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January 03, 2008
Corporations Increasingly Run This Country
The Right Side
SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) -- Today we are living under the control of that military-industrial complex. In 1975, there was a great movie called Rollerball starring James Caan.
In a nutshell, it was about a futuristic society (2018) where corporations controlled everything. Not individual corporations mind you, but giant worldwide conglomerates. James Caan?s character ?Jonathan? was the star rollerball player for the Energy Corporation. Rollerball was an ultra-violent skating sport where the players killed each other for the entertainment of the masses. The other corporations included Transportation, Housing and Food. As listed in Wikipedia: ?In Rollerball, the rule of the global corporations is absolute. With the defeat of the nations by the corporations, the typical bases of governmental authority (such as consent of the governed, birthright of kings and concentration of military force) are meaningless. Instead the governance of the world is based on a corporate model.? The corporate system could be seen as a form of neofeudalism.?
Fantasy aside, where are we today? The corporations have not officially ?defeated the nations,? at least not obviously. If they are able to exercise control, what?s the difference? Control and profits.
According to HalliburtonWatch.org; Halliburton announced on Friday that its KBR division, responsible for carrying out Pentagon contracts, experienced a 284 percent increase in operating profits during the second quarter of this year. And we thought Exxon was getting rich!) They reported that ?The increase in profits was primarily due to the Pentagon?s payment of ?award fees? for what military officials call ?good? or ?very good? work done by KBR in the Middle East for America?s taxpayers and the troops.
The website reported that despite the scandals that plague KBR?s military contracts, the Pentagon awarded $70 million in award fees to the company, along with four ratings of ?excellent? and two ratings of ?very good? for the troop logistics work under the Army?s LOGCAP contract.
The website also reported that ?In another coup for Halliburton, a federal judge this month decided that whistleblowers may not sue U.S. companies for fraud if payment for services was made in Iraqi, not U.S., money.
?How is that for total control? Halliburton was paid over $1 billion in Iraqi oil money during the first 15 months of the occupation. The judge?s ruling means the False Claims Act cannot be used to offer large rewards to corporate insiders who reveal wrongdoing or overcharges for services. (284 percent increase in profits) The (False Claims) law is considered America?s most successful deterrent against contractor fraud, but the judge?s decision will help Halliburton and other contractors avoid tough scrutiny in Iraq.?
Now, I am not trying to focus on Halliburton particularly, they are just an easy source of data. What I am trying to say is that our system is out of control. As I mentioned last week 70 percent of Americans disagree with our foreign policy. Yet, nothing changes.
Who is really in charge of our county? Not the majority of Americans obviously. Evidently, the democracy we are supposedly spreading to the world doesn?t exist for us here at home. We have seen that changing Presidents and Congress make no difference in the directions we go. Since we don?t get to vote for the corporate heads that seem to be trying to control our future; we need to return to a constitutional, limited form of government ? quickly. It?s only 10 more years to Rollerball?s 2018 society ? Maybe it wasn?t science fiction after all.
Rick Coddington has lived in Socorro since 1974. His opinions do not necessarily represent the Mountain Mail.
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