WTF?!

Dec 132014
 

You give your employer your best hours and best effort, but they don’t trust you not to steal from them, despite the cameras watching your every move. So, they search you before you go home. That takes time. The Supreme Court says you give your time for free to your untrusting employer. Shareholders and slaveholders everywhere rejoice.

Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks | Albuquerque Journal News

The Supreme Court says warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon don’t have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts.

The unanimous ruling Tuesday is a victory for the growing number of retailers and other companies that routinely screen workers to prevent employee theft. The justices said federal law does not require companies to pay employees for the extra time because it is unrelated to their primary job duties.

Some workers at Amazon contractor Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., claim they wait up to 25 minutes to clear security before they can go home.

The Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court ruling, which said the screenings should be compensated because they were performed for the employer’s benefit.

Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 11:00 am on Sat 12/13/14
Oct 122014
 

Seizures of cash from Americans fuel police spending nationwide

The Washington Post

Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly steps down from the department's Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. © Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly steps down from the department’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents offer a sweeping look at how police departments and drug task forces across the country are benefiting from laws that allow them to take cash and property without proving a crime has occurred. The law was meant to decimate drug organizations, but The Post found that it has been used as a routine source of funding for law enforcement at every level.

“In tight budget periods, and even in times of budget surpluses, using asset forfeiture dollars to purchase equipment and training to stay current with the ever-changing trends in crime fighting helps serve and protect the citizens,” said Prince George’s County, Md., police spokeswoman Julie Parker.

Brad Cates, a former director of asset forfeiture programs at the Justice Department, said the spending identified by The Post suggests police are using Equitable Sharing as “a free floating slush fund.” Cates, who oversaw the program while at Justice from 1985 to 1989, said it has enabled police to sidestep the traditional budget process, in which elected leaders create law enforcement spending priorities.

“All of this is fundamentally at odds with the U.S. Constitution,” said Cates, who recently co-wrote an article calling for the program’s abolition on The Post’s editorial page. “All of this is at odds with the rights that Americans have.”

Of the nearly $2.5 billion in spending reported in the forms, 81 percent came from cash and property seizures in which no indictment was filed, according to an analysis by The Post. Owners must prove that their money or property was acquired legally in order to get it back.

Seizures of cash from Americans fuel police spending nationwide

 Posted by at 1:58 pm on Sun 10/12/14
Aug 312014
 

List includes dozens of night vision sniper scopes and a million dollar helicopter. (Bernco already had at least on helicopter, as does Albuquerque, in Bernco.) Even small town Los Lunas has a police tank.

Interactive: Military equipment to NM police departments | Albuquerque Journal News

BERNALILLO – MINE RESISTANT VEHICLE worth $733,000.00 on 02/13/2014

Interactive: Military equipment to NM police departments | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 1:03 pm on Sun 08/31/14
Jul 312014
 

Let us unite in a class action lawsuit on behalf of all citizens against the US House of “Representatives” for their ongoing failure to do anything useful. If that fails, let’s sue the Republican Party for obstruction of progress.

 Posted by at 8:35 am on Thu 07/31/14
Jul 272014
 

I look forward to Senate investigations into the Scopes trial and bills requiring prayer in public schools — and hand guns for all! Let the lunatics rule the asylum. That would guarantee impeachment for Obama, which would likely raise his standing with everyone else and assure another Democratic president in 2016. Bring it on, fools.

Republicans narrowly favored to capture Senate in November – CBS News

A new CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker estimate finds the Republicans positioned to take the Senate this year, with a likely 51-49 seat edge if the November election were held right now. The margin of error on that current seat estimate, at plus or minus 2 seats, means Democrats still have a real possibility to keep the chamber and that we head into campaign season with control up for grabs — with a closely-divided Senate surely coming in 2015 in either case.

Republicans narrowly favored to capture Senate in November – CBS News

 Posted by at 1:11 pm on Sun 07/27/14
Jun 302014
 

Dana Milbank is spot on in this piece.

In Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court uses a ‘fiction’ – The Washington Post

In its last day in session, the high court not only affirmed corporate personhood but expanded the human rights of corporations, who by some measures enjoy more protections than mortals …

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the much-anticipated Hobby Lobby decision. “Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.”

Alito’s ruling notably did not protect the rights of people employed by Hobby Lobby. They can now be denied contraceptives they were supposed to receive as part of their employee health plan — because the craft chain’s owners object to certain forms of birth control required under Obamacare. … [mjh: What happens if a corporation’s owners object to transfusions or other emergency medical care?]

There was a certain risk in having Alito deliver the 5-to-4 opinion defending corporate personhood, because his mannerisms are strikingly robotic for a human. …

Ginsburg, in her dissent, wrote: “Until this litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption. .?.?. The exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities. As Chief Justice Marshall observed nearly two centuries ago, a corporation is ‘an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.’?” …

So Alito … reverted to the “Dictionary Act definition of ‘person,’?” which includes corporations. (The Dictionary Act also … says the words “?‘insane person’ shall include every idiot.”) … [zing!]

Alito’s ruling was, Ginsburg said, an “expansive notion of corporate personhood.” She invoked the writing of former justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote that corporations “have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires.” [mjh: Corporations do have a single desire: an insatiable appetite for profit above all else, including the well-being of employees or customers.]

In Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court uses a ‘fiction’ – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 9:06 pm on Mon 06/30/14
Jun 302014
 

… a withering, unbearably dry heat. The worst part is that it has been 85 degrees at midnight and takes until dawn to cool down to mid-70s.

100 degrees

 Posted by at 4:46 pm on Mon 06/30/14