Saturday, May 29

Why is BP Trying to KILL the Fishermen?

In this interview from Democracy Now, Clint Guidry who is head of the Louisiana Fishermen's Association states that his 20 years of experience working in the Oil Industry with KBR (yes, That KBR) tells him that the seven fishermen who were Hospitalized during the cleanup were deliberately put at risk by BP.



Clint: I bought respirators, took them out to these people ... BP told them if they wore respirators they'd be taken off the job


This is a video that people need to see.

A Full Transcript of this discussion is Here.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now in New Orleans by Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. He’s a third-generation shrimp fisherman.

This is Democracy Now! We welcome you to the studios of Democracy Now!, though we’re speaking to you in New Orleans. Tell us what’s happening, Clint.

CLINT GUIDRY: Well, good morning. Thanks for having me.

This is a situation that has been ongoing for several weeks now. Having had prior training and experience working with the oil and the chemicals in oil and their danger—[no audio]—several of the fishermen out on the worksite, they were complaining of burning eyes and strong smells. And my experience told me that they were getting exposed to dangerous chemicals—the benzenes, all the light ends off the crude—and this Corexit is a new experience for me. I have been doing some research. It contains a substance called 2-butoxyethanol, up to 60 percent by volume, which is a very, very dangerous chemical. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but just doing the research. And I knew that they spraying this chemical in the same area where my fishermen were working. And I have brought this to light. I have tried to make public. As a matter of fact, just a couple of days ago, three days ago, I met with a Washington delegation in Galliano and expressed my concerns that this was happening.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, Clint Guidry, what about OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration? Aren’t they supposed to be monitoring worksites that involve US companies, even if they’re offshore?

CLINT GUIDRY: I’m not sure about that, but I’m understanding it’s MMS and US Coast Guard in this situation.

AMY GOODMAN: What about respirators? Are people wearing respirators?

CLINT GUIDRY: No, ma’am. Having had prior experience, I know these people. They’re friends. They’re family. I bought respirators, and I brought them down to these people. And when they tried to wear them, the BP representatives on site told them that it wasn’t a dangerous situation, and they didn’t need to wear them, and if they did, they would be taken off the job.


Why would BP do that?

Well, because if BP admits that there is a health hazard it opens itself up for liability claims for the longterm health care of the workers and citizens of the Gulf - and they simply don't want to Pay for Those People.

Hmm, sounds kind Tea Baggery to me.

In part 2, Clint Describes how he himself have seen Corexit being sprayed into the air in Venice, LA near the mouth of the Mississippi - near private homes where kids live, like a sick replay of those old DDT spraying in the 70's. He's been so concerned that he has already personally brought this issue up to wigh Governor Jindal and both Secretary Napolitano and Secretary Salazar. Clearly he hasn't been impressed with the level of response so far.



JUAN GONZALEZ: Your governor, Governor Bobby Jindal, has been very outspoken in his criticisms of how some aspects of the response have been conducted. Have you appealed to Louisiana health officials or to your local government to intercede in one way or another about the issues, these health issues, with the fishermen?

CLINT GUIDRY: Yes, I have. But, you know, their hands—you know, I spoke the other day—Bobby Jindal is a very good man. I meet with him—I’ve met with him several times. He’s done a lot for the shrimp fishery and the state. But when BP is the entity in charge, there’s not a lot that local people can do, including the governor. I met with two cabinet-ranked people from Washington, Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Salazar. I sat six feet from them three days ago and told them this was going to happen. If they can’t do anything about it, or won’t do anything about it, how do you expect our governor to?


Ok, well - so much they "Nobody could have anticipated the burning eyes, burning skin, nausea, dizziness, long term respiratory problem and Ocean of Dead FISH from exposure to dispersant" gambit.

For some reason the EPA has continued to sign-off on the use of dispersant which do little more than hide the oil under the surface turning into dark death plumes dozens of miles long. Some of those plums have even begun to turn clear, even though they still OIL in them.

JUAN GONZALEZ: You mentioned earlier the dispersant. There are some critics who say that the long-term impact of the dispersant could be even greater than the actual oil spill itself, in terms of marine life. Your sense of what the dispersant is doing in terms of the potential for destruction of the fisheries in that area?

CLINT GUIDRY: The trade-off position is a false one, because eventually this dispersant is going to cause whole species to collapse. This is going to be, you know, a collapse of some of the shrimp species, the fish, the turtles, tuna. I mean, this is unbelievable that we did this. You just added poison on top of a bad situation.


This is going to call entire species to collapse?

Toward the end of this interview Clint suggests that the Cleanup Operations be taken out of BP's hands - which are NOT getting the job done and are mostly trying to cover their ass - and handled by the Military.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But what do you say to those even in the government who has say that the government doesn’t have the expertise, that only the oil companies themselves have the expertise, and that the whole cry for a federal takeover would not really change anything?

CLINT GUIDRY: If the oil company is such experts, why are they trying to kill my fishermen?


Because their cost benefit analysis indicates it's cheaper than admitting the truth and doing something about it. Just like it was cheaper to rush through the test procedures on the blow out preventer, just as it was cheaper to skip drilling a relief well ahead of time, just as it was cheaper not to do the cementing properly, just as it was cheaper not to use the proper drilling mud in the first place... and we can all see what that has already led to from space!.

Vyan

The 100 Miile Underwater Death Cloud

As BP is attempting it's "Top Kill" to end the ecological disaster that they themselves fostered and created, and we see the oil coming ashore turning the State Bird of Louisiana into the Brown Petro Pelican there's something happening that we can't see - something that may actually be far worse than the oil spill itself.

It's the Oil Mixed with tens of thousands of gallons of Corexit 9500, a substance which is actually banned in Britain - while British Petroleum is dumping it off of our shores to break up hide the true size of their Oil Volcano.

The other day Sam Champion of Good Morning America and Phillipe Cousteau Jr., grandson of Oceanagrapher Jacques documented just when is going under beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, and it's frankly "A Nightmare".



Using Hazmat Dry-Diving Suits Champion and Cousteau documented the flecks of oil which are gradually sinking into the water column about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana. These are huge greasy oil, diesel and gasoline-like toxic plumes which can burn the skin and easily be absorbed into the gills and skin of marine life, including shrimp, dolphins, oysters, kelp and other elements of the food chain.

How you like your Tuna served? Regular or Unleaded?

Cousteau: This is the worse thing I've ever seen underwater in my life. It's a Nightmare


Even though Good Morning America is a National Show, and even though this footage is fairly explosive we still continue to listen to wan platitudes from BP and the Administration that they're' "Doing all they can..." and "the impact will be fairly mild", yet this footage makes it clear this might causes damage that will spread through the eco-system quite easily for decades.

And it's not like BP and the government have been helpful at helping recognize and identify the amount of damage taking place as one CBS crew discovered as they were threatened by arrest by the Coast Guard while exploring public waters off the coast of Louisiana.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Emerging reports are raising the question of just how much of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill journalists are able to document.

When CBS tried to film a beach with heavy oil on the shore in South Pass, Louisiana, a boat of BP contractors, and two Coast Guard officers, told them to turn around, or be arrested.

"This is BP's rules, it's not ours," someone aboard the boat said. Coast Guard officials told CBS that they're looking into it.


So the U.S. Coast Guard is now a wholely owned subsidiary of BP? Exactly when did that happen?

How is it that BP gets to defy the EPA when they request a less toxic alternative to Corexit 9500, particularly when a former BP Exec and Board member for 45 years is the current head of Nalco (Hm, Incest is Best?), the company that provides Corexit 9500, which in turn is owned by in part by that bastion of corporate compassion - Goldman Sachs? So far Nalco has sold $40 Million worth of Corexit to BP.

Not to be all Beckian about it but, Coincidence? I think not.

Similarly stocks for Transocean, the Offshore Oil Drilling company that is headquartered in a the completely landlocked country of Sweden Switzerland for tax purposes, has issued a $1 Billion bonus to it's Stock-holders after the Deep Horizon Catastrophe, and even been awarded over $200 Million in insurance benefits from the loss of the oil rig.

Talk about selling short and cleaning up while making a huge fracking mess, they've made a profit from this.

Meanwhile as they make $Billions BP is still too chincy and cheap to provide adequate protection to Fishermen who've they hired to help clean up the spill.

Like other cleanup workers, Jackson had attended a training class where he was told not to pick up oil-related waste. But he said he wasn’t provided with protective equipment and wore leather boots and regular clothes on his boat.

“They [BP officials] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn’t supposed to bother us,” Jackson said. “As far as gloves, no, we haven’t been wearing any gloves.”


Some of those workers, dealing with the toxic stew of oil and Corexit have been suffering from headaches and nausea - and after the long term respiratory problems we've seen among people who worked the cleanup at ground zero - we should all know better than this by now.

Imagine if that cloud was airborne, and hanging over the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama like a Plume of Death? Now, just remember that the fish don't have any protection either, and that all that toxicity isn't going to magically disappear, it's going to work it's way through the food chain, then be evaporated into the atmosphere and come back down as rainwater - just in time for Hurricane season. Good Bye Water Table - Hello Cancer Clusters.

I agree with Randi Rhodes, in 10 to 20 years were going to be hearing Larry H. Parker Styled Commercials about Corexit Exposure Settlements, just as we have previously for DDT, Agent Orange, Malathion and Mesothemiola from Asbestos.

Today President Obama is scheduled to take his first press conference in 10 Months and announce a round of sweeping now mining and drilling regulations. Hopefully among those regulations are a requirement for Relief Wells to be drilled in tandem with the primary exploratory well - as is required by Canada and other countries. Accidents do happen, but being completely unprepared for one - just to save $500,000 in extra drilling coasts - doesn't have to.

It also might be nice if corporate employees aren't allowed to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil, only to have them copied over in ink by regulators after the fact, beside y'know doing Chrystal Meth and Boinking the people they're supposed to be regulating.

Quite a bit of focus has been on the MMS in the past months, but we also should hope to have the issue of burrowed in Bush Moles who philosophically object to the mission of the department. Moles such as Climat-Change denier Liberterian Cato Instititue Fellow, and American Enterprise Institute member Indur Goklany who still retains a high position in the Interior Dept despite Bush's Presidency being over for over 2 years.

Admittedly it's easy to point fingers, and like Limbaugh or Brownie who - without any evidence - argued that either Greenpeace sabotaged the oil rigged, or the Obama administration has slow walked the response in order to support their "secret true agenda" of derailing offshore drilling, it could be easy to surmise that the Bush Mole's may still have an influence on the spill response, like a stuck parking brake on a speeding car...

But in the end we have to admit the the ultimate responsibility for this mess, both above and below the water, falls directly in Obama's lap.

The argument of the need for government to step in and address personal and corporate malfeasance and Crimes should be over, money-grubbing corporations are NOT going to regulate themselves and a public that as easily distracted by shiny vapid objects such as Teen UnRapper Justin Beiber, Kim Kardashian's huge bulbous ass and a Skate-boarding dog are not going to bring them to heel, but the question of the governments ability to actually implement correction and justice in the wake of those crimes remains sadly in question.

Obama has to take control of this situation, personally if necessary.

First on the list, whether the "Top Kill" works or not, is the fact that there is no legitimate reason to use ANY dispersant to hide the oil spills actual size and disable the ability to vacuum the oil up from the surface as has been suggested by former head of Shell Oil. Sure we have to fix the spill, but we also need to clean it up and we can't do that with it hiding under the surface or sinking slowly to the bottom into the ecosphere.

However it turns outs, now is the time for the Obama Administration and President Obama personally to truly show what's they're made of, now is the time for him to Step the Frack Up and show the we can still do great things, even though they are incredibly difficult - or else suffer the electoral consequences.

Is this "Obama's Katrina"? Frack No, but if he doesn't get his SHIT together, it could be worse. Much Worse.

Still praying "Obama Fails" Rush? I'm not. We can't afford it, none of us can.

Vyan

Update: Amid all the Doom and Gloom - I've heard two good things this morning. So far the "Top Kill" is holding and working according to Adm Thad Allen of the Coast Guard, and the head of the Offshore Drilling Oversight Agency has been fired retired.

WASHINGTON (AP) - AP sources: Elizabeth Birnbaum fired as director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service.


How's that for change?

Update 2 BP is contesting the Coast Guard report, saying the top kill hasn't stopped the leak - yet, but it is "working as planned". An independent task force says that this spilled somewhere between 17-39 Million Gallons of Oil into the Gulf, and could be as much as 5 Times the size of the Exxon-Valdez.

Wednesday, May 26

American Torture Trials Finally Begin - but not where you'd expect

It's been a long time waiting for someone to held accountable for the torture and human rights violations we all know have been going on for some time. And today an actual torture trial is beginning, but it's happeneing nowhere near where most of us would expect...



You wouldn't think such a thing could've happened in America, such a thing shouldn't happen in America - but it did. Repeatedly.

Over 100 African-American men have raised allegations that they were tortured - using a hanging technique, mock executions with a shotgun barrel in their mouth and electro-shock of their testicles with a cattle prod - by a Chicago police unit led by Lt. Jon Burge.

Unfortunately today's trial isn't for those offenses as the statute of limitations has already run out on them, but instead this is an obstruction of justice and perjury case being handed by a prosecutor many of us are highly familiary with.

Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald also acknowledged that, at least in some respects, Burge was being charged with what was available to authorities now. The statute of limitations has expired on the torture itself, but prosecutors at least could hold him accountable for lying about it decades later.

A special prosecutors' report paid for by Cook County and released in 2006 concluded that dozens of suspects had been tortured by Chicago police but that no one could be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had run out.

Today's indictment gets around that legal problem by charging Burge with perjury, not with any instances of actual torture. Burge denied any torture took place while answering written questions in 2003 as part of the lawsuit filed by Hobley, one of the alleged victims. According to the indictment, the Hobley lawsuit included a specific allegation that police officers placed a plastic bag over Hobley's head until he lost consciousness. The indictment cites the questions and answers during the civil questioning, noting that Burge was asked whether he ever used torture methods--including beatings, the use of restraints or machines to deliver electric shocks--or whether other officers were involved.

Burge objected to the question as overly broad, and then answered: "I have never used any techniques set forth above as a means of improper coercion of suspects while in detention or during interrogation."


After returning from Vietnam where he was held as a P.O.W. and himself subjected to extreme "Harsh Interrogation" - Burge became a Chicago Police officer and began using some of the techniques he'd be shown on suspects in the South Side of Chicago in the early 70's.

This went on for decades, involving multiple officers and even prosecutors in the District Attorney's office who all aided in the coverup. To date only one police whistle-blower has been willing to come forward, although he remains a reluctant and unwilling witness even today.

As Flint Taylor attorney for many of the falsely accused and convicted men stated on Democracy Now.

FLINT TAYLOR: Well, all these years, the first time that anyone who worked with Burge came forward in any form was in 1989. And they—a detective anonymously wrote me and my partners, while we were on trial in a civil torture case, and told us about other victims of torture and told us that other men, including those who tortured Darrell, were participants in this ring of torture. That started our investigation, and it started us to unpeel the 110 victims of torture that we know about today. But no one—that man or woman didn’t come forward publicly. It was an anonymous contact. It was anonymous letters. And we never knew who that person was.

It wasn’t until 2004, after the men were pardoned and we had lawsuits for them, that we were able to go out and talk to retired detectives who were black, and they told us, now that they had retired, that they knew certain things. They had seen the torture box. They knew it was an open secret. They heard screaming. But Burge kept them out of the loop, because he knew—because they were African American, he didn’t trust them with the secret of the torture.

However, when the government investigated the case recently, with the power of immunity, the grant of immunity, they were able to get this white detective, who had been involved in several cases of where torture was alleged, including one that—of a victim who was going to testify for the government, and they gave him immunity, and apparently, although we haven’t seen the transcript, he reluctantly told what he knew about this incident of torture and perhaps others. Now, he is not a voluntary witness. He is not a happy witness. He is very scared. But we’re have hopeful that his testimony will be significant in terms of finally revealing at least one instance of torture from the inside and breaking the code of silence in that way. And if it is, and that’s what his testimony is, then it’s going to be obviously a significant crack in the conspiracy or code of silence.


This is an American Tragedy, dozens of innocent men wrongly convicted - some sent to Death Row, dozens of cases mishandled to the extent that Justice may never be properly served and very likely that the genuine guilty parties remained free and able to commit even more crimes as we saw when Richard Jewel was falsely accused of the Olympic Park Bombing and Robert Rudolph was left to kill again.. and again.

So far this has only been a local Chicago Story, but maybe it needs to be addressed nationally - if only we had a President who had some stake or familiarity with the issue having lived in an area like this one, one who could champion the cause of Justice, Fairness and the Rule of Law to Remove the Statute of Limitations on TORTURE so that credible cases could be prosecuted at anytime... anywhere....

Yeah, if only...

Vyan

Twenty Four: The Torture is Finally Over

I actually used to like the show "24" during it's first season, but when you have an essentially ridiculous premise - continuing to ratchet it up more and more eventually led the show to a very dark place.

But what's actually infuriating is how much the show's own creators have been in deep denial about what the show actually became...

24 Producer Howard Gordon on NPR's Fresh AIr

"To say that we've been some ... mouthpiece for some political point of view — it's not only specious — but I promise you, it is insane.


Insane? Really, you don't want to go there Howard.

Let's start with Laura Ingraham...



Ingraham: The Average American, Loves "24". In my mind that's as much of a national referendum on the use of harsh tactics on al Qeada as we're likely to get.


"Insane" eh? Maybe in that case. How about the political view of show creator Joel Surnow who is an open and devout Conservative.

For all its fictional liberties, “24” depicts the fight against Islamist extremism much as the Bush Administration has defined it: as an all-consuming struggle for America’s survival that demands the toughest of tactics. Not long after September 11th, Vice-President Dick Cheney alluded vaguely to the fact that America must begin working through the “dark side” in countering terrorism. On “24,” the dark side is on full view. Surnow, who has jokingly called himself a “right-wing nut job,” shares his show’s hard-line perspective. Speaking of torture, he said, “Isn’t it obvious that if there was a nuke in New York City that was about to blow—or any other city in this country—that, even if you were going to go to jail, it would be the right thing to do?”

Surnow, for his part, revels in his minority status inside the left-leaning entertainment industry. “Conservatives are the new oppressed class,” he joked in his office. “Isn’t it bizarre that in Hollywood it’s easier to come out as gay than as conservative?” His success with “24,” he said, has protected him from the more righteous elements of the Hollywood establishment. “Right now, they have to be nice to me,” he said. “But if the show tanks I’m sure they’ll kill me.” He spoke of his new conservative comedy show as an even bigger risk than “24.” “I’ll be front and center on the new show,” he said, then joked, “I’m ruining my chances of ever working again in Hollywood.”


That show actually did tank, I haven't seen Surnow since.

Surnow’s rightward turn was encouraged by one of his best friends, Cyrus Nowrasteh, a hard-core conservative who, in 2006, wrote and produced “The Path to 9/11,” a controversial ABC miniseries that presented President Clinton as having largely ignored the threat posed by Al Qaeda. (The show was denounced as defamatory by Democrats and by members of the 9/11 Commission; their complaints led ABC to call the program a “dramatization,” not a “documentary.”) Surnow and Nowrasteh met in 1985, when they worked together on “The Equalizer.” Nowrasteh, the son of a deposed adviser to the Shah of Iran, grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where, like Surnow, he was alienated by the radicalism around him. He told me that he and Surnow, in addition to sharing an admiration for Reagan, found “L.A. a stultifying, stifling place because everyone thinks alike.” Nowrasteh said that he and Surnow regard “24” as a kind of wish fulfillment for America. “Every American wishes we had someone out there quietly taking care of business,” he said. “It’s a deep, dark ugly world out there. Maybe this is what Ollie North was trying to do. It would be nice to have a secret government that can get the answers and take care of business—even kill people. Jack Bauer fulfills that fantasy.”


And that's not a "Political" viewpoint? Seriously. Because of Nowreateh hit piece on the Clinton Administration which Lied in order to blame him for 9/11, which was presented without commercials on ABC - I've been boycotting that Network for years. So I've never seen an episode of Lost, untll the final one. I have been watching "V", but mostly to see if ABC is using it as a way to blast the Obama Administration over Healthcare - which so far they really haven't been.

Back to Gordon.

Any fly on the wall and anyone who's been there would tell you the same. So unfortunately, look — the show is a show for one thing. It's a thriller in the vein of Bourne Identity or Rambo or Dirty Harry. And the hero finds the bad guy and shakes out of him where the bomb is.


Hey, um, Howard - THAT is a political point of view. It's a short cut, it's simple-minded, and frankly most actual interrogators say it doesn't work.

Here's what the Human Rights First says about "24"...

"24" shows more torture than any other program on tv. Over and over again the heroes of the program are shown using torture to "break" detainees.


Now certainly Hollywood deserves a certain amount of artistic license and leeway - they're telling a story, and the primary criteria should be "Is it a Good Story?" - but unfortunately for "24" some of what is "Good" has rarely included anything even remotely like reality.

But not according to Gordon.

Frankly, for the first five years, I don't think you could find a single article or op-ed piece that used the word 'torture' or described that this was somehow morally repugnant or corrosive or anything. I think what happened was, when Abu Ghraib happened and Guantanamo happened — the show certainly benefited from some kind of post-9/11 wish fulfillment; you had a guy who cut to the chase, who did whatever was necessary, and again there was some wish fulfillment involved — I do think the show experienced some of the blowback. We did understand that the climate had changed, because of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, it had changed. ... [A]nd it put us into a conundrum. Honestly, at the end of Season 6 — where Jack had been acting a certain way — we had a choice: Either we renounce the series and admit we're a bunch of torture-mongering, morally corrosive torture pornographers or we find a way of confronting this issue and this changed world that we're in. And, in a strange way, it gave us fodder for the seventh season."


Here's the thing that Howard really doesn't get... some of the events at Guantanamo and abu Ghraib happened because of 24!. That's not me saying that... that's what some of the people on the ground have said.




In his NPR interview Gordon admits that they did meet with actual interrogators and he laments that real interrogation takes time and involves building trust - not using pain management or fear. The inherent problem with "24" is that they don't have the TIME to accurately display that process.

So as a result, they've had to LIE TO US the entire time - and this has given a mistaken impression that you can "Shake it out of them" which has resonated even with our troops in the field.

For those who would argue that the ultimate fault for abu Ghraib belongs with military leadership, you would be correct. President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld threw out the rules, they literally tossed the Army Field Manual (which was written to be consistent with Geneva) Out The Window!. They then began experimenting with a series of "24-ish" techniques, and after experienced FBI interrogators in the field began to object - and threatened to Arrest the CIA Contractors who were mistreating detainees, they sought legal cover from handpicked DOJ lawyers - who didn't look at a single example of Case Law, or previous trials and even executions of people who has used Waterboarding in the past - to justify and rationalize these illegal and ineffective techniques.

The fact is that the soldiers in the field had NO GUIDANCE - almost nobody has ever done a dramatic telling of what a real interrogation actually takes, because it takes too long - so yes, they did look to the only examples they had available, and that was Jack Bauer.



Even after eight seasons and the intervention of the Commandant of West Point, in the end "24" still failed. They never once - NOT ONCE - depicted anyone being tortured who LIED JUST TO MAKE IT STOP, except for Jack himself (who just didn't say anything) or his brother (who didn't mention the involvement of Jack's Dad in that years plot). Nobody gave them bogus information and led them down a rabbit hole or into a trap, to the very end they maintained the delusion that torture is "Effective" when the fact is - it's not.



Via the Wapo.

Air Force Interrogator Matthew Alexander: I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.


Thanks Jack, nice job.

In the finale of the show, Jack goes on a violent rampage to uncover a conspiracy which is being protected by the President herself. He kidnaps and tortures a Russian assassin who had killed his girlfriend, ultimately disemboweling him - he shoots Secret Service agents, kidnaps former President Logan and beats him until he gets the information he wants. After he's shot by his friend Chloe and captured, he bites off the ear of Logan's Chief Aide.

The entire point of Jack's rampage is his desire to derail a Peace Agreement between the U.S., IRK (Iran) and the Russian Federation. This betrays a deeply wingnutty point of view, distrust in the U.N. and the efficacy of international agreements. Jack feels that the Russians committed crimes (which they did) in order to block the agreement and he objects to Logan essentially blackmailing them into the agreement - so he goes on to commit a shitload of Crimes to prevent it including multiple counts of cold-blooded murder, and when the show ends... we're supposed to feel sorry for poor little Jack, now exiled, alone and on the run?

Frack That.

He's a butcher. A sadistic mad dog psychopath. Making that man a "Hero" has been an unspeakable atrocity.

And now it's over... good riddance.

Vyan

Update There's one more thing I gotta address...

Gordon: I would hope that most people know the difference between fantasy and reality...


Dude, we just went through 8 years where most of the Bush Administration didn't know the difference between a "clear and credible threat of WMD" and a pack of bullshit, wrapped in lies (gained under tortore!!) and served on a forged Niger purchase order.

They didn't know that "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." was NOT a "Historical Document".

They didn't know that "The Levees might be Over-topped" might mean that New Orleans was about to become one big giant bowl of Toxic Gumbo!

Some of them still don't know the difference between and a Kenyan and a Hawaiian!.

Some of them still think Fascism and Marxism are the same damn thing as Socialism!

Some of them don't know the difference between a Civilian Court System that has successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorist suspects since 9-11, and a Military Commission system that's only prosecuted TWO of them.

Some think "Miranda" is a dirty word and still don't realize that if you want to detain someone "indefinitely", they would have to be a P.O.W. in an ongoing conflict and that in a military interrogation the only thing they can legally ask under Geneva would be "Name, Rank and Serial Number".

Some of the still are still asking "Where's the Oil" - "The impact will be Mild" just as Louisiana is thinking that their new state bird is about to be become the Brown Oily Pelican.

I mean, there are probably some people who think Lost was just the Reality Show "Survivor X-Treme!" and are still wondering "Who got the $1 Million?"

Vyan

The Real Illegals are the Companies, not the Workers

In the midst of the brewing Civil War over Immigration, where Arizona is threatening to turn out the lights in L.A. in retaliation for their economic boycott of the state in response to "Papers Please" - there may be an actual solution to the REAL CRIMINALS who have created this immigration mess.

And thanks to the Arizona SB1070 Law, the various District Attorney's, City Attorney's and State Attorney General may not have a choice in the matter.

A fact that seems to have eluded Sen John McCain of Arizona.


One of the key aspects of SB1070 is the ability for any citizen (or group) to sue the State for failing to fully and forcefully implement the law.

from SB1070.

G. A PERSON MAY BRING AN ACTION IN SUPERIOR COURT TO CHALLENGE ANY OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE THAT ADOPTS OR IMPLEMENTS A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.


Logic dictates that way you implement effective law enforcement is to target the bigger criminals and make it impossible for them to facility smaller crimes. Yet, as the fires of the immigration debate flare, the only crime that seems to be discussed is the illegal entry into the country.

What about the crime of failing to pay federal unemployment benefits because the person you've hired doesn't have a valid Social Security number?

From BusinessTaxRecovery.com

If you have employees, you absolutely must deduct and withhold various taxes from the paychecks of your employees. Since you are deducting money from the employee’s paycheck, you are handling their funds. This fact is very important to the IRS and it places great emphasis on any failure to deposit employment taxes.

If you fail to pay employment taxes, you will be subject to a 100 percent penalty. Yes, 100 percent. Known as the “trust fund recovery penalty”, the penalty is assessed against the person responsible for paying the taxes, not the entity. The person can be the owner, corporate officer or other “responsible person.” In short, a business entity is not going to protect you from the wrath of the IRS.


These companies are cheating on their taxes, which is in return draining the state of revenues needed for public Hospitals and Schools, many of which their underground employees have to use.

What about the crime of failing to abide by State Employment requirements? Arizona Sate Law has a specific section on this subject.

A. An employer shall not knowingly employ an unauthorized alien. If, in the case when an employer uses a contract, subcontract or other independent contractor agreement to obtain the labor of an alien in this state, the employer knowingly contracts with an unauthorized alien or with a person who employs or contracts with an unauthorized alien to perform the labor, the employer violates this subsection.


First Time Violators must Fire all illegal employees and enter a probation period. A Second violation during the probation period can lead to having all their Licenses with the State suspended and permanently revoked, including one would assume - their Business License.

You're Done, Game over.

State governments haven't begun rampaging through the business community like Godzilla this way, because they know that it would have an massive negative impact on the economy as they essentially evict company after company from being able to function in the state.

This is why uber-panderers like McCain say we should bother to implement the existing law "until the border is secure" - however, they might no longer have a choice.

When SB1070 goes into effect, if it isn't stopped by a federal injunction, besides whatever the police might be doing on the streets with people wearing "suspicious shoes" The State Attorney General CAN BE SUED if he doesn't aggressively pursue these criminal companies to the fullest extent of the law.

Rounding up 12 Million people and deporting them (although most would probably remain in the country under "Catch and Release" for as much as five years) is not going to happen, but taking out these companies is far easier since their aren't nearly as many of them.

Personally I would go much further than simply shutting these companies down, once they go into probation they should be reported to the State Tax Board, Labor Board and IRS. If they haven't been allowing their employees 15 min breaks every 4 hours, ensure they have a lunch, paid them them time and half for overtime and double-time for shifts over 12 hours they've been breaking the law. I think the State should bar no holds in getting it's money back for everything this company has Failed to disclose and pay into the general fund.

I think they should have to pay the difference in the prevailing wage for each illegal employee.

They should have to pay for the Health-care these employees certainly didn't get, and the public had to provide.

They should have to pay for their Social security & Retirement benefits.

They should have to pay for the cost of education for their children, which was provided by the public.

I think they should have to pay for all the competitive and financial advantages that hiring undocumented workers provides them, or else they'll just keep doing it once the probation period has elapsed. If these companies were forced to do this, most of the major complaint that "illegals are a drain on the systems" would evaporate. They aren't the "drain" because they aren't the ones who are supposed to be paying for all this anyway - these companies are.

Just as Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs has shown Americans will pretty much do any kind of job, but they won't do it without decent compensation and a benefits plan. Taking away the competitive advantage of hiring undocumented labor, is like taking all the John's off the street. No John's, No Hookers, No crime.

And it doesn't require changing the law to do this, some of it can happen now.

23-201. Obtaining labor by false pretenses; civil liability; classification

A. A person who employs for wages any person in any occupation, and who at the time of employing him does not have sufficient assets within the county in which the work or labor is to be performed over and above all exemptions allowed by law to cover the amount of wages accruing to the employee for the term of two weeks, and who makes false representations or pretenses as to having such assets, and after labor has been done by the employee under such employment, fails, upon the employee's discharge or resignation, or for a period of five days after the wages are payable, to pay the employee, on demand, the wages due, is guilty of obtaining labor under false pretenses.


Besides closing this loophole here's another flaw that needs to addressed, these are the current requirements for a company to sponsor a legal worker Visa.

To Qualify for the H1B Visa Program, you must work in a 'specialty occupation': The core Specialty Occupations include: IT, Computing, Finance, Accounting, Banking, Marketing, Advertising, PR, Sales, Recruiting, Engineering (all types), Teaching, HealthCare/Medical, Legal, Lawyers, Networking, Telecoms, Business, Management and Hospitality.

An H1B visa is typically valid for up to six (6) years and entitles your spouse (husband/wife) and children (under 21) to accompany you and live in the USA on an H4 visa. The H4 dependent visa does not allow your spouse/children to work (unless they get their own H1B visa).


Pardon me but I don't see Gardener, Plumber, textile worker, landscaper or agricultural worker on that list. And even though NAFTA provides for a special TN Visa only available to Canadian and Mexican immigrants who wish to work in the U.S., the "speciality occupations" of that unique visa still doesn't include blue collar workers. (Note: There are other Visa types that do - but those still require an potential employer to sponsor the Visa request and are only available for "Temporary", "Seasonal" or "One-Time" jobs - not available for someone to immigrate and work for 5-years the way that an H-1B Visas is)

This is the Reality that America Has Failed to Face - Our Immigration Policies are Biased against the Poor. This is the modern day Slave Trade in action, to excape poverty and destitution these Undocumented Workers are selling themselves to Coyotes to be transported and then exploited as wage Slaves with no benefits and none of the protections other workers enjoy – we need to be focusing on the Slave Drivers, not the people they virtually own.

In exchange for steady flow of cheap under-the-table blue collar laborers, America maintains the False Pretense that there is a "Legal Path" for these types of workers to enter the nation when the fact is there isn't. People who enter the U.S. legally using other types of Visas, Can't Work here legally.

If we allow lawful companies to bring in immigrant workers when they can't find local labor for specific jobs, regardless of what the job may be, those people won't need to run for the border and hop the fence anymore in order to try and find a way to make a living, also trying to "secure the border with the danged fence" will no longer be this seemingly hopeless war of attrition. We keep building it, and they keep climbing it. What are we - Cold War East Germany?

If we did this, only people who don't want to get a legal job would be entering the country illegally - which would take us two giant steps toward solving this crisis without harassing every legal resident with brown skin and the wrong style of shoes.

Vyan