Demanding climate justice from Cancun to Toronto

| December 8, 2010

In solidarity with the international day of a "1,000 Cancuns", climate justice activists marched into Toronto's downtown core and shut down the intersection of King and Bay Street -- the seat of power for Canada's commerce engine and home to many of the corporations involved in what activists say is killing the planet.

Here, Canadians need look no further than the province of Alberta's infamous tar sands to see the naked face of destruction move upon Mother Earth

The event was organized by Environmental Justice Toronto in partnership with the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) to coincide with a global protest call out by the La Via Campesina campaign (International Peasants Movement). 

The march of 100 gathered at 4 pm at Nathan Phillips Square before making its way down Bay Street South into the financial heart of Canada -- and included a black dragon float similar to one used in a Chinese Dragon Dance. It was adorned with corporate logos involved in the tar sands extraction industry, including the Royal Bank of Canada

This black dragon, surrounded by protesters drumming, chanting and striking pots and pants snaked its way into the economic core at King and Bay Street, where the march suddenly stopped and occupied the intersection at 5:15 pm.

The black dragon was then carefully laid down and its skeleton removed to reveal numerous long bamboo poles that were quickly assembled into two large tripods. Both activists and the police watched as one person scrambled up each pole -- roughly eight feet tall -- and between them was hung a banner that read: "Tar Sands Kill, Pipelines Spill". The activist cheered. The police looked stunned. The activist-police liaison was cursed out for the trick. The intersection was occupied for roughly half an hour.

The tripods were then dismantled, while the banner and slightly skinner dragon continued along King Street to York, then Adelaide Street where it finally dispersed at 5:40 pm -- with 18 security guards and police officers guarding the Starbucks that sits at that corner. The police looked cold and angry.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, an IEN Tar Sands Campaigner, later stated that, "This direct action was in response to Canada's attempts to stop a progressive post-Kyoto climate deal from manifesting in Cancun, greedily motivated by the dirty tar sands industry. Moreover, Canada's leading role in the international mining industry means that Canadian companies are engaged in energy and water-intensive projects around the globe, poisoning environments and communities."

A press statement released right after the demonstration explains another Canadian link to climate justice: "‘The Carrier Nation is opposed to Enbridge pipeline corporations bid to build the Northern Gateway pipeline which would move dirty Alberta Tar Sands to the port of Kitimat, British Colombia', says Jasmine Thomas of the Carrier Nation. She went on to say, "As elected Canadian delegates arrive with the intention of blocking climate negotiations in an effort to promote the Canadian tar sands industry-civil society, Indigenous peoples, social and environmental justice groups will be building upon the growing global resistance against unsustainable fossil fuel developments.'"

"To supply destructive tar sands developments with billions of cubic feet of natural gas each day, industry and government want to build a 1,200 kilometre pipeline from the Beaufort Delta to northern Alberta. When first proposed over 30 years ago, my uncle called the executives who wanted to build this pipeline the '20th-century General Custers,' and told them 'money has become so important to you that you are losing your own humanity.' These words still hold true today," said Daniel T'seleie, Dene from Fort Good Hope First Nation.

Currently, Cancun is hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16). until Dec. 10, 2010. The IEN's Red Road Cancun has been covering this event.

Indigenous groups from across the globe are attending these talks to engage in climate change solutions. On the forefront has been Bolivia with the Indigenous driven Cochabamba Accord

According to the People's Agreement of Cochabamba drafted on April 22, 2010:

"Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger. If global warming increases by more than 2-degrees Celsius, a situation that the ‘Copenhagen Accord' could lead to, there is a 50 per cent probability that the damages caused to our Mother Earth will be completely irreversible. Between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of species would be in danger of disappearing. Large extensions of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would affect different regions of the planet, deserts would expand, and the melting of the polar ice caps and the glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas would worsen."

"The world must recover and re-learn ancestral principles and approaches from native peoples to stop the destruction of the planet, as well as promote ancestral practices, knowledge and spirituality to recuperate the capacity for "living well" in harmony with Mother Earth."

In Cancun, an example of forwarding Indigenous knowledge can be found in a report titled: Does Nature Have Rights: Transforming Grassroots Organizing to Protect the People and the Planet

"‘In order to survive, we need a change in the human relationship with the natural world from one of exploitation to one of democracy with other beings,' says Maude Barlow, national chairperson with the Council of Canadians, ‘If we are members of the earth's community, then our rights must be balanced against those of plants, animals, rivers and ecosystems.'"

Krystalline Kraus writes the Activist Communique for rabble.ca.

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Comments

Thanks to to those people for their hard efforts. I saw no national tv coverage of this last night. I wonder if such future events like this could be done in the morning to stop traffic as people go to work thus leaving more impact especially on business. Just a thought.

Mother nature knows how to take care of herself.  Oil is a finite resource.  When emmissions become a problem we will run out of oil.  Problem solved.

What are you, 9 years old?

I wish Mother Nature could control corporations but I see no evidence of it yet. Unless we can get people more upset about the future of their children as they are about their pensions, we may need to hope that Peak Oil comes to have real world impacts by 2015. I, however, have no faith period or faith in that possibility specifically. People who travel the world for their oil industry jobs (leaping from Colorado to southwest Manitoba to Saudi Arabia to Alberta) whisper that the Saudis are totally exaggerating how much they really have.  Supposedly there was an ongoing SEC investigation into US firms colluding into Saudi puffing up reserve numbers but I have not seen any information about any final reports. I wish we could mobilize as many people about climate justice as can be done for legal cannabis but alas no on that too. I wish, I wish, but that is all.

I have more faith in corporations than I do in government.  No corporation has ever increased my taxes.  No corporation has ever started a war.  (Believe it or not, war is not good for corporations...war kills their customers...dead people don't shop)  No corporation has ever forced me to buy their product.

Corporations exist by producing a product that I find useful and that I decide to trade money for.  Their competitors keep them honest.

Mother nature is a joker.  Every global warming conference is met with record low temperatures.  That is "off the charts" funny.

Corporations get governments to increase regressive sales tax for their benefit. Corporations get the governments to starts war and then benefit from the largesse (ie Blackwater). War is good for corporations who want to sell dumb bombs which will either explode on impact or maybe later, 30 years later and yet despite the aerial surveillance evidence of high failure rates, the bomb maker still gets the contract. The Supreme Court of the US found the auto-industry of forcing US'ers to buy cars; only it gave the auto companies a pitiful fine for having done so.

Corporations exist because they get the special rights of the individual but none of the responsibilities or liabilities. Those become what economists label 'externalities' and then our sales taxes expand to cover them. Oil companies and banks do not compete against each other.

Record lows? Last week Iqualuit had a high of plus 2 Centigrade. Do understand weather with the same depth as you understand economic history and political economy?

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php?product=historical&placecode=...

The record lows were in Cancun.  Hence mother nature's joke.

I will pick on General Electric.

Total Revenue = $156 Billion

Cost of goods sold = $79 billion for a gross profit of $78 billion

Salary roughly $30 billion.

Other expenses $37 billion

Profit available to owners = $11 billion

 

Workers got roughly 3 times what the owners got.  Not bad for an exploitee!

 

Some companies profit from war.  The vast majority don't (most companies aren't in the business of making dumb bombs or anything else related to war) and therefore don't want war.  Do these companies have no voice?  We are going to war so a sliver of our corporations can profit?  Does this really make sense to you?

Governments like corporations because they pay a whole lot of salary and the recipients pay a whole lot of tax.

Banks in Canada are protected by foreign ownership rules.  I agree with you.  Let's relax those rules and allow more competition to drive down costs.  I don't believe you would agree with this though.

 

 

 

 

A sliver of companies benefit from war? General Motors, General Electric, US Steel, etc. You can make dumb bombs or you can make blankets or truck tires or weight lifting equipment that sits in warehouses in Maryland or Virginia that never sees the light of day (as one rarely honest 60 Minutes report pointed out a decade and a half ago).

Which companies are against the wars?

Banks? Two or more players allows for competition and yet the banks do not compete against each other; foreign ownership laws do not prevent CIBC from competing strongly against RBC, etc right now.

We have several oil companies in Canada but like as they have worldwide they have decided to arrange it so they rely on each other (ie one owns an oil refinery in this city, another owns it another city  but they supply the stations franchised out by all of them).

I noticed you side-stepped the US Supreme Court decision about monopolies foisting the car upon us.

If money is being spent on (or diverted to) war making activities where is it not being spent (or diverted from)?  The government is either taxing it away from people who would spend or save it or it is borrowing from the future to be repaid in future higher taxes.  A dollar spent on war making activities is a dollar not spent on other things or a future dollar not spent on other things.  My Loblaws, my Canadian Tire, my local bank branch, my tim horton's are not benefitting from war.  If the dollar remains in my pocket, I will spend some of it at these companies and save the balance.

Banks are a government created oligopoly.  There are 6 big banks in Canada.  I want 20 or 30.  That means bringing in foreign banks to compete against our domestic banks.  Fees and service charges and margins would drop and the public would benefit.  Let's get government out of there.  There is competition around the oligopoly.  CIBC competes hard against RBC and vice versa but it is still an oligopoly.

 

A dollar spent on war is one that is not closely examined because of 'national security' imperatives; if we pay $1000 for a hammer then the company that sells that hammer benefits.

Moreover, the US mar machine helps ensure access to resouces worldwide. Right now the US has 3 bases in Columbia; what else is that for but for an eventual invasion of Venezuela if they cannot take out Chavez by other means.

"[I accept responsibility for ] active intervention to secure for our capitalists opportunity for profitable investments." - US President William Howard Taft

"I helped purify Nicaraqua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American Sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested." - General Smedley Butler

Why would we need more banks for competition to take place? There are six now; nothing is preventing them from fighting each other on fees but they choose not to.

On Sunday, The New York Times featured a front-page article on bank collusion there and they have even more banks. It should only take two players to create a competition but there is no such thing in the banking industry.

No dollar spent by government is closely examined but this $1,000 hammer example from the 1980's is getting a little overused. 

Bases in Columbia?  The Columbians probably asked for them.  Every time the US tries to close bases in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere the home country begs them to stay.  Plus, Venezuela has threatened to invade Columbia. 

20 banks would produce more competition than 6 and 6 more than three.  6 isn't that many.  The New York Times has an article on corporate collusion every week.  But alas, no convictions.  Every darn DA wants to nail a CEO to further there own career but they just simply can't find enough corporate criminals

 

 

Overused? Then make it the $100 doorstop or $100 nut and bolt set (one nut, one bolt, that is). They are not flukes, they are the means by which the Pentagon system has been a boon to corporate America. So has the prison system, again money spent with very littler oversight.

Who in those countries beg them to stay? Not in Japan; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/monitoring/41556.stm

Again, you are trying to dodge the point. It only takes two players to have a competition and yet our

6 banks do not compete. They have asked for less regulation so they can merge which is the opposite of competing. Aggressive DA's? Hardly there are loads of cases where DA's drop the case regardless of scenario or detail. http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/deferredreport.htm

Ooops! As far as Columbia and US Military bases there, well Wikileaks can help us flesh out the real details there:

 

 http://www.chavezcode.com/2010/12/wikileaks-documents-confirm-us-plans.html

Weather Forecast: Iqaluit, Nunavut

Current Weather Updated: Sun, Dec. 19, 2010, 16:00 EST - Iqaluit Airport

Iqaluit, NU

0°C

Partly cloudy

This close to Xmas and this is the temperature this far north. This is truly scary.

Is this the warmest Dec 19 in Iquliut's history?

No it is not but it is very close to it. More importantly, the averages for this time of year are

the high to be -20 and the low to be -28. So for many days in a row it is violating the average

by a significant amount.

We climate change sceptics would interpret a headline such as "coldest day in 75 years" as it was colder 76 years ago.  A headline such as "it is cold, but it was colder 76 years ago" is substantially less alarming.

Anyone single day is the not the issue. The issue is consistently warmer days over a period. Moreover, a better, more meaningful statistic would be a median over a mean but that is not available from the Weather Network. The average temperature is -22 but today it is -15. Still higher in the near middle of winter. Its not about headlines or  their structure but the actual data. The issue is not scepticism, it is denial.

Merry Christmas to all. I am up before my kid which surprises the heck out of me.

You have hard science like math, physics, chemistry and you have soft science like economics, antropology, sociology.  In the hard science hypothesis are formulated and quite quickly affirmed or refuted.  Proven knowledge is used to as a foundation to acquire further knowledge.  This isn't the case with the soft science.  Nothing is ever quite proven.  This is why two Nobel winning economists may have great disagreement on many issues.  Paul Krugman will rarely agree with the work of Milton Friedman.  Even foundational work.

Climate change or climate science is, or should be, a hard science.  If many climate scientists disagree with a statement or hypothesis, it isn't proven.  Consensus in hard science isn't enough.

Until Richard Lindzen agrees with man-made catastrophic climate change, I am a sceptic.

 

Funny, you demand unanimity of scientific opinion in support for anthropogenic global warming, and yet you're prepared to stand or fall on the strength of the opinion of one single crank scientist, Richard Lindzen.

Anybody who wants to know about Richard Lindzen can read all about him HERE: his conflicts of interest (funding from the oil and coal industries), his refusal to put his money where his mouth is, his poor track record on scientific pronouncements, his false and misleading public statements, the lack of peer review for his "contrarian" theories, etc.

 

The crank scientist is an MIT professor.

Everybody has a conflict of interest.  Government inherintly wants more power.  The leader who voluntarily reduces their power is a rare individual.  Reagan did it and that is why he is loved by right.  We sceptics view the political class as using the global warming debate as a power grab and the result is less individual freedom.    Show me the example of a governmental or a university (a grant coming from a university is governmental money) grant to a man made global warming sceptic.  There aren't any.  That should tell us something about what side the political class is on regardless of the science.

 

If I was head of an oil or coal company I would want to counter the claims of the other side too.  The motives behind government funding are never questioned yet the motives behind corporate funding are always questioned.  Govenments want money and power as much as any corporation.  At least the corporation has competition.

 

Dr. Lindzen is far from the only scientist who refutes significant man made global warming.

Those reading-challenged individuals who don't believe in climate change should at least watch some videos. I recommend this YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610

 

All of the Western governments are completely beholden to corporate interests. Reagan did not reduce power of the state; he used its power to destroy the air traffic union. He did escalate the removal of some social welfare elements but that is hardly the same thing.

The vast majority of scientists confirm the anthropocentric nature of the Green House Effect. The very fact that the PR campaign to deny it mimics the campaign to deny the cancerous effects of smoking are not coincidental.

 

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/19/ethicalliving.g2

I downloaded the exxon report and briefly read it.  Here is what sticks out to me.

From page 4, exxon in 2005 made netted $36 billion in net profit. From page 1, exxon has funneled $16 million between 1998 to 2005 to various organizations that the report states manufacturer uncertaninty.  $16 million...is this a typo?  $16 million divided by 7 years is roughly $2.28 million per year.  You would think that this vast corporate disinformation campaign spearheaded by Exxon would "buck up" a little more than .06% of their 2005 profit.

Sorry, it is a vast report severely daming Exxon but when you follow the money, the flow of money (or lack there of) simply undermines the theories of the report.

The appendix letters and documents appear to me to be concerns of those who disagree with Kyoto.  I don't smell any conspiracy or plot to conspire.

You think $16 milion doesn't buy a heck of a lot of disinformation when spent in the right places?

How much are you being paid to spread your disinformation? I bet it's a lot less than that.

If Exxon is worried about protecting their $36 billion in profit, it makes substantial sense to spend a lot more.

Exxon is financing the global warming industry through their tax dollars a heck of a lot more than they are financing any disinformation campaign.

Exxon spends $16 million.  Al Gore alone likely spends multiples of that.  His movie likely cost at least triple that to produce.  David Suzuki has his own weekly television show. 

Exxon needs to spend ten time what they do just to level the playing field.  How much in governmental grants do these warming scientists receive?  They owe a big thank you to Exxon for the tax money.

And, no $16 million doesn't buy a lot of disinformation even if it is spent in the right places.

 

 

Ps Mr. Spector

That is $16 million over 7 years.  $2.5 million per year buys 50 commercial spots, on a shoddy channel, per year.

Add Exxon's contribution to that of other companies, other 'associations', lobby groups. Compound that with the repetitions of various cliches from Faux New etc and then it adds up. It is the accumulative effect of all the paper and video reports, the audio clips on radio,etc. It is not the exposure to one TV commercial but the constant repetition of it all in various forms that is their to create the PR storm.

Exxon doesn't buy TV spots to spread its disinformation - it provides funding to useful dupes like Richard Lindzen who then get free publicity through Faux News when they come out with "authoritative" statements denying the existence of anthropogenic global warming. $2.5 million a year buys a lot of science whores.

A main point of the report is that Exxon wants to protect its profits.  It does this by funnelling money to various disinformation groups.  This point is completely undemined by the lack of flow of funds.  Spending $2.5 million per year to protect $33 billion simply undermines the point.  Come on...you must agree with this!

At least you guys can do something.  You can stop buying products from companies you disagree with.  You could buy a Prius, or take the streetcare or ride a bike.  What can I do to prevent my tax dollars being funnelled to David Suzuki's Nature of Things.  He spreads his point of view which I consider disinformation.  Where does he get all his money from?  How much of my tax dollars are funnelled to the UN, to East Anglia , to all university (government funded) scientists (who you would agree with but who I could label science whores as easily as you do.)
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/24/the_fix_is_in_99280.html     Read this to discover faux science.
In socialist societies, the intellectual has greater value.  In capitalist societies the "doer" has greater value.  We are a "doer" society. 
Governments are the domain of the intellectual and are always looking to increase their power.  (The "doer" has little interest in working with government.)  Pollution is a problem and it can be dealt with.  Intellectuals have latched onto the pollution problem because they smell opportunity of greater power through pollution regulation. 

 

Why would Exxon or anyone else spend a dollar more than they need to to get their disinformation out into the public domain? If they could do it for free, they would.

It's obviously very effective, judging by the effect it has on great thinkers such as yourself.

An Exxon conversation in your world:

CEO: The truth is getting out!  We need to combat man made global warming science that proves our product is killing Earth.  If the truth gets out we are a non-viable company and we will have no revenue nor profit.  Our $33 billion will disappear in a hearbeat.

Board of Directors:  Let's start a massive disinformation campaign to discredit everything and everyone involved on the other side.

CEO:  Yes!  Let's set a budget.  How about $2.5 million per year?

Board of Directors:  Well, we aren't sure.  There are a lot of zeros in a million.  But, heck, let's role the dice and do it.

Board of Directors:  Wait a minute!  Can't we get this done for free?  Jerry knows someone at KXLY TV.  I'll get Jerry to take this person to lunch and have a little conversation. 

Board of Director #2:  How much will the lunch cost?

 

 

 

 

Board of Director #3: Well we can get an entertainment or some tax deduction somewhere so it really will not cost a thing. With our friendly governments on our side, we can always get that lunch for free ultimately.

Board of Director #4: Just like we get the govt to build roads for us for new drilling and exploration. Just like we get the state to help cover the costs of any clean up at a drilling site or anywhere else.

CEO: Or when the state wages a war to guarantee access to more oil. Why those military machines themselves consume much of what we sell. Even if the war ultimately is a losing affair, we still benefit from its duration. More yellow ribbons please. War is health of the state and our bottom line.

Board of Director #1: There is nothing like the lottery of life; being born into the  top 2% and staying there with all the rules written for my class. And all of the media spins written our way too!

CEO: Yeah we can count on Jerry. I hazed him like crazy at the ole Skull and Bones. He still stayed nice and obedient and he lives longer than a real poodle.

Exactly how much programming of David Suzuki's Nature of Things is dedicated to oil? I see lots of non-controversial stuff related to basic research. Compare that to the Sun Media's constant pimping of Ezra Levant. His outrageous nonsense if everywhere: TV, radio, print. And of course, Quebecor and the Tories have been in bed with each other since the days of Mulroney - no concerns expressed by the Canadian Cato types here. How convenient!

Ooops! Forgot to mention that those scientists you hate paying for in your taxes, RDP, are being harassed by your heroes in the Harper gov't.

• A report revealed that Environment Canada scientists are being muzzled on the subject of climate change. They have been prevented from attending conferences, their websites closed down, and the role of National Science Advisor dropped.

 http://rabble.ca/news/2011/01/ten-reasons-oppose-harper-candidate-your-riding

But what about their conflict of interest?  "No, we find no evidence of climate change.  Can we get another grant.  Or, can you (taxpayers) keep paying our salary"  As I said before, everyone has a conflict of interest or bias.  I acknowledge bias of business.  You should acknowledge the bias of government and government bureaucracy.

I fully acknowledge the bias of government FOR business. That was the point about the current Harper gov't  harassing scientists. Which is one of the many things you want to sidestep, to deny. Again, this is not about scepticism, but knee-jerk denial.

"Conflict of interest?" That is just something thrown out as a ruse. It would be much easier for anyone to go along with the corporate interests as those in the media do.

This is well beyond corporate bias, this is corporate malfeasance. If this was just about open inquiry why could any corporation fund anything at all related to this. Their efforts are at public relations, shaping the frame of the debate to eventually nullify and destroy the debate. That is why they bomb both bridges in PR terms: attack the idea of temps rising and attack the idea that fossil fuel use is to blame. Again the same PR pattern as with tobacco.

Regarding your second line in the 3rd paragraph.  I guess the difference between us is the following:  I find government funding no more nobler than private funding.  Corporations are monetarily greedy; no doubt.  However they have competition as their check.  Politicians and therefore governments are power greedy.  I find power greed no more nobler than monetary greed.  The protection against this is to decentralize power.  If I don't like what my city is doing I can move.  If I don't like what my province is doing I can move although it is somewhat harder.  If I don't like what my country is doing I am stuck.  People will ultimately vote with their feet.

Again though, $12 million dollars is a drop in the bucket for a corporation that nets billions and is supposedly at the centre of this misinformation campaign.

What competition between oil companies? The collaborate on extraction, on distribution, on propagandizing, etc.

Nothing you have put above actually answers anything that I have said nor what M Spector has said. Clearly oil companies feel they 'have a dog in it.' That is why the spend money on PR. There is no honesty to their intent; if there were they would not feel the need to incorporate the same methods as the tobacco industry did.

Corporations are not entities that decetralize power; they are constantly re-centralizing power in their hands.

Their intent is to make a profit.  No bones about it.  We know exactly what their intent is.  How do they do this?  They create a product or service that we want and that we are willing to trade dollars for.  The corporations that don't do this fail.  History is littered with companies that have failed.

Who has more power, corporations or governments?  List all the things a corporation can do to you and the things a government can do to you.  Government has the power.  100 million dead in the 20th century at the hands of dictators and despicable leaders should tell you all you need to know.   Corporations can lobby governments but in the end it is the decision of the government.  The buck stop there.  Governments are accountable to constituents other than corporations.  Governments tend to like corporations and small business.  They employ people.  An unemployed electorate isn't a happy electorate.  What would you do with the unemployed in a world without private enterprise.  Is there a role for private enterprise in your opinion or is Cuba the model of efficiency?

Do you have evidence of collaboration?  They may partner on large project to spread out the risk but this is a valid business decision.

Maximize profit AND extend power. If the profits fail they then get a bailout.

They can create a service or they can force a sale as I have mentioned previously when big oil and big auto conspired to destroy public transit (again the US Supreme Court found this to be so).

We have corporations who now dwarf small nations and thus now get seats in the UN. Govt do how many powers but they do so at the behest of corporations - at any hint of a govt going wayward, the markets come at you (as in Bob Rae's NDP govt in Ontario or the way the banks pushed Obama around).

The US has a huge level of unemployment but the corporation's position is not yet that insecure. Private enterprise does not exist to employ but to maximize profit and extend power privately. GM and Chrysler took the bailout money but closed shops in NA and transferred to China.

We are not talking about 'private enterprise' as in small businesses; we are talking about huge corporations who have little in real competition. Evidence of collaboration? They share oil refineries across North America, they formed companies to extract the oil of Saudi Arabia (Aramco was a conjoining tentacles  of various US oil companies). And again, it is the rare franchise outlet that will compete at the price pump every second blue moon; not the larger oil companies themselves.

The nexus between govt's and corps is hugely intertwined; there is a revolving door between being a lobbyist and then having a govt position and then back to being a lobbyist again.

The Apple Iphone or I pad doesn't have competition from RIM's Blackberry or new notebook and they don't compete fiercely with one another?  Ditto Microsoft and Oracle and Red Hat.  Does Dell not compete fiercely with Hewlet Packard.  Next time you go to Best Buy for a lap top look at the choices.  Each company wants you to buy their product.  Did Nortel not compete fiercely with Lucent (and lost).  Does Loblaws not compete with A & P and now Walmart for my grocery money?  Each wants me to go to their store.  These are a few examples of big corporations competing fiercely with one another.  If there is collaboration, it always breaks down (think OPEC).  There is always a profit motive to end the collaboration, drop the price a few percentage points and gain market share and profit.  The profit motive keeps everyone honest.

There is no grand conspiracy here.  The simple answer is usually correct.

Big business is a constituent of government and they employ lobbiests.  In a democracy you are free to start an anti-business lobby group (as if they don't exist already).

The UN is a waste of time, space, and effort except maybe in some of their humanitarian endeavours.

They share oil refineries?  Yes, it is more efficient to do so.  They also share oil tankers when transporting their oil.  I don't want double the amount of half full oil tankers floating around the world.

If governments operate at the behest of corporations how do you explain left leaning governments?   How did most of Europe become extreme left leaning and hostile to corporations over the past 60 years.  Corporations tend to dislike left leaning governments for obvious reasons.  Where was the great corporate power when all this happened and where was the great US corporate power when Barack got elected?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are there corporations that compete with each other? Sure but only to a certain extent. And the main subject here for quite awhile is oil which is central to this economy. I have never mentioned a conspiracy as an overarching way of organizing; I only confirmed what the US Supreme Court confirmed about big oil and big auto collusion to destroy publich transit in a very particular circumstance. It is Tru TV's Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura who push conspiracy theories with full corporate backing and cooperation. I am offering institutional analysis which is entirely different; talking about how institutions operate versus blaming it on certain people or actors. Conspiracy theories proliferate in the suppression of instiutional analysis. Thus Warner Bros is very happy if their content if filled with conspiracy theories.

In our bourgeois democracy, clearly the full weight of lobbying in the domain of corporations; to talk of one individual starting a 'anti-lobbying group' is ridiculous. Why not also ask that I start a daily newspaper with kiosks of my own as well.

So oil comanies collude when it comes to the most key aspects of getting oil and distributing oil? So competition to only a certain extent but not to really important fundamentals.

Left-wing governments in Europe now that are hostile to corporations? Can you name one or two as an example? Do they belong to the G-8 or the G-20?

Well this goes to the very start of this argument; Obama is not left-wing and he was brought to power with money from corporations and he backed off any real regulations of banks right quickly.

Regarding your last paragraph...Why was corporate money behind a democratic party candidate.  The republican party is substantially less hostile to big business than the democratic party.  Obama has to appease the left wing base which votes firmly with the democrates.  The left wing base hates corporations.  Why take the chance.  Why not use corporate money to get the proper candidate from the proper (from the viewpoint of the corporation) party elected.  It doesn't add up.

To follow up:

How do you explain Mitterand in France, Brown in England, the current government in Spain, Chavez in Venezuela, McGinty in Ontario, every Italian government, half the governments in South America, Jimmy Carter, Trudeau,

Corporations cover both bases which is easy in a two party system where both parties mirror each other. Can you name one policy that Democrats enacted within the previous two years that is seriously hostile to all corporate sectors? The Democrats did not go after the banks who have brought this most recent crisis. The left base of the Democrats is weak in comparison to the corporations. The corporate sector could see what was going to happen to the Republicans. It does add up every US election; one puppet over the other.

Mitterand in France? His Socialist Party would be to the right of our Liberal party. Brown is 'new Labour' which means completely subservient to the corporate elite.  How is McGuinty in Ontario by-any-means 'Left?' Can you cite a specific policy? The current Italian government is to the right of Harper. Jimmy Carter started the policy of dropping detente before Reagan made it more overt.  Trudeau was pushed by a then-more aggressive NDP and more organized labour movement.

Not everyone believes that Bolivia is all that 'leftward':

 http://isreview.org/issues/73/feat-bolivia.shtml

How about caps. on corporate pay.  It isn't government money and none of the governments business what a CEO gets paid.  It is the shareholders money and they need to take up the fight through the board of directors if they have issues.  How about burdening business with onerus regulation.  How about increasing payroll tax. How about regulating the rate on credit cards.  How about not ending the quasi governmental Fannie May and Freddie Mac.  How about the new proposed powers of the EPA.

If the democrates lose the left wing or if they become so discouraged that they don't vote, the democrates lose elections.  The left wing has substantial power.  If 15% of this base don't show up to vote, it is over for the democrates.  It's like the black vote.  They vote 80 to 90% democrate.  If they vote 60 to 70% democrate the democrates will never win another election.

How is McGuinty left?  The top marginal tax rate in Ontario is 46.41% on income over $127,000.  In Alberta it is 39% on income over $127,000.  From a financial point of view, this is the difference between left and right wing.  They have a 10% flat provincial tax and their economy always outperforms Ontario's.

I said Venezuela not Bolivia.

 

Do caps on corporate pay apply to any other corporations other than those who get govt contracts? Why would any 'true' free marketer/Cato clone want to get an onerous govt contract?Btw you are conveniently ignoring that CEO's are pushing for changes to limit shareholders' voting power. What exactly qualifies as 'onerous' regulation? Why do the Cato clones always use a vague euphemism such as 'red tape' insteading of givning a clear outline of which rules in particular are so onerous? What we have seen for decades has been re-regulation and that is what produced this subprime meltdown.

Do Democrats exploit black and liberal-left voters? Absolutely! Do they reward them in kind? Absolutely not. We are about to see bipartisan cuts to Social Security in the US with Fox, CNN, and MSNBC/CNBC all tooting their agreement. And just as this is about to happen there is a new media campaign against Dennis Kucinich; what a remarkable coincidence!

Yes now Alberta's economy is outperforming Ontario's; we have signed trade agreements that shipped jobs south, we have tied our currency to oil and now much of Canada is suffering. Left-wing woul d mean pushing for an annulification of NAFTA and supposedly Left Bob Rae did not do that. Nor has McGuinty.

Actually you said "half the governments in Central America" so what other countries did you really mean?

Do you believe in free trade.  If I make widgets better than you and you make hockey pucks, it makes no sense for me to make hockey pucks and you to make widgets.  I'll make widgets full time and you make hockey pucks full time and we will both be better off.

I think we are done with this thread.  I look forward to meeting you (2dawall) on another.  (But I will check for your response)

There is no such thing as 'free trade.' The first corporate barons were robber barons; this process has always been legalized theft using the state to invent rights that never existed (ie creating 'mineral rights' so oil can be stolen from underneath a small-time farmer).

You can be done if so desire but you said that before and then came back.

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