RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Cole writes: "While it is true that you don't typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America's political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $16 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands."

(illustration: dew4/Wikipedia)
(illustration: dew4/Wikipedia)


Top 10 Ways the US Is the Most Corrupt Country in the World

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

03 December 13

 

hose ratings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly "corrupt" always imply that the United States is not corrupt.

VOA reports:

While it is true that you don't typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America's political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $16 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands.

1. Instead of having short, publicly-funded political campaigns with limited and/or free advertising (as a number of Western European countries do), the US has long political campaigns in which candidates are dunned big bucks for advertising. They are therefore forced to spend much of their time fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes. All American politicians are basically on the take, though many are honorable people. They are forced into it by the system. House Majority leader John Boehner has actually just handed out cash on the floor of the House from the tobacco industry to other representatives.

When French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated in 2012, soon thereafter French police actually went into his private residence searching for an alleged $50,000 in illicit campaign contributions from the L'Oreale heiress. I thought to myself, seriously? $50,000 in a presidential campaign? Our presidential campaigns cost a billion dollars each! $50,000 is a rounding error, not a basis for police action. Why, George W. Bush took millions from arms manufacturers and then ginned up a war for them, and the police haven't been anywhere near his house.

American politicians don't represent "the people." With a few honorable exceptions, they represent the the 1%. American democracy is being corrupted out of existence.

2. That politicians can be bribed to reduce regulation of industries like banking (what is called "regulatory capture") means that they will be so bribed. Billions were spent and 3,000 lobbyists employed by bankers to remove cumbersome rules in the zeroes. Thus, political corruption enabled financial corruption (in some cases legalizing it!) Without regulations and government auditing, the finance sector went wild and engaged in corrupt practices that caused the 2008 crash. Too bad the poor Afghans can't just legislate their corruption out of existence by regularizing it, the way Wall street did.

3. That the chief villains of the 2008 meltdown (from which 90% of Americans have not recovered) have not been prosecuted is itself a form of corruption.

4. The US military budget is bloated and enormous, bigger than the military budgets of the next twelve major states. What isn't usually realized is that perhaps half of it is spent on outsourced services, not on the military. It is corporate welfare on a cosmic scale. I've seen with my own eyes how officers in the military get out and then form companies to sell things to their former colleagues still on the inside.

5. The US has a vast gulag of 2.2 million prisoners in jail and penitentiary. There is an increasing tendency for prisons to be privatized, and this tendency is corrupting the system. It is wrong for people to profit from putting and keeping human beings behind bars. This troubling trend is made all the more troubling by the move to give extra-long sentences for minor crimes, to deny parole and to imprison people for life for e,g, three small thefts.

6. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. This and other government policies has produced a situation where 400 American billionaires are worth $2 trillion, as much as the bottom 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn't been seen in the US since the age of the robber barons in the nineteenth century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

7. The National Security Agency's domestic spying is a form of corruption in itself, and lends itself to corruption. With some 4 million government employees and private contractors engaged in this surveillance, it is highly unlikely that various forms of insider trading and other corrupt practices are not being committed. If you knew who Warren Buffett and George Soros were calling every day, that alone could make you a killing. The American political class wouldn't be defending this indefensible invasion of citizens' privacy so vigorously if someone somewhere weren't making money on it.

8. As for insider trading, it turns out Congress undid much of the law it hastily passed forbidding members, rather belatedly, to engage in insider trading (buying and selling stock based on their privileged knowledge of future government policy). That this practice only became an issue recently is another sign of how corrupt the system is.

9. Asset forfeiture in the 'drug war' is corrupting police departments and the judiciary.

10. Money and corruption have seeped so far into our media system that people can with a straight face assert that scientists aren't sure human carbon emissions are causing global warming. Fox Cable News is among the more corrupt institutions in American society, purveying outright lies for the benefit of the billionaire class. The US is so corrupt that it is resisting the obvious urgency to slash carbon production. Even our relatively progressive president talks about exploiting all sources of energy, as though hydrocarbons were just as valuable as green energy and as though hydrocarbons weren't poisoning the earth.

Even Qatar, its economy based on natural gas, freely admits the challenge of human-induced climate change. American politicians like Jim Inhofe are openly ridiculed when they travel to Europe for their know-nothingism on climate.

So don't tell the Philippines or the other victims of American corruption how corrupt they are for taking a few petty bribes. Americans are not seen as corrupt because we only deal in the big denominations. Steal $2 trillion and you aren't corrupt, you're respectable.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+74 # Billy Bob 2013-12-03 19:03
The list shouldn't have stopped at 10. Ten's a nice round number, but I could easily have added another 10-20 myself.
 
 
+19 # brux 2013-12-03 23:21
What's stopping you? ;-)
 
 
+57 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 11:05
First of all, I didn't get a chance to get back to it.

Second, what's the point? Is there any evidence we're likely to turn it around any time soon?

Third, it's hard to just mention them quickly, because a lot of them require explanation.

Anyway, here's a few that I feel were left out:

-Our universities granting degrees to the highest bidder.
-Our inability to fund public education (considering how much we spend on feeding the military industrial machine)
-The fact that health care is for profit and not considered a right.
-The fact that ordinary people are becoming desensitized to invasive intrusions into their privacy.
-The fact that we can't have free elections with a reliable count and allowing everyone to participate (that's kind of a big one)
-The fact that cities (e.g. Detroit) have been taken over by anti-democratic forces trying to ram punishments down their throats for having too many poor people.
-The fact that our entire country, and civilian mindset has become militarized (to the point where war is now a popular "video game" genre)
-The fact that we TORTURE people.
-The fact that we have the resources and technology TODAY to convert to wind, solar and hydro-electric COMPLETELY, but won't do that, because there's still a killing to be made - KILLING people and the environment.
-The fact that "union" is now a naughty word.

---------

Well, that's 11 more, and it only took about 2 minutes to write. I'm out of word count now.
 
 
+26 # bigkahuna671 2013-12-04 12:12
Love it, Billy Bob. Wish I had the time to add to your list, but you seem to speak for both of us. Keep it up...
 
 
+10 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 16:36
Thanks. Those are kind words.
 
 
+19 # tabonsell 2013-12-04 20:29
Let's add the free ride many corporations get when they pay no taxes.

That allows them to cook the books and declare profit when no profit actually exists. See Enron.

When the stock price rises on the phony profits, executives exercise their stock options to buy stock at a bargain price then immediately use that stock price to borrow from the company and give the stock as collateral. Once again, see Enron. Major profits for the executives and no taxes paid.
 
 
+34 # bigkahuna671 2013-12-04 09:56
Billy Bob, as usual we are right on track. I was ready to question Juan's accounting but, after reading, I now totally agree with him. I've travelled all over this wonderful world that we're trying to destroy, some of that travel unwanted to Vietnam, but my other trips made me aware of all the lies we're fed from birth how special we are. The fact is, we're encouraged to believe that so our politicians can twist us around to doing what they want, which is essentially to rip us off legally lining their and their cronies pockets. I've seen the bloat in the military. Yes, a lot of it is the Halliburton, RMK-BRJ (remember Vietnam), and Blackwater type, but there's also the bloat that comes from having too many chiefs and not enough Indians (yes, I'm being un-PC). We have way too many senior officers who end up collecting massive retirement benefits. Remember, they get 2.5% of their base pay for each year served. Since O5s make 6 figures and serve at least 20 years, you can see that the Generals and Admirals really pull in the $$$ since they get 75% of their base pay (over $100K per year). Then we have the bloat that's forced on the military like Sherrod Brown's pushing a cargo jet the AF doesn't want - most of the jets are going directly into mothballs at the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB. I could go on and on about the privatization of prisons, one of our own Gov. Brewer's top aides represented the industry which runs prisons in AZ. Yep, we ARE corrupt!!
 
 
+21 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-12-04 14:00
Here's one for you. There are many landowners who do not want a pipeline company cutting up their land. The builders of the Southern Keystone Pipeline leg need certain parts of properties. The builders of the pipeline just take what land they need and the judges "look the other way." Even when the landowners go to court and try to defend their right to their property. Inter-state companies, as a rule of law, are not permitted this illegal act, condemming property for their own use.
Needless to say, Judges have sided with Keystone Pipeline builders.

Why cannot Canada build their own ports and refineries to get rid of Alberta tar sands ultra dirty crude? Hell, it is cheaper to cut up the U.S. with a pipeline and pollute our country rather than Canada. And Obama said, as regards "fracking," "we've got the technology to do this." Excuse me while I puke.
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 16:37
More good examples.
 
 
+8 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 16:38
I didn't realize some of that about the military. There's never a shortage of this garbage, is there?
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 18:02
I would like to know, why the negative? Does someone disagree about the corruption bigkahuna671 pointed out? It sounds like another very good example to me.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 16:39
This reply was for bigkahuna671.
 
 
+12 # bigkahuna671 2013-12-04 18:38
Billy Bob, I'm retired military with a father and two brothers who are also retired military. I have a number of relatives who are also retired military. I'm quite familiar with the way military retirements are set up. Also, wars create more flag officers to head all the different operations the Defense Dept. requires. You know, you can't have some little Marine Captain making decisions, so you create another position requiring a General or Admiral, then fill that position. In an aside, have you ever noticed the numbers of ribbons on the chests of our senior military? I laugh at so many with 9 and 10 rows of ribbons which make them appear to be great warriors, even though many of them have never seen real combat, just the usual in-the-rear-wit h-the beer-and-the-ge ar, what we called in the Corps, "pokey-bait Marines." After these guys get out, they start their own companies using their influence with the Pentagon and their senior officer buddies to get contracts for themselves and other friends.
 
 
+4 # Doubter 2013-12-04 18:59
"many of them have never seen real combat"

I agree with everything you say, but I dare make a correction to the above.

NONE of them (except Adolph Hitler who was on the line in WWI - conscious comparison) dare approach the front lines, except for Gral. Patton, who came up to where we were stalled at the Siegfried Line and asked our Captain why we didn't advance. The Captain told him his infantry wasn't very effective against the 'line's' dragon teeth defenses. Patton had tanks floated across the Sauer River that very night, and we advanced next morning - though we bypassed the line's defenses.
 
 
+13 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 19:10
My dad navigated troop carrier planes and supplies. He also picked up casualties, etc. (including those that they rescued from death camps). He said they had a hard time even keeping up with Patton.

Also, my uncle rode one of Patton's tanks and was the only person in his group to survive a particular battle. I have another uncle who witnessed the battle first hand and wrote to my grandparents (in code) to tell them the other uncle was probably dead.

I don't know where I'm going with this, other than the fact that none of the 3 men I'm referring to (my dad or either of my uncles) walked away from that war without serious scars, serious reservations about war, and without a realistic outlook about what this all really means.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 19:14
Good comments.
 
 
+7 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-12-04 14:03
Hey guys (and gals). Keep supporting RSN. Where else can you get excellent coverage of events?
 
 
+13 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-12-04 20:12
Twice on the Bill Maher show, Bill mentioned that 8 billion dollars were sent to Iraq. Neatly wrapped in cellophane. Loaded on pallets. "Just disappeared." Not investigated but "merely reported." And Bush buys a 100,000 acre ranch in another country. No connection, missing money and Bush's ranch purchase, "of course." War is very profitable to "some" except those who came back home in coffins or became deadly sick from DU, "depleted uranium."
 
 
+57 # Carol R 2013-12-03 23:10
Too many Americans are just plain ignorant of what is happening. For that, I blame the media. Repeat anything often enough and it becomes a truth. The media should be squashing these 'truths' and not giving equal time to every corrupt politician's warped thoughts.
 
 
+20 # lyman 2013-12-04 08:06
And the reason the media perform the way they do is the bribes that politicians collect (Cole's Point #1) are passed along in turn to the media, which thus has a vested interest in "long political campaigns in which candidates are dunned big bucks for advertising." It is in fact the bottom line of American commercial media that the political system here is one in which "American politicians are [by and large] basically on the take."
Ask yourself what would happen to the stock value (and hence executive compensation) of "news and" entertainment corporations if their take from political advertisements were suddenly to evaporate from their quarterly reports.
Such media will never lend themselves to being a medium through which a campaign to remedy this aspect of our political system gets the slightest traction.
There may be ways around this. But none of them pass THROUGH the media. (In this respect we are in virtually the same predicament as the people of, say, China.) The media in question are integrally part and parcel of the political corruption entrenched in this country.
 
 
+12 # brux 2013-12-04 09:14
You should blame the ignorant Americans themselves. It is up to all of us to realize what is going on in the world, and despite the media, it's pretty plain to most of us that what is going on is wrong. Most of us must be thinking somewhere in the backs of our heads that we either benefit from the way things are, of the risk to ourselves versus any gains that were made in any change would be too much relative to any gain we personally would see. That says most of us do not really think people as a group can do any better than we are now. I think that must be true ... pathetic, but true.
 
 
+8 # Toribeth 2013-12-04 10:43
This is because the media is also corrupt.
 
 
+3 # Pikewich 2013-12-06 17:03
The reason the media operates this way is because it is corporate funded for the purpose of manufacturing consent. They have been at it for decades if not longer, and have it down to a science.
 
 
-50 # brux 2013-12-03 23:20
I pretty much agree with everything here, except the bloated military budget. Not that it is not bloated, it is, but that the strongest military in the world, i.e. even stronger than the next 12 nations combined, is a necessity. It would not even be a problem for us except for 1-3 and 5-10 - that is, it would be a heavy cost to bear, but one that we could easily share the burden of if we were not doing everything else wrong.

The world has had a relative peace since WWII, and most of the large conflicts have had the US front and center. They have provided us with training, and innovations in strategy and weapons, but we have abused our power, and let a lot of that expertise out to find its way to China and other places. The US military is for the most part a globally stabilizing factor, much as I want to choke on saying that. Most of the reason we have not had WWIII is the US military.

However, things look like in all dimensions we are approaching many instabilities. I sure hope we can hang on until the people figure out this is serious and start working together for change.
 
 
+35 # Granny Weatherwax 2013-12-03 23:49
Tell that to Allende, Mossadegh or Lumumba.
 
 
-35 # brux 2013-12-04 09:08
Tell what? There have been lots of victims, and without it there would have been more, your pathetic pandering statement addresses none of that, you just want to sound like a know it all.
 
 
+50 # Farafalla 2013-12-04 00:10
Imperialism is peaceful. We export our wars to poor countries where the least threatening people can blow each other to bits. We'll supply the fire power.
 
 
-7 # brux 2013-12-04 09:09
So, will it, can it, end, when enough people realize the game and react against it? Maybe that is the way it can happen, but not much is happening now and I don't see anything much changing within any of our lifetimes.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 11:09
Not with your attitude to deal with.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-12-08 23:39
you think your attitude is going to change anything? you think attitudes matter? i don't. i think seeing things clearly matter more than attitude. attitude may matter if you want to move people and get elected, but getting elected is basically being part of the system. attitudes don't matter ... words, ideas matter, but few really listen to them.
 
 
+42 # marigayl 2013-12-04 01:28
The "stabilizing" US military has been continually fighting wars. Ask the countries our military has laid to ruin how stabilizing US aggression has been. And yet the US has won no wars since WW II, so what's been the point of these worse than futile exercises?--the consumption of the products of the military industrial complex, merrily pocketing the trillions the US is in debt because of its many wars and the greed of the manufacturers who want their deadly products consumed.
 
 
-11 # brux 2013-12-04 09:11
Pretty much, yeah. Pathetic isn't it. About as efficient as having to drive a tank to work ... but you gotta get to work and if a tank is the only thing you got, you get in an turn the key. We will only do better when it is demanded. Why do you suppose it is not?
 
 
+10 # skipb48 2013-12-04 09:00
I would disagree with "Most of the reason we have not had WWIII is the US military." I would put more emphasis on global trade. The major countries of the world cannot afford the economic disruption of trade a great war would entail. Especially in the Rare Earth minerals market.
 
 
-9 # brux 2013-12-04 09:12
That's a good point, but stability and dominance goes before trade. Trade as we like to call it is simple monopoly playing out within our hegemony. Notice we did not want Cuba to trade with anyone ... that came before realizing the best cigars in the world come from there and we could trade for them ... right? ;-)
 
 
+6 # Interested Observer 2013-12-04 10:13
The major reason that there has not been a WWIII is that such a war would inevitably lead to a large scale nuclear exchange ending civilization as most know it. Would any side be willing to lose without first employing every tool at its disposal? All major powers seem to appreciate this, and still there were the close calls over Cuba in 1962 and a NATO exercise of 1983 (that gets far too little attention, is it a coincidence that Reagan sabre-rattling toned down in the second term?). There is little reason to think that the cold war might not have become the next large conventional war if conventional war remained the only option, even with the example of WWII not so distant in time. The unhappy German people were very willing to be led into another inferno after the ruinous WWI so long as they believed they would win. The passing of a generation is sufficient to soften the climate for another round of propaganda, patriotism, and war profiteers safe from actual combat willing to roll dice for the rest of us again.
 
 
+13 # rockieball 2013-12-04 12:35
The world has not and has never been at peace. Week had the the insurrection that created Israel, The Korean War, The fight for India's independence, French in the 50's then USA in the 60's, in Vietnam USA in the 50's with troop in Thailand and Ike sending troops into Lebanon. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the 6 day and Yum Kipper wars. The USA invasion of Grenada, Panama, Gulf War 1, Bosnia, troops into Ethiopia, USA into and still in Afghanistan, Gulf War 2. Not to mention the Cold War. And bogus wars on drugs and terrorism.The US has disestablished countries from the duly elected president of Iran to install it's puppet the Shah, to installing Noreagia and backing any penny anti dictator with troops and arms that said they were against the communist. As Washington Irving said. "History is only the chronological listing of wars and mans inhumanity to man."
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2013-12-04 13:46
Brux, have you never wondered just WHY most of the large conflicts have had the US "front and center"?
 
 
-11 # brux 2013-12-04 22:25
NO, it's because the "peace" is a US peace, like the Pax Romana was a Roman peace. Same with the Pax Britannia, or anything else, there is always constant war, constant infringement of societies on each other. Look at the Island of New Guinnea and the over 100 societies that live there, before the West came there there was constant war and strife. It may not seem like it, but there is less violence today than ever before.
 
 
+1 # tedrey 2013-12-08 07:23
[quote name="brux"]'NO , it's because the "peace" is a US peace, like the Pax Romana was a Roman peace.'

Tacitus, who was there, knew better. "They rob, kill and plunder all under the deceiving name of Roman Rule. They make a desert and call it peace."
 
 
0 # brux 2013-12-08 23:37
yeah ... it's what i said, and assuming you live in america, or even if you don't and just live in the american empire, you are part of it.

it's not the american empire, its the whole system, and who is sure it is not just human beings in general? it's what we have made the world into ... and if we do not have a very provable specific thing to change it into, it ain't gonna budge.
 
 
+13 # RODNOX 2013-12-04 21:20
i mostly agree with your posts except that if we werent out there screwing with every country and every issue in the world and making people want to retaliate , we would not need 800 + military bases----we are not the worlds police--just the opposite--we are the worlds THUGS-we constantly threaten-blackm ail--coerce--ma nipulate and then we do more black ops and then if you dont fall in line we bomb you----or in some cases we give the weapons to a rogue illegitimate state or group and have them do our dirty work for us---we are in every manner THE MOST CORRUPT country in the world---actions -ideaology---et c sorry but i did keep hoping there was a glimmer of integrity in our past but you must go back to BEN FRANKLINS time to find it
 
 
-2 # brux 2013-12-04 22:27
There is a thin line between thug and police. You are right in your criticisms, it's just that the same criticisms could be leveled at any number of empires past and present. There is also a lot we do not know about the past because it was never so open and reported on as today is.
 
 
+4 # Pikewich 2013-12-06 17:10
How is manufacturing terrorists out of citizens in the middle east a
stabilizing" factor? How is murdering civilians with drone strikes, enraging the survivors to the point they become willing to strap bombs to their bodies a stabilizing influence? How is having military bases where you are not wanted a stabilizing influence.

How many foreign military bases do we have on US soil? Would you like that? Would you be OK with some foreign government flying drones overhead day after day occasionally blowing you friends, family and/or relatives to bits?

Just put yourself in the other guy's shoes and say to yourself, I am OK with US imperialism.
 
 
+47 # reiverpacific 2013-12-03 23:47
From my own experience, this article is a start but only touches on a tithe of what is done in the name of corruption-for- a-cause (global domination and profit for a few) by a country that has corrupted much of the world and I've seen quite a bit of it up close and personal in all it's corporate, military, CIA -backed, black-burning glory.
In such a situation, you either get sucked in and conform as the ghastly truth becomes clear, or you get out if you can -at some risk as I can attest.
Brux; -respectfully, sorry but the US military is the most resource-gobbli ng, planet and nation wasting, evil and itself corrupt entity in the history of the world and many have been done to death in trying to bring it to heel including a president and his brother.
For my part, I've had a couple of cocktails as I write this so I'll leave it to Hamlet's fahter's ghost to put it much better than I ever could (brackets mine).
"I could (many) a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father (or country) love".
 
 
-17 # brux 2013-12-04 09:07
> the US military is the most resource-gobbli ng, planet and nation wasting, evil and itself corrupt entity in the history of the world

Resource gobbling, I'll grant you that ... but not the rest. You are merely grandstanding for the peanut gallery morons here on RSN that will vote up anything that sounds foppish.

I did not say the US military was efficient, and neither is most of the other stuff humanity does. I said that it has provided a "pax romana" so to speak in the modern world. It has prevented WWIII, and imposed instead of major war a series of minor wars and terrorism. I think you do not realize just how bad human metrics are and are confusing the real with the fantastic. We are certainly not going to have peace in any of our lifetimes, much as we all would like to. There is simply no path for it, and no coherent constituency to push it down that path if there was one.

Those of us who care are pretty much like modern people living among a giant herd of neanderthals ( apologies to neanderthals ) we just have to watch while the neanderthals either extinct themselves and everyone else, or they evolve, but either way it is so slow we are not going to be there to see it happen. Short of a miracle at least.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2013-12-04 19:03
Quoting brux:
> the US military is the most resource-gobbli ng, planet and nation wasting, evil and itself corrupt entity in the history of the world

Resource gobbling, I'll grant you that ... but not the rest. You are merely grandstanding for the peanut gallery morons here on RSN that will vote up anything that sounds foppish.

I did not say the US military was efficient, and neither is most of the other stuff humanity does. I said that it has provided a "pax romana" so to speak in the modern world. It has prevented WWIII, and imposed instead of major war a series of minor wars and terrorism. I think you do not realize just how bad human metrics are and are confusing the real with the fantastic. We are certainly not going to have peace in any of our lifetimes, much as we all would like to. There is simply no path for it, and no coherent constituency to push it down that path if there was one.

Those of us who care are pretty much like modern people living among a giant herd of neanderthals ( apologies to neanderthals ) we just have to watch while the neanderthals either extinct themselves and everyone else, or they evolve, but either way it is so slow we are not going to be there to see it happen. Short of a miracle at least.


O' really; please share your idea of "Grandstanding" . I did reply "respectfully" to keep the exchange civil but you're pushing your luck if you want me to continue it that way.
Also, what do you mean by "foppish" in this context?
 
 
+1 # Doubter 2013-12-04 19:41
REIVERPACIFIC:
Don't go teetotaler on us!
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2013-12-04 20:17
Quoting Doubter:
REIVERPACIFIC:
Don't go teetotaler on us!


No worries there mate!

"And oft as Wine has play'd the Infidel
And robb'd me of my robe of honor -well:
I often wonder what the Vinter buys
's so half as precious as the goods he sells".
-A wise Persian.
Hope that's not seen by some here as "Grandstanding" .
 
 
+3 # fredboy 2013-12-04 09:18
Raise your hand if you are surprised by this.

Look! You are the only one with your hand up!

Solid reporting of a tragic story.
 
 
+11 # mgwmgw 2013-12-04 09:53
Whether or not these things are "corruption" in the usual sense of that word, I think that we can agree that they are things we wish were not true of America.

So, what should we do about it?
 
 
+1 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-12-04 11:03
You know, it must be infectious:
http://www.ibtimes.com/canadian-companies-are-most-corrupt-fraudulent-according-world-bank-blacklist-1406502
Canadian Companies Are The Most Corrupt And Fraudulent, According To World Bank Blacklist
One Canadian company has the highest number of corrupt and fraudulent subsidiaries, according to a list of blacklisted organizations produced by the World Bank.
 
 
+8 # draypoker 2013-12-04 11:45
The period since WWII has actually been one of nearly continual war, possibly the most bellicose in known history. I have no idea who is really to blame but it doesn't help to pretend it has been peaceful.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 19:13
I think the problem is that it's been profitable.
 
 
-16 # UpperMidWest 2013-12-04 12:21
I'm sure Robert Mugabe is relieved to read the headline. Another J. Cole tantrum! The Chair of Environmental Sciences at Georgia Tech questions anthropogenic global warming; that must really P.O. Cole! But whine on.
 
 
+8 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 23:29
THANK YOU!

You just pointed out an entire subject I forgot to mention:

Namely, the fact that man-made global warming is obviously real (just ask 98% of all climatologists).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Climate_science_opinion2.png

BUT, SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much attention is paid to the other 2%.

"Coincidentally", the very people behind all the attention being paid to the 2% of climatologists who disagree with the overwhelming majority, just "SO HAPPEN" to be directly involved in the dirty fuel industry.

I'm sure it's a coincidence.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 23:30
By the way, I bothered to Google your claim (something you didn't bother to do), and found that you're talking about Judith Curry.

In 2010, she said this:

"I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry. My company...does [short-term] hurricane forecasting...f or an oil company, since 2007. During this period I have been both a strong advocate for the IPCC, and more recently a critic of the IPCC, there is no correlation of this funding with my public statements."

--------------------

YEP, THAT WAS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF CORRUPTION!!!

THANK YOU!!!
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-12-04 23:34
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Judith_Curry
 
 
+1 # Paul Robinson 2013-12-05 15:03
Your list was rather short, and there will be more and more to add to the list in the near future. I know this based on history of other Great Empires, and the Bible.
 
 
+5 # elizabethblock 2013-12-05 17:00
Re private prisons: a sterling example of what Jane Jacobs called monstrous hybrids, i.e. built0in conflicts of interest. It's in the interest (financial, if not political) of governments to have as few people in prison as possible. It's in the interest of the private prison companies to have as MANY as possible. Do you figure they are lobbying for more criminal offenses, lower standards for conviction, longer sentences? not to mention charging prisoners for room and board, a practice that I had thought went out with the middle ages.
 
 
0 # Zozo 2013-12-06 11:41
The U.S. could not be seen as the most corrupt country in the world if the potus were most exactly like Mr. Nelson Mandela, instead of the exact opposite of that man.
 
 
+1 # Zozo 2013-12-06 12:58
After further reading about the history of N.M. I retract my comment. Most politicians specialize in deception.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN