“If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Can you imagine a trillion? How about the almost 9 trillion of our national debt? How could the $2,000,000,000,000 (2 trillion) that the Iraq War has cost us so far been spent instead? At a cost of less than 200 billion a year – about a tenth of the total war budget – we could eliminate extreme poverty everywhere! What does this say about America’s priorities?
Israel has blocked all fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip, a move that Amnesty International calls deliberate collective punishment. As electricity and fuel supplies run out, and humanitarian assistance is cut off, this may well escalate to a full-blown humanitarian emergency for the entire Gaza Strip.
The organization called for an immediate lifting of the fuel blockade and of other restrictions which have effectively prevented entry or exit of people and goods from the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control in the territory, in which 1.5 million Palestinians live, in June 2007. … Amnesty International acknowledged Israel’s right to take measures to protect its population from rocket and other attacks by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, but condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision to cut off the already tightly restricted supplies of fuel, electricity and humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s inhabitants.
“This action appears calculated to make an already dire humanitarian situation worse, one in which the most vulnerable – the sick, the elderly, women and children – will bear the brunt, not the men of violence who carry out attacks against Israel,” said Malcolm Smart. “The rocket attacks should cease, and immediately, but the entire population of Gaza should not be put at risk to bring this about. …“Now, even crucial aid is not allowed to reach those that need it most in Gaza. These measures must be stopped and the passage of aid, fuel and electricity and other basic necessities must be allowed to resume immediately”, said Malcolm Smart.
Corporate sponsored energy programs have taken root in American Universities. So what’s the problem with that?
How about – get this – corporate representatives sitting on governing boards? How about corporate sponsors influencing the direction of research before the funding decisions are made? How about giving away the exclusive rights for commercialization, effectively subcontracting research rather than promoting independent research? How about delaying the publication of research while they scurry for the patents?
“It’s a cheap subterfuge for carbon-emitting companies,” said Merrill Goozner, director of the CSPI’s Integrity in Science Project. “They get the prestige of associating themselves with major respected universities, yet can control the direction of research and get first rights to intellectual property while delaying any finding that doesn’t help the bottom line. Meanwhile, the p.r. blitz surrounding these programs masks the fact that the carbon-emitting industries actually are spending much less on research and development than they did 10 or 15 years ago.”
Between 1998 and 2005, Exxon gave more than $19 million to groups that promoted the idea that global warming was a hoax. Yet beginning in 2006, ExxonMobil ads proudly touted the company’s funding of the Stanford program: “Today an energy company and a leading university share a common goal. The common good.” Another ExxonMobil ad bore the Stanford University seal.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has done a pretty damning study, and they recommend that universities accepting corporate funding adopt policies to protect the autonomy of themselves and their researchers.
There’s a proposal in the works to turn Union Square – the famous Washington Mall site of the Capitol reflecting pool and the Grant Memorial – into a designated protest place. Oh, swell. You can imagine the debate going on.
“This is a sugar-coating effort to conceal the real plan, which is to reorganize the Mall from its traditional venue as the heart and soul of this country’s free-speech protest movement,” said Brian Becker, national coordinator of Answer, an antiwar coalition.
C’mon, you millions! Off to the protest area! You are not allowed around here!
Other noteworthy articles collected at Common Dreams:
- A Failure to Think: Defeat in Iraq? By its own hubristic prospectus, the neocon project has been a cataclysm – caused by a total lack of analysis by Jonathan Steele
- Covering Up the Coverage – The American Media’s Complicit Failure to Investigate and Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case by Daniel Ellsberg
- The Lessons of Violence by Chris Hedges
- US Among Harshest for Sentencing Children by Daniel Macallair
- Accused of Hiding Drug Dangers Again, Big Pharma Starts 2008 Defending Itself by Martha Rosenberg