Time to change the story | The Psychologist

We all know the story of the Stanford Prison Experiment. It has been a staple of introductory psychology textbooks and lectures for nearly fifty years (see Griggs, 2014).

Ordinary young men were randomly divided into Prisoners and Guards; within a short time, the Guards become so brutal and the Prisoners so victimised that the study – originally scheduled for two weeks – had to be cut short after only five days.

These findings seem to demonstrate the terrifying power of the situation over individuals. Philip Zimbardo has always insisted that he had to do nothing to produce such toxicity. The participants simply slipped ‘naturally’ – and perhaps unconsciously – into their roles as vicious guards or broken prisoners.

But now, a half century later, dramatic new evidence has emerged that challenges Zimbardo’s account. Our textbooks and our lectures will have to be rewritten. The story of what happened in the SPE and why such brutality occurred will have to be retold.

— Read on thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-31/august-2018/time-change-story

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Is Britain Backing South Africa’s Land Confiscation

Is Britain Backing South Africa’s Land Confiscations From White Farmers?

In a truly stunning report, Theresa May’s government appears to be backing the Soviet-style policy of “land expropriation without compensation” aimed at dispossessing South Africa’s white farmers.

Breitbart London has seen a letter written by Harriet Baldwin MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to Sir Paul Beresford MP, who enquired what the government’s stance on the policy was on behalf of a concerned constituent.

“The British government understands the need for land reform in South Africa”, Baldwin asserted, adding that they “welcomed” promises from President Cyril Ramaphosa that “the process of land [re]distribution would be orderly within South African laws” and be carried out “without negatively affecting economic growth, agricultural production and food security”.

In a follow-up email to the constituent from the Africa Department (Central and Southern) of the FCO, also seen by Breitbart London and confirmed as “reflect[ing] Government policy on this issue” by the FCO newsdesk, the department confirms:

Theresa May is satisfied with having been told that “[the] process would be taken forward on a multi-party basis, through Parliament, and… within the bounds of the Constitution and carefully designed so as to avoid damaging food security or deterring investment”.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-19/britain-backing-south-africas-land-confiscations-white-farmers

Besides the obvious problem of taking people’s property (which will obviously cause destabilization) and result in mass theft, it as if nobody remembers what happened in Zimbabwe when this was done. We need to quit making scapegoats for our problems and deal honestly with them. Otherwise, destabilization and violence will surely follow.

Venezuela in Chaos

Venezuela In Chaos After Maduro Announces Massive 95% Devaluation, New FX Rate Tied To Cryptocurrency

Chaos and confusion erupted across Venezuela, and most stores were shuttered on Saturday, after president Nicolas Maduro announced that the government would enact a massive currency devaluation, implement a new minimum wage, hike taxes, and also raise gasoline prices for most citizens even as the country struggles with the greatest hyperinflation on record, surpassing even that of the Weimar Republic.

As a result of the enacted actions, the new version of the bolivar will be pegged to the value of the state cryptocurrency, the etro, which according to Bloomberg amounts to a 95% devaluation of the official rate, and will trade in line with where the black market was; the government will also raise the minimum wage more than 3,000 percent,  which works out to about $30 a month.

Maduro said the new currency, set to enter circulation on Monday, will be called the “sovereign bolivar” and will be based on the petro, which is valued at $60 or 3,600 sovereign bolivars, after the redenomination planned for August 20 slashes five zeroes off the national currency. The minimum wage will be set at half that, 1,800 sovereign bolivars.  The government would cover the minimum wage increase at small and medium-size companies for 90 days, Maduro added. It was not clear what happens after

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-19/venezuela-chaos-after-maduro-announces-massive-95-devaluation-new-fx-rate-tied

Can the incompetence and mismanagement get any worse?

Why a patient paid a $285 copay for a $40 drug | PBS NewsHour

Liu and her husband Z. Ming Ma, a retired physicist, are insured through an Anthem Medicare plan. Ma ordered the telmisartan through Express Scripts, the company that manages pharmacy benefits for Anthem and also provides a mail-order service.

The copay for a 90-day supply was $285, which seemed high to Ma.

“I couldn’t understand it — it’s a generic,” said Ma. “But it was a serious situation, so I just got it.”

A month later, Ma and his wife were about to leave on another trip, and Ma needed to stock up on her medication. Because 90 days hadn’t yet passed, Anthem wouldn’t cover it. So during a trip to his local Costco, Ma asked the pharmacist how much it would cost if he got the prescription there and paid out of pocket.

The pharmacist told him it would cost about $40.

“I was very shocked,” said Ma. “I had no idea if I asked to pay cash, they’d give me a different price.”
— Read on www.pbs.org/newshour/health/why-a-patient-paid-a-285-copay-for-a-40-drug

‘Technical error’ blamed for recordings of more than 1,000 attorney-inmate phone calls in O.C. jail

An Orange County Sheriff’s Department employee revealed this week during a court hearing that the department improperly recorded more than 1,000 privileged phone calls between county jail inmates and their attorneys over a three-year period.

An employee with Global Tel Link Corp., a contractor that oversees the jail phone system, wrote in a July 27 letter to Sheriff Sandra Hutchens — obtained by the Daily Pilot on Thursday — that an update in the company’s system in January 2015 caused “a technical error” that led to 1,079 such phone calls being recorded, in violation of state law.”

“After conducting research, we have determined that the Sheriff’s Department staff, and in certain circumstances [Global Tel Link] for investigative or technical purposes, accessed 58 of those 1,079 recorded calls a total of 87 times,” Darren Wallace, executive vice president of operations for Global Tel Link, wrote in the letter.

The company corrected the error in July and no longer is recording attorney-client phone calls, Global Tel Link and Sheriff’s Department officials said.
— Read on www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oc-pivileged-phone-calls-20180817-story.html

The even more outrageous part of the article is that law enforcement, knowing what the calls were, accessed 58 of them, and used the information in their investigations.

M.D.Ala.: Unmarked pill bottle with apparent crack in it was in plain view during protective sweep after arrest in house |

While “the association between illegal activity and a pill bottle merely observed generally depends on something more than the presence of a pill bottle alone,” see Mason v. City of Warren Police Dept., 2011 WL 5025841, at *6 (E. D. Mich. 2011), the government has met the applicable standard. The officers were required only to have probable cause to associate the object with criminal activity. See Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730, 741-2, 103 S. Ct. 1535, 1543, 75 L. Ed. 2d 502 (1983). “[P]robable cause is a flexible, common-sense standard. It merely requires that the facts available to the officer would ‘warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief,’ Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162, 45 S.Ct. 280, 288, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925), that certain items may be contraband or stolen property or useful as evidence of a crime; it does not demand any showing that such a belief be correct or more likely true than false. A ‘practical, nontechnical’ probability that incriminating evidence is involved is all that is required. Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176, 69 S.Ct. 1302, 1311, 93 L.Ed. 1879 (1949).” Id. at 741. As the Supreme Court has observed, “[t]he process does not deal with hard certainties, but with probabilities. Long before the law of probabilities was articulated as such, practical people formulated certain common-sense conclusions about human behavior; jurors as factfinders are permitted to do the same — and so are law enforcement officers. Finally, the evidence thus collected must be seen and weighed not in terms of library analysis by scholars, but as understood by those versed in the field of law enforcement.” Id.
— Read on fourthamendment.com/

The definition of probable cause needs to be scaled back. This is ridiculous. What happened to being secured in your home. This was a warrantless search of a home conducted after a person was arrested on a warrant. The exceptions to warrantless searches are coming dangerously close to swallowing the fourth amendment and rendering it meaningless.

How Oklahoma City Was Born in a Day

The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis. Anderson (a former book critic for New York) argues that humble Oklahoma City — 27th most populous city in the country, home of the American Banjo Museum — is, in fact, one of the most secretly interesting places in the world.

That claim might seem outlandish, but the historical evidence backs it up.

Consider, for instance, OKC’s bizarre origin story. It reads less like an episode of actual history than a spaghetti western written by a faulty algorithm. The place was founded on a single afternoon, in an event called the Land Run, during which a formerly empty patch of prairie became a city of 10,000. The chaos that ensued was so alarming that the U.S. government never allowed anything quite like it to happen again. This formative absurdity set the tone for everything that followed: the shootouts and power grabs and even — eventually — NBA basketball. Today, OKC remains a city of booms and busts, of grand gambles, huge wins, and crushing losses. It is a place where oil executives have been reduced, overnight, to mowing people’s lawns, where the sky spawns tornadoes wider than Manhattan, and where humans as different as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook improbably co-existed and thrived.

And it all started on a single day
— Read on nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/how-oklahoma-city-was-born-in-a-day.html