It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
— Edmund Burke, born around this date in 1729
“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak.”
~John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, February 2, 1816
The best of fact-checking tools
A Wall Street Journal writer compiles "the best nonpartisan tech tools I could find to empower us to keep politicians honest." See them here
“Populist parties are trying to make it clear that they are not racist in the traditional sense, not concerned about a person’s ethnic background but their cultural and social behavior,” says Eric Frey, managing editor of the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard
Whistleblower or misguided luddite? Centrelink rejects serious allegations
British businessman Peter Virdee arrested at Heathrow after German police accuse him of £100m tax scam
… as when it was it was written 24 years ago: Mediasaurus | WIRED.
This leads me to the final consequence of generalization: it caricatures our opponents, as well as the issues. There has been a great decline in civility in this country. We have lost the perception that reasonable persons of good will may hold opposing views. Simultaneously, we have lost the ability to address reasoned arguments – to forsake ad hominem characterization, and instead address a different person's arguments. Which is a tragedy, because debate is interesting. It's a form of exploration. But personal attack is merely unpleasant and intimidating. Paradoxically, this decline in civility and good humor, which the press appear to believe is necessary to "get the story," reduces the intensity of our national discourse. Watching British parliamentary debates, I notice that the tradition of saying "the right honorable gentleman" or "my distinguished friend" before hurling an insult does something interesting to the entire process. A civil tone permits more bluntness.
Potato merchant found guilty of £161000 VAT fraud
It is much debated in Bolivia whether corruption is going up or down. I believe it is going up, but partially for good reasons. For instance the construction sector is doing well, and construction tends to be corrupt in many countries, for reasons intrinsic to the activity itself (e.g., lots of big contracts, easy to claim invisible expenses, etc.). That means higher corruption but also a better corruption than the penny ante bribes of a shrinking economy.
When I remark that President Obama had eight years without any ethical shadiness, Mr. Thiel flips it, noting: “But there’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”
BlackRock demands end to excessive executive pay FT