Evergreen Libertarian: Corporate Misconduct, Police Misconduct, War Widows

Three recent posts by Michael H. Wilson at Evergreen Libertarian:

We may never know the truth behind this one, but corporate managers all too often receive a get out of jail free card when people die on the job. Here’s a local story [Excerpt: -P]:

Families of six workers killed in an explosion at Tesoro’s Anacortes oil refinery last year filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Wednesday, claiming the company deliberately ignored dangerous conditions that led to the blast.

The explosion last April killed seven workers. Families of six of the slain workers have joined the lawsuit, along with a contractor who was burned but survived.

“It’s really about getting full accountability, by finding out exactly what happened, how it happened and how we can keep it from happening again,” Beninger said.

The lawsuit accuses Tesoro of failing to inspect decaying equipment and ignoring industry safety standards and federal laws governing refinery safety.

The Anacortes explosion was the worst refinery accident in the nation since 2005, when an explosion at BP’s plant in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 people and injured 180.

Seattle’s boys in blue have more trouble on their hands. Read about it here [Excerpt: -P]:

Seattle police, already under scrutiny over use of force, have opened a criminal investigation into an off-duty officer who stomped on the head of a man who was handcuffed and lying on the ground.


The department did not name the officer in a statement detailing the incident. But the officer is identified in court papers as Garth Haynes, who joined the department in January 2009. He has been placed in a nonpatrol job while the matter is investigated, police said.

A Seattle attorney representing the man who was stomped said Wednesday that his client was compliant and on the ground. The video shows Haynes putting his foot on the man’s head, pushing down and “bouncing” the man’s head off a sidewalk, attorney Tim Leary said.

The criminal investigation is the second to be opened on a Seattle officer in the past two months, the other arising from the kicking of a suspect in a convenience store by an on-duty officer.

The Police Department also is the subject of a preliminary review of its practices by the U.S. Justice Department in the wake of the kicking incident, as well as other controversial contacts with citizens and an officer’s fatal shooting of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams in August.

Can anyone tell me what in the hell do the people in Congress think they know about anything? Here’s a perfect example. We should never have let these people graduate from the sand box. They failed sand box to put it bluntly. [Excerpt: -P]:

WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of the nation’s war widows find it perplexing and downright disrespectful to their late military husbands: In order to fully collect on insurance their husbands bought for them when alive, they must marry another man.

And to qualify, the widows must remarry when they are 57 or older. Those who remarry earlier miss out, as do widows who never remarry.

At the heart of the issue is a government policy known as the “widows’ tax.” It says a military spouse whose loved one dies from a service-related cause can’t collect both survivor’s benefits and the full annuity benefits from insurance the couple bought from the Defense Department at retirement. Instead, the amount of the annuity payment is reduced by the amount of the monthly survivor benefit.

Time after time, members of Congress have promised to help the 55,000 affected widows, but laws passed to help them have only created a more complicated system that’s left many of them confused and angry.

Michael H. Wilson is editor of Libertarian Party of Washington State News & Views

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