Tag Archives: Twitter

LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

As you may well know there is a group of activists here in Los Angeles, known as Stop LAPD Spying, which is dedicated to the goal of stopping LAPD from spying. Such a group is, sadly, really necessary because LAPD just will not stop spying. From the famous red squad to the present, they just will not cut it out. And one of the forms LAPD spying takes in the present day is the monitoring of social media accounts and the dissemination of so-called intelligence gathered there. For instance, in 2017 dedicated LAPD social media stalkers learned of an unpermitted demonstration planned by a group called Code Pink, and they emailed a bunch of security people and BIDs Downtown about it and possibly even sent cops to the event.

And just today I learned of another such incident, this time involving LAPD’s Transit Services Division. It seems that Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles was planning a protest for April 22, 2019 to take place on the Red Line train, although the location was not at first revealed. As folks will do these days they coordinated it via social media, and the TSD was watching. And screenshotting. And disseminating their work to various private security companies, who sent it along to their clients, which include business improvement districts.

I learned of this from an April 21, 2019 email sent by Brian Raboin of Allied Universal Security to his clients, including the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Raboin quotes extensively from an LAPD email that I don’t yet have a copy of, in which it’s revealed that not only was TSD monitoring Extinction Rebellion’s social media, but that the Media Relations Division was as well. There is a transcription of this email below. And Raboin also sent an attachment consisting of thirteen pages of screenshots from various Extinction Rebellion social media pages. Selected images from this document appear below as well.

On April 22, 2019 Extinction Rebellion announced via Facebook that the protest would take place, or at least start out, at Universal City Station. And, even more ominously in the jaundiced view of these cops and their henchies in private security, recommended that participants wear “clothes that can get stained.” The police sent out an update immediately and Raboin forwarded it along to his clients. That’s the story. I’ll leave the moral for you to formulate.

But it’s essential to continue to piece together evidence about what LAPD can monitor, what they do monitor, and with whom they share the fruits of their monitoring. Just yesterday it seems like the whole human population of New York City rose up against violent overpolicing on their subways. And the whole human population of Los Angeles can see that we have the same problem and that it might well lead to the same kind of reaction. So it’s worth remembering while we’re organizing, friends and fellow humans, that the cops are reading our Twitters.
Continue reading LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

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Emails Reveal Scholarship Prep Charter School PR Flack Jarryd Gonzales Facebook Stalking Harbor Area Defenders Of Public Education — Trying To Prevent Bad Publicity Based On Board Member Charles Friedrichs’ Xenophobic Anti-Immigrant Retweets — Whose Twitter Account Is Now Protected By The Way — Very Likely On The Advice Of Gonzales — Yet Another Example Of How Charters Squander Public Funds — Paying Idiots An Actual Salary To “Monitor” Adverse Twitter Accounts — I’m Guessing The Meteoric Flameout Of GANAS Academy Has These Piratical Privatizers Quite Worried!

Scholarship Prep is a chain of charter schools in Southern California recently expanded into the Los Angeles Unified School District with a school in Lomita. Charter minion and former state legislator Gloria Romero is one of the founders of the school, locally famous for having conspired with Sakshi Jain to accept the students left without a Fall 2019 school to attend by the spectacular implosion of Jain’s weirdo vanity charter project, GANAS Academy.

And, as you know if you followed that Jain/GANAS thing at all, those Harbor Area public education supporters are fierce. They’re tough as nails and they don’t like charter schools. And having shut down Jain, well, it’s not a surprise that they might be, to understate matters somewhat, not a hundred percent thrilled by Romero’s imperialistic designs on LAUSD kids and money.

And like many of us do these days, they have some presence on social media. For instance, there’s Harbor Area Defenders of Public Education on the Facebook and various Twitter accounts that take an interest, maybe most prominently LA County Leaks. This last account recently, just for instance, tweeted some info about Scholarship Prep’s board of directors and their lack of experience in education.

And the Harbor Area Defenders have also shared some important info about the Board, like for instance this post about Board member and music professor Charles Friedrichs who, despite being in control of a multimillion dollar publicly funded school that serves predominantly Latino populations, probably not entirely documented, will nevertheless gleefully retweet some incredibly xenophobic remarks about immigrants.

You might think, by the way, that Scholarship Prep wouldn’t worry about this kind of talk. They’re a multi-zillion dollar organization, well-funded, thoroughly lawyered up, on the right side of the powerful, and so on. Why would anyone think they might be worried about a little ragtag band of partisans sniping at them from the most obscure of the obscure little backwaters of Twitter.1
Continue reading Emails Reveal Scholarship Prep Charter School PR Flack Jarryd Gonzales Facebook Stalking Harbor Area Defenders Of Public Education — Trying To Prevent Bad Publicity Based On Board Member Charles Friedrichs’ Xenophobic Anti-Immigrant Retweets — Whose Twitter Account Is Now Protected By The Way — Very Likely On The Advice Of Gonzales — Yet Another Example Of How Charters Squander Public Funds — Paying Idiots An Actual Salary To “Monitor” Adverse Twitter Accounts — I’m Guessing The Meteoric Flameout Of GANAS Academy Has These Piratical Privatizers Quite Worried!

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Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

I can’t write yet about the City Council’s appalling behavior on Tuesday with respect to outlawing vehicle dwelling by renewing LAMC 85.02. It’s still too raw, and it’s too soon to have related records to publish. Local hero Lexis-Olivier Ray has an essential story on it in L.A. Taco, a story he inadvertently became a participant in when the police illegally forced him, a working journalist, to leave the room.

The day before the vote a lot of folks were calling their Councilmembers, leaving messages, sending emails, and so on, urging their repsters to vote against this abhorrent nonsense, much of it coordinated via Twitter. And to encourage action, @MamaWetzel told us that these calls do matter because there are staffers whose jobs it is to track public opinion on issues via spreadsheets and so on.1 And at that word, spreadsheets, well, my eyes just rolled back in my head with joy because, as you know, a spreadsheet is a public record!

So I immediately asked a few representative council offices for 2019 records used to track constituent opinion on issues, giving spreadsheets as an example but not limiting it just to spreadsheets.2 This, as I said, was on Monday, just a few days ago. In CPRAlandia that’s nothing, no time at all, an eyeblink. So I wasn’t, and still am not, expecting results soon. But despite that, yesterday, July 31, 2019, I did actually get some very interesting news from CD5, who is pretty easy to make requests of, being on NextRequest.

Their designated CPRA responder, David Hersch, initially told me that my request was “overboard, [sic] unduly burdensome and unfocused” because, he claimed, there were too many records responsive and that therefore he wouldn’t process it until I narrowed it down. This is a standard move in the City of Los Angeles and I discuss it in great detail below. I responded, as I typically do, by asking how many records there were and explaining that the request was exceedingly focused.

Hersch responded five hours later by saying that actually there were no records at all and that CD5 didn’t keep track of constituent opinions, or at least had not done so in 2019.3 This is pretty interesting news even apart from the interesting but technical matters regarding CPRA. It’s not like Koretz doesn’t do stuff on the Council. He’s famous for his animal rights work, the importance of which I am not discounting.

For instance, just recently he’s been spending a lot of time saving Billy the Elephant, and there was that vegan food thing from December. This year alone he’s sponsored 80 motions. But all those calls and letters you folks in CD5 have spent the time to send? All that public comment? No one over there is keeping track at all. Paul Koretz has his mind made up, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do, and ain’t all your tears wash out a word of it.4

And at this point I won’t be surprised if none of them keep track. I will certainly be working on finding out, of course. Which would be an important part of an explanation as to why Los Quince Jefes can sit up on their dais so complacently day after clueless day fiddling with their phones while their computers automatically vote yes on oppression and the City prepares to burn. That’s today’s revelation and today’s rant. Read on for the CPRA wonkery!
Continue reading Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

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Hollywood LAPD Captain-To-The-Freaking-Stars Cory Palka Uses A Personal Email Address For Official Department Business — cpalka@me.com — Here Are A Bunch Of Emails From That Account — How He Got A Blue Check For His Twitter — Police Protective League Collective Bargaining Demands — His Notes From A Workshop By Cop Cult Leader Dave Anderson — FBI Security Notes On 2018 Oscars — Which Comes With A Freaking “Intelligence Products Customer Satisfaction Survey” — I Swear I Am Not Making That Up — Notes On How To Spin Drop In Hollywood Hills Burglary Arrests — Blame Homeless Encampments Of Course — Oh! — And A Cory Palka Trivia Quiz! — Twenty-Two Pages Of It!

One of my long-running projects is identifying Los Angeles City officials who’re using private email accounts to conduct public business and, per the transcendentally monumental 2017 opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, obtaining copies via the California Public Records Act. So far I’ve learned that Mitch O’Farrell does this, as do both David Ryu and Gil Cedillo as well. I also have some suggestive but not conclusory evidence that Eric Garcetti uses ericgarcetti@gmail.com for public business, and I am continuing to investigate.

And today I have another account to reveal, along with a set of emails. The account is cpalka@me.com, belonging to LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Cory Palka, famous for, among other things, following any number of white nationalists and Trumpistas with his blue-checked LAPD Twitter as well as sharing a warped racist sense of humor with a bunch of white supremacist BIDdies. You can browse and download the release on Archive.Org and read on for some selected gems!
Continue reading Hollywood LAPD Captain-To-The-Freaking-Stars Cory Palka Uses A Personal Email Address For Official Department Business — cpalka@me.com — Here Are A Bunch Of Emails From That Account — How He Got A Blue Check For His Twitter — Police Protective League Collective Bargaining Demands — His Notes From A Workshop By Cop Cult Leader Dave Anderson — FBI Security Notes On 2018 Oscars — Which Comes With A Freaking “Intelligence Products Customer Satisfaction Survey” — I Swear I Am Not Making That Up — Notes On How To Spin Drop In Hollywood Hills Burglary Arrests — Blame Homeless Encampments Of Course — Oh! — And A Cory Palka Trivia Quiz! — Twenty-Two Pages Of It!

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Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

I’ve been looking into official City of LA uses of social media. In particular I have some interesting results on Twitter use, especially blocking behavior, by Council offices and the City Attorney and by Police Commission boss Steve Soboroff. I’m also trying to understand the City’s policies regarding social media, and I recently obtained a number of really interesting records about this from the LAPD. They are all available here on Archive.Org and there are links to the individual files below:

2012 Notice from Charlie Beck regarding LAPD use of social media — This is a very primitive first attempt at an LAPD social media policy. Beck says that they’re working on a comprehensive policy, but meanwhile he reminds everyone that “Department employees who choose to use social media sites for personal use or Department-related activities are reminded to adhere to Department policies and procedures, including but not limited to [policies on ] Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Endorsement of Products and Services, Confidential Nature of Department Records, Reports, and Information, … and the Department’s Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.”

2015 LAPD Social Media User Guide — This is a really important item. It’s the LAPD’s comprehensive guide to social media use for official, personal, and investigative purposes. There’s a transcription of some parts of this fascinating item after the break, mostly the part on how LAPD uses fictitious online personas during investigations. This is a particularly timely issue right now as such profiles often violate terms of service, e.g. Facebook’s, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken up the matter.

It also has a lot of bizarro-world examples of how cops can use social media to improve the world, e.g. “After an officer-involved shooting, the watch commander used social media to identify and dispel rumors. He/She clarified the facts by disseminating information from the press release, resulting in an increase of public support for the police department.”

2018 Chief of Detectives notice on preservation of social media accounts for investigative purposes — Exactly what it sounds like. Instructions on how to ask the service providers to preserve accounts that are evidence and, obviously, a warning that “Officers shall not login to any personal accounts to view content related to any investigation. This may inadvertently connect personal accounts to those of suspects, victims, or witnesses, or otherwise compromise sensitive investigations.”

2018 Guidance from Michel Moore on Official and Personal Social Media Accounts — Another really important item here. In particular Moore orders officers who want to create official accounts, even those personal official accounts, to get permission from the public information division (PID) first. Captains and above aren’t required to ask permission but they are required to inform the PID when they create an account and provide information about it.

Moore also gives some really thoughtful advice that, I believe, is widely ignored by his subordinates: “Employees using an official Department social media account generally should not block or mute users or followers unless failure to do so impacts public or officer safety. Absent exigent circumstances, personnel shall first consult with the PID for direction prior to blocking or muting a user participating in an official Department social media account.” There’s much more here than my summary can do justice to and you really ought to read the whole thing. There’s also a transcription of this after the break.

LAPD Labor Relations Unit discussion of social media and photography policies — I didn’t even realize that the LAPD had a Labor Relations Unit until the responsive records came in. This is a hugely document in that the LRU evidently didn’t have any actual records to hand over but they responded to the various elements of my request in writing. Agencies certainly aren’t required to do this but it’s really nice when they do.

In particular they reveal that they do actively monitor social media accounts and websites of unions, which I find a little creepy, but I suppose that as long as they stick to monitoring rather than participating and also only look at public stuff there’s not much to be done about it. It’s internally contradictory, which invites detailed further study. E.g. they both admit to videotaping labor actions and at the same time deny that they do. Turn the page for transcribed selections from this and other records discussed above.
Continue reading Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

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Have You Been #BlockedBySteve?! — We Have The List Of Every Twitter User Blocked And/Or Muted By Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff — If You’re Not On It Start Asking Yourself What You’re Doing Wrong!

I’ve been working on finding out precisely who the esteemed leaders of this City have blocked on Twitter. The other day I wrote about about 11 of our 15 Council Districts1 and revealed the perhaps unexpected but still somehow not that surprising fact that soon-to-be-incarcerated CD14 Councilbro Jose Huizar by far leads his council colleagues in smackblocking, with 21 users silenced by this thin-skinned fellow.

But he does not compare, not at all, not even close, to Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission. Soboroff tweets under the colorful sobriquet @SteveSoboroff and it turns out that he is blocking an astonishing one hundred and fifty six users. He’s also muting six users. There is a list, of course, of live links after the break. Are you on it? If not, why not?!

At the same time I got this essential info I also got a list of the users blocked by @lapdcommission, the official Commission account. There are eight of these, all well-known corporate accounts for whatever reason. It’s possible that all this has some actual importance as far as the First Amendment goes given a recent ruling by a federal district court that it’s unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block users.

I don’t know much about that, but I do know that this information is of great interest here in Los Angeles, where in order to maximize our chances for changing things we must know our enemies. You can look here at the actual records received in response to my CPRA request, and marvel at the crapola quality of the screenshots coming off Steve Soboroff’s phone. And turn the page for a carefully collated, checked, alphabetized, and htmlified list of the users!
Continue reading Have You Been #BlockedBySteve?! — We Have The List Of Every Twitter User Blocked And/Or Muted By Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff — If You’re Not On It Start Asking Yourself What You’re Doing Wrong!

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Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

For about two months now I’ve been looking into the practice of Twitter users being blocked or muted by official City of Los Angeles accounts. I’m still gathering evidence, but yesterday it came out that Police Commission president Steve Soboroff blocks a bunch of users who’ve never even interacted with him, so I thought it’d be timely to write up the information I have so far. This issue is of special interest in these latter days given that in 2018 a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block users on Twitter.

What I can offer you today, friends, is Twitter block/mute information for eleven of the fifteen council districts, the City Attorney, the Mayor, and a small selection of official LAPD accounts.1 There’s also an interesting line of hypothetical bullshit from deputy city attorney Strefan Fauble2 about some pretty technical claims about CPRA exemptionism,3 but that, being übernerdlich, is way at the end of the post.

Most of the accounts blocked are porn or spam, but Jose Huizar and David Ryu are notable exceptions. Both reps block accounts that are obviously controlled by actual individual people. Huizar’s list is by far the most extensive, and includes wildly inappropriate blocks like @oscartaracena and @BHJesse.

My research on this question is ongoing, mostly hindered by the City of LA’s familiar foot-dragging CPRA methodology. Turn the page for a tabular summary of the results I have so far along with a brief discussion of how Strefan Fauble is still on his CPRA bullshit.
Continue reading Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

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Mitch O’Farrell Deserves Any Amount Of Bad Press For Sucking Up To Kerry Morrison About Kids And Adults In Playgrounds But The Recent L.A. Times Editorial And Subsequent Internet Freakout Criticizing Him Are Kind Of Off Base

Mitch O’Farrell in a strip-mall somewhere yelling about something.
Our work on Selma Park has been getting a lot of action over the last couple days since the L.A. Times published this editorial criticizing a recent motion of O’Farrell’s. The Times puts it thus:

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has proposed barring adults unaccompanied by children from entering playgrounds. It’s an effort, he said, to keep city parks “free of creepy activity.” Who wouldn’t want to ban creepy activity or creepy people from playgrounds?

This editorial prompted a massive ongoing freakout on Reddit, followed by O’Farrell’s feckless denial on Twitter and moving from there to a blog post by the incomparable Lenore Skenazy, then on to Slate, and then everywhere. And the way the Times describes the issue is certainly frightening:

But what O’Farrell is proposing goes far beyond targeting worrisome activities that, in most cases, are already outlawed. It would bar any adult from sitting on a bench, exercising or otherwise enjoying public space near
[a] playground unless he or she brought a child along. Is this really necessary?

One of the legitimate, Recreation and Parks Commission approved, signs at Selma Park stating that use of the playground is restricted to children and caregivers. The sign cites LAMC 83.44 and Penal Code section 653g, neither of which actually exists.

According to the Times, Mitch O’Farrell proposed this motion because Hollywood residents complained about drug dealers in some park. But Mitch O’Farrell is famous for confusing Kerry Morrison and her dimwit BID buddies with residents of Hollywood. He thinks they’re his constituents even though none of them live in Hollywood. He’s made this error with respect to tour bus regulation, and also street characters, and also Hollywood nightclubs. In each of these cases, “Hollywood residents” has turned out to be code for “Kerry Morrison.”

So even though I don’t yet have documentary evidence to back it up, my best guess is that this story about Hollywood residents complaining about a park is O’Farrell-speak for something like the following chain of events: Kerry Morrison and her armed flunky Steve Seyler bitched and moaned about the HPOA’s illegal signs being removed from Selma Park.1 O’Farrell then probably asked the City Attorney how to ban grownups from the park again. Probably the City Attorney told him at that point that it wasn’t possible, because it’s not, and probably it also came up at this point that the City’s official signs banning adults without kids from actual demarcated playgrounds were really outdated, given that neither LAMC 83.44 nor Penal Code section 653g actually exist.

Of course, not only is it certainly illegal to cite people for violating repealed laws, but it’s almost certainly illegal for the City to post signs threatening to cite people for violating them in order to keep them out of places that they legally have the right to be. So Kerry Morrison and Mitch O’Farrell, faced with the possibility of the removal of even the official signs,2 settled, I’m thinking, on the very motion that is currently undergoing two minutes hate from the Internet.

And the motion the Internet is hating on is a scary thing indeed. But it’s not the motion O’Farrell actually made. In its entirety the real motion says:3
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell Deserves Any Amount Of Bad Press For Sucking Up To Kerry Morrison About Kids And Adults In Playgrounds But The Recent L.A. Times Editorial And Subsequent Internet Freakout Criticizing Him Are Kind Of Off Base

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Christmas Comes Early for Apple Fanboy Steven Whiddon

Apple fanboy Steven Whiddon wondering if he's going to get a MacBook Pro or a lump of coal
Apple fanboy Steven Whiddon wondering if he’s going to get a MacBook Pro or a lump of coal
About 22% (seriously, almost 14 minutes) of the October 23, 2014, meeting of the Hollywood Media District BID Board of Directors was devoted to an interminable discussion about buying new computers for the BID’s secret headquarters on Highland Avenue. You don’t have to watch the whole damn thing, and we have links to various subclips after the break. The upshot is that Steven asks the Board for $7000 to buy a MacBook Pro, a Mac desktop, and an iPad and they vote to give it to him.
Continue reading Christmas Comes Early for Apple Fanboy Steven Whiddon

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