Abuse of Power (Organizations)
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Mar 09, 2014 After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power: Staking $1 Billion That Herbalife Will Fail, Then Lobbying to Bring It Down
QUOTE: a small hint of Mr. Ackman’s extraordinary attempt to leverage the corridors of power — in Washington, state capitols and city halls — for his hedge fund’s profit after taking a $1 billion financial position called a short, a bet that will pay off only if Herbalife’s stock drops. Corporate money is forever finding new ways to influence government. But Mr. Ackman’s campaign to take this fight “to the end of the earth,” using every weapon in the arsenal that Washington offers in an attempt to bring ruin to one company, is a novel one, fusing the financial markets with the political system.
New York Times Jan 17, 2014 Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down as Judge Cites Burden on Citizens
QUOTE: ruled that the law hampered the ability of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to cast their ballots, with the burden falling most heavily on elderly, disabled and low-income residents, and that the state’s reason for the law — that it was needed to combat voter fraud — was not supported by the facts....In addition, Judge McGinley ruled, the state’s $5 million campaign to explain the law had been full of misinformation that has never been corrected.
New York Times Dec 04, 2013 Innocent man: How inmate Michael Morton lost 25 years of his life
QUOTE: a group of attorneys, working pro bono on Morton's behalf, managed to bring the truth to light. Not only was Morton innocent, but the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, was accused of withholding crucial evidence...."an extremely rare instance, and perhaps the first time, that a prosecutor has been criminally punished for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence," the Innocence Project said.
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...
New York Times Nov 16, 2013 Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis
QUOTE: From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call “climate injustice.”
New York Times Nov 02, 2013 The grabbing hand of the law: How prosecutors seize the assets of the innocent
QUOTE: Under “civil forfeiture”, however, it can grab first and ask questions later. Property can be seized merely on the suspicion that it has been involved in a crime. Citizens have no right to a swift hearing. For a small business, that can be fatal.
Economist Oct 05, 2013 No way to run a country: The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough
QUOTE: ...Republicans are setting a precedent which, if followed, would make America ungovernable. Voters have seen fit to give their party control of one arm of government—the House of Representatives—while handing the Democrats the White House and the Senate. If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority. Washington will be permanently paralysed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.
Economist Jul 08, 2013 Spaniards Fight to Get Savings Back
QUOTE: ...300,000 Spaniards who, in the midst of a brutal recession, have seen their life savings virtually wiped out in what critics call a deceptive and possibly fraudulent sales campaign by banks that were threatened by the implosion of Spain’s property market....were easily misled when bank officials hit on the idea of raising capital and cleaning debts off their books by getting people with savings accounts to invest in their banks instead.
New York Times Jul 07, 2013 “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control
QUOTE: It wasn’t even the first time a Virginia SWAT team had killed someone during a gambling raid.....Police have justified this sort of heavy-handedness by claiming that people who run illegal gambling operations tend to be armed, a blanket characterization that absurdly lumps neighborhood Hold ’Em tournaments with Uncle Junior Soprano’s weekly poker game. And in any case, if police know that people inside an establishment are likely to be armed, it makes even less sense to come in with guns blazing. Police have also defended the paramilitary tactics by noting that poker games are usually flush with cash and thus tend to get robbed. That too is an absurd argument, unless the police are afraid they’re going to raid a game at precisely the same moment it’s getting robbed. Under either scenario, the police are acknowledging that the people playing poker when these raids go down have good reason to think that the men storming the place with guns may be criminals, not cops.
Salon Jul 02, 2013 America's founders would be horrified at this United States of Surveillance: How did we become so fearful and timid that we've given away essential liberties? Some are even afraid to speak up
QUOTE: No one with common sense believes Obama is planning to become a dictator. But...Obama, building on the initiatives of his immediate predecessors, has helped create the foundation for a future police state. This has happened with bipartisan support from patriotic but short-sighted members of Congress and, sad to say, the general public. The American media have played an essential role. For decades, newspaper editors and television programmers, especially local ones, have chased readers and ratings by spewing panic-inducing "journalism" and entertainment that helped foster support for anti-liberty policies.
Guardian Unlimited Jun 25, 2013 Who will stop Google? Snowden revealed what many of us already suspected: Google completely controls the web
QUOTE: What do the U.S. government and Silicon Valley already have in common? Above all, they want to remain opaque while making the rest of us entirely transparent through the capture of our data. What is arising is simply a new form of government, involving vast entities with the reach and power of government and little accountability to anyone. Google, the company with the motto “Don’t be evil,” is rapidly becoming an empire. Not an empire of territory, as was Rome or the Soviet Union, but an empire controlling our access to data and our data itself. Antitrust lawsuits proliferating around the company demonstrate its quest for monopoly control over information in the information age.
Salon Jun 07, 2013 Fine Print and Red Tape in Long-Term Care Policies
QUOTE: Many Americans now in their 80s and 90s who are collecting benefits — or trying to — bought their policies decades ago when the policies were more restrictive than now. On top of that, many insurers have since left the business after mispricing the policies and failing to judge the economics of the industry, which has made collecting payments even more difficult.
New York Times Oct 18, 2012 Boy Scout Files Detail Decades of Abuse Accusations
QUOTE: Regrets and recriminations about how the Boy Scouts of America have policed the ranks of its scoutmasters and other volunteers to guard against sexual predators — and how they have often failed — echo through the thousands of pages of internal documents, police files and newspaper clippings....They do not suggest that scouting was riddled with sexual stalkers.
New York Times Sep 17, 2012 Patent Trolls Causing Serious Problems For Startups
QUOTE: although large companies tend to dominate patent headlines, most unique defendants to troll suits are small....To the extent patent demands tax innovation, then, they appear to do so regressively, with small companies targeted more as unique defendants , and paying more in time, money and operational impact, relative to their size, than large firms.
Techdirt Aug 14, 2012 A Giant Hospital Chain Is Blazing a Profit Trail
QUOTE: HCA’s emergence as a powerful leader in the hospital industry is all the more remarkable because only a decade ago the company was badly shaken by a wide-ranging Medicare fraud investigation that it eventually settled for more than $1.7 billion. Among the secrets to HCA’s success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.
New York Times Jul 23, 2012 Why the NCAA’s Sanctions on Penn State are just dead wrong
QUOTE: The punishment levied by Emmert was nothing less than an extra-legal, extra-judicial imposition into the affairs of a publicly funded campus...Take a step back from the hysteria and just think about what took place: Penn State committed no violations of any NCAA by-laws.
Nation Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Mar 14, 2012 Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
QUOTE: the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
New York Times Mar 07, 2012 More Angst Over Pepper Spray
QUOTE: The UC police union and the former officer at the center of the controversy filed for the stay after hearing from a lawyer that the report would contain confidential personnel information, the release of which is prohibited under state penal code....Cruz Reynoso, the law professor emeritus at Davis and former associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was tapped to chair the task force, was outraged at the request – in particular, at its last-minute delivery – and worried that it could prevent the truth of what happened from coming out.
Inside Higher Ed Mar 06, 2012 Female service members sue U.S. military for alleged rape, sexual assault
QUOTE: '"Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit...'
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill as Other States Take Notice
QUOTE: Changing course after an unwelcome national uproar, the Virginia Senate adopted a revised bill on Tuesday that still requires doctors to perform an ultrasound on women before they have an abortion, but also says that women cannot be forced to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound....The Senate vote came after a bitter debate in which Democrats pleaded with the body not to adopt a bill that they said remained — even with the changes — demeaning to women and insulting to doctors.
New York Times Feb 24, 2012 Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed
QUOTE: A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed. Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn asked a Philadelphia court to dismiss charges of conspiracy and child endangerment based on documents that Lynn had informed his superiors -- including the cardinal -- that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 25, 2012 In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
QUOTE: workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems....More than half of the suppliers audited by Apple have violated at least one aspect of the code of conduct every year since 2007, according to Apple’s reports, and in some instances have violated the law.
New York Times Sep 30, 2011 U.S. drone killing of American al-Awlaki prompts legal, moral debate
QUOTE: The U.S. drone killing of American-born and -raised Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a major figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has re-energized a national debate over the legal and moral quandaries of a government deliberately killing a citizen.
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 03, 2011 Vatican rejects Irish criticism over child sex abuse by priests
QUOTE: The Vatican has rejected criticism that church leaders sought to cover up extensive abuse of young people by priests in Ireland...Kenny claimed the report exposed the Vatican as trying to hinder an inquiry into child sex abuse for its own benefit and said it revealed the "dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 03, 2011 Turkey to challenge Gaza blockade at International Court of Justice: Turkish announcement appears to rebuff attempts by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to end its row with Israel
QUOTE: Turkey is to challenge Israel's blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice....Ban said today that the two countries should accept the recommendations of a UN report that... Israel had used "excessive and unreasonable" force to stop the flotilla approaching Gaza, but that it was justified in maintaining a naval blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
Guardian Unlimited Aug 24, 2011 America’s Sweatshop Diplomacy (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote “lasting and meaningful relationships” between the students and Americans....Hershey’s business strategy is a microcosm of the downsizing and subcontracting that so many American companies have pursued during the past few decades in search of ever cheaper labor.
New York Times Jul 25, 2011 This Is Considered Punishment? (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: for anyone still hoping for justice in the wake of the financial crisis, the news was hardly encouraging. First, the Fed did not force Wells Fargo to admit guilt — and even let the company issue a press release blaming its wrongdoing on a “relatively small group.” The $85 million fine was a joke; in just the last quarter, Wells Fargo’s revenues exceeded $20 billion.
New York Times Jul 15, 2011 App developers withdraw from US as patent fears reach 'tipping point'
QUOTE: App developers are withdrawing their products for sale from the US versions of Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market for fear of being sued by companies which own software patents - just as a Mumbai-based company has made a wide-ranging claim against Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and a number of other companies over Twitter-style feeds, for which it claims it has applied for a patent.
Guardian Unlimited Jul 07, 2011 To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties
QUOTE: After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means....concerns that consumers might be punished “based on allegations that have not been tested in court.”
New York Times Jul 07, 2011 Microsoft’s Android Shakedown
QUOTE: Convincing engineers to pay more attention to patent applications necessarily means that they spend less time doing useful work, and that can be fatal to a young startup....The result is a transfer of wealth from young, growing, innovative companies like Google to mature, bureaucratic companies like Microsoft and IBM—precisely the opposite of the effect the patent system is supposed to have.
Forbes Jun 23, 2011 Attack of the federal sex police
QUOTE: a seemingly innocuous 19-page letter on April 4 from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights to colleges and universities....includes a requirement that universities adopt a "preponderance of the evidence" standard of proof for deciding sexual harassment and sexual assault. In other words, in every case of alleged sexual harassment or sexual assault, a disciplinary board must decide on the basis of more likely than not.
New York Post Jun 21, 2011 Wal-Mart’s Authoritarian Culture
QUOTE: The underlying issue, which the Supreme Court has now ratified, is Wal-Mart’s authoritarian style, by which executives pressure store-level management to squeeze more and more from millions of clerks, stockers and lower-tier managers. Indeed, the sex discrimination at Wal-Mart that drove the recent suit is the product not merely of managerial bias and prejudice, but also of a corporate culture and business model that sustains it, rooted in the company’s very beginnings.
New York Times Jun 20, 2011 In fight against Wal-Mart, lawyers aren't enough
QUOTE: Today's decision, supporting Wal-Mart's argument that it's just too big to be sued, is a slap in the face to anyone hoping to fight a corporation in court. It's even more troubling, however, that this glacial, and ultimately ineffective, process was the only way that these women could seek justice. Wal-Mart has never allowed its employees to join a union.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 29, 2011 Facebook Pages Being Taken Down, Policy Comes Into Question: Tech Blogs Getting Penalized for Copyright Infringement without Verification
QUOTE: ...Facebook is taking down Facebook pages that are accused of infringing upon copyrights. The keyword there is “accused”. Apparently, Facebook does little (or nothing) to verify the legitimacy of the claims before taking action.
WebProNews Apr 24, 2011 Are drones a technological tipping point in warfare?
QUOTE: The British study noted that drones are becoming increasingly automated. With minor technical advances, it said, a drone could soon be able to “fire a weapon based solely on its own sensors, or shared information, and without recourse to higher, human authority.”
Washington Post Apr 23, 2011 Show Us the Data. (It’s Ours, After All.)
QUOTE: Companies are accumulating vast amounts of information about your likes and dislikes... The more they know, the more money they can make... Not only should our data be secure; it should also be available for us to use for our own purposes.
New York Times Apr 19, 2011 Stripped of Dignity
QUOTE: [airline security] system does not seem smartly tailored to focus on dangerous people rather than “good, law-abiding people.” So kids, seniors and those with disabilities, joint replacements and other medical conditions — things they already feel embarrassed about — end up getting harassed.
New York Times Mar 08, 2011 21 Priests Suspended in Philadelphia
QUOTE: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it had suspended 21 priests from active ministry in connection with accusations that involved sexual abuse or otherwise inappropriate behavior with minors... The archdiocese’s action follows a damning grand jury report issued Feb. 10 that accused the archdiocese of a widespread cover-up of predatory priests, stretching over decades.
New York Times Feb 21, 2011 Why America's teachers are enraged
QUOTE: Thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin Capitol, protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to reduce their take-home pay -- by increasing their contribution to their pension plans and health care benefits -- and restrict their collective bargaining rights.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 16, 2011 Rhapsody: Apple has gone too far
QUOTE: Rhapsody's issue: Apple wants 30% of all sales generated through its platform. And now, publishers can no longer provide links in their apps to let customers buy content outside of the app.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 03, 2011 The Ruinous Fiscal Impact of Big Banks
QUOTE: When reckless banks get big enough, their self-destruction ruins the fiscal balance sheet of an entire country.
New York Times Feb 01, 2011 An Apple E-Book Rule Tightens
QUOTE: [Apple will] require app developers that sell e-books outside of their iPad and iPhone apps — through a Web site, for example — to also sell the books inside those apps.
New York Times Jan 20, 2011 Amazon.com: The Wal-Mart of Android apps?
QUOTE: there's too much incentive for Amazon.com to undercut competing app stores as a way to drive business to its own....The net effect is that when you offer your apps on the Amazon Appstore, you agree to grant Amazon.com, in perpetuity, the right to offer a lower price for your apps than is available anywhere else
InfoWorld Dec 19, 2010 Music Web Sites Dispute Legality of Their Closing
QUOTE: federal authorities shut down five Web sites last month on suspicion of copyright infringement, they gave no warning and offered no details of their investigation... the operators of several of the sites said in interviews that they were innocent of infringement, and criticized the investigation for misrepresenting how their sites worked.
New York Times Dec 15, 2010 Begging for Your Pay
QUOTE: Chasing after money is an excruciating experience....an overriding, constant sense of anxiety. Of course, that’s what the freelancer experience is”....some expectation of being paid. That’s not the same for many people doing construction or domestic work....Wagoner’s clients can’t fire off an e-mail or probe accounts payable when their bosses run away. How does one chase after money when all you have is the first name and the cell phone number of some fly-by-night contractor, and maybe the license plate number that you copied off the back of his work truck? How do you negotiate payment in a language that is not your own?
New York Times Dec 14, 2010 To Conquer Wind Power, China Writes the Rules
QUOTE: Chinese companies acquire the latest Western technology by various means and then take advantage of government policies to become the world’s dominant, low-cost suppliers. It is a pattern that many economists say could be repeated in other fields, like high-speed trains and nuclear reactors, unless China changes the way it plays the technology development game — or is forced to by its global trading partners.
New York Times Dec 11, 2010 A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives
QUOTE: Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.
New York Times Dec 03, 2010 Lessons Learned in Auditioning for Job
QUOTE: many job seekers today who are often asked to spend hours to produce examples of their work as part of the job hunting process. Most times, they do the work. Sometimes they hear nothing back — and occasionally, they see their creations used without payment or permission.
New York Times Jun 18, 2010 Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole
QUOTE: Consumers rarely emerge from debt settlement programs with their credit card balances eliminated, these critics say, and many wind up worse off, with severely damaged credit, ceaseless threats from collection agents and lawsuits from creditors.
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