My hope is that you have invested time into the HOH series. I believe you will find it worth it starting today if you have questioned the commitment. I wanted to shorten this one. Impossible. It simply has too many nuggets to shorten.
There is a soothing peace one receives in his or her spirit when he or she is no longer chained to the expectations of others and the world. The black hats will still throw their spears at you. Friends and loved ones will still disappoint you on occasion. The bank account and gas tank may run low along with your patience. However, you know what you know and evil can no longer have access to your heart and soul. Your wisdom and discernment regarding what you see and experience grow rapidly.
At this point in life in the mid-90’s my personal rebuilding project had begun. I received confirmation quickly that my career choice was blessed as there was early success. Even back then I was doing what now is in vogue, working from a bedroom office at home, calling on prospects and referral sources at their places of business while taking them to lunch occasionally. Using an old school approach with personal service. My faith journey at church and at home began to evolve quickly.
Almost a year after I left my ill-fated job with the equipment dealer, our lives would change dramatically through a very difficult experience that proved to be priceless in value. We learned the Godly principle that our prayers are always answered, just not always as expected. This will be discussed in a future story with more Goober Gump adventures.
Let’s begin with: Are you aware you can commit a federal white collar crime, whether with intent or not, in such a way that it is difficult to prosecute in criminal court, or, can be sheltered by the alphabets in a legal and judicial way to make it appear difficult to prosecute? A constructed situation on both sides of justice, which they will then allow you to buy your way out of potential prosecution in a federal investigation. Sort of a federal pre-trial or even pre-charge intervention. Maybe you have heard about this or suspected it happened.
You are about to learn MOAR! I’ll try not to bore our attorney/legal expert Qtreepers on here who know far more about the specifics than I do. However, average folks may want to know the method exists and a summary of how it works with an example.
Guess which POTUS exponentially increased the usage of that negotiated settlement in civil court for criminal claims maneuver? There’s that name again – Slick. HW’s good buddy. Cranked it up in the mid-1990’s while causing raised eyebrows in the legal community; definition of “is” being what it “is” and all.
Guess which past AG paved the way for its higher usage going back to PRR and as AG for HW? Yeah, this guy…
Some of us PRR fans will remember B2’s impassioned defense of the use of pardons, which was highlighted in the Iran-Contra mess. He pushed them across the finish line later for HW. As far as the previously referenced negotiated settlement of potential charges or trial issue, in a largely scrubbed TV interview in discussion of the bad cops in the FBI who were exposed during the Mueller Investigation and FISA scandals, he stated that not all criminal actions of government employees should rise to the level of imprisonment (paraphrased from memory). He clearly indicated that bad cops like Comey, McCabe, etc. losing their jobs and possibly their pensions was probably enough unless they were proven to have committed more heinous crimes. What could be more heinous to America than committing treason with foreign nations and conspirators to frame a sitting POTUS? In essence B2 promotes softening the landing of the players with pardons and negotiated settlements for gotcha’s and caughtya’s regardless of intent. He set up a system that gives discretionary authority to DODGE and the judiciary.
At the same time he covers for this discretionary administration of justice principle he pushed across by lamenting and bashing the two scales of justice we see today.
Hypocrite. May not have been the mastermind, but he was the promoter and implementer of two scales of justice over a long period of time. B2’s a card carrying member of the inner circle of The Club who has been activated as needed. Sundance has stated rightly, he’s the Bondo.
We can even begin to see why PDT agreed to bring him in as AG to kill the corrupt Mueller farce, which would better protect those he hired and family members.
We can also see serious potential downside of these pre-trial/charge interventions with how they can be used to extort people not in or involved with The Club via false allegations and charges such that bad cops can rip them off for money that goes into the alphabets’ coffers. We can also see where it is used by those in power to achieve nefarious purposes with payback being escape from charges and trial if caught.
Which begs the question – where do the real intervention case settlement funds and the extorted money go after collection? I confess to not knowing the answer, but I am quite sure it does not go for the benefit of We the People.
We have now established the predicate for what happens next.
In addition to media reports and other personal experiences; the legal sources of my information about interventions were senior partners in the law firm of now deceased GOP Senator Howard Baker. He of Watergate, Senate Majority and Minority leader fame. For what it is worth, one of the senior partners was a business associate and a lifelong Democrat. That says something about the Uniparty for those paying attention.
As previously discussed, Pilot was flying even higher through the period. I will no longer bore you with a lot of operational detail, just will discuss key events in their history that are important for seeing how The Club works a bit better. The official Pilot Flying J corporate history is available for all to see on the web.
My personal involvement with the Haslam’s stopped at this point, however, what I learned from others in the local business and legal community continued. I learned I was not alone in my reformulation of opinions about Big Jim, Jimmy and others in the Haslam family’s circle of influence, which included many attorneys and business associates. At this point Big Jim was less involved with daily operations due to age and other interests, yet, used his profile and influence in other ways. Philanthropy, sports, UT and politics appeared to dominate his and Natalie’s days. As an example The Warrior Queen highly benefited from Big Jim’s and the local Club’s support. With the huge, newly constructed Thompson-Boling Arena opening in 1987, the largest on campus facility in America at that time, the basketball floor was later named The Summitt as the Lady Vols program became the gold standard in women’s collegiate athletics. Pilot sponsored all UT sports programs and athletic events since Big Jim was carrying a big stick at the university along with a handful of other wealthy businessmen, boosters and donors.
However, the following made a lot in my circle wonder about the reality at the time. Pilot sponsored an annual Chamber or Rotary (cannot remember – does it matter?) event at the Hyatt that I attended with this guy as keynote speaker…
The same guy who said this…
Fidel’s comrade. That along with many other horrible things he said, did and promoted.
Then there was this guy who spoke at UT as recently as 2013. The same UT where the Haslam family donated millions to build the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy. Better known as the Future Uniparty Student Development Center.
H/T to Wolf for the photo reminder today…
Before Brokaw and after Turner, there was Tim Russert as keynote speaker at the Hyatt sponsored by Pilot among others. It finally dawned on me years later that a key groomer and intermediary into it all was Mr DIY himself, GOP RINO Ross Bagwell…
Ross went to NY to finish school. Afterwards he went to work at NBC – media home to all things globalist. He was introduced and worked with the Uniparty globalists and brought methodology back home to Knoxville and to inject into state GOP politics. He connected the Haslam family tighter to the politics and media in DC and NY, including marrying Dee into the family.
Think about the subtle ramifications. Pilot sponsored an evil globalist business/media mogul commie along with two globalist commie media hacks to speak at globalist events to spread more commie propaganda to whoever would listen in a nationally perceived red flyover hillbilly state.
Maybe Tennessee was not the red flyover hillbilly state the MSM portrayed it to be. Maybe it was being operated undercover, sort of like Arkansas. More on that in later Goober Gump stories.
But I am getting ahead of this story, so back to the Pilot history at the turn of the century. Big Jim really had taught his boys the business. Jimmy had continued to assert himself and company control with his no holds barred management style and borderline ethics, which was not Bill’s style at all. Bill was more thoughtful, analytical and reflective in his approach; with a nature more like his deceased mother. After twenty years in the family business he had learned a great deal, handled his role well, and become wealthy. However, his heart was elsewhere and he no longer seemed to want to play the game with Jimmy anymore. He left and appeared to have employment flings with Saks and Harold’s. In reality he needed something to do while GOP RINO Victor Ashe was finishing his second term as Knoxville’s Mayor. He needed time to prepare out of the spotlights of Knoxville and Pilot. What better way to do it than by spending time in NY with Saks and other globalists while learning the ropes for a few years. Realizing another big opportunity, Big Jim pulled in the GOP support and the campaign began. Bill’s sister, Ann, even campaigned for him door to door. Bill won with 53% of the vote. Politics became another family enterprise.
The key events of Pilot from the 90’s forward were about going nationwide and becoming even more dominant. It led again to partnering up with old friends, Marathon, in 2001. This time they rolled in 223 travel centers into one investment entity that included the centers I had underwritten and our bank participation financing handled a decade before. Marathon had merged with Ashland and grown their supply to handle much more volume. They saw the joint ownership opportunity as an investment for future marketshare and capital if their interest was ever sold.
In 2010 they merged the company with anther industry stalwart, Flying J. The combined company was then over 550 travel centers with Pilot having management and Board control. They had grown to top ten nationally in privately held businesses for market value. In 2017, the ownership sold a 38% ownership stake to Berkshire Hathaway. With the deal Buffett and Berkshire also gained the rights to buy up to an 80% stake in Pilot Flying J in 2023. The company now has over 750 travel centers in the U. S. and Canada while doing over $20 Billion in revenues annually.
After decades of honest intent as well as intentional deception, acceptance into the inner circle of The Club will be complete next year. But it did not happen the way it was planned or anticipated.
NFL & White Collar Crime
As stated in Part One, Jimmy and Dee are controlling owners of the Cleveland Browns. They paid $1 B+ for it from Randy Lerner in 2012. Jimmy had set his sights on NFL team ownership well before then. He was able to purchase an ownership interest in the gold standard org of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008. With that experience he was accepted into the NFL owners’ inner circle, which made the purchase of the Browns easier to get done. It is interesting that the Times of Israel reported the purchase ended 51 consecutive years of Jewish ownership of the team. Maybe the purchase of the Browns was coincidental. However, the stadium for the team is located just 15 minutes away from the headquarters of Pilot Flying J’s primary competitor, TravelCenters of America.
Soon the highs of realizing that long held dream and love for a sport would be nuked into the low point in their company’s history. Unannounced, FIB walked into the Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J in 2013. They left with everything they needed to make a strong federal criminal case against key personnel in the company with Jimmy himself under the microscope. Seems key senior management, including the Pilot President, Mark Hazelwood, had knowingly participated in a scheme to steal contracted rebates from many commercial trucking company accounts over a period of 5 years. Millions of dollars were involved and the participants received part of the ill-gotten gain as personal income with Pilot Flying J pocketing the rest. There were blatant racist statements and defamation of some of their less sophisticated commercial customers on tapes made by a whistleblower turned informant.
Jimmy pled ignorance. Audio tapes recorded by the whistleblower seemed to indicate otherwise. The statements made about less sophisticated commercial customers by several managers started a firestorm that was uncontrollable.
So he followed the raid with these remarks at a hastily called press conference:
Awkward. Contrast what he just said with this…
As a result in a wise move, Pilot Flying J and Jimmy decided they better cut deals. As part of the deals, they agreed to continue to pay for legal representation of the employees that contested federal charges until their cases were adjudicated. The media questioned why would they do that if the employees violated company policies and the law? Jimmy claimed it was company “tradition” to do so. Or, in my opinion it was code for, “It’s payment for them to keep quiet and protect my tail.” You decide.
Word is that the mess cost them $190+ million in federal fines and customer restitution along with taking it on the chin with many commercial corporate clients. The tapes were damning. Many lower level staff members and managers pled guilty for plea deals after coming clean with details. A handful of senior mangers, including Hazelwood fought on. Interestingly, he lost in his first trial. That judge is African American with Hazelwood being white. He filed an appeal for a new trial as he felt he was not treated fairly at all through the proceedings. He made charges of reverse discrimination against the judge during his first trial. His request for a new trial was approved by a federal appellate court this year, along with that of two other employees. In essence, Jimmy’s crony that knows the extent of his boss’ involvement is working a path toward freedom or a reduced sentence/fine that is being provided through the judicial system. That is happening combined with the statute of limitations running out for charging Jimmy in April 2018. Shocked face…
That statute of limitations expired about 6 months after the 38.6% interest in the company was purchased by Berkshire. It would appear that DODGE gave the all clear to Buffett to complete the deal as Jimmy remained the Chairman and the family retained 50.1% majority interest with the provision that Berkshire would purchase an additional 41.4% in 2023, leaving them with the remaining 20% interest.
The fines Pilot willingly agreed to pay the feds were related to a negotiated financial settlement to avoid trial expenses and potentially even higher losses. There was no Weissmann, Enron style attacks. I guess Andrew was too busy with other legal schemes at the time. More likely he knew they were Club members. We would never be granted access to see it all, but I can almost guarantee there was a personal check or funds transfer written by Jimmy for a settlement of criminal claims against him through the civil system. No admission of guilt required, no public release of documents, and on with life.
With this behind him, Jimmy has turned his attention to pro sports and trying to make the Browns better while buying franchises in other pro sports. In a typical, tone deaf move he recently made a deal with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson as their QB. The same Watson who has been accused of sexual advances and harassment by over 25 masseuses and been suspended by the NFL for one or more seasons, who recently wrote checks to settle over 20 of the lawsuits. Right up Jimmy’s alley. All while they disrespected their existing injured starting QB, Baker Mayfield, who they later unceremoniously traded to Carolina. Use ’em, abuse ’em and toss ’em away when they become less useful.
A sign in the lobby of Pilot Flying J headquarters says, “We do the right thing — Integrity comes first.” Big Jim had it installed there decades ago. See the above referenced scandals.
Big Jim was quoted in an ESPN story not long after the FIB raid. “You ask what I’m proudest of Jimmy for?” Big Jim says. “It’s how he’s handled all this since April 15. It’s just like I would’ve hoped he’d handle it. He realizes he’s in charge and he’s going to stay in charge.
“We’ve learned a lot, and nothing like this will ever happen again.”
Revealing, huh? Apple did not fall far from the tree it appears. Why did it happen at all, Big Jim? I mean, it was five years of it. That’s not a mistake. It appears you are covering for your son and company getting caught, not for having done it. Are we supposed to believe nothing like that had ever occurred under your watch?
Words mean one thing, actions frequently mean another. The Club uses money and media influence to cover the intent and purpose as needed.
Some things never change. But when you are in the inner circle of The Club, what does it matter? Pay some money after mistakes and scandals and they simply go away. There will be even more money to make up for it when you get to play in the bigger leagues. Like what was announced last week.
Build back better with green, anybody?
In recap, we have Berkshire controlling Burlington Northern railroad which transports oil, fuel, fertilizer, etc.; while Dem politicians are shutting down oil and gas pipelines; while the RINO’s stand down with their thumbs up their arses; while Berkshire buys 80% control of Pilot to have the largest fuel distribution network for commercial trucking in North America; who has entered into a national EV charging network arrangement that caters to GM’s EV vehicle expansion; while buddy Gates and others globalists and nations who hate us are buying up farmland and into food production of all types. And so it goes on and on.
Depop. Totalitarian control of the masses.
Need more convincing?
Yeah, the RINO’s are as thick as thieves with the Dems. They plan to do the green idiocy anyway. Follow the money. They don’t even need congressional approval and they certainly don’t care about the desires of We the People. Be informed. The moderate (RINO) wing of the GOP has been controlled opposition for over 70 years. The only person on the planet who has been proven able to stop it and reverse course for We the People is named Donald J. Trump, along with the help of his supporters and patriots.
As far as where We the People stand, we either acknowledge we are in a civil war and fight it, or just go quietly into the good night. Fighting well does not necessarily include violence, but it does include the righteous delivery of justice and truth as each situation may demand.
We will conclude the HOH series with some what ifs and other stuff with the next part. It’s time to have some fun, get some R&R, jump into some rabbit holes, make some observations and ask some thought provoking questions. Until next time…