The Precautionary Principle: "Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to environmental or human health, exploitation by any corporate or personal entity that could damage the environment or the health of humans must be delayed until there is absolute scientific certainty that damage can be totally averted.”


"Altruism is a great evil...while selfishness is a virtue." -- Ayn Rand, atheist author of Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead andThe Virtue of Selfishness whose books were the inspiration for the American libertarian movement.


The point, ladies and gentleman, is that greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) from the movie Wall Street


“The economic system in the USA is not capitalism. Rather, it is corporate fascism, individualism and money worship, not capitalism.”Anonymous


“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or frightened to speak up or speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.” – Robert F. Kennedy


”Environment Canada reported that the metallic contaminants that had been dumped in the tailings pond included these hazardous metals:Lead, Arsenic, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Vanadium, Antimony, Manganese and Mercury.” (Note that Mount Polley was a copper mine whose massive tailings lagoon earthen dam [130 feet tall] dissolved in 2014, suddenly releasing24,000,000 million cubic meters of toxic sludge into the tiny Hazeltine Creek, the nearby Lake Polley and then into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which flowed into the 600 mile long Fraser River, a migratory Sockeye salmon-bearing river that empties into the Georgia Strait and the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver, B.C. The dam wall breech resulted in the worst environmental disaster in the history of British Colombia)


“ALL tailings "ponds" are problems. If they don't breach and spill massive amounts of toxic sludge into the environment like at Mount Polley, they leach that contamination slowly, poisoning the waters and lands around them.” -- From:;





Last night in Duluth, Minnesota (10-22-2018) a small, Minnesota-based, right-wing, Libertarian think tank, the Center of the American Experiment (CAE), came to town to do a one-sided, propagandistic, fact-free promotion supporting the foreign penny stock mining company, PolyMet and its plans to dig an experimental, inherently dangerous, highly toxic, open pit copper/nickel sulfide mine in water-rich northern Minnesota near the headwaters of the St Louis River.


What was likely not discussed at the pro-corporate presentation (to which nobody opposing copper-nickel mining was invited) was the fact that PolyMet’s massive open pit mine has to have an even more massive, highly toxic waste/tailings lagoon nearby that would eventually store, behind 250 foot high  (!) earthen dam (!) walls, billions of gallons (!) of eternally-poisonous, highly acidic (sulfuric acid with a pH of stomach acid) mine sludge for generations or centuries (absent, of course a locally heavy rain deluge that could easily cause a sudden, unexpected breech in the earthen dam walls, resulting in what could potentially be the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Minnesota).


All of this mining activity will be occurring directly upstream from a half dozen St Louis River communities that depend on the environmental health of the river. Also directly downstream is Duluth’s harbor and Lake Superior - which contains 10% of the world’s remaining – and rapidly depleting fresh water.


PolyMet, the mining corporation that the CAE was promoting is a Canadian company that has never earned a penny in its entire short lifetime. Typical for all penny stock mining companies, PolyMet has been acquired by a mature mining company from Switzerland called Glencore, a sociopathic multinational corporation that has never operated a non-polluting mining operation in its entire sordid history of world-wide exploitation.


What will happen if all the involved profit-driven corporations get their way and cavalierly and criminally ignore the Precautionary Principle?


And what does it say about the ethics of our government regulatory agencies (such as the Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pollution Control Agency, the US Forestry Service) that are allowing themselves to be influenced by exploitive, for-profit corporations as they make their decisions?


What will be most harshly affected, in addition to the long-term health of the people living downstream from PolyMet’s lagoon, will be the drinking, fishing and wild rice-sustaining water. Everything downstream could easily be permanently poisoned whether there is just the inevitable acid mine drainage (AMD) or a highly likely catastrophic breech.


So who are all those mysterious out-of-state entities that are repeatedly – and shamelessly - trying to exploit our already deteriorating environment for the economic benefit of unnamed investors and corporations? What is there motivation to try to convince the public, the DNR, the EPA, the PCA and the Forest Service that the precautionary principle should not be applied? And where is the money coming from that supports these shady groups? And what does the upcoming election have to do with any of it?


The answers are multiple and examining the case of the secretive Center of the American Experiment, only opens a lot of doors to understanding much of the tumult that is happening in America.


It is essential to understand that CAE is only a small player in the huge number of entities that have been funded by semi-secretive, extremely wealthy, corporate-supported Libertarian groups.  In CAE’s case, the following three right-wing Republican/NeoConservative/Libertarian foundations were early funders: the Linde and Harry Bradley Foundation,the John M. Olin Foundation and the J.M. Foundation.


The CAE group operates no differently than the following short list of right-wing think tanks that are linked to secretive, pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-democracy groups:

The Koch brothers; the American Legislative Exchange Council; the Center for Media and Democracy; the Heritage Foundation; American Enterprise Institute; Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; the Federalist Society; FreedomWorks; the Lexington Institute; the Claremont Institute; the Hudson Institute; the Cato Institute; the Hoover Institution; the Project for the New American Century(PNAC, infamous for its involvement in 9/11); the Center for Security Policy; the Foreign Policy Research Institute; the Center for Immigration Studies; the Center for Strategic and International Studies; The Federalist Foundation;The Center for Constitutional Studies; The Center for Liberty and Prosperity; The Center for Free Enterprise and Economics; The Center for Representative Democracyand about 300 others, many of which have the words Freedom, Liberty or Prosperity in their names.


Interestingly, the US Chamber of Commerce, which has an active chapter in Duluth, seems to have close relationships with some of the above institutions. The Chamber website states that it opposes the domestic and international adoption of the precautionary principle as a basis for regulatory decision making. The Chamber of Commerce explicitly states that one of its strategies is the “education” of consumers, businesses, and governmental policymakers about the “regulatory implications of the precautionary principle”.


So, for voters who are interested in the future of our children’s health, our state’s environment, the survival or our nation’s democracy and the survival of our planet, please vote for candidates who will reject the politics and economics of selfishness, consistently honor the Precautionary Principle and take to heart this column’s assorted cartoons, quotes, images, lists and the excerpts from the important article at the end of the column that explains how the right-wing brain-washes otherwise good Americans.



<<<Donald Trump’s GOP/Pseudo-Libertarian “Greed-is-Good” Politics of Selfishness and the Reasons why Anti-Fascist Americans Need to Vote in Every Election>>>




President Donald Trump was once denounced by the Libertarian Koch brothers, but they have benefitted greatly from the president’s economic actions. Witness the following paragraphs from Jonathan Chait’s recent piece in “The Intelligencer” (at:


“The Kochs (right-wing heirs to a business fortune) and Trump (also the right-wing heir to a business fortune)…have thrown the weight of their massive organization unhesitatingly behind (Trump).Largely satisfied with Trump’s conservative judicial appointments, lax regulation of business, and regressive tax cutting, the Kochs are spending several hundred millions of dollars to protect the Republican majority. 


“You would think libertarians (like the Kochs) might have some deep-seated qualms about leaving untrammeled executive power in the hands of an obviously ruthless and autocratic leader like Trump. The only practical way to restrain Trump’s efforts to carry out massive personal corruption and turn federal law enforcement into a political weapon under his control would be to help Democrats regain one or more chambers of Congress, so they could conduct oversight and act as a check on the executive branch. But the Kochs are committed to doing just the opposite: The highest priority of their political action this year is maintaining Republican control of Congress, which will enable Trump to escape meaningful oversight.”





Donald Trump and the Koch brothers, three right-wing heirs to large family fortunes


“When somebody hurts you, go after them as viciously and as violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye.” – Donald Trump


"Altruism is a great evil...while selfishness is a virtue." -- Ayn Rand, atheist author of Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead andThe Virtue of Selfishness whose books were the inspiration for the American libertarian movement.


Ayn Randis the hero and guiding light of the American Libertarian Party, not to mention the Tea Party and many “Stealth Libertarian” members of the Republican Party, including the following US Presidential aspirants Barry Goldwater, Bob Barr, Ron Paul, US Senator Rand Paul, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

In addition, many prominent Republican politicians have been fans of Ayn Rand politics and the philosophy and politics of selfishness, including prominent economists Milton Freidman and Alan Greenspan, John Stossel (Fox Business Channel Host).



How Ayn Rand Came to Own the Republican Party


Other prominent political actors that were members of the Libertarian Party include:

Martin Anderson, advisor to President Ronald Reagan;

Yaron Brook, president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute;

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team;

Alex Epsteinfounder and president of the Center for Industrial Progress,a for-profit think tank located in San Diego, California;

Malcolm Fraser, 22nd Prime Minister of Australia;

Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve;

Pamela Geller,co-founder of the Stop Islamization of America;

David Kelley, founder of the Alas Society;

James Kiltsformer CEO of the Gillette Company and recipient of the Gordon Gekko Prize for 2005;

Rupert Murdoch, Owner of NewsCorp, the Wall Street Journal, 21st Century Fox, Fox News, Sky Television

Charles Murray, prominent member of the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of the controversial white racist book, Bell Curve;


“The Federalist Society is an organization of conservative, libertarian law students, lawyers and legal scholar.”Roger Pilon, a vice president at the libertarian Cato Institute


Libertarian/Conservative/Republican Supreme Court justices who were members of the Federalist Society include Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. Antonin Scalia, now deceased, was also a member.


Other prominent (and, in many circles, widely-despised) GOP/Libertarian members of the Federalist Society included John Ashcroft, Ed Meese, Robert Bork, Orrin Hatch, Ken Starr, Grover Norquist, Michael Chertoff, Wisconsin’s US Senator Ron Johnson.


Major benefactors to the Federalist Society include the right-wing John M. Olin and Charles G. Koch Foundations and the conservative activist Richard Mellon Scaife as well as corporations such as Verizon, Microsoft and DaimlerChrysler.





Fascism Doesn't Come Cheap


Susan Grigsby   - Sunday March 05, 2017



Ask Robert Mercer, who between 2010 and 2016 invested $95 milllion to install a xenophobic libertarian government. America is truly the land of opportunity where not only can you achieve the American dream, but through hard work and cold cash, you can buy whatever government you want. And if your dreams are big enough and your wealth great enough, you can influence the governments of foreign nations as well.


Ask John McCain, who in 2016 found himself the target of a $600,000 ad campaign funded in part through a $200,000 donation from the Mercer family during his primary campaign. Why McCain? Politico explains, that two years earlier...McCain and former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) issued a report that named Mercer's (Hedge fund) company as among more than a dozen firms that dodged billions in tax payments through a complicated financial product known as basket offerings. McCain said at the time that companies including Renaissance Technologies played "by a different set of rules" and secured an "unfair tax advantage over ordinary citizens.”


In 2016, Robert Mercer put $13.5 million into a PAC supporting Ted Cruz’s run for the White House. After Cruz dropped out, the Mercer PAC became Make America Number 1, and supported Donald Trump’s general election bid. A $10 million investment in Breitbart News financed Steve Bannon until he left to run Donald Trump’s campaign.Bannon is a friend of Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah, with whom he produced the film Clinton Cash. It was Rebekah, who runs the Mercer Family Foundation, that pushed Trump to hire both Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.


The aim of Robert Mercer’s wealth in 2016 was not to elect either Cruz or Trump particularly, but rather, according to Newsweek, to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House at all costs. Why?


Hillary Clinton proposed a tax on high-frequency trading of securities,which is reportedly a favorite of Renaissance Technologies…The conservative-leaning advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform had said Clinton’s proposed tax would “burden markets by discouraging trading and investment,” and experts from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimated that such a tax could cost finance companies $185 billion over 10 years. Carrie Levine of the Center for Public Integrity points out that Mercer has previously put money behind opponents of candidates who supported that type of tax.

Robert Mercer however, is not your run-of-the-mill conservative politician purchaser. Although his aim in 2016 was to deny Clinton the presidency, his interests may be far greater than that.


In 1993 Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund run by James Simons, recruited Robert Mercer from IBM where, as a researcher, he and his colleagues had made a revolutionary breakthrough in linguistics, using statistics instead of vocabulary and grammar to teach computers how to translate language. Computers appear to be the love of this man’s life. He described his feelings:


During a college job at an Air Force weapons lab in New Mexico, he says, he found his life’s calling. “I loved everything about computers,” he said. “I loved the solitude of the computer lab late at night. I loved the air-conditioned smell of the place. I loved the sound of the discs whirring and the printers clacking.”


The reclusive computer scientist also owns a $10 million dollar share of a small computer analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, an American firm operating in London. According to Carole Cadwalladr, writing for The Guardian:  


It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations.(Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)


And frankly, this is where it becomes rather frightening. Cadwalladr reports that Mercer’s intent is to wage war on the traditional news media. He began that effort with the Media Research Center (MRC) which owns CNSNews.  From the website of MRC:


The mission of the Media Research Center is to create a media culture in America where truth and liberty flourish. The MRC is a research and education organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the MRC are tax-deductible.


Federal employees and military personnel can donate to the Media Research Center through the Combined Federal Campaign or CFC. To donate to the MRC, use CFC #12489. Visit the DFC website for more information about giving opportunities in your workplace.

(Congratulations, fellow taxpayers! Thanks to the twisted interpretation of a nonprofit charity, we get to pick up the tab for crap like this.)


His investment in Breitbart News was an effort (that has largely succeeded) to position itself as the right-wing equivalent to the Huffington Post.


But using the data from Cambridge Analytica, it is likely that his influence was far wider than that which could be provided via Breitbart News. From the About Us page of their website:


We collect up to 5,000 data points on over 220 million Americans, and use more than 100 data variables to model target audience groups and predict the behavior of like-minded people.

Working mostly with data from Facebook and other social media sites, they are able to determine what people want to hear and how they want to hear it. Cambridge Analytica based much of its model on research done by Cambridge University’s Psychometric Centre which earlier published an online personality quiz that went viral. In the UK there are ethical guidelines about how such data can be used and according to Professor Johathan Rush, the Centre’s director, as quoted in the Guardian afticle:


“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.


“It’s no exaggeration to say that minds can be changed. Behaviour can be predicted and controlled. I find it incredibly scary. I really do. Because nobody has really followed through on the possible consequences of all this. People don’t know it’s happening to them. Their attitudes are being changed behind their backs.”


The Ted Cruz campaign paid Cambridge $5.6 million for its assistance to his campaign and, by September 2016, Donald Trump had paid Cambridge $100,000. Robert Mercer offered the assistance of Cambridge Analytica to the Brexit campaign in the UK, according to the Independent, for free. The campaign failed to disclose this in-kind donation to the British authorities, which require the reporting of contributions over 7,500 pounds.


Earlier, Cadwalladr took a close look at the influence Google exerts by the ranking of its search results. Although the company uses an algorithm to determine the ranking of the results, that algorithm is not that difficult for computer experts to game. A shadow web has been created that amplifies right-wing attitudes by gaming the search engine and then tracking the users. Cadwalladr quotes Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of communications at Elon University in North Carolina, and a researcher of how right-wing websites spread their message as saying:


Every time someone likes one of these posts on Facebook or visits one of these websites, the scripts are then following you around the web. And this enables data-mining and influencing companies like Cambridge Analytica to precisely target individuals, to follow them around the web, and to send them highly personalised political messages. This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go.”


Hillary Clinton ran a good campaign that garnered a majority of the votes. She was defeated, but only with the assistance of an archaic Electoral College designed to protect slave-owning states, the actions of an enemy state, and the use of sophisticated computer networks dedicated to the disruption of our government and our media. What Mercer wanted, and got, was an adnubustration interested in the destruction of the federal government.


White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said that President Trump’s cabinet picks are aimed at “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning weakening regulatory agencies and other bureaucratic entities.


He doesn't want to pay taxes. He doesn’t want the federal government telling him or his friends that they cannot poison our water or pollute our air.


We are no longer talking limited government—we are talking about a world-wide plutocracy that will eliminate NATO, the UN, and the European Union and will create a single ruling class of the wealthy. And thanks to their connections to the DeVos and Prince families, they will easily be able to find a mercenary army to protect them.




Below is the link is to a complex article written by Jonathan Albright of Elon University (mentioned above) that will help all of us frustrated workers for justice, including antiwar/peace activists, vaccine skeptics, anti-Big Pharma activists, environmentalists, etc understand why there is so much highly effective mis-information from the Big Business/Big Media right-wing that is so cunningly countering our efforts to inform and activate others. (I didn’t have the time or the mental capacity to absorb very much of the article when I first accessed in online, but perhaps there are those among my contacts that will benefit from the information.)  GGK


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