Monday, February 23, 2015

What I am wondering...

...with the discovery of a Chicago police investigator acting as an agent of torture in Gitmo, were there others from other cities inside the USA?

There is also a 'thing' with Iran and Israel and a connection to South Africa as reported in The Guardian.

February 23, 2015
By Seumas Milne and Ewen MacAskill

...The South African Iran dossier, (click here) marked secret, is 128 pages long and provides biographical details about every suspected Iranian agent in South Africa. It lists their age, marital status, address, car registration, mobile phones, visits in the country and overseas, people they meet, their career before arriving in South Africa and their personal habits....

It has long been believed the Israeli Mossad was assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists within the borders of Iran.

It is interesting how The Guardian is coming up with a good deal of information that implicates the US and Israel in some very underhanded stuff full of lies. 

The Chicago Police department has come under scrutiny by the community due to what family members are calling a cover up of the deaths of African Americans. In particular, there was a young person found in an abandoned building dead. The case was eventually down graded from murder to an unexplainable death. The reason it was downgraded was due to the impact on statistics that benefited the 'promise' by the Mayor he would lower crime rates. 

The Mayor is having an unexpected difficulty in capturing 50 percent of the Democratic vote to insure his second term in office. I don't believe there is a conspiracy, however, it is interesting how these issues are coming to light with Democrats in office.

Americans are growing weary of the lies and corruption. I think much of this is coming to light while Democrats are in office because they didn't know it was being covered up. Oops.

It would be a huge mistake for anyone to get in the way of the truth at this point. I doubt any of this will be discussed in a public hearing by Senate or House Republicans. Their majority is convenient at this point. 
There is a 'thing' about the veto power I think Republicans are going to try to peddle as another illegal act by the President.

Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 (US Constitution)

I am waiting to hear the rhetoric on this one.

There are many people who would appreciate it if "The Guardian" was diminished in it's credibility.

February 23, 2015
By Seumas Milne, Ewen MacAskill and Guy Grandjean
Binyamin Netanyahu’s (click here) dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document.

It is part of a cache of hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from the world’s major intelligence services – one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times.

Brandishing a cartoon of a bomb with a red line to illustrate his point, the Israeli prime minister warned the UN in New York that Iran would be able to build nuclear weapons the following year and called for action to halt the process.

But in a secret report shared with South Africa a few weeks later, Israel’s intelligence agency concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”. The report highlights the gulf between the public claims and rhetoric of top Israeli politicians and the assessments of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment....

Claimants have to look at what their costs are in going through the court system.

The BP stock price hasn't wavered that much after the initial BP disaster in the Gulf.

There is no reason why the claims from those effected by the disaster aren't receiving their money and certainly there is no reason for any claim to be ignored. 

I'll say this much, this is Louisiana. The judges are bought and sold by the petroleum industry. The settlement process if more just than any appeal to the judiciary in the region.

There is a new watchdog on the beat. It is a non-profit corporation called "Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch." (click here)

This is the kind of nonsense LLAW is putting out:

BATON ROUGE, LA (Dec. 16, 2014) — Louisiana (click here) has earned the seventh-highest ranking in the 2014–2015 American Tort Reform Association Judicial Hellholes® report of the worst places to be sued. The state has been singled out for unbalanced courts and excessive legal practices for five consecutive years.

Louisiana dropped from last year’s No. 2 ranking on the ATRA Judicial Hellholes list to No. 7 as a result of promising work by state lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. However, significant legal reform challenges remain. According to the report, “The shameless feeding frenzy initiated by personal injury lawyers and enabled by a plaintiff-friendly federal judge that began in the wake of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues, seemingly unabated, and other long-standing problems in civil courts there combine to qualify Louisiana as a Judicial Hellhole for another year.”...

If there is any more tort reform in the south, except for federal judges, the states and otherwise won't need judges. I betcha number one is Texas.


Louisiana is one of the most impoverished states in the country. I wish they knew what greed was.
See below for LLAW Executive Director Melissa Landry’s column (click here) about coastal lawsuits and the greed, instead of environmental concerns, that motivates them. The column originally ran in the Louisiana Record. 
Gladstone Jones, a high-powered New Orleans personal injury lawyer, quietly filed several lawsuits on behalf of private property owners – mostly large, out-of-state landowners – against energy companies in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes late last year.

These lawsuits, filed in the 24th and 25th Judicial District Courts last month, are not Jones’ first attempt to make money off of the hot-button issue.  Jones is the same attorney hired by the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E), which filed similar litigation targeting many of the same defendants for the same types of damages back in 2013. According to the New York Times, Jones expected the SLFPA-E lawsuit to net “many billions of dollars. Many, many billions of dollars.”

After the Louisiana Legislature passed a bill to kill the SLFPA-E lawsuit, which is now pending in state and federal courts, the new private landowner lawsuits give Jones the proverbial second bite at the apple....

How do you spell Louisiana? C-O-R-R-U-P-T. 

How do you spell morality in Louisiana? P-R-O-L-I-F-E.

Now was does CORRUPT + PROLIFE equal? Republican rhetoric they can be proud of.

The BP Deepwater Horizon complainants are being squeezed by the justice system and other non-profits that are thriving on making an issue of corrupt people rather than corrupt government. I think the Justice Department needs to step in to review some of the proceedings and possibly remedy this into a class action suit. There is suppose to be a $20 billion fund that can be added to if the liabilities are higher than $20 billion.  

It would be in BP's best interest to settle the lawsuits  ASAP, because, the interest alone on any monetary settlement will only increase the cost to the company. Any of these lawsuits have to ask for interest paid on the losses. If they aren't asking for interest and it is taking this long then the people are not receiving the best the law can provide.

I really don't want to hear any accusations about greed. The largest percentage of the people of Louisiana earn less than $15,000 per year. That is over 16% and the largest percentage in one group of income earners. These folks that are fishermen/women are low income people. They aren't be wealthy folks that can absorb their losses on an income tax return.  The next largest percentage is about 11% and that is folks between $75,000 to $100,000, the next percentage of any size population is 10% and they earn $100,000 to $150,000. So there are the very poor and the healthier upper Middle Class. In Lousiana $150,000 is considered wealthy. Seven percent earn more than $150,000. The rest of the income earners fall below $75,000 per year and are primarily in the $20,000 to $40,000 range. 

The loss to these folks is nearly immeasurable because they were poor to begin with, so when significant money demands comes before any judge, BP screams fraud automatically. There is nothing like a multiple billion dollar company setting itself up to reduce any costs in the USA by locating itself within an impoverished state's borders and paying for elections to enforce that poverty.

When the BP CEO came to the USA that night and told the crew aboard the Deepwater Horizon to push the drilling, that poverty was within that calculation. The USA waters of the Gulf of Mexico aren't in a safety zone when it comes to respect by CEO's that play odds with a financial outcome after the USA laws are applied. 

Republicans? They aren't trustworthy and don't give a damn about the people. The complaints about BP should be on the lips of Bobby Jindal. But, they aren't. The people are pushed around and discarded as trouble makers and liars until the problem goes away. 

I know these bastards and they are corrupt to the core.

Jindal is coming back from DC and the first thing he'll say when asked about the BP Deepwater Disaster is that he talked at length to the President and the AG and everyone is doing all they can. The people will just have to show patience with the process. 

The people victimized by this should load up their pick up trucks with dead shell fish and tar balls and drop it at the door of the state legislature building.

Here is what District Court Judge Janice Clark said about the moral people under the Capital Dome in Baton Rouge. The problem regarding this law will persist because it will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court regardless of it's unconstitutional content. The AG should step in to ADVISE the Louisiana state Attorney General to improve the status of the people effected by BP.

Judge Clark Concludes Act 544 is Unconstitutional (click here)
On October 31, 2014, the Honorable Judge Janice Clark of 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge issued a minute entry in which she concluded the newly minted Act 544 is unconstitutional.
Judge Clark presides over the matter filed by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (“LOGA”) against the Honorable James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, in his capacity as Attorney General for the State of Louisiana.  LOGA filed its suit seeking to invalidate the Attorney General’s approval of the resolution authorizing retention of counsel by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (“SLFPA-E”) with regard the SLFPA-E’s separate suit against oil, gas and pipeline companies for damages caused to the coastal wetlands.  The SLFPA-E intervened into LOGA’s suit to protect the SLFPA-E’s interest in its contract with its attorneys, and after trial was had on the matter, Judge Clark dismissed LOGA’s suit.
Act 544 was signed into law following the 2014 Louisiana legislative session.  It amends certain provisions of Louisiana’s Coastal Zone Management Act, and its proponents contend it prevents SLFPA-E from pursuing the claims asserted in its pending suit for damages to coastal wetlands.
Following the enactment of Act 544, SLFPA-E filed a motion for entry of final judgment in LOGA’s suit.  The SLFPA-E’s motion outlined the reasons Act 544 does not apply to the SLFPA-E, the reasons Act 544 is unconstitutional, and, thus, the reasons Act 544 should have no impact on Judge Clark’s earlier rulings dismissing LOGA’s suit....

The people are held hostage by Republicans all the time.

December 11, 2014
9:38 pm est
A massive federal spending bill (click here) finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206....

Even as the spending bill passed, the Republicans took the Department of Homeland Security as hostage. If any group of people seriously hate this country is it Republicans. As a party they think nothing of taking the people of this country as hostage to their politics. The country doesn't matter to them. If it did, these antics would not exist.

What is the worst the Democrats do, fund Food Stamps? That's a problem, huh? 

It is no different than congressional votes to end the ACA. Why? The ACA is completely funded, there is absolutely no reason to deprive the people of the USA health care. No one is asking the congress to do anything outrageous with the national treasury. Providing health care to the underserved and food to the poor. 

Excuse me? We need to fund Homeland Security because there are problems in the world and the USA is a target along with allies. This is ridiculous.  

April 15, 2015 the list of pork barrel projects will be published. There isn't that much to object to. The worst is the Denali Commission which received a little over $1 million. It is an agency that oversees utility needs of distant communities in Alaska. That's pork? Really? 

The outcome to the fire in Dubai is credited to the security officers.

February 21, 2015

A fire (click here) that ripped through a luxury residential tower in Dubai’s Marina district early Saturday morning engulfed several stories and displaced hundreds, but caused no casualties, according to multiple news reports....

The thing is, most high rise apartments run fire drills. That has been my experience. So, everyone is well schooled on how to respond to fires. But, this fire by all standards should have caused deaths and didn't. That is the word coming out of Dubai.

There is nothing wrong with making citizens in the USA aware of potential danger and how to respond. It's called public awareness announcements. People pay attention to such things. Any such practice by media is appreciated. It brings safety consciousness to the forefront of life. It is a good thing. 

It is so simple to create an atmosphere of awareness. In malls, the security department can hand out pamphlets to any shopper and encourage them to read it as a matter of concern by the mall management. 

Promoting security and awareness is not going to drive people away from the mall. It proves the management cares about their customers and takes their safety seriously in the face of threats. Security should have a higher profile these days. The only folks that will find such security status a problem is shoplifters.

Here is a simple straight forward awareness everyone should know in any mall, "The Exit Signs." Create awareness starting around "Exit signs." There should be security guards outside the exits during a time of emergency, too. To direct traffic out of the doors.

The Dubai fire was at 2 AM. The odds were there would be dead people. Amazing.

Congress has basically guaranteed Americans are on their own when it comes to dying at malls. Funding Homeland what?

The most likely attack on any mall in the USA would be an abandoned backpack. Any form of threat should be reported to mall security immediately. I am sure the employees in the mall are trained to respond quickly by contacting security to any perceived threat.

The claim to fame by "The Mall of America" brags about being big is to bring business to those that lease the space. It prides itself on being as much of a tourist attraction as it is a mall.

This is not that a creative an attack either. We have been here before when post 911 malls were a worry to many citizens. There was also a wacko that turned himself loose in a New Jersey mall. This type of danger exists and it exists without any extremist group calling for hatred of America from within it's borders. We have lone wolves all the time in the USA. So, this is just another wacko or bunch of wackos.

It is times like this I wish the country would pay attention to the nonsense with guns. Supposedly people are suppose to arm themselves to stop the attack before it begins. Really? If a bunch lunatics dressed in black show up with military style weapons to reek havoc in the mall, there is going to be enough citizens in the mall with body armor and military style weapons to stop the attack, huh?

The sporting goods stores might have guns hanging on the walls, but, I am fairly confident the ammunition is locked up. Let's see Walmart probably has enough weapons and ammunition to start a small war. Is there a Walmart in the mall? Nope. Everyone is shit out of luck, there is no Walmart (click here).

I guess any shoppers have to scope out the place to where the weapons are. But, come with ammunition as soon as the intelligence about the weapons is out on the net. That and wire cutters. If there are metal detectors there is a chance they won't let you in the mall anyway. That shoots that idea about bringing your own weapon. Concealed carry, but, AK47s is really stretching that idea, too. I am fairly confident any military style weapon that can't be placed under a jacket is out of the question.

February 23, 2015
After a siege at a Kenyan mall (click here) two years ago, the FBI started staging mock attacks in U.S. shopping centers during off hours to test their readiness, an official said.
More than 60 people died when Al-Shabaab militants raided an upscale mall in Nairobi and held shoppers hostage for four days.
The terror group released a video Saturday calling for similar attacks in malls in the United States, Canada and the UK.
Although Homeland Security and the FBI say they are not aware of a specific, credible plot against U.S. malls, they’ve worked to improve security in light of the attack in Kenya.
Last year, the FBI teamed up with various malls nationwide to increase preparedness, a law enforcement official told CNN. It tested the readiness of SWAT teams by staging fake attacks at malls when they were closed, the official said.
Since then, the FBI has had a program that works with malls to improve security, the official said....

Could it be anymore of a target for those that hate the USA?

.57 miles is the walking distance (click here) around one level of Mall of America

I thought the walking distance was larger than that. Seriously. The reason I was surprised is because it is small enough to secure. I thought it would be a complete nightmare. It is reasonable to believe it can be secured in a short period of time. But, those that want to cause harm to the mall will seek to find that short period of time and exploit it. I am sure anyone trying to cause deaths will die themselves.

8 acres of skylights allow about 70% of the natural light to enter the Mall

4 out of 10 visitors to Mall of America are tourists

4.3 miles of total store front footage

7 Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the Mall

25 rides and attractions in Nickelodeon Universe® 

32 Boeing 747s could fit inside the Mall

65 semi-trucks were needed to transport trees to the theme park to create the outdoor feel of an indoor park....

Just go shopping. Think local economy, too. Make me proud and get a job besides.

There are a couple of other things that came to mind...

..."Whiplash?" You've got to be joking. I won't see that film. Artists have to be beaten to perform to a higher standard. I take issue with that film. It has no place in reality and the mere idea that beatings should be an acceptable standard anywhere in the USA is outrageous.

And why were the animated shorts and full length films given to Disney. No other artist can compete with Disney and Pixar. But, there is talent other than Disney. The Disney animation is more sophisticated, but, it doesn't have the best story line. 

The Animated Short that won the Oscar was about the life of a cute little doggie and the fact he ate human food at the height of pleasure in his life. I don't consider any of that a good message. The name of the short was "Feast."

"The Dam Keeper" was the best animated film. It's technical cartoon is not as sophisticated and well polished as Disney, but, it's message was about bullies and friendship and heroic standards. It carried sympathy as it's leading emotion throughout the animation. When is the Academy of Arts and Science going to get real about the CONTENT of animation as well as the technical imagery?.

It's later.

The Academy Awards have yet to fail to disappoint me in some ways. I noticed the documentary by Barak Obama didn't even get a nomination, but, the one about Edward Snowden won tonight. Something about democracy?

I'd like to know from the Academy how Wes Anderson's film "The Grand Budapest Hotel" won every category that a director is responsible to bring to life, but, he didn't win for Film Director. How does that happen? It takes place during war and everything. It must be the fact it illustrates the sanity of society in spite of war. And there was an immigrant in the picture, too. They need to explain that. 

I wasn't surprised about Birdman. It is a rather specular film about a forty something former superhero that develops schizophrenia. The reason none of the actors or actresses didn't win is because they completely missed the fact the guy had a mental health problem. I didn't find it to be the best picture. It wasn't my first choice. Micheal Keaton was over cast for that film. He did it with one hand tied behind his back. It was not a challenging role for him. It was easy to tell. The film entertained about the meaning of life. 

The "Selma" music won an Oscar. The cast was disappointed and there were tears flowing in the audience after "Glory" was played. I need clarify something about this minority stuff. It is not going away. Our experience as a country with our minorities populations was rather violent. There are going to be repercussions of that for some time, especially given the fact no Caucasian unarmed man has ever been killed by police in NYC.

There are other countries that have minority populations. The way it is suppose to work is for society to become aware of their prejudices and then find a path forward to correct them. Without violence. Without hate. It should be as if the majority ethnicity of the country tripped up in realizing their laws victimized the minority ethnicity. It is suppose to be a corrective issue, not one of law enforcement.

Selma was a great film. There are many Americans that had no clue about the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Even if they saw the film, they would not a clue about the significance of that bridge. As a society we don't talk about minorities near enough. There is a large segment of the political theater in the Congress that wants to continue to deny there is a disparity of rights with the USA minority populations.

"Boyhood" was appropriately rewarded because the dedication of the cast to stay involved with this film over a decade is something to be rewarded. It is a good film. It covers a lot of ground. I could relate to some of the events in that film. Recognizing the dedication Boyhood took was the right thing to do.

"American Sniper" received an Oscar for sound editing or sound mixing. Something like that. Sorry, but, it was not a great film. 

Lady Gaga was magnificent in the tribute to the Sound of Music and Julie Andrews. 

There were two films with Alzheimer themes. I didn't see "Still Alice." I will though. Evidently, Glenn Campbell is in a treatment facility for the disease. It is a really lousy disease.

Alejandro Iñárritu found himself on the stage three times, it took the third time for Best Picture when he finally told the USA what a lousy deal the Undocumented are getting.

It was a good show. There had five gigantic bowling pins in the middle of the stage that moved around. I didn't get it. That instead of curtains? I thought they were strange. But, it was a good show and it is probably a record setter for the number of men on stage in their underwear.

The awards still made America proud. Snowden, Alzheimers, the strife African Americans still face and Mexican immigrants were all on stage tonight. And for that I thank everyone for being the people they are. They don't put themselves out front and center without important messages. Wes Anderson reminds us that even in war there is civility, love and victims. 

Until later.