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The Prime Minister David Cameron says PETROL executives should be JAILED.

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”.

Now oil price fixing investigation have extended to trading houses Glencore, who’s merged with Xstrata, Vitol, Gunvor and Mercuria.

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.

The whistleblower gave Halfon a statement in which he said the price of oil was being deliberately distorted: ‘I trade the oil market on a daily basis and every day the price is manipulated,’ he said. ‘There is ample oil in the system to satisfy demand at the moment. Profiteering seems to be the only objective.’


BP and Shell declined to comment other than to acknowledge that they were under investigation and that they are co-operating with the relevant authorities.

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Over the past decade, many of the deals given without any bidding from competing firms, such as a $568-million contract renewal in 2010 to provide housing, meals, water and bathroom services to soldiers, a deal that led to a Justice Department lawsuit over alleged kickbacks 

According to the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the level of corruption by defense contractors may be as high as $60 billion. Disciplined soldiers that would traditionally do many of the tasks are commissioned by private and publicly listed companies.

 

The audio is Lee Camp’s PodCast.

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Over a decade ago Jonathan Frieman was working in the Global Justice movement and watching the WTO unfold in Seattle. He noticed that everything he was against involved corporations and started to wondered if there was a way to compel them to invest in a sustainable future. 

He went to law school and learned corporations are an organizational mess with stocks, CEO’s and the Supreme Court had ruled on corporate personhood. Corporations being treated as people matters in many ways but it mostly bothered Frieman because corporations can’t go to jail. After breaking the law, sometimes they don’t even face the fines which are factored into the cost of doing business.

More recently Citizens United declared money is speech and can spend how ever much money they want on elections. These two rulings work together to allow corporations to do whatever they want in our democracy. 

So Frieman came up with the idea to, under the law, show how ridiculous that idea is. He decided to drive around San Francisco’s carpool lanes with just him and his articles of incorporation. Knowing something about codes he found vehicle code section ”470. ‘Person’ includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.” For 10 years he waited; driving by cops in a station wagon, sometimes waving. In October 2012 he drove by a cop parked in the opposite carpool lane, got off at the next exit and headed right by him, and finally got pulled over. 

He explained to the officer that he was driving with his corporation and without surprise the cop neither understood, cared, or had a good sense of humor. Frieman gladly took the ticket and after the judge found Frieman guilty, saying the code also says the carpool lanes intend to reduce traffic congestion, he is now appealing to the appellate division of the Marin Superior Court. Should they lose the appeal there, Jonathan plans to appeal all the way to the California Supreme Court if he has to.

They are hoping the court wont know what to do with this case and the court says corporations are not persons for the purposes of driving in the carpool lane. 

His attorney’s argument goes something like… We, human beings, are given notice to the times we might violate the law. The law has to be crystal clear but since, in this case, its not clear no one really knows how to proceed.

Jonathan ‘The Carpool Guy’ Frieman’s official site and the Facebook page.

If you agree check out Move To Amend -

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. 

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

Republican Eric Cantor is an obvious liar.

You may be surprised to learn that your choice of cell phone isn’t neutral. For example, did you know that AT&T and Verizon Wireless have contributed to right-wing politicians working against your values? CREDO has supported progressive causes for more than 27 years, through automatic donations from members and citizen-activism programs. Since 1985 they raised more than $70 million for nonprofit groups like Earthjustice, Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Democracy Now!, and Color of Change.

So if you stand for progressive beliefs, join the only phone company that stands with you.

—> I think this is so cool. Click on the image for the interactive version that gives you more information on how much and who the money is going to. Remember, most corporations donate money to BOTH sides, and cell carriers are no different. It’s smart to have someone always on the inside. But CREDO only donates to truly progressive causes! Awesome.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof describes what he terms the “cancer lobby” — how major industry spends millions of dollars to influence Congress in support of carcinogenic chemicals.

Consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. According to government scientists, it causes cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia.

The American Chemistry Council is also trying to undermine scientific reviews by the Environmental Protection Agency

So, how much do you care? Really. It’s not a rhetorical question.

HOW MUCH DO YOU CARE?

Is Koch PAC Non-Partisan, As They Claim?

Much has been written about the owners of Koch Industries, brothers David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, trying to control the political process through hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to right-wing causes and candidates.

In a voter information packet the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president.

The packet arrived in the mailboxes of all 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees earlier this month. The cover letter [PDF], by Koch Industries President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Robertson, read:

While we are typically told before each Presidential election that it is important and historic, I believe the upcoming election will determine what kind of America future generations will inherit.

If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.

Enclosed with the letter was a flyer [PDF] listing Koch-endorsed candidates, beginning with Romney. Robertson’s letter explained: “At the request of many employees, we have also provided a list of candidates in your state that have been supported by Koch companies or by KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee.”

The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch [PDF] and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch [PDF]. The letter went on to say, “We believe any decision about which candidates to support is—as always—yours and yours alone, based on the factors that are most important to you. Second, we do not support candidates based on their political affiliation.”

In the flyer sent to Oregon employees, all 14 Koch-backed state candidates were Republicans.

In September, a number of unionized employees at Georgia Pacific’s Toledo, Ore. plant posed for a photo in front of their union hall with Democratic state Senate candidate Arnie Roblan. When the Koch Industries voter information packet arrived in the workers’ mailboxes a few weeks later, they saw that Roblan was not on the list of Koch-endorsed candidates in Oregon. Then the AWPPW Vice President Greg Pallesen started receiving phone calls from workers. The union workers in the photo were worried that they might be fired from their jobs if the image got out on the Internet, because in the backdrop of the photo, the Georgia Pacific plant could be seen.

Their fear comes not only from the mailing, but also from a new Georgia Pacific social media policy [PDF] implemented earlier this year that warns, “Even if your social media conduct is outside of the workplace and/or non-work related, it must not reflect negatively on GP’s reputation, its products, or its brands.” Given the policy, the workers were scared to appear next to a candidate the Kochs do not support with the plant in the background.

More —> 10 Shocking Facts on the Kochs.

In a Democracy Now interview Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh talk to George Farah. He explains how the contract was revealed by Time’s Mark Halperin who managed to get a copy of the contract and that it wasn’t by virtue of the commission operating with transparency.

George Farah was on DN before talking about the Commission on Presidential Debates and how we came to this point in electoral politics.

Mike McCurry, the former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, and a co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates repeatedly denied the very existence of this contract. When confronted the executive director of the commission, Janet Brown, about the existence of a contract that’s dictating the terms of the debates, she said there is no such contract, the commission is not a party to it. Once some of the features of the contract started to come out, the commission said the contract is only about podium heights and temperatures in the auditoriums and whether the candidates can wear risers in their shoes, but denied that there was any substance.
Now that we’re actually seeing the contract, we’re seeing there are extraordinary restrictions preventing there from being more unpredictable questions. We’re seeing the exclusion of all third-party voices according to the candidate selection criteria. And we’re seeing the prohibition on additional debates…

josephdenne:

Fast-food logos burned into pleasure center of children’s brains
A study has found that fast-food logos are branded into the minds of children at an early age, perhaps fueling the West’s obesity epidemic. The study showed children 60 logos from popular food brands and 60 logos from popular non-food brands. Researchers found that, when shown images of fast-food brands, the parts of kids’ brains linked with pleasure and appetite lit up. This is concerning because marketers tap into those portions of the brain long before children develop self-control, and most foods marketed to kids are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat.

josephdenne:

Fast-food logos burned into pleasure center of children’s brains

A study has found that fast-food logos are branded into the minds of children at an early age, perhaps fueling the West’s obesity epidemic. The study showed children 60 logos from popular food brands and 60 logos from popular non-food brands. Researchers found that, when shown images of fast-food brands, the parts of kids’ brains linked with pleasure and appetite lit up. This is concerning because marketers tap into those portions of the brain long before children develop self-control, and most foods marketed to kids are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat.

(via starmichael)

kamikazemilkman:

“When about 650 members of community, labor and faith organizations rallied today in Elwood, Illinois in support of workers at a key Walmart warehouse striking to protest “poverty wages,” sexual harassment, racial discrimination and extreme work conditions, they were met with riot-gear-clad police and the private security Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Mobile Field Force who surrounded them, arrested all 47 who committed civil disobedience by sitting in the road, and told the other peaceful protesters to disperse or risk “chemical or less lethal munitions being deployed.””

kamikazemilkman:

When about 650 members of community, labor and faith organizations rallied today in Elwood, Illinois in support of workers at a key Walmart warehouse striking to protest “poverty wages,” sexual harassment, racial discrimination and extreme work conditions, they were met with riot-gear-clad police and the private security Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Mobile Field Force who surrounded them, arrested all 47 who committed civil disobedience by sitting in the road, and told the other peaceful protesters to disperse or risk “chemical or less lethal munitions being deployed.””

(via realworldnews)

A fun web site that lets you choose a type of product and company then gives you a report card where you can find scores on collective bargaining, child labor, supplier contracts, and more… under POLICIES (just one of 6 detailed tabs under SCORECARD)

I went vegan almost a decade ago because I truly believe the only vote you have is your money. I ask you to try your best to stay informed and support the rights of everyone involved in the products you enjoy.

chemicalfreelife:

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD:  Monsanto, GMO-Corn & Pesticides…Carcinogenic Outcomes in Recent Animal Study

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A New Study Says Pesticides Can Lead To Tumors In Rats
Business Insider

A controversial French study that was released on Wednesday alleges that rats fed genetically modified corn or exposed to certain pesticides by Monsanto — one of the biggest agricultural companies in the U.S. — developed tumors and organ damage.

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(via from-meat-to-bean)

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR BOTH SIDES. Because often there ISN’T such a thing.  
Places I look for news - Salon (in particular Glenn Grenwald), Democracy now, Citizen Radio, Up w Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Best of the Left, This Week in Blackness… etc. 

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR BOTH SIDES. Because often there ISN’T such a thing.  

Places I look for news - Salon (in particular Glenn Grenwald), Democracy now, Citizen Radio, Up w Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Best of the Left, This Week in Blackness… etc. 

(Source: ernestsewell, via veganhugs-deactivated20140212)

McDonald’s, the world’s second biggest food outlet after Subway, is bowing to local demand and opens its first vegetarian restaurant in India. India’s fast-food market is growing at an annual rate of 25-30 per cent, and sales are expected to surge from $12.6bn in 2011 to $14.9bn in 2016, according to Euromonitor International.

But McDonald’s was nearly tossed out of India a decade ago after it was reported that beef flavouring was put into oil used to cook French fries. As part of an agreement, donated $10 million to Hindu and other groups in the US.

In India, its menu is typically 50% vegetarian. Both India’s Hindu majority, who see cows as sacred and avoid beef, and Muslims, who view pigs as unclean and avoid pork, can eat the same meat-free dishes. McDonald’s signature dish in India is the McAloo Tikki burger, which uses a spiced potato-based filling. It accounts for 25% of total sales.

McDonald’s will open the outlet in the middle of next year, near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India. Where religious authorities forbid consumption of meat at the shrine.

McDonald’s veggie items will face stiff competition against traditional dishes and eating practices at langar (the common kitchen where food is served to visitors from all religions - for free and is meant to impart that everyone is equal before God.)
"As a devotee, I would go to langar at the Golden Temple, rather than going to McDonald’s,” Amarinder Singh, a Vodafone employee from Cochin.

The chain plans to open another vegetarian outlet in north-western India, near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Kashmir, which is a Hindu pilgrimage site that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

Ram Madhav, spokesman of Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), said the US multinational threatens India’s food industry, as well as its culture.
"These companies are also seen as symbols of American economic imperialism," Madhav told Al Jazeera. "On those grounds we continue to oppose the entry … into Indian retail."

As well as being a way to try to penetrate the India market, if it takes off at all it’ll provide a valuable testing ground for the general concept. There are over 15 million vegetarians in the United States, for example, which is bigger than the population of Belgium, Greece, or Pennsylvania. A vegetarian fast food concept that works could have legs in many places around the world.

Rajesh Kumar Maini, a spokesman for McDonald’s India, told the Financial Times: “A vegetarian store makes absolute sense in the places which are famous as pilgrimage sites.” and Al Jazeera. “We have always been cognizant of the religion-based and other sensitivities of our customers, …We believe this endeavour of ours will also be well accepted.”