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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
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Capitalism in America: Giving Crazy a Bad Name While Subverting Democracy.
Former congresscritter Pete Hoekstra supported NSA surveillance consistently while in office. He was shocked to discover recently that the NSA listened to him.
Obama's policies encourage replacement of coal with fracked gas, but some US cities have policies to head toward renewable energy instead.
The UK's parliament was never consulted about setting up cameras to track all car travel.
Why this constitutes a problem or a wrong is not clear to me. It did not hurt anyone.
Afghan journalists suspect that the attempts on their life come from a Taliban-supporting "fifth column" inside the Afghan government.
Hunger Threatens Millions as El Niño Causes Drought And Floods.
El Niño events have occurred for a long time, but this one comes on top of the effects of 1C of global heating.
California seals are starving because sardines have had to head for colder water.
About 1/3 of the casualties of Putin's air attacks in Syria are civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Google is shifting Android to use OpenJDK rather than its own Java implementation which used a reimplementation of Java based on the proprietary header files of the proprietary Java implementation.
This concrete result is good for the free software community, but the idea that a compatible implementation of an interface spec might infringe the copyright on header files is very very dangerous. Fortunately, the appeals court that made this decision hears copyright cases only in very rare circumstances.
The FSF urged the Supreme Court not to consider the appeal because we feared it might sustain the appeal court's ruling, which would extend this bad decision to the whole US.
Roughly half the jobs in the US require urine tests to detect use of marijuana. This policy never made any sense, and it is even more absurd in states which have legalized marijuana.
2015's notorious censorship attempts in universities.
A school-sponsored sports team is not a person. I think it is legitimate for the school to exercize control over what ateam does, which would be wrong if directed towards an individual student.
As usual, campaigns to limit Google's snooping on students through their schools demand an inadequate remedy.
If the school makes an account in a student's name on a company's server, or stores any unencrypted information there about the student's activity, that is already a violation of the student's privacy.
Parents must go beyond asking "Please sir, may my child have some more privacy" and organize to put an end to these snooping activities.
The Pentagon is deliberately obstructing the release of prisoners from Guantanamo with a campaign of persistent non-cooperation.
The US commander in Afghanistan says that the US will needs more troops to continue propping up the Afghan government.
The choice, as I expected, is to keep propping it up ad infinitem or let it fall.
The UK's Minister for Cruel Deportation wants to deport Thomas Podgoretsky because he made the mistake of visiting the US, having a stroke and heart attacks there, and staying there until he was well enough to go home to the UK.
The excuses offered to the grand jury for the shooting of Tamir Rice beg questions that were apparently ignored — for instance, why didn't they stay a little further away and take a second to understand the situation.
A Chronicle of Woe: US Policing Culture From Iraq and Vietnam to Jon Burge's Chicago.
Is Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed Counterterrorism Policies?
I wonder what fraction of them were black. I suspect thugs are more likely to take a pellet gun for a real gun when it is held by a black.
In 2008, Hossein Derakhshan's blog was so influential that Iran imprisoned for it. Released in 2014, he encountered an Internet in which Facebook and Instagram discourage people from looking at any other web sites. Real discussion has been replaced by trivia videos.
In London, squatters occupied the former mint site to protest against homelessness.
A six-month truce between Assad and rebels is holding in parts of Syria.
That's better than what it was a month ago, a stronghold of barbarity. I expect that the civilian survivors will say so. Helping them get their voice out, to show young Muslims what a monster PISSI is, will help them resist radicalization.
Evidence that the key to success is dealing in a useful way with failure.
The UK's budget cuts have come back as tremendous damage.
The US government is concealing parts of its contracts with companies that imprison immigration violators, specifically the parts that show how these contracts financiall pressure the government to imprison more of them.
Prohibiting farmers from repairing tractors is not a side effect of the DMCA. It is part of the core goal.
Americans must not stand for officials' advocating China-style attacks on our encryption systems.
Encryption alone can't protect us from all the sorts of digital surveillance that are being set up in the US. Encryption won't stop systems from recognizing your license plate or your face. Encryption won't enable you to pay anonymously with a credit card, or carry a portable phone and not be tracked.
Facebook's Zuckerberg: If You Oppose Our International Power Grab, You're An Enemy Of The Poor.
I have long challenged campaigns that prioritize people's internet access over their freedom.
An enormous methane leak from an old gas well in California will take months to shut off.
I Revealed the Truth about President Erdogan And Syria. For That, He Had Me Jailed.
UK governments have repeatedly refused to confront the way global heating effects put Britain in danger.
Prosecutors often intentionally throw the fight in the grand jury. We need a special mechanism for bringing charges against thugs that shoot people, or make falls accusations.
More information about the treaty.
Japan has apologized to the Korean women that it forced into prostitution during World War II.
The Japanese army did that in other places, too, including what is now Indonesia. After the war, many of these women never went home because they felt ashamed — in effect internalizing the blame that (according to their culture) their families would have imposed on them.
Combining the Internet of Things with the DMCA creates the Internet without Good Choices.
Of course, that ideology is a mistake because it reduces the effective power of democracy and increases the effective power of businesses. Existing "free trade" treaties are part of the reason that the US has become a plutocracy. This is why I advocate cancelling them.
Part of the article uses the incoherent term "intellectual property". It is always a mistake, without exception, to group together copyrights and patents as if they were a single issue. And that term includes several other laws as well. If you think they are similar than you don't understand what they really do.
Polio vaccination is advancing again in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Extremist groups have stopped opposing vaccination, and new infections have gone way down.
The US has stopped offering local thug departments the chance to seize people's property and split it with the Federal government. Ironically, this is due to budget cuts imposed by SCROTUS.
Taiz, in Yemen, is suffering from a siege imposed by the Houthis, within the general blockade of Yemen imposed by Salafi (*) Arabia and the US.
The US is supporting this blockade (and the bombing and invasion) to suck up to some private interests, since nothing about the intervention serves any national interest.
* Officially "Saudi Arabia", but its global support for the repressive and cruel Salafist form of Islam (which helped inspire al Qa'ida and PISSI) is the most important characteristic of that country.
Wind energy is becoming the most efficient investment in power generation.
Now think of how much faster we would progress towards curbing global heating if fossil fuels did not enjoy their present subsidies.
Agriculture may be able to sequester carbon in the soil.
Israel's "transparency" law requires human rights NGO to disclose their funding, but right-wing NGOs have been given exemptions.
The transparency requirement, per se, is not unjust, but it is being applied selectively to oppose human rights.
Ethiopia has arrested more journalists and is threatening bloggers.
Flooding in Britain, record US temperatures and Australian wildfires result from El Niño on top of human-caused climate mayhem.
Bernie Sanders: "I can win the backing of Donald Trump supporters."
Trump (and others before him) have distracted them into blaming weak scapegoats. Sanders will show them who they should really be angry at: the plutocrats.
Ground beef in the US, if it isn't "organic grass-fed beef", is quite likely to harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria that kill people.
The organic grass-fed beef will cost more, but that won't bother you unless you eat too much beef (alas, many Americans do).
US airports are kicking homeless people into the cold.
China has adopted a law requiring services to hand over encryption back doors.
This power seems to exist already in the US; it's what forced Ladar Levison to shut down Lavabit.
That doesn't mean it is ok for China to do this — or for the US to do it.
How Peabody Energy exploits poverty to excuse burning coal.
Coal is not going to make poor people better off, beyond a decade or two. The brunt of climate mayhem will fail mainly on the poor — hundreds of millions of them.
China has adopted a law against domestic violence.
Chinese society before the revolution was very very sexist.
US citizens: call on the Democratic Party to schedule more debates and make them more visible.
Twitter deleted a journalist's tweets because a bank asked for this.
Evidence that points to NSA involvement in putting the back door in Juniper Networks products.
The Taliban have taken over most districts in Helmand; Sangin is one of the few still being contested. They may hope to make it their headquarters.
The system of bail in the US pressures poor people to plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit — or else it puts them in debt.
"Legitimate" capital markets are thoroughly hooked on cocaine; in laundering drug money, London is more important than the Cayman Islands.
The copyright industry's war on sites that facilitate sharing causes harm to users even when not entirely successful.
Please do not use our enemies' smear term, "piracy", to refer to sharing.
MPAA Funds Pro-Copyright Scholars to Influence Politics.
Advances in recognition technology threaten to enable tracking people easily by cameras through recognizing their faces or irises.
There is no easy solution to this problem, but since it threatens oppression that can make democracy ineffective, it justifies the cost of a difficult solution.
Obama blames Congress for slowing the release of prisoners from Guantanamo, but he and his staff are primarily responsible for the delay.
"Guantanamo" has come to stand for "imprisonment without trial", but they are not the same. Obama talks about "closing Guantanamo prison" but his method of doing so is to move imprisonment without trial to the US mainland. That would make it even more unjust. We could hope that the Supreme Court would consider it more clearly unacceptable — but what if it did the opposite?
The US must end its imprisonment without trial. Every prisoner in Guantanamo deserves to get a real, fair trial or be freed.
California confronts the question of how to manage its diminishing rainfall.
The real solution, the efficient solution, is to cut back on CO2 emissions so that the climate won't get more screwed.
A lawsuit seeks to make the TSA change its policy of requiring some passengers to go through a scanner.
Modern gratis game cr…apps collect a wide range of data about their users and their users' friends and associates. Even nastier, they do it through ad networks that merge the data collected by various cr…apps and sites made by different companies.
They use this data to manipulate people to buy things, and hunt for "whales" who can be led to spend a lot of money. They also use a back door to manipulate the game play for specific players.
While the article describes gratis games, games that cost money can use the same tactics.
All this reinforces the point that proprietary software is software for suckers.
The unusually warm December is making some people concerned about their flowering perennials, some of which are blooming now instead of waiting for spring.
However, what concerns me more is that this warm December will not be so unusual at the end of the century.
Beware the Listening Machines.
"Should I let my child take more risks?" Probably yes, up to a point. However, you might consider transporting your child by car to be too dangerous and beyond the limit.
Most of the US has been restructured around automobiles. As people get older, eventually they can't drive any more, so they become stuck at home.
The European Patent Office hired a surveillance company to snoop on its critics.
The American Red Cross spent millions in Haiti to provide shelter and built just six houses with that money.
This seems to relate to its overall corporatization.
In 2013, the US supported the creation of some sort of Salafist "Islamic state" in Syria and Iraq as a way to weaken Assad.
Be careful what you wish for.
Was it the NSA that put the back door in Juniper Networks firewalls?
It has been trying to attack antivirus software.
Bangladesh demands fingerprints from everyone that has a cell phone.
That would convince me not to visit Bangladesh, if I carried a cell phone.
There is no conclusive evidence about whether fluoridation of water supply reduces tooth decay, though there is suggestive evidence that it does.
The UK government tracked people's movements in Hyde Park through their mobile phones.
This particular project did not record their names, but that would have been easy to do.
2000 Syrian Islamist fighters and Assad's forces have made a deal whereby the Islamists will evacuate an area near Damascus, leaving their heavy weapons.
Ten important medical uses of marijuana.
American society pushes people into social isolation, and 1/4 of American adults have no one they can confide in. For old people, loneliness is often fatal.
Work-related diseases kill 50,000 Americans a year. That's more than are killed by guns, and terrorism is a pinprick by comparison.
Meanwhile, we could do a lot to reduce work-related diseases without limiting anyone's human rights.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has become more active in considering endangered species and establishing protection for them. The case backlog is decreasing.
Measures like the Endangered Species Act are adequate for dealing with local threats in a world that is stable overall. Of course, many countries don't have an Endangered Species Act and many governments are not able to really enforce such laws. But even if they did, that won't be enough in the future. Climate mayhem will swamp these local protection efforts, much as rising oceans will swamp sea walls.
A mosquito-borne virus in Brazil is spreading, and its spread can be measured by the thousands of babies born with microcephaly.
Global heating effects are indirectly responsible for the spread of the mosquitos that transmit the virus.
In 1959, a US Air Force proposal for how to target nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union treated killing of civilians as a goal.
US citizens: call on Attorney General Lynch to investigate death of Sandra Bland.
US citizens: Tell Congress not to sell off or cut down Oregon's national forests.
Polls show Sanders doing considerably better against Trump than Clinton would do.
A Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America was not entirely blocked by the mall management armed with court orders.
Nonetheless, the difficulties they faced show that replacing real public space with pseudo-public space inside malls is dangerous to democracy. People should have the right to protest inside malls.
This can help the drivers get more pay, but it won't do anything to reduce the surveillance that passengers are subject to, or save them from the requirement to run nonfree software.
It takes a rather large book to describe the range of ideas that fit into Islam — except in the opinion of Salafis.
French President Hollande is getting strong criticism for plans to take away citizenship from people who were born citizens of France.
His other plans, such as the permanent state of emergency, seen even worse.
Google's Gmail and other connected services create psychological profiles of every user — and all the people they communicate with by email. A slowly progressing lawsuit claims that this violates California law.
The US-Korea "free trade" agreement, if evaluated in the conventional terms of exports and imports, has been a big loss for US exports and US employment.
This is on top of the harm that the treaty does to both countries by undermining democracy.
In 1992, Sweden adopted a school voucher system. Since then the Swedish educational system has become more unequal, and less effective overall.
China seems to plan to expel a French journalist whose articles in France have criticized the regime.
The Battle Over Sangin Should Teach the West Some Vital Military Lessons. And political lessons, too, about "attempting cultural change on a management consultant timeline."
I still think the US might have achieved a good outcome in Afghanistan if it had refrained from attacking and destroying Iraq.
Judaist fanatics in Israel had themselves filmed celebrating the murder of an Arab toddler.
Judaist, Christianist or Islamist, they are all enemies of human rights. The worst of them are killers, but the rest are still bad.
India has blocked Facebook's plan to extend internet service without network neutrality.
Access to the internet can be good or bad, depending on whether the internet respects your freedom. If people make the error of assuming that it is good unconditionally, that can lead them to mistake Facebook's power grab for a real gift.
22 US cities reported high levels of hunger and homelessness for the year Sep '14 — Aug '15.
In the US, poverty permanently stunts childrens' IQ, but not in other developed countries.
It is not clear why the US gets different results.
Ground beef generally has bacteria all through it, and some of them can make people sick. Consumer Reports found that US ground beef, unless it is from 'grass-fed organic beef', often contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It appears the US is blocking many British Muslims from entering the US, often in arbitrary last-minute ways that cause unnecessary trouble and expense.
Blocking 10 family members from traveling because of an objection to their one relative is especially nasty, and gratuitous.
Because there is no way to find out in advance if you will be blocked in this way, British Muslims in general are afraid to buy tickets to the US.
It seems to me that the US should offer a way to ask, before buying tickets, "Will you allow me to fly there?" If the US responds that you can go, and blocks you later, it should compensate you for the costs of your flight and other preparations.
And it is unconscionable to block 11 people because of objections about one.
Australia is slowly shifting away from the anti-renewable-energy policies that Abbott set up.
Amnesty International says Russia is dropping cluster bombs on Syrian cities, even on areas of no military significance.
Leaked documents say that Ecuador's intelligence agency illegally spied on activists who campaigned against oil extraction in the Amazon.
Some officially Muslim countries have demonstrated their intolerance of non-Muslims by banning visible celebration of Christmas.
Will they ban Grav-Mass, too?
The "no fly list" punishes people by surprise, and people are put in the list based on "predictive judgments" which can be based on nothing but noise.
Afghan army reinforcements may kick the Taliban out of Sangin.
If the Taliban melt away when confronted by a relief force, that will not constitute a victory for the Afghan government. Rather, it will mean that the Taliban are following through after a large, successful raid, in accord with standard guerrilla tactics.
To turn this raid into a victory, the Afghan army would need to surround Sangin and kill the Taliban fighters caught in the trap. I don't think they will try it.
Israel sentenced Palestinian teenagers to 15 years in prison after they confessed under pressure to throwing stones at a car.
The car was driven by a family that lives in an Israeli colony in Palestinian territory. One of the children in the car died from the attack. The killing was a serious crime, but there is no credible evidence about who did it.
Israel violates international law by taking Palestinian prisoners out of Palestine. Here's why that violation is important.
To the Israeli right-wing, foreign funding for Breaking the Silence is an outrage; foreign funding for extending colonies in Palestine is just fine.
After Israel arrested Jews who killed Palestinians, fanatical colonists attacked another Palestinian family. Fortunately not fatally this time.
Palestinian Christians suffer from the occupation like Palestinian Muslims, but find it easier to move elsewhere.
Mennonites who visited Palestine defend the need for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel's occupation of Palestine.
US citizens: oppose building the Tesoro-Savage oil export terminal in Washington State.
Everyone: call on major toy branding companies to improve wages and working conditions in their factories in China.
Companies tend to charge more for their products aimed at women or girls than for comparable products aimed at men or boys.
Why should scooters be meant specifically for one sex? There is no good reason for that. That too is a marketing ploy. Give a girl a blue scooter, and fight against creeping genderization of everything, while also saving money.
What If Sheldon Adelson Buys Your Newspaper? Write About Him, Then Leave.
The US military thought Obama's support for "moderate" Syrian resistance was only helping Jihadis, so it began feeding intelligence indirectly to Assad to help him fight those rebels.
The TSA may stop some passengers from requesting a physical search instead of body scanning.
I don't object to the millimeter-wave scanners now in use, but I still consider this change dangerous. What if they move to another machine that is potentially dangerous, as the x-ray scanners were?
Israel's ambassador to the US has gone out of his way to send holiday gifts made by colonies in Palestine.
Thailand's dictators don't have elections, but they have bogus opinion polls.
Is it wrong for Caucasian actors to wear makeup to appear Asian (or black)?
The article presents an incoherent mixture of perceived insult, lack of Asian role models on TV, and loss of work for Asian actors. Any or all of those issues might be valid, but they are all different, and mixing them up produces only confusion.
If it is a matter of work discrimination, how about making up nonwhite actors up to appear Caucasian? All actors' race would cease to matter.
If it is a matter of visible role models on TV, that's a matter of appearance only. Why does it matter what the actor's real skin color or appearance is, beneath the makeup?
If you feel insulted, please explain why an actor's makeup constitutes a statement about Asians, because I don't see that.
I support ending subsidies for IVF; the world has an excess of human babies and it makes no sense at all to spend public funds on making more.
Once babies are born, we must make sure they get good food, medical care, education, and a good home with parents that are not stressed about a lack of money.
Naturally, the right-wing government plans to cut that. Christianist extremist don't care about real babies.
Officially designating the atmosphere as a public trust might help get some countries to act against global heating.
Exxon shared its global heating research with other major oil companies as far back as 1980.
They have all been knowingly working to make sure the US government does not avoid disaster.
The loss of manufacturing jobs in the US is not inevitable. It is the result of political choices.
The US and various states are prohibiting poor people from spending public assistance on various expensive habits that they can't afford anyway.
The motive might be to fool the public into believing that welfare recipients really have money for luxury foods such as lobster, on ocean cruises, or even on tattoos.
If you can barely afford food at all, you will do without those things anyway.
ARM and IBM have teamed up to make devices that monitor and surveil their users.
The UN is moving towards authorizing Libya's new unified government to invite Western help to fight PISSI.
An intervention in support of Libyan ground troops has a reasonable chance of success.
Israel is considering a Putin-style law to restrict human-rights NGOs that receive support from European governments. The President of Israel was called a traitor for meeting with the New Israel Fund.
The fall of Sangin demonstrates the futility of NATO's trying to hold it.
Once the Taliban started to resurge, the US and NATO never had a plausible plan for defeating the Taliban, since the Afghan government has never generated enough loyalty to do so. The only question is how long to prop it up.
Increasingly, wars involve bombing cities full of civilians, as countries ignore the Geneva conventions.
A tax loophole encourages US companies to increase pay to their CEOs.
A new Web error code has been established for legally imposed censorship.
In rural India, the menstruating women are still treated as "unclean". They are banished to rude huts outside the village. Girls miss school.
Boko Haram Violence Keeping a Million Children Out of School, Says UNICEF.
A racist inspired by Trump built a pipe bomb to attack Muslims with.
Humanity has not acted to slow antibiotic resistance; now it is "almost too late" to avoid losing the most important current antibiotics.
The responsibility is the plutocratic state, which obeys agribusiness and disregards the general good.
Thugs kill a lot more Americans than terrorists do; but they do lesser forms of violence more often than killings.
In response to occasional crimes by a few Muslims, the US wages actual war against lots of Muslims.
I should point out that the guns used by Malik and his spouse were not lawfully purchased in the form he had them, and a stricter system of gun control could have made them difficult for him to get.
Because the US is waging actual war, its innocent victims greatly outnumber the victims of Muslim terrorists in the US. Americans are much more likely to be killed by thugs than by terrorists.
Christianist terrorism against US abortion facilities is a more serious threat because it is concentrated against a few. If you are an abortion doctor, that danger is large.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject a resolution to legitimize Israeli colonies in Palestine.
The Democratic National Committee reenabled Sanders' access to voter data; the Sanders campaign did the requested investigation and took appropriate action.
Lumping together crowd killing sprees with the more common multiple shootings in families and gangs gives the public an exaggerated idea of the level of danger from the former.
If shootings cause around 110,000 casualties in the year in the US, that shows guns are a serious problem, but the sensational killing sprees are a small part of it.
Violent domestic relationships don't make sense in rational terms. The victims are so traumatized that they blame themselves for the other person's violence.
Wild bees are declining in US agricultural areas.
A Proposal for Dealing with Terrorist Videos on the Internet.
Study Documents Extreme Racial Disparity in Arrests for Low-Level Offenses [in a US city].
Clinton has endorsed the FBI's take on encryption.
I had already decided not to vote for her if she wins the nomination. I hope you will join me. But let's try to prevent that issue from arising. Please support the Sanders campaign.
A US court ruled that the US can force-feed immigration prisoners on hunger strike.
This is a violation of their human rights. A sane person has a right to commit suicide and a right to fast to death.
Now that the prisoners have been denied the right to hunger strike, I expect that some will commit quick suicide as a protest.
Treating every rumor or threat of terrorism as serious is an effect of fear and it plays into the hands of terrorists.
Muslim students in US schools, even young ones, face frequent bullying that can go as far as physical attacks.
Violent attacks against Muslims are increasing.
Sudanese Editors Face Death Penalty for 'Inciting an Arab Spring'.
In Sudan, only Winter is allowed.
Many people and governments treat homeless people like vermin. Laws that shove them into obscure corners help others ignore how badly they are being treated.
Ultimately this is done to please store owners (who want them out of the way) and rich (who don't want to pay taxes to give them homes).
The same rich people are responsible for the policies that make people homeless.
Could prison be replaced with a different correctional system?
Spain's parliament is divided; it is not clear who will govern.
Everyone: call on Columbia University to reveal all the donors to Center on Global Energy Policy, since they seem to include Exxon.
on Congress to resume tracking and publishing world weapons sales.
Facebook relaxed its "real name" policy, but only
people who are being harassed for certain specific reasons.
This relieves a very specific acute problem, but does not enable
ordinary people to use Facebook without being tracked.
How the Government Surveils Cellphones:
This doesn't include the possibility of using the
back door to turn the phone into a full-time listening device.
And there is also
data through WiFi.
The UK is planning a law that will
victims of trafficking afraid to speak up.
Montreal protester Katie Nelson recognized an undercover thug when he
took off his mask — he was pretending to be a protester —
because he was
of the thugs she was already suing for a previous attack on her.
So he attacked her again. She is now in the hospital and preparing
Right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson appears to have bought the Las
Vegas Review-Journal just to
its reporters to trying to dig up dirt on judges who didn't bow down
to his wealth.
The UK's anti-sharing thugs have come down on people who
noncommercially distributed karaoke recordings because they are
not commercially available, and
a sleazy trick of language to equate this with commercial
Most Syrian rebel fighters hold
views similar to PISSI, even though they are enemies of PISSI.
This shows that defeating PISSI won't eliminate Salafi oppression from
Syria. (There may be no way to do that, in the short term.) However,
those groups might not want to attack outside Syria; it might be
possible to make peace with them.
It will be hard to make peace in a way that includes them and the
A UK local government, squeezed for funds, is
to charge old people every time they need someone to pick them up
Malicious code in a "smart" watch can tell what you are typing by
your arm motion.
Anything called "smart", unless all the software is free, is an attack
on your freedom and privacy.
Mandatory minimum sentences are a recent aberration in US history; we
get rid of most of them.
Dow continues to disregard criminal court charges in India and
to remediate the pollution that still leaks from its factory in
I wonder if DuPont has property in India that could be seized if it
merges with Dow. Perhaps a lien could be put on it now, to stop
DuPont from selling it before the merger.
The Paris conference didn't pay much attention to
production, but to meet the goal requires a big reduction.
on the Department of Justice to investigate violence against
abortion clinics as terrorism.
Citizens of Florida:
the state bill to impose fracking everywhere in the state.
The UK's relentless
to declare disabled people capable of working has led to around
600 suicides and over 700,000 prescriptions for antidepressants.
Cecil Rhodes Was a Racist, But You
Readily Expunge Him from History.
The UN has set up a
of relevant powers to try to end the civil war in Syria.
Has anyone proposed a solution to protect human rights for all the
ethnic groups and sects?
The US drone registration system
make drone owners' names and addresses visible to the public.
Ambassadors from EU countries
of retaliation for the US's limits on the visa waiver program.
Some have suggested that Europe would retaliate by imposing the same
restriction on Americans, blocking Iranian-Americans etc. That would
be a foolish way to retaliate, since the Americans who support the
recent restriction would be glad to see Iranian-Americans punished.
As retaliation, it would be ineffective.
My suggestion is that Europe should require visas for Americans whose
names begin with "R", or perhaps "Ry". That might be a small fraction
comparable to the fraction of Europeans affected by the new US
Another idea: require visas of Americans related to Republican
government officials tip off reporters to film the arrest of
Shkreli is a greedy bastard and we ought to make it illegal to act as
he did with Daraprim. (His arrest was about a
matter.) However, for the issue raised here, he's just one
example among many, and the questions posed apply to everyone.
photos in real time of everyone riding in cars in London.
When the state knows where everyone goes, and who talks with whom,
survive. That doesn't bother the UK government, which is
Republican-style techniques to effectively eliminate democracy in
credit card number to register a drone, as well as other personal
This puts the drone owners at risk.
We now know how broad and sweeping the PAT-RIOT Act "national security
letters" are; and
can demand them arbitrarily.
Santa Claus Confirms
Attack on Naughty-Or-Nice Database.
The Democratic National Committee's data company has repeatedly failed
to keep each candidate's data secret from other candidates. One
Sanders staffer accessed some of Clinton's data, and the campaign
fired him for this.
The DNC took the excuse to deny the Sanders campaign
access to its own voter information data base.
The Sanders campaign has
the DNC for this.
In an escalation of the War on Sharing, a US ISP was
millions for not disconnecting users that repeatedly did file
Tent cities in the US are the result of
that force homeless people out of downtown areas.
Pete Seeger's FBI File Reveals How the Folk Legend First Became a
of the Feds.
and Should Open an Investigation into US Torture.
of Republicans want to bomb Agrabah (a fictional medieval Arab
Only around 20% of Democrats want to bomb Agrabah.
Al Jazeera deleted and
access to an article it had published, which criticized Salafi
Arabia's disrespect for human rights.
Loss of Monkeys And Birds in Tropical Forests
Up Carbon Emissions.
The problem is that hardwood trees need those animals to disperse
A company gives foreign policy "advice" to candidates such as Clinton,
Rubio and Cruz, led and
by companies in the military-industrial complex.
The company says this is not lobbying, but that's what it adds up to.
It looks like Sanders is not interested in their "advice".
Martin Shkreli, whose company Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price
of Dataprim and blocked companies from making generic drugs, has
resigned after being
on charges of fraud in his previous company.
I wonder whether the new management will reduce the price. But either
way his practices of blocking other companies from making generic
equivalents should be made illegal.
The Los Angeles Thug Department
over 1300 claims of bias in 2012-2014, and judged not one
of them valid.
Either LA thugs are remarkably free of bias, far beyond what humans
would be capable of, or they are protecting each other.
These thugs can influence the behavior of other thugs, so it is
important to get rid of them.
Most thugs don't beat up or kill without justification, but nearly all
of them will protect other thugs that do so. That's why they
generally deserve the name of "thug". Those few who refuse to protect
the violent thugs are the ones who merit the title of "police officer".
SCROTUS, working to help pricey US ISPs, are
the FCC to give up on defending municipal broadband in the US.
SCROTUS = Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
When I call them "thugs", that doesn't mean everything the thugs do is
bad. It means that occasionally one of them kills someone unjustly
and the rest then try to protect that one.
India's nuclear industry dumps waste into the Subarnarekha river,
making its water
binge on news about a tragedy.
The San Bernardino shooters used
magazines that are illegal to sell in California.
It's not hard to buy them in some other state, perhaps Arizona or
Nevada, and bring them illegally to California. However, if they were
illegal in the whole US, it would really be hard to get them.
The guns were also
illegally so they could fire faster.
Those intending to commit murder will not be deterred by fear of
punishment for doing these modifications, but the law could require
designs that make this more difficult to do.
Australia's plain paper cigarette pack law
an attack through a "trade treaty".
We should get rid of all such treaties.
Congress's budget bill includes
breaks for some big businesses.
Pennsylvania has passed a law to
charter schools into Philadelphia.
As usual, thugs are organizing to demand an end to the investigation.
The country's official name is "Saudi Arabia", but that disguises its
"Facewatch" connects snooping cameras in stores to a
We need to abolish this system; I believe it
be illegal for anyone to operate cameras in this way, including
the state, except following a court order to put a camera in a certain
place for a certain period.
Call on George
Mason University to disconnect from the Koch brothers' corrupting
on your congresscritter to renew clean energy tax incentives.
The UK's "bedroom tax", a cut in benefits for disabled or unemployed
living in apartments judged to have an extra room,
pressured lots of people to skimp on food, but few have moved to
That's partly because few smaller apartments are available in the
areas where these people live. Also, some disabled people couldn't
move to an apartment without room for the relatives that take care of
The right-wing government won't mind this outcome. The policy was
meant as an excuse to squeeze the weak, and it has succeeded at that.
As the Thai king gets older and less able, the military is trying to
prop up the royal family's image by
Bernie Sanders Is More Popular Than Trump, But
Press Ignores Him.
The Communications Workers of America
Sanders for president.
A court in Brazil
all access to WhatsApp for 48 hours.
WhatsApp requires running a nonfree program, which is a foolish thing
to do; you are making a mistake if you use it. It also involves a
server that will snoop on you for Big Brother. Still, it is wrong for
Brazil to forbid connections to that server.
will be the hottest year ever recorded, beating the previous
record from 2015.
How far do Christianist extremists take their
on women when nobody stops them?
Star Simpson tells MIT why it must provide support for students who
make harmless technological hacks and are treated to
hunts by panicking ignorant fools.
The UK is implementing its supposed CO2 reduction pledge by
subsidies for solar power. Just not reducing them as much as was
In 6 months they will make another reduction.
'Very Cusp' of Civil Conflict, Warns UN Human Rights Chief.
Lightbulb manufacturers have found an
to overstate the efficiency of their bulbs.
to require communications companies to report "terrorist" postings or
messages (not merely actual threats) threaten human rights, and
companies would have a lot of trouble doing so.
I fear also that only companies that mistreat their users in other
ways will make enough money to be able to hire people to carry this
Americans in general have an extreme overprotective attitude towards
allowing children even to
in the front yard. Most Americans think children under 10 are too
This is the effect of massive publicity about dangers that are
I suspect this overprotection will tend to make children feel
smothered as well as making them timid.
The requirement to supervise children without a break, and the need to
bring them everywhere they are to go, imposes tremendous stress and
expense on parents. When I was 7 years old, I walked home from
school, used my keys to go in, and amused myself till my mother got
home from work. She did not have to pay for "child care" — I
knew how to read and play without adult help.
I support Sanders's proposal to
the rich more to fund day care. But we can eliminate a
substantial fraction of the expense by teaching parents that children
don't need to stay in day care for so many years.
with some of them.
Sanders talks about his
Ukraine has infringed political rights by
the Communist Party and even the word "communist".
The UK is
down on people that evade small amounts of taxes while leaving the
big tax evaders alone.
However, the tax dodging that governments choose to permit is
Under plutocratist governments, the purpose of taxes is to serve the
rich and crush the rest.
Google funded some congressional campaigns, and the congresscritters
elected performed for Google by
Google against an EU legal investigation about abuse of its market
Avoiding heating disaster requires a
comparable to what would be made for a large war.
Congress used the budget bill as an excuse to surrender to the WTO:
to eliminated country-of-origin meat labeling.
Don't pretend that Congress would have the courage to defy the TPP.
Senator Cruz suggested that the NSA's register of Americans' phone
calls may actually have
under the misnamed "USA Freedom Act".
Apparently he was not supposed to let us know this.
The Tories are rigging the UK's political and electoral system
eliminate the possibility of resistance.
of a woman for a coat hanger abortion is the armored unit at the
point of the war on women.
"Is my iPhone listening to me?" An iPhone seems to have
heard a user's
conversation about where person was going, and added it to the
user's profile for some Apple service.
The iPhone, like any other mobile phone, tells Big Brother where you
are. Your private destination will be known to the phone network (and
Big Brother) when you get there. Meanwhile, just about all mobile
phones can be made to listen to all the conversation around
them, and send it to whoever did this. This is why I call them
"Stalin's dream". Either of these is so vicious that I refuse to
However, that snooping doesn't send data to Apple. The possible
listening feature reported here would enable Apple, also, to listen to
conversations around the device.
The iThings are full of nonfree software; Apple controls the software,
and the users don't. You
never rationally trust a nonfree program. Whether or not they
have a functionality that listens for Apple, the device is
A listening functionality would be the sort of thing you must expect,
whether or not it is present now.
The Australian equivalent of a SWAT team
13-year-old April Clarke after they woke her by pointing a bright
light and a gun at her.
Sharif Mobley is apparently still alive, and has been
to 10 years in prison for (reportedly) shooting a prison guard.
The Koch brothers sponsor
justice reform" for corporate criminals.
The Federal Trade Commission could block mergers, but Obama's director
of the Bureau of Competition
This is one thing President Sanders could fix on his own.
war crimes as a response to PISSI.
You almost might as well join PISSI, if you're going to do that.
Let's stand together against
insults on social media.
I am against limiting freedom of speech, but there is a lot we can do
without going that far.
The idea of recruiting support from "moderate Syrian forces" is based
Record High Arctic Temperatures in 2015
'Profound Effects' on Region.
The subtle way some oppose Bernie Sanders is by trying to convince us
that he can't win — contrary to the polls that show him
all the Republicans.
If you would rather have Sanders as president than Clinton,
you should campaign now for Sanders. The worst that can happen
is that Clinton wins the nomination anyway.
The UK convicted Wang Yam of murder in a secret trial, and has now
him to take the case to the European Court of Justice. He is also
We have roadmaps for
the world's power needs with renewable energy; don't heed the
US citizens: call on Republican leaders to say they won't support Trump's campaign if he wins the Republican nomination.
US citizens: call on Congress to vote on an authorization for using military force against PISSI.
If the rest of the thug's story is correct, the thug had just
had a need to defend himself. People cannot digest new information in
a fraction of a second. Perhaps he had no time to consciously digest
the fact that Stewart had started to flee, before firing the second
Foam for extinguishing oil fires contains toxic chemicals; in some towns these have contaminated the drinking water and cause cancer.
Some Muslims are questioning the assumption that the Qur'an has to be obeyed.
Human Rights Watch says 7000 prisoners of Assad's forces were executed or died after torture.
Sudan plans to execute 25 people for following a different interpretation of Islam.
Shari'a law is an offense against human rights; any state that adopts it is doing an injustice.
A Tory claimed that Obama sent help so that the Tory party would win the UK general election.
Obama is a moderate Republican (they used to exist) in the Democratic Party. That's why I never voted for him.
The American Red Cross picked up new management from AT&T, which has "rationalized" the organization with disastrous results.
Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info.
The death penalty remains legal in many US states, but the rate of death sentences has fallen by almost a factor of 10 since the 1990s.
Sites that ask people to give data about their friends are a fiendish threat to privacy.
Los Angeles and New York City both got hoax bomb threats.
Los Angeles sent all the children home that day, whereas
New York figured out it was a hoax.
Do real bombers ever give advance warning?
Aren't these threats invariably hoaxes?
For once, Israel has treated Jews that attacked Palestinians as real criminals.
Lexmark has fired the leaders of a union in Mexico; the workers are on strike demanding a raise of 35 cents an hour.
Between 100,000 and 250,000 Texas women have done abortions at home, nearly always with drugs.
Bangladesh has banned Twitter, as well as many other digital communications media.
The UN concluded an Iranian missile test violated the nuclear agreement.
State-imposed bankruptcy government in Flint, Michigan, switched to
taking municipal water from the polluted Flint River as a measure to
save money, and refused to acknowledge that it was contaminated with
lead. The new mayor of Flint has declared an emergency and residents
are going to sue the state.
The city has moved back to another source of water, but this is too late
for all the young children of Flint.
Facebook relaxed its "real name" policy, but only for people who are being harassed for certain specific reasons.
This relieves a very specific acute problem, but does not enable ordinary people to use Facebook without being tracked.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to vote against the budget
authorization bill if it has
riders that change policies. Whether the changes are for big oil,
for snooping, against Planned Parenthood or against meat labeling,
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and
Women in some US states have been
back to using coat hangers.
Major Brazilian politicians are
investigated for corruption.
Poland's newly elected right-wing government is
to seize extra power by replacing the supreme court.
William Perry, Bill Clinton's secretary of defense, warns of a new
nuclear arms race and the danger of
T-Mobile in the US seems to be clearly
Net Neutrality rules.
A woman in Tennessee
life in prison for trying to give herself a late term abortion.
I wonder why she did not get an early, safe abortion? Has Tennessee
taken measures to make this so inconvenient that she gave up on it?
The DuPont-Dow merger
create another seed sales giant, like Monsanto.
Number of Journalists (23 as of December 1).
Spanish journalists will ask the European Court of Human Rights to
that prohibits photos and videos of thugs, [del: even ] especially
when they are at their worst.
3/4 of Britain's butterfly species have declined, some very much,
the last 40 years. This indicates that many other insect species,
less beloved by humans, have probably declined too — adding up
to an ecological calamity.
A school in California told a boy to cover up his Star Wars t-shirt
it showed a fictional character holding a gun.
It may be a reasonable policy to exclude symbols of violence from the
classroom, not because someone else was shot, but rather to avoid
promoting militarism. It could also be a wise policy to prohibit
shirts with commercial advertising, which this was.
Note that they did not punish the boy. US schools punish students for
absurd reasons, even get them jailed, and that is a very harmful
practice; but it did not happen in this case.
A Muslim scholar
the freedom of speech of a Christian preacher who is being
prosecuted — in the UK — for saying Islam is "Satanic".
Islam has bad aspects, like Christianity and other major religions,
but I would not apply the term "Satanic" to it. Nonetheless, I defend
other people's right to do that.
Algorithms derived from "big data"
come to implement racial discrimination because the data reflect
the results of discrimination.
The article takes a foolish, naive attitude to companies that collect
data about people, in effect believing their claims that they use it
only to "serve you better", and neglecting the danger that it
becomes available to others such as crackers and Big Brother. But
even though they ignore the principal injustices of collecting data
about you, their point about another injustice in the use of the data
Drug trafficking gangs
Mexican newspapers what to say about drug issues.
In Thailand, even a
statement about the king's dog is a crime.
Don't go to Thailand unless you have an urgent mission for some very
Claim No Easy Victories. Paris Was a Failure, But
Climate Justice Movement Is Rising.
Is it rising faster than the temperature?
If the world takes them seriously, the Paris commitments could
the fossil fuel industry and avoid global disaster.
But the fossil fuel industry is still strong and still working to stop
governments from carrying out those commitments properly.
An MP in Zimbabwe faces
of "criminal insult" against strongman Mugabe's wife.
Now DRM is in
If a product is "smart", and you didn't build it, it is cleverly
serving its manufacturer against you.
The DEA reported to a judge that it has
its massive database of phone calls made within the US.
phone companies keep these records for the DEA, that is almost as
Republicans have learned to make fact-checking useless: when their
claims are shown to be false,
they repeat the claims and accuse the
media of a cover-up.
Dubya and his men did this in regard to Saddam Hussein's nonexistent
weapons of mass distruction, and they convinced a lot of Americans.
I am surprised by the idea that CNN is "liberal." I have no TV, but
from everything I have heard, CNN is rather right-wing.
Reminded Americans That the War with [PISSI] Is Still
If you "can't put down" a mobile device, that's because it was
to be addictive.
This is the way to
let the market decide just how and where to reduce
antisocialist opposition won the election in Venezuela.
People were very unhappy with the shortages, which were caused by
foolish government policies; for instance, subsidies for the prices of
certain foods, which encouraged people to smuggle them into Colombia,
and currency exchange controls.
I fear that the antisocialists will eliminate the programs that Chavez
set up for education and medical care. Subsidizing food for the poor
is necessary, and the problems come from the system that the
socialists set upl but I expect the antisocialists to end the
subsidies so as to make life hard for the non-rich.
Humans' food supply is
dangerously biologically concentrated:
three-quarters of our food comes from 12 species of plants and five of
What's more, the number of different varieties of the plant species
The UK says that children who question what they are told, or
are terrorist suspects.
Many prisoners in the US are left destitute when they get out of
the state sues them for just about everything they have got,
or even more.
If this happened to me, I'd withdraw the money as cash and toss it
onto a street, just to spite the state.
Five San Francisco thugs shot Mario Woods dead. They said he had a
knife and wouldn't drop it — though he made no move to attack
Maybe he did have one.
If I were in that situation, I might be in real danger, even if I were
holding a gun — since I have no training, skill or experience in
such a confrontation. However if five thugs with pointed guns think
they are in danger from a man with a knife at his side, they must be
The richest 20 Americans
own more than half the population.
To spread the wealth, vote for progressives.
Right-wing groups are 7 states away from triggering a constitutional
convention that could rewrite the US Constitution in unpredictable
TPP would sabotage efforts to curb global heating in several ways.
This is a natural consequence of the way it was drawn up. For each
area of business, the US government asked the companies in that area
what they wanted. The fossil fuel companies asked for policies that
will help them.
Fundamentally, control of greenhouse gas emissions is good for the
people, so it's what democracy will do if it works right.
The TPP is a business-supremacy treaty with some secondary support
for unregulated trade. What these treaties do is weaken democracy
and give business more power.
states of Washington and California will allow most women to get
contraceptive prescriptions from pharmacists, without seeing a doctor
Tunisia, despite being more or less democratic,
Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America often
the environment and the rights of local inhabitants.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service takes action extremely rarely to
protect endangered species. Out of 88,000 proposed projects, the
F&WS approved all of them, and
action in just two cases.
Marco Rubio is trying to serve the large US ISPs by
municipal broadband networks.
The foreign intervention in Yemen, led by Salafi Arabia (*) and backed
by the US, suffered a setback:
of the ground troops were killed by Houthis.
* I refer to Saudi Arabia this way to highlight how it spreads an
extreme and cruel version of Islam around the world.
Shrimp exported from Thailand to major multinational front companies
peeled by slaves.
India will make the Paris agreement futile by
to burn lots of coal.
The UK will do likewise if the Tories continue
US citizens: phone your senators at 1-877-796-1949 to demand
clear, transparent labels on
GMO food — not QR codes.
Congress to stop big pharma's tax dodging.
Some Syrian rebels have set up
local councils: dictatorship and theocracy are not the only
One advance in the Paris deal:
of armies are now counted.
An effective method of reducing gun violence by gangs is
longer in use in the US because nobody will pay for it.
Paris agreement signals that deniers have lost the climate wars."
Their agents in many governments and institutions are still sabotaging
real progress, but they have lost the battle for society's overall
direction. It was inevitable that would happen once the effects of
global heating became sufficiently visible. Thus, what they intended
was a delaying action.
Did they succeed enough to cause the slow destruction of human
civilization and Earth's biosphere? Time will tell.
the NRA: the Officials Keeping Gun Control Laws Off the US Agenda.
Some of their lobbying is done through
on GM to oppose plans to legalize discrimination in car loans.
Free software turns mobile devices into license-plate
I've proposed that it should be illegal for anyone to set up
a license-plate recognition camera pointing at a public place except
with a specific court order.
Accusing governments of
they say that they want encryption back doors to catch terrorists.
The UK needs to make an "energy U-turn" to satisfy its
European banksters, rather than show Greeks the full extent of what
they demand for "saving" Greece, are imposing it a step at a time.
But Greeks are threatening to
and bring down the government.
Syriac Christian Women Take Up Kalashnikovs to
Climate Deal: the Pistol Has Fired,
Why aren't We Running?
Nigeria is proposing to censor internet communication, making it a
crime to post
information". That tends to mean information that the state
US Nuclear Weapons Complex Leaves
of Death on American Soil'.
Shaker Aamer rebukes extremists and terrorists, telling them
leave the UK if they don't love it.
Ban Donald Trump. Just Keep on Laughing at Him.
However, these councils do not even theoretically offer women a path
to changing the laws that oppress them.
Islamic law is fundamentally opposed to human rights, and deserves to
be considered a gross injustice.
more money than 15 years ago, and workers have less disposable
income than 15 years ago.
This is dooH niboR at work.
Charter schools in the US provide an avenue for private owners get
public money for their
I suppose that's why so many local and state policies to encourage
charter schools were set up: due to pressure from the businesses that
intended to enrich themselves.
Since charter schools do not in general provide a better education
(this supposed benefit was the ostensible reason for them), we should
phase them out. Creating them was a mistake, and those policies were
People living in Raqqa and Mosul say they are now
Can't they find any guns, any knives, any suicide bombs
with which to kill the PISSI militants?
finally question Assange about the sex charges against him.
Assange and Ecuador both said years ago that they would
Swedish officials question him in the embassy. Swedish
prosecutors have dragged their feet in a way that confirms that they
are not really interested in justice on these charges, rather using
them as an excuse.
The acts that Assange is accused of doing are
"rape" as the term is normally used. Swedish law is more strict
than in most countries.
an altered history of the fiscal crisis to excuse her opposition
to the reforms that are really necessary, such as restoring the
I read previously that Bill Clinton had no real choice about the
repeal of Glass-Steagall, because it was passed with a
majority. But this does not excuse anyone from the duty to fight
to bring it back.
Facebook relaxed its "real name" policy, but only for people who are being harassed for certain specific reasons.
This relieves a very specific acute problem, but does not enable ordinary people to use Facebook without being tracked.
How the Government Surveils Cellphones: A Primer.
This doesn't include the possibility of using the universal back door to turn the phone into a full-time listening device.
And there is also extracting data through WiFi.
The UK is planning a law that will make victims of trafficking afraid to speak up.
Montreal protester Katie Nelson recognized an undercover thug when he took off his mask — he was pretending to be a protester — because he was one of the thugs she was already suing for a previous attack on her. So he attacked her again. She is now in the hospital and preparing another lawsuit.
Right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson appears to have bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal just to set its reporters to trying to dig up dirt on judges who didn't bow down to his wealth.
The UK's anti-sharing thugs have come down on people who noncommercially distributed karaoke recordings because they are not commercially available, and using a sleazy trick of language to equate this with commercial redistribution.
Most Syrian rebel fighters hold extremist views similar to PISSI, even though they are enemies of PISSI.
This shows that defeating PISSI won't eliminate Salafi oppression from Syria. (There may be no way to do that, in the short term.) However, those groups might not want to attack outside Syria; it might be possible to make peace with them.
It will be hard to make peace in a way that includes them and the secular Kurds.
A UK local government, squeezed for funds, is planning to charge old people every time they need someone to pick them up after falling.
Malicious code in a "smart" watch can tell what you are typing by measuring your arm motion.
Anything called "smart", unless all the software is free, is an attack on your freedom and privacy.
Mandatory minimum sentences are a recent aberration in US history; we could get rid of most of them.
Dow continues to disregard criminal court charges in India and refuses to remediate the pollution that still leaks from its factory in Bhopal.
I wonder if DuPont has property in India that could be seized if it merges with Dow. Perhaps a lien could be put on it now, to stop DuPont from selling it before the merger.
The Paris conference didn't pay much attention to meat production, but to meet the goal requires a big reduction.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to investigate violence against abortion clinics as terrorism.
Citizens of Florida: oppose the state bill to impose fracking everywhere in the state.
The UK's relentless pressure to declare disabled people capable of working has led to around 600 suicides and over 700,000 prescriptions for antidepressants.
Cecil Rhodes Was a Racist, But You Can't Readily Expunge Him from History.
The UN has set up a conference of relevant powers to try to end the civil war in Syria.
Has anyone proposed a solution to protect human rights for all the ethnic groups and sects?
The US drone registration system will make drone owners' names and addresses visible to the public.
Ambassadors from EU countries warn of retaliation for the US's limits on the visa waiver program.
Some have suggested that Europe would retaliate by imposing the same restriction on Americans, blocking Iranian-Americans etc. That would be a foolish way to retaliate, since the Americans who support the recent restriction would be glad to see Iranian-Americans punished. As retaliation, it would be ineffective.
My suggestion is that Europe should require visas for Americans whose names begin with "R", or perhaps "Ry". That might be a small fraction comparable to the fraction of Europeans affected by the new US restrictions.
Another idea: require visas of Americans related to Republican congresscritters.
Did government officials tip off reporters to film the arrest of Shkreli?
Shkreli is a greedy bastard and we ought to make it illegal to act as he did with Daraprim. (His arrest was about a different matter.) However, for the issue raised here, he's just one example among many, and the questions posed apply to everyone.
Thugs will collect photos in real time of everyone riding in cars in London.
When the state knows where everyone goes, and who talks with whom, democracy cannot survive. That doesn't bother the UK government, which is applying Republican-style techniques to effectively eliminate democracy in the UK.
The FBI demands a credit card number to register a drone, as well as other personal information.
This puts the drone owners at risk.
We now know how broad and sweeping the PAT-RIOT Act "national security letters" are; and functionaries can demand them arbitrarily.
Santa Claus Confirms NSA Attack on Naughty-Or-Nice Database.
The Democratic National Committee's data company has repeatedly failed to keep each candidate's data secret from other candidates. One Sanders staffer accessed some of Clinton's data, and the campaign fired him for this.
The DNC took the excuse to deny the Sanders campaign all access to its own voter information data base.
The Sanders campaign has sued the DNC for this.
In an escalation of the War on Sharing, a US ISP was fined millions for not disconnecting users that repeatedly did file sharing.
Tent cities in the US are the result of laws that force homeless people out of downtown areas.
Pete Seeger's FBI File Reveals How the Folk Legend First Became a Target of the Feds.
Why Germany Can and Should Open an Investigation into US Torture.
30% of Republicans want to bomb Agrabah (a fictional medieval Arab country).
Only around 20% of Democrats want to bomb Agrabah.
Al Jazeera deleted and blocked access to an article it had published, which criticized Salafi Arabia's disrespect for human rights.
Here is the article.
Loss of Monkeys And Birds in Tropical Forests Driving Up Carbon Emissions.
The problem is that hardwood trees need those animals to disperse their seeds.
A company gives foreign policy "advice" to candidates such as Clinton, Rubio and Cruz, led and funded by companies in the military-industrial complex.
The company says this is not lobbying, but that's what it adds up to.
It looks like Sanders is not interested in their "advice".
Martin Shkreli, whose company Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Dataprim and blocked companies from making generic drugs, has resigned after being arrested on charges of fraud in his previous company.
I wonder whether the new management will reduce the price. But either way his practices of blocking other companies from making generic equivalents should be made illegal.
The Los Angeles Thug Department investigated over 1300 claims of bias in 2012-2014, and judged not one of them valid.
Either LA thugs are remarkably free of bias, far beyond what humans would be capable of, or they are protecting each other.
These thugs can influence the behavior of other thugs, so it is important to get rid of them.
Most thugs don't beat up or kill without justification, but nearly all of them will protect other thugs that do so. That's why they generally deserve the name of "thug". Those few who refuse to protect the violent thugs are the ones who merit the title of "police officer".
SCROTUS, working to help pricey US ISPs, are pressuring the FCC to give up on defending municipal broadband in the US.
SCROTUS = Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
When I call them "thugs", that doesn't mean everything the thugs do is bad. It means that occasionally one of them kills someone unjustly and the rest then try to protect that one.
India's nuclear industry dumps waste into the Subarnarekha river, making its water unsafe to drink.
Recommendation: don't binge on news about a tragedy.
The San Bernardino shooters used large magazines that are illegal to sell in California.
It's not hard to buy them in some other state, perhaps Arizona or Nevada, and bring them illegally to California. However, if they were illegal in the whole US, it would really be hard to get them.
The guns were also modified illegally so they could fire faster.
Those intending to commit murder will not be deterred by fear of punishment for doing these modifications, but the law could require designs that make this more difficult to do.
Australia's plain paper cigarette pack law survived an attack through a "trade treaty".
We should get rid of all such treaties.
Congress's budget bill includes tax breaks for some big businesses.
Pennsylvania has passed a law to force charter schools into Philadelphia.
As usual, thugs are organizing to demand an end to the investigation.
The country's official name is "Saudi Arabia", but that disguises its nasty nature.
"Facewatch" connects snooping cameras in stores to a blacklist of faces.
We need to abolish this system; I believe it should be illegal for anyone to operate cameras in this way, including the state, except following a court order to put a camera in a certain place for a certain period.
Everyone: Call on George Mason University to disconnect from the Koch brothers' corrupting funding.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to renew clean energy tax incentives.
The UK's "bedroom tax", a cut in benefits for disabled or unemployed living in apartments judged to have an extra room, has pressured lots of people to skimp on food, but few have moved to smaller apartments.
That's partly because few smaller apartments are available in the areas where these people live. Also, some disabled people couldn't move to an apartment without room for the relatives that take care of them.
The right-wing government won't mind this outcome. The policy was meant as an excuse to squeeze the weak, and it has succeeded at that.
As the Thai king gets older and less able, the military is trying to prop up the royal family's image by prosecuting more people.
Bernie Sanders Is More Popular Than Trump, But the Press Ignores Him.
The Communications Workers of America endorsed Sanders for president.
A court in Brazil blocked all access to WhatsApp for 48 hours.
WhatsApp requires running a nonfree program, which is a foolish thing to do; you are making a mistake if you use it. It also involves a server that will snoop on you for Big Brother. Still, it is wrong for Brazil to forbid connections to that server.
Forecast: 2016 will be the hottest year ever recorded, beating the previous record from 2015.
How far do Christianist extremists take their war on women when nobody stops them?
Star Simpson tells MIT why it must provide support for students who make harmless technological hacks and are treated to witch hunts by panicking ignorant fools.
The UK is implementing its supposed CO2 reduction pledge by reducing subsidies for solar power. Just not reducing them as much as was initially proposed.
In 6 months they will make another reduction.
Burundi On 'Very Cusp' of Civil Conflict, Warns UN Human Rights Chief.
Lightbulb manufacturers have found an excuse to overstate the efficiency of their bulbs.
Senate proposes to require communications companies to report "terrorist" postings or messages (not merely actual threats) threaten human rights, and companies would have a lot of trouble doing so.
I fear also that only companies that mistreat their users in other ways will make enough money to be able to hire people to carry this out.
Americans in general have an extreme overprotective attitude towards allowing children even to play in the front yard. Most Americans think children under 10 are too young.
This is the effect of massive publicity about dangers that are very rare.
I suspect this overprotection will tend to make children feel smothered as well as making them timid.
The requirement to supervise children without a break, and the need to bring them everywhere they are to go, imposes tremendous stress and expense on parents. When I was 7 years old, I walked home from school, used my keys to go in, and amused myself till my mother got home from work. She did not have to pay for "child care" — I knew how to read and play without adult help.
I support Sanders's proposal to tax the rich more to fund day care. But we can eliminate a substantial fraction of the expense by teaching parents that children don't need to stay in day care for so many years.
Interviews with some of them.
Sanders talks about his support among Republicans.
Ukraine has infringed political rights by banning the Communist Party and even the word "communist".
The UK is cracking down on people that evade small amounts of taxes while leaving the big tax evaders alone.
However, the tax dodging that governments choose to permit is even bigger.
Under plutocratist governments, the purpose of taxes is to serve the rich and crush the rest.
Google funded some congressional campaigns, and the congresscritters elected performed for Google by supporting Google against an EU legal investigation about abuse of its market position.
Avoiding heating disaster requires a mobilization comparable to what would be made for a large war.
Congress used the budget bill as an excuse to surrender to the WTO: it voted to eliminated country-of-origin meat labeling.
Don't pretend that Congress would have the courage to defy the TPP.
Senator Cruz suggested that the NSA's register of Americans' phone calls may actually have increased under the misnamed "USA Freedom Act".
Apparently he was not supposed to let us know this.
The Tories are rigging the UK's political and electoral system to eliminate the possibility of resistance.
Tennessee's prosecution of a woman for a coat hanger abortion is the armored unit at the point of the war on women.
"Is my iPhone listening to me?" An iPhone seems to have heard a user's conversation about where person was going, and added it to the user's profile for some Apple service.
The iPhone, like any other mobile phone, tells Big Brother where you are. Your private destination will be known to the phone network (and Big Brother) when you get there. Meanwhile, just about all mobile phones can be made to listen to all the conversation around them, and send it to whoever did this. This is why I call them "Stalin's dream". Either of these is so vicious that I refuse to carry one.
However, that snooping doesn't send data to Apple. The possible listening feature reported here would enable Apple, also, to listen to conversations around the device.
The iThings are full of nonfree software; Apple controls the software, and the users don't. You can never rationally trust a nonfree program. Whether or not they have a functionality that listens for Apple, the device is full of malware.
A listening functionality would be the sort of thing you must expect, whether or not it is present now.
The Australian equivalent of a SWAT team terrified 13-year-old April Clarke after they woke her by pointing a bright light and a gun at her.
Sharif Mobley is apparently still alive, and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for (reportedly) shooting a prison guard.
The Koch brothers sponsor "criminal justice reform" for corporate criminals.
The Federal Trade Commission could block mergers, but Obama's director of the Bureau of Competition hardly ever tries.
This is one thing President Sanders could fix on his own.
Republicans propose war crimes as a response to PISSI.
You almost might as well join PISSI, if you're going to do that.
Let's stand together against sexist insults on social media.
I am against limiting freedom of speech, but there is a lot we can do without going that far.
The idea of recruiting support from "moderate Syrian forces" is based on oversimplification and confusion.
Record High Arctic Temperatures in 2015 Having 'Profound Effects' on Region.
The subtle way some oppose Bernie Sanders is by trying to convince us that he can't win — contrary to the polls that show him beating all the Republicans.
If you would rather have Sanders as president than Clinton, you should campaign now for Sanders. The worst that can happen is that Clinton wins the nomination anyway.
The UK convicted Wang Yam of murder in a secret trial, and has now forbidden him to take the case to the European Court of Justice. He is also gagged.
We have roadmaps for providing the world's power needs with renewable energy; don't heed the naysayers.
US citizens: call on Republican leaders to say they won't support Trump's campaign if he wins the Republican nomination.
US citizens: call on Congress to vote on an authorization for using military force against PISSI.
If the rest of the thug's story is correct, the thug had just had a need to defend himself. People cannot digest new information in a fraction of a second. Perhaps he had no time to consciously digest the fact that Stewart had started to flee, before firing the second shot.
Foam for extinguishing oil fires contains toxic chemicals; in some towns these have contaminated the drinking water and cause cancer.
Some Muslims are questioning the assumption that the Qur'an has to be obeyed.
Human Rights Watch says 7000 prisoners of Assad's forces were executed or died after torture.
Sudan plans to execute 25 people for following a different interpretation of Islam.
Shari'a law is an offense against human rights; any state that adopts it is doing an injustice.
A Tory claimed that Obama sent help so that the Tory party would win the UK general election.
Obama is a moderate Republican (they used to exist) in the Democratic Party. That's why I never voted for him.
The American Red Cross picked up new management from AT&T, which has "rationalized" the organization with disastrous results.
Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info.
The death penalty remains legal in many US states, but the rate of death sentences has fallen by almost a factor of 10 since the 1990s.
Sites that ask people to give data about their friends are a fiendish threat to privacy.
Los Angeles and New York City both got hoax bomb threats. Los Angeles sent all the children home that day, whereas New York figured out it was a hoax.
Do real bombers ever give advance warning? Aren't these threats invariably hoaxes?
For once, Israel has treated Jews that attacked Palestinians as real criminals.
Lexmark has fired the leaders of a union in Mexico; the workers are on strike demanding a raise of 35 cents an hour.
Between 100,000 and 250,000 Texas women have done abortions at home, nearly always with drugs.
Bangladesh has banned Twitter, as well as many other digital communications media.
The UN concluded an Iranian missile test violated the nuclear agreement.
State-imposed bankruptcy government in Flint, Michigan, switched to taking municipal water from the polluted Flint River as a measure to save money, and refused to acknowledge that it was contaminated with lead. The new mayor of Flint has declared an emergency and residents are going to sue the state.
The city has moved back to another source of water, but this is too late for all the young children of Flint.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to vote against the budget authorization bill if it has any riders that change policies. Whether the changes are for big oil, for snooping, against Planned Parenthood or against meat labeling, reject them!
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Women in some US states have been forced back to using coat hangers.
Major Brazilian politicians are being investigated for corruption.
Poland's newly elected right-wing government is trying to seize extra power by replacing the supreme court.
William Perry, Bill Clinton's secretary of defense, warns of a new nuclear arms race and the danger of accidental nuclear war.
T-Mobile in the US seems to be clearly violating Net Neutrality rules.
A woman in Tennessee faces life in prison for trying to give herself a late term abortion.
I wonder why she did not get an early, safe abortion? Has Tennessee taken measures to make this so inconvenient that she gave up on it?
The DuPont-Dow merger would create another seed sales giant, like Monsanto.
Egypt Jails Record Number of Journalists (23 as of December 1).
Spanish journalists will ask the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the law that prohibits photos and videos of thugs, [del: even ] especially when they are at their worst.
3/4 of Britain's butterfly species have declined, some very much, in the last 40 years. This indicates that many other insect species, less beloved by humans, have probably declined too — adding up to an ecological calamity.
A school in California told a boy to cover up his Star Wars t-shirt because it showed a fictional character holding a gun.
It may be a reasonable policy to exclude symbols of violence from the classroom, not because someone else was shot, but rather to avoid promoting militarism. It could also be a wise policy to prohibit shirts with commercial advertising, which this was.
Note that they did not punish the boy. US schools punish students for absurd reasons, even get them jailed, and that is a very harmful practice; but it did not happen in this case.
A Muslim scholar defends the freedom of speech of a Christian preacher who is being prosecuted — in the UK — for saying Islam is "Satanic".
Islam has bad aspects, like Christianity and other major religions, but I would not apply the term "Satanic" to it. Nonetheless, I defend other people's right to do that.
Algorithms derived from "big data" can come to implement racial discrimination because the data reflect the results of discrimination.
The article takes a foolish, naive attitude to companies that collect data about people, in effect believing their claims that they use it only to "serve you better", and neglecting the danger that it becomes available to others such as crackers and Big Brother. But even though they ignore the principal injustices of collecting data about you, their point about another injustice in the use of the data is important.
Drug trafficking gangs order Mexican newspapers what to say about drug issues.
In Thailand, even a "sarcastic" statement about the king's dog is a crime.
Don't go to Thailand unless you have an urgent mission for some very good cause.
Claim No Easy Victories. Paris Was a Failure, But a Climate Justice Movement Is Rising.
Is it rising faster than the temperature?
If the world takes them seriously, the Paris commitments could shrink the fossil fuel industry and avoid global disaster.
But the fossil fuel industry is still strong and still working to stop governments from carrying out those commitments properly.
An MP in Zimbabwe faces charges of "criminal insult" against strongman Mugabe's wife.
Now DRM is in "smart" lightbulbs!
If a product is "smart", and you didn't build it, it is cleverly serving its manufacturer against you.
The DEA reported to a judge that it has erased its massive database of phone calls made within the US.
However, when phone companies keep these records for the DEA, that is almost as bad.
Republicans have learned to make fact-checking useless: when their claims are shown to be false, they repeat the claims and accuse the media of a cover-up.
Dubya and his men did this in regard to Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass distruction, and they convinced a lot of Americans.
I am surprised by the idea that CNN is "liberal." I have no TV, but from everything I have heard, CNN is rather right-wing.
Obama's Speech Reminded Americans That the War with [PISSI] Is Still Illegal.
If you "can't put down" a mobile device, that's because it was designed to be addictive.
This is the way to let the market decide just how and where to reduce emissions.
The antisocialist opposition won the election in Venezuela.
People were very unhappy with the shortages, which were caused by foolish government policies; for instance, subsidies for the prices of certain foods, which encouraged people to smuggle them into Colombia, and currency exchange controls.
I fear that the antisocialists will eliminate the programs that Chavez set up for education and medical care. Subsidizing food for the poor is necessary, and the problems come from the system that the socialists set upl but I expect the antisocialists to end the subsidies so as to make life hard for the non-rich.
Humans' food supply is dangerously biologically concentrated: three-quarters of our food comes from 12 species of plants and five of animals, What's more, the number of different varieties of the plant species is decreasing.
The UK says that children who question what they are told, or criticize government policy, are terrorist suspects.
Many prisoners in the US are left destitute when they get out of prison because the state sues them for just about everything they have got, or even more.
If this happened to me, I'd withdraw the money as cash and toss it onto a street, just to spite the state.
Five San Francisco thugs shot Mario Woods dead. They said he had a knife and wouldn't drop it — though he made no move to attack them. Maybe he did have one.
If I were in that situation, I might be in real danger, even if I were holding a gun — since I have no training, skill or experience in such a confrontation. However if five thugs with pointed guns think they are in danger from a man with a knife at his side, they must be incompetent.
The richest 20 Americans own more than half the population. To spread the wealth, vote for progressives.
Right-wing groups are 7 states away from triggering a constitutional convention that could rewrite the US Constitution in unpredictable ways.
The TPP would sabotage efforts to curb global heating in several ways.
This is a natural consequence of the way it was drawn up. For each area of business, the US government asked the companies in that area what they wanted. The fossil fuel companies asked for policies that will help them.
Fundamentally, control of greenhouse gas emissions is good for the people, so it's what democracy will do if it works right. The TPP is a business-supremacy treaty with some secondary support for unregulated trade. What these treaties do is weaken democracy and give business more power.
The states of Washington and California will allow most women to get contraceptive prescriptions from pharmacists, without seeing a doctor first.
Tunisia, despite being more or less democratic, represses homosexuals.
Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America often trash the environment and the rights of local inhabitants.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service takes action extremely rarely to protect endangered species. Out of 88,000 proposed projects, the F&WS approved all of them, and took action in just two cases.
Marco Rubio is trying to serve the large US ISPs by banning municipal broadband networks.
The foreign intervention in Yemen, led by Salafi Arabia (*) and backed by the US, suffered a setback: commanders of the ground troops were killed by Houthis.
* I refer to Saudi Arabia this way to highlight how it spreads an extreme and cruel version of Islam around the world.
Shrimp exported from Thailand to major multinational front companies are often peeled by slaves.
India will make the Paris agreement futile by continuing to burn lots of coal.
The UK will do likewise if the Tories continue their fossil-fool policies.
US citizens: phone your senators at 1-877-796-1949 to demand clear, transparent labels on GMO food — not QR codes.
US citizens: tell Congress to stop big pharma's tax dodging.
Some Syrian rebels have set up democratic local councils: dictatorship and theocracy are not the only options.
One advance in the Paris deal: emissions of armies are now counted.
An effective method of reducing gun violence by gangs is no longer in use in the US because nobody will pay for it.
"The Paris agreement signals that deniers have lost the climate wars."
Their agents in many governments and institutions are still sabotaging real progress, but they have lost the battle for society's overall direction. It was inevitable that would happen once the effects of global heating became sufficiently visible. Thus, what they intended was a delaying action.
Did they succeed enough to cause the slow destruction of human civilization and Earth's biosphere? Time will tell.
Inside the NRA: the Officials Keeping Gun Control Laws Off the US Agenda.
Some of their lobbying is done through disguised relationships.
US citizens: call on GM to oppose plans to legalize discrimination in car loans.
Free software turns mobile devices into license-plate recognition cameras.
I've proposed that it should be illegal for anyone to set up a license-plate recognition camera pointing at a public place except with a specific court order.
Accusing governments of lying when they say that they want encryption back doors to catch terrorists.
The UK needs to make an "energy U-turn" to satisfy its Paris commitments.
European banksters, rather than show Greeks the full extent of what they demand for "saving" Greece, are imposing it a step at a time. But Greeks are threatening to protest and bring down the government.
Syriac Christian Women Take Up Kalashnikovs to Fight PISSI.
Climate Deal: the Pistol Has Fired, So Why aren't We Running?
Nigeria is proposing to censor internet communication, making it a crime to post "false information". That tends to mean information that the state doesn't like.
US Nuclear Weapons Complex Leaves 'Legacy of Death on American Soil'.
Shaker Aamer rebukes extremists and terrorists, telling them to leave the UK if they don't love it.
Don't Ban Donald Trump. Just Keep on Laughing at Him.
However, these councils do not even theoretically offer women a path to changing the laws that oppress them.
Islamic law is fundamentally opposed to human rights, and deserves to be considered a gross injustice.
British companies make more money than 15 years ago, and workers have less disposable income than 15 years ago.
This is dooH niboR at work.
Charter schools in the US provide an avenue for private owners get public money for their private businesses.
I suppose that's why so many local and state policies to encourage charter schools were set up: due to pressure from the businesses that intended to enrich themselves.
Since charter schools do not in general provide a better education (this supposed benefit was the ostensible reason for them), we should phase them out. Creating them was a mistake, and those policies were a mistake.
People living in Raqqa and Mosul say they are now simply prisons.
Can't they find any guns, any knives, any suicide bombs with which to kill the PISSI militants?
US citizens: repudiate Trump's bigotry.
Sweden will finally question Assange about the sex charges against him.
Assange and Ecuador both said years ago that they would let Swedish officials question him in the embassy. Swedish prosecutors have dragged their feet in a way that confirms that they are not really interested in justice on these charges, rather using them as an excuse.
The acts that Assange is accused of doing are not "rape" as the term is normally used. Swedish law is more strict than in most countries.
Clinton uses an altered history of the fiscal crisis to excuse her opposition to the reforms that are really necessary, such as restoring the Glass-Steagall act.
I read previously that Bill Clinton had no real choice about the repeal of Glass-Steagall, because it was passed with a veto-proof majority. But this does not excuse anyone from the duty to fight to bring it back.
A new chat program tries to provide privacy about who is talking with whom.
I'm not an encryption expert, and I can't judge whether it provides good security.
Inequality Is Now Killing [people in] Middle America.
How the TPP Will Affect You and Your Digital Rights (if it goes into effect).
After some rebels evacuated al-Waer, in Homs, others have made a cease fire with Assad's rule.
Poles held a large protest against the recently elected right-wing government which seems to be trying to twist the constitution.
They would still have the mountainous inland areas, but couldn't grow any food there.
Government, Can You Hear Me Now? Cell-site Simulators Aren't Secret Anymore.
A number of interesting points about Bernie Sanders.
If Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, I won't vote for her. She's a plutocratist, part of the problem rather than the solution. If we keep voting for the lesser plutocratist, our government will get more and more plutocratist. I will vote Green.
I support Sanders because he's not just a lesser evil. He's good.
"Until governments undertake to keep fossil fuels in the ground, they will continue to undermine agreement they have just made."
Atheists in Lincoln, Nebraska, booked all the exhibition space in the state capitol building so that no sectarian exhibit can be presented about Christmas.
It is not right to promote a religion in a state capitol building. It is also not right to censor any view by cornering the market on places to present it, but the atheists didn't do that. There must be plenty of places in Lincoln, outside the capitol, where manger displays for Christmas can be set up — churches, for instance.
The main points of the deal agreed in Paris.
Paris climate agreement 'may signal end of fossil fuel era', according to optimists.
This agreement could very well start a process leading towards truly curbing global heating. I fear we can't afford to lose that time in getting started. The agreement will still raise global temperatures 3 to 4 degrees centigrade. The problem is, it involves "no action, just promises". When a country adopts a long-term emissions target without policies that will realize it, it may never adopt suitable policies. By the time the target is not met, it is too late.
France's constitution may be changed to support long-term repressive "states of emergency".
Some research suggests that unhappiness does not predispose people to illness.
There are distinct questions here:
The research suggests that the answer to (1) is no. That's fortunate, for unhappy people. But whatever the answer to (1) is, it does not mean that being unhappy is blameworthy. If there is no ethical, reliable way to decide to be happy, then your unhappiness is no more your fault than an injury or a birth defect.
Senator Cruz is proposing to block companies from using H1B visas to bring foreign workers to the US temporarily for training.
It is a good cause, but his solution operates by closing off H-1B visas except for very highly paid jobs. I think the solution should more directly address the problem.
I propose that any company or division hiring H-1B workers should be forbidden to eliminate any US jobs for the next two years, unless it has suffered a big drop in gross sales, or to move any work out of the US or to a subcontractor during that time. Fines for violations should be very high.
Also, workers who are told to train their successors (and then be fired) should refuse to train them, or quit immediately. Resisting oppression calls for some guts.
Making tech companies spy on their users for the state is unamerican, and useless too.
An issue not mentioned here is, which criterion is used to define terrorism? Do attacks on abortion clinics count? They ought to, but so far the US government is not treating them as terrorism.
The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists: an interview with Phillip Rogaway.
Perhaps we need a Bulletin of the Information Scientists.
It would be good to change legally required pension schemes so that they are not connected with any particular employer.
The article's picture of the "future of work" shows distortions. "An algorithm matches you with a gig that optimizes your income opportunity"? Not likely. Rather, it will optimize the income of the company that runs it, as it accumulates data about you that it will sell to someone.
Will you be able to decide when to work? Maybe in theory, but in practice you'll find out at 08:00 that you have to work for 4 hours from 11:00 to 15:00 or go without.
Now that reliable gene editing has been developed, it will certainly
be used to
hereditary diseases. To deny people this remedy would
be too cruel.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
I don't think it is bad in principle to make enhancements using this technology. However, designing an enhanced human that doesn't already exist is not as straightforward as replacing a defective gene with its normal counterpart. Until a number of people with a certain supposed enhancement grow up, we won't know whether the change is an enhancement or an impediment.
The carbon emissions commitments of some countries are so weak that their emissions will keep increasing. What should we do about this?
Since this is about avoiding global disaster, the response implicitly proposed in the article (Just give up) is stupid. What we really need to do is make those countries reduce emissions.
Given the hundreds of millions of deaths this disaster is likely to cause globally, emitting too much carbon is an act of war. It would be justified to bomb coal-burning power plants to stop their emissions, if nothing less can do the job.
Artificial gene drives make it possible to modify entire wild populations of organisms that reproduce sexually and don't take long to mature. For instance, we could modify wild mosquitoes so that they can't carry malaria. We could wipe out populations of invasive species, such as zebra mussels or asian carp in the US.
Because it is possible to remove the drive later, if any of the drive-harboring asian carp got back to Asia where these fish normally live, we could easily eliminate the drive to protect the species in the range where it belongs.
A web site that generated images in the style of handwritten signs used in the London subway ("Underground") was taken down at the request of the subway. The subway said the site was being used to generate racist signs and presented this as legal grounds for censorship. Racist messages are nasty, but it's wrong to shut down a medium of communication just because some people used it communicate nasty messages. The UK does not respect freedom of speech enough, but I hope that this demand was not legally enforceable there.
I would have refused all along to use a web site to generate parody signs, because doing such a job using someone else's service is SaaSS (Service as a Software Substitute).
Any digital service automatically gives the service operator power over its users. This service's operator demonstrated that power when he shut it down, thus stopping people from making any more signs no matter what the messages. In addition, users could not freely alter any aspects of how the service worked, except those for which it offered explicit settings. The service controlled that too.
The right way to make these sign images, or do any computing job that involves you alone, is with a free program you run in your own computer. That way, the program's author does not subsequently have power over the users once they get copies.
If the developer had released a free program to do this, he would not have been able to "shut it down" on demand.
Young children are getting addicted to video to the point that they don't experience much real social interaction.
Trump's bigotry is encouraging the growth of racist hate groups in the US.
Everyone: call on the EU not to restrict web linking.
US citizens: call on Obama to pardon Jeffrey Sterling.
Everyone: call on Burkina Faso to save girls from being forced into marriage.
Australia's planet-roaster "environment minister", whose mission is to trash the environment, demanded to be allowed to speak after a documentary about the Great Barrier Reef, which will be destroyed by CO2 emissions along with all the other coral reefs.
It's not just the heat, it's the acidity.
Emanuel is directly responsible, and he should resign.
After he is gone, Chicago could have a chance to elect someone who would be mayor during the daytime. Emanuel is just a night-mayor.
Pakistan's fighting against the Taliban has pushed many foreign jihadis into Afghanistan.
While this may be difficult for Afghanistan, at least it is a sign of progress.
US citizens: Reps and Senators, oppose sale of arms to Salafi Arabia.
Everyone: call for including the Syrian Kurds in multilateral negotiations about Syria's future.
Rejection of a bill to block gun purchases by people on the "no-fly list" has called attention to the injustice of that list.
That list is punishment without trial, and if that's not bad enough, it is punishment secretly sprung on people after they have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on nonrefundable tickets they can't use. No one lawfully present or resident in the US should be blocked from riding in US airline flights except as punishment for a crime.
As for people not lawfully present or resident in the US, the government has the option of denying them entry, which is both more effective and more legitimate than the no-fly list.
Blocking people from buying guns is more legitimate than blocking people from flying, so it is ok to do that based on weaker criteria. However, there are limits to what this can achieve. Blocking a small list of people will not stop attacks by undetectable small teams. But perhaps nothing can stop that.
The US House of Representatives passed a bill to ban microbeads from soap and toothpaste.
Microbeads are harmful to marine life, and sewage treatment does not stop them from getting into waterways.
DA Alvarez, following her general tendency, is protecting the thugs.
Neither of them merits our unreserved trust. The thugs could be lying to excuse their actions. The mother could be saying what she wishes were true. But the fact that witnesses report that thugs told them what to say suggests that the thugs are lying.
Cory Doctorow: don't think of trying to work for the NSA so as to limit its wrongs. Great heroes have tried and failed.
The low price of oil is making most oil extraction projects unprofitable to invest in. It the price stays low, it will limit the oil extracted to the fraction which is cheap to extract.
That's good, but the low price also reduces the incentive to invest in renewable energy and increased efficiency. And it tends to encourage investment in burning oil in the future (though that may take years).
Increased tax on oil, or a carbon tax, would give us the best of both worlds: the extraction projects would still be unprofitable, while renewables and efficiency increases would be encouraged.
Demonstrating cruelty, the US government stopped a hunger strike in an immigration prison by threatening to force-feed the prisoners.
Remember that most of these prisoners have not been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. The US keeps them in prison as preparation for possibly deporting them. It may be legitimate to deport them, but that is no excuse for force-feeding them.
The DuPont and Dow Chemical Merger: Bad Deal for People and the Planet.
The merger of two large companies that operate in the same areas reduces competition in all the areas they both operate in. Splitting that company according to area of operation does nothing to increase competition in any one of the areas. Thus, the overall effect is to reduce competition.
One of General Pinochet's men phoned a talk show to confess to murdering dissidents under orders.
I guess his conscience insisted on this. He said that he would have been killed if he refused.
On the politics and irrationality of Western responses to Syria: "So Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane?"
Egypt's censorship is being applied repressively to all media.
The UK is sucking up to China so hard that it praised China on Human Rights Day.
Figures demonstrate the decline of the US middle class.
US meat production has decreased since 2009, but use of antibiotics in farms has increased by almost 1/4.
We're going to pay with our lives for this folly.
Never Mind a Third Runway — What Heathrow Needs Is Managed Decline.
1.5C of heating as a maximum target is a lot safer for everyone than 2C.
The farther heating goes, the more chance of triggering some positive feedback which would shove it far above 2C.
Cuban Dissidents Say 100 Detained in Human Rights Day Protest Crackdown.
Jailed Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi on Hunger Strike.
The US plans to punish Europeans with connections to Iran because of a murder carried out by by Pakistanis inspired by Salafi Arabia. However, neither Pakistan nor Salafi Arabia are affected by this bill.
I suggest that the European Union retaliate by requiring visas from Americans whose family name starts with R. Paul Ryan, for instance. The absurdity of this response will show the absurdity of what the US is doing.
The US tends to label any "military-age males" killed by air strikes as enemy fighters, but that's definitely an exaggeration. If air strikes in Ramadi killed 350 military-age males, we have no idea how many were fighting for PISSI and how many were civilians.
The caution of the army attacking Ramadi is likely to result in fewer casualties to soldiers, but could cause more casualties to civilians in Ramadi, which would build support for PISSI.
As for a few leaders killed, such a group can always replace them as long as more people are volunteering.
People have made great progress against malaria using insecticide-treated mosquito nets, but mosquitos are developing resistance to the insecticides.
If we step up the effort, we could cut off malaria transmission in some areas.
Thai Man Arrested for Facebook 'like' of Doctored Royal Photo. He supported a campaign that criticized Thai corruption.
After a Thai investigator fled to Australia fearing for his life, Thailand looks to charge him with "defamation" for saying so.
Thailand's repressive government does not care that he said it in Australia.
To visit Thailand is an act of folly — stay away!
Volkswagen explains that the "defeat devices" that faked emissions levels for tests came from a system that had a tendency to do this.
A small step against overprotectiveness: the US "no child left alone" law has been amended to say that it does not criminalize parents for allowing a child to walk to school.
Some US teachers are leading their students to treat Muslim students as terrorists.
I think it would be useful for non-Islamist Muslims to invent a term to describe themselves, so that they can say in a positive way what they stand for, without using a negation. Then, when someone asks them, "Are you an Islamist", they can say, "No, I'm an XYZ, and proud of it."
France is passing a law to require supermarkets to give away "expired" food.
Sanders presents the positive response to Trump's randomly scattered hatred.
Only 500 people live their now, but it's not the only place in the US that is going to be under water.
Spending money to protect each vulnerable place is stupid. We should spend it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and thus protect them all at once.
Without Syrians at the Front And Centre of Talks, There Can Be No Lasting Peace.
ACLU: FBI Director Completely Ignores Anti-Abortion, Right-Wing Terror, Focuses Exclusively on Muslims.
The UK's government isn't satisfied with eliminating subsidies for wind and solar energy. Now it plans to tax them heavily.
China has cancelled the punishments applied to children who were born in violation of the one-child-per-family law.
I supported limiting families to one child, but it was wrong to punish the children. They are not responsible for who decided to have them.
The Prime Minister of France says France will not ban public WiFi or use of Tor.
It is not clear how broad the requirement for companies to break their client's encryption will be.
Dow and DuPont want to merge.
Large companies should never be allowed to merge. Let's hope that today's weakened antitrust laws provide a basis to block it.
The Venezuelan right wing has repeatedly accused Chavez of stealing elections. We see now that the elections in Venezuela are honest.
However, I fear that the antisocialists, now in power, will change that. Republicans in the US have perfected several methods of rigging elections that they could follow.
China has arrested many labor activists in Canton (Guangdong).
Japan's failure to act against ivory smuggling is impeding efforts to protect elephants.
Thailand's Most Senior Human Trafficking Investigator to Seek Political Asylum in Australia.
The investigations lead to people high up in the army and the thugs.
South Korea is becoming repressive: a union leader who sought refuge in a Buddhist temple has been arrested.
Now that feminism has revived, it can do a lot of good, but also threatens censorship.
I support feminism except when it starts to attack freedom of speech. Calling someone a "slut" is nasty, and foolish as well: it presumes a prudish sexist idea of good and bad sexual conduct. Let's rebuke anyone who calls anyone a "slut" — we could call then "Taliban" — but people have a right to say nasty, prudish, sexist things.
No matter how nasty a statement is, censorship is nastier.
Syrian rebels evacuated the city of Homs, under cease fire.
Many countries feed more antibiotics to healthy animals than the humans use. This provokes antibiotic resistance in the bacteria that inhabit the animals,which spreads to bacteria that can infect humans.
The "reconciled" version of CISA contains all the worst snooping provisions approved by the House and Senate.
Anheuser-Busch is taking advantage of a gap in US competition law to push small competitors out of supermarkets.
This shows one more way that US competition law needs to be strengthened. It should also prohibit the sort o contracts that Microsoft pushed on PC manufacturers, by which they agree to pay for a Windows license even when they sell a computer without Windows.
Under Thailand's tyranny, any criticism of repression can be twistedly labeled as "insulting the monarchy" which makes it a target of repression.
One quarter of Alaska permafrost could melt by 2100 — US Geological Survey.
Since this would release a lot of methane, we'd be truly cooked.
The FBI director has returned to demanding an end to encryption that really works.
Imagine if someone like Trump becomes president and starts using the US spy apparatus to find and imprison scapegoats.
Activists protested at the Louvre against its acceptance of sponsorship from an oil company.
Isn't it cute how the oil company sums up plutocratic rule: "In recent years, the relationship between business and society has changed."
Protests like this are very important for turning fossil fuel companies into the pariahs they deserve to be. Having dealings with those companies should make a person or organization the object of general scorn. This is necessary because it will reduce their plutocratic power to block necessary action to avoid disaster.
Librarians and privacy advocates oppose CISA together.
Ramie Abounaja displayed a Palestinian flag from his dorm window, so George Washington University sent a thug to make him take it down, then made some unclear disciplinary accusation against him.
It is formally prohibited to hang flags from a window, but students that hang other flags never get bothered.
The war in Ukraine has quieted down since August; the cease-fire has held. It is no longer serves Putin's purposes to heat it up.
A total of 9,000 deaths are estimated.
While Obama's officials refuse to read the Senate's torture report, Republicans are trying to destroy all copies, so as to cover up US crimes.
Germany is still paying pensions to those still living of 37,000 Spaniards who fought for Hitler.
"Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you're already using it."
This article exhibits a blind spot that is common in writing about the issue: namely, it is unwilling to consider that the US government's official use of a back door might be for evil.
I'm not willing to maintain that blind spot. What if we have President Trump, or someone like him?
Trump and Clinton are both scapegoating the internet.
Community land trusts and public housing can make life better for people that privately owned housing.
The UK is promoting diesel generators over renewable generators.
The Afghan army is having trouble winning support from the people because it kills too many civilians.
The US is on track to make it inconvenient for Europeans to enter the US if they have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan.
This will hit Europeans who participated in humanitarian, diplomatic and business activities in those countries. Yet another US attack against Medecins Sans Frontières.
Ironically, it will also hurt any Europeans that worked for the US mercenary companies such as Blackwater (or whatever it's called today).
Sanders states how he will achieve big cuts in US fossil fuel emissions, as well as banning some of the most dangerous or polluting forms of fossil fuel extraction.
That is 20 times what we invested in this in 2014.
Fortunately, we can get most of that 7 trillion by taking it from investment in fossil fuel use.
A danger from Trump is that he makes serious bigots seem within the range of normal views.
Gun killings in the US today are running at half the rate of 20 years ago. Americans need not feel terrified of being shot.
Although the total death rate from shooting is going down, the death rate from multiple shooting incidents is rising. Common sense gun control measures can't make multiple shooting impossible, but could reduce how often they happen.
Also, prohibiting large magazines nationwide would eventually make them scarce. That would reduce, in many cases, the number that a shooter can succeed in killing.
Microsoft is attacking computers that run Windows 7 and 8, switching on a flag that says whether to "upgrade" to Windows 10 when users have turned it off.
This, by the way, reaffirms the presence of a universal back door in Windows 7 and 8.
Clinton: will you take actions to oppose the TPP?
It is very important to cut off the flow, since PISSI's training turns many somewhat-confused people into expert soldiers. But the only way to do it is to close the border with Turkey. Erdogan won't do it, so it has to be done by ground troops on the Syrian side.
Saudi Arabia is trying to poison the Paris climate conference.
China and India are also blocking a strong agreement.
The UK is planning to cut the support for disabled people, supposedly to give them an incentive to do the work that they can't do.
US citizens: tell Democracy For America who you suggest it should endorse for president. (I chose Sanders.)
Rio Olympics Linked to Widespread Human Rights Violations, Report Reveals.
When the games start, other forms of harshness are likely to start, including chasing away street vendors so certain elect businesses can get the spectators' business. Meanwhile, there may well be new systems of surveillance and new harsh laws that will be permanent.
The city of Boston wisely killed Boston's bid to hold Olympic games.
Planned highways and railroads in Africa could destroy the currently roadless ecosystems they run through.
Demand for ivory in China is falling, which bodes well for elephants.
The question is whether this is due to a change in attitudes or only to China's current economic slump.
MDMA (Ecstasy) is already quite safe, but legalizing it would make it even safer.
Several countries are forcibly handing exiled Chinese dissidents to China. They include Thailand, and even Vietnam, which is not generally friendly with China.
Even without the cancelled Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian oil exports via the US have almost doubled since a year ago.
His reaction is what PISSI hopes to provoke. So is the success of bigots in French elections.
Iceland has its own counterpart to Pastafarianism: Zuism worships ancient Sumerian gods, and will give its members a refund of their mandatory tax surcharge to support churches.
As Australia pushes for more coal export, some Australian islands are gradually being flooded, and changing weather is killing their crops.
Proposing a mechanism to enforce compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
Trump Cites Unscientific Poll From Fringe Group in Call for Banning Muslim Immigration.
Calling on the public to liberate scientific knowledge through forbidden sharing of the articles and books that embody it.
The government continues going all-out to make this worse.
10 criteria for judging whether the agreement from the Paris conference will do what needs to be done.
Finland is considering a universal basic income.
A "liberal" Russian TV channel which disagrees with Putin is being examined for "extremism".
It is necessary to make India accept this target. Flooding other countries is an act of war; perhaps the US and China should convey to Modi that they will preemptively bomb India's coal-burning power plants to stop India from flooding cities such as New York, Washington, Miami, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Of course, this would be hypocritical if the US and China don't do their share to prevent the flooding.
Fossil fuel companies continue funding denialism. Fortunately, one of their events in Paris was a risible failure.
I fear the companies that are "sponsoring" the Paris climate negotiations are having a lot more influence.
A large renewable energy plan could lead Africa away from fossil fuels.
This could make life better for many people in Africa, but if we don't make India drop its plans for burning coal, people may not be able to live there at all.
The WTO will try to fine the US a billion dollars unless it abolishes country-of-origin meat labels.
Let's abolish the WTO instead. The WTO's purpose is to undermine democracy in all the countries that have signed it, transferring power from the legislature to multinational businesses.
The plutocratists try to distract us from this effect by comparing exports and imports, which slips in the assumption that the interests of Americans are nothing but a matter of total economic consumption.
Even aside from questions of whether the economy is sustainable, economic growth in all countries doesn't help most people if it is achieved in a way that benefits the rich at the expense of the non-rich. To prevent that, we need to make laws that assure the wealth is spread around and that businesses don't hurt the public. These laws are precisely what "free trade" treaties attack. They also make it hard to maintain unions.
Don't let the plutocratists distract you from the real issue at stake. And please organize now to defeat the TPP!
Global greenhouse emissions fell in 2015, but they are still so high that disaster will result; and the decrease may not last.
The UK's rightwing government plans to reduce universities to the status of training institutions for the "labor market".
US citizens: Support the BLM's proposed rule to make oil and gas extractors pay for all they extract.
Everyone: call on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and prosecutor Anita Alvarez to resign.
US citizens: call on the attorney general to let victims of US torture have their day in court.
Clinton, like the Republicans, wants more government snooping. She wants to pressure companies into bypassing encryption.
Her bogus premise is that we should keep increasing snooping until it identifies in advance all attacks by small groups. But no amount of surveillance is enough to do that, so she will always have an excuse to demand more surveillance.
Vote for Sanders for president.
The UK spy agency argues it should be allowed to spy on people with hardly any limits, and attack their computers, just because the hypothetical crimes are really bad.
Note the similarity between the argument in favor of massive surveillance and the argument in favor of torture: that it "just might someday" make it possible to prevent a crime. But neither massive surveillance nor torture really does this.
Malaysia Approves Security Law Amid Warning It Could Lead to Dictatorship.
France is following the same path; I fear for France.
Crackpot theories about "chemtrails" are distracting people from the dangerous greenhouse gases emitted by airplanes.
Here's a conspiracy theory. Maybe the "chemtrails" idiocy was funded by the Heatland Institute (*) through ALEC.
* It calls itself the "Heartland Institute", but since its goal is to make the Earth hotter, "Heatland" fits it better.
A US appeals court endorsed a narrow interpretation of the CFAA: disobeying terms of service is not a crime.
This might have saved Aaron Swartz from being hounded to death.
Muslims in London have started a campaign against fanaticism, telling a fanatic who attacked someone in a train that he is not a real Muslim.
Advancing surveillance technology threatens to make it impossible to do anything that the state does not follow.
The US and France may attack PISSI in Libya, where it is expanding and is viewed by most of the public as merely an occupying army.
However, we should take care not to consider its expansion in Libya as a sign of weakness in Syria and Iraq.
Many have lost wars by underestimating the enemy.
The UK government is eager to bomb someone, saying it must try to protect Britons from terrorism even if that is ineffective or backfires. Meanwhile, it rejects the effective measures to protect the British people from the larger threat of global heating.
Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years, Scientists Say.
We're riding the Earth too hard, and we can't keep it up for long.
Christianist terrorists, like Islamist terrorists, believe that their religion authorizes any sort of crimes.
Elon Musk condemns the 5 trillion dollars a year in damage that the fossil fuel industry is not being forced to pay for.
James Hansen and some other scientists say nuclear power is needed to end carbon emissions.
I respect James Hansen, but I think he is mistaken. To develop nuclear power at the rate he proposes would require ignoring safety. He is talking about hypothetical advanced reactors that could only work many years from now, and certainly won't be available soon.
This amount of nuclear power would be so expensive that it would be cheaper to build an excess of renewable energy, plus power storage capacity.
SCROTUS = Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
If it is impossible to convict the thugs in charge of this operation, the law must be changed so that next time a conviction is obtained.
Businesses surround us with little lies that no one expects us to take seriously. This can devalue truth in general.
Sanders' tax plan for multinational companies would raise all the money the US needs for its infrastructure.
I hope he will put a lot of the revenue into renewable energy.
The US mainstream media ignore the drone attack whistleblowers.
When someone was stabbed during an art event in Miami, witnesses thought the attack was theater, part if the performance.
Faking violence as a hoax or "art" can indirectly hurt people by confusing society about how to react. It should not be illegal, but it is wise to disapprove of it.
Is it a crime to report falsely?
Democrats proposed a law to ban people on the no-fly list from buying guns, and SCROTUS blocked it as a denial of due process.
The no-fly list is already punishment without due process. Being stopped from flying is more of a punishment than being stopped from buying a gun, and this is why the no-fly list must be abolished, or else redesigned so that people are only placed in it by a court's judgment.
At that point, it could also be applied to purchase of guns.
The NSA still has the power to snoop massively on Americans, never limited as the Constitution calls for.
We have evidence from France and the US that this power doesn't prevent terrorist attacks anyway.
US parents would rather their children see violence than sex.
Modi talks about boosting solar power in India, but he still plans to double coal extraction.
To some extent, the new coal mines in India will replace coal imports. However, continuing to burn so much coal will bring disaster regardless of where it is mined.
A week with Hello Barbie: it constantly tells you what good friends you are, then asks you for personal information.
Seems designed to manipulate children into giving personal data.
Why 'Active Investigations' Don't Justify Keeping Police Video Secret.
Clinton Super PAC Donor is Former Goldman Exec and Foreclosure Crisis Profiteer.
Clearly he expects her not to clamp down on the power of the banksters.
The TPP would prohibit laws requiring certain products come with source code, which is needed for their security and for users' right to repair.
The tyranny of Thailand is demonstrated by repeated censorship of New York Times articles that can hardly be said to actually criticize the Thai monarchy.
Many Americans are too quick to assume a killing is terrorism when the killer is a Muslim, but drag their feet against acknowledging Christianist terrorism.
I use the term "Christianist" for Christians that want to impose laws that come from their religion, by analogy with "Islamist". Only a fraction of Christianists and Islamists are violent, but all are enemies of human rights.
Brazil has advised women not to get pregnant now, because a virus once in a rare while causes microcephaly.
It ought to be possible to abort the very few fetuses that develop microencephaly, but I suppose Brazil doesn't respect women's rights that much.
On the other hand, a substantial reduction in births would be quite useful too.
Kazakhstan, which is a total tyranny, is ordering all internet users to install back doors in their computers.
This goes only a little beyond how the UK plans to attack all internet users.
The tyrant of Burundi demands that everyone join his party; those who don't are beaten. Those who try to flee are killed if caught.
Encryption alone cannot protect our privacy from all the systems of snooping that have been set up in today's "free" countries — only partly from some. We need to redesign systems so that they do not accumulate data about people other than court-designated suspects.
If we don't want people to remain poor, we must make fewer of them.
We must go beyond "zero carbon emissions" and actively reduce the CO2 level in Earth's atmosphere.
The urgency is in the first step. Once that is done, reducing the CO2 level may prevent the subsequent inundation of some of the cities that are threatened.
Maria Hasankolli overslept and her 8-year-old child walked to school. She faces ten years in prison for this unconscious act.
When I was 8 years old, I walked to school every day. So did everyone else in my school. But that was in Manhattan. Perhaps these nasty fools think that Connecticut is a more dangerous place than Manhattan.
The secret negotiations for the Trade In Services Agreement propose to prohibit subsidies, or any sort of preferences, for renewable energy.
This is typical of how "trade treaties" betray the people: subordinating everything that really matters to business interests.
This is based on the leaked text of one chapter.
A European court case demands that Facebook cease sending Europeans' data to the US.
Around the world corporations are exempting themselves from taxation, forcing too much tax burden onto individuals, especially the non-rich.
In the past, countries have been weakened because too much property ended up in the hands of untaxable churches. Churches or corporations, it's the same phenomenon.
Prosecutors stretch laws and ignore the constitution to attack people that distribute information from the Fully Informed Jury Association about the purpose of juries.
When someone is on trial for handing out a pamphlet, I wonder whether the pamphlet must be entered in evidence for the jury to examine.
US citizens: phone the White House at (202) 456-1111 and leave a message for President Obama, calling for rejecting spending bills with nasty Republican riders.
Whether they are tax breaks for companies, or attacks on Planned Parenthood, or attacks on the environment, or attacks on food labeling requirements, or anything else, Obama should reject them one and all.
The thirty meter telescope, which would have been by far the largest telescope in the northern hemisphere, has been cancelled because some of the ground it would be built on is considered "sacred". Faith has, apparently, triumphed over knowledge.
Can any other place can be found to build this telescope?
Another telescope, even larger, is planned for Chile, where it will be able to observe the southern skies — but parts of the northern skies will be outside its range.
Zuckerberg "donated" most of his assets — to a new corporation he owns. And he calls that "charity".
Chicago Mayor Emanuel seems to have tried to cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald in order to get the black vote for reelection as mayor.
I gave to Chuy Garcia's campaign. I hope he wins next time.
I'm not necessarily opposed to gestures, but gestures are not a valid reason to kill people.
James Hansen calls for a predictably increasing fee on carbon emissions.
How Bernie Sanders proposes to make college affordable for masses of Americans, as we did before.
The other candidates are too much in cahoots with the rich.
US Christianist extremists are trying to cut off American women from contraceptives, but pretend this isn't so.
Everyone: please donate to the Free Software Foundation.
SCROTUS stands for Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
Demanding the resignation of Chicago Mayor Emmanual.
The climate negotiators in Paris hope that nature (physics) will make concessions, if they show good intentions.
Human Rights Watch demands prosecution of US torturers.
A state in of Australia will imprison people for having 3D printer files for making a gun.
It is legitimate to prohibit making guns, but any law that makes it a crime to have a copy of some published work is tyranny. It subjects innocent people to great danger from anyone that wants to get them in trouble.
Trump exploits the internet with speeches that are a series of clickbait. They don't need to be coherent to succeed.
I occasionally use Google search, but Google never knows who I am. If you do the same, then your Google search is the same as mine; Google can't tell us apart.
The President of South Korea is repressing labor protesters and tried to associate them with hypothetical terrorists.
Rosa Parks, whose arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, was a mature lifelong activist who had plenty of experience.
People in Raqqa say that airstrikes alone don't change much. Aside from Russian airstrikes, which often hit civilians.
The UK Tories are adapting Republican techniques of voter suppression and gerrymandering to make the UK government nondemocratic.
A Russian director, authorized to make a deceptive North Korean propaganda movie, found a clever way to show some of the truth.
Right-wing cuts in the UK mean no parks, no public libraries, no museums, no place for young people to do anything but get in trouble.
Avoiding global disaster will be well worth the price, but there are two issues that we must resolve:
Paying a price to preserve forests is one thing; assigning them a value in money is another. It is a mistake to see the issue in the narrow economic terms such as "ecosystem services" and "buying them". That encourages people to treat them as fungible.
The US must do a lot more to switch to renewable energy. This calls for spending money, perhaps instead of some weapons.
Another Egyptian journalist has been charged with "spreading false news" for giving a talk about the Islamist rebels in the Sinai.
China states the plan to make huge cuts in CO2 emissions from electricity by 2020.
This would be a real step forward, but don't forget the emissions from transport, home heating, factories, and agriculture.
The slow struggle to establish protection of marine species threatened by overfishing takes place in the shadow of the CO2 threat to wipe out entire ecosystems and families.
Sending independently operating US combat troops to fight in Syria invites making things worse.
Repression in Turkey has reached the point where a state employee has been fired for comparing Erdoğan's face to that of Gollum.
When Erdoğan doesn't understand is that he is the one bringing Turkey into disrepute.
The reasons stated for this action include bullshit, plus an accusation that is probably true: that Turkey is protecting PISSI's oil export trade.
Both Turkey and Russia must be lying about what happened in the downing of the Russian jet.
Loan companies, in Africa and the US, make would-be borrowers submit to total surveillance by installing spyware in their phones.
I think we need laws to prohibit companies from requiring or even asking customers (including borrowers) to run any nonfree software.
A "smart" phone is a computer. If your computer runs nonfree software, it is someone else's tool to mistreat you. There are smartphones that can run the free operating system Replicant in the main or "application" processor, but all mobile phones have nonfree software, at least in the radio communication processor.
An arrested protester in Paris has been fined for refusing to be fingerprinted.
However, I do not approve of throwing bottles or cans at the thugs. This plays into the hands of repressors.
Many schoolchildren in the US are being told by their schools to use mobile computers with proprietary software, and the machines typically give the children's personal data to some company (often Google or Apple).
If a school makes an account in a student's name with a company, it has already violated that student's privacy. If the account does not have the student's name or other personal details, sending it unencrypted information about the student's school work violates that student's privacy.
These mobile computers always run nonfree software. Parents shouldn't allow their young children to be given nonfree software by anyone.
I was surprised that the EFF legitimizes the term "the cloud", which is meant to cloud people's thinking about letting companies have their data and do things with it. There is no cloud, only computers belonging to various companies. The term "cloud" is intended to encourage people not to ask, "Which company is getting which data, what does it do with that data, and which country's jurisdiction is it under?" Please, EFF, stop encouraging this cloudy thinking.
Billionaires' investments in centralized, subsidized and profitable energy long-shots are the hard way to curb global heating.
Republicans in Congress are trying to sabotage an investigation against some of them for insider stock trading.
After 13 years the US has admitted it put Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri in Guantanamo prison by mistake, but still won't let him go.
Tamir Rice's killer was allowed to testify to his own grand jury. He made claims that can't fit the timeline shown by the video.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn applies practical sense to the question of how to fight PISSI.
Obama plans to station US troops in Iraq to attack PISSI independently.
While I think the aim of attacking PISSI is legitimate, using US troops to do it is asking for trouble. Do they speak Arabic?
Chicago's thug chief has been fired for helping to protect a thug from punishment for murdering Laquan McDonald.
Features in a human brain, which may have a form that is typically "male" or one that is typically "female", can change with experiences, sometimes in 15 minutes.
This suggests that the reason it is most common for the feature to have a certain form in males or in females is that males and females tend to have certain kinds of life experiences.
A global tobacco company bribed officials and politicians in various African companies to undermine laws intended to reduce smoking.
Big Tobacco Targets the Young in Poor Countries — with Deadly Consequences.
It is no surprise that Chicago DA Alvarez prosecuted Laquan McDonald's killer only when compelled to. She shows a pattern of going to any length to protect thugs from prosecution, even prosecuting victims for complaining.
She also defends false convictions, even harassing law students who are working pro bono to investigate them, on the principle that the system should never admit a mistake.
Poor Americans are not lazy. They work harder (on the average) than people who have more money.
General Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, admitted that the US reacted stupidly in response to the September 2001 attacks.
Ten thousand protested peacefully for climate defense in Paris, forming a human chain in defiance of the state's ban.
I love the way Naomi Klein says what's what.
After that, thousands of people formed a protest march.
Unfortunately, the black bloc turned that into a riot.
We need public defiance — with discipline.
Teachers and staff at the City University of New York have held a sit-in and are moving towards a strike.
Assad's forces bombed an MSF hospital, and bombed again a few minutes later to kill medics aiding the victims.
A minister in power when India banned The Satanic Verses says the ban was a mistake — but the book remains banned.
If we can have a peaceful relationship with a state as cruel and barbaric as Salafi Arabia, in principle we can do the same with PISSI.
Planned Parenthood employees receive death threats constantly.
For gun manufacturers, public shootings are good for business.
At least 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women.
Fish are disappearing from Cambodia's giant lake Tonle Sap. 1/3 of the protein eaten by Cambodians comes from those fish.
The EPA should carry out independent tests of the effects of Dow's new dual pesticide, not accept Dow's own experiments.
Michigan has made it easier for possibly dangerous people to get licenses to carry concealed guns.
Gun nuts say they are opposed to the government's "taking their guns away." But this shows that their goal is not a matter of keeping guns, but rather expanding the possession and use of guns.
(There may be some guns that ought to be taken away from everyone.)
Greater uncertainty about climate change means bigger risks and more reason to act.
If we don't want to take a foolish bet, with civilization at stake, we must work hard enough to make survival almost certain.
Paris Climate Talks: Vulnerable Countries Demand 1.5C Warming Limit.
We all need this, because we can't measure the distance to the cliff — all we know is that we are heading towards it.
A list of possible ways to counter PISSI.
Only the gullible thought that killing Osama bin Laden was going to achieve anything. (And the US should have captured him and put him on trial, since it was in a position to do so.)
In the UK, poverty means a lower life expectancy. Up to 16 years less.
Shkreli, the drug gouger who said he would lower the price, did not really mean it. Just before Thanksgiving he announced he would not lower it.
The asshole is to blame for his own actions, but we should not allow him to get away with them. Specifically, we should not allow him to take measures to block manufacture of equivalent generics.
Public policy journalism in the US is now available only to insiders and businesses willing to pay high subscription fees.
Today's Republicans make Dubya look good on one specific issue: he refused to stir up public hatred towards Muslims in general. However, this virtue was the exception to many other forms of cruelty and injustice towards American Muslims.
Blackberry, in an act of unusual courage, will cease operations in Pakistan rather than betray all its customers.
The UK wants to make such companies secretly betray all their customers.
US soldiers are fighting in Iraq in close cooperation with Kurds.
I don't see any danger in this. They are fighting on battlefields against enemy soldiers, and few civilians will be killed. This is not the sort of situation where the danger of intervention lies.
The elected president of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, cannot contribute to saving humanity from global heating disaster. He is in prison, overthrown by tyrants that work in cahoots with the fossil fuel industry.
I have to wonder whether fossil fuel magnates arranged the coup to remove an inconvenient hero of humanity.
Israelis who kidnapped a Palestinian and burned him to death have been convicted of murder.
It is good that Israel can still do justice for some cases of violence against Palestinians. How sad that so many are ignored.
US thugs have killed 1000 people so far, this year.
An American is much more likely to be killed by a thug than by a terrorist.
The latest Christianist terrorist attack murdered two people who were visiting the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Anti-abortion Christianist terrorism in the US has got much worse since the deceptive attack videos that were aimed at Planned Parenthood.
Some of the New Atheists have become supporters of right-wing Christianist policies.
I am disappointed with them.
For the most part, in the West, Christianity is willing to coexist with non-Christians. But Christianism, as a political movement, is dangerous. There are plenty of Christian fanatics who are prepared to lie to stir up terrorism against abortion providers.
People are already trying to spin failure in Paris as the start of a "long road" to curbing global heating in the future.
If only we had that much time to do the job! Slowness now will make doom come faster and harder. This article seems to reach for self-delusion to avoid despair.
Now that the EU has stopped Israel from passing off products of colonies in Palestine as "Made in Israel", Netanyahu has retaliated by cancelling EU participation in the "peace process".
The joke is that the "peace process" involving the EU is pure theater, just like the one that the US tried to broker. Netanyahu used them to pretend he wanted peace. Now he has "canceled" the remaining one, pretending that that makes a real difference and that it is a real punishment for the EU. Who knows, he may fool a few dumb klucks.
Netanyahu is pretending to have sabotaged a real peace process as an act of blackmail. If he had really done that, it would be despicable of him — but since it was a sham anyway, he hasn't really done anything. Somehow he claims that his pretense puts the EU in the wrong.
All this would be risible if the occupation and its effects were not so tragic.
The sham "peace process" shielded Netanyahu effectively from pressure for peace, while he made sure it would never get anywhere. Its demise is one shield stripped away.
The NSA's legal authority to collect everyone's phone call records in the US has just expired.
Will the NSA really stop?
I don't think phone companies should be allowed to keep records of all of everyone's phone calls, either.
A prominent Kurdish human rights defender was assassinated while talking to the press.
We don't know whether the Turkish state was responsible for the Elci's assassination, but we know it was responsible for his completely indefensible prosecution. The Turkish state has often engaged in violence, even fatal, against opposition political groups; this has gone on for decades.
Erdogan's party seems to have got PISSI to help out with a couple of handy bombings of Kurdish rallies. That doesn't prove it arranged the assassination, but I doubt it would have scrupled to do so.
ALEC, with the support of Ben Carson, continues to sabotage attempts to avoid global heating disaster.
ALEC has lost over a hundred sponsors, but it still gets plenty of money from the Koch brothers.
People are looking for clever ways to express protest messages in Paris.
I suggest the way that the civil rights movement used: walk with a sign, chanting, and dare the authorities to interfere.
The TPP and TTIP, ostensibly meant to "liberalize trade" but designed mainly to give business more power, can sabotage efforts to avoid global heating disaster.
US citizens: phone your representatives and senators to support full reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, requiring a search warrant in all cases.
US citizens: phone your senators and say, don't let Republicans put riders in a spending bill to do nasty things such as exclude Syrian refugees, or attack Planned Parenthood, or cancel network neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
In the US: call on the TV show Face the Nation to have some guests that support diplomacy in Syria.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to investigate attacks on abortion providers as terrorism.
Everyone: call on the Philippes to start soon their investigation into companies suspected of dishonestly denying global heating.
US citizens: call on Senator McConnell to support a law to stop identified terrorist suspects from buying guns.
Dubya and B'liar ignored an expert report saying that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.
This does not surprise me. After so much effort to manufacture a lie, why would they have cared about the truth?
Many "prosperous" cities are so expensive to live in that ordinary workers can only rent 8-hour shifts in a bed.
Some Republican senators want to send US troops to fight PISSI directly.
They are right that defeating PISSI requires ground troops, but Westerners that don't speak Arabic won't be able to do it. Many will hate the civilians, call them by ethnic slurs, and dehumanize them. They will have frequent misunderstandings with civilians they can't talk with, often fatally. The civilians will consider PISSI the lesser evil.
How do I know? Because we saw this happen in Iraq just 10 years ago, and this is what PISSI came out of.
For Turkish troops to fight PISSI is a pipedream, since they'd have to mutiny first. Erdogan has been protecting PISSI's communications. He wants to attack the Kurds, and PISSI has proved helpful in this.
Trump demonstrates the power of the repeated lie, as his supporters too claim they saw the nonexistent TV broadcasts.
This wasn't the first time. Dubya succeeded in convincing many Americans that Saddam Hussein had had weapons of mass destruction in 2003, even though US inspectors after the conquest said he didn't.
The French state has given itself the power to abolish any organization that does things that "might" prove useful to others that "endanger the public order" (for instance, criminals or protests). Organizations that promote encryption, or provide a place for people to meet and talk without being listed to, might be banned.
In addition, may be made a crime simply to look at a web site that the state calls "terrorist".
A state like this, systematically crushing freedom, does more harm over the long term than the terrorists it claims to be protecting people from — unless repression also fuels the terrorists, which is possible.
Clinton wants more war against PISSI, never mind strategy.
She is also against fixing the problems in the US medical system which exist because of the compromises Obama made to insurance companies.
Why The Powers That Be Are Pushing A Cashless Society.
This is partly speculative, and I am not sure it is true, but it might be true.
Global heating denialism has seeped into several public school textbooks in California.
We must suspect this reflects the influence of some rich denialist, such as Exxon or a Koch brother or the Heatland Institute.
Multinational digital companies screw the rest of us out of millions of dollars in taxes. In the US, this adds up to $130 billion a year.
This is why America can no longer do things right: the wealthy in America have stopped providing funds for what America needs to do.
To the extent that international agreements about taxation get in the way of fixing this problem, states must defy the agreements and fix the problem anyway. But that requires voting out the politicians who would rather say they can't do this than dare to try.
A progressive tax on a business's gross income could help fix this.
Right-wing rhetoric calling for killing abortion doctors translates repeatedly into murderous attacks.
The term "pro-choice" represents a weak decision not to defend abortion itself. The issue here is not "choice", it is the right to get an abortion when you want one.
The UK Labour Party is turning against bombing Syria.
The question is not whether to consider PISSI an enemy, but rather what to do about that. Is it wise or ethical to drop bombs on people as an act symbolic participation, without a strategy to win, in a way that is likely to strengthen the enemy by killing lots of civilians which would aid PISSI's recruiting as well as being an injustice in itself?
Cameron responds to these questions with "but the symbol is so important!" and "I have a rabbit in my hat".
The problems presented by the Raqqa exiles are so complex that there may not be way to avoid all of them. However, ignoring them is a recipe for doing harm and losing.
The French, banned from marching to demand defense of Earth's climate, are making a pile of shoes to symbolize the march they would have done.
It would be more effective to defy the ban and march anyway.
A substantial climate protest in Paris was taken over by "black bloc" people that wanted to fight with the thugs.
I can't disagree with what they said, but it was a stupid choice of tactics. A nonviolent confrontation, maintaining the moral high ground, would have put the state in the wrong, but this senseless violence gave the state a victory.
In past protests, the "black bloc" was infiltrated by state provocateurs. Perhaps that occurred this time too.
Companies designing "advanced" nuclear reactors want safety regulations taken out of their way.
Then nothing would stop them from making us guinea pigs for their radioactive experiments, just when the nuclear power is becoming pointless because of the tremendously superior efficiency of renewable energy.
Confronting the flaws of Alcoholics Anonymous — not limited to insisting people surrender to a "higher power" even though they know there isn't one.
Predicting that work will become more precarious, lower paid, and involve intrusive surveillance, for those who can find work at all.
I don't use computer systems that want me to talk to them, except when I'm talking to a company's computer by phone. In that case, I expect the company to know and remember what I say. But when it comes to my own activities, the server company that would translate the speech to text has no right to know, let alone remember, what I say.
I will also refuse to use a "fitness tracker" that reports to anyone other than me.
How thugs created an avoidable feeling of "danger" in dealing with Tamir Rice.
Women's rights defenders murdered for their activism in 2015.
Arundhati Roy reports on meeting Edward Snowden, and ideas about refugees.
The recent actions of the French government and recent statements of Republican political candidates show how right Snowden is.
Conversing mainly through digital devices may have to do with the decline in ability to empathize seen in young Americans.
A man shot people at Planned Parenthood in Colorado because he had been stirred up by deceptive attack videos.
He's also identifying fetuses with babies, which is a common irrationality among those that want to ban abortion.
The main terrorist threat in the US comes from fanatics like those, who call themselves "pro-life" but they mean "life for fetuses — not for real human beings."
The common theme in US social decay: redesigning various systems to privilege the rich and push the rest down.
Poverty, in today's social system, forces parents to feed their children unhealthful food. Healthful food costs too much, requires time and skill to cook that these parents don't have.
It may not even be on sale in many urban areas where the stores are geared towards those that don't cook.
To touch on the unrelated topic of the last section of the article, I see nothing wrong with protesting a speaker by theatrically walking out of the talk. As long as the protest doesn't compel everyone to participate, those who want to hear the speaker can do so.
Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State. The US government is deadlocked, but the president and the executive spy and war agencies are allowed to do almost anything with no checks.
Many Arab countries have banned a film presenting prostitution in Morocco, and the people who made the film are receiving death threats.
From France: "Etat d'urgence climatique: mobilisons-nous!"
Fasting on Thanksgiving in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners of Guantanamo.
California has failed to limit farmers' extraction of ground water. They are pumping so much that the land is sinking up to 2 inches a month in some places.
The unequal sinking is destroying infrastructure.
If normal rainfall returns for a few years, these farms may turn into lakes. But they will dry out again, more or less forever, in a few decades.
The foretaste of future global heating did not discourage large climate marches in Australia and New Zealand.
US citizens: call for arresting Trump for inciting violence.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congress to press Turkey to free the journalists prosecuted for reporting on arms smuggling to Syria.
The idea of preventing terrorist attacks by collecting more data and banning anonymity is inherently impossible. It can oppress dissidents very well, and crush protests, but can't distinguish a small group of terrorists from any small group of friends.
The bow-to-business government of New Zealand sabotaged efforts to reduce obesity, because they might interfere with the profits of fat-food establishments. (That seems a more accurate term than "fast food").
The excuse these bow-to-business politicians use is, "If it is possible for heroic people to resist, there is no need to help the rest." I've seen people use the same excuse to justify letting companies lure and pressure people into being surveilled.
Australian thugs illegally searched for mocking statements made by Rhys Liam Halvey to his friends. They wanted to prosecute him for mockery.
That doesn't seem like enough of a punishment for them.
But supposing they had not used those illegal methods, supposing they had been able to find Halvey's mocking statements in a legal way, wouldn't Halvey have the right to mock them?
Doesn't Australia have any vestige of freedom of speech?
Deforestation in Brazil has increased 16%.
Australia imprisons refugees for years without telling them why.
The EU, desperate for Turkish help in reducing migration of Syrian refugees, is at the point of bowing to Turkish blackmail.
Providing money to support the Syrian refugees in Turkey is both wise and ethical, but aside from that, this is a terrible mistake. Turkey keeps open PISSI's lifeline for money, arms and foreign recruits. To defeat PISSI requires, one way or another, a confrontation with Turkey.
The city of Pamplona calls for an investigation into Franco's murders.
The election in Burma was not free for the Rohingya minority, whose candidates were banned.
The US may require proprietary software in every drone, to implement surveillance and a back door.
The article says the location of every drone will be sent to "the cloud", meaning "don't ask who will store this data or for how long." I think it's not a good idea to fly a drone in a cloud.
Avoiding drone collisions is important, but it can be done using local communication which doesn't track them all. Keep in mind that it won't be hard to disconnect this system entirely. Criminals will easily be able to overcome the system; it won't be able to directly stop them from doing anything. Its total surveillance and back door will fall on non-criminals, who would cooperate willingly with a less nasty system that would achieve the same goal.
The state of emergency in France has become repressive.
People have been arbitrarily placed in house arrest, blocked from working, for no apparent reason. This includes the leader of a charitable organization that helps Muslim prisoners.
But repression is not limited to Muslims. Many people suspected of planning climate protests have been raided and arrested too.
These repressive actions have nothing to do with the officially stated goal of preventing more terrorist attacks. The French thugs know full well that these climate defenders are not terrorists. Their goal is to crush anyone who would dare to disobey — because, to a tyranny, disobedience is worse than terrorism. Terrorism offers tyranny an excuse, but disobedience can make tyranny weaker.
The harm done to France by this attack on liberty will dwarf that of the terrorist attacks — only to be dwarfed in turn by the global heating disaster that this repression is helping to increase.
Cameron's Drive to Bomb Syria Is Macho, Foolish And Must Be Stopped.
Jürgen Todenhöfer: I Know [PISSI] Fighters. Western Bombs Falling on Raqqa Will Fill Them with Joy.
The proposed response has one problem. We can't "help" Turkey seal the border through which PISSI, because Turkey secretly supports and arms PISSI. The border would have to be sealed despite Turkey's interference.
Western attempts to block freedom of communication on the internet are providing cover to China in doing the same thing.
UK data retention plans are based on outdated ideas of what is technically feasible or not.
Famous men who have many lovers are called "prodigious" while women who do likewise are sneered at.
I can't tell from this information whether Ms Murdoch was promiscuous; that's not the same as having multiple lovers.
Global heating is systematically pushing birds away from the equator, or up mountains.
Those that run out of somewhere to go will become extinct.
US citizens: call on Senators to reject laws that would impose special prejudice against Syrian refugees.
Everyone: call on Republican candidates to condemn racism in their supporters and in other candidates.
Turkey is torturing Syrian refugees into "voluntarily" leaving.
An opposition candidate in Venezuela was assassinated in a rally.
I don't know whether the socialist party is responsible for the killing, but it has arrested and blocked a number of opposition candidates in the past. Their current leaders do not have the stature of Chavez, and they don't seem to know how to correct policies that have bad consequences.
A train station in Germany proposes to discourage pissing on a wall by making streams of liquid bounce back.
I sympathize with those who want to discourage pissing on these walls, but I have to wonder why so many people piss there. Does the train station have toilets? If so, why don't homeless people use them? Is there some obstacle?
A person in Germany confirmed that pay toilets are the usual in Germany, and that's why people piss on walls. Instead of spending lots of money on piss-reflecting surfaces, they should spend it on giving people a proper place to use the toilet.
How to make cities, neighborhoods and buildings porous rather that monofunctional and controlling.
This year, Palestinians have frequently attacked Israelis. Many of the attacks have occurred at a crossroads in Palestine where Israelis travel between the (illegal) colonies in Palestine and Israel.
Those colonies are the root of the current violence. They are not a mere provocation, but a tremendous injustice. They were established as a scheme to take Palestinians' land and water and drive Palestinians to flee. Netanyahu has used them to make sure peace negotiations would be a sham.
The US should demand that Israel tear down those colonies, and should put its money behind it. Aid to Israel should be proportional to the decrease in size of the colonies, until they are gone.
A central goal of the TTIP is to export massive amounts of tar sands oil from Canada to Europe, with disastrous effects world-wide.
The TTIP is a business-supremacy deregulation treaty, and it would abolish the regulations that currently ban import of tar sands oil because it is so toxic.
Business-friendly politicians will find no end of opportunities to betray the public in the name of "growth" (for the rich) and other goals that are not important enough to justify the harm they will do.
Americans, vote for Bernie Sanders for president. He will kill the TTIP.
While the UK bombs PISSI, it continues to prosecute people who have gone to fight PISSI alongside the Kurds.
Replanting mangrove forests may reduce the coastal damage caused by El Niño.
Protesters against airport expansion blocked an entrance to Heathrow airport, and spoke about the need to curb flying in general to put brakes on global heating.
Suicide advisor Philip Nitschke resigned as a doctor so he can continue giving suicide advice to people who want to die.
Turkish journalists are facing charges of "espionage" and "divulging state secrets" for publishing that Turkey armed Islamists in Syria.
Calling this a "state secret" implies the report is true. However, it an act of tyranny to prosecute them, whether the statement is true or not.
The US used to be able to build anything and do a pretty good job. Nowadays, when it tries "nation building", it gets everything wrong. But the corruption extends to the US too.
The reason the US could build anything in the 50s and 60s is due to the high tax rate placed on rich people and businesses under that Republical socialist, President Eisenhower.
A UK politician dares to blame B'liar for provoking terrorism with an unjust war.
Terrorism is wrong, and the terrorists are always responsible for that wrong; however, when the terrorism was provoked by an even larger wrong such as launching a war based on lies, those who did that are co-responsible for the terrorism as well.
Unilever says it will become "carbon positive" in regard to its direct energy use by 2030.
This does not mean, however, that its products would be carbon positive. Its suppliers and its shipping may account for the majority of their emissions footprint.
A new thermometer allows parents, and probably various businesses too, to monitor a child's body temperature all the time.
I disagree with one point. PISSI is an army; there is no good in underestimating the enemy. But that is not crucial to the article's point, which I think is valid.
Beware, if you choose what to buy based on a symbol of what sort of person you like to think you are! You are being manipulated by subtle psychology into wasting your money. And it could be a lot of your money.
There is one situation where buying a product to communicate a symbolic message to others is rational and wise: to support a worthy cause.
Very strong marijuana can cause serious harm to long-term users,
but prohibition makes it hard to get milder forms.
Japan Under Fire Over Decision to Resume Whaling.
Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident.
Paris Attacks Plot Was Hatched in Plain Sight.
Every human's brain is a mosaic of male and female characteristics.
Why a 'War' on Terrorism Will Generate Yet More Terrorism.
US citizens: phone the White House and urge Obama not to give Netanyahu any military consolation prize for failing to block the nuclear peace deal with Iran. Israel carries out collective punishment and continues expanding colonies in Palestine.
The business-dominated, concentrated US media system is not the only possible system.
Many other countries have a lot of newspapers, and even though some are dominated by right-wing thought, they have exceptions too.
US "public" media are also business-dominated, because many programs depend on funding from business or from business owners such as the Kochs. This too is not inevitable; it developed in the 1990s. Now a Koch is on the WGBH-TV board, in a position to limit coverage of global heating so as to protect the effectiveness of the Kochs' paid denialism.
It's proper for news media to cover terrorism, but they don't need to hype and exaggerate in a way that plays into terrorists' hands by traumatizing the public.
The EPA has cancelled its approval of the latest toxic pesticide, which certain GMOs were designed to operate with.
Sanders says he will fix the cruelties of US immigration policy.
MSF says that the Pentagon's report about the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz has suspicious gaps, while showing procedures that amount to negligence.
I pointed out some instances of negligence.
A mother in Sacramento is threatened with six months in prison for letting her child play outside the house.
The point that the child is in far more danger riding in a car with a parent is especially cogent. American society is tied up in knots by obsession with some rare and unlikely dangers, such as child-snatching and terrorism.
US statistics for arrests of "sex traffickers" are grossly inflated: most of them are sex workers and customers. Some pimps that aren't traffickers are also included.
Don't fall into the trap of agreeing that banning strong encryption would be justified if terrorists or criminals ever use it.
On the significance of Turkey's downing a Russian plane.
The article doesn't mention it has been standard Russian practice for the past few years to probe many countries' borders persistently. In a way, that's asking for a violent response. However, that changes things only slightly.
Bravo for the Swedish government official who wasn't totally distracted from impending global disaster by a crime that killed 130 people. The danger of climate mayhem, perhaps 100 million killed by 2030, and far more afterward, dwarfs that of terrorism.
I urge those in Paris to defy the French state and march anyway.
The cultivation of cranberries in Wisconsin pours fertilizer into the nearby lake. This pollution kills the fish and makes the lake water unsafe.
Would diverting the waste into a holding pond solve the problem? Would the pond have to grow each year, or could it be used to separate the fertilizer and apply it again?
Britons are planning protests against this bombing.
A proper campaign to defeat PISSI militarily would probably include air attacks as well as artillery and infantry. I would support the bombing of PISSI fighters. However, bombing with no strategy and few militarily justified targets will achieve nothing and tend to kill civilians.
Crackers can take over a Hello Barbie to listen to the kids in the room. They can listen all the time.
It's a lot like a portable phone.
This is what you must expect from devices with proprietary software and a network connection. It's the Internet of Snooping Things, Telemarketers, Cheaters, and worse.
Sweden Is Challenging the World to Go Fossil Fuel-Free.
As Australia suffers "horrific" bushfires, will the Australian government agree to greenhouse gas measures to limit how much worse they will get?
The "dying cat" rhetorical switch — blocking consideration of an important, uncomfortable issue by bringing out a very emotional issue and arguing about which is more important.
US citizens: oppose the plan to make the Export-Import Bank support building more Israeli colonies in Palestine.
Massachusetts citizens: rebuke Governor Baker for saying he wants to exclude Syrian refugees from Massachusetts.
US citizens: phone congressional leaders to preserve network neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on Saudi Arabia not to behead a poet for unauthorized poetry.
Two Brazilian bloggers have been shot dead, apparently for criticizing local politicians.
Ebola Overwhelmed the World Health Organisation: It Must Never Happen Again.
Trump's latest bullying: mocking a reporter for a visible disability.
However, Trump's bullying goes far beyond mockery. He incited his supporters to physically attack a Black Lives Matter protester who came to his campaign rally.
He should be arrested and charged for this, and I hope soon to post a link to a petition to that effect. If he loses the Republican nomination, and chooses to run independently, he should start the Childish Bullies Party.
Measuring impunity for thugs in Chicago: only 4% of complaints made against them are upheld by the thug department.
60% of the complaints were made by blacks, but only 25% of the complaints upheld were made by blacks.
Australia's government proposes to apply Reaganomics by reducing tax rates — for businesses only. Benefits of this are supposes to trickle down to the people.
Call on officials that tried to minimize the murder of Laquan McDonald to resign, and call for a special prosecutor.
"Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It".
Interviews with people in Ukraine, near the Crimean border, where they have blocked the roads leading into Crimea, which puts pressure on Putin.
Caterpillar vehicles have remote shut-off back doors.
The only reason the Chicago thug that killed Laquan McDonald is getting prosecuted is that a court ordered release of the video showing the killing. The prosecutor delayed the release, and the prosecution, for 400 days.
I don't think we can trust that prosecutor to make a sincere attempt to win a conviction.
A textual study found evidence that global heating denialist organizations were working together.
The push for "criminal justice reform" ran into trouble because liberals want to reduce prosecution of individuals, while the Koch brothers only want to reduce prosecution of corporations.
Pervasive anxiety about security helps right-wing politicians make budget cuts that make everyone's lives insecure.
These budget cuts are likely to kill a lot more people than terrorists, even if you consider only the suicides.
Salafi Arabia fired a UK-made cruise missile at a ceramics factory, for no apparent military reason.
The US Army says that the crew of the plane shelling the MSF hospital in Kunduz thought they were in a different place attacking a different building. Their inability to recognize the error was due to several systems that were nonfunctional or even missing.
Do the rules say that the crew was supposed to continue the mission despite such problems? If so, the US is asking for such mistakes, and must be considered responsible due to negligence.
Americans will protest next to the Guantanamo prison, across the border in Cuba.
Cuba does not respect human rights either, but as a patriotic American I am most pained by these crimes when they are committed by my own country.
Will the thugs who erased the video be prosecuted for obstruction of justice? That is called for.
France is trying to kill ideas by punishing people who express them.
Here in the US, it is possible to speak honestly about the holocaust. There is plenty of evidence proving that it occurred. See, for instance, the book Hitler's Willing Executioners, by Daniel Goldhagen, and Story of a Secret State, by Jan Karski.
However, no honest statements about that question are possible in a country such as France, that imposes censorship on the subject.
France also bans free discussion of the question of the genocide of the Armenians.
Racist terrorists fired shots at Black Lives Matter protesters. The protesters were in a camp, doing nothing noteworthy to anyone, but most of them were engaged in protesting while black.
Thugs were present and did nothing to catch the shooters. Because the shooters were whites?
(I will post about Trump later.)
Perhaps the thug was projecting — he was the one who wanted the protesters to be shot.
Then other thugs came and sprayed the wounded protesters (and those trying to care for them) with mace.
They deserve help, but if Somaliland can no longer sustain its population, the requisite help includes contraception. Under such circumstances, each birth causes a death.
Uzbekistan's tyrant seems to seek to kill a dissident living in Sweden. Not having killer drones to send there, he sends human assassins.
A university banned sales of bottled water, and found that consumption of bottles increased — people bought soda and juice instead.
A hefty deposit on each plastic bottle might be effective for reducing bottles while not making an incentive to choose something other than water.
Two-faced Exxon: the Misinformation Campaign Against Its Own Scientists.
Brazil's standards for mine waste dams are inadequate; several such dams have burst, and the mine waste is a lot more harmful than water from a reservoir.
Wales will assume by default that any dead body's organs are available for use to save living people.
Christian fanatics in New York beat a teenager to death because he wanted to leave their church.
Saudi Arabia says it will do the same thing to a poet who said he wanted to leave their church.
I will try out referring to that country as Salafi Arabia.
Israel plans to build towns for Jews where Bedouin now live.
These Bedouin are Israeli citizens but they don't have equal rights.
Major sponsors of the coming Paris climate conference have big investments in fossil fuel, even in coal.
If this conference does not reach an adequate agreement, some countries that will be devastated by climate mayhem might launch last-ditch military attacks at the fossil fuel facilities that are trying to kill them.
A merger between Pfizer and Allergan would reduce competition, increase drug prices especially in the US, and help Pfizer taxes.
The US should make it quite difficult for major companies to merge, and it should tax both domestic and foreign companies (when operating in the US) more.
The UK government has investigated how cuts in welfare will hurt poor families, and is keeping the conclusions secret.
Eating Less Meat Isn't Just Good for You, It Could Save the Planet.
The UK says it will start applying human rights concerns in its foreign policy — but not to Salafi Arabia of course.
Tor gives people in Bangladesh a way to bypass tight censorship.
Many supposedly "free" countries censor the internet, including France and the UK.
The Clean Energy Future: a roadmap for moving the US to renewable energy and expanding jobs.
US citizens: phone Senator Stabenow's office to oppose the plan to put GMO labels into non-human-readable QR codes.
Surveillance of voters enables campaigns to say different things to different groups of people, and effectively cover up the difference.
A powerful solar storm, like one that happened in 1859, could destroy electrical grids world-wide. It could take ten years to rebuild.
Preparing to reduce the damage is part of the government's job. To do its job, it needs to collect more taxes — from those that are paying too little.
The Sorry Tale of the PECB, Pakistan's Terrible Electronic Crime Bill.
The US may require quiet electric cars to make sounds to warn pedestrians and cyclists.
Fossil Fuel Companies Risk Wasting $2tn of Investors' Money, Study Says.
Developing Countries Will Need $270bn More to Adapt to [2C of] Climate Change.
McDonald was perhaps carrying a knife when the thugs confronted him, but he never tried to attack them. A group of 8 thugs with guns should not have had to kill him preemptively in case he might, just might, try to attack them with a knife. They could have waited for such an attack to start before they shot.
Prosecution of killer thugs in the US is on the rise, but what we really need, to change the situation, is to change the way thugs are trained to kill at the first suspicion (especially if the person has a skin color that tends to inspire suspicion).
The UK's "fit for work" tests have normalised the suffering of sick and disabled people.
I think this is a goal of the Tories, not merely a byproduct of spending cuts. Tories believe poor people are morally inferior and suffering is what they deserve.
More Than Half of the World's Primates on Endangered Species List.
Polluters are using the bill to exclude Syrian refugees as an opportunity to attack US water supply.
Sweden has taken all the refugees it can cope with, and now refuses to accept more.
EU countries are diverting foreign aid to pay for the refugees they have admitted.
Economists have claimed that advancing technology enables more production with less in the way of material inputs. But this was just a mirage produced by mistaken accounting.
Alberta's green economy plan sounds great, but it protects tar sands extraction for too long.
Our Culture And Laws Enabled the Colorado Shooter, Whatever His Motive.
US citizens: Condemn Trump's proposed repression of US Muslims.
US citizens: Thank or criticize your senators for their votes on the Congressional Review Act.
Rejecting Campus Consensus, MIT Cozies Up to Fossil Fuels.
The denialists who claimed they had found a "hiatus" in global heating applied criteria that were rather loose.
Turkish planes shot down a Russian fighter plane near the Turkey-Syria border.
Turkey and Russia have been enemies for centuries. They are also at odds in regard to Syria. Erdoğan quietly supports and protects PISSI, while Putin supports Assad and may now actually want to fight PISSI due to the bombed airliner. To have Russian planes operating near the Turkish border is going to be a danger spot.
Russian troops are fighting a Turkic minority in Northern Syria.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are associated with decline of butterfly numbers.
Trump wants to torture suspected terrorists for sheer sadism.
Texas thugs have been arrested and charged with negligent homicide for squeezing a prisoner by the neck and then pepper-spraying him. He died shortly thereafter.
The proposed US regulations for drones are a disaster.
Various cities are pledging to stop municipal use of fossil fuel energy by 2050.
These pledges may stimulate the climate defense movement, but in practice the time scale is too long for them to make much difference. What matters is to get rid of most fossil fuel use sooner rather than later.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says the Vatican should drop charges against two journalists who investigated Vatican corruption.
The Vatican should focus on eradicating the corruption, and thank those who helped shed light on it.
To stop terrorist attacks, the state doesn't need to snoop on everyone. It's enough to watch those that are already known and suspected.
Many tech companies are allying to oppose state demands for back doors.
Most of these companies don't deserve your trust, for other reasons. You must not rely, for your privacy, on proprietary software.
Welcome to Austeria — a Nation Robbing Its Poor to Pay for the Next Big Crash.
Why responding to "black lives matter" with "all lives matter" is a statement of racism.
Responding with "all lives matter" misrepresents the position of the anti-racists, pretending that their slogan "black lives matter" means "only black lives matter". But they don't say, or mean, "only".
Properly understood, "black lives matter" is not racist at all. It is a compact way of saying that "black lives matter just as much". It is a rebuke to the covert, racist "black lives don't matter" movement, which few overtly endorse but many act to support.
The lockdown of Brussels is starting to chafe.
It's an overreaction which serves PISSI's purposes.
Poland's new right-wing government is starting to censor the theater.
If it is just to imprison a woman for having sex pretending to be a man, why not imprison an undercover thug that has sex pretending not to be a thug?
Alberta will impose a tax on carbon emissions. The article does not make it clear whether this covers fuel burned in Alberta or fuel extracted in Alberta.
Everyone: celebrate Buy Nothing Day today.
Everyone: call on Goldman Sachs to close the "revolving door" that carries its employees into US government service.
US citizens: call for tightening laws for buying guns so that terrorist suspects can't buy them.
Everyone: call on China to stop torture in Tibet.
US citizens: call on Obama: no more mass surveillance.
Using technicalities, Australia will claim it has met its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; never mind that they are actually increasing.
I don't know how to summarize this one, so I could only quote its title. It is a fascinating idea.
The American Medical Association has called for a ban on direct advertising of pharmaceuticals.
Let's Not Get It Wrong This Time: The Terrorists Won After 9/11 Because We Chose to Invade Iraq, Shred Our Constitution.
Bahrain makes a practice of torturing prisoners. The UK looks the other way. So does the US.
Human Ponzi Scheme of Population Growth Can't Go On For Ever.
Trump and Carson explicitly advocate torture.
They are appealing to the worst side of Americans by saying that since PISSI is evil, we should be evil too.
Obama opened the path to this by failing to prosecute Dubya and his henchmen for their torture. As a result, Trump and Carson expect they can get away with this crime.
Analyzing the situational factors that led to a form of Islamism that incorporates barbaric cruelty.
There seems to be an aspect of human nature that includes dehumanizing enemies. What is unusual about PISSI is that it dehumanizes nearly everyone.
The home robot that listens to you, and sends everything you say to an Amazon server.
Don't fool yourself by calling it "the cloud".
The NSA "shut down" its bulk collection of emails, but only because it had found another way to get them.
The easiest method of economic sabotage is to phone and say you put a bomb on an airplane.
There have been real bombs on airplanes, but was there ever been a case where a bomb threat call was made for a flight that had a real bomb?
A fast weeding robot could reduce farm work and herbicide usage.
I think this sort of efficiency improvement is a good thing provided that those who become unemployed can share in the resulting bounty.
In the past, automation handled only a limited range of work, so many new jobs were created and unemployment did not result. But now we are likely to automate away all the jobs most people can get.
Speed cameras systematically issue speeding tickets illegally.
In 2014, US thugs took more money and property from the public than burglars took.
Factory workers in Juarez, Mexico, are trying to start unions.
The aim of "free trade" treaties is to enable manufactures to create the lousy working conditions of Juarez. They do this by threatening to move production elsewhere unless workers lie down and take it.
This is why we must abolish the "free trade" treaties. We must pin down production to some country (whichever one it may be), so that workers in each country have the chance to campaign for better wages and working conditions.
US citizens: call for pressure on Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to start really fighting PISSI.
In the case of Turkey, this is really pressure to stop supporting PISSI.
Ralph Nader: Candidates for public office, especially at the state and national levels, are never asked this central question of politics: "Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution, how do you specifically propose to restore power to the people in their various roles as voters, taxpayers, workers and consumers?"
Sanders spontaneously presents his answer to at least part of this question.
"Biodegradable" plastics may not biodegrade in the ocean — and the label might encourage littering.
Clinton's foreign policy experience provides plenty of reasons not to vote for her.
Clinton's vote for attacking Iraq was a bad decision, but it was not a "mistake". It reflects her bad general positions. I won't vote for Clinton, any more than I would vote for the Republican candidates.
While Sanders is not my ideal candidate in regard to foreign policy, he is superior to everyone else in the race.
The WTO decided that protecting dolphins by allowing tuna cans to carry a "dolphin-safe" label is a forbidden "obstacle to trade".
This stems from the wrong fundamental values of the WTO, which place business profit above everything important.
The TPP would further strengthen the power of businesses to attack measures to protect the environment. We need to abolish all the existing business-supremacy treaties, but we are still on the defensive. First we need to block the TPP, the TTIP, and the TISA.
If you have not done so, I urge you to contact your elected officials to call for rejection of the TPP. We must not put democracy in a trance.
The UK's housing problem comes from allowing the rich to make homes into investments. Even some conservatives see this.
The conservatives' proposed solution is unnecessarily nationalist. Increasing taxes on large houses and apartments, especially those that are no one's primary residence, would do the same job without discriminating against anyone. That would also encourage foreigners to sell the real estate investments they have already bought.
In the UK, talking to your bank over the internet is unsafe, because if someone steals your password and uses it to take your money, the bank holds you responsible.
Does anyone know whether the situation is the same in the US?
Acceptance of other ethnic groups and their religions must never include acceptance of their traditions of oppression.
I agree with the author about this issue, but I think he is making a mistake by claiming that "progressive liberals" take the other side. Some do, but I call myself "progressive" and "liberal", and I don't.
The UK thugs (except the department in London) refuse to commit to stop infiltrating dissident groups and pretending to love female members.
Paris Attacks: Security and Surveillance Cast a Dark Shadow over France's Love of "Liberté" and "Fraternité".
I've been using those two words in France to rebuke the state for decades now.
The US is the only country that has not ratified the UN Convention on Children's Rights.
The US medical records privacy law doesn't apply to many kinds of medical data including the data collected by exercise trackers.
This is a problem because of exercise trackers that contain proprietary software and are designed to send the user's personal data to a company site. Such products are essentially unethical, and people should not be surprised when the proprietary software turns out to be malware.
The US medical records privacy law (HIPAA) is totally inadequate when it comes to government access to your records.
Christian fanatics in Mississippi fired a teacher for allowing a student to demonstrate, with a cucumber, the correct way to put on a condom.
The Christian fanatics want to keep teenagers ignorant of this so that they will get pregnant, and then the fanatics can claim that proves they should not have had sex.
Do you think I am exaggerating? All that is literally true.
Pfizer misleads about the tax rate it pays by not mentioning most of its income.
Texas officials refused to allow academics to check state textbooks for falsehoods. Miseducating children is their goal.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to support the Sentencing Reform Act.
This is just what PISSI hoped to achieve.
The EU is considering a directive to extend the current "right to be forgotten", which is currently a right for person P to demand that some pages be removed from searches for the name P, so that it would cover comments that others post which say things about P.
This would turn it it into a system of censorship.
Baseless Calls to Expand Surveillance Fit Familiar, Cynical Pattern.
Once the back door was leaked, anyone who stole your device would be able to decrypt its disk.
When citizens can't keep secrets from the state, democracy is in danger.
The UN Security Council called for all countries to fight PISSI.
I am in favor of fighting PISSI, but not in stupid ways.
Saudi Court Sentences Poet to Death for Renouncing Islam.
CNN "suspended" a correspondent for expressing the wrong opinion off the air.
Congress is considering a law to make it a serious crime to send a SWAT team to someone's house by making a false report.
I don't think this will put an end to the practice of "swatting". It is too easy to make these false reports. Meanwhile, the practice is made easier by thug departments that use SWAT teams too readily. The lower the bar for sending the SWAT team to raid your house, the less someone needs to do to get them to send it.
A US court has imposed strict limits on surveillance using stingrays (cell tower simulators).
I expect that the Supreme Court will eventually decide the question.
Even if stingrays were banned, or did not exist, the government could get their location records from the phone company. For me, that is too intrusive already.
The "gray zone" of mutual tolerance that PISSI wants to eliminate is what we should defend.
It is impossible to fight a war and totally avoid civilian casualties. This attack was aimed at soldiers and hit some civilians that were near them. I don't think it was a war crime.
But I can't believe that only two attacks in Syria have killed civilians. No army can be that close to perfect. Thus, I suspect the US is still covering up civilian casualties. In addition, the standoffish and bureaucratic language of the Pentagon's statement is likely to offend the very people it is trying to mollify.
PISSI kills civilians brutally and shamelessly. In regard to violence in Syria and Iraq, the US is ethically far above PISSI. That's not sufficient. The US should be frank about civilian casualties. The US must properly respect civilians' lives.
However, the comparison between the US and PISSI is pertinent in a different way. Civilians under PISSI's rule will make that comparison when choosing sides. If we want them to regard PISSI as occupiers, we need to think about how they will judge us and PISSI.
US citizens: Call on Congress to defeat anti-environment riders in spending bills.
US citizens: demand no more Goldman Sachs insiders in the Federal Reserve management.
Islamist fanatics attack a hotel in Mali and took hostages, killing some.
Over 700 human rights activists have been murdered in Colombia in the past 20 years.
Deforestation in the Amazon threatens extinction for thousands of tree species that live only there.
Global heating is likely to wipe out large parts of the Amazon rainforest, through drought and fire.
Rumors say that imprisoned Syrian free software leader Bassel Khartabil is going to be executed by Assad's men.
TV commercials now include ultrasonic surveillance audio, meant to be detected by malware in any nearby mobile device.
The main wrong here is in the malware, which should be prohibited. However, television regulators should prohibit the inclusion of these sounds in broadcasts.
The hypothetical example in China is silly, because it is easy for Big Brother to determine that several cell phones are in the same place, just through the normal tracking that is done. This tracking, and the remotely-enabled capability to listen on all conversations in the room, are why I call those phones "Stalin's dream", and the main reason why I refuse to carry one.
The low taxes on businesses and rich people are the cause of all the US's fiscal problems.
La Quadrature du Net describes the French government's blitzkrieg against human rights.
Amnesty International criticizes it too.
These apps are proprietary software, so they are software for suckers. They run on proprietary platforms that are also software for suckers. For that reason alone, it's foolish to run them, and wrong to develop them. I won't reject a candidate for having such apps, because I know they are following the usual standards of Americans. But I hope you will learn to reject nonfree apps and nonfree platforms.
Methane-charged undersea permafrost is becoming active in the Arctic Ocean.
This suggests we are approaching the point where lots of methane will be released, causing global heating positive feedback.
The thug department has not admitted encouraging the thugs to form such relationships, but that could hardly be false when so many did it.
Protests against racism have spread to many US universities.
There are many things that universities can do to reduce racism, but one demand they should reject is to punish the expression of racist views.
When students demand the university "suspend" Professor Swain, they advocate conduct comparable to that which Professor Salaita received.
I agree more or less with Professor Salaita's controversial statements. I mostly disagree with Professor Swain's controversial statements (*). But whether you or I agree with someone's views is beside the point. We must respect people's rights to express views whether we agree or disagree, and that includes professors.
* I think that Islam is dangerous in some situations, and the same applies to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and even occasionally Buddhism. Or rather, the bad aspects of human nature can find in religion a field to express themselves.
What we must do to confront antibiotic resistance.
Adapting the Marseillaise to the greatest threat to civilization.
Join a climate defense rally near you, or start one.
on world leaders to take strong action to curb global heating.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
France will offer asylum to cultural treasures threatened by fanatics.
Bahrain Refuses to Prosecute Police Who Tortured Journalist.
Technologies being developed today might be able to pull large amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Heat stress could be responsible for the death of many farm workers in Central America.
Massive incarceration in the US goes beyond the war on drugs.
The topic is too big, and I know too little about it, for me to have an overall opinion. All I can say is that we need to eliminate private prisons, and that we should release most convicts that have become so old that they are not likely to commit crimes again.
They could have just left him alone, since they did not think he had done anything wrong.
Suggestive evidence that unions and NGOs, such as the League of Conservation Voters, have endorsed Clinton even though Clinton doesn't support their cause as well as Sanders. Maybe they have been corrupted.
Elsevier Says Downloading And Content-Mining Licensed Copies Of Research Papers 'Could Be Considered' Stealing.
This isn't the last straw. Elsevier's last straw was years ago. I urge academics to refuse to review papers for any Elsevier journal except when there is a specific overriding moral imperative to do so.
US ISPs are undermining network neutrality by giving special deals to certain sites and then charging more for access to everywhere else.
US attack drone controllers have developed a callousness towards killing civilians, even children.
Trump wants to require Muslims to carry special ID cards.
It is unamerican to require people to carry ID cards. Why not make them wear armbands with a star and crescent?
French intelligence knew several of the Paris attackers. If the goal was to prevent these attacks, total surveillance of everyone was irrelevant.
Morocco uses unjust pretexts to repress journalists and human rights defenders.
The FBI entrapped Eric McDavid into a fantastic bombing scheme, then lied to convict him and concealed evidence to support the lie.
When he asked for an explanation for the illegal concealment of evidence, the US responded by threatening to jail him again.
This is what the FBI means when it says it "protects" us.
The FDA has approved sale of genetically modified salmon.
I expect that these salmon are safe to eat, because there is nothing that would tend to make them dangerous. However, the defenses against contaminating wild salmon genetically are not enough. The company wants to get to market now, not in several years after developing more levels of defense. Thus, the company will always tend to take insufficient precautions.
The livestock population is increasing faster than the human population and is a big environmental threat.
The statements in the article about limiting human population growth are self-contradictory. It says, "When there is almost nothing to be done, there is no requirement to act," but then shows that the world could reduce human population growth quite a bit. I am glad I have contributed to this goal by having no children myself, and I recommend you think about it too.
France passed an "emergency" law permitting the state to impose house arrest on anyone with no judicial review, and examine any computer without a warrant.
Poor France, attacking itself at a level that mere terrorists cannot reach.
The UK government is going all-out to keep global heating advancing.
Rallies for climate protection are planned around the world instead of the banned march in Paris.
Activists should defy the ban and march in Paris anyway. There are too many lives at stake here to let the government's minor short-term concerns get in the way.
US citizens: call on the EPA to regulate methane emissions from old and new oil wells.
Doctors in the UK's National Health Service have voted to strike, as the government's program of spreading poverty and stress targets them.
The Dominican Republic arbitrarily deprived of citizenship four generations of people born in that country if they are of Haitian ancestry. Many of them are not Haitian citizens, and if they can get into Haiti it is only because that failed state can't control its borders.
You Needn't Crave Revenge After Attacks like Those in Paris. I Didn't After 9/11.
What I crave is to defend against the follow-on attack which targets our freedom.
Many tropical countries are investing heavily in renewable energy.
Germaine Greer had to struggle to be allowed to speak in a UK university. She says that a male-female sex-change operation doesn't produce a real woman, and many condemn her views.
I think Greer is right in a narrow sense, but perhaps wrong at a deeper level.
What is the difference between a typical man and a typical woman? It's actually many miscellaneous differences. Changing one of them in a man won't produce a woman. Changing several of them might result in a close-enough woman.
Not all men are alike, and not all women either. Perhaps the man that wants to be a transsexual starts out woman-like on some of those points.
Various countries are shutting down city streets and parks at night. This narrows the life of the city and narrows human rights.
Other cities are promoting walking on the streets.
Europe is suffering from a lasting housing crisis.
This is part of the reason I have not encouraged European countries to take in lots of refugees. They have not got enough housing or enough jobs for their current population. If they don't adopt policies to create a lot more housing and jobs, the refugees will have to compete with the poor for too little.
Meanwhile, a district attorney wants to require back door in all operating systems for mobile devices.
Doesn't he know that all mobile phones already have them?
Just as in 2001, the next target is our freedom!
CMU says that the FBI didn't pay for its Tor-cracking investigation, but refuses to answer any more questions.
Maybe it was paid for by some other US agency rather than the FBI.
Our culture is erecting a myth of genetic determinism.
Note that it is clearer to make a clear distinction between a cell's genetic sequence and its epigenetic tagging. They are both found in DNA, but they are quite different.
If you allow emails to embed URLs, you're asking to be mistreated.
I normally look at an email via the ASCII text in it. On the occasions that I look at HTML, I render it with lynx, which ignores anything embedded. None of these tracking methods work on me, and if you use this method, they won't work on you either.
Conservative westerners are attracted by Islamists' subjection of women.
US citizens: call on the SEC to investigate Exxon's climate fraud.
Many bacteria are developing resistance to the last line of antibiotics we have left.
This was caused by feeding the antibiotics to pigs.
All sorts of surgery will become quite dangerous if we don't develop new antibiotics — and stop farms from ruining them!
Walmart workers protested Clinton's failure to endorse a raise in the minimum wage.
Shoot-to-kill Won't Make Us Safe from Terror — Just Sorry.
French Pirate Party: If you want peace, prepare for peace.
The US will sell repressive, Islamist Saudi Arabia over a billion dollars more in weapons.
Human Rights Watch calls on the US to stop selling bombs to Saudi Arabia because it is dropping them on Yemen and killing lots of civilians.
Meanwhile, Saudi money has been behind the spread of Wahhabism, the extremist and oppressive form of Islam that has been pushing out the more humane forms of Islam.
Iran Starts Dismantling Nuclear Programme, Says UN Watchdog.
Neonicotinoids found to impede pollination by bumblebees.
Former US drone operators warn that US drone attacks are important recruiting forces for PISSI and terrorists.
Is UK Climate And Energy Policy Hypocritical or Just Incompetent?
It's a mistake to say that the US (or France) is at war with "radical Islam". Even most radicals don't want to attack western countries.
Islamists are not necessarily violent enemies of anyone, but their views make them political enemies of human rights.
Extremist parties that call for demolishing the al-Aqsa mosque are now included in Israel's government. It is not wild imagination to suppose they might actually do it.
Building the "third temple" is part of what US Christian nuts think is necessary to bring about their prophesied apocalypse. I suspect that some of them are spending millions to help those parties.
Israel jails Palestinian minors as young as 8 in painful conditions and arbitrarily hampers them from talking with their families.
I expect that most of these minors are teenagers, but some really are children.
Palestinians living in part of Hebron face additional harassment designed to drive them to abandon their homes.
Israeli troops forced international human rights activists out of the apartment they had rented in Hebron.
These activists serve as witnesses to how Israelis officially and unofficially treat Palestinians, which makes their presence inconvenient. In practice, the state supports the repeated pogroms carried out by Israeli fanatics.
Demolishing a family home because one person in it committed (or is accused of) a crime is an unjust collective punishment.
Israel says it will carry out unjust collective punishment on any family, but in practice it's only done to Palestinians. And it already has inspired relatives to respond with violence.
Everyone: demand the release of the videos showing the killing of Jamar Clark.
US citizens: phone your senators against riders in a spending bill to eliminate network neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
A US appeals court cancelled the approval of neonicotinoid pesticide sulfoxaflor, saying that the EPA must first properly test its effects on bees.
Spain wants to arrest 9 Israeli officials and ex-officials responsible for the deadly attack on the Mavi Marmara.
The Norwegian oil company Statoil has given up on drilling in the Chukchi Sea.
The US government postponed a sale of oil leases in US public land.
These are victories, but we will need lots more of them. We must reduce our combustion of oil, reduce it to zero in not too much time, to avoid climate mayhem.
The US has made substantial progress towards the goal of equal pay for equal work, because of the fall in the income of men.
Turkey could cut off PISSI's supply lines, but Erdoğan threatened war against the Kurds just to keep those lines open.
Several African countries have banned borqas to prevent hiding bombs under them.
The OECD countries agreed to reduce funding for coal power in other countries, but Japan blocked eliminating this funding.
This may do some good, but it is not the sort of vigorous action that could save civilization from global disaster. To risk civilization's survival for a comparatively small short-term goal, such as improving access to electricity in some poor countries, is foolhardy. It won't help the people of those countries to get electricity in the next decade, then wiped out in 70 years.
Besides, solar power is much better for providing electricity to dispersed rural populations.
I have to suspect that Japan's representatives were working for the coal interests and what they said was just an excuse.
2C of global heating is probably too much, except under unlikely assumptions.
What it is like to be a US drone pilot and kill hundreds of people by remote control.
France has banned rallies during the climate conference.
This decision is short-termist folly. Rallies for climate defense are necessary for public safety. Terrorists could at worst kill a few hundred people in a rally. Global heating is likely to kill hundreds of millions of people, though over a longer time.
I urge activists to march anyway and dare the state to stop them.
It appears the Paris attackers were all European citizens — most have been identified, and they included no refugees or visitors.
Will France now commit the same errors and wrongs that the US did after the September 2011 attacks? It has already started to.
An Australian court found a Japanese whaling company guilty of killing whales in an Australian marine sanctuary.
It may not be easy to make the company pay the fine.
A secret interpretation may make CISA even worse than its wording appears. The ACLU is suing to find out.
Boko Haram is still setting off bombs in cities and causing hundreds of casualties.
High levels of CO2 in the air impede good thinking.
Global heating is not likely to raise the general world CO2 level enough for this to happen. But it can already happen inside a building in a city, and with global heating, the problem inside buildings in cities will get worse.
Protests in Washington are aimed at the US Trade Representative, the office that promotes antidemocratic treaties such as the TPP.
Parents that make unreasonable academic demands on their children tend to harm their academic success.
Another reason to vote for Bernie Sanders for president: Clinton wants more war.
Haven't we learned how stupid this is?
Whereas Sanders recognizes that climate mayhem is a bigger danger than today's terrorists.
Several important science museums have stopped accepting funds from planet roasters.
The CIA and NSA have not found anyone trying to start a terrorist attack in the US.
But they pretend they have, in order to smear Snowden.
I am not a pacifist. Effective military action may be justified even despite blowback. But effective military action tends to be concentrated on enemies, so it causes less blowback. Reflexive, ill-calculated military action "because we must bomb something" will tend to be self-defeating.
PISSI hopes to provoke Western reactions that would create a war between the West and all Muslims. Some politicians are eager to fall into this trap.
Global developments in employment.
When a company tried to reduce the greenhouse gas footprints of its products, that turned out to be a big challenge.
We need a carbon emissions tax so that the market will factor in your greenhouse gas footprint.
The assassinations at Charlie Hebdo have elevated hostility towards Muslims in France — just what terrorists hoped to achieve.
France may block a large climate defense march in the name of safety.
It is now ascertained that a terrorist bomb destroyed a Russian airliner over the Sinai, killing 224 people.
Stanford Students Begin 'Indefinite' Sit-in over Fossil Fuel Divestment.
The dictator of Angola has charged activists with "rebellion" for a book reading event. The book was about nonviolent resistance.
US citizens: call on the postmaster of the USPS to implement postal banking.
Total surveillance is giving France so much data that the real terrorists can hide in the plain sight of the national panopticon.
The ecological damage from the mine waste in Brazil could last decades and when it reaches the ocean, it will threaten ecologically vital areas.
It is not clear that tasers reduce either killings or injuries from the actions of thugs.
There are some fishy things here. Why use an aircraft carrier rather than sending additional planes to the land base in Jordan? Operating planes from a carrier must be more expensive than operating them from the ground.
And what's the use of more planes if it is hard to find good targets to attack?
On the other hand, the US seems to have found an important vulnerable point: the trucks PISSI uses for smuggling oil.
If PISSI is indeed a gang that raid and loots to propagate itself to loot again, then it can be forced into collapse if it can't get loot and can't sell oil.
Capturing PISSI's territory near the Turkish border is strategically crucial. However, trying to do this with Western troops would backfire terribly.
Accusing Saudi Arabia of poisoning the Muslim world with repressive Wahhabism.
Cole's point that it is impossible to "contain" PISSI can be literally correct, but not in the way he asserts. It may be that a stable situation in which PISSI exists for a long time under containment is impossible; if so, that suggests that containing PISSI would lead to its collapse, as it could no longer do profitable raids.
The UK faces ecological derangement all over, as a result of the 1C of global heating we have already caused.
Coal is not an effective way to extend access to energy, even ignoring that it could cause ecological disaster.
Just eliminating coal combustion isn't enough to avoid the disaster; it's just the first step.
The Tor Project says that the FBI-CMU "research" to identify Tor users was a fishing expedition, aimed at finding anyone they could accuse of anything.
Chinese companies are hurrying to bottle water from Himalayan glaciers before global heating melts them.
Ok, that is a slight exaggeration.
Israeli troops carried out a collective punishment, demolishing a house in a refugee camp; local Palestinians threw stones at them, so the Israeli troops shot and killed some of them.
Collective punishment is always an injustice. In my estimation, the culpability in this incident falls entirely on the Israeli troops. They cannot claim the justification of self-defense for shooting if they were on a mission of wrong.
Lauren's Blog Redux: "Governments of the World Agree: Encryption Must Die!"
UK anti-privacy activists seek to use the Paris attacks as an excuse to skip debate about new mass surveillance powers.
Each terrorist attack, anywhere in the world, provides an excuse for Big Brother to say we should surrender more freedom so he can "protect" us. Aside from the danger of tyranny, which exceeds that of terrorists, it's not even clear that increased surveillance would achieve its goal.
There is no limit to how many people a tyrannical state can kill, torture, or imprison. We need a state, for the many essential things that states can do, but we must make sure it remains under our control, and we can't do that if it knows everywhere we go and everyone we talk with.
Prohibiting expression of opinions, "advocating" this or that, is a form of tyranny. When "extremism" is prohibited, will plutocrats declare rejection of plutocracy "extreme"? We be prosecuted for advocating a return to democracy?
The US and Russia have agreed to ask the UN to broker a cease-fire between Assad and his enemies.
Britain's previous Tory prime minister rebukes the current Tory government for the inequality it has created.
More about the Haitian election and how it relates to the US history of keeping Haiti down.
Raising consciousness about massive surveillance: do you dare call a number that's possibly on an NSA suspicion list?
Reading stallman.org might do the same thing.
Businesses pretend to have human feelings … to exploit grief.
The Facebook feature praised in the article is also a way of manipulating users: after any sort of disaster, they are under pressure to be used by Facebook because not doing so would suggest they were among the casualties.
A former hostage of PISSI warns against the mistake of playing into its hands with ill-calculated violence.
Kenya has succeeded in driving elephant poaching way down.
The Saudi-US coalition is bombing the cultural history of Yemen to bits.
Republicans are trying to block students from doing research on the effect of Republican abortion-harassment laws.
Why it is important not to call PISSI by the names it gives itself.
It's the same reason we shouldn't call sharing "piracy", or call the prohibition of sharing "protection".
Software has been developed to recognize human microexpressions. Most people (maybe all) will be unable to hide their feelings from these.
This may be good in some circumstances, and bad in others. Even if everyone has access to this, it will tend to reinforce the power of those with more power already.
New Mexico has sentenced a man to 18 years in prison for spraying children with a watergun containing water mixed with his semen.
People should not do this, mainly because if they have some disease, there is a small chance they could transmit it this way. But if he didn't have a disease, I can't see that it did them any harm, or why they should be called "victims". This was not really "sexual contact".
Kurdish journalist Behrouz Bouchani fled Iran because he was going to be imprisoned for his work. Now he is imprisoned by Australia for being a refugee.
Many Americans' medical coverage has such a high deductible that they still can't afford medical care.
These insurance plans may be worth their price, because in the event of hospitalization or a major illness they might save the people far more than $3000. But these people are in such a desperate situation that they can't afford to make rational investments.
Haitians are protesting massively against the rigged presidential election.
The ICC seems to be investigating NATO's responsibility for torture in Afghanistan.
Portland, Oregon, has banned all new fossil fuel infrastructure.
The whole world ought to do this.
As toxic mine waste slowly flows downstream in the Rio Doce, it poisons water and kills fish.
Some towns are emptying as people in them have no water. What I wonder is, how long will it take before the river water is safe again? Will it be weeks, or decades?
Talking of "slow-motion environmental catastrophe", the whole world is facing an even slower one.
Comp sci "research" aimed at sabotaging Tor reflects an ethical blind spot.
ACLU: Thanks to Snowden, we are making slow progress against massive state surveillance.
The Afghan army and Iraqi army and Syrian rebel army that the US spent millions to build turned out to be as corrupt and phony as the construction projects it paid for.
The US government is considering a ban on smoking in public housing.
Tobacco is death, and I implore tobacco smokers to quit; but it is wrong to ban people from smoking in their homes.
Gayle Newland has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for having sex with a woman while pretending to be male.
This verdict seems totally absurd to me. What next? Will people be sentenced to prison for having sex while pretending to be rich? While pretending to be blonde?
Most British Jews strongly support Israel, and condemn Israel's occupation policies and refusal to make peace.
Accusations of vote-rigging in Haiti with UN complicity.
Professor Salaita, fired by the University of Illinois for his political views, sued; the university has now paid him a large amount of money, but he still does not have a job there. He comments that the injustices that motivated his controversial tweets have not been corrected.
Too bad the Obama regime was on the side of the fraudsters.
The State of Oregon systematically investigated everyone that tweeted in support of Black Lives Matter.
A fungus spreading steadily across the US is wiping out bats.
The absence of bats will have grave ecological consequences. If some bats survive, it it will take a century for the bat populations to recover.
Ali al-Nimr, sentenced to death for a peaceful protest, is being denied medical care in prison.
Please sign the petition for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Saudi Arabia.
Walmart workers are fasting as a protest against wages that don't pay them enough to afford lunch.
The US government admits that TSA agents actively look for drugs in luggage.
They are supposed to search a bag if an x-ray scan shows something that looks like drugs.
US citizens: Thank Obama for standing up for the EU's requirement not to label products of Israeli colonies as "Made in Israel" and for recognizing that these colonies are not part of Israel.
I urge everyone to shun television news for the next few days. There were terrorist attacks yesterday in Paris, and footage is likely to be shown.
Repeatedly watching footage of terrorist attacks can traumatize. I know someone in California who became afraid to go outdoors in 2001, after repeatedly watching pictures of the September 2001 attacks.
Whatever you want to know about the attacks, you can find in text.
US citizens: tell the Department of Agriculture to stop suppressing scientific research.
Everyone: call on the government of Burma to free imprisoned protesters.
Anti-racist activists and free speech defenders must reconcile to support a free society.
Mormons plan a "mass resignation" to protest the Mormon Church's policy demanding children renounce their same-sex parents.
The LA thugs' union has condemned an award for avoiding lethal force.
This award is meant for police officers whose job is to "serve and protect". Thugs think they should get awards for killing citizens.
The FSF's LibrePlanet event, which will be held in March, is looking for people to propose sessions.
Jeremy Corbin: it would have been far better for us all if Jihadi John had been held to account in a court of law.
I agree. Killing someone proves he was vulnerable. Convicting him in a fair trial proves he did wrong.
I do not think killing him was wrong under the circumstances; there was no feasible way to arrest him. Corbyn did not say it was wrong to kill Jihadi John, but his political enemies are pretending that he did.
By contrast, the US could have arrested and tried Osama bin Laden, so it should have done so rather than kill him.
Some web advertisements play inaudible sounds to be picked up by proprietary malware running on other nearby computers so as to determine that they are nearby.
It is unlikely free software will do this, but malware introduced by an attack could do it.
I conclude that access to a microphone needs to be controlled like access to a camera. Applications should need special authorization to use the microphone.
Piketty calls for divestment from fossil fuels before the Paris climate conference.
We must follow the laws of war even against enemies that reject them completely.
Global heating means mosquitoes in November in New York City.
A prisoner facing execution in Egypt reports on torture by crucifixion.
He was convicted along with around 500 other people, clearly a joke of a trial.
Some parts of the US have set up funds to provide various small assistance to the homeless.
The trust funds established by the New Jersey law are good, but the stamp tax (as the colonists called it) is a regressive way to fund it. It would be better to tax the rich for this.
Some places go further and provide housing to all homeless people.
Giving Money to Eritrea and Sudan to Stop Refugees is Almost Satire. The corrupt repression of those countries is what drives the people to flee.
Businesses that destroy the natural environment often use slaves to do it.
Some of the inhabitants of Sinjar are returning to the city, from which PISSI has been expelled.
The National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi's party, has won a majority in Burma even counting the seats that the military gets.
The Catholic Church in Australia made a statement opposing same-sex marriage, and faces a criminal investigation, because "offensive" statements are a crime in Australia.
I probably disagree with a lot of things the Church said, but I support its right to say them.
France reproached Kerry for trying to abandon the goal of a binding climate agreement before the Paris conference even starts.
If the US doesn't want one, it can surely make sure there isn't one, or that it doesn't count for anything.
Students in the US protested in many cities demanding an end to student debt.
States with more background checks for gun buying have fewer mass shootings.
Greenland's Zachariae Isstrom megaglacier has started breaking up, a process likely to raise sea level half a meter over just three decades. Nothing we can do (short of engineering considerable global cooling) can stop this.
Another neighboring megaglacier could do likewise as global heating continues, which would cause another half meter of sea level rise.
Every glacier that feeds into an ocean is likely to have similar points of no return, that we will reach at some point.
Anish Kapoor: India Is Being Ruled by a Hindu Taliban.
Society must not learn to trust bankers!
The UK's Environment Agency has become feckless and fails to enforce pollution laws.
I suppose this is Tory policy.
Austerity seems to have caused around 1000 suicides in the UK.
Many had despaired from being forced to apply uselessly for jobs they correctly thought they could not get.
More corrupt dealings of Scott Walker come out.
The World Health Organization has criticized the TPP.
Médicins sans Frontières' report on the attack on its hospital shows that the US air attack concentrated on the main building where operations were then being done.
There could hardly be any armed Taliban lurking in the building unseen. Anyway, unarmed MSF guards maintained full control of the grounds. The US excuse — which would be insufficient if it were true — cannot be true.
The UK wants to curb "extremism" by censoring it.
All the UK government has is a censor, so all publications look like…
After White House Rejects Keystone XL, Battle Against Larger Texas Pipeline Intensifies.
Although Erdoğan says PISSI is an enemy, PISSI's violence in Turkey seems directed to help him. And PISSI seems to be able to attack its enemies in Turkey.
A court decision is a symbolic condemnation of NSA massive data collection.
It might help against other NSA data collection in the future.
US citizens: write to your senators to urge them to leave the EPA's CO2 emission limit plan alone.
A dam burst in Brazil, releasing mine waste that washed away houses and killed people.
The toxic wastes might kill people in the long term, but I have no idea how many.
Many large US companies now impose confidentiality agreements to bar employees from revealing wrongdoing to the US government.
The SEC is taking action against this.
Monsanto Accused of Knowingly Polluting SF Bay with Toxic PCBs.
Amnesty International says that China still regularly tortures prisoners: especially human rights activists and Falun Gong believers, as well as officials accused of corruption.
The Chinese government resists efforts to try to stop torture, and so does the US government.
We Americans can't do much to stop torture in China, but we ought to be able to stop it in the US.
German intelligence spied on the FBI, the French foreign minister, and UNICEF.
India's planned fossil fuel increase will break the world's carbon budget.
This suggests the world should make a deal in which India reduces fossil fuel use, and other countries pay for renewable energy development in India.
For social media stars, paid by companies that want to connect with their fans, not only their clothing but even their relationships may be designed to get more fans to sell.
Experience cleaning up a juvenile prison, in which the prisoners and the guards faced sexual harassment and the prisoners were treated horribly.
Mistreatment was not rare, it was the usual case.
Microsoft offers European users services that keep their data in a European computer run by a European trustee company, so that the US government has no jurisdiction over them.
This is a sensible solution for that one specific problem. It does not alter the point that it's unwise to entrust your personal data to any remote storage.
It also does not make Microsoft's proprietary software acceptable, or excuse its malicious functionalities.
Albert Woodfox has spent 43 years in solitary, and will be kept there further until his surrealistic retrial, to stop him from organizing other prisoners.
The National League for Democracy has done very well in Burma's election, and looks set to win a majority in parliament even despite the 25% of seats set aside for the military.
"Public-private partnerships" are touted as an easy way to get infrastructure built, but they are a form of privatization which drains the treasury later.
We simply must tax the rich more.
Comcast admitted internally that its data caps have nothing to do with network congestion.
They are not traffic-shaping, but market-shaping. Comcast is taking advantage of the lack of competition in the US network market.
Wireless networks are too close to a monopoly to be allowed to set their own rules. They should be regulated as utilities.
The UK's snooping bill is "the last policy discussion about surveillance before the mass gagging."
If this bill passes, no debate will be allowed; the entire subject will be secret.
Major US airlines have offshored heavy maintenance to facilities that the FAA can't properly inspect, and in practice does not try. Maintenance workers in the US report serious flaws.
There is no reason to allow US-flag airlines to do maintenance outside the US except in emergencies.
The Senate is considering a bill to ban companies from using contracts to prohibit customers from saying anything bad about the company.
That would be good. Will the bill ban attempts to use copyright to do this?
Will it ban imposing arbitration on customers?
Large outsourcing companies have figured out how to use the US H-1B visa program to bring foreign teams to the US, so there are no visas available for other businesses.
An undercover video shows that the USDA's new, "more efficient" meat inspection is almost no inspection at all.
Australia's exile bill would still permit cancellation of citizenship without a trial.
A general strike against austerity is planned in Greece.
Australia plans to deport Ian Whiteman, who has lived in Australia since he was one year old, to a country he hardly knows.
This because of a crime that caused no damage but is considered "serious".
Deportation of criminals is justified, sometimes, but not in a cruel and mindless fashion. A person whose only family ties are in Australia, and who could easily have become a citizen, should not be deported if not likely to be a repeat criminal or if some other country is not "home".
Stopping his parents from visiting him is cruel also.
Several people will be deported to New Zealand because of membership in an arbitrarily banned motorcycle club.
Walmart tried using face recognition to compare everyone in the store to a list of faces of known shoplifters.
If this works, and it is extended a few small steps, I see a danger that anyone who has ever shoplifted will never be able to buy groceries again — in any store. This could be a choice between a death sentence and life imprisonment.
For the most part I don't see a problem in having Walmart (or some other store — I refuse to buy from Walmart, after all) scan my face and not keep records of it. What I object to is if someone scans my face on the street and keeps track of where I go. Especially if this is done by the state.
The Paris climate conference has been set up to fail, just as Copenhagen was, with governments making efforts to spin failure as success.
PEN calls on the US government to stop prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act.
Campaigns against racism are spreading to other US universities.
"Mizzou" seems to be an affectionate nickname referring to the University of Missouri, used by people who work or study there. Since I have no relationship with that school, for me to use that nickname would mean pretending to an intimacy I don't have. Thus, I call the school by its official name.
There are no legal obstacles stopping Obama from ending the indefinite imprisonment of Guantanamo, if he wanted to.
Raising the minimum wage is often accompanied by decreased unemployment.
Two 14-year-olds in New York State face felony charges for making a video in which one of them has sex with someone else. Other students they sent the video to are being punished as well.
Provided the other star was involved voluntarily (information not available), then I think it is wrong to punish any of them.
It is even more clearly wrong to punish students for receiving a message containing the video. And parents that examine their children's phones to see if they have been sent sexts are held by this twisted law to have committed the same "felony".
Any law making it a crime to possess a copy of some text, photo or video is injustice, pure and simple.
The UK is giving increased subsidies to fossil fuels.
So this is why they have to make so many families homeless and hungry.
US citizens: call on presidential candidates to support the goal of global zero nuclear weapons.
The Snooper's Charter would endanger computer security researchers in the UK.
There might be one way around this. If you publish info about the back door you found, encrypted, on a foreign site, and send the key to another foreign site that will publish the information in several months no matter what you subsequently say or do, you might then be safe discussing the matter with some foreign colleagues with a view to publishing it in a better way with better checking.
Of course, it's nuts to make security researchers go through these steps to protect themselves from state repression.
Modern slavery can be found in any industry.
Employers want immigrants to undercut wages for everyone else. Sometimes the immigrants are entirely willing. Sometimes they are threatened, exploited, or imprisoned. Either way, the overall result is that business owners around the world get more money, and workers get less.
Two British journalists imprisoned in Indonesia say that naval officers paid close attention to their case, while the UK's supposed help was incompetent.
Even though they had money to pay for some privileges in prison, they could not avoid the dirty food, and they could not get medicine when they got sick.
Timothy Johnson was convicted of murder based on a false confession, then exonerated as there was no real evidence against him. He says that the thugs dangled him off the side of a bridge to get him to confess.
They also laid false charges against his parents to put pressure on him.
In response, crowds tried to storm the presidential palace, crying "Death to [President] Ghani, death to the Taliban."
I don't see why they want the former; but if Afghans remain fired up to fight the Taliban, they may have what it takes to defeat the Taliban.
A company that handles prisoners' phone calls, including with their lawyers, records them all. Even when prisoners talk with their lawyers. Someone just got these recordings and leaked them.
Leaking them en mass was wrong, but not as wrong about what this company (Insecurus?) did.
Colorado is considering a ballot initiative for single-payer health care.
I am concerned that this is not a large enough step to work. Many low-paid workers have been forced to be "independent contractors", and I think many of them can't afford to contribute 10% of their pay for medical care.
I don't see how health care for the unemployed would be covered, and I don't see anything to push gouging prices down. Perhaps the scheme has measures for this which are not mentioned in the article. If not, I think it won't work.
In the UK, ever more families are becoming homeless (even though the adults are working), and put into cramped shelters.
In the US, homeless families don't get shelters.
Republican candidates debated why and how to stop American workers from getting a wage.
Trump effectively admitted that globalization driven by business interests imposes poverty on most people. This globalization is not a natural phenomenon; it was imposed by those business interests through bad laws and worse "free trade" treaties. So let's get rid of those laws and treaty.
It is true that wages, and benefits, encourage employers to replace workers with machines. We can reduce this problem by funding Social Security and unemployment benefits from taxes that are independent of employment — taxes that businesses will have to pay even if they replace all workers with machines.
However, we must also block the forms of automation that would put many people out of work, until we establish a universal basic income so that people don't need employment.
Saudi Arabia compassionately released 74-year-old Karl Andree, who had been sentenced to 350 lashes for possession of drugs (specifically, wine).
The US has stopped repressing people for carrying wine, but you can get imprisoned for having other drugs.
New York City's replacement for solitary confinement turns out to be more or less solitary confinement with pepper spray.
Kyle Lydell Canty has applied for asylum in Canada because of racism in the US.
Modi's Hindu-nationalist government presides over repeated lynchings and attacks the pluralist basis of the Indian state.
Legal Battles to Protect The Environment 'Easier to Fight in China Than the UK'.
The EU has adopted requirements that products made in Israel's colonies in Palestine must be labeled specially, not as "Made in Israel".
Of course, the purpose of this labelling is discrimination — like all such required labelling. The discrimination in this case is not against Israel, but against its violations of international law by setting up colonies in Palestine and settling Israelis in them. This labelling will help people practice a narrow boycott against those colonies, much narrower than the boycott of nearly all Israeli institutions that Palestinians have called for.
I support the boycott of products of those colonies ("settlements").
The independent Angolan dictatorship has picked up the practices of the former Portuguese dictatorship that ruled Angola as a colony.
A writer describes how seeing a captive orca made him ashamed.
This article is packed with idiocy, such as the misused cliche "playing god", which is irrational even in its usual meaning.
However, I agree with its basic point that it is cruel to cage orcas.
The US government has ordered executive branch agencies not to read the copies of the CIA torture report that the Senate sent them.
This is based on a bizarre and twisted legal excuse, so it's clear that the goal is to stand up for torturers and torture.
The Tories choose not to see or believe the effects of their spending cuts.
The sale of exotic, endangered lizards as expensive pets could wipe out those species.
Survivors of the 1965-66 massacre in Indonesia continue trying to open investigation into those events, and continue to face censorship.
Australia may block an OECD deal to stop funding coal.
The US is upgrading some nuclear bombs to make them more "usable".
That is going in the wrong direction.
The University of Missouri had started attacking women's rights and was mistreating all its students. Resistance was widespread, and the black football players were joined in resistance by a large fraction of the campus.
Amnesty: Israeli Forces in Occupied Palestinian Territories Must End Pattern of Unlawful Killings.
Some of these Palestinians had attacked Israelis. Others hadn't done anything wrong.
Amnesty's point is that even when they had attacked someone with a knife, that doesn't call for shooting them when it was possible to arrest them, let alone for killing them by denying them medical care.
In Honduras, drug traffickers and palm-oil planters are working together to take land from indigenous people and deforest it.
Congress blocked Obama's plan to "close" the Guantanamo prison by moving imprisonment without trial to the US itself.
Obama's plan might perhaps be a scheme to end imprisonment without trial by supposing that the Supreme Court would grant them habias corpus. If so, it would be great provided it works — but with our current authoritarian Supreme Court, I would not count on that.
The Maldive "president" has cancelled the state of emergency.
Australia imprisoned Iranian refugee Fazel Chegeni in the privatized Christmas Island prison, apparently forever. He died trying to escape, and the other prisoners responded by rioting and destroying parts of their prison.
Thugs moved in and regained control, but it's not clear that's a good thing.
The UK's Snooper's Charter imposes a gagging requirement on everyone ordered to snoop on people. This is "the last policy discussion about surveillance before the mass gagging."
"Note that this section is absolute: it does not have exceptions, for example in relation to the public interest: such as the ability to discuss the benefit or downsides of part interception activities; no exception for talking about this to MPs, or other democratic representatives; or even to exculpate anyone who otherwise would be wrongfully found guilty."
Then the Supreme Court upholds an extreme level of immunity for them, so they are almost certain to get away with killings.
Moroccan actress Loubna Abidar played a sex worker in a film which Morocco banned. Then she was attacked by a mob on the street, and hospitals would not admit her. She fled the country.
I blame these events on the prejudice against sex workers. The film made prejudiced Moroccans uncomfortable by showing that sex workers exist there, so they took it out on her.
Many other laws reflect this prejudice, which I have never understood.
Portuguese celebrate because an anti-austerity coalition is going to take power.
The ICRC accused Saudi Arabia (backed by the US) of intentionally targeting hospitals in Yemen.
US citizens: ask congresscritters to sign the Ellison-Yarmuth-Dingell letter calling for a political resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose Obama's nomination of Robert Califf to head the Food and Drug Administration.
He is too much in bed with the pharma companies to regulate them properly, and we must suspect he wouldn't want to try.
US citizens: Phone your congresscritter and say, don't move Guantanamo prison to the US. Each prisoner should be tried in a civilian US court, or freed.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on members of Congress to support the SAVE Benefits Act.
A mental health bill now in the US Congress would lead to forced medication.
When thugs say they are deterred from doing their job by the danger citizens' videos will reveal their unjust violence, it amounts to threatening an unofficial slowdown strike to demand restored impunity.
Where the UK Snooper's Charter is leading.
Facebook's app has started scanning photos people take with their phones.
The article says "camera", but that word is misleading; cameras do not have a Facebook app installed in them. This applies only to phones and tablets.
I suspect the face recognition is done by sending the photos to a Facebook server. If so, the server could do other things with those photos. It could save them and send them to Big Brother. From now on, when people want to snap me with a mobile, I will verify it does not have a Facebook app installed before I say yes.
House Anti-Science Committee Attempts to Suppress Climate Change Studies.
One way to fight back is by replacing the weak term that the denialists chose, "climate change", with something stronger such as "global heating" or "climate mayhem".
The EU is considering a law to declare linking to a page a violation of copyright.
It is too bad that the article uses the enemy's propaganda word, "protection", to refer to copyright.
The UK's attack on end-to-end encryption is serious, and its denials are clearly lies. It wants to force computer manufacturers and sellers to sabotage users' computers on demand to make their data decryptable.
However, encryption done in proprietary software can't be trusted anyway. Whether or not a state can force the company to sabotage it, the company might do so on its own initiative at any time. You can't rationally trust nonfree programs: they do computing for suckers.
When the author says "the services you and I use", apparently assuming that you and he use software you and he can't rationally trust, he says he's a sucker and he assumes you are too.
Nigeria Must Own Up to the Blood Shed for Oil.
The officials responsible for the murder of Ogoni environmental activists 20 years ago have not been punished or even censured, and some remain in positions of power today.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled against freedom of speech by endorsing censorship of opinions and even views about history. Evidently it doesn't fully support human rights. Respecting freedom of speech means respecting the right to state views we oppose.
Antisemitism is prejudice against a group of people which (in the usual interpretation) includes me. I disapprove of it, but I respect people's right to state that opinion or any other.
When a state mandates a specific position on a factual question, that makes it impossible to discuss that question frankly in that country.
Egyptian journalist Hossam Bahgat has been freed.
The article does not indicate whether the charges, publishing something that displeased the state, have been dropped.
Teenagers are threatened by laws that could jail them for sexting or inviting others to sext them.
I think it is unkind to pressure someone to sext, and I would not do that, even though pressuring is not equivalent to forcing. However, it is simply wrong to punish adolescents for sexting, or anything else sexual that they willingly do. Sex is the normal preoccupation of adolescents.
Although leprosy is curable, people in India whose bodies show harm done by the disease face various sorts of discrimination and cruelty.
I am shocked by the point about "grounds for divorce". Does India still require people present "grounds" if they want a divorce? If so, the change that's needed here is to eliminate that requirement.
Australia will take citizenship away from dual citizens convicted of terrorism crimes.
At least it is limited to those actually convicted. The previous proposal would have allowed officials to do this without a trial.
A US appeals court overturned Obama's executive order against deporting certain unauthorized immigrant children.
I don't want a large amount of immigration to the US, but people who were brought as children and have spend many years in the US should be allowed to become citizens.
The right-wing concern about "anchor babies" is due to a fear that is not based on facts.
Rightwingers Push 'Moral' Coal Only After They Doomed a Truly Moral Alternative.
The fossil fuel magnates pay lots smart but selfish people to say all sorts of bogus things in favor of using fossil fuels. We will see through them all, but will we do it soon enough to prevent disaster?
Still, if every violent thug were sentenced this way, it might be enough to deter their violence.
A Belgian court will fine Facebook 250,000 euros per day unless it stops tracking people that don't have Facebook accounts.
The issue is that Facebook sends some visitors cookies. It is not clear that the court realizes that Facebook also tracks people who merely see a "Like" button.
Indian fishermen and farmers are suing the World Bank for investing in a giant coal-fired power plant where they live. The World Bank says it can't be sued in US courts.
Investing in burning coal is planet-roasting behavior. Young people, who may well be killed by climate mayhem, have grounds to use force to block the activities that threaten their lives.
The UK has killed an EU directive to limit trade in wildlife and toxic waste.
Netanyahu Has Never Actually Supported a Palestinian State, Despite What He Told Obama.
Saudi Arabia emptied its aquifer for agriculture; now all its wells are dry and it has no more agriculture. California is following the same path.
UVA Fraternity Sues Rolling Stone for $25m over Retracted Rape Article.
Europe's banksters demand Greece speed eviction of families that can't pay their mortgages, or its creditors won't get the next next batch aid.
It's a mistake to call these payments "aid", if that means aid for Greece.
Sex crimes are common among thugs in the US.
A Russian performance artist set fire to the door of the building used by what was formerly called the KGB, to point out that it's still there and still dangerous.
The author understates the danger from UK spy organizations. What they threaten to do, when they violate privacy, is imprison journalists' sources and thus endanger democracy. Even if they don't torture people like Russian and US spy organizations, that is still a terrible threat. Besides, the UK spy organizations did hand over people to Qadhafi for torture.
Narendra Modi: the Divisive Manipulator Who Charmed the World.
Four employees of a Hong Kong publisher have disappeared, separately. This is apparently the work of Chinese agents, perhaps with the help of Thailand.
The UK's surveillance bill would give the state the power to order companies to sabotage end-to-end encryption facilities that they provide to users.
This is one more reason why you shouldn't trust a nonfree program for encryption, on top of many other reasons. Basically, nonfree programs cannot deserve your trust; they do computing for suckers.
Development aid money is mostly wasted since only a tiny fraction goes to the local organizations that actually do work.
Blaming inequality and massive surveillance on digital technology is a handy excuse for politicians that want to increase inequality and surveillance.
Pollution in Ogoniland is just as bad now as it was 20 years ago when Nigeria executed protest leaders.
The National League for Democracy won the election for parliament in Burma, but the constitution has been rigged so as to limit its political power.
Suggesting a way to protect US teens from radicalization that won't backfire.
For plutocratist politicians, poor people's children are disposable: just blame all the consequences of poverty on their parents.
US citizens: call on Obama to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Netanyahu will continue the occupation until he faces enough pressure to make him change. If I were president of the US, I would tell Netanyahu that Israel will get US aid for one purpose only: building replacements in Israel for the colonies in Palestine, and demolishing those colonies.
"Palm oil: why do we care more about orangutans than migrant workers?"
It's simple. An individual migrant worker has more rights than an individual orangutan; but orangutans are an endangered species while humans are reproducing like weeds.
However, that question is purely theoretical; there is no practical reason to compare the two, because it's easiest to protect them both. Anything we do to prevent the enslavement of migrant workers on palm oil plantations will protect the orangutans, by discouraging the spread of palm oil plantations.
Two Thais accused of criticizing the royal family have died in prison.
Merely accusing them of this "crime" is an injustice.
Corruption is common in US state legislators.
Storm And Drought: What Europe Has to Fear from [global heating].
The NSA reports most of the bugs it finds in operating systems, but only after a delay while it uses them to attack computers.
Hossam Bahgat, Egyptian journalist and human rights activist, has been charged with "publishing false news".
"False news", in Egypt, means anything that doesn't come from the state.
Yemen: 'The children have a game called airstrike in which they fall to the ground'.
How long before they start playing "suicide bomber"?
Obama reportedly decided 2 years ago to reject Keystone XL, but waited for a "politically opportune time" to announce it.
Curbing global heating is a battle against time. If he had rejected Keystone XL earlier, the rejection would have boosted our side sooner.
US citizens: oppose building oil terminals in Washington State.
I used this as my text.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been cancelled. Please don't allow it to be replaced with oil trains to Washington State. We need to keep the tar sands oil in the ground, to avoid toxic spills and disastrous global heating. Oil trains will also cause fires repeatedly.
In the text of the letter, I replaced "Trans-Pacific Partnership" with "TPP", and added "This is a partnership of corporations to attack democracy, with some secondary and unimportant effects on trade."
Mexican real-life "superhero" Peatónito campaigns for safety for pedestrians.
A deceptive campaign in Florida to check the spread of home solar power just got a boost from a secret donor.
Since we don't know who the donor is, we can make up a fictional name for him without lying. We could call him "John Doe", or "The Crotch Brother".
Black football players at the University of Missouri have gone on strike demanding the resignation of the university president, who has not done much against racism on campus.
They are powerful because they bring in a lot of money to the school, and they are trying to use this to do some good. Bravo for them, but I think it is a shame that many Americans are obsessed with the artificial struggle of football and thus distracted from the real struggle against the plutocrats.
One of Haiti's presidential candidates, who came in second in the first round of voting, says the election was rigged by Martelly.
The UK's surveillance bill threatens investigative journalism by putting sources in danger.
Here's a case in point.
Another bill would attack journalism on another front, by hampering freedom of information access.
Donald Trump dares to point out that Dubya left the US wide open to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, even cancelling precautions that Clinton had set up.
I support the demand for a new investigation.
US citizens: call on Obama to use executive orders to close some gun sale loopholes.
Everyone: demonstrate on Nov 14 to end subsidies for fossil fuels.
US citizens: call on officials not to include fracking in any climate "solution".
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: stand for ending gerrymandering.
The UK's housing crisis could be solved if the disused buildings were made available to live in. Instead, Tory policy is to put squatters in jail.
The UK's plans to chase "extremists" out of positions of influence remind me of McCarthyism.
Journalists in Zimbabwe were arrested for accusing officials of corruption (participating in hunting of elephants).
When globalization destroys local social relationships, it sparks local rivalries; these can attract to previously unimportant religious or ethnic differences and turn into hatred and violence.
A project sets out to summarize how various web services deny users' rights through their terms and conditions.
I doubt that competition will be effective for eliminating nasty conditions. The overall level of competition in this field is too low.
I think we need laws to limit what conditions essential digital services can impose. And rather than judging violations themselves, they should have to go to court in order to cut off service to anyone.
The writers festival in Bali was forced to cancel sessions about the 1965 massacre, but people discussed it anyway, and condemned the censorship.
Australia's secrecy about "special" violent intelligence operations extends to the point of refusing to say whether there have been any.
If an Australian agent on one of these operations kills your child, you will need to escape from Australia before you can safely say so.
The EU's proposed trade secrets directive bows down to business at the expense of journalism, workers, and public safety.
Trade secrecy is harmful to the public interest, and one of the supposed purposes of the patent system is to discourage trade secrecy.
How about discouraging it by not adopting laws to facilitate it?
The UK's threat to the privacy of reading on the internet is extremely dangerous.
So is the surveillance exercised by snooping web sites. We must put an end to all of it.
The thugs that killed 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis face charges of second-degree murder.
They should be prosecuted also for their false accusations.
Denmark's government wanted to sell out to fracking, but the people organized and blocked it.
Many famous Americans do or did support Democratic Socialism.
Unions are very effective at reducing inequality and preventing dooH niboR laws, according to an IMF study.
The summary of public comments about the proposed oil export terminals in Washington State mysteriously omits some comments that indicated dangers.
Mahdi Mohammad Ramadan al-Mohtasib was shot dead by an Israeli soldier as he lay on the ground, already shot and wounded.
Israeli bulldozers have knocked down the Bedouin village of al-Araqib 90 times in just 5 years.
Each time, the villagers return and rebuild.
The 'Ferguson Effect' Is Just a Ploy to Reduce Scrutiny of the Police.
Six myths about the "free market".
The market system is a useful tool, but if all you have is a market system, everything starts to look like it's for sale.
Amnesty accuses Assad's regime of secretly imprisoning 60,000 people. Some were tortured.
Their relatives can't get any information about them, except underground.
You can't trust judges to effectively restrain spies equipped with total access.
The experience with the FISA court shows this is true in the US as well.
As states bind themselves by treaty not to regulate businesses, they are left with no tools except to ask them to "voluntarily self-regulate". And this method usually fails, because businesses don't really carry out the self-regulation.
"Governments are liberating global corporations from the rule of law and leaving them to rip the world apart."
US snooping agencies were ordered to set up contacts for complaints, but they have ignored the order for 17 years.
Canadians are already campaigning to press the new prime minister to take real action to curb global heating.
I wish they would replace the term "climate change", imposed by Dubya's officials because it downplays the danger, with one that does justice to the importance of the issue.
The impunity of thugs in the US goes to absurd lengths: a thug who shot a tased man who was lying on the ground face down was acquitted because she said she was afraid of him.
Even if he had had pulled a gun, and shot, he was not likely to hit her under those circumstances.
Next time, a thug will say, "Yes, he was sitting on the ground with his hands in the air, but I was afraid he would think deadly thoughts and kill me with telepathy." And get acquitted.
US thugs kill so many people because they have been taught to kill whenever they see even a shadow of a shade of a threat. We have to change that training and that attitude. There are other countries that teach a different approach.
Several EU countries want to keep their sleazy low-tax deals with multinational companies secret from investigating MEPs.
Nine Out of Ten of the Internet's Top Websites Are Leaking Your Data. To data brokers, that is.
I follow the recommendations at the end of the article.
Obama wants to "close Guantanamo prison" by transferring imprisonment without trial to Colorado.
This would normalize imprisonment without trial, which is bad; however, it might also make it easier for these prisoners to get the benefit of the US constitution in the courts.
The US must try or release each of these prisoners.
The whole staff of the Elsevier's paywalled journal Lingua have quit to start a new libre journal.
Facebook found another social network to be a source of spam links, so it banned all mention of that site's name anywhere.
A perverse law requires the US government to keep at least 34,000 possibly-unauthorized immigrants in prison at any time, regardless of whether there is any good reason to do so.
The motive for this law seems to be to assure the profits of private prisons.
Hundreds of prisoners in one of these private prisons are on hunger strike. The prison company says there is no hunger strike, but the leaders of the supposedly nonexistent strike are being punished with solitary confinement, persistent cold, isolation from their families, etc.
These prisoners have not been convicted of a crime, and some will win appeals and be granted US residency. Although the prison executives' motive for punishing them for not eating is obvious, they have no grounds to do so.
Who Will the U.S. Declare President of Haiti This Time?
A teacher in Kansas showed a film in class to open students' eyes to what it feels like to be bullied for homosexuality has faced bullying from right-wing parents, but has decided not to resign.
Bravo! Resigning would endorse the bullies' position.
The UK government plans to prohibit renting out a bedroom smaller than 6.5 square meters.
This will make the housing shortage a little worse, though not as much as the other bad things that it is doing. Rather than subdivide a bedroom, several people will sleep in the same bed, medieval style.
The government's responsibility is to make enough space for people to live in available at a decent price. As long as it fails to do this, people will suffer one way or another.
For 15 years, death rates among middle-aged white men in the US have increased: this now adds up to half a million additional deaths.
The natural explanation is that dooH niboR policies made their lives collapse.
It should be noted that blacks still have it even worse.
US retailers recognize that most Americans can't afford to buy much.
The US economy is rigged in many ways to redistribute wealth to the rich.
Let's pass laws to take it back from them.
One day before the US bombed the MSF hospital in Kunduz, a US official asked if any Taliban were "holed up" there. The MSF said that the only Taliban there were disarmed patients being treated.
The MSF in Kunduz called their US army contact about the attack, but the attack continued for 45 more minutes.
MSF reminds the US that wounded patients in a hospital are not legitimate military targets.
US officials continue trying to shut down or pressure organizations by intimidating credit card companies.
The article makes a mistake when it refers to "johns who engage in trafficking". When prostitutes are trafficked, pimps are typically involved in the crime, but johns probably not.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed an old Palestinian woman who was driving a car in Hebron. This seems to have provoked retaliation on various occasions.
Seymour Hersh reported in 2014 that the sarin attack in Syria, attributed to Assad's army, was actually a false-flag attack carried out by Turkey in connection with al-Nusra (al-Qa'ida).
He also said that the US had armed Syrian rebels in cooperation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar since 2012, exporting arms from Libya by way of the Benghazi consulate. The US stopped this after the Benghazi consulate was attacked, but the other three countries continued.
An interview with Noam Chomsky.
The FBI says it has given up on demanding back doors in encryption software.
That doesn't mean it won't try again next year.
Increasing rubber production could lead to massive deforestation and extinction of many species.
Ben Carson's religion is more crazy than fundamentalist.
Arundhati Roy says she was not shocked by murder of secularists in India, because that's what she expected of this government.
Opponents of Nepal's new constitution are trying to force it to change the constitution by blockading imports from India.
Could Assad become Schrödinger's dictator, politically alive and politically dead at the same time?
Arabs in Israel know that anyone can murder them with impunity. All of Israel is Ferguson for them.
The TPP will allow banks to sue for "compensation" for any regulations they don't like, including possible reinstatement of the Glass Seagall Act.
Cruel US policies are driving many middle-aged white males to commit suicide.
Sad to say, the relatives of these men probably won't associate the effect with the right-wing cause.
The article speculates that blacks are better able to cope with poverty; they may be psychologically or socially ready for it.
Ben Carson admitted lying in his autobiography about being offered a scholarship to West Point.
Such lies have ruined many a career, but right-wing crazies are often immune.
Senators Sanders and Warren proposed a bill that would close a tax loophole for hedge funds and give the money to retired people, disabled people, and veterans.
Some of the added tax money would go into the Social Security trust fund.
One page summarizes many specific injustices and damage of the TPP.
This is in addition to the general injustice of allowing companies to sue governments for reducing their profits.
A psychological experiment found that children from secular families are more altruistic and more harsh in judging other people than children from Christian and Muslim families.
Since many psychological studies turn out to be irreproducible results, I would not treat this as thoroughly established based on one study.
Obama has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.
Although he ultimately made the right decision, the fact that he took years to make it means that this is not greatly to his credit.
Obama now has a bigger climate decision to make, in the Paris climate summit, and so far he is not pushing very hard to avoid disaster.
The UN predicts millions of climate refugees.
The UK took action against the Muslim Brotherhood under pressure from a threat by the UAE to cut arms purchases.
US citizens: call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Saudi Arabia.
Palm oil palms have already been illegally planted on recently burned Indonesian forest areas.
If complicated supply chains make it hard to stop this, then the supply chains must be simplified, whether the companies want this or not. Since the CO2 emissions from these fires threaten all civilization, force is certainly justified.
Now that Google has made location tracking a feature, the state can subpoena a person's location history going back years.
Communicating with a service from your own computer using a mobile device, and not going through Tor, is for suckers.
Injustices in the EU's proposal for snooping borders.
India has ordered Greenpeace India to shut down.
The carbon pledges of the world's countries are only half what's probably needed to remain under 2C of heating.
Obama has acknowledged that there is no prospect of a peace deal between Israel and Palestine while Obama remains in office.
The reason for this is that Obama has no intention of doing what is required for a peace deal: putting pressure on the Israeli government. Netanyahu is against peace, and will reject it as long as the US lets him get away with that.
Lower Austria, one of the states in Austria, now uses only renewable electricity.
This does not mean it has eliminated greenhouse gas emissions. It still burns fossil fuel for other purposes, and that must be reduced next.
Netanyahu's new spokesman called the Iran nuclear deal "antisemitism."
This is part of Israel's persistent dishonest campaign of labeling anything but blanket support for Israeli policy as "antisemitism".
Nuclear energy is too slow to develop to play a substantial role in avoiding global heating disaster. It is so expensive that it sucks money away from the efficient renewable energy that we should be building as fast as possible.
New York State is investigating Exxon's climate lies.
Volkswagen admits understating the fuel consumption of some car models.
Perhaps this is the true "Ferguson effect": encouraging thugs to lie even more than before.
Analyzing the consequences of Bush's conquest of Iraq.
Two Turkish editors published an edgy headline and are charged with starting a rebellion.
This insane exaggeration reminds me of how Aaron Swartz was treated in the US.
Bogus charges resulting from exaggeration are wrong in any country.
US citizens: oppose the plan to build a big shopping mall next to the Grand Canyon.
Seattle's innovative public campaign funding system lets each voter dispose of $100 to municipal campaigns.
Also in Seattle, children are suing the state for not limiting CO2 emissions.
There's a significant chance that global heating, by 2070, will cause catastrophe, and kill them.
Obama has slightly softened the policies that usually keep ex cons out of public housing.
A century ago, ex cons could get most kinds of work, and were not excluded from most places to live. This helped them go straight.
Vacationing parents face charges for leaving their children on the beach, from which they would walk back to the campground along a footpath.
The Pentagon pays professional sports to promote a militarist version of "patriotism".
If patriotism is love of one's country, then the core of patriotism is campaigning to make that country deserve to be loved.
US citizens: call on congress to support peace negotiations for Syria and support compromise rather than continued war.
President Bush 1 felt bored with his job once he didn't have a war to make it exciting.
Nick Clegg, former UK deputy prime minister, says that very few ministers were informed about massive digital snooping.
The US government funded the Iraqi National Congress which generated false "intelligence" that reported Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
This gave the Bush regime raw material for its distorted intelligence reports, which we now know were used to provide "reasons" for a war that Bush had already decided to launch (but pretended he had not).
The Afghan government made a business deal with a banker that is in prison for corruption.
The UK's planet-roasting government plans to kill off community-scale renewable energy products.
Obama has published the text of the TPP, and it would give foreign companies the power to demand relaxation of food inspection, even to demand approval of GMOs and demand that they not be labeled.
It's literally a treaty to allow Treacherous Plutocratic Poison.
It provides handouts to fossil fuel companies. For instance, they could sue states and cities that ban fracking.
It criminalizes whistleblowers that reveal a company's criminal "trade secrets", such as for instance that cigarette companies knew that their products caused cancer and that Exxon knew its products caused global heating.
This in addition to prohibiting breaking digital handcuffs
Sanders points out that companies could demand "compensation" for increases in the minimum wage.
Here are many other bad things that have just been discovered in the text.
This should be no surprise. The TPP was designed to be a corporate supremacy treaty, mislabeled as a "trade agreement", and that's what was designed.
A SCROTUS has sabotaged a congressional investigation into drug companies that greatly increase prices.
Cheney wanted to use nuclear weapons against Iraq and Iran.
US thugs have organized pressure campaigns against prominent people that criticize them even a little.
They are arrogant as well as dishonest.
Another variation on restoring the Voting Rights Act has been proposed.
Most Republican officials are in favor of voter suppression. They want power, and regard democracy as an obstacle. They appointed people to the Supreme Court that would overturn crucial parts of the Voting Rights Act, and having won that victory over poor and minority US citizens, they are not going to give it up.
This is in the name of "protecting" a group of Israeli fanatics that insisted on living in the middle of an Arab town, and got the government's support to keep them there at any cost (to Palestinians).
Meanwhile, Israel closed a Palestinian radio station in Hebron, accusing it of "incitement" to violence.
The Israeli actions that support keeping those fanatics in Hebron do more to incite Palestinian violence than any radio station could.
A former Israeli soldier, who was stationed in Hebron, says more or less the same thing.
The Israeli's use of a colony in Hebron as the base for continued ethnic cleansing of the surrounding neighborhood of Hebron is a microcosm of the policy of the occupation as a whole.
Israel continues authorizing additional extensions of its colonies in Palestine.
A supporter of Deepak Chopra criticizes Wikipedia's practice in editing the page about him.
Chopra's metaphysical statements are unsupported by what is actually known in quantum physics. They are extraordinary claims, and would require extraordinary proofs. Proofs would entail a systematic series of experiments that Chopra hasn't reported doing. This is pseudoscience, and it is good that Wikipedia makes this clear.
It is also true that patients may die from using "alternative medicine" instead of scientific medicine — Steve Jobs is perhaps the most famous example of this, though we are arguably better off without him — and it is Wikipedia's responsibility to point this out.
However, some of the practices described in the article do seem wrong to me. Two clear examples are those about the Yoga section and the bibliography. That's why I am posting this note.
Real scientists sometimes propose strange metaphysical hypotheses, but they recognize that these are speculative and don't present them as certain truths.
I am disappointed that the article refers to Wikipedia as "open source", thus misrepresenting the meaning of "free" in "free encyclopedia".
Everyone: call on NBC not to have Donald Trump host Saturday Night Live.
Science of the Seance: Why Speaking to Spirits is Talking to Yourself.
It seems unjust to convict Anna Stubblefield of sexual assault, since she believed she had been given positive consent.
Australia's face database lends itself to creeping tyranny, and there is nothing to block the creep.
A Guantanamo prisoner, Ravil Mingazov, wants to join his family in England. A US court found there was no evidence to justify holding him in prison.
US prosecutors systematically exclude blacks from juries using various forms of deceit.
Censorship of criticism of religion afflicts Lebanon too.
A US special forces team in Afghanistan seems to have tortured dozens of prisoners and killed 17 of them.
The UK's snooping bill offers "protections" with loopholes so big that they are hardly meaningful.
The bill is deceptive, presenting so-called safeguards that are not what they appear to be.
But we would be fools to spend it on "adapting" when we could instead spend it on curbing the problem itself.
Curbing global heating is a very profitable investment. The US should go in a lot more.
A research project is trying to breed corals that can cope with heat and acidity.
If the project is successful, it might preserve a few of the hundreds of species of corals. It's better than nothing, but it would be far better to curb our CO2 emissions.
A sculpture in honor of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed by a military dictatorship 20 years ago, was seized by the Nigerian government on account of its political message.
San Francisco voters rejected an initiative to limit how many days per month a room can be rented out.
I am not sure this would have helped the problem of high rents at all, but at best it would have done a tiny bit.
What San Francisco needs is lots and lots of housing construction. But the home owners don't want that.
Bank of America says that half the jobs in the US might be automated in the next 20 years.
Plutocratist rulers will use this as an opportunity to cut wages for the remaining jobs, and will shuffle the surplus humans around until they die.
The are obfuscating the situation by saying that maybe Few had a gun and shot his own son, but this seems to be pure fabrication.
The EU is proposing to take the fingerprints of visitors to the EU.
I think that would mean a lot of countries I would never visit again.
Sanders has introduced legislation to end the federal war on marijuana, leaving the decision about its legality clearly to the states.
This indicates that some aspect of the system needs to be changed.
The EU must stop member states from competing to offer businesses the biggest opportunities for tax dodging.
Murdoch has fired hundreds of employees of the "National Geographic" magazine, which he bought from the National Geographic Society. This suggests that all the worst fears about what he would do it are true.
VW says that some of its cars emit more CO2 in real use than in tests.
The Rohingya minority in Burma have been blocked from voting and from running for office.
The US rejected TransCanada's request to delay consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline. This means that Obama can make the decision, if he does not delay it instead.
Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that growing and smoking marijuana are legal.
It may have been difficult, but if they did it, it was not impossible.
Clinton distorts Sanders' words as an excuse to call him racist and sexist.
To prevent an opposition rally, the Maldives government has declared a "state of emergency".
The leader of the opposition is the legitimately elected president, who was removed in a coup.
Egyptians protested al-Sisi in London, since he has crushed all dissent in Egypt.
Other thugs tried to use this to condemn Black Lives Matter.
Sanders has proposed a bill to close off fossil fuel extraction from US public lands.
The UK has cancelled its push to impose fracking in "Sites of Special Scientific Interest".
That's good, but fracking elsewhere can poison the water for people and farms.
Corruption and peculation are rife in the Vatican.
A Koch brother admits that he expects something in return for his campaign contributions. In fact, he gets plenty for them.
Iran admits sentencing two poets to around 10 years in prison for "insulting religion".
If you want to see a worse insult against Iran's religion, their sentence is one.
If their appeals are not successful, it may be time for an international poetry campaign to insult Iran's religion for its censorship.
British journalists were sentenced to short prison terms for making a documentary in Indonesia that the Indonesian government didn't like. Their local employees might be jailed for years.
In the name of avoiding inconveniences, public protests in Jakarta have been limited to unusual "free speech zones" and required to keep quiet.
Shame on Indonesia for this censorship.
Renewable energy not only helps avoid disaster, it also helps spread the wealth.
Australia says it is unhappy about the multiple human rights violations of Nauru.
If Australia were serious about this, it could easily make Nauru change its policies. I suspect that Australia has encouraged these policies so as to cover up the treatment meted out to the refugees Australia sends to Nauru.
Ohio voters defeated a corrupt proposal to legalize marijuana, perhaps because they didn't like the corrupt aspect.
Traditional beer brewing has ceased to function in Belgium because of global heating.
The prime minister of Romania has resigned because of protests against corruption.
China appears to be underreporting coal consumption by as much as 17%.
Australia's right-wing government is no longer led by a suppository, but it still plans increased dooH niboR. Now it plans a big increase in VAT (a kind of sales tax), which will put the burden mainly on the poor.
What's really called for is an increase in income tax for high earners, or the progressive income tax on businesses that I've proposed.
Students protested today in London demanding a return to gratis university education.
The Taliban have an assassination program for journalists.
The UK plans to ban companies from offering encryption they can't break.
If big companies surrender to this, other countries will make the same demand.
The UK's new attack on privacy, spelled out.
Conservative food use-by dates tend to generate food waste.
I would not blame the supermarkets so much. They will face public criticism when goods don't last to their "use by" dates.
It is no use urging people to learn and remember rules about how long food lasts. The fraction of people who regularly cook is much less nowadays, and those who don't do this won't be motivated to learn them. We will inevitably depend on what the supermarket says.
The EPA concluded that glyphosate is not an endocrine disruptor, but the evidence was provided by Monsanto, which means we can't rely on it.
People who do Google searches for "need money fast" see ads for companies called "lead generators" that put them on a list of potential suckers.
If you do a Google search in a way that doesn't hide who and where you are, including use of Tor, not specifying any account, and blocking cookies, you do seem to be a sucker.
A fanatical Israeli "settler" set fire to Palestinians' olive trees while a team from Rabbis for Human Rights was trying to protect them by serving as witnesses. Official firefighters did not arrive soon, so the president of Rabbis for Human Rights tried to put the fire out himself. The fanatic did not like this and tried to stab him.
The thugs took their time arriving, making sure the fanatic could get away, and then called the Rabbis presence a "provocation" against the fanatics.
I have to wonder if the firemen stayed away because coming to put out this fire would have been considered a "provocation".
Israel has been slowly cutting off the non-central parts of Jerusalem where Arabs live, and those Arabs themselves. Recently it became clear that this is aimed at the goal of cutting them all off.
East Jerusalem has one hospital, so wounded Palestinian protesters all go there. Israel has recently been raiding the hospital and harassing the doctors, even shooting tear gas inside the hospital.
They could kill patients that way.
Qadhafi's forces did not massacre civilians in the Libyan rebel cities they recaptured.
When Clinton warned there would be a massacre in Benghazi, this claim had no support from intelligence.
The intervention was, it seems, intended simply to remove Qadhafi from power. Although for a time it appeared to lead towards democracy, it led to chaotic violence that spread beyond Libya.
I've decided to spell the name "Qadhafi" because that follows the standard transliteration of Arabic. "Gaddafi" is more common, but not correct.
Right-wing US politicians invented the "liberal media" claim in the 1950s. In fact, the US mass media were predominantly right-wing then, before, and since.
Ayatollah Khamenei says that the slogan "Death to America" refers to US policies and arrogance, not the the American nation.
This makes a big difference. If Iran declares a wish for genocide against Americans, we would have to consider Iran an enemy. But when it condemns only how the US government treats and has treated Iran (and possibly some other countries), Americans can easily recognize valid points in that criticism. This provides a basis for patriotic Americans to push for the changes in the US needed for reconciliation with Iran.
The remaining cause of friction between the US and Iran has to do with the Iranian regime's oppression of Iranians. Progressive Americans really care about these injustices. US plutocrats probably don't. If the US were to support Iran totally, that would be wrong, just as it is wrong for the US to support Saudi Arabia and Egypt today.
When Khamanei dies, there may be an opportunity for diplomats to lead both countries to correct their wrongs.
Christiana Figueres, the UN's head climate official, says that China is trying very hard to move to clean energy, while the US is dragging its feet.
In China, the state is a plutocrat. In the US, private plutocrats control the state. As a result, China is capable of making an investment for long-term good, while the US is blocked by the plutocrats.
The UK government is treating help for women facing domestic violence as it is treating renewable energy.
Non-extremist imams in Afghanistan teach the use of birth control.
Russia says it arrested the director of the Ukrainian library because it had a banned book. The deputy director says that the banned book in question was not theirs; that Russian thugs planted it to frame them.
We don't need to ask which one is telling the truth, because the Russian state is wrong either way. It is wrong to ban books.
Companies that try to sell "smart guns" (with access control) in the US have faced violent threats.
The access control in these guns is not DRM, because it is under the control of the gun owner.
Chelsea Manning calls for replacing the FISA court with courts that will make it their mission to resist unreasonable searches.
Limiting access to digital dossiers is not sufficient to protect whistleblowers from being identified. We need to redesign digital systems so that they don't collect digital dossiers, except about court-designated targets.
A thug from near Detroit shows how much violence a thug can get away with in the US. Finally he is being prosecuted.
As UK transfers its spending from poor people to nuclear power plants, more people are homeless. In once city, volunteers have organized to give them breakfast.
That will work for a while, but as the Tories continue cutting further, many of those now giving will join the hungry or the homeless.
As Aneurin Bevan said, the Tories are lower than vermin.
Apple censored an app to display videos presented at the Chaos Communications Congress because it did not censor presenters as Apple demands.
Apple's censorship is wrong, now as always, and designing computers as platforms for censorship should be illegal.
However, it is also wrong to make proprietary apps for the iThing. The Chaos Computer Club should do its streaming on the World Wide Web using a freedom-respecting video format.
TransCanada has tried to delay its application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, hoping to defer the decision to the next president.
Perhaps it is betting the next president will be bought. Or perhaps it's no longer profitable. Obama may still be able to veto it if he wishes.
I often referred to Keystone XL as the "planet-roaster pipeline", because it would enable the export of a decisively dangerous amount of tar sends oil.
This does not mean that avoiding the Keystone XL will make us safe. We need to leave 80% of the world's known fossil fuels in the ground, just to keep global heating to under 2C. There are many fossil fuel projects that could roast our planet, many chances to fail.
In the real World Series, humanity vs plutocrats, humanity is losing. We need to win nearly every game from here on.
Australia's latest horrible idea: passports that are only data in a server.
They call them "cloud passports", using the standard buzzword. There is no "cloud" — only other people's computers.
The passport data would be stored in some computer, but whose? And how will that computer be run?
Storing passports as data in some server will eliminate the problem that tens of thousand of passports are lost or stolen (mostly lost) individually, and introduce the problem that millions could be stolen at once digitally.
I suspect this will also involve a lot more biometric data than now.
An Indian singer faces possible life imprisonment for criticizing the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state.
The chief minister, in India, is the equivalent of a governor in the US.
I don't agree with the singer's position in favor of banning alcohol. I have no idea whether the chief minister profits from sales of alcohol. It is not clear whether the singer accused the chief minister personally, or the state government, of getting profits from alcohol.
What is important is that saying such things must not be a crime.
Soda companies fund "health" organizations to corrupt them so that they won't take action to lead people to drink less soda. They also promote campaigns for people to exercise more, so as to deny space to campaigns to drink less soda.
Soda with sugar leads to obesity, but soda with sugar substitutes is not innocuous; they tend to confuse the brain.
Researchers say that ice in Western Antarctica is irreversibly retreating — there is no way to prevent it from raising sea level by 3 meters, though that will take centuries.
In many countries, the US practices a foreign policy that is wicked (and absurd too).
US citizens: call for prosecution of Exxon for fraudulently denying global heating.
US citizens: call on Pelosi to file a discharge petition for a gun-control bill.
This discharge petition is a step towards reducing the number of discharges of guns.
The rule that visitors can't bring portable phones may be legitimate, but there is no reason to beat them up if they have one. Anyway, doesn't each prisoner have a cell phone?
Pentagon Spent $43m on 'World's Most Expensive Gas Station' in Afghanistan.
There's No Perfect Answer to the Migrant Crisis. We need to change foreign policies that have destabilized so many countries and driven millions to flee.
The replacements for ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons turn out to be powerful greenhouse gases; we need to switch again.
Wang Yam was convicted of murder in the UK by a secret court. Why is the evidence secret? That's a secret too.
Wang Yam is now trying to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, but the government has arbitrarily vetoed this.
A discussion of sex-work trafficking in Wisconsin has been totally confused, because it is based on blindly labeling work by teenagers as "trafficking", and equating their customers to pimps.
Thus, when the article talks of "rescuing" minors from sex work, we can't tell how many have indeed been rescued from pimps, and how many saw their customers arrested and felt compelled to pretend to be grateful.
No good can come from willful blindness about this difference.
Minors that do sex work are called "trafficked" even if they do it by choice and have the option to stop at any time. No wonder that, according to the article, many of the minors that are "rescued" from "trafficking" choose freely to go back to it. Maybe they chose it freely the first time, too.
The article acknowledges that they do this because their other options are very bad. That's where they could use some help. But the state of Wisconsin won't give them that.
His policies are just the thing to force poor people into some sort of underground economy.
The Antarctic ice sheet is gaining thickness inland due to increased precipitation there.
This doesn't alter the observed rise in sea level, so it means the increase is coming from some other unknown source.
SCROTUS and Obama imposed the "sequester" as a "compromise" to cut the US budget in all areas. Now they have a new "compromise" that expands the war budget, while threatening Social Security and Medicare.
Selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, when the low price suggests buying it instead, is sabotage of the treasury. "Buy high, sell low" is stupid, except when (as here) it is worse than stupid. Ultimately, plutocratist politicians betray the country to their paymasters.
SCROTUS stands for Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
In Burma, Buddhist extremists attack women's rights, sex education, and any discussion about sex.
The Buddha would advise those monks to question their attachment to those prejudices.
I expect there is a word in Burmese for "vagina", but it was omitted from the dictionary because it is considered too rude.
Mandatory, organized fun as part of a job is a form of manipulation.
Japanese companies pushed this to extreme lengths. Someone I know, who had no tolerance for alcohol and had to avoid it, had no choice but to work for a government lab, because all companies would require him to get drunk as part of "leisure" activities.
The suppository of all carbon emissions, Tony Abbott, succeeded in cutting renewable energy investment in Australia by almost 1/3.
It isn't certain that 2C of heating is possible. It might be that once warming goes beyond 1.5C (or 1.75, or 1.25, or some such amount), a positive feedback will kick in and push the heating up to 2.5C (or 3C, or 4C, or 5C, or some such amount). We are playing with fire, and the only certainty is that we must stop.
Ukraine's Russia-supported rebels are unhappy now that Putin is dialing down that war.
Haitian President Martelli is using government vehicles painted with Red Cross markings to carry false ballots to rig the election.
Pacific Islands Make Last-Ditch Plea to World Before Paris Climate Change Talks.
They will be inundated, and their people have no recognized right to go anywhere else.
Monitors say that Turkey's election was unfair.
Haiti's US-imposed president Martelli unilaterally gave each minister a golden parachute of $46,000, although the treasury is supposed to be empty.
The whole dirty story about the school thug's violent attack on the orphaned teenager because she would not give her phone to the teacher.
The teacher, the principal, and then the thug, were all defending the principle of total obedience.
The clash of two world-views about wolf-whistles and compliments.
In the posted highlights of the hours of video made by a woman walking in New York City, some men were very pushy and wouldn't take no for an answer. That's clearly harassment. Even some brief remarks were harsh in their attitude. It is unkind to treat someone that way.
However, there is no need to consider kind complements as harassment. This is not a subjective question. You can get offended when someone says "hello", but that doesn't mean we consider your offense justified.
Billionaires including the Koch brothers suppress criticism by donating money to universities, museums, public TV, etc.
The Gates Foundation has done something similar in the field of US education.
For a university to do what Florida State University did, and let donors choose their professors, is a despicable surrender. It would be well for students there to picket the economics department ever year for this.
Ohio proposes to legalize selling marijuana, only for certain specific companies that have invested in advance.
The 'anti-Knowledge' of the elites in Washington goes unchallenged by the established press.
Standardized tests can have the effect of racial profiling.
The English Regent's Exam tests for a real skill, and the people who fail that test really lack that skill. Is that important? That depends on what they are going to do.
I speak French well enough to give speeches, have useful meetings with public officials, and write articles for publication (though they require editing by others). But I could not pass the French equivalent of the English Regent's Exam, because there are many French words and idiomatic expressions I don't know, and many references I would not catch.
Would my failure on that hypothetical test be significant? Is my command of French adequate or not? That depends on what activity I am going to do. For understanding le Canard enchainé, I am hopelessly incompetent; for championing free software in French, I seem reasonably capable.
Likewise, whether someone's failure on the English Regent's Exam is a real shortcoming depends on what you want that person to do. If it is to have sophisticated conversations in English the way an educated native speaker can, it is a real shortcoming and you should look for someone else. For college study in a field other than English, the failure at that exam may not matter.
SXSW cancelled panels about online harassment, giving way to online harassment. In response to criticism, it has brought them back, and added more.
Gamergate Didn't Fade Into Obscurity. We Just Stopped Noticing Its Existence.
It is cowardly to cancel an event because of threats — especially online threats, which are generally nothing but bombast.
A fungus is going to kill 90% of the UK's ash trees. Should genetic modification be used to make ash trees that can survive the fungus?
It seems plausible to me. These trees won't be fed to people, and pesticide won't be used on them; that eliminates two of the main issues. Furthermore, since the wild type is being wiped out anyway, there is no need to be concerned that it will be contaminated by the inserted gene.
Hurrah for Female Bosses, But Let's Not Forget Their Cleaners.
I would go further. What matters about the people corporate boardrooms is not their gender, but that they have too much power and get too much money. The poorly-paid female employees, and male employees too, deserve a higher wage.
The state can learn a lot about you from your phone call metadata.
6 Spooky Ways Local Law Enforcement Is Watching You.
I think we must prohibit several of these systems.
Upcoming UN Climate Summit Can't Overlook China's Support of Global Coal Power.
This is why they all deserve the name of "thugs". Anyone in Albuquerque who claims the honorable title of "police officer" should validate that claim by publicly denouncing these retaliation campaigns and affirming that thugs shouldn't get away with murder.
Moving your money out of the big Wall Street banks can be 20 times as effective as it appears.
The Library of Congress approved several specific three-year exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition on breaking DRM (digital restrictions management).
However, since the exemptions do not allow distributing the means to actually do so, they may in some cases be impossible to take advantage of.
The campaigns for these exemptions are a harmful distraction which saps energy from what we really need: to repeal what the DMCA says about DRM. It should be a crime to make systems with DRM.
The article uses the ill-advised term "digital locks" to refer to digital restrictions mechanisms. See the explanation of why that term is a bad analogy, and please join me in not using it.
The Corporations United (*) decision allows companies to tell their employees how to vote, and one big investor is trying to do this through all the companies he invests in.
This shows why we need a constitutional amendment that denies across the board that corporations are entitled to human rights — not just in regard to campaign spending.
* The front group used the misleading term "Citizens United"; there is no reason for us to join it in misleading people about what it represented.
Republicans in several state legislatures have passed laws to pre-empt cities from regulating areas such as minimum wage and fracking; and they remove local voter initiatives from the ballot, so that the city cannot challenge the validity of the state's pre-emption.
A German investigation has determined that the NSA spied pervasively on the German government.
Intellectual freedom in in the UK is threatened by the right-wing state and by left-wing students.
Now that the Somali pirates have been suppressed, illegal foreign fishing boats have returned to the area.
Shaker Aamer suffers from PTSD and will need years of treatment.
US citizens: insist that BP get no tax break from its damage payments.
US citizens: call on Obama to adopt the People's Climate Test.
US citizens: call on the Senate to maintain the rules for labeling meat by country of origin.
Indonesia's forest fires, a scheme for deforestation, have made half a million people sick in the region.
Four more secularist publishers and writers have been attacked in Bangladesh.
Obama said he has become disenchanted with standardized tests, and proposes a limit on them — but not a real reduction.
The issue is not how many hours students spend taking the tests, but how much their studies are shaped around the tests, and how the tests are used. Bigger policy changes are needed.
The FBI director admits he has no objective basis for claiming that Black Lives Matter protests caused a recent increase in crime. But he will blame them anyway.
He also blames the fact that people can use videos to demonstrate the crimes that thugs commit. His argument is that anything that makes thugs hesitate to beat people up and lie about it constitutes an impediment to their work.
Indonesia's Forest Fires Threaten a Third of World's Wild Orangutans.
The UK refused to investigate whether "sanctions" against the unemployed are achieving any of their supposed purposes.
Israeli troops told Palestinians: "Throw stones and we will hit you with gas until you all die — the youth, the children, the old people…You will all die. We will not leave any of you alive."
Palestinians are already being killed regularly by tear gas.
Money Flooding State Court Elections Threatens the Promise of Equal Justice.
How presidential candidates stand on the US options in Syria, which all have major drawbacks.
The article has one section entitled "'Safe zones' and special forces", but the section discusses only the safe zones, not special forces.
Women in Ireland and Northern Ireland have to borrow money so they can travel to England to get an abortion.
The way to end the stigma placed in Ireland on abortion is for women to talk about their abortions unapologetically. It is imperative for women in Ireland to stop acting ashamed.
Al-Sisi offers Britain the sort of tyrant that Britain is accustomed to doing business with.
"I got 643 days of torture [in Egypt]. My tormentor gets Cameron's red carpet."
Parts of the US no longer have tap water that is safe to drink.
Lesbians occasionally bear, like blacks, the brunt of thugs' persecution.
Transparency for the State, Privacy for the Rest of Us.
Diets generally do not achieve much weight loss.
Low-fat diets are the least effective, but perhaps that is because low-fat food products have added sugar.
Sanders calls for ending the death penalty, legalizing marijuana, reducing incarceration, and helping ex-cons get back into society.
The thug's vicious attack on a sitting high school girl is the extreme example of a systematic repression imposed in US public schools generally. Any student can be punished or suspended for minor or even fantasy "wrongs", but black students generally face worse treatment.
Suspension from school is extremely frequent: high schools suspend, each year, almost as many students as they graduate. Smaller punishments are probably far more frequent.
This system resembles a training program for living in an occupied country, and students could understand it as such. The thugs in the schools are soldiers in the occupying army, and the school officials are the local collaborators, quislings (that's why they order quizzes).
The teachers are mostly sincere, trying to provide what education they can under the occupation which they cannot defy, but that is easier said than done.
The goal is to make trouble for the occupation without letting the soldiers figure out who did it or how.
Obama is sending a contingent of US special forces to assist the Syrian Kurds.
This seems like a good idea to me. A limited amount of help for the Kurds could make a big difference for them in fighting PISSI, while avoiding the harm that a large US intervention force would do.
Obama should ask Congress for approval of the US intervention against PISSI. I expect he would easily get approval. The point is to maintain the system of checks and balances.
A black man is suspected of setting fire to churches near Ferguson.
Uri Avnery says: in blaming the holocaust on a factional Palestinian leader, Netanyahu went beyond the realm of dishonesty and manipulation, into the realm of lunacy.
Australia will give pregnant refugee Abyan another chance to get an abortion.
Even Sanders goes along with official US foreign policy lies some of the time.
Chavez won elections honestly, but his successor, Maduro, represses the opposition increasingly as it grows in strength.
Sanders doesn't do everything right, but he's a lot better even on foreign policy issues than the other candidates.
Sara Khan tries to convince British Muslim girls to reject extremism because it is a form of patriarchy.
I strongly dislike religious extremism, in any religion, even in the Church of Emacs. However, people have a right to profess those views, and it is wrong to prohibit them. The UK government has trashed so many human rights already that I expect the worst.
A scientific review finds that experiments demonstrate that neonicotinoids harm bees, but it is not yet proved that they are responsible for colony collapse.
Since bees are crucial to agriculture, and to the survival of many species of plants, we can't afford to risk it.
The UK government is about to demand ISPs record everyone's browsing history.
An NFL team wants to drain St Louis of millions for a new stadium; a movement of citizens opposes the fans.
NFL teams are businesses. It's too bad so many Americans direct their loyalty at businesses.
Major Indian historians have condemned the "climate of intolerance" that encourages violence and censorship of dissent from Hindu nationalist ideology and myths.
UK students will protest to oppose the adoption of a US-style market-dominated university system.
Shaker Aamer has been released from Guantanamo and has returned to Britain.
Rebellious officials in the Pentagon delayed his release for 5 years by refusing to let him go back to the UK.
He is going to sue the British government for complicity in his imprisonment and torture.
He certainly deserves compensation, but if the UK government settles the case to avoid exposure of its wrongs, that will not do justice.
"Unarmed civilian protection" persuades armed groups in South Sudan to refrain from violence, at least some of the time.
Assad's forces fired missiles at a market and killed at least 40 people. I would expect most of them were civilians.
Indonesia Is Burning. So Why Is the World Looking Away?
Criminalizing criticism of officials threatens democracy in Malaysia.
Democracy in Malaysia was never very strong, which makes it even more vulnerable now.
A large forest fire is burning in the Amazon "rainforest", and has been burning for two months. This suggests o me that there is not as much rain as there normally used to be.
Large parts of Brazil have suffered from an unprecedented drought.
Global heating could play some role in this, but the cutting down of much of the forests are responsible for both.
The UN says that current carbon pledges will probably keep global heating to under 3C.
That is still taking too big a risk. Even the 2C target is somewhat arbitrary, since we don't know it will avoid disaster (or positive-feedback tipping points that would push warming further).
In addition, without an enforcement mechanism, we can't be confident all the countries will carry out their unilateral pledges.
Various organizations demand internet censorship in US universities to eliminate racist statements and insults.
I find some of those statements disgusting — others are merely foolish — but censorship is far more disgusting.
The scariest thing is that this sort of censorship has already become deeply implanted in many otherwise free countries. And in some of them, such as France and the UK, it is spreading to other kinds of censorship.
Pennsylvania has jailed a man for telling children on the street that he was on the way to a cabin in the woods.
A paranoid US parent, who has probably heard exaggerated stories about the nearly nonexistent "stranger danger", reported this as suspicious.
Perhaps thugs regarded the man as dangerous because he is autistic and could not rebut the suspicion.
Haiti's "president" Martelly is trying to impose a successor by rigging the election.
The US imposed Martelly through blatant contempt for the Haitian electoral system.
Following Guber, a new service matches up PR companies with piecework "journalists" that will take pay to write their press releases into "news articles".
The Gulf of Maine is now too warm for cod to live there.
This area of the sea used to be a major cod fishery, though they were mostly wiped out by overfishing a few decades ago. Massachusetts must now replace the Sacred Cod with Sacred Car.
Challenging the NSA to say how many Americans it snoops on as collateral damage.
The European Parliament voted symbolically in favor of offering asylum to Edward Snowden. It has no power to actually do this, but it is good to endorse his cause so visibly.
I think the US should welcome Snowden home with a medal.
Deforestation "May Have Started West Africa's Ebola Outbreak".
In Russia, everything about the Soviet Union is being sentimentalized, even prison camps and executions.
California has limited solitary confinement in prisons, but it is still done in jails, where many of the inmates have not been convicted of a crime. Sometimes it is done "for their protection".
China has relaxed the one-child policy, allowing all families to have two children.
This policy has done tremendous good for the Chinese people, and for the world as a whole. Perhaps China has gone through the demographic transition and the policy is not needed any more. If so, that's nice, and partly the consequence of having that policy.
The "demographic catastrophe" is an exaggeration. If there is a shortage of labor in China, factories can move to India, which has plenty of poor people who could use jobs.
With modern medical care, old people who are still well can delay their retirement. If there is truly a shortage of labor in China, those older workers can fill the gap. That won't cause harm.
The situation where delaying people's retirement is unjustified is when there are too few jobs, as in the US. In these circumstances, requiring old people to keep working forces younger people into unemployment.
As for men that can't find female mates, they should learn to share.
If the US reduces its military spending, what other related policy changes should it make?
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas says that corporate-supremacy treaties such as the TPP contradict the UN charter. This could be used to argue that parts of them are void.
The Tories express open contempt for Britons that go hungry, and the food banks that help them when the state will not.
Aneurin Bevan had it right: the Tories are lower than vermin.
I hope they are sentenced to experience the same hunger, some day. But not their children.
The Koch brothers are running a campaign in Wisconsin for laws to permit more corruption.
Everyone: call on the Richland schools
change the practices hat put students in danger from thugs in their schools.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Here's the historical background of these practices, which created today's school-to-prison pipeline.
Everyone: call on the European Commission to cancel its approval of a new neonicotinoid pesticide, sulfoxaflor.
Thousands of Afghans flee each day, trying to get to Europe. They fear the Taliban will win.
If all of them joined militias to fight the Taliban, they would defeat it. But the government does not inspire that kind of loyalty.
Reportedly North Korea has sent 50,000 people as forced laborers to foreign countries, including well-known tyrannies, but also Poland.
How could this be occurring in Poland, a part of the EU?
The director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, in Moscow, has been arrested because the library has banned books.
Poachers that kill mammals in Africa kill vultures too. The lack of vultures can cause disaster.
Indonesia is temporarily the biggest CO2 emitter due to large forest fires that were intentionally set for the purpose of deforestation.
The motive for the deforestation is to produce palm oil.
The deepest lesson here is that if we don't take strong measures, there will be less and less room for anything but human activities to survive, until eventually global heating destroys civilization. Then a large fraction of the human population will die, and the rest will swelter in poverty.
The history of Selahattin Demirtas and the HD Party.
Erdogan's men blame the two most notorious bombings of Kurds on PISSI, and this could be true, but it doesn't mean Erdogan's men were not involved. Turkey under Erdogan has given PISSI considerable support, including allowing free passage to jihadi recruits.
Erdogan's censorship has convinced most of the public that the Kurds carried out the bombing.
A refugee in Australia hanged himself because he feared being deported.
UK thugs seized the laptop of a BBC journalist who was interviewing people in PISSI.
The US could deal with its national debt by making a few trillion-dollar platinum coins.
If the US expanded its money supply too far, whether this way or via debt as it currently does, eventually that would cause high inflation. But there is a substantial way to go before that happens.
In 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, a US nuclear missile team received erroneous orders to launch. The commander of that team saw something fishy and verified they were sent by mistake, thus averting a nuclear war.
There have been many other near escapes, including that of the bombs that could easily have detonated when they fell over the US.
We can't rely on lucking out every time, so we can't regard the current nuclear deterrent situation as safe.
London protester Shao Jiang will face no charges.
The minister in charge of thugs refused to comment on the arrest of Shao Jiang, saying that to do so would interfere with the "investigation". This is obvious bullshit for two reasons; but now that there is no more "investigation", what excuse will he give?
Bernie Sanders proposes to remove marijuana from Schedule I, so that states could legalize it and it could easily be prescribed.
Clinton remains a militarist, and wants more US intervention in Syria now.
Now the UK is destroying public libraries.
Survivors report two massacres committed by Mexican thugs.
"When Isis blew up three captives tied to the Temple of Baalshamin's columns, it proved the inseparability of violence against art and violence against humans."
For one thing, activists wouldn't be using the term "climate change", which was imposed by political supporters of Big Oil precisely because it is vague and doesn't clearly present the danger.
The UK will require large companies to publish the policies they use to avoid buying from firms that use slave labor.
This will not automatically end the problem, since these policies may have clever loopholes and may not really be carried out. Or they may be null. Nonetheless, this may help.
It would be more effective to prohibit the importation of goods made with slave labor.
David Nutt: Why are drugs illegal?
David Nutt was a scientist advisor to the UK government about drug policy.
It is talking about prosecuting more newspapers after the election.
Large animals' dung fertilizes plants; by killing them off, humans have damaged ecosystems.
Arguing that it is a mistake to try to help Eritreans to remain in Eritria, because the state is too oppressive.
What should we do in such situations? There is the obvious option of invading, but how can we tell if that would make things worse?
I am not sure if this really applies to Singapore, because people live and work in air conditioned areas there.
US citizens: call for a terrorism investigation into the series of attacks against Planned Parenthood facilities.
A dozen US thugs have been prosecuted this year, yet the proportion of deaths leading to charges remains small.
Few of the thugs that are prosecuted are convicted.
The UK seems to make a much firmer line towards thugs that commit crimes.
Netanyahu says he intends to continue Israel's occupation of Palestine indefinitely.
By rejecting both an independent state of Palestine and equal rights in Israel for Palestinians, he chooses permanent oppression, and no longer even hides it.
Palestinians have no partner for peace, so they are turning towards the idea of a competition of birthrates.
The ultra-orthodox Israelis and the right-wing fanatics are competing back, bringing the prospect of an overpopulated country which can't survive at all, especially if global heating goes to work.
Chevron's US case against Ecuador (to avoid paying the damages Chevron owes for pollution from oil wells) was based on one corrupt witness, a former judge in Ecuador, who has now testified that Chevron paid him to lie.
It appears that the US judge that presided over the trial split hairs so as to find in Chevron's favor despite the untrustworthiness of this witness.
I wonder what convinced him to do that.
The Pentagon is very concerned that global heating could start more wars in the near future.
The US must give all ex-cons legal aid in getting over the barrier separating them from a life of non-crime.
While I agree, I think we need to do much more. Mere legal aid won't enable ex-cons to have an option other than stealing food.
London thugs have not told protester Shao Jiang and his wife what "conspiracy" they suspect him of.
Ben Carson wants to abolish Medicare and Medicaid. He would replace these with "health savings accounts", which only America's shrinking middle class could afford to put money in.
He also compares women that want abortions to slave owners.
France has made it a crime to advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. France has adopted the bogus position that this constitutes anti-semitism. (In fact, the campaign explicitly rejects the idea of boycotting Israeli individuals, let alone Jews in general.)
You can't find a clearer form of political repression than that.
As it happens, France still permits advocating sanctions against any other country, but that does not alter the principle at stake here.
Director Quentin Tarantino joined a protest against thug murders, saying "I'm on the side of the murdered." New York thugs respond by calling for a boycott of his films.
What is notable here is the way thugs organize to attack anyone that doesn't bend over backwards to overlook their violence.
I recommend staying away from Tarantino's films, because I find the (fortunately fictional) violence in them hard to bear.
Meta-analyses of tests of antidepressants have been pervasively corrupted by influence of big pharma companies, and that affects their results.
Senate Rejects All CISA Amendments Designed To Protect Privacy, Reiterating That It's A Surveillance Bill.
A Venezuelan prosecutor says that the government planned to prosecute Leopoldo Lopez before his supposed crime was supposedly committed.
The thug that shot Zachary Hammond will not face charges even though video contradicted his statements about the reason.
I Get Why Women Are Angry — But I Still Want to Listen to Germaine Greer.
A conclusive experiment shows that sugar is much worse for children's health than the equal number of calories from other sources.
This argues for imposing a tax on sugary drinks.
Note that sugar substitutes are also bad for people.
US courts used flimsy excuses to deny justice in cases about torture and massive surveillance.
The Paris conference has given up on establishing a global carbon price. It seems they are not even thinking about the carbon tax that we really need.
The European Parliament adopted a "network neutrality" directive that is too weak and vague to do much good.
Obama is planning to increase US ground combat against PISSI.
US troops cannot defeat PISSI on the ground, just as they could not defeat the Sunni resistance in Iraq in the last decade. They can only suppress it locally temporarily.
However, he is also willing to include Iran in negotiations about the future of Syria.
This might unblock some log jam.
Texas raids on Planned Parenthood are collecting patients' health records.
I suppose that's because they have short time horizons. The danger of global heating will grow across decades, but unless you're living in certain drought areas, the chances it will hurt you in the US in the next few years are small.
A student who threw a baby carrot at a teacher faces criminal charges.
This is the school-to-prison pipeline at work.
US Admiral Losey punished subordinates for no reason, but his punishment is a promotion.
CEOs get too much credit (and blame) for a company's success (or failure). In 70% of the cases, the results were due to chance.
The Obama regime campaigns against debt relief for US students.
Such complexity provides many places for fraud to hide, so I suggest regulating banks by limiting them to the simpler practices of the past.
The UK's extremist government plans to take children away from their parents, if the parents are suspected of possibly radicalizing them in the future. This will be done based on secret evidence that the parents cannot challenge.
US companies have found a way to write their own rules for workers' compensation, which enables them to pay less or even nothing to workers that are injured.
A Saudi prince, accused of rape by his domestic servants, has inexplicably not been charged with rape.
One must suspect political influence was brought to bear.
Companies always argue that they will make less money if we don't give them more and more and more leeway.
He sees the same factors that have made many Americans cynical, but instead of responding with defeatism, he calls on Americans to do what is required to overcome them. Americans, do it!
Society has done little to adapt to the global heating of the past 50 years or reduce the harm it has done to productivity.
Saudi bombs destroyed an MSF hospital in Yemen. The article does not tell us whether the attack was an accident.
Over 90% of the people killed by this bombing campaign — and by the other explosive weapons of both sides — are civilians.
Since this bombing campaign is endorsed and supported by the US, the US is indirectly responsible. If the US and Saudi Arabia had not launched this campaign, the Houthis would have won the war in Yemen and there would be less fighting there now — perhaps none.
Local and foreign activists have blocked construction of a dam in Cambodia that would have harmed endangered species.
UK opposition leaders call for cancellation of the invitation for al-Sisi to visit the UK.
Indonesia is returning to the censorship of the Suharto era, under the influence of the military and Islamists.
An Indonesian exile was deported to Sweden for trying to visit the mass grave of his family, slaughtered in the massacre of 50 years ago. Assuming he was an Indonesian citizen who fled, I wonder on what excuse they could deport him from Indonesia. Did Indonesia revoke his citizenship when it was unable to murder him?
When Is Saving a Life 'Too Much Medicine'? This Is a Lifelong Test for Doctors.
It seems to me that Davey died as a person long before he arrived in the hospital. His wife must have spent some time taking care of a zombie (though not dangerous like fictional ones) because she couldn't bear to recognize that that's what he had become.
I saw my father once after he had got Alzheimer's, and he could barely recognize me. I concluded that he was dead. It was painful to see him that way, but since he was not going to remember it, it wasn't doing him any good; and didn't mean anything to me except to show me that he was dead. I missed him but there was no point visiting his occasionally walking corpse.
Although the anti-austerity parties have a majority in Parliament, Portugal's president asked the right wing party to form a government (which it can't possibly succeed at).
A thug, apparently with a chip on his shoulder, grabbed a high school student and manhandled her when she did not obey his demand for her to leave her desk.
This is the school-to-prison pipeline at work.
What was the thug doing in the school? Was there any legitimate reason for him to be present there?
Sanders explains the need for postal banking in the US.
Egypt Arrests Three Journalists in Five Days, Whereabouts of Two Unknown.
A heating-denialist congressman wants to investigate NOAA's emails about calibrating older and newer temperature measurements.
Top German Official (or rather his computer) Infected by Highly Advanced Spy Trojan with NSA Ties.
It is too late for "building bridges" between Israel and Palestine to do any good. Substituting that for pressure is misguided.
I used to try to invite Israelis and Palestinians to work together on free software, hoping this would aid the cause of peace. But Israel since 2000 has become too right-wing for anything like this to help.
The biggest hurricane ever seen in the western hemisphere was the result of El Nino piled on global heating.
El Ninos come and go, but we are driving the base temperature they rest on steadily upward. In a few decades, the current record sea temperature will be incredibly low for this time of the year.
More evidence suggests that the US military knew the target was an active MSF hospital.
Anti-austerity parties have won a majority in Portugal's parliament.
Netanyahu's bizarre gaffe — scanning the horizon with binoculars without removing the lens caps — shows the dishonesty of his character.
Journalists are being repressed heavily in Yemen.
US citizens: call for a Democratic presidential debate about Black Lives Matter.
US citizens: call for a special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture.
Everyone (but particularly Jews and those of Jewish descent):
reject the Jewish
National Fund, which funds land-grabbing and practices housing
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: call on Democratic senators to stand firm against the DARK Act.
Facebook Quietly Lobbying for CISA While Being Shielded by Trade Associations.
The Tories plan to permit fracking in areas important to water supply and biodiversity.
Calling for a world-wide ban on expansion of coal mining.
Higher Education [in the US]: Capitalism At Its Most Despicable.
The World Health Organization warns that bacon, sausages and ham are carcinogenic.
Although there is strong evidence that they sometimes cause cancer, the magnitude of the risk is much less than the danger of smoking.
The US says that Russian submarines are patrolling intensely around undersea communication cables.
This may be true, but I doubt that Russia is interested in cutting these cables. What would be the point of doing so? That would alienate the whole world, not just the US.
Standard intelligence strategy is, "Don't block the enemy's communication, listen to them." We already know that the NSA taps cables; I suppose Russia is looking for ways to do likewise.
With the high rents in London, people can't even afford private beds.
Protesters have blocked a large UK coal mine owned by a global heating denialist.
Morocco is building large solar-thermal electric plants that can keep producing electricity for hours after sundown.
The idea of exporting solar electricity from Morocco to Saudi Arabia seems silly to me, simply because it would be more efficient to site the solar generators in Saudi Arabia than to transmit the electricity there from afar. Can the electricity be used to condense water out of the air and grow plants?
South Park explains gentrification.
Once in India I stayed in a hotel called South Park. Apparently the TV show was not known there. There is also a chain of fine Bengali restaurants in India called "Oh! Calcutta!". The people who work there do not know about either the theater piece or the painting that made the name notorious. It was a lot of fun giving them copies of the painting and the publicity photo of the theater piece.
This is among the most extreme of the many injustices of Islamic law, which generally displays contempt for human rights, especially those of women.
The background of Sunday's election in Haiti.
The US government argues, in court, that Apple is obliged to make iThings decrypt users' data because Apple claims it owns the software running in them.
In Wisconsin, many government searches were carried out ordering the targets not to tell anyone, not even their lawyers.
Some of these searches appear to have been part of the investigation of Governor Walker for campaign finance violation. It was correct to investigate them, but people should not have been told not to tell their lawyers about it.
The US government hinted that Israel was using excessive force against Palestinian protesters, but timidly pulled back after a reprimand from Netanyahu.
Alarm Grows over Summary Executions of Palestinians.
Sometimes it is necessary to shoot a person who is trying to kill others. The problem is that Israeli troops do this whether or not it is necessary, even to innocent victims.
Netanyahu is trying to push Palestinians to use violence because that makes it easy to put them in the wrong. Israelis can get away with violence against Palestinians, by the state and by groups of fanatics, but the world condemns all Palestinians when some of them are violent.
Poverty today is not a natural problem — it results from plutocratic policies that concentrate wealth.
Europe Is Becoming an Undemocratic Continent Where Force Matters More Than Law.
As cruel policies make more Britons homeless, US-style prohibitions on sleeping are following.
The article says that this ban would only apply to people who are offered a place to sleep and refuse it. Not many homeless people would refuse a decent place to sleep, so why bother to prohibit this? There has got to be some sort of catch in it.
Putin directly controls nearly all Russian media, the few exceptions being foreign-owned, and Putin is now getting rid of those.
New Pun: "The dependable friend"
US citizens: tell Obama to stop farting around and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.
Everyone: call on McDonald's to stop the McTeachers Nights where school teachers teach bad eating habits to their students.
Everyone: call on Standard Chartered not to lend money to Felda, which uses slave labor.
The president of the National Black Police Association has direct experience with how UK thugs assume blacks are criminals.
An old radioactive waste dump in Nevada caught fire.
The UK Gets Set to Welcome Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy.
Why Syrian refugees increasingly try to get to Europe.
Congress threatens to prohibit security research into flaws in car software.
The article fails to mention the car owner, but that person should also be allowed to study and change the software in the car.
Here are recommendations for changing the bill.
It is not easy to design car-to-car communication systems that don't allow tracking all the cars.
Some US thug officials want to send fewer criminals (and non-criminals) to prison.
The US-backed destruction of Yemen could motivate lots more bitter young men to fight for PISSI in the same way.
Arguing that the disintegration of Libya was inevitable once Ghadhafi was overthrown.
This may have been true — but the article overlooks the point that the west did not start the civil war in Libya. Libyans did that. The western intervention initially prevented Ghadhafi from massacring the rebels of Benghazi, then was redirected toward defeating him.
You can argue that Libya would be better off today if Ghadhafi had reimposed his power and killed the rebels. The author of the article would probably assert that. I can't say it wasn't true. However, we must be skeptical of the hindsight that claims something was predictable.
The Liberal Party in Canada probably has no intention of giving Canada the progressive vision it appeared to promise, but perhaps Canadians can pressure it to do so.
There is nothing to lose by trying.
The FCC has slashed the cost of interstate phone calls for prisoners by a factor of as much as 100. They remain shockingly expensive by modern standards.
Meanwhile, gouging is still allowed on phone calls within a state.
What Putin says appears much nastier when mistranslated.
US troops joined with Kurds to rescue Kurdish fighters captured by PISSI.
The rescue is a good outcome, and I hope the US will cooperate increasingly with the peshmerga. However, I hope this does not mean the start of a continuing US ground intervention.
If Jesus lived in the UK today, he's be punished for "extremism".
Christians have committed plenty of extremist oppression, when they have political power, but I am not sure that can be blamed on Jesus, given that we know little about what he actually said and did. The earliest documents were written many decades after he died.
Palau is creating a giant protected marine area.
Russia has bombed three hospitals in Syria, so far.
The EU's program to stop import of timber from illegal logging is not working.
Why genetic engineering is not much like software development.
Fight Climate Change for Global Stability, Say US Defence And Diplomacy Leaders.
The EPA disregarded medical advice and proposed limits for ozone that are too high to avoid causing health problems.
US citizens: Tell the Securities and Exchange Commission: Don't help Wall Street hide the truth from investors.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose CISA.
Everyone: call on the New York Times to stop dehumanizing Palestinians and cease covering the Israeli-Palestinian violence in a one-sided way.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the DARK Act.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Indonesia's repression of West Papua includes frequent rapes of the indigenous women.
As a practical matter, journalists are still effectively excluded.
The US Border Patrol operates checkpoints inside US territory as an arbitrary and irresponsible "stop and frisk" scheme, which appears to be intended to catch drugs rather than unauthorized aliens. And it does not keep proper records of what it does.
If they want to search your car, all they need to do is tell the "drug-sniffing dog" to act as if it had sniffed some drugs.
The International Energy Agency is about to publish a report lauding falsified "benefits of coal", as a "disinformation tool".
To save money, companies propose to "care for" old people with robots and no human contact — while spying on and managing their every move.
Google can easily manipulate election outcomes through search results.
It might be doing so without anyone's intentionally trying.
The UK systematically sabotages protests by arresting protesters and giving them bail conditions barring them from future protests.
South African students protested massively and won roll-back of a tuition fees increase.
Under US government pressure, professors are being fired for academic discussion of issues relating to sex.
The Democratic National Committee is now giving lobbyists privileged participation in next year's convention.
Paul Ryan, hypocrite and bullshit artist, often gets the press to repeat his claims uncritically.
Oil companies in Colombia work with the paramilitares to kidnap and torture union organizers.
Leaked Map Reveals Big Gas Eyeing Most Biodiverse Place on Earth.
Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia take a risk they will be worked to death.
Lego refused to sell in bulk to Ai Weiwei for an art project.
Fortunately, others have offered to give him the Lego pieces he needs for that art work.
Shame on Lego for censorship.
Our Chance to Defeat Polio Once And for All.
Iranian exile Shappi Khorsandi talks about growing up in London and worrying that her father would be assassinated.
Shao Jiang protested at Tiananmen Square, then fled to Britain. UK thugs raided his house, apparently because he protested the visit of Chinese strongman Xi Jinping.
He was arrested too, just for holding a sign. Protesters who held Tibetan flags to protest Xi Jinping's visit to London were also violently arrested.
Looks like Britain has a new "special relationship". Will Cameron become Xi's poodle?
McKenzie says they picked her out because of her organizing role in the campaign.
TTIP: EU Negotiators Appear to Break Environmental Pledge in Leaked Draft.
The New York Times and Washington Post are Ignoring Civilians Killed by US Drone Strikes.
This is an illustration of why "you must get the subject's permission" is not good enough to protect privacy.
Large fires in Indonesia are deliberately started in order to eliminate rainforests to make room for palm oil plantations.
This not only causes respiratory illness, even in Singapore and Malaysia; it also emits so much CO2 that it is globally significant.
This is just a first step, since we can't take for granted that companies will keep their promises.
Pro-Israeli fanatics attacked a journalist in Paris.
Iceland has convicted the executives of failed banks for their frauds, and sentenced them to prison.
Uri Avnery reports on how Israel provoked Palestinians to the string of knife attacks, and how Israelis lynched an innocent man in response to one of them.
The Best Lesson China Could Teach Europe: How to Play the Long Game.
Although democracy is pretty sick in Europe and the US, there remains much more than in China.
A US court quashed the ACLU's lawsuit against NSA's massive surveillance on the grounds that the NSA doesn't admit it does the massive surveillance.
US government money is handed to charter schools (privatized "public schools") with weak supervision. Millions have gone to schools that never even opened.
US government restrictions are blocking research into the effects of marijuana.
Paul Ryan wants to abolish large parts of the US government — the parts that help people rather than killing people.
Second-hand smoke seems to encourage tooth decay in babies.
A giant Chinese arse visits London.
In most US states, having any sort of connection with a crime, in the course of which someone else kills someone, can get you convicted of murder.
This seems thoroughly unjust in most cases.
Twitter is going to help companies track the movements, actions and views of people talking about their products.
Perhaps this is part of why Twitter has been making trouble for users that try to connect through Tor so as not to reveal where they are.
Twitter will not show those companies the movements of individuals, but it will have to show those to the US government.
The parents of Furkan Dogan, who was killed when Israeli troops attacked a Gaza aid boat, have sued then-minister-in-charge Ehud Barak.
The best temperature for economic productivity is 13C. As the average temperature rises above that, productivity goes down.
The US and China are at that peak now, so global heating will harm productivity in both. However, places that are already hotter will suffer a bigger decline.
UN help has enabled Guatemala to make its formerly corrupt and useless judicial system work honestly.
When spring is warm, oak trees produce fewer acorns.
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board members used private email accounts (which was lawful) while trying to investigate Governor Walker, because they couldn't trust their state email accounts not to be monitored by his men.
Having arbitrarily quashed the investigation (apparently because Walker was guilty), Walker's Republican allies in the legislature are citing this as an excuse to eliminate the Government Accountability Board.
No constitutional arrangements are strong enough to prevent shameless scoundrels from destroying them.
US citizens: call on the USDA to reject GMO wheat.
Everyone: call on Justin Trudeau to cancel Canada's purchase of the overpriced and troublesome F-35 fighter.
Everyone: call for a special prosecutor for the killing of Tamir Rice.
Germany has instituted phone and internet data retention again. The new retention is shorter and has safeguards that might protect against the danger. However, it may also criminalize receiving leaked information from whistleblowers.
There is no need to point to Scandinavia as a model for democratic socialism.
The ideas have been advocated in the US for centuries.
Fanatical Muslims in Aceh, Indonesia, attacked a Protestant church, as part of a campaign to dismantle them.
Shari'a law tramples human rights. It hits women especially hard, but it hits men also. It is an inexcusable injustice.
Global heating endangers snow leopards: the snow they blend in with is melting.
A Tory voter suppression scheme may be thwarted.
Ben Carson wants the US government to censor universities to resist social pressure for political correct speech.
Stephan Templ reminded Austria about properties confiscated from Austrian Jews by Nazis; the state seems to have punished him by convicting him of a theoretical crime that didn't really occur.
Proposing an international force to protect Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
The UK says it will give unemployed people 14 days to argue against a fine before imposing the fine.
This change may make the system less cruel, but it may still run people ragged.
The Houthis are filtering the internet in Yemen.
I suppose that their main enemy, Saudi Arabia, filters the internet too.
A company has found a way to sell a generic replacement for Daraprim and undercut Shkreli's gouging price.
The Tories promised extra money to the UK's NHS, taking it from public health services. Cutting them will put extra burden on the NHS and cancel out the benefit.
The International Energy Agency projects future demand for fossil fuels which are systematically exaggerated. Fossil fuel companies use these figures to influence government policies.
The Tories are killing off the UK's booming renewable energy sector.
Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act because of provisions that would interfere with closing Guantanamo prison.
We often use "Guantanamo prison" as a stand-in for the unjust and un-American practice of imprisonment without trial. It is not clear whether, when Obama talks about "closing Guantanamo prison", he means ending imprisonment without trial, or just moving it elsewhere.
As the UK fawns on China's repressive rulers, one British lawyer confronted participants in the expensive support rally that Chinese officials organized in London.
If you want to see the video, please don't let it lead you to run nonfree software (Flash or JS code) or be used by Facebook.
A UN special rapporteur takes governments including the US to task for demonizing whistleblowers they ought to protect.
Just after University of Washington Center for Human Rights sued the CIA about a possibly US-supported massacre in El Salvador, someone stole its computer which held testimony from survivors of the massacre.
The article does not say whether they had a backup copy elsewhere. They are afraid that the stolen data could be used for reprisals. It is too bad they did not encrypt the data with GPG.
They did have backups, but apparently did not keep the files encrypted.
Australia's "moral case for coal" was developed by a PR flack for the Koch brothers as a last-ditch attempt to keep humanity headed towards maximal climate mayhem.
Prison for Exxon Execs? Lawmakers Seek Probe of Oil Giant for Hiding Knowledge of Climate Change.
Government pressure forced a writers' festival in Bali to cancel events concerning the massacre of a million Indonesians in 1965.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors should check their child patients for signs of hunger.
This is the result of the plutocratist policies that have spread poverty in the US.
In Papua New Guinea, women accused of being witches are tortured, sometimes to death.
As food banks step in to fill increasing gaps in the UK's welfare system, the state dumps more of the poor onto them.
The ACLU is suing Biloxi, Mississippi, for running a debtor's prison.
Children of non-Catholics face exclusion from school in Ireland because around 95% of schools are run by the churches.
A crowdfunding project raises funds for court costs for poor people in the UK to sue.
Abortion clinics publicize the good that abortions do.
A US court ordered an end to federal raids against state-licensed California medical marijuana dispensaries.
Laws against "hate speech" are dangerous, in various countries including the US.
The story told by the thug is not credible, and information is not being released.
Thugs are to murder of blacks
as priests are to sexual abuse.
The Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) shut off the internet to sabotage protests.
"Self-encrypting" disk drives do the encryption with proprietary firmware so you can't trust it. Western Digital's "My Passport" drives have a back door.
Obama has nominated an SEC commissioner recommended by Senator Warren.
Killer robots may be just a few years in the future, if we don't set up a treaty to stop their development.
The US and Russia have set up a system to avoid fighting each other in the air over Syria.
To provide housing to the poor and homeless, the UK needs to increase the tax on expensive houses and thus encourage the wealthy to release space to others.
A Fukushima reactor cleanup worker has developed cancer attributed to the radioactivity.
Hawaii Follows Los Angeles in Declaring State of Emergency Over Homelessness.
US citizens: Obama, stop abusive boyfriends from buying guns.
US citizens: support an investigation of the lack of proper legal representation for poor people charged with crimes in the US.
The very rich are very lonely, being disliked by the many people they impoverish.
Many of them have a callous attitude towards the non-rich, which will inspire even more dislike.
Armed fanatical "settlers" launched a pogrom against Palestinians trying to harvest their olives, wounding some of them, then started a fire.
Israeli troops watched this and told the Palestinians they need a permit to pick their olives, then kept Palestinian firefighters away.
The proposed Paris pledges would stop the growth in CO2 emissions, but would fail to reduce them.
That is still the road to disaster.
Netanyahu tries to falsely blame the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for Hitler's decision to exterminate Jews. Historians pound him for this.
Australia is planning to collect photos from Facebook for a national data base.
Subcontracted janitors that clean the UK's foreign office have responded to a series of cruel laws by organizing a union and planning to strike.
Sunscreen is killing young coral organisms in reefs near tourist areas.
Sunscreen in sewage released into the ocean also contributes to the problem.
But this doesn't matter much if we're going to wipe out the reefs entirely.
Carbon Pollution: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, And the Denial.
Harper's attack on science in Canada went so far that government scientists' union is campaigning for a contract that respects scientific integrity.
The Liberal Party says it will reverse these changes.
Russia is giving military support to the Afghan government and that of Tajikistan.
Russia, unlike the US, has a real interest in propping up the Afghan government indefinitely.
How many ironies there are here. If the US had not attacked Iraq, PISSI would not exist and fanaticism in Afghanistan would not go beyond the Taliban's level.
Diesel cars emit more NOx pollution than a bus or a large truck.
Even some executives and lobbyists now advocate publicly funded elections for the US.
The UK has made a crazy deal to build nuclear power plants to be owned by China.
Uzbekistan is arresting and beating up human rights investigators.
Israel's unending war against occupied Palestine is not for its security but for territorial expansion.
In East Jerusalem, Israel's policy amounts to gradual, slow ethnic cleansing.
The EU has ruled that a common multinational tax-dodge set up through Luxembourg or the Netherlands is illegal. Many large companies will have to pay lots of tax.
The UK plans to drive out unauthorized immigrants by making it impossible for them to rent housing.
Clever hackers discovered they can give voice commands silently to other people's phones by radio.
According to conservative models, sea level could rise over a meter by 2100. This would be disastrous for many islands, whose people could be forced to stay there and die, and for big cities such as Miami, New York, Houston, New Orleans, and Guangzhou (Canton).
However, these models may be underestimates. Others say 6 meters of rise is possible in this century.
This is uncertain; we might get lucky and have just one meter of rise. Should we bet on that, or should we take precautions?
Everyone: call on Pop Secret and Pop Weaver to use corn made without neonicotinoid pesticides.
US citizens: call on California to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen.
US citizens: object to appointing pharma insider Robert Califf as head of the FDA.
The leader of the French extremist party Front National is being prosecuted for "hate speech".
This prosecution is an injustice. What Le Pen said is a ludicrous exaggeration, but she has a right to say it.
Many American men consider wasteful practices to be "masculine" and therefore refuse to give them up.
Russia has hounded an anti-nuclear activist into exile.
Proposed UK laws to discourage "extremism" attack human rights.
Israel continues collective punishment, demolishing the homes of families of killers.
The Conservatives in Canada were defeated by the Liberals.
It is dangerous to punish web sites or journalists for failing to censor "terrorism".
Finally Nauru allowed a foreign reporter in. Apparently he was chosen for his political views.
Japan is going to disregard the World Court and continue killing whales for bogus "scientific research".
The Libyan unity government plan has failed — one government is Islamist and the other isn't.
Some of the victims of Chicago's Homan Square torture station are suing the city.
It's not enough to make the city government pay for this. The thugs who tortured people, who denied them access to lawyers, must be prosecuted for this.
US drone registration may exempt short-range toys.
Italian writer Erri De Luca was charged with "incitement" after he stated the opinion that sabotaging a new train tunnel would be legitimate.
I have nothing against building a fast train line from Turin to Lyon; indeed, I wish it were operating now. But it is tremendously important that people be free to say they think that violating some law is legitimate.
After Assange invited Swedish prosecutors to question him in the Ecuadorian embassy, the UK urged Swedish prosecutors not to do this. "Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request."
More confirmation that this case — regardless of its actual merits — is being used as an excuse to harm Assange.
Defying censorship in Belarus, where publishers must get state permission for each new book.
A similar system in England in the 16th century was the origin of today's copyright.
The UK is cutting subsidies for solar power but pushes ahead with subsidies for nuclear power.
Even in 2002, as Dubya and B'liar pretended they had not already agreed to invade Iraq, there was evidence of the truth that they had done so.
The latest bogus argument for burning more coal — for rural poor who are not on the electric grid and thus can't make use of coal anyway.
Solar power is what those people could really use.
Former CIA agent Sabrina De Sousa, accused by Italy of participating in a CIA kidnaping there, has been arrested in Portugal and may be sent to Italy.
She was convicted in absentia, and I think she will get a new trial if she is delivered to Italy.
This is so juicy!
The EFF summarizes several systems of governmental massive non-internet surveillance in the US.
https://www.eff.org/files/2015/10/06/eff_police_tech_primer_-_nacole_2015_v.3.pdf - eff-police-primer.pdf
It doesn't mention remote-viewing cameras mounted at fixed sites, but these do massive surveillance in places such as New York City.
Merely putting limits on the use of the massive dossiers that these systems collect about each person is not sufficient to reduce our level of surveillance to below that of the Soviet Union. We need to eliminate these systems or redesign them so that they can only "see" court-designated targets.
The US Justice Department prosecutes fewer corporations nowadays, though the number of potential cases has risen.
I've proposed an automatic system to stop thugs from turning them off before attacking people.
Campaigning to legalize abortion in Ireland, where women have been killed by the ban.
An interesting set of political proposals, which I agree with nearly all of.
SCROTUS have directed the Congressional Budget Office to publish alarmist figures about imaginary future US debt.
SCROTUS: Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States.
The UK government wants to require unions to get advance permission from the state before posting on the internet.
The UK's relentless attack on public sector salary and working conditions is driving doctors, teachers, and even thugs to quit.
Sherry Turkle: "I am not anti-technology, I am pro-conversation".
The US and Russia are both fighting in Syria, and could get into war by accident.
I find it peculiar that people in the West defend Putin's intervention on behalf of Assad. Assad is a mass murderer and doesn't deserve support. Alas, his main enemies (al-Qa'ida and PISSI) are just as bad.
CISA, supposedly a bill to improve companies' cybersecurity, would actually encourage weak security.
The US government plans to require registration of all drone aircraft.
Does this include even toys?
Bernie Sanders' position on the various US wars.
The Australian government is aware that it puts refugees into prisons where their treatment ranges from cruelty to rape, so its priority is to prevent any information about this mistreatment from leaking out. Lawyers and journalists are kept out by the puppet regime of Nauru. Workers who observe crimes are threatened with imprisonment if they report these crimes.
Nauru confiscated the employees' phones and computers so that they could not talk to journalists.
I suggest that ex-employees seek asylum in another country and then report the crimes they have seen.
The law against taking things from garbage bins does wrong to others, too, including freegans, and would tend to cause more waste of food and other useful trash.
Missouri Republicans want to require women to get permission from the father of the fetus before they can get an abortion. If they were raped, they would have to prove it.
How about requiring women to get permission from the father of the fetus in order to not get an abortion?
The Koch brothers own the largest tar sands lease in Alberta. They must be paying politicians to support Keystone XL.
US citizens: call on Obama to remove US troops from Afghanistan.
We achieve no good by propping up a government that can't inspire enough loyalty to defeat the Taliban.
The TPP calls for destroying your computer, if you break DRM. This would even apply to security researchers who study devices with DRM or that have locked-down software.
A study finds that half of economists' papers' results can't be replicated even with cooperation from the authors.
Professor Sussman taught me in the 1970s that publishing the data that the paper is based on is part of proper science.
More about the Google Books fair use victory.
A Faux News "terrorism expert" who claimed to have worked for the CIA was arrested for telling the same lie to the US government.
Budget cuts in the UK have one great benefit: fewer people are being arrested for possession of marijuana.
The UK goes to great lengths to welcome the ruler who is crushing freedom in China. "This fawning insults the people of both countries."
Egypt's parliamentary election has no real opposition candidates.
A Palestinian appeals to Israelis and Palestinians to choose peace instead of military occupation.
Indigenous peoples in Canada are blocking a tar sands export pipeline to the Pacific Ocean.
Refugee Mohammad Albederee, dumped by Australia in Papua New Guinea, has been on hunger strike for six months because he could not get medical care.
Australia deported a paralyzed New Zealander away from his family which lives entirely in Australia, because he committed the crime of taking painkillers without prescription.
The general policy of deporting non-citizen residents that have committed serious crimes that harmed others seems valid to me, but it shouldn't be done rigidly. Taking pain killers doesn't harm others, anyway.
Apparently ordinary Palestinians are suddenly flipping and attacking Israelis suicidally with knives.
It seems that they can't bear the occupation any more, and see no effective way of campaigning to end it, so they do this.
By contrast, when Israeli "settlers" attack Palestinians, they do it in organized groups.
The Conservatives in Canada were defeated by the Liberals.
In regard to global heating, it is not clear this is much of an improvement.
Kruger Park rangers have killed hundreds of rhino poachers, but more keep coming.
An analysis of Turkey and Erdoğan's oppressive strategy.
Many old Serbian churches and historic sites in Kosovo are being desecrated or destroyed.
Since the Albanian Kosovars won control of Kosovo, they should now put their anger at Serbs to rest.
The pope sent a letter of support to an squatters' group in Rome that occupies buildings to help the poor.
Hawaii kicked 300 homeless people out of a tent city, and plans to compensate this by building housing for a fraction of them.
It would be kinder to build housing first and invite some of the homeless people to move to it.
UK residents from other EU countries face deportation from the UK for participating in nonviolent protests.
There is a perverse movement among women to think that they should carry fetuses with Downs' syndrome to term, rather than abort them and try again.
The overall effect is to increase the number of people that have Downs' syndrome. I see nothing virtuous in that. The current fetus is no more worthy than one without Downs' syndrome that they might conceive later.
Next, people will take thalidomide to demonstrate how they can love babies born without limbs.
Remember, a fetus is not a baby.
Why scientists need to collect examples of newly discovered species of birds (and other animals).
Obama has effectively banned oil drilling in American Arctic waters.
We pushed and pushed for this, and he eventually did it.
Google's book scanning has been ruled fair use.
I was one of many who objected to the proposed settlement between the Authors' Guild and Google, which would have given Google alone the right to do such scanning.
Ankara Bombing And the End of the Turkish Republic.
Pictures and videos of food can make people overeat.
Did corruption play a role in getting UK thugs to try to frame someone for the murder of Stephen Lawrence, or was it solely racism?
About once a week, a small child in the US shoots people with a gun.
Kenya has made it a crime to "defame" members of parliament, for instance accusing them of corruption.
How slot machines are designed to be addictive for a certain segment of the population.
Snowden refutes Clinton's false claims about what he could have done.
The new wave of corporate supremacy treaties, which allow foreign companies to sue governments in secret, "is tantamount to a revolution against law, it is retrogression in terms of legality and predictability, a no-man's land of arbitrary arbitrations."
EU citizens: phone your MEPs to defend net neutrality. A recommendation from the Pirate Party says to tell your MEPs, "Please in any case make a stand FOR net neutrality on 27th of October; this means: If Martin Schulz allows amendments to the telcom-package, which regulates net neutrality & roaming, then vote for the amendment of Julia Reda, and if Martin Schulz doesn't allow amendments to the telecom-package, then vote against the telecom-package."
It came with this link for making a call gratis:
Canadians: dozens of reasons to defeat the Conservatives, and a suggestion for how.
Many large internet companies have come out against CISA, the "cybersecurity" bill that would encourage those companies to "voluntarily" hand over people's data to Big Brother.
Clinton says she "supports" social security, but there is something fishy in the details.
Polls suggest that Sanders won the debate, but pundits say it was Clinton.
The leaks about Obama's drone-based assassination program show that the "precise" system for finding targets is actually quite unreliable, and the "limited" criteria are actually sloppy.
Drones, used on the battlefield, are not morally different from airplanes or artillery. Drones used for assassination are a completely different issue.
What sort of investigation is needed?
The FBI is persecuting sex workers and disguises it as freeing victims of trafficking.
Occasionally the campaign does free victims of trafficking, which is a good thing, but they could do that without persecuting other sex workers.
Everyone: Call on Alabama to cancel its efforts to stop blacks from voting.
India has legalized adoptions by unmarried people. In response, Mother Teresa's orphanage has shut down all adoption of it inmates, in effect using them as hostages.
Selfish scientists use copyright to prevent replication of an experiment.
Connie Bryson describes the abortion that she had, illegally — a horrible experience that no women should have to have recourse to.
Users report Microsoft is forcing them to replace Windows 7 and 8 with all-spying Windows 10.
This seems to involve use of a back door in Windows 7 and 8.
Australia dumped Somalian refugee Abyan in Nauru, where she was raped, and brought her back to Australia for an abortion — then sent her back to Nauru before a court could rule on whether she could stay there.
Egypt's government will require women to uncover their heads in certain special circumstances.
I think limited measures of this sort are a legitimate way to discourage oppressive practices imposed by social pressure.
The article is wrong about the goddess Isis — far from being crushed by worship of Ra and turned into a demon, her cult spread along with that of her brother/husband Osiris, and then under Roman rule spread around the empire (without Osiris). It was intolerant Christianity that put an end to worship of Isis.
Babies in homeless families are dying in the UK.
As the government tightens the vice on the non-rich in general, some people inevitably get squeezed out the sides of the vice. It's part and parcel of what the Tories want to achieve.
If Chinese become restive, future Chinese rulers decide to attack someplace to win domestic support.
US citizens: call for an end to predatory prison phone charges.
Web advertising that tracks users also exposes them to attacks.
The long duration of copyright hampers creative production of the great plays of the 20th century.
Obama says that "we" are writing the rules of the TPP. But this "we" does not include you or me.
The TPP is not really about trade anyway. It's really an antidemocratic corporate supremacy treaty with a little about trade on the side.
A study found that pregnant women in Pennsylvania were 40% more likely to give birth prematurely if they live near a very active frack well.
Uri Avnery: the real battle for Israel is to stop the fanatical "settlers" from taking over.
Ethiopian bloggers were acquitted of charges.
Deforestation makes El Nino more severe; planting large forests can make it milder.
US Border Patrol agents can search anyone's car; they just have to say the dog told them to do it.
An anonymous whistleblower reveals that the US is systematically lying about casualties from drone attacks.
In particular, US authorities knowingly label unidentified civilian dead as "enemy combattants", thus inflating the "body count" while disguising the numerous civilian casualties.
Amnesty International says this calls for a specific investigation.
Texas is using alternatives to imprisonment, as a way to save money.
It could save additional money by investing in education, in prenatal care, in abortion, in contraception, and in a welfare system that saves families from stress.
The CIA used a form of water torture on additional prisoners.
An Angolan dissident rapper, imprisoned for "planning to overthrow the government", has been on hunger strike so long that his health is affected.
The UK increasingly uses secret courts and develops a body of secret laws.
Obama pledged to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, but he can't find a way to do it without letting the Taliban win, so he is opting for a war without end.
The prime minister of Australia in 1974 ordered Australian intelligence to cut its ties with the CIA. Australian intelligence disobeyed the order.
A hospital sequences sick newborns' DNA to diagnose them in 26 hours.
The article suggests that in the future hospitals should sequence every baby's DNA. This could be a bad idea. There's a chance that the data will be medically helpful to them, a chance it will hurt their prospects for insurance, and a chance of exposing them to state injustice.
A microwave camera being developed at MIT can see people through walls.
What do we need to put in our walls to block this camera? I think screens on a window will probably block microwaves except perhaps for the lowest wavelengths.
A presidential candidate in Uganda has been placed under house arrest to stop him from holding public campaign rallies.
Obama will direct the EPA to reduce use of hydrofluorocarbons, which are immensely powerful greenhouse gases.
Many common surgical operations, and chemotherapy for cancer, will become dangerous if we don't stop the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
If we end the tightly-packed factory farms for meat, and eat less meat, we will need fewer operations, and we will be less likely to die of an infection when we do need one.
Some notable New York restaurants will abolish tipping and pay higher wages to waiters.
I am totally in favor of this.
A Saudi siege has deprived Yemen of drinking water, which risks making many people sick.
This could kill more people than the bombs.
Planned Parenthood decided to stop accepting reimbursements for collecting fetal tissue for research — for no reason except that right-wing lies have made it appear dirty.
I hope this will not crimp the supply of fetal tissue for research to develop cures for diseases.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Switzerland could not make it a crime to deny the genocide of the Armenians.
This may overturn the French law that prohibits denying the genocide of the Armenians. Alas, the court found an excuse not to apply this principle universally to all questions about history.
Here in the US, we can speak freely on the issue. From what I have read, I do believe there was a genocide of the Armenians. However, freedom of speech includes the right to say otherwise. I greatly admire Hrant Dink, who was assassinated for affirming the genocide of the Armenians, and condemned the French law because he respected the freedom to state the opposite opinion.
Many nations have committed great crimes — Turkey is far from unique. Every nation should admit its crimes, so it can pay its debt to humanity and move on.
Hong Kong is not really a democracy, but here it is putting the US to shame.
"Sex work criminalization means potential employers and landlords treat me as a person who was arrested for prostitution, not a survivor."
A Catholic hospital put a woman's life in danger by refusing her a tubal ligation because "that's sterilization". Catholic doctrine says that women should get pregnant even if it is likely to kill them.
We should give Catholic hospitals three choices: disconnect from religious rules, sell to secular owners, or shut down.
Erdoğan's men are trying to associate Kurds with PISSI in the public mind by talking about them together.
Never mind that the Kurds are secularist rather than Jihadi, and that the Kurds and PISSI are at war in Iraq and in Syria.
As pharma companies merge, they neglect diseases that kill lots of poor people in favor of trying to make the next viagra.
We should tax the companies more so we can fund the research that is really important.
Human beings that care only about their own gain are antisocial. We rebuke them, even shun them. It is a mistake to acquiesce to totally selfish behavior from a company. Indeed, the idea that a company's only duty was to its shareholders is a recent change imposed by right-wing domination; in the 1970s, companies were supposed to value others, such as employees, customers, and the public.
An Israeli wanted to carry out random violence against Arabs, so he stabbed a stranger who turned out to be an Israeli.
This is an unusual example, but killing of Arabs goes on all the time.
Lack of birth control kills thousands of women and children; religious organizations must act on compassion and offer birth control.
In Indonesia, people are tortured into signing confessions, convicted in careless trials, then executed.
A graffiti drone in Mexico campaigns against the president.
It is a fun hack, but I think automating graffiti in unfair. If we stand for it, businesses will do it.
The "independent" consultants that said it was "reasonable" to shoot Tamir Rice dead are not really independent, and they closed their eyes to important questions.
Parents are organizing to protect the climate for their children.
Brazil is considering tracking all internet users and blanket deletion of criticism of any person or organization.
The barbarism that threatens Canada comes from the Conservative Party.
Canadians, look at the US, see how bad right-wing policies are, and save your country from them.
State Farm Insurance envisions tracking drivers' emotions as well as their driving.
Getting a patent on this noxious idea does not mean implementing it. Patents on business methods should not be allowed, not even on business methods that should not be used.
New York City is building more flood defenses, but refuses to confront the certainty that they won't be enough a few decades from now.
If it did, it might lend more impetus to the vital efforts to reduce sea-level rise.
Morocco systematically represses journalists and human rights defenders.
Ecuador Asks Britain to Allow Julian Assange 'Safe Passage' for MRI Scan.
Playboy's suppression of nude women is a step back towards medieval repression. Fortunately it won't change much.
The 1% of wealthiest people now own 50% of the world's wealth.
An injured US woman sued her nephew — perhaps to get her medical bills covered by his family's homeowner's insurance.
Checkpoints have been set up in Jerusalem to keep Palestinians out of Jewish neighborhoods.
This is likely to make daily life difficult for thousands of Palestinians; they may be unable to get to work.
There will be no checkpoints to protect Palestinians in Palestine from fanatical Israeli "settlers" and their "price tag" attacks.
Risk Is Essential to Childhood — As Are Scrapes, Grazes, Falls And Panic.
Which means that the state had better stop forbidding parents to let children play on their own.
Australia has imposed total tracking of internet contacts and phone locations, pretending as is customary that this is to "fight terrorism".
The US has a similar system of massive surveillance of internet contacts and phone locations. Wherever it is done, it is the same injustice.
The Web is becoming dangerously ephemeral and may be unsuited to the purpose of keeping humanity's knowledge.
Clinton, in the debate, spread subtle lies about Snowden.
India's Hindu-sectarian government is encouraging violence against secularists and non-Hindus. Leading Indian artists are calling attention to this.
When a thug shoots an innocent person, the legal standard assumes that the thug's life is the only one that matters.
Ancestry.com is collecting DNA from the public and sequencing it.
If your relatives do this, it could be dangerous for you.
Aren't blacks supposed to use ATMs to withdraw money?
Pacific Nations Beg for Help for Islanders When 'Calamity' of [climate mayhem] Hits.
Exxon's global heating lie was an unparalleled act of evil.
GCHQ has been given official permission to spy on members of parliament.
This will be a big help to them in constructing false accusations to sabotage the parties they don't like.
The Taliban openly say they will make war on journalists.
Bad as the US has been in Afghanistan, the Taliban is much worse; it kills a lot more civilians, too, and rejects on principle the idea that it shouldn't do so.
US citizens: support the Voting Rights Amendment Act.
Right wing government in Bologna is evicting anarchist squats to make room for emptiness.
People generally underestimate the goodness and unselfishness of most other people.
Biological spring will happen 3 weeks earlier (in most of the US) by 2100.
Facebook has started paying income tax in the UK. About $6,000 worth.
Election fraud in Canada, tied to Conservative Party.
The history of Obama's war tactics, now adopted by Putin in Syria.
The US-trained Afghan army, like the US-trained Iraqi army, shows a tendency to panic and run when attacked by numerically inferior forces.
I predicted years ago that this would follow the path of Vietnamization.
Years of Republican misrule set up South Carolina to make the hurricane do a lot more damage.
Saudi Arabia has destroyed a UNESCO-listed medieval town in Yemen.
This town was not as precious as the 1800-year-old city of Palmyra, which in turn was not precious as the 4000-year-old sites in Iraq that were looted after the Bush forces conquered Iraq. But that does not excuse the Saudi actions.
It's not too late to stop Antarctica from melting … if we try really hard.
It is too late to save Miami and New Orleans from eventual inundation. But many other cities can still be saved, if we act strongly enough.
Stephen Hawking agrees: if the robots make our goods without need for our work, the goods must be provided to all.
Chinese schools force their students to work in factories without pay.
and imprisoned 650 Palestinians in October and the month is less
than half over. The arrested people have been denied basic human
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Since Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians who are doing nothing wrong is well reported, it should be noted that Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians who are doing nothing wrong has been going on for a few years now, and continues.
There's No DRM in JPEG — Let's Keep It That Way.
Obama is trying to "close the Guantanamo prison" by shifting imprisonment without trial to the US.
That would make things even worse, in principle. However, it's possible that the prisoners' presence on US territory would lead the Supreme Court to rule that they must be charged or freed. On the other hand, the Supreme Court might essentially abolish the rule of Habias Corpus.
Wisconsin Republicans want to permit unlimited secret money in political campaigns, cripple ethics and election law enforcement and make it harder for many people to vote.
In the Republican Party's ideal world, only millionaires could vote.
US citizens: call on the Democratic Party to hold more debates for the candidates.
US citizens: support the Prescription Drug Affordability Act.
Now the Tories Are Allowing Big Business to Design Their Own Tax Loopholes.
Marine Food Chains At Risk of Collapse.
Amnesty International condemns the Syrian Kurds of driving Arabs to flee their villages.
The Kurds say this is because there were PISSI supporters in those villages.
Erdoğan's censorship and "anti-terror" tyranny makes it hard for Turks to voice their opposition, and their distrust for the state.
Turkish opposition says the government left the peace rally without protection.
Japan condemns UNESCO for recognizing the Japanese massacre in Nanjing.
Whether the victims numbered 300,000 or merely 100,000 is a detail there is no need to argue about. Japan should stop denying its war crimes, just as the US and other countries should.
How the sugar/food lobby campaigns against efforts to discourage excess sugar consumption, which is very harmful to health.
Giving voice commands to a computer means that a server records them all.
In this case, I won't accuse Google of snooping, since users know that they are talking to a Google server. But I do think it is foolish to use such a thing.
A new Yes Men hoax: presenting Edward Snowden, live in the US, saying he had been pardoned.
Women directly confront the taboo and stigma attached to many aspects of their bodies and sexuality.
Not everyone wants to live the male or female gender roles.
In Cambodia, parents regularly rent their 13-year-old daughters for 2 months of "domestic work", then everyone is disgusted when the girls return from 2 months of prostitution.
Note how irrational condemnation of non-virgin girls plays a crucial role in this system.
A group of 300 Afghan women campaigns against the Taliban ideology of misogyny.
The UK has cancelled its offer to operate prisons for Saudi Arabia, rejecting the way Saudi Arabia treats prisoners.
The official investigation concludes that flight MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile. It did not address the question of who fired it.
I think it is pretty clear that the Russian proxy rebels fired it, thinking they were firing at a Ukrainian fighter plane. The rebels did not have fighter planes, so Ukraine's army would have had no occasion to make that sort of mistake.
In an apparent coverup, someone operated on the flight captain's corpse, removing some of the foreign objects that killed him. The only ones in a position to do that were the rebels.
Torture victims and relatives of a dead victim have sued the psychologists who designed the CIA's torture.
IPCC climate models do not take account of the effects of methane release from melting permafrost.
What that means is, avoiding 2C of heating requires even more emissions reductions than previously supposed.
The reductions plans now on the table were already insufficient.
Students in Texas, where it is a crime to carry a dildo but legal to carry a gun, will protest carrying dildos.
"[Dildos are] just about as effective as [guns in] protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play."
Antarctic Ice is Melting So Fast the Whole Continent May Be at Risk by 2100.
Reporter Jason Rezaian has been convicted of espionage in Iran, after a bizarre and unfair trial.
If the US gets its hands on Edward Snowden, it will convict him of espionage after a bizarre and unfair trial.
Monsanto claims its critics are opposing science. But Monsanto seems to have bent scientists to make that appear to be the case.
Five ironic contradictions of US policies.
The HD party has refused to respond with violence to Erdoğan's violence.
Even if the AK party didn't arrange the Ankara bombing and the one in Suruç, plenty of other violence against the opposition is clearly its responsibility.
A journalist faces prison in Thailand for having a flak jacket and helmet, which are sensible tools for covering violence committed by others.
Oxfam and 23 other charities support MSF's demand for an investigation of the US's hospital bombardment by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.
American college students nowadays have trouble coping. Perhaps it is due to helicopter parents, but it might also be because they are rationally anxious about the harsh and hopeless plutocratist society they will graduate into.
Terrorists kidnap children to brainwash them into suicidal fanatics.
US citizens: call on Obama to insist on no "golden parachutes" for anyone he appoints to federal office.
A woman has been jailed in Florida for not showing up to testify to the trial of the man she lived with, who she accused of attacking her.
What I think about is, why is she unwilling to testify? Is it due to financial dependence on him? Is she terrified he will take revenge? What is needed to really help her?
Turkey censored the internet very hard to block discussion of the bombing of a peace march.
The European Union has an explicit policy of giving businesses special influence in how to regulate them. Turns out the tobacco companies lobbied hard for that.
UK schools are running short of teachers.
This article does not say why, but I suspect it's due to the harsh policies that the state has imposed on schools and teachers.
How bottled water companies are trying to stop US national parks from putting an end to bottled water sales.
In the US and other countries with safe water supplies, bottle water is a foolish waste. Please stop buying bottled water!
What I said before about the TPP and secrecy was an understatement. It appears the TPP really says that country A can order country B to quash a lawsuit, to cover up the secrets of country A.
This would be another nail in democracy's coffin.
The TPP imposes unjust US-style copyright rules, so in the US it would be an obstacle to repeal of the DMCA. In