United States of America/USA
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Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 01, 2012 As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price
QUOTE: states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains. The cost of the awards is certainly far higher....A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them....Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States. Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages.
New York Times Dec 01, 2012 Utah Hunters Criticize Market Approach to Licenses and Conservation
QUOTE: It especially bothers him — and other hunters — that those with means can buy public licenses through private outlets, paying thousands of dollars to move to the head of the line. More than any state in the West, Utah has expanded hunting opportunities for the well-to-do and has begun to diminish them for those seeking permits directly from the state.
New York Times Nov 30, 2012 Spurs Coach Puts His Team First, Much to Commissioner’s Chagrin
QUOTE: In fining the Spurs $250,000 Friday, Stern insisted that Popovich had disrespected the game and its fans by resting his best players while fielding a short-handed squad....Playing a fourth game in five nights, he did what he has done before: sent home his three veteran stars — Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker — and added Danny Green, a starting guard, for good measure.
New York Times Nov 30, 2012 Aid Changes Raise Issue of Diversity at Colleges
QUOTE: a number of prestigious smaller colleges are straining to meet students’ financial needs. To bridge the gap, some colleges have begun revising their financial aid formulas, raising concerns about how campus diversity — both economic and racial — might be affected.
New York Times Nov 29, 2012 Guardianship case in McLean illustrates lack of regulation for those caring for the elderly
QUOTE: raised questions among elder-care advocates and legislators about how a small number of paid guardians — both lawyers and non-lawyer professionals — are treating the aging and how states oversee the process.
Washington Post Nov 24, 2012 As drug industry’s influence over research grows, so does the potential for bias
QUOTE: What only careful readers of the article would have gleaned is the extent of the financial connections between the drugmaker and the research.Whether these ties altered the report on Avandia may be impossible for readers to know. But while sorting through the data from more than 4,000 patients, the investigators missed hints of a danger that, when fully realized four years later, would lead to Avandia’s virtual disappearance from the United States: The drug raised the risk of heart attacks....
Washington Post Nov 23, 2012 Clashes Break Out After Morsi Seizes New Power in Egypt
QUOTE: Protests erupted across Egypt on Friday, as opponents of President Mohamed Morsi clashed with his supporters over a presidential edict that gave him unchecked authority and polarized an already divided nation while raising a specter, the president’s critics charged, of a return to autocracy.
New York Times Nov 15, 2012 The Real Reason You Should Care About the Petraeus Affair: Privacy
QUOTE: Once you've opened an email or your Facebook account, you've provided your personal information to a third party. The government can then ask that third party—Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Friendster, or whatever—for your information, and they don't necessarily need a warrant. The Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. It doesn't stop third parties from sharing personal information you willingly give them.
Mother Jones Nov 15, 2012 Affirmative Action Ban in Michigan Is Rejected
QUOTE: The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled, 8 to 7, on Thursday that Michigan’s voter-approved 2006 ban on affirmative action was unconstitutional. The ruling, in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. University of Michigan, was not based on racial discrimination, but rather on a violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The ban, the court said, unfairly placed a special burden on supporters of race-conscious admissions policies.
New York Times Nov 15, 2012 Wal-Mart Inquiry Reflects Alarm on Corruption
QUOTE: Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its investigation into violations of a federal antibribery law had extended beyond Mexico to China, India and Brazil, some of the retailer’s most important international markets. The disclosure, made in a regulatory filing, suggests Wal-Mart has uncovered evidence into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act...
New York Times Nov 14, 2012 Adultery, an Ancient Crime That Remains on Many Books
QUOTE: This is yet another example of American exceptionalism: in nearly the entire rest of the industrialized world, adultery is not covered by the criminal code. Like other state laws related to sex — sodomy, fornication, rape — adultery laws extend back to the Old Testament, onetime capital offenses stemming at least partly from a concern about male property.
New York Times Nov 11, 2012 Officials Say F.B.I. Knew of Petraeus Affair in the Summer
QUOTE: The new accounts of the events that led to Mr. Petraeus’s sudden resignation on Friday shed light on the competing pressures facing F.B.I. agents who recognized the high stakes of any investigation involving the C.I.A. director but who were wary of exposing a private affair with no criminal or security implications.
New York Times Nov 09, 2012 Fantasyland: Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too.
QUOTE: Romney has no political heirs in his own party or elsewhere, he does leave behind a cultural legacy of sorts. He raised Truthiness to a level of chutzpah beyond Stephen Colbert’s fertile imagination, and on the grandest scale. That a presidential hopeful so cavalierly mendacious could get so close to the White House, winning some 48 percent of the popular vote, is no small accomplishment. The American weakness that Romney both apotheosized and exploited in achieving this feat—our post-fact syndrome where anyone on the public stage can make up anything and usually get away with it—won’t disappear with him. A slicker liar could have won, and still might....This year’s instantly famous declaration by the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” crystallized the mantra of the entire GOP. The Republican faithful at strata both low and high, from Rush’s dittoheads to the think-tank-affiliated intellectuals, have long since stopped acknowledging any empirical evidence that disputes their insular worldview, no matter how grounded that evidence might be in (God forbid) science or any other verifiable reality, like, say, Census reports or elementary mathematics
New York Magazine Nov 09, 2012 After the Storm: Your Homeowner’s Claim (Your Money)
QUOTE: Many victims of Hurricane Sandy are novices when it comes to catastrophic insurance claims. So to see what sort of resistance they should expect shortly, I turned to the lawyers and adjusters-for-hire who do nothing but negotiate with insurance companies all day long.
New York Times Nov 08, 2012 Popular Wrench Fights a Chinese Rival
QUOTE: “Our situation is an example of why we’re not getting jobs out of innovation,” he said. “When people get the innovation, they go right offshore. What happened to me is what happened to so many people so many times, and we just don’t talk about it.”
New York Times Nov 06, 2012 Study Looks at Bias in Celebration Penalty Calls
QUOTE: a study published in July in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology by two researchers in psychology at Northwestern University tested the question of bias in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called after touchdowns....“The same pattern of blacks being punished more than whites seems to hold true both in the N.F.L. and in this experiment,” Livingston said. “I would conclude that the results are generalizable to N.F.L. referees.”
New York Times Nov 05, 2012 The Real Loser: Truth (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new....win or lose, the Romney campaign has placed a big and historic bet on the proposition that facts can be ignored, more or less, with impunity.
New York Times Nov 03, 2012 One Safety Net That Needs to Shrink (Fair Game)
QUOTE: ...Dodd-Frank actually widened the federal safety net for big institutions. Under that law, eight more giants were granted the right to tap the Federal Reserve for funding when the next crisis hits. At the same time, those eight may avoid Dodd-Frank measures that govern how we’re supposed to wind down institutions that get into trouble.
New York Times Oct 24, 2012 Feigning Free Speech on Campus (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: Colleges and universities are supposed to be bastions of unbridled inquiry and expression, but they probably do as much to repress free speech as any other institution in young people’s lives.... Since the 1980s, in part because of “political correctness” concerns about racially insensitive speech and sexual harassment, and in part because of the dramatic expansion in the ranks of nonfaculty campus administrators, colleges have enacted stringent speech codes.
New York Times Oct 24, 2012 Tax Policy Center in Spotlight for Its Romney Study
QUOTE: No white paper or policy manifesto put out during the presidential campaign has proved more controversial than an August study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected nonprofit that issues studiously detailed tax analyses. That study found, in short, that Mr. Romney could not keep all of the promises he had made on individual tax reform...
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 Oct 18, 2012 A Second Appeals Court Calls Marriage Law Unfair to Gays
QUOTE: A federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday that the federal statute defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unlawfully discriminates against same-sex married couples by denying them equal federal benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the second federal appeals court to reject a central portion of the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act...
New York Times Oct 16, 2012 Greenwashing the Retina MacBook Pro
QUOTE: Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro – the least repairable, least recyclable computer I have encountered in more than a decade of disassembling electronics – was just verified Gold, along with four other ultrabooks. This decision demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree.
Wired Oct 15, 2012 Do facts matter?
QUOTE: it is not clear what impact the fact checkers are having on the public at large or, nearly as important, on the politicians. They keep laying out the facts and the politicians keep stretching the truth. There is little evidence that the public is outraged by any of the revelations nor that it has any real influence on how the politicians conduct themselves...
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 15, 2012 My lingerie model past got me fired
QUOTE: Allred says the sad truth is that most employees can be fired for any reason, as long as it's not discriminatory.
HLN Oct 15, 2012 Death by Ideology
QUOTE: Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high. Some people can’t or won’t pay, but fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result.
New York Times Oct 14, 2012 Christian Group Finds Gay Agenda in an Anti-Bullying Day
QUOTE: The program, started 11 years ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center and now in more than 2,500 schools, was intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying. But this year, the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group, has called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools”...
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 Sep 13, 2012 How to Argue on the Internet Without Becoming a Troll
QUOTE: Don't Use Metaphors...Don't Post Links...Deal With Petty Insults Effectively...Don't Ask Questions...Don't Be Lead By Questions...Don't Use Annoying Buzz Phrases...Do a Quick Structure Check
LifeHacker Sep 13, 2012 Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital
QUOTE: the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. Everyone knows that he is fantastically rich, having scored great success, the legend goes, as a "turnaround specialist," a shrewd financial operator who revived moribund companies as a high-priced consultant for a storied Wall Street private equity firm. But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back.... Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.
Rolling Stone Sep 09, 2012 Fighting for Bangladesh Labor, and Ending Up in Pauper’s Grave
QUOTE: For years, mutual suspicion has defined the relationship between the labor federation and the Bangladeshi establishment. Citing labor abuses, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. is currently petitioning Washington to overturn trade preferences for Bangladesh, infuriating Bangladeshi leaders and casting suspicions on the domestic labor groups nurtured by the federation, including those where Mr. Islam worked.
New York Times Aug 31, 2012 The Evolution of Fairness
QUOTE: A multimedia investigation asks: Can examining how inequality began in a hunter-gatherer society teach us how to fairly share the costs and consequences of how we use diminishing natural resources?
Pacific Standard Aug 26, 2012 The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
QUOTE: "The wheels of online commerce run on positive reviews," said Bing Liu, a data-mining expert at the University of Illinois, Chicago, whose 2008 research showed that 60 percent of the millions of product reviews on Amazon are five stars and an additional 20 percent are four stars. "But almost no one wants to write five-star reviews, so many of them have to be created."
New York Times Aug 23, 2012 Raped, pregnant and ordeal not over
QUOTE: in the vast majority of states -- 31 -- men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy. When no law prohibits a rapist from exercising these rights, a woman may feel forced to bargain away her legal rights to a criminal trial in exchange for the rapist dropping the bid to have access to her child.
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 23, 2012 Is Private School Not Expensive Enough?
QUOTE: To the extent that any family with the wherewithal is paying less than the full cost of the product it is buying through combined tuition payments and donations, that family is effectively being subsidized by other current and past donors. Not only is this ethically unsupportable, but ultimately, it is also financially unworkable.
New York Times Aug 17, 2012 Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of
QUOTE: Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of institutions caught up in scandals over rankings pressure.
Seattle Times Aug 16, 2012 Private justice: How Hollywood money put a Brit behind bars: Industry-funded prosecution leads to 4-year sentence for SurfTheChannel owner.
QUOTE: Organizations like the MPAA, RIAA, IFPA, and FACT have long lobbied law enforcement officials to prosecute "rogue sites" and have provided them with information and logistical support to do so. But public prosecutors generally have the final say on who will be indicted. In the Vickerman case, the public prosecutors concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to merit prosecution. FACT disagreed and invoked what one lawyer told us is an "archaic right" for a private organization to bring criminal prosecutions against other private parties.
Ars Technica Aug 16, 2012 Elections Shape Judicial Sentencing, Study Finds
QUOTE: Making sure to account for whether cases were resolved via plea bargain or trial, and the criminal history of defendants, the authors identified a 10% increase in sentence length from the start of a judge’s term to the election (or, for judges who ran opposed, to the filing deadline for running, several months earlier).
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Aug 14, 2012 Factory owners: Federal prisoners stealing our business
QUOTE: Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates -- at wages as low as 23 cents an hour -- to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies....If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.
CNN/Money Magazine 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 Aug 10, 2012 Why Asset Forfeiture Abuse Is on the Rise: It’s time to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
QUOTE: throughout the United States, government agencies increasingly rely on “civil forfeiture” to bolster their strained budgets. The more assets these modern-day tax collectors seize, the more money they have for new equipment and other things....We should all be concerned that district attorneys—who are, by law, supposed to pursue justice first and foremost—are perpetrating abuses of property rights so that they can fill their coffers with money that comes primarily from people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Reason Aug 08, 2012 UC report on anti-Semitism draws ire
QUOTE: To students who regard Israel as an essential Jewish homeland, this event and others like it that are staged each year on University of California campuses seem hostile, like poorly concealed anti-Semitism - especially when the Israeli flag with its Star of David is paired with a Nazi swastika, says a new report by a UC fact-finding team seeking to understand Jewish students' experiences
San Francisco Chronicle Aug 07, 2012 Texas Executes Man With IQ of 61
QUOTE: If 54-year-old Marvin Wilson is put to death on Tuesday, it will not be because Texas denies that he is intellectually disabled, or as the legal literature puts it, “mentally retarded.” This much, the state recognizes. It just does not believe that Wilson is disabled enough not to be executed in Texas—a flagrant violation of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which held that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution,” period.
Nation Aug 04, 2012 Against Enthusiasm: The epidemic of niceness in online book culture.
QUOTE: The problem with Liking is that it’s a critical dead-end, a conversation nonstarter. It’s opinion without evidence—or, really, posture without opinion....A better literary culture would be one that's not so dependent on personal esteem and mutual reinforcement. It would not treat offense or disagreement as toxic.
Slate Aug 01, 2012 Where the Money Lives
QUOTE: For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.
Vanity Fair Jul 30, 2012 Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns
QUOTE: He has no First Amendment right to our approval, or to our money for his sandwiches. But can cities use zoning to combat unpopular speech? Unfortunately, when we chip away at the First Amendment, unpleasant unintended consequences are not far behind.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 26, 2012 The Real Problem With Offshore Tax Havens
QUOTE: one doesn’t necessarily have to fly to the Channel Islands with a bag of cash to stash ill-gotten gains or evade the taxman anymore. The past 30 years have seen the evolution of a mainstream financial system that is global in scope and that through secrecy and complexity has enabled itself to profit handsomely off of the tax evasion of the world’s richest citizens.
Time Magazine Jul 25, 2012 Are cruise lines 'dumping' sick passengers?
QUOTE: I asked Royal Caribbean about its policy on dropping off passengers and whether the Claussens could have done anything differently. It declined to answer. Walker says that cruise lines keep their policies on emergency care confidential.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jul 24, 2012 First they came for Wikileaks, then the New York Times
QUOTE: There are signs that the U.S. government wants to target mainstream journalists and media outlets for the same kind of investigation that WikiLeaks has been subjected to for publishing classified information, which makes it even more important to defend WikiLeaks’ status as a media entity.
GigaOM 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.
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