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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
My intention is to make links only to publicly accessible, stable URLs. If you find a link to a page that requires subscription, please report that as you would report any other broken link.
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.
Laying out the evidence proving that Tony B'liar lied about Iraq's weapons programs to create an excuse for the war he and Dubya had already decided to launch.
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 for prosecution of the thug that grabbed and attacked the sitting high school student.
US citizens: call on Obama to require government contractors to disclose their political spending.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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.
This reminds me of how Dubya's support from right-wing US mass media convinced many Americans that Saddam Hussein collaborated with al-Qa'ida.
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?
The lengthening fire season in the US west, caused by global heating, is replacing forests with shrubs.
Bernie Sanders proposes to remove marijuana from Schedule I, so that states could legalize it and it could easily be prescribed.
EU Caves In to Auto Industry Pressure for Weak Emissions Limits.
Clinton remains a militarist, and wants more US intervention in Syria now.
Mahmoud Abbas Appeals to UN for International Protection for Palestinians.
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."
When victims of domestic violence or rape call thugs for help, they often receive contempt or even legal trouble.
Imagine If Exxon Had Told the Truth on Climate Change.
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.
The Turkish government's thugs attacked the offices of an opposition media group with TV channels.
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?
Southeast Asia could lose 16% of its labour productivity in 30 years due to the effects of global heating.
I am not sure if this really applies to Singapore, because people live and work in air conditioned areas there.
Curbing global heating provides a way to make lots of jobs — economic growth focused on the non-rich.
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.
It appears Hammond was really committing a crime, and had driven his car at the thug (which was a real threat to him), but the threat had already ceased when the thug killed him.
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.
Americans worry about nearly all sorts of problems more than about climate mayhem.
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.
Modern bankster crime is often impossible to prosecute because it is so complex that juries can't understand it.
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.
Arsonists have burned
five black people's churches
in the St Louis area.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
UK, Germany And France Lobbying for Weakened Cap on Toxic Car Pollution.
Companies always argue that they will make less money if we don't give them more and more and more leeway.
Bernie Sanders Is Actually Quite Serious About This 'Political Revolution' Thing.
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.
He doesn't like the results they demonstrate.
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.
By 2070, global heating could expose the land around the Persian Gulf to heat waves that are fatal to humans.
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.
The UAE prosecutes many women for being raped.
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.
Israel arrests Palestinian activists to prevent protests.
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.
US citizens: call on Obama not to allow more undersea oil drilling in US waters.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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.
As thugs beat up helpless Donovan Gardner, TV commentators disagreed about whether this abuse was justified.
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.
B'liar admits that without the conquest of Iraq, which he and Dubya engineered, PISSI would not exist.
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.
Iraqi PISSI fighters that have been captured usually don't understand Islam very well, and most of them are motivated by resentment for the US conquest of Iraq.
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?
UK thugs arrested housing activist Lisa McKenzie for allegedly helping someone else put a sticker on a building.
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.
A drug company will require patients, unless they pay the exorbitant full price, to give up confidentiality for their medical data.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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.
A large Indonesian palm oil producer has adopted a policy to protect forests.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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.
72% of Saudi Death Sentences Handed Down for Non-Violent Crimes.
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.
A thug, not in uniform, shot Corey Jones dead as Jones was waiting for help beside his disabled vehicle.
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.
US citizens: Call on your state to ban fracking.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: call on Congress to defend bottled-water bans in national parks.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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.
In regard to global heating, it is not clear this is much of an improvement.
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.
Putting body cameras on thugs won't help without good policies for their use.
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.
A US document (written by Colin Powell) shows that Dubya and B'liar agreed to invade Iraq a year before the actual attack — so their claims this was not true were lies.
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 TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic) is likely to require Europe to drop its food safety standards.
In Houston It's Illegal to Feed the Homeless and for the Homeless to Feed Themselves.
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.
A thug tased store clerk Damian Words for no reason, then lied about it.
Words is suing the city, but that will not punish the thug. If Words wins the suit, the city's taxpayers will pay, not the culprit. Thugs that lie must be prosecuted for it, and jailed.
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.
Sanders rejected a donation offered by drug gouger Shkreli.
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.
This is entirely
spirit of Mother Teresa, who
poor Indians to boost the Catholic Church.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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 on the EPA to regulate methane strictly.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
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 thugs have been charged with beating up a protester.
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.
The idea of giving these companies "incentives" to do research is a dead end. They spend the money instead on advertising, and on corrupting doctors, research, and scientific journals.
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.
Propaganda Trumps Journalism in Conservative Media Climate Reporting.
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.
Turkey, Russia, PISSI and the Kurds — and the US.
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.
DC thugs grabbed Jason Goolsby violently after someone thought it was suspicious that two black youths would be seen near a bank.
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.
The Egyptian government has abolished the charities of the Muslim Brotherhood, on which many poor people depended, and equated defense of human rights with "terrorism". All with US support.
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.
One of the thugs that killed Matthew Ajibade was already acquitted of manslaughter.
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.
Thugs in Savannah tortured Matthew Ajibade to death, The torture included tasing his genitals while he was strapped down.
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.
PISSI's hatred of ancient buildings comes from Saudi Arabia.
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?
An Irish bankster who helped cause the financial crisis faces prosecution.
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 addition, it attacks journalism.
The leak also shows that the TPP would give pharma companies additional power (though not as much as they demand). This would kill people.
Some of these articles make the mistake of adopting the pharma companies' and copyright industry's propaganda term, "intellectual property". That term spreads confusion every time it is used. If others use it, we should not help our enemies by repeating it.
US citizens: call on Congress to support the Ellison-McGovern-Lee-Grijalva letter for an independent investigation of the bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz.
We are very far from being able to capture all the crucial information in a brain, which would be needed to upload it.
The article speaks only of neurons, but the astrocytes also engage in communication in ways that we don't understand very well. They too may be part of what makes you you.
Despite having an ersatz "Nobel" prize, economics is not a science.
Some US states and cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day as well as, or instead of, Columbus Day.
It is true that there was discrimination against Italian-Americans, but that is fortunately a thing of the past, and no reason to cling to Columbus Day now.
The US shouldn't try to do more to overthrow Assad. It is paying too much attention to that goal already.
In the US: participate in a global heating action protest on Oct 14 if you can find one near you.
Everyone: call on Pepsico to stop deforesting Indonesia.
US citizens: call on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate Alabama's latest voter-suppression move.
Canadians: call on your political parties to oppose the TPP.
Israel's Domination of Palestinians Makes Violence Inevitable.
Don't forget that Israeli "settlers" have been carrying out violence against Palestinians regularly for some years — so-called "price tag" attacks.
That's not to mention the seizure of Palestinians' land and water.
Dalits in Berdo Ka Baas are afraid to go to school, after the teacher beat up one of them for touching a plate of food belonging to a non-Dalit.
California has restricted administration of antibiotics to farm animals.
This will now require a prescription.
Thus, they can be used to cure specific animals but could not be given by default to all animals.
If only we had adopted this law 30 years ago, we might still have some antibiotics that no diseases are resistant to.
Bradley Podliska, former investigator for the Congressional probe into what went wrong when Benghazi was attacked, says that SCROTUS told him to look for dirt on Clinton rather than to do an unbiased investigation.
There are signs that Clinton did bad things, such as supporting the coup in Honduras, but SCROTUS is not interested in investigating those.
Coral Reefs Are Not Just Pretty — They Are Vital to Life.
Experts warn: the greenhouse gas pledges offered so far for the Paris conference are insufficient to keep heating within 2C.
We don't know that keeping heating under 2C will avoid disaster. If we are wise, we will do even more to reduce the heating as much as we can.
Research suggests that global heating might lead to big sudden climate changes when certain tipping points are reached.
A forged "letter from Moscow", which helped defeat Labour in the 1920s, was written by someone who later worked for MI6.
This gives rise to suspicions that MI6 helped arrange for the forgery, helping the Tories against Labour.
PISSI took advantage of Russian air strikes to capture territory from other enemies of Assad.
Israelis strategists have proposed since the 1980s the goal of making Iraq and Syria split along sectarian and ethnic lines. Perhaps the US intended to do this.
Other countries such as Saudi Arabia might have wanted it too, and influenced Dubya to invade Iraq.
California has required pension funds to divest from coal.
New York thugs broke Thabo Sefolosha's leg for the hell of it, then prosecuted him on false charges. This time, they lost.
A lawsuit against the city will not punish the individual thugs that attacked Sefolosha. Didn't they commit gross bodily harm? Jail them for it!
Imagine a world in which thugs can't get away with breaking anybody's leg.
Reducetarianism is a movement to eat less meat.
The US has returned to its old policy of supporting dictators in the Middle East in the name of "stability".
With secular opposition crushed, people may turn to jihadis as the only plausible way to oppose the dictators.
Wikileaks has published the final TPP "intellectual property" chapter, and it is even worse than we knew. It says that countries can suppress lawsuits in order to keep companies' embarrassing information secret.
The term "intellectual property" represents fundamental confusion, so any agreement, law or plan formulated based on that term is sure to be a bad one.
Four men convicted of murder in Chicago were probably innocent, according to a city investigation, but the prosecutor insists on keeping them in prison anyway.
The Cleveland thugs that killed an unarmed couple in their car will not be punished, but they may be fired. Or maybe not.
250,000 people protested in Berlin against the proposed corporate supremacy, TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic).
A bomb in a peace march in Turkey killed dozens of people.
The regime could have set this bomb; it has engaged in lots of other violence, including (it appears) the attack that was its excuse for resuming war with the PKK.
Turks are protesting, blaming the state for this attack and condemning Erdogan's suppression of media criticism.
Sanders rejects Obama's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, who has ties to big Pharma.
Extracting natural gas in the Netherlands sets off earthquakes, and these have made many houses uninhabitable.
Parents in Swainsboro, Georgia, are suing because their child was punished for not joining in prayers.
Vyara Glaser is being prosecuted in London for "damaging" a military vehicle. She wrote on it with washable ink, as a protest.
Sanders explains his views on gun control.
California has a new law requiring that the state get search warrants before accessing people's digital data, in their own devices and in online services.
This is good, but it is not enough to excuse avoidable collection of data about people. I will continue to pay cash so as not to be tracked.
Libya's two rival governments have agreed to unite.
I hope that this works.
It's been ten years since Sony Music infected the world with its rootkit.
A US appeals court ruled that a sequence of yoga poses (such as Bikram yoga) cannot be copyrighted.
Copyright law explicitly covers only creative details of expression, not anything with practical significance.
Purdue University destroyed the video of a public talk, on US government orders, because the talk's slides showed material from Snowden revelations.
This is part of the US government's policy of refusing to recognize that formerly secret information has been published. It sounds like sheer insanity, but it has real repressive consequences.
Universities must reject secret government research entirely if it comes with conditions that apply to the rest of the university.
The US Supreme Court has given companies more power by allowing them to impose their choice of arbitration systems on employees and even customers.
The reasons Amerindians have high rates of alcoholism are high rates of stress, trauma, and poverty.
Conjecture: conservative Catholic officials tricked the pope into meeting with Kim Davis.
Wyoming has adopted a law specifically prohibiting collecting data (such as water quality) to report to government agencies.
The bar codes on airplane boarding passes have lots of personal information. Don't just throw them away.
Prisoners in Pennsylvania that file legal complaints about abusive treatment are punished with violence, torture, and self-contradictory criminal charges.
NYC thugs put Kamilah Brock in a mental hospital because she claimed to work in banks and own the BMW she was driving — while black.
Defendants Should Have the Right to Inspect the Software Code Used to Convict Them.
Collections of personal data compared with nuclear waste: potentially dangerous for a long time.
US students and professors that criticize Israel's occupation of Palestine face pressure from an organized network that uses gifts, threats, and bogus legal complaints to promote censorship in schools.
The TPP has labor and environmental standards, but without enforcement, so countries could ignore them. Meanwhile, the power it gives to foreign companies has a strict enforcement mechanism attached.
A French prisoner won damages because he had to share a poorly ventilated cell with smokers.
The biggest crime gang in Japan has split, and if it develops into a gang war, they might use drones or 3d-printed guns to fight it.
It seems plausible that sophisticated gangs will make and use 3d-printed guns, but I have a feeling (though I can't prove it) that most crazy mass shooters will be deterred by the difficulty.
I am almost certain that few depressed people will 3d-print guns in order to shoot themselves. If you're depressed, you're not going to go to such effort.
Thus, I don't believe that 3d printing makes gun control obsolete.
One effect of prohibiting drugs is that you can't be sure the drug is pure. This has killed at least a thousand Americans, perhaps far more.
12 congresscritters got "donations" from payday lending companies just before or after they sponsored bills to restrain the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from curbing the companies' abuses.
US religious nuts (who are numerous) want to ban research using fetal tissue because the tissue comes from abortions. Since this research is necessary for progress in some areas of medicine, their fanaticism could kill your children or even you.
Ben Carson claims that Jews could have prevented the Holocaust, if only they had had guns.
This is an absurd fantasy. The Jewish minority in Germany could not have defeated the state and the majority of Germans with personal guns. Nor could Jews have defeated the occupying German army in other countries. It took a stronger army to do that.
Some Jews who were young and fit joined resistance groups, but those groups could not defeat the German army on their own. They could only weaken it with guerrilla tactics. They could not have protected the rest of the Jews.
In the Warsaw ghetto, the Jews did have guns, and they fought tenaciously for their lives. They threw back a German division … but ultimately they lost. The Germans had reinforcements and resupply, while the Jews did not. I think those Jews realized that the best they could hope for was to go down fighting.
Burma has accused China of asking rebel groups to reject a peace deal.
Eight women talk about their abortions, to reject the stigma on abortion.
Belarus continues to repress the media.
Malaysia arrested a lawyer who criticized the prime minister's corruption.
The OECD's proposals for reform of how businesses are taxed are small changes and would not solve the problem.
I have a solution for this.
The US has given up on training non-jihadi Syrian rebels, since that didn't work. But it does not have a better plan.
The only useful plan that I can envision is to reinforce the Kurds, but it is clear that the US is unwilling to do that.
The Obama regime has backed off on the idea of requiring back-doors in products that do encryption.
They may try again at any time.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Dingell-Ellison letter, calling on Obama to restrain Saudi the attack on Yemen and pursue diplomacy.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
US citizens: call on representatives to vote against the TPP.
US citizens: support regulation of guns.
It falls to a book fair to rebuke Saudi Arabia for its plan to execute a protester.
The American Bar Association's president explains many ways that the US legal system is biased against blacks.
Julie Bindel condemns the student unions' "no platform" practice that has banned her from debates at UK universities.
I disagree with Bindel about sex work and some other issues. As for whether posing nude is a way to liberate women, that's complicated because patriarchy is complicated. It includes pressure for women to be ashamed of their bodies, and a tendency to judge women solely in terms of sex and attractiveness. Posing nude resists the former but may promote the latter.
Regardless of whether I agree with her, I think it is wrong to exclude her from speaking at UK universities.
Wisconsin Republicans are embarrassed that Scott Walker apparently violated campaign finance laws, so they are going to repeal the laws.
Why do companies repeat the same wrongdoing after being caught?
I'd say it's because the punishments are insufficient to dissuade them.
Individual Jews and Arabs continue violent attacks.
I wonder why Israeli soldiers shoot to kill when Palestinians throw stones or roll burning tires at a fence. Wouldn't tear gas suffice?
Many Ebola survivors have long-term damage, and they may transmit the virus sexually.
The Tories want Britons to work harder and die younger, like Americans.
California has banned use of microbeads in some products, because they get into waterways and harm wildlife.
California's snowpack is at a record low level; apparently it has never been so low in 500 years.
Global heating appears to be involved.
Shkreli said he would reduce the price of Daraprim, but then he didn't.
This seems to have been a PR manipulation false promise, like when Amazon promised to stop remotely erasing books in Swindles.
Svetlana Alexievich: The Gulag can be restarted at a moment's notice.
Chilean dictator Pinochet directly ordered the assassination of exile Orlando Letelier, who was in exile in the US.
The US backed Pinochet before and during his coup, and afterwards too I suppose.
Call on the World
Bank to suspend loans to Uzbek government because of its use of
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Salman Rushdie warns that western intellectuals cater too much to Muslims that demand others not insult them or their religion.
I see plenty to disapprove of in lots of religions, though some of them are quaint.
US citizens: call on Obama to allow an independent investigation of the attack on Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz.
US citizens: call for
fracking on public lands.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
The current mass coral bleaching event could result in the biggest coral die-off humans have recorded.
But it will only get worse in subsequent decades. By 2030, such events could occur annually.
In addition to thousands of species that live in them, coral reefs provide a value to the human economy estimated at 6 trillion dollars per year. Around a billion human beings live on sea food, and a lot of that food comes from coral reefs.
US citizens: demand strict environmental standards for mountaintop removal coal mining.
Ben Carson is being condemned for recommending that people mob a shooter to stop the shooting.
Carson could be right on that point: fighting back, the crowd could limit the number of people that the shooter can kill. When the shooter's magazine is empty, the crowd will stop him from reloading.
It is a mistake to claim that that statement blames the victims. It isn't about blame at all — it is practical advice. As for the blame, that falls on the killer in any case.
I think this advice applies to many situations where people are subject unjustly to violence. Think of the Stonewall riot. Think of evictions.
The rest of what Carson said is mistaken.
Canadians, vote for the New Democrat Party — it is the most likely to reject the TPP.
I wish it took a firm stand, but even partial opposition is better than none.
"An unfair global tax deal backed by the world's richest countries will do little to curb tax dodging by multinational firms in developing nations."
Saudi planes attacked a Yemeni wedding party and killed three men who were going to get married.
Amnesty International has condemned this intervention and called on the US to stop supporting it.
The IMF suggests that another financial crisis is coming because bubbles will have to pop. Furthermore, governments have failed to fix the broken banking system. Banksters have resisted fixing it.
The UK government is triumphing over the UK solar power industry.
Violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories: "Can leaders on both sides contain the violence?"
Containing the violence cannot be the sole goal: justice is required too, and that means ending Israel's occupation of Palestine.
We don't think of England as arid, but in parts of England rivers sometimes dry up. Where they do flow, they're poisoned.
Massive civil disobedience is planned for the Paris climate conference, to demand that they really solve the problem.
Russia has forced the Committee Against Torture to close, through unjust fines.
Now Putin's men can torture just like CIA agents.
Investments in equipment and infrastructure for using fossil fuels risks being a total loss.
China's Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans. A warning of what Facebook could be turned into.
The ACLU is helping homeless people sue Sarasota, Florida, to overturn the law prohibiting sleeping in public.
Police Sweep Dozens Of Homeless Out Of Former Seattle Times HQ Where Developer Plans High-Rises.
Patriot Coal's bankruptcy will deprive some coal workers of their health care.
This "coal company" was split off specifically so as to go bankrupt so that Peabody Energy would escape paying their pensions.
Cameron's " assault on poverty" will help poverty in the UK by making 200,000 additional working families poor.
Clinton has started expressing doubts about the TPP, though not on fundamental grounds.
I am glad about this change, because it will help defeat the TPP, but I think she is making a political calculation, unlike Sanders' sincere stand.
US citizens: tell Obama not to allow more oil drilling in Gulf of Mexico.
Global heating is gradually harming the production of canned pumpkin. This year, due to bad luck, there won't be enough.
tell Chicken of the Sea
to clean up its treatment of fish and fishermen.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: tell Congress that your "thoughts and prayers" are not enough — we want real action to control guns.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the DARK Act. It would abolish state and local regulations on GMOs, including requirements to label them in food.
US citizens: oppose the Republican-Clinton proposals for a bigger military intervention in Syria.
Everyone: call for rejection of the TPP.
The UN works with the government of Guatemala to prosecute corrupt and repressive politicians.
Although apartheid has ended, inequality in South Africa keeps increasing.
Indigenous people in Bolivia are campaigning to stop oil extraction from their land, and meeting with repression from the thugs.
Israel is punishing the families of Palestinians that killed Jews, by demolishing their family houses.
Collective punishment is repression, not justice.
The US and UK are trying to block or delay a UN treaty to limit autonomous killer robots.
Prematurely ruling some killings as "suicide by cop" prejudges the question of whether the thugs were justified or not in killing those people.
US nurses denounce the TPP.
Howard Zinn on the US empire.
Billionaire Polluters has to pay 20 billion dollars for the Big Spill, but it will get 5 billion back as a tax deduction.
Thugs in Manchester, UK, were posted to "observe" protesters through the telescopes of sniper rifles.
The thugs' spokesman said, "Don't worry, they aren't there to shoot."
But why is it necessary to observe protesters through powerful telescopes?
Thugs got some backlash from Black Lives Matter in donut stores. Donut unto others…
To refuse to serve thugs is going too far, but reminding them of their responsibilities is legitimate.
It is hard to use your own gun to stop a massacre. It takes special training to stay calm and not be confused by the stress and fear people feel in such situations. In practice, you usually shouldn't even try.
Imagine treating men that want to get a gun like women that want to get an abortion.
SCROTUS cancelled the fees that offshore oil and gas extractors paid to fund national parks.
Right-wing US Christians worship the "supply-side Jesus".
Computer companies that explicitly endorse the TPP: Apple, Facebook, HP, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, Xerox.
Supporters also include Disney, Time Warner, Wal-Mart, Target, Gap, Exxon, Chevron, Mars, Kraft, Coca Cola, Monsanto, Procter & Gamble.
People with religious convictions in favor of abortion rights might be able to use the Hobby Lobby decision to justify ignoring the Republican laws that make it hard to operate an abortion clinic.
Why is Donald Trump's tax plan ridiculed but the TPP deal gets a pass?
The US has now changed its story 4 times about bombing Médecins Sans Frontières.
It is difficult to hit a moving target.
This attack was probably a war crime.
The European Court of Justice ruled that Facebook (and other companies) cannot send Europeans' personal data to the US.
Fiorina's "abortion" video actually shows a miscarriage, not an abortion.
Netanyahu's government has retroactively authorized large "outposts" built by Israelis in Palestine, without Israeli authorization. Thus he demonstrates that Palestinian President Abbas's statements are correct.
Supporters of the Palestinian boycott-divestment-sanctions movement face systematic harassment from an organized group which says it aims to intimidate people. The harassment is often followed by threats of violence.
The University of California is being pressured to impose unconstitutional censorship.
A textbook that presented Israeli and Arab descriptions of the history if Israel/Palestine, side by side, was rejected in both Israel and Palestine.
Australia has killed a UN plan to help people move to escape destruction by climate mayhem of the land where they live.
The Australian government, while cutting back on efforts to curb global heating, thus endeavors to make people drown on the islands and shores that will be flooded.
I suspect the specific reasoning behind this is that supporting this plan would mean admitting that global heating will cause a problem.
Israeli troops in disguise raided a hospital in Palestine and carried off a patient. The troops tried to disable the security cameras but did not get them all.
Medecins Sans Frontieres demands an independent investigation of whether the US violated the Geneva conventions by bombarding the MSF hospital in Kunduz.
Why is U.S. refusing an independent investigation if it's so clear its hospital airstrike was an "accident"?
Other US attacks on civilian facilities.
In Vietnam, the US sought out hospitals as targets for bombing.
In the UK, all the services that helped mentally ill people cope with life mean that requiring them to work is in some cases killing them.
Britons, the banksters will kill you, one way or another, if you don't defeat them.
Amanda Kimbrough was sentenced to ten years in prison for "endangering" the fetus she was carrying. This is the latest right-wing excuse for punishing women by pretending that a fetus is a human being.
Ms Kimbrough did something very bad: she chose not to abort a fetus known to be badly deformed. However, she wasn't prosecuted for that (and it doesn't serve the right-wing agenda to prohibit that).
If Apple Didn't Hold $181B Overseas, It Would Owe $59B in US Taxes. And many other big companies likewise.
Indonesian Forest Fires on Track to Emit More CO2 Than UK.
Women in El Salvador have been sentenced to as much as 40 years in prison for having miscarriages, which were presumed by the state to be abortions.
Senator Graham wants federal aid for South Carolina, which has been hit hard by a hurricane, and can't recall why he voted against giving aid to New Jersey when it was in a similar situation.
Cindy Hahn made a video of thugs and suffered violent retaliation, followed by false accusations.
Bills in various US states would impose restrictions on obtaining viagra or vasectomies. The idea is to illustrate the wrong of laws that impede access to abortion.
I think these bills are good as argument, but it would be wrong to adopt them, just as it is wrong to adopt laws to impede abortion.
A futurologist unwittingly shows how bad the current changes in the structure of the economy could be, if we don't use democracy to stop them.
Verizon, sued for inserting tracking headers into users' web browsing, is about to track them even harder.
A major UK bookstore chain will stop the self-defeating sales of the Amazon Swindle.
The Amazon Swindle swindles users out of the traditional freedoms of readers of books.
US citizens: call on California to require search warrants for phone location data.
US citizens: Phone your senators to oppose a bigger intervention in Syria.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
I am not opposed to all kinds of intervention in principle. I'm opposed to useless bloodshed, and Syria is not worth fighting Russia over.
US citizens: phone Senator McConnell's office at 202-224-2541 and say, start confirming federal judges.
Nauru Refugee 'Release' Shows Neither Detention (of refugees) Nor Drawn-Out Processing Were Ever Necessary.
Users Have Been Betrayed in the Final TPP Deal — Help Us Tell Washington How You Feel.
A campaign to pressure Facebook to stop requiring its users to give their "authentic names".
California has legalized assisted suicide, but only for the terminally ill. People who are bedridden and condemned to years of useless suffering are excluded.
The Pentagon is having trouble spinning its bombing of the MSF hospital so as to deny its responsibility for the act.
Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain (on the casualties US interventions keep on causing).
Occasionally war is an intelligent and necessary policy, but most US wars don't make anything better.
Drone Flies Over NSA Complex in Germany, Dropping Leaflets.
Syria's "Moderates" Have Disappeared … and There Are No Good Guys.
Actually, there are some (mostly) good guys: the revolutionary Kurds.
Earth's Rising Population Spells Trouble Ahead.
Palestinians are so desperate and hopeless that some of them are engaging in random acts of violence against Israelis.
Negotiations are hopeless as long as Israel is dead set against peace, but the US could change that.
"Arm the opposition" has become a standard simplistic US method of intervention. But it usually does not work.
Global heating made the record-breaking rain and floods in South Carolina worse.
New tax rules to stop offshoring of profits were weakened by UK lobbying.
US officials won't turn their attention to the suffering the US is helping Saudi Arabia to cause in Yemen.
This could be related to Saudi Arabia's paid PR in the US.
The residual radiation around Chernobyl is not as bad for wild animals as the presence of humans would be.
It is good news that the radiation doesn't do worse harm, but this doesn't imply that we should consider the area safe to live in or farm.
Britain's Role in Shaker Aamer's Torture Demands an Inquiry — Now.
1/3 of the world's cactus species are endangered by human demand for exotic houseplants.
We're All Racist. But Racism by White People Matters More.
Organized American Atheists are starting to campaign for abortion rights.
The US and Russia both twist the definition of "terrorist".
Terrorists are people that try to gain their ends by threatening or committing violence against civilians. Maybe all the armed groups in Syria are terrorists, except perhaps the Kurds.
The Committee for Public Safety (officially "Department of Homeland Security" confiscated the computer of the Mayor of Stockton, then kept him prisoner until he handed over the passwords).
I don't think they have a legal right to demand passwords.
Dairy farming, when carried to excess, causes major environmental degradation.
Don't forget the methane that the cattle produce.
The CIA continues to shield the Salvadorean officer whose troops committed a US-backed massacre in 1981, now that he faces a criminal investigation for it at home.
The US has published a series of false excuses for bombing the MSF hospital in Kunduz, suggesting that they are inventions rather than facts.
The Lords Resistance Army has been weakened, but remains dangerous. We should finish it off.
Making a giant no-fish zone around Easter Island.
for a careful investigation of Monsanto's new pesticide-resistant
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: call on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toxic fire-retardants.
China uses universal total surveillance to punish people who communicate with dissidents or other undesirables.
Banksters have been found colluding to manipulate a market — again.
Computers can now imitate a chosen person's voice well enough to fool software and other persons.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Wants to Make the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Even Easier to Abuse.
The water in Flint, Michigan, has so much lead that it poisons children who drink it.
A massive protest against cruel policies greeted the Conservative Party meeting in the UK.
The US claims that Taliban were firing from the MSF hospital. MSF says this is false.
Afghan officials say the Taliban were in the hospital's "extensive" garden; if so, why did the US keep bombarding the hospital instead?
Four ways people can help Planned Parenthood.
Akros Middle School suspended student Iverson Sibley for having a bag of sugar and flavoring. The staff had thought at first that the bag contained cocaine. When they found out what it really was, they felt that a punishment already decided on had to be carried out.
Some courts and officials take the same attitude towards the death penalty. "The system, by definition, can't be wrong."
The disputes among the governments in the TPP negotiations are about how to manage and control trade — for the benefit of which companies?
State laws that require colleges to allow guns on campus did not prevent the Oregon school shooting.
Ai Weiwei found suspected listening devices in his studio, and posted photos of them.
Guns give people an illusion of strength and security.
The UK and Saudi Arabia made a deal to get themselves voted onto the UN Human Rights Council.
The UK is not as bad as for human rights Saudi Arabia, but it is getting there.
"In the United States, you're more likely to be crushed by falling furniture than killed by a terrorist—but try telling that to Washington."
It might appear that Americans are safe and secure, if you ignore the big danger we face: poverty spread by plutocracy.
The complicated relationship between GMO cotton and farmers' suicides in India.
Based on the information in the article, it appears that Bt cotton was among the last steps in the process that led farmers to ruin in some regions.
Although millions have tuberculosis, drug companies are not interested in developing new drugs to cure it. They want to develop drugs people will have to take over and over.
The UK has made innocent people plead guilty by means of US-style plea bargaining and heavy fines for those who don't plead guilty.
In the US, Is It Time for a New New Deal?
Increasing the birth rate would be bad, but proper gratis provision of birth control and abortion would be able to prevent that byproduct.
The US bombed Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz for over 30 minutes as the charity's staff called for a halt.
It is impossible to completely avoid such errors in war, but the US may not have done enough to avoid the attack or to halt it.
Berkeley report on US legal threats to the right to do computer security research.
Argentina has proposed a horribly long extension of copyright for photos. Via Libre, a good free software organization, is organizing against this.
The Bern Convention is bad, and rather than scurrying to obey it, countries should tear it up.
EFF: Breaking Section 230's Intermediary Liability Protections Won't Fix Harassment.
How Opponents of Raising Minimum Wage Pit Workers Against Each Another.
Eight Ways to Stop Gun Massacres in the US.
The Diderot effect: buying one "cool" product can manipulate you into feeling you need a bunch of other "cool" products to add up to a new "cool" lifestyle.
I think it's silly to buy anything with the idea it will change something else.
Miami prison thugs made a habit of bribing teenage prisoners to beat up other teenage prisoners. Then one was beaten to death.
Proposing the Logo Sea Turtle — for Whales
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support gun control laws.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on the Senate to support diplomacy in Syria.
The Federal Trade Commission is starting to act against companies that make customers sign promises not to criticize the company.
This practice is part of a larger range of unjust practices, which also includes imposing arbitration agreements on customers or on employees.
Wisconsin is hell for black children. Madison, the capital, is egregious: around 3200 black children age 10-17 live there, and thugs arrested such black children 1000 times last year. They are arrested for protesting, for running, for picnicking.
The US issues special visas for temporary immigrant workers that are tied to a single employer, which makes them vulnerable to enslavement.
Congress is trying to make it essentially impossible to release anyone from Guantanamo prison, even prisoners who have been officially cleared of all suspicion.
The US must release or try each and every one of the prisoners in Guantanamo, because imprisonment without trial is tyranny.
The EPA has tightened standards for ozone pollution a little, but it's far less than doctors say is needed to protect human health.
There is a proposal to exclude tobacco from TPP rules — the ones that would allow companies to sue governments over any laws that interfere with their profits. But tobacco companies are pressing hard to be included, so they can block measures to restrain the promotion of their deadly product.
This is just a sample of the evil spirit of Treacherous Plutocratic Poison.
Billionaire "philanthrocapitalism" is so powerful that it buys the support of entire fields of endeavor; hardly anyone dares question its decisions.
When Gates referred to opponents of computational idea patents as "communists", I think he meant me.
This was my response.
Unfortunately the article falls into repeating the confusion term "intellectual property" that Gates himself uses. Please don't ever use that term.
The Nation's views on resolving the Syrian civil war through negotiation.
I mostly agree, but I think we should support the revolutionary Kurds more. They are the only side in Syria that isn't made of monsters.
Ferguson's thug department made itself more repressive by overpromoting thugs with SWAT training.
In other words, the psychological side effect of militarization was what counted.
Why Science Can't Say When a Baby's Life Begins.
I think it is better not to try to save a premature baby if it will probably have major defects. If it makes sense to prohibit harming a fetus, that should apply to this.
The "internet of things" could mean being snooped on by roommates or family. It could promote even more intrusive and pressuring control of children by their parents, with never a moment on their own.
Canadian artists say they will vote for whoever will repeal the recent massive surveillance law.
World's Energy Systems At Risk From Global [heating], Say Leading Firms.
Today's UK workers will face poverty when they retire.
An enormous dispute has arisen about how to get drugs for executions in the US.
I can't see why people object to the specific method, rather than objecting to the death penalty.
We are shocked at reports of how "child protection" agencies harass and threaten white parents, but they do it a lot more often to black parents.
They need to relearn that their job is to deal with abuse of children, and failure to overprotect is not abuse.
Civil Rights Groups Condemn Draft Mass Surveillance Bill to be Adopted in France.
How gentrification is making New York and other great cities boring, except for the very rich.
A dumb system is an unbiased system. If they make it "smart", we can't trust it to be fair.
However, the recommendation for "transparent" code in cars is insufficient — what we need is free software, software that the users control.
When a man loves a bonobo.
Saudi Arabia benefits from Western support so it can carry out its barbaric religious extremism.
14 European countries have decided to ban genetically modified food crops.
Genetically modified food crops are not inherently and inevitably bad. In practice, they tend to do harm because they (1) use lots of pesticide and (2) spread patent pollution. With companies pushing for them, their effects on consumers, farm workers and wildlife are not tested properly.
Liberal Mormons can switch to an alternative church.
In Kenya, the thugs do not regard rape as a crime.
A bipartisan senate bill proposes to cut back on mandatory minimum sentences.
Planned Parenthood provides medical services for men, too.
People outside France rushed to criticize the satire in Charlie Hebdo without understanding its anti-fascist basic idea.
I don't personally know Charlie Hebdo very much; I never read it myself.
Burundi Is Burning — Help Us Put Out the Fire Before It's Too Late.
I don't know enough about Burundi to have any idea what sort of help might make things better rather than worse.
The need for humanitarian assistance is ballooning, and the organizations that provided it are stretched to the limit.
This is not surprising: too much human footprint is pushing everything to the limit.
The Vatican says that Pope Francis did not give support personally to Kim Davis.
A vigilante virus tightens the security of systems it enters, and appears to do nothing nasty.
To be truly ethical, it should make all its source code available (under a free license, of course), and should ask before it changes things.
Ebola is still infecting people in Sierra Leone.
Is the vaccine ready?
The US smears its name by supporting the Saudi regime, whose cruelty resembles PISSI.
The Saudi regime even destroys ancient relics too — mainly those from early Islam.
The European Court of Justice ruled that an internet-based company which specifically markets to any particular country and has operates in that country must follow that country's data protection rules for citizens of that country.
This decision looks correct to me. The multinational Companies should not be able to shop around between countries for the weakest data protection and apply that to everyone. Meanwhile, smaller companies that operate in one country will still be covered only by that country's law, even though they sell to people in other countries.
Amazon will try to kill Google and Apple video streaming products by not listing them for sale.
Those products are just as proprietary, and probably just as nasty, as what Amazon offers. People shouldn't buy or use any of them. However, that doesn't detract from the main point of the article: that Amazon's market power is dangerous.
I urge people not to buy anything from Amazon under any circumstances. I have never done so.
An NHS physician describes the corrupting influence of private medicine.
The Obama regime is going to the mat to avoid apologizing to Faisal bin Ali Jaber, whose family was killed in a drone attack in Yemen.
Robert Reich: the Washington Post attacked Sanders' plans for health care and education, with bogus arguments based on misrepresentation of the facts.
Many cars advertise high miles per gallon and don't seem to deliver.
Is this another case of lieware, or do they use only physical hacks?
DRM and the DMCA are additional barriers to investigating lieware.
A collection of emails revealed by a freedom-of-information request seems to show Monsanto organizing many professors to publish and speak in favor of GMOs, often claiming dubious benefits.
Richard Parry says that Israel is secretly helping al-Nusra (a part of al-Qa'ida) in Syria.
It doesn't state evidence; I would not put this past Israel but I don't consider the claim proven.
The larger question is, what should the US do in Syria? The article does not even consider the possibility of aiding the one side that isn't monstrous — the revolutionary Kurds.
'We Could Have All These Drugs Available at Generic Prices'. Bad policies, which cater to Big Pharma, make drugs too expensive.
Toys 'R Us used special visas to bring in temporary workers to study American workers' jobs. Then it fired those workers.
Workers need to have the guts to say "I will quit now rather than later." And the fortitude to organize unions. And to vote against any anti-union politicians.
Reaganism Has Been The Problem — Bernie Sanders Is The Solution.
Wyoming has made it a crime to collect data (for instance, pollution measurements) from open land and report the data to government agencies.
The law's motivation was undisguised corruption by businesses that want to pollute.
Organizations campaign to repeal the law banning federal funding for abortions.
It is vital to demand more than mere preservation of the status quo. To defend the status quo is to set up a discussion in which every possible compromise is a change for the worse.
The "fertilizer lobby" campaigns against plans to reduce global heating due to agriculture.
UK thugs tracked MPs including Jeremy Corbin.
Snooping on Labour politicians has a long history in the UK.
Israel's most senior diplomat has recently rejected outright the idea of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu did this around the time of the election. The US can no longer go along with Israel's pretend peace negotiations. It looks like Obama has decided to completely drop the question.
I think this calls for an increased level of private pressure on Israel to make peace.
Meanwhile, students that criticize Israeli policy face organized censorship and intimidation on campus, including false accusations of "antisemitism".
The New York Times understates the success of their movement.
Killer robots are already being built.
Canadian scientist Tony Turner was fired for criticizing right-wing science saboteur Harper outside work, so he will spend full time campaigning against the Conservatives.
Americans are becoming more concerned about how digital technology harms their privacy.
If we want to get privacy back, we need to stop giving companies the choice about how much privacy we can have.
Mass shootings (four or more people shot) are happening over once a day in the US.
The overall US murder rate is still much lower than it was in the 90s. But the rise in mass shootings indicates a systemic problem.
India offers a pledge to get 40% of electricity from renewables by 2030.
This is comparable to many other inadequate pledges. Electricity is a small fraction of energy use in India.
The legal framework for eliminating the NHS in the UK has already been put in place, with no public debate.
Actual privatization and elimination is proceeding rapidly.
The Tories' goal, all along, has been to eliminate most medical care for the people that don't matter to them (the non-rich). They don't admit this, but their actions show it.
A court says Birmingham thugs violated students constitutional rights when pepper-spraying them for arguing.
The vicious cruel intentions of the thugs are proved by the way they acted afterward to maximize the students' suffering.
Self-driving cars offer tremendous advantages. We must fight to prevent them from imposing dangers, such as total surveillance of the passengers, and proprietary software for the driver or the passengers.
We must prevent them from being operated as a Guber-style taxi system if, as Guber does, it requires users to run nonfree software to call a car and to pay for the ride.
We must insist that, if you buy a car, you can change the software in it.
Sanders is raising a lot of campaign funds in small donations, not from billionaires — but we need campaign finance reform anyway.
Alabama passed a law requiring voters to have state ID, then closed the offices where most blacks live.
An artificial media hype bubble about refugees collecting in Calais to push their way into the UK has vanished, illustrating how the media can focus attention on distractions by making them look big.
50 years ago, the Indonesian army stirred up a massacre that killed up to a million people, with implicit US support.
The numbers killed are uncertain because Indonesia has discouraged investigation of the massacre.
Turkish journalist Ahmet Hakan, who has criticized the regime, was attacked by a gang outside his home. This was clearly a targeted political move, presumably arranged by Erdoğan's thugs.
Samsung TVs seem to burn more energy in real use than in official tests. Is it because of lieware?
There are gray areas at the edges of lieware, which mislead in the same way but perhaps were not designed specifically to do so.
Compare with the issue of how banks could generate illegal practices, such as refusing home loans to blacks or in certain neighborhoods, through algorithms without explicitly programming them to exclude specific groups or neighborhoods.
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics warns that we are filling the environment with chemicals that can have harmful effects at very low levels.
I presume this refers to endocrine disruptors, among others.
These chemicals are not poison in the usual sense; there is no danger you will ingest enough today to make you immediately sick. Rather, they cause birth defects, cancer, and various impairments, over the long term.
Several cities face slow annihilation, many of them due to global heating effects or local ecosystem degradation.
It appears Miami's politicians represent the fools that hope to sell their assets to a bigger fool who won't realize it's a rip-off.
The Afghan army says it has recaptured most of Kunduz after heavy fighting.
Smuggled official photos show that Assad's men tortured lots of prisoners to death.
Various plutocratist governments are trying to finish the TPP, but there is a disagreement about whether it should allow tobacco companies to sue governments about laws to reduce smoking.
This is not a quirk. It reflects the basic spirit of the treaty, which is why it is a mistake to think that fixing a few details might make it better than nothing. It is Treacherous Plutocratic Poison, and its purpose is to give companies more power against democracy.
We must kill it!
Moscow is winding down the war in Ukraine, and might be considering peace.
It seems that Putin started it for political purposes, and is willing to throttle it up and down as suits him politically. The economic sanctions could even be working (which they wouldn't if Putin considered the war inherently important).
Mexico has extradited some gangsters to the US, since even Mexico's highest-security prison is too corrupt to hold them.
Thugs in Rio de Janeiro have been arrested for killing a teenager and putting a gun in his hand. They were so careful as to shoot the gun after that, to create false evidence supporting their claim that he had fired it.
Britons demand that the state issue a compulsory license for a very expensive cancer drug, that the NHS can't afford.
Microsoft accidentally posted a "test" upgrade for Windows 7 which seems to have a lot more malware in it than ordinary Windows. There is no way to tell just what it does.
Everyone makes mistakes, and I don't think this mistake constitutes a reason to condemn Microsoft in particular. (There are plenty of such reasons in things that Microsoft intentionally does, from making nonfree software to many malware functionalities.)
However, this does show that forced automatic unblockable updates, such as imposed in Windows 10, is not the security solution that people take it for.
The War on Sex Trafficking threatens to enmesh large numbers of Americans who are not traffickers. This article compares it to the War on Drugs.
The two cases are not identical. People who are forced into prostitution suffer a real wrong, whereas drugs are not human and can't suffer. However, in both cases a conservative drive to punish whenever they can find an excuse comes into play, and provokes a response that can do great injustice.
Many Americans with mental illness are jailed for a long time over minor crimelets. Jamycheal Mitchell was jailed for 5 months for stealing a few snacks, waiting for transfer to a mental hospital, and died of neglect.
Teaching the idea of "yes means yes" in high school respects human rights, unlike imposing that as a standard for punishment in college, and will reach far more people.
It could also provoke less hostility and be received better.
Mining and fossil fuel extraction threaten nearly 1/3 of the natural UNESCO world heritage sites.
Rio de Janeiro has banned Guber.
I call it Guber because it pays drivers peanuts, but it does many other things that are likewise unjust, including surveillance of its users.
The sheriff of Tulsa County has been indicted for trying to protect a killer thug from prosecution.
It is extremely important to show thugs that there are consequences for this sort of thing, since this is the most widespread thuggish practice found among thugs. Most thugs are not disposed to commit violence themselves, but nearly all will support the lies that violent thugs tell to gain impunity for their violence.
The pope's meeting with Kim Davis has fired up the antiabortionist campaign to fight against LGBT rights through refusing to do their jobs. based on misguidedly applying the notion of "conscientious objection" to a situation it does not fit.
As we fight back against this, we may be able to target other forms of religious tyranny in the US, such as the Catholic hospitals that endanger patients' lives in the name of fetus adoration.
The banking system almost crashed in 2007 because it had become corrupt in its structure: every bank trader has an incentive to cheat clients and take mad risks with its investors' money, and they are so powerful that they defy governments.
I am confident we can defeat the banksters, if we have sufficient political will to cancel any treaties that they try to hide behind.
Manchester, England, is putting homeless people on trial, saying that their tents are an illegal protest. The homeless people say they are just trying to shelter from rain, after they were stopped from sleeping under a bridge. They face two years in jail.
If they were not protesting, they should have been, and it is wrong to punish homeless people for protesting a state that makes them homeless.
If you find the presence of homeless people on the street inconvenient or annoying, remember that being homeless is a lot worse.
Flagrant liar Carly Fiorina should not be elected president.
We've had plenty of those as president and they have done lots of harm.
Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria.
The US Border Patrol destroyed videos, which a judge had ordered handed over, to cover up its cruel treatment of prisoners.
Despite decriminalization of marijuana in several states, and legalization in a few, over 700,000 Americans were arrested in 2014 for possession of marijuana.
The new elected leader of Alberta talks about winding down fossil fuel extraction — in a century!
Doesn't she understand?
Russia is bombing one of the Syrian rebel groups that the US supports.
A plan to reduce the flow of plastic waste into the ocean.
Report: Matching [government] Funds [for election campaigns] Would Give Huge Boost to Sanders, Cruz and Carson.
Obama keeps claiming to have "ended" the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As late as July, he made this claim.
A thug, off duty and not in uniform, was relaxing with his son when He saw a driver flee from the scene of a car crash (which is a illegal, for good reason).
Instead of shooting the driver, he tackled the driver. Several more thugs showed up, so they beat up and arrested the first thug, perhaps because he is black. Not yet satisfied, they beat up and arrested his son, who is probably also black.
I wonder what happened to the driver.
In the US, if you have any relationship to a crime, before telling thugs anything at all, always consult a lawyer.
A British judge was put under investigation (and then quit) because he paid, himself, a destitute refugee's fine for not paying a previous fine. The refugee would have been jailed, then charged more fines for being jailed, unless he managed to steal enough money to pay all the fines.
This is similar to the situation that residents of Ferguson, and millions of Americans, find themselves in, as cities, starved of money because rich people and businesses no longer pay taxes, find ways to gouge the poor. But this judge, unlike those in Ferguson, recognized it was wrong. He followed the law but shielded the refugee himself, and for this was dismissed. Shame, England!
Nidal Abu Aker, imprisoned by Israel without trial in solitary confinement,
has stepped up his hunger strike by
to drink water.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
A human cannot live long without drinking. Perhaps he is willing to die rather than spend years in solitary confinement under an occupying regime.
A poll finds that Palestinians have mostly given up hope on negotiating an independent Palestinian state, and are ready for an armed uprising.
Armed rebellion against a military occupation is not in itself terrorism, but they will face the temptation to engage in terrorism as well.
Right-wing domination of US media is crucial to their imposition of a long series of unjust policies.
Will the world react more swiftly to the next epidemic than it did to Ebola?
It is a mistake for the government to support uterus transplants with public funds.
Likewise it is counterproductive for the government to support in-vitro fertilization, or anything else to help people make babies. The world does not have a shortage of young humans.
Having children is not a necessity of life. It is a desire that some people have. We should not treat a lack of children as tragic, any more than we treat the lack of some cheaper luxury, such as a Humv or a yacht, as tragic.
Prohibition of synthetic substitutes for marijuana, together with continued prohibition of marijuana in most of the US, may be partly responsible for the recent increase in murder rate.
Has the murder rate increased in Colorado?
FAQ about the UK and reparations for slavery.
The UK does deserve credit for banning slavery, a traditional practice which had existed since long before England came be.
Indonesia's president Widodo, who promised to confront Indonesia's human rights violations, has not kept his promise.
The article accepts without comment the idea that there is something bad about being an Atheist. One of Indonesia's human rights violations is that being an Atheist is not recognized; citizens must claim adherence to one of the six officially approved religions.
Mayor de Blasio called on the city's pension funds to divest from coal.
5 million Americans' fingerprints were taken by crackers out of the US government's records.
Thus, as the FBI collects and holds ever more Americans' fingerprints, even from Americans not accused of any crime, it exposes Americans to danger from criminals as well as from the state.
The UK's sanctions against Britons that went to fight for PISSI are ludicrous — locking the barn door after the jihadis have got out.
PISSI deserves all the hate it gets (though it makes no sense to exempt Saudi Arabia), but purely symbolic public expressions of hate won't defeat it.
The US wants to expand its search powers so that it can subpoena a part of the data on a hard drive, then fish through all the rest of the data for something to prosecute.
A campaign supported by whistleblower Thomas Drake offers to help surveillance agents quit the NSA and GCHQ.
US citizens: call on Obama to prosecute Exxon for lying about the danger of global heating.
Right-wing strategy, after reducing what is available to the non-rich, is to make them fight among themselves for a share of the reduced pie. To win, the non-rich must refuse to be divided.
Would it be legal for a bank to deny a loan based on Facebook data about you?
The article suffers from the common confusion between inventions and patents. The method of judging loans based on a person's Facebook data is an invention. The patent is a government-created monopoly that might stop or hinder some companies from using the invention. Patents on business practices are really a form of computational idea patent, so they should not be allowed.
But that is a separate issue from the issue raised by the proposed method. Innovations can be good or bad.
What worries me most about this proposed method is that it might pressure people to be used by Facebook.
US court denied the possibility of suing Saudi Arabia for involvement in the September 2001 attacks.
Defending the records of Syria's past from PISSI, and from others that just want to steal it.
Indonesia threatens to imprison British journalists for five years for having entered on tourist visas to make a documentary.
It is wrong to require special visas for journalists. One must suspect that this is a scheme to conceal dirty deeds. (In the case of the other journalists trying to cover West Papua, we can be sure of that.) All the governments, including the US, that have such a policy, deserve a rebuke.
The Afghan army has sent reinforcements to the outskirts of Kunduz but the soldiers lack the morale and fighting spirit to fight to retake the city.
As for the death of an important Taliban leader, that sort of thing causes only a small setback to an army with strong morale.
The Afghan government has the same weakness that the South Vietnamese government had: everyone knew its main purpose was corruption, so it could not inspire the sort of loyalty that motivates soldiers to risk their lives.
The thug that shot Zachary Hammond first told him, "I'll blow your...head off," as Hammond was looking away.
Corbyn calls on the UK government to stop providing advice to Saudi prisons.
Evidently the advice is not doing much, if any, good.
Trump proposed a big tax cut for the rich. To poor working Americans, he offers to cut their tax rate from 0% to 0%.
3 million EU citizens have signed a petition to kill the TTIP, and it may get killed.
That would leave several other corporate supremacy treaties in the works: TPP, TISA, CETA, and perhaps others.
The EPA has improved regulations for protecting farm workers from pesticides.
Current pledges for the Paris climate conference would still lead to 3.5 C of global heating.
Rich people have reshaped US laws and business practices, across the board, to benefit the rich and push the rest else down.
It is unfortunate that the article uses the confusing term "intellectual property", lumping together laws whose requirements and operation are totally different.
Big companies have managed to avoid 2/3 of the taxes they ought to pay to US states. This starves the state governments of funds.
When DEA agents were found with prostitutes in Colombia, the head of the DEA had to resign, but few agents have been punished.
I don't think it matters in the slightest if US agents have fun with prostitutes. However, if the prostitutes are paid by organized criminals, that's bribery. Why haven't those agents been prosecuted for taking bribes?
Republicans have found another way to demonize the poor: prohibit buying meat and fish with food stamps.
The UK's "work program" bullies unemployed young adults to submit useless job applications and be exploited for no pay.
A Chilling Handshake Between Obama And Putin, While Syria Disintegrates.
If you give a store your email address, it can now use that to give Google information about your interests.
Don't be tracked — pay cash, and don't tell the store who you are.
Now that it is established that Exxon's scientists recognized the likelihood and danger of global heating back in the 70s, it is time for a RICO investigation of these companies for carrying on while concealing the harm they knew they were doing.
Courts everywhere seek excuses to ignore newly presented reasons why someone should not be punished. A court in Afghanistan ordered a murderer to be hanged, although the law said he should not be executed since he was a minor when he committed the crime. The court said his birth certificate was presented too late.
In other words, the court found an excuse to disregard an undisputed fact.
I think it is a distraction to focus on details of the criminal, such as age or sanity. The death penalty is wrong in all cases.
The Taliban captured a provincial capital, Kunduz.
This is starting to look like Viet Nam.
Jamaica Calls for Britain to Pay Billions of Pounds in Reparations for Slavery.
France should repay to Haiti the ransom it demanded to allow Haiti to escape from slavery.
Humans have nearly eliminated sharks; this can have a surprising byproduct: lots of carbon emissions.
Humans have nearly eliminated sea turtles, too. Does that reduce carbon emissions?
The US and Switzerland are investigating large banks for manipulating the price of metals.
Too bad the US has a policy of not putting banksters in jail.
In America, the Poorer You Are, the Poorer Your Children Will Be. The rich have nearly eliminated social mobility.
UN Women, a UN agency for empowerment of women, has called for a world-wide system of censorship to be applied to the internet so that people can be stopped from threatening or insulting women.
It does this by conflating insults with "violence".
US citizens: tell Congress not to give Wall Street any gifts.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
"Carbon lock-in": investment in oil, gas or coal extraction tends to create economic forces that demand we extract it.
Carly Fiorina has endorsed torture, specifically waterboarding, and further makes the claim that it gets true information rather than falsehoods.
Shame on the Guardian for suggesting that there is any doubt that it is torture.
She also brags about providing servers for the NSA's massive general surveillance.
No one would be safe if she is president.
In a video game, the male players that harassed female players tended to be those who played badly.
New Zealand will create a vast marine protected area.
In the UK, cuts to doctors' salaries are driving many doctors to quit the NHS. But first they are going to try going on strike.
Expect US officials to start insulting Shaker Aamer in the media, to discredit what he says about how he and other prisoners in Guantanamo were tortured.
You may find my song parody, Guantanamero, pertinent in this context.
The UK government plans to make lawsuits over environmental damage so financially dangerous that people won't dare sue.
The US government, when it can justify a warrant, has many ways to get the data from someone's computer. Even if we assume it only does good, and ignore its potential for bad, it can't possibly justify banning encryption.
Please don't call security-breaking "hacking". The right name for that is "cracking."
A wedding in Yemen has been bombed. The article does not say which country's planes did it, but it was some US ally.
In Iraq, the wedding was bombed by US planes.
Shell gave up on drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea, saying test wells did not find enough oil. Perhaps this is an excuse, a deniable way to yield to public pressure.
Brazil has pledged a big reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
It is still not enough to save our ecosphere, but at least it is getting serious.
The illogically defended Kim Davis's refusal to sign same-sex marriage licenses, incorrectly calling this "conscientious objection".
The concept of "conscientious objection" applies to jobs people are compelled to do, such as when they are conscripted into the army. Conscripts that object to killing cannot avoid it by resigning from the army, so they have campaigned for and won the right to do some other duty, such as being a medic.
This is not pertinent to Kim Davis because nobody is conscripted to work as a county clerk. If Davis doesn't want to do that job, she can simply resign.
Although the pope continues the opposition to birth control and abortion, he is putting the main emphasis elsewhere.
Erdoğan's repression has pervasively undermined the Turkish state and courts.
The UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development calls for state licensing of social media platforms, which would be required to censor every post before it goes up.
That goes beyond even the actual Chinese censorship.
The UK will send troops to Somalia, ostensibly for training the Somali army, and calls this "keeping the peace".
It is dishonest to speak of "keeping the peace" during a civil war.
Cameron says he never screwed a dead pig. He was saving himself for when he would screw millions of living, human non-rich Britons.
Some industries convert CO2 to useful products. This is a fine thing to do, but we would have to do it on a tremendous scale for it to slow global heating.
The UK's right-wing government is cynically exploiting Syrian refugees as an excuse to get more involved in war.
Lessons from the Spanish political party, Podemos.
The pope spoke in a US prison and called on the US to care about what happens to prisoners.
I hope we can make US politicians start funding rehabilitation programs again. Putting an end to private prisons, as Sanders proposes, is a necessary step but would not, alone, offer prisoners help in rehabilitation.
However, we need to further than this. In order for ex-cons to go straight, we need to stop excluding them from nearly all opportunity other than crime.
The proposed EU-US agreement on cooperation in regard to subpoena'd data lacks basic protections.
The massive democracy protests in Hong Kong a year ago did not achieve their goals; people disagree about whether they have achieved anything.
Dropping a few bombs on PISSI is now de rigueur for some countries.
It is dishonest for these countries to claim that they are "defending themselves" with this. With the US already bombing PISSI, the extra bombs those countries can drop will not change anything; it is only symbolic. Defeating PISSI can't be done by dropping a few more bombs.
oppose a new
anti-net-neutrality rider by Sep 30.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
The UN is considering investigating Saudi war crimes in Yemen. The Saudi king is using its money to try to prevent this.
The US will keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for another year. Perhaps for another decade or two.
Pope Francis, addressing the UN, rebuked austerity and oppressive lending.
Many countries are subjugated by repayment of loans that were unjustly made in the first place.
He also asserted that the environment should have rights. Humanity and the environment are interconnected, so damaging one damages the other.
In South Korea, old women become prostitutes for old men, because they have no other income.
From time to time, Americans are hassled by thugs for wearing a shirt with some Arabic writing on it.
Ironically, the shirt in question was made by an anti-war group.
A student union in the UK has blocked Maryam Namazie from speaking at a university. Namazie defends the human rights of non-Muslims and ex-Muslims against repressive Muslim rule.
Subsequently the student union changed its decision and will permit Namazie to speak.
Mother Teresa told a woman, "Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you." Her response: "Tell Jesus to stop."
Catholic hospitals in the US have a similar attitude towards suffering patients.
The UN Special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants cancelled a visit to Australia, because the government would not promise not to prosecute people for speaking to him.
Compare this with Israel, that blocked a UN mission to investigate war crimes in Gaza.
Islamist rebels, allied with al-Qa'ida, have made a tentative peace deal with Assad.
A clear example of how systematic right-wing irrationality and obtuseness wins battles by repeating false insults.
If Republicans care about human life, why don't they celebrate avoiding war with Iran?
US citizens: say no once again to the TPP.
We have not won yet!
US citizens: call on Congress to ban privatized prisons.
Everyone: Urge the Philippines Congress to kick the tobacco industry representative off the state's tobacco control committee.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission cancelled a study meant to check for high levels of cancer within a few km of nuclear power plants. The author of this article says that this was done to avoid embarrassing the nuclear industry with a positive result.
I don't know whether the result is likely to be positive, but the cancellation stinks.
US mothers of newborns face imprisonment for long periods of time if they take drugs, even prescription drugs, that are judged harmful to fetuses.
There are many practices that pregnant women would do best to avoid, but imprisoning women for not avoiding them only makes things worse.
The EU must stop letting European companies entrust their data to US servers, but that's only the first step. The EU needs to establish sufficient privacy protection for users when the data is in Europe.
In my opinion, countries should not allow services to be designed as excuses to collect data about people.
The new prime minister of Australia has committed to defend a bogus plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ignoring the objections that he himself pointed out before.
GCHQ profiles the internet usage of nearly every internet user. This includes browsing, searching, emails, internet radio listening, and more.
The Supreme Court's right-wing majority bent over backwards to come up with the Corporations United decision. (The plaintiffs' organization was officially known as "Citizens United", a demonstration of the dishonesty at the root of their cause.)
Men Stab, Rape and Kill Women Because They Can. It's Time to Say They Can't.
People who claim that those who are raped are responsible for it are probably failing to distinguish between moral responsibility and practical responsibility.
Volkswagen says that only a small team of engineers was responsible for the lieware. Some are skeptical of this claim.
Uri Avnery: Netanyahu the fear monger can't use the hypothetical Iranian nuke any more, but he will find someone else.
How the NSA's Mass Internet Spying Poisons Society.
The German government plans to spend lots of money to increase surveillance of everyone.
Germany is considering requiring every "thing" connected to the internet to have a unique ID.
That is a horrible idea, since it would tent to cement total surveillance.
More than 100,000 people a year are killed by poisonous snakes, and no one keeps track of how many. And the company that makes antivenin has stopped.
Planned Parenthood supporters threw condoms at Carly Fiorina, who made false accusations against Planned Parenthood.
An unprecedented large mass of cold water in the North Atlantic threatens to shut down the currents, including the Gulf Stream.
US citizens: call on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stop selling mortgages to gougers.
on the Department of Education to declare a moratorium on
garnishing Social Security payments for student debt.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
The UK government has secretly lobbied against an EU proposal to require realistic tests of car emissions.
A Barbie doll connected to a company's server can converse with a child and get lots of personal data about that child.
Harlem residents are pushing homeless people out, while they have nowhere to go.
The UK government has no compassion for people brought or sent to the UK as children, without permission, who have no other home to go to. They are run through an expensive wringer, paying lots of money to file requests that get turned down.
The US is similar, which is one of the issues proposed for immigration reform in the US. This stalled a few years ago when Republicans turned against it.
Chile shows how planning, and enforcing strict building codes, can prevent an earthquake from becoming a disaster.
An excerpt from the book "Adventures in the Anthropocene" displays the twisted pride I warned that the term might inspire.
It is not too late to change to a name that won't inspire pride, such as "Thermocene", "Pyrocene" or "Obscene". All that is required is for a few prominent scientists to stop believing the self-fulfilling prophesy that "it is too late".
A court in Malaysia asserted independence from the authoritarian prime minister by ordering that some magazines can resume publication.
The latest clever idea for gouging the poor in the US: make them pay to "rent" a radio tracking ankle bracelet from a company, when on bail.
Antonio Green decided to go back to jail as the cost of this destroyed his life.
You might wonder why they make someone wear a radio tracking device when on bail for unpaid traffic tickets. Perhaps the motive for this practice is to enrich the company. When officials sign a deal like this with a company, one must suspect that they have an interest in it.
Cruel fallout from the right-wing War on Women's rights: women who take any sort of drug while pregnant are imprisoned for many years.
Ohio's governor offers food stamps to poor rural whites that vote for him, but not to poor urban blacks that vote Democrat.
David Stojcevski was jailed for not paying a parking ticket, then killed by inhumane treatment by thugs that paid no attention as he died.
School privatizers consider municipal bankruptcy an opportunity to seize and chew up public school systems.
Hillary Clinton secretly supported the coup in Honduras, while publicly claiming to oppose the coup.
This continues all the worst foreign policy practices of the US. I do not want someone like this as president.
Without Clinton's subtle support, the coup might have been reversed as recently occurred in Burkina Faso.
The Australian government is trying to make schools harass potential nonviolent environmental "terrorists" who might do things such as spiking trees to prevent logging.
This is no surprise. The Australian government works for the companies that do things such as mining and logging.
Thailand is planning a new central filtering system for the internet.
The right-wing Supreme Court has undermined the main restraint on thugs' illegal investigations — the exclusionary rule.
US-trained Syrian rebels traded some of their US-provided supplies to al-Qa'ida, in exchange for not having to fight al-Qa'ida.
The US training activity for Syrian rebels is not a serious effort, only a pretense. An "army" so small, and so little pugnacious, that it faces this sort of extortion would make little difference against Assad's forces which they are supposedly intended to defeat.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congressional Democrats not to yield to Republican hostage-taking.
The OECD countries have had 16% economic growth with a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 6%, over 10 years.
Keep in mind that economic growth, as such, does not necessarily make the economy better for people in general. That result occurs only when the growth is distributed so as to reduce poverty and suffering, which may or may not be the case. Since 2008, that has generally not been the case. This is a separate issue, and doesn't invalidate the article's point, but we should not say "Growth, hooray!"
A year later, the disappearance of 43 Mexican students is still a mystery, lost among hundreds of such mysteries in a state pervaded by gang corruption.
US citizens: support the Prescription Drug Affordability Act.
US citizens: tell the EPA that the proposed new regulations for toxic pesticides are not strong enough.
for a strong climate agreement
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: Call for amending the constitution to reverse the "Citizens United" decision.
I think "corporations united" is a more fitting name for it.
The US and China agreed on new rules for ivory, to try to discourage the killing of elephants.
Aging is the great holocaust.
A religious fanatic will be tried in the Hague for destroying a historic Muslim monument in Timbuktu.
The major pharma companies are gouging in the US, and their gouging appears small only when compared with the super-gouging of Daraprim.
Even worse, US drug companies are arguing in court that their "freedom of speech" entitles them to make unproved claims about what their drugs will do.
This is an additional reason why we need a constitutional amendment that says that human rights do not apply to fictitious "persons" such as corporations.
Everyone: call on Iran to free imprisoned cartoonist Atena Farghadani.
The Internet of Things would mean that any "thing" might be acting maliciously. The VW lieware is the first example.
Citizens of Ireland: sign the petition for a referendum to legalize abortion.
Protection measures have helped cod start to recover in the North Sea.
Keith McLeod was shot dead by a Baltimore thug who claims he had to protect his life from McLeod's pointed finger.
My first response is to wonder what really happened. Thugs sometimes tell the truth, but in situations like this we must not presume they did.
Supposing things happened as reported, McLeod was asking for some kind of confrontation, but that is no reason for his summary execution. A finger doesn't shoot bullets, and saying "I'm going to kill you" does not put someone's life in immediate danger. If the thug reacted as if they did, he must have been predisposed to kill.
The University of California may adopt a rule to expel students for "antisemitism", interpreted as criticizing Israel in certain ways.
It is wrong to expel students even for statements of real antisemitism, or any other form of bigotry, or any other position that some disagree with. The very idea of trying to stop "hate speech" is inimical to human rights.
Israeli soldiers attacked journalists and destroyed their equipment.
Due to the geography, Russian ground troops in Syria will mostly fight groups opposed to PISSI, rather than PISSI.
New pun: Des poissons peuvent abimer une rivère.
California has limited the use of solitary confinement, but screws continue to drive prisoners crazy by waking them every half hour.
School officials are "investigating" a teacher who explained the controversy over the name "Washington Redskins" by comparing "redskins" with "niggers".
Teachers should not use insulting racial terms, but it is ridiculous to order them not to explain to their students what racism is.
Shaker Aamer will probably be released from Guantanamo in a month.
The US's treatment of him has been abominable.
The Obama regime continues to conceal what prisoners say about how they are treated.
Colombia's second-worst terrorist group, the FARC, has agreed to peace with the state.
The worst terrorist group, the paramilitares that are linked to the military and to former president Uribe, has only pretended to demobilize.
El Nino's strong rains may not relieve California's drought, as the water may not soak into the dried earth.
Why the UK Must Fight Tooth And Claw Against Social Housing Sell-Off.
Greenpeace proposes a plan for the world to move to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This means ending use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
AVG says that its anti-virus program will collect data about users for AVG to use.
Simply removing the user's name from a data record does not prevent others from reassociating it with the user, and in practice it is common to do that.
This program is gratis, but not free software. It is commonplace for such software to mistreat its users.
The principal advisor of the European Court of Justice said that the "safe harbor" fiction, which allows European organizations to entrust personal data to US companies, should be declared invalid.
Drug-Price Hikes Don't Lead to Better Cures. We Must Find Another Way Forward.
Pope's Call to Congress to Abolish Death Penalty Comes at a Critical Moment.
China will start a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.
This could be a big help in curbing global heating, or it might do nothing at all. A cap-and-trade system tends to be ineffective when the economy shrinks, and corruption can make it a no-op as happened in Europe.
By contrast, a tax on substances and activities that emit greenhouse gases is easier to enforce, and has its effect even if the economy shrinks.
Here's a proposal for a different way to do cap-and-trade, using a fixed total carbon emissions budget. Would that avoid the flaws? I don't know. But I think it is important to design the system so that the budget can be reduced.
US medical insurance deductable amounts (what you have to pay in bills before you start to be covered) are rising 7 times as fast as wages.
If Volkswagen used "defeat devices" in all countries, its cars' disguised pollution is likely to kill between 74 to 400 people per year.
A far larger number become ill, miss days of work, etc.
100 million people live on seafood from the world's major coral area, the Coral Triangle. Global heating puts the reefs, and their usable animal life, in danger.
PISSI's terror attacks have destroyed Tunisia's economy.
Perhaps the US should donate money to employ people in Tunisia, partly to defeat PISSI and partly to give young Tunisians an alternative to jihad.
US citizens: Call on SEC Chair Mary Jo White to recuse herself from choosing an important subordinate, because of her personal conflict of interest.
The Supreme Court under its right-wing majority has nearly eliminated the possibility of taking action for school desegregation.
Meanwhile, US schools are becoming increasingly segregated again.
Women are publishing, through a web site, descriptions of how to give them sexual pleasure. It appears that a certain kind of rough and unrealistic porn has given boys and even men the wrong idea about the question. (I think it is a mistake to narrow the word "porn" to this particular kind of porn. Any work designed to arouse sexually is porn.)
Some teenagers have the good fortune to learn how to please a lover, and they move on to a life of sexual success. Others have worse fortune and have to wait years, even decades, to learn this. It is so sad, and so unnecessary. This is why I think every high school (and perhaps middle school too) should offer practical hands-on lessons in how to please a lover. Every graduate should have a basis to be confident that, "Anyone that I make love with will be glad we did."
Younous Chekkouri was sent from Guantanamo to Morocco, where he faces a likely unfair trial.
I don't object in principle to handing over prisoners of the US for trial in other countries. But we should make sure that the trial is a fair one.
Biden opposes abortion, and only reluctantly advocates allowing abortion rights.
We cannot trust a person like that to defend abortion rights.
Carly Fiorina's supporters have produced a phony video to support her false claims about Planned Parenthood.
In the right-wing echo chamber, lies are as effective as truth.
Homeless people must now sleep on the street in London, as the government's pressure on the poor builds up on all sides. Some lucky ones get a bus ticket from a charity so they can sleep on a night bus.
A student in the UK was questioned as a suspect for reading a textbook about terrorism in the university library.
He's lucky to have been reading it in the library, because if he had a copy in his possession, he could have been prosecuted for it.
A US border thug has been indicted for shooting and killing a Mexican standing on the other side of the border fence.
The pope rebuked Congress for the military-industrial complex and the wars that it fuels.
Many car companies cheat on emissions tests and mileage tests, and European governments are often complicit in the cheating.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 888-907-6639 and call for action to curb global heating. We can build on the momentum created by pope's speech.
You can cite the pope if you wish, but I don't think that is crucial. His support is a big help, but the world's climate scientists are pertinent authorities.
US citizens: call on the hedge fund manager that increased the price of Daraprim by 50 times to put the price back where it was.
A vague statement that he will lower the price somewhat should not suffice to take the heat off him.
Ten Reasons to Oppose the Saudi Monarchy.
A gang of billionaires are conspiring to convert half the schools in LA to nonaccountable privatized "charter schools".
A New York thug is expected to plead guilty after walking up to a car and shooting someone in it, for no rational reason. But will his punishment be anything more than a paid vacation?
Emilio Mayfield, who was attacked by a thug on his way to the bus who then accused him of jaywalking, did not in fact jaywalk.
Not that jaywalking would excuse the attack.
Explaining how Copwatch activities work and what they achieve.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose CISA.
We have to fight hard now, because Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and Symantec just endorsed the bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to sign Rep Himes's letter calling for negotiations about Syria.
Syrian cartoonist Akram Raslan was apparently tortured to death in Assad's prison.
The TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic) would strip local government of the power to regulate toxic chemicals, including fracking fluids and pesticides.
Responding to criticism of the TTIP, which would offer foreign companies the opportunity to sue when European laws get in their way, the European Commission has proposed to change a few details of the plan, such as its name.
Offering foreign companies this power would be damaging and wrong. Offering domestic companies this power would be damaging and wrong. It's good that the TTIP won't offer domestic companies this power. Even better, it should not offer this power to foreign companies either.
Then they might as well cancel the whole thing.
Paul Erlich notes that ending global heating won't be enough unless we also end human population growth.
Humanity has postponed the disaster that Erlich predicted, by lowering its birth rate, but population continues to grow and the danger is not gone. To lift all humans out of poverty, we need to redirect some of wealthier humans' income to the poor; but this won't work if the poor humans keep making more poor humans.
A journalist in Ghana made videos of 34 judges accepting bribes.
UK, France and Germany Lobbied for Flawed Car Emissions Tests.
Clinton made a proposal for greenhouse gas reduction, which is not very strong.
Clinton says she wants to limit gross increases in drug prices, but her plan appears to be weak. Sanders has a real plan.
Jimmy Carter acknowledges that the US has lost its democracy.
The US government is once again trying to bully US states into cooperating with "Real ID", which turns drivers' licenses into more rigid mechanisms of control.
The US will surely back down on this threat if any state refuses to comply with the demand. We should make sure states do not. Indeed, we should urge other states to stop complying with Real ID.
Crackers obtained fingerprint records for 5.6 million Americans when they broke the security of government computers.
Another Turkish journalist has been arrested and charged with "subversion".
Over 10 years, the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court has persistently served the powerful at the expense of other Americans.
Arguments that bullet-list presentations undermine careful thought and make it hard to notice errors.
Shortly after the US sent 70 trained Syrian rebels into Syria, one is reported to have defected to al Qa'ida.
The idea of training "moderate" Syrian rebels is just a fig leaf. What the US needs to do is stop shielding Saudi Arabia, which spews an extremist form of Islam around the world; but Obama is extending US support for Saudi Arabia.
The Ferguson commission did a serious job and recommended almost 200 changes in laws to eliminate the pervasive injustices observed in Ferguson and many other places in the US.
The Case Against Richard Glossip Is Crumbling, But He Is Still Scheduled to Die in a Week.
US construction of nuclear bombs and missiles is hidden in the "Department of Energy", but it's actually done by companies. These companies spend millions on lobbying to spend too much money on nuclear bombs and missiles.
After New Jersey thugs shot 14-year-old Radazz Hearns, they needed an excuse, so they claimed he had a gun. After days of searching they found a gun, 150 feet away, and claimed Radazz had thrown it there.
I hope Radazz's injuries do not foreclose his brilliant career in shot put.
Coca Cola has been caught funding distraction campaigns so people will think about exercise rather than what they eat.
One advantage of a national health service is that it can push down the price of medicines. But this is not working as well as it used to in the UK.
After each random blip in killings of US thugs, they claim it is a "war on cops".
James Roux went to a "remembrance ceremony" for the Sep 2001 attacks because his father was killed in them. When he found a "program of military force", he protested. Thugs arrested him and framed him (as usual for thugs), and right-wing media lied about him.
Canada's prime minister admitted that, in the TPP, he's working for auto parts companies. He also implied he would accept a bad deal for Canada in order to serve them.
The criticism of Harper concedes too much to the TPP. It endorses the mistaken idea that the TPP is a trade deal, and that Canada ought to try to negotiate a "good deal". The TPP is a corporate supremacy treaty, and its whole purpose is to benefit companies at the expense of democracy. Instead of getting distracted with details, Canada should pull out.
Some oil companies ask for a "global price on carbon", but if this means a global system for trading permits, we see from the failure of the European example that that approach is too easy to game.
The US "Department of Justice" is shirking its duties by not prosecuting CIA torturers.
Dozens of thugs invaded a housing project in London to evict the hundreds of residents, making most of them homeless.
People are personally responsible for the actions they agree to be paid to do. The thugs who did this cannot excuse it by saying that it was their job.
Can anyone find out, and publish, the identity of these thugs? They should be shunned and despised by all good people, until they apologize and resign from their jobs.
Travesty: Saudi Arabia as head of a UN human rights panel. Even worse travesty: the US "welcomes" that.
Cory Doctorow suggests a way to protect on-line advertising: a special privileged tracking snoop that we would all decide to trust to track us.
If I can't visit a site without being tracked, I won't visit it. If I won't visit it, I don't mind if it disappears.
My solution is to pay sites anonymously to visit them.
Egypt has pardoned the two imprisoned al-Jazeera journalists.
That's only a small step towards reestablishment of a free press.
Clinton now opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.
While this is obviously the right position on that issue, her slowness to adopt it means she hesitates to support proper action against global heating.
Other pipelines for shipment of tar sands oil also need to be blocked.
LA plans to spend $100 million on the homeless, but since that's nowhere near enough to house them, people worry it could just mean shoving them out of the way.
Pope Francis is rushing the process of canonizing Junipero Serra, and could just as easily slow it down for reconsideration.
Víctor Hugo Saldaño is surely a murderer, but he was sentenced to death because of his race. The pope has taken up the cause of commuting his sentence, condemning the death penalty as unjust.
Apple systematically bans apps that endorse abortion rights or would help women find abortions.
This particular political slant affects other Apple services.
A US court ruled that Warner/Chappel does not have a copyright on the words of "Happy birthday to you".
It is conceivable that someone else has one, but it is unlikely that this could ever be established.
China demands US companies give it backdoors into computers and software.
The clear need to resist this demand from China should show why we need to resist the same demand when it comes from the US.
US colleges and universities keep increasing the number of administrative staff. This is part of why they are now so expensive.
High salaries for executives and managers also contribute.
The UK government plans to take 12 billion pounds in government support from the working poor, and give them 4 billion pounds of increased wages with a raise in the minimum wage.
It adds up for a big heap of dooH niboR.
New Russian planes are helping Assad's army fight PISSI.
I suppose they will be used against the other forces in Syria, such as al Qa'ida and any remaining non-jihadi Arab rebel groups, and maybe even Kurds, though I think they are not close to Assad's slice of Syria.
The ShoutYourAbortion campaign puts an end to the compulsory expression of regret about abortions.
When defenders of abortion rights treat abortion as a drastic step, when they dwell on sadness that a woman needed the drastic step rather than rejoicing that she wasn't forced to have a baby, they hand the anti-abortion movement a victory. It is a mistake to use the slogan "pro-choice", because that implies reluctance to defend the abortion itself.
US citizens: call on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to deny funding to the two Democrats that voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
US citizens: call on the US government to tax hedge funds properly so as to provide support for Syrian refugees in countries near Syria.
US citizens: call on the Senate to preserve the requirement for country-of-origin meat labeling.
A model suggests melting Arctic permafrost will release hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 and methane during this century.
US intelligence analysts say they were specifically "bullied" to distort their reports to exaggerate success against PISSI.
In addition to outright falsification, the US government is repeating the Vietnam-War distraction of citing enemy body counts as if they counted for something. PISSI can easily recruit replacements; attrition simply is not effective against PISSI.
The entire Bastrop County sheriff's office colluded in lying to excuse the murder of Yvette Smith.
Witnesses in Boston convinced a couple of thugs to put away their guns when they were dealing with a small crazed unarmed woman who was resisting arrest.
Both of the thugs were too quick to go for their guns. Apparently that is a habit; I think that is the culture of thugs nowadays, and maybe reflects how they are trained. If your first response to any shadow or shade of a threat is to grab your gun, one day you're going to shoot someone for no good reason.
Most teachers in US universities are poorly-paid part-timers. Some are trying to unionize.
The growing expense of college in the US is going to the administrators whose numbers keep increasing.
It would be interesting to ask colleges to list the ratio of total pay and benefits for teachers to total pay and benefits for non-teachers.
The fighting between Egypt and Islamist rebels in the Sinai has become an overt civil war. Civilians are accused by each side of supporting the other side.
Because Egypt has criminalized independent reporting of news about the fighting, the state's reports of success do not tell us who is really winning this war.
Human Rights Watch says, "Destroying homes, neighbourhoods and livelihoods is a textbook example of how to lose a counterinsurgency campaign."
Volkswagen has admitted programming its car engine computers to detect the EPA's emission tests, and run dirty the rest of the time.
It wasn't just a little. Cars exceeded emissions standards by up to 35 times, in real driving.
High Brazilian officials were sentenced to long prison terms for corruption.
The UK is trying very hard to protect girls (typically of Pakistani descent) from being forced into marriage by families.
The gouger who increased the cost of the drug Daraprim 50 times says, in effect, "If something is going to save your life, it should cost you $50,000."
Most Americans can't raise $50,000 to save their lives. Others can do it once, but then they will be broke and perhaps homeless.
People are impressed with what Clinton said, but Sanders advocates the larger reform that would take care of this problem and many more.
The Mulanje cedars of Malawi are nearly wiped out. Humans cut them down at a high rate, and they grow back very very slowly.
Scott Walker is out of the Republican race, despite lots of money from a few rich people.
Rich people's money for a certain candidate doesn't guarantee victory, but if it is hard to win without rich people's money, all the major candidates will tend to be plutocratists. No matter which plutocratist wins, we lose.
Thus, I support Sanders.
Seabird populations have fallen 70% in the past 60 years, due to various human activities that tend to kill them.
Side effects of global heating could wipe out many species of seabirds.
Women are speaking up about their abortions, to reject the stigma that right-wingers want to put on it.
The idiotic things anti-abortionists say to women who talk about having abortions, and people who advocate abortion rights.
El niño might end California's drought, and cause natural disasters in other countries in the Pacific.
Sumatran rhinos will go extinct if we don't save them soon.
Human rights organizations address how far a person's religious freedom should apply when carrying out functions to serve the public.
When the US released Younous Chekkouri from imprisonment in Guantanamo, the soldiers blindfolded and chained him for 10 hours of transport.
That is a strange way to treat someone after concluding there was no reason to imprison him in the first place.
Now Mr Chekkouri is imprisoned in Morocco.
US border thugs regularly turn back refugees from Central America, illegally denying them a chance to ask for asylum.
When they come from Honduras, the US is partly responsible for the conditions that drove them to flee.
support the EACH Woman
Act, to provide abortion coverage to all US women.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Michael O'Sullivan committed suicide after the UK government (or its private hatchet-company) ruled he was "fit to work". He apparently could not bear to face the rat-race of futile job applications and punishments that the UK calls "support to return to work".
No system can perfectly avoid mistakes. The UK's austerity government applies great pressure to rule people "fit to work", even applying quotas, which makes this kind of mistake very likely.
Americans may be disappointed if they hope Pope Francis will make substantial changes in religious doctrines.
Yanis Varoufakis: "The lenders are the real winners in Greece — Alexis Tsipras has been set up to fail."
Fossil fuel subsidies amount to $200 billion a year.
Fear of the no-fly list is a powerful factor for intimidating people in the US.
In Europe, BP is the worst of all the saboteurs opposing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
BP could stand for "Boost Petroleum".
Now that western "leaders" are more interested in China's business than China's freedom, it falls to writers to call on Xi Jinping to free the imprisoned writers of China.
Indonesia offers to cut emissions by 40% by 2030 if it is given financial aid.
That is starting to reach the level of cut that might really make a difference. The wealthier countries must fulfill their responsibility and must tax global business to do it.
Correcting a naive attempt to claim that money doesn't buy US elections.
Pharma companies are making some old, proven drugs so expensive that the prices will kill people.
These drugs are no longer patented, but the makers control the distribution of the drug so that would-be competitors can't get samples. We should make such anticompetitive behavior a felony. (I wonder if it already is.)
Freedom of speech in British universities is under attack from the right-wing government and from leftist students.
The National Union of Students' "no platform" policy started out as a campaign to refuse to legitimize talks by fascists and racists, and officially that's still how it operates. However, nowadays its real activity is to prevent or shut down talks by adherents of a range of views that certain leftist groups disagree with.
When a speaker proposes to do great harm to people it is understandable that they protest the speaker forcefully. Once in a while, the community's opposition may interfere with a speech, but they did not stop the guest from speaking. A systematic effort to prevent someone from giving speeches is going too far.
Suggestion: protect and aid defectors from PISSI.
Freedom of speech is threatened in the UK by the state and by private intimidation.
Sometimes private intimidation takes advantage of state laws that impose censorship. The UK libel reform campaign (successful except in Northern Ireland) was needed because UK libel law lent itself to censorship.
Laws against "hate speech" are also wrong in themselves, because they punish expression of some opinions. They must be repealed.
The UK has many other unjust censorship laws, such as the one against "extreme pornography" for which no justification other than prudery has been offered, and the one against possessing documents considered suspicious. They must all go.
US citizens: support the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act.
Everyone: call on Canada not to let Shell drill in the Atlantic near Nova Scotia.
Shell wants to be allowed 21 days to even start to cap the well, if there is a blowout.
US citizens: call on your senators not to sponsor Cardin's bill which is designed to kill the nuclear deal with Iran.
US citizens: call on your senators to oppose the anti-abortion bill HR 36.
Syriza won the Greek election, with about the same not-quite-majority as before.
Greeks may have decided not to blame Syriza for surrendering to the banksters' economic war. I think, however, that Greece will suffer more from this capitulation, over a longer period.
The FBI plans to keep fingerprints from everyone that gets a background check, and put them in a searchable database along with criminals' fingerprints.
The FBI also wants to build up a searchable face recognition data base from photos taken on the street.
This looks like the first step in a plan to track all Americans. We must campaign to stop it.
Australia plans to check people's faces against national ID data bases to identify them.
This is dangerous because it is unreliable, but it would be even more dangerous if it were reliable. You can hardly trust the Australian government, with its harsh laws against whistleblowers, not to use this power for evil. What that government calls "national security" is just as likely to mean "national repression".
James Hansen says that we face a "climate emergency" because positive feedback loops can cause global heating to speed up.
The Canadian government has stealthily and systematically destroyed, corrupted or stopped collecting data necessary to manage Canada's economy or protect Canada's environment.
Deletion of historic data sabotages future historical research.
Nicholas Merrill won a case to cancel of the gag order which said he could not talk about the FBI's arbitrary demand for data from his business. But it's not final — the government will appeal this decision.
Around two million Americans live in extreme poverty, with an income of 2 dollars a day or less.
They are essentially compelled to commit crimes to survive, though they may not like that.
Welfare benefits are no longer available to people in that situation. When President Clinton proposed his "welfare reform", it was clear that it would lead to this. That is why I did not vote for Clinton in 1996.
As right-wing Democrats see Sanders advance, their last argument is the attempted self-fulfilling prophesy, "Sanders can't win".
They also claim that the US has "moved to the right", but really it is only the government and the media that have moved to the right. Most Americans continue to support the policies Sanders champions.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, to his son : 'In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body'.
Protests in Burkina Faso convinced the military coup leaders to step down.
The UK's previous health minister says the NHS is about to collapse, due to the Tories' disguised attempts to destroy it.
Our Seas Are Being Degraded, Fish Are Dying. If we keep this up, it will hurt us too.
The school officials and the thugs never really thought Ahmed Mohamed had a bomb. They wanted to pretend they thought he had a bomb.
Treating US schools as preparation for prison reflects the attitude that children are a threat, not our future.
Missouri has authorized companies to run thug departments. Their staff would have the same legal powers to arrest people and take their property, and I suppose the same extralegal powers to beat and kill people and get away with it.
The Disabled and Jobless Need Help, Not Harassment.
New Orleans has been sued for systematically jailing the poor to make them pay fine after fine.
Security cameras to watch your children won't make them safe, they just promote and exploit distrust for everyone.
The pope is about to canonize Junipero Serra, who established Spanish missions in California that operated on a system of slave labor.
Serra generally has a very positive image; the missions he established have been made into big tourist attractions.
A school in Virginia kicked out a student for a year because he brought a leaf to school from a Japanese maple tree. A school official thought it was marijuana.
The crucial point here is not that the official made a mistake, but that once he knew it was a mistake, he still insisted on punishing the child. This attitude towards mistakes characterizes the most cruel and self-righteous officialdoms. We see it when people are convicted of crimes and then proved innocent: the legal system resists exonerating them. And now, under the guise of "zero tolerance", we see it in schools.
Even if it had been fairly harmless marijuana — or even some dangerous poison — that would be no reason to punish the child for it in such a harsh way. A reprimand ought to be enough.
Sanders' bill to eliminate privatized prisons would also forbid gouging on prisoners' phone calls.
Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans want to make the Government Accountability Board partisan, so that they can stop it from investigating any crimes they may commit.
Government Argues: If Your Mobile Phone Provider Knows Where You Are, Why Shouldn't We?
My conclusion is, the cell phone company should not be allowed to record where you have been, absent a court order to keep track.
Indonesia has arrested executives, including one from Asian Pulp and Paper, for setting forest fires.
The new Greek "government" will have no autonomy; its actions will be directed in great detail by the banksters. It will be a puppet government of occupation.
Anyone that wants to run to be the puppet does not deserve a vote. But not every party has agreed to this. The part of Syriza that voted against the capitulation has not agreed.
Patriotic Greeks resisted German occupation in the 1940s; maybe there are ways to resist the banksters' occupation with underground activity.
Greece needs to increase its domestic production of food so that it can survive a siege after cutting ties with the EU. Perhaps Greeks can organize underground ways to interfere with food imports, so as to increase the market for local farmers. Is it possible to steal durable food and stockpile it?
An audit of a sample of mortgage assignments in Seattle found that all of them were done illegally, thus void. If that sample is representative, nearly all foreclosures there are invalid, and that has perhaps been the case for years.
Several rhinoceros species are on the verge of extinction. What can be done to save them?
I think that synthetic rhino horn could work if it is much cheaper than natural rhino horn — and similar enough to fool purchasers. Anyone who claimed to sell "natural rhino horn" would probably cheat.
In the long term, even if we eliminate the threat of poaching, not much wildlife will remain if humans convert all wild areas into farms and cities. We must curb human population growth to enable most wild species to survive.
US thugs pick on protesters as well as blacks; the repression against Occupy Wall Street protesters has not ended.
Don't Just Fire Officer James Frascatore — Arrest Him.
The head of the New York thugs' union says that Amy Goodman is unamerican for saying that. He also claims that we don't understand the dangers that thugs face.
However, everyone who is black, or tries to exercise the right to protest, is fully aware of the danger from thugs.
GM sold cars with a defect that killed 124 people in accidents. GM knew about the defect and covered it up rather than fixing it. The US settled the dispute for a fine that GM can easily afford, and did not prosecute anyone.
The ACLU is suing Honolulu for systematically throwing away homeless people's belongings.
No one wants to be homeless. They are being stepped on by life. A city should prioritize kindness to the homeless.
A court in British Columbia says it is illegal to leave a child under 10 alone for any period of time. Overprotectiveness is now mandatory.
When I was 8, the occasional hours alone after I returned from school (on foot in Manhattan) were times I could study or play in peace.
When Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for his clock, prejudice may have played a role, but "zero tolerance" played a role too.
If someone brings a real bomb into a school, that is a real threat and calls for a real response. But there was never any serious reason to believe Ahmed's clock was a bomb, and the thugs must have seen quickly that it lacked the crucial ingredient of any bomb: explosive. So why arrest him then? "Zero tolerance", the idea that being mistaken for a threat makes you guilty.
anonymous communication, saying that it gives priority to tracking
trolls rather than protecting dissidents.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
For instance, Twitter blocked Magnus Hedemark's account because he used it through Tor.
The article suggests that this includes blocking access to his old tweets.
This is one reason why you should never cite a tweet by means of a link to twitter.com. Proper practice is to copy it directly into your article, like any other quotation.
An additional reason for this is so that Twitter does not get information about who reads these quotes and the article where you cite them.
Twitter says it blocks the accounts because their postings look like spam. But if you're willing to consider blocking an account, surely you could first try some less abrupt response that would teach the user about the perceived problem.
To make life impossible for unauthorized migrants, the UK plans to make it impossible for them to rent housing or drive a car.
The new Australian prime minister, who 5 years ago called for moving to renewable energy sources, has changed sides.
A California thug went wild against a teenager who was walking in a bus lane towards his bus.
The thugs will try to excuse this by applying a perversely strict standard to the teenager's conduct and a perversely loose standard to their own.
Obama to let Arctic oil leases expire and not issue new ones.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Donald Trump is trying to exploit groundless fears about vaccines. This will do harm even if he loses.
He is also giving support to lies about Obama's birth and religion.
Congress is in a tizzy because US air marshals made porn videos with prostitutes using government-issued phones.
As far as I can see, they didn't cheat the taxpayers, or do wrong to anyone. It should not be a scandal. It would be wrong to punish anyone for shocking some prudes.
The article mentions a disability claim that is being investigated. That is a different issue.
US citizens: call for kicking fossil fuel interests out of the Paris climate negotiations.
your congresscritter to oppose H.R. 1737, which would top the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from blocking racist practices in
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Mexican tourists say their Egyptian tour was bombed five times across three hours. Apparently the ground forces that identified them as tourists was not in communication with the air force.
Mistakes like this tend to happen in war. A poorly trained force makes more of them, but there is no way to avoid them. Basically, tourists and war zones shouldn't mix.
Hungarian thugs beat up seven journalists covering the movement of refugees.
Facebook will start making real use of surveillance data gained via Like buttons, even about people who are not useds of Facebook.
The EFF campaign proposes a partial solution. In this case, a full solution is available: use a browser such as IceCat which blocks Like buttons and the other similar third-party tracking schemes.
China is demanding foreign companies build back doors into digital products. That injustice in China offers a lesson to Americans about why it would be an injustice in the US.
The article uses the vague confused term "intellectual property", which can mean so many unrelated things that in this context it has no clear meaning at all.
US wages are still not increasing, belying claims of a "recovery".
The cost to society of mass incarceration is much larger than the cost of running prisons.
Over half of former prisoners remain unemployed five years later. They'd need a conscience of iron to resist crime when it's the only opportunity they will ever get.
The library of Lebanon, New Hampshire, will resume running its Tor node, standing up to the US government campaign to eliminate privacy.
The IMF has imposed more suffering on Honduras. The likely result is for thousands of Hondurans to sneak into the US.
Instead of militarizing the US border, the US could tell the IMF to lay off Honduras.
Sanders and other senators have proposed a bill to ban private prisons.
Nixon arranged to sabotage Vietnam peace talks in order to get elected president in 1968. The evidence comes from an official whose secret report is still secret.
LBJ privately called it "treason". Whether it is literally treason, I don't know, but it is clear Nixon betrayed his country to gain control of it. And the following elected Republican president did likewise.
The arrest of Ahmed Mohamed illustrates one reason why people with nothing to hide do have something to fear.
Here are some more reasons.
Every month this year has set a heat record, so 2015 will almost surely be the hottest year ever measured by humans.
I don't think the record will stand for many years.
The Theater of Security Agency does not care that it foolishly showed how to unlock all the TSA-permitted baggage locks. The TSA's comment is that this doesn't endanger airline security, which misses the point that they've wiped out passenger's baggage security.
The TSA recognizes there is essentially no threat against airlines, and the TSA would be ineffective against it if there were one.
Cameron confirmed that he's fossil-all-the-way by appointing an oil consultant as his "energy and environment" advisor.
The consultant will advise on how to convert the environment into exhaust.
The cost of degradation of farmland is 1/6 of the human world's production.
We can't keep degrading a vital resource at this rate and continue producing as much as we do. We need to improve this, but we also need to stop increasing the human population.
Sanders's talk at the fundamentalist university won over one evangelical Christian who is now his passionate supporter.
If we ignore the question of whether a god exists, and consider only ethics, Christianity has a good side and a bad side. Here we see the good side in pure form.
Democrats have proposed a bill to have the National Labor Relations Board actively protect workers from wage theft, etc.
Demand from China has accelerated illegal deforestation in Burma.
The first victim of the PAT-RIOT Act explains how the secret snooping order cut him off from his family for a decade.
The last person quoted misused the word "fulsome". He meant "full".
Hungarian thugs beat up two reporters that crossed the border with a bunch of refugees.
US government programs including Obama's medical care program are helping millions of people climb out of poverty.
However, millions of Americans remain in poverty. These programs are not sufficient in their present form.
Uruguay has pulled out of the Trade in Services Agreement, one of the corporate supremacy treaties now being negotiated.
Hooray for Uruguay, but now we have to make our own countries pull out of it too.
What's the Point of Peacekeepers When They Don't Keep the Peace?
The students and faculty of Flinders University are still fighting to prevent a government-funded global heating denial center from being established there.
Mozambique's many minefields have been demined, after 30 years of work.
Demining is a hard and dangerous job, but as long as the mines remain, they tend to kill people from time to time. Especially children.
A few scattered mines may remain because no one knows about them.
Ahmed Mohamed will not face criminal charges for making a clock.
Note how the idiots tried to blame Ahmed for their own stupid mistake. That's exactly what Massachusetts thugs did to Star Simpson. Fortunately this time they had to drop it.
Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for making a clock and bringing it to school in Texas.
The teachers and the thugs had no reason to think it was anything but the clock it really was. They arrested him because, he being a Muslim, they decided to regard him as a probable terrorist.
This idiocy is not limited to Texas. A similar thing happened to Star Simpson in Boston, who was punished for an absurd "crime".
The US Department of Agriculture will strive to cut food waste in half.
Did Clinton's private emails conceal something about Haiti?
Human Activity Pushing Marine Life to the Brink of Collapse.
1,400,000 children have been sent away from the areas where Boko Haram might kidnap them
Uri Avnery calls for allying with Assad (and the Kurds) to crush PISSI.
US citizens: tell the Register of Copyrights you want a serious plan to allow republication of orphan works.
Since orphan works are not the only ones for which copyright is too restrictive, I also suggested that the best thing to do is to legalize noncommercial redistribution of all published works. I also suggested http://stallman.org/articles/internet-sharing-license.en.html as a way to distribute any money people must pay as licenses for the scheme.
Scott Walker wants drug tests for people applying for food stamps, as if anyone that smokes pot deserves to starve.
Occasionally smoking pot does not incapacitate a person. Why should it even matter, unless you're looking for someone to demonize?
Mergers between US medical insurance companies could paradoxically be a good thing. If they all merge, the resulting organization could be nationalized and merged with Medicare.
Donald Trump's speaking technique is a form of "negging" — meant to pressure the American people into bed with him.
Each day, 1/3 of US children eat fast food.
I would guess that they include many poor children, whose parents have trouble paying for fast food but can't provide anything else, because they are working long hours, because they have no cooking facilities, or because nothing else is available in their "food desert".
The Olympic Games organizers in South Korea knocked down a 500-year-protected forest with trees even older. They say they will make another one on the same site after the games.
This reminds me of a Roman joke. When Mummius looted Corinth, he confided some famous old art works to a ship captain for transport and said, "Remember, if you damage these, you will have to provide replacements just like them."
Russia has asked to discuss fighting PISSI with the US.
PISSI is the Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Some evidence that Reagan made a deal with Iran to keep holding American hostages so that Jimmy Carter would lose the election.
Richard Glossip's execution has been postponed 2 weeks to reconsider whether he is guilty.
American Wages Remain at 1997 Levels as Recovery Fails to Lift Middle Class.
Air pollution kills more people than malaria and HIV.
With half a billion dollars, the US has trained "four or five" Syrians to fight against PISSI.
The only plan that might succeeds is to help the Kurds strengthen themselves, but Obama clearly is unwilling to do that, so he chooses among the useless plans.
Journalist Ali Lmrabet continues to criticize Moroccan repression in Western Sahara, despite being imprisoned, banned from journalism, and exiled.
Anti-privacy US officials are praying for a terrorist attack, or something they can spin as one, to get an opportunity to attack our freedom some more.
About 5 million people die each year in the US. Each death is unfortunate, but death will happen to all of us. If someone kills a few more, is that a reason to tear up vital freedoms? We need to remember that an all-seeing government is the bigger danger.
Almost 300 scientifically important English wildlife sites are at risk of being fracked.
Fracking won't poison the water in all of them, just some fraction.
Around 1/5 of teenage girls are so caught up in addictive corporate social media that it damages their mental health.
This should not be too surprising. These apps are proprietary software, designed by companies to manipulate their users. It is common to many fields of production that designers make their products as addictive as possible. The addictiveness of these networks constitutes success in their eyes.
The year's minimum Arctic sea ice area is nearly a record. Only three years (all recent) have reached a lower level.
Bernie Sanders' single-payer medical system would cost a little over half what the US spends today, but the Wall Street Journal compares it with zero rather than with our current system.
Corbyn advocates making the UK a republic, so he kept silent at a ceremony as "God Save the Queen" was sung. Plutocrats are spewing dishonest venom over this.
They will throw any sort of insults, trying to make him look bad. Then they will criticize him for being the target of their smears.
Corbyn had to act according to his views, or become another dishonest politician.
I don't have any opinion about that issue. I am concerned with the policies of the British government, not about who is the symbolic head of state.
Small interfering RNA molecules could be used as species-specific pesticides.
This would work on crops that are not genetically modified, by spraying on the RNA.
Getting them into the cells of the targeted species is a difficulty. An idea that occurs to me is to build them into a genetically modified version of a virus that targets that pest species.
The RNA molecule might randomly interfere with other genes in other species. However, the virus probably won't get into cells of most other species. With two keys that need to fit two locks, the chance of affecting other wildlife would be much less.
The idea is very interesting, but it is not without danger to the environment. It could also conceivably hurt humans — that is unlikely but needs to be tested.
I don't trust Monsanto to test this carefully, because its interest is to be careless.
The Moto X phone was designed to track users more than any phone before.
The article assumes readers value convenience more than freedom, but I hope that's not true of you.
Everyone: call on the World Bank to rule that the people of El Salvador can appropriate water supplies to their real needs, rather than to mining companies. Human rights must prevail over business interests.
Australian aborigines care in oral transmission of history has preserved accurate reports of the huge sea level rise that ended 7,000 years ago.
Sea level rose 120 meters, or almost 400 feet, because of global heating (the end of the ice age).
Overfishing of tuna and mackerel have knocked their populations down by 3/4 in 40 years.
Even 2C of global heating will increase the mosquitoes in the Arctic by 50%.
Australia's new right-wing prime minister is less wacky than Abbott, but he still represents dooH niboR.
The UK anti-union bill, that would make strikes nearly impossible, is a militant attack on workers.
But this approach is typical of today's right wing. The Tories don't admit they intend make poor people homeless; they do it with a bunch of cuts and pressures. They don't say that they intend to make disabled people starve if they can't work, rather than find excuses to punish them by denying them disability support. They claim to support greenhouse gas emission reduction while launching a series of attacks against programs to achieve this.
Likewise, the US right wing, since it can't block abortion by prohibiting abortion, creates arbitrary requirements that are impossible for clinics to meet.
Ending US and Australian subsidies for coal would slash carbon emissions.
A woman in the UK has been convicted of sexual assault because she had told her lover she was male.
Whatever we think of this pretense, it clearly was not "assault". If they want to make gaining sexual consent via misrepresentation a crime, they should pass another law and call it something else.
But what kinds of misrepresentation should be criminalized? Claiming to be over 16? Claiming to be under 30? Claiming to be a virgin? Claiming lots of experience? Claiming to be unmarried? Claiming not to have other lovers? Claiming to have been at work the previous Tuesday night? Claiming a high income? Spending like a person with a high income? Claiming to have read a certain book? Pretending to have read it but without an explicit claim? Wearing a padded bra or platform shoes? Wearing a wig? Dyeing hair? Cosmetics?
If a prostitute lies about what is on offer, that is false advertising, but not assault.
Obama has deftly rebuilt US global influences, mending relationships with countries that were hardened enemies. Unfortunately, some of the steps also build the influence of multinational corporations that the US bows down to.
Reducing Chinese influence is to a large extent a good thing, when you consider the pervasive corruption and deepening political repression of the Chinese state. But the US is not immune to these things; industries including fossil fuel extraction, pharma, medical care, publishing, and plenty of others have corrupted the US government, while massive surveillance threatens US democracy. We can't take for granted that the US will be better than China.
Iranian troops are in Syria, fighting against militias that support al-Qa'ida.
As long as they are not fighting the revolutionary Kurds, I won't feel much outrage. The sad thing about Syria, since several years ago, the main military powers are all monsters.
Traffic fatalities in Colorado have decreased since it legalized marijuana.
Bernie Sanders' speech to students at a Protestant fundamentalist university.
I'd suggest inviting them to think about who Jesus would vote for. If a historical Jesus said things like what the gospels report (which is not at all established), I think he would vote for Sanders.
Most US states automatically shackle all minors accused of crimes, regardless of whether there is any reason to do this.
The Paris climate conference is not paying attention to developing water shortages.
The most important conclusion to draw from today's droughts is the same one that we draw from all the other consequences of global heating: we should launch a crash program to cut emissions.
Alas, this is precisely what many governments have already decided not to do.
The second most important conclusion is that we need to limit human births, if we don't want deaths due to water shortages (and crop shortages) to limit population.
FBI Keeps Telling Purely Theoretical Encryption Horror Stories.
Even if there were some real ones, it would amount to a smaller danger than the danger of a state that watches everyone.
It looks like murderer Sneed claimed Richard Glossip pressured him to commit the crime, so that Glossip would be executed instead of Sneed.
This sort of thing seems not to be unusual.
Once again, thugs shoot first, think later. This time they saw a man with a phone and instantly assumed it was a gun.
The victim is Hispanic; whether unconscious racism played a role in the hasty action is not clear from this article.
A prominent Thai journalist has been imprisoned without trial for an "attitude adjustment". His attitude towards the military regime was not slavish enough.
Erdoğan's men seized all copies of a Turkish magazine.
He is massively attacking Turkish media that dare criticize him.
A company in California is getting sued for trying to track an employee outside work.
Will the US become the refuge for all the world's torturers and war criminals?
It is already the refuge for American war criminals such as Bush and Cheney.
To replace privatized public housing with expensive condos, a UK company offered a wheelchair-bound man an inaccessible replacement apartment.
Since he rejects that useless offer, he gets one more option: homelessness for him and his family.
This is an instance of how privatization of government services creates both opportunities and pressure to cheat people. In practice, those companies get their profit by underserving the public and/or paying workers less.
There may be some public services that don't really need to exist as public services, but the rest should not be privatized.
The Thai government says that a deadly bombing was human traffickers' revenge for a crackdown, and was not motivated by politics.
Working in a US chicken processing plant is hell on the workers, because they are forced to work too fast.
The PR company Edelman has been pressured into ending its work for global heating denialism.
Thanks to those who signed the campaign which helped bring this about.
Uber could be a sign of what privatized city governance might be like.
All the more reason to fight it.
3 years ago, a Russian ambassador offered a deal by which Assad would be replaced. It appears the US distrusted and ignored the deal.
I would not put great faith in Putin, but such deals don't always depend on faith.
All experts: explain to US court the need for network neutrality.
US citizens: Tell President Obama to designate the New England coral canyons and seamounts, and Cashes Ledge, as marine national monuments.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: Congress, defend Planned Parenthood funding; — don't surrender it as a "compromise".
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: call on the Senate to oppose the pro-fossil energy bill.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: tell Arbys, stop helping thugs bully your employees!
US citizens: call on Obama to end garnishing Americans' Social
Security benefits to repay student loans.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on National Geographic Magazine to appoint a Public Editor.
This might reduce the harm done by letting Faux News take control of it.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to investigate whether Malaysia was whitewashed to grease the skids for the TPP.
US citizens: oppose government plans to build a road through an Alaskan wildlife refuge.
That they plan to spend our money on it is adding insult to injury.
Iran's law compelling women to hide their bodies is supposedly so men won't be attracted to them. But the "solution" doesn't work.
I think it actually backfires by causing men to obsess over what they cannot see.
Leaked messages indicate Ashley Madison staff discussed how to mislead customers and the State of California about its "female" chatbots.
About 35% of the messages men paid to send to "women" were actually to chatbots, and real women numbered about 5% of the men.
"Lesbian" chatbots occasionally sent messages to each other, like making the doctor program talk to itself.
A thug complained after the barista in a Starbucks would not give him special permission to use the toilet unless he bought something.
For once, I am on the side of the thug. Perhaps the thug complained because he expected privilege, but use of a toilet should not be a privilege. That Starbucks' policy is nasty no matter who it applies to. Every establishment with a toilet for customers should offer its use to anyone who is not causing trouble.
A US right-wing troll gave bomb-making advice to someone he thought was an Islamist extremist, to bring about a terrorist attack this September 11.
Such an attack would have provided an excuse for additional attacks on Americans' freedom. The PAT RIOT Act didn't get them everything they want.
Instead he got arrested.
In general, the US "terrorists" that the FBI arrests are feckless Walter Mittys that the FBI has to cajole into their "threats", but there is finally one exception.
A Denver prosecutor has been ordered to explain to a judge why he didn't prosecute a thug who gratuitously attacked and maimed a man in the court.
The US has hundreds of foreign military bases, which harm Americans by facilitating wars as well as costing lots of money.
Wikipedia has a started a damaging "partnership" with parasitic publisher Elsevier.
For editors to see Elsevier articles is not particularly harmful, but making links to them would work against Wikipedia's goal, as well as strengthen the power of a company that strangles science.
I think Wikipedia should prohibit links to sites with strict paywalls, and automatically delete them and block insertion of new ones.
The US Navy has been ordered to limit loud sonar to avoid deafening whales.
Brazil's president is dealing with a budget deficit, and plans to handle half of it with a tax on financial transactions.
At least she is getting things half right, unlike the right-wing governments that take it all out on the poor.
Residents of California: phone your state legislators to oppose S.B. 249, which would impose tracking RFIDs in driver's licenses.
Say you don't want to have any tracking device in your license. These "enhanced" drivers licenses are actually sabotaged drivers licenses, and they shouldn't exist at all.
US citizens: call on Congress not to push a road through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.
The refugees Australia imprisons on Manus Island have to buy their own medicine after guards attack them, and they can't afford both that and food.
What's happening is that Australians don't want to admit most refugees, but since explicitly rejecting them would violate a treaty, Australia concocts underhanded, deniable, even secret pressures to push them away.
See this other article on refugees.
The UK's anxiety-provoking tests to see if someone is fit to work trigger relapses of multiple sclerosis.
UK businesses want to replace taxes on businesses that emit lots of CO2 with subsidies for businesses that emit less.
Supposedly this is for the sake of simplicity. We're not supposed to notice that it adds up to an increase in corporate welfare payments.
Anyone who gets fooled by this must really want to get fooled — like a plutocratist pollutician.
Across Turkey, mobs have attacked offices of the HD Party, while the army attacks Kurdish towns.
The author fears that Erdoğan will sabotage the coming election, perhaps by preventing Kurdish regions from voting, or set the election aside entirely.
The US ought to disconnect itself from Erdoğan, so that it can support the Kurds in Syria and Iraq and thus destroy PISSI, and at the same time support democracy in Turkey. The success of the HD Party shows that Kurds and Turks could live together under democracy if only there were no rabid nationalist ruler to prevent it.
The ISPs of Portugal have made a deal with the copyright industry to "voluntarily" rat on their customers.
Burundi seems to be creating excuses to close the main remaining independent newspaper.
The UN punishes whistleblowers much as the US does.
Hawai'i's coral reefs are facing an extreme bleaching event due to the unusual heat of the water. It is 2C to 4C hotter than usual.
If two bleaching events in successive years is deadly, 50 years from now nearly every year would be a hot enough to cause a bleaching event. But it won't matter by then, because the increased level of CO2 in the water will kill all the coral.
Ralph Nader: pushing to do most things faster makes people do many things worse.
Nader doesn't notice that massive surveillance is one of the wrongs done by ordering things on line.
The only thing I really wish I could do faster is answer my email. But there is no hope of that — it's the thinking that takes most of the time.
It's a mistake to refer to legislative "compromises" between free states and slave states, before the US civil war; since the free states mostly gave slave states what they wanted, in response to threats to secede, these are properly call "appeasements".
The Internet of Things doesn't inherently have to be an Internet of Telemarketers and Snoops. It could be made of personal devices which keep the users' personal data to themselves, while receiving published data from businesses.
The only practical way to ensure the devices don't snoop is if their software is free.
Many baby monitors (internet-connected cameras, really) have been left vulnerable to snooping by unknown third parties.
The immediate cause is bad design, but the root cause, in some cases, is routing the video through the server of a company that shouldn't be trusted with a view of the inside of your home.
Edward Snowden explains the experiences and thought path that led him to blow the whistle on US massive surveillance of essentially everyone.
It is interesting that there is proof that another whistleblower exists within the NSA. I wonder if someone has heeded the patriotic exhortation that I put in my emails.
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]] [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]] [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
The US Justice Department now says it will try to prosecute executives responsible for corporations' crimes.
President Sanders, if supported by Congress, would put real teeth into this policy.
If a company stalls for time until its employees can't be prosecuted, is that obstruction of justice?
For companies, data that isn't essential is a liability.
If that helps convince companies to keep less data about people, that's a good outcome. But we should not let our privacy rights be defined by the interests of companies. Human rights should take priority over business interests, and privacy is a human right.
Scott Walker is the Koch brothers' point man for nearly eliminating labor unions in the US.
They want to drive nearly all workers into poverty.
New Study: Racism Can Make [Teenagers] Sick — for the Rest of Their Lives.
The thin Sierra Nevada snowpack of last winter was the thinnest in at least 500 years, according to a study based on tree rings.
Jeremy Corbyn, new leader of UK Labour, is a peace activist. He seriously opposes US/UK militarism and wars. He even dares to criticize Saudi Arabia and Qatar for promoting jihadis in Syria.
I don't oppose war under all circumstances (I don't know whether Corbyn does either), but I agree with most of his criticism of what the UK and US actually do.
I support arming the Kurds, and the women that PISSI has raped, to fight PISSI, but that's not what the US and UK consider doing.
Koch Industries wrote letters which congresscritters then signed their names to.
Don't fall for the pressure to spend a lot of money on a funeral for a pet.
Or a human being — all that matters is remembering the person who died, not material trappings.
The Australian right-wing government has switched prime ministers, and the new leader Turnbull formerly favored strong action against global heating.
However, that may not matter, since he says he doesn't plan to change the current policies.
Prisoners in the San Jose jail say that it is common for the guards to punch and beat them; the only unusual thing about beating Michael Tyree is that he died.
Erdogan has charged the co-leader of the HD Party, which supports human rights, with "crimes" such as terrorism and "insulting Turkishness".
In effect, Erdogan has declared open war on democracy in Turkey. He is the biggest insult to Turkishness that has ever been seen. I hope that Turkishness defeats Erdogan.
The US fraudulent foreclosure scandal has spread into the US system of property records.
Pakistan's official censorship is now backed by military threats to fabricate accusations against journalists.
Germany has been overwhelmed with refugees and will reimpose border controls, effectively ending the Schengen free travel zone.
There was no way that the welcome for refugees could continue indefinitely. There simply can't be room for millions of migrants.
Thus, when there are so many people fleeing, we need to address the causes, which include climate mayhem, wars (many created or made worse by the US), local tyranny, and corporate land grabs.
Those are the immediate causes that make people flee, but there is also the deeper long-term cause: world population growth. We need to reduce the birth rate to the point where the human population starts to decline.
An appeals court overruled the EPA's approval of a new neonicotinoid pesticide, sulfoxaflor.
It is ironic that the chemical was given a name suggesting the flowers that would kill bees if this pesticide has been used on them.
US Republican leaders are now actively campaigning against any climate safety agreement in Paris.
The US government's policy towards journalists covering a war: if their coverage doesn't suit the US, they are considered spies and may be shot on sight.
The US did exactly that to some al-Jazeera journalists in Iraq.
RT is a propaganda outlet for the abuse of power. So is Faux News. That doesn't justify shooting their reporters.
In 2007, Brandeis University tried to discipline a professor for explaining the pejorative term "wetback". This led to a dispute between the faculty senate, which defended him, and the administration which judged that this was "harassment".
Hindley did not really make a racial slur, but what if he had? In general, real use of racial slurs should not be formally punished. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to say nasty and foolish things.
Teachers are a special case, though; they should not gratuitously insult their students and should not set an example of racism.
The faculty-administration dispute was resolved as the administration agreed to give somewhat more respect to faculty decisions, but Brandeis never rescinded its unjust decision against Hindley.
In 2014, people attacked him for describing the Israeli occupation of Palestine as "ethnic cleansing" and comparing it to the holocaust.
The occupation does include slow ethnic cleansing on certain parts of annexed Jerusalem and the West Bank, but comparing it to the holocaust is an exaggeration. Israel does not do things that would ever kill millions of Arabs. Nonetheless, he has a right to say such things on the faculty mailing list.
An example of a widespread self-undermining way of warning about dangerous practices — in this case, the insecurity of letting companies have your personal data: to say that "we" all do it.
I suppose the writers see this as a way of chumming up to the readers so that they will pay attention, but it defeats the purpose, because it tells readers, "Of course you use those disservices? Everyone does. No one would expect you to do otherwise."
Use of the term "the cloud" compounds the problem. The only "cloud" is in the minds of people who formulate their thoughts in terms of a "cloud".
Readers will go away thinking, "What a shame we are all trapped in this" rather than "I am going to stop now!"
U.S. Special Forces Expand Training to Allies With Histories of Abuse.
Camp Clark and the Demise of Free Speech.
Austria is moving to legislate nearly total surveillance.
Austrians, take action here.
Governments around the world are launching a broad front pre-emptive attack against the privacy needed for democracy and the press to function.
Parts of the Tunisian state are blocking investigation of crimes of the old regime.
This is perhaps because the new president comes from a group linked to the old regime. I fear it is taking advantage of terrorist attacks to permanently clamp down on human rights.
The study that found that children of holocaust survivors inherited evidence of stress was too small and not well designed. It may be invalid.
Yazidi women have formed a militia to fight PISSI(*).
I suggested arming PISSI's escaped female captives. The US didn't, but the Revolutionary Kurds did. The US doesn't help the Kurds because it is more interested in being nice to Erdoğan and the sectarian Iraqi state than in defeating PISSI.
* PISSI: Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
As Tariq Ba Odah wastes away in Guantanamo, the US government denies him rights he is entitled to either as a military prisoner or as an arrested person.
A few dozen prisoners in Guantanamo may have committed real crimes. There are a few handfuls who might fight against the US if released — but given the thousands of jihadis now fighting for PISSI, these few would change nothing. Some of them might find PISSI so barbarous (by the standards of the jihadis of 2000) that they fight against it.
It would be better to release all the prisoners in Guantanamo immediately, than to undermine everyone's human rights and the rule of law by continuing to holding them without a fair trial.
I have no objections to holding some to prosecute them in a proper court, where there are grounds to do so.
Positively, Absolutely, Can't Trust the Government with
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Overprotective parenting may be steering the US into a "culture of victimhood" in which people are quick to perceive slights, but can't resolve the disputes on their own.
I say "may" because I don't consider this proven. And there is another side to the issue. In the past, while some groups of children learned to relate well, others bullied or were bullied, and the bullied children who couldn't find a way to protect themselves on their own learned that they were helpless.
However, there seems to be some truth in the article's point.
The UN General Assembly gave its support to setting up an international bankruptcy system.
The General Assembly has little power, so mainly this applies pressure to those countries, such as the US, which are blocking the plan. I am sure the US will stop blocking it if we elect Sanders president. That is one thing that the president can change alone.
The Netherlands allows people to get assistance for euthanasia under a broad range of circumstances.
I think that euthanasia assistance should be available to anyone whose situation or condition makes suicide effectively impossible for that person. We don't need to give help to others, since they can commit suicide without help if they choose to. But we should make sure that no one is denied that choice by practical obstacles.
I feel sad for each person who needs euthanasia to avoid a fate worse than death, but I understand the choice.
However, I am not suicidal. I would choose to live forever, if I could do so in good enough health to make it a worthwhile and productive life. But that technology is not likely to be invented soon enough for me.
After a truck almost ran into community leader Wesley West, who leads Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore, the thugs charged him with absurd crimes, reminiscent of China or Azerbaijan.
Cormega Copening is being charged in North Carolina as an adult for making sexy pictures of Cormega Copening, because Cormega Copening is a minor.
It's another example of America's prudish and twisted attitude towards teenagers and their natural occupation, sex.
Garment workers in Los Angeles may not get the benefit of the increased minimum wage, because those companies flout labor law frequently.
From a short-term perspective, a job where you are overworked, injured and then cheated might seem better than no job at all. It might seem like valid reasoning to say we should tolerate companies that cheat workers in the US, rather than have those companies move and cheat workers in some other country.
Taking a longer view, why are those the only choices? Because of acceptance of that short-term reasoning.
I see no reason to allow importation from countries where workers are treated so badly. We should tear up the plutocratic treaties that say we "have to" allow this.
President Allende warned against the power of multinational corporations, and fought against them in Chile. Now the Chilean state is planning to complete their victory over Chile, by signing the TPP.
Don't make the mistake of calling the TPP a "trade treaty"; its main purpose is to give those companies the ultimate power and rewrite laws to suit them.
There are ways to assess a school, other than giving the students standardized tests.
However, the focus on assessing schools, and assessing teachers, misses the point that many schools in the US don't get enough funds. Moreover, the children in them are growing up in poverty, which means they are also under daily stress. It is very hard for a school to overcome the mind-damaging effects of such upbringing.
In effect, arguing about assessing the school is a way to draw the conversation away from those issues.
Everyone: urge the Kilton library to turn its Tor node back on.
Fire conditions in California are nearly explosive: a fire grew from 1 sq mile to 100 sq miles in one day.
Some states have passed laws that allow local officials to stop performing any marriages, so that they won't have to perform same-sex marriages.
No individual is coerced to hold public office in the US. If these officials don't want to perform some of the duties of their offices, they need only resign, and they will no longer have that duty.
The leftist candidate Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership of the Labour Party.
The "New Labour" Party set up by Tony B'liar was a right-wing party Tory Lite. Even when it won, the people didn't win, they only lost more slowly.
Here is what Corbyn stands for.
Two vital issue not mentioned here are curbing global heating and curbing surveillance. I would like to see where Corbyn stands on those.
Recommendations for what Labour must do now.
I would like to see Labour and the Green Party merge.
Despite a reduction in catching sharks only for their fins, sharks are still being overfished.
India is covering up murder and torture committed by hundreds of soldiers and thugs in Kashmir.
Iraqis are protesting against government aligned with sects.
I hope that this is serious, and not a movement of Shi'ites looking for a way to take all the offices.
American Special Forces Are Still Conducting Training for Some of Africa's Most Notorious Paramilitaries.
Rules for girls' school uniforms spread prudish attitudes about female bodies.
I wish today's students were inclined to go on strike against school uniforms, but (according to what I have read) they have been brought up to an attitude of desperate competition combined with immaturity.
Someone in a wealthy town in Massachusetts called 911 simply because some black kids were riding bicycles.
Campaigning to end the "Urban Shield" trade show which promotes massive surveillance and militarization of thugs.
A model predicts that burning all fossil fuels would melt the entire Antarctic ice sheet, eventually. This would raise sea level around 160 feet, adding to the 60 feet or so that would come from the Greenland ice sheet. Most of today's large cities would be inundated.
The complete melting would take many centuries, but even the first dose is a bad problem.
Prudery alert, men are being castigated for saying their daughters are attractive.
This comes out in the middle of a dispute about a female lawyer who publicly rebuked a male lawyer for privately saying that her profile photo was "stunning", at a time when they had no business to discuss.
Sexism sometimes takes the form of a man's refusal to take a female colleague seriously as a professional. Such refusal is a pattern that occurs over time. It can take the form of focusing on the female's appearance rather than the professional matters at hand.
A statement of attraction is sometimes part of such a pattern of disrespect, but not always. It might be an expression of being swept away by beauty (it would be if I said it), a polite attempt to put the woman in a good mood (this was standard etiquette), or looking for a date. None of those is inherently incompatible with professional respect.
Professional women have encountered many compliments that were part of a pattern of sexist disrespect, so they have learned to associate the two. Hear a compliment, suspect disrespect. It is not an absurd suspicion, but that doesn't mean the man is guilty.
Since the compliment isn't necessarily disrespect, why not wait a while and see if that man respects you or not?
After ordering a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers, NY Governor Cuomo proposes to legislate a $15 minimum wage for all workers in New York State.
Parents in Seattle give support to the teachers' strike.
The Tory's plan to kill the NHS by underfunding it has caused many doctors to be overstressed and plan to take early retirement.
Many cities in the US have laws to evict tenants that call 911 too much. The ACLU got rid of this in Pennsylvania.
One New York City thug has a history of beating people up and pepper spraying them, then arresting them, for no reason.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congress to support more negotiations with Iran.
Everyone: call on Amazon to stop selling Glyphosate.
I urge people not to buy anything from Amazon, for many reasons unrelated to this, and I will continue to do so even if this campaign is successful.
I hope you do the same. There is no incompatibility between that and signing this petition.
Citizens of California: phone your assembly member and call for passage of the bill to end forfeiture (i.e., seizure of assets) unless the person involved is convicted of a crime.
The bill does not go far enough: it allows the assets to be seized first and the person prosecuted later. If your car is seized and you lose your job, and thus your home, you might plead guilty so to get a place to stay in jail.
But it should still be passed, as a first step.
The overall rate of human violence continues to decline.
Even counting the contributions of PISSI, the number of people killed by violence is less now than it was 10 years ago. It has been declining ever since the second world war.
Apple has allegedly agreed to store data about Russian users in Russia so that Putin can spy on them.
Most Russians, those who have nothing particular to fear from the US government, would be safer with their data in the US. Most Americans, those who have nothing particular to fear from the Russian government, would be safer with their data in Russia.
The poor health and life expectancy caused by poverty falls on everyone that isn't rich, to some degree.
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was sentenced to a long prison term after a secret trial.
It is not implausible that a Venezuelan opposition leader would conspire with the US to commit some sort of crime; in fact, that happened ten years ago. But that alone doesn't mean Lopez did so, or make it legitimate to convict him of doing so other than with proof in a fair trial.
Clapper is suspected of pressuring a Pentagon intelligence analyst to deliver rosy reports of fighting PISSI.
The US is not interested in military cooperation with Iran, although that might be the way to defeat PISSI.
The UK's fossil fool government is now blocking sea-based wind farms as well as land wind farms.
Nuclear power lobbyists convinced the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cancel a study of cancer rates in the vicinity of US nuclear power plants.
That agency is considering adopting a theory that low doses of radiation are good for people.
To have real facts about the matter might get in the way.
Australia and New Zealand rejected the complaints of Pacific Island nations that will be inundated by global heating.
The callous Australian ministers joked about the coming inundation, when they thought they were not being recorded.
Abortion and contraception are a tremendous moral good: the gateway to a world in which every child born is born healthy, and is wanted by unstressed and prepared parents.
Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to house arrest for giving an interview.
Israel should let Vanunu go.
The Maldives government snooped on deposed president Nasheed's conversations with lawyers.
The Maldives government is hardly legitimate, but the UK government has done similar things, and I'd expect the US has too.
Ghost gear — abandoned or lost fishing nets and traps — goes on catching fish, which die as a result. The losses are enormous.
Fishermen must be made responsible, one way or another, for the damage or cost imposed by their discarded or lost gear. Perhaps autonomous vehicles could be designed to collect it, and the cost borne by fishermen through taxes.
Microsoft is nagging some users to install Windows 10.
Teenager Zach Anderson, who was sentenced to 25 years of public scorn for having sex with a girl who said she was 17 years old, will have a new trial.
The judge in the first trial condemned Anderson for participating in a general sexual culture that the judge detests. I have my doubts about the wisdom of hook-up culture, but that's no reason for prohibiting it, let alone cracking down on individuals for participating in it.
Two UK teachers that had an affair in an office in the school where they taught have been banned from teaching, and the stated reason is only that a lot of people are expected to think that there was something wrong with that.
Apparently punishment need not be justified by an actual wrong. Prejudiced disapproval by others is considered sufficient reason.
The UK government falsified a study of conditions in Eritrea to create an excuse to send back Eritrean refugees.
The people who did the field work have resigned, condemning the way their work was distorted in the report.
A world-wide plan to cap fossil fuel extraction could be best for oil consumers as well as fossil fuel companies.
The University of California has sold 200 million dollars of fossil fuel stock, but not on principle — it judges them not to be a very good investment.
If a drop in demand just happens to reduce the use of some fossil fuels, that may help us avert disaster, but we'd be fools to count on that to do the whole job.
Barcelona has fined banks for leaving some houses empty.
If applied on a large enough scale, this could do a lot of good. But the UK needs a much broader policy, heavily taxing anyone that owns a dwelling that isn't anyone's primary residence.
Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, perhaps to hide important State Department emails, continues a tradition followed for decades.
We don't know whether she hid anything important, but Bush regime officials certainly did so.
Global heating is bringing exotic tropical diseases to the US.
A UN intern in Geneva was living in a tent because he could not afford to rent any place to live. Shockingly, he felt compelled to resign when this became news.
Why should he resign? He didn't do anything wrong.
Egyptian officials responsible for the massacre of protesters might be arrested if they visit London.
Kurds say that PISSI is using chemical weapons now.
A driver bulldozed through a group of protesters in Ferguson with an SUV, and a protester kicked the SUV as it passed. The kicker faces 4 years in prison; the driver was not charged at all.
At last, some recognition that the "internet of things" will mean that every thing in your life spies on you.
Chelsea Manning may be put in solitary confinement as a punishment for absurd "crimes".
The City of Los Angeles will promote use of bicycles.
The City of Los Angeles is a small part of the urban area we think of as "Los Angeles". And, sad to say, living in that area and socializing with friends — unless you met them in your neighborhood — require travelling a lot more than 3 miles. The area needs a train system that will really reach everywhere, and it needs to condense from single-family homes into apartment buildings.
Sanders responds to Black Lives Matter pressure with several important plans to end systemic imposed inequality.
Many of these measures are vital for other reasons.
Julian Assange rebuked the Swedish prosecutor for letting 5 years go by without bothering to interview him in London.
Whatever Assange may have done in Sweden, it is clear that the Swedish government is not really interested in prosecuting him or potentially punishing him for that. Rather, it is using the prosecution an excuse to harm him.
Egyptian photographer Shawkan has been imprisoned for two years.
Azerbaijan is using its oil, and oil money, to get European governments to overlook its tyranny.
In Greenland, in addition to melting the ice, global heating has caused a big increase in mosquitos, which now endanger caribou.
Boston thugs rebuked (erroneously) Obama for supposedly not caring if they are killed, but really what bothers them is that Obama is also concerned about non-thugs. The thugs consider that a lack of the respect they deserve. It may tend to erode the impunity they currently enjoy.
I hope so.
Vox Media published an "article" which was really PR for its big investor, Comcast.
It's not the first time Vox did something like that.
Melting Arctic ice (including that of Greenland, which is fresh water) might slow or shut down the Gulf Stream, which would expose the US and European Atlantic coasts to great cold in winter.
Poverty is spreading in Europe, the natural result of policies that reduce workers' rights and social support.
National Geographic's magazine, TV channel and other media have passed under the control of Faux News.
Faux News has already injected embarrassing things into the National Geographic TV channel, which has for some years been run jointly with Faux.
It would have been better to shut down the magazine than let it become a propaganda outlet.
A prominent doctor says that inequality in the UK is killing 550 people every day.
That is 200,000 per year, making the September 2001 attacks look like a pinprick.
Don't let Ancestry.com analyze your DNA — it will use the information in ways that can do various kinds of harm.
Republican presidential candidates seek support from a Republican power-broker who openly supports plutocracy over democracy.
California's assembly to legalize doctors to assist suicide, but only for those expected to die anyway within 6 months.
Once again, people facing a future of years of untreatable pain or years of immobile helplessness have been left out.
Women's Prospects Limited by Law in 155 Countries.
Russia is building a new base near the border with Ukraine to support the Russian troops fighting inside Ukraine.
Clinton says that Obama has been insufficiently militaristic. She says she will be much quicker to invade, and will deny Israel nothing.
If that's what she says when Sanders in the race, imagine much more militarism if she defeats Sanders' challenge and becomes president.
Osama bin Laden's colossal victory: giving US politicians a chance to unleash endless wars abroad and military tyranny at home.
Pope Francis's political views are great, with one giant exception:
women's control of whether to have babies.
A man asked a 12-year-old for directions in Australia. A bystander interpreted this as a threat, and so did the thugs who seek witnesses for this non-event.
I thought this paranoia was limited to the US.
Another danger from fracking: spills of toxic wastewater.
Sanders has taken the lead over Clinton in the Iowa primary.
Fossil fuel lobbyists killed California's bill to reduce gasoline use 50% by 2030.
Another victory for those who want to fry the Earth. Technological civilization may collapse in 2080, but at least we will avoid gas rationing 10 years from now.
If the lobbying campaign builds opposition to monitoring of where people drive, we may be able to use that for something positive. We need to reform and regulate car manufacturers, insurance companies, car rental companies, license plate recognition cameras, and toll payment systems.
The UK is lobbying secretly to block EU environmental safety regulations on fracking.
The UK government is the lackey of fossil fuel companies, putting on a front of supporting renewable energy.
The growing inequality spread by global business means that in Nigeria, as in the US, economic growth excludes most people.
A tribe in Brazil is defending its land from illegal loggers by fighting them, because the government has done nothing.
Turkish MPs tried to enter the besieged town of Cizre and were stopped by the army.
Netanyahu, visiting the UK, meets protests calling for him to be arrested and tried.
The occupation of Palestine, wrong in its own terms, has also played a role in inspiring Islamism. In effect, the occupation pulled, while Saudi Arabia pushed.
A UN commission gathered the evidence on which the president of Guatemala was indicted for corruption.
New Comic: British politics
Mariam Malak says that her school (in Egypt) swapped her exam paper with someone else who paid to pass the exam.
New York City will require restaurants to label dishes that have lots of salt.
New Zealanders are protesting forcefully against the banning of a children's book.
Two Indian women, recruited as domestic servants for a Saudi diplomat, were freed from imprisonment in his apartment and said he had repeatedly raped them.
US citizens: call for an end to US coal leasing.
I said, If the lessees had to pay enough to cover the damage of mining and burning coal, they wouldn't want the coal.
Lawyer Myles Jackman defends people in the UK charged with possession of "extreme pornography", while campaigning to repeal that law.
People are often prosecuted for copies they received unsolicited and did not know about, or tried to delete.
But even if we consider only people who possess the images intentionally, the law is unjust and dangerous. No attempt has been made to show that those people are hurting others. The only justification offered for prohibiting "extreme pornography" is that many people find it disgusting to see — and that is no justification at all.
The precise details of what this law prohibits are absurd, but the details are a side issue. Any law that prohibits possessing copies of some sort of work is dangerous to people in the same way.
Throw the dice, and if you roll 4 or less, go to prison!
A Mexican-American fears Donald Trump can win the election by promoting racism, and reports he seems to be already encouraging expressions of racism.
SCROTUS's hearings about imaginary criticisms of Planned Parenthood are unabashedly one-sided: Planned Parenthood is not even invited.
Homosexuality of various kinds was accepted in Africa until Christianity brought condemnation.
It is, however, a mistake to speak of "true African culture", just as it is a mistake to speak of "true American culture" or even "true Yoruba culture". The one universal in human culture is that any group may adopt ideas and practices from other groups of humans. We must reject the idea that some practices belong to a particular descent group, or that a certain descent group is obliged to stick to certain cultural practices.
The Tobin Tax could provide plenty of funds for refugees.
It could also support education and poor people in our own countries. We need to make the wealthy pay more tax.
Microsoft is appealing a US court order to hand over data stored in Ireland. Microsoft realizes that losing this would make individuals and companies outside the US reluctant to store their data in any Microsoft server.
Of course, they should be reluctant to do that for other reasons.
While I hope Microsoft wins this case, a defeat might help dispel the "cloud" in the minds of many users that leads them to confide their data to companies' servers.
The manifesto of the Popular Unity party in Greece.
US citizens: call on Obama to stop the endless wars needed to get fossil fuels.
US citizens: call on reps Grayson and Wasserman Schultz to support the Iran deal.
US citizens: call on the US to cancel future Arctic oil lease sales.
A Burundian opposition leader was assassinated. We must suspect the president/tyrant ordered it done.
Putin's internet censorship lesson: a tyrannical government does not need to control every byte on the internet to prevent unpleasant news from reaching the general public.
A neuroscientist calls for starting school at 11am to let students sleep later.
Turkish thugs are now authorized to shoot protesters, and snipers shoot even non-protesting Kurds just for walking in the street. A town has been surrounded by thugs, who shot people trying to go to a hospital.
It sounds like occupied Palestine.
Back doors introduced for one government's use can easily become open to others.
Tests show that Argentine Prosecutor Nisman was murdered.
This year's dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest will be typical weather in 2070, and the amphibians there will be in big trouble.
So will the trees, unless we curb our greenhouse emissions fast.
Global heating, and the melting of Arctic sea ice, is spreading toxic methylmercury which gets into the food chain.
I suspect it will concentrate in predators higher up in the food chain, which are the species humans typically eat.
The US recognizes that training Syrian rebels was a flop, and says it will do better.
To succeed at this would require training thousands, and they'd need real combat experience to get good. Where could they get that combat experience without being cut to bits? Perhaps if they joined up with the Kurds.
Corruption by banks is built into the structure of the UK government.
A notary working at a bank refused to notarize forms for American Atheists.
This refusal may have been illegal.
The article has a misleading title, because the beginning is written in a way that is too clever.
Etsy to stop using the Irish tax loophole.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on Warren Buffett to stop attacking home solar power promotion anywhere.
China shows a pattern of banning concerts by bands that have in any way acknowledged the Dalai Lama. It even tries to intimidate activities in other countries.
US citizens: support Sanders' Workplace Democracy Act.
Everyone: call on Walmart to pay workers $15 an hour and give them full-time work.
Germany has ordered Facebook to follow German limits on freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to criticize, offend, insult or mock any person, or any group of persons. It includes freedom to say things that you despise, and things that I despise, even things that we both despise. Most countries do not respect freedom of speech very well.
What we see is that as commercial communication platforms move from offering service to people in lots of countries to actually doing business in lots of countries, they become subject to ever increasing censorship.
Thus, the growth of any communication company into a global business is inherently dangerous to freedom of speech, regardless of the details of that company.
The UK targeted and killed some British supporters of PISSI, in Iraq. Is this a sensible strategy?
Was it legitimate to kill them with a missile? In practice, PISSI and the UK are fighting a war, and in those circumstances it is morally justified for the UK to kill PISSI fighters. Were these men PISSI fighters? The articles I have seen have not given that information.
The UK government says that they were talking about committing crimes in the UK. However, that's not the same as waging war, and is not grounds for killing them in Iraq.
It seems they did not even have concrete plans. If they were talking in a vague way about committing crimes in the UK at some indefinite time in the future, that shouldn't even be a crime until they make it concrete.
Ohio has created excuses to shut down nearly all abortion clinics. The next absurd restriction is to ban abortion of fetuses with Down's syndrome.
This is apparently meant to ensure the birth of people who will vote Republican.
A proposal to deploy sleeping pods for San Francisco's homeless people is blocked by lack of cooperation.
The criticisms officials present in the article may be valid in a narrow sense. They might be valid reasons to change something in the plan. But they are not valid reasons to give up.
Officials, if these shelters look like dog houses, could you make them look different?
If we ought to do better, does that mean you should do nothing?
If Gopman's ego is a problem, have you tried to do the project without him?
It appears these objections are being used as excuses.
The US will investigate a special forces unit that appears to have systematically murdered prisoners in Afghanistan.
Berry farm workers in Mexico and the US are organizing to demand more than hunger wages.
Bravo for the striking farmers that fought back when Mexican thugs attacked them.
The ones that thugs ought to be arresting are the business magnates that try to create "the world's berry company", or "the world's XYZ company" for any value of XYZ. Back before Reagan, when anti-trust law was more than a hollow shell, they wouldn't have dared announce such a goal.
A private tutor who had a long sexual relationship with an eager teenager, 20 years ago, is now described as "abusing" and "assaulting" him. Thus speaks the voice of dogmatic crusading prudery.
The "victim" recognizes that he enjoyed his first sexual relationship. He probably learned a lot from it. I wish I had had such a chance for learning about sex when I was a teenager.
We don't have enough facts to be sure, but I suspect that the reason he claims now that it hurt him is that he was swept along by the general revulsion against such sexual relationships into believing that something bad had been done to him.
Once he started looking for bad, he could surely find some. No doubt the relationship was not ideal. Probably she didn't love him, just wanted sex with him. Some aspects may have been disappointing. That's normal in any relationship, and especially any first relationship, but if you're predisposed to find "abuse" you can perceive any disappointment it as a sign of such.
US citizens: call for making oil and gas extraction companies really pay for extraction from public lands.
Everyone: call on big coal companies to disclose their funding of global heating denial.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: Support Sanders' plan for breaking up the big banks.
US citizens: call for limiting federal "forfeiture" to people convicted of a crime.
"Forfeiture" without criminal conviction is punishment without trial and should be considered unconstitutional.
US citizens: call for fully decriminalizing industrial hemp.
Ecuador's president Correa unofficially threatens the free press.
Peruvian officials ignore a massive illegal logging business, which is easily seen from the air.
The fighting between Turkey and the PKK is escalating.
Turkey is accused of starting the fighting with a false-flag attack against the PKK, and people suggested that this was Erdoğan's maneuver to increase his party's vote in the elections that would come.
I think everyone in Turkey — not just the Kurds — deserves independence from Erdoğan's government.
New Zealand has completely banned a published novel.
It doesn't matter that the novel won an award. Banning even a crappy book is wrong.
That Christian bullies are behind this doesn't alter the wrong, but does mean they share the moral onus of the wrong.
It is dangerous to get this book from Amazon, since that requires identifying yourself. Get a copy of the e-book from someone that has one; that is the only mode of distribution of this e-book that doesn't do wrong to the person it is offered to.
San Francisco's prosperity, for some, leaves no room for those who become homeless.
A sufficient infusion of money would fix most of this, if it were spent on toilets, on SROs, and on the mental health facilities that some homeless people need.
In California, a black male is 8 times more likely to be killed by thugs than a while male.
Although we don't know the cause in each case, I am sure this is due in one way or another to racism. It may be unconscious. A thug sees a black man and feels threatened; a thug sees a bulge in a pocket and immediately thinks, "It's a gun." Then the thug shoots. What it adds up to is a practice of "shoot first, ask questions later", which is wrong to apply to anyone.
The rate of deforestation has been cut by half since 1990. but it is still too high.
Failure to Act on Climate [Mayhem] Means an Even Bigger Refugee Crisis.
Peter Greste and two other journalists were convicted in Egypt of ridiculous "crimes" that would not have violated any law, even supposing they had really occurred.
But if there had been a law against journalism in this way, it would be tyrannical. Even requiring journalists to register is an injustice.
British Airways is making huge profits but just imposed a 25% pay cut on flight attendants.
BA says it will fire them all, then rehire them for a "new job" with a different name and lower pay.
I hope workers shut down the whole line, but it is hard to do this when the government is anti-worker.
A new, clever, but perhaps misleading way of studying the income profile of society, based on comparing the income of the mass of families over time, shows that under presidents Reagan and Clinton, the incomes of most individual American families rose steadily. Under Bush I, and since 2001, incomes have fallen for most families.
This is interesting, but it is the wrong way to measure how the economy is treating workers. It opens the way to an illusion comparable to the Shepard tone, in which each worker's income rises all the time, but the overall income profile of society does not change at all (or even goes down). Based on the article, it seems that this is what happened to the US economy under Reagan and Clinton: almost everyone's individual income slowly rose as the income profile of society fell.
The customary measurement of income profile is done by comparing workers of any given age group in different periods — for instance, workers of age 25 today with workers of age 25 in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The result shows how society's treatment of people in a certain situation has changed over time. That is what matters for public policy.
Israeli demolition orders cover 17,000 Arab buildings in West Bank.
Alaska has invested income from oil leases in an endowment to permanently provide a basic income.
The funds for this don't have to come from oil leases.
Labor Day 2050: How Unchecked Global Warming Threatens Labor Productivity.
The companies that are making us roast the Earth are probably connected with those that want to replace these workers with robots. The robots won't slow down, so the unemployed humans can lie down and survive on less food.
Violent crime has not increased due to protests in Ferguson. Even violent crime against thugs has not increased due to protests in Ferguson. On the contrary, the rate of violent crime is down this year.
Evidently we need more protests to bring the rate of violence down further.
Monsanto has used its money to get scientists to lobby for GMOs.
Mexico's official explanation for the 43 disappeared students is not just false, it's impossible.
It's easy to make an autonomous car stop — for any amount of time — by sending it a signal that it mistakes for a pedestrian.
This may not matter for most cars. After all, you can stop the subway system for ten or 15 minutes by standing in a door. Mostly, people are cooperative enough not to do this. But it might be dangerous in some special cases.
Turning National Parks into Corporate Profit Centers.
I think it is a shame to sell naming rights for stadiums or other civic buildings. That act says, "Everything about us is for sale", and the only reason it happens is that we stopped taxing those companies enough.
Wealthy countries pledged 10 billion dollars to help poor countries cope with the beginnings of climate mayhem, but almost 6 billion of the funds have not been provided.
Basically, spending money to cope with climate mayhem is a foolish approach. We can afford it now, but as mayhem gets worse the costs will double, and double again, and eventually it will be too much. The only approach we can afford is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The TPP would (it appears) ban a simple legal change that would reduce the danger of republishing many copyrighted works.
The article ends with an absurd statement that this "might not be enough for me to want to throw out the whole deal" — as if there were something good in it! But the Treacherous Plutocratic Poison is nothing but bads. It is a collection of wrongs proposed by the big businesses that helped write it.
As for the orphan works, what we should do is legalize sharing copies of all published works, then let people go to work on them.
A French diver apologizes for his part in sinking the Rainbow Warrior.
Deforestation in 2014 eliminated an area of forests equivalent to twice the size of Portugal.
Childhood [in the US] Has Become a Period of High-Stakes Preparation for Life in a Stratified Economy. "If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark."
The Thai military have failed to get civilians to accept a proposed new constitution that would allow the military to take control again.
Gucci and the MPAA are both engines of broad internet censorship.
We shouldn't get distracted by which one was first.
Burundi's president/tyrant is using torture against political opposition.
The punitive reactions to teenage sexting, and teenage sex, are tied up with the consequences of two prejudices: against male homosexuality, and against females that don't deny their heterosexuality.
Knowledge alone is next to useless in countries whose rulers enforce self-censorship.
California has listed glyphosate as a carcinogen. This is a step towards limiting use of glyphosate.
NPR commentator Mara Liasson, discussing the Democratic nomination race, not only didn't mention Bernie Sanders — she effectively denied his presence in the race.
I've had a feeling since the 90s that "NPR" stands for "Non-Progressive Radio". Its criticisms of President Clinton frequently came from the conservative direction.
If you listen to an NPR station, call or write to say you'd like them to present Democracy Today to counterbalance All Things Conservative.
The main "crime" of the British journalists arrested in Turkey is that they used strong encryption.
Obama and Cameron want to follow the same tyrannical path of denying privacy to journalists (nowadays everyone is sometimes a journalist), and to you and me.
The US-backed intervention in Yemen includes lots of ground troops from the UAE and Bahrain.
Bahrain's regime crushed peaceful protests with the help of Saudi Arabia. It is thoroughly despicable.
It is strange to claim that shooting a missile at an ammunition dump is "cowardly". What they could one say about bombing a city?
An arson attack against Planned Parenthood.
Teachers in Israel are threatened with dismissal if they are found to oppose the occupation of Palestine.
In one town near Fukushima, the radiation levels have gone down and the inhabitants are allowed to return.
Afghan Activists Urge Donors to Make Aid Conditional on Women's Rights.
India will ban large vials of diclofenac, to protect vultures.
Samsung has a product to monitor whether someone is asleep. People will start checking on their lovers this way.
Don't use a sleep monitor that sends data to a company!
Just as Syrians are fleeing to Europe en masse, the wealthy countries gave them another reason to do so: they have not given the UN enough to provide them with food where they are.
US citizens: call on Democrats to support Planned Parenthood funding firmly.
Everyone: call on Obama to leave the oil in the ground.
In a market-based economy, the way to reduce demand is to make the product expensive. Leaving oil in the ground will help do that. Taxing it more will be even more effective.
Everyone: call on Craigslist to make sure it isn't used for selling ivory.
US citizens: call on Boehner to support putting George Washington's name back on National Airport.
I have never accepted referring to National Airport with the name of the man who redirected America towards poverty, and whose response to terrorists that kidnaped Americans was to trade weapons for their release.
US citizens: call on Obama to tell Federal government employers to stop asking job applicants about their criminal record before considering them as candidates.
Executives of fossil fuel companies get rewarded for increasing the company's known reserves, regardless of whether those reserves can ever be used.
The US punishes people for life after they get a criminal conviction, in many ways. One is denying various forms of social assistance.
These people are also permanently excluded from many kinds of employment. The jobs that they can get don't pay a living wage, which means that without some sort of social assistance, they are almost compelled to try more crime.
Popular resistance against standardized tests in New York State: 20% of the students that were suppose to take the test refused to participate.
A Christian preacher in the UK faces prosecution for saying that Islam is "Satanic". He refuses to retract and dares the state to put him in prison for stating his views.
The UK doesn't respect freedom of speech very well.
I would not call anything "Satanic", not seriously, because that accusation presumes that devils exist. But there is plenty to condemn as evil in various religions.
Canada's corrupt government snuck a 20-year copyright extension into the law as a rider on a budget bill.
A constitution that permits an irrevocable attack on people's rights to be made so easily needs to be amended. It must be possible to shorten copyright just as easily as to lengthen copyright.
A study in the UK found that children who spend more time watching screens (TV, games, videos) have substantially lower test scores.
This doesn't prove the watching causes the lower scores.
US universities are campaigning to push students even further into debt.
The UK Tories bend over backwards to block wind power, saying they are protecting from having to live near wind turbines. And they impose fracking against the will of people who live nearby.
Curiously, a poll shows that Britons (even Tories) would much rather have wind farms nearby than fracking.
This confirms that the government is working for the fossil fools rather than for the country or the people.
Princeton Review charges more or less for tutoring according to the student's zipcode.
It's not illegal, but it ought to be.
Chicagoans are on hunger strike against the intended closure or privatization of their local high school.
British newsman Mick Deane was shot by an Egyptian sniper after his bulletproof vest was confiscated without explanation as he entered Egypt.
This gives rise to a suspicion that it was all a scheme to kill him.
The dishonest sting videos aimed at Planned Parenthood have inspired arson attacks.
Republican candidates are trying to find a few killings of thugs on Black Lives Matter.
While I deplore the murder of a thug, that is not more important than the murder of any other person.
As for a more general "anti-police culture", the thugs have brought that on themselves through their actions.
Under half of a list of business magnates polled say a deal from the Paris climate conference would lead them to change anything.
That's an indication that it is not likely to be a strong enough deal to solve the problem.
The world must help Sierra Leone strengthen its medical system now, not wait for the next epidemic.
The Indian government has banned foreign donations to Greenpeace — again.
The Supreme Court overruled the ban, the first time.
The US, Europe, Japan and China have been creating lots of money for years, without any inflation.
This thoroughly refuses the usual right-wing economic argument that "you can't increase the money supply without causing hyperinflation".
However, we do need some inflation, to reduce the value of the debts that have been imposed on people, cites and countries by dishonest banking practices.
Dependence on a GPS navigator leads some people's navigational skills to atrophy.
Guatemala's President Perez Molina, a graduate of the School of the Americas, has resigned.
The School of the Americas used to teach torture and repression to the officers of repressive governments.
Hundreds of thousands of US children now live on under 2 dollars a day.
For some, this continues for years.
A meta-analysis (of studies without real shooting or real people as targets) finds that white people are quicker to shoot someone if the someone is black.
How Charles Koch Prevents Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding.
The Refugees Who Fled to Australia to Escape Torture only to End up Trapped Indefinitely on Manus.
Two US teenagers face felony charges for taking photos of their own lovemaking.
California prison thugs face charges, perhaps murder; it appears they beat a prisoner to death.
Australia is planning new limits on freedom of speech. The government wants to ban "advocating genocide", apparently to be understood in a very loose fashion.
According to the article, what Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates is political change, not genocide. It advocates a lousy and unjust political system that wouldn't respect human rights, but then, so do Republicans (though they don't go quite as far). Freedom of speech includes the right to advocate such political systems.
The group's leader appears to have made anti-semitic statements. Bigotry is expression of an opinion — a despicable opinion, in my view, but that should not make it a crime.
Banks are grooming children for credit card use starting at age 5.
If you use credit cards to pay, you are likely to spend more than if you pay cash. You can prevent that effect with self-discipline, but you can't stop them from tracking you.
Australia has (it seems) narrowed the plan to exile citizens with dual citizenship, by limiting it to those that actually fight for terrorist groups that Australia considers enemies.
It is legitimate to punish people for that, by imprisonment for instance, but taking away citizenship is the wrong way to punish any sort of crime. In addition, it can force people to go to a place where they will be tortured.
I also see a slippery slope here, in that if exile is tolerated in any kind of case, politicians will propose to extend it to other cases.
I don't think that exile would deter or prevent crimes more than imprisonment. Meanwhile, if some accused stay away from Australia to avoid being tried and imprisoned, that achieves the same effect as exiling them without the moral onus of imposing exile.
Toys for girls, and marketing messages for them, encourage passivity and steer girls away from science careers.
Warning over Pacific Bluefin Tuna Stocks as Japan Meeting Ends in Stalemate.
Hillary Clinton finally gave support to the law to ban private bonuses to employees moving to government service.
Her reluctance reflects the fact that her heart is not really in the cause of weakening plutocracy. (I don't expect her to try very hard to get such a law passed.) Her stance has been clear for a long time, and I still won't vote for her.
Manpower continues to cheat and underpay temps working indirectly for US government agencies.
US federal agencies will henceforth usually need to get warrants to use stingray devices that track all the cell phones in a region.
I fear that the exceptions will allow this to be done in the most dangerous possible cases: protest rallies.
Meanwhile, the phone company also tracks the movements of each phone, making them available retroactively. Thus, I still consider it unacceptable to carry around a portable phone.
California's assembly is about to vote on a very strong target for greenhouse emissions reduction.
A Virginia thug has been indicted for first degree murder.
The "Democratic Republic" of the Congo has banned a documentary about a doctor that treats women who have been raped by soldiers and militia as part of the long-running civil war there.
What if you record, as text, everything you say? Would that be convenient, or dangerous?
With free software, if you choose to record your vocal utterances in your computer, you will be able to keep your transcript encrypted so that you control when and how it is used.
But if you use someone else's server to convert the text to speech, which is an example of SaaSS (service as a software substitute), that someone else will have your transcript from the get-go.
The inadequate pledges countries have made for the Paris climate action meeting would make heating of more than 2C inevitable.
A 14-year-old boy in Britain has been put on a "dangerous to children" list for sending a nude photo of himself to a girl the same age.
"Inappropriate" is a keyword for "We want to punish you for this even though we can't point at anything in it that did wrong to someone."
It is true that sending someone a nude photo of yourself can have bad consequences. There are inherent bad consequences: for instance, the person you sent it to might resent receiving it. I wouldn't risk sending a nude photo of me to a woman unless I knew positively that she would take it favorably — and I'd have to look somewhat more attractive than I actually do.
But there are also artificial consequences, like being put on the list.
Remembering how US unions worked together with the civil rights movement.
China's economic advance has been based on uncontrollable corruption and irreparable pollution, often producing things that go to waste.
Some of the article's claims may be too strong. I've seen plenty of passengers in the Chinese high speed trains that I have been in. Nonetheless, it provides an explanation of why even the draconian rule of the Chinese Communist Party, which can crush dissidents, can't stop the corruption or the pollution.
Global heating caused the extreme cold in the US Northeast last winter, and that cold is going to get worse for quite some time, until the general heating overcomes it.
Rich people's government has made Grand Rapids, Michigan, a laboratory for dooH niboR. Even bus rides are more expensive for poor residents, who are now always on the edge of being broke.
In the US, state agencies sometimes impersonate real people in the net.
Typical thugcams today apparently have an additional fault: they transmit everything immediately to a server.
That means there is no way for the camera to be on but ultimately not keep certain periods of the recording.
The system I have proposed does not require "cloud infrastructure". It will save the recordings locally.
With 34 senators supporting the nuclear compromise with Iran, this could be a breakthrough against the power of the Israeli militarists' lobby.
I support Israel, as such; that doesn't mean I must support the way it treats Palestinians in occupied territories.
General Petraeus' bright idea is to arm al Qa'ida to fight PISSI.
They seem to be determined not to arm the revolutionary Kurds, though they don't talk about the possibility.
The Pope's Abortion 'Forgiveness' Is Good Politics, but Changes Nothing for Women.
I see it as a step in the right direction. Perhaps it will be followed by other steps.
20 Years after Chechen War, Families Still Searching for Missing Bodies.
I am sorry about people's deaths, but when your friends or relatives die, don't be obsessed with their corpses. The ancient Egyptians were foolish about this, but you don't have to be like them.
To protect Australian penguins from foxes is not easy.
I suggest another solution: invite the rich people from England that want to resume fox hunting to go to Australia to do it.
The "global race to the bottom", predicted by opponents of business-dominated globalization, is hitting Europe hard, eliminating its social protection for workers' rights.
I must point out that making too many humans is a part of the cause of this problem. The current population survives by overusing the Earth's natural systems.
Australia's limits for greenhouse gas emissions have been set so high that they won't cause any reductions.
Unthoughtful supporters of animals have condemned the plan to protect endangered Australian animals by getting rid of many European-introduced feral cats.
Erdogan has accused journalists from a major media group of "terrorist propaganda", as well as the CEO who is probably safe in Britain.
In some ways this is a good sign. It suggests that Erdogan is getting desperate, and doing things that may make Turkish voters turn against him even more.
Climate mayhem will affect crucial "nitrogen fixing" ocean bacteria.
This is not necessarily going to mean disaster — the other nutrients these bacteria consume will remain available to everything that eats these bacteria. Also, bacteria adapt fast. Still messing with such things is one more risk we take by heating up the Earth.
The UN reports that the bombardment and blockade of Gaza have effectively eliminated its ability to produce what people need to live, and reduced everyone to destitution.
PISSI (*), Syria, Ukraine, Russia, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia have all used cluster bombs in recent years.
PISSI"> *The Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Tony Abbott and Nancy Klein both say it's impossible to preserve capitalism and avoid global heating disaster. They disagree in whether capitalism is worth the disaster.
I disagree with them, because today's rapacious "damn the environment (and the workers), full speed ahead" capitalism is not the only possible kind. It is not the only kind we have tried. I have seen rapacious capitalism replace more benign forms of capitalism, as it crushed the countervailing forces such as democracy and civil society that used to hold it in check.
It is a mistake to equate "capitalism" with the modern rapacious kind of capitalism, because that writes off the possibility of pushing capitalism back into a form we can control and live with, the way we control and live with fire.
The reason today's rapacious capitalism blocks action to avoid climate disaster is that it amounts to plutocracy. Where the fossil fools control the media and their money buys the polluticians, they can veto political will for the necessary changes. We must, one way or another, bring back democracy, and that requires ending plutocracy.
To be sure, clipping capitalism's claws won't be easy. But neither would getting rid of it — and that would raise the question of what to replace it with.
"Fast food" was based on making workers more efficient and paying them less. It has advanced through legal changes that permit worse treatment of workers.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
In the UK, there is such a housing shortage that landlords often harass tenants and some even commit violence against them.
Strict policing of landlords would help, but what the UK really needs is enough available housing.
Israel has a special unit to "monitor" organizations that advocate boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Israel says that this campaign is somehow linked to violent resistance, Palestinians in the West Bank that support that cause are called in for interrogation, apparently to intimidate them.
I don't support a boycott of Israel in general, but I do support a boycott of products made in the Israeli colonies in the West Bank (which violate the treaties that govern military occupation).
Robert Reich proposes to share all income from patented or trademarked businesses with the public, as a form of redistribution that couldn't be evaded by accounting tricks or offshoring.
It might work, but I think my proposed solution, a progressive tax on business income, would also resist such tricks while applying to more businesses. It would also pressure big businesses to split up.
Now that we have proof that the US has corrupted "voluntary" cybersecurity programs to spy on people, it is even clearer that the "voluntary" program of CISA is an excuse for more spying on people.
Netanyahu plans to loosen the rules for shooting Palestinian boys that throw stones.
Israeli soldiers have been ignoring the rules already, to kill Palestinians who were simply running away.
Carmakers Sued Over 'Deadly' Keyless Ignitions.
Plaintiffs say the engine could be running without the user's knowing, filling up a space with carbon monoxide.
Male surveillance camera monitors use the cameras to follow pretty women. The Chilean solution: hire only women to run them.
If we want to have cameras pointed at our streets for security, they must be security cameras, not surveillance cameras.
The record floods in Texas and Oklahoma were bigger due to global heating.
On the dishonest splicing used to create a false picture of Planned Parenthood, and how it can fool people.
Around half of e-cigarettes produce dangerous levels of formaldehyde and/or acetaldehyde, which are carcinogens.
Some of them produced 100 times the maximum level allowed in California.
The Iran deal now has enough support in the US Senate to assure it will be adopted.
San Antonio thugs shot a black man who was standing still with his hands in the air.
Someone shot a thug in Texas; as a non-sequitur, the thugs took this as an excuse to smear Black Lives Matter.
Humans have eliminated roughly half the trees that the Earth had a few thousand years ago.
Ukraine needs to get rid of Soviet government practices more than Soviet statues.
Canada has pressed charges against the Syrian officer that tortured Maher Arar, but not yet against the Americans that kidnaped him and handed him over to Syria for torture.
Most US supermarket chains have agreed not to sell genetically engineered salmon. Costco is one of the holdouts.
I think it is unlikely that the genetically engineered salmon would harm humans that eat them. But harm to wild salmon is a real possibility. There are many other things that could go wrong, which we would not know how to fix.
Politicians that approach global heating like politics as usual don't understand that physics won't meet them half way for the sake of a deal.
Governments set on extracting fossil fuels are changing laws so they can ram this down people's throats.
Australia and the UK have also changed laws to stop people from preventing extraction of fossil fuel.
A New Jersey mother was convicted of endangering a child that she left in the car for 10 minutes. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled her case was judged wrong.
The article explains the biased thinking that considers bizarre unlikely dangers as crucial in some cases and insignificant in others.
Global heating is turning Mongolia into a desert, which is a big problem for Mongolians.
Israel demolished the Palestinian village of al-Khdeirat, leaving 100 people homeless.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, fanatical "settlers" seized a Palestinian building.
These demolitions are often carried out with hardly any notice so as to destroy the Palestinians' movable possessions too.
British pacifist and activist Gary Spedding is suing in Israel to reverse his exclusion from that country, which was done citing absurd reasons.
Israeli courts carefully protect the rights of the accused when Jews
are accused of pogroms against Palestinians. The rest of the time,
not so much.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Thus, it seems almost impossible for those guilty of such pogroms to face any punishment.
Everyone: call on the US press corps to stand up for real journalists rather than anti-rational billionaire candidates.
US citizens: call for protecting Bryce Canyon from coal mining.
US citizens: call on Obama to have the Attorney General reconsider
the conclusion that discrimination on the basis of religion is legitimate.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on Vietnam to free political prisoners in the coming amnesty.
California has agreed to stop keeping supposed "gang leaders" in long-term solitary confinement.
The article errs in supposing that these prisoners are really associated with gangs. That is what they are accused of, but all sorts of silly criteria are used to determine who is a "gang member".
Repression against services that enable sex workers to advertise hits them hard.
The massive wildfires in the US have burnt over 2000 square miles.
As we keep turning the heat up, it will get bigger. Do people want to bet on which year 20,000 square miles will burn?
The Fate of the Temple of Bel Is a Symbol of the Tragedy Engulfing Syria.
Five Islamists have been charged with murdering secularist blogger Niloy Chakrabarti.
Fewer toys can be good for children's imagination.
A few years ago I visited a friend who had a typical large American house, with several rooms littered with piles of toys. I was shocked, but I suspect most Americans would find it normal.
The number of real women on Ashley Madison was probably more than previous analysis concluded. Data to determine their number is not available in the leak.
However, it is clear there were at least 70,000 "female" chatbots.
Tony B'liar's wife lobbied Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Emir of Qatar.
The article does not show whether Clinton did anything wrong in regard to this, but it seems sleazy on Ms B'liar's part.
US thugs have shot 30 drivers dead this year, ignoring guidance that it's a bad idea to shoot at a moving car.
Glaciers shrank in the 20th century, but now they are shrinking twice as fast.
"Debt relief for Greece", in IMF terms, means only stretching out the payments.
"Free trade" means clothing companies anywhere in the world get the benefit of the horrible working conditions in Burma.
James Hansen and other scientists warn that sea-level rise is likely to accelerate fast in the future, and could amount to 10 feet (3 meters) within 50 years. Or maybe somewhat more or less time.
I write this in the Chilean port city of La Serena, substantial parts of which seem to be less than 3 meters above sea level. Oops.
If you're feeling really lucky, you could decide to bet that their prediction won't happen ever.
Naomi Klein "I'm a lot more shocked by the fact that migrants made refugees by wars that your government and my government have participated in are sent to islands so far away, locked away with no hope so they take their own lives."
I don't think we need to ask which of these outrages is worse.
Azerbaijan Journalist Khadija Ismayilova, faced with imprisonment for exposing corruption, says she will continue even in prison.
The court mercifully sentenced her to "only" 7.5 years in prison.
Economic growth alone will not fix the UK's housing shortage.
Proper taxation of houses, including higher taxes for any home that isn't a principal residence, would get the job started.
Turkey is the latest country to use "anti-terrorism" laws for repression.
The US does it too, and it is wrong in any country.
In this case, Turkey's (i.e., Erdogan's) aim is to hide his violent attacks against Kurds.
The violence started with an attack in the city of Suruc, which was attributed to PISSI but may have been a false flag attack by the Turkish government.
Self-proclaimed psychics are a total failure in helping criminal investigations, but thug departments are very slow to learn this lesson.
Israel was unable to stop Daniel Barenboim from conducting in Iran, but Iran's government won't let him in.
Google faces accusations in India and Europe of rigging search results to favor its own sites.
It would be easy to achieve this result intentionally without explicitly writing lines of code that say "prefer this Google site". Some minor details of the Google site could raise the site's priority.
How the apartheid government of South Africa spent millions to manipulate public opinion in the US and Europe.
Obama, visiting in Alaska, called for urgent action to curb global heating.
Obama is saying the right things; he should make his actions match his words.
Journalists in Thailand were acquitted of the crime of "defaming the Navy" in reporting on suspicions of its involvement in human trafficking.
This is a good outcome, but the root of the problem is in making defamation a crime. Freedom of speech includes the right to offend, criticize, insult, even mock any institution, any practice, any belief, and any person.
In some parts of the ocean, 90% of seabirds have plastic objects inside them.
Some pharma companies are fighting hard to keep disappointing results of patient studies secret.
Since it is established that the involvement of pharma companies corrupts the outcomes of these studies, we should cut them off from it completely. Instead of letting them fund the studies, the government should tax them and use the tax funds to do the studies.
The long heat wave in Europe, and the associated drought, has
harvests and forced power plants to close.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
If police departments in the US had the same standards for employees as fire departments, we'd have police officers instead of thugs.
The US needs to reevaluate what their job consists of, and especially how many of them are needed. To hire as many as we have now requires scraping the bottom of the barrel. We no longer have a high overall crime rate, and if we ended the war on drugs, we'd have a lot less crime of all kinds.
Several US states have passed inadequate laws to protect the privacy of personal data of students in school.
These laws are inadequate because companies should not get any personal information about any students. Schools should keep these data, and delete anything that does not need to be kept.
The EU promised "transparency" for the TTIP negotiations, but arranged to interpret that in a way that adds up to nothing. Even MEPs can't see anything meaningful.
The first level of dishonesty about this treaty is the idea that it is about "free trade". It's really about giving companies more power and democracy less power. That's why I call them "corporate supremacy treaties".
The practice of publishing anything salacious that we hear other people saying does significant harm to effective privacy.
We should distinguish between proof of something really bad, like violence carried out by a thug, from mere clickbait such as a couple's breaking up.
The conviction of three Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt is a sample of a thoroughly rotten judicial system.
Egypt is one of the countries that I would love to visit, if it were safe. But I don't feel I would be safe from imprisonment there now.
Chomsky refutes the perverse postmodern leftist condemnation of science and even rationality.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-27 because the old link was broken.]
H&R Block Lobbied to Make Tax Forms Harder for Low-Income People to Fill Out.
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy.
Never in US history have most people earned enough to escape from poverty based on their wages alone.
I think the article confuses the point by saying that they "were" poor. What happened, and the article makes it clear when read carefully, is that when they weren't poor it was because debt was supporting them.
The city of Newcastle, Australia, which is the world's biggest coal exporting city, has decided to divest from fossil fuels, recognizing that the coal business has no future.
Citibank says curbing global heating would save tens of trillions of dollars, not even counting the avoided costs of global heating.
Alaska natives say that global heating has caused drastic changes that are destroying their way of life, and we need to stop it now.
Australia's prison in Nauru treats children so horribly that even a government inquiry says no children should be there.
What will Abbott do next? Remove the children and leave their parents on Nauru? That might be cruel enough to be his next step.
The plan to send refugees to Cambodia has failed and Cambodia has cancelled it.
The US-backed war in Yemen has blocked delivery of food and medicine, endangering millions.
Families of disappeared Chinese human rights defenders call on the state to tell them where their relatives are.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect funding for Planned Parenthood.
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the Schumer-Portman corporate tax giveaway.
A widened road in India would separate some tiger sanctuaries, making it hard for tigers to survive in any of them.
Baby foods in general are too sweet, to the point that they interfere with development of the ability to sense other tastes.
I would guess that this isn't the only kind of harm that results from baby food that is too sweet.
On the difference between bullshit and lies.
US SWAT teams hardly bother to check their information before they raid innocent people's homes.
Human Rights Watch says Saudi Arabia is using US cluster bombs in places near civilians.
If you access the video from youtube, please take care to avoid running the nonfree code included in youtube pages.
Britons in debt are collecting their state pensions in advance to pay the debt.
This will leave them destitute later, along with those who invested their pensions in pyramid schemes.
The US is making "improvements" in nuclear weapons and seems not to consider what the effects will be when Russia makes similar "improvements" in its own nuclear weapons.
Modelling suggests that the Middle Easy will face an increasing water shortage for the next 25 years.
That doesn't mean it won't get worse after that.
Drought, related to global heating, provoked the civil war in Syria. Drought in other places can cause more wars.
China to Relocate Almost 1,000 Chemical Plants in Wake of Tianjin Blasts.
Guatemala's president is likely to be impeached for corruption, but his wrongs started with mass murder in the army's US-backed dirty war to keep the indigenous peoples in submission.
Lexmark is trying to crush the US ink cartridge recycling business with patents, claiming that cartridges originally sold outside the US and brought by printer users into the US cannot be recycled.
I'd get rid of the problem by changing patent law so that Lexmark can't use patents to prevent independent manufacture of replacement cartridges for its printers. The business model which this supports — cheap printer but cartridges are expensive, or cheap phone but using it is expensive — systematically leads to nasty restrictions on the users. We should therefore get rid of the business model.
The article spreads confusion by using the term "intellectual property", which it is a mistake ever to use. That term incoherently lumps together a dozen or so laws which have nothing substantial in common. Even copyright law and patent law have very little in common except the one sentence in the constitution that those two laws spring from.
Calling all these laws "intellectual property" implies that they must be similar, which is an obstacle to learning what each of them really says and does.
It also uses other propaganda terms such as "protected".
200 people convicted in Baltimore, whose trials were based on cell-phone tracking that the state did not tell the defense about, may get new trials.
Thugs must not be allowed to weasel out of disclosing information that defendants are entitled to on the basis of signing a non-disclosure agreement. If they can't tell defendants when they used the cell-phone tracker, they should get rid of it.
Finally US gun nuts found one gun that they don't like — a gun that authenticates its user. They sent death threats to the seller.
The bankster's cruelty to Greece is a somewhat harsher version of what they are doing to other European countries.
How about copying North Dakota's pharmacy law in other US states?
The BJP, now India's ruling party, is tied to several massacres of Dalits.
China to Relocate Almost 1,000 Chemical Plants in Wake of Tianjin Blasts.
The sadistic Lord's Resistance Army is involved in ivory trafficking.
Norway is paying Liberia to keep its forests standing.
Banning child labor in making the products we use can have harmful secondary effects when the children live in poor families.
However, there may be a better solution than child labor, as we can see when a parent says, "[the children] are making money that is used to pay their school fees." Why are there school fees to pay?
In the 80s and 90s, World Bank "aid programs" imposed neoliberal "structural adjustments" that in many cases replaced gratis schooling with school fees. If we undo that externally imposed injustice, maybe children won't need to work for their school fees.
Indianapolis uses art projects to redistribute printed books.
Please don't use ebooks unless you're prepared to do something like this with them.
Chris Christie wants to track all visitors to the US all the time, so as to find them if they overstay their visas.
How could they do this? Implanting a portable phone into the visitor's body would work. As a bonus, they could listen to all conversations that take place near the visitor.
Doing this to visitors is a great wrong, but it would not remain limited to visitors. It would subsequently be extended to US citizens the next time some spectacular crime committed by a citizen provides an excuse.
Up to 200,000 defied the Malaysian state to protest demanding the resignation of the prime minister, who doesn't respect democracy very much.
Fortunately the thugs refrained from physically attacking them this time. That may be due to the participation of the former prime minister, who didn't respect democracy very much either. Is this really a factional power struggle? Is he trying to co-opt it into one?
Israeli veterans, shortly after the 1967 war, described the atrocities they saw, or carried out.
The loss of Arctic sea ice threatens the entire Arctic ecosystem. Many species may go extinct.
Don't sneer at people for the foolish wishful thinking that leads them to fall for a mostly-fraud like Ashley Madison. The same sort of foolishness leads people into other frauds.
Apparently many people don't understand the difference between folly and evil. They are fundamentally different. Being a tempting victim may be foolish but it isn't evil. It may be foolish to walk down a deserted street at 23:00, but it's not wrong. Therefore, if someone robs you or rapes you there, your foolish choice may be part of the cause, but it has no effect on the moral responsibility for the crime, which falls in this case entirely on those who carried it out.
This confusion supports the practice of blaming the victim (although people may have other reasons for wanting to do that).
In the UK, 80 people per month die shortly after being labeled as "fit to work" and losing disability benefits.
Do you think Cameron feels bad about their deaths? I don't.
The wild and useless response to an attempted shooting on a European train: identity checks for everyone.
There are so many places where you can find a bunch of random people to shoot that it makes no sense to take such measures on just one of them.
The NLRB ruled that some subcontracted temporary workers should be considered employees of the real employer, and have the right to unionize.
The use of subcontracting is largely an excuse to pay and treat workers worse. It's possible that this decision could reduce that harm.
The US crackdown on sex workers is driven by the state's desire to steal their money.
There is a general pattern in the US of governments using oppressive measures to take people's money. The Ferguson pattern of repeatedly fining and jailing poor people is one example. "Forfeiture" is another. The root cause is that we don't tax rich people enough, so governments are desperate to get money from somewhere or other.
Saudi Arabia has taken a small step towards recognizing women's rights by allowing them to vote and run for office.
Since the country is actually ruled by the king, the elected officials, no matter who votes for them, don't get to decide much. Still, they could provide practice for a future democracy.
The California Academy of Sciences has decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.
Now we must up the pressure on other important science museums.
Reports about some real women that used Ashley Madison.
It is painful to keep a secret from someone you love, but I put the blame on the possessiveness that makes it necessary to keep the other relationship a secret.
If you're black in the US, a thug might stop you for looking him in the eye. Or for not looking him in the eye.
Republican presidential candidates are know-nothings regarding the economy; in particular, in regard to potential or real economic crises.
That makes sense, because they're not working for Americans overall, only for the rich ones that donate their campaign funds. An economic crisis, as Naomi Klein has pointed out, is a great opportunity for them to take from other Americans.
Babies that were in the first trimester of gestation when Iceland had its financial crisis had, on the average, a lower than usual birth weight.
This diagnostic could indicate a higher rate of various problems.
United's WiFi service blocks many news sites.
China now attacks the Chinese developers of software for circumventing Chinese censorship, and seems to have pressured Github to delete them and others.
Did Github give way to that pressure? The article does not say.
Some software on Github is free, but most of it is not properly licensed and thus not free.
Will increasing gun violence motivate Americans to overcome the power of the NRA?
Monitor drones are being used in construction to identify workers that are slower than other workers.
This is part of the "push yourself harder for less pay" economy.
Egypt has sentenced Al Jazeera journalists to three years in prison, basically for the crime of reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood's political positions violated human rights, of course, since it was Islamist. But that doesn't justify prohibiting it or declaring participation in it a crime.
Europeans are considering imposing metal detectors at train stations after an attempted massacre on a train.
There are so many places someone could shoot people. It is silly to pile security on the last one someone tried to use, especially given that the dismal failure of this attack will probably incline the next shooter to try some other sort of place.
The private guards at Australia's immigration prison in Nauru handcuffed an 8-year-old boy prisoner as a joke.
This example is an outlier in its specifics, but it is typical of the spirit of the Nauru immigration prison.
A US court accepted the NSA's catch-22: if you can't prove you personally were spied on, you can't sue about whether they are allowed to spy on you.
Judges that twist the law like this are inviting everyone to spit on it.
An example of what happens when teachers are graded based on students' standardized tests.
In the US and the UK, this practice accompanies a push to replace public schools with privatized "charter schools". If the policy is to punish the teacher whose class tests lowest, or punish the school in the district that tests lowest, there will always be someone to punish, always some school that there is an excuse to close.
The Canadian government is trying to fire scientist Tony Turner for singing a song that criticized the anti-science pollutician Harper.
Harper has done many things to suppress science in Canada so it can't show the harm that his policies are doing.
US citizens: call on Senator Kirk to apologize to US negotiators for comparing them to "Nazi appeasers".
US citizens: call on the State Department to scrutinize the Upland pipeline approval carefully.
I gave this text:
Please carefully check the proposed Upland pipeline for danger of local pollution and harm. But you should block the pipeline in any case, lest Transcanada use it later to send tar sands oil into the US.
on Thailand to drop charges against Andy Hall.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Candidates O'Malley and Sanders accuse the Democratic Party of limiting debates so as to favor Clinton.
The British Library didn't dare accept an archive of Taliban documents for fear of prosecution under UK censorship laws.
The fact that the question even arises shows that UK laws are far outside the realm of justice. Any law that makes it a crime to have a copy of some publication is inexcusable tyranny.
In the US and Russia, the government impersonates other organizations' sites to inject malware.
From January to June, oil companies spent 6 million dollars lobbying in California against laws to limit the damage they do to people.
As glaciers shrink and disappear, the water they used to provide in the summer ceases to be available for farming.
Turkey has arrested British journalists.
US beekeepers say that the EPA's pollinator protection plan is passing the buck to states that fail to resist the pesticide companies.
It appears that the US military is distorting intelligence about PISSI to give a false impression of success in fighting it.
The US military has made public claims about readiness to attack PISSI which I was skeptical about. The attack on Mosul, announced months ago, has not taken place.
Underestimating the enemy is a recipe for defeat.
Senator Cory Booker about how to reduce mass incarceration in the US.
Many poor Americans spend are in jail because they can't pay fines. Ferguson and many other US cities have set up this system to extract money from the poor because the rich have imposed Republican governments (often by cheating — gerrymandering or blocking Democrats from voting) and thus cut the taxes that fall on them.
Taxing the rich and businesses more will thus help reduce mass incarceration.
The Satanic Temple staged a counterprotest to denounce the lies of Christian extremists that protested against Planned Parenthood.
I am not merely "pro-choice", I am pro-abortion. For many women who get pregnant, abortion is a lifesaver, literally or figuratively. In addition, it avoids exacerbating human overpopulation.
North Dakota has permitted thugs to fire not-usually-lethal weapons from drones, due to the efforts of a drone manufacturer's lobby.
This increases militarization of thugs, which we rather need to decrease.
Some movie theaters in the US will present security theater as well as movies.
The security theater may occasionally keep out a few killers, those who don't have specific plans — but they'd be just as happy to shoot people waiting on line to be searched.
Denver thugs defied a court order by arresting activists of the Fully Informed Jury Association and seizing their pamphlets as well as their table and other property.
Two thugs have been fired after their accusations against a Seattle bus driver were proved false. The driver had made a recording.
The article shows several acts that were wrong. First of all, the thugs' false accusations were wrong. Mere firing is not enough punishment for thugs that make false accusations. They deserve prison for that.
It is also wrong, and cruel, to try to kick sleeping homeless people off a bus onto the street. The company is wrong to have that policy and the driver was personally wrong for trying to implement it. I have to salute those thugs for refusing to help. (Not that this excuses making false accusations.)
Meanwhile, the article makes a perverse fuss about using the word "fucking". What difference does it make if the driver said "fucking"? Are bus drivers in Seattle punished for saying that? Next they will be punished for saying, "artichoke", "sidewalk" or "disappointed". If the thugs got the driver in some sort of trouble based on this chickenshit "accusation", the thugs are to blame, but especially whoever listened to the accusation and tried to hurt the driver is also to blame.
Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account continued the practices of the State Department under the Bush regime, including Condoleezza Rice when she was secretary of state.
It was a bad practice, and should be changed; but Clinton is not personally responsible for it.
Colin Powell explains what normal State Department practice was like.
I still will not vote for Clinton, because she is in bed with businesses that it is the president's job to restrain from harming us.
The University of Kansas did Koch-funded pseudoscience research whose purpose was to undermine standards for renewable energy.
Seven forms of systemic racism in the US.
When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis.
The WTO ruled against India's domestic-manufacturing preferences for subsidized solar equipment.
It is not clear that this will cripple India's solar energy program, but considering that that program needs to be much bigger, we should not let anything get in its way.
Jamycheal Mitchell was jailed for 4 months awaiting trial for stealing a few snacks.
If he had been convicted of such a theft, he probably would have been sentenced to less time than that. It is fundamentally unjust to imprison accused people so long. In the US, this is typically done only to the poor.
Most of the people imprisoned this way don't die from the experience. But Mitchell did. Jails tend to provide inadequate medical care, and grudgingly. In Mitchell's case, he seems to have starved himself to death because he could not stand being in jail.
Declassified CIA Documents Reveal How Disastrous America's Post-9/11 Plans Really Were.
For instance, it is clear that Dubya was seeking an excuse to attack Iraq even before the unrelated Sep 11 attacks provided an excuse.
The article ends by counting the "cost" of Dubya's wars, but it seems to include only the direct monetary costs to the US. It doesn't count the damage done to Iraq and Iraqis, or the existence of PISSI.
A novel approach to kicking poor people out of a city: harsh enforcement of lots of permit requirements on trailer parks where poor people can afford to live.
You'd think that they would fine the landlords rather than the people who live in the trailers.
A campaign to sweep Melbourne for unauthorized immigrants was cancelled in response to a protest about racial profiling.
The UK's planned repression against unauthorized immigrants is perfect for facilitating enslavement of immigrants.
More about how the coal-funded "Energy and Environment Legal Institute" harasses real climate scientists.
The funded denialists are the other end of the pincers.
According to the UK minister in charge of work, working is the best remedy for illness.
An analysis of the pit Gaza is stuck in, which seems to offer no way out.
Psychology, and other fields of science, need rules that will reduce the number of irreproducible results.
Papers that can't be reproduced, but which there is no reason to retract, should be transferred to the Journal of Irreproducible Results. The authors should find that quite a deterrent.
One county in Georgia admitted to Organized disenfranchisement of black voters, but surely it's not the only one.
Whereas Alabama, which requires a driver's license or similar ID to vote, is talking about closing most of the driver's license offices. The wealthy will be able to afford to get a driver's license. Pesky poor people won't.
Financial companies prey on poor US blacks, offering them a small lump sum instead of the compensation they are due, over a period of years, for having been brain damaged by lead paint.
Of the 5-6 million "women" in the Ashley Madison data dump, less than 10,000 actually used the site to talk with anyone. Essentially men paid the site for an imaginary opportunity.
It follows that hardly any of the male users ever arranged an affair through the site. (The few that did, probably found a prostitute rather than a real affair.)
Moreover, the site was set up so strongly to bring in men that it almost impeded real women from making accounts.
However, some of that anlysis turns out to be mistaken.
Germany Trades Citizens' Metadata for NSA's Top Spy Software.
Everyone: reprove Shell for drilling in the Arctic.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Chelsea O'Donnell left home and went to stay with an acquaintance, who has been accused of "endangering" Ms O'Donnell.
Her age is nominally 17 but perhaps really 18, not that it should matter.
It's par for the course that there is no information at all about what concrete actions his supposed "endangering" actually consists of, to justify the claim that the term "endangering" applies.
Perhaps the only substance behind this accusation is prejudice, or pandering to the anxiety of Ms O'Donnell's adoptive mother.
California cities have cut water usage by 30%.
That would be a giant step towards saving water for the future, except for one thing: most of California's water use is for farming and nonrenewable energy. If those keep using up water as if there were no tomorrow, cities may find in a year or two that there isn't enough left in the reservoirs even for their reduced usage.
By the way, if you call this "the drought of the century", specify the 20th century. But 21st century standards, this one isn't special.
Drought has also hit a large part of Europe, damaging the harvest there. This too will become frequent due to global heating.
Melting ice in the Chukchi sea has forced walruses to crowd on the shore, which may be fatal.
As soon as PISSI's suicide bomb went off, in a group of Turkish Kurds and leftists that were headed for Kobani, Turkish thugs began attacking them.
The survivors are convinced that the thugs made a joint plan with PISSI.
Turkey helped PISSI plenty before.
A safety study of the design for packaging US nuclear waste for long-term storage found many problems with the proposed plant. The Department of Energy suppressed the study while saying everything was fine.
Oxfam and other groups call for ending Israel's siege of Gaza.
Transcanada wants to export tar sands oil through the Bay of Fundy.
A single spill of highly toxic bitumen could destroy the marine life.
Even the noise from the numerous tankers' engines would harm the endangered right whales that live there.
If the bitumen comes from tar sands, its extraction (done with strip mines) destroys wide reaches of land, and burning it contributes to global heating disaster. So many bad consequences can avoided simply by not extracting the tar sands.
An AT&T WiFi hotspot was found to inject ads into browsing of unrelated web sites.
The US senators pushing the disguised surveillance bill CISA are planning to use it to make the CFAA more dangerous to future Aaron Swarzes.
The EPA underestimated the water pressure in the waste from the Gold King mine, and thus the danger of a big toxic spill into the Animas River.
It seems PISSI is using mustard gas taken from Assad's supplies.
The "transformation" of New Orleans worked by expelling most of the black New Orleanians.
Everyone: tell Warren Buffet to stop attacking Nevada solar energy.
Governments across the world are shutting down civil society organizations that defend the environment or human rights.
A Catholic hospital in the US was ordered by a court to allow a tubal ligation operation, since no other facility in the region was available.
This problem, that all hospitals in a region are associated with the Catholic church, affects increasing numbers of women. In some cases it endangers women who are brought to a Catholic hospital in an emergency.
Hospitals should not be allowed to have such policies. A hospital is not a human being, and is not entitled to deny medical care to human beings based on religion. So they should be required to permit the full range of operations for which they have suitable facilities and staff. If the Catholic church doesn't like that, it should sell the hospitals to some other organization.
Proposing new US mining regulations to put an end to mining waste spills.
To adopt these regulations, it will be necessary to defeat the polluticians.
Ferguson has agreed to change some of the policies that systematically lead poor people into heavy fines and jail.
I don't think this means that the recently prosecuted protesters will be let off.
Biden was a crucial supporter of mass incarceration and the death penalty.
Alaska's law defines prostitution as "sex trafficking" and says that the prostitute is a victim of that "crime". As a result, prostitutes can be prosecuted for "trafficking" each other, or themselves.
I don't know whether to describe this law as lying or delusional.
Denver thugs who told lies to justify brutality were fired — six years later.
This is not enough, because they will probably get jobs as thugs somewhere else.
An influential Iowa Republican proposed to enslave of unauthorized immigrants.
The US already uses convicts as slave labor, which drives down wages for Americans not in prison.
on your congresscritter to cosponsor the Protecting Honest
Fishermen Act of 2015.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Malaysia threatens to crush an anticorruption protest rally with the army, after blocking access to the web sites that promote it.
Malaysia is one of the countries I will no longer visit because it demands fingerprints from visitors.
The warring tribal factions in South Sudan have signed another peace deal, but one cannot be confident it will hold.
Ukraine has received debt "restructuring", which means it can pay later and less.
Contrast with Greece.
Banksy, whose work famously criticizes surveillance, is demanding visitors to his theme show present their IDs.
The article does not say so, but it seems clear that people are required to give their names to buy a ticket. That in itself is wrong.
When event organizers ask their attendees to identify themselves, they participate in constructing a society of total surveillance. That is why the Free Software Foundation welcomes people to attend its events anonymously, paying cash on arrival. All events have a moral obligation to do this.
If an event which is open to the general public asks you to identify yourself, for freedom's sake insist they stop contributing to mass surveillance.
Only 37 countries still use the death penalty, but some of them are going at it like vicious demons.
Raising Your Child with Victorian Hang-Ups: a Guide for Parents.
Israel is trying to block a visit by the Berlin State Opera to Iran, which its conductor (who is Israeli) has been trying for years to set up.
The revolving door is spinning in Canada: Shell is applying for permission for drilling in the Atlantic Ocean to a board that includes a 30-year Shell employee.
A Hong Kong protest leader faces a clearly political prosecution.
Sea level has risen 8cm since 1992; probably it will rise almost a meter in this century, due to global heating.
It will rise a lot more in the following century.
Spraying neonicotinoids on leaves has been shown to harm bees. We already knew that treating seeds with those same pesticides harms bees.
To see what would happen if the US eliminated birthright citizenship, look at the Dominican Republic.
Clinton is reluctant to endorse Senator Warren's bill to ban "golden parachutes" for company employees moving to government jobs.
The reason for this is clear: she knows she will be expected to appoint people to important positions who are receiving such payments that are equivalent in effect to bribes.
No matter what Clinton may say now, her past shows that she is in bed with arrogant business, just as Obama is. I am certainly not voting for her.
The Department of Agriculture helps GMOs by ignoring requests for public records about use of GMOs.
US citizens: Call on Democratic presidential candidates to pledge to choose a VP candidate that supports diplomacy with Iran.
Thugs of the United Arab Emirates tortured Ahmad Zeidan into confessing to possession of drugs, which were in the glove compartment of the car he was riding in. He signed a confession in Arabic that he could not read. Everyone in the car was convicted together.
All the others, who were not British, have been pardoned and released. He thinks the UK government is more interested in selling arms to the UAE than in pleading for unjustly imprisoned Britons.
I don't intend to visit the UAE, because no one is safe there from wild accusations and torture. Zeidan says he doesn't blame the emir whose thugs did this — he probably fears to criticize — but I am safe outside the UAE and I do blame the emir.
Comparing publication of two books by dead authors: the last Discworld book written by Terry Pratchett, and a Lisbeth Salander book written by someone other than Stieg Larsson.
I urge you to resist the marketing hype associated with these books. You might want to get them, but hype should not be rewarded.
I am mostly not a fan of Pratchett. I thought Small Gods was very good, but the other few Pratchett books I've read did not especially impress me. However, I am impressed by the stance of Pratchett's daughter towards honoring his memory.
By contrast, Stieg Larsson's family seems to be behaving in a sleazy manner. It seems that his mate really loved him but his relatives love his money-making potential more.
This illustrates the important difference between works of practical use, such as software, and works of art. It is a very good thing that others now continue the development of the GNU programs that I initially wrote. Their work is useful; they add features and fix problems. Whether their style is similar to mine is hardly worth thinking about.
But it is foolish to hope that someone else, even someone talented and skilled, can continue the work of a dead author of fiction.
We who condemn Israel's occupation of Palestine must strongly condemn antisemitism too.
In addition to being the right thing to do, because all bigotries are unjust, it also refutes the nasty claim that condemnation of the occupation is antisemitism itself.
To distinguish them clearly is why I speak of AIPAC as the "Israeli hawks' lobby". Not all Israelis support that position, and most American Jews do not support it any more.
By the way, when I condemn bigotry against gays, I do not call it by the tendentious term "homophobia". I call it "bigotry against gays". We should accuse bigots of bigotry, not a hypothetical fear.
The right-wing attempt to take over the Hugo awards by bloc voting has failed.
I hope they will give it up rather than continue ruining the Hugo awards.
I must acknowledge, even though I disagree with his politics, that John C Wright has written some great science fiction.
Obama apologized to Japanese premier Abe for the inconvenience caused by revelations of US surveillance of Japanese trade negotiators.
Obama did not, it appears, apologize for spying on them.
US thugs don't know how to deal with the mentally ill, and often end up killing them, skipping many other options.
Self-driving cars may do more than report on their passengers; thugs may be able to direct them by remote control.
LA Times' 'Independent' Education Project Bankrolled by Charter School Backers.
By legalizing force-feeding of prisoners, especially prisoners not charged with any crime, Israel endorses torture and follows the bad example of the US.
Israel continues its gradual ethnic cleansing of certain areas in Palestine by demolishing the homes of Palestinians.
US citizens trying to visit Palestine are regularly blocked by Israel if they are of Palestinian origin.
In fact, many countries do not recognize dual citizenship; US citizens that have citizenship in those countries are treated simply as natives. Israel's actions in this regard are not unusual.
But that doesn't excuse Israel' harsh and gratuitous policy.
US citizens: call on Obama to tell us how AT&T helped the NSA, and stop interfering with investigations of NSA spying on us.
Arizona's war on sex education is ridiculous, but very effective — at encouraging teenagers to get pregnant.
Most of the prisoners in Guantanamo were captured by Afghan warlords and sold to the US for a bounty. Even in the cases where there is an accusation with real evidence against some of the prisoners, it is hard to trust it.
Canadian [thug] Found Guilty for Mass Arrests During G20 Crackdown.
What If We Reported On Poverty The Way We Report On The Stock Market?
To see global heating, you don't need a climate model any more. It is visible already in patterns of weather, fire, illness and death.
Why, then, do so many stubbornly refuse to see it? Increasingly we learn that they have been paid not to see it.
Christopher Horner, who relentlessly harasses climate scientists, is funded by the fossil fool industry.
A now-bankrupt coal company gave money sneakily and indirectly to many fossil fool Republican candidates in 2014.
How Global Real Estate Giant RE/MAX Profits from Stolen Palestinian Land.
Everyone: call on SoulCycle not to use Goldman Sachs for its IPO.
The Tories are openly selling opportunities to meet with ministers, for campaign funds.
It might as well be called the Corruption Party.
If deforestation continues at its current rates, by 2050 tropical forests equal to the size of India will be destroyed.
This will cause extinction of many species as well as contributing greatly to global heating.
Preserving forests is crucial for limiting global heating.
A project to replicate and check the scientific publications of the few scientists that deny anthropogenic global heating found gross errors in them.
"Sexual harassment", or amusing risqué hack?
While I can see why the university didn't like this, I don't believe this public non-threatening joke should be considered "harassment", much less an "assault".
Increasing evidence that blasting loud noises from the top of the ocean down into the ocean floor is very bad for whales.
A thug in Alabama felt so "threatened" by a man wielding a big spoon that he shot him dead.
Heating especially endangers the unique endemic species of the Great Barrier Reef.
Now that Windows 10 admittedly spies on its users, Microsoft is
Windows 7 and 8 to spy the same way.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
As expected, Turkey will have new elections.
Some suspect the reason for renewed attacks on separatist Kurds is to try to reduce the vote of the originally-Kurdish human rights HD party.
Fire fueled by drought, in turn caused by global heating, is burning up Washington state.
One fire complex now covers 400 square miles, larger than New York City.
The Koch brothers are spending millions to make sure this keeps getting worse.
Ted Rall's case shows how easy it is for thugs to get journalists fired, when news outlets are cowards.
How the Harper Government [in Canada] has Helped Mining Companies Plunder Africa.
Salim Alaradi has bee imprisoned without charges and tortured in the United Arab Emirates for about a year now.
Claims that uranium mining near the Grand Canyon would not pollute the water are wishful thinking, not science.
Los Angeles wants protester Steve-O to pay the cost of its irrational reaction to his protest against SeaWorld.
I don't know what sort of fireworks he used. If they were large and dangerous, that could justify prosecution. If they were firecrackers such as people light on July 4, those charges are bogus excuses.
The other charges don't justify much either.
Parts of Nigeria repress non-Muslims and terrify ex-Muslims; others harass non-Christians. Secularists have plenty of work to do.
UK thugs refuse to compensate the owners of the van that they vandalized. They considered it suspect for no valid reason, only because of the painted slogan, "Iran is Great".
The van belongs to a family that was delighted by the welcome they received when they visited Iran.
Canadians have become incensed at government spying on protest movements.
Eight thugs were convicted of murdering a man that they dragged from their thugmobile.
This was in South Africa. I wish the US could manage to convict murderous thugs.
The argument for eliminating odious debt.
Read protester Oleg Sentsov's speech to the Russian show trial, just before it sentenced him to 20 years in prison for imaginary "terrorism".
The Kyoto Protocol's carbon emissions trading scheme has been gamed so much that it has allowed a big increase in emissions.
This is why I think we need to impose a tax on emissions rather than a trading scheme.
The UK's NHS, even starved of funds by Tories that want to ruin it, still lets patients see their doctor sooner than many private insurance plans in the US.
PISSI has destroyed a unique temple in Palmyra.
If you are part of European or Middle Eastern culture, PISSI is attacking your history. This alone would be enough to justify the war to defeat PISSI — but only if it is fought in a legitimate way and has a chance of winning.
The only way I can see that has any chance of winning is to support the Kurds.
Today's unchecked form of capitalism allows the invisible hand to crush people and toss their corpses on the scrap heap.
The capitalism that the US had in 1970 was much better than the kind we have today. Thus, I don't conclude that any whiff of capitalism is bad, the way Ayn Rand thought about community. Rather, I say that capitalism must be compensated by community, and effectively regulated by democracy.
In the US, troubled kids are treated if they are white — and punished if they are black. A court will consider whether this is illegal.
Evidently the system is racist, but why? The people who decide how to deal with these children might be bigots. Or they might unconsciously make biased decisions, influenced by the child's race. Or they may judge some students harshly because of secondary characteristics that in fact are correlated with race.
Or perhaps the schools black kids attend tend to be underfunded, desperate, and harsh.
Was it stupid to make an account on Ashley Madison?
Yes, it was — but not because of that site's specific service. It is stupid in general to make an account on a digital service and give your name, unless it is for posting statements for publication.
(If the service requires people to give their real names, it is dangerous in other ways.)
US firefighters say global heating has made for fires like nothing they have seen before.
In 20 years, the fires will be like nothing seen today.
A megaproject is being considered to allow the Mississippi to once again feed sediment into the wetlands south of New Orleans.
This might work if the city only had to cope with the local problems that the article mentions. It might perhaps suffice for 50 years. It can't possibly cope with the 6 meters of sea level rise predicted for the 21st century if we don't cut global heating short.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect the Endangered Species Act.
Everyone: call on major US science museums to divest from fossil fuels.
For over a century, technology created many new jobs, which typically were more productive and were better paid than the old jobs that were eliminated.
But this hasn't been true since 1990 or so.
Nowadays, the new jobs are mostly low-skill jobs, and low-paid.
But nowadays, with insufficient jobs, workers don't get raises even when their productivity increases. That's because employers can get away with not giving raises. They keep the benefit of the workers' increased productivity for themselves.
The uncertainty of today's temporary, subcontracted and irregular employment imposes stress on many American workers.
This stress is especially bad for those who are paid little and thus always at the edge. My income is irregular, but I don't worry much if some months go by and no speech gives me a fee. Millions of Americans could go hungry if they get too few hours.
The article recommends a solution of imposing welfare systems on whichever employer pays more than half of a worker's income, but there may not be any such employer, and and if there is, it might be different from week to week. Instead of placing the load for a worker's welfare support on that one employer, I suggest we disconnect welfare systems from employment, and make companies pay for them through taxes that are unrelated to how many workers they employ.
That would, as a side benefit, remove one incentive to replace human workers with automation.
US citizens: support the Revolving Door Act that would ban ex-congresscritters from becoming lobbyists.
Belarus has freed some important political prisoners.
It is a step, but only a step, towards reduced tyranny.
Saudi Arabia is dropping cluster bombs in Yemen.
It's too bad people are afraid of irradiating food to kill germs and parasites.
US citizens: tell Democrats you will refuse to support them if they block the nuclear deal with Iran.
US citizens: call on states not to defund Planned Parenthood's health care.
Israel puts divorce under religious law, and all the religions are more or less unfair to women.
The bailout for Greece's creditors lasts only until October. At that point, Greece will fail to jump through the next hoop, which will serve as the excuse to impose further suffering.
But that's what this whole process has been, since the start: Greece must accept a series of a permanent losses, each one in exchange for a delay. In such a process, the sooner you rebel, the better. It would have been better for Greece to rebel in 2010.
Boston Public Broadcaster WGBH Files Bogus DMCA Notice On Public Domain Video Uploaded By Carl Malamud.
The UK government in charge of work and pensions just fired thousands of staff, they hired temporaries to replace them.
This shows what the Tories want to do to work and pensions.
The same department wanted to show how unemployed people appreciated lessons it taught them by leaving them broke for months. It couldn't find any real examples, so it made some up.
It would teach Tories a salutary lesson to make them live with no money for a year.
Dubya and Cheney are being sued for imposing total surveillance in Utah in 2002.
Migrants Overwhelm Security Forces at Macedonia Border.
An article about the three recently deceased Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The author describes the Taliban as a "religious, anti drug, anti-Communist movement," meant I suppose as praise.
The Taliban may well be opposed to Communism in principle, though it never actually fought Communism since it was founded after the Soviet Union had disintegrated. However, there is worse repression than post-Stalin Soviet Communism — look at Egypt, Saudi Arabia and PISSI today.
It may have started out anti-drug, but it got involved with opium production once it took power. Not that the War on Drugs is a good thing.
But it certainly is religious. That is the worst thing about it. Islamism means contempt for human rights, those of women especially, but also those of men.
The negotiators of the TPP (Treacherous Plutocratic Poison) were ready to consider supporting fair use instead of damaging it — but then the big movie companies started pushing the other way in Congress.
The TPP is meant to attack democracy. These fights about details only reinforce the point that we need to kill it, whether before or after it is signed.
A long interview with Varoufakis, who says that as Tsipras helps impose so many laws and decisions he considered wrong, he becomes twisted into believing in what he is doing.
It is a fundamental mistake to help a repressive government with the idea that you will mitigate the repression. What it tends to do is transplant the repression into your own heart, as you become a pillar to support it.
Many restaurant chains in the UK regularly steal from waiters' tips, or make them pay for the privilege of working.
I would make it a felony for any individual manager to participate in imposing such things.
A Philadelphia thug was caught on video demanding a bribe (though not personally for himself) in exchange for not towing a car.
Every Forest Biome on Earth Is Actively Dying Right Now. Due to human actions.
It makes a big difference whether we push them one step further or ten steps further, because each step could be too much for some of them. It makes a big difference whether the human population peaks at 8 billion, 9 billion or 10 billion.
Uri Avnery: "Binyamin Netanyahu is either incredibly shrewd or incredibly foolish."
Or perhaps shrewd in the small and incredibly foolish in the large.
Of two US presidential candidates whose polling figures are surging, only the arrogant billionaire interests the press.
The coup-derived president of Honduras, who won an election apparently using funds stolen from the state, now confronts a powerful opposition movement.
Obama did not say outright that he supported the coup, but there is plenty of evidence that the US did back it.
Nathan Hornes describes how the for-profit degree mill Everest College gave him a worthless "education", but leading a student debt strike gave him a real one.
A summary of how society in the UK has changed for the worse since the 1970s. Most of this applies to the US as well.
A considerable amount of this is due to Reagan and Thatcher, and their right-wing successors in both parties (including Clinton and B'liar). A considerable amount of this is due to business-dominated globalization, which was to a large extent intended to produce such results.
The Mexican government, or perhaps an allied gang, is using spambots to drown out protesters on Twitter.
Companies are recruiting teachers and schools to give them personal data about lots of students.
It makes no difference what the companies say about how they will use the data: merely letting them see it is a violation of the students' privacy.
Bare-chested protesters marched through Manhattan to protest the prudery of officials, who want to ban the body-painted women in Times Square that offer to pose with other people for a fee.
As long as they are not pushy to the point where it is difficult to say no, or hard to pass by, they are not hurting anyone.
More about Campaign Zero, which aims to end violence by thugs in the US.
In the wild, predation by humans is much more intense than predation by nonhuman predators.
Some US "churches" are effectively pyramid schemes which benefit from tax loopholes and a blind eye from the IRS.
This perverted form of Christianity says that being rich is a sign you're going to heaven. I presume it also says that being a camel is a sign you can fit through the eye of a needle.
Other perverted US Christians claim that they don't need a conscience because they are Christians — they say "god won't let me do anything wrong."
"Corporate welfare is often camouflaged in taxes that seem neutral on their face but give windfalls to big entrenched corporations at the expense of average people and small businesses."
Activists of the Fully Informed Jury Association are suing to establish that they won't be charged with felonies for handing out the organization's pamphlets about jury nullification.
Jury nullification is the reason we have juries: to hamper the state from imprisoning people based on laws that most people disagree with. This can be used for ill — for instance, jurors can acquit a thug charged with killing a black person because they are racist, or even for killing a non-black person if they have swallowed the myth that thugs are our heroes. Nonetheless, jury nullification is a vital safeguard of liberty.
The Court of Appeals of the First Circuit ruled that corporations can't be required to inform people about their use of conflict minerals, or basically anything, because it violates their "human rights".
We need to adopt the proposed constitutional amendment that human rights do not apply to corporations.
The idea of "unworthy poor", who are poor through laziness, provides an excuse to harden hearts towards people that society has swept into poverty by piling on more obstacles than they can handle.
Reducing the human birth rate should be a global priority, and that calls for giving all women reliable birth control (which, not by coincidence, requires no cooperation from their lovers).
The long-term campaign to clean up scientific publication.
Amazon's cruelty in its head office illustrates the attitude of many companies today: they consider workers replaceable and not worth any decency.
These companies demand total loyalty while giving none. Thus, what they deserve from their workers is sabotage, not loyalty. We need governments that will do whatever it takes to put the reins on how companies treat staff. First step, make it easy to unionize.
Thugs in North Carolina shot a man who was wielding a knife.
Didn't they have tasers to use instead of guns?
Sheet mica sells for over $1000 per kg. The workers that mine it, violating laws that India does not enforce, are paid about 25 cents per kg.
If India were to crack down on the illegal mining, approved mines would have to start, and pay workers more. But India is a very corrupt country.
Workers must fight against businesses that want to monitor their bodies.
As in all cases of mistreatment by a company, it helps to have a union. If your country or state doesn't make it easy to unionize, make it an issue in your next election.
Universities including Harvard and Yale pay fund managers hundreds of millions of dollars a year — and do this in a way that relieves the fund managers of most of their income tax.
I'm not sure I agree with the article's spend-8-percent proposal. It would cause big problems when the stock market goes down. Rather, I'd suggest limiting the percentage that can be paid in management fees.
San Jose, California, proposes to put license plate readers on garbage trucks so as to scan all the cars in the city regularly.
This is far too much surveillance for a free society. Indeed, license plate readers as they exist today should not be allowed at all. License plate readers should be designed so that they do not even record having seen a plate that is lawful and not sought by court order.
Reporters find excuses to downplay the size of Sanders' support as expressed by rallies for him.
Courtney Canfield was fired from a government job in Kansas for not going to church.
After 29 years, the eradication of the guinea worm is almost complete. WHO says it expects to finish the job this year.
Jimmy Carter was the last president of the US that deserved respect.
It's dangerous to have a gun in your home. Even living next to someone that has a gun is somewhat dangerous.
Ashley Madison got Twitter to delete a journalist's posting which is almost certainly fair use.
The company tries to mystify its copyright claim by calling it "intellectual property". Whenever you see a company talk about its "intellectual property", it is trying to be fuzzy about what legal grounds (if any!) its demand is based on. I suggest responding with, "Intellectual property is not the name of any law. Be specific about your claim or I will ignore you."
Unfortunately, the journalist fell for the confusion in that term, and even added to it by writing, "DMCA notices are intended to stop the spread of intellectual property and copyrighted material," as if "intellectual property" referred to something other than copyrighted material to which the DMCA applied. There is no such thing.
The term "intellectual property" has no meaning except confusion.
Please don't ever use the term.
Google and Facebook lobbied in India against network neutrality.
California's 40 years of aiming for energy efficiency show what would have been the easy way to avoid global heating disaster.
Now that tar sands extraction is failing even in its own narrow economic terms, Canada has a chance to reject extractivism and the anti-science policies that were created to prop it up.
Exposing the doubletalk of the defenders of the CISA bill.
Everyone: call on the governor of Oklahoma to stop the execution of Richard Glossip.
The petition's author says he "firmly believe(s) Oklahoma is about to execute an innocent man." However, that's not part of the petition itself. I don't have a basis to "firmly believe" that Glossip is innocent, but I think it is quite plausible that he is, and that's enough to make it honest for me to sign.
The death penalty is wrong even for criminals who are guilty.
US citizens: call on your senators to vote against the DARK Act.
Everyone: Call on Unilever to quit FoodDrinkEurope.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Consumer Reporting Fairness Act.
To Prevent Police Brutality, Overhaul Police Culture.
Chomsky: Iran is no strategic threat to other countries, including the US and Israel, and wouldn't be even if it had nuclear weapons.
The Iranian government oppresses women and dissidents, though not quite as badly as US ally Saudi Arabia. But that doesn't call for war.
The thug that killed Jonathan Ferrell was prosecuted for murder but the case ended in a mistrial.
Abandoned by the Labour Party, and despite repression and reprisals from landlords, non-rich Britons that rent housing are organizing to fight back.
The Bangladeshi government's repression puts secularists at more risk from murderous Islamists.
Toxic activities around the US have powerful defenders.
Seduction is labeled as "rape" to ruin someone's life.
Teenage boys may know they'd like to have sex, but that doesn't mean they can stand up to social and family pressure to claim it was a horrible damaging experience.
The American Red Cross tried to prevent a government inquiry into how it has spent its disaster relief funds.
Sensitive medical records including notes from psychotherapy, when put into computers, become available to other doctors, to governments, and to employers.
Should school principals wear body cameras?
Thugs' body cameras should have automatic control over when they do, or don't, record, to reduce their negative effects.
The same applies to any thugs stationed in schools — but they should be removed from schools, in order to shut down the school-to-prison pipeline.
Perhaps school principals should not wear body cameras, but if they do have body cameras, those should have automatic control too. The proper criteria for recording would be different for principals.
1/3 of the US veterans of the 1991 war in Iraq suffer from the effects of toxic chemicals.
Thousands of migrants tried to force their way across the border of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They are trapped in the no-country's-land between Macedonia and Greece.
I don't think Macedonia is obligated to allow all these people in. The problem is in the policies and behavior that sends so many people fleeing.
Merkel says the "migration crisis" will define this decade. Alas, it will get worse in the next decade. One of the causes is the early stages of climate mayhem. In a few decades, we can expect to see tens of millions of people trying to flee from regions where they can no longer live. This has already touched off the Syrian civil war and brought about PISSI. Imagine what will happen as climate mayhem gets worse.
Another contribution is the global corporate land grab, which drives people off their land leaving them with no way to survive. That will get worse, unless we hand those companies a stunning setback (I hope we do.)
Then there is overreproduction. We must end the growth of human population. The first step is to make reliable birth control and abortion services available gratis to all women. If we are lucky, that will be enough.
The US has asked Australia and New Zealand for experienced firefighters to help fight wildfires that are too now big to handle.
Australia and New Zealand don't need their firefighters in August, but their fire season will start soon.
It will be a worse in each of these countries, 10 years from now. and it will keep getting worse as long as humans continue extracting and using fossil fuels.
Children of survivors of the holocaust inherited some stress-induced epigenetic markers from their parents.
The article did not distinguish between mothers and fathers. It would be useful to study them separately.
One danger of autonomous robot weapons is that they will obey illegal orders without question. But even semi-autonomous weapons, with a human in "ultimate control", could make it more difficult for humans to refuse illegal orders.
Californians are fighting plans to move more of the state's insufficient water to almond and pistachio plantations.
Britons that oppose fracking and coal mining due to local pollution understand the global heating danger too. Street protests will be the new way to campaign against this.
A new business offers clients a way to invest in Clinton and in all Republican presidential candidates, so that they can call in favors if any of those candidates win.
Those who stole and published personal data from Ashley Madison did a great wrong to the users of that site. I urge people therefore not to republish that data set.
Please do not call the people who did this "hackers". If they broke the security of the site, that is called "cracking" — but it's not clear that was done in this case.
The company has done many sleazy things both before and after the data were taken.
Now Ashley Madison is sending DMCA takedown notices for the data dump of its users data, invalidly claiming copyright where it does not have one.
I disagree with the widespread prejudice in favor of monogamy. If two people are happy loving only each other, I am glad for them; but if one of them wants another relationship, I won't say there is anything wrong with that. I never have, and never will, ask a lover to promise not to have other lovers; I would not want to stand in the way of her happiness.
Thus, in thinking about the Ashley Madison site, I do not formulate my thoughts using words such as "adultery" or "cheating". I do not think of it as cheating to break a promise imposed by unfair social pressure. I don't think the site's stated purpose was immoral.
Rather, what is immoral is setting up services and stores that require people to identify themselves. This incident reinforces my conclusion that we should refuse to identify ourselves when buying things — whether we are buying introductions, books, furniture, or whatever else.
Digital systems must be redesigned so that they do not accumulate dossiers about their users. In the mean time, don't be tracked — pay cash! That's what I do.
In the US, customers and helpers of prostitutes under 18 are now accused of "trafficking", under a law that is a liar.
High school students should not face random drug tests.
There is no reason to test anyone for drugs in this way. People who do jobs that require quick and accurate reaction should be tested every day to make sure they have quick and accurate reaction — not for drug use.
How the 'Sharing Economy' Forces a Movement Towards Privatisation. Pay toilets tend to eliminate unlocked public toilets, just as bottled water tends to eliminate water fountains.
I can't possibly use Looie, for the same reason I can't possibly use Guber or AirBnB: they require (1) running a nonfree cr…app on a tracking device, and (2) identifying oneself. But I have a special loathing for Looie, because making people pay to use a toilet is vicious in itself. I could afford the fee, but poor people can't.
I don't see anything wrong in charging for a taxi ride or for renting a room. My criticisms of Guber and AirBnB are about how they do this. For Looie, the business is wrong in itself.
I read a copy of Ceptia's Free Toilet Paper in the 1970s, and I concluded that concluded that pay toilets are a bad thing, but it did not seem like an important issue since I hardly ever encountered any in the US. The problem is much worse in Europe, which never had anything like Ceptia. I go to great lengths to avoid giving them my money.
You can consider me a member-in-spirit of Ceptia, and I hope you will join in spirit too.
I think that restaurants, which are legally required to have toilets, should be legally required to allow anyone to use them, and to have a sign on the door to that effect. Restaurant owners that are unhappy with the number of people that come in to use their toilets should consider moving to a place with less foot traffic. Of course, they won't do that: the foot traffic brings them business. They must take the bad of the foot traffic along with the good of the foot traffic.
The UK spied on famed writer Doris Lessing for 20 years.
The part of Syriza that holds true to its opposition to austerity has renamed itself the Popular Unity Party. I applaud them.
However, I do not criticize Tsipras for calling new elections. That is clearly the right thing to do.
I think Greece (and the rest of the world) needs a Wooden Stake Party dedicated to destroying the vampires that are attacking Greece.
July 2015 was the hottest month ever recorded.
US citizens: file a comment with the EPA through this page to call for an even higher efficiency standard for heavy trucks.
India's government argued that privacy 'not a fundamental right' so it should be ok to require people to have biometric ID cards. The Supreme Court continues to disagree.
Hunting of wild birds in the Mediterranean (many of them migrating) is making some species crash.
The War on Drugs in Peru now includes shooting down planes suspected of carrying drugs.
Perhaps they are getting advice from US thugs. "I thought that plane was reaching for a cocaine in its air pocket, so I shot it down."
EU Demands Google Forget "The Right To Be Forgotten".
Australia deported a refugee to Iran while his case was still in progress. Once in Iran, he was arrested.
PISSI bulldozed an ancient monastery with a very early church.
Mauritania has imprisoned anti-slavery activists.
US protesters demand stricter laws to cover the thugs.
A US Marshal says his office told him the policy was not to wage the War on Drugs against well-off people.
That exemption was wise and good, but didn't go far enough. They should extend it to everyone else.
Conservatives' double standard: small waste to the benefit of poor people is a scandal, while the Pentagon has lost track of 8.5 trillion and they don't care.
One of Obama's donors is a vulture capitalist who wants to eat the corpse of Puerto Rico.
Even as prison thugs were beating Samuel Harrell to death, they started making false accusations against him to "justify" the killing.
It appears they will get off without punishment.
Arguing for the nuclear deal with Iran.
After Republican state legislators resigned after sexual involvement and harassment with interns, their colleagues want interns to dress "modestly".
It's typical of right-wing religious prudes to blame their sexual proclivities (whether wrong or not) on the attractiveness of the victims.
A Nuclear Conflict with Russia Is Likelier Than You Think.
There are good reasons not to be precisely clear about what would be considered an invasion and would trigger a defensive alliance. A rigid criterion would invite an aggressor to come up to a millimeter from the criterion. And who can count on foreseeing everything?
On the other hand, a vague criterion invites audacious deniable attacks.
Either way offers opportunities that a cunning and audacious aggressor such as Putin can test.
Plane Stupid protesters who opposed expansion of Heathrow airport have been charged with "aggravated trespass", which is a "crime" invented as an excuse to punish protesters.
Like most "music screaming" disservices, Spotify is based on proprietary malware (DRM and snooping). Recently it demanded users submit to increased snooping, and some are starting to realize that it is nasty.
However, it was nasty all along. Any "service" that is based on not letting people have their own copies is a scheme to subjugate people. Once you submit, they are always ready to use that leverage to subjugate you more.
This article shows the twisted ways that they present snooping as a way to serve users better — never mind whether they want that. This is a typical example of the attitude of the proprietary software industry towards those they have subjugated.
Out, out, damned Spotify!
The US and Britain have done much in the Middle East that calls for an apology.
This does not excuse the wrong done by the various dictators and kings in the region, whether supported by the US or by the Soviet Union.
Abbott says that conservation groups are using environmental protection laws to "sabotage" dangerous mine projects.
In truth, Abbott wants to use the law to help him sabotage Australia's environment. And maybe he has been corrupted, along with other Australian polluticians, by the Indian billionaire that would own the mine.
"Polluticians" was a typo, but it seemed so fitting that I decided not to correct it.
The story illustrates the dangerous nature of the idea that elected officials should seek to "bring business to" their cities, states or countries. There is an inherent conflict between that and their real job, which is to prevent business from causing harm in their cities, states or countries.
US citizens: support the KOCH Act to make Super-PACs state who their donors are.
Some US right-wingers applauded Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to cut the budget of New Orleans and eliminate public housing.
The US must stop issuing leases for fossil fuel extraction from public lands. This would keep a large quantity of fossil fuels in the ground.
Since we need to keep 80% of known reserves in the ground, no one action of this sort will suffice — rather, many of them are necessary.
New Jersey thugs who shot a man with his hands up will not be prosecuted.
However, a Baltimore thug will face prosecution for murder.
Thugs will continue their rampage as long as they continue to enjoy practical impunity.
Americans convicted based on "bite mark analysis" have trouble getting out of prison, although this has been found to be junk science.
Climate models show that California will face increasing drought due to global heating, and that it has contributed substantially to the current drought.
Wave of TV Ads Opposing Iran Deal Organized By Saudi Arabian Lobbyist.
Interesting that Israel and and Saudi Arabia are making common cause.
Iraq War General Ray Odierno Cashing In With New Job at JP Morgan Chase.
Judge Garzón is campaigning for universal jurisdiction against multinational companies.
A large project aims to revitalize New Orleans.
It isn't helping the poor people very much.
Too bad they didn't move it to higher ground.
A study sampling US rivers found neonicotinoid pesticides in half of them, sometimes at levels that may have devastated the base of the food chain in the Netherlands.
Neonicotinoids have now been linked to honeybee decline in a field study.
The UK's lobbying to weaken air pollution standards represents the Tories' secret decision to support the worst parts of the business world.
The Saudi bombardment of Yemen is devastating the country, with US support.
Yemeni Children at Serious Risk after Bombing of Vital Port, Agencies Caution.
Bruce Schneier: "We're in Early Years of a Cyber Arms Race". He also says not to be quick to conclude who the attacker is.
CISA (formerly CISPA) supposedly allows companies to give your personal data to the US government "voluntarily", but "voluntarily" could easily be made mandatory by new regulations — without passing any new laws.
Among Middle Eastern countries, the worst troublemaker is Saudi Arabia.
The article does not mention that it promoted jihadis in Syria or that most of the September 2001 hijackers came from there (though I am not saying the Saudi government had any direct role), or that the country has spent billions to spread its strict and cruel variant of Islam around the world.
The privatizations imposed on Greece have nothing to do with repaying debt. These profitable assets would support Greece more if it kept them than if it sells them in a hurry for a low price.
Protesters confronted thugs in St Louis because they shot another man dead.
If it is true that the deceased pointed a gun at the thugs, I can't fault them for shooting him first. However, you can't trust what thugs say about the people they kill. They have lied so many times; why should we suppose they are not lying now?
Chicago Protestors Go on Hunger Strike to Save Their Last Neighborhood School.
The plutocrats consider most Americans disposable, so why bother educating them? Public education, for them, is just a cash cow.
The absurd charges against Chelsea Manning will provide an excuse to keep her in a more strict prison for years.
Vast Areas of California Are Sinking as Groundwater Is Pumped in Drought.
People's wells are going dry as corporations' farms pump tremendous amounts of water.
China's great achievement: it has nearly eliminated urban poverty.
UK students are going to college to compete for the few good jobs, but only a minority get them, and the rest are stuck with horrible debts.
Methane leaks from natural gas wells are 8 times what was previously thought.
These leaks are equivalent, over the next few decades, to dozens of coal-fired power plants, and falsify the claim that natural gas is safer than coal. We need to aim for renewable energy, not for coal.
Amazon's office hell could be the future of work in general, if we do not prevent it.
While some may think of begging companies to be nice, I think we need to force them — with laws, because that is what democracy is for, and with unions, which requires laws that make unions stronger.
We also need to eliminate the treaties that facilitate moving production to countries that allow companies to get away with oppression or even murder.
The US military academies produce careerists that promote arms sales, never win a war, and fail to tell the president when war is a bad idea.
Fires in the US west have exceeded the fire-fighting capacity; 200 soldiers have been sent to help them.
It will be much worse 20 years from now, if we don't stop heating up the Earth's air and seas. Will we learn our lesson now, and stop it?
We must not make the mistake of exaggerating either the capacity or the actions of PISSI.
A Ukrainian who protested Putin's takeover of the Crimea is now being tried for imaginary crimes that he was tortured into confessing to.
He says the trial is political and bogus. I don't think Putin would permit an honest trial.
I wish that the US could condemn this with a straight face. The US must eliminate the Guantanamo "military tribunals" that were set up to deny defendants their legal rights.
Companies use slave labor for their workforce in Eritrea, including a Canadian mining company. The government may not give them any choice about this, but it is wrong to operate in such a country.
PISSI murdered one of the greats of Syrian archeology.
I read elsewhere that he had refused to tell his captors where to find ancient artifacts that had been saved from them. That makes him a martyr for history.
Putin's antics are risible, but they are very effective politically.
When he talks about "Russia's roots", he's talking about the Kievan Rus, whose territory is known today as "Ukraine." But accuracy is not important to him.
The closest thing to him in the US is Donald Trump.
There is a real danger of a wider war in Europe, between Russian military provocations and strategic western threats such as proffered treaties with Ukraine.
US federal social welfare programs enable 40 million Americans to stay out of poverty.
That was in 2012, after Reagan, Clinton and Dubya had undermined these programs. However, things have got worse since the financial crisis; SCROTUS (Sleazy Congressional Republicans Of The United States) have been attacking our social welfare programs steadily, and are attacking even harder now.
With public officials eager to end poverty, we could clearly achieve much more.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is especially effective. We should increase it. However, not at the expense of cutting other programs that support the poor. Americans in general have become poorer since 2007 and need more support, not less.
And it is no use encouraging poor people to look for jobs that don't exist. The rate of workforce participation in the US is much lower than it used to be, and millions of jobs are likely to be eliminated by automation in the next decade.
Ultimately we need to enable the millions of never-to-be-employed to have a decent life, while reducing the birth rate.
the Trans-Pecos Pipeline.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
on your state governor to support the Clean Power Plan.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
It's far from sufficient, but the fossil fools will fight it anyway, and we need to overcome them.
The attack videos against Planned Parenthood provided an excuse for several Republican-ruled states to investigate. These investigations have found nothing wrong.
Although conclusive of nothing, the videos were quite useful in mobilizing public support among the anti-sex prudes, who are free to disregard the results of the investigations. Several states have already cut funding for Planned Parenthood to provide health care and prenatal care.
Russia said Eston Kohver was caught spying, but Estonia says Russian agents kidnaped him at gunpoint from a border crossing.
The lack of a proper trial suggests that Russia is lying about the facts.
More than one warehouse in Tianjin was illegally storing toxic chemicals.
Eritrian journalists were imprisoned 14 years ago and remain in prison.
Thugs regularly infiltrated Black Lives Matter protests in New York City and snooped on individual activists.
The US government may start to resist the criminalization of homelessness. Let's hope so.
Prison Education Reduces Recidivism By Over 40 Percent. Why Aren't We Funding More of It?
Overprotecting students against ideas that may make them uncomfortable is harmful to them, and turns unjust when it develops into "vindictive protectiveness".
I agree with most of the article's points, so I will mention the few that I disagree with.
However, that applies to only some of the "microaggressions" that are being condemned; others are not objectively insulting, so the article's points are valid for them. We must not condemn people just because someone takes offense at what they say.
Krugman: The Republican presidential candidates want to eliminate Social Security, because they bow down to a hundred or so rich families that want that.
Chelsea Manning was found "guilty" of absurd crimes, but won't be put in solitary.
While I am glad this political trial did not put her in solitary, it remains despicable to punish someone for having an expired tube of toothpaste or the Senate report on US government torture. This was a political persecution from beginning to end.
Two Georgia thugs face murder charges for tasing a handcuffed prisoner, who died from it.
Not-usually-lethal weapons are an improvement when they are used instead of guns; they are harmful when used instead of nothing.
Uganda and Jeb Bush share a PR flack. Uganda uses him to overcome the negative image it got from its repressive anti-gay law.
Africa's birth rate is dangerously high.
Two Albuquerque thugs will be tried for murdering a homeless man.
Mexico City now has a law that offers help to journalists that flee there from other parts of Mexico.
The record companies (operating through their instrument, the RIAA) want to make developers build censorship into torrent software and even web browsers.
We should make sure the big record companies get what they deserve: total elimination, as punishment for the many evils they have done to people who have shared music or might wish to.
Everyone: call on Goldman Sachs to return the half-billion profit it got from conspiring with the Greek government 15 years ago.
US citizens: call on Clinton and the DNC to reject private prisons and stop employing their PR representatives.
US citizens: call on the FCC to block the merger between Charter and Time-Warner Cable.
US citizens: call on Congress to support the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on the World Bank to stop promoting privatization of water supplies in Nigeria.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
I added "or anywhere else" in my message.
Everyone: call on Subway to use only meat grown without regular use of antibiotics.
US citizens: join activities to convince legislators to support the nuclear deal with Iran.
so I hope you won't use it. However, the
engine works without nonfree software.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on the Department of Homeland Suppression to stop surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
Everyone: call on Florida to protect panthers from fracking.
[Reference updated on 2018-03-26 because the old link was broken.]
With under 200 Florida panthers remaining, that's not enough to treat the subspecies as safe.
Varoufakis: the bailout for Greece's creditors is designed to help oligarchs solidify their power over what remains of the Greek economy, while multinationals snap up assets.
Germany has applied copyright, absurdly, to the appearance of food on a plate.
Copyright is increasingly tyrannical and needs to be cut back.
The NSA is trying to evade the constitution by saying private companies are responsible for the surveillance; but that is unconstitutional too.
Mass Migration Is No 'crisis': It's the New Normal as the Climate Changes.
This article shows why the term "climate change", which was foisted on us by Republican denialists, fails to do justice to the facts of what is happening.
Clinton's scandal-provoking private email server is a reflection of her general approach.
Being Edgy And Cool Doesn't Make Tech Companies Any Less Exploitative.
Prisoner Mohammad Allan regained consciousness and says he will resume his hunger strike in 24 hours. He says he will not even take water, which means he will die soon. Maybe that is better than life in prison without trial.
Bernie Sanders Proposes To Boost Worker-Ownership Of Companies.
World's Nuclear Facilities Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks.
The EPA proposes regulations to reduce methane emissions.
This probably requires having fewer cattle. Also, to really make reductions we have to properly measure the current emissions, including leaks from frack wells.
Abbott's laughable double standard: using laws to block coal mines is "green sabotage", but if there are no laws to block wind farms he will rush to provide some.
Eritrea runs a campaign of harassment against dissidents in exile.
How Many San Francisco Thugs Does It Take To Subdue One Black Guy With A Prosthetic Leg? 14: Four To Assault Him, 10 To Block the View.
A tiny fraction (one in 3000) of families in public housing have had substantial increases in income since moving in, but have not moved out. The Washington Post tried to make a big scandal about this.
What the many poor urban Americans need is a lot more public or affordable housing in their cities — not the eviction of those .03%.
Militants in Bangladesh are accused of murdering two of the four assassinated secularist bloggers.
Working for Amazon makes staff physically and mentally ill.
Phone companies around the world are inserting tracking headers into unencrypted (http) browsing requests sent by mobile phones.
They can't insert these into https requests, only unencrypted http requests.
All "smartphones" contain malicious nonfree software, which is part of why I would not have one. But if you insist on doing web browsing from one, don't ever visit an unencrypted page with it.
Obama gave Shell full approval to create oil spills in the Chukchi Sea and convert it into the Upchukchi Sea.
They must figure that floating ice will cease to be a danger once they have melted it all.
Computerized work tracking is being applied to the modern workspace.
When these practices were applied to factory work in the early 20th century, a practice called "Taylorism", workers fought back … and unionized.
You will have to unionize too!
That means you must support candidates that will make it easier to form a union and give unions more clout against employers.
The "marauders and plunderers" are not the refugees who flee to Europe, it's the companies and governments that create the crises that make them flee their homes.
Occasionally the common people play a partial role by having more children than their lands can stably support. However, it's not always their fault; global heating is reducing the number many lands can support — in Syria, for instance.
Officials acknowledge that exaggerated reports of crime in New Orleans just after hurricane Katrina interfered with rescuing people, and led to murders by thugs.
It also provided the excuse for thugs to prevent a large group of poor and/or black people from crossing a bridge to get out of New Orleans.
Spreading poverty in the US, together with the lack of a proper medical system, is allowing "tropical" diseases to spread in the south of the US.
Global heating is probably contributing to the change too.
California farms are investing heavily in efficient use of water, but the drought is so bad that this isn't enough.
Some Muslim leaders have called for curbing fossil fuels, as did Pope Francis a short while ago.
I don't need to cite religious authority for this, but it is good to have their help. The Catholic Church in the Philippines is opposing coal plant construction there.
Even where growing and dispensing marijuana is legal, in effect it's legal only for whites.
How Martin Luther King Jr. responded when criticized for "going too far" by holding sit-ins in segregated stores and other facilities.
Hypersensitivity among US college students may be due to raising children overprotectively.
Lawyers meet with opposition if they reject jurors "because they are black", so they use a range of bizarre excuses, such as "because they live in a low-income neighborhood" or "have bad posture".
Black jurors might understand how the defendant is being railroaded or had no way out.
UN Deciding "How Best to Respond" After AT&T Helped NSA Spy on [UN] Headquarters.
The Congress of Racial Equality, once pivotal in the civil rights movement, developed in the 1970s into a tool for the Republican Party. Since 1990 or so, it has been an astroturf resource for hire.
Repressive Eritrea is so poor that even civil-war-torn South Sudan seems like a step up.
Large amounts of sodium cyanide were illegally stored in the warehouse that exploded at Tianjin.
The Chinese rulers say they want to punish corruption, and I think they really do; but they won't get very far while suppressing a free press.
"Coca Cola gave $1.5 million to scientists who say soft drinks don't cause obesity".
Egyptian journalists will be punished for "false" reporting. That is, for reporting what the state doesn't agree to.
The British right-wing promotes business practices that depend on constant fresh immigration of workers it can exploit, then scapegoats those immigrants.
The UK government plans to send unemployed young adults to a labor camp where they will do makework of filing job applications.
When there are not enough jobs, this is an exercise in futility.
Naomi Klein explains how Abbott repeats the slogans of the US coal mining companies, and relates global heating denialism to a "frontier mentality".
On the frontier, there is always more land to take from indigenous peoples.
A Ugandan court has ruled men can't demand return of the bride price when a woman wants a divorce.
I don't like the way the arguments given by the judge still treat a woman as property.
Rising production of beef is a major factor in the current mass extinction. Perhaps even more than global heating.
However, the two are related, since cattle emit methane, and cutting down forests to grow food for cattle releases the CO2 in the forest vegetation.
It is foolish to demand that the non-poor live as if they were poor. What we need from them is to support anti-plutocratic and anti-trickle-down policies that will give everyone a decent life.
I admire people who have a comfortable income and support politics to give poor people a comfortable income too. Rather than voting for their own narrow interests, they are voting for what is right.
Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough.
Too much competitive pressure on students in school can break them.
The root of this problem is that only a small fraction of students can win a decent life.
The copyright trap in the Pacific Partnership Trance.
As the US cuts funds for national parks, they become marketing opportunities for companies to brand them.
It is wrong to let private individuals or organizations buy the naming of any public facilities or the use of their names or images for marketing but the facilities themselves. While this does not directly hurt people, it damages society by saying "In our city, or our country, everything public is for sale."
A journalist saw a Greek pensioner commit suicide by driving a car into the harbor, and complains that nobody tried to stop him.
Experience in other countries suggests that thousands of Greeks will commit suicide this year, because euro-imposed poverty has left them destitute. You may be able to thwart their suicide attempts, but that won't save them.
Assad's air force killed over 80 civilians in a market.
Human rights defenders say this was an intentional massacre.
Mexico has given away 10 million digital TVs. This replaces the circuses that ancient Rome put on to amuse the poor.
I wonder if those TVs have remote listening capability.
The Obama regime is winning the war for US public opinion about Edward Snowden.
We need to do more to express our admiration and support for Snowden.
Even outside the warehouse, Amazon pushes its employees to the breaking point.
This what happens when workers don't have a union and the boss is unscrupulous.
The US regularly puts children accused of crimes into solitary confinement because of a quirk in the law.
The NSA did commercial surveillance on Japan.
A protester in Hong Kong was convicted of assaulting a thug's hand with her breast. The judge, who apparently is bent, condemned her for maligning the thug by accusing him of a sexual assault.
In the US, the traditional charge made against a protester is bashing the thug's stick with per head.
Oracle demanded that its customers stop reverse engineering to look for security flaws in the code they are running. A day later, it got so embarrassed that deleted the threat.
Reverse engineering of software is a sign of injustice: nonfree software that doesn't come with source code you can compile for yourself.
A company pays scientists to cite the company in their papers.
This is a form of corruption.
US courts allow thugs to use drug-sniffing dogs to create probable cause for a search, which detect drugs whenever the handlers tell them to.
Sesame Street, conceived to boost the education of children in poverty, is now primarily available on a cable channel that they can't afford.
China is pushing hard to eliminate manufacturing jobs.
Perhaps there will be plenty of employment for working-age Chinese people taking care of retired and ill Chinese people. If so, it will work out well.
A Miami thug tried to stop a woman from making a video of a thug attacking a handcuffed prisoner. When she posted the video, the Miami thug union tried to smear her name based on unrelated issues.
They are very creative in repressing people who expose the violence of other thugs, which is why they all (with a few rare exceptions) deserve that name.
The fire season in Oregon started months early, and may continue until months late.
The new higher level of fires seems to be the "new normal", but not for long. In 20 years it will be considerably drier and measurably hotter.
Two Spanish thugs, even more arrogant than the typical thug, got a woman fined for posting a photo of their car parked in handicapped parking spot.
Perhaps their reason for parking there was legitimate. The fine certainly was not. The thugs are responsible for the fine, because they reported her to officials that were likely to fine her.
Now imagine the effect of that law when thugs beat, rape or kill citizens.
Intensive and sustainable farming in Mexico.
AT&T has been cooperating with the NSA for decades.
Why the mass media don't cover Bernie Sanders.
Israeli doctors are refusing to force-feed hunger striking prisoner Maazouzeh Allan.
The IMF insists that a bailout for Greece's creditors include substantial debt relief for Greece.
US citizens: call for dropping the bizarre accusations against Chelsea Manning (and not putting her in solitary confinement).
US citizens: call on the FCC to end gouging on prisoners' phone calls.
Kerry, visited Cuba, called for "genuine democracy".
That would be nice to have in the US. One useful step is to vote for Sanders for president.