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as [livejournal.com profile] zarq reported yesterday, Whole Food CEO John Mackey showed all and sundry that he is a rich libertarian prick. Which has provoked interesting articles:. This was one that caught my attention.

The view from a former Whole Food Employee

A warning on prepared food items... Anything you buy that is "prepared" be it chopped up watermellons, soup, or something from the hot bar, is likely not something you would buy in its raw form. Which is to say, gnarly produce that wont sell, meat that is a day or two from spoilage etc... Dunno just something to think about before you cough up 7.99lb on some mashed potatoes and some asian inspired beef dish. I'm guessing that most stores do this though as it is a way to cut down on shrink and also adds value to an otherwise worthless product. As a decent to good cook, I refuse to buy anything that is not only more expensive but also less quality. (Go next time and see how many items use ground beef, sausages or bits and pieces of fish)


Finally, each year employees vote on the new benefits package, what kind of health plan, what kind of personal days and how many, retirement and stock options etc... If you are savvy in the employment/legal fields you will realize that this is very similar to an in-house or owner sponsored union, which is a violation of the NLRB, but I have not done enough of the research to determine if this is a true violation, though I will say my labor law professor about had a heart attack when I told her. It's one of the things I liked about working there, but it is also the main reason why WF employees think unions are meaningless and just take your money for dues.MORE
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Digby sez:

DASH CAM VIDEO: http://www.cnjonline.com/video/?video...
Tucumcari Police Chief Roger Hatcher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into last weeks Taser shooting of a teenage girl.

Hatcher said he shot two Taser darts at Kailee Martinez, 14, Thursday while responding to a domestic dispute between the girl and her mother. One hit her in the head and the other struck her back.

Martinez said she was released from Albuquerques University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday following a two-hour surgery to remove one of the darts from her head.

The surgery left her with 18 staples and six stitches.

"I feel good being home," Martinez said Tuesday. "It is a lot better than being in a hospital."

Martinez mother, Stacy Akin, said she drove her daughter to police headquarters after they fought about a cell phone.

Hatcher said the girl walked away from the police station and when he talked with Akin she had a bloody lip and scratches from a fight.MORE

The she links to a guest post on that cesspool of Repubublican crazies known as the Corner, in which a police tells us what we all know already, they are in authority and we all need to sit down and shut up and don't give them any lip. OR ELSE. The next jackass who tells me anything about protecting and serving will get a pile of expletives. Yes, I am that pissed at the mo'.

To make matters worse...Taser International has just announced an improvement to their abomination of a weapon. It can now fire three rounds without needing to be recharged. YIPPEEE!!!! I am sure we will all sleep better at night with this info. And fuck it, while they are at it, why don't they get some federal dollars for that shit, so that law enforcement can continue to torture people with them? I mean, stimulus and all, right?

After all, there are so many people to torture:In Mobile, Alabama this week, policemen used lethal force on Antonio Love, a deaf and mentally disabled man, who would not come out of the bathroom. Because he had a lethal weapon. An umbrella

And in something I should have blogged but managed to forget, which sucks:In the memory of Robert Mitchell can we please stop calling tasers nonlethal force?

Annndddd: Assault on Black Women - Tasered While Black After her toddler Murdered

Immigrants, of course tend to get some of the worst of police violence directed towards them:Homeland Security and racism

Of course, it is no wonder that those same racist, entitled, I-have-a-gun-and-a-badge-so-I-can-do-anything-bastards, pull these shenanigans: a study has found that ICE agents are breaking and entering people's homes to look for illegal immigrants. This because they are under pressure to fulfill their quotas.

The researchers sketch out a harrowing scenario of a typical home invasion:

There is story after story of ICE agents, armed with only an administrative warrant, yelling and banging on doors and then forcing their way into homes in the pre-dawn hours by pushing their way in if residents unlock their doors, and otherwise climbing through windows or kicking in doors. Some residents report being awakened by the presence of armed ICE officers in their bedrooms who illegally gained entry through unlocked doors.

And, finally, we come to Sheriff Arpaio

In case you don't know who Sheriff Joe Arpaio is, he fancies himself as "America's toughest sheriff". By "tough", he means "racist, sexist, and costing Arizona money hand over fist". The Phoenix New Times has an entire archive based on this guy's antics, and it's updated regularly. Highlights of Arpaio's 17-year reign include breaking a woman's arm, crushing a prisoner's larnyx, taping women inmates in the restrooms, some financial funny business and the occasional baby death. MORE

And thats just the start. And why does he get away with his unlawful, illegal, sick twisted cruel fucked up behaviour that has cost the state 43 MILLION DOLLARS in lawsuits? Even though the crime rate hasn't moved?

Well. His district is full of mostly conservative whites. And great many of his victims are suspected illegal immigrants So he is powerful enough, therefore, to quash dissent.

I mean, I thought this was crazy: Sheriff Arpaio has suggested raiding the town of Mesa because the wife of a mayor there had the temerity to say during jury selection that Joe was not her hero..

But this:
The Phoenix New Times ran an investigation of Arpaio's real-estate dealings that included Arpaio's home address, which he argued was possibly a violation of state law. When the paper revealed that it had received an impossibly broad subpoena, demanding, among other things, the Internet records of all visitors to its web site in the previous two and a half years, sheriff's deputies staged late-night raids on the homes of Michael Lacey and James Larkin, executives of Village Voice Media, which owns the New Times. The deputies arrested both men for, they said, violating grand-jury secrecy. (The county attorney declined to prosecute, and it turned out that the subpoenas were issued unlawfully.)
Is fucking nuts. And he's untouchable.

And please please please don't make the mistake of thinking that these are isolated cases. Cut that the fuck out.

EDIT: via:[livejournal.com profile] colorblue a dead on musical selection
Sabac Red Feat. Immortal Technique - Fight Until The End

EDIT:Our whackos in red too?!?!?!?!?
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STOP WHITEWASHING YOUR BOOK COVERS!!!! You are actually LOSING customers because of that, assholes! I saw both of her books and decided against picking them up because I was sick and tired of white protagonists all day long and was looking for books with POC on them!

Speaking of which, I have REALLy got to congratulate my Barnes and Noble. I have complained before about the mostly white section of YA fic. In teh past few weeks, it has diversified to an ASTONISHING extent. There are book featuring black people with black faces on the covers, that aren't necessarily about blacks in the ghetto, all over the place! There was even a book written by an American of mixed Indian and African descent featuring an Indian/African American girl and her Hispanic stepsister! And historicals. With black girls wearing awesome dresses on the cover!! SQUEEEEE!!!

Now, I want more books featuring lesbian characters (seriously guys, it ain't only white boys who are gay WTF!!) more Muslim Americans and Hispanic and Latina Americans WHO AREN'T REPRESENTED BY WHITE OR HIGH BROWN PEOPLE ON THE COVER BECAUSE SKIN COLOUR OF HISPANIC AMERICANS ACTUALLY ENCOMPASS THAT AND FIRST NATIONS AND BLACK PEOPLE AS WELL AS THEIR VARIOUS MIXES AS WELL WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! And trans teens as well as Native American books aside from "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" would be nice! Great start! Now lets do more!!!

Also, the extra seating, especially those squishy armchairs, is GREATLY appreciated!

EDIT: Huh:Kimani Tru (YA African American fic) is an imprint of Harlequin! I didn't know that!

So willow is pointing out that the Kimani Tru Imprint has skanky SKANKY RACE AND CLASS ISSUES

And I remember that that there is issues with the way black teens are being presented in their YA books vs the way white teens are presented Oh my god. This is annoying the fuck out of me now.
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They dropped the charges This was one bite that was too hard for the racist assholes to swallow. They will continue to stick it to the poor, of course. Cause WE can't afford those lawyers.
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In our new post racial america, white lady calls cops on black professor having trouble opening his 200 year old house's door. Cops arrests man after he identifies himself as home owner because he is being too "loud and tumultous" I proceed to hate the world a little bit more. Especially because various commenters seem to believe that the cops are entitled to arrest anyone who argues with them. Remind me again about democracy and free speech? And how the United States is the freest country in the world?

In the meantime, Ms. Maddow was pissed enough at racist jackass Pat Buchannan, to do some fact checking of his recent appearance on her show:

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What the hell ABC? At a time when when grandads are siccing their 10 year old boys on their transgender classmates because he objects to said transgender classmate using the girl's bathroom? When the security at London Pride denies access to the ladies bathroom to a a post operative trans woman? When ZOMG rapists and pervs!!!!" is EXACTLY the way religious right fuckers shoot down trans civil rights bills? Even the supposedly most progressive of places are contributing to this vicious myth of trans folk as evil rapists and pedos, not fit for society, thereby contributing to the societal impulse to severely harass kids in school and murder both adults and children? When said vicious myth still leads to people getting away with trans panic defenses????

Against that background, which I dug up in five minutes of googling and which is by NO means comprehensive, your writers of "10 Things I hate About You" deiced that he best way to further Kat's relationship with Patrick and her best friend, is to make up a character that is an Asian trans kid and make said kid obnoxiously come on to Kat while she's in the bathroom?!?!?!?!?!??!?? And since the "gender-confused kid" (your words) won't take no for an answer, the loyal best friend has to punch her to get her to stop? REALLY? So that Kat can assume its Patrick that is defending her and take that as an excuse to have more interaction with him? Are you fucking serious??????? How many people's prejudices and ignorance do you think you have just confirmed? Did you all give ANY thought at all to the kids and adults who will be further tortured by their fellow students and adult citizens because you have just legitimised that trans folk are so sexually threatening that one needs to beat them up to get them to stop being criminals!?!?!?! When Trans kids deal with THIS and more every day...

Key findings of Harsh Realities include:
Biased language:
  • 90% of transgender students heard derogatory remarks, such as "dyke" or "faggot," sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
  • 90% of transgender students heard negative remarks about someone’s gender expression sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
  • Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks (16%) or negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (11%).
  • School staff also contributed to the harassment. A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks (32%), sexist remarks (39%) and negative comments about someone’s gender expression (39%) sometimes, often or frequently in the past year.
School Safety and Experiences of Harassment and Assault
  • Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).
  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).
  • More than half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender expression (53%).
  • More than a quarter of transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).

Do you SEE those numbers? What the hell is wrong with you????? Thsi is not a fucking JOKE. This is PEOPLE"S LIVES AND SAFETY THAT YOU ARE FUCKING WITH HERE!!!!That's TRANSPHOBIC you ignoramuses, and you fed the lies to CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS!!!As a JOKE. What is WRONG with you?
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The person who leaked it was a lobbyist, just so you know...

Today's link-bait (it worked!) from Politico:

WashPost sells access, $25,000+
By: Mike Allen
July 2, 2009 08:04 AM EST

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to "those powerful few" — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.
Thank you! Good day!
Really, what more do you need to know?
Here's some of the language of the offer:
"Underwriting Opportunity: An evening with the right people can alter the debate," says the one-page flier. "Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. ... Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama administration and congressional leaders ...

"Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No. The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Weymouth assures it. What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds typically on the guest list of 20 or less. ...

"Offered at $25,000 per sponsor, per Salon. Maximum of two sponsors per Salon. Underwriters’ CEO or Executive Director participates in the discussion. Underwriters appreciatively acknowledged in printed invitations and at the dinner. Annual series sponsorship of 11 Salons offered at $250,000 ... Hosts and Discussion Leaders ... Health-care reporting and editorial staff members of The Washington Post ... An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done. ... A Washington Post Salon ... July 21, 2009 6:30 p.m."


Emptywheel wonders about the other side of the equation

Which members of Congress and the Administration have agreed to participate? Did they know of the payoffs the lobbyists will make to host the events? And did the politicians expect anything in return? Or will they just be able to order up some WaPo scolding every time citizens demand real health care reform of their elected representatives? In other words, what is clear from this is that the WaPo doesn't give a shit about neutrality, they care only about an illusion of "objectivity." But what remains unclear is the rest of the equation--just how the WaPo managed to insert itself as the facilitator between lobbyists and our government--and the gatekeeper chasing citizens away at the same time.MORE

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Insurance company insider reveals how the industry rips you off, and bribes congress to do their bidding, and how the media is too ignorant to cover it

TL: What insurance stories did reporters write most often?

They wrote brief stories for investors, but wouldn’t go into the details of the important facts and numbers—such as a company’s medical loss ratio, which tells the percentage of premium dollars that the insurers pay out in claims. This is a closely watched measure by investors and Wall Street analysts, because it tells them how well a for-profit company is meeting investors’ earnings expectations.

Did reporters ever ask about this?

I can’t recall a reporter ever probing how insurers manage to meet Wall Street’s expectations through medical management and claims practices, which are key ways to manipulate the medical loss ratio and dump unprofitable accounts. Not once was I asked by a reporter what happens to people who work for small and mid-sized companies that get “purged” by insurers because their employees’ claims were causing the insurer’s medical loss ratio to move in the wrong direction from an investor’s point of view. No one ever asked me about the human consequences of satisfying Wall Street. Most reporters are happy to do a superficial job.

How do companies manipulate the medical loss ratio?

They look at expensive claims of workers in small businesses who are insured by the company, and the claims of people in the individual market. If an employer-customer has an employee or two who has a chronic illness or needs expensive care, the claims for the employee will likely trigger a review. Common industry practice is to increase premiums so high that when such accounts come up for renewal, the employer has no choice but to reduce benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering benefits entirely. More and more have opted for the last alternative.

What tactics do they use in the individual market?

They rescind policies when a review indicates that an individual has filed a lot of expensive claims. They will look for conditions that were not disclosed on the application. Often the policy likely will be canceled and the individual left without coverage. Sometimes people aren’t aware that they have a pre-existing condition. It might be listed in the doctor’s notes but not discussed with the patient. MORE

But...but what about the reporters? Why dont they catch on? )
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Hullabaloo points out:

Following up on my post last week about the shall we say, friendliness between the business and national security elites, here's a story from 2006 for the wtf files:

President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations. Notice of the development came in a brief entry in the Federal Register, dated May 5, 2006, that was opaque to the untrained eye.

Unbeknownst to almost all of Washington and the financial world, Bush and every other President since Jimmy Carter have had the authority to exempt companies working on certain top-secret defense projects from portions of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. Administration officials told BusinessWeek that they believe this is the first time a President has ever delegated the authority to someone outside the Oval Office. It couldn't be immediately determined whether any company has received a waiver under this provision.


A trip to the statute books showed that the amended version of the 1934 act states that "with respect to matters concerning the national security of the United States," the President or the head of an Executive Branch agency may exempt companies from certain critical legal obligations. These obligations include keeping accurate "books, records, and accounts" and maintaining "a system of internal accounting controls sufficient" to ensure the propriety of financial transactions and the preparation of financial statements in compliance with "generally accepted accounting principles."MORE

Think of the possibilities...

Pam'ss House Blend:

Meantime, our Obama's response to 77 members of Congress sending him a letter to ask him to help repeal DADT?Pass the hot potato

ENDA has been been introduced into the house and it includes the transgender population this time

Our heterosexual privilege knapsack

NC:Anti-bullying bill passes -- awaits Gov. Perdue's signature

In the meantime:

Obama: No apology for CIA fucking up Chile Let us look forward! Ignore history!

Q The point being that almost no Latin American nation has been free from CIA -- bloody CIA intervention, Chile being a prime example, President Bachelet being one of its victims. Is it time for a historical apology?

Well, look, I think you answered your own question right at the beginning, which is I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward. I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world. I think there have been times where we’ve made mistakes. But I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today, and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region.MORE

It's a good thing we don't have rationing like all those horrible European countries or people wouldn't be able to get health care when they need it...

Glenn Greenwald:

The "Neda video," torture, and the truth-revealing power of images

Obama, the Right, an defendants Rights Remember that Supreme Court ruling that defendants have no constutional right to access states evidence and request a DNA to prove their innocence? Guess who supported this? Obama's DOJ.
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OUT OF REACH: Is college only for the rich?

This shit is PAST serious. What the hell are you teaching at universities to be charging these humongous amounts of money evrey damned year? The hell you all can find money for tax cuts and war and military spending and the IMF and greedy thieving bankers all goddamn day long, but school , oh no, teh budget!!!
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Fed contractor, cell phone maker sold spy system to Iran

Two European companies — a major contractor to the U.S. government and a top cell-phone equipment maker — last year installed an electronic surveillance system for Iran that human rights advocates and intelligence experts say can help Iran target dissidents.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone giant Nokia and German powerhouse Siemens, delivered what is known as a monitoring center to Irantelecom, Iran's state-owned telephone company.

A spokesman for NSN said the servers were sold for "lawful intercept functionality," a technical term used by the cell-phone industry to refer to law enforcement's ability to tap phones, read e-mails and surveil electronic data on communications networks.

In Iran, a country that frequently jails dissidents and where regime opponents rely heavily on Web-based communication with the outside world, a monitoring center that can archive these intercepts could provide a valuable tool to intensify repression. MORE

[livejournal.com profile] asim pointed me to Al Giordano, who has the absolutely amazing article on teh cowardice of teh corporate media

Also, The regime was caught photoshopping their crowds apparently Oops!

Andrew Sullivan gathered some of todays tweets nicolas kristoff is pretty usually a docuhe, but his article tear down this cyberwall, is pretty interesting in parts.
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breaking his promises

MSNBC: The Rachel Maddow Show - Fierce Advocate?

The Dept. Of Justice's defense?

As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system.


"Note that the standard for defending a statute, once enacted, is lower than whether, in our judgment, it is constitutional," a senior administration official said. "It is whether there are arguments that can be made. The DOMA statute has been found constitutional by at least 6 courts and has never been struck down. Whatever we think, it would be pretty hard to say that there are not 'reasonable arguments' with that context."

Their idea of "reasonable arguments" and mine differ, somewhat.
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With Pressure Growing over Torture Pics, Obama Turns to Supreme Court to Stop Release
Today, Scott Horton posted a story at The Daily Beast, verifying the authenticity of the British paper's report:
The Daily Beast has obtained specific corroboration of the British account, which appeared in the London Daily Telegraph, from several reliable sources, including a highly credible senior military officer with firsthand knowledge, who provided even more detail about the graphic photographs that have been withheld from the public by the Obama administration.

A senior military officer familiar with the photos told me that they would likely provoke a storm of outrage if released. The well-informed source confirmed, just as reported in the Telegraph, that many of the photographs are sexually explicit, including those mentioned above. The photographs differ from those already officially released.
It took less than a day for the next turn of events. According to a CNN report, the Obama administration has made a motion to recall their request for a hold on the pictures release from the federal appeals court, and will take their request directly to the Supreme Court.
The government said it would proceed "absent intervening legislation" from Congress....
Last week, the Senate voted for the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act, which would limit the reach of the Freedom of Information Act in this instance. The House could adopt a similar provision next month as part of an omnibus spending bill.
The government has until June 9 to file its initial appeal with the Supreme Court.


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