Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whistleblowers improvement act to weaken whistleblowers rights?

Gallows Pole image [stolen from here]

Bradley Manning reported War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Murders, that was bad. Committing War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Murders, that was good. Complaining about public corruption, police brutality, and judicial misconduct and you are very ugly, citizen.

If the international corporations and banks are the ones really in charge of the US government and military we would be getting what we are getting. We are under armed occupation. Americans must be very weak. They, and we, just sit, and wait for that knock on our doors.

We aren't allowed to grow our own food, small businesses and the self-employed are under siege, and anyone who is outspoken is a target.

-stevengerickson AT

Whistleblowers improvement act to weaken whistleblowers rights?

Text with video:

Uploaded by on Feb 17, 2012

The House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises passed a bill that severely dwindles protection for whistleblowers on Thursday. The bill necessitates the whistleblower to confront the enterprise in question before going to a regulatory agency and has the support of many lobbyists including the US Chamber of Commerce. Many critics believe the bill makes it easier for firms to retaliate against whistleblowers. Kathleen McClellan, attorney for the Government Accountability Project, joins us to explore how this bill could make whistleblower rights vanish completely.

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The below post with the Michael Nowacki of New Canaan Connecticut with embedded video is getting a lot of attention in the circles that want to do something about the US rigged court system:

Profiled for contacting elected officials?

The picture of Michael Nowacki of New Canaan, Connecticut, is [found here] and was originally found as part of a article, a subsidiary of Hearst Communications Inc. Anyone who questions authority in Connecticut can be toasted. Your state could be as bad. Michael Nowacki might have legitimate gripes, but going to elected officials to redress grievances, supposedly protected under the First Amendment, can end up in a series of arrests, convictions, property loss, and prison.

Connecticut State Senator Edwin Gomes seems to have let the cat out of the bag. I interpreted what Gomes said to mean that elected officials profile citizens. Profiling means police stalking of a citizen, his or her being put under surveillance where emails are read and phone calls listened to, where a citizen is put under a spotlight, any activity can be used as an excuse for an arrest, and once in the court system the maximum fines, jail time, and harshest conditions will apply. Friends and family can be stalked by police to terrorize any supporters of a target into keeping their distance. There is allegedly 24 lawyers out of 45 Judiciary Committee Committee legislators in the State of Connecticut. [Their bios dumped here, some interesting associations, that should raise red flags]. Who are the real terrorists, are they meeting secretly with an agenda to further harm you and to America? [more from source]

Michael Nowacki 2 17 12

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Former KBR Inc. chief executive Albert "Jack" Stanley arrives at the federal courthouse for sentencing, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Houston for his role in in a scheme to bribe Nigerian officials. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Albert Stanley, Former Halliburton Exec, Sentenced In Bribery Scheme

by John Rudolf [original source of article]

A former top Halliburton executive will serve 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty in Houston federal court to orchestrating a $180 million bribery scheme to secure $6 billion in natural gas deals in Nigeria, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Albert "Jack" Stanley is the former CEO of KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary at the time of the bribes; he was tapped to run the company in 1998 by future Vice President Dick Cheney, who ran Halliburton between 1996 and 2000. Cheney was not charged in the case.

KBR, spun off by Halliburton in the wake of the scandal, called the scheme an "unfortunate chapter" in its "rich and storied history" after pleading guilty to corporate criminal charges in 2009.

The investigation of the bribes crossed four continents over 10 years and involved five companies in Europe, the U.S., Japan and Nigeria. Criminal and civil penalties in the case have yielded more than $1.7 billion in fines, forfeitures and other sanctions.

"This case shows the importance the department places on putting an end to foreign bribery," Mythili Raman, a prosecutor with the Justice Department's criminal division, said in the Feb. 23 announcement.

Stanley, 69, who also pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in a separate kickback scheme, agreed to pay $10.8 million in addition to incarceration. He faced a maximum of seven years in prison, but prosecutors said the lighter sentence was merited by his "substantial cooperation" in the investigation. Stanley had pleaded guilty in September 2008, but his sentencing was delayed 16 times, according to Reuters.

Two co-conspirators in the bribery scheme -- Jeffrey Tesler, 63, a British lawyer, and Wojciech J. Chodan, a salesman for KBR's British subsidiary -- were also sentenced Thursday.

According to the Justice Department, Tesler served as the principal bagman in the scheme, steering more than $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials between 1994 and 2004 to secure natural gas contracts worth $6 billion. He was ordered to serve 21 months in prison and a pay a $25,000 fine. He had also agreed to forfeit $149 million under the terms of a 2009 plea agreement.

Chodan previously agreed to forfeit $726,000 and was sentenced to one year of probation.

All three men cooperated with authorities in the investigation, the largest multi-company prosecution ever under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal anti-bribery statute.

In a statement to U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, Stanley requested leniency, saying that he had been raised on "traditional American values of hard work, honesty and integrity."

"But somewhere along the way my values were compromised, through ambition, ego or alcoholism," Stanley said, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. investigation never reached Cheney, despite his leadership role at Halliburton during the time of the scheme. Nigerian officials announced in December 2010 that Cheney would be charged criminally as part of an anti-corruption investigation into the bribes, but those charges were dropped after Halliburton paid a $35 million settlement related to the case.

Under questioning from Judge Ellison, Brad Simon, a lawyer for Tesler, said that bribery remains widespread in Nigeria, one of the world's top oil producers and a key source of imported oil for the U.S.

"It was a fact of life and continues to be a fact of life in Nigeria," Simon said.

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Judge: State can't make druggists sell Plan B contraceptive

Pharmacists will not be required to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives. A federal judge ruled Wednesday the requirement infringed on the religious freedom of pharmacists who believe life begins at conception.


The Associated Press [original source of article]

TACOMA — Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal has been to suppress religious objections by druggists — not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton sided with a Ralph's Thriftway pharmacy and two pharmacists who said state rules requiring them to dispense Plan B violate their constitutional rights to freedom of religion because such drugs can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, which they consider equal to abortion.

Washington's rules require that pharmacies stock and dispense drugs for which there is a demand. The state adopted the dispensing regulations in 2007, after reports that some women had been denied access to Plan B, which has a high dose of medicine found in birth-control pills and is effective if a woman takes it within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

State lawyers argued that the requirements are legal because they apply neutrally to all medicines and pharmacies, and because they promote a government interest: the timely delivery of medicine, including Plan B, which becomes less effective as time passes.

But Leighton ruled that the state allows all sorts of business exemptions to the rules. Pharmacies can decline to stock a drug, such as certain painkillers, if it's likely to increase the risk of theft, requires too much paperwork, or is temporarily unavailable from suppliers, for example.

"The most compelling evidence that the rules target religious conduct is the fact the rules contain numerous secular exemptions," the judge said. "In sum, the rules exempt pharmacies and pharmacists from stocking and delivering lawfully prescribed drugs for an almost unlimited variety of secular reasons, but fail to provide exemptions for reasons of conscience."

Elaine Rose, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said the issue was never about Plan B specifically but about the rights of patients. "Really, this is a blow to access for all patients," she said.

"The real issue is when a person walks into a pharmacy with a prescription for a legitimate, legal medication, whether they are going to have that filled by the person behind the counter," Rose said. If any pharmacist or pharmacy can object to dispensing a drug, she said, "Where is this going to stop?"

The state rules have technically been in effect during the long trial process, but state officials agreed with the judge not to pursue any emergency-contraceptive complaints against the plaintiffs pending the trial's end, said Department of Health spokesman Donn Moyer, and to consult with the judge before pursuing similar complaints against other pharmacies or pharmacists.

The decision comes as contraception is being debated in political and health-care circles around the nation. This month, religious groups protested a new federal rule requiring church-affiliated universities, hospitals and nonprofits to include birth control in their insurance plans.

The outcry prompted President Obama to change the rule to shift the burden from religious organizations to insurance companies. Lawmakers in a few conservative states have fashioned proposals that serve as direct challenges to Obama's ruling.

Leighton, in his decision Wednesday, did not strike down Washington's rules, but said the way they were applied to the plaintiffs was unconstitutional.

He also said the state was enforcing its rules selectively, never having taken action against Roman Catholic hospitals, whose inpatient pharmacies give Plan B only to sexual-assault victims and whose outpatient pharmacies don't stock the drug at all.

The state remains free to try to enforce the law against other pharmacies that violated the stocking and dispensing rules for Plan B or other drugs; it's not clear whether courts would reach a similar conclusion if pharmacies objected to selling other drugs for religious reasons.

"I remain concerned about the impacts on patients if pharmacies are allowed to refuse to dispense lawfully prescribed or lawful medications to patients," said Gov. Chris Gregoire, who insisted on the dispensing rule's adoption. "I am especially concerned about those living in rural areas, many of whom may have few alternatives and could suffer lengthy delays in receiving medication or go without entirely."

The judge, an appointee of President George W. Bush, first blocked the state's dispensing rule in 2007. But a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel overruled him, saying the rules did not target religious conduct. It sent the case back to Leighton, who held an 11-day trial before reaffirming his original decision.

Further appeals were expected, both from the state and from groups that intervened on the state's behalf. Before taking more than an hour to read his 48-page opinion in court, Leighton acknowledged that he crafted it for the benefit of a "skeptical" appeals court.

The interveners included women who were denied timely access to Plan B when they needed it — one of whom cut short a vacation to return home to Bellingham, where she knew she could obtain Plan B from her regular pharmacy — as well as HIV patients, who argued that if druggists could refuse to dispense Plan B for religious reasons, some might also refuse to dispense time-sensitive HIV medications.

"The question really is whether the patient's rights come first or the pharmacist's rights come first," said Andrew Greene, a lawyer for the interveners.

Assistant Attorney General Rene Tomisser said Leighton's ruling was more detailed but made the same mistake he made in 2007.

Margo Thelen, of Woodland, Cowlitz County, one of the pharmacists who sued over the rules, said she had to leave one job because she refused to dispense Plan B — and now can continue at her new job without fear of being fired. "Speak to anyone who shops in a pharmacy," she said. "Their product isn't always available."

Seattle Times health reporter Carol M. Ostrom contributed

to this report.

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Farmer Faces Prison Time for Feeding Community: Infowars Nighlty News

Text with video:

Uploaded by on Feb 25, 2012

Press Release
February 24, 2012

Contact: Liz Reitzig, Co-founder, Farm Food Freedom Coalition

Baraboo, WI—Food sovereignty activists from around North America will meet at this tiny town on March 2 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000. The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly denies this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations. "There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers," says Hershberger, "this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight."

At a pre-court rally scheduled for 11:00 at in front of the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo, food rights activists will read and distribute a "Declaration of Food Independence" that asserts inherent rights in food choice. A signing ceremony will be part of the rally. The signers expect the declaration will inspire a growing food sovereignty movement. Speakers at the rally will include members of Hershberger's club.

Hershberger and other farmers around the country have been and are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting customers. In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to their food.

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Added 11:19 AM Feb. 26, 2012:

Additional content added to [This piece called "Google Alerts for Arrests?"]

I was tipped
I was tipped after making the below video, Oct. '06, that I would be arrested if I showed my face at a public hearing. I talked about blogging on Free Speech dot com and how word searches for Connecticut State Police Brutality and Judicial Misconduct in the State of Connecticut being #1. Then Free Speech went down and all of my posts removed. I showed up in Stonington Connecticut and my two laptops and my friends desktop computer fried all at the same time. That has happened a number of times elsewhere too. Free Speech's servers fried a number of times. Everything in Chris Kennedy's house fried, but not at his neighbors at the same time everything electronic fried at the horse farm I was staying at in Mass, but not the neighbors. So, what are police really up to behind the scenes? If I made another appearance after this one, I would have been arrested and in prison again:

stevengerickson At



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