Month: October 2017

Uranium One – Connecting the Dots

Uranium One – Connecting the Dots

I’ll start by saying that the opinion expressed by this article is merely the result of some research, and some interesting coincidences that I’ve found worth putting together.

Time will tell if these parallel events are connected, but I would be really surprised if they aren’t!

We all remember the infamous Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff that happened in January of 2016, where ranchers protesting what they viewed as a Federal Government abuse via the BLM by jailing the Hammonds and sentencing them not once but twice for backfires in their property that spread into Federal land.  The standoff eventually ended with the death of LaVoy Finicum during a FBI ambush which was highly controversial, and is still under investigation.

Recently, we’ve found out that FBI documents from 2009 uncovering bribery from Russian officials prior to the Uranium One deal had been buried by Obama’s DOJ. The first thing that came to my mind was where do we extract uranium from in the US?

While researching I ran into a BLM page from Oregon, which led me to start connecting the dots.  https://www.blm.gov/or/energy/uranium.php

So let’s take a look at the timeline for these parallel events…

2009 –  Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. These findings were buried by both the FBI director and the DOJ.

2009 – Then FBI director Mueller personally delivers uranium sample to Russia. https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE38943_a.html

2010 – Obama Administration approves partial sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One to ARMZ Uranium holding Co., a part of Rosatom, which is a Russian State owned enterprise, giving Moscow control of 20% of U.S. uranium supply.

2011 – A representative from Oregon Energy, L.L.C. (formally Uranium One), meets with local citizens, and county and state officials, to discuss the possibility of opening a uranium oxide (“yellowcake”) mine in southern Malheur County in southeastern Oregon. The claim area would occupy about 450 acres and is also referred to as the “New U” uranium claims.

2012 – Ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond are sentenced to jail for a backfire that extended into BLM land, and start serving a reduced sentence of 1 1/2 years.

2012 – Oregon Energy/Uranium One puts their plan for the new mine on hold citing uncertainty surrounding sage grouse.

2013 – In December 2013 an internal reorganization of Rosatom extinguished the interest of ARMZ making Uranium One a direct subsidiary of  Rosatom.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

2014 – The Hammonds settled a 1 million lawsuit with the BLM for 400k and signed a document giving the BLM first right of purchase for their land if the debt was not paid.

2015 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Federal Law and re-sentences the Hammonds to the full 5 year prison sentence less time served.  Hmmmm…we’ve heard about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals a lot lately in another issue.

2016 – A standoff from ranchers in support of the Hammonds and claiming that the BLM controls public land unconstitutionally takes place for 41 days at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,  ending with the death of LaVoy Finicum during a FBI ambush.

All of this  sure could be a very unfortunate coincidence, but one has to question if there is a connection between the desperate attempt to remove ranchers from their land in Malheur County, Oregon, and Uranium One’s plans to open a 450 acre mine in the same County.  Also, questionable was the FBI involvement in the standoff and the seemingly unnecessary death of LaVoy Finicum.  Did he know too much? Was that message to others to back off?

For decades there has been conflict between ranchers and the Federal Government regarding land ownership and use, and it’s not a secret to anyone that the Federal Government always wins.  The only secret at times is what the government wants a particular piece of land for and who is making money behind the scenes.

In this particular case, and taking into consideration today’s volatile environment worldwide, one can’t help but to be concerned since our very own uranium could be being used right now by our enemies thanks to greedy politicians who don’t even try to hide their contempt for this Nation.

It is also a bit unsettling and almost ironic that the former FBI director who delivered the uranium sample to Russia himself is today investigating the so-called “Russian/Trump collusion”, yeah…the same former FBI director who buried the files with evidence of wrong doing by Russian officials in order to have Uranium One’s sale approved.

Coming from a country like Brazil where government corruption is so blatant that nothing is surprising, I’ve learned that there are no coincidences when it comes corrupt politicians.  It’s like unraveling a cable knit sweater, and this one seems to be the XXL type!

 

 

 

Columbus Day Hypocrisy

Columbus Day Hypocrisy

Some might say that due to my Italian heritage I’m obligated to defend our tradition of celebrating Columbus day,  but honestly, I only feel obligated to defend common sense and there is much of it amiss on this ridiculous controversy.

I like to listen to opinions different from mine and from what I’ve gathered some groups see Columbus as some kind of white supremacist that systematically killed indigenous people and stole this beautiful land from them, thus not worthy of our admiration.

Well, one cannot listen to this argument without noticing the hypocrisy within!

We have known for years that the Native Americans are not really original of the land they call themselves native of, they got here through a mass migration that took place thousands of years ago from East Asia.  And where did the people from East Asia come from? DNA studies have traced all of humanity back to Africa.  So, let’s start with the fact that none of us, unless you can trace your entire heritage back to Africa, is original of anywhere.

Since the beginning of humanity its inhabitants have migrated and conquered a new land.   The indigenous people of North America were seen as natives to the new explorers, but not were not native to this particular land.

An even bigger hypocrisy from the outrage over an explorer called Columbus comes from the argument of cruelty, which implies the indigenous people were peaceful and harmless to each other living in perfect harmony.  Far from reality.

The Iroquois were the dominant force in northeastern America until the Europeans came to the New World. Five smaller nations made up the League of the Iroquois: they were the Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes. The legendary Hiawatha joined these five tribes together into a single powerful confederation after fierce blood feuds threatened to destroy all five nations.

Naragansett, and Algonquin tribes were enemies to the Iroquois. These tribes had become oppressed by the Iroquois nations after they had formed their confederation; prior to the League these three tribes were actually the dominant tribes of Native Americans in the Northeast. Later, these tribes were also among the first to accept Catholicism, which added favor in the eyes of the new settlers, whose mission was to convert people wherever they went. When the Europeans accepted the friendship of these tribes, however, they accepted the enmity of the Iroquois as well.

The tribes fought for land which meant food.  In those days, once the land you occupied ran out of animals to hunt you’d take someone else’s land.

Prisoners of war were tortured and killed slowly, some were scalped, some were burned alive, and some tribes practiced cannibalism.

Not looking so peaceful anymore, are they?

The reality is that among the Native Americans were those who were killing and enslaving with the sole purpose of acquiring more land.  How was that any different from an explorer from another continent arriving to a new land and wanting to claim it?  Allow me to answer… NONE.

Yes, sadly there were Natives who suffered and lost their land without provocation.  Reason why the U.S. government has created laws to preserve the tribes still in existence and the rich culture of this land’s past.  No one feels good about the wars that took place hundreds of years ago in order to create what we call home today, but it’s important to have a clear view of what the world was like back in those days.

And what if Columbus had not come to America, where would you and I be today?

Ironically, we would most likely be in a land that also didn’t originally belong to our ancestors.

Instead of fighting the past, why can’t we celebrate the future?

Embrace who you are, be thankful for today, don’t look back… you’re not going that way!

And as for me and my heritage, I’ll always be proud of it.   Thanks to two “paesanos”, an explorer called Cristoforo Colombo and his financier Amerigo Vespucci, today I have the privilege to live in the land that gave us Alexander Graham Bell, Dr. Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison, George Eastman, Katherine Blodgett, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs,  and so many others who have not only improved the lives of Americans but the entire World.

So yes, I celebrate!

Happy Columbus Day !!!