Former NASDAQ executive gets 42 months for insider trading

A former Nasdaq executive has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty for making hundreds of thousands of dollars by trading on confidential information.

Donald Johnson, 57, was director and then managing director of Nasdaq’s market intelligence desk before retiring in September 2009. In May he pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud for his scheme, which ran from 2006 until 2009.

He was responsible for monitoring the stocks of companies traded on the Nasdaq as well as giving the companies information and analyses about trading in their stocks. As a result, Johnson received advance information about upcoming companies’ earnings, news releases and personnel changes.

Federal prosecutors accused him of using that inside information on at least eight occasions, reaping $641,000. Securities regulators said there was a ninth illegal trade that brings the total ill-gotten gains to just over $755,000…

Judge Anthony Trenga sentenced Johnson to serve 42 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. The judge also signed a forfeiture order for the $755,000 amount…

Johnson is the latest high-profile prosecution in a string of cases brought by the Obama administration in a bid to crack down on insider trading.

Over at the Big Blog – and many other sites that halfway cover American business [or is that halfassed?] I have given up trying to correct the ignorant who constantly prattle about nothing ever being done about corruption on Wall Street.

Yes, there could be 10 times the prosecution and conviction of crooks. The leftovers from Bush-era SEC management still infests the Street. But, that’s as much a function of budgets still limited by Republican and Blue Dog Democrat conservatives who fear the hand of Zardoz descending upon them for daring to fightback against corruption.

Meanwhile, I continue to record a portion of these clowns sent up the river for their crimes.

Suquamish Tribe easily approves same-sex marriage

There were no protests and not much politics when the Suquamish Tribe quietly confronted one of the most tender social issues of the day.

This spring, a young woman stood up at the tribe’s annual meeting on its reservation here on Puget Sound and asked it to formally approve same-sex marriage. The response from the 300 or so people present was an enthusiastic “yes” in a voice vote. There was no audible dissent. Then, after another, smaller meeting (still no opposition) and a little work by the tribal attorney, the tribal council voted unanimously this month to approve same-sex marriage.

No court fights. No ballot measures. No billionaires behind the scenes.

“It was an important statement, but it wasn’t one that was a real struggle to make,” said Leonard Forsman, chairman of the tribe. “We really saw this as a housekeeping issue.”

No same-sex couple has expressed interest in getting married on the reservation soon. Nor is it clear that there would be a practical impact if they did, in part because Washington State already has a domestic partnership law that extends most marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

Yet people involved in the process say the new law was an important act of self-determination. While its specific purpose is to affirm marriage rights for same-sex couples, supporters say the law also is an effort to assert tribal culture and authority over outside influences by people whose very identities have been under assault for more than two centuries, since non-Indian settlers began arriving in the Pacific Northwest.

“The reason for passing it had nothing to do with ‘What benefits do I get out of it?’ ” said Michelle Hansen, the tribal attorney. “You have this community saying, ‘Where we can avoid discrimination, we’re going to do it…’ ”

Experts note that some tribes, including the Navajo and the Cherokee, have passed laws opposing same-sex marriage, but the precise marriage policy of many tribes is not known because tribes do not always make their laws public.

Scholars noted that before tribes came into contact with Christian missionaries, homosexuality was not necessarily viewed negatively.

“It went from tolerated in some tribes to very highly regarded in others,” said Karina L. Walters, the director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute…

“It wasn’t thought of as homosexual, necessarily, it was thought of as another type of gender,” she said. “The whole idea behind it is tribes never excluded people.”

We’re obviously witnessing the failure of Christian missionaries to instill a proper belief in inequality and gender superiority…and other similar Anglo foolishness.

Hawaii is the bluest state, Utah the reddest

Utah is the most Republican state in the U.S. this year, and Washington, D.C., and Hawaii rank as the most Democratic areas, according to a Gallup survey…

Among respondents to the poll, self-identified Democrats hold a 68-percentage-point advantage over Republicans in D.C. and a 24-point edge in Hawaii for the first half of 2011. Maryland, which ranked second after D.C. in a 2010 poll, now comes in just behind Hawaii with a 22-point Democratic advantage.

Gallup classifies states as more Democratic or more Republican based on the difference between the percentage of residents who tell pollsters they identify or lean Democrat and those who identify or lean Republican.

In Utah, Republicans hold a 32-point advantage over Democrats to make it the most Republican state in the country. Idaho ranks second with a 29-point gap. Wyoming, which held a 1-percentage-point edge over Utah in 2010, ranks third this year with a 27-point Republican advantage…

There’s little change elsewhere, according to Gallup’s polling. From 2010 to 2011, just one state fell from the Democrat top 10: California. Illinois, which was not in the top ten in 2010, now ranks as the ninth most Democratic in 2011.

On the GOP side, eight of the top 10 remain from 2010 to 2011. New Hampshire and South Dakota dropped down, and North Dakota and South Carolina rose to the top 10 Republican states…

On the national level, Democrats hold a slim lead over Republicans, with 44 percent of Americans surveyed saying they identify or lean Democratic compared with 40 percent who prefer the GOP. “The first half of 2011 looked a lot like 2010 politically in the United States, with Democrats enjoying a slight advantage in party affiliation nationally,” the report stated…

The Gallup results are based on a random sample of 177,600 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from Jan. 2-June 30, 2011. Margins of error for most states are plus or minus 3 percentage points or less.

Gallup is too candyass to work at defining the characteristics of independent voters. I presume there continues to be a growing portion of that quality who are Left or Right of the two old parties – who are too fed up with internal bureaucracy to want to deal with membership in either.

Manchester coppers Tweet info on convicted rioters

Lifting a page from the hacker’s handbook, the Greater Manchester Police are naming and shaming rioters on their Twitter feed.

“We promised we’d name all those convicted for their roles in the disorder — here we go …” the police announced, as they began listing the names, dates of birth and partial addresses of individuals tried in connection with the disorder, which flared across Britain.

“Eoin Flanagan (born 01/01/1983), of Carson Road, Burnage, jailed for eight months for stealing clothes,” read one post.

“Jason Ullett (born 15/10/72) of Woodward Court, Ancoats, sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for swearing at police officers,” read another.

And another: “Stefan Hoyle (born 27/01/1992) of St. Stephen Street, Salford, jailed for four months for theft after found with a stolen violin…”

The police department’s efforts received both praise and criticism, along with a few questions. The department explained that it released dates of birth so as to avoid confusion with individuals with the same name.

Both the Manchester and London police have also posted photo streams on the photo-sharing site Flickr and asked the public to help identify riot suspects…

The Manchester police seem to be keenly aware that they are treading on new territory. “Lot of debate about publishing details – courts very clear, justice should be done publicly,” read one of its recent posts on Twitter.

The opportunist shits who run their game of rioting and looting behind the excuse of legitimate demonstrations deserve every sanction they receive. The stink of fear of being revealed is just part of the hoodie mentality that requires as much publicity as possible – after being convicted.

Woman who abandoned newborn now wants custody

Redbelly the dog receiving award from local coppers

A mother imprisoned for lying to police about her pregnancy is battling for custody of the child she left in the yard of a neighbor shortly after his birth.

Nunu Sung is scheduled for parole in January after serving some of a three-year prison term imposed after she pleaded guilty in October 2010 to felony obstruction of justice. In exchange, prosecutors agreed they would not seek to terminate the woman’s parental rights.

However, prosecutors are now involved in terminating Sung’s parental rights to 2-year-old Joshua in favor of a Wheaton couple who are the child’s foster parents.

DuPage Circuit Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said…prosecutors may have erred in making the promise but were legally obligated to get involved in the parental termination proceedings. The judge said Sung’s only option is to file a post-conviction request to reopen her plea and sentence…

Sung’s attorneys said she hid her pregnancy because she was afraid she would be punished and scorned by her family…

A civil attorney appointed by Fawell as Joshua’s guardian filed paperwork to terminate Sung’s parental rights based largely on her abandoning the child…

The newborn was found in June 2009 by a Wheaton man who noticed the baby with its umbilical cord still attached after his dog spotted the child under a tree and barked. Prosecutors alleged the child might have died if he hadn’t been found.

“The baby, who was left outside on the cold, hard ground, had a body temperature in the low 80s and was hypothermic,” Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau wrote earlier this year in court records. “But for a dog, who was let out in the morning hours, this baby would have died.”

Tough decision for lot of folks. I’d come down on the side of the wee’un who’s been living with folks who loved him from the gitgo. It’s nice that Joshua’s natural mother wants to retake the responsibility of raising him – but, she was equally ready to leave him to die.

Nissan Leaf powered by… single malt whiskey?

Seeing cars powered by alcohol is nothing new. After all, that’s what ethanol is. But as expensive as gasoline might get, fueling a car on single malt scotch would be more wasteful than lighting your cigar with a hundred-dollar bill. Yet that’s just what one Mark Reynier is doing. Well, almost, but not quite.

Reynier is proprietor of the Bruichladdich distillery on the Scottish isle of Islay. The island is known for its smokey, peaty whiskies, and the relatively recently re-opened Bruichladdich distillery is already earning itself distinction not only for the quality of its whiskies – this writer thoroughly enjoyed a glass of the good stuff just the other day – but also for its sustainability. Bruichladdich offers a range of organic single malts, and is also one of the first distilleries to operate self-sufficiently.

The distillery grows, malts and distills its own whisky on-site (a rarity even among single malts), but it has now taken things a step further. Bruichladdich, you see, generates its own electricity by reusing the waste products from the distilling process. And now Reynier is also using that electricity to charge up his Nissan Leaf.

To celebrate the feat, Nissan and Bruichladdich have teamed up for a special Leaf edition organic whisky.

Combining the functions of generating electricity by sustainable means – and using the juice to power an electric vehicle is beginning to catch on. If you peep over here you’ll see the proposed package to be offered by Ford and SunPower, electric vehicle + solar panels for a grid-tie installation,