Weekend reading: Links & comments 10/23/2015

Iceland Just Jailed Dozens of Corrupt Bankers for 74 Years, The Opposite of What America Does by Jay Syrmopoulos of the Free Thought Project (via AlterNet)

Iceland sentences 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison by gjohnsit for Daily Kos (Hat tip to my expatriate friend Jack)

Icelandic courts have sentenced 26 bankers to prison terms for two to five years each—a total of 74 years—for financial fraud and manipulation leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

The important precedent here, and the great contrast with the United States, is that Iceland prosecuted individuals, not banks.  An organization structure cannot commit crimes, any more than a bank building can commit crimes.   It is the individuals within the structure who have criminal responsibility.

JADE: A Global Witness Investigation Into Myanmar’s Big “State Secret” (hat tip to Jack)

High-quality jade is the most valuable product of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.  But the government and people of the country get little benefit from it.  Instead the trade is controlled by military elites, corporate cronies and U.S.-sanctioned drug lords.

Nawal El Saadawi: ‘Do you feel you are liberated?  I feel I am not’ by Rachel Cooke for The Guardian (Hat tip to Jack)

An interview with the formidable 83-year-old Egyptian author, freethinker, feminist, medical doctor and campaigner against female genital mutilation.

Recalculating the North Korea Equation by Peter Lee for China Matters.

Could North Korean and the United States form an alliance against China?  Stranger things have happened.

Tamir Rice shooting: Were Officer Tim Loehmann’s actions “reasonable?” by Leon Nefakh for Slate (via Cop in the Hood)

Based on recent bad Supreme Court decisions, the answer is “yes.”

Here’s Why Donald Trump Really Could Be Elected President by David Burstein for Vanity Fair (via naked capitalism)

How the Brewing Revolt of Working Americans Is Driving Sanders’ Rise and Fueling Trump’s Dangerous Success by Steven Rosenfelt for AlterNet.

Virtually all of my college-educated liberal Democratic friends are for Hillary Clinton.  But the political conversations I overhear in my neighborhood diner and barbershop are all about Donald Trump.

The Great War in the Middle East by Peter Van Buren for TomDispatch.

If Kremlin doesn’t fight Islamists in Syria, will it have to in Russia? by Fred Weir for the Christian Science Monitor.  (Hat tip to Bill Harvey)

The enigma behind America’s freak 20-year lobster boom by Gwynn Guilford for Quartz.com (via Mike the Mad Biologist)

Her Code Put Humans on the Moon—and Invented Software Itself by Robert McMillan for Wired (via Mike the Mad Biologist)

The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy by Ross Andersen for The Atlantic.

The strange star that has scientists talking about an alien mega-structure by Sarah Kaplan for The Washington Post (Hat tip to Anne Tanner)

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