Overheating Our Planet, Draining Our Aquifers And Poisoning Our Future.

It has been well-established that climate scientists are almost unanimous in their warnings of the consequences of climate change as the result of burning fossil fuels. Certainly, man-made global warming is one of the biggest threats of our time. But, unfortunately, it is not the only serious threat to the future of the planet.

There’s the threat of pollution caused by extractive industries as evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, the toxic water spill from Colorado’s Gold King mine, and the pollution of Appalachian streams by the mountaintop removal form of coal mining. There’s the overuse of agricultural chemicals as evidenced by the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s the destruction of carbon-absorbing forests by the agriculture, lumber and palm oil industries. There’s the destruction of marshes by oil drilling companies, pipeline companies and refineries. There’s the destruction of coral reefs by cruise line operators. There’s the consequences of overfishing our oceans by large, commercial fish factories. There’s the destruction of endangered species by poachers and big game hunters.

And we’re just getting started.

We also know that the agrichemical industry is poisoning our land and our bodies with pesticides. At the same time, these pesticides are causing a mass die-off of pollinators such as honey bees and bumblebees. Herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Round-Up and Syngenta’s Atrazine, are not only killing native plants. The elimination of those plants is jeopardizing the future of entire species, such as Monarch butterflies and amphibians. The herbicides have also been linked to cancer in humans. In addition, genetically-modified crops, which rely on the use of herbicides and pesticides, have destroyed the diversity of our crop species making it more likely than ever that a disease or blight could lead to famine.

Arsenic added to animal feeds to make animals grow faster ends up in our water, our food and our bodies. Poultry manure, poultry feathers and bedding which are fed to cows can poison our food and lead to mad cow disease. Manure run-off from feedlots poison our streams and the methane from cows adds to greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Antibiotics added to animal feeds accounts for 80 percent of all antibiotic use leading to a surge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And the methods of large factory-style livestock farms are not only inhumane. They lead to injuries and animal stress which lead to hormonal changes in the meat which, in turn, impacts humans.

Not to be overlooked is what we’re doing to our aquifers. These underground rivers and pools represent the accumulation of water which has filtered through soil and rock over a period of thousands of years – water that is as pure as any on our planet. Yet, instead of reserving this water for human consumption, we are using it to irrigate crops otherwise unsuited for places such as California, Colorado and western Nebraska. We are also polluting the aquifers by fracking and mining. Even our attempts to “restore” aquifers are misguided. We are pumping them full of treated effluent – effluent still filled with pharmaceuticals and hormones. And, incredibly, in much of America we are using the water from aquifers to flush our toilets!

All of these ecological problems are caused by our unsustainable lifestyle – a lifestyle dictated and fueled by the greed of large corporations. Reversing these problems will require regulations, investments, education, new technologies, and, most important of all, a change in politics. The very future of our species depends on it.

The Ongoing Bloodless Coup.

Prior to the Great Depression, the world’s financial institutions and industrialists had most everything going their way. Still living in the gilded age, they had been able to stave off labor unions by exercising all of the power their money could muster. But when the stock market crashed and Herbert Hoover failed to right the ship of state, things changed. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Vice President Henry Wallace, led a new movement intended to help the common men and women who were out of work and out of money. This didn’t sit well with the wealthy financiers on Wall Street who had visions of turning America into a fascist government based on those of Germany and Italy.

Even before FDR’s inauguration, they struck.

Though ties to the nation’s elite were never proven, it seems clear that they had hired a lone assassin to shoot the president-elect at a public speech. But, thanks to a woman in the crowd who spoiled the shooter’s aim, FDR escaped unharmed as the bullets struck five members of his party, eventually leading to the death of the mayor of Chicago.

Then, when FDR abandoned the gold standard at the behest of manufacturers whose foreign customers could no longer afford their products, Wall Street went nuts. They believed their wealth and investments would be devalued. Almost immediately, they began seeking new ways to remove FDR from office, eventually settling on the so-called “Business Plot” involving an army of 500,000 veterans under their employ. The army was recruited from the right-wing American Legion that had already been used to beat back (quite literally) the labor union movement. The plan was for Wall Street’s army to march to the White House where it would capture FDR and replace the democratically-elected government with a business-friendly government that would mirror Mussolini’s fascist government of Italy.


The fact that Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were Nazi sympathizers has been long established. But they represented just the tip of the iceberg. Other fascist supporters included the leader of the American Legion and many of J.P. Morgan’s allies, including Prescott Bush (father of George H.W. Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush), George Herbert Walker (Prescott Bush’s father-in-law), Irenee du Pont, and many others. And, though Bush and Walker escaped the embarrassment of an investigation and trial, it seems clear that they helped finance the Axis war machine even after the US declared war following Pearl Harbor.

As outrageous as it may seem, the Business Plot likely would have succeeded had the plotters not sought the help of Major General Smedley Butler. A lifelong Republican and loyal patriot, Butler played along with the plotters only long enough to take names before exposing the plot. Of course, many later dismissed the plot as a hoax, but the fact remains that the final report from a congressional committee stated: “There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.” Further, the report stated that “the committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization.” However, that statement was later corroborated in written correspondence from one of the plot’s leaders, Gerald C. MacGuire.

Yet, even though the plot was acknowledged to be a real threat, congressional hearings on the matter refused to release the names of the conspirators revealed by Butler, and Congress dragged out the proceedings long enough to allow Wall Street’s propaganda machine to gloss over the coup attempt.

Although details and the names of those behind the coup attempt were eventually exposed, and FDR was re-elected two times, it appears that the idea of a hostile takeover of our government never faded from the minds of some of America’s wealthiest families. But, instead of relying on an army of veterans to help them pursue their goals, it seems that the fascists have chosen, instead, to rely on something more familiar and trustworthy…money.

I’m referring, of course, to the global industrialists who profited from the Nixon administration, the large manufacturers who were able to beat back labor unions with help from the Reagan administration, and the interests of Big Oil, military contractors and private equity firms that profited handsomely during the Bush/Cheney administration. Of course, these big money interests had a setback in 2008 and 2012 when President Obama defeated their preferred candidates. But they most certainly haven’t given up.

They not only have a sympathetic majority of the Supreme Court, which ruled that money equals free speech, that corporations have the rights of individuals and that there should be no limits on political donations. They have control of the American propaganda machine, otherwise known as mass media. And thanks to the billions in dark money laundered through a complex network of non-profit “education” organizations, they have retaken control of Congress where Teapublicans are gleefully working to pay back their masters by attempting to deregulate Wall Street, defund the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, gut the Environmental Protection Agency and nullify the Dept. of Labor. They even want to eliminate the Dept. of Education (likely on the premise that an educated and informed citizenry is a threat to their rule).

There’s an old adage that tells us the best way to uncover corruption is to follow the money. That’s especially true when it comes to politics.

For more information about the Business Plot, check out the link to a segment on National Public Radio.

Many Problems, One Cause.

Every single day, I receive emails and letters from dozens of organizations seeking help: The Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, Greenpeace, Walk Free, UNICEF, Care, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, No Kid Hungry, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, ACLU, Everytown for Gun Safety…the list goes on and on.

While each of these organizations are focused on meeting separate and specific needs, they all have one thing in common. The problems they have been created to solve are all caused by greed…the greed of large corporations, the greed of politicians, the greed for power and profits.

For example, 80 percent of all antibiotics are used by factory farms to ensure they don’t lose their investment in poultry, hogs and beef cattle. Our rivers and oceans are polluted by the run-off of chemicals from corporate farms. Bee colonies are being destroyed by the makers of pesticides. Our beaches and oceans are polluted by off-shore oil drilling. Our fresh water aquifers are polluted from the fracking of oil and gas companies. Our forests are being denuded by large lumber companies. Entire mountains have been decapitated by coal companies. Our reefs are being destroyed by cruise ships and large corporate fishing factories. Natural grain crops are being replaced by genetically modified “Frankenfoods” created by chemical companies. Our air is polluted by factories and carbon-burning power plants. Our streets are filled with people carrying guns pushed by the NRA and gun manufacturers. Our skyrocketing poverty is caused by greedy corporations paying below-subsistence wages. Our governments run deficits as the result of corporate giveaways and tax write-offs. All of these things are enabled by a Congress with politicians elected by large sums of money from billionaires hoping to avoid taxes and corporations hoping to avoid regulation. And the issues are under-reported by corporate media conglomerates that are more intent on advertising revenue than telling the truth.

The result of our runaway corporate society is a planet in dire trouble. Hundreds of species of animals and plants are plummeting toward extinction. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are causing new, untreatable infections. Pollutants in our air, water and food are causing chronic diseases such as asthma, autism, and birth deformities. Oil profits and weapons exports have led to a perpetual state of war. Increased gun sales and weakened laws have led to unsafe streets and mass shootings. And carbon pollution is changing our weather, melting our ice caps and increasing our sea levels.

There is only one way to solve our growing collection of problems. We must elect politicians who understand the cause of our problems; who are not financed by corporations and billionaires; who are more interested in solving problems than getting elected.

How can you tell the difference between one politician versus another? Look at their lists of donors and endorsements. (If their websites don’t list the donors, call their campaign office and ask.) Look at the disclaimers at the end of the commercials. If the ads aren’t paid for by the candidate’s campaign committee or political party, vote for the opponent. Or failing all of that, vote for the candidate who slings the least mud.

Drill, Baby, Drill? No, Baby, No!

In order to fuel our energy habit, there are now more than 1.8 million oil wells worldwide. We know that 36 percent – 648,000 – of them will leak. In addition, we know that all of the oil and gas pipelines that crisscross our country will leak. Yes, all of them! And they’ll leak, not just once, but on multiple occasions. Imagine the combined impact to our environment. Imagine the oil fouling our aquifers, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Imagine the carbon being released into our atmosphere.

Yet almost all of this oil and gas production is an unnecessary risk. We already know of many non-polluting, renewable forms of energy – wind, solar, hydroelectric, fuel made from algae, and fuel from grasses. Indeed, scientists tell us that we can fuel our entire planet, including our automobiles and trucks, with wind energy alone.

We don’t even need oil and gas to make the plastics that have become the basis of modern manufactured goods. A scientist recently proved that plastic can be made efficiently and economically from carbon sucked from the atmosphere – a process that will both meet our manufacturing needs and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change. Even a 16-year-old science student in Istanbul has proven that plastic can be made from something we throw away every day – banana peels.

So, then, someone please tell me…exactly why do we continue to pollute our planet? Why are we risking the future of our planet by continuing to belch greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Why are we going ever deeper into our oceans in search of oil? Why are we risking the pristine beauty of the Arctic and the few unspoiled places left on Earth? Why are we mining high polluting tar sands that will give us little more energy than is required to refine them? Why are we even considering allowing a foreign-based company to build a dangerous pipeline across the nation’s largest aquifer? Why are we endangering our fresh water supplies by pumping pollutants into the ground in order to fracture rock formations and cause them to release oil? An even better question is why do we continue to subsidize Big Oil companies enabling them to make spectacular profits while paying remarkably little in taxes?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is greed. The oil and gas companies and their associated industries exercise great power in Washington and the oil-producing states. They generate billions in profits. As a result, they can afford to hire powerful lobbyists. They can spend millions in misleading advertising campaigns. And, since the Supreme Court decision on behalf of Citizens United, they can contribute millions to political campaigns.

It’s time for the public to demand better; time for more transparency in government; time to stop the subsidies to Big Oil and increase subsidies for sustainable energy; time to pass legislation to overturn Citizens United.

The next time you hear someone say, “Drill, baby, drill” or “Frack, baby, frack,” tell them to go suck on an exhaust pipe. Tell them to get out of the way of the future…because it’s clear that our planet has no future with oil.

Advice From A War Criminal.

From The Department Of Who The Hell Cares, Richard “The Dick” Cheney and his unpleasant daughter, Liz (I assume that’s short for Lizard) recently announced that they have formed a Political Action Committee to “restore America.” Restore America to what? To a craven bully that interferes with other governments; that robs resources from third world countries while giving nothing in return; that encourages large agribusiness to dump excess products in other nations thus bankrupting small farmers and throwing them into abject poverty?

Or does The Dick merely want to start another war in order to direct more taxpayer billions to his former company and political allies at Halliburton? Does The Dick want to resume his position as Torturer-In-Chief to cause others to fear him? Does he still believe that we can use our military might and status as the world’s only superpower to force the rest of the world to kneel at his feet and pay tribute to our multinational corporations? Does he still want to extract money and resources from the poor to feed the insatiable appetites of his wealthy friends?

Yes, as part of the Ford, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations,The Dick has done all of that and more.

In an op-ed, The Dick and his disagreeable daughter wrote, “Rarely has a US president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” to which White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rightfully replied, “Which president is he talking about?” The only president that meets that description is the one who lived in the White House while The Dick was running our nation to ruin.

Let’s review: First, Cheney and Bush stole the 2000 election through a combination of Jeb Bush denying voting rights to tens of thousands in Democratic-dominated Florida counties, by counting nearly 10,000 unsigned absentee ballots, by bullying election officials, and by appealing to a Republican-laden Supreme Court. Cheney and Bush ignored more than 40 warnings of a pending terrorist attack in the US by al-Qaeda. They then invaded an oil-rich country under false pretenses, ordering numerous atrocities. They stole our privacy. They awarded so many billions in no-bid contracts to Halliburton for rebuilding Iraq that they “misplaced” roughly $80 billion. They ignored outright gambling by our largest financial institutions costing ordinary Americans their homes and trillions of dollars. They then bailed out those same financial institutions in order that they might continue their ritual of handing out six and seven-figure bonuses. Finally, Cheney and Bush were convicted as war criminals in abstentia by an international court.

Now that is a failed presidency!

Did I mention that the Cheney/Bush fiasco included leaving the Middle East in complete turmoil giving Sunni and Shiite Muslims the opportunity to resume their near 1,400-year war over who is the rightful successor to Muhammad? Now The Dick and his spawn want the US to send troops to Iraq to intercede. They’re not worried about the lives of our soldiers, the lives of Iraqis, our national debt or our national reputation. They’re only worried about oil.

Here’s an idea. If The Dick feels so strongly about immersing our nation in another war or occupation, let him crank up his mechanical heart and enter the fray with his shotgun and his oily buddies. Give them military training and draft their children for the fight. After all, The Dick has already proven that he is dangerous to his friends with a shotgun in his hands. Imagine what he can do against his enemies. Anyway, he and his fellow executives of Big Oil are the only ones who stand to profit from another misadventure in Iraq.

Time For U.S. To Show Leadership.

Actually, it’s long past time. Had the United States shown leadership when scientists first explained the consequences of climate change, when Al Gore released his Inconvenient Truth, we might have already recreated our economy, inspired other nations and generated millions of jobs. Instead, conservatives chose to politicize the issue to protect Bush/Cheney’s interests in Big Oil.

As a result, we’ve seen more than a decade of increased oil exploration; more than a decade of drilling, fracking, and tar sands mining; more than a decade of mountaintop removal to more cheaply mine coal; more than a decade of ice melt releasing methane; more than a decade of increasing corporate farming with its reliance on chemicals and animal confinement generating even more methane; and more than a decade of obstructing alternative fuel industries.

We’ve heard conservatives ridicule solar energy while China and Europe have captured the manufacture of photovoltaic cells. We’ve heard conservatives ridicule Cap and Trade legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions. Worse, we’ve heard conservatives throw tantrums over the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline which environmental scientists fear will amount to “game over” with regard to climate change.

Meanwhile, President Obama has been understandably quiet with regard to the issue. With Cap and Trade blocked in Congress, his administration has quietly gone about raising fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and trucks. The administration had created incentives and offered loans to help jumpstart alternative energy sources. And the EPA has created new standards for electric generation, causing many power plants to switch from coal to natural gas. All of these measures have reduced US carbon emissions 10 percent since 2005.

That’s good, but not nearly good enough!

With climate change accelerating at an astounding pace, it’s time for the US to invest heavily in measures that can halt and reverse global warming. With the world’s largest economy, we’re in a unique position to show leadership. Not only will this head off an increasing number of calamities, including wars, floods, starvation and other human tragedies. It will transform our economy, create jobs and reverse our decline in exports.

Imagine if, instead of increasing investments in our war machine designed to protect sources of cheap oil, we could use that money to help emerging countries gain access to clean water and cheap electricity. And what if we could do so by helping them leapfrog existing, dirty technology by selling them new carbon-free, sustainable energy? We would be helping them build their economies as we build our own. In addition, we would be building friendships that would last generations.

Imagine if by developing new technologies that would create inexpensive forms of carbon-free energy, we could, once again, export products to China that are made in the US. It’s possible. But it will take unified leadership from both President Obama and Congress.

Well, I can dream.  Can’t I?

Unreasonable Trade-Offs.

After seeing a headline by David Suzuki “Trading Water for Fuel is Fracking Crazy,” I started thinking about all of the trade-offs we’re being asked to make.  Yes, as Suzuki points out, we are being asked to trade the purity of fresh water in our aquifers that took hundreds and thousands of years to accumulate for the profits of gas and oil companies through the use of toxic chemicals for fracking.

And that’s only one of the trade-offs we’re being asked to make in order to benefit big business.

We’re being asked to trade the beauty of the Appalachians and the area’s pristine waters for the profits of the coal industry through the use of mountaintop removal mining. We’re asked to trade the natural taste and nutrition of fresh fruits and vegetables for the profits of Monsanto, Walmart and large agribusiness companies by allowing the increased use of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds. We’re asked to trade the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics by allowing large cattle feeders, hog growers and poultry growers to increase profits by adding antibiotics to animal feeds.

In order to increase profits for manufacturers, we’re asked to purchase products made overseas that could be made by workers in the US. So that large corporations can pay employees less than a liveable wage, we are asked to help their employees with food stamps, child care and other safety net programs. In order to increase the profits of corporations, we are asked to lower their income taxes and increase ours.  In order to help billionaires avoid paying income taxes, we are asked to give them a large array of tax breaks, including greatly reduced capital gains taxes.

And, in what is probably the most questionable trade-off of all, we are asked to ignore the very real long-term consequences of climate change for the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry.

All of these trade-offs and their consequences are avoidable. We simply need the will to change the way we allow corporations to operate. We should demand that they pay for all of the costs of their actions. And that the cost of government subsidies, including the costs to our environment and our health, be included in corporate expenses.

In other words, if corporations truly are people as the US Supreme Court has ruled, we should hold them accountable for their actions.

The Real Cost Of Fossil Fuels.

The chemical spill in West Virginia that polluted the drinking water of more than 300,000 people should remind everyone of the real cost of fossil fuels. As you know, conservatives are fond of saying that subsidies for research and the expansion of alternative energy are unfair; that they disguise the true cost of solar, wind and other forms of clean, renewable energy. Of course, they never mention the massive direct subsidies our government gives to the coal, oil and gas industries (estimated at $14 billion to $51 billion per year) or the indirect subsidies (the cost of damage to our environment; the cost of health problems that result from breathing polluted air and drinking polluted water; the cost of clean ups of spills; the cost of regulation).

If all of the indirect costs were added, the total subsidies for the fossil fuel industries are almost incalcuable and they’re certain to grow as we deal with the damages caused by climate change.

By comparison, the indirect costs of renewable energy are almost negligible. Wind generators require materials for manufacture and fossil fuels to transport them to their eventual sites. They also reportedly cause the deaths of some birds. But those deaths are dwarfed by the number of birds killed and endangered by oil spills and from drinking chemical pollutants. Solar panels also require manufacture and transportation. But that’s it.

Once in operation, neither add CO2 to the atmosphere. Neither can cause toxic spills. Wind and solar generation is decentralized so there’s less chance of widespread power outages. Both eliminate the need for daily trainloads of fuels. They require no pipelines. There is no need to remove entire mountaintops. No need to pump toxic chemicals into the earth in order to extract wind or sun. And there is no need for waste disposal. When the wind generators and solar panels become obsolete, most of their materials can be recycled.

Best of all, they create jobs in the US, and they would create a lot more if Congress would provide manufacturers with the incentives and protections needed to fend off state-sponsored manufacturers in China. They also reduce the need for fossil fuels, which should make our reserves of oil and gas last well into the future.

So why do Congressional Republicans continue to rubber stamp subsidies for oil, gas and coal while denying much smaller subsidies for alternative energy? The answer, as always, is money.

The majority of fossil fuels are extracted from red states, such as Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming. Most refineries are also located in red states – Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Oil, gas and coal companies have very deep pockets from decades of favored political status and profiteering. They have one of the largest lobbying groups in Washington. The companies and their billionaire owners are willing to spend whatever it takes to retain their monopolies. Moreover, the Citizens United ruling by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court made it possible for corporations to offer large donations to political campaigns. And politicians are more than willing to accept them.

Follow The BIG Money.

In a previous post, I referenced a study from Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box which found that Democratic presidents have been better for the economy than Republican presidents despite GOP claims to the contrary.

The question is why. After all, isn’t the GOP the party of business? In a word, yes, but only big business…BIG, multinational business. As a result, corporate profits, productivity, stock market prices and plentiful supplies of both cheap labor and cheap raw materials are valued above all else.

One only need look at who contributes the most money to GOP election campaigns to understand that the party doesn’t care about the needs of ordinary citizens. The party’s biggest contributors are large corporations, corporate lobbyists, the US Chamber of Commerce, plus big oil, big Pharma, big banking and other industry organizations, as well as obscenely wealthy individuals such as the Koch brothers. A recent report by The Washington Post stated that a “Koch-backed political network, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012.”

To the GOP, ordinary citizens are necessary for votes. But their votes can be bought with massive, and deceptive, ad campaigns designed to create a culture of divisiveness, anger and fear.

On the other hand, contributions for Democratic election campaigns tend to come from labor unions representing police, firefighters, teachers, workers and social organizations. The rest of the financing tends to come from individuals of every income strata. As a result, Democratic candidates tend to serve the needs of their constituents. Without their support, the candidates have little chance of being elected.

Obviously, it’s not quite so cut and dried.

Members of both parties can be swayed to pass legislation to benefit large contributors. Democrats can be romanced by large corporations offering to make large investments and to create new jobs in their districts. Such “incentives” can even affect the policies of the White House.

But the point stands. Which party do you think would be more responsive to individuals? The party that receives most of its campaign financing from large, multinational corporations and ideological billionaires? Or the party that receives a large portion of its campaign financing from working people?

I think you know the answer.

Department Of Injustice.

In my elementary school civics class, I was taught that the key to a democratic government was the rule of law; that everyone is equal under the law; that Lady Justice was blind to money, power and influence.

In other words, my teacher lied.

It wasn’t that she intended to. And, at the time, it may not have been a lie at all. What she taught was what the Founding Fathers intended. But the system has since been perverted. In far too many cases, the poor are rushed to “justice” through a forced plea bargain, or the court appoints an often inept attorney and they are swiftly convicted of any and all charges.

On the other hand, those with money can afford the very best counsel. They can delay trials for years. They can negotiate small fines to pay for their transgressions without admitting guilt. In the rare instances when they are convicted, they can file appeal after appeal. They can delay sentencing. And, if they are finally taken to prison, it is usually a minimum security “gentleman’s” prison that protects them from the general prison population.

The most obvious contrast between our two standards of “justice” involves non-violent drug users and small-time dealers versus the barons of Wall Street. As I’ve previously written, our prisons are overflowing with drug users and dealers serving draconian, sometimes life, sentences. In most cases, these people are products of impoverished families and communities. They are often people who never had a real opportunity for a good education or more productive lives.

In contrast stand the gamblers and gamers of Wall Street. Most grew up in wealthy families. They were sent to the best schools and universities. They have enjoyed lives of privilege based on using and taking other people’s money. They have learned to game the system. In the years leading up to 2008, they learned to steal without technically breaking any laws. They crashed our economy. They caused millions to lose their homes and their jobs. And, to my knowledge, not a single one has gone to prison. Not one has faced a trial. Not one has been charged with any crime!

Meanwhile, the Department of Injustice has worked overtime to convict others.

A case in point is Tim DeChristopher whose story is told in a documentary titled Bidder 70. In the waning days of the Bush administration, DeChristopher had the audacity to bid on oil and gas leases for thousands of acres of pristine lands in order to throw a wrench into an auction that was later determined to be an illegal attempt to reward Bush’s oily friends. Nevertheless, DeChristopher was charged with a federal crime. It appears that the Department of “Justice” wanted to make an example of him. The judge in the case refused to allow any testimony that might justify DeChristopher’s actions. He refused to allow testimony that others had bid on leases they couldn’t afford. He refused to allow testimony showing the importance of maintaining the beauty of the lands.

The judge basically ordered the jurors to convict DeChristopher and sentenced him to two years in prison. Those who arranged the auction which would have resulted in the destruction of some of the Southwest’s most beautiful public lands were not charged. The others who bid on leases but couldn’t pay for them were not charged. No one else was charged.

Certainly, that is just one example of a judge seeking injustice. There are many others. Five of them, who have decided to place the rights of corporations above citizens, are sitting on the highest court in the land.