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Tuna Fish Price Fixing

May 19,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Christopher Lischewski, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bumble Bee Foods LLC, for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for packaged seafood sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, charges Lischewski with participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of packaged seafood beginning in or about November 2010 until December 2013.

“The Antitrust Division is committed to prosecuting senior executives who unjustly profit at the expense of their customers,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “American consumers deserve free enterprise, not fixed prices, so the Department will not tolerate crimes like the one charged in today’s indictment.”
“This indictment demonstrates the personal accountability of senior leadership at corporations,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. “The FBI and the Department of Justice will hold corporate leaders accountable for criminal actions that defraud American families.”

The one-count felony indictment charges that Lischewski carried out the conspiracy by agreeing to fix the prices of packaged seafood during meetings and other communications. The co-conspirators issued price announcements and pricing guidance in accordance with these agreements. Bumble Bee has already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to pay a criminal fine of at least $25 million as a result of the government’s ongoing investigation.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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United States Comes in Near Bottom of 2017 International Tax Competitiveness Index

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November 2,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, According to the Tax Foundation  the United States is hampered by high marginal tax rates and complex business tax rules .Tthe United States once again ranks towards the bottom of the pack on our 2017 International Tax Competitiveness Index, placing in the bottom 5 or number 30 out of 35 OECD countries.

The last time the United States reformed its federal corporate income tax was in 1986. Since then, many of our global competitors have taken steps to simplify their tax codes and lower their marginal tax rates.

The combined U.S. corporate tax rate of 39 percent (which includes average state and local corporate taxes) is significantly higher than the OECD average of 25 percent.

As U.S. legislators move forward with comprehensive tax reform, they should consider the positive effects that lowering our corporate tax rate and simplifying our tax system could have on our competitiveness abroad and economic health at home.

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NJ State Police More hopeful than ever for the return of Joanne Chesimard to the United States

joanne-chesimard

June 17,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, President Trump pushed changes in US /Cuba policy , “To the Cuban government, I say: Put an end to the abuse of dissidents,” Trump said in Miami. “Release the political prisoners. Stop jailing innocent people. Open yourselves to political and economic freedoms. Return the fugitives from American justice — including the return of the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.”

NJ State Police Colonel Fuentes’ Statement Regarding President Trump’s Administration New Policy Toward Cuba

“Just listened with great interest to President Donald Trump’s Miami speech on his Administration’s new policy towards Cuba. On behalf of all the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, I am grateful for his recognition and deep concern that Cuba continues to harbor this country’s most wanted cop killers and domestic terrorists. I am more hopeful than ever for the return of Joanne Chesimard to the United States to complete her term of imprisonment for the 1973 murder of Trooper Werner Foerster.”

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Trump Administration : Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law

illegal-immigrants

Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

ENHANCING PUBLIC SAFETY IN THE INTERIOR OF THE
UNITED STATES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), and in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States as well as to ensure that our Nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby declare the policy of the executive branch to be, and order, as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  Interior enforcement of our Nation’s immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States.  Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety.  This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.

Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.  These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.

Tens of thousands of removable aliens have been released into communities across the country, solely because their home countries refuse to accept their repatriation.  Many of these aliens are criminals who have served time in our Federal, State, and local jails.  The presence of such individuals in the United States, and the practices of foreign nations that refuse the repatriation of their nationals, are contrary to the national interest.

Although Federal immigration law provides a framework for Federal-State partnerships in enforcing our immigration laws to ensure the removal of aliens who have no right to be in the United States, the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility.  We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.  The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.

Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the executive branch to:

(a)  Ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States, including the INA, against all removable aliens, consistent with Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution and section 3331 of title 5, United States Code;

(b)  Make use of all available systems and resources to ensure the efficient and faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States;

(c)  Ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law;

(d)  Ensure that aliens ordered removed from the United States are promptly removed; and

(e)  Support victims, and the families of victims, of crimes committed by removable aliens.

Sec. 3.  Definitions.  The terms of this order, where applicable, shall have the meaning provided by section 1101 of title 8, United States Code.

Sec. 4.  Enforcement of the Immigration Laws in the Interior of the United States.  In furtherance of the policy described in section 2 of this order, I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.

Sec. 5.  Enforcement Priorities.  In executing faithfully the immigration laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235, and 237(a)(2) and (4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2) and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:

(a)  Have been convicted of any criminal offense;

(b)  Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;

(c)  Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

(d)  Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

(e)  Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

(f)  Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or

(g)  In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

Sec. 6.  Civil Fines and Penalties.  As soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order, the Secretary shall issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

Sec. 7.  Additional Enforcement and Removal Officers.  The Secretary, through the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, who shall complete relevant training and be authorized to perform the law enforcement functions described in section 287 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357).

Sec. 8.  Federal-State Agreements.  It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

(a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

(b)  To the extent permitted by law and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary.  Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.

(c)  To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in a manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws for that jurisdiction.

Sec. 9.  Sanctuary Jurisdictions.  It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.

(a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.  The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction.  The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

(b)  To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

(c)  The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is directed to obtain and provide relevant and responsive information on all Federal grant money that currently is received by any sanctuary jurisdiction.

Sec. 10.  Review of Previous Immigration Actions and Policies.  (a)  The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to terminate the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) described in the memorandum issued by the Secretary on November 20, 2014, and to reinstitute the immigration program known as “Secure Communities” referenced in that memorandum.

(b)  The Secretary shall review agency regulations, policies, and procedures for consistency with this order and, if required, publish for notice and comment proposed regulations rescinding or revising any regulations inconsistent with this order and shall consider whether to withdraw or modify any inconsistent policies and procedures, as appropriate and consistent with the law.

(c)  To protect our communities and better facilitate the identification, detention, and removal of criminal aliens within constitutional and statutory parameters, the Secretary shall consolidate and revise any applicable forms to more effectively communicate with recipient law enforcement agencies.

Sec. 11.  Department of Justice Prosecutions of Immigration Violators.  The Attorney General and the Secretary shall work together to develop and implement a program that ensures that adequate resources are devoted to the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses in the United States, and to develop cooperative strategies to reduce violent crime and the reach of transnational criminal organizations into the United States.

Sec. 12.  Recalcitrant Countries.  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall cooperate to effectively implement the sanctions provided by section 243(d) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(d)), as appropriate.  The Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States.

Sec. 13.  Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens.  The Secretary shall direct the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take all appropriate and lawful action to establish within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement an office to provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the family members of such victims.  This office shall provide quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

Sec. 14.  Privacy Act.  Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.

Sec. 15.  Reporting.  Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary and the Attorney General shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order within 90 days of the date of this order and again within 180 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 16.  Transparency.   To promote the transparency and situational awareness of criminal aliens in the United States, the Secretary and the Attorney General are hereby directed to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on the following:

(a)  the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons;

(b)  the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as Federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service; and

(c)  the immigration status of all convicted aliens incarcerated in State prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

Sec. 17.  Personnel Actions.  The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate and lawful action to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

Sec. 18.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 25, 2017.

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Today, we remember those who gave their lives in service to the United States and we thank them for their sacrifice

memorial_day_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Dear Friends,

Since the founding of our country, there have always been brave men and women who understood what it takes to protect our freedom and democracy. And there has always been a grateful nation that understands that everything we have is because of their bravery. They are the very best that America has to offer.

Today, we remember those who gave their lives in service to the United States and we thank them for their sacrifice. Our words will never be able to express what their service meant to us, but we can continue to honor them with our actions. We can continue to live our lives in freedom and stand up to tyranny and oppression in whatever form it takes. It is our responsibility to pass along the gift of liberty that many in our armed forces died to protect.

To those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones—please know that our country stands with you today and every day, humbled by the sacrifice you have given to protect freedom and democracy. May God bless those who died in service to our country, and may God continue to look over those who put on a uniform every day and fight for United States of America.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Scott Garrett

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The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the “dumbing down” of America

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Ray Williams
psychologytoday.com
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:57 UTC

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in theWashington Post, “Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans’ rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism.”

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said:

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, reveals how a whole generation of youth is being dumbed down by their aversion to reading anything of substance and their addiction to digital “crap” via social media.

Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective:

“The rise of idiot America today represents – for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power – the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about. In the new media age, everybody is an expert.”

“There’s a pervasive suspicion of rights, privileges, knowledge and specialization,” says Catherine Liu, the author of American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique and a film and media studies professor at University of California. The very mission of universities has changed, argues Liu. “We don’t educate people anymore. We train them to get jobs.”

Part of the reason for the rising anti-intellectualism can be found in the declining state of education in the U.S. compared to other advanced countries:

After leading the world for decades in 25-34 year olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries;
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs commissioned a civic education poll among public school students. A surprising 77% didn’t know that George Washington was the first President; couldn’t name Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence; and only 2.8% of the students actually passed the citizenship test. Along similar lines, the Goldwater Institute of Phoenix did the same survey and only 3.5% of students passed the civics test;
According to the National Research Council report, only 28% of high school science teachers consistently follow the National Research Council guidelines on teaching evolution, and 13% of those teachers explicitly advocate creationism or “intelligent design;”
18% of Americans still believe that the sun revolves around the earth, according to a Gallup poll;
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities report on education shows that the U.S. ranks second among all nations in the proportion of the population aged 35-64 with a college degree, but 19th in the percentage of those aged 25-34 with an associate or high school diploma, which means that for the first time, the educational attainment of young people will be lower than their parents;
74% of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 53% in the House of Representatives deny the validity of climate change despite the findings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and every other significant scientific organization in the world;
According to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, 68% of public school children in the U.S. do not read proficiently by the time they finish third grade. And the U.S. News & World reported that barely 50% of students are ready for college level reading when they graduate;
According to a 2006 survey by National Geographic-Roper, nearly half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 do not think it necessary to know the location of other countries in which important news is being made. More than a third consider it “not at all important” to know a foreign language, and only 14 percent consider it “very important;”
According to the National Endowment for the Arts report in 1982, 82% of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later only 67% did. And more than 40% of Americans under 44 did not read a single book–fiction or nonfiction–over the course of a year. The proportion of 17 year olds who read nothing (unless required by school ) has doubled between 1984-2004;
Gallup released a poll indicating 42 percent of Americans still believe God created human beings in their present form less than 10,000 years ago;
A 2008 University of Texas study found that 25 percent of public school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously.

In American schools, the culture exalts the athlete and good-looking cheerleader. Well-educated and intellectual students are commonly referred to in public schools and the media as “nerds,” “dweebs,” “dorks,” and “geeks,” and are relentlessly harassed and even assaulted by the more popular “jocks” for openly displaying any intellect. These anti-intellectual attitudes are not reflected in students in most European or Asian countries, whose educational levels have now equaled and and will surpass that of the U.S. And most TV shows or movies such as The Big Bang Theory depict intellectuals as being geeks if not effeminate.

http://www.sott.net/article/313177-The-cult-of-ignorance-in-the-United-States-Anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-of-America

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Macy’s closing dozens of stores across United States, including 4 in Tri-State area

Macy's

POSTED 8:09 PM, JANUARY 6, 2016, BY ANDREA CAVALLIER AND ASSOCIATED PRESS, UPDATED AT 08:11PM, JANUARY 6, 2016

NEW YORK — Macy’s is closing dozens of stores and cutting thousands of jobs across the United States after disappointing holiday sales.

The Cincinnati-based department store chain says sales fell 5.2 percent in November and December at existing stores. Warm weather and lower spending by international tourists hurt sales.

The company also listed Wednesday which 40 stores it would close.

http://pix11.com/2016/01/06/macys-closing-dozens-of-stores-across-united-states-including-4-in-tri-state-area/

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WH: Americans radicalized in the Middle East back in United States

isis_0922getty

WH: Americans radicalized in the Middle East back in United States
By Justin Sink – 09/22/14 11:57 AM EDT

Some of an estimated 100 Americans who have traveled to the Middle East and joined terrorist organizations like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have returned to the United States, a senior administration official said Monday.

At a Monday briefing previewing an administration push for a United Nations resolution to prevent the flow of foreign citizens into conflict zones to join terrorist groups, a senior administration official said that an estimated 15,000 individuals had entered Iraq and Syria to join groups like ISIS and the al Nusra Front. The official said that 2,000 of those foreign fighters were European, and that 100 were Americans.

That number includes Americans “who may have tried to travel or those who have come back,” a second senior administration official said.

http://thehill.com/policy/international/218494-white-house-radicalized-americans-back-in-us