This post contains loads of articles categorised under Politics, Law and Crime. These are handpicked articles over the course of years for CAT Aspirants. This is the first of 2 posts. This post contains articles I had shared in 2018. Click on the following link to go to the next post: LINK here.
Every Article will have a blurb, either written by me or an extract from the original post (mostly the latter) followed by the link to reach the article.
“The beach between Tel Aviv and Jaffa fills with Palestinians from the West Bank. For many children this is the only time they get to visit the seaside, even though their homes in the Occupied Territories may be no more than twenty or thirty kilometres away. There are draconian restrictions on the movement of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Yet every year, during Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, and during Eid al-Adha, two months later, the Israeli authorities momentarily become ‘humane’, allowing Palestinians from the West Bank – but only those with security clearance, meaning no record of even the mildest political activity – a one-day ticket to Israel.”
“But don’t let jargon and legalese distract you: This may be the most important event in an enormously volatile part of the world since the end of the last century, with repercussions that will extend far beyond Kashmir itself. Most immediately, they will be felt throughout India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but the long-term effects could ripple much farther afield..:”
“The great replacement can generally be understood as two core beliefs. The first is that “western” identity is under siege by massive waves of immigration from non-European/non-white countries, resulting in a replacement of white European individuals via demographics. The second is that replacement has been orchestrated by a shadowy group as part of their grand plan to rule the world – which they will do by creating a completely racially homogenous society.”
Wonderful read on how the judicial system ignores a side of the argument due to judgements and pre-conceived notions. Really long but informative and well written read. “But two cities—Detroit and Los Angeles—allowed researchers to read thousands of pages of police reports and to interview detectives and prosecutors. What the researchers found is a subterranean river of chauvinism, where the fate of a rape case usually depends on the detective’s or (less often) prosecutor’s view of the victim—not the alleged perpetrator.”
“When I started my stretch behind bars in 2002, I had never heard of Abbott. After I read his work, I came to identify with parts of his conflicted character, and I have at times taken inspiration from his writing. But I also resented how Abbott’s actions after he was paroled cemented a mistrust of prison writers and prison writing programs at a time when public opinion was swinging away from the prevailing liberal consensus in favor of rehabilitation.”
How will that process unfold and who will end up with how much? It’s common for very wealthy couples to come to an agreement out of court, usually in the interest of privacy. But those who work with really, really rich people know from past experience that their divorces stand apart from those of regular folks.
Pablo Neruda is a Nobel price winning Poet from Chile, was a senator who went into hiding for long periods due to war and politics. Brilliant write-up on his life, excerpts from his poems and more likely a gateway into his experience.
To have a Madisonian system with many factions that deter majorities, states would need to use a system of proportional representation in voting. Under such a rule, a party with about 10% support would receive around 10% of the seats in Congress, and Congress would need to form coalitions with many factions to pass legislation—just as Madison wanted.
To declare that America is “not a democracy” is as useful as pointing out that it is not a monarchy, or that the Pope wears a funny hat.That Madison’s own definition of a republic directly invokes democratic processes—“a small number of citizens elected by the rest”—makes it sufficiently clear to word-understanders that there was no hard line drawn between republican and democratic principles as an either/or. The nation would be a republic, but a democratic republic.
“Mishap at Gunsmith’s: Gun Fires Accidentally; Man Next Door is Wounded.” “Mishap” and “accidentally” gave my father an out. “Mishap” minimized all of it. “Accidentally” made it sound as if it were fate or God’s will. “Gun fires accidentally” was devoid of human agency, as if the gun had not been in my father’s hand, or anyone’s hand. “Man next door is wounded” used the passive voice. Again, the person holding the gun was nowhere to be found, as though the gun had behaved of its own accord. What readers were left with was this: fate caused a gun to go off and minimally injure a bystander.
These female migrants to Syria are often presented—and at times present themselves—either as naïve women who have been duped by male relatives or as willing participants in a terrorist movement.The majority of these women showed very little interest in getting involved in public activism, let alone its more militant or violent forms, and they did not present themselves as victims. Instead, their main concerns centered on domestic life and raising a family. They had opted to migrate to Syria because, as they said, they wanted “to live under Islamic rule” or “in an Islamic state where you can freely practice your religion.”
“I could understand why some felt the film was “unbearable”: certainly, the scenes of violence were brutal to watch. Yet what seemed hardest to bear was the sense of being rendered helpless as one bore witness to the reality of these violent lives and deaths, unframed by any narrative of hope or redemption.”
“To avoid the appearance of this flight merely being a publicity stunt for the hotel, Doc came up with an inspired idea. The flight would be a fundraiser, in support of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. And anyone who wanted to guess how long the plane would stay in the air could send in their guess with a monetary contribution to the foundation. This would also qualify them for a chance to earn $10,000 if their guess was closest to the actual time the plane stayed in the air. Apparently, gambling is a-OK when it’s in support of a noble cause.”
“It’s impossible to quantify just how many women are fighting for the group. Still, interviews with police forces in Mosul suggest they’ve become a regular presence that no longer surprises, as it did two years ago. “After ISIS fell in Mosul, we are worried about ISIS females more and more,” Mosul’s mayor, Zuhair Muhsin Mohammed al-Araji, told me this month”
This article is probably longer than a short story, smaller than a small novel. Wonderful writing. Brilliant details. Kept me engaged throughout. Must read. Probably would have to bookmark and keep coming back at it, if you can’t read this in one go. It took me more than an hour to finish this. Absolutely worth your time.
“India is facing information wars of an unprecedented nature and scale. Indians are bombarded with fake news and divisive propaganda on a near-constant basis from a wide range of sources, from television news to global platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. But unlike in the United States, where the focus has been on foreign-backed misinformation campaigns shaping elections and public discourse, the fake news circulating here isn’t manufactured abroad.”
“A few minutes into the episode, the broadcast was suddenly interrupted by “a special bulletin of the Intercontinental Radio News,” In a live broadcast from Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, one reporter described the emergence of an alien from a Martian space-pod as “the most terrifying thing I’ve ever witnessed.” Moments later, many heard the Martians attack and kill policemen, farmers, and reporters live on the radio before the broadcast suddenly went silent only to return announcing that the aliens had also defeated a seven-thousand-strong militia force, taken control of the state’s infrastructure, and invaded southeastern Pennsylvania.”
“Had Donald Trump not been elected president—reportedly by that accidental data wizard of Steve Bannon, his hapless colleagues at Cambridge Analytica, and a bunch of Russians who managed to use Facebook as it was always intended to be used—the power of Silicon Valley might have remained a niche topic: good for nerdy Twitter banter on the renegade think-tank circuit but pretty useless for anything else.””The worst, though, is still to come, she argues, as tech giants shift from predicting behavior to engineering it. “It is no longer enough to automate information flows about us,” she warns; “the goal now is to automate us.””
“In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) calculated that 46 per cent of the planet now provides antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) free of charge. In those areas, if an HIV-positive person takes the drugs, he or she can be what is now known as undetectable and untransmittable. The medication reduces the level of virus in the body to the point where it cannot be seen by a standard test, and the risk of transmission is thought to be ‘scientifically equivalent to zero’, according to the authors of the huge PARTNER-2 study. However, this spectacular medical advance is irrelevant to the statute books in far too many countries and states. In the US, 11 states criminalise the transmission of HIV by spitting or biting, which is almost impossible to achieve. “
“As it happens, the Rao-Singh Budget of 1991 was not the first ‘pathbreaking’ one. Several previous budgets made a significant break with the past. More importantly, they came only after a political crisis, big or small. The bigger the crisis, the bigger was the break; but a crisis has been both a necessary and sufficient condition for every dramatic Budget. These crises were either political or economic, or, as has mostly been the case, a combination of the two.”
“Underpinning all this casual cruelty is a prejudice that says Britain is a property-owning democracy, and those without a property don’t deserve full democratic rights. It’s an attitude that runs wide and deep, to some of our most basic services”
“When placed in combination, xinli weisheng or jingshen weisheng – the terms used to translate mental hygiene – conveyed a sense of monumental possibility. If physicians and politicians could regulate individual bodies through public-health measures, then they could do the same for individual minds. And if psychological science could control the minds of the Chinese people, then government regimes could achieve unprecedented authority.”
“Even highly subjective facts, such as a person’s ‘furtive behaviour’ or presence in a ‘high-crime neighbourhood’ will suffice. But the Court’s permissive attitude toward police stops has serious repercussions: it is often during these short stops that fatal shootings and other violence between citizens and police occur. Such violence ensues with strikingly higher frequency in the US than in other countries. One study estimated that in 2014 police in the US killed 458 people. In that same year, police in Germany killed eight people; in Britain, zero people; and in Japan, zero people. By failing to regulate police stops, the US Supreme Court is enabling this astonishing number of civilian deaths at the hands of police.”
“Without enough staff, the IRS has slashed even basic functions. It has drastically pulled back from pursuing people who don’t bother filing their tax returns. New investigations of “nonfilers,” as they’re called, dropped from 2.4 million in 2011 to 362,000 last year. According to the inspector general for the IRS, the reduction results in at least $3 billion in lost revenue each year. Meanwhile, collections from people who do file but don’t pay have plummeted. Tax obligations expire after 10 years if the IRS doesn’t pursue them. Such expirations were relatively infrequent before the budget cuts began. In 2010, $482 million in tax debts lapsed. By 2017, according to internal IRS collection reports, that figure had risen to $8.3 billion, 17 times as much as in 2010.”
“THE FIRST OF OUR KIND has struck fear into the hearts of America,” announced one commenter last year on the giddily offensive /r9k/ board of the notorious, anarchic site 4chan. “This is only the beginning. The Beta Rebellion has begun. Soon, more of our brothers will take up arms to become martyrs to this revolution.” The post, dated October 1, was referring to the news that twenty-six-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer had killed nine classmates and injured nine others before shooting himself at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. https://goo.gl/fpffNt
Article 25 “Why the Philippines Genocide happenedIt all happened because of a prayer to god.President McKinley was in the Whitehouse praying when he claimed it came to him that he could not give the Philippines back to Spain as that would look cowardly.”
A Must read article. The line between original information and created, fed information is disappearing as every day passes. This is further pointing towards a place where we cannot believe anything that is presented to us, or counterintuitively, we would end believing anything and everything, because we are conditioned to do so. “Researchers in Germany who have attempted to codify ethics for VR have warned that its “comprehensive character” introduces “opportunities for new and especially powerful forms of both mental and behavioral manipulation, especially when commercial, political, religious, or governmental interests are behind the creation and maintenance of the virtual worlds.”
“Riding the country’s flagship high-speed rail this year, I overheard an announcement warning passengers that bad behavior on board “could affect your personal credit”—now it’s been revealed that a whole range of infractions, from smoking to having the wrong tickets, could land citizens on a “deadbeat blacklist.” (So, too, will offering “insincere” apologies for defaulting on loans; one must not only learn to grovel, but like it.)”
An intriguing piece that explores history. It also goes on to explores the idea of conscription and how complex interactions happened between commoners and the government.”From concentrating the obligation on a single member, it was a short step to finding a substitute who was not a family member. In one of my favourite cases, the Wang family of Wenzhou arranged for a man who was previously registered as a Buddhist monk to serve as their substitute. In a somewhat mysterious twist, it was agreed that the monk’s ‘descendants’ would adopt the Wang surname and fulfil the obligation in perpetuity.”
“We will oppose extremism, we will oppose separatism, we will oppose terrorism,” they chanted again and again. Almost every day, the students received guest lecturers from the local police, judiciary and other branches of government warning about the dangers of separatism and extremism.In four-hour sessions, instructors lectured about the dangers of Islam and drilled internees with quizzes that they had to answer correctly or be sent to stand near a wall for hours on end.“Do you obey Chinese law or Sharia?” instructors asked. “Do you understand why religion is dangerous?”
“One of the best chapters in World Without Mind involves the coming of what Foer calls the Big One, “the inevitable mega-hack that will rumble society to its core.” Foer writes that the Big One will have the potential to bring down our financial infrastructure, deleting fortunes and 401Ks in the blink of an eye and causing the kind of damage to our material infrastructure that could lead to death. Big tech can see the Big One coming, and is bracing for it, taking lessons from the example set by the banks during the economic collapse of 2008. They’re lawyering up and harnessing resources to make sure they’ll make it through. We, the users whose fortunes will have been lost, whose data will have been mishandled and who will have potentially suffered grave bodily harm as the result of this mega-hack, won’t fare so well.” https://themillions.com/2018/01/will-the-internet-destroy-us-all-on-franklin-foers-world-without-mind.html
Article 19 “This is a dream I can’t wake up from. I woke up Saturday morning and was gonna call Dimitri and tell him, ‘Dude, I had a fucked-up dream I was gonna tell you. I had a fucked-up dream you had just killed ten fucking people, and if you ever have any mental health issues, if you ever need anybody to talk to, fucking call me. I’m always right here.’ ”
Labeling something irrelevant is a common Trump tell that he values something highly. He and his allies portrayed the summit as proof that he had succeeded where other presidents had not. The North Koreans also wanted a U.S. agreement to meet, feeling that getting Washington to sit down would legitimize them.
A brilliant piece about nation building. Takes instances from several parts of a globe, tries to put things that have been common amongst countries that came together well as a nation, or didn’t. Uses statistics (will be useful for future managers, to dwell into and understand what the statistical paragraph conveys).States three major points as reasons to forming a strong nation including a good public distribution system. 4900 words. Political essay. Worth spending the next fifteen minutes on.
“Soviet archival research and memoirs reveal that Castro pleaded to Khrushchev that if the U.S. invaded—as Castro expected and the Russians feared— Khrushchev must preemptively use nuclear weapons against the U.S. Castro wrote to Moscow, “if they [the Americans] actually carry out the brutal act of invading Cuba … that would be the moment to eliminate such danger forever through an act of legitimate defense, however harsh and terrible the solution would be.” Castro knew this would destroy Cuba and himself, but he could not stand the idea of the U.S. getting away with invading, and he thought global socialism would prevail.”
Imagine breaking into the back of a moving delivery truck by night and stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Apple products. Now imagine reaching for that truck from the hood of a car traveling 50 miles an hour, its lights off to avoid detection. After enduring several such attacks, the Swedish postal service, PostNord, busted the highway robbers by wiring a truck with cameras, filling it with Apple products, and waiting. On a road somewhere between Vara and Alingsås, in southwest Sweden, the robbers took the bait, and cops moved in. “
This is how a debate among psychologists and economists has come to have cultural significance. A government that assumes people make mistakes needs expert to describe the “correct” decisions, which doesn’t always happen. That’s an odd position for a democratic government to be in, argues the philosopher Mark D. White, a philosopher at the College of Staten Island who is a skeptic of nudge tactics. “Yes, business does it,” he says, “but here is the difference: Everybody knows business tries to manipulate you. We don’t expect the government to manipulate us. That’s not the role that most of us assign to our government.” People who lost their retirement savings in the financial crisis of 2008 might be forgiven for wishing they had not been nudged to invest so much.
My grief and anger about today’s southern border come not just from my personal life. As a retired psychotherapist who has worked extensively with victims of childhood trauma, I know all too well what awaits many of the thousands of children, taken by our government at the border, who are now in “processing centers” and foster homes – no matter how decent and caring those places might be. We can expect thousands of lives to be damaged, for many years or for ever, by “zero tolerance”. We can expect old men and women, decades from now, still suffering, still remembering, still writing in the present tense.
When abolitionists argued that slavery was cruel, and that separating families was a violation of religious ethics, they were met with the argument of religious compliance with the law. John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, told the Washington Post: “Whenever Romans 13 was used in the 18th and 19th century – and Sessions seems to be doing the same thing, so in this sense there is some continuity – it’s a way of manipulating the scriptures to justify your own political agenda.”
But identity is not so easy to erase. You can pack away parts of who you are, but this space was never made for you and the people in it will always see you in a certain way. Words continue to land on you, breaking your bones. “Are you going to have an arranged marriage?”; “Where are you really from?”; “You’re really different.”.
Controversial policies pursued under that name have popped up all around the country. NYPD stop-and-frisk incidents overwhelmingly target African American or Latino individuals, most of whom are innocent, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. Recently, Yale University campus police interrogated a black graduate student, Lolade Siyonbola, after responding to a call made by another student who did not recognize Siyonbola when she fell asleep in a dormitory common room. In Oakland, a similar scenario played out when a white woman called the cops on a group of black people having a cookout. Seattle’s Find it, Fix it app might not look like a race-driven self-policing apparatus, but it helps promulgate similar outcomes.
“You have to pay a price for standing by the truth … and when you have your own moral pursuit, of course you have to pay a price … but he never regretted it.”
First, you tell us what you want. You cast your vote for a politician, or for a party, or you take a position on a referendum, whatever it might be. Second, you tell us who you are. We get your demographic information, which is anonymously coded, because that stuff affects how you vote and what you support.And the third thing you do is take a quiz of very basic political knowledge. When we have those three bits of information, we can then statistically estimate what the public would have wanted if it was fully informed.Under this system, it’s not really the case that you have more power than I do. We can’t really point to any individual and say you were excluded, or your vote counted for more. The idea is to gauge what the public would actually want if it had all the information it needed.
Its board is stuffed with City folk: PFI lawyers, management consultants, accountants – but apparently no working teacher. Even as it drops three of its schools, the trust’s aim is to run 25 to 30 institutions. Waltham Holy Cross will be the latest notch. “My kids are my world – and this school is their world,” Roberts says. “Why should Net spoil that?”When the school got its Ofsted result months ago, Barnett writes, “the local authority told us that the director of education, Clare Kershaw, would want us only to go with [Net Academies]”. Essex county council’s Kershaw was also a trustee with the charity New Education Trust, out of which came the Net Academies. Both the council and the government assured me that the two were separate entities, and her interest had been properly declared. Net denies any conflict of interest.
In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prohibited gambling enterprises from processing payments online from U.S. credit cards and banks. That law effectively crippled the sizeable online poker industry in America (for a sense of scale, the industry brought in an estimated $2 billion in 2005 worldwide). Now, authorities in states across the country have turned their sites to another target: the daily fantasy sports industry. Fantasy sports, in the ensuing effort to show that they are based more on skill than on chance, have in some ways succeeded far beyond their intention—they are, in many cases, more skill-based than the real sports on which fantasy players are betting.
On August 31, 2010, President Barack Obama declared an end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, turning the page on American military involvement in the country that began with the invasion in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein from power. Eight years later, attacks this week in Anbar province and Kirkuk, attributed to isis, show just how difficult it is to stabilize a country that has seen little stability since then—and not for want of trying.
Informative read on how the Mafia originated, and it’s spread across the Atlantic to the American soil. And why Citrus fruits were most probably the reason for the origin of the Mafioso!
Netflix is an accessible example of the gap between an algorithmically generated consumer profile and the untidy bundle of our lived experiences and preferences. The reality of living a digital life is that we’re routinely confronted with similarly less than spot-on categories: Facebook ads for products you would never buy, iPhoto tagging your house as a person’s face, false positives, false negatives, and all the outliers that might be marked as red dots on prediction models. Mix-ups like these might be laughable or bothersome; the octopus of interlinked corporate and state surveillance apparatuses has inevitable blind spots, after all. Still, I wonder if these blunders are better than the alternative: perfect, all-knowing, firing-on-all-cylinders systems of user tracking and categorization. Perhaps these mistakes are default countermeasures: Can we, as users, take shelter in the gaps of inefficacy and misclassification? Is a failed category to the benefit of the user—is it privacy, by accident?
If so, which applicants “count” as racial or ethnic minorities? Does anyone with a smidgen of minority heritage count? Or do only those people with a parent or grandparent from the protected class count? At what percentages do we institute cut-offs?When measuring “diversity,” should schools count Asian Americans? Native Americans? Latinos? Or should they concern themselves only with blacks, because of their unique history as part of America’s slave-owning past?Should one be officially registered with a tribe to count as Native American? Who counts as Latino? Only Mexicans and Central Americans? What about South Americans? Or Cubans? Or Puerto Ricans? Do the grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants count? Or only the first generation?Why are we doing this bean-counting at all?
“He was part of the “Angola Three”—a trio of men kept in solitary confinement for decades and named for the Louisiana state penitentiary where they were held. King was released in 2001 after a judge overturned his 1973 conviction for killing a fellow inmate. Since his exoneration he has dedicated his life to raising awareness about the psychological harms of solitary confinement.”