Business Ethics Links 7-30-2016 The 3D Printed Structure Edition


3D Printed Structure

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The 3D Printed Structure Edition

3-D Printed Five Story Apartment Building

NASCAR Team and Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have generally been used to hit individuals, but recent months have seen the attacks evolve and lock down files at a much larger scale. Several instances of hospitals and healthcare providers being hit have created considerable scare, while several universities have also been locked out of their extensive databases by the cryptoviruses. In total, the extortion tactics are expected to cost nearly $1 billion in losses to businesses and organizations going forward according to the FBI.

When is a cat not a cat? 

Neither of the two candidates is tech savvy. 

The tech-aloofness of the two nominees marks a sharp break from President Barack Obama, who fought to keep a mobile phone when he entered the White House, spends downtime surfing his iPad and wrote about his awe at the power of the internet in his 2006 book “The Audacity of Hope.” That raises the prospect that the next occupant of the Oval Office — charged with making decisions on issues like encryption, the fight against a social-media savvy Islamic State, and the growing automation of the American economy — will be less familiar with consumer technologies than the average citizens who use them.

“These are two candidates who don’t have their hands on the technology, and that’s unfortunate, because without that it’s difficult to understand this stuff on a deeper, more visceral level,” said Peter Leyden, a futurist and former managing editor of Wired who was an early Obama backer in Silicon Valley.

Republicans Legislators hold Americans lives hostage hoping they can use the leverage to weaken the clean water act. 

President Barack Obama asked for $1.9 billion to fund the Zika response back in February. The Senate eventually passed a bipartisan measure in May that would have provided $1.1 billion. But that measure differed from a version taken up in the House, and Republicans ultimately modified the bill to add provisions targeting Planned Parenthood, preserving the Confederate flag, taking money from Obamacare and weakening the Clean Water Act regarding pesticides.

Democrats objected to the added riders and voted against the bill just before Congress left, saying that Republicans should ditch the ideological additions and just use the original Senate bill that had gotten 89 “yes” votes. Republicans declined.

Does a British Shetland Pony need its own AA group? 

Accounts of sexual harassment at Fox are sickening. 

The Trump Narrative!

Successful politicians don’t choose political narratives at random. They understand that voters’ beliefs about the state of the nation are inevitably shaped by their life experiences and the ideological and cultural lenses through which they interpret them. That was as true in the 1980s as it is today. Consider a blue-collar worker who moved from a devastated Rust Belt town to a bustling Sun Belt suburb in 1984, just as the local economy was starting to boom. To this young woman, the idea that it was “Morning in America” felt exactly right. She had chosen to leave her past behind, and all the union bosses and tax-and-spend liberal politicians that came with it. Reagan’s individualistic ethos resonated with her experience, and it made her feel like the author of her own life.

But what of the blue-collar worker who remained in that same Rust Belt town and who lived through the nightmare of deindustrialization? What if this other woman saw friends lose their jobs and their homes, and what if she herself had to turn to food stamps to keep her family afloat? It’s easy to imagine her scoffing at Reagan’s rhetoric and feeling drawn to darker rhetoric. Democrats in the Reagan era didn’t sound downbeat and nostalgic because they hated America, regardless of what their Republican critics might have claimed. They came across as pessimistic because they wanted to craft messages that resonated with their voters, many of whom felt their world was crumbling around them.

Donald Trump Apocalypse Watch

It has taken this country a long time to come to the realization that prescription drug abuse is a crisis that cuts across class and race. Decades of normalization allowed a Caucasian, middle-upper class, male ex-marine to spend four years feeding an increasingly destabilizing drug habit and suffering virtually no social or economic consequences for it. The fact that his drug use was not directly responsible for the tower shooting does not render its existence irrelevant. Ignoring this side of Whitman’s life only helps perpetuate the myth, just now slowly beginning to die, that drug abuse is primarily a problem for minority communities and the poor.

Picking Tim Kaine was foolish.

Thus, Trump is a Frankensteinian monster, created by Republican elites who thought they could pander to their reactionary base indefinitely while serving Wall Street and corporate America in Washington. Trump is a demagogue, of course, and it’s hard to tell what he truly believes in and what he says to rile up resentful, paranoid and bigoted Americans. But it’s clear what his movement — let’s call it Trumpism — is and what it isn’t.

Trumpism is not a conservative ideology or movement, nor is it rooted in conservative principles. Its adherents do not want to safeguard traditional institutions or preserve the status quo; rather, they strive for its complete destruction. Reporter James Kirchick provided an interesting insight into the mind of a typical Trumpets when he asked prominent Trump supporter and writer Milo Yiannopolous what actual Trump policies he favors, to which the writer replied that Trump supporters don’t care about policies, “They [just] want to burn everything down.” This is nihilism, not conservatism.

Just like Bill and just like Obama, Hilary figures we liberals will finally in the end hold our nose and vote for her. So she selects Tim Kaine to show us who’s the realist, who’s the boss, who’s running this show. It might not work this time. jp

One Facebook Troll Taken Down

“This kind of behaviour is what we call ‘normalisation of violence against women’ and it is really, really scary and damaging,” she wrote. “… Every time you ‘playfully’ tell a woman to get back in the kitchen, every time you smack a girl on the bum because it’s funny, every time you make a joke about rape, YOU are contributing to a society where unfortunately women are not safe.”

Is Trump doing well in the polls because we live in a country where it is better to be in prison than on the streets? 

Trump Voters

Most of all, Trump voters want respect. They want respect for their long hours of work that risks their bodies, for the hands caught in vices, backs wrenched by weights, and knees torn. They want respect because they are doing dangerous work, but their pay has been flat for decades.

They want respect because they haven’t just lost economically, but also socially. When they turn on the TV, they see their way of life being mocked and made fun of as nothing but uneducated white trash.

With Trump, they are finding someone who gives them respect. He talks their language, addresses their concerns. Sometimes it is celebrating what defines their neighborhood, what they in Parma have in common: being white. They and Trump are playing in dangerous territory, with the need for respect tipping into misplaced revenge.

 

Business Ethics Links 7-29-2016 Hilary Can Lose Edition


Hilary Can Lose

She’s certainly the best possible next president, as everyone from Obama to Michael Bloomberg has been lining up to say at the DNC all week. But she’s also certainly a representative of the global capitalist status quo; she is campaigning for a pro-business, pro-markets, essentially anti-working-class system. She won’t talk about this, just as aw-shucks Biden and neither of the glorious Obamas would talk about it; like them, she’ll talk about “America”. Which, for a minority of us, is a pretty privileged place.

But where are her new ideas for making life better for people who feel exploited? What is she saying about taking back this country, not from the immigrants (a ridiculous notion in a country almost entirely composed of immigrants and their descendants) but from an economy of theft and extraction and transfer from the poor to the rich?

What if I’m afraid, not of a terrorist attack – only marginally more likely than a personal lightning strike – but of an impoverished old age or a house foreclosure, or simply of my car breaking down and not having enough money to fix it? For too many Americans, these are real fears, and Hillary represents the class responsible for causing them.

Hilary is the establishment candidate and our establishment is rotten, corrupt and incompetent and people are getting fed up. jp

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Hilary Can Lose Edition

Turbo-Capitalism and Decay

But most of the social mayhem now rising around us is driven by the seductions and stresses of public decay under a capitalism that’s no longer tempered by Adam Smith’s moral sentiments but that is occasionally still challenged by “liberal education,” which conservatives assail whenever it suggests that “economic violence” does exist and disrupts the village that raises the child.

Totalitarian anti-capitalism was so brutal and duplicitous two generations ago that the “Free World” embraced a taboo against criticizing capitalism at all. But today’s casino-like, predatory, intrusively degrading capitalism has degraded even that taboo by ruining social equality and republican habits of the heart — and doing it mindlessly as much as malevolently.

“Not sure why Trump would openly ask Russia to spy on Americans,” Meyers added. “But I’m sure he has his treasons.”

Sanders Delegate Can’t Forgive Clinton

Harris added: “Particularly Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigning in disgrace, and then Clinton rewarding her with a job 32 minutes later is very insulting to the Sanders campaign. It’s not unifying.”

The Sanders delegate said he took an oath to support the Democratic Party’s nominee, but he confessed that it’s very difficult to get behind Clinton and the party establishment.

“When you personalize that decision about, am I going to reward this person with my support, it’s a very difficult decision that we have to wrestle with as black men,” Harris concluded.

Bill O’Reilly decides that slaves were well fed. 

The antebellum American South was not a “Gone with the Wind” fantasy of “magnolias mint juleps.” It was a military state organized around oppressing and controlling black bodies for the purposes of profit and wealth creation for white people. The slave plantation was a charnel house and place of mass rape, where white men and women could sexually abuse black boys, girls, men, and women at their whim. As historian Edward Baptist explains in his excellent book “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” the “plantation” is more accurately described as a slave labor camp.

Feminist Writer Jessica Valenti Leaves Social Media After Rape Threats Against Her Five Year Old Daughter

Clinton Can Lose II

But Democrats are nervous that even while Trump has failed to build a modern political organization, squandered most the past two months, been accused of racism by his own party, neither aired TV ads nor reserved time for the fall, has praised foreign strongmen including Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin, the race is essentially tied.

Trump has taken the lead in some surveys after the GOP convention, despite the disunity and disorganization on display in Cleveland. He has inflamed controversy almost daily, the latest this week with his public call for Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” of Clinton’s from her private server, essentially inviting a foreign nation to hack correspondence from her time as as the country’s top diplomat.

Colorado Professors Condemn Trump

“Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated that crime in the United States is rising and that we live in a society that is growing more dangerous,” the letter stated. “A preponderance of evidence at the nationwide level contradicts that claim; but more importantly, Trump then uses such specious reasoning to fuel fear of certain minority groups.

“Second, Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated statements have been used to impugn entire groups of people, including Muslims, Mexicans, women, and disabled people,” the letter continued. “We contend that his divisive language prevents the kind of civil discourse that is the life blood of a democratic society. Mr. Trump’s claim that the majority of immigrants from Mexico are criminals, including murderers and rapists, is contradicted by documented evidence. Similarly, Mr. Trump’s call for the use of torture would contravene the United Nations Convention against Torture.”

Business Ethics Links 7-25-2016 The Clinton Coronation Edition


Clinton Coronation Begins. 

Like her career, Clinton’s neoliberal ideology peaked at a moment when its foundations have all but rotted away. There is no great principle at work here that moves and inspires the crowd. To prevail, today’s very old “New Democrats” must incessantly appeal to the bourgeois pleasure of staving off panic without banishing it completely. To make her case for uniting the scepters of the neoliberal West and the U.S. presidency, Clinton must hit a psychological sweet spot: one part sheer terror at the prospect of a fascistic or socialistic takeover, and one part smug satisfaction at not only being humanity’s only hope, but having earned it.

For the Clinton campaign, and the ideology she incarnates, the secret motto is simple: The fix is in, and you will like it. Because it really doesn’t get better, except insofar as Clintonism rules longer. Clinton is the Pollyanna of power politics, for whom there’s nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what’s right with her and her squad. Clinton has twisted her husband’s homey maxim about America’s inner goodness into a tribute to her own — an unseemly funhouse reflection of Trump’s own preposterous claim that “I alone can fix it.”

New York Times Pushes Nuclear Energy. 

Utterly lost on the Times is the irony that nuclear power was originally touted as a key part of a future where electricity was “too cheap to meter.” Now it’s just another inflexible but powerful dinosaur industry being crushed in the marketplace by a superior product — kind of like mainframe computers or the horse and buggy or … print newspapers.

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The Clinton Coronation Edition

Man tries to defraud Michigan by returning 10,000 bottles from Kentucky. 

Richard Dreyfuss at 68.

I love the ideals of my country. But I hate that we’ve been so denied any real knowledge of the world and don’t have the education to think clearly, so we vote against our economic interest and believe in our most shallow first thoughts of fear and hatred.

African Methodist Episcopal church addresses climate change. 

African American religious leaders have added their weight to calls for action on climate change, with one of the largest and oldest black churches in the US warning that black people are disproportionally harmed by global warming and fossil fuel pollution.

The African Methodist Episcopal church has passed its first resolution in its 200-year history devoted to climate change, calling for a swift transition to renewable energy.

“We can move away from the dirty fuels that make us sick and shift toward safe, clean energy like wind and solar that help make every breath our neighbors and families take a healthy one,” states the resolution, which also points to research showing that black children are four times as likely as white children to die from asthma.

Tim Kaine is the wrong choice.

Beyond the racial resentment, xenophobia and Islamaphobia that is very plainly coursing through the veins of Trump’s candidacy and his supporters’ fervor, this election is also marked by a genuine craving for radical change, new ideas and new leadership — a craving that cuts across partisan divides.
To see this movie, you have to survive the election – hang tough.

“When he wasn’t aboard his yacht, Farid Bedjaoui held court in the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, a renovated 18th-century palace nestled between the botanical gardens and the La Scala theater. Over five years, Bedjaoui’s hotel tab there exceeded $100,000.

In the plush rooms and the granite-lined lobby, Bedjaoui met with Algerian government officials and executives from Saipem, the Italian energy giant. Their agenda, according to witnesses later interviewed by Italian prosecutors: arranging some $275 million in bribes to help the energy company win more than $10 billion in contracts to build oil and gas pipelines from the North African desert to the shores of the Mediterranean.

To shift the bribe money between countries, Bedjaoui used a cluster of offshore companies that helped him shield the transactions from scrutiny, Italian prosecutors claim. Twelve of the 17 shell companies linked to Bedjaoui were created by Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm that is at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, a review of the law firm’s internal records by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media partners has found.”

What were you wearing when you were assaulted?

And I wasn’t there to help!!!

Hilary Hate!!!!

Gardner, who raised two children as a single mother, says she felt vaguely positive about Bill Clinton when he was elected in 1992. In 2008, she supported John McCain, and in this election she’s become a passionate Sanders backer. She sees Hillary Clinton as integral to the economic system that has left her struggling. “I’ve been working since I was 12. It seems like when I was working as a kid, my money went further than it does now as an adult, just trying to feed the kids. I could work 40 hours a week and go live in the Y because that’s all you can afford,” she says.

The Clintons, says Gardner, “removed a lot of sanctions against companies and changed a lot of laws so companies could pay their workers less, fight unions, fight health care.” Employment used to come with security and benefits, she says. “That was just common knowledge, all those things you got when you worked your butt off for a company.” Clinton, she believes, had a hand in taking all that away. “Bill and Hillary’s friends were all rich, they were the ones who owned all these companies, why not use your power to let everyone in your circle get as rich as humanly possible?”

What’s it like for a woman working at Fox? 

According to a new New York Times investigation, the other leaders of Fox News may have been emboldened by Ailes’ alleged sexism. More than 10 women told the Times they’d endured sexual harassment as employees of Fox News or Fox Business Network, and several others said they saw fellow employees become victims of harassment. Just two of these cases involved Ailes; the rest of the acts were perpetrated by other supervisors at the networks. They are uniformly horrifying.

What’s in the DNC’s leaked e-mails? 

 

 

Business Ethics Links 7-24-2016 The Revenge Porn Edition


Revenge Porn is Wrong. 

Now, after over two years of delicate negotiations, Congress is finally introducing such a law — the federal revenge porn bill — which, if passed, could help revenge porn victims like Vora prosecute their aggressors.

The Intimate Privacy Protection Act (IPPA) was introduced by Rep. Speieralongside co-sponsors Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

Revenge porn is the layman’s term for nonconsensual pornography, a crime that typically involves sharing or publishing nude or sexualized images of someone without their consent. Emerging alongside increased access to smartphones and social media, revenge porn often looks like what happened to Vora, but it can take various forms. In one of the highest-profile revenge porn cases, rapper 50 Cent published a privately acquired sex tape starring the ex-girlfriend of one of his rivals in order to shame him. The woman, Lastonia Leviston, sued and was awarded a $7 million settlement.

Do you want to join the fight to end revenge porn? – go here! 

Revenge Porn
The Revenge Porn Edition

Password Rage!!! By Stephanie Faris – The best thing written on the Internet in days – READ and ENJOY! 

(A passage from the opening:) 

Like so many of us, I have my browser set to remember all of my login credentials, so when I get the occasional request to re-enter information, I draw a blank. Far too many times, I enter the information I think is correct, only to get that annoying red text: “Your username and password is incorrect. Please try again.”

Rage.

Passwords used to make sense. They were first used in the 1960s to protect critical computer systems from unauthorized access. A limited number of people used these systems, and each person likely only had one password to remember.

Taxpayer Funded Stadiums are a RIP-OFF. 

The failings of this crony capitalist dynamic have been noticed within the NFL as well. Asked last month what he would do were he the league’s president, Seattle Seahawks defensive star Richard Sherman was quick to point the finger at subsidies. “I’d stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them,” he said. “That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.”

When billionaires con the public into paying for their expenses, the public loses. In many cases, long after the stadium is demolished taxpayers are still paying on the bonds that paid for the construction. This isn’t rocket science. Giving multi-billionaires huge sums of tax money is a form of theft. That it happens so regularly is a savage indictment of the insularity, stupidity and lack of a public service mission in our morally bankrupt ruling class. jp

Michael Moore Predicts Trump Victory – he might be right. 

Sexual harassment at the Fox network? 

More sexual harassment at the Fox network? 

Is Trump a racist? 

Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities, some of them made on television for all to see. While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.

No matter what you’ve been told, it is not illegal to be black! 

My Black Opinion!

The New Working Class

The decades-long destruction of American manufacturing profoundly changed the working class — neighborhoods, jobs and families. What had once been nearly universal, guaranteed well-paying jobs for young men fresh from high school graduation were yanked overseas with little regard for the devastation left behind.

To add insult to injury, the loss of manufacturing jobs was often heralded as a sign of progress. As the economic contribution of these former working-class heroes to our nation dwindled and the technology revolution sizzled, in many people’s minds, millions of men became zeroes. They seemed to be a dusty anachronism in a sparkling new economy.

That these people, their lives and their jobs meant and mean so little to our ruling class is a giant exclamation point on the need for system wide change. When millions of peoples’ lives become irrelevant, it is time to boot out the current band of besotted fools who told us that all these trade deals and all the job destruction were good things. jp

Will Women Stop Trump? This maybe the election where women voters have their biggest effect ever. 

But nothing seemed to stop Trump. And now, joined by Gov. Mark Pence, the most extreme anti-woman vice presidential candidate in a generation, a man who spouts nothing but reckless, vicious and hateful rhetoric is just one step away from the nation’s highest office.

But there is one group that can and will stop him: women. Women, who have been so frequently criticized, derided, humiliated and underestimated by Trump, will be the ones to bring him down.

It’s a numbers game, plain and simple. Women, who make up a majority of the general population and 53 percent of voters, unsurprisingly have an overwhelmingly negative opinion of the man fond of calling them “bimbos,” “dogs” and “fat pigs.”

In fact, more than 70 percent of registered women voters view Donald Trump negatively. And it’s not just Democratic women who dislike him; polls show that nearly half of Republican women primary voters — 47 percent — said that they “could not imagine” themselves supporting Trump, despite the fact that he’s their party’s nominee.

Jon Steward, American Hero. 

 

Business Ethics Links 7-23-2016 The Establishment Verdict on Trump Edition


Washington Post Gives Establishment Verdict on Trump

Mr. Trump campaigns by insult and denigration, insinuation and wild accusation: Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Hillary Clinton may be guilty of murder; Mr. Obama is a traitor who wants Muslims to attack. The Republican Party has moved the lunatic fringe onto center stage, with discourse that renders impossible the kind of substantive debate upon which any civil democracy depends.

Florida Investigates First Mosquito Transmitted Case of Zika

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The Establishment Verdict

A small failure of business ethics. 

The men are accused of making $3m profit by fraudulently trading currencies in advance of a client buying $3.4bn of pounds sterling in 2011, according to the complaint. They are accused of buying sterling in advance of the client’s transaction in a manner “designed to spike the price” to the benefit of HSBC “and at the expense of their client”. They also billed their client for $5m in fees for their work.

Money for Malaysian Economic Development Does Some Serious Traveling (and it’s not coming home, not ever) 

The 1MDB affair has stretched from Malaysia to Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and the US. The suspected fraud occurred in three phases in which money was laundered through bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the US, the government said in the court filing.

In 2009, after 1MDB was set up to pursue development projects, officials of 1MDB and others, under the pretense of investing in a joint venture between 1MDB and a Saudi oil company, transferred more than $1bn to a Swiss bank account.
In 2012, 1MDB officials and others diverted proceeds raised through two separate bond offerings arranged by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, according to the justice department.

More than 40% of the proceeds, or $1.4bn, were transferred to a Swiss bank account belonging to a British Virgin Islands entity. More than $1bn was diverted from another bond offering arranged by Goldman Sachs in 2013.

Isn’t it strange that Goldman Sachs shows up so often in these things? jp

Do women make better politicians than men? 

It’s a shame more women don’t run for office, because they truly could improve America. Despite Christie’s accusation that Clinton is a “self-proclaimed champion of women” who helped Boko Haram abduct “hundreds of innocent young girls”, studies show female politicians are good for the world. For example, they tend to focus on providing childcare, healthcare and education, policies that help lift the disproportionate number of low-income women out of poverty. Women are also more collaborative colleagues. Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said they “inject less libido and less testosterone into the equation”, which can often lead to better results. Women in office obtain almost 10% more federal funding than male politicians and introduce about double the number of bills.

Ban the Box Fails??

White power is so pervasive in the US, even attempts to correct it are ruined. Take the recent push to “ban the box”, in which some local governments have made it so that employers can’t ask upfront if an applicant has been convicted of a crime. The idea was to address how the over incarceration of black people discriminates against us in the job market. But a recent study has found that when the box was banned, “the racial gap in callbacks by employers actually increased”, according to economist Amanda Agan.

Why? As NPR’s Shankar Vendantam explained: “When companies were not allowed to check on the criminal histories of applicants, what they did was they fell back on their stereotypes and said, black men are more likely to be associated with crime. So let me just reject black applicants more often or call back white applicants more often.”

Milo, the banned. 

Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Leslie Jones, who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it. According to the law of the wild web, the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give. I have come to believe, in the course of our bizarro unfriendship, that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech. The same is reportedly true of Trump, of people like Ann Coulter, of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage: They are pure antagonists unencumbered by any conviction apart from their personal entitlement to raw power and stacks of cash.

 

Business Ethics Links 7-22-2016 The Verbal Judo Edition


The Verbal Judo Edition

Verbal Judo – something we should all learn? 

“There’s so many times when people are screaming and yelling and you just go to them: ‘Hey, buddy, how you doing? My names’s Sergeant Francis, I’m with NYPD, I noticed that you’re really upset, now what’s going on with you, is there any way I can help?’” he said. “What’s the expression on your face, what’s the tone of your voice? A lot of it has to do with keeping yourself calm. We have to have some sort of a professional language to use, and that’s what verbal judo really supplies.”

The Russians Cheat! – Only in an officially sanctioned and thoroughly organized manner. 

I do not pity the 68 Russian athletes who put the appeal in. I pity the athletes who were cheated out of the success they deserved, the athletes who lost their moment on the podium as well as the financial rewards, and have suffered from the continual self-doubt that they just weren’t good enough.

Yeah, this is sports where we send our children to build character and with a little luck permanently harm their bodies through injury or in some cases officially sanctioned drugs. I’m still waiting for the evidence of character building I’ve been hearing about for my entire life. (I have no problem with the no money sports where both adults and children compete for the love of simple athletics and the joy of movement.) 

 

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The Verbal Judo Edition

The madman in his castle? 

Twice in its history the United States has been forced to re-create itself, both times in the face of existential crises. The abolition of slavery was the first such re-creation, born out of the crisis of the civil war. The New Deal was the second, the formation of the modern welfare state in response to the crisis of the Great Depression; had Roosevelt acted any less radically, the profound unrest that in certain places had already flared into outright insurrection – an episode of US history that’s largely forgotten, or ignored – might well have morphed into re-creation by other means. Now we find ourselves in dire need of a third re-creation, a revolution in the psyche as well as the structure of the country that takes account of realities that are already upon us. A broadening beyond the psychic island, the insane castle, the encircling wall of the Wasp that Norman Mailer wrote about nearly a half-century ago. It has to happen; the country’s changing demographics, and the sheer weight of human experience they represent, demand it. The only way it won’t happen is by the outright subversion of democracy, which by definition would constitute a very different sort of re-creation.

Olympics desecrates graves. 

Adilson Batista Almeida, the leader of Camorim Quilombo, accuses developers of riding roughshod over the history of slavery in the area by destroying archaeological remains at the site of an old sugar mill, and depriving the community of a public space for cultural activities that celebrate its Afro-Brazilian heritage.

“One Sunday morning a chainsaw came and devastated everything including century-old trees,” Almeida said. “I regard the ground as sacred because it is where my ancestors were buried.”

The media village is a condominium – Grand Club Verdant – that will be sold to private buyers after the Games. The land was acquired in 2013 by the real estate developer Cyrela which felled hundreds of trees, destroyed a community football pitch and demolished the remains of the old slave owner’s house and the slavery-era sugar mill in order to clear the area for construction.

New York ends tampon tax. 

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the “tampon tax” – a tax on menstruation products. The measure was approved by the state senate and assembly earlier this year.

“Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process,” said Linda B Rosenthal, the bill’s sponsor in the state assembly.

The legislation will exempt tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners from state and local taxes. It will go into effect in the next sales tax quarter, reported the Associated Press.

When these kinds of products are designated what they are – necessities, and no longer designated as luxuries, we will have taken a step in recognizing the facts of women’s lives rather than the systematic foolishness of old men. jp

“Beware of Darkness” the new Trump anthem? 

Famous Network Leader Leaves Job and all Personal Accountability Behind. 

“While we are glad to see Roger Ailes step down from his position at Fox News, sending him off with zero accountability and a big check is a slap in the face to the … women he harassed during his tenure as CEO and does nothing to fundamentally change the culture of Fox News that he created,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, said in a statement.

North Carolina suffers setback. 

The Atlantic and Washington Post sell out for climate deniers. 

Evidence of human-made climate change is so conclusive that it’s wrong for journalists to treat its denial like a reasonable point of view. But it is a new low for major media groups to sell their brand to lobbyists and let climate truthers go unchallenged.

And The Atlantic was hardly alone. At the Republican National Convention, the American Petroleum Institute also paid the Washington Post and Politico to host panel conversations where API literature was distributed, API representatives gave opening remarks, and not one speaker was an environmentalist, climate expert, scientists, or Democrat.

 

 

 

Business Ethics Blog Posts 7-21-2016 The Concrete Sarcophagus Edition


Fukushima to be entombed in a concrete sarcophagus? 

The idea of leaving the plant as is and creating a sarcophagus around the three melted down reactors is extremely problematic. The groundwater issue is just one problem that would be a permanent problem. Even the ice wall if it eventually works as planned can only operate for a few years. Erosion and groundwater flows would create a permanent problem for the ocean and the region around the plant. This would also leave the fuel and crumbling buildings in place. Building failures, radioactive dust and fuel debris would all still be in place. This would need to be managed not just due to aging but further natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunami. Current problems include fuel fragments that have been found in unit 1′s torus room basement water. These have been a concern as groundwater flows through these basements that if improperly managed, more of these fuel fragments could leave the basement into the groundwater.

Koizumi asks for help for U.S. veterans who came to Japan’s aid during meltdown. 

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is calling for donations to the relief fund he founded for U.S. veterans who claim their health problems resulted from radioactive fallout after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Speaking at a news conference on July 5 alongside another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, Koizumi said of the U.S. veterans: “They went so far to do their utmost to help Japan. It is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy.”

Can Economists Reason? 

Neoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds. Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in economic theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence. The one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity worthy of pursuing in economics, is a scientific cul-de-sac. To have valid evidence is not enough. What economics needs is sound evidence.

Paul Kiser’s Blog Today!

Liberals are blamed for almost everything, but we are not responsible for the fiasco at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland this week. We did not make a secret deal with Donald Trump to destroy everything Republican. We didn’t pay Rudy Giuliani to do an impression of Hitler speaking to a Nazi rally. We didn’t make Melania Trump look like a Stepford wife and upload her with a speech that was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s convention speech from eight years ago.

Drug Prices are too high and unfair. 

(This is a particularly good article. You should make a special effort to go to teh original site and read it in full. jp)

First, about 38% of the basic research science is actually funded by taxpayer money—so the public is paying twice: once in taxes and once again for the drugs resulting from the research. This, of course, leaves a significant legitimate area of expenses for companies, but hardly enough to warrant absurdly high prices.

Second, most large drug companies spend almost twice as much on promotion and marketing as they do on R&D. While these are legitimate business expenses, this fact does undercut using R&D expenses to justify excessive drug prices. Obviously, telling the public that pills are pricy because of the cost of marketing pills so people will buy them would not be an effective strategy. There is also the issue of the ethics of advertising drugs, which is another matter entirely.

Third, many “new” drugs are actually slightly tweaked old drugs. Common examples including combining two older drugs to create a “new” drug, changing the delivery method (from an injectable to a pill, for example) or altering the release time. In many cases, the government will grant a new patent for these minor tweaks and this will grant the company up to a 20-year monopoly on the product, preventing competition. This practice, though obviously legal, is certainly sketchy. To use an analogy, imagine a company held the patent on a wheel and an axle. Then, when those patents expired, they patented wheel + axle as a “new” invention. That would obviously be absurd.

Online Charter Schools Seek to Evade Regulation

Ohio’s Steve Dyer reports in his personal blog that defenders of Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the notorious ECOT online charter school, have even been lobbying delegates to the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland against Ohio’s crack-down on e-schools which seem to have been collecting millions of dollars every year from the state for phantom students.  Dyer writes: “And now, the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education—the state’s ironically named and most egregious defender of poor-performing charter schools… slipped a letter under the doors of delegates to the Republican National Convention….”  The letter “blames sneaky Democratic bureaucrats at ODE (Ohio Department of Education) for ECOT’s problems….”  In fact, as Dyer explains, passage of a bill modestly to increase regulation of Ohio’s charter sector was passed with bipartisan support.  But now, as Ohio’s largest and most profitable charter stands to lose millions of dollars because it has been inflating the per-pupil attendance on which state funding is based, powerful backers are appealing to anyone they can to try to keep their school operating and keep the tax dollars flowing into their profits.

New York Times fails to properly weigh Mike Pence’s education record

Revenge Against the Elites

On the morning after British voters chose to leave the European Union, Obama was in California addressing an audience at Stanford University, a school often celebrated these days as the pre-eminent educational institution of Silicon Valley. The occasion of the president’s remarks was the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the substance of his speech was the purest globaloney, flavored with a whiff of vintage dotcom ebullience. Obama marveled at the smart young creative people who start tech businesses. He deplored bigotry as an impediment that sometimes keeps these smart creative people from succeeding. He demanded that more power be given to the smart young creatives who are transforming the world. Keywords included “innovation”, “interconnection”, and of course “Zuckerberg”, the Facebook CEO, who has appeared with Obama on so many occasions and whose company is often used as shorthand by Democrats to signify everything that is wonderful about our era.

The socialist faculty have corrupted our youth

So, I guess we should gird ourselves.  If the Republicans lose in November, watch out for some pretty mean-spirited scapegoating directed at the professoriate.  For clearly in the eyes of those like Luntz the younger generation has been “lost’ to “socialism” all because of us and that cries out for a “solution.”  Never mind, of course, that most academics, even on the left, neither call themselves or actually are socialists of any stripe.  Never mind that the number of classes in which openly “socialist” readings predominate is minimal and at many institutions totally non-existent.  I challenge anyone to identify a single “socialist” Economics department.  Never mind also that the most sacred principles of our profession enjoin us from indoctrination.  And, most of all, never mind that a generation brought up during the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, at a time when income and wealth inequality, not to mention simple abject poverty and homelessness, have grown to hitherto unseen levels might well be likely to question the morality and workability of unrestrained capitalism.  Surely instead it’s the professors’ who are to blame for such allegedly extreme views among the youth, not their life experiences.

Overheating. 

‘What do the fateful Brexit referendum, the epidemic spread of Nintendo’s ‘Pokémon Go’ game, the escalating death of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the fivefold growth in tourism since 1980 have in common? The short answer is that they all express symptoms or outcomes of global accelerated change, or ‘overheating’, as I call it in my new book.

Business Ethics Links 7-20-2016 The Orange Leader Edition


RNC votes Trump as nominee. 

This is a radical time in American politics: a time the pundits and elected politicians thought would never come. After two decades of populist anger, the elderly rebels of Pat Buchanan’s pitchfork army finally stormed the barricades of the establishment and hoisted an orange leader atop the smoking rubble.

Don’t hand out union flyers in the South? 

Check your freezer! Massive frozen food recall affects all of U.S. 

Light weights just as good as heavy weights??

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” study researcher Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement. “Lift to the point of exhaustion, and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.”

European truck companies conspire to fix prices. 

“It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The hottest tourist destination? 

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. sued. 

The complaint was filed on behalf of more than 50 plaintiffs who have performed with WWE or its predecessors since the 1970s, including Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff.

It accused Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE and Chairman Vince McMahon of intentionally classifying wrestlers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, as a means to avoid liability under applicable worker protection laws.

“WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies,” the complaint said.

It is sad that a corporate behemoth like WWE can make suck enormous profits and simply evade any responsibility for the broken bodies it leaves behind. jp

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Fights for Equal Pay!

These women make the advertising money by winning and winning a lot. They make American soccer a success and get paid less than their male counterparts who are not as competitive. What’s going on here?

Is there a justification here of any significance beyond simple mulish male stubborn pride? 

I don’t think so.

Simple business ethics says equal pay for equal work but in this case the women are doing better work and still not getting the same. jp

Raging Hormones responsible for sexual assault!!!

That’s right! Sexual assault is not an affirmative act committed with intent, it’s a result of raging hormones. Who would’ve thought? In my apparently irrelevant law school, they taught us that rape was an intentional act and punishable by imprisonment and fines. But lo and behold, the new Big Twelve Commisioner has this to say –

“But let it suffice to say as it pertains to all of our institutions, we are very committed as a group of 10 schools to eradicating sexual assault on our campuses. It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18 to 22 years old, it’s probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen.”

It’s just nature. So, you see – we just have to accept that sexual predators are among us. It’s just natural. 

And that means that rigorous enforcement of the laws, the jailing and punishment of the perpetrators whenever found – we are not going to talk about that. After all, nature! 

f44-t
The Orange Leader Edition

White people are really, really special! 

Women for Trump event poorly attended. Who would have thought? 

Milo Yiannopoulos permanently banned from Twitter

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for Breitbart.com, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 followers and called himself “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” for his provocations online.

A known contrarian who likened rape culture to Harry Potter (“both fantasy”) and affectionately referred to Donald Trump as “daddy”, he emerged as a spokesman for the “alt-right” in the wake of the Gamergate movement.

Some conservative groups urge Republicans to accept climate change as fact. 

Climate change, and other environmental concerns, are unlikely to receive much, if any, attention during the Republican convention in Cleveland this week. This is despite a slew of temperature records being broken – June was the 14th consecutive month of record heat around the world – and extreme examples ofArctic ice decline and drought and wildfires in the US west.

But the Republican gathering has been targeted by conservative voices calling for climate science to be accepted and for national parks to be preserved, rather than opened up for drilling and other development.

First woman to run for president arrested. 

Hillary Clinton will make history next week in Philadelphia when she formally becomes the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party. But she is not the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate: that distinction is held by Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, she became a third-party candidate, running against the incumbent Republican president, General Ulysses S Grant, and his Democratic challenger, New York publisher Horace Greeley. She would not have been able to vote for herself – that right would not be granted to American woman for another 50 years – but that did not deter this pioneering feminist from making a historic bid for change.

Her life story would not be out of place in a 19th-century novel. It is peopled by a colourful array of charlatans, churchmen, philanthropists and philanderers. It is also a classic American tale: a triumph over adversity – poverty, abusive parents, and a bad marriage – and a rise to prominence in the most vital social movements of the day.

Business Ethics Links 7-19-2016 The Plagiarism Edition!


Plagiarism!!

Seems to be plagiarism? 

You killed my sister, you’re not a Muslim. 

Revolt Against Neoliberalism?!

New World Religious Dialogue. 

What’s a cat cafe? 

Kelvin MacKenzie’s Comments Called ‘Religious Hatred’

Steve King Says White People Predominant in Civilization Development

The rich cultural history of the deep south – in pictures

Wheelchair Street Racer Eludes Police

Trump and religion.

Only if he changes everything he says – Ouch!!

A fragile white person? 

Business Ethics Blog Posts 7-18-2016 The Neoliberalism Slam Edition


Will Neoliberalism in the end destroy democracy? 

Polanyi was far more broadly educated than most economists, perhaps an equal to Keynes. He was employed in Vienna in the 1920s as the “senior editor for the premier economic and financial weekly of Central Europe”– the Financial Times of its day and region. On the very first page of the opening chapter of The Great Transformation, Polanyi delivers his judgement on where the logic of mandating free markets as the dominant force in society would lead if not tempered with countervailing power:

Our thesis is that the idea of a self-adjusting market implied a stark utopia. Such an institution could not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it would have physically destroyed man and transformed his surroundings into a wilderness. Inevitably, society took measures to protect itself, but whatever measures it took impaired the self-regulation of the market, disorganized industrial life, and thus endangered society in yet another way. It was this dilemma which forced the development of the market system into a definite groove and finally disrupted the social organization based upon it.

Does general equilibrium theory have any actual proof that such equilibrium take place? 

Almost a century and a half after Léon Walras founded neoclassical general equilibrium theory, economists still have not been able to show that markets move economies to equilibria. What we do know is that — under very restrictive assumptions — unique Pareto-efficient equilibria do exist.

But what good does that do? As long as we cannot show, except under exceedingly unrealistic assumptions, that there are convincing reasons to suppose there are forces which lead economies to equilibria – the value of general equilibrium theory is nil. As long as we cannot really demonstrate that there are forces operating — under reasonable, relevant and at least mildly realistic conditions — at moving markets to equilibria, there cannot really be any sustainable reason for anyone to pay any interest or attention to this theory. A stability that can only be proved by assuming “Santa Claus” conditions is of no avail. Most people do not believe in Santa Claus anymore. And for good reasons. Santa Claus is for kids.

Restaurant Associations Don’t Speak for the Industry on Tip Credit Wages

Rapid charter expansion disaster for public schools in Detroit – 

Arnsen’s study documents what many have suspected: the rapid growth of charter schools is itself a factor destabilizing so-called “portfolio school districts” which are conceptualized as school marketplaces managed like a business portfolio in which new schools are opened and so-called “failing” schools are shut down in a constant cycle of churn.  Arnsen concludes his interview with Berkshire: “A place like Detroit is just chaotic. It’s the foremost example nationally of the adverse consequences of a poorly regulated education market… Our charter sector in Michigan is unusual nationally in the extent to which the schools are run by for-profit management companies… (W)e have a situation in Michigan where the charter interests are very influential in the state legislature.  It makes it much harder in this state to reach consensus not only on coherent choice and finance policies, but also on policy relating to all sorts of education issues….”

In other words, in a state where far-right Dick DeVos and his Great Lakes Education Project along with owners of the for-profit charters are actively buying political influence, it is very difficult to get the legislature to regulate what is an out of control charter school marketplace.

Student Loan Disaster

Making a long story short, the federal government enabled banks and private equity companies to monetize the federal student loan program, enabling them to make significant profits from the loans and fees. Because many state governments embraced an ideology of selfishness and opposition to public goods, these governments significant cut their support for state colleges and universities, thus increasing the cost of tuition. At the same time, university administrations were growing both in number of administrators and their salaries, thus increasing costs as well. There was also an increase in infrastructure costs due to new technology as well as a desire to market campuses as having amenities such as rock climbing gyms. The result is $1.3 trillion in debt for 42 million Americans. On the “positive” side, the government makes about 20% on its 2013 loans and the industry is humming along at $140 billion a year.

Malaga island and Eugenics

“Eugenics really took hold in both education reform and reform of social service practices in the state by the 1910s,” says Kate McMahon, a doctoral candidate at Howard University who has been researching Malaga Island, “Those who were poor were also institutionalized and many were forcibly sterilized.” With the growth of this social movement, an increase in sentiment of racism within the state, along with a fear that the black faces of Malaga would interfere with tourist’s vision of the picturesque Maine ideal, it was only a matter of time before the residents of Malaga Island became the center of these social policies and prejudicial fears.

Saving South Dakota from radiation

On July 22nd, an engineer is selling, er I mean, discussing, the underground nuclear waste dump…um, I mean, research laboratory.  It puts a nice spin on it, when you call it “research”, doesn’t it??  Clearly, this guy is going to market the idea to people–this is not about giving information to the public so that they can decide whether this is a wise decision or not.  The way that this project has been shoved through without much public input tells you that it is not what the public wants nor needs.

We have report after report on nuclear waste leaking at other sites:  New Mexico and Washington State.  Here’s another reporton it.

I don’t care about geology supporting it here in South Dakota.  It’s not natural and not supposed to be in the Earth.  It will come back to bite us in the arse…we have seen this over and over.  The arrogance is astounding.

Nine hundred million dollars in laundered drug money and they just paid a fine. 

What happens next at Fox News?

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The Neoliberalism Slam Edition

Back from the dead! (Go have a look! jp) 

Who is Fethullah Gulen and what is he doing in the charter school movement? 

Better Scientists through Philosophy.