PATH: BS | Insatiable Greed

One Company Controls Almost The Entire Eyeglass Market

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When you see all those brands, all those different stores, outlets and eyecare companies, you think, "competition" right? Not exactly. What if I told you there was one company that pretty much had a monopoly on the entire market? If you don't wear glasses or sunglasses, then I guess this won't apply to you...

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A Modern Version Of SchoolHouse Rock: How America Collapsed

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Ed Asner does voiceover for a clever animated video that talks about how American society has changed over the years and how taxation and corporations have sucked dry, the economy. In the style of the old "Schoolhouse Rock" cartoons...

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American Food That Is Banned Elsewhere

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Every day, millions of Americans enjoy food products that other countries have deemed unsafe for consumption. Let's take a look at some examples..

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eBay Caught Selling Useless Insurance Policies To Customers

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EBay sells insurance that excludes from coverage the exact items it ships, rendering the policy useless, a class action claims in Federal Court.

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OnStar's New Plan To Collect/Sell Your Personal Info

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Jonathan Zdziarski writes, "I canceled the OnStar subscription on my new GMC vehicle today after receiving an email from the company about their new terms and conditions. While most people, I imagine, would hit the delete button when receiving something as exciting as new terms and conditions, being the nerd sort, I decided to have a personal drooling session and read it instead. I’m glad I did. OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement. To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling."

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Economists Show True Reason For Deficit Increase

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This week marks the 10th anniversary of the first of President George W. Bush's two tax cuts, which have played a disproportionate role in blowing up the deficit and debt. As the Center for American Progress' Michael Ettlinger and Michael Linden found, the federal debt would be at a sustainable level today ? even with the wars and the financial crisis ? were it not for the Bush tax cuts. ThinkProgress has assembled this short animation showing how the Bush tax cuts drove the deficit and debt up and are still ruining the budget picture today.

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Businessmen Caught With $134B of US Bonds at Italy/Swiss Border

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Italy's financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.

So far, no American mainstream media has picked up on this pretty scandalous story. Is some government trying to liquidate their shares of T-bills? Or are they fake and this is the largest counterfeit operation ever?

READ MORE | 9 comments since 2014-08-20 14:19:17 | Comment on this Article

Cribs: The 21st Century Edition

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[Humor]
Seth Green shows us how to "live large" in the current economic climate and still come with the bling, yo!

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Moore: The Rich Got Their Welfare Check This Morning

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Michael Moore has penned a poignant diatribe on the financial bailout. Irresponsibility and greed are being rewarded by American taxpayers to the richest people in the financial community.

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Stats Indicate "Gas Shortage" May Be Phony

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While various pundits claim accessibility to oil resources is what's driving high gas prices, reports from the United States Department of the Interior indicate otherwise. Apparently the reality is, the oil companies have access to plenty of oil -- they're just not drilling for it. They're letting prices go up in an effort to put pressure on consumers to put pressure on lawmakers to give them even more access to drilling areas. And the clincher is right now, only 17% of the oil leases available are actually being drilled!

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Exxon Squeezes Every Penny Of Profit From Franchises

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Every time Sohaila Rezazadeh rings up a sale at her Exxon station on Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, her cash register sends the information to Exxon Mobil's central computers. If she raises the price of gasoline a couple of pennies, chances are that Exxon will raise the wholesale price she pays by the same amount.

Through a password-protected Web portal, Exxon notifies Rezazadeh of wholesale price changes daily. That way the oil giant, which is earning about $3.3 billion a month, fine-tunes the pump prices at the franchise Rezazadeh has owned for 12 years.

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Your Bank May Collapse But Lenders Still Get Big Bonuses

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As mortgage holders face foreclosure and shareholders take a bath, troubled Washington Mutual takes action -- to protect executive bonuses. It could be a trend. Get the board of directors to change the rules to make it look like you're doing a good job and collect millions in bonuses.

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Day Trader Meltdown As Wizards Try To Cast Anti-Recession Spell

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Yesterday was an interesting day in the world of financial markets, if you think seeing a huge storm heading your way "interesting," and today it gets even more "interesting."

Hoping to halt a market meltdown and prevent a recession, the Federal Reserve lowered its overnight lending rate by three quarters of a percentage point to 3.50% on Tuesday in a rare move between formal meetings.

Nobody watches NASCAR to see cars go around in circles. We know what makes the highlights... watch the video we have as this day trader suddenly realizes the market has raped him hard...

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The Tom Cruise Indoctrination Video

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Didn't get a chance to watch the terrifyingly creepy Tom Cruise video yesterday before Scientologists pulled it off YouTube? Well, Defamer.com managed to get their hands on a copy and now they'd like to invite you to watch in all its technicolor glory. Nevermind the orgs, nevermind the SPs and nevermind David Miscaviage, Defamer won't hesitate to put their ethics on ANYONE! Don't miss out, over one billion earth humans have been served. KSW and KFC forever (or something). This is must-see. Do not pass go without watching this video.

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Lead Found In Lipstick

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Toys made in China aren’t the only products laced with dangerous heavy metals: lipstick manufactured in the United States and used daily by millions of American women also contains surprisingly high levels of lead, according to new product tests released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The lead tests were conducted by an independent laboratory over the month of September on red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, Conn., San Francisco and Minneapolis. Top findings include:

More than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient.

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Time-Warner Rewrites USPS Postal Rules and Rates

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For the first time ever in the history of the US, The Postal Regulatory Commission ignored a plan by the US Postal Service in favor of a rate-increase plan submitted by an outside corporation: Time-Warner, which involves a super-complicated scheme to allow their own publications to avoid paying higher postage, while sticking it to smaller publishers.

Go democracy!

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Court Confirms Katrina Damage Was Not "An Act Of God"

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Hurricane Katrina victims whose homes and businesses were destroyed when floodwaters breached levees in the 2005 storm cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damages, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

While insurance may cover some "acts of God," the insurance industry had enough fine print to invalidate claims of flooding due to negligence on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers, which led to the majority of the city's destruction, and therefore, victims were not qualified to be covered under their insurance policies.

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Symantec: Our Software Screwed Up Your PC? Here's Another Copy!

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One month after tens of thousands of PCs in China were disabled by a bug in its Norton antivirus software, Symantec has offered to compensate the owners. However, the compensation – more copies of the software that caused the problem – has sparked outrage.

Imagine that.

At this point, even if you reject the local Geek Squad's invitation to watch the Star Wars Trilogy at their parents' house, they still wouldn't recommend using Symantec security products.

READ MORE | 5 comments since 2008-08-19 01:59:44 | Comment on this Article

Louisiana Congressman Bill Jefferson Indicted

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Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, money-laundering and soliciting more than $400,000 in bribes in connection with years of trying to broker business deals in Africa.

The charges came almost two years after investigators raided Jefferson's home in Washington and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in a box in his freezer.

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The Nightmare Of Cancelling Subscription Accounts

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PC World Senior Editor Tom Spring signed up for 32 online accounts. Then tried to cancel all of them. The most difficult to cancel: NetZero. The easiest to cancel: Consumer Reports Online and The New York Times TimesSelect. Read on to hear about his customer service nightmare.

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Where MADD's Charity Money Goes May Make You MAD

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People who donate to Mothers Against Drunk Driving are told by the charity that most of the $12 million it raises annually is spent on good works — stopping drunk driving and helping families traumatized by fatal crashes.

But an investigation reveals most of the high-profile charity's money is spent on fundraising and administration, leaving only about 19 cents of each donor dollar for charitable works.

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Monster Exec Now Looking for a J-O-B

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In a tasty bit of irony Andrew J. McKelvey, the Chief Executive and Chairman of Monster Worldwide, Inc., the parent company of the largest job search site in the world, has stepped down amid a probe of the company's past stock options practices. The probe concerns the practice of back-dating the stock options given to executives so that they have the greatest value. Although tremendously lucrative, it is also illegal. This is a problem that has bedeviled many companies and their executives, including United Health Group, CNET Networks, and McAfee. I'm guessing McKelvey will probably be using CareerBuilder.com to look for his next post.

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State Farm Accused of Fraud in Katrina Settlements

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State Farm Insurance supervisors systematically demanded that Hurricane Katrina damage reports be buried or replaced or changed so that the company would not have to pay policyholders' claims in Mississippi, two State Farm insiders tell ABC News.

Kerri and Cori Rigsby, independent adjusters who had worked for State Farm exclusively for eight years, say they have turned over thousands of internal company documents and their own detailed statement to the FBI and Mississippi state investigators.

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U.S. Government Charging Beruit Embassy Evacuees For Escape

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If you're an American in Lebanon and you're looking to get out and you go to the American embassy, don't be surprised if they fly you out, but send you a bill later.

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In Debt Over Your Head? Pay Us.

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
You've seen the commercials...credit counseling agencies offering to help you get out of the big, fat hole of crushing debt you've gotten yourself into. These largely non-profit agencies are supposed to help people by negotiating between strapped consumers and lenders, making payment of debts more manageable so everybody is happy--consumers pay off their debts, lenders get some of the money they're due, and the agencies take only the amount needed to cover their costs...because after all, they're charitable organizations.

Or are they? The IRS investigated 41 credit counseling agencies, and revoked the tax-exempt status of every single one, finding that they were in business to suck money from these struggling debtors instead of helping them get back on their feet.

Maybe all the spam should have been a tip-off.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-11-15 06:53:52 | Comment on this Article

Ten Worst Corporations of 2005

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When you think large companies are just big buildings and job-making machines, you underestimate what these monolithic entities can get away with legally, ethically and morally. If any human individual perpetrated some of the crimes these companies have done, there wouldn't be a punishment harsh enough. Check out the dirty details and be appalled.

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Red Cross Blows Donation Money on Publicists & Movie Stars

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The American Red Cross has come under fire over payments to publicists who recruited stars to add lustre to its image, even as funds ran short for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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9/11 "Commemorative" Cereal Offered on eBay for $100k

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Just when you think you've seen it all. Just when you think that you've seen the greediest, stupidest thing you can imagine, someone tops it on eBay.

Today's disgusting display is brought to you by Tommy Joyce of Nashville, TN, at the phone number of (615)9578839 as listed on the auction.

Mr. TJ seems to think that his box of Frosted Mini-Wheats with an expiration date of 9/11/01, with a picture of an American Airlines plane is so supernaturally coincedental that it's worth a minimum of $100,000 + $65 for shipping. And just to show you his heart is in the right place, he'll donate a whopping 10% of the final sale price to the 9/11 Children's Fund.

I would write more, but the compassion is making me tear up... everything is blurry...

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2008-11-15 10:46:29 | Comment on this Article

Rich'sicles Die And Leave Money To Themselves

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[Vanity]
Some say when you die, that's it; others believe in heaven and hell. And then there's that contingent of wealthy, narcisisstic men who think they've figured out a way to cheat death, and their heirs at the same time. How? Well, elementary dear Watson, freeze yourself in liquid nitrogen when you die, expecting to be revived later, and leave all your money to yourself!

The concept is called a "Revival Trust" and as expected, there seems to be no shortage of lawyers and financial planners promoting this bizarre scheme.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2008-11-15 09:38:49 | Comment on this Article

17 Injured in Stampede Over Cheap Laptops

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[Mean People]
What started as a sale turned into a mob scene as thousands of people pushed their way through the Richmond International Raceway gates to buy a $50 iBook laptop computer from Henrico County Schools Tuesday morning. 5500 people stomped over old ladies, men in walkers and babies in buggies to line up to get a cheap computer.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-08-21 06:02:37 | Comment on this Article

Telemarketers Stop Harassing the Dead for a Dollar

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[Viral Marketing]
So you're home for your dad's funeral. Your mother is a zombie, your brothers and sisters are freaked out, and you're not feeling so swell yourself. The phone rings. Your mom goes to answer it; you figure it's yet another condolence call from a concerned friend, or maybe a neighbor offering a casserole.

But without saying a word beyond "hello," your mom bursts into tears and slams down the phone.

Surprise! You've just been contacted by a telemarketer asking for the deceased by name, hoping to sell him affordable, high-quality aluminum siding.

Well, never fear, my friend. The Direct Marketing Association is looking out for you.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-08-13 14:02:43 | Comment on this Article

New Book Claims Hillary Clinton Was Raped By Husband

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I've never quite understood the irrational, pathological and obsessive hatred conservatives have towards Hillary Clinton. I've often been surprised at the lengths various pundits go to in attempting to discredit and destroy her reputation, but a new book written Edward Klein, a muck-raking, coattail-riding serial biographer of democratic personalities, is claiming that Bill Clinton raped Hillary in Bermuda which led to their daughter's conception. It would be safe to say, Hillary Clinton is not amused by this latest outrageous attack upon her family's character.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2005-06-26 15:39:45 | Comment on this Article

Our Favorite Poison

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"Let’s start with a straightforward fact: Mercury is unimaginably toxic and dangerous. A single drop on a human hand can be irreversibly fatal. A single drop in a large lake can make all the fish in it unsafe to eat. So why is the current administration trying to roll back the Clinton administration's efforts to curtail this poison in the environment?" Find out more.

Update: Feds dismantle pollution restrictions

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100 Synagogues to Pray for Failure in Peace Accord

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Israeli rabbis were planning on Sunday to hold special sessions in 100 synagogues to pray for the failure of this week's summit between prime minister Ariel Sharon and new Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-02-07 18:26:27 | Comment on this Article

83-year old dead woman caught sharing mp3s

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Gertrude Walton of Fayette County hated computers, her daughter said.

That did not stop the recording industry from accusing the now deceased 83-year-old Mount Hope woman of illegally trading music over the Internet.

More than a month after Walton was buried in Beckley, a group of record companies named her as the only defendant in a federal lawsuit. They claimed Walton made more than 700 pop, rock and rap songs available for free on the Internet under the screen name “smittenedkitten.”

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-06-08 21:04:09 | Comment on this Article

Monsanto sues farmers for saving seeds

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Monsanto Corporation, makers of genetically-engineered products, since 1997 has sued at least 139 farmers for having the audacity to save some of the seeds they bought and replant then the following season. One farmer received eight months in prison and a 1.7M fine.

Welcome to the 21st century, where a company sues its own customers, even getting them jail time, because their products are used longer than the company mandates.

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