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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
My intention is to make links only to publicly accessible, stable URLs. If you find a link to a page that requires subscription, please report that as you would report any other broken link.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect funding for Planned Parenthood.
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the Schumer-Portman corporate tax giveaway.
A widened road in India would separate some tiger sanctuaries, making it hard for tigers to survive in any of them.
Baby foods in general are too sweet, to the point that they interfere with development of the ability to sense other tastes.
I would guess that this isn't the only kind of harm that results from baby food that is too sweet.
On the difference between bullshit and lies.
US SWAT teams hardly bother to check their information before they raid innocent people's homes.
Human Rights Watch says Saudi Arabia is using US cluster bombs in places near civilians.
If you access the video from youtube, please take care to avoid running the nonfree code included in youtube pages.
Britons in debt are collecting their state pensions in advance to pay the debt.
This will leave them destitute later, along with those who invested their pensions in pyramid schemes.
The US is making "improvements" in nuclear weapons and seems not to consider what the effects will be when Russia makes similar "improvements" in its own nuclear weapons.
Modelling suggests that the Middle Easy will face an increasing water shortage for the next 25 years.
That doesn't mean it won't get worse after that.
China to Relocate Almost 1,000 Chemical Plants in Wake of Tianjin Blasts.
Guatemala's president is likely to be impeached for corruption, but his wrongs started with mass murder in the army's US-backed dirty war to keep the indigenous peoples in submission.
Lexmark is trying to crush the US ink cartridge recycling business with patents, claiming that cartridges originally sold outside the US and brought by printer users into the US cannot be recycled.
I'd get rid of the problem by changing patent law so that Lexmark can't use patents to prevent independent manufacture of replacement cartridges for its printers. The business model which this supports — cheap printer but cartridges are expensive, or cheap phone but using it is expensive — systematically leads to nasty restrictions on the users. We should therefore get rid of the business model.
The article spreads confusion by using the term "intellectual property", which it is a mistake ever to use. That term incoherently lumps together a dozen or so laws which have nothing substantial in common. Even copyright law and patent law have very little in common except the one sentence in the constitution that those two laws spring from.
Calling all these laws "intellectual property" implies that they must be similar, which is an obstacle to learning what each of them really says and does.
It also uses other propaganda terms such as "protected".
200 people convicted in Baltimore, whose trials were based on cell-phone tracking that the state did not tell the defense about, may get new trials.
Thugs must not be allowed to weasel out of disclosing information that defendants are entitled to on the basis of signing a non-disclosure agreement. If they can't tell defendants when they used the cell-phone tracker, they should get rid of it.
Finally US gun nuts found one gun that they don't like — a gun that authenticates its user. They sent death threats to the seller.
How about copying North Dakota's pharmacy law in other US states?
The BJP, now India's ruling party, is tied to several massacres of Dalits.
China to Relocate Almost 1,000 Chemical Plants in Wake of Tianjin Blasts.
The sadistic Lord's Resistance Army is involved in ivory trafficking.
Norway is paying Liberia to keep its forests standing.
Banning child labor in making the products we use can have harmful secondary effects when the children live in poor families.
However, there may be a better solution than child labor, as we can see when a parent says, "[the children] are making money that is used to pay their school fees." Why are there school fees to pay?
In the 80s and 90s, World Bank "aid programs" imposed neoliberal "structural adjustments" that in many cases replaced gratis schooling with school fees. If we undo that externally imposed injustice, maybe children won't need to work for their school fees.
Indianapolis uses art projects to redistribute printed books.
Please don't use ebooks unless you're prepared to do something like this with them.
Chris Christie wants to track all visitors to the US all the time, so as to find them if they overstay their visas.
How could they do this? Implanting a portable phone into the visitor's body would work. As a bonus, they could listen to all conversations that take place near the visitor.
Doing this to visitors is a great wrong, but it would not remain limited to visitors. It would subsequently be extended to US citizens the next time some spectacular crime committed by a citizen provides an excuse.
Up to 200,000 defied the Malaysian state to protest demanding the resignation of the prime minister, who doesn't respect democracy very much.
Fortunately the thugs refrained from physically attacking them this time. That may be due to the participation of the former prime minister, who didn't respect democracy very much either. Is this really a factional power struggle? Is he trying to co-opt it into one?
Israeli veterans, shortly after the 1967 war, described the atrocities they saw, or carried out.
The loss of Arctic sea ice threatens the entire Arctic ecosystem. Many species may go extinct.
Don't sneer at people for the foolish wishful thinking that leads them to fall for a mostly-fraud like Ashley Madison. The same sort of foolishness leads people into other frauds.
Apparently many people don't understand the difference between folly and evil. They are fundamentally different. Being a tempting victim may be foolish but it isn't evil. It may be foolish to walk down a deserted street at 23:00, but it's not wrong. Therefore, if someone robs you or rapes you there, your foolish choice may be part of the cause, but it has no effect on the moral responsibility for the crime, which falls in this case entirely on those who carried it out.
This confusion supports the practice of blaming the victim (although people may have other reasons for wanting to do that).
In the UK, 80 people per month die shortly after being labeled as "fit to work" and losing disability benefits.
Do you think Cameron feels bad about their deaths? I don't.
The wild and useless response to an attempted shooting on a European train: identity checks for everyone.
There are so many places where you can find a bunch of random people to shoot that it makes no sense to take such measures on just one of them.
The NLRB ruled that some subcontracted temporary workers should be considered employees of the real employer, and have the right to unionize.
The use of subcontracting is largely an excuse to pay and treat workers worse. It's possible that this decision could reduce that harm.
The US crackdown on sex workers is driven by the state's desire to steal their money.
There is a general pattern in the US of governments using oppressive measures to take people's money. The Ferguson pattern of repeatedly fining and jailing poor people is one example. "Forfeiture" is another. The root cause is that we don't tax rich people enough, so governments are desperate to get money from somewhere or other.
Saudi Arabia has taken a small step towards recognizing women's rights by allowing them to vote and run for office.
Since the country is actually ruled by the king, the elected officials, no matter who votes for them, don't get to decide much. Still, they could provide practice for a future democracy.
The California Academy of Sciences has decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.
Now we must up the pressure on other important science museums.
Reports about some real women that used Ashley Madison.
It is painful to keep a secret from someone you love, but I put the blame on the possessiveness that makes it necessary to keep the other relationship a secret.
Republican presidential candidates are know-nothings regarding the economy; in particular, in regard to potential or real economic crises.
That makes sense, because they're not working for Americans overall, only for the rich ones that donate their campaign funds. An economic crisis, as Naomi Klein has pointed out, is a great opportunity for them to take from other Americans.
Babies that were in the first trimester of gestation when Iceland had its financial crisis had, on the average, a lower than usual birth weight.
This diagnostic could indicate a higher rate of various problems.
United's WiFi service blocks many news sites.
China now attacks the Chinese developers of software for circumventing Chinese censorship, and seems to have pressured Github to delete them and others.
Did Github give way to that pressure? The article does not say.
Some software on Github is free, but most of it is not properly licensed and thus not free.
Will increasing gun violence motivate Americans to overcome the power of the NRA?
Monitor drones are being used in construction to identify workers that are slower than other workers.
This is part of the "push yourself harder for less pay" economy.
Egypt has sentenced Al Jazeera journalists to three years in prison, basically for the crime of reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood's political positions violated human rights, of course, since it was Islamist. But that doesn't justify prohibiting it or declaring participation in it a crime.
Europeans are considering imposing metal detectors at train stations after an attempted massacre on a train.
There are so many places someone could shoot people. It is silly to pile security on the last one someone tried to use, especially given that the dismal failure of this attack will probably incline the next shooter to try some other sort of place.
The private guards at Australia's immigration prison in Nauru handcuffed an 8-year-old boy prisoner as a joke.
This example is an outlier in its specifics, but it is typical of the spirit of the Nauru immigration prison.
A US court accepted the NSA's catch-22: if you can't prove you personally were spied on, you can't sue about whether they are allowed to spy on you.
Judges that twist the law like this are inviting everyone to spit on it.
An example of what happens when teachers are graded based on students' standardized tests.
In the US and the UK, this practice accompanies a push to replace public schools with privatized "charter schools". If the policy is to punish the teacher whose class tests lowest, or punish the school in the district that tests lowest, there will always be someone to punish, always some school that there is an excuse to close.
The Canadian government is trying to fire scientist Tony Turner for singing a song that criticized the anti-science pollutician Harper.
US citizens: call on Senator Kirk to apologize to US negotiators for comparing them to "Nazi appeasers".
US citizens: call on the State Department to scrutinize the Upland pipeline approval carefully.
I gave this text:
Please carefully check the proposed Upland pipeline for danger of local pollution and harm. But you should block the pipeline in any case, lest Transcanada use it later to send tar sands oil into the US.
Candidates O'Malley and Sanders accuse the Democratic Party of limiting debates so as to favor Clinton.
The British Library didn't dare accept an archive of Taliban documents for fear of prosecution under UK censorship laws.
The fact that the question even arises shows that UK laws are far outside the realm of justice. Any law that makes it a crime to have a copy of some publication is inexcusable tyranny.
In the US and Russia, the government impersonates other organizations' sites to inject malware.
From January to June, oil companies spent 6 million dollars lobbying in California against laws to limit the damage they do to people.
As glaciers shrink and disappear, the water they used to provide in the summer ceases to be available for farming.
Turkey has arrested British journalists.
US beekeepers say that the EPA's pollinator protection plan is passing the buck to states that fail to resist the pesticide companies.
Underestimating the enemy is a recipe for defeat.
Senator Cory Booker about how to reduce mass incarceration in the US.
Many poor Americans spend are in jail because they can't pay fines. Ferguson and many other US cities have set up this system to extract money from the poor because the rich have imposed Republican governments (often by cheating — gerrymandering or blocking Democrats from voting) and thus cut the taxes that fall on them.
Taxing the rich and businesses more will thus help reduce mass incarceration.
The Satanic Temple staged a counterprotest to denounce the lies of Christian extremists that protested against Planned Parenthood.
I am not merely "pro-choice", I am pro-abortion. For many women who get pregnant, abortion is a lifesaver, literally or figuratively. In addition, it avoids exacerbating human overpopulation.
Some movie theaters in the US will present security theater as well as movies.
The security theater may occasionally keep out a few killers, those who don't have specific plans — but they'd be just as happy to shoot people waiting on line to be searched.
Two thugs have been fired after their accusations against a Seattle bus driver were proved false. The driver had made a recording.
The article shows several acts that were wrong. First of all, the thugs' false accusations were wrong. Mere firing is not enough punishment for thugs that make false accusations. They deserve prison for that.
It is also wrong, and cruel, to try to kick sleeping homeless people off a bus onto the street. The company is wrong to have that policy and the driver was personally wrong for trying to implement it. I have to salute those thugs for refusing to help. (Not that this excuses making false accusations.)
Meanwhile, the article makes a perverse fuss about using the word "fucking". What difference does it make if the driver said "fucking"? Are bus drivers in Seattle punished for saying that? Next they will be punished for saying, "artichoke", "sidewalk" or "disappointed". If the thugs got the driver in some sort of trouble based on this chickenshit "accusation", the thugs are to blame, but especially whoever listened to the accusation and tried to hurt the driver is also to blame.
Hilary Clinton's use of a private email account continued the practices of the State Department under the Bush regime, including Condoleezza Rice when she was secretary of state.
It was a bad practice, and should be changed; but Clinton is not personally responsible for it.
Colin Powell explains what normal State Department practice was like.
I still will not vote for Clinton, because she is in bed with businesses that it is the president's job to restrain from harming us.
The University of Kansas did Koch-funded pseudoscience research whose purpose was to undermine standards for renewable energy.
Seven forms of systemic racism in the US.
When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis.
The WTO ruled against India's domestic-manufacturing preferences for subsidized solar equipment.
It is not clear that this will cripple India's solar energy program, but considering that that program needs to be much bigger, we should not let anything get in its way.
Jamycheal Mitchell was jailed for 4 months awaiting trial for stealing a few snacks.
If he had been convicted of such a theft, he probably would have been sentenced to less time than that. It is fundamentally unjust to imprison accused people so long. In the US, this is typically done only to the poor.
Most of the people imprisoned this way don't die from the experience. But Mitchell did. Jails tend to provide inadequate medical care, and grudgingly. In Mitchell's case, he seems to have starved himself to death because he could not stand being in jail.
Declassified CIA Documents Reveal How Disastrous America's Post-9/11 Plans Really Were.
For instance, it is clear that Dubya was seeking an excuse to attack Iraq even before the unrelated Sep 11 attacks provided an excuse.
The article ends by counting the "cost" of Dubya's wars, but it seems to include only the direct monetary costs to the US. It doesn't count the damage done to Iraq and Iraqis, or the existence of PISSI.
A novel approach to kicking poor people out of a city: harsh enforcement of lots of permit requirements on trailer parks where poor people can afford to live.
You'd think that they would fine the landlords rather than the people who live in the trailers.
A campaign to sweep Melbourne for unauthorized immigrants was cancelled in response to a protest about racial profiling.
The UK's planned repression against unauthorized immigrants is perfect for facilitating enslavement of immigrants.
More about how the coal-funded "Energy and Environment Legal Institute" harasses real climate scientists.
The funded denialists are the other end of the pincers.
According to the UK minister in charge of work, working is the best remedy for illness.
An analysis of the pit Gaza is stuck in, which seems to offer no way out.
Psychology, and other fields of science, need rules that will reduce the number of irreproducible results.
Papers that can't be reproduced, but which there is no reason to retract, should be transferred to the Journal of Irreproducible Results. The authors should find that quite a deterrent.
One county in Georgia admitted to Organized disenfranchisement of black voters, but surely it's not the only one.
Whereas Alabama, which requires a driver's license or similar ID to vote, is talking about closing most of the driver's license offices. The wealthy will be able to afford to get a driver's license. Pesky poor people won't.
Financial companies prey on poor US blacks, offering them a small lump sum instead of the compensation they are due, over a period of years, for having been brain damaged by lead paint.
Of the 5-6 million "women" in the Ashley Madison data dump, less than 10,000 actually used the site to talk with anyone. Essentially men paid the site for an imaginary opportunity.
It follows that hardly any of the male users ever arranged an affair through the site. (The few that did, probably found a prostitute rather than a real affair.)
Moreover, the site was set up so strongly to bring in men that it almost impeded real women from making accounts.
Chelsea O'Donnell left home and went to stay with an acquaintance, who has been accused of "endangering" Ms O'Donnell.
Her age is nominally 17 but perhaps really 18, not that it should matter.
It's par for the course that there is no information at all about what concrete actions his supposed "endangering" actually consists of, to justify the claim that the term "endangering" applies.
Perhaps the only substance behind this accusation is prejudice, or pandering to the anxiety of Ms O'Donnell's adoptive mother.
California cities have cut water usage by 30%.
That would be a giant step towards saving water for the future, except for one thing: most of California's water use is for farming and nonrenewable energy. If those keep using up water as if there were no tomorrow, cities may find in a year or two that there isn't enough left in the reservoirs even for their reduced usage.
By the way, if you call this "the drought of the century", specify the 20th century. But 21st century standards, this one isn't special.
Drought has also hit a large part of Europe, damaging the harvest there.
This too will become frequent due to global heating.
Melting ice in the Chukchi sea has forced walruses to crowd on the shore, which may be fatal.
The survivors are convinced that the thugs made a joint plan with PISSI.
Turkey helped PISSI plenty before.
A safety study of the design for packaging US nuclear waste for long-term storage found many problems with the proposed plant.
The Department of Energy suppressed the study while saying everything was fine.
Oxfam and other groups call for ending Israel's siege of Gaza.
Transcanada wants to export tar sands oil through the Bay of Fundy.
A single spill of highly toxic bitumen could destroy the marine life.
Even the noise from the numerous tankers' engines would harm the endangered right whales that live there.
If the bitumen comes from tar sands, its extraction (done with strip mines) destroys wide reaches of land, and burning it contributes to global heating disaster. So many bad consequences can avoided simply by not extracting the tar sands.
An AT&T WiFi hotspot was found to inject ads into browsing of unrelated web sites.
The US senators pushing the disguised surveillance bill CISA are planning to use it to make the CFAA more dangerous to future Aaron Swarzes.
The EPA underestimated the water pressure in the waste from the Gold King mine, and thus the danger of a big toxic spill into the Animas River.
The "transformation" of New Orleans worked by expelling most of the black New Orleanians.
Everyone: tell Warren Buffet to stop attacking Nevada solar energy.
Governments across the world are shutting down civil society organizations that defend the environment or human rights.
A Catholic hospital in the US was ordered by a court to allow a tubal ligation operation, since no other facility in the region was available.
This problem, that all hospitals in a region are associated with the Catholic church, affects increasing numbers of women. In some cases it endangers women who are brought to a Catholic hospital in an emergency.
Hospitals should not be allowed to have such policies. A hospital is not a human being, and is not entitled to deny medical care to human beings based on religion. So they should be required to permit the full range of operations for which they have suitable facilities and staff. If the Catholic church doesn't like that, it should sell the hospitals to some other organization.
Proposing new US mining regulations to put an end to mining waste spills.
To adopt these regulations, it will be necessary to defeat the polluticians.
Ferguson has agreed to change some of the policies that systematically lead poor people into heavy fines and jail.
I don't think this means that the recently prosecuted protesters will be let off.
Biden was a crucial supporter of mass incarceration and the death penalty.
Alaska's law defines prostitution as "sex trafficking" and says that the prostitute is a victim of that "crime". As a result, prostitutes can be prosecuted for "trafficking" each other, or themselves.
I don't know whether to describe this law as lying or delusional.
This is not enough, because they will probably get jobs as thugs somewhere else.
An influential Iowa Republican proposed to enslave of unauthorized immigrants.
The US already uses convicts as slave labor, which drives down wages for Americans not in prison.
Malaysia threatens to crush an anticorruption protest rally with the army, after blocking access to the web sites that promote it.
Malaysia is one of the countries I will no longer visit because it demands fingerprints from visitors.
The warring tribal factions in South Sudan have signed another peace deal, but one cannot be confident it will hold.
Ukraine has received debt "restructuring", which means it can pay later and less.
Contrast with Greece.
Banksy, whose work famously criticizes surveillance, is demanding visitors to his theme show present their IDs.
The article does not say so, but it seems clear that people are required to give their names to buy a ticket. That in itself is wrong.
When event organizers ask their attendees to identify themselves, they participate in constructing a society of total surveillance. That is why the Free Software Foundation welcomes people to attend its events anonymously, paying cash on arrival. All events have a moral obligation to do this.
If an event which is open to the general public asks you to identify yourself, for freedom's sake insist they stop contributing to mass surveillance.
Only 37 countries still use the death penalty, but some of them are going at it like vicious demons.
Raising Your Child with Victorian Hang-Ups: a Guide for Parents.
Israel is trying to block a visit by the Berlin State Opera to Iran, which its conductor (who is Israeli) has been trying for years to set up.
The revolving door is spinning in Canada: Shell is applying for permission for drilling in the Atlantic Ocean to a board that includes a 30-year Shell employee.
A Hong Kong protest leader faces a clearly political prosecution.
Sea level has risen 8cm since 1992; probably it will rise almost a meter in this century, due to global heating.
It will rise a lot more in the following century.
Spraying neonicotinoids on leaves has been shown to harm bees.
We already knew that treating seeds with those same pesticides harms bees.
Clinton is reluctant to endorse Senator Warren's bill to ban "golden parachutes" for company employees moving to government jobs.
The reason for this is clear: she knows she will be expected to appoint people to important positions who are receiving such payments that are equivalent in effect to bribes.
No matter what Clinton may say now, her past shows that she is in bed with arrogant business, just as Obama is. I am certainly not voting for her.
The Department of Agriculture helps GMOs by ignoring requests for public records about use of GMOs.
US citizens: Call on Democratic presidential candidates to pledge to choose a VP candidate that supports diplomacy with Iran.
Thugs of the United Arab Emirates tortured Ahmad Zeidan into confessing to possession of drugs, which were in the glove compartment of the car he was riding in. He signed a confession in Arabic that he could not read. Everyone in the car was convicted together.
All the others, who were not British, have been pardoned and released. He thinks the UK government is more interested in selling arms to the UAE than in pleading for unjustly imprisoned Britons.
I don't intend to visit the UAE, because no one is safe there from wild accusations and torture. Zeidan says he doesn't blame the emir whose thugs did this — he probably fears to criticize — but I am safe outside the UAE and I do blame the emir.
Comparing publication of two books by dead authors: the last Discworld book written by Terry Pratchett, and a Lisbeth Salander book written by someone other than Stieg Larsson.
I urge you to resist the marketing hype associated with these books. You might want to get them, but hype should not be rewarded.
I am mostly not a fan of Pratchett. I thought Small Gods was very good, but the other few Pratchett books I've read did not especially impress me. However, I am impressed by the stance of Pratchett's daughter towards honoring his memory.
By contrast, Stieg Larsson's family seems to be behaving in a sleazy manner. It seems that his mate really loved him but his relatives love his money-making potential more.
This illustrates the important difference between works of practical use, such as software, and works of art. It is a very good thing that others now continue the development of the GNU programs that I initially wrote. Their work is useful; they add features and fix problems. Whether their style is similar to mine is hardly worth thinking about.
But it is foolish to hope that someone else, even someone talented and skilled, can continue the work of a dead author of fiction.
We who condemn Israel's occupation of Palestine must strongly condemn antisemitism too.
In addition to being the right thing to do, because all bigotries are unjust, it also refutes the nasty claim that condemnation of the occupation is antisemitism itself.
To distinguish them clearly is why I speak of AIPAC as the "Israeli hawks' lobby". Not all Israelis support that position, and most American Jews do not support it any more.
By the way, when I condemn bigotry against gays, I do not call it by the tendentious term "homophobia". I call it "bigotry against gays". We should accuse bigots of bigotry, not a hypothetical fear.
The right-wing attempt to take over the Hugo awards by bloc voting has failed.
I hope they will give it up rather than continue ruining the Hugo awards.
I must acknowledge, even though I disagree with his politics, that John C Wright has written some great science fiction.
Obama apologized to Japanese premier Abe for the inconvenience caused by revelations of US surveillance of Japanese trade negotiators.
Obama did not, it appears, apologize for spying on them.
Self-driving cars may do more than report on their passengers; thugs may be able to direct them by remote control.
LA Times' 'Independent' Education Project Bankrolled by Charter School Backers.
By legalizing force-feeding of prisoners, especially prisoners not charged with any crime, Israel endorses torture and follows the bad example of the US.
Israel continues its gradual ethnic cleansing of certain areas in Palestine by demolishing the homes of Palestinians.
US citizens trying to visit Palestine are regularly blocked by Israel if they are of Palestinian origin.
In fact, many countries do not recognize dual citizenship; US citizens that have citizenship in those countries are treated simply as natives. Israel's actions in this regard are not unusual.
But that doesn't excuse Israel' harsh and gratuitous policy.
US citizens: call on Obama to tell us how AT&T helped the NSA, and stop interfering with investigations of NSA spying on us.
Arizona's war on sex education is ridiculous, but very effective — at encouraging teenagers to get pregnant.
Most of the prisoners in Guantanamo were captured by Afghan warlords and sold to the US for a bounty. Even in the cases where there is an accusation with real evidence against some of the prisoners, it is hard to trust it.
Why, then, do so many stubbornly refuse to see it? Increasingly we learn that they have been paid not to see it.
Christopher Horner, who relentlessly harasses climate scientists, is funded by the fossil fool industry.
A now-bankrupt coal company gave money sneakily and indirectly to many fossil fool Republican candidates in 2014.
The Tories are openly selling opportunities to meet with ministers, for campaign funds.
It might as well be called the Corruption Party.
If deforestation continues at its current rates, by 2050 tropical forests equal to the size of India will be destroyed.
This will cause extinction of many species as well as contributing greatly to global heating.
Preserving forests is crucial for limiting global heating.
"Sexual harassment", or amusing risqué hack?
While I can see why the university didn't like this, I don't believe this public non-threatening joke should be considered "harassment", much less an "assault".
Increasing evidence that blasting loud noises from the top of the ocean down into the ocean floor is very bad for whales.
Heating especially endangers the unique endemic species of the Great Barrier Reef.
As expected, Turkey will have new elections.
Some suspect the reason for renewed attacks on separatist Kurds is to try to reduce the vote of the originally-Kurdish human rights HD party.
One fire complex now covers 400 square miles, larger than New York City.
The Koch brothers are spending millions to make sure this keeps getting worse.
Ted Rall's case shows how easy it is for thugs to get journalists fired, when news outlets are cowards.
Salim Alaradi has bee imprisoned without charges and tortured in the United Arab Emirates for about a year now.
Claims that uranium mining near the Grand Canyon would not pollute the water are wishful thinking, not science.
Los Angeles wants protester Steve-O to pay the cost of its irrational reaction to his protest against SeaWorld.
I don't know what sort of fireworks he used. If they were large and dangerous, that could justify prosecution. If they were firecrackers such as people light on July 4, those charges are bogus excuses.
The other charges don't justify much either.
Parts of Nigeria repress non-Muslims and terrify ex-Muslims; others harass non-Christians. Secularists have plenty of work to do.
The van belongs to a family that was delighted by the welcome they received when they visited Iran.
Canadians have become incensed at government spying on protest movements.
This was in South Africa. I wish the US could manage to convict murderous thugs.
The argument for eliminating odious debt.
Read protester Oleg Sentsov's speech to the Russian show trial, just before it sentenced him to 20 years in prison for imaginary "terrorism".
The Kyoto Protocol's carbon emissions trading scheme has been gamed so much that it has allowed a big increase in emissions.
This is why I think we need to impose a tax on emissions rather than a trading scheme.
The UK's NHS, even starved of funds by Tories that want to ruin it, still lets patients see their doctor sooner than many private insurance plans in the US.
If you are part of European or Middle Eastern culture, PISSI is attacking your history. This alone would be enough to justify the war to defeat PISSI — but only if it is fought in a legitimate way and has a chance of winning.
The only way I can see that has any chance of winning is to support the Kurds.
Today's unchecked form of capitalism allows the invisible hand to crush people and toss their corpses on the scrap heap.
The capitalism that the US had in 1970 was much better than the kind we have today. Thus, I don't conclude that any whiff of capitalism is bad, the way Ayn Rand thought about community. Rather, I say that capitalism must be compensated by community, and effectively regulated by democracy.
In the US, troubled kids are treated if they are white — and punished if they are black. A court will consider whether this is illegal.
Evidently the system is racist, but why? The people who decide how to deal with these children might be bigots. Or they might unconsciously make biased decisions, influenced by the child's race. Or they may judge some students harshly because of secondary characteristics that in fact are correlated with race.
Or perhaps the schools black kids attend tend to be underfunded, desperate, and harsh.
Yes, it was — but not because of that site's specific service. It is stupid in general to make an account on a digital service and give your name, unless it is for posting statements for publication.
(If the service requires people to give their real names, it is dangerous in other ways.)
In 20 years, the fires will be like nothing seen today.
A megaproject is being considered to allow the Mississippi to once again feed sediment into the wetlands south of New Orleans.
This might work if the city only had to cope with the local problems that the article mentions. It might perhaps suffice for 50 years. It can't possibly cope with the 6 meters of sea level rise predicted for the 21st century if we don't cut global heating short.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect the Endangered Species Act.
Everyone: call on major US science museums to divest from fossil fuels.
For over a century, technology created many new jobs, which typically were more productive and were better paid than the old jobs that were eliminated.
But this hasn't been true since 1990 or so.
Nowadays, the new jobs are mostly low-skill jobs, and low-paid.
But nowadays, with insufficient jobs, workers don't get raises even when their productivity increases. That's because employers can get away with not giving raises. They keep the benefit of the workers' increased productivity for themselves.
The uncertainty of today's temporary, subcontracted and irregular employment imposes stress on many American workers.
This stress is especially bad for those who are paid little and thus always at the edge. My income is irregular, but I don't worry much if some months go by and no speech gives me a fee. Millions of Americans could go hungry if they get too few hours.
The article recommends a solution of imposing welfare systems on whichever employer pays more than half of a worker's income, but there may not be any such employer, and and if there is, it might be different from week to week. Instead of placing the load for a worker's welfare support on that one employer, I suggest we disconnect welfare systems from employment, and make companies pay for them through taxes that are unrelated to how many workers they employ.
That would, as a side benefit, remove one incentive to replace human workers with automation.
US citizens: support the Revolving Door Act that would ban ex-congresscritters from becoming lobbyists.
It is a step, but only a step, towards reduced tyranny.
Saudi Arabia is dropping cluster bombs in Yemen.
It's too bad people are afraid of irradiating food to kill germs and parasites.
US citizens: tell Democrats you will refuse to support them if they block the nuclear deal with Iran.
US citizens: call on states not to defund Planned Parenthood's health care.
Israel puts divorce under religious law, and all the religions are more or less unfair to women.
The bailout for Greece's creditors lasts only until October. At that point, Greece will fail to jump through the next hoop, which will serve as the excuse to impose further suffering.
But that's what this whole process has been, since the start: Greece must accept a series of a permanent losses, each one in exchange for a delay. In such a process, the sooner you rebel, the better. It would have been better for Greece to rebel in 2010.
Boston Public Broadcaster WGBH Files Bogus DMCA Notice On Public Domain Video Uploaded By Carl Malamud.
The UK government in charge of work and pensions just fired thousands of staff, they hired temporaries to replace them.
This shows what the Tories want to do to work and pensions.
The same department wanted to show how unemployed people appreciated lessons it taught them by leaving them broke for months. It couldn't find any real examples, so it made some up.
It would teach Tories a salutary lesson to make them live with no money for a year.
Dubya and Cheney are being sued for imposing total surveillance in Utah in 2002.
An article about the three recently deceased Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The author describes the Taliban as a "religious, anti drug, anti-Communist movement," meant I suppose as praise.
The Taliban may well be opposed to Communism in principle, though it never actually fought Communism since it was founded after the Soviet Union had disintegrated. However, there is worse repression than post-Stalin Soviet Communism — look at Egypt, Saudi Arabia and PISSI today.
It may have started out anti-drug, but it got involved with opium production once it took power. Not that the War on Drugs is a good thing.
But it certainly is religious. That is the worst thing about it. Islamism means contempt for human rights, those of women especially, but also those of men.
The negotiators of the TPP (Treacherous Plutocratic Poison) were ready to consider supporting fair use instead of damaging it — but then the big movie companies started pushing the other way in Congress.
The TPP is meant to attack democracy. These fights about details only reinforce the point that we need to kill it, whether before or after it is signed.
A long interview with Varoufakis, who says that as Tsipras helps impose so many laws and decisions he considered wrong, he becomes twisted into believing in what he is doing.
It is a fundamental mistake to help a repressive government with the idea that you will mitigate the repression. What it tends to do is transplant the repression into your own heart, as you become a pillar to support it.
Many restaurant chains in the UK regularly steal from waiters' tips, or make them pay for the privilege of working.
I would make it a felony for any individual manager to participate in imposing such things.
Every Forest Biome on Earth Is Actively Dying Right Now. Due to human actions.
It makes a big difference whether we push them one step further or ten steps further, because each step could be too much for some of them. It makes a big difference whether the human population peaks at 8 billion, 9 billion or 10 billion.
Uri Avnery: "Binyamin Netanyahu is either incredibly shrewd or incredibly foolish."
Or perhaps shrewd in the small and incredibly foolish in the large.
Of two US presidential candidates whose polling figures are surging, only the arrogant billionaire interests the press.
The coup-derived president of Honduras, who won an election apparently using funds stolen from the state, now confronts a powerful opposition movement.
Obama did not say outright that he supported the coup, but there is plenty of evidence that the US did back it.
Nathan Hornes describes how the for-profit degree mill Everest College gave him a worthless "education", but leading a student debt strike gave him a real one.
A summary of how society in the UK has changed for the worse since the 1970s. Most of this applies to the US as well.
A considerable amount of this is due to Reagan and Thatcher, and their right-wing successors in both parties (including Clinton and B'liar). A considerable amount of this is due to business-dominated globalization, which was to a large extent intended to produce such results.
The Mexican government, or perhaps an allied gang, is using spambots to drown out protesters on Twitter.
Companies are recruiting teachers and schools to give them personal data about lots of students.
It makes no difference what the companies say about how they will use the data: merely letting them see it is a violation of the students' privacy.
Bare-chested protesters marched through Manhattan to protest the prudery of officials, who want to ban the body-painted women in Times Square that offer to pose with other people for a fee.
As long as they are not pushy to the point where it is difficult to say no, or hard to pass by, they are not hurting anyone.
More about Campaign Zero, which aims to end violence by thugs in the US.
In the wild, predation by humans is much more intense than predation by nonhuman predators.
Some US "churches" are effectively pyramid schemes which benefit from tax loopholes and a blind eye from the IRS.
This perverted form of Christianity says that being rich is a sign you're going to heaven. I presume it also says that being a camel is a sign you can fit through the eye of a needle.
Other perverted US Christians claim that they don't need a conscience because they are Christians — they say "god won't let me do anything wrong."
"Corporate welfare is often camouflaged in taxes that seem neutral on their face but give windfalls to big entrenched corporations at the expense of average people and small businesses."
Activists of the Fully Informed Jury Association are suing to establish that they won't be charged with felonies for handing out the organization's pamphlets about jury nullification.
Jury nullification is the reason we have juries: to hamper the state from imprisoning people based on laws that most people disagree with. This can be used for ill — for instance, jurors can acquit a thug charged with killing a black person because they are racist, or even for killing a non-black person if they have swallowed the myth that thugs are our heroes. Nonetheless, jury nullification is a vital safeguard of liberty.
The Court of Appeals of the First Circuit ruled that corporations can't be required to inform people about their use of conflict minerals, or basically anything, because it violates their "human rights".
We need to adopt the proposed constitutional amendment that human rights do not apply to corporations.
The idea of "unworthy poor", who are poor through laziness, provides an excuse to harden hearts towards people that society has swept into poverty by piling on more obstacles than they can handle.
Reducing the human birth rate should be a global priority, and that calls for giving all women reliable birth control (which, not by coincidence, requires no cooperation from their lovers).
Amazon's cruelty in its head office illustrates the attitude of many companies today: they consider workers replaceable and not worth any decency.
These companies demand total loyalty while giving none. Thus, what they deserve from their workers is sabotage, not loyalty. We need governments that will do whatever it takes to put the reins on how companies treat staff. First step, make it easy to unionize.
Thugs in North Carolina shot a man who was wielding a knife.
Didn't they have tasers to use instead of guns?
Sheet mica sells for over $1000 per kg. The workers that mine it, violating laws that India does not enforce, are paid about 25 cents per kg.
If India were to crack down on the illegal mining, approved mines would have to start, and pay workers more. But India is a very corrupt country.
Workers must fight against businesses that want to monitor their bodies.
As in all cases of mistreatment by a company, it helps to have a union. If your country or state doesn't make it easy to unionize, make it an issue in your next election.
Universities including Harvard and Yale pay fund managers hundreds of millions of dollars a year — and do this in a way that relieves the fund managers of most of their income tax.
I'm not sure I agree with the article's spend-8-percent proposal. It would cause big problems when the stock market goes down. Rather, I'd suggest limiting the percentage that can be paid in management fees.
San Jose, California, proposes to put license plate readers on garbage trucks so as to scan all the cars in the city regularly.
This is far too much surveillance for a free society. Indeed, license plate readers as they exist today should not be allowed at all. License plate readers should be designed so that they do not even record having seen a plate that is lawful and not sought by court order.
Reporters find excuses to downplay the size of Sanders' support as expressed by rallies for him.
Courtney Canfield was fired from a government job in Kansas for not going to church.
After 29 years, the eradication of the guinea worm is almost complete.
WHO says it expects to finish the job this year.
Jimmy Carter was the last president of the US that deserved respect.
It's dangerous to have a gun in your home. Even living next to someone that has a gun is somewhat dangerous.
Ashley Madison got Twitter to delete a journalist's posting which is almost certainly fair use.
The company tries to mystify its copyright claim by calling it "intellectual property". Whenever you see a company talk about its "intellectual property", it is trying to be fuzzy about what legal grounds (if any!) its demand is based on. I suggest responding with, "Intellectual property is not the name of any law. Be specific about your claim or I will ignore you."
Unfortunately, the journalist fell for the confusion in that term, and even added to it by writing, "DMCA notices are intended to stop the spread of intellectual property and copyrighted material," as if "intellectual property" referred to something other than copyrighted material to which the DMCA applied. There is no such thing.
The term "intellectual property" has no meaning except confusion.
Google and Facebook lobbied in India against network neutrality.
California's 40 years of aiming for energy efficiency show what would have been the easy way to avoid global heating disaster.
Now that tar sands extraction is failing even in its own narrow economic terms, Canada has a chance to reject extractivism and the anti-science policies that were created to prop it up.
Everyone: call on the governor of Oklahoma to stop the execution of Richard Glossip.
The petition's author says he "firmly believe(s) Oklahoma is about to execute an innocent man." However, that's not part of the petition itself. I don't have a basis to "firmly believe" that Glossip is innocent, but I think it is quite plausible that he is, and that's enough to make it honest for me to sign.
The death penalty is wrong even for criminals who are guilty.
US citizens: call on your senators to vote against the DARK Act.
Everyone: Call on Unilever to quit FoodDrinkEurope.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Consumer Reporting Fairness Act.
To Prevent Police Brutality, Overhaul Police Culture.
Chomsky: Iran is no strategic threat to other countries, including the US and Israel, and wouldn't be even if it had nuclear weapons.
The Iranian government oppresses women and dissidents, though not quite as badly as US ally Saudi Arabia. But that doesn't call for war.
Abandoned by the Labour Party, and despite repression and reprisals from landlords, non-rich Britons that rent housing are organizing to fight back.
The Bangladeshi government's repression puts secularists at more risk from murderous Islamists.
Toxic activities around the US have powerful defenders.
Seduction is labeled as "rape" to ruin someone's life.
Teenage boys may know they'd like to have sex, but that doesn't mean they can stand up to social and family pressure to claim it was a horrible damaging experience.
The American Red Cross tried to prevent a government inquiry into how it has spent its disaster relief funds.
Sensitive medical records including notes from psychotherapy, when put into computers, become available to other doctors, to governments, and to employers.
Should school principals wear body cameras?
Thugs' body cameras should have automatic control over when they do, or don't, record, to reduce their negative effects.
The same applies to any thugs stationed in schools — but they should be removed from schools, in order to shut down the school-to-prison pipeline.
Perhaps school principals should not wear body cameras, but if they do have body cameras, those should have automatic control too. The proper criteria for recording would be different for principals.
1/3 of the US veterans of the 1991 war in Iraq suffer from the effects of toxic chemicals.
Thousands of migrants tried to force their way across the border of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They are trapped in the no-country's-land between Macedonia and Greece.
I don't think Macedonia is obligated to allow all these people in. The problem is in the policies and behavior that sends so many people fleeing.
Merkel says the "migration crisis" will define this decade. Alas, it will get worse in the next decade. One of the causes is the early stages of climate mayhem. In a few decades, we can expect to see tens of millions of people trying to flee from regions where they can no longer live. This has already touched off the Syrian civil war and brought about PISSI. Imagine what will happen as climate mayhem gets worse.
Another contribution is the global corporate land grab, which drives people off their land leaving them with no way to survive. That will get worse, unless we hand those companies a stunning setback (I hope we do.)
Then there is overreproduction. We must end the growth of human population. The first step is to make reliable birth control and abortion services available gratis to all women. If we are lucky, that will be enough.
The US has asked Australia and New Zealand for experienced firefighters to help fight wildfires that are too now big to handle.
Australia and New Zealand don't need their firefighters in August, but their fire season will start soon.
It will be a worse in each of these countries, 10 years from now. and it will keep getting worse as long as humans continue extracting and using fossil fuels.
Children of survivors of the holocaust inherited some stress-induced epigenetic markers from their parents.
The article did not distinguish between mothers and fathers. It would be useful to study them separately.
One danger of autonomous robot weapons is that they will obey illegal orders without question. But even semi-autonomous weapons, with a human in "ultimate control", could make it more difficult for humans to refuse illegal orders.
Californians are fighting plans to move more of the state's insufficient water to almond and pistachio plantations.
A new business offers clients a way to invest in Clinton and in all Republican presidential candidates, so that they can call in favors if any of those candidates win.
Those who stole and published personal data from Ashley Madison did a great wrong to the users of that site. I urge people therefore not to republish that data set.
Please do not call the people who did this "hackers". If they broke the security of the site, that is called "cracking" — but it's not clear that was done in this case.
The company has done many sleazy things both before and after the data were taken.
Now Ashley Madison is sending DMCA takedown notices for the data dump of its users data, invalidly claiming copyright where it does not have one.
I disagree with the widespread prejudice in favor of monogamy. If two people are happy loving only each other, I am glad for them; but if one of them wants another relationship, I won't say there is anything wrong with that. I never have, and never will, ask a lover to promise not to have other lovers; I would not want to stand in the way of her happiness.
Thus, in thinking about the Ashley Madison site, I do not formulate my thoughts using words such as "adultery" or "cheating". I do not think of it as cheating to break a promise imposed by unfair social pressure. I don't think the site's stated purpose was immoral.
Rather, what is immoral is setting up services and stores that require people to identify themselves. This incident reinforces my conclusion that we should refuse to identify ourselves when buying things — whether we are buying introductions, books, furniture, or whatever else.
Digital systems must be redesigned so that they do not accumulate dossiers about their users. In the mean time, don't be tracked — pay cash! That's what I do.
In the US, customers and helpers of prostitutes under 18 are now accused of "trafficking", under a law that is a liar.
High school students should not face random drug tests.
There is no reason to test anyone for drugs in this way. People who do jobs that require quick and accurate reaction should be tested every day to make sure they have quick and accurate reaction — not for drug use.
How the 'Sharing Economy' Forces a Movement Towards Privatisation. Pay toilets tend to eliminate unlocked public toilets, just as bottled water tends to eliminate water fountains.
I can't possibly use Looie, for the same reason I can't possibly use Guber or AirBnB: they require (1) running a nonfree cr…app on a tracking device, and (2) identifying oneself. But I have a special loathing for Looie, because making people pay to use a toilet is vicious in itself. I could afford the fee, but poor people can't.
I don't see anything wrong in charging for a taxi ride or for renting a room. My criticisms of Guber and AirBnB are about how they do this. For Looie, the business is wrong in itself.
I read a copy of Ceptia's Free Toilet Paper in the 1970s, and I concluded that concluded that pay toilets are a bad thing, but it did not seem like an important issue since I hardly ever encountered any in the US. The problem is much worse in Europe, which never had anything like Ceptia. I go to great lengths to avoid giving them my money.
You can consider me a member-in-spirit of Ceptia, and I hope you will join in spirit too.
I think that restaurants, which are legally required to have toilets, should be legally required to allow anyone to use them, and to have a sign on the door to that effect. Restaurant owners that are unhappy with the number of people that come in to use their toilets should consider moving to a place with less foot traffic. Of course, they won't do that: the foot traffic brings them business. They must take the bad of the foot traffic along with the good of the foot traffic.
The UK spied on famed writer Doris Lessing for 20 years.
The part of Syriza that holds true to its opposition to austerity has renamed itself the Popular Unity Party. I applaud them.
However, I do not criticize Tsipras for calling new elections. That is clearly the right thing to do.
I think Greece (and the rest of the world) needs a Wooden Stake Party dedicated to destroying the vampires that are attacking Greece.
July 2015 was the hottest month ever recorded.
US citizens: file a comment with the EPA through this page to call for an even higher efficiency standard for heavy trucks.
India's government argued that privacy 'not a fundamental right' so it should be ok to require people to have biometric ID cards. The Supreme Court continues to disagree.
Hunting of wild birds in the Mediterranean (many of them migrating) is making some species crash.
The War on Drugs in Peru now includes shooting down planes suspected of carrying drugs.
Perhaps they are getting advice from US thugs. "I thought that plane was reaching for a cocaine in its air pocket, so I shot it down."
EU Demands Google Forget "The Right To Be Forgotten".
Australia deported a refugee to Iran while his case was still in progress. Once in Iran, he was arrested.
Mauritania has imprisoned anti-slavery activists.
US protesters demand stricter laws to cover the thugs.
A US Marshal says his office told him the policy was not to wage the War on Drugs against well-off people.
That exemption was wise and good, but didn't go far enough. They should extend it to everyone else.
Conservatives' double standard: small waste to the benefit of poor people is a scandal, while the Pentagon has lost track of 8.5 trillion and they don't care.
One of Obama's donors is a vulture capitalist who wants to eat the corpse of Puerto Rico.
Even as prison thugs were beating Samuel Harrell to death, they started making false accusations against him to "justify" the killing.
It appears they will get off without punishment.
Arguing for the nuclear deal with Iran.
After Republican state legislators resigned after sexual involvement and harassment with interns, their colleagues want interns to dress "modestly".
It's typical of right-wing religious prudes to blame their sexual proclivities (whether wrong or not) on the attractiveness of the victims.
A Nuclear Conflict with Russia Is Likelier Than You Think.
There are good reasons not to be precisely clear about what would be considered an invasion and would trigger a defensive alliance. A rigid criterion would invite an aggressor to come up to a millimeter from the criterion. And who can count on foreseeing everything?
On the other hand, a vague criterion invites audacious deniable attacks.
Either way offers opportunities that a cunning and audacious aggressor such as Putin can test.
Like most "music screaming" disservices, Spotify is based on proprietary malware (DRM and snooping). Recently it demanded users submit to increased snooping, and some are starting to realize that it is nasty.
However, it was nasty all along. Any "service" that is based on not letting people have their own copies is a scheme to subjugate people. Once you submit, they are always ready to use that leverage to subjugate you more.
This article shows the twisted ways that they present snooping as a way to serve users better — never mind whether they want that. This is a typical example of the attitude of the proprietary software industry towards those they have subjugated.
Out, out, damned Spotify!
This does not excuse the wrong done by the various dictators and kings in the region, whether supported by the US or by the Soviet Union.
Abbott says that conservation groups are using environmental protection laws to "sabotage" dangerous mine projects.
In truth, Abbott wants to use the law to help him sabotage Australia's environment. And maybe he has been corrupted, along with other Australian polluticians, by the Indian billionaire that would own the mine.
"Polluticians" was a typo, but it seemed so fitting that I decided not to correct it.
The story illustrates the dangerous nature of the idea that elected officials should seek to "bring business to" their cities, states or countries. There is an inherent conflict between that and their real job, which is to prevent business from causing harm in their cities, states or countries.
US citizens: support the KOCH Act to make Super-PACs state who their donors are.
Some US right-wingers applauded Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to cut the budget of New Orleans and eliminate public housing.
The US must stop issuing leases for fossil fuel extraction from public lands. This would keep a large quantity of fossil fuels in the ground.
Since we need to keep 80% of known reserves in the ground, no one action of this sort will suffice — rather, many of them are necessary.
Thugs will continue their rampage as long as they continue to enjoy practical impunity.
Americans convicted based on "bite mark analysis" have trouble getting out of prison, although this has been found to be junk science.
Climate models show that California will face increasing drought due to global heating, and that it has contributed substantially to the current drought.
Wave of TV Ads Opposing Iran Deal Organized By Saudi Arabian Lobbyist.
Interesting that Israel and and Saudi Arabia are making common cause.
Iraq War General Ray Odierno Cashing In With New Job at JP Morgan Chase.
Judge Garzón is campaigning for universal jurisdiction against multinational companies.
A large project aims to revitalize New Orleans.
Too bad they didn't move it to higher ground.
A study sampling US rivers found neonicotinoid pesticides in half of them, sometimes at levels that may have devastated the base of the food chain in the Netherlands.
Neonicotinoids have now been linked to honeybee decline in a field study.
The UK's lobbying to weaken air pollution standards represents the Tories' secret decision to support the worst parts of the business world.
The Saudi bombardment of Yemen is devastating the country, with US support.
Bruce Schneier: "We're in Early Years of a Cyber Arms Race". He also says not to be quick to conclude who the attacker is.
CISA (formerly CISPA) supposedly allows companies to give your personal data to the US government "voluntarily", but "voluntarily" could easily be made mandatory by new regulations — without passing any new laws.
Among Middle Eastern countries, the worst troublemaker is Saudi Arabia.
The article does not mention that it promoted jihadis in Syria or that most of the September 2001 hijackers came from there (though I am not saying the Saudi government had any direct role), or that the country has spent billions to spread its strict and cruel variant of Islam around the world.
The privatizations imposed on Greece have nothing to do with repaying debt. These profitable assets would support Greece more if it kept them than if it sells them in a hurry for a low price.
Protesters confronted thugs in St Louis because they shot another man dead.
If it is true that the deceased pointed a gun at the thugs, I can't fault them for shooting him first. However, you can't trust what thugs say about the people they kill. They have lied so many times; why should we suppose they are not lying now?
The plutocrats consider most Americans disposable, so why bother educating them? Public education, for them, is just a cash cow.
The absurd charges against Chelsea Manning will provide an excuse to keep her in a more strict prison for years.
People's wells are going dry as corporations' farms pump tremendous amounts of water.
China's great achievement: it has nearly eliminated urban poverty.
UK students are going to college to compete for the few good jobs, but only a minority get them, and the rest are stuck with horrible debts.
Methane leaks from natural gas wells are 8 times what was previously thought.
These leaks are equivalent, over the next few decades, to dozens of coal-fired power plants, and falsify the claim that natural gas is safer than coal. We need to aim for renewable energy, not for coal.
Amazon's office hell could be the future of work in general, if we do not prevent it.
While some may think of begging companies to be nice, I think we need to force them — with laws, because that is what democracy is for, and with unions, which requires laws that make unions stronger.
We also need to eliminate the treaties that facilitate moving production to countries that allow companies to get away with oppression or even murder.
The US military academies produce careerists that promote arms sales, never win a war, and fail to tell the president when war is a bad idea.
Fires in the US west have exceeded the fire-fighting capacity; 200 soldiers have been sent to help them.
It will be much worse 20 years from now, if we don't stop heating up the Earth's air and seas. Will we learn our lesson now, and stop it?
A Ukrainian who protested Putin's takeover of the Crimea is now being tried for imaginary crimes that he was tortured into confessing to.
He says the trial is political and bogus. I don't think Putin would permit an honest trial.
I wish that the US could condemn this with a straight face. The US must eliminate the Guantanamo "military tribunals" that were set up to deny defendants their legal rights.
Companies use slave labor for their workforce in Eritrea, including a Canadian mining company. The government may not give them any choice about this, but it is wrong to operate in such a country.
I read elsewhere that he had refused to tell his captors where to find ancient artifacts that had been saved from them. That makes him a martyr for history.
Putin's antics are risible, but they are very effective politically.
When he talks about "Russia's roots", he's talking about the Kievan Rus, whose territory is known today as "Ukraine." But accuracy is not important to him.
The closest thing to him in the US is Donald Trump.
There is a real danger of a wider war in Europe, between Russian military provocations and strategic western threats such as proffered treaties with Ukraine.
US federal social welfare programs enable 40 million Americans to stay out of poverty.
That was in 2012, after Reagan, Clinton and Dubya had undermined these programs. However, things have got worse since the financial crisis; SCROTUS (Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States) have been attacking our social welfare programs steadily, and are attacking even harder now.
With public officials eager to end poverty, we could clearly achieve much more.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is especially effective. We should increase it. However, not at the expense of cutting other programs that support the poor. Americans in general have become poorer since 2007 and need more support, not less.
And it is no use encouraging poor people to look for jobs that don't exist. The rate of workforce participation in the US is much lower than it used to be, and millions of jobs are likely to be eliminated by automation in the next decade.
Ultimately we need to enable the millions of never-to-be-employed to have a decent life, while reducing the birth rate.
It's far from sufficient, but the fossil fools will fight it anyway, and we need to overcome them.
The attack videos against Planned Parenthood provided an excuse for several Republican-ruled states to investigate. These investigations have found nothing wrong.
Although conclusive of nothing, the videos were quite useful in mobilizing public support among the anti-sex prudes, who are free to disregard the results of the investigations. Several states have already cut funding for Planned Parenthood to provide health care and prenatal care.
Russia said Eston Kohver was caught spying, but Estonia says Russian agents kidnaped him at gunpoint from a border crossing.
The lack of a proper trial suggests that Russia is lying about the facts.
More than one warehouse in Tianjin was illegally storing toxic chemicals.
Eritrian journalists were imprisoned 14 years ago and remain in prison.
The US government may start to resist the criminalization of homelessness. Let's hope so.
Prison Education Reduces Recidivism By Over 40 Percent. Why Aren't We Funding More of It?
Overprotecting students against ideas that may make them uncomfortable is harmful to them, and turns unjust when it develops into "vindictive protectiveness".
I agree with most of the article's points, so I will mention the few that I disagree with.
However, that applies to only some of the "microaggressions" that are being condemned; others are not objectively insulting, so the article's points are valid for them. We must not condemn people just because someone takes offense at what they say.
Krugman: The Republican presidential candidates want to eliminate Social Security, because they bow down to a hundred or so rich families that want that.
Chelsea Manning was found "guilty" of absurd crimes, but won't be put in solitary.
While I am glad this political trial did not put her in solitary, it remains despicable to punish someone for having an expired tube of toothpaste or the Senate report on US government torture. This was a political persecution from beginning to end.
Not-usually-lethal weapons are an improvement when they are used instead of guns; they are harmful when used instead of nothing.
Uganda and Jeb Bush share a PR flack. Uganda uses him to overcome the negative image it got from its repressive anti-gay law.
Africa's birth rate is dangerously high.
Mexico City now has a law that offers help to journalists that flee there from other parts of Mexico.
The record companies (operating through their instrument, the RIAA) want to make developers build censorship into torrent software and even web browsers.
We should make sure the big record companies get what they deserve: total elimination, as punishment for the many evils they have done to people who have shared music or might wish to.
Everyone: call on Goldman Sachs to return the half-billion profit it got from conspiring with the Greek government 15 years ago.
US citizens: call on Clinton and the DNC to reject private prisons and stop employing their PR representatives.
Everyone: call on the World Bank to stop promoting privatization of water supplies in Nigeria.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
I added "or anywhere else" in my message.
US citizens: join activities to convince legislators to support the nuclear deal with Iran.
so I hope you won't use it. However, the
engine works without nonfree software.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on the Department of Homeland Suppression to stop surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Varoufakis: the bailout for Greece's creditors is designed to help oligarchs solidify their power over what remains of the Greek economy, while multinationals snap up assets.
Germany has applied copyright, absurdly, to the appearance of food on a plate.
The NSA is trying to evade the constitution by saying private companies are responsible for the surveillance; but that is unconstitutional too.
Mass Migration Is No 'crisis': It's the New Normal as the Climate Changes.
This article shows why the term "climate change", which was foisted on us by Republican denialists, fails to do justice to the facts of what is happening.
Clinton's scandal-provoking private email server is a reflection of her general approach.
Being Edgy And Cool Doesn't Make Tech Companies Any Less Exploitative.
Prisoner Mohammad Allan regained consciousness and says he will resume his hunger strike in 24 hours.
He says he will not even take water, which means he will die soon.
Maybe that is better than life in prison without trial.
The EPA proposes regulations to reduce methane emissions.
This probably requires having fewer cattle. Also, to really make reductions we have to properly measure the current emissions, including leaks from frack wells.
Abbott's laughable double standard: using laws to block coal mines is "green sabotage", but if there are no laws to block wind farms he will rush to provide some.
Eritrea runs a campaign of harassment against dissidents in exile.
How Many San Francisco Thugs Does It Take To Subdue One Black Guy With A Prosthetic Leg? 14: Four To Assault Him, 10 To Block the View.
A tiny fraction (one in 3000) of families in public housing have had substantial increases in income since moving in, but have not moved out. The Washington Post tried to make a big scandal about this.
What the many poor urban Americans need is a lot more public or affordable housing in their cities — not the eviction of those.03%.
Militants in Bangladesh are accused of murdering two of the four assassinated secularist bloggers.
Working for Amazon makes staff physically and mentally ill.
Phone companies around the world are inserting tracking headers into unencrypted (http) browsing requests sent by mobile phones.
They can't insert these into https requests, only unencrypted http requests.
All "smartphones" contain malicious nonfree software, which is part of why I would not have one. But if you insist on doing web browsing from one, don't ever visit an unencrypted page with it.
Obama gave Shell full approval to create oil spills in the Chukchi Sea and convert it into the Upchukchi Sea.
They must figure that floating ice will cease to be a danger once they have melted it all.
Computerized work tracking is being applied to the modern workspace.
When these practices were applied to factory work in the early 20th century, a practice called "Taylorism", workers fought back … and unionized.
You will have to unionize too!
That means you must support candidates that will make it easier to form a union and give unions more clout against employers.
The "marauders and plunderers" are not the refugees who flee to Europe, it's the companies and governments that create the crises that make them flee their homes.
Occasionally the common people play a partial role by having more children than their lands can stably support. However, it's not always their fault; global heating is reducing the number many lands can support — in Syria, for instance.
Officials acknowledge that exaggerated reports of crime in New Orleans just after hurricane Katrina interfered with rescuing people, and led to murders by thugs.
Spreading poverty in the US, together with the lack of a proper medical system, is allowing "tropical" diseases to spread in the south of the US.
Global heating is probably contributing to the change too.
California farms are investing heavily in efficient use of water, but the drought is so bad that this isn't enough.
Some Muslim leaders have called for curbing fossil fuels, as did Pope Francis a short while ago.
I don't need to cite religious authority for this, but it is good to have their help. The Catholic Church in the Philippines is opposing coal plant construction there.
Even where growing and dispensing marijuana is legal, in effect it's legal only for whites.
How Martin Luther King Jr. responded when criticized for "going too far" by holding sit-ins in segregated stores and other facilities.
Hypersensitivity among US college students may be due to raising children overprotectively.
Lawyers meet with opposition if they reject jurors "because they are black", so they use a range of bizarre excuses, such as "because they live in a low-income neighborhood" or "have bad posture".
Black jurors might understand how the defendant is being railroaded or had no way out.
UN Deciding "How Best to Respond" After AT&T Helped NSA Spy on [UN] Headquarters.
The Congress of Racial Equality, once pivotal in the civil rights movement, developed in the 1970s into a tool for the Republican Party. Since 1990 or so, it has been an astroturf resource for hire.
Repressive Eritrea is so poor that even civil-war-torn South Sudan seems like a step up.
Large amounts of sodium cyanide were illegally stored in the warehouse that exploded at Tianjin.
The Chinese rulers say they want to punish corruption, and I think they really do; but they won't get very far while suppressing a free press.
"Coca Cola gave $1.5 million to scientists who say soft drinks don't cause obesity".
Egyptian journalists will be punished for "false" reporting. That is, for reporting what the state doesn't agree to.
The British right-wing promotes business practices that depend on constant fresh immigration of workers it can exploit, then scapegoats those immigrants.
The UK government plans to send unemployed young adults to a labor camp where they will do makework of filing job applications.
When there are not enough jobs, this is an exercise in futility.
On the frontier, there is always more land to take from indigenous peoples.
A Ugandan court has ruled men can't demand return of the bride price when a woman wants a divorce.
I don't like the way the arguments given by the judge still treat a woman as property.
However, the two are related, since cattle emit methane, and cutting down forests to grow food for cattle releases the CO2 in the forest vegetation.
It is foolish to demand that the non-poor live as if they were poor. What we need from them is to support anti-plutocratic and anti-trickle-down policies that will give everyone a decent life.
I admire people who have a comfortable income and support politics to give poor people a comfortable income too. Rather than voting for their own narrow interests, they are voting for what is right.
Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough.
Too much competitive pressure on students in school can break them.
The root of this problem is that only a small fraction of students can win a decent life.
The copyright trap in the Pacific Partnership Trance.
As the US cuts funds for national parks, they become marketing opportunities for companies to brand them.
It is wrong to let private individuals or organizations buy the naming of any public facilities or the use of their names or images for marketing but the facilities themselves. While this does not directly hurt people, it damages society by saying "In our city, or our country, everything public is for sale."
A journalist saw a Greek pensioner commit suicide by driving a car into the harbor, and complains that nobody tried to stop him.
Experience in other countries suggests that thousands of Greeks will commit suicide this year, because euro-imposed poverty has left them destitute. You may be able to thwart their suicide attempts, but that won't save them.
Assad's air force killed over 80 civilians in a market.
Human rights defenders say this was an intentional massacre.
Mexico has given away 10 million digital TVs. This replaces the circuses that ancient Rome put on to amuse the poor.
I wonder if those TVs have remote listening capability.
The Obama regime is winning the war for US public opinion about Edward Snowden.
We need to do more to express our admiration and support for Snowden.
Even outside the warehouse, Amazon pushes its employees to the breaking point.
This what happens when workers don't have a union and the boss is unscrupulous.
The US regularly puts children accused of crimes into solitary confinement because of a quirk in the law.
The NSA did commercial surveillance on Japan.
In the US, the traditional charge made against a protester is bashing the thug's stick with per head.
Oracle demanded that its customers stop reverse engineering to look for security flaws in the code they are running. A day later, it got so embarrassed that deleted the threat.
Reverse engineering of software is a sign of injustice: nonfree software that doesn't come with source code you can compile for yourself.
A company pays scientists to cite the company in their papers.
This is a form of corruption.
Sesame Street, conceived to boost the education of children in poverty, is now primarily available on a cable channel that they can't afford.
China is pushing hard to eliminate manufacturing jobs.
Perhaps there will be plenty of employment for working-age Chinese people taking care of retired and ill Chinese people. If so, it will work out well.
They are very creative in repressing people who expose the violence of other thugs, which is why they all (with a few rare exceptions) deserve that name.
The fire season in Oregon started months early, and may continue until months late.
The new higher level of fires seems to be the "new normal", but not for long. In 20 years it will be considerably drier and measurably hotter.
Perhaps their reason for parking there was legitimate. The fine certainly was not. The thugs are responsible for the fine, because they reported her to officials that were likely to fine her.
Now imagine the effect of that law when thugs beat, rape or kill citizens.
Intensive and sustainable farming in Mexico.
AT&T has been cooperating with the NSA for decades.
Why the mass media don't cover Bernie Sanders.
Israeli doctors are refusing to force-feed hunger striking prisoner Maazouzeh Allan.
The IMF insists that a bailout for Greece's creditors include substantial debt relief for Greece.
US citizens: call for dropping the bizarre accusations against Chelsea Manning (and not putting her in solitary confinement).
US citizens: call on the FCC to end gouging on prisoners' phone calls.
Kerry, visited Cuba, called for "genuine democracy".
That would be nice to have in the US. One useful step is to vote for Sanders for president.
Germany profits handsomely from the economic oppression of Greece.
Countries in the euro zone should set up an alternative emergency escape currency before they need it.
Tariq Ba Odah is badly ill after years of hunger striking. The US government has already decided there is no reason to keep him in prison; but it opposes his court motion to be freed, out of sheer perverse orneriness. The US defines hunger striking as a form of war, and the prisoner's release as a defeat.
I have a hunch that the US military defines Guantanamo prisoners' habias corpus motions as a kind of war, too. And any other human rights, when they get in the military's way.
It is noteworthy that, in Japan, even artists' and authors' associations oppose the stricter copyright that the TPP would impose.
This is noteworthy, but it's not crucial. It is a fundamental mistake to think that the views or interests of an artist should carry more weight in copyright issues that the views or interests of anyone else!
The purpose of copyright is to benefit the public, by influencing artists to make more works. But copyright also restricts and thus harms the public. It is up to the public to decide how much copyright price is worth paying to get more works.
In 2009, the question was whether Obama and Holder would prosecute the Bush regime officials that tortured around 100 prisoners to death.
Now we know the answer: no, they wouldn't. These murders are still a blot on the honor of the United States, and will remain so until those guilty (from Bush and Cheney on down) are punished. If the US won't do it, the UN should.
Former employees of Kaspersky say that the company sabotaged competitors by tricking them into recognizing normal files as viruses.
All these companies were making proprietary software, which is unethical in itself; I can't consider any of them an innocent victim. Microsoft, in particular, commits sabotage against its users.
That doesn't make it ok to do what Kaspersky is accused of doing.
The US Government Investigated Journalists 14 Times During 2014.
A chemical plant in Texas exploded, and people who live nearby say the gas from the fire made their eyes burn.
The risk of accidents can't be avoided, but many processes that use toxic chemicals could be replaced by other processes without toxic chemicals.
I think it must be made a felony for thugs to interfere with documenting their actions, with a special agency to vigorously prosecute them.
I'm sure a wealthy minority in those countries are profiting from it.
The Indian government is trying to impose GMO mustard (used often for greens and oil as well as for a condiment) with the "terminator" that makes seeds sterile. It will also spread patent pollution to other farms.
In the process it is disregarding Indian laws as well as treaties.
Pope Francis condemned the use of GMOs to create monoculture plantations as found in Argentina and some other countries.
The most extreme Republicans now insult anyone less extreme.
A similar dynamic has been in place on the political left in some places; for instance, during the French revolution, and in leftist circles in the US in the 70s.
This dynamic can also be observed in Islamism, with PISSI as its ultimate extreme.
At this point, the practice may cause Republicans to be so extreme they are defeated. However, the practice of opposing non-extreme Republican candidates was very effective in shifting US legislatures to the extreme right, and in making them cheat with voter suppression and so on.
Many companies are using facial recognition on their customers, and there is no regulation on it in the US.
Even worse, US thugs are using facial recognition.
I think thugs should be allowed to use facial recognition only on people under arrest, or people identified by a special "search for this face" warrant.
I think companies should be required to get permission to take photos of customers or the public, with the exception of security camera recordings that normally are erased within a certain time and are not normally used in any other ways.
The argument about "Nordstroms", that customers will appreciate the convenience of being recognized, and therefore companies should be allowed to recognize people with no limits, is logically invalid. The correct conclusion from this scenario is that Nordstroms (or whichever store it may be) can ask each customer, "Would you like us to recognize you by your face and offer you convenient suggestions when you return?", and customers can say yes or no.
The rule that companies can do surveillance of any sort when customers "consent" is not in general acceptable. It is too easy for companies to pressure customers by saying, "Consent, or no service."
However, if the principal service is available without surveillance, and only secondary "conveniences" require accepting surveillance, I think that is safe. We who value our privacy can easily do without "convenient" suggestions when we go shopping. Indeed, I think just about everyone will decide to do without them.
Australian academics want to fight the parasitic commercial journal publishers.
Criticisms of Clinton's email handling focus on two messages which, depending on details of the situation, might be security violations or might not.
Hawks are using distorted "intelligence" to argue for war with Iran.
We will see if Tsipras "has what it takes" … to be the EU's subordinate in charge for Greece.
Many of these items sound like changes for the better, and perhaps some really will be improvements (though that depends on details). Syriza's initial mandate included some of them.
However, reducing pensions by 1% of the GDP is an enormous cut in the support for old people who are now barely getting by. This will kill thousands.
And changing labor law will probably mean letting companies mistreat workers.
Reddit deleted a posting because Russia demanded it, and Reddit's management says it is Reddit's policy to do so.
Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled that executions violate the Connecticut constitution.
Making the case that Arctic Ocean oil must be off limits.
Shell's investment of billions of dollars in Arctic drilling can only be profitable if it pumps lots of oil there — and that means lots of global heating.
He should be prosecuted, indeed. But making false accusations is a vicious crime even when it isn't accompanied with killing. All thugs found to make false accusations should be prosecuted for perjury.
A university expelled a student for "rape", but the court ruled that the judgment was made in a way that didn't respect his rights.
"Microaggressions" refers to ways of speaking that might be minor insults. Here's an offered list of typical ones.
The author calls all of them blameworthy attacks, and many of them really are such because they reflect derogatory stereotypes. We should learn not to think about people in those ways.
However, I disagree about some entries in the list. A few of them amount to saying "I'm not a racist"; that claim may not be true (it is hard to avoid unconscious racism), but making the claim is not insulting anyone. Others of them say that "Society should not be racist"; that's not a insult, it's right.
Some people have trouble learning and remembering unusual names. It's not their fault and reflects no ill will.
A friend with an unusual ethnic background told me she has often experienced statements in the "Alien in One's Own Land" category, and the people who say them are generally either impressed or simply curious — not hostile at all.
Insulting someone must not be a crime. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult anyone, and not only in these indirect and minor ways. However, with a few exceptions where there is cause, it is better to try not to insult people.
US citizens: call on the EPA to protect monarch butterflies from pesticides such as Roundup.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
In the US: call on local public radio stations to push back against NPR's pro-fracking policy.
US citizens: ask Bernie Sanders to talk about the harm done by militarism.
Lifelong activist Bob Cole went to Switzerland so he could die peacefully, rather than painfully from lung cancer. With his last words, he called for legalizing voluntary euthanasia in the UK.
People in Azerbaijan who advocated a boycott of the European Games have been jailed on spurious charges after an obviously bogus trial.
The father of a British soldier, killed by B'liar and Bush, calls for Tony B'liar to be tried for war crimes.
An attempt to ban paternosters in Germany has been blocked.
I saw one for the first time in an English movie, and thought it was cute. I saw a real one at the University of Cambridge, and was scared until its safety systems were explained to me, but then it was fun. It would be a shame to lose them to absurd "safety requirements" aimed at a tiny danger.
Some of the small elevators of Paris are even smaller now, due to a law that required new automatic inner doors.
Thugs shot Radazz Hearns because he pulled his pants up as he ran away.
Even if he had pulled a gun from his waistband, he would have had to turn around with it in order to threaten the thugs. They would have had time to shoot, then, so they had no need to shoot prematurely based on a guess.
From the name "Radazz", I suspect that he is black and that possibly unconscious racism played a role in the thugs' decision to shoot.
It cannot get more concessions from Iran that way.
The supposed "economic benefits" of the TTIP would amount to just .4 dollars per day per person in the US, and .2 euro per day per person in the EU.
Of course, it's not that every American or European will get that tiny benefit. Rather, nearly all the benefits will go to the rich, and everyone else may actually lose.
But all this is secondary to the main effect of the TTIP: giving more power to companies. It is a corporate supremacy treaty, mislabeled as a "trade agreement" as a distraction.
Obama is permitting the US military to block the release of Shaker Aamer and other prisoners in Guantanamo.
Obama could change these rules, or replace the officers that get in the way, if he were determined to end imprisonment without trial.
Black men in the US have 5 years less life expectancy than white men.
Several young Americans are suing the US government for failing to prevent the predictable damage that global heating is going to cause them.
Suspects have been arrested in the murder of secularist blogger Niloy Chakrabarti.
500,000 abandoned US mines pose a threat of poisoning rivers.
Mines produce large bulk of toxic wastes, and current law does not require the mine operator to dispose of the waste safely.
New Hampshire's law banning taking photos of your ballot has been declared unconstitutional.
There may be few cases so far where vote-buyers have demanded to see ballot selfies. But if people can vote over the internet, I expect many bosses to require their employees to vote while the boss watches.
The article uses, gratuitously, the confusing term "intellectual property". If you think that term refers to something coherent, it has already led you astray.
Jeb Bush endorses use of torture, along with the myth that it could be "necessary" as well as the myth that it could be justified.
He does not seem to understand that torture is most "effective" for obtaining false confessions.
The ban on smoking in public places in the UK has substantially reduced the rate of stillbirths and the rate of deaths of newborns.
This joins other health benefits.
The hired private prison guard company that handles "security" for imprisoned refugees that Nauru holds on Australia's behalf followed a visiting Australian Green senator who was investigating prison conditions. Now the Greens demand that company's contract not be renewed.
This situation is one injustice piled on another.
Those guards seem to have been models of odious conduct.
Lenovo's BIOS reinstalls malware (with a back door) into Windows if it is no longer present (for instance, of the user has reinstalled a "clean" Windows).
Of course, a "clean" Windows installation is not really clean, since it contains Microsoft's spying, DRM, backdoors and censorship.
It appears Lenovo's method will not affect GNU/Linux.
An Australian man, jailed for flying under a false name, has been put in inaccessible solitary confinement.
He should not be in jail at all. People should not have to give their names for domestic travel.patent-safe free software video codec.
It is disappointing that the project cites the term "open source" which avoids issues of freedom. But the code they release is free software, so the project's work will be a good contribution to freedom.
Most of the time, a large software project should be copylefted. However, this is one of the exceptions. We want nonfree programs to support this format.
The article says they ask people to "contribute their own 'intellectual property rights'" — which is gobbledygook.
I suppose they are asking for programmers to work on the code, and (as a separate matter) asking companies to provide patent licenses for the algorithms and techniques. They could say so, it would be clear and logical. Alas, they are committed to the incoherent concept of "intellectual property", which leads them to generalize about unrelated things to create a false appearance of unification.
Obama is trying once again to "close Guantanamo prison" by moving the prison somewhere else.
Australia has made it a crime for researchers in the physical sciences to discuss their research with foreigners, or publish it, without approval.
In China, over 1.5 million people die each year from air pollution.
That must be roughly 10% of the deaths that occur in China.
I don't have enough other knowledge about the incident to assert that this is true, but I mention it because the Thai government doesn't like it to be discussed.
Former officers of Pinochet's dictatorship were convicted of murdering a dissident.
Proposed principle: 'Robots are artifacts; they should not be designed to exploit vulnerable users by evoking an emotional response or dependency. It should always be possible to tell a robot from a human.'
Part of China's economic advantage in production comes from a range of policies that don't value people's lives enough. The fatal explosion in Tianjin is an example of what that can do.
Corruption plays a role, too, in that regulations are not followed.
The Tories' "right to buy" public housing has produced the exact opposite of its ostensible purpose: a smaller fraction of Britons now own homes, and most of the homes purchased under "right to buy" are now private rentals charging a lot more than when they were public rentals.
Palestinian lawyer Mohammed Allan, who has been on hunger strike to protest imprisonment without trial by Israel, is now in a coma.
Israel says he is a member of Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad is a violent and terrorist organization, but if Israel accuses him of involvement in violence, it should put him on trial and prove that.
The bailout for the banksters that Greece owes money to abolishes rules that help local small businesses resist multinational chains.
It requires Greece to privatize water supply.
That will result in long-term hardship — it does, everywhere.
Three cheers for Linda McQuaig, the candidate who dares tell the truth about the effects of extracting and then burning Alberta tar sands.
How CIA officials tried to thwart the Senate's investigation of CIA torture, even going to the point of trying to get senate investigators prosecuted, and denying the conclusions their own internal investigation had established.
These officials are still at it — vile torturers!
Frack wells in New Mexico are spreading local air pollution that harms the health of the people who live there.
The covert videos of Planned Parenthood are nothing but hot air — they do not show anything wrong.
Japan carried out murderous medical experiments on Americans, Chinese and Koreans.
Compare with the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.
At least the US has apologized for that. Japan should start apologizing wholeheartedly for its atrocities.
However, Abe explicitly stopped short of saying "apology" when he spoke on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
We had better make sure the code in the robot is controlled by people that have the users' interests at heart — that is to say, the users.
To railroad Chelsea Manning into indefinite solitary confinement over having an "expired" tube of toothpaste,the prison guards have blocked her access to the prison library.
That is actually a good thing, since it may help limit the use of this approach.
Obama blames Congress for blocking release of Guantanamo prisoners, so why did he oppose Tariq Ba-Odah's habias corpus petition?
Food Aid Cuts ' Making Refugees Targets for Isis Recruitment '.
An oil pipeline between Canada and the US, under Mackinac Strait, is now 62 years old and operated by a company we can't rely on much.
Glasses That Confuse Facial Recognition Systems Are Coming to Japan.
California's new water-saving showers will save a little water, but the way to save a lot of water is to stop fracking.
Coerced prostitution of minors in the US exists, but the victims appear to number in the hundreds, not the hundreds of thousands as sometimes claimed.
The US Civil War was about whether to end slavery. Everything else followed from that issue.
One SWAT team has been denied immunity for carelessly raiding some innocent people's home with less-lethal grenades.
Good, but if the victims win their lawsuit, it will be the city that pays.
Bizarrely, a concern about prices has motivated UK air travellers to refuse to let airport stores scan their boarding passes.
I almost never buy anything in an airport except take-out food, because the stores in an airport are expensive. The exceptions are when something is hard to find in the US: I've bought chocolate, cheese, nama yatsuhashi, and occasionally a book. For my privacy's sake, I have refused to let any store scan my boarding pass. When the clerk insisted on that, I said "no sale."
Then one day it occurred to me to ask, "What do you do when a boarding pass fails to scan properly?" The clerk answered that they can manually enter the flight number in that case. Since then, I've offered this a couple of times, and the clerk accepted it instead of scanning my pass.
As for the question of how this affects the prices, I expect an airport store to be expensive, but there is no use fussing about that. I simply don't buy anything there that I could get elsewhere.
Refuting the main "rational" arguments against abortion rights.
There remains only the argument from religion, which attempts to prove that a fertilized ovum must already have a "soul". I've refuted that one.
The investigation of Scott Walker was not a fishing expedition. It was based on real evidence of a specific felony.
Obama has harshly punished government employees for "mishandling secret information", and Clinton hypocritically endorsed the harsh punishment of others for this, while she herself was doing it with her email server.
Note that Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning was not irresponsible in handling secrets; she heroically told the American public about US government wrongs. But Clinton had no such justification. She was irresponsible.
A US court ordered the Theater of Security Agency to set up an appeals process to get off the No Fly List. But this is effectively useless since the TSA refuses to tell people why they were put on the list.
This list is based on vague suspicions, not on the punished person's actual conduct.
Banning someone from flying is a denial of rights, and should not be done without due process of law, based on real acts.
Surely any danger that these people might conceivably pose could be avoided by special searches.
That is actually a good thing, since it may help limit the use of this approach.
Iranian political prisoner Bahareh Hedayat has not been freed even though her sentence calls for her to be released now.
Unburying the history of genocide against the Jews of Ukraine.
People in old times did not smile for photographs; the idea would have struck them as daft.
I noticed this myself, several years ago, and decided to follow their example. Occasionally I have a contented expression, but I avoid the artificial smile that most people produce.
The UK is trying to weaken EU air pollution limits, for the sake of coal mining.
The delay helps them "clarify" their stories, I'm sure.
The surveillance modules that insurance companies put in cars can be used by crackers to kill the driver.
California's proposed bitcoin license bill is full of bad decisions.
Everyone: Call on Exxon to quit ALEC.
Republican presidential candidates have got 62 million dollars from fossil fool interests — companies and billionaires.
Egyptian thugs arrested lawyer Karim Hamdy and tortured him to death.
There is an apparent motive for this crime: he had defended people tortured by the police.
Criminalizing any aspect of non-coerced sex work makes sex workers more vulnerable to violence, harassment and stigma.
Thugs argued in California court that a video of their misbehavior should be inadmissible evidence because they thought they had destroyed all the surveillance cameras that were set up in the store.
We need a law authorizing anyone to record thugs that are on duty, in uniform, or exercising any official power.
Disgusting as these charges are, many Americans serving on juries are willing to convict people of them, applying twisted moral standards when judges tell them they are supposed to. Peter Watts was convicted of "not obeying instantly"; the thug who beat him up was not even prosecuted.
Which is why every American needs to read about jury nullification.
Obesity Is an Incurable Disease. So Why Is the [UK] Government Intent on Punishing Sufferers?
It's an opportunity to demonize the weak, of course.
Video suggests that the youth shot by thugs in Ferguson this week was pulling a gun on them.
The war games of NATO and Russia create sparks that could set off a real war.
The Texas thug that shot Christian Taylor has been fired.
This is a good first step, but not enough to do justice.
The Obama regime threatens to treat journalists as combatants.
Charnesia Corley accuses Texas thugs of sexual assault for their search of her vagina without a warrant.
Thugs declared an emergency in Ferguson and the surrounding county, and have arrested many peaceful protesters, as well as attacking them with chemicals.
PISSI is aiming its boasting-of-savagery propaganda at the Taliban.
Charges Against Journalists Raise Troubling Questions About Press Freedom in Ferguson.
Amnesty International approved a position for decriminalizing sex work.
This is the right policy. Yes, many people are forced into sex work as slaves, but many people are enslaved and forced into other kinds of work. We need solutions to the problem of enslavement that apply to many fields.
See the enslaved workers page.
Around 10% of children in the UK can't afford a bicycle. And if by luck they get accepted to a university, they will get out with crushing debt, US-style.
If they don't go to a university, they will be doomed to a life of poverty, as there are no good jobs for those without a degree. But good jobs are hardly guaranteed for those with a degree. But those who borrow the money to attend may face a life of poverty together with crushing debt.
Meanwhile, the state is cutting back on secondary education, to reduce their chances of qualifying for university or graduating from one.
You can predict most policies of the UK government by assuming that its real goal consists of dooH niboR plus burning fossil fuels, but that it cannot admit this.
Canadian candidate Linda McQuaig dared to say that tar sands must be left in the ground, and was attacked by candidates on all sides who won't dare admit this basic fact.
Canada spent 30 million dollars on PR and lobbying for export of tar sands oil.
The killing of Zachary Hammond, by a thug who then apparently lied to create an excuse, is an example of one kind of evil of the War on Drugs.
However, the War on Drugs harms people and undermines social institutions in many other ways too.
Now that the US fights its wars without ground combat, it no longer faces an antiwar movement. It can deny civilian casualties and exaggerate enemy casualties with almost no checks.
Nutritionists Slam Coca-Cola Funded Scientists Over Deceptive Soda Message.
It is spreading denial through a front group, the "Global Energy Balance Network", following the tobacco industry model.
The US states with the most children also make it hardest for children to have good health and education.
This is partly because poverty causes more births.
Australia could reduce greenhouse emissions by 35% instead of 26% (for 2030) with a little more money.
In any case, the costs are small.
My memory is not the best, but isn't 35% by 2030 still too little, too late? All the pledges for the Paris conference are too little. Global heating disaster will have its own costs, tremendous costs in subsequent decades.
If "international permits" means what I think it does, that is likely to make the entire scheme ineffective. It is too easy for someone in another country to fake a future "reduction" and sell it.
Good first step — but this must be extended nationwide. Most US states should have only one SWAT team. A few large, populous states may need a handful.
Scott Walker of Wisconsin plans to fire University of Wisconsin scientists that produce results he finds inconvenient.
Humanity vs polio: superstition and Islamic extremism protect the virus but they are losing.
Windows 10 can be spying on you to your relatives, as well as to Microsoft.
Kansas is using suspect digital voting machines and fighting tooth-and-nail to block investigation of whether they cheat.
In the UK: oppose the plan to harshly punish people that noncommercially share files through the internet.
I think that the suggested responses are too weak, because they accept as legitimate the overall framework of the war on sharing; they oppose only this proposed escalation. If I were a Briton, I would say that they should go in the opposite direction and legalize noncommercial sharing of all published works.
The proposed law comes from the UK's "intellectual property" office, and is typical of the twisted ideas that the term "intellectual property" tends to encourage. That's why I refuse to use that term.
You can reject it too.
Kurds in Turkey believe Erdoğan is provoking a fight with the PKK so that he can reduce the vote for the Kurdish-associated human-rights-supporting HD Party in new elections.
Humanitarian Palestinians protected an Israeli thug from being shot at by Israelis — because she is a person.
A giant new mine in Australia may have no market because India plans to mine coal domestically instead.
Moving mining from Australia to India will remove one local threat to the Great Barrier Reef, but won't reduce the CO2 emissions that are going to kill all coral over time.
Pongsak Sriboonpeng has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for saying something negative about the king of Thailand. The state refuses to tell us anything about what he said, so we should not suppose it was really harsh.
Not that it would be justified to imprison a person for a mere insult even if it were harsh.
I decided a couple of years ago not to go to Thailand ever again, mainly because I don't know whether I'd be imprisoned for this web site.
Workers in the US sabotage robots that, they fear, will eliminate jobs.
I say Bravo!, although I agree that physical robots are a small threat to jobs compared with (for instance) sales terminals. Having robots do all the work would be great, if a sustainable human population all shared in what they produce. But robots as an excuse for spreading poverty ought to be destroyed.
US citizens: call on your senators to support the Clean Power Plan.
Everyone: Call on Malaysian Airlines to stop carrying shark fin.
US citizens: call for protecting Social Security from the artificial problem it faces.
Everyone: call for dropping charges against Ferguson journalists.
Poor people in the US lose medical care because they can't get to the doctor's office.
San Francisco's Proposition E would require internet streaming of all public city government meetings, and other technical advances.
I agree completely with what this initiative says, but it is silent about a crucial detail for protection for the public's freedom. The city tech staff would choose the streaming system with no requirement that it allow viewing without nonfree software. They would probably choose some popular commercial video streaming service which requires nonfree software to view the stream.
The issue may arise also for remote video testimony, maybe even for advance video testimony.
If this passes, another campaign will be needed to steer the city towards freedom-respecting video streaming and commenting. If you live in San Francisco and you want to start this campaign, please contact me — don't wait for election day.
Movie Studios Seek SOPA Power Through Broad Site-Blocking Order.
The US must cease its assistance to the Dominican Republic government, and especially to agencies carrying out expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Ten Years Later, the "Halliburton Loophole" and America's dirty fracking boom.
It's now established fact that the target of the "John Doe" investigation, which Governor Walker ordered shut down, was Governor Walker.
The UK deports asylum seekers whose cases are not finished, to fill the seats in a chartered airplane.
It is easy to say that government agencies should do more to supervise companies that government functions have been outsourced to. However, it's a hopeless cause, because the companies seek ways to profit from doing the job wrong or cutting corners. We must consider privatization as a path to reduced government accountability.
Two UK thugs face charges for making a false accusation.
Alas, they are the exception, not the rule. They happened to pick a target who was an important politician. Would that all thugs that visibly make false accusations were prosecuted.
Al Qa'ida has declared a sort of truce with PISSI in Syria.
How Ronald Reagan dishonestly won the support of some unions,
Unions should know better than to support anyone that isn't progressive.
Prisoners in Australia have been banned from smoking tobacco. They will be forced to withdraw cold-turkey from a drug that is harder to quit than heroin.
Tobacco is a deadly addiction, and it would be good to offer prisoners help in quitting, but forcing them (or anyone) to quit is cruel. Why not establish a smoking room for those prisoners who don't want to quit?
The Australian government commissioned a study to forecast the cost of curbing global heating. It gave them the disappointing news that big reductions would cost little more than small reductions.
Chinese human rights lawyer Li Heping was disappeared a month ago and remains impossible to find.
A TV presenter faces punishment for a video that insulted Mao Zi Dong.
Similar disrespect for freedom of speech can be found in countries such as Thailand, Turkey and Spain.
The World Bank calls for shifting investment to renewable energy.
This voice will have some influence against the fossil fool interests, but the World Bank needs to make its actions match its words.
The factionalization of the Taliban offers an opening for PISSI.
India subjects Muslim citizens to Muslim family law, which is interpreted there as allowing men to divorce women instantly.
This is one among many ways that Islamic law tramples the human rights of women (and also men, to a lesser extent). It may have been a step up in the 7th century, but now we recognize that women should have equal rights.
The American Psychological Association voted to prohibit its members from participating in interrogation of prisoners of military or intelligence agencies, or consult about how to do so.
Ending deforestation-based palm oil depends on India above all.
It would be feasible to eliminate HIV by 2030, with a global effort of testing and treatment.
Donald Trump's insults against women arise from the sea of misogyny that Republican policies crawl out of.
The Black Lives Matter movement rallied in Ferguson, a year after the killing of Michael Brown launched it.
Another pattern in which US thugs endanger black lives: failing to investigate domestic violence and rape when the victim is black, or punish the victims.
A Texas thug shot and killed a black youth who was vandalizing cars that were waiting to be sold.
Vandalizing cars is bad, but it's not a reason to kill someone.
HTC phone fingerprint readers store the fingerprint image in files that any malicious app can get at.
Spying is normal practice for nonfree apps.
Corrupt politicians in Mexico murder journalists with impunity.
It is impossible to find the details as his "crime" is a secret.
Effective defense of abortion rights must reject the right-wing premise that abortions are regrettable. Too many supporters of abortion rights accept that premise, which hands a victory to the anti-abortion campaign.
The term "pro-choice" is an example of that weakness. I say I am for abortion rights.
10 concrete policies for reducing US militarism.
The Republican candidates, in their debate, aimed to win the support of billionaires, not of the public.
Japan's government wants to restart nuclear reactors despite opposition by the majority of the public.
Nuclear power plants have grave accidents because they are so complicated that many things can go wrong. The same can occur in chemical plants, but chemical plant accidents don't spread lasting pollution across distances of 50 miles.
It looked like Brazil had saved the Amazon rain forest from deforestation, but now the problem is getting worse.
It is vital to limit Brazil's population, and in the human population in general. Its growth will have to stop, soon enough; let's stop earlier, and leave some wild places in existence.
Black Lives Matter protesters took the podium from Bernie Sanders, who gave them a chance to speak, but then they blocked him from speaking and insulted the Sanders supporters waiting for his address.
It is valid to call on Sanders to propose more specific actions to stop thugs from attacking blacks (and occasionally whites) for no good reason and make false accusations against their victims. However, attacking the progressives that want to do this is self-defeating.
Google search is the locus of a conflict between French law and US human rights.
This problem appears for Google because it is a service conglomerate operating in many countries. Duck Duck Go does not have to worry about French law.
Perhaps the ideal outcome would be to disaggregate companies such as Google. Some of the service could be replaced by separate services communicating through published interfaces. Others are SaaSS and should be replaced by running free software on your own computer. Some systems for communication should be replaced by distributed computing on various users' computers.
Ralph Nader's advice to Bernie Sanders.
Thug departments seeking military weapons and equipment stoke public fear about extremely unlikely terrorist attacks. In private, they say they will use the equipment frequently in other situations that are far less grave.
They also use this equipment to suppress protests, which is one reason it is a high priority to take it out of their hands.
Wearable technology threatens to control every moment of the lives of professional athletes.
Being a professional athletes is a fate that anyone can avoid. But the threat is not limited to them. It applies to nearly everyone, if insurance companies are allowed to offer discounts for using them that most people can't afford to refuse, or if employers are allowed to require their use.
Isn't it a crime to tell such lies?
Dementia is occurring at lower ages than before, surely due to some kind of pollution though it is impossible to determine what.
There is a deep danger in focusing on how copyright can restrict authors and artists: it implicitly endorses the idea that they are more important than the rest of us. That is flat-out wrong.
Even if copyright laws were carefully designed so that they never interfered with making new and appreciatable works, that would not excuse forbidding people to share copies.
An anti-"piracy" harassment group is attacking everyone that has published a video with "pixels" in the title.
While these excesses are risible, let us not be distracted from the wrong of attacking people who share. "Piracy", for sharing, is a propaganda term of the enemy and we should not use it.
Shell has yielded to public pressure and stopped funding ALEC.
A large part of consumer capitalism is based on exploiting foolishness.
It would be a mistake to try to divide all transactions into "fool" or "not fool". If you want a TV and you spend $1000 when a $600 model would have been good enough, maybe that was 40% fool and 60% non-fool.
On the other hand, if that TV snoops on you, it was 100% fool.
The entrance to the school-to-prison pipeline: black children that misbehave get punished, while comparable white children get therapy.
Partly it's because black children are segregated and go to schools that can't afford therapy. Partly it's due to racism (perhaps unconscious).
Proper sex education helps teenagers start thinking about sex in a deeper way than porn suggests.
An indigenous activist has rejected Australian citizenship and everything that goes with it. He is in jail for driving without an Australian driver's license, and refused to acknowledge his former Australian name to get bail.
The original wrong here was by the British colonizers, who declared that Australian land was nobody's property so they could simply take it all. The indigenous have a valid claim for compensation and some sort of agreement to recognize their rights. However, letting them drive without taking driver's tests is not the solution, just as kicking out the Australians is not.
Right-wing media have had a substantial right-wing influence on politics, but liberal or progressive media, even when popular, do not have an effect.
The Fox Noise debate between Republican candidates turned interesting as the moderator pushed them hard on women's rights issues.
Donald Trump says he can and does buy politicians.
US citizens: participate in events to convince legislators to support the deal with Iran.
US citizens: call on the EPA to curb greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect funding for school meals.
A year after Michael Brown was killed by a thug, society is more ready to criticize thugs, but Ferguson is not at peace.
The "Robin Hood Foundation" is run by a bunch of hedge fund managers and billionaires. They lobby to continue an absurd tax break, and give to the charity about 2% of what they get from that tax break.
The Texas voter ID law was very effective: it blocked 9% of the voters in a Hispanic-majority district.
Several destructive proposals the US are pushing in the TPP, some in copyright and some in patents.
While all these proposals are bad, they have nothing in common aside from that. Copyright law and patent law are totally different and ought to be treated as separate issues.
The term "intellectual property" is harmful because it encourages combining those two issues; I wish the TPP's critics knew better than to repeat the framing that supports the TPP's unjust aims.
Due to the concentration of the seed market, for some plants it is hard for farmers to find seed without neonicotinoids.
This is disappointing, but given what the other powers in Syria are like, it still makes sense to support them.
Congresscritters want explanations of how Malaysia's human trafficking status got updated. They are following up accusations that Obama falsified this evaluation to clear the way for the TPP.
Ms Twitty, the court clerk who was fired by Ferguson for making racist emails, got a similar job in another nearby town.
There are many jobs she could have, where her racism would not threaten injustice to the public as they do in this official position.
US or Russian nuclear missiles could be launched when neither country wants to attack.
Bernie Sanders should start expressing his views on foreign policy issues.
The principal anti-lie-detector activist in the US has been convicted of helping someone prepare to lie to the US government.
If we had an effective lie detector, would officials allow it to be used on them as they make statements about policies?
Civil liberties attorney Jennifer Granick warns that "the dream of internet freedom is dying".
Supporters of abortion rights should stop talking about abortions as if they were terribly unfortunate events.
I suggest dropping the term "pro-choice". I'm pro-abortion-rights.
Activist Mark Iannicelli was charged with a felony for handing out information about jury nullification on the street near a Denver court house.
Due to paranoia about hypothetical sexual abuse, teachers in New Zealand (and elsewhere) are pressured never to touch a student. Even a pat on the back is considered dangerous.
The article proposes a more general idea of "risk society" in which most anything can seem dangerous.
This is definitely terrorism.
The right-wing UK government shut down an environmentalist festival in 2009 by using thugs to harass the management. Now it appears that an undercover thug infiltrator worked as a volunteer for the festival on previous years.
A small fraction of refugees that flee to Europe want to go to Britain, and it is typically because they speak English.
PISSI captured a town in Syria, then disappeared 200 civilians.
Guber appears to have stopped displaying phantom cars, without admitting they existed.
Jeremy Corbyn shows how to get young people interested in politics: champion the changes people need and want.
Like Bernie Sanders in the US, Corbyn is criticized as "too radical to be elected". What's the use of getting elected if you won't even try to correct the major injustices? And what's the use of the Labour Party if it is "Tory lite"?
His views are not as radical as is really needed. For instance, he wants to keep energy prices down, when what is needed is to raise the price of fossil fuel.
Abbott will grasp at any excuse to claim the world needs big new coal mines. Here's why those mines will not help poor and rural people in India get electricity.
I predict the next Abbott excuse: burning enough coal will end racism because the dust will give all of us dark skin.
However, it is also possible that he's cynically playing a delaying game, abandoning one line of denial and taking up the next.
Martese Johnson, who was violently arrested by Virginia thugs belonging to
the Alcohol Beverage Control agency, will sue them.
US citizens: call on Obama not to grant Shell the last permit for drilling in Arctic waters.
US citizens: call on Senator Schumer to support the nuclear deal with Iran.
Division 30, the US-supported Syrian rebel group, declared a truce with al Nusra (a branch of al Qa'ida) after facing hard attacks from that group.
It is bizarre to refer to capturing an enemy soldier as "kidnapping". It is called "taking a prisoner". Al Nusra ought to treat these captives according to the laws of war, but I don't have much confidence in its ethical principles.
Division 30 was effectively compelled to do this, because it is too weak to do otherwise. The US has only managed to train around 50 rebels, and success would require thousands. I take this as further confirmation that this approach is simply futile.
A few years ago, I said that there was no effective way to intervene in Syria that would make things any better. All the sides were bad.
The situation has changed since then. PISSI (*) is worse than Assad, and we can support the revolutionary Kurds of Syria without shame (we need not suppose they are flawless). They welcome non-Kurds that accept their secular and egalitarian society.
The US should support the revolutionary Kurds of Syria vigorously.
PISSI"> * The Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Laws about privacy of medical records in the US are thoroughly inadequate.
It is a shame that the article uses the word "hacker" to mean "security breaker". To avoid giving us hackers a bad name, please use the word "cracker" when you mean "security breaker".
I think the central registers of drug prescriptions are a violation of patients' rights.
Data collected by medical devices should belong to the patient that uses them, and the devices should be designed to facilitate access via published APIs and not to send them to the manufacturer.
The software in the devices should be free, of course.
Children with ADHD often face harsh discipline in school, from teachers that don't understand their problem. Being handcuffed is not so unusual.
The FCC authorized phone companies to replace copper wires with fiberoptics.
The backup power systems offered, which customers have to pay for specifically, would last only a limited time.
It is not clear to me whether those backup power systems would be located in the subscriber's premises. If they are, it might be easy to replace the batteries in them yourself.
Greek tax revenues have fallen drastically.
This will make a mockery of any proposed bailout for Greece's creditor banksters.
British journalist Duncan Campbell writes about being prosecuted for espionage for trying to write about GCHQ.
If Clinton sent sensitive government information from her private email account, that was, at the very least, reckless disregard of the rules.
After Ted Rall wrote about how thugs attacked him, the LA Times fired him, repeating the thugs' claims that Rall lied.
But the thugs' own audio recording, when cleaned up, showed that Rall was telling the truth.
Explaining why the staff of the London Underground are on strike.
If trains and buses and taxis were driverless, that would solve the problem of driver strikes. But how would you propose to deal with the problem of massive unemployment?
BART has published an app for reporting "suspicious" activity. It has the effect of focusing the (perhaps unconscious) racism of passengers.
In addition, the app is surely nonfree software, thus directly unjust.
A recent leak shows that the TPP still has many unjust copyright provisions that would deny rights to the people of countries that sign.
Most of these provisions would not affect the US, which already has the unjust laws in question. But the TPP would be one more obstacle to changing those unjust laws, which we must do. So we must not adopt the TPP.
I urge people to avoid the mistake of using the term "digital locks" to refer to DRM.
Movie companies (acting through the MPAA) are asking for extremely broad court orders cutting off sites from most forms of internet activity in the US.
Every "thing" in the "internet of things" will be a telemarketer, if we tolerate nonfree software in our "things".
A series of protests last weekend called for the US to support nuclear disarmament instead of rearmament.
The UK government is forcing the charity Kids Company to close, using an apparently false accusation of financial wrongdoing.
It started when the founder criticized government policies that hurt poor children.
Deterrence does not guarantee safety from nuclear weapons. They may still be set off.
Germany's chief prosecutor faces dismissal for trying to prosecute journalists for publishing about the German government's massive surveillance.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
The TPP could undermine medical care by extending a form of monopoly that impedes generic drugs.
Greenpeace is playing music near Shell HQ to draw the staff's attention to the harm that Shell's Arctic drilling will do.
Proof of sex bias in judging fiction: the same manuscript, with the same cover letter, got a much better response when the author gave a male name than with a female name.
Imprisoned unauthorized immigrants are made to work for a pittance, effectively as slaves.
It is wrong to rent out convicts for work other than running the prison, as that drives down wages for people not accused of crimes.
The UK right-wing government has weakened unions to the point where it feels safe attacking their funding from their members.
Australia was prepared 25 years ago to act to curb global heating, until the fossil fool lobby confused people with funded propaganda.
One US appeals court has ruled that a warrant is required for state access to phone location records.
That is a step forward, but merely making and keeping these records already goes too far.
The possible new leader of the Labour Party refuses to rule out prosecution of Tony B'liar for starting a war of aggression.
Dubya is clearly guilty of this crime, and should be prosecuted too.
Want To Know Why DHS Is Opposing CISA? Because It's All A Surveillance Turf War.
The Texas voter ID law lost one stage in a legal battle.
It could take months or years to have a final result.
The SEC has finally implemented the Dodd/Frank provision that companies must publish how CEO pay relates to employee pay.
I think we had better make sure not to make so many people to feed.
Most of the 3500 people who have been interrogated there were black.
Inhabitants of Rio's shanty towns say say that "security" for the Olympic Games seems like military occupation to them.
Everyone: call on Australia to cancel the Carmichael coal mine and
protect the Great Barrier Reef.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: tell Starbucks to stop making workers do "clopens".
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
This means an evening shift and a morning shift, with insufficient time between them to sleep.
US citizens: call on your senators to cosponsor the CARERS Act.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Methane leaks from natural gas wells might be 3 to 5 times what was previously measured.
The UK government has claimed that very few of the unemployed were punished with cuts in their welfare benefits, while covering up the real figure — 1/6 of them have been punished.
Interviews with people who have been in solitary confinement for many years show lasting psychological damage.
With so many criminal banksters, prosecutions in the US are at a 20-year low.
The biggest PACs benefit legally from pretending to be independent of the candidate's campaign, then attract money by saying they are not independent.
China will set up "security" offices in internet companies to stop "illegal behavior" (such as criticism of the government).
The staff at the (privatized) US Senate cafeteria do not make a living wage.
They find themselves with no income whenever the Senate is not in session.
It is natural for companies to "trim the fat" in ways that cause great hardship for their employees or those they serve. Democratic government was invented to stop them. Our democratic government is failing to do its job.
There are other lessons to be learned here. For instance, people like the writer's mother should not have children.
Obama said he would "close Guantanamo prison", but he wasn't referring to the injustice of imprisonment without trial,only the prison's physical location in Guantanamo Bay.
Agricultural runoff threatens safe drinking water in various parts of the US.
It is a waste of energy, too.
Government surveillance of peaceful Black Lives Matter protests carries on a decades-old bad tradition.
Seeing a gun makes people more aggressive, and this includes thugs.
The fact that US thugs generally carry guns may psychologically promote brutality at various levels (not just use of the guns themselves).
UK thugs mostly do not carry guns, but what about thugs of other European countries that kill less often? Can someone tell me?
Public incidents of multiple shooting are little more frequent in the US today than in 1990.
In other words, people's perception that the danger has greatly increased is misinformation.
Furthermore, 30 or so deaths per year in a country as big as the US do not amount to a danger worth worrying about. By contrast, car accidents kill around 40,000 people per year in the US. This is also a tiny fraction of the total number of people killed with guns.
I conclude it is harmful to traumatize millions of schoolchildren with drills about what to do in that exceedingly unlikely situation.
It is an exaggeration to refer to these incidents as "mass shooting": we should limit the term "mass murder" and its variants to cases where hundreds or thousands of people are killed.
India's government has retracted the filtering order against porn web sites.
MDs are suing to overturn a Florida law that prohibits them from asking patients whether they have guns, and whether children can get at them.
Asking these questions does not in any way interfere with buying or owning guns, but the gun lobby would rather they were not asked.
There are two ways Greece could have coped successfully with the recession in 2008: either through deficit spending, or through a national bankruptcy system that would allow it to reduce the debt it had to pay.
Birth control pills permanently help prevent certain forms of cancer, even decades after a woman stops using them.
Land around Chesapeake Bay (including Washington DC) is sinking half a foot per century from natural causes. Adding this to the sea level rise caused by global heating means that inundations will come sooner.
Wonder of wonders, the Marine Corps held an audit — but it wasn't careful enough to do the job.
South Dakota's permit for the Keystone XL pipeline expired, and the renewal hearing is bringing its local dangers into focus.
Proposing a guaranteed annual income for Canada.
The US must recognize the right to let plants grow wild rather than maintaining a lawn at cost to the environment.
Delivery by drone is now in service for prisoners.
In India, the ruling BJP is scapegoating porn to distract attention from corruption.
Sanders advocates public campaign funding to take election power away from the oligarchy.
The US has public funding for presidential campaigns, but the amounts are small; plutocrats can give a lot more. Thus, plutocrat-supported candidates reject the public funding in order to accept the larger funds from plutocrats.
However, the government could provide so much funds, controlled by success in getting small donations from many people, that the plutocrats could not compete.
The US applies "zero tolerance" to students but bends over backwards to be forgiving to thugs.
G20 Countries Pay Over $1,000 Per Citizen in Fossil Fuel Subsidies.
The UK plans to make life intolerable for refugees denied asylum. Landlords will be imprisoned for renting to them.
UK citizens are already being denied housing in a pilot project.
In effect, this means the UK will have an unofficial national ID card.
Prison guards in Alabama terrified a prisoner with a snake. One was fired, but got another such job nearby.
People tried to kill a leading Burundian human rights defender.
Presumably they are working for the "president" who recently seized continued power.
10% of Australians can't afford to buy food.
The Taliban have split into factions over how to replace Mullah Omar.
Parts of Egypt have run out of water. In a few more years, it will be a catastrophe.
Egypt's population is growing, but the growth will inevitably stop — either due to disease and premature death, or through prevention of birth.
Great US civil rights leaders also campaigned to abolish nuclear weapons and against imperialism.
Massively removing CO2 from the air would not save the oceans. It would take millennia for the acidity and heat of the oceans to subside.
Thus, we need to stop increasing the CO2 level, and soon.
The end of government support for higher education has returned the UK to a class-based society.
A heat wave in the Middle East carries temperatures as high as 51 C (124F).
At that temperature, 37% humidity is deadly.
Glaciers are melting and retreating twice as fast now as 10 years ago.
The EPA has proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
It's not enough to do the US's share of avoiding climate disaster.
Seen in plutocratist terms, the Irish economy has "recovered" from the crisis.
For the non-rich, there is no recovery. Perhaps the rich are enthusiastic about this outcome, having gained at the expense of the rest.
US citizens: support the Schedules That Work Act.
Here's information about the bill. It doesn't go far enough, but it is a step forward.
The negotiations on the Treacherous Plutocratic Poison were unable to reach agreement.
Delay is on our side, as the Canadian and US election campaigns will put legislators under pressure to reject it.
Scott Walker welcomed a group of young supporters, who gave him an imitation check for $900 million from Koch brothers for 'climate denial'.
Amnesty International is taking flack from prohibitionists for listening to sex workers.
Prudish disapproval finds many disguises, even passing itself off as "feminism".
Legalizing sex work does not have to mean deregulating it. Trafficking and enslavement are a problem in sex work as well as in various other fields. Proper regulations can interfere with trafficking.
239 Years Ago, Adam Smith Predicted Fury of Seattle Business at CEO Who Pays Workers Well. But perhaps "reported on" would be more accurate than "predicted".
The best part of the article is the list of quotations from Adam Smith that plutocratists would not like.
India's government has imposed filters blocking access to hundreds of "indecent" web sites.
Many dams in the US are unsafe and need maintenance to prevent disasters.
It is impossible to have a war without killing and wounding some civilians. The enemy, PISSI, has intentionally murdered thousands of civilians. Compared with that, the unintended civilian casualties of US bombing are few.
Nonetheless, Sunnis living under PISSI's control may well feel safe from PISSI, and consider the US bombing the principal present danger. Thus, the US needs to reduce these casualties by not attacking cities.
Political Staff Overruled "Purists" at State Department Who Tallied Slavery Problems.
14 countries were given grades they don't deserve, including China and India.
US thugs handcuffed an 8-year-old boy. It could have been worse — at least they didn't go on to club him.
20 children have been killed by thugs that handcuffed them or tied them up.
* SCROTUS: Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
Everyone: call on Flint, Michigan, to reconnect its water to Detroit.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
The "Tory lite" faction of the Labour Party can't understand why the party's members are about to vote for a leader who stands for real support for the non-rich.
Sharks are necessary to prevent ecosystems from getting out of whack. So we need to protect them.
Putting a safe on the internet creates the Internet of Thieves.
The most dangerous deficit is the environmental deficit, which measures the environmental unsustainability of humanity's current mode of existence.
If we don't reduce our ecological footprint, we are in for disasters that will do so by killing people or wiping out industries.
California wildfires are raging; one has have burned 84 square miles.
I don't see anything wrong in principle with this project, and maybe it is not wrong at all. However, one needs to check for various possible secondary problems. Meanwhile, if this spreads patent pollution, it could be harmful socially even if it is not harmful biologically.
Alas, Christians often persecute others when in the majority. Nowadays it doesn't often go as far as murder.
A UK web site that bypasses government-imposed web censorship is among the most popular sites.
Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen has damaged UNESCO World Heritage sites, and destroyed a museum with an important research collection.
The dangerous practice of keeping state dealings secret, simply to protect companies from embarrassment about what they are doing.
Companies such as Google and Guber are trying to pre-empt laws that protect the rights of human beings, by charging in against them.
I would never consider using Guber, even if it paid drivers decently, because it is a surveillance system.
If we do not want a world of total surveillance that forecloses democracy, we must make a point of not being surveilled.
Peru's president has decreed that the state can take 3 years of anyone's phone call records, without even a warrant.
Sounds a lot like the US.
Global heating is increasing the flooding danger in many coastal US cities.
For the euro-banksters, the Greek people represent an existential threat to plutocratic order.
The euro banking system includes a cut-off switch for the banks of any country.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Iran uses fabricated WikiLeaks cable to smear UN rights rapporteur.
What if copyright law were interpreted to cover neural copies — memories?
Guess what can go wrong with the Internet of Guns.
Hacking Team sold spy gear to US thug departments.
Housing segregation is taking over the US again.
Australia's pseudo-plan for cutting greenhouse emissions will allow the most polluting businesses to emit more.
The right-wing government is working for the fossil fuel companies and increasing emissions is its goal. Naturally, it replaced an effective reduction scheme with one that wouldn't reduce emissions much. What surprises me is that they have the nerve to increase them.
Israel will begin violating the human rights of Jews as it has always violated those of Palestinians.
This is a change for the worse: imprisonment without trial must cease.
In what is now Kerala, until the early 20th century, Dalit women had to pay a tax for permission to cover their breasts in public.
There have been places where no women covered their breasts, and nobody thought that they should, and nobody complained about it except foreign missionaries. But it seems that Travancore was a place where most women did cover their breasts, and Dalits were made an exception to humiliate them.
"The NSA has said it will delete its mountain of private telephone records belonging to millions of Americans — just as soon as people stop suing it for having done so."
One region of Germany has required Facebook to drop its "real name" rule.
It isn't clear to me whether this allows one person to get multiple accounts and use them for different purposes.
The second-in-command of Burundi's "president" was killed in an attack with rockets. He was responsible for crushing the protests against the "president"'s seizure of unconstitutional power.
Part of the army rose up against "president" Nkurunziza, but was suppressed. It looks like some in the army have not given up the fight.
Whether the army would defend constitutional principles, or just give someone else the chance to seize power, I can't guess.
Many bookmakers in the UK systematically close the accounts of bettors that win.
I don't think it is very important whether anyone can bet on horse races, or whether races are held at all. I mention this as an example of how replacement of anonymous cash transactions with digital accounts changes the system to the disadvantage of the customers.
In some cases it leads to not offering everyone the same price.
China will give all citizens 50% coverage of medical care for critical illnesses.
This isn't up to the standard of advanced countries, but it surpasses what the US does. The US should provide universal medical coverage.
In China, millions of people confide in a glorified "doctor" program.
This is a dangerous way to find a confidant: the state is surely reading the messages.
Watch out if you are invited to use fingerprints to identify yourself for a flight!
I don't mind if they offer this option…as long as it remains just an option. I will not agree to it.
How about checking some other part of the body, such as the inside of the elbow, which does not generally leave impressions where we go? I would not mind if the inside of my elbow were scanned several times in an airport, and another part of my body the following week in another airport.
A statistical study found that media coverage of terrorist violence leads to more terrorist violence. The more coverage an act gets, the more similar attacks occur shortly after.
Massachusetts citizens: support the Massachusetts constitutional amendment saying that corporations are not people and allowing regulation of campaign spending.
When I signed that, I said the US needs to do more than this.
US citizens: support Medicare for all citizens.
Phone the White House to object to Shell's drilling in Arctic waters.
A rainforest, normally the wettest place in the US, went up in flames.
This is just a taste of the disaster we are working on creating.
Three executives of Anglo-Irish Bank have been sentenced to prison for fraud.
A campaign to boost wages for US child care workers.
Greeks who have sold out to the banksters are making Varoufakis their scapegoat.
Even his defenders are criticizing him.
It reminds me of the way many people in the free software community feel obligated, whenever they say anything good about me, to insult me as well. The social pressure comes from certain people who sneer at me, and sneer at anyone else that doesn't join them.
Varoufakis tried to get a decent break for Greece, from governments that turned out to be dead-set on crushing Greece — but that was not clear in advance. To be timid, as fools recommend, would have meant giving up on any possibility of victory.
Two Men. One Armed And Violent, the Other Unarmed And Nonviolent. One White, One Black, One Dead.
An ex-thug attacked a 69-year-old man, and amazingly faces criminal charges for it.
They are ridiculously light charges, for what he did.
The Koch brothers have effectively taken control of the Republican Party's campaign infrastructure apparatus.
Israel has legalized force-feeding of hunger strikers, citing the US as an example to follow.
Protesters dangling from a bridge blocked Shell's ship in Portland harbor for almost two days.
The thugs cut some of them down from the bridge.
The fine on Greenpeace suggests that protesters must organize separately.
The "Institute of Peace" has become a lobby for war.
Taking notes with a computer really hurts your recall — more studies confirm this.
In Tunisia: Counterterror Law Endangers Rights.
Reporters Without Borders criticizes the decision to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
I agree that it is not good to boost China and other tyrannical countries with Olympic games. The ironic thing is that the Olympic Games impose tyranny, and the places they do the least harm are in countries that are already tyrannical, such as China. The sort of repression that games impose already pervades China. The debt they leave behind won't make much as difference there.
Until the games are reformed, we must protect still-somewhat-free cities from them.
Meanwhile, Beijing already has the large facilities needed. It is more efficient to reuse them than build new ones somewhere else.
China has recruited 18 million people to post "positive energy"; that is, support the government's propaganda line.
A forest fire is burning near Sydney, Australia, in the middle of winter.
Alas, this is not a freak accident.
Surveillance of all citizens: French government has now carte blanche.
1/3 of Clinton's principal campaign donors are connected to banks.
The US government threatens to treat journalists like spies.
An effective vaccine for Ebola has been developed.
The next eruption of Mt Vesuvius could force millions of people to flee their homes for an indefinite period, or simply kill them.
AIPAC is treating congresscritters to a visit to Israel, all expenses paid.
Shouldn't that be illegal?
Pinochet's officers burned two dissidents, one of whom died. Pinochet personally had this covered up.
The North Korean dictatorship is among the most horrible on Earth, but we are not going to topple it with an invasion.
Civil liberties lawyers have recognized that repression of animal rights protesters is a matter of human rights.
I don't particularly support animal rights; in particular, I am in favor of farming of animals (though we need to do a lot less of it, for environmental reasons), and I strongly support medical experiments on animals. However, I do support the human rights of those that disagree with me on this issue. The law against so-called "animal rights terrorism" is on a par with the Ag-Gag laws: an attempt to put companies above criticism because of their clout.
I am glad they saw the error of their ways, but I suspect this is because they found out that evidence would catch them in the lie, and not from any sudden attack of honesty. We need to teach thugs that lying leads to imprisonment.
The prosecution of two German journalists for treason, because they published information about massive surveillance, has been "suspended" in response to public outrage.
This is not a final victory, because the prosecution could still be resumed. Nonetheless, Germany is beating the US, where the government will not even "suspend" the prosecution of our hero, Edward Snowden.
The UK government wants to massively broaden the War on Drugs. The excuse: someone died from (mis)using nitrous oxide.
There are many pastimes which have a risk of fatal accidents. Strangely, no one calls for prohibiting mountain climbing, skydiving, or swimming with sharks.
Israel threatens to ban human rights and peace groups unless Europe stops funding them.
Israel is making some concessions to international pressure to investigate war crimes in Gaza, but it can't decide whether to strengthen HAMAS or weaken it.
Some areas in California literally have no water, except from bottles.
Homeless protesters in Manchester, England, are threatened with years in prison. Any homeless people in the city who make nests to sleep in could be imprisoned too.
I urge the protesters to dare the state to prosecute and be damned.
The UK fines accused people (in effect) for not pleading guilty.
The US system of plea bargaining is even worse.
Freedom of thought and freedom of speech must include freedom to present ideas others consider "radical" or "extreme".
People often call the free software movement "radical". I think they are exaggerating — an idea which calls for reforming one aspect of life is not big enough to truly be radical. But that doesn't stop them from making the claim. Will the free software be banned?
Fanatical Israeli "settlers" appear to be responsible for setting a Palestinian house on fire, which killed a baby. Three other family members were critically burned.
Netanyahu condemned it, but it's part of a pattern that Israel does not try very hard to end.
Massachusetts citizens, support contraceptive access and privacy bills.
US citizens: call on US Bank to rehire Israel Aranda.
The patents on Roundup-Ready GMO plants are expiring, just as weeds have nearly made them obsolete.
A US judge says Afghan prisoners of war need not be released, because the US is still fighting the war there.
How Windows 10 abuses users' personal data.
Spain's economy, measured in totals, has recovered from the crisis.
However, ordinary people in Spain are remain much worse off than before the crisis.
They are doing a thug's job, so they act like thugs.
Requiring Google to pay for aggregating a news article — upon which Google stopped doing it — has been bad for news sites in Spain. It turns out that being aggregated is good for a news site.
Lots of teenagers in the UK have watched porn, and quite a few fear they have been psychologically influenced by it.
This is a real problem, but rather than making porn more forbidden (and thus more attractive), I suggest giving them a chance to have real sex with real people, together with education on how to please your lover.
Sarah Lee Circle Bear died after she was arrested, because thugs ignored her when she said she was experiencing great pain and needed a doctor.
The article does not say why she was having such pain at that time, but I have to wonder whether the thugs had something to do with it.
US citizens: call for an end to Republican (and other) gerrymandering.
I don't moan for farmed minks, or other animals raised for slaughter. Minks are carnivores, by the way, and they don't kill humanely. Releasing caged American minks in Europe introduced an invasive species; releasing them in America fortunately won't make much difference. I agree that it is legitimate to prosecute them.
But it is bullshit to call the act "terrorism".
Legal bribery of officials is normal in the US; simply pay after the official leaves office.
The IMF demands debt relief for Greece, and refuses to participate in another "bailout" without that.
The point is not to simply heap more debt on Greece to "bail out" the banks.
To fight racism, protect the right to vote.
Hungary's government is turning far-right.
When the state gets a warrant to search a computer, should it be able to keep the data forever and investigate it at will?
California cities have made great strides in conservation, but the real question is whether their water use is less than the rainfall available nowadays. If California literally runs out of water, it can cut off irrigation, but cutting off cities would mean disaster.
US politicians have admitted that money rules elections since before 1900.
US citizens: support the Schedules That Work Act.
Here's information about the bill. It doesn't go far enough, but it is a step forward.
US citizens: call on the EPA to enforce the Civil Rights Act.
These bills criminalize undercover investigations in farms to document cruelty to animals
It is an interesting contradiction that no Republican wants to criminalize undercover investigations in Planned Parenthood (whose videos don't really show anything wrong).
This is not the first time a law banning documenting the conditions of farms has been proposed.
There's a pattern: a black gets stopped for some traffic offense, then get scared of being jailed for debt, "runs" away, and gets killed for running.
In other words, debtors' prison is part of the cause of killings.
Journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev has been disappeared for weeks in Turkmenistan.
Oxfam says that coal is not good for humanity.
The World Bank is funding a land grab in Ukraine.
To say that Egypt is "delaying" on democratic reforms is an understatement.
Egypt continues the process of abolishing democracy there.
Occasionally it is necessary to fight PISSI and its offshoots, but in general it can't be defeated that way.
US citizens: call on Canadian mining company Nevsun to stop using slave labor in Eritrea.
See the enslaved workers page.
Massachusetts citizens: support the Massachusetts constitutional amendment saying that corporations are not people and allowing regulation of campaign spending.
Médecins Sans Frontières accuses Saudi Arabia (backed by the US) of targeting hospitals in Yemen, and says the naval blockade is killing people by blocking medicines.
Some Americans are learning to be wary of devices that can listen to their conversations. But some fools still care more about convenience.
A California senator, who is also a pediatrician, led the successful campaign to make vaccination mandatory for children in school. Now he faces a recall campaign.
I urge people to campaign against these petitions.
Guber denies doing this, but I don't trust Guber.
Guber"> * I call it "Guber" because it pays the drivers peanuts.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Low Income Solar Act.
8 million Americans, age 50 to 64, are having trouble getting enough food.
Palestinian teenagers that throw stones will face 20 years' imprisonment by Israel.
Currently Israel may imprison them without charges for any length of time.
The Israeli Army seems to be looking for a way to back down from demolishing Susya.
Blood stains show Israeli soldiers lied about how they killed Muhammad Abu Latifa.
Israeli soldiers entered a Palestinian family house and shot a son, then the father and another son.
This is why I call them "thugs" in general. Many thugs would not engage in gratuitous violence against the public. But nearly all of them will support the lies of their brother or sister thug who has done so.
The number of thugs that lie is far greater than the number that kill, so punishing the liars is crucial.
US citizens: urge your congresscritter to vote to close the gun background check loophole.
Harlem Suarez, facing charges of "terrorism", is indeed another Walter Mitty terrorist, who would never have gone beyond daydreams unless encouraged by the FBI.
Clinton's big announcement about solar cells is totally inadequate if judge as a policy to prevent global heating disaster.
Phil Gramm thinks it was an "outrage" that the CEO of AT&T got only 75 million dollars on his retirement.
Gramm may not realize that things can be worse. I once met a worker who retired with a lot less pension than that.
An increase of 2.4 billion people predicted by 2050 will cause many kinds of difficulties.
Here's more about those difficulties.
Greenpeace protesters are hanging from a bridge to block Shell's "emergency management" ship from getting repaired in Portland.
Without this ship, Shell is not allowed to drill down to the oil.
The Texas jail where Sandra Bland died has persistently failed to follow suicide prevention regulations.
That's not directly pertinent if she was murdered.
South Australia proposes to ban certain groups, arbitrarily, and forbid more than two of their members from being together at any time.
This is a direct violation of the right of association. If those groups are criminal, the state should have to prove this, not simply declare them banned.
* Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
Democrats in Washington must stop thinking of "test and punish" education as a civil rights measure.
A Canadian mining company is trying to use an existing corporate supremacy treaty to punish Romania for not authorizing a giant mountaintop removal mine.
New corporate supremacy treaties such as the TPP and TTIP would open the doors to a lot more of this.
Calling them "trade treaties" is a misdirection — please don't repeat that term.
The war in Afghanistan has got more complex, as the Taliban are rivaled by the even more vicious Pseudo-Islamic State.
The fossil UK government has succeeded in stopping the growth of solar power.
Solar power threatens the fossil fuel companies that the Tories consistently represent. They might have preferred to cut all support for renewable energy as soon as they first got into power, but that would have been obvious. By cutting a part at a time, and sometimes replacing a bigger program with a different but smaller program, they were more successful at denying what they were really doing.
Greenpeace India is threatened with shutdown through arbitrary cancellation of its charter.
Chris Christie promises to crack down on marijuana users and growers in states such as Colorado which have legalized it.
Experts say the deal with Iran is as good as could be hoped for and much better than no deal.
It provides an opportunity for the US to end its hostility towards Iran, which would be a very good thing.
Massachusetts citizens, support contraceptive access and privacy bills.
US citizens: call on US Bank to rehire Israel Aranda.
US prosecutors are desperately trying to defeat the SAFE Act, a bill that would end mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, on the grounds that we're winning and losing the War on Drugs and need every possible weapon for it.
I've posted action notes calling for support of the SAFE Act.
We don't need "tools" to fight the War on Drugs, because it was a misguided project from the start. We should end it instead.
When a war is on drugs, we must expect it to engage in random violence, and that's exactly what happens.
Varoufakis says that the Greek tax collection computer system is directly controlled by foreign creditor organizations, and that he had to crack the system to set up an alternative system.
The creditor organizations say it is not true, but I trust Varoufakis and not them. They could be twisting language.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against queers in employment, business and housing.
Bombing a residential complex in Yemen, which housed only civilians. was prima facie a war crime.
Harlem Suarez faces trial in Florida for an alleged bombing plot.
The things he reportedly wanted to do were quite nasty, but this looks like another one of the FBI's fantasy plots. I suppose he really said at some time that he wanted to do those things. If he was yielding to the persuasion of an agent of the FBI, that will be suppressed. If at other times he said he didn't want to do them, that too will be suppressed. Would he ever have done or planned anything without the FBI's encouragement?
In any case, referring to a conventional explosive bomb as a "weapon of mass destruction" is bogus — an example of the way governments typically lie.
Hillary Clinton was asked where she stands regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, and replied "Elect me and you'll see." She pretends that she is not allowed to take a position.
What this tells me is that she is working for the fossil fuel companies.
Global heating is enabling ticks to boldly go where no tick has gone before, and spread diseases to additional populations of humans.
Russian prosecutors have quit their jobs rather than frame innocent people and/or dissidents.
Erdoğan wants to prosecute the newly elected officials of the HDP for supposed links with "terrorism".
"Terrorism" means nothing except an excuse to annul what the voters said.
Peru stalling new national park for unique amazon mountain range.
Fossil fuel industry still winning the investment war, experts say.
Divestment is a weak way to cut back on fossil fuels. It is worth campaigning for, since we can do so, but it is far from enough.
Russian censors threaten to shut down a business website for writing about bitcoin.
Russia leads the way in blocking access to anonymizing servers.
Russia is an overt tyranny that pretends (for fools) that it isn't one. Would-be tyrannical states, such as the US and UK, can't be far behind.
Perhaps Turkey bombarded PISSI in exchange for US approval of Turkey to make war on the Kurds.
Vulture funds, attacking Puerto Rico, recommend what the IMF has done to so many poor countries: push the people into poverty to pay them.
We must give the owners of those vulture funds what they are owed: to experience poverty and homelessness for a while. Perhaps they will feel more compassion.
A warning against beginning a " military AI arms race".
California citizens: call on Governor Brown to end fracking in California.
Massachusetts citizens: call on your state rep to override the governor's cuts in birth control and public health.
An ACLU lawsuit highlights the corrupting effect of civil forfeiture.
Everyone: call on Shell to quit funding ALEC's global heating denialism.
Republicans that want to eliminate Medicare pretend we can't afford it.
Complacent Americans are skipping polio vaccination for their children, which builds up gratuitous risk for everyone.
Reportedly, the head of a school in Saudi Arabia has been imprisoned for painting rainbows on the walls. The rainbow is considered a symbol of homosexuality.
The EU, in negotiations for This Treaty Is Plutocratic, proposed a vague change to the foreign company supremacy rule. It sounds nice, but might not change the substance much (or at all). This isn't good enough.
US citizens: call on the IRS to close the hedge-fund loophole.
To fix the US campaign funding system requires public funding. It can drown out even the billionaires.
Comcast constructed an excuse to pretend that its chief lobbyist is something other than a lobbyist.
When scientists do not publish the raw data, they destroy much of the scientific value of their experiments.
Offering fair-trade footballs (soccer balls).
Republicans are trying a broad range of voter suppression measures, hoping that each one will block a few thousand more poor, old, student or minority voters.
Massive surveillance comes to Americans' trash.
New evidence for the case that there is no longer a copyright on the song, "Happy Birthday".
I will continue singing a different version using the Volga boatmen's song melody, just because it's fun.
The company that extracts money from this is trying to keep the case alive.
UK school children get meals in school during the term, but go hungry for the summer.
Many Americans overestimate how much people in general want or think about sex.
If you think that the US as a superpower is destructive, imagine what a totally tyrannical China will do as a superpower.
North Korea is sending thugs to people's homes to find and destroy copies of prohibited publications.
In the UK they jail people who are found with copies of prohibited publications.
The MPAA and Mississippi's attorney general conspired on a campaign to smear Google in the mass media as an excuse to impose SOPA-style anti-sharing measures.
More about Georgia's copyright lawsuit against Carl Malamud.
Australia threatens to imprison a man for trying to join the Kurdish army.
How stupid, treating PISSI's secular enemies just like PISSI itself!
The NSA says it will destroy its records of all US phone calls.
This would be a great victory, except that this system of massive surveillance will be replaced with a different system of massive surveillance, where the phone companies keep the same records and let the NSA search them.
In fact, at least one phone company already does this, and the records go back 25 years (maybe 27 years now) instead of a mere 14 years.
Humpback whales have rebounded in population, thanks to protection measures.
A for-profit prison in Texas mistreats children so badly that it amounts to abuse and torture, according to an ex-employee.
Opposition from city residents has killed Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympic games.
Opposition organizers held a celebration.
Hooray for the Boston area, but shifting the problem to some other city is not good enough. The Olympics must be reformed so that they are no longer do permanent harm to the host city. Perhaps that requires making the Olympic games much smaller, or dividing them into several smaller events.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose CISA.
It is basically a repetition of CISPA, which we defeated.
France is considering a law to outlaw discrimination against the poor. For instance, rejecting an (otherwise qualified) employment candidate because the candidate is poor would be prohibited.
It makes sense to me.
Corporations' "Social-Responsibility Programs" are ineffective.
Perhaps the motive for these programs is to prevent laws that would be effective.
A new study established that social mobility in the US is less than previously thought.
ALEC's antidemocratic and anti-science agenda.
In sending doctors to treat the world's poor people, the leader is Cuba.
Twitter and some vicious comedians say repeating a joke is "theft."
People have been repeating jokes they like for millennia. These comedians are making a power grab, and we should punish them with a boycott (at least).
Of course, the concept of "intellectual property" is pure nonsense, and we should consider any statement using that term as incoherent.
Negotiations for a treaty to impose duties on multinational corporations and outsourcers are not going fast.
By contrast, negotiations for treaties to give multinational corporations and outsourcers additional privileges are going really fast.
That's proof that most governments have betrayed the people for the corporations.
Hillary Clinton sent classified information through her personal email account and her government email account, according to a government investigation.
That information was not supposed to be sent on insecure networks at all.
At least he criticized repression there.
A prominent Turkish journalist was fired for a tweet that accused President Erdoğan of being partly responsible for the danger of PISSI. I hope he won't be prosecuted for saying that. Journalists in Turkey have been prosecuted in the past for expressing forbidden opinions, and for criticizing Erdoğan.
The US and Turkey agreed to establish a border zone within Syria and exclude PISSI from it.
Only around 200 tigers remain in the Sundarbans.
The Sundarbans are basically a swamp filled with bayous. In 150 years it will all be inundated.
Texas's voter ID law almost stopped former House Speaker Jim Wright from voting.
The state was compelled to fix this, because it would be too big a scandal to block a citizen who formerly held such a prestigious post from voting. But he has only one vote. These laws succeed in stopping thousands of unprestigious old people, blacks, hispanics, poor people, and students from voting, and that's what matters to the Republicans that adopt them.
Everyone: oppose the TPP's copyright trap.
The inhabitants of New Orleans have rebuilt with a struggle after Hurricane Katrina, which was preceded by decades of decay.
I applaud them, but this can't last. 20 feet of sea level rise, expected in the 2100s, will swamp the new levees. Too bad they didn't take this opportunity to move the whole city to higher ground.
US citizens: Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and say, "I urge you to join Sens. Feinstein, Durbin, and Heinrich in publicly stating that you will vote yes on the Iran nuclear agreement."
US citizens: Call on Congress to protect sanctuary cities.
US citizens: Call on candidates to support banning companies from giving "golden parachutes" to employees moving to government posts.
US citizens: Call on the prosecutor to drop charges against Bree Newsome, who took down the confederate flag that formerly was flown at the South Carolina state house.
Everyone: Call on the New York Times not to publish smears against J Street for supporting the nuclear deal with Iran.
Arguing that advertising is a form of pollution and that would-be advertisers should be required to pay people for their attention.
It would be hard to apply such a rule to disguised forms of paid publicity, such as product placement. But it could be applied in some fields.
I am good at disregarding ads and using my time in another way, so I am not bothered much by the ads themselves. What I really object to is the surveillance that is behind many kinds of ads today.
Some of the regulations that creditors are imposing on Greece will make for more production efficiency, at the expense of less local production, less employment, and less local control.
Efficiency is a mistaken goal when the benefit goes to the rich.
The business campaign to privatize public education has global reach.
School vouchers to undermine public schools used to be proposed for poor children, but now they are going where the money is.
Religious nuts are trying to abolish Seattle's very effective birth control program for teenagers.
The UN rebuked the UK for its massive surveillance, lacking the protections required for human rights.
Varoufakis is "accused" of planning to set up a parallel tax payment system in case the Greeks banks were shut.
One might disagree with this as a policy, but I can't understand why it would be scandalous to make preparations for possibly doing it.
Everyone: call on prosecutors to drop charges against Laura Browder, who left her kids 30 yards away in the food court.
US citizens: Support Bernie Sanders' campaign for a US $15 minimum wage.
US citizens: stand with Planned Parenthood; urge Congress to resist SCROTUS' attempt to de-fund it.
US citizens: support closing the Charleston gun sale loophole.
US citizens: call for an end to gerrymandering.
Carbon Washington proposes a revenue-neutral carbon emissions tax in Washington state.
Students with disabilities tend to be over-punished in US schools.
Palm oil plantations use violence and lies to grab land and crush opposition.
The Ebola outbreak found the World Health Organization unprepared.
So don't presume that people who only look are guilty of harming anyone else.
The "internet of things" would extend the modern panopticon to every detail of our activities — if we let it.
I plan to keep my things firmly off the internet.
The US-backed Saudi bombardment of Yemen has become increasingly fatal to civilians, to the point that President Hadi, whose side is supposedly being supported this way, asked them to suspend it.
The Yuck Factor — What Planned Parenthood Smears, Homophobia, & Middle School Have in Common.
Obama, speaking in Kenya, called for equal rights for women.
About Turkey's former support for PISSI.
The piecework sweatshop economy means we must disconnect social welfare from having a single nearly-full-time job.
I don't use the term "gig economy" because fails to criticize it as it deserves. The term "social safety net" suggests a system that provides only temporary help when something goes wrong, in between nearly-full-time jobs.
US citizens: call on your senators to maintain funding for Planned Parenthood.
Also phone them! Don't wait — the vote could be very soon.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Republicans say to respond to a mass shooting in a totally ineffective way (prayer) rather than with something that might work (political action).
Los Angeles is intensifying the persecution of homeless people: it will confiscate their mattresses without notices, and other property with short notice. LA thugs also sometimes kill homeless people.
Trump's campaign falsely cites people as supporters.
Bernie Sanders joined sit-ins for the civil rights movement, but militant blacks today don't appreciate this.
Australia has charged a nurse who did medicine for PISSI for some sort of crime.
It is barbaric to prosecute medical professionals for giving medical treatment, no matter what the context.
Two billionaires have funded a campaign in US universities against divestment aimed at the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Two giant US medical insurance companies want to merge.
Companies which together have more than 5% of a market should not be allowed to merge. However, in this case, the merger would paradoxically take a step in the direction of single-payer health care. Once the major companies all merge, we could nationalize the merged company and presto: single-payer health care.
Animal rights activists who released thousands of minks from farms have been charged with "terrorism".
It is legitimate to charge them with property damage, and releasing animals in areas where they are not native can do permanent ecological damage. However, calling this "terrorism" is a distortion and an absurdity.
The New York Times rewrote a story about Hillary Clinton's private email account to cover up the fact that prosecutors want to investigate her, personally.
A prosecutor is already lying to claim Sandra Bland committed suicide.
In addition to the bogus claim about the drug test, and the claim that marijuana would encourage suicide is also bogus.
It isn't proven that she was murdered, but the prosecutor is clearly biased against her and for the thug.
It looks like Verizon wants to get rid of landline phones in large parts of the US.
Scotland violates human rights by allowing thugs to search anyone on the street without grounds. As elsewhere, this is used in discriminatory ways.
Puerto Rico's response to debt: suck up to billionaires.
Obama called on African countries to stop discrimination against gays.
He may have some influence with them.
Jamaica is about to extend copyright to last 95 years after the author's death.
Copyright lasts far too long in other countries. It should be shortened to last 10 years from date of publication.
The ACLU is suing to have Arizona's forfeiture law declared unconstitutional.
The US Constitution prohibits seizure of property without due process of law, forfeiture certainly does that.
The term "forfeiture" is blackwhiting, but at present I don't see a good substitute.
US citizens: call on True Value and Ace Hardware to stop selling neonicotinoids.
The "cybersecurity" bill would make people's data less secure against crooks (as well as against the US government).
UK intelligence agencies have illegally snooped on MPs.
I suspect he was seeking an excuse to harass her from the start.
If you view the video from Youtube, don't visit the site directly.
Arizona subjected 87,000 welfare recipients to drug tests. Some 23 turned out positive and were cut off from welfare benefits.
It is fortunate that this injustice struck so few people, but that is no excuse for doing it at all. The state is supposed to help people that need help, not seek irrelevant excuses to abandon them.
Some US universities impose gags on rape victims and others.
By approving Shell to drill in the Arctic, Obama showed he doesn't really want to stop global heating.
In the UK, people can be imprisoned for the books they have — for instance, the Anarchists Cookbook.
Burundi's president "won" a bogus election for an unconstitutional third term.
I call it "Guber" because it pays drivers peanuts, but the worst thing about Guber is that it tracks passengers. Of course, each passenger has agreed to be tracked — but if we get total surveillance because each person is convinced to agree to it, that does not reduce its danger to democracy.
We need to get rid of systems that amount to massive surveillance, regardless of whether each victim agrees to be tracked.
There are many reasons to refuse to buy from Guber.
Beppe Grillo calls for nationalizing the Italian banks to end the 'anti-democratic straitjacket' of euro zone.
It may be necessary to exit the euro zone as well.
United Airlines Requires You To Install Special Brand Of DRM To Watch Movies On Flights. And agree to its EULA. And install Flash Player.
State Of Georgia Sues Carl Malamud For Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State's Own Laws.
Olive oil production has been hit by disease in Italy and drought in Spain.
Global heating will mean more drought in Spain.
The Committee for Public Safety (aka Department of Homeland Security) snoops on Black Lives Matter protests.
If they are worried about potential violence, they should monitor the thugs instead.
The UN criticized the French total surveillance law.
The US may have promised Turkey that it would oppose the revolutionary Kurds of Syria.
They are the only group in the area that stands for human rights.
Here are the 9 green policies they have abolished.
The UK is looking for an excuse to prosecute the journalists that reported the Snowden revelations.
Journalist Khadija Ismayilova is facing trumped-up charges in Azerbaijan.
The Islamic state is a "postmodern collage" that takes advantage of medieval religious barbarism for shock value, but which exploits the moral void left by contemptuous neoliberal subjection.
An army general is one of 100 people charged with human trafficking in Thailand.
The drying of Mesopotamia may have led to the start of civilization there.
US doctors have launched a movement to pressure pharma companies to stop gouging for lifesaving drugs.
The Northern Virginia Tea Party is in cahoots with well-funded fossil fuel lobbyists, but it claims to be "grass roots".
There were reports that Turkey quietly supported PISSI in the past. If that was true, it seems not to be true any more. The Turkish army is not a joke like the Iraqi army; PISSI will find it a powerful foe. Alas, the long-standing hostility between Turkey and the Kurds makes it unlikely Turkey will give the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds much help against PISSI.
Some of Pinochet's officers have been charged with the murder of Victor Jara.
Call on executives of Edelman (the biggest advertising company) to stop working on global heating denialism or else quit.
US citizens: Phone your senators in favor of the deal with Iran.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on Starbucks to reject deforestation-made palm oil.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose CISA, which is the new version of CISPA. This bill would encourage companies to "share" your personal data with Big Brother.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on Obama to make federal contractors disclose political spending.
US citizens: call on presidential candidates to pledge to appoint officials that don't serve the industries they regulate.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject anti-environmental riders.
Everyone: call on Chris Christie to revoke the give-away settlement that he made with Exxon.
Everyone: call on Attorney General Lynch to indict the killers of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham.
US citizens: tell Obama not to pass the buck on curbing global heating.
Obama granted Shell approval to drill oil wells in the Arctic.
The permission is currently inoperative because of the damaged emergency response ship, but that only delays the preparations for the predicted spill.
Turkey blocked Twitter to shut down criticism of the government.
I think the protesters are being irrational, in that no government can prevent specific bombings; at most it can make them more difficult and less common. I've seen accusations that Turkey secretly supported PISSI (*) in the past, and if that secretly continues, protesting against that would make sense, but that's a different issue.
George Monbiot: The real 'struggle of our generation' is not terrorism — in fact, that's way down on the list.
SCROTUS (*) are embarrassed after being caught defending sale of confederate flags in US national parks. So the Democrats offered a deal: they will agree to stop trying to ban those flag sales, if the Republicans agree to fix the Voting Rights Act.
The Voting Rights Act, which was designed to stop racists from blocking blacks from voting, is substantive, whereas the flags are a symbolic issue. The Voting Rights Act effectively blocked some kind of voter suppression until the Supreme Court reinterpreted it. Changing the text of the law would restore that lost effectiveness.
SCROTUS"> * SCROTUS: Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States
US citizens: call for
each fish species under a different name so that people can tell
what they are buying.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: call on presidential candidates to reject money from fossil fuel companies.
US citizens: Call on Texas to stop covering up slavery and discriminatory laws in history classes.
US citizens: call on Exxon-Mobil to publish its political spending to prove it does not fund global heating denial.
US citizens: support reinstating the Glass-Steagall act.
US citizens: support the Low Income Solar Act.
Burmese journalists were fined for "defaming the president". In fact, they criticized what the president said.
Australia's immigration authorities asked for medical records of imprisoned refugees for political purposes — to publish to make them look bad.
A perfect example of how the idea that people should be monogamous poisons people's lives.
If you think that it's a "betrayal" if your lover has sex with someone else, perhaps you are obsessed with possession.
On the danger of privileging centralized high-tech "magic bullet" solutions and disregarding other options.
Ocean acidification, together with heating, will cause an upheaval in phytoplankton populations.
Since phytoplankton do most of the world's photosynthesis, and generate most of the world's oxygen, this is playing with disaster.
China is thinking about permitting all families to have two children.
I think it would be a mistake to open the door to more population growth so early. The world population is still going up, and China's current population may be unsustainable.
The need for labor to care for old people will give China full employment if it does not ruin things with more births.
We must reject the idea that the state should be able to listen in on all conversations — even with a search warrant.
Racists have dominated the US one way or another since the US was founded — aside from occasional interludes.
The TPP threatens to impose the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act on several other countries.
This is an example of a characteristic mistake that activists make: they campaign against proposed changes for the worse, but don't campaign to reverse past changes for the worse. We need to eliminate the Berne Convention and all the other treaties that impose it (they are corporate supremacy treaties and bad for many other reasons).
Swedish prosecutors are dragging out the process of arranging to interview Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuador says its law requires signing an agreement, but the prosecutors have not bothered to propose one.
The US decreased greenhouse gas emissions 11% during the recession, mainly caused by decreased economic activity.
I don't believe it follows that growth can occur only through increased emissions. An all-out campaign for renewable energy would produce lots of growth while reducing emissions. However, the fossil fool lobby won't permit this.
The House of Representatives passed the DARK act, which would prohibit states from requiring labeling of GMOs in food.
A Tunisian editor faces charges of complicity in terrorism after he published information that must have come from an interview with a terrorist. He refuses to name his source.
Tunisia is considering abolishing human rights in the name of anti-terrorism.
If this occurs, the victory of the Tunisian revolution will be lost.
The suspect asked for an ambulance, but the thugs delayed calling one, and it came too late to save her life.
Companies snoop on their employees' computers while they are not at work, and sometimes even sabotage them.
Another way of snooping on employees while not at work is testing for use of marijuana. It can't distinguish whether the marijuana was used while the employee was on duty or off, or even on vacation weeks before.
The Inspector General of the US Justice Department says that he can't do his job because information is being kept from him.
A study in Massachusetts collected samples of honey from beehives, and pollen collected by foraging bees. 70% of the samples contained neonicotinoids.
A study estimates that 1/3 of the recent increase in income inequality comes from adoption of digital technology.
Productivity has increased greatly, but that doesn't raise workers' wages because there are too few jobs and workers must compete for them.
Proponents of laissez-faire policies argue that automation inevitably spreads its benefits to everyone. Now we know that this claim is not merely dubious, but already falsified.
The roots of eating disorders in teenagers can be found in children as young as 8, who already feel dissatisfied with their bodies.
Senator Franken asked for an anti-trust inquiry into Apple's competition with other music-streaming services.
The major music-streaming services are based on DRM, tracking, and EULAs. While unfair competition is always wrong, "fair" competition would not legitimize these disservices. Please join me in rejecting all of them — insist on having your own DRM-free copy, so that you can share copies, and never agree that you will not share them.
Obama's visit to Kenya highlights the persecution of political opponents and gay men.
African forest elephants seem to be a different species from savannah elephants, and are headed faster towards extinction, while little effort against poaching is directed at them.
Artists symbolically resist hostile architecture in London.
I decided not to repeat the enemy's propaganda term, "defensive architecture", because that presents this bad practice in a favorable light.
Posting people's genetic code allows automation of various sorts of bigotry.
Pollution Isn't Colorblind: Environmental Hazards Kill More Black Americans.
What's happening is that the Americans with political clout don't see a need to reduce pollution because it's cheaper to direct it at those without clout.
"Thomas Jones" spied on various activities that criticized Seaworld, and activists present reason to suspect he wasn't the only provocateur working for Seaworld.
Malaysia Drops the Pretense of Not Censoring the Internet.
New York City thugs are fond of saying that leaving small crimes unpunished creates the climate for bigger crimes. Jennings is not dead, but if thugs are allowed to get away with nonfatal senseless brutality, they will proceed to bigger forms. These thugs should be prosecuted as anyone else would be who did what they did.
Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, aims to record all IP packets travelling in or through Pakistan.
There is no reason to presume that ISI would use this power only against terrorists. ISI has been accused of supporting the Taliban.
Dodd-Frank's Bid to Clean Up Extractive Industries Stymied by Oil Business.
Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are all using the same lobbying company to raise money from businesspeople.
Child Overprotective Services arrested a mother for leaving her children sitting 30 yards away where she could see them.
Tony Abbott's Fight Against Solar And Wind Power in Australia.
Chilean officers face prosecution for burning dissidents to death.
Due to cheep oil, per capita driving is increasing again in the US.
Lower prices for gasoline are convenient for the short term, but harmful for the long term.
In Eritrea, essentially everyone is conscripted into lifelong slavery, and everyone is terrified of the state. 3% of the population has fled.
Rather than arguing about where these people should be resettled, I suggest grouping them in a neighboring country and arming them to capture Eritrea from its dictator.
Senators plan to make the CFAA even worse, explicitly criminalizing any violation of any service's terms of service.
The EU warned Israel about "forced transfer" of Palestinian populations and housing demolitions.
Israel shut down the Palestinian TV station P48.
Bisphenol A can be ingested through the lungs, which means that release into the air is dangerous.
Arguing that we have a duty to develop computerized intelligence so that intelligence will not be limited to one solar system.
The UK must bury the R.I.P. Act which authorizes this.
5 years after the tar sands oil spill on the Kalamazoo river, the spill has not been cleaned up and the toxic chemicals seem to be affecting people's health.
Even 2C of global heating will make coastal cities such as New York, London and Shanghai uninhabitable. Parts of them will still be above water, but won't function as cities.
You can add Miami, Washington DC, New Orleans, Tokyo, Mumbai and many more.
If we get through this century with technological civilization intact, we may be able to remove lots of CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to plastic. Perhaps we could cut short the melting that way. But getting through this century will not be easy, so it behooves us to cut CO2 emissions as fast as humanly possible.
We also need to end growth of the human population. In principle, the idea that a person has the right to reproduce without limit is unsustainable.
Varoufakis: the creditors did not want a mutually beneficial agreement ; they wanted to impose regime change on Greece.
In effect, they have succeeded, at least for the while.
Varoufakis was wise to resign. Tsipras should have done it, too. If you cannot defeat an invading army, it is better to retreat and remain hostile to it, than surrender and become a pillar for it.
Snowden's message to the IETF meeting: build anonymity into the internet.
Wealthy (mostly Republican) donors fund such organizations, and want their money to buy the most possible plutocratic power.
Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue has helped develop treatments for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Parkinson's. Planned Parenthood should take pride in helping.
The only thing I would criticize about Planned Parenthood's conduct is that it could have charged more, and used the money to finance treatments for poor women that insurance does not cover.
Brighton, England, is planning to ban smoking tobacco outdoors. Since smoking is already banned in indoor public places, this would make it almost intolerable for a smoker to be in Brighton for any length of time.
Tobacco is death, and I urge people to quit, but prohibition is going too far, and this is tantamount to prohibition if you are a visitor or work outside your home. People do have a right to kill themselves, slowly or quickly.
Modern US wars never really end. That is because there is no imaginable victory for the US, and the US doesn't accept defeat either.
Political leaders are slowly yielding to pressure to recognize global heating as a big danger.
This does not mean that they will take effective action to halt it. Many remain just as much under the control of the fossil fuel interests as they were before. One can see this in the UK's continued elimination of subsidies for renewable energy, while subsidies for fossil fuels continue.
AncestryDNA turns out to be a scheme to get lots of people to hand in their DNA sequence data to be correlated.
For some unlucky people, knowledge of their DNA sequences could lead to big problems (with insurance, for instance). However, I think tracking of people's movements and phone calls is more of a threat to human rights and democracy.
The University of Mary Washington gives each student an internet domain and teaches the student how to manage it. The student's work is there, under the student's control, and the student can keep it after leaving the university.
I like this very much — even though it's a shame they miss the chance to support an allied philosophy, by saying "open source" instead of "free".
Hossein Derakhshan was imprisoned in Iran for posting blogs. When he got out of prison, he concluded that social networking sites are swallowing and destroying the World Wide Web. Blogs were good for conversations and thought, but the social networking sites are a sort of television that manages people's ideas.
A Planned Parenthood staffer discussed the expenses and methods for obtaining fetal tissue for research, and took a somewhat flip tone. Or at least it appears that way, in an edited video made by an antiabortion fanatic.
If the video accurately represents what the staffer said, it doesn't indicate anything wrong in what he does. However, the theocrats will try to spin the flip tone into a real wrong.
Japan is pressuring people to return to areas near Fukushima that remain somewhat radioactive, by cutting the funds that enable them to live somewhere else.
Shooting guns into the air to celebrate is substantially dangerous — to other people.
It might be interesting to make a "celebration gun" that fires the charge in a bullet, but has a hole in the barrel so that the hot gas escapes harmlessly and does not propel the bullet out of the gun. With that, you could have the fun of shooting bullets but they could not hit anyone.
It's like two cars racing towards the edge of a cliff, each driver set on being the first one over the edge.
The EU and US have protested Israel's plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya.
I've posted about Susiya here before.
The EU is becoming an instrument of oppression.
"Everything good about the EU is in retreat; everything bad is on the rampage." He is coming to think that it is a force for evil.
Every political structure that obeys the plutocrats magnifies their force for evil.
Exiting the EU would not guarantee an end to right-wing policies in any given country, but it would enable a country to make another choice.
The Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Climate Models Predicted.
2013 demonstrated that Arctic ice would rebound quickly if we can cool the Earth.
How to cool the Earth? One way is to invest in solar-powered CO2-to-fuel converters.
Revealed: How the Thai Fishing Industry Traffics, Imprisons And Enslaves.
The euro is the "new Coke" of currencies.
Since we mentioned Coke, remember the world-wide boycott of Coca Cola Company, called in response to that company's collaboration with right-wing terrorists in Colombia to murder union organizers.
The FBI claims to have blocked 60 PISSI-inspired shooting attacks in the US.
It could be true, but I am skeptical that these were real plans. Every time the FBI arrests people for "terrorist plots", they turn out to be fantasy plots led and arranged by agents of the FBI. These 60 "plots" could be more of that.
US citizens: call on elected officials to support the SAFE Act, which would fix some of the causes of over-imprisonment and make it easier for ex-cons to do something other than crime.
US citizens: support breaking up the banks that are "too big to fail".
Everyone: call on Sudan to end repression of women for their clothing.
US citizens: tell the IRS not to give hedge funds a tax loophole for offshoring.
US citizens: Call on Obama to remove the "have you ever been in prison" box from US government job applications.
US citizens: phone Obama and object to expanding a tar sands pipeline, which you might call Keystone2.
Corporations Push for Giant Repatriation Tax Giveaway.
A UK court overturned UK's data retention law.
The UK government appointed scientists to give advice that neonicotinoids are safe to use. It appears they were going to say "no", because the government ordered them not to withhold information.
What makes terrorism so bad is that it is war waged against civilians. Thus, attacking soldiers is not terrorism — it is war.
ShotSpotter detects gunshots automatically, but its microphones also record conversations.
The system should be redesigned to do enough local processing so that it can't transmit anyone's conversations over the net.
A British man will be imprisoned for year for distributing videos and a magazine presenting disfavored views.
What point is there in defeating PISSI at the cost of abolishing basic human rights?
When certain views are prohibited, mistakes will expand effect.
The US and Saudi-backed faction in Yemen has taken hold of the city of Aden. Since the Houthis hold most of Yemen, this defeat for them moves that country further away from peace or stable government.
Is this faction better than the Houthis? I see no reason to think one or the other deserves anyone's support.
China canceled concerts by a musical group as punishment for wishing the Dalai Lama happy birthday.
The quoted hostile comments were posted, I expect, by the state's troll army.
In addition to the school-to-prison pipeline, these thugs give us a school-to-hospital pipeline.
Goldman Sachs helped Greece hide part of its debt so it could join the euro zone.
The deal was expensive for Greece, as that part of Greece's debt doubled in a few years. But it got Greece into the euro zone, which was even worse for Greece.
The drought in California, and water shutoffs for poor people, are foretastes of the big shortage of fresh water forecast for 2030.
Obama called for ending mandatory minimum sentences, at least for nonviolent drug offenses, and for removing some of the obstacles for ex-cons to re-enter society.
Texas thugs attacked an anti-thug-violence activist on the street, put her in jail (for false charges, I would guess), then claim her death in jail was suicide.
Her friends don't believe it was suicide.
Nuclear power plant construction is gradually grinding to a halt, as renewable energy is clearly cheaper as well as much safer.
Netzpolitik, a German journalism site, has been charged with treason for reporting on German government surveillance of the German press.
La Quadrature du Net: We Must Support Netzpolitik Against the German Government Pressure!
German leftists have begun protests in support of Greece and plan to repeat them every week.
Right-wing German MPs object to further bailouts "for Greece", absurdly claiming that it is Greece's fault that the past bailouts "for Greece" did not reduce its debt. That's ridiculous — they never had a chance of reducing Greece's debt.
But in a way they are right. The proposed bailout of Greece's creditors will only increase Greece's debt, and it makes no sense to do that.
Following the Republican example, the Tories are planning to change voter registration so as to suppress opposition voters.
Jürgen Habermas, intellectual father of the European Union, calls it an undemocratic trap.
The financial elite has shown off its power to spit on democracy, economics, and statesmanship.
I suggest that Greece and Europe need a political party consisting of real stake holders: the Wooden Stake Party, whose aim will be to put stakes into the heart of the vampire banks.
But I think it is a mistake to put the blame on Germany. The banksters are the culprits.
Clinton and Bush have got large campaign donations from lobbyists.
Vote for Sanders for president.
The already emitted greenhouse gases will keep heating the oceans for centuries.
Scott Walker's cronies on the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered an end to an investigation of Walker's illegal campaign activities.
The Arctic countries have agreed to ban commercial fishing in the Arctic Ocean. This does not prohibit other countries' ships from fishing there, however.
US youths are semi-enslaved to do door-to-door sales work. They are not literally forced to continue working, but stopping is very difficult.
Chinese censorship has mostly erased memory of the Tiananmen protests and massacre: most younger Chinese don't know anything about it.
The UK's government considers permanent disability as a personal failing. It subjects people with incurable conditions to repeated tests to see if they can theoretically work, although practically speaking the answer is clear in advance.
There are major mysteries in the arrest and death of Sandra Bland.
At least, they are mysteries for us; the thugs know most or all of the answers.
A town in Florida (and many other places in the US) ban growing vegetables in your front yard. Two residents are fighting back in court.
Protesters in Cambodia have been convicted of "insurrection" and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The media undermine female politicians by talking about their appearance instead of what they stand for. Regardless of what is said about their appearance, it costs them support, based on a foolish and irrelevant reason. I don't care what Clinton looks like, and I don't care what Sanders looks like.
High radium levels have appeared in water in Pennsylvania, and fracking is suspected as the cause.
Human Rights Watch: Israeli forces are choking, beating, and abusing Palestinian children as young as 11, arresting and coercing them into confessions without granting them access to lawyers or even informing their parents of their whereabouts.
Canada's Anti-Terror Legislation Faces Legal Challenge by Free Speech Advocates.
In addition to banning journalism, it gives the government effectively unlimited power for secret surveillance.
When you put this together with the government's attacks on science and the climate, it seems that the Canadian government has declared war on Canada.
Children growing up in poverty have less brain development in areas required for academic and professional success. After this, it won't be their fault if they are unqualified for good jobs. It will be the country's fault, for handicapping them in childhood through inadequate welfare support.
It is possible for an organic farm to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but in practice most of them don't do that.
A carbon tax would give a boost to the ones that do.
The population of New Orleans decreased after Hurricane Katrina, but the supply of affordable housing decreased even more. Many poor people now have to pay half their income for rent.
Most of the public schools have been converted into "charter schools", and the public mostly disapproves of the change.
The EU has agreed to ban imports of clothing with nonylphenol ethoxylates, which gets into rivers and harms fish.
Republican candidates are defending McCain from smears against his military record, but they eagerly profited from smears against Kerry.
2015 is on track to be the hottest year since human records began, judging from the first half of the year.
Governments in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry are not listening. Ironically, only China plans to take firm action. In China, the fossil fuel interests are owned by "Communist" plutocrats that will feel the consequences if climate mayhem impoverishes China. In Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, the owners of the fossil fuel interests think they will get by ok if climate mayhem impoverishes those countries.
Street lights and interior lights are being designed to track people.
This ought to be prohibited on the double, on streets and in any place that the public is regularly admitted to (such as stores).
I don't think that the purpose of Ashley Madison (facilitating sexual affairs for married people) was bad in itself. However, the company did many sleazy things, going as far as to accept pay to delete people's profiles, then not really deleting them.
It also committed negligence that could leak data about its users, and the worst instance was keeping so information about them in the first place.
I feel no sympathy for the company, but I condemn the wrong that the crackers (please don't call them "hackers") have done to the users of the site in taking their data hostage.
I also disagree with the crackers supposed moral grounds for trying to shut the site down. I don't regard monogamy as ethically privileged. On the contrary, I disapprove of possessiveness and oppose the social pressure for people to agree to monogamy which doesn't fit them.
Therefore, I do not criticize having an affair, and I reject the label of "cheating" for it.
California is fining some farmers for using water after a notice to cut back.
It is too bad that crops and trees will be lost, but there is no way California can avoid that. All that can be done is to try to keep things running at a level that is sustainable.
Wisconsin, under Republican control, has made abortion after 20 weeks a crime.
Abortions that late are only done because of special circumstances.
The law is based on fantasy science; the anti-abortion forces claim that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks. This is impossible because the fetus's brain is not connected then.
The directly contradicts Roe v Wade, so it ought to be unconstitutional, but it is hard to count on that with today's Supreme Court. Doctors will be scared.
95% of US women who have abortions are subsequently content with their decision.
I wonder what fraction of women that have babies later regret it.
An expert who has interviewed many terrorists says that the details of the ideology they choose to fight for are secondary in recruiting them, and that focusing on ideology is largely missing the point.
Crackers have obtained personal information from a controversial dating site, Ashley Madison, and are threatening to release it unless the site shuts down.
My conclusion is that dating sites should not have users' personal information, except for what the users choose to publish.
Neocons see Iran as an opportunity for another US war.
UK welfare cuts will force poor families out of many regions of England.
ALEC takes aim at renewable energy, bees, and the ability to end a recession.
California's groundwater, what remains of it, is increasingly contaminated by nitrates and uranium.
A factory in the Philippines burned two months ago, and most of the workers were killed because the factory had no fire escapes. The government has taken no action against those responsible.
Local corruption was clearly involved, but business globalization took advantage of it.
RSF: Leaders who publicly threaten journalists.
I think they have been unfair to President Correa in including him in this list. If you look at what they say he did, it consists of (1) threatening to criticize one of his critic in the press, and (2) saying that some journalists repeat right-wing propaganda (which they do, in Ecuador, just as in the US).
This persistent tendency indicates bad faith. Right-wing governments are exaggerating the danger of "terrorism" to use the fear against democracy.
the landlords, insurance companies, etc.
of state-legal marijuana sellers in Colorado and Washington, to drive
out of business.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
In Ivory Coast, adults and children are killed or tortured after they are accused of "witchcraft".
20% of children in the US live in poverty. For black children, that is 38%.
The US should be ashamed to leave any children in poverty.
The Gates Foundation held a meeting about seed policy for Africa, with seed company Syngenta, and international funding agencies — but didn't invite any farmers.
Farmers would have objected to plans to promote patented seeds.
Keep Body Cameras Off Public-School Educators.
Attacking the argument for government back doors in encryption.
The article does not mention another crucial point: when the state has a concrete reason to suspect someone, enough to justify a search warrant, it can snoop on that person's conversations in many other ways.
The "internet of things", for those who don't reject it, will be the greatest mass surveillance infrastructure ever.
The author fears (and I agree) that it will direct people towards being "intensely individualistic, segmented, micro-financialised" and "semi-autonomous, tethered beings." I too think this is a real danger.
The UK government plans to make strikes illegal, usually.
It also plans to interfere with union funding for the Labour Party.
Unions ought to fund a party that really stands for the non-rich, not the center-right party that Labour has become. But the right wing does not want unions or workers to have any power.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has essentially destroyed Wisconsin campaign finance law, in a corruptly made decision that applies to the judges' own campaigns.
The Ku Klux Klan is no longer a political force, but it is a symbol of continuing racism in the US.
I am skeptical of the idea of defeating PISSI with Shi'ite armed strength. When Sunnis are ruled by Shi'ites, that gives them the impetus to start terrorist groups.
Government agencies in Massachusetts unfairly hamper access to public records The law is weak, and agencies disregard it.
Euro-cutbacks were a "success" in Ireland, Spain and Portugal, from the viewpoint of the IMF and the banks. It's not clear they were a success for the non-rich.
Many US prisons don't feed prisoners enough. That might be good for the ones who are obese, but for the prisoners that are not obese, it is dangerous.
A Senate bill contains a clause to refrain from harassing parents that allow children to travel to school on their own.
Parents Dedicate New College Safe Space In Honor Of Daughter Who Felt Weird In Class Once.
Mining for rare metals on the ocean floor requires regulation for environmental protection.
The Philippines is accused of using a campaign of murder and torture against Communists, and social workers that help the poor, with US backing and guidance.
Mobile phone call and GPS records show, roughly, whether the user is depressed.
I might agree to enable such monitoring by my doctor if I had been depressed. However, allowing the state to monitor everyone this way is dangerous.
How stores plan to use customers' "smartphones" to learn more about them while getting them to buy more recklessly.
The devices invite dependence.
If you want to be really smart, join me in opting out.
Some Canadian events are starting to forbid imitation native feather headdresses.
I think it is boorish to imitate the ceremonial clothing of some other people, while neglecting its meaning; but that should not be forbidden. Nobody has the right to own a mode of dress.
Meanwhile, as the left has cracked, Greeks may try the neo-Nazis that blame poor immigrants instead of the banksters.
Varoufakis says that the foreign-imposed regime will fail.
The California beach oil spill contains many toxic substances.
Southern white culture is full of traditions with African roots; some of them were used by the original Ku Klux Klan.
A group of tourists, visiting Mongolia, were accused of "promoting terrorism" for watching a terror video about Genghis Khan.
Genghis was a real terrorist, just as bad as PISSI. His forces slaughtered the population of any city that did not immediately surrender, to terrorize other cities into surrendering.
Even watching or distributing videos depicting real terrorism should not be a crime.
with the water industry to make a law
allowing cities to privatize water supply without a vote by the citizens.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Shell's emergency-handling ship was damaged severely in a collision with an uncharted reef, and has to go back to Portland for repair. Shell plans to drill anyway.
Cryin'air has pulled its base out of Denmark to avoid the laws that protect workers' rights.
It is a good idea to avoid Cryin'air ("Ryanair").
The head of an Egyptian journalistic organization has been arrested and accused of being supporting the Muslim Brotherhood — and of possession of video editing equipment!
The Muslim Brotherhood advocated trampling human rights — that's inherent in political Islamism — but it did not try to crush dissent or abolish democracy.
People who live near fracking sites are more likely to go to the hospital for heart or nervous system conditions.
Obama has offered to increase US military aid to Israel. This will enable Israel to bomb Gaza more often. It is already planning to devastate Gaza even more. The world has not pushed back very hard about the previous bombing.
It is interesting to see how Israel's tactical practices help PISSI supporters try to take over from HAMAS.
The US Chamber of Commerce is pressuring various governments around the world not to take steps that curb the use of tobacco.
The US Chamber of Commerce is poison — literally.
Our overuse of Earth's resources is putting a huge debt burden on future generations.
The authors do not realize that the term "anthropocene" encourages the problem they are concerned about.
Portland State University banned political posters because they might make some students feel uncomfortable.
I think this is related to a change in people's idea of the purpose of college: professional training, rather than developing the ability to think. For the latter, students obviously must confront uncomfortable ideas. For the former, ideas are an obstacle to some students' training.
US citizens: call for proper protection of red wolves.
We should not consider it "cute" when Pantone tries to monopolize use of a color through trademarks.
The article has a fundamental confusion: it confuses copyright law with trademark law by using the confusion term "intellectual property". Those two laws are totally different in what they do, and it is a mistake to generalize about the two.
Planned Parenthood collects tissues from aborted fetuses, if the woman consents, to facilitate medical research that can save the lives of human beings. You need to be twisted to see a scandal in this.
US oil companies pump oil in poor countries, then cheat the governments by not paying the royalties agreed on. The Dodd-Frank bill, which was supposed to make them come clean, is not being enforced.
The latest attack in the War on Sharing: a company chose people based on IP addresses to demand they agree to pay an amount to be named later.
Sharing should be legal.
John Pilger: the UK was planning to fund rebels in Syria "two years before the Arab Spring".
I don't entirely agree with him in regard to dealing with PISSI. Using air power to stop PISSI's advance was justified and effective. Recapturing Sunni cities with Shi'ite militias is a different matter.
US citizens: thank Obama for pursuing peace with Iran.
My overall opinion of Obama is that he is a flunky for the plutocrats, but on this issue he did the right thing.
Under Israeli rule, Arabs are imprisoned for statements on the internet, which are called "incitement". Jews do it too, but they are never charged.
Some of these kinds of "incitement" are properly crimes. Some of them are exercise of free speech, and would be protected in the US by the First Amendment.
Economic pressure on Israel expresses faith that it has enough democracy to be influenced by this.
Israel outright rejected political talks with Palestine.
Israel released Palestinian parliament member Riyad Mahmoud Radad after a year in prison for "enticing marches in support of prisoners".
What sort of country puts people in prison for leading protest marches?
Meanwhile, lawyer Shireen al-Eesawy is in solitary confinement in conditions that border on torture.
The "bailout" for Greece's creditors increases Greece's debt to 225% of GDP. That's almost double what it was before the previous "bailouts". However, all of the euro-zone is dominated by the banksters and it can all come crashing down under their deficit limits.
The IMF should veto the bailout for Greece's creditors, because the plan can't achieve the stated goal of reducing Greece's debt.
It would be easy to write off Greek debt to banks.
A low-cost, low-energy house in Wales will make money on electricity.
The UK had a plan to encourage building such houses, but the Tories cancelled the plan to preserve fossil fuel profits.
The penalty for "false" (i.e., disagreeing with official sources) information in Egypt will not be imprisonment, only a fine that few Egyptian journalists could afford to pay.
Altered in this way, the law will be a medium-sized step towards tyranny rather than a giant step.
The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament approved data retention for many records about people that fly.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is sneakily changing rules to permit two felonious banks to continue selling certain government-guaranteed mortgages.
US citizens: support extending mandatory overtime pay to a lot more American workers.
The US is paying now, in the deal with Iran, for its duplicity in using inspections of Iraq's chemical and nuclear facilities as a front for ordinary spying.
Even weak moves to make the EU greenhouse gas emissions trading system function are running into opposition from lobbies.
I think the British unions should drop the "Labour" Party, which has no great concern for working people, and start another.
An article I disagree with argues against selling water in British Columbia (where it is abundant) for shipment elsewhere.
I think it make sense to sell water if you have extra water. However, you should stop selling water if you cease to have extra; any treaty that would make it hard to stop obviously must be abrogated.
As for fracking, which should be stopped for other reasons, it is valid to fight it by denying access to the giant quantities of water fracking needs, but that's not a principle, it's a tactic.
We should discourage the retail sale of bottled water, which is very wasteful, but that's not the only way to distribute water from other regions.
Commuting sentences must be followed by fixing the sentencing system.
Another black man was choked to death by a thug.
Estimates of the sperm whale population could be skewed by falsified data reported by Japan from whaling in the 1960s.
The IMF says Greece needs more debt relief.
We can't solve the problems of homelessness and urban hunger by having poor people grow food in urban gardens.
Surgery is shocking to watch, and this includes abortions. The anti-sex crowd are trying to use the shocking videos to turn people against abortion rights.
A woman in Northern Ireland is being prosecuted for obtaining abortion pills for her daughter. Protesters have obtained abortion pills and will dare the state to prosecute them too.
Giving birth is risky; unless you want a baby, it is an act of folly. Giving birth also increases the stress that humanity places on Earth's ecosystems, including global heating. Discouraging abortion is the opposite of what the world needs.
China's artificial islands could cause fish stocks to collapse around the South China Sea.
This is a foretaste of what global heating and ocean acidification could do globally.
They suspected Diaz of being a bicycle thief. If he were one, that would not justify killing him, but in fact Diaz was searching for the stolen bicycle. It had been stolen from his brother.
Due to reduced pesticide use, dangerous arachnids often arrive in bunches of fruit.
Suggestion: when putting the fruit in plastic bags, fill them with pure nitrogen or CO2. If it takes a few minutes for ordinary air to leak in, the arachnids may die in that time. If the nitrogen or CO2 was obtained from the air, and returns to the air, it won't do any harm there.
I'd love to find an elephant beetle in my bananas. They can't hurt a human and they must be spectacular.
The UK is increasingly using secret evidence in trials. The secret evidence is given by spy officials who are accustomed to lying — in the US, we have seen their counterparts lie to Congress and show no shame when caught in the lie.
Many teenage girls that harm themselves are somewhat autistic.
A man was charged in Arizona with "conspiracy" to have sex with a horse.
Why should it be a crime to have sex with a horse? In what sense is that wrong?
A human can't have sex with a horse the way another horse would. It's not possible. Whatever the human does, it won't seem like sex, to the horse. It will seem like being touched.
There is a wide range of possible sexual acts. Some would hurt the horse, and perhaps are prohibited by other laws. However, there are obvious ways to have sex that wouldn't hurt the horse. The horse would experienced being stroked, and might not mind it.
This law prohibits all of them, indiscriminately. Clearly it is not a matter of protecting the horse, whatever its defenders may claim.
What possible motive is there for a law like this? I can only think of one: perverse religiosity that hates sex and pleasure.
Because of the usual disparaging attitude towards sexual peculiarities, it is easy to make people despise those who have them, which facilitates putting them a prison or a mental hospital. That's what many countries still do to homosexuals.
Keep this in mind when you see laws against other kinds of sexual acts.
A model for solar variation predicts we are headed for a solar minimum which would reduce temperatures on Earth by around 0.2C, for some decades in this century.
Remember that we are fighting against the fossil fuel plutocrats to limit our heating of Earth to just 2.0C instead of the expected 5.0C. If this model is accurate, the temporary dip will give us a little bit of help, but it is not a substitute for what we need to do.
Some of the drugs Americans buy on dark nets are to save their lives.
If we had a Canada-style National Heath Service, we would not have these problems.
US citizens: call on the Department of Energy to stop its bias against renewable energy.
A large study finds that giving homeless families permanent, stable housing can be more cost-effective than shelters.
Bird flu has forced US poultry farmers to kill almost 50 million birds in an attempt to stop the outbreak.
Factory farms are especially susceptible to the virus.
Middle-aged people turn to social media to compensate for absent intimacy, but often it leaves them even more lonely.
Violence against women in the name of family "honor" is common in India and neighboring countries, just as in the Middle East.
Many Greeks regard Tsipras as a traitor for agreeing to crushing foreign rule after the Greeks voted to reject it.
There certainly are viable alternatives, if Greece is willing to tell the euro-banksters to go to hell. For instance, Greece could print lots more euros. Or it could print them with the word "drachma" across them.
Ireland did without its banks for half a year. Greece can do it too.
Russia sneakily advanced the "border" of "South Ossetia" further into Georgia.
A technology exists for converting CO2 in the air into fuel. It could be run by solar power in a desert.
This means that all it takes is money, to cancel out future greenhouse gas emissions and undo past emissions. The natural way to raise this money is by taxing fossil fuels.
Has humanity got the will to undo its harm?
The deal negotiated with Iran includes many measures to block its progress towards making nuclear fuel, mostly lasting 15 years.
I think this is sufficient. In 15 years, the situation is likely to change so much that there is no point worrying now about what to do then. The US and Iran might be allies.
Republicans hate this deal, because they want a war instead.
Of course, the religious oppression in Iran is still outrageous, and oppression of dissent too; but not as bad as in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which the US considers allies. We should try to end those forms of repression, but we have little influence over Iran. One thing we know is that economic warfare doesn't help.
Without this deal, nothing could stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons if it tried to. I think that Iran did in the past intend to develop nuclear weapons, but the weakness and division of Iraq removed the main military threat to Iran, so now Iran would rather forego nukes and get the sanctions lifted.
A program designed to let schools snoop on and censor students' internet use turns out to let others snoop on them too.
The discussion of "encryption" suggests that the program sends personal data to the company. That ought to be a crime.
Seaworld infiltrated an employee into animal rights protests who acted as a provocateur, encouraging "aggressive" action.
US citizens: call on Nissin and Maruchan to stop promoting deforestation.
Everyone: call on world leaders to treat "trade" treaties transparently.
These treaties are not really about trade; their aim is corporate supremacy.
US citizens: call on Obama not to appoint Wall Street cronies to the SEC.
Syriza has surrendered; Greek democracy has been defeated.
This "rescue" ensures Greece's debt will become even more unpayable.
Greece could prepare for that by printing drachmas in advance.
Greece and poor Americans are victims of the same system of class warfare, even the same companies.
Out of the thousands of Americans serving long sentences for minor crimes, Obama has now commuted the sentences of 89.
Americans released from prison tend to become poor and homeless. This surely encourages recidivism; you might want to avoid further crime, but find there is no other way.
US teachers were shocked when the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Clinton without consulting them. Teachers seem to be almost entirely in favor of Bernie Sanders.
After more than 12 years of US drone assassination, it is clear that its use works against US strategic interests by causing suffering.
Robin Lee was arrested for stealing electricity — for charging his phone in the London metro.
When he pointed out that this was unacceptable behavior, they arrested him for "unacceptable behavior".
How to carry on the fight against plutocracy in Europe after the surrender of Greece.
The reasons that Greenland's ice is melting include the fact that heating causes more rain. When the rain goes under the ice, it helps the ice slide into the sea.
Theoretical models of how fast the ice will melt tend to be underestimates because the fastest melting mode may not be obvious, and if you miss it, you underestimate.
A proposed anonymizing wi-fi extender project has mysteriously shut down, leading to suspicion that the developers were threatened by someone.
What the UK's proposed reforms on mass surveillance do and don't achieve.
The research into problems is useful nonetheless. It shows, for instance, that driving under the influence of marijuana is not a significant social problem.
Laura Poitras has sued the US for persistent harassment when she entered the US.
Journalists in Thailand face seven years in prison for accusing military officers of being involved in human trafficking.
I have no facts about this, but it is a pattern known world-wide that smugglers often pay off the officials responsible for stopping smuggling. It happens in the US Border Patrol, for instance. It would be hard for any country to avoid this.
The pretext for this prosecution is that the information threatened national security. That's what governments say about reporting that threatens national embarrassment. Compare this with Australia's ban on disclosing how the state treats refugees and Spain's law against recording what thugs do.
The bottled water lobby has been slowly eliminating water fountains in the US.
A friend pointed out that "spring water" is an inaccurate term for water pumped out of the ground — that is "ground water." If bottled water contains water pumped out of the ground and is labeled "spring water", it is false advertising.
Though this involves Facebook, in this case the wrong is on Abu Dhabi's part.
The TSA found cash in a passenger's luggage, and called the waiting thugs to steal it.
The FBI has caught another "terrorist plotter". The information in the article suggests, though it is not enough to prove it, that he is one more in the series of fantasy terrorists who could never have done anything without the FBI's encouragement and help.
US citizens: call on your senators not to support Senator Murray for a leadership position.
Books by right-wing authors get on the New York Times bestseller list
right-wing organizations buy their books in quantity
and give them away.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Many human rights lawyers in China have been arrested and accused of being a "criminal gang".
Oakland is developing a law to restrict the thugs' use of spy devices.
The UK must come clean about what has happened from its use of military drones.
Iraq is trying to take Falluja from PISSI.
I predict this will be very difficult as long as the inhabitants of Falluja fear being massacred by Shi'ites. I suspect that one of the motives behind PISSI's massacres of Shi'ites is to stir up the sort of hatred that will make Sunnis feel their safety depends on PISSI. In any case, there is plenty of such hatred.
The challenge of fighting PISSI is to defeat it without becoming just as bad.
One year after Israel's unnecessary bombardment of Gaza, Gaza has hardly been rebuilt, and tens of thousands are still homeless.
Ellen Brown: ways Greece can create alternatives to the banks that the EU plutocrats have crippled.
21 US states have imposed obstacles on voting since the Supreme Court made this easier to do.
The effects of certain medications on people's level of concern for others are not simple.
A video confirms that Colonel Shomer shot fleeing Mohammed Kasbeh in the back, then made false accusations to defend himself.
This confirms the close cultural connection between Israel and the US.
An underground network rescues Yazidi captives from enslavement by PISSI.
Some of them teach Muslim students what PISSI really means.
It seems to me that the PISSI's recruits need to dehumanize everyone other than obedient, orthodox, PISSI-supporting Sunnis. If they have human feelings for any others, while realizing how PISSI would treat them, they will find themselves unable to support PISSI.
You shouldn't give anyone products of Coca-Cola Company.
If we don't destroy our civilization, in a few decades we will probably greatly extend the human life span. We will need a way to cope with the tendency towards population growth, which would make civilization unsustainable.
We may systematically underestimate the possibilities of massive nonviolent action: it might perhaps even have dissuaded Hitler from genocide against the Jews.
However, it doesn't always work. There were very large protests against Dubya's invasion of Iraq, but he did not care.
The EU was unable to accept Greece's offer of conditional surrender. Some countries' ministers want to kick Greece out of the euro, regardless.
European Parliament's TTIP Vote A Step Backward for Public Health.
Americans are regularly condemned to life in prison for selling small quantities of marijuana.
New York City plans a replacement for bail, so that poor people are not jailed for months or years awaiting trial.
For many American high school students, the only way to afford college is to join the military and pretend to be "serving their country".
Some of them figure out who they are really serving, but that requires overcoming intense psychological pressure to deny it.
Ukraine's army and right-wing extremist militia are fighting.
Banks in Ireland were closed for 6 months in 1970, by a strike. People got by, and concluded banks were less necessary than they appeared.
Israel has released Khader Adnan after he spent 56 days on hunger strike.
He was never accused of a crime, just imprisoned as in Guantanamo.
He was arrested again the next day for praying at the al-Aqsa mosque.
A broad coalition in Belgium calls for an end to negotiations on the TTIP.
An experiment using fictitious users demonstrates gender discrimination in advertising.
To protect fossil fuel consumption in Australia, the government has told the Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to invest in developing solar or wind power.
Those forms of energy are no good because they are clean.
China has eliminated the internet as a system for people to communicate about anything socially important. This includes replacing the equivalent of Twitter with a communications service that makes it hard to talk to people you don't know.
US citizens: call on Congress to cancel the Oak Flat mining deal.
Many countries are suffering from debt crises.
The current international system, designed to make states repay loans no matter what the cost to the people, creates a moral hazard: lenders are too ready to lend money, even for dictators to steal, because they assume there is no way the state can get rid of the debt.
Haiti was crushed for a century by a debt imposed by France in exchange for recognizing Haiti's independence.
A California study was unable to estimate the danger of pollution from fracking because, for half the chemicals frackers use, they can't find any data about their toxicity or biodegradability.
In effect, fracking is a massive experiment with the public as the test subjects.
If our government were in the hands of statesmen, instead of flunkies, we would ban fracking, thus designating those natural gas reserves as part of the 80% of fossil fuels that must be left in the ground.
The US has spent 3 billion dollars promoting "charter schools" (private replacements for public schools), with little benefit. Often these schools close in a few years.
Charter schools do not in general provide a superior education, as they were supposedly going to do.
I suspect Congress's real motive for funding them is a lobby connected with businesses that profit from them.
Some large UK charities make a practice of phoning people aggressively to press for donations.
Charities should not use businesses to do their fundraising. Those businesses tend to pay their employees badly as well as to be pushy with the public. But it endangers the charity, too: it can warp the organization's attitudes, make it think of donors as money sources, not as people who support a cause. Thus, I think no charity should ever outsource the requesting of donations.
Freedom of panorama has been saved in Europe.
The NSA still collects broad information about Americans' internet activity in contempt of the constitution.
College students often have sex hesitantly, not quite sure what they really want, and often somewhat inebriated (though not unconscious). To call this "rape" leads to devastating their lives.
It might be a good thing to help students figure out more clearly whether they want sex. I am sure it would be good to lead them to drink less alcohol. But these are both more easily said than done.
The Netherlands proposes to authorize massive surveillance. Also, the spies will have the power to force anyone to decrypt anything.
So you can't trust a company in the Netherlands with your data, unless you live in a place like China whose government won't cooperate much with the Dutch government.
"Trading privacy for security" is a "false fad".
New Zealand's new censorship law, supposedly meant to protect people from online harassment, provides a great tool for online harassment.
Arguing that a fair monetary system has to be based on a universal redistribution system.
The UK government says it will "boost productivity" by producing the wrong kind of houses.
It's a distraction anyway, since the UK's problem isn't a lack of production, it is that the rich take it all.
Canada has passed a law to revoke citizenship of those convicted of "terrorism" in other countries. This applies even if they are convicted in countries like the US or Egypt, where dissent or journalism can be labeled as "terrorism" and courts don't follow the standards of justice.
This applies even to natural-born Canadians who had the bad luck to receive citizenship in some other country, perhaps without asking for it.
A right-wing pattern: offer token support to the poor or downtrodden, so that right-wing supporters can tell themselves, "We're not really callous and greedy."
It is fatuous to judge whether a party can "run the economy well" without thinking about what that means. Do dooH niboR policies, competently executed and enriching the rich, constitute running the economy well, or running it badly?
The US background check for gun purchases should have stopped Dylann Roof from buying a gun, but the system failed.
He also claims that it is part of a scheme by Germany to pressure France.
After Greece voted no, the euro-banksters said that their previous demand wasn't oppressive enough; they now demand more. This shows they were not negotiating in good faith. They want unconditional surrender, not a solution.
So the Greek government has offered them more or less what they demanded, asking in exchange for some debt relief.
However, the plutocrats of Europe now say that this is not good enough. They object to giving Greece any debt relief in exchange for budget cuts.
However, France is pushing for some debt relief.
Meanwhile, the Greek parliament may not approve the deal.
That article lists the main points of the deal. Many of them are not bad, but the new tax on foodstuffs and the reduced salaries will really hurt.
Delaying retirement might be fine if Greece had full employment, but what will it do to unemployed people who are fairly old but still under 67? They will never get another job.
26 different thugs attacked Tyree Carroll, at least some of them after he was handcuffed.
I can't see the video; please don't use nonfree Flash Player to watch it! I can only read what the article says.
It appears Carroll may be culpable for some violence, but that doesn't excuse hitting and kicking him once he was handcuffed and helpless. And if a thug put him in a chokehold, he had reasonable fear for his life.
Stopping someone for "riding a bicycle in the wrong direction" seems like looking for an excuse.
That's the sort of argument the Obama regime uses to justify tracking and spying on us in everything we do.
Important political information learned from the Hacking Team crack and leak.
The irrational US response to allegations of "terrorism" has perverted every stage of the US "justice system", and the effect is not limited to "terrorism" cases.
How the American Psychological Association changed its rules to help its members collude in torture.
It obtained no useful intelligence, but boosted tyrants world-wide.
Some of these psychologists were instrumental in proposing torture methods. They may even be prosecuted.
However, Dubya and Cheney were the ringleaders and we must concentrate on prosecuting them.
60% of US highschool boys say they think video games treat women as sex objects too much.
The article shows a foolish blindness when it talks about " consuming media images". If playing a game consumed it, you could not play for very long.
Cities such as San Francisco with "sanctuary" laws, that refuse to report or help deport illegal immigrants, are safer — because these laws encourage illegal immigrants to cooperate in catching criminals.
Tourists say they still feel safe in Tunisia.
Why help terrorists damage the Tunisian economy?
The Michigan judge changed her mind, and sent the disobedient children (who refused to meet with their father) to a summer camp.
Amnesty International and two British human rights organizations call on the UK to investigate why GCHQ spied on them.
The Soviet Union built and tested a semi-automatic "doomsday machine" system for automatic launch of a retaliatory missile strike.
The Perimetr system was a response to the US's deployment of missiles that threatened first-strike destruction of Soviet missiles. Deploying those missiles was a far more aggressive and foolhardy act.
We now know that the doomsday machine was inherent in those missiles: even without a Soviet retaliation, they would have triggered a nuclear winter that would have destroyed civilization (and maybe humanity too).
Taxing renewable energy like nonrenewable is "saving green pennies, but spending nuclear pounds."
The UK increase in minimum wage (which falls short of a "living wage") is far too small to compensate for the welfare cuts.
In addition, only a fraction of those hurt by the welfare cuts will see a rise in wages.
Monroe Bird was shot and paralyzed for no reason by a security guard, but what killed him was the lousy US medical system.
Many US workers are surveilled so much in their work that the stress is making their lives hell.
A house in Seattle has a history that superficially reminds people of the story of the movie Up.
Hacking Team was one of five companies listed by Reporters Without Borders as the "corporate enemies of the internet" for helping governments (even outright tyrannical ones) snoop on computers.
Australian medical professionals are protesting the laws banning other medical professionals from reporting when their patients are mistreated.
Bernie Sanders has cheered the Greeks for voting no.
The US government wants the impossible: software with back doors that only it can use. Even if one assumes that the US would never do wrong using this power, the idea is nuts.
Of course, that assumption is a fundamental error. We must not suppose that state agents use their power only for good. We need a state, so we need democracy to keep control over it. If the state can track everyone's actions and communications, democracy is doomed.
The Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate report recommends a plan of 10 steps that would nearly go far enough to avoid more than 2C of heating.
Here is the executive summary of the plan.
Is part of your city less than 6 meters above sea level?
The Senate's CIA torture report has made it possible for prisoners in Guantanamo to present part of the details of how they were tortured as evidence in military kangaroo courts.
However, some aspects of torture remain a secret of the torturers. For instance, we know that Abu Zubaydah lost his eye due to how the CIA treated him, but precisely how remains a secret.
Prominent economists call on Merkel to recognize that austerity is a misguided response, not a solution for a country's debts.
Could the mass extinction we are causing lead to humanity's extinction?
I think complete extinction will be unlikely because humans are very flexible: some humans will survive, even if reduced to stone-age technology. The vast majority will die, probably during this century.
The Greek referendum revealed how the EU has become an undemocratic instrument for imposing plutocracy. Here are details.
The UK killed another program for greenhouse gas reduction.
Jordan has jailed a journalist for reporting on terrorism.
West Virginia's science museum has made a mobile "exhibit" which is just propaganda in favor of fracking.
Now 60,000 Hondurans have protested calling for the coup-backed president to resign.
In particular, what those companies say about corporate supremacy treaties does not speak for internet users.
How US corporations engineered Puerto Rico's unpayable debt.
The US military is preparing to "protect" Americans from a shortage of resources; but this is to be done by propping up US inequality.
U.S. Trade Policy Is Pro-Rich, Not Free Trade.
However, the "free trade" treaties are really treaties for corporate supremacy: trade is a side issue.
I don't think the US needs to have high tariffs; tariffs are a side issue. To the extent that these treaties implement free trade, that is harmful because it enables companies to shift production easily from country to country, this pressuring countries to compete for which will allow the worst abuse of workers.
That is the part of free trade that we need to get rid of.
Microsoft gave Windows source code to Chinese companies which are thought to have provided it to the Chinese government to search for vulnerabilities.
This combines the real danger of proprietary software with the mythical danger of free software: you can't get Windows source code, but someone who wants to attack you can.
Three siblings in Michigan will be jailed for years for refusing to see their father.
If the mother has poisoned them against him — such things do happen — that is her responsibility, not the childrens'.
The Obama regime has decided to deny Malaysia's human trafficking record, to bypass a legal requirement so that country can be included in the TPP.
The US has for decades misrepresented countries' human rights records in order to continue selling them arms.
The Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline: many US girls from minority backgrounds are imprisoned for victimless "crimes" that are often a response to being sexually abused.
It is easy to say that they need help, not prison; but that's not strong enough. It would be better just to leave them alone than to imprison them.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on state officials to continue the program that promotes solar energy.
In the US: call on Metra, the Chicago region commuter railroad, to insist its car manufacturer reinstate the employee who was fired for raising safety concerns.
US citizens: call on Obama to cut massive surveillance now.
Uber in China tracks drivers and actively pressures them to stay away from protests.
The company could not prevent Chinese repression, but upholding it in this way is complicity.
Rats whose ancestors were underfed for 50 generations proved particularly susceptible to diabetes and obesity once offered a normal diet.
The experiment with the normal diet was continued for only two generations. I wish they had studied several more generations to see how long the effect lasted. If it is due to epigenetic changes, it would be likely to end in another generation or two.
Has Never Repaid its Debts. It Has No Right to Lecture Greece'
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
A study found that living on a street with trees goes with better health, equivalent to having $10,000 more annual income.
European sea bass urgently need protection.
A common right-wing tactic is the idea that needing public assistance is some sort of personal failure.
Jeb Bush thinks the solution for US underemployment is for workers to "work more hours". As if they were underemployed by choice.
In a developed economy, there isn't room for everyone to do well. A certain fraction is forced to be poor, and if the society is humane, it will give them assistance.
The size of the fraction forced to be poor can be changed by changing laws and policies.
It is urgent to establish rules to limit use of face recognition software.
The case that is most important to limit is recognition by the state or for the state's use, because that threatens democracy itself.
The Wettest Place in North America Is Burning: Global heating has brought drought even to Vancouver Island.
If we keep it up, the island's rainforest and its unusual tree species could disappear.
Regional high levels of particulate air pollution makes floods more likely.
Those who cracked the Office of Personnel Management's computers obtained personal data on 21 million people.
Bumblebees are dying from heat in southern parts of Europe and North America, but they have been unable to colonize areas to the north.
One possibility that occurs to me is that they can't survive cold beyond a certain point. One of the effects of global heating in the northern temperate zone is an increase in very cold periods in winter. That might make those areas uninhabitable for bumblebees even though they now have a higher average temperature.
The US has spent a billion dollars trying to set up an honest system of justice in Afghanistan, but has achieved little.
South Carolina Removes the Physical Flag: Can It Remove the Spiritual Illness of Racial Discrimination?
1/4 of the people in the "registered sex offender" list were added as minors for having sex with other minors.
There is a campaign of sexual repression that feeds on parents' irrational fears about their children — and unwillingness to recognize that they become sexual at different ages, often younger than the parents would wish.
They did not keep track of in what fraction of those cases the full disk encryption caused a real impediment to the investigation. That might be a much smaller fraction.
Spain Government Goes Full Police State; Enacts Law Forbidding Dissent, 'Unauthorized' Photography Of Law Enforcement.
The Latest In The 'Collect It All' Collection: An Entire Nation's DNA.
Standard practice for insincere politicians is to accuse their critics of the bad things they themselves do. Senator Graham, after proposing endless war against Iran and PISSI, said that peace activists such as Medea Benjamin "make the world incredibly dangerous".
A bipartisan Senate plan to reduce taxes on US-based multinational corporations.
The UK's right-wing government is rushing to end support for wind turbines, which will cancel many planned projects.
This was probably inevitable — they were endangering the profits of fossil fuel companies, to which the UK's current government reports.
It will also assure that the UK fails to meet its carbon emission targets, which those companies don't want to meet. (Those targets are too weak, so meeting them is not enough anyway.)
This makes an interesting contrast with the government's stance on fracking. Lots of Britons want to block fracking locally, since it could poison their water, but the government has denied landowners the power to veto fracking under their land.
The government minimizes the danger of fracking and exaggerates the inconvenience of wind turbines. How strange — but it makes sense if we assume that the government is looking for excuses to boost the profits of fossil fuel companies.
US citizens: call on CVS to stop selling Antarctic krill oil. The catch of Antarctic krill is not sustainable.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to vote against HR 2647, a bill to allow too much logging in federal forests.
A restaurant chain will stop selling single-use bottles of water to reduce waste.
The drugstore chain CVS has cut its ties with the US Chamber of Commerce because of that organization's lobbying on behalf of tobacco.
Shell's Arctic drilling is delayed because a ship supposed to deal with ice and oil spills developed a large hole in its hull.
Operations in the Arctic are especially unreliable. That's acceptable for operations whose failure is not catastrophic. If the worst danger is a small chance some crew might die, as is always possible on the sea, they may consider that acceptable. But when the danger is pollution of a large area for a century or more, we must not allow them to risk it.
Tsipras says that a deal with Europe must aim at making Greece economically healthy, not just at supporting its creditors.
Campaigning to repeal the US ban on government funding for abortion.
It won't be easy to pass this through Congress dominated by SCROTUS (Sleazy Congressional Republicans of the United States), but the effort can advance the cause.
US citizens: urge Bernie Sanders to remind Clinton that Israel's colonies in the West Bank are not part of Israel.
Rwanda has had a free press for about two years — but now it is reimposing censorship.
The European Parliament voted in favor of the general thrust of the TTIP: plutocrats thrusting a sword into the belly of democracy.
A thug in the UK lied about a prisoner who died under suspect circumstances. Amazingly, the thug is being tried for perjury!
US citizens: urge your congresscritter to oppose the DARK Act, even nastier now — it would be a crime to label a product as GMO-free.
Due to concentration of businesses, and unimpeded mergers, overall competition in the US has declined. This may hold back increases in employment and wages.
With so many trains carrying oil in North America, it is no wonder that several explode every year.
Since Obama is about to visit Ethiopia, the government released around 1/3 of the imprisoned journalists.
Thailand returned Uighur refugees to China even though they may face torture or imprisonment for no reason.
In addition, they planned a campaign of deceptive denials in case these actions were found out.
The budget is mostly dooH niboR, with a few inadequate progressive measures thrown in.
Young people are hit especially hard.
Verizon is trying to force telephone customers one by one to move from copper phone connections to fiber.
I think the copper landline network should be maintained and extended, and that includes the lifeline services. States or the federal government should aggressively prosecute any attempt to pressure people to switch.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation developed a drug that treats that disease, then sold the patent rights for 3 billion dollars. The new owner will surely insist on extracting a much larger sum from the patent, which will make the drug so expensive that many people with cystic fibrosis can't afford it.
The option to do this in effect sets research charities against the sick people they raised money to serve. And it probably violates the expectations of those who donated to these charities.
An email proves that Exxon's management was aware of the danger of global heating in 1981.
Its response was to fund denial for 27 years.
Remember to pronounce the "xx" in "Exxon" correctly. It is not pronounced like a single "x".
Baltimore has fired its thug chief, who is accused of telling thugs not to arrest some rioters, and perhaps through similar policies conniving at the increased murder rate of the past few months.
I wonder what change has caused that murder rate. It is not likely that the mentality of many people inexplicably and lastingly changed in such a short time. Some practical action must be responsible, but what? Perhaps orders from the thug chief?
Berlusconi has been convicted of bribing a senator to change political alignment.
Tunisia's state of emergency threatens the human rights won by the revolution.
I can't see why finding underground terrorist networks requires limiting journalism or public gatherings, so it seems like a suspicious excuse.
The state of emergency is supposed to last only 30 days. If it really ends on schedule, Tunisia will survive it. But will it end?
NSA spying inside the German government has affected the staff of Merkel and her predecessors.
Britons protested the Tories' killer budget with a die-in in Parliament Square, defying a ban on protests.
Banning protests is itself tyranny.
The euro-plutocrats told the Greek government to "get serious" — that is, propose the sort of big budget cuts that the Greek people just voted against.
Tsipras presented a serious proposal, including debt relief, and they dismissed it out of hand. Greece has no partner for peace in Europe. All they want from Greece is surrender to further draining, which will make the problem worse (as it has done every year since it started).
The loans that Greece wants forgiven are those that were made as part of the "bailout" of the creditor-banks, which was supposed to give Greece a way out of the crisis but (predictably) made it worse.
Getting out of the euro will enable Greece to have an independent fiscal policy, which it needs.
However, that is not what most Greeks want. When they elected Syriza, they did not give Syriza a mandate to exit the euro. The referendum was about rejecting further bloodsucking by the banksters, but not directly about leaving the euro.
Thus, Tsipras is obliged to try his best to end the austerity while keeping Greece in the euro zone. He has to give the banksters a chance to accept this, so that if they reject it, it is clear that they are responsible and that he did his best.
I think that is clear, now. If the banksters continue punishing Greece as much as they can, I think Greeks will accept leaving the euro.
The EU required Greece to destroy its facilities for printing drachmas, preparing in advance a barrier to leaving the euro.
I have read that there is a euro printing plant in Greece. I wonder if Greece could use that to print a form of drachma. Or, more interesting, whether it could print euros. Real euros, indistinguishable from all the others.
Greece needs in the long run to get out of the euro zone, but printing euros as an interim measure would give Greece a way to teach the bastards a lesson.
The IRS permits nonprofit organizations to channel money into electioneering, failing to enforce the law against it.
The UK government has cancelled, one by one, nearly all the programs to promote renewable energy.
Something's Missing From Pope Francis' "Radical" Vision of Equality: Women.
The biggest threat to Australian wildlife is habitat loss, but government protection policies ignore that and tend to make that worse.
Public funding for US elections could enable large numbers of people to overwhelm the money that billionaires give.
Burma will have an election in November, but it won't be entirely free due to the perverse exclusion of Aung San Suu Kyi. We don't know whether it will be free in other respects.
Hacking Team found and secretly exploited bugs in many programs, including one in Flash Player.
The crackers should not have published this information; they should have sent it to the developers so the bugs could have been fixed. Nonetheless, the users will be better off (on a time scale of a month or more) having these bugs leaked and fixed, than having them kept secret and exploited for a long time.
The autopsy confirms that teenager Mohammed Kasbeh was shot in the back by an Israeli officer, who then made a false report of the circumstances.
Massachusetts citizens: support state bills for medical privacy, contraceptive coverage, rights of pregnant workers, and gender-equality in wages.
US citizens: tell CVS to stop the krilling.
I am not opposed to capitalism as such, if it is kept in check and under strict regulation by a democratic state. I refer to our current system as "extreme capitalism" or "plutocracy".
UK corporate welfare amounts to around 150 billion dollars a year.
The reason the government cuts welfare for the poor instead of cutting welfare for the rich is simple: its politicians are funded by the rich.
The July 4th "terrorism warning" proved as bogus as all the others.
The owners of Walmart run a large chain of private "charter schools", and lobby against applying safety or educational standards to them on the grounds they are private, but call them "public schools" when it suits them.
We should call them "public expense, private control" schools.
Why it is wrong, and probably deadly, to impose contact on isolated Amazon forest tribes.
If we leave 80% of the fossil fuel reserves in the ground, as we need to, there is no reason to extract any from those areas.
Danish cities are tracking people by the MAC addresses of their portable wifi devices.
I avoid such tracking by keeping my laptop's wifi off except when I actually want to use it — and changing the MAC address each time I use it in a different place.
Kazakhstan's independent news site has been fined for libel for investigating corruption in the construction industry. This is likely to shut it down.
Egypt is about to make it a crime to cite any unofficial source about fights with Islamists. In effect, all journalism will be reduced to parroting the state.
Covering the trials of alleged "terrorists" will also be a crime. Of course, these people are not necessarily real terrorists. They might be real dissidents. In Egypt, they may have done no more than be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Aside from being an injustice in its own right, it will mean that we hardly know anything about what is happening in Egypt's Islamist rebellion. We will get only the lies of a government that feels empowered to lie.
It is now certain from Bill Cosby's formerly secret testimony that he gave women drugs to rape them.
Argentine author Pablo Katchadjian faces the threat of imprisonment for doing a Borgesian remix on a short story by Jorge Luis Borges.
I have not seen Katchadjian's story, and I don't remember "The Aleph", but "Pierre Menard: Author of Quixote" was great fun. It described a (fictional) activity which would be a literary hack, like this one. I think Borges had the spirit of a hacker.
After a year of legal marijuana sales in Washington state, the state has saved lots of money and obtained increased tax revenue, and lots of citizens have been spared arrest and imprisonment.
Meanwhile, use of marijuana has not increased. There's no downside, it seems, except for private prison operators.
Chile is moving towards partial legalization.
"Shark Week" targets the predators that attack poor humans in American cities: loan sharks.
The high expense of using "payday lending" is a secondary problem; the primary problem is that many Americans are paid so little they can't save any money and can barely get by. Other Americans use credit cards for the same thing. It's a bad practice, but but poverty puts people under stress that makes it hard for them to think clearly.
Notwithstanding Donald Trump, Mexican immigrants in the US tend to be less criminal than average Americans.
Robots make it possible to inspect narrow oil pipes for cracks, but that doesn't mean the cracks will receive prompt repair.
Clinton supports giving Puerto Rico's public agencies the right to declare bankruptcy.
Bernie Sanders supports this too, but reminds us that the underlying problem is austerity and that the real goal is to give Puerto Rico's inhabitants a better life.
With music streaming disservices such as Apple Play, the major record companies and Apple are arranging for suckers to pay a substantial amount every month to keep listening to the same music.
If the sucker ever stops paying, all the music will become inaccessible.
Don't be a sucker.
Icann Plan to End Website Anonymity 'Could Lead to Swatting Attacks'.
The US should end swatting entirely by limiting the use of SWAT teams to situations where they are really necessary. Most SWAT teams should be eliminated.
Bruce Schneier: David Cameron's Proposed Encryption Ban Would 'Destroy the Internet'.
It would destroy human rights in the UK, too.
The US is training a total of 60 Syrian rebels. No more than that could pass the admissions criteria.
The criteria are surely not overly strict. What the low number shows is that this approach isn't going to work.
It might be more effective to train westerners to join the fight among the Syrian Kurds.
A crack of the servers of Hacking Team obtained information proving it sells to repressive countries.
One of Hacking Team's sales partners, a US company, gets lots of help and support from the US government in selling to a repressive state.
Most of the operations SWAT teams do have no need for the armaments of a SWAT team.
The effect of using SWAT teams for them is generally to terrify people for no reason, and occasionally to kill them for no reason.
Building tall buildings using wood can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of their construction.
A tourist destination, ice caves near Seattle collapsed due to high temperatures that, in the past, were unusual.
The greenhouse gas reduction pledges that major countries have made add up to far too little to avoid disaster.
The UK Parliament wants the government to clarify its criteria for prosecuting UK intelligence agencies and staff for complicity in US drone assassinations.
The US does not kill individual civilians intentionally, but it intentionally attacks cities and roads in ways that inevitably kill civilians. Those killings are part and parcel of these wars.
Defeating a violent armed satanic cult, which is what PISSI effectively is, justifies some violence. But the US must limit its bombings to battlefields where their casualties are understandable and acceptable by the standards of Americans and Middle Easterners.
The Sahara desert is spreading in Burkina Faso as human climate mayhem reduces rainfall and increases temperature.
They shouldn't have so many children that they can't feed — the rich countries must give them help in the form of reliable birth control.
Thailand has freed a small group of student protesters on bail, but they still face prosecution by the military government.
The current coral bleaching event could kill 6% of the world's coral reef area.
Ocean heating threatens to kill corals in the north Pacific and the western Atlantic oceans, as well as in tropical areas.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congress to pressure the European Central Bank to support Greece during negotiations.
Here is how Bernie Sanders explained in 2003
why he was voting
against Dubya's plan to conquer and occupy Iraq.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Senator Clinton voted for it.
He didn't have to be a super genius to see that the war was unjustified. Millions of people opposed it, and many of them protested in the street. What distinguished Sanders from people like Clinton was that he had the moral courage to oppose the powerful.
Compare this with the Marshall plan.
US citizens: support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
US citizens: support Bernie Sanders' call to extend Medicare to all Americans.
A German politician who represents the line of the euro banks says that Tsipras must "rebuild trust" before negotiations begin. What this means is, Tsipras should start speaking in subservient tones to show they can "trust him" to impose their rule on Greece.
The writer continues by refusing to recognize crushing imposed poverty as an issue. He says the issue is making Greece more "competitive".
That's their code work for eliminating workers' rights and giving business a free hand. They do this in one country, which puts some other country where workers still have rights at a disadvantage, which creates an excuse to do it in that country. Thus all the countries compete to let businesses spread poverty. "Free trade" treaties also represent this idea.
His next piece of bullshit is the claim that this "reform" was "hugely successful" in other European countries where poverty and suffering are still in place. It's certainly not true in Spain.
The European banks are still trying to crush Greece with a shortage of cash.
I suppose this is meant to force Greece out of the euro zone quickly. Most Greeks don't want that, but I think they will accept it rather than continue this.
The euro-zone's austerity reflects its rejection of democracy.
About the debt crisis that is crushing Puerto Rico.
Varoufakis explains why the rulers of Germany benefit from perpetuating crisis in southern Europe.
Some of his sharp one-liners.
Bernie Sanders responds to policy questions and explains why he does not run attack ads against Hillary Clinton.
I condemn Clinton for her right-wing policies and actions.
Emails show the US state department under Clinton secretly supported the coup in Honduras, and she was personally involved in that support.
The US-backed bombardment of Yemen killed 45 civilians with one bomb.
Ex-attorney-general Holder has returned to the Wall Street consulting firm that he came from.
A person with a background like that is hardly likely to do the attorney general's job. Of course, Obama knew that. He didn't want someone to prosecute banksters.
10,000 protested in Toronto demanding "jobs, justice and climate action".
The right-wing government, opposed to truth and to human rights, won't willingly grant any of those.
It is very important to unite the Green cause with the Social Democratic cause.
Businesses evade blame for their practices by putting the blame on the technology they take advantage of.
China has rebuked the US for human rights violations, racial discrimination and callously strewing poverty.
A few of the points are exaggerated. For instance, shootings in schools are shocking but don't add up to a significant danger compared with other dangers such as car crashes. By contrast, violence against women by their spouses or lovers is a major social problem, but the government is not directly responsible for it; indeed, people are only exploring what sort of measures can put an end to it.
Nonetheless, the report amounts to a valid rebuke to the US. The fact that a similar report about China is even worse in many dimensions is not excuse for it.
However, the person carrying it risks being arrested and imprisoned for the crime of being suspected.
40 current and former staff of Australian immigration prisons signed a letter daring the state to prosecute them for continuing to talk about mistreatment of the prisoners that they have observed.
More about how this law blocks people from carrying out moral and legal duties.
The Australian government has some absurd excuse to claim these places are something other than prisons, but if it smells like a prison, feels like a prison, and tastes like a prison, I'm glad I didn't set foot in it.
The UK started an inquiry in 2010 about how it handed over Libyan dissidents to Ghadhafi. Some of the answers turned out embarrassing, so it has buried the remaining part of the inquiry.
Greece's Fight Is for Democracy in Europe. That's Why We Must Support It.
The 22,000 residents of Highland Park, near Detroit, face impossible and sometimes false water bills. They are in danger of water shutoff and perhaps mass homelessness.
The Koch brothers are spending a lot of money to hold back the EU from resisting global heating.
Note, however, that education for boys is also threatened in many countries, as the elites consider more and more people disposable and not worth educating.
Heaps of radioactive mining waste are scattered around Johannesburg, and the dust from them makes people sick. Poor people are especially hard hit, since they can't afford measures that can reduce the damage.
The European banks threatened Greece to procure regime change, and admitted it.
Finance Minister Varoufakis has resigned to facilitate negotiations with the plutocratist European leaders. The government hopes this will help them bypass their personal resentment of him (for not surrendering) in order to negotiate.
I hope the banksters accept a limit on their power, rather than punishing Greece as much as they can. But the banks may not care about success or failure for European institutions. They may not mind causing a bigger crisis, since the rich profit from crises.
If they take further steps to crush Greece, they will inspire more hatred, until countries across Europe elect parties like Syriza.
The No vote in Greece is a rebuke to the banksters. If they press on on their arrogance, they risk even bigger defeats.
Greeks don't actually want to drop the euro, but they refused to be pressured by the threat of this.
The banksters lost the ability to maneuver people through fear, because they had already squeezed Greeks to the point where many had nothing left to lose, or could foresee that that would be the case by and by.
Syriza is being criticized for not saying concretely what the victory for No would lead to, but there was a good reason for that: this can't be known in advance. It depends on a number of things, including how the banksters respond to this rebuke. The only way that Syriza could have stated a concrete outcome would be to insist on the worst — but that is obviously not in the interests of Greece.
Mr Y lives in Britain an isolated and restricted life based on the decisions of a secret court for reasons he is not allowed to know.
You could think of it as Guantanamo lite.
US citizens: call on Congress to quash state ag-gag bills.
US citizens: call on Congress to keep anti-environmental riders out of budget and spending bills.
The US Border Patrol is deeply corrupt — even the US government recognizes it.
I am glad the thug has been convicted, but why isn't he in prison?
One more US state has put limits on "forfeiture", i.e. seizure of property for a "crime" without a criminal trial, and another state has abolished it altogether.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Is Accused of Pocketing Nearly $700 Million from a Government Investment Fund.
The witch hunt against teenage sex subjects people to punishment for life for actions that shouldn't even be illegal.
You can see from what the judge said that the motive for this policy is pure and simple hostility towards sex and those who enjoy sex.
The normal activity of human adolescents is sex. We should teach them how to avoid diseases and pregnancy, then stop interfering.
A security researcher reported on big flaws in voting machines in Argentina. The state is investigating … the researcher.
Craigs List sued a company, claiming that screen scraping was illegal unauthorized access, and won — and now is trying to buy public forgiveness for this attack on our rights by donating the money it got from this to the EFF.
Everyone: call on LG to uphold workers' rights in its supply chain.
With coral already dying, and threatened by global heating, Fiji may lose its tourism income and much of its food supply.
Travel to Fiji for tourism contributes to the problem.
Giant Lake Urmia in Iran has nearly disappeared — people are taking too much of the water that flows into it.
Renewed American tourism in Cuba could destroy the environment there.
Companies are now 97% accurate at figuring out from use tracking that various computers are mainly used by the same person.
They do this with kinds of personal data that they never get from me. I block them by using Tor and by not identifying myself to sites.
Egypt is about to make it a crime to publish any disagreement with official statements about terrorism.
The government could say "There is no terrorism" and it would be a crime to report any. This censorship almost reaches the level of North Korea.
PISSI shamelessly kills many civilians as a matter of policy. Syrians who choose dispassionately between the US and PISSI will have to conclude that PISSI is much worse. But I don't think many will compare in that way. Some in Raqqa hate PISSI and some are contented.
The people still alive in Raqqa today will only be killed by PISSI for some reason. It might be a vicious and evil reason, but it will be predictable. Most people will assume they can avoid doing the things that would motivate PISSI to kill them. They can't avoid falling foul of a bomb from an airplane.
The Republican party is proposing to hurt old people, so that once again most old people in the US can be poor, as was the case before Social Security.
The AARP (American Association of Retired People) hampers representation of old people's interests. It convinces most of them to join, for practical benefits, then often lobbies for business causes without calling the members' attention.
US citizens: call on Senate Democrats to resist the TPP firmly.
Urge Bernie Sanders to lead a filibuster against the "fast track" bill.
Also phone your senators to oppose "fast track".
US citizens: phone your senators right away against "fast track" for corporate supremacy treaties.
The Greek crisis has exposed the European Union for what it really is, invalidating the ideas on which it depends for moral legitimacy.
However, I think those ideas were initially more than a fiction. 30 years ago, social democracy and human rights played an important role in EU policies and law. Then the plutocrats and banksters took advantage of other changes to grasp increasing control. The rejected EU constitution, and the non-constitution (the Lisbon treaty) adopted in its place, are insufficiently democratic, which provided the banksters with a great opportunity. (This is why I called on voters to reject it and block it, where they had the chance.)
Nowadays the EU is a pliable instrument for plutocrats to subordinate human rights with. For freedom and democracy, a country must get out of it.
US citizens: call on the Labor department to cover more Americans with required extra pay for overtime work.
US citizens: call on Attorney General Lynch to investigate the practice of trying minors as adults and putting them in adult prisons.
Tunisia's president declared a state of emergency, apparently to suspend civil liberties.
I am skeptical that there is any valid justification for this.
60,000 people marched in Honduras demanding the president resign.
The reasons include corruption in the election campaign, which was run by the government installed by the US-backed military coup.
However, most of this is tax-deductible so really Americans will pay it.
Four more Egyptian journalists have been arrested, accused with crimes including "spreading false information" and "working for al Jazeera".
Along the same lines, New Zealand has criminalized many sorts of on digital communications, including journalism.
One of the new crimes, punished with imprisonment, is "making false allegations" and "disclosing sensitive personal facts". It also criminalizes whistleblowing even against companies, since it is forbidden to send or post anything "published in breach of confidence".
Under "Principle 10", "denigrating" anyone based on various personal characteristics is also criminalized. Saying, "He's a Scientologist, so he's a sucker" seems to be a crime there now, and even "By believing in PISSI's version of Islam he has turned himself into a monster".
Urging people to say, to a business owner, "I won't buy from you any more because..." also seems to be a crime under "Principle 8".
Great job of repression, New Zealand!
Being bullied hurts, but nothing like being put in prison.
Koch-Backed Group Calls For No More National Parks.
The UK is slowing wind power development by replacing cheap land-based wind power with expensive offshore wind power.
The Western powers and UN intentionally abandoned Srebrenica and let the Bosnian Serbs systematically kill all the Muslim men.
I can excuse deciding to cede the territory to the Bosnian Serbs as a way of making peace, but they should not have allowed the mass murder.
Of course, this complicity does not in any way reduce the guilt of the Serbs who did the killing.
Western intellectuals must have the courage to subject religion to moral criticism, rejecting its demands to penalize or kill its critics.
One good example: Nazis were allowed to hold a rally in London, but a giant anti-fascist rally demonstrated rejection of their views.
Brazil Announces Massive Reforestation And Renewable Energy Plan With US.
It is heading in the right direction but not with sufficient urgency.
Truth or Deception: New Report Exposes How Industry Front Groups are Spending Millions to Shape the Story of Food.
UK lawyers are going on strike because the government pays them less to represent the indigent.
The EPA report on fracking and water supplies was incomplete because frackers keep most of the pertinent data secret.
It is clear why they want to do this, but there is no reason we should to permit them to do this.
Australia's carbon tax seems to have been effective at reducing electricity use. Use fell while the tax was in effect, and has risen again since the suppository of all pollution repealed the tax.
5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Underdogs.
In some regions, 10% of Facebook useds don't realize that talking to Facebook is using the internet. And Facebook is directing millions of people into having no internet access except to Facebook.
This is the sort of thing that a democratic society should prohibit, for the same reason we prohibit other kinds of monopolies.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is only half as effective today as it was 40 years ago. Why so?
The NSA spied on German journalists and told the German government about what a press contact official told reporters.
It's not clear that the official should be called a whistleblower, since talking to the press was his job. But it is clear that this is part of the way state surveillance of the public is used to keep the public in the dark about what the state does.
The social democracy that Sanders stands for is an American tradition since before the founding of the United States.
Uri Avnery on the stupidity of Israel's blockade of Gaza.
The UK government has backed down on plans for official censorship of talks in universities.
How a Crusading Chicago Sheriff Convinced Visa and Mastercard to Screw Sex Workers.
It is very dangerous that businesses (and NGOs such as Wikileaks) face harassment through payment services.
Good riddance to the US Export-Import Bank, a system of corporate welfare. Next the Overseas Private Investment Corporation should be abolished.
How the US "anti-terrorism" apparatus applies itself to criminalizing dissent.
The absolute power that a torturer has over a prisoner leads to cruelty without bounds. Apologists excuse this cruelty on the grounds that torturers were "obeying orders".
That was no excuse for Nazis, and it's no excuse for the CIA. The US must prosecute the Bush regime's torturers, up to and including Bush.
Kenya has imposed real-time face-recognition tracking in its major cities.
And all internet users are required to identify themselves.
Americans: Don't listen to government officials who hype the "danger" of terrorism in the US. You're in a lot more danger from lightning or your bathtub.
The OECD says that new coal-fired power plants are the "most urgent" threat to the world's future.
The discount supermarket Lidl has benefited from almost a billion dollars in publicly funded loans.
The IMF now recognizes that Greece needs debt relief.
Greece is running out of food and medicines.
Jeb Bush made half a million dollars by investing in the success of Obama's health care program.
The UK quietly changed how welfare is indexed for inflation, resulting in a gradual cut that will keep growing.
The NSA spied on German ministries and cabinet members.
Germany swallowed the NSA's spying on heads of the government. Will this push it to the point of actually doing something?
A substantial part of the Greek debt comes from German arms that German companies bribed corrupt Greek politicians to buy.
We shouldn't blame all Germans for this, any more than we blame all Greeks. But it isn't fair to lay all the burden of these debts on poor Greeks. The German arms companies should pay some of it.
US citizens: phone the White House at 855-980-5638 and call for making federal contractors disclose their political spending.
The UK intentionally let exporters continue selling equipment for Saddam Hussein's poison gas factory in the 1980s.
TISA Leaks Part Deux: More Evidence of Concerted Attack on Democracy.
Iceland has repealed its law against blasphemy — a victory for the Pirate Party.
Tunisia's terrorist threat comes from local jihadis who fought in other countries and then returned. Often they train in Libya.
Prominent UK politicians ask Obama to free Shaker Aamer.
Republicans in Wisconsin plan to weaken the state's open records law. Perhaps this is to shield the corruption that seems to float around Governor Walker.
Conservatives and Progressives should be able to agree that work should pay enough that employed people don't need a state subsidy.
One way to help this along is to stop charging the cost of social benefits for employed people to their employers. We should fund it from taxes on income or wealth, taxes which the rich and the businesses would have to pay regardless of how many human beings they employ.
Alas for the article, today's "conservatives" don't sincerely support anything except serving the rich by squeezing the poor.
The TTIP may imply massive oil export from the US and tar sands oil export from Canada.
In addition to many other bad things, which is why I call it This Treaty Is Plutocratic.
Goober has retreated from France under pressure from protesters.
Aerial attacks on PISSI in Syria can't do much good in the absence of a ground force that can fight PISSI in Syria.
A study predicts severe damage to ocean life by 2050 if we don't stop increasing CO2 levels.
Much sooner, a large nuclear waste depository in the Marshall Islands is going to be breached by the rising sea level.
We must set a goal of (roughly) zero greenhouse gas emissions, in a decade or two, not a century.
(I understand this as meaning zero net emissions, counting what the Earth can absorb in a steady state.)
The FBI has issued 40 "terror warnings", all 100% false. There was never a real attack, nor any evidence of a failed attack.
If they do enough of these warnings, by chance one of them will be coincide with reality, like a stopped clock.
Bernie Sanders stands up for Greece against the euro-banks.
He has done this before and he continues to do so.
It is easy for the UK to spy on organizations such as Amnesty International, since targets are approved by a political official, with no judicial scrutiny.
Drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease and depression affect people's moral judgment.
The UK government says it will block access to Facebook and Twitter because they offer too much privacy.
This is tyranny reminiscent of China and Iran. Universities will be censored too.
UNESCO's influence has proved insufficiently effective for protecting its designated "world heritage" sites from redevelopment and damage.
It's not UNESCO's fault that it doesn't influence PISSI.
California cities have cut water use by almost 1/3 since a year ago.
However, cities use just a few percent of the water used in California. If it doesn't cut water use in agriculture now, it will run out of water for next year.
If fossil fuel companies are required to invest heavily in carbon capture and storage, it might make a difference.
One way it would make a difference is by creating a big incentive to build renewable energy generation. But you could do the same with a carbon tax, or by eliminating their subsidies.
Former minister: India can't continue growth based on destroying its environment.
Destroying records of the distant past of civilization is an attack on humanity's memory.
Americans are getting tired of the regressive experiment that Reagan started, which has made the US worse on nearly every dimension.
20 million people face starvation in Yemen as a result of the US-supported Saudi bombardment campaign.
The US is building medical facilities in Afghanistan, but can't keep track of where they are located.
The F-35 is not only way over budget, it is unmaneuverable in combat.
An Italian politician, a junior minister, has started a hunger strike in favor of same-sex civil unions.
The UK spied on Amnesty International.
It is natural for rights-violating states regard Amnesty International as a threat, but that doesn't excuse their spying on them.
Rep. Pelosi publicly took the side of the banksters against Senator Warren.
UNESCO Spares Great Barrier Reef 'In-Danger' Listing But Issues Warning. Australia has been given 5 years to show its protective measures actually protect the reef.
This means, in effect, that they have no privacy for their communication with the town.
My 'Colorblind' College Campus Is Still Racist. My White Peers Just Don't See It.
The US has failed for 80 years to protect workers from death from silicosis, mainly because it isn't trying very hard.
Let's hope so — drilling in Arctic waters is inviting a disaster that would take centuries to clean itself up, not to mention adding to global heating.
'Dollar Signs in Uniform': Why For-Profit Colleges Target Veterans.
Paul Krugman explains why Greece should vote no and reject further noose-tightening.
Laws denying human rights, aimed at motorcycle gangs, are getting Australians used to loss of human rights.
Maui's ban on GMOs has been invalidated by federal court.
Stephen Lawrence was murdered by racists, and the thugs tried to smear his relatives who were campaigning to demand justice.
The UK government has abolished poverty by renaming it.
Parents that live in poverty will now be rebuked for the aspects of their lives that make them poor. This will presumably be used as an excuse to punish them by cutting off funds and making them poorer. As a means to end poverty, this will backfire: poverty causes stress, that makes it hard for people to think. To get out of traps in their life, they need help, not more pressure.
The UK Children's Commissioners say the government is stripping children of their rights in the name of dooH niboR.
I do have to worry that "sexual abuse of children by other children" is merely a prudish way of describing "teenagers having sex".
Puerto Rico is collapsing under unpayable debt.
Schools, hospitals and even water are impacted.
As Israel considers authorizing force-feeding of Palestinian hunger
strikers (who are in prison without trial or charges), the
administrators refuse to do the job.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Why the delay? Someone in charge was either incompetent or complicit.
US citizens: see how your congresscritter voted in undermining the EPA's plan to limit CO2 from coal-fired electric generation, and then tell your congresscritter what you think.
That plan is insufficient, but that's still too much for the fossil fuel companies that buy congresscritters.
US citizens: support the Supreme Court Ethics Act.
US citizens: Tell right-wing Democrats that progressive values and views are not "extreme".
In fact, most Americans support many of these positions. It is only in Congress that they appear unusual.
US citizens: call on the EPA to redo the study about fracking and water supply, this time not getting the data mainly from the frackers.
Tunisia has arrested a group suspected of two terrorist attacks against tourists.
A US fearmongering campaign focuses on July 4.
Airport expansion around London would aggravate local air pollution and global heating.
For the UK government, that's all worth while to burn more fossil fuel.
For the survival of civilization, making flights pay a carbon tax would eliminate the need for airport expansion in London.
Someone (a Palestinian?) fired at Israeli "settlers"; Israel punished this with reprisals against lots of Palestinians that live in the area.
Negotiations have made the EU "network neutrality" so vague and weak that it amounts to little.
The arguments against multiple marriage (i.e., polyamorous families) are similar to the arguments against same-sex marriage that the US has rejected.
One traditional reason, in patriarchal society, why most men opposed polygamy (which always took the form of multiple wives for one man) was that it implied some men could not have wives. In effect, banning polygamy was a measure to improve equality among men.
But nowadays, as rich men have many ways to have multiple lovers and women have equality at least in principle, I don't think this ban achieves its goal very much any more.
Israel used tasers and beatings on the personnel on the Gaza aid boat Marianne.
In the US today, college teachers can be fired merely for speaking profanity.
Greenpeace had reason to return the land it used to block a new runway for Heathrow airport: the new plan for another runway is in a different place and that plot of land would not block it.
Democratic presidential hopeful Lincoln Chafee calls for pardoning Snowden and restricting general surveillance.
If this were the principal issue, I would support him; but I think defeating the power of the plutocrats is the most important political issue.
The CEO of Hardees and Carl's Jr claims that the social safety net "locks" people into poverty.
The social safety net permits his workers to survive while paid so little.
Wall Street bankers say they would be happy with Clinton or Biden as president. They know those two are not on our side.
ACLU: the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should apply to personal lifestyle, but should not be a license for religiously-motivated discrimination against others based on their lifestyle.
I agree. I've been an ACLU member since 1989. You can join, too.
Ironically, the Church is not in favor of the most important lifestyle change you can make to help the environment: to have fewer (or no) children. The way to do that is with contraception, plus abortion as needed.
A Moroccan journalist and witness/source have been convicted of reporting about how thugs killed a prisoner.
In 10 years, our CO2 emissions will make parts of the Arctic Ocean too acidic for some small marine animals to make their shells. The loss of those species is likely to wipe out other species higher up on the food chain.
The Department of Justice rebuked the Ferguson thug department for violating teargassing protesters in Ferguson with no justification.
How EU policies, especially those of the euro zone, pressured Greece to borrow.
Now when some people see PISSI's real flag, they see it as dildos.
US citizens: call on Obama to go to the ceremony at Hiroshima and call for nuclear disarmament.
US citizens: call on Congress to condemn the IMF assault on Greece.
The Australian government plans another repressive law: removing the charity tax exemption from organizations that criticize the government's plans to trash the environment.
California has made childhood vaccination mandatory for children in school.
The first country to eliminate transmission of HIV from mothers to children is … Cuba.
Cuba has set up an excellent medical system with very little money. It covers everyone.
What is the real "southern heritage"? Slavery under various names.
Three churches used mainly by blacks have burned in recent days, in an apparent wave of racist arson.
How Being Poor Can Lead to a Negative Spiral of Fear And Self-Loathing.
An Australian describes the abuses he has seen in immigration prisons in Nauru and Manus.
Starting tomorrow, even making a diary of these abuses would be a crime, so shameless is the Australian state in repressing human rights activists.
Angola is repressing the members of a book club.
Meanwhile, the UK is requiring universities to get permission for talks to assure that they present approved ideas.
That resembles Chinese policy.
Malian rebels and the government have agreed to peace with federalism.
It will be harder for Islamist lunatics to take advantage of this dispute.
(That's assuming you gave it any.) This is one of many reasons why anything a company says about how it will use people's personal data cannot be depended on.
I therefore refuse to give companies my personal data.
Evidence that Google distorts search results under the guise of "serving users better".
The European Union states are trying to eliminate all protection of network neutrality from a proposed EU directive.
The text is vague; there is no telling what it would mean.
A FARC sabotage attack caused a large oil spill which polluted rivers and may pollute the Pacific coast of Colombia.
This has to be considered a war crime. But don't forget that there are worse terrorists in Colombia: the paramilitares.
Despite the "recovery", the UK economic crisis has a lasting effect: median income has fallen substantially, and the poor pay a higher tax rate than the wealthy.
Everyone: call on the Dominican Republic not to expel its citizens of Haitian origin.
This is a contest between democracy and multinational business. It's a part of the same war that Greece is fighting, although this battle is smaller and for smaller stakes.
Israeli soldier Shachar Berrin was jailed for talking about how carrying out the occupation makes Israel racist and violent.
The US is once again the land of racial segregation.
Israel seized the Gaza aid boat Marianne in international waters. It is not yet known how much violence was used.
90% of the "bailout" money "for Greece" didn't go to Greece, but rather to the European banks.
The plutocratist politicians heading the EU continue telling Greece it needs "help" which only makes things worse. Joseph Stiglitz explains why he would vote no.
The plutocratists surely do know how harmful their "help" is. They could not help seeing it. They keep on maintaining their lies because that is what they serve.
That's rational. A person's race, ethnic group, national origin, gender, etc., is not a moral issue; those characteristics are morally neither good nor bad, so there is no reason to judge them. By contrast, one's political stance represents a decision about basic moral values, one that people can change. It is valid to judge people for their politics.
Obama criticizes billionaires for trying to buy politicians and elections but declines to take actions to prevent them.
Political life in Greece today has taken on an unpredictable revolutionary form.
Rwanda's head of intelligence has been arrested in the UK to be prosecuted in Spain for atrocities.
There was no evidence that he himself planned any violence.
Israel's bombardment of Gaza destroyed Gaza's medical system, and the blockade has prevented it from being rebuilt.
US citizens: call for dropping all charges against Bree Newsome, who took down the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house.
The US Supreme Court blocked the EPA from limiting toxic emissions (mercury, for instance) of power plants.
Coal-fired power plants emit so much uranium that if they were nuclear plants they would be shut down immediately.
Iceland is catching whales defying the International Whaling Commission's ban.
Rich countries promised in 2009 to raise 100 billion dollars to help poor countries cope with climate mayhem, but they didn't do it.
This approach is hopeless anyway, since the costs of coping with the effects of global heating will keep growing. It's inevitable that the rich countries will stop, sooner or later.
There's only one way we can afford to cope with global heating, and that is to make the effort to stop it.
The President of Burundi, having disregarded the constitution and chased many officials into exile, is holding an "election" to win another term.
What might it be like to be robots' pets?
Imagine that your robot masters bring you to the "humane society" because fashions for pets have changed and they are no longer interested in taking care of you.
Most collective activities and civic institutions in the US are in danger of disappearing because people under 35 are not interested. Younger Americans are atomized, easy prey for the plutocratic state.
A Europhile asks, "Where is My European Union?" It no longer exists; "It is Amazon's and Starbucks'. It is the politicians' and the IMF's. But it is not mine."
Don't overreact to the violence of PISSI's recent attacks.
Racists, even neo-Nazis, are infiltrating the US military.
Christian theocrats already dominate some areas to the point of exercising repression on non-Christians.
Australia will deliver foreign aid via companies.
This may in certain cases be an efficient way to distribute medicines, and I have nothing against that; but I fear this presages a conversion of "foreign aid" into "aid to foreign companies".
Mohammad Hossein Rafiee is in prison in Iran for publishing an article that supported President Rouhani in aiming for a nuclear deal.
It strikes me that maybe he was imprisoned for advocating release of political prisoners, free and fair elections, and human rights, rather than for supporting a possible nuclear deal. That would not be any less unjust, but it would be less absurd.
The Palestinians of Hebron have been helped to return to the center of the city, despite systematic repression which had previously pressured most of them out.
Greece has closed the banks until after the referendum.
This is to stop people from moving all their money out in euros before the referendum.
Alexandra Elbakyan defies the scientific publishers by reposting large numbers of scientific papers without permission.
I'd admire her even more if she had started out with the aim of defeating them, but I admire her work in any case.
"The idea that Greece partly deserves its fate reflects an order in which wealth trumps democracy. We should fight a narrative that enfeebles us all."
As the European banks set out to punish Greece for its disobedience, it is the European banks that we must punish.
Greece has closed its banks until after the referendum. This is to stop people from moving all their money out in euros before the referendum.
Powerful EU plutocratist politicians beg Greece to vote yes to more of the "help" that leaves Greece weaker and poorer after each year — like a vampire begging his victim to continue the relationship: "You can't live without me!"
They say they can't understand what could bring patriotic Greeks to say no, and I think they are telling the truth. They are shocked, that Syriza did not cave in. They don't believe anyone would dare resist such a powerful empire.
I suppose Darius was equally surprised after the Battle of Marathon.
Combinations of many chemicals can be dangerous in low doses, even if the individual chemicals are safe in low doses.
Israel again forcibly stopped aid boats from going to Gaza.
Cosmetic surgery has become so common for women that they report social pressure to have it done.
The next step will be if women can't get any job unless they have cosmetic surgery.
London's house price bubble is converting everything good in London into apartments for the rich, many of which are empty, investments to sell to the bigger fool later.
When the bubble bursts, there will be plenty of living space in London but little reason to want to live there.
US citizens: call on Obama to stop granting oil leases on public lands and coastal waters.
US citizens: Demand that Time Warner Cable come clean about its surreptitious lobbying.
A strain of genetically modified pigs has a small genetic change that provides resistance to a disease.
In principle I don't see anything wrong with this project, but there may be dangers in the details. For instance, they included a gene for resistance to some antibiotic, as a diagnostic. Which antibiotic? Is it one that matters in medicine?
We Need Domestic and International Regulations to Prevent Corporations from Fleeing Overseas.
The world needs a globally organized tax.
The UK's right-wing government is moving into blatant political censorship, even punishing people for their views.
Facial Recognition Software Is Scanning You Where You Least Expect It.
Facebook can recognize people in photos from their bodies, even if their faces are hidden.
The murder in France, presumed to be terrorism, may have been just a murder.
Either way, one more murder isn't a reason to pass laws to attack human rights.
Split the Earth: 50% for Humans, 50% for Protected Biodiversity Zones.
Atheists in many African countries face repression, but some are starting to identify themselves publicly.
Defining "surveillance capitalism".
I have largely opted out of the activities surveillance capitalism enters into. There are a few that I can't avoid: flying and prescriptions.
The US Army exposed soldiers to mustard gas as a forced experiment and threatened to imprison them if they told anyone.
Later the Veterans Affairs department promised to compensate them, but isn't trying to find them, and denies them compensation if they can't prove they were test subjects.
The Vatican invited Naomi Klein to advise about campaigning to curb global heating.
Raising the price of alcohol in British Columbia reduced violent crimes 9% and reduced drunk driving almost 20%.
White supremacists exercise significant influence in the Republican Party.
Obama has launched many specific executive actions against global heating.
If he had done this in 2011, they would have had more effect, both practically and in regard to inspiration.
In other words, military rule in Thailand also implies supporting other dictatorships.
Prospect of Warmer Winters Does Not Mean Fewer [winter] Deaths, Study Finds.
Arbitrary Arrests, Cybercrime, and Mass Mobile Adoption: Monitoring Digital Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Iran continues to repress users of the internet, with filters and imprisonment.
I think the president of Iran is not in charge of this aspect of policy.
'Writing Code Is Not a Crime': Jailed Iranian Web Developer Saeed Malekpour Turns 40.
The US pioneered making the writing of code a crime, with the DMCA in 1998. The US was the first to prosecute someone for writing a program: Dmitry Sklyarov.
Prosecuting a programmer for how others used his code was also pioneered by the US against David LaMacchia. He made a general purpose upload/download network server and was prosecuted because others used it for forbidden sharing. The government claimed (based on nothing) that he intended it for this purpose.
Of course, sharing should not be a crime either. One injustice was piled on another.
Collecting data on children in school is a booming business.
The danger of pervasive face recognition is becoming real.
Clinton, in 1993, said she wanted a Canadian-style national health system, but she ridiculed the idea of trying to establish one in the US.
I'm not criticizing her estimation that it would be a big and difficult fight. Rather, I am criticizing her readiness to give up without fighting, just because it is big and difficult.
One person was killed in a possibly terrorist attack in France.
One additional murder in France is insignificant compared with the background rate of violence, but because this murder is "terrorism", it gives politicians an opportunity to spread panic by looking tough, and pass more tyrannical laws.
In PISSI and other Islamic terror groups, the evil side of humanity escapes control; their violence is meant to shock us into panic. Hollande, never a very deep thinker, is playing into PISSI's hands, while perhaps telling himself that PISSI has played into his.
If we are wise, we will condemn and despise these murderers, but stay calm.
Meryl Streep is trying to restart the movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender.
I am in favor of it.
US progressives need to contest local elections to create a progressive wave in the Democratic Party.
Uri Avnery: Israel's first war crime in the 2014 war with Gaza was starting the war. But it committed many more, because the Israeli army will kill hundreds of Arab civilians to avoid one Israeli casualty.
Australia's new law eliminated only one of the two issues raised in a lawsuit against sending refugees to imprisonment in Nauru.
It may be possible to preserve coral reefs by bringing in polyps that have a higher tolerance for heat.
The Greek government has called a referendum on whether to accept the banksters' ultimatum.
I urge Greeks to reject the ultimatum. It is better to suffer for a while from default than suffer forever from impossible debt.
Australia is considering exiling Australians accused of fighting for PISSI, making them stateless. Naturally, the government proposes to do this without trial. Any Australian could be arbitrarily exiled this way.
An Islamist attacked tourists in a resort in Tunisia. The goal of the attack was evidently to harm Tunisia, which has voted against Islamist fanaticism.
Tunisia must resist the lure of attacking it own human rights.
The US, the UK, Australia and France have failed this test, but Tunisia can still pass it.
Islamist terrorism in the US is so small, on the scale of violence, that it is not worth making a fuss about.
That is not true in the Middle East, of course.
The IMF's empirical research conclusively disproves the "trickle-down" theory that concentrating wealth will boost economic growth. On the contrary, redistribution to the poor boosts economic growth.
Of course, we already had plenty of informal proof of that.
Now those businesses that give workers a raise can call themselves "wealth creators".
A few words to Greece.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the sneaky Republican attack on network neutrality.
EU citizens: contact your MEPs to support freedom of panorama.
US citizens: call on Clinton to drop the Monsanto lobbyist from her campaign.
Even more important: support Bernie Sanders for president. This hire reflects what Clinton is (a Republican in Democrat's clothing) and what she stands for (power for the rich). She shouldn't be elected to any office.
In the US: call on New York Governor Cuomo to appoint a strong replacement for policing Wall Street.
US citizens: call on Senate democrats to block the abortion restriction bill with a filibuster.
What happens to a country when its territory is swallowed by the sea?
We can say that the visitors to luxury hotels in the Maldives (each contributing a lot to global heating for one person) are consuming those islands, using them up from under the inhabitants.
The people of the Maldive Islands knew what to do to save their islands, and they did it: they elected a president who began campaigning to curb global heating. He was removed then imprisoned by a military coup that I suspect has something to do with fossil fuel interests.
In the light of what Australia and Europe are doing to refugees today, I think that they will tell the inhabitants of island nations to sit down and drown. The dictator of the Maldives must expect to buy safety for his family when the rest of the population is drowned.
We had better stop doing the things that make so many people flee their homes.
Protesters in Nauru, including 3 opposition legislators, face criminal charges. Their protest was against the government's corruption and its suspension of democracy.
The government called the protest a "riot". Have you heard that one before?
Apple has banned iThing applications that show the confederate flag. Not only those that use it as a symbol of racism, but even strategic games that use it to represent confederate army units fighting in the Civil War.
It is absurd to interpret those games as an instance of use of the confederate flag as racist symbol today. But censorship is wrong; even censorship of racism. We can say we despise racist hatred, but we must not forbid people from expressing it.
This is not the only political position Apple has censored.
It is wrong for Apple to ban applications based on what they say, but the root of this evil is that Apple has designed the operating system for the iThings as a platform for censorship. That should be a crime.
10 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that cities could seize buildings (including homes) to give to private development on the excuse that this would be "good for the community". The result was a popular movement that has mostly ended the practice.
Can we validly "presume" that governments "wouldn't be pursuing a development project in the first place unless they anticipated some benefit to the public"? Not at all. The idea that a handout to a company is "good for the community" was Scott Walker's excuse for handouts.
As this particular case shows, the whole idea of achieving a "benefit to the public" through a handout to the community is stupid. Companies make cities and states compete to offer handouts. Overall, the taxpayers lose and only the companies gain.
Why do so many politicians endorse these foolish ideas? Perhaps someone rich rewards them for it.
The UK welfare system ruled that Mark Wood was not disabled and was capable of working. Apparently it was mistaken, because instead he starved to death. He now has a posthumous art exhibition.
That wasn't the last time the system was wrong about this. Why does it make so many mistakes? Partly because it has quotas for various things it does to cut people's benefits.
Now it seems to have a quota for accusing poor people of fraud.
The unemployed who feel discouraged about finding work are now pressured to attend brainwashing sessions for this "psychological problem".
Whole Foods (or "Whole Paycheck" as some call it) shows a pattern of defrauding customers through mislabeling weights.
There are other unsavory things about that company.
Everyone: call on Mississippi to remove the confederate flag from the Mississippi state flag.
US citizens: call on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act.
Particulate air pollution kills around 4 million people a year, according to WHO.
The Lancet: Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us… Quitting Them Can Save Us.
Scott Walker set up a "jobs program" that handed $124 million to businesses under his personal supervision, without review. The result was to "create" around 2000 jobs, meaning the State of Wisconsin paid a business $60,000 for each job.
The state could have made more jobs by hiring people directly.
The idea of paying companies to "create jobs" is inherently misguided. from the public's point of view. The state loses a lot of money and gets few jobs — many of which were not actually created, but rather taken away from some other state. The only thing it is effective for is giving money to businesses.
If legislators don't know this, the program is mistake foolish. If they know, it is corrupt and dishonest, I think Walker knows, don't you?
The effective way for the state to use money to create jobs is to give the money to poor people. They will spend it.
A group of 39 whales beached themselves one day in 2011. Scientists now say they did this because underwater bomb explosions damaged their hearing and navigation.
19 of the whales died; the rest went back to sea. Perhaps their hearing was ok and they only followed the others; or perhaps they didn't live long.
Underwater explosions for oil drilling can do the same thing.
Colombia has punished those who reported the army's murders, while promoting the generals in charge.
The current president, Nonsantos, was the minister in charge.
One Palestinian member of the Israeli legislature is among the volunteers on the boats.
The same Israelis that impose the siege call him a traitor, to distract from the evil of the siege of Gaza.
A UK jobcenter demanded Nick Gaskin come to an interview about putting him into work, or else his support would be cut off. It would be difficult for Gaskin to work, since he is paralyzed from the mouth down, and can communicate only by blinking his eyes.
Everyone makes mistakes, but if this was an error, the jobcenter compounded it by refusing to recognize and correct the error when Gaskin's family reported it. The staff had clearly been told not to accept any excuse for not coming for a work interview.
The absurd case of Nick Gaskin is significant because of the general pattern it is an extreme example of. Jobcenters are constantly looking for excuses to conclude, never mind whether it's true, that disabled people are really fit for work.
Those unemployed who are fit to work (including the many who never claimed not to be) are frequently put through hoops, like requiring them to come to the jobcenter without giving them a way to get there, and ordered to spend many hours a week applying for nonexistent jobs using computers not available to them.
The reason is clear: the state seeks excuses to cut support for the unemployed, so it keeps creating new excuses to punish them.
That is more or less
with the number of people that Boko Haram has killed.
The US made Google turn over Jacob Appelbaum's email data, and forced
Google to keep this secret to avoid a
restrictions on the use of automated face recognition.
The hard part will be to limit the state's use of face recognition.
Facebook admits that it censors for various governments, but when it
for the US, it covers that up.
Due to antibiotic resistance, we must end
packed factory farms for the sake of our lives.
We should also reserve the most effective antibiotics for humans, and
perhaps pets; they should not be administered to farm animals under
Americans imprisoned in 2001, on vague suspicion without charges, will
to carry out a class-action suit against the Bush regime officials
As the UK government attacks the non-rich on
fronts at once, Britons must resist on the street.
Baltimore thugs have responded to public resentment of their killing
of Freddie Gray by going on an
slowdown strike against poor neighborhoods.
Congress [has been] Warned That Drones Present '
Nightmare Scenario for Civil Liberties'.
Maloney: "If we don't change our permissive gun laws, we'll never
end gun violence."
used to oppose gun control in the US.
Pope Francis's encyclical about the climate threat addresses a broader
extreme capitalism, concentration of wealth for a few, and
frivolous throw-away consumption, which lead to suffering for the poor
as well as to ruining Earth.
at several levels.
Overall, the Pope's support for the effort to overcome plutocrats and
curb global heating is a great help, but we must not forget the
where he is mistaken. Women's rights receive skant attention in
the encyclical, and the danger of overpopulation is dismissed.
The Pope misrepresented the advocates of
and population limitation, pretending they are the enemies of
In fact, we see that as a necessary part of conservation. Having
children contributes to humanity's future drain on limited resources.
Reducing reproduction means reducing future poverty, reducing future
pollution, and reducing future extinction.
on Oregon not to sell water to Nestle at a cheap price.
on South Carolina to take down the confederate flag, symbol of
Congress to let the US Export-Import Bank terminate on June 30.
Don't renew this subsidy to big business.
urge the Department
of Agriculture and the Department of Health to resist industry
lobbying and recommend a lower level of meat-eating.
The US made Google turn over Jacob Appelbaum's email data, and forced Google to keep this secret to avoid a public backlash.
Proposing restrictions on the use of automated face recognition.
The hard part will be to limit the state's use of face recognition.
Facebook admits that it censors for various governments, but when it censors for the US, it covers that up.
Due to antibiotic resistance, we must end densely packed factory farms for the sake of our lives.
We should also reserve the most effective antibiotics for humans, and perhaps pets; they should not be administered to farm animals under any circumstances.
Americans imprisoned in 2001, on vague suspicion without charges, will be allowed to carry out a class-action suit against the Bush regime officials responsible.
As the UK government attacks the non-rich on all fronts at once, Britons must resist on the street.
Baltimore thugs have responded to public resentment of their killing of Freddie Gray by going on an unofficial slowdown strike against poor neighborhoods.
Congress [has been] Warned That Drones Present ' A Nightmare Scenario for Civil Liberties'.
Rep: Maloney: "If we don't change our permissive gun laws, we'll never end gun violence."
Debunking myths used to oppose gun control in the US.
Pope Francis's encyclical about the climate threat addresses a broader issue, criticizing extreme capitalism, concentration of wealth for a few, and frivolous throw-away consumption, which lead to suffering for the poor as well as to ruining Earth.
It is radical at several levels.
Here are some quotations.
Overall, the Pope's support for the effort to overcome plutocrats and curb global heating is a great help, but we must not forget the areas where he is mistaken. Women's rights receive skant attention in the encyclical, and the danger of overpopulation is dismissed.
The Pope misrepresented the advocates of contraception and population limitation, pretending they are the enemies of conservation.
In fact, we see that as a necessary part of conservation. Having children contributes to humanity's future drain on limited resources. Reducing reproduction means reducing future poverty, reducing future pollution, and reducing future extinction.
Everyone: call on Oregon not to sell water to Nestle at a cheap price.
US citizens: Call on South Carolina to take down the confederate flag, symbol of slavery.
US citizens: call on Congress to let the US Export-Import Bank terminate on June 30. Don't renew this subsidy to big business.
US citizens: urge the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health to resist industry lobbying and recommend a lower level of meat-eating.
The US Supreme Court voted to legalize same-sex marriage across the US.
This is a victory for a good cause, but perhaps the plutocrats have decided to hand this issue to the progressives precisely because it doesn't reduce their power.
That seems to be what spy agencies are doing.
I find all acronyms that use "OTUS" to mean "Of the United States" disgusting. I hope that "SCROTUS" will put them all in disrepute.
Facebook claimed it would relax the "real name" rule for the sake of cross-dressers, but never really did that.
Sweden is proposing to add a democracy criterion to its arms sales.
Not surprisingly, weapons companies complain that this might mean less income for them. Tough luck, weapons companies.
For the low-paid, being "self-employed" means getting no benefits, no holidays, being cheated by employers, and making less than minimum wage.
The real "benefits cheats" are employers that pay so little that their employees need government aid.
Jill Stein is running for President again for the Green Party.
I voted for Jill Stein in 2012. If Bernie Sanders doesn't win the Democratic nomination, I will vote for Jill Stein again.
California's drought has promoted wildfires, and makes it hard for firefighters to find water to drop.
Six regions around the world are hit by severe heat waves.
Killing a Nation With Euphemisms: TPP-Eats-Medicare Edition.
Most terrorism in the US is right-wing; only a small fraction is Islamist.
Women and children who fled central America to the US may be released from immigration prison.
Ferry workers in Scotland have gone on strike against privatization plans.
Nauru's excuse for censorship: protecting the imprisoned refugees from "hate speech".
The US government's stated reasons for gagging Google about the non-subpoena for Jacob Appelbaum's data amount to, "Don't show people why they should criticize."
The sort of order that was used instead of a subpoena is very dangerous.
Paying workers a living wage worked so well for Ikea that it is going to give them another raise.
Donald Trump demanded Obama release his birth certificate, but refuses to release his own birth certificate.
The elite in South Africa are so powerful that it has blocked holding anyone accountable for a massacre of miners on strike.
Switching to natural gas (methane) doesn't reduce ultimate greenhouse gas emissions compared with oil, because normally a substantial amount of methane leaks into the air.
Chemicals used in fracking can be toxic to humans or wildlife.
La Quadrature du Net calls on French citizens to resist massive surveillance.
La Quadrature is also resisting in court.
The EU Council (of representatives of states) is proposing to make privacy protections so weak that they are meaningless.
I don't trust privacy policies. Data, once collected, will be misused. We must resist the collection of the data.
The issues that remain for a nuclear deal between the US and Iran.
Embarrassed by statistics on children living in poverty, the UK government plans to reduce the problem by measuring poverty differently.
"Credit rating agencies are miscalculating risks of climate change."
These agencies are not impartial. They may have a business motive for this. Or perhaps they are only slow to adapt.
These claims were rejected by the FBI, which reported there was no basis for them.
That is effectively a confession of being too quick to kill.
A heat wave in Pakistan killed 800 people and has put thousands in the hospital with heat stroke.
More ominously, weather conditions are occasionally approaching the point where human beings will die quickly without air conditioning. With a little more global heating, we will see heat waves that kill the whole population of a region.
Unnatural Disaster: How Global Warming Helped Cause India's Catastrophic Flood.
Self-driving cars create an ethical problem, which we could call the autonomous trolley problem.
After 13 years, a Colombian elected official has been sentenced for the murder of editor Orlando Sierra.
Oman is draining its aquifers, so that the ancient and still active system of water tunnels ceases to function.
Using data mining to find corruption.
Since the data being searched describes state actions with businesses, it does not raise any privacy issue.
Despite the terrible surrender on Fast Track, the fight against it has won smaller victories that might help defeat the TPP.
Since the 1950s, the number of large wildfires annually in Alaska has doubled. The fire season has extended a whole month.
This is due to the 3C (around 5F) increase in the average temperature in Alaska in that time span.
Details of the Republicans' three legislative attacks against network neutrality.
Choosing among job candidates by algorithm can avoid unconscious bias.
However, it depends on massive surveillance of the people being hired. If this method is to be used, it must be used in a way that doesn't centralize information about the candidates.
Existing job application sites have been massive surveillance systems for a decade, making them menaces to society in my view.
The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Obama's medical care funding.
That law is an advance, but next we need to replace the private insurance companies and cover everyone. This could resist the gouging of the hospitals and the drug companies.
As usual, Sanders takes the strongest position. But even single-payer is not ideal. Canada's national health system is better. Even the UK's system, undermined as it is by years of right-wing underfunding, is better on the average.
Nation's Wealthiest Families Behind the Effort to Kill the Estate Tax.
18 journalists are in prison in Egypt, where journalism is interpreted as "terrorism".
Egypt's journalists proudly proclaim they publish whatever the state says.
An Indian prosecutor says an official told her to stop prosecuting Hindus who attacked Muslims with a bomb, after Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party won the election.
In the solidarity fridge in Galdakao, Spain, people leave food for others to take.
Fifteen Most Outrageous Responses by Police after Killing Unarmed People.
Greenpeace bought land to block a new runway for Heathrow airport, but economically it was really a two-year lease rather than a permanent purchase.
Greenpeace did not pay again to renew the lease.
The world has an opportunity to eliminate HIV, but if it doesn't take that opportunity, the disease will spread more.
Jetliners pressurize the cabin with air that went through engine compressors. Sometimes toxic gases from the engine get into the cabin. Airplane flight attendants suffering permanent medical problems are suing Boeing over this.
All of the Republican and Democratic US presidential candidates are harsh on whistleblowers. Sanders is the best of them, but still disappointing.
If Sanders wins, the spy establishment will pressure him to become as bad as Obama, but he might listen to a public campaign.
At large US companies, the pay for CEOs has risen 54% since 2009, but pay for workers is the same as then.
We should tax away that 54% raise.
How housing developers in London game the law to minimize affordable housing.
Three more Australian government lies: the results of a heating-denialist's "research" center will be called "consensus", and his denialism will be called "rational conversation".
Universities are being offered 4 million dollars in bait to endorse these lies.
26 people lived together in a 3-bedroom house in London. They could not afford anything better.
Soon those people will be living in a far more spacious place: the street.
An admired teacher in the UK has been sentenced to a long prison term for initiating teenage boys into sex.
It seems clear that those teenagers enjoyed their sexual relationship at the time, and actively participated in continuing it. Neither apparently claims to have been coerced.
These relationships cannot have been perfect; no relationship ever is. It is not unusual to get into a relationship and later regret it, but if that implies the relationship was harmful, then we would start imprisoning most people who have them.
I have the impression that someone convinced them, based on an ideological position, that some imperfect aspect means the relationships did them grave damage. I am not buying it. Your first relationship is almost sure to be flawed, and you learn from that.
I am sure I'd have had a far happier life if I had learned these things from a teacher when I was 14 rather than waiting years to learn them from someone else.
Several Republicans have presented false quotes attributed to founders of the US.
Attaching shame to the confederate flag is worth an effort, but it is just a small step in eradicating systematic US racism.
It appears GCHQ illegally supported US drone assassinations.
Australia's plan for exile without trial could apply to whistleblowers.
It's supposed to be for "terrorists", but for "terrorist" read "dissident or troublemaker".
One ISP in the US is resisting part of its assigned role with the War on Sharing.
Meet The Children Who Live In Ghana's Hellish Digital Dump.
We need to require manufacturers to design products for recycling.
In the mean time, computers last longer when you run them with free software, because the manufacturer doesn't have the power to make a hardware upgrade necessary by imposing harmful software changes.
As gentrification takes on the last affordable housing in Washington DC, the tenants' housing aid will become useless as there is nowhere they can go.
Chinatown will finish converting into a tourist trap. It won't have any good Chinese food, once there are no Chinese customers to insist on doing a good job.
The US House of Representatives has voted to strengthen regulation of toxic chemicals.
Unemployed people can be happy without work, if they call it "retirement" instead of "unemployment". Respecting the state of unemployment is crucial to helping society adjust to it.
Not everyone can imitate Money Mustache. It is vital to have no children, or at least that they already be grown. (You can decide to have no children.) But even then, there are difficulties. Not everyone is competent to repair a house. Not everyone has a house, and you surely can't buy one when you're unemployed/retired. Not everyone can ride a bicycle, especially not on roads with cars.
Respecting the unemployed/retired is a crucial step towards for deciding to give them the government help that many of them will need.
Detroit's bankruptcy was not inevitable. It was a political choice imposed by Republican state politicians for harmful ends.
Now other Republican state politicians want to do it to Chicago, but it won't be easy for them to achieve it there.
The cracking of the US government employee records was enabled by subcontracting.
It is a bad practice in general.
An Ethiopian dissident, handed over to Ethiopia without legal process by Yemen, is apparently being tortured into confessing a variety of crimes.
How Politicians, Media, and the Gun Lobby Enable Racist Terror.
Soldiers have been sentenced to prison for committing rape during Bosnia's civil war.
I won't say that I agree with their goal of cheap energy, though. In general, the price of energy made from fossil fuel must be high enough to reduce its use.
Climate [Mayhem] Should Be Top Foreign Policy Priority, G7 Study Says.
Dutch people sued the Dutch government for planning to allow global heating to proceed to the point it would damage to their health and property. The court ordered the Dutch government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions 25% within 5 years.
A similar lawsuit is being prepared in Belgium.
Such lawsuits may be possible in many countries that have independent judicial systems. They wouldn't be feasible in China.
Flying abortion pills into Poland by drone, for women's rights.
The ACLU and other organizations call for a special prosecutor to investigate CIA torturers and prosecute them.
The Department of Education should cancel all students' debt for Corinthian Colleges.
US government agencies are talking about judging homeopathic "remedies" by scientific standards.
Experiments show that marijuana does not impair driving skill very much; the current marijuana standards are in effect too strict when compared to the current alcohol standards.
That's one reason I won't vote for either of them. If Sanders is not in the race, I will vote Green.
Surveys find that only smokers use e-cigarettes more than occasionally.
The US has arrested 243 people who work in the medical industry for Medicare fraud amounting to 2/3 of a billion dollars. They are accused of billing Medicare for services they did not carry out.
Divesting from them is the first step towards eliminating them.
The main Australian parties (including the "opposition") are rushing a law through to strip refugees of legal recourse. The government will be able to do anything whatsoever to them.
Absurdly, the Labor party calls this an act of "compassion".
Just after the French government approved pervasive snooping in France, it is outraged that the US has spied on French officials.
Will this teach Hollande the wrong in what he just did?
Graduates of teachers' college must consider ethical dilemmas raised by the systematic corruption of the educational system.
Russia's internet disinformation army is being sued by an ex-worker for illegal mistreatment of employees.
As conditions inside UK prisons degrade, the state's response is not to allow journalists to see them.
Human rights activists rebuke Obama for deciding to visit repressive Ethiopia.
Australia's definition of "terrorism", for the punishment of permanent exile, stretches to include almost anything.
Particulate pollution in Delhi is damaging the health of children there, perhaps doing life-long damage.
A US court is getting the blowback from the law's absurdity.
Todd Easter says he wasn't raped, because in the usual meaning of the word, he wasn't. The court, however, insists on pretending that he was. Sorry, judge, calling sex "rape" does not make it rape.
Calling willing sex "rape" is a lie. In this case, the lie leads to a retrial. In other cases, it ruins lives.
Easter's lover did do something that was wrong, when he threatened Easter with violence after Easter broke off the relationship. But that's a different issue.
Palestinians imprisoned without charge by Israel are making a hunger strike.
Rating various giant food companies for their policies about buying palm oil.
Israel's "culture minister" is proud that a screenwriter asked her for a list of censorship rules. She promised a precise list in a month.
As fish in the ocean decline, the trend is headed towards zero fish in 2048.
That is a rough, simplistic projection. I don't expect there will be absolutely no fish in the sea in 2048, even in 2148. The point is, there will be no fish available for us to eat, and other disasters as well.
Whistleblowers claim US medical insurance companies massively defraud Medicare.
Let's get rid of the need for private medical insurance companies.
Time Warner Cable is accused of violating the network neutrality rules.
A powerful current is sweeping away public use of confederate flags.
Less progress is being made on gun control, which would have bigger real effects.
Discrediting the confederate flag is merely symbolic, but it will have some real effects. However, for the defenders of racism, it is only a tactical retreat.
Google stuck code into Chromium, the supposedly free version of Chrome, to download and install a nonfree piece of spyware.
Because Chromium itself is free software, users have the power to change it to prevent the download of that module.
This highlights the difference in ideas between free software and open source.
Open source claims to yield practical superiority: better quality code. Free software is about an ethical, political superiority: the users have control over the program.
In this instance, open source did not achieve its stated benefit, but free software is vindicated.
Google has banned an app that protects users from surveillance by apps.
It should be noted that (1) if the Disconnect app is non-free, you can't trust it either, and (2) a portable phone reports your location to the phone company whenever it is communicating with the phone network, regardless of what any apps or ads may do.
GCHQ has a group that works on propaganda and deceit. It justifies existence by claiming to address foreign enemies and terrorists, then operates mainly against dissidents and ordinary domestic criminals.
In addition, they may demand you use proprietary spyware, such as the fitbit.
"All abortions should be safe and easy, including ones women have at home."
There's some chance the sun may be headed for a few decades of (slightly) weaker emissions.
Don't relax yet. It's only a 20% chance. And if it happens, it would only delay global heating effects by 2 years.
Journalist Ahmed Mansour says Germany has not explained why it enforced Egypt's arrest warrant.
The plutocratic party in the Senate defeated a filibuster against "fast track" for corporate-supremacy treaties.
I fear the final elimination of even the formal possibility for democracy in the US is approaching. Here's an example of the harm that the older, weaker corporate-supremacy treaties already do.
State harassment has made Russia's "satirical Wikipedia" stop operating.
It is not clear from the article whether it will stop displaying the existing pages.
The UK's intelligence oversight panel accepts spying on human rights groups and on attorney-client conversations, with a few minor limits.
Particulate air pollution seems to harm the brain of old people.
Prisoners in the US are fighting the prison-industrial complex by refusing to work unpaid.
In principal, it is not wrong to make prisoners cook the food that they eat, or wash the clothes that they wear. That's no worse than life for most people. Putting prisoners to work on public service activities can be a form of restitution and rehabilitation (if it isn't twisted into an excuse for cruelty).
However, making prisoners work unpaid for the state's profit, or private profit, is harmful to everyone. It cuts wages for people outside prison, which is likely to force some of them into prison.
Combine this with the system that gouges prisoners for everything, even medical care (which they are entitled to), and it makes sense for prisoners to refuse to work at all without a decent wage.
US prisons abandoned the idea of rehabilitation in the 1980s as part of massive incarceration, but what could be more effective rehabilitation for prisoners than giving them a real job for real pay?
The UN inquiry into Israel's attack on Gaza says that the violence against Gaza civilians seems to have been a policy ordered by the high command.
The US Congress is considering a bill to collect school records and subsequent income records for everyone that goes to a US college.
Justice Kennedy begs for a case to raise the issue of whether long term solitary confinement is cruel and inhumane punishment.
The UK is fighting to conceal data on how many unemployed people have been killed or driven to suicide by the government's cruel cuts.
The Tories are worse than vermin: they are murderers, covering up their crimes.
23,000 species are now listed as threatened.
A "compromise" between the French Assembly and Senate made the surveillance bill even worse.
Mixtures of chemicals can be carcinogenic even though the individual chemicals are safe. Some scientists suspect 20% of all cancers are caused this way.
Everything about the fossil fuel divestment movement.
Saudi Arabia is pushing hard to develop domestic solar energy, to save the oil for export.
Some courts in the US have found that adopting techniques from social work is better than traditional simple punishment for getting convicts to stop committing crimes.
Partly this is because some of those accused are accused of victimless crimes, such as taking drugs or homelessness. Social work and other kinds of help are what they needed. It's a shame that the only way they could get this help is by being convicted of a crime.
The best opportunity to improve human health in this century is to cut back on fossil fuels.
Will the FDA start treating homeopathic "remedies" as the fantasy drugs that they really are?
Turkish journalist Tolga Tanis, a reporter covering the US, is being threatened with prosecution by Erdogan for criticizing him in a book.
The book is in Turkish, published in Turkey, but that is no excuse for this.
The euro is an engine and excuse for reducing wages all across Europe. For any problem, the euro-zone plutocrats have the same answer: wipe out workers' rights so they will get less.
Parachute jumpers who jumped from the unfinished One World Trade Center have been convicted of various "crimes".
I challenge the state to show that this "endangered" anyone, or that it deserves to be considered a crime.
Australia has adopted a repressive anti-sharing law that requires ISPs to impose censorship.
It won't stop determined people from sharing files on the internet, but it will damage human rights in general.
I disagree with Senator Ludlam, though, when he claims that what we need is for publishers to "deliver content in a timely and affordable manner". And not only because, by referring to published works as "content", he adopts the contemptuous attitude that their publishers take towards these works. It is not enough for publications to be "timely and affordable" — they must also respect our rights once we buy them. Commercial internet music distributors don't do this and neither do commercial e-book distributors, which is why I will go to trouble to bypass them — or wait years — or go without — rather than accept their practices.
The Supreme Court ruled that hotels can refuse state searches of their guest registers without a warrant.
This doesn't mean hotels are obliged to protect the privacy of their guests, and mostly they won't. And they can't protect guests from NSA or FBI massive surveillance at all.
Thus, I will continue to mostly avoid staying in hotels if the hotel knows my name.
Germany released Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mansour, who it had arrested at the request of Egypt's military government.
Uber plans to snoop on users' locations and contacts all the time.
Uber has the technical possibility to do this because its app is nonfree: it is controlled by Uber, not by the user. In addition, snooping depends on a nonfree operating system. With a free system, the user could tell the system to lie to the Uber app.
Human Rights Watch: those who criticize World Bank projects for human rights violations often face repression from governments and companies involved in the projects.
Podemos plans to invest lots of money in renewable energy and create lots of jobs.
The law that requires women to stay 3 days in the vicinity of an abortion clinic is a tremendous hardship to those that are not rich.
The UN concluded that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes when Israel attacked Gaza. This will encourage the ICC to move forward in investigating them.
Another Indian journalist was burned to death after investigating corruption.
What this indicates is that the people culpable figured that the state is so corrupt they can get away with this.
Charging high fees for university in the UK (though not as high as in the US) has an effect, aside from leaving graduates in debt: they are more focused on money.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that the main purpose of education was to enable people to think better about issues of concern to society. This purpose is being jettisoned eagerly under the corporate pressure to convert universities into support for business, and the refusal of the elite to pay taxes for the education of other people's children.
Apple's emails inviting bloggers to distribute through Apple's news disservice claim to impose legal restrictions on them as a side effect.
The EU continues pushing to increase surveillance of airplane passengers.
Passengers on domestic or Schengen flights should not be required to identify themselves.
UK pig farmers have joined the call to restrict use of antibiotics on farm animals.
It is big political problem that such businesses can block laws needed for human health, but I am glad they may now support this particular law. However, that's not certain yet. It is well known that businesses sometimes say they support a law while working secretly to block it.
The US operates as a tax haven, along with Jersey, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. This article explains how tax havens work and how they give multinational companies an advantage over local competition.
I disagree with the rhetorical trick that occupies the first part of the article: buying from a company that uses tax havens is not morally equivalent to using a tax haven yourself.
Nonetheless, I have very little dealings with the multinational tax-haven-using companies mentioned as examples. Some I reject for other reasons (Apple, Amazon, Skype, most Google services, Microsoft, Facebook, big banks), while others sell things I don't need.
UK plans to block use of tax havens were watered down so as not to cover Luxembourg, Jersey or Switzerland.
Even worse, the plan creates a new tax-dodging scheme.
The UK government demands that EU countries compete to tax businesses less.
Scientific research driven by political concerns is good and often useful. What's bad is when governments disregard or sabotage science for political concerns — exactly what Republicans aim to do by condemning "politically motivated" research.
Thugs in Ohio considered a mother and children at a swimming pool a menace to the public. The mother was merely arrested, but one 12-year-old girl in a bathing suit got pepper sprayed and several of her bones were broken.
As usual, the thugs made false accusations against the victims.
Unjustified killings by thugs are extreme cases of police brutality. Lesser levels of violence are far more common, and represent similar attitudes and habits. Thus, we can change thugs' attitudes and habits more effectively by punishing the more frequent lesser incidents.
Perhaps we should apply "broken bones" policing to the thugs, or even "broken word" policing by punishing them when they make false accusations against their victims.
DNA testing of the Kennewick Man skeleton shows that the deceased was related to modern American Indians, and suggests a relationship to the Colville tribe which claims the skeleton, but not conclusively.
I hope that further research on living people and other ancient finds makes it possible to get a more conclusive answer.
If a closer relationship were established, that would be very interesting scientifically, as it would show that a small ethnic group continued to live in the same area for 9,000 years.
Japan is planning to resume whaling in defiance of the IWC.
North Carolina Republicans, fearing their voter ID law may be found unconstitutional, added another option that is very difficult to use so that they can claim people can vote without ID.
"The Abbott government is paying lip service to the renewable energy industry because it knows speaking its mind would be unpalatable to the public."
Abbott is proposing new planning controls on wind turbines in Australia, based on fantasy science which claims that the noise from them harms people. There is no evidence this happens.
Meanwhile, he plans to reduce environmental regulations on projects such as mines which really can do damage.
The UK government is sabotaging an anti-austerity protest by ordering specific activists, some previously arrested though perhaps without real cause, to stay away.
The US has employed a similar practice of using bail conditions to stop people from protesting.
The [US] Government Is Putting a Pathogen-Research Lab in Tornado Alley.
EU citizens: call on your MEPs to defend freedom of panorama: the freedom to take photos outdoors, regardless of what is in the scene, and publish them as you wish.
I suggest that Wikipedia adopt a boycott of all entities that block Wikipedia from publishing free (libre) photos of the entities' buildings, and state that call to boycott in the pages about those entities.
Some US churches are using a face recognition system to identify people who come in.
The software might be recognizing and reporting for another master as well, and if the software is proprietary (as it surely is), there is no way to check what it does.
The right-wing government of Spain is repressing media criticism on several fronts.
The Charleston church murders were not an anomaly. They were part and parcel of the current of violence in the systematic racism in the US.
A racist group which the murderer says inspired him also donates to Republican presidential candidates.
The donations don't make those candidates personally responsible for the murders, but this shows how parts of that system interconnect.
"Smart cities" designed in a centralized way prove unappealing to live in. A truly smart city is one designed by its residents.
The UK government's imposed poverty has made people so poor that many are desperate for discounted food.
"The action of a minority of a group is often the unintended consequence of the practices of the majority, even if they would not support the action."
Wikileaks' release of Saudi Arabia's foreign affairs communications shows "little surprising so far … but the details will hurt a lot of corrupt people."
Saudi Arabia has asked its citizens to ignore the leaked documents, but the US went far beyond that in response to some of Chelsea Manning's leaks: it threatened to punish some government employees if they so much as looked at them.
Here's the text of that treaty.
Santa Cruz County, in California, is considering punishing the big criminal banks by refusing to do business with them for 5 years.
It's a great idea. Beyond moving money ourselves, we should push for our cities to do so.
US citizens: tell Congress not to cancel women's health care and contraceptive programs.
The CIA spies on Americans, but we know very little about how much or how.
Alex Hern decided to actually read the terms of service for all the digital services he used. Here he reports on them.
It was a lot of work for him, because he intended actually to use the services so he had to read the whole terms.
In practice, the only digital usage terms I need to consider are for wifi portals, and that's only occasionally. Those terms are usually good enough for occasional use.
About 2/3 of the way through the article, it moves on to licenses for proprietary software. The author does not differentiate between a service (something you communicate with) and a program (something you get a copy of). However, the issues are completely different. You shouldn't even think about terms for running a program, because their existence means the program is nonfree, so you should reject it. When you have a copy of a free program, you are free to run it with no conditions whatsoever.
The author adopted terminology such as "content" and "intellectual property" from the usage terms, without questioning their validity. That's a mistake. Even using those in quotations promotes acceptance of them if you don't explain why they are misleading and wrong.
We should have laws to establish the terms for various common kinds of services.