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#askU2 #U2TheJoshuaTree2017

The Radiant Labyrinth

March 14, 2017

 

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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

 

#askwarren Question #9: Are you, Gates Foundation, U2, RED & ONE Campaign Aware of the State Violence Enforcing Your DAPL Investment?

March 8, 2017

Radiant Labyrinth

 

Singer of Irish band U2, Bono (L) poses with Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 22, 2016 in Davos to mark the 10 years of (RED).  Launched at Davos in 2006, (RED) has raised $350 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, impacting 60 million lives.  / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Singer of Irish band U2, Bono (L) poses with Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 22, 2016 in Davos to mark the 10 years of (RED). FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

#askwarren Are you, @gatesfoundation, @U2, @RED, @ONECampaign aware of the state violence enforcing your DAPL investment?

(Question #9 of 11 #askwarren DAPL Questions. -#1 shows Warren Buffett is invested in a DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) staked corporation over $6.3 billion, meaning proprotionately by his largesse Gates Foundation is invested nigh $1.6 billion, whereas Q#8 shows Bono’s ONE and RED are dependent on Gates Foundation funding, and thereby the DAPL investment.)

“#Cringemas it is! –#Cringemas is arms lost to the 1%.”

“Bill Gates surely would have known the #NoDAPL protest suppression was completely off the chain by the time of U2/RED’s 2016 Shopathon [he sits on Buffett’s Board of Directors], just as it’s surely known Sophia’s never going to get a Secret Santa down her chimney. In fact the Guardian’s hit piece targeting Trump as an investor was timed to target the blame after the attack dogs had been deployed. Actually it was right on cue with when police and military moved on the Oceti Sakowin camp141 arrests followed.  The attack dogs were unleashed by private security, but they weren’t the ones who got kenneled. We got to find out who they were and that they weren’t licensed to work in North Dakota and were from out of state and may be criminally liable, but we never get to hear who hires them. The Guardian will only repeat Trump’s nigh bogus connection to the project.

However, in terms of modus operandi (if not involvement), BNSF [which Buffett owns] was already using private police to perform arrests in Washington State at protest blockades and they were already being blockaded there by climate protests. The public was much more aware of the oil by rail issue than the media gave credit.”

“Yet even Bono managed to outdo himself, by getting named Glamour’s Woman of the Year‘ [for ONE’s #povertyissexist] precisely for becoming this sort of paragon of ‘consumer activism’. He literally hijacked feminism and made it #brandfeminism, -merely an adjunct to the philanthrowash of his billionaire benefactors and a philanthrowash the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all of #NoDAPL’s brutality, against womenLots of WomenLots and lots of them. We stand with Sophia.  We stand with the women of Standing Rock.”

Source quotes from “How Bono’s RED became the color of philanthrowashing done right for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Secondary source quotes (article hyperlinks with supplementary news support):

Woman’s Arm May Be Amputated After Horrific Injury At Standing Rock Protests” – Huffington Post article on Sophia Wolansky (actual photo of injury in this article) Video: “Standing Rock Protector’s Arm Blown Off By Police Grenade” – TYT -medical treatment ringing in at over $350,000

Testimony of Vanessa Dundon, who had retina severed by a tear gas grenade. “Standing Rock Protester Shot in Face with Tear Gas Grenade May Go Blind” – TheDailyBeast -#notjustwomen are losing eyes.

Testimony of Floris Whitebull, who was arrested from a prayer circle and kenneled – Josh Fox

Cyndy Coppola is arrested to enforce forcible installation of the DAPL on her own property using eminent domain. – KFYRTV “Iowa Woman arrested on her own property for interfering with DAPL construction” – KFYRTV

Testimony of Caro Gonzales, “Guarding Red Tarantula Woman”, Chemehuivi Tribe” – The Guardian

Testimony of Angie Spencer, Trauma Counselor arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest – TYT Politics

As for poverty and education? (Seeing as the whole basis of ONE’s current #povertyissexist campaign, #girlscount, is the educational exclusion and unequal poverty rate of girls.)

The Dakota Pipeline Could Devastate Some of the Poorest People in America” – Time

One-in-four Native Americans and Alaska Natives are living in poverty” – PewResearchCenter -has Obama visiting the Standing Rock Reservation in June 2014 -has education statistics for Standing Rock

Poverty Rate for Native American North Dakota women: 35.5% –Source page. The poverty rate for Native American women in the USA by state ranges from 11.7% in Maryland to 43.6% for a high for South Dakota. North Dakota’s poverty rate for Native American women is the third highest in the nation, coming in slightly over 1 in 3. The Standing Rock Reservation where the #NoDAPL protest took place in in North Dakota.

“[Sex trafficking (in Canada, where this is 94% ‘domestic’)] is also something in which indigenous women – and girls – are vastly overrepresented. Aboriginal people make up just 4 per cent of the population, but a study in 2014 found they account for about half the victims of trafficking – Public Safety Canada calls them the country’s “population most vulnerable to exploitation.” – “The Trafficked” – The Globe and Mail

“The U.S. Justice Department reports that sexual violence in American Indian/Alaska Native communities is ‘epidemic.’ Native Americans experience sexual assault at a rate of 2.5 times greater than other races. A third of all Native women will be raped.”

“Forced prostitution of native women also is a problem in oil fields, forestry projects or fracking operations such as the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota [what the Dakota Access Pipeline was constructed to export] and Montana, where transient workers, almost exclusively male, are housed in remote ‘man camps.'” – “Sex Traffickers Targetting Native American Women” – Voice Of America -seems America might be more coy and more lax on determining figures.

ONE: YOU CAN’T RUN A #girlscount #povertyissexist Campaign that is obtaining funding that depends on the enforcement of structural racial oppression that ‘just happens’ to be furnishing PRECISELY THE FORMS OF SEXUAL OPPRESSION YOU PURPORT TO BE AGAINST.

Did you know the present installation of the pipeline is likely illegal, on not one, but two counts? Did you know the Standing Rock Tribe was basically forced at gunpoint to accept unsafe risks to their drinking water?

How can these billionaires qualify this sort of profit making as philanthropy -?

Buffett, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline

How Bono’s RED Became the Color of Philanthrowashing Done Right for the Dakota Access Pipeline

The Raydiant Labyrinth

February 8, 2017

by Pamela Williams

 

warren-buffett-berkshire-hathaway-inc-doubles-its-stake-in-phillips-66

PART 1

Who’s Invested? Complicit Corruption Aiding and Abetting the Bakken Shale Boom (#bombtrains)

 

If you Google “phillips 66 DAPL investment” right now, -unless a new divestment announcement is resulting in an algorithm smackdown of the headlines as we speak, your search will turn up a mass majority of articles stating how President elect Donald Trump is (mainly was) invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) through both Energy Transfer Partners LLC and Phillips 66, at a maximal of $1 million that was reduced to between $15 000 – $50 000 for the former (which Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks announced was divested of) and an investment which may maximally be a quarter million in the latter, Phillips66, which has not garnered any response of whether Trump divested or not. These reports give you confirmation that Phillips66 has a 25% stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline.  This is what Google’s search algorithms latch onto. In November, the other two majority stakeholders consolidated.

Trump’s investment is hailed of interest for its conflict of interest, and may rate as a calculated smackdown of Trump targeted at the environmental constituency, echo-chambered by the mainstream media to swamp searches on the subject in the last heat of the election. Google “Trump DAPL investor October 2016”. It hit then. Stories on this went so far back as May, 2016 (see Sources; they remain focussed on the subject to this day).

The next focus of aspersion and the sole focus for financial punishment designated by environmental groups and indigenous activists as the rightful target for a divestment campaign has been the banks funding the project, a campaign more or less launched by Food & Water Watch. What is interesting about this is that in terms of the banks loaning credit to the DAPL, not one of these banks exceeds an investment of $600 million.

 

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Hardly a murmur is heard on the media or inter-webs as per the billionaire investors in DAPL’s fruition, but Counterpunch made mention of Warren Buffett, invested in Phillips 66 at over $6.8 billion through Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, making Berkshire Hathaway the majority shareholder of Phillips 66 at 22%. (The second ranked investor, Vanguard Group, sits at 8%.) Phillips66 is Berkshire Hathaway’s 6th largest holding and 5th largest percent stake. Phillips66 is responsible for building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Perhaps even curiouser given Berkshire Hathaway is invested in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline over a hundred times as much as any of these banks, it owns a host of subsidiaries, many of which are easily boycott-able by the general public, starting with Geico and Dairy Queen. Curiously, the most significant of Berkshire Hathaway’s “wholly owned subsidiaries”, which figures significantly in the scenario about to be laid before you of who’s been deep down and dirty in the Bakken, North Dakota, is not on that list. BNSF and its fracking holding company, Burlington Resources, figure prominently in this New York Times’ expose dated November, 2014. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) belongs to Berkshire Hathaway. At $44 billion it was the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway’s history, which would be common knowledge to anyone in the NYT readership with a memory, but was a curiously omitted fact in the above expose on state corruption in the Bakken five years later.

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The expose delineates pay to play collusion involving the then current North Dakota Governor and state officials (the director of mineral resources) with the oil and gas industry with respects to mineral rights (i.e., fracking rights, helpful hint: mineral rights trump surface rights), which BNSF had originally owned through land it had been historically awarded including those rights. When they sold off surface tracts of land in North Dakota, they were not selling the mineral rights. Those rights “were managed by its energy company, Burlington Resources.” Burlington Resources was sold to Conoco Phillips for $36.5 billion. The NYT article does not provide the crucial purchase date, but this does (Feb. 1, 2006), so it was a Conoco Phillips entity when this corruption scandal transpired (by three years), a date of transaction curiously omitted by the NYT that was pretty essential for clarification. Incidentally Phillips 66 was created and spun off from this parent company in 2012, meaning Conoco Phillips investors received two Phillips 66 shares for every Conoco Phillips share they owned.
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Take it as a promise that these financials are being laid out to deliver the juice. The NYT expose had a Part 1, depicting how oil and gas resource industry was an old-school regulatory douche-nozzle we normally identify as structured unbridled corruption with ghastly spill rates, (precisely the sort of situation completely ripe for an explosive protest with the level of ineptitude just waiting to blow), accompanied by the above Part 2 pointing out the level of corruption that is legally structured into state governance around oil resources in North Dakota, as well as a history of connective issue informing us that these are more or less the same corporate players. The most salient point is that NYT would make no mention of Warren Buffett’s ownership of BNSF or lend any clarification with regards to its subsidiary, Burlington Resources although this would have indicated it avoided a direct conflict of interest on the part of the companies and himself. The basis for this became clear with the fact that NYT pointedly omitted on its description that the photograph of a charred skeleton of an train engine from a rail explosion outside of Casselton, ND, was a BNSF train. If you avoided the train was BNSF’s, the query of conflict of interest would not even arise at all for those who didn’t already know that. They certainly weren’t bringing up who owned it to those not in the know of their readership, and that was the priority.

casselton-derailment
“On its website, BNSF reported that a westbound grain train with 112 cars derailed at about 2:10 p.m. Monday about one mile west of Casselton, hitting an eastbound 106-car train carrying crude oil on an adjacent track and causing it to derail, as well. An estimated 21 cars caught fire, some exploding and sending huge fireballs into the blue sky.” [Source] Photo Credit: Shawn Rode Photography

To give you some curious foreshadowing (think of if as appropriate visual and musical montage  for accompaniment) you can opt to interrupt this broadcast by taking note of how a shot of a BNSF train running through the southwest graces the opening credits of Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers”  (and reappears throughout). That won’t be a left field statement by the time this report is concluded; indeed the movie might almost seem peppered with the visual spice and splice of foreshadowing itself, were it not for the truth that the architects of human global imminent peril are not, and never have been, individual mass murderers. They’re the opposite. That aside, even the death toll (48 before Mickey and Mallory go to prison) will have a curious resonance (not to mention the 666 motif almost already does), so let’s get back to it.

NYT’s photo of the charred shell of an train engine whose company they wouldn’t name makes a picturesque omission that should have been worth a thousand words, or could have easily held the potential for a Part 3; -the trace remnant of a BNSF train that exploded near the governor’s birthplace of Casselton, ND (with such fierceness that the town had to be evacuated). In fact it was BNSF’s first Bakken oil train explosion, and it was truly spectacular. However these were not new. The first explosion of fracked product out of Bakken immolated the town center of Lac-Megantic along with 47 people. Homes were burned from the inside out while “fire erupted from water pipes, drains and sewers”:

“The Lac-Mégantic disaster generated an estimated $2 billion in liabilities with the cleanup alone projected at $200 million. The train’s operator, MM&A, a short line railroad transporting the crude from a Canadian Pacific (CP) yard to a refinery in New Brunswick, had just $25 million in liability insurance. Soon after the accident, MM&A filed for bankruptcy protection.” – Sightline Institute


 

While there was obvious negligence at fault (brakes not set properly on a single engineer run train at the top of a hill) and these problems increased, rather than decreased in Canada afterwards) -this was clearly not simply the problem as evidenced by the barest of timelines offered by Sightline, which marks the BNSF train at Casselton as the third such explosion. This is problematic as many actual explosions are treated as spills or derailments in the press, and additionally many accidents were omitted. Two reports have reached a consensus of 14 such headline accidents by multiple carriers, whereas Sightline lists eleven. In the instance of the Gogoma ON oil train fire mentioned by all three, that was in fact the fifth derailment in Ontario alone for that year (in less than three months) of just CN trains. There were more (of just CN trains for that period) in other provinces, actually seven additional derailments, five in Canadian provinces, and two more in the US.  This article on the second oil train accident/fire listed in Sightline’s timeline in Alabama mentions another one in Alberta. By the time of the Timmins ON derailment (and massive fire), that was the third such derailment in less than a month. Noteworthy incidents like two Wisconsin accidents two days in a row  and one in Buffalo don’t make the list. Neither do products other than crude oil, like a CN coal spill in Vancouver that took out a river Streamkeepers had been rehabilitating for salmon, due for its biggest run in 80 years , or a train carrying ‘liquid petroleum’ (propane) that caused the evacuation of hundreds in Tennessee.

Another fine example of this type of downplaying of events (though they mention 17 such derailments, 10 of them “terrifying”) is a far more recent piece of glaring headliner clickbait by Chicago Magazine that states the energy potential of a single oil rail car is the equivalent of ‘2 million sticks of dynamite’, a piece designed to at once to frighten and soothe the Chicago populace. Chicago was where Buffett was apparently behind forcing rail yard workers not to unionize for anything above minimum wage.

Chicago Magazine labeled this BNSF Casselton explosion (mushroom cloud is more like it) a collision. Initial reporting of this accident by eye-witnesses said this was between standing rail cars, and that a grain car tipped off its rails onto the adjacent oil train. For Chicago Magazine’s citation the Lynchburg derailment in Virginia was treated was as a spill into the river (with 50 000 gallons of crude oil ‘missing’  that endangered the drinking water supply), when it had an explosion from the derailment that sent ‘flames stories high’ and set the river on fire. Likewise, Sightline’s listing of the same accident treats the Lynchburg derailment as just that. The same watering down is apparent in Sightline’s ambiguity as per the second Bakken oil train fire in the timeline at Alliceville, Alabama which they dubbed “derailment and river contamination” when the accompanying blaze could not be approached for eighteen hours, was referred to as hundreds of feet tall and could be witnessed from ten miles away. Ignited Thursday, it was still burning on Saturday, and kept going. Ergo, by the time of the second major headline accident, it was already known that a simple derailment could engender massive combustion with large fires.

The third explosion in the rail accident chronology by BNSF outside of Casselton stands apart for one thing, it brought about a report by Truthout that all trains out of Bakken were being permitted to carry highly volatile VOC’s, alleged by non-corporate testing of the Bakken product to easily range between 30% and 40% of the product. (Casselton got the undivided attention of Mark Ruffalo.) Also, those in receivership of BNSF Bakken trains had to obtain “special conditions” permits, requiring them to “flare-off” the dangerous VOCs before barging them down a river, the Mississippi. This wasn’t your usual crude. (The article doesn’t even mention the obvious potential of residual methane, which in fracking operations was being flared off all the time.) The permit process showed that those in receivership knew the volatility as they were required to treat the product, which means so did the shippers. What was AWOL was Federal regulation of the product out of North Dakota, and this was because volatility equated with profitability, especially with respects to jet fuel.

At this threshold the salient point to be derived from the New York Times expose on the prior coexistence of BNSF and their spin-off Burlington Resources becomes very clear. BNSF had a subsidiary dealing in this product that was more than likely offloaded at the right time to prevent any conflict of interest being thrown into relief by a subsequent explosion, a situation that would would have surely made it liable, whereas after Casselton, Buffett was campaigning for the equivalent insurance exceptions as nuclear power plants, despite a record of 721 safety violations in North Dakota alone since 2006. After all, you cannot obtain such exemptions in the face of such a record when you can in no way have claimed ignorance after 47 people got immolated, which you could not when the same company that ships the product has an existing subsidiary fracking the product. By the point of purchase of BNSF, Buffett was in the clear of such a glaring direct conflict of interest. Nonetheless there is no way those responsible for shipping product out of Bakken could have been any more naive than those in receivership who were being regulated to treat the contents for volatility, and even if one could have laid claim to ignorance, after the second conflagration in Alabama, there was really no question anymore. Really there should have been no question after Lac-Megantic, but strike 3, you’re out. The BNSF Casselton explosion resulted in a nigh instantaneous safety classification alert by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Canadian pipeline corporations immediately followed suite. (Look at the photo caption. -Little late to protest the Keystone XL, -weren’t we?)

Yet rail companies continued to insist on not even upgrading their tanker cars, as well as one engineer per train after 47 dead, (which has met with consistent resistance). BNSF was spearheading continual lobbying efforts against safety regulation, -including against upgrading the braking system to ECP(electronically controlled pneumatic braking system), right up to the present day.

Buffett himself needed no more hints after Casselton, he diversified into a subsidiary pipeline company of Phillips 66 within 24 hours, whose specialty was “lubricating oil’s movement through pipelines, increasingly crucial for the industry to move both tar sands crude and oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) in an efficient manner.” At that point he was already invested in Phillips 66 to the tune of 27 million shares. This article cites shipment of Bakken crude by BNSF at “over 1 million barrels per day”. This move to formulation is pertinent if one were to consider the question of whether the mixture ratios for transport via pipelines would be dissimilar to the necessary need for viscosity to get the substance into individual train cars. With respects to the tar sands/diluent formulation, this would be especially likely since you are dealing with bitumen, literally sand granules individually coated in tar, where they’ve managed to get the guck off the sand granules. And the truth of the substance is that it was being cut 30% with “diluent” (out of Texas) to get it to even move through a pipeline. This logically constituted natural gas, combined with all those undisclosed chemicals that went into fracking the product. “Increased demand for diluent among Alberta’s tar sands producers has created a growing market for U.S. producers of natural gas liquids, particularly for fracked gas producers.”

This question of what amount of diluent would be needed to get the tar sands product in and out of individual rail cars was brought instantly to the fore by the fourth listed oil train accident, a CN train in New Brunswick. At the time of the fourth listed “derailment” in New Brunswick (by Sightline and the rest), Reuters was deceiving the public as to the train’s point of origin. (They literally claimed it was from Toronto, with a straight face. Oil does not come from Toronto.) It was later confirmed to have originated from “western Canada”. This vague imputation (which was about all you would find) was deliberately framed to avoid the determination whether it was tar sands with diluent or Bakken “crude”, as western Canada is home to both. CN callously refused to disclose to the shaken Canadian public the train’s point of origin at the time in order to avoid the nature of the contents, but after all, this was the same corporation that after Lac-Megantic “argued against an emergency provision that trains loaded with dangerous goods such as crude oil [which should be put in the requisite air quotes, as it was never dangerous before Bakken] never be left unattended.

Transport Canada was no help at all. They announced in 2013 that CN was failing to disclose “hundreds of derailments, accidents”, a discrepancy which began ten years after privatization in 2005. They were also classifying the safety exemptions they gave to rail carriers, (including and especially CN, who was still favored by laws that remained in on the books from when CN was Canada’s national rail company, -exercised to brutal effect), and were heftily to blame for the failures that led to Lac-Megantic. Before Lac-Megantic, the Bakken oil trains had been labeled with the wrong hazard class in Canada, one that gave no warning of their explosiveness. They were classified the same as regular crude.

While the New Brunswick rail fire has been clarified as three cars of propane and one of ‘crude’ (-that’s in the “Oregon Live” accident summary, we never got to know where it came from or what it constituted), –since the deliberate venting post fire involved three cars carrying “liquified petroleum”), it’s safe to conclude the three propane cars involved did not explode in the first place. Oh geez, lucky us. What a boom that would have been! Now you’re beginning to grasp why this accident was the subject of such cover-up. It was, given the product portfolio of “western Canada”, (and the nature of the burn), likely from the Athabasca tar sands and diluted bitumen (shortened in the parlance to ‘dilbit’), and not Bakken product involved in the conflagration. After all the cat was already out of the bag about Bakken, so why was this one hush-hush? Additionally this Global News article on the vent taking place points to the same venting technique having to happen at another Alberta oil train fire, which otherwise would not have made mention.

What is dilbit? This answer shows you how easy vague reportage on these explosions could be by describing different aspects of the product. It was in fact devilishly difficult to track and quite some time before reportage started declaring which oil train fires were diluted bitumen shipments. With the New Brunswick accident, no one was the wiser. Seattle fire chiefs were certainly alarmed by that point, an unavoidable consideration since Seattle had experienced a BNSF/Bakken “crude” derailment the July prior at only 5 mph. By the time of their communication of disclosure demands for the sake of safety by BNSF, “North Dakota [Bakken was] principally responsible for increasing domestic production from 5 million to 9 million barrels of oil a day.”

The dawning of this insight (the looming question of what was the diluent percentile of tar sands bitumen/diluent needed for sufficient viscosity to transfer “dilbit” in and out of rail cars and how volatile that might prove (as already indicated)) was made irrevocably clear in the accidents to follow. The article that cleared this one up is referring to the fifth oil by rail accident on Sightline’s timeline, the Timmins Ontario CN fire, which was dilbit (as was the ninth listed (CN) rail accident fire at Gogoma ON). In fact the volatility of tar sands with diluent, while not quite as explosive as Bakken product, was certainly as volatile and produced burns that lasted for days, -so volatile that it was just as explosion prone in the newly issued CPC-1232 tank cars brought in to replace the vulnerable DOT-111’s that weren’t designed for oil transport. (The BNSF oil by rail explosion at Galena ILalso involved safer rail cars upgraded for the purpose, showing these upgrades also did not solve the problem for Bakken shale product.)

Further complicating the issue, while there was always an interest in flaring off the additives that originated in the Bakken ‘crude’ (or they could be subject to pre-treatment if anyone cared), diluent was added to tar sands bitumen to make it in any way viable in the first place, and it was exploding in Ontario at minus 40 degrees Celcius. Not only was Buffett’s acquisition of stock in the Phillips 66 subsidiary, Phillips Specialty Products, pivotal, it already looked like they’d proven incapable of the job. It was either that or it was impossible to do the job safely. While the constraint to oil by rail was making money hand over fist for everyone involved, something had to give, and that give was to transition to pipeline. But that did not mean the abandonment of Buffett’s original strategy, either, which was to divert and attenuate the environmental climate movement and use them to prevent the Keystone XL and maximize the oil by rail profit boom.

gates-and-buffett

At this point it should be brought into the record that Bill Gates has the majority investment stake in CN (Canadian National Railway), and it is the Gates Foundation Trust portfolio’s third largest investment (it was second in 2015). His private investment is the maximal investment permitted under the rules of CN’s privatization. As a personal investment (after the 28,000% increase in oil by rail shipment out of Canada in only four years), it was Bill Gates’ second biggest milk cow after Microsoft in 2013, thanks to a 34% share increase that year.

 

PART 2

Opposing DAPL: Billionaires are Philanthropists because they’re DAPL investors (and much more)

 

Gates and Buffett both got into oil by rail nigh simultaneously, -after touring the Alberta (Athabasca) tar sands in 2008. (Cory Morningstar provides an invaluable timeline on this, though it doesn’t capture Bill Gates’ point of purchase until attaining majority control (they might have been one and the same). Her own online version of this is visually fab.) The tar sands tour article mentions that in 2006 Buffett was notably invested in Conoco Phillips, which means his hands weren’t entirely clean of what went down in North Dakota with the Burlington Resources subsidiary (owned by Conoco Phillips when BNSF sold it). The reason Bill Gates sought majority control of CN at all was in order to cash in on the 28 000% increase in oil by rail shipping out of Canada, driven in no small part by bitumen export to the United States, basically cashing in on the dirtiest oil cash cow on earth. That was the long game.

As a sideshow amusement (which for Canada wasn’t amusing at all), their tour host was a Canadian dilbit billionaire named Murray Edwards. He had the usual PR BJ from Forbes, and still appears listed by them as the 25th richest Canadian (he was 14th at the time he committed one of the worst bits of corporate environmental negligence Canada’s ever seen). Forbes makes no mention that the Albertan instantly engaged in tax flight from the province the moment the NDP party got elected to power, ending over 40 years of conservative rule furnished by the Alberta oil patch.

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Tl’abane Declaration, Kablona Keepers

As CEO of Imperial Metals, Edwards was responsible for the largest mine tailings spill to ever occur in Canadian history. Despite clear abrogation of safety regulations, Imperial metals ignored the Liberal (which should read ‘neoliberal’) provincial government’s warnings on the dam multiple times, (there was no reason to heed when they simultaneously made spine snapping allowances). The dam blew, and released “10.6 million cubic metres of water, 7.3 million cubic metres of tailings and 6.5 million cubic metres of ‘interstitial water’” into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which fed a tributary responsible for up to 25% of the Fraser River’s annual salmon run. The BC provincial Liberal government was simply giving themselves a paper trail to legally keep them out of liability should the inevitable consequence of such corporate negligence prove devastating, which it did. There were no consequences.

It should also be noted (as it has now caught the attention of the New York Times), that rules for election donations and political party funding in British Columbia (BC) might rival behavior in North Dakota (this is the same formula for all the resource hinterland extraction areas needed to fulfill the demands of the ultra-consumerist West). In particular among the Liberal Party’s biggest donors last election were Imperial Metals (after whence they had their massive mine tailings spill in Beautiful BC), and (wait for it, as this will sound off by article’s end like a gong) a foreign multinational shat out of Enron’s carcass named Kinder Morgan. Murray Edwards himself hosted a million dollar funding [election] campaign luncheon for the BC Liberals in Alberta:

“When British Columbia’s Liberal Premier, Christy Clark, was in danger of losing last spring’s election, Edwards helped sponsor a fundraiser in Calgary; he advised Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the controversial takeover last year of Nexen Inc. by China’s CNOOC Ltd. and on future foreign investment by state-owned enterprises; he was instrumental in clenching a deal with Jean Chretien in 2003 that limited the oil sands’ financial exposure to the Kyoto Accord on greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, he co-hosted a tour of the oil sands for Warren Buffett [together with Bill Gates], one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s top advisors who has since invested in oil sands producers Suncor Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.” – National Post

In light of the need for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline to furnish shipment of Alberta diluted bitumen to Vancouver’s ports (for export beyond, which newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau just granted them), this should be as incontrovertible in its logic as basic addition. When the price of “dilbit” is depressed, the product is being exported out of Vancouver by Kinder Morgan to California. As we of BC know all too well, California’s consumer demands are truly inexhaustible.

The year Bill Gates was raking in his peak oil by rail profits (2013) “just happened” to be the same year that US records showed that rail related oil spills were more frequent in that one year than had occurred in the four decades prior, (bear in mind CN transports in the US), -and accidents at CN’s newly acquired (and thereby privatized) BC Rail went up 21%. US rail clocked in 88 oil by rail accidents for 2013 while oil by rail in the US “increased by 423 percent between 2011 and 2012 and in 2013 had surpassed 400,000 rail carloads per year.” CN used backed to work legislation on its workers seven times, who were suffering from exhaustion and genuinely worried about safety. Rail on both sides of the border prioritized oil by rail to the point that grain transport was severely constrained. (Ranchers on Vancouver Island were three days away from having no grain for their cattle during a year with a 60% grain surplus, a boom crop that sat in silos.) It was so bad General Mills complained to the Federal Government of factory shutdowns due to lack of grain. And then fortunes began to shift. 2014 was the year Bill Gates’ CN basically graduated to being a gong show on rails (derailments soared 73% that year), but his profits pulled ahead of Buffett’s BNSF.

one-gates-bono

I suppose you might be wondering why I’m inserting Bill Gates into the fray, but the answer’s obvious, as in herein lies the crux. It is Bill Gates who has succeeded in turning Bono’s philanthropic endeavors into pure philanthrowash of he and Buffett’s investments. After all, ONE was Gates’ brainchild as much or more than it was Bono’s. Bono’s ONE and RED are more or less Gates Foundation funded affairs, (with 81% of ONE’s budget dedicated purely to generating awareness). This obviously cuts both ways, i.e., in generating awareness for the funding target, it simultaneously generates a benevolent awareness about the funders. There are years when half ONE’s funding has been from Gates Foundation, and with ONE’s  $31.8 million dollar budget for 2014, -obviously Gates Foundation’s self-declared $135 million over the years to ONE is not insignificant. Gates Foundation’s beneficence to RED (that flagship of “consumer activism”) is not insignificant either. This was the Gates Foundation funding grant Bono rapturously announced out of Davos next to a grinning Gates on a snowy alpine slope for January, 2016 on RED’s Facebook home page.

Singer of Irish band U2, Bono (L) poses with Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 22, 2016 in Davos to mark the 10 years of (RED). Launched at Davos in 2006, (RED) has raised $350 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, impacting 60 million lives. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Singer of Irish band U2, Bono (L) poses with Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 22, 2016 in Davos to mark the 10 years of (RED). FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

bono-1-getty

Back in 2006 Buffett matched Gates Foundation’s funding 50%, to the tune of $30 billion -which he gives them incrementally in Berkshire Hathaway shares at a rate of 5% annually, -which brings us right back to the beginning financials I labored to show you, because that’s right, 54% of Gates Foundation portfolio is Berkshire Hathaway stock (2nd quarter, 2015). The second ranking in the portfolio, CN, is only 5.81%. (This puts Gates Foundation’s BH holding at 58% with CN as the third ranked investment for the third quarter, 2016.) This means in fact Bono’s RED and ONE were indirect but definite financial beneficiaries of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

 

Furthermore, Bill Gates has been sitting on Berkshire’s Hathaway’s Board of Directors since 2005. So it’s literally impossible he doesn’t know about the goings on with DAPL stakeholder Phillips 66, -he was there seven years before they even existed. It’s literally impossible that he has not decided upon the entire course of this DAPL investment, yet you’ve never heard of the connection. Furthermore, it should begin to dawn you that there cannot exist such two disparate sides to the same coin. They are inherently incompatible. You are either charitable or predatory. They are mutually exclusive. From a PR standpoint, now you know exactly why Bill Gates went all out this Christmas as Secret Santa on reddit.  He had something very big to hide, -that Warren Buffett’s beneficence in the way of Berkshire Hathaway shares meant over half of Gates Foundation’s portfolio was invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline via Phillips 66, making him a very big investor indeed (much bigger than Trump ever was), -and that given his directorship in the company, he not only was apprised of every detail, he was in charge. He had surely overseen the purchase and continually approved of it given he was on Berkshire Hathaway’s Board of Directors long enough to have overseen and approved the attainment of majority control of Phillips 66[6], thoughit had been Buffett’s acquisition all along,  -and definitely his favorite.

When it comes to Berkshire Hathaway, Bill Gates was still buying in as of December 2015.  (Coincidentally this was the month Congress lifted the 40 year ban on oil export out of the US.)

Phillips 66 was still Buffett’s big stake, even with #NoDAPL going on. (The protest began April, 2016.)
Seeing as North Dakota state’s corruption was at a level where his BNSF Bakken bomb trains were simply a matter of zero concern (Heimdal included, which again was the new generation rail cars), clearly there was no reason to worry. (Maybe it was that North Dakota knew it needed the Dakota Access Pipeline at any cost. All its spectacular rail accidents went eastward and the pipeline went south of Chicago.)

#Cringemas was one of RED’s promotional twitter hashtags for #shopathon December 2016 (the youtube online gamer portion), -a RED campaign that was matched by the Gates Foundation to the tune of $78 million.) While RED’s page for this bears no date, you can take it from me that this was announced in conjunction with RED’s Shopathon launched on December 1st, 2016. #Cringemas it is! –#Cringemas is arms lost to the 1%. Sophia Wolansky sure could have used Secret Santa’s help for her two years of reconstructive surgery; her father was trying to crowd fund it just before RED kicked off on Jimmy Kimmelwith their Gates Foundation matched #Shopathon funding drive. With his usual canniness, Bono launched RED’s spending drive on Jimmy Kimmel by resurrecting Mac Phisto (a play on Mephistopheles, meaning he came out as the Devil) for the first time since 1993 (when he actually was a bit dangerous). Mac Phisto entered the “REDtm Pack” little celebrity sing a long ditty “We’re Going to Hell” (with celebrities he’d managed to gull into the celebrity contest portion of RED’s promotion) with the opening line “welcome in to my cauldron of sin”. (The’s song title is, from a planetary perspective (if you know the Biblical mistranslation involved), literal.) This exact same promotion using meet celebrity contests you paid to play (you could throw the thing with entries of up to $25 000, which was commensurate to the number of entries you received) was launched last year. That announcement was made on U2’s official Facebook; -the brand-bleed crossover was officially begun, and officially offensive. Those celebrity stakes included a chance to bike ride with Bono, the promotion of which was through U2’s FB site. (U2’s FB announced the happy winner.) As of December 2015 they were now targeting U2 fans as the fundraiser, but last year’s was the first disclosure this was all being officially matched by Gates Foundation, as the entirety of RED’s funding drives had been for 2016. This time, you could meet the entire band and have them play for you exclusively.

Bill Gates surely would have known the #NoDAPL protest suppression was completely off the chain by the time of U2/RED’s 2016 Shopathon, just as it’s surely known Sophia’s never going to get a Secret Santa down her chimney. In fact the Guardian’s hit piece targeting Trump as an investor was timed to target the blame after the attack dogs had been deployed. Actually it was right on cue with when police and military moved on the Oceti Sakowin camp141 arrests followed.  The attack dogs were unleashed by private security, but they weren’t the ones who got kenneled. We got to find out who they were and that they weren’t licensed to work in North Dakota and were from out of state and may be criminally liable, but we never get to hear who hires them. The Guardian will only repeat Trump’s nigh bogus connection to the project.

However, in terms of modus operandi (if not involvement), BNSF was already using private police to perform arrests in Washington State at protest blockades and they were already being blockaded there by climate protests. The public was much more aware of the oil by rail issue than the media gave credit.

#NoDAPL would prove to be the rumble, and why would it not? It was the place and tribes who wiped Custer off the face of the earth Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, ground zero of the longest war in American history, in a manner of speaking. The strongest point of Native American resistance, against which a grudge was held ever since. In truth it was the Seven Fires Council who wiped out Custer. #NoDAPL was the first time in 150 years they reconvened (since 1867 –at 0:45) #NoDAPL was a treaty dispute over lands the tribes first relented to being confined to by the US in the Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1851. While the reservation tract is much smaller than that original territory agreement thanks to the second Treaty of 1868, they never surrendered hunting or fishing rights, nor water rights over the land reserved for them in the Treaty of Fort Laramie and the land is unceded meaning “owned by the Sioux, outside of the reservation.” “Almost the entire pipeline from the source to the river” the Treaty of 1868 defined as “unceded.”

This doesn’t quite gel with Obama’s statement that “the pipeline cuts too close to tribal lands in North Dakota.” It’s true the land is outside of the reservation. The Federal government tried to force the issue by giving them money for the land, which the Sioux refused. The Federal government is still sitting on over a billion dollars in trust for that land, that the Sioux still refuse, demanding to retain title. They never let it go. Despite their impoverishment, they never took the money. Obama fed the misapprehension about the Treaty deliberately. He did everything he possibly humanly could to kick the ball and the entire issue past his tenure in avoidance of the interests of his billionaire sponsors, to a president who would surely vet the DAPL, while the injuries, arrests and camp population mounted. He abandoned the issue to brute force by rumble. Of course he was going to vet the pipeline come hell or high water. He as well as anyone else could see where the bomb trains situation was headed.

The Army Corps of Engineers is involved only due to land expropriated from the tribe against their wishes to build the dam that created Lake Oahe. (The dam was just outside the reservation. The USACE expropriated the land inside the reservation to remove several native communities that would be submerged due to the flooding.) But the tribe accepted the monies offered by the Federal Government decades later for that incursion, so they no longer have a leg to stand on on that one.

The Black Snake is what Lakota people call the Dakota Access Pipeline. It will extinguish the world. For a people who have endured the end of their way of life so many times, who can doubt the truth of their vision, which coincides with scientific truth about the relationship of fossil fuels to catastrophic climate change?” – New York Times

In keeping with a rumble, police were brought in from seven states under an emergency assistance clause (for natural disasters) enacted under Bill Clinton. A security force named TigerSwan who collaborated with Blackwater and was a sub-contractor in the Iraq occupation was brought in to gather intelligence and oversee security. Private security forces brought the usual roster of agent provocateurs. Water cannons were used on 400 water protectors in freezing temperatures at night. Arrests exceeded 600. When 2000 veterans were set to arrive the day before eviction of the camp (set for December 5th), Army Corps of Engineers suddenly announced they were denying the easement through Lake Oahe.  (WP still couldn’t resist braying about Trump’s investment whenever they ran a piece.) It’s like the Army Corps switched sides. (As for the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) notice of intent the Tribe was waiting for, that was announced on January 18th.) Public input as to why an EIS was needed was being accepted until February 20th. But the the USACE reversed themselves again and declared, after Trump’s executive order, that they intend to grant the easement. The EIS is aborted the moment they do.

bono-clinton

Upon USACE’s denial of the Lake Oahe easement, Energy Transfer Partners LLC and Sunoco immediately issued a formal statement. In it they stated they were still “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” Phillips 66, the 25% stakeholder, was notably absent. For some reason they were evading publicity, or putting their stamp on any response, even though they were players.

The entire #NoDAPL protest was (and is) a win-win for Buffett. It delays the pipeline sufficiently long enough to keep boosting his flagging oil by rail shipment, but even if the Standing Rock protestors win their re-route (which was about all you could hope for with the pipeline over 90% complete), he is still going to profit from the pipeline regardless, a pipeline he was forced to diversify into because oil by rail has proven so manifestly unsafe. Even Buffett can register a mushroom cloud for what it means.

This is the world we live in. Callous corporate indifference (structured into governance as we now know with the entire State of North Dakota, with their mighty and brutal enforcement) is compensated for by the appearance of DAPL investor Bill Gates acting as random reddit Secret Santa, though the general public has no clue they bear any relation. That’s the point. They are only supposed to be aware of Secret Santa. Gates himself knew though. In much the same manner the billionaire class purported to be of conscience ‘compensate’ for profiting off global depredation of the planet by funding philanthropic foundations utterly hamstrung by the implementation of their benefactor’s ideology, the PR equivalent is Secret Santa. In the same manner and same respects, philanthropy can never and in no way compensates for planetary depredation. We are dealing with two of the eight richest men on the planet, who possess the same amount of wealth as the lower half of human kind. Think then on what that means if we calculated each of these individuals’ true ecological human footprint, which certainly provides an indicator that all it not well. (According to this critique, our collective human footprint would be worse than 1.5 earths, and it’s all down to deforestation and carbon.) We are dealing with the existential apex of individualism, the very essence of what we’ve internalized so much we can’t break away from it, the very nature of “Consumer Hell”. Is there any compensation this precious minority of eight can provide to the 50% of the human race that somehow or in any way compensates for their acquisition, unique to all of human history and more serious to the planet than it’s ever been when we’re dealing with the specter of catastrophic climate change? No, they could never come close. In short, you can’t save Africa when you’re invested in cooking Africa, i.e., sunk bigger than practically anyone into the Dakota Access Pipeline.

gates-buffett-laughing

According to this latest figure, Gates Foundation was invested in Berkshire Hathaway at $10.74 billion.  Buffett’s sunk Berkshire Hathaway over $6.8 billion into the Dakota Access Pipeline. 15.77% of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio has majority control of Phillips 66 (22%). That’s the equivalent of a $1.69 billion investment in Phillips 66 on the part of the Gates Foundation. The entire climate movement (it doesn’t merit the term ‘protest’) had you chasing after a list of parties (who were loaning/financing the pipeline, not investors) at under the under $600 million mark, down to a paltry $30 million. You wanna Boycott? GOOD. You start with Warren Buffett. And you wallop those philanthropies with a  good ol’ counter awareness campaign, -especially the ones where that’s all they’re good at in the first place. YOU BLOODY PRIORITIZE according to THE BLEEDING MATHs. The Guardian/350.org/tcktcktck consortium of climate “activism” (which doesn’t merit the term resistance), -their “keep it in the ground” campaign’s entire focus was the $722 million Gates Foundation had invested in fossil fuel corporations, one tar sands operation included.

 

PART 3

Image VS. Reality: -Plus What’s Wrong with the DAPL 

 

Fifty years of tailings mismanagement in Alberta: How did we get here, and where are we headed? – The Pembina Institute

What is it to be invested in the tar sands boom, even in the more tertiary form of capitalizing on its shipment? The tar sands’ other output is over 176 km of open toxic tailing ponds  that are death to migratory birds, will be death of the Athabasca River they sit next to the moment we have a sufficient flash flood  (as they are now providing slow death by seepage since there is no impermeable shield between the toxic ponds and the soil), and provide death to the people living there. I suppose you didn’t know this is all sitting on the Athabasca River, which is a tributary of the 2nd largest watershed basin in NA next to the Mississippi, -the Mackenzie. -Good one! The Federal Government of Canada knows all of this, and has deemed it to be in our best interest. -Whose interest, precisely? Surely not Fort McMurray’s, the tar sands boom town where you can make over $100 000 grand per annum with a high school diploma. It just went up in flames last spring (the wildfire precluded the official start of fire season by starting in May) due to the brand new climatologically induced raging wildfire regime consuming the North. This one was of such severity it was dubbed ‘“The Beast”. It was the largest fire driven evacuation in Alberta’s history. It generated its own super cells, winds and created its own lightning. It leapt the Athabasca River and was clocked moving at 30 to 40 meters per second, reaching temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celcius. It consumed nearly 600 000 Ha and made it into Saskatchewan. It now lies smoldering underground in the peat, waiting to resurrect this spring. -That’s a real problem with northern fires. -Ask Alaska.

Welcome to the dilbit/frack billionaires’ not so invisible, off-set costs (visible from space) that are absorbed by society and the environment at large. These are the self-same billionaires who regard divestment from fossil fuels as a “false solution”.  (He’s right but for the opposite reason, it’s the very least of what should be done. Face it, no one who sinks themselves into rail just because of the tar sands/shale boom is going to think divestment is the solution! Get Real!)

The Gates Foundation has a history of responding to public pressure, while simultaneously not admitting they are responding to public pressure.” -It took protests outside their Seattle office every day (for months), a petition signed by over 300 000 as part of The Guardian’s “keep it in the ground” campaign; (which took no notice of CN, or whether Gates might be otherwise privately invested, in which case the Gates Foundation divesting might simply have been a PR exercise). Gates eventually listened (not 100%, but kudos for divesting from the big one: Exxon at $662 million). Honestly given the fall out of events and when in the timeline protests would have even had to be engaged in on the DAPL to even be effectual from a climactic standpoint (when instead we ended up in this brutal confrontational mess because these investors (not to mention the corrupt state of North Dakota) were treated with total kid gloves all this time), what good did the climate movement do -? They missed Gates Foundation’s biggest/worst investment by a mile (the DAPL), literally until there was no chance of stopping it. You’d think if tcktcktck was serious about their divestment campaign launched at the Gates Foundation, they could have landed on a lightning rod of an issue like #NoDAPL. It had all the right stuff from a PR perspective. How on earth if this is your campaign do you miss this? Oh, wait

How can Bill McKibben even claim he’s serious about this?! Oh, wait

Ha-ha-ha!

Are you seriously going to tell me that not one of these campaigns, focused on precisely the investor issue, -when it involved one of the most headline grabbing protests we’ve seen in years, (forget the somnolent the media, the Gates Foundation funds The Guardian’s Global Initiative page), simply didn’t notice who the investor was? All those announcements were going on that Buffett was investing hand over fist in Phillips66 the entire period. They were all over the financial news. Everyone knew he bankrolled Gates Foundation by half. If the environmental groups coordinating the climate divestment campaigns are this incompetent at their calling, we might as well all go bury ourselves right now. It’s no wonder Bill Gates responded by telling them how redundant their divestment campaign is if they can’t even follow the money. Big Hint: They’d missed the oil by rail boom to begin with. It showed they weren’t serious, in just the same manner none of us are serious enough about our habits of consumption. They weren’t by design.

The fact that all of the above was going on and you never heard of the connection; -you heard plenty about Bono and the benevolence exacted by ONE and RED and their benefactors, should be enough for you to register how philanthrowashing works on behalf of the benefactors more than those they’re benefitting. If not, watch and learn, -because I am going to show you how this works with the transition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. You should recognize that the entire transpiration above was effectively philanthro-washed by Bono’s philanthropic endeavors already, because those philanthropic efforts being bankrolled by the above billionaires are what you heard about, -not the sordid actions of their investments that were bankrolling those endeavors. That’s what human “superbrands” like Bono are for.  Philanthro-washing is for providing a subtext of sanctity and doing good so impervious that the entire host of media will simply self censor as they’re simply overwhelmed in the face of your good image. They find it unassailable. Who on earth is willing to jeopardize their career in order to be such a churl as to challenge the most generous and charitable billionaire on earth?

However, that is not simply what is going on in the philanthropic endeavor of Mr. Gates, who is literally curating the image of the Gates Foundation through coordinated funding that works as a stranglehold preserving self-censorship within the most laudatory founts of what we consider the liberal/left media.  Read the list of Media Partners, “New York Times, NPR, the Guardian, NBC, Seattle Times and a number of other news organizations, non-profit groups and foundations. Not all were grant recipients, or partners. Some just came to consult.” It goes without saying this is ripe for investigative reportage, and I’m sure this is not happening because it is, outside of those favored, decidedly opaque. That it will never happen among those with access goes without saying. I’d like to know who everyone is on that list and what their basis for invitation is myself. (It also indicates that if Trump’s defunding plan succeeds, NPR will likely be in the Gates Foundation’s pocket. Let the partisan media wars begin, -except that Obama thought it perfectly fine to create a Federal propaganda division and hand it off to Trump after he won.)

Voila, there’s the New York Times at the top of the list! This self censorship (after all, you don’t get any Gates Foundation funding if you say anything negative about Gates Foundation or their sponsor) protected Buffett and kept them from touching the bomb trains when NYT did their two part expose on the Bakken and North Dakota state corruption, which has already been demonstrated to extend the bomb trains themselves.The point is the New York Times wouldn’t investigate or touch it, even though the incautious shipping and total absence of regulation on what was effectively a new hazardous substance (they left Canada none the wiser about) resulted in 47 dead. New York Times’ censorship is so strong on the matter that you can’t post a comment pertaining to the bomb trains that mentions either Gates or Buffett by name. I know because I tried, and I tried the same reply to a second individual without their names immediately after it did not work (three times). Without their names, the same text and links posted.

Now it is true that North Dakota State avoids direct culpability for the bomb trains since regulation of rail shipment is a federal concern (they could have petitioned the Feds, of course), but there’s no evasion possible on DAPL’s enforcement, –isn’t it lovely? -Incidentally, here’s a lovely 25 point chart of everything wrong with DAPL’s construction plan under Lake Oahe as stands by an engineer with a life time career in the business listing the flaws in the original Environmental Assessment (EA) in order to ram through DAPL’s permission. (His name is Steve Martin. His full report on behalf of the tribe fighting the DAPL in court has just been released.) A full Environmental Impact Study was avoided by the DAPL consortium making their applications for the pipeline piecemeal. They did this deliberately to avoid the much more stringent Environmental Impact Study (EIS, -called elsewhere “Environmental Impact Statement”). This is something North Dakota State could have easily called them on, demanding an EIS be done. Steve Martin has more to say about what’s wrong with the DAPL, in the main pointing out how much more the installation of an underground pipeline is compounded by the length under a water body, and safer relative to the distance being shorter, and how this hampers detection systems for leaks. When they’re allowing much worse projects by Phillips 66 to fly (the pipeline under Lake Sakakawea that endangers the drinking water of several North Dakota cities; Steve Martin has plenty more to say about the design flaws and danger on this -namely when longer HDD tunnels are done, there is no protection of the pipe possible in construction (i.e., casing), plus the danger of hydrofracture increases during installation relative to length) -if North Dakota State is granting permission on pipelines like these, it’s not like they care. No one cared about the Phillips 66 pipeline under Lake Sacagawea (Native spelling) in North Dakota, which has already been whistle blown for shoddy construction. Once it’s under, it’s done. There’s no going back. This pipeline is set to service a rail terminal for BNSF trains, so you never heard of it. The Natives didn’t protest that one. They bought in. (In keeping with our touchstone, consider that your real Route 66[6].)

You can ask a large margin of those who voted for Trump about how and why this could have happened. They were revolted and disgusted by the collusion that went into making Buffett and Gates rail barons that could corner oil shipment into oil by rail using the Keystone protest, bomb trains and all. To them it’s just an adjunct conspiracy to their climate change denial, because pipelines were better (the truth is pipelines also have serious problems with the highly corrosive nature of dilbit). On the Republican side, the rail monopolization of oil transport by the Democrats’ favorite billionaires is broadly public knowledge. The billionaire cronyism relationship on exhibit between Buffett and the ruling Democratic Party, Obama, and Hillary Clinton was a factor in their loss.  And they were right on that count.

warren-buffett-advice-for-2015-4-638

The philanthrowash effort in Buffett’s hands is also a lucrative greenwash; it included the protracted foundation funding by Buffett through Novo and Tides Foundation to manufacture the 350.org movement  in order to attenuate and direct the environmental movement towards the Keystone pipeline because that would secure his and Gates’ oil by rail profits. There is also a decidedly partisan connection between Buffett and Bill McKibben, and Bono as well. Between them is the confluence of the neoliberal. Neoliberal is an epithet to me because this is what they are. These are the crimes committed on their watch. They are partisan first, and that means they are not environmental, in fact all ideological cause is subborned to that of the market, and the market’s main driver in America, -making war. This makes them the very opposite of their purported causes, the covert sanction of everything rejected by the Left hiding under the skirt of identity politics.

OK, so in case you’re just too lazy to hop links or too busy read a five part series, in a nutshell McKibben’s 350.org is tied directly to Buffett through his Novo Foundation’s funding of the Tides Foundation, which funds 350.org. Which is bloody brilliant, because it channeled all climate activism to the Keystone XL (when it was already too late to protest that one’s completion as well), which should have aroused the question “Who benefits?” It sure explains a lot at any rate. Like how you could magically de-prioritize the investor who’s into the DAPL for $6.8 freaking billion as unmentionable and invisible. I’m sure the fact that, after all, he’s the one giving you the money surely helps. The #NoDAPL protest marks the second time Bill McKibben’s coordination or involvement with a pipeline protest has directly benefitted Buffett’s economic interests.

Here, asked point blank by Amy Goodman where Hillary Clinton stood on the DAPL, he actually declared “One has no idea.” He also remained true to the formula of mentioning only one of the corporations with a stake in the DAPL (albeit the majority one) -Energy Transfer Partners LLC. But that keeps anyone from landing on Phillips 66’s connection to Warren Buffett in an inter-webs search, -that is if they aren’t drowned by Trump articles in the attempt anyhow. McKibben’s main function in this regard is to insure the water gets deep enough you’ll never touch bottom. Anyone remotely aware of Buffett stumping for Hillary on the campaign trail (or any of the above) should have fallen on the floor laughing at McKibben’s reply to Amy. Really, you kill me. When Clinton finally managed a tepid statement on the DAPL, -a statement that had been literally forced from her by a #NoDAPL protest at her campaign headquarters which she steadfastly ignored, not even accepting a letter, McKibben finally managed to bark a single tweet. McKibben did not even bother with repudiation he should have been well capable of, namely her affiliation and donor support from one of DAPL’s biggest investors, who had been Obama’s biggest individual donor for his 2012 election campaign. Buffett “approves of Trump’s cabinet ‘overwhelmingly’”, by the way.

Between them (Buffett, Gates, and their Bono AIDs charity charm offensive on the one hand, with Bill McKibben flying wingman one the other), it’s no damn wonder you’ve never heard a damn thing about this. Cory Morningstar has provided in depth coverage of Buffett and the “Democrat” (neoliberal) administration’s attenuation of the environmental climate movement. I am going to provide you with some indicator of how Bill Gates turning the media into media partners effectively helped silence the press on their connections to the Dakota Access Pipeline, maybe even to the extent of actively thrusting Trump into the position of drowning the search algorithms to the point you’d never, ever find out just who had control of Phillips 66. Omission in the press means the general public never lights upon the terms to search for. The thrust of the Trump story, and story it was given the relative scale of the investments, was designed to insure what terms were searched and what terms weren’t. Furthermore, Buffett’s foundation funding insures that not only the media are in collusion downplaying the #NoDAPL protest thanks to participating as Gates Foundation “Media Partners” (this in addition to completely avoiding the perpetrators they are protesting), -it is, through its funding control of environmental groups, actually shown to be damaging to the climate change resistance movement (see the above wrongkindofgreen urls, but I’m going to pull some explicit examples for you of how this is attenuated in the press), and most especially damaging to the indigenous resistance movement.

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This is highlighted by the spectrum of Bill McKibben’s public interviews on #NoDAPL, especially with The Guardian, who launched the Trump DAPL investment story in the final election heat of 2016, after Trump had already divested. They did this after Washington Post already had gone on record showing this just three days before. The Guardian performed this fake expose that was echo-chambered around the entire leftist media in the last heat of the election (and still is). Just keep reminding yourself, the Gates Foundation is responsible for funding The Guardian’s Global Initiative section.

guardian gates

Then I’m going to show that while Bono may have easily been unaware about this entire business about the bomb trains and the DAPL investment, (which he could and should have known), he’s certainly over a barrel, because it’s fairly demonstrative that RED is, as per the very nature of “consumer activism” a philanthro-washing outfit, and it doesn’t take too much to show you.

 

PART 4

RED is a Philanthro-washing Operation, -Plus Everything Bill McKibben Insured You Did Not Know

 

So what makes RED a philanthrowasing outfit? Let’s begin with the declaration from RED’s official site that a percentile of all corporation affiliated RED products you buy go directly to the Global Fund (all of it -RED claims this can be up to 50% of a purchase, but this is effectively not disclosed), -and 50% percent of those sales revenues go to fight AIDS, and that over its course RED has managed to raise $365 million in this manner. This is a report that was attempted on how that all worked in 2009, when the monies raised by RED stood at $135 million. The monies the corporations claimed as going to the RED cause were simply sequestered from their pre-existing marketing budgets. It short for them the RED cause was a marketing campaign based on human lives; granting them life was really their PR promotion for themselves. These corporations would not disclose the amount of sales that were apportioned to RED. Rather than just contributing to the cause directly themselves by donating, they commandeered witless consumers to spend on their product to do it, while adding a small cut. This is called consumer activism.

un-gates-buffett

Let’s consider Apple, who is hailed in the afore-referenced link announcing RED’s funding January 2016 as a “founding partner” who has since raised $110 million for the cause. Apple is one of the biggest tax evaders on the planet, along with Microsoft, and most of the Silicon Valley corporations sitting here at Trump’s table. (This includes Facebook, who Bono was an invitation only investor of before the stock opened to the public (it made him a mint); -incidentally Facebook’s lead independent Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Gates Foundation.) They have collectively managed to evade US taxes to the tune of $560 billion. A not insignificant number of these (including Google and Facebook) are based out of Ireland expressly for the purpose of evading taxes in the EU. In fact it was Apple who was penalized for this just recently with the largest settlement the EU has ever exacted for tax evasion, and they were ordered to give Ireland restitution to the tune of $13 billion with interest (which put it over $14 billion). According to the press release on the penalty, Apple’s exclusive Irish tax rate steadily declined from 1% to 0.5%, -coinciding rather remarkably with the period that U2 were shilling expensive, exclusive Apple iPods with their entire song catalogue on them. (With countrymen like this, who needs enemies?)

I’m not sure whether this qualifies the band as uncultured, uneducated, social media Luddites, or just plain naive at this point, so I’ll just stick with my true epithet, as it looks like we’ve found what Bono truly believes in, which is philanthro-washing tax evaders at fractions of pennies to the dollar giving them wonderful RED PR out of their already allocated marketing budget to drape themselves in the red cloak of sanctity of charitable life giving operations, while getting consumers to foot most of the bill, which serves to increase their total sales revenue (win-win-win as PR coup), -whilst simultaneously utterly reneging on social contract with tax evasion that is wholesale divestment of society of astronomical amounts of revenue (not just of nations but entire continents) that would otherwise provide for the population they still manage to convince to spend money on them, by making them feel all warm and fuzzy about themselves because they chose this purchase for RED in order to save lives. That divestiture is in the billions to one, and these corporations have decided where their substituted penny tokenism goes, not governance, and not society. Bono hails this as consumer activism, when it’s really just the targeted exploitation of human conscience in a deliberate displacement designed to maintain corporate total divestment of the consumers themselves. Of course, Apple is one of Warren Buffett’s high dividend stocks. And of course, it looks like Apple will get their US tax break, -from Trump.

I think you can see where this is going, so let’s return our attention to Bill McKibben.

McKibben struck next with a “thought piece” on Grist, apparently designed to develop empathy towards the Native American resistance that created the #NoDAPL protest, as well attempting to ground it in a sense of history, titled “After 525 years, it’s time to actually listen to Native Americans”. He goes onto to instruct the general public to Google “Wounded Knee”, “Custer”, “Washita River”, and “Pine Ridge.” While I’m sure the general public needs an overview, only Custer was directly pertinent to the #NoDAPL location in North Dakota, having suffered the defeat of The Battle of Little Bighorn of 1876 on the bank of the Greasy Grass River (-tributary of the Missouri River, -even rock band the The Black Crowes know the name of this river for this reason, which has since been reduced to Greasy Creek). And if Bill Mckibben was advocating for empathic awareness and unity with the natives on this issue, you would think instead of mentioning the white man involved, he could have had the grace or knowledge to mention who some of the Native historic actors in this defeat were, namely Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. (Canadian musician Neil Young knows who Crazy Horse is.) This helps evade what this confrontation is rooted in, which is Native American warrior culture. This is not rooted in the civil disobedience pacifism defining the civil rights movement. However it may define itself now, it’s an entirely different resistance movement, definitely rooted in something else, and the defeat of Custer was their greatest victory.

standing-rock

Wounded Knee took place in South Dakota. The Washita River massacre took place in Oklahoma. The Pine Ridge Reservation is in South Dakota, and while it brings up the Treaty of Fort Laramie, you’d be left with no clue at all THAT THIS IS THE TREATY AT ISSUE in the #NoDAPL protest. It is no disservice to reference all this, not at all. The problem is that in allying yourself with a particular Native American cause, you should be aware of its existing roots, and if you’re not providing and sharing that awareness, you’ve defeated the cause by failing to equip the general public to be able to inform themselves of what this contest actually is by exercising their own judgment. If you are aware of these existing roots already (as he well should be in this context), this amounts to a failure in disclosure, a vital one, because it leaves the public ultimately and completely uninformed on this issue that caused this Native American confrontation with North Dakota State at this location in the here and now. There is no mention and no reference whatsoever to the Great Sioux Reservation in North Dakota where this is all taking place, when everyone could have really, really used a map right about now. This from a “Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and a founder of 350.org. He is a member of Grist’s board of directors.” -How nice. As a director, he could have laid out anything he wanted to. He didn’t even mention the Treaty.

-How come a Canadian, Cory Morningstar, is left to provide the history of the Treaty(ies), provide the maps of the existing reservation and the land allocated by the Treaty of Fort Laramie? -How come we know better than you? It’s not a question of superior knowledge, it’s that in devising a statement apparently designed for the public to develop empathy with the Natives, he wasn’t even grounded enough to focus on the background and history of #NoDAPL itself. Which would be a fairly slight slight, -apart from the fact that it left the general public he was purportedly informing completely without compass or reference point, and yet, paradoxically, if they’d followed McKibben’s instructions, feeling completely grounded in what was in fact a total evasion of the issue at hand. Amazing, what?

The implications of this piece are much worse. It takes a Cory Morningstar to not only give you the history, but name all the tribes involved and ground you in the financials of the here and now (as her piece does, Buffett included), including again a realm of scam and fraud over leasing rights to frack, directing you to the frack boom in Fort Berthold Reservation and the Lake Sacagawea (Sakakawea) pipeline. It remains to her to delineate the entire scope of oil and gas (and nuclear) development presently going on in the Bakken, and who benefits, -the sponsor of 350.org twice removed that Bill McKibben will never reference. But worse yet, what is truly astounding about McKibben’s total omission of this pivotal investor behind the DAPL, is that this isn’t, given his massive array of investments, the first time Buffett has targeted a Native American tribe over a Treaty issue for fossil fuel development, or was met with the resistance of several tribes. In particular, Buffett was going head to head with the Lummi Nation in Washington State over the development of a coal port at Cherry Point. Once again it remains to Cory Morningstar to set you straight. This fight also got dirty, with “Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are now laundering funds through the Washington Republican Party to donate to pro-coal candidates for Whatcom County Council.” -Oh. You don’t say.

If Bill McKibben was onside with the Native American cause, he’d bloody mention the opposition, as well as knowing who and what they’re up against elsewhere. It’s not like a new coal port (Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT), for export to China) is an unsuitable point of resistance for the climate movement.

This might be considered a mis-step unless it were patterned behavior, which was indicated when he provided an ultimate capitulation of sorts by way of The Guardian while touting the victory at Standing Rock when USACE denied the last needed easement for completion the DAPL. What’s truly astonishing about this one is that while he touts the alliance of 200 tribal nations that came together and made the #NoDAPL protest win this unprecedented battle, he then doesn’t mention the most significant bi-national tribal alliance that developed in tandem with this resistance, even though he asserts that in the near future, they’re going to be responsible for “Standing Rock North” around two tar sands pipelines in Canada he doesn’t bother to specify at all, namely the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Energy East. If you’re participating in climate resistance, you sure as hell be specific as to the next points of resistance where public participation will prove needful. Indeed one of these, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline had already been the site of multiple arrests at Burnaby Mountain. This is again a catastrophic failure to convey information to the general public, information he is not remiss about. As for the “Canada First Nations” organization he said would be behind the protest but didn’t even bother to name, he himself had retweeted them, knew they were the Treaty Alliance (against the Tar Sands), but here he was not only evading their name but the fact that he knew they had a homepage. This prevented the general public from Googling both the Native center of the pipeline resistance and the prospective pipelines involved. This was particularly true with respects to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly approved less than one week before, so it just had hit the media fan, and both Canada’s environmental and indigenous movements were up in arms. But unless they were already this well informed about Canada, The Guardian’s readership were rendered incapable of putting 2 + 2 together thanks to McKibben. Talk about dropping the ball.

When Canada’s Prime Minister was asked whether he was willing to arrest tribal elders (which is sure to happen), Justin Trudeau’s reply was Canada was a nation under “the rule of law” (15:50). No one in the Liberal government would rebut “a pledge made [two days after Trudeau’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline] by federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr to use Canada’s military to deal with ‘non-peaceful’ anti-pipeline protests” inveighing the government would willingly militarily enforce the Trans Mountain pipeline’s construction against Canada’s First Nations people for the sake of a foreign multinational, Kinder Morgan. (Trudeau’s father is the only Prime Minister to invoke the War Measures Act (basically martial law) outside war time, dubbed the “October Crisis”.)

Given the mass arrests to prevent the logging of virgin coastal temperate rainforest that occurred on the BC coast in the past (namely Clayoquot Sound, the largest civil disobedience action mass arrest site in Canadian history at well over 800 people, -at a site that was pretty inaccessibly remote, yet managed to become a standing camp of over 5000 people, which is really saying something for a nation with a similar population size to California, where the vast majority of those arrested under what were arbitrarily made criminal charges were BC residents), -given the way the people of BC are willing to put themselves on the line for the environment, resistance to the Trans Mountain on the west coast in Canada’s third largest urban center could end up making Standing Rock look small. It may also well prove the biggest challenge the Treaty Alliance has to face. Bill McKibben found neither worth mentioning by name.

McKibben’s gloss over article in The Guardian also meant no one knew how unprecedented the Treaty Alliance is, and was deliberately misleading as to the fact that it is a bi-national alliance that has since expanded to include over 120 Native tribes in both the US and Canada, -not to mention that they all co-signed a Treaty to do it. It has the strength of an actual Treaty between this number of tribes. In all probability McKibben was averse to making any reference to a movement that wasn’t just against a pipeline here or a pipeline there, but had been co-signed to curtail any and all tar sands development, which is again aversion on Bill McKibben’s part to any climate resistance action that’s really real. And again, he avoided framing the confrontation in terms of the real opposition (namely the investors) completely by framing the opposition solely in terms of Trump.

Getting the general public to participate on effectively stopping the DAPL was worth one tweet;  the Women’s March was worth over ten times as much to Bill McKibben. He couldn’t even issue a statement as to what the implication of finally obtaining the EIS declaration of intention meant and what you as a citizen could now do to legally oppose the DAPL. That pivotal discussion was left to YES Magazine.

-I think we’re done now. Let’s finish roasting Bono. Where the eye gazes, it burns; fire is all it sees.

Let’s start with one of RED’s seminal partners (that’s a cool $10 million from them right there ) – Bank of America. Bank of America is indelibly imprinted with the slogan “Too Crooked to Fail”. $10 million seems incredibly generous. $8 million of this was a grant outright, and $2 million was a match fund that would depend on how many people chose to download U2’s “Invisible” song for free in the first 24 hours it launched. (Someone b****-slapped @BofA on twitter about how there should be no $2 million funding cap on this drive; they removed the cap and the result was they ended up matching the drive based on total downloads for a cool $3.1 Mil.)

When you realize that this was launched for the Superbowl and a Superbowl slot would have cost them $4 million for a 30 second commercial slot, and U2 gave them a 4 plus minute slot launched during the Superbowl of impeccable marketing with their name on it for the cause of saving lives, surely, given their patronage was about the equivalent of purchasing papal indulgences in real lives, -surely it was the least they could have done! At that point it just becomes good marketing for Bank of America, which God knows they needed at that moment, after all, this is what they’d done to America. Nor were they going to pay for it, at least not to those they really hurt. Millions of American homeowners got shafted.

The point was, this settlement had just been announced for Bank of America in January. The philanthrowash could not have proven more timely. And compared to how they’d screwed over mortgage securities and compared to the fines levied on them for their crimes, the image makeover RED provided was practically nothing. The settlement for the millions of homeowners they’d destroyed was still in process, and God knows they needed to look charitable before that one came down the pipes. At the going rate, had they purchased the best PR money could buy in the attempt to redress their image on Superbowl Sunday, RED probably cost them less. This is not to impinge on RED’s good deed. Rather it’s pointing out just how little of a good deed it is for a very bad corporation.

This Christmas Season Bank of America helped paint New York Times Square REDtm. This year, Bank of America are subject to the boycott campaign to divest of the banks loaning credit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. They’re in for $350 million.

-It so happens if you look at the list of the seven largest tax evaders in Europe, four of these appear on RED’s corporate partner list in this 2009 article. And that’s not looking into the matter with any scrutiny. One of them likes stripping the Boreal to the tune of 4 billion disposable paper cups annually (as if that’s “normal”).

Yet even Bono managed to outdo himself, by getting named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” precisely for becoming this sort of paragon of “consumer activism”.

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He literally hijacked feminism and made it #brandfeminism, -merely an adjunct to the philanthrowash of his billionaire benefactors and a philanthrowash the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all of #NoDAPL’s brutality, against womenLots of WomenLots and lots of them. We stand with Sophia.  We stand with the women of Standing Rock.

While all these women were being brutalized and Bono was simultaneously receiving his “Woman of the Year” award for successfully performing the philanthrowash of those whose investment was being enforced by this brutality, the whole U2 band put themselves forward as a contest reward where you could meet them this year’s Shopathon, funding matched by Dakota Access Pipeline investor Gates Foundation. Post holiday binge and post Trump, The Edge made a point of performing at the #WomensMarch with Julliette Lewis (who played Mallory in “Natural Born Killers”). It’s like the hijacking of authenticity and resistance is never going to stop. Julliette Lewis sang “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, which no doubt under the existing cirumstances would have been enough to have MLK rolling in his grave.

I wanted to double over and vomit. I wanted to double over and vomit when Lac-Megantic burned alive; I was writing this essay before that happened. Bono’s succeeded in insuring the feeling’s never left.

On January 27th, 2017, it was announced that Gates Foundation declared an intention to “Sell Almost $10 Billion Worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares” (intention does not necessarily mean they will follow through). Wow. Now you know I was right on my numbers, Gr. 5 maths. In fact it appears they’ve been divesting steadily as of September (that’s the latest available update period in share transactions on this page, and the above announcement chronicles the same thing happening as of November). It was even going on as far back as March.

Someone must’ve said ‘Boo’.

“The Gates Foundation has a history of responding to public pressure, while simultaneously not admitting they are responding to public pressure.”

A little late, mate. I think the fact it happened at all means a bill is still due.

So’s RED’s page has no announcement of the winners of this latest and greatest Gates Foundation matched Shopathon shizzle (they’ve probably done it by e-mail). The winners were supposed to be informed on Friday, January 27th. Those winners won’t ever even know what they were actually participating in.

How sexy am I now?” (Since I have a twee bit more identity with this plot line, than U2.)

Your Postscript: Can you even imagine what you’re never going to know now that Bono’s billionaire benefactor also gets to curate Facebook for #fakenews? Bow. Wow.

Canada’s Postscript: An interview with the inventor of human ecological footprint calculus, Bill Rees, provides more proof that economists aren’t engaged in anything akin to reality when discussing carrying capacity. At Bill’s first presentation of his application, an economist gave him this rebuttal:

“’Look, economists have long ago resolved this issue. Carrying capacity has no meaning, whatsoever, because, after all, we can trade. Almost any area, like the lower mainland here has certain resources in surplus. And, if there is anything in short supply then we just sell off what we have in surplus in exchange for what we need, such as food, and thereby we can overcome any local limits to the carrying capacity of the area. And if trade doesn’t work, then there is technology.’ In fact, it’s almost a doctrinaire position in modern economics, that human ingenuity is capable of substituting for almost any good or service provided by nature.”

-Food was and is what BC is in shortage of; 70% of BC’s produce comes from [drought stricken] California. -And here we are about to sink 30 000 acres of prime agricultural land for the Site C dam(capable of feeding at least 1 million people) for electrical power BC residents don’t even need. It’s been asserted the excess power is for export to California. Its immediate use will be for corporations to frack with. It’s other use (potential and logical, given the total illogic of its construction) is so we’ll be perfectly situated for water export in cooperation with NAFTA conditions, -to drought stricken California. Rather than achieving self sufficiency on our own land (by watering agriculture with the river in its very own fertile valley), we’re going to drown the land, just in order to pollute the living f*** out of BC’s North for foreign multinationals to frack, and we’re going to basically rape BC residents’ utility bills and tax rates to do so, just to export the water so California can sell the produce back to us at extortionate prices that will also be accounting for the cost of shipment or our water. Yes, neoliberal Trudeau vetted that one too. Of course, this is what happens to Canada’s third largest public utility (this becomes their notion of sound business) -after they’ve already been privatized and partititioned out to an American consulting firm that only just managed to distance itself from Enron’s carcass. Tallk about poisonous exports maligning Beautiful British Columbia. They’ve succeded in not only destroying our public utility, but using it to destroy the province itself.

-And I’m supposed to be thrilled I’m part of the human race. With corporate globalization structured like this, who needs enemies?

 

[Pamela Williams is the author of The Raydiant Labyrinth, which covers over twenty years of music lyrics (including U2’s) in the interest of delineating a transcendent concept that implies transcendent consciousness, inadvertently participated in by a host of alternative graduated to mainstream artists. U2 was arguably the first. She does not appreciate that their topical nature in her research obliged her attention anymore.  She can be contacted at the book’s website, www.theraydiantlabyrinth.com and exists on twitter as @raysondetre.]

The Nonprofit Industrial Complex’s Role in Imposing Neoliberalism on Public Education

Truthout [Regeneración, The Association of Raza Educators Journal]

July 7, 2015
By Robert D. Skeels

“In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs” (Roy, 2004)

Those ruling society have long utilized non-profits and similar outfits as a means to further their interests, ameliorate their public image, and disseminate their ideologies. Whether we call them Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), or Non-Profit Industrial Complex (NPIC), the era of neoliberalism has seen the role of these private organizations further entrench itself in spaces that used to be that of the public commons. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is in the realm of education policy, where the activities of huge foundations, coupled with the actions of NPIC funded by those foundations, have insidiously begun to displace, replace, and even set the stage for the possible elimination of public education altogether.

Education historian Diane Ravitch opens the chapter entitled “The Billionaire Boys’ Club” in her seminal book (Ravitch 195) with a discussion of the Ford Foundation’s intervention in the so-called “community control” movement as early as 1967. Considered one of the more socially liberal foundations, Ford’s ostensibly good intentioned social engineering ended up exacerbating the problems that undergirded the struggles at the time. Whatever one makes of Ford’s intentions, the fact that they have a long history of being instrumental to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in terms of surveilling social movements is revealing (Incite! Women of Color Against Violence 88). Compared to Ford, modern foundations are far more overt in their political goals – especially their neoliberal agenda, and far more powerful in terms of their influence.

Taking neoliberalism as the modern term describing the “Washington Consensus” policies of deregulation, austerity, and privatization, we can best describe the current assault on public education as “neoliberal corporate education reform.” While a number of arch-reactionary foundations like The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Milken Family Foundation fund neoliberal aims in education, the most influential foundations in terms of advancing school privatization are those that author Joanne Barkan (Barkan, 2011) came to call the Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate. An exhaustive survey of what these three mega-foundations have done to undermine public education nationwide (e.g. The Gates Foundation’s machinations behind the malignant Common Core State Standards) exceeds the scope of this essay. Instead, we will focus on a single city. Perhaps because of its size, or its proximity to The Broad Foundation’s headquarters, Los Angeles has been one of the central fronts on which the neoliberal ideologues have waged their war on public education. Evidenced by the staggering amounts the ruling class spends on school board and related elections, the number of well funded NPICs working as a neoliberal axis, and the collusion of the corporate media, those in power see Los Angeles as a high value target. In a word, it is a microcosm of what is happening to education everywhere.

The Neoliberal Emperor of Los Angeles

In the aforementioned Ravitch chapter, she outlines the “venture philanthropists” most responsible for the manifest neoliberal offensive against education. Discussing track-home real estate mogul, toxic credit default swap purveyor, and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout recipient Eli Broad (rhymes with toad), Ravitch mentions “He created training programs for urban superintendents, high-level managers, principals, and school board members, so as to change the culture and personnel in the nation’s urban districts” (Ravitch 212). The training programs she alludes to are known as The Broad Superintendents Academy and The Broad Residency. Perhaps the most comprehensive resource discussing these programs, their “alumni,” and their corrosive corollary on school systems is “The Broad Report” thebroadreport.blogspot.com. A brief description of these unaccredited and unaccountable programs is that they are facilities to train – for the most part – non-educators in the most callous aspects of neoliberal policy. The foundation then pays districts to let these trainees inflict those policies on communities.

Broad unleashed some of his favorite disciples in his adopted back yard. Matt Hill, John Deasy, and Marshall Tuck, “graduates” of Broad programs, are household names in Los Angeles. Hill is one of many Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administrators who were appointed to, rather than hired by, the district. Under a Broad program that leverages foundation funds to pay for his operatives to work at districts, Hill and many others are surreptitiously placed in key position of power and policy making (Blume, 2009). Hill oversaw a program that gave brand new public school facilities away to private concerns. That program is currently suspended. John Deasy, like Hill, was placed in LAUSD prior to inheriting the Superintendent’s mantle. Deasy was ignominiously forced to resign in the Fall of 2014 for his role in the LAUSD iPad scandal which is currently being investigated by Federal agencies (KPCC, 2014), but not before waging a scorched earth campaign on LAUSD that saw him attacking (and killing several) community programs from Early Education Centers to Adult Education (Skeels, 2012). Broad’s Marshall Tuck was assigned a different track. First he was placed with the Green Dot chain of corporate charter schools, then he went on to manage the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Tuck’s legacy as an agent of neoliberalism is of note. At both organizations Tuck managed to produce entire classes of graduates that saw up to 100% failure on the California State University proficiency exams. Moreover, he was “known for killing Ethnic Studies, Heritage Language programs, and Dual Language programs” (Skeels, May 2014). There are many more corps members at LAUSD and nationwide; Barkan says “Broad casts a long shadow over LA Unified” (Barkan, 2011).

Broad’s oppressive influence on education finds expression in ways outside of his own foundation and training programs. His strategic “investing” (Ravitch 199) of both his and other foundations’ funds in other NPIC allows him to amplify his sway over schools. Perhaps his closest aly in this regard is the United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA). Broad is a member of UWGLA’s The Tocqueville Society Million Dollar Roundtable.

Los Angeles Schools Under Siege by the NPIC

Dr. Cynthia Liu, founder of K-12 News Network, once offered the following on the Broad – UWGLA relationship (Skeels, April 2014):

“The United Way of LA is chief enforcer of Eli Broad’s corporate takeover of public Ed agenda. He’s the reason why I created the term “weaponized philanthropy” to describe how lefty-liberal groups in this city are under his sway. There’s NO good reason on earth the ACLU or LGBT Youth groups would support John Deasy except for the fact that they get money from UWGLA and much of that money comes from Broad.”

The article in which that quote is cited discusses an incident that part and parcel summarizes UWGLA’s role as tax deductible lobbying and public relations firm on behalf of the mega-foundations’ policy advocacy. Unpopular with the community, former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy would face annual calls for his firing. Invariably those calls would be met by an outpouring of support from the corporate media, UWGLA, and the smaller NPICs either funded by, or in close association with UWGLA. In early April 2014 the press was awash with descriptions and depictions of the street in front of LAUSD headquarters blocked by hundreds of desks, supposedly set up by “student demonstrators” in support of Deasy and in protest of the drop out rate. The Los Angeles Times ran photos of the alleged students, who were immediately identified by social justice activists as UWGLA executive staffers Ryan Smith and Jason Mandell (Skeels, April 2014). Student protest exposed as NPIC publicity stunt.

UWGLA doesn’t limit their overt policy advocacy to fraudulent protests. In 2011 they openly lobbied the school board to eliminate one of the very few democratic mechanisms that stood in the way of giving all newly constructed schools to privately managed charter corporations. Professor Ralph E. Shaffer argued vigorously against UWGLA’s acting as an agent for the lucrative charter schools industry in an Op-Ed (Shaffer, 2011). In addition to their own direct political lobbying, UWGLA both funds smaller NPIC to do the same, and forms coalitions with other NPICs who have embraced the fund-to-advocate paradigm in which foundations provide grants in return for specific performance of neoliberal policy advocacy. UWGLA formed the dubious “Don’t Hold Us Back” campaign to attack the teaching profession, and later formed the Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) coalition. CLASS counts among its members other NPIC like Educators for Excellence, Families In Schools, Los Angeles Urban League, TeachPlus, Inner City Struggle and Community Coalition – the latter two funded by UWGLA, the remainders funded by others, including The Gates Foundation and The Annenberg Foundation. All of them support the neoliberal agenda of privatization, deprofessionalizing of teaching, use of discredited teacher evaluation systems, and more.

UWGLA’s political involvement seemingly knows no bounds. In 2011 they funded a “research” (read policy) paper by the less-than-credible fellow neoliberal NPIC – National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) (Skeels, 2011). Their most recent tactic has been to host candidate forums for LAUSD elections, in which the mediators, rules, questions, and format are all carefully crafted to favor the candidates that support the same neoliberal agenda as UWGLA and its funders. Other groups, like the Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate funded Parent Revolution, have used this controlled forum tactic to their advantage. In 2010 former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Parent Revolution Director Ben Austin (moonlighting from his City Attorney job), held forums to push for a series of anti-democratic corporate education reforms that boosted the bottom line of several corporate charter chains (Skeels, 2010).

Those associated with these same foundations and NPIC have raised obscene sums of money for school board candidates supporting the neoliberal corporate education reform agenda. The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission ethics.lacity.org makes most of those records public, and time spent reading 460 Forms and Independent Expenditure listings will dampen the convictions of anyone who claims we live under a democracy. However, despite the neoliberal advocates spending huge sums on their board candidates, they have lost many of those elections in the last decade, leading to what Professor Noam Chomsky says the ruling class considers a “crisis of democracy” (Chomsky 21). In other words, things are starting to look too much like actual democracy for their comfort. In response they are doubling down on the sums they spend on these local elections, and the neoliberal operatives have cynically placed two City Charter Amendments on the March 3, 2015 ballot that would move Los Angeles nonpartisan elections to the same dates as the partisan ones, which would all but eliminate any possibility of community candidates winning against those backed by outside interests.

Charter Schools Are NPIC

Frequently forgotten in discussions of NPIC is the fact that, in California at least, privately managed charter schools are NPIC too. They are run by unelected boards of directors, are typically exempt from large portions of the education code, discriminate against Students with Disabilities (SWD) (Office of the Independent Monitor, 2009), and have myriad other issues. One of the worst issues is the re-segregation of schools, a preexisting problem, but one exacerbated by privatization through charter schools and “choice” ideologies. Professor Antonia Darder addresses this better than anyone (Darder, 2014):

“The rhetoric of choice effectively capitalized upon discourses of “high-risk” students, “achievement gap” anxieties and victim-blaming notions of deficit – all of which have served well to legitimate racialized inequalities and exclusions. Hence, the charter school movement, driven by the logic of the “free market,” became an extension of former mainstream efforts to ensure class imperatives and the continuing segregation of US schools. The slippery use of language here effectively captured the imagination of conservative voters and detracted focus away from the increasing wealth gap. Yet, the rub here is that charter schools encourage the merging of public and private enterprise, distorting or blurring any separation or distinction between the public and private spheres and the moral responsibility of the state to provide for the educational formation of all its children. In the process, the glorification of the free market simultaneously legitimizes the covertly racialized ethos of the capitalist economy and its persistent reproduction and perpetuation of educational inequalities, in the first place. Devoid of institutional critiques of racism, current educational discourses posit a false portrayal for the persistence of school segregation and school failure.”

It is important to use the phrase “privately managed charters” because the deep pocketed charter advocacy NPICs continually bombard the public with the mendacious phrase “public charter schools.” By definition if a charter is run by a non-profit, then it is not public. The United States Census Bureau frames this issue best: “A few “public charter schools” are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private.” (US Census Bureau vi). The more of our schools that are handed over to these private sector organizations, the less agency our communities have, and the more control those espousing neoliberalism have over our lives. Our rulers don’t just want exclusive control over the governance and finances of our schools, they want to control both what is taught and by whom.

Beyond the NPIC

Professor Lois Weiner wrote the following about No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which is applicable to all forms of neoliberal corporate education reform:

“What we need most immediately is for those who see the harm done by NCLB to recognize its political origins in the neoliberal project – and combat the project in its entirety. That requires the determination to reject the will of both political parties who advocate a system of education that leaves children and democracy behind capitalism’s race for greater profits at any cost.” (Weiner 173)

Faced with the unmatched funding and resources the mega-foundations and their attendent NPIC bring to bear, it is somewhat easy to feel overwhelmed. However, oppression breeds resistance. Nationally we have seen groups like United Opt Out and FairTest set the tone against high-stakes standardized testing. Various groups have begun opposing The Gates Foundation’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS), although some of the right-wing opposition is unprincipled and suspect. We discussed above how Los Angeles voters have frequently rejected neoliberal corporate reform candidates, as did the entire California electorate when Broad alumnus Tuck ran for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction seat (hearteningly, Tuck’s Ethnic Studies program shuttering counterparts in Arizona, Tom Horne and John Huppenthal, lost in 2014 as well).

However, there is an affirmative form of resistance led by Association of Raza Educators (ARE) members and their allies that points to a better form of struggle against neoliberalism. The Honorable Jose Lara, Vice President of El Rancho Unified School District Board of Education, worked with his community to pass the very first Ethnic Studies graduation requirement in the State of California. That victory was quickly followed by passage of Ethnic Studies graduation requirements in LAUSD, The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and The Montebello Unified School District. The LAUSD efforts gave birth to the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition www.ethnicstudiesnow.com, which has become a nexus for community organizing, student-led conferences, and a rallying point for the efforts to enshrine the Ethnic Studies graduation requirement as California State law.

The Ethnic Studies struggles are significant for several reasons. The first of which is that little or no assistance came from NPIC, proving that effective, community based organizing does not require foundation money, or “professionalized, businesslike” (Incite! 95) organizers. Moreover, Ethnic Studies are the antithesis of the neoliberal ideals, particularly the subtle white supremacism underlying CCSS, which was crafted from E. D. Hirsch, Jr.’s “core knowledge” concepts. Lastly Ethnic Studies opens the door for exposure to Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Studies, and other scholarship that will provide students with the tools to directly confront neoliberalism, the socio-economic structures that coined it, and the rulers of our class society that have imposed it. Paulo Freire called on us to reject neoliberalism:

“We need to say no to the neoliberal fatalism that we are witnessing at the end of this century, informed by the ethics of the market, an ethics in which a minority makes most profits against the lives of the majority. In other words, those who cannot compete, die. This is a perverse ethics that, in fact, lacks ethics. I insist on saying that I continue to be human…I would then remain the last educator in the world to say no: I do not accept…history as determinism. I embrace history as possibility [where] we can demystify the evil in the perverse fatalism that characterizes the neoliberal discourse in the end of this century.” (Freire 25)

Educating ourselves in critical theory, and joining organizations that allow us to collectively resist both neoliberalism and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, are powerful ways that we can refuse to accept history as determinism.

References:

Barkan, Joanne. “Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools.” Dissent Magazine., Winter 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Blume, Howard. “Key L.A. Unied sta positions are funded privately” Los Angeles Times. 16 Dec. 2009. Web. 20 Feb. 2015

Chomsky, Noam. Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002. Print.

Darder, Antonia. “Racism and the Charter School Movement: Unveiling the Myths.” Truthout., 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000. Print.

Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (ed.). The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Prot Industrial Complex. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press, 2007. Print.

KPCC Sta. LAUSD iPads: Federal grand jury probes after FBI seizes documents. Pasadana, CA: 89.3

KPCC Southern California Public Radio, 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015

Office of the Independent Monitor. Pilot Study of Charter Schools’ Compliance with the Modied

Consent Decree and the LAUSD Special Education Policies and Procedures., Los Angeles: Modied Consent Decree., 2009. Print.

Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Print.

Roy, Arundhati. “Public power in the age of empire.” Socialist Worker., 3 Sep. 2004. 6-7. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Shaer, Ralph E. “United Way’s school stance is mistake” Los Angeles Daily News. 5 Jun. 2011. Print.

Skeels, Robert D. “Marshall Tuck’s Legacy of Bigotry and Failure” LA Progressive., 26 May. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “NCTQ’s LAUSD report’s highly questionable veracity shows Bill Gates’ pervasiveness and perniciousness” Schools Matter., 12 Jun. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “On Adult Education’s Critical Role in Social Justice” The National Coalition for Literacy., 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “United Way’s Corporate NPIC Astroturf was thick in front of LAUSD last Tuesday” K-12 News Network., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “Why School Choice Plan Is a Bad Idea for the District” Los Angeles Daily News. 26 Mar. 2010. Print.

US Census Bureau. (2011). Public Education Finances: 2009 (GO9-ASPEF). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Oce. Print.

Weiner, Lois. The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012. Print.

The Nonprofit Industrial Complex’s Role in Imposing Neoliberalism on Public Education

Regeneración, The Association of Raza Educators Journal

Summer 2015, Volume 6, Number

by Robert D. Skeels

 

“In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs” (Roy, 2004)

Those ruling society have long utilized non-profits and similar outfits as a means to further their interests, ameliorate their public image, and disseminate their ideologies. Whether we call them Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), or Non-Profit Industrial Complex (NPIC), the era of neoliberalism has seen the role of these private organizations further entrench itself in spaces that used to be that of the public commons. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is in the realm of education policy, where the activities of huge foundations, coupled with the actions of NPIC funded by those foundations, have insidiously begun to displace, replace, and even set the stage for the possible elimination of public education altogether.

Education historian Diane Ravitch opens the chapter entitled “The Billionaire Boys’ Club” in her seminal book (Ravitch 195) with a discussion of the Ford Foundation’s intervention in the so-called “community control” movement as early as 1967. Considered one of the more socially liberal foundations, Ford’s ostensibly good intentioned social engineering ended up exacerbating the problems that undergirded the struggles at the time. Whatever one makes of Ford’s intentions, the fact that they have a long history of being instrumental to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in terms of surveilling social movements is revealing (Incite! Women of Color Against Violence 88). Compared to Ford, modern foundations are far more overt in their political goals – especially their neoliberal agenda, and far more powerful in terms of their influence.

Taking neoliberalism as the modern term describing the “Washington Consensus” policies of deregulation, austerity, and privatization, we can best describe the current assault on public education as “neoliberal corporate education reform.” While a number of arch-reactionary foundations like The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Milken Family Foundation fund neoliberal aims in education, the most influential foundations in terms of advancing school privatization are those that author Joanne Barkan (Barkan, 2011) came to call the Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate. An exhaustive survey of what these three mega-foundations have done to undermine public education nationwide (e.g. The Gates Foundation’s machinations behind the malignant Common Core State Standards) exceeds the scope of this essay. Instead, we will focus on a single city. Perhaps because of its size, or its proximity to The Broad Foundation’s headquarters, Los Angeles has been one of the central fronts on which the neoliberal ideologues have waged their war on public education. Evidenced by the staggering amounts the ruling class spends on school board and related elections, the number of well funded NPICs working as a neoliberal axis, and the collusion of the corporate media, those in power see Los Angeles as a high value target. In a word, it is a microcosm of what is happening to education everywhere.

The Neoliberal Emperor of Los Angeles

In the aforementioned Ravitch chapter, she outlines the “venture philanthropists” most responsible for the manifest neoliberal offensive against education. Discussing track-home real estate mogul, toxic credit default swap purveyor, and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout recipient Eli Broad (rhymes with toad), Ravitch mentions “He created training programs for urban superintendents, high-level managers, principals, and school board members, so as to change the culture and personnel in the nation’s urban districts” (Ravitch 212). The training programs she alludes to are known as The Broad Superintendents Academy and The Broad Residency. Perhaps the most comprehensive resource discussing these programs, their “alumni,” and their corrosive corollary on school systems is “The Broad Report” thebroadreport.blogspot.com. A brief description of these unaccredited and unaccountable programs is that they are facilities to train – for the most part – non-educators in the most callous aspects of neoliberal policy. The foundation then pays districts to let these trainees inflict those policies on communities.

Broad unleashed some of his favorite disciples in his adopted back yard. Matt Hill, John Deasy, and Marshall Tuck, “graduates” of Broad programs, are household names in Los Angeles. Hill is one of many Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administrators who were appointed to, rather than hired by, the district. Under a Broad program that leverages foundation funds to pay for his operatives to work at districts, Hill and many others are surreptitiously placed in key position of power and policy making (Blume, 2009). Hill oversaw a program that gave brand new public school facilities away to private concerns. That program is currently suspended. John Deasy, like Hill, was placed in LAUSD prior to inheriting the Superintendent’s mantle. Deasy was ignominiously forced to resign in the Fall of 2014 for his role in the LAUSD iPad scandal which is currently being investigated by Federal agencies (KPCC, 2014), but not before waging a scorched earth campaign on LAUSD that saw him attacking (and killing several) community programs from Early Education Centers to Adult Education (Skeels, 2012). Broad’s Marshall Tuck was assigned a different track. First he was placed with the Green Dot chain of corporate charter schools, then he went on to manage the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Tuck’s legacy as an agent of neoliberalism is of note. At both organizations Tuck managed to produce entire classes of graduates that saw up to 100% failure on the California State University proficiency exams. Moreover, he was “known for killing Ethnic Studies, Heritage Language programs, and Dual Language programs” (Skeels, May 2014). There are many more corps members at LAUSD and nationwide; Barkan says “Broad casts a long shadow over LA Unified” (Barkan, 2011).

Broad’s oppressive influence on education finds expression in ways outside of his own foundation and training programs. His strategic “investing” (Ravitch 199) of both his and other foundations’ funds in other NPIC allows him to amplify his sway over schools. Perhaps his closest aly in this regard is the United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA). Broad is a member of UWGLA’s The Tocqueville Society Million Dollar Roundtable.

Los Angeles Schools Under Siege by the NPIC

Dr. Cynthia Liu, founder of K-12 News Network, once offered the following on the Broad – UWGLA relationship (Skeels, April 2014):

“The United Way of LA is chief enforcer of Eli Broad’s corporate takeover of public Ed agenda. He’s the reason why I created the term “weaponized philanthropy” to describe how lefty-liberal groups in this city are under his sway. There’s NO good reason on earth the ACLU or LGBT Youth groups would support John Deasy except for the fact that they get money from UWGLA and much of that money comes from Broad.”

The article in which that quote is cited discusses an incident that part and parcel summarizes UWGLA’s role as tax deductible lobbying and public relations firm on behalf of the mega-foundations’ policy advocacy. Unpopular with the community, former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy would face annual calls for his firing. Invariably those calls would be met by an outpouring of support from the corporate media, UWGLA, and the smaller NPICs either funded by, or in close association with UWGLA. In early April 2014 the press was awash with descriptions and depictions of the street in front of LAUSD headquarters blocked by hundreds of desks, supposedly set up by “student demonstrators” in support of Deasy and in protest of the drop out rate. The Los Angeles Times ran photos of the alleged students, who were immediately identified by social justice activists as UWGLA executive staffers Ryan Smith and Jason Mandell (Skeels, April 2014). Student protest exposed as NPIC publicity stunt.

UWGLA doesn’t limit their overt policy advocacy to fraudulent protests. In 2011 they openly lobbied the school board to eliminate one of the very few democratic mechanisms that stood in the way of giving all newly constructed schools to privately managed charter corporations. Professor Ralph E. Shaffer argued vigorously against UWGLA’s acting as an agent for the lucrative charter schools industry in an Op-Ed (Shaffer, 2011). In addition to their own direct political lobbying, UWGLA both funds smaller NPIC to do the same, and forms coalitions with other NPICs who have embraced the fund-to-advocate paradigm in which foundations provide grants in return for specific performance of neoliberal policy advocacy. UWGLA formed the dubious “Don’t Hold Us Back” campaign to attack the teaching profession, and later formed the Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) coalition. CLASS counts among its members other NPIC like Educators for Excellence, Families In Schools, Los Angeles Urban League, TeachPlus, Inner City Struggle and Community Coalition – the latter two funded by UWGLA, the remainders funded by others, including The Gates Foundation and The Annenberg Foundation. All of them support the neoliberal agenda of privatization, deprofessionalizing of teaching, use of discredited teacher evaluation systems, and more.

UWGLA’s political involvement seemingly knows no bounds. In 2011 they funded a “research” (read policy) paper by the less-than-credible fellow neoliberal NPIC – National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) (Skeels, 2011). Their most recent tactic has been to host candidate forums for LAUSD elections, in which the mediators, rules, questions, and format are all carefully crafted to favor the candidates that support the same neoliberal agenda as UWGLA and its funders. Other groups, like the Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate funded Parent Revolution, have used this controlled forum tactic to their advantage. In 2010 former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Parent Revolution Director Ben Austin (moonlighting from his City Attorney job), held forums to push for a series of anti-democratic corporate education reforms that boosted the bottom line of several corporate charter chains (Skeels, 2010).

Those associated with these same foundations and NPIC have raised obscene sums of money for school board candidates supporting the neoliberal corporate education reform agenda. The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission ethics.lacity.org makes most of those records public, and time spent reading 460 Forms and Independent Expenditure listings will dampen the convictions of anyone who claims we live under a democracy. However, despite the neoliberal advocates spending huge sums on their board candidates, they have lost many of those elections in the last decade, leading to what Professor Noam Chomsky says the ruling class considers a “crisis of democracy” (Chomsky 21). In other words, things are starting to look too much like actual democracy for their comfort. In response they are doubling down on the sums they spend on these local elections, and the neoliberal operatives have cynically placed two City Charter Amendments on the March 3, 2015 ballot that would move Los Angeles nonpartisan elections to the same dates as the partisan ones, which would all but eliminate any possibility of community candidates winning against those backed by outside interests.

Charter Schools Are NPIC

Frequently forgotten in discussions of NPIC is the fact that, in California at least, privately managed charter schools are NPIC too. They are run by unelected boards of directors, are typically exempt from large portions of the education code, discriminate against Students with Disabilities (SWD) (Office of the Independent Monitor, 2009), and have myriad other issues. One of the worst issues is the re-segregation of schools, a preexisting problem, but one exacerbated by privatization through charter schools and “choice” ideologies. Professor Antonia Darder addresses this better than anyone (Darder, 2014):

“The rhetoric of choice effectively capitalized upon discourses of “high-risk” students, “achievement gap” anxieties and victim-blaming notions of deficit – all of which have served well to legitimate racialized inequalities and exclusions. Hence, the charter school movement, driven by the logic of the “free market,” became an extension of former mainstream efforts to ensure class imperatives and the continuing segregation of US schools. The slippery use of language here effectively captured the imagination of conservative voters and detracted focus away from the increasing wealth gap. Yet, the rub here is that charter schools encourage the merging of public and private enterprise, distorting or blurring any separation or distinction between the public and private spheres and the moral responsibility of the state to provide for the educational formation of all its children. In the process, the glorification of the free market simultaneously legitimizes the covertly racialized ethos of the capitalist economy and its persistent reproduction and perpetuation of educational inequalities, in the first place. Devoid of institutional critiques of racism, current educational discourses posit a false portrayal for the persistence of school segregation and school failure.”

It is important to use the phrase “privately managed charters” because the deep pocketed charter advocacy NPICs continually bombard the public with the mendacious phrase “public charter schools.” By definition if a charter is run by a non-profit, then it is not public. The United States Census Bureau frames this issue best: “A few “public charter schools” are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private.” (US Census Bureau vi). The more of our schools that are handed over to these private sector organizations, the less agency our communities have, and the more control those espousing neoliberalism have over our lives. Our rulers don’t just want exclusive control over the governance and finances of our schools, they want to control both what is taught and by whom.

Beyond the NPIC

Professor Lois Weiner wrote the following about No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which is applicable to all forms of neoliberal corporate education reform:

“What we need most immediately is for those who see the harm done by NCLB to recognize its political origins in the neoliberal project – and combat the project in its entirety. That requires the determination to reject the will of both political parties who advocate a system of education that leaves children and democracy behind capitalism’s race for greater profits at any cost.” (Weiner 173)

Faced with the unmatched funding and resources the mega-foundations and their attendent NPIC bring to bear, it is somewhat easy to feel overwhelmed. However, oppression breeds resistance. Nationally we have seen groups like United Opt Out and FairTest set the tone against high-stakes standardized testing. Various groups have begun opposing The Gates Foundation’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS), although some of the right-wing opposition is unprincipled and suspect. We discussed above how Los Angeles voters have frequently rejected neoliberal corporate reform candidates, as did the entire California electorate when Broad alumnus Tuck ran for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction seat (hearteningly, Tuck’s Ethnic Studies program shuttering counterparts in Arizona, Tom Horne and John Huppenthal, lost in 2014 as well).

However, there is an affirmative form of resistance led by Association of Raza Educators (ARE) members and their allies that points to a better form of struggle against neoliberalism. The Honorable Jose Lara, Vice President of El Rancho Unified School District Board of Education, worked with his community to pass the very first Ethnic Studies graduation requirement in the State of California. That victory was quickly followed by passage of Ethnic Studies graduation requirements in LAUSD, The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and The Montebello Unified School District. The LAUSD efforts gave birth to the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition www.ethnicstudiesnow.com, which has become a nexus for community organizing, student-led conferences, and a rallying point for the efforts to enshrine the Ethnic Studies graduation requirement as California State law.

The Ethnic Studies struggles are significant for several reasons. The first of which is that little or no assistance came from NPIC, proving that effective, community based organizing does not require foundation money, or “professionalized, businesslike” (Incite! 95) organizers. Moreover, Ethnic Studies are the antithesis of the neoliberal ideals, particularly the subtle white supremacism underlying CCSS, which was crafted from E. D. Hirsch, Jr.’s “core knowledge” concepts. Lastly Ethnic Studies opens the door for exposure to Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Studies, and other scholarship that will provide students with the tools to directly confront neoliberalism, the socio-economic structures that coined it, and the rulers of our class society that have imposed it. Paulo Freire called on us to reject neoliberalism:

“We need to say no to the neoliberal fatalism that we are witnessing at the end of this century, informed by the ethics of the market, an ethics in which a minority makes most profits against the lives of the majority. In other words, those who cannot compete, die. This is a perverse ethics that, in fact, lacks ethics. I insist on saying that I continue to be human…I would then remain the last educator in the world to say no: I do not accept…history as determinism. I embrace history as possibility [where] we can demystify the evil in the perverse fatalism that characterizes the neoliberal discourse in the end of this century.” (Freire 25)

Educating ourselves in critical theory, and joining organizations that allow us to collectively resist both neoliberalism and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, are powerful ways that we can refuse to accept history as determinism.

References:

Barkan, Joanne. “Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools.” Dissent Magazine., Winter 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Blume, Howard. “Key L.A. Unied sta positions are funded privately” Los Angeles Times. 16 Dec. 2009. Web. 20 Feb. 2015

Chomsky, Noam. Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002. Print.

Darder, Antonia. “Racism and the Charter School Movement: Unveiling the Myths.” Truthout., 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000. Print.

Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (ed.). The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Prot Industrial Complex. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press, 2007. Print.

KPCC Sta. LAUSD iPads: Federal grand jury probes after FBI seizes documents. Pasadana, CA: 89.3

KPCC Southern California Public Radio, 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015

Office of the Independent Monitor. Pilot Study of Charter Schools’ Compliance with the Modied

Consent Decree and the LAUSD Special Education Policies and Procedures., Los Angeles: Modied Consent Decree., 2009. Print.

Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Print.

Roy, Arundhati. “Public power in the age of empire.” Socialist Worker., 3 Sep. 2004. 6-7. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Shaer, Ralph E. “United Way’s school stance is mistake” Los Angeles Daily News. 5 Jun. 2011. Print.

Skeels, Robert D. “Marshall Tuck’s Legacy of Bigotry and Failure” LA Progressive., 26 May. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “NCTQ’s LAUSD report’s highly questionable veracity shows Bill Gates’ pervasiveness and perniciousness” Schools Matter., 12 Jun. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “On Adult Education’s Critical Role in Social Justice” The National Coalition for Literacy., 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “United Way’s Corporate NPIC Astroturf was thick in front of LAUSD last Tuesday” K-12 News Network., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Skeels, Robert D. “Why School Choice Plan Is a Bad Idea for the District” Los Angeles Daily News. 26 Mar. 2010. Print.

US Census Bureau. (2011). Public Education Finances: 2009 (GO9-ASPEF). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Oce. Print.

Weiner, Lois. The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012. Print.

UN Dishonest Broker

Secretary-General Accepts $8,500,000 Gift for the Purchase of UN Site

Photo: “Trygve Lie, Secretary-General of the United Nations, receives from John D. Rockefeller III, on behalf of his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a check for $8,500,000 for the purchase of the 6-block Manhattan East River site where the United Nations will build its permanent Headquarters. Mayor of the City of New York, William O’Dwyer, is seen at left. The ceremony took place on the first anniversary of the Security Council in New York.” | 25 March 1947 [Source: United Nations Website]

Public Good Project

August 10, 2014

 By Jay Taber

The announcement by the UN Secretary-General on this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples that indigenous peoples can act as “powerful agents of progress” belies the fact that the UN — since adopting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 — has done everything in its power to see that indigenous nations and their delegates are excluded from meaningful participation at the UN. When indigenous diplomats have sought to contribute to discussions on climate change and industrial development in their territories, the UN has repeatedly used trickery and deceit to keep their voices silenced.

While it is technically true that as the Secretary-General says, “In order for them to contribute to our common future, we must secure their rights,” insinuating that the UN is actually working to do that is a fraudulent and misleading statement. If one looks at what UN agencies like the World Bank have done and are doing to indigenous peoples around the world, it is hard not to conclude that the Secretary-General’s bromides are nothing but a smoke screen to hide the UN’s real intentions–the assimilation of indigenous societies into the market system, and their eventual annihilation by modern states.

As noted in Netwar in the Big Apple: Wall St. vs the Indigenous Peoples Movement, psychological warfare by institutions like the UN includes the use of misleading statements (aka gray ops) to misdirect responsibility for the subjugation of indigenous nations by modern states. When the UN talks about its post-2015 development agenda, it is talking about totalitarian corporate control of the world’s resources, including those of indigenous peoples. When the Secretary-General did his part alongside Bill Gates, holding up the Millenium Development Goals banner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he was part of the largest swindle in the history of humankind.

While it is true that, as the Secretary-General said, that many UN member states act with impunity in violation of UNDRIP, it is often with the UN’s blessing. When the UN showcased UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues chair Grand Chief Edward John as an example of empowering indigenous peoples, they neglected to note that Chief John — as First Nations Summit chair – made it his mission to undermine First Nations sovereignty in British Columbia, Canada, thus expediting their assimilation through privatization of their lands and resources. Indeed, willingness to further the corporate agenda was an essential criteria for his appointment by the UN.

Extinguishing Sovereignty of indigenous nations by Wall Street, the UN, its PR puppets, and its member states involves trickery, subterfuge, violence and fraud. Psychological warfare, that misleads civil society activists into thinking the UN is an honest broker, leaves indigenous leaders open to attack. UN propaganda in the run-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples next month in New York, is, like the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues — Designed to Deceive.

 

[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 in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

Architects of the Final Solution

Photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other well-known personalities hold a banner outlining the Millennium Development Goals at a 2008 World Economic Forum event in Davos, Switzerland. They include former British prime minister Gordon Brown, holding fourth from left; Microsoft’s Bill Gates, holding third from right; and U2 frontman Bono, second from right.

Intercontinental Cry

March 24, 2014

by Jay Taber

In the run-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September at UN headquarters in New York, propaganda will inundate the infosphere, lending an atmosphere of pandemonium and leaving many hopeless about the prospects for conflict resolution between indigenous nations and modern states. For a few, though, widespread hopelessness within the Indigenous Peoples Movement, the human rights movement and the environmental movement is good. For ubercapitalists like Bill Gates and their sycophants like William Jefferson Clinton, who promote the false hope of neoliberal globalization, terminating the collective ownership of indigenous nations in exchange for totalitarian corporate control of the planet’s resources is a dream coming true. As architects of the final solution, they — along with the World Bank, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations — view the UN Millenium Development Goals as a blueprint for annihilation of the world’s indigenous societies. Crushing the Indigenous Peoples Movement is a crucial step in realizing their dream.

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[Jay Thomas Taber (O’Neal) derives from the most prominent tribe in Irish history, nEoghan Ua Niall, the chief family in Northern Ireland between the 4th and the 17th centuries. Jay’s ancestors were some of the last great leaders of Gaelic Ireland. His grandmother’s grandfather’s grandfather emigrated from Belfast to South Carolina in 1768. Jay is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as director of Public Good Project. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website: www.jaytaber.com]

Upworthy Reveals Audience Behavior, Begins “Collaborations” With Brands, NGOs

Unilever will be first commercial brand in new program, underwriting curated content around building a brighter future for children

Digital Journal

April 1, 2014

NEW YORK, PRNewswire

WKOG admin: Aside from embracing misogyny, more recently, Unilever, with Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, and other corporate entities  funneled big money into defeating Prop 37. Now, Unilever, one of the largest consumer products corporations in the world, is looking to  employ “effective story-telling” to help Unilever “engage with people more meaningfully” in order to “create a better future for children.” (We can assume this is the same children unwittingly being fed genetically modified “foods”). (More on Unilever here.)

It is critical to note that one of the two co-founders of Upworthy is Avaaz co-founder Eli Pariser, as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. [“Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party.” Source]

220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf

Fergie Teams up with Unilever on Universal Children's Day

Utilizing celebrities: Effective behavioral change and indoctrination of children into corporate culture.

The average Upworthy post generates 42x as many Facebook interactions as the average post from a top 50 U.S. media site. Promoted brand content on Upworthy.com performs at 73x the average. These and other first-time insights into the highly engaged Upworthy audience will be shared later today at the Ad Age Digital Conference here. The company will also announce its initial revenue approach, and that Unilever will become the first commercial brand to join a new “Upworthy Collaborations” advertising and sponsorship program.

Upworthy lands Unilever as first brand customer #aadigital

Today, Upworthy has one of the most engaged audiences on the Web:

  • The average piece of Upworthy content drives more than 75,000 Facebook likes per post, some 12x more than BuzzFeed, according to engagement data from Newswhip.
  • In 2013, the average unique Upworthy.com visitor spent 11.44 hours with the company’s curated content. Currently, the site is registering more than 5 million “attention minutes” per day.
  • Unique monthly visitors to the site now consistently top 50 million.
  • And 78% of Americans on Facebook have either Liked Upworthy or have a friend who has.

“Billions of sharing actions take place in our network, and Upworthy consistently ranks number one across many of our social metrics, from shares-per-post to percentage of incoming traffic from social networks,” said Sachin Kamdar, CEO of Parse.ly, a provider of content analytics solutions for publishers, whose clients include Conde Nast, Fox News, Atlantic Media, and The Cheezburger Network.

“Upworthy attracts a huge community of highly influential, socially conscious citizens — people who share our goal of building a better future for children,” said Marc Mathieu, Unilever Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “Our partnership will include work for several of our brands, and we are looking forward to seeing how effective story-telling can help us engage with people more meaningfully.”

Unilever Marketing Vice President Kathy O’Brien will join Upworthy co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley on stage at Ad Age Digital to discuss the companies’ partnership to promote the core values of Unilever’s Project Sunlight. The program aims to engage people in more sustainable behaviors that will create a better future for children. Upworthy will curate content from across the web, highlighting stories of leaders working toward a more sustainable world, and will work with Unilever agency partner Mindshare to promote the best Project Sunlight content.

“Unilever’s leadership in moving to improve child welfare and contribute to a more sustainable world made them a strong fit for this program,” said Upworthy’s Pariser. “The heart of Project Sunlight matches several of the top topics our audience voted to see more of in 2014. We look forward to working together to bring more attention to young people who are making the world more sustainable.”

First Three Types of Upworthy Collaborations

Participation in the Upworthy Collaborations program will extend to brands, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and foundations. It will take three initial forms:

  • Promoted Posts — Here, participants create content and pay Upworthy to present and distribute it on Upworthy.com and Upworthy social channels. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included one with Skype.
  • Sponsored Curation — Here, participants underwrite Upworthy’s curation costs on a given topic. In this category, Upworthy retains full editorial control of both the selection and presentation of the content. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included All 7 Billion with The Gates Foundation.
  • Content Consultation — Here, Upworthy will work with participants to advise on content selection, packaging, and distribution strategies with a focus on testing and optimization to draw shared insights as a relationship evolves.

The program blends these elements with additional reader-engagement tactics to build always-on content partnerships, fueled by shared learning, organic optimization, and true relationship building with the Upworthy community.

Reception to the paid-content pilots in 2013 was positive, with strong performance of the individual posts and praise from the Upworthy community for how clearly the content was marked.

Upworthy Collaborations launches amid continued strong performance from the two-year-old company:

 

  • Upworthy’s core community of subscribers now tops 7 million, comprising nearly 6 million Facebook fans, 1.6 million email subscribers, and more than 350,000 Twitter followers. All receive Upworthy.com content daily and form the core of a massive sharing community.

 

 

Upworthy brings massive amounts of attention to things that matter in the world. Every day, curators unearth and spotlight awesome, important content using a proprietary approach that combines deep social science, strong voice, and a passionate community. Co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley have raised $12 million in initial financing from a group that included prominent venture capital firm Spark Capital, the Knight Foundation, and leading individual investors such as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and BuzzFeed co-founder John Johnson. Each month, more than 50 million people experience Upworthy content. Learn more at http://www.upworthy.com.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140401/AQ95317LOGO

SOURCE Upworthy