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September 2017 Archives

Google - An Opportunity Lost

Google found itself in the middle of a situation regarding diversity and free speech this month. The basic facts are this-a tech employee, on a Google sponsored message board, wrote a ten page "manifesto" offering "biological" reasons for the abundance of males in Google's tech area, potential solutions for remedying this disparity and challenging Google's diversity activities as discriminatory, among other things. Somehow the document was leaked outside Google and, on the progressive side, the manifesto was met with outrage for its alleged biases and stereotypes. On the alt-right side, it was welcomed as a reasoned assault on rampant political correctness. I encourage readers to look at the manifesto yourself and make your own conclusions. Having done so, I don't see the author as malicious or evil or a right wing zealot. Either way, Google found itself on the horns of a dilemma. On one hand it values the free expression of ideas without fear or shame. On the other, it values its commitment against bias and to promote diversity in the workplace. What it ended up doing was to fire the author. Now the author, James Damore, has become a pariah to the left, and a sacrifice to the altar of political correctness to the right. After reading the statement of the CEO, I thought of 1984 by George Orwell. Google says it "strongly " supports the right of employees to express themselves, even with unpopular ideas, yet the message remains, if they do so, they violate the Code of Conduct. See statement of Google CEO here. https://www.blog.google/topics/diversity/note-employees-ceo-sundar-pichai/ Google has only itself to blame for the division that has exploded within its workforce, its users, and the internet because of this event. It has demonstrated it has a no tolerance policy regarding diversity-diversity of thought that is.

The Trump Administration Appears Primed to Aggressively Enforce the False Claims Act and to Target Lending Institutions

Even though President Trump and his Administration have not made any official pronouncements regarding enforcement of the False Claims Act ("FCA"), it would appear that the current U.S. Department of Justice will not be a taking a less aggressive approach to its handling of FCA cases than it previously did under the Obama Administration. In fact, both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified in connection with their confirmations that they believed the FCA was a useful tool in combating government fraud. Attorney General Sessions testified in a January 10, 2017 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that, "if I am confirmed, I will make it a high priority of the department to root out and prosecute fraud in federal programs and to recover any monies lost due to fraud or false claims." Similarly, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein affirmed under oath during a March 7, 2017 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that he would vigorously enforce the FCA to recover taxpayer dollars.

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