Posts Tagged ‘abuse’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 11, 2014
Once, I supported Common Core.
Now, I do not.
Read on to understand why.
Everything you need to know about Common Core — Ravitch
Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has become the leader of the movement against corporate-influenced school reform, gave this speech to the Modern Language Association on Jan. 11 about the past, present and future of the Common Core State Standards.
Here’s her speech:
As an organization of teachers and scholars devoted to the study of language and literature, MLA should be deeply involved in the debate about the Common Core standards.
The Common Core standards were developed in 2009 and released in 2010. Within a matter of months, they had been endorsed by 45 states and the District of Columbia. At present, publishers are aligning their materials with the Common Core, technology companies are creating software and curriculum aligned with the Common Core, and two federally-funded consortia have created online tests of the Common Core.
What are the Common Core standards? Who produced them? Why are they controversial? How did their adoption happen so quickly?
As scholars of the humanities, you are well aware that every historical event is subject to interpretation. There are different ways to answer the questions I just posed. Originally, this session was designed to be a discussion between me and David Coleman, who is generally acknowledged as the architect of the Common Core standards. Some months ago, we both agreed on the date and format. But Mr. Coleman, now president of the College Board, discovered that he had a conflicting meeting and could not be here.
So, unfortunately, you will hear only my narrative, not his, which would be quite different. I have no doubt that you will have no difficulty getting access to his version of the narrative, which is the same as Secretary Arne Duncan’s.
He would tell you that the standards were created by the states, that they were widely and quickly embraced because so many educators wanted common standards for teaching language, literature, and mathematics. But he would not be able to explain why so many educators and parents are now opposed to the standards and are reacting angrily to the testing that accompanies them.
I will try to do that.
I will begin by setting the context for the development of the standards.
They arrive at a time when American public education and its teachers are under attack. Never have public schools been as subject to upheaval, assault, and chaos as they are today. Unlike modern corporations, which extol creative disruption, schools need stability, not constant turnover and change. Yet for the past dozen years, ill-advised federal and state policies have rained down on students, teachers, principals, and schools.
George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama’s Race to the Top have combined to impose a punitive regime of standardized testing on the schools. NCLB was passed by Congress in 2001 and signed into law in 2002. NCLB law required schools to test every child in grades 3-8 every year; by 2014, said the law, every child must be “proficient” or schools would face escalating sanctions. The ultimate sanction for failure to raise test scores was firing the staff and closing the school.
Because the stakes were so high, NCLB encouraged teachers to teach to the test. In many schools, the curriculum was narrowed; the only subjects that mattered were reading and mathematics. What was not tested—the arts, history, civics, literature, geography, science, physical education—didn’t count. Some states, like New York, gamed the system by dropping the passing mark each year, giving the impression that its students were making phenomenal progress when they were not. Some districts, like Atlanta, El Paso, and the District of Columbia, were caught up in cheating scandals. In response to this relentless pressure, test scores rose, but not as much as they had before the adoption of NCLB.
Then along came the Obama administration, with its signature program called Race to the Top. In response to the economic crisis of 2008, Congress gave the U.S. Department of Education $5 billion to promote “reform.” Secretary Duncan launched a competition for states called “Race to the Top.” If states wanted any part of that money, they had to agree to certain conditions. They had to agree to evaluate teachers to a significant degree by the rise or fall of their students’ test scores; they had to agree to increase the number of privately managed charter schools; they had to agree to adopt “college and career ready standards,” which were understood to be the not-yet-finished Common Core standards; they had to agree to “turnaround” low-performing schools by such tactics as firing the principal and part or all of the school staff; and they had to agree to collect unprecedented amounts of personally identifiable information about every student and store it in a data warehouse. It became an article of faith in Washington and in state capitols, with the help of propagandistic films like “Waiting for Superman,” that if students had low scores, it must be the fault of bad teachers. Poverty, we heard again and again from people like Bill Gates, Joel Klein, and Michelle Rhee, was just an excuse for bad teachers, who should be fired without delay or due process.
These two federal programs, which both rely heavily on standardized testing, has produced a massive demoralization of educators; an unprecedented exodus of experienced educators, who were replaced in many districts by young, inexperienced, low-wage teachers; the closure of many public schools, especially in poor and minority districts; the opening of thousands of privately managed charters; an increase in low-quality for-profit charter schools and low-quality online charter schools; a widespread attack on teachers’ due process rights and collective bargaining rights; the near-collapse of public education in urban districts like Detroit and Philadelphia, as public schools are replaced by privately managed charter schools; a burgeoning educational-industrial complex of testing corporations, charter chains, and technology companies that view public education as an emerging market. Hedge funds, entrepreneurs, and real estate investment corporations invest enthusiastically in this emerging market, encouraged by federal tax credits, lavish fees, and the prospect of huge profits from taxpayer dollars. Celebrities, tennis stars, basketball stars, and football stars are opening their own name-brand schools with public dollars, even though they know nothing about education.
No other nation in the world has inflicted so many changes or imposed so many mandates on its teachers and public schools as we have in the past dozen years. No other nation tests every student every year as we do. Our students are the most over-tested in the world. No other nation—at least no high-performing nation—judges the quality of teachers by the test scores of their students. Most researchers agree that this methodology is fundamentally flawed, that it is inaccurate, unreliable, and unstable, that the highest ratings will go to teachers with the most affluent students and the lowest ratings will go to teachers of English learners, teachers of students with disabilities, and teachers in high-poverty schools. Nonetheless, the U.S. Department of Education wants every state and every district to do it. Because of these federal programs, our schools have become obsessed with standardized testing, and have turned over to the testing corporations the responsibility for rating, ranking, and labeling our students, our teachers, and our schools.
The Pearson Corporation has become
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Alabama, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Bob Riley, child abuse, children, Common Core, Common Core State Standards Initiative, Diane Ravitch, education, electronics, George W. Bush, guinea pigs, Modern Language Association, money, No Child Left Behind Act, politics, students, testing, Tommy Bice, weasel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014
Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.
Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.
Alabama is a state in crisis.
Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.
Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?
Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!
Why does the state have a high crime rate?
Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?
Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion
Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM
By Cam Ward
Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so. With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.
For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”
As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.
In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ADOC, AL, Alabama, Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama Senate, Cam Ward, Corrections, Democrats, Department of Corrections, geotag, geotagged, GOP, government, governor, Kim Thomas, money, policy, politics, prison, Prison reform, prison system, prisoners, reform, Senator, state, takeover, Taxation, taxes, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The Department of Defense is a bloated organization, rife with fraud, waste and abuse.
Even then-Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Donald Rumsfeld remarked on Monday, September 10, 2001, that, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. … We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well.”
More recently, on December 21, 2010, the Governmental Accountability Office wrote that they “cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.”
In his capacity as Acting Comptroller of the United States, Gene Dodaro wrote that, “(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented DOD’s financial statements from being auditable, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”
Included in that scathing report of fiscal recklessness and laziness were “material weaknesses involving an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments, information security across government, and tax collection activities,” which were rife in “three major agencies DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor did not get clean opinions. Nineteen of 24 major agencies did get clean opinions on all their statements.”
No entrepreneur, accountant, fiscal analyst, businessman or Chief Financial Officer in their right mind would tolerate what has been allowed to happen with it. Consider the F-35 Lightning II aircraft as a case in point.
At a cost now exceeding $400,000,000,000 ($400 Billion – that’s very nearly 1/2 Trillion), it is by far, THE most costly program EVER to have emerged from the DoD. Among the numerous reasons why it is THE most expensive program ever, are Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: abus, abuse, accounting, aircraft, budget, cost overruns, defense, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, economy, Eisenhower, F-35, farewell address, fraud, homeless, housing, Miliary Industrial Complex, money, speech, war, war fighting, warning, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 28, 2014
Let’s talk about drug abuse.
Abuse of any kind is improper use, or dependency. In some cases, so-called “recreational” use is “abuse,” for there is no other kind of use, since a drug may be already illegal.
For the greatest part, those drugs, which are sometimes mistakenly called ‘narcotics’ (technically, narcotics are derivatives of and synthetic chemical relatives to the opium plant) are already illegal, and include LSD and other hallucinogens, heroin, methamphetamine (as “crystal meth”), etc. And, at the Federal level, like it, or not, agree or disagree, marijuana is included in that list.
Further, alcohol must be included in the list of abused substances, simply because we know that people’s lives can be, and are destroyed by alcohol abuse, directly and indirectly.
There’s a database of information based upon hospital admissions related to drug abuse. It’s called the Treatment Episode Data Set, or TEDS, and the information is collected anonymously by each facility in a state that receives “State alcohol and/or drug agency funds (including Federal Block Grant funds) for the provision of substance abuse treatment.”
It is not an exhaustive data set by any means, and there are limitations upon it, yet it does provide some reliable degree of accuracy to the extent, scope and nature of the problem. Consequently, information in “the tables focus on treatment admissions for substance abusers.”
In other words, someone abuses a substance on the list to the extent that they need some degree of care, including hospitalization, and that anonymous information about their admission gets collected and reported. For the purposes of that report, anonymous information is age, sex, ethnicity/race and drug(s) which led to the need for treatment.
The TEDS list of abused drugs are: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who? | Tagged: 420, abuse, Alcohol, Alcoholic beverage, Children and Youth, decriminalization, drug abuse, drugs, facts, figures, Legalization, marijuana, medicine, mental health, Mental Health Tax, MJ, money, policy, politics, pot, Pro-Legalization, psychosis, reefer, research, studies, tax, taxes, youth | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 7, 2014
Years ago, I said “build a Federal Barracks for members of Congress, and have them march to work.” I still think having modest Federal Housing for members of Congress is a good idea.
Regarding their level of pay/compensation, the article’s point – that D.C. is an expensive place to live – is well taken, and it is my considered opinion in light of that fact which gives further credence to the idea of modest Federal Housing for members of Congress. In fact, if their salaries were, by law, capped at twice the median American household income (which, according to the article is now approximately $51,000), it could be an even better idea.
And, the value of the housing they would receive from the Federal Government could also be be considered a type of income. Perhaps even they could be paid a Basic Allowance for Housing in a similar fashion to our military service members for such housing.¹ An apartment building complex would most likely be the best option for in-town accommodations, which could be convenient to their work location, and it could be jointly managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Park Service.
However, with this present miasmatic congress, I hold out little hope for any such creative laws limiting congressional compensation, or introducing Federal Congressional Barracks/Housing to be introduced – though I believe it should be done, and is long overdue, along with Term Limitations. A total of 20 years elected federal service is long enough for anyone. Two terms in the Senate (12 years), and four terms in the House (8 years) should be enough for anyone, would reintroduce vibrancy into the process of national governance, and introduce more people to the process of elected public service.
Congressman’s Lament: $174,000 Isn’t Enough To Make Ends Meet
by Liz Halloran
April 04, 2014 3:05 PM ET
In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?
That would be in the nation’s capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Americans should know that their members of Congress — as the board of directors for the “largest economic entity in the world” — are underpaid.
The longtime congressman made his comments Thursday after the House voted for the sixth straight year to deny members an automatic cost-of-living raise they’re entitled to under law.
Not surprisingly, reaction to Moran’s assertion was Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, capitol, COLA, compensation, Congress, Cost Of Living Adjustment, Democrat, Do Nothing Congress, excess, excessive, expense, fraud, GOP, housing, income, law, limits, money, news, Republican, salary, taxes, taxpayer, term, term limitation, term limitations, Washington D.C., waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
This just gets creepier and creepier.
In light of these recent revelations, perhaps the SCOTUS might want to vacate their decision.
Hobby Lobby Funded Disgraced Fundamentalist Christian Leader Accused of Harassing Dozens of Women
Wed Jul. 2, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
For a decade or so, Hobby Lobby and its owners, the Green family, have been generous benefactors of a Christian ministry that until recently was run by Bill Gothard, a controversial religious leader who has long promoted a strict and authoritarian version of Christianity. Gothard, a prominent champion of Christian home-schooling, has decried the evils of dating, rock music, and Cabbage Patch dolls ; claimed public education teaches children “how to commit suicide” and undermines spirituality; contended that mental illness is merely “varying degrees of irresponsibility”; and urged wives to “submit to the leadership” of their husbands. Critics of Gothard have associated him with Christian Reconstructionism , an ultrafundamentalist movement that yearns for a theocracy, and accused him of running a cultlike organization. In March, he was pressured to resign from his ministry, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, after being accused by more than 30 women of sexual harassment and molestation—a charge Gothard denies.
The Institute traces it origins to 1964, when Gothard designed a college seminar based on biblical principles to help teenagers. The ministry says it was established “for the purpose of introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ” and to give individuals, families, businesses, and governments “clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture.” The group, which operates what it calls “training centers” across the United States and abroad, says more than 2.5 million people have attended its paid events, which have brought in tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Gothard and the Institute have drawn support from conservative politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. The Duggar family, the stars of the reality show 19 Kids and Counting, have been high-profile advocates of Gothard’s home-schooling curriculum and seminars. (One of Gothard’s alleged victims has called on the Duggars to break with Gothard and the Institute.) Don Venoit, a conservative evangelical who has long been a critic of Gothard, contends that Gothard’s approach to Christian theology emphasizing obedience to authority creates a “culture of fear.” In 1984, Ronald Allen, now a professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, observed that Gothard’s teachings were “a parody of patriarchalism” and “the basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context.” He added, “Gothard has lost the biblical balance of the relationship between women and men as equals in relationship. His view is basically anti-woman.”
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Affordable Care Act, AR, Arkansas, asshole, bigot, Bill Gothard, birth control, Can you smell the hypocrisy cooking?, contraception, contraceptives, creep, creepy, cult, dirtball, evangelical, fanatic, fundamentalist, fundy, geotag, geotagged, health, health insurance, Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby Store, Hobby Lobby Stores, hypocrit, IBLP, Institute in Basic Life Principles, insurance, lawsuit, Little Rock, millionaire, Nashville, Obamacare, oral, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, Protestant, religion, reproduction, SCOTUS, scum, sexual abuse, sicko, Tennessee, TN, war on women, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 29, 2014
In a nutshell, “yes,” they did.
So much for good corporate citizenship, and poor hungry people.
Thanks for nothing, Costco!
By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly a million jars of peanut butter were dumped at a New Mexico landfill this week to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.
Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons.
“We considered all options,” Coll said. “They didn’t agree.”
Peanut butter is disposed of Friday March 28, 2014 at the dump in Clovis, N.M. Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall. (AP Photo/Clovis News-Journal, Tony Bullocks)
MelindaJoy Pattison, executive director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, on Friday called the dumping of the peanut butter “horrendous.” She said as long as there was nothing wrong with the peanut butter, her operation would have found a way to store it, remove the labels and distribute it to the people who depend on the food bank.
“Those trucks carrying it to the dump went right by the front door of my food bank,” she said. “It wasn’t like it would have been out of the way.”
Pattison said peanut butter is a major source of protein and a staple for hungry people. Her food bank places single-serve peanut butter cups in packages it gives to children whose parents rely on its services.
“For it to just be deliberately thrown away is disappointing,” she said.
Costco officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment. But court filings indicate the product was made with $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco and had been sitting in the warehouse since the company shut down and filed for bankruptcy last fall.
After extensive testing, Costco agreed to a court order authorizing the trustee to sell it the peanut butter. But after getting eight loads, Costco rejected it as “not merchantable” because of leaky peanut oil.
Coll said “all parties agreed there’s nothing wrong with the peanut butter from a health and safety issue,” but court records show that on a March 19 conference call Costco said “it would not agree to any disposition … other than destruction.”
So instead of selling or donating the peanut butter, with a value estimated at $2.6 million, the estate paid about $60,000 to haul the 950,000 jars of nut butter — or about 25 tons — to the Curry County landfill in Clovis, where Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: 2012 salmonella outbreak, abuse, Associated Press, Butter, Costco, dump, food, Food bank, fraud, garbage, garbage dump, Landfill, Minnesota, money, New Mexico, news, Peanut, Peanut butter, Peanuts, Sunland, throw away, Trader Joe, trash, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014
The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.
Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.
That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.
Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.
These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.
Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.
These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Africa, Angola, BIG OIL, bribe, business, Congress, continent, corruption, Dodd-Frank, Dodd-Frank Act, drill, Energy, enterprise, European Union, Foreign Policy, gas, Global Witness, government, greed, history, human rights, ilicit, illegal, influence, international finance, law, lobby, lobbyist, Mining, money, New York Stock Exchange, news, NYSE, Offshore drilling, oil, politics, power, regulation, resources, SBM Offshore, SEC, Securities & Exchange Commission, Stock Exchange, Switzerland, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, UBS, United States, Wall Street, war, wealth, Weatherford International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 20, 2013
Did you know? (No, you probably didn’t.)
In a report dated August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) conducted a criminal and administrative investigation and found that Alabama claimed, and was paid millions in unallowable performance bonus payments under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIRPA).
This FRAUD was because of INCOMPETENCY in Alabama governance.
The HHS OIG found that the Alabama state agency overstated its FYs 2009 and 2010 current enrollment in its requests for bonus payments. The State agency overstated its current enrollments because, rather than Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bentley, budget, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, CHIP, CHIRPA, CMS, Crimson Tide, defraud, federal, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GOP, government, governor, health, HHS, incompetence, incompetency, insurance, Medicaid, Mississippi, money, Montgomery Alabama, news, Obamacare, OIG, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politics, PPACA, quiet, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States, waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Your Tax Dollars at Work: U.S. Air Force Mothballs $1.6 BILLION of New Aircraft
Nearly 13 years ago, in a speech given at the Pentagon, Monday, September 10, 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in part that, “We cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion.”
As part of the Joint Cargo Aircraft Program, the Air Force ordered $1,600,000,000 worth of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, abuse, Air Force, Alenia Aeronautica, Alenia C-27J Spartan, Arizona, boneyard, Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, Department of Defense, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, Forestry Service, fraud, government, Manhattan, Pentagon, SecDef, Secretary of Defense, Special Operations, Tucson, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, United States Special Operations Command, USAF, video, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Brian Scott Keeton, age 38, taught Math & was a Boys Basketball coach at Vina High School, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was arrested for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He denies the charges.
But do notice the punishment – 2 to 20 years in prison upon conviction of the Class B felony.
The Alabama Lunchroom Lady “Cougar” got six months in jail, and 5 years probation.
Reckon what this Basketballing Math Teacher will get?
Second Vina teacher arrested for alleged affair with student
Published 4:38pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
VINA – The Vina High School boys basketball coach became the second faculty member from the school in less than a week to be arrested for an alleged sexual relationship with a student, officials said.
Brian Scott Keeton, 38, 73 Lost Creek Lane, Carbon Hill, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with one count of being a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison if convicted.
This arrest comes only five days after Vina physical education teacher Sonny Dewaine Tibbs, 35, of Hamilton, was arrested on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, adults, AL, Alabama, arrest, basketball, Bob Riley, Brian Scott Keeton, coach, corruption, crime, criminal, employee, Franklin County, Hamilton, high school, Intimate relationship, Keeton, law, Oliver, prison, sex, sex crime, sexting, sheriff, student, teacher, teens, Tibbs, underage, Vina | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
At what point must we acknowledge that in many sex crimes cases, women are punished differently than men?
Six months in jail, to be followed by five years probation?
If that’s not a joke, I don’t know what is.
Is such different treatment not a violation of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause?
See Michelle Coker Taylor’s Arrest & Booking record with the Fayette County, Alabama Sheriff’s here:
Ex-Fayette school cafeteria worker pleads guilty to having sex with student
Michelle Coker Taylor to serve six months of 20-year term, then 5 years on probation
Former Fayette County school system employee Michelle Taylor has pleaded guilty to criminal charges for having sex with a student.
Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.
A former Fayette County school system employee has pleaded guilty to criminal charges of having sex with a student, according to a news release from Chris McCool, district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit District.
Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, was sentenced to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, abuser, AL, Alabama, child molester, convict, Cougar, crime, criminal, Fayette, Fayette County High School, female, high school, jail, Lady, law, lunchroom, lunchroom lady, McCool, Michelle Coker Taylor, MILF, Oct. 22, Plea, prison, probation, sex, sex abuser, sex crime, Sex offender, sheriff, Taylor, Tuscaloosa News, United States, United States Constitution | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 16, 2013
How many NSA agents does it take to screw in a light bulb?
The reader will take note of the following:
The Federal agencies involved – ICE & HSI – discovered a violation of law secondary to another investigation.
“Law enforcement authorities discovered Smiths’ email… during an investigation into the individual in the other state.”
August 15, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Port Orange man pleaded guilty Tuesday to distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents, on July 31, 2012, Tyler Andrew Smith, 23, sent an email Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Child pornography, crime, email, HSI, illegal, Internet, investigation, kiddie porn, law, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Orlando, Porn, pornography, sex crime, Smith, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Virtual Global Taskforce, YouTube | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 27, 2013
If you had an option, would you rather pay $10/month, or $80/month for a prescription medication that accomplished/did the exact same thing?
Research shows that the results of the 2 differently priced medicines have never been shown to be any better in any way.
Which would you choose?
What if your doctor prescribed the more expensive medication for you based on the fact that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $62 billion, abuse, ACA, Affordable Care Act, Archives of Internal Medicine, avarice, Big Pharma, biotech, blood pressure, cardiology, cheat, crime, DO, doctor, drug, elderly, ethics, Forest Laboratories, fraud, GPO, greed, group purchasing organizations, health, healthcare, honesty, kickback, law, lie, manufacturers, MD, Medicaid, Medical device, Medicare, medication, medicine, money, Obamacare, patient, pharmaceutical, physician, PPACA, ProPublica, steal, taxes, taxpayer, teaching hospital, Thomas Aquinas, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 27, 2013
What does Senator Sessions think about the March 2012 Government Accountability Office report to Congress that found the 96 highest-priority defense programs in the Pentagon acquisitions system represented an estimated total cost of $1.58 trillion, and had actually “grown by over $74 billion or 5 percent in the past year”?
The report, entitled DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs – may be downloaded from the GAO website: http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589695.pdf
Or from this blog: GAO 3/12 report – DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs
And then, there are the Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon , Monday, September 10, 2001 entitled DOD Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week Kickoff—Bureaucracy to Battlefield, in which he said “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.”
How many variety of voices over an extended period of time do we need before we heed their warnings?
His speech, in it’s entirety follows. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $74 billion, abuse, Alabama, Chuck Hagel, Cold War, Congress, defense, Department of Defense, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GAO, GOP, Government Accountability Office, Jeff Sessions, Lockheed Martin, money, Pentagon, Project On Government Oversight, Republican, senate, Senator, spending, taxes, taxpayer, United States, United States Congress, United States Department of Defense, United States Secretary of Defense, USA TODAY, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013
Here’s the one-liner you’ll remember, albeit one with significant truth:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Smithfield corporate hog farm feedlot in North Carolina.”
Or, if you prefer:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Paula Deen Christmas recipe.”
And if the Pentagon budget were a recipe, it’d be a recipe for disaster.
The budget for the United States Department of Defense accounts for very nearly 6% of our nation’s budget. It is THE SINGLE LARGEST BUDGET ITEM in the entire budget. The amount of money sifting through the Pentagon’s hands is more than the combined defense budgets of the world’s top 15 wealthiest nations. And, it accounts for 4.7% of our nation’s economy. Late former President Dwight David Eisenhower was spot-on accurate in his Farewell Address to the nation 17 January 1961 when he warned us saying:
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
None of this is to say, of course, that any kind of spending on national defense is somehow a bad thing, for it is not. Yet Eisenhower specifically warned about even the spiritual implications of the DoD spending “Gone Wild.” However, the last time the people, the Congress, the President or anyone else – including the Comptroller General, the Office of the DoD Inspector General, or the Secretary of Defense ever said anything about being budget hawks on the use of the people’s taxes was September 10, 2001 when SecDef Donald Rumsfeld spoke to the Department of Defense, and announced that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” Not only was that money MIA, but he added that…
“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.
“We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well. A new idea must often survive the gauntlet of some 17 levels of bureaucracy to make it from a line officer’s to my desk. I have too much respect for a line officer to believe that we need 17 layers between us.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, September 10, 2001
He discovered $2.3 Trillion in the DoD budget of taxpayer monies which had no accounting. It was “Missing In Action.” The next day, the World Trade Centers suffered terrorist attacks. We never heard anything ever again. [Read the text of his speech here: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430]
Here’s a video of the CBS news report.
And now, here’s a jet plane that is the veritable aircraft version of a Jack-of-all-Trades-and-Master-of-None, which our nation’s military has previously said they do not need, and already have other more durable, reliable and operable aircraft. And this is a thing that they have continuously said they want, rather than need.
Wants and needs are two entirely different things.
And not only that, but that the entire bidding process related to Defense contracts is fraught with cost overruns, late deliveries and more – all of which would NOT be, and is NOT tolerated in private enterprise. And yet, we somehow think that the sacred cow of Pentagon spending is somehow exempted from the normal rules of operation.
And now, with the budget items heating up again, it would be ludicrously preposterous to presume that the sacred cow of Pentagon slush funds slop trough is in pristine condition.
Other agencies, like American businesses and families throughout, have learned to live within their means, and make do with less.
Why can’t the Pentagon?
By Tony Capaccio – Jan 12, 2013
Durability testing on the most complicated version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 was halted last month after “multiple” cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.
The previously undisclosed halt in high-stress ground testing involves the F-35B, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $2.3 Trillion, abuse, Congress, cooking, Defense Department, Donald Rumsfeld, faith, fraud, Lockheed Martin, Marine, morals, Paula Deen, Pentagon, pork, recipe, religion, spirituality, United States, United States Department of Defense, United States Secretary of Defense, waste, World Trade Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 29, 2012
It’s been amazing to me to hear that many who have followed this issue – or even had some passing familiarity with the story – have been so blatantly ignorant of the abuses and frauds perpetrated by the corporate executives of the Hostess Corporation. Frankly, those who demonized the unfortunate demise of this iconic American enterprise blamed unions, and completely overlooked corporate malfeasance. However, this enterprise, which, in the course of their operations, once treated their employees well, was miserably raped by greedy and incompetent executives. Why they have not been charged with theft or fraud is beyond my comprehension.
Hostess Maneuver Deprived Pension
- Updated December 9, 2012, 8:03 p.m. ET
Hostess Brands Inc. said it used wages that were supposed to help fund employee pensions for the company’s operations as it sank toward bankruptcy.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kan.
It isn’t clear how many of the Irving, Texas, company’s workers were affected by the move or how much money never wound up in their pension plans as promised.
After the company said in August 2011 that it would stop making pension contributions, the foregone wages weren’t put toward the pension. Nor were they restored.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kansas. Ryan Nicholson for The Wall Street Journal
The maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread filed for bankruptcy protection in January and shut down last month following a strike by one of the unions representing Hostess workers. A judge is overseeing the sale of company assets.
Gregory Rayburn, Hostess’s chief executive officer, said in an interview it is “terrible” that employee wages earmarked for the pension were steered elsewhere by the company.
“I think it’s like a lot of things in this case,” he added. “It’s not a good situation to have.”
Mr. Rayburn became chief executive in March and learned about the issue shortly before the company shut down, he said. “Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn’t there,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Hostess’s previous top executive, Brian Driscoll, declined to comment.
Hostess hasn’t previously acknowledged that the foregone wages went toward its operations.
The maneuver probably doesn’t violate federal law because the money Hostess failed to put into the pension didn’t come directly from employees, experts said.
“It’s what lawyers call betrayal without remedy,” said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn’t involved in the Hostess case. “It’s sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately.”
The decision to cease pension contributions angered many employees. After the bankruptcy filing, Hostess tangled with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, business, crime, fraud, greed, ho's, Hostess, Hostess Brands, incompetence, investigation, liars, pension, Rayburn, retirement, Teamster, theft, Twinkie, Twinkies, Wall Street Journal | Leave a Comment »