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Category Archives: American Greed

Couple Buys Car at Auction, Discovers it Was Stolen & Turns it in to Police…Gets arrested.

You buy a car at auction and have it towed home. When it arrives the Tow Truck Driver tells you the car is stolen because of the VIN Number. Being a good citizen, you call the Police, and turn the car over to the Police…For which they arrest you for car theft!

Clayton County, Georgia police officer  Grant Kidd (WSB-TV)

BUSTED: Georgia cop caught extorting couple wrongfully arrested after turning in stolen car

Clayton County, Georgia police officer was fired and placed under investigation after he was caught on an audio recording telling a local couple he could make their arrest “go away,” WSB-TV reported.

The recording by Michael and Michelle Pierce captures former Officer Grant Kidd telling the couple he knew someone in the local district attorney’s office that could help them with their case. For $1,500, he said — $1,000 up front — Kidd would act as a go-between to get the charges against them dismissed.

“You’ll never see him,” Kidd said of his unidentified contact. “You ain’t never going to talk to him.”

The Pierces were arrested and charged with stealing a car they had already turned in to police. According to WSB, the couple originally bought the Toyota Corolla for $1,700 at an auction. After paying for the car, however, a tow truck driver informed them that the vehicle’s identification number showed that it had been stolen.

The couple then notified police and turned the car in, only to get it back three days later when officials returned it. However, police once again impounded the car — with the Pierces’ consent — after a detective said it was wrongfully released to them.

A day later, however, they were arrested inside their thrift store and accused of stealing the car.

“They just threw the cuffs on me and put me in the back of the car,” Michelle Pierce said. “That was the worst thing.”

Shortly after their arrest, Kidd approached the couple and offered his help — for a price. The charges against the Pierces were later dismissed, while their attorney contacted District Attorney Tracy Lawson. Lawson then turned the investigation against Kidd over to federal officials.

Kidd’s former police chief, Michael Register, told WSB the recording captured “a conversation from my standpoint that just turns your stomach.”

Meanwhile, the couple is planning a civil suit.

“Instances such as this undermine public trust and confidence in our judicial system,” said Darryl Scott, who will represent them in the matter. “Their sense of security has been violated, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do by contacting law enforcement and it backfired.”

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in American Greed, BlackLivesMatter

 

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Pirate Radio is Back

In the 60’s and 70’s there were a number of Pirate Radio Stations in the US – especially in New York City, where the maze of buildings, and low power transmissions typically limited the area in which the station could be heard to a few blocks. In those days, many of the Stations were either black, of broadcasting alternatives to the “Top 40” repetitive format broadcast by the licensed stations. Driving though New York you could pick up a marvelous tapestry of music you could never hear on commercial radio, as well as local talk shows dealing with issues in a specific community.

Starting with WHUR (Howard University Radio) in Washington DC, there was a 5 year trend to broaden the spectrum of music on the airwaves by licensed stations. HUR rocked the industry initially with a format that mixed every genre of black music in a commercial free format. The station was forced by economic needs to cave to commercial advertising in 1976, ending the fabulous experiment, and significantly narrowing the station’s playlist and style.

A Pirate Radio Station can be pretty small, and set up on a low budget.

With the elimination of local ownership rules by Republicans under Raygun, there was a massive consolidation of ownership of stations across the country, enabling behemoth’s like Clear Channel to own the majority of the airwaves, the rise of right wing talk, and the homogenization of playlists across the country. The consolidation killed local music, as well as the regional flavor of music across the country. Those appreciating music from the pre 80’s era will remember Atlantic Records and Southern Soul, Motown with it’s distinctive sound, and Philly Soul among others. Driving from region to region often presented an entirely different group of artists and sound palate. A combination of radio ownership consolidation, which was driven principally for political reasons, and the MTV-ization of America destroyed this creative landscape. And in the age of Hip-Hop – there are still some regional distinctions – to the exclusion of anything else.

Today’s Pirate Stations are driven principally by Immigrants, who are largely locked out of the broadcast community by a combination of cost, and audience size. Digital Broadcast Radio, once seen as a panacea for broadcasting is largely dead due to poor broadcast capabilities resulting in an inability to lock on to a station (poor coverage, much like the Digital TV failure), and the need for specialized equipment. Broadcast over the Internet has become hugely popular, but for poor communities, begs the issue of being able to afford an Internet Connection in the first place.

In Internet age, pirate radio arises as surprising challenge

In the age of podcasts and streaming services, you might think pirate radio is low on the list of concerns of federal lawmakers and broadcasters. You’d be wrong.

They’re increasingly worried about its presence in some cities as unlicensed broadcasters commandeer frequencies to play anything from Trinidadian dance music to Haitian call-in shows. And they complain the Federal Communications Commission can’t keep up with the pirates, who can block listeners from favorite programs or emergency alerts for missing children and severe weather.

Helped along by cheaper technology, the rogue stations can cover several blocks or several square miles. Most broadcast to immigrant communities that pirate radio defenders say are underserved by licensed stations.

“The DJs sound like you and they talk about things that you’re interested in,” said Jay Blessed, an online DJ who has listened to various unlicensed stations since she moved from Trinidad to Brooklyn more than a decade ago.

“You call them up and say, ‘I want to hear this song,’ and they play it for you,” Blessed said. “It’s interactive. It’s engaging. It’s communal.”

Last year, nearly three dozen congressional members from the New York region urged the FCC to do more about what they called the “unprecedented growth of pirate radio operations.” So did the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which said pirates undermine licensed minority stations while ignoring consumer protection laws that guard against indecency and false advertising.

The New York State Broadcasters Association estimates that 100 pirates operate in the New York City area alone, carrying programs in languages from Hebrew to Gaelic to Spanish. Many also broadcast in and around Miami and Boston; FCC enforcement data shows agents have gone after at least one pirate in nearly every state in the past decade.

The FCC has been discussing possible solutions, such as penalizing pirate radio advertisers, and last month urged landlords and government officials to look out for rogue broadcasters.

The alleged pirates include Jean Yves Tullias, a barber living in Irvington, about 15 miles from New York. The FCC claims he appropriated an unused frequency to broadcast his show, which includes church services, gospel music and a call-in program for fellow Haitians.

Tullias denies any wrongdoing. Cutting hair recently at his barbershop, he said a friend broadcast his Internet radio show without telling him he used a pirated frequency.

Tullias, 44, started his show because the local Haitian community “had no communication, nobody to help them,” he said.

“When you get that radio station, that prayer line, you feel comfortable,” he said of older listeners who speak little English and feel isolated. “You feel happy.”

Broadcasters are increasingly concerned because the FCC has gone after fewer pirates in recent years. The commission issued more than 100 warnings and fines against alleged pirates last year, compared with more than 400 in 2010.

That number fell despite a “significant increase” in the number of pirate stations, tallied by David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Donovan said the signals interfere with the Emergency Alert System, which relies on a phone-tree-like chain of stations listening to one another. Listeners also can’t hear the alerts, he said.

In his response to lawmakers’ concerns, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler cited a stagnant budget and its smallest staff in 30 years. Fines and seizures are not enough, he added, because pirates often refuse to pay and quickly replace transmitters and inexpensive antennas.

For about $750, pirates can buy equipment to broadcast at a range of at least 1 or 2 miles, experts say….More Here

 

 

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Who’s Afraid of Democracy Spring?

For the past week a group of demonstrators called Democracy Spring have been protesting at the Capital. So far, over 1200 of them have been arrested, including a number of famous names…

Yet – you wouldn’t know this massive demonstration is going on watching he MSM.

The paymasters of the MSM don’t want you to know that thousands are showing up to protest bought out politicians, bought out elections, and a bought out Press.

 

1,240 arrested in past week as “Democracy Spring” movement against money in politics spreads throughout U.S.

Activists carried out one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in recent history—yet got little media coverage

It was one of the most massive acts of civil disobedience in recent U.S. history. Over the past week, well over 1,000 people were arrested in an enormous sit-in protest at the U.S. Capitol.

The demonstration is part of a new movement that calls itself “Democracy Spring.” Activists are calling for ending the chokehold money has on U.S. politics, overturning Citizens United and restoring voting rights.

On April 2, activists launched a colossal 10-day, 140-mile march from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. This was the preface to the mass arrests.

At least 1,240 protesters were arrested in the week from Monday, April 11 to Monday, April 18, according to police, on charges of crowding, obstructing or incommoding. Some activists even tied themselves to scaffolding in the Capitol rotunda.

Activists say even more people were arrested. The Nation put the figure at 1,400. The left-wing magazine refers to Democracy Spring and the allied Democracy Awakening protests from April 16 to 18 as “the most important protest of the 2016 election.”

A host of celebrities and prominent figures joined the protesters. Actress Rosario Dawson — who has become an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter — was arrested, as was Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, along with leaders from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the AFL-CIO and the NAACP.

And although the Washington, D.C. demonstration officially ended Monday, Democracy Spring is only just beginning.

Leaders in the movement say they plan on expanding it throughout the country.

“Despite this unprecedented call to action, the congressional leadership did nothing,” Kai Newkirk, the campaign director of Democracy Spring, explained.

“Now we will take the battle into their offices in D.C., their home districts and to their fundraisers, to the party conventions and beyond.”

 Democracy Spring activists are asking that all U.S. political candidates sign the Equal Voice for All Declaration, which maintains that the “government should be free from the corrupting influence of big money in politics and solely dependent upon the People” and calls “for pro-democracy, anti-corruption reforms, including voting rights protections, citizen-funded elections, and a constitutional amendment to overturn
Citizens United.”

The movement is non-partisan and is not affiliated with any political candidates or parties. It has been organized by a coalition of more than 120 organizations, activist groups and unions, which share principles of unity.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has expressed support for the new movement.

“We must overturn Citizens United if we are serious about maintaining the foundations of American democracy,” his campaign tweeted.

“Americans understand that our gov’t is dominated by big money. Glad to see people taking action to restore democracy.”

 

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CWA Goes on Strike at Verizon

At least one of he major issues between the Communications Workers of America Union and Verizon is the company’s shipping of call center jobs to India.

Lowell McAdam, CEO at Verizon has come under fire from Bernie Sanders for corporate responsibility, As McAdam points out – the company, unlike others does pay taxes, and does invest in America –

His first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong. As our financial statements clearly show, we’ve paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years – that’s a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who’s counting. We’ve laid out the facts repeatedly and did so again yesterday (see “Sen. Sanders needs to get his facts straight” at Verizon.com/about/news). The senator has started to fudge his language – talking of taxes not paid in some unspecified “given year” – but that doesn’t make his contention any less false.

Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise. In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock. In Sanders’s home state of Vermont alone, Verizon has invested more than $16 million in plant and equipment and pays close to $42 million a year to vendors and suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses. Just yesterday, we announced a $300 million investment to bring fiber to the city of Boston, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation and expand broadband access for its residents. Boston’s Mayor Walsh is partnering with us on this initiative, calling it crucial for providing the foundation for future technology growth. We’re making significant investments in New York City, Philadelphia and other metro areas throughout our wireline footprint.

Verizon is one of the top 3 capital investors in all corporate America.

True. But missing the fact that the reassembly of “Ma Bell” into a three headed monopoly on both wired and wireless services hasn’t done the county much good in terms of stimulating development of new technologies and specifically in the area of development of new businesses. That isn’t all Verizon’s doing. They have had a lot of help with that from techno-ignorant clowns on the Hill, and a compliant FCC.

Despite the worst efforts of the conservative Reich  – at least one union still survives in the US.

And yes, BTx3 is a former member.

Bernie shakes hands with the Picket Line

Tens Of Thousands Of Verizon Workers Go On Strike

Nearly 40,000 workers at Verizon have gone on strike, objecting to, among other things, outsourcing and temporary location transfers.

The two unions representing Verizon workers say their employees have been without a contract since August. They call the walkout, which began at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, “by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years.”

NPR’s Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit:

“The striking employees mostly work in Verizon’s wireline business — landline phone, video and Internet — on the East Coast.

“The company says it’s offering a 6 percent raise, but needs to make what it calls ‘critical changes to its legacy contracts’ to reduce health care costs and retirement benefits.”

The unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — say Verizon has made billions in profits, while still looking to spend less on employee benefits, Joel says.

Other objections from the union include offshoring of jobs, increasing use of contract workers and Verizon’s request for the ability to give workers two-month assignments that would require relocating — what the unions call “family-busting transfers.”

Verizon, which accuses union leaders of “ignoring today’s digital realities,” said Wednesday that it had indicated a willingness to enter into mediation if the unions extended their strike deadline, but that the unions refused.

The telecom giant says it is ready to serve customers during the walkout; a strike readiness team has been preparing for more than a year, the company said in a statement.

Thousands of nonunion employees have been trained as fill-ins, and they will be reassigning employees from elsewhere in the U.S. and other units in the company.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in American Greed

 

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John Oliver Eviscerates Credit Bureaus

In any other industry –

If 30% of the cars made by a car company were delivered to customers without wheels…

If 30% of the ladders sold to customers failed on the first use…

If 30% of the shirts or blouses fell apart on first wearing…

If 30% of the airplanes crashed…

If the construction company didn’t put covers on 30% of the manholes…

They would be on a real short trip to being out of business.

So why is it, Credit Bureaus get away with egregious errors which can ruin people’s lives, with at least 25-35% of the data they collect being false or fraudulent?

Unemployed for 6 or more months and having troubles paying bills? Well, the very same companies fix it so you can never get a job…So you CAN pay those bills. It is the electronic version of the Debtor’s Prison.

You want to save America, Ms Clinton, and Mr Trump, Cruz, and Sanders  – then the very first thing you can do to make things better for the middle class…

Is to clean up the Credit Bureaus and “Background check” Agencies and make it illegal to use credit information for hiring decisions except in very narrow circumstances.

Oliver’s Takedown –

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in American Greed

 

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DC Metro May Shut Down Major Lines for 6 Months

The nation’s second busiest subway system may have to shut down service for 6 months in what could be a catastrophic outage for a system which carries 800,000 passengers a day. Once the nation’s crown jewel system, the problems that have brought Metro’ Subway System low are an accumulation of problems over years. About half of the blame rests with how the system is funded, the other half is based on gross incompetence at the middle and senior management level of the Authority.

Metro or the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority is an odd duck in terms of organization due to the fact that a significant portion of it’s budget comes from the Government. Which means Congressional oversight and piddling in the affairs of the company. The Company’s ownership is spread across the 7 jurisdictions it serves in the Washington Metropolitan area, including the Federal Government. The Federal Government is a player here because 53% of the passengers on the system are Federal Employees. As everything from fares to which communities are served is regulated, the company is designed never to make a profit (or even break even), and each served municipality pays a proportional part of the actual operating budget each year.

In function, the Transit Agency works like a Federal Government entity – meaning there is no motivation of the employees to either improve service, to make systems operate more efficiently, or to cut costs…Ergo the old $10,000 Toilet Seat issue. Massive cost overruns are the norm. Massive project failures are the norm. The recent Silver Line expansion ballooned from $1 billion to $3 billion, in large part due to project being managed by the corrupt Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority – a situation created because of lack of faith that Metro could manage such a large project. I mean when the Federal Government is going o take over your local transit authority – not only are things truly f’d up… But they are going to get a lot worse.

While, like any big dollar enterprise, there are incidents of corruption – even to the highest levels of the management structure, there is no evidence of any major corruption issue, or that corruption is the reason behind the Authority’s failure. It really boils down to incompetence within almost the entire senior management structure at the company’s headquarters. As such, confusion, lack of vision, lack of will, turf fights, nepotism, and duplicate organizational functions are the order of the day. And to clarify a point, very little of “the problem” has to do with the rank and file customer facing employees who in general believe in the mission of serving the community and often will go above board to make things right.

Accepting Federal money means the involvement of Congress. It also means Federal Agency Oversight, which in typical form tries to solve problems at the weed level instead of systemic. It means getting whipsawed by political trade winds in Congress, being victim to corruption at the Congressional Level, and dealing with Congressional fingers in the pie at any time. Ergo the Republicans want the system to operate without tax dollars or a fare hike (It’s the same magic which destroyed some of their own states), and the Democrats want the system to operate as a social good vehicle.

A major shutdown of the system could entail putting 500,000 cars onto the Washington area’s already gridlocked streets. It will cost the Federal Government and private businesses Billions of dollars in lost work and revenue. As a Management Consultant who has done rescues, turnarounds and restructurings of companies, and a former employee of Metro, I have a pretty good idea about what needs to be done…And it isn’t initially going to be pretty.

Lengthy Shutdowns in Washington, D.C., Metro System Are Possible

Repairs to Washington’s aging subway could require the closure of entire rail lines for months at a time, the system’s chairman, Jack Evans, said Wednesday. At the very least, Mr. Evans said, riders should expect the closure of segments of individual lines for extended periods.

His remarks were the latest indication that the system, known as Metro, will be facing significant service disruptions as its management confronts financial and safety problems.

“If we are going to fix the infrastructure, we can’t do it three hours at night,” Mr. Evans, who is also a member of the D.C. Council, said at a symposium marking Metro’s 40th anniversary.

“There may be decisions where we have to close down whole lines and repair them, which are going to be very unpopular,” Mr. Evans added. “But the only way that we are going to get this system fixed is to make unpopular decisions.”

Metro officials already closed the system for a day earlier this month for an emergency safety inspection.

Mr. Evans called the system “maybe safe, somewhat unreliable, and being complained about by everybody,” and said that its health long-term requires increased — and a permanent — source of financing, like a regional sales tax and annual federal contributions.

Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro’s general manager, will announce a systemwide maintenance plan in four to six weeks, a Metro spokesman, Dan Stessel, said Wednesday.

Mr. Wiedefeld, in his own remarks at the Wednesday meeting, said the scale of the transit agency’s woes required drastic measures.

“What we have been doing has not been working,” he said. “We cannot Band-Aid, we cannot paper over some of these issues.”

Both men’s remarks were first reported by The Washington Post.

 

 
 

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How SC Judges Could Force a Vote to Confirm

The Supreme Court requires a minimum of 6 Justices in attendance for the Court to legally hear cases. Perhaps it is time for a boycott by the Justices themselves.The result of not reaching a Quorum isn’t dismissal of the case, the case is moved onto the docket of next year’s cases to be heard. The reason this has not been used before is that it sets a dangerous precedent if used solely to delay the hearing of cases.

28 U.S.C. 1 provides:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

However – if the Court cannot meet…

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism, General

 

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