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Member since: Sun Jan 3, 2010, 12:16 AM
Number of posts: 1,209

About Me

Was once a republican. long long ago, in a far, far away place. I apologize.

Journal Archives

Teen arrested for homemade clock seeking $15M in damages

Source: USA Today/ TV 11 Atlanta

IRVING, Texas -- Attorneys for the family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving High School student who made international headlines after being arrested earlier this year for bringing a homemade clock to school, have sent letters to both the city of Irving and the Irving School District demanding apologies and $15 million in damages.

Both letters claim that Mohamed's civil rights were violated, and he and his family have suffered physical and mental anguish because of the ordeal.

The letters claim Ahmed was singled out "because of his race, national origin, and religion."

"Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to," read the letter to the city. "The only one who was hurt that day was Ahmed, and the damages he suffered were not because of oversight or incompetence. The school and city officials involved knew what they needed to do to protect Ahmed's rights. They just decided not to do it."

Read more: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/11/23/ahmed-mohamed-suing/76262308/

Worth $15 million?

Papa John’s franchisee is Going to Jail

Source: Fortune Magazine

A Papa John’s franchisee received a jail sentence after being charged earlier this year with not paying workers minimum wage and with falsifying documents.

Abdul Jamil Khokhar, who owns nine Papa John’s locations in New York City with BMY Foods, pled guilty to failing to pay workers in compliance with the New York Labor Law, which is a misdemeanor, and to filing false business records, a felony.

As it’s stated on the Attorney General’s website, instead of paying his employees the proper minimum overtime wages according to New York State law, Khokhar paid them the same minimum wage they would make during regular hours. To hide this illegal practice, he created fake identities under which the employees would file their overtime hours to make it look as if they were distributed among more workers. As was previously reported by Fortune, this affected the wages of over 300 current and former employees.

A civil settlement secured by the U.S. Department of Labor in July of this year required Khokhar to pay $230,000 in damages and $50,000 in civil monetary penalties. He must also pay an additional $230,000 in back pay and spend 60 days in jail, as was agreed upon during his sentencing as part of his plea deal

(more at link)

Read more: fortune.com/2015/11/16/papa-johns-franchisee-jail/

About time a crook goes to jail....

Michigan Senate votes to eliminate straight-ticket voting

Source: Michigan Live

WPBN/WGTU — LANSING - Michigan voters could no longer cast a straight ticket for a slate of candidates representing the party of their choice under legislation approved by the state Senate.

Republicans passed the bill 23-13 Tuesday, mostly along party lines.

Michigan is among 10 states to allow straight-party voting.

The Legislature voted to eliminate straight-ticket voting in 2001. But voters defeated the law in a 2002 referendum.

The legislation would appropriate $1 million for the Department of State to assess the impact of straight-party voting, assist in election fraud prevention, conduct precinct audits and provide equipment to "facilitate the integrity of the election process." The allocation makes the measure immune from a voter referendum, drawing criticism from Democrats.

Read more: http://upnorthlive.com/news/local/michigan-senate-votes-to-eliminate-straight-ticket-voting-11-11-2015

Once again Michigan republicans move against it's own citizens wishes- voters overwhelming defeated this idea at the ballot box in 2002 and now republicans conveniently add a $1 million dollar appropriation, because under Michigan's Constitution, appropriations bills can't be overturned by the voter.

Something is wrong with you if your ideas suck so bad you have to cheat to prevent voters from overturning your bad laws.

Company launches Bernie Sanders-inspired underwear line

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Employees of a Vermont company have launched a side business selling underwear featuring a black-and-white drawing of the face of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

NECN (http://bit.ly/20el7Og ) reports that the underwear, which features the message "Feel the Bern," is available for men and women and costs $15 plus shipping and handling. The three workers with KSE Partners, a strategic communications and government affairs firm, say they created Bernie's Briefs as a fun side business.

The Vermont senator has said recently on late-night TV and talk shows that he prefers briefs over boxers.

The startup's founders called Sanders' passion for serious issues admirable. One founder says the political process has benefited from his campaign.

Ten percent of the proceeds will go toward the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which supports injured service members.


FBI says spy flights not aimed at racial groups

Source: Detroit News

The FBI was conducting a specific criminal probe and not investigating credible terror threats nor targeting racial or religious communities, the bureau told community leaders at a meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting followed a Detroit News report exposing surveillance flights across the region and Dearborn.

“We are very satisfied that the community is not being surveilled,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News. “There is no massive surveillance of any nature. We support whatever the FBI is doing to protect our country and our nation as long as they’re doing it according to the Constitution and under the law, and they’re targeting criminals.

Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/08/05/fbi-denies-targeting-muslims-amid-surveillance-plane-flap/31172399/

Yeh, sure.

Move along. There is nothing to see here.

These are not the droids you are looking for.

To Help US Veterans Charity, George W. Bush Charged $100,000

ABC News

Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former First Lady Laura Bush collected $50,000 to appear a year earlier, officials of the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity confirmed to ABC News.

The former President was also provided with a private jet to travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000, the officials said.

The charity, which helps to provide specially-adapted homes for veterans who lost limbs and suffered other severe injuries in “the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the total $170,000 expenditure was justified because the former President and First Lady offered discounted fees and helped raise record amounts in contributions at galas held in 2011 and 2012.

“It was great because he reduced his normal fee of $250,000 down to $100,000,” said Meredith Iler, the former chairman of the charity.
However, a recent report by Politico said the former President’s fees typically ranged between $100,000 and $175,000 during those years.

One of the wounded vets who served on the charity’s board told ABC News he was outraged that his former commander in chief would charge any fee to speak on behalf of men and women he ordered into harm's way.

“For him to be paid to raise money for veterans that were wounded in combat under his orders, I don’t think that’s right,” said former Marine Eddie Wright, who lost both hands in a rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.



The FBI is operating a small air force to spy on Americans

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department's inspector general.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-fbi-is-reportedly-operating-a-small-air-force-to-monitor-americans-2015-6#ixzz3buTvoqOC

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-fbi-is-reportedly-operating-a-small-air-force-to-monitor-americans-2015-6

Whatever happened to the 4th Amendment?

LIVE: Bernie Sanders talks to Katie Couric

"This afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT, Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric will interview presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders about his bid for the White House, whether he can realistically defeat Hillary Clinton, the midnight expiration of controversial provisions of the Patriot Act and why he may be voting for the USA Freedom Act, which would allow some counterterrorism tools — including the NSA’s controversial bulk data collection — to continue.

The longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, the Vermont senator, who calls himself a socialist, entered the race to win the Democratic nomination on April 30. Last week, in a more formal campaign launch against the backdrop of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt., Sanders promised to “fight to protect working families” and warned the nation’s billionaires that they “can’t have it all.”

Link to amazing video of Katie Couric interview this afternoon:

Two Deputies Tased in mental health incident

Video Released Of Taser Incident Involving Livingston County Jail Inmate

Video has been released that shows a Livingston County Jail inmate wrestling during a confrontation with deputies, including two who were accidentally hit with a Taser while trying to restrain him. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department released video of the Tuesday morning scuffle that involved as many as eight deputies and 29-year-old David Wayne New of Brighton. New was brought in to the jail the night before but got into a confrontation with deputies after he was able to exit his cell and asked to make a phone call. When he refused to return to his cell, four deputies approached, with one forcibly pushing him back into the cell. When he began yelling at deputies about hearing voices in his head, they removed him to a single person cell. Things got physical once deputies tried to restrain New, who resisted the deputies efforts to restrain him. In the process of the scuffle, Tasers were deployed and two deputies were accidentally shocked before New was restrained. The deputies suffered just minor injuries. New is charged with two counts of felonious assault stemming from the incident in Green Oak Township that led to his arrest. A probable cause hearing is scheduled April 28th in that case. Meanwhile, the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office has since authorized a four count complaint against New on charges of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. (JM/JK)

Massive U.S. 23 pileup: 2 in critical condition, freeway expected to be closed for hours

Source: MLIVE

Another massive Michigan pile-up in the snow early this afternoon.

"Two men were taken to the hospital in critical condition after a massive pileup on U.S. 23 south of Ann Arbor, officials said.

Both men needed to be extricated from their vehicles, according to Pittsfield Township Fire Chief.

Officials did not immediately have ages of the men. Both required extensive rescue efforts to be pulled from their vehicles.

One man was inside a car that was underneath a semi truck, Gleason said. The other man was in a separate semi truck. Crews also performed a complex rescue to free him, Gleason said.

There were at least seven semis involved and 20-plus cars in the pileup, according to officials. U.S. 23 was shut down between Willis and Plank roads and was expected to be well into Friday evening as crews clean up. There was a diesel gas spill crews were contending with, as well.

As of 2 p.m., rescue efforts had been completed. Gleason said two other people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The crashes stretched at least an eighth of a mile long on U.S. 23.

One semi crash was so severe, the cab came apart from the chassis, Gleason said.

"It was a horrendous," he said. "I've never seen anything like that."

A semi that crashed with a couple cars at the beginning of the accidents is believed to have started a chain reaction, Gleason said.

Washtenaw County Dispatch confirmed the highway was closed in the southbound direction at 12:52 p.m.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/01/massive_us_23_pileup_2_in_crit.html#incart_river

Another Michigan Massive Pile Up- this time on US-23 south of Ann Arbor, near Milan, Michigan.

Freeway closed.

Local reports are saying more than 50 cars and 7 semi-trucks tangled in this one, and that the highway may be closed for some time.

Update- both directions are now closed. Here is an updated link :

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