How the government treats whistleblowers

The Daily Show looks at how governments treat whistleblowers, starting with the case of the UK-based megabank HSBC where a whistleblower accused his employer of helping its clients avoid taxes in their home countries. Of course the people who take advantage of these kinds of sophisticated tax avoidance schemes are the very wealthy and well-connected and includes the HSBC chief so you can guess how they were punished, and what happened to the person who revealed it.
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More on Chicago’s black sites

Spencer Ackerman of the Guardian has been all over the story about Chicago’s ‘Black Sites’, a kind of Guantanamo on the US mainland whose location is in a drab building complex known as Homan Square, where people were taken and effectively disappeared from sight while they were being abused and interrogated. If there is one thing that we have learned in the last few months, it is that the willful disregard of people’s constitutional rights, especially if they are poor and minority, is endemic in the US and that this kind of knowledge is shared within the police system so that the revelation of an abuse in one location is usually a predictor that similar abuses are occurring elsewhere.
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Lip-syncing

I found this video of Sandie Shaw singing Puppet on a String that enabled Britain to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967. The video is interesting but not for the song itself. One reason is that Shaw’s lip-syncing is really bad. Another is that the young people selected to surround her and dance seem to be the most awkward and nerdy group they could have possibly picked, as if the producers went to a nearby high school to round up some students and found that only the chess club was available. Hell, even I could dance better than that and I don’t even dance. The song is a pretty silly one and the one notable thing about it is the tuba line that runs through the entire song, unusual for a pop song.
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Winter strikes back

The last bit of snow and sleet and freezing rain earlier this week was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back or, in my case, caused the roof of my garage to collapse last night. The garage is a total wreck with the roof completely caved in and one wall flat on the ground. It is a detached garage so the house was not affected. Luckily, there were no people or animals or cars in the garage when it happened.
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2015 World Cup update #13: Another major disappointment for Scotland

This has been a tough World Cup for Scotland. This is their third appearance at this tournament and they are still seeking their first win. They came close against Afghanistan earlier but fell short by a whisker. Then yesterday they played Bangladesh and batting first, scored 318/8 with a fine 156 by opener Kyle Coetzer. They had to have been confident of their chances at the break but Bangladesh targeted this score in a clinical fashion and reached it quite comfortably with 6 wickets and 11 balls to spare, even though they had never successfully chased such a high score before.
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Ferguson and the hidden tax on the poor

The Department of Justice has issued a scathing report of the policing practices of the city of Ferguson, MO in the wake of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last August. It reveals instance after instance of the way that the police abused poor and minority people, subjecting them to systematic arrests and harassment. The report details instances of racist, discriminatory, and abusive behavior.
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