Eisenhower warned that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
British energy giant BP’s earnings have tripled in the second quarter as the company profited from oil and natural gas prices that soared after Russia invaded Ukraine.
London-based BP said on Tuesday that underlying replacement cost profit, which excludes one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories, jumped to $US8.45 billion ($A12.21 billion) from $US2.8 billion ($A4 billion) in the same period a year earlier.
The soaring earnings allowed BP to return billions of dollars to shareholders, with the company boosting its dividend by 10 per cent and announcing it would buy back $US3.5 billion ($A5.1 billion) in shares.BP earnings triple on rising energy prices – Michael West
As fossil fuel corporations reap fabulous profits at the expense of Australian gas and electricity customers, the gas lobby is running a propaganda campaign calling for Australia to power the world, help Ukraine, let “the market” do its thing. The reality is there is no properly functioning market and this is all a PR distraction to combat the obvious solution to the crisis, that the government needs to earmark gas supply for East Coast customers. Callum Foote fact-checks the finance press.
Pentagon = Profit = The Industrial Military Complex = Economy
Cockburn aptly quotes one Pentagon weapons designer in the 1960s telling new hires that they would be making “weapons that don’t work to meet threats that don’t exist.”
If you’re still not convinced, the proof of this unpalatable pudding is in the eating. Consider America’s just-concluded 20-year war in Afghanistan. As the Taliban took over the country in days, it might have seemed that the whole thing was a colossal failure. But if you check your portfolio of defense contractor stocks, and visit the enormous mansions in the northern Virginia suburbs surrounding the Pentagon, you’ll see that, in fact, it was an incredible success.
The LNP in Australia & Greg Hunt MP see the American model of healthcare the best model for Australia. Americans certainly don see it as such.
Five of the most profitable health insurance companies in the U.S. brought in over $11 billion in profits in the second quarter of 2021, it was reported on Friday—an outrageous amount of money, especially during a pandemic, that progressives said provides further evidence of the need for Medicare for All. Between April and June of this year, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, and Humana reported profits of $4.37 billion, $2.78 billion, $1.8 billion, $1.47 billion, and $588 million, respectively. Health insurance companies’ second quarter earnings contrast sharply with the hardships faced by many Americans.
Over the 12 months to the end of March 2021, wages rose by a dismal 0.72%. That’s according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Well, naturally, it has been a disastrous year for everyone, we might say in response, and this is only to be expected. We would be wrong. The year to March was a superb year for Australia’s corporate profits, which the same source said soared 12.1%.
Public Good what’s Public Good? (ODT)
So will the COVID-19 vaccines also sell like the flu vaccine for $20 a shot—bankrupting poorer countries to protect their people? Or will we follow what Salk said about the polio vaccine—that it belongs to the people? The U.S. position is clear: vaccines belong to companies even if their research was publicly funded. And if other countries wish to compulsorily license a successful vaccine using the pandemic exception of WTO/TRIPS rules, the U.S. can still use USTR Special 301 and Super 301 sanctions against them as they are threatening to do with India. And as we know from the history of U.S. sanctions, the U.S. believes that it has a right to sanction any country in the world, even if such sanctions violate international humanitarian law.
The former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein was not executed as justice for crimes he committed, but for his opposition to Wall Street, political analyst Caleb Maupin told RT. The auction to sell the piece of rope he was executed with proves that, Maupin says.
RT: The rope is currently in the possession of the ex-national security advisor, could you please tell us how it got into his hands?
Caleb Maupin: The way the execution of Saddam Hussein was carried out, in a way that was meant to foment sectarian violence. It was an execution; it was staged in a formal way. It almost resembled the lynching with people from hostile ethnic groups shouting at him. And the fact that the rope is now on sale is just a further confirmation of the fact that the execution of Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with justice rather it was about profits.
Iraq was invaded because it had a state-owned oil company that was in competition with Wall Street banks and oil companies. And Saddam Hussein was executed not because of atrocities that he committed during the Iraq- Iran war, or any other atrocities he committed. He was executed for standing up to Wall Street and standing up to the forces that are really ruling the world, the forces of money and power.
RT: According to reports, several bidders from Iran, Israel and Kuwait have offered large sums of money to get hold of the rope, what motivations do they have?
CM: When Saddam Hussein was allying with the US during the Iraq- Iran war there were at least a million Iranians who perished as a result of his actions. But at that time he was in an alliance with the US. That is something that is not brought up in US media very often, it is the fact that at one point the US was very close to Saddam Hussein and had an alliance with him.
However, it is important to point out that this just shows how cheap justice has become, when they are selling the implements of execution, put up for bidding. Profits dominate everything- nothing is really sacred. Look at all the countries the US has invaded whether it’s Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia, which suffered from US bombing. Never do they bring stability, never do they bring peace, they bring further chaos and destruction. War is really motivated by profits and this is just a further illustration of that.
The people of Iraq right now live in misery – there is a refugee crisis. At least a million people have become refugees. Hundreds of thousands are dead. This is the result of the US invasion. And now the government that has been put in place by the US invasion is so corrupted that the very implements used to execute Saddam Hussein are up for sale on the internet.
RT: Some activists say that this auction is inhumane and that the money collected should go to charities in Iraq. What’s your take on this?
CM: The whole notion of auctioning off the implements for execution is really perverse and it illustrates what neo-liberalism and capitalism really is. The US said they were invading Iraq to bring democracy. They weren’t really invading Iraq to bring democracy; they were invading Iraq to impose Western capitalism on Iraq and to impose the rule of Western banks over the Iraqi people. And that is what we are seeing here in the Western world, the neo-liberal world, – everything is up for sale, everything is made for profits. You have prisons for profits, you have private police forces, you have mass homelessness and poverty. This is the reality, this is the system that the US was exporting to Iraq, and this is just a great illustration of that system.