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RSS site feed for the most recent political notes and new material.

This is the personal web site of Richard Stallman.
The views expressed here are my personal views, not those of the Free Software Foundation or the GNU Project.
For the sake of separation, this site has always been hosted elsewhere and managed separately.

If you want to send me GPG-encrypted mail, do not trust key servers! Some of them have phony keys under my name and email address, made by someone else as a trick. See gpg.html for my real key.

Don't watch TV coverage of Covid-19!

The next rally for Julian Assange will be at the Park Street Station on Feb 11th from 11:30 to 12:30.

Canadians: I suggest you seek election advice at a local chapter of a group that pushes to curb global heating and has the courage to say, "Canada should stop exporting fossil fuel." It will at least use the right goals to suggest who to vote for in your area.

Join a Friday climate strike.

That page is made by scraping Fridays for Future so you can get the information without running any Javascript code. I would be very glad if they made the information on their own site accessible from the Free World; then we could simply refer people to their site and do without the scraping etc.

Is your bank pressuring you to use biometric ID? If so, please write to rms at gnu dot org. It could be useful if you document what is happening.

Please join the Free Software Foundation to support its work for your freedom.

"They" is plural — for singular antecedents, use singular gender-neutral pronouns.

Link Policy

The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.

Civil Liberties Minute:

[America Means Civil Liberties / Patriotism Means Protecting 
             Them / www.aclu.org/safefree ]
graphic by Susan Henson
Americans, you may wish to copy this icon to your own page, as a way of showing what patriotism means to you.

Upcoming talks

Urgent action items

Recording of Guantanamero

Listen to the recording of Guantanamero, a protest song written in Spanish. The recording is in Ogg Vorbis format. To install an Ogg Vorbis player, see the FSF's Ogg Players page.

There Ought to Be a Law

More items where there ought to be a law.

Quotes

Here are some quotations that I particularly like.

Most recent Political Notes and News Items

(RSS Feed)

US's jurisdiction over Haiti
2 February 2023

Suspects in the murder of Jovenel Moïse, the imposed president of Haiti, were sent to the US for trial.

Can anyone explain to me how it is that the US has jurisdiction over a murder in Haiti?

UK foreign property owner requirements
2 February 2023

Despite the UK's new requirement for foreign entities that own UK property to state who the real owners are, loopholes allow some of those owners to continue to hide their identity.

German government sides with coal mine
2 February 2023

The German government, including the Green Party, chose the side of building a new coal mine. It needed thousands of uniformed thugs to defeat the 35,000 protesters who tried to block the conversion of a village into a coal mine.

Destroying a town for public purposes is sometimes legitimate. (All the inhabitants of that town were compensated and given time to move.) Four towns were inundated to make the Quabbin reservoir which brings rain water to the Boston metro area. But building additional fossil fuel facilities steers our future towards climate breakdown.

Thugs called over children walking to store
2 February 2023

Parents in a small town in Connecticut let their children, ages 7 and 9, walk a mile to a store. Someone freaked out and called the thug department. The parents now face criminal charges.

The black thugs that helped kill Tyre Nichols
2 February 2023

Memphis published the names of the black thugs that helped to kill Tyre Nichols, but concealed until this week the name of the white thug who was involved, and what role he played.

This could represent bigotry. The report seem also seems to try to cover up some aspects of the thugs' violence.

Speaking of bigotry, the article displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing "black" but not "white". (To avoid endorsing bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) Normally I do not link to articles that do this, but I make exceptions for some articles that I consider particularly important, such as the first one.

It should not be surprising that blacks can absorb from white society the widespread ideas of bigotry against blacks.

Ideas for what could make for a real change in the violence of thugs against blacks.

UK voter IDs
2 February 2023

Supposedly UK voters can cope with the new voter-ID law by applying for special government identification, but only .5% of the people who would need one in order to vote have applied.

Huntington Park thugs kill amputee
2 February 2023

Thugs in Huntington Park, California, ran towards Anthony Lowe with guns drawn. He dropped off his wheelchair and tried to pull his body away from them, but he could not move very fast that way; then they shot him dead.

It appears they did not run their body cameras. That in itself is suspect. I've proposed automatic systems that will activate body cameras at the sound of a shot (or a taser) and will save the previous five minutes of video as well as subsequent video.

Rwandan journalist's suspicious death
2 February 2023

*"Suspicious death" of Rwandan journalist prompts calls for investigation.*

Urgent: stop corporate profiteering off of COVID vaccines
2 February 2023

US citizens: call on Congress to stop corporate profiteering off of COVID vaccines, by guaranteeing free access to all Americans.

Burmese military bombing villages
2 February 2023

The Burmese military rulers repeatedly bomb villages of civilians.

*[Burma] junta hit by western sanctions as "silent strikes" mark coup anniversary.*

US dairy policies
2 February 2023

*US dairy policies drive small farms to 'get big or get out' as monopolies get rich.*

Industrial concentration is the cause of a range of injustices and suffering. We need policies to break up those monopolies; any policy which does the opposite simply must be changed.

Twisty asylum restriction maze
2 February 2023

A twisty maze of regulations and restrictions -- in the US, in Mexico, and in other countries -- make it very difficult for anyone to exercise the right to request asylum in the US, even to follow the long and slow procedure the US imposes for doing so.

The "Title 42" system of making asylum-requester stay in Mexico runs into a problem since Mexico won't let them stay there.

An additional aspect of oppression in this system is the US requirement to use a snoop-phone app, "CBP One". Those programs are nonfree and typically malware. So are the operating systems of the snoop-phones themselves.

For governments to make them the only way to communicate with a government agency for some purpose is in itself unjust. So, for the same reason, are "web apps" that send substantial Javascript programs that users have to run in their own computers. Knowing the US government, I expect it abuses that power grossly when it gets the chance.

I'm sure most of the people compelled to run "CBP One" hardly care about that injustice, given the painfulness of their situations in general. But unlike those. this one tends to spread to non-refugees -- to everyone.

Olympics
2 February 2023

Olympic games tend to spread permanent increases in surveillance and repression wherever they go. The next victim will be Paris.

I've urged the citizens of cities in more-or-less-free countries to defeat those cities' Olympic bids. In addition to repression and surveillance, they tend to crush poor people and especially homeless people, and transfer a lot of public money to big companies.

National debt
2 February 2023

Robert Reich: the growing national debt is mainly due letting the rich pay too little tax.

UK libel law used to suppress truth
2 February 2023

British libel law still lends itself to use by rich people to suppress truthful journalism. The fact that Russian oligarchs who are personally under UK sanctions are doing so is especially embarrassing, but it is just as bad when British plutocrats do it.

The Tories are planning to make this even worse. They are working to change thousands of laws all at once -- laws imposed by the EU to protect human rights and regulations to protect people's health. This includes changes that would make libel suits an even easier way for rich people to bury the truth.

Pebble Mine rejected
1 February 2023

The EPA rejected the Pebble Mine and thus protected Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Breaking up military-industrial complex
1 February 2023

A former member of the US military-industrial complex calls for help in breaking it up.

Jailed for dancing
1 February 2023

*Iranian couple filmed dancing in Tehran are jailed for 10 years.*

Flaw with the term "gender-affirming surgery"
1 February 2023

The term "gender-affirming surgery" has a serious flaw as a way of defining a category of surgical operations: it is subjective, not objective. Specifically, it is stated in terms of what someone (presumably the patient) thinks about the operation, not in terms of what the operation concretely does.

One patient might say, "I see this operation as affirming my gender, so I want to have it." Another patient might say, of the same operation, "This would go against gender, so I don't want it."

We need an objective way to define and refer to this class of operations, one independent of whether a given patient wants such an operation or not.

Israel attacks Iran
1 February 2023

Drones were used to attack some sort of building or base in Iran. US officials said that Israel carried out the attack.

We don't know what that target is, or what it does, or what purpose it serves. However, this is likely to provoke war with Iran.


The four factors of the apocalypse:
   global heating, global hating,
   global eating, global mating.


[More Cartoons]


Not f'd. You won't find us on Facebook

Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.


Support the Green Party



Republican Election Rigging Tactics



Evoting



The Olympics



Why everyone has a reason to fear massive surveillance



Churchandstate.org.uk


E-books

Non-oppressive Commercial E-books


Don't use Facebook

Facebook's face recognition demonstrates a threat to everyone's privacy. I therefore ask people not to put photos of me on Facebook; you can do likewise.

Of course, Facebook is bad for many other reasons as well.


Boycott Harry Potter Books, Movies, etc.



Internet Music EULAS



Business Supremacy Treaties



Countries to Stay Away From



No national identity cards

I'd like to make a list of countries that do not require a national identity card, and have no plans to adopt one. If you live in or have confirmed knowledge of such a country, please send email to rms at gnu.org.

Here's my list of countries with no national ID cards and no plans for one: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK. Australia's previous government tried to institute national ID cards, but the Labor government dropped the plan.

India has mostly finished imposing a national biometric ID number in a grand act of oppression.

Switzerland has national ID cards which are optional, but they or some other government ID card are needed for some purposes.

Iceland doesn't have ID cards as such, but they have ID numbers that citizens are forced to use frequently. For example, the national ID number is often required to rent a video or use a gym.

Denmark issues non-photo ID cards with a "person number", and many services use this card to identify people.

Norway will impose a national biometric ID card.

Ireland - national ID card by stealth.

ACLU: the five dangers of national ID cards.

Wikipedia has a list of identity card policies by country.


Borders

Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.


Flight connections

Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.


The Lifelong Activist

People often ask how I manage to continue devoting myself to progressive activism (such as the free software movement) for years without burning out. The best way I can answer is by recommending a book, The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig.

I disagree with the book on one theoretical point in the last part of the book: we shouldn't think of political activism as being marketing and sales, because those terms refer to business, and politics is something much more important than mere business. However, this doesn't diminish the value of the book's practical advice about borrowing techniques from marketing and sales.

Disclosure: I am friends with the author.


Bob Chassell

Writing (mostly science fiction) by my friend Bob Chassell who recently died.


Solidarity Economy and Free Software

Personal Declaration of Richard Stallman and Euclides Mance on Solidarity Economy and Free Software.


Falkvinge articles

I have reposted some of Rick Falkvinge's articles. As posted on his site, you can't see them in a browser without running some nonfree Javascript code which is apparently non-free. These versions show the same text, without the obstacle.


Long-term action items


Political Articles

These are my political articles that are not related to the GNU operating system or free software. For GNU-related articles, see the GNU philosophy directory. You can also order copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition', signed or not signed.

Political notes

"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Here are notes about various issues I care about, usually with links to more information. The current notes are here. For all previous notes, see this page.

See this page for information on efforts to maintain links in the political notes.

Political notes about the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy are being archived on their own page.

Media/Press/Bios

Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.

Travel experiences

Photos about my travels

Scientific Links


Some humor

The berry torture.

The Free Software Song, by Richard M. Stallman. You can listen to a performance of the song: Free Software Song performed by Thor Here is a variant of this song called "The Free Firmware Song".

A song parody, Colors of the Lisp, by Jefferson Carpenter.

Earth under attack from planet Koch.

On doxing, and how to spell it.

Futon Physics

A Spanish cartoon: La Ruleta Española. thumbnail

The Night before M-x-mas

Here I am wearing my "power tie".

Wine snobs get their comeuppance.

Here I am struggling to open a bottle of water.

My application to an join Marian Henley's ex-boyfriends list.

My funny poetry and song parodies.

My Cartoons

My Puns in English (Little Leaguer, August 2019).

My Puns in Spanish (New pun: Apostasía April 2019)

My Puns in French (New pun: Microsoft à l'école July 2019)

My Puns in Portuguese

My Puns in Italian (New pun: Quale pesce fa starnutire? New 10/2018)

My Puns in German (New 02/2016)

Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)

I am a
     Saint In the Church Of Emacs --Saint IGNUcius-- The Church of Emacs will soon be officially listed by at least one person as his religion for census purposes.

There are no godfathers in the Church of Emacs, since there are no gods, but you can be someone's editorfather.

Stallman Does Dallas: "I have to warn you that Texans have been known to have an adverse reaction to my personality…"

The Dalai Lama today announced the official release of Yellow Hat GNU/Linux.

Pre-Zen Studies.

I found a funny song about the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act (officially the Sonny Bono Copyright Act) which extended copyright retroactively by 20 years on works made as early as the 1920s.

If you are a geek and read Spanish, you will love Raulito el Friki, who said "Hello, world!" immediately after he was born. Here's an archive of this now-defunct comic strip.

Sleeping with Stallman at MIT.

Un malentendido gracioso.

ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.

American Extremists

My Small Mouth

The huns and the writs.

No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)

Hammer into Anvil

Fiction

Made for You (December 2012) (local copy) Esperanto translation

A science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).

The Right to Read

Books

My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.

Stallman on Love

Love and Dance

My Childhood Sweetheart

Made for You

My Former Personal Ad

Non-Political Articles

Am I Doctor Stallman?

Avec des chapeaux French song parody.

My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.

Resolving the trolley problem

Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights

A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.

Origin of the POSIX name.

On Hacking: In June 2000, while visiting Korea, I did a fun hack that clearly illustrates the original and true meaning of the word "hacker".

My Childhood Sweetheart

Love and Dance

Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor

Certificate of confusion

Links

Thanks

I would like to thank:


Please send comments on these web pages to rms at gnu period org.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
Verbatim copying and redistribution of any of the photos in the photos subdirectory is permitted under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later. You can copy and redistribute the photo of me playing music to the butterfly under the Creative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0 or later. Any other photos of me in this (the toplevel) directory may be copied and redistributed under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0