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Category Archives: American Greed

More People Dying From Heroin Overdose Than Murder by Gun!

Check this out…

OF course the majority (by a pretty good margin) of these deaths are of white people living in the suburbs and rural areas…So unlike the “crack epidemic” there isn’t going to be any push to criminalize.

Yet another reason the “War on Drugs” has been an utter and complete failure.

Heroin deaths surpass gun homicides for the first time, CDC data shows

Opioid deaths continued to surge in 2015, surpassing 30,000 for the first time in recent history, according to CDC data released Thursday.

That marks an increase of nearly 5,000 deaths from 2014. Deaths involving powerful synthetic opiates, like fentanyl, rose by nearly 75 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Heroin deaths spiked too, rising by more than 2,000 cases. For the first time since at least the late 1990s, there were more deaths due to heroin than to traditional opioid painkillers, like hydrocodone and oxycodone.

In the CDC’s opioid death data, deaths may involve more than one individual drug category, so numbers in the chart above aren’t mutually exclusive. Many opioid fatalities involve a combination of drugs, often multiple types of opioids, or opioids in conjunction with other sedative substances like alcohol.

In a grim milestone, more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015. As recently as 2007, gun homicides outnumbered heroin deaths by more than 5 to 1.

These increases come amid a year-over-year increase in mortality across the board, resulting in the first decline in American life expectancy since 1993.

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2016 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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Carrier Employees Pissed Over Trump Lies

About those 1100 American jobs the Chumph lied about…

 

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Casino Refuse to Pay Out to Winner

Never been much of a gambler. Other than the occasional lottery ticket when the jackpot hits $500 million – it just isn’t something I am attracted to.

However, being an engineer and tinkerer at heart, who loves learning how things work, I know a bit of how slot machines work, and how they are controlled by the Casino to regulate payouts to maintain the standard house cut. The odd in a casino are set in such a way that the house always maintains a  8-17% cut of all slot machine games. Penny Slots can be as high as 30% In other words the odds of winning are juggled electronically so the house “wins” a steady percentage of the money bet. Meaning about 85% of the money bet goes into “payouts” to the customers. Non-electronic games, Blackjack, Baccarat , Roulette have rules which favor the house winning. Generally if the payout is very high, the chance of winning is very low.

It is bad business not to pay out, as the sight of someone “winning” tends to drive customers to spend more.

So this one, and the “house rules” are definitely …”Bad Business”.

This woman hit a $42.9 million jackpot — but the casino refuses to pay

 

Katrina Bookman (Facebook)

A woman in New York who won nearly $43 million from a slot machine in August was sad to see her wins disappear before her eyes almost immediately, WABC reports.

Katrina Bookman hit the jackpot at the Resorts World Casino in August, but when she came back to collect her winnings the next day, a casino representative told her that she hadn’t actually won.

The machine apparently malfunctioned. While Bookman wasn’t able to walk away with the nearly $43 million, the Casino did offer her a steak dinner.

A notice on the slot machines states, “Malfunctions void all pays and plays.” However, Bookman and her attorney Alan Ripka both believe that she should be offered the maximum amount of money an individual can win on the Sphinx slot machine, which is $6,500.

“They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out. To me that’s unfair,” Ripka said. “The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.”

The New York State Gaming Commission says Bookman is only entitled to her winnings, or $2.25. Bookman plans to sue the casino.

The machine she used was reportedly removed, fixed, and then put back for use.

The question here is…If the slot is broken – does the Casino compensate those who have lost money on that broken machine?

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Stop and Frisk Scam on Amtrak

One of the things which I believe should be on everyone’s “Bucket List”, if you can beg, borrow, or steal a way to pay for it is to take one of the few remaining Great Train trips in the US. If you are willing to go to Canada, there are still a number of unbelievable Trans-Canada, Rockies, and Northern excursions.

The last of the great trains in the US is the California Zephyr linking the Windy City and the west coast, the daily two-night California Zephyr is Amtrak’s longest route at 2,438 miles. It cuts right across the center of the US, traversing cornfields, cattle country and the Great Plains before climbing great S- and U-shaped curves to reach the Continental Divide inside the six-mile-long Moffat Tunnel at 9,239 feet above sea level and the highest point reached by an Amtrak train.

You cross the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, follow the Colorado River for more than 200 miles, cross the Oregon Trail, touch the old Rock Island Line immortalized by Lead Belly and Johnny Cash and pass the wooden covered bridges featured in the film The Bridges of Madison County.

As a train buff, I have done the Zephyr , the Sky Chief (LA to Chicago), The Crescent (NYC to New Orleans), The Great Northern, and the Empire Builder (Chicago to Seattle). Fun…fun…fun!

Apparently the local Police (at least on the Zephyr) have taken to harassing the passengers and absconding with their money.

Image result for california zephyr in rockies

The Dangers of Going West on Amtrak

Another traveler reports being harassed by police officers on the California Zephyr.

Due to high costs and low ridership, Amtrak loses money on the California Zephyr, the passenger train that traverses a picturesque route from Chicago to the Bay Area. Its balance sheet would improve if more people could be persuaded to buy tickets for a “Superliner Roomette,” where there’s a picture window to watch passing scenery, two fold-down beds, and private space to get a good night’s sleep.

But the few passengers who forgo a faster, cheaper flight, shelling out upwards of $800 in hopes of an unusually pleasant journey, are setting themselves up for unpleasantness: On the route, law-enforcement officers are prone to treating passengers who’ve done nothing wrong as suspects in the drug-trafficking business.

This harassment has been going on for years.

In previous articles, I’ve written about Joseph Rivers, a 22-year-old who boarded an Amtrak train with his life savings, only to have it seized by DEA agents with no evidence of any lawbreaking, forcing him to hire a lawyer to get back what was rightfully his. I’ve written about mathematician Aaron Heuser, who traveled aboard Amtrak around the time he left his job at the National Institutes of Health—near Reno, law-enforcement officers violated his rights and took money from his wallet. I’ve noted the ACLU’s work to document behaviors deemed “suspicious” on Amtrak trains:

Among them:

Unusual nervousness of traveler
Unusual calmness or straight ahead stare
Looking around while making telephone call(s)
Position among passengers disembarking (ahead of, or lagging behind passengers)
Carrying little or no luggage
Purchase of tickets in cash

Purchase tickets immediately prior to boarding
After publishing those stories, I received correspondence from other innocent people allegedly harassed by law enforcement on Amtrak trains, many on travel to California. And I’m sorry to report that despite my efforts to shed light on these abuses, and similar articles in other publications, I still receive new emails with the same old story.

The latest comes from Evan Rinehart, an engineer who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. He recently took an Amtrak to Chicago without incident, save for chilly temperatures and a passenger seated beside him in coach whom he found unpleasant.

He decided to buy a private compartment for the rest of his journey west.

On the last morning of his trip, he wrote, he was prematurely awoken from the good night’s sleep he purchased at a premium. A plain-clothes police officer was knocking at his door.

“He asked if I was transporting large amounts of drugs, large quantities of currency, or illegal weapons. Obviously I said no, which was true,” he wrote. “Then he asked me about the purpose of my trip and how long I would be in San Francisco. I didn’t have much of a plan, but I told him I was visiting friends there, which was true. Then he wanted to search my luggage, all two small bags in the roomette, ‘with your permission of course, with you present.’ I knew that there needed to be a warrant to justify such an unreasonable search, but being intimidated as all hell I let him. When I backed into the hallway he introduced me to his partner who was standing some distance away who just stared at me the whole time.”
All this when at most the search would uncover an amount of drugs so tiny it could fit in two small travel bags. How would that change the drug scene in the Bay Area?

Most law-enforcement officials would consider this a non-incident: cops got consent for a search and found nothing at no cost beyond their time. In reality, these sorts of “nothing to see here” interactions unnerve people, spoil their journeys, and cause them to feel that they’ve been mistreated by their own government. The experience is only more galling when the public employees conducting the search adopt a hostile attitude, treating innocents like they are lying criminals.

The person who searched Rinehart’s bag started to engage him about what he had packed. “At one point he remarked that I didn’t have enough clothes with me for the length of my vacation, however long he thought that was,” the passenger recalled. “This remark pissed me off, but at the time I continued treating these guys like normal people hoping they would leave. As the train was getting ready to leave he abruptly ended the conversation, thanked me for being patient and they left.” Rinehart has been seeking a refund from Amtrak without success, complaining that his treatment aboard the train was “less than first class,” though he paid $917.

More troubling was what happened when he tried to file a complaint about the interaction with law enforcement. “Thinking these police may not have been real, I called Amtrak police to report suspicious circumstances,” he wrote. “Without confirmation that this was standard procedure, the operator suggested that I definitely should call Reno police to get the specific unit and reasons for being selected. So I called Reno police and the woman I talked to was quite unprofessional, also didn’t confirm that it was standard procedure, or seem to be concerned that I thought it might be fake police. Then she suggested I call internal affairs.”…More Here

 

 

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Speaking of Failing Systems

In Europe and probably China – the train system has a number of safety controls which prevent operators from…Driving a train into a platform. Or, as in the case of the wreck in Philadelphia last year, going around a turn at speeds in excess of what the train can handle.

This is all accomplished by the existence of a digital radio system, which monitors and manages the train for unsafe conditions.

The reason we don’t have this is in part the FCC, and in second part Congress, which is often paid by special interests to suppress technology.

So we just get along with what happened today…Again

So far in 2016 – 11 of the rail crashes in the entire world have been in the United States. That’s 22% of all the crashes.

Train Crashes Into Hoboken Terminal, Killing 1, Injuring Scores Of People

A commuter train in New Jersey crashed into Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey on Thursday morning, resulting in multiple injuries and visible structural damage.

One person was killed and at least 65 people were injured, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. New Jersey transit officials said at least 100 people were hurt, Stephen Nessen of WNYC reports.

Joseph Scott, the CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, said the hospital had admitted some victims in critical or serious condition.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told MSNBC and CNN shortly before noon Eastern that everyone trapped on the train has been rescued or removed, and that there was no indication that the crash was anything but an accident.

The train that crashed originated in Spring Valley, N.Y., and “collided with the platform” at Hoboken Terminal at around 8:45 a.m. Eastern, Cuomo said in a statement.

Nessen reports that passengers on from the train that crashed say it approached the station at “full speed” before slamming into the barrier at the end of the track, with the impact throwing riders onto the floor.

WNYC’s Nancy Solomon arrived on the scene shortly after the crash, and says she personally saw 20 to 30 injured people, including at least four who were unable to walk.

She says a train had traveled “all the way into the station — not into the waiting room but into the outdoor part where people transfer.”

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Why Can’t America Build Anymore?

Before Raygun, America was known as a country of engineering marvels. The worlds tallest buildings, the Hoover Dam, the best highway system, soaring bridges…

Not anymore.

You want to see engineering marvels anymore – you have to go to China or Europe.

We got nothing.

The reason for that isn’t “little fish in creeks” which might go extinct…It is conservatives. People who bought into the idea that everything is free. You don’t need taxes, you don’t need bonds – no money at all, because the rich folks are going to take care of it.

In China and Japan – the commuter trains between major cities run 200 MPH. There are a couple which run 300 MPH. In the US – the fastest train runs 125 MPH…over about 50 miles of track, the rest of the time it is running well under 80 MPH.

Rode the TGV in France a few years back from Paris to Marselles. 482 miles in 3 hours or less at 200 MPH with stops. The TGV is capable of speeds of over 320 MPH in perfect track conditions.

The funny thing is, a lot of the engines and engine parts for these super-fast trains are made right here in the USA by General Electric – even though GE is more known for building Freight Engines. GE builds about 80% of the world’s electric motors. GE also owns Alstom, the French Company that makes the TGV.

So the only reason you don’t see those beautiful Orange liveried babies taking you from DC to Boston in 2 hours, or NYC to Chicago in 3 hours…Is political will, and mostly right wing perfidy.

Now Trump, despite Hillary wiping the floor with him in the first debate, made on very good point. Why is it that it costs billions and trillions of dollars to build these weapons systems for the Military anymore…Only to keep winding up with failures?

The new F-35 Fighter jets cost over $200 million apiece to build. One of the aircraft it was supposed to replace was the A-10 Thunderbolt (AKA “Warthog”)…which cost $18.6 million. And, besides being too expensive to lose – the F-35 can’t do the job. Need we discuss tens of billion on the Coast Guard’s new fleet…Which won’t float?

Here are some of the other failures.

What we need here is a new vision. Something similar to President Eisenhower’s Interstate road system… Hopefully the grown-ups will be in control once again after this next election…

And the Yellowback Democrats don’t make another disastrous appearance.

China plans world’s deepest high-speed rail station, right under the Great Wall

Ancient China’s greatest feat of engineering, meet modern China’s.

The Chinese government plans to build the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station under a popular section of the Great Wall, as part of plans to link the capital with the site of the 2022 Winter Olympics, state mediareported Thursday.

The station will be situated at Badaling, 50 miles northwest of Beijing, which is already the most popular spot on the Great Wall. It received 30,000 tourists in just one day during the Chinese New Year holiday week, according to the China National Tourism Administration.

The new high-speed rail line will cut the journey time between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the site of the Winter Olympics, to 50 minutes, from more than three hours now.

Passenger Trains being readied for service in China – capable of speeds over 200 MPH

“The Badaling station will be located 102 meters below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 square meters, equal to five standard soccer fields, making it the deepest and largest high-speed railway station in the world,” Chen Bin, director in charge of construction for China Railway No 5 Engineering Group, told state media.

China’s superlatives rest on some semantic fine-tuning, however. The planned station would be the deepest high-speed rail stop, China says, but not the farthest underground station for passenger rail. In Kiev, for example, the Arsenalna subway platform is billed at more than 105 meters, or 344 feet, below the surface.

Badaling will be one of 10 stations on the 110-mile route, designed to cope with maximum speeds of 215 miles an hour. There will also be a branch line to Chongli, which will host skiing events during the Olympics.

Image result for US Passenger Train

US Passenger train…80 MPH

There was controversy earlier this month when it was revealed that authorities had laid concrete over a crumbling section of the Great Wall in a restoration project criticized as “crude” and “ugly.”

But railway engineers said they will be careful to ensure this construction project does not damage the Unesco world heritage site.

“It will run through mountains where the Great Wall is winding, so we adopted some of the world’s advanced explosion technologies to guarantee it would not affect the Great Wall,” said Luo Duhao, chief engineer of the railway group for the Badaling section.

China has in the midst of an ambitious program of railway construction that is supposed to see it invest $400 billion to build in a 10,000-miles network by 2020.

 

 

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“Hiawatha” Goes to War

The reason Republicans despise Elizabeth Warren (and thus the “Hiawatha” jab) is she is effective at demanding accountability for the biggest thieves, liars, and crooks in the country. Wll Street, and heads of the major banks.

Here – she lights a fire under Wells Fargo President Stumph for crooked dealing, and profiteering.

I hope like hell for a change, the DOJ prosecutes and sends this sucker to jail where he belongs. Folks are getting real tired of this “special justice” for “special people.” crap.

 

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in American Greed

 

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