So you don’t care if the WTO won’t tell you where your food comes from?

From rat meat masquerading as lamb to tainted milk to exploding watermelons, Chinese consumers have become inured to stomach-churning food scandals. But on Tuesday, countless people were forced to ponder the benefits of vegetarianism after news reports emerged that unscrupulous meat traders had been peddling tons of beef, pork and chicken wings that in some cases had been frozen for 40 years.

Folks, there are reasons we have regulations in America that are for your protection from people like this.

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Seven Years Ago Today, I Sent You A Song

Echoing rust. Factory line.
Dead-child memory of another time.
The sign said this spot was USA—
Too young to know it didn’t have to be this way.

Sweat-stain genius, practical hands,
Built factories, built the goods, built the land.
First steps forgotten. History blind,
We’re connected to our roots by a credit line.

Wakening giant. Hunger and rice.
Caught the scent of our money, knew we wouldn’t fight.
Slippery giant. History wise.
Put down his guns, put on a friendly disguise.

We closed our eyes

And the Giant from the East woke up from a sleep, hunger for the heads of our young.
No suspicion of war, through the open door, manifest of Mao Tse-Tung.
Ulterior plans in the giant’s hands, steel cages hit our shores in a flood.
And all we received for a moment of greed was paid for with our children’s blood.

We gave up our future, families and friends.
Dollar to the giant, dollar never seen again.

Agreeable climate: pickpockets and noise.
The bankers jumped to the giant like little boys.
Economy experts selling their time,
But nothing made nothing. Can you spare a dime?

Productivity’s children sleeping in chains.
Giant kept our credit up, kept us entertained.
Fear-fallen children couldn’t say no.
Wouldn’t read label made in Chinese. Where did the money go?

Detoured discussion about manufacturing trade.
Instead we’re led to every trap the giant made.
The future decided at the giant’s store—
Took every dollar we had and loaned us money for more.

Who are we doing this for?

The Giant from the East, a billion-head beast, feeding on the hopes of our young.
No resemblance of war, through the open door, mannequins of Mao Tse-Tung.
Invisible plans in the giant’s hands, temptation hit our stores in a flood.
And all we received for bargains we believed was paid for with our children’s blood.

We traded in our future, families and friends.
Dollar to the giant, dollar never seen again.

Reckoning rust. Factory line.
Lost-dream memory of a better time.
All the signs say this choice was Made in USA—
Too numb to know it didn’t have to be this way.


Dollar to the Giant (chords)

© 2008 Robert Hall – Music By Robert Hall (ASCAP)


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Another of the best and brightest temporary workers on temporary visas like the H-1B enable this?

My money says yes.

Folks, there ain’t no god damn hacking going on.

They are logging in using the passwords we were forced to give them when we got this:

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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, June 26, 2015
Indictment In UPMC Stolen Identity Scheme

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned a multi-count indictment against Yoandy Perez Llanes, a foreign national residing outside of the United States.  Llanes was charged in a 21-count indictment with a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Treasury, using the stolen identities of employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to file false federal income tax returns in order to obtain unlawful tax refunds.  Llanes and unnamed conspirators converted the unlawful tax refunds to gift cards, which were used to buy merchandise which was shipped internationally.  All of these acts occurred generally between January and April 2014.  Llanes is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

Early in 2014, thousands of employees of UPMC had their personal information compromised by hackers, who intruded into a UPMC computerized database stealing names, social security numbers, dates of birth and other personal identifying information.  This data was then used to file false 2013 federal tax returns.  Investigators learned that names and other identifiers were used by Llanes and other conspirators to file 935 false tax returns in which unlawful refunds were requested in the form of gift cards.  Quick action by the IRS, UPMC and frustrated the efforts of the fraudsters to file additional false returns and obtain further fraudulent proceeds.  While the perpetrators sought approximately $2.2 million in fraudulent refunds, only $1.4 million was actually disbursed as refunds.  Stolen Identity Refund Fraud, such as that alleged to have been perpetrated by Llanes, costs United States taxpayers billions of dollars.

This criminal scheme was complex and crossed national borders.  Llanes and the conspirators used anonymous and encrypted email to disguise their identities and proxy computers to file returns.  Using the fraudulently obtained gift cards, Llanes purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in electronic merchandise for shipment through reshipping services in Miami, Florida, with instructions for delivery to “drop” locations outside the United States.  Llanes and others then retrieved the merchandise and advertised it for sale on online auction websites overseas.

Though Llanes and the conspirators attempted to conceal their whereabouts and their identities through the use of encrypted email and proxy services, investigators were able to uncover the sophisticated plot and identify Llanes.

The law provides for a sentence of imprisonment, a fine of $5.5 million or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The IRS-CI, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Does anyone remember a top official in FDR’s administration calling on us to salute the Japanese after Dec. 7, 1941?

Several things that get me about this article.

Everybody wants to blame the chinese for hacking into OPM, VA, Target, etc, but nobody wants to blame the temporary workers on temporary visas that are logging into these systems using the credentials and passwords that we were forced to give them when we were given these orders by these government and private industry.

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Why is that?

We can totally shut out China from accessing any of our systems using various methods, but if we still do this, what have we gained?

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How about we do more to Keep America At Work by hiring Americans in America to maintain these systems?

Cyberwar: The damage done by Chinese hackers grows worse by the day, with news that they stole a treasure trove of blackmail-worthy material on those with high security clearances. What’s Obama’s reaction?

When the Office of Personnel Management first divulged in mid-June that its network had been compromised, it tried to downplay the scale of the security breach, treating it as though it were akin to the Target hack, with thieves making off with just a few bits of personal information on government workers.

Just like Target and Home Depot and others before them, OPM officials promised those workers “credit monitoring service and identity theft insurance” with a “complimentary subscription to CSID Protector Plus for 18 months.”

Problem solved, right? Except with each passing day it has become clear that the cyberattack was far more wide-ranging — involving something like 14 million current and former federal employees — and that the attackers had access to far more detailed information.

OPM later acknowledged that hackers accessed files containing Form 86, which government workers seeking security clearances fill out and which asks about work history, relative names, psychiatric history, drug use and foreign contacts.

Last week, the Daily Beast reported that hackers also accessed what is called adjudication information.

These are files that investigators compile on people applying for security clearances, and can contain details of alcohol abuse, sex lives, debt and gambling problems, marital troubles and criminal activities — all potentially stretching back decades.

Depending on the security clearance, it can also include results of potentially embarrassing polygraph tests. Government workers submit to this virtual strip search while applying for top-level jobs, under the assumption that the records will be kept confidential.

Michael Adams, a computer security expert, told the Daily Beast that, as a result of the attack, Chinese spies now have “clear knowledge . . . about who the best targets for espionage are in the United States.”

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Have investors thrown away their sense of fair play for greed at all costs?

Found this letter to the editor today that I believe is worth sharing:

The June 14 Business article “Disney prices leave parks’ roots behind ” should have included information published by other newspapers the same week. The article noted that Disney’s “profits have nearly doubled over the past five years, to $2.6 billion in fiscal 2014.” Not noted was that many Disney information technology employees were told their jobs would be given to foreigners holding H-1B visas. If they wished to work a few extra months, they could stay to help train the new employees. Disney has since reversed this decision, but even so, this would have been useful information for potential visitors with a sense of fair play and also for other corporations that want to know how the H-1B visa system (meant to help U.S. businesses fill specialty positions) can be gamed to increase their bottom line.

Edward Graf, Alexandria


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