Today I have two subjects, the problems in Nigeria linked to Oil and the big oil company Shell which seems to be funding militias to defend its pipelines. I also posted some info about recent Anonymous activity, last summer they started a campaign against oil companies in relationship to the Tar Sands pipeline. They are also involved in the actions of Occupy Wall Street. The people in LA I saw wearing “V” masks may have been Anonymous activists, as that is their moniker. What I like about Anonymous, like Wikileaks, is that they use the technology to strike back at the system. They are involved in what seems to be electronic guerrilla warfare. I am barely able to use a computer myself; I have nothing but admiration for these ethical hackers.
There is an ongoing low intensity war between the haves and the have-nots around the world. Even within the nations of the haves, their own have-nots are battling with the bastions of power. As we see credit dry up for the masses, consumerism becomes more of a burden than a right, and people become aware of the trap they have been ensnared in. That is in the countries where there has been enough wealth for consumerism to emerge. Countries not at that level, the new struggling working class world of India, China, East Asia and locales around the world where the industrial factory system has been relocated, these people have not the financial infrastructure that has developed in the US, Europe, and Japan. For them it is simply a struggle to make ends meet while they waste away their lives in the factories and related industries. They are glad to have whatever meager income they get.
Subsistence farming, the livelihood of many of these new factory workers before they went into the industrial world, has been priced out of competitiveness in the marketplace by the importation of cheap subsidized grains from the large agribusiness producers. The remaining farmers are roped into growing cash crops for agribusiness using Monsanto GMO seed and petrochemical fertilizers to boost production to make the crop competitive. They go into debt, and become dependencies of agribusiness.
It is not all evil, there are real economies of scale and rational production methodologies that scientific farming can help. Part of the problem is simply population growth, there simply is not enough land to support all the children of the modern peasantry, so they move to the cities to try their luck. ZPG would help stabilize the situation along with a rational distribution of resources and a scientific farming methodology geared to human need, not distorted by the demands of the marketplace and finance capital.
Meantime until we bring the beast of capitalism down, I admire the efforts of Anonymous and the people occupying Wall Street.
Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria by paying rival militant gangs
Oil company rejects watchdog’s claims that its local contracts made it complicit in the killing of civilians
The Guardian, Sunday 2 October 2011
Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups, according to an investigation by the oil industry watchdog Platform, and a coalition of non-government organisations.
The oil giant is implicated in a decade of human rights abuses in the Niger delta, the study says, claiming that its routine payments exacerbated local violence, in one case leading to the deaths of 60 people and the destruction of an entire town.
Platform’s investigation, which includes testimony from Shell’s own managers, also alleges that government forces hired by Shell perpetrated atrocities against local civilians, including unlawful killings and systematic torture.
Oil and Food Insecurity in Nigeria Link to paper below
From CNet News
“Anonymous targets Monsanto, oil firms
By: Elinor Mills July 12, 2011 5:48 PM PDT
Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton today confirmed that it was the victim of an “illegal attack,” one day after hackers posted what they said were about 90,000 military e-mail addresses purloined from a server of the consulting firm. Hackers also today said they were targeting Monsanto and oil companies in their protests.
“Booz Allen Hamilton has confirmed today that the posting of certain data files on the Internet yesterday was the result of an illegal attack. We are conducting a full review of the nature and extent of the attack. At this time, we do not believe that the attack extended beyond data pertaining to a learning management system for a government agency,” the company said in a statement after refusing to comment yesterday.
“Our policy and security practice is generally not to comment on such matters; however, given the publicity about this event, we believe it is important to set out our preliminary understanding of the facts,” the company added. “We are communicating with our clients and analyzing the nature of this attack and the data files affected. We maintain our commitment to protect our clients and our firm from illegal thefts of information.”
Meanwhile, the Anonymous online activist collective, which is part of the AntiSec campaign that claimed it had attacked Booz Allen Hamilton, said today that it had attacked Web servers of Monsanto and released data on employees to protest the company’s lawsuits against organic dairy farmers for stating on labels that their products don’t contain growth hormones.
“Over the last 2 months we have pushed the exposure of hundreds of pages of articles detailing Monsanto’s corrupt, unethical, and downright evil business practices,” Anonymous said in a statement on the Pastebin site. “We blasted their Web infrastructure to **** for two days straight, crippling all three of their mail servers as well as taking down their main Web sites worldwide. We dropped dox [released information] on 2,500+ employees and associates, including full names, addresses, phone numbers, and exactly where they work. We are also in the process of setting up a wiki, to try and get all collected information in a more centralized and stable environment.”
A list of more than 2,550 names, addresses, and e-mail addresses–many that appeared related to Monsanto–were posted to the Pastee.org Web site.
Spokespeople for Monsanto, which is based in St. Louis, did not immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment late today.
Anonymous also announced “Operation Green Rights/Project Tarmaggedon,” against Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Canada Oil Sands, Imperial Oil, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and others.
“This week, activists are gathering along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana to protest the transformation of a serene wilderness into an industrial shipping route, bringing ‘megaloads’ of refinery equipment to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada,” the group said in a statement. “Anonymous will not stand by idly and let these environmental atrocities continue. This is not the clean energy of the future that we are being promised.”
The group promised to “use the powers we possess to spread news about this scenario and the corporations involved” and said it was “seeking leaks” on the matter.”
From Anonymous site.
http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/126798/46_million_donation_to_nypd THE POLICE ARE ON THE FED’s PAYROLL!!!! SPREAD THE WORD
GMO Crops and profitability
From The Standard? Online Edition Nairobi Kenya
“Consider access to seeds before embracing GMOs
Published on 04/05/2011
For poor nations, whether or not to adopt genetically modified products is hardly ever an objective decision for governments and farmers. Rather, it is presented as take-it-or-perish doctor’s prescription! The argument goes that, by planting high-yield GMOs contrasted to the traditional variety, food sufficiency would be guaranteed.
The real truth is less charitable. Rather, it is rooted in a pernicious and often secretive marriage of big business to government. Peering through debates in media and other forums promoting adoption of GMOs, it is apparent multinational companies under the protection of home governments are spending fortunes to market GMOs in Africa.
But why would the US government, for instance, spend so much resources promoting GMOs?
Seed trade is big business valued at Sh1.9 trillion. The aggressive pursuit of seed business by gene giants poses important moral issues. It is evidently prompted by a realisation of the power of the seed. Farming exclusively depends on seeds. Majority of the local farmers own and control their seeds.
They grow their own crops from seeds they have saved from previous harvests. They make decisions concerning seed storage, sharing, replanting as well as redistribution.
By contrast, GMO seeds are patented. Rushed embrace of GM technology could disenfranchise farmers through patenting of naturally-occurring genes. It could lead to licensing and therefore controlling seeds that would normally be freely retained and sown the following season. This “patenting of life” could lead to an unacceptable control and commercialisation of natural resources.
Sole dependency on GM seeds has the potential to create a private monopoly over plants and seeds that would likely be priced way above ordinary farmer purchasing power.”
Climate Shocks And Food Security in Horn of Africa
Climate and food security expert Jim Hansen from the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society lays out the root cause of food insecurity in East Africa.
“Since the early 1990s, there’s been a serious neglect in agricultural development in that region—most of Africa south of the Sahara. It’s been driven more by shifts in ideology than any real evidence among some of the key international development organizations. But as a result, rural communities across Africa have been trapped in worse and worse poverty, and have become more and more vulnerable to the impacts of shocks such as the current drought, and they have become more and more dependent on external humanitarian assistance.
As a result, we have a cycle of accelerating poverty, vulnerability, and dependence, that can best be described as a “a larger and larger slice of a smaller and smaller pie” having to go to short-term crisis relief instead of longer-term development that could have prevented the crisis.
There seems to be some evidence that policy makes a huge difference in the current crisis in the greater Horn of Africa. For example, northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and Somalia have similar severity of drought, but the humanitarian crisis is much more severe—the loss of livelihood and life is greater—in Somalia, largely because the government is weaker, there are fewer policies that are effective at mitigating the effects of the drought, whereas in Ethiopia, there are very strong safety net programs—in Ethiopia and Kenya.”