Tag Archives: Michael Edwards

Pirates and Poison in the Gulf: Goldman Sachs

1 Jul

Michael Edwards
Activist Post

The Hydra-like creature, Goldman Sachs, has surfaced from the Gulf oil volcano.

Illinois-based Nalco Corporation is responsible for the Corexit 9500 chemical dispersant highlighted by experts as being 4 times more toxic than the oil that is flowing into the Gulf.  Scientists in congressional hearings added that the dispersant is more toxic than other similar dispersant on the market.  Naturally, whenever a major disaster takes place — especially when major, society-altering solutions are being offered — one needs to follow the trail of money and power to see who benefits.  Sure enough, a casual search of Nalco’s Web site reveals their company history; it leads right to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs.

Nalco seems to have started in 1928 Chicago and became immediately involved in both the oil industry and water treatment facilities.  1982 seems to have been a massive turning point for the company as their Web site states, “ORS-419 is used in the tires of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Nalco product is the only non-silicone product of its type on the market approved by the space shuttle tire’s manufacturer.”  Thereafter, things really seem to have taken off as shown here:

1983:  Nalco breaks ground for a new 300,000-square-foot trio of headquarters buildings in Naperville, representing an investment totaling $90 million.
1984:  Nalco introduces the PORTA-FEED® reusable container system, the most advanced liquid chemical handling system yet introduced.
1985:  Nalco leads the chemical industry in the development of CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response), a forerunner of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 and the CMA Responsible Care® initiative.
1986:  Nalco consolidates groups from the Energy Chemicals Division and Oil Field Services Division to form a new Petroleum Chemicals Division to be headquartered in Sugar Land. The new Petroleum Chemicals Division will include Visco Chemicals, Refinery Process Chemicals, Additives, Adomite Chemicals and Gas and Oil Handling Chemicals Groups.
1989:  Sales top $1 billion.

Then, in 1994 Nalco joined forces with Exxon Chemical to announce the formation of a new alliance “Nalco/Exxon Energy Chemicals, L.P. to provide products and services to all facets of the petroleum and natural gas industries.”

Another name change occurred in 2001 when the company became Ondeo Nalco.  Finally, in 2003, we learn who has taken the reins to lead us into the present.  As their site states:  “The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management L. P. and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners buy Ondeo Nalco.”

Global sales now exceed $4 billion and the Gulf cleanup is in the hands of a group of corporate pals who have brought us such fine moments of humanity such as Blackstone’s  “locust capitalism” hostile takeover binge which triggered a major political backlash in Germany and elsewhere, and the newly proposed austerity measures coming to America.  Apollo Management is in the Wall Street Journal’s Who’s Who in Private Equity with the very human investment strategies of leveraged and distressed buyouts and debt investments — investments now top $37 billion.  And, by now, Goldman Sachs’s reputation precedes itself as having engineered the housing crash and exacerbating a financial meltdown in Greece and across Europe.

Yet, Goldman Sachs is far too gluttonous a creature to be happy with administering the profits from the physical fallout of the Gulf disaster.  The kings of the carbon market — yes, that market that trades nothing but air — have not been having an easy time of it pushing man-made global warming.   In the Gulf, however, they have their cohort, Barack Obama, well positioned to steer the pirate ship back on course.  It was Obama who helped fund the carbon program from its inception after all.  Right on cue, Obama’s e-mail campaign is launched to exploit suffering at the behest of his corporate controllers.

We are living in a full-blown international corporate command and control system where even the most basic rescue efforts are in the hands of proven pirates.  It also has become clear that the pirate flotilla is owned by Goldman Sachs . . . and the president of the United States is the captain.

Related: Gulf Oil Disaster EXPOSED: EPA Lies About Air Quality – AGAIN

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Activism in an Age of Tyranny and Terror

27 Jun

Michael Edwards
Activist Post

World tyranny is accelerating at a pace not seen since Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Mussolini converged on the world stage.  Their regimes were history’s prime examples, but there have been countless other dictators who have flourished, leading to the unfortunate conclusion that dictatorships are the rule, not the exception.  Central to these power structures has been secrecy, intimidation, and the outlawing of basic human rights such as free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, the eradication of individuality in deference to the State, and extrajudicial arrests of their own citizens.  The G8 and G20 Summits now represent a traveling tyranny that is emulating history’s most infamous.  Activists would then be wise to consult history when developing an effective strategy to combat the increasing dehumanization.

Having landed most recently in Toronto, Canada, we can see the emergence of precedents aimed at stifling street activism.  We have secret laws where judges rule in favor of the State, total lockdown, and torture.  The arrest and torture of Charlie Veitch from The Love Police, and the denial of entry into Canada for We Are Change activist, Luke Rudkowski, marks a new phase of hot, stomping tyranny to supplant the cold, creeping variety that has been on display for at least the last 10 years.  We saw it emerge full force in Pittsburgh and it has now reached new levels of inhumanity.  Veitch is the epitome of a peaceful street activist who declares the sovereign nature of his humanity when confronting authority.  He films everything, knows his rights, and states them firmly yet politely.

It is just this type of activism that I encouraged in my October, 2009 article “Resistance is NOT Futile:  The Rise of Resistance Journalism.” I spoke about knowing your Constitutional rights, stating them firmly, and putting authority in a position of violating your civil rights in a way that no court of law could endorse.  However, in just the last 8 months since that article was posted, the laws of free speech and to peaceably assemble have been all but eradicated, and Constitutional protection is no longer available for those defined within the expanding label of “terrorist.”  In fact, much of what I had suggested in my original article is now bound to get someone arrested without recourse.  Even filming police can carry a sentence — in your own home! We see evidence of overt Fascism in The Gulf, as Coast Guard officers have become enforcers for British Petroleum, instead of protectors of the citizens affected by the tragedy.  Winding up in jail doesn’t make someone very effective, nor is it wise council to encourage an endeavor that is bound to fail.  Activism in the age of tyranny and terror must be cunning, wise, discrete, but still unflagging.  I think it is time to look at the only form of activism that has consistently worked under the type of blatant tyranny we now face on a global scale:  total non-cooperation.

In a brilliant 1996 lecture by Gene Sharp, Senior Scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution, titled, “Facing Dictatorships Realistically: Thoughts on Developing a Plan for Liberation,” addressing a conference on non-violent struggle in Cuba, he lists the power sources of tyranny:
  • Authority (or legitimacy, belief in the right of some group or person to lead and give orders).
  • Human resources (who and how many people obey and assist the power holder).
  • Skills and knowledge (what kind and to what degree these are available to the power-holder).
  • Intangible factors (religious, emotional, and belief systems).
  • Material resources (economic, financial, transportation, and communications).
  • Sanctions (or punishments, violent or nonviolent).
These power sources, Sharp suggests, are given authority by “pillars of support,” which include:
  • Religious and moral leaders.
  • All sections of the population in the case of human resources — people who cooperate, obey, and assist the regime.
  • Specialists with particular abilities and capacities in the case of skills and knowledge.
  • Acceptance of the pattern of submission and of beliefs which lead to obedience and help in the case of intangible factors.
  • Cooperation in the functioning of the financial economic, transportation, and communications system in the case of material factors.
  • Fear and submission in face of threatened punishments by the regime, and obedience by the police and military of orders to inflict repression on those who disobey or refuse to cooperate.
The act of intelligent, well-planned, non-cooperation — and encouraging the pillars of support not to cooperate with what is tantamount to their own enslavement — historically has been more effective than physically engaging the police state on their own terms.  It is tempting to react in the same manner that has brought on the oppression by fighting violence with violence.  Contrariwise, it might seem futile to face an onslaught that seems to attack from all sides at once, as we are assailed militarily, in our media, and even in our food and water.  The modern activist has to be more an artist than a battlefield warrior:  the aim is to starve the sources of power from which the tyranny derives its muscle.  This can be done; indeed has been done repeatedly throughout history.  Free humanity prevails when it stops being reactive, and instead develops its own course of action.  Invariably, that course of action first takes place by developing a mindset of defiance.  Sharp recounts exactly what has worked in the past to disintegrate oppression and restore the rights of humanity:
  • Massive shut-downs of the society, general strikes, mass stay-at-homes, defiant marches, loss of control of the economy, transportation system, and communications, slow-downs and defiance by the civil service and police, disguised disobedience or outright mutiny by the military, or other activities will increasingly undermine the dictators’ own organization and related institutions.
  • When the religious and moral leaders in the society denounce the regime as illegitimate.
  • When the masses of the people are disobeying orders and noncooperating with the dictatorship.
  • When journalists and broadcasters are defying censorship and issuing their own publications and programs.
  • When the transportation system operates only according to the needs of the democratic forces.
  • When the civil servants are ignoring the dictatorship’s policies and orders.
  • When the police refuse to arrest democratic resisters.
  • When the army has gone on strike.
We should not delude ourselves; we are some distance from actualizing the above points, but these guidelines and goals need to be established first if we are to coordinate our activism effectively to resist the quickening that is taking place.  Let us then focus on the pillars of support that give sustenance to the growing global dictatorship (our friends, our community leaders, our families), and starve this creature out of existence.

The Business of Servitude: Debtors’ Prisons Make a Comeback

17 Jun
Our Future In Chains: The For-Profit Debtors’ Prison System

Michael Edwards


Debtors’ prisons have a sordid history that was thought to be best left behind in Medieval Europe and in Charles Dickens’ fictionalized accounts of the 19th-century hellholes of Victorian England.  America was not to be outdone, debtors’ prisons were widespread in the United States as well, and stories of the conditions in New York’s debtors’ prisons could make one question if repayment of debts was really the purpose; violent criminals were much better clothed and fed.  In fact, history shows that terror and slavery have always had a close relationship with debt, and it follows a path from the Romans right through to 17th century England, and into America from English common law.  However, America chose to abolish her debtors’ prisons a full 36 years before England; first in New York in 1831, and by 1833 the rest of the America had followed.(1)

Now, debtors’ prisons seem to be making a comeback in America.  A recent article in the Star Tribune in Minnesota titled, “In jail for being in debt,” exposes the growing number of citizens going to jail at the behest of banks and a welcoming judicial system.  They write:

“It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.”

In our modern era of debt servitude, a PR Push has been designed to reintroduce a serious discussion of debtors’ prisons as a sound solution. What goes beyond alarming is that the full-fledged return of debtors’ prisons might be seen as both appropriately terrifying, as well as a profitable investment opportunity and politically sound decision to be made by state governments struggling with their own looming bankruptcies, and a Federal government struggling politically with the concept of a jobless recovery that is not materializing.

U.S. Cooperates with China for Afghanistan Resource Grab

16 Jun

Michael Edwards
Activist Post

The latest public relations stunt to shore up support for the ongoing war in Afghanistan is the “new” discovery of minerals and riches in the supposedly vast wasteland previously thought to define Afghanistan.  This PR stunt aims to convince Americans that the newest quagmire is somehow justified by the potential economic benefits. The aim of the PR ‘Scam’ is always to couch the exercise in what Americans can understand best as the altruistic belief that America only aims to bring democracy and economic freedom to the countries she invades, then perhaps take a commission for her work back to the homeland.  Because, after all, this latest treasure trove discovery will “boost the Afghan economy.”

The truth is a full 180 degrees from this public relations campaign.  America will never allow Afghanistan to benefit from her riches, having already co-opted the opium trade, in the same way that money from oil has not trickled down to the invaded Iraqis.  One can be sure that when, “The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development,” a full-scale flotilla of pirate ships is on the way.

When we review the blueprint to The Grand Chessboard that we have been given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, we see that a key component to the endgame is controlling access to resources.  The resources at stake are truly vast:

“In that context, how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical.  About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources (page 30).”

This grand chess match between powerful nations vying for the rights to exploit much-needed resources requires from America, according to Brzezinski, the “exercise of decisive influence but, unlike the empires of the past, not of direct control.  This condition places a premium on geostrategic skill, on the careful, selective, and very deliberate deployment of America’s resources  on the huge Eurasian chessboard (page 34).”