Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

IMG_1445IMG_1219I have been organizing my pictures from my recent trip to Italy and was struck by the many people that we met on our wanderings. The led to the column below.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 10.40.26 PMThe video below has gone viral on YouTube not only for the dangerous motorcycle antics of some 50 bikers in California but their open dismissal of a California Highway Patrol officer who is told to “go away” . . . and he does.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

It never ceases to amaze me that the heads of major corporations and officers of those companies just never seem to go to jail when the corporation’s fingers are caught in the cookie jar.  We saw two separate examples of that concept this week.  One example is simply a case of corporate greed at employees expense and the other is a brutal and deadly tragedy that caught up the corporate employees, but not their bosses.

In the past, I have written about banks getting away with fines and financial penalties for committing crimes, but today the focus is on two corporations in two different areas of endeavor.  I am referring to the corporation formerly known as Blackwater and Electronics for Imaging (EFI).  Blackwater as you may recall was in the private security and intelligence gathering business with many government clients, while EFI is a Silicon Valley tech firm with earnings of over $100 million in 2013.  They both have one thing in common.  They broke the law and one got a slap on the wrist and the CEO and founder of the other and his fellow corporate officers avoided any culpability in a brutal murder case. (more…)

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

Fascinating book out by NPR media reporter, David Folkenflik, entitled Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires that explores the strange world of publisher Rupert Murdoch. Gobbler of such English-speaking newspapers as The News of The World, The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times, Murdoch is mostly known for his media collaboration with Roger Ailes in the development and promotion of Fox News, the Right’s mouthpiece of choice. Until his inglorious dismount from credibility in the London Phone Hacking scandal where a Murdoch newspaper employee was convicted of hacking the telephone voice mails of murdered British teenager, Milly Dowler, Murdoch had personified all that is unseemly about tabloid journalism. The personification of Charles Foster Kane, Murdoch fed the Right the red meat of dissention blending news with opinion and relying on practices that were criticized by honest journalists (even conservative ones) around the world calling it right-leaning tabloidism (here).

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

I have been reading about the latest Breitbart-inspired dire prediction of the nefarious ( and possibly illegal) machinations of the Obama Administration. You know “Green Paper-Gate.” It’s the one where the conservative blog, Breitbart,  reports that a draft solicitation proposal for purchase of green paper issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services definitely means that the Obama Administration is secretly planning a massive amnesty campaign of undocumented aliens. And, worse still,  that it’s keeping that secret until after the mid-term elections as a boon to Democratic candidates. I went back and took a look at the proposal and here is the offending language: “The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total. The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years.” A draft RFP issued a few days later contains the same language but adds the following: “In addition, the Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential “surge” in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” You can view the proposal (here) and the RFP (here) and then read all the GSA bureaucratic verbiage for yourself. Have a good time.

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

kurdish-national-congress-grieving-womanMembers of the Kurd Community residing in the United States will host a demonstration to draw attention to the plight of Yezidi and Christian women in Iraq and Syria suffering and persecuted at the hands of ISIS.

Reportedly beginning at 10:00am on Monday, October 27, members of the Kurdish Diaspora will begin a five-day hunger strike at Lafayette Park across from the White House, culminating with a march to the White House and a demonstration on Friday, October 31 from 12:00-3:00pm. The procession will include a mock Islamic State (IS) slave market, exhibiting the humanitarian disaster being faced by thousands of Yezidi and Christian women and girls currently being held captive by IS in Iraq and Syria.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Entreating the GodfatherIn another example of the bureaucratic disarray shackling the recreational and medical marijuana industry in Washington State, the City of Seattle sent a warning letter to over three hundred medical marijuana dispensaries requiring them to obtain a state license for medical marijuana by next summer or face closure. The problem is Washington does not license medical marijuana dispensaries.

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