Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eli Roth's "Fear Buried Alive" is a research project studying audience

Eli Roth's "Fear Buried Alive" claims to be a research project to study the reactions of the three people that they buried alive with their consent, presumably with peer review from other psychologists to ensure they abide by what they consider appropriate guidelines; however it is virtually guaranteed that there is another objective behind it; and the sociology and psychology community have a track record of studying people without full disclosure.

A large portion of the past research projects to study a large variety of situations including psychological manipulation has been published in locations that are available to the general public as well as the academic community; however the vast majority of the public doesn't know what to look for or where, nor do they have the time to sort through the details and find out how this could be, and is being used to manipulate people, creating political propaganda or psychological manipulation for advertising purposes, that often scam consumers.

A sample of the sources that describe many of the interlocking research projects that sociologists and psychologists do on people without full disclosure are listed below; and this isn't the first time Eli Roth has been involved in one of them which I reviewed previously in Eli Roth and Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments much more extensive than most people realize. Whether Eli Roth knows it or not the Obedience to Authority experiments were done with the support of the Office of Naval Research who have a motive to study the most effective ways to obtain obedience from their recruits, which is the opposite of what Milgram claimed he was trying to accomplish. The Office of Naval Research also directly funded Philip Zimbardo's so-called Stanford Prison Experiment which as I indicated in a previous post is part of a series of research experiments to study how to indoctrinate military recruits more effectively among other things.

Anyone who is familiar with all the research projects they come up with about how people react to different situation will almost certainly agree that even though it is technically possible for these psychologists to pass on an opportunity to study the reaction of the audience, there is no possibility that they will do so which indicates that one of the reasons for this show is almost certainly to use audience members as research subjects, although in a subtle, seemingly harmless manner. It is also possible that at least part of this show is fake, which has been common in some of the past research projects including the Obedience to Authority experiments. Some of the people including the person getting shocked in that experiment was actually in on the experiment, and there have been numerous other similar research projects that have done the same thing; so there is plenty of precedent for faking, or partly faking, the burials.

However my best guess is that to make it look as realistic as possible they probably didn't fake too much of it, although the people buried alive were almost certainly not given the impression that they would have a serious threat to their life including poisonous animals being dropped in their coffins.

That doesn't mean that the research being done was competent, or beneficial to the public, though. The vast majority of the best psychological research, that I know of, about a variety of subjects including how violence escalates, advertising to children, how media violence affects children and many other subjects don't involve experiments that have major ethical problems like this does, assuming people fully review how it is being used and why, which might not be likely soon.

Social research on the audience is almost certainly not limited to this show; it must be standard operating procedure and has been going on for years. So-called reality shows have dramatically escalated over the past two decades as they have cut funding for entertainment that is much higher quality and occasionally has some real educational content. Shows like MASH and All In The Family are ancient history and even though they have many more channels what they show is all very low quality, or to put it bluntly, it is crap.

One of the simple methods that the Obedience to Authority experiments might have enabled propagandists or other people trying to manipulate the public is that people are much more likely to stand up to unjust authority if they're not alone and others are also willing to stand with them. Experiments that were intended to study how people react when they see violent situations could also be used to shame people into acting in the way that is considered socially acceptable as indicated previously in Anti-violence social experiments could be part of a slippery slope; and there are many other ways these experiments can be used to study how to manipulate people.

The vast majority of the public spends very little time thinking about these things but sociologists and psychologists go through an enormous amount of research on the subject, including many that work for advertising agencies or political consultants. Ironically sometimes they admit that some of what they're doing can be used for manipulation purposes; however they rarely go into full details so those that don't look through the research might not suspect how thorough and effective it can be. On other occasion some of the people, like Philip Zimbardo, that expose some of these manipulation tactics simultaneously use them to attempt to manipulate people at the same time. Many of these tactics seem very subtle put advertisers and political consultants spend an enormous amount of time studying them; and it is hard to imagine why corporations or other special interests would pay big money for this research if it wasn't effective.

This means that either the manipulation tactics developed with the help of all these research projects are effective or corporations are wasting an enormous amount of money.

I will be going into more detail on this when I cover related subjects mentioned in Steven Pinker "The Better Angels of Our Nature" in a couple follow up posts. I ahve already covered more about how these manipulation tactics have been used in the past in numerous posts including the following:

Fundamentals of Psychology

Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment

Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association

Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize

Political Psychologist Are Suppressing Democracy

Human Research Subjects

Anti-violence social experiments could be part of a slippery slope

American Psychological Association exposed again

Manipulation Tactics

The following books describe an enormous amount of research projects that are similar; however since they have been written by people involved in the experiments a reasonable about of discretion is advised, they may not want to fully admit the negative impact their research might do:

Arthur Miller "The Social Psychology of Good and Evil" 2005

Steven Pinker "The Better Angels of Our Nature"

Stanley Milgram "Obedience to Authority" 1974

Philip Zimbardo, "Lucifer Effect" 2007

There ahve also been at least a couple more credible books covering ethics of research including psychological research including the following:

Harriet Washington “Medical Apartheid” PDF at Original People

Peter Singer "Practical Ethics" now in it's third edition

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Media Isn't Reporting On Trump Inciting Violence At Rallies!

Violence is starting to happen at Trump rallies on a semi-regular basis but there is no more than a token amount of news coverage about most incidents, which are treated as isolated. However there is good reason to believe that Trump's rhetoric is attracting racist people and encouraging them to participate in violence and cult-like activity.

(Edit: since this was posted there were additional violent responses to protests in Miami and Alabama among other places, some of which were added at the end of this article.)

On at least a couple of times even his security guards have been involved in it, yet there is little or no consideration of possible charges against them, and in one case they even claimed they were considering charges against one of their victims after he tried to retrieve a sign stolen by a security guard.

The most recent incident that I know of is when protesters interrupted a rally last week in Virginia:

Trump rally gives way to shoving, yelling amid Latino protests 10/15/2015

Richmond (United States) (AFP) - A presidential campaign rally for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump gave way to pushing and shoving as the billionaire's supporters clashed with a group of Latino student protesters.

Around a dozen students tried to interrupt Trump, who had just began his speech at a Richmond, Virginia rally, shouting "We're here to stay," and "Dump Trump."

Members of the crowd snatched their signs and began shoving, in an episode that lasted several minutes.

"Go back where you came from!" one supporter shouted.

At another point, a rally attendee spit in a protester's face Complete article

This was covered live on CNN and several other stations when it happened; however the details didn't come out until the next day. The live coverage didn't include any of the protests, instead it almost appeared as if there was an unexplained rant rooting for Donald Trump.

People that haven't been paying attention for a while might not know but this has been common practice when protesters speak out at a rally for a candidate. Someone who has probably been advised to watch for these protests starts a chant to drown out the protest then all the supporters of the candidate join in making it seem like there is a spontaneous chant supporting him. This enables them to prevent protesters from getting any attention or being heard and the security guards can come in and haul the protesters away. Then they can resume with loyal support.

Mitt Romney used this tactic often in 2012 and so have other candidates. This works very well in a crowd full of blind supporters who often have many characteristics of a cult.

There is rarely if ever any attempt to prosecute the supporters when they steal signs shove protesters and even spit on them.

Nor is it even widely reported. The vast majority of these incidents don't seem to get much if any coverage from the traditional media; and when they do report one of them they treat it like an isolated incident and quickly forget it. Think Progress is one of the alternative media outlets that does a much better job compiling information some of which is listed in an article citing this incident and providing a list of quite a few more with additional links in Trump Rally Turns Violent As His Supporters Push And Spit On Immigrant Advocates. 10/15/2015 The total number of incidents they list is probably over a dozen and since they don't have the resources to track them all there are probably many more that they haven't reported.

The traditional media has much more resources but they don't seem to even want to cover it. Instead they're providing a massive subsidy for the Trump campaign by giving him such an enormous amount of coverage for free. This clearly indicates that despite all the claims that he is an "anti-establishment" candidate he has enormous support from the establishment and that also means they're indirectly responsible for his incitement of violence.

One of the few incidents that they did cover, at least for a little while was when Trump's security guard stole a sign from a protester and even punched him when he tried to retrieve his own property at the beginning of September, but they didn't even consider the possibility that the guard should be charged with a crime.

Donald Trump's Bodyguard Hit a Protester in the Face After Taking His Hilarious "Make America Racist Again" Banner 10/1/2015

Like so many others in this country who are afflicted with the political handicap of intelligence, protester Efrain Galicia simply couldn't stand to see Donald Trump's oft-repeated slogan "Make America Great Again" again without making one small edit. Joining fellow protesters in New York near Trump Tower earlier this week, Galicia debuted his slogan remix via a handmade blue sign reading "Trump: Make America Racist Again."

However, Trump's bodyguards didn't share the same enthusiasm for Galicia's slogan suggestion. Keith Schiller, Trump's longtime bodyguard and security director, reportedly snatched Galicia's banner in disgust before being chased down by Galicia. While attempting to retrieve the banner, Galicia is violently hit in the face by Schiller before another guard joins the scuffle and reportedly places Galicia in a brief stranglehold. Complete article

I don't know whether the security guards or traditional media are aware but the first amendment is supposed to protect free speech in this country, not just for the wealthy, traditional media and political establishment but for everyone.

Many people may think that this kind of disruption might be annoying or rude but if they had equal opportunity to get their point across they would almost certainly be much less common. Over ninety if not ninety-five percent of the traditional media is now controlled by six conglomerates that don't allow many views to get any coverage at all; and the traditional political establishment also ignores the same views so it isn't surprising that those that want to raise important issues resort to disrupting events, which they wouldn't have to if they had other ways of getting their views across.

In most cases the protesters are less violent than the racists that Trump is inciting or his own security guards, who do more to disrupt security when they punch people trying to retrieve their own sign after security steals it, which they should be prosecuted for.

When Donald Trump failed to correct man who calls Obama Muslim (09/17/2015) the media made a big deal out of it, which is justified; but when something even more disruptive like shoving spitting stealing signs and racial slurs happen, sometimes by his own guards, they remain silent, most of the time.

However one of the exceptions was when Trump had Jorge Ramos thrown out of his news conference, and even then most of the media misrepresented it. One of the rare reports that did a better job covering it was the following:

At Donald Trump Event, Jorge Ramos of Univision Is Snubbed, Ejected and Debated 08/25/2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa – A journalist for the Spanish-language network Univision who asked Donald J. Trump about immigration was mocked by the candidate, then escorted out of a news conference here on Tuesday evening.

Jorge Ramos, an anchor for Univision news shows based in Miami, stood and began asking a question just as Mr. Trump recognized another reporter. “Excuse me, sit down. You weren’t called,” Mr. Trump told him. “Sit down. Sit down.”

Mr. Ramos asked Mr. Trump about his call to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and build a wall the length of the Mexican border.

“You haven’t been called, go back to Univision,” Mr. Trump said.

As security officers approached Mr. Ramos, a Mexican-American, he said: “I am a reporter. Don’t touch me. I have a right to ask the question.”

Mr. Trump was silent as Mr. Ramos, an Emmy-winning journalist who was on the cover of Time magazine’s World’s Most Influential People issue, was removed from the room. Several other journalists asked Mr. Trump why he refused to take questions from Mr. Ramos. The billionaire real estate investor, who is leading in Republican polls for the presidential nomination, said it was because he had asked a question without being called on. Complete article

The vast majority of the coverage never mentioned that Trump only allowed him to return after other reporters started asking why he wouldn't take his questions. Instead many of them implied he allowed him back to be a good sport or something like that, not that he did so only reluctantly.

Another major problem that wasn't even discussed is that Donald Trump is essentially a job applicant asking the American people for a job as the leader of their country.

Why should this job applicant have authoritarian control over who gets to attend the press conference and ask questions? If any other job applicant, from a dishwasher to high paid computer programmer or doctor acted that way would they be seriously considered for the job?

This outrageous behavior from a job applicant and those working for him shouldn't be accepted under any circumstances especially the most important job in the country yet only political jobs where the public are expected to vote on who is hired accepts this.

In a Democracy this might not be quite as simple since millions of people vote for the person who gets the job but the next best thing would be if the media or some other institution accountable to the public controls the interview process. That's not the situation we have now the consolidated media isn't accountable to the public and they do an awful job. When a reporter actually does better than most then he is treated like this.

Unfortunately many Americans were raised from birth, as I explained previously in Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine to blindly follow their leaders in a cult-like manner and this also leads to escalating violence as also indicated in the following article:

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? Complete article

This article does a fairly good job describing the characteristics of Donald Trump's cult-like supporters but it does little to explain how they became that way. I attempted to explain that more in the previous post about James Dobson and in Cause and Effect of Hatred where I attempted to explain that adult behavior is established in early childhood and if nothing is done to correct early abuse then it could lead to indoctrination bigotry and violence instead of developing critical thinking skills that enable them to tell the difference between those that are raising legitimate issues and incredibly obvious con artists.

Donald Trump is the most obvious con artist the media has ever provided this much coverage for in a presidential election; this seems far more like a satire or reality TV show than a serious campaign, as even Jeb Bush points out. However this isn't new, George W. Bush's campaign and many others in recent history also seem like incredibly obvious satires.

Jeb Bush, or should I say John Ellis Bush, which is his real name, is probably more upset that he's losing to an even greater satire than his own family than he is he is concerned about the campaign turning into a reality TV show, which he approves when it benefits his family.

The more appropriate use of the JEB acronym should almost certainly be Just Elect Bernie, this year but that is besides the point.

The Think Progress article cited previously points out some similarity between the activities at Trump rallies and when "xenophobic rhetoric" was present "when right-wing extremism emerged in eastern Germany," or for that matter when Hitler was rising to power, although Donald Trump is no Adolf Hitler and it is virtually out of the question that it would escalate to that level. However Donald Trump is adopting many of the characteristics that enabled Hitler's rise. Fortunately, as I explained in previous posts, a major part of the cause of escalating violence is child abuse and corporal punishment leading to escalating violence and support for authoritarian tyrants like Hitler; and since changes in child rearing often associated with Benjamin Spock or other child rearing experts violence has dropped dramatically and the percentage of the public likely to fall for this rhetoric has also dropped.

The media has reported little or none of the psychology behind this; and it may be because they're providing an enormous amount of propaganda to manipulate the public themselves. Whether they understand it or not by providing an enormous amount of coverage making it seem like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the inevitable front runners they set the stage so that Hillary Clinton could be the new lesser of two evils and more rational people might not dare to allow a fanatic like Donald Trump to get elected enabling the media to rig another election, regardless of how much damage this does to society when they do this every four years and economic, environmental and social destruction continues to escalate for all but the wealthy who appear out of touch with reality.

Edit: the following incidents happened since this was first posted.

Yet Another Person of Color Violently Ejected From Donald Trump Rally in Alabama 11/22/2015

Trump on Alabama rally protester: ‘Maybe he should have been roughed up’ 11/22/2015

Trump rallies get rough: Protesters and supporters increasingly mix it up in the most combustible atmosphere on the campaign trail. 11/24/2015

Rival campaign, protesters gear up as Trump hits Ohio 11/23/2015

Video Shows Immigration Protester Dragged Across The Ground And Kicked At Trump Rally 11/2/2015

Donald Trump delivers classic Donald Trump speech in Worcester Mass. faces protesters 11/18/2015

These are almost certainly only a fraction of the problems at Trump rallies, since the people with the most resources to report them most effectively don't seem to want to do a good job and those that do don't have the resources. Also at least a couple of the ones I reported were more extensive then these articles indicate. Both the incidents in Ohio and Massachusetts were also reported on TV and showed more vigorous protests and attempts to throw them out. They weren't as violent as some of the others but in the case of Ohio they showed some very angry older men shouting that looked like they might on the verge of striking out violently.

It is hard to imagine why these people would be so angry at people protesting his obviously racist comments or why they feel they can trust a man who has a long history of participating in gambling scams among many other scams. Fortunately there is no chance that he can win without extreme cheating sicne this support doesn't go beyond the Republican party and it is highly unlikely that he can get much more than 20% of minority voters or reach 50% of women voters in the general election since he is doing so much to alienate them.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Regardless of Polls Bernie Sanders Supports Blacks much better than Hillary Clinton

The media has been telling for quite a while that Hillary Clinton is winning the polls, among African Americans, against Bernie Sanders by wide margins.

I don't know how reliable these polls are; but I know that there is an enormous amount of evidence to show that Hillary Clinton and her husband have done a terrible job representing them and they're a major part of the reason for the massive incarceration of blacks and shipping jobs overseas among many other things.

Edit: Regrettably Bernie Sanders has conceded to Hillary Clinton and endorsed her; however that doesn't make Hillary Clinton's record any better and she' shown that like other politicians, including Barack Obama, once in office, she' cater to her campaign donors. However Jill Stein ahs demonstrated taht she's also much better than Hillary Clinton for minorities as well as the rest of us. The sooner we let them know we won't fall for the lesser of two evils the better and only then will the political establishment adress interests of the majority of the public regardless of race. Also with these two horendous candidates it is the best chance for an alternative candidate since Lincoln was the last one to win.

When Bill Clinton was president he spent a fair amount of time in black churches and buttered them up a lot and Hillary Clinton is following up with a lot of promises as well; but like everything else her history doesn't back it up at all.

Hillary Clinton has also been best friends with Alice Walton who continues to be one of her best supporters. She is, of course, one of the leading owners of Walmart which has been shipping jobs overseas as part of their efforts to drive wages down for the entire working class, including blacks. Her husband has been one of the leading supporters of globalization that also ships jobs overseas and corporate control of schools,often through Charter Schools but also by encouraging them to rely on corporate advertising which has been proven to interfere dramatically with education. This has impacted lowest income people including blacks the worst.

It should be incredibly obvious that businesses that want to expand and maximize their profits shouldn't be in charge of prison systems since they have a built in incentive to try not to reduce recidivism; but that doesn't seem to stop many of the Republican campaign contributors or Hillary's. The following two articles demonstrate just how terrible she and her husband have been on skyrocketing prison policies and privatization of the prisons:

Private Prison Lobbyists Are Top Fundraisers for Hillary Clinton 07/24/2015

Lobbyists for two major prison companies—Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group—are serving as top fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The implication is that laws governing crime and incarceration will deliver more inmates and profits to private prison companies if Clinton is elected.

Lee Fang reports at The Intercept:

Last week, Clinton and other candidates revealed a number of lobbyists who are serving as “bundlers” for their campaigns. Bundlers collect contributions on behalf of a campaign, and are often rewarded with special favors, such as access to the candidate.

Richard Sullivan, of the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel, is a bundler for the Clinton campaign, bringing in $44,859 in contributions in a few short months. Sullivan is also a registered lobbyist for the Geo Group, a company that operates a number of jails, including immigrant detention centers, for profit.

As we reported yesterday, fully five Clinton bundlers work for the lobbying and law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in America, paid Akin Gump $240,000 in lobbying fees last year. The firm also serves as a law firm for the prison giant, representing the company in court.

Hillary Clinton has a complicated history with incarceration. As first lady, she championed efforts to get tough on crime. “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” Clinton said in 1994. “The ‘three strikes and you’re out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets,” she added. .... Complete article

Hillary Clinton was part of the mass-incarceration problem. Can she really be the solution? 04/30/2015

A lot of people who have been supporting criminal justice reform for much longer than Hillary Clinton are feeling very conflicted about her speech at Columbia University yesterday embracing the cause. And some are simply angry.

After all, as recently as 2008 Clinton was attacking Barack Obama for his opposition to mandatory minimum sentences, using it as an example that he was too liberal to win the Democratic nomination. And she wasn't exactly a bystander during the "tough on crime" era of the 1980s and '90s that created mass incarceration by putting many more offenders in prison for much longer. Bill Clinton championed a 1994 law that, among other things, has increased untold numbers of prison sentences (by encouraging states to drastically reduce or eliminate parole and early release). And his First Lady was right alongside him. "We need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders," she said in 1994. "We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets."

The criticism of Clinton's relatively sudden flip-flop comes from some of the top advocates in the criminal justice reform movement, including the heads of the Drug Policy Alliance and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Many feel it's foolish to believe that Clinton has a change of heart now, and don't see why they should support her just because of one speech. Others want to see her take more responsibility for her role in creating the problem she now says she wants to solve.

Behind the snark, there are two big questions: Why should we believe Hillary Clinton suddenly cares about criminal justice reform? and Has Hillary Clinton really learned from her mistakes? The first of those actually doesn't matter at all. The second one matters a lot. Complete article

This is just one of many issues that she has flip flopped on. She also flip flopped on TPP, the Keystone pipeline, immigration, and many other issues and to the best of my knowledge she still isn't making any effort to advocate for Single Payer Health care, nor has she demonstrated any interest in ending arms sales to countries around the world, including many weapons that will almost certainly be turned against us, if things continue happening as they have in the past.

Many of the issues that impact all of us impact those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder the most since they get the worst of it. Minorities, including blacks often have the least job opportunities when jobs are shipped overseas, they wind up with the most pollution when many of the power plants go to those with the least political power, and they often wind up fighting the wars based on lies due to lack of other opportunities.

Her support for corporate interests, at the expense of the majority especially African Americans isn't something new; she supported Barry Goldwater and before that Nixon when she was in school and went into politics immediately afterwards. It's hard to imagine she knew back then that she could be preparing for a run for the presidency but posturing is standard operating procedure in politics and she must have known that back then.

It should be clear which of the two can be trusted more to do what they promise; one of them has a history of doing it the other has a history of spinning.

If these polls giving Hillary a big lead are even close it is only because instead of trying to educate the public with accurate information about their position on issues, the media and political establishment is flooding the airwaves with enormous amounts of propaganda that ignore the most important facts and makes all kind of promises that they almost certainly have no intention of keeping. This is exactly what they did when they gave Barack Obama an enormous amount of good press in 2008 and 2012; then when it came time to keep his promises he broke on after another unless there was an enormous outcry, then he scaled back slightly on efforts to break promises at least until people aren't paying attention.

If alternative media outlets manage to inform the public about how unreliable the media is and how typical establishment candidates routinely betray the vast majority, and ensure that people are able to vote and have their votes counted then establishment candidates, including Hillary Clinton will ahve little or no chance of winning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bernie Sanders Throws Monkey Wrench in Media’s Plan to Rig Primary for Hillary Clinton!!

The commercial media has been trying to rig the primary election for Hillary since Obama won reelection in 2012 by starting to portray her as the front runner and the leading choice of voters. This was a time when the vast majority of voters weren't even thinking about who should be next; after all it is only political junkies that start pondering about the next election as soon as one is over.

They polled people that were hardly paying attention and didn't have strong preferences, so it was virtually guaranteed that they would make choices based primarily on name recognition; however by repeating the results over and over again they were clearly trying to present her as the presumptive nominee long before voters had any real say or chance to review candidates. They compounded this by simply refusing to cover any other potential candidate in a serious manner.

Ironically the evidence of their attempts to rig the coverage is even stronger against at least the four other leading Democratic candidates in the primary and probably more. This includes the three that were allowed to participate in the debates and Lawrence Lessig who wasn't. It is also even more obvious by the enormous amount of preferential treatment given to Joe Biden who isn't even running. If they're going to allow anyone to have enough coverage challenge Clinton by choice it will clearly be another establishment candidate that won't challenge the status quo!

It doesn't include dozens if not hundreds of other candidates that most people have never heard of who have declared they're running for president. The reason the public never heard of these people is because the media refuses to report on them. The Constitution doesn't say anything about excluding them, nor do they say that those that don't collect bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions will not be eligible to run for president. However, for all practical purposes that is exactly the system the political parties, the media and multinational corporations is trying to impose on us.

In all fairness some of the candidates listed are satires, and ironically on the rare occasions that the media does mention these candidates they focus on the satires; however if they wanted to sort them out and figure out which ones are reasonably sincere, they could with a small fraction of the resources they use for propaganda.

But somehow Bernie Sanders managed to get much more attention from the grass roots and is now considered the winner of the debate; and Hillary Clinton is now switching positions on many issues, at least for the duration of the campaign to adopt Bernie's' positions.

It is virtually guaranteed that if the media and political establishment do manage to rig the election for Hillary she won't stick with her newfound positions any more than Obama kept many of his promises. It is hard to believe that Wall Street gave her all those donations and speaking fees over the years because they thought she would renege on any promises she might have made them behind closed doors.

How often do traditional candidates betray their campaign contributors in order to keep election promises to voters?

This doesn't appear to have happened because the media wanted to cover Bernie Sanders and if he didn't build up an enormous amount of grassroots support over the decades starting at the local level it is virtually guaranteed that they would have rigged the coverage so that he never would have had a chance to get this attention either.

When he first announced his candidacy they only provided a token amount of coverage for it, which was typical of the coverage they provided for him in the past. It wasn't until he got lots of grassroots support and they pressured the media to provide a minimal amount of coverage that they typically provide any coverage at all. On the rare occasions where grassroots candidates actually win elections, mostly at the local level the media has no choice but to cover them.

They're not even doing a good job pretending that this system is remotely democratic anymore, at least not if their target audience is paying much if any attention at all. In the 2008 election the Clinton Campaign got caught red handed planting a question now Jeb Bush appears to have been caught or at least one of his aides acting on his behalf. These kind of tricks are becoming standard operating procedure and they're so obvious that they can't even hide it anymore. The fact that they do these things doesn't seem to be the exception, the exception appears to be when they get caught.

Attempts to rig the debates or at least keep them to a minimum by Debbie Wasserman Schultz were even blown wide open by Tulsi Gabbard.

If they can't do a better job than this pretending to represent the public without actually doing so and enough people wake up then this could mean the greatest chance to elect a real reformer since I can remember.

Friday, October 9, 2015

UFO Hypothesis with rational use of Occam's Razor

When Occam's Razor isn't being misused it could be a rational method to review far fetched claims; unfortunately the most common use of it is to jump to absolute conclusions even though that was never what Occam's Razor intended.

The most common variation of Occam's Razor is: "The simplest explanation is usually the correct one." However this wasn't the original quote although it is close and has the same intention. The following is the original according to Wikipedia:

Occam's razor

Among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but—in the absence of differences in predictive ability—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. Wikipedia article

This clearly does not say that other possibilities shouldn't be considered; and it acknowledges the possibility that if the simplest theory is proven wrong then it might be rational to move to the second or third simplest theory. Nor does it say anything about pretending inconvenient evidence doesn't exist at all. If it did then it would be easy to recognize as pseudo-science. However this is exactly how many so-called skeptics treat it.

Religious people have a long history of ending debate by claiming that unexplained mysteries are "God's will" pseudo-skeptics have a long history of ending debate by saying that can't be true "because of Occam's Razor."

At the same time many believers often make many claims that are not only absurd but factually flawed where Occam's Razor or other rational skeptical claims really would be justified. From a reasonable skeptical point of view the temptation to ridicule such beliefs should be resisted when possible. Turning Occam's Razor into a pseudo-skeptic tactic wouldn't be helpful in this case and could even play into the hands of fringe believers and scam artists, if people recognize the flawed logic of the pseudo-skeptic and decide to trust the flawed logic of the fringe believer.

There has been an enormous amount of research over the decades into UFOs however the highest profile media coverage that has been presented to the public has been almost useless since it gives plenty of time for fringe believers to present seriously flawed theories that are often full of false facts, mixed in with legitimate unsolved mysteries, and skeptics that often make almost as many blunders as the fringe believers and instead of trying to sort out the legitimate unsolved mysteries so they can be solved they often stereotype them all and ridicule them together.

Most of the coverage of past UFO incidents in the mainstream media only covers one incident at a time and treats it with ridicule, although there are very few of those anymore, at least that is the way they treat it in the mainstream news. However there are plenty of UFO shows on the History Channel, Science Channel, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel and more; these shows often cover more incidents at a time but the coverage is seriously flawed and it is hard to believe that they're even trying to do a good job.

The best coverage of past incidents are often in older books or reports from when there were more people that actually tried to do a good job covering the subject or web sites that list many of these reports, however some of them are also mixed in with claims that probably should be considered fringe or unreliable. I provided a long list of reports and related links including those to both UFO researchers ranging from the most rational to the fringe believers along with skeptics, including many that seem more like pseudo-skeptics in UFOs and related links.

A couple of the most comprehensive include The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, by Edward J. Ruppelt who was the head of Project Blue Book and other government investigation agencies and actually took the subject seriously and The Condon Report which was headed by Edward Condon who was chosen to head an investigation because he was supposedly unbiased. However critics have raised doubts about his lack of biased for several reasons including his claim that UFO were "nonsense," before beginning his investigation and added, "but I'm not supposed to reach that conclusion for another year." These critics claim that is the reason why his report came to conclusions that allegedly weren't supported by the information within the report. If you ask so-called experts whether the contents of this report actually support the conclusions the answer might depend on which side of the debate they're on; however after reading several reports from the government I have noticed that it isn't uncommon for them to do just that and the most important material is often buried where most people including the highest profile reporters won't notice.

I discussed additional evidence of major unsolved mysteries in Why so few arrests for Crop Circles makers? Is there microwave evidence? and 107 Wonders of the Ancient World. In the case of the crop circles the evidence linking them to UFOs is based on testimony from a relatively small number of witnesses, assuming there aren't many more that the media is ignoring, and in the case of the ancient wonders of the \world it is difficult if not impossible to find hard evidence linking them to UFOs since they happened so long ago and the circumstances weren't well recorded. However experiments discussed in previous posts clearly indicate that the official explanation for how they were moved hasn't been replicated and it is almost certainly false. this means that either they are related to the UFOs or that they're a totally different unsolved mystery; but many theorists have claimed that they also certainly are a result of an unknown advanced intelligence of some sort.

If the skeptic's claims are true then they need to explain a lot of unsolved mysteries to maintain their claims; otherwise it seems justifiable to at least consider other theories, although using Occam's Razor it would be inappropriate to jump to the most bizarre conclusions. This includes time travel theories which often come up, but they always face one paradox or another that almost certainly indicates they're impossible. It may also include many theories about wormholes or alternative universes, which to the best of my knowledge is based purely on speculation, often coming from unreliable sources.

This means that either we need to find another explanation for all these unsolved mysteries that doesn't involve an unknown advanced intelligence or one that does. If it involves an unknown advanced intelligence that is from this planet how could they remain hidden. If it involves an unknown advanced intelligence that isn't from this planet we need to figure out where it came from and how it might have gotten here and what they're trying to accomplish. It will still be necessary to explain how they remained hidden, but their development would have taken place elsewhere so they would have a much easier time remaining hidden, although the fact that they haven't opened up a line of communication probably indicates their motives one way or another, assuming they exist.

Either way explanations to some of these unsolved mysteries will almost certainly have to get more complicated than some advocates for one theory or another might want to admit. It might be worth remembering that the theory of evolution isn't simple at all although the basic principle might seem that way.

Ironically the vast majority of speculation about interstellar travel involves technology that will be necessary to send people into space and keep them alive. However, even though the NASA missions that do involve sending people into space get the most coverage they're only a small fraction of what NASA does and if you track what they say enough it is clear that it is much more efficient to send automated crafts into space and that relying on computers to conduct many activities is much more common.

If it is possible to travel the enormous distances between solar distances it will be extremely difficult and will almost certainly require best technology from a variety of fields, including propulsion, computer technology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and much more, perhaps even including genetic engineering and many other fields that are currently being developed at surprising rates, although they're usually only reported as one advancement at a time and most people don't realize how fast scientific knowledge has been advancing over the past several decades.

A theory that relies on known technology with reasonable speculation about how they might advanced in the relatively near future will almost certainly be more credible than one that makes w2ild assumptions based mostly on speculation, often contradicting known science. If it is possible for the scientific community to develop this technology then presumably it would be possible for another advanced intelligence that has been developing longer to have done it much sooner, and theoretically they could have used it to get here.

Both Project Orion and Project Daedalus involve relatively known technology that could send automated space craft to other solar systems assuming people were willing to invest enough in it and wait long enough for them to travel for decades if not hundreds or even thousands of years before reaching their arrival. Both these projects, if they work according to plan could reach 10-20% of the speed of light. Some people theorize that more advanced research could theoretically develop technology that could reach 50-80% of the speed of light. Anyone familiar with the Inertia Principal would realize that once they get up to speed they will be able to maintain speed in a vacuum indefinitely assuming there is no resistance; however once they get to their destination they would have to reverse their momentum so they would the same amount of energy to slow down with known technology.

Additional technology has also been developed to create a Gravity assist while passing large planets; presumably if this was developed more it could provide additional assistance in propulsion either speeding up or slowing down.

This technology hasn't been put to the test and proven to work but an enormous amount of preliminary research has been done; and it is reasonable to assume that some form of automated interstellar travel might be possible; however this wouldn't enable transport of advanced life which would require much more technology to keep that life alive and would be difficult if not impossible.

The most advanced computer technology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other technologies could also be helpful in sending a long-range space craft to another solar system but unless science develops much further it is unlikely that much if any large commutes or invasions would be possible; it may not even be possible to develop technology like the science fiction stories at all even with the most advanced science after millions of years of research.

James Hansen, one of NASA's most respected researchers on Climate Change created a similar science fiction scenario at the end of his book, "Storms of my Grandchildren." He starts by saying Even though science fiction isn’t my area of expertise, I use the following scenario as a clarion call, and goes on to describe a scenario where an advanced civilization manages to travel to Earth with similar technology that I described. He does assume additional technology will be developed beyond what has already been developed but he seems to keep it within reason that might not include any theories that will never be possible, unlike many fringe theorists or science fiction writers more interested in a dramatic story than realistic science.

He also speculates about the possibility that technology could develop well enough so that a robot with artificial intelligence could operate the spaceship until it gets close to Earth then he could develop life out of DNA samples that would be developed either shortly before arrival or after arrival at the destination and the robot could serve as a surrogate parent. His intention wasn't to develop a science fiction story to advanced an alien transport theory; it was to try to warn people about the damage that Climate Change is doing and convince them to act before it was too late. However intentionally or not he provided what I consider a relatively realistic explanation about how life could travel to different solar system with credible technology that might turn out to be accurate.

The entire book including the relatively short science fiction story at the end is available at James Hansen "Storms of my Grandchildren" [PDF] - Free

Colonel Philip Corso went a step further and claimed that he received access to technology that was retrieved at Roswell and helped distribute it to corporations that developed a lot of the new technology that has been coming out over the past five decades in his book "The Day After Roswell." Like most if not all high profile reports on UFOs this book has some problems, including his cold war beliefs, which are almost certainly distorted, although he might have actually believed them even if they didn't prove to be accurate. And of course he was accused of fabricating his story by many high profile people including UFO researchers Kevin Randle and Stanton Friedman. A close look at just about all high profile research almost always turns up problems including both Corso's books and the efforts to debunk him.

However this should raise other questions about why neither side seems to correct often incredibly simple mistakes. In Why so few arrests for Crop Circles makers? I speculated about the possibility that there might be an effort to "Recruit a group of crackpots" to disclose accurate information through sources that might not seem reliable and release inaccurate information through sources that are considered credible. This hypothesis was based partly on a semi-fictional version of the Roswell incident where Martin Sheen plays a spy that follows Jesse Marcel around. As bizarre as this sounds if it is true it would explain why virtually none of the high profile coverage of UFOs on either side has much credibility. It would also mean that only those that spend an enormous amount of time sorting through the details have a chance of coming close to the truth about what is going on.

Also if the skeptics are right then why don't they express much concerns about the amount of coverage that the media is giving to some of these fringe conspiracy theorists? Many of the best researchers can't get much if any coverage on this subject or any other subject in the traditional media yet the fringe conspiracy theorists and flawed skeptics get plenty of time on the History Channel. This isn't limited to UFO coverage; the political activity in campaigns is now almost as absurd if not more absurd as UFO coverage; and this began before Donald Trump ran for president, and even before the 2010 Tea Party fringe candidates got an enormous amount of coverage while the media ignored rational grassroots candidates.

Absurd things are now standard operating procedure.

Skeptics have been promoting stereotypes about conspiracy theories for so long that they act as if none of them have any credibility; yet if there are no far fetched explanations to UFOs as they seem to believe then doesn't it seem as if there must be an enormous conspiracy to make it seem as if there is?

Some additional information about Corso's claims are available at Colonel Philip Corso and his Critics and Roswell - Colonel Philip Corso Interview. Philip Corso isn't the only one that claims that there has been reverse engineering going on, there are plenty of other people making similar claims in low profile news outlets that report about UFOs; the most prominent other one that I know of is Bob Lazar; however he also has his own credibility problems and Stanton Friedman has also argued that he is a fraud. From what I've seen of Bob Lazar he does seem to have more credibility problems that Philip Corso; but it does seem odd that Stanton Friedman is so concerned about debunking the concept of reverse engineering and occasionally using the same tactics that he has criticized when UFO skeptics use them against him.

It seems reasonable for a good researcher to be concerned about bad researchers that might give UFO research a bad name; however it is also reasonable to assume that if the government did retrieve alien technology that they would try to study it and replicate it. Stanton Friedman has claimed that he does believe that there was a crash at Roswell and that the government retrieved bodies and technology and has been one of the leading investigators claiming this. If Corso's and Lazar's claims are flawed why wouldn't he consider a more rational scenario where the government made at least some effort to reverse engineer as much as they could? This would make sense but instead he is almost completely refuting all reverse engineering claims.

On some occasions Stanton Friedman seems to use some of the same tactics he has previously attributed to skeptics when trying to debunk Philip Corso, including "If one can’t attack the data, attack the people. It is easier." On the "Day After Roswell" episode of the UFO files he spent more time trying to discredit Corso than he did trying to address some of the data, and at one point even claimed that his citation of the alleged MJ-12 documents was a copy of his own work, as if he should have copyrights to control how it is used. He was the highest profile researcher to look into them, but they were apparently given to at least one other researcher, Linda Moulton Howe, before Philip Corso claimed he had access to them at one point.

However, as I said Philip Corso does have some credibility problems and his coauthor is even worse. Bill Birnes went on to host UFO Hunters with an enormous amount of hype and flawed investigation, at one point he even claimed that he considered a hollow moon hypothesis viable, without making any attempt to acknowledge that it would contradict the most basic principles of physics and geology. Unfortunately this is typical of high profile UFO research, which is what makes the "Recruit a Group of Crackpots" hypothesis seem realistic.

Another catch 22 which is rarely considered is that if the claims about reverse engineering are partially true then it means that aliens must have been able to get here one way or another. If these claims aren't true then it means that an enormous amount of technology has developed in a surprisingly short time over the last fifty years. The human race evolved over hundreds of thousands, if not millions or even billions of years; but the industrial revolution only took a couple of hundred years and advances computers, cloning, DNA manipulation, even technology where handicapped people were able to use computers hooked up to their brain to move automated programs and geoengineering, exploring the solar system happened much faster. This is rapidly demonstrating an enormous amount of potential that could include our own ability to travel through space. And if these advances continue to happen then unlike James Hansen science fiction hypothesis where people from the planet Claron had to continue develop for another half a billion years before they could use this technology it seems like a reasonable possibility with this rapid development that we might be able to do it in a few more hundred or thousand years.

Unless of course we destroy the environment as James Hansen is warning us not to do; and the most powerful political people clearly seem to be trying to do just that thanks to what appears to be an insane political and fiscal ideology that is designed to consolidate all their political power and money so they can get it all while the rest of society falls apart.

With or without advanced technology from aliens we're developing science at a fast rate and using new advances for insane purposes, and even if you think this hypothesis is insane it seems reasonable to agree with James Hansen's warning and stop the destruction of the planet.If that doesn't happen then we won't come close to developing the technology James Hansen speculates about on the planet Claron before we destroy ourselves.

Is this theory starting to seem like the simplest one that should be chosen according to Occam's Razor?

Perhaps not; or at least it doesn't seem like it would be the most credible one. However in order for other theories to be viable from a scientific point of view they need to explain all the related unsolved mysteries. If the ancient megaliths or crop circles or many other unsolved mysteries aren't related to UFOs then an explanation for the UFOs doesn't need to address them but other explanations will still be needed to solve those mysteries; and if skeptics have to rely on ridicule or ignore inconvenient facts to explain them then other theories should at least be considered.

If skeptics don't do this then why shouldn't they simply accept the oldest and most common explanation for just about everything, "It's God's will." This sounds like the simplest explanation and I can't imagine why more religious people don't use Occam's Razor to argue in it's favor. But of course simply saying "It's God's will" when ever they can't explain an unsolved mystery doesn't explain anything and is unscientific. Why would it be acceptable to refute everything by simply saying "that must be false because of Occam's Razor," often accompanied by an enormous amount of ridicule and circular argument that doesn't address important unsolved mysteries?

In order to figure out which theory really is the simplest then it will be necessary to organize them all and ensure that they all explain related unsolved mysteries then the simplest one that actually does this should be chosen, at least until a better one comes along. There also needs to be more sincere efforts to review science, which there isn't. This includes the incompetent coverage of The Big Bang which is a Political Theory Disguised as Science as I explained in a previous post. If you applied Occam's Razor to the Big Bang verses the Steady State theory it seems like it would be more rational to consider the possibility that the doppler effect might be less reliable when it comes to checking galaxies more than 2 and a half million light years away, therefore as Fred Hoyle claimed, the Steady State is by far the simplest hypothesis and it has fewer flaws if any; however the big bang seems to have more political support.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wal-Mart Crime report September 2015

Once again a brawl started, this time over an attempt to steal a $7 shirt, which escalated from there. There is almost always at least one petty incident that manages to turn into a major event one way or another at a Walmart somewhere in the country. This month there was also at least one shoplifting incident that led to a chase as well.

There were at least four shooting incidents at Walmart this month, including at least one that led to a death and another that was related to a murder, and at least a couple more armed robberies and an abduction and rape of two teens. they also had a SWAT raid at Walmart that led to the capture of the alleged Arizona freeway shooter. There were also at least one beating death at Walmart and another were a suspect arrested at Walmart died in custody. There was also a police officer indicted for an incident that happened at Walmart months ago.

There were at least two incidents this month involving Employee disputes, including one where a worker shoved a cart into her supervisors motorcycle, and another where the husband of a worker stabbed her coworker in an argument. Walmart has more of these incidents than the post office even though the post office get more attention and this resulted in the phrase, "going postal."

They had another recall, this time for Cucumbers that might have a risk of salmonella. This is just one of many Modern Diseases on the Rise Because of Factory Farming, yet the traditional media financed by advertising from multinational corporations practically never mentions this. Rumors also leaked that Tracy Morgan may have gotten ninety million dollars in his settlement with Walmart over his accident which might explain why he spoke out so favorably of Walmart after the settlement; however the vast majority of the public with grievances almost certainly don't get treated so well. Ordinary people don't draw nearly as much media attention as celebrities so Walmart may not be concerned about the risk to their reputation when they fight them in court.

Don't you hate it when you try to open a package in an attempted theft and accidentally stab yourself? Not that it happened to me or that I would want to admit it if it did.

If you're afraid of spiders and suspect there might be one in your pressure cooker and leave it in a Walmart parking lot don't be surprised if the bomb squad shows up in full bomb squad gear with robots to inspect the spider.

Or if a Black Widow spider shows up in grapes or other produce from Walmart that won't be unprecedented either.

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 September 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.

University of Wisconsin Official Explains Why Stealing From Stores Like Walmart Shouldn’t Be a Crime 08/26/2015

Decision on NC Walmart complaint in judge's hands 09/01/2015

Jersey City man exposed himself to mother, 2 kids, inside NJ Walmart, cops say 09/01/2015

Deputies: Polk woman with guns shoplifts $1,300 in Fla. Wal-Mart merchandise 09/01/2015

Dollar Tree continues to draw market share from Wal-Mart 09/01/2015

Pa. State Police Looking for Tunkhannock Walmart Burglars 09/01/2015

XX 09/0/2015

Meth materials found outside Owens Cross Roads Alabama Wal-Mart; 4 arrested 09/01/2015

Stabbing outside Lake Delton Wisc. Walmart send man to hospital; three in custody 09/02/2015

Tx. Wal-Mart Employee Impersonator Steals from Store: Police 09/02/2015

Man found dead in Walmart parking lot in Suffolk Va. 09/02/2015

Man arrested after passing counterfeit bill at Ark. Walmart 09/03/2015

Virginia police officer indicted on murder, firearms charges in fatal Walmart shooting 09/04/2015

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Virginia police officer who shot and killed a man in a Wal-Mart parking lot was indicted Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and using a gun in a felony.

Portsmouth Circuit Court records show a grand jury indicted city Officer Stephen D. Rankin.

William Chapman II, 18, was shot April 22. Virginia State Police said the shooting occurred when an officer responded to a call from Wal-Mart security about shoplifting, and a struggle ensued. .....

Rankin had shot and killed a Portsmouth resident while on duty once before. In 2011 he killed Kirill Denyakin, from Kazakhstan, after responding to a burglary call. Rankin said Denyakin charged at him and refused to take his hand out of his pants. He was struck 11 times, according to the autopsy. Complete article

Man Arrested After Leaving Baby Alone In WV Walmart Parking Lot 09/03/2015

Orange Park motorcyclist dies after crash Thursday morning near Fla. Wal-Mart 09/03/2015

Triggerman in drug-deal robbery death in Jacksonville Wal-Mart parking lot sentenced 09/04/2015

Winthrop Me. woman sues Wal-Mart over denial of health benefits for wife in 2013 09/04/2015

Cucumbers sold at Walmart, Whole Foods recalled for salmonella risk 09/04/2015

OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials are warning Oklahomans about an outbreak of salmonella that is affecting people across the country.

Experts say the salmonella poona is linked to garden-variety cucumbers that were distributed by Andrew & Williamson of San Diego, California.

The produce was distributed to grocery stores and restaurants throughout the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 285 cases in 27 states have been linked to the outbreak.

Seven of those cases have been identified in Oklahoma. Complete article

Damon Wayans alleges Tracy Morgan got $90 million from Wal-Mart 09/04/2015

Fans of Tracy Morgan were saddened last year to learn that the funnyman was involved in a life-threatening car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Although Morgan survived, his friend James McNair was killed, and the “30 Rock” star suffered a broken leg and femur, a broken nose and other serious injuries that required surgery.

Now, veteran comedian Damon Wayans is offering an update that has lots of reasons to make Morgan and his fans happy again — 90 million of them, in fact. .....

In semi-related news, Business Insider reports that Morgan purchased a $14 million mansion with 22 rooms this week, so even if Wayans’ numbers are off, it seems likely that Tracy Morgan’s settlement was for an elevated figure. Complete article

Judge dismissed legal complaint filed by several opponents of a planned Walmart store in Swansboro NC 09/05/2015

Police looking for two 'people of interest' in suspicious Mich. Walmart fire 09/05/2015

Suspect in Mich. Walmart fire turns himself in 09/06/2015

Douglas Ariz. Walmart reopens after bomb threat Saturday 09/06/2015

Disturbance at NM Walmart ends with man dying in police custody 09/08/2015

BERNALILLO, N.M. —An investigation has been launched after a man suddenly died following his apprehension by police inside a Bernalillo Walmart.

Bernalillo Police Chief Tom Romero says the man was involved in a car crash just after 6 p.m. in a nearby McDonald’s parking lot that investigators believe was sparked by a domestic altercation with a woman.

Romero said his department started getting calls after the man ran into the Walmart after the crash and started getting into fights with people inside.

Romero said officers arrived and called for backup because the man wasn’t being cooperative with them.

The chief said the man was finally handcuffed and taken outside because he was still struggling with officers.

At some point, the man suddenly became unresponsive and officers began performing CPR on him. Complete article

Police looking for man who robbed Walmart in Saginaw County Mich. 09/07/2015

Group protests minimum wage at East Peoria Ill. Walmart 09/07/2015

Woman finds deadly surprise in grapes bought from Mich. Walmart: A Black Widow Spider 09/07/2015

Crawling between one Michigan woman's produce was one of the world's most deadly insects.

Luckily this black widow spider decided to come out of hiding when Ariel Jackson was about to open a package of grapes.

The venom from these spiders is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake bite, and what could have happened still frightens her. Complete article

Police arrest Ephrata man accused of stealing GoPro camera from Pa. Walmart 09/08/2015

Wheelchair-bound thief makes off with firefighters’ equipment during Mich. Walmart blaze 09/08/2015

Police Searching for Suspects in Conn. Walmart Thefts 09/08/2015

Weekend roundup: 2 killed in Saginaw; Mich. Walmart robbed before Labor Day 09/08/2015

30-year-old Homeless man found dead in Kalispell Montana Walmart parking lot 09/08/2015

Father Catches Man Secretly Photographing His Daughter Inside Tx. Walmart 09/08/2015

Suffolk Va. police looking for three Walmart shoplifters 09/08/2015

Utah Man Arrested for Taking Inappropriate Pictures at Bismarck ND Wal-Mart 09/08/2015

Woman leaves child in car while stealing from local Fla. WalMart 09/08/2015

Couple Left Kids in Car to Shop at Florida City WalMart: Cops 09/08/2015

Woman found huffing under clothing rack at Pa. Wal-Mart: Police 09/09/2015

Man using lighter to open toy package starts Mich. Walmart fire, records show 09/09/2015

Police Reports: Butte woman reports threats, arrested on warrants; shoplifting at Montana Walmart; stolen motocycle 09/09/2015

Man charged in March with threat to blow up Walmart waives right to hearing 09/09/2015

A man arrested in March after threatening to blow up Walmart waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Nolan Scott Clyman, 46, waived his right to the hearing on charges including felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and terrorism hoax and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, threatening a violent act and assault and battery. .....

Officer Aaron Barber was met by a manager outside the door to the store. The manager told Barber the man had threatened customers and managers that he was going to blow up the building. The manager said the man was attempting to fight people and was being followed by staff. Complete article

New York man charged with burglarizing Pa. Walmart 09/10/2015

Booked: Former Huntsville principal, ex-wife of slain colonel charged for theft of $2,000 in Alabama Walmart 09/10/2015

Ca. Walmart theft suspect threatens guard with scissors 09/10/2015

Wal-Mart finds 'material weakness' in controls over accounting of leases 09/10/2015

Driver faces charges after hitting woman, child in Salem Va. Walmart parking lot 09/11/2015

Burglarized credit card used at Manchester Conn. Walmart 09/11/2015

Police send Nevada Wal-Mart car fatality case to district attorney 09/11/2015

Woman robbed leaving Walmart store in Toms River, Pa. suspects sought 09/12/2015

Ca. Walmart shoplifting suspect wields Taser 09/12/2015

Vandals use construction equipment to mess with inside of new Warrior Way Colorado Wal-Mart 09/13/2015

Wal-Mart suppliers claim squeeze from warehouse fees (Video) 09/14/2015

Chicopee Mass. police: Springfield man arrested for shoplifting at Walmart was in possession of crack cocaine 09/14/2015

Man Assaulted Outside Fort Worth Tx. Wal-Mart in June Dies: Police 09/14/2015

Man Tries To Steal Phone From Pa. Walmart, Ends Up Stabbing Himself 09/14/2015

SOUTH UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A Lemont Furnace man is recovering in the hospital after attempting to shoplift a phone from a local Walmart.

It happened at the Walmart in South Union Township around 6 p.m. on Monday.

Police say 46-year-old David Lee removed a Straight Talk Wireless phone from the shelf using a knife. They say he later went into the automotive aisle and tried to open the packaging with the same knife. While trying to open the package, Lee stabbed himself in the arm with the knife.

Lee was bleeding excessively from the wound, and staff noticed this when they approached him. He grabbed a towel off of the shelf and wrapped his arm in it, trying to leave the store. Complete article

Police looking for Va. Walmart shoplifter 09/15/2015

Walmart in Midway NC evacuated after pressure cooker with a spider in it found in parking lot 09/15/2015

Michael Hennessey tweets @mhennesseynews

DEVELOPING: Bomb squad @ Walmart Express in Midway to check out a pressure cooker in parking lot. Employees evacuated

UPDATE: Bomb squad robot rolled up to pressure cooker. Officers took bomb gear out, but no word if it's a threat yet

UPDATE: Officer in full bomb gear now approaching pressure cooker in Midway Walmart Express parking lot

Darrick Ignasiak tweet @DispatchDarrick

False alarm: Woman set out pressure cooker because she thought a spider was in it Complete article

OPD: Man attempted to steal TVs from Fla. Wal-Mart 09/15/2015

Carjacking, robbery incident rattles Canton Mich. Walmart 09/16/2015

Police rushed to the Walmart store amid reports a man was pointing a handgun at people and trying to take their vehicles. Faheem Tamir-Saul Nance also said he had a bomb.

A Westland man is accused of aiming two stolen airguns at employees and customers inside a Canton Walmart and attempting two carjackings outside the store, before police arrived and captured him.

Authorities say Faheem Tamir-Saul Nance, 25, also claimed he had a bomb in the backseat of a Honda Accord he allegedly tried to steal, but his claims were unfounded.

Witnesses – some who thought the Airsoft pistols were real handguns – described a tense scene to police as the incident unfolded about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the Walmart store on Ford Road, east of Lotz. Complete article

Teen Accused of Exposing Himself to Customers Inside Burlington, New Jersey Walmart 09/16/2015

Rollover crash closes multiple lanes of Bay near Mich. Walmart; road now open 09/16/2015

Suspect wanted for following mother, daughter at Lawrenceburg Tenn. Walmart charged with stalking 09/17/2015

Missing woman from Fort Pierce last seen with unknown man at Fla. Walmart 09/16/2015

Rotterdam NY Police investigating Walmart purse theft 09/16/2015

Saginaw woman assaulted at Mich. Wal-Mart while seeking job 09/16/2015

Walmart partners with Oklahoma Lottery to offer ticket kiosks 09/16/2015

Chicago Ill. Wal-Mart worker group splits in two; both sides vow to continue wage fight 09/17/2015

Abandoned puppy found in Ferguson Missouri Wal-Mart donation box 09/17/2015

Metro woman thankful to be okay after robbery at Okla. Walmart 09/17/2015

Person of interest sought in armed robbery at Farmington's West NM Walmart 09/17/2015

3 arrested for armed robbery of Kokomo Ind. Wal-Mart 09/17/2015

Durham man shot to death at Brier Creek Wal-Mart in Raleigh NC 09/17/2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One person was killed and another injured in a shooting at the Brier Creek shopping center in Raleigh late Thursday night.

It happened around 10:30 p.m. outside the Wal-Mart, Raleigh Police said.

Investigators said two people were taken to Duke University Hospital in Durham. One victim died as a result of his injuries. Police identified the deceased victim as Jerry Eugene Sumpter, 39. Complete article

Man arrested in Brier Creek Walmart shooting case 09/22/2015

Man who shot himself in Va. Walmart parking lot linked to W.Va. death 09/18/2015

STAUNTON – Moorefield, West Virginia police say the man who shot himself Wednesday in the parking lot of a Staunton Wal-Mart is a suspect in a West Virginia murder investigation.

Police in Moorefield, West Virginia, believe Jared D. Connors shot and killed his girlfriend, Joy A. Coby, and then drove her car to Virginia.

Police say they began looking for Coby, a teacher at Moorefield Middle School, after she didn’t show up for work Wednesday morning. While looking for Coby they also could not find Connors, so they say they tracked his cell phone to Staunton, Virginia.

Virginia State Police say Connors shot himself around 12:30 p.m., as police attempted to talk to him. Connors is listed in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

After hearing the Connors had shot himself, Moorefield police extended their search area. Coby’s body was found around 2:00 p.m., in a wooded area near her home. Police say she was the victim of fatal gunshot wounds. Complete article

Walmart shopper fractures toe after clerk fails to double-bag groceries, $65k suit says 09/18/2015

State Police are looking for identification of suspect in retail theft at Walmart Super Center in Tunkhannock Pa. 09/18/2015

Two men sought for credit card fraud at Fla. Walmart and McDonald's 09/18/2015

Man steals from Missouri Walmart to support crystal meth addiction, police allege 09/18/2015

City mother who used her kids to steal from Pa. Wal-Mart will spend 2-5 years in prison 09/18/2015

Fired Wal-Mart workers had a right to defend themselves, Utah’s high court says 09/18/2015

Man arrested in Crookston Minn. Wal-Mart parking lot after 'rolling domestic' report received 09/18/2015

Attacker steals man's concealed handgun in Oregon Walmart bathroom, police say 09/18/2015
Man involved in car-wash crash linked to Oregon Walmart restroom robbery 09/25/2015

Suspect in Arizona freeway shootings captured by SWAT team at Walmart 09/19/2015

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Friday evening that a SWAT team has a person in custody suspected in the I-10 freeway shooting spree in Phoenix. The suspect is connected to the first four shootings, officials said.

In a tweet, Governor Ducey said, “We got him!” and that the individual was “apprehended moments ago.”

The arrest was made by the Arizona Department of Public Safety SWAT team (DPS). ......

Gov. Ducey’s spokesperson told reporters the suspect was captured at a Walmart. DPS sources also told local media that investigators had their eyes on the suspect all day Friday at Walmart. .....

Multiple sources, meanwhile, told ABC 15 the suspect is being questioned for trying to pawn a gun that is suspected of being used in shootings. Complete article

Driver flees after hitting two people in Walmart lot in Raleigh NC 09/19/2015

Clinton Mississippi Walmart robbed 09/20/2015

Police: Woman attacked Wal-Mart guard, manager 09/20/2015

Fire at Wal-Mart Store in Monroe County Pa. 09/21/2015

Troopers: NY Walmart employee shoved cart into supervisor’s motorcycle 09/21/2015

BRUNSWICK >> An employee of the Brunswick Walmart was arrested Friday after troopers said he damaged his boss’ motorcycle.

State police said 22-year-old Jordan-Ryan J. Brice of Troy was charged with third-degree criminal mischief. Troopers said a witness said they say Brice shove a shopping cart into a parked motorcycle, causing damage. An investigation revealed the owner of the motorcycle to be a Walmart manager who supervises Brice.

Brice was taken into custody and processed at the Brunswick barracks, issued an appearance ticket and released. Complete article

Secaucus police find needle on man shoplifting from NJ Walmart, cops say 09/21/2015

Two things wrong with Walmart 09/21/2015

Two north St. Louis County men charged with robbing Missouri Walmart in St. Charles 09/21/2015

Man, 75, dies after being hit by truck in Tenn. Walmart parking lot 09/21/2015

Police looking for suspect in Spokane Valley Washington Walmart robbery 09/21/2015

Anchorage Alaska police investigate stabbing near midtown Wal-Mart 09/21/2015

Man set fire inside Walmart, Casselberry Fla. police say 09/22/2015

Forbes: What Wal-Mart Can Learn From Market Basket 09/22/2015

Salem Va. police deem Walmart safe, lock-downs lifted at Salem HS after bomb threat 09/22/2015

No buses, only pestering homeless, at Fla. Wal-Mart shelter 09/22/2015

Walmart meeting opposition in Poquoson Va. 09/22/2015

Man arrested after found with hemp at Ky. Walmart 09/2/2015

Wal-Mart awards Marshall Police Department $2,500; money will help support National Night Out 09/23/2015

Florida deputies install crime-prevention kiosks in Walmart stores 09/23/2015 The machines show digital images of people wanted for various crimes in the area, including thefts from Walmart.

Forbes: Why Mark Cuban is saying Walmart is ‘in for a nightmare’ 09/23/2015 A patent infringement lawsuit for hoverboards

Newark woman shoplifts from Bayonne NJ Walmart, cops say 09/23/2015

Deputies arrest man after chase who robbed a Fla. Walmart at gunpoint 09/23/2015

Hillsborough deputies went on a chase Tuesday evening after a man stole a phone a gunpoint from the Walmart on Dale Mabry.

At 7:30 p.m. on September 22, Paul Perez walked to the electronics section of Walmart, used a knife to remove an anti-theft device on the shelf containing the cell phones and pulled a Samsung Galaxy cell phone. On his way to the exit he was confronted by Walmart loss prevention employee so Perez pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the employee as he turned and fled from the store.

Deputies were already on scene for an unrelated shoplifting call when they were notified about the incident. Patrol deputies immediately called for additional assistance including K-9 and Aviation Units. Complete article

Wal-Mart presses suppliers to share benefits of cheaper yuan 09/23/2015

Police: St. Augustine man tried to sell narcotics in Fla. Wal-Mart parking lot 09/23/2015

Baby found dead in car in Macedonia Ohio Walmart parking lot 09/23/2015

Brawl started over 7$ shirt at Charlotte NC Walmart caught on video 09/24/2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A fight involving multiple combatants that erupted last week inside the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard was caught on cellphone video.

The fight started when the store's loss prevention team confronted a teen who allegedly tried to steal a $7 shirt. In the video, dozens of shoppers stand back as the melee unfolds inside the Walmart in west Charlotte.

It appears that the brawl initially started it the entrance of the store on Wilkinson Boulevard. Police said that's when members of the store's loss prevention team attempted to stop a teenager who was allegedly trying to steal a shirt.

One man tried to hold onto the suspect, and that's when you can see several other people jump in and joined in the fight.

“I don't come that often but I wouldn't want to walk into something like that,” said shopper Alfonza Davis.

Police said one person was hospitalized following the ruckus, and they arrested a 14-year-old male on assault charges.

“This Walmart is really out of control. They really need to have security here,” said another shopper, Dawn Evans. Complete article

Mount Laurel NJ residents: Wal-Mart broke promise, started construction 09/24/2015

Apple's ad-blocking move causes big problems for retailers like Walmart 09/24/2015

Arrest made in NC $1K Walmart theft 09/24/2015

Man charged with robbery with airsoft gun at NC Walmart 09/25/2015

Pair arrested for stealing from Milford Conn. Walmart 09/25/2015

2 men abducted teens at gunpoint from Oregon Walmart, raped them, police say 09/25/2015

Oregon State Police say two men have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, drugging and raping a pair of teen girls who were stranded at a Walmart in Redmond late Wednesday.

James Borchers, 50, of Portland, and Joseph Cheek, 32, of Christmas Valley, were found in a stolen Chevy Tahoe along Oregon 31 south of La Pine by a state trooper on the next night and later arrested. They both will be booked into the Lake County Jail on accusations of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping, police said.

The two Prineville 17-year-olds told police they were stuck at a Walmart around midnight because their car wouldn't start and soon were approached by Borchers and Cheek in a silver Toyota 4-Runner. The men told the girls they could wait inside the SUV to keep warm, threatened them with guns once they got inside and drove away, police said.

The girls suspect they were drugged because they lost consciousness at some point and later found themselves at a home in Christmas Valley, police said. They escaped sometime on Thursday and contacted the Lake County Sheriff's Office around 4:30 p.m. Complete article

Plainview Tx. police investigating noon shooting at Walmart 09/25/2015

Former Cranberry couple pleads guilty to Pa. Walmart 'shoulder surfing' ID thefts 09/25/2015

Police: Man, girlfriend arrested for taking woman's purse at Rock Hill SC Walmart 09/25/2015

Walmart Pulls Offensive "Little Amigo" Child's Halloween Costume Off Website 09/25/2015

Women steal two 40-inch TVs from Conn. Wal-Mart 09/26/2015

Wal-Mart hasn’t figured out how to sell a crucial product, Groceries 09/26/2015

Police seek public's help to ID Cumberland County Pa. Wal-Mart theft suspects 09/2/2015

One Shot by Police in Altercation Near Fargo ND Walmart 09/28/2015

(KVLY-TV) Police say a man has been shot after an altercation near the Wal-Mart on 13th Avenue South in Fargo.

Just after 3:00 a.m., an officer reported seeing a vehicle that was possibly stolen earlier in the evening. The vehicle took off from the Wal-Mart parking lot and was going the wrong way down 13th Avenue.

Police tried to stop the vehicle, when a man and woman got out and started running in opposite directions. Police on scene reported seeing a red laser, reporting it was possibly a gun.

It is unknown exactly what happened, but the man ended up getting shot by a police officer. He was taken to a hospital and police say is in surgery. There is no update on his condition. Complete article

Rockslide Damages Walmart In Breathitt County KY. 09/28/2015

Walmart doubles down on renewable energy with Tx. wind deal 09/28/2015

Augusta police ID suspects in Saturday theft at Me. Wal-Mart 09/28/2015

Man Stabbed Spouse’s Co-Worker Outside Hamden Conn. Wal-Mart: Police 09/28/2015

A Hamden Wal-mart employee was stabbed in the chest outside the store in August and a coworker’s husband has been arrested.

The 27-year-old New Haven man went to Yale-New Haven Hospital early on the morning of Aug. 11 and police were called to respond to the hospital to investigate the stabbing.

The victim had been in an argument with the husband of a co-worker in the store and the man attacked him when the victim left the store, according to police. Complete article

Woman shot in Tenn. Walmart parking lot 09/28/2015

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) - A young woman is now suffering from non-life threatening injuries tonight after being shot in the parking lot of Walmart off 153.

Witnesses tell News12 the girl was sitting with a group of people in a car when she was shot in the upper thigh. They said she hopped out of the car and attempted to run, but later collapsed on the ground a few feet away. Complete article

Poquoson Va. neighbors worry over possible Walmart development plans 09/28/2015

Razor blade bandit targets Fla. Walmarts on Treasure Coast 09/29/2015

Pa. man allegedly caught masturbating in Walmart parking lot 09/28/2015

Metro seeks man, woman after Nevada Wal-Mart beating death 09/29/2015

Las Vegas police are asking the public to help identify a man and a woman they say were involved in a beating death at a Wal-Mart parking lot.

It happened when two men started fighting about 3 p.m. Wednesday outside the retail store at 4505 W. Charleston Blvd., Metro said Tuesday in a news release. The passenger in a car, a man, got out of a car and started beating a driver in another car.

The man who got beat up returned to a local hotel where he was staying, police said, and later was taken to Spring Valley Hospital, where he died Monday from his injuries. Complete article

Woman found dead in SUV at Walmart in Royal Palm Beach Fla. 09/29/2015

Wal-Mart removes controversial 'Little Amigo' kids Halloween costume from website 09/29/2015

Police search for man involved in robbery of SW Oklahoma City Walmart 09/30/2015

Montana Walmart jail plan thwarted 09/30/2015

Drone Popularity Puts Walmart on the Spot 09/30/2015