Journalism in the Public Interest

This Week’s Top MuckReads: Cops Committing Crimes and A Shady Marketing Scheme

Our rundown of this week’s best investigative or accountability journalism.


In one of this week's MuckReads, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found that nearly a hundred Milwaukee police officers have remained on the force even after breaking the law. (Mark Hertzberg/Journal Times, AP Photo)

Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.


The Shady Marketing Scheme That’s Buying Off Your Favorite Bloggers, Gawker
A small marketing agency working for big corporate clients offers to pay well-read bloggers for linking to clients’ sites in posts, telling one Gawker blogger it’s a way to make some money under the table. According to the email correspondence, which Gawker posted, the agency claims to have such arrangements with editors at The Huffington Post, Business Insider and Technorati, although the sites have denied knowledge of the agency and the practice.
Contributed by @A_L


Both Sides of the Law, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Nearly 100 Milwaukee police officers have remained on the force despite breaking the law. In the first installment of a three-part series, the Journal Sentinel looks at the failure to discipline the city’s cops, and some of the most egregious offenses they’ve been allowed to get away with.  In one case, an officer "beat his wife so badly there was blood in every room of their house." You can also take a closer look at the details of each officer’s case with this searchable database.
Contributed by @js_watchdog


On Edge of Paradise, Coachella Workers Live in Grim Conditions, California Watch
In California’s Coachella Valley, migrant workers are crowded into squalid trailer parks that are home to “arsenic-tainted water, frequent blackouts and raw sewage that backs up into the shower.” The development of these unregulated parks was fueled by a 1992 law allowing farms to build housing units without obtaining zoning and land-use permits.
Contributed by @sdmattpotter


The Mayor’s Millionaire Club, Chicago Reader
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, has held dozens of meetings with bankers and business elites over the summer — meetings that were kept off his public schedule. While many of Chicago’s social-service and community groups are left out in the cold, Emanuel makes time for wealthy out-of-state donors and political operators with little connection to Chicago.
Contributed by @mariancw


Incentives And Cultural Bias Fuel Foster System, NPR
Federal law mandates that Native American children who are taken from their parents should be placed with relatives or a member of their tribe. But in South Dakota, state records show that “native children are more than twice as likely to be sent to foster care as children of other races, even in similar circumstances.” The majority of those children are placed with non-native families.
Contributed by @srubenfeld


Loaded Guns in Checked Bags Aren’t on TSA’s Radar, Los Angeles Times
TSA officials disclosed this week that they’re only mandated to scan checked baggage for explosives, not loaded guns. Loaded guns in checked baggage aren’t treated as a concern because they’re not accessible to passengers, but past cases show they can go off and cause damage to the plane.
Contributed by @shelbygrad


These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success—please contribute!

All these disorders of today are results of bad leader-ships of the past. We humans created these by too much policies and regulations and we can balance the situation by basic honesty and selfless endeavors.

If our policies abroad involves crimes against humanity by our leadership, the back fire is bound to reach our homeland. We mush respect God’s presence among everything humans do, when we say “In God we trust”.
We waste our valuable life time on worrying over nonsense things far away from facts as presented by Medias controlled by insatiably money hungry businessmen.
This is called politics for money and power. If the honest heads of the west could declare Amnesty for Gaddafi on time, Saudi oil company owners /Heads would receive the same and oil price would be normal again as there shall never ever be any shortage of oil or gold etc. on earth, because no animals can eat these items.

My brother from France just emailed me the following:

Fw: Gaddafi -untold story

Hide Details
FROM: shah sakir
TO: shahislam (shahzakirulislam)

Message flagged

Friday, October 28, 2011 4:46:57 PM

Message body

Subject: The Gaddafi -untold story

The media has successfully painted Gaddafi as a hard-core dictator, tyrant whatever you want to call him. However, the media as usual has also failed to show the kind, giving Gaddafi never heard of. Gaddafi unlike most dictators managed to show his humane side.

Libyans should be considered lucky to a certain extent and one wonders with the new democratic rule they cry for will it improve or worsen life for them. Yes, Gaddafi has spent millions of Libya`s money on personal ventures but is the average Libyan poor? We know others who take a country and destroy it until you feel like there is no hope of restoring this country… looting some prefer to call it. Did Gaddafi loot Libya in any way?

Now let us get to the unknown facts about the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:
1. There is no electricity bill in Libya ; electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
3. Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya . Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.
6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick-start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.
8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.

Great Man-Made River project in Libya … $27 billion

11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

Which other dictator has done much good to his people besides?

I don’t believe everything I read - verify - then believe.  I’d like to see some documentation about Gaddafi’s largesse.

Thanks Anne for your comment.
Probably without Gaddafi Libyans wouldn’t see the wealth they have so far enjoyed, when people in their neighbouring lands are poorest. The religious tone now in their vioce will place them in no better political situation than what religious leader-ship of Iran, Afghanistan etc. can provide with their subjects.

You may like to to read the following:

Please tell others about these kind of great things Obama’s Administration is doing as you can find attached at the bottom or just forward the copy to others and watch with patience, how the world evolves to be a better place for mankind everywhere. Barack just needs a little more time and support from US/ North-American citizens with global links.

So, I implore: please tell all the connections you have in USA and elsewhere with positive influence on US voters, to unconditionally support Barack for now and this party in the coming time. If we lose him, the world will head for only worse at this time of rapid transitions in global trades that’s taking place, although expectations and ideas of 3rd world war by opportunist money hungry businessmen and brutal minded bad leaders will be rejected by the smarter collective wisdom of evolved global public.

There are always different scenes behind the mental pictures that we get from dishonestly controlled media -giants /moguls and then, from baseless hearsay-a vicious cycle.

Being envious of others’ good-luck is not uncommon but when jealousy leads to killings or aimed at complete destruction of it’s objects; it becomes a matter of sickness in human heads and ‘too negativity charged crimes against humanity’ get committed right-away, regardless of the strength of backing! Killings, assassinations etc. were part of old-style politics of uncivilized times!

Attached below what I just posted to and some other World-class News papers:

If our policies abroad involves crimes against humanity by our leadership, the back fire is bound to reach our homeland too. We must respect God’s presence among everything we humans do, especially when we honestly say “In God we trust”.
We waste our valuable life time on worrying over nonsense things far away from facts as presented by easily available social tools of media giants, controlled by insatiably money hungry businessmen.
This is called politics for money and selfish power handling by small minded guys in world leadership.

Barack, a true friend of-yet unknown to everyday people of outside world, is doing a very hard work for US part of global public and the proof is visible to wise ones, not only in growing color of his gray hairs but in each and every steps and actions he is taking everyday. From my regular contact and close observations of things accomplished by his hard working Administration, I am more than certain that Barack is now in an extra-ordinary, real honest, broader scale global politics beyond personal or own selfish interests, unlike almost all the other Ex-Presidents of USA that will place him on a truly honorable position for the coming time.

The potential in him-I have noted makes me sometimes question my own optimism whether I am seeing slightly exaggerated image of himself but as the time goes by I am feeling strong enough to advise all of you to believe me without any trace of doubts in your minds that it’s a very difficult job to implement honestly-powerful “visionary-thoughts of many years” in a short time because I personally know, at least, about the prudently thinking and mistake-free implementing process!

If the honest heads of the West could declare Amnesty for Gaddafi on time (but our encouragement from our human end shall eventually follow the non-violent path of forgiveness /amnesty in regard to many still to appear uprisings in the international horizons, hopefully starting from Assad of Syria) then, many apparent heads and more up until now “Not visible”-unscrupulous luxury-blind groups of corporate businessmen in monopoly advantage of oil-pump dealer-ships of the West (As logically valid, benefit claimers of the Earth’s resources: the Middle class hard working global public can afford some billionaires but not a half million “less tax paying millionaires” and in the disguise of rulers of global land-pieces like Venezuela, Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, Libya, Borneo etc. as family members of “oil companies’ hereditary” -owners would receive the same opportunity to avoid “Do or die situations” and oil price would come back to normal again as there shall never ever be any shortage of oil or gold etc. on earth.

How ridiculous it is when ...........................

How ridiculous it is when some news medias want the global public to believe: if “human head chopper {e.g. 8 Bangladeshi suspected petty thieves-earning less than US $ 10 for a day’s hard desert-labor in oil richest: Saudi-Arabia, got themselves in broad daylight brutally beheaded; in public for accidental 2nd degree murder; just like lower kind of animals (in the West 1. We don’t even kill a goat in public and 2. Our immigration rules and policies naturalize foreign workers with equal social status and rights, despite the fact that our public fund is not as lavish as the same of those brutal heads of Oil based powers) without applying any of the civilized forms of fairness in administering justice in a present well-connected modern era}: brutal Saudi regime” is removed from power, even in a better way than Saddam and Gaddafi, the oil price would increase!” -This propaganda, today in the form of thoughts only, will become tomorrow’s reality and greed-blind a few negative thinkers by using the money-power for the sake of luxury of own and the wealthy thugs of unfamiliar back-grounds are making it happen.

There will never ever be any real shortage of oil, fuel or gold in endless times ahead as animals cannot eat these mineral items.

If future motor-engines can be run by sands but the process would involve any gas-station type service retailers, then, sands as a source of energy will be as expensive as motor-fuel of today.

Helpless but hard-working middle class of global public need to be wise enough to understand this fact and demand these ‘unscrupulously profiteering oil dealer-ships’ to be brought under justice by simply changing regulations and policies that were made in favor of a few oil companies financially backed by idle money of some filthy rich-groups that includes emirs, sheiks, kings etc. of the Middle Eastern territory+, in the monopoly business of Oil imports and exports and dealer-ships of Oil pumps in the West.

How much is the average price of a liter of fuel in a piece of land of the Middle East? (Please note: Libyan local price below as attached)

For usage of natural gas, Bangladeshi households pay even less than 1/100Th of what we pay for household natural gas usage in Canada /North-America. (There is no gas meter for domestic use in Bangladesh; however, I would be happy if all the profits would go to the North-American Government funds for public benefit, instead of a few CEO’s personal pockets as “Bonus’ for profiteering territorial natural gas supply business!

It is more impotant to identify the profiteers than to explore alternative energy sources.

And this kind of great jobs are among what the truly honorable Mr. Barack Obama, as a lucky President of USA is currently busy about day and night! The good and bad guys of the whole world (except greed-blind, unhappy, negatively-powerful old-political-minded guys, because they can’t pray for un-selfish leaders, positive thinkers with human good qualities above average; unless their envious minds are changed somehow to be sane enough to feel the pain of hard working people with too less income) should pray for Barack’s safety; along with my personal safety too, as I am indirectly making accusations (what Barack is unable to do) against ego-blind, virtually-insane, filthy-rich, powerful-business-leaders.

I often repeat my slogan: “Live long Obama with us all!”, when I muse over Barack’s magnificent power of positive thoughts and ability to make the right decision at the right moment and sometimes in advance such as: Ending wars in the Middle East!     

Attached (mainly for too busy Barack’s quick review from Non-Western point of view, despite the bad sides or unwise cruelty of ego or religiously blind that guy or others with similar ordinary mentalities) is an excerpt that has some facts unheard by the mainstream Western Public (my brother from France just emailed me hours ago:

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