VW bites the bullet in US federal court

3-10-17      Volkswagen pleaded guilty Friday to fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying statements….In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

Volkswagen’s general counsel, Manfred Doess, made the plea on its behalf after he said at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Detroit that he was authorized by the company’s board of directors to enter a guilty plea.

 “Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts,” Doess told the court.  U.S. District Judge Sean Cox accepted the company’s guilty plea to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction and entry of goods by false statement charges and set an April 21 sentencing date, where he must decide whether to approve the terms of the plea agreement.

Investors in VW stock took the news in stride after the expected guilty plea, sending shares up slightly in Germany to close up 0.3 percent at 143.70 euros ($153.38).

VW has agreed to spend up to $10 billion to buy back diesels that emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution, along with at least $5,100 per owner in additional compensation….

An assistant U.S. attorney, John Neal, told the court that the emissions scheme “was a well thought-out, planned offense that went to the top of the organization.”  (VW general counsel claimed the VW board of directors were guiltless.)  He said VW could have faced $17 billion to $34 billion in fines under sentencing guidelines….The Justice Department also charged seven current and former VW executives with crimes related to the scandal.  One executive is in custody and awaiting trial and another pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.  U.S. prosecutors said in January that five of the seven are believed to be in Germany.  They have not been arraigned.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/vw-pleads-guilty-in-diesel-emissions-case-as-part-of-43-billion-settlement/2017/03/10/3e91a9e4-05d1-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html?utm_term=.69974bf46fe6

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-CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen Matthias Mueller | Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty

3-10-17     VW also agreed to be independently monitored for three years.  In September 2015, VW admitted to installing software in nearly 11 million diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests.  Around 8.5 million of those vehicles were sold in Europe, and only about half a million in the U.S.

So far the company has set aside more than $20 billion to cover liability in the U.S. but has refused to pay compensation in Europe.   http://www.politico.eu/article/vw-pleads-guilty-for-the-first-time-in-us-dieselgate-settlement/

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6-26-15        A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.

Judges are selected precisely for their skill as lawyers; whether they reflect the policy views of a particular constituency is not (or should not be) relevant.  Not surprisingly then, the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section of America.  Take, for example, this Court which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School.  Four of the nine are natives of New York City.  Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States.  Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between.  Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count).  Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination.  The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage.  But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not.  And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation:  no social transformation without representation.       -Justice Scalia, dissent on US same-sex ruling    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/scalias-dissent-court-threat-american-democracy

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When people claim “global warming/co2 pollutant is a matter settled/decided” or if people claim “same-sex marriage is a matter settled/decided“–what is this frame-of-reference called “settled/decided”?

It turns out that there is a Latin phrase enshrined by some that is involved:  “stare decisis” which roughly means to stand by things decided.  Can this somewhat enshrined old Latin notion be used in science??  

Here is a decent article on this subject, with much discussion afterward:  http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2010/02/17/what-is-this-settled-science-o/

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602, 617.  But on this long journey what happens to the enemies who wrought such torment through their discordances?  When darkness takes over its own possessions, the remaining ones who are able to ascend are divided according to rays.  Thus discord disappears and the feeling of enmity dissolves by itself.  The spirits gather and rise to the abode of containment like waves of harmonious light.  Thus is settled the question, most incomprehensible to man, about the unity of the seeds of light in ascent to the higher realms.  Enmity, so insoluble in the physical world, disintegrates by itself in the etheric, purified rays….No one understands that the obduracy of nations cannot be settled by the methods of the past century.       -Morya:  Fiery World 1933

450.  Whoever thinks about harmony knows that a house is not new where old rubbish has settled.  And yet one can see how beautiful attainments wither because they cannot grow in filth.               01ad5-morya.jpg-Morya:  Brotherhood 1937  (portrait by Schmiechen, 1884; the writing is in Senzar)

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3-12-17         Did reporter Sheryl Attkisson

Sharyl Attkisson

think the problem (of government surveillance of her communications) was specific to the previous administration, or was it due the growth of the surveillance community, its powers and lack of oversight?

“I think this is an outgrowth of technology that makes such surveillance possible, politicians and corporate interests who are willing to use it for improper purposes, and a weak and conflicted news media that has done little to stop it.” http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/superstar-reporter-describes-obamas-creepy-spying-on-her/#j6SLJ8SuUMumvW8j.99

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3-11-17     http://en.censor.net.ua/news/431541/mineral_reserves_worth_11_trillion_dollars_concentrated_in_ukraine_ministry_of_natural_resources

 

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