Thousands Of Mathematicians Call For Boycotting Predictive Crime A.I. From Police – Activist Post


05-10-20 09:04:00,

By Aaron Kesel

After a flurry of police brutality cases this year and protests swarming the U.S. streets, thousands of mathematicians have joined scientists and engineers in calling for boycotting artificial intelligence from being used by law enforcement.

Over 2,000 mathematicians have signed a letter calling to boycott all collaboration with police and telling their colleagues to do the same in a future publication of the American Mathematical Society, Shadowproof reported.

The call to action for the mathematicians was the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and many more just this year.

“At some point, we all reach a breaking point, where what is right in front of our eyes becomes more obvious,” says Jayadev Athreya, a participant in the boycott and Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington. “Fundamentally, it’s a matter of justice.”

The mathematicians wrote an open letter, collecting thousands of signatures for a widespread boycott of police using algorithms for policing. Every mathematician within the group’s network pledges to refuse any and all collaboration with law enforcement.

The group is organizing a wide base of mathematicians in the hopes of cutting off police from using such technologies. The letter’s authors cite “deep concerns over the use of machine learning, AI, and facial recognition technologies to justify and perpetuate oppression.”

Predictive policing is one key area where some mathematicians and scientists have enabled the racist algorithms, which tell cops to treat specific areas as “hotspots” for potential crime. Activists and organizations have long criticized the bias in these practices. Algorithms trained on data produced by racist policing will reproduce that prejudice to “predict” where crime will be committed and who is potentially a criminal.

“The data does not speak for itself, it’s not neutral,” explains Brendan McQuade, author of Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision. Police data is “dirty data,” because it does not represent crime, but policing and arrests.

“So what are its predictions going to find? That police should deploy their resources in the same place police have traditionally deployed their resources.”

Several, if not all, U.S. states and major cities are thought to use some type of predictive policing or pre-crime software with known users including — Chicago,

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WATCH thousands of protesters surround Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem


09-08-20 08:00:00,

Several thousand demonstrators marched in Jerusalem, gathering outside of the prime minister’s residence in yet another massive anti-government protest, as Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the media for inciting left-wing riots.

The authorities said that 5,000 people took part in the protest, while Channel 13 reported up to 15,000 in the Saturday night rally that took place in Jerusalem for the fifth consecutive week. 

Holding signs with slogans like “Your time is up” and “Crime Minister,” protesters demanded Netanyahu resign over corruption charges and alleged mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.

The protest ended without major incidents, amid a heavy police presence deployed to prevent any unrest, as well as to ensure the demonstrators “follow the Health Ministry’s instructions,” according to Sputnik.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu once again blasted Israeli media, and Channel 13 in particular, for its ‘one-sided’ coverage of the protests. The violence on the part of the demonstrators is completely ignored, he said, as well as the daily “death threats” against his family – all while he is “fighting to restore the economy and provide financial aid to Israeli citizens.”

הליכוד: בזמן שראש הממשלה נתניהו נלחם כדי להחזיר את כלכלת ישראל לשגרה ולהעביר כספים ומענקים לאזרחי ישראל, ערוץ 12 עושה הכל כדי לעודד את הפגנות השמאל הקיצוני של לפיד ואיימן עודה, שמסיתות לרצח נגד ראש הממשלה ומשפחתו.

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 8, 2020

Netanyahu was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of public trust in several cases last November. Public anger is also being fueled by a strict coronavirus lockdown, which caused an unemployment surge in the country – while the abrupt lifting of restrictions in May led to a spike in Covid-19 cases. Many people were also left without the financial aid promised by the prime minister.

Also on
Netanyahu calls anti-govt rallies ‘BIZARRE’ as he defends his son Yair’s ‘alien protesters’ comment

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Here Are The Thousands Of Investment Advisors And Portfolio Managers Who Received Government Bailouts


07-07-20 06:52:00,

Today the Treasury and the Small Business Administration released the full list of companies that received Paycheck Protection Program loans – which become grants and are fully forgivable if used to pay employee salaries and/or rent – for an amount greater than $150,000. The complete data, which includes a total of 661,219 recipients, can be accessed here.

As a reminder, the PPP was designed to help small businesses weather fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. It did so by funding small and medium companies with 500 employees or less; the loan/grant was meant to cover up to two and a half months of worker compensation (capped at an annualized $100,000) or in other words, the Treasury would provide at most $8,333 per employee for 2.5 months. That, at least, was the theory – in practice, things ended up being different.

To be sure, the PPP program helped a broad swath of organizations, including small restaurants, construction firms, retail locations and non-profits. Many of the conventional recipients of PPP loans were restaurant chains were struggling before the pandemic and were hit particularly hard by the health crisis, since they focus on dine-in service instead of to-go sales. Among them was  P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc., a restaurant operator with more than 200 U.S. locations. Other restaurant chains included Mexican chain Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. and California-based Black Angus Steakhouses LLC.

That said, there was some “peculiar” recipients: among the recipients were  Boies Schiller, the law firm headed by antitrust litigator David Boies, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Illinois-based megachurch Willow Creek Community Church and the prominent New York synagogue Temple Emanu-El.

Yet while many businesses legitimately needed the funds to continue operations as without the PPP emergency cash infusion thousands of businesses would have shut down and been forced to layoff millions of workers, when it comes to a certain subset of recipients, questions have emerged.

Take for example NAICS code 523930 which is defined as “Investment Advisors“, or companies who are paid very generous fees to anticipate precisely the kind of downturn that the covid unleashed and to steer their business successfully through it, especially since many – such as this blog –

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“Thousands Are Starving” – Protesters Demanding Food Clash With Police In Santiago


20-05-20 08:20:00,

The coronavirus hit Chile at a particularly delicate time. Back in October, the Chilean military deployed tanks and troops onto the streets of Santiago – the Chilean capital – and President Sebastian Pinera declaring a state of emergency to quell a violent uprising triggered by – of all things – a hike in metro fares (can you imagine that happening in NYC?).

Now, some of the nation’s poorest are rising up against the government again in a violent protest movement over the lack of government assistance. Specifically, food shortages have left thousands of Chileans with nothing to eat, and the mandatory closures have made it impossible for them to work or buy food.

Video of the crowds of demonstrators and clashes with police were shared by reporters on social media.

#Chile | Citizens protest the lack of help from #SebastianPiñera’s government during the #COVID19 pandemic. #Coronavirus

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 19, 2020

In a televised address last night, President Piñera pledged to get food to those in need, according to the Santiago Times, the capital’s largest English language newspaper.

Chile has more than 46,000 cases of the virus, along with 478 deaths, but a recent spike in cases and deaths prompted Piñera go impose a lockdown in and around the capital. The strict measures, which were heavily enforced, went into effect this weekend.

As the unrest swelled, dozens of Chilean lawmakers went into “preventative isolation” after being “exposed” to the virus. Meanwhile, local officials cautioned that they were caught in a “very complex situation” because of “hunger and lack of work”. In a statement, local officials said they had distributed about 2,000 aid packages but warned the central government that this fell far short of meeting demand. Piñera later pledged his government would provide 2.5 million baskets of food and other essentials over the next week or so.

“We will prioritize the most vulnerable families,” he said, describing the plan as “historic”.

Following the announcement, Santiago Mayor Felipe Guevara tweeted in Spanish and asked residents to follow the rules.

“I understand the deep anguish of millions of Chileans,

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Tens of Thousands Rally Against War with Iran in over 70 Cities Across US – Global Research


06-01-20 10:37:00,

People from across the United States heeded calls from the ANSWER Coalition and CODEPINK on Saturday, resulting in protests against a possible U.S. war on Iran in more than 70 cities across 38 U.S. states.

The protests, demanding for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and ending sanctions on Iran, were called for earlier this week in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ordering of additional U.S. troops to the Middle East in response to protests following U.S. air strikes. Tensions quickly increased as the U.S. ordered the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the popular leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, and, as a result, the protests quickly morphed into an emergency mobilization aimed at stopping what some fear could become World War III.

Tensions between Iran and the United States are nothing new, but have been steadily increasing ever since Trump formally reneged on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—also known as the Iran nuclear deal—in May of 2018.

Protesters across the country joined together to demand an end to U.S. presence in Iraq and the Middle East and to no new war with Iran. During the past nearly 30 years, more than one million Iraqis have died as a direct result of U.S. occupation, sanctions, and bombing, with the U.S. government having spent trillions of dollars.

Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail and after taking office that he would put “America first” and would bring our troops home. Instead, he repeatedly and recklessly brings the U.S. on the brink of war with various nations time and time again. But this far, many believe, he went too far.

Americans are fed up with endless wars, concerned about the future for their children, are appalled at the cost of war while the funding of services at home continually falls short, and deeply concerned about the wellbeing of innocent lives in the Middle East, and more. And so they joined together with one voice on January 4 to tell the Trump administration: “No War With Iran!”



PSL Birmingham says no war on Iran.

— chance (@pronemortalform) January 4,

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