Monday, April 28, 2014

The media isn’t reporting it but Grass Roots candidates are winning some local elections.

Unfortunately there are very few grass roots candidates that win elected office; however there are more than the traditional media is letting on and this is despite the virtual black out of all coverage for candidates that aren't approved by the two established parties and the six conglomerates that control the vast majority of the national media.

Most of the grass roots candidates that are winning are at the local level. One of the biggest candidates that most people are unaware of is Gayle McLaughlin Green Party Mayor of Richmond Ca. She won despite being out spent by large margins and even more outside money being spent by Chevron who wanted to avoid any potential increases in taxes by financing deceptive smear campaigns as indicated in the following excerpt.

Spotlight on Gayle McLaughlin

Many voters rightfully see the Green Party as an environmental champion. But can Greens win elected office in racially diverse, crime-ridden, working class cities that are in economic decline?

Apparently the answer is 'yes' according to voters in Richmond, California (pop. 103,000), who on November 7 elected Gayle McLaughlin as their mayor.

McLaughlin's victory in Richmond, which is among northern California's most important cities, comes only two years after she was elected to the Richmond City Council. When she defeated Demo­crat­ic Party incumbent Irma Anderson, the local Bay Area political establishment was stunned.

Anderson - who brazenly accepted and spent $110,000 from Chevron Oil, Pacific Gas and Electric and other corporate interests during her campaign - outspent McLaughlin by $82,000. The Green grassroots campaign "sent political shock waves across the Bay Area" according to McLaughlin "as it highlighted the Green Party's organizational maturity and strong progressive values."

These values were a strong threat to the Chevron Corporation, which owns one of the largest refineries in the state in Richmond (a storage capacity of 15 million barrels which occupies 25,000 acres on the city's western waterfront). It is also the city's largest local employer, although only a small percentage of Chevron employees are actually Richmond residents. The refinery is notorious for health and safety violations, and contributing to local pollution.

In the mayoral race Chevron went far beyond simply supporting the incumbent, but also funded more than twenty 'hit pieces' on McLaughlin. Lacking any 'dirt', they accused her of 'irresponsibility' for simply wanting to collect more tax revenue from Chevron.

McLaughlin did support local Measure T, which would have generated $8 million a year in Chevron taxes for Richmond's many needs. One of the themes of her campaign was to get corporations such as Chevron to pay their fair share to the community, and to use this increased revenue to fund anti-violence programs, including a year-round, part-time jobs program that would employ 1,000 young people. Complete article

Unfortuantely even after Chevron failed to defeat her they continued to ignore safety hazards and they had Chevron to Pay $2 Million for 2012 Refinery Fire in Richmond, CA; 200 Arrested at Protest. The executives of Chevron weren't arrested, just those that wanted them to be held accountable.

Seattle's Socialist City Councilor, Kshama Sawant, Offered a Radical Response to Obama Speech but the commercial media didn't pay much if any attention, although it received much more attention in m the alternative media outlets. Previously there were more Socialist candidates; however after the Palmer Raids and vigilante raids by the American Protection League in the post-WWI era and McCarthy tactics in the post-WWII era they were suppressed, not based on their ideas but by intimidation tactics. This may be beginning to change again whether it is the rise of alternative Green Parties, Socialists, Progressives or other parties. There are a lot more candidates that have won around the country and continue to be ignored by the commercial media and, perhaps, with good reason, from their point of view.

The biggest obstacle for any political candidate has always been name recognition. Simply by declining to cover candidates the corporate media makes it virtually impossible for candidates they don't support to get their message across.

Considering how outraged many people are with the way governments and corporations have been behaving their biggest fear just might be that people might realize that they can overcome the obstacles to electing more sincere candidates, at least at the local level; and perhaps if enough of them get elected or if more attention can be drawn to sincere candidates then they can even be elected in statewide and national elections.

The Vermont Progressive Party (elected candidates) is almost the largest concentration of grass roots candidates but the national media hardly pays any attention to them. Bernie Sanders is even more well known than Kshama Sawant or Gayle McLaughlin nationwide but most people are almost certainly not aware that the state has many more grass roots candidates that manage to get elected.

In addition to the Vermont Progressives and the somewhat well known candidates that have made the news briefly both he Green Part and the Libertarian Party have over a hundred elected officials around the country. In all fairness they're mostly local offices; however they do demonstrate that when the public is presented with other options besides the two parties that are almost entirely, if not entirely controlled by the corporate interests that provide the funds to buy their propaganda ads to get them elected they have a good chance of winning.

The reason they don't win much more often is almost certainly that the vast majority of information presented to the public about politics is controlled by a very small percentage of the public with narrow interests.

A close look at some of these candidates will almost certainly show that simply electing alternative candidates might not be enough through. Some of these candidates might be involved in scandals as well, or at least the appearance of scandals. At times, like when Chevron attempted to smear Gayle McLaughlin some of those with political power that are challenged by sincere grass roots candidates might use misleading tactics to discredit candidates or use other tactics that might discredit them. In some cases they might search for problems and if they find something they could exaggerate them, or in some cases they might have legitimate problems.

A better educated public will be necessary to sort these out and elect legitimate candidates regardless of their party. And it would also be more helpful if they conducted their activities in the open and informed the public about their true objectives by allowing more public participation in the election process through either participation in debates that include all candidates at all levels of government as alternative media outlets tried to promote at the presidential level in 2012 (As covered in "Could alternative debates be a game changer?") or through questionnaires like the ones provided by Project Vote Smart or other non organizations that are accountable to the public.

If more can be done to let people know about how many important issues the media isn't reporting, whether it is the lack of coverage for sincere grass roots candidates that actually stand up to corporate interests, the lack of coverage of the full extent of environmental damage going on, the lack of coverage for the causes of income inequality and many other issues then they might be more inclined to seek alternative news sources or listen to others when they have an opportunity. They might be also much more likely to vote in their own best interest if they had more reliable information to base their decisions.

This won't happen if to many people continue to count on traditional media without alternative views.

The following is some related material including a handful of the other candidates that have won at the grass roots level.

Socialist World

Spotlight on Gayle McLaughlin Green Mayor of Richmond

Bruce Delgado Mayor, City of Marina Ca.

David Doonan elected as Mayor of Greenwich NY with 75% of the vote

Jason West mayor New Paltz New York

The Green Party of Colorado Pete Gleichman mayor Ward Colorado

Rep. Fred Smith of Crittenden is serving his second term in the Arkansas House of Representatives

Green Party Candidates for Office

Libertarian Elected Officials

A Rare Elected Voice for Socialism Pledges to Be Heard in Seattle (NYT)

List of elected socialist mayors in the United States

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Fire Memorials without Attention to Environmental and Safety Solutions

For the past couple of weeks there has been an enormous amount of coverage of the anniversary of the Boston Bombings. This has been surrounded by an enormous amount of hype and like the coverage immediately after it occurred it does little or nothing to understand why the bombings occurred and how to prevent them. Someone with a short memory might not realize that when the bombing took place the area was put into something close to martial law, if that isn't what happened. I went into this more last year in "Boston Strong" propaganda downplays martial law.

Earlier this month Firefighters From Around World Paid Final Respects To Boston Lt. Ed Walsh and Boston blaze revived pain in Worcester about another massive fire that caused the death of 6 other firefighters.

These fire memorials and other types of memorials are, of course, quite helpful for those that are dealing with remorse; however they would be much more helpful if they were accompanied by better efforts to understand and prevent these disasters from happening over and over again. It may not seem respectful to some to criticize this; however some might consider it even less respectful to ignore solutions that actually work while promoting an enormous amount of hype that keeps people distracted without solving problems.

In the few days following this fire I noticed several other fires, mostly local that weren't being covered in the national press; and once I started taking notice of them it quickly became clear that they happen much more often than most people realize, although most of them aren't nearly as big as the ones that killed firefighters in the Back Bay or in Worcester, or at least not individually; the cumulative amount of deaths is actually much higher. There appear to be one or two fires relatively local just about every day; and if these aren't being reported nationwide, and the ones in other parts of the country aren't being reported locally, it indicates that there are probably dozens of house fires or other significant explosions, including some in businesses and car or truck fires every day.

The news routinely reports these as isolated incidents which they hype for a brief amount of time then they quickly forget them without much if any effort to figure out how to make these disasters less likely, perhaps much less likely and inform the public how to prevent them. That doesn't mean that there isn't research to figure out how to make these disaster much less likely; but that research isn't generally presented to the public in a high profile manner and it is rarely a top consideration when it comes to implementing policies that might reduce these disasters.

If they did this more they might find that there are an enormous number of simple things that can be done to reduce the threat from many of these disaster and they often save far more money than they might cost.

Believe it or not there is an incredibly simple two step process that they could use if they wanted to to make these disasters much less likely.

Step one: Find the causes of these disasters.

Step two: Prevent the causes of these disasters.

OK, maybe in practice it isn't quite that easy but if you keep this simple method in mind it won't be that much more complicated as the media and the political establishment often implies which prevents them from recognizing and implementing an enormous amount or relatively simple solutions. In practice there are almost always multiple causes to many problems and these causes to some problems often also contribute to other problems as well as could be seen while reviewing some of the incidents that happened in the past.

However since the majority of the political and media establishment hasn't been doing this very well perhaps it would be worthwhile to consider at least one other possible way to address the situation. Perhaps we should consider the following alternative two step process.

Step One: find all contributing causes that don't interfere with the economic interests or the ideologies of those that control the political and media outlets and blame them for the disasters.

Step two: make lame attempts to try to address them and create an enormous amount of propaganda to convince the public that the politicians are doing the best they can to solve these problems, while selling the public all kinds of stuff that they might not need and might not have anything to do with solving problems.

OK, now that obviously sounds stupid and if anyone thought it was a good idea there is no way they would phrase it that way. Frankly if you want the spin that the traditional establishment puts on it you can probably find it easy enough on your own; I'm going back to my own two step program which could be repeated over and over again instead of just saying we're "Boston Strong" over and over again without solving problems. And this shouldn't be limited to just one problem like fires, natural disaster, or violent crime; it should be considered as a matter of routine for solving all problems. 

Doctor, Doctor help me please, I know you'll understand
I got a massive headache and there are big bumps on my head.
How did that happen?
I don't know; but the same thing keep happening to me over and over again.
What were you doing when this happened?
Banging my head against the Wall.

Banging my head against the Wall.
No wait, never mind; I don't want to know.
I'll treat it this time but stop banging your head against the wall and you'll stop having this problem.

If you look at enough of these fires, for example, it is clear that a large percentage of them are a result of problems with heating systems. And the use of these fossil fuels also contributes to deaths from Carbon Monoxide poison, (an average of 430 deaths per year) air pollution which causes 7 million deaths each year according to the World Health Organization, and Climate Change, which according to a Report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Food Shortages Caused by Climate Change will Leave Millions Hungry. this doesn't include the impact of foreign policy and increased threats of war that is caused by our dependence on oil.

Clearly simple ways to reduce our reliance on oil could save millions of lives in a variety of ways and in some cases it can be done without even reducing our quality of life, although other potential solutions might require some form of sacrifice or expense. Some of the most effective ways to do this almost certainly involve conservation and improved insulation in homes. Declining to buy things that people don't need and cutting down on heating bills will save people money without increased economic activity, which is considered bad for the economy based on reduction of the GDP; however this actually improves the quality of life for consumers who save money; the ones least likely to like this idea are those that lose business and profits as a result.

Traditional economist often imply that all economic activity is good for the economy; however they fail to mention that an enormous amount of the growing amount of activity is due to fraud or to the need to replace things that are low quality due to poor workmanship or unnecessary disasters.

If someone suggested you help the economy by allowing a hazard that leads to a fire so that you will have to work harder to replace your house after it burnt down would you consider that a good idea? It might be profitable for the businesses that sell you replacement stuff but not for you.

One of the relatively simplest methods to dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and make these fires and other explosions much less common could involve geo-transfer heating and cooling systems which are much safer than traditional heating systems and cost less money to maintain in the long run although they cost more in the short run to install. If homeowners added solar panels as well then they would be completely clean energy unless you count the manufacturing process to build them which could be addressed in other ways.

The Solar panels might not save consumers as much money as the Geo-tranfer system initially however if people took into consideration the damage done to the environment and the added amount of health care costs by dirty fuels even that would still save money. If politicians were willing to hold energy companies accountable for what they call "negative externalities" and made them include these expenses in the cost of their products one way or another then fossil fuels would be more expensive and clean energy that doesn't cost lives would be more competitive. This could easily be done with some form of carbon tax that could go towards heath care expenses for the damage done by pollution or towards a subsidy for clean energy projects. This would, presumably, be described as driving up the cost of energy by the oil companies; however it would actually be reducing over all costs since it take into consideration the full expense of the damage done by burning fuels, polluting the air and rising health care costs and increased deaths.

Additional advantages of Geothermal Heating and Cooling can be found in 8 Advantages of Geothermal Energy Systems and Ten Myths About Geothermal Heating and Cooling. Additional research from sources that aren't highlighted by the traditional media or the political establishment will also turn up many ways to take advantage of wind or solar as well as other conservation methods. Unfortunately while the media sells an enormous amount of air time to oil and coal companies for their propaganda to convince us their products are safe, contrary to the evidence they do an incredibly bad job warning the public about the real damage done by them. The same goes for an enormous percentage of politicians who collect their campaign contributions from energy companies.

Doctor, Doctor help me please, I know you'll understand
I got a massive headache and there are big bumps on my head.
How did that happen?
I don't know; but the same thing keep happening to me over and over again.
What were you doing when this happened?
Banging my head against the Wall.

Banging my head against the Wall.
No wait, never mind; I don't want to know.
I'll treat it this time but stop banging your head against the wall and you'll stop having this problem.

A close look at many of these fires or other disaster will indicate that a lot of them are also a result, indirectly or directly, of social and poverty related problems. One simple example is that poor people are much less likely to be able to take advantage of the clean energy solutions that require up front investments but save money in the long run. Another common example is a large number of fires that have been started by cigarettes which kill close to 1,000 people a year. The most effective way to prevent this would of course be to do a better job educating people about the damages of cigarettes before they start smoking and become addicted. The tobacco companies have even resisted "fire safe cigarettes" which extinguish more quickly than standard cigarettes if ignored reducing waste for smokers and profits for tobacco companies since they also reduce sales.

Exploring how poverty leads to an enormous amount of problems and makes many of these disasters much more likely would require an enormous amount of research but there is plenty of it available and there is also a lot of evidence to indicate that business and political practices have been doing much more to increase problems with poverty than they have to reduce them.

But you won't see that discussed in the media or by politicians. Practices like marketing for cigarettes, gambling and many other things, including Alex Trebek's ads for Colonial Penn that target the lower income and prevent them from getting out of poverty are given much more coverage than the views of those that point out how these things add to poverty and how they don't benefit the consumers that pay for them. A lot of the research to indicate that poverty and lack of resources to educate poor people isn't quite as clear cut, or at least it doesn't seem that way to many people but there is still an enormous amount of research to support this conclusion. I went into some of this previously on several posts including Continued withholding of solutions in Clackamas and Newtown, many of the same contributing causes to mass shootings are the same one to the Boston Bombings or many of the arson's that lead to a lot of these fires and deaths.

Poverty is one of the two leading contributing factors to the Worcester Fire however the only way they attempted to address this involved charging the homeless people with manslaughter. These Charges were later Dismissed and there was little or no attempt to acknowledge the fact that poverty might have contributed to the potential for this fire. They attempted to blame them for not reporting it to the police but they made no sincere attempt to consider what it is like for many homeless people with few or no resources to survive. The implication is that the threat of prosecution would deter them from starting the fire or declining to report it. The assumption that they started it intentionally was absurd and that is why they dropped the charges. It was nine months before they dropped charges even though the evidence indicated that they may have been mentally retarded and apparently one of Julie Barnes, age 19, pass times was coloring in a coloring book.

The government spends an enormous amount of money keeping poor people in jail, often for trivial things but they are very reluctant to provide the social services that would enable them to get a reasonable education or protect them from predatory corporations that use globalization to drive down wages for people with limited skills that do work that does benefit society like basic manufacturing. At the same time the remain silent corporations that provide an enormous amount of financial incentives for union busters and advertisers to help them suppress wages and convince consumers they're t getting their money's worth even when they aren't since oligarchies are using their market power to deprive consumers of better products or real competition.

Another one of the major contributing factors of the fire is abandoned buildings which are widely known to present potential fire hazards, yet they didn't even consider holding the owners of the building for abandoning it, nor do they consider any major plans to tear down buildings when they're abandoned. Unlike the commercial media and the political establishment there are at least some organizations that attempt to figure out at least some of the ways to reduce these disasters including Fire fighter Nation which reported Remembering and Learning from the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse Fire Tragedy, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and The National Fire Protection Agency, however they get very little coverage from the media and their recommendations are rarely considered much by those that make policy.

Furthermore even though they do a far better job than the commercial media they focus mainly on short term solutions that might reduce dangers by preventing disasters shortly before they happen, instead of long term solutions that would reduce poverty abandoned buildings and activities like child abuse that lead to escalating violence later in life. There are other organizations that focus on these problems too but they don't get much if any attention from the commercial media or the political establishment either.

One of the leading causes to an enormous amount of crime is child abuse and how it escalates, including the use of corporal punishment in schools which has been proven to cause an enormous amount of problems according to many studies some of which are described in the following excerpt.

19 States Still Allow Spanking in Schools and the Statistics Are Shocking

Urban districts often have local bans, so that the majority of school spanking is carried out in rural areas. Disabled students are spanked at a disproportionately high level, despite research suggesting that those with mental handicaps are least capable of understanding why they are being punished. Minorities are also punished at a higher rate. In a particularly egregious example, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction found that while Native American students constituted only 2% of students, they received 35% of the state's corporal punishment. Across all races, about 80% of those punished are boys. The number of non-disabled white women spanked in the United States in 2009 was considered statistically insignificant by the Department of Education.

The disproportionate effect of these policies on minority and disabled students in rural districts could help explain how school spanking remains in place despite majority opposition. More privileged students with more privileged parents (including the 10% with students in private school) are rarely effected and thus unlikely to give the issue much thought. Those most passionate about changing these policies may lack the political power to influence the legislative or media agenda. Complete article

This is also supported by a 2002 study, Correlation Between High Rates of Corporal Punishment in Public Schools and Social Pathologies, which says that "Of the states with the ten highest murder rates in the United States, educators paddle children in eight of them; Of the states with the ten lowest murder rates in the nation, educators paddle children in one of them; Of the ten states with the highest percentage of the population in prison, educators paddle children in nine of them; and Of the ten states with the lowest percentage of the population in prison, educators do not paddle children in any of them." Despite this evidence the political establishment in states that continue to allow corporal punishment is unwilling to ban it and the media rarely provides much if any coverage on how much of a problem it is.

Neither our government or the commercial media is inclined to discuss the most credible research on any given subject and use it to base their decisions; instead they seem to be much more inclined to base their decisions on the agenda of those that either buy commercial air time giving the media their profits or donate enormous amounts of money to campaigns enabling politicians to buy propaganda ads to get themselves elected. Apparently even a new study by Princeton University's Martin Gilens and Northwestern University's Benjamin Page finds that America is an Oligarchy and NOT a Democracy or a Republic This study has even been reported by the Washington Times; unfortunately the vast majority of the rest of the traditional media continues to ignore it.

Instead of reporting the news or basing their decision on rational research or public opinion the government is now relying on massive amounts of propaganda like Deval Patrick's recent speech where he repeated ‘There Are No Strangers Here’ on numerous occasions in a dramatic fashion that many people would be reluctant to criticize especially when it is surrounded by an enormous amount of propaganda to glorify the "Boston Strong" campaign and the victims and heroes of that disaster. The quote "There Are No Strangers Here" appears to come from William Butler Yeats who he declines to cite; however that is trivial when you consider that he doesn't address any of the root causes for any of the major problems facing society, whether it is the Boston Bombings, the recent fires killing two firefighters, hundreds if not thousands of other fires that could be prevented, the growing amount of problems being caused by his escalating push to build more casinos or many other problems where politicians routinely ignore the will of the peoplke or the most credible research about important issues.

To add insult to injury there is a semi-popular trend by politicians to label their opposition as terrorists when they disagree with them even when there is no threat of violence from them, just differences of opinion; and a close look often indicates that they might be doing this because of the poor quality of their own positions. It doesn't seem that long ago that Bush's Education Secretary Called Teachers Union 'Terrorist Organization' and according to several reports politicians and the FBI have often desribed envirnmentalists and animal rights protectors as terrorists including the following excerpt from Democracy Now.

AMY GOODMAN: And how does the government organize? I mean, number one on the domestic terrorism list, according to a top FBI official, is eco-terrorism, is the animal rights movement. We don’t hear very much about white supremacists except when something horrific like this happens.

MARK POTOK: Well, let me say, the idea that eco-terrorists, so-called, are the major domestic terror threat, which was in fact said to Congress a couple of times by FBI leaders during the Bush years, I think is just patently ludicrous. You know, no one has been killed by anyone in the radical animal rights movement or the radical environmentalist movement. Complete article

During the same show Amy Goodman reported on Killing Nature’s Defenders: Study Finds Global Surge in Murders of Environmental Activists. In most cases, I suspect, it isn't the multinational corporations that are killing these environmentalists, or at least not directly. Instead it is far more likely that those that are lured in by some of their local subsidiaries do so and the multinational corporations maintain what they consider plausible deniability.

While they're demonizing the environmentalists and looking the other way while violent organizations advance their goals, with or without, there direct involvement they're also promoting an enormous amount of war propaganda including the semi-regular surprise visits to families from soldiers that come home from war unexpectedly. This has become so common that it seems to happen almost every week if not much more often; presumably if I tracked all the surprise visits across the country they would be much more common. The latest was reported nation wide when a New Jersey Staff Sergeant Surprises Family At Medieval Times dressed as a knight in medieval armor.

If someone were to try to explain to these children that their father is helping, intentionally or not, to promote war propaganda they would probably be considered quite rude to put it mildly. Unfortunately there is some degree of truth to that. This soldier might actually believe what he is doing is right but there are enormous amounts of problems with our foreign policy activities. With all this propaganda many could easily forget that the reason the Boston Bombers set off explosions is because the US is constantly killing Muslims all over the world.

One of the common explanations for all this hype about the Boston Marathon, according to someone they featured on TV, is that it is "a symbolic gesture to show that we won't cower" to the terrorists. While the hype was saturating the traditional media a much lower profile story on Democracy Now reported on U.S. Drone Strikes Killing Dozens in Yemen. Do they expect the majority of those abroad to cower before us? Fortunately the vast majority isn't inclined to act as the Boston Bombers do but there will continue to be a minority that might and as in the past we will almost certainly not be able to catch them before they act.

And when the next terrorist attack happens against us, if we don't learn, then we can go through all this propaganda all over again. And anyone who asks to many questions can be demonized.

We keep wondering Why Do They Hate Us?

Doctor, Doctor help me please, I know you'll understand
There's a time device inside of me, I'm a self-destructin' man
There's a red, under my bed
And there's a little green man in my head
And he said, "you're not goin' crazy, you're just a bit sad
'Cause there's a man in ya, gnawin' ya, tearin' ya into two."

Silly boy ya' self-destroyer.
Paranoia, the destroyer

One of the few exceptions where global governments, perhaps including the US are acting on rational evidence is a new global program was launched recently; if it goes according to plan Trillions in Public Spending Will Shift to Greener Purchases. This is supposedly supported by the EPA; however even if it does go according to plan there are still many cases where the government continues to subsidize the energy companies that are doing an enormous amount of damage and the EPA has often acted to protect them instead of the environment.

On several other occasions in the past I have compiled long lists relatively quickly to demonstrate how many environmental disasters and protests have been reported briefly, and in most cases only at the local level, at best, in the commercial media then quickly forgotten to let people know how much more problems we have than the political establishment is willing to acknowledge. This also includes examples where there have been people at the local level that have already implemented solutions, in most cases without help from the political establishment. In many cases these successes happened despite the opposition of the media and politicians, not with their help; and they have often been reported only in alternative media outlets. The following are a few more along with some other related material. As in the past, even though this seems like a long list it almost certainly misses much more than it includes.

MEMO: Deval Patrick is rich and worked for a company that contributed to global financial meltdown

FBI hunt for most-wanted domestic terrorist narrows to Hawaii

Domestic Terrorism

10 Terrorist Organizations Operating In The US

Domestic terrorism in the United States

Fire Bad Teachers or the Terrorists Win

Washington community grieves growing toll in U.S. mudslide

Pipeline Spills 10,000 Gallons of Oil into Nature Preserve in Ohio

Industrial Logging to Blame For Deadly Washington Mudslide?

Washington State DNR Allowed Clearcuts On Unstable Oso Slope

Ngabe People in Panama Facing Eviction from Honduran Energy Corporation

Cape Cod Activists 'Guilty' for Plymouth Nuclear Plant Protest

Man sought in connection with suspicious deaths in Manchester NH home explosion

Cause of North Conway NH home fire still unknown

3 hurt in explosion in Tewksbury Ma. home that may have been caused by butane vapors

Massive fire burns down a controversial Montrose apartment complex in Houston Tx., engulfing the city in smoke and ash

How Dangerous Are the Gas Pipes Under Your City?

Two firefighters die in Beacon Street blaze

Crews Work to Contain Galveston Bay Oil Barge’s Leak in Texas

2013’s extreme weather due to human-induced climate change, United Nations says

State is easing rules for some pollutants Environmentalists bridle developers call it overdue

Toxins Add New Element of Danger to Washington Landslide Cleanup

‘Out-Of-Control’ Rig In The Gulf Gushing Methane Freely Into The Atmosphere

Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill

Tons of highly toxic coal ash pouring into North Carolina river

Fire at Savannah Port Contained, Residents Warned of Dense Smoke

Breaking: Hundreds of Youth Arrested at White House Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline

Hundreds Protest Dropped Charges over Fukushima Crisis

An Open Letter to the NO KXL Movement

NY Judge Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Case

Al Jazeera Discusses Ag-Gag Laws and the Corporate War on “Eco-Terrorism”

Greenpeace Activists Face 9 1/2 Years for Epic Anti-Palm Oil Banner Drop

Palm Oil Company Kills Indigenous Community Member in Sumatra

Announcing the 2014 Australia Speaking Tour Against #AgGag Laws

Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity on Networks of Resistance to Fracking

New Sabotage Follows 5-day Blockade Against Waste Site in Algeria

Anti-Fracking Protesters Take Over Manchester City Centre

700 Villagers Clash with Cops at anti-Hydro Power Blockade in Georgia

Klamath River Indigenous Youth and River Activists Bring a Message from the Amazon

Mohawk People Block Rail Line in Protest to Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

240 Greenpeace Activists Take Action Against Ageing Nuclear Reactors in Europe

30 Climate Activists Arrested in Philly Demonstration

Hondurous: Indigenous Tulopanes Return to Territory Six Months After Massacre

Burmese Cops Sieze Land, Villagers Fight Back

Tribes Begin Defense Against Keystone XL

Itallian Judge Orders Shutdown of Coal Units Responsible for Hundreds of Deaths

Guatemala: Peaceful Anti-Mining Protest at “La Puya” Celebrates Two Years

Judge Blocks the Reopening of Herring-Roe Fishing Off Vancouver Island

FBI Held 2012 Strategy Meeting with TransCanada, Industry Partners

Illinois Blockade Stops Peabody Loggers

Forced Relocation of Sengwer People Proves Urgent Need to Cancel REDD

Three Arrested At Action Against Megaload In Missoula

New Social Media Company Uses Monetary Rewards to Incentivize Riot Control from Within If the entire group of protesters sign up then don't disperse this won't work.

Big Oil and Bad Air: Report Exposes Link Between Fracking and Toxic Air Emissions in Texas

FBI hunting Hawaii for top domestic terror suspect

East Harlem NY explosion, collapse leaves 8 dead, 70 hurt

TransCanada Whistleblower’s Evidence Ignored, KXL South Rushed Into Operation

Indonesia: Politician Given 14 Year Jail Sentence for Illegal Logging Permits

BC is Hostile Territory for Oil Pipelines

Many West Virginians Still Dependent on Volunteer Efforts for Safe Water

Indigenous Vow: We’ll Be ‘Dead Or In Prison Before We Allow’ Keystone Pipeline

Federal grand jury looks into Duke Energy NC spill

Breaking: Duke Energy Caught Dumping Wastewater from Coal Ash Lagoon Into NC Watershed (2nd nearby location)

Duke Energy Caught Dumping 61 Million Gallons of Coal Waste Into North Carolina Water

Via Rail Blockade by First Nations Halts Montreal-Toronto Trains

Greenpeace Activists Occupy French Nuclear Plant

The Former Soviet Republic Georgia’s ‘Guerrilla Gardeners’ Defend a City Park — and Introduce People Power

California City Temporarily Bans All New Oil Drilling Over Fracking Concerns

UK Documents Show Collusion Between Environmental Ministry and Fracking Bosses

A Year After Mayflower Disaster, Exxon Pegasus Pipeline Will Restart

Hundreds of Tibetans Protest Land Seizure Over Gold Mining Activities

Activists Scale ExxonMobil Rig 25 Years After Exxon Valdez Spill

Galveston Bay the Largest Gulf Oil Spill Since Deep Horizon Threatens Bird Migration

Canadian Spy Agency Was Monitoring Idle No More

Appalachia Resist and ACFAN Blockaders Plead to Reduced Charges

BP Confirms Tar Sands Spill in Lake Michigan

Another Megaload Stopped and Turned Back by Cheyenne River Sioux

Congolese Protestors Say “No!” to British Oil Exploration in World Heritage Site

Chevron Bought a California Newspaper to Mask its Record on Safety Abuses

The Most Powerful Family In New Brunswick Wants To Make The Keystone Pipeline Irrelevant

The Dark Side of Brazil: Oil Giant Petrobras Moves into ‘Deepest Amazon’

Cambodia: Four-Day Protest to Stop Don Sahong Dam

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China: Thousands Protest To Stop the Construction of Blue Ocean Chemical Plant

Mi’kmaq Women Shut Down Energy Minister Briefing

Natural Gas Storage Facility Explodes in Washington

BREAKING: Bill McKibben Locked Down at Keystone XL Southern Leg Construction Site

Breaking: Police Disrupt Earth First! Journal Office with U-Locks

Uncontacted Indians ‘Abandoned to Their Fate’ as Loggers and Drug Smugglers Invade

Pipeline Rupture Report Raises Questions About TransCanada Inspections

Eco-Terrorism: Reflections on the Efficacy of Political Violence

Monday, April 14, 2014

When Democrats and Republicans agree on Sylvia Mathews Burwell watch out!

Obama picks former Gates and Walmart Foundation official as new face of health care and considering the fact that she was approved 96-0 for her current job as director of the Office of Management and Budget it seems to be fairly safe bet that she will be confirmed easily for this job as well and most of the traditional press seems to think this is a good choice.

Unfortunately although she seems to have an enormous amount of political clout it clearly seems that it is because of her overwhelming support for the corporate sector including the Gates Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and numerous other organizations, some of which are presented as charitable although they almost certainly do more to look out for their corporate backers than the recipients of their charity. One of the things she will be overseeing is of course the Affordable Care Act; yet she spent nine years as a Director of MetLife and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company which has a clear interest in health care policy. Her links to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation which is trying to cut numerous government programs to the poor should raise major doubts about how sincere she is about trying to reduce health care costs to the poor or anyone else for that matter.

When she was nominated for the director of the Office of Management and Budget the Nation Magazine reported the following about her activities at Walmart.

Obama's Budget Chief Nominee Led Walmart's Targeted Giving

Under the leadership of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Walmart Foundation used generous gifts to grease the way for store expansions.

This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, with support from The Puffin Foundation.

  Update: On March 4, President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

  Recent reports suggest that President Obama is about to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the president of the Walmart Foundation, as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination would be a coup for Walmart and its foundation, which under Burwell’s watch has wielded its massive budget to expand the retail giant’s influence at all levels of government and to pave the way for store expansions.

  The most recent tax disclosure from the Walmart Foundation, obtained by The Nation, shows that between February 2011 and January 2012, the company gave over $175.68 million in grants to charities, municipalities, churches and various community groups across the country, from the Environmental Defense Fund to Friends of NRA to Puppies Behind Bars. Our review of the foundation’s giving reveals that it has donated considerable cash to groups that have gone on the record to support Walmart during its most contentious political disputes, including the ongoing effort to open stores in New York City. The foundation also donates directly to municipalities, funds groups tied to powerful elected officials and instructs grantees to publicize Walmart’s generosity.

This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, with support from The Puffin Foundation.

  Update: On March 4, President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

  Recent reports suggest that President Obama is about to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the president of the Walmart Foundation, as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination would be a coup for Walmart and its foundation, which under Burwell’s watch has wielded its massive budget to expand the retail giant’s influence at all levels of government and to pave the way for store expansions.

  The most recent tax disclosure from the Walmart Foundation, obtained by The Nation, shows that between February 2011 and January 2012, the company gave over $175.68 million in grants to charities, municipalities, churches and various community groups across the country, from the Environmental Defense Fund to Friends of NRA to Puppies Behind Bars. Our review of the foundation’s giving reveals that it has donated considerable cash to groups that have gone on the record to support Walmart during its most contentious political disputes, including the ongoing effort to open stores in New York City. The foundation also donates directly to municipalities, funds groups tied to powerful elected officials and instructs grantees to publicize Walmart’s generosity. Complete article

This has been reposted recently by The Blaze, The Problem the Left Might Have With Obama’s Pick to Replace Kathleen Sebelius, and Forbes Magazine listed some of her corporate connections as of 2013 in the following excerpts

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President, The Walmart Foundation (Jan. 2012 - Present); President, Global Development Program (Apr. 2006 - Dec. 2011). Ms. Burwell joined the Foundation in 2001 as Executive Vice President and served as its Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to April 2006. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. from 1998. Ms. Burwell served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 1998, and was Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin from 1995 to 1997. She also served as Staff Director for the National Economic Council from 1993 to 1995. Ms. Burwell was Manager of President Clintons economic transition team. Prior to that, she was an Associate at McKinsey and Company from 1990 through 1992. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Trilateral Commission and the Nike Foundation Advisory Group, a member of the Board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, an Advisory Board member for the Next Generation Initiative and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the ALS Evergreen Chapter. Ms. Burwell received a bachelors degree in government, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1987 and a bachelors degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Ms. Burwell has been a Director of MetLife and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company since 2004. On April 19, 2013, Ms. Sylvia Mathews Burwell resigned from the Board of Directors of MetLife, Inc., effective as of that date. Complete article

We're supposed to believe that someone with all these corporate connections is supporting programs for the poor? If the Republicans nominated someone with a track record like this the Democrats would almost certainly be outraged. Will many people notice now that Obama is the one nominating her?

I'm stunned to find out that I even seem to be partially agreeing with Sarah Palin; I don't remember that ever happening before.

There was a certain amount of debate during her confirmation last year but it all seems to have been for show considering the lopsided vote and some of the reporting about this new nomination implies that there might be more of the same, some objection but also some praise from sources that rarely ever praise Obama including Mitch McConnell. This amount of overwhelming support from politicians only seems to come when it involves supporting the agenda of campaign contributors that donate an enormous amount of money to both parties at the expense of the majority of the public. If anyone is interested the following are a few more articles on her nomination.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell and the coming confirmation fight

Sylvia Mathews Burwell pick complicates Democrats' plans

Who is Sylvia Mathews Burwell? The likely new face of Obamacare.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Democracy Now displays their ignorance or worse on U.S. Agency for International Development

A recent show on Democracy Now about Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program to Fuel Anti-Castro Protests should clearly indicate the ignorance of both Amy Goodwin and Peter Kornbluh about how the CIA has been operating for decades and they almost certainly should have known better, or perhaps they do.

I don't like to be too critical of Democracy Now because they clearly do a much better job on most subjects than the mainstream media, especially when they did the "Expand the Debate" series during the 2012 elections which clearly shows the hypocrisy of the electoral process that shuts out grass roots candidates; however sometimes they display so much incompetence or worse that something should be said. In most cases the biggest problem doesn't seem to be that she is presenting inaccurate information but that she declines to cover a lot of news that has been fairly common knowledge for a long time, sometimes for decades although the mainstream media declines to cover it.

This segment acts as if it is a major surprise that the U.S. Agency for International Development has been involved in espionage operations and that they have been doing so independently of the CIA. This might be a major revelation for many people that rely on the mainstream media for their information about the CIA and other news, and for people that think that Democracy Now is one of the the best alternative news outlets available; however I suspect that most people more familiar with the CIA wouldn't be surprised by this at all.

The reason for this is that the U.S. Agency for International Development has been operating as a front for the CIA for decades and at time it has been widely reported, at least in outlets that report on the activities of the CIA, which usually doesn't include the mainstream media. One exception is "CIA chief promises spies 'new cover’ for secret ops" by Jeff Stein at the Washington Post, which acknowledges that "In South Vietnam, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided cover for CIA operatives so widely that the two became almost synonymous." When USAID was first established by Kennedy, apparently, it was supposed to be an alternative agency that didn't involve the military for foreign aid, however even if it did work that way while he was alive it didn't long after he died.

Additional reports about how the Agency for International Development has been operating as a front for the CIA for decades include USAID and CIA by Dr Farrukh Saleem and USAID Spying in Latin America by Nil Nikandrov as well as disclosures by Alfred McCoy, Victor Marchetti and Philip Agee among other researchers of the CIA.

When USAID wasn't being used to espionage purposes it has often been part of the effort to subsidize the exporting of manufacturing jobs overseas and encouraging sweatshops. There is an enormous amount of information about the activities that USAID has been involved in over the years, mostly in low profile books or alternative news outlets that get ignored by the political establishment and traditional media, and she could have covered much more of it if she had tried. Some of her previous guests could have told her more about them if she had thought to ask including Alfred McCoy and Naomi Klein, both of whom have demonstrated knowledge about the history of USAID, even if they haven't covered it on their previous appearances. Alfred McCoy has previously reported in at least two books about how USAID and the Office of Public Safety which is a division of USAID has been involved training police around the world in activities that include torture. He also reports about how the CIA has been using these agencies for a long time to hide their activities and get funding they wouldn't otherwise get.

This would essentially involve more extensive coverage of history that many people might not be familiar with. Many news outlet decline to do much if any of this although it would almost certainly be helpful when explaining current events that have their roots in history. On other occasions Democracy Now doesn't seem to have this problem like when they covered historical background on banking with Nomi Prins.

If they had done the same thing with USAID then when she interviewed Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont about a "bipartisan bill that would force President Obama to include the total dollar amount requested for each of the 16 intelligence agencies in his budget proposal," she could have provided additional background about how USAID and OPS are often used for espionage activities to boost the support for this bill. As it stands USAID and OPS aren't listed among the 16 intelligence agencies in the bill. If they pass the bill in its current form then these agencies could continue to hide their activities as they have in the past and it will be no more than a token law to appease the public and convince them the espionage agencies, which they refer to as "intelligence," are now under control while they continue with business as usual.

By declining to give the full background or at least hint as to how much there is she is giving many people the impression that this might be new to how USAID acts similar to when a large portion of the commercial media and alternative media covered the "Prism" disclosures which as I indicated previously in several posts including Bickering over Prism continues to ignore ECHELON and minimize disclosure and a couple others before that. In both cases she passed up an opportunity to inform the public about a much longer history of both the ECHELON project and USAID.

This could be part of the reason why some researchers have come to refer to her as one of the Left "Gatekeepers;" when I first heard her referred to as that I might have been a little skeptical; and some of the storied I found when Googling "Democracy Now left gatekeepers" might seem like the most reliable sources to some; however after seeing her decline to address some of the most important issues on several cases I suspect the strongest evidence might actually be in her own reporting although those not familiar with some of the subjects might not recognize it. (Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall did a 2 part Blog about this in 2011 Part 1 and 2.

The example of her reporting that I have found the most questionable remains Understanding How Good People Turn Evil: Renowned Psychologist Philip Zimbardo On his Landmark Stanford Prison Experiment, Abu Ghraib and More in 2007 when she gave Philip Zimbardo an opportunity to promote his book for a while without asking any critical questions; when she was almost out of time she said "Professor Zimbardo we have held several debates on the American Psychological Association’s position on psychologists participating in military interrogations. Quite different from the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association. Can you comment on the organization you were formerly President of." then before he had much time to say anything about it she said they were out of time.

After looking into the background of Philip Zimbardo a few years ago I found major reasons to doubt his credibility and wonder whether he was involved in "the American Psychological Association’s position on psychologists participating in military interrogations" and posted them in Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association. As indicated in those blogs I have reason to suspect that his own experiments might have been used to develop those techniques. Part of this conclusion was based on research done by Alfred McCoy who implicated two of Philip Zimbardo's previous associates, Stanley Milgram and Irving Janis as potential researchers for the CIA, which Philip Zimbardo was criticizing, to a point. Philip Zimbardo was also president of the APA when the decision was made to dramatically water down the ethical guidelines,2002, although they didn't go into effect until the next year,2003 which was when the Abu Ghraib scandal was in the process of beginning or escalating although it wasn't reported until 2004.

Philip Zimbardo was essentially setting himself up as a hypothetical judge, in his book over activities which he may have been involved in helping to bring about with his research.

Not only did Amy Goodman decline to ask him about any of this but she gave him plenty of time to promote his book.

I have also seen some reporting from some of the other outlets that Sherman Skolnick and Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall implicate as possible "CIA Gatekeepers" that might raise some doubts about them as well; however they also do an enormous amount of reporting that the CIA almost certainly wouldn't want to see exposed. this should raise some questions about what they're trying to accomplish and it indicates that they almost certainly shouldn't be completely abandoned, especially without alternative news outlets.

Under these circumstances it would be reasonable to wonder why the CIA would fund these news outlets when they're partially exposing their activities even if it isn't as thorough as they should be. Without further information it is hard to know for certain; however one possibility is that at least some of the people involved in the CIA recognize that their current activities aren't even in their own best interests and some degree of reform is almost certainly necessary. This should be clear when considering problems with Climate Change and other environmental problems that will cause much more instability, along with all the social unrest that is already happening because of economic inequality and all the blowback from their existing activities.

If they conclude that some degree of reform is in their own best interest in order to avoid a total collapse then they might want to have it happen on their own terms not the terms of the majority of the public. If that is the case then they might consider it in their own best interest to have some of their allies, possibly including Philip Zimbardo, involved with the reform movement.

A closer look at how they treat the JFK assassination would also be worthwhile when trying to determine how reliable they are at looking at controversial subjects that the CIA might have an interest in controlling. I notice that she has given air time to Thom Hartmann Discussing "Legacy of Secrecy;" however I don't see any coverage of "JFK and the Unspeakable," by Jim Douglass which came out at the same time. I suspect Douglass' book is much more credible as far as I can tell; Hartmann and Lamar Waldron seem to think that it was the mob and that the government reluctantly declined to investigate it properly because it would have exposed their own activities. This seems highly unlikely especially since they were so quick to cover it up and blame Lee Harvey Oswald; however it could confuse the issue and distract from possible CIA involvement and it might help to have investigators from the left supporting a theory that clears them.

Whether this is the case or not, it seems to me that there are few if any news outlets that do a good job covering all the news, including many examples where they almost certainly have the resources to do a better job than they are, although a lot of the reporting from many of them are much better than the mainstream media,

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wal-Mart Crime report March 2014

Someone managed to get arrested for sucking a woman’s toe at Wal-Mart this month. Apparently he did this by pretending to be a podiatrist and making friends while she tried on shoes.

I didn’t make these things up.

I don’t have to; this is Wal-Mart. Apparently there are plenty of people thinking these thing up all around the country but when they don’t go according to plan they get caught, inevitably, in many cases.

A teen was also arrested for shooting people with a blow dart and apparently one shoplifter doesn’t seem to realize that if he wants to get away it might help if he can stay awake long enough to leave the store.

A more serious incident occurred when a woman was attacked inside the store and the management discouraged her from calling the police until she got home. Apparently this particular store ahs been having a lot of problems with crime and they are under pressure to preserve their reputation. This isn’t the first time Wal-Mart has had a problem with handling these cases; on one incident last October an employee allegedly told the grandmother of a victim of a sexual assault that their security was only for shoplifters.

In another incident a regular customer who owned a business and used gift cards, in large volumes to enable his employees to by diesel fuel was tased after they suspected him of using a stolen American Express card. This occurred after he explained the situation to them and they allowed him to buy them. It might also raise some questions about their use of Off Duty police as security and how they’re trained.

It can’t be good for their reputation when they tase someone who spends thousands of dollars at the store and has to resort to the courts in a law suit.

At least two of the shooting incidents that occurred at Wal-Marts this month seemed to have either an over eager robber who smashed a gun case, made a bomb threat, store a gun before getting shot by police or in another case, an over-eager police officer who almost got dragged by a shoplifting suspect when he put his fist through the window and got it stuck before shooting at the suspect. Shoplifting may be a problem, but when they have so many of them they can’t keep track of them and to often they lead to extreme responses it should indicate that they should try to find better ways to handle the situation.

There were also at least two brawls including one where a customer was angry about problems with the self –checkout machine didn’t work properly. This is almost certainly a much bigger problem than they let on although the vast majority of the people who have these problems don’t resort to brawls; and self –checkout machine are almost certainly contributing to what shoplifters see as opportunities to get away with that as well.

Whether it is the self –checkout machines or the cameras that catch shoplifters after the fact, it is leading to an enormous expense for tax payers to catch all these thieves. If a small business without all this equipment had these problems the police and the media almost certainly wouldn’t use their resources to catch them without the tapes; and they would have to find better ways to reduce crime, which they do.

Since their decreases in sales they have been planning several new business plans to keep growing including an attempt to challenge dollar stores and dominate the used video market; however there doesn’t seem to be concerns about anti-trust activities against Wal-Mart. However Wal-Mart is suing Visa for that. Apparently when an oligarchy files suit then the courts might respond but it doesn’t seem likely that they would pass their benefits on to consumers if they win. It is hard to imagine that no one would recognize the hypocrisy; and hopefully, if there is some political reform, long overdue anti-trust actions will be taken against Wal-Mart.

In a rare moment of candor apparently the Walmart CEO acknowledges lack of opportunities for workers and seems to be encouraging them to leave, which might not be such a bad idea if they can. In another case a Federal jury awarded the Loesel family $3.8 million for lost Walmart deal in Frankenmuth which could discourage local groups from trying to stop Wal-Mart from coming to town. This might be another divide and rule tactic.

When shoplifters steel alcohol from most stores they probably don’t stick around long enough to get drunk and arrested on the premises; however apparently one woman either did just that or she came back before falling asleep in a section for employees only.

Strange things happen at Wal-Mart!

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 compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous 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 March 2014. 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. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart Announces Plan to Kill Dollar Stores. Will It Succeed? 02/23/2014

In a press release issued on Thursday, the retail giant signaled its intent to aggressively go after the smaller store format that's the bread and butter of dollar stores, including Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO ) , Dollar General (NYSE: DG ) , and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR ).

According to the announcement, Wal-Mart is accelerating its plan to blanket the country with miniature versions of its now ubiquitous Supercenters. It expects to open between 270 and 300 small stores throughout 2014. That's more than double its initial forecast of 120 to 150 stores which it publicized last October. Complete article

Bomb Threat Prompts Evacuation At Walmart 03/01/2014

Man arrested for shoplifting at Bonsack Va. Walmart 03/01/2014 Police say he became aggressive, kicking the police car window and the arresting officer.

Bomb squad clears package in Miss. Walmart parking lot 03/01/2014

Tigard Or. protestors gather at future Walmart site: 'They can pay better' 03/01/2014

Conceal carry permit holder unintentionally shoots himself at Iowa Sam's Club 03/02/2014

Retired Ben Hill County Deputy charged with shooting wife at Ga. Walmart 03/03/2014 XXX

Retired Ben Hill County Deputy charged with shooting wife at Ga. Walmart 03/03/2014

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - Pam Garner was shot when she stepped outside of the Fitzgerald Walmart for a cigarette break, now her estranged husband is in jail. That suspect, Bob Garner, is a retired Ben Hill County Deputy. Pam Garner spoke with us exclusively about what happened.

"He shot me and it went right through my head," said Pam Garner. Garner can't believe she was shot and the accused gunman is her husband, 69 year-old Bob Garner.

"He cocked it, shot my right arm and luckily it went straight through didn't damage the bone or nothing," said Garner.

The 43 year-old says she was on a break from her job at Walmart just before 9am Monday morning when he showed up. "He got upset acting and everything and he said well why can't you ever tell me your sorry?"

Garner says that's when he pulled out her gun, which she says he took from her Sunday night. "And he said well I got something for you. And he reached over to the center console, lifted the latch. I seen the gun and I thought he was emptying or making sure it was empty before he handed it to me at work." Complete article

Men wanted for stealing items from Virginia Beach Walmart 03/03/2014

Man and woman rob American Fork Utah Wal-Mart, lead police on chase 03/03/2014 According to police, Powell is accused of stealing several items, including flat screen televisions, before brandishing a knife and swinging it at the store's asset protection manager as he tried to stop him.

Man Fires Flare Gun Inside Miss. Walmart, Sparking Fire 03/03/2014

Aldermen line up to oppose Wisc. Walmart store on Broadway 03/04/2014

5 caught with stolen goods at NY Walmart 03/04/2014

Shoplifter with gun threatens, then robs, Walmart employee in New Mexico 03/04/2014

Two more people wanted for shoplifting at Virginia Beach Walmart store 03/04/2014

Grease fire prompts evacuation at McDonald’s inside Nev. Wal-Mart 03/04/2014

4 Arrested in New Jersey Wal-Mart Shoplifting-Return Scheme: Police 03/04/2014

Tax money stolen from Missouri Walmart Money Card customer 03/04/2014

Walmart closes store in China 03/05/2014

Cops: NY Man Tosses TVs Over Fence in Theft at Walmart 03/0/2014

Shoplifter arrested for three Idaho Walmart burglaries 03/0/2014

2 accused of cutting open goods at Ohio Walmart 03/04/2014

Idaho Police: Walmart Thief also Packing Methamphetamines 03/04/2014

Two Philadelphia teens charged in NY Walmart larceny 03/0/2014

Police: 3 paintballed cars in Silver Spring Penn. Walmart lot 03/04/2014

Ohio Officials asking for help finding couple involved in Walmart theft 03/05/2014

Teen accused of stealing beer from NY Walmart 03/03/2014

Kansas Walmart customer loses tooth after cursing at self-checkout machine 03/03/2014

Man was punched in the face during altercation caused by the checkout machine

WICHITA, Kan., March 4 (UPI) -- A fight broke out a Kansas Walmart in Wichita on Monday afternoon after a customer became frustrated with a self-checkout machine and began cursing at the device.

The 36-year-old man had difficulty completing his transaction and held up the line, much to the chagrin of an unnamed 35-year-old Hispanic male.

Capt. Doug Nolte told the Wichita Eagle that the Hispanic man confronted the fuming customer and they engaged in a dispute that continued outside of the store. Once the altercation spilled outside, a 40-year-old black man got involved and punched the cursing customer in the face.

Complete article

Walmart’s Shadow Minimum Wage Campaign 02/25/2014

Joliet Ill. Man Gets Hot Under Collar Over Walmart Fire Lane Parking Ticket: Cops 03/03/2014

Police: Man pushes Ca. Walmart cashier, grabs cash 03/03/2014

Mooresville NC Walmart evacuated after threatening phone call 03/05/2014

Suffolk Va. Walmart closed after carbon monoxide detected 03/05/2014

Police shoot and kill crows in an Idaho Walmart parking lot 03/04/2014

Homewood Ala. Wal-Mart donates $2,000 to the city's Rotary Club for education 03/05/2014

Colorado woman shot at by boyfriend behind Walmart Neighborhood Market 03/05/2014

Walmart Foundation gives $1.5M to kids' museum in Bentonville Ark. 03/05/2014

Lancaster Pa. mother spends nearly eight hours shoplifting from Wal-Mart with her three young kids, police say 03/05/2014

Gilroy: Dog left to die in stolen SUV found at San Jose Ca. Walmart 03/05/2014

Police: Man tried to steal NC Walmart electronics 03/05/2014

2 caught stealing costume jewelry from Tenn. Walmart 03/06/2014

Miss. Walmart cashiers accused of felony shoplifting 03/06/2014

Grocers Line Up—Early—Against Biotech Salmon. What About Wal-Mart? 03/06/2014

Arson Fire causes evacuation at Walmart 03/06/2014

Arrest Made in Bryant Ariz. Wal-Mart Robbery 03/06/2014 Police say when an employee approached the suspect, the suspect pulled out a knife, swung at the them with it then ran away.

Woman finds bag of sand in Fla. Wal-Mart crib box 03/06/2014

Man booked in Algiers La. Walmart robbery where deputy fired gun 03/06/2014

Two arrested for trying to rob southside Ala. Walmart at gunpoint 03/06/2014

Felony drug arrest stems from Tenn. Wal-Mart shoplifting incident 03/07/2014

Women abducted in Avon Ill. file lawsuit against Wal-Mart 03/07/2014

Chase with Walmart armed robbery suspects ends on prison grounds south of Houston Tx. 03/07/2014

Wife exposes husband, mistress — at Ohio Walmart 03/06/2014 A wife has admitted posting photos of her husband and a former friend having sex all over the woman’s Walmart workplace.

Franklin police bust shoplifting ring at NJ Walmart; five suspects arrested 03/05/2014

Facebook comments trigger brawl at LaPorte In. Walmart 03/07/2014

LAPORTE | Trash talk on Facebook along with a racial slur apparently triggered a Tuesday night brawl that ended with injuries and an ambulance being dispatched to the LaPorte Walmart.

LaPorte police are also seeking a warrant for the arrest of a 39-year-old man who they say punched two women in the face and struck one of them with a nightstick.

Angel Seeley, 20, of LaPorte, had a tooth knocked loose enough to be dangling from her gums, police said.

"My whole mouth is swollen and my tooth is knocked all the way back," she said.

About 7 p.m., police responded to the grocery section at Walmart, where the people involved in the altercation along with dozens of onlookers were still gathered.

Police said Seeley was engaged in some trash talking that included insults about a baby of one of the women involved.

Seeley said she and her two female friends happened upon a woman she had had volatile exchanges with on Facebook.

The women were arguing when the mother of the woman involved in the verbal altercation with Seeley shouted a racial slur.

Seeley said she was punched in the face by the mother and both of them started pulling each other's hair.

Police said the two women separated, and all of the parties had just gone through the checkout when Seeley was punched in the mouth by a 39-year-old man, whose daughter was part of the offensive Facebook exchanges.

He then started swinging an extendable nightstick, police said.

Seeley said she was hit just above the eye with the metal baton, and the man also punched Tiara Moore, 21, also of LaPorte, in the face.

Store personnel finally jumped in and with help from police broke up the fighting about 20 minutes after it first began.

Moore said she suffered some redness from the blow.

"He didn't harm me or my sister as badly as he hurt my friend," Moore said.

The man's daughter laid down on the floor and started having what may have been a seizure, police said.

The man rode with his daughter in an ambulance.

Police went to the hospital to speak with the man and learned he and his daughter had just left and medical staff found no evidence of an actual seizure.

A warrant was being sought to charge the man with two counts of battery.

LaPorte police Capt. Tom Heath said the fighting may have gone on for so long because some chain stores have policies that prohibit employees from trying to diffuse violation situations due to the potential liability.

"You don't want your employees getting into a battle and injuring somebody," Heath said.

Original article

Man arrested for Walmart melee 03/08/2014

Former Horry County teacher, police officer sentenced to 90 days in jail after guilty plea in SC Wal-Mart assault case 03/07/2014

A former Horry County police officer pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday for a 2012 assault on a man in a store parking lot.

Michael and Devora Harrelson had eaten an early dinner Dec. 21, 2012, and decided to stop at the North Myrtle Beach Wal-Mart for laundry detergent before they headed home for the night.

They found a parking spot in row 8, about four spaces from the front door, so Michael Harrelson waited in the car for the other customer to load his purchases, while Devora Harrelson got out of their vehicle and retrieved a shopping cart.

As she waited nearby, Devora Harrelson said a man driving a silver BMW behind her husband began to flash his lights, honk his horn and cursed at them from his car. Michael Harrelson parked the couple’s car and the BMW driver pulled up next to them, got out of the vehicle and attacked Michael Harrelson. Complete article

Man arrested after stuffing clothes down pants at Walmart 03/0/2014

Mother of son Tased by Penn. cops arrested at same Walmart on similar charges 03/07/2014

She made national headlines last year, alleging police brutality after officers used a Taser on her handcuffed son, 14, who fled police and fell; the image of his bloodied face going viral.

Marissa Sargeant is back in the news again, this time for allegedly shoplifting from the same Bucks County Walmart at which her son was arrested for shoplifting and subsequently injured.

Sargeant , 32, of Levittown, and a relative allegedly took $100 worth of unnamed items from the store in Tullytown on Thursday and were arrested after a Walmart employee called police. Sargeant remained in Bucks County prison Friday, unable to post bail and facing felony theft charges because she has three prior shoplifting convictions, court records stated. Complete article

Unwitting family who ate Wal-Mart steak laced with LSD for dinner rushed to hospital: Pregnant mother forced into labor by drug as Tampa Fla. cops hunt suspect 03/08/2014

Wal-Mart seeks to intervene in Missouri electric rate case 03/07/2014

Wal-Mart’s newest big lie: Another misleading ad campaign from a job-killing behemoth 03/07/2014 If the retailer would only sink the millions it spends on P.R. into improving the wages of its workers ....

Walmart Thief Has Been Changing Price Scan Codes 03/07/2014

Man dies after vehicle rolls over him in Ok. Walmart parking lot 03/08/2014

Forest Lake Minn. Walmart Evacuated Due To Snow Load On Roof 03/09/2014

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Walmart in Forest Lake has been voluntarily evacuated late Sunday afternoon due to a potentially dangerous snow load on the roof, according to the police.

Police say the evacuation was prompted after an employee noticed what looked like a bend in the roof truss. ...

Update: The store was reopened later Sunday evening. A Walmart representative said engineering confirmed there was just cosmetic damage. Complete article

Man again arrested for shoplifting from La. Walmart 03/10/2014

Sleepy shoplifter busted: Alcoa Tenn. man reportedly fell asleep at Walmart 03/09/2014

An Alcoa man who reportedly fell asleep at Walmart was arrested after police said he tried to leave without paying for more than $300 worth of merchandise.

Charles David Perry, 61, of Poplar Street, was arrested by Alcoa Police officers Thursday on charges of public intoxication, theft by shoplifting less than $500 and possession of Schedule III controlled substances (Valium and Xanax). Complete article

Motorcyclist dead after accident in front of Walmart in Kingsport Tenn. 03/08/2014

2 men ID'd in Aurora Ind. Walmart iPhone theft case 03/10/2014

Spokane Wa. Police Look To Public To Help ID Wal-Mart Robbery Suspect 03/10/2014

Family suing Frankenmuth Mich. for $4 million for lost Walmart deal heads back to court 03/11/2014

Oneida NY police search for two people suspected of leaving Walmart with stolen clothes 03/11/2014

Virginia Beach Police looking for Walmart theft suspect 03/11/2014

Texas Residents: Stop Building Walmarts In Our Neighborhood 03/11/2014

Saginaw Spirit confirm Terry Trafford's body found in truck outside Mich. Wal-Mart 03/12/2014

Woman charged after allegedly kicking son in Baytown Tx. Walmart 03/13/2014

Burlington Coat Factory, Ross likely to move into old Fla. Walmart 03/12/2014

In federal suit EEOC alleges Tx. Walmart manager fired worker because of age, illness 03/12/2014

Durham NC police seek man in Walmart robbery 03/13/2014

Walmart food caper nets Wazzu Wash. player an arrest 03/12/2014

Walmart acquires recipe tech startup Yumprint 02/28/2014

Three charged after Ky. Walmart shoplifting incident 03/12/2014

Damaged transformer leaves Navarre Fla. Walmart without power 03/12/2014

Taylor woman charged in near $700 theft from Ala. Walmart 03/12/2014

Walmart Store Manager Exposes Systematic Attack on Employee Benefits 02/10/2014

Bangor Me. Police investigating body found near Walmart 03/13/2014

Drunken trip to Wal-Mart ends in arrest for two Northern Michigan men 03/13/2014

Two arrested after attempting to steal computers, TVs and assault at Rochester Hills Mich. Walmart 03/13/2014

Report: Ann Arbor Mich. woman caught shooting heroin in Walmart parking lot 03/13/2014

Woman, 71, accused of attacking deputy in Fla. Walmart 03/13/2014

A 71-year-old woman kicked and hit a Palm Beach County deputy after she was refused a money order from Walmart and asked to leave the store, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Deputies say Maria Seaman was arrested at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday at a Lake Park Walmart, 101 N. Congress Avenue. She was trying to get a money order and was asked by employees to leave, according to a police report. The employees told deputies that they were familiar with Seaman and had problems with her before. Complete article

Woman, 96, carjacked at Walmart in Merritt Island Fla. 03/13/2014 The victim said if she ever goes to Walmart again she is going to lock the passenger door.

West Fargo ND man urges Wal-Mart to let Girl Scouts inside to sell their cookies 03/13/2014

Man arrested after incident near Ill. Walmart 03/14/2014

Virginia Beach Walmart evacuated after gas leak 03/14/2014

Police: Man exposes self to women at North Huntingdon Pa. stores 03/14/2014

Cops: Jupiter Fla. man stole from his local Walmart five times, twice with his infant son in tow 03/14/2014

Police seek I.D. of man taking items from Enid Ok. Walmart 03/14/2014

'Miss Congeniality' tried to shoplift fake eyelashes, nails from Oregon Walmart, police say 03/14/2014

2-year sentence given to woman in Ind. Wal-Mart beating 03/1/2014

Walmart Workers, Environmentalists Bring Search for Rob Walton to Beverly Hills Fundraiser 03/14/2014

Beverly Hills, CA (March 13, 2013)–Members of OUR Walmart joined by community supporters protested outside a Conservation International cocktail event to call on Walmart Board Chair Rob Walton, who also serves as a key leader of Conservation International, to lead Walmart in creating good jobs and standing up for the environment.

The black-tie event, attended by Rob Walton’s close influential and affluent friends, took place at the upscale Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. While inside the hotel, Walmart workers hoped to speak to Rob Walton and deliver a petition signed by hundreds of supporters calling the Walton family and Walmart to listen to the concerns of its workers, provide good jobs, end its poverty wages, and to commit to fair labor standards. Complete article

Walmart CEO Acknowledges Lack of Opportunities for Workers 03/14/2014

A recent AP article by Josh Boak finds that Walmart—our country’s largest employer—does not provide its employees with enough opportunities for professional advancement or a pathway to a middle class life. As a result of the Great Recession, many older and more educated workers are turning to the retail giant as a way to support their families. And despite the retail giant’s self-promotion as a source for professional opportunity, Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S., suggests that workers look elsewhere if they want to make more money and have access to better benefits.

“Some people took those jobs because they were the only ones available and haven’t been able to figure out how to move out of that,” Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S., acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press.

If Walmart employees “can go to another company and another job and make more money and develop, they’ll be better,” Simon explained. “It’ll be better for the economy. It’ll be better for us as a business, to be quite honest, because they’ll continue to advance in their economic life.”
Complete article

Shoplifting, hit and run at Scarborough Me. Walmart 03/14/2014

12-year-old threatens Rochester Hills Mich. Walmart employees with airsoft gun 03/12/2014

Seagoville Tx. Walmart bank robbed at gunpoint 03/14/2014

Two arrested in Ariz Walmart receipt scheme and aggravated assault 03/14/2014

Two people were arrested on suspicion of organized retail theft, unlawful possession of retail receipts and aggravated assault at a Mesa Walmart.

Gary Buttler, 44, and Sheree Lang, 43, were arrested March 9 following a failed, premeditated shoplifting attempted at the Walmart near Dobson Road and Rio Salado Parkway, according to records filed by police in West Mesa Justice Court.

According to police, a witness watched as the pair took items from store's pet supplies area and brought them to customer service, where they exchanged the items for a full refund using a receipt.

Lang was also seen walking through the store eating chicken selected from the deli and put it back on a shelf without paying for it, records show.

When a loss-prevention officer attempted to stop the duo, Buttler pulled out a stun gun and shocked her, causing her to fall and injure her back, police said. Complete article

Police don’t suspect attempted kidnapping in ND Wal-Mart incident 03/14/2014

Woman arrested for using gift card to steal from Ok. Walmart 03/14/2014

Traffic tied up around Biloxi Miss. Walmart following wreck 03/15/2014

Walmart: Retail's Biggest Embarrassment 03/17/2014

Clover man arrested after crashing into girl, 12, in NC Walmart parking lot 03/16/2014

Huntingdon Co. Pa. Walmart employee accused of stealing $790 03/16/2014

3 nabbed on drug charges at Ohio Walmart parking lot 03/16/2014

Police chase after shoplifting incident at NY Walmart ends in a crash 03/16/2014 The chase ended on 8th and Peoples Avenue in Troy, when police crashed into the suspects' vehicle.

Two women charged with attempted NY Walmart petit larceny 03/16/2014

Police release name of man found dead near Bangor Me. Walmart 03/17/2014

Bangor Me. police investigate self-inflicted stabbing at Walmart 02/20/2014

U.S. attorneys general urge Wal-Mart, other retailers to stop selling tobacco 03/17/2014

Milford woman arrested after allegedly stealing from Walmart, fleeing from Bangor Me. police 03/17/2014

BANGOR, Maine — A Milford woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly fleeing from police following an apparent Walmart theft on Saturday night.

Sabra Dean, 27, fled the Stillwater Avenue store with $320 in stolen items after she was confronted by loss prevention staff, according to Bangor police Sgt. Cathy Rumsey.

She had concealed clothing and numerous other items in what Rumsey described as a large purse.

As Officer Russ Twaddell approached the scene, he observed Dean’s vehicle coming out of the parking lot and began to pursue it, Rumsey said.

The chase didn’t last very long, the sergeant said. Dean lost control near Tripp Road after hitting a frost heave, and she ended up in a ditch, Rumsey said. Complete article

Police: Couple took four children on shoplifting spree at Walmart in Whitehall 03/17/2014

2 men accused of shoplifting at Decatur Ala. Wal-Mart, 1 charged with carrying brass knuckles 03/1/2014

Wal-Mart entry into used videogames trade threatens GameStop 03/18/2014

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will allow U.S. shoppers to trade in used videogames for anything from groceries to gadgets, a move that could dent the profit of GameStop Corp, the largest dealer of used videogames. GameStop shares fell as much as 6 percent in morning trading, making it one of the top percentage losers on the New York Stock Exchange. Complete article

Elan-Polo to make shoes solely for Wal-Mart in Georgia 03/18/2014

Ellisville Walmart lawsuit will not be held before Missouri Supreme Court 03/18/2014

2 Carrollton Ill. residents charged with theft from Walmart 03/18/2014

Berea Ky. Police Searching For Walmart Thieves 03/18/2014

Walmart To Go opens in Bentonville Ark. 03/19/2014

Columbia Missouri Walmart parking lot partially closes after unattended suitcase found 03/19/2014

The parking lot at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 415 Conley Road, was partially shut down Wednesday as authorities checked out a suitcase someone abandoned there.

Columbia police and firefighters responded to a call of an unattended suitcase in the parking lot shortly after noon, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. First responders found a full-size black suitcase abandoned in a planter near the center of the lot and blocked off a portion of the lot while they investigated.

After an X-ray examination, police determined the bag was empty, the fire department said, and reopened the closed part of the lot. The incident took about two hours, and the suitcase's owner hasn't been found. Complete article

Officers draw guns; 1 'drive-stunned' in fight outside Beaufort SC Walmart 03/19/2014

Sheriff releases name of deceased found in Missouri Walmart parking lot 03/19/2014

Mayor draws cheers in Green Bay Wisc. Walmart fight 03/19/2014

Plan would address traffic crashes near Wisc. Walmart 03/19/2014

There’s a proposal afoot to reconstruct a portion of Rolling Meadows Drive north of Johnson Street.

The area — at the junction of Rolling Meadows Drive and the southernmost entrance to Walmart — has been the location of an inordinately high number of traffic crashes. ....

De Vries said the city has submitted a grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Highway Safety Improvement Program for $181,000 — the estimated cost of installing a right-turn lane. If approved, the local share of the project would be 10 percent of the cost. Complete article

Wal-Mart rolls out 'Black Friday-like' spring sales event to drum up sales 03/20/2014

Mental Evaluation Requested for Man Accused in Ark. Walmart Shooting 03/20/2014

North Texas man suing Walmart; says he was tased, wrongly arrested 03/19/2014

A North Texas man is suing Walmart for $5 million after he says he was tased and wrongly arrested after buying thousands of dollars' worth of Walmart gift cards.

The incident happened in a Garland Walmart in Sept. 2011, when Harold Burrowes bought $3,100 of the gift cards to buy diesel fuel. Burrowes owns a wrecker service, and rather than issuing credit cards, he uses Walmart gift cards so drivers can buy diesel for tow trucks.

Surveillance video shows Burrowes with gift cards at checkout. He says the cashier told him he could not buy gift cards with a gift card.

"I explained to her, ‘I'm not using gift card to purchase gift card; I have my American Express,'" said Burrowes.

In the video, a supervisor walks in to the picture, telling Burrowes the same thing. What Burrowes says can't be heard, but he says he explained what he was doing.

"I believe they thought all of the evidence points to the fact he was, they thought that Harold was using a stolen credit card," said Burrowes' attorney, Ben Martin.

In the video, the supervisor leaves and returns with a police officer working in the store through a company called Off-Duty Services. He stands behind Burrowes, and at one point, they exchange words.

Burrowes proceeds to buy the gift cards with his American Express and walks away. That's when he says the officer stopped him. Complete article

Source: Walmart Execs Asked Ad Agency to Rip Off Another Company's Commercial 03/19/2014

Walmart Is Trying To Make Us Cry With This Ad About A Factory Worker With A Disability 03/19/2014

My Guilty Pleasure - WALMART 03/19/2014 commercial disguised as a blog or satire?

Brian Sozzi Goes Undercover at Wal-Mart 03/19/2014

Man wanted for 'skimming' at Houston Tx.-area Walmart stores 03/20/2014

Teen arrested in Wednesday night blow gun incident in SD Wal-Mart parking lot 03/20/2014

A Mansfield teenager was arrested Wednesday night in connection with a "blow gun" incident in Aberdeen, police say.

Joseph Nash, 18, faces a charge of misdemeanor simple assault, according to a news release from the Aberdeen Police Department.

At 9:45 p.m., officers responded to an Aberdeen residence after a person reported having been struck and injured by a dart from a blow gun, according to the release. It says the blow gun incident happened in the Wal-Mart parking lot and that the suspect left the scene in a vehicle shortly before police arrived. Complete article

Photos show suspects who stole $1,500 in goods from Missouri Walmart 03/20/2014

Plot to shoot up Missouri Walmart store brings 15-year prison sentence 03/20/2014

BOLIVAR, Mo. - A 21-year-old man from Bolivar received two concurrent 15-year prison sentences on Thursday for thinking about shooting up the Walmart store here in late 2012 after he told police he first thought about a mass shooting at a movie theater here. Senior Judge William Roberts convicted Blaec Lammers in January of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

The sentencing on Thursday afternoon outraged Lammers' mother, who now regrets that she told police about the thoughts that her son had and told them about him buying a gun.

“Our system is broke, and it needs to be re-vamped,” said Tricia Lammers.

At the sentencing hearing, Lammers’ attorney, Don Cooley of Springfield, argued a long prison sentence is not appropriate for his client. He told the judge that Lammers’ sentence should be something that would give him help for his mental health issues.

The attorney argued Lammers only thought about the mass shooting but didn’t do anything to carry it out, and in fact turned over the semi-automatic gun that he bought to his girlfriend’s father, who called Lammers’ mother, who then called police, hoping to get Lammers some mental health treatment. Complete article

Police: Man arrested after claiming to be podiatrist, sucking woman's toes at NC Walmart 03/20/2014

LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - Police in Lincolnton say they have arrested a man who sucked a woman's toes at Walmart by claiming to be studying podiatry.

Michael Brown, of Concord, was arrested around 9 p.m. Thursday and charged with misdemeanor assault on a female. Officials say Brown is a registered sex offender.

Officers with the Lincolnton Police Department said the incident happened Monday around 11:15 a.m. when a man, who claimed he was a podiatrist student, started a conversation with a woman in the store.

That woman, Erika Porras, told police that he convinced her to try on several pair of shoes in the shoe department.

"At one point the suspect took the victim's foot, put it into his mouth and sucked the victim's toes," the report states. Complete article

Victim of Walmart toe-sucker recalls encounter: ‘He grabbed my foot and started licking it’ 03/21/2014

Search warrant: man found dead in Missouri Walmart parking lot had drugs, syringes, pills in his home 03/20/2014

911 Calls Released from February Conway Ark. Walmart Shooting 03/20/2014

San Bernardino Ca. woman allegedly attacked at Walmart, says store convinced her not to call police 03/20/2014

SAN BERNARDINO >> In the latest incident of people being attacked and robbed in and around the Walmart at 4210 E. Highland Ave., a woman says she was assaulted inside the store about 5 p.m. Friday and persuaded not to call police by store managers, saying officers would take hours to arrive.

Police took a report from the woman that same day and said they are investigating several other robberies in the parking lot and other areas near the store, Detective Lane Thompson said Wednesday. No arrests have been made, he said.

“As I was walking through the aisles I felt my gold chain become tight around my neck,” San Bernardino resident Linda Andrade said. “Then all of a sudden it was pulled a second time breaking and I saw him.”

That was when she looked her attacker in the eyes and began screaming for help.

“I kept yelling ‘security help, help,’ and nobody showed up,” she said. “All of a sudden a man came to me and said he (the attacker) was gone.” .....

“The officer was very kind and he told me that I wouldn’t have waited as long as the store managers told me I would,” she said. Complete article

Child in stroller hit, killed near Phoenix Ariz. Walmart 03/20/2014

Woman charged with scratching car in Mont. Wal-Mart parking dispute 03/20/2014

Pennsville bomb threat empties police station, Walmart, Walgreens 03/20/2014

Is America Ready To Like Walmart? 03/21/2014 Two years ago, Umang Shah was tasked with building a social media campaign and help Walmart communicate its good deeds and philanthopric efforts.

Walmart’s new online tool alegedly shows competitors' prices 03/21/2014

Police seek help finding Del. Walmart flasher 03/22/2014

Ariz. PD: Shoplifting suspect shot by officer stole from Walmart 11 times 03/25/2014

PHOENIX (CBS5) - A shoplifting suspect shot and wounded by a Phoenix police officer Friday night faces 11 counts of retail theft.

Rodney McCullough, 34, suffered a gunshot wound to his right shoulder area.

According to Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson, officers were responding to a North Phoenix Walmart on a report of shoplifting. When officers arrived, they were approached by a security officer at the Walmart located in the area of 2500 W. Happy Valley Road.

He informed officers that another person believed to be a serial shoplifter was inside the store shoplifting again and was headed toward the door to leave.

One of the officers stayed with the person they were originally called to investigate, while the second officer moved toward the door, Thompson said.

The suspect left his shopping cart in the store when he saw a uniformed store security person and exited out a door. He fled on foot before the officer got there, Thompson said.

The officer got in his patrol car and began to chase the suspect, who was running south from the store along 24th Drive, and jumped a short wall in a hotel parking lot in the area of 2400 W. Charlotte. The officer got out of his vehicle and ran after him.

The suspect climbed into his car, which was parked in the hotel parking lot, Thompson said. He closed the door as the officer got to the car.

The officer punched out the driver's side window in an effort to apprehend the suspect.

Thompson said the officer was entangled in the car and was dragged alongside the vehicle for several feet until the officer broke free and fired his handgun one time. Complete article

Short Pump Wal-Mart evacuated for strong odor 03/22/2014

Pa. Wal-Mart Customer Has Outburst, Throws Donation Jar At Employee 03/23/2014

Alleged Utah Wal-Mart thieves captured Saturday 03/23/2014

Woman arrested for wilfull concealment at NH Walmart 03/23/2014

Wal-Mart employee charged with stealing cash from Decatur Ala. store 03/24/2014

Wal-Mart Seeks Another Stay in Mexican Bribery Case 03/24/2014

This Is Walmart’s 5-Step Plan to Conquer Absolutely Everything 03/24/2014

Wal-Mart relies on food stamps for profit 03/24/2014

4 identified in Aurora Ind. Walmart jewelry theft 03/24/2014

Shop at Walmart, Target, Whole Foods? You might have these recalled foods at home 03/24/2014

$10,000 worth of tablets stolen from Marion Ill. Walmart 03/24/2014

Gulf Shores Ala. Walmart reopens after nearly four-hour investigation of bomb threat 03/24/2014

Wal-Mart is Latest Big Company with Mobile-App Security Problems 03/25/2014

Walmart recalls 174,000 dolls due to burn hazard 03/25/2014

Columbia Tenn. Police Want To Identify Walmart Theft Suspects 03/25/2014

Wal-Mart shifts from St. Petersburg Fla. store to apartments 03/25/2014

Four accused of shoplifting at NH Walmart 03/25/2014

Forbes: Walmart's International Challenge: Trying to Understand Local Shoppers 03/26/2014

San Angelo Tx. Walmart Aggravated Robbery Suspect Remains in Hospital after bomb threat, smashing gun case and stealing rifle and eventually getting shot in parking lot 03/25/2014

Gunfire rang out in the parking lot of Walmart at 610 W 29th Monday afternoon, as a man who had just robbed the store’s gun case fled outside and engaged in a confrontation with police.

Dispatch received a call for shots fired in the parking lot of the superstore Monday afternoon at 2:41 p.m., a time when the store itself and the lot outside were bustling with grocery shoppers.

The suspect, 42-year-old Charles D Welborn, witnesses say is either Caucasian or light-complected Hispanic, had entered the store minutes before and stolen a rifle, advising Walmart employees that he had a bomb.

At a media briefing at 5:45 p.m. Monday, San Angelo Chief of Police Tim Vasquez relayed the events leading up to the robbery and the shooting in the parking lot.

"The suspect entered the store, picked up an object—we believe a hammer—from the hardware department, then went to the counter and told the person working...the gun counter that he had a bomb,” the Chief said. “The suspect then crashed the rifle case with the hammer, broke the glass, grabbed a rifle.

Police later learned that after obtaining the rifle, the suspect turned the weapon on several individuals in the store before being confronted by an assistant manager. The manager then wrestled the weapon away from the suspect and he fled to the door.

By now, police, who had initially been dispatched on reports of suspicious behavior, were on their way to the store, and had been updated on the events unfolding inside.

When the police arrived moments later, the suspect had made it to his vehicle in the parking lot; a brown dually pickup parked next to a cart return in a space between the store’s two entrances. Numerous Walmart customers and employees in the lot were pointing at the man, alerting police that he was the suspect they had come for.

Officers surrounded the truck and were ordering the man out of the vehicle, to get on the ground and show his hands, but he failed to comply.

“He began moving around—he entered on the passenger's side—back and appeared he was trying to get something under the seat," Vasquez said. "When the suspect exited the vehicle, he had a bottle, I believe a beer bottle or a liquor bottle of some sort. He smashed the bottle on the ground and then charged the officer and then shots were fired." Complete article

Police search Marion Va. Walmart following bomb threat 03/25/2014

Police Seeking Islandia NY Walmart Thief 03/25/2014

Guard thwarts patrol car heist at Ca. Walmart 03/25/2014

HANFORD — A local woman found herself behind bars on Monday after she reportedly tried to swipe a patrol car from a Walmart security guard.

Stephanie Warren, 43, of Hanford was detained before she could drive away. She was later arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking, according to the Hanford Police Department.

It all started on Monday morning just before 7 a.m. The security officer was standing out in front of the 12th Avenue store when Warren approached him and asked for a cigarette. The officer gave her one.

Warren began to walk away, then turned without warning and shoved the officer. She threw open the car door, climbed behind the wheel, but found the officer clinging to her legs, police said. Complete article

Cops say woman busted for drugs at Ma. Walmart tried to conceal pills 03/25/2014

Stanford Ky. Police Looking for Suspected Walmart Thieves 03/25/2014

3 accused of selling heroin in Chardon Ohio Walmart parking lot 03/24/2014

Update: Ga. Walmart will reimburse woman, says no glitch with EBT system 03/24/2014

Vancouver pair accused of stealing hundreds of used batteries from Woodland Walmart 03/24/2014

Suspect in Pa. Walmart groping case found dead 03/25/2014

Police charge clerk embezzled $159,217 from NC Walmart in fraudulent check scheme 03/26/2014

Wal-Mart Says Bribe Probe Cost $439 Million in Two Years 03/26/2014

Wal-Mart selling Fla. apartment complex site 03/26/2014

Police: Former prerelease inmate caught with meth and stolen knife at Montana WalMart 03/26/2014

Ill. Walmart receipts led deputies to headless murder victim’s wife 03/26/2014

Federal jury awards Loesel family $3.8 million for lost Walmart deal in Frankenmuth Mich. 03/26/2014

BAY CITY, MI — A federal jury again has sided with a family whose effort to sell their land to Walmart was blocked by the Frankenmuth City Council.

After deliberating for about 45 minutes, a jury on Wednesday, March 26, awarded $3.8 million to the Loesel family, who claimed city officials violated their 14th Amendment equal protection rights when it zoned the 37 acres they owned along M-83 in Frankenmuth Township to limit building size. Walmart sought to purchase the property for a large store.

Adding in attorney fees and costs, the verdict is “going to touch close to $4.5 million,” said the Loesels' attorney, Andrew Kochanowski. Complete article

Charges: Employee rips off Wash. Walmart due to debt, lack of hours 03/27/2014

Wegmans tops supermarket survey; Wal-Mart ranks last out of 55 03/27/2014

Wal-Mart sues Visa claiming card transaction fee conspiracy 03/27/2014

Wal-Mart Stores filed a lawsuit accusing Visa of conspiring with banks to fix transaction fees, the latest salvo of a multiyear legal fight between retailers and card issuers.

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is one of dozens of large merchants that dropped out of a nationwide antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard Inc. to pursue their own lawsuits. The company filed its complaint alleging violations of U.S. antitrust law in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 25.

"Visa's monopoly power has enabled it to dictate price and inhibit competition," Wal-Mart said in its complaint. Complete article

Forbes: Why Walmart And Best Buy Are Not The Only Retail Channels For Hardware Entrepreneurs 03/27/2014

Elizabethton Tenn. Police: "pit bull" chases teen, attacks man in Walmart parking lot 03/27/2014

Forbes: Walmart Just Revealed How Poor U.S. Shoppers Are 03/28/2014

Someone threatened to blow up Chesterfield Va. Walmart 03/28/2014

Mistrial in Laurel Tenn. Walmart shooting trial 03/28/2014

Have you seen this suspected armed Wash. Walmart shoplifter? 03/28/2014

Utah Wal-Mart evacuated after suspicious device found 03/28/2014 XXX

Utah Wal-Mart evacuated after suspicious device found 03/28/2014

HEBER CITY — The Wal-Mart in Heber City was evacuated Friday after police found what they believed was a pipe bomb left in the bathroom by a Utah State Prison inmate.

Now, investigators are trying to determine how the man was able to come up with what appeared to be a credible pipe bomb during the 45 minutes he was missing or if someone was helping him.

Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth said the incident began before noon with a work-release crew.

"There was a Utah State Prison inmate crew doing asbestos removal at the old Wasatch High School," Booth said. "One of their inmates walked away."

A supervisor reported that Larry Clifford Newman, 35, was missing and "may be depressed and suicidal," said Wasatch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Rigby. Complete article

Bloomberg: Wal-Mart Sees $3 Billion Opportunity Refilling Empty Shelves 03/28/2014

Deltona Fla. residents say they don't want Walmart, other stores in their neighborhood 03/28/2014

Update: Fla. Walmart groping suspect arrested 03/28/2014

Trio arrested at NH Walmart 03/28/2014

Counterfeit $20 Bills Used at Sonora Ca. Wal-Mart 03/29/2014

Forbes: Why We Love To Hate Walmart 03/29/2014

Walmart Scuffle Spurs Police Chase In South Tulsa Ok.; 2 Arrested 03/29/2014

Castleton Nev. woman arrested following Walmart drinking incidents 03/29/2014

BRUNSWICK >> A Castelton woman was arrested by state police Thursday after Walmart employees found her sleeping inside a shipping container in the store with empty cans of beer around her.

Elizabeth McGovern, 52, was charged with petit larceny and third-degree criminal trespass.

At Approximately 6:30 p.m. Thursday, employees of Walmart store on Hoosick Road saw McGovern take cans of beer and drink them without paying for them, police say. She was asked to leave.

She was found about 11:30 p.m. asleep in a shipping container in a room marked “employees only,” and was again asked to leave. Complete article

Chesterfield Va. Walmart evacuated for second time in 3 days 03/30/2014

Thornton man indicted on theft charge at NH Wal-Mart 03/30/2014

On Your Side Alert: Crooks target Walmart Money Cards 03/31/2014 Many viewers contacted NBC12 after becoming a victim. It's now clear how, but crooks are somehow stealing the card information and wiping the cards clean.

Ohio father accidentally runs over, kills daughter, 2, in Walmart parking lot 03/31/2014

Kindergarten girl becomes victim of cyber bullying after trip to SC Walmart 03/31/2014

Two convicted in 2013 Antelope Ca. Walmart, residential robberies 03/31/2014

2 Alton Ill. men charged with theft from a Walmart 03/31/2014

Franklin Tenn. Police Looking To Identify Walmart Theft Suspect 03/31/2014

Raynham Ma. selectmen oppose check cashing at Route 138 Walmart 03/31/2014 The three-person board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to write a letter to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks David Cotney expressing concern about the request, citing constant police calls at the other town Walmart store off Route 44 and a lack of coordinated planning for the check cashing service.

Tx. Wal-Mart hatchet suspect committed to Rusk State Hospital 03/31/2014

Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours 03/30/2014

Walmart Finally Admits That Its Empty Shelves Are A Big Problem 03/31/2014

Are Walmart's Prices So Low, supposedly, Because Their Employees Are on Food Stamps? 03/2/2014

Some La Verne Ca. residents protest proposed Walmart market 03/31/2014

9 hospitalized after noxious chemical odor at Kauai Hawaii Walmart 03/31/2014

Assistant principal resigns following cyberbullying accusations that started at the Seneca SC Walmart, 03/31/2014