Las Vegas Nevada TSA Agent Slapped Man’s Gentials As Punishment For Refusing To Enter X-Ray Machine

October 10, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – A frequent flier is speaking out about an incident in which a TSA agent allegedly slapped his testicles as punishment for opting out of the naked body scanner at a Nevada airport.
Steven deForest was flying out of Las Vegas when the incident occurred.

“A bulky young TSA agent came over to pat me down,” he told the Huffington Post. “He told me to turn around. He was using his command voice, barking orders. I told him that I wasn’t comfortable turning away from my luggage, which had already been screened, and wanted to keep it in my sight.”

According to deForest, the screener knelt down to begin the pat-down procedure before making a shocking move.

“As he raised his hands he was looking at me. Then he gave a quick flick and smacked me in one of my testicles,” deForest said.

The episode left deForest in a state of “humiliation, rage, and frustration,” according to the report.

DeForest believes the agent slapped his gentials as punishment for refusing to enter the backscatter x-ray machine. “I was deliberately assaulted by someone who knew that he could get away with it,” he stated.
While the motives of the TSA screener cannot be confirmed, other agents have already admitted to performing invasive pat downs in order to force air travelers to choose the body scanners instead.
TSA screeners described this goal to The Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010, when the enhanced pat downs were being implemented for the first time:

I asked [the screener] if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. “Nobody’s going to do it,” he said, “once they find out what we’re going to do.”
In other words, people, when faced with a choice, will inevitably choose the [body scanner] over molestation? “That’s what we’re hoping for. We’re trying to get everyone into the machine.”

“The obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose high-tech humiliation over the low-tech [testicle] check,” Goldberg concluded. If deForest’s disturbing testimony is accurate, then Goldberg might just be right.

Appeared Here


Congressmen Press Army To Purchase Tanks That It Doesn’t Need – 2000 Parked In Nevada Collecting Dust And No New Purchases, Which Will Save Taxpayers Billions

October 10, 2012

HERLONG, CALIFORNIA – If you need an example of why it is hard to cut the budget in Washington look no further than this Army depot in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada range.

CNN was allowed rare access to what amounts to a parking lot for more than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks. Here, about an hour’s drive north of Reno, Nevada, the tanks have been collecting dust in the hot California desert because of a tiff between the Army and Congress.

The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation’s defense needs – so there’s no sense in making repairs to these now, the Army’s chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress earlier this year.

If the Pentagon holds off repairing, refurbishing or making new tanks for three years until new technologies are developed, the Army says it can save taxpayers as much as $3 billion.

That may seem like a lot of money, but it’s a tiny sacrifice for a Defense Department that will cut $500 billion from its budget over the next decade and may be forced to cut a further $500 billion if a deficit cutting deal is not reached by Congress.

Why is this a big deal? For one, the U.S. hasn’t stopped producing tanks since before World War II, according to lawmakers.

Plus, from its point of view the Army would prefer to decide what it needs and doesn’t need to keep America strong while making tough economic cuts elsewhere.

“When a relatively conservative institution like the U.S. military, which doesn’t like to take risks because risks get people killed, says it has enough tanks, I think generally civilians should be inclined to believe them,” said Travis Sharp a fellow at the defense think tank, New American Security.

But guess which group of civilians isn’t inclined to agree with the generals on this point?

Congress.

To be exact, 173 House members – Democrats and Republicans – sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks.

That’s right. Lawmakers who frequently and loudly proclaim that presidents should listen to generals when it comes to battlefield decisions are refusing to take its own advice.

If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation’s industrial economy, lawmakers say.

“The combat vehicle industrial base is a unique asset that consists of hundreds of public and private facilities across the United States,” the letter said. The outlook for selling Abrams tanks to other nations appears “stronger than prior years,” the letter said. But those sales would be “inadequate to sustain the industrial base and in some cases uncertain. In light of this, modest and continued Abrams production for the Army is necessary to protect the industrial base.”

Lima, Ohio, is a long way from this dusty tank parking lot. The tiny town in the eastern part of the Buckeye State is where defense manufacturing heavyweight General Dynamics makes these 60-plus-ton behemoths.

The tanks create 16,000 jobs and involve 882 suppliers, says Kendell Pease, the company’s vice-president of government relations and communications. That job figure includes ancillary positions like gas station workers who fill up employees’ cars coming and going to the plant.

Many of the suppliers for tank manufacturing are scattered around the country so the issue of stopping production or refurbishment becomes a parochial one: congressional representatives don’t want to kill any jobs in their districts, especially as the economy struggles during an election year.

“General Dynamics is not the industrial base,” Pease said. “It is small vendors.”

But General Dynamics certainly has a stake in the battle of the tanks and is making sure its investment is protected, according to research done by The Center for Public Integrity, a journalism watchdog group.

What its reporters found was General Dynamics campaign contributions given to lawmakers at key times, such as around congressional hearings, on whether or not to build more tanks.

“We aren’t saying there’s vote buying” said Aaron Metha, one of the report’s authors. “We are saying it’s true in pretty much all aspects of politics – but especially the defense industry. It’s almost impossible to separate out the money that is going into elections and the special interests. And what we found was the direct spike in the giving around certain important dates that were tied to votes.”

Pease said General Dynamics is bipartisan in its giving and there is nothing suspicious in the timing of its donations to members of the House and Senate. The giving is tied to when fundraisers are held in Washington – which is also when Congress is in session, he said.

Lawmakers that CNN interviewed denied that donations influenced their decisions to keep the tanks rolling.

Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California and chairman of the House armed services committee, said he didn’t know General Dynamics had given him $56,000 in campaign contributions since 2009 until CNN asked him about it.

“You know, the Army has a job to do and we have a job to do,” McKeon said. “And they have tough choices because they’ve been having their budget cut.”

McKeon said he’s thinking about the long range view. “… If someone could guarantee us that we’ll never need tanks in the future, that would be good. I don’t see that guarantee.”

Appeared Here


iHeartRadio Screws Greenday, Reduces Play Time From 20 To 1 Minutes To Make More Time For Savage Black Beast Usher

September 23, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – With nearly a quarter of a century of music under their belts they certainly have plenty of material.

So perhaps it is understandable why Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong went on a foul-mouthed tirade after his band’s playing time was cut to make way for Usher at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas.

The 40-year-old Dookie star flew off the handle when he discovered 20 minutes were getting shaved off their set to make room for more mainstream acts.

It all kicked off when he noticed that producers had run down his time to one minute.

The pint-sized punk stopped performing mid-song, pointed out the clock to the audience, and then started ranting and swearing uncontrollably.

He said: ‘You’re going to give me one minute? One f***ing minute? I’ve been around since f***ing ninteen eighty f***ing eight and you’re going to give me one f***ing minute?

‘I’m not f***ing Justin Bieber, you motherf***ers.’

Ironically, Billie was actually in error, as the band he founded actually started playing in 1987.

He said the word f*** more than 20 times in the single minute he had left, before organisers turned his microphone off.

But the angry star was not finished as he decided to smash up his guitar onstage.

As the hot-tempered entertainer walked off, he had some final words to say, telling fans, ‘We’ll be back.’

Not everyone was happy at his behaviour though, with one fan saying on YouTube: ‘I think he deserves to be mad, but why the hell did he was cursing like that?

‘I’m a big Green Day fan, but I think he didn’t have to do all this drama ON the stage because that was so unprofessional, and also that Bieber comment was really unnecessary.

‘And also that “f***ing” “f***” “f***/ers” words every 2 seconds…’

After becoming an underground success, Green Day’s major label debut Dookie in 1994 helped revive interest in the flailing genre.

It ended up selling more than 10 million copies in the US alone.

They have continued to be a successful touring and recording unit, with their last album 21st Century Breakdown being their biggest chart success to date.

It reached number one in the US, UK and Europe, and won a Grammy award for best rock album.

Appeared Here


Las Vegas Nevada Police Officer Chases Car With Dead Driver

August 7, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – A Las Vegas police officer was in his patrol car in the central valley late Sunday afternoon when a Nissan Maxima that appeared to be steering itself ran through a red light.

It was no ordinary traffic offense, Homicide Lt. Ray Steiber said.

The officer was startled as the Maxima continued south on Martin Luther King Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard, because there didn’t appear to be anyone in the driver’s seat.

Steiber said the officer tailed the Maxima with his patrol vehicle as the Maxima continued south. Then the Maxima jumped a median and crossed the northbound lanes into a landscape area near a church.

But the chase wasn’t over. The Maxima veered back onto Martin Luther King south in the northbound lanes, at which point it struck another vehicle. The collision occurred near Jimmy Avenue and Martin Luther King.

When the Maxima came to a stop, the officer peered inside and saw what the problem was: A man who was shot multiple times was slouched in the driver’s seat.

The unidentified man, who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the crash.

The maroon Maxima had bullet holes in its driver’s side, Steiber said.

He added the man who was shot must have had his foot on the accelerator, and the haphazard chase lasted between 10 and 15 seconds after the Maxima drove through the intersection.

The incident occurred about 6:09 p.m.

Steiber said late Sunday night police had no witnesses, and no motive.

“We want to know what happened,” Steiber said. “We don’t know how long he had been unconscious. We don’t know how long prior to this coming to an end had he been shot.”

Steiber said police received 911 calls of gunshots just before the officer spotted the Maxima. The calls were made from north of the Martin Luther King, Lake Mead intersection.

Appeared Here


Energy Company Closes Manufacturing Plant – 20 Million Taxpayer Dollars Down The Drain

July 19, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened.

Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week, but the company began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells, in an online auction Wednesday.

A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits for the North Las Vegas plant and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007 for research and development.

Rene Kenerly, a former material and supply manager at Amonix, said the plant has been idle since May 1, when he was laid off. At its peak, the plant had about 700 employees working three shifts a day to produce solar panels for a utility in Amarosa, Colo., he said.

“I don’t think they had a lot of training,” Kenerly said. “There were a lot of quality issues. A lot of stuff was coming back because it had some functionality issues.”

The Amonix plant was highly touted by political leaders and economic development officials when it opened in May 2011. Company executives said they would employ as many as 300 assembly line workers paid $12 to $14 an hour, plus benefits.

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Gov. Brian Sandoval were among the political leaders who lauded the company when it announced it would start making solar panels in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park. Reid in particular has pushed for solar energy research and development in Nevada, drawing parallels between the value of Nevada sunshine and Saudi Arabian oil.

“Last year, Amonix CEO Brian Robert­son was tragically killed in a plane crash and unfortunately the company was unable to recover from this difficult time,” Reid said Wednesday in an email statement. “Some people will be tempted to use today’s unfortunate news for political gain. But I am hopeful that the bipartisan support for this project and the public-private partnership that helped make this and many other projects possible will not be degraded by dirty energy supporters for their own profit or political gain. The clean energy sector is too important to Nevada’s future, and I hope that those that publicly acknowledge this will continue to strengthen the bipartisan support for renewable energy programs and incentives that exists in Nevada.”

Department of Energy press secretary Jen Stutsman noted that the project had bipartisan support from elected officials, including Republicans Sandoval and North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck.

Amonix was selected for a grant under the Bush administration’s Department of Energy in 2007 and eventually received a total of $15.6 million under the grant, she said.

“The global solar industry is facing significant challenges that are impacting solar manufacturers worldwide,” Stutsman said Wednesday from Washing­ton. “Amonix, an innovative solar startup company with strong backing from Republicans as well as Democrats, received a tax credit to expand its American manufacturing operations and help ensure the United States continues to compete for the manufacturing jobs of the future. While today’s news is disappointing, the United States simply can’t afford to cede America’s role in the growing, highly competitive solar energy industry.”

The company announced 200 layoffs in January, one month after Robertson was killed in a plane crash in Penn­sylvania, but a representative at the time said the plant was “retooling to redeploy our next generation utility-scale CPV (concentrated photovoltaic) solar power system” and would “ramp back up based on the manufacturing build plan in second half of 2012.”

Mary-Sarah Kinner, press secretary for Gov. Sandoval, also noted Robertson’s death.

“After the tragic loss of their CEO late last year, today’s news is a sad ending for Amonix,” Kinner said. “The governor supported a company which was expanding to Nevada and creating jobs in a targeted economic development sector, which is a priority for him.”

Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s rapid response team is doing all it can to assist displaced workers in finding new employment, she said.

North Las Vegas Mayor Buck and city economic development officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 1989, Amonix is headquartered in Seal Beach with additional facilities in Torrance, Calif., and North Las Vegas.

The company had a five-year lease on the North Las Vegas site with Operating Engineers. Donna Alderson, a CB Richard Ellis broker in charge of leasing the building, said she was told the facility would be vacated by the end of July and go on the market for lease at about 30 cents per square foot.

The North Las Vegas plant was a joint venture with Singapore’s Flextronics Industrial. Amonix founder and chairman Vahan Garboushian had estimated capital investment of $15 million in the plant, including equipment, construction and tenant improvements.

Kenerly, the former Amonix manager, said many investors pulled back after Robertson’s death and the company was about $100 million in debt, including $34 million owed to Flextronics.

Bombard Electric, the Las Vegas contractor that did the electrical work, has placed a lien on the property used for the solar panels, he said.

Mitchell “Moe” Truman, president of Pan Western, a transportation service in North Las Vegas, said his company is owed about $60,000 for shipping Amonix products to and from Colorado.

“I’ll never see that money,” Truman said. “I’d like to know how they burned through that money.”

POLITICAL FALLOUT

In July 2010, President Barack Obama talked up the Amonix plant during a Nevada visit to support Reid’s re-election, saying tax credits for the plant provided by federal economic stimulus efforts had already made an “extraordinary impact.”

“Now, the only problem we have is these credits were working so well, there aren’t enough tax credits to go around,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“There are more worthy projects than there are tax credits. When we announced the program last year, it was such a success we received 500 applications requesting over $8 billion in tax credits, but we only had $2.3 billion to invest. In other words, we had almost four times as many worthy requests as we had tax credits.”

The plant’s closure quickly became a political football in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race.

“Congresswoman Berkley, when you voted for the trillion dollar stimulus, you promised it would create 34,000 jobs in Nevada,” wrote Chandler Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, the incumbent Republican Berkley is challenging. “Nevada lost jobs. Congresswoman Berkley, you pushed $6 million in funding to a company that has created zero long-term jobs for Nevada. It’s time for you to admit the stimulus – and your policies – aren’t working.”

Berkley’s communications director, Xochitl Hinojosa, responded: “Shame on Senator Dean Heller. While Shelley Berkley and Republican Governor Brian Sandoval are working to make Nevada the clean energy jobs capital of America, Senator Heller is cheering the fact that hundreds of Nevadans have just lost their jobs because he thinks it will help his political campaign. However, Heller’s rooting for failure should come as no surprise to Nevada’s middle class, given his track record protecting tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and defending China’s unfair trade policies that are cheating Nevada workers out of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

Amonix isn’t the only solar company to go under after receiving an infusion of federal capital.

California-based Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last year after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration.

Colorado-based Abound Solar, which received a $70 million loan guaranteed by the Energy Department, filed for bankruptcy in June, succumbing to intense competition from China that has sharply driven down the cost of solar panels, chairman Thomas Tiller said in a Reuters news article.

Appeared Here


Las Vegas Nevada Bar Closing After 20 Years And 15 People Will Lose Jobs Due To Water Bill – Used Only $60 In Water, But Bill Is $540 With Surcharges

June 26, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – A longtime Las Vegas bar is closing down, and owners say a new surcharge on their water bill is the reason. Larry’s Hideaway has been open for 20 years, but all that history is going down the drain.

The tune at Larry’s Hideaway this week is a sad one. Regular patrons like Jamie Cole hate to hear this saloon is shutting its doors for good.

“I’m going to cry,” Cole said. “It’s not right. This place has been here forever.”

Larry’s Hideaway president Brent Howard says the cost of operating the business increased over the years. A new water bill fee sealed the bar’s fate.

“I think it’s unfair to go after businesses,” he said. “The bill was five hundred and forty dollars for the total bill. The water usage on the bill was sixty dollars.”

Southern Nevada Water Authority officials say the new surcharge will help cover infrastructure costs. Because Larry’s Hideaway has a big water line to feed its sprinklers, the bar’s tab got expensive.

“We have to do something,” said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who also sits on the Southern Nevada Water Authority Board of Directors. “It was presented that it was going to be a modest charge to everybody. This is far from a modest charge.”

After 20 years, Larry’s Hideaway will hold its last call. Sisolak says something must be done so this surcharge doesn’t drown out anyone else.

“I think we have to. There’s no doubt in my mind. You’re going to have businesses, more businesses, going out of business,” he said.

This Friday, loyal patrons will have one last toast, say their goodbyes and mark the end of an era at this country bar.

“I envision this place is going to be boarded up for a long time. I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Howard said.

A few weeks ago, 15 people worked at Larry’s Hideaway. That number is down to eight, and most will be out of a job.

Friday night will be the last night Larry’s Hideaway will be open, and then the taps will be shut off – perhaps forever.

Appeared Here


Broke: Las Vegas Nevada Police Department Faces $68 Million Budget Shortfall – Costs $525 MILLION A Year To Run Department

June 26, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — The Metropolitan Police Department’s estimated $68 million budget shortfall next year has Sheriff Doug Gillespie preparing for a worse case scenario. He must find the money by April or be forced to make drastic cuts, including patrol officer positions, which are already at a bare minimum.

Metro estimates it will cost about $525 million to run the department next year. They have already scrapped two police academies, closed a substation and cut more than 230 positions in the last two years.

Gillespie detailed to the police commission how serious the situation is, calling on help from the City of Las Vegas and Clark County. In 60-days, he wants to know how much the department will get from each entity, and he expects a financial tug of war.

“The city and the county have had to reduce service levels as well, eliminate positions as well, so none of these decisions are going to be easy,” he said.

The county says it has no more to give and that deeper cuts are inevitable. Uniformed officer numbers are already near minimum safety levels.

“You can’t reduce their resources and numbers below acceptable levels,” said Gillespie.

Another big reason Metro is in this bind is Clark County’s declining property taxes, which have seen a 36 percent drop accounting for nearly $61 million that normally would have been in the police budget. The sheriff plans to ask the Nevada legislature to re-allocate $54 million earmarked to hire new cops to help fill the budget.

One of the more surprising moments of the meeting was a $350 donation that got a standing ovation. Paul Jones collected soda cans and donated the money to the department.

“I heard bad things were going to happen. I wanted to help save people’s jobs and help donate money,” he said.

What’s inside his piggy bank may not be much, but Gillespie says the gesture gives him goose bumps. With the department facing one of the toughest financial binds since the 1980’s, Jones is just happy he can give some relief.

“Thank you for keeping the bad guys off the streets,” he said.

Appeared Here