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KPN's Journal
KPN's Journal
November 11, 2022

US couple jailed for trying to sell navy secrets to foreign government

A federal judge has handed lengthy prison sentences to a US navy engineer and his wife for a plot to sell secrets about nuclear submarines to a person they thought was a representative of a foreign government, citing the “great danger” they posed to US security.

Prosecutors said Toebbe abused his access to top secret government information and repeatedly sold details about the design and performance of Virginia-class submarines to someone he believed was a representative of a foreign government but who was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Diana Toebbe, 46, who was teaching at a private school in Maryland when the couple were arrested last October, admitted she acted as a lookout at several prearranged “dead drop” locations, where memory cards containing the secret information were left behind.

The US district judge Gina Groh sentenced Jonathan Toebbe to more than 19 years and his wife, Diana Toebbe, to nearly 22 years. In August she had rejected earlier plea agreements that had called for reduced sentencing guidelines.
None of the information was classified as top secret or secret, falling into a third category considered confidential, according to previous testimony.


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Well then, all things being equal, seems like TFGs case ought to result in 22 years at a minimum. No?

May 25, 2022

I feel like the earth just moved. My 68 year old brother

who has been an ultra conservative right winger for the past 20 years or so just left me a voice mail. He called to let me know he has changed his mind about 2nd Amendment rights after yesterday’s Texas school shooting and would now even support all guns just being banned. He said he just “can’t allow this stuff to go on anymore”.

I’m still processing this thinking what in hell took him so long.

April 3, 2022

After Amazon workers' union victory -- in NY -- the Fed must stop tipping the scales for bosses

On Friday, Amazon – America’s wealthiest, most powerful and fiercest anti-union corporation, with the second-largest workforce in the nation (union-busting Walmart being the largest), lost out to a group of warehouse workers in New York who voted to form a union. If anyone had any doubts about Amazon’s determination to prevent this from ever happening, its scorched-earth anti-union campaign last fall in its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse should have put those doubts to rest. In New York, Amazon used every tool it had used in Alabama. Many of them are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act but Amazon couldn’t care less. It’s rich enough to pay any fine or bear any public relations hit.

With consumer demand soaring, employers are desperate to hire. This has given American workers more bargaining clout than they’ve had in decades. Wages have climbed 5.6% over the past year. The acute demand for workers has bolstered the courage of workers to demand better pay and working conditions from even the most virulently anti-union corporations in America, such as Amazon and Starbucks. ... American workers haven’t had much of a raise in over four decades. ... But corporate America believes these wage gains are contributing to inflation. As the New York Times solemnly reported, the wage gains “could heat up price increases”. ... Unfortunately, the chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Jerome Powell, believes it. He worries that “the labor market is extremely tight” and to “an unhealthy level”. As a result, the Fed is on the way to raising interest rates repeatedly in order to slow the economy and reduce the bargaining leverage of American workers.

Pause here to consider this: the commerce department reported on Wednesday that corporate profits are at a 70-year high. ... Not since 1952 have corporations done as well as they are now doing. Amazon’s profits are in the stratosphere, but it’s not just Amazon. Across the board, American corporations are flush with cash. ... Although they are paying higher costs (including higher wages), they’ve still managed to increase their profits. How? They have enough pricing power to pass on those higher costs to consumers, and even add some more for themselves.

In a healthy economy, corporations would not be passing on higher costs – including higher wages – to their consumers. They’d be paying the higher wages out of their profits. ... But that’s not happening. Corporations are using their record profits to buy back enormous amounts of their own stock to keep their share prices high, instead. The labor market isn’t “unhealthily” tight, as Jerome Powell asserts; corporations are unhealthily fat. Workers don’t have too much power; corporations do.

Yet the reality is that corporate America doesn’t want to give up any of its record profits to its workers. If it can’t fight off unions directly, it will do so indirectly by blaming inflation on wage increases, and then cheer on the Fed as it slows the economy just enough to eliminate American workers’ new bargaining clout.

February 8, 2022

Wow ... woke up to a heart! What a nice way to start

a day. Thank you to whomever. Time to spread some love and support this great place once again … and what a great way to do it! Cheers everyone.

January 14, 2022

Democrat won a US House seat this week with 79 percent of vote. Her GOP opponent has not conceeded.

An election in South Florida this week may serve as a marker for where the Republican Party stands in 2022, and how much American democracy has already changed since Donald Trump lost reelection.

The election on Tuesday was ... was a special election to replace a House Democrat who died in office in April. Joe Biden won the [district] with 77 percent in the 2020 election. The Democratic winner, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, ... a progressive who spent her own money to win and backs the concept of universal basic income ... won 79 percent of the vote over Republican Jason Mariner, who ... got less than 20 percent of the vote and trails Cherfilus-McCormick by over 32,000 votes.

“Now they called the race, I did not win, so they say, but that does not mean that they lost either, it does not mean that we lost,” Mariner was quoted by the Miami CBS affiliate as saying. He said he will file a lawsuit.

this ... episode shows the Republican Party could be drifting toward a new norm of refusing to concede — even in landslides. Mariner's refusal to concede and decision to file a lawsuit raises an interesting question ... What if a partisan judge rules, without facts, in favor of a soundly defeated candidate for office? If that seems implausible, then what about for closer elections?


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