Monday, September 28, 2015

With Pope Championing Environment and Scientists Supporting Capitalism Who’s Right? When?

Climate Change is one of many issues that Pope Francis has been coming out in favor of reform that is much more progressive than the political establishment. A close review of may indicate that there is an enormous amount of research to indicate that he is calling for the best interest of the majority of the public on these issues which have been the highest profile in the past couple of weeks.

However religious leaders have a long history of using appeals to emotions to convince the public to support many positions that aren't in their best interests, and at times this has included Pope Francis.

The reason why we have so many problems is because a shocking percentage of the public is taught from birth to believe what they're told from their leaders and one time after another those leaders have been betraying them. Now that Pope Francis is supporting a lot of progressive issues that stand up to scrutiny he should receive as much support as possible to get as much progress as possible with the attention that it is receiving; however those that have been working for a long time to inform the public about many of these issues should receive as much if not much more credit than he does.

And caution should be taken to avoid blindly supporting him because of the hype surrounding his visit. It shouldn't be forgotten that this is the same Church that obtained it's power through centuries of supporting tyrants and intimidating and torturing those that chose not to believe what they're told by the Church, most notably during the Inquisitions and Crusades. It wasn't that long ago that there were reports about questions that remain over his role during Argentina's dictatorship when the Church backed the military government that was involved in many of the activities he is now condemning.

While most progressives seem to agree with the Pope's support for action against pollution and Climate Change Steven Pinker, who is often considered a liberal academic, claims "Despite hype, Pope is NOT helping w climate change: Disavows the best solution." He cites a New York Times article which may seem to make sense at first but by the end it is clear that it supports market based solutions like Cap and trade that have already been tried and proven to be a disaster.

Steven Pinker also tweeted about supporting Larry Summers on The importance of global health investment; this is the same Larry Summers that once wrote a memo that said that we should export pollution. This was followed by an enormous controversy at the time and one of his defenders said he was just trying to stir up debate and didn't actually mean to do it. This might make sense if they followed up by doing what they could to prevent this policy; but instead they let the memo fade down the memory hole while Summers pursued policies that did what the memo recommended, indicating that he really meant it. His policies on health haven't been any better, yet academics like Pinker continue supporting him while being portrayed as progressive.

Some of Steven Pinker's own work is about crime including "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" where he reviews the history of violence and indicates that it has been declining contrary to common beliefs. this is almost certainly true although many of his statistics probably has a high margin of error; however he does a poor job considering they leading root causes of this reduction, including child abuse escalating to more violence later in life, which is a major contributing cause, but he doesn't review it much until the second half of the book and avoids or downplays any contributing causes that might implicate some of the most powerful people in the establishment. A recent tweet of his, US homicide, after 23-yr decline, will likely increase in 2015 because of post-Ferguson police handicapping, continues this pattern where he ignores root causes of crime when it challenges those with the most political power, in this case it is the police.

The article cited misrepresents the threat to police as I previously pointed out in The threat to police is greatly exaggerated; and both his book and this article avoids much discussion, or downplays, the root causes of crime including an economic system that is shipping jobs overseas and providing selective protection from police to those with the most political power. The article claims, "The irony is that the historic reduction of U.S. crime since the 1990s was predicated on police singling out African-Americans—for protection," implying that the police are responsible for the reduction in violence and the anti-police rhetoric is preventing them from doing their job; however people in minority areas know how they've been treated by the police and they're also aware of the many police shootings of minorities including many where that involve excessive force or even targeting the wrong people. He also avoids discussing how the dominant political powers are selling weapons all over the world that have maintained a permanent state of war preventing violence from decreasing even more.

This isn't a right wing academic that is easy to recognize as catering to corporate interests; Steven Pinker has been portrayed as one of the more liberal academics, including when he favored allowing his class notes to be used on line for free according to a six year old Boston Globe article Does anyone own what universities teach? (12/13/2009) Pinker is portrayed as being liberal, in this article for allowing his noted to be shared but he doesn't discuss the possibility of financing "Intellectual Property" through other means, nor does anyone else in the traditional establishment.

The same goes for many other issues including preventing war, violence in the streets, environmental damage or many other issues. The people and ideas presented by the political establishment tend to be very limited in many ways which a lot of people might not recognize. This doesn't mean that there aren't better ideas or research about many of these subjects, but the traditional media simply refuses to cover them, and the political establishment doesn't take them into consideration when making policies.

Alternative media outlets and political activists have been covering some much better research for years if not decades, but the media simply ignores them or portrays them as rabble; so unless people seek out alternative media outlets they might not know what these ideas are. These organizations also put an enormous amount of pressure on the political establishment to address these issues better, but get little if any credit, even though they do a better job researching or reporting them.

Now that the Pope is speaking out on these issues he's getting much more attention and might be portrayed as the leader that enabled action to take place, assuming the political establishment actually does start addressing some of these issues in a more effective manner.

On any given subject there is almost certainly a much better source than either the Pope or academics like Steven Pinker, who is just one of many watered down academics given more coverage than the better researchers. Jonathan Kozol, did a better job reporting on economic inequality; Alice Miller Philip Greven and others did a better job reporting on how violence at an early age escalates to more violence later; Naomi Klein and did a much better job than either of them on environmental solutions and there are plenty of peace activists that did a much better job reporting on how the dominant countries are contributing to violence in third world countries with their interference and dealing with dictators, including selling them arms that are routinely turned against us.

The Pope and many academics, on the other hand are much slower to speak out and when they do they have a tendency to down play things and mix it with complements that might not be earned for those with power. This has the result of helping to prop up the current power structure even when it isn't doing a good job at anything.

A large percentage of the public has been indoctrinated to believe that they should blindly follow their religious leaders like cult leaders, although not all of his supporters do this. Some of the supporters of the Pope have said they support him because of his positions on the issues, which implies that they might be thinking the issues through and sorting out which ones to support on their own regardless of what the Pope supports. When this happens this is not what I would call cult thinking. However, some of his other supporter make claims like, "this shows that God cares for Us," which can easily be reviewed for accuracy. If God does exist and has been working through the Church for thousands of years as religious people believe then this would be the same God that inspired the Church during the Crusades and Inquisitions when they propped up a lot of tyrants and were responsible for torturing of thousands if not millions of innocent people. It is also the Same God that inspired the Church when it supported the Argentine Junta while the Pope was a leading religious figure in that country. If this god does exist and didn't intend for these things to happen he could have easily communicated and let people know about the misunderstanding, yet he didn't clearly implying that he doesn't exist or he has other intentions that aren't nearly as benevolent as religious people believe.

Followers that believe that this "God" is benevolent without being willing to review evidence that clearly refutes their beliefs may be cult followers and all the hype that is surrounding the Pope can help to indoctrinate them. It is possible to get them to participate in productive solutions while being pointed in the right direction; but if cult leaders start pointing cult followers in the wrong direction they'll follow without question. Steven Pinker and other people from the so-called "New Atheist movement" do a much better job exposing this than most religious people but they often have other biases that don't typically involve the best interests of the majority.

The Bible warns of false prophets; however it doesn't teach people to defend against this by learning how to think rationally and recognize them before being led astray, since the false prophets look and act the same as the ones that are supposedly not false prophets.

Also the progressive issues against pollution, poverty and war among other things isn't being advanced much by the enormous amounts of hype surrounding his visit unless it is followed up by action. The security and other activities surrounding his visit costs millions of dollars and these expenses don't go to advance his causes. He's getting an enormous amount of credit for a very small amount of action to advance his causes, like feeding the poor when he visits a homeless shelter. Many people have been doing a much better job at that for a long time but they don't get nearly as much credit.

This hype does far more to control who gets the credit for reform activities than it does for the reforms themselves; and the people doing the research without much attention from the commercial media or the political establishment are doing far more to educate the public; and their work is more likely to stand up to scrutiny.

The Pope's visit could help inspire some major reforms which are beneficial to the majority but if they don't include better efforts to educate the public about how to sort through the details and recognize when they're being mislead by their leaders it could only be temporary and the same people that control the ideas people are able to consider will still be in power.

In the long run it will be more important to educate more people about how to represent themselves and stop worshiping celebrities, whether it is religious people sport figures or politicians; otherwise we might implement enough solutions to protect the interests of the elites without doing more than they have to for the poor to keep them complacent.

America’s Legal Order Begins to Fray 09/13/2015

Police Refusal to Accept Criticism And Do Their Jobs Causes Spike in Crime 09/14/2015

"In the face of the emergencies of human-induced climate change, social exclusion, and extreme poverty, we join together to declare that: Human induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity." Pope Francis

Edit since this was posted Bernie Sanders has been invited to the Vatican to speak. This is not intended to be a complete endorsement from either side and the invitation didn't come from the Pope as some people initially implied. However they do have a lot of common ground when it comes to poverty and Capitalist corruption.

Bernie Sanders Says He Met With Pope Francis 04/16/2016 and apparently they discussed common ground about addressing poverty and climate change. In interviews either before or after Bernie Sanders has indicated other things that they disagree on including gay marriage and abortion.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In a Democracy all officials are accountable even Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is the best candidate that I've seen running for president in the two traditional parties in a long time; and he may be the best chance to get overdue reform; however that doesn't mean that he should be above reproach.

And he has indicated that he might agree with this, at least to an extent; which is part of the reason why he is the best candidate in the two traditional parties in a long time. He has said repeatedly that no president can get reform in Washington without grassroots support; which implies that that support might also be used to keep himself accountable. Or at least that is what I consider a reasonable interpretation of it; and whether he agrees or not if he gets elected I suspect many of his grassroots supporters will.

Some of his supporters may want to look the other way at issues, however few, that he needs to improve on; however the way he handled the Black Lives Matter protest compared with the way Hillary handled it might indicate that it has only improved his campaign and position on the issues. He was a long-time advocate for civil rights, even when Hillary was campaigning for Barry Goldwater, as a young Republican, and he was aggravated the first time they interrupted his rally; but I get the impression he strengthened his position and gained respect from Black people while Hillary lectured them and probably lost respect. Furthermore by addressing the legitimate issues they indicate that unlike his competitors he really is responding to democratic demands instead of sweeping them under the rug while giving the public propaganda and promises that will almost certainly not be kept, unless there is an enormous amount of grassroots pressure for candidates like Hillary to stand up to her campaign contributors.

One of my biggest concern about his campaign is that apparently he hasn't fill out a Project Vote Smart questionnaire; as I indicated previously Project Vote Smart should also be held accountable but at least until there is a better job application candidates should still fill out their questionnaires so voters will have a consistent way to compare candidates and a location where they can find all of them whether they collect a lot6 of campaign money and get media coverage or not. His refusal to fill out the questionnaire is ironic since he filled out the one from his 2012 race and his positions haven't changed much if at all. This includes his support for a single payer system among other things.

Another potential problem might be a recent article, Bernie Sanders Said to Be Close to Signing Fund-Raising Deal With Democratic Party, (09/02/2015) which could potentially indicate that he is relying on the old system to finance his campaign and might be helping the Democrats raise money that could potentially be used to benefit corporate contributors. It isn't clear that this is what happening but efforts should be made at the grassroots level anyway to support Election Reform that enables the public to control the interview process of candidates.

This should also include more discussion about proportionate Representation and Instant Run-Off elections which would give alternative party candidates a better chance. Regardless of who wins this election we need to reform the duopoly system that enables the Democratic and Republican Parties to trade back and forth, while both of them are controlled by multinational corporations, as I previously indicated in Invest in Activism, AND Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Grassroots. Getting a good representative is an important part of restoring some degree of democracy but they also need to be pressured by an informed public.

Bruce Gagnon is one of the better informed critics of Bernie Sanders for a while now and recently he expressed one of his concerns in Sanders Wants "Strongest Military in the World." (09/04/2015) Compared to most traditional politicians that actually get much if any coverage from the mass media he is much better about opposing unjust wars; however there is so much propaganda about how they're fighting to defend democracy instead of fighting for one lie after another that a shocking percentage of the public is convinced that this is justified. An argument could be made that he is catering to the wishes of the people, even if they have been indoctrinated by the media, so that he could 3educate them better once he got in office; however peace advocates would see right through this if it was made. Technically it is possible but using the same tactics that traditional politicians use isn't the way to reform the system.

Bruce Gagnon has indicated that he doesn't think it is likely that Bernie will be the nominee and that he thinks he is passing up an opportunity to inform the public about the misinformation about the military from the media and political establishment. I'm not convinced that he won't get elected and don't think it is a good idea to abandon hope even if it is difficult anymore than I think it is a good idea to look the other way about flaws in candidates that I support; however he is at least partly right about passing up an opportunity to inform the public more. But I can't help but wonder how thoroughly the public has been indoctrinated by the corporate press.

There's no doubt that an enormous number of right wing people will just get outraged if inconvenient facts are pointed out to them, as they often have; but there are also a lot of Democrats that seem to believe the lesser of two evils choice that they seem to fall for every time. One way or another if we're going to have a real Democracy we need to find a way to better educate the public and get officials elected that actually try to represent the public, instead of giving them propaganda promises that will be broken for the benefit of campaign contributors as soon as they get in office. It is extremely frustrating to see the same dilemmas over and over again.

Fortunately at least one major reformer, Kshama Sawant who is supporting Sanders; and this isn't likely to be blind support, which Sanders must know; it will be support to get him elected and reform the system, not reverse himself like many corporate puppets routinely do. the Socialist Party has expressed concerns about Bernie Sanders in the past and indicated that some of them think it is more important to expand alternative Parties. However getting one or two percent one time after another isn't going to do that and there is a major movement behind Sanders which could do much more than many people suspect. Ignoring potential problems shouldn't be done but one of those potential problems is that people bicker among themselves and that should be kept to a minimum. if it can't be avoided completely. Concerns should be expressed in constructive manners and without personal attacks.

Even though this post focuses on some of those they're far fewer than the benefits of a Sanders Presidency, or if he doesn't get elected a Jill Stein presidency. If the traditional press that is trying to rig the nomination for Hillary succeeds then this unity could go a long way to help other candidacies like Jill Stein if his grassroots support drops the Democratic Party which sells out to the same corporations as the Republican party continues to ignore the public.

Another good reason for hope is the planned march on Washington D.C. by Sanders supporters that has been growing for weeks despite the medias refusal to cover it. It was originally planned for October 17 trying to get 100,000 marchers or more but has been moved back to November 7 and they've got 121,000 RSVPs and counting so far plus many more that have expressed interest or been invited. It is unlikely that all of the RSVPs will turn into marchers, and the media will almost certainly try to spin that to make it seem like a disappointment when it turns out to be bigger than they expected and they act as if it came from no where, which they usually do about protests; however even if it is much smaller it will be far greater support than any traditional candidate has gotten in recent history.

This could be an unprecedented part of major reform; but only if enough grassroots support pressures elected officials and we elect people that want to do a good job whether the pressure is there or not, and that clearly doesn't apply to Hillary!

Bruce Gagnon expressed a few more concerns in Watching the Political Gate Keepers (09/04/2015) but if we have to chose between Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders it will be the best choice we've had since I can remember; and the more support for reformers the more education of the public that takes place.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Republican Party is a Cult or Damn Close

By now this should be obvious to anyone that isn't overly religious. Mike Huckabee's religious rally for Kim Davis is becoming typical for the Republican Party.

There is little or no sincere discussion about issues in the Republican Party or at least not based on any rational thought process. Instead a shocking percentage of them allow their religious beliefs which are often dictated by charismatic leaders without rational scrutiny.

These leaders compete to see who can cater to religious beliefs most effectively then they can serve the best interests of their campaign contributors, since their constituency is more concerned about following crowds that don't understand issues. This has even led to political operatives rigging the coverage so that Mike Huckabee can be the apparent spokesperson for Kim Davis without allowing Cruz to share the stage, although he is just as irrational when he does get to express his views. The fact that he doesn't even seem to know that the Dred Scott case was overturned by constitutional amendment as a result of the Civil War doesn't even seem to matter to many of these cult followers who also believe many other irrational things like that Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya.

The rally in Washington against the Iran treaty is another of the more blatant examples that re surprisingly common that demonstrate how little many of these people know, often because they only listen to charismatic speakers who manipulate there emotions and refuse to check facts. The vast majority of these people are almost certainly not aware of our history with Iran that includes a coup in 1953 which overthrew a much more democratic government than they have now. In the seventies after decades of being abused and often tortured by the Shah installed by the CIA the United States had another opportunity to support the student protesters but remained in denial which led to the religious theocracy that is partly a creation of our own foreign policy.

The foreign policy towards Iran from their own religious leaders is even more extreme than Obama's treaty, including Reagan's Iran-Contra conspiracy which they don't seem to recognize as being worse than this treaty.

The problem isn't so much that they're wrong about the issues; but that they don't even sort through the details or listen to opposing views; instead they take positions from charismatic speakers and intimidate and ostracize those that don't go along with the program, like a cult which is not compatible with a functioning democracy which allows consideration of all views.

This is as extreme if not more extreme when it comes to environmental protection. In 2008 they were able to use charismatic speaking and other manipulation tactics to convince large crowds to start chanting "Drill Baby Drill" without realizing that some of the greatest environmental damage being done to our country was in the south where there are the most religious people. the worst of this is often in minority neighborhoods but it also impacts poor white people as well. and their bigotry against minorities is often religious based.

Elections seem to be getting more irrational every two to four years escalating with the unusually irrational Tea Party group of candidates in 2010 including Sharon "Second Amendment remedies" Angle, Carl "I'll take you out" Paladino, Christine "Not a witch" O'Donnell and even some candidates that actually won like Rand Paul and later Ted Cruz.

A shocking percentage of the public is taught from an early age to believe what they're told and go along with the crowd instead of teaching them to develop critical thinking skills as I explained in Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine. He recommends using corporal punishment starting as early as eighteen months old to teach children to obey and believe what they're told. This is before they understand what they're being punished for and it teaches them to obey based on fear, not because they understand what is going on or why.

As I explained in numerous posts in the past including American Psychological Association exposed again and Political Psychologist Are Suppressing Democracy political operatives and psychologists have been studying how to manipulate the public for decades and this includes research into cult activity and how to create cult figures like Donald Trump. Amazingly when they realized that a growing number of people were getting fed up with establishment candidates and how they were manipulating the public the establishment seems to have created their own anti-establishment candidate, or at least someone pretending to be an anti-establishment candidate to continue manipulating the cult followers while pretending to stand up to the establishment.

Actually they've been manufacturing establishment candidates pretending to be anti-establishment for a long time, often starting their career with claims that "I'm not a politician," then once they get elected one after another of these anti-establishment candidates demonstrates with their actions that they're just like the others and go along with the establishment demonstrating they were politicians all along. But Donald Trump takes this to a new level. Clearly if he really wasn't an establishment candidate the establishment media wouldn't be giving him obsessive amounts of coverage even playing many of his speeches live with few if any commercials. This is something they practically never do any more; they used to do this for emergencies or major disasters when they still acted as if the commercial media was supposed to provide some kind of public service but that attitude has gradually disappeared over the decades and they no longer let major catastrophes interrupt commercials and profits, however they do for a candidate they keep telling us is anti-establishment.

Donald Trump has flip flopped on several issues for the sake of his campaign like abortion Single Payer Health Care and more clearly indicating he is like other establo8ishment candidates but they keep repeating over and over again that he's against the establishment so many people that have been taught from birth to believe what they're told and respond to emotional appeals believe him. They don't seem to suspect that insulting each other and demonstrating they have no clue about many of the most important issues is an inappropriate way to figure out who is most qualified to run the country.

The establishment has developed a political industry to study how to manipulate people using cult indoctrination practices without addressing the most important issues for the vast majority of the public and this also includes the Democratic Party although they're not quite as extreme as the Republican Party, or at least they don't seem quite as extreme. Hillary Clinton has been relying on the media to present her as the inevitable nominee for the Democratic Party for years so that she can avoid a significant primary. She doesn't have nearly as strong a cult following as the Republican candidates but that isn't because she isn't trying. She has as many advisers helping her present her case and make promises that she almost certainly will never keep if elected as the Republicans. However they seem to be relying on a common strategy of portraying the Republicans as extremists so the public can't afford to take a chance on a third party candidate and allow the greater evil to get elected. this is the strategy they used in 2012 and many other previous elections and a shocking percentage of the public seems to fall for the same scam every time.

This is how they manage to get an enormous amount of people in both parties especially the Republican Party to support positions that are clearly not in their interests.

If there is a candidate that really is trying to address the best interests of the majority of the public that gets some coverage from the establishment media it must be Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders got almost no coverage for decades until after he gained enough grassroots support to get elected in his home state numerous times and they still don't give him nearly as much coverage as Donald Trump even though his crowds are almost always larger. His biggest crowd was probably either in Oregon or the lakes area close to 28 thousand people. Trump's biggest crowds were in Alabama and Texas, where people are much more religious and more likely to fall for cult leaders. If the public applied scrutiny to Bernie Sanders positions almost all of them would stand up; however if they scrutinized Donald Trump's positions almost all of them would fall apart, but Trump's supporters are much more inclined to base their support on emotions.

Of course the most widely covered so-called “consumer advocate” by the media is Elizabeth Warren but she probably has the greatest cult following of any Democrat as I explained in numerous posts including Elizabeth Warren is a charismatic propagandist not the Messiah and Elizabeth Warren steals credit from real grass roots efforts.

If this isn't a system that created cult followers that blindly accept the lies of their leaders it is way to damn close. As long as the most important decisions are based on lies, whoever controls the lies can control the public. Until we get Election Reform and Media Reform (Alternative Media is an Absolute Necessity!!) that enables the public to get a better education and more accurate information about all the eligible candidates then we won't have a Democracy; instead we'll continue having a Plutocracy disguised as Democracy with the establishment manufacturing cult leaders.

Additional related articles:

The Cult of Donald Trump 09/16/2015 Poke even gently at a supporter of Donald Trump’s and he will scoff at you as if you were a moron. “You just don’t get it, do you,” he will sneer. “You don’t understand. We are just sending a message. The GOP Establishment has let us down. This is a revolt.”

As it happens, Trump’s critics do grasp the appeal. What they do not do, however, is act upon it in this manner. The temptation to deliver a bloody nose to one’s ideological enemies is a human and comprehensible one, by no means limited in its allure to the disgruntled part of the Republican primary electorate. But temptation and reasonable conduct are two separate things entirely, and they should always be treated as such. Can one understand the instinct that is on display? Sure. Can one look beneath the surface and do anything other than despair? I’m afraid not. Such as they are, the explanations provided by Trump’s discordant choir are entirely risible and easily dismantled. Great, you’re annoyed! But then what?

Armed Christian Militia Promises To Prevent Arrest Of Kim Davis 09/11/2015

Report: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis Terrorized Staff 09/04/2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Misrepresenting and Stereotyping Black Lives Matter while ignoring solutions

The media has been having a field day with the video of Black Lives Matter protesters chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” using it to demonize the protest movement without putting it in it's full perspective. They have done little or nothing to report on the root causes of crime and how to prevent it nor have they done much if anything to try to understand why they might have been so angry with police. There have been numerous stories about police brutality and shootings coming out one after another and thanks to grass roots efforts they're finally getting more attention, even in the traditional media that is beginning to realize that if they continue ignoring it they will lose their audience to alternative media outlets.

They have even criticized the protesters for chanting this while the police were protecting them, or so the media and conservative critics say, over and over again. The police are, of course supposed to protect citizens as part of their job description; however the way they protect them is based on laws that provide an enormous amount of preferential treatment to one segment of society, primarily campaign contributors, at the expense of the rest of society, especially the poorest, including minorities, which often get the least protection and are subject to the worst economic inequality.

Even if the media does spread enormous amounts of propaganda about the police protecting people equally those that are routinely targeted by the police instead of being protected by them know it isn't true.

This isn't limited to police shootings. When there are protests about the destruction of the environment, even when there is evidence that corporations are profiting off of pollution that kills thousands, instead of preventing the environmental destruction they arrest the protesters. When they ship jobs overseas to suppress wages and there are protests instead of addressing legitimate concerns they arrest protests. When there are protests about outrageous and abusive labor practices, instead of addressing legitimate concerns they arrest protesters.

One example after another where poor are not receiving nearly as much protection as the propaganda indicates and the police, even good ones that intended to protect people equally, are being used to enforce a rigged system. what receives little attention in the media is that some of the good police do speak out in favor of reform although they aren't nearly as outspoken of the Black Lives Matter movement because they face retaliation from a political system that caters to campaign contributors.

If the public understood this then it would be understandable that people who live with this all their lives might get angry. Unfortunately the media is ignoring an enormous amount of background information they rarely cover at all.

They're also latching onto a couple of the highest profile shootings of police and glorifying them without trying to find out the most effective way to prevent shootings of both police and citizens, including black lives which are disproportionately targeted. The rhetoric coming from the media strongly implies that there is a shocking increase in shootings of police, perhaps even an epidemic. This conclusion is based on a very narrow look at statistics while ignoring the vast majority of historical shootings of police. They only compared shootings for 2014 and 2013 and found an increase.

In a previous post, The threat to police is greatly exaggerated I checked the statistics and found that 2013 had the lowest number of shootings of police in more than sixty years and if you look closer on a per capita basis it was about as low as it has ever been. In order to find statistics that are even close you have to go back to the Civil War era and even then they weren't much if any lower per capita. The highest rates by number were in the 1920s and 1970s; however per capita the 1920s were much worse since the population was much lower then.

For a long time I didn't see the media mention these statistics at all, while covering selective statistics that made it seem like a dramatic increase compared to 2013; however recently they did briefly mention some of these statistics. They didn't repeat them often though and the propaganda making it seem like a dramatic increase continues to be repeated over and over again drowning out the more accurate statistics that only a few pay attention to. The increased threat to police is a media creation; however, by refusing to report on the root causes so they can be prevented, it is conceivable that the threat could become real.

Not that I think it isn't still a problem and that there is a chance at reversing this trend but misrepresenting the history and refusing to look at why the figures have been going down and what other causes could be causing it to reverse, at least temporarily. Looking at the numbers raises the question about whether the bigger increase might be the rhetoric from the media not actual shootings. If they did a better job reporting on root causes and decisions were made on that it is virtually guaranteed that more could be done to keep the numbers going down for both shootings of police and shootings by police, even more.

We don't actually have as thorough records for people killed by police since the government hasn't been tracking it very well, if at all; and it is only recently that grassroots efforts have done a much better job, which might give the impression that police killing are on the rise. However without thorough data from past decades there is no way of knowing whether it is rising or not.

Regardless of the past statistics there is enough evidence to educate the public about contributing causes of crime and how to prevent them. If the media did a better job educating the public and the political establishment used this evidence to make decisions then there should be no doubt that shootings of police and by police can be dramatically reduced, in additional to other murders and violent crime. I did a series of posts about Contributing causes to crime and how to prevent them over the past several years that explored these including Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows and Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit. these include rough statistical reviews of my own, which aren't peer reviewed however they also include additional studies that have and they come to similar conclusions.

Unfortunately this research doesn't fit in a thirty second sound bite or on a bumper sticker. If we had a credible media instead of appealing to emotion with propaganda they would take the time to explain things, at least to those willing to listen; and there are a lot more of them than the media implies; not only that if they provided good education the number of people willing to listen would almost certainly increase dramatically. Instead they use infotainment to increase ratings and sell deceptive ads for maximum profit regardless of the best interests of the public.

Instead they use reporting on this as entertainment like Brooke Baldwin interview where she confronts a representative of the Black Lives Matter movement from Minnesota with an accusatory tone as if the video of this chant is all there is to it in #BlackLivesMatter Organizer, Ex-DEA Agent Clash on CNN Over ‘Pigs in a Blanket’ Chant. (08/31/2015) It is difficult if not impossible to explain all the details behind it in the short time they allow for any given segment, especially when it is set up to be a one way interview; however after the initial shock Rashad Turner managed to get a few points in about how this doesn't reflect the whole movement and that much much more black people were arrested than whites even though they're the minority and that they're more likely to be killed by police. he was more respectful than the ex-DEA Agent who seemed much more confrontational.

There didn't seem to be nearly as much concern with the rhetoric that David Katz came out with accusing the shooter in Texas of being racist and implying that it was incited by the Black Lives Matter movement. As far as I know they don't have evidence to indicate that and he even admitted that it was to early in the investigation to determine that, saying that if people from the Black Lives Matter movement accuse police of being racist that he should be able to accuse the shooter of being a racist.

Another Sheriff from managed to come up with rhetoric that was much worse, yet the media didn't pounce on this nearly as much. According to #BlackLivesMatter New Chant: ‘Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon!’ Watch Sheriff Clarke PUNCH BACK! (09/01/2015) Sheriff David Clarke said, “I’m tired of hearing people call these people black activists, they’re not activists, this is black SLIME, and it needs to be ERADICATED from the American society and the American culture.” and he added, “I need every law abiding person in the United States of America to stand up and start pushing back against this slimeness, this filth, that’s disparaging the American law enforcement officer within these communities … demand these organizations get out of their town, there’s no room for it!”

He did absolutely nothing to try to figure out the root causes of crime that leads up to escalating conflict with the public; nor did he make any attempt to figure out whether any of the protesters had any legitimate complaints that should be addressed. Instead he is advising that the critics of the police abandon their first amendment rights and assume that authorities are always right in spite of the enormous amount of cases of police brutalities that keep coming out, even while there are a much smaller number of police being shot that the media is focusing on.

This rhetoric without addressing many of the contributing causes should be considered as antagonistic as the chant by the protesters. It is hard to imagine how they can consider one of them antagonistic without the other. According to the Wikipedia article about David A. Clarke, Jr he has a history of authoritarian views that aren't supported by research, including "a series of public radio ads that said citizens could no longer rely on the police for timely protection and should arm themselves." If more efforts were made to address the root causes in the studies cited above then the police would be much more able to respond to crime as it happens, since there would be much less of it.

One of the studies that I did indicated that states with better gun control have lower murder rates and it like the other studies it is backed up with peer reviewed studies that support this. In the interview that he did with Piers Morgan at that time he was asked if he had any statistics to back up his claims he said, "I don't have those statistics, I don't think we need to go there, to be honest with you." Piers Morgan responded by saying "You haven't got a clue," but the media, including Morgan, has done little if anything to inform the public about the statistics which do indicate that states with reasonable gun control have lower murder rates, and especially lower suicide rates. Sheriff Clarke has been demonizing protesters and those that shoot police as if they were one and the same, while simultaneously advocating policies that make it easier for violent people to get guns that could be used to shoot police and ignoring all the problems with the police.

The crime rates from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Clarke is sheriff doesn't indicate that he has done the best job in the country handling crime, including murder. Murder rates and other violent crime have been going down across the country for years and when he first took office in 2002 that included Milwaukee, but it is much higher than most of the country including other big cities, rising back up to 17.3 murders in 2013 which is more than three times the national average.

It is even higher than most cities, which typically have higher murder rates, including even Phoenix Arizona which has one of the other most authoritarian Sheriff's in the country; they have a murder rate of 7.9, which is surprisingly low considering the tactics used by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. By comparison, in Madison, Wisconsin where they have much more progressive practices and David Couper was police chief for several decades before retiring they have a much lower rate, 2.1 per 100,000. David Couper (Blog, Improving Police) has dramatically different views on reform, unfortunately he hardly gets any coverage from the traditional media.

Perhaps practical solutions that might reduce crime doesn't make good entertainment that sells ads for profit.

If so we need a media that is more concerned about educating the public then making profits at the expense of the majority with their propaganda.

What is happening in the media is almost entirely propaganda instead of providing the public with the information they need to make decisions. They present the chant as if it was typical of the movement but expect us to believe that when the police get caught doing something outrageous it is a rare isolated incident. It would be just as justifiable to present a story about an Officer who shot his own patrol car, Massachusetts police say 09/04/2015 as being typical of police as it is of claiming that all Black Lives Matter protesters are calling for the shooting of police.

If police were targeted as badly as Black people they not only would call for the shooting of those that target them but already are. There has been plenty of rhetoric from police claiming that they should have more latitude to use force against people without addressing legitimate concerns and a lot of it comes from David Clarke including recent efforts to label Black Lives Matter as A 'Murder' Movement, or 'Hate Group.' (09/07/2015)

If they thought things through then they might realize that troubled people might be more enraged by the rhetoric of the police that refuse to address legitimate concerns than the people in St. Paul that hardly anyone would have known about if the media hadn't turned it into the obsession du jour. If they're so concerned about this rhetoric inciting violence why would they do that? If these troubled people saw honest efforts to address root causes of crime instead of spreading enormous amounts of propaganda they might be much more likely to reconsider extreme measures.

Edit: Since I posted this there have been growing doubts about the investigation of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's murder. According to a Washington Post story, Coroner: Illinois police officer killed by single gunshot, (09/09/2015) the coroner "said Wednesday that he can’t yet rule whether the death was a homicide, suicide or accident." Several other reports have also raised doubts about the investigation including a CNN report that said they can't rule out "homicide, suicide or undetermined. They also said that there has been no corroboration of the report called in by Lt. Joe Gliniewicz about two white men and a black man. They claimed that people fitting this description were interviewed and released and are no longer people of interest.

I first heard about this possibility a few days after it happened from Fox News in what sounded like wild speculation, which is common in traditional media now, especially at Fox. They reported on the incident that happened about the same time in Massachusetts where a Mills police officer shot his own cruiser, then reported an update about the Illinois officer who was shot and speculated about the possibility that he might have also faked it and even committed suicide. It sounded like wild speculation at the time; and if he didn't have additional information that he wasn't reporting to come to this conclusion it was. Now, however, it is beginning to sound like a possibility and the reports on this seem increasingly questionable.

For additional information see, 'Single Devastating Gunshot Wound' Killed Fox Lake Police Lieutenant: Coroner 09/09/2015 “This whole thing is getting a little sticky as far as the cause and manner of death,” Lake County Coroner Thomas A. Rudd. One of the comments in this article says that his wife worked as a dispatcher and that standard operating procedure was that he would give a plate number before pursuit and most reports say he was a by the book cop. If this is true them most police can confirm this procedure. Also if it was a planned suicide as some people are now beginning to speculate about, a rural area would be the most likely place for him to get away with it.

Edit: no an Ex-Chicago Cop was charged with threatening officials in Fox Lake officer shooting case. 09/13/2015 One of the reports indicated that Joe Gliniewicz was shot in the torso in a manner that might have been extremely awkward. Many of these reports don't seem to have the best credibility but this investigation is beginning to look more suspicious.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wal-Mart Crime report August 2015

Walmart never seems to go a month without several shooting incidents including police shootings and usually SWAT stand-offs of some kind and this month is no exception. There were at least five or six gun related incidents including at least one SWAT stand-off and a manhunt that lasted at four hours. One of them started with petty theft and another ended in a suicide in a nearby business after the shoplifter fled Walmart.

They also had the usual number of bomb scares, which never seem to stop, and at least two arson's on their property, including one that was done by a transient that set propane tanks on fire and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. There are a lot of problems with transients around the country and Walmart attracts their share of them; however there is little or no discussion the the traditional media about how much this problem is increasing due to exporting of jobs and suppression of wages led by Walmart.

To find that discussion you have to sort through alternative media outlets which do a much better job, once you sort it out.

There was a knife fight between Walmart employees and one of their husbands; and another stab victim was dropped off at a separate Walmart. Another Walmart employee stole enough money left behind in a car to buy another car for himself.

A customer that went to Walmart for an oil change had to replace it when the technician got the gas stuck and wrecked it. The insurance company left her stranded for a while and it wasn't until the case received an enormous amount of media attention that they realized they had to pay for it or the whole world would know how they treat their customers. Actually this isn't the first time this has happened or something similar, there have been numerous incidents like including one about twenty years ago when their employee stole a truck and looted it. They refused to take responsibility until it received national attention and they threatened their victim with retaliation before he went to the press.

Another Walmart gave their customer a fake hundred dollar bill; and one of their customers that went to the customer complaint department started receiving harassing texts that included threats to see her after the individual gets off work. Apparently the disgruntled employees occasionally take things out on disgruntled customers.

Another one of their employees may be taking a higher ground and is running for Philadelphia Mayor; although it remains to be seen whether he will face retaliation for it since he doesn't seem to be pursuing the Walmart agenda.

They also had an incident where someone found Marijuana and turned it in to the lost and found.

My best guess is that the owner didn't come back to claim it.

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 un-investigaterd 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. For regular updates about events at Walmart through the month see Walmart Watch on twitter or check the Wal-Mart Wall; they have helped compile some of this information. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in August 2015. 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.

Jury: Kiester not guilty of groping girl in Flagstaff Ariz. Walmart 08/01/2015

Bomb threat evacuates Plymouth NH WalMart 08/02/2015

Breastfeeding mom says she was berated by Montreal Walmart employee 08/02/2015

Fatal police shooting in Ohio Wal-Mart under review 1 year later 08/02/2015

Woman charged with theft from NY Walmart 08/02/2015

63-Year-Old Walmart Employee Makes His Case For Philadelphia Pa. Mayor 08/0/2015

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday marks the deadline for Independent Candidates to file for this November’s General Election in Philadelphia. Among those stepping forward is a new entrant in the mayor’s race, representing the local Socialist party.

Members of the Socialist Party showed up at the city’s Board of Elections with their mayoral candidate, Osborne Hart, a 63-year-old overnight stock worker at a Walmart.

“Our campaign is a voice for working people, here in Philadelphia, the United States and for that matter, around the world,” Hart said.

Hart lives in Germantown and plans a vigorous campaign, despite the city’s overwhelming Democratic party majority. He was quick to weigh in on the Democratic candidate for mayor, Jim Kenney.

“He represents the interests of big business here in Philadelphia,” Hart said of Kenney. Complete article

Man Wanted For Ga. Walmart Child Molestation Incident Identified 08/03/2015

Bees swarm and sting construction crew outside Riverside Ca. Walmart 08/03/2015

Residents appeal WV Walmart decision 08/03/2015

Woman, 90, had purse snatched outside North Fort Myers Fla. Walmart 08/03/2015

Aurora Colorado Walmart evacuated due to bomb threat 08/03/2015

Man uses 15 fake 50s at St. Johns Fla. Wal-Mart 08/03/2015

Walmart, Amazon halt sales of toy guns in New York that look real 08/04/2015

Roseville Mich. Walmart evacuated after 2 packages found in bomb scare and unrelated incident with disgruntled former Walmart employee 08/04/2015

Rally planned on anniversary of Ohio Walmart shooting 08/04/2015

Wake Forest Police release photos of suspects in NC Wal-Mart theft 08/04/2015

A third person connected to a Bristow Okla. Walmart heist is behind bars 08/04/2015

Erwin man charged after exposing himself in a Tenn. Walmart parking lot 08/04/2015

Police investigating after 3 televisions taken from SC Wal-Mart 08/05/2015

Women accused of stealing $14K in iPhones from Titusville Fla. Walmart 08/05/2015

Sex offender lists Roseburg Oregon Walmart lot as home 08/05/2015

Surveillance video released of attempted armed robbery at Wisc. Walmart 08/05/2015

Beavercreek Ohio Walmart closes during two Crawford rallies 08/05/2015

I-Team Has Walmart, CVS And Target Looking For Answers 08/05/2015

Chandler police trying to identify Ariz. Wal-Mart robbery suspects 08/05/2015

Police searching for man who stuck phone under woman's dress at Belle Isle Okla. Walmart 08/06/2015

Trucker killed in accident at Paragould Ark. Walmart 08/06/2015

Police shut down meth trafficking in NC Walmart parking lot 08/06/2015

NH1 News Investigates Breast-Feeding Battle: Wal-Mart apologizes after refusing to print NH woman's photos 08/05/2015

A Tornado Has Swept Through a Wal-Mart in Alabama 08/07/2015

Police looking for man who swiped customer's $100 from Pa. Walmart self-checkout 08/07/2015

9 taken to hospital after Raleigh Walmart hazmat scare 08/07/2015

Seven hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning after evacuation of Avalon Park Fla. Walmart 08/0/2015

Construction was happening at Fla. Wal-Mart where 13 got sick 08/10/2015

Argument Leads to Woman Pulling Out Gun at Pine Bluff Ark. Walmart 08/08/2015

Wal-Mart contracts allow polygamous concrete companies to expand 08/0/2015

Phaze and Jack Daniel’s may have poured concrete on more than 80 Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs.

The Ford F-350 Super Duty rumbled down the two-lane road as it reached Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. It was 7:30 a.m. and the driver, Marvin Steed, was asleep.

Steed later told police he woke as the truck crashed and came to a stop in the middle of a fountain next to the campus' welcome center.

Neither Steed, his passenger nor anyone at the college was hurt.

According to the police report, Steed said he was working for Phaze Concrete — a construction company based in Hildale, Utah, home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

A Salt Lake Tribune investigation has found Phaze is a major financier of the FLDS Church. Former employees have said large portions of their pay were sent to the sect and that Phaze used underage employees, some of whom drove heavy machinery. Complete article

Gainesville woman faces attempted murder for Fla. Wal-Mart lot crash 08/10/2015

An alcohol-fueled argument Sunday afternoon at the east-side Wal-Mart culminated with a vehicle crash, an extrication, a woman facing attempted murder and a man recovering from a severed foot.

Sunday about 3:45 p.m., Jessica McLaurin Bulla, 47, and live-in boyfriend Richard Samuel Knight, 51, were embroiled in a heated screaming match in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 1800 NE 12th Ave. when she reportedly used her white Toyota Highlander to ram another vehicle that he was trying to enter.

Later, the Gainesville Police Department found Bulla about 2 1/2 miles away sitting in the passenger seat of the sport utility vehicle, where they said she was trying to stab herself with a pen. Complete article

Milwaukee man charged in Brown Deer Wisc. Walmart robbery 08/10/2015

Woman struck by vehicle outside Havelock NC Wal-Mart 08/10/2015

Train trestle behind Sherwood Oregon Wal-Mart burning, businesses evacuated 08/10/2015

Part of church could become part of Tx. Walmart 08/10/2015

Tracy Morgan Crash Blamed on Truck Driver Fatigue, NTSB Says 08/11/2015

Conn. Wal-Mart Employee Stabbed During Fight With Coworker, Husband 08/11/2015

A Wal-Mart employee was stabbed in the chest during a fight with a coworker and her husband while at the Hamden store Tuesday, according to police.

Police said the victim, a 27-year-old New Haven resident, got into an argument with the married couple while inside the store early Tuesday morning.

The coworker and her husband attacked the victim as he was leaving the store, stabbing him in the chest, according to police. Complete article

Two People, one armed with a knife Charged in Fort Dodge Iowa Walmart Robbery 08/11/2015

Woman uses SUV in Colorado Walmart parking lot assault 08/11/2015

Waterville police charge alleged Wal-Mart shoplifter, find items stolen from Augusta Me. store 08/11/2015

Police: Man punched, kicked woman in Pa. Wal-Mart parking lot 08/11/2015

Former ND Walmart employees accused of theft 08/12/2015

Body found near Walmart in west Nashville Tenn. 08/12/2015

Woman says she received harassing texts after argument with Ga. Walmart customer service 08/12/2015

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A woman said she received harassing text messages after calling customer service at the Wrightsboro Road Walmart.

She said after complaining to an employee about being on hold, she received a string of threatening messages.

She's worked in customer service for years and admits she was critical of the employee, but never expected what was going to happen next.

"That second text message, to me, was a threat," the customer said. "I started getting text messages basically telling me she clocks out at 10 o'clock at night." Complete article

Over $14,500 worth of iPhones stolen from Virginia Beach Walmart 08/12/2015

Arrest made in Dumfries Virginia Walmart sex assault 08/12/2015

65 year old Woman arrested in Sand Springs Okla. Walmart theft 08/12/2015

3 Found With $15,000 in Counterfeit Cash at Waterford Conn. Wal-Mart: Cops 08/12/2015

NC Walmart gives customer fake money 08/12/2015

HILLSBOROUGH, NC (WTVD) -- When someone hands you money, how do you know if it's real or counterfeit, especially when you get it from a business?

Billie Ann Andrews went to the Hillsborough Walmart to get diapers and wipes for her grandchild. At the checkout, she paid with her debit card and asked for $100 cash back.

"He gave it to me as a $100 bill, "Billie Ann said. "I almost had him change it because I needed the twenties, but he had closed the door so I thought, never mind."

Billie Ann said she never thought anything about the $100 bill until she tried to use it.

"I went to Efland supermarket that night to buy some things," she said. "They ran the little pen on it, and it came up counterfeit." Complete article

Bank at Killian Road SC Walmart Robbed 08/12/2015

Wal-Mart Truck Overturns, Falls Into River: New York Police 08/12/2015

Police: Man shoots self after Ind. Wal-Mart shoplifting 08/13/2015

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — A man shot himself Thursday after police chased him following a shoplifting incident at the Beech Grove Wal-Mart, police officials confirm.

Police were chasing the man in the area of Emerson Avenue and Eleanor Street around 11 a.m.

The incident began with two people, identified as Gillace Samples and Johnny Maxey, accused of shoplifting from the Wal-Mart in Beech Grove. They were taken to the Wal-Mart office and one person ran. Police were called and officers realized the suspect was armed.

Police say Samples ran into the Egg Roll #1 restaurant. The owner tried to kick him out while a waitress went outside to get police. Officers went inside the restaurant and man the shot himself in the head while in the bathroom. Complete article

Beech Grove Ind. mayor declares Wal-Mart public nuisance 08/14/2015 The latest news from the store came yesterday when police say an off-duty deputy was working security at the Wal-Mart when he approached two men who were suspected of shoplifting. One man pulled out a gun and ran.

Niagara Falls woman in a wheelchair charged with NY Walmart shoplifting escapade 08/13/2015

Man Tried to Touch Women in Manassas Va. Walmart, Police Say 08/13/2015

Okla. Walmart employee accused of stealing money, buying car with it 08/13/2015

A local Walmart employee has bonded out of jail after police said he stole thousands of dollars from a customer.

Police said that Christopher Bricault allegedly took the stolen money and bought a car on his lunch break.

Bricault worked in the auto service department at the Walmart near 111th and Memorial.

A Walmart customer left $5,000 in cash sitting in his car’s center console when he took it to the store for a repair. When he came back to pick up the car, half the money was gone. Complete article

Man attacked at Rotterdam NY Walmart 08/13/2015

Police: Shots fired in Cedar City Utah Wal-Mart parking lot 08/13/2015

Woman spots her own stolen car outside Walmart in Colorado Springs 08/14/2015 Suspect taken into custody after attempting to pull a handgun out of his waistband.

Tenn. Walmart employee catches man touching himself in sock aisle 08/14/2015

Midlothian Woman Says Tx. Wal-Mart Wrecked Her SUV During Oil Change 08/14/2015

It’s a routine ritual for every car owner – getting the oil changed. But one Midlothian grandma’s oil change was anything but routine.

When Roberta Slayton took her car to Midlothan’s Wal-Mart Supercenter this week, she was told the oil change would take about 30 minutes.

"So I went into Wal-Mart,” said Slayton. “I was going to do some browsing and snacking, and I didn't get probably halfway in and they paged me. I thought. ‘OK, this is kind of weird.’”

When she got back to the bay, she saw her SUV smashed against the wall of Wal-Mart’s auto center. ....

But she said Wal-Mart rewarded her compassion by insisting that she pay to have her SUV towed.

"Their deal was 'get a hold of your insurance have somebody come tow it away,'” Slayton recalled. “And I said, ’I didn't do anything wrong. Why should I have to do that?’”

But a manager insisted she bear the expense of having her vehicle towed. And that’s not all. She said a representative from Claims Management, Inc., the casualty claims administrator for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., told her that the investigation of the incident would take two weeks and the company would not pay for a rental for Slayton. Complete article

Wal-Mart Offers Woman $3,200 After Totaling Her Car 08/28/2015

.... Roberta Slayton, of Midlothian, said the retail chain's insurer is offering $3,200, the estimated value of her 1998 Ford Expedition, plus fees for a rental car. But Slayton said she can't replace the vehicle for that amount. ....

And she said the amount the insurer offered also doesn't account for the money she's lost while she's been without a vehicle. Slayton owns a small floral company in Midlothian called Flowers by Roberta. She uses her SUV for deliveries.

Wal-Mart, North Texas Woman Settle Over Wrecked SUV 08/31/2015

There have been numerous incidents like this over the years, one of the most famous ones happened twenty years ago and was reported by Mike Ryoko Truck Stolen, Stripped, But Still Gets Owner Runaround. 12/13/1995 The article said an angry Walmart employee "warned me that I could be held liable for anything bad I said against Wal-Mart." He got the run around even worse than she did and this has proven to be a pattern. Only after it is reported they make amends then the media stops reporting on it and doesn't compile a list of similar incidents.

Gentilly La. Walmart reopens after gunman walks into store, SWAT team called in 08/15/2015

NEW ORLEANS —Several people were evacuated Saturday morning after a person with a gun walked into a Walmart in Gentilly, police said.

New Orleans police were notified of the armed robbery around 6 a.m. at the store in the 4300 block of Chef Menteur Highway.

Officials said an individual with a handgun walked into the store and several people inside ran out. Police made their way to the store and helped evacuate the people who were still inside, the New Orleans Police Department said.

Shortly afterward, the SWAT team arrived and began searching the store for the suspect, who was not found. No one was injured and no shots were fired. Complete article

Police Looking for Man Who Brought Gun to New Orleans Wal-Mart 08/16/2015

Woman loses track of purse after falling in NY Super Walmart 08/16/2015

Deputies: Poinciana Fla. Walmart robbed at gunpoint 08/16/2015

Walmart cuts outlook as profit drops, misses estimates 08/18/2015

Wal-Mart's 2Q Earnings Report a Mixed Bag 08/17/2015 It also reported a 15.1 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Whether it’s theft or inventory management, Wal-Mart’s struggling with ‘shrinkage’ 08/18/2015

One of the biggest problems Wal-Mart Stores itself identified in its latest profit warning was what it calls “shrinkage.”

Greg Foran, president and CEO for Wal-Mart U.S. said on the earnings call that “accelerating pressures in shrink” were one of three major factors that contributed to the company’s underperformance. The others were an overall decline in gross margin, and in particular, lower than expected pharmacy reimbursements. But its goal to reduce overall inventory balances may be contributing to its problem of “disappearing” inventory.

Despite media reports beginning in 2013 of store “out-of-stock” situations, the company’s stated goal has been to grow inventory less than sales. That goal has now been accomplished. Total inventory grew 2.2% in the second quarter, which is slower than the 4.8% sales growth that unit reported, and comparable-store inventories fell by 2.4% compared to the 1.5% sales growth. Complete article

Wal-Mart losses may be funny accounting, not sticky fingers 08/20/2015

Police search for man accused of robbing two people at Wal-Mart 08/17/2015

Transformer explosion temporarily closes St. Augustine Fla. Walmart 08/18/2015

Jackson Miss. Police Dept. : Woman shoots boyfriends vehicle at Walmart 08/18/2015

Police: Couple left kids in hot car outside Oswego County NY Wal-Mart 08/18/2015

Man accused of inappropriately touching child in North Augusta SC Walmart 08/19/2015

Onslow County Sheriff's Office identifies NC Walmart break-in suspect 08/18/2015

Man reportedly steals from Tx. Wal-Mart, is found hiding in cooler 08/18/2015

Suspect robs bank inside Thomasville NC Walmart 08/18/2015

Iowa Man Arrested For Drugs In Walmart Parking Lot 08/17/2015

Marijuana turned in to Murfreesboro Walmart lost and found 08/19/2015

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bag of marijuana was turned in to a Rutherford County Walmart loss prevention unit on Monday. ....

The bag of marijuana was placed into Murfreesboro Police Department property. Complete article Dozens if not thousands of people reading this story are wondering if the police that took it into their custody smoked it or sold it.

Police: Man tried to steal 30 fishing lures in his socks at Iowa Walmart 08/19/2015

Police: Man Pulls Knife While Shoplifting Colorado Walmart 08/19/2015

Columbus Ga. Walmart evacuated after meat freezer catches fire 08/19/2015

Man steals almost $1,000 in infant formula from Tampa Fla. Walmart 08/19/2015

Police: Man leaves Mich. Walmart with $412 in baby formula 08/20/2015

Newton man charged in string of NC Walmart thefts 08/20/2015

2 dead after 5 separate shootings, including one non-fatal at Wal-Mart in Indianapolis Ind. 08/20/2015

Child left behind, but not stolen merchandise, at Peoria Ill. Walmart 08/20/2015

PEORIA — Three people left a local Walmart Supercenter with stolen merchandise but without a small child one allegedly dropped while fleeing the store.

Police confirmed Thursday that a small child appeared uninjured after an evaluation in the store’s parking lot, 8915 N. Allen Road.

Peoria police public information Officer Amy Dotson said officers were called to the store at 12:44 p.m. on suspicion of retail theft. While officers were en route, employees informed dispatchers that a child had been dropped. Complete article

Impostor attempts to shame panhandler at Brunswick Me. Walmart 08/21/2015

Serial Ga. Wal-Mart shoplifter asked ex to send her drugs in birthday card while in Bibb jail 08/21/2015

Should Wal-Mart step in during disaster recovery? 08/21/2015

Three men suspected in quick change scheme at Va. Walmart 08/21/2015

Man arrested for taking 'upskirt' photos at Dalton Ga. Walmart 08/21/2015

Fla. Walmart signs off on preventing car tragedies 08/21/2015

Man Fatally Shot By State Trooper Outside North East Md. Wal-Mart 08/22/2015

NORTH EAST, Md. (WJZ)—A man shot and killed by a Maryland State trooper in Cecil County Friday night has been identified.

It happened in the Walmart parking lot in Northeast Plaza around 9:00 p.m.

Police say 30-year-old Charles Hall, of North East, was resisting arrest on an outstanding warrant when he was shot. Complete article

NY Walmart at Crossgates Common closed for power outage 08/22/2015

Lubbock Tx. police ID man, release video showing officer use 'less-lethal' force in Wal-Mart attack (VIDEO) 08/22/2015

Officers used “less-lethal” munitions Saturday morning to arrest a man accused of attacking two Wal-Mart employees in Lubbock.

The Lubbock Police Department released two in-car videos Saturday afternoon that show the man waving a baseball bat and wielding a large knife as officers try to apprehend him.

The suspect, 50-year-old Martin Salazar Hernandez, was hospitalized in stable condition Saturday afternoon after one of the “beanbag” rounds appeared to deflect off of his left arm and strike him above his left eye, said LPD Assistant Chief Greg Stevens. Complete article

Fla. Walmart cashier accused of keeping customer's phone 08/23/2015

Bear cub spotted near Parker Colorado Walmart 08/23/2015

Oklahoma and Alabama among top U.S. states where people spend the most money at Wal-Mart 08/24/2015 1.Oklahoma, South Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota and 10.Tennessee

Four men arrested after off-duty officer witnesses them steal from Tx. Wal-Mart 08/24/2015

Police use Taser on man who fled after meth deal at Storm Lake Walmart 08/24/2015

Gunman wearing a Wal-Mart vest robs Northside Fla. Wal-Mart at gunpoint, tosses some cash back before making getaway 08/24/2015 telling them to “keep it for themselves.”

Man stabbed outside North Fort Myers Fla. Walmart 08/24/2015

Police seek help in attempted purse-snatching at Owings Mills Md. Walmart 08/25/2015

Unlicensed workers discovered at Littleton NH Walmart construction site 08/25/2015

Troopers: Men Took Computers, Crossbow from Pa. Wal-Mart 08/25/2015

5 Fla. Walmart employees arrested for thefts 08/26/2015

Man used card scanner at Lake Wylie NC Walmart, sheriff’s office says 08/26/2015

Police looking for Ohio Walmart theft suspect 08/26/2015

Walmart Says It's Pulling Semi-Automatic Rifles — Due to Poor Sales 08/26/2015

Walmart shoplifting under $40 ends in Central Point standoff 08/26/2015

A shoplifting and robbery at the north Medford Walmart Wednesday afternoon led police officers to a brief standoff at an apartment complex in Central Point.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said police took a report around 2 p.m. of a shoplift in progress at the store. Budreau said a man, identified as Allen Shane Ledbetter, 25, and a woman were caught shoplifting by store employees. Budreau said the pair resisted attempts to detain them and knocked one store employee unconscious. Budreau said Ledbetter apparently has a martial arts background and that the struggle ultimately injured two more people.

Budreau said that although the case will end with Ledbetter and the woman facing felony assault and robbery charges, along with theft, the original items shoplifted totaled less than $40.

"It was $39 in bras, paint and some screws," he said. Complete article

Person shot near Glendale Ariz. Walmart, police say 08/26/2015

Two arrested in Okla. Walmart larceny 08/27/2015

Police: Surveillance photograph helps identify Ephrata Pa. Wal-Mart theft suspect 08/27/2015

Man Used Emergency Exit To Steal Walmart Merchandise, Tulsa Okla. Police Say 08/27/2015

12-year-old girl reports sexual assault in Manassas Va. Walmart store 08/27/2015

Aurora Girls Ran Into Ill. Walmart To Avoid Abduction: Police 08/27/2015

Man dies weeks after being injured at a Fort Worth Tx. Wal-Mart in June 08/27/2015

Wife determined to find husband's attackers in fatal Tx. Walmart beating 08/28/2015

Iowa Walmart refuses to print woman’s breastfeeding photos 08/28/2015

Police say woman found getting high on canned air at Knasas Walmart 08/28/2015

Armed Robber sought in La Mesa Ca. Walmart heist 08/28/2015

Kansas Store clerk, Walmart customer testify at sexual assault hearing 08/28/2015

Hit and run fails: Two men assault Tx. Walmart employees in robbery attempt 08/28/2015

Transient accused of setting fire to propane tanks at Yucca Valley Ca. Walmart 08/28/2015

YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. - A Yucca Valley transient is suspected of setting the town's Walmart on fire overnight.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies arrested Dennis Lee Chance, 56, after firefighters from as far away as the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base were called to the Walmart on the 58500 block of Highway 62 at 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Burning propane tanks spread flames to the store and employees were evacuated. Damage is estimated to be between $100,000 to $200,000, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. ....

Officers said he poured gasoline from a local gas station onto the propane tank cage, then set it ablaze. Complete article

Customers not surprised by arson at Yucca Valley Walmart 08/28/2015 "I wasn't shocked at all really, it's Walmart. Crazy things happen at Walmart all the time," said Natasha Francis who lives in Yucca Valley.

Judge finds man insane in knife attack on Ind. Wal-Mart manager 08/28/2015 Authorities say Patterson became agitated while completing a job application last November and cut the manager on the chest, arm and wrist.

Arson Suspect Arrested in Nevada Walmart Car Fire 08/28/2015

RENO, NV - One man is charged with arson in connection with a car fire Thursday morning in Reno.

Firefighters responding to a report of someone spraying lighter fluid into a car and setting it on fire found the Lincoln sedan fully engulfed in the parking lot of the Walmart at Kietzke and McCarran August 27, 2015. They had the flames out within minutes, but smoke could be seen from much of Reno. Complete article

Driver found stabbed after crashing car in Walmart parking lot in northwest Harris County Tx. 08/28/2015

Woman dumps kittens in Okla. Walmart lobby 08/28/2015

Thomasville man faces robbery charge after NC Wal-Mart incident 08/29/2015

Half-clothed man fires shots at LaGrange Ga. Wal-Mart 08/29/2015

Police: Man struck employee while stealing TV from Oneida NY Walmart 08/29/2015

Armed robbery at Piqua Ohio Walmart 08/30/2015

Suspect in custody following hours-long manhunt

PIQUA — Robert Riddle, of Piqua, is in custody following an armed robbery and manhunt that lasted for nearly four hours on Saturday.

Police were called to the parking lot at Walmart on East Ash Street just before 3 p.m. on the report of an armed robbery.

Within 30 minutes, officers working on leads in the case received information that their suspect was at a local trailer park. Police and deputies responded to Paris Court at 10220 North County Road 25-A, Trailer 18, and located Riddle. After speaking with Riddle, he was taken into custody and transported the Piqua Police Department for questioning. .....

Piqua police requested air search assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who dispatched a helicopter from Columbus. The helicopter crew used Forward Look Infrared Radar (FLIR) to search the Walmart area and Willowbrook, as well as the area north to the Paris Court Trailer Park, where information on the robbery was leading police to believe that a suspect may be located. Complete article

Blue Bell returning to Wal-Mart store shelves 08/31/2015 It was previously removed due to a possible connection to an outbreak of listeriosis which isn't even mentioned in this article about it's return.

Walmart Joins List Of Retailers Removing All Blue Bell Ice Cream Products From Shelves 04/07/2015

Partial list of Walmart Product Recalls which doesn't include Blue Bell implying they might not notify people any more than regulation require.

Woman banned from NY Walmart who allegedly stole merchandise valued at $25 faces felony charge 08/31/2015

SC Walmart employee accused of stealing from register 08/31/2015

Forbes: Walmart's Worker Hours Cut Shows It Is Caught In A Classic Retailer Trap 08/31/2015

Woman struck in Colorado Springs Walmart crosswalk has died 08/31/2015

Convenient To Buy A Gun At Wal-Mart, But Not In Chicago 08/31/2015

Two Men Who Robbed Tx. Walmart At Gunpoint Still At Large 08/31/2015

One Year of Jail for Theft of TV from Wisc. Walmart 08/31/2015

Federalsburg woman charged with theft from Md. Walmart 08/31/2015

Cedar Falls police seek help in Iowa Wal-Mart theft probe 08/31/2015

Johnson City, NY Police: Man banned from Walmart returned to steal beer 08/31/2015

Man attempts Tour of Italy in Fla. Walmart, gets caught 08/3/2015

No explosives found by Bomb squad in suspicious package at Laguna Niguel Ca. Walmart parking lot 08/28/2015

Reports: Shoplifter loots Tenn. Walmart for $3,000-plus 08/31/2015