Tagged ‘Exploitation‘
WATCH: Next Floor (A Short Film by Denis Villeneuve)

WATCH: Next Floor (A Short Film by Denis Villeneuve)

Prix Canal + for best short film, Semaine de la Critique, Cannes Film Festival 2008

“This Canadian short film, directed by Denis Villeneuve and produced by the Phi Group, creates an absurd and grotesque world of carnivorous opulence that oscillates between fear and humor to tackle the inertia of consumerism, the normalization of decadence and unsustainability. Impeccable and excessive, the film is a banquet that saturates the senses to give food for thought.” [Backroom, Caracas, Venezuela: Screening of David Villeneuve’s short film, IN-SITU TEXT]


Minister orders Oxfam to Hand Over Files on Haiti Prostitute Scandal

The Times

February 9, 2018

By Sean O’Neill


Roland van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam country director for Haiti, admitted using prostitutes after the disaster in Port-au-Prince

The government has ordered Oxfam to hand over files on charity staff who paid for sex in earthquake-torn Haiti. The demand follows an investigation by The Times that revealed Oxfam covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers.

Matt Hancock, the culture secretary who is responsible for charity regulation, said: “These allegations are deeply shocking and Oxfam must now provide the Charity Commission with all the evidence they hold of events that happened in Haiti as a matter of urgency.

“The reported historic behaviour of senior aid workers is abhorrent and completely unacceptable. Charities must ensure that they have the highest standards of transparency and safeguarding procedures in place to protect vulnerable people and maintain the trust of the public.”

Times investigation found that Oxfam, which receives £300 million a year in British government funds and public donations, allowed three men to resign and sacked four for gross misconduct after an inquiry into sexual exploitation, the downloading of pornography, bullying and intimidation.

A confidential report by the charity said that there had been “a culture of impunity” among some staff in Haiti and concluded that children may have been among those sexually exploited by aid workers. The 2011 report stated: “It cannot be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under-aged.”

Oxfam was part of a massive international relief effort in Haiti after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince in 2010, which killed 220,000 people, injured 300,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.

The revelations have caused international concern and triggered widespread coverage in the press throughout Europe. This morning Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, called the revelations “shocking, sickening and depressing”.

Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South, said: “In case you were wondering, teenage girls, in one of the poorest countries in the world, immediately following an earthquake don’t by any measure ‘choose’ prostitution.”

One of the men allowed to resign without disciplinary action was Oxfam’s country director there, Roland van Hauwermeiren. The report said that Mr Van Hauwermeiren, 68, admitted using prostitutes at the villa rented for him by Oxfam with charitable funds.

Despite the admission, the charity’s chief executive at the time, Dame Barbara Stocking, offered the Belgian “a phased and dignified exit” because sacking him would have “potentially serious implications” for the charity’s work and reputation. After the internal inquiry, two other men in management were able to resign while four were dismissed for gross misconduct, including over the use of prostitutes at the apartment block where Oxfam housed them.

Oxfam allowed staff to resign to avoid damaging the charity’s reputationJONATHAN TORGOVNIK/ GETTY IMAGES

A number of sources with knowledge of the case said they had concerns that some of the prostitutes were under age. One said that men had invited groups of young prostitutes to their guesthouse and held sex “parties”. The source claimed to have seen footage from a night there that was “like a full-on Caligula orgy”, with girls wearing Oxfam T-shirts. The charity is understood to have no record of the footage being given to the investigation.

Prostitution is illegal in Haiti and the age of consent is 18. Paying for sex is against Oxfam’s staff code of conduct and in breach of United Nations statements on the behaviour of aid workers, which the charity supported. Oxfam said that it did not report any of the incidents to the Haitian authorities because “it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken”. None of those accused has been arrested or faced any criminal charges.

The charity said that it disclosed the sexual misconduct to the Charity Commission but the regulator told The Times last night that it never received the final investigation report and Oxfam “did not detail the precise allegations, nor did it make any indication of potential sexual crimes involving minors”. The commission said that it was asking Oxfam to review what happened and “provide us with assurance that it has learnt lessons from past incidents and is taking all necessary steps to ensure risks are minimised”.

An appendix to the investigation report raised a lengthy list of management concerns over the situation in Haiti and asked: “How far back and why did the culture of impunity in Haiti develop . . . Were there signals that could have been picked up earlier?”

The charity acknowledged that staff in Haiti had felt intimidated and unable to raise the alarm. Sources with knowledge of the investigation alleged that the report had been “watered down” and one claimed that Oxfam bosses “deemed it unnecessary to pursue some of the allegations if we could get enough to simply dismiss the individuals”.

Oxfam announced in September 2011 that a small number of staff had left after a misconduct investigation. It stressed that the issues did not concern fraud over its £70 million aid budget in Haiti but did not disclose sexual misconduct. The charity said yesterday: “Oxfam treats any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously. As soon as we became aware of a range of allegations — including of sexual misconduct — in Haiti in 2011 we launched an internal investigation. The investigation was announced publicly and staff members were suspended pending the outcome.” It added that the allegations “that under-age girls may have been involved were not proven”.

Oxfam was founded by Quakers, social campaigners and academics in Oxford in 1942. It is Britain’s fifth largest charity, with an income of £392 million last year. Its British arm employs 5,300 people worldwide and works with 22,000 volunteers.

Amnesty International Confirms it No Longer Supports Women’s Human Rights

Feminist Current

May 26, 2016

by Meghan Murphy

Image/Art of Dissent


Amnesty International has formally adopted a policy calling for the legalization of prostitution around the world. The organization’s senior director for law and policy, Tawanda Mutasah, said:

“Sex workers are at heightened risk of a whole host of human rights abuses including rape, violence, extortion and discrimination. Far too often they receive no, or very little, protection from the law or means for redress.”

He fails to mention that, under legalization, these human rights abuses are amplified, nor does he consider how or why the law would address said abuses, once sanctioned under law. Mutasah adds:

“We want laws to be refocused on making sex workers’ lives safer and improving the relationship they have with the police, while addressing the very real issue of exploitation. We want governments to make sure no one is coerced to sell sex, or is unable to leave sex work if they choose to.”

“LOL,” said feminists across the globe.

This neoliberal policy, in the works for some time but now formalized, was developed, in part, by pimps and traffickers. Despite the fact that the system of prostitution exists in direct conflict with the human rights of women and girls, and despite ample evidence to show that legalization only increases abuse and exploitation, Amnesty International pushed forward with this policy, effectively abandoning any semblance of respect for women.

Men’s rights activists around the world can rest easy knowing that organizations like Amnesty International have their penises interests first in mind.



[Meghan Murphy, founder and editor of Feminist Current, is a freelance writer and journalist. She completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog. Follow her @meghanemurphy]


The Dangers of Rebranding Prostitution as ‘Sex Work’

June 7, 2016

by Kate Banyard


In an extract from her new book, Pimp State, activist Kat Banyard argues that prostitution is sexual exploitation. Decriminalising this industry only legitimises the abuse of women.

‘Using the term “sex work” as if it was an adequate and appropriate shorthand serves a deeply political goal. ‘
‘Using the term “sex work” as if it was an adequate and appropriate shorthand serves a deeply political goal. ‘ Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images

The Lies of Rehabilitation

Wrong Kind of Green Op-Ed

December 2, 2015

By Forrest Palmer


obama federal prison 2

Recently, Barry (more commonly known as President Obama) made history in being the first sitting president to visit a federal prison while in office. He received major kudos from some mainstream press outlets and many people on the liberal/left for doing this. During his time there, Barry had a televised conversation with a few inmates that was broadcast on a special for VICE news. In Barry’s dialogue with the inmates, they told him about the particular circumstances regarding their incarceration, which revolved around drugs, unfair mandatory sentences and an imbalanced justice system that wasn’t fair to them because of their ethnicity (foremost) and class (secondary). In order to put a silver lining on the details of these men and their time behind bars, the news special describes how a number of the inmates are learning a trade in prison, with the example of welding being the one focused on in this documentary. To illustrate how these men are being “rehabilitated” in prison, Barry actually visits a welding shop to interact with a number of incarcerated individuals who are working there and discussing with Barry how they plan to be successful after leaving the prison in their newfound trades.

But, here is where the intersection of what the Western world considers a beneficent act meets the delusion of industrial civilization. As these men are learning nothing outside of a few menial tasks for a slowly collapsing society based on manual labor and the products that it yields in a dwindling range of acceptable everyday jobs, the question is never broached by Barry or VICE news or anyone else as to the availability of these jobs in a sustainable, environmentally sound society. So, the assumption is that there will always be a place for these men in society because the continuance of industrialization is a given by those who have a Western mindset, which encompasses the typical person residing in this society.

Industrial Civ 4

The training of these men for jobs such as this without giving them a true sense of what is happening outside of said training is the height of deceitfulness. They are not taught to think critically. During the advent of Western educational system, the basis for it was from ancient Greece. This meant that the focus was on building an individual who had a classical education based on a vast array of topics. Although this was only wholly available to a white, male of privilege in the initial stages of this particular country (Amerikkka), the foundation itself was correct in asserting that teaching the individual a wide breadth of topics is what spawned an informed person. But with the beginning of the industrial revolution, the emphasis devolved from that of a well-rounded individual with an understanding of the world based upon a myriad amount of subjects and topics, both mental and physical in nature, to just a perfunctory task maven who possesses only the delusion of thinking that the individual is well-rounded based upon the financial success regarding this specific task. For example, this is why Uncle Ben Carson, one of the current frontrunners for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, can be a successful brain surgeon, yet know pretty much nothing outside of that particular task and be wholly ignorant on almost everything else in this world while at the same time considering himself an expert and/or genius on the topics of which his ignorance is glaring. This present mindset which is typical was impressed upon the culture because it was the most expedient way of progress for an industrial civilization. Economic growth by way of technological progression can most quickly be achieved by those who don’t question the legitimacy of these advances no matter the detrimental results. This is all due to the collective ingrained ignorance that is prevalent in Western society.

As a way to illustrate this and also turning back to the men in this snippet of prison life of which Barry was privy to view for a short period of time, their entire training in this one task will ultimately lead them to be no better than a soldier who kills for no other cause than the word of his superiors with a totally absent understanding in regards to a valid reason why he or she is killing. It is the absence of this classical knowledge base outside of the technical trade aspects of their tutelage, be it blue collar or even white collar in nature, that will disable them from confronting the ignorance this society instills in the individual which causes them to adhere to the same social principles that are destroying the Earth.

Industrial Civ 3

Case in point, once these people do enter back into civilian life from being incarcerated for whatever period of time with only this one bit of training for a trade that is based on the continuance of industrial civilization, then their entire fixation will be on the continuance of this culture. Therefore, the ongoing climate negotiations in Paris, France during COP21 will not only be of no use to him or her, but he or she will have no choice but to be an enemy of implementation of anything that falls out from it, be it useless bullshit legislation (assuredly) or actual worthwhile mandates (impossible). In essence, whatever global legislation that will be agreed upon must inherently be against his or her ability to survive once he or she is no longer incarcerated but possessing only a skillset learned in prison. Hence, the individual’s only option is to be opposed to any and all legislation that curtails his or her ability to survive since the daily survival of the person will always supersede the long term survival of man as self-preservation of the individual supersedes that of the group at an emotional level if not a logical one.

It is for this reason that the AFL-CIO supported the Keystone XL although supposedly an ally on the front of climate change. As the AFL-CIO is a trade union whose entire existence is due to its accepted role as the protector of the presence of manual labor for industrial civilization in a capitalist society, it is useless as an ally regarding climate change or peak oil or water scarcity or anything else that is a BYPRODUCT of the aforementioned industrial civilization. Outside of a few people, these are the types of jobs for which these prisoners are being trained almost entirely.

So, as much as the trade that these men are being trained for seems like a good thing to those that reside in Amerikkka or Western society or even by those who possess a Western mindset yet not inhabiting this society (which is sadly all too many people residing in the Global South who trade subservience for tacit acceptance), the fact is that they are really being trained to do things that are almost certainly much more detrimental to all societies and the world as a whole than any “crime” that they committed on the outside of the prison of which they currently reside.

Industrial Civ 1

We have reached a moment in time that as the sun sets on this particular civilization and another set of social circumstances will dawn on us for however long man exists, people must collectively discuss things like this which are totally detached from the indoctrination of this society that sadly enables us to adhere to a set of failing living circumstances without questioning anything. The only other path is to continue to prepare people for an existence which is utterly impossible. Yet, be it the prisoner untrained to think external of a single task or the ones on the outside that more easily live every day in this way, the end result of a change in circumstances is inevitable.

The state of the conditions is no longer in our control. The only thing we control at this juncture is the response.


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

Real Men Don’t Prostitute Women

August 18, 2015

Running time: 2:38

“To understand patriarchy is to understand that free choice is a fairytale.” — Dr Meagan Tyler

“Prostitution – We Don’t Buy It” – Speakers: Tom Meagher and sex trade survivor Rachel Moran


And about those green jobs… Prison Inmates Paid 93 Cents Per Hour to Assemble Solar Panels

WKOG Admin: “The Prison-Industrial Complex is financially lucrative in more ways than one. For example – exploiting prison inmates to build solar panels for 93 cents per hour. Perhaps this is built into “a just transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power” that the Big Greens use to sell their “new economy” dogma.”

Oregon’s Signature Solar Energy Project Built on Foundation of False Hopes and Falsehoods

The Oregonian/OregonLive

February 27, 2015

Gov. John Kitzhaber said the solar project offered cheap power and jobs. He was only half right. (Courtesy Oregon Tech)

Dignitaries gathered on a dry Klamath Falls hillside in August 2011 to celebrate the launch of the largest solar power project ever attempted in Oregon.As then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and others dug their golden shovels into the hard ground, they were adamant that this was not another state-sponsored green energy boondoggle. This $27 million collection of solar arrays would be a boon for the economy as well as the environment.

For nearly $12 million in tax credits, state officials said, taxpayers could expect the project developer to buy local and hire local, creating a virtuous circle of energy savings, reduced greenhouse gases and jobs.

“An economy of innovation is within our reach,” Kitzhaber said, rewarding “efficiency rather than excess.”

Kitzhaber got the efficiency part right. The solar arrays fired up a year ago, generating even more power than expected at Oregon Institute of Technology and Oregon State University.

But those solar arrays rest on a foundation of falsehoods and false hopes, an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found.

Interviews and an examination of thousands of pages of documents show that state officials wrongly awarded millions in state tax credits, turning a blind eye to phony documents. The project also was dogged by an international trade war, a bitter corporate rivalry and a stunning twist that traded high-paid Oregon jobs for prison labor at 93 cents an hour.

“The department clearly didn’t follow its own rules,” said Energy Department Director Michael Kaplan when told of the findings of The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Kaplan subsequently asked the Criminal Justice Division of the Oregon Department of Justice to look into the circumstances and whether the state should move to recover the $11.8 million in tax credits.

Chapter 1: A failing company

The state’s energy project initially counted on an out-of-state developer with virtually no experience in solar projects.

Officials at the Oregon University System had big green ambitions. Six years ago, they envisioned 14 solar installations spread over seven campuses. But they had no funding, no practical experience and no in-house talent to develop such a project.

What they did have was access to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit program – the most generous state incentive program in the nation. If the university system could get the array built, they could tap the program and leave Oregon taxpayers with half the cost.

In 2008, the state hired Martin Shain, a Seattle-based renewable energy consultant, to make the project happen. Shain later said on his website that he solicited proposals, selected vendors, negotiated contracts, monitored construction and secured the tax credits.

It did not go smoothly. The university system launched its solar quest in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. At the time, the Legislature was livid at mushrooming costs and weak financial controls in the state Energy Department and was considering killing the tax credit altogether.

Those credits were the linchpin to get other needed financing and to drive down energy costs to make the university project pencil out. In fact, the first developer walked away over worry the credits were in jeopardy.

The state quickly moved on, picking a new developer with no successful solar projects to its name, and a recently failed venture in Needles, Calif.

Renewable Energy Development Corp was founded by Ryan Davies, a nephew of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Davies had job hopped between various startups for years before forming what was known as Redco in 2008. His company was working with Shain on a solar project at the University of Utah when it got the Oregon job.

The university system board approved the deal with Redco in June 2011 and two months later Kitzhaber was wielding his golden shovel in Klamath Falls.

Davies was there, too. State rules for the tax credits required that the project be well underway by then. It wasn’t.

The groundbreaking was a “symbolic event,” Davies said. “Everybody turned over a shovel of dirt. It’s very safe to assume construction was not underway.”

Four months after that, Redco was bankrupt.

Chapter 2: A fraud to get millions

Redco’s bankruptcy should have killed the project. It meant there was little hope of completing it in time to legally claim $11.8 million in state tax credits. Instead, project backers submitted phony and misleading Redco documents to keep the project alive.

By summer of 2011, the business energy tax credit program had become a budget-busting nightmare. Costs were out of control. Applicants were blatantly abusing the rules. Fed up, lawmakers created two new cutoff dates to bring the scandalized program to a close. The primary deadline was that projects had to be done by January 2013.

Projects could get an 18-month extension if they could prove construction started by April 15, 2011. At the end of 2011, there still were no design plans or building permits for the university project. That didn’t deter university officials from trying to establish that construction on the project in fact started in early 2011.

Robert Simonton, then a university vice chancellor, wrote the state Energy Department on June 22, 2012, requesting the extension for the solar array project. He said Shain, the state consultant, would provide the required documentation.

Energy Department records show that a week later, Shain alerted state officials that he had sent the material via email. When Energy Department officials alerted him they didn’t have it, Shain promised to follow up. Two months later, he e-mailed Evan Elias, an Energy Department analyst, saying he was “under heavy pressure” to get the extensions, and would get the documents “in your hands, some way, ASAP so we can move forward.”

Without the extension, the solar project would die.

Shain said in an interview he then hand delivered the documents.

But the Energy Department project files reviewed by The Oregonian/OregonLive contain far less documentation than the agency typically required. Agency officials recently confirmed they acted on insufficient documentation.

Instead, they relied on two documents offered as proof construction on the solar arrays had started in time beat the state deadline.

One was an invoice to Redco for construction work. The Energy Department released it The Oregonian/OregonLive under a public records request.

The date on the invoice is key: Feb, 25, 2011 – or two months ahead of the state’s cutoff to qualify for the $11.8 million in tax credits.

The invoice purports to be from a Redco subcontractor, Solar Foundations Systems. The $14,200 bill itemizes the installation of foundations and fittings at multiple sites on each of the seven university campuses in Oregon.

It was stamped “PAID” on March 10, 2011, authorized by R. Davies, and paid with check number 1091.

Neither Utah nor Oregon has any record of Solar Foundations Systems. The Utah address on the receipt doesn’t exist, and the phone number at one time was a Redco listing. Utah state officials say they have no record of an engineering firm with the state licensing number shown on the invoice.

Redco’s bankruptcy filings do list a check number 1091. But that was written to Capital One, paying a personal debt of Ryan Davies.

Davies, now chief executive of a startup drug company, said in an interview that he has never heard of Solar Foundation Systems and that Redco never owned a stamp like the one used on the invoice.

Moreover, he said he had never before seen the second piece of crucial evidence that higher education officials submitted to the state – a Dec. 20, 2011, letter bearing Davies’ signature.

The letter urged Simonton, the vice chancellor, to seek an extension of the tax credit because of the “complex and tedious construction progress we encountered during Q1 and Q2 of this year.”

The letter stated that Redco’s “direct site and engineering and permitting expenses have exceeded $210,000…the initial construction, racking preparation and foundation work at each of the OUS locations…created additional costs.” Shain was copied on the letter.

Davies said Friday that he resigned from Redco five days before the letter was written. He claims he didn’t write the letter and the signature on it is nothing like his own. He also said Redco didn’t spend anywhere near $200,000 on the project.

“This is obviously some fraudulent behavior on somebody’s part,” he said, adding that he was making his own call to the state Justice Department.

Davies said the project was under the supervision of another Redco manager, Ryan Lambert. Davies said Lambert was friends with Shain and brought the Oregon project to Redco.

Contacted in Utah, Lambert told The Oregonian/OregonLive that any receipts and letters “were a Davies thing.” He also said he never heard of Solar Foundation Systems.

Shain, who provided the document to the state, said he doesn’t recall what was required by the rules or what he delivered to Elias. He said he can no longer locate any salient files. He has since refused to respond to questions.

The letter’s authenticity is also called into question by Redco’s bankruptcy filings. They show no payments at the end of 2011 on construction, permitting or other expenses. The only payment that appears directly related is a November 2011 check for $1,803 to the Energy Department. The agency returned the check because it didn’t know what it was for, according to a letter released as part of a public records request.

Even a cursory review of the submissions by Elias or his supervisors at the Energy Department would have detected problems. Agency files contain no record of any due diligence by Elias.

Instead, the agency sent university officials what they prized most – the extension that kept the $11.8 million in their grasp.

Kaplan said that approval of the tax credit was not driven by pressure to approve a politically popular project. He also said it wasn’t the act of a single employee.

“As far as making any one person accountable for a series of decisions related to the BETC, I don’t think that’s fair. We share that responsibility.  These are organizational issues,” he said.

Chapter 3: And about those green jobs…

Though they saved the tax credits, state university officials didn’t show the same ambition to save the new jobs promised by Kitzhaber.

After the Redco debacle, the university system quickly hired its third developer in the spring of 2012.  SolarCity was no solar rookie. It had been around for five years and billed itself as the largest installer of solar systems in the world.

Under the new contract, SolarCity would do all the engineering, site prep and installation for Oregon. The company would own the project, selling power to the universities to recoup its investment.

Their partner was another seeming solid name in green energy – SolarWorld. The company arrived in Hillsboro in 2007, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a state-of-the-art solar panel factory. Potential new jobs for the company were part of the lure of the university project.

Kitzhaber, taken with the buy-local strategy, authorized a $60,000 state study to assess the project’s impact on the local economy. The study concluded that buying the solar panels in Oregon would generate $10 million in local wages.

It was common knowledge in the solar industry, though, that SolarCity and SolarWorld were bitter rivals in an international trade war.

SolarWorld was building solar panels in the U.S. and took the lead in defending American manufacturing from perceived illegal trade by the Chinese. SolarWorld complained to U.S. and European Union entities that Chinese companies were dumping solar panels in the U.S. below cost to kill competitors.

SolarCity, meanwhile, depended on those low-cost panels for its own business success. Any effort to stanch their flow into the U.S. was a threat. SolarCity and others in the industry mobilized against SolarWorld.

The U.S. Commerce Department stunned the industry when it sided with SolarWorld and imposed stiff tariffs on solar panels from China. It was the first of 10 such wins for SolarWorld, and came just two months after SolarCity started working on the Oregon project.

Despite such victories, SolarWorld struggled in 2011-2012. The solar panel business had become a bloodbath as Chinese firms dominated the industry. At least 14 American solar companies failed or shuttered manufacturing plants.

The company’s $5 million share of the university project was a rare bright spot.

“We were really excited,” said Mukesh Dulani, CEO of SolarWorld Oregon. “A five-megawatt project like this was crucial to us. We weren’t producing big volumes at the time.”

SolarCity quickly took the shine off the contract, telling state officials that they were troubled by SolarWorld’s shaky financial condition. Shain, the state’s project consultant, echoed that view.

“Deep concerns in the financial community about their liquidity are creating very difficult project finance issues,” he said in a Feb. 26, 2013, email to Maureen Bock, the Energy Department incentives program manager.

Industry analysts at the time predicted SolarWorld was headed for insolvency and questioned its decision to manufacture solar panels in the West.

SolarCity also claimed SolarWorld was backing away from its product warranties and wanted an additional $250,000.

Dulani vigorously denied his company demanded revised terms or that it was stepping away from its warranties.

Faced with the threat of cancellation, SolarWorld beseeched state officials to intervene to keep the contract alive.

“This is a travesty and there truly is no good reasons for this, contrary to what you may have been told by SolarCity,” said SolarWorld salesman Matthew Lind in an April 2013 email to OSU Sustainability Director Brandon Trelstad. “We have the industry-leading premium product coming out of Hillsboro and we can meet the price that SolarCity wants to pay, delivery capacity, volume, timing, etc.”

OSU did nothing.

“There was a lot of tension between the two companies,” Trelstad said in an interview. “I expressed interest in staying out of it. I didn’t think it was OSU’s place.”

Trelstad wasn’t the only state official in the loop. Managers of the Energy Department’s incentive programs, including Anthony Buckley, Bock and Elias, also knew SolarWorld was losing the contract.

There is no record anyone in either agency lifted a finger to help.

Layoffs followed at SolarWorld.

“We had to make some hard decisions,” Dulani said. “You have to do that when you lose five megawatts of production. This affected our people and their families. SolarCity screwed us.”

Firing SolarWorld was just business, said Will Craven, SolarCity spokesman.

But if workers in Hillsboro weren’t going to make the state’s panels, who would?

Shain assured state officials that SolarCity had found “alternative modules of U.S. manufacture, and very possible Oregon manufacture.”

SolarCity’s alternative: Prison labor.

What project consultant Shain doesn’t tell state officials is that the alternative modules would be assembled by convicts at the federal prison in Sheridan making 93 cents an hour.

Under a subcontractor, Norcross, Georgia-based Suniva, the panel work went behind the walls at the Federal Correctional Institute in Sheridan. Inmates paid 93 cents an hour assembled the panels. That was in contrast to SolarWorld factory pay — $11 an hour to start.

Craven acknowledged that using inmate labor “may not have been in the spirit” of the tax credit program. He said state officials knew prisoners were involved.

State officials said they were unaware of the inmate component until questioned recently by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

“They used inmates?” Simonton asked. “That’s unfortunate.”



[Ted Sickinger: | 503-221-8505 | @tedsickinger]

[Jeff Manning: | 503-294-7606 | @JeffmanningOre]



A Matter of Theft

Fourth World Eye

Selling False Hope
If young people are our future, then stealing our young people is robbing our future; stealing our young people by leading them astray into false hope, in turn, robs them of their future. The false hope industry of humanitarian causes — invented by Wall Street-financed social entrepreneurs, and promoted by NGO charlatans and opportunists — is thus a matter of theft.The subjects of these humanitarian causes, however, involve serious considerations. Without the opportunity for our young people to assume their rightful responsibilities, humanity is doomed.

These responsibilities are not to be trifled with for pooh-bah prestige and monetary gain; they are matters of great spiritual import. When this theft is perpetrated by capital foundations on behalf of the aristocracy, they are slowly killing hope for humankind.



[Jay Taber 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 the administrative director of Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples seeking justice in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations.]


Honduras Will Host the 4th Palm Oil Conference (Celebrating the Murder of Peasants)

July 31, 2013

by Adrienne Pine

Shame—once again—on WWF for greenwashing the murderous palm oil industry. It is no wonder that DICTA waited until a week before the conference to announce it in the Honduran media. Click title for original article in La Tribuna – Adrienne Pine

( translation by Adrienne Pine)

The authorities of the Office of Agriculture and Livestock Science and Technology (DICTA) announced this Wednesday that Honduras will be the site of the 4th conference of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The RSPO conference has previously been held in Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador and this year it will be in Honduras.

They indicated that the RSPO conference has previously been held in Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador and this year Honduras will host the fourth conference on Sustainable Palm Oil.

This event has the goal of providing information about the production of oil in a way that is responsible toward nature, the environment and society and it will take place from August 6th to 8th of this year in the convention center of the Club Hondureño Árabe, in San Pedro Sula, department of Cortés.

WATCH: WWF SILENCE OF THE PANDAS | A Journey into the Heart of the Green Empire


Above: Three of many individuals creating mass-misery and ecological devastation via WWF. Clockwise: Dr Hector Laurence – WWF Argentina (also president of Agricultural Association AIMA and Director of two GMO companies (Morgan Seeds & Pioneer), Dörte Bieler – WWF spokesperson for Germany, Jason Clay – Senior Vice President, Market Transformation.

The WWF is the largest environmental protection organisation in the world. Trust in its “green projects” is almost limitless. Founded on September 11, 1961, it is the most influential lobby group for the environment in the world, thanks largely to its elitist contacts in both the political and industrial spheres and to its ability to walk a constant tightrope between commitment and venality.

This film will dispel the green image of the WWF however. Behind the organisation’s eco-façade, the documentary maker uncovered explosive stories from all around the world. This documentary reveals the secrets of the WWF. It is a journey into the heart of the green empire that will hopefully shatter public faith in such so-called conservation groups forever. [Synopsis below video.]

A film by Wilfried Huismann, Germany, 2011


The WWF, the most famous and powerful environmental organization worldwide, is facing accusations of working too closely with industries that destroy the environment and of ‘greenwashing’ dubious companies. The Fund allegedly collaborates with companies that deforest jungles, displace farmers, destroy the habitat of animals and contaminate the environment, German journalist and documentary maker Wilfried Huismann reveals.