Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Dish Of Potpouri

Bill Moyers and Chris Hedges discussing the abusive immorality of transnational corporatism.

First off I want to give readers a link to an absorbing interview Bill Moyers had with Chris Hedges.  The link will take you to the transcription of the interview.  The video of the interview is at the end of the transcription. This fifty minute interview is packed with challenging thoughts and observations from both men about the current economic and global situation and the morality....well, more accurately, lack of the corporate oligarchy that passes for Western Capitalist democracy.

One current illustration of one Hedge's main points can be found in this Salon article explaining Mitt Romney's use of El Salvadoran right wing money to initially fund Bain Capital back during the Reagan Administration. I seriously burst out laughing when Mitt is quoted as having passed the names of these venture capitalists through the US government to assure that they were moral and upstanding investors.  Excuse me...Wouldn't this be the same Reagan government whose School of the Americas was training all those right wing military death squads, and whose CIA was planting political and military operatives through out El Salvador?  No wonder Mitt's investors passed.

Speaking of passing, or not passing, or a glass half empty kind of thing, the Vatican Bank's Moneyval report was released and I guess one can make what they want of the review.  John Allen takes the glass over half full approach, but I was far more interested in the three areas Allen mentioned that needed work, in as much as these are the three areas that have been historically used by one nefarious group after another to launder money.  They are:
  • A high volume of cash transactions and wire transfers. (The report acknowledges that cash transactions “are an important contributor to the funding of the global mission of the church”.)
  • The global footprint of the church’s activities, which include transactions with countries that insufficiently apply transparency standards.
  • Limited information on non-profit organizations operating within the Vatican.
Bullet point number three is especially important because some of these organizations and personal accounts are currently being investigated as suspected fronts for Mafia involvement.  Allen also mentioned the snails pace activity of the Financial Information Authority that Pope Benedict set up as the corner piece of his transparency efforts:

"Evaluators found that the Financial Information Authority has not yet conducted any on-site inspections, nor has it done any sample testing of files. The report also said that the watchdog unit hasn’t yet performed an inspection of either APSA or the Vatican Bank, despite the fact that bank officials requested one. Further, evaluators said the number of reports the Financial Information Authority has received regarding suspect transactions is low, even allowing for the small size of the Vatican’s financial sector."

This sort of sounds like building a dog house for a watch dog that never comes out of the house.

One last related story concerns Penn State.  There is a boatload of window dressing going on by the powers that be.  Joe Paterno's statue in front of Beaver Stadium was taken down yesterday, and the NCAA will put Penn State under severe sanctions.  These are rumored to include a significant loss of scholarships and no bowl games for awhile.  I'm not sure why the NCAA is involving itself since none of the Penn State transgressions involved anything the NCAA is empowered to enforce.  This isn't about cheating to win football games or under the table money for players.  This is about criminal sexual offenses by a coach that have so far been taken care of quite decently by the system empowered to take care of things like this, the Criminal Justice System. 

In effect all the NCAA is accomplishing is to penalize innocent football players.  I suspect the real reason the NCAA is involving itself is to pretend that big school college football programs aren't the tail that wags the university dog.  We're somehow supposed to believe that college coaches don't have more real power than university presidents.  Right.  

This too is all about money, which is why Penn State did not suffer the football death penalty.  There was no way the other members of the Big 10 were going to give up their lucrative Penn State pay days. Hence it makes perfect sense to punish innocent individual student athletes while keeping the really big money rolling in.  Did I mention something at the beginning of this post about the lack of morality in the corporate capitalist system?



  1. Wow, what a dish. The quarterly report and the accompanying business sound bite is the gospel of the new age. It also is tied to the Wall Street casino and the losing rigged game to investors.

    Within the Salon article on El Salvadorian blood money for Bain is another link mentioning Mitt's visiting the minimum no benefit wage slaves at the first Staples store and his bringing a pizza and a pep talk to the "workers". He recently repeated the Pizza photo op in NYC bringing pizzas to a fire house to real heroes which I personally found insulting. He brought the pizzas there with none other than Rudy Giuliani who as US Attorney slapped the junk bond king Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham Lambert on the wrists with lesser charges and lesser jail time - 22 months. BTW Bain capital make one on its biggest early financial kills with 300 million of Milken junk bond money. Small world. Ain't it?

    As for Paterno's statue, Joe's Brand is no more.

    I am being to realize awfully late in life that there are two sets of rules/laws in life. One for the 1%-ers and the other set for the rest of us.

  2. Micheal it's just sick to research some of the links the rich have with the rich and those lesser beings who let the rich use them--some of whom have been canonized.

  3. Thanks for the link to the Bill Moyer's interview with Chris Hedges. If only more American journalist had their backbone and heart and soul for the truth and love for the People in this country. Makes me real sad to hear of the liberty that is lost to corporate interest against the best interest of the citizens. These corporate interest are ruining this country and doubtless many others. They have no allegiance to any country but they will pretend mightily and pay people to spread their lies so they can milk and bleed the country dry of all of its life.

    I think what hurts the most is that as a mother I am watching my son who is a college grad with no work. Our country is telling him there is no work and no health benefits either. This after he went to college so he could get a decent job at a decent wage. He's lucky to get temp work at $11 an hour. This is what is available in this great country for our young? He's 29 years old with no future. It is unconscionable to not have work for people. And while there is no work there are reports of the wealthy getting wealthier and still not satisfied. Still not investing in real job creation. It is too sad to witness.

    Fran Schultz