16 July 2010


BP. I first came across the concept of a world run not by governments, but by corporations with their own mercenary armed forces, in a comic book during the 1950s. Should I feel reassured that this is precisely how the world has been run for many decades? With the possible exception of World War II, every war, every shady deal, every scandal I can think of during my lifetime has had its genesis, in whole or in part, in corporate greed. Capitalism is broken (see Michael Moore's film Capitalism: A Love Story if you doubt this). The system of free enterprise espoused by the political right is a smoke screen for unbridled profiteering, at the expense of consumers and taxpayers.

Think about it -- those very souls who whine about too much government intervention into our lives, only have to take a look around to see that we are surrounded by the results of corporate excess and too little government regulation and enforcement. Examples --

~ the Gulf oil disaster.
~ the near-collapse of the banking industry.
~ the housing debacle.
~ the current recession and long-term unemployment crisis.
~ the conservative-sponsored deregulation of banking, securities, and insurance companies.
~ the average corporate CEO takes home 300 to 600 times the income of the average employee.

Yesterday a report surfaced that is astonishing even to the most jaded observer. BP, the same company which is turning the Gulf of Mexico into an oil reservoir, confirmed that it has lobbied the British government to conclude a prisoner transfer deal that the Libyan government wanted to secure the release of the only person ever convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, which killed 270 people, 189 of them Americans. BP acknowledged that "it had promoted the agreement to protect a $900 million offshore oil and gas exploration deal off Libya's Mediterranean coast. "

Free one terrorist, at the expense of 270 innocent lives, to preserve a lucrative oil deal. And the British and Scottish governments caved in. Libya's lunatic leader (and supporter of terrorists) Muammar al-Gaddafi greeted the released bomber with open celebration, and no doubt laughed all the way to the bank afterward.

I am thoroughly, militantly, and irrevocably disgusted at this obscenity. It is time for the government of the people, by the people, for the people to step in and take charge. Period.

NRA. There's a reason why I, a gun owner, am not a member of the National Rifle Association. The organization's right-wing politics aside, leadership and members alike appear blinded to the absurdities to which their extremist vision of firearms ownership lead. Here's an example -- The NRA Protects a Potential Serial Killer. The NRA's policies have the effect not of protecting individual liberty or safety, but endangering it by fostering the sale of firearms (including automatic weapons) to criminals. Have we wandered down the rabbit hole again?

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