Tuesday, May 26, 2009

They Count on Our Short Memories

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."
-- Albert Einstein

Now that Big Oil has drastically dropped the price at the gasoline pump from the record highs of 2008, most Americans have forgotten about the obscene profits that they raked in and the energy surcharges that virtually every other business passed on to consumers.

Now that the health-care industry has promised to play nice, many in Washington seem to be compromising on the struggle for universal health-care forgetting the millions of Americans without coverage and the millions of others who thought they had coverage until their medical claims were denied.

And now it seems that the prevailing attitude in Washington regarding investigating the apparent abuses of President powers and violations of the Constitution by the previous White House is to let bygones be bygones.

And if history is any indicator, in spite of the outrage over executive bonuses and threatened tea parties, it won't be long before the American public will have forgotten that Wall Street and the banking industry has raided the public treasury in a way that would make even Baby Doc Duvalier blush.

As Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." The corrupt can generally count on the public's short memory and the need to maintain the status quo.

However, every once in awhile a few people rise up and are not satisfied with just looking on while those who can get away with murder do so, over and over again. And thank goodness that there are media outlets like DemocracyNow who cover it.

Shell on Trial: Landmark Trial Set to Begin Over Shell’s Role in 1995 Execution of Nigerian Human Rights Activist Ken Saro-Wiwa

"A landmark trial against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell’s alleged involvement in human rights violations in the Niger Delta begins this Wednesday in a federal court in New York. Fourteen years after the widely condemned execution of the acclaimed Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, the court will hear allegations that Shell was complicit in his torture and execution.".

The True Cost of Chevron: The Alternative Annual Report

"Now Chevron’s annual report reports that 2008 was the company’s most profitable year in history. Just ahead of Chevron’s shareholder meeting, a new report released today tells shareholders more about the hidden and underreported costs of these profits. The alternative annual report is called “The True Cost of Chevron.” It brings together stories from communities across the world—Angola, Burma, Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Ecuador, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United States—all directly affected by and in struggle against Chevron’s operations. We speak to the report’s author and James Craig, media adviser for Latin America for Chevron."

Thanks DemocracyNow for reminding us that not everyone forgets.

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