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Personal data: political persuasion
What happens when the techniques of the marketing industry become the tools that influence our democracy?

This research sheds light on the global business built around using data for political influence so that voters, policy makers, political partners and technology companies can develop informed opinions and decisions about the relationship between personal data and politics in the future.

An entire sector is built around the acquisition and use of personal data for political campaigns. In o...
democracy  lobbying  propaganda  tacticaltech  research  analysis 
46 minutes ago by harcesz
Beyond Stakeholder Religion
People don’t believe the institutions of which they are a part and structure their world are not for them not because they think of themselves as lone individuals shopping for the best individual benefit, but because they think of themselves and others as a part of various groups and don’t see those groups being named or the way that institutional policies will benefit them as groups.

We aren’t actually asking “How will this benefit *me*?” but “How will this benefit *us*?” Do any of us think the institutions of our society will actually benefit us? Do we even know what we mean when we say “us”?

How can anyone actually think that universities exist *for* the benefit of students when almost all of them leave with thousands of dollars in debt? No one thinks that the health insurance industry exists for the benefit of people living paycheck to paycheck, and if you're one of those people, you know the institution isn’t for you. Churches tend to talk about being for *all* people, but when push comes to shove, the poor members and working class members know that the fact that their offerings don’t match those of the wealthy members means the institution won’t be *for* them.
religion  democracy 
9 hours ago by isaacsmith
Facebook faces fresh questions over when it knew of data harvesting | Technology | The Guardian
Facebook is facing explosive new questions about when senior executives knew of Cambridge Analytica’s abuse of users’ data, one year on from when the scandal first broke, as federal prosecutors investigate claims that the social media giant has covered up the extent of its relationship with the firm.
facebook  cambridgeanalytica  dataprotection  privacy  democracy 
14 hours ago by corrickwales
Ta-Nehisi Coates Is an Optimist Now
"[O]ur politics occurs within the imagination of the citizen. If I don’t believe that black people are human, it really doesn’t matter what you say to me about policy. So the question is: How do we decide who gets to be human and who doesn’t? How do we decide who our heroes are, and who our heroes aren’t? All of that is tied together in the stories we tell ourselves. [...]"
storytelling  law  politics  narrative  black  BlackLivesMatter  citizenship  democrats  democracy  usa 
20 hours ago by allaboutgeorge
Trump Again Threatens Violence If Democrats Don’t Support Him
Early warnings that Trump could undermine the Constitution have not been borne out, which has produced a certain complacency about the issue. It is true that Trump is only an aspirational authoritarian, and to date has failed to bring his most illiberal dreams to life. He has used the government to punish independent media, prevailing upon the Post Office to raise rates on Amazon in retaliation for Jeff Bezos’s ownership of the Washington Post, and repeatedly told his staff to order the Justice Department to block a merger in order to punish CNN. So far, this has had little effect.

On the other hand, if Trump wins a second term — a prospect that, under current economic conditions, is close to a toss-up — his presidency will only be a quarter of the way through. Already his authoritarian rhetoric is so thoroughly normalized that it hardly even registers as news any more. Anybody whose political efforts involve helping Trump gain more power, rather than opposing that project, is playing Russian roulette with the Constitution.
politics  DonaldTrump  democracy  government  constitution 
23 hours ago by jtyost2
Congress Has a Breaking Point. This Week, Trump Might Have Found It.
The rejection of Mr. Trump’s national emergency declaration could also give ammunition to a half-dozen legal cases challenging the president’s exercise of that power under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, said Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush.

“Some judges may count that as evidence of congressional intent,” Mr. Goldsmith said, though he added that he disagrees with that view.

Dror Ladin, a staff lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Congress’s action would help convince federal judges that the president was acting illegally to fund his wall.

“This vote reinforces that the president has no right to that money,” Mr. Ladin said.

But as a political matter, Mr. Trump could use the congressional votes to his advantage on the 2020 campaign trail, portraying himself once again as the outsider candidate battling an unpopular Congress and the establishment in Washington.

Congress has for decades been what Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, calls a “constitutional weakling” — excessively deferential to the president. But there have been moments in history where the legislative branch seeks to assert its power and relevance, particularly with respect to the military and foreign engagement.

That happened in the 1970s with the passage of the War Powers Act, which gave Congress the ability to compel the removal of military forces absent a formal declaration of war. Congress exerted its authority in 1991 and again in 2002, when it authorized the president to use military force in the run-up to both wars in Iraq.

In 2005, amid a public uproar over the torture of detainees, Congress tightened antitorture laws to ban the infliction of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” on prisoners — including those held overseas by the C.I.A. — over the objections of President Bush.

Now the fight over wall funding may incite yet another round of congressional muscle-flexing. A number of Republicans are pushing legislation to claw back the powers that Congress gave the president in the National Emergencies Act, which Mr. Trump invoked to declare an emergency along the southwestern border.

“The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.
congress  politics  usa  immigration  legal  military  government  democracy  DonaldTrump  republicans  democrats  lawsuit  from instapaper
3 days ago by jtyost2
12 Senate Republicans just helped Democrats block Trump’s border wall national emergency
A staggering 12 Senate Republicans have officially voted to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency, highlighting a marked split between GOP lawmakers and the White House on the president’s attempt to obtain more funding for his border wall.

Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Mike Lee, Lamar Alexander, Jerry Moran, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman, Roger Wicker, Roy Blunt, and Marco Rubio ultimately joined with Democrats to vote for a resolution terminating the president’s national emergency. As many as 10 Republicans were reportedly considering breaking with Trump on the subject, and even more wound up actually doing so, leading to a final 59-41 vote.

It’s the second time in as many days that Senate Republicans have directly confronted the president: On Wednesday, seven Republican senators voted in favor of a resolution to end US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, a measure that Trump is also expected to veto.

Both chambers of Congress have now passed the national emergency resolution, which would end the emergency if the president decides to sign it. But Trump has said he won’t, and though a number of Republicans opposed the resolution, not enough did to get to a veto-proof threshold. It’s the first time in US history that Congress has voted to terminate a president’s national emergency, and Trump is very much set to shoot down the measure.

Trump’s anticipated vetoes on the national emergency resolution and the Yemen resolution would be the first of his presidency. The Senate’s votes on both highlight a Republican Party that’s suddenly more open to breaking with the Oval Office.
senate  HouseOfRepresentatives  congress  republicans  politics  DonaldTrump  immigration  military  democracy  usa  government  democrats  from instapaper
3 days ago by jtyost2
The Philanthropy Con | Dissent Magazine
"Alongside the privileges our tax system has provided to the rich, we have imported into our welfare system charity’s penchant for humiliating the poor. To be sure, for centuries welfare programs have often rested on the assumption that poverty is a personal failing. But the conservative war on “entitlements” brought new sophistication to this old tradition. Multiple states now require welfare recipients to pass drug tests, even though their rates of drug use are demonstrably much lower than the general population. We have insisted to a mother left quadriplegic by a hit-and-run driver that her family sell their cars, so as to be adequately indigent as to receive public benefits. We have, just this year, placed work requirements upon Medicaid.

The implied question that these policies ask is whether beneficiaries warrant our sympathy. Are they hard working enough, morally upright enough, destitute enough? These questions are patronizing—literally, the questions a patron asks of a supplicant.

Sympathy is a fine criterion for charity. It need not and should not be the standard for government benefits. Instead of worrying whether other people are worthy of being our dependents, we could ask what we must provide so that people have their independence: the independence that freedom from want provides. That was the logic behind Social Security and Medicare, two programs that are bureaucratic without being insulting to their recipients. The impressive voter participation rates of older people are in part a consequence of Social Security; until the program was established, a third of elderly people lived in poverty, and older Americans participated in politics less than the young. Entitlement programs do more than allow people to live with dignity. At their best, they can make better citizens.

By its nature, charity reinforces social inequities and encourages a deference to wealth incompatible with democratic citizenship. In a healthy democracy, taxes should be as “uncharitable” as possible: based in solidarity, not condescension for the poor and privilege for the rich. The first step is to recognize what opponents of democratic governance understood hundreds of years ago: that democratic taxation has within it the power of emancipation."
philanthropy  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  inequality  democracy  2019  vanessawilliamson  taxes  society  governance  government  citizenship  civics 
3 days ago by robertogreco
"Democracy is the worst form of Government..." - Richard M. Langworth
He said it (House of Com­mons, 11 Novem­ber 1947)—but he was quot­ing an unknown pre­de­ces­sor. From Churchill by Him­self, 574:

Many forms of Gov­ern­ment have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pre­tends that democ­ra­cy is per­fect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democ­ra­cy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those oth­er forms that have been tried from time to time.…
Churchill  quotations  attribution  democracy  government  anonymous 
5 days ago by Michael.Massing

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