Thursday, March 17, 2011

the real McCoy

remember those fraught and heady days of the Nkunda uprising, more slaughter in the Congo, and the $9 bill Sino-Congolese mining deal? natch that. months for the whole bloody episode to ravel.  got a little hysterical with the prognostications -- Nkunda was shortly dispatched after yappin' his flap about the China contract and then, of course, the global financial meltdown kinda put the skids on, well, everything except bailing out the fuckers that did it  -- but now some bits of the deal are starting to shake out.  globwit tries to nail down the deal, never made public, and finds a few of what they clearly consider to be egregious features of the opaque and now six billion dollar deal. a few are chucklers.
- there are questions over the destination of nearly half of a $50 million signature-bonus payment to the state copper-and-cobalt firm, G├ęcamines;
a half fifty?  that's it?  now, we all appreciate a little cream on the top, but really, half of fifty mil? China is clearly at the bottom of the learning curve.
- a clause in the leaked contract could mean that the joint venture company running the mines will be exempt from any new laws that Congo passes;
oh yeah. the horror. every western company operating almost anywhere, including the us, enjoys this privilege. it may not be written into law that way in the us, but the mining concerns, other extractive industries and the power industry flirt law, pollute and kill, all the time and with near complete impunity. there is no de facto difference. except, in the congo, it's pretty much cash up. in the us, bribes are served up as a wholesome steaming buffet of tasty monetary and non-monetary treats. as with any healthful buffet, variety is key.
- no consideration is given in the leaked contract to issues of social and environmental protection.
except for the walruses. they all do not want to hurt the walruses.

count me jaded, but that list doesn't look all that much different than what most multinationals manage to hammer out of most third world countries. they rape land, foul water, putrefy air, abuse the population, if not enslave them by proxy, profit and leave. sometimes, they can stay and profit for a very long time.  actually, considering what is going on the us and japan, forget that third world stuff. multinats will be more than happy to plunk nuclear reactors on top of active faults zones, and apparently, no one in any authority will blink at the thought. and, while they're callously and or witlessly planning a nuclear meltdown, why not do it on the cheap? the GE Mark I. if you're gonna be dumb, go big.

congo flare ups seem almost tame considering the stream of high calibre mayhem of late.  obama comes in. change. goes big in the 'ghant'stan. africa, middle east protests erupt, chosen ones take, others, like near a us naval base, quashed with brutality. corporate control of the global food supply amplifies. record heat, biblical floods, volcanic eruptions, earth rattling earth quakes, monster tsunamis, tens of thousands dead in moments, and now multiple potential nuclear meltdowns.

obama, of course, cannot bring himself to state the obvious.  why is that, some people wonder. well, here is obama's energy secretary, stephen hump the nuke chu, explaining what, exactly, is at stake.
“We are aggressively pursuing nuclear energy. We are, as we have repeatedly said, working hard to restart the American nuclear power industry.”
uh oh.

you see that? that's looking suspiciously like one of those dangerous legacy delusions president's get in their heads. all the time, it would seem.  that's always bad. if prezes get in their head that they are creating some legacy in some matter or another, well, look out. nothin' is gonna change that head. the constructor for this particular instance of the President() class has attributes of the nuclear industry. especially with all those exelon dollars and jobbers pouring in the door.

and there's obama, intoning most resolutely that the us needs more plutonium! in the midst of nuclear disaster.

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