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An Accident Waiting to Happen

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  • As oil trains derail across the United States, a windswept—and vulnerable—stretch of Montana’s Glacier National Park underscores the folly of transporting crude by rail.
  • The Crime of the Century

Elizabeth Royte, OnEarth Magazine

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A BNSF train in Glacier Park. (Photo: Matthew Smith/cc/flickr)

February 23, 2014 | The trains roll throughout the day, running east and west along the snow-blanketed tracks of northwestern Montana, dipping low along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. Boxcars, intermodal freight containers, and bulk cargo clamber up and then down the Continental Divide. Night falls, and yet another train emerges from the east, accompanied by a thin metal-on-metal shriek. First to appear are two locomotives, their headlights tunneling through the darkness, then 103 tanker cars, dull black with hymenopteran stripes. Inside the tankers are two and a half million gallons of light, sweet crude, freshly pumped from North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation.

For more than a century railroads have hauled freight and people through this stretch of the Rockies. Glacier owes its existence, in fact, to the Great Northern Railway, which back in 1910 vigorously promoted the legislation that would establish a brand new national park, to which the railroad would soon be hauling wealthy visitors. Railroads, of course, are integral to U.S. commerce, and no one blinks when mile-long trains pass through small towns, big cities, and vast stretches of prairie, desert, and forests. Or at least they didn’t blink until recently, when shippers began to fill so many of those railcars with oil. In 2009, western crude filled a mere 8,000 tanker cars; in 2013, thanks to increased production in the Bakken, it filled 400,000.

OnEarth Magazine contributing editor Elizabeth Royte also writes for the New York Times Book Review, which called her "no stranger to the pleasures and perils of chasing errant pieces of plastic and other castoffs to surprising (and often disgusting) places." She's the author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It and Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash.

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The Crime of the Century, Peter G Cohen, Truthout | "Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission"

  • We urgently need to elect candidates pledged to shut down fossil fuels and convert our nation to sustainable, green energy now! This is not a matter of party or belief; it is essential to passing on the gift of a livable world to our children! We must not vote for anyone who has not taken this pledge. If the parties won't do it, it is up to us.
  • Tar Sands & Keystone XL are more Dangerous than an Iranian Atomic Bomb

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Three: the great pinkwash

  • The third installment in a four-part series 
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

Saturday,  1 February,  2014 | 

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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers, Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post

  • The NFL may be generating money faster than Peyton Manning can rack up touchdowns but the league's owners have a history of looking for handouts when it comes time to pay for new stadiums. Here is a look at the staggering amount of public funds used to build the homes for NFL teams as well as a few of the NFL's other staggering fiscal stats.
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats

Usurious Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

  • The credit card business is now the banking industry’s biggest cash cow, and it’s largely due to lucrative hidden fees. 
  • The Ultimate Shell Game

Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

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meddygarnet (CC BY 2.0)

February 14, 2014 | You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the “interest-free grace period” and getting free credit. You may even use your credit card when you could have used cash, just to get the free frequent flier or cash-back rewards. But those popular features are misleading. Even when the balance is paid on time every month, credit card use imposes a huge hidden cost on users—hidden because the cost is deducted from what the merchant receives, then passed on to you in the form of higher prices.

Visa and MasterCard charge merchants about 2% of the value of every credit card transaction, and American Express charges even more. That may not sound like much. But consider that for balances that are paid off monthly (meaning most of them), the banks make 2% or more on a loan averaging only about 25 days (depending on when in the month the charge was made and when in the grace period it was paid). Two percent interest for 25 days works out to a 33.5% return annually (1.02^(365/25) – 1), and that figure may be conservative.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

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Suicides of Bank Executives, Fraud, Financial Manipulation

  • The U.S. Justice Department allowed JPMorgan to pay $1.7 billion and sign a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning no one goes to jail at JPMorgan — again.
  • Tony Blair is a war criminal who has links to a fraudulent banking network.
  • Jamie “I Put Millions Out Of Work” Dimon Gets A Raise

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

Starbuck's Cafe LatteIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

blair_war_lie.jpgFebruary 14, 2014 | JPMorgan Chase is the unspoken architect of fraud, corruption, not to mention the establishment of the largest Ponzi scheme in World history.The agenda is to steal and appropriate wealth through market manipulation.

Just last month, JPMorgan Chase acknowledged that it facilitated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, looking the other way as Bernie Madoff brazenly turned his business bank account at JPMorgan Chase into an unprecedented money laundering operation that would have set off bells, whistles and sirens at any other bank.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. 

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Jamie “I Put Millions Out Of Work” Dimon Gets A Raise, Jonathan Tasini, Working Life 

23 January 2014 | Par for the course. Though you would be right to say “you have got to be kidding,” the truth is that the signal has been sent from the White House and from most of Congress that the bankers will not go to jail and they will not bear any personal cost of causing the greatest financial crisis in generations, a crisis that cost millions of people their jobs, their retirement, their dignity and their futures. And the crystal clear example, from the outset, has been Jamie Dimon. He’s getting a big fat raise.

Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable 'will throttle choice on the web'

Media & Technology

  • Angry consumer groups say proposed $45.2bn mega-deal will drive up costs for millions – and call on FCC to block takeover
  • Net neutrality isn’t dead just yet

Dominic Rushe, Guardian (UK) 

media-consolidation-drawing.png Thursday 13 February 2014 | Consumer groups reacted angrily to the merger of cable giant Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) on Thursday, claiming the combination could “throttle” choice on the internet.

Comcast’s proposed $45.2bn takeover of TWC will create a media behemoth that will dominate broadband internet access across the US. Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, will also cement its position as the pre-eminent force in cable TV.

Dominic Rushe is the US business correspondent for the Guardian (UK)

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Net neutrality isn’t dead just yet, Michael Winship, BillMoyers.com 

  • A new ruling could put Web users at the mercy of the cable companies. Now's the time for us to stand up and fight
  • You can start by contacting the FCC chairman’s office and demanding that he and his colleagues stand resolute and forthright in favor of net neutrality, an Internet open to all.
  • Court Backs Internet Censorship: Open The Internet Now!
  • One Frightening Chart Shows What You Might Pay For Internet Once Net Neutrality Is Gone
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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle

  • The second installment in a four-part series 
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

Friday 31 January 2014 | 

Full story…

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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplanJason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

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Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers, Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post

  • The NFL may be generating money faster than Peyton Manning can rack up touchdowns but the league's owners have a history of looking for handouts when it comes time to pay for new stadiums. Here is a look at the staggering amount of public funds used to build the homes for NFL teams as well as a few of the NFL's other staggering fiscal stats.
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats

Walmart Stumbles on SNAP; Warns of Lost Profits

Corporate Accountabilityand Workplace banner

  • Retail Food is a huge engine of our economy. Putting water into the gasoline that feeds that sector, will have dire consequences,of which we are beginning to now see.  Wal*mart and other grocers need to get active on the Hill now, lobby against any SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill, threaten to withdraw funding for all rural conservative candidates, ... or face a rather dismal, ten year slump... .
  • Everyday Low Wages at Walmart: Brought to You by Government Policy

kavips, Daily Kos

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver

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220px-Wal-Mart_The_High_Cost_of_Low_Price.jpg Jan 31, 2014 | Saw this headline across quite a few feeds this morning.... Can't say it enough... I told you so....Do you know the real reason?  

"Regarding U.S. same-store sales for the company’s fourth quarter, ending Friday, Wal*mart said it expects sales, excluding fuel, to be “slightly negative” to its earlier guidance of flat sales at Wal*mart stores "

Why are those sales negative?

Chief financial officer Charles Holley said Wal*mart saw a greater-than-expected negative impact from reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The cuts went into effect on Nov. 1.

kavips is a Daily Kos member.

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Everyday Low Wages at Walmart: Brought to You by Government Policy, Dean Baker, Huffington Post

  • When Congress decides to give us a budget that unnecessarily raises the unemployment rate, it is also deciding to put downward pressure on the wages of low-paid workers. This is a policy decision to redistribute income upward, even if the people in Congress have no clue what they are doing.
  • The Wal-Mart You Don't Know
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