For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chàvez, who passed away today.
As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television. DVDs also available.
Media may contact Palast at interviews (at) gregpalast.com.
Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It's the oil. And it's the Koch Brothers – and it's the ketchup.
Reverend Pat Robertson said,
"Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." (Show me more...)
Sign the petition to Defend Martin Luther King's Dream Act - here.
Jim Crow is alive and well — and he has mounted a new attack on the law Martin Luther King dreamed of: the Voting Rights Act.
Today, February 27, the Supreme Court will hear a suit brought by Shelby County, Alabama, which challenges the right of the Department of Justice to review changes in voting procedure. Example: Attempts to cut the number of early voting days, to expunge “illegal alien” voters without any evidence, refusing Spanish-language ballots, have been blocked by the Department of Justice and courts because they have stopped Black and Hispanic citizens casting ballots.
Sixteen states are subject to this “pre-clearance” law, every one with a history of Jim Crow rules such as “literacy” tests — Blacks had to recite the Constitution, Whites “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” (Show me more...)
Dr. Charles Steele – Chairman, of Southern Christian Leadership Conference Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr - Freedom Rider, co-founder, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Martin Luther King Jr.’s appointee to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Mrs. Cathelean C. Steele, First Lady and Director, SCLC Director of Programs (Women's Initiatives)
Dr. King's Dream Act is under attack. On Wednesday February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law's requirement that states with a history of Jim Crow voting rules let the Justice Department review new voting procedures. This is the only effective method, today as in 1965, to ensure that every American citizen will not lose their vote because of race or language.
America's heart breaks when we see, a half century after King's Dream speech, African-Americans in Florida standing for six hours to cast their ballot. America's heart breaks when we hear of Latino citizens in Arizona blocked at the polling station door by ID laws and intimidation because of the color of their skin or the language spoken in their homes. (Show me more...)
Normally I wouldn't care what the Times is passing off as fact, except for that, on February the 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Voting Rights Act was the law that Martin Luther King Jr had a dream about a half-century ago: that all citizens will be able to exercise their right to vote. But, like all pleasant dreams, morning means waking up to the ugly reality sleeping next to you.
The pug-uglies in this case are the four Supreme Court justices hostile to the Act. If one more joins them, you can kiss Martin's dream goodbye.
The dream-busters are led by Chief Justice John Roberts. In 2009, he wrote, "The historic accomplishments of the Voting Rights Act are undeniable." But – and Roberts' "but" is huge – the Act is out of date and "fails to account for current political conditions".
According to Roberts, "Jim Crow laws" – the apartheid rules used in the Deep South to keep African-Americans from the polls – have long passed away.
Activists alert: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his son Connor Kennedy were arrested Wednesday in Washington while protesting against approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. A rally in Washington, DC, protesting the Pipeline, has been called by Forward on Climate for Sunday, February 17. Bobby Kennedy, my partner in these investigations, is a contributor to Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang & their Buck Buddies, the book on which this report is based.
According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.
Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:
"I want my fair share – and that's all of it."
Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, (Show me more...)
A parade of media reports this week name Penny Pritzker as Obama's prime choice for Secretary of Commerce. No longer will criminal bankers have to lobby the administration - because now they'll have one of their own in the Cabinet.
We never heard of this guy Barack Obama until 2004. Less than three years before taking the presidency, he was in the Illinois state senate, a swamp of scammers, backhanders, and party machine tools - not a stellar launch pad for the White House. And then, one day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker.
Penny's from Heaven?
Pritzger's net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago.
Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust - at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior's depositors lost millions (Show me more...)
I’ve been tracking a tube of black putrid ooze, a toxic viper slowly slithering 2000 miles across the belly of America, swallowing all water aquifers, politicians and reason in its path.
The XL Keystone Pipeline.
As Nagini, the murderous snake in the Harry Potter tales, had its master Voldemort, I figured the Keystone XL Pipeline much also have its own dark lords.
I smelled Koch.
David and Charles Koch are each worth $20 billion--and they’re quite certain that’s not enough. And so they need the XL Keystone Pipeline.
The XL Keystone will take Canadian tar-sands oil, the filthiest crude on the planet and suck it down to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Alberta’s oil-glop reserve, if it can get to the US market, will warm the planet by nearly .4°C all by itself.
Why in the world would America pistol-whip Mother Nature to bring oil to Texas? I mean, it’s just plain weird to suck heavy tar oil out of Canada, drag it across the entire middle of the USA to import it into the oil-exporting Lone Star State.
This is the tale of two geniuses. One on TV. One Dead.
Portrait of a Genius (Not Piers Morgan)
In 2000, Aaron Swartz, aged 14, had just released his astonishing invention, RSS, liberating news and information, replacing the selection of the tiny minds of editors with your own wide judgment.
Around the same time, one of Piers Morgan's stringers hacked into the phone of Sir Paul McCartney's wife and stole some highly personal, and highly valuable, information – the type of gossip used to sell Morgan's grotty little scandal sheet, The Daily Mirror, the cornerstone of Morgan's $20 million fortune based on tittle and titties.
Electronic burglary for profit is a crime in the UK and USA both. But Piers is serving time on prime time, on CNN.
Aaron Swartz did not get a TV show. The Robin Hood of the Information Liberation Front faced 35 years in prison for a selfless act of civil disobedience. Swartz was charged for the crime of attempting to liberate documents from JSTOR computers. JSTOR is the Goldman Sachs and Politburo of university research papers, a giant information sucker squid that hordes research and discoveries crucial to the public - the public which paid for most of the research.
(If Oxford joined JSTOR when Isaac Newton published, only a well-heeled elite would have the secret of thermodynamics. If Newton worked for Microsoft, we'd be paying a royalty for the use of gravity.)
Aaron, rather than face a life in Obama's dungeon, chose suicide. And Piers? (Show me more...)
Now, if this were a movie, you would hear the audience scream, "DON’T TAKE THE KEY! DON’T GO UP THOSE STAIRS!"
The reporter part of my brain was screaming, too: 'THIS SMELLS BAD.' But I couldn’t hear a thing because, while I was out for the story, the memory of Ms Jamaica’s hand in my pocket had drained the blood from my cerebellum. I went up those stairs. Unlocked the door.