Showing posts from August 20, 2016

SEC Shamed: Whistleblower Refuses Multimillion Dollar Award Due to Ex-Deutsche Bank Attorneys at SEC Protecting Deutsche Execs (and Themselves)

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[On regulatory capture and the revolving door between the banksters and the SEC. After reading it, if you wish, you may make a donation to Naked Capitalism by clicking here. In any event, the corporations basically ignore the SEC's rulings with impunity: SEC tells another company: Stop blocking whistleblowers. *RON*]
by Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 19 August 2016

Whistleblower Eric Ben-Artzi, fired from Deutsche Bank for refusing to go along with the bank’s efforts to under-report the risks of a massive derivatives trading strategy, one that eventually blew up the Canadian commercial paper market, was the lead story at the Financial Times today.

Ben-Artzi refused to take his share of a $16.5 million SEC whistleblower settlement, the third largest since this new program started. The reason? Per a letter that Ben-Artzi sent to the Financial Times (reproduced in full at the end of this post with his permission), he objected to the agency’s failur…

Trudeau government endorses toxic chemical to clean up oil spills

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[I'm going to start calling Trudeau "Canada's One Percent Solution" because he's all for the one percent and about one percent better than still having Stephen Harper. *RON*]

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, 17 August 2016

The federal government has authorized Canada’s embattled pipeline regulator to allow use of a controversial toxic substance that caused major damage during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Corexit 9500A — a chemical known to seriously harm marine life including fish, shellfish, and coral — is intended to be used by industry after an offshore oil spill. Critics say the chemical is dangerous and describe the oil spill response process as "polluter decides."

Corexit has been hotly-debated since it was added to the list of federally-approved spill-treating agents in 2015, and was kept there by the Trudeau government in spring 2016. It has yet to be deployed in Canadian wa…

Private prisons are crashing after a report that the government is ditching them

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[Important news, and a true blow to the corporatocracy! Obama still has time to teach Hillary a thing or two about what it means to be a progressive. See also: Private Prison Corporations Lost Nearly 40% Of Their Value Today. But, note also that they are being replaced by government-run institutions: The U.S. Is Ending the Use of Federal Private Prisons—But That Won’t End Mass Incarceration. *RON*]

Akin Oyedele, Business Insider, 18 August 2016

Shares of private-prison providers plunged in trading on Thursday following news that the Department of Justice plans to end the use of such facilities.

Corrections Corporation of America, the largest publicly traded prison provider, fell 50%. Trading of the shares was halted for volatility amid the plunge.

Geo Group, a Florida-based provider of corrections facilities, also tanked by as much as 40% and was halted.

Extreme Floods May Be the New Normal

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[Good piece. Communities should plan defenses and emergency responses based on the climate of the future, not the past. For information on Louisiana, see 1,000 year flood in Louisiana, and a pictorial piece here: Louisiana's Drowning: Follow our Photographer's Journey Capturing Hope and Loss in Historic Flood. *RON*]

By Erika Bolstad, ClimateWire / Scientific American, 18 August 2016

Over the past year alone, catastrophic rain events characterized as once-in-500-year or even once-in-1,000-year events have flooded West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and now Louisiana, sweeping in billions of dollars of property damage and deaths along with the high waters.

These extreme weather events are forcing many communities to confront what could signal a new climate change normal. Now many are asking themselves: Are they doing enough to plan for and to adapt to large rain events that climate scientists predict will become more frequent and…

Haida clan strips titles from two hereditary chiefs for supporting Northern Gateway pipeline

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[Wow, this is pretty extreme. The important thing will be to see how the national First Nations respond to this action. *RON*]

Jeff Lee, National Post, 18 August 2016

VANCOUVER — The extraordinary decision by a Haida clan to strip two of its hereditary chiefs of their titles for secretly supporting Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is being closely watched by First Nations across Canada.

The rebuke, which was delivered last week in an elaborate ceremony witnessed by more than 500 people, came as the Haida nation rejected what they say is a growing trend by companies to enlist the support of hereditary chiefs as a way of claiming broad First Nations support.

“This is an absolutely huge decision and I think it is a wake-up call to the hereditary system of governance and leadership,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

“I think First Nations across the province and throughout Indian country in general a…

Flood Destroys Home Of Hate Group Leader Who Claims God Sends Natural Disasters To Punish Gays

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[Schadenfreude alert! Today's dynamic duo. This story goes with: Wife of top Texas anti-gay crusader divorces him to be with lesbian partner. Read them both while listening to Alanis Morrisette's Ironic. *RON*]

By The Gaily Grind Staff, 17 August 2016

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization labeled an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was left homeless by the destructive flooding that has ravaged southern Louisiana this week, killing 11 people and destroying an estimated 40,000 homes.

Perkins, who has claimed that God uses natural disasters such ashurricanes and flooding to punish people for sinning (in particular homosexuals and their supporters), had his own home destroyed by the Lord Almighty. The hate group leader says he was forced to escape his destroyed home by canoe, reports JMG.

Perkins called into his own radio show to talk about the disaster of “biblical proportions” that,…