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Disclosure/Conflict of Interest (Individual)
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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Sep 08, 2016 Why Donald Trump and Pam Bondi Probably Won’t Face a Corruption Investigation: The Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision seems to have put a chill on prosecutors.
QUOTE: Why is a charity giving money to aid a pol with whom the foundation’s head has pending legal business?....Reading through the court’s language in McDonnell, the easier hurdle is “official acts.” The justices were not certain that McDonnell’s various phone calls and luncheons represented official acts...
Slate Dec 06, 2014 Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
QUOTE: unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda...Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year. They share a common philosophy about the reach of the federal government, but the companies also have billions of dollars at stake.
New York Times Nov 19, 2014 A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA
QUOTE: UVA's emphasis on honor is so pronounced that since 1998, 183 people have been expelled for honor-code violations such as cheating on exams. And yet paradoxically, not a single student at UVA has ever been expelled for sexual assault. "Think about it," says Susan Russell, whose UVA daughter's sexual-assault report helped trigger a previous federal investigation. "In what world do you get kicked out for cheating, but if you rape someone, you can stay?"
Rolling Stone May 27, 2014 Who Wants Free Love Anyway?
QUOTE: Nowhere are the middleman’s limitations more evident than dating websites. Consider, for instance, that they don’t even do the thing we perhaps most want them to do: vet potential matches for truthfulness.
New York Times Feb 01, 2014 Law Doesn’t End Revolving Door on Capitol Hill
QUOTE: Federal ethics rules are intended to limit lobbying by former senior officials within one year after they leave the government. Yet even after the ethics rules were revised in 2007 following a lobbying scandal, more than 1,650 congressional aides have registered to lobby within a year of leaving Capitol Hill...
New York Times Jan 12, 2014 Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Reviewers
QUOTE: The Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled on Tuesday that Yelp has to reveal the names of seven reviewers who left anonymous, negative reviews of a business, which maintains that the names are critical in pursuing a defamation case against the reviewers over what it claims were false reviews from non-customers....from a Yelp spokesperson: “We are disappointed that the Virginia Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that fails to adequately protect free speech rights on the internet, and which allows businesses to seek personal details about website users — without any evidence of wrongdoing — in efforts to silence online critics,”
WebProNews Dec 27, 2013 Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward
QUOTE: major players on Wall Street and elsewhere have been aggressive in underwriting and promoting academic work. The efforts by the financial players, the interviews show, are part of a sweeping campaign to beat back regulation and shape policies that affect the prices that people around the world pay for essentials like food, fuel and cotton.
New York Times Dec 16, 2013 Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records
QUOTE: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.
New York Times Dec 16, 2013 Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs
QUOTE: The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.
New York Times Dec 14, 2013 The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder: The Number of Diagnoses Soared Amid a 20-Year Drug Marketing Campaign
QUOTE: “The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,”....The rise of A.D.H.D. diagnoses and prescriptions for stimulants over the years coincided with a remarkably successful two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents. With the children’s market booming, the industry is now employing similar marketing techniques as it focuses on adult A.D.H.D., which could become even more profitable.
New York Times Nov 13, 2013 Meet the Punk Rocker Who Can Liberate Your FBI File: Ryan Shapiro's technique is so effective at unburying sensitive documents, the feds are asking the courts to stop him.
QUOTE: Invoking a legal strategy that had its heyday during the Bush administration, the FBI claims that Shapiro's multitudinous requests, taken together, constitute a "mosaic" of information whose release could "significantly and irreparably damage national security" and would have "significant deleterious effects" on the bureau's "ongoing efforts to investigate and combat domestic terrorism."
Mother Jones Oct 11, 2013 Google to Sell Users’ Endorsements
QUOTE: Google on Friday announced that it would soon be able to show users’ names, photos, ratings and comments in ads across the Web, endorsing marketers’ products. Facebook already runs similar endorsement ads. But on Thursday it, too, took a step to show personal information more broadly by changing its search settings to make it harder for users to hide from other people trying to find them on the social network.
New York Times Sep 15, 2013 The Banality of Systemic Evil (THE STONE)
QUOTE: Clearly, there is a moral principle at work in the actions of the leakers, whistle-blowers and hacktivists and those who support them. I would also argue that that moral principle has been clearly articulated, and it may just save us from a dystopian future. In “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” one of the most poignant and important works of 20th-century philosophy, Hannah Arendt made an observation about what she called “the banality of evil.” One interpretation of this holds that it was not an observation about what a regular guy Adolph Eichmann seemed to be, but rather a statement about what happens when people play their “proper” roles within a system....A good illustration of this phenomenon appears in “Moral Mazes,” a book by the sociologist Robert Jackall that explored the ethics of decision making within several corporate bureaucracies.
New York Times Jul 11, 2013 Internet trolls: What to do about the scourge of the Web?
QUOTE: "You can't easily taxonomize trolling behavior," she said. "A lot of trolling is about mischief and harmless, silly pranks. But really extreme behavior -- attacking friends and families of kids who have died, for example -- that seems to be a behavior with a different motivation."
CNN (Cable News Network) 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 May 02, 2013 Secret 'pocket listings' return in hot housing markets
QUOTE: In some cases, agents may try to convince sellers to use pocket listings in order to double their commissions by acting as agent for both the buyer and the seller...."If an agent is putting their own economic interest ahead of the seller's, it's a violation of state law."
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 04, 2013 Embattled Scottish Cardinal O'Brien apologizes for 'my sexual conduct'
QUOTE: A Scottish cardinal who had earlier challenged allegations of sexual impropriety -- claims that once again shined an international spotlight on alleged sexual abuse involving Roman Catholic clergy -- reversed course Sunday and apologized....Two Italian publications said Benedict, 85, resigned not because of his advanced age but because of a brewing scandal over the blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 02, 2013 Selling the Home Brand: A Look Inside an Elite JPMorgan Unit
QUOTE: To bolster sales, said the advisers, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution, JPMorgan largely pushes its own bank-branded investments, which include a mix of mutual funds. While the practice can be legal, competitors have moved away from such investments after facing perceived conflicts. The concern is that, driven by fees, banks will push their own products over lower-cost options with stronger returns.
New York Times Feb 25, 2013 Why I'm quitting Facebook
QUOTE: In my upcoming book "Present Shock," I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away. Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 10, 2013 Complex Investments Prove Risky as Savers Chase Bigger Payoff
QUOTE: Regulators across the country are confronting a wave of investor fraud that is saddling retirement savers with steep losses on complex products that until a few years ago were pitched only to the most sophisticated investors. The victims are among the millions of Americans whose mutual funds and stock portfolios plummeted in the wake of the financial crisis, and who started searching for ways to make better returns than those being offered by bank deposits and government bonds with minuscule interest rates.
New York Times Dec 13, 2012 DealBook Conference Was Impressive, Lucrative and Chummy
QUOTE: Here is what the conference did not have going for it: A great deal of distance between sources and those who cover them — something traditionally thought to be a bedrock journalistic idea....DealBook – a blog and print section dedicated to coverage of mergers and acquisitions and other related subjects — is something of an oddity at The Times. A rainmaker for the company, it has garnered its share of critics who see it as too soft on its sources.
New York Times Dec 11, 2012 Scientists Propose Central Database for Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
QUOTE: a lack of standardization in COI disclosures increases the administrative burden on physicians and increases the chances of being accused of incomplete and misleading statements. As a solution, their committee — facilitated by the Institute of Medicine — recommends the creation of a centralize database for the disclosure and reporting of interests.
Scholarly Kitchen 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 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 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 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 14, 2012 35 Questions Mitt Romney Must Answer About Bain Capital Before The Issue Can Go Away
QUOTE: In times of crisis, a strong candidate will come up with answers that satisfy the basic questions surround the controversy and will make people want to move on to another subject. Romney, however, could not seem to come up with basic messages that resolved the controversies. Many of his answers seemed evasive or overly legalistic. The biggest problem for Romney is that all of his interviews have only increased the questions that political observers, voters and the media have regarding he subject of Bain Capital.
Forbes Jul 13, 2012 That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker.
QUOTE: Thanks to the explosion of GPS technology and smartphone apps, these devices are also taking note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and e-mail, what Web sites we visit, how and where we travel, what time we go to sleep and wake up — and more. Much of that data is shared with companies that use it to offer us services they think we want.
New York Times Jul 06, 2012 A Fancy Financial Adviser Title Does Not Ensure High Standards
QUOTE: Investors can’t be blamed for failing to recognize the differences between a glorified salesman pushing a particular fund and a true investment adviser who is required to act in your best interest, but there are many.
New York Times May 06, 2012 Study Says Broker Rebates Cost Investors Billions
QUOTE: The rules governing Wall Street generally force stockbrokers to seek out the best prices for clients who pay them to buy and sell shares. In recent years, though, brokers have had another enticement that can pull them in a different direction: payments from stock exchanges in return for sending them business.
New York Times Apr 25, 2012 ‘What Were You Thinking?’ For Couples, New Source of Online Friction
QUOTE: the rise of social media — where sharing private moments is encouraged, and provocative and confessional postings can help build a following — has created a new source of friction for couples: what is fair game for sharing with the world?
New York Times Mar 19, 2012 A Drumbeat on Profit Takers
QUOTE: Their joint crusade, stated repeatedly in editorials for the journal and since expanded in books and dozens of articles in the lay press, is against for-profit medicine, especially its ancillary profit centers of commercial insurance and drug manufacture — in Dr. Relman’s words, “the people who are making a zillion bucks out of the commercial exploitation of medicine.”
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 Feb 27, 2012 Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here
QUOTE: After accusations of sexual impropriety with female students, John Friend, the founder of Anusara, one of the world’s fastest-growing styles, told followers that he was stepping down for an indefinite period...Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.
New York Times Feb 10, 2012 The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
QUOTE: a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going.
Rolling Stone Nov 25, 2011 The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA
QUOTE: Garrett pointed out another, striking detail in the false confessions: in 38 of 40 false confessions, the authorities said defendants provided details that could be known only by the actual criminal or the investigators, thus corroborating their own admissions of guilt by revealing secret information about the crime that could only have been provided by them. The issues raised by DNA exonerations have led to an overhaul of the criminal-justice system. Some states now require that evidence be preserved; others require mandatory videotaping of interrogations.
New York Times Nov 20, 2011 Protest Puts Coverage in Spotlight
QUOTE: Newspapers and television networks have been rebuked by media critics for treating the movement as if it were a political campaign or a sideshow — by many liberals for treating the protesters dismissively, and by conservatives, conversely, for taking the protesters too seriously. The protesters themselves have also criticized the media — first for ostensibly ignoring the movement and then for marginalizing it.
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 James O'Keefe Is Capitalizing on the Cult of Journalistic Objectivity
QUOTE: much of the traditional media is on record conceding O'Keefe's premise -- that he has captured video that sheds legitimate doubt on the work of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, showing her to be in violation of a longstanding ethical code some in her profession regard as sacrosanct.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Sep 19, 2011 In Small Towns, Gossip Moves to the Web, and Turns Vicious
QUOTE: In rural America, where an older, poorer and more remote population has lagged the rest of the country in embracing the Internet, the growing use of social media is raising familiar concerns about bullying and privacy. But in small towns there are complications. The same Web sites created as places for candid talk about local news and politics are also hubs of unsubstantiated gossip, stirring widespread resentment in communities where ties run deep, memories run long and anonymity is something of a novel concept.
New York Times Sep 02, 2011 AOL Says Arrington No Longer Works at TechCrunch
QUOTE: AOL said on Friday that Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of its TechCrunch blog and one of the most prominent voices in Silicon Valley, no longer had an editorial role at the company because he also invested in tech companies.
New York Times Aug 19, 2011 In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
QUOTE: The boundless demand for positive reviews has made the review system an arms race of sorts. As more five-star reviews are handed out, even more five-star reviews are needed....Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers.
New York Times Aug 05, 2011 Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals
QUOTE: House members are banned from lobbying on Capitol Hill for a year after leaving office (Mr. Pomeroy’s term ended in January), but Mr. Pomeroy, a Democrat, has teamed up with his former chief of staff, who is not subject to the restriction, as a lobbying partner.
New York Times Jul 07, 2011 How Bright Promise in Cancer Testing Fell Apart
QUOTE: as patients and their doctors try to make critical decisions about serious illnesses, they may be getting worthless information that is based on bad science. The scientific world is concerned enough that two prominent groups, the National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medicine, have begun examining the Duke case; they hope to find new ways to evaluate claims based on emerging and complex analyses of patterns of genes and other molecules.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 Common Sense and Sensibility
QUOTE: the Supreme Court ruled that police, when questioning a child suspected of committing a crime, must take the suspect’s age into account and may have to provide Miranda warnings in circumstances that would not require the warnings to be given to an adult suspect. The vote was 5 to 4, and the author of the majority opinion was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The premise that children are different from adults and may feel coercive pressure when an adult would not, she said, was simply one of “commonsense reality.”
New York Times Jun 25, 2011 It’s Science, but Not Necessarily Right
QUOTE: science fixes its mistakes more slowly, more fitfully and with more difficulty than Sagan’s words would suggest...Why? One simple answer is that it takes a lot of time to look back over other scientists’ work and replicate their experiments. Scientists are busy people, scrambling to get grants and tenure. As a result, papers that attract harsh criticism may nonetheless escape the careful scrutiny required if they are to be refuted.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
QUOTE: ...I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out....Last year I read about four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act, a nearly decade-old immigration bill that would provide a path to legal permanent residency for young people who have been educated in this country...Their courage has inspired me.
New York Times Jun 18, 2011 Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics
QUOTE: The publicity-shy friend turned out to be Harlan Crow, a Dallas real estate magnate and a major contributor to conservative causes. Mr. Crow stepped in to finance the multimillion-dollar purchase and restoration of the cannery, featuring a museum about the culture and history of Pin Point that has become a pet project of Justice Thomas’s. The project throws a spotlight on an unusual, and ethically sensitive, friendship that appears to be markedly different from those of other justices on the nation’s highest court.
New York Times Jun 17, 2011 U.S. Pressing Its Crackdown Against Leaks
QUOTE: The Justice Department shows no sign of rethinking its campaign to punish unauthorized disclosures to the news media, with five criminal cases so far under President Obama, compared with three under all previous presidents combined....The string of cases reflects a broad belief across two administrations and in both parties in Congress that leaks have gotten out of hand, endangering intelligence agents and exposing American spying methods.
New York Times Jun 15, 2011 Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic
QUOTE: A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him. Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
New York Times Jun 14, 2011 Court upholds gay judge's ruling on Proposition 8
QUOTE: A federal judge who ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in California and later revealed that he is gay showed no evidence he was prejudiced in the case, according to a ruling Tuesday...."It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings,"...
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