Thursday, June 26, 2008
More Gangsterism: ExxonMobil says fuck your jury...

...and your livelihood and your environment.

Remember the Exxon Valdez supertanker that spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaskan waters in 1989? Yeah, you remember, the one where the captain of the ship was a known drunk and they let him man the supertanker anyway? Let me refresh your memory:
The Exxon Valdez spill was the worst in American history, damaging 1,300 miles of shoreline, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of [at least 32,000] people in the region and killing hundreds of thousands of birds and marine animals.
Yeah, that spill and as usual, the New York Times gives you just enough info so that you think you know what happened, but no clue about how sisnister and diabolical Exxon has been in manipulating that situation over the last 18 years. Gotta love those establishment liberals.

A jury decided in 1994 that Exxon was required to pay about 5 Billion dollars in punitive damages, but when you are a gangster, you don’t wory too much about what jury’s say. Exxon didn’t pay, appealed the ruling, and eventually got it reduced to 2.5 billion in 2006. But even 2.5 billion dollars, which is about 3 weeks of profit for them (seriously), didn’t quite feel right. I think they still felt like their gangster was being tested. They now have the damages reduced to 500 million dollars or about 4 or 5 days worth of profit. In other words, fuck your jury, we pay the lawyers to have the judges fix it how we want it. It would be interesting to compare the percentage of criminal defendants that get this kind of love on appeal to the percentage of corporate defendants. I think it would be an interesting lesson in how money controls allegedly 'impartial' social processes.

You have to also take into account that this payment, which still has not yet been paid, has been fought in court over the course of 19 years!! Can you imagine you were a fisher and had your livelihood destroyed 19 years ago, and the damages you expected to recieve, went from around 165k, to around 80k, to about 16k?!?! What is 16k after you adjust for inflation? It’s a trip to Disney world and a wild night on the town with 2 of best friends. Its also less than $1,000 per year since the spill.

Whittling 5 Billion dollars down to 500 million dollars is a 90% reduction. Just to put that in real world terms, can you remember the last time, or any time you have paid 90% less than the price of something, like say a pair of shoes or a shirt? Let me help you. You can’t!! Not unless you stole it, because 90% off just doesn't exist in our world.

I leave you with a quote from the most comprehensive article on this that I’ve found, (which is in indy media, not the NYTimes btw):
The American justice system is predicated on several underlying assumptions, most of which are not valid...Equal treatment under the law? Not possible when those with money use it to influence the laws and public perception, or manipulate courts of law to make punishment moot.

Impartial judges? Not possible when judges are human and often former corporate lawyers.

Decisions based on whole truth and facts? Not even close: Jurors receive only selective information from judges or court masters as gatekeepers, and facts are grossly distorted through corporate-sponsored "science."
What they have said here is applicable to every aspect of society, the super rich, write the rules and we all have to play by them. Even the slanted rule book they play from isn’t sufficient for the capitalist super-gangsters, who then re-rig and undermine it more to suit their needs. This system is built around the power of capital (hence the name capitalism) and anything else we are trying to make it d, or not do, is at best secondary. This is not a system we should be trying to reform, it is one we should be fighting to replace.

Capitalism is Organized Crime.

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