentlessly they would try to silence you.
You knew that neighbors, and friends, and even members of the national media would mourn the loss of your attackers’ football careers more than the loss of your innocence. You knew that even those who claimed to be sympathetic would pass along the pictures of your assault with a tone deaf voyeurism that seeks to make you a thing instead of a person. I think maybe you knew, or suspected these things, but you spoke out anyway.
And that…that is astonishing. And I want to say thank you, because you did what so many of us never find the strength to do. You spoke for yourself. You spoke for the 44% of rape victims who are under 18–and you spoke for my 14-year-old self, who still hears that threat echoing in my head, “Don’t tell. No one will believe you.”
So, this is my apology and this is my gratitude. This is me saying, “I believe you.”
And I believe you are inherently valuable. Not as a character in some grotesque news cycle where your assault is all we know, but as a girl with hopes and dreams and ambitions and vulnerabilities and so much more growing up to do. I never need to know your name, but I need you to know you are not alone. Surviving is not a single occurrence, it is a lifetime of making choices that honor you and your right to speak. You have begun surviving. You will continue surviving. And if you ever get down, or wonder how you will go on, take out this letter and read it to yourself.