Sunday, November 20, 2011

Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts

Find the original here:

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.

Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.

The total "cost" of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.

Wingate had the option of sentencing McLemore according to federal guidelines, which would have left her with a term of two months to eight months, followed by probation. Not good enough! Wingate was so outraged by McLemore’s fraud that he decided to serve her up the deluxe vacation, using another federal statute that permitted him to give her up to five years.

He ultimately gave her three years, saying, "The defendant's criminal record is simply abominable …. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court."

Compare this court decision to the fraud settlements on Wall Street. Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have "been the beneficiary of government generosity." Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in government guarantees.

All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we've come is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citi’s debt.

Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to keep their jobs.

Anita McLemore, meanwhile, lied to feed her children, gave back every penny of her "fraud" when she got caught, and is now going to do three years in prison. Explain that, Eric Holder!

Here’s another thing that boggles my mind: You get busted for drugs in this country, and it turns out you can make yourself ineligible to receive food stamps.

But you can be a serial fraud offender like Citigroup, which has repeatedly been dragged into court for the same offenses and has repeatedly ignored court injunctions to abstain from fraud, and this does not make you ineligible to receive $45 billion in bailouts and other forms of federal assistance.

This is the reason why all of these settlements allowing banks to walk away without "admissions of wrongdoing" are particularly insidious. A normal person, once he gets a felony conviction, immediately begins to lose his rights as a citizen.

But white-collar criminals of the type we’ve seen in recent years on Wall Street – both the individuals and the corporate "citizens" – do not suffer these ramifications. They commit crimes without real consequence, allowing them to retain access to the full smorgasbord of subsidies and financial welfare programs that, let’s face it, are the source of most of their profits.

Why, I wonder, does a bank that has committed fraud multiple times get to retain access to the Federal Reserve discount window? Why should Citigroup and Goldman Sachs get to keep their status as Primary Dealers of U.S. government debt? Are there not enough banks without extensive histories of fraud and malfeasance that can be awarded these de facto subsidies?

Children as Sex Offenders - NOT!

As I'm sure you all have heard (at least here in the USA) - there are children who have actually been prosecuted, and convicted, of crimes that put them in the National Sex Offender Database.

With a rare few, these kids are guilty of only one thing: Listening to their hormones instead of common sense.

I wager most of you reading this entry would agree when I state that the NSO Database was NOT established for the purpose of cataloging consensual teens as lifetime sex offenders. I will go so far as to include those who are 21 with a partner who is under 18, whose only crime is the desire to express their love for one another through physical acts.

Yet, it has happened and continues happening as overzealous DAs don't bother to consider the enormous ramifications of a lifetime label as a sex offender, when nothing more occurred than consensual sex between two people the law claims shouldn't be having sex - for WHATEVER reason.

It's as bad as classifying consensual adults as sex offenders for something as stupid as sodomy, just because someone decided that you couldn't sex your partner up the butt in the privacy of your home in their state.

SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. Law should NOT be abused in this manner, and the officials pursuing charges in such cases ARE abusing the spirit of the law - without regard to the lifetime of harm they are causing these people.

The child abuse laws passed in the last 20 years aren't doing their job. Countless stories hit the newswires every day about a kid killed by a parent, or starved by a parent, or locked in a cage...or worse. Meanwhile, the well-meaning dad who cuffs their child for swearing or telling a lie is suddenly talking to the cops because his kid has been drilled to report such things to the officials at school - and nobody can seem to differentiate between routine discipline and abuse.

While I don't believe in heavy-handed corporal punishment, sometimes a cuff to the cheek or butt is necessary to get the gravity of a situation through to a kid - and I do NOT believe the schools have ANY business "parenting" or "protecting" children who are receiving nothing more than routine punishment for behaving badly. Sometimes grounding and taking things away does NOT get it through their heads - especially if they are being encouraged by other kids (and sometimes adults) to misbehave, time and again.

My goddaughter Faith got herself in trouble. She's 12 years old as of this past September, and, thanks to all the hormones, antibiotics, and steroids pumped into milk and meat, hit puberty at the age of 10. A week ago Friday night, her father found out she has been having sex with a 15-year-old boy who, as we also found out, believed Faith to be 13 years of age.

Her father and I have been best of friends for over 15 years. Faith's mother has mental issues and has never demonstrated that she can be a consistent and competent parent; in fact, Faith's father won full custody of her because her mother lost control in a fit of rage. Faith not only has to deal with a broken family and an unstable mother, but living below the poverty line. Keith has done his best to raise her with decent ethics and morals... imagine all our shock when we found out she'd been having sex since her birthday in September. She already had a pattern of running away, primarily to avoid the punishments her father had to mete out for her frequent lying and acting out. He has asked agencies, time and again, for help for Faith, only to be told he makes too much money (another pet peeve of mine - they desperately need to revamp the poverty limits).

Faith had a facebook and so did her boyfriend and it was all laid out for anyone with access to read. Keith's sister Sandi managed to gain friendship of both Faith and the boy, and copied much of what was on their Walls.
  • Faith lied about her age.
  • Faith convinced others that Keith is not her biological father (and he is, there has been a paternity test)
  • Faith told others that Keith was physically abusing her, when, in fact, he was disciplining her, and only once did he lose his temper too much
  • Faith has made claims of neglect that are not substantiated. Keith himself has gone without food so his daughter could eat.
  • Faith has had counseling through school but it has not been adequate. She also shows signs of depression and other disorders that will require medication. First NOW - AFTER she got into trouble, are agencies offering help that Keith was told was unavailable due to his income in the past.
It's a very sad commentary on this country overall that the only time you can get help for a kid in crisis is AFTER they get into trouble. Now, you will hear me slam one political party (and part of another) for a prevailing attitude that leads to what I opened this post with. Most Republicans, and some Democrats (the ones referred to as "Blue Dog") are letting their religious views color what they do when it comes to the law. The district attorney where Keith and Faith live, happens to be Republican and Catholic and his record demonstrates that he lets both personal opinion and religion get in the way of the due process of the law. He intends to prosecute both Faith AND the boy under charges of sexual assault. If convicted, both kids would face 20 years behind bars, and bear the label of Sex Offender for the rest of their lives. I ask you: Just HOW does this serve justice? They're kids. Technically Faith isn't old enough to have her sexual actions considered criminal. Sure she said yes, but the boy initiated the interaction.

There is no word yet whether charges will be filed against the boy's parents for openly allowing the children to have sex under their roof. It would make more sense to me, to prosecute the ADULTS, who KNEW BETTER.

Faith is barely old enough to look after herself without a babysitter. Just what in the HELL is that DA thinking?

We have advised Keith to contact the American Civil Liberties Union over this. The DA refused to drop charges against the kids even after Keith expressed his displeasure over the idea of his daughter being prosecuted.

Just imagine it. 12 years old, and 15 years old. Put behind bars with adult offenders for Goddess knows how long. Released, but registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.


Yes, the kids need to have their wrists slapped in a way that ingrains it into their heads that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do - even if the boy's parents condoned it. Yes, the kids should be given therapy and medications if need be. YES - the boy's parents should face more serious charges, since they contributed to the delinquency of not only their son but Faith.

NO, two relatively innocent kids shouldn't be labeled sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sometimes People Sicken Me.

Take a look at this article:

Christians Openly Advocate Killing Atheists on FOX News Facebook Page

It makes me sick to see people claiming to adhere to a religion that preaches tolerance, compassion and goodwill turn around and say that they want people who don't believe as they do, to die, be murdered, or otherwise deprived of life.

Who the FUCK do you think you are?

Sorry folks, but your religion is fast being eclipsed by a whole lotta other ones. It always was, to be frank. If you add up the adherents to all other religions - or no religion at all - that number fast outpaces that of Christians.

Now how would you like the REST of us to desire YOU dead? I'm sure you wouldn't like it any better than we do.

Kindly take your attitudes and shove them up your collective ass.

Go back to your brick-and-mortar churches and pretend to believe in a god that tells you to show tolerance, compassion, and generosity to all, even those who do not believe as you do. Maybe this Sunday you should pay a little closer attention to what your Jesus preached, than what the human man on the pulpit is preaching - because if he is telling you that everyone else deserves to die, then he is dishonoring the collar he wears and the profession he practices.

Do you think everyone at the Sermon On The Mount was Christian? Got news for you.

Do you think it was ONLY Christians who partook of the bread and fish that were multiplied tenfold and shared? Got NEWS for you.

By advocating the murder of innocents, just because they don't believe as you do, you dishonor the faith you claim to keep.

Shame on you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goldline Execs Charged With Fraud

ABC News
By MATTHEW MOSK and BRIAN ROSS (@brianross)
Nov. 1, 2011

Goldline, a company that used endorsements from Glenn Beck and other conservative icons to sell hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers, has been charged with theft and fraud in a 19-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday by local officials in California.

[ Read More ]

You can see the filed complaint here.

Beck and his peers have been known to endorse other products and corporations. Anyone who is dumb enough to even consider buying something from something Beck endorses needs their head examined. The ONLY reason they endorse something is because THEY are making money off it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Refuse to Be Politicized!

Thanks to a friend, I came across this article from

Seemingly Bogus Website Uses 'Occupy Party' Name... To Sell Ads

Someone is trying to politicize the movement, same as what they did with the Tea Party.


Once something is politicized, it's controlled by Korporate Amerika.

A Very Bad Dream

I need to share a dream I had a few nights ago, after I decided to start this blog, after the disaster in Oakland.

We were living in a very strict totalitarian state. Everyone's brain had been wired with electrodes, leading to a circuit strip at the base of our heads, covered in a flap of plastic.

Police carried styluses and were authorized to touch certain parts of this circuit strip to dole out punishments when they caught you breaking the laws.

I, and others, had participated in an Occupy-style protest against the State, and we were running, trying to avoid the police. They caught up to one of us and we saw what they did to the woman's circuit strip. They pressed certain "nodes", and she became almost as intellectually retarded as someone with Down's Syndrome. She couldn't think for herself, couldn't take care of herself, and became a Ward of the State.

The rest of us kept running but were eventually caught. I woke up when they were getting ready to dole out my "punishiment". I was begging them not to make me dumb.


The fact of the matter is there are millions who are already "dumb". They either don't know, or don't care to know, the true state of how things are. They don't want to believe our government is bought and paid for by corporations who wish to make a profit off programming us in how to live. They don't want to believe that what the GOP is spoon-feeding them is lies, and more lies. They don't want to believe that the Democrats have become just as ineffectual; they continue to make promises they fail to follow through on. They don't want to believe that all major news outlets belong to corporations that don't want you to know the truth - about anything, save carefully selected stories.

Occupy protests are helping to educate some, but there are still a lot of people who are more than willing to believe the corporations.

Let's keep up the good work and pray for those who have their heads stuck in the sand.

The Corporation

If you wish to feel even more informed about corporations and what they're doing to this world, watch this documentary. I am putting the first part here in my blog, the rest are available through Youtube as you watch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What has kept me awake since yesterday

There are a few reasons why I am awake for nearly 24 hours...

One. My rescued street-cat, Mauser, had issues with grooming or letting me brush him so he had to go in for a "sedate and shave" this morning. He's fine and we will be bringing him home shortly.

Two. I have certain friends and family members who are unfortunately brainwashed into thinking and repeating the GOP agenda talking points - and any time you try to introduce them to reason, they have a freaking shit fit. I didn't feel comfortable sharing my viewpoints in a place where they knew it was me.

Three. What occurred last night in Oakland, CA, to the peaceful protesters representing Occupy Oakland was shameful to say the least, and unconstitutional to say the most. I guess we were all waiting for something like this to happen, and now we shall see what the fallout will be. At the very least, those who were able to leave without being (illegally) arrested were definitely more "radicalized" than when they first came.

There are a bunch of Bagger and GOP and Red Scare crapheads following me on twitter, and every time I bring up the word SOCIAL, they all panick and accuse me of being in cahoots with either Stalin, Lenin, or Marx. Sorry folks, but you got me, a Free Thinker, mixed up with a whole bunch of people I never claimed to follow.

The most popular definitions to come up on Google regarding Free Thinkers concern religion. It rather irks me to see that, because Free Thinking, for me, is NOT a "religion" per se. Yes, Free Thinking motivated me to become an active religious Seeker, until I found my spiritual home in my heritage and in Paganism. It didn't, however, end with religion; it colors how I approach all things in life.

I do not merely accept what I've been told. Even if it sounds good, I still invest some research into it.

Even when I was still working (I am medically retired, now) I did not let the news media or other sources of information blindly guide me. I researched, I listened to or read as many information outlets as I possibly could. With the advent of the Internet, the entire world of sources opened up to me.

I was taught, from birth onward, to think for myself, to never be afraid to question, to press for information, to research until I was at peace. My mother was a Free Thinker. Her father was a Free Thinker. The roots run deep in the matrilineal side of my family.

Naturally, my refusal to simply "go with the flow" earned me detractors, and in some cases, enemies. I caused friction. I drew attention. I caused others to wonder if they were in the right to follow the flow or if there was something inherently flawed in their thinking. I tend to have reactions of that sort to this very day. It is as though I am a natural mirror; my very approach to life is sometimes enough to disturb people, though I may not even be aware of it.

I have what some have referred to as a decidedly "cat like" personality, and no doubt that's why I get along with the creatures so well. A cat won't necessarily do what it's told, unless you threaten its idea of security in some fashion (including restraint, yelling, stomping feet, etc.) In other words, you must motivate the cat to change its pattern of behavior.

The same goes for Free Thinkers in my opinion. The clearer your message, the better researched it is, the more source material you can provide - all those things motivate a Free Thinker to consider your opinion when weighing a matter.

A Free Thinker will not believe something simply because you say it is so, no matter how much authority, real or imagined, you wield in its telling.

This country used to celebrate Free Thinkers. So many of our inventions, more than a few lifesaving, were developed by Free Thinkers - people who refused to take "no" or "impossible" for an answer. Our greatest minds in other roles within culture and society were Free Thinkers.

Free Thinkers were a good thing; that is, until Korporate Amerika saw them as a threat and began indoctrinating people to be afraid of them and their concepts.

Free Thinkers used to inhabit major news outlets and risked things that were important - sometimes their very lives - to bring the public the truth. Now the major news outlets are all firmly consolidated undr Korporate Amerika and it's very hard to find any truth that doesn't support the Korporate Agenda.

Welcome to the Hologram, folks, where your culture is spoon-fed to you, one consumer good at a time.

On "Socialism" and what it REALLY means for our country

Note: I first posted this on another blog but I wish to start this one with the same thoughts.

Not a one in this country (outside of a few fringe groups) is advocating the enactment of either Communism or Socialism ala Marx or Lenin.

Rather, people are advocating a return to being social, to caring for one another, to knowing your neighbors and networking. People are advocating a return to the more traditional values of giving a shit about the people around you. Taking care of the poor, needy, disadvantaged and disabled.

None of those things equate to Marxism or Leninism, aka Socialism or Communism in the well-known sense.

Clinton was a good President and accomplished a lot of good; however, he had three blunders which contributed directly to the sorry state of the economy today: The North American Free Trade Agreement, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and Workfare instead of Welfare. The first started the wholesale export of jobs out of this country, and the second allowed banks to merge their financial and banking houses into one, which then led to the Bush years, where banks played roulette with everyone's money - and lost. The third left no safety net and often led to the worsening of the lives of the poor, as single mothers were made to work several minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet while their children went without their presence and guidance.

Does anyone recall what the Tea Party started out advocating, before the GOP hijacked the movement? Surprisingly, their complaints were pretty much the same as we are seeing in the Occupy The World movements. The difference this time? It's the TRUE 99% of the masses at the bottom and they will NOT be politicized.

I'm no expert, but I can relate what I've seen happen over my lifetime. I draw a line between what I call pre Ayn Rand Years and post Ayn Rand Years. The divisiveness came about in the 1980s, when corporations began to hijack our very culture and instill an "every man for themselves" mentality. Around this time, someone got it into their collective head that it would be cost-saving to shut down State Mental Hospitals, and suddenly we had an outpouring of profoundly mentally handicapped people onto the street - people who were not equipped, and likely would never BE equipped, to take care of themselves. Thus swelled the ranks of the homeless. No health care, no medication for these people. Nowhere for them to live, because they are unable to hold down a job.

Ayn Rand reigned supreme during the 1980s. Ronald Reagan and his cronies made sure the mindset continued, and worsened.

There are millions of people who don't remember what it's like to know their neighbors, to have weekly cookouts, to band together to help when one or another fell on hard times or got ill. People don't remember affordable healthcare. They don't remember the safety nets that used to be there for those who, through no fault of their own, couldn't make the American Dream. Now we have rules and laws that tell us what to do in the most idiotic of situations - situations where people of the past just simply knew better. Slowly, and in a most insidious fashion, corporations have taken over key elements of our very culture, making people dependent on them for how they should think and live. The true Free Thinker is a rare breed, these days.

Gone is the time when pretty much everyone knew that the GOP supported the rich and the Dems supported the 99% of the rest of us. Gone are the days when it was against the law to tell lies and call them news; to share opinions and call them fact; to mislead whole generations away from the way things really ARE.

Now, we have two parties which support the rich, even if the Democrats still claim to represent us 99%. Tissue paper lies. They are "intstalled" when it suits the corporations, and removed when it does not. They are told how to act, what to say, and what to vote for.

How many of you know the Constitution - even the opening paragraph? Let me remind you what the very opening paragraph says (bolds are mine):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

To those who don't think one of the functions of the United States Government is to take care of its own, regardless of social class: You need to read the Constitution. When it was written, it was common for everyone in a town or village to know one another, and to help one another out in times of crisis or illness. This "culture of caring" was ratified right into our Constitution.

To those who don't think one of the functions of the United States Government is to protect the people - regardless of social class - you'd best read it again. Protection for ALL was ratified into our Constitution.

It has been decades since people were elected to Congress by "the people" - if not over a hundred years, dating back to 1886 when it was declared that a Corporation is a person. Suddenly, corporations had powers as a collective entity that each individual had - but they weren't prosecuted the same way. If you look on that page, there's a picture of a gal holding a sign that says: "I won't believe corporations are persons until Texas executes one." In this day and age, we've seen countless incidents where corporations have blatantly flouted the law, and even their CEOs remain free and unprosecuted. At the same time, individuals exercising their right of Free Speech are being persecuted, arrested, detained, and otherwise harassed for putting forth viewpoints that directly contradict the collective will of corporations.

There is a saying that goes way, way back. "Follow The Money". Any time you hear of something even more ridiculous going on, remember that saying and trace down the background. Never listen to a talk show host or a TV commentator and assume they speak the truth. Recapture your Free Thinking and research it for yourself. Don't have time? You seem to have time to listen to the people who make money lying to you.

Even well-known news institutions have become controlled by Corporations. Look at Rupert Murdoc, who should be cooling his heels in a jail cell, but isn't, even though he ordered the illegal tracing and wiretapping of private phones. His News Corp. has managed to gobble up so many news outlets that half the time you have no idea if they own it or not.

At one time in this country, media outlets couldn't own newspapers, TV stations, AND radio stations all at once. It was considered monopolizing the news, and that used to be something recognized for what it is - enforcing a specific viewpoint across all forms of media. Usually that viewpoint was very corporate-centric. Well, nowadays, they not only CAN own print, TV, radio, AND Internet - they can keep gobbling and gobbling till you don't know where to turn for an unbiased viewpoint.

Remember when AT&T was busted up because they stifled competition and whatnot? Well, guess who is doing exactly what they were doing, before the breakup - and worse.

People stood outside their buildings in upper Manhattan during the Billionaire's March of Occupy Wall Street, and couldn't, for the lives of them, figure out what these people were about. Most of them have no rational experience they can use to connect to the real concerns, real needs of the 99%. There is such a huge class divide that the rich's brains have done fallen out into the yawning abyss. Most of them have never been poor, never been hungry, never lacked for medical care and medications. Most of them have lived in their houses and mansions for generations, bought and paid for. They can't even comprehend what it is like to sleep under cardboard on a cold NY street in the dead of winter - nor why so many people end up doing just that.

Until Occupy Wall Street began the movement, the 99% of us who aren't rich were quite literally invisible to the 1% who are.

I'm glad to see the movement gaining global proportions, since the class divide is hardly isolated just to the U.S.A.

NOW...for any of you who have read this far, and STILL think the Occupy The World people are simply lazy layabouts or tattooed idiots with hardware in their noses or Muslims or some other minority, take a look at these pictures, then strain your brain to remember what the Tea Party started out with, before they were politicized:

The Big Picture

Welcome To My Parlour

I have created this blog as a place where I can share my viewpoints without bias, with anyone who may appreciate, share, or wish to debate them.