Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scalia, Alito and Roberts etal aren't even trying to understand!

Alito: 'Simply Not True'

In "The First Amendment Often Protects Bribes More Than Speech!!" I reviewed how the current Supreme Court interpretation of the First amendment has become so distorted that it is doing the opposite of what it should be doing by any reasonable interpretation.

The fact that they even chose to hear this particular case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission oral arguments, while declining to hear other cases that might make the first amendment apply to all people equally implies their own intentions. A closer look at their arguments might imply even more. The following are a few excerpts from oral arguments. They're followed up by a few comments that weren't raised by a, well, lessor known, um, Supreme Court Justice, sort of.

In all fairness these are taken out of context and it might be better if you read them in their proper context, assuming you haven't already; however if you do you might agree that most of it was a waste of time and they don't seem to be trying to address the most important issues.

JUSTICE SCALIA: …… , I ask myself, why would -- why would members of Congress want to hurt their political parties? And I answer -- I answer to myself -
(Laughter.) .....

JUSTICE SCALIA: And that does not -- that does not evoke any gratitude on the part of the people? I mean, if gratitude is corruption, you know, don't those independent expenditures evoke gratitude? And is -- is not the evil of big money -- 3.2 million, an individual can give that to an independent PAC and spend it, right? ......

JUSTICE ALITO: What troubles me about your -- what troubles me about your argument, General Verrilli, and about the district court's opinion is that what I see are wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible or -- and lack, certainly lack any empirical support.

Now, you've -- you've chosen to use the same hypothetical the district court used about the $3.5 million contribution that would be -- that could be given by a coordinate -- which involves all of the House candidates and all of the Senate candidates in a particular year getting together with all of the -- all of the parties' national party committees, plus all of the State party committees, and then -- and that's how you get up to the $3.5 million figure; isn't that right?


JUSTICE ALITO: Now, how -- how realistic is that? How realistic is it that all of the State party committees, for example, are going to get money and they're all going to transfer it to one candidate? For 49 of them, it's going to be a candidate who is not in their own State. And there are virtually no instances of State party committees contributing to candidates from another State.

And the other part of it that seems dubious on its face is that all of the party -- all of the candidates for the House and the Senate of a particular party are going to get together and they are going to transfer money to one candidate. There really -- you cited in your brief the example -- best examples, I take it, of -- of contributions from some candidates to other candidates. They are very small. Isn't that true?

GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes. But I think there are two -- Justice Alito, I think that, with all due respect, I think the point Your Honor is making confuses two different ways in which these laws combat the risk of corruption. .......

JUSTICE ALITO: Unless the money is transferred to -- you have to get it from the person who wants to corrupt to the person who is going to be corrupted. And unless the money can make it from A to B, I don't see where the quid pro quo argument is.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I think that the -- I think that the way these joint fundraising committees work is you hand over a single check to a candidate who solicits it. Now, it could be any candidate who sets up a joint fundraising committee, says give to me and give to the rest of my team. And that's -- so the handing over the check to that candidate is a -- seems to me creates a significant risk of indebtedness on the par of that candidate, even though a lot of the money is flowing through to others.

In addition, the party leaders are often going to be the ones who solicit those contributions, and they're going to have a particular indebtedness to candidates because, of course, their power, their authority depends on the party retaining or -- or gaining a majority in the legislature, and so they're going to feel a particular sense of indebtedness, that this person is helping not only them, but everybody -­ ......

JUSTICE SCALIA: And -- and what about newspapers that -- that spend a lot of money in endorsing candidates and promoting their candidacy. suppose, you know, you -- you have to put in that money, too. That is money that is directed to political speech.

When you add all that -- add -- when you add all that up, I don't think 3.5 million is a heck of a lot of money - ……

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: No, but that wouldn't -- doesn't normally get you very far on the First Amendment. You could not have a rule that says the -- the Post or the New York Times can only endorse nine candidates - …..

JUSTICE ALITO: I just don't understand that. You mean at the time when the person sends the money to this hypothetical joint fundraising committee there is a corruption problem immediately, even though -- what if they just took the money and they burned it? That would be a corruption problem there? ……

JUSTICE ALITO: When does the corruption - yes. When does the corruption occur? It occurs when it's transferred to -- to the person who has power and want -- and they want to corrupt. …… Complete McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission oral arguments PDF

As indicated in the previous post and some of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's or Stephen Breyer's comments raise a few legitimate issues but even they don't do nearly as good a job addressing the simple points that could have been made. This often appears to be something that they handle more as a joke, as indicated when everyone laughs at Antonin Scalia's bad jokes.

These Supreme Court Justices seem to be bending over backwards to avoid understanding anything that they don't want to understand. They seem to make it clear that those with money should have unlimited amounts of free speech while those that don't buy up speech should be relegated to speaking only in Siberian free speech zones!

If they wanted to they could easily have made a much better case like, well, the following Justice from my imagination; I had to use my imagination since none of the people from the political system are even trying.

Justice I-actually-try: Anyone that takes a relatively quick look at the speech that is coming from the commercial media might see that it is controlled by a relatively small percentage of the public and that they only present the views of those that can afford to pay for it.

It wouldn't be hard to cite a relatively small set of examples that would indicate that paid speech is drowning out more sincere speech and the claim that "money equals speech" and should be protected is a major part of the reason for this problem.

The commercial media is full of propaganda ads from the oil companies that is now "protected free speech." Some of these ads, like the ones promoting clean coal or safe technologies for fracturing to get natural gas might give people the impression that the oil companies are leaders in the environmental movement. Much more reliable reports about the dangers of these energy sources rarely get any media attention except for those that take the time to look for other sources.

Protesters who try to draw more attention to this are routinely arrested on trivial charges like trespassing.

Many retailers or other corporations, including Wal-Mart and insurance companies, also promote an enormous amount of propaganda telling the public about how good they are for society. Wal-Mart's ads about how fresh their fruit is because it is bought locally, how happy their employees are with their benefits, and how efficient their distribution system is are typical examples. Much less expensive and more accurate investigation that checks the facts routinely indicates these ads are all distortions if not outright lies; but very few people hear about that.

Once again protestors who try to tell the public the truth are routinely arrested on trivial charges like trespassing.

The money for these ads, whether it is for the oil companies, Wal-Mart or insurance companies is a business expense. This expense has to be passed on to consumers if they want to make a profit. If this wasn't the case then where would the money come from for these deceptive propaganda pieces?

The honorable Justice Scalia once wrote, "Indeed, to exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern free economy. We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate." (Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission)

I refer to him as honorable because it is polite in a civilized society to talk that way, not necessarily because I think he has done anything honorable or that this statement is all that honorable; it is similar to when we call elder statesmen honorable even when they're promoting wars based on lies. It is apparently dishonorable or impolite to point this out but that is besides the point.

The honorable Justice Scalia fails to mention the fact that consumers, workers and the rest of society all contribute to the activities that make corporations successful but the decisions about their speech is made by only a small minority of people that control the corporations without consideration for anyone else.

If consumers asked gas stations, department stores, or insurance companies to deduct the portion of their bills that goes towards speech they don't agree with, due to the fact that it is false or supports a political agenda they disagree with, would corporations be obliged to either do so or allow them the option of influencing corporate speech?

If they tried to make such a request would they be told they had to either pay full price including the portion that goes towards speech or go without?

If the consumer responded to this by speaking out would they be arrested for trivial reasons like trespassing?

The honorable Justice Scalia also said, "I assume that a law that only—only prohibits the speech of 2 percent of the country is okay." the country is okay," in a somewhat sarcastic manner that was corrected quickly by Ms. Murphy. Clearly the honorable Justice Scalia doesn't seem to think that the top "2 percent" should have any interference in their right to free speech as long as it is paid for; but the vast majority of the public shouldn't have nearly as much protection even though the cost of this speech is passed on to them one way or another.

As it stands the top one percent or less have most if not all control of speech that has the capacity to reach the entire nation. At the same time the majority of the public only have a right to speak where a small number of people can listen and if they attempt to partially reduce this inequality they run the risk of being thrown in jail for trespassing or disorderly conduct.

Would the honorable Justice Scalia "assume that a law that only—only prohibits the speech of 98 percent of the country is okay?"

To the best of my knowledge there is no such law; however the way the current system is implemented they manage to get the same results in practice.

If we tried we could find cases to hear that would attempt to reduce this inequality instead of searching for cases that will help increase it.

We have previously made statements about laws that Congress could pass to address problems when a judicial interpretation wasn't adequate; we could do it again so that it could draw more attention to this problem if we wanted to.

It wouldn't be hard to come up with something better if we actually tried to do our job.

Even the Justices and Solicitor General that did make some constructive comments didn't do nearly as good a job as they could have if they simply tried to. They're often much more concerned about being polite to those that are corrupting the system than they are to addressing the problems and they often come up with more complicated cases to make their points whether it is to improve the system or to hide the fact that they're doing the opposite; more often they do the later and this is made partially easier by the bad job those defending it do.

That doesn't even take into consideration what the honorable Justice Thomas had to say as indicated in the following quotes:

Justice Thomas:

Oops I forgot he rarely ever speaks at all, and this was indicated once again. However he can almost always be counted on to vote with his constituents, which doesn't seem to include the public. The same seem to go for the so-called liberal Supreme Court Justices who all supported Monsanto along with the conservatives.

Ironically when the honorable Justice Roberts said "To the extent the State of the Union has denigrated into a political pep rally, I'm not sure why we're there," he was right although his politics are as bad if not worse than Obama's.

The Very Troubling Partisanship of John Roberts

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The First Amendment Often Protects Bribes More Than Speech!!

The First Amendment, as now interpreted by the government or the Supreme Court, has turned into a pathetic joke; which often provides much more protection for virtual bribes, which it was never intended to protect, than for speech, which is supposed to be protected.

The vast majority of us have our right to free speech protected as long as we only speak where few if anyone is listening; which a relatively small percentage of the public buys up almost all the air time that can get messages across to a much larger audience. this means that there is one standard for low profile speech while high profile speech is virtually monopolized by an elite ruling class that controls which candidates get coverage in the commercial media and what political information we receive about them.

Antonin Scalia may have made it clear in another of his recent statements how even he thinks speech should be protected as described in the following excerpt from Democracy now:

AMY GOODMAN: During the oral arguments, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, quote, "By having these limits you are promoting democratic participation, then the little people will count some, and you won’t have the super-affluent as the speakers that will control the elections." Justice Antonin Scalia responded somewhat sarcastically by saying, quote, "I assume that a law that only—only prohibits the speech of 2 percent of the country is okay." That was Scalia.

BURT NEUBORNE: And that’s the—that’s the gulf that divides the court on these cases. Justice Ginsburg thinks that we should use campaign finance reform to advance equality, so that everybody has a roughly equal political influence. Scalia says, "Look, if you’re rich, you’re entitled to have as much influence as you can buy." And that’s now been the collision, and the Scalia side has won five-to-four consistently in recent years.

AMY GOODMAN: At a rally outside the Supreme Court Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders said unlimited private spending undermines U.S. democracy.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: The bottom line here is that if we do not want to move this nation to an oligarchic form of society, where a handful of billionaires can determine the outcome of these elections, then it is imperative not only that we overturn Citizens United, but that we put a lid on how much people can contribute in elections. Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government.
Complete article

This was taken partially out of context; if you review the original Scalia made his comment before Ginsburg. The following comments from Justice Stephen Breyer haven't received as much attention although perhaps they should have.

There are apparently, from the Internet, 200 people in the United States who would like to give $117,000 or more. We're telling them: You can't; you can't support your beliefs. That is a First Amendment negative.

But that tends to be justified on the other side by the First Amendment positive, because if the average person thinks that what he says exercising his First Amendment rights just can't have an impact through public opinion upon his representative, he says: What is the point of the First Amendment? And that's a First Amendment point. All right. So that's basic, I think.

Now, once that's so, Congress has leeway. And you are saying, and I have seen all over the place, that that's why we don't want those 200 people to spend more than 117- or 120,000 because the average person thinks the election is -- after the election all the actions are affected by the pocketbook and not by the merits of the First Amendment arguments. McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission oral arguments PDF

This basic concept isn't mentioned nearly as often in the mainstream media as it could or should be. Instead they treat it as if everyone knows it but when they make their decisions they seem to ignore it. They could easily acknowledge that there is an obvious bias in the way they're setting up the system. The public airwaves are supposed to belong to everyone, and the Cable and Satellite industries are dependent on the government regulation to enable them to have a reliable medium. The Satellite industry goes one step further, since it is benefiting from technology made available from work done by NASA at government expense, yet they're under no obligation to give more access to free speech to a large percentage of the public. All this speech must be bought and paid for and the media profits off of corporate welfare they get in return for nothing.

In return for the regulatory benefits and investments from NASA they could be required to give air time to alternative candidates and views that aren't paid for in order to even the playing field.

This isn't even discussed in a high profile manner. Nor do those without political power and money for lawyers have the opportunity to get their views before the public or the Supreme Court, unlike Shaun McCutcheon, who wants to increase his advantage over the rest of us.

Antonin Scalia's comments may have been interpreted as sarcastic by some but his interpretation of the first amendment clearly seems to apply to that "2 percent" even if it is used to drown out the other 98%. With the commercial media consolidated into six conglomerates that have a common economic ideology they can maintain an overwhelming amount of control of the mass speech in this country and the vast majority of us have little or no opportunity to get our views across.

To the best of my knowledge Antonin Scalia had few if any objections when Adbusters attempted to buy "uncommercials" and the networks refused to air them, as i ahve previously reported, 'Adbusters also attempted to buy time on ABC, NBC, and CBS for a spot declaring the day after Thanksgiving, "Buy Nothing Day." None of the major networks would run the ad. Richard Gitter, NBC's vice president of advertising standards and program compliance, says that NBC doesn't air controversial ads. Gitter continued with more candor, "this action was taken in self-interest. It was a spot telling people, in effect, to ignore our advertisers" (Oldenburg).'

Antonin Scalia didn't have any objections either when alternative candidates attempted to participate in the presidential debates but the Commission on Presidential Debates decided that only those that they approved could be allowed to get their views across. The most important debates for the elections were blatantly censored so that only those with political power would have a chance to be heard by the vast majority of the public, enabling the Mass Media to portray alternative candidates, as "non-viable." If they weren't actually "viable" it is only because they were censored by the Mass Media who only covers those that buy up enough time to be considered "viable." (This was covered more in past blogs about the debates including, Occupy the Commission on Presidential Debates!! and Could alternative debates be a game changer?)

What this essentially means is that in order for candidates to be "viable" they're required to collect enough bribes, thinly disguised as campaign contributions, to buy up air time from the commercial media, which makes an enormous profit by selling propaganda to at least partially rig elections.

Oil companies have their propaganda running almost non-stop on the commercial media while the reports of many of the disasters that are caused by the oil companies get less coverage and they’re routinely treated as isolated incidents. At the same time when protesters try to draw more attention to them they’re routinely arrested on flimsy charges like trespassing. These disasters are costing hundreds if not thousands or millions of lives; yet instead of investigating the oil companies for negligent mass murder they protect their rights to free speech and suppress the rights of their critics.

Monsanto and the Pharmaceutical companies are practically using the population of the United States as human research subjects, or guinea pigs, but instead of requiring them to disclose all their activities they pass laws making them trade secrets and protect their rights to free speech while suppressing the speech of their critics.

These companies all pass their advertising and lobbying expenses on to their customers; but they don’t pass on any influence to their customers; nor do their customers have the same rights to free speech. The same goes with the cost of lobbying against single payer health care. Insurance companies take money collected from customers premiums and instead of spending some of it on the coverage it was intended for they spend it on commercials lobbying against the best interest of the customer, while discussions of Single Payer are kept out of the commercial media.

If Antonin Scalia and many of the other people from corporate America, including Shaun McCutcheon have their way then a small number of people will be able to buy up the vast majority of information that many members of the public use to make their decisions. Technically votes might not be for sale but the speech that influences those votes are, which can come close to creating the same results.

What many people may not have even noticed is that while they’re debating rules about which circumstances people would be allowed to donate they avoid any discussion about who controls the election process, which is essentially a job interview for our elected officials.

The people that are supposedly hiring these elected officials are the members of the general public.

When a corporation hires someone they have control of the interview process. It would be perfectly reasonable for members of the public to assume that when they are the ones that hire their own elected officials they should have some control over the interview process.

Recent rulings including Citizen’s United, and perhaps, now McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, have given a small percentage of the public almost complete control of the debate and campaign process; while candidates that gain support at the grass roots level by addressing many of the most important issues hardly get any coverage and are treated as “fringe candidates” that don’t have a chance. The only candidates that are what they portray as “viable” are those that sell out the best interest of the vast majority of us.

Both Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Lenin made statements like, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth;” this is one of the most basic principles of basic propaganda; and it is clear that corporate America is doing this on a scale that is as large as either Lenin or Hitler ever did. They repeat over and over that candidates should control the interview process and no one ever suggest to the majority of the public that since they’re the ones that are supposedly hiring these elected officials that they should have their fair share of control over the interview process.

The current system clearly puts the control of the interview process in the hands of those that buy up all the speech.

Setting up a system where the public has more control of what questions are asked of the candidates and the public has opportunities to hear from all candidates, not just those approved by the corporate contributors, might take some experimenting but if the refuse to even discuss it they can keep the control of the system in the hands of the most corrupt!

Supreme Court weighs limits on campaign donations

Big Oil claims the right to bribe under the First Amendment. Taking the Fifth is more appropriate.

"I tell you they're gifts."

"Did the congressman also give you a gift of a similar value, perhaps like many of us exchange Christmas gifts?"

"I'm sure he did although I don't recall."

"If these 'gifts' were recorded would they show a pattern where much higher value 'gifts' are given to Congressmen that just happen to benefit the donors while the return 'gifts' tend to be of little or no value unless beneficial legislation is considered which would dramatically dwarf the value of the 'gifts' from the donor, at taxpayers expense?"

"Huh, I don't understand the question."

"Take your time and think about it; you might figure it out."

Additional information on the subject is available in the following pages:

First Amendment Violation Silences the Press These 20 Senators Have Committed Treason!

Lobbyist Bribes Congress -"I Paid a Bribe"

Bill Gates’ AstroTurf in Education (Privatisation for Profit) Recruits More Lobbyists, Necessitates More Bribes

Big Oil Uses The Money They Stole From Us To Bribe Our Reps To Defeat A Bill To Curb Their Avarice

Six Billion Reportedly Spent on Election Campaign

Kick them all out!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Have practice runs for Wal-Mart food riots begun?

Wal-Mart has gone wild thanks to a computer glitch in Electronic Benefits Transfer cards. In some cases they haven't worked at all and some of the customers were outraged and walked out without paying for food they may have taken but the bigger problems seems to be that many of them have removed the limit and allowed unlimited spending, which apparently they weren't supposed to do. According to some stories there are emergency procedures for this and Wal-Mart is supposed to cut them off over fifty dollars.

They didn't do that.

Now it appears as if they will be stuck with the tab and the bickering may last for a while while they point the finger at each other and try to decide whether or not they should prosecute the people that bought more than they were supposed to.

You know how it is; it is always much easier to prosecute people without political power even if they didn't cause the problem.

But the glitch is so obviously not the fault of the poor and even the police don't even seem to be taking that option seriously.

This problem seems to have come up in at least 17 states; one of the stories on it says the incident was "isolated." The voice of Andre the Giant, from the Princess Bride came to my head when I read that, saying, "I don't think that word means what you think that word means."

It will be interesting to see how they sort this mess out. But in the mean time a lot of people got food; and a lot of us are laughing at how foolish this is.

It was a matter of time before Wal-Mart started falling apart and this is almost certainly part of it.

The following are a few of the stories being stirred up; although many of the details haven't been sorted out and they will almost certainly change.

Walmart to Get Stuck With Most of Food Stamp Shopping Spree 10/14/2013

A couple of Louisiana Walmart stores will be stuck with most of the bill after food stamp recipients went on a colossal shopping spree when a power outage temporarily lifted their spending limits, state officials said today.

Police were called to Walmart locations in Mansfield, La., and Springhill, La., on Saturday as shoppers cleaned out store shelves.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said some customers were pushing more food than any household could store in a refrigerator and freezer.

"I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts," Lynd said. One person hauled away more than $700 worth of groceries, the chief said.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' spokesman Trey Williams said the retailers who chose not to use the emergency procedures that limit sales up to $50 per cardholder during an emergency would be responsible for any additional amount spent over eligible benefit balances. ..... Complete article

Walmart: Food stamps spree caused by Xerox 10/15/2013

Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Xerox Corp blamed each other on Monday after Louisiana food stamp recipients stripped bare the shelves of some Walmart stores when a computer glitch left their debit cards with no limits. Complete article

Miss. Walmart may press charges in EBT card glitch 10/14/2013

Walmart has not ruled out pressing charges against customers who allegedly attempted to walk out of one of its Mississippi stores with groceries that hadn’t been paid for after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.

“We haven’t made any type of determination. Our focus continues to be on our customers,” Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said regarding the disturbance Saturday that briefly closed down the Walmart in Philadelphia.

When asked if it was a possibility that the company would file charges, she said, “I wouldn’t say that, but, we are continuing to look into the situation.”

“We’re looking into everything, looking at surveillance video and working with the local police,” Whaling said Sunday.

However, Lt. Dan Refre with the Philadelphia Police Department said on Monday that his department is not involved in the investigation and was present only for crowd control. He said police officers were dispatched to Walmart at the manager’s request. .... Complete article

The messages on these articles seem to be full of people that are ready to blame all these people that took advantage of the situation; however this would be much more credible if corporations haven't been outsourcing jobs and crushing wages so that a shocking number of people in this country are no longer able to support themselves since they have to compete against workers that have few if any rights in sweat shops half way around the world and the corporations have consolidated so that they don't face real competition.

Is this as bad as many of the stories that many of us used to hear about what happened in the USSR?

Or is it worse?

Most of these stories seem to relatively that it was relatively civil despite the large crowds and abandoned, or perhaps stolen groceries.

This is supposedly unrelated to the government shut down; but it is another indication that the system is breaking down and when possible they at least consider blaming those that are easiest to blame. But I don't think they'll be able to.

EBT outage prompts disturbance, theft at Philadelphia Walmart 10/13/2013

Walmart shelves in Springhill, Mansfield, Louisiana cleared in EBT glitch 10/13/2013

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana 10/13/2013

EBT Card Glitch Sparks Walmart Shopping Sprees In Louisiana 10/14/2013

Walmart shoppers fill carts to overflowing when EBT card system fails 10/14/2013

UPDATE: EBT System Running Again, 17 States Still Having Connection Issues 10/13/2013

Not all EBT card users joined in on "limitless" Walmart shopping spree 10/15/2013

Louisiana taxpayers not on hook for EBT spending spree at Walmart, official says 10/15/2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Miley Cyrus the “Pathetic” one or is hypocritical Mika Brzezinski?

Apparently when Miley Cyrus did that attention seeking "twerking" performance, instead of ignoring it, as many people paying more attention to real news tried to do, Mika Brzezinski claimed that it was "Pathetic" And "Disgusting."

Mika Brzezinski: "Pathetic" And "Disgusting" Miley Cyrus Has An Eating Disorder “I think that was really, really disturbing. That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably eating disorder and I don’t think anybody should have put her on stage. That was disgusting and embarrassing … That was not attractive. That was not fun. That was not funny. That was really, really bad for anybody who’s younger and impressionable and she’s really messed up … The whole thing was cringe worthy but I feel bad for her. She is a mess. Someone needs to take care of her. Someone needs not to put her on stage and make a complete fool of herself.” — MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski Complete article

Perhaps she thinks this is her way of portraying herself as taking the high ground; and the rest of the commercial media is letting her.

With all the flirting and the lousy way they report what they call the news on Morning Joe how many people are going to believe that she deserves to hold the higher moral ground, perhaps as a good mother figure?

It wasn't that long ago when Mika helped create that pathetic excuse for a commercial for her show, 'Morning Joe' Mock Commercial: Joe Scarborough Eats, Mika Brzezinski Exercises (VIDEO). If anyone actually does believe that Mika might be a good mother figure it is almost certainly because of the non-stop propaganda that the commercial media feed them all day every day.

If there is some magic line they shouldn't cross when trying to sex up the news or entertainment I find it hard to believe that Mika is the one to look to for guidelines, not that she provides any that are consistent.

Amazingly this isn't the first time they apparently attempted to giver her the opportunity to take the high ground; according to Wikipedia she Protested "trivial journalism," implying that what Mika wanted to focus on was good and that she could be trusted to bring us the "real news."

This is incredibly phony and it is hard to imagine that all these "fans" of Mika really think she is a real "journalist" anymore than any of their other so-called "journalists;" actually even the commercial media has some "journalists" that are better than Mika, although that isn't enough to make them any good.

Is it possible for any sincere people to get a significant amount time on national TV?

This propaganda is going a long way to turn a lot of people in this country into a bunch of idiots, but even many of them almost certainly won't buy this crap.

It wasn't that long ago that Mika Brzezinski climbed into Ariana Huffington's bed with Katie Couric for cheap thrills; and we're supposed to think that Miley Cyrus is the “Pathetic” one.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The terrorists must be laughing their asses off!!

But they must also realize that they've been wasting a lot of time trying to kill us. They went to all that trouble, according to the government and mass media, to try to kill us; and now they realize that all they had to do is sit back and watch while the government self destructs!

This is just too damn easy!

There is absolutely nothing that terrorists could do to match what our own government officials are doing to destroy themselves or at least their reputations which should be beyond salvage.

The only good thing that could come out of this is that there is little or no chance that terrorists would want to launch another attack now; that would be the worst thing they could do if they wanted to let the government continue to self-destruct!

Which just might be the objective.

Perhaps the reason they did this is to provide an incentive to prevent terrorists from launching another attack; they would surely know that the only thing that would unify these bickering damn fools and repair their reputations would be a terrorist attack; so terrorist wouldn't have any motivation to launch an attack.

If any one had a motive to arrange a terrorist attack it would be, um, those that could destroy their own reputations any other way.

Could that be why Barack Obama and John Boehner always seem to be getting along so well when they're not making up arguments for the sake of political posturing??


Unless well, naaaah.

They wouldn't.

But if they did it has always worked like a charm in the past.

Both the terrorists and the politicians would be laughing their asses off; the only ones that would be screwed would be every one else.

They don't even seem to care about rubbing it in; as Libby pointed out they don't mind shutting down monuments or furloughing people and abandoning the poor but Boehner has ordered them to keep his private gym open at government expense!

If they do this as usual then as soon as it is all said and done they'll wind up paying for everything, or, more likely, just adding it on to the debt for the rest of us to pay, possibly excluding the ones that made the decisions. This is of course how they handled this in the past.

They'll keep laughing it up; unless perhaps it makes them look so bad that all of a sudden millions of people come to the sudden realization that they don't have to vote for all these clowns who refuse to even do their job and expect to get paid anyway; even when they threaten to take the pay of those that are doing their jobs.

Not surprisingly, as I was writing this an article came out indicating that the Taliban made my point before me.

Taliban mocks U.S. government shutdown

Even the Taliban is mocking the federal government shutdown.

The terrorist group that is fighting U.S. troops to return to power in Afghanistan accused politicians of "sucking the blood of their own people," reported Agence France-Presse and Al-Arabiya news service.

"The American people should realize that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests," said the statement issued by the Taliban. .....

It said U.S. politicians were guilty of taking U.S. citizens' money "earned with great difficulty" and then "lavishly spending the same money in shedding the blood of the innocent and oppressed people."

"Instead of sucking the blood of their own people... this money should be utilized for the sake of peace," it said, an apparent reference to the money spent keeping it from power. Complete article

If that wasn't embarrassing enough, Government shutdown means paychecks for federal prisoners, not prison workers!

I suppose I could have made something almost as ridiculous up; but it wouldn't match the foolishness they come up with on their own.

Photos used from some of the following sites.

hate freedom

still believe us

look bad

terrorist in soup

don't have to vote Democrat or Republican

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Elizabeth Warren's propaganda overlooks many flaws!

According to an enormous amount of coverage from the mass media Elizabeth Warren appears to be one of the biggest advocates for consumers out there. However a closer look will almost certainly not back that up; although some of what she says is better than the vast majority of the policies of other politicians. This appears to be primarily because many of the other politicians have become so extreme, and less extreme politicians appear rational by comparison. A closer look at her history has shown these flaws from the beginning but those that rely primarily on the mass media or in many cases even many of the alternative outlet might not know this.

Some of the strongest criticism has, of course, come from the Republicans, as would be expected; but this isn't the best criticism and a closer look at many of the best informed people on various issues might show that she isn't nearly as strong a supporter of the majority as she seems. I went into some of the problems that I found with her in a series of blogs that began with How sincere is Elizabeth Warren? which I initially wrote before I knew much about her but became skeptical when I noticed that the coverage of her started as mostly hype without discussing many of what I considered the most important issues. The most recent article was Elizabeth Warren is NOT a “consumer advocate!!” which I wrote after taking a much closer look and I found many problems and that she was opposed to the best interest of consumers as often if not more often than the high profile rhetoric might imply. There are many issues that I noticed that she wasn't handling nearly as well as she could have but one of the most obvious warning signs might have been that she was able to break so many records when it comes to fund raising and most of her support didn't start at the grass roots level as the media implied; it started with an enormous amount of media coverage that was followed up by support from the public. Then the media portrayed this as grass roots support. Many other candidates that gain grass roots support by addressing the issues the typical politicians refuse to handle well have an extremely difficult time getting any media coverage at all.

One of the biggest problems that has come up previously has been her lack of support for Single Payer Health Care; which she has reinforced in a recent speech. And as the following excerpt indicates she has declined to provide much if any opposition to Monsanto when it comes to labeling genetically modified organisms that might impact the health of millions.

Elizabeth Warren joins GMO labeling fray

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined the GMO labeling debate, but consumer advocates aren’t entirely pleased with her position.

The first-term senator is well-known as a champion of consumer protection, especially in relation to banking regulation, but she is on to new issues, calling for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize a 12-year-old draft guidance in relation to the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

The guidance could be complied with by the food industry on a voluntary basis, which would not be nearly as tough as the mandatory GMO labeling requirements being sought by consumer advocates. In fact, some advocates fear the FDA guidance promoted by the Massachusetts Democrat and others might even be used to circumvent the tougher standards they seek.

“FDA needs to require mandatory labeling and guidance isn’t enough,” asserts Scott Faber, director of Just Label It, one of multiple organizations fighting for mandatory labeling on a national basis. Complete article

Monsanto has a long history of conducting their research in secret and they have been involved in numerous problems where they might have falsified or misrepresented studies about the health of their products. They have also been involved in an enormous amount of political activity to protect themselves from accountability and this has included spending an enormous amount of money to misrepresent the issues in the California ballot initiative which they almost certainly won by deceiving the voters. It should be clear that Monsanto should be much more open about what they've been doing and that their compliance with this shouldn't be just voluntary.

Monsant-Oh No! 05/28/2013

'Monsanto Protection Act' Roll Call: How Did Your Congressperson Vote On HR 933? 03/28/2013 Both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders voted for it.

If this was the only issue that Elizabeth Warren strayed on or if it wasn't so obvious that she was holding the wrong position then it might be understandable but a closer look has indicated problems with many other issues, including one of the issues that has made her famous, banking regulation, as indicated by her support of Janet Yellen and her praise for Lawrence Summers, despite her opposition to his nomination which wasn't nearly as strong as some have implied. This is indicated in the following article.

Elizabeth Warren Was Mostly Absent In The Left’s Fight Against Larry Summers by Kate Nocera

WASHINGTON — There are few senators who can fire up the liberal base more than Elizabeth Warren, a progressive icon who has happily assumed the mantle of the Senate’s consumer champion and Wall Street watchdog.

So, when Larry Summers, a man many liberals view as far too cozy with the big banks, was floated as the potential successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this summer, many expected Warren to lead the charge against him. And when Summers eventually withdrew his name from consideration last week, Warren got credit at home with a triumphant Boston Herald headline: “Elizabeth Warren bounces Larry Summers as stock continues to rise.”

But sources familiar with Summers’ defeat — a development progressives celebrated as a major victory — said Warren had little to do with it. Far from leading the charge, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts hung back and let more senior members of the banking committee go out on a limb to campaign against the potential nominee.

Warren declined to publicly take a position on Summers, even as her colleagues began to openly oppose him. And while she was one of 20 senators who in July signed a letter urging President Obama to nominate Janet Yellen for Fed chair, she did so with little fanfare, and only after Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown began circulating it. She stayed away from cable news, where one of her trademark liberal sermons could have galvanized the left, and she did very little behind-the-scenes arm-twisting. The closest she came to lobbying against Summers was reportedly telling the White House she had “serious concerns” about him.

That’s not to say Warren didn’t have any impact: Her spot on the banking committee ensured that she would have a key vote against Summers, as several other Democratic senators on the committee had already publicly signaled their opposition. But for a senator who has been cast as the left’s favorite champion for the middle class in Washington, Warren’s relatively subdued role in bringing down Summers was surprising.

After Summers begrudgingly withdrew his name for consideration, Warren didn’t celebrate or gloat. While noting she likely would have opposed his nomination, she praised him as a “brilliant economist.”

“I don’t think it’s any secret that Larry is not my first choice. He’s a brilliant economist who has made terrific contributions to the field of economics. I have no doubt that he’s going to continue to do that in the future,” she said on MSNBC Monday.

That’s a far cry from some of the statements that came from progressive groups — and some of Warren’s biggest cheerleaders — after Summers withdrew. Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said Summers would have been “an awful Fed chair” who “accepted millions in payments from Wall Street.” The National Organization for Women, who has forcefully pushed for Yellen’s nomination, had previously said Summers “can’t be trusted to understand the everyday economic problems women face.” Complete article

It is hard to imagine how she came to the conclusion that Lawrence Summers "made terrific contributions to the field of economics," if you take a close look at his record including his support of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which Elizabeth supposedly supported. Lawrence Summers is the same economist who famously wrote a memo about exporting pollution and he was heavily involved in developing the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Ironically Janet Yellen, who she does support for the Federal Reserve, also supported repealing the Glass-Steagall Act and NAFTA, as well, according to the Huffington Post: "Janet Yellen Urged Glass-Steagall Repeal And Social Security Cuts, Supported NAFTA."

Despite Elizabeth Warren's rhetoric when it comes to a few high profile speeches, she isn't nearly as productive a "consumer advocate" as the commercial media makes her out to be; instead she supports the usual positions of the democratic party and declines to challenge many of the people that she works with even when they take positions that oppose hers. By supporting Janet Yellen she can indirectly support some of the policies she suposedly opposes while taking credit for opposing the policies in a much higher profile manner.

This is typical political manipulation; which shouldn't be surprising, she has surrounded herself with democratic political advisers from the beginning, mainly many of the same advisers that supported Deval Patrick. These political advisers routinely coach candidates on what to say and how to act and their taking points and how to "stay on message." Many of these things wouldn't fit the strictest definition of a conspiracy since they aren't secret; they openly admit they conduct politics this way! However they also admit that an enormous amount of their planning is done in secret; so this clearly would fit the definition of a conspiracy; and once again they admit it; although they seem to act as it is acceptable in a "democratic society."

Essentially what they seem to be admitting to is that many of the methods that they use to manipulate the public are secret and that the public is given an enormous amount of propaganda to base their decisions on. This might not be a good conspiracy in many ways since an enormous amount of the information that exposes their activities is public; however in many other ways it's an excellent conspiracy, or perhaps, more accurately, propaganda effort, since the vast majority of the public continues to rely on the propaganda to make their decisions without taking the time to sort through many of the alternative sources which often take more time to find and the mass media routinely presents many of these sources as fringe.

One of the most common methods that the political establishment attempts to do is to maintain control of who gives the public their information and what questions they have to answer and methods that they might use to avoid grass roots questions that might enable the public to better understand the issues. One organization that has attempted to change that in the past was Project Vote Smart by asking all candidates to fill out a questionnaire. Unfortunately Elizabeth Warren refused to fill out her vote smart questionnaire. In all fairness Vote Smart hasn't done as good a job developing these questionnaires as they have in the past and they have often been late distributing them but they're still the closest thing I know of to a job application that is given out consistently to all candidates. and the fact that they're shorter than they probably should be would make them easier and safer for candidates to fill out; but presumably many of these candidates seem to want to maintain as much control over what information they give out as possible so that might have an impact on the decline of this project.

One of the most important subjects that many people have been advocating for has been Single Payer health Care; however there are few if any people within the political establishment or the commercial media that support it; and Elizabeth Warren is no exception. Last year there were several candidates running for president that supported Single Payer Health Care but the mass media and political establishment treated them as fringe third party candidates and refused to provide any sincere coverage of what it is and how it works, including the possibility that it could dramatically reduce health care bureaucracy and make health care much more affordable for all. This is something that is only discussed in a rational manner on alternative media outlets, for example, Democracy Now has had plenty of stories discussing Single-Payer; and Truthdig does as well!

It turns out that Elizabeth Warren may have once thought it was a good idea but as soon as she began participating in politics she may have done an about face and decided to support the "Affordable Care Act," which isn't nearly as affordable despite it's title. Now that she is in the senate she could easily speak out about this and do much more to inform the public about it but she has declined to do so and she is even attempting to ensure that "the law is here to stay" according to a recnet oped ironically called "This is Democracy." If this was as democratic as she implied she wouldn't hesitate to give the vast majority of the public the information they need to base their decisions and this could include educating them on Single Payer Health Care, which she has written on in the past but, perhaps, only for a smaller audience, of mostly better educated, or better informed people.

The following article covers some of the discussion of health care. It either demonstrates, or hints at, how attempts may have been made to portray Single-Payer as a socialist program that is inefficient during the election by the Republicans and many of the people within the commercial media and instead of speaking out in favor of it Elizabeth Warren remained silent while the only one that attempted to support it was her democratic opponent in the primary, before the primary was canceled ending further discussion.

Factcheck: Does Elizabeth Warren support single-payer health care?

After the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care reform as constitutional, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign sent out a fundraising email with the subject head, “Here comes single-payer Warren.”

The email read: “Scott's opponent, Elizabeth Warren, not only supported Obamacare, but she thought we should have gone even further: ‘The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care,’ says Warren. Warren's single-payer, European-style, government-owned and operated health care scheme will make Obamacare look tame by comparison.”

However, Warren’s former Democratic opponent Marisa DeFranco criticized Warren for not supporting a single-payer system. DeFranco’s website stated, “I am the only candidate on the record in support of Single Payer.” “When we debated at Stonehill College, I made a clear statement I’m the only candidate in this race who supports single-payer,” DeFranco told “No one disabused me of that notion.” ...

Asked by earlier this year if she supports a single-payer health care system, Warren similarly said the focus needs to be on the current law. "I think the urgent question now is whether we’re going to be able to hold on to the health care reforms that just passed," Warren said in an emailed statement. "There are a lot of people who want to repeal them. I think we need to focus on protecting them and on finding new ways to lower costs, which are still too high."

Asked for its source on Warren’s support for a single-payer system, the Brown campaign pointed to “Get Sick, Go Broke,” a chapter written by Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, and Ohio University professor Deborah Thorne in the 2008 book “Health at Risk,” edited by Jacob Hacker. The chapter was based on an academic study in which Warren and Thorne analyzed questionnaires, court records and personal stories of families in bankruptcy. They found that more than half their sample filed for bankruptcy at least in part because of medical problems, and nearly three-quarters of those who fell ill had insurance.

Warren and Thorne wrote: “We approach the health care debates from a single perspective: maintaining the financial stability of families confronting illness or injury. The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care.”

They wrote that universal, single-payer care would allow people to get care without risking bankruptcy, and would “free families from dependence on an employer’s plan, and make certain that everyone is covered, whether or not they are employed.”

Warren and Thorne also noted the problems with single-payer care. “We recognize that there are cost-containment issues and the ever-present specter of rationing medical care,” they wrote.

They concluded, “From the perspective of family finances, this is the most obvious and workable solution.”

Warren and Thorne offered other solutions as well.

They wrote that if universal, single-payer health insurance is “politically unacceptable,” another option would be to guarantee all Americans access to “affordable and adequate” health insurance, which cannot be terminated if a family member is ill and which should not be tied to employment. They wrote that other reforms that would relieve financial burdens on families would include making prescription drugs and rehabilitation therapy available at lower costs, providing additional access to in-home care and providing paid leave for care providers. Complete article

“Politically unacceptable” generally seems to refer to what is acceptable to powerful institutions, not to the vast majority of the the public. These institutions have an enormous amount of influence over what the public hears about any particular subject, so they can have a major influence on the decisions they make by controlling the propaganda that is given to them. when it comes to "cost-containment issues" related to Single payer health care compared to the current system many of them might be much worse in the current system. this is because their are an enormous amount of bureaucratic expenses and the need to give investors large profits in the current system. If they eliminated the enormous amount of money donated to politicians or spent on advertising that demonized universal health care then this money could be diverted to actual health care expenses which is what it was intended for in the first place.

And as for "the ever-present specter of rationing medical care,” this is already happening by withholding care from millions of people. This leads many people to wait until the last minute when it is much more expensive and the state often gets left with the tab anyway because people show up in the emergency room much more often. By not waiting to the last minute they could reduce both of the problems that Warren and Thorne acknowledged and she could do much more to explain this to the majority of the public now that she is in a position where even the commercial media will cover her.

Instead she now only supports or discusses what the establishment considers “Politically acceptable.”

According to Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren does not support the will of 67% of the people of Massachusetts regarding health care. there are many other well informed consumer advocates on many other issues that look into them and find that Elizabeth Warren doesn't support the best interest of the public on those issues but they can't get any attention from the commercial media anymore than Medicare for All.

One argument that has been made in the past is that she might not want to alienate people and that she has to be careful about picking her fights; on the other hand one of her most popular ads was of a woman who seemed amazed because Elizabeth warren isn't "afraid of anyone." It might be extremely difficult to get things done in Washington but this would be much easier if she had support at the grass roots level and she could get much more of this if she spoke up much more often on a variety of issues load and clear as someone who really isn't "afraid of anyone."

If she did this, even if she lost then she would at least do much more to educate a large percentage of the public on many of the issues that the media and political establishment aren't covering properly.

Instead, as I have indicated in this blog or some of my past blogs she has taken the side of the political establishment against the public on a large variety of issues including charter school, gambling, health care, asbestos, Monsanto, advertising to children and many other issues.

In all fairness a lot of her rhetoric is very good and if she followed up on it with actual policies or much better efforts to educate the public then she would be the "consumer advocate" that they portray her to be; but instead she spins things like any other politician. The same thing happened with Barack Obama with his promises of "hope and change" and this is jsut one of many other examples where the hype seems to good to be true.

The hype surrounding Wendy Davis seems a lot like the hype that i saw when I first started paying attention to Elizabeth Warren and, perhaps, it should make many people just as suspicious. Considering how bad Rick Perry is it is hard to imagine how she could be worse, but even if she is much better than Rick Perry she is another creation of media hype and they should spend much more time discussion the details of many issues. Considering the track record of the media it is hard to imagine that they would provide her with this coverage unless they knew she wouldn't get out of line anymore than Elizabeth Warren is getting out of line now.

This may seem cynical but the media and the political system has demonstrated over and over again that this is justified.

However this doesn't mean that there isn't an alternative because a closer look at many of the grass roots efforts indicates that there are many people that haven't been fooled by this hype and if they had a chance to get their views across in a higher profile manner then they could implement real reform.

It may not seem easy but what we need to do is to get people elected that are chosen at the grass roots level; not people that are chosen by the media. As long as our leaders see that they can continue to fool us by giving us one hyped up candidate after another without rational discussion of the issues they'll continue business as usual!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wal-Mart censorship in Argentina is part of a larger pattern

Photo source

Forbes recently reported a little known story about how Wal-Mart and other advertisers have been accused of participating in censorship in cooperation with the Argentina government. the low profile of this story is a subtle form of censorship or propaganda. By reporting the things they want to emphasis over and over again while they report the things they don't want too much emphasis on briefly then forget about it they can claim they aren't censoring things but few people would notice that they have focused the public's attention where they might want it, or at least tried.

More important they don't even focus on some of the more insidious forms of censorship and the possibility that it is already happening on a much larger scale in the United States. If they did it would almost certainly raise many more questions about how allowing large corporations to consolidate into only six major conglomerates that control the media and a similar small amount of companies that control what books, movies and CDs people buy.

Perhaps more importantly, it should raise more questions about relying almost entirely on media outlets that are financed by advertising revenue that gives them an incentive to look the other way at problems with the corporations that provide financing and makes it much more difficult for opposing views that aren't backed up with big money to get their messages across to the public.

One major example is the fact that advertising expenses have been rising dramatically while at the same time manufacturing expenses are being cut significantly. This hasn't been reported widely, presumably because the people that do most of the reporting of the news are dramatically increasing the amount of revenue they collect at the expense of the rest of the public; and if they report it the public might consider reform that might reverse this trend, which must have a major impact on the increasing wage gap and the lowering of quality of merchandise.

This is especially important when these advertiser are involved in activities that are destructive to the environment, the education system and that might encourage violence. Not that they should be completely censored either but those with opposing views that protect the environment education system and reduce violence need to have a much better chance to speak to the majority of the public not just those that seek out alternative views.

The following are a few excerpts from the Forbes article:

Another Corruption Scandal For Wal-Mart As Retailer Accused Of Censoring Argentine Media 09/26/2013

It’s the 1940s again in Buenos Aires, where it does not pay to be an enemy of the government. ....

.... Grupo Clarin, the biggest news publisher in the country, is on the outside. As are La Nacion and Editorial Perfil. As a result, they’ve lost all of their ad revenue from their best clients. Big retail is doing an ad freeze tango on Argentina’s big media. ....

The list of enablers is long. Wal-Mart is joined by Carrefour, Jumbo Retail, Coto Supermarkets, Easy Argentina, Garbarino, Rodo, Megatone and Fravega. With a few exceptions, all of these companies have full-stopped advertising since February. ....

For that special treatment, Moreno asked the big retailers to pull out all the advertising in the major national press, punishing them for their constant criticism of the government. .... Complete article

The example sited in Argentina would be considered so blatant and outrageous that it might raise major objections if it happened here in the U.S., yet in a more subtle manner it already is happening here in the U.S., on a much larger scale and it has been happening for years.

Most people have come to think of this as normal; or more likely they don't think about it at all.

The amount of influence that advertisers could potentially hold over the coverage in the media has always been a problem however thirty years ago before all the mergers and acquisitions enabled a relatively small number of corporations to dominate large markets, in theory if some media outlets investigated the wrong doing of one of them they could easily get advertising from many of the other businesses and it would add to their credibility by demonstrating that they're doing good investigative reporting.

Robert W. McChesney has gone into this much more in his work including two books, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy," and "The Problem of the Media." Advertisers have plenty of time to get their views across and in some cases the critics of these advertisers can't even buy time on TV like when Adbusters attempted to by what they called "uncommercials" which the networks refused to air as indicated in the following excerpt:

Adbusters produced a 30-second spot that pointed to the connection of fashion and eating disorders. The commercial begins with a soft-focus image of a naked woman accompanied by a voice-over saying, "Obsession, fascination, fetish." The writhing woman appears to be in slow-motion ecstasy before we realized that she is vomiting into a toilet bowl. The voice says: "Why do nine out of 10 women feel dissatisfied with some aspect of their bodies? The beauty industry is the beast."

Several women's groups joined Adbusters in purchasing four spots on the CBC show, Fashion File, and they attempted to buy airspace on CNN's Style with Elsa Klensch. Both networks refused to run the Adbuster's uncommercial. Adbusters also attempted to buy time on ABC, NBC, and CBS for a spot declaring the day after Thanksgiving, "Buy Nothing Day." None of the major networks would run the ad. Richard Gitter, NBC's vice president of advertising standards and program compliance, says that NBC doesn't air controversial ads. Gitter continued with more candor, "this action was taken in self-interest. It was a spot telling people, in effect, to ignore our advertisers" (Oldenburg).

Even though the Adbusters' uncommercial was censored by the networks, it and other uncommercials have been viewed by many people via the Web. The Adbusters' URL is frequently mentioned in lists of favorite Web sites in newspapers and on individuals' home pages. The Adbusters' Web site offers a critique of the visual icongraphy of the perfect body and the "Just Do It" rhetoric of personal empowerment embedded that iconography. Adbusters seeks to redefine agency by "trickle-up" activism. The "Culture Jammers Toolbox" section of the site gives production advice on how to introduce noise into focus groups, compose alternative print ads, make television spots, buy television time, and subvert billboards with spray-painted modifications. Complete article

The clear implication is that major media gives preferential treatment to those that spend the most. This effectively means that the truth, as presented by the mass media, is for sale, at least partially. However many people may never have even heard of this which happened years ago and many of those who have may have forgotten about and they may allow the corporate control of the media to influence their thinking without realizing it.

The commercial media is much less likely to report on many of the activities of Wal-Mart and many other major advertisers than they are the activities of people without political power and in many cases when they involve both they might present things in a manner which implies that any negative aspects are solely the fault of those that aren't their advertisers as in the case of the large amount of crimes that are taking place at Wal-Mart every day, as I pointed out in "Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd." Studies have shown that there are much more crimes committed at Wal-Mart than at other competitors and that small businesses are much less likely to result in high police expenses. There are also many studies that indicate that Wal-mart leads to higher poverty and lower quality and paying jobs but these studies aren't covered much if at all in the commercial media.

In one example Wal-Mart supporters misrepresented a study from the University of Missouri to imply that it showed that Wal-Marts were good for communities when the actual study indicated that there were some good aspects of it but there were also many negative aspects and that they caused many problems as well. This misrepresentation was debunked; however the coverage of this didn't get much coverage at all while the misrepresentations continued to be repeated over and over again. Other examples where positive stories about Wal-Mart have been reported much more widely include when they report they're hiring for the holidays without reporting how low quality their jobs are, or when they report that they're buying American, which they ahve done over and over again even when they increase their imports from China and Bangladesh. The most recent incident where they reported this apparently there is finally an increase in American manufacturing but what was reported much less widely is that the manufacturers took the lead, for all retailers not just Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart took the credit this time.

This is clearly a major part of the reason why Wal-Marts have been growing long after many people have started to learn how bad they are for communities. Hardly a store opens any more without major opposition from local people organizing against it, or at least trying; but they report these as isolated incidents just like they report each shooting or bomb scare as isolated without letting many people know how much opposition there is to Wal-mart and why or that their policies might potentially be contributing to their higher crime rates.

The majority of the criticism of Wal-Mart's censorship has been about their attempts to control the books and music that is sold at their stores and this is a major concern, especially when they have such a dominant position in the retail industry. Many of the best books or music might not make it if they're not featured in Wal-mart and it may have already led to lower quality of these items. It also may mean that major celebrities might not dare to criticize Wal-Mart.

However, this may not be the most important concern. a bigger problem might be that many of the biggest critics of corporate America including but not limited to Wal-mart might not have an opportunity to get their views across to a large percentage of the public that still does take the initiative to seek out their own information even though it is increasingly obvious that the commercial media isn't even trying to do a good job reporting the news especially when it comes to reporting on those that finance them.

The same could just as well go for the oil companies which buy an enormous amount of propaganda on TV telling the public how the "energy future could look very Bright," and that what they call "safe technology" or "clean coal" could address all our environmental and economic problems. This could also go for Monsanto which is hardly being exposed even though they don't seem to be buying much advertising time at all, at least not directly; however many of the companies that deal with their products buy an enormous amount of advertising time, including Wal-Mart.

The Mass Media outlets that we rely on to bring us the most important news have a major incentive to continue to sweep it under the rug instead!!

Most of this isn't as blatant as their cooperation to censor Argentina's media, assuming people see this article, but the more people look at it and think about it the more problems they might be able to find and the more clear that it should be that a much larger group of people need to have ways to get their views across, not just the six media conglomerates and the corporations they sell advertising to.

The following are some related articles:

Top 10 reasons why media censorship in China sucks (photo source)

Corporate Censorship, Part I: Son of Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Bans Sheryl Crow's Next Album

12 Items Walmart Apparently Considers More Dangerous Than Assault Weapons

The Wal-Mart Thought Police The 'everyday low prices' superchain refuses to carry books and music that dare criticize conservative values.

The Inconsistent Censorship of Walmart: Fifty Shades of Grey?

Green Day Changes Its Stance on Walmart and Censorship

Censorship Backfire: Surge Of Interest In Zinn’s ‘People’s History’

Censorship & Comics

Wal-Mart tries to shut down union organizing site

The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Robert W. McChesney

Juan Gonzalez interviews Robert W. McChesney on Democracy Now

Corporate Control of the Media

Photo source

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wal-Mart Crime report September 2013

In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compliling 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. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a blog, 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. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart 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. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in September 2013. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. To minimize redundancy most gun related incidents will only be one lines, since they have been highlighted by Wal-Mart Shootings; some of the other more relevant incidents may have additional summations.

There have been at least seven bomb threats during the month; and two of the articles about them have mentioned more which haven’t been reported here. They don’t report these nationwide any more than they report the shooting incidents although they are much more common than most people realize. There has also been a bomb threat at a school that was allegedly made because a janitor didn’t get a free gift certificate which was given to the teachers.

This isn’t the only example where Wal-Mart has been getting involved in the local education system and it might raise conflict of interest issues. Their involvement is often portrayed as charitable, however it may come at a higher cost than many people realize. If local schools are indebted to Wal-Mart many of them may hesitate to criticize them as many that have also received money from oil interests haven’t taught children about environmental destruction. Also it gives Wal-Mart an unfair advantage over competition and it is clear from many of the stories that Wal-Mart has much more support from politicians and business interest than they do from local communities who are constantly trying to keep them out, perhaps because they are aware of the damage indicated in \the studies previously mentioned. In one example after community opposition convinced a town to get another impartial study, at a high cost to the town, the mayor indicated that he would make his decision before they even came up with their report.

They have also attempted to use their “low price” reputation to justify a veto of the bill giving their workers a higher wage in Washington DC, which is misleading since the wages of their workers is a very small percentage of their expenses and it ignore the studies that indicate that Wal-Mart contributes to poverty. It also ignore the fact that Wal-Mart ahs been a leader in off-shoring and that their products are much lower quality forcing the needy to replace things more often.

They have even come up with a new reality show instead of relying on the market and choices of consumers to decide what their new products might be. The winner of this contest should keep in mind the pressure that Wal-Mart puts on its suppliers.

I started with one that I missed from August; strange things happen at Wal-Mart.

Kansas Couple Arrested For Walmart Sex 08/01/2013

Man pulls knife on security at Gallatin Walmart during robbery 09/01/2013

GALLATIN, Tenn. - Police are asking the public's help in identifying a man in connection to an attempted aggravated robbery at a Gallatin Walmart on Sunday.

According to officials, the man went inside the store around 9:30 a.m. and took a GPS device from the shelf.

While he was trying to leave the store, security officers confronted him.

Once back inside, the suspect pulled out a knife and threatened an officer before fleeing the scene. Complete article

Police: Suspects identified in Walmart shooting 09/01/2013

Faulty fire alarm causes Augusta Walmart evacuation 09/02/2013

Man beaten, robbed outside of Shreveport Walmart 09/03/2013

Three Alexandria men are behind bars this morning on charges they robbed a man outside of Walmart Monday night, knocking the victim unconscious.

The incident happened about 10:30 p.m. at the business in the 1600 block of Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.

Police say the victim was in the parking lot when he was approached by three black males. The suspects reportedly assaulted the man before taking his wallet and leaving the scene. Complete article

Demetris Oneal: Walmart worker accused of stealing bras, beef jerky from Greenacres store 09/02/2013

Return trip to Walmart lands man in jail 09/03/2013

Two men arrested for trying to steal vacuum cleaners from Wal-Mart 09/04/2013

$12K worth of phones stolen from Thomasville Walmart 09/05/2013

Drug-related shooting in Mississippi Walmart Parking Lot 09/05/2013

Former Walmart Employee Suspected In Over 30 Robberies 09/05/2013

Police: Thieves loading shopping carts, boldly walking out of local Walmart 09/05/2013

Disguised man accused of Walmart thefts 09/05/2013

Port St. Lucie police need help identifying man who exposed himself to Walmart shopper 09/06/2013

Police arrest man accused of stealing $30K worth of iPads from several Walmart stores 09/06/2013

Gunman robs filling station at Louisiana Walmart 09/06/2013

Man robbed at gunpoint at Georgia Walmart 09/06/2013

Walmart video game scam under investigation by Michigan State Police 09/08/2013

Walmart theft suspects crash after fleeing police 09/08/2013

Trio sought in theft of TV from South Union Wal-Mart 09/08/2013

Two people dead from murder/suicide in Ohio Walmart parking lot 09/08/2013

Police Find Drugs On Cedar Rapids Man After Walmart Theft 09/09/2013

Manhunt Monday: Walmart homicide suspect eludes police 09/09/2013

Sheriff's Office reports multiple larcenies at Walmart 09/09/2013

Police: 27-year-old man accused of stealing from Rock Hill Walmart 09/09/2013

Woman tries to walk out Walmart with a full cart, twice 09/09/2013

Robber gets away after threatening employee with gun at Walmart on Sparkman Drive, police say 09/10/2013

Deputies seek couple who robbed northwest side Walmart 09/10/2013

Wal-Mart arson, theft suspect sought 09/11/2013

Savannah-Chatham police are asking the public to help identify and locate a woman suspected of starting a fire in a local Wal-Mart last month as a distraction.

Police say the woman set the blaze about noon Aug. 20 at the Wal-Mart in the 6000 block of Ogeechee Road that allowed her to leave the store with a basketful of items. Complete article

2nd man charged in Walmart robbery attempt 09/11/2013

Computer thief strikes again at Valley Walmart 09/11/2013

Marietta police: 2 wanted in Walmart parking lot armed robbery 09/11/2013

Woman facing charges in Walmart theft 09/11/2013

Man arrested stealing magic cards at Walmart 09/11/2013

Deputies Say Man Made Bomb Threat Because He Didn't Receive Walmart Gift Certificate 09/12/2013

A criminal complaint alleges an employee at Cross Lanes Elementary told several school employees he was going to purchase gas and make a gas bomb because he was upset teachers in the school received Walmart gift certificates for outstanding performance and he didn't receive one.

Bruce Edward Stanley, 51, of Cross Lanes, a janitor at the school, was charged Thursday with making a terroristic threat, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Complete article

Tampa Walmart evacuated after threat 09/12/2013

Police search for Walmart scammers 09/12/2013

Three men arrested following active meth lab found in van outside Burton Walmart store 09/12/2013

BURTON, MI – Three people were taken into custody Wednesday, Sept 11, after Burton police discovered an active meth lab inside a van in the Walmart parking lot.

Burton police Lt. Mike Odette said they were called to the retailer's East Court Street location around 6:30 p.m. after a Walmart employee called and informed police a group of men were back at the store who’d previously tried to purchase Sudafed on multiple occasions.

When police arrived Wednesday evening, a 30-year old Waterford man, 26-year-old Flint man and 23-year-old Flint man were all taken into custody and transported to the Genesee County Jail. All three men were lodged for production of meth.

Police closed off part of the parking lot, while the Flint Area Narcotics Group and Michigan State Police response team showed up on site. Complete article

Man fires shots in parking lot of a Florida Walmart 09/15/2013

Bomb threat temporarily closes West Milwaukee Walmart 09/16/2013

WEST MILWAUKEE -- A bomb threat cleared the Walmart near 41st and Greenfield Ave., leaving employees and shoppers to watch as police work to clear the building. Law enforcement have searched the building, and haven't found any explosive devices. The Walmart has reopened for business.

"At 10:18 am this morning we had a bomb threat come in via the phone," Walmart store manager Joey Marx said. "At that point in time we did our procedures on evacuating the building as quickly as possible."

Witnesses tell CBS 58 they were shopping, and an announcement ordered everyone to leave the building. We're told this happened around 10:00 a.m.

Walmart shopper Aaron Redmond said, "[I was] in the line. Somebody told me its a blue code. I said I don't know nothing about no blue code. That was it. They said a bomb threat and that was it. That's all I know. Had my groceries, had my bag and my stuff to go to work with and that was it."

This isn't the first time this same Walmart location had a bomb threat. A bomb threat was called in on July 13, 2013. Complete article

Woman arrested for setting fire in Walmart 09/17/2013

Sheriff's sergeant reprimanded for vulgar language at Walmart 09/17/2013

Logan man sent to prison for 2011 Walmart arson 09/17/2013

String of thefts at Walmart related, deputies say 09/17/2013

Deputies looking for robbers of Spanaway Walmart they say shoved, injured pregnant woman and other customers 09/17/2013

Man must make restitution for stolen Walmart electronics 09/17/2013

Duo wanted in theft of $1500 in goods from Boone WalMart 09/17/2013

Utah man going to jail for running down teens in Walmart parking lot 09/18/2013

A 43-year-old Murray man will spend a year in jail after admitting that while drunk he used his RV to hit a group of teenagers in a Washington City parking lot.

Nickolas Michael May pleaded guilty in June to two counts of aggravated assault, one a second-degree felony and the other a third-degree felony, and one count of third-degree felony DUI.

On Tuesday, a 5th District judge ordered May to spend one year in jail followed by 36 months of probation. May was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

In plea-agreement documents, May admitted that on May 23, 2012, he drove his motor home into a 16-year-old and hit the parked SUV the youths were standing beside. Witnesses told police that the RV’s awning pole fell on the boy, pinning him against the RV. Complete article

Concord police seek help in identifying body found near Walmart 09/18/2013

Barefoot suspect stabs Walmart employee in San Antonio 09/18/2013

SAN ANTONIO -- An employee was stabbed at a north-east side Walmart late Tuesday.

The stabbing happened just after 11 p.m. at the store located in the 1400 block of Austin Highway.

Police said the loss prevention officer noticed a suspicious man who appeared to be shoplifting. When the employee confronted the man, he pulled out a box cutter and stabbed him according to investigators. Complete article

Man Arrested, Woman Cited After Incident At Pulaski County Walmart 09/18/2013

LMPD: Man impersonates officer, steals from Wal-Mart 09/18/2013

Kingsport police seek man who used fake debit card at Walmart 09/18/2013

Bomb Threat at Logan, Utah Wal-Mart 09/18/2013

(KUTV) Officers were called to a bomb threat at the South end of the Logan Wal-Mart store at 12:45 pm on Wednesday.

The Cache Valley Bomb Squad was contacted and responded to the scene. The store manager and officers searched the building and did not locate any suspicious packages.

The FBI was contacted and confirmed numerous Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation including several in Utah were receiving the same threat. Complete article

PCSD searches for man connected to Walmart robbery 09/18/2013

Young girl arrested in Wal-Mart robbery 09/18/2013

Meth-making drug sales spike at Walmart in South Charleston 09/18/2013

Police Chase Ends at Dallas Wal-Mart 09/19/2013

Sumter County deputies search for man in upskirt Walmart photos 09/19/2013

3 face felony charges after North Utica Walmart incident 09/19/2013

Mandan police seek men in Walmart theft 09/19/2013

17-year-old arrested, charged of robbing Huntsville Wal-Mart 09/20/2013

Gunman robs two Walmart stores in Missouri 09/20/2013

Newport News: Woman reported wallet stolen at local Walmart 09/20/2013

Bank branch in Wal-Mart robbed 09/21/2013

Sumter man barricaded self in home after touching woman at Walmart 09/22/2013

Man Jailed After Police Said He Threatened To Blow Up Beckley, West Virginia Walmart 09/22/2013

A Beckley man is in jail after police said he threatened to blow up a Raleigh County business.

Travis Lee Persinger, 26, is being charged with three counts of making false bomb threats.

Beckley police responded to five bomb threats at a Walmart on Eisenhower Drive earlier this month.

Persinger actually worked at the store and authorities said he told them he only made the threats because he was bored. Complete article

Walmart Chemical suspect in custody for mental health evaluation Nebraska 09/23/2013

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Criminal charges will be forwarded to the Red Willow County attorney's office, after an older McCook man threw chlorine bleach and ammonia on the floor at the service counter in the Walmart store in McCook Sunday afternoon, sickening 9-10 people, three seriously enough to be taken to Community Hospital.

McCook police officers were initially called about 2:30 p.m. to the store for a "public assist," to a disturbance in the area of the service counter. Ambulance personnel were requested, and because of the dangerous chemical mix and its fumes, the hazardous response team of the Red Willow Western Rural Fire Department responded to the scene.

McCook Police Chief Ike Brown said police officers subdued the man, who was reportedly shouting irrationally and throwing ammonia and chlorine bleach. The man was taken into custody, and later transported for a mental health evaluation. Brown declined to release the man's name. Complete article

Gadsden Police investigating knife-point robbery attempt at Wal-Mart 09/23/2013

Shots fired in Carlsbad New Mexico Walmart parking lot 09/23/2013

Teenager is charged with using fake gun to rob 2 Walmart stores in Branson 09/23/2013

Update: Pedestrian hit outside Paragould Walmart escapes serious injury 09/23/2013

Woman charged with shoplifting at Walmart 09/23/2013

New arrest made in Smyrna gift-card-scam case 09/24/2013

Threat forces evacuation at Gladstone Walmart Tuesday afternoon 09/24/2013

Police Looking for Walmart Shoplifting Suspect 09/24/2013

Walmart in Mount Pocono evacuates Tuesday morning 09/24/2013 briefly evacuated Tuesday morning after a forklift hit a propane line.

Greenville Walmart shooter picked victims by race 09/24/2013

Arrest made in Walmart filming girls, indecent-exposure case 09/24/2013

Bomb threat closes Heights Walmart for a few hours 09/25/2013

Sheriff: Man Flattened, Then Changed Woman's Tire in Stalking Incident at Walmart 09/25/2013

The man authorities are trying to identify made several sexual comments that made the 65-year-old Cartersville woman uncomfortable.

A 65-year-old Cartersville woman Monday, Sept. 23, was leaving Walmart just before 2 p.m. when she was approached by a man who offered to help her, Sheriff Clark Millsap said in a news release.

"As she was backing from her parking space, she was approached by a white male who told her that she had a flat tire," the release says. "He offered to change it for her and she allowed him to do so. ...

The deputy and Walmart management reviewed security video, which showed the man who had helped the woman had parked just after she did, and while she went inside shopping, removed the valve stem and waited for her to return. Complete article

Two women who attempted theft at Lake Hallie Walmart in July apprehended again 09/24/2013

Law and Order: Cashier accused of stealing $1K from Walmart 09/24/2013

Cops: Thief Used Stolen Credit Cards at Warminster Walmart 09/25/2013

Caught on Camera: Woman's Trailer Stolen from Durant Walmart Parking Lot 09/24/2013

Summerfield man, 80, accused of stealing clothing from Walmart 09/26/2013

Woman accused of fatally shooting boyfriend in League City, Texas Walmart parking lot 09/27/2013

Conroe officer indicted for fatally shooting teenage shoplifting suspect at Walmart 09/27/2013

Conroe, Texas officer indicted in teen's fatal shooting 09/27/2013

In a rare occurrence, a police officer in Montgomery County will face criminal charges in the August fatal shooting of a teenager suspected of shoplifting from a Conroe Walmart.

The family of the teen said Friday that the officer accused in the slaying should have been indicted Thursday on a murder charge, not manslaughter.

"This was murder. Manslaughter is not enough," said Juan Cuyun, the father of 19-year-old Russell Rios. "They tried to make it my son's fault."

Conroe police officer Jason Blackwelder, 29, is accused of shooting Rios in the back of the head on July 31 as the teen was fleeing Walmart security personnel.

Blackwelder, an off-duty Conroe police sergeant, saw Rios running away and followed workers who were chasing him into a wooded area, authorities said.

After the shooting, police released a statement that the two got into a "violent struggle" and the teen "began choking the sergeant."

Earlier this month, the family said an autopsy showed that Rios was shot in the back of the head, casting doubt on the officer's story. Complete article

2 persons of interest ID'd in attempted abduction at Mooresville Walmart 09/27/2013

Kernersville Wal-Mart evacuated after letter passed to employee 09/28/2013

KERNERSVILLE NC — A Wal-Mart was evacuated Friday after a man passed a note to a store clerk.

Police said a man walked into the store at 1130 S. Main St. about 5:32 p.m. and passed a note an employee telling them to evacuate the store.

Police have not released the details of the letter.

Though reports of gunshots were made, police said they were erroneous reports. Police searched the store for possible explosives and found nothing. Complete article

Cause Of Fire Behind Walmart Under Investigation 09/29/2013

Man Charged With Armed Purse Snatching Outside Newington, Georgia Walmart 09/30/2013

Police have arrested a man accused of committing an armed purse snatching in the parking lot of Walmart in Newington on Sunday evening.

The victim told police she had just finished shopping at the Walmart at 3164 Berlin Turnpike just before 7 p.m. and was walking to her car with another woman and a boy when a man approached her, pointed a gun at her and demanded she turn over her purse.

The victim gave the robber her purse and he ran, police said. No one was hurt. Complete article

Police: Nearly three pounds of meth found after dealer attempted to sell at Walmart 09/30/2013

Police believe 2 men who crashed truck into city house stole TVs from East Lampeter Walmart 09/30/2013

Ark. man sentenced for defrauding Wal-Mart 09/30/2013

Angry shoplifter causes a scene at Walmart 09/30/2013

Replay: '100 Eyes' on how Walmart affects home sales 09/30/2013

How a Wal-Mart Bangladesh “safety” scheme is dividing the Democratic Party 09/30/2013

Impact and Echoes of the Wal-Mart Discrimination Case 09/30/2013

Walmart in Hialeah evacuated after gas leak 09/30/2013

Wal-mart uses 'Boxtops for Education' to help local schools 09/29/2013

Pelican school principal Tony Swan, top center, and teachers guide kindergarten through fifth-grade students to pick up fruit donated by the local Wal-mart store as part of an assembly Friday afternoon.

Wal-mart manager Kelly Cooper said the Klamath Falls store adopted Pelican this year. As such, 20 teachers received $50 gift certificates each and the school received $500 to purchase school supplies at Wal-mart. Conger, Mills and Roosevelt schools also received $150 in certificates each. This is the third year Wal-mart employees voted to adopt a school.

Funds from the “Boxtops for Education” promotion at Wal-mart are used to aid the schools. Complete article

Are Wal-Mart's shoppers disappearing? 09/28/2013

Wal-Mart Supplier Li & Fung Says No Order Cutbacks in U.S. 09/26/2013

Huntsville likely to issue building permit for Mason Plaza Wal-Mart before $40,000 traffic study is finished 09/26/2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The City of Huntsville expects to spend between $40,000 and $50,000 on a second traffic study requested by people living near the proposed Mason Plaza Wal-Mart.

But Mayor Tommy Battle said Thursday night that the study likely won't be completed in time to have any bearing on whether the city issues Wal-Mart a building permit for the 150,000-square-foot Supercenter.

"If they come for a city permit, they are allowed to get a permit per our laws and regulations," Battle said during a City Council meeting. Complete article

Neighbors wage war on proposed Winston-Salem Walmart 09/26/2013

Board approves a Tax Increment Financing Agreement to aid infrastructure improvements for the Walmart Supercenter under construction. 09/26/2013

Westwood parents can get student info at Walmart event 09/26/2013

In an effort to close the communication gap between teachers and parents of middle schoolers, Westwood Middle School is meeting families halfway.

Starting this week and running through November, teachers and administrators will be at the Walmart at 5700 NW 23rd St. from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays to help parents get access to their children's grades, attendance record and other information.

Specifically, the program is targeting families who don't have a computer or Internet access to log on to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, which lets parents see students' information online. Complete article

UK retailers remove 'staggeringly offensive' mental health costumes from sale 09/26/2013

Another Corruption Scandal For Wal-Mart As Retailer Accused Of Censoring Argentine Media 09/26/2013

Holyoke anti-Walmart group Holyoke First glad retailer retreating from Whiting Farms Road, but ever vigilant 09/25/2013

Winston-Salem Homeowners Fighting Proposed Walmart 09/25/2013

Walmart pulls "Naughty Leopard" costume 09/25/2013

Wal-Mart Cutting Orders as Unsold Merchandise Piles Up 09/25/2013

Wal-Mart Stock Dives, Then Comes All The Way Back After Inventory Scare 09/25/2013

Video: Watch the First Episode of Wal-Mart 'Get on the Shelf' Online Show 09/24/2013

We told you back in July about the deadline for entrepreneurs to get in on Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s "Get on the Shelf" contest, which allows people with new products to pitch their ideas to the world's largest retailer. Winners will have their products sold on

Today, Wal-Mart debuted the first episode of its reality series documenting the contest. You can watch it above. It's a basic "Shark Tank"-style setup. Four different products, including a dog wheelchair, are featured. Complete article

Walmart opponents speak out in force, threaten legal action 09/24/2013

Insight: Wal-Mart 'Made in America' drive follows suppliers' lead 09/24/2013 But an examination of the company's "Made in America" campaign suggests Wal-Mart's caught on to a reshoring phenomenon that was already underway.

Wal-Mart selling a 'naughty' costume - for 2-year-old girls 09/24/2013

Wal-Mart moving 70K workers amid empty-shelf complaints 09/23/2013

Needy shoppers a part of Wal-Mart wage fight 09/21/2013

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray’s decision to veto a law requiring Wal-Mart Stores to offer higher pay brought focus to the flip side of the living-wage debate: that Wal-Mart’s customers are often as economically disadvantaged as employees earning its low hourly wages.

WASHINGTON — Four bus rides to and from his northeast Washington apartment to the Walmart in Landover, Md. often consume half of Jimmy Pegues’ day. But since a heart attack last year pushed the used-car salesman into retirement and onto Social Security, biweekly trips for $4 generic prescriptions have become a lifeline.

“I come to Walmart — religiously,” said Pegues, 64, who saves $110 a month over pharmacies in the District of Columbia. “For me, at this point, and at this time in my life, the price is the most important thing.”

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s decision this month to veto a law requiring Wal-Mart Stores to offer higher pay pitted support for a “living wage” against a desire to spur investment and job growth in the city. But for thousands who cross the city line every day on their way to the Landover Walmart, the battle was about something more basic: low prices. Complete article

What Happened to Wal-Mart? 09/20/2013

Community fights Seminole Heights Walmart plans 09/19/2013

Mollen shuts headquarters after losing Walmart contract 09/18/2013

Wal-Mart Sells Coors About at Cost to Be Largest Beer Seller 09/16/2013

From JC Penney to Walmart, to Macy's and Kohl's, It's Going to Be A Tough Holiday Season This Year 09/16/2013

Muslim group asks Walmart to re-hire manager fired over Facebook posting 09/12/2013

D.C. Mayor Vetoes Wage Bill Affecting Walmart 09/12/2013

Walmart To Skip Discussion On Compensation For Bangladesh Factory Victims 09/12/2013

How Wal-Mart’s Waltons Maintain Their Billionaire Fortune: Taxes 09/12/2013

Rescuers called to Castle Rock Wal-Mart on report of food poisoning 09/09/2013

Same-sex benefits at conservative Wal-Mart: What gives? 09/09/2013 Lately, Wal-Mart has been in a slump. Same-store sales have dropped for two quarters in a row. And last month, the company cut its sales forecast for the remainder of the year.

Broadway businesses vote 'no confidence' over Walmart store 09/05/2013

After Raytown beat Wal-Mart, what will happen in Waldo? 09/05/2013

Wal-Mart's Charm Offensive 09/05/2013

Cabot woman says new Walmart will ruin her property value 09/05/2013

New Wal-Mart underscores trend toward redevelopment 09/05/2013 Typically, Walmart plans for a store of some type about every three miles in a market as dense as the Tampa Bay area.

Walmart inspecting Sioux Falls petitions 09/05/2013

Wal-Mart and Washington D.C. in minimum wage showdown 09/05/2013

Wal-Mart Protesters Arrested Outside Board Director’s Office 09/05/2013

Businesses vote 'no confidence' over Walmart store 09/04/2013

Alaska fishermen protest Walmart decision 09/05/2013

Hamburg Walmart manager fired over anti-Muslim posting 09/04/2013

Bozeman widow files wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart because of bad cantaloupe 09/04/2013

Walmart workers planning massive strike 09/04/2013