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marmar

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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,187

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Former Walmart District Manager Accuses Company of Widespread Inventory Manipulation


(The Nation) In 1996, Sylvester Johnson left his post as a commanding officer in the US Army and began a career managing logistics at Walmart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Once there, he received a series of rapid promotions, eventually overseeing the HR management of over 26,000 employees in five states. He became friendly with Walmart executive Mike Duke, who became CEO in 2009. In 2002, Johnson received the Sam M. Walton Hero Award, a prestigious company distinction. In 2003, he moved to North Carolina where he oversaw eleven Walmart Supercenters. The company fired him in 2009 for allegedly giving orders to manipulate inventory counts, a claim Johnson denies.

Instead, Johnson believes he was ultimately terminated because he is black. He also alleges—in an interview with The Nation and in a federal discrimination lawsuit—that the company engaged in widespread inventory manipulation.

“We're talking about hiding tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in losses here—inflating the profits of a store, a district, a region, a division and ultimately the entire company,” Johnson told The Nation. In theory, such a practice could have artificially inflated the company’s profit margins and stock price, amounting to a form of federal securities fraud.

Johnson claims that during his tenure as a Walmart district manager he was pressured by the company’s high command to hide losses due to “shrinkage”—defined as lost or stolen inventory—in order for stores to appear more profitable than they really were. Throughout the course of over six hours of interviews with The Nation, Johnson maintained that top management set shrinkage targets for Walmart Supercenter stores under his supervision that were “not ethically attainable” and then used methods of “fear and intimidation” against him in an attempt to compel him to meet those targets. Shrinkage represents a loss to any firm’s bottom line. It is a major factor in retail profitability, costing US retailers an estimated $34 billion in losses annually, according to the National Retail Federation. ............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thenation.com/article/173689/former-walmart-district-manager-accuses-company-widespread-inventory-manipulation#



The Whys of American Ignorance


from Consortium News:


The Whys of American Ignorance
April 6, 2013

Since the social upheavals of the Sixties, the American Establishment has sought to constrain critical thinking through a variety of techniques, from propaganda to government secrecy to the celebrated ignorance of Fox News. But there are broader societal pressures as well, notes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson


In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the History News Network, published a book entitled Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.

Shenkman spent 256 pages documenting these claims, using a great number of polls and surveys from very reputable sources. Indeed, in the end it is hard to argue with his data. So, what can we say about this?

One thing that can be said is that this is not an abnormal state of affairs. As has been suggested in prior analyses, ignorance of non-local affairs (often leading to inaccurate assumptions, passive acceptance of authority, and illogical actions) is, in fact, a default position for any population.

To put it another way, the majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates. If something non-local happens that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/04/06/the-whys-of-american-ignorance/



Prince Fielder's home run knocks over a fan.....Literally.

Yet More Power for the Global 1 Percent


via truthdig:


Yet More Power for the Global 1 Percent
Posted on Apr 5, 2013


Much is made over the alleged ceding of U.S. sovereignty to international bodies every time a potential global treaty appears in the news. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a U.S.-led free trade agreement that would exempt multinational corporations from having to comply with policies governing industry in signatory countries, appears to be the real thing.

In 2008, American leaders gave a $13 trillion bailout to the banks that drove the nation into economic bedlam. Late last month, officials in Cyprus failed in an attempt to confiscate depositor funds in order to qualify for inclusion in a European bailout of their own. And a recently uncovered paper by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England written in late 2012 showed that G-20 countries have long been laying the groundwork for similar action within their own borders in the event that another crisis strikes.

Taken together, those three events should eliminate any doubt about the loyalties of many of the world’s major governments when it comes to disbursing public money. They’re with the rich and against everyone else. The average citizen’s earnings—whether they sit in a bank account or in a treasury in the form of taxes—belong to the ruling class if they wish to take them.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a circumvention of government. Its draft statement is not a product of the deliberation of U.S. legislators or apparently legislators in other countries, but of the Obama administration and representatives of deliberating nations and roughly 600 corporations. The talks are held multiple times a year and always in secrecy. Helicopters hover overhead while paramilitary teams patrol the conference grounds and a near-total media blackout ensures little is learned by anyone outside. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/the_trans-pacific_partnership_more_power_for_the_global_on_percent_20130405/?ln



Jeff Skilling (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/jeff_skilling_20130405/


Jurassic Park is 20 YEARS OLD !!??!!??


......that makes this aging Gen-Xer feel like, well, Jurassic.





As a child, Steven Spielberg was captivated by dinosaurs. He collected cast-iron figurines of them and preferred them in starring roles on the big screen. “I was more interested in the dinosaurs in King Kong than I was in King Kong himself,” remembers the Academy Award-winning director. “I thought the T. rex was one of the most awesome dinosaurs of the fossil record! But I never knew how to parlay all my love for paleontology into a story until Michael Crichton came along and wrote his book.”

That book was Jurassic Park, which Spielberg adapted in 1993 into an exhilarating adventure and one of the highest-grossing movies of all time—not to mention a groundbreaking technological achievement. “It changed special effects forever,” the director says, “and for better or for worse, it really did introduce the digital era.” ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/04/04/jurassic-park-oral-history/


Al Gore hurt Bob Woodward's feelings





During a lecture at Youngstown State University on Thursday, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward described an encounter with former Vice President Al Gore as a "taxing" experience, The Vindicator reported.

"To be honest, it (was) unpleasant," Woodward said, repeating a swipe that he's taken at Gore in the past.

While addressing the crowd, Woodward reportedly told an anecdote about Gore, a former journalist himself, probing Woodward on his failure to press President George W. Bush and his administration more aggressively in the lead up to the war in Iraq.

Apparently still displeased with Gore's criticism, Woodward jabbed back on Thursday, referencing Gore's frequently misquoted claim that he invented the internet. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/bob-woodward-al-gore_n_3021657.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



New Bird Flu Seen Having Some Markers of Airborne Killer


(Bloomberg) The new bird influenza that’s killed six people in eastern China has some of the genetic hallmarks of an easily transmissible virus, according to the scientist who showed how H5N1 avian flu could become airborne.

The H7N9 strain, which is a new virus formed as a result of two others merging their genetic material, has features of viruses that are known to jump easily from birds to mammals, and a mutation that may help it attach to cells in the respiratory tract, said Ron Fouchier, a professor of molecular virology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, in a telephone interview yesterday.

“That’s certainly not good news,” said Fouchier, who reviewed a gene sequencing of H7N9 published by Chinese health authorities. “This virus really doesn’t look like a bird virus anymore; it looks like a mammalian virus.”

To curb the spread of H7N9, officials in Shanghai have halted trading in live poultry, closed bird markets and slaughtered more than 20,000 birds. The outbreak, in which 16 people have been infected, caused soybean futures and airline stocks to fall yesterday on concern the virus may spark a pandemic. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-05/new-bird-flu-seen-having-some-markers-of-airborne-killer.html



Robert Reich: The Big Stall


The Big Stall
Friday, April 5, 2013


Bad news on the economy. It added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months.

While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.

That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent — its lowest level since 1979.

The direction isn’t encouraging. The pace of job growth this year is slower than its pace last year. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://robertreich.org/post/47194731154



Robert Reich: The Big Stall


The Big Stall
Friday, April 5, 2013


Bad news on the economy. It added only 88,000 jobs in March – the slowest pace of job growth in nine months.

While the jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, much of the drop was due to the labor force shrinking by almost a half million people. If you’re not looking for work, you’re not counted as unemployed.

That means the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one dropped to 63.3 percent — its lowest level since 1979.

The direction isn’t encouraging. The pace of job growth this year is slower than its pace last year. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://robertreich.org/post/47194731154



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