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Category Archives: American Greed

Highway to Hell

The ego of this minister is larger than believable. First asking his congregation to buy him a $68 million jet…

And now a highway.

The home Creflo’s parishioners paid for with plenty of parking for his several Rolls Royces.

Moneybags Pastor Creflo Dollar Might Get His Very Own Highway

Controversial megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar may soon have a namesake highway to coast down in his two Rolls-Royces.

It isn’t exactly a street paved with gold and, alas, it doesn’t include any pearly gates, but controversial mega-church pastor Creflo Dollar might be getting his own highway.

A Georgia state senator filed a resolution to rename a portion of Old National Highway in Dollar’s honor.

“It is abundantly fitting and proper that this enduring example of God’s message be recognized by dedicating a road in his honor,” state Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta), who appears to have nothing better to do, wrote in her proposed legislation. Last year, James successfully lobbied the legislature to change the name of a section of Spring Street to Gladys Knight Highway.

At least one Atlanta blogger is calling foul.

“There are many, many God-fearing Christians of every denomination who believe [Dollar’s] message is sinful at best, exploitative at worst, and want as much distance between their government and this man as possible,” wrote George Chidi forGeorgiaPol.com.

World Changers Church International, where Dollar is the founding senior pastor, sits in James’s south Fulton County district just outside of Atlanta. Its 8,500-seat World Dome is purportedly home to around 30,000 members, many of whom are pressed to “tithe” 10 percent of their gross earnings to support the ministry. At one point, in 2006, the praying enterprise took in nearly $70 million in cash collections.

While Dollar—who is often derisively called “Rev. Cash-Flow”—has never disclosed his income, he has been widely criticized for enriching himself on the backs of his working-poor and middle-class congregation. The sanctuary, built for $18 million without bank financing, stands in a predominantly black, economically depressed neighborhood. Meanwhile, Dollar owns two Rolls-Royces and flies around the world in a private jet. He made headlines last year when the church attempted to raise $65 million for a brand new luxury Gulfstream.

Dollar “renounced” his church salary in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press and said he relies on personal investments, including income from book sales. A U.S. Senate committee investigated Dollar, along with Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Baptist Church and four other faith leaders, but ultimately found no wrongdoing.

“Some people hear the name Creflo Dollar, and immediately sing his praises,” Andre Walker blogged at Georgia Unfiltered.

“Others hear the name Creflo Dollar, and think he’s a two-bit shyster who uses the Bible and poor religious people to support his lavish lifestyle through the so-called prosperity gospel.”

Dollar, who faced allegations that he punched and choked his daughter in June 2012, hasn’t said a word about James’s proposal. According to police reports, the pastor “slapped” his 15-year-old daughter in the face and “choked her for about five seconds.” Another of Dollar’s daughters, who was 19 at the time, allegedly witnessed the attack. In the heat of the accusations, the preacher denied that the altercation unfolded as his daughters reported and issued a public statement, saying he would never hurt them. His supporters pointed to a father’s “duty” to discipline his children….

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2016 in American Greed, Great American Rip-Off

 

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Overdose Reversal Drug Free to Every High School

This was a brilliant move by the Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma. The beneficiaries of this are going to be in vast majority white families living in suburban or rural communities, and the entire strategy to save the victim is a marked departure from the 90’s “incarcerate the user”. The issue of Opioid abuse has gotten so bad, it has become an issue in the New Hampshire Primary –

The other drug manufacturers apparently decided to rip-off the public by doubling a tripling prices, instead of doing the intelligent and good for business thing by getting out in front of this…This puts them on blast for their corrupt business practices. Ad suggests that “Pharma Bro'” isn’t the only enemy of the American Health System.

And it will be interesting to see how many Red Zone Politicians are willing to kill children by banning this.

Overdose Reversal Drug Now Available To Every U.S. High School Free Of Charge

Advocates say this is another important step toward preventing fatal opioid overdoses.

Any high school in the U.S. that wants to carry an emergency opioid overdose reversal kit will now be able to get one free of charge, thanks to a new initiative announced Monday by the Clinton Foundation and the drug’s manufacturer.

Adapt Pharma, manufacturers of a nasal-spray form of naloxone, also known as Narcan, has partnered with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative to further expand access to the life-saving drug, the two groups said at the final day of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative Activation Summit. Naloxone is nonaddictive, nontoxic and easy to administer, especially through nasal application. It reverses the effects of an opioid overdose by essentially blocking the opioid receptors that heroin and many prescription painkillers target.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal-spray version of naloxone in November, though it had previously been gaining popularity among first responders and advocacy groups as a first line of defense to prevent surging opioid overdose deaths across the nation.

“We are pleased to encourage public-private collaborations expanding access to naloxone,” Rain Henderson, CEO of Clinton Health Matters Initiative, said in a press release. “We are hopeful this effort will facilitate a dialogue amongst students, educators, health professionals, and families about the risks of opioid overdose and ensure naloxone is available in schools that decide to take steps to address opioid overdose emergencies.”

In addition to helping schools obtain naloxone, Adapt Pharma also announced that it had given a grant to the National Association of School Nurses to support opioid overdose education.

“We understand the crucial role schools can play to change the course of the opioid overdose epidemic by working with students and families. We also want every high school in the country to be prepared for an opioid emergency by having access to a carton of Narcan Nasal Spray at no cost,” Adapt Pharma CEO Seamus Mulligan said in a press release. “We look forward to working with our partners to implement these initiatives which build on the significant progress being made by legislators and community groups.”

A carton of Adapt’s Narcan Nasal Spray typically contains two devices, each capable of delivering one dose, at the cost of $75 total. In November, Adapt announced that it was coordinating with the Clinton Foundation to make naloxone less expensive, following significant cost increases by other manufacturers over the previous year. …Read More Here

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in American Greed, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Twitter Hacked?

Following Facebook a few weeks ago, Twitter is experiencing both global and “roaming” outages around the world. Could be any one of several problems including bad software updates, bugs introduced by new changes, or …Hackers.

Twitter Experiencing Worldwide Disruptions

Twitter was experiencing global disruptions on Tuesday that prevented many of its 300 million users from staying connected or from logging on to the social network in the first place.

The company said it was not clear what had caused the problems, which began around 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and prevented many users from sharing updates on their smartphones, computers and other mobile devices. As of about 8:30 a.m., the company said the disruptions were still occurring sporadically worldwide.

Twitter declined to specify how many of its users were affected, or what had caused the disruptions — saying only that it was “working towards a resolution.”

Although the disruptions were among the most extensive the company has yet encountered, Twitter is not the only popular social network to have faced technical problems. Facebook, whose users now number more than 1.5 billion worldwide, has also had a spate of shutdowns over the last 18 months, though often the problems have been corrected within hours.

Because Twitter is an important news source, as well as a popular sounding board, the shutdowns were a significant disruption in the global conversation. When other technology and media companies have faced similar problems in the past, people have often turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations — an outlet unavailable this time because the platform itself was the cause of the problem.

“Thanks for noticing,” read a brief note that appeared on users’ Twitter pages when the website had problems loading. “We’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”

The hashtag #TwitterDown started to trend on the site when it was working, as well as on its rival Facebook, where people playfully mocked Twitter’s disruptions.

“Apt song for the #TwitterDown crises we are facing at the moment,” Paul Lee Lotter, a Facebook user from South Africa, said in a post that included a link to the Led Zeppelin song “Communication Breakdown.”

Twitter has had a string of difficulties recently, with the American company facing growing investor anger since its blockbuster initial public offering in 2013.

The company’s stock, for instance, has lost almost a quarter of its value in the past month, amid criticisms of the way Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who recently returned to become its chief executive, is running the platform.

That includes experiments to introduce a longer form of tweet, in what would be a move away from the simplistic design that the service was originally founded on. Mr. Dorsey has also tried to broaden Twitter’s appeal, a problem the company has struggled with for years, much to the consternation of its investors.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in American Greed, General

 

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BLM vs Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)

As I have said before, the CBC is misnamed. The acronym really means the Congressional Black Cabaret, as they seem to have no problems putting on expensive extravaganzas to their benefit, and getting absolutely nothing done legislatively.

Is there a “generation gap” between the CBC and BLM?

Wrong question.

Black Lives Matter Would Like To See A Little More Help From Congressional Black Caucus

Both groups agree a dual-pronged attack on racism would work best.

It’s no secret that many Black Lives Matter and other African-American activists feel disconnected from members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

From Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) telling protesters in Baltimore to “go home” after Freddie Gray’s death to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) scolding protesters for drowning out Hillary Clinton’s remarks in Atlanta, the generation gap is clear.

The Black Lives Matter movement has reignited a long-ignored conversation about police brutality, pushed two Democratic presidential candidates to releasecriminal justice platforms, and even infiltrated pop culture as a topic on “Law & Order: SVU.”

Meanwhile, younger activists wonder what the CBC is really doing for black people.

“I had no idea it was actually a group in Congress,” said Kwame Rose, a 21-year-old Baltimore activist best known for confronting Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera.

“Are they relevant? I don’t think a lot of people are relevant in the form that they aren’t effectively creating change for the people they are representing,” Rose added. “A lot of people get attention for putting ‘black’ or ‘activist’ in front of their name, but if they aren’t on the ground doing work, they aren’t relevant.”

Several CBC members who spoke with The Huffington Post were surprised to hear suggestions about a generation gap.

“You’re questioning the relevance of the Congressional Black Caucus? Therein lies a problem right there,” said Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), who granted that the caucus may need to better explain its work. “We are fighting every single day for the things they are talking about. We have been at it for years. We know how important this is. They’re our children. They’re our babies. They’re our grandchildren. They matter to us.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), the chairman of the caucus, said the CBC embraces the Black Lives Matter agenda, supports the movement and is willing to partner with and learn from millennial leaders in communities of color.

“I don’t want to accept the argument of the generational gap between the Congressional Black Caucus and our young leaders — and if there is one, we need to remove it,” Butterfield said. “Many of us are products of the [civil rights] movement. When you are a product of that, it’s in your DNA. It’s what you believe about and fight for every day. We want millennials and Black Lives Matter to understand we are engaged at a different level.”…Read the Rest of “The Wrong Question” Here

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in American Greed, BlackLivesMatter

 

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A Monkey’s Selfie!

This smiling guy is Naruto, an Indonesian macaque monkey which apparently found a lost camera, and then proceeded to take pictures of himself and other monkeys…

Showing the average intelligence of the “selfie” crowd really isn’t much above that of your average ape.

Naruto’s pics are so good apparently there has been a court fight over who gets to use them.

Judge rules on whether monkey can own selfie photos copyright

A federal judge in San Francisco said Wednesday he plans to dismiss a copyright lawsuit filed on behalf of an Indonesian monkey by an advocacy group that claims the animal owns the rights to a famous series of “monkey selfie” photographs.

CBS San Francisco reports that U.S. District Judge William Orrick said he agreed with arguments by camera owner David Slater and self-publishing software company Blurb Inc. that federal copyright law doesn’t allow animals to claim copyright protection.

“I just don’t see that it could go as broadly as beyond humans,” Orrick said during a hearing on a motion by Slater and Blurb for dismissal of the lawsuit filed against them in September by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on behalf of Naruto, a crested macaque.

The judge said he will issue a written order of dismissal at a later date.

But Orrick also said he will allow PETA to file an amended lawsuit if the group wishes to do so. PETA attorney David Schwarz told Orrick he plans to do that, and said outside of court that he will study the future ruling before deciding how to revise the suit.

The now 7-year-old Naruto lives with other macaques in a rainforest reserve on the island of Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, in Indonesia.

He took the selfies in 2011 with a camera that Slater, a British wildlife photographer, left in the reserve.

The lawsuit claims that Naruto, who was accustomed to seeing cameras used by tourists and professional photographers, came upon the unattended camera and created the selfies through a series of “purposeful and voluntary actions…unaided by Slater.”

Naruto’s actions as an author included “purposely pushing the shutter release multiple times (and) understanding the cause-and-effect relationship between pressing the shutter release, the noise of the shutter, and the change to his reflection in the camera lens,” the lawsuit says.

Slater’s lawyers have contended in a filing that Slater set up the photos by “building a trustful, friendly relationship” with a group of macaques over several days and then making artistic decisions about the lens width, positions and settings on the camera he left in the reserve.

Slater published the photos in 2014 in a book called Wildlife Personalities, developed with software obtained from San Francisco-based Blurb. The book is copyrighted in the names of Slater and his private company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., according to the lawsuit.

The soon-to-be dismissed current version of the lawsuit asked the court to declare Naruto the author, order all profits from sales of the selfies to be turned over to Naruto, and assign Virginia-based PETA and German primatologist Antje Engelhardt to administer the proceeds for the benefit of Naruto, other crested macaques and their habitat.

PETA and Engelhardt, an expert on Sulawesi crested macaques, would provide their services for free, the lawsuit said.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Naruto, PETA as the monkey’s legal “next friends,” and Engelhardt. The defendants are Slater, Wildlife Personalities Ltd. and Blurb Inc.

Yeah! And you are a monkey’s Uncle!

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Cowbollah Leader got $530 k Loan from Government Small Business Administration (SBA)

Milking even more of that “big bad Gub’ment” largesse, turns out Ammon Bundy the leader of the Y’allQaeda terrorist faction’s armed takeover of a Visitor Center at a Naional Park – not only helped is deadbeat dad steal over $1 million in land lease fees – but got a $530,000 loan from the Small Business Administration.

That Government sure has been evil to those Cowbollahs!

Leader of armed protesters in Oregon took out $530,000 federal loan

Ammon Bundy, a leader of the armed protesters who took over a federal building in Oregon, and his family are known for battling the federal government.

But Bundy told CNN on Tuesday that he’s not opposed to government and said that taking a six-figure loan from theSmall Business Administration doesn’t conflict with his political philosophy.

Bundy borrowed $530,000 in 2010 for his company, Valet Fleet Service LLC, according to public records on usaspending.gov. Valet Fleet Service is a truck maintenance company in Arizona.

“I am not anti-government,” he said when asked about the loan while standing outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, adding that he thinks “there is a role for government and that the federal government’s role is to protect the states from the outside world.”

“And the state’s role is to protect the counties from the federal government — and the county’s role is to protect the people from the state so the people can go about freely using their lands and resources and their rights. … So there’s a role, but all government’s role is to serve the people. Whenever those governments step out, then that’s when we step in.”

Bundy denied he was being hypocritical about the loan because it “was an effort in assisting the people in using their rights.”

 

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism

 

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Race and College Sports

The last major bastion of slavery in America – college sports. College Football and College Basketball are major revenue drivers for the schools. Being part of a major conference, even for a school at the bottom of the standings still means $8-10 million revenue in TV Rights and ticket sales. The big money from football has caused major realignments of traditional leagues – resulting in major realignments of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Big East as schools have fled to the big(ger) money conferences.

Schools winning the Championship series can garner over $50 million in revenue counting TV Rights, Ticket sales, and the ale of licensed material. This is BIG Business…

Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence.

With the money made from college sports increasing every year, the way colleges treat their athletes has become controversial.

That’s because college sports is a tremendously lucrative business for everyone but the athletes. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) will receive $7.3 billion from ESPN for the right to broadcast the seven games of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) between 2014 and 2026, and $11 billionfrom CBS and Turner Sports to broadcast “March Madness” over the next 14 years.

Individual colleges also make out well: The University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team’s trip to the Final Four this year, for example, brought more than $8 million in revenue to the universities of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Each of the “Big 5” conferences will make an estimated $50 millionfrom the college football playoffs this year.

And none of this counts the money made from concessions, merchandise and licensing fees.

Meanwhile, most college athletes are “paid” with scholarships that cover only tuition, room, board, books and fees — although in 2015, the NCAA allowed Division I universities the option of increasing this to pay the full cost of attendance. After adding up the time spent on practice, training and games, college athletes often “work” the equivalent of full-time hours for the universities they play for…

 

Most blacks want college athletes to be paid. Most whites don’t

There’s evidence that he’s right. In survey after survey, strong national majorities oppose paying college athletes. In March 2015, for example, anHBO Real Sports/Marist Poll found that 65 percent of Americans do not think college athletes in top men’s football and basketball programs should be paid.

But these attitudes vary significantly by race. In every survey to date, blacks are far more likely to support paying college athletes when compared to whites. For instance, in the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES), 53 percent of African Americans backed paying college athletes–more than doubling the support expressed by whites (22 percent).

Racial divisions on controversial issues, of course, are not new. Even on ostensibly race-neutral policies like welfare, health care, and law enforcement, strong differences in opinion exist between blacks and whites. Decades of research have found (here, here and here) that some of those gaps in opinion come from racial prejudice against blacks. When whites believe that a policy mainly helps blacks, their opinions on that policy are inevitably colored by their feelings towards blacks as a group.

Could some of that gap grow from racism?

Could racial prejudice also affect attitudes toward paying college athletes? There are good reasons to believe that it could.

According to NCAA data from 2014, blacks constitute the majority of players in college football and basketball, the two sports that most people think of when they think of college athletics. Given this reality, it would be strange if questions about paying college athletes did not conjure up images of young black men in the minds of survey respondents.

To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

The more negatively a white respondent felt about blacks, the more they opposed paying college athletes.

To check our findings’ validity, we also conducted an experiment. Before we asked white respondents whether college athletes should be paid, we showed one group pictures of young black men with stereotypical African American first and last names. We showed another group no pictures at all.

As you can see in the figure below, whites who were primed by seeing pictures of young black men were significantly more likely to say they opposed paying college athletes. Support dropped most dramatically among whites who expressed the most resent towards blacks as a group.

When we talk about paying college athletes, we’re talking about race 

In other words, the discussion about paying college athletes is implicitly a discussion about race. As the representative of nearly 1,200 schools, conferences and affiliate organizations, the NCAA should consider how much it wants to base its policies on public opinion that may be tainted by racial prejudice.

Kevin Wallsten is an associate professor in the department of political science at California State University atLong Beach. Tatishe M. Nteta is an associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lauren A. McCarthy is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
 
 

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