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Women in Bangladesh are challenging the power of Islamists by supporting full implementation of a general law giving women equal rights. If that law is implemented, Bangladesh will do the US one better.
A newspaper in Belarus defies the dictator's orders to shut it down.
Why the US and NATO Fed Detainees to Afghan Torture System.
BP continues getting big government contracts even no-bid noncompetitive contracts.
Israel arrested Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamesh after taking several family members hostage.
The plan appears to be to hold him without trial as a political prisoner.
Right-wing fanatics in Israel are trying to crush academic freedom. They especially target events about "democracy" and "human rights".
Famous brands say they require factories to treat labor decently, but it's all a lie: sweatshop labor conditions are getting worse.
The mothers of Colombian youths murdered by the army still demand justice and receive death threats instead.
A homeless Connecticut woman is threatened with 20 years in prison for registering her son in a public school in a neighboring city.
Government doctors in Guantanamo hid evidence of torture.
Wikileaks cables say that drug gangs have taken over large parts of Central America and are removing US-supplied heavy weapons from military arsenals.
Gaddafi has found ways to bypass the porous and incomplete sanctions.
In Bureaucratic Brazil, orders to demolish slums were executed even though the inhabitants were still there.
This is all for the sake of the Olympic Games, which are like an artificial disaster for whatever city they occur in.
In occupied Palestine, similar things are done from malice.
Suggestion: the outside world can support the labor movement in Iran.
Uganda may relax a death sentence for homosexual activity to mere life imprisonment.
Sai Baba invalidated his prophesy by dying before he said he would.
But his wrongs went far beyond that.
All the evidence against 255 Guantanamo prison came from just 8 prisoners, whose testimony is thought to be untrustworthy (in some cases because they were tortured).
Accusations of fraud in the Haitian elections are being investigated.
Fraud would not surprise me, though I wonder if the investigation can be trusted. But what was really wrong in the Haitian elections was the exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas and President Aristide.
Syria is now using tanks against the protesters, and has arrested and killed hundreds.
Sri Lanka will be allowed to veto a UN investigation into its war crimes.
BP had a blowout in 2008 that almost resembled the 2009 Big Spill. Because this was in Azerbaijan, BP kept it secret and was able to continue the same risky methods.
The Guantanamo prison command considered Pakistan's intelligence agency as a terrorist group. If a suspect had ties with ISI, that was considered equivalent to ties with al Qa'ida.
I can't criticize that policy. ISI has long been known to have ties with al Qa'ida, and it would be foolish to disregard this.
The injustice of Guantanamo lies in of imprisoning people without trial. Having suspicions is not an injustice.
The Libyan rebels are planting antivehicle mines and failing to keep track of them for future demining.
I don't think antivehicle mines are inherently an outrage.
The labor movement worldwide calls for an end to repression in Bahrain.
Thousands of Pakistanis blocked NATO's main supply route as a protest against drone attacks in Pakistan.
Obama's attempt to distinguish Bradley Manning from Daniel Ellsberg got the facts completely backwards.
Many religious schools in the UK fail to challenge bigotry and bullying.
It amazes me that bullying so often goes as far as death threats. Things seem to have changed a lot since I was young; bullies bothered me but never threatened to kill me. Saying "sticks and stones will break my bones" is not enough, apparently, to deal with this.
The US government tries to justify torture and injustice in the name of protecting Americans. Don't you dare torture in my name!
The US government argues for keeping innocent people in prison because if freed they might seek revenge for their imprisonment. How would you feel if a callous government kept you in prison because it had done you an injustice? That is the behavior of a monstrous juggernaut that needs to be stopped.
If you have done someone a great wrong, and you don't want him to seek revenge, you ought to give him a very humble apology, together with a convincing demonstration that you won't do such things any more. Show you have learned your lesson. That is what the US must do.
Dalit students complain that their teachers force them to clean toilets and won't mark their work.
US citizens: call your congresscritter and say to oppose the War on Women (rights of abortion and birth control). Also sign this petition.
US citizens: tell Congress, raise taxes on corporations rather than cutting social spending.
A scientific paper reporting apparent evidence of precognition was published and then drew widespread media coverage. A repetition of the study, which found no sign of precognition, was refused publication.
Misrata is defended by thousands of citizens who took up arms to resist Gaddafi's attack.
Rebels in Benghazi talk about how the protests turned into a rebellion after Gaddafi's men shot protesters.
The situation in Libya has not yet reached a clear stalemate. Gaddafi's troops continue attacking because they still think they can win (whether or not they really can). If they become certain they cannot win, that they can never again dominate Libya and profit from its oil, that's when many of them will look for a way to get out.
Feathers from the endangered black-footed albatross demonstrate mercury pollution from human activity, and this could be one of the factors driving that bird towards extinction.
Dropbox says it will decrypt users' files for the government, which means they must have been lying when they said they couldn't decrypt users' files.
The article's first paragraph states misguided judgments and irrelevancies. It makes no difference how "passionate" their team is; what matters is how they treat their users. This service is not a product. No product or service can be "great" if it implements surveillance.
However, that doesn't invalidate the main points of the article. If you're going to use Dropbox, you should encrypt the files first on your own machine.
The UK needs to charge for water use, as high temperatures make water scarce. But the system needs to be designed not to crush the poor.
If the Conservative Party wins in Canada, and imposes Internet censorship, the Pirate Party of Canada will offer VPN service for Canadians to evade censorship.
Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped as a punishment for her brother. She became a women's rights campaigner and prosecuted her attackers. Most of them were freed on appeal, and now she is afraid they will kill her.
There have been mass protests in Casablanca for more democracy.
Two Syrian members of parliament resigned because of Assad's repeated massacres of protesters.
His forces shot 100 people at the funerals of others they had shot.
Given how much popular support Assad still reportedly has, despite repression, he could allow dissidents to freely express their views and still remain in power.
Five crucial questions for evaluating nuclear power.
If an oil well in the Arctic explodes, it might be impossible to cap the well and impossible to contain the oil.
Wikileaks files from Guantanamo show people were held prisoner with no evidence of guilt — in some cases, without even a suspicion!
An al-Jazeera journalist was held for interrogation about al-Jazeera.
"If you could only know what we can know, you would understand that what we are doing is right," they said, but now we know for certain it was thoroughly wrong.
Correction: The Guardian subsequently said that these files did not come from Wikileaks.
Peter Wilmshurst, MD., has apparently been saved from a bankrupting UK libel suit because the company whose medical devices he criticized has gone out of business.
I hope it is true that he is now safe, and not just a surmise. Can the creditors take up the libel suit as an "asset" of the failed company?
Robert Frost's heirs damaged his legacy by refusing to let composer Eric Whitacre publish his setting of a Frost poem.
Eric commissioned another poet to write words for the piece. In resentment, he says he will never publish it with Frost's words.
Michigan has effectively abolished the local government of a city. And all the public school teachers in Detroit have been fired.
The concrete structure over the ruins of the exploded Chernobyl reactor is just an interim step — the cleanup is just beginning.
UK police raided a squat in Bristol, triggering a protest. During the protest they ran amok, attacking protesters and passers-by at random.
Meanwhile the protest developed into a riot. I can't tell from the information in this article whether the police brutality was a reaction to the riot or its cause.
I don't see anything very bad about another Tesco convenience store. It would be better if it were independent, not part of a large chain, to increase competition and reduce concentration of wealth. But I would not feel like protesting such a store. It's the police that deserve to be protested.
The police accused the squatters of making "petrol bombs". The squatters deny those charges, and say they were not even part of the opposition to the Tesco store.
Is there any physical difference between petrol bombs "assembled" for use at a later time, and a collection of beverage bottles to be recycled? Anyway, the accusation seems implausible. Given how easy it is to break store windows, why would anyone plan to commit arson instead? Police are not known for scrupulous adherence to the truth.
Based on prior patterns, I predict that people who smashed the Tesco store windows will be sentenced to prison, while police that attacked and injured bystanders will not be prosecuted.
Japan limits public information about the Fukushima disaster. Most press conferences include only the major Japanese corporate media, which repeat what they are told and ask no probing questions. Moreover, there are new threats of censorship of others that publish "illegal information".
Various groups of armed supporters of President Ouattara began fighting in Ivory Coast.
This suggests those forces are simply a coalition of militias belonging to warlords, like the one that constituted the "government" of Afghanistan after the US kicked out the Taliban.
Yemenite Protesters rejected Saleh's plan to step down and for his deputy to preside over elections and the writing of a new constitution.
I would guess they don't trust that deputy. Also, they say they want to prosecute President Saleh; but Saleh could make that impossible by fleeing if he so desires.
Trolls are fooling jittery Chinese censors and police to arrest innocent people, block nonpolitical web sites, and so on.
This raises a nice ethical question: is it ethical to say there will be a protest at XYZ Square and cause some people strolling there to get arrested?
It has the effect of hurting innocent people, but the harm is done by the agents of tyranny, and nothing except their tyrannical goals requires them to do it. My conclusion is that if the people are only arrested, not maimed or killed, it is ethical.
European music publishers shut down the IMSLP public domain music score library with a bogus copyright claim.
That their claim was bogus made no difference because there was no trial.
Go-Daddy has participated in a number of denial of service attacks, and it seems that people should refuse to do business with it. But that will not deal with the underlying problem: that use of the Internet is precarious and anyone can be kicked off by intimidation.
Obama justifies prosecuting Bradley Manning based on an erroneous comparison with Daniel Ellsberg.
Facebook deleted a photo of two men kissing, which was used to support a kiss-in in a pub that had shown bias against gays.
The person who posted it thinks that Facebook is not anti-gay, but rather than it is quick to censor whatever someone complains about.
While it might seem that the former would be worse, I think the latter makes facebook really dangerous. Don't use Facebook as a substitute for your own web site!
Human numbers and global warming are endangering well-known migratory birds.
60 prominent Israeli intellectuals and artists have signed a call to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.
The US continues to hamper democracy in many Arab countries, but Saudi Arabia is at the heart of the repression.
The Arab world faces catastrophic food shortages, with the population growing and aquifers being emptied.
This is a glimpse of what the whole world is heading for, a few decades from now, if we don't cut the birth rate further.
Remember that global warming will turn some inhabited areas into deserts.
Watch out for the medical insurance companies' new front group.
A Wisconsin railroad company is accused of making illegal veiled campaign contributions to Governor Walker, and it appears his campaign knew about it.
In Syria, President Assad lifted the emergency law and recognized a theoretical right to protest. But dozens of real protesters were shot.
Two Peruvian reporters say they were fired from a TV channel for refusing to slant the news in favor of the right-wing candidate.
Police looked aside as right-wingers drowned out rally in Tel Aviv for ending the occupation of Palestine.
Bahrain is now persecuting Shi'ites in many professions. A thousand people have been arrested.
It seems to me that the US has a responsibility to move its fleet on its own initiative.
US citizens: tell Senator Durbin not to consider cuts in Social Security.
Congress is considering a law to remove the dangerous loopholes in regulation of oil and gas drilling.
The Gates foundation can be understood in the same light, as Microsoft PR, especially when it "donates" computers that run Windows.
American exceptionalism: how the US was exceptionally lucky, and is now exceptionally stupid. Now the US is #1 in many social problems.
The article's point is that rather than directing growth into an expanding middle class, with the false promise that everyone will get to join it later, Asian countries must direct some of the increase in wealth to reducing the poverty of the poor.
They must also work hard to reduce births.
Android also saves past location data, though if you're moving around the history buffer may get reused soon.
I wonder whether the code that does this is visible in the free source code of Android, and whether users have posted a patch to fix it.
This does not violate the UN resolution, but unless it is controlled in close coordination with the rebels, it creates a risk of hitting them, or civilians.
The Antarctic ozone hole could be changing the climate in parts of the Southern hemisphere — including parts of Australia which have seen disastrous floods in the past year.
The IMF "bailout" for Portugal is marginally less draconian than what the EU offered, but it is still a disaster for everyone that isn't rich.
Prenatal exposure to certain pesticides has been linked to brain damage.
Tortured Iranian protesters who sought asylum in the UK are on hunger strike because the UK plans to send them back to Iran.
The murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis, founder of the Freedom Theater in Jenin, may have been motivated by the hatred of religious prudes.
The defenders of Misrata are citizens who took up arms against an army. They are barely holding out.
With 1000 people killed by Gaddafi's shelling, and snipers who shoot at anyone they can see, it is clear that attacking Gaddafi's army is authorized by the UN resolution that called for protecting civilians.
The iPhone file that records all its movements permanently gets even more sinister when combined with the practice of police to search portable phones without warrants.
The telephone network tracks phones regardless of whether they record locations, and for me that is enough reason not to carry one. But it takes a warrant (I think) to collect that information.
Colombia's "paramilitaries", really right-wing gangs of extortionists, are still operating in 1/3 of the country, despite having been formally "demobilized".
Former president Alvaro Horrible claimed to have demobilized them, but some of his close associates were connected with them. It was also Horrible who negotiated the proposed Free Exploitation Treaty than Obama now wants to ratify.
A company is trying to use the US-Peru Free Exploitation Treaty to evade pollution laws.
The US could save many trillions of dollars by discontinuing military spending that is nearly obsolete.
What use is an aircraft carrier that couldn't sail the seas and chew bubble gum at the same time — and would pardon the nation's worst enemies?
Rep. Ryan plans to privatize Medicare, turning it into a gift to medical insurance companies. He has planned with those insurance companies a PR campaign to mislead Americans into supporting it.
A hoax press release tricked Associated Press into announcing that GE had voluntarily decided to pay its fair share of US income tax.
US citizens: sign this petition condemning BP's $13b tax break due to causing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and calling on BP to pay those taxes anyway.
US citizens: tell the EPA to ban methyl iodide as a pesticide.
UK police plan pre-emptive arrests of would-be protesters.
They say these will be directed at people "planning criminal activity", but those words are deceptive since many kinds of protest have been criminalized. And the police lie when it suits them.
The effects of doses of radiation are fairly well known to medical science, but the effects of consuming microscoping particles of radioactive substances are a completely different story.
US citizens: call on Obama to take steps on his own to protect our shores from dangerous undersea oil drilling.
In the US: call your senators to support S.186, Barbara Boxer's bill to require a timetable for removing US troops from Afghanistan.
Police have banned evacuated Japanese from returning to homes near Fukushima.
One person, in two hours, cannot recover much in the way of possessions. In effect, these people's possessions have been confiscated. That seems unjustified, since things kept indoors should be safe to use. Livestock, on the other hand, may have absorbed significant radioactivity by eating grass. I am not an expert, but if their meat and milk will not be considered safe to use, they ought to be condemned now.
Broad protests against fracking are spreading in France.
People fear pollution of their water that can ruin crops as well as their own health.
Here in detail is why fracking is not a way to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
The US will give the Libyan rebels communication equipment and body armor, but not weapons.
I believe they have plenty of guns, though maybe they need ammunition in some places. But what they need most is military skill.
Zainab al-Khawaja has ended her hunger strike after receiving some word about the condition of her imprisoned relatives.
The rationale for staying alive and continuing the struggle is valid, but given that she isn't going to fast to death, it would have been wiser not to say she was doing so.
Natural gas companies are dishonestly lobbying for Europe to promote natural gas instead of renewable energy.
This would be a disaster, given that fracking results in a lot of greenhouse gas. The claim that carbon emission reduction can be achieved this way is apparently pure fiction.
Radio Free Europe says students in Teheran University are protesting against a police garrison.
Everyone: call on the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to commute Troy Davis' sentence and not execute him.
I added a personal comment saying that with the evidence against him so flimsy, he deserves a new trial.
Michigan police search drivers' cell phones at traffic stops.
The coup-installed regime in Honduras is working with the IMF to destroy public education and public water supplies, following (apparently) advice from the US.
Although some of the protest methods involve actions that in normal times would be properly punished, they are legitimate as a response to the murderous violence and grand theft of the coup regime. Does Al Jazeera have a bureau in Honduras?
The Egyptian government says at least 846 people were killed in the protests that drove Mubarak out of power.
Saudi Arabia has arrested 160 dissidents in the past couple of months.
Kucinich has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to decide the extent of US intervention in Libya.
I support the intervention in Libya (though what Libya really needs is one well-trained division from Egypt or conceivably some other Arab country), but the US should act according to its constitution.
The country is sort of split between the president's forces and those of an opposition general, but they are not fighting each other.
Just 21 billion dollars (annually, I guess) would extend birth control and reproductive health care to the world's poor. That would greatly reduce population growth and help us avoid disaster in a few decades.
There is no need to be concerned that a low birth rate will cause problems. It would be a good thing if, a hundred years from now, the human population were a mere four billion.
Besides, in that much time, if technological civilization is still around, life extension will probably make the population start to increase again. We will need to establish space or ocean habitats for all the people to live in.
Madrid's mayor regards homeless people as a nuisance, and wants Spain to force them out of sight.
Many US cities have done this sort of thing for decades. It is the ultimate in callous evil.
Facebook is considering adding censorship to bow down to China.
The US says it will improve Bradley Manning's prison conditions, moving him out of solitary confinement.
The US's vindictive stubbornness is very large, but sometimes we can overcome it.
Massachusetts citizens: phone your state rep to restore family planning funds by supprting this amendment by Alice Wolf.
The iGroan records every place it has been, in a file, forever. And carefully preserves this information when syncing from one machine to another.
What else should you expect, with nonfree software controlled by a greedy psychopath (a corporation).
One year after the big spill, oil is still washing up, and Congress is doing nothing.
The big oil companies pay 2% income taxes. If they paid the official 35% income tax rate, their taxes would be more than the proposed budget cuts.
The EU is trying to tighten up drilling regulations, but the UK is opposing it.
Gaddafi proposed ceding power to an "interim government" that would hold elections.
The idea is worth pursuing, but in the mean time, nothing has changed yet. As long as his forces keep attacking, they need to be resisted.
The US will move Bradley Manning to a different prison, which does not imply he will be treated more humanely.
Bill Moyers explains plutocracy in America: how the rich have subverted our government and turned it into a weapon against us.
US citizens: sign this ACLU petition to limit the TSA's use of body scanners.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Fairness in Taxation Act. Also sign this petition.
The Fairness in Taxation Act would raise taxes to 45% on incomes over a million dollars a year. Much higher incomes would have a 49% rate.
Technological advance seems to be eliminating US jobs and not making new jobs.
I never use the self-checkout machines in stores, because I don't want the poor people who do the sales work to lose their jobs.
Despite changes in its rhetoric, the IMF continues blasting the countries it "rescues" into prolonged poverty.
The ruler of Bahrain is not satisfied with killing protesters, doctors, and journalists. He is also destroying Shi'ite mosques and shrines.
The protests were not religiously polarized, but the ruler is trying to make it a religious conflict. If he succeeds, it will probably go on for decades. Maybe he figures that will assure him external support to keep the Shi'ite minority down for however long it takes.
Zainab Alkhawaja's hunger strike for release of her arrested relatives is now in its 8th day.
5 months before the invasion of Iraq, Dubya and B'liar were squabbling over the expected oil loot.
Hungary's right-wing government has voted a new constitution that threatens the rights of atheists, of homosexuals, and women.
Iranian journalist Nazanin Khosravani has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.
The European Union is starting to enforce laws against illegal fishing.
Protesters occupied a square in Homs, but Syrian government thugs shot them.
Assad's government says it will now cancel the emergency law and make protests legal; but if they are sincere about this, why not start allowing protests now?
Although there is no evidence that Syria's protests have much to do with Salafism, that extremist sect does pose a real danger in Palestine and maybe elsewhere. But this danger spreads from Saudi Arabia, which the US treats as a great friend.
A degree in philosophy is better preparation for a career in management than an MBA.
Stephen Fry says he will continue retweeting Paul Chambers' "threatening message" even if it means prison.
The UAE will ban use of secure emails on the Blackberry. It is possible for states to do this because the software is nonfree; the company controls it, and can therefore be conscripted into serving as an enforcer for the state.
The US has similar plans.
Misrata is in siege conditions, as ships bring in limited quantities of aid supplies. The rebels ask for land troops to protect them.
The rate of teenage suicide is higher in right-wing regions of the US.
A woman in Indiana faces murder charges because she tried to kill herself while in a late stage of pregnancy.
It is inhumane to accuse someone of a crime for trying to kill herself in despair. It will teach her that she should have gone through with the suicide.
The fetus was advanced enough that it could have been born and survive. But a newborn baby, even after 9 months, is in the early stages of developing into a person, and is not yet able to have much in the way of rights. The killing of a newborn is mainly a wrong to the parents, not to it itself.
The EU wants to send a 1000-soldier force to Misrata to secure aid corridors, but not to fight unless attacked.
A UK tribunal ordered public disclosure of the UK military's cooperation with US "rendition" of prisoners.
With their protective ice largely gone, Arctic coasts are eroding at feet per year.
But in some areas it is 100 feet per year.
Poor farmers around the world are at risk from a global land grab.
Greeks are revolting against the austerity imposed by the IMF, which has put Greece into a recession in which it will never be able to pay that debt.
US citizens: sign this petition calling for solar power installations to protect wildlife.
Public health activists succeeded in blocking a plan to label sewage sludge as "compost" and use it on farms. So the proponents of the scheme called them "ecoterrorists".
The activists have threatened to sue for libel.
US citizens: if you might support Obama in 2012, pledge that you won't do so if he tolerates cuts in Medicare or Medicaid.
Normally when I recommend signing something, I have signed it myself. This is an exception: I feel I cannot honestly sign this, given that I would not support Obama anyway. Even before he was elected I considered him too right-wing. But those of you with somewhat different views might be able to sign this honestly.
Uri Avnery: Israel's government is increasingly dominated by the annexationist "settler movement".
A Firefox add-on automatically cancels out the tyrannical US domain name "seizures".
This should give the US government a seizure.
Biodigesters get rid of human waste and produce biofuel.
Egypt's military rulers sentenced a blogger to 3 years in prison for his writings.
Melting Antarctic ice is knocking down fish populations, which is making most young penguins die.
Humpback whales spread hit songs across the ocean, then remix them.
Obama has shown timidity in protecting national landmarks from gold and uranium mining.
Bahrain's regime has arrested a doctor, accusing him of treating wounded protesters.
Chinese government thugs have besieged a Tibetan monastery.
China says that it is located in Sichuan, but I presume this is Tibetan territory that China arbitrarily annexed around 50 years ago.
The NDP in Canada seems to be less bad, on the copyright issue, than the Liberal and Conservative parties.
However, the idea that copyright reform should comply with "international treaty obligations" suggests that they plan to implement some restrictions on free software that can access encrypted media. What Canada should do with the WIPO Internet Treaty is reject it, not implement it.
In addition, a "balance between consumers' and creators' rights" is conceptually misguided. Referring to users as "consumers" misrepresents the nature of using digital works, and this concept of "balance" distorts the goal copyright law.
There is also harmful bias in the word "creators".
Canadians, can you educate the NDP about these issues?
The European Union is planning to conscript ISPs into the War on Sharing.
An interview with Aung San Suu Kyi, who still calls for sanctions against Burma.
Gender-selection in India has resulted in a 10% surplus of males over females. In some localities, the surplus is almost 30%.
Some people think this is very bad, but I disagree. While I feel for the men who will not find any woman to marry (having experienced the same thing myself in the absence a social gender imbalance), it seems plausible that this will greatly reduce the births in the next generation — and that is a vital need.
Why would parents want to have a boy in a world where girls are scarce? (Apparently they have not taken account of the consenquences of the imbalance.) It is partly economic because of the pressure for dowry for girls. It also partly reflects sexist prejudice. Feminists condemn gender-selection because they resent this prejudice, but the wrong is in the prejudice; the gender-selection does no wrong to women.
Gaddafi's forces are using cluster bombs against Misrata.
Has the US signed the convention to destroy cluster bombs? I think it has not, but I'd be glad if it did.
Yahoo used to advertise shorter data retention, but has abandoned that policy.
The three main US TV networks have nuclear power executives on their boards.
Obama is pretending that the public wants budget cuts.
The TSA says that criticism of the TSA is grounds for special suspicion (and special harassment).
The supposed justification for searching all airline passengers without probable cause to suspect them is to prevent bombings and hijackings on the flight. Catching the occasional criminal is not an acceptable justification for searching you and me. Thus, if the TSA says it is trying to do this, that in itself makes the TSA an affront to our rights. The TSA should be strictly limited to keeping weapons off planes, and should not be permitted to show the police evidence of any other illegality.
Wikileaks reveals Israel's head of intelligence was happy Hamas took control of Gaza.
Due to population growth, plus some countries' development out of poverty, humans will need twice as much food in 2050.
It is good for more people to advance out of poverty, but we could do without the population growth. Just because it isn't as fast as it was a few decades ago does not mean it is harmless.
A few decades from now, we will probably be able to extend human life span greatly. The same birth rate that now leads to a stable or slightly decreasing population will then lead to renewed increase. So the world needs to make strenuous efforts to discourage births.
The opposition in Uganda will continue its protests despite police repression.
Croatian generals were convicted of violent ethnic cleansing in the 1990s war with Serbia and Serb secessionists.
Obama's planned US-Colombia trade treaty threatens a NAFTA-style disaster.
1000 economists have called on the G20 countries to enact the "Robin Hood tax" on financial transactions.
As Bahrain stifles protest movement, U.S.'s muted objections draw criticism.
Al Jazeera hardly mentions the protests in Bahrain or the atrocities committed against the dissidents.
The US "trusted identities" plan is much more dangerous than the problems it pretends to solve.
Hamas faces a challenge from murderous Islamic extremists.
It seems to be an inherent part of Islam that, even when moderate, it generates fanatical killers who think they are "better Muslims."
In the US: rebuke the mass media for giving coverage to tiny Tea Party events while ignoring large progressive marches.
US citizens: sign this petition for a criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs.
US citizens: support fines to compensate Gulf Coast residents and measures to help them control dangerous drilling.
BP plotted to control US-funded research that will study the Big Spill.
Cuba is preparing capitalist reforms.
Cuba ought to respect human rights; I hope it will not follow China into capitalism without freedom. And it would be a shame if the benefits of the Cuban revolution, such as medical care and education for all, are discarded along with the disrespect for human rights.
Bahraini students in Britain who protested for human rights now fear reprisals against them and against their families in Bahrain.
A book by Craig Murray has been kept out of bookstores by the threat of a libel lawsuit. So he published it on the Internet.
The threat appears to be bogus, because the complainant has not sued Craig Murray. He must not expect to win a real case, but just the threat was enough to deny the book widespread distribution.
I have not read it myself, I just want to inform people of its existence.
Obama is talking about an expanded war in Libya to avoid "putting the rebels at the mercy of Gaddafi".
That must indeed be avoided, but surely an expanded US war is not the only way to prevent it.
For Google, a Chrome user is a locked-to-Google user.
The People's Budget, proposed by the house progressive caucus, will balance the budget putting the burden on the rich instead of the poor.
Police in Honduras show little interest in investigating the increasing attacks on journalists under the coup-installed regime.
Kucinich says that the Pentagon is giving him a "Kafkaesque" runaround to stop him from having an unmonitored meeting with Bradley Manning.
Australian aborigines are blocking a uranium mine, citing a combination of traditional myth and rational humane concern.
A Senate committee accused Goldman Sachs of intentionally harming its investors, and lying to Congress.
If they don't face prosecution, it will reaffirm what we know: that the US government has surrendered to the banksters.
Foreign journalists in Tripoli live in a fancy hotel that is a microcosm of the police state around it. They may be expelled for what they write, but while they stay, they hardly ever see anything that would be worth writing about.
Why do they stay in Tripoli under these conditions? They could get more news in Benghazi.
The other members of the committee led by Judge Goldstone say they stand fully by the report, and reject the idea that there would be any reason to write it differently.
Fishermen from the Gulf of Mexico protested in BP's annual meeting. The US has aided BP by declaring fishing open, but fishing is not really possible since people know better than to trust seafood from the area.
A UK court ruled that the police acted illegally by besieging ("kettling") and attacking peaceful protesters at the G20 protests (in the course of which siege, the police killed Ian Tomlinson). This ruling may enable thousands of protesters to sue the thugs.
Obama has opened the door to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. To his credit, he has also pushed to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
The US does not need to choose between Republicans' right-wing budget cuts and Obama's smaller right-wing budget cuts. The Progressive Caucus proposes to balance the budget by 2014, protect the safety net, and boost employment — by cutting the military.
A really stupid plan: charge a special fee for antibiotics to cover research and encourage their proper use.
This fee would discourage use of antibiotics, both by people who don't need them and by people who do. Maybe funding is needed, but that's a foolish way to get the funding.
The French law requiring sites to store user data for a year does not in fact require them to store plaintext passwords.
It is nonetheless an attack on Internet users' rights.
In and near San Francisco: object to the plans to record faces and IDs of everyone attending events with more than 100 people.
The Federal Reserve "bailout" program gave trillions of dollars to rich people, including the wives of some banksters.
US government "seizures" of domain names did little harm on the sites that were targeted, but great harm to human rights in the US.
New Zealand's legislators attacked the citizens with a new law to punish sharing with disconnection.
This betrayal was so urgent that they attached it to an urgent bill for the reconstruction of Christchurch.
In the European Union: Write to your MEPs to oppose extending the copyright on sound recordings. You can use this page to do it.
In the US: join a rally against unfair taxation (on the poor, not the rich). There will be many rallies around the US.
China says Ai Weiwei has confessed to various crimes.
That may well be true, but proves little. Under torture, he would confess to anything, true or not.
North Korea has arrested a US citizen and plans to try him on unspecified charges.
When North Korea does this, we understand it is because North Korea is a nasty dictatorship. Knowing what that state is like, we can expect the trial to be phony.
By contrast, the US grabs people from other countries and puts them in prison (in Guantanamo, for instance), and gives them phony trials ("military tribunals"), or no trials at all.
Zainab al-Khawaja saw her father, a human rights activist, beaten unconscious and dragged out of his home by the Bahraini regime. She is on hunger strike for her father's release.
Here she rebukes Obama for supporting the regime.
US citizens: tell Obama: hands off Medicare, and resist the Republican hostage-takers.
Craig Murray describes Ivory Coast President Ouattara's background as an Ivory Coast dictator's right-hand man, and then as an IMF economic warfare agent.
Natural gas extracted by fracking causes large methane leaks, as a result of which this gas contributes as much to global warming as coal does.
The EU advises some precautions to avoid radioactive iodine that blows in from Fukushima. Certain people should not drink rainwater or eat leafy leafy vegetables that might have got rained on.
These precautions would apply more strongly to the US.
Bradley Manning's mother, who was not allowed to visit him in prison, has asked the UK government to protest the inhumane conditions of his imprisonment.
Protests in Yemen have grown to hundreds of thousands, but it looks like "President" Saleh's men will turn to violence.
Berlusconi has passed a law to cancel his corruption trial, and 14,000 others.
In other words, his own corruption required him to create an atmosphere that favors corruption. Bush had to do the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Egypt's military has arrested Mubarak and his sons to investigate them for crimes, but this is not enough to placate Egyptians, who want Mubarak's former supporters removed from power.
Japanese evacuated from the vicinity of Fukushima protested to demand compensation.
China continues to condemn the US human rights record.
This time, China's criticisms seem to have partly missed the mark. Pornography does not violate human rights, and some of the accusations are not even true.
China could have made a stronger criticism of the US if it had mentioned the continued practice of imprisonment without trial, the prison conditions for Bradley Manning and thousands of others which amount to Chinese-style brainwashing, and the practice of the death penalty.
Israeli activists, arrested while protesting in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem who object to plans to force them out of their homes, were awarded compensation for the illegal arrest.
If only Palestinians' human rights were similarly respected. A month after an Israeli family was murdered in an illegal colony in the West Bank, reprisals against Palestinians in the nearby town of Awarta continue. 71 Palestinians are being held incommunicado without charges, and raiding troops hold families prisoner at gunpoint in their homes.
This has nothing to do with investigating the killing. It is simply the taking of hostages.
Despite Goldstone's recent statement, most of what the Goldstone Report says about Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians still stands and nothing has changed.
Biofuel production damages the environment and human rights, says an independent study.
This is because the biofuel is made from farmed crops. Biofuel made from plant waste would be ideal, but that technology is not usable at present.
BP and the US government try to pretend that the big spill has all dissipated, but local shrimpers keep catching oiled shrimp, and a few scientists keep finding massive amounts of oil and devastation on the sea bottom.
Victims of the big spill and other BP mistreatment will be protesting inside and outside the BP annual meeting.
Louisiana tried to force a new mother to give personal data in exchange for a birth certificate for her baby.
Jacob Appelbaum still gets "randomly" detained every time he enters the US.
Everyone: sign this petition calling on Israel to recognize Munther Fahmi as a resident of Jerusalem, where he was born.
Uri Avnery: Goldstone mistake is focusing on specific war crimes. The war itself was the crime.
Syrian soldiers who refused orders to shoot protesters were themselves shot by the regime's men.
Natural gas wells are causing dangerous pollution of wells and homes in Pennsylvania, and people's health has been damaged.
The UK has backed off proper reform of the banking system (comparable to the former Glass-Steagall Act which the US ought to restore).
Berlusconi says he really believed his young friend was the granddaughter of Mubarak, and that he set her up in business so she could get out of sex work.
If he really believed that Mubarak's granddaughter would be short of money, he is a sucker and incompetent to run a country. And any Italian who believes he believed that is likewise a sucker.
I firmly support the goal of ending social pressure on women to hide their faces, though I doubt Sarkozy really cares about it. Prohibiting the practice is too harsh and not justified. Meanwhile, because all face covering is banned, it attacks the freedom of everyone else too.
The Taliban are moderating some of their strict rules — against music, against schooling of girls — in an apparent bid for more popular support.
If this gets the Taliban back into full control of Afghanistan, they might become as nasty as before. But if they become a party in a coalition, the same political pressure will keep operating on them.
The UK will try to use trade treaties to force Iceland to cover the debts of a failed private Icelandic bank.
Any treaty that would make countries take on private debts creates moral hazard and must be cancelled.
An interview with Senator Wyden about COICA, the US plan to attack the Internet, which he is now blocking.
Juan Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, rebuked the US for blocking him from an unmonitored meeting with Bradley Manning.
Protesters against France's law against covering the face have been arrested.
Everyone in France should protest this law, which prohibits people from blocking Big Brother's surveillance.
Laurent Gbagbo has been captured after UN peacekeepers retailated to attacks by Gbagbo's troops.
The European arrest warrant is supposed to be only for major crimes. The law needs to be rewritten to make that true.
A girl who was kidnapped, then taken to the UK and forced into prostitution, was prosecuted and deported there, while her kidnapper was let alone. She has won a suit and won asylum.
The obvious question is why Moldova is unable to protect her from a known kidnapper. Corrupt police?
Gaddafi accepted a South African proposal for a cease fire, but the rebels rejected it and NATO leaders treated it skeptically.
The rebels were incensed that South African president Zuma referred to Gaddafi as a "brother". I find that disgusting too.
Nonetheless, the rebels should accept the cease fire, and so should NATO.
Perhaps Gaddafi would not really respect a cease fire. He announced cease fires a few weeks ago which he did not respect. However, the rebels are on the defensive now. If they accept the cease fire but remain wary, the worst that could happen is that Gaddafi attacks again, just as he would have done without the cease fire. This is not a valid reason for rejecting it. Nor is the fact that people have died.
I don't know the rest of the proposed deal, so I can't have an opinion of that.
In foreign aid to help the poor people living in corrupt states, it is hard to prevent much of the aid money from fueling corruption.
Perhaps the solution is to give the money directly as income to poor individuals, since they are pretty smart about using it to improve their lives.
Rights groups in Bahrain report widespread arrests of dissidents. Some doctors have apparently been disappeared.
The Bangkok climate talks are already deadlocked. Our world is slowly burning, but instead of putting the fire out, our governments are arguing about who will get what share after they do.
The Koch brothers' lobbying is not based on Conservative principles; it is aimed directly at their own profits.
Wild Atlantic salmon are in decline, and conservationists accuse parasite-ridden fish farms of causing the problem.
The UK has arrested a right-wing extremist politician for burning a Qur'an.
Burning the Qur'an is a way of expressing disapproval of Islam. People have a fundamental right to express this opinion, or any other. To arrest people for expression of opinions is an act worthy of China or Iran. The UK government has violated the rights of Britons on behalf of murderous foreign fanatics.
The particular Briton arrested this time may be a fanatic of a different stripe. He may be a racist. If so, those views discredit him, but they do not excuse censorship.
I too disapprove of certain aspects of Islam, such as its contempt for women, and its contempt for the religious freedom of everyone (including Muslims). I express this condemnation in a more articulate fashion, writing words rather than burning words, to make a clearer point. But if the latter is criminalized, how long can it take before the former is criminalized too?
The Internet is very slow in Iran, which suggests the government is checking every packet.
The article also describes many other tactics purportedly used by the Iranian government to control Internet communication with foreign lands. It criticizes the TOR developers for not doing enough to defeat this, but I'm not sure they deserve to be blamed. There may not be any ideal solution.
France's latest attack on the Internet requires all network services to record users' passwords and hand them over to police.
As the article points out, this will require practices that facilitate disastrous security breaches, both accidental and caused by cracking. That unintended consequence may be useful. But we must avoid presenting this as the worst thing about the law; we must not say, "And, even worse, this law will lead to security holes." The worst thing about this law is its intended purpose: imposing the surveillance state.
Update: It now appears that this law does not require the storage of plaintext passwords.
US citizens: phone your senators to support Senator Lautenberg's Chemical Facilities Act and Secure Water Facilities Act, supported by Greenpeace, to reduce the danger of disastrous spills of industrial chemicals.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Russia is considering a proposal (from the ex KGB) to require access to encrypted communication services.
A similar proposal is being considered in the US.
Bolivia will establish a series of rights for nature. The biggest threat to nature in Bolivia comes from global heating, and Bolivia's own policies cannot protect it. However, this new law might set an example that could help spur other countries to reduce global heating. So it seems like a very wise decision.
Iceland's voters stood up to international pressure to take failed bank's debts on themselves.
In a world of servile governments that say banks are "too big to fail", Iceland has set an example.
250 eminent legal scholars have condemned the US attempt to brainwash Bradley Manning.
Granting religions "respect" just for being religions is "the most cowardly evasion of intellectual duty of our day."
Gaddafi's troops entered Ajdabiya and are causing havoc.
Al Franken proposes that Congress have to come up with the funds for a war before deciding to fight one.
In the current Republican climate of "Cut spending everywhere (but not the military)", this is a clever way to set one Republican goal against another, But I think it would have to be made a constitutional amendment to have binding effect.
Physicians for Human Rights reports that many medical doctors and medics in Bahrain have been disappeared. This goes together with the arrest of hundreds of dissidents, some of whom are being tortured.
Obama will probably choose to overlook this as he has done in Honduras.
The UK's plan for disposing of surplus plutonium was to mix it with uranium and use the mixture as nuclear fuel. Precisely the same kind of nuclear fuel that has made Fukushima unit 3 so dangerous.
Joseph E. Stiglitz: Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.
The US seems to be deciding not to protect Yemen's ruler, "President" Saleh.
Israel's Parliament has voted to remove the million land mines in the Golan Heights.
Rep. Ryan's budget cuts and tax cuts would actually increase the US national debt 10 years from now.
After that, the debt would start to go down because old people would have to pay a lot more for their medical care. (Or just die.)
US and UK agents participated in the torture-interrogation of Kenyan human rights defender Omar Awadh Omar, who is a prisoner in Uganda.
Chiquita Banana says it paid protection money to the paramilitaries in Colombia, but court documents show it was actually paying them for services.
These services might include suppression of union organizers, which is what they did for Coca Cola.
Here is the legal scholars' open letter rebuking Obama for conniving at the brainwashing of Bradley Manning.
A report says that defectors from Gaddafi's regime worked with French intelligence to prepare for the revolt against Gaddafi.
I don't know whether this is true, but if it is, it is not necessarily bad.
Obama's men are lobbying Congress not to extend search warrant requirements to more of people's email.
As many have long expected, the US is talking about keeping troops in Iraq after the supposed deadline for their departure.
Portugal faces crushing bailout conditions.
Protests are spreading in Syria despite killings by the police.
Obama keeps trying to rehabilitate Honduras's illegitimate government, even as it continues murdering and arresting protesters.
The US admitted running secret prisons in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch warns the US not to sign a free exploitation treaty with Colombia unless it sees progress in crushing the paramilitaries that murder union organizers.
Cease-fire negotiations are beginning between Gaddafi and the rebels.
I think Gaddafi will agree to go into exile in a few weeks if his attacks make no further progress.
I don't see any scandal in the fact that NATO planes have sometimes hit the rebel forces, because I am sure it was an accident. Such accidents happen in war; there is no way to avoid them. But better communications can reduce them. NATO and the rebels need better communications to make sure it does not happen again.
The immune bacteria in Delhi's water could ruin antibiotics around the world.
Australia plans to cut tobacco smoking by requiring boring, ugly cigarette packs, but tobacco companies claim they have a right to use their logos that overrides public health.
Apparently they think they get this right from some sort of treaty. The article does not say which treaty it is, but I think that is a very important question.
Germany's experiment with a legalized brothel district worked well for years. Then Bulgarian gangs moved in and ruined it.
The problem needs to be addressed, but I don't see how moving prostitutes back onto street corners will improve anything. I would suggest charging prostitutes a higher tax and using it to fund increased policing of the brothel district. It might be hard for gangs to exist in that climate.
Europeans must fight against plans to store more records of travel within the EU.
Amazon's profits are small publishers' losses.
The US government is putting money into developing cell phones that will forget the contact list when you push the "panic button".
If the phone was designed by the US government, and manufactured in China, can you rely on the feature to work?
Erzili Danto: Martelli's victory in the Haitian election was a good outcome, because it was a rejection of the political establishment, despite the illegitimacy of an election in which only 22% of the people voted.
Everyone: sign this petition to pressure Obama to treat prisoner Bradley Manning humanely.
The US would not have a deficit problem if corporations paid their taxes.
Monsanto is trying to push genetically modified maize on Mexico's farmers.
This would make it almost impossible to maintain landraces that are not contaminated, anywhere in Mexico.
Unionists in Guatemala say the government has ignored the flimsy requirements in CAFTA to uphold worker's rights.
The same thing is likely to happen in Colombia if the US signs the proposed free exploitation treaty with Colombia.
The kind of government that wants to sign a free exploitation treaty doesn't want these requirements to mean anything.
Honduras' coup-installed regime is crushing human rights, and is accused of killing 463 people.
Martelly was "elected" president of Haiti by the votes of under 17% of the voters.
I am not sure whether most Haitians were unable to vote, or whether they refused to vote because they support the Fanmi Lavalas party that was excluded from this dishonest election.
The latest Republican "compromise" is to destroy Medicare and raise taxes for working people, but cut taxes for the rich. Say no!
Craig Murray believes that the Ivory Coast election was not free; that everyone who voted for either Gbagbo or Ouattara was coerced.
UK citizens: tell your MP, no filtering of the Internet in the UK.
US citizens: support the Fair Elections Now Act.
Google and Facebook will go to court to overturn a French law requiring online services to get lots of identifying data about their customers.
The SpyLamp lets you track your bicycle if it gets stolen. Others can track it even if it isn't stolen. The company that makes the device can track it, and the phone company can track it too.
Without using this device, you can get an education from it. Most of the new municipal bike rental programs collect the same information about your movements.
The Libyan rebels might get military training, perhaps in Jordan.
US citizens: tell the Dirty Air Democrats you disapprove.
A gene that confers resistance to the last-resort antibiotics is widespread in the water supply in Delhi. Bacteria transfer genes between species, so even if these genes are present in bacteria that don't hurt people, they will be available to jump to other species inside a human gut.
The war in Afghanistan is now the US's most costly war. Ending that war would provide savings enough to cover the Republicans' US budget cuts.
If fighting in Afghanistan were necessary and justified, perhaps we would just have to bear these costs. But this war is neither justified nor winnable. The US should withdraw.
(The budget cuts are stupid anyway, because balacing the budget in a recession is stupid. This is the time for deficit spending.)
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, cut military spending not social spending such as health care. Also sign this petition.
For one week:
US citizens: tell Republican representative Issa to repay the Federal government the earmarks for the roads and sewers right next to the office building he owns.
Here's what he did.
The UK government wants the ISPs to agree to "voluntarily" block access to file-sharing sites.
The term "voluntarily" is dishonest, because participation won't be "voluntary" for the public.
The US is holding many prisoners without trial in Afghanistan, some of whom are acknowledged to be innocent.
In effect, it is another Guantanamo.
The IMF has a 2-billion-dollar windfall from gold that it could use for debt relief for poor countries.
Republican cuts in USAID would result in the death of 70,000 children.
Argentina's president is using jingoist rhetoric about the Falkland Islands as a campaign tool and distraction.
Evidently the US government is not the only one inclined to treat people as pawns and property for the sake of oil.
The inhabitants of the Falkland Islands have no relationship with Argentina and do not want to be ruled by Argentina. That decides the issue; they should not be handed over to Argentine control if they don't want to be.
The water leak to the sea in Fukishima was plugged with a peculiar mixture of substances.
If Israel does not begin real peace negotiations by September, Palestinians will ask the UN for recognition of their state.
Although Goldstone now believes Israel did not intentionally shoot at civilians in Gaza, Israel remains responsible for fighting a war in a way that killed hundreds of civilians.
A "resilience training" program for US soldiers is actually an uncontrolled psychological experiment.
A patent troll is attacking research into Alzheimer's disease.
Former Taliban, and people in Afghanistan negotiating with the Taliban, are being attacked in their houses at night by NATO.
Massive amounts of fresh water released by melting Arctic ice could cause rapid changes in the climate of Europe and North America.
No one in the US government has been punished for torture in Guantanamo, but psychologists are suing to force an investigation of a military psychologist for violating the standards of his profession.
The center of Hebron is off limits to the Arabs who live there, thanks to 800 Israeli colonists who seized the area. Every time they attacked the Palestinians, Israel punished the Palestinians, worse each time than the last.
Israel quadrupled the rate of colony construction from 2009 to 2010.
Can Israel's progress towards an apartheid state be stopped?
US citizens: tell the US government not to allow uranium mining in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.
US citizens: phone the White House and say, "Don't surrender to the Republicans' blackmail; don't make a budget deal that accepts their policy changes or defunds programs they oppose."
Bahrain's regime plans to put MPs on trial for backing protests.
Kenyans will sue the UK government for its occupation practices in the 1950s, which included murder as well as torture sometimes including castration.
Judge Goldstone says that he now believes Israeli troops in Gaza did not intentionally target civilians, but Israel's refusal to cooperate with his investigation prevented him from determining this before.
Uri Avnery: Non-cooperation with the Goldstone Commission caused Israel serious political damage.
Privately written state laws and regulations in the US can now be freely copied.
Mangrove forests are an important shield against global warming. Too bad they under attack all around the work.
A new measurement technique shows glaciers in South America are melting faster than was thought.
Since 1980, the melting rate has increased a hundredfold.
The World Bank proposes to limit loans for building coal-fired power plants.
The UK put restrictions on funds for legal aid so that torture victims would in the future be unable to sue.
Some top doctors reject airport x-ray scanners as dangerous.
Tell them, "Please feel me up!"
Prominent Israelis including former high officials are launching a new campaign for recognizing a Palestinian state.
Obama plans a military kangaroo court for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Obama has never been a strong supporter of human rights; he has occasionally proposed to do something, but doesn't stand firm if he encounters any resistance.
The Moscow police sued a publisher for libel in order to confiscate a book criticizing police corruption.
A right-to-die campaigner got help in Switzerland to die and escape constant pain, which otherwise might have continued for many years.
Some think such people should be forced to endure pointless unending torture.
The UK press smears nonviolent protesters by lumping them in with a few who committed property damage. And it exaggerates the importance of minor property damage to distract attention from the danger of violence against people, committed solely by the police.
Police in Yemen injured 400 protesters.
It appears that "president" Saleh's talk of willingness to resign was empty words.
The US brainwashing of Bradley Manning is getting criticism from Human Rights Watch and in the UK parliament.
We must not forget about the many other prisoners that receive this treatment in the US.Unconstitutional Confinement
Israel plans to exile the owner of its best English-language bookstore, a native of Jerusalem, using a bureaucratic excuse on top of a lie as an excuse for this violation of human rights.
Assad's killing and arrest of protesters have made more Syrians oppose him.
Pakistan's murderous fanatical Muslims have turned their sights on other Pakistani Muslims whose practices are not strict enough for them.
For Pakistan's mainstream Muslims to defeat the fanatics, they will first have to articulate a position that firmly defends the right to worship as (and if) one sees fit, rejecting the fanatics' claim to be entitled to bully people to be "better Muslims".
If they fight back and defeat the fanatics, they will sustain the claim that the Qur'an can be a book of peace. If they surrender to the fanatics' demands, they will prove that moderate Islam constitutes fertile ground for seeds of terrorism.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been arrested, obviously for political reasons.
Since the Libyan rebels lack military training and leadership, and since Gaddafi's attacks have been stopped by NATO air power, Libya is settling into a stalemate.
One advantage of a stalemate would be a decrease in casualties. And I think that Gaddafi will not be able to hold out for the long term if he cannot reconquer all of Libya.
Reportedly the regime is trying to negotiate an exit for him now.
What oil drilling and deforestation mean to the 100 independent aboriginal tribes in the Amazon forest.
US citizens: tell your senators to block Boehner's public subsidy for religious schools.
Bahrain wages an unrelenting crackdown on Shiites.
In the US: Attend a talk by Palestinian students sponsored by Jewish Voices for Peace, in support of divestment from companies that support Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
The environmental costs of coal power are enormous, but the costs of nuclear power are incalculable.
How many dangerous are nuclear power accidents? Estimates of how many people were killed by Chernobyl run from a few thousand to almost a million.
Scientists point out flaws in the highest estimate.
Many of these criticisms seem valid. However, one simple argument in the report compares total death rates in provinces of Russia and Ukraine heavily affected by the fallout with total death rates in other comparable provinces, and finds hundreds of thousands of added deaths there, apparently due to Chernobyl. This is a very rough estimate, of course, but the issue deserves to be addressed and it has not been.
Obama appointed a former RIAA lobbyist as a judge, and that judge promptly ruled against the users in a copyright case.
The copyright industry has already purchased control over the executive and legislative branches of the US government, and is in the process of taking control over the judicial branch. Soon the US government will wholeheartedly serve these companies against the people.
An interview with two members of the black bloc in recent London protests.
Reportedly additional diplomats report that the US endorsed the Saudi repression against Bahrain's protesters in exchange for support for intervention against Gaddafi.
The author of that article condemns a straw man, the "Liberal imperialist", that defends both the US stance towards Libya and the US stance towards Bahrain. I as a Liberal do not believe many Liberals would support the US stance towards Bahrain.
If the US indeed faced the choice of abandoning either the protesters in Bahrain or the rebels in Libya, I as president would have found that a very hard choice. But I doubt the choice was really so stark, even if it was presented that way. There are usually many options in such a negotiation, not just two. If Obama endorsed repression in Bahrain, my theory is that Obama was never strongly against it. Obama is not much of a Liberal, after all.
Uri Avnery refutes many criticisms of intervention in Libya.
US citizens: phone Obama on April 5 to say renewal of the U SAP AT RIOT act must include checks and balances to protect civil liberties.
Muslim fanatics in Afghanistan killed UN workers, just to vent their outrage that a Christian fanatic in the US had burnt a Qur'an.
That Christian is a religious lunatic, but limited himself to burning a book which was not rare, and was (I suppose) his property. This was not nice, but it was not an atrocity. The Muslims who retaliated again innocent people are also religious lunatics, and their act was an atrocity.
However, other Christian religious lunatics in the US have committed atrocities, against gays and abortion providers. And many would commit atrocities against pregnant women by denying them the safety of an abortion.
Karzai's government is steadily attacking women's rights.
The Taliban would be worse, but this government is so bad that there is no sense in fighting to keep it in power.
In the 1992 Earth Summit, states pledged to carry out sustainable development. Bankers want to use the 2012 Earth Summit to get rid of all that, and define "Green" as another variant of Greed.
Various people, even a policewoman, testified that Ian Tomlinson was not threatening and there was no excuse for the police violence that killed him.
Assad's uncompromising speech stimulated more protests, and his police or troops have shot more protesters.
Norway will pay Guyana to preserve its forests; the payments will be based on success in doing so.
The Libyan rebels have proposed a cease fire to Gaddafi.
UK agencies that are supposed to help the jobless have been told to create excuses to deny benefits.
The Czech Republic joins several other European countries in having data retention requirements rejected as unconstitutional.
Former president Gbagbo of Ivory Coast refused to cede power peacefully; now he is about to be kicked out by force, as most of his soldiers have deserted and defected.
Foreign pressure and sanctions have probably played a substantial role in causing Gbagbo's army to fall apart. It can probably do the same in Libya, assuming Gaddafi cannot regain control of Libya's oil. If he were to do that, Europe would be compelled to drop much of the sanctions in exchange for that oil.
The US has granted Omar Barghouti a visa for his book tour. Barghouti, who advocates political pressure to supporty Palestinian independence, had been denied a visa for ideological reasons.
A former manager at the San Onofre nuclear power plant is suing the company, saying he was fired hours after he brought up safety concerns.
This reactor is located near the cost and very close to an active fault.
Samsung was reported to have installed a keylogger in its new laptops, perhaps with a back door to collect the information remotely.
It turns out this was a false accusation (though it is strange that the company made a false confession — and without torture, too).
Samsung did not install a keylogger. But it did install Windows, which is effectively equivalent. Using this backdoor, Microsoft could remotely install such a keylogger at any time. And how would you know it hasn't already done so?
Freedom-disrespecting software such as Windows makes users defenseless against abuse by the developer.
North Carolina has halfway approved a law to prohibit cities from setting up nonprofit ISPs to improve Internet access.
By voting for this, the North Carolina assembly has demonstrated that it is an organ of the corporate empire, not a legitimate government.
The FBI has a billion-dollar project to track people's biometrics.
This will do no good against the most harmful form of crime, the betrayal of our democracy to the power of business.
Singer Willie Nelson's punishment for possession of marijuana will be to sing a song for the judge.
I see nothing wrong with that. What's unjust is that others who are arrested for possession of marijuana are jailed and/or fined.
Gaddafi's forces have started an offensive again, retaking the two towns between Sirte and Ajdabiya, so civilians began fleeing Ajdabiya in case Gaddafi attacks it again.
This shows Obama was right in saying that the air strikes already made did not leave Gaddafi powerless and he was still a threat to Libya's civilians.
This also shows that the rebels are not an effective fighting force. They don't have military training or discipline, so they have trouble fighting against a real army, even a small one. I think continued outside support is the only way to prevent Gaddafi from recapturing Benghazi (and surely carrying out a massacre).
The defection of Gaddafi's foreign minister shows that the pressure on his aides to abandon him is real and does work. But they only feel the pressure strongly once they recognize that victory is impossible. The foreign minister is probably exceptionally cunning and calculating, so he has already reached the conclusion that staying with Gaddafi is a dead end. The others will take longer to convince. Soldiers are not going to believe the war is lost if they can still mount successful attacks. Thus, to defeat Gaddafi through defection requires protecting the rebels for a sufficient period of time.
Several weeks ago I suggested that one Egyptian division would be the best kind of support they could have. Subsequent events support that view. I don't think Gaddafi would dare fight such a force at all. If that's not available, NATO air power can do the job, but that requires actual fighting.
Iman al-Obaidi now faces charges of defamation for saying she was raped while a prisoner of Gaddafi's men.
US citizens: phone the White House on April 5 to fix the U. S.A.P. A.T. R.I.O.T. act to protect civil liberties. Click here to get a suggested calling script.
Part of an archeological region in Argentina has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The rest is threatened with destruction by mining companies.
How Western Corporations Have Been Helping Tyrants Suppress Rebellions (and protests) in the Arab World.
US citizens: sign this petition to put an end to debtor's prison in the US.
Here is a discussion of the problem.
Peru is doomed to US dominion: former leftist candidane Humala says he will respect the free exploitation treaties, such as the one that almost caused a civil war two years ago.
Texas is considering a law to ban discrimination against creationist college professors.
For biology professors, this is tantamount to saying, "Hire the incompetent."
After 50 years of false reassurances and covering up failures, the nuclear power industry cannot be trusted.
US regulation of nuclear plants is a joke. When a company can't cover up a problem, it can get the NRC to ignore it.
US citizens: phone your senators and say, "No loan guarantees or any sort of subsidy for nuclear power."
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
In Balochistan, a part of Pakistan, there is a war of assassination between the government of Pakistan and nationalist rebels that want independence.
The US is providing robots to Japan to help clean up the Fukushima reactors.
This raises two questions.
First, why weren't they sent the day after the earthquake?
Second, why didn't TEPCO have robots in Fukushima ready for use? Evidently they were overconfident; they assumed they knew precisely how bad a problem could be, and how much they might need to correct it. To save money, they provided that much and no more.
That attitude, reminiscent of BP's, invites disaster. We don't know how or when the disaster will happen, but we can be sure it will happen someday.
Oregon, Washington and Texas are considering laws to tax electric vehicles as much as if they used gasoline. Worse, the principal method used would be tracking the cars. That would give people a strong reason to reject these vehicle.
We need to encourage electric vehicles. The right way to make up for lost gasoline tax revenue due to electric vehicles is to increase the gasoline tax rate, and thus push more people to electric vehicles.
In the future, when gasoline cars have been mostly replaced, fast recharge services and battery swaps could be taxed. But better than that, why not tax only trucks? Trucks cause far more road wear than cars.
US citizens: call on White House chief of staff Daley, closely tied to AT&T, to stay out of the AT&T/T-mobile merger issue.
Five reasons why the AT&T / T-mobile merger should be blocked.
A Texas billionaire has opened a private nuclear waste dump which threatens to contaminate the region's ground water.
Will he pay for replacement water supplies for the affected area, and buy up any agricultural land that can is no longer safe to use?
Armed construction workers are forcing thousands of Cambodians out of their homes without warning, for an upscale development project.
US citizens: oppose uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
You might think a place as special as the Grand Canyon would be protected without question, but not with today's politicians, bought and sold by big business.
With any luck, though, the price of uranium will fall as plans to construct nuclear power plants get cancelled. Fukushima may save the Grand Canyon.
In the US: tell PBS's News Hour to stop limiting its discussion of the intervention in Libya to ex-officials and right-wingers.
To think some people say PBS has a Liberal bias!
In the US: join a protest or vigil on April 4 against the Republican attacks on working people and unions.
18 Palestinian protesters in Nabi Saleh have been arrested by Israeli troops, including organizers and a boy of age 11.
In protests on March 9, the Egyptian army arrested female protesters and subjected them to "virginity tests". Those who failed the tests were tortured.
US citizens: sign this petition against oil drilling in Artic waters where a spill could kill all polar bears in the region.
Iran's regime is using US copyright law to censor its dissidents.
London police told protesters in Topshop they would be escorted away to safety after their protest, then arrested them instead.
These dishonest arrests are being lumped together with others as an excuse for new restrictions on protesters.
The town of Iitate, 25 miles from the Fukushima reactors, has dangerous radiation levels and needs to be evacuated.
Craig Murray says that the NATO intervention in Libya has exceeded the limits of the UN resolution that authorized it.
Can bombing Gaddafi's army be justified when it is not attacking? It depends on the interpretation of the goal, "to protect civilians". With narrowest possible interpretation, Gaddafi's forces can only be attacked while they are doing something that endangers civilians. But I think the resolution allows attacking Gaddafi's forces if they could be a threat to civilians in the future.
Also, we should not assume that all the civilians in Sirte are safe from Gaddafi. Maybe most of them are his backers and are safe from him, but there may be some who are not.
Nonetheless, Murray's point is partly valid. To start a bloody battle over Sirte would not be protecting civilians.
A Libyan woman in Tripoli tried to tell Western journalists that Gaddafi's men had raped her in prison, but Gaddafi's men dragged her out of their hotel.
China is censoring the word "protest" in telephone calls.
If people make up a few verbal aliases for "protest", they can tie China in knots.
US citizens: sign this petition to tax the rich more rather than damage social services.
Chernobyl's old coolant lake still needs water pumped in constantly, lest it evaporate and allow toxic (radioactive?) sediment to disperse in the wind.
This pumping is no difficulty as long as civilization keeps going. But if we have a global eco-disaster, or a local war, the pumps might well stop.
There are countless small and large disasters in waiting that humanity holds off through engineering that requires maintenance. Each one has the potential to blow up if, for whatever reason, people are no longer available to pay attention to it.
India's latest tiger census shows a 10% improvement, but it is hard to be sure the figure is real.
The protests in Yemen have spurred a breakdown in Yemen's tribal rule: more individuals now think in terms of Western political rights.
The Century Foundation says that the war in Afghanistan is stalemated and recommends negotiation without preconditions under neutral auspices.
Libyan rebels have retaken Ras Lanuf. A doctor there said that Gaddafi's troops brutalized civilians, but says he saw no sign of foreign mercenaries among them.
Israel has legalized racial discrimination in housing, and is planning its attack on freedom to support any kind of boycott directed against Israeli policies.
When I was born, there were neighborhoods in the US that didn't allow Jews to live there.
Microsoft pandered to a dozen tyrants by disabling the "always HTTPS" option on Hotmail in the countries they oppress.
Update: Microsoft said this was an accidental bug, but I am skeptical.
The Wisconsin Republican Party is trying to use the state's open records law to get the private emails of a professor, as punishment for an article about the evolution of the Republican party.
A free-to-share science fiction video series seeks subscribers to finance it, chapter by chapter.
Criticizing Chomsky for valuing independence (for a country) over human rights (for its inhabitants).
I mostly agree, but Chomsky is right in one way.
The empire of the megacorporations, which dominates most of the world's states, tries to impose exploitative laws everywhere it can, threatening the environment, public health, and the general standard of living. To defeat this attack, we need governments that are independent (that reject the empire).
A truly free government would reject the empire's rule. But many governments that mostly respect human rights, as does the US, bow down totally to the empire. We need to judge governments on both characteristics. A good government is one that respects human rights and tries to destroy the empire.
Republican Christian fanatics in many states are trying to attack the teaching of biology.
India says that leprosy has been eradicated, but that exaggerated claim impedes raising funds to cure the people who catch leprosy.
Congress wants to cut funds to the agency responsible for safety of undersea oil drilling.
There has been no accident or oil spill for decades, and corporations would never take unnecessary risks, so why regulate?
In Radio Free Europe, the US condemns the US soldiers who murdered Afghan civilians.
Children in Australia are threatened with punishment for drawing in chalk on the sidewalk.
Libya's rebels have recaptured Ajdabiya, which means the whole of Eastern Libya is more or less safe from Gaddafi. The civilian population of Ajdabiya, which fled, is happy and returning.
This victory depended on foreign air strikes, suggesting that the rebels still cannot defeat Gaddafi's forces. However, it is now clear to them that they cannot reconquer Libya and cannot exploit its oil riches again. I think most of them will abandon Gaddafi after this sinks in, provided they have appealing ways to surrender or leave Libya.
A Tasmanian forest which has 60 rare species would deserve protection, but the Australian government is hoping to delay this protection to give mining a chance to eliminate the reason.
A store in Montana offers a gun gratis with every TV satellite antenna.
This means you can endanger your children in two ways for the price of one.
100 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that inspired the first worker protection laws in the US, Republicans are trying to eliminate them.
The Republican Party philosophy is, "Enrich business owners at any cost, even workers' lives." It is sad that the Democratic Party is not far behind them.
250,000 or 500,000 people protested in London against right-wing budget cuts that threaten to create a further recession.
Note that the crime of "aggravated trespass" really means "a protest in a place where it isn't wanted"; it was created specifically to criminalize peaceful protest. Thus, arrest figures which include that "crime" overestimate any real violence that there was.
UK teacher Leonora Rustamova was determined to help 5 students who had totally rejected studying, so she wrote a novel for them, using their first names for characters. It turned their lives around, so the school board fired her for "violating confidentiality".
The accusation against Leonora Rustamova is false in its own terms, because her book did not really indentify the five students, let alone give information about them. More deeply, it is standard bureaucratic tyranny to accuse an activity of violating someone's confidentiality when the supposed victims give it their full and unpressured support.
I do have one criticism of Ms. Rustamova: how dare she apologize for the book's web publication? That apology legitimizes the system's injustice. She has a right to forgive the injustice done to her, but this undeserved legitimacy effectively supports the threat of future unjust punishment of someone else.
I urge Ms. Rustamova to stop apologizing to tyrants, put the book up on the web again with a suitable CC license, and build a new career on rebuking the mentality that punished her. Make them rue what they did!
Tens of thousands joined protests in Syria, and soldiers shot at them.
India's intention to block the .xxx domain entirely shows that it is a recipe for censorship.
A proposed road in Tanzania could endanger the migration of gnus.
The US announced massive plan to expand coal mining, which implies 300,000 megawatts of added coal-burning generating capacity.
This plan dwarfs the 12,000 megawatts of planned renewable energy. It would also spew mercury and other toxins into the air. It reflects Obama's decision to surrender completely to the polluting industries.
Iraqis Take to the Streets, Call for Real Democracy.
Syria's government has killed dozens of protesters in the past few days.
US citizens: call on the EPA to ban the pesticide clothianidin, which is toxic to honey bees and suspected of playing a central role in the drastic decline in honey bee population in the US.
US citizens: call on the EPA to regulate power plant emissions of mercury, arsenic, lead, and other toxins.
Sex education in the Netherlands starts at age 4, and is very effective in teaching teenagers to avoid the various problems of sex gone wrong.
Thousands protested against the "free trade" treaty CAFTA during Obama's visit to El Salvador.
The total solitary confinement now imposed on Bradley Manning, and on thousands of convicts and suspects, represents the negation of the US Constitution and previous US ideas of justice.
South Korea wants to require all computer users to run proprietary malware.
The UN Human Rights Council launched an investigation into Iran's attacks on opposition and protest.
An opposition leader from Belarus has been given asylum in the Czech Republic.
The same rich people and large companies that backed Gov. Walker's anti-union law in Wisconsin also backed the Michigan law to destroy local government, through a secretive political organization.
The Wisconsin union-busting law has been blocked from taking effect because it was voted on illegally, violating the state's open meetings law.
Unions are calling on the public to boycott the businesses that have supported Gov. Walker.
Oil company flunkies are claiming that the moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico has caused a rise in oil prices. It's a lie.
Low oil prices are a mistaken goal anyway. The US should put a tax on all CO2-producing fuels so as to encourage renewable energy, and should give a compensatory handout to poor people in rural areas whether they use fossil fuels or not.
(Another recent post on this topic here.)
US citizens: call on Obama to give back the ten-million-dollar loan that Duke Energy (a nuclear power company) made to Obama's campaign.
It seems inherently corrupt for political campaigns to accept loans from companies. It should be illegal.
Tokyo tapwater is considered unsafe for infants due to radioactive fallout.
ACLU's lawsuit against illegal government spying has been reinstated by federal court.
Iran installed expensive technology to block use of TOR, but TOR was ready with a defense.
NATO air strikes drove off the Gaddafi armored troops that were attacking Misrata, but Gaddafi's snipers continue shooting people at random.
Meanwhile, refugees from Ajdabiya say Gaddafi's troops, including foreign mercenaries, continue to kill civilians there.
I have seen arguments that the motivation for this intervention has to do with Libya's oil. That seems plausible to me. But that has nothing to do with whether the intervention is good or bad.
Iran accused of sending troops to Syria to kill protesters.
The Google Book Search settlement was rejected.
The FSF joined many others in opposing the settlement. Our reason was that it would give Google special rights that would not be available to anyone else. To give everyone the same rights would be fair and a good thing.
A student in Louisiana was suspended for wearing long hair.
The ACLU's response was too narrow, because it made a special exception for this one student on religious grounds.
Where does this school get off dictating short hair to male students? Will it next demand females wear skirts?
Most Haitians boycotted the burmese-style election imposed by the UN (and the US behind it).
Medical malpractice in the US costs 2.4% of the total spent on health care.
Thus, claims that "tort reform" could result in big savings are false.
When Pharma companies publish supposed costs of drug trials, they exaggerate in many ways, perhaps by a factor of 5.
This largely invalidates the argument they make in favor of allowing patents on drugs.
The Koch brothers praise the Harley Davidson workers who accepted pay cuts while the boss took home 6.5 million.
While the US and other states intervene to protect Libya's rebels from Gaddafi, Bahrain's king is using US weapons to attack protesters that have mostly remained nonviolent.
TEPCO repeatedly skipped safety checks in Fukushima number 2 reactor, and stored too much old nuclear fuel there — as a cost-cutting measure.
This is, ultimately, why we can't trust nuclear power reactors run by large companies. It's the same reason why we can't trust undersee oil drilling by large companies. Safety standards are worthless unless they are enforced, and enforcing them requires zero-tolerance for violations. If zero-tolerance is not feasible, then the project is unsafe.
Police in Ukraine are persecuting people who take methadone.
Israeli troops kept the Palestinian village of Awarta under total curfew for 5 days, repeatedly searching the same houses, destroying property, wounding helpless people and having dogs bite them, then blocking ambulances from helping them.
Someone (presumed to be Palestinians) murdered a family in an illegal settlement in Palestinian territory. There is no indication of who committed the crime, so Israelis punished Awarta because it was nearby. The searches were clearly sadism rather than a serious attempt to find the murderers (who probably don't live there).
Where did they get the idea? The Nazis did something similar: when the resistance attacked Nazis or their power, their policy was to retaliate against people living nearby. In effect, the civilians of any town were hostages of the Nazis.
Some Israelis must have remembered this and been inspired by it. Now Palestinians too are hostages.
A project that gave a monthly stipend to all inhabitants (except retirees) of a region in Namibia had many good effects.
It reduced indebtedness, school absenteeism, unemployment, and even crime.
I think it is a bad thing to make people give their fingerprints, however.
London protesters are suing the police to stop the practice of "kettling" or besieging protesters, which involves violence towards protesters who have committed no violence.
NPR was the latest victim of a dishonest Republican edited video attack.
TEPCO has falsified safety records of nuclear plants.
Bahrain's king tries to excuse crushing unarmed protesters by falsely claiming they represented Iranian subversion.
The US Congress demands human rights progress from Colombia before ratifying the Free Exploitation Treaty.
Colombians deserve more respect for their human rights, but they also deserve respect for their democracy, which is the opposite of what this treaty will do if it comes into force.
US Congressional representatives say Obama should have asked Congress to approve fighting in Libya.
I agree, but I also think Congress should vote authorization for this military action forthwith.
The US will soon say it is handing over security over parts of Afghanistan to Karzai's regime, but this is just for show.
The UN Human Right Council is considering a resolution to condemn Israel for ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories.
A Yemeni general says his forces will "protect protesters".
The nuclear industry, with Congress' help, has gained control over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, so the US does not take proper precautions with its old nuclear fuel rods.
Republican cuts in funds for vaccination could kill lots of US children.
Major oil spills continue happening in the Gulf of Mexico, but they get ignored because they are not in the same class as the big one last year.
Google accuses China of subtly sabotaging access to Gmail.
US soldiers face murder charges for detaining and then killing Afghan civilians, and pretending they were Taliban fighters.
I am glad that the US Army is not protecting them as it has so often done in the past. Such crimes probably happen often, in less spectacular ways, and it is rare to find evidence to prosecute anyone for them. However, one prominent prosecution might make soldiers think twice about the dehumanisation of Afghans which is what leads to this.
I am disturbed however by the charge of "possession of images of human casualties". That sounds like censorship which could threaten journalism.
Massive protests have resumed in Yemen even though many were killed by snipers on Friday. The "president" has fired the cabinet, but the protesters want him to quit.
Bahrain's monarchy continues to stop doctors from treating injured protesters.
Large protests for democracy are occurring in Morocco.
The Israeli Army recognizes that Palestinians still own the wells of al-Tawamin, but they can't use the wells because the surrounding land has been "seized" for settlers.
Thousands are continuing to protest in Syria for political rights and an end to the 50-year "emergency".
I am not sure what to make of the government's claims that "infiltrators" tried to get police to shoot protesters. It could be a lie meant to transfer responsibility for the shooting to some imaginary conspiracy. However, if they wanted to lie, why tell such a strange lie instead of scapegoating some police commander? But if it is true, who might those infiltrators be, and what might they want? Neither theory seems plausible.
The Fukushima reactors seem to be getting under control.
The radioactive fallout dispersed thus far is not a big danger. However, even if all goes well from now on, and even if few people are harmed, the economic cost of the reactor damage will be tremendous.
Chomsky does not recognize that Iran has changed from a limited, restricted democracy to outright tyranny.
A letter reveals how some of Iran's ayatollahs planned for religious tyranny while recognizing they were a minority among their colleagues.
The author believes that the US and the Shah secretly support each other. I would not put it past the US government to lie like that, but I am not convinced it is doing so now. Nonetheless, if the VOA supports the Iranian regime, that calls for some explaining even if it does not result from a deeper scandal.
Uri Avnery believes there is a duty to intervene to stop states from massacring their peoples.
I agree with him. The hard part is how to prevent this from being used (as it was in Iraq) as an excuse for conquest, and making sure it won't lead to even worse massacres (as it did in Iraq).
I don't have a general solution, but there are many important differences between Libya today and Iraq in 2003. One difference is that between protecting a popular rebellion and intervening where there is none.
The US government wants to fund development of advanced sockpuppet software so that a few operatives can fake 50 people.
Even if the US government only uses this in Afhanistan and Pakistan, sabotage of democracy there is still bad. And if the US government does not use this in the US, others will — and maybe already do.
Kyrgyzstan is accused of imprisoning a nonviolent human rights defender on false charges, and torturing him.
The new .xxx domain seems to be intended for censorship, and seems to imply that porn sites will be forced to move there so they can be blocked more easily.
I think that if we are to have a domain for porn, it should be called . o r g y.
This article talks about how Saudi and other troops attacked protesters in Bahrain.
This claims Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain and got its "invitation" afterward. I don't have a way to check the facts about this.
This article criticizes the US for its weak support for the protests. Craig Murray reports hearing from another diplomat that the US endorsed the Saudi intervention in return for support for the UN endorsed intervention in Libya. Whereas the Washington Post report says that the US opposed the intervention in Bahrain but Saudi Arabia did it anyway.
I have no way of determining which one is accurate.
Gaddafi's "cease fire" proved to be a lie; the attacks continued. So various countries have begun attacking his planes and tanks.
A Catholic school in Canada led the students in an anti-abortion protest and suspended students who showed their dissent by wearing pro-abortion-rights stickers.
I refuse to refer to those who oppose abortion rights as "pro-life", and I won't be namby-pamby by calling my side "pro-choice". I am in favor of abortion rights, and also to some extent in favor of abortion.
Egyptians protested on March 9 against the army's plans for Egypt, and were tortured.
Aristide arrived in Haiti and said, "Modern-day slavery will have to end today."
Colombia has been saved from a trade treaty with the US for 4 years by concern about murdered union leaders.
I hope that Colombia takes action to stop the murder of union leaders, but it would be an awful shame if this enabled an attack on democracy in Colombia to proceed.
A town in Germany recycles 70% of household waste through financial incentives.
To make this widely applicable, it needs to be adapted to work in the cities where most of the human population now lives.
Republicans want the IRS to ask US women probing questions about abortions.
The FDA has given a company a monopoly on progesterone for preventing premature births, and the company raised the price from $10 to $1500.
Since the drug is cheap to make, that price is pure monopoly rent.
The UN's authorization of military support for the Libyan rebels excludes "foreign occupation forces" and maintains an arms embargo on the rebels as well as Gaddafi.
Troops to fight alongside the rebels might not count as an "occupation force".
I disagree with Murray's opinions about the intervention.
The last report I had seen is that Gaddafi declared a cease fire but his troops were continuing to attack. By the time this is posted you will probably know whether the cease fire is real. If so, this intervention will have been extremely successful with no casualties. If not, it may still be successful and might reduce the casualties of the war.
Egypt's constitution, with the amendments proposed by the military, will still have major flaws, one of them being a great obstacle to further amendments that might fix the flaws.
The Muslim Brotherhood likes the changes, but protest leaders say to vote no. It seems the changes will create a regime like the Obama regime: better than Mubarak, but not good.
I am sure the US's hand is behind this.
The Iranian supreme court approves death sentences in under 10 days. This includes death sentences for opposition to the regime (which is called "fighting god").
Iran is accused of secret executions.
Right-wing politicians in the US often say they want to make capital punishment more efficient. They should move to Iran where they belong.
The prominent condemnation of the psychological torture of Bradley Manning is calling attention to the broader cruelty of US prisons which keep many prisoners isolated for long periods.
There was a substantial protest for democracy in Armenia.
Some US nuclear power plants were licensed based on a wrong-headed assumption that the simultaneous occurrence of an earthquake and some other problem was too unlikely to be worth considering.
There is a campaign in Italy to censor web sites that encourage anorexia.
Which idea will they censor next? Support for Berlusconi? Opposition to Berlusconi?
100,000 people protested in Yemen, and the police shot 45 of them.
Israel kidnapped the deputy director of Gaza's power plant from Ukraine, and won't let a lawyer see him.
Nonviolent Palestinian campaigner Abu Rahman has been released from prison (which he should never have been put in) and says he will go straight back to activism.
Some Israelis blame the peace camp for the murder of a family of Israelis living on Palestinian territory that Israel seized.
This is totally irrational. The Israelis that are indirectly partly responsible for these killings are those who established the settlements.
All Palestinians are being blamed too for the killings.
Should we blame all Israelis every time Israeli police or soldiers kill Palestinians?
A Danish company will stop supplying security equipment to the Israeli settlements and checkpoints in the West Bank.
US citizens: sign the petition for Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
It is hypocritical for Cuba and Iran to make these criticisms, since they too practice imprisonment without trial, and Iran's trials are even worse than Guantanamo military tribunals. However, let's not be distracted by that; the criticisms are valid nonetheless. The US cannot justify its disrespect for human rights by saying that other countries are worse.
The US claim that it does not tolerate torture is belied by Obama's acceptance of the torture of Bradley Manning.
Accusing the UN of underreporting the Afghan civilians killed in US Special Forces raids, estimating them at around 400 rather than 80.
It also says the US uses double standards to exaggerate the killings of civilians by the Taliban, and underestimate those by NATO.
Maybe this helps explain why Afghans in general seem to be more angry at NATO than the Taliban about such killings.
Development in Canada's boreal forests threatens to increase global heating.
Wikileaks cables allege that the Indian ruling Congress party bought votes in Parliament.
This is not proof, but the suspicion adds to lots more suspected and proven corruption.
Global heating means stronger hurricanes and more flooding, and these can cause nuclear power plant disasters.
Europe's chief climate official says that offshore wind power is cheaper to build than nuclear power.
The EU carbon emission credit trading scheme is failing to reduce emissions.
The mega-heatwave of 2003, which killed thousands in Europe, will recur more or less each decade by mid-century.
The US is stll trying to collect the debts contracted by Lon Nol's government in the 70s. Cambodia is asking them to be partly forgiven in various ways.
Cambodia could argue that Lon Nol's involvement made it a tbed rather than a debt.
A Tibetan monk set himself on a fire. Chinese police put the fire out, then beat him badly. Now he has died.
There is no way of knowing how much his death was due to the fire and how much it was due to the beating.
Between the Taliban and the US, civilian casualties in Afghanistan are higher than ever since the war began.
US citizens: sign this petition against Wall Street payment practices that encourage putting society at risk.
Bahrain has arrested leaders of the protests, accusing them of "contacting foreign agents".
This article asserts the Bahraini protest movement took a secular position, and the regime twisted it into a matter of Shi'a versus Sunni.
Aristide is on his way back to Haiti, and the US rebuked him for trying to "impact the election"?
And why shouldn't he? He has more right to a say in the matter than the occupying powers that set up this Burmese-style election. He is the candidate most Haitians want, and the occupiers contrived to block him from running by keeping him out of Haiti.
Aristide was outside Haiti because US troops kidnaped him. Why should those kidnapers expect him to cater to them now? Does they think he has Stockholm syndrome?
I hope his supporters force a restart of this fraudulent election.
However, this article warns that someone else might start violence, and blame it on Aristide.
Western and Arab armies will protect Benghazi from Gaddafi.
In addition to protecting the civilians in Benghazi, it will prevent Gaddafi from fully controlling Libya ever again. That might be enough to defeat him, but I think it will be necessary to deny him control over oil production there. Otherwise European countries will have to compete to buy Libyan oil, and the one that helps him the most will win.
Large protests in Wisconsin are still going on.
US citizens: Tell Democrats to stand firm against Republicans cuts in aid for poor Americans.
Many journalists have been attacked or threatened in Yemen.
The Egyptian secret police seem to have selectively destroyed documents including records of torturing suspects brought by the US.
Glenn Greenwald: "protecting those who are abusing Manning, while firing Crowley for condemning the abuse, is perfectly consistent with the President's sense of justice."
Apparently it doesn't want people to notice the systematic torture.
US citizens: Call on the US to support action on Gaza war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
The speaker of the Majlis accused Ahmadinejad of massive fraud.
The Washington Post says that Obama tried to discourage Saudi intervention in Bahrain, but failed.
Witnesses in Bahrain describe the soldiers' attack on protesters, and on a main hospital.
Major report debunks alleged link between unauthorized commercial copying and terrorism.
I am not in favor of allowing unlimited commercial copying of artistic and entertainment works, but it's still wrong to call it "piracy".
Pete Bethune says he will outfit up ships to board illegal fishing boats in areas where governments don't enforce fishing rules.
Police are using water canons to cool reactors and old fuel rods in Japan. But they can't tell whether this is working, because workers can't enter the reactor buildings. (Why don't they have robots or waldoes? Those have been used for decades for work on reactors.)
This writer says uranium and plutonium could contaminate a large area around the reactors, but that the main danger at a greater distance is from milk and meat contaminated by fallout.
Even if the disaster had been avoided, and the sole cost of the failure were the loss of the value of the reactors and the cost of cleaning them up, that is still enough to make reactors a lousy investment for society (if they weren't one already).
New Jersey is considering a law to reduce penalties on teenagers who share naked photos of themselves with their lovers, or even keep such photos themselves.
It is just a first step towards a return to sanity. "Child pornography" should be illegal only for those involved in an activity that involves real abuse or exploitation of a real child.
Free haircuts if you donate your hair to clean up a future oil spill!
US citizens: Obama said he had ended federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries legalized by states, but he has resumed them. Sign this petition.
Basij thugs killed another student in Iran.
500 were arrested celebrating the fire festival.
Students and teachers in Iran face punishment in secret because their families have been threatened if they report what has happened.
India subsidizes "waste to energy" incinerators that emit toxins and don't produce much energy.
The Real Risks to America's Security.
Benghazi faces a siege by Gaddafi's troops. Without rescue, it will fall, and Gaddafi is likely to kill thousands.
The rest of the world has left the rebels to defeat on their own. Will it at least give them a way to evacuate so Gaddafi can't massacre them?
If I were the rebels, I would demolish the oil installations of Libya as thoroughly as possible so that Gaddafi would need years to rebuild them. If Gaddafi gets them back, he will make Europe accept his terms to get the oil. We will see those countries crawl and praise him and sell him whatever arms he wants to maintain his power, and this will be a salient lesson to every other dictator.
Pharma companies are effectively bribing doctors to push the psychiatric profession towards prescribing drugs rather than therapy.
The US National Association of Manufacturers supports policies to promote outsourcing of manufacturing from the US.
I don't know whether this currency manipulation issue is a real one; I have not heard of it before. I suspect that the trade treaties themselves are more responsible for sweatshops than this particular narrow issue.
What is interesting here is that the NAM has been subverted by the most powerful members and exploits its other members (real manufacturers) for their benefit. This resembles the way the US Chamber of Commerce exploits many local chambers of commerce and the way the American Association of Retired People exploits millions of Americans to lobby for right-wing policies most of the members don't even know about.
The Obama regime has admitted it seeks to keep Aristide out of Haiti.
This is in the name of finishing the Burmese-style fraudulent elections meant to impose a president that few Haitians voted for.
Protesters in Bahrain are being attacked by soldiers, and soldiers (including Saudis) are blocking doctors from treating the wounded.
The spent fuel rods in a Japanese reactor still contain plenty of uranium, and they might go critical again if the water leaks out.
The engineers that argue that reactors are safe are claiming, in effect, that they know everything that could possibly happen. They calculate the outcome for each possible event, and design the system to stand up against that. Then they claim the system is safe.
This reminds me of the arguments of the antievolutionists that a certain organ or a certain system of reactions is too complex to have ever evolved in a series of small steps. Those arguments presume one knows all the ways it might have happened, and can show all are impossible. The flaw is that there might be another way nobody has thought of.
Likewise, nuclear engineers can't envision everything that might happen. There is always a chance that a freak accident, or some clever enemy, can cause just the right series of events to make the system fail.
For other purposes, that approach might be adequate. Suppose the system is an airliner. If a freak accident can make an airliner crash, it could still be very safe, if such an accident is rare. That's because there would only be hundreds of casualties each time.
But a freak accident affecting a nuclear reactor could irradiate a large area, which is far worse than a plane crash. These plants are fundamentally unsafe.
Companies involved in fraudulent safety reports are supposed to build new nuclear plants in the US.
Spanish MP Arnaldo Otegi, who was convicted of the "crime" of accusing the king of protecting torturers, has won a claim of compensation.
Obama protects torturers too, but fortunately the US does not have a law that criminalizes insulting the president by saying so. Such laws are inexcusable tyranny.
Nuclear power plants inland need tremendous amounts of fresh water, and periods of heat and drought can make plants shut down. But coastal nuclear power plants using sea water are vulnerable to tsunamis and hurricanes.
Physicians for Human Rights have accused the military psychologists at Quantico of conniving at torture.
CVS and Walgreen sell customer prescription information to drug companies.
In an act of brilliant design, the "waste ponds" for spent fuel of the GE reactors now failing in Japan are above the reactor in the same building.
So explosions in those buildings, such as have occurred, can damage the "ponds" and make the spent fuel catch fire. This could release far more fallout than Chernobyl.
Things are just one step away from that. Japan is now improvising last-ditch expedients to try to prevent such a fire.
This design was reported as dangerous in 1972, but Japan continued building such reactors until around 1980.
Some accuse TEPCO of concealing radiation readings, and it wouldn't be the first time that TEPCO covered up nuclear safety problems.
Would you trust Obama to tell you truthfully what is happening in a nuclear accident?
Ralph Nader refutes charges that NPR has a Liberal bias.
Shah Khamenei has forbidden the traditional Persian fire festival.
Protesters around Iran are celebrating it anyway, chanting, "Death to Mullahs".
Protesters on motorcycles fought the Basij militia, so the militia began confiscating motorcycles.
People are going to hate them even more for that.
Israel has placed a Palestinian village under curfew for four days as collective punishment. They are breaking furniture and windows and people's bodies.
Following in the footsteps of China, Iran, and Gaddafi, they have excluded journalists so that their dirty work won't be noticed.
35 years later, forests in Vietnam destroyed by agent orange are still devastated.
Where acacia trees grow, maybe the wild forest could grow again. But it would be a lot of work to restore.
Greece has been given a small relief on its debt in exchange for a massive privatization.
Republicans in Wisconsin plan to use even a brief term in office to privatize and wreck the state's institutions.
Many countries are planning to build more nuclear power plants in earthquake zones.
It's not just that this particular policy is risky to the point of insanity. It also shows a misguided approach to evaluation of risk, which probably results in other bad decisions.
Massive protests have resumed in Bahrain.
The fact that Bahrain is divided between Shi'ites and Sunnis is a great obstacle there, because a nonviolent campaign for civil rights needs to avoid inspiring the members of the privileged group to defend themselves at any cost. The smaller the privileged group, the harder this is. Blacks in the US are only around 10% of the population, so civil rights leaders who preached equality for all, and opposed racism, were able to gather support from most Whites. To achieve that in Bahrain will be a great challenge.
Bahrain expects Saudi military help to crush protests.
The chief spokesman of the State Department had to resign after he criticized the abusive conditions of Bradley Manning's imprisonment, which amount to brainwashing.
Obama, meanwhile, has made himself personally responsible for yet another instance of US government torture by explicitly refusing to recognize the problem.
The wastes from Alberta tar sands are killing at least 2000 birds a year, maybe a lot more.
Various regions of Indonesia have banned Ahmadiya, a reformed sect of Islam that believes Mohammed was followed by another prophet.
In West Java, people are forbidden to identify themselves as followers of Ahmadiya.
These bans were imposed by decree, after fanatical Muslims violently attacked some Ahmadiya believers. On the excuse of "protecting" them, the state is oppressing them all. It seems they are acting out Islam's basic disrespect for religious freedom.
I have no information about the doctrines of Ahmadiya, but I suppose I would think they are mistaken. That's what I think about all religions. But they deserve the right to practice and to state their views.
US citizens: call on the US to act in the UN Human Rights Council to enable the ICC to take action on Gaza war crimes.
US citizens: phone the State Department to demand an end to Bahrain's violence against protesters (which includes use of Saudi troops), and an arms embargo for their use of US military equipment against civilians.
US citizens: sign this petition to Obama to end subsidies for nuclear power plants.
Without subsidies, they won't be built.
Michigan Republicans are passing a bill that would allow the state to supplant local governments with appointed ones, void union contracts, forcibly merge cities and school districts, and generally wreak havoc.
Iran's president Ahmadinejad says he can ignore laws passed by the Iranian Majlis.
The Iranian state presents a democratic face, but is a dictatorship in reality. The face is now slipping.
Obama and other pro-nuclear US politicians presented Japan as proof that nuclear power can be safe in the US.
There is no indication that the Japanese plants were not built correctly according to their plans, but you can't even count on that much in the US.
An opposition candidate in Belarus who was arrested and tortured has escaped from that country.
US regulations for nuclear reactors are not sufficient to make them safe from earthquakes.
For any site, scientists have some idea of the strongest quake ever recorded for that site. But this is not a guarantee against worse quakes.
Leaked documents seem to show Bank of America in an attempt to cover up facts about its loans.
An expert analyst says the nuclear accidents in Japan will probably not hurt people, but still demonstrate that nuclear proponents overlook unlikely but possible disasters.
Meanwhile, the situation in Japan has gone one step beyond what the expert thought was likely to occur.
Meanwhile, Obama tells us to stop worrying because the government is making sure we are safe.
He would have said the same thing a year ago about oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Craig Murray reports that the US agreed to tolerate Saudi troops in Bahrain in exchange for the Arab League vote to support no-fly zone in Libya.
If indeed the US was offered the choice of both or neither, I find it hard to say which choice was worse. With one choice, the protests in Bahrain are likely to be suppressed brutally, and with the other, the rebellion in Libya is likely to be suppressed brutally.
I think Murray's parting statement underestimates Gaddafi's strength. Without intervention in Libya, the rebels are likely to be crushed, and so now will the protesters in Bahrain.
In addition to Saudi troops, police from other nearby countries are in Bahrain, supposedly to "calm" the protests. What a euphemism that is.
The US left has been reinvigorated, and now has everything going for it except organization.
Wikileaks shows the Bush forces knew of 66,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Iraq Body Count recorded 104,000 civilians killed. But only 19% of the latter match the Bush forces records.
It follows that only around 30% of the Bush forces civilian death records are in Iraq Body Count.
This leads to a very rough estimate that around 350,000 civilians were killed.
Al Jazeera says Gaddafi's forces lured its camera team into an ambush and shot the cameraman.
A Guardian reporter is Gaddafi's prisoner.
Israel's retaliation for the crime of killing a settler family is a crime against all Palestinians.
Someone murdered an Israeli settler family in their home; now Palestinians in the vicinity are being subject to general reprisals by soldiers.
These killings were a war crime. However, the settlements are all illegal, so I think that chasing settlers out without murdering them would be justified retaliation for creating the settlements.
As Gaddafi's troops continue to capture rebel cities, the Arab League called for military intervention to support them.
Iranian dissidents say the Iranian regime is arming rural children with clubs and air guns, and setting them to attack protesters.
This congress is the most anti-science congress in history.
How plain packaging for cigarettes blocks tobacco company lies and helps smokers quit.
A second reactor in Japan has lost its emergency cooling system.
Japan's nuclear meltdown has galvanized opposition to nuclear power in Europe.
Building nuclear power plants is not effective as a way to reduce carbon emissions. As Amory Lovins has shown, efficiency improvements and renewable energy give more improvement per dollar.
Also read: Nuclear reactor protection
Reuters reports more of Gaddafi's soldiers defected while attacking Misrata.
In the US: tell Obama you're against subsidy for new nuclear power plants.
US citizens: call on Rep. Issa to disclose his meetings with lobbyists.
Atheist soldiers are suing after Fort Bragg spent government funds on an event to convert soldiers to evangelical Christianity, then sabotaged their attempt to run their own event.
Missouri Republicans have a solution to low wages in the US: allow teenagers of 14 to work late on school days.
Next step will be to end school at age 14 because, for the jobs they will get, they won't need school.
The TSA discovered that some x-rated scanners are emitting 10 times as much x-rays as they were supposed to.
As if ACTA were not bad enough, the US wants to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership an all-out attack on computer users.
Police in Yemen fired at protesters, killing several and wounding hundreds.
Texas is planning a bill to ban most abortions, and other states are also trying to ban them.
Japan has built many nuclear power plants in seismic zones and without sufficient protection.
They built the nuclear plants near sea level, then failed to protect them (and their backup generators) from tsunamis. This shows that the question of safety was mismanaged. They must have given priority to saving money rather than protecting against a plausible disaster scenario.
It's not just Japan where nuclear plants are accidents waiting to happen. Some US plants are near seismic faults too.
You can't trust a US corporation to spend money to avoid an accident, since lobbying Congress to avoid liability for it is cheaper.
The nuclear lobby has been buying politicians in the US and the UK, trying to get a subsidy one way or other (since these plants are money-losers). Let's learn the lesson before we throw away billions more on creating disasters.
Whistleblowers at the World Bank still face retaliation. The policies to protect them look good on paper but are ignored.
Perhaps some democratically-minded country should offer a large reward to anyone that exposes major corruption in the World Bank.
Gasoline price increases are necessary to encourage conservation. Thus, the way to shield poor drivers from suffering from the impact of the high price is to give some money to poor people — whether they drive or not. That way, they too will have an incentive to conserve.
Climate change activist Tim DeChristopher is content to have protected pristine land from oil drilling even at the cost of a prison sentence, but was disappointed by how the judge intimidated jurors out of voting their consciences.
If you are ever on a jury, you must resist that pressure, or you could do something that would make you ashamed for the rest of your life.
US citizens: sign the petition to tell Senate Democrats: take a lesson from Wisconsin; stand and fight the Republican War on America.
Double-dealing Rep. King is using his divisive hearings about Muslim radicals, trying to call Muslims "terrorists", while he strives to keep the US vulnerable to terrorist attacks, accidents, and natural disasters in plants that store poisonous gases.
The companies that don't want to tighten security must be giving him something in exchange for this.
The Libyan rebels are begging for foreign help, including air strikes against Gaddafi's army.
14,000 people a year are murdered in Venezuela, many of them in gang wars.
Legalizing drugs would take a lot of the fuel out of this fire.
By the way, the comparison with Iraq is at least somewhat misleading because the civil war in Iraq killed more like 140,000 people a year during the peak years.
The US defense budget is larger than ever in history, not even counting the wars.
Amnesty International reports on Iraqi torture of political dissidents.
The earthquake in Japan damaged some nuclear reactors, and the workers had to release radioactive vapor from one of them to relieve pressure.
If they don't make progress soon, they could have an accident like Three Mile Island after around a day.
A Chernobyl-style accident is less likely given that these reactors have more layers of enclosure than the Chernobyl reactor. But it is not impossible, especially if the earthquake has damaged those layers.
Some US nuclear reactors are quite near major fault lines and near cities too.
It is hard to do anything about them, but we can avoid creating more such problems.
The UK's proposed policies for reducing CO2 emissions for electric power seem tailor-made to encourage more nuclear power.
Which US senator killed the Whistleblower Protection Act?
Citizens are trying to find out.
Russian environmental campaigners ask for European support to preserve the Khimki forest.
US workers have to compete with prison labor.
For the New York Times, waterboarding is torture except when the US does it.
The UK is considering abolishing the census in the face of substantial public resistance.
I am disappointed with the article for publishing Professor Voas' shallow dismissal of concerns about the census; he does not seriously address them. "Credit card information is more detailed"? Only if you allow it to be; mine shows only that I fly. "This is the most secure data set around"? Only until someone decides to leak your data — and there is no longer a penalty for doing so. The practice of fuzzing the published figures to protect personal privacy is the right thing to do, but it addresses a different issue, so it's effectively a change of subject.
If you do answer the UK census, consider answering "No religion" if you no longer really believe.
Help stop privatization of public libraries in the US: send a message to the Santa Clarita city council.
Sign this too:
New York's Democratic governor is trying to shaft the parents of babies brain-damaged through malpractice.
It is good to punish malpractice, but as the article reminds us, it would be better to prevent some malpractice by barring incompetent doctors from practicing at all.
I think that the right to life really starts some time after birth, and that extending it back to birth is a matter of giving the benefit of the doubt. If a baby is born with severe damage, whatever the cause, euthanasia might be the best solution.
It looks like grain will be more scarce next year than this year.
Humanity is pushing against the world's limits, and running an annual overdraft against some of them. Sure, there are ways to adjust, such as improved techniques, feeding less grain to cattle, and not using food-type crops for fuel, but people resist those changes.
Thus, we must also make further efforts to reduce population growth. A population peak of 9 billion may mean many countries experience disaster. Avoiding hundreds of millions of those expected births may avoid most of the disaster.
Most Americans now want troops removed from Afghanistan within a year.
Colombia has the largest number of internal refugees of any country, and the planned FTA with the US will make it worse.
The Pentagon pretends to be "making progress" in Afghanistan, but those claims conceal gaping flaws.
Karzai's corrupt government and rigged elections can't win anyone's loyalty, and so he can never win. The most he can do is give the US an excuse for a war that will never end.
The US mainstream media gave very little coverage to the US bombing that killed 9 Afghan kids.
I think they may give more attention to Karzai's cousin, killed in a US raid on his home.
Bradley Manning has been allowed to publish an official complaint about the prison's inhumane treatment of him.
Gaddafi's army continues to advance against the rebels.
The UK plans a pension cut for 6 million public sector employees, inviting them all to strike.
Gaddafi's men arrested and tortured BBC reporters.
Wisconsin Republicans passed their law to crush public sector unions by disconnecting it from the budget bill.
I don't think it is valid to call it cheating to keep this separate from the budget bill. To attach it to that was artificial anyway. I think they did that in imitation of the Republicas in Congress, without realizing that this only impeded their purpose.
It remains an attack on the people of Wisconsin no matter how they do it.
Both candidates in Haiti's Burmese-style presidential election want to reinstitute the Haitian army, which was abolished by Aristide because it had nothing to do except try to rule and bully Haiti.
This suggests that the US wants to restore the Haitian army as an instrument of US control.
Frankly speaking, Haiti has no use for an army unless that army could throw off foreign control.
The ultimate nimby: well-off jerks in a chic part of Brooklyn are trying to get rid of a bicycle lane that could save lives and gasoline, because it reduced their parking spaces. In the process they could kill off New York's plans for conservation.
The president of NPR has resigned because a fund-raiser said his personal view wass that Tea Party is xenophobic, has hijacked the Republican Party, and is racist.
I don't know about the accusation of racism, but the rest seems pretty valid. Meanwhile, why does the organization's president need to resign because of this?
I am afraid that these resignations will give credence to false charges that NPR has a Liberal bias. I found in the 90s that NPR had a right-wing bias, so I mostly stopped listening to it.
In the US: participate in a protest against Republican budget cuts.
US citizens: call and ask your congresscritter to support Rep. Lee's letter, which will ask Obama to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The UK recently sold Yemen body armor that is probably being used now to oppose protesters, and bullets probably being used to shoot them.
The International Criminal Court wants to prosecute ministers in Kenya for organizing the killings of 1300 people in 2007.
The Libyan rebels have asked for foreign support.
I think they deserve help.
My understanding is that other countries can recognize them as a government, then provide military support to them without a Security Council resolution.
Illinois has abolished the death penalty.
Now on to Texas!
Tens of thousands protested again in Wisconsin against Gov. Walker's plans to attack the whole state.
A student has sued the FBI for planting a tracking device in his car without a warrant.
A service hires actors to phone in to talk radio shows and not admit they are acting.
Texas is considering a law to ban TSA x-ray scanners and x-rated pat-downs.
US citizens: sign this petition for TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that profit from Israel's occupation of the West Bank or its attack and siege of Gaza.
China is likely to further relax the one-child policy.
This is dangerous and misguided, because China's environment is already under pressure from the human population, which is still increasing even with the current policy. Increases standard of living, which poor Chinese deserve, will multiply by the population. Changing the policy to allow even greater population growth will exacerbate every problem.
Gaddafi launched a heavy attack on Zawiya, and his tanks have destroyed many buildings in the city. The rebels are barely holding out.
Israel says it will destroy the "illegal settlement outposts".
All the settlements in Palestinian territory are illegal under international law. These "outposts" are illegal under Israeli law too, but the government has often supported their construction.
How sweatshops fool the auditors that are supposed to check how the workers are treated.
Many bank CEOs violated the Sarbanes Oxley law that required them to affirm they had set up adequate internal controls. Obama does not want to prosecute them.
Republican cuts would devastate housing programs for old people, handicapped people, and veterans. Many would lose their homes.
The US needs deficit spending now, not budget cuts. Obama's willingness to talk about cuts as a "compromise" demonstrates how little he differs from a Republican.
Journalists from Jordan's state-controlled media protested against censorship.
Will this spread to Faux News?
The US and UK are showing interest in imposing a no-fly zone in Libya, if given UN approval.
This could help the rebels, but it could also cause civilian casualties.
What to do? I think the UN should authorize a no-fly zone if the Libyan rebels ask for one, and then the US should let the rebels decide.
Meanwhile, Gaddafi's tanks are more important than his aircraft. So a no-fly zone might not be enough to make the difference. Would Egypt be willing to aidt he rebels in Libya?
The US has asked Saudi Arabia to provide weapons to the Libyan rebels.
I see no particular benefit in involving Saudi Arabia. Why not deliver arms directly to the rebels?
Tens of thousands are protesting in Yemen. Yemen's president had police shoot at protesters, wounding around 100, many of them seriously.
Genetic engineering is being used to protect bananas from a disease that could wipe them out.
I don't think genetic engineering is inherently wrong, but it must respect farmers' rights to save and breed their crops, and the resulting organisms must be tested carefully to ensure they are safe for the consumer and for wildlife. This seems like a case which is ok.
Now it's Philadelphia's Catholic Church which is accused of protecting pedophile priests.
20 lies (and counting) told by Gov. Walker.
The US is considering publishing all the information on where private planes travel.
While I recognize this is useful for investigating possible corruption or other bad activities, I believe everyone deserves the right to anonymous travel. I am not convinced there should be an exception for private planes.
Perhaps public officials should be required to disclose this information as a condition of office.
Organizations anywhere: sign this petition to the Council of Europe against demanding biometric information from people who are not criminals.
Michael Newdow's lawsuit over the religious motto "In god we trust" on US currency was rejected by the Supreme Court.
Here are many incidents in which fracking natural gas is suspected of polluting water in the US.
Egypt's new PM appointed a caretaker cabinet, removing Mubarak's former ministers.
Protesters sacked the State Security offices, and former prisoners saw their old cells again.
I hope the records are being carefully preserved.
Some web sites now allow only facebook users to post comments.
This means the discussion is limited to people who are willing to let facebook abuse them — in effect slanting the discussion against criticism of Facebook.
What's needed to avoid destroying the world's coral reefs.
A proposed dam in Ethiopia would ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The dictatorship has crushed local opposition.
The Obama regime is restarting Guantanamo kangaroo trials.
These men might be guilty, but they deserve a fair trial like anyone threatened with punishment.
Karzai has backed down from expelling mercenaries from Afghanistan.
Karzai's government can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em.
Global heating is causing a risk of water-born disease for humans in the Arctic.
And not just in the Arctic.
What's Happening in Iran Explained.
Through the modern miracle of surgery, virginity can now be restored.
This offers women a way to protect themselves from prejudice. However, that any woman believes she needs this surgery is probably a sign she is being pressured to marry someone she does not trust. That, rather than the lack of a hymen, is her real problem.
Halliburton and other oil companies are lobbying against US sanctions on Libya; they want to be able to keep selling to Gaddafi.
The recent reported US job gain is mythical, the result of methods that systematically err towards the positive when times are bad.
An Iranian student reports that part of his university has been used as a prison for protesters.
As part of the Republican War on America, they want spending cuts that would devastate America on a broad range of areas.
It's hard for the US to pretend the latest Afghan civilians killed by bombs were Taliban, since none of them was older than 12.
Bradley Manning is forced to strip every night as a cruel punishment for a sarcastic quip.
The US uses nudity as a tool to break prisoners.
George Monbiot explains economic measures that the UK should protest for.
To implement these proposals may require a party to commit to supporting them. Perhaps it could be called the Old Labour Party.
Libyan rebels captured an armed British special forces unit which had been landed by helicopter.
I doubt the official claim that this was a diplomatic mission to talk with the rebels, and I wonder what their mission really was.
There is heavy fighting around Libya, and so far the rebels seem to be gaining a little more than they are losing.
The Iranian opposition candidates seem to be disappeared: their children cannot find out what happened to them.
Italian public TV censored a film trailer for criticizing Berlusconi.
Afghans protested another bombing raid that killed children.
Protests have been called for March 11 in Azerbaijan.
There are already protests in Armenia.
Armenia is effectively a Russian client state, since Russian troops protected Armenia from the threat of Turkish attack in the early 90s during the war over Nagorno Karabakh. A few years ago, I was told, border controls in Armenia were carried out by Russians.
The Iranian regime is accused of massive corruption to the benefit of Shah Khamenei's children.
Right-wing front groups are buying TV ads to support Wisconsin Governor Walker.
Their money got him elected in the first place.
Tuvalu is losing its fish and plant food resources, due to improper disposal of wastes and to rising sea levels caused by global heating.
Libyans report that Gaddafi's forces have encircled Zawiyah, and snipers and tanks are shooting at people there.
The Obama regime systematically lies about Bradley Manning's prison conditions, and the compliant press doesn't question the lies.
Congressman Kucinich asked to visit Bradley Manning and investigate the allegations that Manning is being abused. The Pentagon is stonewalling.
Using a person's privacy as an excuse to cover up abuse of that person is the sort of dishonest excuse that a tyrannical regime makes.
Saudi Arabia has banned a mass protest called for Friday, saying that protests violate Islamic values.
The US Chamber of Commerce is a lobbying group for the nastiest megacorps. A campaign asks US small businesses to announce, "The US Chamber of Commerce does not speak for us."
Massey Energy broke the mining union by switching to strip mining. Now a few local people get jobs, but nearly everyone has had to move away.
Massey succeeds in buying enough local support from poor people by offering them a tiny amount of money. That's because they are divided and thinking short term.
The cry of freedom is pouring out of the Middle East, but Washington's echo chamber does not hear it.
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam's doctoral thesis argued in favor of intervention to protect the human rights of people suffering under a dictatorship.
Growing economic inequality in the US is not the result of different abilities or even different educational opportunities. It is caused by several government policies that help the rich.
A UK phone company is forcing users to identify themselves in order to get uncensored access to the Internet.
South Korea is dropping leaflets into North Korea describing the virtue of democracy and freedom.
The US-Korea "free trade" treaty will devastate Korean farmers.
The South Korean government distributes many documents in proprietary formats.
South Korea also undermines its safety and pollution standards to please the US government.
Recently, South Koreans have been imprisoned for handing out political pamphlets condemning their government.
Despite this, South Korea's government is miles above North Korea's, which by all accouts is hell on Earth. But since when is that the standard for judging a government? Koreans deserve better than this.
US Republicans are attacking every aspect of environmental protection, apparently just from spite, and Obama is doing little to resist them.
The growth of the environmental movement into mass support was fueled by the US middle class in the 1960s. They had enough money and goods, and they wanted things money could not buy, such as better health through clean air and water, and wilderness whose existence they were glad about.
The US middle class is getting smaller, so perhaps fewer people can afford to care whether they are getting poisoned.
Violent crime and robbery in Oregon have been decreasing for years and are now the lowest since 1966. But most people in Oregon have been led by the media to think it is getting worse (except in their own home town).
This study was about Oregon, but the phenomenon is probably not limited to Oregon. And the erroneous fear boosts right-wing politics.
China plans systematic tracking of people in Beijing through their cell phones.
False reports are coming from both Gaddafi and his opponents.
However, we do have a first-hand report of attacks by Gaddafi's forces against a town in the east.
Latest reports from the Guardian say Gaddafi is stepping up the attacks.
Doctors without Borders reports over 1800 wounded people in Benghazi.
US Uncut protested the Bank of America for paying lavish bonuses but no taxes.
Here's what it takes to be serious about selling sustainable fish.
The ACLU argued before the Supreme Court to hold Ashcroft responsible for imprisoning an American then restricting him for a year as a "material witness".
Libyans in Tripoli dared to protest again.
Maliki's thugs sealed off whole neighborhoods of Baghdad, as they killed and arrested protesters and beat up journalists.
The pressure of the downtrodden in Muslim countries seeks an exit, and if denied others, it will support Islamic extremism.
Iranian women have called for a protest on March 8.
US citizens: sign this petition telling Congress: not one dollar more for the Pentagon.
Yemeni opposition is asking presidet Saleh to step down by the end of the year.
Israeli diplomat Ilan Baruch resigned from the foreign service saying he cannot defend Israel's policy towards the Palestinians.
He also condemned the frequent tactic of accusing anyone that criticizes Israel of being "antisemitic".
Rising oil prices could push biofuel as a substitute.
When biofuel plants transpire more water, that could mean they also need more water in order to grow. However, many regions are short of water already, and this is going to get worse.
Biofuel is good when it uses plant waste, or land not otherwise arable. But when it replaces food production (such as by using land or water needed to grow food), it is a disaster. When it needs fertilizer made from petroleum, it is self-defeating.
About the group that wants to legalize killing abortion providers.
A minister in Pakistan was assassinated for standing for freedom of speech.
Saudi authorities arrested a Shi'ite cleric for advocating constitutional monarchy
Everyone: sign this petition urging Canada to pass a law facilitating provision of cheap pharmaceuticals to poor countries.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support HR 780, the bill to de-fund the war in Afghanistan. Also sign this petition.
More info about the bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: sign this petition to put lions on the endangered species list.
The budget cutting debate between Democrats and Republicans is a distraction from the real issue: unemployment. The debate is between a harmful policy and a disastrous one.
A list of Gov. Walker's lies.
The Republicans' attack on the EPA's regulation of mercury in the air will kill almost as many Americans as the 9/11 attacks did.
Speaking of those attacks, we still don't know whether the Republicans' participated in them too. Support the call for a thorough and honest investigation.
A former Guantanamo prisoner says he was given drugs against his will and wasn't even told what they were.
His accusation is supported by other evidence.
The TSA has been working on plans to search people in train stations and on the street with x-ray scanners.
Gaddafi's forces are trying to reconquer the rebel areas of Libya. So far, the rebels are mainly holding, but they are taking substantial casualties.
Wisconsin governor Walker excluded the public illegally from his budget address, and brought in his own unidentified supporters to pack the room.
Some US schools lock students in all day. One of them suspended a student for opening a door.
Bradley Manning faces additional charges including the threat of execution.
If we cannot free him, I think that the citizens of Cambridge Massachusetts should erect a statue to honor him. I would like to contribute, and I think many others will too.
Israel has announced another settlement in East Jerusalem.
Mexico complains that the US makes it too easy to buy guns and smuggle them into Mexico. It turns out one of those guns was used to kill a US agent working in Mexico.
In a flagrant act of censorship, a man is being prosecuted in France for "public insults" involving bigotry.
One of his insults was directed at "Jews" as an ethnic group. That targets me; but I find his prosecution more offensive than what he said.
An Iran accuses the BBC Persian service of supporting the regime.
Thousands in Tehran protested the imprisonment of opposition leaders.
Indiana asst attorney general Cox has resigned. He had called for shooting protesters.
Obama has for once done something progressive, cancelling a Bush regulation that let hospital employees opt out of various medical procedures for women.
It was the right thing to do, but why did it take him two years to get around to it?
American Muslims actually do quite a bit to prevent terrorism.
The US Supreme Court ruled that companies are not entitled to "personal privacy" under the Freedom of Information Act.
Police systematically attacked journalists in Yemen and Iraq.
Hunting by humans, often for trophies, is driving lions to extinction.
A Mexican politician says that former Mexican presidents protected drug trafficking in order to avoid war with the traffickers.
Children of former Chilean presidents want the US to release documents about their parents' deaths and Pinochet.
The gulf oil spill's toxic legacy.
The American rich have screwed the rest by focusing public attention on lowering taxes, then on hurting the poor, and now on hurting public employees.
When the Israeli hawks' lobby pretends to speak for all Jews, it is to blame if some are fooled by this and criticize a "Jewish lobby".
Gaddafi's air force has attacked rebel-held towns, so far without much effect.
Western powers are talking about intervening against Gaddafi, but the security council is unlikely to approve it. However, if the rebels start a government, they could ask for assistance. I still think that my suggestion to ask Egypt for support is better.
Clinton, speaking in the UN Human Rights Council, called for an investigation of the Iranian regime's human rights abuses.
I support this initiative wholeheartedly, but why limit to Iran (and Libya). Why omit the US? Its regime still practices torture and imprisonment without trial.
US spending on "security" amounts to around 1,201 billion dollars.
I disagree with the author's decision to include the entire foreign relations budget of 18 billion dollars in the total, so I reduced the article's total by 18 billion.
Tennessee is considering a law to ban organizations that "advocate shari'a law".
Shari'a law is brutal and violates human rights. It ought to be banned world-wide. However, censoring those who hold such views is just as bad.
A Massey mining manager has been arrested for destroying evidence.
That evidence probably showed that the company was responsible for the fatal mine disaster.
UN inspectors in Ivory Coast, trying to check whether Gbagbo received helicopters from Belarus, were shot at by Gbagbo's forces.
That ought to count as tentative verification.
China has banned reporters from covering certain areas in Beijing and Shanghai.
The protest announcement, whether or not it was intended to lead to a real protest, has succeeded in making China embarrass itself.
The London police refuse to explicitly say whether they will infiltrate March 26 protests with undercover cops.
They do, however, admit they expect "troublemakers" to be among the protesters. Perhaps they refer to their infiltrators.
A poisonous weed from South America threatens to wipe out the native wildlife in the Masai Mara wildlife reserve.
The US has cut taxes on the rich by almost 2/3 since the 1960s.
Raising their taxes again, and not just a few percent, is something America needs.
Intervening in a country to establish a free democratic government is justified if that we know the people of that country want this kind of help, and we can be confident that the new regime will be free and democratic. How does this apply to Iran?
If Iranians in general want help overthrowing the tyranny that rules them, we ought to help them. But it is hard to tell if Iranians in general would welcome such an invasion. Many Iranians are angry at the regime, but many could still be a minority; we have no way to tell.
The Shah's regime constantly says that the opposition is a tool of the US. I don't think this is true now, but some Iranians must believe it. If the opposition were visibly linked with foreign invaders, would that win the regime enough support to fight a long guerrilla war?
We also have to ask whether such an invasion would achieve its goal. The invasion of Afghanistan seemed to turn out well, for a while, but things are much worse now. And the invasion of Iraq, which Bush claimed was meant to free Iraq from a regime that killed unjustly and tortured, gave them another regime that killed unjustly and tortured, and most Iraqis said they were better off under Saddam. An invasion of Iran could go bad too.
Obama is not Bush. Bush cared nothing for freedom or democracy in his own country, so it was clear he would not care about them in Iraq. Obama cares a little about freedom and democracy, just not enough to let them get in the way of his higher priorities. If we asked Obama, "Would you prefer democracy or dictatorship in Iran?", he might say "democracy, all else being equal". At least he would prefer democracy to the present Islamic dictatorship. But I would not count on Obama to be a reliable custodian for democracy in Iran after he has failed to be one in the US.
At present, much as I would like to see the Iranian regime overthrown, I have to conclude that the conditions to justify foreign intervention do not exist.
Tim de Christopher saved land from oil drilling and pollution by bidding a high price in the auction Bush arranged for. Obama withdrew the land from oil drilling, but de Christopher faces ten years in prison for saving it.
Everyone: state your solidarity with the campaign to recall Republican state senators in Wisconsin.
Everyone: urge the Wisconsin Demoractic senators not to return and let Walker crush the unions.
Everyone: sign this petition calling on NOAA to release the research funds to study the big spill's effects.
Congressional Republicans promote gratuitous conspicuous waste as a symbol of their rejection of rationality.
BP says most of the damage claims from the big spill "lack proof".
That doesn't mean they are false (though some of them might be). It means that BP harmed large segments of society in ways that are hard to prove specifically, and now it will avoid compensating the damage it did.
An opposition politician in Belarus describes being tortured by the KGB.
It sounds a lot like US torture practices.
I wonder how landlocked Belarus managed to sell arms to Ivory Coast. Did some neighbor of Belarus also violate the arms embargo?
A US ISP has started doing Deep Packet Interference: inserting its own advertisements into pages coming from other sites.
Thousands protested in Baghdad on Friday against al Maliki's corruption and imposed religious restrictions.
As the US rebuilt relations with Gaddafi, human rights concerns took a back seat.
The US is stopping Aristide from leaving South Africa until after the Burmese-style election is finished.
The UK Labour party shows its weakness by proposing tax incentives for employers to pay an adequate wage.
A real Labor party would enact a higher minimum wage and not reduce business taxes at all.
Obama seems ready to end US efforts against global heating rather than let the Republicans shut down the US government.
When Clinton faced a similar threat, he refused to capitulate, and he won. Obama knows this, of course, but he doesn't care enough to fight.
A painstakingly reconstructed rainforest farm is being destroyed by a fire apparently caused by arson.
Although this sabotage might not have happened, natural fires do occur. I think that such projects are futile in places which have a long dry season that makes them so vulnerable.
Global heating will destroy many forests. A few decades of drying and most of the Amazon rain forest could be ready to burn up — and there will always be sparks.
Iranian opposition leaders Mousavi and Karoubi are now in a real prison, and so are their wives.
Obama frequently hobnobs with executives and promotes their business, but does not seem to even think about NGOs.
That is, except when (as Wikileaks did) they get in his way.
Ralph Nader suggests lessons to draw from the Wisconsin resistance.
An Iranian blogger argues that ncr-iran.org is the Iranian version of Faux News.
I don't know enough facts about the NCR or PMOI to judge the criticism's validity.
How to keep up the pressure on Wisconsin governor Walker when the protesters "have to" stop protesting and return to work?
As the protesters in Egypt showed, the way to keep up the pressure is not to stop protesting. In the long view, you don't have to return to work. You have to keep up the fight.
Everyone sign this petition calling on US Customs to stop seizing Internet domains.
Note that "seizing a criminal's car" is not as acceptable as it might sound, because the US does this without giving the alleged "criminal" a proper trial.
Everyone: sign this petition not to let Rupert Murdoch (owner of Faux News) control most UK television.
US citizens: phone your senators saying don't allow cuts in the agencies that regulate Wall Street. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on Congress to make the Pentagon follow whatever spending reductions apply to the rest of the federal government.
Please sign: Call on US supermarkets to stop selling unsustainable fish.
An organization of small UK stores that sell newspapers and such things has been co-opted by the tobacco companies to lobby against smoking-discouragement laws.
People often assume that perfectionism leads to more achievement, but it tends to cause anxiety that can have the opposite result.
Hundreds of police, ordered by Wisconsin governor Wilson to evict the protesters occupying the part of the state house, joined the protest instead.
General Petraeus has made night raids on homes a common occurrence, with lots of civilian casualties (though the US won't acknowledge them all).
Piracy is great for Hollywood: they make tons of money from all the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. What bothers them is not piracy but sharing. Don't repeat their propaganda — don't call it "piracy".
"Theft" is another propaganda term. If you take someone else's DVD or film, that's theft. Copying is not theft.
Gaddafi has been jamming satellite telephones and Al Jazeera's satellite.
A US general illegally ordered his psy-ops team to investigate US senators. The team commander resisted, and he was punished with a spurious investigation. The illegal practice apparently continued after this.
After 30 years of dishonest trickle-down economics, look how much of the US' wealth the rich have collected.
The campaign against Alternative Voting in the UK is based on shallow lies.
Tunisia's premier, who worked with the former dictator, has been ousted by protests.
The town of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli, threw out Gaddafi's men after over 3 days of fighting, with support from some soldiers. Now it is surrounded by territory still under Gaddafi's control.
I don't get the impression that Zawiyah could withstand attack by a substantial part of Gaddafi's army. For the moment, it seems he is not in a position to send such a force there. Perhaps he needs all his remaining forces to keep control of Tripoli and the other towns they occupy.
The danger is that if he manages to kill enough people in Tripoli to discourage further uprising there, he might then be able to send a batallion to capture Zawiyah and various other rebel towns, one by one.
Many wars have been lost by underestimating the enemy, and we must not underestimate this one. The rebellion may need help and it deserves help.
Pakistani newspapers claim that Raymond Davis was recruiting for the Pakistani Taliban.
I would not put it past the US government to build up a phony enemy, but the Taliban is real enough, and there is another legitimate reason a CIA agent might be in contact with members of an enemy army: to spy on it.
Doctors in Iran accuse Shah Khamenei's forces of spraying poison gas, not ordinary tear gas.
In Ivory Coast, both of the presidential candidates controlled parts of the country for years. Since defeated former president Gbagbo refuses to yield power, Ouattara's supporters are now trying to win militarily.
Under these circumstances I wonder what was done to hold a free and fair election, and whether this was indeed possible in either side's territory.
Fracking, injecting water underground to release natural gas, makes toxic waste water which is not properly treated. US water supplies are being contaminated.
In Haiti they are imprisoned again, without trial and without food, apparently in pursuit of bribes.
The fact that they face imprisonment without trial if returned to Haiti ought to be legal grounds for asylum, right?
The phony democracy in Djibouti has put a stop to protests by arresting 300 leaders and menacing the other thousands with lots of police.
Suggestions for protests in Beijing did not inspire any protests, but the regime's nasty preemptive response made it look bad.
Iranian opposition candidate Mousavi has been arrested, with his wife. They are being held unofficially in an secret police "safe house" — that is, a place where it is safe for the secret police to carry out any sort of mischief.
Applying Howard Zinn to Iran.
The Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo prisoners can plead Habeas Corpus, but the appeals court in charge of this has made the conditions so strict that nobody can win.
US citizens: tell Senate Democrats to stand firm and not make disastrous "compromises" with Republicans.
A popular videogame has been banned by Australia's censorship.
The game is disgusting because it is proprietary software. I would probably find the violence in that game disgusting, too, but not as disgusting as censorship.
The gloves are off: the corporations are fighting with Americans over what sort of country the US should be.
Egyptian troops attacked protesters demanding resignation of a minister held over from Mubarak's regime.
US citizens: call on the government to allow Omar Barghouti to speak in the US.
Evidence shows Obama's economic stimulus worked — and that right-wing budget cuts will cause disaster.
In Bangladesh, even MPs can be arrested and tortured.
Obama wants to spend billions to fund unprofitable (and dangerous) nuclear power reactors in the US.
France wants to put small nuclear power reactors in special motorless submarines.
These submarines might solve the problem of possible small leaks, which would disperse in the ocean, but they do not solve the problem final disposal of the nuclear waste. While these submarines would be inccessible to casual visitors, they have a vulnerability that land-based nukes don't have: a well-financed team with a submarine and underwater robots could steal one and tow it away.
Maybe they would be safe if they used thorium instead of uranium, but a stolen thorium reactor could be modified to make bomb material even if it doesn't do so in normal operation.
The opponents to Alternative Voting in the UK are using lies as arguments.
If Assange is sent to Sweden, he will have a fundamentally unjust secret trial.
This highlights the general injustice of the European Arrest Warrant.
Gaddafi has retained military control of most of the area around Tripoli at the cost of attacking protesters with tanks.
Veteran anti-apartheid campaigners call on South Africa to help Aristide return to Haiti as soon as possible.
That he has not returned shows the US must be preventing him, but how is it doing that?
Wisconsin's governor revealed his corruption, both moral and legal, in a phone call with a journalist who pretended to be one of the Koch brothers.
US citizens: call on Google and Facebook to protect their users' privacy from Big Brother.
I support this campaign but really it doesn't go far enough. You shouldn't use Facebook at all.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support enactment of the recommendations of the oil spill commission.
A glacier in Peru has shrunk by half since 1983. Shrinking glaciers has been accompanied by a decrease in water, which is already scarce there.
The UK proposes to require "zero carbon" homes starting in 2016, except that they will only have to cut carbon emissions by 50% to qualify as "zero". The rest can be a "carbon offset".
Carbon offset programs are dubious, and often mere swindles. It may be that a the best short-term strategy is a target short of zero, but if so, they should be honest about it.
46 opposition leaders in Zimbabwe were accused of treason for "planning an uprising", but actually they only tried to hold a protest. They were apparently tortured.
That accusation is dishonest: protests are not treason, except in the mind of a tyrant.
Starting April 1, everyone in Switzerland will be required to wear a mask while in public.
We should all get used to wearing a variety of masks in public as the only way to prevent total state surveillance.
Did Iran use tear gas — or poison gas?
A critique of the US and European media's coverage of protests in Iran.
Regarding the Telegraph, I think the criticism is not for covering the events in Camp Ashraf, but rather for associating that protest specifically with the People's Mujahideen.
The Shah's forces threw a student off a bridge onto a road and he was killed by a car.
HB Gary developed undetectable Windows rootkits for the US government to break the security of computers running sapware.
US citizens: tell Senator Durbin you support reforming the U SAP AT RIOT Act.
The UK approved Julian Assange's extradition to Sweden. He will appeal the decision.
Syria is crushing protests with massive police presence.
Raymond Davis, the US spy in Pakistan, may really not be entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Telesur has turned into a boring propaganda engine, epitomized by its defense of Gaddafi — it says that Libya is calm under his control.
When I was invited to serve on the advisory committee for Telesur, which functioned only during its launch, I suggested following the model of Al Jazeera. My suggestion was not heeded.
I don't expect this to have any influence, but I hereby formally resign from that relationship with Telesur.
The Arab revolutions are damaging US dominion over the Arab world. In Tunisia and Egypt, Washington started by opposing them, but yielded when the world's eye turned firmly on them. But will it yield with clients such as Bahrain that have US bases?
The Arab revolutions also point the way way for how to topple the empire of the megacorporations and free our own countries from the dominion of the corrupt, immune rich.
Australia proposes to put a tax on CO2 emissions.
The UK's inquiry into collaboration with torture is so restricted as to be inadequate for the job.
95% of the world's coral reefs are expected to be dying by 2050.
George Monbiot poses the question: what must we do to defeat Internet astroturfing by PR companies managing dozens of sock puppets.
Why we see what isn't there.
The Republicans' War on Women.
It is confirmed that Eastern Libya has been liberated by parts of the army that have rebelled against Gaddafi.
A drought endangers China's wheat crop. Global heating has probably helped cause this drought, and will certainly cause bigger ones in the future.
The oil from the Big Spill has killed the marsh grass on the beach, the shrimp in the shallows, the crabs and brittle stars on the sea bottom, and now baby dolphins are mysteriously dying too.
Right-wing fanatics in Georga plan to make abortion and miscarriage a capital offense.
The Shah's men arrested the son of opposition leader Karroubi.
Several Libyan tribes have supported the rebellion.
The Iranian resistance says that the Shah's men are confiscating satellite TV receivers.
Some Iranians condemn Mousavi for a statement that disclaims any demand for deep change in the Iranian regime.
I am not convinced that it is valid to say "Mousavi saved the regime" last year. That asserts that protecting the regime was his goal. Perhaps he wasn't bold in opposition because he thought they would shoot him for that, and then he would have achieved nothing. That might be the case. They may torture and/or execute him for what he has already done.
The US border fence with Mexico has increased the number of illegal immigrants that die in the desert, without greatly affecting the number that get in.
Iranian diplomats are defecting, ashamed of the cruelty of their government.
US citizens: Tell Wisconsin governor Walker what you think of him.
Efforts to file charges for torture against Bush in other countries are just the beginning: Bush deserves a trial in the US.
Obama's faulure to no support Wisconsin teachers and public workers reflects his general contempt for working Americans.
Rwanda says it will give a priority to preserving remaining wild habitats and sustainable development.
Achieving this goal requires a strong campaign to limit birth. Rwanda must not passively wait for the population to double in 30 years. It should make sure this does not happen. Charities could offer donations to young women that get sterilized after having at most one child.
Gaddafi's forces have lost control over eastern Libya, but corpses are lying in the street in Tripoli.
I think the Security Council should ask Egypt should send troops to protect the people of eastern Libya, so that Gaddafi's killers cannot return there.
Protests in Bahrain are now occurring without state violence.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support bill HR780 to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
In the US: go to protests on Saturday around the US in solidarity with Wisconsin workers.
General Petraeus accused Afghan civilians of burning their children to pretend the harm was done by a US bomb.
Is it ethical to work on automating business?
Iraqis are protesting in Baghdad agqinst the corruption, brutality and religious repression of their "democracy". Government thugs were brought in, and police and troops are interfering with foreign reporters.
Although the US vetoed the Security Council resolution condemning Israel's land-grab, the resolution has shown that the world has focused on these settlements as the main obstacle to peace.
Everyone: call for UN sanctions to hamper Gaddafi's military attacks on protesters in Libya.
Iranian criticism accuses the Voice of America's Farsi broadcasts of supporting Shah Khamenei under chairman Ali Sajadi. But now it has appointed a new chairman for VOA Farsi who might, or might not, correct this.
Ralph Nader: Americans must topple the corporate dictators.
To have an effect through democracy, just voting is not enough. Only voting for candidates who reject the corporate empire and are prepared to destroy it will do any good. Nader has been one of them, and I have voted for him for president several times, but until most Americans do this, they will get more corporate flunkies like Bill Clinton, Dubya, and Obama.
Ex-president Gbagbo in Ivory Coast had troops shoot protesters.
The US is deporting Haitians to Haiti after they serve sentences for more or less any sort of crime. In Haiti they get imprisoned again in conditions that have already killed one of them.
I wonder what grounds Haiti has for imprisoning them.
UK Uncut's next target is the bank RBS, which is mostly owned by the state but allowed pay giant bonuses while financing global heating.
A Congolese officer has been sentenced to a long prison term for mass rapes he allowed his troops to commit.
House Republicans voted mainly against cutting the military budget.
When they talk about reducing the budget, that's just an excuse to hurt poor Americans and women.
Card-only purchasing at school lunch enables parents to monitor and control what their children buy.
If you buy by credit card, companies and governments can monitor what you buy, too. So I buy things with cash. If the business says "no cash", say "no sale".
The SEC is so corrupt that it systematically ignores fraud by large corporations. It received tip-offs of fraud in AIG and Lehman Bros, and pointedly ignored them.
HB Gary developed software for PR business to generate large numbers of fake "personas" and pretend to be broad support on an issue.
The US government wants this software to distort public debate in Afghanistan, but megacorps don't need to have the US government directly run it for them. They can do this themselves.
Gorbachev says Putin's regime resembles the Communist regime that Gorbachev ended.
The Republicans' continuing resolution would make the US deaf, dumb and blind towards global heating.
It also attacks protection of public health from air and water pollution.
The term "global heating" comes closer to doing justice to what is happening than "global warming" or "climate change". Perhaps it is still inadequatel; maybe we ought to call it "planet burning". However, I reserve that term for the activity of intentionally trying to exacerbate global heating.
Republicans increase social spending more than Democrats, but they direct it towards full-time high paid employees of large companies instead of towards the poor.
Shah Khamenei's reaction against the protests has made the regime look very bad.
Gaddafi's men have attacked protesters with rifles and airplanes, and the protesters are arming themselves, seizing and destroying government buildings.
In Benghazi, Gaddafi's men were attacking all around the city.
Libyan diplomats and air force pilots have defected.
On Feb 20, Shah Khamenei's men killed several protesters and arrested thousands. However, protesters succeeded in freeing other arrested protesters.
The Iranian resistance says there is fighting in the streets of Tehran.
US corporations shifted the tax burden to individuals, then steered resentful citizens into opposing government spending rather than increasing the tax on companies.
The UK government wants to subcontract nearly all public services to companies.
This is a form of union-busting, among other things.
Novelist Ian McEwan rejected calls to boycott the Jerusalem Prize, but he turned the prize ceremony into criticism of the siege of Gaza and the land-grab in the West Bank.
Chinese tried to call for protests, but massive police presence stifled them.
Undercover police spy/provocateur Mark Kennedy brought 5 German undercover police to a protest in the UK.
The UN calls on every country to invest 2% of income in green industry.
A CIA agent working in the US embassy in Pakistan has been detained, ignoring diplomatic immunity, because he shot two thieves that attacked him on the street.
The real issues between the US and Pakistan concern US drone bombings and Pakistan's toleration of the Taliban. I think Davis is being used as a scapegoat to substitute for confronting those issues.
Ugandan leader wins again, but critics say vote was fraudulent.
China is holding Liu Xiaobo's wife incommunicado under house arrest.
Palestinians plan mass protests against the US veto of their security council resolution.
Thus, ironically, the US has helped strengthen the Palestinian movement for democracy as well as independence by refusing its support.
Everyone: for live updates about the protests in Wisconsin, see this page.
US citizens, sign this petition supporting Wisconsin public workers.
In the US: join the SEIU's protests to defend workers' rights.
Anyone: donate to support the Democratic state senators of Wisconsin in blocking the governor's union-busting plans.
In Egypt, the protesters organized to protect their neighborhoods when the regime tried that trick. I wonder if the looters in Aden are police. That would explain how they got started so fast.
Algerians continued protesting despite tens of thousands of police that blocked and attacked them.
Western pressure helped restrain the level of government violence. Some of the descriptions of the police attacks, and the resulting injuries, remind me of London last year.
Gaddafi has launched all-out war on the protesters.
Their families will hate him for decades because of this.
Howewer, in Bahrain, the police pulled back from the protest center.
The alternative, to help the dictators that try to stop the revolution, is so wrong that it can't lead to anything good.
UK activists plan to refuse to answer census questions in protest against Lockheed Martin's role in the census.
In addition, the legal protections against leaking census answers are inadequate.
Salmon farms spread swarms of lice that are killing the young wild salmon.
Since the farms are losing the battle against sea lice, they may have to shut down in time to save the wild salmon. But we must not count on that!
Many Middle Eastern and North African countries are running short of water and depend on food imports.
The high price of imported wheat helped trigger uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. Eliminating the corrupt elite could reduce waste and help the rest of the people get enough food and water — but that only goes so far. The projected increase in future water needs is a function of projected population growth.
These countries need to face up to the need to limit their population to what they can sustain.
The Western intervention in Afghanistan perpetuates poverty that kills far more people than the war itself.
A French journalist was convicted of a crime for stating political views.
I disagree with part of Zemmour's views, but censoring any views is tyranny. Shame on France.
I think this article has missed a vital difference between the two cases. Remember that, at first, the US government did not support the protests in Egypt. That's because Mubarak was a US-supported dictator. The Egyptian army has deep ties with Washington, and I suspect the US used them to convince the army to first restrain Mubarak's violence and ultimately make him step down.
Besides which, once the Egyptian protests really got going, nobody in Egypt was going to regard the limited US support for them as "foreign meddling" and support Mubarak in reaction. After Mubarak had been the US's puppet for so long, he could hardly score any points by charging his opposition with being the US's puppets, although he tried.
The US has no influence with any part of the Iranian government, so it is not in a position to do anything behind the scene. There is great hostility between the US and Iran, so accusing opposition of being US puppets could succeed there.
The fraudulent Haitian elections should be cancelled.
Laws give banksters an extra incentive to foreclose.
Live reporting from the protests in Madison, Wisconsin.
Aristide supporters march in Haiti for his return.
In Bahrain and Libya, the government forces are massacring protesters.
The EU concluded privately that cutting carbon emissions by 25% by 2020 will be easy, and 30% not too hard.
Human overfishing of predator fish, such as tuna, salmon and cod, is distorting the ocean ecology.
Republicans in the House of Representatives eliminated the funding for Planned Parenthood to provide birth control and cancer screenings.
While this was partially intended to make abortion difficult (while making more abortions necessary), it fits their general intention to make everything harder for working and poor Americans.
Some in the Iranian opposition criticize Mousavi for being too mild in his opposition to the regime.
Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac have spent half a billion dollars of bailout money on legal fees, trying to sabotage a trial for fraud by overloading it with lawyering.
The US Congress is planning to attack sharing, no matter what legal rights it destroys in the process.
Ebooks with DRM won't work on an iGroan which is jailbroken, due to intentional sabotage by Apple.
E-books with digital handcuffs are products designed to attack your freedom, much like the iGroan itself.
The US government is considering uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.
It would sell its grandmother for a few dollars.
As mining tar sands is polluting land and water in Canada, transporting it to the US is polluting land and water in the US.
Three influential foundations tie US schools in knots, pushing large reforms not based on scientific evidence.
I don't see any ulterior motive in this, so I wonder why they don't proceed more carefully.
US citizens: sign this petition to your senators to preserve title X funding for family planning.
Massachusetts citizens: urge your state rep and senator to vote for the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
US citizens: sign this letter in support of the Wisconsin public workers.
The governor has threatened to use soldiers to crush the protests.
US citizens: Natural gas fracking in the Delaware River basin can poison the water supply for 15 million people, including New York City. Demand careful review.
Bilingualism helps children think clearly and postpones Alzheimer's disease.
Banksters' PR company forged letters to oppose firm regulation of the banksters.
PA President Abbas stood firm against a US demand that he drop the proposed Security Council resolution to condemn Israel's land grab in the West Bank.
As Clinton spoke, a silent protester turned his back to her.
For this he was beaten and arrested, as she went on talking about freedom of speech.
Republicans are trying to block the EPA from protecting Americans from many forms of air pollution and water pollution.
The Bahraini regime has oppressed Shi'ites for decades, and torture of dissidents is standard practice.
Afghan villagers dispute the US position about destroying the houses of their village.
At least the villagers were not injured by the attack. Afghanistan is a war zone, and if they let the Taliban occupy and mine their village, they must expect some damage.
30,000 people are protesting in Wisconsin against the bill to destroy public sector unions. Where's Al Jazeera when we need it?
Japan has admitted defeat by Sea Shepherd and called its whaling fleet home.
Yemen has persistent protests by people that don't belong to organized opposition. The state sends police to crush the protests.
US citizens: sign this petition for federal prosecution of the Houston police who repeated kicked (and injured) a suspect who had surrendered.
If that suspect committed the robbery, he deserves to be put in prison, but not in the hospital.
Morocco continues arbitrary arrest and torture in Western Sahara.
Morocco occupied Western Sahara after Spain pulled out, replacing one colonial regime with another.
US citizens: Sign this petition to protect social security and to make people with high salaries pay the same share as everyone else.
The FBI wants to impose more surveillance on Americans, with requirements for back doors in a large range of network services and programs.
A virtual reality system produces artificial out-of-body experiences.
I seems that the capacity to have an out-of-body experience is part of the brain's normal flexibility.
Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer says that Germany warned Tenet that Curveball (the Iraqi defector) might be lying.
California consumers are suing stores for demanding they give their zip code when paying.
However, the really bad effect of credit cards on privacy is that the credit card company records who you buy from. And at least some credit cards give your name to the store's computer too. So if you care about privacy, do what I do: buy goods with cash.
When a business says "credit cards only", it forfeits my business.
The US government intended to seize 10 internet domains without a trial, and carelessly took down 84000 other domains in the process.
When floods and heatwaves occur, it is due to specific circumstances, but the blame falls mainly on global heating, which is chiefly responsible for them today. Likewise, this accident resulted from specific careless mistakes, but the blame falls mainly on the unjust (and careless) policy of seizing domains without a trial.
Sites should move to TLDs not under the control of the US government.
Professors and Canadians: sign a petition in support of Canadians being sued for criticizing mining companies.
The EU is planning a trade treaty with the dictatorship of Uzbekistan even though the state practically conscripts child labor.
Private lie/smear companies now offer the dirty tricks of FBI's COINTELPRO as a service to big business.
Measuring the political influence of poor and middle income voters on the US congress: very small.
Some legislators might pay attention.
Shah Khamenei's forces admit arresting 1500 protesters in Teheran on Monday.
As the UN resolution condemning Israel's land grab in the West Bank approaches a vote, the US says it will veto the resolution — but it is trying to avoid the blame so it wants the proponents to drop it instead.
The US says this resolution will hurt the "peace process". As shown by the Palestinian Papers, the kind of "peace negotiations" that the US wants involve concessions by the Palestinians in return for nothing. Uri Avnery explained that this phony "peace process" was intended to give an appearance of willingness to make peace with no chance of doing so. Its only real effect is to bamboozle those who want a real chance for peace.
Bahrain police made a bloody night attack on a protest camp, killing and wounding protesters. Police took wounded protesters from ambulances.
This would justify all-out guerrilla war against the government.
The governor of Wisconsin wants to restrict public sector unions to the point where they are nearly ineffective.
Greg Palast investigated the Chevron-Texaco spills in Ecuador and reports on the dead children — and on proof that the company tried to destroy evidence.
The US government supports Internet freedom abroad while attacking Internet freedom on several lines in the US.
Egypt's military wants a new constitution written in ten days, and an election within six months.
It is good that the military is not clinging to power, but a constitution written so fast cannot be good.
Protests have begun in Libya for an end to Ghaddafi's dictatorship.
To some extent one can measure the depth of tyranny by the size and frequency of pictures of the ruler. In Libya there are giant photos of Ghaddafi on the side of buildings.
A study calculates that global heating has doubled the risk of severe floods in parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
The Palestinian Authority has called new elections, defying orders from the US and Israel to keep the same people in power no matter what.
Russia follows democratic forms, but the suppression of opposition is so strong that Putin's party can do whatever it likes.
The Shah's men killed a protester, then gave him a state funeral pretending he was part of the government militia.
Many dictators are equally violent, but few can match the Iranian regime for pervasive callousness and dishonesty. It reminds me of Stalin and North Korea.
Japan has suspended whaling, and is thinking of calling back its whaling fleet early. It acknowledges that this is due to Sea Shepherd.
Stop blaming Italians for Berlusconi — it's his near-monopoly of TV that warps the political system that keeps him in power.
A study reports that using Ecstacy does not seem to reduce mental ability.
The Iraqi defector whose lies provided Bush with an excuse to attack Iraq could face criminal charges of fomenting a war of aggression.
His lies provided the raw material for a process of rigged analysis designed intentionally to produce the conclusion that Bush wanted.
Prosecuting "Curveball" would be a good first step towards charging Bush with the crime of launching a war of aggression.
Philadelphia homeowner 'forecloses' on Wells Fargo.
Due to fear of right-wing fanatics, Mila Means can't find a place in Wichita to have an abortion clinic.
The article reports that Means' landlord got a court order forbidding her to do abortions. I think that itself is scandalous: why should a landlord be allowed to impose such a restriction?
Chevron says that Ecuador's courts are dishonest, but it was Chevron that argued to move its pollution case to Ecuador in 2003.
I think I understand Chevron's reasoning, then and now. In 2003, the government of Ecuador was totally corrupt and a patsy for the US. Chevron probably thought it could procure a favorable outcome in Ecuador. Then President Correa was elected. Perhaps the system is not corrupt enough now to satisfy Chevron.
Venezuela has a close relationship with Ecuador and might enforce this judgment on Chevron.
A UK woman faces charges of theft for taking food discarded by a store.
Al Maliki continues torturing prisoners in secret prisons, just like Saddam Hussein and George Bush. They sign confessions they have not read.
Anyone, including you, can be accused of terrorism. If you accept that a person has no rights once he is accused of terrorism, you have accepted that nobody has any rights.
Rafad Alwan admits he fabricated stories about nonexistent Iraqi weapons so as to cause trouble for Saddam Hussein.
The article shows that the UK had evidence that some of Alwan's stories were false. So why did Colin Powell believe the rest? I suspect Bush told B'liar not to look too deeply into the validity of this testimony, which gave them the excuse they sought.
When the article says that the occupation of Iraq killed "more than 100,000" civilians, it isn't wrong, but it is definitely misleading. The best estimate is around a million deaths.
Former juror Jezz Davis says the police's failure to mention infiltrator Kennedy in the trial makes him feel "betrayed by the British judicial system".
Israel plans to build a new military school in East Jerusalem.
In effect, the state is thumbing its nose at the US.
For many Palestinian activists, Israeli prison was a political education in democracy, studying history and literature more than most universities.
The Egyptian "security forces" that were run by Omar Suleiman got FBI training despite their involvement in torture.
Cables show the training starting by 2005 and continued through 2010. The US forbids giving training to so-called terrorist organizations, even training in human rights. Why should torture organizations get favorable treatment?
Berlusconi will be prosecuted for paying an underage prostitute, and for lying to the police to get her released from arrest for theft.
I don't think paying her was wrong, but intervening dishonestly with the police is abuse of power. Of course, what's really bad about Berlusconi is his corruption and his dominion over the media.
Besides the police infiltrators, UK environmental organizations were infiltrated by hired corporate spies.
I can't criticize a company for sending people to public meetings to find out what is said in them. However, as the infiltrators begin lying more and more, so as to obtain the group's secrets, at some point it becomes fraudulent.
When spies infiltrate a company to obtain its secrets, that is a crime. Shouldn't it be a crime if a company does the same thing to a protest group?
The political issue of the proposed Belo Monte dam.
I don't have a position on this. I don't have the information to judge the benefits of that particular dam, but I don't think it is bad a priori.
I have doubts about the argument that the reservoir would emit methane and CO2 from decaying organic material. I can believe that happens for a while, but I wonder how long a reservoir continues to do this. I'd expect it to be a one-time event. I also wonder how this compares quantitatively with the CO2 that would be saved annually by using the dam rather than burning fossil fuel.
The Saudi oil executive, reported by US diplomats to have said Saudi oil reserves were much less than supposedly, says they misunderstood him.
It is not clear who to believe.
Greenpeace is suing Dow Chemical for running spies to infiltrate and sabotage its activities.
The same shady operation spied for the NRA, infiltrating gun control groups.
The Egyptian opposition says the military is planning an inadequate constitutional reform without consulting the opposition.
Ralph Nader: Civic Institutions Essential for Egypt's Revolution.
The Middle East's Pox Americana.
Faculty at Bar Ilan university say that right-wingers in the administration have threatened professors they won't be promoted if they endorse contrary views.
Analyzing Wikileaks cables, Shir Hever concludes that the siege of Gaza is partly intended to guarantee a market for Israeli goods.
Israeli settlers near the Palestinian town of Beit Fajjar have forced a quarry to close. Burning the mosque was not enough.
Settlers plan to confiscate the farmland around the village of Beit Ummar to extend their colony.
I suspect their subsequent move will be to claim it is too dangerous to let Arabs keep living in that village.
The US will veto a security council resolution condemning Israel's land-grabbing "settlements" in Palestine, even though official US policy is to condemn them.
Gas frackers, embarrassed by the film Gasland, have tried to pressure the oscar committee to withdraw the film's nomination.
South Dakota is considering a bill to excuse murder of abortion doctors.
Police in Bahrain shot at thousands of peaceful protesters with tear gas and bird shot.
A democratic Egypt would still cooperate with the US against violent Islamists.
The US forces in Afghanistan have never lost a battle, but strategically the Taliban keep attacking more.
Periods of higher temperature correlate historically with increased war -- especially in arid regions. If that correlation reflects causality, global heating could kill with guns as well as with floods and fires.
Karzai wants to free a Taliban prisoner from Guantanamo so he can participate in negotiations.
Oxfam: Western foreign aid that was meant to help the poor is being diverted to support military policies.
Chevron has been found responsible for widespread pollution in Ecuador and fined 8 billion dollars.
I do not believe Chevron's accusations of fraud. The alleged massive conspiracy is unlikely a priori, but spilling a lot of oil is normal practice for oil companies operating in areas where people were poor and the state was corrupt.
It is no surprise that Chevron is getting help from the US government to fight back. What else would the US government, which has hardly bothered to stop more Big Spills, do?
Students in the UK are protesting plans to ban lap dancing, which they depend on to make money for school.
I have nothing against lap dancing, or prostitution for that matter. But not everyone can do it. If society makes education so expensive that students who aren't rich need to do do sex work, those who aren't qualified for such work will be excluded.
Thousands of people protested in Tehran, and the Shah's forces could not stop them, according to a resistance organization, the NCR.
A further statement from this organization.
UK coal power companies pay spies to infiltrate environmental organizations.
Obama proposes to boost clean energy funding by cutting fossil fuel subsidies. One change for the better would make possible a second change for the better.
Isn't it amazing how hypocritical Republicans suddenly found a good side to government subsidies? What's special about these subsidies is that they go to the companies that pay the congresscritters.
Global heating threatens to wipe out many Arctic species because competing species from the temperate zone are moving north.
The guilty verdict in Khodorkovsky's trial was ordered from above, says the judge's assistant, who saw the order. Each step the judge took was under explicit control.
The Republican War on the Poor aims to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation.
That way, it won't matter if poor people formally still have some rights; they won't be able to afford to act when those rights are violated.
Slave laborers in Argentina formally have legal rights too.
UK secret agencies want the right to present secret evidence in court.
This means, in effect, the abolition of justice.
Courts may consider Obama's health insurance bill unconsititutional because of the feature that made it a sell-out to the insurance companies. Yet most of the people who wanted real health care reform before seem to be defending Obama's bill now.
1000 Nokia employees protested Nokia's decision to ally with Microsoft.
Hundreds of thousands of rural laborers in Argentina work in conditions close to slavery, and the police and the state support their employers. (Page in Spanish.)
The BBC plans to destroy vast quantities of web archives.
Natural gas spurting from the Big Spill could create deep-sea dead zones that last for decades.
Algeria's government claims that the protesters are an insignificant minority.
Perhaps the majority is too afraid of the police.
Here's the corporate empire view: ending the emergency law and restoring human rights is a "dangerous move".
Business prefers a dictatorship that will keep people from making trouble.
Criticizing the fad of travelling to remote beautiful places for the sake of exercize or danger.
The Egyptian military has rejected an immediate transition to democracy and threatens to crush the protests.
The Iranian opposition called for protests today despite the government's pre-emptive arrests.
How the metaphor of "balance" for political decisions systematically obscures and biases the issues.
Everyone: sign this petition for all nations to return Mubarak's stolen assets to the people of Egypt.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose HR 358, the bill to put abortion out of reach for many women, and which would also allow hospitals to let women die rather than do an abortion.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to defend the National Family Planning Program and its funding.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to preserve the presidential campaign financing system.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The Egyptian military command expected Mubarak to resign on Thursday; when he didn't do that, they pushed him out.
Uri Avery: Israel can either make the Egyptian revolution an opportunity for friendship, or ensure hostility by opposing it.
Pakistan wants to prosecute Musharraf for letting Benazir Bhutto be assassinated.
Tea Party representatives want to cut the US military budget.
Anonymous cracked HB Gary's web site, and exposed its plan to join other companies to smear Wikileaks and its supporters using lies — funded by Bank of America.
Other smear campaigns were being prepared to attack other targets, and the US government seems to be connected to some of the companies involved.
These campaigns reflects a situation where the corporate elite and the government can trash anyone's rights at will. In the US of Bush and Obama, the law exists for the elite to crush opposition.
The Algerian regime has arrested thousands of protesters, while shutting down the Internet.
Obama is secretly extending the FBI's powers of surveillance over telephone call records.
Congress is investigating a US company that sold Internet surveillance technology to Egypt.
I think the proper response to this is a kiss-in protest. Protesters should also offer condoms to passers-by to demonstrate their commitment to safe sexual practices.
Some Israeli Rabbis who published a book justifying killing non-Jews in some situations are facing arrest and a criminal investigation.
I don't know what views were stated — the article doesn't say. Quite likely I as a Secular Humanist would disagree totally, but I can't judge any views unseen.
Here's what I am sure of: whatever their position, they had a right to publish it. It is wrong to arrest anyone, rabbi or no rabbi, for stating views on a question. Freedom of speech is nothing unless it includes views we disagree with.
When foreign companies buy land in poor countries, they say it is because they are "more efficient" than the subsistence farmers they leave landless. But they don't use most of this land to grow plants people can eat.
Growing grain to feed cattle is very inefficient as a means of feeding people.
Growing seeds to make oil to burn is a step back from burning petroleum.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, vote for the Nadler amendment to cut funds for the war in Afghanistan.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on President Zuma of South Africa to pay attention to the practicalities of a fair election in Zimbabwe.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose renewal of the U SAP AT RIOT act. No more spying on us!
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
In the UK: participate in protests against tax-avoiding businesses on Feb 19 and Feb 26.
In the US: move your money out of the "too big to fail" bankster banks.
There is an additional reason to stop using Bank of America: to punish its refusal to send money to Wikileaks.
US citizens, tell Obama: stand up for me, not Monsanto, regarding GM alfalfa and beets.
Republicans want to end NASA's funding to monitor climate changes.
They are behaving like a gang that has momentarily seized control of the US capitol for a private mission, and intend to destroy whatever gets in its way.
The US is apparently still trying to prevent Aristide from returning to Haiti and the corporate media try to blame Aristide for the "instability" caused by US-supported destabilization campaigns. (Example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/10/AR2011021004454.html)
Instead of preventing global heating, the US would rather prepare to kill the multitudes of refugees who will flee the regions where they can no longer live.
Some of those multitudes will be Americans.
If all you have is a military, everything looks like an enemy army.
Coming on top of disasters on other continents, this is likely to make wheat very expensive around the world.
Meanwhile, Bolivia's president Morales faced protests after trying to end subsidies on food.
Subsizing basic food is a bandage for the world's food problems. A real solution requires deeper changes. I hope this causes people to take the issue seriously.
Some UK lake fish need to be moved to other lakes to avoid extinction due to global heating.
The UK government has temporarily yielded on its plan to privatize England's forests.
US citizens: declare your opposition to Republican attacks on abortion rights.
Everyone: Sign this petition to protect the archeological site of Carthage.
It was damaged through the corruption of the recently deposed dictatorship.
The head of AIG criticizes Americans for thinking that the government should help them when they are in trouble.
The US Air Force threatened to prosecute family members of its personnel if they read Wikileaks cables.
While they pretended this was simply following the law, it was in truth an aggressive attempt to stretch the law and attack Americans' human rights.
The Air Force later retracted this "guidance" for further consideration. But it did not apologize, and therefore does not deserve forgiveness.
Republicans want to sabotage the EPA by cutting funds for the parts that need to implement greenhouse gas regulation.
Obama is just the sort of weak opponent to grant success to such overreaching attacks.
Republicans want to eliminate the funding for Planned Parenthood to provide birth control and cancer screenings.
Monsanto and its sidekick the US are pressuring Europe to allow genetically modified animal feed to sneak in.
Bangladesh has banned the religious practice of whipping women to death for having sex, and a judge is campaigning to enforce the ban.
The Iranian dictators are very concerned that Egyptian protests could spark a revolution in Iran.
Explaining the right-wing dishonest smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.
The UK is considering an electric plant that would burn cultivated food.
The police in Camden are so busy enforcing prohibition of drugs that they have no time for theft.
A former nark explains how the "War on Drugs" was based on lies (he and his colleagues told them), and how it made US drug problems worse.
Mubarak has given up power, and Suleiman the torturer has been sidelined.
The UK will exempt half of the people who are required to get background checks so they can do jobs that involve children.
I am very interested to read what they plan to do about the system that tracks all car travel.
UK protests against state-starving businesses are escalating.
Having extracted lots of money from the Irish people, the banksters' next target is Portugal.
Bradley Birkenfeld came to the US government with information about tax cheaters using a Swiss bank, and he was rewarded with imprisonment.
The Canadian government is so desperate for money from tar sand oil that it is willing to destroy the climate and the water supply.
The "Washington consensus" which supposed that free trade would help the poor has been rejected as global trickle-down, but the global policies adopted in its name remain in effect.
Extension of the U SAP AT RIOT act was blocked in the house because the leaders tried to pass it in a special rush fashion that required a 2/3 vote. It has not been defeated.
We need to change some representatives positions. Phone your congresscritter today.
ISPs are being turned into unofficial, unaccountable censors of the Internet.
Where ACTA talks about encouranging ISPs to cooperate in copyright enforcement, it means more of that.
After Mubarak and Suleiman yielded power to the army, Egyptians are celebrating, expecting this will lead to democracy.
That may occur, but is not guaranteed. I've heard that the protests are continuing.
Scientology vs its critics: which side is lying?
Rohingyas in Burma suffer the harshest persecution in a land where the dictators persecute everyone. When they flee to Thailand, they are imprisoned.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the resolution to establish Darwin Day.
It's Not Just Egypt: The Domestic War on Protesters.
Shark fishing continues full speed ahead in Japan (and elsewhere), even though there are fewer sharks to catch.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter saying, "Let the dishonestly named 'Patriot' act expire — it is an un-American attack on our civil liberties."
Also sign this petition.
Chomsky: The US government will support secular Arab dictators (e.g., Egypt, Tunisia) or dangerous Islamic extremist regimes (e.g., Saudi Arabia) as long as they keep the population under control. What the US really hates is indepedence.
That's why Obama pretends to support Egyptian democracy — just not now.
Sue Caldwell, a teacher in London, faces the threat of losing her job. She has bee accused of encouraging her students to join protests instead of going to school.
This ought to be praise, not an accusation. The students should organize to demand that the school give Ms Caldwell an award if she acknowledges doing that.
It can be argued that the protest was more educational than a day in school. But there is no need to stick to such limited grounds when defending the protest.
UN official Richard Falk supported the call for a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks, and since then has faced personal attacks and pressure to fire him.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter on Friday Feb 11 and say, "Pass a comprehensive response to the Big Spill so as to make sure oil companies can't do it again."
See this link.
Lukashenko, the tyrant of Belarus, continues his reign of terror, arresting people even for being near a protest.
To protect African bird species from the effects of global heating will require international cooperation and new nature reserves, since many species will not be able to keep living where they live now.
Suleiman has rejected a transition government, and the opposition in Egypt has given up on talking with him.
The Egyptian military is participating in the arrest and torture of dissidents and protesters.
Rejecting Reagan's caricature of politics: "conservatives" are for government intervention in markets, but they want different kinds of intervention, for opposite purposes.
The term "conservative" is misleading, since their goal isn't to conserve anything, or even to keep something unchanged. They aim to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich, a large and disastrous social change. What is a good term for that? "Hobin Roods"?
Australia is learning the hard way that global heating causes more floods, more droughts, and more heat waves.
Republicans want to create legislative support for bogus biology.
The USSR under Stalin also meddled with teaching of evolution; the facts of life did not accord with his ideology either.
CIA employees get promoted despite gruesome mistakes (which are also horrible crimes).
States are asking for federal bailouts, but Republicans tell them "the era of the bailout is over", meaning the rich already got theirs.
I don't favor state bankruptcy — that would be an unnecessarily drastic solution — but "we got ours" is no solution.
US citizens: call on Senator Reid to push to confirm judicial nominees.
Activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng is being held at home under round-the-clock guard, but he found an opportunity to make a video and smuggle it out.
Drug-crazed school officials in Colorado say a student with a rare disease is forbidden to come to school after taking his medicine.
Reporter Robert Tait was forced to listen, blindfolded, as the Egyptian police tortured other prisoners.
The agribusiness giant Sinar Mas has accepted conditions for reducing deforestation in Indonesia.
(Golden Agri-Resources is a subsidiary of Sinar Mas.)
New York Times reporters in Egypt spent the night as prisoners listening to the secret police torture other prisoners.
Mexican-Americans may have legal recourse to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in which Mexico surrendered what is now Arizona to the US, to overcome the spate of Arizona laws that discriminate against them.
It should not be necessary to try to sue in the OAS or UN, which may not be able to enforce any decisions on the US. US federal courts ought to enforce the terms of the treaty.
India is building nuclear power plants whose design is not considered safe, and using lies to dismiss regulatory objections.
Given how expensive nuclear power plants are, and how corrupt the Indian government is, I think this project is simple corruption.
A Saudi oil executive told US diplomats that Saudi oil reserves were overstated, and that peak oil would come in 2012.
That was before the economic downturn, which might have delayed it a year or two.
The UK's privatized deportation agents were warned that their methods were likely to be fatal, before they killed Jimmy Mubenga.
Privatization of activities that involve the use of force against people does not always lead to killing them. But it often does (consider Blackwater, for instance). Privatization creates a lack of accountability which is a recipe for abuses, which sometimes become fatal.
Such jobs must never be privatized — it is too dangerous.
The right-wing prime minister in France spent his holidays enjoying Mubarak's corrupt riches.
Israeli troops systematically arrest, beat, tie up, and blindfold Jerusalem children as young as 10.
Israel's government is spreading the idea it is worried that Egypt will cancel the peace treaty.
This might be real concern, or it might just be manipulation to secure US support for keeping Mubarak's nondemocratic regime in place (perhaps with Suleiman replacing Mubarak).
Mubarak's arbitrary and corrupt regime suited the US, and Israel, since they bought his support.
Israel has rejected several opportunities to make peace with various Arab countries. It rejected an earlier chance to make peace with Egypt.
Obama's former national security advisor says that peace between Israel and Palestine is needed to defeat the Islamic extremists.
Extremists on both sides profit from each other. Bush got great benefit from the existence of al Qa'ida, and vice versa.
Omar Suleiman, now Egypt's Vice President in charge of defeating democracy, was formerly in charge of torturing prisoners supplied by the US.
The next target of Obama's attack on successful Liberal social programs is the National Community Action Foundation.
Drug companies regularly hide experimental results that show harmful effects or even failure to produce the intended result.
The effect is to corrupt science. One solution is to tax them more, and fund the studies out of that tax.
Taiwan faces a scandal for executing a man after a false confession obtained by torture.
Calling on the UN not to ignore the Goldstone Report about Israeli war crimes in the attack on Gaza.
A key police figure in the UK now advocates requiring a judge's order to authorize undercover police operations.
The Spanish government connives at the presence of a large workforce of illegal immigrants that agribusiness exploits.
Greenpeace says it has turned public opinion in Japan against whaling.
High prices for basic foods are part of the cause of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Humans are squeezing food production from two sides: population increase means more is needed, while the effects of global heating damage production.
It is true that there is plenty of waste in our food system: much food spoils before it is eaten, and millions of wealthier humans eat a lot of beef fed on farmed grain, which is inefficient to produce and bad for their health. However, ending waste is easier said than done, and reducing the eating of beef is the same sort of problem as reducing the birth rate.
Berlusconi is likely to face charges for his prostitution activities.
Mubarak is offering superficial concessions while attacking the protest movement in several ways.
Hundreds of Afghan women have attempted suicide by burning themselves after they are condemned by their families or abused by their husbands.
If their lives are so bad that they prefer death, they should first kill the husbands or male relatives who have made their lives so bad.
I originally supported the war in Afghanistan to end the tyranny of the Taliban. However, in practice Karzai's regime is little better. We are not helping Afghan women very much by keeping the war going.
Republicans want hospitals to "protect life" by letting women die.
Senator Boxer has proposed a bill to require a timetable for removing US forces from Afghanistan.
Arctic Ocean ice hits a new record low for January.
What Mubarak Must Do Before Stepping Down.
The planned Haitian presidential runoff election has not been approved.
The Haitian government says it has given Aristide a new passport.
The presidential election last year was bogus, due to Aristide's exclusion as well as widespread fraud and disenfranchisement. Haiti should cancel it and start over, allowing Aristide to run.
The IMF's austerity rules make health aid to poor countries ineffective, because they require those countries to use it to replace other funds.
The Taliban offered peace in 2002. The US responded by arresting the Taliban negotiator.
A polar bear swam 9 days to reach an ice floe, and barely survived, but her cub died.
The corporate empire has designated the EPA as its target.
Dubya had to skip a trip to Switzerland; he feared he would be prosecuted for ordering torture.
It is the US' responsibility to prosecute Bush.
Mubarak and his family are suspected of having squeezed billions of dollars out of Egypt's poverty.
Obama's officials have made little progress in cutting the diversion of corrupt funds in Afghanistan, and no wonder when they keep hiring the same companies that wasted money before.
There is a large illegal black market in the US for raw cow's milk.
How dangerous is raw cow's milk? The numbers in the article are not enough to tell, because the answer depends on how many people in the US drink it on an average day. If it's 1000, the danger they face is quite high, with a 1% chance of dying from it over a 50 year period and almost a certainty of getting hospitalized at least once from it over that period. However, if the number of users is 100,000, the danger level is fairly low.
Could raw milk have health benefits? It is not impossible, but in the absence of a large and carefully controlled study, there is no evidence it does. People are prone to falsely perceive health benefits in random results, just as they falsely perceive faces in images of hills on Mars.
It occurs to me that a cheap test for the presence of certain harmful bacteria, if used regulary to test the raw milk just before drinking it, might nearly eliminate the danger of contamination. Consumers would simply discard any contaminated batch. It might be easy to make this with modern biotech.
A UK immigration officer stranded his wife in Pakistan for 3 years by adding her to a "no fly" list.
This story directly concerns one dishonest official. However, why was that dishonesty possibie? Because of the existence of a system that punishes people without trial and gives them no effective legal recourse. This is an invitation to injustice. Maybe this was the sole case where a person was listed by a malicious spouse — though how do we know? — but there are hundreds or thousands who are on the list for flimsy reasons, and they got no trial either.
There should not be any "no fly" list. People have a right to travel within their country, and to return to it. If there is a specific reason to suspect some person of planning a crime, that provides grounds for searching that person to whatever level of care is needed. Once that is done, there is no reason that person should not ride in an airplane.
Egypt has arrested several opposition bloggers.
Dozens of journalists have been arrested or attacked.
Many were attacked by pro-Mubarak thugs, perhaps the same ones that were brought in by the regime to attack the protesters.
Note that some were expelled from Egypt for entering on tourist visas. Restricting foreign journalists by requiring them to get special visas is a tyrannical policy, and all the governments that practice this (such as the US) should be ashamed of themselves.
Note also the absurdity of confiscating journalists' bulletproof vests. Why shouldn't everyone have bulletproof vests when snipers are shooting people?
The occupation of Iraq did result in discovery of one crime committed by Saddam Hussein's regime: it appears hundreds of Kuwaiti prisoners were taken to Iraq in 1991 and executed.
Republican's new murderous plan: if a woman needs an abortion to save her life, public hospitals could her die.
Avnery argues that Israel had better stop delaying peace with the Palestinians, because the strategy of using Arab dictators to suppress the resentment stimulated by the occupation will no longer work.
The article has one minor error: Egypt's history begins around 5100 years ago with the Narmer Palette. The antecedents of ancient Egypt have been traced back further by archaeology, but that is prehistory.
Arsonists destroyed the office of a dissident website in Sri Lanka. And it wasn't the first site attacked this way.
It seems web sites in Sri Lanka need physical firewalls as well as Internet firewalls.
FBI agents lied to courts and committed other illegalities in surveillance of Americans, up to 40,000 times in 9 years.
A Muslim preacher excluded from the UK will speak to the Oxford Union, a debating society, by video conference. Some Tory politicians say this should be banned too.
Whether or not he supports terrorism or is antisemitic or sexist, I am sure I'd find plenty to disagree with him about. Nonetheless, censoring such views is an attack on the rights of everyone in Britain.
The US also excludes foreign speakers whose views it dislikes. Bertrand Russell was once banned from teaching in the US because of his views.
The 90s right-wing claim that capitalism would bring political freedom has been totally exploded by today's multipolar world.
I'm afraid there is one thing that the business-dominated leaders of the US, the EU, China, Russia, Brazil and India will agree on: "free trade" that gives business increased power over all of life. While China and India compete to support the dictators of Burma, and Russia supports the dictator of Belarus, Brazil joins the US in imposing tyranny in Haiti.
The Koch brothers, in addition to funding global heating denial, are trying to sue people who made fun of them.
The manager of a Thai web site faces 20 years in prison for not deleting comments posted on the site fast enough. She is accused of allowing the king to be defamed.
To make it a crime to defame someone or something, whether it be the king, the president, the state, or some officials, is an act of tyranny -- directly counter to human rights. We don't need to wait to see an attempt to overextend that law before we condemn the state that practices it.
11 Muslim students are being prosecuted for interrupting a speech by the Israeli Ambassador. They heckled the ambassador, but did not try to block him from speaking, or block anyone from hearing him. Thus I think it is wrong to prosecute them.
US citizens: Tell the US government to ban offshore oil drilling in Arctic waters.
India's mainstream press has been corrupted by paid news, but neither the problem nor the attempts to counteract it are mentioned in the mainstream press.
The report of the President's Cancer Panel acknowledges that many forms of environmental pollution either do or might cause cancer.
Some of those pollutants, such as radon gas, are natural, but many are made by human activity — usually business activity. To reduce the emissions will require fighting the government-industrial complex.
The European Parliament wants to control the waste made up of discarded electronics.
Does the US try to "spread democracy"? Not in the Middle East.
And not much elsewhere. In the 60s and 70s, the US supported dictators who tortured their way across South America, and it's not finished yet, as shown by Bush's coup in Haiti and Obama's support for the coup-installed government in Honduras.
Torture in Egypt is not limited to dissidents; police torture anyone they wish to blame for a crime.
The Department of Internet Insecurity has seized more domain names, including that of a foreign company.
US senators proposing to give the president the power to shut down the Internet were embarrassed when Egypt actually did so.
I don't trust the supposed protections they talk about. Meanwhile, giving the president the power to shut off specific sites might be even worse than giving him the power to shut down the whole US internet.
Omar Suleiman, to whom Mubarak seems to intend to hand power in Egypt, has been cozy with the US for years.
Just as South Africa drove poor vendors away from the World Cup, Dallas is driving the homeless away from the Superbowl.
The Palestinian Authority has banned "unlicensed assembly", and attacked protesters and journalists who were demonstrating in support of the uprising in Egypt.
The PA probably supports Mubarak's regime which opposes Hamas.
Malaysia's government is going to impose censorship on the Internet as it did long ago on print and broadcast.
The main US "health food" store chains have surrendered to genetically modified alfalfa, which is dangerous to farm workers and the rest of us.
If Obama weren't a toady to business, he would not have chosen someone like Vilsack for the USDA.
Vermont's legislature is considering a resolution for a US constitutional amendment saying that corporations are not persons.
I think Chomsky underestimates the contribution of Wikileaks. Even if it only confirmed what well informed people suspected, that can change everything.
The Koch Brothers fund think tanks, media outlets and commentators in prestigious newspapers to deny global heating.
Foreign companies buy US factories and lock out the workers.
The right-wing liars that dishonestly smeared ACORN and Shirley Sherrod are now attacking Planned Parenthood.
US citizens: call on state attorneys general to prosecute foreclosure fraud.
Also on Feb 8 participate in a meeting in your area.
Everyone: Egyptian police shut down a human rights monitoring organization, arresting people including representatives of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Call on the Egyptian government to release them.
BP's PR is now designed to make it seem that the Gulf of Mexico is now clean, that the seafood is safe, that wildlife are safe.
Israel tortures children.
Israel arrested 14-year-old Islam Tamimi and is intimidating him to confess, although it threatens to convict him based on secret evidence.
This was not a unique event — torturing children seems to be the standard method of creating an excuse to imprison Palestinian protest leaders.
Sudan is chained to giant debts, and Southern Sudan could be created in a similar situation.
While Ethopia receives food aid, Saudi Arabia has bought land in Ethopia to grow rice for export. And it's even worse in the Congo where China grows palm oil, a less efficient use of the land.
Of course, pressure from the international economy and IMF, combined with lack of democracy, have led many poor countries to grow cash crops and not grow the food their people need to eat. But once they lose the land, there is no longer a possibility of changing this.
Reducing births has to be part of the solution. Any time you read that population growth contributes to a problem, it should suggest that birth rate reduction is part of the solution. Likewise, any time you read that the large fraction of young people in a country contributes to a problem, or that large family sizse contributes to a problem, it should suggest he same conclusion.
The specific reason Saudi Arabia wants to get rice from Ethiopia is that its own production is about to stop completely. The acquifer it has been draining to grow rice is just about empty.
Cities around the world are draining acquifers, just while growing populations increase the need for water, and the two are going to collide drastically.
Eating lots of meat increases the water and other inputs needed. If the high price of grain discourages grain-feeding of cattle, we might be able to prevent these shortages. But we still need to discourage more births.
A software change makes scanners less nude, but fails to make them safer.
I would not mind in principle if airport security looked at me with a scanner that could only see objects attached to one's body. For that matter, I would not mind being viewed with the current scanners. I wouldn't mind stripping naked for them either, except for the time it would take, but other passengers might find my body disappointing.
The reason I always refuse to pass through the x-ray scanners is because they are capable of giving a dangerous dose if not working quite right. You should refuse too.
Turkey's method of censoring dissident writers: prosecuting them for crimes that may not even have taken place.
The TSA "behavior detection officers" are an excuse for fishing expeditions. They have detected few terrorists (the veteran with bomb-making supplies might perhaps have been one) but arrested over a thousand people over unrelated issues.
It is tolerable to be searched for bombs and weapons to the extent that is needed to keep flights safe. However, when these searches are stretched into mandatory checkpoints to search people for other things without probable cause, that attacks our legal rights. To protect our rights, airline security checkpoints should be forbidden to take notice, directly or indirectly, of anything other than bombs and weapons.
Clinton is poised to approve a big oil pipeline that could threaten drinking water in parts of the US.
Aside from the dangers mentioned in the article, the goal is bad too. The purpose of this pipeline is evidently to use Alberta tar sands, which release so much CO2 that they must not be used at all.
The Pentagon cannot tell how much money it is spending, and apparently doesn't want to know. According to Republicans, that is a reason for not even trying to reduce costs.
Republicans plan arbitrary obstacles to running for president, tailoring them against Obama.
I am no fan of Obama, but arbitrary obstacles for candidates are just as wrong as arbitrary obstacles for voting (a frequent Republican tactic).
Mass citizens, tell your legislators to cosponsor several bills to improve abortion rights.
More information on these bills.
The aim of sex education should be to teach teenagers how to have enjoyable sex, to recognize when they do and when they don't want sex, and to be capable of carrying out either choice without getting sick or pregnant.
Bradley Manning has UK citizenship; Amnesty International asked the UK government to press for him to receive humane treatment while awaiting trial.
Budget cutting in the UK is predictably leading to further depression, so will the US follow the same path?
Nobody should visit Iran except for an essential humanitarian mission. Its government cruel in a crazy in a way reminiscent of what I've heard about Stalin.
Here's hoping for the overthrow of Shah Khamenei.
A new government in Egypt doesn't necessarily mean an end to peace with Israel. But Israel will need to earn this peace, instead of depending on US money to buy it.
Israel's government does not like this. Some politicians and lobbyists say that they support Mubarak's dictatorship. Some of their toadies are less honest, and call Mubarak's regime democratic.
B'liar is toadying; he just called Mubarak a "force for good".
Israel plans to build 1400 housing units in the West Bank near Jerusalem. None of this is the way to convince a democratic Egypt to be friends.
Israeli police had already exiled protest organizer Adnan Ghaith from Jerusalem. Now they want to arrest his 11-year-old-son.
Human rights activist Ameer Makhoul was sentenced to 9 years in prison on bogus charges of espionage after a confession obtained by torture.
In effect, Israel's government increasingly acts like Iran's government.
Israel is systematically forcing the Bedouin of the Negev off their farmland> and into new cities where there is no work.
Mubarak said he will step down, but not soon, and his regime seems to intend to keep power.
Protesters say, if Mubarak stays till September, they will protest till September. They fear they will get a new dictator, instead of democracy.
A person on NPR said he recognized some as Mubarak's "election-time thugs" who make a practice of beating up political opposition organizers and voters, and journalists. These armed thugs arrived in buses that were passed through checkpoints.
Big Pharma and its subservient governments are trying to use the real problem of fake drugs as an excuse to increase Big Pharma's patent power in poor countries.
This could kill millions.
It is too bad the article uses the confusion term "intellectual property". Read "patents" for it in this article, but in some other article it could refer to something totally different and unrelated. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html.)
If we were governed by Kucinich and Nader, they would laugh at this. That our actual leaders want to support it shows that their hearts are in the wrong place.
Foreigners are buying and leasing lots of land in Africa, and the deals prove to be exploitative.
The human robots doing airport security disallowed a toy soldier's toy gun, calling it a "firearm".
If it had been a three-inch toy pistol, perhaps someone could argue it might be passed off as real. Maybe there are three-inch pistols. But this was a three-inch toy rifle meant to be wielded by a soldier around 5 inches tall. No sane human would take it for a real gun. These agents are so rigidly programmed that if judged as humans they have to be considered insane.
A draft constitutional amendment to end election advertising funded by corporations.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the Republican plan to narrow the definition of rape. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The EPA proposes to ban dangerous testing of pesticides on human subjects.
I expect the companies will direct Republican legislators to oppose this rule.
Scalia and Thomas are teaching Tea Party congresscritters a twisted version of the US Constitution and US history.
The US Chamber of Commerce opposes Obama's plan for "clean energy".
Recall that Obama adopted "clean energy" (in a distorted definition that includes nuclear power and natural gas obtained by fracking) as a "compromise" replacement for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, offering the right wing a compromise is foolish: they don't respond in the same spirit. Rather, they see it as a sign of weakness and demand more.
Either Obama is dense, or he's something worse than dense.
Nonetheless, it is useful to get an admission that "clean coal" is imaginary.
Meanwhile, some of the fracking in the US is done illegally and risks poisoning water supplies.
The Smithsonian's board should appoint a president who will defend the institution's integrity against censorship pressure.
US citizens: sign this petition for Obama to push to end the loopholes that permit whaling to continue.
Brazil begs Peru to stop the illegal loggers who enter Brazilian territory before they wipe out an uncontacted tribe of aborigines, who were photographed from the air.
Whether such tribes should be protected from contact, or instead given medical care to survive the diseases they would get from us, is a difficult question, but it is clear that cutting down their forest is wrong.
A proposed EU-Canada free exploitation treaty threatens to force EU countries to pay oil companies for permission to reduce CO2 emissions.
Other free exploitation treaties forbid the effective ways for countries to protect themselves from disaster in financial markets.
Free exploitation treaties in general are designed to transfer power from states to companies. The more power the companies get, the more they want; thus, these treaties become more blatantly evil over time. But all of them are evil. Every government today must choose between democracy and trade treaties, between the people and the megacorporations. The first choice is the only legitimate one.
The Indian government approved a proposed steel plant that threatens to devastate the local inhabitants.
When people's land is taken in India, the government typically fails to compensate them effectively as you'd expect in the US.
I toured POSCO's new plant in Korea in 1989. It was totally automated, and made steel with no human labor: workers were needed only to maintain the machines. That was very efficient in terms of costs per unit of steel, but offered little employment. Maybe that was ok in South Korea. However, if the Indian plant worked the same way, it would do local Indians little good.
State ownership and privatization are not the only alternatives for forests in England (and elsewhere).
Google allows ads for a paper company, but rejects ads from the Wilderness Society to criticize that company.
Republicans want to hamstring or even eliminate the EPA.
That shows who's side they are on.
The US offered to help a multinational mining company in Peru campaign against protesters by pressuring to transfer local teachers and bishops who supported the protesters.
In general, Arab dictators promoted Islamist opposition to block secular opposition, then cracked down on it but not completely.
These dictators made Islamist opposition more powerful. Now they point at the power of that Islamist opposition to seek US support for "stability" (i.e., continued dictatorship). But this only continues the situation which compels opposition to be Islamist.
Democracy could make another outcome possible. However, Western spymasters continue to advocate "stability" as the goal.
They warn that Egypt could follow Pakistan. The US policy towards Pakistan has not been much of a success.
The Egyptian protesters, like the Tunisian protesters, are much further away from Islamist extremism than Pakistan is.
Microfinance was invented as a way to free the poor from debt slavery, but profitmaking companies got involved and turned it back into debt slavery.
Prohibiting for-profit small lending would let the NGOs come back in. Maybe they would do better.
Big Pharma companies are moving their clinical trial studies to countries where the regulations don't protect either the study subjects or the public.
We already know that letting the companies run or fund such studies tends to corrupt the results. We need to tax them more and take control of the studies out of their hands.
The government of Haiti says it will allow Aristide to return.
It's too bad this comes after Haiti's Burma-style election in which the main political party — Aristide's party — was excluded. Maybe that's why they may let him return now. Maybe they figure that it's ok to let him return if they have excluded him from being president again.
Ayn Rand condemned social security, so when she took the benefits, she did it under another name.
Several simple ways to filter out and reject invalid scientific claims.
New homes catch fire faster due to materials that are more flammable than wood and metal.
Maybe building codes need to limit the use of those materials.
Egyptian youths and the army joined to protect the Egyptian Museum from looters.
Plainclothes police have been accused of looting in Egyptian cities.
Protect Your Friends — Protect Julian Assange (Jan 2011).
US citizens: Call on Obama to stop insisting Mubarak lead the Egyptian transition to democracy.
Some Chinese sites are blocking searches about Egypt.
Taiwanese activists are campaigning against government propaganda labeled as news.
The US seems to be telling Mubarak it will no longer help him retain power.
Mubarak is threatening Egyptian protestors using US-made F16s.
The US ought to tell Egypt's army it will get no more US arms if it threatens to use them against protestors.
The march of censorship: an Indonesian celebrity has been sentenced to prison for privately making tapes of sex with his lovers, which were then stolen and published.
India's government is resisting industry spin and pressure to allow an apparently unnecessary genetically modified variety of eggplant.
I am not necessarily against all genetically modified agricultural plants and animals, but to make them acceptable we must ensure that they do not harm either the ecosystem (with side effects on wildlife) or farmers (by making them dependent on Monsanto or similar companies).
The Salvation Army in the UK has privatized its clothing redistribution and made a businessman rich.
Does anyone know if the US branch has done something similar? UK clothing donors are not happy to be donating to a private fortune, but many US Christians think that wealth indicates devine favor, which is not far from to "If you can get away with it, go ahead."
I give my old clothing to secular organizations anyway. I would rather not help Christianity while I help the poor.
An EU study says that privacy protection is being degraded in general across the EU.
The US obsession with child pornography led to criminal charges against a defense lawyer for showing other defense lawyers how photo editing can fake images of apparent sex. Then he was sued by the parents of children whose photos he demonstrated this with.
The parents say their children were harmed by this, but it seems that no one connected these morphed photos with any particular children except the prosecutors. Thus, if any harm ever comes to the children as a result, it will be because the parents drew attention to the matter by suing.
The US Supreme Court overturned the 90s law that prohibited faked images of sex with children, but it was replaced by a narrower but still unjust law that prohibits them when they are "obscene". In the end, the obscenity of censorship has had a victory.
Gangs took advantage of the protests to release criminals from prisons in Egypt. Recently arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders escaped too.
I dislike Islamism, including the Muslim Brotherhood, but its leaders were political prisoners. The end of the dictatorship in Egypt must include freeing them along with all other political prisoners. It is self-contradictory and futile to protect freedom by keeping some political leaders in prison.
We have to hope that Egyptians learn from the example of Iran, and avoid replacing one dictatorship with another.
London Police gassed a few people protesting at the door of a Boots pharmacy, so they needed hospital treatment.
Most US biology teachers do not teach evolution, or teach that it is doubtful. That is like teaching US history without mentioning the Constitution.
The article links to a paper in Science. If you want to spend a few minutes for the cause of freedom, find the email addresses of the authors and politely criticize them for publishing in a journal that doesn't practice redistributable publication and open access. You could point out that this is an important issue and that they have shot themselves in the foot by blocking access.
Teachers in Turkey fear official pressure not to teach about evolution.
Police in Switzerland pulled people off a train arbitrarily if they seemed to look like protestors. They got a Guardian reporter.
The Internet is good for leaks, but can that affect overtly tyrannical governments? Evgeny Morozov thinks that tyrannies will censor the leaks or else teach people not to believe them.
However, I think that the examples of Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority show that he's not always right.
A US judge has banned distribution of the jailbreak code for the Playstation III. This jailbreak is necessary to restore functionality it was originally sold with, for instance to run GNU/Linux on it.
Spread the word: nobody should buy this malicious product unless he is going to jailbreak it.
ISPs in the UK are looking for ways to defeat the Digital Economy Act for their customers.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the US proposal for an Egypt-style Internet "kill switch". Also sign this petition.
Regions in Iraq are in conflict over water supply.
Obama continues the Imperial War Presidency, squeezing Americans to pay for endless war.
Reusable paper milk bottles can reduce solid and gaseous waste.
In the US: Amnesty International asks people to phone the Egyptian embassy at (202) 895-5400, dial 1 to speak to a real person, and say, "Please urge the Egyptian government to respect human rights, rein in the security forces, and restore access to all communications in Egypt."
Why [US] Military Spending Remains Untouchable.
Analysis: Syria has regained control over Lebanon, and will probably prevent Hezbollah from fighting with Israel.
The fall of Tunisia's dictator has unleashed a wave of hope for revolution against the Arab world's aging dictators.
It is not coincidence that the Arab world is full of old dictators. Most of them keep the people under suppression with US backing. In effect, the US has prevented the political structure from bending for so long that it has generated stress sufficient to break it.
These regimes tend to be extremely corrupt and drain the country of money and opportunity.
US Residents: add your name to the statement of support for democracy in Egypt.
US citizens: tell Clinton that the US should call on Mubarak to resign and allow free elections in Egypt.
Support the protests against homeopathy, Feb 5-6.
An executive of Boots, a major UK pharmacy chain, admits there is no evidence homeopathic "medicines" work.
They probably do work to some extent for some illnesses — as placebos. However, if using the placebo effect is the goal, there is no need to spread false theories of medicine.
Uri Avnery comments on the Palestinian Papers.
Plainclothes Egyptian police knowingly hit a BBC reporter on the head with metal clubs, wounding him.
This is the second time I read they attacked a foreign reporter, and the attacks seem to follow a pattern. I can envision a possible reason for it. These reporters, by showing the world the facts, embarrass Mubarak, so he and his supporters regard them as enemies.
The Bushmen also regarded people publishing the truth as enemies.
Mubarak tried a curfew, which protesters have ignored, and offered to dismiss his ministers, which the protesters were not impressed by.
Shutting down the Internet in Egypt does not seem to have done Mubarak much good. Just about everyone supports the protests, so they meet in their thousands in the streets.
It appears the Egyptian state called ISPs one by one telling them to shut down.
The shutdown will be disastrous for the economy, which shows that Mubarak is prepared to damage his country considerably to preserve his power over it. This will convince many more Egyptians to oppose him.
Obama's response to the two extreme right-wing groups that are tearing the US apart is not to talk about them.
Obama is trying to talk about clean energy rather than global heating, but this is useless with precisely the conservatives whose support he thinks to gain that way.
The US economy is beginning to grow again, due to stimulus. Budget cutting, which the Republicans want, could cut off the growth.
Does this matter to Americans? The growth is not yet helping the unemployed, so it must be going primarily to the rich. That is likely to remain the case as long as the US practices trickle-down economics. In order for ordinary Americans to be better off, we could use some growth, but mainly we need more equitable distribution of it.
We also need to make sure that we grow in a way that doesn't increase carbon pollution. The UN secretary general called the world's economic system a "global suicide pact".
B'liar breached the ministerial code by concealing from the cabinet the attorney general's advice that attacking Iraq was illegal.
Chinese police act just like US police: they lie to frame people they disapprove of.
B'liar showed what's wrong with the so-called Middle East peace process, by calling on the Palestinians to "get on with making peace".
The Palestinian negotiators, as we now know, were bending over backwards for peace, while Israel refused any concession. If B'liar honestly wanted peace, he would call on Israel to start making a few concessions. Since he supports the US which supports Israel's government in rejecting peace, he pretends that the Palestinian Authority is the obstacle.
This is the same approach that the UK police are using against protesters. They exaggerate minor "student violence" to distract attention from their own violence that wounded and endangered protesters.
Large protests in Algeria demand the end of the 19-year state of emergency.
Vietnam, like China, is tightening censorship of the press.
One of its methods is to ban confidential sources. The US is also attacking the use of confidential sources.
Republicans (or should I say Repubicans) want to narrow the definition of "rape".
Governments should pay for abortions for any women that want them. Abortion is safer than having a baby, and for mothers not in a position to take care of a child, it has less chance of leading to terrible unhappiness later on. Given women's tendency to want children, any woman who says she doesn't want to have a baby certainly has a very good reason.
Iraq's government is attacking theater, music and art.
Clarence Thomas lies every year on financial disclosure forms. Why isn't he indicted for this crime?
Natural gas is hardly any improvement over coal in regard to global warming, according to EPA research.
One UK MP is mounting a heroic campaign to recognize the permanent danger created by DU (Dirty Uranium) weapons.
This article reveals how the US and UK withhold data about the use of these weapons of mass destruction, preventing scientific study of their effects, so that they can continue to argue that there is "no scientific evidence" of the link. The attitude is pervasive: remember how Bush said he kept no count of Iraqis killed by the occupying forces, and Wikileaks showed he was lying?
NYT Promotes Destructive Myths About Aristide.
A satirical review of Ubuntu GNU/Linux.
Just keep in mind that many of the "facts", even background "facts", in the article were invented for purposes of humor.
B'liar told his top military officer that the Iraq war was definitely not aimed at "regime change", while telling other officials its goal was precisely that.
President Kagame of Rwanda has had his former high officials sentenced in absentia for "terrorism" because they criticized his nondemocratic policies.
Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, but human emissions of CO2 and methane control the level of water vapor in the atmosphere.
UK citizens traveling abroad are finding their citizenship taken away without even a trial. In effect, their trip turns into permanent exile.
Rep. Issa plans to investigate Google's relationship with the NSA.
I don't like Rep. Issa, but any move against widespread surveillance of the Internet is generally a good thing.
As for Google, it does some very good things but also some bad things. (For instance, many of its services distribute proprietary software to users.) I would not put Google at the head of the list of large companies that need to be broken up; however, if we start breaking up large companies (as we should), and get that far down the list, I would not say "stop here".
"Blocking child porn sites 'exacerbates policing problem'."
I have explained elsewhere that the term "child porn" is a lie and why outright censorship of it is unjust. The way to protect children from being used to make porn is to punish those who are involved in the distribution business together with those who make porn using real children.
Senators have introduced a bill for strict net neutrality.
Visa's asked for an investigation of a Wikileaks' organization and found no sign it was illegal, but Visa intends to keep blocking payments to Wikileaks until it finishes another investigation.
In other words, Wikileaks is being treated as guilty until twice proven innocent.
China is tightening restrictions on news that it finds embarrassing.
When Obama campaigns to silence Wikileaks, he is headed down the same path.
Biometric recognition systems are more fallible than governments seem to realize.
When biometrics are used to control access to bank accounts, depositors face the special danger that courts will refuse to believe them when they report that the system was cracked.
However, what bothers me about them most is that they do work most of the time, and thus enable widespread tracking of people.
Rather than diminishing the army after the end of the war, Sri Lanka's dictator Rajapaksa is using the army to deliver food, produce tv, and run resort hotels.
Bush illegally used White House funds and facilities for Republican campaigning.
I don't expect Obama to take legal action in response. To judge by his positions, he's more like a Republican than like a Progressive.
Faux News gave free air time to several Republican candidates.
US citizens: submit a comment to the EPA by Jan 31 supporting limits on CO2 emissions.
Here's the comment I gave them:
Preventing wanton burning of fossil fuel from baking our biosphere is a vital mission for the EPA. Limiting emissions from power plants and refineries is an essential part of this. Please allow no delays in this mission, and don't give the planet burners any slack.
There is a campaign to legalize, regulate and tax all recreational drugs in Holland. The aim is not just to reduce the many kinds of harm caused by prohibition, but also to help balance the budget.
The revision of the DSM, the book which which defines various mental illnesses in the US, has created a controversy among psychiatrists about what it should say.
Choosing the right way to characterize mental illnesses raises philosophical problems. For instance, if schizophrenia and bipolarity share the same mechanism to the extent we can now observe, does that mean they are one illness? Maybe, but not necessarily. They don't produce the same behavior. Our observations of living brains are very limited, and the two conditions might be very different in ways we can't observe.
The UK is prosecuting people for expressing the opinion that gays should be executed.
The test of freedom of speech is how we react when people say things we despise. These two men only advocated despicable acts, but the UK is now carrying out a despicable act — censorship. In fact, censorship of political views.
Anonymous protests: a net gain for liberty.
Anonymous' so-called "denial of service" attacks can be compared with the real denial of service attacks that the US government made against Wikileaks.
El Baradei's return to Egypt has galvanized the protests.
In response, Egypt shut down nearly all ISPs.
If Mubarak keeps that shutdown going, Egypt's businesses will all be against him.
Several protesters write.
Israel's Big Lie response to the Palestinian Papers: claiming that Israel is "fed up of giving and giving".
A second lie is equating recognition of Israel as "the state of the Jewish people" with recognizing Israel's right to exist, which (if my memory serves) the PLO did many years ago. The demand for recognition of Israel as a "Jewish" state, rather than just recognizing Israel as a state, was added a few years ago by the Israeli government as a way of avoiding any peace agreement.
Olmert's description of trying to rush Abu Mazen to sign an agreement without consultation shows what's really going on. When someone offers you deal and says you have to decide right away, you had better suspect it stinks. Would you buy a used car from a salesman like that?
Tunisia's foreign minister, a holdover from the dictatorship, has resigned "in the interest of Tunisia". This shows protesters are making progress in their campaign to remove all the old ministers resign.
Uganda's leading gay activist has been murdered.
Leading US rabbis condemned Glenn Beck and Faux News for exaggerated comparisons with Nazism and the Holocaust.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on advertisers to stop supporting Faux News.
A DHL fusion center in Tennessee put the ACLU on its map of "terrorism events and other suspicious activity".
Haiti's ruling party has dropped the effort to put its candidate into the presidential run-off election. But this is not enough to make the election democratic, given that Aristide was excluded from running and that organized fraud was rampant.
An Egyptian doctor talks about the protests he joined.
The London police chief threatened to escalate violence against nonviolent protesters.
I don't see why protesters wouldn't be justified in physically attacking police who are besieging them or charging them on horses.
Undercover police officer warns against giving Met (the London police) control of spy unit.
Gays and Lesbians in Uganda face the threat of life imprisonment, or maybe even execution.
Egyptian police repeatedly beat up and arrested and beat up again many protesters, along with one Guardian reporter observing the protest. He described step by step what they did to him and the others.
A longer version of the story.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to call for background checks on people buying guns in gun shows. Also sign this petition.
Massachusetts citizens: sign the ACLU's petition for reform of public records laws.
Human Rights Watch reports on killings, torture and rape by the agents of ex-President Gbagbo starting before the Ivory Coast runoff election.
The TARP bailout program turns out to cost much less than was thought, because some of the investments made a profit.
However, TARP turns out to be just a small part of the US bailout.
Obama has decided to hush up about global heating.
Studies suggest the Greenland ice sheet won't start melting catastrophically due to meltwater underneath.
That means we are safe from one danger that was a concern. However, the West Antarctic ice sheet might melt due to other reasons and raise sea level by 6 meters (20 feet), flooding many coastal cities.
Bangladesh's UK-trained death squad is back at work after a short pause due to embarrassment by Wikileaks.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs ten years ago, and achieved a big decrease in the problems caused by drugs.
One weakness in the article is that it lumps nonaddictive drugs such as marijuana and ecstasy with addictive drugs such as heroin, cocaine, tobacco and alcohol. The latter are more dangerous since it is hard to stop using them. I think the nonaddictive drugs should be legal to sell too.
The Tucson massacre covered almost obsessively, but the frequent US massacres in Afghan of civilians and even allies are almost totally ignored.
Americans have become used to the idea of raining death on people.
The US gun lobby has started a pre-emptive attack against any plan to reduce handgun murders in the US.
Arranging for background checks in gun shows will be easy with today's technology, and won't cause any problem for legitimate purchasers.
The US investigation into the causes of the financial crisis blames several government officials for failing to regulate banks properly.
Facebook's latest exploitation of its users: conscripting them for ads.
Facebook "Like" buttons are nasty things: they track even people who don't use Facebook. If a site you use has a Facebook "Like" button, complain to the people who run it.
In the US: join me in always refusing to go through airport scanning machines. Tell them "Please feel me up" instead.
Jesse Ventura has sued the TSA for scanning him naked and feeling him up.
Ralph Nader and Ron Paul have launched a "progressive-libertarian alliance" to work together to end torture, undeclared wars, and free exploitation treaties.
In 2008 I supported Ron Paul for president as a second choice behind Dennis Kucinich, and ultimately voted for Nader. I didn't expect them to work together, but it makes sense.
Obama's State of the Union speech proposes investment in "clean energy" but defines that as including nuclear power and the hypothetical "clean coal."
Calling for an end to Bush's tax cuts for the rich is good. Republicans will block it for now, but that may cause their defeat.
Obama was wrong to blame the loss of jobs on "technology". It was government policy of "free trade" (sold on the basis of trickle-down), together with the business practice of outsourcing, that replaced well-paid jobs with sweatshops. And Obama continues this policy.
Obama said nothing about improving the US respect for human rights.
Extremist Killing Is as American as Apple Pie.
Maureen Murphy says she will go to prison rather than to testify to the grand jury investigating antiwar groups for their nonviolent campaigns against US-spread war and terror.
Human Rights Watch condemns a world-wide pattern for states and UN organizations to fail to take action against torture.
US citizens: sign this petition urging Obama to formally appoint Elizabeth Warren for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The US wants to require more data retention about people's internet and phone usage.
It looks like the UK will reduce but not eliminate the "control orders" that punish suspects without trial.
The Palestinian Authority's control forces work closely with those of Israel, the UK, and perhaps the US.
No wonder — they all imprison people without trial and they all torture.
Protests in Egypt are massive, and there are some casualties but apparently no shooting.
Right-wing state legislatures are requiring voters to show drivers licenses, which tends to exclude poor people, students, and minority groups.
Germany urges drug companies to boycott US executions.
US citizens: sign this petition to Obama for the US to support the security council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian territories.
Palestinian Papers: What The Al Jazeera Blockbuster Means.
Global heating denier Patrick Michaels appears to have lied to Congress about the funding he gets from planet-burning business.
Guantanamo prisoner Ghailani has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after a civilian trial, which convicted him on one count although the others were thrown out because his confession was obtained by torture.
When the US government pleads to imprison people without trial because it has already tortured them, it is no better than Ghailani.
"Alleged abuse at Iraqi detention center prompts oversight concerns."
The misuse of antibiotics, over decades, now kills 90,000 Americans per year.
Our foolish pandering politicians would rather pretend to protect us from the much smaller danger of terrorism.
The PISD coalition of scientific publishers opposes freely redistributable publication and "open access".
The meaning of the term "open access" has been diluted since the Budapest Declaration by "supporters" that have dropped the most important aspect: the freedom to redistribute scientific articles. Thus, I now advocate "freely redistributable scientific publication" instead of "open access".
US citizens: call your congresscritter to oppose the Stupak on Steroids attack on abortion rights. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: sign this petition calling on South Africa's government to take action against the practice of raping Lesbians.
AT&T is arguing in court that "personal privacy" applies to corporations.
Update: The Supreme Court rejected AT&T's case.
Obama demanded that the Palestinian Authority not change its leaders; i.e., not hold new elections. Yet the US claims to support Palestinian democracy.
Hamas has agreed to accept peace with Israel if Palestinians approve it in a plebiscite. If Israel is concerned about Hamas, it should negotiatea peace now with decent terms that Palestinians will vote for, and then Hamas will have to accept it.
The world's food system faces a big challenge, and there is a dispute about what needs to be done.
If the world produces enough for 11 billion people, is that before or after 30% of the food gets spoiled or thrown away? Preventing that waste is easily said but not easy to do.
Global warming threatens to wipe out good coffee.
Perhaps Americans will recognize the danger when they can't buy any more.
Egypt has a new opposition movement, inspired by Tunisia.
The main opposition in Egypt before was the Muslim Brotherhood, which could be more oppressive than Mubarak. This seems to be a secular opposition that values human rights.
Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is headed by the CEO of a foreign company: GE.
However, even if its head were the CEO of an American company, I would not expect a businessman to propose anything good for American workers. It is more likely to be trickle-down, in the form of deregulation and "free trade".
Where did Obama put his priorities: more profit for certain companies, or more employment for Americans?
Women activists protested at Scotland Yard demanding to know the names of police infiltrators. They are concerned that the infiltrators might have seduced them under false pretenses.
Sherry Rahman continues to support religious freedom in Pakistan despite death threats.
The ACLU has got records of 30 instances in recent years where US soldiers killed prisoners.
Some of these soldiers were convicted of murder, but no officers have been held responsible for promoting a general climate of abuse.
Easter Islanders tried to block the sale of some of their land to outsiders; the Chilean police are besieging them in an occupied hotel.
The Republicans' plan to limit damages on medical malpractice would block all but the small frivolous suits.
Israel's inquiry into its attack on the Mavi Marmara was a whitewash, as expected.
Leaked documents (not via Wikileaks) show that the Palestinian Authority privately offered major land concessions to Israel, but the Israeli government said that was not enough.
The more the Palestinians offer, the more Israel demands. The US contemptuously demands impossible concessions from the Palestinian negotiators.
This confirms what Uri Avnery has told us for years: the Israeli state is no partner for peace. The phony peace process, which Israel deceitfully used as a cover for a continuing land-grab, is now dead.
A huge gold mining project in Colombia threatens to destroy an area of unique species and poison the water of a major city.
Don't be misled by lots of snow — even winter is getting generally warmer, specifically in Britain.
The UK's new drug policy adviser is a religious bigot.
Instead of the scientific Professor Nutt, they have a plain old nut.
Wikileaks cables show that the US worked with Brazil to keep Aristide out of Haiti. Then the UN forces were pressured to attack Cite Soleil, which was (and I presume still is) a support base for Aristide and Lavalas, and a Brazilian general was apparently shot by a sniper when he resisted doing so.
B'liar has admitted promising Bush support for the conquest of Iraq ignoring his legal advice that it would violate international law.
When poor countries get aid for the sake of health, they reduce their own spending on health care — especially if they are under IMF control.
Under IMF restrictions, just 1% of the aid goes to increase health spending, and the rest goes to pay back the IMF.
In California, support the campaign against privacy-attacking "smart meters".
Exxon predicts growth in CO2 emissions to a level that implies global disaster.
This article argues that Rafik Hariri was killed by Israeli agents, not Hezbollah agents.
Since I have not seen the arguments on the other side, I can't weigh the question. I would not put this crime past either Israel or Hezbollah.
Most of the "aid" for Haiti is spent in ways that don't help Haiti, or even do harm. US government "aid" even goes to support right-wing religious proselytizing in Haiti.
UK police infiltrators in political movements are supposed to have promiscuous sex with the people they spy on.
Thousands of girls in India are forced into prostitution by their families under the color of religion.
Parents who would sell a child into slavery to feed their other children should not have children at all. The population growth they cause perpetuates poverty. Some sort of welfare system might enable these families to rise out of poverty and support their children in another way, but India's government isn't likely to do that. Helping the poor is no priority for it.
B'liar must be put on trial.
The Comcast/NBC merger is dangerous for freedom and media competition in the US.
Only a government that has already sold out to whoever is the biggest business would approve such mergers.
Kathyrn Bolkovac reported that her fellow UN police supported trafficking of girls in Bosnia, and the superiors covered it up.
I think that one of the causes of forced prostitution is the legal suppression of voluntary prostitution.
Albania's prime minister accuses the opposition of starting a Tunisia-style uprising. That more or less admits that the current government is not worth continuing.
One of the people shot in Tucson was forcibly committed to a mental hospital after his harsh words towards a Tea Party leader were taken as a threat.
Loughner showed many signs of incipient violence, which were ignored. That is no reason to commit people for an angry outburst.
In the US: sign this petition calling on Parents and Family Circle magazines to stop publishing disguised tobacco ads.
Chevron appears to be helping its former representative in Ecuador withhold information that would support a lawsuit against Chevron for massive environmental destruction.
Eric Brazau brought a protest sign to a police parade in Toronto. He was attacked, then arrested for being attacked.
I don't think that the funeral of a policeman is, a priori, a particularly pertinent place to protest police violence. But the policemen who arrested Brazau made it pertinent.
Tunisia has freed the political prisoners that were recognized as such, but up to 1000 more dissidents who were tortured into confessing some vague sort of "terrorism" remain in prison.
The Taliban's willingness to tolerate education of girls may have been exaggerated.
On the issue of human rights for Afghan women and girls, I don't think there is any organization we could trust more than RAWA. RAWA wants the foreign troops to leave, saying that the official government is not much better than the Taliban.
(Previous note here.)
The US supreme court now decides in favor of business most of the time, endangering the rights of anyone that tries to resist business power.
US citizens: sign this petition telling Obama to veto any reduction in social security.
Fiji water, a ridiculous product if ever there was one, will no longer come from Fiji.
I wonder what it will use to replace its principal selling point. "Our water is processed in a purple pipe"? It would be no less logical.
Proposing the murderous Coca Cola Company for an award is especially sick.
The stock market is now even more roboticized. An average of attitudes expressed on Twitter is being used as a basis for progammed trading decisions.
The danger of these schemes to predict stock prices is that they build up some sort of pressure that causes them to systematically fail.
Tobacco companies run ads in magazines for parents, pretending to aim to reduce smoking by teenagers, but really just promoting the companies.
Republicans want to kill the spending for Federal programs that reduce oil consumption.
I guess that's a sign of working for the oil companies.
The US is using police infiltrators against the antiwar movement, and fishing for something to accuse people of.
Why Massey Energy and other serial mine-safety offenders have been getting off easy.
Protesters in Tunisia are demanding the resignation of all the ministers from the party of the ousted dictator.
SONY thinks it should be a crime if you use your SONY computer in a way SONY doesn't approve of.
A lawyer suggests questions for the Chilcot inquiry to ask B'liar.
"Free trade" and the IMF have killed agriculture in many countries, leading to dependence on foreign suppliers. A UN official proposes to change this.
Maybe it is no coincidence that the "aid" that is usually offered to poor farmers increases their dependence. That's what the foreign agribusiness suppliers and their pet governments would want.
Here is a list of companies that support the proposed law to confiscate domain names without a trial. I wish their addresses and phone numbers were included to make it easier for people to tell them off. Some of them, such as Nike, are well worth boycotting for other reasons.
The writer of the article fell into the trap of legitimizing the established injustice in order to attack the new one, when he says that "violating copyright law shouldn't be allowed." Sharing is good, and must be allowed; if a law conflicts with it, as today's copyright law does, that only makes the law wrong.
Obama plans new Guantanamo kangaroo courts.
Obama is squarely responsible for this. He should have refused to sign the law that forbids real trials for these prisoners, but even given that law, nothing can force him to stage unfair trials. He could adopt the rules of civilian trials for these.
In the Oasis of Peace, Israeli Jews and Arabs decided to live together.
Texas eliminated most medical malpractice suits, thus attracting bad doctors from all around the US, but it failed to reduce the cost of medicine there.
Now the Republicans want to extend this to the rest of the US.
Apple is at the bottom of major IT brands in regard to secrecy about who makes its products and their working conditions.
Wikileaks cables show that Turkey cooperated with CIA torture flights from 2002 to 2006.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, "Don't extend the falsely-named un-American PATRIOT act." Also sign this petition.
US officials privately say that Wikileaks has not hurt the US government much.
It is regrettable that the reputation of the US has not suffered even more from the Collateral Murder video and other revelations. But this demonstrates that the rationale for the dirty tricks campaign and the attempt to prosecute Assange in the US hasn't got even a shade of an excuse.
Wikileaks has done tremendous good in Tunisia, in Spain, and has made people around the world more sure of the misdeads of various states. Viva Wikileaks!
Everyone: sign this petition to the governor of Illinois to sign the bill to repeal the death penalty.
This ought to be entitled "The undercover police spy who loved me, or perhaps pretended to."
Duvalier faces prosecution in Haiti for the funds he stole as dictator.
Students are organizing politically against a principal who has banned all physical contact aside from handshakes in their school.
The petition's first point grants too much legitimacy to the rule. The argument that touching is not necessarily sexual seems to grant that there is something wrong if it is sexual. The introduction seems to assume there is something wrong with kissing. That is headed down the twisted path of prudery.
If the petition doesn't work, they should all have a hug-in strike.
The UK has rebuffed the Iraqis who wanted an inquiry into their torture by British troops in the Bush forces.
At least the inquiry they asked for has not been ruled out. The US has completely closed off legal action by the victims of US torture — the act of a cruel regime.
At Tony B'liar's request, the documents showing whether he knowingly made illegal promises of war to Bush are being concealed from the Chilcot inquiry.
Even though both Bush's party and B'liar's party lost the subsequent elections, their replacements continue to cover up their crimes.
Citizens of Massachusetts: sign this petition for a bill to restrict police surveillance of protest groups and phone your state representative to support it.
Israel is considering a plan to build 1400 housing units in supposedly annexed West Bank land.
20000 Jews and Arabs in Tel Aviv joined in chanting, "Jews and Arabs, refuse to be enemies!"
Wikileaks cables show that US diplomats gave the government a one-sided pro-Israel picture of Israel's attack on Gaza.
Opposition ministers in Tunisia quit, demanding replacement of the old dictator's ministers.
Watching smoking in a video stimulates smokers' brains like real smoking. I would guess that the cigarette companies did research to find out what effect these smoking scenes have on a smoker's chances of quitting. They spend lots of money on product placement and they would have wanted to make sure this was effective.
A judge in Venezuela has been imprisoned at the express request of Chavez because she granted bail to an accused banker when the law required it.
Whether that banker was guilty is beside the point: any honest judge had to grant him bail if the law required it. He should have received a trial sooner.
Obama has continued and expanded Bush's policies of repression. Even Dick Cheney praises him.
How sad for the US. And now Obama plans to adopt the Republican goal of decreasing regulations.
With business trashing people's lives, our biosphere and our economy, we need more regulation of business, not less.
What use is a President who does what Republicans want?
Canada has banned charities that aid Hamas, even in activities to aid civilians, but allows charities that support the Israeli settlement landgrab or the Israeli army.
Israel has demolished a Bedouin village for the 9th time and is planting trees all over it so they cannot rebuild.
A papal representative told Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report child abuse.
Medical journal publishers have withdrawn gratis access in poor countries.
We should impose gratis access for all, and freedom of redistribution, on all scientific journals — including past issues. These companies should be allowed no choice in the matter.
Some question to ask biblical literalists, if you want to have some fun.
The UK says it will stop the private organization ACPO from conducting police operations.
This is one of the steps it must take, but it is not enough. The UK must punish police who tried to withhold evidence against protesters, and stop treating peaceful dissidents as criminals.
It must also repeal the "aggravated trespass" law that was designed to criminalizes nonviolent protest.
Gulet Mohamed sued the US government for the right to return to his country.
A Spanish court is trying "censorship lite" by ordering Google to remove links to lawfully published articles.
Agribusinesses in Argentina keep farm laborers imprisoned in the farms where they work.
UK agents gave questions to Bangladeshi torturers and pressed for the answers. And it is clear that ministers approved this.
A planned dam on the Yangze River would wipe out many species of fish and endanger China's fish farming.
The tendency to disregard environmental protection when it stands in the way of making money is found in all the countries whose governments have been corrupted by business. China was once a totalitarian dictatorship, but now it's an ordinary corrupt dictatorship.
A new government has been formed in Tunisia, but the most important ministers are held over from the dictatorship.
50 years ago, a Republican ex-general warned about the military-industrial complex.
Refuting the banksters' arguments that we must let them receive gigantic bonuses.
We would not need to restrict bonuses directly if the income tax rate for such large incomes were sufficiently high.
Weak commitment to human rights factors into Boston Common's decision to divest of Cisco Systems.
Leo Igwe campaigns to protect children in Nigeria from being killed or tortured in the name of religion.
US border police searched the computers of over 6000 people in just 18 months.
Is there anything that can restrain them?
The UK's unaccountable secret police force infiltrates and harasses the environmental movement, pretending its activists are terrorist suspects even though they have been scrupulously nonviolent.
It is interesting that the crime of "aggravated trespass" was invented specifically to punish civil disobedience with prison.
The police also smear environmentalist protestors with lies.
The injustices that Martin Luther King jr. battled were not eliminated entirely in the US, and now they are getting worse again.
Hundreds of Americans that live near the Gulf of Mexico are now badly sick, apparently from the Big Spill; many have high levels of toxic chemicals that were present in the oil.
Wikileaks is receiving secret bank records of 2,000 hyper-rich who use accounts in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes.
Apparently Wikileaks will not publish their names, but it's not clear in this article what part of the data will be published.
The stuxnet cyber-attack was so successful that Israel is no longer considering a military attack on Iran's nuclear refining.
A military attack probably would not have succeeded anyway.
Tory cuts in the UK's National Health Service are endangering health.
Former Hatian dictator Duvalier has returned to Haiti. He is surely up to no good.
Aristide would also like to return to Haiti, but the US that has prevented him. US troops kidnapped Aristide and forcibly exiled him from Haiti. I would guess that the US played a role in Duvalier's return.
Japan has grown more than the US or Europe when measured per potential working person.
Economic growth per se is not a goal, just a means to and end: a comfortable life for everyone. Achieving that end requires a fairly equal distribution of the additional wealth.
Without that, economic growth is not even a good thing. US-style economic growth, where the increased wealth nearly all goes to the richest 1% and the real incomes of the poor decline, is worse than keeping everything the same.
It would be absurd to desire population growth to increase a country's total population. Given the high US level of consumption, it would be much better if the population were decreasing. Japan's problem is that it is unwilling to accept and integrate immigrants with the consequent changes in culture. Even the people of Korean ancestry who were born in Japan face discrimination.
Tunisia's revolution is not over. Ousting the dictator was just the first step.
Iran's opposition leaders call the regime totalitarian.
UK residents: beware the census of March.
The most important part of the article is point 6, which is around 12% of the way down. If the stated information is accurate, it is very likely that information about your sexuality, mental health, views, etc., will be given to the police.
Right-wing lunatic politicians are calling the killer Loughner a Liberal, and calling all Liberals Communists.
Clinton has made women's rights a central part of US foreign policy.
This sounds great. I do wish, however, that the US would do more to uphold those human rights that apply to everyone.
War drones against countries are being adapted for many other uses, some beneficial and some oppressive (such as the War on Drugs and the War on Dissent).
I find it plausible that bombing with drones kills no more civilians than bombing with fighter-bombers would. In a war against a uniformed regular army, either of them could be used with no particular problem. The problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan is about using air attacks on purported guerrillas in ordinary civilian buildings when they are not fighting.
10,000 Israelis demonstrated against growing Israeli fascism.
This shows that freedom is not yet dead in Israel, but it's in critical condition.
The people of Stony Stratford protested the planned closure of their public library by checking out all the books.
The Tunisian Army is fighting the ex-dictator's secret police in the streets of Tunis.
I hope that Tunisia can avoid replacing a secular tyranny with an Islamist tyranny. There are protests in Jordan now about the high cost of living, with Islamist participation.
Mark Kennedy, former UK police spy, says that the police knowingly withheld tapes that Kennedy made which would exonerate certain defendants.
The police only offered these tapes to the court when the defense lawyer showed he knew about Mark Kennedy. In other words, the police sought to prove false charges that they knew were false.
This is standard police practice, but it is exciting to have proof. Will the police officials stand trial for this?
Prosecution of "hate speech" is the wrong way to end the right wing's calls for violence.
Republican murder discourse is despicable, but censorship would be an attack that democracy could not withstand.
Kuwait now wishes to deport Gulet Mohamed to the US, but the US illegally says he is forbidden to return.
Any US citizen has an unconditional right to enter the US, and cannot even be required to answer questions as a condition of entry.
When economists tell us that we must expect long-term high unemployment, what good are they? Let's fire them.
Israeli troops have killed 8 Palestinian 9-year-olds by shooting them in the head in the past decade.
Obama has slightly eased the US embargo on Cuba.
Australia's floods are carrying away the topsoil, and the floodwaters will threaten the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.
The US exaggerates the fraction of ex-prisoners from Guantanamo that later fight the US.
Politicians use this argument to justify keeping them all prisoners forever — in effect, doing more evil to avoid the consequences of the evil it has already done.
It's like the common plot basis of many detective novels; the killer, fearing detection and punishment for the first murder, has to kill more.
If the US would like not to be hated, it ought to stop doing vicious things.
Berlusconi is under investigation for sex with an underage courtesan, and pressuring the police to cover it up.
I don't think doing business with a courtesan is particularly bad. The courtesan is clearly not being oppressed. It would be ironic if this dangerous corruptor loses power over this, after having done so much worse with impunity.
Tunisia's president has fled the country due to protests triggered by news from Wikileaks.
Viva Wikileaks! Those who attack Wikileaks attack all of us.
More information on the situation in Tunisia.
Greeks are massively resisting road tolls, which go to private companies.
The arrangement where the state lets a company build a private road and collect tolls from it is pernicious. It frequently leads to abuses that violate privacy rights, as well as squeezing the motorists. If the Greeks push this resistance far enough, they may convince companies this is a losing business, and save the rest of the world from it.
The Tunisian government's PR company dumped its client when the protests began. It found its job too much at variance with truth.
German MPs suspect that undercover cop Mark Kennedy acted as a provocateur in Germany with cooperation of the German police.
Irish activists said Mark Kennedy was a leader in attacking the police in protests there.
"We are now seeing a publicly funded police force used as a national private security service for large corporations."
In Iraq, tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of people have been disappeared since Bush's invasion.
Israel demolished homes and a classroom in a West Bank village.
US citizens: sign this petition against the US "national trusted internet ID".
Tunisia's president says he will resign at the end of his current "term of office".
I suspect this means that his power base united to tell him, "You're ruining our good thing."
When people die in earthquakes, corruption is responsible.
Banding penguins to keep track of them is devastating for their reproduction.
Hezbollah has pulled out of the Lebanese coalition, bringing down the government.
A fraudulent paper, presenting falsified data, generated suspicion against vaccines which are safe.
The result is that people have got sick and even died due to diseases that could have been avoided by vaccine.
Reportedly the Taliban are willing to permit education of girls.
The UK proposed to establish a Green Investment Bank, but now it seems that will be used to build nuclear reactors.
ACLU: don't trust the US "trusted Internet identities" plan.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, "Implement the recommendations of the oil spill commission." And sign this petition.
Wendell Potter says that Republican talk of repealing Obamacare is just a distraction. They want to keep the part that requires Americans to buy insurance, and gut the regulations that limit how insurance companies can shaft their customers.
Genetically modified chickens are unable to transmit flu to other birds, or to humans.
If this proves to be safe, it has the potential to save thousands of human lives — but only if poor farmers all around the world are free to breed these chickens. If it is patented, it is ineffective.
Berlusconi may have to face the corruption trials he thought he had escaped.
The EPA has blocked a coal mine that would have destroyed mountains and poisoned water.
The objections to this decision are a prime example of foolish short-term thinking.
Inequality in the US is no accident — many laws are set up for upward redistribution of wealth.
Tel Aviv's airport blocks access to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups. But the Israeli fascists want to do more than that to fight against peace.
Mark Kennedy seems to have gone on spying as a private business for corporations after he stopped spying for the police.
Everyone: Tell multinational chocolate companies not to buy chocolate from Ivory Coast if it gives revenue to the usurper Gbagbo.
A European Parliament group accuses the US of violating European privacy law by trying to subpoena records of European tweets of Wikileaks volunteers.
Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum was harassed again on entering the US. Here is his statement.
The agents demonstrated their systematic duplicity by claiming this was a random search.
Jacob's indomitable resistance to all sorts of tyranny is an example for us all.
FBI agents are interrogating Gulet Mohamed in Kuwait without letting him have a lawyer present.
Don't you just love the FBI's claim that ducking these accusations is a way of protecting Mohamed's privacy? That's par for the course in the Kafka state.
The State Department is stalling a freedom-of-information act request for information about Clinton's contacts with a lobbyist that used to work for her campaign.
The UK's oil safety regulation, while better than the US, is not adequate as a model.
Preventing explosions is expensive, but talk is cheap.
35,000 people have been killed in Mexico in gang wars fueled by prohibition.
Thousands of Egyptian Muslims attended Christmas ceremonies as a protest against terrorism.
This sets the standard that Pakistan must meet.
Forbes magazine presented absurd global heating denial arguments, which are here subject to thorough examination.
The US law that restricts purchase of nasal decongestant pills has failed to achieve its goal of blocking production of meth. Instead it has created a new industry for people to buy pills and resell them.
I occasionally use 12-hour decongestant pills. I don't mind the limit on how many I can buy — one package lasts me longer than a cold — but I extremely resent the requirement to identify myself.
From what I've read, meth is very dangerous, and trying it even once is an act of extreme folly. But trying to prohibit all avenues for folly is worse folly.
2010 tied the record for highest overall temperature.
US citizens: thank Senator Reid for defending Social Security.
Israel extended the sentence of Bil'in protest organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah. This is meant as "deterrence" against any other Palestinians who might think of protesting against the occupation.
Israel's response to Palestinian armed resistance is to condemn it because it is violent. Israel's response to unarmed Palestinian protests is to imprison their leaders. Israel's response to Palestinian lawsuits in Israel, when they succeed, is to disregard the court decision. (Bil'in got a court order to move the annexation wall, and the government has ignored it for years.) Israel's response to UN investigations into its war crimes is to refuse entry to the investigators and call them "anti-semitic".
The pattern is clear: whatever Palestinians do to claim their rights, Israel will find some excuse to put them in the wrong.
Haaretz condemns Israel's broad persecution of the Israeli left.
Vietnam has imposed stiff censorship on the Internet, following the example of China.
The EU could be next. There is an EU proposal to require filtering of the Internet to block "child pornography". ISPs are fighting against it.
The article surrenders the first battle for freedom of expression by granting that "child pornography" ought to be censored somehow. It raises only the question of what method will really work and avoid collateral damage.
When making pornography involves real abuse of real children, those who distribute it under a business relationship with the abusers arguably participate in the abuse. They could be prosecuted for doing so. However, that does not excuse censorship. No matter how disgusting published works might be, censorship is more disgusting.
EU diplomats recommended sanctions against certain Israeli individuals and companies involved in the occupation.
300 Palestinians became homeless due to Israeli home demolitions.
This seems natural to me. Obama crafts his policies to please business. Meeting with progressives would not help him do that. Furthermore, business is happy with him and progressives are not.
Every Democrat should be offended that Obama will meet with the US Chamber of Commerce, which runs business-funded attack ads against Democrats. But it fits Obama's general pattern of caving to opposition from the right.
The biggest copyright infringers for music in Canada are the record companies.
Since Obama has not implemented his order to close the Guantanamo prison, human rights groups should focus on it once more.
Here is an idea: if Guantanamo amounts to a city, why not make it one. Release all the prisoners into that city, aside from those facing a fair trial in civilian court. In that city they could work, receive visitors that would arrive by ship, and leave by ship whenever they can arrange a place to go. The US having captured them by force, would be responsible for supporting them adequately if they get no work, but this would be a lot cheaper than keeping them in prison.
The ACLU has asked the US government to publish its rationale for ordering the killing of US citizens without even a trial.
Police spy and provocateur Mark Kennedy did not work directly for the police. He worked for a private company with a government contract.
That tactic is used to sabotage accountability to the public.
Colombian farmers are suing BP for ruining their land through the construction of a pipeline.
A protestor has been sentenced to over 2 years in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher in the general direction of police.
When will the policeman who clubbed a student into the hospital be tried?
Some state legislators want to play a dirty trick on children of immigrants by not letting them have birth certificates.
These children would be US citizens but would have trouble proving it. I think this qualifies as a dirty trick.
Gulet Mohamed was imprisoned and tortured in Kuwait, apparently at the request of the US government.
I do not believe the State Department's denial of US involvement. Maybe the State Department is lying. Or maybe it doesn't know. The FBI or CIA might have secretly asked Kuwaiti police to imprison him, keeping the State Department in the dark, specifically for "deniability", i.e., so that State Department officials would be able to make this statement without personally lying.
Given the practice of deniability, it is always impossible for the US to deny such an accusation in a way that commands belief.
The US no-fly list is pure inexcusable tyranny. Perhaps certain people should be searched carefully before they get onto a plane, but once that's arranged for, there is no possible excuse to stop them from travelling by plane. Likewise, people should be allowed to fly anonymously (even if this means extra searches).
Egypt's government is very offended by the idea that it ought to prevent the murder of Christians.
Tunisia's dictator has decided to end student protests by closing all schools indefinitely.
I don't know whether the Tunisian state could provide increased employment. However, it could certainly offer increased freedom.
Several Republican congressional candidates talked about or suggested killing Democrats.
The big spill investigation will recommend that the US institute independent inspection of oil rigs.
Isn't it incredible that this wasn't required all along? But that's typical for the US government, which is generally servile towards business. A large oil spill does more damage than a bomb on an airplane. So why search passengers? Let us tick off boxes: "Do you have a bomb? Do you have a gun?"
The servility towards business needs to be reversed, and not just for undersea oil drilling.
Lockheed doesn't just make weapons. Now it keeps track of you, too.
US citizens: call on Rep. Issa to hold a hearing into violent political rhetoric.
The Big Spill was the avoidable result of risky practices that have become normal in undersea drilling.
Another such disaster is liable to happen at any time.
In protecting endangered species, Obama is as slow as Bush.
Representative King, who wants to prosecute the New York Times for printing Wikileaks cables, also plans McCarthy-style hearings meant to prove that all US Muslims are radicals.
Police infiltrators such as Mark Kennedy go far beyond collecting information. Their mission is sabotage of democracy.
Climate activists slated for prosecution were told "new information means we can't prosecute you" after their lawyer said he would raise the issue of Kennedy's actions in the trial. That raises the question of whether the information was concealed from the defense until that point.
The activists demand an inquiry into his activities.
Israel's main opposition party announced opposition to Lieberman's plan to persecute dissidents.
Kadima is a centrist party — the Israeli left is almost dead. Through the 90s, large numbers of Israelis supported the left and campaigned for peace. The Labor party wiped that out (and itself) when its leader blamed Arafat for refusing to legitimize the West Bank settlements. Nowadays it's cause for celebration that a major Israeli party opposes blatant bigotry.
This is a great improvement compared with the attitude of the Catholic Church 150 years ago. However, I wish he had said it in a way that would clearly also apply to the rights of minorities composed of the nonreligious.
Blackberries in Indonesia will soon implement not just government surveillance but censorship as well.
In addition, they contain proprietary software, which is a priori a reason to reject them, If the software were free, you could bypass some of the surveillance — and maybe the censorship too.
UK police officials lied to Parliament about their infiltration of environmental protestors.
Such lies are normal conduct for police.
A plan to protect coral from extinction will help coral cope with warming seas by eliminating other mistreatment that hampers its recovery.
This sort of effort can reduce the damage for a while, but will fail in the long run unless we stop heating our biosphere.
The UK government has given up on limiting the banksters' bonuses.
What it needs to do instead is reduce the banks' profits. We need to reduce the power of the banksters, and that means hampering their ability to play off one country against another.
Over a million Americans have been killed with guns since 1968. Handguns in the US are a lot more dangerous than terrorists. When will we do something about this?
Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine says that many Canadians own guns, but that these guns are rarely used for murder because of strict rules about carrying them. Perhaps that could be a way to reconcile the Second Amendment with Americans' safety.
The Anti-Citizen Tyranny Agreement is no longer secret, but it remains dangerous: it takes several sneaky steps to encourage three-strikes punishment-on-accusation policies.
A Texas commission about burying nuclear waste from other states published the wrong email address for a public consultation, so thousands of opposing comments did not reach the commission. A court allowed the commission to vote without delay despite this.
No surprise, the commission approved the plan.
US citizens, tell Obama: Don't give O'Reilly an interview!
US may support throwing out disputed Haitian vote.
Venezuela has passed laws restricting political opposition in the media, including the Internet.
A raft of other new laws includes a restriction on receiving foreign funds to monitor human rights. I think it is legitimate to apply that restriction to political parties, however.
The gerrymandering that enabled Chavez to get a majority of the new parliament while the opposition got most of the votes also strikes me as wrong.
Homosexuals in Uganda won a court case against a newspaper that called for them to be murdered.
What should become of foreign aid, when the division between poor and rich countries is replaced with a world-wide opposition between the comfortable and the poor?
Telling the poor of India that "Helping you is the task of the comfortable 10% that are constantly squeezing you" won't do much good.
Mark Kennedy didn't choose to stop infiltrating dissidents — he was smoked out by them.
He spoke of helping their defense, but he seems to have run off instead.
When did it become illegal to be a Leftist in Israel?
The author projects the trend a little; the correct answer might be "2011".
Hungary's new right-wing ruler has centralized control over the branches of government and imposed a form of censorship on the media.
Here's a description of the new censorship.
Imagine if Faux News could fine you for publishing a story that isn't "fair and balanced" according to their criteria.
How Salman Taseer became Pakistan's last avowed liberal.
Obama continues Bush's policy of dehumanizating the innocent prisoners in Guantanamo, so that Americans will not confront the evil of not freeing them.
The US government says that some prisoners cannot ever be released because the US has done them so much wrong that they would surely be hostile. Imagine being imprisoned for the rest of your life because you had been unjustly imprisoned before.
Riots continue in Tunisia and a dozen protesters have been killed.
Iceland has complained about the US investigation of Wikileaks messages involving MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
The US "National Trusted Internet ID" is something we must not trust.
The methane released by the big spill into the Gulf of Mexico has been eaten quickly by microbes.
It is good that little methane remains in the sea water, but the article does not tell us what fraction of the methane escaped into the atmosphere before it was eaten. That's the crucial question regarding contribution to global warming of any undersea methane releases. Is that information available?
Glaciers in the Alps could shrink 75% in this century.
Moqtada al Sadr says he will bring down Iraq's government rather than allow extension of the US military presence there.
This may finally thwart Bush's plan to keep US troops their permanently.
Undercover UK policeman Mark Kennedy, who infiltrated dissident groups, has resigned and said his activities were wrong.
The US right-wing's murderous rhetoric has burst out in actual murder.
If we don't make them regret talking that way, they will take their intimidation to Pakistan's level. They have already done this by attacking doctors that perform abortions. Women who need a late-term abortion to save their lives now have only one place left in the US to get one, after the other provider was murdered.
The ironic thing is that the US government does regularly engage in conspiracies to harm most Americans. The US government conspired with PayPal, MasterCard and Amazon to hurt Wikileaks. Obama is now pushing for three different "Free Trade" Agreements, which which will increase the power of the business over society. Each of them is a conspiracy; ACTA was written by a secret conspiracy that included business interests.
But the right-wing lunatics are manipulated by the money of those same businesses, so they ignore these real conspiracies, and direct their ire solely at imaginary conspiracies that can be blamed on "Liberals".
Haitians whose houses collapsed a year ago now live in shelters that are hardly even tents, and collapse in a rainstorm. The women are constantly vulnerable to rape.
Haiti Election Recount Report Reveals Massive Irregularities Beyond Those Noticed by the OAS and CEP. It is "impossible to determine who should advance to a second round."
Laws against blasphemy are the modern face of bigotry and religious persecution.
How Obama's men are distorting facts to pretend that a Free Exploitation Agreement will boost US jobs.
When the Messiah comes, Israel will deport him.
I enjoy the humor of this, but I don't believe any messiah is going to save us from ourselves. It's up to us to do that.
Uri Avnery: Freedom of expression in Israel is a hollow pretension.
The famous toppling of Saddam's statue was not a carefully planned psy-op, but it was magnified and distorted by the presence of the TV crews and then further distorted by editors.
Oil companies hope to use rising oil prices to get rid of the already-inadequate regulations designed to prevent disasters.
We need to keep the price of oil rising, by taxes if necessary, to slow the oil train before it runs our biosphere off the climate cliff.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the free exploitation treaty with Korea.
The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission has effectively taken control of Haiti away from the government. Its method of "rebuilding" Haiti is to give construction contracts to US companies. As a consequence, the aid available money doesn't buy very much and doesn't stay in Haiti.
The Haitian government was thoroughly corrupt, and would probably have given these contracts to its cronies. But they would have built more for the same money, and the money would have circulated in Haiti, providing some benefit to the local economy. Haiti (like every place) deserves better than that, but what the IHRC gives it is worse.
A subpoena revealed by Twitter proves the existence of the secret campaign to prosecute Assange and/or various other Wikileaks activists.
Someone tries to blame Wikileaks for publishing information Mugabe says is an excuse to prosecute Tsvangirai for treason.
This criticism is bogus because Mugabe makes up excuses like this as required. Recommending sanctions against one's country is not treason, but Mugabe the dictator can call anything treason, limited only by the danger of punishment by other states.
It might seem hypocritical of Tsvangirai to say one thing to the public and another to US diplomats. But he has a good excuse: he is lying to Mugabe.
WikiLeaks: Swedish government kept intelligence cooperation with the US informal so as to avoid telling Parliament.
This supports the possibility of secret US influence in the prosecution of Julian Assange. There are also arguments against that possibility.
The author is anonymous, but the comments on the page don't reveal gross flaws in what the article says. However, it might be possible for ministers to influence prosecutors even if MPs can't.
Irom Sharmila has fasted for 10 years to protest a massacre of civilians by Indian soldiers, and the permanent suspension of civil liberties in her state.
She has been imprisoned without trial for that whole time, and force-fed.
Obama's new economic appointments have campaigned long and hard against regulation of the banksters and for sweatshop labor.
The difference between Boehner, who says that Washington ought to serve the banks, and Obama who appoints people who will do it, is not so much.
After Southern Sudan becomes independent, President Bashir threatens to oppress other diverse Sudanese ethnic groups that will remain in the North.
I think their cause will deserve military support from the rest of the world.
In a year since the earthquake, Haiti and all its foreign "aid" organizations have not even been able to clear away the rubble.
Everyone: call on the EPA to ban the pesticides that are are dangerous for bees.
US residents: sign this petition calling on Costco to stop selling endangered fish species and develop a solid sustainable fishing policy.
Dirty Business film debunks 'clean coal' myth.
The Lib Dems are ready to compromise on revising, rather than eliminating, control orders which amount to house arrest for people that have not been convicted of a crime.
If these few people were subject to the special constant surveillance — which courts would surely approve in cases like these — I don't believe they would be capable of carrying out any more terrorism than they could under a control order.
According to the California Supreme Court, police can search your mobile phone if they arrest you.
And your laptop, too. However, the court has not said whether they have the right to copy data from it without a warrant.
It is now commonplace for business to run PR campaigns to convince the public to oppose laws that the business does not like.
ACTA isn't even finished, and the US is already proposing another nastier treaty.
The term "intellectual property" is used to distract attention from the specifics of a dozen unrelated laws and focus it at an abstract level where real issues cannot be seen.
US politicians are using the depression as an excuse to attack unions, instead of attacking the banks and businesses that caused the depression.
One error in the article: this is not a time for "belt-tightening"; that is the Hoover approach to unemployment. This is a time for government spending; for a new deal.
Obama's new chief of staff is a Wall Street insider who previously claimed that Obama was too Liberal.
As recently shown, the US public is far more Liberal than Obama and today's Democratic party, and that's why the disappointed Liberal voters stayed home.
Israeli author Ilana Hammerman defied travel restrictions by bringing a group of Palestinian women and children to visit Israel for a day.
Here she writes about the unofficial system: thousands of Palestinian men work in Israel even though they are denied entry papers for reasons that the police won't tell them.
The group which reported Hammerman to the prosecutors has the primary goal of squeezing Israeli Arabs out of mixed heighborhoods, denying them representation, and defending torturers.
In 1954, Chiquita Banana (then under a different name) used the CIA to stage a coup in Guatemala that led to 40 years of civil war, after paving the way with a public relations campaign.
Chiquita was also involved PR to support the 2009 coup in neighboring Honduras, but disguised its role through an intermediary.
Olivia Zémor tried to go to Israel to support nonviolent Palestinian protestors, and was deported.
Here's information (in French) about the protests of her group.
A federal study has concluded that all the companies involved in the big spill made a habit of dangerous cost-cutting.
I fail to see why this would protect BP from charges of gross negligence. It seems to show that gross negligence is the norm, and why should that be an excuse — for any of the companies involved?
Wikileaks cables show that Sea Shepherd has succeeded in cutting down Japan's ability to kill whales. The US and Japan negotiated a deal to reduce Japan's killing of whales and ban Sea Shepherd. Other countries blocked the deal.
The deal was not entirely bad, since it would have reduced Japan's whale catch. However, banning Sea Shepherd and other future organizations like it would have outweighed that positive step.
The assassination of Taseer increases the danger that Aasia Bibi will be lynched, as several others accused of blasphemy in Pakistan have been.
Climate-aid to poor countries is an excuse to avoid the changes necessary to avoid destroying the Earth's climate.
A pheromone in women's tears reduces men's aggression and sex drive.
Norway has forbidden testing submarines being built for Israel, as part of a boycott of "security"-related exports to Israel.
Modern supporters of the Confederacy are trying to pretend its purpose was something other than perpetuating slavery.
Israeli tear gas in the weekly protest in Bil'in killed protester Jawaher Abu Rahmeh.
The soldiers probably did not specifically intend to kill her, but it could be that the large quantity of tear gas used made it fatal. By contrast, when they killed her brother, that was surely deliberate. Since soldiers are trained not to shoot tear gas directly at people.
Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?
Wikileaks cables show that US officials work hard as sales agents for Boeing.
This kind of corruption, where the state promotes business, is rife at all levels of government in the US. Every time I see a stadium named after a company, what it says to me is "This government is for sale."
What Could Have Been Entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2011?
The example of Julian Assange shows why the UK must cancel the extradition treaty that eliminates the usual protections on extradition from the UK to the US.
An airline passenger was arrested for a "suspicious" package containing his breakfast.
The jittery passengers could not have done this harm on their own. They needed the help of flight attendants on a power trip.
Philip Morris and Bank of America have bought lots of domain names that people might use to criticize them.
Greenpeace charges that the Marine Stewardship Council has approved fisheries which are unsustainable.
The issue is quite clear: unsustainable fisheries must be rejected (and shut down, too). It may be true that gaining an MSC certification for an unsustainable fishery brings about an improvement in its management; but if that isn't enough of an improvement to make the fishery sustainable, that fishery is still doomed; it will just take longer for this result to occur.
Japanese have lost their taste for whalemeat, but they continue eating tuna at a rate that will cause extinction.
Israeli journalist Uri Blau, who received secret documents about a death squad in the Israeli army, returned to Israel in October after a year in exile. He told police he no longer has the documents. If that is true, the state has mostly succeeded in burying news about its crimes — all except what he previously published.
It is not clear whether Blau faces imprisonment, but the attack on journalism in Israel is devastating either way. It may come to the US, too; some in Congress want to prosecute the New York Times for espionage.
Former soldier Anat Kam, who leaked this information, is threatened with life in prison based on evidently false charges. Paradoxically, Anat Kam gave the information to Blau so it would be censored. Israeli newspapers are covered by military censorship; thus, by choosing Blau rather than (for example) the New York Times, she assured the censors a chance to delete any militarily useful information from whatever Blau would publish, and thus assured she could not do what she is now accused of. The prosecutors know this, but false accusations are so habitual for them that they cannot help themselves.
Israel evidently does not appreciate this attempt to balance the patriotism of criticism with the patriotism of security. The next Anat Kam would be wiser to flee the country and give the information to Wikileaks.
A study suggests that religion makes some people happier, not through beliefs or rituals, but as a shared activity with close friends.
If this is substantiated by further study (which is not certain), it suggests that people can make themselves happy equally well through shared secular political activism for the general good.
To discourage protests, Israeli soldiers raided the home of protest organizer Abu Maria, attacking people with fists, bullets and sound grenades. Then they established a checkpoint to interfere with taking the victims to the hospital.
On the most important political issues, a vast majority of Americans are Liberals. These include taxes, war, social security, regulating banks, single-payer health care, and limiting CO2 emissions.
But the US government is doing the exact opposite.
Record food prices are likely to cause riots around the world.
The blame for these prices is multiple. Part of it is due to global heating and the companies that use their political power to make the heating continue. Part of it is due to the wasteful American life style. Part of it is probably due to commodity speculators. And part of it is due to people that have too many children, which would have inevitably led to food and water shortages sooner or later.
Many poor women are unable to obtain the birth control that they want to use.
Amazon censored an ebook that exposed how ebook bestseller lists can be manipulated (and therefore are meaningless).
In a world with many bookstores, there is no need to politicize any one store's choices of what books to carry. With today's concentration of bookstores, we are no longer in that world, and it is even worse with ebooks.
Global heating protestors that sought to shut down a coal-burning power plant received light sentences from the judge, who admired their motives.
One of the protestors comments on the implications of the jury's vote to convict them, despite weeks of education about the harm done by burning coal.
The Israeli crackdown on dissent and freedom marches on; organizations that monitor the army's abuses in the West Bank are to be investigated.
A Pakistani political official was assassinated by Islamist fanatics because he defended a victim of the blasphemy law. His killer has been lionized by thousands of other fanatics, even political parties, and the fanatics are openly threatening to kill anyone who resists them.
I would expect it is a crime in Pakistan to threaten to kill officials. But I don't see how Pakistan's weak government can find the strength to enforce that against the fanatics. Besides, the fanatics constitute a large fraction of the population.
In effect, Pakistan has become a place where people generally support killing non-Muslims for their views. And I don't think they will stop at the borders of Pakistan.
I therefore recommend that other countries require all immigrants and long-term visitors to publicly post a signed statement saying, "I recognize everyone's legitimate right to publicly criticize and lampoon any or all of my beliefs, including religious beliefs. I condemn any proposal or attempt to punish people for doing so." Those who won't publicly reject the fanaticism of their home should not be allowed entry. The agents that enforce this policy should all have signed the same statement.
I reproach the author for naming a generation in a way that presumes people will inevitably use Facebook. I don't use it, and you shouldn't. I also think he exaggerates the extent to which Facebook in particular is responsible for the phenomenon — which started many years before Facebook. I would guess TV is more responsible. American TV presents a lifestyle that most Americans cannot afford. However, American Facebook users are also surely considerably wealthier than usual for Americans.
Those errors don't invalidate the article's overall argument. On the contrary, recognizing them strengthens the argument. If the wealthiest 10% of Peru or India are set on what even many Americans can't afford, they will need to crush the poor all the more.
However, the article's conclusion that "we" must all "share more" has two flaws. It is the affluent in the US and Europe that need to change, not the poor. And what they need to do goes far beyond just "sharing" (or even "giving to the poor", though it's good to do so). They need to live more efficiently, using less of the world's wealth and resources.
Crumbs From the Democrats: Why Inequality Matters.
OAS diplomat Ricardo Seitenfus denounced the UN occupation of Haiti, and was fired for it.
Several US bumblebee species have declined disastrously.
This comes on top of the disease that has killed many European honey bees in the US.
The US was founded as a secular nation, not as a Christian one.
A massive protest in England opposed the plan to sell of all the forests.
Reportedly an Afghan tribal group has decided to kick out the Taliban in order to have local peace.
I am skeptical of reports of progress for NATO in Afghanistan, because theoretically I don't think it is possible, and because such reports have turned out to be exaggerated in the past. I mention this here because I think it would be wrong to presume they are all false.
A US ambassador called for the US to punish countries that reject genetically modified farm crops.
The US government's motto is, "What's good for GM is good for the USA." But now it's a different GM.
Bradley Manning is not alone in facing psychological torture in the US. Up to 100,000 prisoners in the US, many not yet tried, are held in long-term isolation. Some are in cages so small they cannot lie down.
The article presumes that suicide attempts by these prisoners are an indication of insanity. I disagree. To prefer death to such a life is entirely sane.
Global heating has made rain in India unreliable. 200,000 farmers killed themselves, but millions have had to abandon their villages.
US citizens: thank Senator Wyden for blocking the domain name confiscation bill.
And if you have not yet signed the petition, please sign that too.
Economic growth in some parts of the world is making the price of oil rise. Some think this is a bad thing.
It could seem bad if you ignore the damage that burning oil is doing to our planet. However, high oil prices are exactly what the world needs to enable high levels of investment in burning less oil. This includes improved energy efficiency of buildings and transport.
Ultimately, spending is what gets you out of a recession — not cheap commodities. If a country is willing to invest in efficiency and run a deficit, it can create an economic recovery.
Israeli police arrested Jerusalem Palestinian anti-settlement activist Jawad Siyam while he was in the middle of teaching a class of children.
Israeli police accused protestors of "possession of arms" after they threw used tear gas cartridges into the US embassy.
Israel's army published bizarre claims about Jawahir Abu Rahmah (who killed by tear gas) to cloud the issue. For instance, that she wasn't there, that she died of cancer, etc.
21 people have been killed in these protests since they started in 2004.
8 reasons the US financial crisis could get worse this year.
Republicans want to clear away the regulations that hamper corporations from doing whatever they like.
Haiti to the US Embassy: Here's the Will of the People.
Wikileaks cables: Pakistan's political opposition warned Lashkar-e-Taiba to move its money before accounts were frozen.
An interview with the team of Breaking the Silence, which collects testimony from Israeli soldiers about the war crimes they have committed and witnessed.
After talking with hundreds of witnesses, they now know the dimensions of the Israeli army policies (rules of engagement) that systematically direct soldiers to commit war crimes.
Israel has prosecuted a few soldiers here and there, but has given effective immunity to the officers that set these policies.
Egypt's police regularly torture and even kill dissidents, journalists, and even nonpolitical people. The election is a joke.
BP's cement modeling software said that the well was not safe, but BP disregarded the issue to save time.
I think this is the "missing" document.
Ralph Nader: The TSA delivers naked insecurity.
John Tynan, who famously refused to be intimately searched in the airport, was the target of a smear article accusing him of being a funded Tea Party activist out to get Obama.
I'm one of the progressive leftists who Cory Doctorow mentioned. Progressives must stand up for freedom, and not be distracted by the idea of standing by Obama (who isn't much of a progressive).
The TSA avoided massive protests on Nov 24, National Opt-Out Day, by giving the protestors what they wanted: no body scanning.
If they could do it one day, they could do it every day.
There is a real danger from terrorists, but body scanners cannot stop them. To effectively search passengers for bombs would require body cavity searches.
A more effective way to end this danger would be to stop the US interventions that motivate most of the terrorists.
100,000 people protested in Dublin against bailing out the banks and their creditors at the expense of most Irish.
Bangladeshi MP Salauddin Chowdhury was tortured by the Rapid Action Battalion last month. His son is suing the UK government for training them in torture.
Protestors at the American Psychiatric Association's convention identified doctors who had been corrupted by the drug companies, but the corruption has not stopped.
Reports of a "recovery" in the US are a politically-motivated fiction. The system makes a recovery impossible, because a crash was its inevitable outcome.
Just as the banksters (and servile governments) disregarded the predictions of a financial collapse, saying it couldn't happen, the oil companies (and servile governments) disregard the danger of global warming.
A new student movement in Gaza condemns the repressive Islamic extremism of Hamas, as well as the corruption of all the Palestinian parties.
After 43 years of occupation of Palestine, constantly disregarding its equivalent to the Bill of Rights, Israel has forfeited its claim to be considered a state of law.
Peru is so subservient to Canadian mining companies that presidential candidate Toledo went to Canada to seek their support. And they want a new trade treaty to pile onto the treaty Peru signed with the US, which caused violence.
Israel bars visitors who support Palestinian rights, calling them "security threats".
An Israeli says, "Please boycott us."
A review of Breaking the Silence's new book about the daily practices of the occupation of Palestine.
The reason to remove foreign troops from Afghanistan is that there is nothing to justify continuing to fight there.
Ivory Coast ex-president Gbagbo denies his forces have committed mass murder, but won't let UN investigators look at the reported sites of mass graves.
Assange says that Wikileaks can expose traitorous officials that spy for the US if he is killed or imprisoned by the US.
I don't expect this strategy to work; I think the US government is more interested in crushing Wikileaks and terrorizing future whistleblowers than in protecting its present-day spies.
From 2000 to 2009, US productivity grew 3% per year, but wages went down. The rich took all the gains.
Anonymous has targeted the government of Zimbabwe after tyrant Mugabe's wife sued a newspaper for publishing information from Wikileaks.
In Ghana, old women with Alzheimer's disease are likely to be burned as witches.
Birth defects in Falluja continue increasing; last May, 15% of babies had serious birth defects.
There is every reason to expect Dirty Uranium munitions to have this effect.
Wired journalists say that Bradley Manning said nothing to incriminate Julian Assange in the transcripts of his chat with Adrian Lamo.
Bradley Manning is being subjected to psychological torture including sleep deprivation. The danger is that he will make a confession implicating himself, Assange, and whoever else the US government wants to incriminate — even if it isn't true.
Opposition presidential candidates in Belarus face criminal charges for participating in protests against the rigged election.
I think a military intervention to establish democracy in Belarus might be quick and easy, and the people might welcome it. (It would be unjustified if they don't.) But none is on offer, because the US and its allies are not interested in intervening for democracy. It is only an excuse that they use when it suits them.
Italy has banned nonbiodegradable plastic bags.
I cheer this measure, but I hope it won't buy Il Ducino any continued political power.
The U.S. is responsible for the human toll of Iraq sanctions.
To be fair, Saddam Hussein shared the responsibility for keeping the sanctions going. (When these sanctions were first imposed, nobody expected them to last for long.) However, that doesn't excuse the US for interpreting them in such an extreme fashion.
The government of Mali is displacing large numbers of subsistence farmers for an agribusiness project and giving them little or no compensation.
With Mali's rapid population growth, it was heading for a problem. But destitution is the worst way to limit the population.
A group of US soldiers face charges of murdering Afghan civilians and dressing the corpses up as Taliban soldiers.
This resembles the behavior of the Colombian army under President Horrible.
Muslims in Denmark have been accused of planning to attack the office of Jyllands-Posten, which published the cartoons of Muhammad.
It was obviously cowardly for Jyllands-Posten to apologize for those cartoons. What we see now is that it was also futile, since these crazies will continue to attack. So instead of apologizing, be proud of having them for enemies.
Over 17000 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 because credit is cheaper for luxury cars than for farmers.
I wonder why they don't become Naxalites instead.
Indonesia is colonizing West Papua with Javanese, much as China is doing to Tibet. Papuans who object to this are repressed much like Tibetans.
The TSA wants travelers to feel sorry for the agents who are paid to bully and molest them. "It hurts us more than it hurts you."
TSA employees are persons, so they are personally responsible for everything they personally do — just like every other person. If they don't like making people feel hurt and angry, they have an easy way to avoid it: quit their job. If they don't quit, they are responsible for continuing.
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