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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dick Devos: Michigan's Democracy Has No Rulers

Michigan gubernatorial election, 2006
Amway's C.E.O. Richard "Dick"
Devos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Independent Underground Op/Ed
Forewarning - The Opinion/Editorial piece contains over 7000 words, and contains six parts to this article.
On December 28th local journalistic resource Detroit Free Press accepted Michigan resident Dick Devos' Opinion/Editorial piece. Independent Underground Op/Ed has written the below response, to Devos' article.

According to author and former Michigan resident Jeffery Feldman's November 3, 2007, entry on  Huffington Post, the purpose of a "Free Press" is the following:

"The purpose of a 'free press,' in other words, was not simply for the press to report whatever they felt like. The free press was only free if they reported news and events in such a way that their work guaranteed that the 'opinion of the people' would remain 'the basis of our government'--of American government."
Real opinion based pieces crafted solely on the writers point-of-view, are normally reverse for personal blogs, over scholastic cited newspaper resources. 

Collaborating Mr. Feldman's point of view, is the Marquette Law Review's, "The First Amendment and Freedom of the Press: A Revised Approach to the Marketplace of Ideas Concept" by Patrick Garry, Volume 72, Issue 2, published Winter of 1989.

"In some decisions, the Court has  apparently  recognized  that the two clauses may embody or protect  distinct freedoms. If one accepts the premise, as the Court has tacitly done, that the press clause has independent significance from the speech clause, a second area of confusion arises. This concerns the nature of freedoms protected by the free press clause. Among those scholars and judges who believe in the independence of the two clauses, there are numerous conflicting  interpretations of the free press clause.

The most visible and influential  theory at the present time is the  "fourth  estate" theory first formulated  by  Justice Stewart. Under this theory, the free press clause gives "structural"  protection to the institutional press as a "fourth  estate" which serves as a check on the abuses of government. A  "fourth  estate" press provides  organized, expert scrutiny of all three branches  of government - in  effect,  it serves as a fourth competitive branch among the three official branches.
The inquiry into the nature of the free press  protections raises the issue of whether the clause is  individualistic or structural.  The former view focuses upon  "press" acts of individuals - i.e., protecting individuals as they act  in  press-related  manners, such  as  publishing  or gathering  news. The latter view  examines the protections given  to the press as a structural part of our society. The determination of this initial question influences the type of specific judicial protections which may be given under first amendment case law."
Dick Devos' opinions are not news. Instead, Devos' piece are in direct contrast to what the meaning "Free Press" should stand for. In fact, Devos' dictation largely based on tall-tales and bloated interpretations of fact.

                                                                      Part - 1

Let's start with Devos' history. Dick Devos claim to fame is as "GodFather of Pyramid Schemes" with his company, Amway.

Pyramid Schemes by their very nature, are designed to flow revenue at the top of a organizational chain-of-command structure. Underneath the upper intellect of a business pyramid scheme, are the hopeful "working class". 

The "working class" are encouraged to invest in the Pyramid structure. False promises are made to the "working class", based on notions if they devout maximum effort for reaching the upper echelons of the pyramid, these individuals will step into "upper classes of society". 

In the cusp of a Pyramid Scheme, are numerous fabrications of the highest order.

From Wikipedia -Amway Corporation

"Amway has several times been accused of being a pyramid scheme. Harvard Business School of Leadership, which described Amway as “one of the most profitable direct selling companies in the world", noted that Amway founders Van Andel and DeVos: 
"...accomplished their success through the use of an elaborate pyramid-like distribution system in which independent distributors of Amway products received a percentage of the merchandise they sold and also a percentage of the merchandise sold by recruited distributors. DeVos was an extremely charismatic speaker and used this ability to mobilize and motivate Amway distributors." 
DeVos responded to the pyramid scheme accusations about Amway in a 2009 interview with Grand Rapids Press reporter Chris Knape. 
Knape: "Amway has been accused of being a pyramid scheme, of tax evasion and a host of other things. How much of the problems Amway has had over the years can you attribute to the decisions that you made or Jay Van Andel made?" 
DeVos: "We failed to come down hard enough, quick enough, to stamp that sort of thing out. That was a sin of omission. We failed to discipline the organization." 
The FTC did, however, find Amway "guilty of price-fixing and making exaggerated income claims"; the company was ordered to stop retail price fixing and allocating customers among distributors and was prohibited from misrepresenting the amount of profit, earnings or sales its distributors are likely to achieve with the business. 
Amway was ordered to accompany any such statements with the actual averages per distributor, pointing out that more than half of the distributors do not make any money, with the average distributor making less than $100 per month. The order was violated with a 1986 ad campaign, resulting in a $100,000 fine."
And that's not all.

Legal Analysis - Pyramid Scheme Alert Website, "Amway Accused of Fraud; Pays $150 Million; Where’s the FTC and DOJ?" - November 11, 2010:

"A key aspect of the suit is the charge that Amway misleads consumers with false income claims and promises for its “business opportunity.” Pyramid Scheme Alert’s analysis of Amway payouts to distributors shows that more than 99% of all who sign up never earn a profit. 
When actual costs are factored, including the related “tools” business, some estimates put the loss rates at 99.9%. This 99% loss figure correlates with tax data gathered as early as the 1980s when the state of Wisconsin prosecuted Amway. It was also verified by data gained by federal regulators in England who sued to shut down Amway in that country just several years ago."
Dick Devos specialty, is normally called a "income or wealth redistribution model". 

Devos has made billions fooling individuals in Michigan and Worldwide with a brand of lies. Video blogger and Economics Expert Ryan Wiley breaks down in lament terms the matrix of  wealth redistribution model pyramid scheme. The scheme point: to rob wealth out of Middle/Lower Class and Senior Michiganders hands into the offshore bank accounts of those like Devos.
                                                                   Part -2 

With billions made from Amway's pyramid related schemes on a domestic and international fronts, Devos launched a unsuccessful campaign in 2006 to be crowned Michigan's top Executive in Chief, against sitting Gov. Jennifer Granholm. 

Despite displeasure's Gov. Granholm's policies and Michigan declining economy, voters soundly defeated Devos' attempts craft a "income redistribution" style policy model for our State Governmental unit.

Reflecting on a bit of history tells us Devos' modus operandi was soundly defeated by Michigan's voters in 2006, and should remain just that way.

From Wikipedia - Jennifer Granholm:

"The election results were 56 percent for Granholm, 42 percent for DeVos, and a little over one percent for minor party candidates Gregory Creswell, Douglas Campbell, and Bhagwan Dashairya. Granholm's share of the vote was 4.9 percent higher than in her first gubernatorial election in 2002.
Gov. Granholm a highly emotional and pointed speech, November 2005, at Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks Funeral, could have had a bit to do with her victory against serial Pyramid Schemer Dick Devos.

From Democracy Now - November 3, 2005:

"Jennifer Granholm–the first female Governor of Michigan–spoke at the funeral of Rosa Parks Wednesday. She compared Parks to a war hero and ended by saying, "By your actions [Rosa Parks] you have given us your final marching orders, we are enlisted in this war and on behalf of the state of Michigan ma’am, we are reporting for duty."

Dick Devos mission: To be the Ruler of Michigan, would not be defrayed. The open question is if Michiganders come together to stop him?

                                                                      Part -3 

Devos was applauded State Taxpayers made up of primarily union supporters, ascended upon property, grounds and building facilities, the residents Michigan Income and Sales Taxable revenue to operate. Devos' permanence was Michigan citizens had no rights to peacefully address grievances with State government. Additionally, union supporters wrongly stood in opposition of Gov. Rick Snyder's Right to Work Law. 

Let's break some parts of Devos' articles of Op/Ed fallacies, piece by piece.

From the Detroit Free Press Opinion/Editorial Article, "DeVos: Move past anger and keep rebuilding Michigan," Dick Devos, December 28, 2012:

"The last two weeks in Lansing has simultaneously been a period of incredible, pro-worker reform and troubling intimidation and physical confrontation. Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed freedom-to-work legislation to bring workplace fairness and equality to the state of Michigan....
Video cameras captured dozens, perhaps hundreds, of union protesters reacting to the new reforms by tearing down massive tents, destroying property with knives and box cutters, throwing punches and racial epithets and, in a heartbreaking move that garnered significant national media coverage, destroying the livelihood of a popular local Lansing hot dog vendor who had come to serve protesters lunch."
Clint Tarver, the "Hot Dog Man" ad-hoc "attack" was proven to be fraudulent claim here.
Throwing logic out of the window, its' to be believed that Tarver just sat up his "Dog Cart" on the corner of Lansing's Capitol Grounds to kindly sell "Hot Dogs" to hungry protesters at December 11th Right to Work for Less rally.  
Yet, AFSCME --a union organization-- set up a FREE hot dog and water stand, nearby. Tarver's business strategy on a pure profitability scale, was questionable at best. 
From AFSCME Website "Thousands Protest Michigan’s Right-to-Work (for Less) Bills" - December 11, 2012: 
"Their energy was sustained not only by their determination to stop Michigan from following in the footsteps of Wisconsin and Indiana – where workers’ rights have also been trampled upon – but also by the hot dogs and energy bars dispersed from an AFSCME tent set up outside the Capitol." 
Meet Linda Lee Tarver, the Pork on a Bun Cart Man Clint's wife and Michigan's Republican Party "Ethnic Outreach" Vice-Chairperson. Yes, Mr. Tarver wife has direct links to the Michigan Republican Party, who ironically just happened to be aligned with many of the same folks inside Lansing's Capitol Building on December 11th, voting down a Right to Organize and Maintain a Union in Michigan."
Examining an article on MLive, Mr. Tarver in the off-season, choose to cater hot dogs at an "American for Prosperity" tent at a very pro-union rally. This fact should raise questions alone. Considering first to report on Mr. Tarver's fate was far-right wing sites websites, Michelle Malkin's blog and the Daily Caller.
"In the offseason, he takes on catering work. Tarver was set up under the Americans for Prosperity tent. Tarver had been hired by the conservative, anti-union group to cater in the tent the group set up," MLive reported.
Catering work, outside in 32 degree weather on a plastic Walmart small square table and food in a orange milk cart? Ponder this for a bit by looking at the picture below.

Let us know in the comments would you trust any food products, to giveaway, free by this "caterer".

Photo Credit -
Dick Devos probably wouldn't eat hot dogs provided by Mr. Tarver with this set up either.

Next we're compelled to provide video proof --for the Second Time-- which organization destroyed the "Americans for Prosperity" tent, from State of Michigan Employee Tom Duckworth on December 11th.

Devos' other point was that union supporters engaged in "troubling intimidation and physical confrontation." 

This blog news resource reported "on-the-ground" in Lansing, Michigan from on Tuesday, December 11th , and not from a gated mansion somewhere in or near Devos' home community of Grand Rapids. Independent Underground News pictures taken from the Capitol, its' associated grounds and outside the George W. Romney building proves code words noted in the above sentence written by Devos, are false.


Since paragraphs in Devos' Op/Ed is full of right-wing fallacies of the highest order, questions rise to what are the true motivations behind this piece. Michigan's Right to Work legislation was a critical tool to complete Devos' income redistribution - pyramid scheme plan.
"I am always open to serving my state or country," DeVos responded in a interview on TV 62 Michigan Manners program. "This is nothing more than a conversation about freedom, which is an American thing," DeVos said. "People having the right to choose to belong to the union or not. This won't really change things."
But change its does.

According to a December 18th polled conducted by the non-bias Public Policy Polling group, Governor Rick Snyder's approval rating has changed after signing Right-to-Work legislation, for the worst.

From Public Policy Polling - December 18, 2012:
"In hypothetical head-to-heads for the 2014 Governorship, Rick Snyder should worry. Even though potential Democratic opponents are not well-known at this point, voters are clear about their distaste for Snyder. 
They preferred every single Democratic candidate tested against him, with Virg Bernero performing the best, 49/38. Peters and Whitmer scored well with 8-point net leads each to Snyder (47/39 and 46/38). Mark Schauer also came out strong, 44/39. If an election for state legislature were held today, the majority of voters would support their Democratic candidate 56/32."
Who stands the most to benefit by Rick Snyder popularity slide? Dick Devos, on the Far-Right Wing Republican side of Republican party politics, type of way. 

Rick Snyder clearly does not deserve re-election by any means but, Dick Devos equally should not ever take the oath of office as Michigan Governor in 2014.  

From the New York Times - December 16, 2012:
"As Republican leaders in Washington grappled after the election with their failure to unseat President Obama, Dick DeVos, one of Michigan’s wealthiest men, began dialing up state lawmakers in Lansing. 
A union-backed ballot measure to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the State Constitution was defeated, thanks to an aggressive campaign against it that was financed in part by $2 million of DeVos family money. "
For Michigan Republican lawmakers, a new law banning requirements for workers pay union dues or fees, in the state where the modern American labor movement, was born. If the lawmakers later found themselves facing recalls or tough re-election fights, Mr. DeVos financier of GOP State Political campaigns, would be there to help.
“That was when I started to say, you know what, this thing could happen,” Mr. DeVos said on Friday. “These people really are serious and committed.” 
The lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder, who is also a Republican, rapidly approved the legislation and delivered a body blow to the labor movement."
Part - 5

It's time to connect the dots. The financing for Right-to-Work legislation in Michigan, came directly from a man named Dick Devos. Devos made his billions preying on "working class" citizens in Michigan and elsewhere desires for financial wealth, by crafting a successful pyramid scheme robbing millions unsuspecting Amway salespeople.

Upset by his double sight lost to Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) in 2006, Devos worked vigorously in the background financing Republican candidate's campaigns to elect Gov. Rick Snyder, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Attorney General Bill Schuette, four right-lending members of Michigan Supreme Court and GOP majorities in the State House and Senate in 2010.

Every ten years, the Federal Government mandate enumeration count of all residents in the United States, by the Census. If Devos' plans engage a Republican sweep of Michigan's Executive, Legislative and highest Judicial branches in 2010 were successful, Gerrymandering tactics of States' Electoral House and Senate Districts, would ensure GOP control of both Legislative branches until at least 2014, if not beyond.

Devos' plan worked. After 2010 General Election, all of Michigan's Executive/Legislative bodies and the State Highest Judicial Court were controlled by Republican elected officials. 

In turn for financial assistance, Devos would demand Rick Snyder sign Right to Work bills near the midway point of Snyder's two year term in office. Gov. Snyder would have no choice but to sign RTW legislation he previously noted was "too controversial" for Michigan. 

By signing Right-to-Work, Snyder's approval ratings would take a free fall. 

Guess who saves Michigan's Republican Party, Ruler-in-Chief and de facto leader of GOP state politics? No other than "income redistribution plan" billionaire pyramid schemer extraordinaire himself, Dick Devos. 
Part - 6

A quick psychological turn is required to understand the mindset of a Pyramid Schemer or those who excel at Ponzi Schemes. Similar to what convicted felon Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme did, robbing thousands out of their retirement or investments accounts; mental processes behind how one could be so callous seeking pleasure in robbing others blind, is a difficult concept to understand.

From "Inside the Mind and Behind the Numbers: Ponzi Schemes," By: John Hanson, CPA, CFE,  CCEP 

"It is necessary to first understand how these schemes really work.    
Dispose of the common fallacy about Ponzi schemes being a rather simple scheme of   stealing   from   one   victim   to   pay another,   as  though  the operator of the scheme were a lesser “con-­‐man” operating a rudimentary scheme.   
The ability  to gain a person’s confidence  and  the guile of a successful Ponzi scheme operator is as cunning, sophisticated and savvy as Frank Abagnale in his “Catch Me If You Can” prime.  Also, there should be no doubt that the primary objective of the Ponzi scheme operator is simply this -­‐  never pay back anyone.  
These con-­‐artists  exploit human nature, need, and greed, using their charisma and skill at deceiving and gaining trust  to keep investors investing new funds,   as  well  as  rolling  over  and re-­‐investing   previous investments. They only pay out those who push too hard or whom they can’t convince to rollover their investment(s)....
The   personal use of   victims’ funds varies as widely as do the con-­‐artists themselves. Some  common   uses seen in forensic accounting investigations include, among others: travel, entertainment, professional services (legal and not so legal), tuition, apartment/vehicle leases, club memberships, household/property, upkeep and/or improvements, extra-­‐marital or other multiple “relationships”, drugs, gambling, therapy, alimony, loans to family, charitable contributions, educational  endowments and clothing.
To the extent that victims’ funds are used by the con-­‐artists to acquire real and personal assets subject to potential  recovery and conversion, common uses include: real estate, cars, boats, motorcycles, airplanes, jewelry, gold coins, antiques/furniture, weapons, art, collectibles, time-­‐shares, trust  funds and investments   in  such  items as CDs, stocks, bonds, hedge funds, mutual funds, pre-­‐paid tuition and retirement accounts." 
Part -7  

The basic premise of Journalism, is build around answering five questions: Who, What, Where, Why and How. Let's examine these words in relation to our Op/Ed:

Who will be schemed? Michigan Middle/Lower Class Residents, Children and Seniors.

What is the method? Income Redistribution Model using State Taxable Revenue.

How will the revenue be moved from the bottom and middle, to top of the pyramid? By cutting resources for local communities, dismantling Michigan's Public School System, changing State Tax Codes to benefit those at the top of this pyramid.

Where will these actions take place? In Michigan Legislative/Executive/Judicial Branches of government, by brought and sold politicians seeking political or monetary gains.

Why are these actions taken place? To financially benefit the greed nature of individual(s) on top of the pyramid scheme.

A Democracy has no rulers Dick Devos, and the people of Michigan will not be fooled into turning over our government and economic means for survival, to you, for your personal enrichment. 

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