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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Oct 23, 2016 If your shampoo says “organic” on the label, it probably doesn’t mean anything (Buyer Beware)
QUOTE: for non-food items, such as shampoos, cosmetics, and textiles—there is no such certification process. The Federal Trade Commission has a “flexible” rule for industry, which requires marketers to have accurate and reliable science to back up their claims. But there is no formal definition for “organic” outside of food...
Quartz Aug 15, 2016 Postmates has failed to make Uber-for-anything cheap, and is quietly misleading customers about it
QUOTE: On-demand startups are falling short of their founding promise to make instant-anything cheap, and they don’t want customers to know. That’s made prices on many of these platforms not just expensive, but also outright misleading.
Quartz Jul 21, 2016 Trump’s Republican National Convention speech massively distorted national crime statistics
QUOTE: When Donald Trump took the stage in Cleveland on Thursday night (July 21), he immediately made some strong comments about law and order. They were, however, in typical Trump fashion, a rather blatant distortion of the facts.
Quartz Jul 16, 2016 Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth
QUOTE: [Trump's] long, operatic record as a swaggering business tycoon. And without question, there will be successes aplenty to highlight, from his gleaming golden high-rises to his well-regarded golf resorts, hit TV shows and best-selling books. But a survey of Mr. Trump’s four decades of wheeling and dealing also reveals an equally operatic record of dissembling and deception, some of it unabashedly confirmed by Mr. Trump himself, who nearly 30 years ago first extolled the business advantages of “truthful hyperbole.” Indeed, based on the mountain of court records churned out over the span of Mr. Trump’s career, it is hard to find a project he touched that did not produce allegations of broken promises, blatant lies or outright fraud.
New York Times Jul 03, 2016 Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices
QUOTE: The problem with list prices or, as they are sometimes called, manufacturers’ suggested retail prices, is that they are regularly more of a marketing concept than what anyone is actually charging. When Amazon was saying the list price of the Breville Infuser was $800, Breville itself was selling the machine for $500 — about the same as Amazon. Other retailers sell it for $500, too.
New York Times Jun 13, 2016 A Party Agrift
QUOTE: ...there has always been a close association between the movement and the operations of snake-oil salesmen — people who use lists of campaign contributors, right-wing websites and so on to sell get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures. Sometimes the political link is direct...Sometimes it just seems to reflect a judgment on the part of the grifters that people who can be persuaded that President Obama is Muslim can also be persuaded that there are easy money-making opportunities the establishment doesn’t want you to know about.
New York Times May 31, 2016 Former Trump University Workers Call the School a ‘Lie’ and a ‘Scheme’ in Testimony
QUOTE: In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.
New York Times May 01, 2016 The Zombie Literature: Retractions are on the rise. But reams of flawed research papers persist in the scientific literature. Is it time to change the way papers are published?
QUOTE: “I think there is a continuum between fraud and errors, and I think people are all too willing to go easy on something if there is no fraud,” says Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman, who blogs about retractions and reproducibility problems in the scientific literature.
Scientist, The (TS) Oct 09, 2015 Companies Lie. Some Get Away With It.
QUOTE: a large corporation had once tasked him with shutting down a major division, but had also instructed him to deny that he was there for that purpose. If asked by anyone -- workers, suppliers, customers -- whether the division would close, he was to say no. Not refuse to comment. Actually lie.
Bloomberg View Jul 16, 2015 The ambassador’s tale: Lessons I learned about success and scandal
QUOTE: Truth often loses its way in Washington and never more quickly than during a presidential campaign....Several of my friends tried to rally the president’s support, but I knew no one from the White House would publicly walk into what was to them a minor story.
Washington Post Apr 20, 2015 The FBI director’s larger message on the Holocaust
QUOTE: this effort to blame the Holocaust solely on the Germans — and soon, I bet, only on those Germans who were Nazis — is a historical whitewash. The Nazis originated and implemented the murder of Jews. Still, they had help, less in Poland than in some other nations — France, are you paying attention? — and they were often operating in areas where Jews had already been dehumanized.
Washington Post Apr 18, 2015 FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades
QUOTE: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far...
Washington Post Dec 30, 2014 Intelligence, defense whistleblowers remain mired in broken system
QUOTE: Since 9/11, defense and intelligence whistleblowers such as Greenstein have served as America’s conscience in the war on terrorism. Their assertions go to the heart of government waste, misconduct and overreach: defective military equipment, prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, surveillance of Americans. Yet the legal system that was set up to protect these employees has repeatedly failed those with the highest-profile claims. Many of them say they aren’t thanked but instead are punished for speaking out. More than 8,700 defense and intelligence employees and contractors have filed retaliation claims with the Pentagon inspector general since the 9/11 attacks, with the number increasing virtually every year...
McClatchy DC Dec 05, 2014 A Liability Risk for Airbnb Hosts
QUOTE: And now comes Airbnb with its free $1 million liability coverage that will cover the hosts for its tens of thousands of United States listings. How can it afford to provide this for nothing, to everybody? Well, it is “secondary” coverage, which means that it, too, wants hosts to push any claims for guests’ injuries and deaths through hosts’ own insurance companies first. So how might that work in practice, or would it at all? ...One thing came through loud and clear from the handful of companies that did not dodge my inquiries entirely: Most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies do not cover regular commercial activity in the home.
International New York Times 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 May 17, 2014 Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA
QUOTE: A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA's dragnet.
Guardian Unlimited Jan 20, 2014 Gruesome Syria photos may prove torture by Assad regime
QUOTE: The bodies in the photos showed signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation, and other forms of torture and killing....A complex numbering system was also used to catalog the corpses, with only the relevant intelligence service knowing the identities of the corpses. It was an effort, the report says, to keep track of which security service was responsible for the death, and then later to provide false documentation that the person had died in a hospital.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 20, 2014 On Facebook, clicking 'like' can help scammers
QUOTE: Often, Senft said, Facebook pages are created with the sole purpose of spreading viral content that will get lots of likes and shares. Once the page creators have piled up hundreds of thousands of likes and shares, they'll strip the page and promote something else, like products that they get a commission for selling. Or, they may turn around and sell the page through black-market websites to someone who does the same. It's a way to trick Facebook's algorithm...
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 27, 2013 How Worried Should We Be About the Alleged RSA-NSA Scheming?
QUOTE: If the NSA sabotaged a secure random number generator in a widely used commercial library, it used an extremely blunt instrument....There’s far more at stake here than NSA’s reputation or RSA’s and other U.S. business interests, however. We urgently need NSA and RSA to come clean with the public so we can begin to unravel the damage that’s been done to the basic mechanisms of trust in our online world.
Wired 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 07, 2013 Playing Pension Games (Fair Game)
QUOTE: Securities laws require issuers of municipal debt to provide the information investors need to make informed decisions when buying or selling these instruments. But lax disclosure practices remain, making it hard to spot signs of problems...
New York Times Nov 15, 2013 Emotional Support, With Fur, Draws Complaints on Planes
QUOTE: Classifying animals as emotional support animals has long been permitted under antidiscrimination laws, allowing owners to take them into restaurants and shops or to residential buildings that have no-pet policies. To demonstrate the need for an emotional support animal, the animal’s owner needs a letter from a mental health professional.
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 Jun 25, 2013 NSA fact sheet on surveillance program pulled from Web after senators’ criticism
QUOTE: National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander acknowledged Tuesday that a fact sheet on the agency’s Web site inaccurately described the extent to which the communications of U.S. citizens are protected from the spy agency’s collection of e-mail and other material from technology companies.
Washington Post Mar 15, 2013 Drones killing innocent Pakistanis, U.N. official says
QUOTE: The New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan, drones have killed between 1,953 and 3,279 people since 2004 - and that between 18% and 23% of them were not militants....The study concludes that the strikes have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, and traumatized many more innocent people.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 15, 2013 JPMorgan Executives Face Withering Questions at Senate Hearing
QUOTE: ...[Senator] Levin and a handful of colleagues questioned current and former executives about the bank’s risk management, oversight policies and pricing methods. The lawmakers took aim at JPMorgan for misleading investors and regulators about the disastrous bet, building off a scathing, 300-page Congressional report...
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 Feb 04, 2013 U.S. Accuses S. & P. of Fraud in Suit on Loan Bundles
QUOTE: The Justice Department filed civil fraud charges late on Monday against the nation's largest credit-ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, accusing the firm of inflating the ratings of mortgage investments and setting them up for a crash when the financial crisis struck....From September 2004 through October 2007, S.&P. "knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud investors" in certain mortgage-related securities, according to the suit filed against the agency and its parent company, McGraw-Hill Companies. S.&P. also falsely represented that its ratings "were objective, independent, uninfluenced by any conflicts of interest," the suit said.
New York Times Jan 04, 2013 Secret and Lies of the Bailout:The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come
QUOTE: Not only did [the 2009 banking system bailout--Ed.] prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right? Wrong. It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences.
Rolling Stone Dec 27, 2012 Viral Spiral 2012: The constant battle against crackpot claims, paranoid conspiracy theories and malicious lies.
QUOTE: old viral emails, unfortunately, never die — and new ones spread like a highly contagious disease. These overwhelmingly anonymous messages are, by and large, bogus. Many not only twist the facts but also peddle pure fabrications, urging recipients to forward these “shocking” revelations to all their friends. And despite all good common sense, people do pass along these malicious attempts to deceive, often in the same amount of time it would take to check their tenuous hold on veracity.
FactCheck.org Dec 25, 2012 On Web, 'Time Has Come' for '60s singer
QUOTE: decades later, what does Lester Chambers have to show for "Time Has Come Today"?....It's a story of bad contracts -- and record company executives refusing to even honor those, he said. The contract for "Time Has Come Today" promised a small percentage of sales, but the record company kept finding expenses that came out of the band's share before they saw any of it.
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 08, 2012 Court Orders Yelp User To Change Review. Slippery Slope?
QUOTE: Have you ever left a negative review of a business? Depending on what you say and how the business in question reacts, that freedom of speech thing you’ve grown so fond of may not be enough to hold up in a court of law.
WebProNews 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 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 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 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) Sep 12, 2012 Rooked: The supremely old-school game of chess is dealing with a very avant-garde brand of unsportsmanlike conduct
QUOTE: even though the kid's only confessed misdeed came among small-time players in an otherwise unremarkable tournament, the electronic score-sheet caper could have implications far beyond the hotel ballroom where it occurred. Most important for everybody but Smiley: Along with being the youngest techno-cheat, he is also the first player of any age caught exploiting an approved software application as part of a cheating scheme.
Grantland 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 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 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 Scott Brown gets in on the Big Lie (Plum Line)
QUOTE: Obama’s now infamous “didn’t build that” speech is similar to Elizabeth Warren’s viral remarks about how the rich didn’t get rich on their own. So it’s not surprising that Senator Scott Brown has just released a new Web video (embedded below) tying Obama’s remarks to Warren’s and painting them as vaguely anti-American. Brown says: “I will never demonize you as business leaders and business owners.”
Washington Post May 27, 2012 Matt Cutts: Here’s How To Expose Your Competitors’ Black Hat SEO Practices: Google really wants to know about them
WebProNews May 24, 2012 Beware small investors: Facebook was just a warning
QUOTE: a bipartisan bill, innocuously named the JOBS Act, rolled back these and other investor protections for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, deemed emerging growth companies. Once again, research analysts can communicate directly with management and if desired share favorable (or unfavorable) reports....Prior to Sarbanes-Oxley, researchers at Cornell and Dartmouth universities found that analysts affiliated with the underwriting bank issued buy ratings to prop up dropping stocks...
CNN (Cable News Network) May 07, 2012 Résumé padding: inconsequential or inexcusable?
QUOTE: From a white lie about time spent as a customer service rep to a whopper about earning an MBA, résumé padding occurs regularly across industries, experts say. In a 2010 survey of 1,818 organizations, 69% reported catching a job candidate lying on his or her résumé...
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 19, 2012 CPI Conspiracy Theories Persist Even With Broad ChecksI
QUOTE: The [Bureau of Labor Statistics]’s price-gathering and statistical methods are standard practice from Japan to Switzerland. That hasn’t averted a lashing from critics who say the government is engaged in a campaign to hide inflation of 10 percent a year or more. Assurances by Federal Reserve policy makers that inflation remains “subdued” also haven’t deterred the skeptics.
BusinessWeek Mar 18, 2012 Apple and the Daisey affair
QUOTE: The show, which cast a harsh light on the working conditions in the Chinese factories....We now know, thanks to follow-up reporting by Rob Schmitz at American Public Media's Marketplace, that Daisey's monologue -- as he reluctantly admits -- was a piece of theater, not a factual report.
CNN (Cable News Network) 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 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.
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