Selfishness and Self-interest

By Carl Southwell | Current reflections on these major motivational concepts

L.A. County sheriff can't give prosecutors the names of problem deputies, appeals court rules

The names of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies who’ve lied, stolen, falsified reports and committed other types of “moral” misconduct are confidential and cannot be handed over to prosecutors — even in pending criminal cases in which the deputies are listed as potential witnesses — a …

U.S. Supreme Court

L.A. school board salaries more than double to $125,000 a year

There’s one thing that past and current Los Angeles school board members seem to agree on: They’ve been underpaid.<p>Members of an obscure city commission agreed, and on Monday they voted to give L.A. Board of Education members a 174% raise that will take effect in 60 days. Board members who have no …

California

If There Was No Collusion, It Wasn’t for Lack of Trying

Donald Trump Jr. made clear he was willing to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer in a June 2016 meeting.<p>Since his presidential campaign was first alleged by critics to have colluded with the Russian government to undermine Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has been …

Donald Trump

Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion-Dollar Bailout From Qatar

Not long before a major crisis ripped through the Middle East, pitting the United States and a bloc of Gulf countries against Qatar, Jared Kushner’s …

Jared Kushner

Rigged. Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.

Money

Was that shootdown of a mock enemy warhead in May 'realistic'? Not exactly

After the nation’s homeland missile defense system successfully intercepted a mock enemy warhead high above the Pacific on May 30, the then-director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said the test had been held under “very realistic” conditions, faithfully simulating an attack by North Korea.<p>“This …

North Korea

The Global Politics of Selfishness

ERBIL, Iraq -- Here in the capital of Iraqi Kurdstan, the mood is "Kurdistan First" with the announcement of a referendum on independence in …

America First

Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses

<b>(CNN) —</b> Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis and the third-ranking official in the Holy See, is taking leave from the Vatican to fight historical sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia.<p>The case is the latest black mark against the Catholic Church, which has been …

Christianity

The new, subtle ways the rich signal their wealth

In 1899, the economist Thorstein Veblen observed that silver spoons and corsets were markers of elite social position. In Veblen’s now famous treatise <i>The Theory of the Leisure Class</i>, he coined the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’ to denote the way that material objects were paraded as indicators of …

Farmers' Markets

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data …

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Being a CEO Can Cause Brain Damage, According to Scientists

Psychologists and neuroscientists agree that the ongoing exercise of power can damage your brain as badly as a serious head injury.<p>I've interviewed probably a hundred CEOs and, with few exceptions, my observation has been "the bigger the company, the bigger the jerk." CEOs, especially in big …

The Brain

Addiction treatment: The new gold rush. ‘It’s almost chic’

To fully appreciate the money flowing into addiction treatment, consider the size of the bill Tara Richards ran up during a five-month attempt to …

Health Care

How ‘Fat Leonard’ bribed the Navy to get U.S. diplomatic immunity

“Fat Leonard” ran a lot of corrupt schemes with the help of the U.S. Navy, but one of the strangest may be the time he was granted U.S. diplomatic immunity.<p>For more than a year, the Singapore-based defense contractor bribed the naval attache at the U.S. Embassy in Manila to enable his firm to …

Corruption

The Clintons Had Slaves

Contrary to popular understanding, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not prohibit slavery. The text makes it</i> …

Slavery

Despite $7 million tax break from Trump, Carrier is still laying off more than 600 workers

Even before he took the oath of office, President Donald Trump was hailed for striking a deal with Carrier — a heating and refrigerating company based in Indiana — to save "close to 1,000" jobs that were on the chopping block.<p>Yet nearly six months later, Carrier is only saving a fraction of those …

Donald Trump

Trump Names BP Oil Spill Lawyer as Top DOJ Environment Attorney

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a lawyer who has repeatedly challenged the scientific foundations of U.S. climate policy and was part of a legal team that …

Trump has always been focused on his 'self-interest,' biographer says

In 1987, then-businessman Donald Trump told ABC News he had “zero political aspiration.” Thirty years later, he is president.<p>Trump's views on running …

Donald Trump

Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students

Ashley Hardin dreamed of being a professional photographer — glamorous shoots, perhaps some exotic travel. So in 2006, she enrolled in the Brooks Institute of Photography and borrowed more than $150,000 to pay for what the school described as a pathway into an industry clamoring for its …

BART Is Mad That In-Cab Video Of Fatal 2013 Accident Was Leaked, Takes PUC To Court

After NBC Bay Area obtained a video two weeks ago via an anonymous source showing the in-cab footage of an untrained BART operator whose train …

How Trump's tax proposal could weaken faith in the system's fairness

The Trump administration wants to change the way the government taxes so-called pass-through entities.<p>In a nutshell, the Trump proposal would …

Trump Lawyer Confirms President Can Pull Money From His Businesses Whenever He Wants

<i>Update, April 4, 2017: In an interview with ProPublica, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten confirmed that President Trump can withdraw profits</i> …

Donald Trump

Ex-Compton official stole $3.7 million in parking tickets and other fees, feds say. For years, no one noticed

Each week, thousands of dollars in checks and cash arrive at Compton City Hall, as residents and business owners pay off their parking tickets, trash bills and various municipal fees.<p>The money adds up to an important chunk of the budget in a city once beset with financial problems and the …

Corruption

Sessions takes aim at 'dangerous' sanctuary cities, warns on funding

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired a broadside at so-called "sanctuary cities" Monday, telling reporters local policies of noncooperation with immigration authorities are "dangerous" and will cost communities federal funding.<p>In the Trump administration's most pointed warning yet, Sessions said …

Jared Kushner's Second Act

His father-in-law is moving into the White House, and he's got a seat at the table.<p>In the spring of 2011, right around the time Donald Trump was humiliated by Barack Obama during the president's speech at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, placed a …

Disney's $3.8 million labor violation: Costumes push paychecks below minimum wage

'These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well,' Daniel White, the US Labor Department.<p>March 18, 2017 —A job at “The …

Chelsea Clinton gets $250K/year Expedia board seat, just ‘cuz

<b>ANALYSIS/OPINION:</b><p>Chelsea Clinton was named to the board of Expedia — you know, because all of her experience in the technology and cybersecurity …

The Hardening of Society and the Rise of Cultures of Cruelty in Neo-Fascist America

Photo by Hayden Schiff | CC BY 2.0<p>What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?<p>First, language is emptied of any sense of …

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca found guilty on obstruction of justice and other charges

Lee Baca, the once powerful and popular sheriff of Los Angeles County, was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing a federal investigation into abuses in county jails and lying to cover up the interference.<p>The verdict, which jurors reached on their second full day of deliberations, marked a …

Crime

New York attorney general: Tillerson used 'Wayne Tracker' email at Exxon to discuss climate

The New York attorney general has accused Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of using the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" to send emails related to climate change while serving as CEO of Exxon Mobil.<p>The office of Eric Schneiderman revealed the unorthodox arrangement in a letter sent to a New York state …

Climate