S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Friday, January 31, 2003
MOKHIBER AND WEISSMAN EXPOSE CORPORATE BONES
is a great site for progressive commentary and news, and Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman never fail to reveal unsettling truths about corporate crime and the un-robinhood effect.
For corporations, reputation is everything. If they lose it, they stand to lose everything. See Andersen, Worldcom and Enron. If they can keep their dirty laundry out of the public eye, all the better. They do this by destroying incriminating documents, by lying, by covering up. If they are caught red-handed by the cops, there's another way -- plead guilty or negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement and ask the government not to publicize the agreement. We've always suspected that these kinds of secret settlement side deals are happening, but never could put our finger on it.
In the question-and-answer session, we asked the distinguished panel of white collar crime defense lawyers whether they could name a recent criminal prosecution of a corporation that should not have been brought because the theory of enforcement was too "creative."
Ira Raphaelson, a former federal prosecutor, and now a white collar defense attorney at O'Melveny & Myers, said he had one, but couldn't talk about it.
What do you mean, you can't talk about it?
I promised my client that I won't talk about it, he says.
It was a criminal prosecution and it's on the public record, right?
Yes, but I'm not going to tell you any more about it.
Was the case settled?
Yes, he says.
Did the Justice Department notify the press that the case was settled?
No, he says.
The company completed the negotiations. A lot of money was paid. I could tell you about the case, but it would be to the detriment of my client, so I won't, he says.
Raphaelson said that the case involved a corporation that was charged with crimes under the collective knowledge doctrine. That's a doctrine that holds that a corporation can be held criminally liable for the collective knowledge of its employees -- even though no one individual has sufficient knowledge to hold that individual culpable.
Clever criminals these are. SOO, our government is more concerned with watching US, and putting regular people under surveillance than publicly prosecuting criminals. I think I'm going to major in corporate crime, it's a very lucrative business, and La Administracion will trip over itself to shield you from public shame and suffering if you steal from hardworking people.
FEDS FIGURE MARTHA'S GOT ENOUGH OF A HEADSTART FOR THEM TO RESUME INVESTIGATION
The Boston Daily News reports that the Justice Department is finally "turning up the heat" in their investigation of Martha Stewart. Is it me, or was the press freeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaking out when it took the D.C. Police Department two weeks to catch the snipers. Its been 13 months. Elliot Spitzer ended his "investigation" of the corporate criminals with NOT ONE INDICTMENT, NOT ONE. BUT WINONA RYDER GETS INDICTED FOR SHOPLIFTING!!! Why has it been 13 months though, if there's not enough evidence, they should've cleared Stewart, if there is, she should be in the slammer. WHERE'S KEN LAY?! Your URL is Martha's Got her shizz in Swiss accounts
XXXXX ***** BUSH DOES NOT DENY IT!!!!!!! ***** XXXXX
I was just listening to the Sean Hannity Show, scouting the opponent, and the joint press conference between El Presidente and Tony Blair came on. Everybody went through the typical motions EXCEPT a reporter from Britain's ITV NEWS asked El Presidente if Bob Woodward's account that Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq SIX DAYS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11 2001 is true. BUSH DID NOT DENY IT. HE TALKED ABOUT HOW EVIL SADDAM IS, HE TALKED ABOUT SADDAM'S DESIRE TO USE TERRORISTS TO NUKE THE UNIVERSE, HE TALKED ABOUT SADDAM'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, BUSH DID NOT DENY ORDERING AN INVASION OF IRAQ ON 17 SEPTEMBER 2001. This story will be followed up vigorously.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love Chinese New Year, the mood is always festive, and its being on a Friday will make it that much better, no doubt. Growing up in New York City, I had the honor of knowing several Chinese people and Chinese Americans with generous families that had no problem with feeding me. One of my bestest college friends is off celebrating the new year, and he also celebrated a birthday recently; visit his very not political blog, e-mail him, if you're a female, leave a number for him to call. He's hot, and if you don't believe me, here's an old picture of him:
He was even hot as a bebe. His blog is STEPHEN'S BLOG
I know he's a cutie pie, ladies, but don't rip the man to shreds...
RICH PROCTOR FROM BLAH3 RIGHT ON THE MONEY
Our friends at blah3.com never cease to strike golden truths. Rich Proctor lays the smackdown on the right wingnut myths and propaganda about "patriotism.":
We should remind ourselves that President Bush will feel no pain from this war. (Karl Rove is whispering in his ear that he’ll probably get a “bounce” in the polls). He doesn’t have a son who will fight and die. He won’t lose his health care coverage because the federal budget money went for “daisy cutter” bombs. He’ll be retired, out on the golf links with his Secret Service caddies when future generations of young men and women are still getting shot, blown up and incinerated trying to enforce our futile “nation-building” efforts in Iraq for the next twenty or so years. And his army of chickenhawk blowhards will still be calling peacemakers “traitors.”
THE CONSERVATIVE WINGNUT COUNTER: You liberals think you're big and bad with your numbers, facts and figures. Well, would you rather die than nuke Saddam? Saddam has nukes, and oil and they should be ours for the taking!!! You liberals say you're for peace, but you're not you're for getting America killed and killing our national honor by making us look like pussies in front of the world, well let me tell you, we're not pussies, we've got rather large d*@%s, thank you! WAR IS PEACE, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!!!!!!!!
Wow, thank you Ann Coulter for that rant, I always suspected you had a... nevermind, that's a different monster... And yes, I will post your poster, yes, yes, it is rather unique artwork... The con wingnuts want blood, El Presidente wants compassionate blood, but is evidence too much to ask for? I don't want El Presidente's oil money, or a cut from the profits after the Iraq invasion, I don't want Dick Cheney's pacemaker or his shiny head, I'm a simple youngun with practical desires; I want the facts. The con wingnuts want the blood, they want the oil, they tell us that they'll take them both without taking the sensibilities of our largest, most powerful ally (Germany) into account, and then they tell us this WAR IS going to result in PEACE in the Mid East, our IGNORANCE of evidence IS necessary if the STRENGTH of our tactics is to remain, and the American birthrights of FREEDOM and liberty have to be terminated because if we have too much, it IS going to result in a tactical victory for TERROR. Well, I don't trust these guys, because they don't trust us. They want to monitor everything we buy, watch, use, or eat; they want the ability to spy on all of us.
SINCE WHEN ARE ALL AMERICANS SUSPICIOUS OF BEING TERRORISTS? SINCE WHEN ARE WE ALL SUSPECTS BEFORE THE CRIME, GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT? I TELL YOU WHAT, IF THEY CAN SPY ON US, I HOPE WE SPY ON THEM, I WANT TO SEE GEORGE W.'S PURCHASES POSTED, I WANT TO SEE THE WHITE HOUSE PHONE RECORDS, HIS PORNO TAPE PURCHASES, HIS ORDERING OF PILLS TO BETTER ENDOW HIM THAN THE CREATOR DID.
Comments are coming soon, we are definitely working on giving readers an immediate forum on the blog...
U.S. APPROVES RESPONSE WITH NUKES TO BIO OR CHEM ATTACK
The mouthpiece of the con movement (The Washington Times) reports today:
A classified document signed by President Bush specifically allows for the use of nuclear weapons in response to biological or chemical attacks, apparently changing a decades-old U.S. policy of deliberate ambiguity, it was learned by The Washington Times. "The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force — including potentially nuclear weapons — to the use of [weapons of mass destruction] against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies," the document, National Security Presidential Directive 17, set out on Sept. 14 last year.
Is this a middle finger to the world or what? There are definitely conceivable circumstances in which a biological or chemical attack could warrant a nuclear (re: not nuke-U-lar) response, but why make this move now el Presidente? My main problem is I do not trust the judgment of this administration enough to have faith that they won't nuke a village if the Iraqi's use anthrax on an American dog; this administration's response to the killing of innocents in wars has been "tough shit, we kill just as many Americans in Texas." History and Presidente Bush will not be friends in the future, that's all I have to say about that. BUSH ON ARAB WORLD- NUKE 'EM
Friends, I believe our military is behind the eight ball in on important category. We lack ninjas. Ninjas are the best, they are cool, flexible and best of all, deadly. In our humble efforts to make a subtle impression on our military, the greatest military God has given the universe, a link to a break through website on NINJAS will be added. Visit it whenever you want, but I encourage you to call your Representative and Senator in Congress and tell them about the power (and cost effectiveness) of ninjas.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
FOR YOU REPUBLICANS OUT THERE
I know some of you are tolerant and read this blog. I got some bumper stickers I don't want, they're for you, just e-mail me, here are some samples:
Or hows about a poster?
I hope you like 'em
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
XXXX !!!! @@@ RUMSFELD AND SADDAM GETTING COZY @@@ !!!! XXXX
Not in my wildest nightmares could I have conjured this up:
WOW, Rummy's got a pretty firm grip there, I wonder how Saddam's is? I guess we should ask the old Rumster! Has anybody (in the press) asked him yet? Saddam looks scarier in this picture than he looks now, do you think that's a Saddam double? Who're the other two white guys in the picture? This meeting took place in 1983, during the Iran-Iraq war in which Saddam used poison gas. I wonder if the Republicans were telling Americans, "Saddam is an evil man, who is the first person since Hitler to use poison gas!" Where the hell is the good ole Republican moral "clarity"?! I wonder if Rummy looked deep into Saddam's eyes and saw his soul the same way El Presidente saw Putin's? Those lights cast a big shadow... Why hasn't this picture been on national television, or the national news? I haven't watched the national news in ages, but I would bet that if they haven't, the network guys will start having their broadcasts from Baghdad soon. Otherwise, find me and tax me for a nickel.
IN STATE OF THE UNION EL PRESIDENTE BUSH SAYS BUSHONOMICS BEST THING FOR TAX PAYERS
I challenge Bush to point out which tax payers he's talking about, precision in speech can't hurt his brain that bad! Here are some interesting charts, that demonstrate the potential for positive growth due to Bushonomics:
Kudos Sr. President, kudos!!!
MY NEW YORK KNICKS MAKING A RECOVERY?
The New York Knickerbockers are on a tear. They've won 5 of their last 6 games, they're only three games out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, they have fire, poise and hunger; an uncanny ability to put up a lot of points against good teams (somehow, only to give up an enormous lead and lose in the last 30 seconds). Nevertheless, the New York Knicks are a potential dynasty to watch, it is said here, today. AMEN, the prophesy is written.
Monday, January 27, 2003
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PART TRE: MR. PRESIDENT
Recently I read (yes I read) a decent commentary titled "How Affirmative Action Helped George W." Hypocrisy is my favorite vice; the number one opponent of UMich Law admissions policies, el Presidente, obviously can't remember the sixtees. Dubya scored 566 verbal and 640 math on his SAT ones, and he probably had the option of test prep at his disposal. I know no one at Columbia who boasts lower than those scores on the SATs. I bet if we did our research, we wouldn't find too many at any Ivy with scores lower than that; I'd even bet most minority applicants have higher scores than that. SO! Why aren't conservative groups suing to end discrimination against non-legacies, non-preppies, non-wealthies? Some (and I stress SOME) of this anti-affirmative action movement is fueled by more parts racism, less parts justice. Michael Kinsley of TIME magazine says:
They may not have had an explicit point system at Yale in 1964, but Bush clearly got in because of affirmative action. Affirmative action for the son and grandson of alumni. Affirmative action for a member of a politically influential family. Affirmative action for a boy from a fancy prep school. These forms of affirmative action still go on. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Harvard accepts 40% of applicants who are children of alumni but only 11% of applicants generally. And this kind of affirmative action makes the student body less diverse, not more so.
AT THIS MOMENT I WILL MAKE THE CONSERVATIVE CASE AGAINST THESE MEAN-SPIRITED, LIBERAL, SLANDEROUS, BIASED ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, THIS MAN OF INTEGRITY. Mr. Kinsley is a little mean spirited here, don't you think? I would never assume that a wealthy guy got into Yale because of his money, or his connections, or his dad's and grand dad's contributions to the endowment or landscape, or his family's status in politics, or his fancy school that has been feeding Yale since 1781. Black kids should not be taken... umm, uhh, because they're black. I mean, because the color of their skin, because elitist, wealthy Ivy league colleges are leading the charge in reverse discrimination against white kids!!! Not enough white kids go to Yale!!! If these black kids keep on going to college, there won't be any place for white kids to go!!! SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION FOREVAH!!!!
Thanks Joe Lieberman for that guest interjection, in defense of the President's hypocrisy. Hey Joe, did you get on the presidential ticket because of... uhh, nevermind I will not lead a witch hunt. 'tis "don't ask don't tell" these days, don't ask el Presidente if he squandered the opportunities he took advantage of, if he did cocaine in college, if he did things back then that he is willing to lock people up for 20 years for doing now. Bill Clinton did it too, but at least he never tried to act like he was above it all. George W. has some cajones to talk about "African-American students and some Hispanic students and Native American students receive 20 points out of a maximum of 150, not because of any academic achievement or life experience, but solely because they are African American, Hispanic or Native American." when he received 150 out of 150 points and when many others like him get the same treatment today.
MY VERDICT, AND ITS A GOOD ONE
I say let the college and graduate admissions offices choose their student bodies in peace, with goodwill and without the politics. I don't know if anybody likes basketball, but if you watch the draft, you know that it is less likely for centers to be drafted than guards, nobody should ask a basketball team to draft 10 centers, no one should ask UMich to admit 99% whites. Affirmative action is for the exceptional student who has overcome adverse situations of poverty, shitty schooling, high crime, and broken homes; these living circumstances are bad enough for those who have to live and grow in them, try feeding a plant sewer water and see how long it survives. Society feeds inner city kids sewer water from birth to juvenile hall, those who don't end up in juvenile hall might end up poor, quitting high school, quitting college, getting a dead end job and working an intolerable job to death. Those who are bright and committed enough to come close to the level on which the rest of the nation operates do not gain 20 points just for being latino or black or native americans, they gain 20 points for flying, with anvils on their wings, as comparably fast as kids without burdens. Generally, these kids coming from the American underclass come from communities with greater infant mortality than many third world countries, and are subject to more burdens for less benefit to themselves than any other group of people in this country. We will know discrimination is dead when a white dude knows that he could switch places with a girl, or a black person, latino person, gay person or native american person and he would not live an easier or harder life because of his gender, race, ethnicity, sexual persuasion. When it comes down to it, opponents know that with or without affirmative action they would rather be "rich white preppy dude from Connecticut" for 18 years before the college admissions process than "destitute chicano girl from Arizona." Saying that of 2 "destitute chicano girl" applicants to UMich Law one got in and therefore 50% got in so its discrimination since 20% of 5,000 "rich white dudes" got in is utter nonsense. College statistics on admissions say nothing of the general likelihood that a poor person, underrepresented minority (or state resident) may or may not gain acceptance to a college. If all of a sudden a study found that during the 1990s 50% of black male applicants to Yale were accepted, that would not change the fact that one third of ALL black males between the ages of 16 and 24 were incarcerated during that decade. All this is, is another tactic to consolidate the power of the wealthy. So why shouldn't every kid who comes up in abject poverty say "fuck it!" and let the poverty, miseducation and societal indifference trample them? President Bush is saying "fuck them"!!! But I didn't vote for him, so its not personal.
The URL is http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030127-409553,00.html
MILITARY MEN FREEZE THEIR SPERM
There's not much to say about this one. I would probably freeze my sperm too, there's no telling what these guys may be exposed to if they head out to Iraq. many service men are freezing their seed, the family honor for many military families lies in a nice clear microwave safe jar. Lets hope the gentlemen, or their wives, never need to "break open in case of emergency." URL = http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-26-bank-usat_x.htm
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY TOMMY THOMPSON SAYS BIO ATTACK "INEVITABLE"
Whenever these guys tell us about the inevitability of some attack I don't know what to think of it. Of course our government hasn't said who will attack us, they just state that an attack will occur somewhere, sometime between now and the end of the world. The virtue would be in preparing for an attack (which this news story eventually gets to), not in scaring people into paranoia. I refer you down to the skeptic story from the Onion a few entries down this page.
"There is going to be an attack. Whether it is in western Europe, the US, Africa, Asia or wherever, you have got to anticipate that there is going to be a bioterrorism attack and the only way to defend yourself is by getting prepared," said Tommy Thompson, health secretary.
OK OK. SO... * ... this is a bigger problem than AIDS?! Lets say you're Zimbabwe, you're remote, you're poor, you're one of those "live and let live" countries, but nature hates you and your people are dying of AIDS at the rate that Americans are becoming obese; do you
a) prepare for bioterror and do what America says
b) wage a war against AIDS the real terror or
c) claim that AIDS is not a problem that can be solved via human intervention or by having standards as to who you screw (as the Zimbabwean president claims)
Well, that last part was beside the original point, which was to show that America's standard cannot be applied to the back countries of the world, but neither can their standards... So I am confused as to what a good standard looks like in places where people are suffering. The immediate problem is that the U.S. is so paranoid that it will get attacked by human evil that natural evils are becoming ignored. URL = http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1042491219998
CLINTON EXPOSES SOMETHING TERRIBLE ABOUT THE PREZ
Defenseless little me sits right here at my computer in the heart of New York City. Given, at this point, most of you are also in the heart of New York City (cuz I told you to read this blog). OK so we're in New York, Matt (another devoted reader) is in Washington and the evil doers are out to kill us all over again. Senator Hillary points out that the Prez has been more concerned about ending the dividend tax (for you cons, I would greatly benefit from this yet on principle I oppose this) than paying for security. At http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/politics/ny-ussecu253102569jan25,0,4424376.story?coll=ny-lipolitics-print Hillary points out:
[Hillary] said a survey of 40 New York counties and municipalities found that 70 percent had received no federal homeland security funding, while investing more than $2.6 billion from their budgets to fight off terrorism. Clinton also tried to tie security concerns to criticism of Bush's $674 billion economic stimulus proposal that would eliminate taxes on dividends. "Will ending the dividend tax make air travel safer?" Clinton said. "Will it keep a dirty bomb out of New York Harbor? Will ending the dividends save one police officer or firefighter his or her job? In short, will it make America safer, more secure? Of course, the answer is no."
OK, we're too young to die, but unfortunately we don't have bunkers, mountains, caves, caverns, secret underground lairs or undisclosed locations, we have umbrellas, hats and a face mask if we're lucky or related to a doctor. Once again we have a sad display about why big protected government is out of touch.