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Human Rights Attorney Steven Donziger is a Threat to Corporate Power

There are two big reasons why most US medical doctors don’t prescribe whole food plant-based diets to their patients. Either they don’t know anything about nutrition (for the purposes of greed, over 80% of US medical schools don’t offer a single required class in nutrition), or there is no financial incentive. In other words, in our “profits over people” sick-care system, a healthy plant-based diet that can prevent, and reverse disease, could also mean trillion$ of dollar$ in lost revenue for the “healthcare” industry. So, unless America’s “for profit”, sick-care system changes, most doctors will never recommend a whole food plant-based diet, which again, is the most powerful weapon we have to fight disease.

So, what does that have to do with the title of this blog? Just follow the money.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” And in the spirit of everything being connected, we should all be outraged by what has been happening to human rights attorney Steven Donziger. If you are unfamiliar, Steven Donziger is a human rights attorney who was recently sentenced to 6 months in jail, after serving the previous 2+ years under house arrest in New York City. What was his crime? Mr. Donziger was one of the lead attorneys who sued the oil giant Chevron on behalf of thousands of Amazonian Indigenous people and won a $10 billion judgement (Chevron dumped 16 billion gallons of oil into their ancestral lands)! 
How corrupt and broken are the US judicial and political systems, as well as the corporate establishment? Chevron Oil, one of the most despicable companies on the planet, has refused to pay the $10 billion, and has since launched a major personal attack against Steven Donziger, by using its connections and power to pay off corrupt judges, politicians, and lawyers (in an effort to send a message to anyone who dares challenge them in the future). Chevron has also controlled the narrative of the story within the corporate media. So far, the bad guys are winning (incidentally, shame on Warren Buffett, who made billions of dollars by investing heavily in the Burger King franchise, and is now, unapologetically, a major stockholder in Chevron Oil).
Shame on NY Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand too, as well as the deafeningly silent corporate media (CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc.). Both Schumer and Gillibrand have accepted millions of dollars from Chevron Oil and its law firms in campaign contributions, and as a result, neither one has said a peep about the Steven Donziger case. New York Representative Jerry Nadler, whose son works for Chevron’s lawyers, is another tool, who has been mum as well. And what about Judge Lorreta Preska, who sentenced Steven Donziger to 6 months in jail? Loretta Preska has been described as a “Nut Job”, and I agree. Will she ever be put on trial? Don’t bet on it. She is connected with Chevron, and its army of lawyers as well. 

Here is an excerpt from an excellent piece by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Chris Hedges:
“The Anonymous Executioners of the Corporate State”)
Excerpts: “Judge Loretta Preska, an advisor to the conservative Federalist Society, to which Chevron is a major donor, sentenced human rights attorney and Chevron nemesis Steven Donziger to six months in prison Friday for misdemeanor contempt of court after he had already spent 787 days under house arrest in New York…Preska’s caustic outbursts, she said at the sentencing, “It seems that only the proverbial two-by-four between the eyes will instill in him any respect for the law”, capped a judicial farce worthy of the antics of Vasiliy Vasilievich, the presiding judge at the major show trials of the Great Purges in the Soviet Union, and the Nazi judge Roland Freisler who once shouted at a defendant, ”You really are a lousy piece of trash!”…Since the verdict, Chevron has come after him (Donziger), weaponizing litigation to destroy him economically, professionally, and personally. The sentencing came a day after Donziger petitioned the court to consider an opinion by the United Nations human rights council that found his house arrest a violation of international human rights law. The U.N human rights council said his house arrest counted as detention under international law and it was therefore illegal for Judge Preska to demand an additional six months in jail. Amnesty International also called for Donziger’s immediate release…The six-month sentence was the maximum the judge was allowed to impose; she ruled that his house arrest cannot be counted as part of his detention. From start to finish, this has been a burlesque. It is emblematic of a court system that has been turned over to lackies of corporate power, who use the veneer of jurisprudence, decorum, and civility to make a mockery of the rule of law. When the law is neutered, judges become the enforcers of injustice. These corporate judges, who epitomize what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil, now routinely make war on workers, civil liberties, unions, and environmental regulations…None of this would surprise those targeted by the tyrannies of the past. What would be surprising, perhaps, to many Americans is how advanced our own corporate tyranny has become. Donziger never stood a chance. Neither does Julian Assange. These judges are not, in the end, focused on Donziger or Assange, but on us. The show trials they preside over are meant to be transparently biased. They are designed to send a message. All who defy corporate power and the national security state will be lynched. There will be no reprieve because there is no justice.”

Wow. Again, capitalism and “the greed that it breeds”, appears to be at the root of so many of our problems. Overturning Citizens United would be a big first step in the right direction, as the Steven Donziger case sets yet another frightening precedent moving forward.

*Note: The benefits of a whole food plant-based diet doesn’t just end with preventing and reversing disease. In fact, the biggest thing that anyone can do to greatly reduce animal suffering, fight the climate crisis, and lessen the chances of war, is to also adopt a plant-based diet! 

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