As even some of the wealthiest Americans have begun to call for major reforms to the U.S. economic system to narrow the wealth gap, a new study released Wednesday revealed that over the past four decades, salaries for the top executives in the U.S. have gone up by more than 1,000 percent.

CEOs at the 350 largest companies now take home salaries that are 278 times higher than those of the average worker, according to the new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis.

With an average compensation of $17.2 million per year, report co-author Lawrence Mishel said Wednesday, today's CEOs would barely notice a change in their quality of life if their salaries were slashed.

"You could cut CEO pay in half and the economy would not be any different," Mishel, a distinguished fellow at EPI, told The Guardian.

EPI's findings about CEO compensation were denounced as "obscene" by critics of the current economic system, under which 40 percent of American workers struggle to find $400 in their budget to cover an emergency expense while the heads of powerful companies are given huge tax breaks on top of their salaries.

The study represents "an obscene concentration of profit at the top levels of companies," tweeted journalist Heidi Moore. "Workers should be able to share in the value."

"Corporate greed is eviscerating the working class," tweeted the consumer advocacy watchdog Public Citizen.
While CEO pay has gone up exponentially since 1978, the average worker makes only about 11 percent more than they would have in the same job 40 years ago, when adjusting for inflation.

EPI pointed out that CEOs frequently attempt to justify their exorbitant salaries and bonuses by pointing to their companies' growing stock market performance. The country's biggest firms saw their stock prices going up by more than 700 percent in the last four decades—but workers who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of those same companies see little benefit from the growth that they contribute to each day.

"The generally tight link between stock prices and CEO compensation indicates that CEO pay is not being established by a 'market for talent,' as pay surged with the overall rise in profits and stocks, not with the better performance of a CEO’s particular firm relative to that firm's competitors," wrote Mishel and co-author Julia Wolfe. "As profits and stock market prices have reached record highs, the wages of most workers have grown very little."

CEO pay did not slow down after the recession of 2009, with executives' salaries growing by more than 52 percent during the recovery from the economic crash brought on largely by powerful, unregulated banks. But workers' salaries have gone up by just 5.3 percent over the same period, with average wages sometimes falling from year to year.

Mishel and Wolfe note in their study that concern over the high salaries of CEOs is rooted in the knowledge of how the rest of the country is struggling to pay for medical care, housing, and falling deep into debt while the wealthiest Americans reap the rewards of workers' labor.

"Some observers argue that exorbitant CEO compensation is merely a symbolic issue, with no consequences for the vast majority of workers," the report reads. "However, the escalation of CEO compensation, and of executive compensation more generally, has fueled the growth of top 1.0 percent and top 0.1 percent incomes, generating widespread inequality."

To narrow the wealth gap, EPI recommends implementing far higher income tax rates for the richest Americans and greater representation for workers on company boards.


Six in ten Canadians want the government to take action to address climate change, even if the economy suffers, new results from a Mainstreet poll for iPolitics suggests.

The fourth release of results from the pollster’s phone survey of 2,651 Canadians — conducted between June 27 and July 2 — shows that 61 per cent of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that it’s more important for the government to solve the issue of climate change even if that means that the economy suffers. That number was even higher in Quebec (76.8 per cent), Atlantic Canada (67.3) and B.C. (62), and among women (66.1), 18-35 year olds (64.4) and those aged 65 or older (64).

Conversely, residents of Ontario (59 per cent), men (56), and those aged between 35-49 (59.6) and 50-64 (57.1) were less willing to agree with the statement, though the statement was still approved by a majority in these demographic bands. More residents of the Prairies (46.5 per cent) agreed with the statement than disagreed (43.6), though it wasn’t quite a majority, with the not sure option chosen by 9.8 per cent of respondents.

Only in Alberta did more respondents disagree (59 per cent) with the statement than agree (36.5).

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

In an earlier release of results from the same poll, around 47 per cent of respondents said the carbon tax was not helpful to the economy.

But the release of these new results show respondents were largely supportive about the need to take action to curb climate change.

Over 85 per cent of respondents agreed that private companies should have to pay to pollute, including 69.1 per cent who strongly agreed. Support was highest in Quebec (89.1 per cent) and lowest in Alberta, though at 75.2 per cent agreeing, opposition to the concept is still rather marginal.

In Ontario (87.2 per cent), Atlantic Canada (86.8) and B.C. (86.3), support was higher than the national average, while women (86.6) were more likely to back the concept than men (84.3).

Of course, the governing Liberals have imposed a national minimum price on carbon emissions, which the opposition Tories have vowed to scrap if they form government after this October’s election.

Also, just under 68 per cent of respondents agreed that theres’s a collective moral duty to future generations to not destroy the environment further, even if it means paying more taxes in the short term. As with the other responses, support was highest in Quebec (70.2 per cent), above the national average in B.C. (71.5) and Ontario (69.9), and lowest in Alberta (53).

Finally, 76.5 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that scientific evidence “clearly shows” climate change is real and caused by human activity, including 62.7 per cent of Alberta residents and 86.4 per cent of Quebecers.

Nationally, 18 per cent disagreed with the statement, while 5.6 were not sure.


Brief:

  • Four lawsuits have been filed against Fairlife, the high-protein milk producer, with one naming Coca-Cola as a defendant, Food Navigator reported. The lawsuits, filed in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia, accuse the companies of consumer fraud and deceptive marketing after undercover videos of animal abuse taken at a Fairlife supplier dairy in Indiana were released by an animal welfare group.
  • Fairlife CEO Mike Saint John said the company has discontinued milk deliveries from Fair Oaks Farms. Four dairy workers were fired and three charged with animal cruelty, according to the Chicago Tribune. 
  • Coca-Cola, which owns Fairlife in a joint venture with Select Milk Producers, said in a statement it was conducting independent investigations of all Fairlife dairy suppliers. A number of retailers, including Jewel-Osco, Tony's Fresh Market and Pete's Fresh Market, took Fairlife products off the shelves, Food Navigator reported. 

Insight:

These lawsuits could push more companies to think about animal welfare in their practices to avoid the potential fallout Fairlife currently faces.

While some of the lawsuits might settle before trial to avoid additional damage, the negative attention from the filings will likely hurt the brand. Although this whole situation could cast a negative light on Fairlife, Coca-Cola, the dairy farm and the dairy industry by extension, the companies were quick to respond with commitments to change how they do business.

"We realize we've got to make a change," Tim Doelman, Fairlife's COO, told NBC Chicago. "Even though we had good practices and training, and we had good practices in documentation and all those things for the employees, it didn't work."

The effort at damage control was fast and comprehensive. All three companies issued statements, posted special web pages updating the public and committed to cleaning up internal operations and adopting new standards to avoid further instances of animal abuse at supplying dairies.

Fairlife plans to audit all 30 of its supplying farms within a month, perform 24 unannounced farm audits annually and require suppliers' employees to annually recertify in animal welfare training. The company also said it will sign updated contracts with suppliers requiring them to fire employees caught abusing an animal and cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.

The dairy industry has been trying to get a handle on animal abuse problems by ramping up standards and providing assistance. Nearly all the U.S. milk supply is represented through the National Dairy Farms Assuring Responsible Management program, which sets animal care standards for participating farms. The program makes certified second-party evaluators available to work with dairy producers "to identify strengths and outline areas for improvement related to animal care."

Farms can be more susceptible to animal abuse when there are too many hens and cows, according to some industry observers. While the majority of U.S. dairy farms have 500 cows or less, thousands of smaller farms have gone out of business, consolidating milk production in the hands of ever-larger operations. Fair Oaks Farms is the largest dairy farm in Indiana with 37,000 cows, TODAY reported.

Critics of dairy operations, such as Mercy for Animals, PETA and The Humane Society of the U.S., maintain animal abuse is common in the industry. But dairy groups say such instances aren't the norm and that they're just as horrified as anyone else by seeing videos of animal abuse.

The verdict of these lawsuits will likely have an impact on future animal abuse cases, but for now Fairlife will be focusing on its reputation. If a company does the right thing from the start and updates consumers on changes, it may be able to recover its reputation. So far, these companies' first steps are moving them in the right direction, but plenty of consumers will be watching to see what happens. 
An Iowa carpenter is responsible for sending dozens of people to college. People he never had a chance to meet.

Dale Schroeder lived simply for his entire life. He grew up poor, never married or had kids, and worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He owned just two pair of jeans and drove a rusty old Chevrolet truck.

Shortly before his death in 2005, Schroeder told his attorney, Steve Nielsen, that he wanted to use his savings to help poor students in Iowa go to college.


In his will, Iowa carpenter Dale Schroeder stipulated that his nearly $3 million in savings be used to send underprivileged youth to college.
DALE SCHROEDER

"I said, 'How much are we talking about, Dale?'" Nielsen told KCCI. "And he said, 'Oh, just shy of $3 million.' I nearly fell out of my chair."

Over the past 14 years, Schroeder's money has sent 33 young Iowans to college. Last weekend, they gathered around his old lunch box to talk about a man they never met and how his generosity changed their lives. "He wanted to help kids that were like him," Nielsen said, "that probably wouldn't have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift."

One of those kids was Kira Conrad.

"I grew up in a single parent household and I had three older sisters, so paying for all four of us was never an option," Conrad told KCCI. "[It] almost made me feel powerless, like, 'I want to do this, I have this goal but I can't get there just because of the financial part.'"


Dale Schroeder never got to go to college, so he wanted to send Iowans who grew up poor to do what he couldn't afford to do.
LIGHT FIELD STUDIOS/GETTY

Conrad remembers getting the call from Nielsen that her $80,000 tuition bill would be covered by Schroeder's scholarship. "I broke down into tears immediately," she recalls. "For a man that would never meet me, to give me basically a full ride to college, that's incredible. That doesn't happen."

Schroeder's account has just finally run dry but "Dale's Kids," as the recipients call themselves, will remember that shy carpenter for the rest of their lives. And they've gone on to benefit a variety of fields: Conrad is a therapist. Other have become doctors and educators.

There is one small catch, though.

"All we ask is that you pay it forward," Nielsen says. "You can't pay it back, because Dale's gone. But you can remember him and you can emulate him."


As soon as upon a time in Hollywood, two stars on the rise made a film with their buddies — then fiercely fought for many years to maintain it from seeing the sunshine of day.

These actors, now worldwide superstars, had been Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. And the flick is “Don’s Plum” — an ad-libbed, mid-1990s indie movie that’s been banned from ever being proven within the US and Canada.

“ ‘Don’s Plum’ was a group of friends saying ‘Let’s all make a movie …,’ ” one of many flick’s producers, Dale Wheatley, not too long ago advised The Put up. “In many ways, [it] was a love letter to our friends.”

Although rumors and articles have circulated about “Don’s Plum” through the years, court docket paperwork, footage of depositions from the actors, photographs and different supplies completely obtained by The Put up inform the total story of the film DiCaprio and Maguire by no means need you to see.

Shot over six days between July ‘95 and March ‘96 in “Clerks-like” black-and-white type, it tells the story of a bunch of 20-something guys who collect each Saturday night time at a Los Angeles diner the movie is called for, every with a brand new woman.

In it, DiCaprio performs impolite, standoffish Derek, whose standout strains are: “Do you girls masturbate at all? and “I’ll f–king throw a bottle at your face, you goddamn whore.” He does then throw a glass — at Amber Benson of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame — in a cringe-inducing scene meant to scare the actress away from the set.

Maguire’s character Ian, in the meantime, in a single scene — that was minimize from the ultimate model of the movie at his behest — reveals his uncommon masturbation habits.

The characters the celebrities painting are, “not necessarily who [DiCaprio and Maguire] are,” mentioned Tawd Beckman, one of many producers.

“But of course it is so free-flowing and it seems so natural, that an audience is gonna look at that, look at DiCaprio, look at Maguire and say ‘Oh that’s who they are.’ ”



It’s for that cause Wheatley, Beckman and others suspect DiCaprio and Maguire didn’t desire a US viewers to ever see their characters on the large display.

In depositions given as a part of a 1998 lawsuit — that resulted within the movie being banned within the nation — DiCaprio and Maguire mentioned it was as a result of they by no means meant for the film-school-like mission to turn into a full-length function.

Within the aftermath, DiCaprio moved on to unimaginable fame and star-studded tasks, and Maguire acquired his massive break as “Spider-Man.”

Within the “Don’s Plum” days, DiCaprio was contemporary off his Academy Award nomination for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” In the meantime, Maguire was making an attempt to construct himself as a marketable performer in Hollywood, having simply made waves in “This Boy’s Life.”

On the time, that they had a rising fame as obnoxious, skirt-chasing occasion boys — a part of the so-called “Pussy Posse” — a moniker bestowed on the group by Nancy Jo Gross sales in her seminal 1998 New York Journal piece “Leo Prince of The City.”

“The group’s core members constitute a frat house of young men, some of whom are actually famous, like Leo …,” Gross sales wrote. “And then there are the other guys in Leo’s pack, who make up a kind of former-child-actor brigade.”

“Don’s Plum” makes a cameo within the article, with Gross sales writing that it “may provide an inadvertent glimpse behind the curtain shrouding the secret society of Leo and his friends, mostly because it was made and largely ad-libbed by Leo and his friends.”

Simply weeks into shifting to Los Angeles, wide-eyed Canada transplant Wheatley says he fell in with the Posse — together with DiCaprio, Maguire, Kevin Connolly and R.D. Robb — after an introduction from Jeremy Sisto of “Clueless” fame.

Wheatley was starstruck the second he laid eyes on DiCaprio — and had his personal aspirations of creating it massive.

“I was obsessed with success … ” Wheatley mentioned. “I didn’t come to L.A. to stare up at the Hollywood sign, I wanted to make something of myself.”

A bonus of hanging with DiCaprio’s crew was that “there wasn’t a club I couldn’t get into, there wasn’t a famous person that didn’t want to meet us,” Wheatley mentioned.

‘We believed we were making a film with our friends and foolishly didn’t take note of paperwork.’

“We were really in one of the most-watched circles in Hollywood at the time.”

Wheatley collaborated with aspiring filmmakers David Stutman and Beckman on the mission that finally grew to become “Don’s Plum.”

DiCaprio was in.

“Having that guy in your corner obviously means that the rest are probably going to follow him,” Wheatley mentioned. “That’s exactly what happened. Everybody got excited about the experiment.”

Former little one actor Robb, who appeared in 1983’s “A Christmas Story,” was tapped to direct. Later, as Gross sales would observe for NY Magazine — he was “‘expelled’ from the [Posse], according to someone still inside it, for attempting to spin the film’s straw into the Leo gold of a commercial release.” Robb didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

In the meantime, Stutman went to Beckman’s dad, Jerry Beckman — who helped to create the Completely happy Meal and Monopoly — for about $70,000 in funding.

When it got here to contracts — the naive first-time filmmakers went with handshake offers.

“We believed we were making a film with our friends and foolishly didn’t pay attention to paperwork,” Wheatley mentioned. “‘Don’s Plum’ was on the road to failing because of our inexperience and our lack of prep.”

To take the mission to the subsequent degree, the amateurs introduced on two skilled producers, John Schindler and Gary Lowe.

Because the group filmed within the LA diner, Wheatley mentioned he was amazed on the “improvs that were coming out.”


R.D. Robb (left) and Amy Israel of Paramount throughout The 78th Annual Academy Awards.Getty

On DiCaprio’s final day on set, “we’re outside by the car and I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude,” Wheatley mentioned.

“I just can’t believe what he has done for us. And I’m expressing that … and I give him this really big hug … ” Wheatley recalled. “And then he just says ‘just make me look good.’ God damn it. You know he’s like ‘just make me look good.’ And it was like something happened for me, in terms of like a responsibility, not to him alone.”

After his two days of filming on “Don’s Plum,” DiCaprio flew off to work on 1996’s “Marvin’s Room” with Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.

With a further shoot, that DiCaprio wasn’t concerned in, the group had about 30 hours of precise movie and Wheatley was fired up about having accomplished what he believed was near-impossible — a function on his first attempt.

“Nobody expected that we could pull off the kind of movie that deserves a full-on theatrical release, a big festival run … ” he mentioned. “We pulled it off, and you know, we finally got there.”

Beckman added that, particularly for Robb and Stutman: “There was this idea that we’re going to make millions of dollars from this film.”

“And everybody’s going to be big, all of the careers are going to open up for us … as opposed to getting our foot in the door they were like, ‘This is our path to kick it down.’ ”

****

When DiCaprio discovered his buddies wished to show the mission right into a function, he was “immediately apprehensive,” Wheatley mentioned.

‘There was this idea that we’re going to make tens of millions of {dollars} from this movie.’

“Leo was like, ‘Guys I don’t want this to be a feature film. I can’t afford a bad feature film to go out right now. That’s just not going to work for my career,’ ” Wheatley recalled.

In response to Wheatley, DiCaprio was satisfied the movie could be a flop, however agreed to let his buddies minimize it as a function to see how it will prove.

“So when he heard that we thought we might be able to kind of feature together he was concerned, and look he had good reason to be concerned,” Wheatley mentioned.

“He’s a rising star. He’s becoming one of the great actors of our time and he can’t be having joint missteps along the way … we were empathetic to that.”

Wheatley and others concerned believed the film they minimize was a murals — on par with 1994’s “Clerks” or Concord Korine’s 1995 cult-classic “Kids.”

Jerry Meadors, who’d labored on dozens of film tasks as a advertising exec at Paramount, satisfied the group to announce that “Don’s Plum” was accomplished — in a brief, June 21, 1996 “Variety” piece written by future Deadline editor Anita Busch.

The merchandise mentioned DiCaprio and Maguire had “quietly shot an indie feature film” that additionally starred Connolly and Scott Bloom, and listed Robb as director, with Beckman and Meadors as government producers.

Although DiCaprio was “livid” over the merchandise, Wheatley and others mentioned his response to a screening of the movie in late June at LA’s MGM Plaza was radically completely different.

“Suddenly he was jumping out of his chair,” Wheatley mentioned. “He’s high fiving all of our friends … Leo had done a complete 180.”

Beckman added: “Leo was literally rolling on the floor laughing.”

Subsequent, Wheatley mentioned he organized a screening at CAA, DiCaprio’s company, on the actor’s behest. The company beloved the movie a lot, they signed Robb “on the spot,” Wheatley mentioned.

Gives started pouring in, together with from now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax, Wheatley mentioned.

However when Maguire and his agent noticed the function, they allegedly weren’t happy.

The flick was too edgy for Maguire’s picture and “he thought it would ruin his career,” Lowe mentioned.

There additionally was DiCaprio’s stellar efficiency to deal with.

“I could definitely see Maguire, as I knew him, feeling that Leo had outshined him, and that possibly being part of the motivating factor for wanting to kill this film,” Beckman mentioned.


Tobey Maguire (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio.FilmMagic

So it was a lift when DiCaprio appeared to adore the film.

“Tobey Maguire believed ‘Don’s Plum’ would just be a pile of crap, we weren’t going to succeed, Leo’s going to say ‘no’ … but that’s not what happened,” Wheatley mentioned.

“There’s no way to make it stop now unless he creates a villain … and I am the mark for that.”

Amid a chaotic blowout at Wheatley and Robb’s house, Maguire accused his so-called associates of making an attempt to reap the benefits of his and DiCaprio’s budding fame, Wheatley mentioned.

Wheatley “panicked” and revealed the Selection article had been Meadors’ thought as a solution to present DiCaprio “that at least we have a voice in the press,” he recalled.

“And holy s–t, he exploded. Tobey f–ng lost his mind.”

In a rage, Maguire yelled: “I want ‘Don’s Plum’ to burn!” Wheatley claimed.

Maguire advised DiCaprio the others had tried to pit the press in opposition to him with a view to push by means of the function movie they wished, Wheatley and others mentioned.

‘I could definitely see Maguire, as I knew him, feeling that Leo had outshined him.’

In a 1996 interview for now-defunct Detour journal, DiCaprio mentioned: “I had a friend who I did a short film with recently who slandered me … I was trying to do a favor for him. His name is R.D.Robb. It’s scandalous. It was originally a short film, and then he tried to make it into a feature. I worked one night on it … And I heard all this stuff about how he was going to pit the press against me if I didn’t go along with him and do the feature. I just did it as a favor, you know?”

Wheatley mentioned he’s begged Maguire to not say something, arguing that: “I don’t even know the first thing that would even mean to pit the press against Leo. He is my friend. You are my friend. We love you guys we made this movie together.”

“[Maguire] was one of my closest friends and I believed that … he could understand everything. [That] he could understand the fear as we struggled to get this film made,” Wheatley recalled. “But he was there to destroy the movie.”

“All of the work. It all died that day,” he mentioned. “In that moment, it was done … ”

****

Quickly after, potential offers from manufacturing firms to possibility the film fell aside.

As Gross sales reported in 1998: “The film was pulled from Sundance. Miramax is no longer interested in investing.”

At that time, “all of my relationships are completely gone, I’ve got a dead film, I can’t get anywhere … I am blacklisted,” Wheatley mentioned.

The creators, together with Stutman, Robb, Wheatley and Meadors fought again, submitting a $10 million lawsuit in LA Superior Court docket in opposition to DiCaprio and Maguire accusing them of constructing a marketing campaign to tank the film by making “potential buyers, distributors and others afraid to offend DiCaprio.”


Tobey Maguire (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Nice Gatsby.Warner Bros/Everett Assortment

In response to Schindler, DiCaprio and Maguire responded by counter-suing.

In deposition tapes shared with The Put up, DiCaprio insists the movie was all the time meant to be a brief and that the defendants tried repeatedly to persuade him to conform to a full-length film that he by no means wished.

In the meantime, Maguire mentioned he felt just like the producers had been throwing away their friendships to attempt to pursue their very own success.

“They were behaving as people with an agenda, rather than my friends,” he testified.

After a prolonged back-and-forth, the events finally settled.

As a part of the settlement settlement, obtained by The Put up, the plaintiffs needed to conform to scrap some strains from the film, together with one the place DiCaprio says: “gay guys f–k like rabbits” and one the place Maguire says “You know what, I beat off and I stick my pinkie up … not in my ass … ” — after which admits he does. Nonetheless, although the events agreed to not launch the film within the US and Canada. Danish director Lars von Trier confirmed it on the 2001 Berlin Movie Competition.

A overview of the movie from the competition offers it a B+, praising DiCaprio’s efficiency, however noting: “Unfortunately, odds are you won’t be able to see it without buying the eventual video from overseas, as the court settlement with DiCaprio and Maguire prohibits any form of release in North America. Ingrates. What’s the matter, fellas — afraid people might get the right idea?”

Wheatley and Robb, sure by the settlement settlement, needed to stay tight-lipped concerning the ordeal and had been solely allowed to say that: “We are so glad that we are able to put the ‘Don’s Plum’ dispute behind us amicably and we look forward to releasing the film to the rest of the world.”

Regardless of being barred from talking concerning the particulars of the lawsuit and settlement, Wheatley has spoken publicly prior to now, together with in an open letter printed on-line and to Self-importance Truthful in 2016.

“Don’s Plum” was launched in a number of European international locations and in Japan, although nearly all of the income went to authorized charges — Wheatley says he made simply $180 from the film.

Ultimately, Wheatley gave up his goals of creating it massive in Hollywood. However he by no means forgot “Don’s Plum.”

Beckman’s father — the inventor of the Completely happy Meal — by no means did both.

‘These guys are terribly intimidating with their power and their influence.’

In 2005, he sued Stutman — who had by no means paid again his authentic mortgage — to retrieve the funding, and received the rights to the flick. Stutman declined to talk to The Put up on the report.

Wheatley, nonetheless obsessive about “Don’s Plum” determined in 2014 to add the film to a Website referred to as “freedonsplum.com.” The film stayed up on the location for 16 months, till a few month earlier than DiCaprio would win his Oscar for “The Revenant” in 2016.

His plans to get his magnum opus on the market had been foiled once more, and the Internet web page reads: “We have removed your video titled ‘Don’s Plum,’ previously available at Vimeo, in a response to a takedown notice submitted by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA.”)

“They weren’t the Pussy Posse they were the bully posse,” Wheatley charged. “These guys are terribly intimidating with their power and their influence.”

“McGuire destroyed my life. He destroyed my career. For the last 20 years I’ve been living in the rubble of the destruction that he created … ”

A spokesperson for DiCaprio mentioned: “The events and comments described in this story are decades-old lies fabricated by Dale Wheatley in an effort to gain publicity and unlawful financial gain.”

Reps for Maguire didn’t remark.
A Victorian driver has been slammed for squeezing a flat screen TV box into the back of their child, on top of a child, instead of getting the item delivered.

Images of the white BMW, which was spotted in Mitcham, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, were posted by Facebook page Downshift.


“When you drive a BMW, but can’t afford the $50 delivery,” the post read.


The BMW was spotted in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.Image: Downshift/Facebook

The child, who appears to be seated in a restraint, is seen just under the box holding the 55-inch screen TV.

“If you think this is alright, then you obviously don’t have kids,” Downshift wrote in their comments.

“And that’s probably a good thing.”


The child can be seen just under the TV box.Image: Downshift/Facebook

Social media users agreed, criticising the BMW driver for their actions.

“This is not cool,” one person said.

“No problem if the back seat was empty. Pretty f****d up loading like that with a kid in the back seat,” another person said.


Facebook users slammed the BMW driver.Image: Downshift/Facebook

But some Facebook users disagreed, saying the child was safe in the back seat.

“Pfft, I’ve been through worse as a child when it came to my parents loading the car,” one person said.

“Kids or not, you do what you gotta do. It’s a minor discomfort but in the end you’re still saving some cash,” another person said.

“He'll be fine,” said a third user.


Some social media users were more concerned about the driver who took the photos.Image: Downshift/Facebook

Others were more concerned about the driver who snapped the images.

“If the kid's strapped down right he isn't going anywhere. But the driver using his mobile phone to take photos of other cars is 100% worse,” a Facebook user said.

“More concerned with the driver taking photos but each to their own,” another person added.


One of the most difficult problems the world faces as it moves toward a greener and more sustainable future (while simultaneously dealing with the ramifications of outdated, not-so-clean systems causing mass animal extinctions according to a recent report), is the question of whether or not our leaders can be trusted to provide the real solutions we need.

According to Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, the current push for clean energy is not a reliable vision for the future, in large part because of the lack of raw materials and reliable battery technology, according to a recent interview published by the Global Warming Policy Forum.

In the world of sustainable technology, there are few advancements deemed to be more of a sure thing than solar and wind energy.

But Gates, as seen in the video below, is not exactly a proponent of these “clean” technologies as they are currently positioned.

He discusses what he believes to be the biggest weak point of these technologies, using an analogy of a potential scenario in Japan that could unfold involving a natural disaster of a large magnitude, among other challenges presented by making the switch to these renewable energy resources.

“Whenever we came up with this term of clean energy I think it screwed up people’s mind, they don’t understand…” Gates can be heard saying in the interview publish by The Global Warming Policy Foundation.

It should also be noted that Gates has an investment in the very technology he is slamming as the biggest “missing piece” of this puzzle: Form Energy, which is currently developing two new types of battery chemistries that are able to store weeks and months worth of energy. It’s all part of his Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) organization, which has the goal of investing $1 billion into radical energy startups designed to cut carbon emissions worldwide.

Watch the video below: