Thursday, September 26, 2013

Union Busting adds to corrupt bureaucracy and incites crime

Union Busting Lawyer

If it costs more to bust the union than it does to make a reasonable deal with the union then you would think it might be defeating the purpose.

Unfortunately business owners have a long history of doing this anyway if they think they can profit from it, or in some cases, perhaps, even if they don't, assuming they won't lose to much. It often seems as if it might be more important to maintain control than it is to make a profit. This is more effective if a relatively small number of people have dominant control of the economic system as I attempted to explain in my previous post, Corporate bureaucrats are robbing us blind, which covers additional ways corrupt corporations are committing fraud and passing on their expenses to consumers without benefit. In the nineteenth century they often shipped in a large number of immigrants, at a large expense, to avoid negotiating with unions. Then the government or the corporations often had to hire armed men to maintain order when the workers organized. Now they create complex distribution systems so that they can ship jobs overseas. Then they have to ship the merchandise back and they often have to deal with multiple subcontractors all to avoid giving workers good wages.

If they can use their market power to pass on these expenses to the consumers then it might seem more rational from the point of view of the employers but this would mean that the consumers wind up with expenses that provide no benefits for them. This wouldn't be possible in a competitive market where there was still a significant amount of factory direct and sincere small businesses could access supplies at reasonable prices. It also leads to much lower quality merchandise. And if there is a problem they often ship large amounts of merchandise through the system before they find out about it and fix it. This means that our current system is almost certainly sending a much larger amount of very low quality or even defective merchandise half way around the world before anyone finds out how much waste there is.

If there is any doubt about this think about how many times you bought something that was broken right out of the box that was made in a foreign country, perhaps on the other side of the world. If you have ever had to go out of your way to return something at the store that means the corporation paid to have that defective merchandise shipped half way around the world before they sold it to you and made you make an extra trip which they almost certainly didn't reimburse you for and then they throw the product away.

Do you have any idea how many defective products are shipped half way around the world only to be thrown away? Neither do I but when I see enough of them, either on the store shelves or find some after I get home it is a safe bet that there are even more that are caught by the workers at the store and that it costs a lot of money and one way or another it has to be passed onto consumers if the corporations are going to continue making their enormous profits.

This means that although many people don't realize it consumers have an interest in protecting the rights of workers. If workers are abused so badly they can't possibly make decent merchandise half way around the world the consumer also pays the price in lower quality of goods. Instead of investing in manufacturing corporations are increasingly investing more money in advertising, lobbying, and union busting efforts including the Guard towers made famous in Mitt Romney's 49% speech and the gangs that often beat up workers when they try to unionize in places like Guatemala or Bangladesh.

There may not be conclusive evidence to prove that these gangs are being paid out of the funds collecting from consumers but if they aren't then why would they be involved in busting unions?

There is also a lot of psychological research that has been done to learn how to more effectively manipulate people when busting unions and it costs the government a lot of money since it also leads to more crime for several reasons some examples of which I will describe soon; and because the police are often called in to settle disputes but the corporations don't have to pay those police and court officers that are helping to suppress unions. this amounts to an enormous government subsidy for well connected business owners and it is contributing to budget deficits and the fact that many cities are having a hard time paying for schools and roads.

One of the most important tactics that these union busters use involves efforts to convince the workers that unions are run by greedy people that want to collect their union dues. As much as some might want to deny this, there might be some truth to this sometimes; although the most effective union efforts almost certainly rely more on grass roots efforts and keep their overhead low. It would defeat the purpose if the unions created their own large union bureaucracy to stand up for their rights but allowing corporations to crush their rights in the absence of any protection would be even worse. When large business owners argue that unions aren't looking out for the best interest of the workers their alternative is that they do absolutely nothing to defend their rights and compete against each other driving their wages down and leaving them working for wages that aren't enough to survive on let alone get ahead as the "American dream" promises everyone.

Another good reason to believe that unions don't always do their best to defend their workers might be their support of the democratic party, which now seems to be doing more to defend the corporations while they only give lip support to the unions. The Democratic Party takes money from unions while simultaneously taking money from large corporations. Some of these union leaders get plenty of air time like Democratic politicians but when it comes to defending the workers they might be better at their rhetoric than their actions.

Marty Jay Levitt also cited John Sheridan, a former union organizer, as the person who taught him the ropes of union busting when he exposed the inside story of how he used to break unions. If union busters hire former organizer for their activities it is reasonable to assume they might attempt to make deals with current organizers if they think they can get away with it and use them to help appease workers without striking.

This might indicate that, in some cases, when there are problems with union bureaucracy it might actually be part of union busting bureaucracy disguised as union bureaucracy. However that doesn't mean that some legitimate union expenses won't be necessary and many of the most successful ones have been dominated by workers that do their organizing at the grass roots level. This was the case when they had some of the "sit down strikes" decades ago when workers sat down without recommendations from their "leaders;" and it appears to be the case now with many of the protests nationwide at Wal-Mart and fast food workers.

They've done an enormous amount to organize these strikes and if you look around it is also clear that they have done a lot of investigating. When it leads to results then it is clear that any bureaucracy in the union is being kept to a minimum and their is almost certainly accountability at the grass roots level.

However that doesn't mean that union busters won't attempt to make it seem as if unions are greedy, among other tricks, as indicated by some of the tactics that were exposed by Marty Jay Levitt in the following excerpts from his book. They also provide some indication that these tactics also lead to increased crime which is payed for by the tax payer and there are other sources that back this up including studies about increased crime and poverty at Wal-Mart and other locations where unions were busted bad jobs were outsourced.

Confessions of a Union Buster

by Marty Jay Levitt

Union busting is a field popularized by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack. The law does not hamper the process. Rather, it serves to suggest maneuvers and define strategies. Each “union prevention” campaign, as the wars are called, turns on a combined strategy of disinformation and personal assaults.

When a chief executive hires a labor relations consultant to battle a union, he gives the consultant run of the company and closes his eyes. The consultant, backed by attorneys, installs himself in the corporate offices and goes to work creating a climate of terror that inevitably is blamed on the union.

Some corporate executives I encountered liked to think of their ant-union consultants as generals. But really the consultants are terrorists, the consultants’ attack are intensely personal. Terrorist do not make factories and air strips their victims; they choose instead crippled old men and school-children. Likewise, as the consultants go about the business of destroying unions, they invade people’s lives, demolish their friendships, crush their will, and shatter their families. .....

The sticky Ohio summer heat had given way to autumn’s chill. A Miner I’ll call Hal Lockett fixed his hunting rifle in its rack on the back of his dust covered Dodge pickup, gave the bald rear tire a kick, and climbed into the cab. His eyes were as cold as the coal he had been digging since dawn every morning practically since he was a baby – cold as the coal Lockett’s daddy mined and his grand-daddy before him. But Lockett’s heart was burning. Two months had gone by since a handful of well-dressed strangers had walked into the converted roadside motel that housed the offices of Cravat Coal Company, bearing poison and promises. In those two months Lockett had stopped believing. Men who had worked together like brothers for years – some were brothers, for chrissakes – had started taking blows at each other's heads and saying nasty things about each other's wives. Some had stopped talking altogether. Lockett still wasn’t sure who the strangers were. He knew they’d showed up just a few weeks after the guy from United Mine Workers had come around asking people to sign little yellow cards and saying the union would help the miners keep their jobs and make sure they could afford to see a doctor. Sure, Lockett knew all about that. That’s what his daddy told him, too. But somehow the whole thing had just gotten crazy. His foreman, usually a nice guy, had taken to badgering the men, threatening them, questioning them, and telling them didn’t they know they’d lose everything if they let the goddamned union in. The workers were so divided; some couldn’t stand next to each other in the pit without starting a fight.

Lockett kept his eyes straight ahead as he drove the winding road from the mine to a converted farmhouse at the edge of the gritty town of Cadiz, whose sole and incongruous fame rested in having been the birthplace of Clark Gable. Lockett drove the pickup practically into the side of the ramshackle building, one of the six Cravat field offices, slammed on the brakes, and shut off the motor. Inside half a dozen secretaries tapped at their mundane tasks. Lockett walked slowly to the back of the truck, lifted the rifle from its rack, and released the safety. He pushed open the door of the farmhouse and stomped inside. Then a one-man war broke out. Unintelligible curses streamed from Lockett’s mouth as his free hand grabbed paperweights, staplers, and file folders from nearby desks and hurled them across the room. He gave his weapon a quick cock and squeezed the trigger. One shot rang out. Then another. Then another. Lockett tore through the building, pumping bullets out the windows into the ceiling. A secretary screamed and dove under her desk. Then a man’s voice was heard: “What the hell? Stop him!” Lockett blasted away, sobbing and raging all the time.

By the time the Cadiz police arrived, Lockett’s face was stained with tears and mud. His eyes had lost their focus. No one was hurt, but a handful of townspeople and Cravat office workers had gathered for the spectacle. They knew the rifleman as a veteran miner out at one of Cravat’s most remote pits. He had enough trouble, with his marriage on the rocks and all. People had been talking about it for weeks. The police loaded a subdued Lockett into the car and drove him to the station. This was no good.

I first met Cravat Coal on paper. One hot August day in 1983, I sent the paralegal student who worked as my assistant to the National Labor Relations Board office in downtown Cleveland to poke through the filings. That was the method I had developed to generate work in slow times. It turned out to be a brilliant tactic, for often I discovered a union-organizing drive before company executives had any suspicions. The timeliness of my call made it impossible to ignore, and chief executives’ panic allowed me to suggest that, having caught the trouble early, we could launch our offensive while the union was still struggling to develop a strategy. That, in fact, was the case with Cravat. My student-assistant had discovered a union representation petition that had been filed just a day before by the United Mine Workers district 6, based in Wheeling, in neighboring West Virginia. The UMWA aimed to organize the 485 miners at what was then the nation’s largest independent coal-mining company.

I gave Cravat a call. The call reached Mike Puskarich, the eldest of the four Yugoslavian-American brothers who, with their sons, ran Cravat Coal and a handful of related businesses.

“Mr. Puskarich, I’m Marty Levitt, president of Human Resources Institute of Cleveland. I thought you should know that your company has become the victim of a union-organizing campaign by United Mine Workers. Were you aware of that?”

He wasn’t But it didn’t take Puskarich long to let me know where he stood: He wasn’t going to have any fuckin’ union, that was for goddamned sure. They had tried this shit before, he told me. Well, they were not going to get away with it.

That, of course, was the entrĂ©e I needed. I kept my language polished but my message tough as I pressed Puskarich. “If you’re intent on beating the union, we should get together as soon as possible,” I told him.

Puskarich wasn’t so sure. He didn’t go in for outside consultants, like to handle problems himself. He had an in-house attorney who could stifle any union shenanigans. I told Puskarich he might not bne aware of how deadly a Union Mine Workers organizing drive could be. If he lost the union election, there’s be no turning back, no recovering the days when he was boss of his own company. I recommended he talk to a labor lawyer I had worked with for several years, a brilliant attorney by the name of earl Leiken. Puskarich said he’d meet with him the next day.

The drive down to Cadiz was a trip into another decade. The town of four thousand souls stood nestled in the scarred hills of the flattened Appalachians in eastern Ohio. There was only one highway through Cadiz, and the peculiar Cravat Coal building stood off that road like a camp symbol that the town was somehow lost in space and time. The long, two-story brick structure retained the sterile and prim look it must have had as a motel. The conversion to corporate offices seemed halfhearted, for secretaries and clerks could be seen roaming the outdoor hallways carrying papers and coffee from one executive to another, like motel maids.

When I found myself before General Manager Mike Puskarich, I understood that this anti-union campaign would be like no other. Puskarich was a hulk of a man, a 250-pound beast with bushy eyebrows, massive forearms, and huge rough hands. I likened him in my mind to the late hard-line Soviet Leonid Brezhnev, then at the helm of the Communist Party. Puskarich’s long-sleeved starched white shirt and gilded cuff links looked out of place; his thick fingers were adorned with gold-and-diamond rings. Puskarich’s language was crude, his temper explosive; as I sat across from him and explained my strategy, I could see that he was not a man of subtleties. Instinctively I knew the Puskariches would be a liability in an anti-union fight built on subtle distortions and manipulations. I knew I would have to rein in the Yugloslavians’ tempers lest they give the union promoters more fuel for the organizing campaign.

As I explained my strategy, I watched Puskarich fidget. He was not used to this kind of talk. “The entire campaign,” I told him, “will be run through your foremen. I’ll be their mentor, their coach. I’ll teach them what to say and make sure they say it. But I’ll stay in the background. This will be a case of over-communication. I will make the foremen feel they have post-doctorate degrees in labor relations before this is through. They’ll fill their employees with so many nasty little facts about unions, they’ll all wish they’d never let this get started.”

Puskarich wasn’t sure. He had never thought of foremen as management. The only management was the Puskarich clan. The foremen were just a bunch of stupid miners, grunts like all the rest and not to be trusted. How could he count on them to take on the union for him? Hell, they’d probably called the union themselves. “You’ll have to do it,” he commanded.

I objected. Think about it, I said. How could I come in, an outsider, and convince the workers not to trust one another? My anti-union message would turn on portraying the union as a power-hungry interloper, and nobody was going to buy it coming from the company’s hired gun. No, the words and the warnings would have to come from people they worked with everyday down in the pits, from the people they counted on for their review and that weekly paycheck.

“Here’s how it is,” I told Puskarich, fixing a steady gaze on his angry eyes. “You’ll come to see this union drive as a blessing in disguise. Once our campaign gets rolling, supervisors will learn to be their own leaders they should have been all along. They’ll learn to make their people happy and to love what they do. The men won’t just be working for a paycheck anymore, and you’ll never face another union problem again.

Puskarich couldn’t be persuaded by such a high-road argument, I knew, but I decided to throw it in to make the Cravet attorney happy. I wanted him on my side. I warned Puskarich that I would do some unusual things throughout the campaign; some activities he might find offensive, others corny. He brushed aside the warning. His only doubt had to do with embracing his foremen as allies.

“We’ll convince the foremen that when the National Labor Relations Board holds the representation election, the workers will not be voting for or against the union, but for or against the management, including all of them,” I told the Yugoslav. “To lose the election would be a humiliation, an indictment of their management abilities. Once they see it my way, the foremen will gladly join the war on the UMWA.”

Puskarich started to growl, but his attorney silenced him: “Listen to the man. We need him.”

The boss lifted a diamond studded hand to his fleshy face, twisted his mouth, and asked my fee. It was $1,000 per day per consultant-I planned to use several-plus a $10,000 retainer. Puskarich complained, “I;ve never known anybody worth a thousand dollars a day.” Then he barked at the secretary, Dottie to make me out a check for $10,000. He offered his hand and commanded, “You’re in charge.”

During the first meeting, there were lots of logistics to map out. I insisted on holding the kick-off meeting in just two days; I didn’t want the union to gain momentum while we chewed on our pencils. Cadiz was an uncomfortable four and a half hour drive from Cleveland, so naturally I was to stay in town during the week. Puskarich put me up in the best there was, a Sheraton hotel in a neighboring town. But even better was his weekend shuttle service. Every Friday evening throughout the seventeen-week campaign, he had the company plane fly me to the Cuyahoga County airport near my home in Gates Mills in suburban Cleveland, just a half hour away by air. Every Monday morning the plane picked me up and delivered me to Cadiz, where a company car awaited my arrival.

From the moment I read the UMWA petition for Cravat, I knew we faced a bitter fight. The key to my so-called union-prevention campaigns had always been to paint the labor organization as a greedy outsider and to convince supervisors and foremen that their jobs depended on its destruction. Meanwhile I worked to recast upper management with a human face-now silly, now generous, but always human- so workers would come to believe there was no need for a union. In the UMWA I had a particularly formidable foe; not that the minors union was more honorable or more sophisticated or even more aggressive than any other. But to minors, the UMWA was more than a union. It was family. Some of the workers at Cravat were the first in three generations not to belong to the UMWA, and they were not happy about it. The only other major mining concern in Cadiz was R&F Coal Company down the road from the Cravat headquarters, another non-union outfit owned by the mammoth Shell Oil Company. In effect, the union had been locked out of the town. Yet among miners, to speak against the union was sacrilege. Federal law blesses a union-organizing drive if 30 percent of the workers sign authorization cards inviting the union in. At Cravat, 80 percent of the miners ahd signed. How was I going to get people to fight a union they had been brought up to think of as the Mother Church?

I was convinced I shouldn’t tackle Cravat on my own, so I called for help from four former colleagues at a Chicago based labor consulting firm called Modern Management Methods, or Three M. By 1983 the union-busting field was bursting, and it was easy to find eager ass kickers in need of work. Joining me at the Cravat bloodletting were Tom Crosbie, an executive vice-president at Three M and my onetime mentor; Ed Judenas, a large, imposing figure and a fifteen-year veteran of the ignoble trade; Dennis Fisher, a meticulous, soft-spoken methods man; and Kevin Smyth, an intense, portly man with a look of malevolence in his eyes. The firepower added by those union buster heavyweights was phenomenal. Yet the aggressiveness of Cravat’s union activists turned the Cravat war into one of the bloodiest of my career. By the time the defeat of the union was history six Cravat foremen had been fired; one rank-and-file miner had gone crazy; at least one miner’s marriage was in trouble because of unsavory rumors floated by the buster forces; and countless Cravat families and friendships were shattered as the entire population of southern Ohio chose sides.

The intensity and loyalty to the UMWA dictated that we use every tool available to divide the miners. Additional excerpts or buy the book

As I previously indicated in Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd a 2006 statistical study indicated a correlation between higher crime and the opening of Wal-Marts. This study, alone, does not indicate the cause of the higher crime, however there are other studies to indicate that Wal-Mart also results in higher poverty, fewer manufacturing jobs and other types of jobs, and lower income. Additional studies indicate that poverty leads to higher crime.

A good look at some of these studies indicates that their are multiple causes and that some of them are clearly related to the policies of corporate America including Wal-Mart, their union busting tactics, which are almost certainly similar to some of the tactic described by Marty Levitt, and their wage suppression tactics. The blog previously cited mentions numerous examples where workers have struck out at each other and the management because of their complaints about the way they've been treated. This is very similar to the scene that Marty Levitt described in his book where a coal miner went on a shooting rampage; and the tax payer has to foot the bill when these people go to jail and the shooters at Wal-Mart are being blamed entirely on them like Levitt's example without considering the possibility that union busting tactics might have contributed to these incidents.

In addition to that the police are often called in to suppress worker complaints as well and they often arrest them instead of encouraging mediation. When the police use their authority to suppress workers rights to express legitimate complaints they're not being "impartial;" they're taking the sides of business, which often donate to political campaigns for the people who give the police their orders. If tax payer dollars are being spent for all these purposes then there is that much less available to educate children and repair rods especially when, in many cases, they had to offer Wal-Mart or other corporations tax breaks, that weren't available to smaller business that were driven out, to come to town.

On top of that, as indicated in what might be a typical example, the lawyer for the coal miner also had his bill which the owner would have to pay and that would have to be passed on to the cost of doing business which the consumer have to pay. There is also an enormous amount of psychological research into this subject to develop these tactics over the years and there are plenty of newspaper reporters writing favorable stories for business that they almost certainly have a financial incentive to write, politicians that collect campaign contributions from business and give workers lip service while making union busting easier etc.

This creates an enormous bureaucracy for the purpose of depriving people who work for a living from getting a fair wage!

This bureaucracy does nothing to benefit the consumers who ind up with higher bills and lower quality merchandise as a result. Instead this is a major effort to increase the wealth of those that control the economic system at the expense of those that contribute to it.

This bureaucracy might also be part of a cultural divide between people from different classes, where people from one class obtain education in certain trades and take jobs in the bureaucracy while the rest remain in the working class. This seems to be indicated by the tactics that Levitt use when he shops for potential customers and seeks to obtain the lawyer of that customer as his ally in recruiting the business owner. This could be a tactic that is used as part of a modern day white collar feudalistic system. In the older feudalistic systems if a feudal lord gave his workers more rights and treated them better, perhaps benefiting all if this led to more productivity, then the other feudal lords would be worried that their workers might learn from it and demand the same so they might invade the benevolent feudal lord. Now they might use more sophisticated ways of wiping out small businesses that try to treat their workers with respect, although they might try to wipe out the small business anyway to increase their market share.

On another note many union workers have not been to happy with Marty Jay Levitt for previously working to bust unions and for going back for one last job after renouncing them; however he still did a lot to expose their tactics and this should stand on it's own merits. It is much easier to know how to deal with it if more people understand the tactics. Furthermore there may be additional people that might be willing to come forward with additional information who might be skeptical if they see excessive resentment against Levitt and others who have come forward in the past. A reasonable amount of skepticism is understandable and expected but it will do no good to ignore these tactics because some might not be happy with the source.

Also there might be some that might not be too happy with my speculation about union leaders that might be appeasing the workers and encouraging them not to strike. This can be at least partially addressed by keeping all union activities in the open and rotating those that lead them and keeping decisions at the grass roots level. It will do no good to claim that it isn't happening when it is or to jump to conclusions; but if the leaders don't have the real power, because it is with the workers, then it wouldn't do corporations any good to corrupt just one person that betrays the rest. If they have to treat every one with respect to get their cooperation that would be the objective.

Photo source

The following are a couple related articles on the subject:

IBEW Fact Sheet PDF

Reading: Union Buster Tells All By Roger Kerson

Monday, September 23, 2013

Corporate bureaucrats are robbing us blind!!

Corporations are currently passing on an enormous amount of non-productive expenses, many of which are only designed to benefit those at the top, to consumers. This wouldn't be possible in a competitive market where there was still a significant amount of factory direct and sincere small businesses could access supplies at reasonable prices.

Unfortunately that is no longer the type of market that we have, assuming that it ever was. We had something much closer to that thirty years ago thanks largely in part to the fact that people organized to stand up to corrupt corporations over the decades and reduced the concentration of power with the help of union and civil rights protests and and reform movements.

Then after a larger percentage of the public became complacent corporations consolidated into a relatively small number of Oligarchies, which used to be called Robber Barons. Since then they have sent bureaucratic expenses, that are designed to shift income from the vast majority to the richest people in the country, through the roof and expenses like manufacturing and services that actually benefit the public have been cut to the bone.

When considering whether jobs are worthwhile or not, under the current political end economic environment, there is little or no effort to consider whether or not these jobs actually provide a service that benefits people or whetehr or not they make things worse for people.

When jobs involves selling things based on fraud the customer doesn't get their moneys worth and it makes their life worse but the corporations still make a profit so they consider this good for the economy.

If expenses that benefit society were cut to the bone while expenses that are primarily designed to benefit only those at the top were sent through the roof then it would be a matter of time before the economic system would no longer conduct the most basic functions!

The inevitable result is the vulture charts indicating an enormous wage gap, that we have been hearing so much about, and incredibly low quality merchandise from stores, and unreliable services for many items including utilities and evens, on occasions simple home repairs, often because they can't get supplies as good a quality as they used to.

Contrary to what the media and the economists say or imply it is not more efficient to abandon factory direct options from quality long lasting American made products and ship the vast majority of products half way around the world through multiple subcontractors and replace them three or four times as often due to lower quality, especially when a higher percentage of the products are broken before they're even sold.

A list of growing bureaucratic expenses that these large corporations are able to pass on to consumers without providing a benefit for consumers would be long. The biggest ones as a percentage of their total expenditures would include shipping and distributing costs that have grown dramatically now that most products come half way around the world, advertising which has multiplied much faster than inflation and it has resulted in enormous profits. Other bureaucratic expenses that are also quite large although they might not be as much when calculated as a percentage of the GDP as single expenses would include marketing research, including a growing amount that is designed to manipulate children before thy develop critical thinking skill; analyzing sales to study consumer complacency; campaign contributions and lobbying expenses; legal expenses, including an enormous amount of trade secrecy lawyers to justify keeping all their fraudulent practices secret; public relations expenses; union busting expenses and many other expenses.

As I said some of these expenses might not be as big as shipping and advertising as a percentage of the GDP but the impact they have on the effectiveness of the economy can be large and when there are many different bureaucratic expenses they add up fast. One of the most obvious examples of this might be lobbying expenses which, although they are very large they're only a fraction of a percent of the GDP have an enormous impact on the regulatory system that goes well beyond their initial value and cost the public much more. These lobbying expenses are designed to provide benefits for those that control the lobbying effort but they can use their market power to pass on the cost to consumers although they don't pass on any of the influence with these expenses.

According to Open the amount of money spent on lobbying more than doubled from $1.45 Billion in 1998 to $3.55 Billion in 2010 when lobbying expenses peaked. Since then they have actually gone down a little, or at least it seems this way. 2010 was also the year that they made the "Citizens United" decision so now more of their campaign contributions can be done by organizations that don't report their expenses. We have no way of knowing if they're continuing to increase their expenses, one way or another, even though the reports seem to indicate a slight decline. They have been hiding expenses for so long that it would be unreasonable to speculate about the possibility that they might be reducing lobbying expenses while increasing other expenses that can now be done in secret.

None of these expenses provide any benefit for consumers; however since the economic system has been consolidated into a small number of hands they can add these expenses on to their products or services and consumers have no other place to buy their products or services without paying their prices. They create the appearance of competition by offering them from several different corporations but all these corporations pass on these expenses and they don't provide much real competition. Instead they often use an enormous amount of advertising to make it appear as if they're offering different products.

One of the simplest examples would be health care insurance which does absolutely nothing, directly, to provide health care; instead what they do is control the financing of the health care and they often use this control to influence the decisions that should be made by doctors and patients. They use money that they get from premiums to lobby to prevent people from hearing more about a possible Single Payer Health Care System that could work much better. The media collects money for these advertising so they have an incentive to withhold discussion about a Single Payer system and the politicians collect an enormous amount of money in campaign contributions from health care companies so they have an incentive to avoid discussing it. Candidates that do discuss it can't collect as much money and the media won't give them any coverage as indicated in the past presidential election when Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein both advocated for Single Payer Health but neither of them could get coverage or invited to the debates controlled by political bureaucrats.

Another simple example would be the amount of money that factory workers get compared to the amount of money corporations pay for advertising. Advertising is biased and doesn't provide accurate information to the consumer so that they can make informed decisions but the cost is passed on to them any way. And they pay much more for advertising in many cases than they do to the people that manufacture goods. The typical percentage that is paid for advertising from retailers could be anywhere from one to five percent or more in some cases; yet the workers in the sweatshops that make our products generally get less than one percent of the retail cost of goods. Manufacturers often also pay for advertising so the cost of that is also added to the price in addition to the amount of advertising expenses from the retailer. In one of the most famous cases Kathie Lee Gifford collected three percent of the price of her clothing line and the workers in sweatshops were getting a fraction of one percent. Advertising, whether it is from Kathie Lee Gifford or not, adds nothing to the value of the product except hype while the work that the manufacturers do creates the real value. Anyone that has paid attention to the quality of merchandise over the past few decades might have noticed that some common items are much lower quality. And anyone that pays attention to news about labor practices, especially from Wal-Mart, might know that they've been reporting many stories about their efforts to cut costs; what they don't mention nearly as often is that this results in lower quality.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going on; they're spending much more money on ads to convince us we're getting quality products than they are to actually put quality in their products!

When was the last time you hired an economist?

The vast majority of bureaucrats including economists and many other professionals aren't hired by the majority of the public nor is there many if any ways for the public to hold them accountable; yet they control an enormous amount of the information that we make many of our decisions based on.

When was the last time you heard an economist, politician or a someone from the commercial media inform you that they've been sending their own expenses through the roof and that they have an incentive to withhold the information that you need to make decisions.

The vast majority of these people are not accountable to the public yet their pay comes indirectly from the public, since the oligarchies control the the economic system. Instead they're only accountable to corporate board members. In many cases the bureaucrats also add an enormous amount of waste for work that ahs little productive value even though the workers are doing sincere work, like shipping when it goes half way around the world. A modest amount of shipping and distribution is necessary even when it is combined with some factory direct; but excessive shipping and handling for the "globalized economy" is bureaucratic waste!

Our politicians have pulled a bait and switch; they have warned us about how we had to implement capitalism because the version of communism by the Soviets was dominated centralized government control of the economic and political system with little or no local control or input then they created a system with centralized corporate control of the economic and political system with little or no local control or input

I have written more about specific bureaucrats in the following blogs and will be following up soon with one about union busting consultants.

Copyright Bureaucrats do more to protect their own wages and control the distribution of educational information than they do to protect the income of writers.

Political Psychologist Are Suppressing Democracy by studying how to manipulate people with political ads and encourage them to base their decisions based on superstitions and stereotypes instead of their own best interests.

Why Do We Have Trade Secrets? Defense of fraud? trade secrecy laws do more to prevent the public from accessing the information they need to make consumer choices than they do to encourage innovation, which they actually discourage since innovators don't have access to the information they could use to innovate.

Santorum etal endorse Health Care Waste and Fraud; Even after the 2012 elections politicians have been doing what they can to avoid discussion about Single Payer Systems which work much better in many other countries but are hardly discussed in the US.

The following are some additional related articles or organizations promoting Single Payer Health Care:

Walmart rocks Parliament even after retail FDI vote Lobbying is integral to business, its legality a matter of perception: Experts "Lobbying is not the same as bribery, said a bureaucrat." Even if it accomplishes the same goal?

CEOs Plundering Corporate Coffers

Physicians for a National Health Program

Medicare for All


An Insurance Bureaucrat Speaks Out

In Corporate Hands, Health Care Bureaucracy Blooms

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Warnings signs for Aaron Alexis are abundant and came out quickly

Warning signs indicating a potential problem with Aaron Alexis and indicating what could have led to that problem came out surprisingly soon; unfortunately as usual the commercial media isn't consulting with the most credible experts to inform the public how to recognize and prevent these problems before the last minute when it would be much easier.

The following article describes some of these warning signs and although they don't discuss it they also hint at potential additional problems that almost certainly occurred before these warning signs happened:

Gunman In Navy Yard Shooting Was In Navy Reserves AP

Aaron Alexis seems a study in contradictions: a former Navy reservist, a Defense Department contractor, a convert to Buddhism who was taking an online course in aeronautics. But he also had flashes of temper that led to run-ins with police over shootings in Fort Worth, Texas, and Seattle.

A profile began to emerge Monday of the man authorities identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., that left 13 people dead, including the 34-year-old man. While some neighbors and acquaintances described him as "nice," his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He also complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination.

U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Alexis had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said. Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation in the case was continuing.

The Navy had not declared him mentally unfit, which would have rescinded a security clearance Alexis had from his earlier time in the Navy Reserves. Family members told investigators Alexis was being treated for his mental issues.

At the time of the shootings, he worked for The Experts, a subcontractor on an HP Enterprise Services contract to refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network. His life over the past decade has been checkered.

Alexis lived in Seattle in 2004 and 2005, according to public documents. In 2004, Seattle police said Alexis was arrested for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicle in what he later described to detectives as an anger-fueled "blackout." According to an account on the department's website, two construction workers had parked their Honda Accord in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying. The workers reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home.

When detectives interviewed workers at the construction site, they told police Alexis had stared at construction workers at the job site daily for several weeks prior to the shooting. The owner of the construction business told police he believed Alexis was angry over the parking situation around the site.

Police eventually arrested Alexis, searched his home, found a gun and ammunition in his room, and booked him into the King County Jail for malicious mischief. According to the police account, Alexis told detectives he perceived he had been "mocked" by construction workers the morning of the incident. Alexis also claimed he had an anger-fueled "blackout," and could not remember firing his gun at the Honda until an hour after the incident.

Alexis also told police he was present during "the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001" and described "how those events had disturbed him." Then, on May 5, 2007, he enlisted in the Navy reserves, serving through 2011, according to Navy spokeswoman Lt. Megan Shutka.

Shutka said he received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal during his stint in the reserves. Both are medals issued to large numbers of service members who served abroad and in the United States since the 9/11 attacks. Alexis' last assignment was as aviation electricians mate 3rd class at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Shutka said.

It was while he was still in the reserves that a neighbor in Fort Worth reported she had been nearly struck by a bullet shot from his downstairs apartment. In September 2010, Fort Worth police questioned Alexis about the neighbor's report. He admitted to firing his weapon but said he was cleaning his gun when it accidentally discharged. He said he did not call the police because he didn't think the bullet went through to the other apartment. The neighbor told police she was scared of Alexis and felt he fired intentionally because he had complained about her making too much noise.

Alexis was arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm within city limits but Tarrant County district attorney's spokeswoman Melody McDonald Lanier said the case was not pursued after it was determined the gun discharged accidentally.

After leaving the reserves, Alexis worked as a waiter and delivery driver at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth, according to Afton Bradley, a former co-worker. The two overlapped for about eight months before Alexis left in May, Bradley said.

Having traveled to Thailand, Alexis learned some Thai and could speak to Thai customers in their native language. "He was a very nice person," Bradley said in a phone interview. "It kind of blows my mind away. I wouldn't think anything bad at all."

A former acquaintance, Oui Suthametewakul, said Alexis lived with him and his wife from August 2012 to May 2013 in Fort Worth, but that they had to part ways because he wasn't paying his bills. Alexis was a "nice guy," Suthametewakul said, though he sometimes carried a gun and would frequently complain about being the victim of discrimination.

Suthametewakul said Alexis had converted to Buddhism and prayed at a local Buddhist temple. "We are all shocked. We are nonviolent. Aaron was a very good practitioner of Buddhism. He could chant better than even some of the Thai congregants," said Ty Thairintr, a congregant at Wat Budsaya, a Buddhist temple in Fort Worth.

Thairintr said Alexis told him he was upset with the Navy because "he thought he never got a promotion because of the color of his skin. He hated his commander." As Thairintr and others at the temple understood, Alexis took a job as a contractor and he indicated to them he was going to go to Virginia. He last saw him five weeks ago.

"He was a very devoted Buddhist. There was no tell-tale sign of this behavior," Thairintr said. In the early 2000s, before he moved to Seattle, Alexis lived with his mother in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., said Gene Demby, of Philadelphia, who said he dated one of Alexis' younger sisters at the time. He said Alexis and his two younger sisters had a difficult relationship with their father, who divorced their mother in the mid-1990s.

"I wouldn't call him nice, but he seemed harmless, if really awkward," said Demby, the lead writer for NPR's Code Switch blog about race and culture. "He was insecure. He was like a barbershop conspiracy theorist, the kind of guy who believes he's smarter than everyone else. He also was kind of like perpetually aggrieved, but not megalomaniacal or delusional."

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which offers online courses in aviation and aerospace, confirmed that Alexis was enrolled as an online student via its Fort Worth campus, started classes in July 2012 and was pursuing a bachelor's of science in aeronautics.

"We are cooperating fully with investigating officials," the university said.

Associated Press writers Mike Baker and Phuong Le in Seattle, Nomaan Merchant in Dallas, John L. Mone in White Settlement, Texas, and Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Lolita C. Baldor, Ben Nuckols and Brett Zongker in Washington contributed to this report. Original article

Additional copy (note: this article was retrieved from a site that only houses them temporarily and the back up copy NPR article omitted two paragraphs which were in the temporary article.)

They came up with many of these details surprisingly quickly; it usually takes more time to report on the background that has already come out and there will almost certainly be more. The warning signs that they did already report on also indicate that there were almost certainly additional signs before them, if he follows patterns found in most if not all other violent offenders that have been thoroughly investigated in the past.

This means that if they could recognize these signs and educate the public about them then much more could be done to prevent these activities in the future. It also means that policy makers could learn from them when hiring people and training them for future military activities. The problem, as I have previously tried to indicate, is that many of the characteristics that make soldiers effective are often very similar to those that make them potentially dangerous as well.

There were several violent incidents in his past and one of them took place before he joined the Navy reserves! Another one took place while he was in the reserves and they still kept him in and they didn't even revoke his security clearance.

As I previously indicated in Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence? and Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that most if not all violent offenders, especially the serious ones, had a history of some form of abuse early in life that almost certainly escalated later on. This typically starts with early punishment at a young age that often involves corporal punishment of some sort or a worse form of abuse, then escalates later in life to bullying and hazing and this also escalates in the military where boot camp is used to train people to obey orders without question.

It is too early to assume that there was abuse in Aaron Alexis' past without further investigation but if he follows the pattern that most if not all other violent offenders have then there almost certainly was, although there is no guarantee what form that abuse may have taken. This is also fairly common among military personal as I indicated in a post about Itzcoatl Ocampo who was also a veteran who committed violent crimes and there are many more. The military seeks out people with an Authoritarian upbringing and they continue to train people in that manner through boot camp and beyond. They want people that obey orders and are desensitized to violence so that they will kill when it is their job.

We have the information that we need to dramatically make these event much less common but instead of educating the public about them the government continues to use their understanding about this to train people to obey orders.

Unfortunately instead of thoroughly investigating the problem including the long term contributing causes it appears as if the media and political establishment are already following the usual pattern by dismissing it as a "cowardly act" as Barack Obama already called it, although he claims it will be "swiftly and 'thoroughly' investigated" the clearly biased claim that this is "cowardly" when he was shooting at people from the most powerful military in the world indicates otherwise. It has become routine to declare those that oppose us as cowards even when they face overwhelming odds and those that support us as brave even when they use drones to kill people half way around the world.

He must be using an interesting and selective dictionary that suits his propaganda purposes.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drunken Driving charges dropped against Alice Walton

Texas prosecutor drops drunken driving charge against Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton under circumstances that would almost certainly not happen for the vast majority of us. the reason they dropped charges is apparently because the trooper who pulled her over is on paid leave for misconduct, presumably unrelated, and is unavailable to testify. In order to take advantage of this Alice Walton had to arrange for the trial to be delayed almost two years then when he was unavailable before a two year deadline was up they had to drop charges.

This is at least her second drunk driving charge and she also has a history of speeding, and was involved in at least two probably three previous accidents including the 1998 DWI incident and one that resulted in the death of a pedestrian, as indicated in the following article and an excerpt from "In Sam We Trust."

Alice Walton Arrested for DWI, Held Overnight On Birthday

Alice Walton, the second-richest woman in America, was arrested on the charge of driving while intoxicated and held in jail on the night of her 62nd birthday last Friday, October 7.

The daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton was stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol in Weatherford, Texas for speeding. “During the stop, indications were that Ms. Walton had been drinking. Sobriety tests were given, she cooperated, and they indicated intoxication,” according to Texas Senior Trooper and public information officer Gary M. Rozzell.

Upon arrest, Walton refused a blood-alcohol test. “Technically, if you’re driving in our state and an officer has probable cause, you are required to submit to a breathalyzer,” Rozzell said. Separate from any criminal procedures, an Administrative License Revocation hearing will be called that could suspend Walton’s license for 90 days on a first offense.

This is not the first time Walton was arrested for driving while intoxicated. She was reportedly convicted on four counts in a drunken driving case in May 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas. Police officers testified in court that at the scene of her car accident, Walton said “Do you know who I am?” and also refused then to consent to a blood-alcohol test, according to the Associated Press. .....

"She accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and deeply regrets it.” Complete article

Alice, like both her parents and her brother Bob, had a reputation as a fast driver. The Walton’s leaden feet had long been a popular topic of banter in Bentonville. Helen’s pastor, the Reverend Gordon Garlington, joked that Helen’s silver Lincoln continental …..

But early one beautiful misty morning in April of 1989, speeding down the highway in her 1987 Poershe on her way from her farm to work, Alice Walton slammed into a woman trying to cross the road, killing her instantly. Fifty-year-old Oleta Hardin, mother of two fully grown sons, had been waiting for a ride to her job at a nearby canning factory when she decided to step down off her porch out onto the edge of the road to watch for her friend, who was running late.

Neither she nor Alice Walton saw each other until too late. Hardin was carried up onto the hood of the car. Her head smashing through the windshield before her body was thrown off as the Porsche skidded to a stop.

Hysterical, spattered with blood and shards of glass, Alice Walton ran back to the body, but there was nothing to be done. Walton was treated for shock and minor injuries. Oleta Hardin's husband, Harold, who worked the night shift at a nearby tool plant, arrived home from work barely an hour later to find a policeman waiting on his front porch with the terrible news. He was still in shock when Alice showed up a little later that day and tried as best she could, stumblingly, to apologize to him.

Though Alice Walton had been speeding-and had been ticketed twice for speeding in the previous year- the police decided not to file any charges. Witnesses said she couldn’t have avoided hitting the woman, as police explained to Harold Hardin. He accepted that explanation. “It wasn’t her [Alice’s] fault,” Hardin said later. “Oleta stepped on the road in front of her too close for her to stop.”

Other than a payment from Alice Walton’s auto insurer, Hardin said he was offered no compensation by the Waltons and didn’t ask for any. *

* Writer Vance Trimble, in his 1991 biography of Sam Walton, quotes Hardin as blaming Alice for the accident, saying that if she had been watching, she could have stopped. Trimble also quotes Hardin as saying Walton’s lawyers offered him $2,500 for funeral expenses and that he hired a lawyer to get an undisclosed, presumably larger amount in an out-of-court settlement. Interviewed in 1997, though, Hardin said he never blamed Alice Walton, wasn’t offered any money, and never demanded any. "In Sam We Trust" by Bob Ortega p.198-201

The Walton family isn't held accountable when their sweat shops burn down or for many of their fraudulent business practices and the tax payers subsidize their store with tax cuts and road projects. And on top of that their policies almost certainly contribute to outsourcing and higher poverty crime rates that accompany new Wal-Marts.

According to the following article Alice Walton will almost certainly have her record expunged:

Walmart Heiress Asks To Expunge DWI Arrest

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Walmart heiress Alice Walton is asking that her 2011 arrest in the state for driving while intoxicated be expunged from the records, and prosecutors say her request will likely be granted.

Charges in the case were dropped when the two-year statute of limitations ran out Oct. 7.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Sunday that Parker County, Texas, prosecutor John Forrest said he didn’t pursue the charge because the state trooper who arrested Walton wasn’t available to testify.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the trooper is suspended pending an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct.

The request is common after charges have been dropped in a misdemeanor case, said Fred Barker, an assistant prosecutor in the county.

“The case is not that credible, which is probably a reason it was laying around for a while,” he said.

Barker wouldn’t elaborate on the credibility of the case, but he said that a month from now, there may be no record of the arrest ever occurring.

“It will cease to exist for us in any way — literally,” Barker said, “We would not even acknowledge it ever existed nor that it was expunged, or that we ever talked to you about it.

“There’s really no way to stop it,” he said. “Once that’s done, it’s gone, gone, gone.”

Walton, 64, is the daughter of late Walmart founder Sam Walton.

She was returning home to Millsap, Texas, after a dinner with friends on her 62nd birthday when the trooper stopped her vehicle on Oct. 7, 2011, for speeding on Interstate 20 near Weatherford.

The trooper’s report said there was the odor of alcohol in her car and that she showed signs of intoxication and refused a breath-alcohol test.

Walton could not balance, stopped while walking and used her arms to balance, the trooper wrote.

“Walton stated, ‘I can’t do that at any time, I’m not balanced,’” according to the report.

Walton was handcuffed and taken to the Parker County jail in Weatherford before being released on $1,000 bail.

During the investigation, prosecutors obtained two letters that physicians wrote saying that Walton can’t walk or maintain balance normally.

The physicians cited a severe motor-vehicle accident in Mexico in November 1983, which led to repeated problems with Walton’s left leg, leaving it substantially shorter than her right. Complete article

The article neglects to mention that the accident that injured her leg in Mexico was also a result of her recklessness and speeding.

Makes me wonder why I should shop at Wal-Mart if I'm going to contribute to their legal defense fund without getting much if any benefit for myself since their merchandise is worthless due to the fact that they have cut their manufacturing expenses to the bone to make their huge profits.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Syrian Electronic Army Hacked my Blog!!!

Another blog obviously hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army

I just looked at my own blog and found a post highly critical of the current plan to attack Syria by Obama, Syrian fear mongering may not be working!

I would never post anything so critical of the Obama administration and their policies!

I support their attack plan and everything else they do one hundred percent!

The Obama administration is clearly the best thing that ever happened to democracy and I would never say otherwise!

All these claims about the possibility that these Tomahawk cruise missiles could hit innocent civilians just because they always have in the past are false; if Obama says they can aim much better it must be true!

I can't understand how this could have gotten onto my blog but then I found out about The Syrian Electronic Army that hacked the Marines webpage and it all became clear. The Syrian Electronic Army must ahve hacked my Blog too!!!

There can be no other possible explanation; I would never be critical of the Obama administration; I worship the ground they walk on!

Then I went and looked at some of my other blogs to check see if there was more damage and i was shocked by what I found; many other blogs have also been hacked!

There is a blog critical of both Eric Holder and Obama claiming that they ignore some of the most important issues about overcrowding prisons and there are even blogs going back over a year complaining that neither the Republicans or Obama address the most important issues about subjects like health care and how neither one of them cut back on red tape or advertising for insurance like a Single Payer Health insurance plan would. I never wrote these! If Obamacare provides profits for insurance companies that are outrageous it must be because they do such a good job providing health care that they deserve these profits!

This means that they must have either inserted all these posts after the fact or they must have been planing this contingency for over a year!

If that is the case what else would they have been hacking over the past several years in anticipation of their chemical weapons attack?

Have they been planting dozens if not hundred of stories critical of Obama over the years so it would appear that he doesn't have nearly as much support as he tries to convince people?

Clearly that must be exactly what has been happening!

That means that many of the stories critical of the Obama administration over the past several years are all fake and we shouldn't believe them!

The Syrian Electronic Army obviously has even more technical skill than even the NSA which Edward Snowden has been reporting on. In fact, it is a major possibility that that was even one of the stories that they have created that never happened!

That's exactly what must be happening; the Syrian Electronic Army must have fabricated this whole story about "Prism" or "ECHELON" or what ever you want to call it to make Obama look bad. It isn't the Obama administration and the NSA that has been spying on everyone; it is the Syrian Electronic Army!

I don't know how they developed this spectacular technology that is so much better than the rest of the developed world but clearly that is exactly what must have happened; after all if they can develop all these chemical weapons so much better than the rest of the world and avoid having anyone report on them until the Obama administration needs an excuse to attack them then they must be capable of anything!!

Don't believe anything that you read on the internet that is critical of the Obama administration; it is clearly all part of a massive conspiracy by the Syrian Electronic Army!

I would like to thank all the conspiracy theorists in the mainstream media and the political establishment that helped to solve this mystery and expose the conspiracy being carried out by the Syrian Electronic Army!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wal-Mart Crime report August 2013

In 2006 a statistical study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) was done to find out if there was more crime at Wal-Mart compared to other stores and if crime increased when Wal-Marts came to town. The study indicated that there was; however Wal-Mart disputes this, as they have all other studies critical of Wal-Mart. Feel free to revue them both and judge for yourself. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings has begun compiling a list of the shooting incidents that have occurred at Wal-Mart with fewer resources than many other large institutions but they have found that there are a large number of them and that on average there was more than one shooting each week in 2012 and the number will almost certainly be higher in 2013. they began compiling them late in 2012 and almost certainly didn't get them all.

It doesn't take much searching to find that they also have an enormous number of bomb threats, purse snatching, muggings, shoplifting incidents and many other crimes. The bomb threats leading to evacuations almost certainly average more than one per week on average as well. According to the 2006 study the average Wal-Mart has over 250 police calls per year, or at least they did in 2004, which was the year the study was based on. After that Wal-Mart has periodically changed their policies, often with little input from the public or effort to inform them. This may have led to a reduction of reporting of some incidents at some times or other efforts to improve their images, but it almost certainly hasn't led to changes that have reduced the crimes their.

I reviewed this previously in Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch. Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business; most if not all of these studies indicate that they have a negative impact on communities and some of them may also provide evidence that they indirectly contribute to higher crime. this includes the reduction in quality employment available and higher poverty rates which also contribute to crime.

Yet the political and media establishment do little or nothing to acknowledge and repair the problems being caused by Wal-Mart; and low income people are being prosecuted to the full extent of the law while those involved in white collar crimes that do much more damage are not being held accountable at all. I have no doubt that these white collar crimes also contributes to more traditional crime. The following is a sample of the incidents that have occurred at Wal-Mart. It isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 study; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart. According to the 2006 study there were significantly more problems at Wal-Mart than there are at Target, their closest competitor; and other studies cited by Stacy Mitchell have indicated that Big-Box stores, in general have more crime than small business; so it is almost certainly even worse if compared to small businesses.

The 2006 study includes a lot of statements from police or other officials or articles, to back up their conclusions, including the following: "In Orlando, the local police blotter indicates that the crime rate in a 5-square-mile area of MetroWest jumped more than 70 percent in the first year after Wal-Mart's arrival in August 2001. Traffic accidents rose 31 percent, property crimes 110 percent, robberies 231 percent and car thefts 56 percent, according to the Orlando Police Department. [Orlando Sentinel, January 27, 2003]"

Policies made in the corporate office are having a major impact on society and they aren't being subject to scrutiny from the public nor is the public even aware of it when they take place. This compilation of incidents may not completely address cause and effect without additional information but it can help to shed some light on it, at least until more comprehensive studies can be done to add to the work done by the other ones cited. It may also show some degree of bias on the part of the media which is reporting these stories. clearly this is only a minor fraction of the incidents that make it into the news, if they had over 250 per store annually there would probably be more than 75,000 incidents per month nationwide.

There might also be some indication about whether or not Wal-Mart provides as much protection for their customers as they do for their own merchandise. As indicated previously their stop loss officers have been trained to reduce shoplifting and they have often been overzealous, although they generally blame that on the employees not policy. I haven't seen many if any incidents where Wal-Mart security was as ambitious when it comes to protecting people from purse snatchers or assault; in fact there has been at least one example where a victims of assault in their store is suing them for lack of protection.

This shouldn't be too surprising since their primary goal is to maximize profit. However a bigger problem might be that "elected officials" and the media outlets also seem to adopt the same objectives. If they can't be expected to adopt policies that protect people from crime democratic systems are supposed to provide checks and balences with the help of independent media outlets, as it stands the media collects their revenue through ads, including a lot from Wal-Mart and they have a major incentive that has been growing to look the other way and "elected officials" seem to be more accountable to their campaign contributors and the media that controls what information they present to the public about "elected officials" than they are to the public. This is why at least until there is major political and media reform the majority now have to fend for themselves to the best of their ability.

A close look at media reports clearly indicates that the vast majority of these incidents are only reported locally but in many cases when it comes to something like their claim to promote a "Buy America" campaign it is reported much more widely across the country. They also do a lot of stories that are thinly divided advertisements about how Wal-Mart is offering discounts for this or "Fatburgers" are free at Wal-Mart.

Fortunately it isn't all bad news; As I write this there are so many protests that even the commercial media feels the need to report them; although they aren't covering them nearly as well as they could or should. and a review of the attempts to open new store clearly indicates that in many cases they are unable to do so anymore, or at least not without much more opposition. Clearly the majority of the reasonably well informed public is opposed to continuing to allow they to expand while the political establishment remains on Wal-Mart's side when they think they can get away with it. This should be a clear indicator that our "elected officials" aren't paying attention to the will of the pe4ople unless their is an enormous uproar.

To minimize redundancy I declined to highlight many if any gun related incidents; however tehy can be found highlighted at Wal-Mart Shootings, where they are updated more often than I intend to.

Oswego deputies: Four conspired to steal lawn furniture and food from Walmart 08/13/2013

Suspect wanted in connection with vehicle break-in at Wake Forest Walmart 08/13/2013

Woman accused of driving baby to Walmart while impaired 08/13/2013

Police: Duo distracted Walmart cashier, stole money from register 08/13/2013

Two men arrested in cross state retail scam after hitting Rice Lake Wal-Mart 08/13/2013

Police: Cavity search reveals meth on Walmart shoplifting suspect 08/14/2013

Police seek identity of man accused of accosting woman at Wood Village Walmart 08/14/2013

Couple accused of stealing hard drives from Palm Coast Walmart 08/14/2013

Thousands of Dollars Worth of Electronics Stolen from Walmart 08/14/2013

Pelham's Walmart reopens after suspicious suitcase in parking lot (updated) 08/15/2013

PELHAM, Alabama -- Pelham's Walmart on Highway 31 reopened this afternoon after a suspicious suitcase was found in the parking lot earlier today.

Police treated the suitcase as a suspicious package, which resulted in limiting access to the store temporarily. Officers prevented traffic in an area of the store's parking lot during the investigation.

Visitors to the store during the time encountered Walmart employees outside the building with an entrance closed.

Pelham Police Capt. Larry Palmer in an interview today said the call came in sometime after 11 a.m. and lasted an hour. The Hoover bomb squad responded to the situation after someone called in the suspicious package. Complete article

Washington man sues Walmart over rattlesnake bite 08/15/2013

Police: Couple busted at Walmart gas station minutes after stealing car from Walmart parking lot 08/15/2013

Would-be kidnapper grabs 18-year-old woman walking home from Walmart 08/16/2013

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Chandler Walmart 08/16/2013 XX

Police: Man arrested minutes after snatching woman's purse in Walmart parking lot 08/16/2013 XX

Walmart suicide victim identity released 08/16/2013

Mystery spray causes evacuation, sickness at Walmart in west Harris County 08/19/2013

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas –- A Walmart west of Houston was evacuated late Sunday after two men sprayed a substance that made some people ill, deputies said.

It happened at the store near Highway 6 and Westpark Drive around 8:45 p.m., according to deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Dozens of employees and about 100 to 150 customers had to be evacuated. Some of them started to experience trouble breathing and suffered burning in their eyes and throat, deputies said.

“When I was in there, I was checking out, and I saw people choking,” said customer Ken Baptista. “I heard somebody was mixing chemicals in there and throwing it in the air.” Complete article

Suspected Walmart shooter had concealed carry permit, Neenah police say 08/19/2013

3 suspects wanted in connection with stealing from Chatham Walmart 08/19/2013

8 on Your Side: Valley Woman's Walmart Account Hacked 08/19/2013

Louisville man charged with carjacking couple's car at Clarksville Walmart 08/19/2013

A southern Louisville man was arrested early Sunday following a carjacking in the parking lot of the Walmart in Clarksville, where a couple told police a knife-wielding robber allowed them to remove their baby from the car before he drove away.

Scotty O. Ford, 21, who lives on Rod N Reel Road near McNeely Lake, is being held at the Clark County Jail on charges of robbery, carjacking, criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, according to jail records.

Police Chief Mark Palmer said a couple who had been shopping at Walmart on Veterans Parkway told police about 3 a.m. Sunday that a robber put a knife to their throats and demanded their Chevrolet in the parking lot.

The woman said she was able to remove their baby and her purse before the robber took the vehicle, Palmer said. Complete article

Purse snatcher leaves high price for Walmart shoppers 08/19/2013

At least three Walmart shoppers fell victim to a purse snatcher at the McComb store on Friday, city police said.

Around 11 a.m., Barbara Burris reported that a black male stole her purse while she was shopping inside the store, Detective Josh Brown said.

The thief reportedly snatched the purse, then left it in the clothing area. Brown said Burris found it shortly thereafter and noticed her wallet had been taken.

Gloster resident Donna Wilkinson told police that around 2 p.m. someone stole her purse when she left it in her shopping cart and briefly looked away. Complete article

Mom leaves baby with man she just met on Facebook, then goes shopping at Boynton Beach Walmart, cops say 08/19/2013

Three Fayetteville women accused of stealing from Walmart, assaulting employees 08/20/2013

Police seek suspects in Walmart armed robbery 08/20/2013

Port St. Lucie Walmart shopper takes five-finger discount on power tools in parked pickup truck 08/20/2013

Man Sues Walmart, Claiming Security Failed To Stop Attack 08/21/2013

Man Sues Walmart, Claiming Security Failed To Stop Attack 08/21/2013

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – A north suburban man is suing a local Walmart store, claiming he was the victim of a beating while he was shopping, and store security did nothing to stop the attack.

The suit alleges Jeremiah Rogers and his girlfriend – both African Americans – were at the Walmart in Waukegan in January, when two unidentified men–one who was white or Hispanic and the other black–began harassing them.

David Lowery Jr., founder and CEO of the Living & Driving While Black Foundation, said security guards escorted the men out, but at least one of them came back and accosted the couple again, using a racial slur.

Rogers was hit in the face with a wine bottle, then one of the men pulled out a gun, “and started to chase him around the store,” Lowery said.

“Meanwhile, Walmart security and management ran into their office, and locked the door, and left them out in the store, running, trying to save their lives,” he added. Complete article

Police: Man stole two TVs from Walmart in Silver Spring Township 08/21/2013

Police seek Walmart shoplifters who took almost $1,600 in clothing 08/21/2013

Police seek purse snatcher, getaway car hitting 67-year-old Walmart shopper 08/21/2013

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police are looking for a getaway driver responsible for striking a 67-year-old Walmart shopper. The hit came moments after the driver's passenger snatched the victim's purse from her car seat.

The crime went down around 2 p.m. on a Thursday as the victim loaded groceries into her vehicle. A white 4-door BMW was caught on surveillance video in the Cordova Walmart parking lot.

A carload of customers admitted they sometimes take their safety for granted.

"It's kind of scary. It could happen to us," said customer Deanna Williams. Complete article

Police: Man used stolen credit card at Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Man accused of Walmart thefts in Wake, Chatham counties, two sought 08/22/2013

Police arrest three in connection with Walmart theft 08/22/2013

Couple wanted for stealing electronics from Franklin Walmart 08/22/2013

Police seek man who stole from Walmart register 08/22/2013

Police: Over $1K worth of Rogaine, Crest White Strips stolen from Walmart 08/22/2013

Man accused of trying to steal woman's purse, dragging her through Walmart parking lot 08/22/2013

A man accused of attempting to steal a woman's purse and then dragging her through a parking lot and beating her, was is Cabell County court on Thursday afternoon.

Ronell Ross, 43, is charged with unlawful wounding and robbery. Authorities said Ross was trying to steal a woman's purse on Tuesday, Aug. 20. When she wouldn't let go, Ross is accused of dragging her through the Walmart parking lot on Route 60 in Huntington and began to hit her.

The woman had to be taken to the hospital according to police. Ross said on Thursday that he doesn't remember anything about the incident. "I'm very sorry for what happened. I don't know why it happened and I don't know how it happened," said Ross. Complete article

Dickinson man with nephew cited for shoplifting at Walmart 08/23/2013

Police: Wal-Mart shoplifter apprehended after foot chase 08/23/2013

Another Purse Snatching at Wal-Mart Caught on Camera 08/24/2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – It’s become an all too common and frustrating trend for both shoppers and police.

On Thursday, security cameras at the Wal-Mart along U.S. 60 in Huntington captured thieves stealing a woman’s purse.

Mary Beth Martin was loading items in her car about 3 p.m. when a black Chevy Cavalier slowly passed her, made a U-turn, and a passenger in the backseat opened the door and stole Martin’s purse out of her cart.

"She seemed so excited to do it,” Martin said. “When she got in the car, she yelled 'Go baby go!'" Complete article

Security guard shot at Ohio Walmart parking lot 08/23/2013

Man accused of stealing from Walmart 08/24/2013

Man shot in robbery attempt at Oregon Walmart 08/24/2013

Theft and drug charges lodged against woman arrested at Walmart 08/25/2013

Police: Women stole $1,200 in Walmart merchandise 08/26/2013

Teen Mugs Woman In Walmart Parking Lot 08/26/2013

A woman is unharmed after a teenager reportedly mugged her in a Walmart parking lot.

The incident happened late Sunday night at the Walmart on 8th Street in Colorado Springs.

Police say the teen suspect came up behind the woman and shoved her into her vehicle, then took her phone and debit card from her jacket pockets. Complete article

Police: Man tried to swipe beer from Wal-Mart three days in a row 08/25/2013

Police: Man tried to swipe beer from Wal-Mart three days in a row 08/25/2013

A Belmont man is in jail after police say he tried to steal beer three times in three days.

According to arrest warrants, Wayne Royal Deese Jr. hit the same store each time in search of Icehouse beer.

Arrest warrant affidavits indicate that Deese went to Wal-Mart in Belmont on Wednesday and walked out with a 24-ounce Icehouse beer.

Deese went back the next day and swiped a 12-pack of the same brand of beer, warrants state. Complete article

Authorities Investigating Threat at St. Clairsville WalMart 08/24/2013

Cops: Man took photo up woman's skirt at Walmart 08/20/2013

Man Wanted for Stealing TV from Fenton Walmart 08/25/2013

Employees bound in Altadena Walmart takeover robbery 08/24/2013

Walmart Employee Charged with Stealing from Register 08/25/2013

Shoplifting Suspects Busted Leaving Walmart 08/27/2013

'Suspicious items' in car at Springfield Walmart prompt evacuation of store; Arson and Bomb Squad at scene 08/27/2013

Man says he was robbed, kidnapped from Bradenton Walmart 08/27/2013

Transient accused of robbing Bangor Walmart, resisting arrest 08/27/2013

Laurel County Police Search For Gang That Is Shoplifting From Dollar General, Walmarts 08/27/2013

Man arrested at Wal-Mart for failing to produce weapons permit 08/28/2013

Second woman charged after baby left in shopping cart at Walmart 08/28/2013

Woman arrested at Walmart urinates in cruiser 08/28/2013

Man wanted in connection to armed robbery in Suffolk Walmart 08/28/2013

Couple wanted for allegedly stealing $30K worth of electronics from several Walmarts 08/29/2013

Wayne Co. man accused of stealing from Walmart, hitting officer in face 08/29/2013

A Wayne County man has been accused of shoplifting at a Walmart in Gates, leading police of a chase and hitting a Gates police officer in the face.

Adalberto Alers Jr., 25, of Palmyra, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and resisting arrest and petit larceny, both misdemeanors, said Gates Police Officer Lance Duffy.

Alers allegedly loaded packages of Red Bull and soda into a shopping cart at the Walmart Supercenter, 2150 Chili Ave., and fled the store with about $100 in beverages without paying about 2:50 a.m. Wednesday, Duffy said.

Store security attempted to stop Alers as he left and called Gates police, Duffy said. Alers allegedly loaded the beverages into a car that then headed east on Chili Avenue. Responding officers saw the car leave and followed. Complete article

Homewood Walmart evacuated after bomb threat 08/29/2013

OKC police give all-clear at scene of suspicious package 08/30/2013

Salt Lake City Walmart guard wounded in struggle with shoplifter 08/30/2013

Man Shot By Officer Outside Bartlett Walmart 08/30/2013

Decatur man suspected of shoplifting at Walmart arrested on theft, drug charges 08/30/2013

Woman grilled in Wal-Mart thefts 08/30/2013

Robert Reich: Wal-Mart is a jobs creator, but not the right kind 08/30/2013

Wal-Mart Prepares New India Venture 08/30/2013

Wal-Mart wage bill in D.C. heads for mayor’s desk 08/29/2013

$35K grant from Walmart will help to shelter families 08/29/2013

Wal-Mart ready to loan $50 million to Bangladesh factories 08/29/2013

Wal-Mart to brief shareholders on Bangladesh 08/29/2013

Why The Holiday Season Could Be A Flop For Big Chains From Wal-Mart to Macy's 08/29/2013

Walmart protest group continues work on plan of action 08/28/2013

Why Wal-Mart Will Never Pay Like Costco 08/27/2013

Nebraskan sues Wal-Mart over plastic bag's failure 08/28/2013

Inside Wal-Mart's Shareholders Conference 08/28/2013

Tigard claims it can stay mum on Walmart plans 08/27/2013

Wal-Mart Expands Benefits to Domestic Partners 08/27/2013

Logan Ratai, 6, Eats Walmart Donut Containing Sharp Metal Objects And Goes To Hospital 08/27/2013

Logan Ratai, a six-year-old boy, was hospitalized in Fort Riley, Kan., on Sunday after eating a donut from a nearby Walmart that reportedly contained sharp metal objects, according to local TV station WIBW. Here are some pictures of what Logan's mom Kelly allegedly found in her son's donuts:

"There were pieces of black metal, some of them looked like rings, like washers off of a little screw, some of them were black metal fragments, like real sharp pieces," Ms. Ratai told WIBW.

Walmart spokesperson Kayla Wahling told The Huffington Post it's "unlikely that this could have happened," and said the retailer is looking into the incident.

"We work with our suppliers to help ensure all of our baked goods meet our expectations," she said. She added that the store inspected other donuts after pulling them off the shelves and did not find traces of metal.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first sketchy donut incident at Walmart. In April, a shopper took to Reddit after discovering that the store had allegedly been changing the "best buy" date on a box of stale donuts. After reviewing video surveillance footage, Walmart determined that employees at that store had been "mislabeling" donuts, Wahling explained. "We've been able to do some retraining of our associates at that location. I'm not aware of any other issues since then," she said. Complete article

Supporters Want Mayor Gray to Sign 'Walmart' Living Wage Bill 08/27/2013

Target Reveals It Has The Same Problem As Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Wal-Mart Is Getting Desperate 08/24/2013

Walmart Supplier Warehouse Workers Fired For Taking 5-Minute Break, They Say 08/22/2013

Fired Walmart Workers Arrested at Rally Announcing Labor Day Deadline 08/22/2013

Oriental residents rally to fight proposed Walmart Express 08/25/2013

Say what? Wal-Mart sued in Texas for unlicensed sale of hearing aids 08/23/2013

Walmart, MotoMart turned down for liquor licenses 08/22/2013

Walmart Protesters Arrested in Northwest D.C. 08/22/2013

WSJ: Wal-Mart Adding 90 Stores in Africa 08/22/2013

Wal-Mart pushes 'made in America' at summit 08/22/2013

Ellisville turns down permit extension for Walmart project 08/21/2013

D.C. draws Wal-Mart into Democrats’ political battle over wages 08/21/2013

Holyoke mayoral candidate Jim Santiago backs Walmart plan to start getting city its own 'Boston Road' retail trail 08/21/2013

LePage heads to Florida for manufacturing summit sponsored by Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Target Will Beat Wal-Mart; J.C. Penney May File for Bankruptcy: Burt Flickinger 08/21/2013

Wal-Mart wants to be a good neighbor in Northbrook 08/21/2013

Former Fairway official warns that Wal-Mart customers will drive down property values 08/20/2013

Walmart foes try higher court to fight new market 08/21/2013

Ellisville City Council to Vote on Wal-Mart Permit 08/21/2013

Plan to build a Walmart in Remington moves forward 08/20/2013

The architect of Walmart’s D.C. defense: Obama’s chief economist 08/19/2013

Hawthorne mulls development options in Walmart controversy's wake - 08/19/2013

Zoning tiff over Walmart in Midtown Miami gets personal, emails show 08/18/2013

Sherwood Councilor Matt Langer survives recall attempt after Walmart backlash 08/16/2013

Wal-Mart workers in Weyburn, Sask., vote to dump union 08/16/2013 Chain's only remaining union in Canada never achieved collective bargaining deal

Former Oregon Walmart pharmacist accuses company of firing him for his disability 08/15/2013

Which 30% Of Walmart Employees Do You Think Should Get Fired? 08/15/2013

Wal-Mart shares fall; slashes outlook 08/15/2013 Retail giant Wal-Mart's same-store sales slipped 0.3%, widely missing analyst estimates of a 1% gain.