Monthly Archives: July 2011

APPLE HAS MORE CASH THAN THE USA?

Amidst the political debates over the federal budget and the debt ceiling crisis, the U.S. government revealed that it now has $73 billion remaining as the “financial headroom” before hitting an arbitrary debt ceiling. Interestingly, this figure, which represents all that the government has left to spend is less than the mountain of cash that Apple’s sitting on as reserve.

Apple has been rapidly building up a gigantic cash reserve over the years. In 2005 it reported $9 billion in cash on hand, which has since skyrocketed to $60 billion in 2010. At that time, their pile of cash was already more than any other non-financial company in the US. And as of June 25, 2011, the company is now sitting on nearly $76 billion in case reserve.

With that kind of money, it’s said that Apple could buy Facebook and Goldman Sachs and still possibly have some cash left. Or, it could purchase most of the mobile phone industry including HTC, Nokia, RIM, and Motorola and still have cash left.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Racist Sentenced To Federal Time!

The Justice Department announced today that Johnny Mathis, 48, of Lecompte, La., was sentenced to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell for shooting at the home of three Hispanic men because of the victims’ race and national origin.

Testimony at today’s sentencing hearing established that on June 15, 2008, Mathis fired three shots from a shotgun at the home of three Hispanic men who lived across the street from Mathis’ home in the Western District of Louisiana. After hearing two shots, the victims fled their house. Once outside, the victims watched as Mathis fired a third shot into the trees and then entered the victims’ house, left briefly and then returned. Minutes later, the victims’ house was engulfed in flames as Mathis exited. Subsequent investigation determined that the fire started in the kitchen where the victims had seen Mathis.

Mathis pleaded guilty on April 27, 2011, to criminal interference with the right to fair housing and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

“This kind of senseless and violent act has no place in this country. All people, regardless of race, have a right to be safe in their homes,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those who violate our most critical federal civil rights laws.”

“Everyone should feel safe, especially in the place where they live,” said Stephanie A. Finley, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. “We hope today’s sentence sends a message that this type of activity is not taken lightly. Law enforcement will continue to investigate, and our office will continue to prosecute those who interfere with the right of others to peacefully live in their homes.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Mudrick of the Western District of Louisiana and Nicole Lee Ndumele, a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Two Houston Men Arrested After A Police Officer Shoots And Kill A Dog!

Charges have been filed against two suspects involved in an incident in which a Houston police officer wounded a suspect at 7221 Weyburn about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday (July 28).

Willie Washington (b/m, DOB: 1-9-80) and Clarence Branford (b/m, DOB: 1-10-54) are charged with possession of a controlled substance in the 184 th State District Court. A current photo of Washington is attached to this news release. There is no current photo of Branford, however, a June 2011 photo is attached to this news release.

Officer J.C. Oliver, Jr., who discharged his duty weapon, was not injured in this incident. Officer Oliver, assigned to the Narcotics Division, was sworn in as an officer in December 2002.

HPD Homicide Division Officers C. Cardenas and I. Ulloa reported:

HPD Narcotics Division officers were executing a search warrant at the above address when they were attacked by a pit-bull dog. Officer Oliver, fearing for his life and that of his fellow officers, discharged a shotgun at the animal, wounding it. The dog fled, then returned and charged the officer a second time. Officer Oliver then drew his duty pistol and discharged it one time, killing the dog.

During this incident, suspect Branford was slightly wounded, possibly by ricocheting pellets from the officer’s shotgun. Branford was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

As is customary in HPD officer-involved shootings, this case will be investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

INSITE’S HEROES OF THE WEEK: THE STAFF OF AARON CARTER ELECTRIC COMPANY!

The Insite would like to personally thank the staff at Aaron Carter Electric.  The company stepped in and helped a Houston grandmother who has been without power since the beginning of July.

It was two weeks ago when Ruby Villain says she had partial power at her home in southwest Houston.

So, Villain says she called CenterPoint to come and check the problem.

Villain says the tech from CenterPoint took off her smart meter and touched a wire inside.  Her meter box exploded and caught fire according to Villain and her granddaughter who were watching the repairman.

CenterPoint refused to fix the problem telling Villain the explosion and fire never happened and it was her responsibility to repair whatever went wrong.

But after FOX 26 aired the report workers from Aaron Carter Electric in Houston volunteered their money and services.  They replaced the meter holder and Villain’s entire breaker box for free.

Aaron McAlexander with Aaron Carter says, “it was the right thing to do.”

The Insite would like to salute those heroes and the members of Local 716.  The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union spearheaded the effort that lead to Mrs. Villain and her grandchildren getting their power back on!



Local Union Website: http://ibew716.net/

Aaron Carter Electric: http://www.aaroncarterelectric.com/about.htm

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

HEAD OF METRO SUSPENDED FOR WATCHING PORN IN THE OFFICE!


METRO President & CEO George Greanias has been suspended for one week, without pay, effective immediately. This disciplinary action followed a METRO investigation that concluded Mr. Greanias violated company guidelines on the use of electronic communications.

METRO’s investigation revealed that while on his personal computer, Mr. Greanias accessed more than one dozen adult oriented sites of a sexual nature through the METRO Internet System. The access violations occurred on 14 days from February 9, 2011 to July 1, 2011.

Normally, the disciplinary action for such a violation is a verbal reprimand. Any subsequent violation could lead to more severe punishment, including termination. METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia has concluded that, as president and CEO, Mr. Greanias must be held to a higher standard, and decided instead of a warning Mr. Greanias would receive a more stringent punishment of one week suspension, without pay.

Mr. Garcia said, “George Greanias has done an excellent job in the past year and three months turning the agency around and improving transit services, morale, and community relations. However, George must be held accountable and the community must have confidence that the New METRO will be open and transparent.” METRO’s system to investigate this matter worked and there were no attempts to circumvent the procedures put in place to address the violation.

In a letter to employees, Mr Greanias said he made a mistake. As for the punishment,

he said, “I agree with that judgment, and I accept it willingly.”


Update – sites Greanias allegedly visited:
Rentboy.com
Men4rentnow.com
Maximumescorts.com
Nibblet.com
Adultworld.com
Sogayboy.com
Daddysreview.com
Hourboy.com

WHAT IS THE DEBT CEILING AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What is the debt ceiling?
Also known as the debt limit, thedebt ceiling is the amount of gross debt the federal government can have. The current limit is $14.3 trillion, which  the government surpassed  on May 16, 2011, causing Treasury officials  to scramble for bookkeeping maneuvers to buy time. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has set an August 2 deadline for lifting the debt ceiling. Failure to pass a bill could result in the first default in U.S. history.
How is the debt ceiling raised ?
The debt limit is written into law, and any increases must be codified in new legislation by Congress and signed by President Obama. 
Have lawmakers raised the debt ceiling before?
The debt ceiling history is long. The government first enacted the limit in 1917 in order to issue bonds during WWI. Policymakers have raised the debt limit 74 times since 1962, most recently in February 2010 when they tacked on an extra $1.9 trillion to bring the ceiling to its current level.

What if the government defaults?

default occurs when the government does not have enough funds to meet any of its legally mandated fiscal obligations, including paying interest on its existing debts, federal employee salaries, tax refunds, and Social Security and Medicare payments. A default could potentially wreck the government’s credit rating, lower demand for U.S. assets, deprive federal workers of their salaries, and deny Social Security benefits to retirees, potentially triggering a wide-reaching economic crisis.
 
Has the government defaulted before?
To date, the federal government has never defaulted on its securities, though it has in a few cases restructured debt or made some of its interest payments late (in 1790, 1933 and 1979). Until a debt limit deal is reached, the government must draw down its cash balances to avoid issuing new debt, or suspend investments and redeem securities in accounts like the Civil Service Retirement, which bring it closer to defaulting.

HPD OFFICER INDICTED FOR CORRUPTION!

A veteran Houston police officer has been accused of accepting bribes in a drug trafficking and corruption case.
Prosecutors say 46-year-old Officer Leslie Aikens was arrested Wednesday when he finished his shift.
Aikens, who’s been a Houston officer for 19 years, has been indicted on charges of extortion and of aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He allegedly accepted $2,000 to provide protection in March for a vehicle believed to be hauling 15 pounds of cocaine.
The indictment was returned June 22 and unsealed Wednesday.
Aikens appeared before U. S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy, who set bond at $50,000. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office had no information on an attorney for Aikens.
The drug offense charged in the indictment carries a statutory penalty of no less than 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine upon conviction.
Houston police Chief Charles McClelland said Aikens had been suspended pending an internal affairs investigation.

THE CASTLE OF THIRD WARD NOW ON THE AUCTION BLOCK!

The Castle of Third Ward is now up for sale at $325,000. But I here the bank is ready to get rid of it for much less in a short sale.

The huge structure was built in 1938 in the 2200 block of Wichita street in Houston.

I’m told it became a daycare and was converted back to a home around 1988 by the most recent owner.

It has five bedrooms and five and a half baths with a garage apartment and an incomplete atrium.

There will also be an estate sale at the house Friday thru Saturday.

The house is being handled by Coldwell Bankers!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

NEW NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF KAPPA ALPHA PSI ELECTED!

William Randy Bates
As a result of the elections at its recent 80th Grand Chapter Meeting (national convention) and Centennial Celebration in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is proud to announce its new President.  William Randy Bates, Jr., Esq. of Houston, Texas was elected as its 32nd Grand Polemarch (President and Chief Executive Officer) to lead the fraternity into its second century of existence. The 100th Anniversary was a milestone and the plans for the next century are even more ambitious. 

Professionally, Randy Bates is a law partner with Bates & Coleman, PC, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Lone Star College System, serving over 85,000 students.  He was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1996, 1998, 2008 and 2010. During his tenure, the College system received nine separate credit upgrades from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Currently, Lone Star College is one of few community colleges in the country with an AAA rating.

About Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is an international organization founded on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana on January 5, 1911. Since its inception, it has trained over 150,000 men, particularly undergraduates, for leadership roles in their communities and the attainment of a high degree of excellence in their academic pursuits. The International Headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

FRESH OUT OF PRISON AND READY TO MARRY A WOMAN 52 YEARS YOUNGER – WAY TO GO GOVERNOR EDWARDS!

WBRZ TV: Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball will join former Gov. Edwin Edwards and Trina Grimes Scott in marriage this week.

Kimball’s spokeswoman, Valerie Willard, told The Advocate Tuesday that Kimball will preside over the wedding.
Edwards and Scott are marrying Friday, just one day before the former governor’s 84th birthday bash.

The 32-year-old Scott said on her Facebook account that the wedding would be in New Orleans.

The bride-to-be befriended Edwards while he was serving a federal prison sentence for a bribery and extortion scheme.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THE AIRLINES CARED ABOUT SAVING YOU MONEY!

The one silver lining in what has become an ugly partisan impasse in Washington is the break consumers were to get on airline travel starting last weekend. Briefly, talks have stalemated, along with discussions on you-know-what-else, for an FAA re-authorization bill. This weekend the agency partially shut down operations, including ceasing its collection of federal excise taxes on airline tickets.

Consumers could have gotten a break of $60 or so dollars, and depending on the airline, some did. Virgin America, for instance, went on Facebook to advertise its cheaper flights because of the lost tax.

Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines also reportedly kept pricing the same.

Meanwhile, American, United, Continental, Delta, US Airways, Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue all raised fares just enough so that consumers would still pay the same amount for the ticket, while they pocketed the savings, according to Gannett’s News-Press.

Furthermore, according to the paper, the airlines declined to reassure flyers that they will revert to the lower fares when the tax is back into affect, although in a Reuters report Air Transport Association spokesperson Jean Medina called it a “short term” increase that benefits all stakeholders because it enables the “airlines to invest in their product and service.”

This is also a good time to highlight something else Reuters included in its report: namely that U.S. airlines have long complained about taxes and security fees, because it is difficult to pass them along to customers.

Well. Way to be good corporate citizens airline industry. The one silver lining in what has become an ugly partisan impasse in Washington is the break consumers were to get on airline travel starting last weekend. Briefly, talks have stalemated, along with discussions on you-know-what-else, for an FAA re-authorization bill. This weekend the agency partially shut down operations, including ceasing its collection of federal excise taxes on airline tickets.

Consumers could have gotten a break of $60 or so dollars, and depending on the airline, some did. Virgin America, for instance, went on Facebook to advertise its cheaper flights because of the lost tax.

Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines also reportedly kept pricing the same.

Meanwhile, American, United, Continental, Delta, US Airways, Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue all raised fares just enough so that consumers would still pay the same amount for the ticket, while they pocketed the savings, according to Gannett’s News-Press.

Furthermore, according to the paper, the airlines declined to reassure flyers that they will revert to the lower fares when the tax is back into affect, although in a Reuters report Air Transport Association spokesperson Jean Medina called it a “short term” increase that benefits all stakeholders because it enables the “airlines to invest in their product and service.”

This is also a good time to highlight something else Reuters included in its report: namely that U.S. airlines have long complained about taxes and security fees, because it is difficult to pass them along to customers.

Well. Way to be good corporate citizens airline industry.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4