Feds Sues Lucasfilm for Undermining VFX Artists

Earlier this year, I wrote about the poor working conditions for the animation and visual effects artists who have helped create some of most incredible (and profitable) films and TV shows of all time in an open letter to director James Cameron. In that piece, I discussed the open secret of the only major production craft that is still largely non-unionized and the subsequent dearth of benefits, security and even proper credits when the end titles roll.

That article created a stir in the visual effects industry and led to events like the VFX Town Hallmeeting that brought together perspectives from the studios, facilities and VFX workers. Some of the major unions like IATSE also noticed and during the past few months, they stepped up their efforts to organize visual effects artists and animators. Such efforts stumbled a bit as the union’s lack of technological savvy (they didn’t even have a web site that VFX artists could look at) smacked up against the independent spirit that caused many artists to be suspicious of unions.

Click here for the full story….

Former Agriculture Secretary Confirms FBI Investigations Into USDA Inside-Job Pigford Fraud

Yesterday, Pigford report co-author Peter Schweizer spoke to a specific USDA inside job wherein a federal employee was getting paid by Pigford lawyers to illegally sign up fraudulent claimants. Today, former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Mike Espy, who now represents thousands of Pigford II claimants, says there is “no doubt” that he has heard those reports, and furthermore says there are FBI investigations that have looked into these troubling allegations. This comports with the Big Government witness report from a retired FBI agent who is willing to testify that he has evidence of widespread fraud involving Pigford claimants in Arkansas and a USDA employee, who still is on the job.

Click here for the full story….

Pigford Breeds Internal USDA Corruption

The Pigford debacle combines billions of dollars, easy, repeatable methods to commit fraud, and no internal oversight, so it really comes as no surprise that some of the people inside the USDA would try to get their own slice of the Pigford Pie.

Pigford researcher, author, and Hoover Institute fellow Peter Schweizer has spoke to multiple sources who claim that not only has at least one individual inside the USDA been responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud, but that person is actually still working at the USDA. This is just one more reason USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack needs to consider a career change. It seems like it’s going to take Congressional hearings to allow the whistleblowers to speak openly.

Click here for the full story….

Pigford: How to Get $50k from the Government for ‘Attempting to Farm’

The Pigford scandal is big enough that there’s no reason to overstate the case or get the facts wrong. Understanding what actually happened should be sufficient to make anyone deeply troubled.

One common misconception is that Pigford is about people who defrauded the government by pretending to be farmers. From the research I’ve done, there’s almost nobody who pretended to be a farmer. The shocking truth is that you didn’t have to fake a farming resume to collect $50,000 — all you had to do was to make a credible enough claim that you “attempted to farm.”

This category of “attempted to farm” was a huge slap in the face to the bona fide black farmers that the Pigford case was supposed to help. Many of these farmers faced real discrimination at the hands of the USDA and it’s clear they had legitimate claims.

In this video clip, you’ll hear what happened right before the consent decree was issued. It’s a class action bait-and-switch. This is Tom Burrell, head of the Black Farmer Agricultural Association, Inc.:

Click here for the full story….

Pigford: How to Get $50k from the Government for ‘Attempting to Farm’

The Pigford scandal is big enough that there’s no reason to overstate the case or get the facts wrong. Understanding what actually happened should be sufficient to make anyone deeply troubled.

One common misconception is that Pigford is about people who defrauded the government by pretending to be farmers. From the research I’ve done, there’s almost nobody who pretended to be a farmer. The shocking truth is that you didn’t have to fake a farming resume to collect $50,000 — all you had to do was to make a credible enough claim that you “attempted to farm.”

This category of “attempted to farm” was a huge slap in the face to the bona fide black farmers that the Pigford case was supposed to help. Many of these farmers faced real discrimination at the hands of the USDA and it’s clear they had legitimate claims.

In this video clip, you’ll hear what happened right before the consent decree was issued. It’s a class action bait-and-switch. This is Tom Burrell, head of the Black Farmer Agricultural Association, Inc.:

Click here for the full story….