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The Official Rebkell's To Hell in a Handbasket Thread
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sambista



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 16473
Location: cidade maravilhosa


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PostPosted: 02/24/16 7:53 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

is it no wonder bernie resonates with people? regardless of the political outcome, he has sounded the alarm loudly, and we needed it. and who the f*d allowed this beach to become a private parcel to be bought and sold in the first place?

Mogul Seeks $30 Million From California to Give Beach Access
A Silicon Valley billionaire has fueled the debate over wealth by buying and closing a popular California beach, then asking for $30 million to open it again.



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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 02/24/16 3:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

sambista wrote:
and who the f*d allowed this beach to become a private parcel to be bought and sold in the first place?



No one. It wasn't. Ever. He just put up barriers and manned them with armed guards and lawyered up.

You want to know where the new xenophobia comes from? What does xenophobia mean? "Fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures."

Well what the fuck do we have to fear from foreigners? lol. What's the fucking problem? Laughing Sooo irrational!

From coast to fucking coast wealthy arrogant lawyered up oligarchs from other places with a WHOLE DIFFERENT take on things like freedom and rights of the public are CHANGING this country. We don't have to talk about fear or irrational fears. This ship has sailed. The examples are stacking up everywhere there is high end real estate and the ramifications extend and will continue to penetrate into all of our lives. You may not care to access a beach in San Mateo CA anything soon. But when you are impacted it is likely to be in a far more personally devestating way.

Money. Power. It is very hard to overcome abuses under any circumstances and even from arrogant wealthy Americans. But when you a) add more wealth from around the world and b) throw in this cultural disdain for the impact of regulation and the public good and freedoms and access you have a toxic realization of the worst xenophobic rhetoric and concerns.

We have high end real estate abuses in LA making the pages of the New York Times. And underneath so much of it is the practice of hiding behind the legal barriers provided by the LLC designation.

You say no wonder Bernie. I say no wonder Trump. Although Trump brags that he's sold a lot of real estate to wealthy Chinese etc. (I maintain that's actually a vulnerability, maybe a little complex for the electorate to grasp, but it's something.)


norwester



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 6355
Location: Seattle


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PostPosted: 02/24/16 6:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Pretty disgusting and becoming almost typical example of the kind of predatory snakes people can be. We need to create a country where the most vile criminal offense on the books is taking advantage of other, too often far less fortunate, Americans. Long and harsh jail time. Scorn and devastating fines. Instead of lives as patrons of the arts and all that.

Completely agree. We need to care more about fraud. And taking advantage of vulnerable populations needs to be labeled fraud, not lauded or laughed off as "wink, wink" profit. From top to bottom.

These types of activities are more reprehensible than stuff we jail and fine folks for all of the time, the difference being we jail the poor, not the con men like this with their get rich lending schemes disguised as legitimate business.



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sambista



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 03/06/16 6:44 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

just one more way americans (allow themselves to) get screwed every day.

It’s Discounted, but Is It a Deal? How List Prices Lost Their Meaning
. . . The use of list prices online is at the heart of a case in a California Court of Appeal. Overstock.com, a popular online merchant, was found liable in a lower court for using misleading reference prices to exaggerate potential customer savings. It was fined $6.8 million, twice the size of the next-largest penalty for false advertising in California.

In its appeal, Overstock said it followed “standard industry practices” to come up with its reference prices. Internet retailers including Wayfair, Walmart, Rakuten (formerly Buy.com), Crate & Barrel and Williams-Sonoma employ list prices to varying degrees. Amazon, the biggest e-commerce player, uses them extensively and prominently.

If some Internet retailers have an expansive definition of list price, the Federal Trade Commission does not.

“To the extent that list or suggested retail prices do not in fact correspond to prices at which a substantial number of sales of the article in question are made, the advertisement of a reduction may mislead the consumer,” the Code of Federal Regulations states. The F.T.C. declined to comment.

“If you’re selling $15 pens for $7.50, but just about everybody else is also selling the pens for $7.50, then saying the list price is $15 is a lie,” said David C. Vladeck, the former director of the F.T.C.’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “And if you’re doing this frequently, it’s a serious problem.”

All of the retailers declined to be interviewed, as did Le Creuset. Amazon pointed to a disclosure on its website where it says the list price can have many origins: It can be the price on the product itself, it can be the price suggested by the manufacturer or supplier, or it can be Amazon’s guess as to what the list price should be. The retailer also said its list prices “may or may not” represent the prevailing price “in every area on any particular day.”

“The list price has become a meaningless piece of information,” said Mr. Compeau, who was an expert witness for the California district attorneys who brought the case against Overstock. . . .



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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 03/31/16 12:49 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

OMG. This is SO amazing. But not in a real good way. But... let me explain.

When I started this thread a few years ago there were about three stories I wanted to post in it... but I was finally prompted to start it by a NEW story had just popped up and that is the one that begins this thread. I wanted to give each story a little breathing room because I thought that each one of them, if 'I' posted them in this thread with the intent I had, would be such that they required extended attention and thought and maybe even discussion.

Problem is I never got around to posting those original stories. (I think not, anyway. Maybe they were given their own threads)

THIS WAS the one. The original Hell in a Handbasket muse/story. I thought maybe the heat given to the policies involved would have caused this situation to have been rectified, but now the latest is that it's being all brought back. So here it is.

The Civil Asset Forfeiture bullshit. Going by memory now. But it gets its DNA from criminal asset forfeiture, the latter being a capability of federal law enforcement. But somehow, and if I remember correctly this had something to do with homeland security, LOCAL law enforcement were able to morph the laws into CIVIL asset forfeiture... AND, in many cases, those who have their shit taken from them by local law enforcement anywhere and everywhere in the country, are OFTEN not even charged with a crime. NEVER charged with a crime.

So without further ado. Here are the latest articles on this... while the rest of the country is worried about how Donald Trump would punish women for the legal activity of having an abortion, if he really really could...

Key distinctions to always keep in mind while reading through this stuff is federal vs. state and local... criminal vs. civil.

Feds Have Resumed a Controversial Program That Lets Cops Take Stuff and Keep It

The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law.

The "Equitable Sharing Program" gives police the option of prosecuting some asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize.


And better YET... here is a link to the series of articles that I read originally. Please read the first FOUR. Seriously. You won't believe this shit. It SO ties in with police departments buying military grade combat ready equipment as they have been doing now for years. They are funding it by taking people's stuff who are NEVER charged with a crime.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/collection/stop-and-seize-2/?tid=a_inl



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
norwester



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 6355
Location: Seattle


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PostPosted: 03/31/16 1:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's nice to see the government take some steps on this, at least as far as increasing federal scrutiny and the standard that must be met to have the feds involved, but the whole practice is ridiculous. Highway robbery. Do we not already pay enough as individual citizens and small business owners? I believe the practice should be entirely abolished. If this is the only way departments can be funded, then perhaps there needs to be a harder look at our entire law enforcement culture in this nation.

Decriminalizing drugs and drastically restructuring the DEA would be a giant start. Just think of all the money those departments could save not having to harass pot smokers and the like!



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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 03/31/16 4:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Law Enforcement Took More Stuff From People in 2014 Than Did Burglers

Here's an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.

Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime — yes, really! — through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
scullyfu



Joined: 01 Jan 2006
Posts: 8530
Location: Niagara Falls


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PostPosted: 04/01/16 1:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

it sure would be great if the headline writer/editor knew how to spell 'burglArs). one of the things that drives me crazy is when there are spelling errors in locations that should be very cognizant of spelling. grrr.



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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 11/25/18 12:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Been a long time. But here we are.

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Save the Planet. Instead it Unleashed a Catastrophe.

"The fields outside Kotawaringin village in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, looked as if they had just been cleared by armies. None of the old growth remained — only charred stumps poking up from murky, dark pools of water. In places, smoke still curled from land that days ago had been covered with lush jungle. Villagers had burned it all down, clearing the way for a lucrative crop whose cultivation now dominates the entire island: the oil-palm tree.

Most of the plantations around us were new, their rise a direct consequence of policy decisions made half a world away. In the mid-2000s, Western nations, led by the United States, began drafting environmental laws that encouraged the use of vegetable oil in fuels — an ambitious move to reduce carbon dioxide and curb global warming. But these laws were drawn up based on an incomplete accounting of the true environmental costs. Despite warnings that the policies could have the opposite of their intended effect, they were implemented anyway, producing what now appears to be a calamity with global consequences.

The tropical rain forests of Indonesia, and in particular the peatland regions of Borneo, have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. Slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. A lot more carbon. NASA researchers say the accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests contributed to the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums, an explosion that transformed Indonesia into the world’s fourth-largest source of such emissions. Instead of creating a clever technocratic fix to reduce American’s carbon footprint, lawmakers had lit the fuse on a powerful carbon bomb that, as the forests were cleared and burned, produced more carbon than the entire continent of Europe. The unprecedented palm-oil boom, meanwhile, has enriched and emboldened many of the region’s largest corporations, which have begun using their newfound power and wealth to suppress critics, abuse workers and acquire more land to produce oil.

People still lived here: A mother bathed two children beneath a culvert, and a shirtless young boy ran through row after row of identical young palms in the distance, surrounded by dragonflies and sparrows. The uniformity of the world he was growing up in was striking, like the endless plains of drilling rigs in an East Texas oil field. It was, in a way, an astounding achievement, the ruthless culmination of mankind’s long effort to extract every last remaining bit of the earth’s seemingly boundless natural wealth. But it was also frightening. This was what an American effort to save the planet looked like. It was startlingly efficient, extremely profitable and utterly disastrous."


Bio-diesel. Remember that? It's all bullshit. Diesel is diesel. The idea that it might be a 'clean' fuel that was placed into the minds of the public, that it could be produced in a way that was biologically neutral for the planet, it was all based on a silly incomplete calculation.

"On the night of the president’s address, Timothy Searchinger sat on his couch in Takoma Park, Md., just a few miles from the Capitol, and watched on television, struck by what seemed to him a glaring lapse in logic. “Oh, my God, what the hell is happening here?” he recalls wondering aloud.

Searchinger wasn’t a scientist; he was a lawyer, working with the Environmental Defense Fund. But he saw a serious flaw in the claim that the president’s proposal would ameliorate climate change. Searchinger knew that cropland had already consumed virtually every arable acre across the Midwest. Quintupling biofuel production would require a huge amount of additional arable land, far more than existed in the United States. Unless Americans planned to eat less, that meant displacing food production to some other country with unused land — and he knew that when forests are cut, or new land is opened for farming, substantial new amounts of carbon can be released into the atmosphere. Forests hold as much as 45 percent of the planet’s carbon stored on land, and old-growth trees in particular hold a great deal of that carbon, typically far more than any of the crops that replace them. When the trees are cut down, most of that carbon is released.

Scientists and lawyers who study environmental impact often deploy “carbon-life-cycle analysis” to determine just how much carbon a given product is removing from, or introducing to, the environment over the course of its production and consumption. When a truck burns biodiesel, the carbon emissions that come from its tailpipe aren’t much different from those of a truck burning petroleum. But a part of the biodiesel emissions aren’t counted, because — in theory — they have been balanced out: Plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere when they grow, and fuel experts subtract that sequestered carbon from the tailpipe emission, completing a transaction that they say balances at zero.

In ideal circumstances — unvegetated land planted for the first time — this balancing out really happens. When corn grows, it soaks up carbon, and when it is consumed (whether as food or fuel), it releases that carbon back into the air. But the analysis breaks down when faced with the reality of land use. Almost everywhere in the world, planting more corn or soy for biofuel would involve creating more farmland, which in turn would involve cutting down whatever was already growing on that land. And that would mean releasing a huge amount of carbon into the air, with nothing to balance the books. As Searchinger watched Bush’s call for an unprecedented increase in biofuel production, his hunch was that the biofuel balance sheet would turn out to be tragically shortsighted."



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Luuuc



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: 11/26/18 11:06 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's going to seem even stupider a decade from now when the majority of cars being sold are powered by electricity



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