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‘Crush This Lady.’ Inside eBay’s Bizarre Campaign Against a Blog Critic.

Security employees orchestrated deliveries of live cockroaches, pornographic videos and a mask of a bloody pig’s head



The box of live cockroaches delivered to their door was the last straw for David and Ina Steiner.

For more than two decades, the professional collectors ran a niche e-commerce blog out of their home in the Boston suburbs, with a focus on Inc. AMZN -1.09% and eBay Inc. EBAY -2.07%

Then, last August, the couple started receiving threatening emails and tweets. Not long after, according to federal investigators, a package arrived with a mask of a bloody pig’s head. Next, they received a funeral wreath. Neighbors were sent pornographic videos addressed to one of the Steiners. Strange cars seemed to follow them around their small town of Natick, Mass.

They repeatedly called the local police, who say they initially thought the incidents might be pranks. The Steiners photographed one of the suspicious vehicles tailing them. With the photo, the local police tracked the license plate to a rental car checked out to a Veronica Zea, staying at Boston’s Ritz-Carlton hotel along with a man named David Harville, according to an affidavit from a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent working the case.

Then the police discovered something really curious: Both Ms. Zea and Mr. Harville worked for eBay, the $34 billion online marketplace based more than 3,000 miles away in San Jose, Calif. The once dominant site was a frequent target of the Steiners’ blog posts on their site, called ECommerceBytes.

Among the items sent anonymously to the Steiners was a grief-themed book and a bloody pig mask.

Photo: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts (2)

That discovery kicked off a criminal investigation into an alleged corporate harassment campaign that reached into eBay’s executive ranks. The campaign was as bold as it was bizarre, beginning with pranks inspired by the 1988 movie “Johnny Be Good” and escalating to more sinister threats and stalking, according to the affidavit.

Last Monday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Massachusetts said it charged six former eBay executives and employees, all part of its security team, with taking part in a weekslong harassment campaign that included threatening emails and tweets, fake Craigslist posts and the mysterious deliveries.

Now the U.S. attorney’s office is investigating whether eBay targeted any other critics with harassment campaigns, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

This account of what happened is based on more than two dozen interviews with current and former eBay executives and people familiar with the company, government and police officials and documents released by the U.S. attorney’s office, including the affidavit from FBI agent Mark Wilson.

E-Commerce StrugglesEBay used to be more valuable, but recent years have beendifficult.Market valueSource: FactSet

The alleged cyberstalking campaign was launched soon after Devin Wenig, eBay’s chief executive at the time, and his chief communications officer, Steve Wymer, embarked on a more aggressive public-relations strategy that included challenging critics such as ECommerceBytes, people familiar with the matter say.

As part of that strategy, eBay executives tried to prove their suspicion that its rival Inc. was helping to fund ECommerceBytes, two of these people said. They ultimately didn’t find any evidence of that. An Amazon spokesman said the company has never funded the site.

Mr. Wenig’s wife, Cindy Wenig, had complained to eBay’s security team about the tone of ECommerceBytes’ reader comments about her husband, particularly after an unknown man had shown up at their house.

Mr. Wenig, who left the company last fall, said in an interview he didn’t order any type of harassment of the Steiners, nor was he aware of the security team’s efforts. Mr. Wenig said he was in a monthlong sabbatical in Italy when the alleged activity took place last August and didn’t find out the details until they were made public on June 15.

“It’s totally embarrassing, and it’s just ridiculous,” he said. “It’s so not the culture of the company.”

Mr. Wymer, his former communications chief, said, “I would never condone or participate in any such activity.”

Devin Wenig, who stepped down as eBay CEO last fall, said he didn’t order any type of harassment.

Photo: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg News

The woman said to have rented the car, Ms. Zea, an eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst, declined to comment. Mr. Harville, eBay’s former director of global resiliency, didn’t respond to requests for comment. They were two of the six charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

When Mr. Wenig took over eBay in 2015, the company had been struggling to compete with a surging Amazon in the marketplace business. He was intent on restoring it to its glory days as a tech darling. He sometimes wore a black T-shirt with a white pirate emblem, given to him by employees, to encourage disruptive thinking. He redesigned eBay’s logo and poured millions of dollars into renovating its San Jose headquarters.

Yet even as he sought to aggressively recast eBay as a Silicon Valley underdog, he often reacted forcefully to what he perceived as negative coverage of the company. Former employees say he could be set off by even the smallest of slights, including reader comments on blog posts, YouTube videos and media reports about his compensation. Some of his concerns about critical coverage or comments were voiced in text messages he exchanged with Mr. Wymer.

After a May 31, 2019, post on the Steiners’ site analyzed Mr. Wenig’s remarks at a shareholder meeting, according to the affidavit, the CEO texted Mr. Wymer. “I couldn’t care less what she says,” he said, referring to Ms. Steiner. “Take her down.” Mr. Wenig said he was referring to the aggressive media campaign.

EBay has at other times pressured detractors to remove negative content.

Longtime seller Casey Parris said eBay threatened him with a lawsuit if he didn't remove a YouTube video the company perceived to be negative.

Photo: Theresa Cox

In late 2018, eBay executives pushed longtime seller Casey Parris to remove what the company perceived to be a negative YouTube video about the company, saying the company “didn’t like the tone” and threatened a lawsuit if it wasn’t removed, Mr. Parris said.

When he asked his contact at eBay how the company would have even seen his video, Mr. Parris said, he was told that its security team was watching all the time. He said he recently told eBay about the incident and the company said it would investigate. “I’m still scared by it,” he said.

Another seller, Danni Ackerman, said eBay stopped inviting her to events after she started a YouTube channel that criticized policy changes that affected sellers, as part of what she called the company’s “bully culture.”

A spokeswoman for eBay said the company “has always sought out candid and constructive feedback from all of our stakeholders, in particular our seller community. We deeply value this input.”

In a blog post addressed to sellers last week, Jordan Sweetnam, head of eBay’s marketplace business in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, said the alleged acts by eBay security officials “were isolated incidents and not a systemic issue.” EBay held a private Zoom call Thursday for its sellers, assuring them that all the bad apples at the company were gone, and that eBay was looking into individual claims, according to a person familiar with the call.

ECommerceBytes was founded in 1999 after Mr. Steiner, 61 years old, an auction enthusiast and video producer, had difficulty placing a listing of video equipment on eBay. Figuring other sellers might also be having similar trouble, the Steiners launched the site—then called—to help others navigate the online commerce world.

Ms. Steiner, 58, a longtime writer and editor, writes most of the website’s content. Both of the Steiners are collectors, browsing garage sales in their free time.

“Here was a new market that no one was writing about, so they began to cover the market in an agnostic way,” said Gary Sohmers, an early eBay seller and longtime appraiser who knows the Steiners. The Steiners didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Though obscure, the site built a significant following among eBay sellers, with several thousand subscriptions by 2019. The reader comments on the posts were at times snarky and personal.

Some taunted eBay executives, including then-CEO Meg Whitman and John Donahoe, now CEO of Nike Inc. A comment from 2017 called Mr. Wenig the devil, according to the affidavit.

Share-price and index performanceSource: FactSetAs of June 24, 4:12 p.m. ET

Mr. Wenig, a New York transplant who once ran the financial and media businesses at Thomson Reuters Markets LLC., became CEO after eBay spun off payments giant PayPal Holdings Inc. in 2015.

In January 2019, hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a more than 4% stake in eBay and said the company should consider selling its StubHub ticketing business and classifieds-ads unit and focus on repairing its core marketplace.

By early that year, Mr. Wenig and his public-relations team had decided to alter the company’s public-relations strategy. Rather than responding to interview requests or sending out news releases, they planned to take a more aggressive approach with publications that wrote negative stories about eBay, according to people familiar with the decision.

In the recent interview, Mr. Wenig said he didn’t spend any more or less time than the average CEO thinking about media coverage. “I think all CEOs care about the coverage of their company,” he said.

In April 2019, Ms. Steiner wrote a short article about Mr. Wenig’s compensation, based on a public Securities and Exchange Commission filing, titled “eBay CEO Devin Wenig Earns 152 Times That of Employees.” A commenter posted: “What a foolish Board. What an overpaid empty suit. What a joke.”

According to the affidavit, Mr. Wymer, then eBay’s communications chief, texted Mr. Wenig that they would “crush this lady.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote a 164-word article about Mr. Wenig’s $18.2 million compensation around the same time, with the headline “Ebay Chief Executive Wenig Got Raise in 2018.”

“F— them,” Mr. Wenig texted Mr. Wymer, according to the affidavit. “The journal is next on the list” after Ms. Steiner. After brainstorming ways to go after the Journal, eBay employees ultimately abandoned the effort, according to people familiar with the plans.

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EBay executives decided to examine Amazon’s relationship with ECommerceBytes, hoping to be able to point out to a reporter or publish a blog post on its website arguing that it was improper for a publication to accept money from an e-commerce giant it was writing about, according to people familiar with those plans. EBay also is suing three Amazon employees who it claims worked to illegally recruit its third-party sellers.

By the summer of 2019, James Baugh, then eBay’s director of safety and security, was laying the groundwork for an alleged campaign to silence the Steiners, according to the affidavit. Mr. Baugh, a native of Arkansas and longtime security executive, joined the company in 2016.

At one meeting, the affidavit said, Mr. Baugh showed his team a clip from the 1988 film comedy “Johnny Be Good,” in which two friends arrange for a series of odd, unwanted deliveries to their football coach. Mr. Baugh allegedly said he wanted something similar to happen to the Steiners.

Mr. Wenig’s wife had texted Mr. Baugh in July about a reader comment that called Mr. Wenig a “con artist and thief,” under an ECommerceBytes article. “The author gets people worked up with the way she skews her stories,” Ms. Wenig wrote, according to the affidavit.

A spokeswoman said Ms. Wenig was concerned about the safety of her family after one commenter threatened a “crash landing” for Mr. Wenig shortly before the family was planning to fly to Italy.

In an August text exchange cited in an FBI affidavit, Steve Wymer, then the company’s chief communications officer, told eBay's former senior director of safety and security, James Baugh, that he would ‘embrace managing any bad fall out’ from actions taken against the Steiners.

Photo: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

ECommerceBytes published several more negative stories about eBay around the time of its annual seller conference in Las Vegas in July 2019. A text exchange cited in the affidavit indicates that after being alerted to the stories by Mr. Wymer, Mr. Wenig texted him: “If you are ever going to take her down, now is the time.”

“On it,” Mr. Wymer responded.

He texted Mr. Baugh the message from Mr. Wenig, adding, “She is biased troll who needs to get BURNED DOWN.”

“Copy that,” Mr. Baugh said. “I have a plan B. I will put it in motion.”

In meetings with his analysts and other members of eBay’s security team, Mr. Baugh warned that the campaign had to be kept confidential, but told them he had support of executive management.

According to the affidavit, the planned campaign against the Steiners was supposed to have two parts. After the initial harassment, eBay would begin a “white-knight strategy” of offering to help the victims end the mysterious communications and deliveries, the affidavit said. Local police stepped in before that happened.

Mr. Baugh, who also was charged by the U.S. attorney’s office, didn’t respond to requests for comment, nor did his lawyer.

In Natick, Ms. Steiner began getting dozens of emails and newsletters she hadn’t signed up for with subjects like “Cat Faeries,” and “the Satanic Temple.” An anonymous Twitter user sent her private messages, demanding her response and then threatening “I guess im goin to have to get ur attention another way bitch…”

An anonymous Craigslist ad targeting the Steiners.

Photo: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

On Craigslist, a post popped up with the Steiners’ address, and a title “M/F couple seeking activity partner.” Another post announced “BLOCK PARTY in Natick - Let’s have some fun!”, again with the couple’s address, and inviting people to stop by “anytime of day or night.”

Once the police connected the activity to eBay, the executives involved allegedly tried to cover their tracks.

Mr. Baugh sent a message from his personal cellphone to Mr. Wymer, saying he and members of his team were cooperating, that they had done nothing illegal, and asking “if there is any way to get some top cover that would be great.” Mr. Baugh directed his team members to delete their WhatsApp and phone data, according to the affidavit.

The eBay board’s audit committee learned of the investigation in late August, and the broader board was briefed the following month during a five-hour call led by lawyers at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, according to people familiar with the matter. The board was told the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Wenig was aware of the actions, these people said.

The company placed Messrs. Baugh and Harville and another member of the security team on administrative leave on Aug. 30. The company later fired all six who were charged, and Mr. Wymer.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling announced charges against the former eBay employees on June 15.

Photo: CJ Gunther/EPA/Shutterstock

When Mr. Wenig was pushed out as CEO in late September, the directors said the main reasons were the company’s financial performance and his disagreement with a large investor about the best path forward for the company, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation also played a role, and directors blamed him for setting a cutthroat tone at the top. Mr. Wenig received a $57 million exit package.

On the day the U.S. attorney’s office announced its charges, Ms. Steiner posted the press release to ECommerceBytes, with no further comment.

Amazon executives secretly insulted a warehouse worker, then attacked him on Twitter in vile corporate smear campaign


Leaked meeting notes detail the corporate attack plan by Jay Carney to smear Chris Smalls

After firing Chris Smalls, who helped organize a warehouse worker strike at Amazon’s Staten Island, New York facility over novel coronavirus safety, Amazon executives publicly attacked him on Twitter. Now we might know why. Leaked meeting notes obtained by Vice News lay out a plan for executives to smear Smalls and make him the focus of the company’s effort to discredit a growing labor movement inside the company.

“He’s not smart, or articulate, and to the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position than simply explaining for the umpteenth time how we’re trying to protect workers,” said David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel, in the meeting notes, which Vice News reports were forwarded throughout the company.

“We should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organizer’s conduct was immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety,” Zapolsky continued. “Make him the most interesting part of the story, and if possible make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement.”

Zapolsky confirmed the authenticity of the memo by explaining his comments: “I let my emotions draft my words and get the better of me,” he said in a statement given to the The Verge. But instead of apologizing for denigrating Smalls, he continued to attack him using the same strategy outlined in his memo. “I was frustrated and upset that an Amazon employee would endanger the health and safety of other Amazonians by repeatedly returning to the premises after having been warned to quarantine himself after exposure to virus Covid-19,” Zapolsky said.

An Amazon spokesperson said the company could not confirm or comment on the authenticity of any email or memo from Zapolsky.

Smalls helped organize the warehouse walkout that took place on Monday to protest the company’s handling of COVID-19. Smalls and other workers were upset at how Amazon has been dealing with unsanitary warehouse working conditions in the event a worker is diagnosed with the illness.

Amazon has only closed facilities when being forced to do so by government authorities, deciding instead to instruct workers to stay at home and maintain normal operations. Workers have complained that Amazon has not properly informed employees about infections, and they accused the company of avoiding sanitary procedures unless forced to shut down facilities for deep cleaning.

Last week, Amazon shut down a returns processing warehouse in Kentucky after three employees tested positive and the governor forced the site to close. Earlier this month, a sortation center in Queens, New York, was shut down for cleaning after workers walked out to protest the handling of COVID-19 cases at the facility.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) harshly criticized Amazon on Twitter for its handling of the situation, writing, “It’s disgraceful that Amazon, which is owned by the richest man in the world, is not only failing to protect its workers but has now fired a worker for protesting dangerous conditions.”

This prompted two Amazon senior vice presidents (SVPs) to publicly respond to Sanders with lines of argument that appear consistent with Zapolsky’s recommended PR strategy. Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP of global operations, accused Sanders of being “misinformed again” and said Smalls “violated social distancing rules multiple times.”

Jay Carney, a former press secretary in the Obama administration who is now Amazon’s SVP of global corporate affairs, wrote, “Mr. Smalls purposely violated social distancing rules, repeatedly, & was put on Paid 14-day quarantine for COVID exposure. 3/30 he returned to the site. Knowingly putting our team at risk is unacceptable.”

Carney, who has become especially combative on Twitter of late when talking to members of the news media, proceeded to engage with a number of replies to his tweets accusing critics of being “pathetic” and responding with “ad hominem vitriol,” he says.

In a blog post published late Thursday, Clark officially responded to the controversy in what is Amazon’s most direct response to the ongoing wave of employee protests and criticism over its handling of worker safety. Clark says Amazon respects “the rights of these employees to protest,” but he goes on to defend the firing of Smalls and further frame the issue as a workplace safety matter. He also indirectly accuses Smalls of putting “the heath of others at risk”:

We want to be very clear that we respect the rights of these employees to protest and recognize their legal right to do so. At the same time, these rights do not provide a blanket immunity against bad actions, particularly those that endanger the health, and potentially the lives, of colleagues. It is vitally important that we keep people safe during this pandemic, and one of the primary ways we can do that is to ensure everyone at our sites is taking precautions, such as social distancing, frequent hand washing, and disinfecting surfaces. We have taken and will continue to take strong actions to enforce compliance with our health and safety programs at all levels of the team, from front line employees through senior leaders. This is not about any one individual. When anyone on our team at any level purposely puts the health of others at risk, we will take swift, decisive action without concern about external reaction. We did not, and have not ever, terminated an associate for speaking out on their working conditions, but we will act swiftly with individuals who purposely put others at risk.

Smalls has disputed the claims, saying he was the only person of multiple workers who interacted with the worker who tested positive. He also has disputed the timeline of events, saying Amazon only instructed him to begin self-quarantining shortly before the strike, despite having come into contact with the worker who tested positive nearly two weeks prior.

“I am outraged and disappointed, but I’m not shocked,” Smalls said in a statement at the time. “As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe.”


Newly obtained evidence indicates the woman who made false allegations against former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, was bribed to willfully lie under oath and engaged in extensive perjury in the effort to oust the rising star from office, according to a police source with knowledge of an investigation into the circuit attorney’s misconduct.

Katrina “Kitty” Sneed, testified under oath that she secretly met with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a George Soros funded prosecutor, in a hotel room in January and February of 2018.

Following the secret meeting, Gardner charged Greitens with felony invasion of privacy in February 2018 for allegedly taking nude a photograph of Sneed without her consent and threatening to use the photo for blackmail.  Greitens denied the allegations and Gardner never produced any evidence.

Sneed, a 37-year old hairdresser, claimed during the deposition that the meeting with Gardner prompted her to come forward with a series of allegations against the then-Missouri Governor.

TRENDING: EXCLUSIVE: Police Source: Woman Who Framed Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Guilty of Perjury, Bribed With Cash Payment. 

When questioned under oath to corroborate the charges, Sneed admitted she was reluctant to testify because she might have been remembering her accusations, the heart of the criminal case, “through a dream.”

When subsequently deposed, Sneed claimed she had never seen the photograph Greitens allegedly had taken of her and that at the time she also saw no phone or camera to take the photograph.

During Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy trial in May 2018, a forensic examiner extracted data from Greitens’ cellphone and email account. The examination revealed no photograph of Sneed was ever taken or deleted by Greitens.

Gardner withdrew her indictment of Greitens when the judge ordered that Gardner herself would have to testify in the case.

Now, damning evidence has surfaced allegedly proving Sneed repeatedly perjured herself in her bid to frame the former governor and Navy Seal.

While leveling baseless charges against Greitens, Sneed repeatedly lied under oath to corroborate her allegations. She claimed no one else had ever taken nude images her. She claimed that she never had an extramarital affair with anyone other than with Greitens, and she insisted that she “could not recall” details of the prosecution’s alleged misconduct.  Each of these claims is now being investigated.

Sneed and her ex-husband Phil Sneed regularly engaged in sending graphic sexual images of themselves to their friends and associates, Special Prosecutor Gerard Carmody’s investigation into Gardner’s prosecutorial misconduct has revealed.

The forensic evaluation of Sneed’s devices reveals she and her ex-husband repeatedly sent text messages accompanied by X-rated photographs, a police source with knowledge of the special prosecutor’s investigation told the Gateway Pundit. The messages indicate that the images are of Phil and Katrina Sneed engaged in graphic sexual activity.

The officer, who asked that his name be withheld for security reasons, told Gateway Pundit the special prosecutor uncovered further evidence on Sneed’s devices proving she has engaged in other extramarital affairs.

Additionally, evidence is mounting that Sneed conspired with Gardner to conceal prosecutorial misconduct.

In the course of pursuing charges against Greitens, Gardner hired former FBI agent William Tisaby to interview Sneed. In March 2018, Tisaby falsely claimed during a sworn deposition that he did not take notes during his nearly 2-hour interview with Sneed, that he asked Sneed no questions, and that the video he recorded of Sneed during the interview malfunctioned.

Under oath, Katrina Sneed affirmed that she believed Tisaby’s videotape malfunctioned, claimed she could not remember whether Tisaby took notes, that she could not remember if she discussed the subject of notes with Kim Gardner, and she supported Tisaby’s false assertion that he asked no questions during the interview.

William Tisaby has been charged with seven felonies for perjury and evidence tampering in the Greitens case.  Tisaby’s trial is slated to begin June 26, while Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner remains under active criminal investigation for her allegedly illegal efforts to oust the Republican Governor.

Special Prosecutor Gerard Carmody’s office did not return the Gateway Pundit’s repeated requests for comment.  Messages left for Katrina Sneed and her attorney Scott Simpson were not returned.

The associates of Phil and Katrina Sneed, who received the graphic sexual images sent by the couple, declined to comment on how frequently the Sneeds sent such images.

Sneed also, sources believe, allegedly profited from her lies against Greitens.

Scott Faughn, a convicted felon, publisher of the Missouri Times, and associate of former Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, admittedly delivered $120,000 in cash to Philip Sneed’s attorney, Albert Watkins, a cash delivery Watkins corroborated in testimony before the Missouri House Committee.

A portion of the $120,000 was used to benefit Katrina Sneed, sources with knowledge of Carmody’s investigation, who are not authorized to publicly discuss the case, told the Gateway Pundit.

In October 2018, Watkins plead guilty to violating court orders in the Greitens case.

After a 20-month investigation, the Missouri Ethics Commission “ in Feb. 2020 found no evidence of any wrongdoing by Eric Greitens” and the governor who was forced to resign amid unsubstantiated allegations was fully exonerated.

Greitens is currently serving in the Navy Reserve. Earlier this month, he filed to run for office in Missouri in 2024.

“It feels great now that the truth has come out,” he told the Gateway Pundit. “ I’m glad to have been exonerated. The future is very bright and I’m very optimistic and really hopeful.

“One of the things that you learn going through SEAL team training is that great hardship can actually produce great strength. And while this was painful, it certainly led to a lot of wisdom. While there was a lot of suffering it also led to a lot of strength. I am incredibly thankful for the prayers and support of so many people who stood with me through all of this.”

After Greitens gained national prominence in law enforcement circles for “defeating Antifa,” Gardner, whose campaign received 70 percent of its funding from progressive billionaire George Soros, began targeting Greitens.

“It’s clear that a Soros prosecutor and establishment insiders were desperate to overturn the 2016 election and this is just one more alleged example of the kind of perjury, evidence tampering and lies that they engaged in. We knew that national liberals and insiders were coming after us,” he said. “Now it’s good that the whole world is beginning to see the truth.

“The best thing that I can do and the best thing that conservatives and outsiders can do is to continue to fight, continue to serve, continue to make a difference. Soros, prosecutors like Kim Gardner who he funds, and the establishment – they will be relentless and continue to attack us. No matter the damage that they do – no matter the difficulties that they put in front of us – we have to find ways to continue to fight.”

As violence marked by arson, looting, murder, and the shooting of multiple police officers has overtaken Missouri following the death of George Floyd, interest in Greitens’ story has peaked and lawmakers across the country have reached out to him for guidance on how to restore order in the districts.

In 2017, after Jason Stockley, a white police officer, was found innocent in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, an African American man, Antifa radicals and anti-police activists descended on Missouri from around the country. Greitens successfully kept the peace through strong support for law enforcement and the facilitation of peaceful protests. Every 20 minutes in America, a character assassin attacks a member of the public.

How To Prove That A California Politician Is Lying To You

By Conrad Brown

Aside from the standard retort: "when their mouth is moving"; it is unfair to assume that every politician has based their lives on political corruption.

Here is how to determine, with absolute certainty, if your public official is a lying scumbag that is just saying some "feel good" crap in order to trick you into letting them get away with their stock market scams.

You ask then to prove to you that they, and their family members, are not receiving the following quid-pro-quo: Billions of dollars of Google, Twitter, Facebook, Tesla, Netflix and Sony Pictures stock and stock warrants which is never reported to the FEC; Billions of dollars of Google, Twitter, Facebook, Tesla, Netflix and Sony Pictures search engine rigging and shadow-banning which is never reported to the FEC; Free rent; Male and female prostitutes; Cars; Dinners; Party Financing; Sports Event Tickets; Political campaign printing and mailing services "Donations"; Secret PAC Financing; Jobs in Corporations in Silicon Valley For The Family Members of Those Who Take Bribes And Those Who Take Bribes; "Consulting" contracts from McKinsey as fronted pay-off gigs; Overpriced "Speaking Engagements" which are really just pay-offs conduited for donors; Private jet rides and use of Government fuel depots (ie: Google handed out NASA jet fuel to staff); Real Estate; Fake mortgages; The use of Cayman, Boca Des Tores, Swiss and related money-laundering accounts; Bribes to Stanford officials to admit their kids to college; The use of HSBC, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Deustche Bank money laundering accounts and covert stock accounts; Free spam and bulk mailing services owned by Silicon Valley corporations; Use of high tech law firms such as Perkins Coie, Wilson Sonsini, MoFo, Covington & Burling, etc. to conduit bribes to officials; and other means now documented by us, The FBI, the FTC, The SEC, The FEC and journalists.

Then you ask the FBI, GAO, SEC, FEC, FTC and Congress (who work for you, the taxpayer) to prove it to you.

Then you ask the community service forensics groups like Cause Of Action, Judicial Watch, Sunlight Foundation, ICIJ, Ralph Nader, and all of the other public forensics groups to prove it to you.

Then you buy some books on "How To Be A Private Investigator" and prove it to yourself.

Then you can see if they are lying or not.

For example; the politicians and families of Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, etc. own the companies that offer the "solutions" to green energy "problems" that they promote. In other words: These politicians control and exploit the profits to the thing they are screaming about! They positioned themselves to make exclusive profits on issues that they made into big deals!

Tilak Doshi reveals that widespread view that fossil fuels are “dirty” and renewables such as wind and solar energy and electric vehicles are “clean” has become a fixture of mainstream media and policy assumptions across the political spectrum in developed countries. Indeed the ultimate question we are led to believe is how quickly can enlightened Western governments, led by an alleged scientific consensus, “decarbonize” with clean energy in a race to save the world from impending climate catastrophe. The ‘net zero by 2050’ mantra, calling for carbon emissions to be completely mitigated within three decades, is now the clarion call by governments and intergovernmental agencies around the developed world, ranging from several EU member states and the UK, to the International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund.

Let’s start with Elon Musk’s Tesla. In an astonishing achievement for a company that has now posted four consecutive quarters of profits, Tesla is now the world’s most valuable automotive company. Demand for EVs is set to soar, as government policies subsidize the purchase of EVs to replace the internal combustion engine of gasoline and diesel-driven cars and as owning a “clean” and “green” car becomes a moral testament to many a virtue-signaling customer.

Yet, if one looks under the hood of “clean energy” battery-driven EVs, the dirt found would surprise most. The most important component in the EV is the lithium-ion rechargeable battery which relies on critical mineral commodities such as cobalt, graphite, lithium, and manganese. Tracing the source of these minerals, in what is called “full-cycle economics”, it becomes apparent that EVs create a trail of dirt from the mining and processing of minerals upstream.

A recent United Nations report warns that the raw materials used in electric car batteries are highly concentrated in a small number of countries where environmental and labour regulations are weak or non-existent. Thus, battery production for EVs is driving a boom in small-scale or “artisanal” cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo which supplies two thirds of global output of the mineral. These artisanal mines, which account for up to a quarter of the country’s production, have been found to be dangerous and employ child labour.

Mindful of what the image of children scrabbling for hand-dug minerals in Africa can do to high tech’s clean and green image, most tech and auto companies using cobalt and other toxic heavy metals avoid direct sourcing from mines. Tesla Inc. TSLA -0.8% struck a deal last month with Swiss-based Glencore Plc to buy as much as 6,000 tons of cobalt annually from the latter’s Congolese mines. While Tesla has said it aims to remove reputational risks associated with sourcing minerals from countries such as the DRC where corruption is rampant, Glencore  assures buyers that no hand-dug cobalt is treated at its mechanized mines.

There are 7.2 million battery EVs or about 1% of the total vehicle fleet today. To get an idea of the scale of mining for raw materials involved in replacing the world’s gasoline and diesel-fueled cars with EVs, we can take the example of the UK as provided by Michael Kelly, the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. According to Professor Kelly, if we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs,  assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials: about twice the annual global production of cobalt; three quarters of the world’s production lithium carbonate; nearly the entire world production of neodymium; and more than half the world’s production of copper in 2018.

And this is just for the UK. Professor Kelly estimates that if we want the whole world to be transported by electric vehicles, the vast increases in the supply of the raw materials listed above would go far beyond known reserves. The environmental and social impact of vastly-expanded mining for these materials — some of which are highly toxic when mined, transported and processed – in countries afflicted by corruption and poor human rights records can only be imagined. The clean and green image of EVs stands in stark contrast to the realities of manufacturing batteries.

Proponents of EVs might counter by saying that despite these evident environmental and social problems associated with mining in many third world countries, the case remains that EVs help reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with the internal combustion engines run on gasoline and diesel fuels. According to the reigning climate change narrative, it is after all carbon dioxide emissions that are threatening environmental catastrophe on a global scale. For the sake of saving the world, the climate crusaders of the richer nations might be willing to ignore the local pollution and human rights violations involved in mining for minerals and rare earths in Africa, China, Latin America and elsewhere.

While one might question the inherent inequity in imposing such a trade-off, the supposed advantages of EVs in emitting lower carbon emissions are overstated according to a peer-reviewed life-cycle study comparing conventional and electric vehicles. To begin with, about half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially in the mining and processing of raw materials needed for the battery. This compares unfavorably with the manufacture of a gasoline-powered car which accounts for 17% of the car’s lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When a new EV appears in the show-room, it has already caused 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The equivalent amount for manufacturing a conventional car is 14,000 pounds.

Once on the road, the carbon dioxide emissions of EVs depends on the power-generation fuel used to recharge its battery. If it comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will lead to about 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every mile it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gasoline-powered car. Even without reference to the source of electricity used for battery charging, if an EV is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the EV will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles. Even if the EV is driven for 90,000 miles and the battery is charged by cleaner natural-gas fueled power stations, it will cause just 24% less carbon-dioxide emission than a gasoline-powered car. As the skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg puts it, “This is a far cry from ‘zero emissions’".

As most ordinary people mindful of keeping within modest budgets choose affordable gasoline or diesel-powered cars, experts and policy advisors the world over have felt compelled to tilt the playing field in favor of EVs. EV subsidies are regressive: given their high upfront cost, EVs are only  affordable for high-income households. It is egregious that EV subsides are funded by the average tax-payer so that the rich can buy their EVs at subsidized prices. 

The determination not to know or to look away when the facts assail our beliefs is an enduring frailty of human nature. The tendency towards group think and confirmation bias, and the will to affirm the “scientific consensus” and marginalize sceptics, are rife in considerations by the so-called experts committed to advocating their favorite cause. In the case of EVs, the dirty secrets of “clean energy” should seem apparent to all but, alas, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

So these politicians are lying and covering up safety defects and corruption in order to protect their business partner Elon Musk. Musk puts money in their pockets.

It is even worse than that!

Capital Corruption

Brianne Burr, says that politicians break the very same laws they create. Federal officials recently found three California senators to be corrupt.

While no state or country is completely immune from corruption, some are worse than others. The state of California, for example, has seen significant government corruption in recent times. This corruption can drastically affect the lives of its leaders, but more importantly, citizens are impacted directly.

Three state senators in California have been found to be corrupt by federal officials. These state senators were suspended from attending sessions of the California State senate. And while their corrupt voices are banned, the people they represent have no voice at all.

Sadly, this is only true of those who are caught. Former mayors and current city officials have been arrested for political corruption, and still the problem remains. There are governmental structures in place that enable and indeed, encourage corruption in our public officials. And because of it, far more engage in corruption without getting caught and punished.

How Much California Corruption Should We Tolerate?

In an article published in City Watch LA, Clinton Galloway asks us, “How much should we tolerate?” He indicates that if the same ratio of corruption were to exist in the city of Los Angeles, roughly 50K would be felons and 100K would be federally indicted for major crimes.

“While we will not tolerate anarchy in the streets, we will tolerate it in our legislative bodies,” he says.

Galloway’s poignant question alludes to a greater problem than corruption in our government. Yes, there is structure in place that fosters corruption and fails to dissuade it. But the people allow these things to happen. We do not do much to call corruption, generally speaking, but simply voice our distrust our government.

One final question posed by Galloway asks us, what does law even mean if we do not have integrity to uphold it? We see politicians creating laws and breaking them. We see politicians make oaths to uphold the law, and yet they behave as though they are above the law.

And what of those public officials who strive to honestly and judiciously govern? Each day, their numbers seem to diminish as corruption spreads to more of our governmental bodies. The FBI must overtly arrest each of these crooks and do it sooner than later!


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