103 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
  2. Jul 2018
    1. Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters.

      In relation to the question of mind-control verses corruption, I wonder where the difference exists. Does corruption involve some element of 'mind-control' to convince somebody that this is the answer?

    2. There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption. In corrupt systems, a few bad actors cost everyone else billions in order to bring in millions – the savings a factory can realize from dumping pollution in the water supply are much smaller than the costs we all bear from being poisoned by effluent. But the costs are widely diffused while the gains are tightly concentrated, so the beneficiaries of corruption can always outspend their victims to stay clear.
    3. For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains.
    1. A 2016 Lancet study found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

      Pure corruption here. Protectionism to prop up profits of approximately 630 million versus major benefits and savings of 300 billion. Even if you look at the calculus of the entire industry of 70 billion it becomes a no brainer.

  3. Jun 2018
    1. Interactive visualization of the relations between members of Portuguese governments and companies

      This is one of the best and undisputable representations of politics promiscuity with business. It clearly shows that not all parties are equal...

    1. For most of last year, Ross served as secretary of commerce while maintaining stakes in companies co-owned by the Chinese government, a shipping firm tied to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, a Cypriot bank reportedly caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation and a huge player in an industry Ross is now investigating. It’s hard to imagine a more radioactive portfolio for a cabinet member.

      To this day, Ross’ family apparently continues to have an interest in these toxic holdings.

      ...

      Absurdly, maintaining all those conflicts of interest appears to be entirely legal—a reflection of ethics laws woefully unprepared for governing tycoons like Donald Trump and Wilbur Ross.

      Ross appears to have broken one law, however: submitting a sworn statement to federal officials in November saying he divested of everything he had promised he would—even though he still held more than $10 million worth of stock in financial firm Invesco, his former employer.

  4. Apr 2018
  5. Nov 2017
    1. Robert Mercer's hedge fund owes the IRS $7 billion.

      Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.

  6. Jun 2017
    1. Maryland and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against Trump concerning his violations of the Emoluments Clause.

    1. Trump cabinet meeting.

      First, he boasted of his accomplishments as president. He doesn't have any.

      Then, the cabinet members took turns praising Trump.

  7. May 2017
    1. Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

  8. Apr 2017
  9. Mar 2017
    1. A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.

    1. Rainey died inside that shower. He was found crumpled on the floor. When his body was pulled out, nurses said there were burns on 90 percent of his body. A nurse said his body temperature was too high to register with a thermometer. And his skin fell off at the touch.

      But in an unconscionable decision, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office announced Friday that the four guards who oversaw what amounted to a medieval-era boiling will not be charged with a crime.

  10. Feb 2017
    1. Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, Breitbart, Cambridge Analytica, Brexit, and Trump.

      “The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.

      “It’s no exaggeration to say that minds can be changed. Behaviour can be predicted and controlled. I find it incredibly scary. I really do. Because nobody has really followed through on the possible consequences of all this. People don’t know it’s happening to them. Their attitudes are being changed behind their backs.”

      -- Jonathan Rust, Cambridge University Psychometric Centre

    1. Paul Ryan (WI) and Bob Goodlatte (VA) are claiming authority over who other congressmen are allowed to meet with.

      Rep. Gutiérrez was among the Members who requested the meeting with the Acting ICE Director in a letter on February 11. A meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Democrats in the House was cancelled at the last minute by ICE. It was rescheduled to today and turned into a Republican-led meeting run by Chairman Goodlatte and was apparently made invitation-only. Members were told by Chairman Goodltte at the meeting that any further meetings with ICE officials would have to be cleared by the Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman.

  11. Jan 2017
    1. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was eager to launch new investigations of Hillary Clinton, doesn't care about Donald Trump's huge, glaring, absurd conflicts of interest. He's even trying to intimidate the director of the Office of Government Ethics for commenting about it.

    1. Donald Trump's insane conflicts of interest.

      A report this afternoon from the Wall Street Journal, however, revealed that Trump’s disclosure was the tip of the iceberg. The FEC required Trump only to report debt from entities he fully controls. The disclosure left out “more than $1.5 billion lent to partnerships that are 30%-owned by him.” That debt has been securitized and is owed to at least 150 financial entities.

      These financial institutions include many firms that are under the scrutiny of the federal agencies that Trump will soon control. Wells Fargo, for example, which services over $900 million in loans connected to Trump, “is currently facing scrutiny from federal regulators surrounding its fraudulent sales practices and other issues.”

    1. Parents and students in the Mountain View school district consider their use of math software called Teach to One to be a failure.

      The Mountain View school district apparently budgeted $521,000 to implement and operate this new-fangled math program in two local schools. Had they adequately beta tested the program beforehand, the school district might have discovered that Teach to One teaches math (we’ve found) in a disjointed, erratic, and non-linear fashion that leaves many students baffled and disenchanted with math. The program contains errors in the math it teaches. Parents end up having to teach kids math at home and make up for the program’s deficiencies. And all the while, the math teachers get relegated to “managing the Teach to One program rather than to providing direct instruction” themselves.

      Sounds like they would have been much better off to just use http://khanacademy.org or http://schoolyourself.org So why are they using this expensive, seemingly untested service?

    1. Sara Holbrook had two of her poems used on the Texas state assessment tests. She verifies what I thought as a student. The questions are ridiculous. The test makers seem to think that their interpretation of a work is the only interpretation, and that they can read the author's mind and know their intent.

      "Texas paid Pearson $500 million bucks to administer the tests". Is that right? Was that for just one year? What else could we do with $500 million?

      She mentions a study showing that the results of another standardized test could be predicted pretty well using just three data points about families in the community: the percentage with income over $200K; the percentage in poverty; the percentage with bachelor's degrees. So the standardized test tells you nothing that you can't guess by looking at local incomes and education levels.

      What a scam.

    1. This Russia does not aspire to be like us, or to make itself stronger than we are. Rather, its leaders want the West—and specifically NATO and America — to become weaker and more fractured until we are as broken as they perceive themselves to be. No reset can be successful, regardless the personality driving it, because Putin’s Russia requires the United States of America as its enemy.

      Putin's Russia requires the U.S. to be weak. Even better if it's a weakling stupid enough to think Putin is its pal. I'm sure Putin will say lots of nice things about Trump as long as he's getting a piece of the action.

    2. we first need to see the Russian state for what it really is. Twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. This freed the Russian security state from its last constraints. In 1991, there were around 800,000 official KGB agents in Russia. They spent a decade reorganizing themselves into the newly-minted FSB, expanding and absorbing other instruments of power, including criminal networks, other security services, economic interests, and parts of the political elite. They rejected the liberal, democratic Russia that President Boris Yeltsin was trying to build.

      Following the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that the FSB almost certainly planned, former FSB director Vladimir Putin was installed as President.

  12. Dec 2016
    1. Kudlow makes the case not only that Trump and his administration are not corrupt, but also that they cannot be corrupt, by virtue of their wealth. “Why shouldn’t the president surround himself with successful people?” reasons Kudlow, “Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”

      -- Lawrence Kudlow, "reported leading candidate to head the administration's Council of Economic Advisors"

      This asshole has a syndicated radio show, a column in The National Review, and used to host a show on CNBC.

    1. Paul Krugman points out that our current situation is like that during the rise of fascism in the 1930s. And it is also like the situation during the gradual decline of the Roman Republic. Political norms are being ignored. Republicans are placing their party, their wealthiest campaign donors, and their careers, before their nation.

      "Famously, on paper the transformation of Rome from republic to empire never happened. Officially, imperial Rome was still ruled by a Senate that just happened to defer to the emperor."

    1. From 26 July 2016, Lawrence Lessig says it isn't the time to refuse to vote for "the lesser of two evils". Then he agrees with Robert Reich that people are angry about corrupt government, and Trump is likely to win unless Hillary Clinton makes it a central issue.

      Now Trump is already working on using the presidency to line his pockets. His cabinet is basically ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs -- and a few lesser Nazis.

      I wonder how many Trump voters are paying attention to this. How many notice they've been scammed? How many are busy rationalizing it? How many notice that they just voted to destroy democracy?

  13. Nov 2016
    1. I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.

      Donald Trump has filled his staff with these liars.

    1. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chair of the House Oversight Committee, has shown great enthusiasm for persecuting Hillary Clinton. But for some reason, he doesn't seem to have any interest in investigating Donald Trump's glaring conflicts of interest.

    1. Donald Trump's "lies about voter fraud are a prelude to massive voter suppression." This has become typical of the Republican party. But Trump and his staff are sure to make it worse, and they're already showing it.

    1. Members of the Electoral College should not make Donald Trump the next president unless he sells his companies and puts the proceeds in a blind trust, according to the top ethics lawyers for the last two presidents.

      Richard Painter, Chief Ethics Counsel for George W. Bush, and Norman Eisen, Chief Ethics Counsel for Barack Obama, believe that if Trump continues to retain ownership over his sprawling business interests by the time the electors meet on December 19, they should reject Trump.

    1. Another way the Trump presidency is likely to be disastrous: he will (by his very nature) introduce systemic corruption in which friends of Trump and his cronies become "successful businesses" and those who oppose them are punished.

    1. But according to regulators who have overseen potential conflicts of interests under two former presidents, Trump’s arrangements were unprecedented and present a host of issues.

      This is in no way a blind trust, said Karl Sandstrom, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the regulatory body that oversees campaign finance, under Bill Clinton and George W Bush. “A blind trust is not anywhere near the same. You don’t still have access to the decision being made. That’s why you put assets in and don’t just have someone else manage the company,” he said. Trump’s assets will instead apparently remain united under his company, and operated under his name even if he is not directly in charge.

  14. Oct 2016
    1. By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept

      A biblical allusion, though I guess this isn't a surprise, referencing the captive Israelites' mourning song at the rivers of Babylon. The intriguing thing here is the contrast between that reference and the word "leman," which is apparently an obscure term for lover, and the preceding references to sexual exploits. Eliot seems to be emphasizing the pollution of sexuality by using the polluted Thames and himself "polluting" a traditional story.

  15. Apr 2016
    1. An anonymous source has handed 2.6TB worth of records from Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's largest offshore law firms, to a consortium of news outlets, including The Guardian. The dump includes 11.5M files, whose contents reveal a complex system of tax evasion that implicates some of the richest, most powerful people in the world
  16. Jan 2016
  17. Oct 2015
    1. Taking on Corruption in Latin America

      This article discusses the difficulty in attacking corruption. It uses Guatemala and Brazil as examples of direct corruption through embezzlement and fraud schemes with Chile and Mexico where corruption is rooted in access to political knowledge and nepotism. In Chile and Mexico, the link is less direct and investigations cannot be traced as concretely as was the case in Brazil and Guatemala. This can make tackling corruption extremely difficult where these cases are more difficult to prove.

    1. 两会

      人(民代表)大(会)+政(治)协(商会议)

    2. 风暴

      风暴 fēngbào ②名 比喻气势猛烈、震动全社会的事件。 政治风暴 | 金融风暴

    3. 开启

      inaugurer; ouvrir

    4. 老虎
    5. 外媒

      境外媒体

    6. 班子

      班子 bānzi ③名 指领导机构。 班子换届

    7. 警醒

      警醒 jǐngxǐng ①动 警觉醒悟。 这场大火应该使你们警醒了。 ②形 形容睡觉不沉,容易醒来。 夜里要警醒些,不要睡得太死。

    8. 官僚主义

      bureaucratie

    9. 形式主义

      !主义:-isme, une idéologie formalisme

    10. 群众

      la masse / polulace

    11. 脱离

      脱离 tuōlí 动 离开;断绝。 脱离危险期 | 脱离夫妻关系

    12. 贪污

      贪污 tānwū 动 国家工作人员利用职务上的便利,非法占有公共财物。 贪污和浪费是极大的犯罪 | 贪污腐化

    13. 亟待

      亟待 jídài 动 急切地等待。 珍稀物种亟待保护 | 亟待商讨 用法说明 跟“急待”不同。“亟待”文言色彩较浓,语意也较重,多用于较庄重的场合;“急待”较口语化,多用于一般场合。

    14. 鼓掌

      applaudir

    15. 严峻

      严峻 yánjùn ①形(神情、态度)严厉;严肃。 严峻的目光 ②形(情况)严重。 形势严峻

    16. 开诚布公

      开诚布公 kāichéng-bùgōng 《三国志蜀书诸葛亮传》:“开诚心,布公道。”后用“开诚布公”形容诚恳待人,坦白无私。 用法说明 跟“推心置腹”不同。“开诚布公”侧重于公开、坦率;“推心置腹”侧重于真心、诚挚。

    17. 总书记

      中共中央总书记

    18. 常委

      中共中央政治局常委

    19. 当选

      当选 dāngxuǎn 动 选举或选拔中被选上。 她当选为人民代表。

    20. 十八届一中全会

      中国共产党第十八届中央委员会第一次全体会议

    21. 抛出

      抛出 pāochū 动 投掷出去;比喻把某事物公之于众。 他们终于抛出一份宣言。

    22. 别有用心

      别有用心 biéyǒu-yòngxīn 另有不可告人的企图。

    23. 不时

      ⚠️ 不是否定的意思,而是说“时不时”。=“时时” 不时 bùshí ①副 时时;常常。 不时从街上传来吆喝声。 ②副 随时;不定什么时候。 法庭在审理案件中不时传唤证人。

    24. 舆论

      opinion publique 舆论 yúlùn 名 公众的议论。 制造舆论 | 舆论谴责 用法说明 跟“言论”不同。“舆论”强调议论的公众性;“言论”既可指公众的,也可指个人的议论。

    25. 查阅

      查阅 cháyuè 动 查找翻阅(书刊、文件等)。 查阅资料 | 便于查阅

    26. 高层

      高层 gāocéng ①名 高的等级或层次。 位居高层 | 他住高层,我住低层。

    27. 随即

      à la suite 随即 suíjí 副 表示紧接着前一动作或情况之后立即发生,相当于“随后就”。 接到报警后,消防队员随即赶赴火灾现场。

    28. 停顿

      pause ③动 语流中的间歇。 讲话要注意停顿

    29. 说道

      原文错误:“说完”已经完成,“说道”正在说。去掉其中一个。

    30. =到

    31. 避罪

      néologisme, construction similaire à "避税": 避免承担罪责

    32. 避税

      避免交税。和“逃税”不同:“逃税”是非法的,“避税”是合法的。 避税 bìshuì 动 在不违反税法的前提下,纳税人利用税法的漏洞或税法允许的办法,规避某些税负。 瞒报销售收入的做法不是避税,而是逃税 | 依法避税

    33. 分子

      分子 fènzǐ 名 属于一定社会群体或具有某种特征的人。 作家协会的一分子 | 投机分子

    34. 追逃

      追捕逃犯

    35. =和/与/跟

    36. 纸牌屋
    37. 顺应

      顺着回应

    38. 苍蝇

      mouche

    39. 说/表示

    40. 以往

      以前

    41. 各界

      社会各个方面

    42. 查处

      检查,处理

    43. 腐败

      corruption

    44. 微信

      WeChat, marque de messagerie instantanée.

    45. 政事儿

      Affaires politiques. Néologisme homophonique de "正事儿”, chose solennelle.

    46. 首站

      第一站

    47. 西雅图

      Seattle

    48. 谈及

      =谈到 及:达到 ex.: 及格(达到要求的成绩)

    49. 访美

      访(问)美(国)

    50. 对美

      对美(国的)

    51. 国事访问

      visite d'État

    52. 微信

      WeChat

    53. 反腐

      反对腐败

  18. Sep 2015
    1. This article discusses the role an American energy company played in Guatemala's newly uncovered corruption scandal and the legal consequences its employees could face due to their participation in bribery. " “It is safe to assume,” he says, “that US authorities would be conducting an investigation.” Should the US government press charges against this company to stand in solidarity with Guatemala?

  19. Feb 2015
    1. "We provide half a billion dollars (annually) to the District. One would think they would be much more compliant with the wishes of Congress," Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican and one of the most vocal pot opponents, said in an interview Thursday.

      It's almost unbelievable to me that a representative can say something like this. It really speaks to how comfortable we've gotten with money politics.

  20. Sep 2013
    1. whom he calls the teacher of other men, everyone would regard his power as irresistible.
    2. Here in the indictment my accuser endeavors to vilify me, charging that I corrupt young men30 by teaching them to speak and gain their own advantage in the courts contrary to justice, while in his speech he makes me out to be a man whose equal has never been known either among those who hang about the law-courts or among the devotees of philosophy; for he declares that I have had as my pupils not only private persons but orators, generals, kings, and despots;31 and that I have received from them and am now receiving enormous sums of money

      Shows how people view rhetoric and its link to corruption