Thursday, April 19, 2018
Religion teaches morality.
Or so we've been told by religions for thousands of years. One of the most important morals might be, "Thou shalt not kill," assuming you'r not more concerned with obedience to God, or religious leaders appointed to represent God, which many Biblical verses seem to put higher priority on.
The growing movement towards increasing attendance in Mega-Churches is defended by the organizers of these Mega-Churches as well as many other people in the religious community supporting their religion.
Just for the sake of argument lets assume they're right and these Mega-Churches are more effective at teaching morality; which would theoretically mean that people that attend these Mega-Churches would be less inclined to commit murder and the murder rates around these Mega-Churches would be lower!
Well maybe not!
As I explained previously in Media is aiding and abetting in Televangelist Fraud, Apartheid States of America and Megalithic Churches correlated with local murder rates most Megachurches, on average are in cities with above average murder rates, often well above average. Few social statistical reviews show an exact correlation, since there are multiple causes for violence and they all have to be considered carefully; however the correlation between higher murder rates in cities with Megachurches compared to those without is stronger than most.
There are some exceptions, of course. One of the biggest is the Megachurches in New Jersey or Connecticut, which are among the least religious states, where the majority of Megachurches are in wealthy suburbs just outside of some of their worst abandoned inner cities. But these states don't have nearly as many Megachurches as the South or several other parts of the country where people are more religious. California has a larger number of Megachurches and most of them are in cities with below average murder rates but many of those are near more violent cities and those in more violent cities are often in much more violent cities like many other states, so the average murder rate for the cities in California is still above the national average, and most of those with lower murder rates are also in cities with much higher incomes.
A closer look comparing cities, within the same population range with Megachurches to those without shows even further how strong a correlation this is, when divided by population in four different population ranges of cities with above 100,000 people all four of them show the cities with higher murder rates have more Megachurches; when comparing the average murder rates for smaller cities where they don't always have Megachurches the ones in two of three population ranges show that they have higher murder rates in the cities with Megachurches, and the third is only higher in those without Megachurches as a result of a handful of cities with exceptionally high murder rates, when those are excluded even that range has higher murder rates in the cities with Megachurches than those without, as indicated in the following summation:
In the ten cities with a population over one million the five with the highest murder rates, the highest with 21 per hundred thousand and lowest with 10 per hundred thousand, have ninety-one megachurches and seventeen of them with attendance, according to at least one source, of over 10,000, which is what they call a Gigachurch; even though the five with the lowest murder rates, 3.3 to 10 per hundred thousand, have a much higher population they only have seventy Megachurches, and ten Gigachurches; if you counted the top six there would be one-hundred-and-eleven megachurches and nineteen Gigachurches; the bottom four would have about the same population but only fifty Megachurches and eight Gigachurches. In cities with a population of half a million to one million all of them have Megachurches; but the ten with the highest murder rates have more Megachurches than the ten with the lowest rates. The top ten in this range have average murder rates over a fifteen year period from 42.98 per hundred thousand in Detroit to 10.07 and they have a total of ninety-seven Megachurches and ten of them are Gigachurchs. The cities with the lowest murder rates in this range have murder rates ranging from 2.4 per hundred thousand in El Paso to 8.9 in Tuscon Arizona and they only have a total of sixty-nine Megachurches with only seven Gigachurches.
The same goes in all the other population ranges, or something similar including those between 250,000 and 500,000 where the cities in the top ten for murder rates have forty-six megachurches with three Gigachurches verses only thirty-one in the cities in the bottom ten for murder rates, although they do have four Gigachurches but there's still many more attending the ones in the top ten; and in the cities with a population from 100,000 to 250,000 where they have thirty-eight Megachurches with four Gigachurches in the cities with the top ten murder rates and only twenty-three Megachurches in the cities that have any with the lowest crime rates. This range also has fifty-four cities without any Megachurches and the average murder rates for those is significantly lower than the average for cities with at least one Megachurch.
In the cities with populations between 250,000 and 500,000 there are only two that don't have any megachurches, and one of them at least is above average and if the other one isn't it's not much below average for the cities in that population range; however this isn't statistically significant since there are so few. When it comes to cities with fewer than 250,000 and more than 100,000, the average rate for cities with at least one or more Megachurches in it is 6.05 per hundred thousand, which is about thirty percent hire than the cities without any Megachurches in them, with an average rate of 4.75. This omits four cities, which are large and have Megachurches just beyond the border. Three of these cities have a large volume of Megachurches and the other one only one in a bordering town but more near by, which for all practical purposes they serve with their own population. These cities include Kansas City, Kansas; Newport News Va.; North Las Vegas, Nevada; and Paterson NJ. There was one city, Syracuse NY, which I entered in those with Megachurches because East Syracuse, with only 3,000 people has a Megachurch which clearly must serve Syracuse. There were also six additional ones that were entered in the category of cities without Megachurches even though they also had Megachurches in bordering towns. Two of these were negligible, since they weren't much lower than the average but the other four were significantly above average. If anything it might have been more appropriate to omit those as well, or include the ones with a large number of Megachurches in bordering towns be entered on the list of cities with Megachurches, which would have increased the difference.
When it comes to the cities with a population between 40,000 and 60,000, the cities with Megachurches have an average murder rate of 3.7 per hundred thousand which is about forty percent higher than the cities without Megachurches which are only 2.7.
The cities with a population of 60,000 to 100,000 is the only population range where the murder rates are higher in cities without Megachurches where the average rate is 4.17 about fifteen percent higher than the cities with Megachurches, which have a rate of 3.57. However the murder rates for both categories are driven up by the eight cities with the highest murder rates, which are, all more than four times the national average one of them are as much as sixteen times the national average, and six of them are in cities without Megachurches, although four of these have Megachurches in towns bordering them, including one that is a Gigachurch, which must draw some funds and parishioners from Gary, and one more has a Megachurch in a small town no more than ten miles away. These six cities, Youngstown Ohio, Wilmington Delaware, Gary Indiana, Compton California, Camden and Trenton NJ, have an average murder rate of 41; the two highest with Megachurches, Macon Georgia and Fort Myers Florida have an average murder rate of about 22. Even in this population range if these cities weren't counted then the cities with Megachurches would still be higher, with a rate of 3.14 than those without with a rate of 2.81.
Date for cities with less than 40,000 people is limited; however, even though I didn't look up the rates for those without Megachurches, and Wikipedia doesn't list them, I compiled a list of those with megachurches, and calculated rough averages. These use averages for fifteen years of data for each city, or as much as is available, which is more comprehensible than the one year data used to compare with other cities; however they were straight averages without converting back to murders and accounting for populations changes. The margin of error using this method is minimal when it's the same city with modest population changes, but with cities that fluctuate from 195 to almost 40,000, it is of course higher making this rough. The average murder rates for 296 cities with Megachurches is 3.49 which is only slightly lower than those with a higher population, even though murder rates seem to be going consistently down. Thirty-four of these cities had rates above seven, some well above this, which is more than double the average rate for this range and they drove it way up. These thirty four have an average rate of 13.83; without these the rest of them would only have an average rate of 2.15. Some of these thirty four cities are urban cities bordering much larger cities with high rates; however some of them, especially in South Carolina, and other parts of the South including Alabama and Louisiana, are in rural areas where you might expect them to be much lower.
The data to come to these conclusions has been reposted here on Megalithic Churches correlated with local murder rates by population an additional explanation of some of the details will be posted here shortly that will enable anyone that might be inclined to check the math and decide for themselves whether I'm distorting the "Lies, damn lies or statistics," as Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli might say.
Phil Zuckerman makes a similar point in his review published in the Los Angeles Times a few years ago, Think religion makes society less violent? Think again. 10/30/2015, where he compares rates of violence in countries, or states that are more religious and finds that they have higher rates of violence. He also cites statistics of child abuse deaths when he says, "Consider child-abuse fatality rates: Highly religious Mississippi's is twice that of highly secular New Hampshire's, and highly religious Kentucky's is four times higher than highly secular Oregon's."
Apparently he makes the same argument in The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies By Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, Frank L. Pasquale where he cautions against confusing correlation and causation, as many good sociologists and statisticians do; however I believe that in addition to his research additional work by Alice Miller and Philip Greven strengthens the argument that early child abuse leads to escalating violence, and that religious support for corporal punishment is also a major factor teaching small children to deal with their problems through violence later in life, which would explain the strong correlation between high murder rates near megachurches or in highly religious states compared to more secular communities.
His article in the Los Angeles Times is in the op-ed section, claiming that it's a matter of opinion, which part of it may be, but a large portion of it is based on facts which can be confirmed or refuted; and the mainstream media often allows many politicians or people of faith to make wild claims, loudly with conviction and appeals to emotions, without any fact checking, even when they're full of obvious flaws. Good academics often go to far in the other extreme by saying they're not sure even when there is much more evidence that has been fact checked to support some of their claims.
I've written about this numerous times with many more sources in past articles and there's little or no doubt in my mind that there's an enormous amount of evidence, including the research by Greven, Miller, Coloroso, Garbarino, Straus and many more that early child abuse leads to escalating violence later in life. This includes corporal punishment which has been demonstrated to escalate to more violence over and over again; and this conclusion is backed by by statistics where the states that still allow it in schools, and presumably use it much more in homes routinely make it into the top ten for murder rates, with six to eight of them included. The only one that ever makes it into the bottom ten states for murder rates is Idaho, which uses it the least, and has no major abandoned inner cities, which is another major contributing cause to violence.
As Philip Greven and Alice Miller also argue early child abuse, often starting with corporal punishment, is also a major part of an indoctrination process designed to teach children to blindly obey orders, believe what their taught without question from their leaders, and to go along with the crowd, without developing critical thinking skills which are necessary to participate in the democratic process and hold leaders accountable, especially when they fight one war after another based on lies.
There may also be far more evidence that many of these Megachurches are also involved in far more child abuse scandals than most people realized; and it may also be related to escalating violence in the areas that they serve, although proving that connection is far more difficult. However, we've all heard about plenty of scandals involving Televangelists, and many of them have involved sex abuse or child abuse, assuming you've paid attention to the news; but it may be far more common than I suspected. To find out how common this is I looked up a little more on the internet and started finding far more stories than I expected, including some from a few of the biggest megachurch pastors in the country, and many with political connections, including to many presidential candidates.
There are dozens if not hundreds of these reports across the country that aren't hard to find once you start searching. Many of them are new, which might mean that more of them are being exposed, or there have been more all along than most people realized or more likely a little of both. One of the biggest examples might be Rod Parsley's Church in Ohio, who apparently settled a lawsuit a few years ago for a Daycare beating in 2006. The insurance company that they're still in the process of trying to convince to shoulder the settlement refuses to do so because they claim their coverage didn't cover use of corporal punishment, which is being disputed.
According to Televangelist Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church Refuses to Fully Shoulder $3.1M Settlement for Daycare Beating 10/10/2015 one of the fund raising pitches that they use is a pitch saying "Do not miss this opportunity for Pastor Parsley to pray for you, along with KENNETH COPELAND, a gifted preacher with incredible understanding of God's power — a man of astonishing faith! They will lead an army of prayer warriors to pray for YOUR needs! Then we'll send your prayer cloth back to you saturated with the anointing!"
Apparently this is just one of many incredibly bad scams that the faithful fall for, as long as it's given in a hyped up manner from a charismatic preacher. I don't know if many of their donors know that their money is going to pay for past legal settlements or Parley's lavish lifestyle; however this is typical of the claims that hundreds of preachers across the country make either on TV, in Megachurches, online, in revivals or any other way they have of communicating and a shocking percentage of the public seems to trust them.
A little noticed sideline to a much higher profile abuse case a few months ago in California also indicates the values of some of Parsley's fellow preachers, or more specifically the brother of the president of “The Valor Christian College." David Turpin, who was arrested in January in the now infamous "Horror House" case where they imprisoned there own kids and kept them on a starvation diet, is the brother of Dr. Randy Turpin, who is the president of “The Valor Christian College," which was founded by Rod Parsley. This is apparently the same Rod Parsley that met with John McCain who was seeking his endorsement in the 2008 primary, saying "I'm very honored today to have one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide, Pastor Rod Parsley," and received it; but then when his comments about destroying Islam were reported in the media he distanced himself politically, as they often do, before eventually rejecting his endorsement.
Randy Turpin claims to be estranged from his brother, and has volunteered to adopt his nephew's and nieces; however he wrote a 2016 book about prayer and fasting, which authorities are considering in relation to the starvation diet of David's children; and his parents clearly weren't estranged from David when they visited the family in a five day visit to California in 2012. They claimed they had no idea anything was wrong and said that "They are the sweetest family."
This is why politicians are constantly courting Televangelists and Megachurch pastors, because if their followers trust them even when they get caught at one scam after another they often blindly support the candidate that their leaders tell them to even if their religious leaders and their political leaders are constantly supporting positions that go against the interests of the followers. However, the mainstream media minimizes the coverage of this or buries it where few will notice it, just like they minimize coverage of all the sex scandals so most people don't realize how extensive it is. If the truth isn't repeated over and over again like the deceptive propaganda that faithful quickly forget.
Televangelists look the other way at the scandals that politicians get caught up with just like politicians look the other way in the scandals that Televangelists get caught up in and reports of their conections are only found by those that look closely. But there are plenty of them including Bill Clinton's relationship with Bill Hybels, ties between Kirbyjon Caldwell and George Bush, And many more including a long list of Televangelists that lined up behind Donald Trump, like Kenneth Adkins, who was found guilty of child molestation.
I have no doubt that if I started searching I could easily find dozens more, including some that I already came across and more that were almost certainly buried demonstrating that the separations between Church and State has been dramatically reduced if not completely eliminated.
Additional research will surely show that the religious areas that have high crime problems and a high concentration of Megachurches, also have much more economic inequality environmental destruction, cheating scandals, often in areas where for-profit Charters Schools are concentrated, and many other social problems.
Politicians understood how to use this mentality to manipulate the public going back thousands of years, as some people including Hermann Göring demonstrated that they understood, especially when stirring up paranoia to fight wars based on lies, even when it's against the interests of the majority of the public!
Hitler was of course famous for Hitler's Youth which trained thousands of children to blindly obey orders in the thirties using many of the same tactics that Megachurch pastor's use to indoctrinate their followers. He learned this from observing religious indoctrination taking place before him, in both the Protestant and Catholic religions. They both had their Youth groups that were taught to blindly obey from an early age without questioning authorities.
Before Hitler rose to power Mussolini took control of of Italy in the March on Rome shortly after Pius XI was elected Pope, and like the competition between Pius XII had with Hitler to control the education system, as described in "Hitler's Pope" by John Cornwall, Pius XI had a similar battle for power with Mussolini, as described in The "Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe" by David Kirtzer. Both Popes, Hitler and Mussolini all agreed that the education system should be authoritarian and oppose teaching of critical thinking skills.
Pius XI negotiated deals with Mussolini starting within a few months after Mussolini's March on Rome, to restore some of the Catholic power that started collapsing when Napoleon invaded Europe and escalated when Pius IX was exiled during the 1848 revolution. Both Pope's wanted a restoration of the political power that the Catholic Church had in the past which is when they led Crusades and Inquisitions, although they wouldn't have been inclined to say they wanted to return to that. In both cases Pius XII, starting as Eugenio Pacelli negotiating a deal with Germany over control of the education system and later with Hitler; and Pius XI negotiating with Mussolini for control of Italy as well as the education or indoctrination of children were willing to put their best interests ahead of the children or those that wanted to teach democratic principles, and rather than allowing Democracy to spread they enabled Hitler and Mussolini to rise to power.
Only after Pius XI lost the power struggle to Mussolini did he say, “I am ashamed, not as pope, but as an Italian! The Italian people have become a flock of stupid sheep. I will speak up, have no fear of that. The concordat means a lot to me, but my conscience means more.... Here they have become like so many Farinaccis. I am truly upset, as a pope ..." ("Pope and Mussolini" Kirtzer also cited in "Hitler, Mussolini and the Vatican" Emma Fattorini with additional excerpts) Perhaps he should have been ashamed, but he shouldn't have been too surprised!
Indoctrination methods designed to control the public instead of educational methods to teach them to govern themselves is what he encouraged from the beginning; the main thing that he was ashamed of was that he didn't have the upper hand in controlling the educational and political system!
Amazingly, Mussolini was able to convince the masses that he was the leader of the religious faithful, like Donald Trump, even though his early career was a rabid anticlerical Publishing God Does Not Exist text in 1904! Mussolini seemed to recognize flaws in the religious argument when he recognized Epicurus in 1904; however he demonstrated, with his actions that he wasn't overly concerned with morality, when he started using thuggish tactics no later than WWI and shortly after that when he formed his Fascist Party. Only after he lost the power struggle did he express shame because the "Italian people have become a flock of stupid sheep."
Mussolini remained strongly opposed to the Vatican at least until 1919, then in 1922 after his March on Rome, he claimed to be a strong defender of the Church and began giving them their privileges back in return for the support of Pius XI, who should have realized this was a political deal, not based on true faith on Mussolini's part. The Pope accepted this because the deals he made with Mussolini's advanced his own power and he used his perceived credibility with the faithful to encourage them to support Mussolini even though it wasn't in their own best interests!
Donald Trump didn't rise to power in exactly the same way as Mussolini, of course, but there were a lot of similarities. One of the ways that he was able to win the election, or at least appear to win, as I've said in past articles, is the mainstream media that pretends to oppose hims gave him the obsession coverage he needed to gain name recognition, fist with decades of periodic coverage, then escalating with his show "The Apprentice" and finally with obsession coverage during the campaign when they knew there was an lot of anti-establishment sentiment, and the media gave them a pretender that claimed to be anti-establishment. Another major advantage that he had was courting the support of Televangelists, who were able to convince their followers that Trump was among the faithful even though like Mussolini he had a long history of having no respect for the Church and even now it should be obvious that he's only pretending the support religious faith for political and control purposes!
Now once again he's demonstrated that he supports wars based on lies, just like establishment politicians; and the rest of the political establishment can pretend to speak out against him claiming what they hope to be perceived as the higher ground as they speak out against his actions in Syria!
The following are a couple sources about additional research showing how religious indoctrination leads to escalating violence:
Alice Miller The Truth Will Set You Free
Philip J. Greven: Spare the Child
“We Can Do Better—Child Abuse Deaths in America.”
Hitler’s Pope Pope Pius XII helped Hitler destroy German Catholic political opposition. John Cornwell reports on this new discovery. 1999
The following is a long list of Televangelists, often with political connections, that have been involved in various scandals, and often continue to preach with support of the faithful, although there are also many examples where they've gone to jail, or at least been forced to step down, at least temporarily. There have been many examples where these scam artists have come back with more scams even after doing jail time, and the government and many faithful let them get away with it:
Jury finds pastor Kenneth Adkins, supporter of Donald Trump, guilty of 8 charges in child molestation case 04/10/2018
Pastor at church attended by 25,000 steps down amid misconduct allegations 04/11/2018 Bill Hybels, 66, served as a served as a spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton and said in 2012 that he planned to retire in October 2018.
Kirbyjon Caldwell, famed Houston megachurch pastor, sold millions in worthless bonds, feds charge 03/30/2018 President George W. Bush, left, shares a laugh with the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell during a fundraiser in Houston in 2003.
South Florida's Five Worst Religious Leaders, Including Accused Molester Bob Coy 11/19/2017
Ohio Religious Right Pastor Faces Increasing Scrutiny Over Practices January 2006 Parsley is extremely active in Republican politics in Ohio. In November of 2004, he worked to bring out voters to support a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage in Ohio. Many of those voters, analysts believe, also backed President George W. Bush, perhaps providing him with a margin of victory in that key swing state.
‘Horror house’ dad’s estranged brother takes leave from job at Christian college 01/17/2018
Preacher uncle of ‘horror house’ kids wants to adopt them 01/25/2018
John McCain’s Spiritual Guide Rod Parsley: America Was Founded to Destroy the “False Religion” 03/14/2008
McCain rejects minister John Hagee's endorsement 05/22/2008 McCain has faced pressure to distance himself from the Rev. Rod Parsley over the minister's statement that Islam was "an antichrist religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on McCain to repudiate Parsley's endorsement. A McCain spokesman says the senator rejects the remarks and adds that it's entirely inconsistent with what McCain believes. But the campaign is not rejecting the endorsement at the moment.
Jury awards televangelist's granddaughter $2 million in Trinity Broadcasting molestation scandal 06/06/2017
Salem pastor resigns after church investigates claims of sexual misconduct by him, 3 others 03/08/2018
Measles cases put Texas megachurch under scrutiny 08/31/2013
Parsley and McCain relationship appears political, not spiritual 05/15/2008
Grandmother of 13 siblings found captive in Southern California home: ‘They are the sweetest family’ 01/18/2018
Black Mega Churches: attitudes towards corporal punishment and perceived guilt or innocence 08/19/2015
Here are the pastors and televangelists that I have found and know of that own or use Private Jets that are supposedly owned by their ministry Jared Bartholomew 07/27/2008
Dr. Who? – Televangelists With Fake Educations and Degrees 08/19/2015
Megachurch youth leader sentenced to eight months for sexual relationship with minor 02/21/2018
Alabama youth pastor Acton Bowen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know 04/11/2018 Acton Bowen, 37, was arrested Tuesday on charges of second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree sex abuse, AL.com reports. Bowen, a married author, public speaker, minister and founder of Acton Bowen Outreach, lives in Southside, Alabama, in Etowah County.
Nashville pastor molested at least 8 children during 20 years as church leader, police say 03/31/2018
Founder of Florida's largest ‘megachurch’ accused of molesting four-year-old 11/15/2017
Donald Trump’s saving grace: Televangelists 09/30/2015
Televangelist with Trump ties: 'Jesus himself gave us the flu shot' 02/07/2018 The Copelands were among the more than two dozen advisers on the Trump campaign's advisory board. Ahead of the 2016 election, Kenneth Copeland said that Christians who don't vote for Trump "are going to be guilty of murder," are "guilty of an abomination to God," and are "guilty of every baby that's aborted," in video posted by Right Wing Watch.
Suspect in megachurch shooting waives first court appearance 10/24/2012 Police said Palmer was a former employee at World Changers Church International. He resigned from his position as a maintenance worker in August, citing personal reasons.
Debunking Megachurch Myths: Especially the One About Sheep Swapping 02/22/2013
How a Megachurch Melts Down 09/07/2014
Wikipedia: New Life Church (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Megachurch pastor resigns from Trump’s evangelical council 08/18/2017
Hawaii Megachurch Accused of Human Trafficking and Using Violence to Raise Money 03/30/2018
The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch 02/14/2016 C.J. Mahaney
Wikipedia: Ted Haggard
Andy Savage, Memphis Pastor in Sex Abuse Scandal Takes Leave of Absence as Criticism Mounts 01/15/2018
Eddie Long, Georgia megachurch pastor embroiled in scandal, dies 01/15/2017
How This Megachurch Is Impacting a Gang-Infested Community 11/30/2017
The following are some articles about lies used to lead us into past wars, establishing a pattern of behavior that the vast majority of the public continue to fall for and a few about more lies to lead us into war in Syria; I don't guarantee all of it; however the alternative media has a far better track record than the establishment media which often admits they were wrong after the fact, when it's too late; before quickly burying it in more propaganda and beginning the propaganda for the next war.
Protestants and Frequent Churchgoers Most Supportive of Iraq War 03/16/2006
Faith and War: Conflict for Religious Americans? 11/12/2002
The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack 04/16/2018 Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis
Russia Probably Hid Evidence of a Chemical Attack in Syria, or so We’re Told 04/16/2018
There’s a Good Chance We’re Being Lied to About the Chemical Attack in Syria 04/11/2018
U.S. Intelligence Officials Who Warned About False WMD Claims Before Iraq War Are Now Warning About Baseless Syrian Chemical Weapons Claims 04/13/2018
Experts Skeptical of Claim that Syria Carried Out Chemical Weapons Attack 04/11/2018
The Big Lie About the Libyan War 03/22/2016
Obama's Libya Debacle How a Well-Meaning Intervention Ended in Failure March/April 2015
Hiding US Lies About Libyan Invasion 07/07/2017
US, NATO Lie to Justify Genocide and Destruction in Yugoslavia 03/23/2018
Clinton's speech on Yugoslavia: piling lie upon lie 06/12/1999
Rand Paul On Syria Chemical Attack — Maybe Assad Didn’t Do It 04/17/2018
Rand Paul: 'If you were Assad would you set off chemical weapons? No.' 08/29/2013
"Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game" so don't take my word for this do your own research and come to your own conclusions, instead of switching from following one cult leader to another!
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Some of Trump's arguments about Amazon avoiding taxes are perfectly legitimate, however like most of the times when he makes a rational argument against corporate interests, he manages to distort everything and mix it up with wild unfounded accusations. I've said repeatedly that if the mainstream media really wanted to prevent Trump from getting elected, they could have done so by simply not providing him with adequate media coverage to enable him to get the name recognition he needs to get elected or obsession coverage needed to manipulate the clueless with his demagoguery.
However, even without what some might consider a fringe conspiracy theory, the mainstream media is currently demonstrating how uninformed the majority of the public might be about the way the Post Office and some related businesses work and the basic fundamentals of out economic system.
One of the most fundamental principles of the so-call "free-market" system that we supposedly have, is that if consumers make informed decisions then the most efficient provider of products or services will get the most business and those that can't do as good a job will go out of business.
This is based on the false assumption that consumers are always rational and that they have access to accurate information to make those decisions, both assumptions, which are false.
Another false assumption that the mainstream media has been promoting for decades is that all regulation makes it harder for businesses to provide good or services, using this as a justification to eliminate protections for the environment, workers, consumers, and restrictions on consolidation which creates oligarchies. These regulations might also prevent deceptive advertising; and, when it comes to some businesses including utilities, the shipping industry, and the media, they even enable some business to consolidate to oligarchies and suppress small businesses. Even when it comes to retail they've enabled oligarchies to take over eliminating a real "free enterprise," which I'll get back to below.
In fact, if you watched the news coverage of this subject close enough you might have seen hints of the reason why consumers don't have accurate information to make informed decisions; thanks to trade secrecy laws the public is banned from having full information, even when it's the government running the business; they can negotiate secret deals that might give some unfair advantages to those with political connections.
Some of this is subtly indicated in the following article from the Washington Post, which even though it's owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, provides a little more information than most of the mainstream media about the subject, although not enough:
Why doesn't anyone "other than Amazon and the Postal Service, almost nobody — including Trump — know for sure what the revenue from the contract" is?
It's almost certainly because what even deal they came to is almost certainly secrets, and anyone with knowledge about it probably signed one of those "non-disclosure" contracts we've been hearing so much about in recent sex scandals. These contracts are probably much more common in regular business dealings than they are with sex scandals, but even when it comes to a business that is owned by tax payers we're not allowed to know what is in the deals signed on our behalf; therefore we can't know for certain whether or not Amazon is getting a deal that most of us could never get enabling them to consolidate their monopoly and defend it from small competitors that might want to get into the market.
However there is enough propaganda to make it seem otherwise, including a recent conversation on Morning Joe that is part of the senseless gabbing to make it seem as if this secrecy is justified, mostly by quickly skipping over any hint that they might be negotiating deals to give some businesses an advantage over others.
Joe Scarborough ridiculed Trump by saying that Amazon pays the same rate the rest of us do; he made this claim in an excited way repeating it over and over but it doesn't appear to be true. Steve Ratner, seemed to know this and although he didn't call Scarborough out he hinted at it no more than a minute or two later by saying that if they negotiated a better deal they would be required by law not to sell below costs, which the article from the Washington Post seems to confirm. Then Eugene Robinson added that if the Post Office decided to charge them more they could take their business elsewhere, without reviewing the basic principles of the shipping industry or mentioning possible secret contracts, which the Washington Post hints at by saying that few people know what Amazon is paying.
Unlike an enormous amount of anti-regulation propaganda that the public has been listening to for decades the basic fundamentals of many industries, is almost never discussed in the mainstream media; if it was it would explain why competition doesn't work in many industries, which is why they were introduced as either government owned industries, or subsidized industries, with what we hope are reasonable regulation to look out for the best interests of the general public.
The law mentioned by the Washington Post article is cited as part of the evidence to indicate that they couldn't possibly be losing money; however that doesn't guarantee that they're not getting an unfair advantage over the competition; and a few other comments that were mentioned briefly by the media in the first day or two implies that they might just be doing that. Some of the pundits mentioning this law said mentioned the possibility that the amount they charge Amazon can't be below cost, they allowed for the possibility that it might be enough to cover all delivery costs, including as the Washington Post puts it "an appropriate share of the common, or 'institutional,' costs;" however the law doesn't require deals to provide their share of the retirement plans for postal workers. We have no way of knowing if this is the case since any contracts they might have made are secret; however if it is it could give them an advantage over the competition by shifting the cost of these retirement funds; or it could be used as part of an effort to slowly chip away at the retirement funds putting them into a crisis as happens in many 401 retirement funds.
Another example that the Post Office has been given to some oligarchies, including Amazon, is there recent advertising campaign where they promote themselves for providing services for other businesses by showing the postal worker lift their door with the Postal logo and close it with the logo of some of the most popular industries shipping their products through the mail. This is an obvious product placement ad which gives an advantage to the oligarchies over small businesses. Most people don't recognize this for one of the many seemingly small and subtle advantages the government gives to oligarchies.
This isn't the fault of postal workers, or customers, of course, but the decisions aren't made by them; they're made by politicians taking campaign contributions from oligarchies or those appointed by them.
The Post Office is one of the industries that don't work based on entirely competition, if at all, despite corporate propaganda to the contrary, others include utilities where start up costs are too high and businesses wouldn't go into it unless they got some assurance that they would be able to make a profit from the government, which they received in return for regulations protecting the public. It also includes the shipping, media, airplane, and space exploration industries, which have major advantages thanks to some of those regulations and in some cases, including electricity or cable television, especially, in rural areas or space exploration they never would have begun without some form of government subsidies.
These industries all have high start up costs so small businesses can never hope to break into the market and compete; and there are additional factors that the "market" can never handle, without reasonable regulations, including safety, pollution, or other forms of fraud, especially if they provide trade secrecy laws instead of disclosure laws to prevent the public from having access to the information they need to make informed decisions. This is especially important when oligarchies negotiate among themselves to give each other advantages that can put small businesses, that often provide better service or more innovation, out of business, or force them to support larger oligarchies to avoid anti-competitive activities.
One of the most important regulations that they should require is disclose laws that would prevent oligarchies that get advantages from the government or monopoly shares of the market to prevent them from participating in fraudulent anti competitive practices or hide human rights abuses or environmental destruction that we all have to pay for. Instead of passing disclose laws the government often does the opposite with trade secrecy laws!
This is especially important when it comes to the media, which controls the information we sue to make decisions. Robert McChesney explained a lot of this in The Problem of the Media and Rich Media, Poor Democracy.
One of the problems that McChesney pointed out is that when it comes to books or media stories they don't always respond to the market, as most economists try to claim, or at least imply, if they avoid direct claims. In many cases when there is greater demand for books that might educate the public about corporate fraud the media provides much less promotion for those books, while providing an enormous amount for books that provide deceptive propaganda, including "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News," by Bernard Goldberg which I was able to find much easier when I first looked into the subject years ago, and Bernard Goldberg has gotten much more media coverage, mainly from Fox News than Robert McChesney, and on the rare occasions that McChesney is mentioned by the media he's often ridiculed as a "Communist" or something. When I looked at Gold berg's book I didn't even get past the first chapter before I realized how bad it was and tried another one on the subject from someone I had never heard of before, which was McChesney, "The Problem of the Media."
McChesney and other authors including Ben Bagdikian have documented how the corporate media lobbied for preferential treatment going back, at least to the 1920s when they first established regulations for radio that later extended to television. They reported on the history of how educators tried to get some requirements from the media to provide some good public education in return for their rights to use public airways without charging for it. They managed to get some concessions, although corporate interests with connections to politicians, kept them to a minimum from the beginning.
However starting in the eighties when they eliminated the "Fairness Doctrine," which required opposing views to have some air time, even if those opposing views were selected by the elites as well it was better than nothing; and the consolidation of the media began to escalate. This got even worse during the Clinton years, when he managed to get so-called liberals to support the same media consolidation they opposed when Reagan and Bush tried to push it though.
To make a long story short, all accountability has been eliminated from the mainstream media, now that the vast majority of it has consolidated into six oligarchies and the biggest remaining media outlets, like the Washington Post, are owned by billionaires, often with ties to other oligarchies, like Amazon and the CIA.
The truth according to the commercial media is treated almost like a commodity and they can negotiate secret rates with other oligarchies to give them advantages; but trade secrecy laws prevent the public from knowing about it. This has enabled the largest oligarchies to consolidate over the past thirty years so there is no free market, any more just propaganda repeated over and over again when the oligarchies that divide up the economy pretend to compete against each other.
Now in addition to giving Amazon an advantage, from the post office, the government, and the media, they're making Jeff Bezos look good by comparison by arranging for him to argue with the worst demagogue elected to office in recent memory, if not ever, without reminding the public that Trump never could have gotten elected if they hadn't given him obsession coverage instead of covering a much more diverse group of honest candidates that don't collect bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions.
They've been using the same propaganda tactic to make blocking the merger between AT&T and Time Warner seem like political retaliation for what they try to portray as their brave coverage challenging the Trump administration. This propaganda is distracting from the obvious that the media has already merged way to much. The reason they created the First Amendment in the first place, as many of us were taught in school, is to prevent Kings, Emperors, or other small groups of corporations from controlling all the media enabling them to censor educational information they don't like, which is exactly what has happened thanks to consolidation that has already happened and the merger Trump is resisting is making it even worse; and at the same time the mergers, past and perhaps more in the present or future from corporations like the Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation are also adding to this.
Good investigative reporters have to struggle to get funds or find jobs working for some of the few, lower profile media outlets that occasionally report on some of the most important news, often buried in some of the best non-fiction books that get little or no promotional help from the mainstream media; including Naomi Klein and Stacy Mitchell, who have both reported on how slotting fees are used to ensure that large retail outlets only deal with other oligarchies preventing competition. Naomi Klein has also reported about how some of the clothing supposedly made by competing manufacturers have been made in the same sweatshops on occasion, often in so-called "free-trade zones," which are actually areas in the third world where they avoid taxes and prevent any protection of human rights for the workers.
When ever human rights advocates find these sweatshops they close up and move to where rights are not protect thanks to secrecy laws. Stacy Mitchell has also reported on an enormous amount of the anti-competitive practices used by Amazon or Walmart, among other oligarchies far more accurately than Donald Trump, who occasional mixes up accurate facts with lies, does.
One of the most outrageous things about the so-called "free-market system" that economists chosen by politicians and covered by the media is that these economists aren't subject to the market at all, despite all their propaganda!
Have you ever hired an economist?
If you did hire an economist would you hire someone that thinks growing subsidized cotton in the United States; and shipping it halfway around the world; so they can take advantage of sweatshop labor to suppress wages; before shipping it back through complicated distribution networks, instead of factory direct, is efficient?
If you had a choice and other economists at least pointed out the obvious fact that we can't have an economic system if we don't maintain an environment that sustains life would you pick the same ones the establishment picks?
Of course there are more details than that but most of us can't even have any say in how the economy at all; instead we're given a small group of people with the same ideology to chose from; and even if a small percentage of us object the majority accepts this absurd selection.
What the majority of the public may not be aware of is that there are better economists available and even some people with basic sense that don't have degrees in economics that do a far better job reporting on the problems of our economic system and ways to fix it like promoting a steady state economy like Bill McKibben has recommended. Some of these people point out incredibly obvious flaws like when you pay lobbyists and advertisers much more because they deceive the public than you do workers in manufacturing or providing services that improve quality of life there's something wrong with the economic system!
I Quit Working For Sinclair And They Sued Me. Here’s Why I’m Fighting Back. 04/06/2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
The most recent active shooter obsession du jour seems relatively minor compared to many other shootings with a massive body count; however, although few people seem to have noticed, Brian Williams causally admitted the potential threat to our democratic process when he said something like, "Everyone is assumed to be a suspect, until proven to be otherwise."
With the excitement about another active shooters in breaking news keeping a few people glued to the TV, (although since there were fewer deaths they might have gotten bored with it quickly) few people might have noticed how accurate this statement is and that it has become routine during news stories about all these active shooting incidents. It's bad enough that people in the area of these shootings have their lives threatened but they also have to be treated like criminals, or so the media and political establishment would have us think.
I don't want to go into some fringe conspiracy theory like Alex Jones does on InfoWars or Jade Helm, which turned out to be nothing, or so it seems; and the most effective solution to this problem shouldn't involve such absurd things; instead it should involve rational research to address the root causes of violence and prevent them like they do in many other developed countries that are much less likely to have these problems. However I went into these causes more in numerous articles including Prevention of violence has to address all causes, not just Guns! and Marketing Failed Solutions To Shootings for Profit? Or Propaganda? and so have other good researchers on alternative media outlets but the closest thing that the traditional media or political establishment comes up with is obsession coverage about gun control, which, as pointed out in previous articles, may be part of the solution, but it's not the only contributing factor to violence, nor is it the most important.
However the only thing the mainstream media seems to come up with, bedsides the gun control debate which goes in circles without accomplishing anything, is more preparation for treating potential shootings like a combat situation that can't be avoided without creating a police state and as Parkland Students who have been given donated see-through backpacks rightfully pointed out these solutions are stupid, and not likely to solve the problem.
In addition to the total lack of coverage for many of the most important contributing causes, and regular active shooting incidents, which I'll go into a little more below, we're approaching the five year anniversary of the Boston Bombings, when for those of you who have forgotten, the city of Watertown was put into a virtual state of martial law. Radley Balko warned us that if this isn't addressed, it could be come standard operating procedure, and even though it hasn't yet nothing has been done to change things since he wrote the following article in the Washington Post four years ago shortly after the first anniversary of the bombing and state of martial law:
As I said I usually don't rely on InfoWars as a leading source but in one of the rare cases where they did a better job pointing out the extremes the government has gone to they documented some pictures from this event that most people may have forgotten in InfoWars: BATTLEFIELD USA: De Facto State of Martial Law Declared In Boston *Pics From the War Zone* 04/20/2013 Radley Balko pointed out that according to one poll 86 percent of the public in Boston supported these extreme measures, and there was an enormous amount of support for what was considered heroic activity by the mayor, police chief, and the rest of the police department. However, they might not be so supportive if they were reminded of how some police went into a panic and shot up innocent vehicles when searching for Christopher Dorner, as Radley Balko pointed out in his article and another one cited. this is just one of hundreds if not thousands of incidents that alternative media outlets have reported, including Radley Balko, who is one of the few to get his reporting in as high a profile newspaper as the Washington Post.
Radley Balko and others go into more details about how this is an extreme measure when confronted with violence; however the most important problem isn't that they go to extremes when they face a terrorist attack or active shooter; it's that the United States government and media doesn't educate the public about the contributing causes of violence and how to prevent them before it escalates to this extreme. In Europe they don't have one of the 50 cities with the highest murder rates in the world of all cities not at war, with a population of at least 300,000 people (Wikipedia); the United Stated has four, five if you count one of the cities in Puerto Rico, which is part of the United States although they don't have representation. All but three, in south Africa, of the other forty-five cities with the highest murder rates are in South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, which numerous United States politicians, including John Kerry, have referred to as our "Backyard;" however after leaders from Latin America expressed outrage about this reference, he reconsidered and declared that "The era of the Monroe Doctrine," which has been used to justify interference rarely reported accurately in traditional press "is over."
The traditional media and, in most cases the educational system, practically never provide accurate reporting on either our government's activities that has been destabilizing Latin America, or the contributing causes of violence at home including in many abandoned inner cities, that have much higher rates of violence than the rest of the country. There are over one-hundred-twenty-five cities with more than twice the national average murder rates, often three to five times average or more; these cities have little or no economic or educational opportunities, nor do they have much political influence.
These cities also have more than their share of mass shootings. You would think that there would be some effort to figure out what is wrong in these cities that is contributing to high violence; but, although there is plenty of research, in the academic world, or on alternative media outlets, little or none of this is reported in the mainstream media!
There are some times where the people from these cities know more about the causes of high crime than the majority of the public; however, this is not always the case, partly because they might not have the educational background to recognize some of the most important long term causes. However the political and media establishment is typically reluctant to listen to them at all, nor are they likely to listen to better educated researchers that try to help them figure out the causes of violence.
The recent shooting in Parkland Florida is an exception since it is in a wealthy city that rarely ever gets many murders or violence. They've allowed the students from that high school to get an enormous amount of coverage; however, mostly only when they focus on the same things the media covers. On a few occasions they did try to cover additional contributing causes, including one brief discussion where they indicated they also supported efforts by minorities in dangerous cities to increase funding for their education system, but this wasn't reported nearly as widely as the debate on gun control. Besides, before these kids were survivors of a school shooting they're weren't any more inclined to look into the subject than anyone else, so it would be expected that many of them might repeat the same propaganda that the media drills into their head, instead of doing their own research.
I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the Parkland survivors and their families researched additional contributing causes and attempted to draw attention to them; however, if they do then the media might be inclined to stop covering them like they do all other good researchers.
This includes Diane Ravitch, who once had access to numerous presidential administrations going back decades, including the George H. W. Bush administration where she worked for his Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander; however when she stopped supporting the education reform movement supported by both political parties, and large portions of corporate America, including many economists, lawyers, and business executives, but few if any teachers, except for those like Michelle Rhee that were recruited specifically to promote this reform movement, they stopped covering her at all, and when they felt obligated to mention her, as a result of popular support they treat her as fringe.
When she wrote "The Death and Life of the Great American School System" (2010) and "Reign of Error" (2013) she became a pariah within the political establishment; because she exposed that the modern school reform movement was about increasing corporate control of education, often through use of Charter Schools, that are often for profit, while cutting costs to lower income children. This educational reform movement has been supported by both political parties and it's been given an enormous amount of coverage on the mainstream media favoring supporters, while critics are relegated to the fringe, or alternative media outlets that don't reach the vast majority of the public.
One of the states that had the biggest increases in reliance on Charter Schools is Michigan where Betsy Devos is from and this is a result of her support and help from her allies; however the areas where it has been increased the most have been disastrous for education and it's also been a disaster for crime and violence, since the cities that have increased use of Charter Schools the most also have the highest rates of violence or murder, including Detroit which is among the worst cities in the country with murder rates more than forty per hundred thousand, which is eight times the national average. Additional cities that have also increased their reliance on Charter Schools are also among the most violent in the nation and often have the biggest scandals involving cheating.
This includes Atlanta, Washington D.C. Birmingham, Columbus, and New Orleans, among others. Diane Ravitch has recently reported more about additional scandals in Florida where many of the legislatures are married to woman on boards of these Charter Schools, many which might be for profit.
I could go on much longer, and at times I already have; but the bottom line is as long as they continue to ignore the most rational solutions, based on the best research then these shootings aren't going to be reduced much if at all.
They've already used this as an excuse to infringe on the rights of those in local areas and are constantly trying to push legislation that deprives the public of their privacy, the assumption of innocence, and additional constitutional rights!
It's hard to take Trump seriously, or to imagine why the political establishment gave him the media coverage that he needed but it's clear that they did, for one insane reason or another. As long as they continue to rule out solutions that shouldn't be controversial and promote those that are guaranteed to fail, this can only end bad, unless more people from the grassroots wake up, including the educators that are standing up for their rights in schools across the country and many more efforts to hold the political establishment accountable.
The following are additional sources on the subject:
US Mass Shootings, 1982-2018: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation UPDATED: MARCH 10, 2018 additional updates are semi-routine A large portion of these shootings take place in cities with more than double the national murder rates. These cities include at least six or eight percent of the population but no more than eleven or twelve yet they account for more than their share of mass shootings.
Mass shootings in the US: there have been 1,624 in 1,870 days 02/15/2018
Florida: Legislators’ Wives Are Opening Charter Schools 04/02/2018 By Diane Ravitch
Florida: Charter School in Financial Chaos 04/04/2018 By Diane Ravitch
America’s Most Outrageous Teacher Cheating Scandals 04/01/2013 Most of these scandals are in cities with well above average murder rates and high poverty rates as well. New York is the only one where the murder rates are dropping steadily; but the report on that cheating scandal indicates it's exaggerated. Los Angeles is almost double the national average murder rate; and Columbus is more than double; Chicago, Ill., Birmingham Al., Atlanta Ga., and Washington D.C. are all at least three times the national murder rates. The Texas schools caught cheating weren't specified but a search of the internet indicates that they include Houston and Dallas which are both more than double the national average murder rate and El Paso which is half the national average murder rate.
The majority of these cheating scandals are in areas where income is relatively low and presumably class size and funding per student is also low; however there's good reason to believe that funding for prisons and courts are much higher in these cities; which is what creates the "School to Prison Pipeline," as many people call it. This conclusion is supported by both Diane Ravitch's books and Jonathan Kozol's as well as many other alternative media outlets, although it's ignored by traditional media and the political establishment.
Diane Ravitch Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools (2013)
Diane Ravitch The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (2010)
US protests against Bolivia's decision to expel USAID 05/01/2013
Kerry declares the end of the Monroe Doctrine era 11/18/2013
Monday, April 2, 2018
For a while it seemed as if this might be the lowest number of shootings Walmart had in years but in the second half of the month they had enough shootings to catch up and have as many as they've been having in several years with at least ten shootings related to activities at Walmart, although three of them didn't happen on the premises the shooter was involved in crimes shortly before at Walmart. Three of these shootings resulted in deaths including an officer involved shooting, and there were five more injuries plus additional damage to property; another one of the shootings that took place off the premises was also a retired police officer that was pursuing the alleged shoplifter.
In addition to the regular gunshots someone fired a flare gun at the store after getting into an argument with employees, and was arrested at gunpoint by the police. Another suspect tried to steal a BB gun for self defense at a homeless shelter where he was living and threatened to shoot the employee with it when confronted. At least three more angry customers threatened to either blow up the store or shoot it up and there was at least one more person that left a knapsack and saying that they would find out what was in it when it blew up, although the report didn't indicate his motive or whether it was anger over bad service, perceived or real.
Another person who was in a stand-off in a house after killing people somehow managed to escape the stand-off go shopping at Walmart for trivial unrelated things before returning to the home where the police stand off was still going on and finishing it by being killed by the police. I don't know if he was armed at Walmart but nothing happened there, although he was caught on tape so this is verified.
I did not make this stuff up, it's Walmart.
There were at least an additional gun related crimes, including one that led to an active shooters scare even though there were no actual shots, another where the Trump administration prosecuted someone for lying to buy a gun, and one where they simply decided they would flash their weapons as part of a right to bear arms demonstration most other incidents were armed robberies.
Several additional cities have reported on crime problems at their stores, including at least two where they have to cut back on police services due to high crime problems at Walmart. One of these towns, Raytown Missouri lured Walmart to their area with tax breaks, before finding out that thirty percent of their crime problem is at their store, but they don't pay taxes to fund it so they have to cut back on police services to other areas. Atlanta Georgia also is announcing that they will no longer respond to all shoplifting calls due to lack of resources. This will impact the small business the worst, since they can't afford their own security, possibly giving Walmart another competitive advantage to increase market share even though their stores have proven to increase poverty and crime according to many studies.
A story about a third store with high crime problems said they don't discuss internal policies, apparently even when the breaks they get from government and their policies increase crime. This is almost certainly the same policy at other stores as well, although they avoid making public statements about it. Without discussing how their policies increase crime they use another policy in Florida which is designed to shame the poor often before they're even convicted by posting everyone suspected of shoplifting on Facebook. This has been tried by Walmart before, usually in the South and proven to be a failure, yet they rarely if ever admit to their obvious blunders.
In addition to the three people shot to death there were also three more people that were killed as a result crashes or one women who was dragged by a car and died, and a seventh person killed in a motor home that was engulfed in flames. One of the gun related deaths appears to be a suicide, and the one where it was set on fire and another where an elderly person drove into several cars at a high speed before ramming into the store appear suspicious, although they weren't declared suicides. There were a total of at least twelve chases crashes or other auto accidents, including one where an employee totaled a car brought in for service, and a carjacking along with several chases as a result of shoplifting's one of which was previously mentioned involving a shooting.
Another incident involved multiple vehicles catching fire and there were at least four additional fires with three of them arson, two by children, and the fourth was a massive fire on the roof where solar panels caught fire. They had another major brawl caught on camera that went viral, and four knife attacks including one where a person was stabbed and another where a man attempted to kidnap two toddlers, the others were robberies. There was at least a couple other kidnapping, one of of a child who barely escaped another of a woman who was raped at a nearby hotel afterwards.
A police officer and jailer were both charged with shoplifting and another police officer was implicated in a hit and run; a couple other officers where attacked while trying to detain shoplifters.
Walmart also had another shopping cart located with razor blades in it; most of these stories don're report the reason for it but one previous one reported it was convenient for shoplifters to use them to cut the wrapper without being noticed which is why this happens so often. Police found pipe bombs at a Walmart in Colorado at about the same time they were going off in in Austin, although these didn't go off or get nearly as much attention.
There were also a variety of assaults, including one where a man with the strange tattoo on his face got in an argument with his girlfriend and his face went viral, robberies, including one where a man may have been dressed as a woman, porn pictures of children, numerous bomb threats and suspicious packages, and a missing veteran that they claim isn't suspicious even though he left his car at Walmart without explanation.
Walmart had at least two more recalls this month of a high chair that has a fall hazard for children, and an instant pot with a fire hazard. Walmart is also being sued for age discrimination for raising the age to sell guns, their part is distribution of explicit photos of one of their workers, and a whistle blower that claims they were cheating in their competition with Amazon; a judge has cleared the way for them to develop a rare and endangered forest but that's being appealed.
Walmart is increasing their attempts to monopolize a large number of industries going beyond retail with deals with efforts to offer meal kits, assemble furniture, buy cannabis, or at least the products used to grow it, booze and even cars at Walmart. Their efforts at servicing cars have led to a long list of disasters including the car crashed this month and many more where they totaled many cars or engines.
There efforts to control more of the health care industry is also increasing with a deal to offer dental care in Texas which they want to expand nationwide, efforts to offer gift cards for blood donations, and talks about buying Humana health insurance. It's hard to imagine how this wouldn't turn into a disaster especially when they're already being sued by Florida and other states for their part in the Opioid crisis and the FDA is also asking them to restrict sales.
Walmart is collecting a lot of patents at a growing rate indicating that they want to use their access to technology to even further advance their control of the economy including more patents or increased use various scan and go shopping technology, even though their past experiments with self-check out have led to massive increases in shoplifting, often with the legal expenses paid for by taxpayers. They also have self-scanning robots in their aisles and their filing patents for shopping assistants with computerized carts and even drone bees to replace real bees which are dying off. This sets a potential dangerous precedent similar to Monsanto where they're using their patents on seeds to eliminate natural seeds that have been previously available for millions of years for free.
They're also creating an alliance with Google which would farther consolidate control of the economic system under fewer oligarchies or even a monopoly. Some of their customers have said that some of their new technology, including robots are "a little scary," while others are more concerned with elimination of jobs and reduced service. They're trying to improve freshness with I phone technology, although if they can't fix their problems with old fashion technology while small businesses have done much better, and other technologies they've added have back fired it's hard to imagine this will do better.
Another consumer advocate tried comparing Amazon and Walmart and found problems with both; but some of the biggest problems are only reported locally including a store that had 22 food violations, which is very common, although reporting it is usually low profile.
What I less common, I hope, is for consumers to buy cereal without noticing until after they eat it that the expiration date is twenty-one years ago!
Apparently Walmart decided to eliminate Cosmopolitan at the check out for being to sexy.
Perhaps what's more surprising is that anyone cares; but some are outraged because they eliminated others are praising Walmart and Jesus.
There are no reports of Walmart never even considering educational material at the check out that might improve quality of life, or perhaps even teach people about the causes of violence including child abuse and corporal punishment that could escalate to more violence including school shootings.
The sole purpose of our economic and political system is to increase profits for those that are already rich, and considering other options isn't even an option!
Perhaps, that's why strange things happen at Walmart!
In 2006 Wake Up Walmart did a study, "Is Walmart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Walmarts opened up and that crime was higher at Walmart than at other retailers. Since then Walmart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Walmart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Walmart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Walmart high crime rate continues un-investigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.
Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Walmart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Walmart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. One of the responses they’ve come up with is what they call "Restorative Justice" which gives first time shoplifters a chance to avoid being arrested or any criminal record if they take an on line course which costs $400 up front or $500 in payments, plus perhaps, reparations. This has been part of the privatization process and often denies suspects of the due process or access to a lawyer, perhaps even intimidating and extorting from some people that might not even be guilty. Walmart seems to be trying to find a way to turn crime into a profit making situation instead of looking for the most effective ways to reduce it. Making Change at Walmart is asking If you or someone you know has gone through @Walmart's "Restorative Justice" program for first-time suspected shoplifters, send us a DM. 03/30/2017 to ensure that it isn’t doing more harm than good. I did my own review of this program as well at Walmart’s “Restorative Justice” Endangers Public Without Reducing Crime. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in February 2018. According to the "Is Walmart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Walmart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Walmart.
Police: Joliet man arrested for stealing memory card from Ill. Walmart 03/01/2018
KCSO searching for person of interest in Idaho Walmart theft 03/01/2018
Tenn. Walmart parking lot sting nets baby formula theft ring suspect 03/02/2018
Kissimmee Fla. Walmart evacuated due to bomb threat 03/02/2018
Quincy woman arrested for Felony Retail Theft at Ill. Walmart 03/02/2018
11-year-old sexually assaulted in Norfolk Va. Walmart 03/02/2018
Police investigating theft of flat screen TVs from Ga. Walmart 03/02/2018
Two Rob Ca. Walmart of Prepaid Visa Card by Handing Them a Note Threatened to Harm "Subjects on Scene" 03/02/2018
Flint Mich.'s Claressa Shields takes swing at acting in Walmart ad 03/04/2018
Man reports being tackled in Montana Walmart over debt 03/04/2018
Bomb threat triggers evacuation at Las Vegas Nevada Walmart 03/03/2018
Arrest made after apparent overdose in NH Walmart parking lot 03/04/2018
Beaufort SC police need help to identify a man accused of groping women inside Walmart 03/05/2018
Thieves use prepaid Visa cards to scam Nebraska Walmart stores 03/05/2018
Scam leads to $250,000 loss for area Walmart stores; 5 Birmingham Alabama women arrested 03/06/2018
After bomb threat on bathroom stall, Weaverville NC Walmart evacuated, closed for hours 03/06/2018
‘Bluest baby I’ve ever seen’: Strangers at Nebraska Walmart save life of 8-month-old girl 03/06/2018
Teen gets 8 years in prison for snatching purses from elderly women at Ga. Walmart 03/08/2018
Police: NY Walmart employee facing felony charges for stealing electronics 03/07/2018
Sheriff’s crime report: Couple arrested for warrants, meth possession at Missouri Walmart 03/06/2018
Watertown NY police look for man in connection to Walmart theft 03/06/2018
Two Arrested and Two Wanted in Milford Del. Walmart Shoplifting Investigation 03/07/2018
Arrest made in Greenville Ohio Walmart robbery 03/07/2018
Walmart heiress Alice Walton retakes top 'Forbes' spot as world's richest woman 03/07/2018
Cobb woman to serve 15 years for running over man she met at Ga. Walmart 03/07/2018
#Walmartoftheskies video goes viral after a brawl on Southwest Airlines flight 03/07/2018
19-year-old woman charged with Aug. 2017 murder of man in Ky. Walmart parking lot 03/07/2018
Police: Man faces charges after exposing himself at Tenn. Walmart 03/08/2018
Police say man pretended to be disabled, stole from Tx. Walmart 03/08/2018
Southridge Centre WV Walmart rolls out grocery pickup option 03/08/2018
Tx. Walmart Feb. parking lot hit-and-run case transferred to different APD unit 03/08/2018
Police searching for man suspected of stealing mobile printer from Walmart in south Oklahoma City 03/08/2018
Walmart Hands Out Bonuses Up to $1,000 ($20 a week) To Employees 03/08/2018
12-year-old Michigan girl gets candy product into Walmart 03/09/2018 Certainly sounds good but is it obvious propaganda?
Possible cloned credit card used at Ohio Walmart 03/09/2018
La. Walmart reopens after bomb threat 03/08/2018
Woodhaven Mich. police wait outside Walmart for woman seen with box cutter stealing 03/08/2018
Woman arrested for stealing from Walmart in Dearborn Mich. 03/08/2018
Women suspected of stealing from Wisc. Walmart gave officer fake names, police say 03/09/2018
Police: Man Steals Almost $6K In Merchandise From Indiana Co. Pa. Walmart 03/09/2018
Trial of man involved in Me. Walmart shootout begins 03/09/2018
Suspected shoplifter flees with space heater, makeup from Wal-Mart in Summerfield Fla. 03/09/2018
Off-duty nurse saves overdose victim at Pennsylvania Walmart 03/09/2018
Walmart bars customers from buying too many items online — and it's losing sales as a result 03/09/2018
Man indicted in DUI-related death, injury of WV Walmart pedestrians 03/09/2018
Alleged Minn. Walmart thief charged 03/09/2018
Rowan County Ky. Sheriff Investigating Possible Stalking At Walmart 03/11/2018
North Reading Mass. Walmart closed due to sewage leak 03/11/2018
Police ask for help identifying alleged thieves in Pa. Walmart surveillance photos 03/12/2018
Carver woman charged with driving stolen car to Mass. Walmart to break into vehicles 03/12/2018
Former Alabama Walmart employee to plead guilty to stealing over $200,000 by altering time card 03/13/2018
Man threatens employees at west Little Rock Arkansas Walmart, leaves with stolen merchandise 03/12/2018
LaFayette Ga. police searching for suspects in weekend Walmart theft 03/12/2018
Suspect wanted in attempted Tenn. Walmart theft 03/13/2018
Chicopee Mass. Police asking for help to ID woman involved in Walmart theft 03/13/2018
NM Walmart worker suspected of stealing more than $2,500 from registers 03/13/2018
Nebraska Walmart shoplifting suspect was carrying drugs, loaded gun 03/13/2018
Queens couple scammed by ‘puppy seller’ using NY Walmart money transfer 03/13/2018
Jury deliberates in trial of NY man charged in connection with Me. Walmart Shooting 03/13/2018
Upland Ca. police don safety gear for shoplifting arrest at Walmart 03/12/2018
Dapper thief passes 11 counterfeit $20 bills at Muskego Wisc. Walmart 03/14/2018
New York man convicted on charges linked to firing gun at Augusta Me. Walmart parking lot 03/14/2018
18 federally indicted in Flint Mich. for Walmart prepaid card scam 03/14/2018
LOCK 'EM UP: Walmart store locks up laundry detergent pods after viral challenge 03/14/2018
Deputies looking for pair after woman’s credit card number used at NC Walmarts 03/14/2018
Female shopper claims man exposed himself to her inside Pa. Walmart 03/14/2018
3 Moreno Valley men arrested following 4 Ca. Walmart burglaries, Rancho Cucamonga chase 03/14/2018
Accused car thieves found, arrested at Fla. Walmart 03/14/2018
Jackson Tenn. police seek to ID subjects in Walmart thefts 03/14/2018
Austin Tx. police investigated package found near northwest Austin Walmart 03/14/2018
OPD investigating Tx. Walmart theft 03/14/2018
Dalton Tenn. police looking for man who allegedly stole wallet from Walmart parking lot 03/14/2018
Dickson Tenn. Walmart parking lot meth lab busted after shoplifter pursuit 03/15/2018
Mattoon man charged with stealing car from Ill. Walmart parking lot 03/15/2018
Madison Alabama Walmart cleared after bomb threat 03/15/2018
Juvenile charged in Madison Walmart bomb threat 03/16/2018
Milford Man Arrested Following Multiple Shoplifting Incidents at Del. Walmart 03/15/2018
Arkansas immigration activist harassed in Walmart parking lot 03/15/2018
Thousands of Dollars Worth of Electronics Stolen from Walmart in Schuylkill County Pa. 03/16/2018
Sexual Assault: Former Abilene Tx. Walmart employee accused of soliciting teen shopping with parents 03/15/2018
Accused peeping Tom charged a 5th time: now at Cicero NY Walmart; DA wants prison 03/16/2018
Charlotte County Fla. police searching for suspected Wal-Mart thief 03/16/2018
Man yells racially-charged words at family outside Bryant Arkansas Walmart 03/16/2018
NY Walmart employee turns in man charged with possessing weapons cache 03/17/2018
Drug sting goes down in Tx. Walmart 03/16/2018
NY Walmart shenanigans result in nine criminal charges and seven traffic violations 03/16/2018
Box-cutter-wielding robbery suspect outside Stafford Va. Walmart arrested 03/16/2018
Arkansas woman accused of trying to steal knives from Walmart, shoving employee 03/16/2018
Bomb Threat Reported at Walmart in Mount Pocono Pa. 03/17/2018
Police search for suspects in connection with stealing cell phones from Va. Walmart 03/17/2018
Grass fire near Pueblo Colorado Walmart burns several acres 03/17/2018
Woman who fled Great Falls Mointaqna Walmart cited for shoplifting, drug possession 03/18/2018
Crews investigate possible gas leak at recently reopened Beavercreek Ohio Walmart 03/18/2018
Man collapses at Walmart in Millcreek Pa., officials offer free AED training to employees 03/16/2018
Sisters charged with shoplifting from NY Walmart 03/19/2018
George Jr. escapee climbs onto NY Walmart roof 03/19/2018
‘You paid by serving my country’: Man pays for veteran’s groceries in Iowa Walmart line 03/19/2018
Suspect who allegedly robbed woman at Ohio Walmart on Possum Run picked up in Alabama 03/19/2018
Shoplifting spree at Raynham Mass. Walmart 03/19/2018
2 from Marion arrested in Manchester Iowa Walmart thefts 03/19/2018
Police: Woman who stole from Wash. Walmart struggled with employees, arrested on assault charges 03/20/2018
Mondragon arrested after allegedly shoplifting at Montana Walmart 03/18/2018
Attempted robbery in Fresno Ca. Walmart parking lot, police say 03/18/2018
After Hurricane Maria, fuel requests by Walmart stores in Puerto Rico went unanswered 03/20/2018
Raleigh NC woman finds wedding rings at Walmart, looking for rightful owner 03/20/2018
Employee charged with stealing rings from Ill. Walmart 03/20/2018
SAPD looking for WalMart Aggravated Robbery suspect 03/20/2018
Report: Yulee man caught masturbating at Fla. Walmart 03/20/2018
Man accused of stealing electronics from Tallahassee Fla. Walmart 03/21/2018
Second person arrested at Elkhart Ind. Walmart named 03/22/2018
Suspect arrested in Monday's bomb threat at the Opelousas La. Walmart 03/20/2018
Union SC man falsely reports hostages held at Walmart 03/19/2018
Police searching for suspect in Punta Gorda Fla. Wal-Mart Shoplift 03/21/2018
Lexington SC Police looking for Walmart shoplifters 03/21/2018
Man In Custody Following Ky. Walmart Robbery 03/22/2018
Man jailed for role in $12K Walmart robbery in Upper Merion Pa. 03/21/2018
Kanawha County WV Sheriff's Office Asks for Help Identifying Walmart Theft Suspects 03/21/2018
Police searching for Tx. Walmart theft suspects 03/21/2018
Pa. Walmart Shoplifting suspect sought by police 03/22/2018
Okla. Walmart shoplifting suspect arrested after tazer fails 03/22/2018
Walmart Is Going Upscale, But It Doesn't Mean What You Think 03/22/2018
Crime of the week: Police investigate shoplifting at NM Walmart 03/22/2018
John Crawford shooting: Beavercreek Ohio wants separate trial from Walmart 03/22/2018
Complaint: Thieves ran credit card scams at New Lenox Ill. Walmart 03/22/2018
Tx. Walmart customers stuck in store for hours as officers investigated package no bomb found 03/21/2018
Mason City Iowa woman threatened "to inflict bodily harm" upon two Walmart employees early Tuesday morning 03/22/2018
Broken Arrow Man Accused Of Taking Upskirt Photos At Okla. Walmart 03/23/2018
Two charged in connection with deadly Tenn. Walmart shooting 03/23/2018
Ellicott City Md. man sentenced for Walmart shooting 03/23/2018
Police: Auburn NY Walmart open for business after apparently false report of men with guns 03/24/2018
Onida woman admits scamming Pierre SD Walmart store 03/23/2018
Man accused of NY Walmart thefts 03/23/2018
Police charge Pa. Walmart thief six months after taking $700 in merchandise 03/23/2018 A Lebanon man who police say fled the North Londonderry Township Walmart after staff confronted him for theft last fall has been charged.
Bond set for woman accused of robbing, dragging victim in Ohio Walmart parking lot 03/23/2018
Police: Dahlonega man had stolen merchandise from 10 Ga. stores 03/23/2018
UPDATE: Police search for man who disappeared from Idaho Walmart 03/24/2018
Watertown NY woman charged with petit larceny at Watertown Walmart 03/25/2018
BLOTTER: Man shoplifts meat – lots and lots of meat from Fla. Walmart 03/26/2018
Man accused of robbery in Great Falls Montana Walmart 03/25/2018
Benton, KY Walmart shoplifting suspects wanted 03/24/2018
Man Snaps Bloody Selfie After Lebanon NH Walmart Frozen Food Fight 03/26/2018
Police seek help identifying 5 in Pa. Walmart surveillance photos 03/26/2018
Arnold Missouri PD looking for person of interest in assaults at Walmart 03/26/2018
Police searching for man accused of exposing himself to young females in Ohio Walmart 03/27/2018
Tenn. Walmart clerk delays robber until police arrive 03/27/2018
Man receives 23rd felony conviction after burglarizing Knoxville Tenn. Walmart 03/27/2018
Boys steal knives at Pa. Walmart, but one cuts self and both get caught in Lower Macungie, police say 03/27/2018
St. Marys Ga. Walmart evacuated due to suspicious package 03/25/2018 Bomb technicians had exploded the package and found nothing inside of it.
North Port Police searching for Fla. Walmart suspect 03/27/2018
Beaufort SC police need help to identify this pair, suspected in Walmart theft 03/26/2018
Flooding prompts evacuation of southeast Calgary Canada Walmart 03/27/2018
Teenager Quentin Pamplin sentenced to 8 years in prison for severely beating man in Ind. Walmart 03/27/2018
Police calls for Monday, March 26: Multiple thefts at Minn. Walmart; man throws shoes at cars 03/26/2018
They tried to shoplift from a Biloxi Mississippi Walmart, but only one made it out successfully, cops say 03/27/2018
Three vehicles damaged after vehicle fails to stop in Idaho Walmart parking lot 03/28/2018
Missouri trio arrested for a string of thefts at Holton Kansas Walmart 03/28/2018
Yuma Police Department seeks suspect after armed robbery at Walmart 03/28/2018 The Yuma Police Department is currently searching for a suspect in reference to an armed robbery at a local Walmart on Wednesday night. YPD’s news release states that the department responded to a report of threats with a weapon at the Walmart located at 2501 S. Ave. B at 8:15 p.m.
Man accused of stealing cash from register at Bainbridge Fla. Walmart 03/29/2018
Man accused of grand theft for switching barcodes at SD Walmart 03/28/2018 Between December 2017 and March 12, 22-year-old Bryan Buck is accused of using Walmart's self-checkout without paying full price for several items. Buck would allegedly take the barcodes off inexpensive items and place them on expensive items, according to court documents. He would then go through self-checkout lanes and pay the less expensive prices for the items.
Idaho Falls Mom Describes Scary Walmart Incident 03/28/2018
Shaq Somehow Managed To Spend $70,000 At Walmart 03/29/2018 And we're supposed to believe this isn't an obvious celebrity endorsement at Walmart, where they spend more on propaganda than the workers making products or providing services?
Suspect ID sought in Sylacauga Alabama Walmart robbery 03/29/2018
Neptune NJ Walmart bomb threat came from 11-year-old: Monmouth prosecutor 03/29/2018
Irving Tx. Walmart Reopened After Suspicious Package Deemed Safe 03/29/2018 The bomb squad determined there was no danger
Man who shot good Samaritan at Tx. Walmart Nov. 25, 2016 sentenced to life in prison 03/29/2018
Police arrest suspect in Ariz. Walmart armed robbery 03/29/2018 Yuma police have arrested a man they believe robbed a Yuma Walmart on Wednesday by indicating that he had a gun. The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Abraham Castillo.
Surveillance Video Released In Broken Arrow Okla. Walmart Upskirt Photo Incident 03/30/2018
Couple suspected of fraudulently using stolen credit card at NM Walmart 03/29/2018
Suspect sought in theft of cash from elderly shopper at Cranston RI Walmart 03/29/2018
Glens Falls woman charged with NY Walmart thefts 03/29/2018
Walmart employee faces charges after money missing from registers, Gulfport Mississippi police say 03/30/2018
Baby found alone in car outside Walmart store in N. Harris Co. Tx. 03/30/2018
Pregnancy discrimination suit against Walmart can proceed in Illinois, local judge rules 03/30/2018
Thomaston Maine rejects Walmart’s request for a tax abatement 03/30/2018
Clovis Ca. P.D. arrests two people in a stolen car outside of Walmart 03/3/2018
Ringo Starr Bringing All Starr Band To Walmart AMP 03/30/2018
Ocala Walmart theft suspect busted when cart crashes into door 03/30/2018
Okaloosa County Fla. Sheriff's Office: Karma haunts shoplifting suspect who ran from deputies 03/30/2018
Morganfield Ky. police: Henderson sisters use self-checkout to shoplift 03/30/2018
3 arrested in connection to recent Holton Missouri Walmart thefts 03/31/2018
Two arrested in Wisc. Walmart theft Saturday, police say 03/31/2018
Police investigating southside Alabama Walmart bomb threat that led to evacuation 03/31/2018