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US citizens: How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People?
US citizens: call on Congress to support the law to restore the DEA's power to act against drug companies that fuel the opioid black market.
This power was eliminated in 2016 by a law that was snuck through Congress with the help of Congresscritters that were in the pocket of the drug companies, and revolving door officials.
Everyone: call on the National Institutes of Health to continue research about gun violence.
"Self-centeredness and solipsism, division and tribalism, disinformation and misinformation tailored to one’s predispositions, the need for constant stimulation (FOMO) without reflection, bullying against those who disagree, a lack of empathy": these are what "social media" do, and they serve right-wing hatemongers.
I hope you will do it elsewhere than on Facebook — because you shouldn't be used by Facebook.
"Rent to own" stores make products cost more than three times as much as ordinary retail.
This is one of many ways that our society makes things more expensive for the poor.
DeVos is considering cancelling the plan to forgive all the student debt of students that were swindled by for-profit colleges.
Papua has told Australia to find some other place for all the refugees on Manus Island that don't want to stay there.
Perhaps on the Maldive Islands? They are poor enough that it wouldn't take much money to buy their permission, and tyrannical enough to keep the press away.
A UN investigator condemned Australia for towing boats full of refugees back to Indonesia.
The low official unemployment rate in the UK has failed to raise workers' wages because first it has to work through the hidden unemployment.
A single Indian customs official has repeatedly dismissed claims of tax evasion against the coal-mining company Adani.
We need to unlearn the mental habit of yearning to buy something new. It leads people to buy things and waste them.
I see brown spots on a banana as a signal that it won't be sweet enough to eat for a few more days.
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched in Barcelona to remain part of Spain.
Scientists hope to predict outbreaks of Ebola based on when forests are cut down.
Now if only the scientists found a way to prevent clearance of these forest in Africa, they could prevent much bigger future problems, such as extinction of hundreds of thousands of species, global heating disaster, etc.
When the US arrests unauthorized immigrants, it often jails them, treating them effectively as criminals; but since being an unauthorized immigrant is not a crime, they don't get the protections and rights that criminal suspects are entitled to.
Sustainable “high road” businesses, that pay decent wages, can be profitable.
The FBI has dozens of high-flying stealthy surveillance planes flying over US cities every weekday.
Don't get distracted by talk about who the targets are; the issue that matters is who they keep or check data about.
We need a law prohibiting the FBI from checking or keeping any information about the people these planes see, outside of suspects designated by court orders.
Four stages of the movement against the Vietnam War.
While the US subsidizes monoculture pesticide agriculture, some states are trying to move towards regenerative agriculture, which would help the soil absorb more CO2.
The FBI is prosecuting security researcher Justin Shafer for identifying bad security in proprietary software.
Even worse, it has demanded lots of information from Twitter about a number of prominent netizens because Justin Shafer messaged them with a smiley face.
This adds up to multiple levels of persecution.
It is an open question whether the FBI does more to keep us safe or more to put us in danger.
“Special administrative measures” in US prisons are like a harsher form of solitary confinement.
Prisoners barely speak to anyone, except occasionally a lawyer, parent or sibling.
After one prisoner reads a book, the guards destroy it.
Prosecutors impose this severe regime on prisoners arbitrarily, since there are no legal criteria, but courts rarely question their decisions.
There is evidence that they use this as pressure to make prisoners plead guilty.
“Psychiatric diagnosis must serve an ethical purpose: relieving certain forms of suffering and disease. Science alone can’t do that.”
Australian fruit harvesters suffer oppressive working conditions tantamount to slavery.
To make Medicare-for-All function properly we need to create a lot more competition in providing medical care.
The troll supports free speech for students so much that he has nominated a head for the DoE's Office for Civil Rights who has made a career of banning the student movements to pressure Israel to end the occupation of Palestine.
Perhaps the troll supports freedom of speech only for Nazis.
The Catalan government should not have done that, since it doesn't have a clear mandate to do so. The participation in the referendum was too small to constitute a mandate.
Rajoy has also closed down an investigation into violence by the Spanish thugs during the referendum. Covering up for violent thugs is a long-standing practice with Rajoy. Then Rajoy called an election in Catalonia. If the election is held fairly, and does not exclude the prominent supporters of independence, I think it will be a good thing. It will show the will of Catalans better than the referendum, which would have been imperfect even if the national thugs had not attacked voters.
Josh Walker was put on trial in the UK just for having a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook.
Nobody should be prosecuted for having a copy of a book. Such censorship makes a state extremely dangerous.
A notional "child tax credit" will be used to make the Republican tax cut plan appear less skewed towards the rich.
The reason I say "notional" is that the poor people it pretends to help won't get much benefit from it. Basically, poor people don't pay a lot of federal tax, so tax reduction can't help them. What they need is to receive welfare benefits and not to be charged for things like education and medical care.
Half of white Americans believe whites are discriminated against. "To those who have been used to privilege all their lives, equality may feel like oppression."
Concentration of wealth continues to increase, as billionaires now own 6 trillion dollars. Their grip on power is so strong that they are making states cut taxes for them.
Kris Kobach, the troll's chief of voter suppression, has been pushing a specific voter suppression plan since about a year ago. He said that wasn't so, but now a court has release the plan as he lobbied for it a year ago.
It is very common for soldiers to rape the women that live in territory they conquer.
Tunisia has adopted an amnesty for the corrupt politicians from the previous dictatorship. People respond, "We will not forgive."
Everyone in the Chinese Communist Party will now have to study "Xi Jinping Thought".
Anyone in a "department of Xi Jinping Thought" that tries to be anything but a parrot will sooner or later fail to match the real Xi Jinping, and get punished. Of course, everyone will know this and will work hard to be a parrot, at least in public. Being in one of those departments will be mind-numbing.
I like parrots when they are friendly, but those will be too dangerous to be friends with.
The boycott of the election in Kenya seems to be quite strong. with only 1/3 of voters voting.
The UK has made progress getting some rich individuals to pay their fair tax, but corporations are still getting away with paying almost none.
Would exiting the EU enable the UK to tax the profits that companies send to Ireland or Luxembourg?
The Saboteur of Energy plans to subsidize the dirtiest fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, apparently just to prop up mines.
Breaking the Silence, which lead Israeli soldiers and ex-soldiers to reveal the war crimes they and their fellow soldiers have committed, faces being banned by proposed laws.
The right-wing in Israel encourages crimes against Palestinians, and pressures everyone to cover then up; they therefore define everyone who reveals them as a “traitor”.
We saw that perverse attitude in the US towards Chelsea Manning.
We can laugh at the absurd extremes of the US culture of overprotecting children, but its everyday form is enough to direct most kids to grow into weaklings who can't cope with the ordinary problems of education, work, and life.
Denied the chance to play freely together, they lose the chance to learn how to cope.
Accustomed to being protected from shocking thoughts, they demand to be protected even when they grow older.
The bully's saboteurs plan to expand oil drilling on public lands while killing renewable energy if they can.
The bully plans to put a coal industry saboteur in charge of protecting people from coal mine pollution.
This is direct murder.
US border patrol thugs are checking patients in ambulances.
What this says to unauthorized immigrants is, “If you are sick or injured, don't you dare ride in an ambulance to the hospital.”
Putting unauthorized immigrants in private prisons inevitably denies them their human rights and even their legal rights.
That's what privatized prisons are for — to reduce accountability so that guards can mistreat prisoners with impunity.
Refugees to Australia, dumped on Manus Island, will soon have no safe place to go.
The only safe place is their former prison, which they are being starved out of.
They are threatened with attack by the Papuan navy if they stay, and by the inhabitants if they go out.
No foreigners can assimilate into the tribal societies of Manus Island.
Stiglitz: The power of giant companies has driven the US economy into unfairness and failure, and the political system into injustice.
A famous theater director had a habit of pestering women, asking them for sex.
As far as I can tell from this article, he didn't try to force women into sex. When women persistently said no, he does not seem to have tried to punish them. The most he did was ask.
He was a pest, but nothing worse than that.
However, to be considerate he should not have kept on asking repeatedly. It is not nice to be a pest.
Schools are being asked to buy a brain-wave sensor that purportedly lets them monitor when students are paying attention.
Whether it works or not, it's oppressive.
We must not impose censorship of statements merely because they are nasty, cruel, and hateful.
The USA Rights Act would limit in several ways the US government's massive surveillance of Americans.
The EFF supports it, and so should we.
In particular, it adds more requirements before the government can demand communications companies decrypt people's data — which raises the question of how much this is going on secretly now.
The imposed nonaccountable government of Puerto Rico is taking steps to privatize the electric utility.
The EU's new internet connection service will track users.
I will never use it unless I can pretend to be someone else.
Libraries are still essential — don't let cities close them!
A new US policy of surveillance of anyone “suspected” (by thugs) of being a “homegrown violent extremist” is likely to be an excuse for snooping on lots homegrown nonviolent dissidents.
Among the thousands of nonviolent dissidents, there will occasionally be a violent extremist or two.
But that doesn't excuse repression that threatens our last chance for restoring democracy in the US.
Nestlé, Mars and Hershey “Breaking Promises over Palm Oil Use.”
The confrontation between Spain and Catalonia is dangerous for everyone.
A properly-run referendum is likely to show most Catalans reject independence.
That would more or less solve the problem.
However, Rajoy is a bully.
I don't think he wants a peaceful resolution.
I think he wants a scapegoat to distract Spaniards from his cruel policies towards poor people and dissent.
FEMA's proposal for future flood insurance disregards sea level rise.
The saboteur-in-chief wants to cut funds for weather forecasting and research.
What use is it to send record-setting hurricanes at people if they get warning to flee?
Russia Today says that Twitter made it a special advertising offer.
The White House says that the women that accuse the bully of sexual harassment are all lying.
By definition, to criticize the bully is lying.
Where do I report for the mandatory class in Trump Thought?
The date of the first freeze has been getting later in the year since 1980, and the average of recent years is a week later than the average in the 1970s.
US citizens: call on the US government to pull out of Salafi Arabia's war in Yemen.
US citizens: call on Congress to create the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity by passing H.R.1987.
EU citizens: support the e-privacy regulation against absurd attacks from lobbyists.
Give broader support too.
Due to severe budget cuts, UK prisons are now ruled by gangs of prisoners. Anyone that is knocked down has no one to appeal to in getting up again.
That's like a worse version of life outside prison under the Tories.
There is a campaign to protect children from the advertising that is directed at them on tablets.
They see so much advertising because the tablets run nonfree software. That nonfree software doesn't generate the advertising — most of it comes from servers. However, the nonfree software is designed to help those servers present the advertising, and users can't change it.
Sanders and other democratic senators have introduced a bill to let the US government negotiate drug prices with drug companies.
This is what almost every other country does to keep prices down.
Evidence suggests that the bully might launch a nuclear war against North Korea in November, but this is not certain. We need massive pressure now.
The saboteur in chief has nominated four saboteurs as assistant heads of the EPA.
Corbyn: center-left parties are doomed unless they dare to advocate radical changes that will end plutocracy.
Portugal has legalized breaking DRM for some purposes, but this is worthless if you can't find tools to do it with.
1/4 of US soldiers have seen white supremacist among the ranks.
Epson Is Using Its eBay "Trusted Status" to Make Competing Ink Sellers Vanish.
Dubya, by condemning the troll, has convinced most American Democrats to admire him.
He's not as bad as the troll, but he did horrible things. He was responsible for torture and a war of aggression.
Patients have only a small share of the responsibility for overuse of antibiotics. Doctors have a much larger share.
Of course, farms have an even bigger share. Don't forget them!
The NAACP has called on blacks to avoid traveling on American Airlines because it has a tendency to mistreat black passengers.
The boycott can be an effective weapon, so when we agree with the goal, we should support it.
It's not an all-or-nothing thing. Cutting out most of your purchases from a company is almost as good as ceasing totally.
The second article seems to endorse one erroneous assumption: that if several competing companies are equally bad, you must treat them equally. This is like saying that if several armies are attacking you, you must counterattack them all at once.
The boycott is a weapon, not a punishment. The state has an obligation to treat all citizens fairly, because it is so strong. The weak, however, have no obligation to be "fair" to all the strong that mistreat them. On the contrary, they should do whatever is most effective. Often that means to pick one target at a time and boycott it until it makes a substantial concession. Then target another one.
Researchers say that we can avoid disastrous sea-level rise if we limit global heating to under 1.9C.
The temporary workers cleaning up the debris of Houston are not given protective gear. They are exposed to all sorts of toxic material.
They don't get overtime pay or workers' compensation, and their wages are sometimes not paid.
That's plutocracy for you.
China's new person-rating system will track everything everyone does, and rate each person in China for loyalty to the state, based on monitoring all kinds of actions and communications.
Even talking to a person with a low rating will lower other people's ratings. So people with low ratings will be shunned, perhaps unemployed.
In a society like that, talented people who don't want to be heroic martyrs, and don't see a way to escape, but who cannot bear becoming active supporters of totalitarianism, will have to show no views and no talent, and reject any trace of ambition that would tempt them to aim for a higher rating so they can get ahead.
They won't have much chance to do good, but at least this way they will do the least possible evil.
"Free" country governments, with their ever-increasing surveillance, are moving indirectly and quietly towards the same horror.
The Tories are extending the existing punitive starvation regime for the unemployed and disabled, to cover low-paid workers too.
Poor people must teach each other not to be ashamed of being poor, or of the consequences of their poverty. The shame falls on the right-wing governments that inflict poverty, and on their supporters, nobody else.
Elephant poaching is decreasing in Africa, but the rate is still so high that the population continues to decrease.
Detroit has a giant incinerator that burns trash from several states and spreads a sickening cloud for miles around.
I think that the racial categories of those who suffer this is a secondary issue.
The primary issue is that such incinerators should (1) be modified to emit less pollution and (2) should be located in rural areas where the towns are dying anyway (there's no work so most people move away) and far fewer people will be affected.
It might also be possible to buy out their homes so they can move away.
Although the bully jokes about killing all gays, some rich gay men think he's great.
They figure he will never do anything to displease rich supporters.
It just goes to show that while gay (and, more generally, queer) people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else, they are not immune to the cruelty that everyone else can fall into.
Brazil's supercorrupt president Temer has again been protected from trial by the corrupt congress.
The UK's “anti-terror” laws have been repeatedly used against protesters and dissidents, revealing that government as repressive.
A British columnist's British sister was just bullied into testifying against herself and everyone she knows, on pain of imprisonment.
The conviction of human rights activist Muhammad Rabbani of Cage, who heroically faced imprisonment by refusing to tell the thugs anything, does not seem to have raised a big scandal.
Maybe this instance will create the scandal needed to end this repressive practice in Britain.
Although terrorism does exist in the UK, in the long term it is less of a danger to Britons than repressive, unjust laws such as this one.
Einstein occasionally made statements that used the word “god” to mean something like, “whatever circumstances brought about the universe as it is”.
This metaphor was apparently ill-advised, since people cite those statements to claim him as a religious believer, which he never was.
Right-wingers have deluded each other into believing the Las Vegas massacre was a hoax.
Now they are sending the victims threatening letters, hoping I suppose to intimidate them into a silence that will aid the campaign to impose the delusion.
You can support the victims by campaigning for universal medical care in the US.
Nobody who is injured or sick should have to beg on GoFundMe to pay for medical care!
Kenya is having its retry election, but the opposition is boycotting it because it is being run in an unfair manner.
ISP lobbyists killed a California bill to protect Americans from ISP snooping by telling lies to the state senate.
Democrats Push Bill to Stop a Trump Pre-Emptive Strike on North Korea.
The UK is still stopping blacks on the street for no reason except to intimidate them.
It has reduced this mainly for white victims.
Leaked: These 3 EU Governments Want to Give Record Labels Control Over What We Can And Can't Post Online.
(They are France, Spain and Portugal.)
I urge Europeans to launch a campaign of condemnation of the music parasite companies, as well as a campaign to convince officials.
A group of activists and lawyers in Tanzania met to consider challenging laws to repress homosexuals, and they were arrested for “promoting homosexuality”.
This means the government of Tanzania is attacking Tanzanian democracy as well as gays.
US citizens: support Medicare for all.
US citizens: call on Congress to ban sales of bottled water in national parks.
Everyone: call on the US to stop sabotaging the Paris climate agreement negotiations.
The father of a deceased addict accuses Big Pharma of lobbying to keep opioid addiction going strong.
Addiction, once you have it, is not a choice. However, it is possible to avoid addiction by remembering each time you use opioids that you're standing next to the top of a cliff. From what I've read, although it wasn't recently, addiction develops when you take more than your pain requires. So remind yourself to move away from the cliff step by step. Today you may not need as much painkiller as you needed yesterday.
I have opioids, and I use them on the rare occasions when I feel great pain. The last time was when I had dental implants inserted: I needed 8 pills before the pain went down to a level where I did not need them any more.
How did I know when that time had come? After the first day, I made a point to delay taking the next pill to see how long I could stand it. I took another pill only when the pain compelled me to. As time went on, I could stand it for longer — because the wound was healing. Eventually I never needed the next pill.
Please do not force people suffering from great pain to suffer it without the help of opioids!
New Zealand is suffering from house price inflation to which foreign buyers contribute. So it will ban sales of houses to foreigners unless they are going to live in those houses.
Rather than banning foreigners entirely from buying housing, why not tax them 10% of the assessed value each year? Most foreigners seek investment value, and this will eliminate that, so they won't buy.
A few rich people may buy property anyway, just to have another home, but they won't be numerous enough to drive up the prices that citizens must pay.
Cambridge, Massachusetts is starting to have the same problem.
A fine of 100 million dollars was not enough to get Facebook to stop mixing data from its WhatsApp tentacle with data from its Facebook tentacle.
If the UK exits the EU, it might exit the fishing quota system too and start wiping out fish stocks.
SCROTUS have cancelled the CFPB's regulation that was going to block banks from imposing mandatory arbitration requirements.
This will help banks get away with cheating their customers.
One way you can protect yourself is to stay away from the big US banks. The small ones may be more vulnerable to public criticism.
The Saboteur of Housing and Urban Development is trying to delay a policy to adjust housing subsidies for local areas to reduce segregation.
"Don’t deny trans people their rights because of male violence."
If some women are afraid that abusive men will hide behind a "transgender" label, I won't criticize them, but it seems to be a spurious fear because macho men are unlikely to do that. Machismo teaches men to be horrified of appearing feminine.
Privatization of government activities results in steamrollers that use the power of the state while claiming the secrecy and lack of public accountability of private businesses.
To privatize a public service is an invitation for injustice and cheating the public.
To make any aspect of the contract secret is tyranny.
Labour plans to buy out some of these contracts, but that is a weak, half-hearted way to fight back. The state can do to these contracts the same thing that businesses often do to their workers's retirement funds: transfer them to another private entity which goes bankrupt later. If that's not legal now, change the law to make it legal.
Of course, this would be a hostile act. Doing this to workers who have done nothing wrong to deserve it is unjustified aggression.
However, doing it to companies that have cheated the public is a justified counterattack. Ideally we should aim to put all those companies out of business, so that the prospect of oppressing the public ceases to appeal to other companies in the future.
The troll's saboteurs have launched another dishonest attack against the CFPB's arbitration limits for banks.
They will say any sort of bullshit, because they have total contempt for truth.
Crowdfunding is becoming a veil to excuse oppressive cuts in public spending, and a way of letting donors decide what your city will have and not have.
I don't think crowdfunding as such is bad, but at the civic level it is no substitute for a fair system based on taxing business and the rich, and deciding democratically what to do with the money.
Most Democrats have rejected the party's plutocratist leaders and support progressive politics.
The anti-science disinformation playbook, developed by tobacco companies and since used in many fields, especially fossil fuels.
The troll gave Chinese tyrant Xi embarrassing adulation.
A tax cut for the rich will provide zero benefit for working Americans.
The US has spent almost 5 trillion dollars on wars in the Middle East (perhaps including Afghanistan).
Americans in poverty need that spending transferred to helping them.
Establishment Republicans agree with nearly everything the bully actually does.
Even the Republicans that condemn him personally vote for his harmful measures.
American right-wing theocrats are pouring money into Latin American countries to oppose abortion rights three.
They have brought to Latin countries the same methods of harassment and deception that they use in the US.
If women start a campaign to say, “I had an abortion and that was the right thing,” they could have a lot of influence for abortion rights.
The FCC's saboteurs eliminated a rule that held back media concentration to some extent.
Many radio and TV stations will become repeaters with hardly any local staff, or local journalists.
A UN investigation concluded that Assad's forces carried out a chemical attack earlier this year.
Pakistani women are rallying on the internet against extreme sexist violence.
Women face more threats than losing their careers.
Men they say no to, even men who are not rich and famous, may stab them or throw acid in their faces.
Jackson, Mississippi, is reorganizing society with a cooperative movement that has the support of the city government.
The bullshitter promised the parent of a dead soldier a personal gift of $25000, then didn't bother to send it.
On Wednesday the story broke, and the the bullshitter was shamed into fulfilling this promise.
A right-wing UK newspaper has been rebuked for an article that spread global heating denialism through distortions and falsehoods.
One Twitter user relates the history of Twitter; how using it was fun, but turned into ugliness. He says that the management decided to let in bigotry because that boosted their earnings.
China is preemptively intimidating everyone in the country that might cause an impression of nonunamitity.
Details of how the troll's tax cut gives almost nothing to the non-rich and gives many benefits to the rich.
The violent Chechen state is torturing gays to demand the names of other gays.
US citizens: phone Senate Democrats to oppose the Republican tax cut for the rich.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: Call on the Democrats to block SCROTUS from putting nasty provisions into must-pass bills.
One of Weinstein's victims was pressured to sign a nondisclosure agreement; now she has publicly broken it to demonstrate how harmful they are.
I don't think nondisclosure agreements should be allowed for serious mistreatment including sexual harassment.
Tomato pickers in Italy are exploited terribly, and sometimes fatally.
In Thailand, it's not just criticizing the current king that might
lead the generals to put you in prison. Simply
stories told about a king that lived 400 years ago is enough to
send them on a rampage.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
"Anyone with a brain, not to mention a conscience, should put [per] money in a bank that actually thinks the planet has a future, instead of one that scrambles for the shortest of short term gains at any cost."
Local governments encounter obstacles in chasing away unsightly homeless people. "If they’re only a bit mean, it won’t work when people are desperate, but if they’re very mean, it upsets most of us."
"When it comes to getting big money out of politics and ending crony capitalism, there’s no right or left, and certainly no middle. There’s just democracy or oligarchy."
Google will rebuild a neighborhood in Toronto as a lab for "smart" urban systems.
The danger is that "smart" means "under Google's surveillance and control", as it so often does.
There are many memorials to the rebellion of white slave-holders, but very few for the more noble rebellions of black slaves in the US.
If the UK reacts to leaving the EU by attracting dirty money, it will become a swamp and will fall under the power of corruption.
UK Is 30-40 Years Away from "Eradication of Soil Fertility".
Turkish football fans are accused of being "Gülenists" because they carried a poster from the film, Rocky.
The BBC has apologized for giving a global heating denialist the opportunity to spread lies without any criticism.
"The nature of Facebook ads makes it difficult to see when political ads go out, which groups are campaigning for which cause and fact-check what they’re saying."
This suggests approaches for regulation. We should regulate the way ads work, not solely political ads and not solely on Facebook, so that those who advertise are effectively held responsible for what they say.
Some see e-cigarettes as a beneficial technology that helps people quit smoking. Others are concerned that exposure to the vapor could lead ex-smokers start again, or could harm babies and fetuses.
We don't have scientific measurements of any of these effects. However, is there a reason to think that nicotine, specifically, is what makes second-hand smoke harmful? If it is the other substances in second-hand tobacco smoke that cause harm, and if those are not present in e-cigarette vapor, then there is no reason to expect that to cause harm to bystanders.
From what I've read, it had a rather strict form of Islam even then. However, this change has to be a step forward, even if it doesn't reach the level of respecting religious freedom.
Quebec says that its law against covering the face in public transit and in certain interactions with government agencies applies only when a person needs to identify perself. If you don't show a discount card for the bus fare, you don't have to show your face.
I think this makes it tolerable.
20% of US minimum-wage workers live in poverty. The minimum wage has got to rise.
The troll is increasing the risk of accidental nuclear war by putting B-52s on constant alert with nuclear bombs.
The army academy at West Point just gave Dubya an award for demonstrating superior character. By doing this it teaches cadets the exact opposite of what they are supposed to learn.
Most Senate Democrats failed to oppose the troll's pointless extra military spending.
Rich Republicans are spending millions spreading lies to get their tax cut of billions.
The head of Amnesty International in Turkey stands accused of terrorism based on a handful of innocent facts.
He is also accused, with several others, of plotting a rebellion, for a meeting where an expert taught the use of encryption.
This shows how digital surveillance puts everyone in danger when a government turns rabid.
Various kinds of pollution released locally by frackwells can cause development damage to children.
An Atheist chaplain is not a contradiction.
Like religious chaplains, they listen to people's woes and help them cope.
How to make Halloween spread real fear among parents and children.
A UK journalist from a poor family could afford to do unpaid internships only by doing sex work.
It's clear that she was not exploited or mistreated in her sex work.
The only wrong that happened to her was that she couldn't find another way to get into a career alongside people from privileged backgrounds.
Most large companies have plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but most of them are too weak to be much good in avoiding disaster.
Moth caterpillars are eating up most of the crops in large parts of Africa.
The short-term solution is insecticides, but the long-term solution has to be reducing the human population through less reproduction.
A study estimates that the greenhouse emissions of making and using an electric car are 1/4 less than a fossil fuel car, even if the electricity is made from coal.
Steele's report about the bully's ties with Russia was funded indirectly by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.
I don't see anything scandalous about this; it is normal for campaigns to investigate possible scandals of their opponents.
The real issue about Steele's report is that various points can't be directly corroborated.
They may be true, but the report does not prove them.
That was explicitly clear in the report itself.
Afghan refugees in Iran face bigotry, to the point that children often are not allowed to go to school.
Many of them have been forced to go to Syria to fight for Assad.
The US is charging 200 protesters with “conspiracy” for a protest in which someone broke a few windows.
They could all be imprisoned for the rest of their lives for this.
This sort of repression was seen in the US after the Chicago Haymarket protest.
Protest leaders were convicted and executed for a bomb set off by persons unknown.
The Tories have been shamed into cancelling some planned cuts in housing aid to the poor.
Before you admire Senator Flake for rebuking the troll, look at what Flake stands for.
He is a right-wing extremist who voted as the troll wished in nearly every vote.
The UK should abolish its law about abortion and treat it like any other medical procedure.
Upper-caste Hindus beat up a Dalit woman for touching and “polluting” a garbage bin.
She died from the beating.
The SESTA bill to punish online service operators if users post prostitution ads on their sites threatens every known online service and wiki that isn't strictly moderated.
Privatized public schools in England demand that the school principals cheat in order to compete for ratings.
Those who won't, are fired, and then ordered to keep it secret or get harassed.
The bully's saboteurs are thinking of allowing rebuilt trucks to pollute heavily.
Evidence of racist bias on the part of Wisconsin prosecutors in offering plea bargains.
China told a Swedish official that it released Gui Minhai from prison a week ago, but his daughter has not heard from him.
China sent a commando team to kidnap him from Thailand. The US has also sent commando teams to kidnap people, but at least those were people accused (perhaps rightly) of organizing mass murder, not people accused of being book publishers.
A mathematical way of identifying partisan gerrymanders.
The Vietnam War protesters rescued the US, not to mention Vietnam, from an endless war that no one else would have dared to stop. We need more of them now.
Nicaragua has decided to join the Paris climate agreement despite criticizing it for being insufficient.
A predatory coal mining company, whose operations endanger the Great Barrier Reef both locally and globally, is trying to greenwash itself by sponsoring an award for companies that draw tourists to the Great Barrier Reef. But these companies are rejecting the award.
The troll is talking about deporting a rich and very visible Chinese dissident seeking asylum, because of fraud accusations against him.
It's not impossible for an asylum-seeker to be a criminal, and it is not implausible that a billionaire got that wealth via fraud. But we can't trust accusations against Chinese dissidents that come from China. China has used many dirty tricks against dissidents, even against people that merely get in its way, so we must expect anything that attacks a Chinese dissident to be a dirty trick.
One possible solution would be to give him asylum, then let China petition to extradite him. To succeed, China would have to satisfy a US court that there are grounds to do so.
Israeli President Accuses Netanyahu And Allies of Endangering Democracy.
The EPA gagged three scientists from speaking at a scientific conference about observed developments in Narragansett Bay.
Americans agree on many political issues.
It's mainly elected officials that disagree with them.
Women that live in Northern Ireland won't be charged for abortions that they travel to England to get.
It's a step forward, but abortion must be legalized everywhere.
North Korea carries out cyber-attacks with impunity, since it has very little digital infrastructure that a counterattack could be aimed at.
French neo-Nazis have been arrested for planning attacks on politicians and mosques.
Concerned about "Identity Extremists"? There's One in the White House.
Studying what makes fake news spread. Sometimes people forward fake news without really believing it, without even reading it.
The law is unjust because it stops people from protecting themselves from the pervasive face-recognition tracking that is now being perfected.
Trump’s USDA Does Bidding of Meatpackers, Turns Back on Farmers & Ranchers.
A UK investigation concluded that the intervention in Libya was based on lies and distortions.
Interviews with voters and would-be voters show that Wisconsin's voter-ID law played a crucial role in delivering that state to the troll.
In other words, they show that the election in Wisconsin was stolen.
Anti-fracking protesters in the UK have started climbing the drilling tower and chaining themselves to equipment.
The "danger" of lighting a flare on the site is nothing compared with the danger of fracking the site.
It will be decades before the Kiribati Islands are flooded out, but sea water is already contaminating the water supply, making it useless for humans and agriculture.
US citizens: tell the US to stop interfering when unauthorized immigrants want to get abortions.
It appears that Pablo Neruda was murdered by Pinochet's dictatorship.
They said he died from cancer, but after exhuming his body, examiners say that was a lie.
The US head general invited an Indonesian general to a conference on dealing with violent extremism, but at the airport he was told he was not allowed into the US.
This sets an example of total incompetence in efforts to counter violent extremism.
It's not at all unfair that some Americans avoided the draft and probably becoming a heroin addict while killing Vietnamese. What's unfair is that some Americans couldn't avoid this.
Ocean Acidification Is Deadly Threat to Marine Life, Finds Eight-Year Study.
The plastic we have dumped in the sea harms the ability of sea life to cope with the acidity.
Lifelong squatter and protester Pete Phoenix will never give up.
Australia is trying to force the refugees it dumped into Manus Island to move in with the native population, which hates them. It is creatively inventing legalistic excuses for this, which have no moral validity.
It is no wonder that few of the refugees want to go to Nauru, a dictatorship that excludes the press.
The victims of the bully's sexual pressuring and harassment hope to create the sort of avalanche that pushed Weinstein out of his job.
I don't think it is likely to happen, because the situations are different. Weinstein couldn't continue his work when lots of people began to condemn him. The bully, however, is already continuing his sabotage while hated by most Americans.
Not my dog — I don't have one. Perhaps because I'm not such an easy mark.
Irrationally anxious American mothers think that every stranger that comes near them and their children is a kidnapper, and they convince other mothers to join in the panic and suspicion.
"Steady Decline" in Honey Crop Raises Concern for Honeybees' Future.
Cub scout Ames Mayfield asked probing political questions of a visiting Republican elected official, and was punished by expulsion from his troop.
US prisoners work for a pittance, even in dangerous jobs such as fighting wild fires.
This is unfair to everyone, since prison labor pushes down wages for free workers.
It's easy to lose any amount of money to fraud if you send it through the insecure system of bank transfers.
I draw a different lesson: don't use bank transfers except for repeating small payments. (Once it works the first time, you'll know you have the right destination.) Otherwise, mail a check instead; it is safer.
Rajoy says he will take direct control over government in Catalonia. This will really make people there hate him.
People that support democracy and equality hate him already — for his laws that criminalize protests, criminalize posting photos of thugs committing violence against protesters, criminalize occupying abandoned buildings, and drive people into penury.
Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered, apparently by the mafias that she reported on.
This should have been done when they needed a bailout, but it isn't too late.
Texas has a law refusing to make any state contract with a business that boycotts Israel, or even boycotts products made in Israel's colonies in the West Bank. The ACLU is seeking people who want to sue to overturn this as unconstitutional.
The major vulture capitalist funds have organized into united lobbies so that the US government will starve Puerto Rico for decades to pay them off.
I suppose that this will end when global heating and other global disasters make it impossible to collect anything from the people remaining in Puerto Rico.
An study of what fanatical mass movements have in common.
The article says only "mass movements", but there are mass movements which are not fanatical and don't share these characteristics. For instance, the 1970s peace movement and the civil rights movement.
Wireless Carriers Again Busted Collecting, Selling User Data Without Consent Or Opt Out Tools.
I don't think we should accept "consent" as an excuse for massive surveillance. It is easy to pressure nearly all users into giving "consent". We must insist that systems be designed not to surveil.
China says it is developing a face recognition system with which it will be able to recognize everyone on the street.
"Free" countries are moving towards the same thing, and it would be just as repressive here.
We need to organize to oppose massive surveillance, which is more dangerous than terrorists.
Amazon makes a practice of gaining public subsidies for itself to the detriment of local competitors. Now it is making suckers out of city governments by inviting them to compete to offer the biggest subsidy for its new headquarters.
This demonstrates in the most explicit possible fashion what I've said for years: when cities compete to offer subsidies to business, business wins and cities lose.
We should not allow cities or states to compete with offers of subsidies.
The Tories' stingy new welfare system forces poor people to choose at the end of the month — food or rent?
Whichever one they choose, Tories have an opportunity to lecture them for failing to do the impossible, in effect blaming them for the poverty that the system imposes on them.
It's not wrong to steal food if you are hungry, or your children are hungry. Not wrong in the slightest. But it is a shame to punch the garage wall in anger. The garage isn't responsible for the injustice. Punching a Tory official would be more to the point.
The UN Human Rights Council rebuked China for torturing human rights activists into false confessions.
The Chinese state will not heed this rebuke, but it may do something to weaken Chinese influence.
Russia uses Interpol against foreign political opponents by labeling them as criminals.
The new government of New Zealand plans to go on with negotiations for the TPP, demanding only a narrow concession on one specific issue.
The article says nothing about the nastiest part of the TPP, the ISDS ("I Sue Democratic States") clause that allows foreign businesses to sue countries over policies that hamper their dreams of profit. I fear the absence of mention means that the new government intends to accept ISDS. If so, it is not serving its country.
It might be possible for a public campaign in New Zealand to change this decision. I hope people there will launch such a campaign.
With ever more states legalizing marijuana, the US government should bow to good sense and legalize it too.
Comparing targeted, "personalized" ads with the behavior of a high-functioning sociopath.
Perhaps there should be a law requiring all targeted advertising platforms and/or all their customers to publish every ad that they've run, along with the precise details of how it was targeted, so that people can see what other faces the organization is showing.
The article may be mistaken about trigger warnings. I've read that one of their purposes is to help people prepare for a disturbing experience. So don't assume that the Oxford students who see a trigger warning about Titus Andronicus in their literature class will avoid studying that play. It may instead help them to think about the play more calmly.
10,000 prisoners in federal prisons are over 60 years old. Their medical care is often inadequate. They are not going to return to crime, so why not release them?
Such gifts to witnesses from the person under investigation may be criminal.
If Alex Azar Is Confirmed as HHS Secretary, Big Pharma’s Coup of Health Care Sphere Will Be Virtually Complete.
The fact that a US soldier is killed in battle doesn't make the war justified, or a wise policy.
A socialist is running a write-in campaign against Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance because he let Weinstein and the troll's kids off without prosecution after getting lots of campaign contributions from them.
Some Afghan officers say Russia is arming the Taliban.
I would not put it past either of them. But I don't see that it changes the situation.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 202-930-8550 to defend network neutrality. The final vote is likely within a month.
US citizens: Tell Betsy DeVos: Help Puerto Rico’s Student Borrowers.
US citizens: call on Congress to ban bump stocks.
Increasing demand for beef is hampering efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The true cost of raising beef is not paid by the people that eat it. It makes a terrible contribution to antibiotic resistance and dead zones in the ocean, as well as global heating.
General Kelly is an extreme militarist who thinks no one has the right to question any of the wars that the US fights, and condemns people who discuss these issues.
He's right that the US is threatened by incomprehensible lunatics. They are in the White House and Congress.
US veterans and soldiers are coming to recognize the troll's basic dishonest and manipulative nature.
I don't criticize the troll, or any American, for avoiding the Vietnam War. I wish every American had avoided it — then Americans would have been better off, and Vietnamese would have been far, far better off.
The Americans mobilized by the Russian "blacktivist" campaign say their activism was real and sincere, regardless of the organizer.
Thugs in Toronto systematically stop blacks and hispanics for no reason except (apparently) their skin color. On one recent occasion the thugs beat one of them with a metal pipe and destroyed his eye.
Cash is the only kind of money that keeps working when a disaster knocks out communications.
Present day algorithms for grading student essays can only look at the form and structure — they can't understand what the essay is about and can't distinguish valid from invalid arguments. Thus, they will teach students to write superficially plausible bullshit.
That might help the ones who want to become president of the US.
Running school admissions by algorithm can very easily make stupid or unfair decisions.
Many insect species are declining drastically, which could be a catastrophe for ecosystems. Many other species will disappear without insects to pollinate them or feed them.
The bully's CIA head says he will make the CIA "a lot more vicious".
The CIA has committed great crimes in the past. How will it outdo them now? By torturing and murdering tens of thousands of people, perhaps?
They are wise to do so — the effects of global heating are quite likely to kill them in a few decades.
"Smart" watches for children make it east to spy on them.
The article inexplicably considers only the possibility that unknown third parties might crack their security and get access to the children's personal data, while ignoring the certainty that the manufacturer can do so and that the parents can do so.
One possible effect that seems not to have been studied is whether the body camera recording affected the resolution of complaints, which it could do by providing evidence beyond the testimony of the citizen and the thug.
Egypt put 500 protesters on trial and sentenced most of them to life in prison. 52 of them were released after 4 years waiting in prison.
US citizens: call on Congress to undo the bully's sabotage of US medical care.
US farmers don't bother to keep nitrate fertilizer out of water supplies. As a result, water supplies in the rural US have enough nitrates to cause an increased cancer risk.
The article doesn't say how many additional people are likely to get cancer as a result. It might be a handful, or it might be thousands.
Israeli soldiers attacked a Palestinian school, wounding ten children.
Palestinian teenagers report being arrested by Israel and tortured. One was released under a form of house arrest that turns his house into hell for his whole family.
The capture of Raqqa killed over a thousand civilians.
I don't know whether it was feasible to capture Raqqa with fewer civilian casualties.
The London transit system has banned Palestinian ads in a way that seems suspiciously politicized.
An anonymous Hollywood actress says that Harvey Weinstein is like many men in positions of power in the movie business.
Reese Witherspoon concurs.
So did Carrie Fisher.
I am unable to understand what these men feel about women. I can understand wishing for intimacy and sweetness with a lovely woman. I can't understand the contempt that these men display towards the women they want to have sex with.
A school has removed To Kill a Mockingbird from classes because it uses the word "nigger".
I agree with the writer that discussing the substance of racism should not mean avoiding old books for terminology we now reject.
It is ironic that the criticisms include "white saviour complex, since the book actually shows the limits of white saviours. The protagonist tries to be a white saviour but fails to save the black man from being falsely convicted. Whereupon that man tried to escape from prison, and was killed. On hearing that, someone says (I paraphrase from lack of memory), "He got tired of waiting for us to give him justice, so he decided to get his own justice."
The EPA has a new policy: only settle lawsuits with the companies that it regulates, not with public interest advocates.
The first 3d-printed bridge, printed with concrete.
US citizens: call on your senators to block the nomination of Thomas Farr as a US judge.
Fired Cop's Attorney Argues His Client Is Being Punished Unfairly Because The Public Got To See His Misconduct.
Everyone: Oppose the EU practice of buying wood to burn it.
Legalizing marijuana in Colorado led to a decrease in deaths from opioids.
The UK government plans to pressure universities to eliminate student union "no platform" policies that exclude speakers on account of their views.
There is an anomaly here which I hope someone can explain to me. Can a student union bar a speaker from speaking at the university, or only from speaking in the student union's own events? When I read the actual text of the no-platform policy, it seemed to say the latter.
How does that endanger the diversity of views at the university? Does the student union have a monopoly on hosting outside speakers?
Meanwhile, what about university censorship that has nothing to do with the student union? For instance, will universities be fined for censoring a speech at the request of the Israeli embassy or excluding speakers on request from spy agencies?
Two of the Chicago aviation thugs that beat up Dr. Dao have been fired for lying about it afterwards.
Thugs that lie deserve to be fired, or better yet prosecuted. But that was only the secondary wrong; beating up Dr. Dao was the primary wrong, and it should not go ignored.
Florida men had the ambition of murdering a Guatamalan, searched for one, and killed him. Now they claim this was legal under the perverse "shoot if you feel danger" law.
Toxic pollution kills 9 million people per year, more than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
To reduce the pollution requires political will … to tax the rich more, thus getting funds for enforcement of regulation and investment in pollution reduction.
The bully's saboteurs are denying abortions to unauthorized immigrants that have been imprisoned.
Those religious fanatics are forcing these vulnerable women to have babies because they have found the power to do so — but they want to do this to all women and they are searching for the way to do it.
Saboteur Pruitt plans to drop scientific advisors that have received federal research grants, and keep only those who are funded by businesses.
One way for movie actors to put an end to sexual harassment is to form a union.
The corrupt world of "mattress reviewing" sites that get commissions from the companies whose products they review.
I would never order a mattress by mail, because that would put me in a data base. I want to pay cash. But actually I have never bought a mattress as such. Here's what I did instead.
I went to a foam store and bought several layers of foam — hardest on bottom, then softer ones, finally convoluted foam layers on top. I also got a wooden board to put the foam on, and six cinder blocks to make a storage space under the board. This is far cheaper, and you can pay cash for it.
Portugal has had large and deadly forest fires, even bigger than those in California. People complain that the government wasn't prepared to fight them.
Instead of condemning the minister, who probably wasn't in a position to do anything in such a short time, they should blame the oil companies.
US Senators Ask Apple Why VPN Apps Were Removed in China.
Their questioning misses Apple's wrong which created the problem: that Apple designed the iThings to impose Apple's own censorship.
High rents in London have led to a successful co-living building with 500 inhabitants.
Alas, it is so expensive that most people couldn't afford it.
Zack Anderson's life has been turned into hell because he had sex with a 14-year-old who said she was 17. Now Indiana is grasping at straws for excuses to put him on the sex offender's list for 25 years. Excuses such as that a minor started working at his church and was there when he was.
The normal occupation of human adolescents is sex. This case demonstrates what everyone should already have known: a human of age 14 can consent to sex, even seek it out. Claims to the contrary are false, and when these claims appear in a law, it's a lying law.
The term “statutory rape” is a reflection of this lie. It means, “We know that wasn't rape, but we will pretend it was.”
Adolescents can be bullied / tricked / bribed into sex. So can adults, as the recent accusations against Weinstein and others demonstrate. It could be useful to do something to help people of any age resist such pressures, on the occasions when they would rather not have sex. However, denying the fact that people also do have sex voluntarily is not the solution.
The chemical Agent Orange, which the US dropped massively on Vietnam, continues causing birth defects there.
HR 334 would provide funds to those who suffer from birth defects or injuries caused by American use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Three white supremacists tried to shoot protesters after a right-wing rally.
Peru has legalized medical marijuana.
The troll tried to hijack the NFL players' protests.
Here's a suggestion for how they can take back the meaning of their protests.
The Democratic National Committee is firing and demoting progressive officials, reinforcing its "centrist" right-wing slant.
How to teach millennials to value freedom of speech?
The digital tech giants have so much money that they can crush even established competitors. The number of startups in digital technology is way down.
Most of the things these tech startups would make are unjust, due to nonfree user software, surveillance, or both. However, if the giants do them, they will be unjust that way too. And the increased concentration has to be an additional bad.
President Xi is trying to turn China into a nation of fawning yes-men.
People are right to think that it may cause resistance. But when Chinese accept it, they will tend towards group-think that will lead to grave mistakes. (Under Mao, that caused a great famine.)
Canada's national medical system has one big gap: on prescription drugs, it operates like the US's bad system. So the progressive party has proposed to move to a government-operated system.
This would save about 25% of the current costs, but the government would have to pay the other 75%, and that might require raising taxes.
Industrial farming and industrial fishing threaten to cause their own collapse.
Puerto Ricans are implementing self-organized recovery to thwart the Wall Street vampires.
US patent trolls have started using indigenous tribes as front organizations to avoid examination of the legal validity of their patents.
Suicide bombers attacked two Shi'a mosques in Afghanistan. Jihadis kill more Afghan civilians than the US does, though the bully is trying to compete with them.
Expanding E-Verify is a Privacy Disaster in the Making.
This is what Guber wants to do. Please fight back!
Residents of Massachusetts: Support the bail reform law, as the ACLU recommends.
Glyphosate accumulates in soil. A study of soil samples from some European countries estimates that around half the agricultural land has glyphosate contamination.
The article doesn't say what the levels of contamination were, or whether they are high enough to pose a significant danger. But if the EU resumes glyphosate use, soils where it is used will absorb more glyphosate.
It took the FBI 4 years to prosecute anyone for a Russia-operated bribery scheme that procured a license to sell uranium to the US.
It is important to prosecute bribery, but I don't see that sales of uranium from Russia to the US are inherently worse than sales of uranium from anywhere else. I don't see that Obama did anything wrong in this case.
The Republican tax cuts for the rich resemble the ones that caused a disaster for Kansas.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as an EPA administrator.
British railroads are starting to pressure passengers to use unjust tracking apps.
The first step is for a new discount pass for passengers of age 26-30. Once people surrender to the pull of this, you can be sure they will take another step, and another...
The Senate passed a budget resolution that attacks vital programs for the health of the US, and of Americans.
US phone companies are selling other companies access to mobile phone location data.
Masked private thugs armed with submachine guns are "patrolling" streets in Puerto Rico. They refuse to say who they are working for.
Republican saboteurs have directed the department of Health and Human Services to abolish abortion in the US.
Saboteurs want to relax the safety regulations designed to reduce the frequency of explosions on oil rigs.
Electric cars address only part of the problem. What we need is less driving.
One way to achieve this is to build cities denser. That makes public transportation more efficient and more attractive.
The number of people enslaved in the UK could be tens of thousands, according to the official in charge of eradicating it.
The troll's choice for "drug czar" was a saboteur who was helping drug companies distribute opioids more loosely. This was such a scandal that the troll had to drop him.
The Tories are trying to use exit from the EU as an excuse to eliminate much of the UK's environmental protection regulations.
The very deadly raid on Mogadishu appears to have been revenge for a US raid that killed several civilians.
It is ironic that revenge for killing Somali civilians takes the form of killing an even larger number of Somali civilians. But the intended target was a government agency.
Formerly secret files show how the US aided the massacre of several hundred thousand suspected communists in Indonesia, and how organized Muslim groups helped the army kill them.
Chinese tyrant Xi is officially reorienting the Communist Party around his own personal ideas.
He is aiming to make China as totalitarian as it was under Mao.
The bully's supporters want to make the US oppressive in a similar way.
The Labour Party will govern New Zealand together with another party that aims to deconcentrate wealth.
Can anyone show me what these parties say about the Treacherous Plutocratic Poison? The US has dropped out, but the other countries were continuing to negotiate that business-supremacy treaty.
Report from a group of civilians escaping from Raqqa.
Big pharma lobbying enables drug companies to pump out large amounts of high-dose opioids that are ideal for causing addiction.
Therefore, most efforts to reduce opioid addiction operate through repression, surveillance, and denial of our civil liberties.
The drug companies also lobby to keep drugs expensive.
The Taliban are wearing down the Afghan army through suicide jeep bombs.
The BBC tried to show people the prejudice British Muslims experience by making up and dressing up a white woman to appear to be a Pakistani Muslim.
A hypersensitive Muslim group claims there is something essentially wrong about such a disguise.
I see no validity in their argument; I think it was just fine to do this program.
The term “blackface” refers to a kind of entertainment that was common a hundred years ago, in which white performers wore nonrealistic stylized makeup that stood for “think of us as blacks” and then acted a stereotype of black culture and behavior patterns.
I can see how blacks would find that offensive. But that doesn't apply to cross-racial makeup as such.
I can understand the concerns of actors from minority groups if whites get the few parts for characters from their own groups.
On the other hand, maybe with a suitable makeup disguise they could apply for parts for white characters.
I just had a horrible idea.
If using makeup and clothing to appear black or Pakistani if you're not is despicable, what about using makeup and clothing to appear female if you're not? Is that despicable too?
Will this benighted identity campaign target transvestites next?
Dogs Have Pet Facial Expressions to Use on Humans, Study Finds.
Lawsuit Says Trump's Ownership of Hotels Violates the Constitution.
A system of rapidly flickering leds makes mobile device cameras fail to work.
The troll continued the US history of contempt towards black soldiers and veterans.
I think the troll intentionally displayed contempt as a way of appealing to his white-supremacist supporters.
For the Price of a Few Warships, We Could End Slavery Once And for All.
Australia has made a plan to discourage the adoption of renewable energy.
Quebec has banned people from covering their faces while on public transit.
This prevents all citizens from protecting themselves from the massive surveillance systems.
Israeli troops shot an unarmed Palestinian teenager, then kept paramedics away while he bled to death. This is not unusual, but that teenager was a US citizen, which makes the US government scramble to avoid taking proper notice.
Populations of flying insects in Germany's wildlife reserves have fallen by 3/4 in the past 25 years.
This can affect entire ecosystems.
Foster parenting in the US has been privatized, and some of the companies shirk their responsibilities.
Government services should never be privatized unless that gives the public a competitive market. Children in foster care do not get to choose the foster care company, so that is not the case here.
We need not even raise the point that the customers of foster care are children, who need foster care because of their immaturity, so they are not ready to make a wise choice of foster care company.
Carcinogenic firefighting chemicals are getting into US water supplies, and since they do not naturally degrade, the level continues to increase.
Kenyan election commissioner Roselyn Akombe has fled to the US and says that it is impossible for the coming repeat election to be free and fair.
The leader of the opposition has refused to participate, for the same reason.
Whistleblower Protections in USA Liberty Act Not Enough.
The only adequate protection for a whistleblower who tells us the government's dirty secrets is if the government cannot identify the whistleblower.
Somalis marched through Mogadishu to demand more efforts to defeat al-Shabaab.
If the people turn strongly against that organization, they may have a chance of defeating it.
3/4 of the biggest 500 US corporations have foreign subsidiaries. If Republicans make a bigger tax break for income of those subsidiaries, they will use accounting tricks to run all their profits through them.
The "valve turner" protesters will be allowed to present a necessity defense for their protest, which consisted of shutting off a pipeline.
Canada's methane emissions are 25% or 50% higher than people thought.
Caring for forests, peat bogs and agricultural land could do a large part of the job of curbing global heating.
It is easier said than done. It is hard to do large amounts of illegal fossil fuel extraction except in a failed state, but illegal deforestation is going wild in countries including Brazil and Indonesia.
Those governments are corrupt but they are hardly failed states.
The troll complains about how long emergency assistance to Puerto Rico is taking, basically preparing to withdraw aid.
This is while most of the island's electric grid is still down, and a large fraction have no water supply either.
A court hearing concluded that South African thugs murdered anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol. The thugs said he had killed himself in prison — a story that was implausible at the time.
The murder took place in 1971, but a thug that covered up the truth is still alive to be prosecuted.
Many disabled people in the UK have been pushed into living in apartments they cannot get out of. Some of the apartments endanger their lives too.
Vice President Pence spent a quarter million dollars of taxpayers' money to visit a football game so he could leave as a protest.
He has a right to protest by leaving a game, but spending taxpayers' money to do this is the act of a cheater.
A US man who kidnaped and raped a 12-year-old girl, 10 years ago, has been given partial custody of the child she had as a result.
That man is the last man in American who should get custody of a child. Merely giving him the woman's address put her in danger.
As a side issue, I wonder why she didn't have an abortion. That would have been a much better outcome than a child born to an adolescent who can't support a child.
I fear that fanatical Christians had something to do with this.
The Internet Archive has discovered a way to make most books published before 1941 available even though their copyright was maliciously extended by the Micky Mouse Copyright Act.
The main "development banks" have put 5 billion dollars into fossil fuel projects since the Paris climate conference.
A right-wing non-Muslim American left a dangerous bomb in an airport last week, as a false-flag terrorist operation, and the media have paid hardly any attention.
That's because he doesn't serve the right-wing narrative about terrorism.
Right-wingers claim every act of terrorism attributed to them is a "false-flag attack", but it seems that nearly all false-flag attacks are committed by right-wingers like this one. The US organized right-wing false-flag attacks in Europe in the 60s/70s.
US citizens: call for impeaching the troll before he starts WW III.
US citizens: call on Congress to defend freedom of the press.
ACLU: how journalists investigating the honesty or dishonesty of web sites can reduce the threat from the oppressive Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
It is unfortunate that the article uses the term "hackers" to refer to people that break security.
A US drone killed 14 people in Afghanistan. Were they soldiers of PISSI, or civilians?
The US government ought to be honest about this.
Is it good to have US troops fighting in Niger? Shouldn't there be public scrutiny of the question?
Two prisoners in Guantanamo are on hunger strike demanding a trial. Three US presidents have decided to imprison them forever without a trial.
Dubya and Obama force-fed hunger strikers. The bully allows them to die if they choose, but has cut off their medical treatment.
Either way, nothing can justify imprisonment without trial.
The Iraqi Kurds have pulled out of some disputed areas without a fight, including Kirkuk and its oil fields, and Sinjar.
These areas are not part of the territory that became Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurds took over Kirkuk when the Iraqi army collapsed in Mosul, to stop PISSI from capturing it. They recaptured Sinjar from PISSI in battle.
California's deadly wildfires have burned 3000 square miles and destroyed thousands of buildings.
Pence is an agent of the Koch brothers, and he is slowly converting the troll into another such agent.
If the bully decides to bomb North Korea, he could cause global disaster and nobody could restrain him.
I think he doesn't actually intend to do this, that he is only being bombastic (just like his North Korean counterpart). It is a sort of dance, meant for show. But that kind of dance can go off the tracks.
The US agency that evaluates foreign food safety inspections is doing a careless and sloppy job, approving imports that aren't safe.
Plutocrats plan to use Hurricane Maria as an excuse to grab Puerto Rico's remaining assets.
"Wall Street has encouraged the kind of predatory speculation that doesn’t just bet against the people of Puerto Rico, but rigs the game to make sure they lose."
The troll has nominated people from private weather forecasting companies to heat the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which means they could shut off its public weather forecasting.
UK censorship gone mad: carrying a sign saying "Fuck the DUP" (a political party) may be a crime.
Regulations we need in order to hold back antibiotic resistance.
Tunisia could be destroyed by desertification that is fed by global heating.
France is going to ban sale of fossil-fuel cars in 2040, and ban them from driving in Paris.
Unfortunately, the Autolib electric cars are a massive surveillance system, because you have to identify yourself to drive one. France now allows the state to look at all this data with hardly any limits.
Humans Driving Extinction Faster than Species Can Evolve, Say Experts.
The region south of the Sahara Desert now hosts various jihadi guerrilla groups.
The crucial moral point about a "civil oligarchy", which maintains its power through laws, is that laws designed to keep an oligarchy in power do not deserve to be obeyed.
On the neighborhood cooperative movement in Catalonia and its political importance.
Poor people have to buy everything pay-as-you-go, and that is often more expensive.
Ironically, in some cases pay-as-you-go is the only anonymous option, so I choose it even if it costs more. Fortunately, I can afford that extra cost.
The Dutch digital privacy agency accuses Windows 10 of failing to give users enough information about its surveillance to permit their informed consent.
The agency is trying to do the right thing, but a requirement for informed consent by the user is not enough to protect the public against companies whose use is seen by users as effectively required for life.
Scientific study of interrogation of terrorist suspects confirms what expert interrogators say: the right method is to respect the suspect as a human being, and be willing to listen.
Torture, and even intimidation that is less than torture, help the suspect clam up.
Russia used, and still uses, advertising on social networks to polarize Americans.
One approach to thwart this, without interfering with freedom of speech, is to limit the kinds of advertising targeting that are allowed.
New York City's gratis internet kiosks collect lots of personal data, including via cameras that are always running. They don't tell the public how much.
"If the 'antibiotic apocalypse' happens, it'll be because our politicians let it."
It seems the Shi'ite Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurds are close to open war over the city of Kirkuk.
I see nothing sacred about the borders of Iraq, or unity of Iraq. That was an artificial construct created by the UK and France at the end of World War I. Dividing Iraq into three parts might be the only way the Sunnis and Shi'ites can stop fighting each other. Their conflict, which became murderous after the fall of Saddam Hussein, was the soil from which PISSI grew.
If Netanyahu controls the US congress as it appears he does, he can make it kill the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran.
People with spare disposable cash frivol it away on luxuries for their pets.
The advantage of a pet over a human friend or mate is that you can project whatever feelings you wish onto the pet, and the pet will never say it's not true.
The replacement of coal with other energy sources in US electric generation is basically inevitable, because coal is too expensive.
This would be an occasion for a victory celebration, if not for the fact that natural gas produces greenhouse emissions too. Indeed, getting gas from fracking produces a lot of emissions, and so do methane leaks.
While it's heartening to know that the US is on course to achieve its Paris climate commitments even without the Clean Power Plan, remember that the Paris commitments are not enough to avoid global heating disaster.
The "president" tyrant of Turkmenistan treats the country as his personal toy.
Relating the overprotectiveness about speakers at universities to overprotectiveness of raising children.
Al-Shabaab exploded a large bomb in Mogadishu, killing 300 people, mainly civilians.
Al-Shabaab exists because the US decided to destabilize the Islamic Courts Movement government, which brought temporary peace to Somalia.
MI5 has been sabotaging Labour politicians for decades. Now its former chief claims that Labour wants to "destroy democracy".
As usual, the right-wing accuses the left of what the right-wing is doing.
The author has faith that British democracy is strong enough to stop MI5 and other right-wing parts of the state from destroying democracy. I hope he is right, but the greatly increased surveillance capability means it would be easier than it was before.
US citizens: call on Mattis to make a plan for ending the war in Afghanistan.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the NRA's plan for "concealed carry reciprocity".
US citizens: call on Congress to protect the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran.
Everyone: Tell ESPN to restore Jemele Hill's job and fire the executive that fired her.
With 1/3 of the water system nonfunctional after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico authorities are providing water in one area from a site contaminated with toxic industrial waste.
Whether that water is contaminated enough to be a significant danger is not yet known. But it is clear that people in that area would be in immediate and substantial danger if they had to get water from other local sources.
A group of volunteers track down the bank accounts used for fraud on e-Bay and get the accounts closed — if the banks cooperate.
I think the troll will consider this a benefit, since he wants to privatize public education anyway.
The main reason for continuing DACA is to avoid exiling people who have grown up as Americans after having been brought to the US as children.
The UK plans to sentence drivers to life in prison if they have a fatal collision while using a phone.
This is a disproportionate measure that probably will not be effective to reduce phone use by drivers. When the goal is to convince people not to do something (such as drink or text while driving), the unlikely possibility of a heavy punishment is less effective than a small punishment that they will get more often.
Sexual predators succeed with support from society around them. "For every person who asks: 'Why didn’t she?', there is a woman who can answer: 'I did.'" — but the results were not good.
The Mexican government's corrupt response to the earthquake includes offering land to investors.
The damaged houses are a tiny fraction; thus, the people affected have plenty of neighbors who have not been harmed and can give them shelter, help them, etc.
This contrasts with the islands such as Puerto Rico where almost everyone has lost greatly.
A hunger-striking Guantanamo prisoner says guards have stopped force-feeding him, and stopped paying attention to his medical condition.
World Must Wake Up to Crackdown in Cambodia, Says Exiled Opposition Politician.
"I hope Catalonia stays with Spain, but I support its right to leave."
Limiting some government service to poor people alone is the first step on the path to make it inadequate and lousy. Once it is limited to the poor, only poor people are hurt when it becomes inadequate and lousy, so stingy politicians conclude they can get away with it.
They may even limit the service to poor people as part of a long term plan to get rid of it.
The right way to make wealthy people pay for the service they get is through a progressive income tax.
Cyberstalking Case Highlights How VPN Provider Claims About Not Keeping Logs Are Often False.
The Mexican government threatens to retaliate against the US if NAFTA is terminated.
This courage would be admirable if the Mexican government were doing this in the interest of Mexicans in general. However, Mexicans in general would be better off without NAFTA.
NAFTA has been good for owners of export businesses, including the border factories that pay Mexicans less than US workers used to make. They get a lot of attention from the Mexicans government, though they may not be Mexicans.
Meanwhile, NAFTA was a disaster for Mexican peasants, who could not complete with cheap factory-farmed US corn. They fell into penury.
The IMF tells governments to reduce greenhouse emissions and pay workers more.
Congress proposes to waste more money on flood insurance for houses that are sure to be flooded, but offers Puerto Rico nothing but more loans.
Puerto Rico cannot pay its existing debt without terrible suffering. That terrible suffering is surely what the banksters and the troll plan to inflict.
Tory stinginess is driving ever more British families into penury, and the Tory response to that is to take their children away.
Some Japanese people who fled homes in the vicinity of Fukushima have been awarded $3200 each in compensation. This is not going to cover the costs of living somewhere else.
On the other hand, I don't see how it can make sense to order TEPCO to reduce the radioactivity level in their homes to what it was before the meltdowns. It is no use ordering someone to do the impossible.
The head of a UK food delivery company, which calls workers "independent contractors" and pays them crap, warned that paying them decent wages would make each delivery cost over a dollar more.
So be it!
Israeli "settlers" in the colony of Yitzar, accompanied by soldiers, beat up Munir al-Nuri, broke his legs, and maimed his foot, so he would not dare try to work his farmland.
Bernie Sanders supported Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro, who faces political accusations.
One purported definition of antisemitism includes an example that doesn't belong: it claims that comparing Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the behavior of Nazis towards Jews is "antisemitism".
Two Jews who felt the brunt of Nazi antisemitism as children in Germany make this comparison. One is Uri Avnery, founder of Gush Shalom. The other is Marika Sherwood, who faced censorship just recently when she tried to say this at Manchester University.
The Tories want to jail anyone that "repeatedly" watches "extremist" videos.
I'd call this "extreme censorship". How long before the Labour Party's videos are classified as "extreme"?
The UK already has strict and broad censorship laws, and they are an injustice too.
Apple has outsourced its user data storage in China to a company controlled by the Communist Party of the province of Guizhou
US citizens: call on Congress to preserve the CHIP program that funds medical care for children.
Everyone: Michigan, remove judge Ross for giving a rapist custody of the child caused by his rape.
The UK is using its new nuclear power plant to maintain skills to build nuclear missile submarines.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms have helped some patients with untreatable depression.
The earthquake casualties in Mexico City were caused by failing to enforce building codes, even when people complained that buildings had violations. Many of those buildings collapsed in the quake.
Baby penguins starved — almost all the chicks in one large colony — because of a shortage of fish their parents could catch. One of the causes is overfishing, so a large sanctuary area is proposed.
Nevada's officials have refused to enforce the background check law passed in January. A lawsuit demands that they start.
The troll wants to sabotage the system of federal support for medical care, so that millions of Americans won't in practice be able to get it.
His executive order doesn't immediately do this, but it asks an agency to work on doing this.
Here's how that change would undermine the system.
The new US government strategy is a matter of containment.
Containing the troll, to the extent it is possible, is necessary; but it could also do lasting harm to the US government.
The global war on people in pain causes 25 million people each year to die in great pain, unable to get the opioids they need.
Aung San Suu Kyi proposes a civilian agency to aid the Rohingya.
Porn Industry Irrevocably Damaged by Association with Ted Cruz.
Former gang members in Los Angeles are going straight with the help of training that leads to paid jobs installing solar power cells.
[Large] Australian Companies Will Be Forced to Report on How They Combat Slavery.
The UK's housing shortage will make 40,000 people sleep on the street by 2041, supposing present trends don't get worse. The state could fix this, but the Tories prefer not to.
BNP Paribas has stopped investing in shale oil, tar sands, and Arctic drilling.
Five examples that demonstrate that tax cuts for the rich don't trickle down to the public.
The ACLU is suing to overturn a Kansas law that requires state employees to certify that they are not boycotting Israel.
I don't believe that the fact that the basis for Ms Koontz's views is religious should affect the case. People have a right to boycott any company or any country, regardless of their motives for doing so.
Meanwhile, the idea that a long-serving public school teacher is paid as a contractor seems very fishy to me. Is that an indication of another way Kansas is mistreating teachers?
75% of Americans want to increase taxes on the rich.
A judge has postponed the execution of Robert Pruett so DNA tests can be done that might prove he was innocent.
Many thousands of Puerto Ricans are fleeing to Florida. Perhaps as many as 100,000. They arrive with nothing.
Adaptable clothes for children can be used by a growing baby for more than two years.
Much of the article is about the wastefulness of buying clothing to use for a short while. I would expect that most such purchases are frivolous. If you are wise, you will reject the fashion industry and frivolous sales pitches, and buy clothes with a view to using them for a long time. If you don't want it enough to use it for a long time, you don't need to buy it at all.
Democrats propose to ban possession of ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets.
I support this. Of course, I understand it won't magically cause all large magazines to disappear. Many people will keep them illegally. But these will be found from time to time and destroyed, so they will become more scarce. Criminals that move in criminal circles will have contacts from whom to buy them, but other would-be killers won't have such contacts.
Supermarkets must develop replacements for plastic packaging.
Avoiding single-use bags to carry purchases in is only part of what we need to do.
Looking at this in terms of right and wrong, I think it was justified in principle, for a reason they don't seem to be talking about. PISSI was a would-be state which held territory with an army. (It still holds a little territory though not much.) The US and UK were, and are, at war with PISSI. In war, I see no reason why one army shouldn't attack the effective propagandists of the enemy, along with its soldiers.
This doesn't apply to underground terrorist groups because they are more like a criminal gang than like an enemy state.
Yemen's cholera epidemic is the worst in recorded history.
The UK decided a year ago that having been tortured by rebels and gangsters doesn't count as torture, for refugees.
The poor Britons that voted to leave the EU were saying that they had nothing to lose.
They correctly realized that neither the Tories nor the useless B'liarist Labour Party offered them anything, so they said, "If the rest of Britain makes us live like this, the rest of Britain must join us."
Does Corbyn's revivified Labour Party offer them a chance to join the rest of Britain in something better?
The troll is pulling the US out of Unesco to protest its respect for Palestine, which is a member of Unesco.
There is a Hindu minority in Rakhine state in Burma, in which the Rohingya also live. Masked men massacred them and the rest fled to Bangladesh. There is now a disagreement about whether the killers were Rohingya, or the Burmese army.
US citizens: call for preserving the Endangered Species Act's provisions for protecting endangered species that live outside the US.
US citizens: phone your senators to support the bill to protect Mueller's criminal investigation from the troll.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: phone Senate Democrats to urge them to prevent war with Iran.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Technology exists to do it in small quantities, but the denialists will refuse to spend the money to deploy it enough to do the job. Instead, they will cite the mere possibility it will someday work as an excuse to go on burning.
Advice from the EFF about how to deal with Russian election interference.
The US government is attacking Americans' privacy again by trying to stop products from offering effective encryption.
UN investigators conclude that Burma made a systematic effort towards ethnic cleansing of Rohingya, and that it started before the date when some Rohingya launched an attack.
China ordered Hong Kong to deny entry to Benedict Rogers, who wanted to observe the human rights situation there.
Here's Benedict Rogers's description of what he was going to do, and what happened.
I think that Xi intends to show visible contempt for the "one country, two systems" agreement made 20 years ago with the UK. China is so strong that it need not obey any commitments.
Kyrgyzstan has developed a real democracy.
Maybe some day its neighbors will follow that example.
Modern society's obsession with total comfort has become a perversion; it endangers our future.
This could be very good, if it is real and lasts.
This reminds me of lies that Communist countries used to tell, except that it wasn't so easy to find the truth to compare those lies with.
The IMF's economists say raising taxes on the rich will reduce inequality without reducing economic growth.
Progressive candidates are winning or leading in local races in places one would not expect this.
US citizens: tell Congress that the "USA Liberty Act" is not strong enough to protect Americans from the PAT RIOT Act.
US citizens: tell Congress not to cut medical care to pay for tax cuts for corporations.
Teenagers have an additional reason to become activists: it helps them get good jobs.
That's in addition to the contribution to the world of the activism itself.
The Catalan government has called off the declaration of independence.
This is proper, since many Catalans have made it clear they do not want independence.
US states are suing to keep the Clean Power Plan in effect.
That measure is far from sufficient to the avoid coming disaster, but it is a lot better than doing nothing at all. The planet roasters are not satisfied with a high probability of global disaster — they are determined to reduce the chances of avoiding it.
"Tony Abbott dares us to reject evidence on climate, but reveals a coward."
How daring is it to repeat bullshit and get richly rewarded by the planet roasters? I call that "gall", not "daring".
Part of the strategy of the planet roasters is to whip up passionate concern for the short term. This has been so expensive that, to shut down coal-fired electric generation in Australia, one has to argue that this electricity is too expensive.
The same appears in government's plans to reduce the tiny risk of terrorism by tracking Australians with face recognition.
The US lost employment due to the recent hurricanes. This is a taste of what global heating will do in the future.
Superstitious mobs in Malawi are killing people they accuse of being vampires.
The US Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers are running ads presenting "ordinary people" advocating tax cuts for the rich.
Australian politicians are now reaching for total surveillance of everyone, pretending it will reduce the tiny danger of terrorism in Australia.
The UK has made a habit of jailing refugees who were tortured, unless they were tortured officially by a state.
A documentary about a Buddhist monk in Burma who dedicated his life to driving out the Rohingya.
Global heating can be bad for bumblebees. Spreading the same number of flowers over a longer growing season means more days with no flowers for the bees to drink from.
People in Puerto Rico are getting sick from bacteria and molds that are spreading. FEMA is offering people forms to fill out, instead of food and water.
"Hope means walking away from the illusion that you will be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian."
I wouldn't want to be like any of them!
How the US military has put an end to peace movements.
The real purpose of US military spending is mainly not military.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to reject any version of NAFTA that allows companies to sue countries if their laws are inconvenient.
An undercover Al-Jazeera reporter infiltrated the Israeli campaign to destroy the reputations of politicians that object to Israel's occupation policies. Israel accused al-Jazeera's reporting of anti-semitism, but the accusation was rejected.
In addition to reducing the long-term chance of avoiding disaster, the troll's cancellation of the Clean Power Plan will kill thousands and sicken tens of thousands of Americans over the next few decades.
Puerto Rico: US Officials Privately Acknowledge Serious Food Shortage.
And FEMA is calmly letting things get worse.
Half of all killings by US thugs were covered up in CDC records by misclassification.
The study was done for 2015, but I doubt it was very different in 2014.
Jamaica has eliminated human rights with a law for jailing people without a warrant.
The UK must stop selling off public housing.
Turkish journalist Ayla Albayrak has been convicted in absentia for "terrorist propaganda". She reported for the Wall Street Journal on Turkey's supply of arms to Syrian rebels, including jihadis.
Foreign newspapers will have to send underground reporters to Turkey and print their articles without bylines.
Most sexual harassment is never reported, so most harassers get away with it.
US citizens: call for the US to pay reparations to Vietnam for the tremendous damage the US did in the war in Vietnam.
I left this message
As your constituent, I urge you to support U.S. government reparations to Vietnam now, as Nixon promised in 1973. Since Vietnam has become quite repressive, we could make respect for freedom of speech a condition for this.
US citizens: oppose plans to let corporations claim to have "religious beliefs" and use them as an excuse to exclude birth control coverage from employees' medical plans.
I left this comment:
The proposed new rule about insurance and birth control pretends to promote religious freedom, but actually it is religious tyranny to allow company executives to decide for their own (real or pretend) religious reasons what medical care their employees' insurance can cover. When women are pressured into having children, that often pushes the family into poverty, especially in the US where half the jobs pay an inadequate wage and welfare benefits are being cut.
A state in Australia has weakened its clean water law to allow a coal mine to keep operating.
That mine is a triple danger: polluting the air, polluting the water, and advancing global heating.
Iran threatens war with the US if the US designates the Revolutionary Guards as a "terrorist group".
I think it is an injustice to label any group as "terrorist" without a fair trial. The injustice hits individuals as well as groups, since individuals can be imprisoned for supporting the group in any way once the group has been so designated.
Overcrowded UK prisons, unhygienic and degrading, drive prisoners to drugs, according to the chief inspector of prisons.
Enslaved construction workers in Qatar get there based on lies told by their old friends. If they tell investigators how they have been cheated, and how they are treated, they are jailed.
The Qatari state is behind this and profits from this. The article recommends boycotting some British businesses, but why not boycott Qatar airways too?
When NFL players protested discrimination by kneeling, Vice President Dense staged a counterprotest by leaving the game.
He has a right to protest, just like everyone else. What's shameful is that he chose to protest in favor of discrimination.
UK immigration agents don't seem to be very careful about who they stop and question, since in some cities 1/3 of those people are UK citizens.
Young people reject a business-dominated society and demand Socialism, but concretely what is that going to mean?
One proposed meaning is "Liberalism with a spine". What does the spine mean? It means keeping a sharp and suspicious watch on attempts by the rich and businesses to reconstitute their power.
To keep any sort of Socialism from being resubordinated to business, we need to put an end to the political power of business. The bigger a business is, the more political power it has, so we need to split big businesses into small ones. Then we can stop them from ruining or subverting the other measures we take.
My proposed progressive tax on business could help.
Russian election-meddlers spent considerable money on Google advertising.
What is it like to switch from private medical insurance to a single-payer system? Interviews with Americans who have done so.
Nigeria will try people accused of supporting Boko Haram in secret trials.
A secret trial is an unjust trial, whether in Nigeria or Britain.
A photo is circulating on the net which appears to show me with my arm around a young woman and my hand on her almost-nude behind.
That never happened; the photo was edited. The only part of it that is me is the man's head. The man's torso, arms, legs, and clothing, and the woman, were from a photo I was not in.
The ACLU is suing to stop Georgia from arresting people because a thug thinks they appear to be stoned.
More harm done by the completely misguided "war on drugs".
It is part of the increasing general repression directed at gays in Egypt.
US citizens: call on the USDA to reject the chicken factories' proposal to make inspection even more rushed and inadequate.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
Now that the ivory trade has been suppressed, people have invented silly excuses to create demand for pieces of elephant skin.
Why didn't they invent uses for cockroaches or pigeon feet?
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, British journalist imprisoned in Iran, faces new absurd charges including participating in a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London.
The EU proposes to handle deceptive car software by allowing car manufacturers to keep their emissions control systems secret. That would encourage them to deceive even more.
Businesses are not in general entitled to human rights. Trade secrecy is an antisocial practice that often harms the public and occasionally endangers the public. Whenever a business's secret practice endanger the public, the business should be compelled to reveal the secrets so that people can check on the danger.
It's hard for runaway teenagers in San Francisco when a small apartment costs $2000 a month.
Suggestions for how to reduce gun violence in your community.
The troll is using Daca immigrants as hostages to get funding for his border wall and changes in immigration rules.
US citizens: Call for impeaching the troll before he starts a nuclear war.
Growing food crops to feed animals will cause over a trillion dollars a year in losses, by 2050, if current trends continue.
I think that the current trends are so damaging that they will cause a crisis before 2050.
People that get married are often deluded about the prospects of their marriage: they think that marriage will assure a good relationship. The wedding industry builds up this myth, by teaching women to focus foolishly on a "dream wedding" rather than on what makes for a good relationship over time.
I will never promise to love someone forever. The commitment that makes sense to me is to continue making efforts to have a good relationship and to keep it good, for as long as I see any chance of achieving this.
For many women in their 20s, the anticipated wedding is the adult replacement for presents from Santa Claus on Christmas morning. Just as adults often don't dare to tell 5-year-old's there is no Santa Claus, they don't dare tell marriers that marriage doesn't mean you live happily ever after.
PISSI used the prospect of raping captured women, and having female slaves, to recruit men.
I see a resemblance between this and the Republican Party.
Many women joined PISSI and were married to jihadis, and had children. Now they and their toddlers are outcasts, shunned in Iraq by local people that hate PISSI, and excluded from their (or the PISSI men's) home countries in many cases. European countries think even toddlers could have been radicalized already.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject Tom Marino as drug czar. I gave this message:
Please reject Tom Marino as "drug czar." Then please reject everyone and anyone that might be nominated for that office. Its only purpose is to pursue the harmful and deadly "war on drugs".
US citizens: call on your senators to support bail reform, so that poor people won't spend months or even years in jail because they are accused of a crime.
SCROTUS propose to completely eliminate taxation of "US" corporations' foreign subsidiaries.
What do you give the corporation that has everything?
Spain's internet repression against Catalonia threatens to set new precedents for state repression in the EU.
In Alabama, poor people are barred from voting because of fines upon fines that they cannot pay.
Many states have a practice of crushing the poor with fines, then interest on the fines, then fines for not paying the fines, ad infinitem. This was revealed in Ferguson.
However, using it to stop thousands of people from voting is in effect a form of rigging elections.
Witnesses say Burmese soldiers massacred dozens of Rohingya prisoners one day in Maung Nu village.
They are also accused of raping prisoners.
Diane Shima Rwigara, Rwandan dissident, has been jailed and faces absurd charges.
Political Support Growing to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Wall Street Debt.
Costa Rica offers an example of giving everyone a good life without a lot of money.
It shows how we could reduce industrial activity and cause less harm to the Earth, without feeling deprived.
The Vegas Shooting Makes It Clear More Surveillance Isn't The Answer.
The author is too quick to claim that eliminating cameras "isn't the answer". It is absolutely crucial for eliminating the surveillance state.
The US has seen much larger massacres than the one in Las Vegas, but they are ignored now because they were lynchings and their victims were blacks.
This is part of a broader biased pattern of reacting to massacres.
The FBI says it caught terrorists plotting attacks in New York City. The article fails to show us whether they were capable of really doing any part of the violence they talked about.
The FBI has a history of luring incompetent fantasy terrorists into a "conspiracy" with an agent and then imprisoning them. Then it claims to be "protecting" us from a danger that never existed outside their minds.
Were these defendants real potential terrorists, or were they another group of fantasizers?
The economic equality that Martin Luther King started campaigning for in 1967 remains to be achieved. Things have even got worse.
The troll is personally sabotaging US medical coverage aid in several states.
The US government no longer reports on what fraction of Puerto Ricans lack water and electricity.
Restoring potable water to half the population is probably quite an achievement given the extent of devastation.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the Republicans' 20-week abortion ban.
EU citizens: phone your MEPs to oppose bad changes in EU copyright law.
A paying customer of LinkedIn closed his account, feeling that LinkedIn had started cheating him by eliminating the features he wanted to pay for. Then LinkedIn refused to delete his account immediately.
One of the features he resented losing, being informed of what users said when referring others to his account, seems like an injustice to me. But his overall conclusion — that we must manage our own digital identities, not entrust that to some company — is right.
California has adopted a "sanctuary state" law which forbids state and local thugs from cooperating with deportation teams.
Polish women's rights groups were raided by thugs in an apparent act of intimidation.
The Syrian Kurds captured an American that was fighting for PISSI. He is now a prisoner of the US military, which has refused to say who he is. The ACLU has petitioned to give him a lawyer and a hearing.
The ACLU doesn't claim that he has done nothing wrong, or that he shouldn't be punished for fighting for PISSI. Its claim is that he deserves a fair trial for whatever the charges will be.
The plan to eradicate rats from Lord Howe Island, and thus protect endangered species found nowhere else, is running into controversy.
One argument in favor is that the benefit of eradicating the rats would continue, even if due to global disaster humans can no longer continue controlling the rat population.
People in the UK are healthier and happier in dense cities than in suburbs.
Australians handed in 50,000 guns to be destroyed.
The US rejects gun control because many people cling to a few foolish myths.
What the article doesn't say is that this is no accident. The myths have existed for a long time, but they didn't have such fervent believers 50 years ago. The NRA pumps up these myths with public relations campaigns.
One of these myths that people with guns can stop a massacre. The noteworthy thing about the guitarist in whose concert the Las Vegas massacre occurred is that his crew had guns because they believed this myth, and now he knows it is false.
European countries are passing laws against having sex with an animal. (We are talking about sex practices that don't physically hurt the animal.)
These laws have no rational basis. We know that some animals enjoy sex with humans. Others don't. But really, if you smear something on your genitals that tastes good to dogs, and have a dog lick you off, it harms no one. Why should this be illegal except mindless religion?
They say she consented, with handcuffs on.
The thug sergeants' association insists that thugs should enjoy impunity for anything they do. Especially sergeants.
A list of members of Congress that took money from the NRA to oppose gun control.
The London subway ("underground") intends to track passengers' movements by the wifi interfaces of their phones.
Stores already do this. It should be illegal for anyone to set up such a system to surveil people in general, except with a specific court order.
Professor Wax at the University of Pennsylvania was rebuked by the administration for publishing some conservative suggestions for making US society better.
I think people should be entitled to make such statements, and we should judge them on their merits.
People will respect education when education brings them either respect or the opportunity to enter a profession.
I strongly believe that people should not have children unless they can afford to raise the children properly — but punishing poor people for having children tends to imply punishing the children, and it isn't the children's fault. The best way to discourage overreproduction is to make effective birth control available gratis.
As for respecting authority, let's have authority that can earn some respect. It's hard to argue for respecting violent thugs, or court systems that treat poor people as money trees, or a president that got into office through cheating.
In Massachusetts: testify, or just be present for support, at the State House on Oct 10 at 10am (room B-2) for limits on militarization of thugs in Massachusetts.
US citizens: call on Republicans to support common sense gun control.
EU citizens: EDRi asks you to write to your MEPs to support digital privacy.
Of course, other things are needed. You could also call for a ban on cameras that look at public areas, have enough image quality to recognize people, and can transmit the image to some other place. Exceptions should require a specific court order.
See https://gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html for more explanation.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject chemical industry mouthpiece Michael Dourson as the head of the EPA's chemical safety office.
He would convert it into the chemical poisoning office.
When the rich accuse the poor of being lazy, they may be projecting their own expectation of always being served.
Taser sneakily interferes with investigations into the death of people who are killed with tasers. The "best possible evidence", according to Taser, is the result of investigation by university scientists paid by the company.
Kuwait's Supreme Court overturned its mandatory DNA collection law.
It is good that Kuwait has a court independent enough to do such a thing.
An anti-Muslim bigotry event in Texas was organized by Russian agents.
In repressive Singapore, an artist's solitary performance is labeled an "illegal assembly".
"Illegal assembly" is one of the favorite world-wide excuses for repression of protesters.
Peru Urged to Ban Oil Firms From Isolated Indigenous Peoples' Land.
The boss of Cryin'air had to beg pilots not to switch to other airlines, offering them substantial inducements.
He can take these favors away again just as fast as he offered them, so I suggest that the pilots hold out for official recognition of a union for all the employees of Cryin'air.
A small office-cleaning company competes based on giving workers better pay, predictable hours, and decent working conditions.
I wish it success, but the state should require all cleaning companies to do these things.
Documents show that Iceland's PM engaged in what looks like insider trading, selling stock in a bank just before it collapsed. As a member of parliament's economy committee, he could have found out before the public did.
Australia's government wants to connect cameras to real-time facial recognition against a massive database.
The cult of the invisible hand is losing the power to captivate the people that are losing out.
US gun killings since 1968 have killed more people than all US wars. Most of them were killed one by one.
Macron expressed contempt for workers that protested his recent attacks on workers' rights.
Macron's insult is a non-sequitur. If they did get different jobs in France, that would not recover the rights that Macron just took away from them.
But if Macron just wants to demonize workers, it won't matter that his rebuke to them was irrational.
Saving elephants can be a rallying point for resisting some of the forces that endanger the world.
Memories of historical victories are easily bent towards crude modern purposes.
That doesn't mean we should forget the past.
But we should remember the wrongs our nation (whichever one) has done with its power in the past, not blindly glorify that power.
Women students in an Indian university protested against the universities' absurd sexist rules, and their callous disregard when men grab the students.
The university thugs attacked the protesters, and won general condemnation.
If we don't quit the activities that promote antibiotic resistance, some operations could become fatal.
The US is considering giving citizens a “modern cryptographic identifier”.
The use of social security numbers is indeed problematical, but other alternatives can also be dangerous.
California needs 20% more housing. The only way to get there is to facilitate building more.
However, the article fails to mention directly the biggest obstacle: zoning laws that limit the amount of housing that can be built in any given piece of land.
Egyptian thugs arrested dozens of people at a concert, accusing them of being gay.
“Only the few benefit from unrestrained capitalism.”
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched in Barcelona to keep Catalonia in Spain.
The repressive behavior of Catalan thugs a week ago has not convinced Catalans in general to support independence.
It is clear now that the Catalan government does not have a mandate to declare independence.
Also, it seems that there could be a reconciliation between Catalonia and Spain.
However, Spain owes an apology for the actions of the thugs.
Thugs in Indonesia arrested 50 people in a gay club.
US citizens: call on banks to stop funding global heating disaster and projects that steal from indigenous peoples.
US citizens: tell your Senators to reject the NRA bills that would make it easy to buy silencers, and legal to carry concealed guns in all states.
And another one.
Republican Congresscritter Tim Murphy wants to ban abortions, but not for his secret lover.
North Korea (with China's support) has been proposing nuclear concessions for months.
Solar power can be used to make methane from the air. Burning that methane later will be carbon-neutral. We just have to make sure that very little of the methane leaks into the air.
A court reinstated the methane waste/leak regulation established under Obama.
A report on slavery which calls attention to the 14 million (or more) slaves in India today could be bad for the export business. An Indian intelligence agency proposed a campaign to discredit the report.
Why is the University of New Haven training thugs in Salafi Arabia?
Certainly not to help them respect human rights, which are not recognized in that country.
Several European countries are sending refugees back to Afghanistan even though they are likely to be attacked once there.
YouTube is actively promoting fake news that claims the Las Vegas massacre was a hoax, or that it was carried out to provide an excuse for gun control laws.
Many Bluetooth devices, such as sex toys, have lousy security and can easily be entered by crackers.
Some of them (all of them?) violate users' privacy even without such an attack, because they are designed to snoop on the users for their manufacturers.
The troll has nominated a saboteur for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation who plays dumb when asked questions about global heating.
A thousand people have died after being shot with tasers.
Often the cause of death is a combination of the taser shot and some predisposing medical factor.
But lots of people have such factors.
Hundreds of thugs in the UK are accused of rape or sexual abuse.
It's admirable that the state is taking the matter seriously and trying to reform the system.
This happens in the US too, but there is not much of an effort to stop it.
Canada has agreed to pay compensation to indigenous children that were taken away from their families and forced to live in boarding schools, or even forcibly adopted.
The Tories have changed their mind and now refuse to pay for cleaning up the fire-prone construction in public housing.
Sessions is acting to make it easier for religious groups to discriminate against queer people, or against women.
The troll has given companies and schools easier permission to deny birth control coverage in their medical plans.
This means that even partially effective gun control is better than no gun control.
Any measure that reduces the number of guns people have will save lives.
Some US gun control activists have given up hope of compromise with the NRA, and have decided to campaign for policies to substantially reduce the number of guns in the US.
One idea is that owning a gun in the US should require a license.
NAACP: “It is amazing to me that we’re having a conversation about Russian [cracking], but we’re not having a conversation about racialized voter suppression, which is systemic racism, which is a tool of white nationalism.”
The troll's saboteurs are getting down to work: 25 endangered species were denied protection.
One of them is well known: the walrus, endangered by global heating which is melting the sea ice that they depend on.
Caribbean islands' economies and mode of life are based on the previous temperature levels.
The amount of global heating we have already seen puts their survival in doubt.
It could take 10 years to rebuild from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
If such hurricanes come more than once a decade, there will be no use rebuilding; people will have to leave.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dentsu advertising agency, a Japanese company that required an employee to work so much overtime that she killed herself, was let off with a slap on the wrist for that illegality.
The troll's refusal to certify the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran is dishonest and dangerous.
The Tories now say they will build public housing, so why are they selling the land they will need to build it on?
A video shows that a thug shot Patrick Harmon while he was running away.
The thug first said, “I'll fucking shoot you”, proving it was deliberate murder.
This is the clearest imaginable proof that US thugs can get away with blatant murder.
A Reactionary Wave Points to a Dark Future for Brazil.
The FBI is raiding animal sanctuaries to find two sick, dying piglets that animal rights activists took from a farm.
The whole power of the US government is deployed to help Smithfield Foods conceal its practices.
I am not an animal rights activist.
I post this article because I condemn the repression that the US government uses against animal rights activists, including calling them “terrorists”.
Carbon Emissions from Warming Soils Could Trigger Disastrous Feedback Loop.
Around the world, most honey contains pesticides from the plants that the bees visited.
How US Surveillance Helps Repressive Regimes — the Ethiopia Case.
The time Americans want to talk about gun control is after a massacre, which is why SCROTUS tell us we shouldn't do it then.
The NRA exists to promote gun sales, so the legislators that accept support from the NRA are effectively on the payroll of gun manufacturers.
Congress is already working on the Republicans' cuts in programs that help the non-rich, to make up for their planned tax cut for the rich.
Professional "guardians" prey on vulnerable old Americans, making them wards of the court through procedures rigged against them, cutting them off from their relatives and trashing their souvenirs, and get the profit of selling off their property.
Oxfam has decided to help Puerto Rico, since the US government is not doing a great job of that.
A push for solar energy could create 50,000 good jobs in Virginia. I suppose every state would get similar results.
But we have to install more than just solar generation. We need government funding for batteries, too. A multi-year government program to buy 10 million dollars of batteries each year would accelerate progress in batteries.
Some proposed practices for organizations bringing aid for disaster relief.
The Supreme Court will have the opportunity to restrain partisan gerrymandering, currently used by Republicans to keep state legislatures and the House of Representatives in Republican hands.
Noam Chomsky comments on the real harm done by the buffoon and his saboteurs; don't be distracted by his buffoonery.
The Israel lobby continues to pressure the US into unconditional support for whatever Israel does, and continues to encourage Israel to follow the path of apartheid.
When there was a massive peace movement in Israel, I referred to that lobby as the "Israeli hawks' lobby", refusing to treat Israel as a monolithic right-wing bloc. However, since around 10 years ago, the peace movement has shrunk to a small minority. The distinction between "Israeli hawks" and "Israel" is no longer politically significant.
Russian political influence agents took advantage of the same manipulative system that was designed to serve companies.
Instead of complaining only when Russians use it, how about if we get rid of it entirely?
The Israeli soldier that murdered an incapacitated Palestinian was sentenced to only 18 months in prison, but that has been shortened to 14 months.
Israel plans to demolish the village of Susya … again.
Gun massacres are not the price of freedom. They are the price of the NRA's power.
The troll said, at one moment, that Puerto Rico's debt should be cancelled.
If an ordinary semi-honest politician said that, it would probably mean something.
Alas, the troll is happy to change his mind from day to day.
Step by step, corporations have thrown off their responsibility to society and taken power.
Puerto Rico will be short of funds for Medicaid next year.
The Supreme Court, now with Gorsuch, will make many important decisions this year affecting human rights and democracy.
Australia is massively cutting down forests to make cattle farms.
This contributes double to global heating — first with deforestation, and second with the cows themselves.
Brazil wants to build 47 dams on the Tapajós river to transport soy beans from deforested plantations.
This would release a large amount of CO2.
It would also legitimize the deforestation, which was probably illegal in the first place.
Keeping transport difficult could be the first step in eliminating those plantations and allowing the forest to return — if it isn't too late.
Hydroelectric dams do not use fossil fuel, but they do release a lot of CO2 from decaying vegetation each year.
Growing crops to feed animals is overstraining Earth's resources.
If we stopped growing soy beans to feed animals, there would be no need for soy plantations in the Tapajós basin.
Both (all?) sides in the Central African Republic use rape as a tool of of intimidation, and enslave captured women.
Many of these women contract HIV from rape.
No treatmentd is available for them.
Various methods of estimation suggest that at most 15% of aid funds are diverted to corruption.
Which means that 85% contribute to the intended activity.
US aid to Afghanistan and Iraq are a special case.
Those handouts were not supervised carefully.
Some hospitals in the US do cesarian sections on women despite their explicit refusal.
Some plutocrats support social equality while promoting dooH niboR.
These two positions appear independent, but ultimately conflict.
After one Palestinian killed some of the occupation forces, Israeli troops turned his village upside down, and said they would destroy his family's home, and other homes as well. They took at least 25 Palestinians' cars. In all, some 40,000 Palestinians were subject to collective reprisal.
Nevada has an overbroad definition of "terrorism" which equates it to trying to kill or physically harm many people indiscriminately.
That weakens the word to the point of meaninglessness. By that definition, any serial killer qualifies as a "terrorist".
The criterion that's missing is that of a political motive.
Industrial meat production is leading to several disasters at once. It pollutes broad areas, it destroys irreplaceable topsoil, and it contributes greatly to global heating. Meanwhile it ruins antibiotics, which kills people.
One way to convince just about everyone to eat a lot less meat is by taxing production to cover the burden that it places on society.
Three Insidious Ways 'Overtaxed' Corporations Are Cheating America.
The reason banks want to impose forced arbitration on customers is that they know they can rip off their customers for hundreds of millions of dollars that way.
A prediction that the American empire might collapse very swiftly.
Republican Senator Calls Health Care, Food, And Shelter a "Privilege".
It is an arrogant veiled way of saying, "Poor people, drop dead."
The idea that economic growth would enable more Americans to afford the essentials of life is based on fallacious economics. In our current economic system, extreme capitalism, growth goes almost 100% to the rich, who can already afford food, shelter and medical care.
Pence boasted of success in eliminating health and safety regulations that protected people from dangerous business practices.
The Republicans' next target is food safety.
Russian opposition activist Navalny has been jailed for organizing public meetings.
Claims that grazing animals in some special way will protect against desertification seem to be pseudoscience.
The US Senate may be the last bulwark for the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran.
A hedge fund, the Baupost Group, has bought a billion dollars of Puerto Rico's debt, hiding its actions through a front company.
This debt should be cancelled by bankruptcy.
The Washington Post did “fact-checking“ on Sanders' statement that 6 people own as much wealth as half of humanity, found it factually correct — and accused him of lying.
The global war on cash is being waged actively.
We must fight actively for cash.
The surveillance danger of a cashless society (or nearly cashless) was presented to the US Congress in 1968.
300,000 protested in Barcelona against the brutal attack by Spanish government thugs.
However, the general strike was not universally observed.
Suggestions for Twitter to avoid being a patsy for bots.
US citizens: call for commonsense gun control now.
US citizens: call on Congress to help Puerto Rico, not Wall Street.
US fossil fuel subsidies amount to 20 billion dollars per year.
The troll wants to give them even more.
Scotland has banned fracking in order to prevent environmental damage.
The Tories advocate extreme capitalism. Labour advocates a form of capitalism that doesn't crush people.
200 old people in a nursing home in Puerto Rico were recently found to be lacking food, water and medicine.
In areas cut off from communication, such people may be dying in large numbers.
The Tories' new system for paying welfare benefits causes suffering through its design, not merely due to bugs and glitches.
Producing chickens that are very cheap is very expensive for society.
Raping Vietnamese women was standard practice for US troops in Vietnam.
Many unit commanders condoned the practice of rape. Often soldiers killed women after gang-raping them.
Statistics about guns and gun murders in the US.
According to gun nuts, Americans are supposed to respond to massacres not with thinking but with "unity" with the gun nuts.
Sex robots could help couples maintain their relationships despite a difference in sexuality.
Everyone: call for prosecution of the killer of Keegan Von Roberts.
The US spends almost 3 billion dollars a year treating the wounds of people who are shot. (Only a small fraction of those who are shot are killed by the shot.)
If the victims don't have medical insurance, their lives will be ruined by the expense of treatment.
The US must adopt stricter, effective gun control.
Background checks would not have prevented the Las Vegas massacre, as the killer had nothing in his background to find. But they could have prevented some recent right-wing terrorist acts. Making automatic weapons and large magazines harder to get might have prevented the Las Vegas massacre.
Perhaps the US should follow Canada's policies, which seem to work effectively.
A second one of the troll's saboteurs is in trouble for wasting public money on flying in chartered planes.
This pattern is remarkable. It says something, I think, about the kind of person that the troll chose.
The sad thing is, the people who support the troll are likely to cling to this and ignore the corrections (if they even see those).
The ACLU is campaigning to block the bill to criminalize participation in Palestinian boycott of Israel. Victory is not guaranteed.
Putting metal detectors at the door of a school, or putting thugs inside it, are attempts to make a quick patch without understanding what is really going wrong in the school.
A general strike is planned in Catalonia as a protest against repression by the police.
I would not assume that most of the people that didn't (or couldn't) vote on Sunday were supporters of independence.
I think that people who supported independence were more motivated to vote.
The WHO denounced Philip Morris's recently established foundation for nicotine-promoting research.
“There are many unanswered questions about tobacco harm reduction, but the research needed to answer these questions should not be funded by tobacco companies.”
Musician Caleb Keeter learned, under fire, that having your own guns was useless for stopping a massacre.
How do you shoot someone who is firing from inside a 32th-floor window? You'd have trouble even aiming at the right window, while being shot at.
SCROTUS quietly allowed the CHIP program to expire.
It funds medical care for roughly 9% of the children in the US.
This was proposed while Obama was president, but defeated by popular outrage.
I've noticed that proposals to get corporations to do less harm generally offer them a reward, while proposals to get individuals to do less harm generally threaten punishment.
I think that is backwards.
Let's tax the money that multinationals keep outside the US.
Letters about the referendum in Catalonia.
Netanyahu wants to annex a swath of Palestine in which Israel has illegally built colonies.
All Israel's colonies in Palestinian territory are illegal under international law.
The We the People Act would clean up US elections at several levels.
The Globalists Are Systematically Destroying America’s Middle Class...with personal debt.
"By bowing to the braying internet mob, the Guggenheim forgot its purpose."
Yacht clubs are organizing to reduce plastic waste and promote renewable energy.
Matching tiny samples of DNA with people is an unreliable basis for convicting someone of a crime.
For instance, DNA can be transferred between items of clothing that are washed together.
In the UK, as in the US, the cost of living at a university is more than many students can afford.
The Yimby movement campaigns for building dense high-rise housing convenient to public transit.
I am strongly in favor, but some rules are needed. For instance, if a project involves tearing down housing where tenants live, they must be offered space in the new building at a comparable rent. And it is wise for cities to require a good fraction of the new apartments to be offered at affordable rent — not merely 10%. If the developer balks, the city should offer the incentive of permission for a larger building.
Gentrification occurs when a housing shortage makes run-down houses in poor people's neighborhoods attractive to the not-so-poor. In a housing shortage, there are two ways for the poor people to protect themselves from eviction: resistance and jiu-jitsu.
Resistance means trying to stop the not-so-poor from moving into your neighborhood. You have to make it ugly and unappealing. If you succeed, that does nothing to reduce the shortage that is the motor for gentrification. You only push it off onto some other neighborhood.
Jiu-jitsu means pushing to build so much new, dense housing that the not-so-poor won't be interested in buying your home. It takes a city-wide campaign, but success helps all the poor people in the city.
Catalonia And Spain Need a Compromise, But Who Can Deliver One?
Reagan's tax adviser says, "I helped create the GOP tax myth. Tax cuts don’t equal growth."
Canadian Doctor to U.S.: Try Single-Payer Health Care Instead Of Trashing It.
Fairtrade gold mining extracts gold more efficiently and avoids toxic mercury.
US citizens: Tell your congresscritter and senators to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass real recovery funding and debt relief for Puerto Rico.
Quality of education is not the main factor that affects social mobility in the US.
Social mobility is important for fairness: people of ability and initiative shouldn't be stuck working as a sales clerk because their parents did. But social mobility does not make poverty excusable. People who work as sales clerks should be able to have a decent life, as they did a few decades ago.
The US forgot how its stupidity and arrogance led it into a war in Vietnam that it couldn't win, and took years to find the strength to abandon. So it did the same thing in Afghanistan.
Canada should end its tax loophole for personal corporations.
Macron wants to "end" France's state of emergency by making it mostly permanent. This would be a permanent defeat for human rights in France.
University students in Brussels are having trouble making ends meet, so some are driven to seek wealthy lovers.
Each year, 75% of the world's children are victims of violence.
Modern Media Is a DoS Attack on Your Free Will.
The IMF says that the wealthy countries, which are chiefly causing global heating, must do more to help poor countries adapt to the effects.
Adapting to global heating is like a game of Space Invaders: the invaders keep coming closer, and eventually you lose. We must give priority to reducing the amount of global heating that the world will have to live with.
I Was an ACLU Legal Observer During the St. Louis Protests. Here's What I Saw.
Illinois has approved Medicaid-funding for abortions.
US citizens: support the Do No Harm Act, that would block the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as an excuse for an organization to discriminate against people in its services.
Everyone: call on advertisers to drop Faux News.
When banks and stores make a habit of lending to individuals and reselling the debt to companies that only collect payments, it becomes a motor to ruin people.
We should not allow banks to resell someone's debt, except as a whole unit, to another bank. That way, they will have a reason to help the debtors get past a difficult time (so as to continue paying later), and a reason to restrain themselves from lending too much.
US citizens: call on Senate Democrats to resist Republican attempts to use DACA as a hostage to attack other immigrants.
NSA Warned White House against Using Personal Email, shortly after the cheater's inauguration.
The First Amendment was written to block direct government censorship, and is not effective against modern methods of censorship, such as harassment by troll armies, and being drowned out by massive propaganda flooding campaigns funded by corporations and states.
It is an error to conclude that the First Amendment is "obsolete". Blocking direct government censorship is just as necessary as ever was. But it wasn't designed to protect against the new methods that amount to censorship.
5% of people arrested in the US in 2016 were arrested for possession of marijuana.
No one should be arrested or punished for that. It is gratuitous suffering.
All the regional and world powers seem to support war against Iraqi Kurdistan, after its referendum which confirmed that nearly everyone there wants independence.
Having players on the field to stand (or kneel) while playing the US national anthem at football games, is paid propaganda from the US military. Its purpose is to convince poor people to sign up for the military.
These tax cuts will be cited as the excuse for spending cuts, which will fall on the non-rich. For most non-rich Americans, the tiny tax cuts will be insignificant compared with the effect of spending cuts. What it adds up to is dooH niboR.
This is not an issue of economics. It is an effect of the raw power of the rich. Power that we must take away from them.
1000 squatters living in a former hotel in São Paulo are threatened with eviction.
Adrian Crook is suing to overturn the decision that said his children can't take the public bus to school, or even walk to the store across the street.
Immigrants released on bail from US immigration prisons often have to wear position trackers.
The company that does this charges high fees for the “service”, which can drive them into debt.
Cameroon is torturing and deporting Nigerian refugees, treating them as responsible for Boko Haram's crimes.
Corbyn says Labour will change the Tory policies that drive rents up.
To complete the job will require building lots and lots more public housing.
I hope and trust Labour will do that.
When the UK sends deportation notices, it doesn't even state a way to challenge them in case they are mistaken.
The sending of a notice to a specific person may be an error.
The failure to say how to challenge the order is not an error.
It is a policy decision, and the policy is to bully people.
Puerto Rico needs debt relief to protect it from vulture capitalists.
Puerto Rico's imposed nondemocratic government is refusing to release enough funds for recovery from Hurricane Maria.
Its priority is to accumulate money to pay off the banksters.
US policies systematically pushed Puerto Rico into debt.
Don't let NAFTA interfere with climate protection: get rid of the investor-state plutocracy provision!
The anti-war movement never condemned veterans returning from Vietnam.
It recruited them, and many were eager to join.
This is why ever since Dubya conquered and occupied Iraq I have insisted on giving priority to condemning the war rather than "supporting our troops".
The support the troops needed, and deserved, was the movement to remove them from Iraq.
I never "thanked them for serving their country", because I refused to pretend that their mission in Iraq was any service to the United States.
Many of them joined with the intention of serving their country, but that's not what Dubya sent them to do.
Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance is a propaganda outfit for charter schools and voucher programs.
It is not unusual for universities to sell their prestige to legitimize any campaign has money to offer.
The scientific publishers have threatened ResearchGate, demanding it allow them to stop researchers from sharing their own papers.
Government research funding should block researchers from signing the usual restrictive publication contracts.
That would kill off the parasitic journals.
Scientists beg Australia not to reduce the size of its marine reserve zones.
I still disapprove of those who want to make Catalonia independent so as to stop aiding the poorer parts of Spain. That is mere selfishness.
The first Americans to fight against fascism and nazism fought as volunteers in Spain.
During the Cold War, the US treated those who survived as an inconvenience and a threat.
Tillerson says that the US can and does talk with North Korea.
Let's hope they talk about making peace.
Many US college students have food insecurity. Probably more than a quarter of them.
It is natural that the high costs, and heavy loans, make some students skimp on food.
Saboteur of Energy Perry wants a law to force the use of dirty electric generation.
Unbundling costs to give a phony lower "price" means unbundling responsibilities to the public.
Let's learn to resist the temptation.
The UN decolonization committee refused to consider the case of Western Papua.
Officials are pressuring the US Senate to reauthorize disguised massive surveillance of Americans' phone calls.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to speak up for negotiation with North Korea.
US citizens: call on the DOJ to make thugs less military and more equitable, and more connected with the community.
San Juan Mayor's Harrowing Plea: 'Mr Trump, I am begging. We are dying here.'
I don't think any state could cope with such a large disaster unaided.
I think it was a tactical error for the mayor to speak, as she did, about how nasty it would be not to send more aid. What she said is valid, but it was ill-advised. The troll is cunning and infantile. It doesn't surprise me that he responded to that criticism by attacking Puerto Rico.
Being cunning, the troll realizes that, for his supporters, there is little difference between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. They make equally good scapegoats.
Several petition campaigns supporting Puerto Rico call for permanent repeal of the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign-flagged vessels from varying cargo between US ports. I supported waiving the Jones Act temporarily for Puerto Rico, and I support continuing this waiver for as long as that is needed for Puerto Rico's sake.
However, I have seen no valid argument for repealing it permanently. That seems to be a neoliberal measure to knock down the wages of American workers, and I am against it.
The fact that cargo is accumulating in Puerto Rico's ports, and what is lacking is a way of moving it to where it is needed, suggests that the Jones Act is not the obstacle any more.
Bannon is trying to replace establishment plutocratist Republicans in Congress with racist extremist plutocratist Republicans.
A fake "CIA warning note" to the Catalan government pretended to be a warning sent before the Ramblas terrorist attack. It appears to have been written in Spain as a political deception.
An influential Facebook page that supported the Black Lives Matter movement seems to have been run by Russian activists.
Black Lives Matter aims to end a systematic injustice, of which the killing of black by thugs for no valid reason is just the most visible part. I resent the Russian meddling, but the injustice is a bigger wrong and a more important issue.
Americans who don't like exploitation of injustice in America should help put an end to the injustice.
The cheater's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, wanted to quit because of the cheater's support for racism, but he held his nose and stayed because he sees a chance to serve dooH niboR.
Large fractions of Americans endorse white supremacist views.
Many say that whites are under attack in the US — the exact opposite of what's really occurring.
A UK university censored a speaker whose speech was going to be titled, "You’re doing to Palestinians what the Nazis did to me", because the Israeli embassy said that was "antisemitic". The speaker was a child in Germany when the Nazis took power.
Uri Avnery has made similar comparisons. He too had real experience with Nazis as a child in Germany.
More and bigger cows mean that their methane emissions are higher than scientists had calculated.
This is one reason people should eat less beef.
Australian thugs violently attacked indigenous protesters that were blocking the road outside a prison. Then they pretended that standing on the road was comparable to a violent attack.
The protest was against imprisoning indigenous people at a high rate.
The US treasury deleted its link to the study which showed that taxes on corporations fall mainly on the owners.
The ACLU warns high schools that punishing students that protest by kneeling (or any other non-disruptive way) is unconstitutional.
It is also unpatriotic, directly contrary to what the United States stands for.
The vampire banks want to use Puerto Rico's disaster to privatize its utilities.
A campaign led by women has won Ireland a referendum to repeal the anti-abortion clause from its constitution.
In Russia, "illegal content" means saying Crimea should not be part of Russia. Ilmi Umerov will be imprisoned for this, and is likely to die in prison from his medical conditions.
Azerbaijan is systematically arresting gays and transsexuals.
The troll's tax plan is exactly what corporations lobby for.
The Death of Homo Economicus explains why today's capitalism has nothing to do with the theories it pretends to be based on.
Today's capitalism focuses on monopolization and rents, and "taxpayers funding their own asset stripping."
Humans have attacked and degraded most tropical forests; as a result, instead of absorbing CO2, they are now emitting CO2 from decay processes.
Saboteur of Health Tom Price has resigned, over his personal wasteful use of department funds.
His replacement will be another saboteur, I expect.
The cheater's tax plan would give big tax cuts to those making over a million dollars a year, but many middle-class households would pay more.
Global heating effects are killing the palm trees of Los Angeles and southern California in general.
They will be replaced with different species that are better adapted to the hot, dry climate.
I personally would consider this a change for the better, but that would hardly start to compensate for the disaster of global heating.
State agencies and private security companies cooperated to deny journalists access to make videos of the thugs' attacks on pipeline protesters.
The troll's new ban on Muslims-plus-a-few-others is totally senseless.
Judges in Wisconsin are wide open to buying influence, and the state Supreme Court decided to keep it that way.
The European Commission has abandoned even the pretense of support for freedom of speech in its proposed rules to make internet sites delete "illegal" postings.
Referring to postings as "content", as if they were a commodity, smooths the path to such drastic policies.
The Republican Governors Association set up a "news" site and went to great lengths to disguise its control of the site, trying to pass it off as objective and independent journalism.
Echo Spot is Amazon's bedcam — a device with a camera that users are encouraged to point straight at their beds. Not to mention the microphone.
I am thinking that I should start asking people I stay with whether they have any devices with cameras or microphones.
The US became unsuitable as an honest broker for peace negotiations when it became so biased towards Israel that it could not pressure Israel to make the concessions needed for peace. But the US always used to put up a pretense of trying to lead peace negotiations. The troll has overtly rejected the idea of peace.
ProPublica is suing to obtain the secret source code used to decide whether a suspect's DNA matches DNA found at a crime scene.
When the state uses proprietary software, it gives the developer unjust power over the state. In this specific case, it gives the developer power over the lives of the accused.
Companies' wishes for secrecy must yield to public safety and human rights concerns whenever they conflict.
US citizens: Call on Pruitt to protect the new, stricter standards for car milage (increased) and pollution (decreased).
Due to deforestation, the remaining Amazon rain forest is so dry it is burning up.
Enslaved workers are found on many farms in Brazil, and the slave drivers have many tricks to thward the law.
Discarding devices that were made with mercury results in pollution that can harm everyone.
Assad's air force has bombed four hospitals in rebel-controlled areas in the past week.
Avoid the folly of becoming desperately dependent to a minor convenience that you did just fine without. Just because many other people do something dumb doesn't mean you have to do it too.
Here's a potential example: tiny radar systems to measure the size of a user's heart, as a biometric id.
What other things would that radar system measure, if it were in your apartment? Better not to let it in.
The UN has launched an investigation into human rights abuses in Yemen.
I hope this will impede Salafi Arabia and the US from committing them.
Justice Gorsuch spoke for a right-wing campaign group.
Adding insult to injury, the event was in a Trump hotel.
But I find that less of an issue than the idea of campaigning by a Supreme Court judge.
Devious patent holders are using US indigenous tribes as fronts to block review that could invalidate the patents.
Gatorade distributed a "game", really just an ad for Gatorade, which said that drinking water was harmful.
Would you play a game made by a company for the purpose of promotimg a product? Would you give one to a child? Marketing is one of the thingts arents really should watch out for about their children's internet use.
Joshua Wong says his imprisonment teaches Hong Kong about tyrannical Chinese rule.
The aid effort in Puerto Rico is mismanaged: containers of aid materials are accumulating on the docks of San Juan because the US did not send enough vehicles, fuel and staff to deliver them where they are needed.
A record-setting late-September heat wave in the US East Coast and Midwest provide a taste of what will be normal in a few decades.
It's not just that the heat wave starts from a higher base. Global heating alters the behavior of the jet stream and causes extremes of temperature to persist for longer.
Products to constantly monitor babies do no good for the babies, and teach parents to be constantly anxious.
They also get parents accustomed to total surveillance of their children, which will lead them to monitor their children oppressively when they are older.
The European Parliament forbade access to Monsanto's lobbyists after it refused to answer questions about previous wrongdoing.
Boston Police bought three drones but didn’t tell anyone. We need accountability for surveillance—now.
Experience shows that using filters to recognize copyright
infringement, or "extremism",
gives wrong results. It is a mistake to use it.
Experts at the UN Human Rights Council rebuke Spain for censorship and
to arrest protesters.
picture of what the Vietnam War was like for Vietnamese civilians
whose villages were attacked by US troops.
A Cameroonian activist against deforestation has been arrested
for opposing a plantation made by a US company.
Austin, Texas, has eliminated its curfew for minors because its
enforcement tended to terrify them and drive some of them down the
I regard a curfew as oppression, pure and simple.
The smart way to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid is with renewable
power and batteries.
Harvard professors rebuke Harvard for yielding to pressure
against Chelsea Manning and a PhD candidate.
The University of California, Irvine, accepted a donation of 200 million
dollars to teach homeopathy, which is nothing but superstition.
I speculate that the university administrators saw only the money
and applied no judgment to the validity of what their school teaches.
It appears Russian organized trolls tweeted both for and against
the protesting NFL football players, aiming only to aggravate
hostility within the US.
In a poll of Americans, most say the troll is not fit for the office
However, the minority that supported him mostly still does.
Billie Miller: how she, as health minister of Barbados, achieved
legalization of abortion.
SCROTUS are about to pass a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks
A fetus can't become a human being until it can interact with the world,
which begins after birth.
Before that point, abortion should be lawful. Society has no interest
in pressuring for more humans to be born.
See also my article "Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights".
The Patriotic Millionaires call for the US to continue the estate tax.
I think the estate tax should be extended to somewhat smaller estates.
Why not tax estates' funds when they exceed one million dollars?
But the most important thing is to hamper the use of trusts to feed
money to heirs without its being considered part of the estate.
Recommendations for rebuilding Puerto Rico sustainably.
The Department of Household Surveillance (DHS) plans to track social
media usage even of US citizens.
The Patriotic Millionaires denounce it.
One of them writes, "I Don't Need Another Tax Break, Mr Trump."
A week after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's infrastructure,
the troll has done little or nothing.
I suspect the troll sees no difference between Puerto Ricans and
Mexicans. They are all hispanics, so he thinks they are all "bad
hombres", even those who are actually mujeres.
The troll has waived the Jones act for Puerto Rico.
I support the Jones Act, in general. Why allow foreign ships with
low-paid crews to take the shipping business away from better-paid US
workers? However, it makes sense to waive the requirement temporarily
after a storm. Indeed, Puerto Rico, as an island, needs it more than
Old people protested in rocking chairs against a Utah-subsidized strip
mine for especially dirty oil.
Since we need to leave 80% of the known reserves in the ground,
any oil that is particularly dirty, or particularly expensive,
should clearly be included in that.
call on the
US Department of Justice to block the merger of AT&T and Time
All mergers of large companies are harmful because they consolidate
political influence and thus promote plutocracy. But this is harmful
for other specific reasons too.
The US is punishing airplane manufacturer Bombardier for
subsidized planes and undercutting competitors. The UK has
threatened a retaliatory boycott.
Government subsidies for businesses are a substantial element of dooH
niboR. For the most part, the US government promotes dooH niboR, and
the fact that it opposes one example here does not alter that. But I
won't criticize it for inconsistency when it goes against dooH niboR.
Let's criticize the frequent cases where it does wrong, instead.
US citizens: phone your senators and call on them to
against confirming Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC. The article
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641
A range of right-wing, plutocratist politicians are
to promote themselves as "centrist" again.
The swindle here is when they
their right-wing position as the "center".
The EU is
a list of companies that do business in Israel's colonies in
Palestinian territory. These may eventually be punished in some
It's a small step but it sets a good example.
The system of tipping
life difficult and even more precarious for many workers.
That's not all. It is unconscionable that people paid so little have
to pay any income tax. We should shift that burden onto the people
who can afford it: wealthy people.
The Rainforest Action Network says that the palm oil company Agra Bumi
chopping down the rain forest in Sumatra, wiping out orangutans,
elephants, tigers and rhinos, and thousands of other species.
This is illegal but somehow the company does not fear punishment.
Perhaps it has paid for impunity.
US universities have worked out how to pay most of their teachers too
little money to live on. Many of them are at the edge of penury.
Many suffer from the repression US cities visit on people who are
Many are ashamed, and hide the way they are mistreated.
That makes it easy for colleges to continue mistreating them.
China has an
of 30 million young men, compared with the number of young women.
What can China do to ease the pressure on these men?
One idea is, campaign to get rid of the pressure to have children. It
is not good for people to have children if they cannot support those
Another idea is, make prostitution a respectable occupation, so that
women are not ashamed or blocked from becoming independent
Some rebranding will achieve these things.
If Mainstream News Wants to Win Back Trust, It Cannot Silence
A project collects
in endangered languages.
Many endangered languages have no script. I hope they accept audio
European countries provide
100 billion dollars a year in subsidies for fossil fuels.
The coroner that examined Otto Warmbier's body reports there was
sign of torture such as his parents claimed.
million unsafe abortions are carried out each year. Each
endangers the woman's health and life.
The reason for unsafe abortions is usually that the law restricts safe
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say
not to override the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule against forced arbitration.
The UK's repeated harsh or "mistaken" deportation threats
the European Parliament angry.
The "mistake" with that Japanese wife of the Polish man, like several
other recent widely reported mistakes, was not really an accident.
These result from a desperate and hasty effort to deport as many
people as possible. Such an effort will tend to make mistakes
in the direction of too much deportation.
The Australian human rights commissioner has
warned of the danger of
increasing executive power,
with terrorism and refugees as excuses.
The US has been overwhelmed by this threat. I hope Australia manages
to take advantage of the official warning.
They are not "homeless" in US terminology, but this still
shows the extent of poverty that the Tories have inflicted.
The New Scientist magazine,
by accepting sponsorship from an oil company
and a big armaments company,
is selling them legitimacy.
The option of aid for suicide
must not be a substitute for medical care.
Analysis shows that
the extreme heat wave of last August in Italy and
was largely caused by global heating.
By 2050, worse heat waves will happen every summer.
The giant creditors of bankrupt Puerto Rico have
offered to trade some
of its debt for new debt.
How generous of them.
I would guess that the new debt would be outside the bankruptcy process.
A couple from Kiribati plead in New Zealand to be
accepted as global
Their village is regularly submerged by the highest
It is only a matter of time before the effects of global heating submerge
the islands of Kiribati.
Letting children play freely
in kindergarten can benefit them,
both in grades and in life after graduation from school.
In 2024, when the International Space Station is scheduled to be shut
Russia will remove its modules and use them in a Russian space
If the modules will still be usable, why end the use of the ISS in 2024?
Spain is trying to
shut down all web sites that mention the Catalan
that Rajoy is trying to block.
Experts at the UN Human Rights Council rebuke Spain for censorship and threatening to arrest protesters.
A brief picture of what the Vietnam War was like for Vietnamese civilians whose villages were attacked by US troops.
A Cameroonian activist against deforestation has been arrested for opposing a plantation made by a US company.
Austin, Texas, has eliminated its curfew for minors because its enforcement tended to terrify them and drive some of them down the wrong path.
I regard a curfew as oppression, pure and simple.
The smart way to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid is with renewable power and batteries.
Harvard professors rebuke Harvard for yielding to pressure against Chelsea Manning and a PhD candidate.
The University of California, Irvine, accepted a donation of 200 million dollars to teach homeopathy, which is nothing but superstition.
I speculate that the university administrators saw only the money and applied no judgment to the validity of what their school teaches.
It appears Russian organized trolls tweeted both for and against the protesting NFL football players, aiming only to aggravate hostility within the US.
In a poll of Americans, most say the troll is not fit for the office of president.
However, the minority that supported him mostly still does.
Billie Miller: how she, as health minister of Barbados, achieved legalization of abortion.
SCROTUS are about to pass a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
A fetus can't become a human being until it can interact with the world, which begins after birth. Before that point, abortion should be lawful. Society has no interest in pressuring for more humans to be born.
See also my article "Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights".
The Patriotic Millionaires call for the US to continue the estate tax.
I think the estate tax should be extended to somewhat smaller estates. Why not tax estates' funds when they exceed one million dollars?
But the most important thing is to hamper the use of trusts to feed money to heirs without its being considered part of the estate.
Recommendations for rebuilding Puerto Rico sustainably.
The Department of Household Surveillance (DHS) plans to track social media usage even of US citizens.
The Patriotic Millionaires denounce it.
One of them writes, "I Don't Need Another Tax Break, Mr Trump."
A week after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's infrastructure, the troll has done little or nothing.
I suspect the troll sees no difference between Puerto Ricans and Mexicans. They are all hispanics, so he thinks they are all "bad hombres", even those who are actually mujeres.
The troll has waived the Jones act for Puerto Rico.
I support the Jones Act, in general. Why allow foreign ships with low-paid crews to take the shipping business away from better-paid US workers? However, it makes sense to waive the requirement temporarily after a storm. Indeed, Puerto Rico, as an island, needs it more than Texas.
Old people protested in rocking chairs against a Utah-subsidized strip mine for especially dirty oil.
Since we need to leave 80% of the known reserves in the ground, any oil that is particularly dirty, or particularly expensive, should clearly be included in that.
US citizens: call on the US Department of Justice to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner.
All mergers of large companies are harmful because they consolidate political influence and thus promote plutocracy. But this is harmful for other specific reasons too.
The US is punishing airplane manufacturer Bombardier for selling subsidized planes and undercutting competitors. The UK has threatened a retaliatory boycott.
Government subsidies for businesses are a substantial element of dooH niboR. For the most part, the US government promotes dooH niboR, and the fact that it opposes one example here does not alter that. But I won't criticize it for inconsistency when it goes against dooH niboR. Let's criticize the frequent cases where it does wrong, instead.
US citizens: phone your senators and call on them to vote against confirming Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC. The article explains why.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
A range of right-wing, plutocratist politicians are trying to promote themselves as "centrist" again.
The swindle here is when they label their right-wing position as the "center".
The EU is preparing a list of companies that do business in Israel's colonies in Palestinian territory. These may eventually be punished in some way.
It's a small step but it sets a good example.
The system of tipping makes life difficult and even more precarious for many workers.
That's not all. It is unconscionable that people paid so little have to pay any income tax. We should shift that burden onto the people who can afford it: wealthy people.
The Rainforest Action Network says that the palm oil company Agra Bumi Niaga continues chopping down the rain forest in Sumatra, wiping out orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos, and thousands of other species.
This is illegal but somehow the company does not fear punishment. Perhaps it has paid for impunity.
US universities have worked out how to pay most of their teachers too little money to live on. Many of them are at the edge of penury. Some are in penury.
Many suffer from the repression US cities visit on people who are homeless.
Many are ashamed, and hide the way they are mistreated. That makes it easy for colleges to continue mistreating them.
China has an excess of 30 million young men, compared with the number of young women. What can China do to ease the pressure on these men?
One idea is, campaign to get rid of the pressure to have children. It is not good for people to have children if they cannot support those children well.
Another idea is, make prostitution a respectable occupation, so that women are not ashamed or blocked from becoming independent prostitutes.
Some rebranding will achieve these things.
If Mainstream News Wants to Win Back Trust, It Cannot Silence Dissident Voices.
A project collects poetry in endangered languages.
Many endangered languages have no script. I hope they accept audio recordings.
European countries provide over 100 billion dollars a year in subsidies for fossil fuels.
The coroner that examined Otto Warmbier's body reports there was no sign of torture such as his parents claimed.
25 million unsafe abortions are carried out each year. Each endangers the woman's health and life.
The reason for unsafe abortions is usually that the law restricts safe ones.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say not to override the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule against forced arbitration.
The UK's repeated harsh or "mistaken" deportation threats are making the European Parliament angry.
The "mistake" with that Japanese wife of the Polish man, like several other recent widely reported mistakes, was not really an accident. These result from a desperate and hasty effort to deport as many people as possible. Such an effort will tend to make mistakes in the direction of too much deportation.
The Australian human rights commissioner has warned of the danger of increasing executive power, with terrorism and refugees as excuses.
The US has been overwhelmed by this threat. I hope Australia manages to take advantage of the official warning.
They are not "homeless" in US terminology, but this still shows the extent of poverty that the Tories have inflicted.
The New Scientist magazine, by accepting sponsorship from an oil company and a big armaments company, is selling them legitimacy.
The option of aid for suicide must not be a substitute for medical care.
Analysis shows that the extreme heat wave of last August in Italy and Spain was largely caused by global heating.
By 2050, worse heat waves will happen every summer.
The giant creditors of bankrupt Puerto Rico have offered to trade some of its debt for new debt. How generous of them.
I would guess that the new debt would be outside the bankruptcy process.
A couple from Kiribati plead in New Zealand to be accepted as global heating refugees. Their village is regularly submerged by the highest tides.
It is only a matter of time before the effects of global heating submerge the islands of Kiribati.
Letting children play freely in kindergarten can benefit them, both in grades and in life after graduation from school.
In 2024, when the International Space Station is scheduled to be shut down, Russia will remove its modules and use them in a Russian space station.
If the modules will still be usable, why end the use of the ISS in 2024?
Spain is trying to shut down all web sites that mention the Catalan referendum that Rajoy is trying to block.
Corbyn has taken a strong position for affordable housing, which includes opposing the privatization-gentrification schemes that replace public housing with expensive housing.
A Christian preacher in Sierra Leone was arrested for calling Islam a "violent religion of lies and deceit".
Every major religion engages in violence, lies and deceit — sometimes. Even (and how ironic this is) Buddhism. But none of them always does so.
Patients can die from this, and surely some already have.
Almost half the population lack safe drinking water. In a week or two, people will begin dying from that.
This shows that the EU is on the right track.
Economic growth is not desirable unless the non-rich get a bigger share than they have got in the last 3 decades, and increasing taxes on companies is vital for that.
As for cooperation with the US on "global tax reform", the global tax reform that the world needs is to tax businesses more, and the EU can build momentum for it by doing it.
Terrorism means making war on civilians. This was not terrorism, because the people attacked were not civilians.
A study estimates that the voter-ID law in Wisconsin suppressed between 16,000 and 23,000 voters in the 2016 election.
This may have enabled the cheater to win that state.
Seeing Economy as 'Rigged' for Rich, 65% Say [US] Corporate Taxes Too Low, Not Too High.
Sessions mocked the idea of freedom of speech by giving a talk in which he pretended to support it.
US citizens: Call on Congress to pass the bill to remove confederate leaders' statues from the US capitol building.
Everyone: call on the US National Football League to support the players' anti-racist campaign.
Mexican political parties try to use disasters such as the recent earthquake to demand political support from voters. The voters are angry at politicians in general.
Contrast this with the US, where the troll is apparently planning to leave Puerto Rico destroyed so as to win points for cruelty with his supporters.
The independence activists of West Papua presented the UN with an underground petition signed by 70% of the population of West Papua.
I can't tell from the article whether "West Papua" refers to the entire Indonesian-controlled half of New Guinea (that's how independence activists use the name) or only to one of its two provinces (as the Indonesian state uses the name). For clarity let's call it Western New Guinea.
Indonesia conquered Western New Guinea shortly after the Dutch let go of it. This was a bare-faced act of colonization. New Guinea has no cultural, historic or linguistic link with Indonesia.
Since then, Indonesia sent around a million Javanese colonists to settle in Western New Guinea. 70% of the population could be the fraction that are not colonists.
Salafi Arabia will allow women to drive.
It is a small but noteworthy step on a long path to equal rights for women.
The proposed coal export terminal for Washington State has been denied an environmental permit, which could kill the project.
The company will surely hire a lot of lawyers to overturn this decision.
Otto Warmbier's parents say he showed scars of torture when he arrived in the US.
The US could lose as many as half a million federally subsidized low-income dwellings in the next five years.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001, and the result is to reduce drug problems.
The troll has made some new adjustments in the travel ban for some Muslims, adding sanctions against a few visitors from Venezuela and North Korea, plus one more largely Muslim country — Chad. The motive for putting Chad on the list is not clear.
How Privatization Cuts Us in Two, While Public Institutions Make Us a Better People.
The troll's pursuit of immigrants is splitting another family.
The increasing racial disparity in income in the US demonstrates how powerful racism is.
Even if poverty were equally distributed among racial groups, it would still indicate injustice. It makes no sense to aim for total equality of income, but we should not leave anyone in poverty.
In parts of Chicago, the few kids who are allowed to go outside on their own discover that their friends cannot join them in the park.
Maybe they can visit their friends at their homes. That would give them a refreshing example.
Brazil has dropped (for the moment) the plan to unprotect parts of the Amazon rainforest from mining.
If you carry a personal tracking device (cell phone), figuring out who you are from the location track is usually as easy as pie.
For this reason, I don't carry a personal tracking device. I also reject them because they can be turned in to 24-7 listening devices.
Russian agents used targeted Facebook ads to create conflict and discourage voters.
The UK is becoming an unreliable place to host academic events because it is eager to deny visas to scholars from low-privilege countries.
The US has had this problem for many years, and the troll has made it worse. Canada too — some speakers could not get to the World Social Forum in Montreal last year.
Tracing America's current readiness to disregard objective reality back to the 1960s counterculture's magical thinking.
I am skeptical of some of the facts cited, but I find the overall thesis interesting.
Disabled Americans got there anyway, and protested against the bill that they expected would make their medical care so expensive they would not have any. Republican senators contemptuously had them dragged away.
People in Puerto Rico are in danger of dying because they can't get the medicine they need, or getting sick because they can't get clean water.
The next harvest has been destroyed, so there will be no food produced there for a year.
US citizens: Rebuke Harvard for choosing the CIA over Chelsea Manning.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
US citizens: Hold Pence accountable for saying he supports the troll on everything, even vicious things.
Selective memory of history isn't limited to the Vietnam War. Memorials to the Confederacy demonstrate the subsequent use of selective memory in support of the white supremacist cause.
I find plain jellyfish boring, but in salads with some vegetable and a dressing I've sometimes enjoyed it greatly.
Crowdsourcing the highly variable cost of medical care in the US.
China's internet censorship now covers sex, alcohol, and gambling, as well as criticizing policies and officials.
Center-left parties that fail to fight the dooH niboR mechanism of plutocracy are headed down the drain. Even if they call themselves "socialist", they are allowing extreme capitalism to push most working people into the gutter.
When football players kneel to the US national anthem, they are showing respect for the principles the US aspires to follow, and shining a light on the grinning enemies that try to corrupt it.
Most of the time, all football players do is play football. I don't pay attention, except occasionally to mention the danger of permanent brain damage from playing the sport. Now, however, the players that protest are doing something important.
North Korea's Foreign Minister: Trump Has Declared War on Our Country.
This is silly. North Korea and the US are already at war — there was no peace treaty at the end of the Korean War, only a truce.
The Buddhist practice of releasing captured wild animals harms wild animals and often exploits the people who practice it.
The article's conclusion is stupid, though. There is nothing mild about releasing alien species of lobsters where they don't belong. Species humans have introduced into places where they don't belong have caused the extinction of hundreds of species, perhaps thousands. The ongoing efforts to eradicate some of these species cost millions of dollars every year, in an effort to protect endemic species from extinction.
Maybe we need to curb the construction of houses in places that are probably going to burn, a few decades from now.
It's comparable to the issue of flooding: our greenhouse gas emissions are making worse floods in some seasons and regions, and worse fires in others, and we're encouraging people to put themselves and their property in harm's way.
Comparing the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan with the US intervention in Vietnam.
To claim that the US entered the Vietnam War "in good faith" requires stretching that concept so far that in includes lying at every level, including the false "Gulf of Tonkin incident" in which North Vietnamese vessels supposedly made a feeble and useless attack against US navy vessels. It never happened — it was a lie told by the US military to the American people and the US Congress.
The main US motive for sending troops to Vietnam was to avoid a humiliating defeat. This is the international relations version of the "sunk costs" fallacy: "We've spent so much political capital on that fight that we can't afford to lose now." For a great power fighting a weaker country, that is a recipe for endless war.
The US intervention in Afghanistan follows the same pattern, except that Obama failed to do what Nixon and Gorbachev managed to do.
An undercover reporter demonstrated how the privatized guards in UK immigration prison get away with gross violence against prisoners.
It's hard enough to stop guards that are state employees from giving way to their cruelty. Privatization creates another level of inaccountability.
SCROTUS are trying to nullify a ruling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would protect individuals from arbitration requirements from sleazy financial organizations such as Wells Fargo and Equifax.
Vietnam is intensifying repression against all sorts of dissidents.
Many food crops are threatened in the long term through the coming likely extinction of their wild relatives.
The way we breed new varieties for desirable traits is by crossing the plants with their wild relatives. When those are gone, this procedure will be impossible.
Local cultivated varieties are in danger too.
The world-wide concentration of agriculture on 12 plant species and 5 animal species is dangerous, because a disease that harms production of any one of them is an automatic disaster.
The troll told Puerto Ricans that the desolation from Hurricane Maria is their own fault because of their debt.
This looks suspiciously like a plan by plutocrats to use the storm as an opportunity to force the island to beg for funds for (partial) rebuilding, which will be offered on intolerable conditions.
The Taliban have been advancing on the ground, so maybe they are not very interested in making a deal. Maybe the US is now not very interested in making a deal. If there will be no real negotiations in any case, the lack of a way to meet my change nothing. But why throw away the option?
One journalist asked Tinder for all the personal data it had on her, and the 800 pages it got showed her how much it snoops on her.
I hope that, after further thought, she decides to advance beyond "How sad" to "No way!"
The evidence comes from Tinder, but I'd expect it to be typical of services that identify users by name. That's why I call them "disservices," and don't use them.
The Guggenheim Museum has been bullied into censorship by violent threats from animal rights activists.
The arguments cited in the article have blatant illogic. For instance, "Running a dogfight is bad, and this video presents the way dogs are trained for fighting, so this video is bad". Regardless of what we think of the premise, it does not imply the conclusion.
I think censorship is a more important issue than animal rights.
Politics in Australia is based on corporate media that help right-wing politicians deny the nature of the questions that people face.
Until someone drives a stake through its heart, it is hard to be quite sure.
Republican leaders were are trying to bribe the few holdout senators to support repeal of Obama's medical insurance plan by offering funds specifically to those states.
That risks tearing America apart by setting state against state.
A leading prisoners' rights campaigner has been convicted for refusing to hand over passwords while entering the UK.
Rabbani himself was sentenced to probation, but he will appeal the decision for the sake of human rights in the UK.
Meanwhile, the question for the UK is, "What the hell leads you to treat evidence or torture in Guantanamo as if it were terrorism? The Guantanamo prison itself is what promotes terrorism."
Texas Schedules Execution but Refuses DNA Tests That Could Prove a Man’s Innocence.
Judges would rather kill an innocent man than admit any doubt in the reliability of the legal system.
Google Will Survive SESTA. Your Startup Might Not.
US citizens: call on senators to demand withdrawal of Mateer's nomination for federal judge. The article explains why.
US citizens: Oppose the SATWA bill to undermine the Endangered Species Act.
Catalonians are printing their own ballot papers to replace the ones confiscated by Spanish thugs.
A week ago it was possible for Catalonia to continue as normal part of Spain, and I saw no reason it should not do so. But I think that option no longer exists. At this point, there will inevitably be a loser — either Rajoy, a dooH niboR right-winger who is the enemy of human rights and dissent in Spain, or the Catalonians.
I don't want Rajoy to win.
Australia is not doing enough to meet its Paris climate commitments.
Keep in mind that those commitments, globally, are not enough to have a good chance of achieving the stated goal, to curb global heating at 1.5 C.
US/Hollywood propaganda supports US warlikeness by pretending that the Vietnam War was well-meant, and the old US disarmament and peace movements are now almost forgotten in the name of unending war.
Only 30 civilian casualties from 93 air attacks is not such a bad job of avoiding civilian casualties. However, if the troll eliminates the rules designed to avoid civilian casualties, which he weakened a few months ago, there could be a lot more of them in the rest of this year.
Some fear that sex robots would help some people develop a taste for rape.
I think the popularity of porn, and in the future maybe sex robots, comes from the sexual prudery and prissiness of our society where people going through puberty are concerned. They become interested in sex and anyone they have sex with is likely to be jailed for it.
In addition, it is hard for some people, such as those on the autistic spectrum, to find lovers at all. Society could help them.
UK Labour leaders talk of defying new Tory laws designed to paralyze unions.
Egypt's military regime threatens students that they will be jailed for a year if they "mock" the Egyptian flag.
That is flagrant contempt for freedom of speech, which includes the right to mock anything. Of course, we wouldn't expect any different from such a repressive country.
Digital Taylorism is making all jobs oppressive.
Pakistani MP Who Says Imran Khan Harassed Her Faces Wave of Abuse.
I lean towards thinking that she should publish the messages so as to prove her case.
The US is almost the lowest major country in level of taxes. The rich pay less in the US than any other.
Many of the largest corporations pay no tax at all.
The US needs to tax the rich and big companies more.
The UK National Health Service is making secret plans for more cuts in medical care, as the Tories keep starving it.
Equifax collects many kinds of data about people and correlates them for profiling.
Banks should offer each client the option of saying nothing to Equifax (and other credit bureaus) about that client. If you don't want your account or your address to contribute to a credit rating, why should that be imposed on you?
Likewise for all employers. They should not be allowed to tell credit bureaus anything. All they should be allowed to do is give the employee stamped envelopes, saying "Mail these if you wish."
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to sign the discharge petition for the DACA law.
A Kenyan court ruled that the election in Kenya must be done over.
Israeli colonists in the West Bank usually just throw stones at nonviolent Israeli peace protesters, but recently they attacked the protesters directly and broke a protester's arm.
Then the soldiers who were watching the whole thing arrested the victim of the attack — the protester.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seized on a technicality to overrule New York State, imposing approval of a pipeline which the state had refused to approve. The state is looking for a way to overturn this in court.
The FERC always approves what fossil fuel companies want.
It could be the textbook case of regulatory capture.
The dam at Lake Guajataca, Puerto Rico, has not collapsed, as of now. It is only leaking a lot.
Israelis and Palestinians marched to condemn Israel's annexation wall, which cuts the Palestinian village of Walaje off from their farms.
This is part of a scheme of slow ethnic cleansing — as Uri Avnery put it, Israel is trying to make the West Bank "arabrein".
If the wall wasn't enough of a hint to the Palestinians that they are all supposed to flee the area, Israel demolished houses in the village.
Cryin'air treats pilots so badly that many of them quit. The company can't find new pilots as fast as they quit.
Data for a span of just 4 years are enough to show the steady heating of oceans.
In fact, we have decades of data, and the heating can be measured over that whole period.
Republicans say they are for "states' rights", but they mean rights to make life harder for people and aid business. When it comes to allowing states to help people or thwart business, Republicans are opposed.
At Harvard, Chelsea Manning Lost Her Fellowship. At Fordham, a Former CIA Torture Proponent Kept His.
The drive to provide solar power to people in poor countries is falling behind population growth.
More funds for renewable power systems would help eliminate the lack of electricity, but more funds for birth control and abortion would work on many different and bigger problems.
The Palestinian Authority is persistently repressing Palestinians that criticize it.
Many of India's 100,000 traditional rice varieties have been lost, replaced by recently developed hybrids. But farmers preserve some of the traditional varieties because they better resist effects of global heating, and/or taste better.
US mass media are peculiarly silent about the big increase in the deficit that the increased military budget will cause. The "deficit" issue is brought out only to oppose progressive proposals for government spending.
In the US: join rallies today to defeat the latest Dontcare bill.
US citizens: call for blocking the Sinclair-Tribune TV mega-merger.
Everyone: call on the state of Georgia not to prosecute the people that organized submitting 86,000 voter registration forms over the 53 forms that had errors.
The lawless prosecutor of Ferguson, who appeared to play tricks to avoid charging the thug with killing Michael Brown, also resisted court orders to release related communications. Now he has given in, and we can see how he was urged to "support your local police" by giving impunity to the one who had killed.
Legalizing possession of drugs is necessary to make them safer.
I have never tried MDMA, but everything I've read suggests that if it were legal it would be far safer than tobacco or alcohol. It should be as legal as they are.
"I'm glad it's all over for Uber in London — and I work for them."
Please stand up for your own freedom, and for drivers' income, by joining me in absolutely 100% refusing to ride in a Guber car.
Satellite images show that Rohingya villages are still being burned.
The ACLU has organized a nationwide drive against voter suppression.
Nuclear Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen.
In Germany, parents are ordered to rat on their children for sharing files.
This is an example of collective responsibility: "You over there! Watch that group and report any disobedience! If you ever fail to report them, we will punish you for their disobedience."
Germany has imposed other forms of collective responsibility to the repression of sharing.
To try to stop people from sharing copies is unjust at the root. That is why it tends to lead to unjust measures such as collective responsibility.
He wants to eliminate the last remaining safeguards against killing lots of civilians.
Earth Institute proposes six measures to reduce CO2 emissions.
If we don't, sea level is likely to rise 50 or 150 feet a few centuries from now. All of today's coastal cities will be entirely lost.
Another sad point is that we will lose all the ancient coastal cities and the archeological information waiting in them.
Theft of elections, by Republicans, is ingrained in the US electoral system.
Republicans say they will make the medical insurance aid system collapse if they cannot kill it overtly.
Puerto Rico was badly damaged by Hurricane Maria: millions have no electricity, no water supply, and no telephone service, and many roads blocked.
I've read that the failing dam has actually failed, but I have no reference for that.
If you are wealthy, and uncomfortable about the power this gives you, don't just feel bad. Use it — against plutocracy.
The term "class-traitor" is based on the supposition that the rich ought to be joining together to fight a class war against everyone else. That supposition is outrageous in itself.
I disagree with Ice-T's words, and their implicit assumption: that condemning the system absolves those who exploit it, so you can only blame one or the other. Morally, both are responsible. We must sometimes excuse the system's victims. When poor people commit rather small crimes or deceptions to survive, or to care for their children as in Metiria Turei's case, I can't blame them.
But this does not apply to the wealthy that exploit others because the system enables them to.
In most of the St Louis area, the thugs have become more arrogant in their impunity since Michael Brown was killed. Ferguson itself may be an exception.
Since the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, the main US newspapers have condemned "Antifa" a little more than Nazis.
US internet communication companies haven't got the guts to refuse to censor for China, they should at least refuse to censor for Salafi Arabia.
Appeals Court Rules Against Warrantless Cell-site Simulator Surveillance.
The US must stop tolerating monopoly (or oligopoly) in the name of "efficiency" and resume fighting monopoly because of the political corruption it causes.
Here's my proposed tax that would pressure large companies to split themselves up.
China is enforcing the new UN sanctions against North Korea.
If the US were willing to negotiate, for instance a substantial reduction in sanctions in exchange for something that restrains North Korea from attacking with nuclear weapons, there would be a chance of a deal. But why stop there? It could be possible to make peace and fully end the Korean War.
Australia's system for deterring refugees includes separating families forever.
Spain has effectively suspended the government of Catalonia to prevent it from holding the planned independence referendum, or doing basically anything else.
Ralph Nader: US mainstream news media now focusing narrowly on recent shocking events that mainstream news media are mainly talking about.
Nuclear weapons would threaten world disaster even if all national leaders were sane and calm. The UN Nuclear Disarmament Treaty offers a way to stop that.
Saboteur Pruitt found a way to block the EPA from investigating
the investigators work as his personal bodyguards.
Students in Cameroon
be imprisoned for 10 years for a joke that referred to Boko Haram.
The Mexican earthquake of Sep 9 destroyed 17,000 houses in the poor
southern parts of the country, which has been
South Korea has given North Korea
for infants and pregnant women.
The US, with China's help, have applied plenty of stick. Some carrot
is a good idea.
"Remove society's safety net and what do we get?
toddlers in dirty clothes."
1600 US women were murdered by men.
It surely is not a coincidence that the states with the highest rates
of killings of women are ruled by Republicans.
35 men were found occupying a single house in England, using
The landlord was accused of abusive
treatment, but he said that three men rented the house and then
let the others live there.
People should not have to live in these conditions, but would it be
better if they were homeless?
Who really exploited those 35 men? The Tories did. They knowingly
drove rents up and wages down.
A single ID number for a person
exposes that person to a risk of fraud.
Even worse, it facilitates massive surveillance.
The right solution is to have a separate identifying code for each
relationship. And this should include most state agencies, too.
He doesn't go as far as I do on some of these issues,
but he's much better than anyone else that might get elected.
The term "sexual assault" is a bad term to use in formulating rules
for judging or punishing people, because it lumps together rape with
the much lesser crime of groping. We would not judge those the same,
so we shouldn't lump them together in our discourse. Any policy that
uses the term "sexual assault" will tend to be bad.
The way people are punished when a college declares them guilty of
rape is sufficiently grave that I think they must be judged by the
standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". I expect most of such
accusations are true, but certainly some are false.
However, it is a mistake for a school to conduct a substitute for a
trial. The legal system exists for that, and schools can't do that
job. Someone who has been raped and wants something like criminal
prosecution should go to the state, not to the school.
What schools could usefully do is teach sexual respect that goes
beyond merely not committing a crime. The school could have a
stricter standard of sexual respect, as a school rule, not as a
criminal law. Breaking that rule would not mean one is a rapist, or a
criminal at all, but the school would insist one never break it again.
Students that push too far sexually, even if not to the point of
crime, could be required to do counseling and make a strong and
visible effort to change their way of approaching sex. Most of them
would not be rapists, so doing the counseling would not label them as
rapists. Rather, they would be making sure they will not be rapists.
The school might also require them to avoid for some time campus
events where there is alcohol, and subsequently to follow rules so
that they don't drink to excess.
A system like this could prevent rape by teaching students
to avoid the sort of behavior that could turn into rape.
Optimistic discussion of global heating has enabled people to
that the problem is already being fixed
— and it isn't.
We need to convert the recent disasters into an urgent demand to take
the necessary steps.
"We have been repeatedly asked: 'Don't you want to leave a better
Earth for your grandchildren,' And we've all collectively responded:
'Ah, fuck 'em!'"
Having children not only means they will be caught up in the suffering
caused by global heating disaster. It also makes the disaster bigger.
Conversely, deciding to have no children is the biggest contribution
you can make in your own life to reducing the disaster.
now of the children, and avoid making any.
Finally, attention is paid to the main danger of driverless cars:
surveillance of their users, and maybe of everyone else they go near.
Students in Cameroon could be imprisoned for 10 years for a joke that referred to Boko Haram.
The Mexican earthquake of Sep 9 destroyed 17,000 houses in the poor southern parts of the country, which has been impoverished by NAFTA.
South Korea has given North Korea aid for infants and pregnant women.
The US, with China's help, have applied plenty of stick. Some carrot is a good idea.
"Remove society's safety net and what do we get? Disabled toddlers in dirty clothes."
In 2015, 1600 US women were murdered by men.
It surely is not a coincidence that the states with the highest rates of killings of women are ruled by Republicans.
35 men were found occupying a single house in England, using wall-to-wall mattresses. The landlord was accused of abusive treatment, but he said that three men rented the house and then let the others live there.
People should not have to live in these conditions, but would it be better if they were homeless?
Who really exploited those 35 men? The Tories did. They knowingly drove rents up and wages down.
A single ID number for a person exposes that person to a risk of fraud. Even worse, it facilitates massive surveillance.
The right solution is to have a separate identifying code for each relationship. And this should include most state agencies, too.
He doesn't go as far as I do on some of these issues, but he's much better than anyone else that might get elected.
The term "sexual assault" is a bad term to use in formulating rules for judging or punishing people, because it lumps together rape with the much lesser crime of groping. We would not judge those the same, so we shouldn't lump them together in our discourse. Any policy that uses the term "sexual assault" will tend to be bad.
The way people are punished when a college declares them guilty of rape is sufficiently grave that I think they must be judged by the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". I expect most of such accusations are true, but certainly some are false.
However, it is a mistake for a school to conduct a substitute for a trial. The legal system exists for that, and schools can't do that job. Someone who has been raped and wants something like criminal prosecution should go to the state, not to the school.
What schools could usefully do is teach sexual respect that goes beyond merely not committing a crime. The school could have a stricter standard of sexual respect, as a school rule, not as a criminal law. Breaking that rule would not mean one is a rapist, or a criminal at all, but the school would insist one never break it again.
Students that push too far sexually, even if not to the point of crime, could be required to do counseling and make a strong and visible effort to change their way of approaching sex. Most of them would not be rapists, so doing the counseling would not label them as rapists. Rather, they would be making sure they will not be rapists. The school might also require them to avoid for some time campus events where there is alcohol, and subsequently to follow rules so that they don't drink to excess.
A system like this could prevent rape by teaching students to avoid the sort of behavior that could turn into rape.
Optimistic discussion of global heating has enabled people to assume that the problem is already being fixed — and it isn't. We need to convert the recent disasters into an urgent demand to take the necessary steps.
"We have been repeatedly asked: 'Don't you want to leave a better Earth for your grandchildren,' And we've all collectively responded: 'Ah, fuck 'em!'"
Having children not only means they will be caught up in the suffering caused by global heating disaster. It also makes the disaster bigger.
Conversely, deciding to have no children is the biggest contribution you can make in your own life to reducing the disaster. Please, think now of the children, and avoid making any.
Finally, attention is paid to the main danger of driverless cars: surveillance of their users, and maybe of everyone else they go near.
Allowing them to do this fits Facebook's stated mission, "Bringing the world closer together".
However, the threat to retaliate with war for a speech, even a deranged speech by a gangster, is just as wrong from Kim as from the bully.
Prominent US universities honor ex-officials responsible for horrible crimes.
When St Louis thugs claimed the city streets belong to them, they openly declared that they consider themselves the enemy of the people of the city.
Poor towns outside Mexico City suffered great damage from the earthquake.
The way to prevent this is by enforcing strong building codes, but in Mexico the poverty and the corruption make that difficult.
Regulation of pesticides, world-wide, has considered the safety of using each one in a small area, disregarding what happens when one is used on large areas of farms.
Aid workers and medical personnel in Afghanistan fear attacks both by religious fanatics and by the army.
Resistance convinced ISO to reject two weak encryption standards proposed by the NSA.
Uri Avnery denounces the Israeli politician that advocates either apartheid or genocide as the way to deal with Palestinians.
Innovation is an opportunity to change, and change can be good or bad. When a possible change harms freedom, privacy, or working people's pay, we should use our democratic government to reject it.
After firing the serious scientists, the EPA wants to fill its scientific advisory groups with representatives of polluters and planet-roasters.
The EU commissioned a study to prove that forbidden sharing of published works reduces sales, but the study was unable to demonstrate the desired conclusion for most categories of works. So the EU decided to forget about it.
The one category where sharing did reduce sales is that of "blockbuster" movies. But even supposing repression of sharing is necessary to encourage making those, they are not important enough to justify such measures.
Texas and Louisiana: don't feed emergency funds for recovery from the damage of Hurricane Harvey to companies! The poor people need them.
Large companies are buying up lots of family homes and renting them out for so much money that families struggle to pay the rent.
All the inhabitants of Barbuda have been evacuated. All the infrastructure, and nearly all the buildings, were destroyed by hurricanes, rendering the island uninhabitable, at least for now.
It was not terribly hard to evacuate Barbuda's 1,600 people. Imagine if a future storm causes a similar level of destruction in Puerto Rico, with its 3,500,000 people.
Georgia courts are ignoring a juror's signed statement that he voted to convict Keith Tharpe of murder based on racist views.
The ACLU and NAACP are suing to stop Illinois from using the Crosscheck scheme of voter suppression.
The deep problem of Equifax and other credit-reporting companies is that they collect lots of data about people's way of life and thus facilitate discrimination.
In the early days, this was entirely intentional.
Florida's electric company has used its influence on legistators to obtain laws that prohibit people from connecting their solar panels directly to their electric circuits. They are required to go through the power grid, and when the grid power is down, they can't use the solar panels either.
Voting for such laws is an indication of some sort of corruption.
A man is 15 feet away from you, holding a pipe. He has shown no hostility. Do you need to shoot him — or is that being on a hair trigger and jumping the gun?
"Far away from any witnesses, my small town is being poisoned by fracking waste."
Trying to help girls of African descent escape genital mutilation by informing them about the issue on exit from the UK.
Distributing welfare payments through a card that tracks people is being sold in Australia as a way to stop the money's being spent on alcohol and drugs. Apparently it is not very effective at that, but it surely tracks people effectively.
When Bob Crane's electricity was cut off, he began using fires to cook. Eventually a fire got out of control and killed him.
Cutting off the electricity of a poor person is an act of stinginess, typical of an anti-welfare state.
In the 1980s, US militarists bemoaned the "Vietnam syndrome" that made the US hesitate to get involved in wars, especially unwinnable ones. Too bad the US has "recovered" from this lesson.
Distinguishing between religious beliefs and delusions.
Comparing knowledge of science with Windows 10 is unfortunate, though. If Windows is some kind of "knowledge", it would be superstition.
In Dominica after Hurricane Maria, few were killed but everything is wrecked.
US citizens: Tell your congresscritter to cut off US support for Salafi Arabia's bombardment of Yemen.
US citizens: Phone your senators to oppose to the Dontcare bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
After centuries of reforms, and investigations of the causes of poverty, the UK realized that poor people who were making enough at the moment to live on were constantly in danger that some change would push them into penury. The welfare state eliminated that danger. It needs to be brought back.
These lessons apply in general to the US as well, modulo some differences in the details of welfare between the two countries.
Children in foster care were usually traumatized by the events that put them there. The instability of foster families, combined with the prejudice they face, tends to injure them more.
We could help them better if we taxed the rich more.
The saboteur-in-chief has nominated a saboteur to head the EPA's department for chemical safety. He has worked persistently for the chemical industry to oppose EPA regulations.
The troll's political philosophy is, "If you're rich, you won't live near any chemical plants. If you're not rich, your life is not important."
After Failing to Prosecute Bankers, Obama Cashes In With Wall Street Speeches.
The Tories have squeezed non-rich Britons from every direction at once, and it came out as ballooning personal debt.
A state can run a deficit without hurting itself, but individuals can't do this indefinitely. With wages so low, they can never pay off their debts. Labour should promise to let them shed it through bankruptcy without disaster. Screw the banksters instead of the people!
The pilots of Cryin'air, forced to be "independent contractors" so as to deny them employees' rights, are starting a slowdown strike.
The Spanish government is clamping down on the Catalan government to stop a referendum on independence, raiding various Catalan agencies and arresting some functionaries specifically for trying to hold the referendum. Crowds are resisting this nonviolently.
It was not clear that the majority would vote for independence, and I saw no reason to favor it. But after this I think that no one in Catalonia will want to argue against it.
Insistence on "protecting" girls teaches them that they are weak and vulnerable.
US schools are starting to ban physical exercise such as cartwheels. I suspect fear of being sued is a contributing factor somehow.
It might make sense to forbid practices such as American football, which cause grave permanent injuries to a large fraction of participants.
I have always been timid about physical exercise that struck me as dangerous. I have never dared to do a cartwheel. But I think I'd have had a better life if I had not been so timid.
"Exploitation of the vulnerable is rampant in Britain, from nail bars and car washes to building sites, hotels, restaurants and farms."
In Asia, workers on fishing boats are enslaved.
The article doesn't mention sex workers, but some of them too are enslaved. Indeed, there is a powerful campaign to ban sex work (or make it impossible to carry out) on the grounds that some sex workers are enslaved, while some others are exploited.
Strangely, no one proposes to put an end to nail bars, car washes, construction, hotels, restaurants, farms, or fishing boats on the grounds that some of their workers are enslaved or exploited.
If the enslavement and exploitation of some workers were a valid reason to ban sex work, or make it impossible to carry out, why not for the other fields as well?
There is a proprietary app that can be prescribed as a treatment for addiction.
I fear that in five years people will be ordered by courts to use a smartphone and run this app or go to jail. If it were me, I'd say "Put me in jail — I will never carry a smartphone."
The city that "wins" the competition to get Amazon's new subheadquarters could pay so much for this that it has a loss instead of a benefit.
Even if the cost is not quite that big, the subsidy to Amazon will be anticompetitive, thus unfair and damaging to society.
Beyond that, Amazon's operation increases concentration of wealth, and increases surveillance. That's when it isn't pushing DRM and unjust EULAs. So don't buy from Amazon, and tell your city and state governments not to "compete for jobs" by giving companies tax breaks.
Spain is trying to drive advocacy of independence for Catalonia off the internet, blocking access using multiple tactics.
I have no opinion on the question of Catalan independence, except that I criticize one of the arguments I've heard cited in favor: that Catalonia's taxes support poorer regions of Spain. I think that is right and proper.
That said, I see the political censorship as very threatening.
Parts of the US now get so hot that they ruin asphalt roads. Engineers still design roads using temperature ranges that the US experienced from 1964 to 1995. Now it is hotter.
Biofuels made from farming crops is competing with people for food, and poor people are losing out.
The US signed the Arms Trade Treaty, but disregards it when its allies want to attack.
Food is now available in Venezuela, but not easy to buy. The most common food items, because of price controls, are hard to find. Everything else is too expensive for most people.
(I verified this with a Venezuelan friend.)
In the long term, Venezuela needs to grow more food. Chávez had a program to encourage that, but it didn't work.
It took four court rulings to overrule UK officials that were determined to send Samim Bigzad back to Afghanistan. They defied the first three rulings and sent him back anyway. Once there, he didn't dare leave his hotel room since the Taliban were looking for him.
Veterans For Peace members comment on a documentary about the Vietnam War.
Germany's political censorship prohibits "defamation of religions, religious and ideological associations." That law already is an injustice, but a new law threatens to make internet platforms err on the side of censoring more than the law requires.
One study suggests that Football players that started before age 12 may double their chance of various mental problems later.
In effect, medical "insurance" would not really cover expensive procedures, just add the cost to your bills to continue coverage.
Naomi Klein Warns Europe May Water Down Paris Accord to Win Support From Trump.
The Paris agreement pledges were inadequate from the start. To forestall global heating disaster, we need to make them stronger.
More depredations of the sex offender list.
The Russian state calls the movie, The Death of Stalin, a disinformation operation.
Those who have put much effort into a certain kind of wrong also tend to accuse their enemies of doing it.
Taking legal action against the wave of licensing requirements for lines of work that shouldn't require licensing.
Merkel wants to privatize Germany's autobahns, generating a lot of opposition.
The pressure to let rich people own parts of public infrastructure is a sign of not taxing them enough.
The social network Gab is threatened with loss of its domain name because it didn't censor right-wing insults against Heather Heyer.
I do not wish to defend those insults in any way, but the pressure for censorship seems dangerous to me no matter how nasty the material to be censored.
Ruchama Marton, founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel discusses the slaughter of Egyptian soldiers as they surrendered, and the sole Israeli leader who did not allow torture. And many other things.
Imprisonment without trial is itself tyranny.
The City of Munich plans to equate opposition to the occupation of Palestine with anti-Semitism, and forbid speakers in municipal auditoriums from criticizing the occupation.
Forced marriage, slavery and forced labor afflict 40 million people.
Many are kept in servitude through debts (often involving threats against relatives) rather than direct threats of violence.
The idea of free software is that we should control the software that we outsource our thinking to.
Politicians told Sanders that the US couldn't afford to make college gratis for all students, but now Congress has voted to add an even larger sum to the military budget.
As two Australians were having sex in a nighclub, thugs came up and shot them both for no obvious reason. The thugs then brutalized them in various other ways. The victims survived with grave injuries.
Trump threatens that other countries will be "bystanders" if they don't join in conflict with Iran and North Korea.
There are worse things to be than a bystander to gratuitous wrong. For instance, you could be a culprit instead.
Both Iran and North Korea are tyrannical states, especially North Korea. But we can't give those two peoples human rights by threatening to devastate them in an avoidable war.
Republicans now threaten 10 US national monuments.
Australia is pressuring Rohingya refugees to return to Burma where they would be chased out again.
From Mississippi to Wisconsin, thugs raid black people's homes, attack them, and search them, with no warrant or legal justification, as a systematic form of intimidation and harassment.
Special Interests Dim Opportunity For California To Commit To 100% Clean Electricity.
The details are different, but it is designed to achieve the same effect: to deny millions of Americans medical coverage, even at the cost of their lives.
Please sign this one, too.
US citizens: Thank the senators that cosponsor Medicare for All.
US citizens: tell Congress to pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement act.
Chelsea Manning emerged from prison into a digital dystopia of massive surveillance and algorithms that automatically assume she is committing fraud.
She exaggerates in a common fashion by saying that "we" all carry portable phones and use credit cards. You can resist some forms of massive data collection — but the trouble involved is prohibitive for most people. We must change that.
We must force redesign of systems to collect much less data about people other than court-designated suspects.
Another Republican official threatens to murder protesters with his car.
Israel is prosecuting the "Palestinian Gandhi" for exercising ordinary human rights.
Israel should stop claiming to be the "only democracy in the Middle East." Democracy includes respect for human rights, including the right of nonviolent protest.
Global food companies neglect to protect environmental activists in their supply chain. That opens the door to many kinds of abuses.
China is now dragging poor countries into debt servitude just as the US and Europe used to do.
Many Americans now believe the generalization that experts can't do any good, so we should not take advantage of their expertise.
It reminds me of the belief, clearly false, that the government can't do any good, so we should not use it to solve our problems.
The latter belief was painstakingly inculcated by right-wing activists and paid PR, especially starting under President Reagan. I wonder if right-wing activists and paid PR have taught the first one, too.
Australia's record-breaking winter is 2C hotter than normal.
When scientists insist on reporting all the uncertainties about climate modeling, they play into the hands of the unscrupulous denialists that will grab any excuse to pretend there is no danger.
A large fraction of Bangladesh is under water due to a mammoth storm. I've read elsewhere that it has flooded 1/3 the land area.
Some of that land will be dry again soon, but some will have disappeared forever. A lot more will disappear in coming decades.
With the population still growing, and the land area shrinking, Bangladesh is on track to be crushed to death. The main help it needs is help reducing births.
With autonomous farming robots, tens of millions of farmers will soon join the unemployed.
I don't want to be a farmer, and maybe you don't either. But if we don't provide those people another way to live, we will soon see millions of people starving on the street or trying to steal food made by the automated farms.
"Smart" appliances can be used by stalkers.
Do cameras and trackers endanger you, or protect you? That depends on who uses them. If you are the only one who can access them, they may help you and not hurt you. But if you access them through computers not under your control—for instance, computers with Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS—then there are others that can track you, and there is no way you can prevent it.
The Only Safe Email Is Text-Only Email.
I've never stopped doing text-only email.
Arrogant Christian prudes in Brazil pressured Santander Bank into cancelling an exhibit of queer art.
They wish to silence anything that provokes their prejudice.
Citizens of the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand: call on these countries to respect our right to privacy through encryption.
US citizens: support Medicare for All.
Australia is testing a digital payment card system to track and restrict people that receive welfare benefits. It turns out that the restriction aspect is ineffective for its stated purpose.
What this card system may succeed in doing is smearing the recipients of welfare benefits, teaching others to think of them as potential cheaters. That would be a first step to endorsing the Tory-style view that they deserve to starve in the street.
It's bad enough that Liar Spicer is being honored, but even worse, Dubya's war launchers are being honored too.
The US State Department wants Israel to return millions of dollars of military aid because it broke the attached condition — not to lobby for even more aid.
Ibrahim Halawa was visiting Egypt at the time of al-Sisi's coup, and joined in a protest. He was arrested and accused of murder, based on no evidence, and was jailed and tortured for 4 years along with hundreds of others. Last week he was acquitted.
The US has 4600 nuclear weapons. Calling them a "deterrent" lulls people into supposing they cannot start a nuclear disaster.
"'Gut instinct' told Lt Col Stanislav Petrov that apparent launch of US missiles was actually early warning system malfunction."
A bill that would make US internet sites legally responsible for what users post is likely to push them all into using unreliable automatic censorship systems.
Please do not refer to internet postings as "content".
Hurricane Harvey could give big ISPs an excuse to wipe out small ISPs.
Thugs in St Louis shut down peaceful protests, then engaged a mass chant saying that the city's streets belong to the thugs, not to the inhabitants.
They owe all the citizens of St Louis an apology.
Egyptian human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein was disappeared by Egyptian police and charged with absurd "crimes".
He was not tortured, but says he heard the sounds of torturing other prisoners.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed Raed al-Salhi without even trying to arrest him, let alone charging him with a crime.
The British navy is adopting voice control for computers.
I hope they are not going to privatize this and let a foreign company track what the crew ask the computer on ships. But that is not the only risk here.
Some decades ago I saw a movie in which there was a naval standoff between a US ship and a Soviet ship. The US captain told someone else on the bridge (a journalist?), "If they fire one, we'll fire one". A bridge crewman heard the last two words, took them for an order ("Fire one!"), and fired a missile, thus starting a war.
Soon a computer could really do this.
This is not as bad as snooping on users, which is common on the internet, but it is still wrong.
I hope the troll doesn't retaliate against the Juggalos for this.
Young adults and adolescents are the main recruiting field for terrorist movements on all sides.
Despite nationalist political movements, internationalism remains strong world-wide, perhaps increasingly so.
The US needs to increase the estate tax and the capital gains tax.
Increasing the estate tax does not necessarily mean increasing the estate tax rate, although that can be done. Primarily it should mean defeating the methods people use to avoid the estate tax.
The motive for taxing capital gains less than ordinary income is to encourage rich people to invest. That's wise, and I agree that the capital gains tax rate should be less than the tax rate on ordinary income.
Therefore, to increase the tax rate on large amounts of capital gains, we should also increase the tax rate on large amounts of ordinary income so that the latter remains higher than the former.
Watch out for claims that government spending would "pay for itself". In some cases that's true, but the companies that would get the money will try hard to exaggerate the public savings that would supposedly result. Thus, most of these claims are bogus.
Those arguments are harmful at a deeper level. They inculcate the idea that state's highest priority is to reduce its budget deficit, so it should fund whatever activities will have that effect.
However, if the state considers funding something inessential specifically to make a profit, that shows it's not one of the state's important functions — because those must be done, even though they cost money.
The very idea of insisting on a balanced budget for the state is foolish, since that policy tends to turn any recession into a depression.
The US median income rose significantly in 2015 and 2016, amounting to around 8%.
This will be good for Americans, especially if they use it to reduce their debts. Unlike a state, an individual or a household gets in big trouble from deficit spending.
The basic way to resist is to insist on paying cash. That is what I do.
I do not insist 100% on cash; my compromise is that I use a credit card to pay for airline tickets and car rental. I also use checks, in some limited situations.
Cop Cleans Out Wallet Of Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendor Just Because He Can.
Facebook invited advertisers to target ads using antisemitic categories such as "Jew hater".
And other forms of bigotry, too.
US citizens: call on Pruitt to protect water supplies from pollution from uranium mining.
Everyone: call on the Federal Reserve to remove Wells Fargo's board of directors.
The UK should immediately provide emergency aid to the devastated British islands in the Caribbean, but if they want funds for rebuilding they should permanently cease acting as tax havens.
The US Virgin Islands are rejecting refugees from storm-devastated nearby islands.
Enough Tiptoeing Around. Let's Make This Clear: Coal Kills People.
Oil and natural gas kill people, too, just not quite as much.
The Philippines Congress has voted to shut down its human rights commission for criticizing Do-dirty's murder campaign.
The "stalker phone" enables someone else to track you the same way Big Brother tracks all portable phones.
The EU is considering new kinds of taxes on some businesses that mostly avoid taxation now.
This makes politicians show whose side they are on. The US is plutocratist, of course. So, it appears, is Denmark. The EU needs to tax businesses and rich people more, so as to make them contribute to the upkeep of society and to helping the poor.
China has imposed strict censorship on chat groups, and requires all participants to identify themselves.
Banning anonymous or private conversation is tyranny. We must fight to stop our countries from following China's example.
UK thugs are keeping a data base of 20 million face photos, illegally.
To rise above the fragmentation of identity politics, we need to join in common struggles for human rights and economic justice.
Many of the Kennedy School's visiting fellows have done despicable things. Apparently the school thinks that Chelsea Manning won't fit in.
Google shut off Alexa O'Brien's Google Drive account, denying her access to it, because her reporting on Chelsea Manning's trial included copies of al-Qa'ida propaganda that was presented as evidence.
This makes a second reason not to use Google Drive. The first reason is that using it requires you to run nonfree software.
The Burmese army is systematically setting fire to places where Rohingya live, and chasing them to the border of Bangladesh.
Adapting some of our cities to the hot world we are creating is possible only for the richest parts of the world. It is not a real solution to the problem. Renewable electric generation is only a part of a solution.
A Florida thug advocated imprisoning and murdering Jews.
Any public employee who deals with the public and endorses bias for or against a subset of the public ought to be fired for that. People have a right to advocate such views, but if they do, they are unfit for such a job.
Putin proposed UN peacekeepers for the rebellious areas of Ukraine.
This confirms my belief that Putin stirred up that rebellion for the sake of pressure on Ukraine, and not because he actually cared about the dispute in the east.
The bully is indeed a white supremacist.
Please join in saying so.
US citizens: tell Congress: No tax cuts for rich, no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, cut the tax breaks that encourage offshoring profits, and no "reconciliation" tax cuts.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject anti-scientist Bridenstine as head of NASA.
US citizens: Support the Equality Act to ban discrimination against queer people.
Everyone: stand with Jemele Hill, and rebuke ESPN for silencing her.
Harvard cancelled its invitation to Chelsea Manning to be a Visiting Fellow in response to a complaint from the head of the CIA.
One wag restated Harvard's position with, "Due to a clerical error we thought she'd perpetrated war crimes, but it turned out she EXPOSED them, and Harvard WILL NOT stand for that."
Harvard does not seem embarrassed by inviting right-wing bigots and liars to be Visiting Fellows.
Harvard effectively admitted that it was giving in to CIA pressure.
Harvard alumni, when Harvard asks you for money, I suggest you print and send a copy of that last article instead.
Mayan engineer Mariano Gómez connected his isolated rural community to the internet, and was invited by the Internet Society to receive an award. The US would not let him apply for a visa, not for anything he had done, but for being poor.
Ariel Dorfman's book How to Read Donald Duck survived Pinochet's repression and has now been published by the US.
His book Death and the Maiden gives a fictional picture of what Pinochet's repression was like.
Google has given up trying to oppose US court subpoenas for information from servers stored outside the US.
Companies located outside the US should not entrust personal data to any US company. As for individuals, don't entrust your personal data to any company.
US officials continue threatening a military attack on North Korea.
This is stupid, since North Korea could devastate Seoul with conventional weapons before the US could defeat it.
North Korea's missile launches, aimed at the ocean, are not attacks. Rather, they are threats and provocations, intended I think to begin negotiations. Since negotiation is the only hope of convincing North Korea to step back from nuclear weapons, the US should negotiate. Why not make peace on the Korean peninsula?
The UK deported Samim Bigzad to Afghanistan before a court could rule on the case, and defies the courts that have ruled he should come back.
He said the Taliban would kill him, and it seems they are already trying to.
Australia wants ISPs and other internet services to agree on measures to attack sharing.
Australians, how about if you tell your ISP today that you oppose the very idea, because sharing is good, and to stop calling sharing "piracy".
In Sweden, a man who operated a subtitle wiki site has been convicted of copyright infringement, as the state put itself at the service of the movie companies.
Don't repeat their propaganda: join me in refusing to call sharing "piracy".
Why Does Facebook Allow Advertisers to Target "Jew Haters"?
Bruce Schneier: It is no use pressuring Equifax and other data brokers to maintain better security over your data. They will ignore such pressure. Only government regulations will help.
This explains why Equifax put a person whose field is music in charge of security: because it's a low priority matter for Equifax.
To really address the problem, we need to limit the accumulation of personal data, not merely to maintain better security against crackers. There are four ways that databases are misused:
You can protect yourself in many of these cases by not identifying yourself to web sites or companies, which includes paying cash. I never order anything on the internet because I won't identify myself.
The ACLU reports on the potential dangers of face recognition in the iMonsters. For instance, it will be running all the time, and any cr…app could use it — and do who-knows-what with the data.
Whatever the face recognition system is "supposed" to do, that is only a statement of Apple's supposed intent. It depends Apple's word alone. Apple could at any time downgrade the system to send that data to its own server, a US government server, or a Chinese government server.
Thugs in Caloocan (Philippines) arrested teenager Kian delos Santos and dragged him away to shoot him in the head. Then they planted a gun on him. Now the whole city's thug department has been sent for retraining while a few face charges.
There is no clear solution for dealing with the people who are returning home after going to Syria to support PISSI. Every approach has its risks and problems.
A Christian man with the misfortune to live in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for the "blasphemy" of ridiculing Muhammad.
To criminalize ridiculing some person, whether live or dead, is an offense against human rights.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which includes 57 countries, campaigns to impose prohibition of blasphemy on the whole world. It is thus the biggest overt enemy of human rights in the world. Sad to say, it has convinced/pressured many countries to prohibit making statements that "offend the feelings" of believers in any religion.
Not even living people have the right to prohibit hurting their feelings.
Montgomery, Alabama, was a major hub of slave trading. Now a museum of racial inequality is opening there.
They won't talk about civilian casualties, but I'd expect Russia to disregard civilians when fighting — worse than the US. Too bad the US is not in a position to criticize.
Greece is "recovering" after privatizing everything in the country to pay creditors. Privatization of services is making them bad in the usual ways.
How about nationalizing everything in a few years and reimbursing the purchasers with IOUs?
Uri Avnery believes that peace between Israel and Palestine is still possible — the only thing to despair of is despair itself.
Who is going to make peace thinkable in Israel, though?
Want to Help Hurricane Victims? Donate to Abortion Funds.
Florida's best defense against flooding from the sea is the natural systems that Republicans are destroying as fast as they can.
It may not matter. If we keep on spurring global heating, most of Florida will be under water, and it is only a matter of how soon.
US courts are using secret algorithms to determine guilt or innocence in criminal trials.
Secrecy by a business is often antisocial in itself, but even when that is not so, it is minor compared with human rights or the public interest.
A California utility has installed a large battery to provide reserve power.
I am sure that is useful, but if it is to help with global heating, they should not save it as a reserve — they should empty it every night and charge it with solar power each day.
Flint's water supply now has acceptable levels of lead, but people won't trust the state and city government until they show they deserve it.
Since the government of Flint is nondemocratic and was imposed by state Republicans, I doubt it will even try.
No level of lead is safe, but in practice, below a certain level there is no feasible way to reduce it.
The Tories are copying Voter ID from the US, I suppose as a way to reduce the Labour vote.
Walker and Trump's Foxconn Deal May Be Worst in American History. (It's like paying $900,000 for a $150,000 house you might not get to live in.)
US newspapers repeatedly create a false equivalence between right-wing extremists and counterprotesters; then they focus their attacks on the counterprotesters.
US citizens: support the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would deny commanders the power to interfere with prosecution of rape accusations made by those under their command.
US citizens: call on Congress not to deregulate silencers for guns.
The UK will continue gagging organizations that campaign for a cause.
A well-funded right-wing organization perfected the argument that denialists use to discredit all the climate scientists that recognize global heating: they are all lying so that they can get paid to study the field.
They used it first in regard to tobacco, claiming that medical researchers lied claiming tobacco is dangerous, and their motive was to get more research grants.
There are plenty of areas for climate-related research, and if there were no global heating, they would look for other grants.
There are some corrupt scientists. They generally get corrupted by businesses, and you can find them arguing for the interests of some business or other.
A group of forest defenders enforce Indonesia's environmental law, cutting down illegal palm oil plantations and planting seeds of the native plants.
The UK sentenced thousands of prisoners to indefinite prison terms; to be released, each one needs to take a special class. However, many of them can't take the class because the prisons they are in don't offer it.
Russia has joined in making air attacks in Syria that also kill civilians. Like the US, Russia does not acknowledge that they occur.
I agree. When thugs kill blacks, when thugs kill men, in general that's just as bad.
An EU agency said that glyphosate was safe, copying "dozens of pages" from Monsanto's submission to that effect.
The issue here is not possible plagiarism, it is regulatory capture.
Using a fingerprint or your face to unlock a phone, instead of a password, can reduce your legal rights.
When American diplomats were attacked with sound in Havana, some of them actually heard sounds. They observed these sounds to be audible within sharply localized areas.
I read, a few years ago, about a technology for modulating an ultrasound beam with audible frequencies as a system for presenting the audible sound in a controlled area from a distance. Maybe something like that was used.
Burmese have set fire to many Rohingya villages.
The US Supreme Court will rule on the legality of current Republican gerrymandering procedure.
The US government is wise not to trust Kaspersky's proprietary software.
But it shouldn't trust ANY proprietary software. You can never tell who it is spying for.
Employer-provided computers often do man-in-the-middle attacks on the employee's encrypted communications. As the employer breaks security directly, it also weakens security against everyone else.
Ralph Nader: Company executives use stock buybacks to enrich themselves at the expense of the company, the stockholders, and the workers. It used to be illegal, and for good reason.
The Environmental Pollution Agency plans to rewrite the rule to limit toxic metal pollution from coal-burning power plants. The metals that the EPA wants to facilitate release of include arsenic, mercury, and lead.
Motel 6 reported unauthorized migrants directly to the deportation agency.
As a US citizen, I don't worry about being deported from the US, but this reaffirms my concern about putting my name in a hotel's data base. The NSA snoops on hotel reservations outside the US so it can find where people will be staying.
Brazil's president Temer faces new corruption charges, but only if his supporters in the legislature vote to allow him to be tried.
Since they protected him not long ago, I expect they will protect him now.
Que o Brazil não si rinda ao Temer!
(May Brazil not yield to Fear!)
Courts will hear the case of whether the president has the power to pardon someone for contempt of court.
US citizens: urge your congresscritter to oppose budget cuts in health and environmental protection.
Hundreds of wild species in Canada have had big declines in population over recent decades.
US citizens: support Medicare for all.
World hunger increased in 2016, due to effects of war and global heating.
Women who worked for Google are suing, complaining about a massive system of discrimination.
The magic word "Blockchain" does not make computerized voting secure.
US citizens: call on Congress to oppose H.R. 2423, and any other bill that would allow development, mining, drilling or fracking in public lands.
The US taxes income from work twice as much as income from investment, and this is a powerful engine of dooH niboR.
Of course, there are economic arguments for it, and they are all based on disregarding dooH niboR.
Meanwhile, the profits stashed in tax havens or overseas subsidiaries are not taxed at all.
The United Nations made it illegal for a state to go to war without a very specific excuse. This discouraged wars, though not with complete effectiveness. But nowadays states face less and less pushback when they start wars.
A few of the Americans born in poverty are so capable that, with good luck, they can escape poverty, maybe even get rich.
There is no way that the majority could do this — the climb is too steep, and the number of prosperity slots is limited.
Various methods of taking CO2 out of the air are slowing advancing.
Plain packaging has cut tobacco sales 10% since May in one UK store chain.
Ash trees in the US are now listed as critically endangered due to a parasitic beetle that arrived in the US 25 years ago.
Groups to Congress: Put Police Militarization On Hold and Do Some OVERSIGHT!
Bernie Sanders has again introduced a bill for universal medical care in the US, this time with 15 cosponsors.
Coca Cola is taking all the ground water near the Mexican city of San Felipe Ecatepec, so all the wells are running dry.
I suggest legislating that beverage companies selling something other than "water" must get all their water by desalination powered by renewable energy, paying a heavy fine per liter for any water obtained otherwise.
Engineer Dale Bridenbaugh resigned from GE in 1976 because he knew that the Mark 1 nuclear power plants' safety was dubious and the company was unwilling to do or say anything about that. Three of these plants had a meltdown many years later in Fukushima.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission knows the danger, and makes sure nothing is done to prevent similar problems in the 23 plants in the US. If they have a meltdown, don't call it an accident!
Nuclear power plant waste poses two problems: how to safely cool it down for the first few decades, and how to store it after that. Neither one has a safe solution.
Germany threatens to put facial recognition systems in train stations, "to make people safe".
Safe from what? Almost nothing.
Analyzing the ways the surveillance industry twists facts and words to give the impression there is no other way.
Note that the word "free" in that article is used to mean "zero price" — nothing to do with "free" as we use the term. Also, it does not consider the issue of whether payment for access to a web site is tracked or anonymous — it recognizes only the issue of visible advertising.
In the Netherlands, the train and bus payment card was handing over students' travel details to another agency without a warrant. A court has ordered it to stop.
That's a good decision, and the article explains why. But it does not go far enough. Public transportation should be anonymous.
Asia's Glaciers to Shrink by a Third by 2100, Threatening Water Supply of Millions.
Amazon shamelessly asked various US cities to compete to offer it the biggest possible tax break for siting its sub-headquarters there.
I've proposed to (effectively) ban such proceedings by requiring cities and states to get permission from competing cities and states for any special tax or subsidy deal to be offered to any private business. But we can draw a further lesson: we need to get rid of companies that would drive cities or states into a competitive frenzy.
New tests for diesel cars, intended to measure emissions accurately by measuring them on the roads, still include ways for the manufacturer to supply a misleadingly low figure.
The NSA gave the Ethiopian dictatorship a surveillance system to keep dissidents down.
A start-up wants to attack local food stores and customer's privacy. You won't be able to buy from them without identifying yourself, it seems.
In addition, it would put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Maybe millions of them.
Instead of concerning themselves with these injuries to society, the discussion is about whether the term is somehow insulting to Hispanics. It's a great way to distract from the danger of making them unemployed.
A founder of Twitter blames Twitter for the troll's success, saying that social networks "dumb entire world down".
America's Shameful History of Voter Suppression.
It was even more severe before the Voting Rights Act, but Republicans are going all out to deny the voters control of who gets elected.
Chocolate growers are cutting down forests in Ivory Coast.
A sufficient number of people patrolling protected forest areas and chopping down all plantation trees in them would put an end to it. That would be a short-term fix. The long-term fix is to bring the birth rate down far enough that the population starts to slowly decrease.
US blacks, as a group, are steadily getting poorer; likewise for Hispanics. They are heading into debt because they can't earn enough to live.
Projections to 2053, if they assume that the rest of society stays the same, are neglecting the effects that global heating will have. That means they present a false rosy picture. Even in 2030, things will be substantially worse overall.
The troll's saboteurs are defying a court order to state the legal basis for attacking Syria with cruise missiles. They handed over published PR material which did not include the demanded reasons.
Now what? The troll has already showed he is eager to pardon anyone who disregards court orders when the troll wants that.
The president's power to pardon must not include crimes carried out as part of government activity or at the behest of the president or officials appointed by the president.
Several Britons have been convicted of enslaving vulnerable men and forcing them to work laying down tarmac.
This underlines the point that enslavement of workers is not a matter of the nature of the job. It is more a matter of the nature of society. People get enslaved and forced to do whatever job because they are in a vulnerable position, often in a foreign country and told they are in debt (though that wasn't the case here).
High school student Corey Walgren
suicide just after he was told he might be put on the sex offender
list, for recording the audio of having sex with another student.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
It is wrong to record sex with someone else who has not consented to the recording. But it shouldn't carry a penalty of lifetime loneliness, homelessness and unemployment, which is what the sex offender list does
The article repeats the customary falsehood of calling Walgren and other high-school students "children". They are not legally adults, but they are certainly not children.
Egyptian lawyer Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, who was investigating the torture and murder of Giulio Regeni, has been arrested.
Egypt seems to have a general policy of confirming that the state was behind disappearances by arresting the people that investigate.
I will not go to Egypt while the regime continues this way. I urge everyone else to stay away, too. Support some other country with a less vicious government.
A Russian company used its Facebook account to support right-wing bigotry in the US.
There is no rescue plan for what global heating will do to neoliberalist capitalism.
Australia gives fossil fuel companies tax deductions to write up the arguments for the right-wing government to use for removing tax deductions for environmental groups.
The House of Representatives is moving towards cancelling Sessions' expansion of "civil forfeiture".
EU Countries Authorized Their Vessels To Fish Unlawfully In African Waters. A few high-tech European fishing ships can take fish away from thousands of local fishermen using traditional gear.
The US is tiring out its military by using it all the time in many areas of the world for 15 years. Often in operations that make things worse.
More intensive farming is accelerating the loss of topsoil.
I've seen reports that we have, on the average, 60 years of topsoil left. How will we grow enough food after 60 years from now?
"The damage suffered by Houston, Tampa and Miami is not an anomaly. It is the beginning of the end."
US citizens: call on Democrats to protect the nuclear deal with Iran.
Unionized janitors in the UK have got rid of outsourcing at a London university.
Since outsourcing works against workers, a just government would make outsourcing financially discouraging for companies.
In St Martin, non-rich inhabitants are taking food and water from the closed and abandoned stores, in order to survive. To call this "looting" is to place property above human lives.
People who need food and water should take it from anywhere that there is extra, and they should not be punished.
The UN Security Council adopted additional sanctions against North Korea.
Since China voted for them, this may put more real pressure on North Korea. More pressure could help get concessions, but pressure alone will only make Kim more stubborn. To get concessions requires negotiating with him, offering rewards as well as pressure.
Is the bully capable of this?
NGOs accuse the Tokyo winter Olympic Games of knowingly allowing rainforest destruction in constructing venues.
Facial imaging programs may be able to determine people's intelligence level and political views with fairly good accuracy, though not perfect accuracy.
Beware of plans to punish people because of this inaccurate metric.
Victim-blaming and irrationality: as usual, blaming the victim of rape is based on deep confusion, between the moral responsibility for doing wrong to others, and the practical responsibility for taking a foolish risk. These are not just different in detail, they are different in kind.
With Smart Planning, Coffee and Bees Can Survive Climate Change.
Fighting, step by step, to eliminate the copyright on "We Shall Overcome".
100 peace protesters were arrested for nonviolently obstructing an arms fair in London, which was selling arms currently being used for war crimes.
Right-wing tease speakers aim to provoke progressive protesters into violence, which serves as good publicity for the right-wing.
The progressive movement must learn not to be drawn into violence by words.
JP Morgan Chase paid 13 billion dollars so that an accusation of fraud by the Justice Department would not be filed with the court.
The US is using drones and soldiers to kill civilians in Yemen, hardly making any attempt to protect them.
UN: Myanmar's Treatment of Rohingya "Textbook Example of Ethnic Cleansing".
What do you think it means when your forests are on fire, your streets are underwater, and your buildings are collapsing?
Is licensing manicurists a good way to stop the use of enslaved workers in some manicure salons?
Enslaved workers are found in a wide range of businesses, but licensing all kinds of workers would be oppressive. There has to be another solution.
A right-wing protester tried a terrorist attack against counterprotesters. The attack was stopped.
Many cancers are caused by personal choices that maybe a person can change. Many other cancers are caused by environmental factors that we can't change individually.
We can change some of those environmental factors with collective action. Others need advances in science.
Turkey arrested 75,000 people for downloading an encrypted communication application. The state arbitrarily supposed that every user was a supporter of Gülen.
Even if they did (or some of them did) support Gülen, that alone doesn't justify arresting them or firing them.
The EU is starting to act against "fitness trackers" that collect personal data of employees and make them available to the employer.
It is a step in the right direction, but fitness trackers and other personal devices should not be allowed to provide any personal data to anyone other than the individual user, except when the user decides to send it, and the standard or preferred mode of use should be totally private.
The judge in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "trial" allowed the prosecution to destroy evidence from a US torture site in Europe which was to be used by his defense.
Of course, a secret trial is bogus in any case.
The FDA is suing the company that actually manufactures EpiPens, a branch of Pfizer, for ignoring malfunctions.
To protect a city from flooding, make it taller and more compact.
Deadly Asbestos Still Widely Used Around the World.
About murdered Indian Journalist Gauri Lankesh.
British American Tobacco, already being investigated for possible bribery in Africa, got a British diplomat to lobby Bangladesh to forego back taxes.
US citizens: call on Senator Schumer to replace Senator Feinstein in the judiciary committee with someone that will resist the troll.
Bolivia rushed through a law to allow a road through a protected national park.
Instead of palm oil, the usual cause for such acts, this time it is coca.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's trial is proceding so slowly that it is likely to finish 32 years after he was arrested for it.
A progressive Christian pacifist was compelled to reconsider the extent of his pacifism after being on the receiving end of right-wing extremist violence, and being protected by Antifa.
I am not a pacifist: I think violence in self-defence, and in defense of others, is legitimate. However, we must make sure, in protests, that we do not attack others with violence.
The bill is not strong enough; when I signed, I said that businesses might disregard targets for 2035, so really there need to be short-term targets plus fines for not meeting them.
Another approach would be a carbon tax with a steadily increasing tax rate. This would achieve the same goal in a market-based way, provided the tax rate gets high enough.
US citizens: demand to know which thugs pointed a gun at Michael Bennett.
US citizens: call on officials to act now to curb global heating.
New Orleans used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse to eliminate public housing. The same could happen in Houston now.
Facebook makes secretive election manipulation easy for anyone with money to spend.
This provides an ideal way for plutocrats to use the dark money legalized by the Corporations United decision. As well as an ideal way for bigots to spread bigotry.
The troll says outrageous things because that delights the extremist Christians that support him.
Both the Rohingya and the Burmese army are falsifying reports of atrocities using images from other wars.
Half the children in Madagascar are stunted from malnutrition.
For the short term, Madagascar aid for the children. For the long term, Madagascar needs contraceptive aid to make fewer children.
A million of disabled people in Britain, who need some support to do the tasks of ordinary life, have been denied that support by the Tories.
If you don't think prostitution is a healthy practice, then make sure nobody needs to do it.
The Tories are cutting the last bits of aid that enable many disabled people to live independently.
The US wants to deport refugees from Iraqi minority groups to Iraq, where they might be killed or tortured.
Equifax is giving bogus answers when people ask whether they were included in the data breach. And then it rushes people to continue signing up for a service they didn't ask for, including a contract that signs way their legal rights.
This article also has examples of the injustices that the sex offender registry regularly does to Americans.
Managing nature as a theme park, or making a nature-themed theme park: spreading humanity leaves only those two choices for nature. That's population growth at work.
The disappearance of human ties with nature may have an economic effect. The more disconnected most people's lives are from nature, the more they are coupled to the fluctuations of human society, which means that those fluctuations can amplify themselves through feedback.
As political concern against face recognition builds, Facebook is campaigning and lobbying against regulation.
Florida Republicans cut funds for restoring wetlands years ago. Florida will suffer more rain-flooding now as a result of that bad decision.
Equifax suffered a huge data leak. To "help" the affected customers, it invites them to give Equifax more personal data and agree to part with their legal rights.
Industrial Waste Pollutes America's Drinking Water.
Smoke from giant wildfires has blanketed much of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
This is due to a drought that is partly due to global heating.
The UK jobcenter system generates one excuse after another to punish people. Each mistake leads to new hardship, like an infernal video game, and eventually you almost certainly end up starving.
The name for this is "Tory".
Columbia and Yale universities seem to be stalling the graduate student employee unions, hoping that the troll's saboteurs will cancel their right to organize.
Mar-a-Lago could be underwater most of the year by 2045 due to global heating.
Another powerful hurricane is following Irma's track, and will soon hit Barbuda, in which Irma destroyed 80% of the buildings.
This calls to mind the book, Mother of Storms, by John Barnes. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near having the technology that saved the day in that book.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the nomination of Randy Quarles.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter and senators to publicly advocate diplomacy with North Korea.
US citizens: tell the Senate, don't advance the troll's nominations for judges.
The Islands just devastated by Hurricane Irma should not have to make debt payments.
The President Is a Ponzi Scheme.
His "tax cuts" plan is the same idea as Reagan's "trickle down". It was bullshit in 1980 and it is bullshit now.
Orange County in California confiscated the portable toilets from a camp of homeless people, so now the nearest toilet is a mile away.
Stiglitz: Harvey spells it out: markets alone won't protect you.
To make a city safe from flooding requires regulations. To make a city safe from toxic pollution requires regulations. Chemical companies can pressure against local regulations by threatening to take their business to another locality so we need national regulations, even international regulations, which they can't escape from.
Henry Christian-Slane won a prestigious art award which promotes Billionaire Polluters, and gave some of the prize money to Greenpeace for use in criticizing the company.
When refugees are granted asylum in the UK, the state pushes them into penury by giving them no support.
I think the US provides new refugees aid and help in finding work.
Uri Avnery reflects on 94 years of life, in pre-Nazi Germany, Nazi Germany, Palestine, and Israel.
The sheriff of Polk County, Florida, says that thugs will check the IDs of everyone going to hurricane shelters and arrest them if they are wanted.
This means that many will risk death by staying away from hurricane shelters where they would be arrested. Even when there is a good reason to arrest someone, which sometimes there is, it doesn't justify driving per to death.
Will people without acceptable ID be denied shelter?
Note the sheriff's evidently intentional falsehood in describing people wanted for arrest, all of them, as "sexual offenders & predators". And only a small fraction of the real sexual offenders are likely to bother anyone again.
The old business elite campaigned against laws that protected us from business activities, and for lower taxes. The new Koch machine aims to realize the so-called "libertarian" antisocialist platform of "small government" and no taxes.
The Koch brothers understand that this means that we non-rich would be totally at the mercy of the rich, if we have unilaterally abandoned the only known method to protect ourselves from them: a strong and democratic state that redistributes wealth and helps people, as the US government did quite effectively when I was young.
A report on ag-gag laws, that criminalize reporting on farms' treatment of animals.
One, in Idaho, has been ruled unconstitutional. The report claims they are all inherently unconstitutional.
The European Union faces a proposal for filtering of all text uploaded for publication.
Chemical plant explosions are not unaccountable accidents; they result from carelessness, which US agencies and Texas have decided to tolerate.
The spread of toxic pollution from flooded sites of old polluting factories is not an accident either.
The US regime change wars in Iraq and Libya have given Kim Jong Un a rational reason to think that nuclear weapons are the only protection for his life and North Koreans' lives.
He might trust China more.
An AI program can detect who is gay, with good accuracy, from a dating site profile photos.
The data it is using includes styles as well as the shape of the face. It is not surprising that the appearance people present on a dating site reflects who they are attracted to.
However, the article says that just the shape of the face is enough basis to be right most of the time. That seems to prove that orientation is usually not a matter of choice.
The root cause of dangerous data breaches is the existence of big data bases about people.
Collecting that data is usually an injustice directly, too.
Storms as such don't discriminate, but when they hit a society that does, the poor and the outcast are hit much harder — for many reasons, including that they cannot flee.
Prisoners in Texas during the hurricane had very little water to drink in a temperature of 100 degrees. They could flush toilets only for a short time each day. The rest of the day they had to breath the fumes from their unflushable toilets.
Even when there is no hurricane, other prisoners in Texas are forced to work for no pay, building furniture, while their lungs are destroyed by breathing sawdust.
Many Indians, supporters of the ruling right-wing Hindu party and its leader Modi, have praised the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
In the short term, foreigners working in the UK do not take jobs away from citizens. They do jobs that are so arduous, and so low-paid, that citizens won't take them.
In the long term, however, the reason industry is organized around making those jobs exploitative is that there is a ready supply of foreign workers to exploit. If that were changed, British workers and these businesses would converge on treating workers better.
This alone won't cure poverty. Achieving that will require taxing the rich a lot more and ending their subsidies.
Exiled Turkish writer Elif Safak calls on the world not to cut off ties with Turkey, but realize that many Turks don't go along with Erdoğan.
Q&A: Our Plastic Addiction Is Out of Control. How Can We Consume Less?
Sea Salt Around the World Is Contaminated by Plastic.
Clinton is still fighting for the plutocratist politicians; her forthcoming book attacks Sanders and calls restoration of democracy unrealistic.
Sanders for president in 2020!
Some US right-wing extremists idolize Bashar al-Assad, apparently because of the contempt he shows to all that oppose him.
Iranian journalist Alireza Rajaee developed cancer while a political prisoner. The prison didn't take the matter seriously so the cancer went untreated and he lost an eye.
Prisoners are supposed to get medical care, but many countries have a tendency to skimp on it. That seems to be what happened to Liu Xiaobo in China.
The drug company Insys cheated insurance companies by lying about patients in order to sell its powerful opioid painkiller.
Hawai'i has halted collection of wildlife from coral reefs; the rate of collection was damaging the reef.
In general, I think that setting targets for 2035 is not likely to bring about any change from fossil fuel businesses. They feel so powerful that they think they can defeat any distant targets by ignoring them. Car companies succeeded in pushing back car mileage standards by ignoring them until it was too late, then saying "Quit demanding the impossible!"
To overcome predictable resistance and sabotage, we should impose a target for each year, with heavy fines for any company falling short.
It is harmful in many ways that so many companies depend on Amazon to ship their products. One surprising danger is false complaints can shut down their distribution.
A complaint about "intellectual property violation" is so vague it is actually meaningless. Amazon should instantly dismiss vague complaints like that, simply for being vague.
Another harm is that you can order from a company and be shocked to discover that it doxxed you to Amazon. This year, a friend offered to get something for me (I paid the cost), and instead of sending it to me she doxxed me to Amazon. I couldn't do anything about that, but I won't ask her to do that again.
The Democratic Party should stop blaming the voters for being unattracted to its center-right political positions on anything that relates to the economy.
Not to mention all the other damage.
When working-class parents look at the way middle class parents pressure their children, they see it as denying them a childhood.
I agree with them.
The level of competition that middle-class college-bound children face nowadays is a consequence of the fact that the fraction of good jobs is decreasing. Middle-class parents therefore know that their children will have to compete to stay in the middle class. They also see that working-class life is getting ever more arduous and painful. If we fix that, it will go a long way to fixing all of these problems.
Emergency workers are suing the owners of the chemical plant that exploded near Houston, because the fumes appear to have made them sick while they were in the vicinity.
This lawsuit may enable the community to learn what chemicals were in the plant, and find out what diseases they are likely to get in the future as a result. But what about the hundreds of other plants that don't say what chemicals they work with? They should all be required to release this information, for the sake of public safety.
And that's just one example of the many regulations we need.
A totally unnecessary prison sentence was given to a man who drank himself into a stupor, and didn't wake up when his dog killed his son.
Is he likely ever to do this again?
If this sentence deters anyone else from being similarly irresponsible, wouldn't just reading about the death of the baby be equally effective?
Danger: the cheater might use renegotiation of NAFTA to impose deregulation.
The damage of Hurricane Harvey demonstrates that we need a lot more regulation, not less.
15 states are suing to keep DACA active.
Proprietary software makes it possible to design products to cheat ordinary users while hiding their dishonesty from investigators.
Unauthorized immigrants in Houston were scared to call for help in dealing with flooding, because they were afraid they would be deported.
Do you find that plausible?
The sleaze is selling access to lobbyists through his golf courses.
The British aristocracy owns a large fraction of the land in Britain and enriches itself from EU-mandated subsidies to landowners.
If Britain leaves the EU, it could terminate the subsidies. Could it also take away some of their land? Maybe that is what Corbyn aims to do.
Progress is being made in helping stunted children to achieve normal physical and mental development.
As in other areas of medicine, an ounce of prevention for stunting is worth a pound of cure. Countries where substantial numbers of children suffer from malnutrition have either unjust governments or too high a birth rate, or both.
An experimental approach enabled the Greek island of Tilos to welcome and integrate 50 refugees into its population of 500 people.
Many Africans who joined Islamist extremist groups say that heavy-handed anti-terrorism actions convinced them to join.
Dividing the cost of global heating among oil companies.
Can anyone tell me what a "fixed-charge notice" is? I wish I knew whether anyone was punished because of a phony breathalyzer test.
The Burmese army has massacred Rohingya, driving those who were not shot into a fast-flowing river.
How Right-Wing Extremists Stalk, Dox, and Harass Their Enemies.
US citizens: Denounce the pardoning of Arpaio.
Facebook Says Likely Russia-Based Group Paid for Political Ads During US Election.
A new study that combined temperature data and other data, using software rather than hand-adjustments to compensate for changes in measuring systems, has convinced some skeptics that global heating is real and due to human-caused CO2 emissions.
However, I think that title has to go to Haiti, which has yet to repair the damage from two disastrous hurricanes over the past decade. The people are too poor to do that, and now hundreds of thousands more could lose their homes.
The House of Representatives passed a bill to require driverless cars to have some vague sort of better security against crackers, on the reasoning that terrorists might crack them.
There's nothing wrong with that goal, but it completely ignores the much more important danger: that state agents, with the collaboration of the car manufacturer, could make the car take you to the black site of the secret police.
If driverless cars become common, they will be used in all countries, including China, Cambodia, Egypt, Turkey, and Salafi Arabia, to mention just a few in which tyrannical practices have recently been reported on here. Even if you suppose this can't happen in the US, that should matter. But if you don't think that could happen in the US, read about what the Chicago thugs did for years.
The Sahara desert is forecast to claim 30% of Spain by 2050. Also parts of Italy and other European countries.
Global heating is likely to reduce food production on land and on sea, especially in tropical countries.
Some places in Asia already have temperatures that are bad for growth of rice.
A randomized experimental study found that using a computer in class causes college students to learn less.
Putin's thugs attack Navalny's campaign offices and arrest his supporters.
Human Rights Watch says that Egypt systematically tortures prisoners, with approval from President al-Sisi.
The US under Obama gave al-Sisi total support.
Some famous fashion companies have pledged to end the use of very thin models.
My understanding is that thin models do contribute to the general social pressure for women to be very thin, and that surely tends to cause anorexia.
Right-wing extremists are recruiting soldiers actively, in some cases going as far as planning terrorist attacks.
Fervent Muslims in Indonesia convince thugs to raid a household of women because they dress in a masculine way.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass a law to replace DACA.
US citizens: Democrats, fight for big progressive changes and against tax cuts for the rich.
US citizens: call on the US Trade Representative to drop the worst parts of NAFTA.
Experts predicted that a storm would someday flood the Houston area and unleash large amounts of air and water pollution. They said so several times. But they didn't expect anyone to pay attention.
Oil companies are not interested in preventing disaster; they figure that when the disaster happens they will be powerful enough to dump the costs and damage on others.
It's the government's job to regulate them so that they don't create so much danger for everyone else. But nowadays, due to plutocracy, the government doesn't try to do this job, and many others.
We need to restore democracy so that the government will work for us once again.
Canada's Ministry of Children and Family [harassment] says it is illegal to allow any child under 10 years old to be without adult supervision at any time. They have to be monitored more than prisoners are.
The best way to avoid being chained to helicopter parenting for 10 years is not to have children. It is best because it is also the biggest personal contribution you can make to reducing global heating, as well as avoiding making your life miserable in other ways.
However, for the sake of everyone that has children already — and for the sake of those children's development into capable adults — Canadians need to get this stupid decision reversed.
Two pairs of California thugs have been charged with committing "sadistic and terrorizing acts" against prisoners in jail.
Plastic Fibres Found in Tap Water Around the World, Study Reveals.
They release toxic chemicals and can drag bacteria along. They cause harm to some animals — we can't assume humans are safe.
A saboteur at the EPA is rejecting grant applications that use the term "climate change".
The Tories are using exit from the EU as an excuse to ask parliament ministers to rewrite almost any law.
Now that extreme poverty is common in the US, along with third-world-style bad sanitation, so is hookworm.
We had pretty much eliminated that, back when the US government was democratic and did useful things for non-wealthy people.
A clever new home product uses radar to track your heartbeat. Of course, it also informs someone (big brother) that someone is home.
It would be better to have this as a law than as a presidential order. However, Obama gave the order because Congress was deadlocked about the issue. We will have to push for Congress to replace the program.
The Palestinian Authority is going full China against free speech defender, by arresting human rights activist Issa Amro for criticizing the arrest of journalist Ayman Qawasmeh.
Amro faces charges from both the PA and Israel. Apparently they have one thing in common.
China's repression of VPNs extends to many fronts.
Cambodia's opposition leader is accused of conspiring with the US to overthrow the government.
The government of Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for over 30 years, is clearly not legitimate. But I doubt the US is trying to overthrow it; it isn't democratic enough for the US to aim for that.
Azeri journalist Khadija Ismayilova describes how the tyrants of Azerbaijan repress journalism to protect their hold on corruption.
They use the fruits of corruption to bribe European politicians to look the other way.
The nuclear powers in 1970 pledged to work for disarmament, but they did not do what they pledged. That's why countries like North Korea, as well as India and Pakistan, have developed nuclear weapons.
A bill in Florida would prohibit leaving a young child alone in a car even for a moment.
Parents would be required to do more dangerous things instead, such as take the child across the parking lot.
Google Promised Not to Scan Gmail for Targeted Ads—But for How Long?
The lawsuit against Sci-Hub, which breaks the monopoly on distributing scientific papers, could result in orders for ISPs to block access to the site.
Mainstream media misrepresent North Korea as more belligerent than it really is. Its statements show a willingness to negotiate, perhaps even disarm, in exchange for peace.
Palm oil has inspired criminal gangs in Peru to kill farmers in order to take their land for plantations.
Global heating could cause extinction of 1/3 of all species of parasites. This could cause big changes in ecosystems, perhaps including extinction of other species.
The cod will never come back to the Gulf of Maine because the water there is now too hot for them.
One of the parts of the Texas no-sanctuary law that was ruled unconstitutional would have authorized imprisonment of city and state officials for criticizing it.
The Department of Hateful Suppression says it will use the personal information provided under DACA by unauthorized immigrants (who were brought as children), to deport them.
Robot-making companies say that their robots won't replace human workers, but it is clear that the number of people required to design, build, fix and control robots will be far fewer than the humans that now do those jobs. That's what it means to increase efficiency.
When these workers could get good new jobs, we all benefited from increased efficiency. But nowadays that is empirically not so. 90% of the jobs created in the US in the past 10 years are McJobs.
Eventually, as robots get cheaper, the need for McWorkers won't keep up with the supply. Low-paid families in the US have a worse life today than they had 40 years ago. They are squeezed by rent, energy, and transport, and fine-the-poor government. Often their children get unaccountable charter-school education.
We know where this road leads to in 10 or 20 years, but in 50 years we can expect something like the Hunger Games if we don't make a radical change to spread the wealth.
Self-harming is the last recourse of people in a situation of total despair. Some the aspects of our society push millions of people into such despair.
Voting for perverse politicians seems much like a collective act of self-harming.
US citizens: sign to ask Congress to defend DACA.
US citizens: call on Congress to stop the militarization of US thugs.
How to use the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution to put somewhat of a leash on the troll, in a way SCROTUS might support.
Fossil fuel use is vulnerable to the extreme weather that it causes. Hurricane Harvey has knocked out 20% of US capacity to make gasoline from crude oil. This will cause a shortage of gasoline in the US for months. Renewable energy avoids this problem.
The Burmese oligarchs are opening up massive oil and gas extraction, and the unequal distribution of the wealth helped provoke the conflict between the Rohingya and other inhabitants.
Several black men, after being attacked by UK thugs, became "unwell" and died. The thugs are concealing what happened, but it seems they became "unwell" because of physical attacks, repeated tasing, and pepper spray right in the nose.
The troll has turned politics into a show of contempt, and a substantial fraction of Americans can't get enough of it. They have ceased to care about political issues in any substantial way. This might enable him to win in 2020, with help from the electoral college and voter suppression.
A report finds that the UK's "Prevent" deradicalization program is spreading a climate of fear and self-censorship at UK universities.
The idea of offering deradicalization help is laudable in theory, but it can't be helpful if it comes across as repression. Perhaps if it were run by non-radical Muslims, and normally Muslims suggested it to other Muslims, it would be useful.
Likewise, moderate Tories could be encouraged to suggest this to people at risk of right-wing radicalization.
CCTV + Lip-Reading Software = Even Less Privacy, Even More Surveillance.
Plutocratist government turned Oklahoma into a descending spiral of failure, except for a few.
Wisconsin will pay Foxconn to "create jobs" — half a million dollars per job. Or maybe a million per job.
Ten percent of that money, or maybe much less, will be paid to Americans as salary.
When the state pays a for-profit business to "create jobs", the state is being cheated. The saddest thing is that plutocratist politicians want the state to be cheated.
One US government program that should be eliminated: subsidized flood insurance for houses that are going to be flooded over and over.
There is no use standing against the tide. The help that the government should offer the owners of those houses is to buy them and demolish them.
The beetles that killed millions of pine trees in northern California are spreading across the US as temperatures rise. Now they are in Connecticut and New York State.
270,000 square miles are likely to be affected by 2080. By then, I think humans will be beset by so many problems that they will hardly have time to pay attention to this.
When you think of "Antifa", don't let black bloc hooligans swipe that name. And don't support violence against people who are not attacking people, whatever their views may be.
Sheriffs of counties near the border with Mexico are installing iris-recognition systems. Everyone they use the system on will get entered in an unaccountable private iris image database.
It should be illegal to put people in such a database unless they have done something wrong that justifies it.
ALEC is organizing a campaign to destroy public workers' unions state by state.
A judge ruled Colorado's sex offender registry law is unconstitutional: it is cruel and unusual punishment and it doesn't contribute to public safety.
"Focusing our fear on registrants points us in exactly the wrong direction — stranger danger — when the vast majority of crimes against kids are committed by someone the family knows."
I shun the term "sex trafficking" because it invites confusion.
It is defined, at least sometimes, to mean prostitution involving coerced prostitutes, or minors (based, apparently, on supposition/pretense that minors are coerced even if they aren't really coerced).
But if you look at the words "sex trafficking" themselves, they seem to cover any and all prostitution. After all, prostitution means trafficking sex.
Thus, any time I hear of a measure aimed at "sex trafficking", my first worry is that it is aimed at repressing all prostitution. I am against that.
If the measure doesn't do that, I may support it, but I wish it were described in different words that don't trigger that false alarm. It is true that many prostitutes are enslaved. Many prostitutes are subject to working conditions which cheat them. But this is hardly limited to prostitution. Enslavement is found among domestic workers, fast food workers, construction workers, farm workers, and fishing boat workers. Fast food workers are often cheated. Drivers and couriers are subject to conditions that are tantamount to cheating them.
Enslavement is a terrible injustice. Cheating workers is very bad. I am in favor of measures to stop those injustices.
But rather than trying to end them by stamping out prostitution, domestic work, fast food work, construction work, and so on, we should take effective action against enslavement and cheating of workers in all fields of work.
EFF: A bill introduced in Congress would make it dangerous for sites in the US to post statements from users.
I hope they will give us a call to action soon.
Cambodia has forced a critical newspaper to shut, based on bogus tax bills.
A carbon emissions tax or price or trading fee needs to be at least $100 per ton of emissions in order to keep global heating down to 2C.
Landlords in Houston demand that penniless people pay rent for flooded homes that they can't live in.
An interview with Suki Kim, who taught the elite children of North Korea, reports that repression and control was total even for them.
Ignorance education was so thorough that the students didn't recognize the Great Pyramid — or the mountains of North Korea.
Tunisia is planning to remove the gender bias from its marriage and inheritance laws.
Sanctions by China could crush North Korea's economy, but it has good reasons not to do that.
However, applying any of these sanctions only partially would be a real alternative. It would pressure North Korea almost as much, without causing a collapse.
The worldwide obsession with light skin color, considered to be beautiful, may have started because the nobles and the rich could afford to stay out of the sun. This developed into a form of racism when light-skinned Europeans started conquering peoples with darker skin.
Now millions of women spend absurd sums on skin-whitening treatments which in some cases are toxic.
Around the same time, ironically, rich Europeans and Americans started to get suntans from leisure and tourism, which launched the equally perverse idea that a suntan was beautiful. Now millions of whites expose themselves to skin cancer while making their skin into leather, in pursuit of a suntan.
Everyone: ABC and Tom Llamas, apologize for calling thugs on Texans who were taking food and water from a grocery store.
How the US pretended to oppose the coup in Honduras while in fact supporting it.
The bullshitter has presented a list of excuses for cutting taxes on businesses.
There is no benefit for most Americans in giving "American" businesses an "advantage" over businesses that fly other flags, if it means they contribute less to running a country that is good to live it. The US government should use its power to pressure other countries to tax businesses more.
Lula is campaigning to run for president of Brazil again, hoping that he will be allowed to run.
North Korea has tested what Kim says is a hydrogen bomb.
It probably was a hydrogen bomb, though that is not certain.
The only possible use of such action is to make North Korea agree to negotiate. But North Korea already wants to negotiate, so there is no possible point growling. All we need is for the US to start negotiating.
If only the US had negotiated some years ago, North Korea might never have developed nuclear weapons.
The troll is thinking of moving farther on his one good promise, by cancelling the business-supremacy treaty with South Korea.
This treaty is one of those that contains the disgusting "investor-state" lawsuit provision, that allows foreign companies (only foreign companies) to sue the state for any law or policy that reduces its profits.
Desiree Fairooz (protester at Sessions' confirmation) refused to plead guilty and now faces another trial.
The chemical plant that had explosions a few days ago has caught fire again. Previous OHSA inspection found 10 serious safety violations.
Companies standardly tell plutocratist officials to help them conceal crucial information about the companies' threats to public safety. The plutocratists that dominate the Texas legislature have even prohibited cities from establishing fire codes.
US citizens: oppose the nomination of Jim Bridenstine for head of NASA.
He's a global heating denialist, an antiscientist, and his mission will be sabotage pure and simple.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the Social Security Commission bill.
I do not agree with the article's recommendation to eliminate prison entirely. Some criminals (Joe Arpaio, for instance) are so dangerous that we can't let them out. However, the US could surely achieve what is needed by imprisoning 20% as many as people as are in prison today.
Using plastic bags to hold groceries or trash is now a crime in Kenya.
California is considering whether to legalize hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms.
I am in favor of the change.
The troll is embarrassed by Mexico's offer to send humanitarian aid to Texas.
Google told a reporter in 2011 that web sites without "+1" buttons would be punished with lower search rankings. When he published a story in Forbes about that, Google pressured Forbes to take it down.
The giant tech companies spend fortunes on influence over states and anyone else powerful. Their aim: laissez-faire government that lets them control people and snoop on people, as well as shutting down criticism.
With an election coming, the ruler of Cambodia has arrested the leader of the opposition.
What use are workers' rights if workers are punished for insisting on them?
- The natural consequence of today's economic conditions — low wages and powerlessness of workers, brought about by dooH niboR policies imposed by plutocratist politicians — is that bosses have more power over workers. This enables the abuses that we see.
We need to change these conditions as well as enforce workers' rights.
- Unions protect workers from this treatment. The weakness of unions, arranged deliberately by plutocratist politicians, also makes workers vulnerable. We need to strengthen unions as well as enforce workers' rights.
- In such circumstances, requiring workers to actively demand their rights makes those rights ineffective.
- Fines against the business won't stop the abuses unless the fines are very very large.
- I suggest laws that make it a crime for the local manager to do certain things that violate workers' rights. With undercover thugs that get hired as workers and arrest the local managers, those would be scared to commit the abuses even when their bosses demand it.
The Palestinian Authority has imposed a new censorship law and arrested a journalist for speaking sarcastically about it.
Nigerian pimps keep women in sex slavery through their superstitious fear of black magic. Even when physically free, they expect to be magically punished.
The troll's saboteurs want to destroy records about bad things that happened to people in immigration prison.
That will help them cover up practices that are cruel or deadly, and thus continue them.
The US keeps trying to deport George Ybarra to Mexico even though he is a US citizen.
It had to do with crimes that he committed, apparently under the influence of PTSD that he developed while in the US Marines.
The troll is attacking the environment by appointing plutocratist judges.
McDonalds workers in the UK are going on strike. Their pay leaves them in poverty; young workers are homeless.
A prison in Russia reminds one of Guantanamo.
A progressive Democrat is running against a rich businessman for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois.
A thug arrested a nurse who (following hospital policy) refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant.
As a pleasant surprise, the direction of the thug department apologized and rebuked the thug for this. I hope that isn't just an isolated case.
Gambling advice companies intentionally give bad advice in the UK because they are paid based on how much their customers lose in their bets.
A school requires all children's games to have written rules approved by the school. These children have nothing in their lives that they are allowed to organize without supervision.
The chemical plant explosions in Houston were the direct result of deregulation imposed through law by the plutocratic state of Texas.
Netanyahu says that Israel will never remove its colonies in Palestinian territory. In effect, Israel stands for permanent occupation and permanent apartheid.
These colonies are all in violation of treaties and UN resolutions. Other countries ought to put practical pressure on Israel to make make Netanyahu, or his successor, agree to end the occupation.
The troll is doing the opposite: his ambassador to Israel denied that Palestine is occupied.
The slave auction block in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is not a memorial.
It is a remnant of the injustice of slavery. What should be done with it?
Salafi Arabia killed Yemeni doctor Abdullah Alkhamesi by stopping him from traveling outside Yemen for a heart operation. He could not get the operation in Yemen because there are no stents to be had there.
Some US states are eliminating the bail system that pushes poor people into penury and pressures them into false confessions. But the bail bond companies are fighting to preserve that bad system because they profit from it.
Thousands of residents of San Jose believe that homeless people are homeless by choice, and want to kick them out of the city.
If they mistreat the homeless people enough, those will die. Then they can be stored in the cemetery.
With long prison sentences and a "get tough on crime" mentality on one side, and dooH niboR on the other, the UK's prison population has boomed while the guards have been cut. The prisons are now hellholes that drive many prisoners mad.
Thanks to Sanders, "Socialism" is no longer a tabu word in the United States.
US citizens: call on the EPA to preserve the Clean Water Rule.
Militarization means that a small city's thug department boasts a 15-person "counterterrorism" squad whose duties consist of showing up at celebrity galas with automatic weapons.
Civilian casualties of US bombardment in Afghanistan are running at record pace.
Low-paid workers in the UK face punishment if they miss work for any reason, even to bring a sick child to the hospital.
We know how to prevent this. It's called a labor union.
Strong opposition made Brazil's corrupt President Temer back down temporarily on allowing businesses to deforest a large region of Amazonia.
The troll canceled a small planned pay increase for federal workers. The planned pay increase was too small to bring their pay back to the 2010 level.
This is to free up some funds for a tax cut for businesses.
This is one of the many forms that dooH niboR takes.
Sports Direct invites staff to complain about working conditions, but only if they use fingerprints to identify themselves.
The plan, I presume, is that few will take the risk of being fired for complaining, and the company will have an excuse to claim that only a tiny group of workers have a complaint.
This won't fool anyone except those that want an excuse to believe that conclusion — that is, right-wingers.
The EFF and ACLU won a court ruling against the California thugs that wanted to keep their license-plate tracking data and practices completely secret from the public.
The ruling did not say that the thugs must publish the actual license plate numbers. Rather, it said they must publish enough that the public can see how much surveillance, and what kind, the thugs are doing.
I hope they won't publish the details, and I expect the EFF and ACLU do too. My point is, the thugs should not even _record_ the details. We need laws that say that no one is allowed to systematically identify and track cars on the road, or people on the street, other than those that are specifically sought or are visibly doing something illegal, or under a narrow and specific court order.
With "thousand-year" floods happening more than once a year, caused by the mere beginnings of global heating, the US government must take the side of the victims, not the insurance companies.
Media Still Largely "Blind" to Major Storms' Devastating Impact on Poor Communities.
If you can't talk with a human, only a chatbot, you are likely to get screwed whenever something happens that is outside the chatbot's comprehension.
Toxic air pollution leaked from chemical plants in some areas of Houston is making people sick. But the pollution has been making people sick there for a long time.
Many US schools try to shame students whose parents can't pay for school meals.
Shame on schools for charging money for meals in school!
Ethnic cleansers have forced 10% of the Rohingya population to try to flee to Bangladesh; but since the Rohingyas now have a guerrilla army, Bangladesh won't let them in.
US citizens: Gorsuch, don't speak at right-wing event in Trump-owned hotel.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to defend DACA.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Why Are We Giving U.S. Police Departments Bayonets?
No matter what discount the US government offers on these weapons, the price is still nonzero. Not buying them is still cheaper. So low price can't be the motive for buying them.
States should pass laws requiring each thug department to get specific approval from the appropriate democratically elected government for each acquisition of weapons, including gifts.
Some US utilities are adapting to increased levels of solar power in the future.
As people begin installing batteries as well as solar power, the effect on utility grids will be much less.
"Electrons flowing in one direction" is a simplification that is physically wrong. With alternating current, the electrons flow in one direction many times each second, and in the other direction many times each second. (60 times, more or less, in the US.) The thing that may flow in one direction always, or not, is electric energy.
Long-term damage from Hurricane Harvey could create more breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the whole region around Houston.
The Supreme Court of Kenya has ruled that the election was rigged, and called for a new election soon.
Floods across much of India, and parts of neighboring countries, have killed 1200 people and made millions homeless. For those already homeless, it was even worse.
However, even that disaster is not as big as the one caused directly by Salafi Arabia and the US in Yemen.
Staffan de Mistura says that the coming military defeat of PISSI won't permanently eliminate PISSI without an accord between Assad and the other Islamist rebels.
Fishing and Swimming at Risk in Great Lakes With Budget Cuts, New Report Says.
FAIR: How Media Obscure US/[Salafi] Responsibility for Killing Yemeni Civilians.
In the UK, a victory for equal pay for comparable work.
Glenn Greenwald: In Europe, hate speech laws are [already] often used to suppress and punish left-wing viewpoints.
We need not rely on speculation: there are already campaigns in the US to ban criticism of Israel's occupation of Palestine, as well as Black Lives Matter. In both cases, the would-be censors misrepresented what they seek to ban, which should be no surprise. It's the same sort of distortion campaign that the troll demonstrates (and I would guess that he spreads those distortions himself).
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to say things we despise as well as to say things we support. It includes the freedom to criticize, condemn, insult or mock any person, group, organization, belief, church, act or cause. Including your country and my country. Including you. Including me.
Most of the "free" countries in the world do not properly respect freedom of speech. Now it is threatened again in the US as well.
Americans, please support the ACLU in defending freedom of speech in the US.
Charter schools are pushing to get rid of requirements for being a schoolteacher. This will enable them to slash pay for teachers by hiring unqualified teachers.
The school administrators will claim, of course, that they hire only the best. And, like so many claims that privatization companies make, it will often be at variance with the facts, which they won't help people to investigate.
A petition to the FDA calls for the end of sales of some high-dose opioid pills.
The article uses misleading terms such as "high-grade" and "powerful". What distinguishes these pills from other painkillers is not their quality, as the first would imply, nor the strength of effect of the active ingredient, but rather the amount of that ingredient in one pill.
Withdrawing them might be a good idea.
US citizens: call for restoration of the federal flood safety rules.
Trump Team Politicizes Superstorm Harvey by Attacking Scientists for Doing Their Job.
"We only shoot black people," said a Georgia thug.
The new CEO of Uber is on the board of directors of the New York Times. This is a conflict of interest for the Times.
As the latest stage of Tory welfare cuts spread slowly across Britain, they carry hunger, cold, sickness and homelessness.
A third of the children in Britain are worried about whether their parents will be able to afford the basic necessities of life. The effects of poverty crush their lives.
Gambling companies use big data collected by other companies to target former gamblers (who have decided to stop) with lures that are hard to resist.
Pence shows his bias by saying that Republican Houston deserves aid more than New Orleans and New York City did.
They all deserve government aid, and so will cities that are flooded by big storms in the future. That is why I propose to demand Republicans pass a law that will say so.
When opposing racist/fascist rallies, we must reject the approach of attacking them with violence.
The term "Antifa" simply means organized opposition to fascism. Please do not spoil it by identifying it specifically with that one group.
If the plutocratic state is killing you, you shouldn't die with a whimper. I could not criticize you morally for taking some of your killers to the grave with you. But it could be more effective — for defeating them politically — if you use your death to nonviolently bring shame on them.
Urban sprawl magnified the flooding in Houston.
However, in disagreement with the article, I think that the planet roasters are the worst of the villains responsible for the disaster.
Any sort of "disrespect" for China's national anthem, even sitting down while it is played, will be punished with a prison sentence — even in Hong Kong.
Several countries have quietly accepted that they cannot remove Assad from power through any efforts they are willing to make.
I expect that the US will eventually accept this too.
Great Barrier Reef: Plan to Improve Water Quality Ignores Scientific Advice.
The US military supported the coup in Honduras, and the US State Department supported it after the fact.
Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State, and this required her personal backing.
A judge issued a preliminary injunction to block the Texas law that forbids sanctuary cities.
This is no guarantee that the law will ultimately be found unconstitutional.
It is the same bullshit that the Koch brothers have supported privately.
Many chemical plants in the Houston area have released large amounts of toxins after they were flooded.
Maybe we need laws to keep chemical plants out of areas that might be flooded in the next 100 years.
Support is growing for reverting US antitrust law to what it was before Reagan weakened it. That is why Google is using its influence to weaken those that campaign against this.
UK jobcenters order unemployed people to report to a specific chain of stores to get unpaid "work experience" in putting boxes on shelves.
In effect, this replaces paid jobs with non-jobs that get are a condition for getting unemployment benefits.
The Australian government commissioned inadequate recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and is now subtly weakening them in the process of implementing them.
The recommendations were not sufficient even to meet Australia's commitments under the Paris agreement, let alone to do its share of what's needed to avoid disaster.
But what else would you expect from thugs?
The obsession about the fetus is not only silly and pathetic, it is dangerous, because right-wingers use it to make abortion seem like a bad thing. A fetus 15 weeks old doesn't have as much consciousness as a mosquito.
Nuclear power plants in Texas are in danger of being flooded. They should be shut down now as a precaution.
10 states have now adopted automatic voter registration.
To do this in all states would be a step forward. What is not clear to me is whether it would be a big step or a small step. Would automatic voter registration protect voters from the Republican voter suppression measures found in so many states?
It's not much use to be registered to vote if Republicans find an excuse not to let you vote.
UK environmentalist campaigner Helen Steel got the UK thugs to apologize for having an infiltrator seduce her. But now they demand she pay around $10,000 for an appeal that she was compelled to drop because it could have cost her even more.
She has announced she will not pay them.
Glenn Greenwald: In Europe, Hate Speech Laws Are Often Used to Suppress and Punish Left-Wing Viewpoints.
If the US abandons freedom of speech, censorship of many causes I support (and that many of you support) is not merely a painful possibility. It is nearly certain.
Real-estate buyers are recognizing that land in Florida will lose value when it turns into ocean.
A large study in the UK found that some teenagers try e-cigarettes, but few continue using them and few go to tobacco from them.
As refineries in Houston shut down because of the storm, they emit lots more toxic air pollution than they usually do.
Efforts to block the availability of drugs generally lead to stronger drugs which are more compact and thus easier to smuggle.
Hurricane Harvey is an artificial disaster. Media coverage which covers this up is aiding the denialists.
Cruel and careless cutoffs of welfare benefits continue in the UK just as bad as ever. Disabled people that are too sick go to the jobcenter for an evaluation of whether they can work are punished for not getting there.
Food Poverty Is the "New Normal" in the UK. The US did it first, and Republicans are pushing hard to make it worse.
Hasankeyf, 12,000-year-old site in Turkey with thousands of artificial caves, will be destroyed if the Ilisu dam is built.
It is hard for journalists to get access to the place. I think that is because the inhabitants are mainly Kurds, and Erdoğan's war methods includes blocking journalists from seeing what the soldiers are doing.
Shame on "Best Buy" stores for price gouging on bottled water in and around Houston.
Generally you shouldn't buy bottled water in the US. When a contaminated flood has made tap water inaccessible is one of the exceptions.
Nobel peace prize winners call on Norway to stop pushing fossil fuel exports.
Tourists are starting to avoid the Great Barrier Reef because they know the Australian government is pushing to kill it off.
Amnesty International and other human rights organizations call on the UN to take action against the war crimes committed by Salafi Arabia with support from the US.
Saboteur Sessions has nominated a long-time enemy of civil rights enforcement for the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice.
Most people never manage to make either a great advance in science or a great advance in ethics. To demand that someone do both in order to deserve admiration is asking too much. If Darwin did the former and not the latter, we can admire him for the former, and recognize that in the latter field he was mediocre, not great.
Fortunately, others since have made the advance of rejecting racism.
The Tory officials of the NHS told NHS managers, "Don't send so many people to the hospital — we don't have money for that."
If they can't handle so many patients in the hospital, they must try to optimize the use of the hospital beds they have. But the issue should not stop there. Why is there a shortage? Is it because they cut taxes for the rich?
Republican bullshitters shrug off Hurricane Harvey. No evidence of global heating can ever be so clear that they can't deny it by lying.
Something must be done to stop Assad from disappearing people.
Many were imprisoned only to use as hostages.
But what can be done.
There are even worse things going on in Syria. For instance, there is PISSI. There is war. There is the danger to refugees that have fled from war. There is the danger that Assad's forces will attack the Kurds once PISSI is defeated militarily. A scheme to end the disappearances has to fit into a scheme to end the other dangers.
After Hurricane Harvey, Will Houston Public Schools Be Charterized?
That's the sort of exploitation of disasters that Naomi Klein warns us about.
The New America Foundation, a think tank, cancelled its support for a project after it made a posting praising the EU's antitrust judgment against Google.
The head of the think tank revealed, in her words about this, that it is frightened to be associated with statements Google might not like.
Everyone: call on Virginia to remove its statue of Confederate General Lee from the US capitol.
The supermarket chain Aldi, in Australia, is suing the truck drivers' union to silence its complaints that Aldi pressures drivers to drive unsafe long hours (which is illegal as well).
Aldi's statement appears intended to mislead. It said, "We value our employees and pride ourselves on paying our staff well." But even supposing that is true (I won't take Aldi's word for that), it has nothing to do with the truck drivers; they are not employees of Aldi.
Aldi demands "specific information" about the abuses. Would that mean the names of drivers as witnesses? We can guess what Aldi would do to any drivers that come forward as Aldi demands.
It appears that Aldi doesn't directly impose this violation of drivers' rights and public safety. Rather, it subcontracts the driving through companies, and pays the companies so little that they are effectively compelled to do this to the drivers.
So subcontracting facilitates this wrong and makes it deniable.
I think there should be legal limits on the amount of work of any particular kind that a company can subcontract. Subcontracting should be limited to the amount of work that needs to vary from week to week during any particular month. For the base load of any kind of work, a company should be required to hire full-time employees to do it.
The racist that attacked Deandre Harris with a metal pole has been arrested and charged with a felony.
The other racist man arrested might be the shooter described here, who tried to shoot a counterprotester dead, but was prevented by the pistol's safety which gave him a chance to think twice. He fired into the ground to let off steam of his hatred.
Or they might be two different shooters.
Naomi Klein: plutocratist politicians are already planning how to use Hurricane Harvey as an opportunity for dooH niboR. We had better not be squeamish about organizing to stop them.
The troll has placed financial sanctions on Venezuela, designed to make the food shortage worse.
The food shortage is mainly due to mistaken economic policies of the Venezuelan state, but now that the troll owns it, Venezuelans will start blaming the right-wing opposition too.
Venezuela needs a progressive opposition that doesn't aim to return the country to control by foreign businesses and whichever local elites they can corrupt.
Republican heating denialists that opposed a special aid law after Hurricane Sandy now ask for a similar aid law for Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey is an example of a general problem; the US government should address the whole of the problem. Democrats should refuse to vote for a special aid package limited to Hurricane Harvey.
They should demand instead a law that will provide this aid in the case of Hurricane Harvey and future hurricanes without requiring cuts in other spending. The law should recognize that global heating will cause more and larger floods, and include strong flood risk criteria, both for construction of new government infrastructure and for flood insurance to private buildings.
Japan has defeated Sea Shepherd by means of a law that classifies Sea Shepherd's obstruction activity as "terrorism", combined with actions by Australia, New Zealand and the US to stop Sea Shepherd from operating.
Sea Shepherd does not engage in violence; it gets in the way of whaling ships. The idea that an inconvenient nonviolent protest is "terrorism" is twisted, but then, so is everything about Japanese hunts for whale meat that people mostly won't even buy.
India's Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination based on gender identity is unconstitutional.
Houston's ever-more-frequent floods (one is happening now) show how damaging the saboteur's cancellation of Obama's flood-risk rule will be over time.
A time-limit on analysis of projects will certainly assist projects that submit bogus environmental impact studies. When those in harm's way criticize the flaws in a bogus study, the developers will use the deadline to pressure spineless or semi-corrupt officials to overlook the flaws "so that the project won't be canceled by the time-out."
A firmly honest official or judge won't cede to that pressure, but Republicans won't appoint honest officials and judges.
Heavy rains are more devastating for Houston than they would have to be, because the old infrastructure, and lots of houses, were built in places with too high flood risk.
Meanwhile, the number of heavy rainstorms keeps increasing, just as global heating is expected to do. So it will get worse and worse.
A right-wing extremist claimed to have been stabbed by a black man. That was a lie—actually he had stabbed himself as a false-flag attack.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject the troll's proposed saboteur of antitrust enforcement.
Asia's Harry Potter Obsession Poses Threat to Owls.
Never buy an animal that has been captured in the wild. The trauma and suffering of being captured does not make a good pet. Make sure that the pet you buy was born among humans and raised by humans.
Burma's repression of Rohingya, which has gone on for many years, has enabled jihadis to get a foothold among them. Now Burma has accused international aid workers of supporting jihadi violence.
I do not use the term "libertarians" for the former group, because what distinguishes them is not support for human rights but economic laissez-faire (dooH niboR). We progressives, who oppose laissez-faire economics, support human rights too.
I will not legitimize the antisocialists' claim that they support liberty more than I do.
Germany has set up a facial recognition surveillance system with the privacy protection that all such systems should be required to have: face images that don't match anyone in the search target database are immediately deleted.
To make an ethical system, we need a couple of additional points. A court order should be required to put someone's face in the database, and people should be informed when they are in the database so they can challenge the order.
The saboteur may have pardoned Arpaio as a signal that he will pardon anyone jailed for refusing to testify against him in the Russia investigation. Everyone in Congress must stop appeasing Nazis now.
Advocating reparations to the descendants of people that were enslaved.
I've posted about this before.
Why the ACLU still defends the freedom to rally for right-wing views that its lawyers and members despise.
Giving a few dozen companies arbitrary power over what people are allowed to say on line is a dangerous policy.
A couple of steps down the road, the right-wing trolls may force those companies to censor us.
Transgender people in the US military have sued to block the troll's plan to dismiss some or all of them.
If the lawsuit succeeds, would it have any effect on the order not to allow trans people to join? I tend to think not.
The bully wants to give US thugs more heavy weapons.
Instead, most SWAT teams should be shut down, because their use kills innocent people through mistakes that happen repeatedly.
Global heating made Hurricane Harvey stronger and more deadly.
Evangelical climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe is effective at convincing other evangelicals to recognize that humans are causing global heating.
Now the question is, how can she and others like her reach more of them?
The saboteur-in-chief is pressuring intelligence analysts to distort their reports to make an excuse to sabotage the nuclear deal with Iran.
Global heating is gradually making parts of Afghanistan dry up. When agriculture fails from too much risk of a dry season, the inhabitants will be compelled to flee or fight.
A biddable, retarded man who could never function in life without help and supervision was put on the sex offenders list for a "crime" that he committed under the orders of a competent adult. His life, and his parents' life, have been permanently ruined.
For Christian crazies, a flood is either a punishment for not serving their cult or a beneficent lesson, depending on whose house is flooded.
Closing public schools that are doing badly, and replacing them with charter schools, does not lead to an improvement.
So, will states pass laws to close malfunctioning charter schools and replace them with public schools?
China has made anonymous commenting on web sites illegal. All sites must require users to register with their real names.
We must think twice before proposing this sort of "solution" even when there is a real problem.
A study demonstrates that US taxation has become less progressive.
The US needs to return to the "bad old days", when Americans in general could have a decent life, not penury; when the US could afford to build what the public needed instead of privatizing everything with a toll.
Wealth tends to make people stingy and callous, and philosophers used to say so. Since the 1970s, rich people have funded an effort to make society forget this.
Macron is determined to reduce workers' rights, but unions are planning a general strike.
The root cause of unemployment in France is world-wide plutocracy, imposed through business-supremacy treaties.
Under plutocracy, every country must choose between lots of unemployment (as in France) and lots of Mcjobs (as in the US).
Right-wing extremists cancelled their rally in Berkeley after they were told that weapons and helmets would not be allowed. Counterprotesters deployed mockery and jokes against the remnant.
When these extremists say they are defending "freedom of speech", remember how they fuzz the boundary between speech and hitting people with cars. That's not "speech," that is terrorism.
If the saboteur-in-chief succeeds in cancelling the Clean Power Plan, one way to compensate for the damage is to plant 10 billion trees, covering 40,000 square miles with forest.
Planting so many trees is easier said than done. What's more, for the trees to take the intended amount of CO2 out of the air, it is not enough to plant them. It is necessary that they survive and grow for many years. That is hard to assure, what with local disasters fueled by global heating threatening to kill them and increased CO2 levels slowing the growth of plants.
Is it possible even to find that much land on which to plant trees?
Then there is the point that the Clean Power Plan doesn't go far enough.
The Republicans that control Texas have made it hard to get reliable birth control there. Now they are working on smashing the legal basis of Medicaid, nationwide, so that they can cut off the last funding for Planned Parenthood in Texas.
I hope the students of Texas Tech organize to demand that the university replace the doctor that tries to stop students from getting contraceptives. By refusing to give them proper medical care, sh is refusing to do her job.
Persecuting immigrants was just one of Joe Arpaio's many illegal practices when he was sheriff.
We have not seen proof that he and his campaign did anything criminal with Russia, or even anything particularly wrong. However, his persistence in trying to quash the investigation is a very strong reason to suppose there is something nasty to expose.
The bully is building a terrorist movement aimed at journalists. He practices "stochastic terrorism", much as PISSI does in Europe: stirring up acts of violence which are statistically predictable although individually random.
Clowns are often effective responses to Nazis.
Censorship of radical views will be turned against critics of the plutocratic world order. In fact, Germany has already started doing it.
Macedonia has convicted someone of insulting Turkish President Erdoğan, violating even the weak European standards of freedom of speech.
Another lone-wolf right-wing terrorist attack with a car in the US.
It will soon be possible to develop genetically modified yeast that can make morphine.
To prevent these yeast from being developed, or from being used, will be almost impossible. Governments will have to choose between repression such as we have never seen in free countries, and dropping the "war on drugs" (which is also the war on people in pain).
Imagine yeast whose level of functioning can be increased or decreased by exposing them to some signal chemicals. You could get them into your intestines, then swallow the signal chemicals to adjust the dosage rate. This would be the equivalent of the intravenous morphine that people get in a hospital after an operation, but you wouldn't have to be in a hospital.
This will be a great ease for people in pain, until the day we can turn off the pain and no longer need opiates.
Once the US conquered Afghanistan in 2001, most Taliban just wanted to give up fighting and get accepted into the new power structure. If Dubya had permitted this, the US could have been out of there in 2002.
Using bitcoin, or any blockchain system, paying multiple stores for goods would totally ruin privacy when the data leaked by these stores are combined.
The people must tell businesses what kinds of personal data they are allowed to collect.
The article exaggerates when it says "you can't avoid" Google, Facebook and Amazon. I avoid them almost totally. (I occasionally do a Google search and occasionally look at a page on Amazon, but I hide who and where I am, and block their surveillance.) You can do this too.
However, the article's conclusion is valid and very important.
Successful resistance to unjust government calls for a diversity of nonviolent methods, but a firm rejection of violence.
Kenya seems to be attacking election monitors and human rights defenders.
It would be "legally, procedurally and practically impossible" for India to deport Rohingya refugees.
In addition, I doubt Burma (from which they have fled) would allow them in.
US citizens: submit a comment in favor of network neutrality.
The internet is a crucial medium for communication and each person's rights must be protected from commercial interference.
Just as telephone companies are not allowed to interfere about who we talk with by phone, ISPs must not be allowed to interfere about who we contact by internet.
Just as phone companies are not allowed to give out hints about who we talk with by phone, ISPs must not be allowed to give out hints about who we contact by internet.
ISPs must not be allowed to discriminate based on what we communicate over the internet. In the absence of a court order, they should not even be allowed to take notice of what it is (or enable anyone else to do so).
The first step is to avoid making things worse. Keep internet access under Title II.
US citizens: conscientious objectors must not be required to pay for substitutes.
Alfred McCoy's research led in 1972 to a book about US complicity with drug trafficking in Laos. The CIA tried to suppress the book, intimidated his informants, and tried to get him kicked out of Yale graduate school. His subsequent research found that US secret surveillance has been at the service of repression, of treason against democracy, for over a century. But it was never as pervasive and complete as today's digital surveillance.
TV channels that profit from presenting the troll as a freak show are giving support to his power.
The first thing you can do to resist is not to watch.
Whatever the troll says is of no importance. He will say something contradictory tomorrow. Watching him is at best a waste of time. Spend your time on resistance activities.
If you are with friends or relatives that want to watch, take advantage of the opportunity to set a visible example of not joining in. Say, "I'm going to do something useful (or, something I really want to do) instead."
Italian thugs evicted hundreds of refugees from a collective squat, beating them cruelly in the process.
A few Christian fundamentalists have rejected the planet-roaster blindness, and are trying to convince the rest.
It isn't easy, because US evangelicals have made contempt for the world that they are destroying an integral part of their religion. In effect, their religion is a satanic nihilism.
The saboteur-in-chief has pardoned Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of carrying out ethnic profiling in defiance of a court order to stop.
This is an attack on the fundamental ideas of human rights and rule of law. Laws are meant to protect people from abuse of state power. Prosecutions such as that of Arpaio are the way we stop officials from spitting on that protection.
With this pardon, the troll tells his followers that they are welcome to break laws and abuse their power, as long as it they do it for reasons he supports. In other words, that laws can no longer protect us from tyrants and bullies.
In the rural far north of Vietnam, thousands of young women are kidnaped and sold into sexual slavery. The prices paid for women can corrupt entire local families to help kidnap them.
As usual, a crucial cause of the problem is the ingrained custom of blaming the victims. I suspect this is part of why the purchasers of the kidnaped women often treat them so badly: the men who had them kidnaped despise them for having been kidnaped.
From the point of view that judges people by their actions, this attitude seems incomprehensible.
Progressives in San Francisco blocked a right-wing rally by walking their dogs on the field where it was scheduled.
Sabotaging an opposing rally with dogshit is not part of civil political discourse. If it becomes accepted, it would be used against us, against everyone or anyone.
However, when it is used against today's right-wing extremists, it is such a low level of violence compared with theirs that in effect it is an example of restraint. There is no need to be ashamed of it.
The right-wing group claims says it isn't white supremacist, but such claims mean nothing because right-wing extremists have become totally at ease with lying about this (or anything else). One day they are Nazis, the next day they are white supremacists, the next day they are conservatives. They devalue truth just as the troll does.
Liberals must stop encouraging people to divide themselves by identity and campaign instead to give every human being the essential human rights. Martin Luther King, Jr., showed the way.
As Hurricane Harvey approached, US border thugs continued to operate checkpoints along the evacuation routes.
Unauthorized immigrants, fearing the border thugs, may stay put in homes that will be flooded. They could be killed. The saboteurs know that; they know that previous presidents turned off the checkpoints during evacuations, and they know why. By changing that policy, they are trying to kill people.
Announcing roadmaps for 139 countries to move to renewable energy by 2050 and probably avoid global disaster.
California is thinking about creating a state-chartered public bank specifically so that marijuana companies could use it. This would be generally good for California, regardless of marijuana.
The European Union donated a school to the Palestinians of Jub a-Dib. The day before school was supposed to start, Israeli suppression forces demolished the building.
The dishonesty of the right-wing: posting violent insults against women that voted for the troll, and trying to attribute them to progressives.
If there were a Satan, he would love the right wing.
Irene Clennell was finally given the right to live in the UK with her British husband and children.
A previous article said that Ms Clennell had had permanent residency in the UK before, but the Tory state took it away because she spent "too long" in Singapore — caring for her dying parents.
I suspect that part of why right-wing governments tell immigration officials to be rigid and gratuitously cruel is to develop a reputation for heartlessness, so as to dishearten everyone they pick on. They suffered a defeat this time, so naturally they pretend that it wasn't so.
But I suspect they have another motive too: to make people loathe the state and thus demand "small government." That will help right-wing parties reorient the state from helping people in general (which it used to do quite well) to helping only the rich.
London thugs set out to arrest a list of hundreds of people, based on specific accusations and using every possible excuse, solely to force them to stay away from the Notting Hill carnival.
One of them was arrested for possessing frankincense. Is it a crime in the UK to have incense?
White supremacists put up no monuments to Virginia General Mahone, skilled general though he was, because after the war he rejected racism and led an integrated party that governed Virginia with integrity.
The purpose of the monuments was to promote the racist cause, and someone like Mahone wasn't useful.
North Korea is repeatedly asking for nuclear negotiations.
If the US won't accept the invitation, I hope South Korea will.
Portugal has proved once again that the way to get out of a depression is by increasing government spending.
That's what Keynes taught us, and what the neoliberals worked so hard to bury.
Racist white Americans believe they are safer in a neighborhood where almost everyone is white. But it's the opposite: the right-wing policies that push away nonwhites also shorten lives.
ACLU: California discarded 45000 ballots because voters' signature "didn't match".
The troll's men want to search the emails of organizers of inauguration protests. The judge authorized an indirect search, where someone else looks for emails (if any) that organize violence and only those are handed over.
This still looks like a fishing expedition to me, even if not as broad as the original proposal.
Republicans in Pennsylvania want to make all protesters convicted of any crime in connection with a protest pay costs that no one could afford.
Governments must not have the power to make people pay for the privilege of saying controversial things.
Mozilla's free database of recordings of English speech could be crucial for free software for speech recognition.
Speech recognition done by by companies usually involves sending your audio to the company's server. It is foolhardy to allow such a device into your home.
Burning the frozen methane hydrates from the ocean bottom would make it possible to push the world's temperature even higher.
It is good news that there is little chance of a catastrophic release of methane into the atmosphere from those deposits. But if that is because the methane gets converted to CO2 in the ocean, that replaces one danger with another.
Robots that can make t-shirts at high volume might put millions of garment workers out of a job in poor countries.
It's great to make things with high efficiency using automation provided everyone gets to share the benefits.
The "ozone hole" is not closing, and new industrial chemicals now threaten it.
1987 was before the World Trade Organization; the dominion of business over states was not as strong then. If the ozone hole were first discovered today, I don't think anything like the Montreal Pact would be possible, because chemical businesses would veto it.
After the elimination of instant divorce for men only, Indian marriage laws continue to have other forms of sexist bias.
No one should be forced to stay in a bad marriage; anyone who wants a divorce should be able to get one, through appropriate procedures. But the law of divorce should not embody prejudice against any subgroup of persons.
A British arts center is showing a science fiction film about a future world with a partial resemblance to the occupation of Palestine. Supporters of the occupation demand it be removed for "antisemitism".
The Israeli right-wing lobby is pushing in many countries, including the US, to criminalize opposition to the occupation.
We Thought the Nazi Threat Was Dead. But Donald Trump Has Revived It.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 1-202-224-3121 and say to preserve the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. This protects unauthorized immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the US as children, many years ago, and have lived here ever since.
Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon threaten to block oil extraction if the state fails to comply with its law requiring consultation with them on a new oil project.
It is inexcusable to start new oil wells in places where they can be particularly harmful. We need to leave 80% of the known reserves in the ground, so any reserves that cause special risks should be part of that 80%.
The Texas voter-ID was overturned by a US court.
An underground US agent seduced Jennifer Padilla, then pressured her into making a call to arrange a drug deal for him. Then he arranged for her to be prosecuted for this entrapment.
I am disappointed that the newspaper disguised his face. The public need to be warned about this predator. Has anyone posted a photo of his face? Had she posted photos of the two of them?
Saboteur Teresa Manning claims to be "pro life", but only for potential future human beings. She's willing to help let the Nazis off the hook for killing millions of real human beings.
The company behind the Dakota Access pipeline has sued Greenpeace and other protest organizations for 300 million dollars, in an attempt to wipe out those organizations and make organized protest against environmental destruction too dangerous in the US to consider trying.
15-year-olds attending summer camp in the US today have to be monitored by an adult at all times during the day. They are not even allowed to go to the toilet on their own.
Apparently the Girl Scout motto nowadays is "Be dependent." (I'd guess it is the same for the Boy Scouts.)
If these teenagers do not rebel, it could only because they have been made to expect suffocation. Nothing could be worse preparation for the upheaval that global heating is likely to cause, a few decades from now.
Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen rebuked the saboteur-in-chief for planning to eliminate some of the inadequate protections enacted after the financial crises to prevent a repeat.
The financial crises was terribly harmful to Americans in general, but it was also very profitable to some, and the troll is whoring for them.
Facebook has deleted deceptive posts designed to recruit customers for smugglers that offer to take them across the Mediterranean.
Removing these lies is a good thing, since they are dangerous traps. At the same time, allowing Facebook to censor the world seems dangerous too. Facebook claims it can impose any criteria of censorship, as a private company; but no company with that big an impact should be allowed to set its own policies.
Cuba is cooperating with the investigation of the hearing damage to US diplomats that appears to have been caused by an ultrasound transmitter.
Even though Wikileaks is drifting into disreputable conduct, we must not allow criminalization of the honorable journalism that Wikileaks started out doing.
'Time to Redistribute Wealth': 1% [in the US] Thriving While 78% Living Paycheck to Paycheck.
Everyone: call on US national park superintendents to resist bottled water sales.
US citizens: call on the Fish & Wildlife Service to continue protection for the endangered Florida panther.
My childhood sweetheart, Melynda, campaigned to protect the Florida panther.
US citizens: call on the Department of Labor to protect workers' overtime pay.
US citizens: call for protecting Social Security from right-wing cuts.
US citizens: support Sanders' bill to limit what drug companies can charge for drugs developed with government funds.
Salafi Arabia bombed a hotel in Yemen and killed around 35 people, as its US-backed bombardment continues.
Iran and the US have a history of war from some decades ago, but nothing stops the two countries from being at peace today except for US neocons.
Various European countries are sending refugees who first arrived in Greece back to Greece.
Greece, crippled by Euro-imposed poverty, cannot support all these refugees without help.
NHS Accused of Keeping Secret Its Plans to Cut Services.
You wouldn't expect Tories to take responsibility for the wrong they do, would you?
A Christian refugee from Iran, where the idea of the Rapture represented escape from the repressive Muslim state, finds that the cult of Rapture in the US is the basis for a mad nihilism.
It reminds me of chapter 5, "The destruction of the Xhosas", in Joseph Bulgatz's book, Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars, & more extraordinary popular delusions, and the madness of crowds.
Samsung Heir Found Guilty of Corruption And Sentenced to Five Years in Prison.
Arguing against a sale of rhino horn from farmed rhinos.
I don't know whether this argument is valid, overall.
I agree that the sale is really intended to be illegally exported. Does that mean it is wrong? Being illegal does not imply something is wrong. Exporting poached rhino horn is wrong because it is leading to extinction of rhinos, but whether exporting farmed rhino horn is wrong is a different question. Indeed, that is the crucial question here.
A sufficiently large supply of farmed rhino horn, together with a fairly effective anti-poaching program, ought in principle to drive poachers out of business. But that depends on making the anti-poaching program effective enough to drive up the cost of poached rhino horn, and a large enough supply of farmed rhino horn to drive down the price they can charge. Is that feasible to achieve? I don't know.
Counterpropaganda against the medical myths about rhino horn is clearly a good thing to do.
Dosing men with testosterone makes them more impulsive and less intelligent.
To demand that past heroes measure up to modern moral conclusions is anachronistic. We stand for these conclusions on the foundation of many years of further moral thinking, which those of the past did not have the benefit of. That Washington and Jefferson failed to anticipate the arguments and conclusions of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, which we know by hindsight, does not negate the good they did for fighting for an incomplete freedom.
But we should recognize that they did wrong by keeping people in slavery. We shouldn't demand perfection in our past heroes, either.
Saboteur of Energy Perry altered a report so that it would support subsidies to power plants burning fossil fuels.
However, the honest report is still visible inside the coating of ashes.
In Raqqa, PISSI is forcing civilian human shields to move the place where it plans its last stand, Russia and/or Assad are dropping cluster bombs, and the US shoots indiscriminately at every boat that heads out of Raqqa.
There has got to be a way to capture the people in boats when they don't fight back (as civilians won't).
The real heroes of the south were the hundreds of thousands that fought for the United States, and against slavery.
The US Department of Labor will spit in the face of workers by honoring President Reagan, union buster, saying his "distinctive contributions to the field of labor have enhanced the quality of life of millions yesterday, today, and for generations to come."
Tommy McAdoo, at age 70, couldn't bear living on the street or in unsafe homeless shelters. He robbed a bank to get back in prison.
It's our shame that our treatment of homeless people is worse than prison.
The partial legalization of marijuana fails to undo the harm done to people who were convicted of possession or sale of marijuana in the past.
Brazil has abolished a large reserve in the Amazon, exposing it to deforestation which will destroy it forever.
Saboteurs in the US have presented supposed reasons for "reviewing" US national monuments. They are bogus.
The economic analysis makes the frequent economic error of measuring the "health of the economy" by totals, or equivalently per-capita figures. This is a fallacy because it disregards the harm done by inequality. If one billionaire gains a million dollars, and 9000 minimum-wage workers lose 100 each, the total increases by 100 thousand but the net effect is more suffering.
However, the article's point is valid nonetheless.
The loss of Arctic sea ice has proceeded so far that a tanker has been able to cross the north of Asia without an ice breaker.
If that were the only effect, it would be a great savings. Alas, the absence of ice is rapidly heating the Arctic even more.
Is it possible to be friends with a Tory, or a Republican?
Like the writer, I don't refuse a priori, but I'd probably find little basis for friendship with a person with those values.
Joe Robinson from England spent four weeks acting as a medic for Kurdish troops in Syria. Now he is in prison in Turkey, accused of "being a member of a terrorist organization."
This illustrates the wrong of arbitrarily labeling a group as a "terrorist organization". That is wrong when the US does it, too.
Robinson also joined the Kurdish forces in Iraq, which Turkey appears to have military cooperation with.
The Capitol region (around Canberra) wishes to invite the refugees Australia holds on Manus Island and Nauru.
India's Supreme Court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right; this may help pin back India's hard-to-escape biometric ID system, Aadhar.
Thailand has dropped charges against British journalist Jonathan Head, who had reported on enslavement of workers there. However, one of the victims of the scam he reported on still faces prosecution.
Nuclear power in the US and Europe is moribund because of its costs.
It ought to be moribund because of the danger of accidents in the nuclear power plants themselves, and the medical danger of the wastes that will have to be stored.
The idea that it is somehow more legitimate or reassuring to eliminate an environmental threat because it is expensive, than because it could cause a local disaster, effectively says profits justify risking disaster.
Perhaps they support him as a way to firm up their denial of what's going to happen to them. Like not going to the dentist, or not getting tested for cancer.
Medical journals now have a system for deciding whether to publish a report on a clinical trial without knowing the trial's outcome.
It's a clever piece of diplomacy.
University Teachers' Jobs And Dignity Are Under Threat.
These letters are about the UK, but the situation is the same in the US.
The primacy of research over teaching in prestigious universities is nothing new. A few decades ago, it was a joke at MIT that the annual award for excellence in teaching meant "No tenure for you." To some extent, this prioritization is legitimate and necessary, but it could be reduced.
Sanders leads the cheater by 13%, according to polls.
That means the Republicans need to gain over 13% by cheating in 2020.
A court ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission didn't even try to make a careful judgment of a proposed pipeline.
The UK is keeping an asylum seeker, who was tortured in Chad, in prison in defiance of repeated court orders to free him.
A nationwide anti-Muslim hate group cancelled rallies all across the US after seeing how many counterprotesters came out in Boston.
Dear Trump Voters: he lied to you.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger would endanger farmers, thus agriculture too.
Everyone: call on China to free Tibetan Jamyang Lodru, imprisoned for no stated reason.
Exxon knowingly mislead the public about global heating. Its advertisements to the public sowed doubt while its researchers reported the truth.
Wall Street companies are swindling would-be home buyers with rent-to-own contracts that make them vulnerable to losing everything they have paid if anything goes wrong.
Why isn't it a felony to offer houses that way?
Qatar has passed a law to give domestic workers some rights and benefits.
American right-wingers that despise women's rights are circulating photos of western-dressed Afghan women from the 1970s to justify keeping Afghanistan violent today.
Philippine thugs, sent to kill drug dealers, drug addicts, and anyone that tries to record what they are doing, shot a high school student.
The US gave up on demanding information on all the visitors to the inauguration protest site.
Attempts at repressing Americans that don't support the troll will surely continue.
Is Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov being framed for political reasons?
The Republicans' "border security" bill is actually a bill for more surveillance of everyone, including citizens, in a zone extending 100 miles from every coast or border.
That includes cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
New York City will now provide legal help to every tenant facing eviction.
(Except those whose income is so high that they can afford to pay a lawyer.)
The mainstream media start respecting the liar when he expands wars.
Seeing this, he will learn to expand wars.
Chile has legalized abortion, when there are specific reasons.
It is a step in the right direction. Women should not have to give reasons in order to have an abortion.
Inequality of wealth in Russia is more extreme even than in the US. The state has covered it up with false statistics.
"Virtual charter schools", where the student talks only to a computer, provide a failing education.
"Anyone who continues to work with Trump is complicit in his support of white supremacists."
The CNN article this refers to errs when it suggests that we have no crimes to impeach him for.
It's true that endorsing bigotry is not a crime, but receiving pay from foreign interests directly violates the constitution. Using his office to get money from his hotels is corrupt. Let's impeach him for those.
Many recent technological "advances" seem to be designed to save us any real interaction with other people.
I reject some of the services the article discusses because of their surveillance, and some because I want to protect people's jobs. It is interesting that the three problems often co-occur.
In a way, dating services and apps are doing the same thing. They don't entirely eliminate human contact — you still (possibly) have a date or have sex — but the human contact is greatly reduced. Maybe that is an impediment to finding a real relationship.
A thug publicly claims that condemning them for unjustified killings is a kind of "racism" against "blue people".
This seems crazy, but he really says it. The right-wing contempt for truth is so great that Republicans will say obvious bullshit, relying on other Republicans to support it anyways. And they do!
I know of one case where racism is directed against blue-skinned people. When thugs beat up black people, their skin turns black and blue. The usual racism against them continues, but now it is against blue-skinned people.
He is anti-science in general and especially opposed to climate science. His strategy is that if we close our eyes and don't find out the details of how global heating does and will effect everyone, many people will make less effort to resist the massive denialist campaign.
Medical doctors must advocate for their patients by protecting their insurance funding.
The diversity of a nonviolent movement gives it a considerable advantage over violent movements of young males.
One of the troll's saboteurs ordered the national academies to stop work on a study of the health effects of mountaintop-removal coal mining.
I wonder whether the national academies can keep the study going.
Students in primary school do not benefit from being assigned homework.
Australia is trying to impose drug testing on welfare recipients even though that has failed to do any good in other countries.
It is wrong to require drivers to take drug tests. Instead, they should have to use a machine at the beginning of each shift that tests their alertness and capacity at that moment. This would detect drivers impaired for any reason, whether it be illness, lack of sleep, painful experiences in their lives, or drugs.
The ACLU has decided not to defend people's right to have a rally with guns. But it stands firm for defending freedom of speech for any opinion or position.
I support this, because if legal censorship is tolerated, it will be applied to your views and mine views. I am proud to be a member of the ACLU.
The right-wing has taught people a spirit of hostility to anyone that needs public help.
Except for rich business owners, who claim they are doing us a favor when they take a handout.
Analyzing three principal right-wing propaganda tactics, also used by Putin, and suggestions for resisting them.
Right-wing terrorist attempts in the US are twice as common as jihadi attempts. Meanwhile, left-wing terror plots are rare by comparison.
Right-wing attempt is twice as likely to proceed unobstructed as each jihadi attempt. Perhaps that indicates that the state has focused its efforts more on jihadis and ignored right-wing terrorists.
It makes sense to limit how much time your daughter spends in front of a mirror.
Decades of "progress" in American business means ever more concentration in a few firms, and ever fewer good jobs.
Erdoğan has put an end to teaching evolution in Turkish high schools.
Christianity and Islam over and over deal with inconvenient truths by teaching ignorance.
Argentine thugs grabbed Santiago Maldonado as he was giving support to a protest by Mapuche indigenous people, and disappeared him.
Don't Pin Your Hopes on Military Generals' Saving the World from Trump.
The US government crushed white-supremacist violence in 1870. All it takes is suitable laws and a firm effort.
Working six days a week won't pay for a place to live in the extremely unequal USA.
US citizens: call on the troll to preserve the DACA program, which protects people that were brought to the US without authorization as children many years ago.
The "president" of the Maldives is using thugs to stop parliament from replacing his ally, who is speaker of the house.
This "president" took power through a coup against President Nasheed, who campaigned ceaselessly to curb the global heating that threatens to destroy the Maldive Islands. I suspect that oil companies helped organize the coup.
What it amounts to is a decision to continue supporting the Afghan government, which can't win a war because it inspires little loyalty. The US can prop that up as long as it has the strength, but that won't improve anything.
At least he said he would cancel the "nation-building" programs that were basically handouts to corrupt people in the US and Afghanistan.
In principle, the idea of helping people establish a peaceful and prosperous nation makes sense. But the conditions for success don't exist in Afghanistan.
Another reason for failure was that Americans chose projects that made no sense in the local context — failure guaranteed.
It seems that the troll can't stand up to the neoliberal/theocratic establishment on any issue other than bigotry.
Avoiding that war might be possible through diplomacy.
Permitting women in Northern Ireland to have abortions in England through the NHS without a fee is a helpful step forward — but they must have abortion rights at home.
Chinese defense lawyer Jiang Tianyong "confessed" and "pled guilty" to "subversion" a show trial.
To Fight Child Obesity — Let Children Play Outdoors More with Their Friends.
The article weakens its case by erroneously legitimizing the idea that the presence of cars requires keeping children on a virtual leash. It may be true that parents' fear of cars influenced parents' thinking, but the real presence of cars did not justify their conclusion.
There were plenty of cars in Manhattan in 1960, but that did not stop 7-year-olds from walking to school, even though we had to cross large avenues. We went on errands, too.
The crime wave that lasted from 1965 to 1995 probably played a role. It seems this was caused by lead poisoning, which was spread by lead in gasoline.
Part of the obstacle to children's walking and playing is due to urban sprawl.
Sprawl causes many other problems too. Let's build dense housing (necessary anyway to make enough housing and make transportation efficient) so that children don't have so far to walk to stores and school.
India's Supreme Court ruled that the Muslim practice of instant divorce (for men only) is unconstitutional in India.
Cambridge University Press reversed its decision to censor articles against netizens in China.
Academics threatened a boycott.
The publisher still has a paywall and forbids redistribution by mirrors. These unjust measures give it the capability to impose selective censorship. That makes the publisher a tempting target for such pressure. When publishers restrict availability of publications, they provide a foundation which any censor can take advantage of.
The limits of dumping industrial waste in rivers in India: when it colors stray dogs blue, that's when you get shut down.
A massive effort is planting coral in Belize's sea, but the reefs are threatened by unchecked industry and by oil drilling which ought to be banned entirely.
Calling Trump an "Embarrassment," Sanders Says Organized Labor Key to Nation's Future.
US citizens: call for restoration of funds for programs to discourage right-wing extremism.
US citizens: call on the troll to take action to stop federal contractors from offshoring jobs. He made this one of the central points of his campaign.
US citizens: Tell your senators to protect the CFPB's rule that stops banks from forcing arbitration on their customers.
"Sanctuary Schools" Across America Defy Trump's Immigration Crackdown.
Non-wealthy inhabitants of San Francisco and Oakland sabotage the municipal bicycle-rental systems, using it as a proxy for the gentrifiers.
Bicycle rentals are not "sharing", so "bicycle sharing" is a misleading PR term. Please let's avoid it.
Bicycle rental systems as such are not bad, but these systems are unjust and intolerable because they track their users. I would not propose to eliminate them, though; better to fix them not to surveil (see https://gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html).
The non-wealthy residents have discovered that sabotaging bicycle-rental is a way to fight gentrification. Urging them to think instead of it as merely a transportation service is valid in a shallow sense, but totally misses the point. First, those people surely know whether it will serve them or not. Second, if you want them to stop defending their housing this way, what other way do you suggest?
India's Supreme Court annulled a marriage, and ordered the wife to be held incommunicado as a prisoner of her parents.
Her father claimed the husband had forced her into marriage, but she says no.
The court also ordered an investigation of the facts. An investigation may be called for, but how can that justify imprisoning her now?
To make it exciting, they plan to use a blockchain. Blockchain is the time-release version of cleavage: it blinds techies so they don't think about what might be wrong with the project.
What might be wrong with this project? The question of privacy does not seem to get much attention, and I fear they will use this to get data and misuse it.
Spain has released Turkish exile Doğan Akhanlı from jail, but has not yet ruled out extraditing him to Turkey. Meanwhile, writer Hamza Yalcin remains in jail as Spain considers whether to extradite him.
Sinclair Broadcast News is an overt white-supremacist propaganda mill.
In the US: see the Population Connection's resistance toolkit for ways to oppose the troll's war on birth control.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
Erdoğan is trying to make Spain extradite an exiled Turkish writer.
US Christian organizations in the US can't bring themselves to rebuke the bigot no matter how great a sin he commits.
They have been turned into hypocrites, through and through.
This is not a new phenomenon. Recall why there is a "Southern Baptist" church? It split off to endorse slavery when the broader Baptist church came out against slavery.
Maduro's questionable constitutional assembly has annulled the legislature's power.
Republicans mostly excuse the bigot in chief for supporting violent extremists, and are reluctant to criticize the violence, too.
A woman wants to apologize to her estranged father for the false accusations of molestation that she made against him, as a young child, under irresistible pressure from her mother.
False accusations may be unusual, but they are not impossible.
Republicans sabotaged an anti-fraud system by threatening to apply it arbitrarily to birth control.
Cambridge University Press imposed censorship of its journal, the China Quarterly, on users from China. It has blocked 300 articles, following orders from the Chinese state.
China's demand for censorship is tyrannical, but don't forget that the roots of this injustice are in the journal's paywall. The paywall is an inexcusable attack on scholarship which also gives CUP the power to track and control who can read the articles. Having this power made CUP vulnerable to pressure from China, which demanded that CUP use its power for the Chinese state against the Chinese people.
The Cambridge University Press must immediately remove the paywall from the China Quarterly, and permit everyone to mirror the journal freely (which it morally ought to have done anyway). Then it will have a simple, ethical answer to give China when China demands that it control who can read the journal: "We are unable to do that."
Scholars, please refuse to serve as reviewers or editors for journals that control access to articles or restrict sharing of articles.
Poaching mafias in Africa also move drugs.
"You will not replace us" is the Republican Party's motto as well as the white supremacist's.
Refugees dumped by Australia on Nauru are being denied surgery, and Nauru blocks all women from getting approval for an abortion.
The Republican Party is the dirty water party.
There is a large reservoir of methane in the ground under the Antarctic ice sheet. If the ice melts, that methane will be released, which would cause further global heating.
Methane lasts only a few decades in the atmosphere. If the ice melts over a period of 200 years, only a small part of the methane will be in the air at any one time.
Elon Musk calls for regulation of AI so it won't be dangerous.
Someday an AI might be developed that has desires of its own and could be dangerous the way an immoral or unhinged person can be dangerous. In the short term, the danger of AI is that it will help rich people and companies that own AIs do an even better job of transferring wealth from the rest of humanity to them.
Thus, the regulation we need for AI in the next decade is to reduce the harm it can do to employment.
The troll completely misunderstands what Hezbollah is about.
There are partial ideological parallels between jihadis and white supremacists.
US citizens: call for restoration of funds for US programs, cancelled by the troll, that aimed to discourage right-wing terrorism.
US courts have protected almost everyone involved with CIA torture, from top to bottom. Only the psychologists who designed the torture program have been made to testify in a civil suit.
Torture victims did not apparently win anything, but by suing they forced the CIA to reveal secrets about its torture program.
People have proposed a pitifully small change to one of the US snooping laws. The snooping services are pushing back by misrepresenting it.
NAFTA renegotiation could be used to make copyright even more repressive in the US (and Canada and Mexico).
Amish people and nuns are resisting the construction of a fracked gas pipeline.
Thousands protested in Hong Kong to demand the release of jailed protest leaders.
A leaked conversation implies Wikileaks was not interested in leaks from the Russian interior ministry in 2016.
Some volunteers dedicate their lives to finding the corpses of people who died crossing the US border from Mexico.
I don't think finding corpses is important; I wouldn't put any effort into that myself. Avoiding deaths is important.
The reason those people die is that they think two liters of water are enough to walk to safety. What efforts are being made to inform would-be migrants in Mexico of how much water is really needed? My rough estimate is 10 liters, which weighs 10 kg. Many of them, informed of this, would stay in Mexico rather than die in the desert. Only a few would be able to take advantage of the information to reach a town in the US.
Wouldn't an intense, truthful information campaign be more effective than a wall? Also cheaper, easier, less ecologically damaging, and less offensive to Mexico and Mexicans?
A suggestion I saw for counterprotests against Nazis: sing "Springtime for Hitler" (the song from The Producers).
Australians who tried to burn a mosque will be charged with terrorism.
A special opioid intervention court in New York State is designed to lead addicts to treatment.
US citizens: call for removal of the statues of rebels from the US capitol.
US citizens: call for removal of white supremacist advisors from the White House.
Everyone: call on US states not to pass immunity laws for deadly drivers.
Wildlife protection leader Wayne Lotter was murdered in Tanzania, perhaps by a team engaged specifically to assassinate him.
EPA Welcomed Industry Feedback Before Reversing Pesticide Ban, Ignoring Health Concerns.
The troll's saboteurs are hard at work, and they are making steady progress. Their mission is to help rich Americans get even more rich by poisoning the rest of us.
For the most part, the real actions of the saboteurs are more important than what the troll says, which is mainly for distraction. So normally I focus on the real actions. His support for Nazis and bigots is an exception because that has real and harmful effects.
The Mayor of Charlottesville will campaign for repeal of the Virginia law that prohibits removing monuments to the Confederacy.
It is better not to call them "Confederate monuments" because term suggests they remain from the Confederacy itself. In fact, most of them were erected by white supremacists long after the Civil War, mostly after 1900, and some in the 21st century.
While the law prohibits removing the monument to Lee, an alternate way to deal with it is by erecting another monument nearby, perhaps depicting some of Lee's slaves after they were freed.
Was there a regiment of freed slaves from Virginia? That regiment could be honored in Emancipation Park.
Mehdi Karroubi ended his hunger strike when the government of Iran agreed to take the human spies out of his house. But he still has not received any official charges to justify his punishment.
Mike Tang lost his appeal, and has been sentenced to two months of "hard labor" for telling his son to walk home at night.
The mother of murdered protester Heather Heyer says she refuses to speak with the troll. She doesn't want to play into his political agenda.
The right-wing prime minister of Spain injected himself into a vigil for the people killed by car terrorists on Thursday.
Rajoy and his dooH niboR policies have surely killed more Spaniards than all the terrorists in Europe since 2000.
Terrorist attacks against people based on an identity they associate with tend to make them more firmly and more cruelly attached to that identity.
That's what terrorists seek, in their pursuit of an unendable "culture war".
The advanced countries have not learned the lesson of the financial crisis 10 years ago; they continue to try to depend on banks to cause growth.
Of course, when you give banks more power, they use that power to make it impossible to take the power away without a fight. We need to defeat the power of the banks.
There is no doubt that Egyptian thugs murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni and then covered it up. But there is no hope of finding out any more than that, and the murderous regime feels no pressure to do justice.
I had a visit to Egypt scheduled at the time of al-Sisi's bloody coup d'état. I skipped it. Even if you are just a tourist, you can put pressure on those murderers by not visiting Egypt.
Meanwhile, the UK (like the US) continues supporting Egyptian "security".
US citizens: tell Senate Democrats, Ensure the National Defense Authorization Act does not include funding for Trump's war on immigrants, his discriminatory ban on transgender troops or any other policies that promote or advance Trump's agenda of fear and hate.
Everyone: call on mainstream media to ditch the term "alt-right".
The troll's endorsement of right-wing extremists, in the meeting where he intended to push his corrupt infrastructure plan, may have pushed away the support of plutocratist Democrats such as Pelosi and Schumer.
Those pseudo-Democrats will have plenty more chances to support the banks and dooH niboR. We need to replace them with progressive Democrats — people who will reject these bow-down-to-business plans because they bow down to business rather because of secondary associations.
The reason the US government can't afford to maintain and build infrastructure now is because business has too much power, and uses that power to pay too little tax.
Republicans, and plutocratist Democrats, offer this as an excuse for privatization that would give business even more power. What we need to do is take that power away.
Workers in Silicon Valley are forming unions.
Airplane crewmembers are getting contaminated with organophosphates, and this is suspected of causing some to end up permanently sick, or even dead.
Liu Xia, widow of Liu Xiaobo, is still held incommunicado, but her captors released a video in which she says what they told her to say.
Korea's missile tests appear to have carried extremely light payloads and lacked heat shields. They would not be able to reach Guam with a real bomb.
However, North Korea's threat to spread carnage in Seoul with conventional weapons if it is attacked is not a bluff. The US should take advantage of the offer of negotiations.
The people of Wunsiedel in Germany prepared for a march by Nazis by arranging for it to raise money for a deradicalization charity.
Large company CEOs joined the troll's advisory councils in order to profit, and it took his explicit endorsement of Nazis to embarrass them into quitting. Just when they had all agreed to announce they would quit, he stole their thunder by abolishing the panels.
He also cancelled another advisory council (on infrastructure) that was still being formed.
The chief purpose of these councils is mutual PR benefit. If they don't yield that benefit, nobody has a reason to keep them going.
Saboteur Zinke, to boost waste in the US and make national parks more littered, has cancelled the rule against selling bottled water in them.
Takiyah Thompson could be imprisoned for more than a year for helping to pull down a monument to soldiers that fought for slavery. 200 people came to the jail and asked to be arrested too.
Some rich Americans that support the bigot-in-chief are supporters of right-wing extremists too.
No such attack occurred: the photo was taken years ago, elsewhere, and was edited for fraudulent use now.
Right-winger extremists, following the troll, care nothing about lying.
President Do-dirty isn't satisfied with sending thugs to summarily shoot drug dealers, all of whom allegedly shoot at the thugs first. He has now threatened to shoot human rights defenders who try to record those shootings — in case some of the victims didn't really shoot, didn't have guns, etc.
We recently saw thugs in Baltimore planting guns and drugs to put people in jail.
Are thugs in the Philippines so honest they would never do such a thing?
Logging in Tasmania threatens the world's largest invertebrate. These crayfish are giants by invertebrate standards, but they are only as big as a cat.
Steve Bannon has been fired from the White House.
US citizens: call on Congress to impeach the bigot-in-chief.
He gave white supremacists explicit and unequivocal support.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Portugal has suffered from massive and deadly wildfires this year. Now a town is cut off, surrounded by fire.
Spain, France and Italy are having the same problem due to a drought that is clearly associated with global heating. As global heating continues, much of Spain and Italy will become desert.
Hong Kong democracy protest leaders have been sentenced to months in prison.
It's not as bad as what the US is trying to do to dissidents, but it shames the leaders of Hong Kong, who are carrying out the orders, and the leaders of China, who gave them.
"Centrists" that fail to oppose neoliberal dooH niboR have nothing to offer that will help the people, in the UK as in the US.
Mehdi Karroubi, who ran for president of Iran and was punished with permanent imprisonment at home, has gone on hunger strike to demand a trial of whatever accusations there are against him.
The bad science of James Damore is supported by other commentators equally ignorant of science.
The troll is trying to eliminate federal prudence requirements to build federally funded infrastructure out of range of likely flooding.
The head of the Santa Fe thug union spreads violent racism.
Many monuments to the Confederacy were set up within the past two decades.
As explained previously, few of them go back to the 19th century. They are not part of the history of the Civil War. They represent a white supremacist view of that war, one we do well to reject.
US citizens: call on Twitter to revoke the troll's account.
Antiracists were arrested for toppling a statue of Robert E Lee, but no one has been arrested for beating up Deandre Harris in Charlottesville.
Family farmers of Canada, Mexico and the US warn that the redesign of NAFTA seems intended to increase the power of corporations. The negotiations are secret again, as in the Treacherous Plutocratic Poison.
The fundamental nature of any "free trade treaty" that "works" too well is to increase the power of businesses over the state and the people.
Important internet companies are cutting off right-wing extremist groups.
If the result is that hardly anyone spreads right-wing lies and terrorism on the internet, that would be small loss. However, it is hard to confine effects to their intended targets. If all the major Internet communication companies (there are not so many of them, after all) combine to firmly censor right-wing extremism, that would amount to Chinese-style repression which could be turned against any form of dissent.
The CEO of Cloudflare decided to cut off its service to a particular Nazi site, but thinks that society needs to take up the question of what is allowed on the internet, rather than appoint major companies as censors by default.
Freedom of speech means respecting people's right to maintain views that we despise. It doesn't include the right to organize violence, but we have to make sure not to push the limits too tight. We must take care not to legitimize the kind of repression that inauguration protesters and pipeline protesters now face in the US.
If this helps Iraqi Sunnis get equal rights, it will be a step forward and might aid the cause of peace there. But Salafi Arabia will surely implant Salafi rigidism — just what Iraq doesn't need more of.
Iran is a repressive theocracy, but nowhere near as bad a repressive theocracy as Salafi Arabia.
Australia has rejected two proposed river mines because they would threaten the Great Barrier Reef.
American antisemites hate Jews, but support Israel for its system of racism.
Wells Fargo bank, "poster child for corporate crime recidivism", has taken the drastic step of requiring three board members to resign with no other penalty.
What? No jail time?
Brazilian Supreme Court Upholds Land Rights of Indigenous People.
This by itself does not make them safe from land-grabbers.
Michael Moore warns Americans that the troll's saboteurs in various government departments do real, permanent harm every day.
The FBI and NHS warned in May that right-wing bigots were the biggest terrorist threat in the US.
The troll is talking about pardoning ex-Sheriff Arpaio for disobeying the court order to stop unconstitutional practices.
Monuments to the Confederacy in the US are not relics of the Confederacy. They were erected chiefly in the 1910s and 1920s as symbols of bigotry, by and for the movement that set up the racist segregation laws known as "Jim Crow".
We should preserve the battlefields and other relics of the Civil War, which reflect the gravity of that struggle. They honor the abolitionist movement that defeated the Confederacy. However, as for the campaign symbols for bigotry, cities and states should take all of them down.
Many have been removed this year.
Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy.
"False equivalence is a tool, not an accident of ignorance. It is a choice to focus on Lee's reputation as a military tactician and not on what that acumen was put to use for… It was a choice to erect these statues honoring his life, just as it was a choice to keep them up for so long."
The troll has "forced the world to confront racial division in the US".
An argument against insisting on trigger warnings.
I read an article (I don't know a place to link to it) which compared trigger warnings to spoiler warnings. Spoiler warnings do a favor to some readers. It's a kindness to do that favor, if you think of it, but we can't demand that people always remember to think of it, or know where there is a reason to do it.
US citizens: call on CEOs to quit the troll's American Technology Council.
US citizens: Tell the inspector general of the Department of the Interior: Investigate the censoring of government scientists and experts.
Right-wingers cancelled rallies because they expected counterprotests, but claimed that those were "terrorist threats".
It is a standard right-wing lie to take the things they actually do, and falsely accuse their opponents of doing the same. That's what the troll does when he calls accurate criticism "fake news" and when he pretends that counterprotestors in Charlottesville engaged in violence.
Cuckoo D'État: The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum.
US laws against acts of terrorism have a gap: they cover only terrorism that is inspired from outside the US.
That doesn't stop us from acknowledging right-wing violence as terrorism. When we come across a pile of shit, we don't need a special law or a court decision to say it stinks.
Robert E Lee was no hero as a man. He was a stubborn supporter of slavery and racial oppression.
Norway's efforts to reduce food waste at supermarkets.
The Tory campaign to destroy the NHS is entering the home stretch: doctors can no longer give basic medicines to destitute patients.
Did You Visit This Anti-Trump Site? The US Government Wants Your IP Address.
ACLU: A Sweeping Search Warrant Targets Anti-Trump Website in Clear Threat to the Constitution.
The cruel deportation of people living in the US who have little contact with any country other than the US.
The deputy chief of LA thugs says his department it works to build relationships with immigrant communities, not deport them.
I wouldn't assume black people are safe from thugs there, but the attitude of Deputy Chief Arcos is a good one.
Tech's Growing Stranglehold on the Media. It is dangerous for the independence of the press.
It threatens to make the general business domination of the media even worse.
Two ethical arguments against terraforming Mars even if it is lifeless.
Here's what various prominent Republicans do and don't dare to say about the hater's support for racist violence. Some identify him personally, while others can't get those words out.
I note that the official leaders of the Republicans in Congress are in the latter group.
Daily Kos pointed out in an email that even the Republicans who deny open support to white supremacism are still working for voter ID laws and disenfranchisement programs that stop many blacks from voting, as well as the big gerrymander that makes many of their votes ineffective.
The infant took his business councils home after several CEOs refused to play with them his way.
Everyone: call on CEOs to quit the bigot-in-chief's business and manufacturing councils.
US citizens: call on Congress to insist that the troll fire Bannon.
Everyone: call on North Carolina not to protect drivers that hit protesters with their cars.
The proposed law explicitly protects drivers that hit protesters "accidentally", but removing drivers' usual legal obligation to take care not to hit anyone would encourage drivers to drive in risky ways, killing people "accidentally on purpose". Not to mention the temptation to hit protesters intentionally and then pretend it was an accident.
The US suffers from degraded trust in other people, and this makes people more vulnerable to opioid addiction.
London is returning to having thugs search people on the street based on disliking their looks (which often means, their skin color). This makes black communities hate the thugs.
The World's Problems Cannot Be Solved by Self-Styled Heroic Leaders.
When plastic floats in the ocean for a few days, it grows a layer of algae which leads anchovies to mistake it for food.
Several Republicans condemned the Bigot-in-Chief for equating violent Nazis and white supremacists to the peaceful nonbigots that they attacked. But most could not bring themselves to criticize him by name.
Shame on those.
Kim Jong-un turned down the bombast dial in a possible invitation for negotiations. Will the troll be capable of taking up the invitation?
In New Orleans, the water pumps are mostly broken, the people who run them are not on the ball, and even if they were operating correctly they wouldn't be enough to cope with five months of steady rain.
How about starting now to move New Orleans to a place 150 ft above sea level, where we can be confident that it won't be submerged in the next few centuries? Then the only concern will be fatal heat waves.
Kenya's opposition presidential candidate will push his accusations of election fraud in the courts, rather than on the streets.
Overcrowding in Nebraska prisons causes heart attacks, blindness and mental illness, because prisoners don't get medical care.
Lebanon has repealed its marry-your-rapist law.
US school thugs like to search schoolgirls rather intimately, except for the white ones.
Britain's food banks are running low on some foods as the Tories push ever more people into depending on them.
The Tories aim to limit the public inquiry into the causes of the housing project fire to the technical failures—the direct causes—while leaving out the root causes (unjust Tory policies).
The troll has a history of refusing to acknowledge right-wing terror in the US.
It will be interesting if the Charlottesville terrorist attack enables Republicans to start openly condemning the extreme right and maybe the troll also. But many seem to be sticking by him for now.
Instead, he has shown that that statement was a throw-away line, an excuse to deny his continued support for right-wing bigotry and violence.
Bolivia Approves Controversial Highway in Amazon Biodiversity Hotspot.
Some of the troll's supporters are having doubts, as it sinks in that his racism is only a distraction from the real causes of their real problems.
What it was like to witness the racist terrorism of Charlottesville.
It is important to recognize this, and then to avoid dwelling on this. People who repeatedly watched the videos of planes flying into buildings, in 2001, were mentally traumatized. After seeing it once or twice, I sensed the danger of this; for self-protection, I made a point of avoiding television for the next few days.
Instead of dwelling on what terrorism feels like, let's dwell on how to vanquish this particular terrorist movement.
Iran retaliates individually against the expat Iranian journalists that work for the BBC.
Reintroducing recess into a school day can make the school better in many ways.
Thousands of Americans have rallied in many cities to condemn the right-wing violence.
Seeing that sort of behavior towards a peaceful protest is what radicalized Malcolm X.
Some Republicans condemn the right-wing extremist violence now that it has broken out, but they helped stoke it for years.
10 years after the financial crisis, the rich victors are squeezing the defeated poor ever more, and giving a boost to right-wing populists offering misguided "solutions".
It is getting harder to survive in PISSI-occupied Raqqa, but easier to leave as the liberation forces come further into the city. Those who escape pass their remaining food supplies to those who must remain, and those must pretend to be sincere and convinced supporters of PISSI or be executed.
The description reminds me of what I have read about other totalitarian states, such as the Soviet Union, East Germany, and China under the cultural revolution. It is hell on Earth.
It will be hard, in the future, for Syrians to distinguish between PISSI's real supporters (dangerous hidden enemies) and those who pretended.
Salafi Arabia has grabbed and disappeared several dissident princes, in acts which include kidnapping, treachery, or the extrajudicial cooperation of other countries.
Various companies that provide support for internet sites and communication have begun kicking off right-wing extremists such as the Nazi "Stormer" site.
When the extremists use dog-whistles to arouse hatred and violence, then claim it was only irony, they are trying to have it both ways. It is legitimate to tell them they ought to know that this an appeal to violence.
Nazis have a right to hold rallies. But not the right to incite and prepare violence in them.
In the US: call on government officials at all levels to remove all symbols that honor the rebel side of the civil war.
The purpose of their rebellion was to perpetuate slavery. The Union soldiers fought to end slavery, and sung about that as they marched.
No matter what admirable personal characteristics some southern leaders may have had, that can't redeem the evil that they fought for — not even slightly.
Protesters in North Carolina (not so far from Charlottesville) pulled down a memorial to soldiers that fought for slavery.
Defacing a statue reduces the dignity of those who do it. Pulling the statue down is more dignified. However, the best form of victory is to pressure officials to remove the statue. For a state to have a special law privileging statues that honor the war to continue slavery is an endorsement of that side, which dishonors that state.
In the US: Stand united against the right-wing extremists.
Another strike against the animal rights movement: a supporter would rather let people die than use pigs to grow transportable human organs.
If animals deserved the right to live, as humans do, we would have the duty to try to save them when they are in danger, as we have towards humans. It would follow that we ought to stop barn owls from killing mice, stop dolphins from killing fish, and stop frogs from killing flies.
Perhaps in 200 years in a totally transformed world, we could do this and keep all those animals alive without any eating any.
Cities that want to imitate New York's "High Line" must be very careful. There are few opportunities for that to succeed.
When I first saw the proposal for London's Garden Bridge, I took it as a scheme to suck money out of the state to do something useless. In the US, this is typically done with major league sports studios or weapons systems.
Chinese human rights defender Wu Gan was imprisoned for two years, but now has been given a phony trial.
Some US CEOs are now quitting the troll's "advisory council" in response to his support for right-wing extremism.
I don't think the "advisory council" is consulted for advice. It is simply a way for executives to endorse the troll, presumably hoping for some sort of reward for the company or themselves.
Another resignation from a related council.
"Who wants to live in an artificially intelligent future?"
Republicans are attacking inmates of nursing homes by eliminating the rule that prohibits the nursing homes from forcing inmates into arbitration.
The article uses the term "sexual assault" which is defined to stretch from groping to rape, and includes other things too. In general it is a grave mistake to use that term, so I have decided never to use it. In this particular case, no actual error results, since inmates ought to be able to sue the company if the management tolerates any of those acts. But I still reject that term.
Malaysian Islamists want to shut down an Atheist group. Some have made death threats. The government will investigate … the Atheist group, not the murderous Islamists.
It would be equally wrong to deny people the right to become Muslims, but curiously Malaysia does not do that.
The FCC, run by Saboteur Pai, has filled most of its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee with representatives of cable and wireless companies. A few others were chosen, perhaps solely so that we could not say the FCC had filled it "entirely" with such representatives.
Lawsuit accuse Wells Fargo of cheating small businesses for handling their credit card payments.
When the victims find out, they are told they must pay $500 to stop using Wells Fargo's disservice.
To Tackle Neo-Nazis, We Must Treat Its "Thinkers" like Thugs.
Neonicotinoid pesticides make queen bees substantially less likely to start a colony.
Forensic researchers claim that analysis of some of the metadata of DNC leak files shows that the files were copied first onto a USB memory, not obtained by cracking the DNC server externally.
Please don't refer to breaking security as "hacking"; the proper name for that is "cracking".
They also claim that some of the leaked files had been pasted into a template with some Russian characteristics, to make it appear that the leak was committed by Russians.
Wikileaks announced last year that received this material through an internal leak — it was not obtained by cracking.
I don't follow what the article says about Forensicator's special access to the metadata of the files, and I don't see convincing evidence that we can rely on the statements attributed to him. But I also don't see any convincing proof that Russia was involved in these leaks (though I wouldn't put it past Putin).
There are so many suspicious ties between the troll and Russia that an investigation is clearly called for; but I don't see proof that the troll is guilty of criminal plotting with Russia in what has been revealed to the public. Meanwhile, other crimes such as obstruction of justice must be investigated too.
US corporations generally pay between 13 and 19 percent federal tax, compared with the nominal 35% rate.
Many of the largest "US" corporations pay no federal tax.
"In 1939, I didn't hear war coming. Now its thundering approach can't be ignored."
Searching blacks for walking on the street is military occupation lite, and often thugs escalate it to sexual molestation, sometimes even torture.
Poison Once Flowed in America's Waters. With Trump, It Might Again.
Electric cars won't get rid of particulate pollution, even if the electricity comes from solar and wind power. The brakes and tires make more particulates than the engine.
Australia is being forced to pull back from threats to imprison staff at its immigration prisons if they talk about abuse of prisoners.
Don't sympathize with Sessions merely because his master is attacking him. Sessions has supported cruelty and injustice for decades, and he is not stopping now.
Making enough grouse in Britain to satisfy the excessive numbers of people that want to shoot them has lead to bad land management practices that endanger other wildlife.
Uri Avnery: Netanyahu faces indictment soon on multiple corruption scandals, and Israelis are ready to vote him out.
Digital systems to keep track of which who in North Carolina had already voted malfunctioned in the 2016 election.
Some accuse Russian interference. Perhaps it was that, but other suspects are possible, too. We may never know the real cause of this, but we know a way to avoid it: use paper for these records.
The latest Wells Fargo cheating scandal: it signed home mortgage customers up to a warranty service without telling them, let alone getting their approval.
Privatizing or outsourcing government services makes those services unaccountable, inviting bad service and even injustice.
This is one of the reasons why privatization of government services should not be allowed, unless it gives the public access to a truly competitive market.
If the UK exits the EU, will it be able to pass a law so it can cancel unjust privatization contracts without paying penalties?
The troll's FCC saboteur, Ajit Pai, is trying to resuscitate an obsolete rule to allow Sinclair to become a nationwide extremist network.
The troll threatened a military intervention in Venezuela.
That's more aggressive than Dubya, who organized a coup attempt. It was defeated because the people stood firm for Chavez.
I don't know what would happen now, but if Republicans intervene they are surely up to no good.
A bombardment campaign is not a halfway step to war. It is war.
However, there is a distinction to be made between fighting on the side of a country's recognized government and fighting against it. Under international law, states are allowed to support other states militarily.
In some of the countries where the US is carrying out drone bombardment, it is aiding the more or less legitimate government. This is true in the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan.
In Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, that claim is less clear, but it is arguable. In Syria it is clearly not true.
Legally permitted by international law is not the same thing as morally justified. I think that fighting against PISSI is entirely justified. Fighting against Assad, maybe not.
Meanwhile, the Salafi-US bombardment of Yemen is legalized by the support of the official government of Yemen—but it is clearly wrong.
The town of Galveston was raised 110 years ago to resist hurricanes, but now due to global heating the hurricanes are gaining on it.
If we don't curb global heating, sooner or later Galveston will have to be abandoned.
Developing small ion rockets to power small and light drones.
Is anyone developing a technology to prevent tiny robots from invading our homes, then spying on us or worse?
Everyone: call for removal of symbols that honor the rebel states of 1860 that seceded to preserve slavery.
There is no scientific evidence that males are mare capable of tech work, but plenty of evidence that prejudice against women holds them back.
A neo-Nazi drove a car into a crowd of peaceful antifascist counterprotesters in Charlottesville, killing one and seriously injuring several more, in an act of terrorism. His adherence to Nazism was long-standing.
The Nazi group that held the meeting says it is not their responsibility because the terrorist was not a "member" of the group. We would hardly accept such an excuse from Islamist terrorists, and we should not accept it here. They willfully stirred up this violence, so they are morally responsible for it.
Some Nazis claim the rally was a victory. That is partly an instance of their troll-style policy of systematic exaggeration, but I suspect that the murder will win them more support from the violent crazies that they intentionally recruit. Other right-wing acts of violence have had this effect.
Antifascist counterprotesters met the torch-carrying right-wing bigots who marched through the University of Virginia on Friday. Many local businesses closed or put up signs telling bigots they are not welcome.
The torches reference the Ku Klux Klan, which in the 1860s burned black people's houses, and in the 1920s burned crosses as a threat.
He pretended that "many" sides were responsible for the violence that was repeatedly launched by the bigots.
Mainstream media did likewise, describing the violence in ways that cover up who was responsible.
The Rainforest Action Network says that Pepsico's supposed plan to end deforestation and enslavement of labor in its palm oil supply chain is just a disguise for not doing much.
An analysis of the UK labor market shows that unemployment is very low, but abuse of powerless workers is up.
Foreign investors eliminated the large animals from the Kilombero valley in Tanzania by turning it into plantations.
The Exxon refinery in Charlton-Pollard, Texas, violates the Clean Air Act by spewing carcinogens, and many of the residents in the neighborhood have got sick. The EPA settled the complaint a few months ago requiring only minor changes that won't fix the problem.
Is that ordinary regulatory capture, or is it the troll's doing?
Trump Is Ignoring the Minnesota Mosque Bombing. We Know Why.
It is the same reason he refuses to clearly condemn the violence of right-wing Nazi Christians in Charlottesville.
This would have a small effect if poor people regularly voted. Due to discouragement and obstacles, they often don't — and the difference could be crucial for the Republicans in 2018 and 2020.
Black Lives Matter has taught many Americans that racism is a real danger today, but in terms of policies, not much has changed.
Republicans are addicted to the drug of bigotry and hate, and the addiction perverts their activities.
It is right for the ACLU to defend the rights of people to hold peaceful rallies for any and all viewpoints.
I support this, even in regard to views that I despise along with other ACLU members.
I don't think this means we must allow people to systematically stir up violence, as the Nazis and bigots did in Charlotteville.
Wikileaks is slinging dirt at Robert Mueller by presenting an act of his official duties, part of official US cooperation with Russia, as if it were a private deception.
(I had fact-checking done on this article.)
I am disappointed in Assange for this.
Paris Climate Deal: US Tells Diplomats to Dodge Foreign Officials' Questions.
When any company or agency screws up your account or your orders, causing some other company or agency to claim you owe it money, you are likely to be screwed. It tends to be hard to clear up the error.
Here a British teenager committed suicide because he expected to be given a fine he could not pay. This was because court notices had been sent to the wrong address.
You may have to go to court against the entity that screwed up, and the other one (that demands payment) won't help you because it doesn't care who is at fault. When this happens, the state should hold the first one responsible for all costs, and should help you prove it.
US citizens: call on some Democratic senators to reject wall street donations in their reelection campaigns.
US citizens: call on the National Football League Players' Association to support Colin Kaepernick, who was blacklisted for supporting Black Lives Matter.
'Stable' Antarctic Ice Sheet May Have Started Collapsing (in 2009).
It is now adding .16 mm to global sea level per year. That would be no disaster in itself, but it is sure to speed up melting in coming decades.
Comprehensive sexuality education helps young people avoid gratuitous suffering of various kinds. However, around the world, there is a tendency for sex education to omit the topic of contraception.
Bernie Sanders is asking the French government to help unionize Nissan plants in the US, through its partial ownership of Renault, which is closely linked with Nissan.
James Damore's internal Google memo was "not an unhinged rant", but it cited irrelevant scientific generalities to advocate giving sexism free rein inside Google. Here's a clear explanation.
There is good reason to fire anyone who posts an unhinged sexist rant within a company. Such rants harass, directly. I don't see that it is necessary to fire people for non-ranting postings that propose a sexist policy. The proposal itself does no harm unless it is adopted. Wouldn't firm rejection of the proposal suffice?
Reading well-veiled fallacies can be exasperating, but that is not the same as being harassed.
Once Damore had been fired, he jumped into bed with right-wing extremists that are known for unhinged rants.
Perhaps he wrote the internal memo with careful restraint, aiming to persuade Google staff, but now shows his true nature.
I can envision the possibility that a firm rejection, without firing, would have kept him restrained and avoided helping the bigots.
A plan to curb the "addiction to growth": "Curbing advertising, taxing carbon, a basic income, and a shorter work week".
I think we must also do something to curb the ability of billionaires to compete to outdo the others.
A report argues that the main drivers of inequality are certain government policies: taxation, trade, regulation, public subsidies, and expenditures.
It is clear that retraining people to take different jobs can help only a small fraction of the unemployed and the 50% of employed Americans stuck in Mcjobs.
However, technology is also an important factor. If automation eliminates 10% of jobs over a decade, there is no way that most of those people will find anything but Mcjobs, if even that.
Globalization is a crucial factor, but perhaps at a deeper level. Globalization is the driver of trade policy. Globalization-oriented trade policy gives businesses the power to knock down regulations that protects us from them, demand public subsidies, and force cuts in expenditure by dodging taxes.
The business-supremacy treaties are at the root of this.
Melting ice tends to activate volcanoes; this is happening in Alaska and Iceland. Meanwhile, scientists have just discovered 91 more volcanoes under the Antarctic ice sheet.
Eva Gollinger, who exposed the US role in the coup against Chavez, analyzes the developments in Venezuela.
US citizens: support the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, which would deny the president the authority to start a nuclear war.
Global heating is making toxic blooms of cyanobacteria more frequent in some lakes, such as Lake Erie.
Tools for probing sites and networks can be useful for journalists, not just for crackers.
The troll's undisguised contempt for Tillerson leaves the US unable to negotiate with North Korea or even to calm the tensions.
2016 set records for the heat in the Arctic winter and shrinkage of ice around the world.
Also a record for the height of sea level — but that was automatic, since it rises every year. Sea level is now 3.25 inches above the 1993 level. This increase is enough to push some storms and high tides over the edge of the sea wall.
Chains of "academies" — semi-privatized schools — in the UK are training teachers to read from a script instead of thinking about their students. The author says this resembles sales training rather than education.
It can't be long before they replace the teachers with something like the Eliza program, or prerecorded videos.
Elephants that have been brutalized in captivity by humans sometimes turn to self-harming, as some humans and parrots do in painful circumstances.
The UK is considering making it illegal to reidentify anonymous data.
I agree that this should not apply to researchers, but if it is limited to commercial activity and public relations or campaign activity, it would be ethical.
Would it be enforceable? If the penalties are sufficiently strong, organizations aiming for profit or other success would hesitate to violate the law.
The law needs to address the scenario where the reidentification is done in some other country but the usage is targeted at people in the UK. Usually some organization that operates in the UK will be paying for the service. If that organization can be identified and punished, that might make the law enforceable enough.
Governor Snyder's plan to pay Foxconn billions to "create jobs" is encountering resistance because of possible pollution from the factories.
However, other objections come from the same narrow-minded "more jobs in this state" thinking that makes schemes like this seem legitimate in the first place. We have to put an end to the practice of paying companies to locate here instead of there.
Right-wing fake news is backed by sophisticated profiling technology.
It must have been developed as a well-funded operation.
If the troll declares a "drug emergency", that might be used to make drug repression worse.
The troll has sabotaged the EPA's final rules for reducing automobile pollution.
Sessions is trying to relegitimize forensic "expert analysis" comparisons, which have been found unreliable and not suitable for use in trials, so that they can provide an excuse for imprisoning people in the absence of real evidence of guilt.
The bully has redirected US deportation efforts to include upstanding members of the community who have never been in legal trouble.
The mainstream media continue to propagandize for business-supremacy treaties using fallacious arguments that exaggerate small economic benefits while disregarding the sure and steady harm that they generally do.
Even when it's obvious that workers are enslaved, the enslavers are often not prosecuted.
Senator Blumenthal fed the myth that US soldiers met with hostility when returning from Vietnam. It turns out he fabricated not only the claims of a hostile reception but also the claim that he returned from Vietnam. He never went there.
"Clean eating" took simple basic nutritional advice (eat more vegetables and less meat) and turned it into a cult of rigid narrow diets that often harm people's health.
The author suggests this is the result of a generalized fear of some unidentifiable toxin in our food.
There are toxins in our food, and water. Some of them are natural, while some come from industrial pollution. In a few places, pollution taken into the stomach causes real harm to people's health. For humanity overall, we don't know.
EPA fines issued against polluters have been cut by over 50% under the troll compared with the same period in 2016.
Even under Obama the EPA suffered from regulatory capture, so the rate of fines was surely too low already in 2016.
Heathrow airport has outsourced help for disabled passengers, with the result that they sometimes have to wait a long time for anyone to help them off a plane.
I suspect that the company that does this decided to increase its profits by reducing the staff available for this job to a level that is just enough with the usual demand. Since demand fluctuates randomly, this approach ensures that the staff will be insufficient whenever demand fluctuates up. If employees are out sick, there will be a problem.
It is well known that a reliable quick service needs substantially more staff than it takes to handle the normal workload. I'm sure the managers of that bureau found out, when they took over that service, how many staff are really needed. Then someone decided to cut corners so as to increase profit.
This is one of the ways outsourcing tends to provide worse service. Also because it is unaccountable. Another thing outsourcing normally does is cut the pay of the workers. We should take measures to penalize outsourcing so that it happens less.
Salafi Arabia has sent the army and air force to destroy the town of Awamiyah where many Shi'ites live, announcing the goal of expelling them and imposing that by killing them.
AirBnB uses tax-dodging schemes to exclude its profits from taxation in the countries where rooms are rented out. The EU is looking at putting a stop to this.
Blackwater's atrocities in Iraq show that it would be the worst of all possib