Arbitration Clauses Helped Wells Fargo Get Away With Fraud

Public Citizen reports on how arbitration clauses helped Wells Fargo get away with defrauding customers:

[M]ore than three years ago, a Wells Fargo customer named David Douglas sued in California, contending that the bank’s employees and branch managers “routinely use the account information, date of birth, and Social Security and taxpayer identification numbers … and existing bank customers’ money to open additional accounts.” Douglas alleged that branch managers opened at least eight accounts in his name and created fake business accounts under his name without his knowledge.

This case should have gone to court but was blocked by a ripoff clause. Douglas’s lawyers argued that an arbitration provision in a legitimate account agreement should not bar him from suing over a sham account he never agreed to open. However, citing recent 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the judge held that the ripoff clause in the original agreement blocked him from suing Wells Fargo.

In 2015, another Wells Fargo customer, Shahriar Jabbari, tried to file a class action against the bank, claiming that employees hid fees, refused to close accounts on request, and forged signatures and addresses. Wells Fargo publicly denied these allegations. Again, the judge ruled that the ripoff clause in the original account agreement forced any unresolved disagreement into arbitration, and Jabbari’s class action was kicked out of court.

The Presidential Debates: A Fraud Perpetrated on the American Voter


The League of Women Voters (LWV) had sponsored the Presidential Debates, but it withdrew, saying:

“The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter,” League President Nancy M. Neuman said today. (1988)

In its press release, the LWV said:

“It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and honest answers to tough questions,” Neuman said. “The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

Neuman said that the campaigns presented the League with their debate agreement on
September 28, two weeks before the scheduled debate. The campaigns’ agreement was negotiated “behind closed doors” and vas presented to the League as “a done deal,” she said, its 16 pages of conditions not subject to negotiation.

Most objectionable to the League, Neuman said, were conditions in the agreement that gave the campaigns unprecedented control over the proceedings. Neuman called “outrageous” the campaigns’ demands that they control the selection of questioners, the composition of the audience, hall access for the press and other issues.

“The campaigns’ agreement is a closed-door masterpiece,” Neuman said. “Never in the history of the League of Women Voters have two candidates’ organizations come to us with such stringent, unyielding and self-serving demands.”

Since then the Commission on Presidential Debates, a group “owned” by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party has controlled the Presidential Debates.

The Presidential Debate Commission is currently headed by  Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the Republican National Committee.

Third party participation?

At a 1987 press conference announcing the commission’s creation, Fahrenkopf said that the commission was not likely to include third-party candidates in debates, and Paul G. Kirk, Democratic national chairman, said he personally believed they should be excluded from the debates.

Reference: Commission on Presidential Debates (Wikipedia)

So, you see, there’s no reason to watch the Presidential Debate because it’s a sham, a staged fraud perpetrated on the American voter.




Apple Frenzy: What’s Wrong With Americans?

This headline speaks volumes to what’s wrong with Americans:

Here is Apple, a company which has no qualms about using (and abusing) overseas labor for the sake of increasing its profit.

Apple hides BILLIONS of dollars overseas, to avoid paying taxes in the United States.

Meanwhile, Americans complain about jobs being shipped overseas, stagnant or reduced incomes, and (especially for Republicans) about government fiscal deficits.  But they rush out to buy cell phones on which Apple may rake in a 200% profit.  And, of course, that profit is probably hidden overseas.

American consumers need to wake up and smell the greed.  And they need to stop enriching companies who apparently don’t care about the welfare of America and Americans.


Note: Apple is only one of many.  Nike outsources its manufacturing to subcontractors.  The electronics industry is heavily reliant on overseas sweatshops.  Numerous corporations have engaged in “inversions” — buying a foreign company they claiming that foreign country is now its headquarters in order to dodge U.S. taxes.



Scott Walker: Poster Boy for Political Corruption


Common Dreams and The Guardian report on leaked court documents which disclose the under-handed tactics used by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Republican) to get money from corporations and the rich.  He bypassed Wisconsin law forbidding corporate donations.  His corporate and rich donors were paid off — for example:

The Guardian expose focused on the shocking story of one corporate giver, lead pigment manufacturer Harold Simmons, who gave a $500,000 corporate check on top of $250,000 in personal contributions and was rewarded with a change to the law which would retroactively cancel the lawsuits of 173 children poisoned by lead paint. But other corporate donors got special treatment as well.

This sort of corruption has become commonplace in today’s corrupt American politics.

Isn’t it time to hit the streets in protest?

[This is why Trump may very well be elected President — people are fed up with the status quo.]


A Historical Look at Immigration Discrimination

For a look at the history of (whites-only) immigration policy, read this by Aviva Chomsky.  It includes this:

Donald Trump may differ from other contemporary politicians in so openly stating his antipathy to immigrants of a certain sort.  (He’s actually urged the opening of the country to more European immigrants.)  Democrats like Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton sound so much less hateful and so much more tolerant.  But the policies Trump is advocating, including that well-publicized wall and mass deportations, are really nothing new.  They are the very policies initiated by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and — from border militarization to mass deportations — enthusiastically promoted by Barack Obama.  The president is, in fact, responsible for raising such deportations to levels previously unknown in American history.

EMT’s Bypass EpiPen Ripoff Price Using $20 Worth of Supplies

Further proof pharmaceutical company Mylan Pharmaceuticals is financially raping consumers: EMTs in King County, Washington, are using a kit they assembled that costs $20.

What’s in the kit? A few bandages and alcohol wipes, two syringes, and a bottle of injectable epinephrine. That’s why EMTs can carry these kits while they aren’t appropriate for people who don’t have medical training. Instead of simply jamming the auto-injector in a thigh, the bearer has to draw a dose of adrenaline from the syringe first.

The Consumerist


Drug companies pay millions to doctors who promote their drugs

Shipping American Jobs Overseas: University of California San Francisco

The University of California is laying off a group of IT workers at its San Francisco campus as part of a plan to move work offshore.

The layoffs will happen at the end of February, but before the final day arrives the IT employees expect to train foreign replacements from India-based IT services firm HCL.

This layoff affects 17% of UCSF’s total IT staff, broken down this way: 49 IT permanent employees will lose their jobs, along with 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors. This number also includes 18 vacant IT positions that won’t be filled, according to the university.