The Elite: It's a Big Club and You're Not in it

Russell Street

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Is Bruce Jenner Elite?
Celebrities are tools of the elite. They are not the decision makers, merely agents. He is being used at the moment to degrade society and destroy the last vestiges of the family structure, religion, and other cohesive traditional bonds that are seen as threats to government and the plutocracy.
And thank you for calling Bruce by his not-pretend name.
 

OfficePants

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Celebrities are tools of the elite. They are not the decision makers, merely agents. He is being used at the moment to degrade society and destroy the last vestiges of the family structure, religion, and other cohesive traditional bonds that are seen as threats to government and the plutocracy.
And thank you for calling Bruce by his not-pretend name.
Hollywood and the gov have been in each other's asses for decades.

Bruce. Bruce. Bruce.
 

Journeyman

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I hate John Ellis Bush, well all Bushes, but the dude has a point there. People live too long to be retiring so early unless they, you know, have the money to do so.
I prefer just ending Social Security and letting people take responsibility for their own futures... like adults.
The problem with raising the pension age, is that the people who most need the pension are those who typically end up retiring early.

Blue-collar workers who wear out their bodies are usually not well off and thus need to access their social security retirement benefits as they have little else to support them in their retirement. However, white collar workers who probably have healthy retirement funds can keep on working until well into their sixties, or even their seventies, if they wish as they don't rely upon their bodies to help them to do their work and they can keep on doing their desk jobs as long as they don't succumb to senile dementia.

In other words, these sort of changes typically harm those who need the most help.

A better strategy, in my opinion, would be for the US to make social security a selective benefit, rather than an entitlement. This is what Australia did back in the 1980s. Prior to that time, anyone who retired in Australia, regardless of whether they were a billionaire or a poor street-sweeper, could get Age Pension (the Australian name for retirement benefit). Then, in 1984 or thereabouts, the then-government introduced an assets and income means test, so that people who were independently wealthy could not get the Age Pension. In other words, it ceased to be an automatic entitlement once you reached retirement age. At the same time, the government beefed up mandatory contributions to superannuation (the Australian name for employer-funded retirement schemes) such that the employer has to pay in a certain percentage to the employee and, if the employee earns over a certain amount, they too must kick in a percentage of their salary.

However, making such a big change - from an entitlement to a selective benefit - would be difficult and would undoubtedly meet a lot of opposition.
 

Russell Street

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Yup, the fairness crowd complains that they pay and get nothing back. Well, it's security...if you're secure, shut up and stop glomming money. Of course the elderly are terrific voters, and the young saps that are being taxed mercilessly to pay for payments to relatively retirees... have poor voter turnout.
 

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No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London | Ian Welsh

No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London
2015 June 3
tags: London Real-Estate, Useless Rich, World Cities
by Ian Welsh
And that’s why London is losing its soul and becoming an uninteresting place to live:


London housing price to earnings ratio

From 2.6 to 9.1.

This is a government choice. It is related to allowing the financial sector to take over London’s economy, with fake profits driving out real profits. It is related to the withdrawal from social housing. It is related to a decision to allow foreigners to buy real-estate they don’t live in most of the year. It is related to tax policy. It is related to the deliberate priming of the mortgage and housing markets by the central bank.

London is where the jobs are in England, but you can’t afford a home there if you’re an ordinary person and not attached to one of the various money hoses.

This same dynamic is playing itself out in world-cities worldwide: from Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, to New York, to Paris, to San Francisco, and so on. There are too many rich people, too many poor people, and too much pump priming from the central monetary authorities. If you live in the “rich sub-economy,” which can just mean being a retainer, you’re golden. If you don’t, you’re forced out.

There aren’t that many cities the global rich actually want to live in, play in, have vacation homes in, or retire to. There also aren’t that many financial centers in the world. Those cities that are both (like New York and London) are becoming impossible to afford the fastest, but so are all the “world cities.”

The irony of this is that huge real-estate prices drive up rents for businesses, and the interesting businesses (like book stores and one off retail outlets) are driven out of business. The artists, intellectuals, rebels, and so on that made places like New York, San Francisco, and London interesting are also driven out. The rich, being largely uninteresting and useless at anything but sucking from money-tits, make cities boring and sterile; they destroy much of what attracted them to a city in the first place.

What is left are expensive restaurants and overpriced chain fashion outlets: soulless and boring.

The rich, in numbers, are locusts, destroying what they think they value.
 

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No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London | Ian Welsh

No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London
2015 June 3
tags: London Real-Estate, Useless Rich, World Cities
by Ian Welsh
And that’s why London is losing its soul and becoming an uninteresting place to live:


London housing price to earnings ratio

From 2.6 to 9.1.

This is a government choice. It is related to allowing the financial sector to take over London’s economy, with fake profits driving out real profits. It is related to the withdrawal from social housing. It is related to a decision to allow foreigners to buy real-estate they don’t live in most of the year. It is related to tax policy. It is related to the deliberate priming of the mortgage and housing markets by the central bank.

London is where the jobs are in England, but you can’t afford a home there if you’re an ordinary person and not attached to one of the various money hoses.

This same dynamic is playing itself out in world-cities worldwide: from Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, to New York, to Paris, to San Francisco, and so on. There are too many rich people, too many poor people, and too much pump priming from the central monetary authorities. If you live in the “rich sub-economy,” which can just mean being a retainer, you’re golden. If you don’t, you’re forced out.

There aren’t that many cities the global rich actually want to live in, play in, have vacation homes in, or retire to. There also aren’t that many financial centers in the world. Those cities that are both (like New York and London) are becoming impossible to afford the fastest, but so are all the “world cities.”

The irony of this is that huge real-estate prices drive up rents for businesses, and the interesting businesses (like book stores and one off retail outlets) are driven out of business. The artists, intellectuals, rebels, and so on that made places like New York, San Francisco, and London interesting are also driven out. The rich, being largely uninteresting and useless at anything but sucking from money-tits, make cities boring and sterile; they destroy much of what attracted them to a city in the first place.

What is left are expensive restaurants and overpriced chain fashion outlets: soulless and boring.

The rich, in numbers, are locusts, destroying what they think they value.
Same thing is happening to NYC. There are buildings that are basically empty all year, and the space is a place for a wealthy person to park money.
 

Journeyman

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The Japanese economy boomed in the 1980s and there was a massive real estate bubble, centred on Tokyo, at the same time.

The bubble popped in 1990 or 1991 and real estate prices in Tokyo plummeted. I remember reading that, in 1989 or thereabouts, the value of the land occupied by the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was equivalent to the value of the entirety of California, or something ludicrous. People were signed real estate contracts for both themselves and their children - multi-generational contracts - so that they could purchase a place in Tokyo. It was insane and it resulted in a massive misallocation of capital - money that could have been productively invested in businesses was instead invested in non-value-producing bricks-and-mortar.

Following the bursting of the bubble, there were losers. People who had spent the equivalent of $500 000 (a lot of money back in 1990) on an apartment in Tokyo found that, virtually overnight, their property had halved in value or more, but that they were locked in to paying off $500k.

Japan struggled through the 1990s and, even now, the Japanese economy is still largely stagnant. However, although the bursting of the bubble was hard, one good thing about it is that property is still, relatively speaking, quite cheap in Tokyo.

Of course, land is scarce and expensive, but if you are happy to live outside the trendy, glitzy, central Tokyo suburbs, then it is entirely possible to buy a house in a quiet street, near shops, schools, parks and train stations, for under $400 000. You can get 3LDK (three-bedroom, living, dining, kitchen) apartments for quite a bit less. In other words, Tokyo is relatively affordable, despite being a "world city", particularly when compared to other global financial centres such as London and NY.

In fact, a lot of the real estate in Tokyo is substantially cheaper than real estate in my home town of Brisbane, Australia. This is despite the fact that Tokyo is basically the financial capital of Asia and one of the largest cities in the world, and Brisbane is an entirely unexceptional and largely unimportant city. Despite that, unless you want to live in god-forsaken suburbia miles from anywhere with little to no public transport, you'll pay more for a house in Brisbane than you will in Tokyo.
 

OfficePants

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The Japanese economy boomed in the 1980s and there was a massive real estate bubble, centred on Tokyo, at the same time.

The bubble popped in 1990 or 1991 and real estate prices in Tokyo plummeted. I remember reading that, in 1989 or thereabouts, the value of the land occupied by the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was equivalent to the value of the entirety of California, or something ludicrous. People were signed real estate contracts for both themselves and their children - multi-generational contracts - so that they could purchase a place in Tokyo. It was insane and it resulted in a massive misallocation of capital - money that could have been productively invested in businesses was instead invested in non-value-producing bricks-and-mortar.

Following the bursting of the bubble, there were losers. People who had spent the equivalent of $500 000 (a lot of money back in 1990) on an apartment in Tokyo found that, virtually overnight, their property had halved in value or more, but that they were locked in to paying off $500k.

Japan struggled through the 1990s and, even now, the Japanese economy is still largely stagnant. However, although the bursting of the bubble was hard, one good thing about it is that property is still, relatively speaking, quite cheap in Tokyo.

Of course, land is scarce and expensive, but if you are happy to live outside the trendy, glitzy, central Tokyo suburbs, then it is entirely possible to buy a house in a quiet street, near shops, schools, parks and train stations, for under $400 000. You can get 3LDK (three-bedroom, living, dining, kitchen) apartments for quite a bit less. In other words, Tokyo is relatively affordable, despite being a "world city", particularly when compared to other global financial centres such as London and NY.

In fact, a lot of the real estate in Tokyo is substantially cheaper than real estate in my home town of Brisbane, Australia. This is despite the fact that Tokyo is basically the financial capital of Asia and one of the largest cities in the world, and Brisbane is an entirely unexceptional and largely unimportant city. Despite that, unless you want to live in god-forsaken suburbia miles from anywhere with little to no public transport, you'll pay more for a house in Brisbane than you will in Tokyo.
They are rather jaded statistics, but many analysts think NYC is cheap among the group of elite cities vying for elite money. London, Moscow, and even Sydney are considered more expensive.

Interesting thing about Tokyo, I don't recall a mortgage meltdown. Seems like the people just paid their mortgages. Just like they didn't loot the tsunami.

I don't know why anyone would want to live in the middle of these crowded ass places anyway. And lastly, last time I looked, 500k is still a lot of money today.
 

Journeyman

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And lastly, last time I looked, 500k is still a lot of money today.
Not where I am. Sigh...

The difference between Tokyo in the very early 1990s, when I first went there, and the Tokyo of today, when compared to the changes in Australia over that some time, are quite astonishing.

Japan's been pretty stagnant for much of the past quarter-century, whereas Australia's had a long boom, driven mainly by the mining industry and construction (including housing construction).

When I first went there, even though the bubble had already popped, Tokyo was still far, far more expensive than Brisbane and Australia in general. Nowadays, pretty much everything in Australia is more expensive than Japan. Bizarrely, we actually *save* money when we visit my wife's parents in Tokyo, as costs are lower.

Of course, if we wanted to buy a large rib fillet steak, it would cost more in Tokyo. However, pretty much everything else - restaurant food, clothing, public transport, and so many other things - is cheaper in Tokyo than in Brisbane.

I'm frustrated by the widely-repeated mantra that rising real estate prices are good. They're good if you own more than one property (ie an investment property as well as your principal home). However, if you only own a principal home, I fail to see why rising real estate prices are good. Yes, your home has appreciated in value but, if you sell it to purchase another place, you will have to pay more for the new place so you haven't benefited from the rising prices. In fact, you may be worse off, as if you sell your house for $200k and buy a new house for $250k, you only have to borrow $50k, but if you sell your house for $400k and buy a new house for $500k, you have to borrow $100k. People don't seem to see this - all they think about is how they've now got so much more equity in their houses than they used to - "Oh, my house is now worth $500 000 and I only owe $100 000, so I have $400 000 equity." Well, that's great, but unless you're going to use that equity to borrow a shed-load of money - which you'll have to pay back with interest - then what's the benefit?

Furthermore, of course, rising real estate prices make it more and more difficult for first-time home purchasers to actually purchase a place, so they have to move further and further out of the city to buy a place, which means that they have to travel further to work, which means that they have less free time and they use more fuel and so on. It also leads to capital mis-allocation as, instead of investing in productive assets, people with money to invest put their money into bricks-and-mortar, which makes nothing and which simply sits there, being unproductive.

It's an enormous waste and it really only benefits those who already have a lot of cash to invest.
 

OfficePants

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Not where I am. Sigh...

The difference between Tokyo in the very early 1990s, when I first went there, and the Tokyo of today, when compared to the changes in Australia over that some time, are quite astonishing.

Japan's been pretty stagnant for much of the past quarter-century, whereas Australia's had a long boom, driven mainly by the mining industry and construction (including housing construction).

When I first went there, even though the bubble had already popped, Tokyo was still far, far more expensive than Brisbane and Australia in general. Nowadays, pretty much everything in Australia is more expensive than Japan. Bizarrely, we actually *save* money when we visit my wife's parents in Tokyo, as costs are lower.

Of course, if we wanted to buy a large rib fillet steak, it would cost more in Tokyo. However, pretty much everything else - restaurant food, clothing, public transport, and so many other things - is cheaper in Tokyo than in Brisbane.

I'm frustrated by the widely-repeated mantra that rising real estate prices are good. They're good if you own more than one property (ie an investment property as well as your principal home). However, if you only own a principal home, I fail to see why rising real estate prices are good. Yes, your home has appreciated in value but, if you sell it to purchase another place, you will have to pay more for the new place so you haven't benefited from the rising prices. In fact, you may be worse off, as if you sell your house for $200k and buy a new house for $250k, you only have to borrow $50k, but if you sell your house for $400k and buy a new house for $500k, you have to borrow $100k. People don't seem to see this - all they think about is how they've now got so much more equity in their houses than they used to - "Oh, my house is now worth $500 000 and I only owe $100 000, so I have $400 000 equity." Well, that's great, but unless you're going to use that equity to borrow a shed-load of money - which you'll have to pay back with interest - then what's the benefit?

Furthermore, of course, rising real estate prices make it more and more difficult for first-time home purchasers to actually purchase a place, so they have to move further and further out of the city to buy a place, which means that they have to travel further to work, which means that they have less free time and they use more fuel and so on. It also leads to capital mis-allocation as, instead of investing in productive assets, people with money to invest put their money into bricks-and-mortar, which makes nothing and which simply sits there, being unproductive.

It's an enormous waste and it really only benefits those who already have a lot of cash to invest.
Same boom AUS had, Nippon had after WW2, I mean they bought half of Hawaii.

Not sure it's good, as much as inevitable. It's most people's largest investment, and there are tax advantages. The only way to change that is to spread people out in an agrarian sense. Most people sell their homes and live off the profits. Being in real estate between the 50s and the 90s was gold, but not it's too the point that owning a property is such a large portion of your income that it makes you house poor. I think that's the benefit, but it has diminished greatly. This Millennial generation will tea-bag it, as they won't see 1000% appreciations that their parents and GP did.

All the rest is true. You have to commute for an eternity to work and lose vast amounts of free time, time which used to be committed to raising kids and is now spent fingering other motorists in traffic. This is why the elite live in a different world, they have none of these dynamics preying on their lives.

Investing in real estate is akin to the elite dividend income crowd. The difference is that the banks benefit from your mortgage, which in turn benefits the elite. And so in the end, the real estate boom benefits the elite way beyond what it has given your grandparents in appreciation.

My advice to everyone: never sell a property, and never lets your parents sell a property. Owning that shit outright is the best way to sidestep the traps the elite set for you.
 

Journeyman

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Wouldn't happen to a wealthy person. Oh. Over a backpack.
Ah, bugger. I remember reading the New Yorker story on him via the Longform app (which, by the way, is a great app/website) and thinking what an utter travesty his case was - and Browder was far from the only one caught up in such a situation.
 

OfficePants

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Ah, bugger. I remember reading the New Yorker story on him via the Longform app (which, by the way, is a great app/website) and thinking what an utter travesty his case was - and Browder was far from the only one caught up in such a situation.
That's the problem. When it becomes this obvious justice is not fair, the whole thing will crumble.
 

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No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London | Ian Welsh

No One Who Hasn’t Sold Their Soul Can Afford a Home in London
2015 June 3
tags: London Real-Estate, Useless Rich, World Cities
by Ian Welsh
And that’s why London is losing its soul and becoming an uninteresting place to live:


London housing price to earnings ratio

From 2.6 to 9.1.

This is a government choice. It is related to allowing the financial sector to take over London’s economy, with fake profits driving out real profits. It is related to the withdrawal from social housing. It is related to a decision to allow foreigners to buy real-estate they don’t live in most of the year. It is related to tax policy. It is related to the deliberate priming of the mortgage and housing markets by the central bank.

London is where the jobs are in England, but you can’t afford a home there if you’re an ordinary person and not attached to one of the various money hoses.

This same dynamic is playing itself out in world-cities worldwide: from Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, to New York, to Paris, to San Francisco, and so on. There are too many rich people, too many poor people, and too much pump priming from the central monetary authorities. If you live in the “rich sub-economy,” which can just mean being a retainer, you’re golden. If you don’t, you’re forced out.

There aren’t that many cities the global rich actually want to live in, play in, have vacation homes in, or retire to. There also aren’t that many financial centers in the world. Those cities that are both (like New York and London) are becoming impossible to afford the fastest, but so are all the “world cities.”

The irony of this is that huge real-estate prices drive up rents for businesses, and the interesting businesses (like book stores and one off retail outlets) are driven out of business. The artists, intellectuals, rebels, and so on that made places like New York, San Francisco, and London interesting are also driven out. The rich, being largely uninteresting and useless at anything but sucking from money-tits, make cities boring and sterile; they destroy much of what attracted them to a city in the first place.

What is left are expensive restaurants and overpriced chain fashion outlets: soulless and boring.

The rich, in numbers, are locusts, destroying what they think they value.
This article misses the point. Anyone who works for a salary has a hard time living in London. It is not related to selling ones soul at all. Housing prices are rising through massive foreign investment as a way of money laundering and using the homes as relatively liquid bank accounts, and due to a severe lack of supply and significant immigration.

House building in London is at one of the lowest levels ever, and the ones that are being built are high priced apartments that are marketed to foreign investors first, who use it to launder their money (embezzled form the CCP for example), and to store their cash in a safe place. Then you have massive illegal and legal immigration into London, who all need homes, but those homes aren't being built.

Unless the right kinds and right amount of flats are being built, housing prices will keep rising. Councils are being bribed by real estate developers, and don't have enough man power to challenge any expensive apartment building proposals anyways. Property development rules need to have a much bigger percentage of affordable housing, and the way affordable is being defined has to change as well.
 
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Arnathor

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Bilderburg is happening soon. But it's not important, it doesn't exist. 150+ world leaders meeting in secret in Austria isn't important.
 

Russell Street

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Bilderburg is happening soon. But it's not important, it doesn't exist. 150+ world leaders meeting in secret in Austria isn't important.
That's the elite of the elite. You can't get within sight of the place, security like it's Area 51.
Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA


Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG DEU
Agius, Marcus Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group GBR
Ahrenkiel, Thomas Director, Danish Intelligence Service (DDIS) DNK
Allen, John R. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, US Department of State USA
Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore USA
Applebaum, Anne Director of Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute USA
Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA FIN
Baird, Zoë CEO and President, Markle Foundation USA
Balls, Edward M. Former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman, Impresa SGPS PRT
Barroso, José M. Durão Former President of the European Commission PRT
Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP FRA
Benko, René Founder, SIGNA Holding GmbH AUT
Bernabè, Franco Chairman, FB Group SRL ITA
Beurden, Ben van CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc NLD
Bigorgne, Laurent Director, Institut Montaigne FRA
Boone, Laurence Special Adviser on Financial and Economic Affairs to the President FRA
Botín, Ana P. Chairman, Banco Santander ESP
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA NOR
Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Standard Verlagsgesellschaft AUT
Burns, William President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Calvar, Patrick Director General, DGSI FRA
Castries, Henri de Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings; Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA
Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA ESP
Clark, W. Edmund Retired Executive, TD Bank Group CAN
Coeuré, Benoît Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank INT
Coyne, Andrew Editor, Editorials and Comment, National Post CAN
Damberg, Mikael L. Minister for Enterprise and Innovation SWE
De Gucht, Karel Former EU Trade Commissioner, State Minister BEL
Dijsselbloem, Jeroen Minister of Finance NLD
Donilon, Thomas E. Former U.S. National Security Advisor; Partner and Vice Chair, O’Melveny & Myers LLP USA
Döpfner, Mathias CEO, Axel Springer SE DEU
Dowling, Ann President, Royal Academy of Engineering GBR
Dugan, Regina Vice President for Engineering, Advanced Technology and Projects, Google USA
Eilertsen, Trine Political Editor, Aftenposten NOR
Eldrup, Merete CEO, TV 2 Danmark A/S DNK
Elkann, John Chairman and CEO, EXOR; Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ITA
Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus Group DEU
Erdoes, Mary CEO, JP Morgan Asset Management USA
Fairhead, Rona Chairman, BBC Trust GBR
Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S DNK
Feldstein, Martin S. President Emeritus, NBER; Professor of Economics, Harvard University USA
Ferguson, Niall Professor of History, Harvard University, Gunzberg Center for European Studies USA
Fischer, Heinz Federal President AUT
Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc GBR
Franz, Christoph Chairman of the Board, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd CHE
Fresco, Louise O. President and Chairman Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research Centre NLD
Griffin, Kenneth Founder and CEO, Citadel Investment Group, LLC USA
Gruber, Lilli Executive Editor and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV ITA
Guriev, Sergei Professor of Economics, Sciences Po RUS
Gürkaynak, Gönenç Managing Partner, ELIG Law Firm TUR
Gusenbauer, Alfred Former Chancellor of the Republic of Austria AUT
Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University NLD
Hampel, Erich Chairman, UniCredit Bank Austria AG AUT
Hassabis, Demis Vice President of Engineering, Google DeepMind GBR
Hesoun, Wolfgang CEO, Siemens Austria AUT
Hildebrand, Philipp Vice Chairman, BlackRock Inc. CHE
Hoffman, Reid Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn USA
Ischinger, Wolfgang Chairman, Munich Security Conference INT
Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard USA
Jäkel, Julia CEO, Gruner + Jahr DEU
Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners USA
Juppé, Alain Mayor of Bordeaux, Former Prime Minister FRA
Kaeser, Joe President and CEO, Siemens AG DEU
Karp, Alex CEO, Palantir Technologies USA
Kepel, Gilles University Professor, Sciences Po FRA
Kerr, John Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power GBR
Kesici, Ilhan MP, Turkish Parliament TUR
Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc. USA
Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa USA
Knot, Klaas H.W. President, De Nederlandsche Bank NLD
Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S. TUR
Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. USA
Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute USA
Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group CHE
Lauk, Kurt President, Globe Capital Partners DEU
Lemne, Carola CEO, The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise SWE
Levey, Stuart Chief Legal Officer, HSBC Holdings plc USA
Leyen, Ursula von der Minister of Defence DEU
Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group BEL
Maher, Shiraz Senior Research Fellow, ICSR, King’s College London GBR
Markus Lassen, Christina Head of Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security Policy and Stabilisation DNK
Mathews, Jessica T. Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Mattis, James Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University USA
Maudet, Pierre Vice-President of the State Council, Department of Security, Police and the Economy of Geneva CHE
McKay, David I. President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada CAN
Mert, Nuray Columnist, Professor of Political Science, Istanbul University TUR
Messina, Jim CEO, The Messina Group USA
Michel, Charles Prime Minister BEL
Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP USA
Minton Beddoes, Zanny Editor-in-Chief, The Economist GBR
Monti, Mario Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University ITA
Mörttinen, Leena Executive Director, The Finnish Family Firms Association FIN
Mundie, Craig J. Principal, Mundie & Associates USA
Munroe-Blum, Heather Chairperson, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board CAN
Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the NLD
O’Leary, Michael CEO, Ryanair Plc IRL
Osborne, George First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Özel, Soli Columnist, Haberturk Newspaper; Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University TUR
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri Group CEO, Titan Cement Co. GRC
Pégard, Catherine President, Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles FRA
Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute USA
Petraeus, David H. Chairman, KKR Global Institute USA
Pikrammenos, Panagiotis Honorary President of The Hellenic Council of State GRC
Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc. CAN
Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint Group ITA
Roiss, Gerhard CEO, OMV Austria AUT
Rubin, Robert E. Co Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury USA
Rutte, Mark Prime Minister NLD
Sadjadpour, Karim Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Pedro Leader, Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE ESP
Sawers, John Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners GBR
Sayek Böke, Selin Vice President, Republican People’s Party TUR
Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc. USA
Scholten, Rudolf CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG AUT
Senard, Jean-Dominique CEO, Michelin Group FRA
Sevelda, Karl CEO, Raiffeisen Bank International AG AUT
Stoltenberg, Jens Secretary General, NATO INT
Stubb, Alexander Ministers of Finance FIN
Suder, Katrin Deputy Minister of Defense DEU
Sutherland, Peter D. UN Special Representative; Chairman, Goldman Sachs International IRL
Svanberg, Carl-Henric Chairman, BP plc; Chairman, AB Volvo SWE
Svarva, Olaug CEO, The Government Pension Fund Norway NOR
Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital USA
Tsoukalis, Loukas President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy GRC
Üzümcü, Ahmet Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons INT
Vitorino, António M. Partner, Cuetrecasas, Concalves Pereira, RL PRT
Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB SWE
Weber, Vin Partner, Mercury LLC USA
Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times GBR
Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company USA
Zoellick, Robert B. Chairman, Board of International Advisors, The Goldman Sachs Group USA

Courtesy of Bilderberg 2015 : The Agenda and the Attendee List of this Elite Conference - The Vigilant Citizen
 

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The Elite - athletics division

Outside the Lines: College athletes at major programs benefit from confluence of factors to sometimes avoid criminal charges

Rainey's experience as a star athlete accused of criminal activity -- stalking, fighting, injuring someone with fireworks -- but ending up with a mostly clean record is not uncommon: From 2009 to 2014, male basketball and football players at the University of Florida and Florida State University avoided criminal charges or prosecution on average two-thirds of the time when named as suspects in police documents, a result far exceeding that of non-athlete males in the same age range, an Outside the Lines investigation has found.

Last fall, to determine how often crimes involving college athletes are prosecuted and what factors influence them, Outside the Lines requested police reports involving all football and men's basketball players on rosters from 2009 to 2014 from campus and city police departments covering 10 major programs: Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. Some police departments withheld records citing state disclosure laws. (ESPN sued the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University for not releasing material; both cases are pending on appeal.) And not all information was uniform among jurisdictions.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Outside the Lines cross-referenced football and men's basketball rosters from 2009 through 2014 at 10 schools with police reports from 20 campus and city police departments to complete this project. How to interpret the data.

Individual reports about what Outside the Lines found at each school studied:

Auburn
Florida
Florida State
Michigan State
Missouri
Notre Dame
Oklahoma State
Oregon State
Texas A&M
Wisconsin

But available reports showed that Rainey's alma mater, Florida, had the most athletes -- 80 -- named as suspects in more than 100 crimes at Florida. Yet the athletes either never faced charges, had charges against them dropped or were not prosecuted 56 percent of the time. When Outside the Lines examined a comparison set of cases involving college-age males in Gainesville, 28 percent of the crimes ended either without a record of charges being filed or by charges eventually being dropped.

Florida State had the second-highest number of athletes named in criminal allegations: 66 men's basketball and football athletes. In 70 percent of those incidents, the athletes either never faced charges, had charges against them dropped or were not prosecuted. By comparison, cases ended up without being prosecuted 50 percent of the time among a sample of crimes involving college-age males in Tallahassee.

Overall, the Outside the Lines investigation found that what occurs between high-profile college athletes and law enforcement is not as simple as the commonly held perception that police and prosecutors simply show preferential treatment, though that does occur. Rather, the examination of more than 2,000 documents shows that athletes from the 10 schools mainly benefited from the confluence of factors that can be reality at major sports programs: the near-immediate access to high-profile attorneys, the intimidation that is felt by witnesses who accuse athletes, and the higher bar some criminal justice officials feel needs to be met in high-profile cases.

Other factors found from the examination of the 10 schools:

• Athletic department officials inserted themselves into investigations many times. Some tried to control when and where police talked with athletes, while others insisted on being present during player interviews, alerted defense attorneys, conducted their own investigations before contacting police, and even, in one case, handled potential crime-scene evidence. Some police officials were torn about proper procedure -- unsure when to seek a coach's or athletic director's assistance when investigating crimes.

• Some athletic programs have, in effect, a team lawyer who showed up at a crime scene or jail or police department -- sometimes even before an athlete requested legal counsel. The lawyers, sometimes called by athletic department officials, were often successful in giving athletes an edge in evading prosecution -- from minor offenses to major crimes.

• The high profiles of the athletic programs and athletes had a chilling effect on whether cases were even brought to police and how they were investigated. Numerous cases never resulted in charges because accusers and witnesses were afraid to detail wrongdoing, they feared harassment from fans and the media, or they were pressured to drop charges in the interest of the sports programs.

'I conducted my own investigation'
On a Thursday morning in mid-December in 2010, just as the Oklahoma State men's basketball team was getting ready to practice, six police officers showed up at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater and approached head basketball coach Travis Ford. The officers had a search warrant and wanted to speak with some players, but especially Darrell Williams.

Williams was under investigation for rape and sexual battery.

He was in a film session, Ford told the officers -- they'd have to wait 10 minutes. So two officers waited, and 30 minutes later, Williams arrived. One of the officers wrote in a police report that Ford "was hesitant to do anything to assist us in locating the players and executing the warrants."

College athletes and crime
Outside the Lines studied how many football and men's basketball players from 2009-14 were suspects in criminal incidents.


A year and a half later, during Williams' criminal trial, testimony revealed that Ford had actually heard about the sexual assault allegations before being contacted by police -- through a letter the alleged victims sent to his office. After he received the letter, Ford had Williams and another player come to his house for a meeting to talk about the allegations. Ford said he never contacted police because the letter had indicated police had been notified.

"I conducted my own investigation," Ford testified in court.

His conclusion? Williams was innocent.

A jury in July 2012 found otherwise, convicting Williams of rape and sexual battery; however, the conviction was overturned on appeal last year when it was determined at least two jurors had made an unauthorized visit to the crime scene. Ford and an athletic department spokesman did not respond to requests for comment from Outside the Lines.

Former Assistant District Attorney Jill Ochs-Tontz deems the incident and what happened afterward wholly disturbing.

"By the time law enforcement got involved, Travis Ford [had] pulled the athletes in, talked to them and made sure their stories were straight," she said. "From the university's side, they moved immediately to protect these athletes and did not cooperate in the investigation."

In the Outside the Lines investigation, the Stillwater Police Department stood out because its officers are instructed not to notify school officials when an allegation involves an athlete, unlike many departments where it's common to give athletic departments or universities a heads up: "It would give the appearance that there could be some special treatment," said department spokesman Capt. Kyle Gibbs. "We don't want to give anybody special treatment."

Police reports involving athletes at several schools show that city and campus police routinely notify campus administrators, coaches or athletic department officials when an athlete is involved in a crime. Some -- such as the University of Wisconsin campus police, University of Florida campus police and Corvallis (Oregon) police -- also had liaisons assigned to the athletic department or university officials.

It also works in reverse, with officials at some athletic programs -- including Florida, Florida State and Oregon State -- reaching out to police and prosecutors. And sometimes, they want more than just information.

In a Florida State University Police Department case from August 2012, officers asked a football player if they could examine his car in connection with a possible hit-and-run, but he told them he was busy and would call back later. He did so but never reached an officer. Officers ultimately heard from FSU associate athletic director Monk Bonasorte, who asked if he could bring the vehicle to the police station "due to [the player] being in a mandatory football meeting."

Former Oklahoma State basketball player Darrell Williams reacts after being found guilty of rape. The conviction would later be overturned on appeal. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Bonasorte's name appears in multiple players' police reports. He also helps arrange legal representation for players accused of crimes.

After reviewing details of the alleged hit-and-run and Bonasorte's involvement, Florida State Police Chief David Perry told Outside the Lines "that's not how it always goes. ... I am not in support of anyone else trying to intervene" in an investigation. He added that sometimes, though, a coach or administrator can be helpful in getting an athlete to cooperate.

A former Florida State athletic department employee told Outside the Lines that Bonasorte's routine involvement in criminal cases troubled some colleagues because of the administrator's own record; Bonasorte, a former Florida State football standout, pleaded guilty in 1987 for cocaine distribution and served six months in prison. Bonasorte, through a university spokeswoman, declined a request for an interview.

"He is kind of the fixer for football," the former staff member said. "He knows where the skeletons are buried, but he also helps keep those football players, not out of trouble, but out of paying for the trouble they've gotten into."

In Tallahassee, Outside the Lines found at least nine examples from 2009 to 2014 in which officers documented that Florida State coaches or athletic department officials tried to determine when and where city police would interview athletes or attempted other involvement.

"That would be a classic example of real poor police work," said Willie Meggs, the state of Florida's chief prosecuting attorney in the Tallahassee region. "You don't do an interview of a suspect -- football, non-football, athlete, non-athlete -- in their own comfortable environment. That's common sense."

A civil lawsuit filed this year against Florida State for how it addressed allegations of sexual assault against quarterback Jameis Winston includes an allegation that Bonasorte did not permit Tallahassee police detectives to contact two witnesses, who were also football players, until after Bonasorte had called attorneys for them.

Tallahassee police officials declined to be interviewed for this story but addressed specific questions about their practices with a statement via email that read in part: "If the investigators are unable to directly contact the involved party, they will then utilize intermediaries, including family, friends or attorneys to locate and conduct an interview with the involved party."

The exact opposite happened in 2010 at the University of Notre Dame, in one of the school's most notorious cases involving an allegation against a member of the football team.

Lizzy Seeberg, a student at neighboring St. Mary's College, told police that she had been sexually assaulted by a football player. But police didn't interview him until two weeks after Seeberg reported the incident -- and five days after Seeberg had committed suicide. Police initially indicated they couldn't find the athlete, according to her father, Tom Seeberg, even though there was a home football game just three days after the incident was reported.

That Tom Seeberg said police could not find the athlete on campus or at practice didn't surprise former Notre Dame police officer Pat Cottrell, who said a university policy prevented campus police from approaching athletes at any athletic facility. Further, the university would not allow anyone on the athletic staff to be contacted for help in finding a player, he said.

FSU associate athletic director Monk Bonasorte, who often communicates with police when Seminoles players are accused of crimes. Special to ESPN
Cottrell, who worked 20 years for the department, said the policy took effect during Charlie Weis' coaching tenure, which began in 2005. Notre Dame officials did not respond to multiple messages left by Outside the Lines. Cottrell said he only came across the policy when dealing with athletes, although university officials have said in prior media reports that athletes did not receive special treatment.

Whether athletic department or university officials are aggressively involved or being potentially obstructive or both -- the actions can affect investigations, police reports show.

In October 2013, when Tallahassee police showed up at FSU basketball player Ian Miller's apartment to question him about a stolen vehicle, police wrote that "men's basketball coach, Coach [Leonard] Hamilton, requested to be with Ian during questioning by police. Ian's story slightly changed from his original story."

(Miller's brother would end up admitting to taking the vehicle, and he agreed to pay the victim for any damage; prosecutors declined to pursue charges. Miller was named as a suspect in three other crimes while at Florida State but never charged.)

Hamilton did not respond to requests for an interview. Miller, who is now playing professional basketball in Italy, answered questions via text message and wrote that coaches become involved because they "don't want any false things being said about their players."

"They wanted to make sure the cops handled the situation in orderly fashion," he wrote. "... Some coaches at other schools could care less about their players. They just use 'em. But at FSU, for all sports ... our coaches genuinely care and love their players and treat us as if we are their own kids and that's from scholarship players to walk on."

Police officers who support notifying coaches or college administrators say it prepares schools for the likely media onslaught that follows and can sometimes help get athletes to talk.

Officers in some departments refer certain incidents to coaches or school officials for punishment instead of pursuing criminal charges, especially for what the officers say are minor offenses or when evidence might fall short of prosecution. That's how Gainesville police handled Aaron Hernandez when the former Florida tight end admitted to drinking at a bar and hitting a bar manager when he was 17. Officers said they wouldn't charge him for underage drinking, "but that it would be noted in the report so the coaching staff may handle that issue internally."

According to the report, the bar manager told police he wanted to press charges for the alleged assault, but two weeks later told them that "he has been contacted by legal staff and coaches with UF and that they are working on an agreement" and "that he may request that charges be dropped." Public court records, which are limited in juvenile cases, show no resolution for that incident.

Expert legal help a phone call away
Hernandez's attorney was a man named Huntley Johnson, a graduate of Florida's law school, donor to its athletic fund, and counsel to so many Florida athletes that a local newspaper even dubbed him the Gators' real MVP.

When Outside the Lines first presented Ben Tobias, spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department, with data showing athletes were less likely to be prosecuted than non-athletes, Tobias said the main reason was likely the athletes' unique access to legal counsel, which Outside the Lines found was a factor at such other schools as Florida State, Missouri and Oklahoma State.

Repeat offenders
Among the football and men's basketball players studied by Outside the Lines, there were many repeat offenders.


"Sometimes we joke that [Huntley Johnson's] got a better communication system than 911," Tobias said.

Johnson, who has a history of rejecting media interview requests, declined to answer questions from Outside the Lines. The first time Chris Rainey -- the Florida running back with the long list of alleged crimes -- needed Johnson's help was September 2010, after Rainey sent his then girlfriend a text message that said, "Time to die, b----, U and UR!" while she was at home with her 8-year-old son and sister.

Rainey was initially charged with felony stalking but agreed to deferred prosecution on a reduced charge of misdemeanor stalking.

Rainey told Outside the Lines he remained wary of police, but he had confidence in Johnson to keep him, and the team, out of serious trouble: "... you still got Huntley, so, if anything happens, we got Huntley. So, he will get you out of anything, everything."

Even in the NFL, Rainey found himself accused in three additional crimes in Gainesville, including an arrest for dating violence and simple battery. He never faced any charges.

Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen, who represented Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston against accusations of sexual assault more than two years ago, said there is a "90 percent better chance of getting a better outcome than a person who just does nothing, or they get a public defender, once they're charged."

The attorney, who charges some clients up to $500 an hour, said he gets paid by the families and does not represent them for free. He said he often gets alerted to cases by FSU's Monk Bonasorte, who has his personal cell phone number and will call him at the first sign of trouble.

"[Police] will contact probably Monk and say, 'We need to talk to this student,'" Jansen said. "Now, then my phone rings or somehow that magically does happen, and how it's done, I don't know. It's like making sausage."

In 2011, police reports show, Jansen showed up unannounced at the Tallahassee Police Department station as one officer interviewed a player suspected of striking and raping a prostitute. The allegations, while graphic, were inconsistent and coming from a woman who police said was coming down from a cocaine binge.

The player, who was not ultimately charged, had not called Jansen and was in the middle of detailing what happened when two other officers -- one of whom was a teammate's father -- interrupted to tell the athlete "he had representation in the lobby."

Tipped off to the trouble -- Jansen said it was likely by police -- Bonasorte called Jansen.

Tallahassee (Florida) attorney Tim Jansen says he often gets called by athletic department officials when an athlete is accused of a crime. AP Photo/Steve Cannon
At the police department, Jansen spoke with the player for a few minutes outside of officers' presence, police reports show. The player returned and gave a different account of the night's events, admitting he had sex with the woman but that it was consensual.

Michigan State might prove an example of what happens when everyone is afforded the same legal counsel; students there can get a free defense attorney through the school's student legal services.

As a result, East Lansing Police spokesman Lt. Steve Gonzalez said, a lot of Michigan State students get attorneys for even the most minor cases, such as a ticket for having alcohol in public. And those same attorneys show up on athletes' misdemeanor cases.

When Outside the Lines analyzed the results of case dispositions involving Michigan State students compared to a set of East Lansing cases involving college-age males, there appeared to be no discrepancy like seen at Florida State and Florida. About 62 percent of MSU athlete cases resulted in no record, dismissal or plea to a lesser charge of civil infraction; among the comparison set, it was 66 percent.

In felony cases, in which any defendant is likely to have an attorney, athletes sometimes still benefit by having better legal counsel than someone who has to settle for a public defender. That's what happened with Darrell Williams, the Oklahoma State basketball player who was initially convicted of rape and sexual battery after two women said he groped them and shoved his hands down their pants and penetrated them during a house party in December 2010.

Williams' attorneys were William Baker and Cheryl Ramsey, both known for representing Oklahoma State athletes and coaches. Ramsey is a veteran Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney who was part of the team selected to defend Oklahoma City federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh in the late '90s. She is currently defending former Oklahoma State football player Tyreek Hill, who was arrested Dec. 11 for allegedly choking and punching his girlfriend.

Ramsey said she took on Williams' case for free because of the severity of the charges and how they were out of character for him: "It wasn't that he was an athlete, but he was a person who needed help."

After a jury trial ended in a conviction in July 2012, Ramsey hired private investigators to interview jurors, which is how she found out that at least two of them had made unauthorized visits to the crime scene, which the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals determined influenced the verdict and the court overturned the conviction in April 2014.

Fear of involvement and fear of betrayal
While several defense attorneys said in interviews that athletes were more likely than regular students to need an attorney because their status makes them prone to being targeted or falsely accused, Outside the Lines' examination found a significant number of examples to the contrary: their fame deters victims and witnesses from coming forward.

When a woman told Columbia, Missouri, police in April 2014 that football player Dorial Green-Beckham had forced a door open and pushed her down the stairs in the apartment she shared with Green-Beckham's girlfriend, the girlfriend texted the alleged victim to persuade her to tell police to drop the charges.

"He will be kicked out of Mizzou and then not qualify for the [NFL] draft next year. The coaches talked to me and explained how serious this is and there's no time to waste at this point."

When police questioned the girlfriend about the texts and whether coaches had pressured her to get the charges dropped, she changed her story and said the coaches never talked to her directly but that Green-Beckham had told her to relay the information.

The alleged victim told police she wanted to drop the case: "She stated she was afraid of the media and community backlash since Green-Beckham is a football player," the report states. "[She] was afraid of being harassed and having her property damaged just because she was the victim. [She] stated she did not want to deal with the mental stress of the whole ordeal; it was already making her physically sick to think about it."

She had reason to be fearful. On TigerBoard.com, a popular online forum for Missouri fans, the name-calling and harassment had begun: "Which loser ass snitch called the cops over some drunk kids arguing?" "Snitches get stitches!" "No, just a jersey chaser looking for $." "Jock sniffin for dark meat team." "Is gold digging a sport?"

Incident resolutions
The incidents Outside the Lines examined did not always ended up prosecutions or charges.


Outside the Lines contacted Green-Beckham's agent, who declined comment and did not make Green-Beckham available for an interview. On May 1, Green-Beckham was drafted in the second round by the Tennessee Titans.

Outside the Lines found multiple examples of alleged victims and witnesses refusing to participate in criminal investigations -- including sexual assaults, fights and even theft -- because they were worried about publicity and fans harassing them. Others simply didn't want to get players in trouble.

Many of the alleged victims, mostly women, spoke to Outside the Lines on the condition their names not be revealed. They described fans who showed up at their workplaces to harass them; vulgar, sexual insults on the phone, in email and social media; and even death threats toward them and their relatives.

Prosecutors routinely encounter reluctant victims and witnesses in everyday cases, especially domestic violence, but they say the element of celebrity and media coverage can take it to a higher level.

"I think it would be naïve to suggest that the high level of publicly doesn't have a chilling effect on people," said Benton County (Oregon) District Attorney John Haroldson, whose office handles cases involving Oregon State athletes. "You certainly see that happen in cases of sexual assault ... they have to contend with, 'Do I want this to play out in the media?'"

Around midnight on April 12, 2014, Oregon State student Michael Davis said he and a friend had been arguing with some football players about cutting in line at a bar and he had fallen to the ground with one of them while fending off a punch. As Davis stood up, tight end Tyler Perry ran up and punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground, the police report states.

According to the report, Davis said a friend who played football told him that he "shouldn't call the cops. We won't have a starting lineup next year." Another person involved in the incident said he "knew the males to be OSU football players so did not really want them in any trouble."

Days after the incident, Davis said that one of his professors noticed several football players milling outside the door of a classroom and the professor told him to exit through a different door because she was afraid they were going to harass him.

"I never wanted to be that guy who turned on the football team," Davis told Outside the Lines, adding that he has several friends who were athletes.

Davis said he sustained $5,000 in injuries to his teeth and nose and has a scar that starts between his eyes and gives him sort of a "joker nose."

Perry, who did not respond to emails or phone messages left by Outside the Lines, admitted hitting Davis, according to the police report. Davis said he "was in disbelief" when the prosecuting attorney told him there wasn't enough evidence to file charges.

Two months later, Davis said, he ran into Perry at a party. Perry apologized, he said.

While Davis said he appreciated Perry's apology, "all those guys got away with it, and I know it's not the first time it happened."

Former Florida running back Chris Rainey was named a suspect in five crimes in Gainesville. He faced charges once. AP Photo/John Raoux
Madison (Wisconsin) Police Capt. Carl Gloede, whose district includes the University of Wisconsin campus, said he doesn't see many cases in which victims or witnesses are afraid to speak out against athletes in an investigation, but that might be in part because those cases don't get reported in the first place.

"If people have information and they're afraid to provide it because of the notoriety, we do our best to encourage that openness. But it's hard to provide anonymity to witnesses because the accused have the right to know who's accusing them of crimes," Gloede said.

State Attorney Willie Meggs in Tallahassee said he understands why victims would be unwilling to come forward, having felt some of the fan backlash himself when his office decided on the Jameis Winston case.

"I had people writing me saying that they hope my daughter and my wife got raped, and just all of those kinds of things for not doing this, and then I had people writing me saying, 'You're going to cost us a national championship, and you're just evil, and you hate athletes,'" he said.

When the Tallahassee Police Department took an unusual step of turning an ESPN public records request -- which contained the reporter's email address and cell phone number -- into a press release and posting it online on Christmas Eve, hundreds of Florida State fans responded to the reporter with harassing phone calls, emails, texts and social media posts, including many of a sexual and threatening nature. (Tallahassee police said the publication of the request followed departmental procedure, yet no other requests have been publicized in a similar fashion.)

One of the reports received from that request was an incident from July 2011, in which a woman reported that her ex-boyfriend, a Florida State basketball player, had broken into her apartment in Tallahassee. Police noted evidence of destruction and a voicemail suggesting the athlete had been there. The woman told police she simply wanted her ex-boyfriend to leave her alone and she did not want to pursue charges, the report states: "She has a great deal of concern that her name will end up in the news."

Gainesville's Officer Tobias said "everyone" is at fault for athletes having such leverage.

"It's the fault of the athletes, it's the fault of the victims, it's the fault of society, it's the fault of the media, because everyone paints this picture and holds athletes up on a pedestal sometimes and we all are making them invincible," he said. "The fans are making them invincible, and the victims themselves, they look up to them at the same time. So to think that they can be victimized by this person is sometimes a reach for them."

Producer Nicole Noren of ESPN's Enterprise/Investigative Unit, ESPN senior writers Elizabeth Merrill and Mark Schlabach, and freelance reporter Anna Hensel contributed to this report.

I'm sure John Lee Pettimore III John Lee Pettimore III will be along to tell us there's nothing to see here
 

John Lee Pettimore III

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The same posters who flood the "Cop Tyranny" thread about black people being arrested for trivial crimes are amazed that when black athletes can afford/are provided with attorneys, their conviction rates go down. And you aren't even acknowledging that 50% of "regular" people have their charges dropped as well.

:thinking2:
 
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I Am So Happy About Gay Marriage Being Legal in the US | Ian Welsh

I Am So Happy About Gay Marriage Being Legal in the US
2015 June 26
by Ian Welsh

But, yeah, sorry, but, can we talk Obama for a moment?

Obama did not support gay rights until after he was subjected to IMMENSE pressure, including public heckling and a gay donor strike.

Now, I appreciate a politician who will cave to interests I believe in, but let’s be clear, this is a case of caving.

My friends, above all things, supporting, trusting, and giving credit to people who actually have your interests in heart is what hurts you, again and again. Until you learn who you can actually trust (and for what), you are going to continue to get hurt.

Among the other news of the week was the passage of “Fast Track” legislation for the TPP trade deal. That is going to cost many of you your jobs, and it is going to make many of the rest of you poorer, even if you keep a job. People I trust on the Hill tell me that Obama has NEVER lobbied harder for anything (not even Obamacare) than he did for TPP.

Obama, as a rule, is happy to give you things that the oligarchy doesn’t mind. They don’t, overall, mind gay rights. A large chunk of the oligarchy wanted Obamacare (it was and is a huge subsidy to insurance and pharma companies, among others). There is a reason the public option was never seriously considered by Obama; it was a potential threat to insurance companies.

None of this is to say Obama is all bad, he certainly isn’t. But he is not your friend if you want widespread economic prosperity, and he never has been. Nor will he ever be. Nor, to point out what should be obvious, is Hilary Clinton (also not always for marriage equality).

You set yourself up for immense hurt when you trust the wrong people with political power and it is important not to engage in revisionism about what is, after all, very recent history.
 
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