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The Other Inconvenient Truth - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow AUG. 17, 2017

The GOP's devil’s dance back to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the emergence of Richard Nixon. After the passage of the act, the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln to which black people felt considerable fealty, turned on those people and stabbed them in the back.

In 1994 John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser and a Watergate co-conspirator, confessed this to the author Dan Baum:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”......The policies are the poison.

And yes, this is all an outgrowth of white supremacy, a concept that many try to apply only to vocal, violent racists but that is in fact more broadly applicable and pervasive.

People think that they avoid the appellation because they do not openly hate. But hate is not a requirement of white supremacy. Just because one abhors violence and cruelty doesn’t mean that one truly believes that all people are equal — culturally, intellectually, creatively, morally. Entertaining the notion of imbalance — that white people are inherently better than others in any way — is also white supremacy.

The position of opposing racial cruelty can operate in much the same way as opposition to animal cruelty — people do it not because they deem the objects of that cruelty their equals, but rather because they cannot countenance the idea of inflicting pain and suffering on helpless and innocent creatures. But even here, the comparison cleaves, because suffering black people are judged to have courted their own suffering through a cascade of poor choices.

This is passive white supremacy, soft white supremacy, the kind divorced from hatred. It is permissible because it’s inconspicuous. But this soft white supremacy is more deadly, exponentially, than Nazis with tiki torches.
African-Americans  Richard_Nixon  Donald_Trump  GOP  racism  Southern_Strategy  Charles_Blow  Watergate  white_supremacy  civil_rights  1968  imbalances 
august 2017 by jerryking
[Report] | Legalize It All, by Dan Baum | Harper's Magazine
REPORT — From the April 2016 issue
Legalize It All
How to win the war on drugs
By Dan Baum
Richard_Nixon  White_House  '70s 
august 2017 by jerryking
Make Algorithms Accountable
AUG. 1, 2016 | The New York Times | By JULIA ANGWIN.

An algorithm is a procedure or set of instructions often used by a computer to solve a problem. Many algorithms are secret. ....Algorithms are ubiquitous in our lives. They map out the best route to our destination and help us find new music based on what we listen to now. But they are also being employed to inform fundamental decisions about our lives:
résumés sorting, credit scoring, prediction of a defendant’s future criminality.....as we rapidly enter the era of automated decision making, we should demand more than warning labels [about the algorithms that are being used].

A better goal would be to try to at least meet, if not exceed, the accountability standard set by a president not otherwise known for his commitment to transparency, Richard Nixon: the right to examine and challenge the data used to make algorithmic decisions about us.

Algorithms should come with warning labels. Obama White House called for automated decision-making tools to be tested for fairness, and for the development of “algorithmic auditing.”
tools  automation  decision_making  algorithms  data_driven  transparency  fairness  Richard_Nixon  proprietary  accountability  biases 
august 2016 by jerryking
James Schlesinger: A controversial figure of the Cold War - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 27 2014 | The New York Times News Service | by ROBERT D. McFADDEN.

* “America at Century’s End.”.....a 1989 book by James R. Schlesinger.

James R. Schlesinger, a tough Cold War strategist who served as secretary of defense under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford and became the nation’s first secretary of energy under President Jimmy Carter, died at age 85........A brilliant, often abrasive Harvard-educated economist, Mr. Schlesinger went to Washington in 1969 as an obscure White House budget official. Over the next decade he became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, director of Central Intelligence, a cabinet officer for three presidents (two of whom fired him), a thorn to congressional leaders and a controversial national public figure.

His tenure at the Pentagon was little more than two years, from 1973 to 1975, but it was a time of turmoil and transition. Soviet nuclear power was rising menacingly. The war in Vietnam was in its final throes, and United States military prestige and morale had sunk to new lows. Congress was wielding an ax on a $90 billion defense budget. And the Watergate scandal was enveloping the White House.........Mr. Schlesinger, a Republican with impressive national security and nuclear power credentials, took a hard line with Congress, and the Kremlin, demanding increased budgets for defense and insisting that America’s security depended on nuclear and conventional arsenals at least as effective as the Soviet Union’s.

With Europe as a potential focal point for war, he urged stronger North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces to counter Soviet allies in the Warsaw Pact. His nuclear strategy envisioned retaliatory strikes on Soviet military targets, but not population centers, to limit the chances of what he called “uncontrolled escalation” and mutual “assured destruction.”........After succeeding Nixon, Ford, for stability, retained the cabinet, including Mr. Schlesinger. But the president and Mr. Schlesinger were soon at loggerheads. Ford favored “leniency” for 50,000 draft evaders after the Vietnam War. Mr. Schlesinger, like Nixon, had opposed amnesty.....In November 1975, after 28 months in office, he was dismissed.

While often criticized by political opponents and in the press, Mr. Schlesinger was viewed by many historians as an able defense secretary who modernized weapons systems and maintained America’s military stature against rising Soviet competition.......In his 1976 presidential campaign, Mr. Carter consulted Mr. Schlesinger and was impressed. Taking the White House in 1977, Mr. Carter named him his energy adviser and, after the Energy Department was created in a merger of 50 agencies, appointed him its first secretary. The only Republican in the Carter cabinet, he was in charge of 20,000 employees and a $10 billion budget......Mr. Schlesinger’s performance was widely criticized. Congressional opposition contributed to his departure in a 1979 cabinet shake-up by President Carter.........James Schlesinger was born in New York City on Feb. 15, 1929.......He attended Horace Mann School in the Bronx and Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1950, a master’s in 1952 and a doctorate in 1956, all in economics.......From 1955 to 1963, Mr. Schlesinger taught economics at the University of Virginia. His 1960 book, “The Political Economy of National Security,” drew attention at the RAND Corporation, which hired him in 1963. He became director of strategic studies there in 1967.

Mr. Schlesinger joined the Nixon administration in 1969 as assistant director of the Bureau of the Budget, and drew the president’s attention by challenging a Pentagon weapons proposal in his presence.......In February 1973, Mr. Schlesinger was named director of Central Intelligence, succeeding Richard Helms, who had been fired by Nixon for refusing to block the Watergate investigation. Schlesinger's five-month C.I.A. tenure was stormy...... in July 1973, Nixon chose Mr. Schlesinger for the Pentagon job, replacing Elliot Richardson, who became attorney general.
books  CIA  Cold_War  Department_of_Energy  Gerald_Ford  GOP  Jimmy_Carter  obituaries  RAND  Richard_Nixon  SecDef  Watergate 
march 2014 by jerryking
Big Data makes for meaner politics - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jan. 18 2014
What do you get when you combine modern technology with old-style politics? Hillary's wrath, that's what.

News that top aides to Hillary Clinton used a computer spreadsheet to compile a "hit list" of disloyal Democrats after her devastating loss to Barack Obama in the party's 2008 presidential primaries is more proof that what used to be an art is turning into a science.

Politicians have always rewarded friends and punished enemies, as the spiteful Bridgegate scandal engulfing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie now reminds us. But evaluating loyalty and disloyalty used to be an entirely subjective exercise that required endless mental acrobatics and was rendered fallible by lapses in memory, blurred emotions and information overload.

The era of Big Data is changing all that. And none too soon for the Clintons, as Hillary keeps her options open for 2016. When you've crossed and been crossed by so many people in 35 years of bare-knuckle politics, it's naturally hard to keep track of all the slights. What better than a computer scorecard that replaces the old mental tally of friends and enemies?

According to a new book by two well-regarded White House correspondents – Politico's Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of The Hill – Ms. Clinton's aides assigned scores between 1 (most loyal) and 7 (most disloyal) to each Democratic member of Congress and pumped the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The result was an instant loyalty ranking that would inform Ms. Clinton and husband Bill's future interactions with fellow Democrats on the list.

Endorsing Mr. Obama for the nomination did not mean you scored an automatic 7 if you had a reasonable excuse, such as being black or from Illinois. Similarly, endorsing Ms. Clinton did not mean you got a 1 if you "didn't go the extra mile" for her or were "just kind of there." The 7 rankings were reserved for those who "endorsed him but really should have been with her … that burned her,"
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The Conservatives need any help, really. The party’s Constituent Information Management System (CIMS) is considered the most advanced political database in the country, compiling records on millions of Canadians....In her book Shopping for Votes, the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt describes the unsettling transformation of Canadian politics into a game dominated by computer geeks who pump vast amounts of our personal information into party databases to determine whether we’re naughty or nice. The Tories aren’t alone. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are determined to outdo their rivals in data collection by the 2015 election, and the New Democrats aren’t that far behind.
massive_data_sets  dark_side  political_campaigns  politics  Hillary_Clinton  books  Richard_Nixon  data  data_driven  Konrad_Yakabuski  constituencies 
january 2014 by jerryking
Book Review: Saving Justice - WSJ.com
April 9, 2013 | WSJ | By STEVEN G. CALABRESI.


Saving Justice

By Robert H. Bork
(Encounter, 136 pages, $23.99)
book_reviews  law  scandals  Watergate  Richard_Nixon 
may 2013 by jerryking

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