Saturday, December 20, 2014
I find it extremely hard to believe that I'm the only one that sees how incredibly hypocritical this speech is.
The news media routinely sells an enormous amount of advertising space for the oil companies; yet they rarely ever allow environmentalists to get their views across. Instead they present them as fringe protesters and only inform the public that they're protesting without fully explaining why. And even then they don't cover them unless they feel it is large enough that they can't ignore them.
They sell an enormous number of deceptive Christmas ads that often lead to unruly shoppers and even riots during Black Friday. Yet they refused to sell ad space to Adbusters when they tried to recommend a "Buy nothing day." If anything this would have made Black Friday less likely.
Deceptive advertising that is designed to maximize profits by deceiving consumers gets an enormous amount of protection under the first amendment; yet I get the impression that if someone wanted to buy time so that Susan Linn author of "Consuming Kids" or Juliet Schor author of "Born to Buy" could take the time they needed to explain how many of these scams work and how they're targeted to children before they learn how to develop critical thinking skills the media would almost certainly not sell them the time; and the Supreme Court might find a pathetic excuse to allow it assuming they didn't find an excuse to avoid even hearing the case which is actually more likely.
Actually this is already happening; is there anything remotely as good as these books ever even mentioned on the mass media?
The Supreme Court has said that "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater" is not protected speech; however the example that is protected in practice are the false claims by advertisers that are more likely to incite riots while the recommendation for a "Buy nothing day" isn't protected.
Not that it is surprising that they apply this wrong in this cases; they didn't even apply it right in the first cases where Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. first wrote it. He used this argument to prevent war protesters from speaking against the war. These protesters weren't making false claims, nor were they inciting a riot or a stampede.
The same continues to go for peace protesters that are telling the truth in recent wars including false claims about weapons of mass destruction which were repeated over and over again before the Iraq war while the speech of the protesters was relegated to the fringes, even though it was much more accurate.Reports about Jimmy Carters deal which George Bush arbitrary abandoned have also been mostly forgotten and Obama and the media rarely if ever mention that they had an opportunity to reduce tensions which could have eliminated this conflict before it began.
Barack Obama said he was concerned that the media might "start engaging in self-censorship," as if it is not already routine on these and many other subjects. He says "That's not who we are."
He uses that phrase a lot.
If there aren't some holiday discussions about how incredibly hypocritical this speech is then this country just might be full of mindless zombies blindly believing what the government and mass media tells them to believe.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Recently while searching for something else I stumbled across an article by Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) who seems to do a very good job expressing his views although I don't agree with them all; and I think he is missing some very important points. I initially thought I'd cite a few excerpts but even though I don't agree with most of what he says I thought he did a very good job making his points I decided to repost it.
I hope he doesn't mind but he did express concern about "moms of criminals will likely never read this blog entry" and although I probably can't help him much with that perhaps this will increase attention at least a little.
Obviously I don't think of myself as one of the "Haters" he refers to but there are inevitably going to be some people who disagree on just who those are, as I'll get to, to some degree. There might also be some doubt as to who is finding "a way to blame," or partially blame "someone else." Also, I can't say for certain, but my best guess is that there are also plenty of police or ex-police that might also disagree with some of the comments from Mr. Borelli.
The people that live in many low income areas know that they have never received the same protection by police as those in high income areas; and they also know that they are much less likely to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
Here is his article and one anonymous comment which might be considered notable.
First of all I must have missed the article where parents said they wanted the "removal of every legal barrier that might slow their children down from committing a crime." I'm not ruling out the possibility that this might be Mr. Borelli's personal interpretation; and my best guess is that few if any of the protesters intended this.
More importantly, one of the biggest problems with the discussion about crime and police brutality is that they focus primarily on how to resolve problems at the last minute or relatively shortly before major incidents break out. At least in the short run some of this is necessary; however in the long term it may be as important, if not more important, to recognize and address long term causes of crime.
If this can be done then perhaps many of these confrontations will never happen in the first place. In many cases this might not even involve police at all, although there might be some partial exceptions. This might also mean that the people most able to do more to reduce crime aren't police but politicians, social workers, teachers, parents, and others that deal with the social and economic system that impacts crime.
Excuse me if I seem a little sarcastic but I really do have a point; who is it that the police are protecting us from?
Of course there are the obvious purse snatchers and violent felons; although in most cases, if it comes down to that they are often gone before the police even arrive on the scene.
But what about white collar crime? Do the police protect us from those criminals? Do the police protect us from Flo?
This might seem peculiar but the reason I ask is that Flo and many other people should be considered scam artists and the beneficiaries of Savage Inequalities as described by Jonathan Kozol. Kozol doesn't focus primarily on the scams being conducted by people like Flo; instead he focuses on the lack of opportunities, especially educational opportunities, in abandoned inner cities like East St Louis which is just across the state line from Ferguson, and it is the first district he writes about in this book.
Recognizing Flo's scams and the same scams by most if not all insurance ads is relatively simple. Insurance is pooled risk and expenses have to be deducted from the money insurance companies collect through premiums. The more they advertise the more they have to deduct for expenses. Their ads do little or noting to provide accurate information about the deals they get; instead they ad to non-productive expenses; and this simple concept is never explained to the public.
How does this have any connection to police violence against black people, or other low-income people of other races?
The vast majority of the public, especially minorities doesn't have much if any opportunity to get this type of job and it provides no benefit for the consumers who indirectly pay Flo's salary. Flo is actually trivial except as an example. There are many jobs that are only available to a minority of the public that pay reasonably well but they aren't directly accountable to consumers that ultimately pay for them and the the people that do work that does actually benefit consumers that indirectly pay for their labor often have their wages suppressed by competition.
Advertisers, union busters, lobbyists, market researchers and many other corporate bureaucratic jobs aren't designed to provide benefits for the majority of the public; instead they're doing jobs that are designed to increase profits for corporations even though consumers don't benefit from them. Right now there doesn't seem to be any "legal barrier that might slow" down their efforts to commit large amounts of fraud that indirectly contribute to traditional blue collar crimes in other ways.
Kozol's book demonstrates that the educational and economic opportunities in minority areas would be considered unacceptable to most people if they knew about them; but most people almost certainly don't know much about them, especially if they rely on traditional news reports. He also demonstrates how an enormous amount of environmental damage is done in minority areas, although Robert Bullard goes into much greater detail on that subject in "Dumping in Dixie."
The people in these towns know damn well that they don't have the opportunities that many other people might and they also know damn well that all this propaganda about how everyone has an opportunity to rise to the top is nothing but propaganda and that people from abandoned inner cities have little or no opportunity to get out of them; and their opportunities at a high paying job like Flo's where they get paid to deceive the public will only be available to a small minority and then only if they help scam people for the benefit of corporate advertisers.
At times they try to protest when corporations pollute their land leading to high death rates as a result or oppressive working conditions and instead of giving them an opportunity to express their view and reduce inequalities the police disperse the protests even when politicians make it clear they aren't going to address their grievances.
Police don't investigate and arrest polluters that commit negligent mass murder or corporations that cause dangerous working environment or make unearned profits through deceptive advertising; they arrest the protesters without political power.
The end result is whether they intend to or not they serve the interests of the campaign contributors. They might say this is being non-political but when the orders they received give political benefits to campaign contributors then they're serving the political interests of the campaign contributors indirectly.
I've never lived in the abandoned inner cities that Jonathan Kozol writes about so I don't know first hand what it's like to have to deal with their problems. We were taught that we are all innocent until proven guilty; and in most places that I have lived that is for the most point true in this country; however I have passed through a few towns where at least people that pass through might not be treated in that manner. Many others have also had this experience; but they know that unless it is a major problem it isn't worth making a big deal out of it and it would mean going back to places where they might have been harassed by police for little or no reason. For a brief while I have been in what could be considered an abandoned rural area where the lowest class people clearly aren't treated as if they're innocent until proven guilty and they don't have much if any more opportunity than those in abandoned inner cities to rise up the economic ladder in this country.
There were only a handful of places where people could work in this area and most of the people never had a chance to leave going back generations, contrary to the myth of upward mobility in this country. The block at the center of town was where many of the poorest people lived and they often had some of the biggest problems with crimes, although the vast majority of them were petty. Police routinely treated anyone that lived int his block as if they were already guilty and there wasn't anything any of them could do about it.
If a business called in with a complaint they would address it to the best of their ability, which wasn't necessarily that great, considering their lack of education or training. However if someone from the poorer block had a pr4oblem they rarely got any response, and for the most part they knew they wouldn't so they practically never even considered it unless it was really serious.
Despite all the noise and drinking that went on, when people had the money to buy alcohol, which often stopped for days or even weeks at a time, there was surprisingly few major crimes, although the large number of arguments or disorderly conduct would make it seem otherwise. I often suspected that the reason why these people that spent an enormous amount of time bragging about how great a fighter they were practically never got into many if any fight was because they knew that if they did then everyone would find out just how accurate their amazing fighting skills really were.
There was one exception where one of the loudest people on the block did know how to fight much better than most and he got into a surprising number of fights and he also got into much more legal trouble than most of the other people on the block. Yet he managed to stay out of jail most of the time. Even he never thought seriously about fighting the police.
Few people in that town asked why this guy wasn't put in jail long ago and kept there. It didn't take long for some people to figure out that the reason was because it turned out he was cooperating with the police. At least two people wound up in jail briefly because of information he gave to the police. In one case the information he gave them was accurate but it was widely known and they could have found out otherwise. In another case it wasn't and the alleged suspect was released without further investigation since there was no evidence aside from a false snitch.
These police were keeping the closest thing this small town had to a major criminal out of jail be3casue he was snitching on others that didn't cause as much trouble as he did. They intimidated and harassed everyone when it suited their purposes, although it usually only happened when some kind of noise escalated.
None of the poorer people thought that the police were there to protect them, because in this case they weren't. It is virtually guaranteed that there are thousands of towns like this across the country and abandoned inner cities are even worse.
In all fairness, I would wonder if I would want the job of policing people in a town like this and I wouldn't. Neither would many other people including most good police officers. This is why some of the towns that need good police the most rarely ever get them.
If the best police officers don't want to serve in the towns that need them the most they'll inevitably apply for jobs elsewhere and get them. That means that the towns with the most trouble might have to chose from police that have a hard time getting jobs in towns with fewer problems. Then, on top of that, they might be trained in an authoritative manner that is designed to intimidate people into compliance.
Mr. Borelli claims that, "we’re not out committing crimes. We’re out there patrolling to prevent crime. .. " which sounds good and of course it is what they're supposed to be doing. However even though I'm sure the vast majority of police officers are doing just that there are more exceptions than he might like to acknowledge. Actually he doesn't acknowledge any exceptions in this article; but there are plenty of people watching police that have demonstrated otherwise. The reason they might be doing so is that they have known for a while that they don't always live up to their propaganda and tracking some of the stories reported in the news including the Police misconduct reports for 2013 compiled by Massachusetts Cop Block. This is just one of many police watching organizations that have piled up a much larger list of exception; although most of these different sites don't all cover the same material, so it would take a while to review more than a fraction of their misconduct.
Mr. Borelli seems to imply that all police should be treated as innocent until proven guilty, which seems quite reasonable but he doesn't seem quite so concerned about whether or not all citizens are treated as innocent until proven guilty. Nor does he seem to acknowledge any of the evidence to indicate that there are at least some cases where police have gone too far and that tehy should be addressed properly.
Mr. Borelli seems to have demonstrated support for the us verses them situation with his squarely on the side of the police without trying to figure out which cases might have justifiable complaints. Not all police officers or ex-police officers have done this and some of the more open-minded have done a good job indicating why many police are so reluctant to take responsibility for their own actions while they expect the public to do so and why they rely on escalating violence. One of those is David Couper who has done a good job describing their training practices and why they might lead to misconduct later on the job in the following excerpt about hazing:
These training practices clearly involve using intimidation practices to keep people in line and convince them to go along with the program and it is virtually guaranteed that it is part of the reason why intimidating officers who don't look the other way when they witness police misconduct is so common and a major factor for the so-called "blue wall of silence."
As I attempted to explain in numerous posts early abuse leads to escalating violence later in life; this doesn't begin in the police academy when they rely on hazing and bullying to train their recruits but it does escalate there. There is plenty of evidence to indicate that a major part of the reason for escalating violence starts with the way people are educated at a young age and escalates later in life with bullying, hazing, boot camp and domestic violence. I have indicated some of the evidence for this in several past posts including Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due.
Despite an enormous amount of propaganda about how glorious our police and military are they don't always live up to that propaganda and the indoctrination to go along with the program and support the beliefs of their fellow soldiers or police officers is a major reason for that. Although the vast majority of veterans and police officers are law abiding citizens there have been a surprising number of them that have gone on shooing sprees and become murders themselves instead of protecting this country. And many of those that were taught to believe what they're told do little or nothing to recognize when their government is lying to them and ordering them to fight for false claims like weapons of mass destruction that don't exist or defend an economic system that is rigged heavily in favor of the well connected that give the orders.
In Teach a soldier to kill and he just might I tried to indicate how in some cases a significant number of military soldiers have been involved in a large number of murders and that their training is almost certainly a contributing factor as to why this is the case, although it is almost certainly not the only factor and in most cases early education is also a factor.
Fortunately not all police are supporting the us verses them mentality; in Richmond California the police chief agreed to attend one of the rallies to show his support for reasonable reform and minimize or avoid confrontation with the community he's protecting. Unfortunately Mr.Borelli and many other police officers have objected to this as indicated in Officer Editor's Blog: A Protesting Police Chief? 12/15/2014
Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus indicated 'that he and several members of his command staff decided to attend the protest, which was organized by a local youth center, to "build bridges" and ensure the protest was peaceful. He said he was asked by one of the youths to hold the sign, and "agreed because I wanted to demonstrate that our police department really is serious about building stronger relationships with communities of color." ' .... In response to the objection from the police union 'Mayor-elect Tom Butt, who also attended the protest, called the union "hypocritical" and noted that union officers routinely work in Richmond politics while dressed as police officers. "They have a lot of gall to criticize the chief," Butt said.' Fallout Grows Over Protesting Police Chief 12/17/2014
If there is any doubt about how effective Chief Chris Magnus' policy's have been a look at his recent record reducing crime dramatically over the past several years seems to indicate that some one in Richmond must be doing something right. Not to long ago they were the ninth most dangerous city in the country; however recent reforms in the police as well as other efforts from the community have dramatically reduced their problems with crime. They have cut their murder rates by well over fifty percent. The police aren't the only reason for this; they have also had a lot of grass roots support as I have indicated in Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit. Addressing the root causes of crime is far more important than just waiting until the last minute and preventing problems when a possible violent confrontation is almost unavoidable. the reforms in the economic \system are almost certainly more important.
A closer look into Frank Borelli's background quickly raises some possible conflicts of interests. He is the founder of Borelli Consulting which has done some work for Blackwater and seems to support the privatization of police and military matters. Officer.com provides a significant number of ads for weapons manufacturers, which include those supported by the NRA.
When even the possibility of financial incentives might be influencing security issues it should raise some serious doubts especially when considering that many developed countries have far lower crime rates and incarceration rates and we spend little or not time considering what they might be doing better. Instead there is an enormous amount of propaganda about how "great" our system is even though many of the facts may not support this assumption. If we really want to be so great we should take a closer look at the facts to develop policies.
NYT: Bias Seen in ‘Police-on-Police’ Shootings 05/27/2010
Cato Institute: The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project
Cato Institute: Botched Paramilitary Police Raids
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Greenpeace seems to have stuck their foot in their mouth, while trying to make a legitimate point.
Oil company executives just might be having a good laugh.
Greenpeace activists just might be charged with major crimes for, well, leaving footprints.
There is little if any effort by those with the most power to charge oil company executives with massive and real environmental damage.
Would you laugh if you were an oil company executive?
The Guardian reported the following excerpt about the Nazca lines:
Is anyone wondering whether or not the people that gave "a true slap in the face" to "sacred,” or important things are the oil companies or the Greenpeace activists?
Is there any doubt which is doing far more damage?
This may not be as well planned as they might have hoped but when you consider the enormous advantage the mass media gives to the oil companies that buy enormous amounts of propaganda ads from them with the profits they get from destroying the environment it might be understandable why they might try to do the best they can with the limited resources they have.
I think ancient sites should be preserved as much as anyone else; and I would prefer better ways to get good points across than flashy publicity stunts; but how much damage are these footprints really going to do?
Greenpeace had this to say when they planned it:
During the psst week I have been watching alternative news more often when I can but I have still managed to watch plenty of the local news and some of the world news but I don't remember them mentioning the climate summit once. I almost certainly missed at least a little coverage from the world news but I doubt if they provided much coverage of it at all. Democracy Now has provided much more coverage about the climate summit and the news that is available to me from several other countries also cover a reasonable amount of coverage for the climate summit, although they don't do nearly as well as Democracy Now or environmental news outlets.
For a subject as important as this it seems to me that we need to do what we can to draw more attention to it and if the media does start paying attention to this only to blame Greenpeace without covering the damage by oil companies and other corporations or the military to the environment they're only showing how badly we need media reform.
Photos reveal possible damage to Nazca lines by Greenpeace activists 12/09/2014
Greenpeace activists 'damage' ancient Nazca lines, Peru to seek criminal charges 12/10/2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
Just before thanksgiving ABC did a few consumer protection stories warning the public that products at factory outlet stores are often inferior quality compared to brand names that are supposedly better quality and much higher prices. There is almost certainly a significant amount of truth to their stories; however they are selectively warning the public about fraudulent marketing scams and actually participating in more than they expose.
They routinely decline to tell the public about some of the most basic principles of marketing and that advertising expenses have been skyrocketing over the past several decades while manufacturing expenses have been slashed.
This means that the amount they mark up from the factory are are much higher than they used to be.
The reason ABC and other commercial media outlets decline to tell the majority of the public about this is quite simple.
A significant portion of the increased profits have been going to them in the form of advertising revenue. They have an obvious incentive to remain silent that is almost never mentioned.
On top of that they practically never mention the fact that proprietary information laws often make it illegal to disclose many of the marketing tactics they uses.
The news segments exposing the lower quality products being sold at so called "factory outlet stores" pointed out the fact that they use the phrase "compared to" implying that the products are the same except for the price when, according to their reporting, they aren't. Some of the higher prices for the higher end items were about $198 or $249; and the items they were compared to are about $99 or $119. Even these lower priced items are outrageously priced although people that don't use more than a minimum amount of critical thinking skills might not realize it since these marketing scams have been escalating gradually for decades while the retail and manufacturing outlets along with media outlet have been consolidating.
These "consumer protection" warnings were essentially ads for traditional designer clothes and the fashion industry.
We rely on the traditional media for our information about just about everything; but they have a financial incentive to deceive us about just about everything. This sounds cynical; but it isn't hard to confirm that it is also true.
They rarely ever mention that over the last few decades real factory direct outlets have been disappearing since the factories have all been moving overseas. It doesn't take a genius to see that when we grow cotton in the USA ship it half way around the world where it is manufactured into clothes by people who don't get paid enough to live a decent life then they ship it back and create expensive propaganda ads about how efficient this system is.
A larger portion of the money we give to retailers is used for shipping, advertising, union busting activities, campaign contributions, and other bureaucratic expenses designed to increase the profits for those that already have more money than they need, than they use to manufacture the actual product.
If they don't pass these expenses on to the consumer where would they get the money to pay them?
Most people in the United States probably don't realize it but some other countries actually do a better job trying to protect their consumers from epidemic levels of consumer fraud or at least they try to. This is almost certainly more likely to be reported in foreign or alternative media outlets, since the traditional commercial media outlets are unlikely to expose fraud that they're involved in. Recently Deutsche Welle Journal did a story about consumer protection Germany where mentioned an organization that tested consumer goods and it seemed to do a much better job than anything that we have in the USA. A search of the internet didn't turn up this story but it did turn up The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection or Bundesministerium which sounds like what the Deutsche Welle Journal mentioned.
I don't know how well it works but it can't be worse than what we have in the USA which involves constantly trying to deceive people with misleading ads and virtually no accurate information about how consumer goods are brought to the public from traditional news or political establishments.
If the public wants discussions about how to restore factory direct options and the real efficiencies that have been abandoned with globalization they can't rely on the commercial media to come up with it.
Instead they have to come up with their own ideas at the grass roots level and push them from below, at least until there is major media and political reform.
If there is any doubt about how corrupt the current system is and how inept it is at informing the public about the scams by large oligarchies the books like Big-box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-retailers By Stacy Mitchell, No Logo and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism By Naomi Klein should easily expose many of these scams; however until there are major reforms the oligarchies will continue to control all the large institutions with little or no accountability.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Black Friday riots have become an annual tradition; however so have Black Friday protests and during the holiday shopping weekend they seem to have drowned out the stories about fighting shoppers. You might think the police might be thankful, since they seem to be far more rational and civil than the customers in past years and many of the irrational customers seem to have done their share of excessive road rage incidents, stabbings, shootings, shoplifting's, chases and crashes among other things including bomb threats and fires earlier in the month although they continued through the holidays of course.
The police in Pennsylvania and Tulsa Oklahoma have both reported that crime has been escalating at Wal-Mart and that they're attempting to work with them to address the problems there. The police in Pennsylvania claim that although they have a lot of problems there the benefits outweighs the trouble. After reading their own report and others it is hard to see how they came to that conclusion.
I'm not completely ruling out the possibility that they might be responding indirectly to political pressure.
It wouldn't be hard to find an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence to support this hypothesis.
There was at least one more incident where a police officer, or former police officer was involved in the use of excessive force, where he is being investigated for firing a gun that may have been stolen from the Sheriff's Office and there were also two other stories where police say that the amount of force at Wal-Mart used in previous months was justified; this was in addition to the Michael Brown case which wasn't at Walmart.
Ironically there was one police officer that felt the need to justify calling off a police chance and explain that no one was hurt and they had the evidence they needed to pursue the suspect without risk to the public. There have been many other cases where they get into high speed chances and crashes where people are hurt often over shoplifting or other relatively minor incidents that escalate when the police get involved, including at least one or two this month and the police seem less likely to feel the need to justify those incidents.
Walmart has opened up their 5,000 store in the US and they claim that they have seen their first increase in sales in seven quarters; however Forbes magazine has indicated that it is only a modest increase and that they might expect more troubles competing for holiday shoppers this year. As usual the quick reports about holiday sales are good; but some indicate that they're dropping compared to previous years; and the ones from public relations spokespeople rarely even seem credible anymore, exept perhaps to those that don't pay much if any attention.
Walmart's public relations is constantly turning into a bigger disaster all the time.
They've been exposed for their Inhumane Policies for Pregnant Workers again, after a worker told reporters about having miscarriage after being ordered to stay on regular duty lifting heavy items; they've been exposed selling items marked ‘Made In USA’ that are allegedly made in China again; they've been caught asking workers to donate to each other again; and they fired a worker for donating items to the poor that were meant for the trash.
I can't imagine what they could be thinking; or if they're thinking at all.
Their defense for the charity box for their workers is that they don't plan that in the corporate office.
Do they actually think that might help or hurt them even more?
A Forbes writer says "The Waltons Deserve Their Hundred Fifty Billion; The Rest Of Us Gain $5 Trillion From Walmart's Existence" and Walmart's President, CEO say “It’s absolutely appropriate that we open at 6 p.m.” on Thanksgiving night. Do they ever suspect that they might not be living in the same world as the vast majority of the public?
An enormous amount of people are outraged by Walmart's behavior, yet they act as if there is no problem; perhaps the overdue drop in sales and massive protests are the only thing that can get their attention, at least until we have major political reform in this country. One Michigan town was forced to settle a law suit for not allowing Walmart but others aren't letting that deter them when resisting Walmarts new stores and it is highly unlikely that they can get much higher than their 5,000 store mark before declining. In fact same store sales have been declining for years.
Some of these outraged customers and workers are resorting to extreme measures since they seem to see how difficult it is to get their concerns addressed, including close to, if not more than two dozen bomb threats this month including at least one that was obviously from a disgruntled customer and another from an employee.
However the vast majority of the protesters are peaceful and if the police continue to arrest them without addressing their concerns it will become increasingly obvious that the political establishment and police are overwhelmingly giving corporations like Walmart and other campaign donors preferential treatment at the expense of the vast majority of the public.
If they did a better job addressing the legitimate issues that many consumers and workers have with Walmart then it is virtually guaranteed that they would have much fewer problems and research into past activities and rising crime when Walmart comes to town supports this assumption.
Walmart also had to explain why mouse traps were found on the shelves next to their food. Apparently their defense was that they usually keep them under the shelves where customer usually can't see them; but someone must have moved it.
Have you ever wondered if the rib eye steaks at Wal-Mart were put back in the cooler after a man drives around the store sitting on them in an attempt to steal them?
Has anyone besides Gallagher smashed a watermelon or thrown it at you in Walmart to distract people while trying to steal cereal?
Last month someone was caught on camera masturbating with a stuffed animal and leaving it for others; this month they just set the stuffed animals on fire; but a different sex offender came up with something even worse, which I'm sure many Walmart workers might want to avoid in the future.
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 November 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 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.
Man attempts to kill estranged wife in Tennessee Sam's Club parking lot 01/11/2014
Argument leads to shooting at Alaska Walmart 09/08/2014
Drunk man threatens to shoot people inside Indiana Walmart 09/20/2014
Deputy shoots and kills gunman in Washington Walmart parking lot 09/30/2014
Walmart customer robbed at gunpoint in Florida 10/02/2014
Masked gunman robs Walmart gas station in New Orleans 10/03/2014
Officer shot by shoplifter inside Alabama Walmart 10/05/2014
Two men steal rifles in Christmas tree box at Kentucky Walmart store 10/11/2014
Man robbed at gunpoint for game system in Oklahoma Walmart parking lot; shot fired 10/22/2014
Two charged with shoplifting at NH Walmart 11/02/2014
Woman allegedly steals 29 items from NY Walmart 11/03/2014
Shirtless suspect arrested after purse snatcher punches woman outside Ill. Walmart 11/03/2014
Crime of the Week: Theft-turned-robbery at Tx. Wal-Mart 11/05/2014
S. Fla. Walmart employee arrested for stealing 11/04/2014
Man arrested for alleged theft at Dickinson Ill. Walmart 11/04/2014
Trial Moved For Pope County Constable Accused Of Destroying Ark. Walmart shopping car corral last July 11/04/2014
Workers deliver petition for $15 wage at MV Ca.'s Walmart 11/03/2014
26 arrested for protesting outside Walmart billionaire's New York home 10/16/2014
Police looking for 2 in attempted Va. Beach Walmart heist 11/02/2014
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge 10/29/2014
Man allegedly stole from NY Walmart, ran off 11/04/2014
“I cannot continue to live and work like this”: How Wal-Mart drove me to shut down Park Avenue Despite having a job, I forgo electricity in the summer. My car was repossessed. My day-to-day life would shock you 10/29/2014
Clovis Ca. man on seven-year crusade against Wal-Mart 10/23/2014
2 arrested in connection with Utah Wal-Mart robberies 11/05/2014
Little River man jailed after bomb threat made to North Myrtle Beach SC Wal-Mart 11/06/2014
A Walmart employee in charge of preventing theft in Le Mars Walmart robbery arrested in Texas 11/06/2014
Robbery at knifepoint Outside Fort Worth Tx. Walmart Store 11/06/2014
Pair sought in Farmington Me. Walmart thefts 11/06/2014
Bank robbery suspect identified, taken into custody near Moore Oklahoma Walmart 11/06/2014
Family subdues NM Walmart shooting suspect 11/06/2014
Oneida NY police make arrest in Walmart theft case 11/06/2014
Waterford Conn. police seek Walmart purse-snatcher 11/06/2014
Mom charged with leaving toddler inside unlocked, running car while she shopped at Pa. Walmart 11/07/2014
Man accused of performing lewd acts in Walmart parking lot in Gonzales La. 11/07/2014
Jim Hightower: Walmart gives taxpayers health care bill 11/06/2014
5 women arrested in Tx. Walmart theft ring bust 11/06/2014
Conway SC Police looking for Walmart car break-in suspect 11/07/2014
Coalition for Social and Environmental Responsibility in Boulder: Boulder Colorado Walmart can't keep out the truth 11/07/2014
Man stabbed at Thomasville Ga. Walmart 11/06/2014
NC Walmart evacuated due to bomb threat 11/05/2014
S. Fla. Walmart employee arrested for stealing 11/04/2014
NY Walmart worker accused in iPhone thefts 11/07/2014
Employees return to Okla. Walmart after bomb threat 11/08/2014
Snow Hill NC Walmart re-opens after bomb threat 11/09/2014
Suspects in Farmington Walmart theft arrested in Augusta Me. 11/08/2014
Wal-Mart to focus on food safety in China: Asia chief 11/10/2014
Suspect sought for robbery of Burlington NC Walmart 11/10/2014
Good Samaritans Aid In Tenn. Wal-Mart Robbery 11/10/2014
Police release photo of Ark Walmart theft suspect 11/10/2014
Woman robbed at knifepoint in Ill. Walmart parking lot 11/10/2014
Thomas Hartman charged with setting off firecracker inside Fla. Walmart 11/10/2014
Cops: SC Walmart Employee Used Deodorant, Put It Back 11/11/2014
Walmart Memo Orders Stores to Improve Grocery Performance 11/11/2014
HPD: 2 arrested after armed robbery workers in Tx. Walmart parking lot 11/12/2014
Man stabbed near Walmart in Santee Ca. 11/09/2014
Police nab Utah Wal-Mart shoplifter for possession of stolen credit cards, drugs 11/10/2014
Man steals condoms from Walmart: South Euclid Ohio police blotter 11/10/2014
Police: Suspected NY Walmart thieves struck a police vehicle while fleeing the scene 11/11/2014
Bomb threat at Hudson NH Walmart 11/12/2014
Walmart evacuated amid bomb threat in Edinburg Tx. 11/12/2014
Sex offender accused of stealing 20 DVDs from York SC Walmart 11/10/2014
Conway SC Police looking for Walmart shoplifting suspect 11/11/2014
Unfounded bomb threat evacuates Middletown Del. Walmart 11/12/2014
Beavercreek Ohio Walmart Worker Punched In The Head Over Candy 11/12/2014
Rincon Ga. Police: Shoplifter steals pretty much everything he needs from Walmart 11/14/2014
UPDATE: Arrest made for Middletown Del. Walmart bomb threat 11/13/2014
Newark NJ felon with 40 arrests arrested after Walmart shoplifting goes wrong, cops say 11/13/2014
Can you I.D. this couple shopping at Washi. state Walmart? 11/13/2014
Walmart workers begin first in-store sitdown strike in company history 11/13/2014
Protesters gather at Ca. Walmart in Pico Rivera; 23 arrests made 11/13/2014
Man accused of stealing four televisions from Fla. Walmart 11/14/2014
Fla. Walmart employee arrested for stealing 11/14/2014
Police Looking For Suspects In iPad Thefts From Md. Wal-Mart 11/14/2014
Walmart workers plan Black Friday protests over wages 11/15/2014
Thieves steal computers from South Philadelphia Pa. Walmart 11/14/2014
Mom, daughter escape icy Salt Lake City Utah Wal-Mart parking lot plunge with minor injuries 11/14/2014
Bail set at $150K for man accused of attack outside Missoula Montana Walmart 11/15/2014
TBI makes arrests in Tenn. Walmart theft, money laundering case 11/15/2014
Surveillance Video Shows Man Shoplifting From Tenn. Wal-Mart 11/15/2014
Purse taken from SD Wal-Mart shopping cart 11/15/2014
Slidell La. police trying to ID suspect in Walmart groping case 11/15/2014
Man tries to rob woman in Walmart parking lot in Northeast Austin Tx. 11/15/2014
Man pleads guilty to spraying doe urine on Owasso Okla. Walmart merchandise 11/15/2014
Walmart on Route 60 in Huntington, West Virginia evacuated after bomb threat 11/16/2014
Court documents: Springfield Missouri woman left kids home alone while stealing from Walmart 11/16/2014
Ulster NY police say Kingston man stole nearly $1,600 in electronics, DVDs from Walmart 11/16/2014
Teen Saves Baby At Missouri Walmart Store 11/17/2014
Most Wanted: Elizabethton Tenn. Police Department search for Walmart TV theft suspect 11/17/2014
Suspect wearing Flyers jacket stuffed DVDs, clothing, food in hampers, walked out of Pa. Wal-Mart 11/17/2014
Arrest made in Pa. Walmart gun incident 11/17/2014
Walmart in Geneseo NY evacuated, searched after bomb threat 11/17/2014
Bomb threat prompts evacuation of Evangeline Thruway Walmart in Louisiana 11/17/2014
Man accused of stealing meds from Pa. Walmart 11/17/2014
Woman left Walmart with hampers full of merchandise, East Lampter Township Pa. police say 11/17/2014
Women charged with Wisc. Walmart thefts 11/17/2014
State police need public's help identifying 2 in East Syracuse NY Walmart identity theft investigation 11/17/2014
Alleged NT NY Walmart shoplifter indicted on three felonies 11/17/2014
18-year-old shoplifter threatens Decatur Alabama Wal-Mart employees with gun, police say 11/17/2014
Two Irving Tx. Walmart Parking Lot Robberies May be Connected: Police 11/18/2014
Teenager arrested in NY Walmart bomb threat 11/18/2014
Chickasha Okla. Walmart cleared in response to bomb threat 11/19/2014
Bomb threats shut down Rogersville Tenn. McDonald's, Walmart 11/20/2014
Man sought in Overland Park Kansas Walmart neighborhood market robbery 11/18/2014
Pair accused of using credit card stolen from senior’s purse in Suffolk Va. Walmart 11/18/2014
Man uses saw to steal perfume from Dauphin County Pa. Wal-Mart, police say 11/18/2014
Greenwood Man Charged with Setting Fire in Fla. Walmart 11/19/2014
Shoplifters threaten Walmart store employees with gun in Oklahoma flee in stolen vehicle 11/19/2014
Man arrested after recording women in Fla. Walmart 11/19/2014
Police identify woman found dead at Missouri Walmart parking lot 11/19/2014
Thief steals purse right out of woman's hand in Hanover Va. Walmart parking lot 11/19/2014
Wal-Mart robbery suspects arrested at Clearwater Fla. strip club 11/19/2014
How Walmart was tricked into selling $400 PlayStation4 consoles for $90 11/19/2014
Florida man harassed Walmart employee with camera: police 11/19/2014
Pregnant Woman Attacked in Jonesboro Ark. Walmart 11/19/2014
Opinion: How Obama’s plan on immigration will enrich Wal-Mart 11/20/2014
NJ Police Blotter: Shoplifting and purse snatching at Walmart in Hanover; dispute with cabbie in Mount Olive 11/20/2014
Boynton Beach Fla. police seek clues in killing of Walmart worker 11/21/2014
Three shoplifting incidents in one day at Bayonne NJ's Walmart: police 11/21/2014
Cushing man gets six months in jail for exposing himself at Me. Walmart 11/21/2014
Man pulls knife on DeLand Fla. Wal-Mart security, police say 11/21/2014
Couple steals 23 GPS units from Franklin Walmart 11/21/2014
Three held without bail in stabbing outside Ca. Walmart 11/22/2014
Report: Man tries to steal 10 PlayStation 4 controllers, other items from Ga. Walmart 11/21/2014
Police open fire on Walmart shoplifter who dragged officer with truck in New York 11/21/2014
Crossville Tenn. police trying to catch man they say stole from Walmart 11/23/2014
Fla. Wal-Mart cashier accused of stealing $12K from store 11/24/2014
Bomb Threat at Natomas Ca. Walmart Unfounded 11/24/2014
Pa. Walmart temporarily evacuated as crews investigate fire report 11/23/2014
Summerfield man arrested in alleged theft at Buffalo Ridge Fla. Wal-Mart 11/24/2014
Five charged in Vermont Walmart disturbance 11/24/2014
Syracuse man charged with identity theft after tipsters ID him in NY Walmart security photos 11/25/2014
Black Friday 2014 protests to target 1,600 Walmart stores, including dozens in New England 11/22/2014
The Nation: $1 Billion: That’s How Much Walmart Avoids Paying in Taxes Each Year Through Loopholes 11/24/2014 In a recent analysis of Walmart’s tax spending, Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) found that the company “avoids $1 billion a year in taxes” through federal loopholes, and various political shenanigans drive this always-low tax rate: the big-box giant is absorbing government subsidies both directly and indirectly, through its retail operations as well as its ingenious accounting methods. Overall, the retail giant can evade taxes through overseas accounts, on one hand, and raid the public trust on the other by capitalizing on the benefits system.
Black Friday Protests
Crookston Minn. School Board: No Pirate apparel at Wal-Mart 11/25/2014
Don't Fall for This Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam 11/01/2014
TV shoplifters threaten Walmart employee with gun in Indiana 11/25/2014
Chesapeake Va. Police searching for Walmart assault suspect 11/25/2014
Irving Tx. Police Make Arrest in Pair of Robberies Outside Walmart 11/25/2014
Counterfeit Bills Passed At Tenn. Walmart 11/25/2014
A Stabbing and a Crash in A Tenn. Walmart Parking Lot Sends One to the Hospital 11/25/2014
Driver killed in crash and fire behind North Richland Hills Tx. Wal-Mart 11/25/2014
Wal-Mart Dismisses 30 China Executives in Restructuring 11/27/2014
AR-15 assault rifle and ammo stolen from North Carolina Walmart 11/27/2014
Thief wanted for stealing TVs from Sanford Fla. Walmart 11/27/2014
Arab, Alabama police looking for service dog in training that got loose in Walmart parking lot 11/27/2014
Walmart One-Hour guarantee has a 'catch' 11/27/2014
Walmart Workers Leave Food Donation Bin Outside Alice Walton’s Manhattan NY Condo 11/27/2014
VIDEO: Shoppers Fight Over Wal-Mart Deals In Michigan City Indiana 11/28/2014
Six Years Later, Walmart Still Hasn't Paid A $7,000 Fine For Black Friday Worker's Death 11/25/2014
Fighting the hunger games at Walmart 11/26/2014
PR Watch: Black Friday Strike, Greens Join Labor to Take on Walmart 11/25/2014
Walmart Workers Give Up Thanksgiving Dinner To Stage 24-Hour Fast For Higher Wages 11/26/2014
Pro-Assad Hackers Hit Western Media and Wal-Mart 11/28/2014
Berlin NJ police: Woman wanted in alleged purse theft at Walmart parking lot 11/27/2014
NYT: After a Bump in Sales, Walmart Braces for a Competitive Holiday Season 11/13/2014
Walmart workers increasingly rely on food banks, report says 11/21/2014
Florence Alabama Police looking for sticky fingered Walmart thieves 11/27/2014
Eight of the weirdest things to happen at Walmart 11/28/2014 8.Baby born in toilet (2007) 7.Two people shot outside Walmart over parking space (2012) 6.Man caught on film fighting prevention officers (2014) 5.Woman tries to start a meth lab in Walmart (2011) 4.Teenager lives in Walmart for two days (2014) 3.Man sucks toes of unwilling woman (2014) 2.Woman glued to toilet (2012) 1.Man has sex with stuffed horse (2014)
Man accused of stealing merchandise from Tenn. Walmart 11/27/2014
Fights break out between Black Friday shoppers in Walmart 11/28/2014
Woman arrested after spending 5 hours in NC Walmart 11/24/2014
Black Friday: Shoppers line up, brawls reported at some Walmarts (VIDEO) 11/28/2014
Spotsylvania Va. Walmart reopens over bomb threat 11/28/2014
Cape Coral Fla. Walmart evacuated due to bomb threat 11/2/2014
Omaha Nebraska Walmart evacuated after bomb threat called in 11/28/2014
Bomb threat at Walmart Supercenter in Bentonville Ark.; store evacuated 11/28/2014
Bomb threat of Elk County Pa. Walmart causes evacuation Friday 11/28/2014
Police incident at Harrisburg Pa. Walmart causes evacuation Saturday 11/29/2014
Bomb threat forces Wal-Mart evacuation in Swatara Township Pa. Saturday 11/29/2014
Judge orders Wal-Mart to let NYC church challenge gun sales 11/28/2014
Protesters March Through West Nashville Walmart On Black Friday and the rest of country 11/28/2014
Forbes: The Waltons Deserve Their Hundred Fifty Billion; The Rest Of Us Gain $5 Trillion From Walmart's Existence 11/29/2014
Walmart President, CEO: “It’s absolutely appropriate that we open at 6 p.m.” Thanksgiving night 11/27/2014
Walmart protests: In Hadley Mass., 1 protester carries sign reading 'Business as Usual = Racial Oppression'; company says workers 'very proud' 11/28/2014
Thanksgiving shopper hit by car at Wyomissing Pa. Walmart 11/28/2014
Police: Portage man charged with disorderly conduct at Ind. Walmart 11/28/2014
Three accused of stealing various items from Fla. Wal-Mart 11/29/2014
Rochester NH police accuse man on suspicion of shoplifting at Walmart 11/30/2014
8,000 Dollars Worth of Merchandise Stolen from Minot ND WalMart 11/30/2014
Man claims self-defense in Ind. Walmart attack while completing a job application 11/30/2014
POLICE REPORTS: Lufkin duo attempts to rollback price on beer at Tx. Walmart to nothing 11/30/2014
Fire in clothing department at Gwinnett Ga. Walmart forces evacuation 11/30/2014