A withering verdict: MPs report on Zuckerberg, Russia and Cambridge Analytica

By Julian King, in The Guardian, 28 July 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/28/democracy-threatened-malicious-technology-eu-fighting-back Attacks on elections and electoral campaigns fall into two main categories: those based on systems and those based on behaviours. The first category includes cyber-attacks that manipulate the electoral process or voting technology to change the number of voters or the number of votes. But the second category of threat …

How inequality creates the social and political divisions that isolate us from each other, eroding our mental health

By Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson on Common Dreams and OpenDemocracy.net, 14 Aug 2018 We’ve known for a long time that inequality causes a wide range of health and social problems, including everything from reduced life expectancy and higher infant mortality to poor educational attainment, lower social mobility and increased levels of violence.(Photo: Flickr/mSeattle. CC BY 2.0.) When people are asked what matters most for their …

Americans think they live in a democracy but our workplaces can be small tyrannies.

How bosses are (literally) like dictators, by Elizabeth Anderson, vox.com Some Amazon warehouse workers have complained about being pushed beyond their abilities by their bosses. Boston Globe / Getty Outside contributors’ opinions and analysis of the most important issues in politics, science, and culture. Consider some facts about how American employers control their workers. Amazon prohibits employees from exchanging casual remarks while …

How Russian Attacks On Democracy & The USA Relate To Cleantech

July 27th, 2018 by Zachary Shahan on Clean Technica High concentration of money means high concentration of power. Except in lucky, benevolent circumstances, high concentration of power leads to an abuse of power that has a net negative effect on the associated population. With that in mind, take note that money has seldom been concentrated as much as it has been in the …

Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy: A new report finds that big companies could have given their workers thousands of dollars’ worth of raises with the money they spent on their own shares.

“How much might workers have benefited if companies had devoted their financial resources to them rather than to shareholders? Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot could have provided each of their workers a raise of $18,000 a year, the report found. Starbucks could have given each of its employees $7,000 a year, and McDonald’s could have given $4,000 to each of …

Russia gains access to the NRA to sway the outcomes of elections, threatening the very underpinnings of our democracy

After Maria Butina Charged for Using NRA to Push Russian Agenda in US, Democrats Demand GOP Hold Gun Group, Trump Accountable: “Something bad happened in 2016 and every day that we in Congress fail to hold Russia and this administration accountable is another day they can chip away at our country’s institutions.” By Jessica Corbett, staff writer, Common Dreams Russian politician …

Elizabeth Denham: ‘Data crimes are real crimes’

By Carole Cadwalladr in The Observer, UK, Sun 15 Jul 2018 02.00 EDT With the publication of an interim report on her investigation into the Brexit referendum, the information commissioner has issued a strong statement of intent against the tech giants  Elizabeth Denham: ‘We still rely on journalists, on civil society, on whistleblowers bringing evidence forward, but as a regulator we need to act on it.’ …

Democracy under threat and need for reform is urgent, says regulator

Electoral Commission asks government to change law after series of online political campaign scandals, by Jim Waterson, The Guardian UK, Mon 25 Jun 2018    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie addresses a rally in Parliament Square organised by the Fair Vote Project. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo The Electoral Commission has called for urgent reforms to electoral law after a series of online political …

After Long Career Bailing Out Big Banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits the Poor for Profit: “Your economy, rigged to redistribute wealth to the top.”

Monday, July 02, 2018 by Common Dreams by Jake Johnson, staff writer Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discusses his book Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises during the Politico Playbook Lunch at The Hamilton May 19, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) After a lengthy government career defined by his central role in bailing out predatory Wall Street banks as former President Barack Obama’s Treasury …

Democracy, public schools and charter schools

Charter schools are at heart a less democratic system than public schools. By Steven Singer on Common Dreams.org, May 2018 Charter schools have turned our children into the products of businesspeople. Enough. (Photo: AgainstAusterity.org) There are good charter schools. I admit that. There are bad public schools. I admit that, too. But if one had to choose between the worst public school and the …