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Why Don't the Corrupt Players On Wall Street and In D.C. Show Remorse for Their Destructive Actions ... And Why Don't We Stop Them?

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Scandal After Scandal, Lie Upon Lie ... What's Going On?

Many bankers, regulators and politicians have been caught in lie after lie and scandal after scandal.

Why haven't they been shamed by all of the disclosures about their behavior, and chastised by the destruction their actions are causing?

Why do we keep falling for the same shenanigans over and over?

We'll answer each of these questions one at a time.

Many of the People Running Wall Street and D.C. Are - LITERALLY - Psycopaths

According to psychologists and sociologists - many on Wall Street and D.C. are not like you and me. They are literally psychopaths.

Reuters reported Tuesday:
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.
A number of commentators think the numbers are low, because of self-reporting. For example, Richard Eskow writes:
I discussed the survey with a few other people familiar with the banking industry, and they had the same reaction I did: If anything, those numbers sound low. That makes sense. Admitting your criminal inclinations to a total stranger isn't as easy as telling a them your favorite color or what kind of music you like.
As we've repeatedly noted, psychopaths caused the financial crisis ... and they will do it again and again unless they are removed from power.

Comment: See also:

Psychopaths Among Us

On the Nature of Psychopathy: A Thought Experiment

Ponerology 101: Lobaczewski and the origins of Political Ponerology

Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Applied for Political Purposes

Corporate Psychopathy


Georgia aims to defy Supreme Court by executing mentally disabled prisoner

© Wikimedia CommonsPhoto of Georgia Governor Nathan.
A death row prisoner in Georgia who has been officially deemed by the courts to be "mentally retarded" is scheduled to be executed next week despite a supreme court ruling that bans the death sentence for people with learning difficulties.

The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles was due to hear a clemency appeal on behalf of the prisoner, Warren Hill, on Friday and has the power to commute his death penalty to life without parole.

But should the five-member board decide to dismiss his plea, Hill will be executed by lethal injection at 7pm on Wednesday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson in a move that could pit Georgia against the clear will of the supreme court, the highest judicial panel in the nation.

"We are heading into a constitutional crisis," Hill's lawyer, Brian Kammer, said. "The supreme court banned executions of mentally retarded prisoners, but here we are in Georgia about to execute a man who is mentally retarded."

Hill, 52, was sentenced to death for killing a fellow prisoner, Joseph Handspike, in 1990. At the time he was already serving a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Myra Wright.

Neither of the juries at his two trials were told that Hill had an IQ of about 70, that he came from a violent home or that from a very young age had displayed signs of learning disabilities. In November 2002 a judge in a Georgia court found Hill to be "mentally retarded" - the label for learning disabilities that is still used widely in the US among official circles.

The judge's finding was made just a few months after the supreme court, in Atkins v Virginia, ruled that executions of individuals with learning disabilities violated the eight amendment of the US constitution that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

Despite the supreme court ban, Hill has fallen into a legal trap that could send him to his death next Wednesday. Georgia is the only state in the country that requires prisoners seeking to avoid execution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are "mentally retarded".


Iran issues new oil blockade warning

Dubai, July 14, 2012 (Reuters) - Iran could prevent even "a single drop of oil" passing through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened, a naval chief said on Saturday, as tensions simmer over Tehran's nuclear program.

Tehran will increase its military presence in international waters, said Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

"If they (the U.S.) do not obey international laws and the IRGC's warnings, it will have very bad consequences for them," Fadavi said, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.

"The IRGC's naval forces have had the ability since the (Iran-Iraq) war to completely control the Strait of Hormuz and not allow even a single drop of oil to pass through."

Fadavi added: "IRGC special naval forces are present on all of the Islamic Republic of Iran's ships in the Indian Ocean and to its east and west, to prevent any movement.

"This IRGC naval force presence in international waters will increase."


Syrian rebel commanders unite in frustration

© Tomas Munita/The New York TimesCommanders from different units from Idlib, Syria, and some activists voted during a coordination meeting on Friday in Antakya, Turkey.
Meeting in Turkey focuses on basics of waging war against Assad

Abu Moayed, a commander in an armed Syrian opposition brigade, stood and waved his arms emphatically at the fellow rebel commanders who filled the sweltering room.

His fighters, he said, needed money and weapons. But they were not getting the support promised from the donors and opposition leaders outside Syria.

"We are borrowing money to feed our wounded!" Mr. Moayed shouted. "There is no distribution of the weapons," he added. "All of our weapons, we are paying for them ourselves."

The meeting of the rebel commanders, held after Friday Prayer in this Turkish city near Syria's northern border, said much about the priorities of the Syrian opposition fighting groups at this stage of the conflict, now 17 months old. There was limited discussion of the mass killings in the village of Tremseh the day before - even though the commanders had heard about it and at least one had lost relatives. There was no talk about United Nations cease-fire monitors, the peace envoy Kofi Annan, or endless Security Council debates to halt the conflict. These commanders were focused on the basics of waging war against President Bashar al-Assad.

Comment: For the low down on what's really happening in Syria, have a look at the following articles:
Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution
NATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria

War Whore

Cheney Gives Romney His Neocon Seal of Approval

Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave GOP hopeful Mitt Romney his seal of approval on Thursday, saying the presumptive nominee was the "only" candidate to trust on tough foreign policy decisions.

During a Wyoming fundraiser, the former vice president said that his experience in Washington taught him that every president would have to deal with an international crisis that could mean sending U.S. forces into harm's way.

"When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm's way, that man is Mitt Romney," Cheney said, according to The Associated Press.


Death from Above for our Allies

© (Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson) MQ-9 Reaper mid-flight

Last Friday, I took part in an unusual meeting in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey.

The meeting was organized as a traditional jirga. In Pashtun culture, a jirga acts as both a parliament and a courtroom: it is the time-honored way in which Pashtuns have tried to establish rules and settle differences amicably with those who they feel have wronged them.

Bad Guys

Lethal Presidency:Obama's Drone Murder of Al-Awlaki's 16yo Son

Would You Believe A US Teenager Who Grew Up In Denver Was Executed WITHOUT TRIAL With A Drone Strike

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks covers Obama's Drone Murder of Al-Awlaki's 16 year old son.

Black Cat

Defender of Obama's Drone War Makes Excuses for Assassination Secrecy

© AP/Carolyn Kaster

In response to his widely discussed Esquire article entitled "The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama," Tom Junod received a telephone call from someone he describes as "a person with intimate knowledge of the executive counter-terrorism policies of the Obama administration." This unnamed person called Junod specifically to defend the administration's refusal to provide any minimal transparency or even acknowledgment about these policies, even when drone attacks ordered by the President kill innocent American teenagers such as 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki.


Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Interrogated while Being Forcibly Injected with Anti-Psychotics

Detention: Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pictured, were injected with anti-psychotic medication
Guantanamo Bay prisoners were interrogated while being dosed up on 'mind altering drugs', according to a secret Pentagon report released under Freedom of Information laws.

The two-year probe by the Pentagon's inspector general into the use of anti-psychotic medication during interrogations revealed detainees inside the U.S. military's facility in Cuba were forcibly injected with powerful sedatives used in psychiatric hospitals.

'Certain detainees, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis, were interrogated,' the inspector general concludes in the report.

Arrow Down

Corporate Psychopaths Bad for Business

© Nicolas Walker
We all have our personality quirks that either endear us to others, or drive them to distraction, often simultaneously. But when does a quirk become a liability in the workplace? And how can you minimize the fallout?

Some extreme personalities may be good for business, but there's one that most would steer well clear of: The corporate psychopath.

While the term 'psychopath' usually suggests highly antisocial individuals with a long and abhorrent criminal history, most aren't. Psychopaths are found working in every field, comprising between 1 and 3 percent of men and less than 1 percent of women.

Essentially, psychopaths are people without a conscience, who inhabit their own world and break society's rules at will. According to Dr Robert Hare, who has made studying psychopaths his life's work, they are "social predators who charm, manipulate and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations and empty wallets...selfishly taking what they want and doing as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."