Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Florida Domestic Gun Violence

Would this have happened, if firearms were less widely available?  Was this an impulse crime of violence - a crime of passion, anger, desperation?


Fla. millionaire found guilty of murdering wife

Prosecutors say he was under duress from company bankruptcy, lawsuit over business practices

updated 54 minutes ago
A millionaire developer who lived in the same central Florida neighborhood as Tiger Woods and other celebrities was convicted Saturday of murdering his wife in their mansion. The six jurors deliberated more than 12 hours over two days before finding Bob Ward guilty of second-degree murder. The two-week trial took place in the same courthouse where the Casey Anthony case was tried this summer.
Ward was stoic as the verdict was read. Before the verdict, he hugged his two college-aged daughters as the women wept.
He faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced in November.
Ward was accused of shooting of his wife, Diane, in September 2009.The slaying happened days before she was to give a deposition in a lawsuit alleging that he blew millions of dollars on big houses and expensive cars while his business failed. Defense attorneys said that Ward's wife was suicidal, and that he was trying to stop her from killing herself. Ward never took the stand in his defense.
Defense attorney Kirk Kirkconnell said he plans to appeal the verdict and request a new trial.
Kirkconnell said jurors may have been more likely to convict Ward as the result of Casey Anthony's trial. The Florida mother was acquitted this summer of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a verdict that surprised followers of the case.
at happened to Casey Anthony certainly makes it more difficult for any defendant, probably anywhere in the state of Florida, to get a fair trial," Kirkconnell said. "I think there is a widely held belief, or prejudice, based on the Casey Anthony case because people may have felt that that verdict was not the proper verdict."
During closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Robin Wilkinson used Ward's own words against him by playing a recording of the emergency call to police in which he told a dispatcher five times, "I just shot my wife."
After Saturday's verdict, Wilkinson said she felt sorry for the Wards' two daughters, who had lost a mother and were now losing a father to prison. But she said justice had been served.
"Who wants to believe that their father killed their mother?" Wilkinson said. "I believe Diane Ward got justice today."
The Wards were under tremendous stress from the bankruptcy of his company and a lawsuit over his business practices. A broken wine glass, a wine stain on the patio and a similar stain on Ward's shirt indicated they had been fighting before Diane Ward died, Wilkinson told jurors during closing arguments.
Kirkconnell told jurors it was against Bob Ward's interests to kill his wife because her death exposed his assets to his creditors.
Bob Ward's company, Land Resource, filed for bankruptcy almost a year before the shooting. He was being sued by an insurance company that accused him of taking more than $20 million from the sale of lots in subdivisions he was building in Tennessee in 2007. The insurance company, which had issued bonds for the subdivisions, said Ward should have used the money to improve the subdivisions, but instead paid off debts and went on a spending spree.
The lawsuit says the Wards used the money to buy their 8,800-square-foot (818-square-meter) mansion in Isleworth, the same neighborhood where Woods had the notorious SUV crash that revealed his adultery and derailed his golf career.
The lawsuit also says the Wards paid off loans totaling nearly $2.5 million for two houses in Georgia, bought a house on the Georgia coast for $750,000 and purchased several vehicles, including a $140,000 Mercedes-Benz sedan. The lawsuit was dismissed last month because of a lack of action by either side.
Ward's behavior after his arrest also raised eyebrows. A jailhouse video of a visit from his daughter and sister-in-law just days after the shooting showed him cracking jokes and laughing. But the Wards' two daughters have supported their father and were in the courtroom during the trial.

More from the God Loves Gunpowder and Killing Crowd

You can read the restof the article here:
The Machine Gun Preacher: Saint or Scoundrel?
| Fri Sep. 23, 2011 3:00 AM PDT
Today, moviegoers will meet a new action hero: the Machine Gun Preacher, the eponymous protagonist of a just-released film starring Gerard Butler (300) and directed by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner). Butler plays Sam Childers, a shotgun- and smack-shooting biker who hits rock bottom, gets religion, and travels to Sudan, where he discovers the devil in the form of the Lord's Resistance Army, the nihilistic child-kidnapping guerrilla group. Childers builds an orphanage and rescues kids from the LRA, then arms himself for all-out war on the group. "Hope is the greatest weapon of all," goes the movie's tagline. But judging from the trailer (watch it below), a rocket-propelled grenade will do in a pinch.
"Hope is the greatest weapon of all": Relativity MediaHope is the greatest weapon of all, but an RPG will do in a pinch Relativity MediaThe Machine Gun Preacher is a familiar Hollywood character: The white Westerner who stumbles into a foreign land, discovers locals in desperate need, and embarks on a mission to kick ass in their name. (For more examples of this trope, from Lawrence of Arabia to Avatar, check out this clever video of Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-inspiring Races.) One reviewer, unimpressed by the movie's predictable righteous-Rambo plot, sneers, "Did you guess that there was a scene where Childers screams to the Heavens as he clutches the legless corpse of a child?"
None of this would really matter if Machine Gun Preacher weren't "based on the inspiring true story of one man's extraordinary journey." That man is a gruff 49-year-old whose arc from hellraiser to holy warrior pretty much matches his celluloid version's. Since 1998, Sam Childers' orphanage in Nimule, near the Sudan-Uganda border, has provided shelter to more than 1,000 kids. After building the orphanage, his website explains, "Sam began to lead armed missions to rescue children from the LRA. It wasn't long before tales of his exploits spread and villagers began to call him 'The Machine Gun Preacher.'"
Until now, Childers has been largely unknown outside of evangelical circles. The new movie promises to make him a celebrity and fill his charity's coffers. But it's also inviting scrutiny from those who suspect his claims are exaggerated and that his gunfire-and-brimstone tactics, which reportedly include arms trafficking, are a disaster. (my emphasis added - DG)
While I'm sure our gun loving crowd will accept without critical assessment the assumption that more guns and shooting and killing provide a solution to an international crisis, I'm betting that the closer scrut that is going to come with the release of this movie will be the catalyst for more than one expose that show this is hype and self-promotion, not accurate history!

News About Cuba USMSM won't publish.

UNICEF reports that Cuba is the only Latin American country without child malnutrition

This achievement was made despite the fact that Cuba's treasury was taken to Miami when Batista was overthrown by the Cuban people. Despite the US Embargo, the Cuban government makes public education, health care and nutrition for all of Cuba's people their highest priority, which was not the case prior to the Casto regime.

Compare that to the United States where childhood malnutrition is generally thought of as being limited to developing countries. In the United States of America, one out of every six children is at risk of hunger. A study, based on 2005-2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Agriculture Department, shows that an estimated 3.5 million children under the age of five are at risk of hunger in the United States. In 2007, an average of 26.5 million people participated in the Food Stamp Program each month (8.8 percent of the U.S. population). In 2006, requests for emergency food assistance increased 7 percent. Of those requesting emergency food assistance, 48 percent were members of families with children, and 37 percent of adults requesting assistance were employed.

How's that Capitalism working for you?

Politics in the Age of Social Media

The BBC has a story that asks why social media couldn't save Troy Davis? Despite the outcry on social media, in particular--Twitter--Troy Davis was still executed. Celebrities such as Martha Plimpton and Alec Baldwin tweeted about the case, and Outkast artist Big Boi posted photos from outside the jail to his TwitPic account. "Troy Davis", "Letter to Georgia" and NO EVIDENCE were all trending topics in the US throughout the night on social media. Yet all the angry tweets and online petitions did nothing to prevent Davis being executed at 23:08 local time in an Atlanta, Georgia prison.

The inability to turn the digital outrage over Davis into real-life action served as a stark contrast to the new realities of much of the digital world. "We are living in a 21st Century communications infrastructure, but we are still governed by a 20th Century political system," says Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Media, which focuses on the intersection of politics and internet culture. In an age when movies and music can be accessed instantly and a customer service issue can be resolved with a quick tweet, social media has already been cited in the success of the Arab Spring revolutions.

But the case of Troy Davis showed its limits. "I'm not sure that 1,000 twfeets or Facebook posts have the same power as one phone call," says Brian Southwell, a professor at the University of North Carolina. "We've lowered the bar for activism. Now it's a click away."

One factor could have been that all the activity on social media happened too late. Instead of starting the momentum toward clemency earlier in the process, the activity happened far too late to have any effect. One tweeter asked, "To the people yelling injustice for Troy Davis, where were you last month, six months, years ago & not just the week prior to his execution?"

Another factor, is that the action doesn't come from the force of public will, registered online or otherwise. America's execution rate has dropped by 50% since 1999 due to reduced concern about crime, a lower level of homicide, and fiscal austerity, since death penalty cases are more expensive to prosecute. Another factor is the Judges, prosecutors, and American Legal Institute, the "elites" who decided about how the death penalty functions and wrote the guidelines for death penalty legislation, publicly denounced those guidelines in 2010.

On the other hand, overall public opinion for the death penalty remains strong. A 2010 Gallup poll shows that 64% of Americans support the death penalty for someone convicted of murder, down from 65% in 2006 and 68% in 2001.

So, Social media gave the case added publicity, but there was little effect in the outcome for various reasons. Does that mean that Social media is worthless for activism? Not really, it can be used to raise awareness of an issue--particularly issues that are ignored by the Main Stream Media. Maybe people didn't know about the case and weren't involved in the efforts to save Troy Davis, but a lot more people now know what happened. Perhaps the increased awareness of the circumstances of the Troy Davis will help erode support for the death penalty.

The real bottom line is that we are not sure how Social Media will effect activism. Will it raise issues and debate to change public attitude toward social issues? Social media is yet in its infancy where activism is concerned.

19-Year-Old Killed ex-Girlfriend

I think this is the Clark County in Ohio, maybe Fat White Man can help us on that. Maybe he can also help us on the reason why young people like Justin have guns and think guns are the solution to their problems.

Deeper questions are about violence against women, which of course is worse where gun availability is high.

I realize it's a touchy subject, but I think kids are influenced by many factors. I believe there is some influence from violent films, bloody video games and hard-core rap music. The First Amendment protects all those forms of expression, which means it's the parents' responsibility to limit exposure when the kids are young and to educate them when they're older.

Parents themselves have the greatest power of influence on their kids, not just in what they watch on TV and the computer, but in how they behave in society. If dad has an unusual fascination for guns, guess what junior is going to have? If dad treats mom with violence or even disparagement, guess what sonny boy will do when he gets older. It's not 100%, but it works like that. We've all seen it.

It's very difficult to break the cycle of dysfunctional family life, it's usually handed down from generation to generation. This includes gun violence and misogyny.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart on Palestine

More Florida Gun Violence

Shall we take a guess at whether this shooter obtained the weapon(s) involved legally or illegally?  Is there any doubt that this is yet another example of a person who was armed that should never, ever have had a firearm in his possession?

From NewsJax4 in Florida by way of

3 Lake City Police Officers Shot

Officers Survive Shooting; Suspect Remains Barricaded In House

POSTED: Friday, September 23, 2011
UPDATED: 5:15 pm EDT September 23, 2011

Three Lake City police officers were hospitalized after being shot while serving an injunction Friday afternoon near downtown.The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said the officers were serving a domestic violence injunction at a home at Hilton Avenue and Matthew Streets just before 2 p.m. when they were shot. Two of them were flown to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville and one was hospitalized in Lake City. All three were reported to be in stable condition.

Lake City Officers With Guns Drawn
Photo By Elizabeth Cate
Lake City police officers have guns drawn in a standoff after three officers were shot by a suspect.
The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the suspect was barricaded inside the house, and nearby homes and businesses were locked down. Neighboring police agencies were assisting at the scene and a helicopter was circling the area, which is behind a post office and only two blocks from the Lake City Police Department.Lake City police, FHP troopers, Columbia, Suwannee and Alachua County sheriff's deputies had the house surrounded. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helicopter was circling the area.Dana Schreiner, of WJTK radio, said buses were brought in to evacuate children from a girls club near the police activity. He said others in the neighborhood were asked to stay in their homes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Privatization Corruption

This is pretty bad as far as doing evil things to get a dirty dollar, sending kids to jail for money.  However long these jerks get behind bars, I can only wish them even longer burning in hell when that time comes.

Beyond that, I hope every one of these kids sent to jail by this bad judge sues the bastard so that he ends up penniless as well. 

From the AP by way of

Ex-judge gets 17 years in 'kids for cash' scandal

'I am sorry you were victimized,' he tells children he sent to detention centers

updated 9/23/2011 12:16:29 PM ET
A former county president judge who took part in a massive kickback scheme involving for-profit juvenile detention centers was sentenced Friday to 17 1/2 years in prison. Standing in a federal courtroom in Scranton, former Luzerne County Judge Michael Conahan, 59, apologized to the incarcerated youths, the legal community and the public.
"The system is not corrupt," he said. "I was corrupt."
To the children sent to a pair of facilities from which he received kickbacks, Conahan offered a direct apology.
"My actions undermined your faith in the system and contributed to the difficulty in your lives," he said. "I am sorry you were victimized."
Conahan pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy last year. He and former Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. were charged with taking bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers and extorting cash from the facilities' co-owner.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned about 4,000 juvenile convictions in the wake of the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.
Ciavarella was convicted of some of the charges at trial. He was sentenced last month to 28 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Houser acknowledged that, unlike Ciavarella, Conahan had cooperated with prosecutors. But he requested a substantial sentence anyway.
"Mr. Conahan abused his power to enriched himself and his friend, Mark Ciavarella," Houser said. "The justice system in Pennsylvania was shaken to its very foundation."
U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik recommended Conahan be placed in a federal prison camp in Florida so he can be close to his family.

Making Fun of Gunloons is Hard...

...because they're inadvertently making fun of themselves.
Via Wonkette.

Here’s a novel theory from the terminally paranoid crackpot head ogre at the NRA: President Obama’s refusal to steal all of their guns is really justhis massive conspiracy to steal all their guns. This is how it works: Obama lulls all of the gun owners into a perilous sense of security by never proposing gun control legislation of any kind during the course of his entire term and even helpfully neglects to reinstate Bill Clinton’s pansy-ass elitist assault weapons ban, and THEN — wait for it — while everybody is casually making small talk about that hilarious time Bob shot his neighbor for letting his dog poop on Bob’s lawn, WHAM, Obama rocket launches storm trooper Ban Ki Moon and his feared army of U.N. bureaucrats straight at the guns and cold STEALS EVERY ONE OF THEM before setting fire to the Constitution to “erase the evidence.” Really, that’s how it happens!
Read it all. The comments are priceless.

What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street?, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting asks that question while pointing out that the Corporate media skips anti-corporate protests. While diminished, the protests are continuing and the demonstrators are camping out on the Financial District's Liberty Street in support of U.S. democratization and against corporate domination of politics.

The media preference for Tea Party gatherings over progressive activism is well-documented. A September 2009 Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., garnered far more coverage than a similar gay rights rally the following month (Extra!, 12/09). Thousands of activists at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in June 2010 did not merit anywhere near the coverage accorded to 600 attendees at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville (Extra!, 9/10). The One Nation Working Together rally (10/2/10) brought thousands to Washington-- but little media attention (FAIR Media Advisory, 10/6/10).

At the top of his Current TV show (9/21/11), Keith Olberman said:
So five days of clogging downtown Manhattan, protesting corporate control of the economy, and you haven't heard a word about it on the news?
He later remarked, "If that's a Tea Party protest in front of Wall Street about Ben's the lead story on every network newscast."
And the size of a given Tea Party gathering does not seem to much matter when it comes down to the willingness of the US Media to report the event. When about 200 Tea Partiers gathered in Washington earlier this year (FAIR Blog, 4/1/11), an account in Slate (3/31/11) noted, "There was at least one reporter for every three or four activists."

Of course, the US media is happy to talk about deomcracy and popular movements, but when it comes down to truly popular movements in the US are strangely silent.

That Chaz Jazz:

Lewis Black does a great job of poking a sharp stick in the eye of religious right wing hypocrisy, particularly over sexual hypocrisy. Bono - CHAZ, not the other individuals in the entertainment industry with the same last name - did quite well in the first round of dancing competition. Better than just scoring well with the judges, he wowed the crowd, and has gained the support of his competitors dancing on the show.

So, for all the stupid, intolerant and low-information bigots who got their sequined knickers in a twist over this-- here's Lewis Black to sort it out for you and provide some perspective on the conduct and character of past seasons casts.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Threats to America's Children
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

I am a little surprised that this is considered all that suitable for children for other reasons having far more merit than the gender identity of Chaz Bono or the sexual orientation of other competitors past and present.  We've had a few who's claim to fame has been primarily their sexual misadventures - like the recent prior season's Bristol Palin, who now speaks on premarital sex for a living, presumably only because she has a celebrity mom.  It's not like she is particularly profound or gifted as a speaker, or that she has any unique insights that others don't also have.   Bristol Palin went from a first night promise that she was going to only wear modest costumes, etc. to the final competition, where she went for the more sexually explicit, in both what she wore and in how she danced, in an effort to win....  so much for her good intentions.

But what kind of lesson is that for children, especially girls? Do we want to be promoting the position that it is acceptable to use sex, or to toss aside our morals easily?  Is it desirable to promote the philosophy that girls and women have to compete with each other to be the most sexually provocative in order to succeed?

The programming is excellent in showcasing different styles of dancing, including sometimes providing an historical context for them.  It encourages contestants to become comfortable in their bodies, and to become fit and graceful, and strong.  They demonstrate excellent examples of how to deal with failures and misfortune and even injury with grace and character, as accidents and mistakes occur in the course of competition. I would hope in that regard that as the series season 13 progresses, that examples of this kind of character, like that exhibited by competitor J.R. Martinez, a badly scarred veteran of an IED explosion while serving in our military in Iraq that burned him over 40% of his body, might gain more equal attention from viewers with contestants with gender dysphoria, or for sexual orientation, like Carson Kressly (he is hilarious, btw).

The show could be just as entertaining if it had a little less of a leering sexual component, but it is within reasonable bounds for adults.  It is less so for children as family viewing. THAT should be more of a focus for evaluating the programming as entertainment for kids, not ignorance about gender and sexual orientation.

The judges and the presenters make comments that are distinctly sexual in nature, and many of the dances are choreographed specifically for erotic content.  If any of our readers have followed the international professional ball room dancing competitions, which have been carried on PBS stations in the past, this has been far less of a feature in those competitions - and not at all from the judging panels which focus much more on technical aspects exclusively.  Which is good viewing for those who's appreciation for the art of Terpsichore is the reason for viewing.

What the XXXX?

Global brewing giant, SABMiller, has finally won approval from the Foster's board for a $12.3 billion takeover of the Australian Brewery. SABMiller is one of the world's leading brewers, headquartered in London, United Kingdom and operating across six continents. It is the world's second-largest brewing company measured by revenues. Its brands include Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell. It has operations in 75 countries across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America and sells 213 million hectolitres of lager per year. It also is a major bottler of Coca-Cola.

There had long been speculation among those familiar with the industry that either the beer sector or all of Foster's Group was a candidate for a takeover by a larger firm. Interest has been expressed by the In 1990, Asahi Breweries acquired a 19.9% stake in the company when it was known as Elders IXL. Additionally, Foster's had been seen as attractive with its high profit margins due to its virtual duopoly with Kirin-owned Lion Nathan despite beer sale volumes sagging recently with a poor summer and a consumer downturn. The announcement by SABMiller of the takeover deal was no surprise to those inside the industry.

The Foster's Brewery was founded in Melbourne in 1888 by two American brothers, William and Ralph Foster of New York, who happened to own a refrigeration plant, which was necessary to brew beer in Australia's hot climate. They sold the brewery the following year and returned to the United States. The company eventually became Carlton and United Breweries/Beverages or CUB when Carlton, Fosters, Victoria, Shamrock, Castlemaine and McCracken breweries formed into a cartel known as the Society of Melbourne Brewers in 1903. CUB has been producing beer since 1904 at Abbotsford, Victoria.

Over time it has bought out many other brewers, such as Abbotsford Co-operative Brewery in 1924, a company set up by independent hoteliers to combat the anti-competitive nature of the Society of Melbourne Brewers. Their first interstate acquisition was Northern Australian Breweries and the Cairns Brewery in 1931. Further acquisitions were the Ballarat Brewing Company, Queensland Brewery Ltd, Thos McLauchlin & Co Pty Ltd, Richmond Brewery and Tooth & Co. CUB was wholly bought by Elders IXL, a giant Australian diversified conglomerate with Pastoral, Financial, Materials and Food interests, in 1983. Elders Brewing Group continued to acquire brewing companies in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Finally, in 1990 Elders Brewing Group changed its name to Foster's Group, to reflect the name of their most internationally recognised product.

It will be interesting to see how this merger shakes out since this Foster's was a brand with a serious national identification. Jess Walsh, Secretary of United Voice in Victoria (formerly the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union), said the brewery was "critical" to Foster's for production and its unique cultural identity. "We've been producing beer at Abbotsford in Victoria since 1904, for over 100 years," she said. "Australians expect brands like Victoria Bitter to be made in Victoria."

Read more:

Whisky for the Environment

OK, for the most part, the distilling process is pretty much environmentally unfriendly. The spirits industry comes in for a serious beating with Gin, tequila, and rum being the worst for the environment. The problem is that the distillation process requires loads of energy. American bourbons are aged in virgin-oak barrels that are used only once, most of those barrels end up being reused by other liquor makers. And while some of those liquor makers may produce single malts, think of the energy involved in distilling the liquor and transporting it. In terms of distillation, vodka requires more energy and water than most spirits. Now, it seems that the Speyside distilleries byproducts will fuel a local biomass energy plan.

“Waste products from around 16 of the area’s 50 distilleries will be used at the site, including well-known brands such as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Macallan, and Famous Grouse,” the Guardian reports. Vast amounts of "draff", the spent grains used in the distilling process, and pot ale, a residue from the copper stills, are produced by the whisky industry each year and are usually transported off-site. The Rothes project, a joint venture between Helius Energy and the Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD) will burn the draff with woodchips to generate enough electricity to supply 9,000 homes. It will be supplied by Aalborg Energie Technick, a danish engineering company. The pot ale will be made into a concentrated organic fertiliser and an animal feed for use by local farmers.

The £50m Rothes project is the latest bioenergy venture from the Scotch whisky industry, but it is believed to be the first to provide electricity for public use. A bioenergy plant at Scotland's largest distillery in Fife is close to completion. The project by Diageo will provide 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of the electrical power used at the Cameronbridge distillery. And last year, scientists at Napier University announced they had developed a method of producing biofuel from the by-products of the whisky distilling process which could power cars and even aircraft. The new fuel, they said, could be available at petrol pumps within a few years.

This isn't just a Scottish happening either, and Maker's Mark, a whisky with a green reputation is also getting on the Green Energy bandwagon. Maker's Mark tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible in their production process. “We do many things that are eco-friendly including recycling the majority of our waste, in particular glass, cardboard, paper, plastic, metals, and barrels. Right now we recycle approximately 95% of all our waste. We are looking to go to 0% waste discharge in the next 3 years. Other projects that may not be “unique” include forest stewardship, habitat improvement/sustainability, community outreach, and biodiversity (we do not use any genetically modified grains),” Master Distiller Kevin Smith said in an email to Inhabitat.

It's good to see that the distilling industry is trying to be more environmentally conscious. It's even better to see that waste from the distilling process is being used to offset the processes environmentally unfriendly aspects. As I said in a previous post, I strongly suggest when buying distilled spirit products from enviornmentally friendly distillers if you choose to drink spirits. It also might be a good idea to write your fav distiller and ask them what they are doing to cut their carbon footprint?

Read more:

More on the Murdoch Scandal in the U.S.

It has been predicted for awhile now that the hacking practices that Murdoch claimed were isolated events, unique to one 'bad apple' were more widespread - including in the U.S.

Murdoch's empire has always been more about propaganda than news, and has always promoted sleaze in place of journalistic ethics.

I can't wait to see how the declining followers of Murdoch media, including Faux News Fraudcasting, try to support the Murdoch practices that masquerade as legitimate news media.

Will THIS finally be enough to sicken all of those who tout their self-congratulatory supposedly superior morality, enough for them to turn their back on the Murdoch media, if and when the long rumored evidence is produced in U.S. courts for this?

Or will we have continuing evidence that no matter what someone does, so long as they toe the right wing line, giving lip service to it, it doesn't matter how much they deviate in practice from moral conduct (or, factual reporting)?

The AP provides a good background in this article, for those who were unaware of the events transpiring in the U.K.

from the AP by way of

Lawyer: News Corp to be sued in US for hacking

Associated Press told that lawyers in US will begin pursuing case within next week      
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER     The Associated Press

LONDON — A group of British phone-hacking
victims plan to ask U.S. courts to look into possible "corrupt practices" at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a lawyer said Friday. The move could broaden the scope of a scandal that has shaken the mogul's international media empire.
British attorney Mark Lewis told The Associated Press that he had retained American lawyer Norman Siegel, who represents the families of many of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, to take on News Corp. in the United States.
Lewis predicted that the first hearing could occur within two or three months. But Siegel downplayed the prospect of immediate action, telling AP that he'd only been asked "to explore whether there's legal options that can be brought."
Lewis "asked us to do the research, that's what we're doing," Siegel said.
The high-profile announcement — Lewis appearedon Sky News and BBC television around the same time that he spoke to the AP — seemed designed to instill fear in News Corp. shareholders. Lewis took care to note that damages awarded in the United States were "far higher" than anything than he might win in the English court system.
News Corp. declined comment. 
Lewis revealed few details of his planned legal action, though he did say the case being pursued was not related to rumors that Sept. 11 victims were hacked by reporters at the News of the World tabloid, which was shut by News Corp. in July.
The now-defunct tabloid is accused of systematically intercepting private voice mail of Britons in the public eye, including, most notoriously, a teenage murder victim whose family Lewis now represents.
Lewis suggested that legal action might begin by taking depositions from various News Corp. officials.
"They will be looking at News Corp.'s liability for actions by its subsidiaries," he told Sky News television. "It will raise issues of corporate governance and control by the parent company over its subsidiaries."
In the U.S., Murdoch's News Corp. is best known for owning media properties such as Fox News Channel, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal. The New York-based company declined to comment Friday.
Britain has been inflamed by allegations that the News of the World hacked people's phones in its quest for scoops.
Along with spurring the closure of the 168-year-old tabloid, the growing scandal has prompted the resignations of two of Scotland Yard's most senior officers and the prime minister's top media aide.
Murdoch's planned multibillion pound (dollar) takeover deal for satellite broadcaster BSkyB Ltd. was scuppered by the scandal, and his company faces millions in damages as those who've been spied upon continue to come forward.
The scandal has spurred outrage on the other side of the Atlantic as well, particularly after the Daily Mirror, a rival to Murdoch's The Sun, alleged that Sept. 11 victims may have been among the News of the World's targets.
No evidence to support the claim has yet been produced, and News Corp. has dismissed it as "anonymous speculation."

Brian Cox on Cern's baffling light-speed find

Overgrown kid* and Physicist Brian Cox's take on the possibility that the speed of light was broken can be found at:

*Brian's attitude toward physics is the same enthusiasm shown by a 6 year old kid brother.

Obama - The First Jewish President

Al Jazerra reports on Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

photo - Gallo/Getty

Obama is the "the first Jewish President". That's the title of New York magazine's lead article, written by John Heilemann and quoting a major Obama fundraiser.

Listening to Obama speak at the United Nations on Wednesday many would nod in agreement, not less in Palestine and the Arab world.

The US president has embraced the rejectionist Israeli position on the question of international recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

But that's not a Jewish position. It's a radical Zionist position. Many Jews, including US and Israeli Jews, do not embrace such extremist views.

But the fact that Obama surpassed his predecessor George W Bush, the most radical supporter of Israel among all US Presidents, has left everyone in Israel dumbstruck. The latest Zionist US president sounded like Israel's own founding fathers.

Never have they heard a US president read straight from the papers of the Israeli government.
What do you think? Isn't it time for the U.S. to back down a bit from its staunch support of Israel? Instead it seems we're moving in the other direction. How do you explain that?

How can the entire world focus on the poor Libyans, who needed and deserved help to overthrow their oppressive government, while the Palestinians continue to be left out in the cold. Only the Kurds rival them for the number of people in an ethnic group without a country of their own. Isn't that what the 1st world countries are supposed to be trying to correct.

Does it make me cynical or a conspiracy theorist to suspect that decisions like these are made for political and economic gain and not for the moral principles we're suppose to stand for?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wall Street's unwelcome warriors hang on to protest

"My family was directly affected by the floating interest rate loans that a lot of Wall Street banks extended," said Jay, a 22-year-old dairy worker from Vermont. "They lost their house because of that."

See also:
The US economy: A lost decade?

More CCTV, Less crime!

What if the solution to crime is simple and doesn't lead to accidental injury or death?

CCTV is beginning to proliferate in urban areas: whether they are governmental cameras, or ones owned by private citizens. In 2006, there was an estimated 4.2m CCTV cameras in Britain - about one for every 14 people. It was said that you couldn't travel across country without being on some form of CCTV.

And they are very useful at solving crimes. For example, the Rian Thal murder was caught on the CCTV cameras of her condo complex. The first arrest happened within 4 days of the crime. The crime was solved in a week.

Likewise, UK rioters were caught and prosecuted based upon CCTV footage.

My street has at least two privately owned cameras, which is why I am writing this. One of the cameras was useful in convicting the burglars who broke into another neighbour's house. There was a time stamped video of the crime.

What gets better is that cameras can send their images to multiple, remote locations. That means the robber would need to know where the remote locations were to prevent the video from being saved. CCTV footage that was saved remotely helped convict some crooked Philadelphia Cops.

Ultimately, it's hard to deny the photographic witness's testimony. And criminals hate witnesses.

Read more:

Incredible Police Brutality

The issue of "protecting their own" is one that often comes up. Whenever the offending member of the group goes as far as these two cops did, the rest have no hesitation denouncing and disowning them. But what about less extreme examples of brutality? That's where the famous "blue wall of silence" comes into it.

It's exactly the same thing with gun owners. When one of them flips out and kills the whole family, they're quickly banished into the dark realm of "criminal." But what about all the lesser indicators of unfittness? What about the gun owner who is known to drink too much or use drugs? What about the guy who smacks the wife around once in a while and everyone knows it because of her bruises and inappropriate sunglasses?

In those cases the "protecting their own" mentality supersedes any sense of moral disapproval at the behavior or true concern. Mutual respect, not wanting to butt into each other's lives, privacy, these are the primary concerns. What's lacking is a sense of policing their own and weeding out the bad apples BEFORE something serious happens.

As Cenk said about the cops, these guys, these unfit gun owners, do enormous damage to all of you.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Your Typical Arizona Gun Owner

An Apache Junction woman was arrested Wednesday after police said they found firearms, a white powdery substance and various checks in her car.

Mesa officers approached Elizabeth Russell, 38, when officers noticed a vehicle parked against the flow of traffic at 1700 S. 80th Street in Mesa, according to a police report.

After Russell granted police permission to search the car, officers found a loaded .380 caliber handgun between the driver's seat and transmission hump, as well as a clear baggie with a white powdery substance inside Russell's purse, the report said.

All right, maybe "typical" isn't the best word to describe her, but this is Arizona we're talking about. Gun availability to unfit people doesn't come any easier than it does there. Who's to blame?

Well, if we're talking about the easy access to guns, as opposed to the crimes people commit with them, it's clearly not the criminal's fault. She, and all the others like her, did not arrange for the easy availability of guns. That was the NRA and the gun lobby all paid for by the gun manufacturers and supported by the gun-rights folks.

This is what I call shared responsibility.

The only valid argument I can see is that guns save lives, the John Lott theory. That's been refuted enough that even the gun rights folks have gotten off it. What we mainly hear from them is the 2A nonsense and as Big Wayne said, they want to have a fighting chance.

The deplorable situation of gun proliferation and availability in the U.S. is the direct result of the misguided efforts of the NRA, gun lobby, gun manufacturers and gun-rights activists. For some it's simply dollars and cents.  For others it's in order to not be inconvenienced themselves.  But we all pay a heavy price for the results of their work.  That's why I blame them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Is the speed of light really the universal speed limit?

The insight that the speed of thought is faster than light came to me a long time ago. The speed of thought, or the imagination, is faster than light because it can take you anywhere in fractions of a nanosecond.

Now it seems that at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, they have had Puzzling results because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light. Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

This puts a spanner in the works of conventional physics since the speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit according to Einstein's theory of relativity, and much of modern physics depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it. Of course, we are now in the realm of subatomic particles where the rules are beginning to appear quite different.

Naturally, the traditional physicists are cautious. "We tried to find all possible explanations for this," said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration. "We wanted to find a mistake - trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't," he told BBC News. "When you don't find anything, then you say 'Well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'"

Of course, I rather enjoy the fact that conventional physics could be limited in its scope.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gee, That "Dwindling" Protest is Growing Media Attention

It may have had a lull in the mid-week, but it's likely to pick up more people, rather than disappear after this. They're in it for the long haul.

It's inevitable the Main Stream Media will be giving this more attention.

The Wall Street Protest Continues.

With little attention from US media, of course. That is not surprising since news of hundreds being arrested in front of the White House while protesting the tarsands pipeline or thousands protesting the behavior of Wall Street usually don’t make it to the USMSM news. One casewas accidental, Yahoo! admitted that its email filters were blocking news of the ongoing occupation of Wall Street by activists.

An investigation by Think Progress found that emails containing a link to the website – which contains the latest updates on the protest – were being bounced back by Yahoo! unsent, with a message to the sender reading: "Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.”

Yahoo has acknowledged that the emails were blocked, but the company says on Twitter that the problem wasn’t some massive government conspiracy but instead a mistake in the company’s spam filtering system.

The protestors are understandably concerned that news of the occupation is being ignored. A quick examination of Google News shows four times the number of news sources covering Charlie Sheen’s latest shenanigans compared to those writing about the ongoing occupation of America’s financial heartland by protestors.

Te real test of success will be whether the revolutionary spirit proves contagious, despite the lack of media attention. If this movement gains momentum, then Occupy Wall Street may indeed become a triumph in the long run. There the move to spread the protest with event’s official website recently announcing that a similar protest is now being planned in Los Angeles.

"Occupy Wall Street" Protest Has International Support; Setting Up for Long Haul

Dedicated to Troy Davis - May He Rest in Peace

Did the Death Penalty Claim yet another innocent victim?

The state of Georgia killed Troy Davis last night.

Despite so much doubt about Troy Davis's guilt -- including seven witnesses who changed or recanted their testimony, and three jurors who convicted Troy who later asked that his life be spared -- Georgia's parole board decided he should die. And so last night at 11:08 Eastern Time, he was killed by lethal injection.

Troy's case has brought international attention to deep, long-existing flaws in the US criminal justice system: especially its use of the death penalty.

Military Spending or Social Security

via The Huffington Post

There's a fascinating little tidbit that I'd never heard before.  The defense industry contractors have spread their operations out so as to cover as many congressional districts as possible.  Any politician, Republican or Democrat, would be hard-pressed to favor defense spending cuts when it means job losses in his or her district. That's slick.

If the military contractors succeed in keeping the war budget intact, they'll likely do so at the expense of Social Security and Medicare.

I didn't really understand why that is.  Aren't there other programs which can be cut?  In any case, don't you think the military spending is too high? These are some of the most powerful companies in the world and they know how to play the game. That alone should indicate they're already getting more than they need.

What's your opinion?  Wouldn't cutting military spending and cutting back on the foreign wars be the right way to correct some of the country's economic problems?

Please leave a comment? 

Chris Brown on Wayne La Pierre and the Fast and Furious Scandal

Chris Brown wrote a wonderful article for Media Matters about the NRA and the Fast and Furious scandal.

The pattern from National Rifle Association (NRA) executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is getting pretty clear: ad hominem name-calling, a slew of conspiratorial misinformation, and a call for gun owners to align with the NRA's political agenda and defeat President Obama based on those ginned-up grievances.

For months, LaPierre's been pushing interlinked false talking points on the trafficking of U.S. guns to Mexico in a variety of media formats. According to the NRA leader, requiring gun dealers to report multiple sales of rifles
Mexican cartels are known to favor to the ATF is an assault against American gun owners. He's also claimed the Obama administration intentionally manufactured a crisis by allowing U.S. guns to fall into the hands of cartels to justify more gun control.

This time speaking through the NRA's
many publications LaPierre gets explicit about why he's been pushing those claims: it's all about attacking President Obama. From the piece:

All of this was done to bring about Barack Obama's promised "under the radar" gun control.
Gun owners must begin marshalling our collective power to unelect not only Obama and his crowd, but to unelect his anti-gun-owner axis in Congress.

Getting back to his roots, LaPierre starts by throwing around insults, referring to people to who disagree with the NRA about the role of U.S. guns in Mexico as "ghouls":

This move by unelected bureaucrats is part of a plan that was hatched at the outset of the Obama administration with the full support of a host of media enablers. Those in the gun-ban crowd are ghouls, always in search of a "crisis" to feed on.
One minor point, which I find absolutely hysterical, is the word "ghoul" used by La Pierre. Not too long ago some of my commenters started calling me that particular name. Now I see where it came from. You see, in the gun-rights movement there's very little thinking going on, there's just repeating the NRA talking points right down to the name-calling. These guys are a riot.

Chris debunks the two major lies which Wayne La Pierre has been pushing. The downplaying of the role of gun dealers along the border in supplying guns to Mexico is answered by this:

As Media Matters reported in August:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) has seized more 10,000 firearms and more then 1.1. million rounds of ammunition headed to the southwest border since 2006. On the Mexican side of the border, 20,504 or 70 percent of the total firearms seized and submitted for tracing in the last two years were from the United States.
The other lie was that the Fast and Furious botched sting operation is responsible for a significant number of the smuggled guns. It was handled like this:

Nor do the numbers back up the contention that Fast and Furious fueled a large spike in Mexican cartel crime guns traced to the United States. The Washington Post reported in July that 227 guns related to Fast and Furious had been recovered in Mexico. If all of those guns were part of the trace data it would account for only 1 percent of U.S. sourced guns traced in the last two years.
What's your opinion? If the ability to own a gun were really the civil right they say it is, why would they have to resort to so much distortion and misdirection to protect it? Why would the gun-rights advocates so often resort to name-calling and general nastiness? Why would the issue be so controversial?

I'll tell you why. Because they're wrong. Gun rights, which leads to gun availability to those who are unfit to responsibly handle guns, is a plague on our country. Reasonable people know this, even reasonable gun owners. It's the small, very vocal and very well financed minority, led by unscrupulous men like Wayne La Pierre who are responsible for the controversy as well as the gun availability itself.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Republican Jenga-Nomics and Jingo-Nomics

From Comedy Central:

Laci points out that TV was invented by a Scot, John Logie Beard.

You are incorrect, TS.

When you said:

Incidentally, a search on Lexis-Nexis for document 03-14-BCIA (which you DO believe exists) also comes up dry. So it is fair to say “no hits” does not confirm a bulletin never happened.

You never did a Lexis-Nexis Search.

Here's the screen cap for a REAL Lexis-Nexis Search for 03-14-BCIA.

Two copies of that document show up.

I have yet to get verification of the document you claim is real.

More on the Lakeland FL Shooting

JadeGold reported this one the other day, but some interesting details have come out now.

The man accused of killing his wife and then shooting two church pastors had pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 10 years of probation in 1987 in the slaying of a previous wife, according to court records.

Jeremiah Fogle, 57, is charged with murder and attempted murder after Sunday's shootings. Authorities said Fogle shot his wife, Theresa, burst into the front doors of the church and shot the ministers before church members tackled him.
I suppose we can't blame Florida or the NRA for the fact that he got off so easily when he killed his first wife. But, it does seem like 10 years of probation is a bit light.

The easy access to guns, however, is the direct result of Florida's lax gun laws and the NRA's continued fight to keep them that way. I also spread a little blame around for all who support that sick system.

Recently a commenter expressed some difficulty in understanding what I mean by "guns are bad news for women."  Perhaps he didn't go to the link I provided which highlights a famous Hemenway study. Where there are more guns, more women die in domestic abuse, compared to states with fewer guns.  It's simple. 

In today's story another fascinating angle came up.

Authorities and relatives said he and Theresa Fogle had been members of the Greater Faith Christian Center Church before starting their own ministry out of their home.

Theresa Fogle's sister Maria Beauford said the couple ran a transportation business together. They had been members of Greater Faith, but had started their own ministry out of their house and regularly hosted Sunday services.
Fundamentalist Christians praying together in the trailer park home of a wife-killer-turned-preacher. And the gun-rights community supports people like this, at least until they go too far, then they're banished.

What's your opinion? Is this an "Only in America" story, or what?

Please leave a comment.

More Tragic Domestic Gun Violence

Anyone want to take a guess on the probable legality of the gun ownership?  That the confessed shooter would turn himself in suggests, in the absence of more information, that he is at least somewhat law abiding.  He didn't make law enforcement hunt him down.
Shooting and unarmed woman and child, outside day care where there are almost certainly going to be a number of young children who will be traumatized by that act.......should that be taken into account as a circumstance of the crime which merit harsher justice (if he is convicted)? 
I'd bet that this man believed this was an appropriate use of his personal firearm, or presumably he wouldn't have done this (presuming for purposes of argument that his confession was accurate). 
Maybe we need some sort of default law; if you attempt to kill your spouse, they are awarded an automatic divorce (and everything you own).
I will post updates on this shooting traedy as they are available.  In particular I will be looking for information on whether this was or was not a legally purchased (and carried) firearm.

Mother, daughter shot outside Georgia day care

Husband of woman turns himself in, says 'I just shot someone'

updated 2 hours 2 minutes ago 2011-09-20T22:42:43

A mother and her 10-year-old daughter were in critical condition on Tuesday after being shot outside a Christian daycare center in suburban Atlanta in what police described as a domestic dispute.
The 38-year-old mother was dropping her daughter off to take a bus to Little Mountain Christian Academy when shots were fired at about 6:25 a.m., said Rockdale County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Shupe.
Two hours after the shooting, the woman's husband, who is the 10-year-old girl's stepfather, turned himself in to police in a nearby county, Shupe said.
The spokeswoman said Terrence S. Roberson, 36, told authorities, "I just shot someone." He has been arrested on aggravated assault charges.
Shupe, who declined to name the victims, said the woman had filed for divorce on Monday. The mother and daughter were in critical condition following surgery.

Contrary to Twitter (per Serr8d), the Wall Street Protest Continues!


Wall Street protest enters fourth day

Peter Foley / EPA
New York police try to direct protesters marching on Wall Street Tuesday.
A protest called “Occupy Wall Street” entered its fourth day Tuesday as a loosely organized group of activists converged on lower Manhattan and clashed with police.
The protest began Saturday when several thousand people gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange holding signs saying "We must end corporate tyranny and corruption" and "Debt is slavery." By Tuesday, the crowd had dwindled to several hundred.
New York police have made a handful of arrests -- two on Saturday when protesters tried to enter a Bank of America office and six more on Monday. At least four on Monday were held for wearing masks, which is illegal for groups of two or more, police said. A video posted on YouTube Monday appears to show police arresting at least one protester.
"The elite corporate power have hijacked democracy," Alexander Penley, an international lawyer from New York, told Reuters. "The economic depression we are experiencing today has something to do with how Wall Street is run."
Demonstrators have displayed other signs including "Commodity inflation causes starvation" and "I can't afford a lobbyist."
The idea for the protest apparently originated with a Vancouver-based magazine called Adbusters, which describes itself as “a not-for-profit, reader-supported, 120,000-circulation magazine concerned about the erosion of our physical and cultural environments by commercial forces.”
In a July 13 blog post, the magazine called on readers to emulate the "Arab Spring" uprisings that began in Tahrir Square in Cairo in January. The magazine called on readers to “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.” The purpose of the protest, according to the post, is to end “the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.”
“It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY,” the post proclaimed. “We're doomed without it.”
On Tuesday, police maintained a heavy presence in the Financial District, partitioning off areas of the sidewalk and slowing pedestrian traffic in a neighborhood that typically attracts heavy tourist traffic.
The demonstrators have vowed to stay for months.
Check out some great photos of the protest here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hey, TS, where is it?

This is a screen capture of my search results for Bulletin no. 99-14-BCIA written 6/11/99 on Lexis-Nexis. LexisNexis Group is a company providing computer-assisted legal research services. In 2006 it had the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information.

You'd think they might have it, wouldn't you, TS?

CCW Reciprosity Will Save Lives

where you can always find something to tickle the funny bone. Imagine if Helmke had made over a million a year pushing his agenda. Do you think the pro-gun guys might have questioned his sincerity over that?

La Pierre is the master con man of the gun world, and the dupes are the gun owners who support him. The master says, "80% of gun owners support this reciprocity thing."  I'll bet the Armed Intelligentsia believes it too.

How Communism fell

No, one of the reasons was not that they had guns.

It was that reception of western radio and television broadcasts provided alternative news sources to the limited official news sources that were provided the Communist regimes. Strict censorship could not prevent the flow of free information around official channels.

Of course, one needed to be aware of the fact that official propaganda was usually untrue. But according to those who lived through this era, the propanganda was fairly obvious.

While the US does not engage in State Censorship of the press, the corporatocratic authorities have consolidated the media in such a way that it is easily controlled to present a very passive picture of life in the US. This is useful for the rise of the right wing that works against the interest of the majority of US citizens.

Arise, US citizens, the internet is your key to free information if you know how to use it.

Concord NC (near Charlotte) Domestic Violence at Work - 2 Dead

A spokeswoman for Lowe's Home Improvement says an employee and another person have been shot to death at a North Carolina store.

Spokeswoman Karen Cobb says the shooting happened Monday at a store in Concord, which is about 20 miles northeast of Charlotte. She says it appears to be a domestic situation and no other customers or employees were injured.

Additional information was not immediately available.
With such few details available in the news, it could be anything. But, let's take a guess.

A lawful gun owner, perhaps with a CCW permit and an NRA membership card in his wallet, goes to his wife's place of employment, kills her and turns the gun on himself. How's that sound, about right?

Later today the details will be coming out and I know I can count on my antagonistic gun-rights friends to point out anything I got wrong, but even that wouldn't change the fact that guns are bad news for women. And it certainly wouldn't change the solution.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Gunloon, NRA/GOA Member John Flemming (R-LA) Cannot Live On $400K Annually


These are the kind of folks the NRA buys in Congress.  Basically--liars and charlatans.

Here's a guy who claims that he grosses $6.3M a year and employs some 500 people (Flemming owns a bunch of Subway shops and UPS outlets).  He is a Job Creator, he says.  He claims he only takes home $400K after "feeding his family."

Nevermind he isn't counting his Congressional salary and the pretty neat perks like healthcare and retirement from that job.  He also omits that his children are all adults and, presumably, on their own.

This means he's paying his employees an average of $11,800 a year.  That's with no healthcare, no retirement, no perks other than the $5 footlong.

I'm no accountant but Flemming is either lying or he's an idiot.  Here's why: Flemming is basically claiming his salary is $600K after he gets done paying his workers, rents, taxes, business expenses, etc.  And that he then plows 2/3 of this salary back into the business.  It's not true.  First, Congressional disclosure forms show Flemming's annual income to be between $5-10M.  That's his salary.  Second, he isn't putting his own money towards new business--he's using his corporation's money.  This produces a far greater tax benefit as well as limiting his own liability.  Third, Flemming omits the fact that each of his Subway and UPS shops is an asset that is likely appreciating.  IOW, one of the Subway shops he bought years ago for $400K is probably worth millions today.

How Many Families Can Gunloonery Destroy?

Lester, known as T.J., died Saturday in a shooting that may have been accidental, but is still under investigation. Lester, 15, a sophomore at Forest Grove High School, was the oldest of five children. 
But wait, there's more:
Police identified a 14-year-old girl who was also injured in the incident as Rachel Eisfeld, a freshman at Forest Grove High School.  She was treated for a minor head laceration at a hospital and released, Forest Grove Police Capt. Mike Herb on Sunday. 
Eisfeld's father, Don Christopher Eisfeld, was killed by police in 2003 after confronting officers at his Forest Grove home and firing more than 30 shots at them.
People of the Gun.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wall Street Protests from Russian TV and other non-US media

Of course, if you listen to Rupert Murdoch's New York Post you would believe:

Only about 300 protesters, mostly college kids and aging hippies, showed up near the Stock Exchange for yesterday’s anti-Wall Street rally -- far fewer than the 20,000 that organizers of the so-called global “Day of Rage” had predicted.

In contrast, the Guardian reported that:

5,000 Americans descended on to the financial district of lower Manhattan, waved signs, unfurled banners, beat drums, chanted slogans and proceeded to walk towards the "financial Gomorrah" of the nation. They vowed to "occupy Wall Street" and to "bring justice to the bankers", but the New York police thwarted their efforts temporarily, locking down the symbolic street with barricades and checkpoints....Three hundred spent the night, several hundred reinforcements arrived the next day and as we write this article, the encampment is rolling out sleeping bags once again.

300 v. 5,000 is quite a difference there, but we know that Rupert Murdoch is unreliable and right wing. Although, the US hasn't gotten the memo about how unreliable Murdoch is.

Or as another independent source pointed out:
Last weekend thousands of demonstrators marched on Wall Street to protest economic inequality in America. However, most Americans were likely unaware of the protests since they were largely ignored by every major media outlet. On what was a relatively slow weekend for news, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all devoted significant coverage to other stories including an air show crash in Reno. While the death of nine spectators at the Reno event was certainly worthy of some attention, the demand for Wall Street reform, which affects millions in poverty, would arguably warrant as much coverage given the size of the protests. In 2009 and 2010 Tea Party demonstrations numbering in the hundreds would routinely receive national coverage when protesting against “death panels” the dangers of “socialism” through government-run health care.

How much can you trust the US media to give you fair and accurate reporting--especially about an event that threatens the status quo?

How well informed are you really?