The Thugs of Silicon Valley

Bunch of strange stuff has been going on in High-Tech for the last 5-10 years. I have discussed previously the use of H1 Visa employees from other countries to steal American engineering jobs, paying H1′s  half or less than what a qualified American Engineer would get.  Resulting in several hundred thousand American kids who did the right thing, and got a college education in the Tech field…Being unable to get a job.

Then there was the outright age/salary discrimination against experienced and older workers. Resulting in the strange situation where the very guys who invented much of the current technology in the first place…becoming pariahs in the view of company HR.

If that wasn’t criminal enough, now we find that some of the biggest names in the Tech business have participated in a conspiracy, the result of which is to eliminate the ability of American workers to find a new job.

One of the things Unions did back in the days of the Robber Barrons was to break this sort of “restraint of free trade” up. One of the reasons conservatives are so anxious to destroy unions is they know if Unions move from the manufacturing of physical devices into the High-Tech development world…

Theirr clients won’t be able to get away with this shit.

The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple’s board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt “got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.”

Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information “verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?”

These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billioneffectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.

In a related but separate investigation and ongoing suit, eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman, now CEO of HP, are being sued by both the federal government and the state of California for arranging a similar, secret wage-theft agreement with Intuit (and possibly Google as well) during the same period.

The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws. Today’s inequality crisis is America’s worst on record since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago — the only comparison would be to the era of the railroad tycoons in the late 19th century.

Shortly after sealing the pact with Google, Jobs strong-armed Adobe into joining after he complained to CEO Bruce Chizen that Adobe was recruiting Apple’s employees. Chizen sheepishly responded that he thought only a small class of employees were off-limits:

I thought we agreed not to recruit any senior level employees…. I would propose we keep it that way. Open to discuss. It would be good to agree.

Jobs responded by threatening war:

OK, I’ll tell our recruiters they are free to approach any Adobe employee who is not a Sr. Director or VP. Am I understanding your position correctly?

Adobe’s Chizen immediately backed down:

I’d rather agree NOT to actively solicit any employee from either company…..If you are in agreement, I will let my folks know.

The next day, Chizen let his folks — Adobe’s VP of Human Resources — know that “we are not to solicit ANY Apple employees, and visa versa.” Chizen was worried that if he didn’t agree, Jobs would make Adobe pay:

if I tell Steve [Jobs] it’s open season (other than senior managers), he will deliberately poach Adobe just to prove a point. Knowing Steve, he will go after some of our top Mac talent…and he will do it in a way in which they will be enticed to come (extraordinary packages and Steve wooing). Continue reading

Ex-Republican Gov, Bob McDonnell Charged For Fraud in Federal Court

Looks like Gov Chris Christie may have a Republican roommate waiting for him in the Federal Prison. Headed for the next “Orange Jumpsuit Award for Politicians” is the former (3 days) Governor of Virginia…And is wife.

And since the  former Republican Virginia Attorney General and losing Gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli also accepted “gifts” from the same folks…He may well be next.

The only thing that is missing from this one is Mrs. Mcdonnell stuffing cash in her bra ala Orange Jumpsuited former Prince Georges executive Jack Johnson’s wife… So far. Republicans are just so much more classy with their ill gotten money!

Bob McDonnell, Wife Charged In Gifts Case

Days after he left office, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged Tuesday in federal court with illegally accepting gifts, trips, and loans from a Virginia businessman and political donor.

The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., charging them each with 13 federal crimes.

Prosecutors had spent months investigating the relationship between the McDonnell family and Jonnie Williams, the now-former CEO of an embattled dietary supplements company called Star Scientific. Williams gave McDonnell and his family more than $150,000 in gifts and payments in recent years, at the same time that McDonnell and his wife took steps to support the company.

When their ties to the businessman became a public scandal in 2013, the McDonnells returned the gifts and repaid the money given to them by Williams.

 

You can read the gory details of the Charging Document here.

Grand Theft Government – The DC Govrnment Steals Poor Resident’s Property With Tax Scam

Anyone familiar with the DC Government, and who drives into the city is likely familiar with their Parking Gestapo, who write tickets and tow away cars to the tune of millions of dollars a month.

A new line of theft has recently opened up for the DC Government Mafia,  the theft of homes from the poor and elderly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity, often for tax bills as little as $200. Often the people who are ultimately robbed of their property are sick and old, and in a number of cases the property owners have been in the hospital dying while most of their paltry savings in the value of their homes is ripped off.

And here you thought the only criminals in the city were Gangbangers and carjackers. They should have it so good.

Unscrupulous law firms facilitate the theft, as does a dirty courts system – through charging sky high rates, rapidly pushing up the bills owed by the property owners beyond reach.This is a criminal enterprise, no different than the Tammany Hall of yore, which dispossessed Irish immigrants to make way for developers in the notorious 5 Points section of New York City.

The Federal Government is complicit. To be honest, if they really gave a damn about anything except the press for catching a city Mayor smoking crack with his mistress – they would have put a stop to this.

 

On an overcast morning earlier this year, Bennie Coleman walked past his old house on the way to the corner store. But he said he could not look at it — the memories were too painful. Bennie, who suffers from dementia, had his $200,000 property foreclosed for a $134.00 tax lien, and the company which foreclosed kept the difference under DC Law.

 

LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.

For decades, the District placed liens on properties when homeowners failed to pay their bills, then sold those liens at public auctions to mom-and-pop investors who drew a profit by charging owners interest on top of the tax debt until the money was repaid.

But under the watch of local leaders, the program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies that turned $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts — then foreclosed on homes when families couldn’t pay, a Washington Post investigation found.

As the housing market soared, the investors scooped up liens in every corner of the city, then started charging homeowners thousands in legal fees and other costs that far exceeded their original tax bills, with rates for attorneys reaching $450 an hour.

Families have been forced to borrow or strike payment plans to save their homes.

Others weren’t as lucky. Tax lien purchasers have foreclosed on nearly 200 houses since 2005 and are now pressing to take 1,200 more, many owned free and clear by families for generations.

Investors also took storefronts, parking lots and vacant land — about 500 properties in all, or an average of one a week. In dozens of cases, the liens were less than $500.

Thomas McRae ran a flower shop on the first floor in this house on Sherman Avenue NW. But a tax lien investor from Florida foreclosed while McRae was under hospice care.

Coleman, struggling with dementia, was among those who lost a home. His debt had snowballed to $4,999 — 37 times the original tax bill. Not only did he lose his $197,000 house, but he also was stripped of the equity because tax lien purchasers are entitled to everything, trumping even mortgage companies.

“This is destroying lives,” said Christopher Leinberger, a distinguished scholar and research professor of urban real estate at George Washington University.

Officials at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue said that without tax sales, property owners wouldn’t feel compelled to pay their bills.

“The tax sale is the last resort. It’s also the first resort — it’s the only way in the statute to collect debt,” said deputy chief financial officer Stephen Cordi.

But the District, a hotbed for the tax lien industry, has done little to shield its most vulnerable homeowners from unscrupulous operators.

Foreclosures have upended families in some of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods. Houses were taken from a housekeeper, a department store clerk, a seamstress and even the estates of dead people. The hardest hit: elderly homeowners, who were often sick or dying when tax lien purchasers seized their houses.

One 65-year-old flower shop owner lost his Northwest Washington home of 40 years after a company from Florida paid his back taxes — $1,025 — and then took the house through foreclosure while he was in hospice, dying of cancer. A 95-year-old church choir leader lost her family home to a Maryland investor over a tax debt of $44.79 while she was struggling with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home.

Other cities and states took steps to curb abuses, such as capping the fees, safeguarding houses owned by the elderly or scrapping tax sales altogether and instead collecting the money themselves.

“Where is the justice? They’re taking people’s lives,” said Beverly Smalls, whose elderly aunt lost her home in Northeast Washington. “It’s just not right.”

In a 10-month investigation, The Post chronicled years of breakdowns and abuses in a program that puts at risk one of the most fundamental possessions in American life.

  • Of the nearly 200 homeowners who lost their properties in recent years, one in three had liens of less than $1,000.

  • More than half of the foreclosures were in the city’s two poorest wards, 7 and 8, where dozens of owners were forced to leave their homes just months before purchasers sold them. One foreclosed on a brick house near the Maryland border with a $287 lien and sold it less than eight weeks later for $129,000.

  • More than 40 houses were taken by companies whose representatives were caught breaking laws in other states to win liens.

  • Instead of stepping in, the D.C. tax office created more problems by selling nearly 1,900 liens by mistake in the past six years — even after owners paid their taxes — forcing unsuspecting families into legal battles that have lasted for years. One 64-year-old woman spent two years fighting to save her home in Northwest after the tax office erroneously charged her $8.61 in interest. (more)

Dance With My Father

This is one of the most intelligent and creative programs I’ve heard of for the incarcerated. Daddy-Daughter Dance Day. A day when incarcerted Dads, and their daughters at home can dress up and come together for a little parental bonding. It doesn’t fix the fact that Dad’s irresponsible actions landed him in jail in the first place – but it does preserve a small bit of that “fatherhood” thing so sadly missing in our Country today. Check out the pics in the Article link below.

A father-daughter dance — in jail

The girls ages 6 to 16 sit in order of size in the drab lobby of the Richmond City Jail, their glittery shoes swinging back and forth.

“I don’t like it here,” says Jhaniyika Morman, 6, who covers her eyes, smudging her blue eye shadow and pointing toward the jail’s visitation booths, where inmates are separated from their visitors by thick glass.

“I’m nervous. I hope he recognizes me,” mumbles Alexis Atkins, 9, who has her blond hair curled into long ringlets and keeps zipping and unzipping her hot-pink purse.

Down the hall, through several gates and inside a communal cell with thick blue bars, 12 inmates change from their frayed one-piece jumpsuits into formal attire. They pass belts and shirts of various sizes back and forth between the tight rows of steel bunk beds.

“Anyone know how to do up this here tie?” asks a jittery looking Andre Morman, 42, who has been in and out of jail on drug charges numerous times.

Then the inmates line up, too. They walk down a long hallway and wait in silence to get a glimpse of the girls: their daughters.

For a few hours on this Saturday afternoon, the incarcerated fathers will be allowed to take part in an American tradition, the father-daughter dance. “A Dance of Their Own,” thought to be the only event of its kind in the country, will be in the jail’s small, windowless multipurpose room.

The event in Richmond is just one example of the alternative father-daughter dances springing up around the country amid growing concerns that traditional father-daughter dances are exclusionary. Their detractors say they are outdated, discriminatory and sexist and that they no longer reflect what American families look like. For starters, according to 2011 census data, more than half of all children in this country are raised by unmarried mothers.

Is R. Allen Sanford…Black?

Dayam! They just sentenced Allen Sanford to 110 years – about 1/2 the time they’d sentence a black teenager in Texas for possessing a gram of crack!

Who’d this white, white-collar criminal piss off? He steal some Bush money…Or what?

Ex-Tycoon R. Allen Stanford Sentenced To 110 Years

Former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence during a court hearing in which two people spoke on behalf of Stanford’s investors about how his fraud had affected their lives.

Prosecutors had asked that Stanford be sentenced to 230 years in prison, the maximum sentence possible after a jury convicted the one-time billionaire in March on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts. Stanford’s convictions on conspiracy, wire and mail fraud charges followed a seven-week trial.

Stanford’s attorneys had asked for a maximum of 44 months, a sentence he could have completed within about eight months because he has been jailed since his arrest in June 2009…

Sanford’s 112′ Yacht

Sanford’s “other” Yacht

Stanford was once considered one of the richest men in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. His financial empire stretched from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean. But after his arrest, all of his assets were seized and he had to rely on court-appointed attorneys to defend him.

Calling Stanford arrogant and remorseless, prosecutors said he used the money from investors who bought certificates of deposit, or CDs, from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts, a fleet of private jets and sponsorship of cricket tournaments.

One of 6 jets Owned by Sanford

Defense attorneys portrayed Stanford, 62, as a visionary entrepreneur who made money for investors and conducted legitimate business deals. They accused the prosecution’s star witness James M. Davis, the former chief financial officer for Stanford’s various companies of being behind the fraud and tried to discredit him by calling him a liar and tax cheat.

And to top it all off – one of two Gulfstreams

The jury that convicted Stanford also cleared the way for U.S. authorities to go after about $330 million in stolen investor funds sitting in the financier’s frozen foreign bank accounts in Canada, England and Switzerland.

Crime Doesn’t Pay – The Wasabi Zombie…And Other Stories

Things are getting weird out there!

This epicurean proto-Zombie decided to spice – up his girlfriend, perhaps in anticipation of the “main course”!

Using her jeans.

I mean… Dang! Most of us guys are pretty happy just getting our love interests, wives,  or girlfriends out of their jeans!

Man Arrested for Attacking Girlfriend With Wasabi

John McGuinness, 22, was arraigned Friday in Barnstable District Court on charges of domestic assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and intimidation of a witness after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend.

In the very early hours of Friday morning, Barnstable police responded to the intersection of Route 149 and Willimantic Drive for a report that a young woman had been assaulted, according to police reports.

At the scene, the victim told officers that she and McGuinness had been at the Fox Hole Bar in Osterville to watch the Boston Celtics game. On the way home, the victim received a text message from a male friend. This angered McGuinness and the couple argued until the victim dropped him off at his home, according to the report.

While she was driving home, the victim received a text message from McGuinness who said he was throwing a $200 pair of her jeans outside. The victim drove back to find McGuinness outside with her pants, which he had covered in wasabi sauce, according to the police report.

McGuinness then forced down the window of the victim’s car and took her cellphone, which spurred her to get out of the vehicle, according to the police report.

Once she was out, McGuinness hit the victim in the face with the jeans, getting wasabi sauce in her eyes.

Then, while the victim tried to clean her eyes and fled, he poured more sauce in her car, the report said.

Police arrested McGuinness at his home on Roseland Terrace.

In the “Crime Doesn’t Pay” category – there is the result of a recent study that Bank Robbery, in particular is a poor paying occupation, The average US Bank Robber only nets $4,330 – which, when you account fo an average 10 year jail stay if they are caught…

Is a measly $433/yr. I mean you can make that much or more – (a week!) Flipping Burgers for minimum wage. And not have to worry nights about the 6’4″ 350lb Bubba sharing a cell with you.

Robbing banks a bad idea for crooks from economic standpoint

Bonnie and Clyde

Infamous Bank Robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow didn’t make much money robbing banks

Crime doesn’t pay, at least not very well, when it comes to robbing banks, a new study finds. With unprecedented access to financial data from British banks, economists have shown that bank robbers don’t make a lot of money, certainly not enough to justify the risks involved in such an armed robbery. “The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish,” the researchers wrote in the statistics journal Significance. “It is not unimaginable wealth.” It is so low, in fact, that it is not financially worthwhile for banks to install screens that could further reduce robberies.

Economist Neil Rickman of the University of Surrey and his colleagues were given unusual access to financial data from the British Bankers’ Assn. Such data about robberies are not normally disclosed to the public because it is commercially sensitive and could potentially encourage copycat robbers. Treating bank robbery as a business like any other, they used normal statistical measures to calculate profitability.

In 2007, there were 106 bank robberies or attempted robberies at the 10,500 bank branches, compared with 7,500 robberies of other businesses. (In the U.S. in 2006, there were about 12,000 bank robberies.) Although bank robberies in Southern California tend to occur in higher numbers at branches near freeway entrances, the British team found no link to branch size, branch location, or how busy a particular branch is. Of all those robbed, only 13 were targeted twice and only one three times. About a third of attempted robberies were unsuccessful, and about 20% of the successful robbers were ultimately caught and convicted.

The average take in a British bank robbery is a modest 12,706.60 euros (about $15,887) per person, compared with an average of $4,330 in U.S. bank robberies. Given that the average U.K.wage for fully employed people in Britain is about 26,000 euros, a bank robbery “will give him a modest lifestyle for no more than 6 months.” If he robs two, he will still have only a modest lifestyle. Four robberies, and the odds are excellent that he will land in jail. “As a profitable occupation, bank robbery leaves a lot to be desired,” the authors wrote. (A similar analysis of drug dealing in the book “Freakonomics” explains why most low-level dealers live with their mothers: The activity is so unprofitable that they cannot afford a place of their own.) That may be why bank robberies are declining in the U.K. and the U.S…

Zimmerman Wife Charged With Perjury

Things are not looking good for George…

Now his wife has joined him at being charged with a crime.

George Zimmerman’s wife charged with perjury

Authorities say the wife of Trayvon Martin’s shooter is being accused of lying to a judge about their finances during his bond hearing and faces one count of perjury.

An order issued Tuesday by assistant state attorney John Guy charged Shellie Zimmerman for knowingly making false statements during the April hearing. George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting. He was granted $150,000 bond at that hearing and released.

The judge revoked that bond earlier this month after state attorneys argued that both Zimmerman and his wife had lied to the judge about their finances, especially about money raised from a website.

George Zimmerman is back in jail.

Wanted…Dead! A Bounty Program I Can Support!

A bounty progrm combining one of my favorite leisure activities along with the possibility of winning even more fishing gear is one I can get behind. A lot different than the $10 million Bounty recently put on the head of an Al Quaeda terrorist in Pakistan – and providing you watch you fingers…

Probably safer!

A Snakehead Fish


Maryland puts gift card bounty on ‘fish from hell’

Wildlife officials in Maryland have put a bounty on the snakehead, the so-called “fish from hell” that can migrate on land and devastates the eco-systems of lakes, ponds and streams.

The state will give out $200 gift cards for Bass Pro Shops as well as other prizes for catching and killing the fish, which is native to Africa and Asia but is believed to have made its way to America through Asian seafood merchants.

Yes - They have Teeth

“We do not want snakeheads in our waters,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Inland Fisheries Director Don Cosden. “This initiative is a way to remind anglers that it is important to catch and remove this invasive species of fish.”

The first time a snakehead was seen in Maryland was when an angler caught an 18-inch specimen in 2002 in Crofton Pond, 20 miles north of Washington, D.C. Since then, the population has grown and they’ve been caught in dozens of bodies of water, including the Potomac River and tributaries.

The fish are hardy enough to survive up to four days on land, and can migrate up to a quarter mile between bodies of water by wriggling on their fins. National Geographic has dubbed the snakehead “fishzilla,” and it is also frequently referred to as the “fish from hell.” They can grow to more than 2 feet long and have been found in at least seven states.

The ravenous appetites that can destroy native populations actually works against the fish when humans go after them. One fisherman told Outdoor Life blogger Gayne C. Young they bite at any type of bait.

“These fish clobber any type of moving bait you throw, Rodney Hose said. “When they smash into your lure, be prepared for a fight — especially if they are around some sort of cover.”

To enter the contest, anglers must catch, kill and then post a picture of themselves with a dead snakehead fish caught in Maryland on the DNR’s Angler’s Log webpage. Winners will be drawn on November 30, 2012.

With the evil teeth and bad disposition… I’m listing this one under “Domestic Terrorism”.

What’s With the Criminal Republican Candidates?

You gotta know if you run for office, if you have isht in your past it is going to come out.

And while a DUI or a Speeding Ticket or two probably isn’t going to impact voters very much…

Having sex with a child is a surefire ticket to voter (and hopefully incarceration) hell. Sounds to me that this Republican Independent, Linda Wall belongs on the Sexual Predator registry – instead of being registered as a candidate for the Virginia House.

What is amusing about this is that it appears Ms. Wall, the “Independent” candidate is in the race because of Republican candidate, Mr. Fariss’s legal and ethical problems…

Democrat Connie Brennan (l), and "Independent" Linda Wall (r)

Linda Wall, Virginia House Of Delegates Candidate, Admits Lesbian Affair With Minor

Linda Wall, a conservative independent Virginia candidate for the House of Delegates, admitted on Wednesday that she had an affair with a female student as a junior high gym teacher in the early 1970s, but said she has changed.

“I’ve never tried to hide that I was in homosexuality,” she said in an interview with the AP. “If anybody Googles me, they would find that out there,” she said. “Forty years ago I was a different person. I was a heavy pot smoker with … impaired judgment and made some bad choices,” she added. The student was a minor at the time, meaning Wall could still be prosecuted if she comes forward.

In a 2006 deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit former Republican candidate Paul Jost filed against her and state Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., Wall confirmed that she had sexual relations with a minor. She said resigned her position after the superintendent of the unspecified Prince George County, Va. school confronted her about the allegation.

Wall said that she converted to Christianity, changed her sexual orientation and stopped using drugs. She has lobbied the Virginia legislature on social issues and describes herself as “ex-gay.”

Wall isn’t the only candidate with ethical issues in the November election centered in Appomattox County, Virginia, following the retirement of independent Del. Watkins Abbitt. Republican candidate Matt Fariss was named in a 2002 emergency protective order against a local woman, and was convicted in separate incidents for holding a concealed weapon and drunk driving. Supporters of Democratic candidate Connie Brennan have publicized repots on Fariss, whose record includes several misdemeanor convictions related to hunting violations and a DUI.

Apparently the guys are getting heavy financial support from the Republican Party, as reported here. And Mr. Fariss’ criminal record seems to be a bit more extensive than mentioned.

Inhofe Unloads on Rush Limbaugh

Earlier this week Drugbo took Obama to task for sending 100 US Advisors to Uganda to combat the Lords Resistance Army. Drugbo characterized the intervention as a “war”, and accused President Obama of killing “christians”. The LRA is not Christian – they are mass murderers, child rapists, and criminals. Here is Limbaugh defending them…

Racism will make you stupid.

Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord’s Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord’s Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord’s Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. It means God. I was only kidding. Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, “to help regional forces remove from the battlefield,” meaning capture or kill. [...]

Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.” Now, again Lord’s Resistance Army is who Obama sent troops to help nations wipe out. The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: “To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology.” Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.

Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) sets (a small part of) the record straight on the “Lords Resistance Army”…

 

 

NYPD Fabricating Drug Arrests By Planting “Evidence”

It just doesn’t get much uglier than this. In a country which incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than even communist regimes…

The Police in the Big Apple have been found to be framing suspects to make drug arrests. The Big Apple certainly isn’t a stranger to crooked cops.

Kinda makes you wonder how prevalent this is around the country?

Former Detective Stephen Anderson, seen here in 2009, is testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors.We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.

“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny. Continue reading

How About Drug and Background Checks for Legislators?

Hot topic among the GOP Tea Bagger set right now is Drug Testing for Welfare recipients.

I think we should conduct Drug Testing and Criminal Background checks on anyone elected to office – with the result that if they fail, or have a criminal background they not be allowed to serve. Why exactly do we have a system in which felons can’t vote…But they can serve office and be party to sensitive national secrets? One of the first things they do when you get a Security Clearance at any level in this country is a Criminal Background Check. You got a Felony…You don’t get a clearance…Period.

The Republican/Tea Party member in the following… Failed.

Portsmouth Rep. Daniel P. Gordon has lengthy criminal record

Tea Party Member Daniel P. Gordon

On Monday, the freshman legislator appeared in District Court, Providence, and was ordered held without bail for failing to appear in court in Massachusetts in 2008 on charges of eluding the police and three other motor vehicle violations. He spent the weekend at the Adult Correctional Institutions after the Rhode Island State Police learned that there was a warrant for his arrest stemming from the stop by the Massachusetts State Police on Route 195 in Fall River.

By the end of the day, he had been transferred to Massachusetts authorities, who released him on $1,000 bail, according to the Associated Press.

Court records from Fall River and Taunton, Mass., show that Gordon, 42, a Republican representing Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton, has a serious arrest record. He has spent more than five months locked up in the Bristol County House of Correction in North Dartmouth, Mass., on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and for a assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend. Continue reading

Plastic Patriotism And the Theft of 9-11

Krugman nails this one. There quite simply isn’t enough lipstick in the world to put on the pig conservatives and Republicans made of 9-11 to cover up the ugly.

Guliani tried to use the grief and anger over 9-11 to mount a Presidential campaign, covering up the fact that the reason so many First Responders died had to do with his own self serving decisions resulting in communications systems which failed.

Faux News and conservative brought us “United We Stand” – not as an apolitical joining of American bringing us all together with common purpose – but as a political vehicle.

George Bush dancing in a sock stuffed monkey suit across the deck of a US Carrier with the banner “Mission Accomplished”.

George Bush and Dick Cheney lying us into an illicit invasion of Iraq, with Condo’s “Mushroom cloud in the back yard” analogy, upping the ante on the 9-11 tragedy despite there never being any evidence to support Saddam having WMDs. Saddam paid for his treason against the Iraqi people… You seen anyone here yet pay for murdering 5,000 Americans and bankrupting the country in an illegitimate war whose only real beneficiaries were contracting corporations such as Dick Cheney’s who stole  at least a third of the trillion dollars America poured on the ground in Iraq.

The use of 9-11 imagery in blatant political ads.

10 years later, and despite Katrina, First Responder communications systems which are still dysfunctional and can’t talk to each other because of blatant corruption in the halls of Congress, and K street pay for play set up by Tom Delay.

Shuck and Jive, Duck and Cover… And the spending of trillions on a massive “1984″ style security infrastructure that crushes Constitutional guarantees and would make the Gestapo in Nazi Germany or the KGB in Communist Russia cry with envy.

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

 

 

Murdoch Papers Hacking Scandal Spreads to US – 9/11 Victims

Looks like the phone hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s “News of the World” tabloid published in the UK is about to go international. Murdoch, the worlds largest media mogul and owner of hundreds of newspapers and other media properties around the world including Faux News is trying to limit damage through a legal ploy by shutting down”News of the World” and seeking protection under British liquidation laws which seal the company’s property from law enforcement review.

The question now is how far illegal phone hacking and tapping extends into the Murdoch media empire, and whether this sort of seedy activity was directed from the top, or acknowledged with a wink-wink.

Another Seedy Murdoch Property

 

Is Faux News, the tabloid news broadcaster and right wing propaganda outlet in the US next?

Phone Hacking Scandal Widens: News International Targeted Gordon Brown, BSkyB Bid Delayed

The phone hacking scandal widened on Monday, as new reports emerged that papers beyond the News of the World were also involved in criminal behavior. In addition, Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take over BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster, looked to be in serious peril.

Multiple outlets reported that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to claim that several News International papers illegally obtained his personal details.

According to The Guardian, The Independent and the BBC, investigators working for the News of the World, The Sun and The Sunday Times obtained information about Brown’s family, his legal and his medical records. This marks the first time that any allegations about News International have targeted papers outside the News of the World…

In addition, new revelations about the criminal behavior inside the News of the World continued to be unearthed. Among the latest details:

–The BBC reported that emails written in 2007 show that the News Of The World was paying police guarding the royal family for information–but that nobody was alerted about this evidence of corruption. BBC reporter Robert Peston uncovered emails from then-royal reporter Clive Goodman (who was the first person to be jailed over phone hacking) to then-editor Andy Coulson (who went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s top communications aide) asking for money to pay police officers for huge amounts of personal information about the royal family.

–The Guardian reported Monday morning that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were recently warned by the police that their phones may have been hacked.

The Daily Mirror also floated allegations that News of the World journalists tried to hack into the phones of victims of the 9/11 attacks. A source told the Mirror that a then-New York City police officer (now a private investigator) was approached and offered money if he would hack into the victims’ voicemail. The officer reportedly declined the offer.

“Cash and Carry” Supreme Court Sells America Down the Tubes

The most corrupt court in America, also happens to be it’s highest.  Whether performing judicial fellatio for the Koch Brothers, or a political hand job in the Citizens United case – the 5 conservative justices on the Supreme Court are sold to the highest bidder…

Starting with Tommie Clarence and of course, Antonin Scalia.

My biggest disillusionment with the Obama Administration and crop of Yellowback Democrats is, while they are willing to go after their own – such as Charlie Rangel and “Cash Jefferson”…

There has been an utter refusal to bring Republican miscreants to justice, whether it was the criminal underworld of the previous Bush Administration – or the current legislation for sale Republican Congress… Or the Supreme Court Justices who flaunt both the rules and the Law.

I often work in Third World countries. This sort of corruption is often an endemic problem. and one of the major roadblocks to progress. Conservatives make America as corrupt as one of those Tinpot Dictatorships – each and every day. Indeed, the United States is now 22nd on the World Corruption Index.

The Supreme Court closes the door to justice

Has the Supreme Court lost faith in the American court system? That is a strange question to ask about the justices who sit at the top of the country’s judicial hierarchy. But in case after case in the just-completed term, the court, usually in 5-4 decisions with the conservatives in the majority, denied access to the courts.

Consider just a few of the examples:

• The court ruled that patients who suffer devastating injuries from generic prescription drugs cannot sue the manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings even when drug companies making the non-generic versions of the same drugs can be sued on the same basis.

• The court held that standard clauses in consumer contracts calling for arbitration preclude consumers from joining class-action suits even when the effect almost surely would be that no individual lawsuits would be filed because the amount involved was too small.

• The court decided that employees who claim to be victims of sex discrimination cannot sue in class actions when the employer has a policy that prohibits discrimination.

• The court concluded that a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit could not sue the prosecutors who hid key evidence.

• The court said that taxpayers cannot bring an action in federal court arguing that a state impermissibly established religion by giving tax credits that go almost entirely to religious schools.

• The court held that prisoners convicted in state court cannot obtain a hearing in federal court even when they have new evidence that calls into question their convictions — because of matters such as ineffective defense counsel or failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence — notwithstanding a federal statute that expressly authorizes such hearings.

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