Monthly Archives: October 2016

Before the Flood Needs a Sequel

earthrisekillingmemeI just watched Before the Flood on National Geographic, hoping that the filmmakers dug deep enough to get to the root of the problem. Although the film is a strong call to action, I was disappointed that it didn’t follow the story far enough to locate and identify the source of political inaction in America.  The sad truth is that corruption is so extensive, and the political institutions so compromised that voting will not fix this problem unless and until anti-corruption ballot initiatives are passed in every state and eventually in Washington to get fossil fuel money out of the political process.

One of the saddest moments of the film was scientists blaming themselves for failing to inform the public, but that failure cannot be laid at their feet. The fourth estate – the news media – has failed spectacularly, an there is little hope for improvement now that corporate ownership is more concentrated than ever. The mainstream media frames issues and shapes public opinion. Algorithms on social media and Google are manipulated to promote the same narrow view of what is possible. Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” exposed the Propaganda Model but having accused the media of complicity, that understanding of power was  never allowed to bubble to the surface of public consciousness in America. It is time to wake up and connect the dots between political corruption, corporate malfeasance, and media complicity. We need to lay the blame where it properly belongs. As Utah Phillips said:

The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses.

This is no time for blind optimism, but fear of the future won’t help either. The time has come to get angry at the crimes fossil fuel companies commit, especially in North Dakota. We need to recognize that what is ‘legal‘ and what is ‘right’ may be very different, in a world where corporations have been allowed to write laws that members of congress often don’t even read.

Before the Flood is a great documentary, but like the Paris Accords, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. I strongly recommend that in his next film, DiCaprio focus on the obstructionist fossil fuel corporations, even if they threaten to sue. If we’re too afraid to step on the toes of the oil giants, we cannot hope to stop them from destroying the biosphere. They have too much power and they are not going to give it up voluntarily. The world would be a better place if the biggest multinationals were broken up into smaller units.

The next film I want to see will focus on the current DOJ investigation of the horrifying fact that EXXON KNEW about man-made climate change in 1981 and spent decades hiding the truth and lying about it. A crime of that magnitude should result in prison for perpetrators and the company should be liquidated.  Ecocide should be recognized as an International Crime Against Humanity under the Rome Statute and people of all nations should demand that their governments ratify the treaty. We need to fight to take back control of our governments and hold the fossil fuel giants to account. We can all begin by standing with Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Important Links #WorthSharing

No matter which problem you think is most important to our survival, we can’t solve it unless and until we have the power to do so. We live in a world that increasingly resembles the Matrix: a web of lies designed to keep powerful on top and protect their wealth. “Divide and rule” has worked like a charm for centuries and now we’ve been fractured into dozens of identity groups in order to keep us fighting each other instead of the real enemy: corruption.

If you find your self trading barbs with a political opponent online, try agreeing that corruption should be illegal and see what happens. It takes practice to master this verbal ju-jitsu, but it opens up a world of possibilities. Remember: the only way to ‘win’ The Polarization Game is to refuse to be played.

Instead of slapping at the many branches, striking at the root of the problem has a better chance of actually working. I’ve put together a bunch of links that map out the journey I took to get where I am today in my thinking. My journey isn’t over and I don’t have all the answers, but I hope this ‘starter set’ of links will help you with your own journey.

As you review these links, notice that I put this list together BEFORE Trump stacked every department and regulatory agency with billionaires who will benefit by further dismantling the checks and balances that used to safeguard the democracy you no longer have.  Threats to the working poor and the biosphere have never been greater.


Great video explains the problem: ‘Corruption is Legal in America’ :

Evidence for the video above and proof you don’t live in a democracy – ‘The Princeton study’:

Politicians admit it:

Income Inequality chart (outdated – was already horrifying but now its MUCH worse!):

6 men have more wealth than half the planet:

What people want:

Important Documentary “The Corporation”:

Very important documentary (also on Netflix): Requiem for the American Dream

Warning from a Billionaire:

How they get away with it:

What they’re getting away with;

Lobbying facts:

and finally, here is a brilliant NON-PARTISAN solution to the problem (the American Anti-corruption Act):

Canada isn’t much better, because if you replicated Gilens & Page here, you’d get the same results. Like the U.S. we have first-past-the-post elections which often give 100% of the power to a party that earned less than 40% of the votes. That’s how we ended up with NAFTA.

A unique feature of Canadian “democracy” (aka plutocracy) is ‘Party discipline’ which forces MPs to vote the way the leader tells them regardless of what their constituents want.

2. VOTING ISSUES – cheating happens, just not like the GOP thinks:

Florida’s Implausible Primary Results:

Strip & flip:

Whistleblower video:

DNC primary:


State corruption rankings;

Better voting system:

Electoral Reform; why first-past-the-post is unfair:

*new* NY Democrats admit illegal primary purge:

3. The “DEEP STATE” governs (why Obama promises were not kept) :

Vote all you want, the secret government won’t change;

Police State:

Shadow Government:

Foreign policy;

Ron Paul;

Double Government:…/5411785

Glennon Article:…/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf

War is a racket:

Inverted totalitarianism:


Great conversation about the failure of the fourth estate:

“Manufacturing Consent”:

Chomsky explains the ‘propaganda model’  in less than 7 minutes  (I know his voice is as exciting as listening to paint dry, but that last sentence really ties it up and puts a bow on top):

Military/NFL propaganda:


Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS);

TPP is the dirtiest deal:

TPP rules:


Essential documentary ‘The Corporation’ should be show to EVERY student in high school:

Universal Basic Income – because a) We’ll still need to eat when all the jobs not shipped overseas are done by robots, and b) rich people don’t create jobs – consumers do.

6. ECOCIDE is a Crime Against Humanity:

Water crisis documentaries list;

Pipeline Spill Stats map/video:

Great lakes threat;

Funny #NoDAPL video:

Abuse of Eminent Domain threatens EVERY American homeowner:

7. CORPORATE CRIMES (a very small sample) :

(Thanks for some excellent links, Shane Alg)

– Exxon knew about the catastrophic effects of anthropomorphic CLIMATE CHANGE by the 1980’s, buried the knowledge and lied about it. See pg 13 of this document:

– Merchants of Doubt:

– Lead in Flint’s water:…/epa-stayed…/78719620/

– Chromium 6 (toxin) may be in your water:…/chromium-6-erin…

-Valeant raises price on lead poisoning drug 2700% after Flints criminal disaster…/valeant-drug-prices-lead…/

-Pesticides driving bees to extinction…/epa-confirms…

-Dupont knowingly poisons our water, spreading cancer…/the-lawyer-who-became-duponts…

-Hydraulic fracturing turns Oklahoma into the earthquake nightmare

-Unprecedented gas leak in California town makes neighborhood uninhabitable…/Huge-gas-leak-undermines…

-Neighborhood explodes in flames, killing eight, due to poorly maintained gas lines…/pge-found-guilty-on-six…/

-Oil companies allowed to inject toxic waste into California aquifers…/ca-halts-injection…

– Koch Brothers poison a town:

– Cheney Loophole:

– More reasons Cheney should be in prison:

– Prison slavery:

– Fluoride & cancer?:

– Fluoride as a neurotoxin;

– Geneticist David Suzuki explains why GMOs should be labelled:

– et tu Disney?

– owned by one of the richest men on the planet: 



If there is one dynamic we need to understand it is how the ruling class uses divide & conquer tactics to prevent us from finding common cause and working together on solutions to the most fundamental problems. One way they do this is to play the polarization game by using identity politics to split people who suffer into the smallest demographic groups possible in order to prevent them from finding common cause and organizing to solve the most fundamental problems that underlie the suffering of many different groups. This article uncovers a clear example of how this works:

Divide and conquer is such an effective tactic, its not just the ruling class that uses it:

You can be anti-unfettered-capitalism without being literally Stalin:

Finally, an obscure bit of history we can learn from:

Please let me know in the comments if any links are broken and need fixing or if you have good links to share.


ps: ‘Murica needs a new hat: