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KELLOGG BROWN AND ROOT KBR/NOT PAYING LOGCAP III IRAQ EMPLOYEES LAST TWO WEEKS SALARY AND ACCRUED VACATION PAY DECEMBER 2, 2011

As a recent contractor working for KBR overseas in IRAQ. Our contract ended November 6, 2011. We were rushed into meetings sponsored by Human Resources at our base in Talil, Iraq.

At the meetings we were, hearded together in groups given hastily thrown together paperwork stating our contracts were terminated and told we would be leaving on the next available flight to Dubai. These meetings were supervised by Jessica Jeffery Human Resources Director.

Her Final Year: Alzheimer's Disease, Care-Giving and Care-Giver Recovery

Many of you may recall that I was the primary care-giver for a victim of Alzheimer's Disease - specifically, my mother-in-law who I affectionately referred to as "Mumsie." I wrote a few pieces that appeared here on ePluribus Media as well as other places, often sharing thoughts / feelings and happenings about the ongoing experience, or reflecting upon it after her passing in December of 2007.

Some of you may recall that I mentioned working with someone to co-author a book about the experience.

Well, the book is complete. It's now available via Amazon.com in both print and Kindle format. It's Her Final Year: A Care-Giving Memoir.

We think that anyone facing prospect of - or currently engaged in - the care-giving role for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease may find the experiences we relate within to be of use and interest. If you know anyone who you think may benefit, please pass along new of our book and the website URL (herfinalyear.com).

Thank you.

 

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Court rebuffs FCC's attempt to weaken media ownership rules

In support of the public interest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rebuffed an attempt by the FCC to weaken media ownership rules. From freepress:

PHILADELPHIA – On Thursday , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its long-awaited verdict on the Federal Communications Commission’s disputed media ownership rules. The court threw out FCC rules that would have allowed one company to own a newspaper and broadcast stations in the same market and upheld the FCC’s decision to retain its other local broadcast ownership restrictions. The court also instructed the FCC to better consider how its rules will affect and can promote ownership by women and people of color.

...Read more...

Score one more small victory for the people.

And speaking of The People, please feel free to use this as an Open Thread.

 

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Schadenfreude: Foreclosing on the Foreclosers - Biting Bank of America in the Assets

For anyone wondering what a good example of schadenfreude may be: this is. From the Daily Kos diary by Unit Zero, which first brought the story to my attention:

Warren and Maureen Nyerges purchased a house from Bank of America for cash, never getting nor needing a Mortgage. BoA in its infinite wisdom screwed up and issued a foreclosure through their attorney. The Nyerges fought and sued the bank, finally winning a judgment after a year and a half of legal wrangling. The Collier County Judge ordered the bank to pay the Nyerges legal fees of $2,534 for the "error". Five months later the bank had still not paid the judgment, so the Nyerges had their attorney do what the bank would have done, seize their assets.

This is one of the few times that one might interchange the term "schadenfreude" with "justice."

 

Bank of America, one of the crown princes of the Thieves Guild, has a habit of foreclosing on the wrong properties.

 

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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Bootstrapping Revitalization, Kickstarter Edition

"Money makes the world go round." It's a tired, tiresome and sometimes too-true truism. Some things require money - investment - in order to get anywhere. Without financial backing to help secure the resources required, many projects and businesses fail.

"You have to spend money to make money." Another too-true truism in some cases. Sure - it's not an absolute. But in some cases, it's a pretty reliable and necessary rule of thumb. If you don't have, and cannot secure, investments to help build or expand your business or project, then you'll often find yourself lacking the resources that it requires to continue. It stalls, and sometimes dies on the vine.

There are no magic money trees - but there are many different ways to secure investment funding. One of the most promising projects for "the little guy" can be found at Kickstarter. It's a "crowdsourced" type of funding for creative projects that has resulted in some serious fundraising power.

Kickstarter has been building a reputation of enabling people to raise funding for projects in a straightforward, easy manner since its founding in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. The basics, according to the Kickstarter FAQ:

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.

We believe that:

  • A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
  • A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Craig Mod tells the story of one successful Kickstarter project - his own: KICKSTARTUP Successful fundraising with Kickstarter.com & (re)making Art Space Toky. Here's a quote from his piece:

I never intended to just sell a few books. The last thing I wanted was for this Kickstarter project to be nothing more than the start and end of Art Space Tokyo’s new print run. Instead, I wanted it to be the jumping point for exploring more projects in a similar spirit to Art Space Tokyo; a means to explore digital books and to fund the startup of a publishing venture that could make this happen.

Which is to say, I saw this as micro-seed capital. To not look at fundraising on Kickstarter from this perspective is to miss out on the site's full potential.

With Kickstarter, people are preordering your idea. Sure, they’re buying something tangible — a CD, a movie, a book, etc — but more than that, they’re pledging money because they believe in you, the creator. If you take the time to extrapolate beyond the obvious low-hanging goals, you can use this money to push the idea — the project — somewhere farther reaching than initially envisaged. And all without giving up any ownership of the idea.

This — micro-seed capital without relinquishment of ownership — is where the latent potential of Kickstarter funding lies.

A good project not only appeals to potential investors, but is supported by the project creator who is inherently obligated to think beyond "the low-hanging fruit" and plan for the project's success beyond whatever the current financial roadblock to initiation is.

We'll be revisiting this thought here, on ePluribus Media, soon. Stay tuned... ;)

In the meantime - welcome to Saturday, the apocalypse. Get your shopping done early, and leave a note for us in the comments telling us how you plan to go out when the end comes (or not).

This is an Open Thread.

 

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Seen "Unemployed Need Not Apply"? I need your help.

Originally posted Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 03:26:02 PM PST over on DailyKos. Reposted with permission on the author's behalf.

There are a lot of unemployed people here on DKos, including quite a number of long-term unemployed. I've seen mention here and there from people who have come across listings that actually, blatantly say something like "No unemployed need apply". I'm trying to track down where those listings are, what state(s) the companies posting them are in, what sorts of positions they are for, the names of the companies, and other such details.

Why? Because I've brought up to my state legislators the problem of people seeing such listings. Frankly, it's a form of discrimination that I feel ought to be illegal, especially in a Great Recession such as this one. I may be able to instigate the passage of legislation forbidding this practice, at least in Washington State, but it would help a lot if I knew where these things were taking place and who was doing this.

 

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Fact: The Bankers Theft of Our Money was Planned Well in Advance

Just how far in advance? We have yet to figure that out. 6 Months? At the very least. More? Anything to suggest it wasn't years in advance? This is more Wikileaks news from #cablegate searches and brought to light by the Guardian.

Remember how the Bush administration insisted that every bank had to be bailed out "now, Now, NOW!" in this unforeseen crisis or else the entire universe would financially implode?

It seems that must have been the script since there was no sudden crisis that came out of nowhere and that the Bankers were plotting their bailouts at least 6 months in advance:

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Ask Eliot Spitzer...

This is precisely what happens:

Spitzer Whacked For Warning Of Financial Crisis, Bush Fed Targets Taxpayers As Bagholders

Roger Stone is the longtime dirty-trickster who knocked the socks off of Eliot Spitzer in a scandal of high-priced trysts that forced resignation of the NY Governor earlier this year. With a Republican pedigree stretching to Watergate, Stone needed little inducement more than Spitzer's capital "D" affiliation.

But, as the nation's taxpayers await the terms of our extortion by the Bush Administration's 'exempt from oversight' bankers' club under a plan -- including full immunity -- led by Henry Paulson, it's time to consider the political assassination of another White House enemy for the SOP it was.

Sure, Spitzer should have de-socked before his career-ending indiscretion. But we should revisit the prophetic message that was lost to the tsunami of Spitzer's scandalization two weeks later.

Julian Assange take note - This is what happens when you threaten the Banks of Amer, err, the United States of America:

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The Myopia of the Masses: My Own "Better Off Dead" Experience

Crossposted at DailyKos.

If you haven't read the diary "...is surely better off dead" by Auntie Neo Kawn of DailyKos yet, go read it now -- I'll wait.

This diary is an additional build upon it -- my own experience as one of those who the comment "better off dead" refers to.

When you're ready and you've tipped, rec'd and commented over on Auntie's piece, feel free to drop below the fold to get my take. And thank you for your time.

 

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Open Thread - Landmark Ruling Last Week that YOU may not have heard about and then some...

Zach Carter takes note of recent ruling in a case that shows pretty clearly how the banks, not just Wells Fargo BUT all banks, purposely rigged their overdraft system against you:

Wells Fargo Overdraft Scam Makes Elizabeth Warren More Important Than Ever

A landmark court ruling on Wells Fargo's outrageous overdraft scam has the potential to return hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen funds to consumers all over the country. But like many of the banking scandals from the past decade, there's more to the story than simple bank predation. When banks devised this new program to swindle their own customers, bank regulators did not merely look the other way, they actively encouraged the behavior by writing a new rule approving a practice that courts now believe to be unfair and deceptive. The Wells Fargo case should be viewed as a clear example of why Elizabeth Warren ought to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The overdraft scam that Judge William Alsup slapped down yesterday is not unique to Wells Fargo-- every big bank in the country has been doing it for years, and if it's never happened to you, it's probably happened to your friends or family. Banks make a lot of money from overdraft fees-- $38 billion last year, compared to a combined industry profit of just $12.5 billion. They don't make that money by accident. Internal company emails and memos from the Wells Fargo case show bankers spending a lot of time figuring out how to maximize the number of overdraft charges they can hit their checking customers with.

One way is by changing the order in which your transactions are processed. Most people think that their checks and debit card purchases are processed in the order that they make them. But that's not how banks actually do it. Instead, they wait for you to make several purchases, and then process the most expensive purchases first. This method pushes a customer's balance to zero faster than the honest way that actually reflects buying habits. And the sooner your balance goes to zero, the more overdraft fees the bank can hit you with.

It is institutional fraud, across the board and directed at the average consumer, that had elevated the issue of the new consumer protection agency to a grassroots level to begin with.

And it is not just the bank customers that are institutionally screwed over by the financial system. Again from Mr. Carter, even the small players on Wall Street are habitutally hammered to the benefit of the American elite that continues to escape punishment for their crimes:

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The Latest Financial Gambling Tool

“I make a living off the dumb money,” says Emil van Essen, “These index funds get eaten alive by people like me”

Just so you know, Joe and Suzy Sixpack with your 401ks and other investments... You are the tool with the dumb money. And, yes. The game is rigged in the favor of the house again.

From Bloomberg News we get the tale of contango, commodities futures trading and the savvy using your gullibility to fleece you with their latest "financial innovation":

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They got a lot damned gaul talking like that:

It was bad enough listening to the Obama administration and Democratic party politicians, in general, talking about student loans and using all of the same arguments we were making for Single Payer as the reasoning to change that system but refusing to use the same arguments for healthcare...

But watching the GOP use the same Single Payer arguments to protect Big Oil from the high costs of insuring their own disasters?

Just way beyond the pale:

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