Corrupt Politicians & Extortion Money

Discussion in 'World News, Current Events & Politics' started by SG854, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. SG854

    SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It

    Feb 17, 2017

    I’m actually rooting for a Democrat next election. Maybe Yang or Bernie. Tulsi Gabbard looks interesting too. I like trying different ideas. I don’t really choose sides. I like ideas rather then parties. All I want is to find the best solutions to problems that is all. I’m still young in my 20’s just trying to figure things out.

    And posting stuff on here is a good place for me to learn, since I still don’t know much, and people push back a lot on what I say. I gets me to think in a different perspective and research things that I didn’t think about that never crossed my mind.

    I think conservatives and democrats act as a balancing force so that the 2 won’t go wild. I don’t hate neither parties.
    Last edited by SG854, Apr 12, 2019
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  2. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Just realized, that the Merkel speech is in german. Sorry, my bad.. :)
  3. petethepug

    petethepug PUG

    May 2, 2016
    United States
    By the time they lose more money. There's no point to the value of money.
    Its what a lot of people forget about it. Early. Especially when marketing of... goes on sale or happens. And I mean that in almost the sincerest way possible. Losing money from extortion or distorition without also frauding in some mischievous way... .

    Otherwise. This story would probably be a lot different for the ""wars"" that happen around or across the globe. (took this off topic.) but war is a meaningful way to economically ruin distortion without paying or spending money. For the effort of lives or the environment.
  4. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    How political power works, from "americas biographer in chief" Robert Caro:
    (Pulitzer price winning)

    Have fun. :)
    Last edited by notimp, Apr 30, 2019
  5. kevin corms

    kevin corms GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Feb 21, 2015
    These days people have a hard time with the concept of two things being true at once.
    Subtle Demise likes this.
  6. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Chance find: Book review "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. By Jane Mayer.": The Economist 30.01 - 05.03. 2016
    Political influence in America
    A network of wealthy donors has a mission to push politics to the right
    The avengers In 1972 W. Clement Stone, a wealthy businessman, gave $2m
    to Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. The cheque, worth $11.4m
    today, provoked outrage and led to calls for campaign-finance reform.
    How quaint history seems when compared with the momentous present. In
    2016 a group of rich conservative donors will spend nearly $900m to
    influence the presidential and congressional elections. They avoid
    public scrutiny by funnelling money into a labyrinthine collection of
    foundations and anonymous political groups.
    This secret system is the subject of “Dark Money”, an ambitious new book
    by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. David and Charles Koch (pronounced
    “coke”), who inherited an industrial conglomerate based in Wichita,
    Kansas, which is the second-largest private company in America, are at
    the heart of the book. Although the company is diverse, with interests
    in energy, chemicals, commodities and consumer goods, its owners focus
    on advancing their conservative political agenda. The Kochs deny climate
    change and oppose government regulation, welfare and taxes. They view
    the rise of the Democrats and Barack Obama’s election in 2008 in
    apocalyptic terms, and the counterinsurgency they have funded has
    changed the face of politics in America. They have exerted their
    strongest influence at state level, where a lot of business regulation
    is written.
    Ms Mayer, whose sympathies are with the left and who is a critic of
    Republican values and motives, does not go so far as to call the source
    of the Kochs’ fortune “blood money”, but she does claim that it is
    tainted. This is not the first book to look at their business interests
    (“Sons of Wichita”, by Daniel Schulman, came out in 2014), but it is the
    first to allege that the patriarch Fred Koch made part of his early
    wealth by helping build oil refineries in Soviet Russia and Nazi
    Germany. The company has faced plenty of public controversy in America,
    including environmental fines and lawsuits. There have also been family
    conflicts. There are four Koch brothers, not just Charles and David who
    are well known. Along with their brother Bill, they allegedly tried in
    the 1960s to blackmail a fourth sibling, Frederick, to sell his shares
    in the company. The brothers had concluded that he was gay (which he has
    denied) and, Ms Mayer suggests, they threatened to expose him to their
    father, which caused a permanent rift.
    It is the political panorama beyond the Kochs, however, that makes Ms
    Mayer’s book more than just another feisty corporate critique. Rich
    conservatives, Ms Mayer argues, set up private foundations, which allow
    them quietly to divert money to their favourite political causes free of
    tax. These foundations-including those set up by the Kochs, Richard
    Mellon Scaife and Harry Bradley—are not subject to much disclosure or
    oversight. Since foundations were first used by the robber barons as a
    way to avoid taxes while appearing philanthropic, they have ballooned.
    In 2013 there were over 100,000 of them, with assets of around $800
    billion. Some of these do good for the world’s poor, but their structure
    also enables them to push money secretly into partisan think-tanks like
    the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise
    Institute and the Hoover Institution. In other words, the wealthy have
    always used charitable foundations to influence politics at the expense
    of taxpayers.
    “Dark Money” tracks other attempts to alter public discourse without
    leaving a trace. The Kochs and other conservatives support academic
    research that is allied to their political ideologies. They want to take
    “the liberal out of liberal arts”, as Ms Mayer puts it. For example, the
    John M. Olin Foundation backed a professor at the University of Chicago,
    John Lott, to write a book, “More Guns, Less Crime”, calling for
    concealed weapons to be legalised. The Kochs have regularly held summits
    to share their free-market, anti-taxation views. Among those invited are
    federal judges, 185 of whom have attended seminars sponsored by
    conservative interests, including the Koch Foundation.
    Ms Mayer’s book seethes with distaste for her subjects. The Koch
    brothers denied to be interviewed for “Dark Money”, and purportedly
    tried to smear Ms Mayer’s reputation by accusing her of plagiarism after
    she published a critical article about them in the New Yorker in 2010.
    An author can dislike her subjects. However, the book would have been
    stronger had Ms Mayer expanded the scope of her scorn. She acknowledges
    in passing that Democratic donors, including two hedge-fund
    billionaires, George Soros and Tom Steyer, have funnelled money into
    their own political causes. But she never dissects whether the left has
    embraced the deceptive funding mechanisms that she so assiduously has
    traced for the right. The fact that she does not cast a critical eye
    across the whole system prevents “Dark Money” from being a comprehensive
    analysis of how America’s campaign finances are distorted. But it offers
    a valuable contribution to a subject that requires far greater scrutiny
    in this election year.
    Codebox can be scrolled.

    Have fun. :)
    Last edited by notimp, May 13, 2019
  7. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Roßmann redet mal wieder.

    This one is in german only - no subtitles, sorry. :)
    And its really a shame - because it gives allegories for everything. (Politics, economic power, constitutional law, media and overreach.)
    Last edited by notimp, May 23, 2019
  8. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Oh dang it - the Rossman interview is down... :)

    Well - we'll have to do it in article form then... :)

    Germanys rich:
    src: The Economist 15 06 2019
  9. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Another story - same issue. This time I'm not posting it in full.

    Basically states, that the state taxing companies that can not threaten to leave and thereby gaining investment capital, had been used to boost middle class economies, when the need arises (they want progress). Because thats not happening anymore in recent years (see: Mariana Mazzucato) - the middle classes now - march. :)

    "Free Exchange, Votes of confidence" in The Economist 2019 06 15

    Ah. Clear text. :)
    Last edited by notimp, Jun 16, 2019
  10. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    How corruption works:

    (Video starts at the correct time stamp.)

    This is a good example of how institutionalized political corruption works. Its good because its a little removed from our (western) sensibilities, so its possible not to immediately take sides with certain political fractions. The video tells the story from the left progressives point of view - but is detailed enough, and includes the right actors - so you can gage how the process of political corruption works in principal.

    I'd recommend you watch this video with a mindset that hasn't you automatically side with the "progressives running on a platform of diversity and economic justice" in the end. Because thats what the video suggests. :) It might not be wrong (know too little about the country) - but its at least political. (As is the entire rest. ;) ) If you can - look more at the process... :)

    edit: Country that has to serve as an example here is Guatemala.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    How corruption works in western societies:

    (Sadly only in german and french again.)

    This is - without kidding - the single best investigative documentary I've seen in ten years. Not because about what it set out to prove (title of the documentary), but because of what it lays bare of the institutional process. This is how western societies work. As a blueprint.

    (Video in german on youtube:
    Last edited by notimp, Jun 22, 2019
  11. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Last edited by notimp, Jun 22, 2019
  12. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    Ah, finally a reason to link 'Born Rich' again.

    Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma

    Born Rich (Documentary filmed by one of the Johnson & Johnson heirs.):

    If you watch after reading, dont take this one too hard. The irony here is the sweet part.. ;)
    Last edited by notimp, Jun 23, 2019
  13. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    1/2 OT - but I think I can place it here.

    I'll translate on the fly.

    The rich in the west have moved towards private investment vehicles and away from banks.
    src: (german)

    English news sources should be able to be sourced by googling for the two people named in this article.
    Last edited by notimp, Jul 21, 2019
  14. Smoker1

    Smoker1 GBAtemp Addict

    Feb 17, 2015
    United States
    Carmichael, California
    In America, how it is supposed to be: A Country of the People, by the People, for the People.
    How it seems to be in recent Decades: A Country of the Wealthy, by the Wealthy, for the Wealthy.
    Notice how there are Laws in place where if the People do it, it is Illegal. But if the Wealthy or big Business does it, it is Politics/Business. Not to mention, the Wealthy get all the Tax Breaks, while the People end up flipping the Bill for it.
    Also, the People Pay into SSI, Medicare, and other items. But you always hear the guy who looks like Cecil Turtle from Looney Tunes, talking about Cutting SSI, Medicare, and anything else that helps the People, Elderly, Disabled, and Vets.
    I love how when Bush was in Office, the idiots in Office took Money from SSI, and it has yet to be returned.

    I swear, these idiots in Office need to be reminded that they are supposed to be Representing the PEOPLE! Not just the Wealthy, their Bank Accounts, or themselves. Also thought Trump was going to go for getting Term Limits????????
    Finally, the Wealthy also need to know, that the PEOPLE keep this Country going. If the People suddenly stopped coming into Work for a few Days, how much would the Wealthy lose?????
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  15. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    A country of the people by the people? You know that this all just meant, that you'd go with free democratic elections, and that if non-constitutional power (handed on through institutions for generations) would have been established, that people could and were supposed to overthrow it by attaining to the streets.

    Well this ship has sailed long ago. Trust in politics is at a constant low for generations. Democracy doesnt matter anymore (gerrymandering, open talk about stolen elections, superpacks, only a two party system - none of which has an actual program - they just pick up what ever soundpieces are popular at the time - and those are almost never directional decision, that have an impact on peoples lives programmatically). Again - I believe, that Colin Crouch' Post-Democracy concept is very much correct. (Oligopolies, are what you are dealing with, if you are lucky.)

    People only hold real power, when they are in mobs, on the streets - thereby tanking economies. Because thats so bad for economies, we took that feeling and attached to election processes - which isnt bad, those are rituals that remind everyone of something that isn't real (power of the people) - but feals so good. But then we minimized everything that elections could mean. We stabalised outcomes, we lost all political direction, we dumbed down public decision processes to a point where they really dont matter at all.

    I mean - you've got to see it this way - in the US you can now decide between "getting universal health care" as compensation for the impending digitalisation and automation age - something the rest of the world has managed to already get ages ago.

    And if and how you want to damage your economy out of you own volition, because of a higher conceptional goal (climate).

    If you look at that as someone that comes from a 'working' society, you cry tears. You've all but proven, that the president is really just a figuerehead, and is needed for nothing, nothing at all. And that congress seems to 'function' properly if it is in a 10 year deathlock on all issues - except, when you need to buy out the rich, and spread financial crises around the world.

    You've shown multiple times, that symbol politics works, that you can rule people with a boogieman thats not real (terrorism).

    You've handed over political decision making to an advertising company ('I get me news from facebook - oh look, an ad'). But now you've seen the faults of your ways and switched to the instagram.

    And you are on the verge of loosing half of your power as citizens, at the point when you simply will not be needed from a productivity pov. You've tasted a little bit of that already through globalisation.

    No one believes, that more power to the people would be a solution for anything. You consume netflix, and you are happy. Keep it that way.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    This is your bible for the following five decades:

    And none of 'the people' ever thought to protest for that.

    'But we have to show more, of what the founding fathers meant, when they...' Oh for fucks sake.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Also - here is what reducing economic activity within societies does. It cements in the status quo (spread of economical differences). It basically produces the reverse american dream.

    You are all fine with that, right? No? Go watch netflix.

    I mean - you cant be politically interested, intelligent and dumb enough not to see all of that happening.
    Last edited by notimp, Jul 22, 2019
  16. supersonicwaffle

    supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 15, 2018
    For what it's worth the argument that Apple is a monopoly usually revolves around them being the only way to obtain apps on the iOS platform that doesn't involve jailbreaking and losing warranty. Google allows installing third party app stores like Amazon's or F-Droid without root access.
    Their monopoly on app stores is a particular problem since Apple is willing to employ means they have banned in their ToS for other developers to promote their services. Third party developers for example are not allowed to promote their services through push notifications but Apple does exactly that for their own services.

    EDIT: If you want a specific example I think Spotify is currenlty in a legal battle with Apple because Apple promoted their Apple Music service with push notifications.

    Sorry for not getting back to this at the time. It's hard to discuss Microsoft without diving into the plethora of products and services they offer and with some of them, yes they absolutely have the market cornered.
    Microsoft Exchange Server (Groupware, Mail/Contacts/Calendar) for example is particularly devoid of good alternatives. Calendar and Contacts will not work with standard protocols and are only really usable in Outlook. With their recent push towards cloud services they raised the minimum requirements from 8GB RAM for Exchange 2016 to 128GB RAM for Exchange 2019. The way it works is that you won't get help if you call their support hotline unless you meet the minimum requirements. They have removed Exchange server from their self hosted small business products.
    With Office they made a push to get an ISO certification for their document format Office Open XML (docx, xlsx, etc.) in 2008 but have since only released "transitional" versions of their document format that contain a lot of undocumented (read non-standardized) specs. On top of that the default font for Microsoft office is licensed with Microsoft office, so using the default font will mess with formatting when you open the document in a different office suite on a system that doesn't have these fonts installed.
    Last edited by supersonicwaffle, Jul 22, 2019
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  17. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    For all we know more power to the people means, have fun in your gig economy jobs. They so self empowering. Just on a level, where you'll matter less over all.

    Now go watch more Netflix.
    Last edited by notimp, Jul 22, 2019
  18. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    It also doesnt help much, that part of the left is CONSTANTLY thinking about how they can reframe "20-40 years of absolutely no net gain of incomes" and "0% interest economy (so saving up isn't viable anymore for the vast majority of people)".

    into something extremely wonderful - like

    - Look, you havent even noticed, you were so happy, before someone told you


    - But we have higher employment rates, isn't that great?


    - But the world is so much better now.


    - But you dont want to be better off economically - do you? You just want to be more happy!


    - Look, its much more beautiful outside of cities, somewhere in the woods, where you'll not matter at all.


    No? Still no one biting? Still just how societies should develop "normally". And now new in their portfolio: Could you suffer a little more, so that your grandchildren will suffer less? Promised?

    I mean, you dont even feel it - with all your netflix watching and stuff.

    Again - those people - hit them in the mouth for me, if you ever see them. Do it for me.
    Last edited by notimp, Jul 22, 2019
  19. supersonicwaffle

    supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 15, 2018
    Have a like each for mentioning LiMux.
    I will say however that the project was too ambitious for its own good and introduced a lot of unnecessary overhead that held it back and lead to low user acceptance.
    Basically they opted to maintain their own Linux distro based on Ubuntu, which is known to not be particularly fast to adopt current versions of the applications they're shipping and the LiMux team has basically been behind one full 2 year release cycle when rolling it out on top of that.
    The LiMux desktop OS 5.0 was rolled out in 2014 and was based on Ubuntu 12.04 while 14.04 was recently released.
    As a matter of fact I'm typing this out on a Ubuntu 18.04 machine right now and am annoyed with features missing from my mail client because it's way behind and I will probably switch distributions on that machine in the near future.
    Last edited by supersonicwaffle, Jul 22, 2019
  20. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 18, 2007
    For a mail client? ;)

    Regardless, the point I wanted to make was, that Accenture got their payback in terms of an exclusive business venture with Microsoft to "advise" more companies in the private sector to bet exclusively on MS infrastructure.

    Then they were sued for 32 Million USD by Herz, for a website project they cashed 32 Million USD in on. For a website project. Worth maybe 20k, heck - I'm generous today, make it 200k. They cached 32 Million for it. And delivered next to nothing.

    I mean if your business is all based on selling people on monopoly power (closed format), then being bought out as an 'independant consultants', and then sell or help sell all information on the customer (, and then hope not to get sued by your former clients - at which point is it polite to say that you suck?

    I mean I'm all for opportunity in capitalism, but this is a little bit much.
    Last edited by notimp, Jul 22, 2019