Agency And Accountability Quotes

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He was sure people detested accountants; they were boring. In fact, he had put down his profession as an airline pilot on the form he had filled in for a dating agency. As an airline pilot you could be away just the right amount of time, when you needed a break from your love life, without facing awkward questions from her when you got back.
Max Nowaz (Get Rich or Get Lucky)
She had not made a lot of money, but she had not made a loss, and she had been happy and entertained. That counted for infinitely more than a vigorously healthy balance sheet. In fact, she thought, annual accounts should include an item specifically headed Happiness, alongside expenses and receipts and the like.
Alexander McCall Smith (Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2))
Let us account for all we see by the facts we know. If there are things for which we cannot account, let us wait for light. To account for anything by supernatural agencies is, in fact to say that we do not know. Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about Nature.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
If it's a monster, we made it that way.
Shane Arbuthnott (Dominion (The Molly Stout Adventures, #1))
Once an autocrat gets into office, it is very hard to get them out. They will disregard term limits, they will purge the agencies that enforce accountability, they will rewrite the law so that they are no longer breaking it. They will take your money, they will steal your freedom, and if they are clever, they will eliminate any structural protections you had before the majority realizes the extent of the damage.
Sarah Kendzior (Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America)
Accountability is the natural product of agency and is the basis of the plan of life. We are responsible for our own actions and accountable to God for what we choose to do with our lives. Life is God’s gift to us, and what we do with it is our gift to him.
Elaine Cannon
We’re told by this system that you are the car you drive or the size of your house or the number in your bank account. We’re taught from an early age by advertising agencies that we’re only as good as the wealth we have. It isn’t true. We’re not their slaves. We’re people. We’re not numbers on a spreadsheet. We aren’t disposable if we don’t make enough. This is our country, not theirs.
Victor Methos (An Invisible Client)
Pick a man, any man. That man there. See him. That man hatless. You know his opinion of the world. You can read it in his face, in his stance. Yet his complaint that a man’s life is no bargain masks the actual case with him. Which is that men will not do as he wishes them to. Have never done, never will do. That’s the way of things with him and his life is so balked about by difficulty and become so altered of its intended architecture that he is little more than a walking hovel hardly fit to house the human spirit at all. Can he say, such a man, that there is no malign thing set against him? That there is no power and no force and no cause? What manner of heretic could doubt agency and claimant alike? Can he believe that the wreckage of his existence is unentailed? No liens, no creditors? That gods of vengeance and of compassion alike lie sleeping in their crypt and whether our cries are for an accounting or for the destruction of the ledgers altogether they must evoke only the same silence and that it is this silence which will prevail?
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Every second of every day, a man is the sum effect of every second that has touched him before; he routinely encounters influences that will produce changes and actions that he cannot begin to predict or understand. And yet to acknowledge the complexity of these causes and motives was not to disallow agency. In that, all men are equal, even the cloistered monk--equally innocent, equally guilty. A man is not wholly responsible for what he becomes, but he is absolutely accountable for who he is.
John Pipkin (Woodsburner)
Set yourself to becoming the best-informed person in the agency on the account to which you are assigned. If, for example, it is a gasoline account, read books on oil geology and the production of petroleum products. Read the trade journals in the field. Spend Saturday mornings in service stations, talking to motorists. Visit your client’s refineries and research laboratories. At the end of your first year, you will know more about the oil business than your boss, and be ready to succeed him. Most
David Ogilvy (Ogilvy on Advertising)
And the peanut butter-eaters on Earth were preparing to conquer the shazzbutter-eaters on the planet in the book by Kilgore Trout. By this time, the Earthlings hadn't just demolished West Virginia and Southeast Asia. They had demolished everything. So they were ready to go pioneering again. They studied the shazzbutter-eaters by means of electronic snooping, and determined that they were too numerous and proud and resourceful ever to allow themselves to be pioneered. So the Earthlings infiltrated the ad agency which had the shazzbutter account, and they buggered the statistics in the ads. They made the average for everything so high that everybody on the planet felt inferior to the majority in very respect. Then the Earthling armored space ships came and discovered the planet. Only token resistance was offered here and there, because the natives felt so below average. And then the pioneering began.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Surveyor, in your thoughts you may be reproaching Sordini for not having been prompted by my claim to make inquiries about the matter in other departments. But that would have been wrong, and I want this man cleared of all blame in your thoughts. One of the operating principles of authorities is that the possibility of error is simply not taken into account. This principle is justified by the excellence of the entire organization and is also necessary if matters are to be discharged with the utmost rapidity. So Sordini couldn’t inquire in other departments, besides those departments wouldn’t have answered, since they would have noticed right away that he was investigating the possibility of an error.” “Chairman, allow me to interrupt you with a question,” said K., “didn’t you mention a control agency? As you describe it, the organization is such that the very thought that the control agency might fail to materialize is enough to make one ill.” “You’re very severe,” said the chairman, “but multiply your severity by a thousand and it will still be as nothing compared with the severity that the authorities show toward themselves. Only a total stranger could ask such a question. Are there control agencies? There are only control agencies. Of course they aren’t meant to find errors, in the vulgar sense of that term, since no errors occur, and even if an error does occur, as in your case, who can finally say that it is an error.
Franz Kafka (The Castle)
In an agential realist account, agency is cut loose from its traditional humanist orbit. Agency is not aligned with human intentionality or subjectivity. Nor does it merely entail resignification or other specific kinds of moves within a social geometry ofantihumanism. The space of agency is not only substantially larger than that allowed for in Butler's performative account, for example, but also, perhaps rather surprisingly, larger than what liberal humanism proposes. Significantly, matter is an agentive factor in its iterative materialization.
Karen Barad (Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning)
Jamaica was the Ophir of the West of Scotland in those times. Upon its sugar fields and by the agency of its slave labour, Glasgow slowly emerged from its primeval state of small borough town, to be a business centre, rivalling and soon surpassing Bristol in its West India trade.
R.B. Cunninghame Graham (Doughty Deeds: An Account of the Life of Robert Graham of Gartmore, Poet & Politician, 1735 - 1797, drawn from his letter-books & Correspondence)
By connecting Oswald to several parts of the JFK–Almeida coup plan, those working for Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli could ensure that when Oswald surfaced as the main suspect, the CIA and other agencies would have to cover up much information to protect the coup plan—which is exactly what happened
Lamar Waldron (The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination: the definitive account of the most controversial crime of the twentieth century)
The key insight behind Radical Candor is that command and control can hinder innovation and harm a team’s ability to improve the efficiency of routine work. Bosses and companies get better results when they voluntarily lay down unilateral power and encourage their teams and peers to hold them accountable, when they quit trying to control employees and focus instead on encouraging agency. The idea is that collaboration and innovation flourish when human relationships replace bullying and bureaucracy.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
God cries for us in the same way we cry for others. His tears most often spill over for the pain and suffering caused from the mortal misuse of a gift called agency. He will not revoke the gift. It was promised to us for the duration of our time on Earth. But He will hold each one of us accountable in the end for how we applied this power of agency.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
The record suggests that official secrecy does more to protect intelligence agencies from domestic accountability for their own follies than to shield them from enemy penetration.
Max Hastings
If we believed that those agencies were appointed by a benevolent Providence as the means of accomplishing wise purposes which could not be compassed if they did not exist, then everything done by mankind which tends to chain up these natural agencies or to restrict their mischievous operation, from draining a pestilential marsh down to curing the toothache, or putting up an umbrella, ought to be accounted impious ; which assuredly nobody does account them, notwithstanding an undercurrent of sentiment setting in that direction which is occasionally perceptible.
John Stuart Mill (Three Essays on Religion: Nature, the Utility of Religion, Theism (Great Books in Philosophy))
Bethesda … Would I be wrong in guessing you work for Uncle Sam?" "Why, yes. You must be very familiar with Washington, Mr. Fenton. Does your work bring you there often?" Anywhere but on our sandbar the little ploy would have worked. My hunter's gene twitches. "Which agency are you with?" She gives up gracefully. "Oh, just GSA records. I'm a librarian." Of course. I know her now, all the Mrs. Parsonses in records divisions, accounting sections, research branches, personnel and administration offices. Tell Mrs. Parsons we need a recap on the external service contracts for fiscal '73. - 'The Women Men Don't See
James Tiptree Jr.
The wealthy have also fought to underfund and defang the Internal Revenue Service, so it doesn’t have the resources to audit or fight dubious deductions. Only about 6 percent of tax returns of those with income of more than $1 million are audited, along with 0.7 percent of business tax returns. Meanwhile, there is one group that the IRS scrutinizes rigorously: the working poor with incomes below $20,000 a year who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. More than one-third of all tax audits are focused on that group struggling to make ends meet, even as the agency cuts back on audits of the wealthy—while the top 5 percent of taxpayers account for more than half of all underreported income.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope)
All experienced murderers seek cover. By putting the Agency’s fingerprints on [Mafia] operations, the mob could anticipate that the CIA would [be forced to] cooperate in the cover-up of crucial information related to JFK's assassination
Lamar Waldron (The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination: the definitive account of the most controversial crime of the twentieth century)
And yet,’ he went on, ‘who talks about forgiveness these days, other than the people who come to this place, or to places like this? What politician, what public person, do we hear standing up and saying that we must forgive? The message we are more likely to hear is one of blame, of how this person or that person must be held to account for something bad that has happened. It is a message of retribution – that is all it is – a message of pure retribution, sometimes dressed up in concern about victims and public safety and matters of that sort. But if you do not forgive, and you think all the time about getting even, or punishing somebody who has done you a wrong, what are you achieving? You are not going to make that person better by hating or punishing him; oh no, that will not happen. When we punish somebody, we are often just punishing ourselves, you know. If people lock others away, they are simply increasing the amount of suffering there is in the world; they may think they are diminishing it, but they are not. They are adding to the burden that suffering creates. Of course, sometimes you have no alternative but to do it – people must be protected from harm – but you should always remember that there are other ways of changing a man’s ways. ‘My brothers and sisters: do not be afraid to profess forgiveness. Do not be afraid to tell people who urge you to seek retribution or revenge that there is no place for any of that in your heart. Do not be embarrassed to say that you believe in love, and that you believe that water can wash away the sins of the world, and that you are prepared to put this message of forgiveness right at the heart of your world. My brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to say any of this, even if people laugh at you, or say that you are old-fashioned, or foolish, or that you believe things that cannot be believed. Do not worry about any of that – because love and forgiveness are more powerful than any of those cynical, mocking words and will always be so. Always.
Alexander McCall Smith (Precious and Grace (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #17))
Spiritual maturity is understanding that we cannot blame anybody else for our actions. Some factors may make it harder for us to perform according to God’s plan for us but being accountable for how we use our agency means being answerable for our own behavior.
Elaine Cannon
The obvious pollution occurring in many places - worst of all, in the planned societies- has encouraged the growth of the environmental movement, which, however, as shown in previous chapters, has an agenda that goes far beyond clean-up and beautification, far beyond the stewardship of nature that is commanded by ancient religious tradition. Embracing the "biospheric vision" in the "spirit of deep ecology", the movement sees human beings as the chief enemy in the struggle on behalf of a deified Nature. The environmental movement, therefore, is the perfect vehicle for population control. It is popular - people do love trees and animals and beautiful scenery - and it is unequivocal in its devotion to reducing human numbers. The environmental agencies of the United Nations, with their chilling blueprints for "demographic transition" and a standardless, undefined but totally planned and controlled "sustainable development", combine the fervor of nature worship with the lack of accountability of an unelected, international bureaucracy.
Jacqueline Kasun (The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of World Population Control)
Sometimes moving forward requires looking backward. Institutions also need to hold themselves accountable and increase their awareness of how government agencies, systems, and leaders have enacted harm toward marginalized populations in the near and distant past.
Rohit Bhargava (Beyond Diversity)
She did not have strong views on politics. She did not like the confrontational nature of much political discussion; why could people not argue politely, she wondered, taking into account the views of others and accepting that people might differ with one another in perfectly good faith?
Alexander McCall Smith (The Colors of All the Cattle (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series 19))
If you expose what it is that we’re doing, if you inform your fellow citizens about all the things that we’re doing in the dark, we will destroy you. This is what their spate of prosecutions of whistleblowers have [sic] been about. It’s what trying to threaten journalists, to criminalize what they do, is about. It’s to create a climate of fear, so that nobody will bring accountability to them. It’s not going to work. I think it’s starting to backfire, because it shows their true character and exactly why they can’t be trusted to operate with power in secret. And we’re certainly not going to be deterred by it in any way. The people who are going to be investigated are not the people reporting on this, but are people like Dianne Feinstein and her friends in the National Security Agency, who need investigation and transparency for all the things that they’ve been doing.
Glenn Greenwald
We are being brainwashed to give up our constitutional right to bear arms; constrained to give powers to secret agencies not accountable to Congress and extended powers to the president that would have appalled our Founding Fathers and the generation that followed, all in the name of “fighting terrorism.
John Coleman (The Conspirator's Hierarchy: The Committee of 300)
The gargantuan, ever-growing, ever-less-accountable, impossible-to-uproot federal bureaucracy is actually the sleeper issue of our time. It’s at the heart of the conservative critique of modern government: faceless bureaucrats writing incomprehensible regulations that complicate our lives for no good reason.
Jim Geraghty (The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits)
The harm done by the FDA does not result from defects in the people in charge—unless it be a defect to be human. Many have been able and devoted civil servants. However, social, political, and economic pressures determine the behavior of the people supposedly in charge of a government agency to a far greater extent than they determine its behavior. No doubt there are exceptions, but they are rare—almost as rare as barking cats. That does not mean that effective reform is impossible. But it requires taking account of the political laws governing the behavior of government agencies, not simply berating officials for inefficiency and waste or questioning their motives and urging them to do better. The
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
The model of God as essentially kenotic says God’s eternal nature is uncontrolling love. Because of love, God necessarily provides freedom/agency to creatures, and God works by empowering and inspiring creation toward well-being. God also necessarily upholds the regularities of the universe because those regularities derive from God’s eternal nature of love.
Thomas Jay Oord (The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence)
When we understand what is right and what is wrong, we are in a position to exercise our freedom in making choices. In so doing, we must stand accountable for our decisions, and we cannot escape the inevitable consequences of these choices. Such freedom to exercise moral agency is essential in an environment where people have the highest prospects for progress and development.
Dean L. Larsen
According to the international energy agency, air conditioning and electric fans combined already account for around 10% of all global electricity usage. And they expect AC usage will more than triple over the next 30 years. And like most other energy intensive innovations, AC primarily benefits people in rich communities while the consequences of climate change are born disproportionately by people in impoverished communities.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Thiel’s loathing for government spending did not apply when the government spent money on him. His next big startup, Palantir—a name borrowed from Tolkien—depended for survival upon the least transparent, least accountable, and most profligate extension of the federal government, the CIA. The agency invested in Thiel through its Silicon Valley VC front, In-Q-Tel. With Palantir, this self-described “civil libertarian” became an important player in the growth of a secretive, invasive, and patently unconstitutional global surveillance apparatus. Asked in a 2014 online chat if Palantir was “a front for the CIA,” Thiel replied, “No, the CIA is a front for Palantir.” With 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget going to the private sector, this dismissive wisecrack was not so much an outright denial as it was a sly wink at the extent of corporate dominance over even the most powerful federal agencies.
Corey Pein (Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley)
We’re terribly worried about Uncle Henry. He thinks he’s a chicken.’ ‘Well, why don’t you send him to the doctor?’ ‘Well, we would, only we need the eggs.’ ” Standish stared at her as if a small but perfectly formed elderberry tree had suddenly sprung unbidden from the bridge of her nose. “Say that again,” he said in a small, shocked voice. “What, all of it?” “All of it.” Kate stuck her fist on her hip and said it again, doing the voices with a bit more dash and Southern accents this time. “That’s brilliant,” Standish breathed when she had done. “You must have heard it before,” she said, a little surprised by this response. “It’s an old joke.” “No,” he said, “I have not. We need the eggs. We need the eggs. We need the eggs. ‘We can’t send him to the doctor because we need the eggs.’ An astounding insight into the central paradoxes of the human condition and of our indefatigable facility for constructing adaptive rationales to account for it. Good God.” Kate
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Box Set: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)
One day in September 2015, FBI agent Adrian Hawkins placed a call to the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., and asked to speak to the person in charge of technology. He was routed to the DNC help desk, which transferred the call to Yared Tamene, a young IT specialist with The MIS Department, a consulting firm hired by the DNC. After identifying himself, Hawkins told Tamene that he had reason to believe that at least one computer on the DNC’s network was compromised. He asked if the DNC was aware of this and what it was doing. Tamene had nothing to do with cybersecurity and knew little about the subject. He was a mid-level network administrator; his basic IT duties for the DNC were to set up computer accounts for employees and be on call to deal with any problems. When he got the call, Tamene was wary. Was this a joke or, worse, a dirty trick? He asked Hawkins if he could prove he was an FBI agent, and, as Tamene later wrote in a memo, “he did not provide me with an adequate response.… At this point, I had no way of differentiating the call I received from a prank call.” Hawkins, though, was real. He was a well-regarded agent in the FBI’s cyber squad. And he was following a legitimate lead in a case that would come to affect a presidential election. Earlier in the year, U.S. cyber warriors intercepted a target list of about thirty U.S. government agencies, think tanks, and several political organizations designated for cyberattacks by a group of hackers known as APT 29. APT stood for Advanced Persistent Threat—technojargon for a sophisticated set of actors who penetrate networks, insert viruses, and extract data over prolonged periods of time.
Michael Isikoff (Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump)
To be sure, the cost of managing capital and of “formal” financial intermediation (that is, the investment advice and portfolio management services provided by a bank or official financial institution or real estate agency or managing partner) is obviously taken into account and deducted from the income on capital in calculating the average rate of return (as presented here). But this is not the case with “informal” financial intermediation: every investor spends time—in some cases a lot of time—managing his own portfolio and affairs and determining which investments are likely to be the most profitable. This effort can in certain cases be compared to genuine entrepreneurial labor or to a form of business activity.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
the right way.’ Each went something like this: Step 1: They got me excited about all the new leads they would bring.   Step 2: I’d go through an onboarding process that felt valuable (and sometimes was).   Step 3: They assigned their “best” senior rep to my account.   Step 4: I saw some results.   Step 5: They moved my senior rep to the newest customer...   Step 6: A junior rep starts managing my account. My results suffered.   Step 7: I complained.   Step 8: The senior rep would come back once in a while to make me feel better.   Step 9: Results still suffered. And I’d eventually cancel.   Step 10: I’d search for another agency and repeat the cycle of insanity.   Step 11: For the zillionth time–Start wondering why I wasn’t getting results like the first time.
Alex Hormozi ($100M Leads: How to Get Strangers To Want To Buy Your Stuff ( $100M Series Book 2))
As always, behind the flow of money necessary for such mergers and acquisitions were the banks. Once there were hundreds of banks in America, owned by individuals and local families. But due to government regulations put into place during the Reagan-Bush years, these banks either faded away or consolidated. In 1990, there were thirty-seven major banks in the U.S. By 2009, buy-outs, mergers, and bankruptcies had reduced this number to four. Those left standing were Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, according to the General Accounting Office. Ominously, in June 2012, the giant global rating agency Moody’s downgraded the ratings of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan, citing concerns for the stability of the world’s financial system.
Jim Marrs (Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?)
A sixteenth-century poet, especially one who knew that he ought to be a curious and universal scholar, would possess some notions, perhaps not strictly philosophical, about the origin of the world and its end, the eduction of forms from matter, and the relation of such forms to the higher forms which are the model of the world and have their being in the mind of God. He might well be a poet to brood on those great complementary opposites: the earthly and heavenly cities, unity and multiplicity, light and dark, equity and justice, continuity--as triumphantly exhibited in his own Empress--and ends--as sadly exhibited in his own Empress. Like St. Augustine he will see mutability as the condition of all created things, which are immersed in time. Time, he knows, will have a stop--perhaps, on some of the evidence, quite soon. Yet there is other evidence to suggest that this is not so. It will seem to him, at any rate, that his poem should in part rest on some poetic generalization-some fiction--which reconciles these opposites, and helps to make sense of the discords, ethical, political, legal, and so forth, which, in its completeness, it had to contain. This may stand as a rough account of Spenser's mood when he worked out the sections of his poem which treat of the Garden of Adonis and the trial of Mutability, the first dealing with the sempiternity of earthly forms, and the second with the dilation of being in these forms under the shadow of a final end. Perhaps the refinements upon, and the substitutes for, Augustine's explanations of the first matter and its potentialities, do not directly concern him; as an allegorist he may think most readily of these potentialities in a quasi-Augustinian way as seeds, seminal reasons, plants tended in a seminarium. But he will distinguish, as his commentators often fail to do, these forms or formulae from the heavenly forms, and allow them the kind of immortality that is open to them, that of athanasia rather than of aei einai. And an obvious place to talk about them would be in the discussion of love, since without the agency represented by Venus there would be no eduction of forms from the prime matter. Elsewhere he would have to confront the problem of Plato's two kinds of eternity; the answer to Mutability is that the creation is deathless, but the last stanzas explain that this is not to grant them the condition of being-for-ever.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
In some instances, even when crisis intervention has been intensive and appropriate, the mother and daughter are already so deeply estranged at the time of disclosure that the bond between them seems irreparable. In this situation, no useful purpose is served by trying to separate the mother and father and keep the daughter at home. The daughter has already been emotionally expelled from her family; removing her to protective custody is simply the concrete expression of the family reality. These are the cases which many agencies call their “tragedies.” This report of a child protective worker illustrates a case where removing the child from the home was the only reasonable course of action: Division of Family and Children’s Services received an anonymous telephone call on Sept. 14 from a man who stated that he overheard Tracy W., age 8, of [address] tell his daughter of a forced oral-genital assault, allegedly perpetrated against this child by her mother’s boyfriend, one Raymond S. Two workers visited the W. home on Sept. 17. According to their report, Mrs. W. was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of the visit. Mrs. W. stated immediately that she was aware why the two workers wanted to see her, because Mr. S. had “hurt her little girl.” In the course of the interview, Mrs. W. acknowledged and described how Mr. S. had forced Tracy to have relations with him. Workers then interviewed Tracy and she verified what mother had stated. According to Mrs. W., Mr. S. admitted the sexual assault, claiming that he was drunk and not accountable for his actions. Mother then stated to workers that she banished Mr. S. from her home. I had my first contact with mother and child at their home on Sept. 20 and I subsequently saw this family once a week. Mother was usually intoxicated and drinking beer when I saw her. I met Mr. S. on my second visit. Mr. S. denied having had any sexual relations with Tracy. Mother explained that she had obtained a license and planned to marry Mr. S. On my third visit, Mrs. W. was again intoxicated and drinking despite my previous request that she not drink during my visit. Mother explained that Mr. S. had taken off to another state and she never wanted to see him again. On this visit mother demanded that Tracy tell me the details of her sexual involvement with Mr. S. On my fourth visit, Mr. S. and Mrs. S. were present. Mother explained that they had been married the previous Saturday. On my fifth visit, Mr. S. was not present. During our discussion, mother commented that “Bay was not the first one who had Tracy.” After exploring this statement with mother and Tracy, it became clear that Tracy had been sexually exploited in the same manner at age six by another of Mrs. S.'s previous boyfriends. On my sixth visit, Mrs. S. stated that she could accept Tracy’s being placed with another family as long as it did not appear to Tracy that it was her mother’s decision to give her up. Mother also commented, “I wish the fuck I never had her.” It appears that Mrs. S. has had a number of other children all of whom have lived with other relatives or were in foster care for part of their lives. Tracy herself lived with a paternal aunt from birth to age five.
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))
Flouting federal laws governing record-keeping requirements. Failing to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts, as required by law. Circumventing the Freedom of Information Act. Instructing her aides to send classified materials on her unsecure network. Running afoul of the “gross negligence” clause of the Espionage Act (which meant prosecutors would not have to prove “intent” to find her guilty). Pretending she didn’t know that Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) was classified. Transferring classified material that originated at the CIA, the National Security Agency, and other intelligence sources, to her unsecured network. Authoring hundreds of emails with classified information to people who did not have security clearance. Inducing aides to commit perjury. Lying to the FBI. Engaging in public corruption by using the office of secretary of state to feather the nest of the Clinton family foundation.
Edward Klein (Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation)
It is certainly possible that an individual can, qua individual, suffer some failure of meaning, as in pathological boredom or depression. But any given social world is also a nexus of common significances, saliences, taboos, and a general shared orientation that can also either be sustained or can fail. Indeed one of the most interesting aspects of such a social condition, shared meaningfulness, or intelligibility, is that it can fail, go dead, lose its grip, and a very great deal of what interests Hegel is simply what such shared practical meaningfulness must be that it could fail, and how we should integrate our account of action into a fuller theory of the realization of such a condition and its failure. (His general name for the achievement and maintenance of such a form of intelligible life is “Sittlichkeit” and his case for this sort of priority of Sittlichkeit over strictly individualist accounts of mindedness in-action has not, I want to argue, been properly appreciated.)
Robert B. Pippin (Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life)
Well, Gordon assigned me to write a major piece of software for the Apple Macintosh. Financial spreadsheet, accounting, that sort of thing, powerful, easy to use, lots of graphics. I asked him exactly what he wanted in it, and he just said, ‘Everything. I want the top piece of all-singing, all-dancing business software for that machine.’ And being of a slightly whimsical turn of mind I took him literally. “You see, a pattern of numbers can represent anything you like, can be used to map any surface, or modulate any dynamic process—and so on. And any set of company accounts are, in the end, just a pattern of numbers. So I sat down and wrote a program that’ll take those numbers and do what you like with them. If you just want a bar graph it’ll do them as a bar graph, if you want them as a pie chart or scatter graph it’ll do them as a pie chart or scatter graph. If you want dancing girls jumping out of the pie chart in order to distract attention from the figures the pie chart actually represents, then the program will do that as well. Or you can turn your figures into, for instance, a flock of seagulls, and the formation they fly in and the way in which the wings of each gull beat will be determined by the performance of each division of your company. Great for producing animated corporate logos that actually mean something. “But the silliest feature of all was that if you wanted your company accounts represented as a piece of music, it could do that as well. Well, I thought it was silly. The corporate world went bananas over it.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1))
The charity and ally models, on the other hand, are so strongly rooted in the ideas of 'I' and 'the other' that they force people to fit into distinct groups with preordained relationships to one another. According to ally politics, the only way to undermine one's own privilege is to give up one's role as an individual political agent, and follow the lead of those more or differently oppressed. White allies, for instance, are taught explicitly to not seek praise for their ally work--especially from people of color--yet there is often a distinctly self-congraulatory air to the work of allyship, as if the act of their humility is exaggerated to receive the praise they can't ask for. Many white allies do their support work in a way that recentralizes themselves as the only individuals willing to come in and do the hard work of fighting racism for people of color. Where ally politics suggest that in shifting your role from actor to ally you can diminish your culpability, a liberator or anarchist approach presumes that each person retains their own agency, insisting that the only way you can be accountable is by acting for your own desires while learning to understand and respond to the desires of other groups. Unraveling our socialized individualization until we can feel how our survival/liberation is infinitely linked to the survival/liberation of others fosters independence, and enables us to take responsibility for our choices, with no boss or guidance counselor to blame for our decisions. Original Zine: Ain't no PC Gonna Fix it, Baby. 2013. Featured in: A Critique of Ally Politics. Taking Sides.
if consumption by the one billion people in the developed countries declined, it is certainly nowhere close to doing so where the other six billion of us are concerned. If the rest of the world bought cars and trucks at the same per capita rate as in the United States, the world’s population of cars and trucks would be 5.5 billion. The production of global warming pollution and the consumption of oil would increase dramatically over and above today’s unsustainable levels. With the increasing population and rising living standards in developing countries, the pressure on resource constraints will continue, even as robosourcing and outsourcing reduce macroeconomic demand in developed countries. Around the same time that The Limits to Growth was published, peak oil production was passed in the United States. Years earlier, a respected geologist named M. King Hubbert collected voluminous data on oil production in the United States and calculated that an immutable peak would be reached shortly after 1970. Although his predictions were widely dismissed, peak production did occur exactly when he predicted it would. Exploration, drilling, and recovery technologies have since advanced significantly and U.S. oil production may soon edge back slightly above the 1970 peak, but the new supplies are far more expensive. The balance of geopolitical power shifted slightly after the 1970 milestone. Less than a year after peak oil production in the U.S., the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began to flex its muscles, and two years later, in the fall of 1973, the Arab members of OPEC implemented the first oil embargo. Since those tumultuous years when peak oil was reached in the United States, energy consumption worldwide has doubled, and the growth rates in China and other emerging markets portend further significant increases. Although the use of coal is declining in the U.S., and coal-fired generating plants are being phased out in many other developed countries as well, China’s coal imports have already increased 60-fold over the past decade—and will double again by 2015. The burning of coal in much of the rest of the developing world has also continued to increase significantly. According to the International Energy Agency, developing and emerging markets will account for all of the net global increase in both coal and oil consumption through the next two decades. The prediction of global peak oil is fraught with
Al Gore (The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change)
By pointing to the captain’s foolhardy departure from standard procedure, the officials shielded themselves from the disturbing image of slaves overpowering their captors and relieved themselves of the uncomfortable obligation to explain how and why the events had deviated from the prescribed pattern. But assigning blame to the captain for his carelessness afforded only partial comfort, for by seizing their opportunity, the Africans aboard the Cape Coast had done more than liberate themselves (temporarily at least) from the slave ship. Their action reminded any European who heard news of the event of what all preferred not to contemplate too closely; that their ‘accountable’ history was only as real as the violence and racial fiction at its foundation. Only by ceaseless replication of the system’s violence did African sellers and European buyers render captives in the distorted guise of human commodities to market. Only by imagining that whiteness could render seven men more powerful than a group of twice their number did European investors produce an account naturalizing social relations that had as their starting point an act of violence. Successful African uprisings against European captors were of course moments at which the undeniable free agency of the captives most disturbed Europeans—for it was in these moments that African captives invalidated the vision of the history being written in this corner of the Atlantic world and articulated their own version of a history that was ‘accountable.’ Other moments in which the agency and irrepressible humanity of the captives manifested themselves were more tragic than heroic: instances of illness and death, thwarted efforts to escape from the various settings of saltwater slavery, removal of slaves from the market by reason of ‘madness.’ In negotiating the narrow isthmus between illness and recovery, death and survival, mental coherence and insanity, captives provided the answers the slave traders needed: the Africans revealed the boundaries of the middle ground between life and death where human commodification was possible. Turning people into slaves entailed more than the completion of a market transaction. In addition, the economic exchange had to transform independent beings into human commodities whose most ‘socially relevant feature’ was their ‘exchangeability’ . . . The shore was the stage for a range of activities and practices designed to promote the pretense that human beings could convincingly play the part of their antithesis—bodies animated only by others’ calculated investment in their physical capacities.
Stephanie E. Smallwood (Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora)
Stoic ethics is a species of eudaimonism. Its central, organizing concern is about what we ought to do or be to live well—to flourish. That is, we make it a lemma that all people ought to pursue a good life for themselves as a categorical commitment second to none. It does not follow from this that they ought to pursue any one particular version of the good life, or to cling tenaciously to the one they are pursuing. … Living virtuously is the process of creating a single, spatiotemporal object—a life. A life has a value as an object, as a whole. It is not always the case that its value as an object will be a function of the value of its spatiotemporal parts considered separately. But it is always the case that an evaluation of the parts will be incomplete until they are understood in the context of the whole life. What seems so clearly valuable (or required or excellent) when we focus on a thin temporal slice of a life (or a single, long strand of a life) may turn out to be awful or optional or vicious when we take a larger view. And it is the life as a whole that we consider when we think about its value in relation to other things, or its value as a part of the cosmos. … In our view, a focus on the parts of a life, or on the sum of its parts, obscures some important features of ethical inquiry. One such feature is the extent to which an agent’s own estimate of the value of his life is necessarily inconclusive: others will have to judge his life as a whole, because its character as a whole is not likely to be predictable while he is around to judge it, and because many important holistic considerations, such as its beauty, excellence, justice, and net effect, are things that he is either not well situated to judge or at least not in a privileged position to judge. Another feature obscured is the range of ways in which a single event or characteristic, without wide causal connections to other elements of one’s life, can nonetheless ruin it; for example, the possibility that a monstrously unjust act can indelibly stain a whole life. A third, related obscurity introduced by ignoring a whole-life frame of reference is the extent to which both aesthetic criteria and the notion of excellence have clear roles in the evaluation of a life. The whole-life frame of reference, together with a plausible account of the variety of ways in which a life can be a good one, keeps Stoicism sharply distinct from Epicurean doctrines, or their modern “welfarist” offshoots. How well my life is going from the inside, so to speak, in terms of the quality of my experience, is only one of the things that enters into a Stoic evaluation of it. We hold that there is a single unifying aim in the life of every rational agent, and that aim, guided by the notion of a good life (happiness, eudaimonia), is virtue, understood as the perfection of agency.
Lawrence C. Becker (A New Stoicism)
The Seventh Central Pay Commission was appointed in February 2014 by the Government of India (Ministry of Finance) under the Chairmanship of Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur. The Commission has been given 18 months to make its recommendations. The terms of reference of the Commission are as follows:  1. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure including pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, having regard to rationalisation and simplification therein as well as the specialised needs of various departments, agencies and services, in respect of the following categories of employees:-  (i) Central Government employees—industrial and non-industrial; (ii) Personnel belonging to the All India Services; (iii) Personnel of the Union Territories; (iv) Officers and employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department; (v) Members of the regulatory bodies (excluding the RBI) set up under the Acts of Parliament; and (vi) Officers and employees of the Supreme Court.   2. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure, concessions and facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, as well as the retirement benefits of the personnel belonging to the Defence Forces, having regard to the historical and traditional parties, with due emphasis on the aspects unique to these personnel.   3. To work out the framework for an emoluments structure linked with the need to attract the most suitable talent to government service, promote efficiency, accountability and responsibility in the work culture, and foster excellence in the public governance system to respond to the complex challenges of modern administration and the rapid political, social, economic and technological changes, with due regard to expectations of stakeholders, and to recommend appropriate training and capacity building through a competency based framework.   4. To examine the existing schemes of payment of bonus, keeping in view, inter-alia, its bearing upon performance and productivity and make recommendations on the general principles, financial parameters and conditions for an appropriate incentive scheme to reward excellence in productivity, performance and integrity.   5. To review the variety of existing allowances presently available to employees in addition to pay and suggest their rationalisation and simplification with a view to ensuring that the pay structure is so designed as to take these into account.   6. To examine the principles which should govern the structure of pension and other retirement benefits, including revision of pension in the case of employees who have retired prior to the date of effect of these recommendations, keeping in view that retirement benefits of all Central Government employees appointed on and after 01.01.2004 are covered by the New Pension Scheme (NPS).   7. To make recommendations on the above, keeping in view:  (i) the economic conditions in the country and the need for fiscal prudence; (ii) the need to ensure that adequate resources are available for developmental expenditures and welfare measures; (iii) the likely impact of the recommendations on the finances of the state governments, which usually adopt the recommendations with some modifications; (iv) the prevailing emolument structure and retirement benefits available to employees of Central Public Sector Undertakings; and (v) the best global practices and their adaptability and relevance in Indian conditions.   8. To recommend the date of effect of its recommendations on all the above.
M. Laxmikanth (Governance in India)
We have seen what bondage is only in relation to lordship. But it is a self-consciousness, and we have now to consider what it is, in this regard, in and for itself. In the first instance, the master is taken to be the essential reality for the state of bondage; hence, for it, the truth is the independent consciousness existing for itself, although this truth is not taken yet as inherent in bondage itself. Still, it does in fact contain within itself this truth of pure negativity and self-existence, because it has experienced this reality within it. For this consciousness was not in peril and fear for this element or that, nor for this or that moment of time, it was afraid for its entire being; it felt the fear of death, the sovereign master. It has been in that experience melted to its inmost soul, has trembled throughout its every fibre, and all that was fixed and steadfast has quaked within it. This complete perturbation of its entire substance, this absolute dissolution of all its stability into fluent continuity, is, however, the simple, ultimate nature of self-consciousness, absolute negativity, pure self-referrent existence, which consequently is involved in this type of consciousness. This moment of pure self-existence is moreover a fact for it; for in the master it finds this as its object. Further, this bondsman’s consciousness is not only this total dissolution in a general way; in serving and toiling the bondsman actually carries this out. By serving he cancels in every particular aspect his dependence on and attachment to natural existence, and by his work removes this existence away. Φ 195. The feeling of absolute power, however, realized both in general and in the particular form of service, is only dissolution implicitly; and albeit the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, consciousness is not therein aware of being self-existent. Through work and labour, however, this consciousness of the bondsman comes to itself. In the moment which corresponds to desire in the case of the master’s consciousness, the aspect of the non-essential relation to the thing seemed to fall to the lot of the servant, since the thing there retained its independence. Desire has reserved to itself the pure negating of the object and thereby unalloyed feeling of self. This satisfaction, however, just for that reason is itself only a state of evanescence, for it lacks objectivity or subsistence. Labour, on the other hand, is desire restrained and checked, evanescence delayed and postponed; in other words, labour shapes and fashions the thing. The negative relation to the object passes into the form of the object, into something that is permanent and remains; because it is just for the labourer that the object has independence. This negative mediating agency, this activity giving shape and form, is at the same time the individual existence, the pure self-existence of that consciousness, which now in the work it does is externalized and passes into the condition of permanence. The consciousness that toils and serves accordingly attains by this means the direct apprehension of that independent being as its self. Φ 196. But again, shaping or forming the object has not only the positive significance that the bondsman becomes thereby aware of himself as factually and objectively self-existent; this type of consciousness has also a negative import, in contrast with its moment, the element of fear. For in shaping the thing it only becomes aware of its own proper negativity, existence on its own account, as an object, through the fact that it cancels the actual form confronting it. But this objective negative element is precisely alien, external reality, before which it trembled. Now, however, it destroys this extraneous alien negative, affirms and sets itself up as a negative in the element of permanence, and thereby becomes for itself a self-existent being.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Truman knew that government employees deserved fair procedures and asserted that his loyalty program would provide them. But he nonetheless expanded an already flawed set of procedures and did nothing to stop other agencies of government from establishing even more arbitrary loyalty programs: the armed services were allowed to investigate civilian employees of defense contractors and to order firings without giving any account of the charges against the suspects.75 By mid-1952 Truman administration loyalty boards had investigated many thousands of employees, of whom around 1,200 were dismissed and another 6,000 resigned rather than undergo the indignities
James T. Patterson (Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (Oxford History of the United States Book 10))
KILL YOUR VICTIM Place an Obituary in the paper you know the victim reads. Place the ad on a Saturday morning. Anonymously spread a rumor that the victim died in an email to the victim’s co-workers, and send a link to the article in the paper. Obtain a blank death certificate and fill it out in your victim’s name. Send it to as many government agencies as possible. You definitely want to make sure you send it to the social security office and the victim’s financial institutions. If the government and banks think the victim is dead they will freeze the accounts for the probation process. Make sure to kill your victim on paper every year. This will cause a huge headache and the jerk will be buried by paperwork just trying to prove he’s alive. Because of the Social Security Department’s incompetence, they will continue to let you kill the victim over and over. This is a very nasty revenge idea that could possibly screw with the victim for the rest of their life. Call a local funeral home and the victim’s pastor and ask them to send someone over to the victim’s house to discuss burial arrangements with their spouse.
Tarrin P. Lupo (Serious Revenge - Reference Handbooks and Manuals Humor and Satire)
The NSA is the definitive rogue agency: empowered to do whatever it wants with very little control, transparency, or accountability.
We have had campaign-finance reform, and reform of the seniority system in Congress, and endless rounds of anticorruption measures in the federal government. Calls for “transparency” and “accountability” have meant more administrative and judicial supervision. In turn, power flows to impersonal institutions (agency review boards, courts, and so on) and away from elected leaders who can get things done—and who can be punished at the ballot box for delay and disappointment.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Snowden conducted his activities within the NSA in order to be as damaging as possible. Among the so far unpublished material are (by the NSA's account) 31,000 files which show what government customers asked the agency to find out about countries such as China, Iran and Russia, and its assessments of how it could respond. These 'shopping lists' are among the most closely guarded secrets in any intelligence agency.
Edward Lucas (The Snowden Operation: Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster)
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Neil Young
( O1O'2920'8855 )PCASH( O1O'2920'8855 ) Accordingly, the ACRC is making various efforts to establish the foundation to prevent civil complaints in advance and to improve the capacity of administrative agencies. First, the Commission assesses the current status of administrative agencies in solving civil complaints in order to enhance the fairness and accountability of the agencies
Grimm always used rabbits, on account of a grudge he had with the Easter Bunny. I’d had a pet rabbit when I was little, and the first time I saw an augury I think I managed to throw up and faint at the same time. After that, Grimm had it done without me. Not that it mattered. After six years in this business, I’d gut Thumper himself for an ounce of Glitter.
J.C. Nelson (Free Agent (Grimm Agency, #1))
From this arises the belief that the order of nature is all that there really is. But to draw that conclusion would be a mistake, for two reasons. First, the Lebenswelt is irreducible. We understand and relate to it using concepts of agency and accountability that have no place in the physical sciences; to use the idiom of Sellars, the Lebenswelt exists in “the space of reasons,” not in “the space of law.
Roger Scruton (The Soul of the World)
AT cash-strapped NYCHA, it’s good be be a plumber. Take Housing Authority plumbing supervisor Robert Procida. In fiscal year 2014, Procida earned $232,459 — more than NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye ($210,000) and even more than Mayor de Blasio ($225,000). Procida got $88,288 in base pay, but added another $142,425 in overtime. That accounts for 1,481 hours of OT — the equivalent of an extra 37 workweeks. He did not return calls seeking comment. Procida and four other plumbers made it to the top of NYCHA’s OT list, a list that cost the authority an amazing $106 million in fiscal year 2014. For an agency that’s facing a $77 million deficit, that amount of overtime is a serious problem.
Senator Warren questions SEC chair on broker reforms 525 words By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Elizabeth Warren said Friday that the Labor Department should press ahead with brokerage industry reforms, and not be deterred by the Securities and Exchange Commission's plans to adopt its own separate rules.    President Barack Obama, with frequent Wall Street critic Warren at his side, last month called on the Labor Department to quickly move forward to tighten brokerage standards on retirement advice, lending new momentum to a long-running effort to implement reforms aimed at reducing conflicts of interest and "hidden fees." But that effort could be complicated by a parallel track of reforms by the SEC, whose Chair Mary Jo White on Tuesday said she supported moving ahead with a similar effort to hold retail brokers to a higher "fiduciary" standard. "I want to see the Department of Labor go forward now," Warren told Reuters in an interview Friday. "There is no reason to wait for the SEC. There is no question that the Department of Labor has the authority to act to ensure that retirement advisers are serving the best interest of their clients." Warren said that while she has no concerns with the SEC moving forward to write its own rules, she fears its involvement may give Wall Street a hook to try to delay or water down a separate ongoing Labor Department effort to craft tough new rules governing how brokers dole out retirement advice. She also raised questions about White's decision to unveil her position at a conference hosted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a trade group representing the interests of securities brokerage firms. Not only is the SEC the lead regulator for brokers, but unlike the Labor Department, it is also bound by law to preserve brokers' commission-based compensation in any new fiduciary rule.     "I was surprised that (Chair) White announced the rule at a conference hosted by an industry trade group that spent several years and millions of dollars lobbying members of Congress to block real action to fix the problem," Warren said. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who frequently challenges market regulators as too cozy with industry, stopped short of directly criticizing White. The SEC and SIFMA both declined to comment on Warren's comments. SIFMA has strongly opposed the Labor Department's efforts, fearing its rule will contain draconian measures that would cut broker profits, and in turn, force brokers to pull back from offering accounts and advice to American retirees. It has long advocated for the SEC to take the lead on a rule that would create a new uniform standard of care for brokers and advisers. The SEC has said it has been coordinating with the Labor Department on the rule-writing effort, but on Tuesday White also acknowledged that the two can still act independently of one another because they operate under different laws. The industry and reform advocates have been waiting now for years to see whether the SEC would move to tighten standards.     Warren expressed some skepticism on Friday about whether the SEC will ever in fact actually adopt a rule, saying that for years the agency has talked about taking action, but has not delivered. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Christian Plumb)
The Main Revenue Accounts and Their Origin Revenue Chart of Accounts Air sales, Domestic Air Sales, International Cost of Domestic Air Sales Cost of Intl Air Sales Tour Sales Cruise Sales Cost of Tour Sales
Tom Ogg (How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency)
Just last year, Mrs. Clinton claimed that as secretary of state she didn’t carry a work phone. It was too cumbersome and inconvenient for her to carry two phones. She didn’t have room for them. Then we learned she carried an iPhone and BlackBerry, neither government issued nor encrypted. Then we learned she carried an iPad and an iPad mini. But she claimed she didn’t do email. Then we learned she had email—on a private server. But then she claimed her email was for personal correspondence, yoga, and wedding planning. Then we learned her email contained government business as well—lots of it. Listen, nobody transmits classified material on the Internet! Nobody! You transmit classified material via a closed-circuit, in-house intranet or even physically via courier. You can’t even photocopy classified data except on a machine specially designed for hush-hush material, and even then you still require permission from whatever agency and issuer the document originated. So the only way for that material to be transmitted over an email is for her or someone in her office to dictate, Photoshop, or white-out the classified material in question, to remove any letterhead, or to duplicate the material by rewriting it in an email. Government email accounts are never allowed to accept emails from nongovernment email accounts. We’re supposed to delete them right away. Exceptions exist for communications with private contractors, but those exceptions are built into the system. I repeat: To duplicate classified material without permission or to send it over an unsecured channel is completely illegal. That’s why every government agency employs burn bags, safes, and special folders for anything marked Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. People have lost their careers and gone to jail for far less. Yet Hillary Clinton transmitted classified material by the figurative ton. No one else can operate like that in government. But she takes her normal shortcuts and continues to lie about it. There is no greater example of double standards in leadership than First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Is it too inconvenient or cumbersome for her to follow the same rules that agents in the field have to follow? Maybe it would make morale too high? Clinton’s behavior harkens to the old motto: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Gary J. Byrne (Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate)
go badly wrong. Sex, she thought. That is what is going to go wrong here. And she was right. “This woman,” Mma Gabane Gabane went on, “this foolish, foolish woman met a young man who worked in the same office. He wasn’t an accountant—nothing like that—he was a trainee, Mma Ramotswe, just a trainee. He was eighteen.” There was a sharp intake of breath from Mma Phumele, who looked at Mma Ramotswe to gauge her reaction. She would be every bit as shocked as the rest of them, she imagined. And Mma Ramotswe was shocked.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #16))
The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many
The Washington Post (NSA Secrets: Government Spying in the Internet Age)
In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency’s database revealed Koch Industries to be the number one producer of toxic waste in the country. Producing 950 million pounds of toxic waste, it topped the list of 8,000 companies required by law to account for their handling of 650 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals spun off by industrial processes.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
PARTNERS IN CRIME HOW THE CLINTONS WENT FROM DEAD BROKE TO FILTHY RICH And the money kept rolling in from every side. —Song from the musical Evita The quotation above refers to the Juan and Evita Peron Foundation, established in 1948 by Evita Peron for the purpose of helping Argentina’s poor. Evita professed to be a champion of the campesinos—the wretched workers who lived in shanties on the outskirts of Buenos Aires—and they trusted Evita. She had, after all, risen up herself from poverty and obscurity. Her fame was the result of her marriage to the general who became the military leader of the country, Juan Peron. Long before the Clintons, Argentina had its own power couple that claimed to do good and ended up doing very well for themselves. There are, obviously, differences between the Clintons and the Perons. Despite her personal popularity, Evita remained an appendage of her husband, seeking but never obtaining political office. At one point, Evita had her eye on an official position, but the political establishment vigorously opposed her, and her husband never supported her in this effort. Hillary, by contrast, was elected senator and now, having deployed her husband on the campaign trail, seeks election to the nation’s highest office previously held by him. The Perons also had a foundation that took in millions of pesos—the equivalent of $200 million—from multiple foreign sources, Argentine businesses, as well as contributions from various individuals and civic groups. With its 14,000 employees, the foundation was better equipped and more influential than many agencies within the Argentinian government. Evita and her cronies were experts at shaking down anyone who wanted something from the government; donations became a kind of tax that opened up access to the Peron administration. Trade unions sent large contributions because they saw Evita and her husband as champions of their cause. In 1950, the government arranged that a portion of all lottery, movie, and casino revenues should go to the foundation. While the foundation made symbolic, highly publicized gestures of helping the poor, in reality only a fraction of the money went to the underprivileged. Most of it seems to have ended up in foreign bank accounts controlled by the Perons, who became hugely wealthy through their public office profiteering. When Evita died in 1954 and the foundation was shut down, Argentines discovered stashes of undistributed food and clothing. No one from the foundation had bothered to give it away, so it sat unused for years. Helping the poor, after all, wasn’t the real reason Evita set up her foundation. No, she had a different set of priorities. Like so many Third World potentates, the Perons used social justice and provision for the poor as a pretext to amass vast wealth for themselves. The Clintons have done the same thing in America; indeed, Hillary may be America’s version of Evita Peron.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
For some time now, the conventional wisdom at most agencies has been to partner with experts in specific fields—social networking, gaming, mobile, or any other discipline—in order to “get the best people for the job.” But given the success of AKQA, R/GA, and so many other innovators, perhaps it can be argued that to be truly holistic in our approach, it’s better to grow innovations from one’s own stem cells, so to speak, than to try to graft on capabilities on an ad-hoc basis. Some would no doubt argue that it makes the most economic sense to hire experts to execute as needed, rather than taking on more overhead in an increasingly competitive marketplace. But it should be pointed out that it’s hard to have the original ideas themselves if your own team doesn’t have a firm grasp of the technologies. Without a cross-disciplinary team of in-house experts, who knows what opportunities you—and by extension, your clients—may miss. “It comes down to the brains that you have working with you to make it a reality,” John Butler, cofounder of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, tells me. “The history of the ad agency is the Bernbach model—the writer and art director sitting in a room together coming up with an idea,” he says, referring to legendary adman Bill Bernbach, cofounder of DDB and the man who first combined copywriters and art directors as two-person teams. Now, all that’s changed. “[Today, there are] fifteen people sitting in a room. Media is as much a part of the creative department as a writer or an art director. And we have account planners—we call them ‘connection planners’—in the room throwing around ideas,” he says. “That facilitates getting to work that is about the experience, about ways to compel consumers to interact with your brand in a way that they become like free media” by actively promoting the brand for you. If his team worked on the old Bernbach model, Butler adds, they would never have created something like those cool MINI billboards that display messages to drivers by name that I described in the last chapter. The idea actually spun out of a discussion about 3-D glasses for print ads. “Someone in the interactive group said, ‘We can probably do that same thing with [radio frequency identification] technology.’” By using transmitters built into the billboards, and building RFID chips into MINI key fobs, “when a person drives by, it will recognize him and it will spit out a message just for him.” He adds with considerable understatement: “Through having those capabilities, in-house engineers, technical guys who know the technology and what’s available, we were able to create something that was really pretty cool.
Rick Mathieson (The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success in an Anytime, Everywhere World)
At the time of writing, the problem of how to deal with the more recent events of 2009 – the accusations of war crimes, the alleged failure of international agencies – remains unresolved. This book reminds us that this is not the first time that Sri Lanka has had to deal with the scars of its own internal violence, and as it makes abundantly clear, the question of how to ‘deal with’ such a bitter past is never easy and never straightforward. However, it is a question of great importance, and Dhana Hughes is to be thanked for providing her readers with this exemplary account of the ways in which ordinary people struggle every day to deal with their own past and their possible complicity in times of great danger and fear.
Dhana Hughes (Violence, Torture and Memory in Sri Lanka: Life after Terror (Routledge/Edinburgh South Asian Studies Series))
We started our inquiry into the aesthetics of games with various accounts that tried to subsume games under more familiar forms of art - fictions, conceptual art, and the like. But, I've argued, some of the most important kin to game design are actually urban planners, and government designers. All these are attempts to cope and corral the agency of users, to achieve certain effects. Games are an artistic cousin to cities and governments. They are systems of rules and constraints for active agents. But game designers have a trick up their sleeves that the designers of cities and governments do not. They can substantially design the nature of agents who will act within them. The medium of agency is active, then, in two directions. It creates a distinctive recalcitrance - the recalcitrance of agential distance. And it offers a a distinctive sort of solution - the manipulation of agency.
C. Thi Nguyen (Games: Agency As Art (Thinking Art))
THE HORROR OF THE UNPROFESSIONAL I was surprised to learn that when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wanted to scold Russia for its campaign of airstrikes in Syria in the fall of 2015, the word he chose to apply was “unprofessional.” Given the magnitude of the provocation, it seemed a little strange—as though he thought there were an International Association of Smartbomb Deployment Executives that might, once alerted by American officials, hold an inquiry into Russia’s behavior and hand down a stern reprimand. On reflection, slighting foes for their lack of professionalism was something of a theme of the Obama years. An Iowa Democrat became notorious in 2014, for example, when he tried to insult an Iowa Republican by calling him “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” Similarly, it was “unprofessionalism” (in the description of Thomas Friedman) that embarrassed the insubordinate Afghan-war General Stanley McChrystal, who made ill-considered remarks about the president to Rolling Stone magazine. And in the summer of 2013, when National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed his employer’s mass surveillance of email and phone calls, the aspect of his past that his detractors chose to emphasize was … his failure to graduate from high school. How could such a no-account person challenge this intensely social-science-oriented administration?
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
Quoting page 150-151: Political camouflage, needed by legislators eager to please civil rights and minority organizations while avoiding punishment by voters for supporting racial quotas, was provided by the bureaucratic obscurity of the government’s procurement process. Voters did not understand the complexities of government contracting and agency regulation. … The weaknesses of minority set-asides were chiefly two. First, they were indubitably racial and ethnic quotas, and hence were politically controversial. As government benefits tied to ancestry, they violated the classic liberal creed that Americans possessed equal individual rights. … Nonminority contractors were barred by their ancestry or their skin color from even bidding on contracts paid for by taxpayer dollars, including their own. Second, and less obviously, set-aside programs produced a common set of flaws in implementation. The most severe problem was the concentration of set-aside contracts on a few successful firms. Agency officials, needing to spend a large amount of money on minority procurement contractors every fiscal year, found very few minority contractors able to do the job. Four-fifths of all certified minority firms had no employees, their personnel roster consisting solely of the owner of the enterprise. As a consequence, agency set-aside contracts were typically concentrated on only a few firms large enough and sufficiently experienced to meet the terms of the contracts, providing constructing, street paving, computer services, military uniforms, or other goods and services. In 1990, for example, only fifty firms, representing less than 2 percent of the certified minority firms in the 8(a) program, accounted for 40 percent of the $4 billion awarded. … such firms never seemed to “graduate” from the set-aside program, weaned from the incubator and ready to compete in the normal marketplace of competitive government contracting. … Almost all the contracts were awarded on a no-bid or “sole source” basis; in fiscal 1991, for example, only 1.9 percent of the 4,576 contracts in the 8(a) program were awarded on a competitive basis.
Hugh Davis Graham (Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America)
There he became a Canadian citizen, founded a charter boat business (earning him the title of Captain) and became the science director of a uranium mining company. (According to one account, Hubbard had something to do with supplying uranium to the Manhattan Project.) By the age of fifty, the “barefoot boy from Kentucky” had become a millionaire, owner of a fleet of aircraft, a one-hundred-foot yacht, a Rolls-Royce, and a private island off Vancouver. At some point during the war Hubbard apparently returned to the United States, and he joined the OSS shortly before the wartime intelligence agency became the CIA.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
It is implausible that judges are unaware that the most dangerous environment for children is precisely the single-parent homes they themselves create when they remove fathers in custody proceedings. Yet they have no hesitation in removing them, secure in the knowledge that they will never be held accountable for any harm that comes to the children. On the contrary, if they do not they may be punished by feminist-dominated family law sections of the bar associations and social work bureaucracies whose earnings and funding depend on a constant supply of abused children. A Brooklyn judge, described as “gutsier than most” by the New York Law Journal, was denied reappointment when he challenged social service agencies’ efforts to remove children from their parents. A lawyer close to the Legal Aid Society said that “many of that group’s lawyers, who [claim to] represent the children’s interests in abuse cases, and lawyers with agencies where [allegedly?] abused children are placed, have been upset by Judge Segal’s attempts to spur fam ily reunifications.” Though no evidence indicated that his rulings resulted in any child being abused or neglected, “most of the opposition [to his reappointment] came from attorneys who represent children in neglect and abuse proceedings.” An Edmonton, Alberta, judge was forced by feminists to apologize for saying, “That parties who decide to have children together should split for any reason is abhorrent to me,”...
Stephen Baskerville
In line with the total assault of scientific investigation and critical rationality on our most well-cherished and established intuitions, why should we expect the characteristics of reality to be trivial extensions of characteristics specific to the temporal-causal perspective of the subject? [...] Liberation from a model of time restricted to a particular contingent constitution does not rob the subject of its cognitive and practical abilities, but releases it from the shackles of its most entrenched dogmas about the necessity of the contingent features of its experience. In doing so, it sheds light on the prospects of what the subject of experience and the exercise of change in the world is and can be as it cognitively matures. The transition to a state where one is no longer afraid of being lost in time, having come to the realization that time accommodates no one, should be celebrated as the sign of rational maturity, rather than decried as a manifestation of the subject's impotency. It is in continuity with the critical attitude of rational agency to adopt a model of experience that can interrogate the most natural and established 'facts of experience' rather than corroborating them via the so-called fact that these are simply the ways in which we experience the world. As the extension of this interrogation, such a model should also enlarge the field of our experience, and in doing so, should theoretically and practically challenge popular yet puerile ideologies built around either a temporal account of progress or the second law of thermodynamics.
Reza Negarestani (Intelligence and Spirit)
veto power can obscure personal agency and accountability in relationships. A partner who says, “I must break up with you, I have no choice because my primary partner demands it,” is, in fact, choosing to end that relationship. Shifting responsibility for this choice onto a third party (or phrasing a breakup decision in terms of “we,” when only the primary partners comprise that “we”) may be a rhetorical sleight-of-hand to deflect personal accountability while hurting someone.
Amy Gahran (Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life)
Of many living creatures, human has been endowed with an unbearable gift named Free Will to think, believe, and rationalize what is true in his mind, which empowers himself with a power to liberate his action in one direction or the other, resulting the free action depended on the decision of free will. The action is either physical or metaphysical. When an action is carried out by a free agent, the agent is the forbearer of his action, the totality of his action from its birth to termination, and moral responsibility. The autonomy of his thought carries the agency of accountability in his belief because a collection of beliefs and thoughts is the composition of what he is. By free will as faculty of free intellection and rationalization, no circumstances beyond control can deterministically harness an existential volition unfree and inauthentic, for a free will, as long as it is, is always capable and self-verifiable through metaphysical rejection and rebellion. It is the spirit of non-yielding. Free Will holds its worth by reserving the two options of yielding and unyielding—yielding can be either by will or unwill but non-yielding is necessarily by will—due to its indomitable character to resist against the force that subjects his being under possession and materiality of the creator. The end of Free Will is happiness by acceptance of what his choices have led under the limited conditions provided, bearing inherent worthiness from meaning in his existence.
Bongha Lee (On Resistism)
[...] what the Agency does is ordered by the President and the NSC. The Agency neither makes decisions on policy nor acts on its own account. It is an instrument of the President ... to use in any way he pleases.
Philip Agee (Inside the Company: CIA Diary)
An ordinary travel agency took care of the practicalities of chartering trains in exactly the same way as they dealt with such matters normally. Ordinary railway staff were deployed to organise the logistics of the transport, plotting train times into schedules, passing information on through the system. The camps were built, personnel received their orders, the industry began. Some of the soldiers must have been picked out on account of their brutality, many being obvious sadists who could find outlet and indulge themselves here, while others were ordinary and, in any context, considerate men doing a job for work. Two years later they tried to remove all traces; having demolished Teblinka’s every structure they built a farm on the site and instructed the Ukrainian family they installed in it to say they had lived there always. The same occurred in Sobibor, Belzec and Chelmno, all traces gone. All around, life went on as nothing had happened.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 6 (Min kamp, #6))
Gates had to take account of the many things that Rockefeller had ruled off-limits, such as funding social-welfare agencies.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
In his recent critique of fashionable ecological philosophies, Andreas Malm pointedly remarks: 'When Latour writes that, in a warming world, 'humans are no longer submitted to the diktats of objective nature, since what comes to them is also an intensively subjective form of action,' he gets it all wrong: there is nothing intensively subjective but a lot of objectivity in ice melting. Or, as one placard at a demonstration held by scientists at the American Geophysical Union in December 2016: 'Ice has no agenda - it just melts.'' The reverse claim is that human interventions have only had such a menacing and even fatal consequences for our living conditions within the Earth system because human agency has not yet sufficiently freed itself from its dependence on natural history. This seems to be the conviction behind the 'Ecomodernist Manifesto,' for instance, which claims that 'knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, might allow for a good, even great, Anthropocene,' and that a good Anthropocene 'demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.' In this confrontation, an age-old dualism has assumed a new guise: the attempt to establish a complicity with the forces of destiny - if necessary at the price of surrendering human subjectivity or perhaps involving other forms of self-sacrifice - is juxtaposed with the attempt to achieve human autonomy by subordinating the planet under the superior power of human ingenuity. These two positions, a modernist stance and a position critical of it, are usually considered to represent mutually exclusive alternatives. Actually, however, the two positions have more in common than first meets the eye. At the beginning of chapter 3, I referred to Greek philosophers who suggested that the best way to protect oneself against the vicissitudes of fate was to learn how to submit oneself to it willingly, sacrificing one's drives and ambitions while expecting, at the same time, that this complicity with destiny would empower one to master worldly challenges. What unites the seemingly opposite positions, more generally speaking, is a shared move away from engagement with the concrete and individual human agency (i.e., with empirical human subjects and with the unequal power distribution in human societies) toward some powerful form of abstraction, be it 'to distribute agency' or to use the 'growing social, economic, and technological powers' of humanity for a better Anthropocene. I suggest that we take a more systemic look at the role of humanity in the Earth system, taking into account both its material interventions and the knowledge that enabled them.
Jürgen Renn (The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene)
The technosphere is described here as if neither history nor social or political dynamics mattered. It does not take into account collective agency or political, economic, and social structures, let alone the evolution of knowledge with its powerful impact on shaping technological systems. Has human technology now reached a stage (or will it any time soon) at which it attains the autonomy of an organism with its own agency - an autopoietic structure reproducing its own organization? Such generalizations tend to overlook some essential features of human interaction with the global environment. For instance, while the biosphere has proven its resilience over the course of at least 3.5 billion years of evolution, the technosphere may turn out to be a rather fragile scaffolding for human existence. While it is quite conceivable that the sum total of the unintended consequences of our actions has developed its own dynamics, even in the age of the Anthropocene escape routes may still be left to us - an observation, however, that does not imply, vice versa, that there will be a guarantee for the existence of an escape route. It rather appears that the dynamics underlying the Anthropocene might well enhance both the challenges with which we are confronted and our opportunities to react to them, leaving the question open as to whether the latter will always be sufficient to match the former. Is it possible, for instance, that geoengineering can intervene in the planetary system to the point that a new state of the planetary system would be reached in which high carbon dioxide concentration, radioactive pollution, and other unintended consequences of industrialization are no longer challenging problems but can be safely kept under control by novel technologies? Given the fact that macro-scale interventions in the Earth system are beyond anything that human engineering has achieved so far, and given the fact that there are still important gaps in our knowledge about our planetary system, we are certainly on the safer side to prioritize, at least for the time being and to the extent that it is possible at all, the preservation of our existing Earth system and damage control.
Jürgen Renn (The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene)
The most notable thing about the show in all its forms was the commercial. Since 1933, when the first “Calllll for Philip Mor-raisss!” spot went over the air, millions of cigarettes had been sold by a four-foot midget with an uncanny ability to hit a perfect B-flat every time. Johnny Roventini was a $15-a-week bellhop at the Hotel New Yorker when a chance encounter changed his life. Milton Biow, head of the agency handling the Philip Morris account, arrived at the hotel, saw Roventini, and had a stroke of pure advertising genius. Roventini was auditioned there in the hotel lobby: under Biow’s direction, he walked through the hotel paging Philip Morris, and he was soon in show business at $20,000 a year. As the brilliance of the ads became apparent to all, he was given a lifetime contract that was still in effect decades after the last “call” for Philip Morris left the air. He was a walking public relations campaign, reminding people of the product wherever he appeared. “Johnny” ads were prominent on billboards and in magazines. Always in his red bellhop’s uniform, he was “stepping out of storefronts all over America” to remind smokers that they got “no cigarette hangover” with Philip Morris. When MGM’s Leo the Lion died, it was said that Roventini was the only remaining living trademark.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
If anyone should ask us, “When anything is according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, how can God blame the doer of it?” we may ask the inquirer to say what the difficulty is. The inspired apostle Peter could see none, but when he was most vehement in charging these hearers with guilt, yet at the same time he said it was by God’s determined plan and foreknowledge. Surely Peter would have been a bad pleader to introduce into his argument anything that could be readily construed into an excuse for those he was accusing. But there is no real excuse in it; the free agency of humans is as true as the predestination of God. The two truths stand fast forever. It is the folly of people to imagine that these two disagree. If we do wrong, we are accountable for the wrong. And that there is a providence who ordains everything does not take away from any person the full responsibility for anything he or she does.
Anonymous (CSB Spurgeon Study Bible: Study Notes, Quotes, Sermons Outlines, Easy-To-Read Font)
While at INR, I attended an Agency briefing at Langley. Of the Agency’s four chief divisions (Intelligence, Operations, Science and Technology, Administration), the largest portion of its invisible budget goes to Operations (clandestine activity). The CIA refuses to obey one of the most basic tenets of the Constitution: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time. Article I, Section 9. Its budget is never published and its funds are, for the most part, hidden in the accounts of allegedly legitimate agencies. This voodoo bookkeeping helps deceive the American people and their representatives in Congress about the Agency’s real activities. No numbers are ever available for its “front” companies’ resources.
J. Springmann (Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World: An Insider's View)
Later that month, the State Department’s inspector general reported that a handful of Hillary’s e-mails contained information that was classified at the time the messages were sent. While it’s not possible to send e-mails directly from the government’s classified systems to outside accounts, there are a few ways in which classified material can end up in outside e-mail—for example, information that should have been classified was not categorized that way by the sender, or someone unwittingly included secret or sensitive passages in a message sent outside the classified systems. Hillary and her aides argued that she was being railroaded by agencies retroactively classifying information in some cases, and, in others, citing material that was not marked classified when it passed into and out of her in-box. Ultimately, what they were saying was that Hillary clearly didn’t intend to transmit classified information—a legal distinction that would become important when federal investigators considered whether to charge her with a crime. In addition, the vast majority of the e-mails that included classified material were traded with people who had security clearances consistent with the levels at which the information in question was classified. That is, Hillary wasn’t giving out secrets to people who shouldn’t have had them; she was just e-mailing the right people on the wrong system. But from a public relations perspective, the technicalities didn’t matter. Hillary had told the nation that she didn’t traffic in classified information, and government investigators put the lie to that assertion day after day. In many cases, the twists and turns—the discovery of more highly classified material—played out first in stories leaked to the media for maximum impact.
Jonathan Allen (Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign)
Renewables, according to a 2019 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, now account for one-third of the world’s power, and their cost has dropped below coal
Peter H. Diamandis (The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives)
What politician, what public person, do we hear standing up and saying that we must forgive? The message we are more likely to hear is one of blame, of how this person or that person must be held to account for something bad that has happened. It is a message of retribution—that is all it is—a message of pure retribution, sometimes dressed up in concern about victims and public safety and matters of that sort. But if you do not forgive, and you think all the time about getting even, or punishing somebody who has done you a wrong, what are you achieving? You are not going to make that person better by hating or punishing him; oh no, that will not happen. When we punish somebody, we are often just punishing ourselves, you know. If people lock others away, they are simply increasing the amount of suffering there is in the world; they may think they are diminishing it, but they are not. They are adding to the burden that suffering creates. Of course, sometimes you have no alternative but to do it—people must be protected from harm—but you should always remember that there are other ways of changing a man’s ways.
Alexander McCall Smith (Precious and Grace (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #17))
Accountability for agency operations is fragmented. Each office in a network is a separate profit center. Each department in an office self-defines its missions. Creative heads focus on creativity; finance directors focus on headcounts, overhead and budgeted/ actual costs and profits; client heads manage the service that they provide to their ‘disorganized’ clients and keep them coming back for more. (Despite this there seem to be very few happy clients.) Managing
Michael Farmer (Madison Avenue Manslaughter: An Inside View of Fee-Cutting Clients, Profithungry Owners and Declining Ad Agencies)
Gibraltar Steamship Corporation never did any trading, and never owned or operated any ships, however it did operate a 50,000-watt, pirate radio station. Its president was Thomas Dudley Cabot, who in reality was the U.S. Department of State’s Director of the Office of International Security Affairs. In actual fact, the radio station, called Radio Swan, was a Central Intelligence Agency covert, black operation, known in intelligence circles as “Black Ops.” The station was in operation from 1960 to 1968. Pretending to be a normal radio station, it had commercial accounts including R. J. Reynolds, Philip Morris Tobacco, and Kleenex. It broadcast religiously-oriented programs, such as “The Radio Bible Class,” “The World Tomorrow” and a Christian program from the Dominican Republic, as well as others. Their news broadcasts were sponsored by the Cuban Freedom Committee, a part of Christianform, an anti-communist foundation. In May of 1960, the pirate radio station started transmitting Spanish language broadcasts to Cuba from Swan Island, or Islas del Cisne, in the western Caribbean Sea, near the coastline of Honduras. In 1961, Radio Swan became Radio America, with its headquarters in Miami.
Hank Bracker
While the administration is the expending agency of governmental resources, audit is merely the validation agency providing comfort not only to the government but also to the common man that the money extracted from him (as taxation) has been efficiently spent.
Vinod Rai (Not Just an Accountant)
The Greek GDP spiked 25% when statisticians dove into the country’s black market in 2006, for instance, thereby enabling the government to take out several hefty loans shortly before the European debt crisis broke out. Italy started including its black market back in 1987, which swelled its economy by 20% overnight. “A wave of euphoria swept over Italians,” reported the New York Times, “after economists recalibrated their statistics taking into account for the first time the country’s formidable underground economy of tax evaders and illegal workers.”4 And that’s to say nothing of all the unpaid labor that doesn’t even qualify as part of the black market, from volunteering to childcare to cooking, which together represents more than half of all our work. Of course, we can hire cleaners or nannies to do some of these chores, in which case they count toward the GDP, but we still do most ourselves. Adding all this unpaid work would expand the economy by anywhere from 37% (in Hungary) to 74% (in the UK).5 However, as the economist Diane Coyle notes, “generally official statistical agencies have never bothered – perhaps because it has been carried out mainly by women.”6 While we’re on the subject, only Denmark has ever attempted to quantify the value of breastfeeding in its GDP. And it’s no paltry sum: In the U.S., the potential contribution of breast milk has been estimated at an incredible $110 billion a year7 – about the size of China’s military budget.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
According to the Post, Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintains fifteen detention centers around the country and on any given day there are 35,000 people in custody. Last year ICE detained over 400,000 undocumented workers and deported about the same number, at a cost of over $20,000 per deportee. The entire detention system eats over $2 billion a year. It’s the largest immigrant detention system in the world. In addition to the fifteen ICE facilities, the Feds contract with hundreds of county jails, juvenile detention centers, and state prisons to house their detainees, at a cost of about 150 bucks a day per person, 350 for a family. Two-thirds of all facilities are run by private companies. The more bodies they have, the more money they make. Homeland Security, which ICE answers to, has a quota, one mandated by Congress. No other law enforcement agency operates on a quota system.” “And conditions are deplorable,” Zola said, as if she knew more than Mark. “Indeed they are. Since there is no independent oversight, the detainees are often subjected to abuse, including long-term solitary confinement and inadequate medical care and bad food. They are vulnerable to assault, even rape. Last year, 150 died in custody. Detainees are often housed with violent criminals. In many cases, legal representation is nonexistent. On paper, ICE has standards for the facilities, but these are not legally enforceable. There is almost no accountability for how the federal funds are spent. The truth is, no one is looking and no one cares, except for the detainees and their families. They are forgotten people.
John Grisham (The Rooster Bar)
the rest of the industry is experiencing some kind of growth—either more accounts or more billings per account. Is comparable data for the rest of the industry available? Interviewer: Yes, it is. The number of large advertisers has not changed for the rest of the industry. The aggregate spending of each advertiser across all agencies has increased
Victor Cheng (Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting)
In Nevada, at Frenchman’s Flat, a bright flash and ugly mushroom cloud had signified a gigantic change in the tactical battlefield—a change that had not come about at Hiroshima, despite statements to the contrary. In its early years the atomic device had remained a strategic weapon, suitable for delivery against cities and industries, suitable to obliterate civilians, men, women, and children by the millions, but of no practical use on a limited battlefield—until it was fired from a field gun. Until this time, 1953, the armies of the world, including that of the United States, had hardly taken the advent of fissionable material into account. The 280mm gun, an interim weapon that would remain in use only a few years, changed all that, forever. With an atomic cannon that could deliver tactical fires in the low-kiloton range, with great selectivity, ground warfare stood on the brink of its greatest change since the advent of firepower. The atomic cannon could blow any existing fortification, even one twenty thousand yards in depth, out of existence neatly and selectively, along with the battalions that manned it. Any concentration of manpower, also, was its meat. It spelled the doom of Communist massed armies, which opposed superior firepower with numbers, and which had in 1953 no tactical nuclear weapons of their own. The 280mm gun was shipped to the Far East. Then, in great secrecy, atomic warheads—it could fire either nuclear or conventional rounds—followed, not to Korea, but to storage close by. And with even greater secrecy, word of this shipment was allowed to fall into Communist hands. At the same time, into Communist hands wafted a pervasive rumor, one they could neither completely verify nor scotch: that the United States would not accept a stalemate beyond the end of summer. The psychological pressures on Chinese Intelligence became enormous. Neither an evaluative nor a collective agency, even when it feels it is being taken, dares ignore evidence.
T.R. Fehrenbach (This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War)
THE HORROR OF THE UNPROFESSIONAL I was surprised to learn that when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wanted to scold Russia for its campaign of airstrikes in Syria in the fall of 2015, the word he chose to apply was “unprofessional.” Given the magnitude of the provocation, it seemed a little strange—as though he thought there were an International Association of Smartbomb Deployment Executives that might, once alerted by American officials, hold an inquiry into Russia’s behavior and hand down a stern reprimand. On reflection, slighting foes for their lack of professionalism was something of a theme of the Obama years. An Iowa Democrat became notorious in 2014, for example, when he tried to insult an Iowa Republican by calling him “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” Similarly, it was “unprofessionalism” (in the description of Thomas Friedman) that embarrassed the insubordinate Afghan-war General Stanley McChrystal, who made ill-considered remarks about the president to Rolling Stone magazine. And in the summer of 2013, when National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed his employer’s mass surveillance of email and phone calls, the aspect of his past that his detractors chose to emphasize was … his failure to graduate from high school.14 How could such a no-account person challenge this intensely social-science-oriented administration? But it was public school teachers who made the most obvious target for professional reprimand by the administration. They are, after all, pointedly different from other highly educated professions: Teachers are represented by trade unions, not proper professional associations, and their values of seniority and solidarity conflict with the cult of merit embraced by other professions. For years, the school reform movement has worked to replace or weaken teachers’ unions with remedies like standardized testing, charter schools, and tactical deployment of the cadres of Teach for America, a corps of enthusiastic graduates from highly ranked colleges who take on teaching duties in classrooms across the country after only minimal training.
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?)
think the only way to avoid talking about your own loss is to do the project: focus on other people’s situations instead.’ Rachel sighed again. She couldn’t deny there was a certain logic to this. ‘And what about you?’ she asked. ‘I mean, asking to switch assignments won’t do you any favours in terms of your position here. This is a huge account and we both know you can bring it in – it would cement your celebrity status for good.’ Jack ignored her sarcasm. ‘I’m good at what I do. There’ll be plenty more chances for me to get this agency coveted, lucrative clients.’ Rachel pulled her hand out of his and crossed her arms. He was infuriatingly confident. ‘On the other hand …’ Jack said, ‘if we go ahead with Lighthouse, I’ll be with you, supporting you – and I’ll know the truth. And at least it sounds as if the content side of things won’t require too much soul-searching. It seems pretty clear Olivia Mason already knows what’s best when it comes to writing material for her new website.’ ‘True.’ Rachel stood up straighter and pulled her shoulders back a little. Jack was right: refusing to work on this account was guaranteed to raise questions about her past, not to mention her emotional stability. What kind of person was still this churned up about a bereavement – even a close one – after almost sixteen years? A loss they never breathed a word about, even to good friends? She decided to put those questions away for examination at some future, unspecified time. Then there was the risk that she’d mark herself out as difficult or unprofessional by refusing to do the work she’d been given. All things considered, it might be better to put her head down and get on with this. It would be a difficult few weeks, but ploughing on was probably preferable to publicly dredging up past pain. ‘Okay,’ Rachel said, subdued but certain. ‘Okay?’ ‘Yeah. I don’t think I have much choice here, do I? Sticking with the account seems like the lesser of two evils.’ ‘It’s going to be fine,’ Jack said bracingly. ‘And it’ll be over within a few weeks, just like the BHGH pitch. Once we get this done, we’ll be on to the next big thing – other people will be manning the account – and we never have to talk about any of this again if you don’t want to.’ Rachel nodded. Jack reached for her hand again, squeezing it and then letting go as they turned to walk back into the building. ‘Will you be all right?’ he asked as she headed towards the ladies. ‘I think so,’ she said. ‘And … I’m sorry I had a go at
Laura Starkey (Rachel Ryan's Resolutions)
Export Credit Guarantees.‘After all, Madame Nhu is asking a thousand dollars an interview, in this case we can insist on five and get it. Damn it, this is The Man . . . ’ The brain dulls. An exhibition of atrocity photographs rouses a flicker of interest. Meanwhile, the quasars burn dimly from the dark peaks of the universe. Standing across the room from Catherine Austin, who watches him with guarded eyes, he hears himself addressed as ‘Paul’, as if waiting for clandestine messages from the resistance headquarters of World War III. Five Hundred Feet High. The Madonnas move across London like immense clouds. Painted on clapboard in the Mantegna style, their composed faces gaze down on the crowds watching from the streets below. Several hundred pass by, vanishing into the haze over the Queen Mary Reservoir, Staines, like a procession of marine deities. Some remarkable entrepreneur has arranged this tour de force; in advertising circles everyone is talking about the mysterious international agency that now has the Vatican account. At the Institute Dr Nathan is trying to sidestep the Late Renaissance. ‘Mannerism bores me. Whatever happens,’ he confides to Catherine Austin, ‘we must keep him off Dali and Ernst.’ Gioconda. As the slides moved through the projector the women’s photographs, in profile and full face, jerked one by one across the screen. ‘A characteristic of the criminally insane,’ Dr Nathan remarked, ‘is the lack of tone and rigidity of the facial mask.’ The audience fell silent. An extraordinary woman had appeared on the screen. The planes of her face seemed to lead towards some invisible focus, projecting an image that lingered on the walls, as if they were inhabiting her skull. In her eyes glowed the forms of archangels. ‘That one?’ Dr Nathan asked quietly. ‘Your mother? I see.
J.G. Ballard (The Atrocity Exhibition)
Because we can choose our actions, because we decide, we also can be blamed. Accountability comes with choice. Being forced at gunpoint to hand over money doesn’t make us culpable, but robbing a bank does. Crossing a street while sleepwalking will not lead to punishment, but deliberately running over a pedestrian will. Responsibility is the flip side of agency; it’s part and parcel of making choices.
Kenneth Cukier (Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil)