Retired LA Cardinal Roger Mahony claims he didn’t know how to deal with sex abuse claims

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, February 2, 2013

A US Catholic cardinal stripped of his duties said Friday he didn’t know how to handle sex abuse claims, as he had not learned about it at college—drawing withering criticism from victims.

Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony wrote on his blog that he was not taught about child sexual abuse, a day after was relieved of all administrative and public duties” by the current archbishop of LA.

On Thursday the LA archdiocese also released files on more than 100 clerics, as required under a 2007 lawsuit deal over alleged sex abuse.

“Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem,” Mahony wrote, in an open letter to LA Archbishop Jose Gomez, who succeeded Mahony in 2011.

“In two years (1962-1964) spent in graduate school earning a Masters Degree in Social Work, no textbook and no lecture ever referred to the sexual abuse of children,” he said.

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See also LA Times:  Mahony defends actions in abuse cases

See Also SF Gate:  ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’ review: Devastating

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Serious News: In Low Supply From Mainstream Media

From Common Dreams:

by Ralph Nader
Published on Saturday, February 2, 2013 by Common Dreams

On January 30, 2013, an unusual front-page story appeared prominently in The Washington Post about a small D.C. charity called Martha’s Table that serves meals to 1,100 people a day, has early-childhood and after-school programs, and provides other community-enriching programs. Among its distinctions is a giant volunteer corps of, according to the Post, “10,000 school kids, poor people and the occasional president who chops vegetables and builds sandwiches.” Fascinating!

The only reason for the Post writing and front-paging the article is that the new, full-time, volunteer president is Patty Stonesifer, ex-Microsoft megamillionaire, ex-chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ex-chairperson of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. Amazing!

The Post’s million readers also got to see Ms. Stonesifer say, “I was amazed at how there is a city within a city here….This idea that the District [of Columbia] has so much child hunger, it’s mind-boggling.”

The Post, the local television stations and cable shows often do not showcase the District’s big dirty secret. That, among its glittering affluent class (mostly shorn of noblesse oblige), half-dozen major universities and governmental departments, there is widespread, deep poverty, unhealthy and afflicted children, and higher rates of cancer and diabetes, for example, than most states.

What is important to the Post and other local media are local professional sports, local entertainment, visiting celebrities, and endless gossip or other permutations of such page- and time-fillers. The Post obviously believes that the injured knee of rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III and its impact on the Redskins’ organization are too big for its sport pages, and required multiple front-page stories since RGIII injured himself during playoffs in January.

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Movements Making Noise

From The Nation:

Frances Fox Piven
January 30, 2013
American political history is usually told as the story of what political elites say and do. The twists and turns, advances and setbacks, wars, disasters and recoveries, are said to be the work of the founders, or of the presidents, or of the courts, or of the influence of a handful of great people who somehow emerge from the mass.But this history can also be told as the story of the great protest movements that periodically well up from the bottom of American society and the impact these movements have on American institutions. There would be no founders to memorialize without the Revolutionary-era mobs who provided the foot soldiers to fight the British; no films about the quandaries of Abe Lincoln during the Civil War without the abolitionists and the thousands of runaway slaves; no Labor Day to celebrate without the sit-down strikers; no Martin Luther King to beatify without a movement of poor blacks who defied the Southern terror system.

When historians look back at the decades of the transition to the twenty-first century, I think they will see a distinctive era of tumult and protest, in the United States and across the globe. The perspective gained by the passage of time will show the broad similarities of these protests—both in their scale and in the societal upheavals they reflect and foretell—to the popular insurgencies of the nineteenth century that accompanied the spread of capitalist industrialization. In both periods, dramatic changes in the economy meant new hardships, broken compacts, and the uprooting of peoples from familiar places and accustomed ways of life. In the nineteenth century, some named the new system driving these developments “capitalism” or “industrialism.” Now we name the monster machine propelling diverse local disasters “neoliberal globalization.”

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Matt Taibbi on Big Bank’s Lack of Accountability

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Climate action ‘could halve energy firms’ worth’

From Climate News Network:

If the world succeeds in reaching its targets for curbing greenhouse gases, a leading bank says, this will mean huge quantities of oil and gas reserves must be left unused.

February 1, 2013

LONDON, 2 February – Oil and gas multinationals could lose up to 60% of their market value if the world cuts its carbon emissions to limit climate change, according to the world’s second-largest bank.

This is the first time the financial sector has been warned by one of its own that shares could plummet if the necessary action is taken to prevent disaster.

The study, Oil and Carbon revisited: Value at risk from ‘unburnable’ reserves, is published by HSBC Global Research.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its 2012  World Energy Outlook that in order to have a 50% chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2°C, only a third of current fossil fuel reserves can be burned before 2050.

Staying within the 2°C limit would mean keeping carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm). They are already at 390 ppm, and are increasing by about 2 ppm a year.

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5 Power Brokers Who’ll Determine the Fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Our Future

From Alternet:

These are the people who may be holding our future in their hands.

By Tara Lohan
January 31, 2013

This article was published in partnership with

On Thursday, visitors to the PipeTech Americas Summit got a speech they weren’t planning on hearing. As employees from pipeline construction companies gathered to discuss new technology and listen to Tom Hamilton, Manager of Quality and Compliance for TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline, talk about safety, Tar Sands Blockader Ramsey Sprague jumped up from the crowd and chained himself to the audio equipment next to the projection screen.

While security tried to figure out how to get him unchained, Sprague gave the crowd an earful of a different sort about TransCanada and pipeline safety. He told them:

TransCanada’s safety record is beyond deplorable …TransCanada’s wanton disregard for the health of our communities is clear from it’s reckless construction practices. I’m taking action today to set the record straight: TransCanada cannot be trusted. There is now clear evidence that Keystone XL is not safe, and I will not stand aside while a multinational corporation poisons Texas communities.

And so the saga continues. Each day it seems, there is another skirmish between opponents and proponents of the pipeline. The date for a final decision on whether or not the pipeline will be allowed to cross the United States’ northern border (construction has already begun on the southern portion of the pipeline), looks like it will still be a few months down the road.

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Manmade Carbon Pollution Has Already Put Us On Track For 69 Feet Of Sea Level Rise

From Think Progress:

By Joe Romm
on Feb 1, 2013

The bad news is that we’re all but certain to end up with a coastline at least this flooded (20 meters or 69 feet):

The “good” news is that this might take 1000 to 2000 years (or longer), and the choices we make now can affect the rate of rise and whether we blow past 69 feet to beyond 200 feet.

Glaciologist Jason Box makes this point in a Climate Desk interview with Chris Mooney, “Humans Have Already Set in Motion 69 Feet of Sea Level Rise“:

So what can we do? For Box, any bit of policy helps. “The more we can cool climate, the slower Greenland’s loss will be,” he explained. Cutting greenhouse gases slows the planet’s heating, and with it, the pace of ice sheet losses.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who follows the scientific literature. Just last year the National Science Foundation (NSF) reported on paleoclimate research that examined “rock and soil cores taken in Virginia, New Zealand and the Eniwetok Atoll in the north Pacific Ocean.” Lead author Kenneth Miller of Rutgers University said:

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I Spy a Corporation Desperate to Regain its Market Shares

From Food and Water Watch:

By Kate Fried
January 31st, 2013

Thanks in part to the consumer backlash against wasteful, unnecessary bottled water Nestlé’s sales figures are declining in the United States, Europe and Australia. The company has recently resorted to unorthodox, nay, illegal measures to maintain its stranglehold over the earth’s vital food and water resources. Even before the company’s share of the bottled water business fell by two percent in the west in 2011, Nestlé ripped a page from a James Bond villain’s playbook, turning to good old-fashioned espionage to protect its corporate interests.

Last week, the Civil Tribunal of Lausanne, Switzerland, found Nestlé guilty of hiring a private security firm to spy on the activities of the Swiss activist group ATTAC, in what has aptly come to be known as “Nestlégate.” The tribunal charged the company with “unlawful violation of the rights of the person” after the company hired Sara Meylan to infiltrate and gather information on the anti-globalization group.

This is not the first time a corporation has adopted these tactics, nor, sadly is it likely to be the last. Several years ago, Mother Jones reported that corporations had hired a private security firm run by former U.S. Secret Service agents to spy on environmental groups, and in 2011, Greenpeace sued Dow Chemical Company and Sasol North America for seeking to undermine campaigns against genetically engineered foods and chemical pollution.

While inexcusable and unscrupulous, these actions underscore the effectiveness of activist movements. After all, corporations wouldn’t pour untold amounts of money into covert ops if they didn’t think their market share was at risk from consumer backlash against their products and practices.

Nestlé has long dug into its deep pockets to bend public policy to its will, but its battle against ATTAC reeks of desperation. There’s a very fine line between selling out natural resources and tramping upon individual civil liberties, and Nestlé appears perfectly comfortable with both.

Luckily, there is something you can do about this. Use your wallet to take a stand against Nestlé’s shady practices by choosing tap water over bottled, whenever you can. Our Take Back the Tap resources will show you how.

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