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Friday Nite Videos | August 30, 2019

Portside
The CEO Helping to Burn the Amazon for Profit. Movie | Official Secrets. The History of the Universe in the Blink of an Eye. Enron - The Biggest Fraud in History. Climate Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, Arrives in NY After Sailing the Atlantic.

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Enron - The Biggest Fraud in History

At over $60 billion being scammed away from the public, they were the biggest fraud in history. Yes, even bigger than Theranos.

How Robo-Callers Outwitted the Government and Completely Wrecked the Do Not Call List

Simon van Zuylen-Wood Washington Post
In 2015, the call-blocking app YouMail estimated that close to a billion robo-calls were being placed every month. Two years later, that number has leapt to 2.5 billion. At best, these calls annoy. At worst, they defraud. By far, they constitute the top consumer complaint received by the FTC.

A Victory and A More Substantial Defeat for the Cruel Sham Known as "Right to Try"

Orac Respectful Insolence
These laws explicitly remove patient protections. Doctors recommending right-to-try can’t be sued for malpractice or disciplined by their state medical boards, seemingly no matter how inappropriate or incompetently executed such a request might be. Nor can drug manufacturers be sued. Basically, these laws tell terminally ill patients: Good luck. You’re on your own.

Foreclosure Fraud Is Supposed to Be a Thing of the Past, But It Happens Every Day

David Dayen The Intercept
The government, the regulators, and the judges seem content to refer back to their press releases about what they delivered for homeowners, while willfully blinding themselves to the continuing destruction of the integrity of the nation’s judicial system. They’ve collectively decided to pretend that the ruination of a 300-year-old property records system never happened.

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.

John Bohannon Io9
If a study doesn’t even list how many people took part in it, or makes a bold diet claim that’s “statistically significant” but doesn’t say how big the effect size is, you should wonder why. But for the most part, we don’t. Which is a pity, because journalists are becoming the de facto peer review system. And when we fail, the world is awash in junk science.

Keeping an Eye on Wayward Studies

Ira Flatow/Ivan Oransky Science Friday podcast (transcription by Portside)
Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog, discusses the scientific process, what can go wrong, and the differences between misconduct and honest mistakes

Lurid Subprime Scams Unveiled in Long-Running Fraud Trial

Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone
Many subprime borrowers were led straight into the debt buzz-saw by companies that were actively trying to "squeeze" every last bit of revenue out of their clients. There were people who qualified for prime loans who got nudged into more lucrative alternative loans, and people who had simple 30-year fixed mortgages who found themselves frantically trying to pay off unforeseen penalties.
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