In Larry Page’s first substantive public communication since becoming Google CEO a year ago, Mr. Page’s “2012 Update from the CEO” essentially reaffirmed Google’s unique public profession of corporate morality that Google famously established in its2004 IPO letter to shareholders. “Don’t be evil” was a header in that letter and was defined morally only obliquely as: doing “good things for the world,” and “keeping user trust.” Google then ensconced this unique profession of morality in its corporate philosophy statement as “You can make money without doing evil,” strongly implying other businesses routinely make money doing evil.
Remaining consistent in implying its moral superiority, a header in Mr. Page’s 2012 update was “Love and trust.” It stated: “We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love. But we recognize this is an ambitious goal because most large companies are not well-loved;” and “We have always believed that it is possible to make money without being evil.” Google’s strong implication again is that Google is morally superior to other “large companies” who make money “doing evil” and “being evil.”
Given the stark contrast between Google’s sanctimonious profession of superior business morality and its own ignominious track record, have Google’s actions and behavior measured up to its strongly implied moral superiority?
To answer that difficult question, what moral standard would be most appropriate to measure Google’s public representations against? The most apt and widely accepted moral standard in America would be the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament which comprise most of the Judeo-Christian ethic imbued in America’s Constitution and system of justice. In this particular case, the Sixth through Tenth Commandments, which address civic behavior, would be the most pertinent — i.e. Thou shalt not: kill; commit adultery; steal; bear false witness; or covet others’ property.
Of course Google has not committed murder. However for several years, Google showed willful blindness toward Google business practices that exhibited a callous disregard for human life, health and safety. In August, Google admitted to knowingly and repeatedly violating Federal criminal laws against the “unsafe and unlawful importation of prescription drugs” for several years, in a criminal non-prosecution agreement; Google also paid a near record $500m criminal forfeiture penalty. The Rhode Island U.S. Attorney who led the Google criminal probe said the evidence was clear current Google CEO “Larry Page knew what was going on.” No one knows how many Americans may have been harmed or even potentially killed from unsafe or counterfeit prescription drugs that Google knowingly and illegally mass-marketed to the American public from 2004-2011.
Once again, Google has not committed adultery. However, Google Inc. does have a serious business practice problem in this particular moral arena. Change.org features an online petition from the Women’s News Network urging Google’s CEO and top leadership to “Stop Google AdWords from all involvement in the sexual exploitation of women and girls.” The National Association of Human Trafficking Victim Advocates has written a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General urging them to investigate Google for profiting from the sale of online ads that contribute to the trafficking of women and girls. Congressional lawmakers have also written a letter to Google CEO Larry Page to stop sexually exploitative advertising and marketing that harms women and girls. And evidence from human trafficking examiner Raymond Bechard shows that despite Google’s charitable support of anti-slavery groups, Google’s current search index and ad practices still widely support human trafficking interests.
On stealing, Google has a well-known moral problem of knowingly and systematically taking the property of others without their permission. Federal Judge Chin rejected Google’s proposed book settlement because it would reward Google ”for wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission.” Google continues to systematically copy books without permission from the copyright owner – over fifteen million to date. In the Viacom vs. Google-YouTube $1b copyright infringement case, involving the alleged willful facilitation of hundreds of thousands of illegally downloaded videos, Federal Judge Stanton said: ”…a jury could find that the defendants [Google-YouTube] not only were generally aware of, but generally welcomed copyright-infringing material being placed on their website.” The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently agreed with that conclusion and directed the Federal Court to investigate further to determine if Google showed willful blindness to YouTube’s infringement. Oracle has sued Google for billions of dollars for ”knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related property;” and an incriminating Google email shows Google’s leadership knew they needed to license JAVA but implicitly decided to steal it. Earlier this year, Google admitted to being caught systematically stealing business contacts from a Kenyan business directory. It is no coincidence that Google has been sued for copyright infringement by most all types of content: wire services, newspapers, broadcasters, movie studios, authors, publishers, visual artists, software providers, photographers, artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and filmmakers.
In sum, the evidence above strongly suggests Google morally does not practice what it preaches.
To wrap up, it is especially ironic that the company that brands itself morally superior made an under-reported moral policy decision last summer to exclude from the Google for Non-Profits Program any entity that considers religion in its hiring decisions — meaning Google now excludes most all religious institutions of all faiths from eligibility for free services like other non-profits receive from Google. This is telling given Google’s own problematic hiring practices. In 2010, the DOJ found Google and five other companies illegally colluded to hold down the pay and career opportunities of its employees by conspiring to not poach or compete for each others’ employees. Also in 2010, “Google, the company that wants to make the world’s information accessible, says the race and gender of its work force [EEO hiring record] is a trade secret that cannot be released,” per the Mercury News. Again Google takes a moral stand on other entities’ hiring practices when its own hiring practices have been found to be illegal and non-transparent.
Federal government workers sing to President Obama about the Government Services Administration (GSA) “going green,” all paid for by taxpayer dollars
Admission from Awards Ceremony was Edited Out from Administration’s Friday Night 59 Minute Huffington Post Dump
The video clips below are from the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) October 2010 Western Region Conference in Las Vegas, NV. It was played on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the “Capstone Dinner Event.”
In one part of an awarded video submitted by GSA Region 7 employees, a roomful of participants holding a picture of President Barack Obama sings:
“POTUS wants a press event, a project he can show … Are you ready for a miracle? GSA’s going Green.”
After showing the video at the convention, the following exchange (which was edited out of footage released Friday night by an “administration official” to the Huffington Post) occurs:
GSA Convention Organizer Jeffrey Neely:
“That was amazing, was there anybody in Region 7 who wasn’t in that thing?
GSA Region 7 Representative:
“If they didn’t work on Friday, then chances are they weren’t in the video.”
CLICK HERE to Watch the Full “POTUS Wants a Press Event”
In Nevada, the Associated Press reports that Dean Heller’s campaign will continue to focus on the failed policies of embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Heller has said on the campaign trail that he wants to focus on issues, not attacks. True to form, he stayed silent when the House Ethics Committee announced last month that it was reviewing allegations that reportedly revolve around whether Berkley sponsored legislation or influenced federal regulators to help her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner, who administers kidney care at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Heller’s campaign staff also seems content to stand by and watch as Berkley fires verbal bombs. “When your opponent is burning her own house down, it might just be smarter to pull up a lawn chair and watch the spectacle than it is to go look for another match,” said Mike Slanker, Heller’s campaign strategist.
- Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Heller continues to court Latinos in the Silver State. In recent months, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and U.S. Rep. Joe Heck have met with members of a Las Vegas Hispanic group only to affirm their opposition to immigration reform policies supported by many Latino voters. … Heller has promised to meet with some Hispanic leaders to draft immigration reform legislation.
Poll Workers on Primary Day in Washington, DC offer US Attorney General Eric H Holder’s ballot to vote… to a complete Stranger. Other voting locations in Washington, DC offer to sign for ballots. Eric Holder has said multiple times there exists no evidence of Voter Fraud.
After last week’s Republican primary elections in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., the 2012 presidential primary season is reaching an inflection point, and eyes are turning toward America’s final decision on Election Day in November. While pundits and pollsters speculate on the horse race and who will capture the hearts and minds of the American people, one segment of the electorate is garnering increased attention — Hispanic Americans.
It is, to be sure, a population that continues to grow in size, voice, and importance. In the 2008 election, Hispanics turned out in force — 9.7 million Hispanics voted, and those numbers are projected to grow to 11.8 million to 12.2 million in 2012, with particular importance in presidential battlegrounds such as Colorado and Nevada, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Last May, President Barack Obama spoke to Hispanic voters in El Paso, Texas, and delivered a highly partisan speech on immigration reform where he chastised his political opponents and their views of border security. In July, the President reached out to the Hispanic community at a gathering organized by The National Council of La Raza, where he again attempted to use the issue of immigration as a wedge issue, casting conservatives as being anti-immigration for their opposition to illegal immigration.
The President’s effort in appealing to Hispanics is not surprising given how that population has suffered under his economic policies. Clearly, he sees there is work to be done in order to firm up his base. From 2005 to 2009, median household wealth among Hispanics fell by 66%, compared with a drop of 53% among blacks and 16% among non-Hispanic whites; the unemployment rate among Hispanics in March was 10.3 percent, compared to 8.2 percent among the broader population; and between 2006 and 2010, the poverty rate among Hispanics increased more than any other group, from 20.6 percent to 26.6 percent, all according to the Pew Hispanic Center. And a majority of Hispanics believe that the economic downturn has been harder on them than on other groups in America. It’s not surprising, then, that Hispanics rank jobs, not immigration, as the number one issue in the 2012 election. Additionally, 56 percent are dissatisfied with the direction the country is headed.
None of this is to say that any one ideology has an iron-clad lock on Hispanics’ loyalty. In fact, among registered Hispanic voters, 35 percent say they’re conservative, 32 percent view themselves as moderate, and 28 percent describe themselves as liberal. What it does mean, though, is that conservatives have a compelling message for the Hispanic community and a case that needs to be made.
And what is the liberal message? They say Hispanics are victims in a racist and unfair society and need government to give them protected status. Is this an inspiring message for the latest group seeking to realize the American Dream and get on the ladder of success?
On the issue of immigration, conservatives have always recognized the need to have more legal immigration. Illegal immigration, though, ignores all the law abiding individuals seeking to legally obtain their citizenship, while others illegally flout the system.
Conservatives must make the case, too, on the issue of jobs, enterprise, and free markets. Like all Americans, Hispanics are suffering high unemployment rates, joblessness that has gone on too long, and stagnant home values. The promise of the President’s big hand of government — the trillion-dollar stimulus, Obamacare, and his mountain of regulations — has not delivered a better life for any American, Hispanic or otherwise. Meanwhile, America’s debt continues to grow, and future generations of all backgrounds will be saddled with the burden of having to cover the costs of the checks the President is writing today. Conservatives, on the other hand, call for a government that lives within its means, empowers the people, and lifts burdens from job creators so that they can grow and thrive.
The Heritage Foundation’s Spanish-language website, Libertad.org, communicates The Heritage Foundation’s policy analysis and research to a Hispanic audience that prefers to read in their first language. Its goal is to educate a growing community about conservative ideals and how limited government — not big government — can help them achieve the American dream.
Hispanics are an important and growing part of America’s fabric. Those who immigrate to the United States are in pursuit of a better life, and they want to be rewarded for the fruits of their labor, just as any other American would. They’re a growing political voice, too, and they should hear the message of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Those concepts are vital to ensuring a strong future for all Americans, no matter their heritage.
U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent a letter to U.S. Representative John L. Mica (R-FL),requesting that his upcoming hearing focus on the misdeeds of the General Services Administration not Nevada
(Washington, D.C) – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent a letter to U.S. Representative John L. Mica (R-FL), House Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, requesting that his upcoming hearing focus on the misdeeds of the General Services Administration (GSA), not Nevada.
Chairman Mica announced his Committee will conduct a hearing of GSA’s activities including a conference they held in Henderson. General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson resigned after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the incident.
Text of the Letter Below:
April 4, 2012
The Honorable John Mica
Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Mica:
Yesterday, you issued a public notice of your intent to hold a hearing on the recent findings of the General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General regarding excessive government spending during a conference meeting in October 2010 in Nevada.
I agree that the GSA’s actions are inexcusable. Taxpayer dollars should be spent responsibly and those responsible for any misuse should be held accountable. However, while you investigate this matter, it should be noted that it was not the location that caused the misuse of taxpayer funds. The convention services my state offers are the best in the world, and no town in Nevada should be singled out due to the poor judgment by the GSA.
Every day I fight to create new jobs in Nevada. In my home state, a strong travel industry means more jobs. Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been a favorite destination for millions of visitors. The entire Southern Nevada economy is heavily dependent on the hotel, gaming, and convention industries, which employs over one-quarter of the region’s labor force. Plain and simple, travel and conventions are the lifeblood for businesses and job creation in Nevada.
Right now, Nevada leads the nation in unemployment. It is my hope that members of the House and Senate can focus on the misjudgments of the GSA without unfairly targeting Nevada’s unparalleled accommodations and convention services.
From the Associated Press:
INDIANAPOLIS — For anyone without the time to look up the many ancient Congressional votes or arcane state boards that have become the cannon fodder of Indiana’s Senate Republican primary battle, Wednesday’s debate should give voters a better look at the party’s two contenders.
Until now, the primary race between longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has been dominated by television ads, millions of campaign phone calls and foment among Indiana’s strong base of conservative voters: All of them proxies for the showdown between the elder statesman and one of the party’s hardest-working members.
The two men are scheduled to field questions from Hoosiers, side by side, on Wednesday when the Indiana Debate Commission hosts Lugar and Mourdock’s only debate before the May 8 Indiana Republican primary.
The last week leading up to the debate has given voters a taste of the nasty, heavily funded campaign. Lugar took beatings on his support for gas taxes and oil price controls, and fired back by saying those attacks heavily distort the facts. Lugar supporters call Mourdock a pawn of Democrats because of their coordinated attacks against Lugar.
Those are the internally-polled, highly-vetted storylines dozens of political staffers are pushing as the best way to knock out their opponent.
But the debate commission is taking questions from Hoosiers via email and Facebook. And a quick perusal of the commission’s Facebook page shows a pretty refreshing break from the monotony of campaign talking points: One person asks in one post whether each candidate would continue to support billions in federal subsidies for Indiana farmers. Another asks how the two would deal with the national healthcare problem if they oppose “Obamacare.”
Of course those questions are among some of the same ones the candidates have faced from voters around the state.
From the Associated Press:
STORRS, Conn. — Democrats competing to succeed the retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman are set to gather at the University of Connecticut for another debate.
U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz (BY’-suh-wits), state Rep. William Tong, Matthew Oakes and Lee Whitnum are scheduled to meet at the Storrs campus at 1 p.m. Monday.
Summary: When the authorities send a subpoena to Facebook for your account information, what do they receive? Here is a document showing the pages and pages of data Facebook hands over.
Facebook already shares its Law Enforcement Guidelines publicly, but we’ve never actually seen the data Menlo Park sends over to the cops when it gets a formal subpoena for your profile information. Now we know. This appears to be the first time we get to see what a Facebook account report looks like.
The 71-page document is actually two documents in one. The first eight pages are the actual subpoena; the remaining 62 pages are from Facebook. Most of the pages sent over from the social networking giant consist of a single photograph, plus formal details such as the image’s caption, when the image was uploaded, by whom, and who was tagged. Other information released includes Wall posts, messages, contacts, and past activity on the site.
The document was released by the “The Boston Phoenix” as part of a lengthy feature titled “Hunting the Craigslist Killer,” which describes how an online investigation helped officials track down Philip Markoff. The man committed suicide, which meant the police didn’t care if the Facebook document was published elsewhere, after robbing two women and murdering a third.
I’ve embedded the full thing, courtesy of The Boston Phoenix, for you above. Here’s what the newspaper had to say about the release:
This document was publicly released by Boston Police as part of the case file. In other case documents, the police have clearly redacted sensitive information. And while the police were evidently comfortable releasing Markoff’s unredacted Facebook subpoena, we weren’t. Markoff may be dead, but the very-much-alive friends in his friend list were not subpoenaed, and yet their full names and Facebook ID’s were part of the document. So we took the additional step of redacting as much identifying information as we could — knowing that any redaction we performed would be imperfect, but believing that there’s a strong argument for distributing this, not only for its value in illustrating the Markoff case, but as a rare window into the shadowy process by which Facebook deals with law enforcement.
As part of the feature, the newspaper chose to release an extensive amount of evidence that was used in the case. Part of that includes the data Menlo Park sent over to the cops after receiving a subpoena for Markoff’s Facebook account. More
In true Disney-like fashion, the duck even has a name, “Dennis.” It apparently was less than a week old when tragedy struck, but 4-year-old Fred the dog saved the day. Fred’s owner, Jeremy Goldsmith, also was a good Samaritan, permitting the new feathered pet.
Dogs may not always take a shine to cats, but they do seem to hook up with all sorts of species. One of my favorite such stories in recent years was about a pregnant dog that nursed a hurt squirrel back to health. That was perhaps more motherly instinct.
In this case, Fred found orphaned Dennis and licked the little duckling clean. A friendship must have been forged in that moment, as the unlikely mates sleep together, play together and even go swimming in the local pond, according to the Daily Mail.
I’d probably do such romping too if I lived where they dwell. The animals and Goldsmith all reside at Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, U.K.
Goldsmith told the Daily Mail, “It is amazing to see the two of them together. When we found Dennis he was quite frail, and he clearly would not have survived another day on his own.”
He continued, “Fred, who has always been extremely loving, went straight up to him and began to lick the little bird clean. Since then Dennis has not stopped following him around, and Fred has pretty much adopted him.” More