Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Boston Olympics could attract protests corruption and even more terrorism

When I was first taught about the Olympics in school we were told that this was an alternative to war from ancient times where different city-states could compete against each other on a peaceful basis and develop good relations without fighting.

At that time we were also taught that sports were only as game when some people got to excited and we were taught to recognize when the hype was escalating too much. This often happened when things led to a fight or some other minor problem like that.

Or at least the problems that we had then seemed minor compared to the ones that we have surrounding sports no.

There was some ridicule when people were told not to let things get out of hand but there was also recognition that those worried about the possibility of escalating violence had a legitimate point and that it was supposed to be fun with a reasonable sense of fair play.

Now all the good things that we were taught about the Olympics seem to have been abandoned and they have been taken over by an enormous amount of hype and commercialism. The benefits for the majority of the public practically never even come close to living up to the hype.

This is almost certainly due to the addictive nature of hype and that it always has to escalate the next time in order to outdo the surprise of the last time. It's kind of like the car chases or explosions in action films, that always had to be bigger but some where along the line they just get repetitive and boring no matter how big the bang is.

The Olympics is just along list of scandals; but the media repeated the hype much more often and louder over and over again, which enables the scams artists and advertisers to rack up huge bills that the public often gets stuck with.

Most people don't remember half of them but there are protests bribery scandals and either terrorist threats or fear of them that cause as much problems for one Olympics or other sporting event after another. Several authors including David Cay Johnston have written extensively about how taxpayer money is being used to subsidize sports and the profits of the well connected corporations that profit off of them.

Then they complain about welfare for the poor and call for cuts to programs for them.

No Boston Olympics has made the following argument against bringing the Olympics to Boston among other things on their web site.

No Boston Olympics

Boston's Olympics boosters tell us that the Games will be an economic boon, and that costs will be borne by the private sector. This is the exact same rhetoric that was pitched in Athens, Vancouver, and London. Economists have found that none of these host cities enjoyed lasting economic benefits. And in each, the public was left on the hook for billions of dollars in overruns (the London Olympics were 3x over budget), one-time security costs, and ongoing maintenance of unwanted venues. A Boston Olympics would divert resources from education, healthcare, transportation, and open space -- all to throw an extravagant party for the unelected, unaccountable members of the International Olympic Committee. Whatever our priorities as a Commonwealth, it is clear that $19 billion, the average cost of a summer games (and more than the cost of the Big Dig), could be better spent on other things.

Boston is one of the great cities on earth, and we don’t need rings to prove it.

- No Boston Olympics

These problems don't even mention the potential problems that are virtually guaranteed for Boston traffic which is even worse than many other larger cities that were better planned, as many people from the local area must be aware of. Cities like Philadelphia have more than twice the population of Boston but they did a much better job organizing their roads from the beginning in easy to recognize grids. People that come to Philadelphia for the first time often find it easier to find their way around than those that have lived in Boston for much longer due to lots of unorganize3d one way streets.

Protests are virtually guaranteed to come up and if they don't happen until after the decisions been made it will be much more difficult for them to get more than a minor amount of their concerns addressed.

The response to these protests has been almost identical for decades including when John Carlos and Tommie Smith participated in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute and "International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Avery Brundage deemed it to be a domestic political statement unfit for the apolitical, international forum the Olympic Games were supposed to be."

However Avery Brundage didn't have any problem with the Nazi salute in 1936 which supported the state, raising a problem which should be obvious. gestures that support the state or the corporate interests that finance the Olympics even when it is violent and oppressive are considered "apolitical" even when they're obviously designed to keep people distracted and do the opposite of the peaceful principles that the Olympics were promoted as.

More recently they had Mass Protests Sweep Brazil in Uproar over Public Services Cuts & High Costs of World Cup, Olympics. People that relied on the traditional media might have forgotten all about this since they only provided a token amount of coverage about it but there was much more coverage on Democracy Now, including about twenty stories on the subject.

It might not seem likely to many people from the Boston suburbs that this would happen in their area; however many people from the inner cities, including Dorchester, Roxbury or South Boston almost certainly know better; and those that think about why they might not want to go to these parts of towns probably should know better. Charlie Baker has already appointed someone recently that is Charter school advocate for Mass. education chief which may guarantee increased privatization of education and either cuts or diversions of funds for education to the profits of the private corporations taking over education if people don't speak out against it.

On top of that it wasn't too long ago that they had to deal with a martial law situation in Cambridge and Watertown after the Boston Bombing led them to searching that area for the bombers. Even the fear of terrorism is going to drive up the cost of the Olympics, as they already found out in the United Kingdom although those that relied on the traditional media for information might have forgotten about that as well.

A few years ago hundreds of campaigners took to the streets against stationing surface-to-air missiles on homes; 'Don't play games with our lives': Londoners protest against plans for Olympic defense systems on top of flats. The typical response to complaints about security is that we can't let the terrorists when by changing "our way of life" or a more modern version of this claim which was routinely used to support slavery and later segregation. The more modern version is that "We don't negotiate with terrorists."

This justification would be much more credible if they did a reasonably good job negotiating with peaceful protesters that have legitimate concerns instead of constantly trying to sweep their complaints under the rug so they can cater to campaign contributors or even worse trying to portray peaceful protestors as terrorists.

It would also be much more credible if our government wasn't constantly bombing people which they refer to as "collateral damage" when they can't completely ignore reports about their death; or if they stopped selling arms to people that routinely turn them against us.

Some of these concerns take more time top explain than I can go into in a relatively short post; but there is much more information on them in alternative media outlets that the government and traditional media ignore and treat as "fringe" even when some of them do a much better job checking facts than the traditional commercial media, which is making an enormous profit selling ads to corporations sponsoring the Olympics.

A Poll Finds Lukewarm Support in Boston for Summer Olympics Bid which indicates that although half wanted the Olympic in Boston a third didn't. This is actually bad compared to most polls which have stronger support often as much as 70 to 80 percent. These high numbers are almost certainly a result of the hype that many people base their responses, instead of a full understanding of the costs of sporting events which are almost never reported by the traditional media which makes an enormous profit selling ads for these events.

The traditional media actually has an incentive to do a bad job reporting on the problems which is almost certainly why they don't report it but a growing number of people relying on alternative media outlets is almost certainly a major reason for the lower numbers. Brazil didn't gear up their protests until it was too late to have more than a token impact but they id let those paying attention; and if Boston and many other cities refuse to escalate the hype then more grass roots input could impact these events and reduce protests corruption and even more terrorism.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

All is NOT forgiven here in the real world

It might sound good to many to say "All is forgiven;" however little or nothing is being done to address many of the most important issues that impact society, including the conflict with Islam and many other issues like social inequality and epidemic levels of white collar crime.

Instead there is another enormous appeal to emotion accompanied by propaganda designed to get people to mindlessly rally behind their political leaders even though they are clearly far more concerned with representing their campaign contributors and political allies than they are with representing the majority of people, whether they vote or not.

On top of that they're portraying, once again, the people involved in the most censorship as the defenders of free speech.

One of the most obvious complaints that I have heard is one on the Deutsche Welle Journal where someone made the observation that when people criticize Islam they're portrayed as defending their right to free speech, and rightfully so; but when they criticize Israel they're often portrayed as "anti-Semitic."

There is an enormous amount of outrage about the recent shootings but little or no consideration about many of the incidents that preceded it that might have been a major contributing cause for the conflict between the western world and Muslims.

A large portion of this isn't even in dispute, and it goes back decades, although it is rarely mentioned by the traditional media while the propaganda demonizing Muslims is repeated over and over again.

This includes the support of the Shah, who tortured his own people to maintain power so he could protect oil contracts made by western corporations, the supplying of weapons to both sides of the war during the Iran/Iraq war, the support of the Mujaheddin before they became Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the acceptance of help from Iran after 9/11 followed almost immediately by labeling them as part of the "Axis of Evil," and the support of the Syrian rebels before some of them became known as the Islamic State.

Even without a so-called "false flag" conspiracy theory surrounding the Paris attack or the hacking claims from North Korea the corporate press and the political leaders they support are doing an especially effective job of using this for as a rallying cry to make it seem like they have an enormous amount of support and that they're the defenders of the free world even though many of these leaders have been supporting trade agreements and environmental policies among other things that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy campaign contributors at the expense of the vast majority of the public.

I try to be skeptical of most of the so-called "false flag" conspiracy theories, which often have even more problems than the traditional explanations they often challenge, but it wouldn't be be unprecedented since the government has admitted to planing them in the past like Operation Northwoods even if they rarely if ever admit actually carrying them out. But the propaganda that is dominating the media indicates common efforts to appeal to emotions and manipulate what Irving Janis called "Groupthink" where large numbers of people go along with the program and as I have explained on several posts including Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association the government and many psychologists have studied effect propaganda methods and they haven't done an adequate job teaching the majority of the public about it or how to recognize when they being manipulated.

Although Stanley Milgram said that he wanted to study "Obedience to Authority" so that he could understand why the Germans blindly obeyed orders and avoid it in the future his work was supported by the military which is always trying to teach their recruits to blindly obey authority and the work has almost certainly been used to develop propaganda tactics by many political campaign advisers as well, which enables them to promote an enormous nu8mber of candidates that make promises to the public but then turn around and cater to their campaign contributors once they're elected.

Not only are they not addressing the legitimate concerns of Muslims but they're not addressing the legitimate concerns of many if any other people as well.

One of the most common justifications they use not to address the concerns of Muslims is that they don't "negotiate with terrorists," which sounds good to many, or it would except for one problem. They're also extremely reluctant to negotiate with peaceful protesters as well.

On top of that at times they often try to portray peaceful protesters about legitimate issue as terrorists, possibly even going to the trouble to entrap them like they may have done with an "Eco-Terrorist" Freed 10 Years Early After Feds Withhold Evidence on Informant’s Role that indicates entrapment.

The damage done by environmental destruction, health care and economic inequality is far more damaging than the alleged attacks from Muslim extremists; and even in the cases of the Muslim extremists it is often in retaliation for the activities of our government.

The people that are being damaged by many of the other problems that are being swept under the rug aren't going to be fooled by this propaganda about solidarity lining up behind world leaders. They're going to know full well that their concerns aren't going to be met and occasionally one of them like Joe Stack, Jerad Miller or Ismaaiyl Brinsley will strike out violently and there will be more attacks.

Many of these incidents seem predictable after the fact but before they happen it is hard to tell which ones might go over the edge; however if they did a better job addressing the legitimate concerns of all then they would be much less likely.

This isn't nearly as insurmountable a task as it might seem to many people; there are plenty of alternative media outlets and books that do a much better job addressing these concerns but they get little or no attention from the traditional media. Furthermore, if some people like Joe Stack, Jerad Miller or Ismaaiyl Brinsley saw more of this coverage they might not behave so desperately if they think there is reasonable hope for real change that addresses the concerns of the majority not just campaign contributors.

To some degree there are some signs that some of the protests might be slowly bringing results but that is also absent from the traditional media, presumably because they don't want more people to get the idea that they might be able to make a difference by joining in them. If some of the people that feel disenfranchised realize this then they might be less likely to go to extremes, no thanks to the traditional media that isn't reporting it. 

Until they give all people reasonably equal protection for their freedom of speech and a chance to get their legitimate grievances addressed they will know it and all will not be forgiven for them. It would be better to address them before they turn to extremism.

On top of that for all the talk about censorship in the traditional press one incident is getting much less attention from the Israel allies of the U.S. government. Apparently an Ultra-Orthodox Israel newspaper photoshoped female leaders out of front page picture from Paris rally for Charlie Hebdo

Whether it is related or not, in a rare occasion Florida actually got something right for a change but then they claimed it was a mistake for some reason, "In Dog We Trust."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Media Ignores Single-Payer Health Coverage in Vermont Again

There was a protest about Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s decision to back down on his promise to implement a Single Payer Health care system during his Inauguration.

He seems to have announced this decision after getting reelected but before being sworn in.

He didn't say, "Thanks for reelecting me but now that I'm in I no longer feel any obligation to keep my promises just like any other politician that caters to corporate interests."

That would have been to blatant; besides, there was no need for him to say it when people can figure these things out.

If I had relied on the traditional news media for information I probably wouldn't have known anything about it once again.

There was no coverage that I saw on the national media or even the local media which is relatively close to it. Fortunately I saw it on Democracy Now and decided to check see if there was any coverage at all. After searching for it I found some coverage about the issue but it wouldn't have drawn much attention to most people and some of the coverage that they do provide seems to be designed to strongly advocate against it.

They certainly don't tell the public that a portion of the money they pay for their premiums is used to lobby against a more efficient health care system and an even larger portion is used to buy an enormous amount of advertising on TV; which might provide the commercial media with an enormous incentive to ignore any positive coverage about Single Payer Health Care.

The following is one of the few excerpts that I did find about the protest:

Single-payer health backers disrupt Shumlin's inauguration 01/08/2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — More than 100 demonstrators rallied at the State House on Thursday — some disrupting the governor's inauguration — to let him know that they were upset with his decision not to ask lawmakers this year for a plan to pay for a new universal health care system.

Twenty-nine protesters were arrested on charges of unlawful trespass after they were asked to leave but didn't. Complete article

Edit 10/11/2019: the article exerpted above is no longer available, for one reason or another; however, I found the following article from a more credible source describing the same protest:

'We Won't Back Down': Vermonters Launch Sit-In At Statehouse Demanding Universal Health Care 'Now!' 01/08/2015

Burned by governor, protesters occupy House Chamber, saying they will not leave until Green Mountain Care law respected

Protesters occupied the chambers of the Vermont statehouse on Thursday afternoon, saying they refuse to leave until legislators meet their demands to respect the first-ever U.S. law for universal, publicly-funded health care, won by grassroots movements nearly four years ago yet stymied by the governor last month.

The demonstration is a response to the mid-December announcement by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin that he seeks to unilaterally abandon the universal health care plan, passed into law in 2011 under Act 48 and named Green Mountain Care, even though the governor used the groundbreaking legislation to bolster his candidacy.

Timed to coincide with Shumlin's "state of the state" address, Thursday's sit-in—still ongoing at the time of publication—was staged by approximately 30 people, with "many supporters" rallying nearby, Keith Brunner of the Vermont Workers' Center, the organization that coordinates the state-wide "Health Care Is A Human Right" campaign, told Common Dreams over the phone. Complete article

I don't know why the original article I cited was taken off the internet; however, it was one of the few mainstream articles that even mentioned this protest and they're now trying to cite this failure as an argument against Single Payer without full context, as indicated in this article, This Is the Strongest Argument Against Medicare for All 10/09/2019 By Peter Suderman Peter Suderman is now managing editor at Reason.com, where he writes regularly on health care, the federal budget, tech policy, and pop culture. He is also a film critic for The Washington Times. The New York Times didn't report that Peter Suderman is financed by the Koch Brothers, and he declined to report on the large protests that took place at the time giving a distorted view of why it wasn't passed. It wasn't the public that stopped it; it was politicians with corporate ties, and media pundits with corporate ties are providing propaganda to distort the truth to this day.

Reason Foundation The Reason Foundation is funded, in part, by what are known as the Koch Family Foundations and David Koch serves as a Reason trustee.

Edit 10/16/2019: searching for this article has turned up numerous other organizations pushing it and a follow up search quickly turned up their funding in the following articles. There are at least half a dozen think tans and probably much more, that are creating propaganda to oppose Medicare for All. the funds for these think tanks come from insurance companies, which get their money from consumers through premiums. This means that consumers are indirectly paying for an enormous amount of propaganda to deceive them instead of getting their money's worth for their premiums! They might count on the media to inform them of this and the politicians to pass laws to make this illegal; however, both the mainstream media and the vast majority of politicians are getting their cut of the loot as well; so they have an incentive to help with the propaganda instead of standing up to it!

PhRMA Is Funding a Think Tank to Derail Medicare for All 04/26/2019 SINCE 2009, Big Pharma has given a decent amount of money each year to the Third Way Foundation, the parent of the Progressive Policy Institute, a center-left think tank with ties to Democratic Party leadership. ..... According to tax records, PhRMA, or the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, upped its gift that year to $265,000.

This Pharma-Backed Astroturf Group Wants to Keep Your Drug Prices High 10/10/2019 The Coalition Against Socialized Medicine, a project of the American Conservative Union, is advertising on Politico Playbook this week. From 2015 to 2017, Citizens Against Government Waste took in $70,000 from pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts—which recently merged with health insurer Cigna—according to data from the Center for Political Accountability. The group also received $125,000 from PhRMA from 2014 to 2017.

Conservatives launch anti-'Medicare for All' coalition 06/06/2019

Conservative Groups and Big Pharma Join Forces to Fight Medicare for All 06/06/2019

When searching for more information on the subject there is an enormous amount of information from the traditional press or, in some cases, alternative media outlets that are financed by the same sources, that repeat the same claims over and over again even though they don't stand up to scrutiny if scrutiny is actually applied. One of the most common claims repeated over and over again is Vermont's Single Payer Health Care Plan Failed For One Big Reason: It Cost Too Much. This sounds good, as long as people don't think about some simple problems that would cause it to fall apart quickly.

Have you noticed how many advertisements on TV are for insurance, whether it is health care or not?

This costs an enormous amount of money.

If that money doesn't come from your premiums where could it possibly come from? And why would the people pay for it if they didn't think they could get their money back?

On top of that they spend an enormous amount of money donating to campaigns. If that money doesn't come from the premiums they collect where could the possibly get it?

I can't believe they routinely say to the customers, when they sell them policies, "Thank you for your business; I hope you don't mind but we intend to take a portion of the money from your premiums and use it to lobby your elected officials against your interests."

That would be quite audacious, kind of like Barack Obama's idea of "hope" and "change."

The vast majority of the public never even thinks about the fact that they pay for the speech that is used to influence their thinking whether they like it or not, although it is rarely ever directly and they have little or no influence over the speech they pay for. A more accurate description of Single-Payer Health Coverage is available for those that know where to look for it in places like Physicians for a National Health Program: Single-Payer National Health Insurance. Or a good comparison with the system in some of the developed world that already have a better system would also help but that isn't mentioned in the commercial media, which is getting a share of the loot the health care system is gouging out of the public, either.

This is similar to the massive advertising campaign that Monsanto came up with to convince people that labeling GMO food would drive up the cost dramatically without mentioning that the cost of the ads and the cost of lobbying against GMO labeling and regular deceptive ads are already being added on to the cost of food and these expenses are much less than the cost of labeling GMOs. In the case of the Health care system they don't tell people that the cost of treating people in emergency rooms, often at tax payer expense is also an enormous bureaucratic expense which has to be passed on to the public one way or another.

The only ones that lose if we took an accurate look at Single-Payer Health Coverage and sorted through the details would be insurance, pharmaceutical, hospital and media companies that are making enormous amounts of excessive profits for providing inferior care for the majority.

Right now Physicians for a National Health Program probably has among the most progressive people in the medical industry and they do a far better job educating the public about important health related issues than the traditional media or political system; however they're still a trade group made up of people in the industry and if there is more support for it there will almost certainly be more people from the medical community that might put their own interest first joining the bandwagon. This probably won't be a problem right away but there are other organizations that also include more diverse groups of people supporting Single-Payer Health Coverage like Healthcare-Now.org and some of the following organizations:

Free Speech TV: Single Payer Advocates Disrupt Vermont Gov. Shumlin’s Inauguration, 29 arrested 01/09/2015

Medicare for All.org

The United Front Against Austerity: Medicare for All

Dr Bramhall brought the following article to my attention which is worth serious consideration and explains some of the details about why this fell through and how to avoid it in the future. It seems cynical, but the establishment routinely goes to enormous lengths to protect their preferential treatment at the expense of the majority and many of this is well documented, although it is often scattered where many people never hear about it.

What Happened in Vermont: Implications of the Pullback from Single Payer 01/10/2015

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Dec. 17, 2014, announcement that he would not press forward with Vermont’s Green Mountain Care (GMC) reform arose from political calculus rather than fiscal necessity. GMC had veered away from a true single payer design over the past three years, forfeiting some potential cost savings. Yet even the diluted plan on the table before Shumlin’s announcement would probably have lowered total health spending in Vermont, while covering all of the state’s uninsured.


Decades of exemplary grassroots organizing (and strong labor union support) in Vermont put single payer on the agenda. During Shumlin’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he promised to implement a single payer reform, which was a factor in the Progressive Party’s decision not to field a candidate. But the details of Shumlin’s plan weren’t fleshed out during the campaign. ....

An early signal of trouble was Shumlin’s appointment of Anya Rader Wallack to chair the new GMC board. Wallack had deep ties to the private insurance industry, having held key positions (including the presidency) at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. .....

1. Effective grassroots organizing makes a difference. ....

4. Beware of “experts” with a track record unsympathetic to single payer. Complete article Don't trust me to pick the best excerpts read the whole thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

In condemnation of the Paris attack and cowardice, real cowardice

The attack in Paris against a satirist is contemptible and a threat to free speech that should be condemned.

I’m sure many good Muslims will agree even if they don’t like the satires against Mohamed that doesn’t mean they think that support this kind of action to intimidate people and free speech. I hope that when some of the more rational ones do come out to condemn terrorism it isn’t only because they want to be portrayed as the good Muslims that deserve tolerance.

However if they do it6 is understandable since in the past there have often been retaliation against those that aren’t quick enough to condemn terrorism or even those that are.

This retaliation should also be condemned.

I notice that many people have condemned this cowardly attack already; however I don’t condemn this because it is a cowardly attack; instead I also condemn real cowardice along with terrorism that is designed to intimidate people that try to use their free speech.

After all this wasn’t necessarily a cowardly attack.

Just ask Bill Maher; he could tell you.

Well I don't know if he would tell you that now; but if you could travel back in time to 2001 and ask him he would have told you then.

Shortly after 9/11 he said "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, that's not cowardly. Stupid maybe, but not cowardly."

When he said this he didn't intend to speak out in support of terrorism anymore than I am but he was speaking out against the distortion of the English language for propaganda reasons. We now routinely condemn people who attack us as cowardly even though we are the ones with far greater military might and even if it is foolish and counterproductive to use violence against us or our allies it isn't cowardly now anymore than it was when Bill Maher first said this.

I could go on and on about a long list of events where the United states attack Muslims or supported tyrants that did so for the benefit of either the United States or their allies. This includes the support of the Shah that tortured thousands, supplying arms to both sides of the war between Iran and Iraq during the eighties, supporting the Mujaheddin which later became the Taliban and Al Qaeda and much more; including after they attacked the U.S. and killed almost three thousand people at the world trade center including many innocents the U.S. bombed both Afghanistan and Iraq which wasn't involved and killed many more innocents.

When the U.S. killed innocents it wasn't considered mandatory for many people to come out and loudly condemn violence as part of a the support against violence.

Instead criticism was relegated to the fringes.

Barack Obama condemns attempts at censorship including those against "The Interview" which seems like a terrible movie that incites hatred. He's not condemning calls not to demand shooting of cops, and rightfully so; I have been among those criticizing the excesses of the police but I haven't been calling for that.

When Lupe Fiasco sang the following song at his inaugural he wasn't so concerned about criticizing censorship either:

I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip
9/11 building 7 did they really pull it
Uhh, And a bunch of other cover ups
Your childs future was the first to go with budget cuts
If you think that hurts then, wait here comes the uppercut
The school was garbage in the first place, that's on the up and up
Keep you at the bottom but tease you with the uppercrust
You get it then they move it so you never keeping up enough
If you turn on TV all you see’s a bunch of “what the fucks”
Dude is dating so and so blabbering bout such and such
And that ain't Jersey Shore, homie that's the news
And these the same people that supposed to be telling us the truth
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit
That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either
I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful
And I believe in the people.

~Lupe Fiasco~
Rapper Has Set Cut Short At Inaugural Event Following Anti-Obama Rant

I'm not as fan of rap or Lupe Fiasco any more than I support Islam; but he had a good point and it seems as if the only censorship that we're supposed to condemn is the censorship that the establishment isn't conducting.

The real cowardice that needs to be condemned is the cowardice of those in power when they bomb people all over the world knowing that the media won't cover the best criticism of them and that if the victims fight back they can be condemned as terrorists even if they don't kill nearly as many people as the U.S. government and everyone will feel as if they should remain silent about the actions that preceded any given attack.

The knife attack in the U.K. where people said is was because the west was killing thousands of Muslims wasn't that long ago; nor was the Boston Bombing.

When the U.S. was bombing innocents around the world they called it collateral damage if they had to mention it at all. It was considered justified for the U.S. to describe it this way and retaliate however if Timothy McVeigh or Muslim terrorists refer to U.S. citizens as collateral damage and justifies it as retaliation it is outrageous as it should be both ways.

The U.S. wasn't willing to acknowledge the bombing of innocents when it was happening but now that it is being used as evidence in the Boston Bombing trial as motive they acknowledge it as a motive for the attack without acknowledging the fact that they're retaliating just like the terrorists.

It is cowardly to maintain and obvious double standard because the U.S. has a more powerful military and propaganda machine and that is the real cowardice that needs to be condemned.

Even though I condemn the terrorist attacks I also know that as long as this double standard remains there will be more extremists that will feel as if they have nothing left to lose until those with the most political power stop condemning they smaller atrocities while ignoring the bigger ones they commit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Wal-Mart Crime report December 2014; desperation for the holidays

It has been another active month for Walmart holiday shopping. This includes at least a couple of incidents where desperate people have been charged for either stealing necessities or just trying to find a place to stay, including one homeless 89 year old man, although as usual there are more details that seem to make these incidents difficult to avoid, assuming anyone even tries.

I don't know how much they pay police in Florida but apparently one police officer down there discovered that although the courts are unlikely to charge them when they kill unarmed people in the line of duty they won't hesitate to charge police when they steal Ramen noodles, eggs and bacon while in uniform. In Beavercreek and other locations across the country including Dayton, and Alabama, they had to put up with an enormous amount of protesters. They also disclosed the intimidating interrogation tactics that were used against John Crawford III's girlfriend after they shot and killed him based on a misunderstanding.

It seems to be worth considering addressing their legitimate concerns since they do seem to be more civilized than many of their most extreme customers.

Justified or not, there were at least two more police shootings at Walmart this month, including one where an off duty police officer was working as security for Walmart and another where regular police shot a Walmart employee who was apparently cutting himself with a knife.

In addition to the usual shootings, at least one molestation by someone posing as Walmart employee, and numerous other incidents they had a t least five different fires in five states, including at least four that were ruled arson this month. There is usually only one or two that gets reported widely.

There were also some creative attempts at robbery this month including one where a couple faked a 911 call and another where someone faked a heart attack. They also had thieves that stole credit cards and racked up enormous purchases at Walmart who doesn't bother checking IDs. The banks that issue them might change their policies, at least temporarily when dealing with Walmart.

One exceptionally bold shoplifter picked up his own weapon, an ax, from the Walmart shelf and carried it in a manner that discouraged any attempt to stop him.

He came back a second time, to the same store.

Did he think they wouldn't be watching for him?

Regardless of what he was thinking our tax's pay for his trial and many others but little is done to understand why there are so many crimes at Walmart and how to prevent them.

Walmart has been caught at their own share of corrupt or incompetent practices including a court ruling about threatening and intimidating California workers, hiding fine print in their rain checks and giving customers the run around when they call them and ask for their money back, allegedly giving out a fake hundred dollar bill and failing to check see if a returned PlayStation 4 bundle is full of rocks before selling the same one to another customer.

It is always hard to tell why these things happen but similar incidents keep happening and Walmart doesn't seem to be able to keep track of their own products or returns.

They can't keep track of when they invite Christmas Carolers either and threatened to call police on them before retracting it and asking them to come back. Other businesses were quite happy to have these carolers.

They discovered cocaine in their own trucks being delivered along with their food. At least two towns reported significant increases in crime at their local Walmarts. And at least one of them indicated that it wasn't Walmarts fault that they're actually getting good at catching thieves, but this doesn't explain why it only gets higher when Walmart comes to town, nor do they even consider the basic design of many big box stores, including Walmarts is a virtual invitation to thieves.

There were plenty of other strange stories including an old one about a job applicant who threatened to harm store employees at knife point so he could “have their job.” It didn't work.

Approximately a year ago it was reported that At least 6 Americans, in 6 states, have been superglued to Walmart and Home Depot toilet seats since 2003

Make that 7 Americans, in 7 states.

It is highly inappropriate to insinuate that this is funny.

If I figure out how to mention it without insinuating that it is funny perhaps I will next time.

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 December 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.

Massachusetts couple purchase realistic-looking pellet gun at Walmart then rob the store with it 12/01/2014

Bangor Me. police seek man involved in Wal-Mart theft 12/01/2014

Montgomery Alabama police searching for Walmart theft suspect 12/01/2014

Villager arrested on "felony charge of petit theft" on Black Friday at Fla. Wal-Mart 12/01/2014

Peoria Ill. man could get 15 years for snatching purse and attacking woman in Walmart parking lot 12/01/2014

WMU football player found guilty of misdemeanor in Mich. Walmart theft case; second player pleads no contest 12/01/2014

Ga. Police: Walmart shoplifter used scooter, walker in getaway 12/01/2014

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police in Milton, Georgia, say a shoplifter got violent with Walmart employees and is now facing serious charges, according to Atlanta's WSB-TV.

Police say Michael Durkin drove through the store on a motorized scooter, grabbed several items and then tried to escape using his walker – but not before pulling a knife on store employees.

Shoppers at the store were surprised to hear what police say happened the day before Thanksgiving.

Police say the 56-year-old suspect rode through the store on his scooter, picking and choosing items. He then rode right past the register without paying, police said. Complete article

Duo accused of stealing $600 worth of teeth-whitening strips from Ga. Walmart 12/01/2014

E. coli ground beef recall affects Walmart stores across Western Canada 12/02/2014

Man stole 6 pounds of cow tongue valued at $35.35 from Walmart, stuffed it in pants, DeLand Fla. police say 12/02/2014

Walmart confirms shots fired at Hampton Va. store 12/02/2014

Fruitland Park man accused of walking out of Fla. Wal-Mart in stolen shoes 12/02/2014

Shopliftings, armed carjacking plague Fruitland Park Fla. Walmart 12/02/2014

Former Cranberry couple accused of stealing Pa. Wal-Mart customers' info 12/02/2014

Armed robbery by gunman at Richmond California Walmart 12/01/2014

Bomb Threat Made at Meridian, Miss. Walmart 12/02/2014

Police: NC Walmart bomb threat a hoax 12/02/2014

Two boys steal realistic-looking BB gun from Florida Walmart and use it to rob and shoot pizza driver 12/02/2014

Wal-Mart denies stalling in lawsuit by Tracy Morgan over New Jersey fatal crash 12/02/2014

Kingsport Tenn. Police Department: Shoplifter sought for swiping steaks, chicken, seafood from Walmart 12/03/2014

Police: Couple faked 911 call about woman shot to keep officers busy, rob NC Walmart 12/03/2014

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Salisbury couple charged last week in a bizarre attempted shoplifting incident, now face new charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Mark Shrader and Erin Shrader were booked on the new charge Monday night. Bond was set at $5000 each.

Salisbury Police Captain Sheila Lingle admits it is one of the strangest shoplifting cases she's seen recently. A couple reportedly called 911 with a fake shooting as a distraction to keep officers busy while they shoplifted from Walmart. Complete article

Suspect armed with Taser robs woman outside Buena Vista Road Ga. Walmart 12/03/2014

Report: Man died of drug overdose in Mich. Walmart bathroom 12/03/2014

Police investigate incident at South Strabane Pa. Walmart that went viral 12/03/2014

Fruitland Park Fla. man accused of taking batteries from Wal-Mart 12/03/2014

City police need help locating 2 suspects in attempted purse snatching at NC Walmart 12/03/2014

Investigators: Fire at Gwinnett County Ga. Walmart was intentionally set 12/03/2014

Ashland Va. police investigating Walmart TV thefts 12/03/2014

Fine print on Walmart deal stymies refund process 12/03/2014

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One local Houston woman says she did not agree with the fine print she was presented with after making a holiday purchase. And when she requested a refund, she says that's when the problems began.

She thought she was getting a good deal. But when she was presented with the full terms and conditions of the purchase, she said she wanted to back out.

Like many Thanksgiving shoppers, Maria Selva was looking to take advantage of Walmart's Door Buster sales.

"And it's only then that they give me a little piece of paper that says I have to go register online," Selva said. "And it's only when I go online that I found out that I have to give up certain rights." .....

"I tried getting my money back, and they said no," she said. Complete article

Oklahoma City Walmart gives customer fake money 12/04/2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – A single mother calls NewsChannel 4 and we get results.

She says when she cashed her check at Walmart they gave her a fake one hundred dollar bill.

The mother of three says she’s furious and humiliated.

She said she tried to use the money to buy groceries and was treated like a criminal. .....

“He was like, well there’s nothing we can do, you could have went out and got that and just brought it back to us. I`m not that kind of citizen,” Benham remembers.

When the managers tried to check the bill themselves, they didn’t have marking pens.

“People are coming in the store everyday paying, getting money orders for rent with 100 dollar bills, how are you checking those hundred-dollar bills,” Benham said. Complete article

Group claims Walmart supplier abusing animals 12/03/2014

Woman's purse snatched while shopping at Surfside SC Walmart 12/04/2014

Man arrested for allegedly using, selling meth at Walmart in Whitehall Pa. 12/03/2014

Cops: Couple robbed Ill. Walmart to support drug habits 12/03/2014

Suspect accused of groping young girls at Tx. Walmart, grocery store 12/04/2014

Men steal 4 big screen TVs from Hermitage Tenn. Walmart 12/04/2014

Wal-Mart Changes 'I Can't Breathe' Ad After Complaints 12/04/2014

Court: Man charged in NC Walmart theft 12/04/2014

Police department says officer who fatally shot man at Ohio Wal-Mart to remain on leave 12/04/2014

Suspect's vehicle from triple murder found in Fla. Walmart parking lot 12/05/2014

Hadley Mass., state police called to disperse Ferguson, Eric Garner jury decision protest at Walmart 12/05/2014

Man arrested for shoplifting at Salina Kansas Walmart 12/05/2014

XX 12/0/2014

Robber pistol-whips 2 Fla. Walmart employees 12/05/2014

Police: Credit union robber stole gun from Ohio Walmart 12/05/2014

Police seek Delaware Wal-Mart flasher 12/0/2014

Los Angeles Ca. Police Department: Detective Commits Suicide In Walmart Parking Lot After Molestation Allegations 12/06/2014

Mattie's Call issued for missing Ga. Walmart worker 12/06/2014

SURVEILLANCE: Man steals computer, video systems from NC Walmart 12/06/2014

Teen accidentally shoots himself in South Dakota Walmart parking lot 12/06/2014

Town of Ulster NY Walmart, other stores reopen after threat, evacuation, police say 12/06/2014

Body found near Tchoupitoulas La. Walmart Sunday morning 12/07/2014

Reports: Woman in Christmas sweater tries to rob Ohio Walmart 12/08/2014

ND WalMart Employee Accused of Stealing About $1,400 12/08/2014

Woman reports Peeping Tom at Williamsburg Va. Walmart 12/08/2014

Women Mace Okla. Walmart Employees While Trying to Steal Frozen Toys 12/08/2014

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. - Sand Springs Police are looking for two women they say tried to steal two carts full of Disney "Frozen" toys from a local Walmart store Monday morning.

Investigators say just before 2:00 a.m., employees and a manager inside the store saw the women trying to leave the store with the merchandise without paying for it.

When they confronted the would-be thieves, they say one of the women pulled out a can of mace and sprayed them with it before running away without their loot. Complete article

Man Arrested After Several Incidents at Milford Delaware Walmart 12/08/2014

Mom attacked in NC Walmart parking lot while carrying newborn 12/08/2014

Man reports armed robbery in Buena Vista Road Ga. Walmart parking lot 12/09/2014

Accused NY Wal-Mart thief indicted 12/09/2014

Tenn. Walmart employee accused of stealing $10K in gift cards, cash 12/09/2014

Man gets 8 years for local Walmart burglaries; has similar cases elsewhere in Illinois 12/09/2014

URBANA — A Bolingbrook man who started his own business as an electronics technician after stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronics equipment in Champaign and other counties has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

On Monday, Champaign County Judge Harry Clem sentenced Joseph Sutherland, 22, to four years in prison for each of two brazen burglaries that Sutherland admitted committing in Urbana and Savoy in the spring of 2013.

Clem ordered that the sentences be served one after the other, which the law said he had the discretion to order. Complete article

Men's longtime land dispute leads to shooting outside of Manchester Ky. Wal-Mart 12/08/2014

A man was in critical condition after being shot Monday morning outside the Wal-Mart in Manchester, police say.

Richard Lawson and Michael Edwards, 32, have been engaged in a land dispute for several years and were scheduled to appear in Clay District Court on Monday morning, said Patrick Robinson, assistant chief for the Manchester Police Department.

Before the appointed time, the men ran into each other at Wal-Mart, Robinson said. He said one man was there to do some Christmas shopping and the other to print photographs.

He said Lawson and Edwards got into an argument that escalated to a physical altercation in the parking lot.

Lawson was lying on the ground after the fight and Edwards left in a vehicle, only to return in less than a minute. He got out of the vehicle and shot Lawson twice in the abdomen, Robinson said.

Complete article

Conover NC Walmart larceny linked to Boone case 12/09/2014

Walmart mom faces charges again in North Huntingdon Pa. 12/09/2014

Suspect walks out of Utah Wal-Mart with donation money for children’s hospital 12/09/2014

Thieves Spend $12,000 in Tx. Wal-Mart Stores in Two Hours 12/09/2014

A local bank is issuing a warning to North Texans after thieves used stolen debit and credit cards at a major retailer this week.

The CEO of Citizens National Bank of Texas, Mark Singleton, told NBC 5 he got a phone call early Sunday from his fraud detection team after they said thieves had bought $12,000 in merchandise in just two hours by using fake cards created with stolen debit card numbers.

Singleton said the thieves used the fake cards at Fort Worth-area Wal-Mart stores and in some cases bought hundreds of dollars in prepaid cards. To be clear, Wal-Mart did not experience a security breach; however thieves used stolen account information in Wal-Mart stores. ....

Singleton said he believes retailers bear some responsibility in helping curtail fraud.

“I just wish they would check ID just a little bit," Singleton said. "If they would just be a little more responsible and check who they were doing business with. Ask for a driver's license. What's it take? Two seconds." Complete article

Bloomberg: How Wal-Mart Made Its Crumbling China Business Look So Good for So Long 12/11/2014

What crook stole from veteran’s truck in Ariz. Walmart parking lot will leave you infuriated 12/10/2014

Tenn. Wal-Mart worker faces charges of stealing $10,000 12/11/2014

Trio sought in Cocoa Fla. Walmart grand theft 12/11/2014

Walmart Illegally Punished, threatened, intimidated Calif. Workers, Judge Rules 12/11/2014

A National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that Walmart managers in California had illegally disciplined employees for going on strike and unlawfully threatened to close a store if many of its employees joined a group demanding higher wages.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, Geoffrey Carter, an N.L.R.B. administrative law judge, also found that a Walmart manager had illegally intimidated workers by saying, “If it were up to me, I’d shoot the union.” In addition, the judge said it was unlawful for Walmart managers to tell employees that co-workers returning from a one-day strike would be looking for a new job.

Our Walmart, a union-backed group of Walmart employees, filed the complaint with the labor board, asserting that officials at Walmart stores in Placerville and Richmond, Calif., had illegally intimidated workers.

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said in a statement: “We do not agree with some of the administrative law judge’s conclusions.” The company said it would appeal parts of the ruling to the full labor board in Washington.

Walmart has a long history of vigorously battling unionization efforts. Complete article

Dog gone: Family pet tied outside East Stroudsburg Pa. Walmart taken 12/10/2014

Deputies: Man Stole Purse at Northeast SC Walmart 12/10/2014

Deputies: South Carolina shoplifting crew hitting Georgia Walmarts 12/10/2014

Argument leads to fatal shooting outside a Texas Walmart 12/10/2014

Ferguson protests hit west Nashville Tenn. Wal-Mart 12/11/2014

Mom Says Memory Card Purchased At Tx. Walmart Contained Porn 12/11/2014

Robbery spree starts at bus stop ends at OKC Walmart, police say 12/11/2014

Shoplifter swipes sexual accessory from Montana Wal-Mart 12/1/2014

Police: Delaware man who exposed himself to girl, mother in WalMart arrested 12/11/2014

Man injured in wreck in NW Harris Co. Tx. Walmart parking lot 12/11/2014

Police Blotter: 2 incidents involving racism reported at Dickinson ND Walmart 12/11/2014 The same suspects also got on the Walmart intercom system and made racist statements directed toward African-Americans, the report stated.

Family of man fatally shot in Ohio Wal-Mart will join march in DC protesting police violence 12/11/2014

Mashpee man arrested after alleged tirade at Mass. Wal-Mart 12/11/2014

FALMOUTH – A 29-year-old Mashpee man may have picked the wrong time to go on an alleged tirade at Wal-Mart.

Jamah R. Peters, of 132 Scituate Road, pleaded not guilty in Falmouth District Court on Thursday to charges of vandalism, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest and intimidation of a police officer. He was released on $500 cash bail.

At 5:25 p.m. Wednesday an off-duty Falmouth police officer was behind Peters in line at the store when Peters went on an obscenity-laced tirade because a cashier declined to cash a check for him, court records say. Complete article

Keys to the crime: Oklahoma Wal-Mart burglarized along with Walmarts in nine other states 12/12/2014

Police say the Wal-Mart Supercenter in McAlester was burglarized Dec. 5 by three men who had keys to the store’s electronics cabinet locks.

McAlester police Det. Sgt. Chris Morris said the men entered the 24-hour retailer at 3:15 a.m. and simply unlocked the case and took 28 Nintendo 3DS game systems valued at $5,599. Morris said police believe the burglary is connected to other similar Wal-Mart burglaries occurring in nine other states.

“I think (the) FBI is going to talk to Wal-Mart and step in and help us on this incident,” Morris said.

Morris said Wal-Marts in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois and Kentucky were also burglarized in a similar way. Morris said the Wal-Mart in Ada was also hit. Morris said the Wal-Mart in McAlester is not the most recent burglary in the string. Complete article

Suspects trafficked drugs to Pittsburgh alongside groceries bound for Wal-Mart 12/12/2014

PITTSBURGH – Prosecutors say Pittsburgh drug traffickers smuggled bricks of cocaine alongside food bound for Wal-Mart.

A grand jury indicted six men this week on charges they conspired to move large supplies of cocaine and heroin into the region from California and Arizona. Investigators tapped phones, found documents that outlined the suspects' supply chain and seized more than $900,000.

They say they came across two of the men in Somerset County driving a tractor-trailer carrying about 42 pounds of cocaine and pallets of Wal-Mart-bound groceries. Complete article

Bomb threat at Kernersville NC Walmart determined to be hoax 12/12/2014

Fire Closes South Philadelphia Pa. Wal-Mart 12/13/2014

Salinas Ca. Police Seek Suspect Who Molested Young Girl By Posing As Walmart Employee 12/13/2014

SALINAS (CBS SF) — Police are searching for a suspect who investigators say kidnapped and molested a 10-year-old girl at a Salinas Walmart Supercenter store Friday.

Police said Jorge Cervantes, 35, posed as a Walmart employee and approached the victim offering assistance at the store at 1800 North Main St. around 5 p.m.

Police said Cervantes tried to lure the girl out of the store, but discovered the doors were locked and instead led the victim to the bathrooms, where he assaulted her.

Police said he took the victim from the bathrooms and assaulted her again in one of the store aisles before she was able to run from him and seek help. Complete article

Police Clear Butler Plaza Fla. Walmart Which was Evacuated After Bomb-Threat 12/13/2014

Quincy Ill. police respond to Walmart for a reported shoplifter who was hit by a vehicle while being chased by Walmart loss prevention officer 12/13/2014

Easton Police Search for Suspect in Md. Wal-Mart Theft 12/14/2014

PD: man shoplifts, pushes security officer at Hamden Conn. Wal-Mart 12/15/2014

Man injured in wreck in NW Harris Co. Tx. Walmart parking lot 12/15/2014

Wisc. Walmart slip sparks lawsuit 12/15/2014

Lady Lake man accused of taking Barbie doll and shirts from Fla. Wal-Mart 12/15/2014

Shoplifter pulls gun on worker at Fargo ND Wal-Mart store 12/15/2014

Cops killed man at Beavercreek Ohio Walmart, then interrogated girlfriend 12/16/2014

(CNN) -- After killing a man at an Ohio Walmart, police interrogated his girlfriend, accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail time and suggesting she could be on drugs, according to a video obtained by CNN.

The man, John Crawford III, was holding an air rifle he had picked up off a store shelf when police shot him. A prosecutor called the case a "perfect storm" with "no bad guys," but the family has said police used excessive force.

A grand jury decided not to indict the officer who pulled the trigger in the August 5 shooting at a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio. While the Justice Department investigates the case, Crawford's name -- along with Michael Brown and Eric Garner -- is being chanted by some demonstrators across the country protesting what they say is systemic racism that fuels police violence.

Now, the family's lawyer says the recently released interrogation video shows police were trying to force Crawford's girlfriend to say something to justify what they'd done. Complete article

Family of man fatally shot in Beavercreek Ohio Walmart sues police, Walmart 12/16/2014

Imprisoned Saginaw County man charged with February unarmed robbery of Bay County Mich. Walmart 12/16/2014

Off-duty policeman working as security shoots shoplifter at Texas Walmart after being stabbed 12/16/2014

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An off-duty Dallas Police Department officer who was working as security at a Walmart store in Dallas early Tuesday was stabbed during a confrontation, and the suspect was shot and wounded.

The incident happened just after midnight at the Walmart store on Retail Road, in the northeast part of the city.

Police said that the officer tried to stop a man who was accused of shoplifting. But the suspect stabbed the officer in the left hand. The officer responded by pulled out his weapon and firing at the suspect, striking him in the leg. Complete article

Off-duty officer working as a security guard shoots shoplifting suspect at Dallas Walmart after being attacked 12/16/2014 This is the 20th officer-involved shooting of the year involving Dallas police.

Pa. Supreme Court affirms $151M ruling against Walmart, Sam's Club 12/16/2014

Wal-Mart may appeal ruling on pay to U.S. Supreme Court 12/16/2014

Watch customers, workers wrangle deer in NC Walmart 12/16/2014

Shoplifter wields ax in NM Walmart 12/16/2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Albuquerque police have released video of a man shoplifting at Walmart on Eubank Boulevard on Dec. 11.

Police say the man walked in wearing a disguise -- overalls and a tool belt. Officers say he may have worn the outfit to appear as though he was a maintenance man going to work.

"He's playing a part, and it's a good scam, and I haven't seen a good scam like this in a long time," said Officer Simon Drobik.

In the video, the man walks in, fills a shopping basket full of toolboxes, then ditches the basket and walks out with the stolen boxes in his left hand and a stolen ax in his right.

"(The store's security) didn't want to confront him because he was holding that ax, and it might've been a bad situation. They called us right away," Drobik said. Complete article

Ax-wielding shoplifter nabbed by police; Man caught during second Walmart heist 12/22/2014

Pa. woman allegedly shoplifting at Walmart leaves baby behind as she books 12/17/2014

Shoplifting suspect Judith Ann Blank ran through the parking lot of a Lehigh County Walmart after allegedly pocketing $24 in merchandise there on Tuesday.

But that wasn't the worst part, according to the report by the Morning Call of Allentown.

The fleeing 42-year-old mother left her six-year-old daughter behind when she booked, police told the newspaper. Complete article

Rincon Ga. Police: Walmart employee accused of theft 12/17/2014

Deputies: Man fakes heart attack as friend steals toys from Fla. Walmart 12/17/2014

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A man faked a heart attack so his friend could steal toys from a Lake Wales Walmart, Polk County deputies said Wednesday.

According to an arrest report, Tarus Scott, 30, and Genard Dupree, 27, both of Lake Wales, filled a shopping cart at the Walmart on SR East in Lake Wales with expensive toys, including a motorized power wheel Barbie car, a Leap Frog tablet and a Barbie Glam vacation house, with a total value of $369.00.

The two men are seen on surveillance video walking through the store together. Video shows Dupree lying down on the ground, clutching his chest near the entrance of the store.

As concerned citizens check on Dupree, Scott is seen walking out of the store with the cart full of toys, deputies said.

Once Scott leaves the store, Dupree stands up and walks out, deputies said. Complete article

Wal-Mart faces new pregnancy discrimination charges 12/17/2014

Marietta Ga. Walmart evacuated after bomb threat 12/17/2014

Lufkin man drives car into front of Ross Dress for Less, flees to Tx. Walmart 12/17/2014

Man scamming holiday shoppers at Houston Tx.-area Walmart 12/18/2014

Bomb threats evacuate 2 Valdosta, Albany and Marietta Ga. Walmarts 12/18/2014

Fitchburg man charged in attempted Mass. Walmart theft 12/18/2014

NY attorney general: Amazon, Wal-Mart and other retailers illegally selling banned toy guns 12/19/2014

Police: Man recorded females using bathroom in Union City Ca. Walmart 12/18/2014

Deputies search for man who took TV from Fla. Walmart 12/18/2014

MCSO: Marion Oaks man arrested after sexually harassing customer at Fla. Wal-Mart 12/18/2014

Marbletown man accused of pulling alarm during Ulster NY Walmart evacuation after a threat call 12/18/2014

Man accused of trying to steal tablet from Pasco Fla. Walmart 12/18/2014

Knife-wielding Canadian Walmart employee critical, but stable, after being shot by police 12/19/2014

Police were responding to a call about a man cutting himself with a large knife when the middle-aged store worker was shot.

A man shot during a confrontation with police outside an Agincourt Walmart on Thursday remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

The 40-year-old man, a store employee, was shot twice in the abdomen near the Agincourt Mall around 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

Police were dispatched to the store, near Kennedy Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., after receiving a call about a man cutting his own wrists and throat with a large butcher knife, a police spokesperson told the Star. Complete article

Belfast woman jailed for alleged attempt to make prices fall at Me. Wal-Mart 12/19/2014

Man caught, another sought in NY area Walmart thefts 12/19/2014

Oregon Wal-Mart asks carolers to leave saying the authorities might be contacted; no wait Walmart asks carolers back after communication misstep 12/20/2014

Sometimes the second time is the charm, which Henley students learned when they attempted to sing Christmas carols at the Klamath Falls Walmart.

About 30 Henley middle and high school choir students gathered at the store Thursday night and started to sing. They were asked to leave by Wal-Mart staff members, who said the authorities might be contacted.

Jack Lee, Henley High School’s principal, said the school cleared the choir’s performance with store managers earlier in the week.

“I think there was a breakdown of communication,” Lee said. “Anyway, they went to the next location, the next store, and they were really appreciated, they were applauded.” Complete article

Bomb threat at Williston Vermont Walmart 12/20/2014

Beavercreek Ohio Walmart Turning Customers Away as Group Protests Crawford Death Inside 12/20/2014

BEAVERCREEK -- The Beavercreek Walmart was back open for Saturday night shopping after management shut the store down for about two hours when more than a hundred protesters filled the aisles.

They were protesting the deadly police shooting of John Crawford III and the grand jury decision not to indict the officers involved.

The protest, known as a "die-in," happened in the pet section where Crawford was shot in August. Complete article

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams surrounded by protesters outside Walmart 12/20/2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A group of protesters from Cleveland and Ferguson surrounded Police Chief Calvin Williams outside the entrance of Walmart on Steelyard Drive Saturday afternoon.

At one point, the crowd who surrounded Williams included Tamir Rice's older brother, Tavon. The crowd chanted "no justice, no peace." Several people screamed "who do you serve?" at him, while others yelled and berated the chief by asking what he was going to do about the people who continue to die in the city.

Tamir Rice Demonstrators March Dec. 20, 2014 Protestors chant as they walk up West 130th Street in Cleveland Saturday afternoon. The group is protesting the police shooting death of Tamir Rice, 12, on Nov. 22 by Officer Timothy Loehmann.

Throughout it all, Williams stayed calm. He told Tavon Rice that he was going to "make sure you guys are safe today" and told another protester that "you have every right to be doing what you're doing, as long as you're doing it peacefully."

The group gathered Saturday to protest the police shooting death of Tamir Rice across the street from Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22. Complete article

Ga. Walmart on Ogeechee Road reopens after evacuation, threat 12/22/2014

$3,500 worth of razor blades stolen from Indiana County Pa. Walmart 12/22/2014

Homeless man, charged with Palmyra Me. Walmart trespass, in court 12/23/2014

Ramon Rodriguez, 89, who has a history of central Maine police clashes, will answer charges Wednesday that he skipped a Skowhegan court date.

An 89-year-old homeless man, accused of refusing to remove a camper from Walmart property in Palmyra, will be in court Wednesday on a charge that he skipped a court appearance one month ago in connection with the incident.

Ramon Roderick Rodriguez, who first caught the attention of Skowhegan police in 2006 and again in August 2010 for a messy camp on Coburn Avenue, was arrested Monday on the failure to appear charge, a misdemeanor. He remains held on $200 cash bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison pending a 10 a.m. hearing Wednesday in district court in Skowhegan.

He faces fines and fees if he is convicted. Police have said Rodriguez has income from a pension. Complete article

One killed, two injured in shooting at Clarksdale Mississippi Walmart 12/25/2014

CLARKSDALE, Miss. (FOX13) - One person has died in a shooting in a Walmart parking lot in Clarksdale, Miss., Clarksdale Police confirmed to FOX13 News. A witness said two others were injured in the shooting.

The triple shooting occurred at around 5:30 p.m.

A spokesperson for the Walmart in Clarksdale told FOX13 News the store is closely working with police.

Clarksdale Police said a 23-year-old Black man was shot multiple times in his upper torso and died from his injuries.

A 19-year-old Black male was shot in the neck and another Black male, age 20, was shot in the back, police said. Complete article

Two suspects steal Salvation Army kettle at King Ave Montana Walmart 12/23/2014

Man attempts to carjack shoppers at Tenn. Walmart 12/24/2014

Large fire breaks out in Cy-Fair Tx. area Walmart parking lot 12/24/2014

Ohio Walmart customers “unruly” after store closes, police called 12/24/2014

Ohio Walmart employee stops robber, gets punched in fight 12/24/2014

Police Seek Third Member of Ca. Walmart Robbery Crew 12/24/2014

Shoplifting At Springs Colorado Walmart Yields Extra Arrests 12/25/2014

Wal-Mart’s higher-skilled employees pinched to ‘absorb’ cost of minimum wage hikes 12/25/2014

Gunmen attempt robbery of Walmart shoppers in Louisiana 12/24/2014

Activist group holds Black Lives Matter protest at Lakeshore Alabama Walmart Friday 12/26/2014

2 teens booked with attempted armed robbery in Covington Louisiana Walmart parking lot 12/26/2014

Woman caught inhaling aerosol spray at Springville NY Walmart 12/26/2014

5 alleged shoplifters busted at Springfield Ohio Walmarts Christmas Eve 12/26/2014

Pittsfield Vermont man's bail revoked after allegedly trying to scam Walmart 12/26/2014

Shoplifter pulls gun on Washington state Walmart security guard 12/26/2014

Police investigate Seabrook NH Walmart jewelry thefts 12/26/2014

Two drunk men shoot up Idaho Walmart store with a BB gun 12/26/2014

Hackers release thousands of Amazon, Wal-Mart, X-Box and Play Station passwords; credit card data leaked 12/27/2014

Black Lives Matter protester tased, 2 arrested during event at Homewood Alabama Walmart 12/27/2014

HOMEWOOD, Alabama - Two men were arrested for criminal trespass at a "Black Lives Matter" protest and march at a Homewood Walmart on Friday afternoon.

At 4 p.m., Homewood police officers, Mountain Brook police officers, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department officials and Alabama State Troopers responded to Walmart at 209 Lakeshore Parkway.

About 40 people were involved in a peaceful protest. They chanted "No justice, no peace," and "I can't breathe" on the side of the road, then marched through the Walmart parking lot and into the store. Complete article

Rally near Beavercreek Walmart for John Crawford III 12/27/2014

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) — A rally was held Saturday near the Walmart at the RTA bus stop on Pentagon Boulevard Saturday afternoon.

About 30 people gathered on the side of the road to show their support of John Crawford III. Crawford was shot and killed by Beavercreek Police in August when he picked up a pellet gun off the shelves and carried it around the store.

The group was calling for justice for Crawford. In September, a grand jury chose not to indict the officers involved in Crawford’s death. Complete article

Town of Lockport NY Walmart cashier suspected of stealing $1,000 in merchandise 12/27/2014

Three juveniles accused stealing guns from Royal Palm Fla. Walmart 12/27/2014

Child endangerment alleged in NY Walmart shoplifting spree 12/27/2014

Raleigh NC police search for suspect in Walmart robbery 12/28/2014

Woman who took bag, swapped old sneakers at NH Walmart turned herself in 12/27/2014

Woman accused of taking television from Fla. Walmart 12/27/2014

Denver man finds a box full of rocks in the PlayStation 4 bundle he bought at Stapleton Colorado Walmart 12/26/2014

DENVER - Imagine the surprise when a Denver man opened his PlayStation 4 and found a box of rocks.

Igor Baksht bought a PlayStation 4 bundle at the Walmart in Stapleton last Friday. He said an employee who got it out of the locked cabinet told him the PlayStation was previously returned. He opened the box before wrapping the gift for his 13-year-old niece.

"Just to make sure everything was inside, that all the contents were inside, all the games were inside," said Baksht. "When I opened it, I said, 'Oh my God.' ....

"He said they cannot do anything about it because they don't have proof, how it came in, nothing," said Baksht.

7NEWS was skeptical of his story, but in previous years other customers have been duped by the same scam. In 2012, an Alabama boy opened his Nintendo 3DS and found a box of rocks. In the last couple of years, multiple people found notebooks inside their newly opened iPad boxes.

He said he called the store multiple times and even called the corporate office. .....

On Christmas Eve night, the store manager returned the game console and gave him his money back.

A Walmart spokesman told 7NEWS that they could not confirm his story, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. Complete article

The 10 worst things Wal-Mart did in 2014 12/26/2014

Pineville La. Wal-Mart reopens after bomb threat 12/26/2014

Victoria’s Secret, Wal-Mart, Marshalls Caught Selling Used Lingerie, Rossen Report Discovers 12/25/2014

Video Shows 78-Year-Old SC Walmart Worker Injuring Hip Trying To Check Shoplifter’s Receipt 12/23/2014

Logan Township man arrested after impersonating Walmart employee, Pennsville NJ Police say 12/26/2014

The National Legal and Policy Center: Walmart Asked to Stop Bankrolling Sharpton After New York Police Murders 12/22/2014

Sheriff: Two Hudson Falls women accused of stealing from NY Walmart 12/29/2014

Major retailers, including Walmart in North Country, selling illegal toy guns, NY AG says 12/27/2014

NH Police say Walmart shopper foiled wallet thief 12/25/2014

Women charged with shoplifting from Garden City Idaho Walmart 12/25/2014

Walmart shoplifters sought in Sylvester Ga. 12/25/2014

Texoma veteran burned while putting out fire in Sherman Tx. Walmart 12/26/2014

All clear at Conn. Walmart after police investigate suspicious package 12/27/2014

Bond revoked for Delaware Wal-Mart suspect 12/29/2014

MUNCIE – A Muncie man accused of causing two disturbances at a local Wal-Mart store — on the second occasion stabbing a store manager — saw his bond revoked at a Monday court hearing.

Rodney G. Patterson — also known as Kenan Fortune Abraman — is charged with aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon, intimidation and resisting law enforcement in a Nov. 3 incident at the Wal-Mart at 1501 E. 29th St.

In that incident, the 41-year-old Patterson — in the process of completing an employment application — allegedly wounded a store manager with a knife. ....

On that day, authorities allege, Patterson displayed as knife as he threatened to harm store employees so he could “have their job.” Complete article

Wal-Mart shooting: Tributes paid to 29-year-old Idaho nuclear scientist Veronica Rutledge fatally shot by her two-year-old son 12/31/2014

2-year-old accidentally shoots mom with her own gun in Idaho Wal-Mart 12/30/2014

Conceal carry permit holder shot to death by her 2-year old in Idaho Walmart 12/30/2014

Broward Sheriff's Office detention deputy wore uniform during some of Walmart thefts, arrest report says 12/31/2014

Theodore Parrish seen on surveillance video placing unpaid items in shopping cart.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward Sheriff's Office detention deputy was wearing his uniform when he stole from a Walmart in Coral Springs on two separate occasions, according to an arrest affidavit obtained Wednesday by Local 10 News.

BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella said Theodore Parrish turned himself in Tuesday afternoon.

According to the report, Parrish stole miscellaneous merchandise worth $176.14 on five days in November and December.

Parrish was seen on surveillance video using the store's self-checkout kiosks, intentionally placing certain items in his shopping cart without paying for them, the report said.

He "acted in a surreptitious manner during each event, looking around and timing his movements," the report said. Complete article

Broward Sheriff's deputy arrested for shoplifting Ramen noodles, eggs and bacon from Walmart 12/31/2014

MADGE bust at Medford Oregon Walmart nets meth, $20,000 in cash 12/31/2014

Police search for man suspected of stealing from Tenn. Walmart on Christmas Eve 12/31/2014

SC Walmart on Bush River Road closed following fire which was ruled arson 12/31/2014

Police: Ohio Walmart cashier gave away $2K in merchandise 12/31/2014

Hawaii Walmart fire likely arson 12/31/2014

It appears a fire in the men’s section of the Hilo Walmart that closed the store for more than 4 1/2 hours Tuesday night was deliberately set.

A fire department statement lists the cause of the fire as “under investigation” and a police log notes that first-degree arson and third-degree theft investigations were initiated because of the 4:22 p.m. fire at the store in Waiakea Center on Makaala Street.

“There is evidence that the fire was intentionally set,” police Lt. Greg Esteban of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section said Wednesday. “It appears that articles of clothing (men’s shirts) were ignited, and it was suspicious in nature because there was no immediate source of ignition, such as an electrical outlet, in the area.” Complete article

Man turns himself in for firing BB rounds after Va. Walmart theft 12/31/2014

Man accused of stealing steaks and beer from Fla. Walmart 12/31/2014

Thieves hit Helena-West Helena, ARK. Walmart one day after Christmas 12/31/2014

Fox News: Things you didn't know about the food at Walmart 12/30/2014

Crime at Galveston Walmart causing issues for several police departments 12/30/2014

GALVESTON, Texas - The call goes out, a police officer responds to a crime. In Galveston over 650 times this year, that call for help, that call for police service came from the same place, from the Walmart store on Seawall Boulevard.

More than 50 percent of the time it's for shoplifting.

Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto says all those calls to Walmart are draining his department of valuable manpower and keeping officers from responding to higher-priority crimes against the citizens of Galveston, who may be the victims of robbery or burglary or assault.

"It's definitely taking police off the streets of our neighborhoods," Porretto said.

Local 2 Investigates crunched the numbers and found that in 2014 Galveston Police were called to Walmart 653 times, an average of nearly two visits per day every day of the year.

In League City, the League City Police Department responded to 577 calls at Walmart. The Kemah Police Department was dispatched to Walmart 723 times for service. Complete article

Two teens rob, carjack, and kidnap man in Florida Walmart parking lot 12/26/2014

Possible prank leads to injury; glued to the toilet seat in Denison Tx. Walmart 12/30/2014

BONHAM, Texas -- A man out shopping on Christmas Eve in Denison claims he was not only injured while shopping at a major retailer -- he was humiliated.

Wesley Howard says he was shopping at the Denison Walmart when he stopped to use their restroom. He says what happened next left him with burns to his backside, and he felt traumatized. "When I got ready to leave I was stuck," Howard said. "I was glued to the seat and I was in there so long, my oxygen bottle was running out."

Howard's son, Justin took this video of his father as he was taken by EMT's from the Denison Wamart to Texoma Medical Center. Howard says he suffered first degree burns after sitting on some kind of adhesive that was put on the toilet seat in handicapped toilet stall of the men's restroom.

To add insult to injury Wesley Howard said, the Walmart staff laughed at him. He wants whomever did this to know that it caused him serious physical and emotional pain. "An assistant manager finally came in and though it was funny that I was stuck on the toilet seat," Howard said. "He kinda thought I was joking and I told him, 'I'm dead serious.' "

Wesley Howard said customers were still allowed to enter and use the restroom while EMT's worked to free him. Complete article

Burley Idaho Wal-Mart Sees Increase in Holiday Burglaries in 2014 12/31/2014

BURLEY • Wal-Mart in Burley saw a tripling of holiday season burglaries this year. But the jump might have as much to do with improved security than an uptick in crime, officials said.

Between Black Friday and Christmas, the store filed 10 burglary cases with the Minidoka County Prosecutor’s Office, compared to three burglary cases filed during last year’s holiday season. Seven of the cases were filed during the week before Christmas alone.

Prosecutor Lance Stevenson said stores tend to see an increase in crime during the holidays. People are desperate, he said, or they see an increase in shoppers as an opportunity. Complete article

Knox woman faces theft, drug charges after Ky. Walmart arrest 12/31/2014

Woman accused of stealing wallet left behind at Ky. Walmart 12/31/2014

Alexandria couple accused in La. Walmart bomb threats 12/30/2014

Man threatens to cut people after shoplifting from SC Walmart 12/30/2014

Police: Moses Lake Walmart clear after bomb threat 12/30/2014

Man robbed at gunpoint of expensive diamond ring at North Carolina Walmart 12/31/2014

Gunman robs Walmart in North Carolina 12/31/2014

Woman threatens Walmart shopper with gun in Tennessee 12/31/2014