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Exposing Charities in Africa: Hypocrisy, Racism, Objectification

TeleSUR

June 24, 2015

 

 

9

Crimes list:

World Vision

* Last year, World Vision announced its decision to finally stop discriminating and hire LGBTI people. However, after the announcement saw sponsors withdraw donations – apparently more concerned about people’s sexuality than hunger, the decision was reversed and the organization continues to bring homophobia to the African continent.

* Its president, Richard Stearns, studied business administration and began his career doing marketing for several Fortune 500 companies. His wage with World Vision is almost US$400,000 a year. He has blamed poverty as often being a result of “fathers that aren’t around … Boys learn from their fathers what it means to be a good man.”

* Its publicity continues to be children-centered, simplistic, and individualistic. It tells little fairy tales: “In a nearby poverty stricken village … Mona, 11 years old, is teaching her brother a song, because Mona believes it doesn’t take much to live happily … with $39 Canadian dollars we can help people like Mona.” Cameras angle down at big-eyed children with one name and an easily digestible story of suffering, easily cured with money and religion.

* Gospel given with food: The U.S. evangelicals broadcast over their Christian Broadcasting Network and Trinity Broadcasting Network throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Save the Children

* An individualistic approach to a systemic problem. Donors choose the child they want to sponsor from a range of photos. This has many implications for the children, who become competitive with their friends who are chosen for sponsorship. The donor has the power to decide who will be more prosperous.

* In 2013, Save the Children and Britain’s biggest drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline joined hands, with GSK aiming to give the charity 15 million pounds (US$23.6 million). GSK pleaded guilty in 2012 to healthcare fraud, which involved promoting drugs, such as anti-depressants, for unapproved uses. It also fights to protect the patents of its HIV medicine, for example, which was developed using public funds, at the expense of affordable medicine.

* Like World Vision, the CEO of Save the Children, Carolyn Miles, also has a business and marketing background. In 2013 she was paid US$407,399.

* In 2014, war criminal Tony Blair was given Save the Children’s Global Legacy Award at a gala dinner in New York. Funnily enough, the year before, former adviser to Tony Blair and current Save The Children chief executive Justin Forsyth was among nine at the charity awarded US$250,000 in bonuses.

* In 2013 a whistleblower accused the charity of self-censoring criticism of energy corporations, such as British Gas, for fear of upsetting existing or future donors.

USAID

* A racist gem from USAID administrator Andrew Natsios, who was quoted in the Boston Globe in 2001 as saying Africans wouldn’t be able to successfully take HIV and AIDS treatment regimes because “Africans do not know what Western time is.” He allegedly said that many people in Africa “have never seen a clock or a watch their entire lives and if you say one o’clock in the afternoon, they do not know what you are talking about.”

* Last year USAID joined with real estate company Rockefeller to launch a US$100 million “climate resilience fund” for Asia and Africa, with the vague aim of making communities more resilient to disasters. The alternative could have been policy that reduces the U.S’s huge contribution to contamination and global warming: but that would affect profits.

Charities … as simple as white people’s individual goodness. They become saviors, while the denial of complexity, the simplistic advertising dehumanize and rob people in Africa of their dignity, agency, intelligence, and power.

* USAID has partnered with Monsanto to promote “biotechnology,” or genetically modified organisms. It launched the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project in 1991 to introduce GM crops, which benefit patent-holding companies like Monsanto and works to create dependence on U.S. corporations’ fertilizers and pesticides. USAID has invested millions in “biotechnology” in countries like Nigeria and Uganda and uses workshops on GMOs and other issues to promote policy change favorable to U.S. corporate interests.

* USAID’s slogan, “from the American people,” should be, “from U.S. corporations,” as it once claimed on its own website, “… the principal beneficiary of America’s foreign assistance programs has always been the United States. Close to 80 percent of the USAID contracts and grants go directly to American firms,” Grain.org reported. The USAID site also states that the organization works to promote “democratic” institutions (even though the U.S. is no model of democracy) and to “foster an environment attractive to private investment.” With its bureau for Africa located not there, but in Washington, D.C., Andrew Herscowitz, coordinator of the bureau, describes his position as “facilitating private investment to bring cleaner energy and electricity to millions across Africa.” Apart from the fact that that is another thing that the U.S. itself needs, its also another example of taking advantage of colonialism-caused lack of infrastructure to help companies make profits.

* Many governments find it hard to stand-up to USAID, as it functions as a mouthpiece of the powerful, warmongering U.S. Grassroots organizations, however, are often more willing to resist.

World Food Program

* Despite being the food assistance branch of the United Nations, and allegedly more neutral than some other charities, the WFP has corporate ties, and is problematic in similar ways to other charities

* It cooperates with USAID, Save the Children, and receives significant donations from Monsanto. In 2011 for example, the WFP held a donation drive in which each dollar raised would be matched by a dollar from Monsanto. Monsanto however, contributes to world hunger by making farmers dependent on their seeds and with destructive agricultural practices.

* WFP overlooks the role of big business in exploitation and causing poverty, instead promoting the private sector’s role in the so called elimination of hunger. It is part of the Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which was formed in 2012 to facilitate private corporations’ profiting from hunger and as excuse for the rich nations to wash their hands of any responsibility.

* WFP states on its website, “Cause related marketing generates support and awareness for your business … presenting a unique opportunity for companies to simultaneously do well and do good.” Other WFP corporate partners unqualified to fight hunger include Pepsico Foundation (objectifies women and spent US$1.7 million in opposing U.S. citizens’ right to know if food is genetically modified), Bank of America (2008 financial crisis) Yum (parent company of fake food restaurants KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Caterpillar (proud demolisher of Palestinian homes), and Cargill (energy trading, crops and livestock: no self interest here, has had to recall a lot of its meat products for contamination, sued for extreme child exploitation on its cocoa bean plantations).

* Similar images such as this one using victimized, helpless children, and empowering the Western savior – “you can save lives.”

* Kenyan economist James Shikwati argued that WFP food aid was sometimes so big that it made it hard for local farmers to compete.

Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation uses poverty in African countries as a public-relations tool for the families’ politicians and for the celebrities who donate to it. It focuses on health systems, not that Bill Clinton was able to do much for health in his own country: a reoccurring story with many charities. The charity is also used to foster business deals. The Clintons and celebrities conduct fly-by visits through African countries as a kind of ego parade of people pretending to care, with all attention on the “helpers” and none on the people of those countries.

* Earlier this year, the charity came under fire for not declaring tens of millions of dollars in foreign donations and in another unsurprising scandal this year, the Clinton Foundation worked closely with a pharmaceutical company to distribute “drastically substandard” antiretroviral drugs to third world countries that had no chance of helping HIV and AIDs patients, according to a Wall Street analyst.

Get Angry: Global Inequality Should Be Changed, and Charity Isn’t the Way

The thing about aid is that it always comes with conditions (working with businesses, practicing religion, spending money according to the dictates of the charity), it always involves the inequality of a much more powerful giver and a disempowered receiver, and it involves the powerful side thinking it knows better that the receiver about what they need and how to make that happen.

There’s little respect and a lot of condescension, as the boring rich try to show people in the apparently homogenous continent how to make wells, read the bible and make their own shoes. And, largely due to charities, the continent of Africa has become synonymous with poverty, starvation, tragedy – a homogenous blob of a continent of begging skinny children.

Charities simplify everything. They misinform. Solving poverty (which on the continent of Africa was due to the looting, interventions, social and economic colonization, and the constant stealing of local resources by those countries who tend to set up the charities in the first place) is as simple as white people’s individual donations. They become saviors, while the denial of complexity, the simplistic advertising dehumanizes and robs people in Africa of their dignity, agency, intelligence, and power.

Charities become competitive for money and are forced to convince their public they are dealing with the “most needy” and “deserving”. The advertising is never accountable to those people objectified by it.

Charities like the Clinton Foundation don’t deserve a pat on the back for given back a tiny proportion of what was stolen by the U.S. and Europe and their transnationals in the first place. Even less so when using poverty to dodge tax payments. Ultimately, such charities are a convenience for first world governments to outsource their social and political responsibility.

Unlike activist organizations, charities are undemocratic, alienating (donors are very disconnected from affected communities), and work over rather than with those communities. The big picture is the North (U.S, Europe, U.K, Australia, etc) has an undemocratic influence over the economies, resources, culture, and futures of countries in Africa – in addition to such influence through colonization, transnational resource robbing and so on already mentioned.

 

#askU2 #U2TheJoshuaTree2017

The Radiant Labyrinth

March 14, 2017

 

ONE strengthie-beyonce-nbhap-1-770x345

In the category of “this is just irritating” consider this due reciprocity.

Bono’s ONE is up to their eyeballs in a campaign dubbed #girlscount #povertyissexist to support public education for 130 million girls for #IWD2017 (that’s International Women’s Day 2017 -may I remind you that by their own declaration 83% of ONE’s budget is allocated to “raising awareness and educating policymakers”).

That’s a little ironic, considering ONE’s present funding is dependent on Gates Foundation, whose stock portfolio depends on Warren Buffettwho’s practically the biggest individual Dakota Access Pipeline investor, -especially considering Buffett’s and Gates Foundation’s DAPL investment has officially crossed the threshold where its financial success is in fact dependent on racial oppression, which has its inherent adjunct of sexual oppression (evidenced by the disparate native indigenous statistics for poverty, education and sexual abuse/trafficking statistics for North Dakota (at the bottom of this page)).

Bill Gates has also crossed the threshold of picking his very own governor for North Dakota as of November 8th, 2016. (He announced his bid January 2016.)

Former Microsoft Exec Doug Burgum wins North Dakota’s Governor’s Race” – Fortune – “Why Former Microsoft Exec Doug Burgum Would Make a Good Governor

Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, delivers the Keynote speech and talks with Doug Burgum - Senior Vice President responsible for the Microsoft Business Solutions business group at Microsoft Convergence 2005 at the San Diego Convention Center. Gates spoke candidly about his personal visions and future endeavors to over 2000 attendees. (Photo by R. Born/WireImage)

Doug Burgum (right) with Bill Gates in 2005. Photograph by R. Born — WireImage/Getty Images

Were you aware the current Governor of North Dakota not only received more than a $100,000 from oil companies but also received $106,000 from U2’s ONE/RED sponsor, Bill Gates, and was previously the chief of staff for Microsoft in Fargo? Burgum’s fortune was made when Microsoft purchased his software company for a little over a billion. He then went on to work for Microsoft for six years. -Nothing like insuring your man is in charge when the investment that funds you goes from violent to shady to protect itself, eh? Burgum’s election campaign funding eclipsed that of his contender by just that, – $100,000 dollars. “Burgum Gets $100k from Bill Gates for Campaign, Raises nearly $1 million” – Inforum (-it ended up being $1.1 million)

Oil Money Flowed into the Burgum Campaign” – The Bismarck Tribune -oil money? -Yes. But Bill Gates gave him more, and that wasn’t just oil money.

The report goes onto claim there’s no funding connection between Governor Burgum and the Dakota Access Pipeline, -with a straight face. -But there is. Gates Foundation is proportionately invested in Phillips 66, who has a 25% stake in the pipeline, around $1.6 billion, thanks to over 55% of Gates Foundation’s portfolio being invested in Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, who has majority control of Phillips 66. That’s your connection. You don’t think a former staff person of Bill Gates (when it was Bill Gates who made him a multimillionaire) is not going to protect Gates’ financial interests? Gates funded him more than the oil companies. Remember, Bill Gates sits on Berkshire Hathaway’s Board of Directors.

“The role of governor is the closest thing to a CEO job in government,” says Burgum – “Why Former Microsoft Executive Doug Burgum Wants to Be Governor of North Dakota (Q&A)” -recode

Simultaneous to all this U2 are running #askU2 #U2TheJoshuaTree2017 where they only want to be asked about music, their album The Joshua Tree, and its commemorative tour. This was the resultant interview. Canadians aren’t sorry for not cooperating. At this point there’s just no justification for retaining that sort of privilege, after all, you took the money. (Gates Foundation’s funding of RED alone, which constituted 50% of their revenue, was $128 million for 2016.)

The Joshua Tree itself is dead, BTW, as are the Joshua Trees. The truth is fitting. May they join the ether as opposed to ending up buried alongside U2’s ethics. The term “Joshua Tree” is emblematic of “The Tree of Life”, because Joshua=Yeshua=Jesus; suitably it’s dead; as Bono would just as readily sacrifice it on the altar of the ideology vacuum we call capitalism if not for anything else.

Under normal circumstances the band saying they’re taking questions only about their latest musical foray might be considered fine and good, -were it not for the fact that they’ve already allowed considerable merger between the band brand, page, music fanship, and their charitable activities, and of course they just had to announce ONE’s #girlscount launch on their official facebook page, just as they just had to use it to announce Bono was commemorated as ‘Woman of the Year” by Glamour Magazine for #povertyissexist, when the protestors simultaneously being targeted and brutalized at the #NoDAPL protest were significantly women (scroll to the middle).

That in itself would be all right (if not for the subtext). But then there was that sordid episode where they employed humanitarianism with the greatest cynical calculus humanly possible simultaneous to telling milliennnials how to vote in #election2016 not once, but twice over. The problem was that the humanitarian appeals were on results of human suffering and root causes for terrorism that were directly consequent of policy enactments of who they instructed you to vote for, making the whole process a very calculated disassociation of conscience from the perpetrator they tried to manipulate you into voting for.

The problem is not that they told you how to vote. The problem is that they deliberately disassociated you from her direct policy results in doing so, because to vote for her is to act in complete conflict with their humanitarian statements (it is a state of cognitive dissonance to uncritically accept the humanitarian need of these situations and wish to solve them and yet endorse their architect, giving her the power to perpetuate more of the same). This issue has nothing to do with the present danger of the opposing candidate.

Telling the U.S. public who to vote for wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself, but in this instance, like a pack of smokes, it should have come with a sponsorship warning about the latest and greatest of Hillary’s billionaire sponsors bankrolling both of Bono’s charities/awareness campaigns, namely ONE and RED. And it is very questionable, given the long history of attendance with the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, –right up to the moment when he told you who to vote for, whether Bono was given a promisory note of sorts for how his effort towards Hillary Clinton’s election would be rewarded in kind from the Clinton Foundation vis a vis RED monies for AIDs. After all he had her on direct line enough to get broadcasts from the International Space Station on tour every night.

But better yet, U2 have been using their fanbase for RED monies in contests every year that capitalize on their fandom in meet Bono and/or meet the band virtual lotteries. So they’ve already created a cross-over situation in which they use their official band page for great utility raising money for RED using themselves, which is financial extraction designed to exploit the desire of the fan base. These contests are thrown for the wealthy, as the wealthy can make $25,000 entries and receive a commensurate number of lottery entries. Quite honestly the band can be accused of flogging these contests as much or more than any other subject, season depending. (For this run I have seven different posts, and I didn’t include all of them. Nope.) This is the affliction you’ll receive for being a fan. But none of these fans were informed that all of their entries were being matched by one of the biggest investments extant in the Dakota Access Pipeline now were they? Nor were any of the many celebrities that put themselves up for the sake of the meet and greet contests for RED, December 2016.

So what gives U2 the arbitrage to decide when they are specifically entitled to only be asked questions about music anymore, when they’ve combined matters so much as to use their fanbase as a charity extraction base -?

Here are all the truly sordid questions they blithely ignored and avoided with this arbitrage. They are not small matters. All of the questions are substantiated with the substantiation hyperlinked under the question. It is obvious due to the scant nature of the sourcing in places that some were of their nature genuine questions. Others must indicate the basis for their having to be asked. Those are also genuine.

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and Bono exchange laughs during a session at the Global Fund conference Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and Bono exchange laughs during a session at the Global Fund conference Saturday, September 17, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

I did miss one Question, however. That would have been whether U2 were aware that their secondary RED/ONE sponsor was also sponsoring 350.org and indeed the Standing Rock Tribe itself in order to attenuate and mis-direct the entire #defundDAPL boycott movement away from him and his investment; whereas Gate controls and attenuates the entire situation from the direction of Gates Foundation “media partners“, so you never hear about either Buffett’s or indeed Gates’ corporate misconduct (either invested or owned), or how Buffett’s funding makes Gates Foundation a major DAPL investor as well. As for those Gates Foundation Questions, you might find yourself floored.

The #askU2 exercise has given me the opportunity to fill in all the previous #askwarren questions I did not have enough time for. As a result there were 24 questions this time ’round. As a separate query exercise, it also means some are a repetition and cross reference those prior substantiation pages, -but you’ll be happy to know if you’ve been down this path before that I’ve added considerably to those. You will find something new, even in something so apparently innocuous as the name, Sacagawea. It may surprise you but beware, for opening each Question is akin to opening a nightmare.

#askU2 -How do   think  ‘s    celebs would feel finding out they were DAPL matched? -For that matter, how do you think the U2 fanbase and general public purchasing RED products would feel?

All this for what is really just a boom/bust operation anyhow. U.S. consumption is indicated to be in desperate straits.

That was the end of the DAPL related questions (turns out there were 11 in total, same as with #askwarren). There is a more substantial array: 

#askU2 –Are @U2 aware your @RED sponsor @gatesfoundation made handing down seeds illegal in Africa (Tanzania)?

#askU2 –Are you aware your @RED sponsor disaster capitalism’ed the New Orleans school system post #Katrina?

#askU2 –Are you aware your @RED /@ONECampaign sponsor is known for preying on the poor? #askwarren

#askU2 –Are @U2 aware your @RED/ONECampaign sponsor provided toxic trailers to refugees for #Katrina and #Haiti? #askwarren

 

All Eyes On Dakota Access – All Eyes Off Bakken Genocide

Wrong Kind of Green

September 13, 2016

by Cory Morningstar with Forrest Palmer

 

“Soon the parade begins again…all the big shot enviros are looking for their token Indians…this Hunkpapa says to remember this day of infamy…they hate us as well….taken nearly ten years ago, waiting for the right moment…” — Harold One Feather 

If nothing else, the *Bold Iowa video published on August 17, 2016 titled Bakken Pipeline: The New Keystone XL demonstrates that the cat is finally out of the bag amongst liberal left campaigners.

“We got essentially Keystone – only more. Clearly an end run.” — Iowa Bold, August 17, 2016

Background:

May 24, 2016: Construction underway on the *Bakken Pipeline, more recently referred to as the Dakota Access Pipeline: “Energy Transfer Partners has 100 percent of the easements needed for the project in North Dakota, as well as in South Dakota, but it is still awaiting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permit approval for water crossings. Construction has also begun in Illinois, where 99 percent of easements have been obtained, Granado said. About 90 percent of easements are in place in Iowa.” [*For the purpose of familiarity and continuity, the Bakken Pipeline will be referred to as the Dakota Access Pipeline within this report.]

July 25, 2016:

“The Army Corps of Engineers issued permits authorizing the construction of segments of the pipeline in US waters, one of which is under Lake Oahe. The lake is a reservoir behind the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River; it is approx. ½ mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation.

 

Although the pipeline will not cross Standing Rock’s land, the tribe claims that the pipeline’s route passes through the tribe’s ancestral lands and other areas of great cultural and spiritual significance. To the Standing Rock, the Missouri River and Lake Oahe are sacred. . . and legally owned by the tribe.

 

The tribe’s reservation is located in a small section of North and South Dakota, but the original boundaries as defined in the 1851 & 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties were much larger. After the treaties, however, the Black Hills were seized by the US and a series of statutes were passed that further parceled the land. In 1980, however, the Supreme Court held that the lands had been illegally seized from the tribe and ordered the payment of just compensation. The Sioux refused to accept the money, though, because they did not want to relinquish their claim to the land.” [Source]

laramie-treaty-2

laramie-treaty

“This proposed pipeline, it’s going to go right over the 1851 treaty land. That’s what we’re talking about being native domain land. And then of course the powers that be shortened the 1851 treaty down to the 1868 treaty and then said, ‘Here’s what the native people have on what is presently Standing Rock.’ But we’re going by the 1851 treaty land.” [Source]

Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline began May 24, 2016 (“Union workers have started clearing the path for the North Dakota portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.”) This  “direct shot” pipeline (frack oil to gulf) similar to the Keystone XL (tar sands to gulf) was proposed by Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas corporation Energy Transfer Partners.  The pipeline commences in the Dakota Bakken and ends in Patoka, Illinois (1, 168 miles – 358 in North Dakota through seven counties, including Mountrail, Williams, McKenzie, Dunn, Mercer, Morton and Emmons at a cost of 3.8-4.8 billion.)

In October of 2014 it was announced that Phillips 66 would own a 25 percent stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline. There is slight irony in the fact Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns shares in Phillips 66. Buffett’s Berkshire first started buying Phillips 66 stock in 2012, increasing its holdings to 14% in February of 2016. Berkshire continues to increase its holding in Phillips 66 from February 2016 to present with its eye on the expansion of oil refineries. Berkshire’s interest in the Dakota Access project (via its 15% holdings in Phillips 66) is insignificant in comparison to the power and profits wielded by BNSF combined with future profits via the rapid expansion of refineries. However, one thing  is clear: Warren Buffett never loses.

In August of 2016 it was announced that Sunoco Logistics Partners would be assisting in the financing of the pipeline while Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corp. plan to acquire a portion of the pipeline in a $2 billion deal”. [Source]

We must also keep in mind that Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) and Tribes are the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sahnish (Arikara)( MHA) are not representative of the remaining treaty tribes. There are over 500 treaty tribes recognized by the US Federal Government. White treachery continues to divide. As an example, MHA sold out to frack oil, while the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has asked tribes to ban fracking located near water sources. [“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council on Feb. 1, 2011 passed a motion to prohibit hydro fracturing on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation:”THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the (Tribal Nation) prohibits in perpetuity any hydraulic fracturing (fracking) or any other process that is toxic on lands adjoining the (name of aquifer) aquifer or its tributaries, or flowing water that has the potential to channel to the (name of aquifer) aquifer and water resources, lakes, underground springs, and wetlands where tribal citizens reside on or near the (Tribal Nation).”]

“We have learned from the land-grab activities that occurred in the early days of the Bakken oil boom on the Fort Berthold Reservation, where hundreds of millions of dollars were lost due to unethical practices by groups/corporations/companies claiming to streamline the negotiating process for the leasing agreements of tribal member allotees. Many members were scammed into lease agreements, only to receive a fraction of the profits that were to be yielded from their lands. We do not wish to see this happen to our members here on Standing Rock.” — [Standing Rock Nation’s Policy Statement on Oil and Fracking, August 12, 2014][Source]

In 2014, lessors obtained the rights to 200,000 acres in the Standing Rock Sioux Nation reservation and surrounding county areas for oil and gas exploration in. (Teton Times)

Refineries, Nuclear and Rail

While all eyes focus on Dakota Access, it is critical to observe what is not being brought to the public’s attention. As another pipeline inches toward completion, in the background simultaneously, refineries are set to expand in the Bakken (at minimum five to start), while future plans to construct small modular nuclear reactors in the Bakken to power shale oil steam extraction are not spoken of. Further, stalling on pipelines which would reduce transport costs, secures rail profits for BNSF. [“As an oil refining company, Phillips 66 is in the one aspect of the oil industry that can benefit from falling oil prices. The drop in prices means that Phillips can buy the crude it refines more cheaply. And it profits from the fact that the price of gas hasn’t fallen as much as the price of oil has. Phillips’ refining profits actually rose last year to $2.6 billion from $1.6 billion in 2014. Source: Warren Buffett’s $1 billion bet on oil, February 5, 2016]

“This project will take trucks off the road and provide a safe alternative to crude by rail.” Commissioner Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said. — PSC issues permit for Dakota Access Pipeline, January 20, 2016

 

The line, which can carry 470,000 barrels a day, is projected to be in service in the fourth quarter. It gives North Dakota drillers, who have relied in part on pricier rail shipments, access to U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest markets.” — Woman Who Killed Keystone XL Battling New Pipeline Project (Bloomberg, August 31, 2016) [Emphasis added]

 

The project will also address transportation strains in the Upper Midwest created by the dramatic increase in crude oil production in North Dakota. A lack of rail cars to move grain out of South Dakota has magnified the problem. Tariffs on grain railcars have increased from $50 to nearly $1,400 per car. These cost increases can carve up to $1.00 from every bushel of corn shipped. The Bakken Pipeline will help ease transportation shortages for agriculture and other industries. Energy Transfer Website [Emphasis added]

The purpose of the Dakota Access pipeline is to increase production of both the tar sands oil and the Bakken frack oil. BNSF trains will take the “frackenstein” mix to the highest bidder. Grain cannot complete in what is essentially a BNSF monopoly. One must note that there is no pipeline used exclusively for the caustic Bakken frack oil. The oil that causes bomb train tankers to blow up into fiery infernos resembling hell on Earth.

“They are holding the line against construction of a pipeline that would carry highly flammable, fracked oil from the Bakken oil fields in that state to Illinois. The pipeline would go under the Missouri River…” [Emphasis added] [Source]

Why is it that we can demonize the transportation of these dirty resources via a singular pipeline,  while ignoring the harmful effects of the extraction upon those most vulnerable? Understanding that this constitutes what is perhaps unprecedented ecocide while furthering the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples, while at the same time knowing full well that industry is banking on massive increases of the production of fracking oil in the coming decades.

The answer is as simple as Jane Kleeb’s response: “We welcome pipeline infrastructure (not in the Sandhills or that crosses the Aquifer) to ensure ND and MT oil is getting to U.S. markets.” [Source: Bakken Oil Business Magazine, Nov/Dec 2012, Jan 2013 issue] Kleeb’s honesty (albeit within a private communication) is refreshing in comparison to her many alliances. The non-profit industrial complex wants the oil getting to U.S. markets. After all, the privilege of those who comprise the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) – absolutely depend on it. Why people insist on believing anything otherwise is the result of the best marketing and social engineering that money can buy. Who and what the Bakken frack oil destroys – is of no interest.

bnsf-railway-map

The poignant reality is this: if Americans (including some Indigenous leaders) weren’t beguiled and ultimately “derailed” by the elite’s cherry-picked representatives (Mckibben et. al. ) who continually campaigned to instill the gross misconception that the state (focusing on U.S. president Barack Obama) had empathy for Indigenous struggles and ecological devastation, citizens and indigenous peoples may have had a chance to stop the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines while they were still on the drawing board. Of course hindsight is 20/20.

Perhaps the most glaring elephant in the room that escapes all discussion, is the fact that for the continuation of the voracious western consumptive lifestyle, the oil must come from somewhere. It isn’t the Indigenous peoples who are reaping the rewards. Rather, like those in the Congo who mine the coltan for our technology, they are the ones paying the price, with their lives. The race by liberals to attach themselves to the Dakota Access resistance as a means of directing the movement in less confrontational ways (as has always been the case) tells us to focus on environmental impacts and climate change (without ever looking in the mirror), while the real issue is this: full out, continued genocide of Indigenous peoples with the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation being ground zero for this experiment being carried out with no legitimate opposition whatsoever from the “progressive left”.

“Right now the Rosebud reservation, the Cheyenne River reservation, the Pine Ridge reservation and my Standing Rock reservation represent five of the 10 poorest places or counties in the United States, according to the 2010 Census. Our state of being is not our fault. We did not cause this. United States lawmakers and their policies caused this. Why?? Greed – and now again, even what little we have left is under attack.” Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman

bakken-and-rez-map_zps7faaae08

Foundation funding ensures the NPIC does not oppose the Bakken frack oil boom – the lifeblood of Buffett’s BNSF. Well over 30 million dollars has been funnelled through the Buffett family NoVo foundation into the Tides foundation – a key foundation which doles money out for pipeline campaigns to carefully selected NGOs within the NPIC. Incidentally, NoVo has become the number one financier of the Tides Foundation. [Source]

fort-b-reservation-2

One should wisely note the silence that money can buy within the NPIC considering that even the corporate/conservative media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post have published series on the Bakken frack oil boom and its corrupting influence on the social fabric of Indigenous peoples. Consider that the North American opposition to the Keystone XL (an extension of an already existing pipeline that delivered/delivers oil from the Canadian tar sands to the US) campaigned on the possibility of spills of crude in the Nebraska Sandhills. While in reality, beyond possibility, there were at least 1,100 spills in North Dakota’s stretch of the Bakken during 2011. And although fracking has been protested elsewhere, mainly due to the greatest force of today’s western environmentalism — “not in my back yard”, the Bakken, has developed as it has without so much as creasing the nation’s political discussion. [Source]

 “Anne Marguerite Coyle is an eagle biologist, and just before the boom, she tagged eighteen juvenile golden eagles as part of a routine monitoring effort. All are now dead or gone. In one case, a drilling rig landed close to one of the eagles’ nesting sites, so when that bird disappeared, she asked people nearby what had happened. “Oh, somebody shot that one,” they said. Gunplay, the roads, the rigs, the noise, the trucks, the off-duty oil workers on ATVs, the general disregard for anything living that is the consequence of industrializing a once-wild landscape — these make it impossible to pinpoint oil’s role in the eagles’ fate. But if they weren’t killed by oil, they were likely killed by the things oil brings with it.” ­ — The price of North Dakota’s fracking boom, Harpers, March 2013

 

“This is the last of what my people have. Our people have survived so many things in history. The methamphetamine use, the heroin use, is just another epidemic like smallpox and boarding schools. And the last of the last are going to have to survive. And I want to be in the front lines because that was my vow — to protect my people.” — Tribal police Sgt. Dawn White, Dark Side of the Boom, September 28, 2014

 

“But there is a dark side to the multibillion-dollar boom in the oil fields, which stretch across western North Dakota into Montana and part of Canada. The arrival of highly paid oil workers living in sprawling “man camps” with limited spending opportunities has led to a crime wave — including murders, aggravated assaults, rapes, human trafficking and robberies — fueled by a huge market for illegal drugs, primarily heroin and methamphetamine.” — Dark Side of the Boom, September 28, 2014

Human Trafficking

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A Shared Hope International’s billboards,in the Bakken region put up to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. [Source]

Lost on most Americans is the fact the human trafficking now rampant in North Dakota, is yet another violation by the white man of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty with the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho. Article XI 4th condition: “They will never capture, or carry off from the settlements, white women or children.”

From the human trafficking report “Sex for sale in the Bakken:

From a distant site, supply negotiates with demand.
“I have a little girl.”
“How old is she? Do you have a place to host?”
“13 and yes I have a place to host.”
“Can I hook up with her tomorrow when I get off work?”
“Sure, got cash?”
Lakey says he doesn’t want to use a condom.
“That’s fine.”
And they talk in text shorthand, buyer and seller, about younger girls.
“What age is ur youngest you have?”
“I have younger, but they’re not as experienced as my 13-year-old. I got a 10-year-old in training but I don’t think she’s quite ready.”
Lakey asks to see a photo, and he discusses paying $5,000 for the 10-year-old girl.
For “it,” he says. For owning “it.”
He asks how the seller recruits girls to work for him. How do you keep “the product” from running? He agrees to pay $250 for sex with the 13-year-old.

To add insult to injury, only in the most patriarchal of societies, would the exploited, rather than the predator/perpetrator, be prosecuted. While it is reported that this is slowly changing (agencies state they are now more focused on investigating the traffickers rather than focusing on the continued practise of sting operations targeting and arresting women), in what can only be described as a cesspool, the trafficking, violence and exploitation of women and minors is only going to worsen and accelerate.

ndarrests1

“They treat Mother Earth like they treat women. They think they can own us, buy us, sell us, trade us, rent us, poison us, rape us, destroy us, use us as entertainment and kill us. I’m happy to see that we are talking about the level of violence that is occurring against Mother Earth because it equates to us. What happens to her happens to us.” — Lisa Brunner, White Earth Ojibwe, Program Specialist for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center [Source] [From the conference entitled, “Protect the Women and Families from the KXL [Keystone Pipeline system] Violence! Say no to Man Camps in Oceti Sakowin Territory!”]

As the Dakota Access gains media attention we witness the very NGOs and NGO “leaders” who have until only recently turned a blind eye to the Indigenous resistance, beginning to latch on like the leeches they are. We’ve touched briefly upon the discourse from increasing numbers of refineries, and Bakken frack oil which ensures continued Indigenous genocide, anomie/social collapse, meth addiction, alcohol abuse, lateral violence, sex trafficking, suicide, poisoned water and soil… the list is long and incomplete.

Willful blindness to the Bakken frack oil also ensures and protects foundation money, BNSF profits, as well as western lifestyle and privilege to 21st century anthropocentrists who brand themselves as “activists”. The ideologies, cultures and aspirations between these two sets of people – North American anthropocentrists (largely white) and North American Indians – could not be more different.

The highly financed NPIC (to the tune of trillions) has quietly begun the necessary task of co-opting a meaningful and legitimate movement. That being the “indigenous led resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.” This attempt for full co-optation must be considered a given for all legitimate resistance movements for the following reasons:

1) when there is an interest from public and media (which can then provide a means to further brand recognition and feign credibility/legitimacy by the NGO attaching itself to a particular uprising)

2) when a grass roots movement has the potential  to harm or change current power structures, such as economic growth, and/or threaten future decisions that have already been decided upon by elites

Enter #NODAPL

One would be hard pressed to find on any website such extensive NVDA (non-violent direct action) dogma as found on the #NoDAPL Solidarity website (created on August 29, 2016 by Nick Katkevich, noted liberal strategist who is the co-creator of the group FANG – Fighting Against Natural Gas). Especially in light of this website being meant to be interpreted as representative of Indigenous resistance. Yet, Indigenous peoples do not espouse NVDA as an ideology – this is the ideology belonging to and peddled by the NPIC. The fact is, Indigenous peoples retain a deep-rooted (and enviable) warrior ideology – deeply ingrained in the Indigenous culture. This is what the NPIC seeks to destroy. Because of the arrogance and paternalism of those within the NPIC, they even believe they will be successful in doing so. This site is sponsored by Rising Tides North America (RTNA), which can be identified under the “Friends and Allies” (North America) section on the 350.org website. Many view RTNA as a sister org. to Rainforest Action Network, with a more radical veneer, the common link being Scott Parkin: “Scott Parkin is a climate organizer working with Rainforest Action Network, Rising Tide North America and the Ruckus Society.” (see the multitude of Ruckus documents/links on screenshot below). [Source]

nodapl-nvda

Further irony arises when one takes note of the Martin Luther King quote on the “indigenous led resistance” website (see screenshot above). Ask yourself why Indigenous resistance would choose to quote MLK (a long-time favourite co-opted and sanitized icon of the NPIC), rather than a quote from their own warriors.

Leave it to white “leftists” to retain their unwavering belief they have the right and superior knowledge to manage/shape how Indigenous struggles should be led. This is the same “left” (funded by the establishment) that has failed at virtually everything except for the main task assigned by the elites they kowtow to: keeping current power structures intact.

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And yet…

Although the white left would never believe it to be true, the Indigenous Peoples have a wisdom and knowledge the Euro-Americans lack altogether. They are not part of our depraved society. So why would wise people succumb to the whims of the NPIC? There is perhaps a very good reason why the tribes standing with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are not opposed to the white left saturation who will never fail to rush in front for the cameras: to place them in front to stop the bullets from being fired (“Don’t Shoot”). Indigenous peoples have been subjected to horrendous racism since the first European colonizers arrived, which continues to this day. The reality being white activists have no fear of being shot and killed by police regardless of their actions, whereby the same actions are opportunities for the state to kill natives, blacks and minorities.

For media sensation and photographs that will travel the globe, those at the helm of the NPIC ensure that publicly, Indigenous Peoples most always appear in the forefront – all while strategizing behind closed doors to take leadership. When they cannot do so, they vacate the movement, work to marginalize and if possible bury, the legitimate work they were unable to take over. The 2010 People’s Agreement (Cochabamba, Bolivia), led by Indigenous peoples, is an excellent example of just this. The white man has proven incapable of involvement if he is not soon in charge. He has proven himself incapable of following, learning, listening… standing behind. Keeping his mouth closed. The ugly reality is that these are racist, fascist organizations, only there to protect current power structures and count bodies. Social media metrics are far more important than disposable people.

“When the Enviros show up, their literature and banner is strung up against the wall. We are pushed into our place. Most have had a bad taste from wasicu hypocrisy.”  — Harold One Feather

Those at the helm of the NGOs that comprise the NPIC will not be joining land defenders that are willing to die to protect their land, people, culture and ancestry. For these cowards, the brand is too valuable, the price too high. The warrior culture too strong (unruly savages!) to contain. Instead they will throw a few crumbs and send their well-intentioned youth followers as the sacrificial lambs to test the waters. The Indigenous that live within the Bakken are the only credible organizers in opposition to the frack oil developments. It is an understood but unspoken reality that within this resistance, people are going to die.

“Much of the camp’s rhetoric is of the “Non-violent Direct Action” type. Lock your arm to this piece of deconstruction equipment and take a picture with a banner for Facebook. But the Warrior Culture that is so rich in Lakota memory seems to counter a lot of the liberal, non-violent, NGO types. Comrades saw what happened in Iowa, heard about the $1,000,000 in damage and got inspired. I wouldn’t say that it was publicly celebrated because the camp’s tactic of “Non-violence” is the image they want to perpetuate. Like I said, it is a tactic… not everyone thinks that is what we need to dogmatically stick to. It is one thing to use Non-Violence as a rhetorical device in corporate media to spread your inspirational actions but it is another thing to preach it as your dogma in your private circles and use it to stop material damage to the infrastructure of ecocide. I see the former being invoked much greater than the latter.” — A CONVERSATION ON THE SACRED STONE CAMP, Sept 4, 2016

One may also wonder about the Pledge of Resistance being “organized” by the CREDO corporation: “Many thanks to our friends at CREDO who organized the Pledge of Resistance against Keystone XL—the Bakken Pipeline pledge borrows liberally from their work.” Bold Iowa, Source]

ran-credo-kxl

Above poster from the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, 2013

All eyes ON one (single) pipeline.

All eyes OFF the acceleration of genocide of Indigenous peoples in the Bakken.

All eyes OFF Bakken fracking oil.

north-dakota-crude-pipelines

Hero Worship in Death Cult

jane-kleeb

Sacred beliefs appropriated for the creation of white savior celebrity: Several of our Lakota and Dakota relatives have had visions and dreams. They have been visited in a spiritual sense and have been told that there is a black poisonous snake trying to come among us. Our relatives have said this. [Source] Image: Bold Nebraska and director Jane Kleeb are featured on the cover of the July/August 2015 issue of Omaha Magazine. Photo by: Bill Sitzmann. Snake trainer: Andy Reeves with a Black Mexican Kingsnake

Bloomberg, August 31, 2016,  Woman Who Killed Keystone XL Battling New Pipeline Project:

“One of the most prominent voices among opponents of Keystone XL is now taking on the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has faced hurdles in North Dakota and Iowa. After organizing grassroots efforts against TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL through Bold Nebraska, an activist group, Jane Fleming Kleeb has turned her attention to Energy Transfer Partners LP’s project. Bold Nebraska has since evolved into Bold Alliance, a group led by Kleeb, that focuses on corporations “threatening land and water,” she said in a telephone interview…

The protests thus far are unlikely to have meaningful impact on the timeline of construction, said Ethan Bellamy, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Denver. The worst-case scenario “would be getting a pipeline that is 99.9 percent complete, only to have the all important last 1,000 meters stopped because of a legal fight,” he said.

Jane Kleeb, recently elected as Nebraska’s Dem Party Chair, is founder and CEO of Bold Nebraska (founded in 2010) with an annual salary from her organization of US$100,000.00. In 2016 Kleeb announced the formation of an umbrella group, Bold Alliance, which would include chapters in three other states to start. Kleeb now refers to herself as Bold Nebraska director and Bold Alliance president.

Seed money for Kleeb’s organization was provided by the late Richard Holland. [Source]

Holland, “the Nebraska advertising executive who helped link up one of the great partnerships in business history, the one between Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett and his deputy, Charles Munger.”

“As one of Buffett’s earliest investors, Holland reaped gains that made him and his wife, Mary, among Omaha’s wealthiest people and most generous philanthropists. While their net worth wasn’t public, their private charitable foundation reported assets of $158.8 million in 2014. — Richard Holland, Who Paired Buffett With Munger, Dies at 95, August 11, 2016

 

“He was a wonderful friend and partner for 60 years and an outstanding citizen both in respect to local and national activities.” — Warren Buffett [Source]

Bakken Oil Business Magazine, Nov/Dec 2012, Jan 2013 issue:

BNSF has been hauling Bakken crude out of the Williston Basin area for over five years. ‘In that time, we have seen the volume increase nearly 7,000 percent, from 1.3 million barrels in 2008 to 88.9 million in 2012, said Dave Garin, BNSF group Vice President of Industrial Products….

 

I received the following response from Jane Kleeb after contacting her about Bold Nebraska’s oppositional stance to the KXL pipeline’s new suggested route through Nebraska: ‘We are waiting for all the conservative politicians who say they care about property rights and family farmers and ranchers to actually give a damn and stand up against this pipeline. We welcome pipeline infrastructure (not in the Sandhills or that crosses the Aquifer) to ensure ND and MT oil is getting to U.S. markets.”

 

The leg from Cushing, OK to the Gulf Coast refineries has already been approved by the states through which it is being laid, as it did not require presidential approval and does not run through Nebraska. On March 12, 2012, President Obama personally announced his approval of “fast tracking” the southern leg of the KXL pipeline to relieve pressure on the WTI crude oil inventories for shipment to the Gulf Coast. Construction has started and is expected to be completed sometime in late 2013….

 

The main contributor to Bold Nebraska is Dick Holland, who has financially supported this progressive political movement in its opposition to the KXL pipeline. Bold Nebraska’s NIMBY approach will only cause further delays in completing the KXL.

Mr. Holland is a good friend of Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and one of the world’s most successful investors. Any delay in the process by the U.S. State Department in recommending approval for the completion of the full route of the KXL by the President of the United States, will solely benefit the BNSF.

Bold Nebraska is 501(c)4 social welfare non-profit, which makes it exempt from federal income tax. It is not required to disclose investors, nor are donations to the organization tax deductible. [“If you are a donor looking to influence election but do not want to reveal your identity, the 501(c)(4) is an attractive option through which to send your cash.” Source] Bold Nebraska is an affiliate of ProgressNow (another 501(c)(4) group). Founding board members include Wes Boyd, founder of MoveOn.org (Avaaz co-founder) and Rob McKay, chairman of the board of the Democracy Alliance ). It has received funding from the Tides Foundation, the Tides Advocacy Fund (yet another 501(c)4 group), New Venture Fund and Cloud Mountain Foundation.

Kleeb, a former MTV correspondent is also the former director of Change That Works Nebraska and former executive director of Young Democrats of America. Joining liberals before her, the April, 2013 Rolling Stone magazine (a mainstream publication assigned with the task of manufacturing celebrities as chosen by elite foundations) featured Kleeb under the heading: The Fossil Fuel Resistance: Meet the New Green Heroes, Jane Kleeb: The Keystone Killer.

Kleeb’s spouse, Scott Kleeb is the former CEO and President of Energy Pioneer Solutions. It is reported that Scott Kleeb owned 29 percent of Energy Pioneer Solutions, as did Jane Kleeb.

On May 12, 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that “A $2 million commitment arranged by the nonprofit Clinton Global Initiative in 2010 went to a for-profit company part-owned by friends of the Clintons”.  Prior to this, in 2006 Scott Kleeb lost bids to represent Nebraska in congress. In 2008 he was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska but was defeated.

kleeb-and-clinton-image

The Real Black Snake: The Bakken Frack Oil

The Fort Berthold reservation “has  only six field officers responsible for monitoring more than 1,300 oil wells scattered across more than 1,500 square miles of reservation. Those wells pump out more than 386,000 barrels of oil every day, accounting for a third of all oil produced in North Dakota – the nation’s No. 2 oil producer.” — Tribal Environmental Director: ‘We Are Not Equipped’ for N.D. Oil Boom, May 16, 2015

ndakota3-slide-show-slide-osvo-superjumbo

An oil tanker truck and tanker train cars on the reservation. Wells there are pumping about 386,000 barrels of oil a day, a third of North Dakota’s output. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times, 12, 29, 2014 [In North Dakota, a Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death Where Oil, Corruption and Bodies Surface.]

mha-refinery

The site for a planned oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Its future is being newly debated with the change in tribal government. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times, 12, 29, 2014 [In North Dakota, a Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death Where Oil, Corruption and Bodies Surface.]

“In one case, the surface water intake 14 feet below surface carried BTEX compounds into the Water Treatment Plant resulting in a Treatment Plant shutdown. Benzene was above the EPA’s National Primary Drinking Water Standard Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). The oil appears to readily disperse as observed during both test conditions and these incidents….Rapid dispersion in flowing water is likely to occur under turbulent conditions.” — Bakken Shale Crude Oil Spill Evaluation Pilot Study, April, 2015

The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation sets a standard on drilling locations. The state and society (as silence must be interpreted as acquiescence) has sacrificed the people of Fort Berthold to live as lab rats (another callous western invention) to determine the full effects of breathing and drinking frack poisons. This shares similarities to a long list of depraved experiments conducted by the US government on non-anglos such as the Tuskegee Experiment. This particular experiment was, a study carried out between 1932-1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service which deliberately allowed the natural progression of untreated syphilis in African-American men under the guise of receiving free health care from the United States government. [Source] One must also be mindful of the fact that in siege warfare, routing an enemy in a stronghold is to poison his water, then he will surrender without a fight. Further, frack poisons will make it to the surface. BNSF is the connection between this hidden devastation.

“The mineral leases offered by the oil industry brought sudden wealth to some of the 14,000 members of MHA Nation. Since fracking took off in 2008, the tribes have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in oil money, but most of the wealth flowed to those who owned property with oil under it. Life for many of the rest remains bleak. — Tribal Environmental Director: ‘We Are Not Equipped’ for N.D. Oil Boom, May 16, 2015

The Dakota Access will mean increased production in both the Bakken frack poison fields and the Alberta tar sands. Many within mainstream activism have been calling Dakota Access the KXL end run, built in tiny pieces. One must consider if this could be classified as a competition as to which nation can sustain oil overproduction: Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China control the Middle East oil.

When the STOP KXL campaign was launched onto the public in February of 2010 – all eyes that should have been on fracking the Bakken shale and the plans for Buffett’s rail dynasty that would transport it (via BNSF) were instead glued to a phony Keystone XL campaign that not only stopped nothing, but annihilated an entire social structure of Fort Berthold Indigenous Peoples along with their health and poisoned Earth’s ecosystems, while at the same time making Buffett/BNSF billions.

Ensuring the Invisible Remains Invisible

The reframing of the Bakken Pipeline as the Dakota Access by the NPIC now underway (via the continued repetition of the chosen later) must be examined  as a carefully amended campaign strategy. This minor amendment, that few would take note of strategically, reframes the focus in one simple stroke, by making what could (and should) be the focus of environmentalists and social justice activists – the Bakken itself – instantly invisible. When the name Bakken is removed from the equation (campaign) – so are all references to the devastation happening in the Bakken to the Indigenous peoples and all life. When Dakota Access becomes #NoDAPL – an uprising is effectively changed into a logo, then channeled into a social metrics campaign where only numbers count. Within the NPIC, framing and language are everything.

bakken-sign1stop-bakken-pipeline

Above: The original NGO slogan.

ecowatch

Above: Following what becomes an Indigenous rights story in national media “Stop the Bakken Pipeline” becomes “Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline with the emphasis on the hashtag #NoDAPL.

iowa-bakken

The above poster/meme is one of the more honest ones.  In summary, it’s fine for Indigenous peoples to live and breathe the devastation arising from the Bakken oil fields – but do not dare bring such  devastation and poison to the white man’s doorstep. Collectively, Euro-Americans accept that the Indigenous peoples must pay for the white man’s  privilege and western lifestyle – however high the price.

The Sacagawea Pipeline

New Inside 4col temp

There is a lesser known pipeline being resisted that has not captured the attention of the NPIC. The Sacagawea Pipeline, under construction, is located in Fort Berthold. Lake Sakakawea is the drinking water source for many western North Dakota cities, including those who live on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Lake Sakakawea covers approximately 243,000 acres of water, 125,000 acres of land and 1,500 miles of shoreline.

The Sacagawea Pipeline Company is developing the 91 mile Sacagawea pipeline to deliver crude from points in McKenzie and Dunn Counties south of the river to points north of Lake Sacagawea. Sacagawea Pipeline Company is a joint venture between Paradigm Energy Partners, *Phillips 66 Partners, and Grey Wolf Midstream.” Grey Wolf Midstream is an affiliate of Missouri River Resources, a Three Affiliated Tribes chartered energy company in North Dakota. The Three Affiliated Tribes are the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sahnish (Arikara) (MHA). [*Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway now owns 14% of Phillips 66 shares, making it Bershire’s sixth largest holding. Source: Warren Buffett’s $1 billion bet on oil, February 5, 2016]

This pipeline, which is reported as nearly complete, is now under investigation by federal pipeline regulators “after former contractors said the pipeline was installed under the lake without being properly inspected. The current contractor maintains the pipeline was inspected and the allegations are false claims being made by workers who were fired.” [Source]

The Sacagawea Pipeline is pictured under construction on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Mountrail County, N.D., near Lake Sakakawea. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

The Sacagawea Pipeline is pictured under construction on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Mountrail County, N.D., near Lake Sakakawea. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

One may question why there is growing resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline yet apparently none against this one: “The Laborers Union, which supports the Dakota Access Pipeline being constructed by union contractors, questioned last week why pipeline opponents are so vocal about that project but not speaking out about the Sacagawea Pipeline.” [Source]

It’s fair question. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation sought an injunction based on the claim that the project will damage sites of cultural and historical significance. Contamination of Lake Sakakawea would leave those most vulnerable with no fresh water source.

“Our members find it hard to understand why protesters have targeted a pipeline that’s being built the right way, but we don’t hear a word about the pipeline just installed under Lake Sakakawea that workers say wasn’t properly inspected.” — Kevin Pranis, a spokesman for the Laborers International Union of North America in North Dakota [Source]

What is likely in the case of the late protests against the Sacagawea pipeline is the growing tribal knowledge and concern over the frack oil, as the process pollutes freshwater sources with hazardous chemicals, oil and hydrocarbons, radioactive radon, and biocides – with no process or technique for treating this contaminated water. What is absolute is that it is those who own the media (not coincidentally the same elites that own the non-profit industrial complex) that decide on who and what the media spotlight will shine upon. Native land defenders are essentially ignored, unless it furthers elite interests.

 [Document: Garrison Project – Lake Sakakawea, Oil and Gas Management Plan, North Dakota, 2013]

The Temporary Victory

The irony is that it was none other than Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska who snowballed a campaign against the Dakota Access by establishing a media presence. This is not to say there was no resistance prior to the “arrival” of Kleeb, rather, it is her privilege (and financiers) that allows her to use the media to her advantage while the undercurrent of deep-rooted racism in America ensures little light is shone upon those who are exploited the most. Another fair question is why Bold, 350, Greenpeace, etc. aren’t shining a spotlight on the Sacagawea pipeline. The ugly truth is that it is of no financial or political interest to them.

One could question why Kleeb waited so long to establish media presence with Energy Transfer Partners having already obtained 100 percent of the easements while 22% of the pipeline has “already been welded and lowered into trenches, and three-fourths of the route has been cleared”. [Source]

Consider that although Kleeb was provided a leadership role in the resistance, via the media, she is not a presence at the camp. It is safe to assume that such media presence could secure lucrative funding. After all, that’s the primary driving force amongst NGOs in the NPIC, who share many similarities to ambulance chasing. The definition of ambulance chasing is “a professional slur which refers to a lawyer soliciting for clients at a disaster site”. Employed by the media over time, it later became a derogatory term for direct advertising. This is an accurate description of elite financed NGOs who employ the same tactics. Kleeb appropriates sacred beliefs of the Indigenous by sporting a captive black snake on her arm for personal/celebrity gain, yet one would be hard-pressed to find Kleeb speaking to the plight of those who reside in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation whose prospects for future generations are grim at best due to the frack oil boom. The real black snake is the fracking – not the pipeline infrastructure – but the toxic fracked crude it transports.

The answer to the question as to why Kleeb waited so long to establish media presence becomes more clear on September 9, 2016: “The Obama Administration Temporarily Blocks the Dakota Access Pipeline | The surprise move came after a federal judge declined to stop the 1,100-mile fossil fuel project’s construction.” Considering the newly elected Nebraska Democratic Party leader Jabe Kleeb, and her partner Scott Kleeb’s very close ties to the democrat party, and her organization’s seed money coming from Warren Buffett’s (Obama’s personal confidant and financial advisor) long-time associate Richard Holland, one could safely theorize that the decision to nix this pipeline was already determined by the elites and its stoppage will be dictated by the state at their behest. Hence, efforts to stop/delay this pipeline (while oil price remains at an all time low amidst a glut) were perhaps no more than theatre to Kleeb and those that started latching on at the late hour. A ruse reminiscent of Keystone XL,  where some are going to win and some are going to lose, but it will be business as usual regardless. With elections around the corner, consider media also threw a bone to accompany the “surprise” announcement:

“Regardless, Dakota Access looks like a tentative success for Native protestors and the climate activists who supported them. It also hints at how actively the current Democratic administration will involve itself in environmental issues, especially when pushed by the climate movement.” [Emphasis added]

In others words, if you weren’t going to vote for Clinton, you should now.

The “surprise” announcement also incidentally honoured 350.org’s campaign that “President Obama could step in any time and say “no” to this whole thing, like he did for Keystone XL.”  In what appears to be a very orchestrated “ending”, in front of the U.S. elections, it’s important to recall that 350.org has access to both Obama and the White House (although one can be certain this is not the only NGO with such access). The reality is, the state does not care about Indigenous people – in America or the world at large, regardless of what the media and NGO circus would have you believe. Indigenous history to present day actions and continued genocide – confirms this to be true without doubt.

The Literal End

“The demons shoot steel lances into our Sacred Grandmother Earth, injecting poisons and explosives, saying leaving a concrete spear will prevent cross contamination between aquifers, including the likely scenario of wellhead abandonment.” – Harold One Feather

From 1947 to 2010, more than 1 million wells were fracked in the Bakken. Industry envisions “an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 wells to frack the Bakken Formation and adjacent stores of oil and gas in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota – up from the area’s current boom of 8,000, one-eighth of which are located on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation.” (2014)

google-keystone-screenshot

Keystone XL via Google: located by US HWY 12, west of Standing Rock. Note the new massive grain elevators by the new rail line for a future oil transloading facility.

That the rightful caretakers/defenders of the land which today constitutes the whole of United States, represent the poorest group of people in the United States (five of the top ten poorest places being reservations located in South and North Dakota) – while simultaneously being subjected to the effects of environmental, cultural and social devastation brought on by a billion dollar industry composed of hundreds of thousands of fracking wells (there are 300,000 hydraulically fractured wells in South Dakota alone) – is an abomination beyond compare.

Poverty and health problems are rampant. Average life expectancy is below 60.” — Tribal Environmental Director: ‘We Are Not Equipped’ for N.D. Oil Boom, May 16, 2015

While it is true that tribes such as MHA have partnered with industry, dire poverty, the loss of culture due to the relentless pressure of Anglo assimilation (as well as the necessary inclusion of western values) and social breakdown all contribute to a deep desperation for a better life. No one is in a position to judge the responsive behavior of the native to their collective subjugation.

Compare such dire poverty with those  suffering firsthand the effects of fracking oil to the obscene profits as outlined above, and with those of Warren Buffett: “Annual revenue at the railroad has risen 57 percent, and earnings more than doubled to $3.8 billion since Warren Buffett bought it [BNSF] … As Forbes reported last year: His company, Berkshire Hathaway, purchased Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $34 billion four years ago. FORBES estimates its value has doubled since then. Part of the reason: hauling oil out of the Bakken formation of North Dakota.”(Warren Buffett and the Keystone Decision, November 9, 2015[Emphasis added]

A typical Bakken well is expected to continue producing oil for approx. 45 years. After this time, the well is expected to stop producing oil. Over this “life” cycle, this typical well is expected to yield approx. US $23 million in profit to the producer. In July of 2014 oil production in North Dakota hit a record of 1 million barrels of oil per day – up from less than 200,000 barrels of oil per day in 2007. [Source]

Industry has already drilled several thousand wells in the Bakken and expects 20 to 40 more years of drilling in the region. Industry estimates the Bakken region may see 40,000 to 100,000 more wells drilled in the future. Approx. six years ago, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the Bakken region may contain 3 billion-4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil. However, with the development of the Three Forks formation, the USGS expects this amount to nearly double. Many in the industry believe these aforementioned estimates are far too low suggesting that up to 96 billion barrels of oil could in due time be pumped out of the Bakken with even higher yields possible as technology improves. [Source]

Bottom line – Indigenous peoples cannot and will not survive this. This is genocide.

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at forrest_palmer@yahoo.com.]

Further reading:


Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse | Part I

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part II

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part III | Beholden to Buffett

Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse – Part 1V | Buffett Acquires the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

 

 

 

 

 

“The Non-Profit Industrial Complex”, and the Co-opting of the NGO Environmental Movement

Global Research

By Michael Welch

Global Research News Hour Episode 139: A Conversation with Cory Morningstar

 

“Why do people continue to believe that NGOs such as 350.org/1Sky that are initiated and funded by Rockefeller Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Ford, Gates, etc. would exist to serve the people rather than the entities that create and fund them? Since when do these powerful entities invest in ventures that will negatively impact their ability to maintain power, privilege and wealth? Indeed, the oligarchs play the “environmental movement” and its mostly well-meaning citizens like a game of cards.”— Cory Morningstar, Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse

 

“If activists fail to address the crucial issue of liberal philanthropy now this will no doubt have dire consequences for the future of progressive activism – and democracy more generally – and it is important to recognize that liberal foundations are not all powerful and that the future, as always, lies in our hands and not theirs.” — Michael Barker Do Capitalists Fund Revolutions?

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (59:23)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

April 22nd , when this episode first went to air, was Earth Day, an occasion when ecologically conscious community members around the globe attempt to channel their energies toward protection of our natural world. [1]

Human generated climate change, of course, is very much top of mind at this time in human history. Indeed, the twenty-first century climate movement has been compared to the anti-war, civil rights, gay rights, and women’s liberation movement in terms of its dynamism and its presentation as a political force to be reckoned with. [2]

Spearheading this movement have been the big environmental Non-Governmental Organizations, including Greenpeace, The Sierra Club and most notably the group 350.org. Tactics employed by these NGOs have involved the mobilization of people in New York City and around the world for the Peoples Climate March in September of 2014, direct actions frustrating attempts to build TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, petitions, divestment campaigns and a 40,000 person protest outside the White House in February of 2013. [3][4][5][6]

It is widely believed that the movement is enjoying success in terms of fundamentally shifting the priorities of political leaders like US President Barrack Obama. We are presented then with a classic ‘David vs. Goliath’ narrative where grassroots activists are pushing the Powers That Be into compliance with the demands of the world’s peoples for a secure future for our children and grandchildren.

But to borrow a term from Al Gore, there is at least one “inconvenient truth” complicating this heroic story-line. Elite funders like the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill Gates, and the Clintons finance and foster these NGOs; or so argues Cory Morningstar.

Cory Morningstar has written extensively on the role of these NGOs in playing into the hands of their Wall Street benefactors.

Morningstar attended the COP15 UN Climate Conference and was on hand to video-record the following press conference by Lumumba Di-Aping, the chief negotiator for the G77 bloc of developing countries. In this conference, Di-Aping blasts the international NGO community for not embracing the ambitious (science-based) reduction targets favoured by the G77 and the Alliance of Small Island States, in favour of the compromise targets restricting global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels to (as much as) 2 degrees Celsius. This goal would mean, in Di-Aping’s words, “certain death for Africa” and “certain devastation of small island states.”

 

 “…and I will say this to our colleagues from Western civil society — you have definitely sided with a small group of industrialists and their representatives and your representative branches. Nothing more than that. You have become an instrument of your governments.”   -Lumumba Di-Aping

On the Earth Day edition of the Global Research News Hour, Morningstar talks about fossil fuel divestment as a flawed climate strategy, the failure of climate activists to address imperialism, a critical UN Advisory Group report which environmental groups conspired to keep buried from public view, and other inconvenient truths plaguing the non-profit industrial complex.

This episode also includes a brief clip from a 2016 Winnipeg talk by celebrated author, journalist, and 350.org Board member Naomi Klein.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (59:23)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Notes:

  1. http://www.earthday.org/earth-day/
  2. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26591-a-change-in-the-climate-the-climate-movement-steps-up
  3. http://2014.peoplesclimate.org/
  4. Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson (February 13, 2013), Washington Post, “Activists arrested at White House protesting Keystone pipeline”; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/activists-arrested-at-white-house-protesting-keystone-pipeline/2013/02/13/8f0f1066-75fa-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html
  5. Naomi Klein (2014), “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate”, (pg.302-303) Alfres & Knopf Canada
  6. http://350.org/campaigns/

 

 

[Hosted and produced by CKUW News Director and contributor, Michael Welch, in association with the Centre for Research on Globalization, the Global Research News Hour is a one hour analysis of major developments in the world of economics, politics and geo-politics, with researchers and news makers from around the world. If you want to get the story beyond the headlines, strap yourself in for 60 minutes of informative and provocative radio. Global Research News Hour broadcasts every Friday from 1:00pm – 2:00pm.]

Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department

International Business Times

May 26, 2015

By David Sirota and Andrew Perez

 

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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments had given millions to the Clinton Foundation.

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Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At a press conference in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 — contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton also accused some of these countries of failing to marshal a serious and sustained campaign to confront terrorism. In a December 2009 State Department cable published by Wikileaks, Clinton complained of “an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” She declared that “Qatar’s overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.” She said the Kuwaiti government was “less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks.” She noted that “UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups.” All of these countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and received increased weapons export authorizations from the Clinton-run State Department.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions from the IBTimes.

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

Winning Friends, Influencing Clintons

Under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions — a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.

Just before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement generally obligating it to disclose to the State Department increases in contributions from its existing foreign government donors and any new foreign government donors. Those increases were to be reviewed by an official at the State Department and “as appropriate” the White House counsel’s office. According to available disclosures, officials at the State Department and White House raised no issues about potential conflicts related to arms sales.

During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the Clinton Foundation to “forswear” accepting contributions from governments abroad. “Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state,” he said. The Clintons did not take Lugar’s advice. In light of the weapons deals flowing to Clinton Foundation donors, advocates for limits on the influence of money on government action now argue that Lugar was prescient in his concerns.

“The word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”

Hillary Clinton’s willingness to allow those with business before the State Department to finance her foundation heightens concerns about how she would manage such relationships as president, said Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.

“These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment,” Lessig told IBTimes. “Can it really be that the Clintons didn’t recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”

National security experts assert that the overlap between the list of Clinton Foundation donors and those with business before the the State Department presents a troubling conflict of interest.

While governments and defense contractors may not have made donations to the Clinton Foundation exclusively to influence arms deals, they were clearly “looking to build up deposits in the ‘favor bank’ and to be well thought of,” said Gregory Suchan, a 34-year State Department veteran who helped lead the agency’s oversight of arms transfers under the Bush administration.

As Hillary Clinton presses a campaign for the presidency, she has confronted sustained scrutiny into her family’s personal and philanthropic dealings, along with questions about whether their private business interests have colored her exercise of public authority. As IBTimes previously reported, Clinton switched from opposing an American free trade agreement with Colombia to supporting it after a Canadian energy and mining magnate with interests in that South American country contributed to the Clinton Foundation. IBTimes’ review of the Clintons’ annual financial disclosures also revealed that 13 companies lobbying the State Department paid Bill Clinton $2.5 million in speaking fees while Hillary Clinton headed the agency.

Questions about the nexus of arms sales and Clinton Foundation donors stem from the State Department’s role in reviewing the export of American-made weapons. The agency is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments. Those powers are enshrined in a federal law that specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.

The State Department does not disclose which individual companies are involved in direct commercial sales, but its disclosure documents reveal that countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw a combined $75 billion increase in authorized commercial military sales under the three full fiscal years Clinton served, as compared to the first three full fiscal years of Bush’s second term.

The Clinton Foundation has not released an exact timetable of its donations, making it impossible to know whether money from foreign governments and defense contractors came into the organization before or after Hillary Clinton approved weapons deals that involved their interests. But news reports document that at least seven foreign governments that received State Department clearance for American arms did donate to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary: Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia.

Sales Flowed Despite Human Rights Concerns

Under a presidential policy directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the State Department is supposed to specifically take human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies. Despite this, Hillary Clinton’s State Department increased approvals of such sales to nations that her agency sharply criticized for systematic human rights abuses.

In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”

That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and its lobbyists met with the State Department officials who oversee enforcement of human rights policies. Clinton’s State Department the next year approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The increase included authorizations of almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment” after the State Department did not authorize the export of any of such items to Algeria in the prior year.

During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria — nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose Algeria’s donation until this year — a violation of the ethics agreement it entered into with the Obama administration.

The monarchy in Qatar had similarly been chastised by the State Department for a raft of human rights abuses. But that country donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running the State Department. During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar. That deal would additionally employ as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

Clinton foundation donor countries that the State Department criticized for human rights violations and that received weapons export authorizations did not respond to IBTimes’ questions.

That group of arms manufacturers — along with Clinton Foundation donors Boeing, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and their affiliates — were together listed as contractors in 114 such deals while Clinton was secretary of state. NBC put Chelsea Clinton on its payroll as a network correspondent in November 2011, when it was still 49 percent owned by General Electric. A spokesperson for General Electric did not respond to questions from IBTimes.

Clinton Article Screenshot 1

The other companies all asserted that their donations had nothing to do with the arms export deals.

“Our contributions have aligned with our longstanding philanthropic commitments,” said Honeywell spokesperson Rob Ferris.

“Even The Appearance Of A Conflict”

During her Senate confirmation proceedings in 2009, Hillary Clinton declared that she and her husband were “committed to ensuring that his work does not present a conflict of interest with the duties of Secretary of State.” She pledged “to protect against even the appearance of a conflict of interest between his work and the duties of the Secretary of State” and said that “in many, if not most cases, it is likely that the Foundation or President Clinton will not pursue an opportunity that presents a conflict.”

Even so, Bill Clinton took in speaking fees reaching $625,000 at events sponsored by entities that were dealing with Hillary Clinton’s State Department on weapons issues.

In 2011, for example, the former president was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual awards gala, which was held at the home of the Kuwaiti ambassador. Ben Affleck spoke at the event, which featured a musical performance by Grammy-award winner Michael Bolton. The gala was emceed by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. Boeing was listed as a sponsor of the event, as were the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar — the latter two of which had donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

The speaking fee from the Kuwait America Foundation to Bill Clinton was paid in the same time frame as a series of deals Hillary Clinton’s State Department was approving between the Kuwaiti government and Boeing. Months before the gala, the Department of Defense announced that Boeing would be the prime contractor on a $693 million deal, cleared by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, to provide the Kuwaiti government with military transport aircraft. A year later, a group sponsored in part by Boeing would pay Bill Clinton another $250,000 speaking fee.

“Boeing has sponsored this major travel event, the Global Business Travel Association, for several years, regardless of its invited speakers,” Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesperson, told IBTimes. Johndroe said Boeing’s support for the Clinton Foundation was “a transparent act of compassion and an investment aimed at aiding the long-term interests and hopes of the Haitian people” following a devastating earthquake.

Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.

Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

“Lockheed Martin has periodically supported one individual membership in the Clinton Global Initiative since 2010,” said company spokesperson Katherine Trinidad. “Membership benefits included attendance at CGI annual meetings, where we participated in working groups focused on STEM, workforce development and advanced manufacturing.”

In April 2011, Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton $200,000 to speak to “approximately 250 high level clients and investors” in New York, according to State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch. Two months later, the State Department approved a $675 million foreign military sale involving Hawker Beechcraft — a company that was then part-owned by Goldman Sachs. As part of the deal, Hawker Beechcraft would provide support to the government of Iraq to maintain a fleet of aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Goldman Sachs has also contributed at least $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to donation records.

“There is absolutely no connection among all the points that you have raised regarding our firm,” said Andrew Williams, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs.

Federal records show that ethics staffers at the State Department approved the payments to Bill Clinton from Goldman Sachs, and the Lockheed- and Boeing-sponsored groups without objection, even though the firms had major stakes in the agency’s weapons export decisions.

Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor of international affairs, told IBTimes that the intertwining financial relationships between the Clintons, defense contractors and foreign governments seeking weapons approvals is “a vivid example of a very big problem — the degree to which conflicts of interest have become endemic.”

“It has troubled me all along that the Clinton Foundation was not being more scrupulous about who it would take money from and who it wouldn’t,” he said. “American foreign policy is better served if people responsible for it are not even remotely suspected of having these conflicts of interest. When George Marshall was secretary of state, nobody was worried about whether or not he would be distracted by donations to a foundation or to himself. This wasn’t an issue. And that was probably better.”

Clinton Article Screenshot 2

UPDATE (7:38pm, 5/26/15): In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office told IBTimes: “Taiwan’s 2003 donation was for the fund to build the Clinton Presidential Library. This was way before Mrs. Clinton was made the U.S. Secretary of State. We have neither knowledge nor comments concerning other issues.”

 

[David Sirota is International Business Times’ senior editor for investigations. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in Denver, Colorado and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance.]

[Andrew Perez is a National Political Reporter at the International Business Times.]

 

 

Pennies From Heaven

The word philanthropy first appears in Western thought in the fifth century BC to denote an act of rebellion and name the crime of treason.

Lapham’s Quartly

Lapham’s Quarterly Summer 2015: Philanthropy

by Lewis H. Lapham

Lapham Image

Prometheus Bringing Fire to Mankind, by Friedrich Heinrich Füger, 1817. Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. —The Gospel According to Matthew

But if the rich men are left standing around on earth with the camels, wherefrom the pennies that drop from the skies of philanthropy? Who carries up the treasure to the pay windows in heaven? At what altitude does hard coin resolve itself into dew, and so fall, gently like rain, on the sorrow and heat of the desert? How high the cloud level before greed becomes good?

These questions inform the discussion of the philanthropic largesse that in America over the last fifty years has become a very big business. Big enough to warrant the casting of suspicion on its motives, doubt on its objectives, stones at its privileges. Scolding voices in the media and Congress lobby for the adage that the mark of a good deed is its not going unpunished, and the increasingly harsh tone of the complaints—philanthropy as false front for funding a political campaign, as setup for a tax dodge, preservation of a family fortune, whiteout of a criminal rap sheet—rises to the occasion of the national economy’s nonprofit sector becoming an ever larger part of the whole. The most recent numbers available from the Urban Institute speak to the presence of divinity.

Nonprofit organizations report over $4.8 trillion in total assets, $2.16 trillion in total revenues, $2.03 trillion in total expenses.

Nonprofit organizations account for 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, roughly 10 percent of all wages and salaries, $887 billion in annual spending.

Total annual private giving (from individuals, foundations, and businesses) in the amount of $335 billion.

Around 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, roughly one for every 213 Americans, to which more than one in four Americans volunteered an estimated 8.1 billion hours of work valued at $163 billion.

So glorious a concentration of wealth makes a joyful noise unto the Lord; the accounting for its uses opens a Pandora’s box from which swarms forth a screech of lawyers. Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code bestows tax exemptions on nonprofit enterprises recognized as “religious, charitable, scientific,testing for public safety,literary,or educational,”but a string of handsomely abstract adjectives doesn’t furnish clear definition of the noun philanthropy. Among the vast multitude of would-be loaves and fishes, how to distinguish those that are morally wholesome, financially sound, socially nourishing? Where is it written that all good intentions are good, and which ones escape or deserve being nailed to a cross? Does support for the Metropolitan Museum of Art require equal protection for the San Francisco Bay smelt?

The questions follow from a careless use of the term philanthropy (“love of humanity” in the ancient Greek) as a catch-all synonym embracing different forms of its expression in societies past and present, among them those noted in this issue of Lapham’s Quarterly under the headings of Sumerian debt forgiveness, Roman bread and circuses, Muslim almsgiving, Chinook potlatch, Catholic charity and sin removal, Protestant good works, democratic government.

 

The deed is everything, the glory naught.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1832

Although endowed over the centuries with many benevolent connotations (compassion, forbearance, kindness, humility), the word philanthropy first appears in Western thought in the fifth century BC, in Aeschylus’ play Prometheus Bound to name an act of rebellion and denote the crime of treason. Alone among the deities on Mount Olympus, the Titan Prometheus takes pity on the “sad, care-laden” human race living like “ants in sunless caves,” their every act without hope or direction, “dayflies” lost in meaningless confusion. Zeus intends to delete the species and “grow another one more to his liking.” Prometheus would have it otherwise. Disposed to the love of humanity (for reasons left unstated, but none of them to do with grace or wit or beauty), he steals the “bright and dancing fire” of the gods and gives to mortal men its “wonderworking power”—heat and light, but also freedom of thought, the stores of memory and the arts of divination, knowledge of numbers and letters, of medicine, carpentry, animal husbandry, and astronomy.

Prometheus thus defies the will and tyranny of Zeus “by granting mortals honor above their due,” and the punishment is merciless—his immortal flesh bound in chains, nailed to a barren rock at the far limit of the world, condemned to endure relentless torture “through endless time.”

The godlike powers transferred by Prometheus as unrestricted gift to mortal men serve their purpose at sea level, here on earth with the hummingbirds and the camels, their saving grace not deferred until the beneficiaries attain celestial cruising speed. The society that was Hellenic Athens didn’t assign high real estate values to an afterlife, and the rich men within the polis, their formidable wealth placing them at Promethean cloud level, were expected (expected, not obliged) to provide, at their own and often ruinous expense, enhancements of the public spirit and the common good—votive offerings, sacrifices and temples, gymnasia, festivals, games, banquets, the outfitting of naval vessels, and the staging of plays.

Generosity was virtue, the value of money the having it to give away. The reward was double-edged—the pleasure inherent in the act of freely giving, the honor for doing so a gift freely bestowed by one’s fellow citizens. Honor, not gratitude. As long as the haves placed a higher value in their stores of virtue than on their hoards of wealth, the have-nots could look to them in admiration instead of with envy and resentment. Pericles delivering his funeral oration in 431 BC (the first year of the Peloponnesian War) praises Athenians as patrons of the public good, willing to make noble expenditures (of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor) to preserve the city’s freedoms of thought and action.

The happy state of affairs didn’t survive the war with Sparta. The government of Athens fell into the grasp of an oligarchy afflicted with the disease diagnosed by the ancient Greeks as pleonexia, the pathological craving for more—more property, more publicity, more bling. Athens divided into a city of the poor and a city of the rich, one at war with the other and neither inclined to temper its bitterness in the interest of the common good. Aristotle mentions a faction of especially reactionary oligarchs who swear an oath of selfishness: “I will be an adversary of the people…and in the Council I will do it all the evil that I can.” (So, too, our Republican members of Congress obliged to sign Grover Norquist’s pledge opposing any and all efforts to increase marginal income-tax rates.)

IMAGE:Adele Bloch-Bauer I, by Gustav Klimt, 1907. © Neue Galerie, New York, USA/De Agostini Picture Library/E. Lessing /Bridgeman Images

Democracy congealing into oligarchy conformed to Aristotle’s theorem of governments changing form in a sequence as certain as the changing of the seasons. Regimes come and go, but the have-nots always outnumber the haves, and no matter what the political name of the game (monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy), the well-being of the less-fortunate many, says Aristotle, must always depend on the philanthropy of a privileged few who give direction to dayflies, light to ants in sunless caves.

 

This issue of Lapham’s Quarterly comes with a follow-up question: To what extent does the glorious concentration of wealth lovingly noted by the Urban Institute portend relief from the diseased oligarchy that for the past forty years has proclaimed itself the enemy of the American democracy, and vows to do all the evil it can to a government of the people, by the people, for the people?

One would like to think the odds favor if not full recovery, at least remission of the illness. Americans in their daily dealings with one another prove themselves unfailingly open-hearted and forbearing; among the world’s peoples few are more generous in the giving of money, time, and effort to the practice of philanthropy. Confronted with sudden misfortune or disastrous accident (the flooding of New Orleans, the bombing of the World Trade Center) they respond with heartfelt outpourings of voluntary assistance. Wealthy patrons of humanity furnish the country with its expensive collection of museums, orchestras, hospitals, libraries, colleges, universities, churches, and football teams—more or less the same goods and services distributed in pagan antiquity by the selfless and therefore self-ennobling rich in the form of amphitheaters, baths, aqueducts, menageries of wild beasts, sacrificial pairs of gladiators.

 

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

– Acts of the Apostles, 80

Add to the inventory of America’s goodwill the Christian love of humanity arising among the poor and for the poor, from the presence of God within all men. The Greek and Roman patrons of the public good bestowed their gifts on citizens belonging to the city or the state, not on slaves, outcasts, beggars, immigrants. Neither Pericles nor Caesar recognized a human life form classified simply as “the poor.” The grouping suited the political ambition of the Christian church rising on the ruins of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the congregations of the faithful drawn from the vast throng of have-nots littering the shores of the Mediterranean and bound together in a commonwealth of suffering. The Christian theologian Tertullian refutes the pagan faith in wealth: “Nothing sacred is to be had for money….We have all drunk of one and the same Holy Spirit…are all delivered as it were from one common womb of ignorance, and called out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Lactantius, early father of the Christian church, says, “The only true and certain obligation is to feed the needy and useless…men may have no use for them, but God has.”

It is Thomas Paine, the incendiary voice of the American Revolution, who in the eighteenth century converts the Christian love of humanity (shared among equals in the lower strata of society) into the promise of democratic self- government—“The strength of government and the happiness of the governed” is the freedom of the common people to “mutually and naturally support each other.” One’s fellow citizens are to be held in honorable regard not because they are rich or notably generous but because they are one’s fellow citizens.

The abundance of Paine’s writings flows from the springs of his optimism. Celebrating the declaring of independence as “the birthday of a new world,” he counts himself a friend of the world’s happiness, invariably in favor of a new beginning and a better deal. His plan for a just society is set forth in Rights of Man, published in England in two volumes, in 1791 and 1792; it anticipates much of the legislation that shows up 150 years later in the United States under the rubrics of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal—government welfare payments to the poor, pensions for the elderly, public funding of education, reduction in military spending.The sale of 500,000 copies prompted the British government to charge its author with treason—the same crime committed by Prometheus in defiance of the will and tyranny of Zeus.

Traveling in America in 1831 and 1832, the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville finds democracy to be a work in progress along the lines projected by Paine, the common people mutually supporting one another by forming associations to hold fêtes, found seminaries, build inns, establish hospitals, dispatch missionaries, distribute books. “When the world was controlled by a small number of powerful and wealthy individuals,” says Tocqueville, “they liked to advertise how glorious it is to forget oneself and how fitting it is to do good without self- interest just like God himself…In the United States, the beauty of virtue is almost never promoted. It is considered useful and this is proved daily.”

The fact of which Walt Whitman was daily reminded during his three years as a Civil War hospital volunteer attending to sick and wounded soldiers both Union and Confederate. He notes in his diary that he’d sat next to the cots of as many as a hundred thousand frightened young men, talking to them at length, distributing gifts of writing paper or tobacco, a stamped envelope, an apple or an orange, small pieces of money. From his experience with others like him on his hospital rounds, he learns “one thing conclusively—that beneath all the ostensible greed and heartlessness of our times there is no end to the generous benevolence of men and women in the United States, when once sure of their object. Another thing became clear to me—while cash is not amiss to bring up the rear, tact and magnetic sympathy and unction are, and ever will be, sovereign still.”

 

Governments reflect the quality of the men charged with their conduct and deportment. Within the Greek city states, as also in republican and imperial Rome, the record shows that as wealth accumulates, men decay. An aristocracy that once might have aspired to wisdom and virtue degenerates into an oligarchy distinguished by a character that Aristotle likened to that of “the prosperous fool”—its members so besotted by their faith in money “they therefore imagine there is nothing that it cannot buy.”

Which, most if not all things considered, was the way things were going during America’s late nineteenth-century Gilded Age, so named by Mark Twain to denote a society amounting to the sum of its vanity and greed, so seen by Andrew Carnegie as a parasitical oligarchy devouring the happiness of the many to feed the pleasures of the few. Twain is defender of the democratic motions of the heart, Carnegie the progenitor of what in the twentieth century becomes large-scale philanthropic enterprise established by wealthy patrons of the common good.

Born in poverty in Scotland, Carnegie moved with his immigrant family to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1848; as a boy of twelve, he was working twelve hours a day in a cotton mill. By 1889 he is owner of dark satanic steel mills in Pittsburgh, a captain of industry, abundantly rich, fearful for the future of a country herding its working classes into the shambles of desperate, possibly communist, revolt. That same year he brings forth “The Gospel of Wealth” as remedy for all the ills that overfed capitalist flesh is heir to. The manifesto first appeared in the North American Review, offered by its author as “the true antidote for the temporary unequal distribution of wealth, the reconciliation of the rich and the poor.” Let the rich men throughout the land give over their great fortunes before they die for the use of the living, and “we shall have an ideal state, in which the surplus wealth of the few will become, in the best sense, the property of the many.” Better yet, the rich man acts as trustee and agent for his “poorer brethren,” grants the blessing of his “superior wisdom,” directs the money to its best uses—to dignified public works, never in the form of alms in trifling amounts to “the drunken, the slothful, the unworthy.” Like Cicero in 44 BC, Carnegie distinguished between the deserving and undeserving poor. So did Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1841 in his essay “Self-Reliance”, “I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me.” He blames himself for sometimes having given “alms to sots.”

Carnegie’s philanthropy was pagan, not Christian. The reward was honor, not gratitude. A rich man who dies with his wealth intact, he said, “dies disgraced.” It didn’t occur to him to relieve the poverty of the workers in his mills (twelve-hour shifts, paltry wages, crowded and filthy housing), but he did his best to leave no money on the table of his life. When in 1901 he sold his steel mills to J.P. Morgan for $480 million he became the richest man in America; before he died in 1919 he gave away $350 million to the building of 2,811 libraries in America’s cities and towns, to the setting up of numerous institutes and foundations.

The big American foundations formed during the first half of the twentieth century—Rockefeller, Ford, Pew, Sage, Rosenwald, Kellogg—deployed Carnegie’s lines of reasoning and priority.They pursued large-scale projects based on scientific research—the eradication of yellow fever and malaria, the restoration of colonial Williamsburg, the preservation of the Hudson River Palisades.

The good intentions multiplied over the course of the next hundred years, as did the number of foundations lobbying for social and political change, backing civil and human rights initiatives, funding think tanks grouped around the ideological campfires on both the left and the right.

The storylines are appropriately multicultural and diverse, not subject to equal opportunity generalization. What little I know of them I borrow from Mark Dowie’s American Foundations: An Investigative History, published in 2001. Dowie notes that the governance of big foundations eventually passes down over generations from the Promethean figure present at the creation to staffs of foundation officials, philanthrocrats apt to be more concerned about the safety and well-being of the money under their care than about the uses to which it might be put. The law requires the country’s 86,000 grantmaking foundations to distribute every year a minimum of 5 percent of their endowments, but if carefully managed, even that minimum need not leave the premises. The tax returns filed by the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2013 teach the self-promoting lesson. The foundation received more than $140 million in grants and contributions but squandered only $8.8 million on direct aid and research projects, reserving $30 million for payroll and employee benefits, $8.7 million for rent and office expenses, $9.2 million for conferences, conventions, and meetings, $8 million for fundraising, and nearly $8.5 million for travel.

Dowie’s investigation fits with Dwight Macdonald’s account of his meeting in 1955 with the “forty-odd philanthropoids, who, for all practical purposes, are the Ford Foundation.” Assigned by The New Yorker to review the proceedings in what was then the foundation’s new headquarters building on Madison Avenue, Macdonald found the office staff conversing in foundationese—“like Latin, a dead language…designed for ceremony rather than utility. Its function is magical and incantatory—not to give information or to communicate ideas or to express feelings.” Gilded functionaries loyal to the will and tyranny of Zeus, intent upon preserving rather than overturning the status quo.

The character and intent of the early generation of philanthropy I learned to appreciate in the person of John D. Rockefeller III, grandson of the nineteenth-century oil baron, son of the early-twentieth-century philanthropist, elder brother of David and Nelson Rockefeller. John III was the member of the family entrusted to carry forward its tradition of philanthropic largesse, a task he had performed with skill and determination since his graduation from Princeton in 1929, but one for which his chief publicist in 1963 thought he hadn’t received proper recognition. His brother Nelson was governor of New York, his brother David the president of Chase Manhattan Bank, their names in the papers nine mornings out of ten but nowhere a mention of John, who had created the Asia Society and the Population Council and provided strong support for the International Rice Research Institute in Manila, and who was putting together the $184 million needed to complete the building of Lincoln Center on the west side of Manhattan.

I was employed that year as a writer for the Saturday Evening Post when the publicist called to ask if I would consider traveling with John III to Asia for three months with a view to writing an article about his various projects underway in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, India, East and West Pakistan. I would have access to any and all meetings and negotiations with government officials, bankers, scientists, politicians, and I was to be paid a per diem, with John III reserving the right to review the completed manuscript and, if so inclined, to forestall its publication.

IMAGE:Portrait of Sir Francis Ford’s Children Giving a Coin to a Beggar Boy, by William Beechey, 1793. Tate Museum, London.

I had no objection. I didn’t care whether the article was published or not; I was being given a chance to see the world from a high elevation of wealth and power, as it might have looked to Prometheus from the heights of Olympus. Every year for twelve years John III had been making the same journey (concentrating on the problem of birth control and high-yield plantings of rice), and at all points on the itinerary he was met with honors befitting royalty—cars on the airport tarmac, receptions at the palace, banquets with the prime minister. His knowledge of various Asian societies was profound, as was his delight in each of the people to whom he introduced me in the hope I might catch sight of their value as singular human beings. Not once in three months did he not know the name of the person to whom he was talking—the name, the pronunciation of the name, the family story, the problem at hand, the detail of the particular circumstance. Although he was a tall and imposing figure, he was modest to a fault, shy in the company of scholars and politicians, hesitant in the expression of his emotions.

Maya Angelou once said she found that “among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” So it was with John D. Rockefeller III. His philanthropy was his escape from the prison of his shyness, his becoming part of the larger story that is the sharing in man’s love for his fellow man. The Chinese philosopher Mencius came upon the thought around 330 bc. “Not to be benevolent when nothing stands in the way is to show a lack of wisdom. A man neither benevolent nor wise, devoid of courtesy and dutifulness, is a slave.”

The article was never published. The Population Council’s attempt to encourage birth control in Taiwan, India, and Pakistan went against the grain of local sentiment and politics, and John III believed it counterproductive to advertise these difficulties in print. To do so might cause trouble for his friends running the clinics in Asia. Self-glorifying publicity in New York wasn’t worth the price of a doctor’s loss of face in Dhaka.

 

The times have changed. Billionaire philanthropists these days delight in the photo ops of their giving to the public good, stepping down from helicopter or horse to baptize their new naming opportunity of a football stadium or concert hall. Their magnificence recalls the story told by the Stoic philosopher Seneca in the first century about Alexander the Great presenting the gift of an entire city to a man who didn’t think himself deserving of it. “I do not ask what is becoming for you to receive,” replied Alexander, “but what is becoming for me to give.”

 

Charity is murder and you know it.

– Dorothy Parker, 1956

The displays of noble expenditure (on the part of movie stars and prime- time athletes as well as George Soros and the Koch brothers) derive from the far larger stores of private wealth created over the past forty years as a consequence of the systematic rigging of the nation’s economic outcomes to favor the rich at the expense of the poor. The familiar story (democracy smothered by oligarchy) has often been told—long ago by Aristotle, more recently in our American context by the Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz—but it is nowhere better illustrated than by the reversal over the past half century of the meaning within the words public and private. In the 1950s the word public connoted an inherent good (public health, public school, public service, public spirit); private was a synonym for selfishness and greed (plutocrats in top hats, pigs at troughs). The connotations traded places in the 1980s. Private now implies all things bright and beautiful (private trainer, private school, private plane), public becomes a synonym for all things ugly and dangerous (public housing, public welfare, public toilet).

The repositioning of the words underwrites the gospel according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, among the current generation of big-time philanthropies, is the fairest of them all. It commands an endowment of $43.5 billion (roughly a third of that sum added to its pot by Warren Buffett), and because of its size and market share it points the direction for much of the nation’s foundation giving. No week goes by without the announcement of another Gates Foundation grant meant to allay disease in Africa, improve test scores in American public schools.

A self-made Promethean figure in the image of Carnegie, Gates also looks to avoid the disgrace of dying rich. To the small company of his fellow billionaires he wrote a letter in 2010 suggesting they give, “during your lifetime or through your will,” the majority of their wealth to charity. To help “improve the overall quality” of their giving he offers the superior wisdom of a man who knows that private profit and public good are mutual friends, that doing well is doing good. The thought is as tried and true as the metaphor that Cotton Mather, the seventeenth-century Puritan divine, bestowed upon the Boston faithful in 1701: “A Christian, at his two callings, is a man in a boat, rowing for heaven” with two oars, one of them glorifying God “by doing good for others,” the other by “getting of good for himself.”

Gates repackaged the good news as a speech delivered to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, in 2008:

“I like to call this idea creative capitalism…Such a system would have a twin mission: making profits and also improving lives of those who don’t fully benefit from today’s market forces…a market-based reward for good behavior.”

The gospel was well received in the temples of the god who also is Mammon; the foundation clergy have learned to come and go speaking of metrics, time frames, benchmarks, grantmaking made “cost-effective,” “impact-oriented,” “data-based.” The language is designed for ceremony, “magical and incantatory” assigning virtue to having and holding wealth, not to letting it wander away, unescorted, into the sorrow and heat of the desert. Philanthrocapitalism opening the golden door to the best of all futures that money can buy, nourishing the belief (very à la mode in the media shiny sheets) that it is the big-ticket, glamorous rich who will rescue the country from ruin.

IMAGE:Nectanebo I presenting an offering to a crocodile-headed demon, dolerite relief, Egypt, fourth century BC. © De Agostini Picture Library/A. Dagli Orti/Bridgeman Images

The hope springs from the publicity from whence the money cometh, not in the accounting for whither it goest. The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy estimates that only 8 percent of foundations in the United States bestow as much as 25 percent of their largesse on “social justice purposes.” In 2011 the wealthiest Americans, those with earnings in the top 20 percent, contributed an average of 1.3 percent of their income to charity. Americans in the bottom 20 percent, and therefore unable to itemize a tax deduction, donated 3.2 percent.

Dowie suggests the stores of private wealth likely to be accumulated over the next two generations could increase the total assets of organized philanthropy to $4 trillion. It’s an impressive number, but small in comparison with the money likely to be furnished by individual contributions that now add hundreds of billions of dollars to most of the country’s charitable enterprises set up as credit unions and health clinics, food and wind-power cooperatives, crowdfunding platforms.

The opulent foundations tend to believe that money is good for rich people, bad for poor people, best given to private institutions or public acronyms; they seek the honor of being praised, as did the wealthy suppliers of the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome, “for doing good without self-interest, just like God himself.” Their philanthropy, like that of Carnegie and Gates, is the giving of direction to dayflies. The philanthropy inherent in democracy as conceived by Paine, attested by Tocqueville, practiced by Whitman, is the care of other human beings, virtue “considered useful,” almost never gloriously promoted. A democratic society places a premium on equality; a capitalist economy does not. The separation of powers is the difference between the worth of a thing and the price of a thing, between the motions of the heart and the movement of a market. Plato in the Republic puts the proposition as simply as it can be put:

“As wealth and the wealthy are valued more in a city, so goodness and the good are valued less…what is valued at any particular time becomes the common practice, what is not valued is neglected.”

Governments reflect the quality of the men charged with their conduct and deportment. Relief from “the ostensible greed and heartlessness of our times” (Whitman’s phrase in 1864 as telling now as then) doesn’t fall in a shower of gold from the heaven that is a $95 million apartment on the ninety-fifth floor of a Manhattan co-op. It collects in pennies on the ground, from people who don’t confuse themselves with God, who know, as did Walt Whitman, that love, not money, is “sovereign still.”

Avaaz: Mercenaries as Missionaries

Public Good

by Jay Taber

war-3up

Peace Bomb by Brian Stauffer

Wall Street NGOs, like the oil tycoon front group 350, pose a formidable challenge to indigenous peoples survival. By co-opting climate activists and deceiving them into supporting Wall Street’s agenda, NGOs like 350 and Avaaz undermine indigenous sovereignty and human rights.

As reported by Cory Morningstar in 350: Agent Saboteur, this Trojan horse — created by the Clinton Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and fueled by Warren Buffett’s NoVo — hijacked the climate change movement from the outset. As noted in Social Capitalists: Wall Street’s Progressive Partners, the fraud is exposed by following the money.

In Avaaz: the World’s Most Powerful NGO, social engineering by the Democratic Party (MoveOn, 1Sky, Avaaz, Ceres, Purpose, 350) is shown to include both short and long cons, that consolidate Wall Street control of institutions, markets and NGOs. These mercenaries as missionaries, in turn, shape global society, using foundations as intermediaries.

 

[As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, Jay Taber has assisted indigenous peoples seeking justice at the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Since 1994, he has served as creative director at Public Good Project.]

Greenwashing Wall Street: CERES, Tides and 350

A Culture of Imbeciles

February 7, 2015

Wall_Street

 

Excerpts from the McKibben’s Divestment Tour: Brought to You by Wall Street series by Cory Morningstar:

 

+++ Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) is a partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). CERES funders are associated with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.

+++ WBCSD is part of a Wall Street strategy to dislodge the United Nations Center on Transnational Corporations, and prevent enforceable rules governing the operations of multinational corporations.

+++ One third of the CERES network companies are in the Fortune 500. Since 2001, CERES has received millions from Wall Street corporations and foundations.

+++ CERES president Mindy Lubber promotes “sustainable capitalism” at Forbes. Bill McKibben (founder of 350) was an esteemed guest of CERES conferences in 2007 and 2013.

+++ 1Sky, which merged with 350 in 2011, was created by the Clinton Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Betsy Taylor of 1Sky/350 is on the CERES board of directors.

+++ In 2012, Bill McKibben and Peter Buffett (oil train tycoon Warren Buffet’s son) headlined the Strategies for a New Economy conference. Between 2003 and 2011, NoVo (Buffet’s foundation) donated $26 million to Tides Foundation, which in turn funds CERES and 350.

+++ Suzanne Nossel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton, is on the Tides board of directors.