31 March 2009

pilladelphia cops on looting spree

Shopkeepers claim plainclothes cops looted stores

By Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA — On a sweltering July afternoon in 2007, Officer Jeffrey Cujdik and his narcotics squad members raided an Olney tobacco shop.

Then, with guns drawn, they did something bizarre: They smashed two surveillance cameras with a metal rod, said store owners David and Eunice Nam.

The five plainclothes officers yanked camera wires from the ceiling. They forced the slight, frail Korean couple to the vinyl floor and cuffed them with plastic wrist ties.

"I so scared," said Eunice Nam, 56. "We were on floor. Handcuffs on me. I so, so scared, I wet my pants."

The officers rifled through drawers, dumped cigarette cartons on the floor and took cash from the registers. Then they hauled the Nams to jail.

The Nams were arrested for selling tiny ziplock bags that police consider drug paraphernalia, but which the couple described as tobacco pouches.

When they later unlocked their store, the Nams allege, they discovered that a case of lighter fluid and handfuls of Zippo lighters were missing. The police said they seized $2,573 in the raid. The Nams say they actually had between $3,800 and $4,000 in the store.

The Nams' story is strikingly similar to those told by other mom-and-pop store owners, from Dominicans in Hunting Park to Jordanians in South Philadelphia.

The Daily News interviewed seven store owners and an attorney representing another. Independently, they told similar stories: Cujdik and fellow officers destroyed or cut the wires to surveillance cameras. Some store owners said they watched as officers took food and slurped energy drinks. Other store owners said cigarette cartons, batteries, cell phones and candy bars were missing after raids.

The officers also confiscated cash from the stores - a routine practice in Narcotics Field Unit raids - but didn't record the full amount on police property receipts, the shop owners allege.

In one case, the officers failed to document about $8,200, and in another, about $7,000, the store owners said.

In all eight cases, Cujdik applied for the search warrant and played a key role in the bust. The store owners were charged with possessing and delivering drug paraphernalia, specifically the tiny bags. In the cases that have been settled, judges sentenced the store owners to probation or less.

As for those broken surveillance cameras, officers have "no reason to cut camera wires or destroy cameras," said a high-ranking Philadelphia police official, who requested anonymity. "None whatsoever."

"It would look like they're trying to hide something," the official said. "It would look like they don't want to be on the surveillance camera themselves."

George Bochetto, an attorney representing Cujdik, said the store owners' allegations are false.

"Now that the Daily News has created a mass hysteria concerning the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit, it comes as no surprise that every defendant ever arrested will now proclaim their innocence and bark about being mistreated," Bochetto wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News.

"Suffice it to say, there is a not a scintilla of truth to such convenient protestations."

"They didn't do the right thing," said Moe Maghtha, who helps run his father's South Philly tobacco shop, which was raided in December 2007. "You're not allowed to sell those bags, OK. Just take them out. You don't have to rob my store and steal cigarettes."

At least three former police informants who worked with Cujdik told the Daily News that he often gave them cartons of cigarettes.

"When he raided a corner store, he'd give me cigarettes," said Tiffany Gorham, a former Cujdik informant.

Cujdik is at the center of an expanding federal and local probe into allegations that he lied on search-warrant applications to gain access to suspected drug homes and that he became too close with his informants. He rented a house to one and allegedly provided bail money to Gorham.

After a Daily News report detailing the allegations, authorities formed a special task force, composed of FBI agents and police Internal Affairs officers, to investigate.

The store owners' allegations of theft and damage to surveillance cameras could implicate, in addition to Cujdik, at least 17 other officers and three police supervisors, all in the Narcotics Field Unit.

"Taking property and not reporting it and not returning it - that's a crime," said Witold "Vic" Walczak, legal director of the state's American Civil Liberties Union.

"It's like this unregulated little band of rogue cops, is what it sounds like," Walczak said.

The store owners typically had thousands of dollars in cash on hand at the time of the raids. The money came from lottery, cigarette and phone-card sales. They also used cash to pay wholesale grocery vendors and store rent or mortgages, they said.

Luciano Estevez, 39, a Dominican who co-owns the J R Mini Market in West Philadelphia, which was raided in August 2008, told the Daily News that he had about $9,000 in the store, but the police property receipt documented about $800, he said.

"They take money and don't write it down. They [are supposed to be] the law," Estevez said. "Taking money like that, I don't think that's right. We pay a lot of taxes."

Estevez, who came to the United States in 1985, is a lot like other store owners who were interviewed by the Daily News - immigrants who live here legally and have no prior criminal records in Philadelphia. They commonly open their shops just after dawn and close long after dark.

"I believed in the American dream. I still do," said Emilio Vargas, who owns the building that houses the Dominguez Grocery Store, on Potter Street in Kensington, which was raided in March 2007.

"I believed that if you work hard, you get ahead. But everything changed after this," said Vargas, 29, who came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 1996.

"I never had a drug in my hands. I never been in trouble. I used to believe in justice in America. I don't know now. It makes me question the justice system."

During the raid, Vargas said, Cujdik and fellow squad members confiscated $700 in phone-card money that he kept in a cigar box, $1,500 in a bag to pay vendors, $200 in the cash register and $1,400 from his pocket to pay the mortgage - totaling $3,800. The police property receipt that the officers filed, however, reports that only $1,456 was seized.

"They opened the fridge doors and took juices - energy drinks," Vargas said. "They emptied it."

A judge dismissed all charges against Vargas after ruling that prosecutors failed to present their case in a timely fashion, according to court records.

Rattled by the ordeal, Vargas said he now works in another grocery store, far from the rundown Kensington neighborhood of the Dominguez Grocery.

"I didn't want to go back," he said. "It was too much for me. I didn't want anything like that to happen again."

The store owners interviewed said they paid hundreds of dollars in bail and legal fees after their arrests. They lost thousands more because their stores were shuttered for periods of days or weeks.

"All my store was messed up," said David Nam, 62. "I found my wallet and my keys thrown on the floor. . . . Cigarette boxes all over floor. I think of this and get a headache."

His son, Steven Nam, said he found chocolate-bar wrappers on the floor.

"While they [the cops] were walking around, they helped themselves to Snickers and drank sodas," he said.

The ACLU's Walczak, who handles police-misconduct and immigration-rights cases, said foreign store owners who struggle with English are "easy targets" of police abuse because they're not likely to file complaints or "raise a fuss."

"[The officers] seem to be preying on what is a particularly vulnerable population," Walczak said. "It's really sad."

Danilo Burgos, president of the city's Dominican Grocery Store Association of more than 300 members, said one member recently alleged that police cut video-camera wires and stole $5,000 while searching his store. The store owner told Burgos that he didn't want to report it.

"Most of these people just want to earn a decent living and go on about their business," Burgos said.

And many Dominicans often are afraid to speak up because they come from a country where police are notoriously corrupt.

"Back home, police get away with everything, including murder," Burgos said.

"They fear something similar could happen to them here."

Moe Maghtha, who moved to the United States from Jordan in 1999, said his father's experience with Cujdik and the other narcotics officers has left him too scared to operate his South Philly tobacco shop.

"If he sees cops now, he freaks out," Maghtha said. "My dad never been in jail. My dad never been in trouble. Now he's like a little kid that got bit by a dog. He won't go out."

Maghtha, 23, said he had to give up his job as a satellite-dish technician to take over his dad's store. Maghtha's father, 53, recently suffered heart problems and did not want to be interviewed or allow his name or the name of his store to appear in this article.

The raid on the Maghtha shop happened on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2007. Maghtha's father had just finished tallying about $14,000 in cash. Maghtha said he was on his way to the store to relieve his father, who'd planned to deposit the cash at a nearby bank.

Maghtha said he arrived just after Cujdik and six other officers had burst into the shop. The officers told Maghtha to stay outside. He watched through the window as an officer used wire cutters to clip wires to all four security cameras in the shop, Maghtha said.

The officer, who wore a navy blue jacket and a baseball cap, kept his head down as he cut the wires so the camera wouldn't capture his face, Maghtha said.

Police arrested Maghtha's father for selling little bags that he had ordered from a local tobacco wholesaler.

When Maghtha opened the store a few days later, he couldn't see the floor because of the mounds of dumped coffee grinds, candy wrappers and crushed cigarette cartons, he said.

Nearly 40 cartons of Newports were missing, Maghtha said.

The officers left a copy of the property receipt, prepared by Cujdik and signed by Cpl. Mark Palma, which stated that the officers seized $7,888.

Palma did not return a phone message yesterday.

"My dad said, 'There is no way, because I know how much money I had that day. I had counted it all up so I can take it to the bank and pay the wholesaler,' " Maghtha said.

Last August, a judge found Maghtha's father guilty of possessing and selling drug paraphernalia and sentenced him to nine months' probation, court records show.

He appealed the case - and then narcotics officers came back.

On Nov. 6, 2008, 11 months after the first raid, officers returned, alleging that they witnessed three people buying drugs from Maghtha's dad at the shop.

Police found no drugs in the store during the raid, court documents show.

"My dad never seen drugs in his life. He don't know what drugs look like," Maghtha said.

Maghtha and his uncle contend the officers raided the store to retrieve video footage from the first raid.

Maghtha had saved images on a shop computer of an officer, wearing a baseball cap, clipping the wires during the December 2007 raid, he said.

When the cops returned, an officer put a gun to the head of Maghtha's father and demanded the video, said Maghtha's uncle, Abdallah Sarhan.

"The first question that he asked was, 'Where is the videotape?,' " said Sarhan, 33, who was helping out at the store that evening.

The same officer then slapped Maghtha's father across the face, Sarhan said.

"I said, 'You don't have the right to slap him. Why you touch his face?' " Sarhan said. "I never, ever, ever in my life see something like this."

Four days after the raid and the arrest of Maghtha's father, he re-opened the store and discovered the computer that controlled the video surveillance system was gutted, Maghtha said.

"They took everything from the computer - the hard drive, the DVR [video] card, the DVD and CD-ROM player," Maghtha said.

Maghtha's father was charged with drug dealing. The case is pending.

Most store owners interviewed for this report said that when the plainclothes cops barged through their doors, they believed they were being robbed at gunpoint.

Sirilo Ortiz said that on the evening of Nov. 1, 2007, he had emerged from the basement of Lycomings Grocery in Hunting Park to see a gun barrel pointed at his face.

After Cujdik and his squad members burst into the store, they cut the wires to the surveillance camera with wire cutters, he said, then looted the store.

Ortiz, 39, who came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 1996, had owned the store just five days.

One cop took a Black & Mild, a slender cigar, from the shelf and started to smoke, said Ortiz, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter.

The officers took three brown boxes from his kitchen and loaded them with food, he said.

"It was like they was shopping," said Maria Espinal, who was working in the kitchen and saw the cops take boxes stuffed with packaged goods.

The cops put a gun to Espinal's head, too, she said, before identifying themselves as police. "I thought I was going to die," she said.

Ortiz said he had about $500 in his pocket and $700 in the cash register. But the police recorded taking a total of only $918 on property receipts.

Ortiz said he took a plea deal and served six months' probation and 25 hours of community service for selling the tiny plastic bags.

He was so depressed and anxious, he lost 25 pounds and could no longer work in the store, he said.

"I couldn't take it no more," said Ortiz. "Every time someone opened the door, I thought something bad would happen."

He gave the store to his brother and now drives a cab.

"Cops are supposed to take care of people and do the right thing," Ortiz said. "I don't trust them anymore. You're supposed to trust the police, but they're the ones you can't trust.

"They weren't supposed to be the ones."

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30 March 2009

china hacks nato

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5996253.ece

A spy network believed to have been controlled from China has hacked into classified documents on government and private computers in 103 countries, according to internet researchers. The spy system, dubbed GhostNet, is alleged to have compromised 1,295 machines at Nato and foreign ministries, embassies, banks and news organisations across the world, as well as computers used by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles.

The work of Information Warfare Monitor (IWM) investigators focused initially on allegations of Chinese cyber-espionage against the Tibetan exile community, but led to a much wider network of compromised machines. IWM said that, while China appeared to be the main source of the network, it had not been able conclusively to identify the hackers. The IWM is composed of researchers from an Ottawa-based think-tank, SecDev Group, and the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto.

They found that the foreign ministries of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan had been spied on remotely, and the embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan hacked.

The operation is thought to be the most extensive yet uncovered in the political world and is estimated to be invading more than a dozen new computers a week. Other infected computers were found at the accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche in New York.

The IWM report said: “GhostNet represents a network of compromised computers in high-value political, economic and media locations in numerous countries worldwide. These organisations are almost certainly oblivious to the compromised situation in which they find themselves. The computers of diplomats, military attach├ęs, private assistants, secretaries to prime ministers, journalists and others are under the concealed control of unknown assailant(s).

“In Dharamsala [the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile] and elsewhere, we have witnessed machines being profiled and sensitive documents being removed. Almost certainly, documents are being removed without the targets’ knowledge, key-strokes logged, web cameras are being silently triggered and audio inputs surreptitiously activated.”

Chinese hackers are thought to have targeted Western networks repeatedly. Computers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Whitehall departments were attacked from China in 2007. In the same year, Jonathan Evans, the MI5 Director-General, alerted 300 British businesses that they were under Chinese cyber-attack.

British intelligence chiefs have warned recently that China may have gained the capability effectively to shut down Britain by crippling its telecoms and utilities. Equipment installed by Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, in BT’s new communications network could be used to halt critical services such as power, food and water supplies, they said.

The Chinese Embassy in London said that there was no evidence to back up the claim that the Chinese Government was behind GhostNet and alleged that the report had been “commissioned by the Tibetan government in exile”.

Liu Weimin, a spokesman, said: “I will not be surprised if this report is just another case of their recent media and propaganda campaign. In China, it is against the law to hack into the computers of others, and we are victims of such cyber-attack. It is a global challenge that requires global cooperation. China is an active participant in such cooperation in the world.”

Once the hackers had infiltrated the systems, they gained control using malware – software installed on the compromised computers – and sent and received data from them, the researchers said. “The GhostNet system directs infected computers to download a Trojan known as Ghost Rat that allows attackers to gain complete, real-time control,” IWM said. “These instances of Ghost Rat are consistently controlled from commercial internet access accounts located on the island of Hainan, in the People’s Republic of China.”

Hainan is home to the Lingshui signals intelligence facility and the Third Technical Department of the People’s Liberation Army, IWM said.

Greg Walton, editor of IWM, said: “Regardless of who or what is ultimately in control of GhostNet, it is the capabilities of exploitation, and the strategic intelligence that can be harvested from it, which matters most. Indeed, although the Achilles’ heel of the GhostNet system allowed us to monitor and document its far-reaching network of infiltration, we can safely hypothesise that it is neither the first nor the only one of its kind.”

cops kill mom holding baby

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/us/30lima.html?_r=1&ref=us Some facts are known. A SWAT team arrived at Ms. Wilson’s rented house in the Southside neighborhood early in the evening of Jan. 4 to arrest her companion, Anthony Terry, on suspicion of drug dealing, said Greg Garlock, Lima’s police chief. Officers bashed in the front door and entered with guns drawn, said neighbors who saw the raid. Moments later, the police opened fire, killing Ms. Wilson, 26, and wounding her 14-month-old son, Sincere, Chief Garlock said. One officer involved in the raid, Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, a 31-year veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave. The police refuse to give any account of the raid, pending an investigation by the Ohio attorney general.

Tarika Wilson

http://www.wsls.com/sls/news/local/southside/article/teenager_dies_following_martinsville_police_taser_incident/24494/#fragment-2

Police say they were called there for a disorderly conduct after callers say someone was “using the bathroom” in the road. Gregory tells us Derick, “was out in the middle of the road acting stupid.” When the boys went inside, Gregory said only a few minutes went by before police arrived. Police say it was Officer R.L. Wray who responded. When he arrived, he noticed the front door had been forced open and requested assistance. Police say Wray heard loud banging noises coming from the kitchen, which according to Gregory is in the back of the home. When Gregory saw the officer coming, he claims, “I was upstairs, and the cops told me to come down. So I came downstairs, and everything happened,” said Gregory. Gregory says Derick had been drinking, but claims there was no confrontation with police. “Derick walked around from the kitchen, into the living room, and got half-way into the living room, and the cop tased him. He didn’t run at him or nothing,” said Gregory.

29 March 2009

from the l.a. times: police kill unarmed man in homer, la

By Howard Witt March 17, 2009
Reporting from Homer, La. -- On the last afternoon of his life, Bernard Monroe was hosting a cookout for family and friends in front of his dilapidated home in this small northern Louisiana town. Throat cancer had left the 73-year-old retired electric utility worker unable to talk, but family members said he clearly was enjoying the commotion of a dozen of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren cavorting in the grassless yard.
Then the Homer police showed up, two white officers whose arrival caused the participants at the black family's gathering to fall silent. Within moments, Monroe was dead, shot by one of the officers as his family looked on. Now the Louisiana State Police, the FBI and the Justice Department are swarming over this impoverished lumber town of 3,800, drawn by allegations from numerous witnesses that police killed Monroe without justification -- and then moved a gun to make it look like he had been holding it.
"We are closely monitoring the events in Homer," said Donald Washington, the U.S. attorney for the western district of Louisiana. "I understand that a number of allegations are being made that, if true, would be serious enough for us to follow up on very quickly." Monroe's friends and relatives say they still don't understand why the neighborhood patriarch ended up dead. Four witnesses said he was sitting outside his home in the late afternoon on Feb. 20 -- clutching a large sports-drink bottle -- when two police officers pulled up and summoned over his son, Shawn. Shawn Monroe, who has a long record of arrests and convictions on charges of assault and battery but was not wanted on any warrants, reportedly ran into the house. One of the officers, who had been on Homer's police force only a few weeks, chased after him and reappeared moments later in the doorway, the witnesses said. Meanwhile, the elder Monroe had started walking toward the front door. When he got to the first step on the porch, the witnesses said, the rookie officer opened fire, striking Monroe several times. "He just shot him through the screen door," said Denise Nicholson, a family friend who said she was standing a few feet away. "After [Monroe] was on the ground, we kept asking the officer to call an ambulance, but all he did was get on his radio and say, 'Officer in distress.' " The witnesses said the second officer picked up a handgun that Monroe, an avid hunter, always kept in plain sight on the porch for protection. Using a latex glove, the officer grasped the gun by its handle, the witnesses said, and ordered everyone to back away. The next thing they said they saw was the gun next to Monroe's body. "I saw him pick up the gun off the porch," Marcus Frazier said. "I said, 'What are you doing?' The cop told me, 'Shut the hell up, you don't know what you're talking about.' " Homer police maintain Monroe was holding a loaded gun when he was shot, but would not comment further. The shooting took place amid long-standing tensions between police and the residents of Monroe's crime-plagued neighborhood. "People here are afraid of the police," said Terry Willis, vice president of the Homer branch of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People. "They harass black people, they stop people for no reason and rough them up without charging them with anything." That is how it should be, responded Homer Police Chief Russell Mills, who noted the high rates of gun and drug arrests in the neighborhood. "If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names," said Mills, who is white. "I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested. "We're not out there trying to abuse and harass people -- we're trying to protect the law-abiding citizens locked behind their doors in fear."

28 March 2009

the bailout blues

ah yes, we all remember it don't we? the unelected pseudo president george bush jr. asurring, that the economy was as strong as ever and getting stronger by the day and reports that economic signs were tanking were overblown and exaggerated by 'timid elements within the market'. and jobs? holy shit! we're adding jobs by the hundreds every month! naturally we know today that rat bastard lied about all this as easily as he lied about iraq so i guess we shouldn't be surprised by it at all. just take everything junior has spewed from his lying mouth and apply the opposite and viola! there you will find the truth is worse than what you were told to imagine! now, i won't chide the rest of you for allowing that disgrace of a human being to continue on in the office of president he stole, but i will remind you that when bill clinton was accused of lying, all of you assholes let him have it with both barrels and still mock the man today. bad americans! bad! but, today, let's talk about financial crisis and not spilt milk, eh? now the fundamentals of the crisis isn't even being talked about much these days though it ought to be because of all the shenanigans and shady deals that led to it. instead, the whole mess is blamed on the irrelevant like the housing bubble bursting and the credit crunch. now, the housing bubble and the credit crunch have as much to do with starting the crisis as i have to do with bees making honey but the illegitimate bush administration and its right wing media bobbleheads on t.v. and radio will tell you what they want you to know because, let's face it, the american people are too friggin' stupid about economics to do anything more than to take their deceitful words for it. the truth is that the credit and housing crunch were a direct result of their unfettered greed. george dubya has had an exceptionally charmed life, which happens when you come from old money and your daddy's powerful enough to sweep all of your sins under the rug. when you look at all of junior's failed business attempts, his swindles (like the dubious texas rangers deal) and --haha!-- insider trades that netted him millions, you easily recognize how utterly inept and incompetant he is at handling anything other than a can of beer or a line of coke. but (dammit!) to blame bush entirely for this crisis would be like blaming the british for world war 2. sure they coulda done something before war became inevitable, but so could've the russians or the french or even the u.s. instead all these governments ended up doing was wonder what to do about the situation, endlessly debate the issue, latch too quickly on rumours that seemed to indicate good times ahead and, finally, getting their asses kicked but good. and that is just what has happened here in america. as soon as the devil (aka karl rove) and his cohorts had the stolen presidency all sown up, the first thing he said to george was, "now dubya, you ain't gotta do a thing. you're just the face man. you leave everything to me and dick and just sit back and enjoy the ride!" "awesome!" declared bush the younger. then rove turned to cheney, their cronies and all the greedy people that financially supported them and cried, "yahooo! all right boys! let the good times roll!" and roll they did. first they set about conquering california and its wealth. no big challenge there. enron provided energy to california so it simply caused rolling blackouts and began gouging consumers so bad that eventually a recall campaign was launched by republicans . once that trap was set it just had to be sprung. enter arnie shwartzenegger (sp?). he had all the popular support he needed and knew after meetings with cheney, rove and ken lay he had all the political support he needed too. next thing you know, california and its large economy were under republican control. by why stop there? there was a $350 billion federal surplus to rob too and a country (iraq) to invade. cheney and his so called energy taskforce had already divied up the spoils of iraq with germany, france, russia and britain (to name a few) in '99. he just had to wait for the joint cia-military-israeli strike on the world trade centres to happen. really folks, do you honestly believe some simple camel jockeys from saudi arabia knows the psychological significance of the numbers 911 on the american psyche? of course not! it's absurd. the date was specifically chosen just because it would resound psychologically with you. after all, you only use 911 when threatened or in danger. now 911 is always in your head and on your mind because --haha!-- the government never let you forget it! so subconsciouly you get uptight., you look at everything cautiously and are always checking over your shoulders. so what does 911 have to do with this financial crisis of ours? oh, just everything! as we all know, we were once a country of laws and civil liberties. unfortunately that doesn't foster greed or allow those in power to change the necessary laws to steal. money without anyone taking too close of a look. but after 911 all of us looked the other way while this theft of our resources was going on. the right wing bobbleheads told us it was unpatriotic to do otherwise. and questioning the actions of our government after 911? why that was high fuckin' treason buddy so shut your goddamn mouth before we sic the fbi on your commie ass! ah yes! just the opportunity needed to change a few things without having ever to explain one bit. of it to anyone! now let's all go invade iraq, take their oil and get filthy rich! yeehah! now it begins. car manufacturers begin pumping out the suv's to drive up oil and gas prices, america's houses are purposely overvalued so that 1) the sellers make tidy profits in the hundreds of thousands and the millions and 2) banks could claim these houses they held in mortgage as collateral for loans they paid out. now take that to a national level. nice little racket eh? saddle a poor, unsuspecting family with a $50,000 home priced at $200,000; claim the inflated price to provide loans out at high interest rates so the bank appears to make huge profits and inflate it's actual value as a company; reclaim the house when the family renigs on the mortgage payments; then sell it back, possibly even to the original owner, at bargain basements prices because --haha!-- the bank still stands to collect on the loans given out against their overvalued assets. that ladies and germs is how money is laundered. tada! so now all this imaginary money is just floating around out there and being passed along as real currency. just to insure this imaginary money has some semblence of legitimacy, the federal reserve prints obscene amounts of paper money which, naturally, deflates the value of the dollar and its buying power. to make matters worse, the illegitimate bush administration took out billion dollar loans from china to pay for the war in iraq in the expectation that the revenue procurred from iraqi oil would pay for it all. so why china? because they hold roughly half of all printed u.s. currency! and therein lies the heart of the trouble because as we common folk on the low end of the financial spectrum know: for every loan you take there will always be a payment due. and when the payments are due you have to pay, otherwise the bank takes your shit. now you begin to see it, eh? naturally when a payment is due and you only have imaginary money you go looking for the people who owe you real money and say, "pay up or else!" but in this country's case these fuckers don't have any real money either and are waiting to be repaid themselves because --haha!-- they gave out all their imaginary money investing in the stock market or whatever venture would make them filthy rich! ' so the bush people declared, "better find some real money or we'll take your business! have the money in a month or you're screwed!" so now the banks and investors need to find real money. and fast! and who has any real money? why just us common folk. sorta. we who live paycheck to paycheck as it is went to yet another bank and borrowed against the equity of our overinflated priced houses, giving this new bank the value assigned it by the bank holding the deed! hooray! the result? now we with real money have to decide between feeding and clothing our families or paying back a high interest loan that should never have been given in the first place because the banks are foreclosing like mad in an effort to sell the properties to make real money for themselves so they can pay back real money to their creditors who need real money to keep the nation solvent. the problem is, there just isn't enough real money to go around. so here we are today. everyone freaking out and doomsayers predicting the collapse of american financial institutions and the nation's fiscal viability. the finance assholes who wanted this system and helped put george bush in power are going to congress with their tales of impoverished woe. "please," they cry, "please bail us out and let us off the hook! look, the american people can pay for it!" and certainly that's what was going to happen until the american public made a ruckus about it. then it was, "we can't bail out wall street unless we also bail out main street.!" suddenly the vultures actually acted like they cared about our situation because if they couldn't sell us on the idea, it wasn't going to happen. "it'll be chaos and ruin!" they said. "it'll be the end of all america!" more fearmongering but it worked and you can't argue against success. enough of the public was swayed to support the bailout or corporate welfare. now these bad businesses want more money and more and more. so what if we don't want to authorize any more money for the bailout? the bought and paid for politicians in the federal government will say say, "well, we're up shit creek without a paddle!" wanna ask what happened to the original bailout money? they'll assure you that it's all too complicated and you'll never understand it and, oh, by the way, we need more money on top of all we've appropriated otherwise the auto industry will fail and mass unemployment will happen! there's no end in sight to it. so that's why i've come to the conclusion no one should have been bailed out. let the market crash, the economy flush itself down the toilet and the chips fall where they may. it was these crooks that did this to us so let them pay for it themselves!!!!!!!! we have got our own troubles down here in the lower classes, yeah? fuck them. they didn't care what happened to us when they initiated these terrible policies or pumped up oil prices to make more profits, so why should we care about their misfortune which they brough on themselves? answer: we shouldn't. "ah! but america," they politicians say, "it will be the great depression all over again!" sure it will. it'll be the great depression times 911.

27 March 2009

ottawa county cops shoot unarmed college kid

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/Mom_shot_GVSU_son_never_had_chance

Mom: shot GVSU son 'never had chance'

Derek Copp not under arrest

Updated: Saturday, 14 Mar 2009, 8:25 AM EDT Published : Friday, 13 Mar 2009, 1:48 PM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Valley State University student shot by an Ottawa County deputy told his parents he lifted his right arm to cover his eyes from a bright flashlight when the shot was fired.

He told them he didn't know it was a police officer shining the light.

"He never even had a chance to even see who was coming at him, with a bright flashlight in his face," Sheryl Copp, the mother of Derek Copp, told 24 Hour News 8. "He had no clue. He heard someone knock on his door, and he had no clue."

The bullet entered the right side of Copp's upper chest, broke ribs, ruptured his right lung and went through his liver, his parents said. It remained lodged in his lower back, nearly protruding through his skin, they said. Doctors, they said, were planning to remove the bullet Friday.

Copp, 20, is the middle of three sons of George and Sheryl Copp of Spring Arbor. He hopes to make movies someday, his parents said.

"Derek's a great kid; he's really smart; he's a hard worker," George Copp said. "They portray him as something he's not. He's not perfect, like any kid.

"From what I understand, half the kids in the school may smoke pot, and he does, he may, too, but he's not a drug dealer. He's a good kid and he shouldn't have been shot for that."

Copp told his parents that he and his roommate were studying when police knocked on his door.

The deputy, a 12-year veteran, was among five members of the West Michigan Enforcement Team who raided Copp's apartment at Campus View Apartments just south of the GVSU campus. They had obtained a search warrant to look for narcotics, state police said.

They were entering about 9 p.m. Wednesday through the rear sliding door when the deputy, whose name was not released, fired one shot, police said. That deputy is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Police would not say what kinds of drugs they were looking for or whether they found any evidence of narcotics in the apartment. Copp has not been arrested, nor is there a police guard outside his hospital room.

They said they don't know whether the deputy felt threatened by Copp, who lived in the apartment.

Copp's parents said they didn't learn about the shooting until just before 3 a.m. Thursday -- six hours later. They said a nurse and their son called from the hospital. Copp told his parents he gave police their home number and cell phone numbers. They questioned why police did not call them.

"My son had to call us from his hospital bed that he'd been shot," Sheryl Copp said.

The Copps immediately headed to the hospital from Spring Arbor. "It was the longest two-hour drive of our entire lives."

Copp has no criminal record. "He's a 'today-hippie,'" his mother said. "He's a peace-loving guy who wouldn't hurt a fly if it landed on his nose."

State police continue to investigate the shooting, which they say is going slowly.

"There is a process that has to be followed," said Capt. Gary Gorski, head of the state police Sixth District headquarters. "The process is not necessarily a quick process."

When asked if the Ottawa County deputy who fired the shot was talking with investigators, he said, "Not necessarily. They have rights like anybody else does."

George Copp said his son is awake, but the injuries are considered life-threatening. He's "doing pretty good, considering."

As for Copp, he has been in good spirits since the shooting, his parents said. In fact, he told them, "I'm going to make a movie about this."

His mother said, "He's really funny, and even though he was in such bad shape, he kept his humor. He had everybody laughing."