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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
My intention is to make links only to publicly accessible, stable URLs. If you find a link to a page that requires subscription, please report that as you would report any other broken link.
US citizens: tell Senator Grassley to stop rubber-stamping the saboteur's nominees for judges.
The men video'd beating up unarmed protester DeAndre Harris have been charged.
Farmers in Colombia are rapidly cutting down the forest for farms that wear out the land quickly. Some are trying to teach them to plant fruit trees and hardwood tree plantations.
The other half of the solution for preserving the forest is to limit the numbers of human beings that try to make a living in it.
I asked a volunteer to check the points in the article about US prisons and he found references to support all of them.
The bully's saboteurs are attacking both human rights and democracy; even to undo this damage may be difficult. And if they get enough control over the courts, they will never allow opposition to win elections.
Still, we have to try — because giving up guarantees the worst possible outcome.
Fat lot of good that will do when thugs commit crimes.
Cars track lots of data about drivers, and one way or another companies get it.
Since it puts the users further under the power of Big Data, it's ultimately bad for the users. I call it the "internet of stings".
Israel develops its "security" technology, more properly described as repression technology, by practicing on Palestinians. Israel now exports this to US thug departments so they can learn the "best practices" for repressing Americans that protest.
New York State spent lots of money on zero-tax "start up" zones.
Subsidizing business to do business tends to become nothing but a giveaway to businesses. It is self-defeating when it "succeeds".
Businesses in the US pay too little tax overall. Therefore, we have to stop thinking of reducing taxes for "better" businesses and instead raise them on "worse" business.
Hondurans continue protesting massively against the theft of their presidential election.
US neo-Nazis are pretending to support progressive criticism of the political power of business, hoping they can substitute "Jews" for "business" and convert progressives to antisemitism.
Uri Avnery: Ben-Gurion told God, I wish that Israel will be a Jewish state, that it will encompass all the country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and that it be a just state. "That is too much even for me," God said.
Fungicides are very dangerous to some species of bumblebees.
Studies show that vaping is far less dangerous than smoking tobacco, provided one stops smoking entirely.
Israel bullied the National Basketball Association to deny that Palestine is occupied territory.
Right-wing politicians frequently demonize "coastal elites". Many of the bully's cronies are part of the coastal elite.
They succeeded in convincing him to arrange the attack in a way that would not do much damage — it would only make him look tough.
Although antisocialists take many stands that progressives can agree with, we can never expect real support from antisocialists, because their highest priority is always laissez-faire: to make the government stop doing good for people in general.
In other words, they are far more against what they call "socialism" (which is what they call any policy that isn't total laissez-faire) than they are for liberty.
This helps explain how the term "libertarian" misrepresents their views. It highlights their attractive secondary stand (for civil liberties), while claiming falsely that their repellent primary position (for laissez-faire) has something to do with civil liberties.
Idiots such as the president think a few cold days in winter imply that more global heating would be good, or else that there isn't any.
Native idiocy isn't enough to believe things like this. They have to work at it.
When you experience a cold day in winter, remember that the cold is killing tropical diseases and parasites. As global heating makes winter gradually less cold, they spread further north.
Carrying newly hatched salmon to the sea by truck appears at first to be effective. But when the salmon are ready to go upstream to spawn, they don't know which way to go up the river, since they never went down the river.
US nursing homes asked the government to please stop fining them for mistreating patients. The saboteurs granted their wish.
For millions of working women to push away sexual pressure from their bosses, they need to form activist unions.
Facebook now asks users in India to give their official biometric ID linkage.
Being used by Facebook was harmful already. This makes it more harmful because it enables Facebook's data about people to be linked easily with many other databases also indexed by national ID numbers.
This is an example of why a national ID number is harmful. Once everyone has that number, it becomes natural for every business or organization which has a database of people to index it by national ID number — and presto! they are all cross-linked.
The FBI, advised by Ayn Rand, denounced films such as It's A Wonderful Life as Communist propaganda.
The acting head of the official internal whistleblowing office for US intelligence agents was transferred to a no-op job for no stated reasons.
Perhaps he tried to actually do his job? As has been reported, that office has generally operated as a mousetrap to catch whistleblowers.
Fossil fools have funded fake news and fake science since the 1990s, but they needed to present it with a serious front. Now the Heatland Institute has decided, based on the strength of the US anti-rationality movement, to dispense with that and spew evident nonsense.
The organization calls itself "Heartland", but the name "Heatland" describes it more accurately.
Twitter banned a bot that was very effective at identifying impersonator trolls (who make false-flag racist verbal attacks), because the right-wing lie movement started reporting it for "abuse."
Any sort of crowdsourcing of information or judgment is vulnerable to manipulation by a sufficiently large dishonest movement.
Saboteur Pruitt has redefined environmentalism to mean extracting as much as possible and ignoring effects on the environment.
The cancer drug Lomustine costs 15 times as much as it did 4 years ago.
UK pro-fracking politicians go to great lengths to sabotage protests.
A Mexican reporter, afraid of being shot by gangsters, tried to ask for asylum in the US. He was imprisoned for 100 days and treated like a criminal. Told he'd probably be held in prison for a year, he went back to Mexico even though he still feared being shot.
A general pattern of obsession with identity may be the reason that angry young Muslims today become Islamists rather than anti-racism campaigners for social equality.
In Xinjiang, China tracks every move that people make.
Coming soon to a country near you.
Proof that the NSA-designed back door in RSA's TLS library was operational in a commercial product.
The white supremacists that attacked unarmed DeAndre Harris have been charged. Unfortunately, Harris still faces charges too.
Tom Hughes is about to become homeless, and considers committing a harmless crime so as to get into prison instead.
The Real Costs of Cheap Surveillance.
I have presented solutions here.
Roy Moore will go to any lengths of absurdity to prevent Doug Jones from being seated in the senate.
This accusation is absurd because of the facts. I won't claim that Democrats are so moral that they couldn't conceivably try to rig an election. But the ones that are in the habit of doing so are Republicans. Alabama's government is dominated by Republicans. Democrats would not be able to rig an election there if they tried.
Privacy.com offers the service of a VPN for credit cards.
Aside from the question of whether you can trust privacy.com with your data, I wonder also about what happens if you need to cancel a payment.
Rather than use workarounds like these, I'd rather go to a store, offer cash, refuse to give my name or zipcode, and see if they are willing to refuse to sell me something.
To return society to rationality, we must stop preferring powerful authentic emotions to dull authentic facts and reasoning.
"Ice will return but extinctions can't be reversed. We must act now."
China's "sponge cities" help direct rain underground, to reduce flooding.
Extremists in the US killed 372 people in the 10-year period, 2007-2016. About 3/4 of the killings were done by right-wing extremists.
Israeli troops fired at medics and journalists that moved towards a wounded Palestinian protester.
An Israeli official made a vague threat of violence against nonviolent protesters in Germany.
Men now face being fired for vaguely sexual conversations that were not sexual harassment and that no one complained about.
Naturally, the announcement of dismissal used the vaguest possible word: "inappropriate". That word means "not correct in my judgment." Such a vague criticism can never justify the conclusion that someone has done wrong. Any act might be frowned upon by someone.
If you want to demand that someone be fired or prosecuted for some action, or justify firing the person for some action, it behooves you to make an accusation that is concrete, not vague like "inappropriate". You need to say what the action was, so we can judge how wrong it was. If you can't or won't describe it with something more concrete than "inappropriate", we must presume it wasn't bad enough to punish.
This note is not meant to defend conduct that merits some concrete criticism. Once there is a concrete criticism, we have a concrete issue to consider.
Most of Labour's supporters want Britain to stay in the EU. The party is vulnerable to competition from a party that would support this.
UK exit from the EU is a paradoxical issue. The EU requires every country to be part of several business-supremacy treaties, each of which cements the nondemocratic and therefore unjust power of business. The EU has plutocratic policies of its own in several areas including copyright, agriculture, and inequality of wealth. In principle, returning to freedom and democracy requires escaping from the EU.
However, the EU also regulates businesses and protects some human rights. Therefore, exit from the EU does not necessarily imply things will get better.
If the plan for Britain's economic policy after leaving the EU is to sign a bunch of business-supremacy treaties, the effect will be to make things even worse.
Oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon has poisoned land and rivers. The indigenous people sometimes occupy and shut down oil facilities for days or months.
The local oil pollution might degrade or wash away in a couple of centuries, but the damage done by global heating is forever. The most important fight in the Peruvian Amazon is to prevent construction of new wells.
Poverty Is Both a Political and a Moral Choice Made By the Powerful.
Decades of planning enabled right-wing plutocrats to take power in the US, so they could let most Americans "fall by the wayside".
As a result of their success, poor people in the US today have discarded the American Dream. They have learned that hard work won't get them a decent life in the US. Especially poor whites have given in to despair.
At the economic level, they are right. Hard work to make money won't get most poor Americans a decent life, because the rich take most of the value of their work.
However, there is another kind of hard work which could enable everyone to have a decent life: work to elect progressive leaders that will make the rich give back what they took.
Concern about how the bully deals with Putin should not lead us to take speculation for fact.
Visa plans to pay US businesses to stop accepting cash.
Before I supported the Doug Jones campaign, I had a volunteer show me his positions and found things that sounded progressive to me. It looks like I missed some things that are not very progressive.
Too bad. We need senators about whom one can say something more than, "Better than Roy Moore."
A second disaster for Barbuda: now that the houses have been destroyed, the communal lands will be privatized.
The land will then be sold to rich foreigners for funds for rebuilding. This will probably include much of the wild areas, which will then be bulldozed.
This issue may not matter for long if global heating and sea-level rise combine to make Barbuda uninhabitable.
The effectiveness of Russian troll ads in Facebook demonstrate something bad about the American people, but also about Facebook.
It may be true that Facebook is "a mirror" for its useds, but that does not mean it is safe. The useds are also a mirror for what Facebook says to them. Two mirrors facing each other, with something in between that resonates with a certain kind of energy, make up a laser, and a laser can be very dangerous if it is powerful.
I am puzzled by the article's presupposition that "Democrats" adore Facebook unquestioningly. Does that really happen?
Venezuela's all-powerful "constitutional assembly" has arbitrarily banned the three main opposition parties from the next national election for the "crime" of boycotting the recent local elections.
The "constitutional assembly" is really the "constitution override", since it serves to enable Maduro to set the constitution aside arbitrarily. The government obeys the constitution except when it doesn't.
UK ministries conceal supposedly public government files by "borrowing" them permanently from the archives, then saying they "can't find" the files.
In the US, the government says the files are secret, or denies they ever existed.
Cats in Australia kill a million birds of native species per day, and may be a crucial factor in wiping them out.
I seem to recall having read about an effort to eradicate cats from some island. Might it be possible to sterilize the feral cats of Australia, and keep all non-neutered cats indoors, for the birds' sake?
EFF: Protect the Privacy of Cross-Border Data: Stop the DOJ Bill.
Chinese economists advocate total surveillance in the name of making a planned economy work.
Total surveillance means total tyranny, so even if it does function in some economic sense, it is a bad system.
In the Cretaceous period, mammals could only come out at night — because daytime was so hot it would kill them. We could get there again.
If a university has many Chinese students, it had better take care to prevent them from intimidating others from condemning China's tyranny.
We might help Chinese students understand that they should not identify themselves with Chinese repression by showing that we criticize our own countries' repression, too. We are not against China, rather we support all peoples (including the Chinese people) against the injustice of whatever state.
Turkey is fortunate to have a decreasing birth rate that will help end poverty there. However, some fools believe that this is a problem.
The local inconveniences of a decreasing population are nothing compared with the global disaster of population pushing up greenhouse emissions and overusing every limited renewable resource.
We need laws to stop drug companies from raising the price of a drug to an unconscionable level.
Wu Gan, Chinese human rights activist, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for holding a protest at a courthouse.
China never ceased to be a vicious tyranny. The Panchen Lama was disappeared in 1995 and has not been seen or heard from since. But China did these sort of things only rarely, until a few years ago.
The axolotl appears to be extinct in the wild, apparently due to pollution from humans that have invaded its habitat.
Japan has declared approaching a whaling ship to be "terrorism".
The UK and US have declared releasing animals from a farm to be "terrorism".
The US refers to protests as "low-level terrorism".
Lying laws such as these are a form of tyranny. The dishonesty also undermines efforts against real terrorism.
Wages in the US are depressed substantially because many Americans have few potential employers to choose from.
This is another reason why we need to break up the large companies.
Putin has officially banned the only real opposition candidate from running against him.
Reality Winner published the secret intelligence about Russian phishing at a US "election services" company because everyone knew that the the official internal whistleblower system is just a mousetrap to catch anyone that would even think of trying.
She will have an unfair trial, demonstrating why it is absurd to claim Snowden should return and face a similarly unfair trial.
Meanwhile, use of private companies for "election services" makes me worry on principle. How can we trust a company for that?
Washington State has sued Comcast for tricking hundreds of thousands of customers into paying for nothing.
"Innovation" in the area of how to charge for services is something we should discourage, or even criminalize.
Sessions lied to Congress about the troll campaign's plans for contact with Russia.
Senator Warren explains how Equifax is making lots of money from "helping" people protect themselves from the consequences of its data breach.
The data breach resulted from the carelessness of Equifax's security department.
The welfare programs of the welfare state are a triumph of organized human decency. We should champion them with pride.
Want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness: banished by the welfare state, imposed once again by the plutocratic state.
National Security Agencies Are [still] Evading Congressional Oversight.
Many congresscritters accept the agencies' claims without question, or allow themselves to be brushed off with "it's a secret".
It's Not Just Niger — U.S. Military Activity Is a "Recruiting Tool" for Terror Groups Across West Africa.
Boko Haram is a vicious gang, and I don't have any objection in principle to helping to defeat it provided the means are legitimate and the effort makes things better, not worse. But we can't judge those questions if we don't know what the efforts are.
"The lie that poverty is a moral failing was buried a century ago. Now it’s back."
People who attributed poverty to bad luck are not entirely wrong. The reason why x% of the population are poor is bad social policies. The reason why person A is part of that x% rather than person B is chance.
At least 73% of the Fortune 500 companies used tax havens to dodge taxes, in 2016.
The "paradise papers" might demonstrate that the percentage is even higher.
Brazil's president Temer weakened the law against slavery to buy support from agribusiness, so that it would vote its congresscritters to protect him from trial for some of his corruption.
His maneuver succeeded; Brazil remains ruled by corruption.
We should not use the word "reforms" when referring to his plans. The only thing Temer wants to do is dooH niboR.
The EU has a big plan to make more biofuel for airplanes, and it would cause big harm.
Right-wingers are suing pipeline protesters, calling them a terrorist conspiracy.
"The darkest dream of totalitarianism is now our daily life, carried in our purse and pocket... Every first person feels ever more alone and lost... What if truth is the precarious hinge that holds freedom and progress together?"
Interviews with Taliban, which have been growing stronger for years. One says that many former prisoners of the Afghan state forces are so ashamed of the way they were tortured that they volunteer to be suicide bombers.
Fake news in Facebook has been used to stir up violence in several countries.
The Tories' welfare system is so determined to cut the funds for disabled people that the assessors lie to fabricate an excuse.
The job of assessor would naturally attract people who enjoy callously saying no to someone in need, but that alone can't account for 250 reports that an assessor lied. Clearly the cause is pressure from the bosses of the companies that the assessors work for.
Privatizing a public activity is an invitation for a company to cut corners and do a bad job.
The Tories are making disabled people come in for interviews about putting them to work, even if they are too sick to get out of bed.
Many Iraqi children will find it hard to grow up as healthy and capable adults. Their bodies have been poisoned by chemicals and Dirty Uranium from US weapons, while their brains are poisoned by PTSD from the violence they have witnessed.
American Airlines Gave Its Workers a Raise. Wall Street Freaked Out.
The tendency for US companies to focus on short-term changes in stock price is harmful in many ways. It encourages short-term thinking which implies long-term loss. This is one more way it is harmful.
Products being sold to US thugs include new systems for watching everyone, listening to everyone, identifying everyone, and integrating the data about everyone.
The bully could save the US 7 trillion dollars by not pushing the US into a pointless (and unjustified) war with Iran.
Journalists Who Relayed GOP's Deficit Moaning Owe Us Apologies.
Google is trying out teaching based on pervasive surveillance and data collection, in the expensive context of a class with two teachers for 24 students from wealthy and well-educated, which will surely make it look effective.
Building a data model of a student's state of knowledge, and abilities, could be a useful method. In order for it to be ethical, only rough summaries (comparable to grades) should ever leave the school in any form.
However, I doubt a good teaching method can overcome the detrimental effects on learning and ability caused by growing up in the stress of poverty. Personal attention from teachers could help, some.
The Thomas fire in California is now the largest in the state's history. It has burned over 400 square miles.
It started in December, in what used to be California's rainy season, but due to global heating there hasn't been much rain near LA.
Suggesting that financial bubbles will burst in 2020.
Several of the genes that make human skin darker or lighter existed before Homo sapiens evolved. They were inherited from an ancestral species.
Someone pushed some pork through the mail slot of the Belfast Islamic Center.
This gesture of bigotry was nasty and I disapprove of it, but the word "attack" is not justified. To qualify as an attack, it would have to cause damage or harm, not mere offense. A dirty spot in a door, and on the nearby floor, are not harm.
Complex regulations are pressuring small US banks to merge with big ones. A publicly owned bank, in North Dakota, helps the local banks there to survive.
The idea that it is easier to enforce regulations on a few large banks than on small ones is backwards. On the contrary, very big banks can cheat with impunity, as Wells Fargo has shown. To make banks obey the law, we need to get big banks to split up.
My progressive business tax proposal could help do that.
US Nuclear Arsenal to Cost $1.2tn Over Next 30 Years.
It is part of a broad military spending program that might cost even more, and is totally unnecessary since the US military could easily defeat any three other nation's militaries.
What fraction of world greenhouse gas emissions could we eliminate with that much money?
Horse manure is not a bomb, it is a political statement and nothing more. To treat this is a crime is an attack on American's political freedom — like treating protests at the bully's inauguration as a crime.
The falling price of renewable electricity and batteries may enable India to provide electricity to everyone using renewable energy instead of coal.
India should decide now to reject coal. It will do little good for millions of poor Indians if they get electricity in the next 20 years, only to die from global heating effects in another 20 years.
In the long term, for India to reduce the number of poor people it must stop making more of them by means of birth control. Without that, it's a Red Queen's race.
Save Israel, Stop the Occupation — an organization that asks Jews outside Israel to support Israeli opposition to continued occupation of Palestine.
Israel confiscates Palestinians' water pipes and tanks so its colonies can grow bananas.
Six crimes by the bully and his officials that ought to be prosecuted.
The Tory "reform" of welfare payments in the UK tends to make recipients fall behind on rent. Now many landlords won't rent to welfare recipients at all.
Sanders Slams Trump for 'Bragging' About Millions of Americans Losing Healthcare.
This as the cheater congratulated his rich friends for the big gains they will get from the tax attacks.
Ahed Tamimi slapped and kicked some Israeli soldiers who was standing unwelcome in her family's yard. The soldiers forbore to retaliate, so right-wing Israeli haters began demanding some harshness. Soldiers returned in the middle of the night and arrested her.
Her parents have led weekly protests for many years against Israel's theft of their land through the annexation wall.
European organizations that rescue drowning would-be immigrants are being prosecuted for facilitating illegal immigration.
Similar things have happened in the US near the Mexican border.
Defending college teachers' rights to protest at the rallies students hold on campus. Both have the right to express their views.
Workplace surveillance systems track everything staff do online through company-provided computers.
I wouldn't use them if I were you.
Guatemalans hope a return to regenerative farming could enable the country to support all its people.
The article doesn't explain why investment money is needed for this. I can guess at various possibilities, but we need to know the actual answer.
If they can make their economy more sustainable this way, and they want the improvement last, they must not squander the gains on increased population. Thus, reducing population growth needs to be part of the plan.
Offshoring as shown in the "paradise" papers encourages corruption of public officials, as well as tax-dodging and corruption.
Investments in companies which exercise power, such as Twitter and Facebook, have the potential to influence their use of that power.
Maybe this was just an investment for profit. But then why hide it?
Even if Twitter and Facebook didn't know that they had Russian state institutions as investors, those investors had ways to push for developments that suited them, without revealing who they were.
Will AI dolls for young children interfere with their understanding of the difference between people and things?
I am not convinced, a priori, that this will do harm. Perhaps it will have a subtle effect that is only statistically detectable.
However, the crucial question is not whether AI dolls, inherently, are likely confuse children. It is, rather, whether AI dolls could be designed to manipulate children in a particular way: to make them more susceptible to addictive technology.
Because, if there is a way to do that, companies will find it.
Companies such as Facebook are searching madly for ways to make their technology more addictive. They have lots of money to invest in research. If a certain kind of robot doll could predispose people to be more addicted to Facebook, Facebook is likely to discover that. Then it might push those dolls on children under some pretext — perhaps "They are educational", perhaps, or "They make up for the lack of teachers in our austerity-hit schools". Facebook-funded research could substantiate these claims.
Perhaps some other kind of AI doll might be entirely harmless, or even beneficial, but that's not the direction that Facebook et al. would find profitable to promote.
Russians have met to nominate Alexei Navalny to run for president. They will have to overcome the criminal convictions that Putin has engineered as an excuse to stop him from running.
In a previous election, Putin arranged to prevent the nomination process for Garry Kasparov by making all the large rooms in Moscow unavailable.
Putin would probably win a free and fair election, and surely knows this, but he still won't allow one in Russia.
UK law particularly favors companies against journalists that publish about leaks. And the Tories plan to make it even worse.
Privacy needs more protection, but data brokers, data thieves, and repressive states will not be deterred by laws about the use of personal data. (The data brokers are experts at achieving want they want through loopholes in data protection laws.) The effective way to protect privacy is to limit the accumulation of data.
Exploring the world of do-it-yourself gene therapy.
I think people should be free to make and try untested genetic modifications on themselves. But the risk scares me; I would never do it except as a last resort.
Acts of hatred against Indian Christians hit a peak at Christmas.
The bigoted ruling party has inspired Hindus' violence against many other religious groups.
Some of the world's best soccer clubs belong to Arab despots, and the money that buys their players comes from oppression.
Other clubs have been bought by Russian oligarchs, who certainly didn't get so much of Russia with clean hands.
A fire in a shopping mall at night seems to have killed 37 people working in a call center.
It's a shame that 37 people got killed, perhaps painfully, but that's life. I hope Filipinos do get worked up enough about this to bring about improvement in fire code enforcement.
Now, imagine that 37 people got killed by a terrorist. Fools around the world would demand, "Tear up our freedom at once!", stirred up by would-be authoritarian politicians.
The bully and his agents are attacking science in every part of the US government.
If the Republicans don't cancel democracy in the US the way Hernández just did in Honduras, we may have them out of power in 3 years. But it won't be easy to repair the damage they are doing now. All staff who remain in these agencies are either struggling desperately to maintain their integrity despite being forbidden to show it, or becoming cynical and thus useless as a support for integrity. In effect, we will have to replace them and start over.
That effect is not limited to agencies that are involved with science.
Twitter accounts suspected of being Russian trolls were used to stir up conflict after terrorist attacks in the UK.
Associating the Twitter accounts with Russia may admit of uncertainty, but there's no uncertainty that the system is susceptible to being used this way. Individuals and right-wing extremist organizations do it, too.
What's not clear is how to fix the Twitter system to make it less susceptible to this sort of instability, without censorship that would threaten our freedom also.
If we can believe the CIA that it briefed the bully on Jan 6 about Russia's election meddling, that implies he has been lying about it ever since.
Courts and scientists are trying to clarify the boundary between firm opinions and incitement to violence.
This may be the most damaging thing yet that the Republicans have done. Millions of Americans who were being rescued from the repression of perpetual debt will now have no hope of escape.
American children have had almost all their freedom taken away in the past 40 years.
The Election Fraud in Honduras Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By the U.S. War on Drugs.
Everyone: Call on Ecuador's President Moreno to pardon the indigenous mining protesters.
Saboteur DeVos has revoked the plan to cancel the student debt for some students of fraudulent Corinthian Colleges.
After the artificial disaster of the hurricane in Puerto Rico comes another artificial disaster: a wave of foreclosures imposed through legal trickery. 1/3 of the homeowners in Puerto Rico are currently vulnerable, but the number could increase.
Massive inequality in the US, in 12 charts.
Europe Sends People 'Home' to Afghanistan, Where They Have Never Been.
Scientists are working on genetically engineering corals and their symbiotic bacteria to help them survive the heating of the ocean.
This approach is better than nothing, but I see two shortcomings:
The real purpose of the Republican tax attacks is to eliminate the welfare programs that enable many poor Americans to survive.
The case against Cliven Bundy collapsed because prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense. It was evidence of misconduct in investigating him.
Bundy was fighting for a cause — the same twisted cause that the Koch brothers fight for. They demand the right to wear out the Earth through unsustainable practices, leaving nothing for the future. These practices won't continue indefinitely, because the damage they do will eventually stop them. But things will go hard with humanity and wildlife if we don't stop them before that.
Protecting our forests by preventing overgrazing is one of the jobs we need the state for. But the US went about this in a way that started stupid and finished unjust.
It should have been easy to deal with Bundy's protest-by-overgrazing. Cancel his license to graze cattle on national forest, for violating the rules of so doing; fine him or sue him; seize some of his cattle; sell it to collect from him. There would have been no violence unless he started it himself, and he could not have got away with that. (I think he is smart enough he would not have tried it.)
Instead, the US government handled Bundy the way it handled the inauguration protesters, twisting the law in a dangerous way. Thugs shot one of the protesters, who was not violent, then covered it up with lies, much as they normally lie about killing blacks.
The US congratulated its protégé, Hernández, for his "victory" in stealing the election in Honduras. That was after weeks of pressuring the opposition to "calm down" and stop protesting the theft.
Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, permitted the military coup that ran the enabled Hernández to get "elected" president the first time. The coup overthrew President Zelaya, who had the temerity to propose a non-binding referendum (after he left office) on whether to allow a president to run for reelection.
Hernández didn't bother with a referendum. He simply ran for reelection.
The Security Council approved tighter sanctions on North Korea.
This is pointless. Sanctions, in themselves, will not stop North Korea's nuclear development, or lead to a peace agreement. Only negotiations can achieve anything.
A million Yemenis had caught cholera as a result of the bombardment and siege.
Salafi Arabia is doing the bombardment with support from the US.
Many Americans' homes will be abandoned to the sea within 10 to 15 years.
Interviews with former white-supremacist bigots that rejected hate.
74% of the terrorist killings in the US in the past 10 years were carried out by right-wing extremists. They are much more of a danger than Islamist extremists.
However, neither group is so dangerous that we should give up our freedom and privacy to catch a few more of them.
The biggest danger of right-wing extremists is not their individual violence. Rather, it is the danger of their alliance with the plutocratist extremists behind the Republican Party.
Uri Avnery: "The executed rebel becomes a national hero, for every rebel executed, dozens of others join the fight." So when the Israeli army protects the soldier that murdered a disabled Palestinian protester, while punishing soldiers that refused to kill teenage girls, it is a crazy policy.
Daniel Barenboim: "After Trump’s Jerusalem gambit, the world must recognise a Palestinian state."
Mahmoud Abbas has acknowledged what we have long known, that the US is no "honest broker" for Palestine and Israel. He asked France to try.
US citizens: tell Congress that the big tax cuts for rich people are no excuse to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
New Guinea is being deforested rapidly. Indonesia may fail to meet its Paris (i.e., weak and insufficient) greenhouse emissions commitments because of the deforestation in the part of Papua ruled by Indonesia.
But it seems Indonesia's colonial rule is no worse at protecting forests than the government of independent Papua New Guinea.
New Highways in Remote Amazon Risk "ethnocide", say Peruvians.
The UN will start drawing up a treaty to protect international waters from overfishing and pollution.
Lobbyists, acting through plutocratist states, will do their damnedest to make the treaty so weak that it is effectively useless.
Europe Rebuked for Removing Afghans to One of World's Most Dangerous Countries.
Apple is being sued for programming some iPhones to slow down when the battery gets discharged or gets old.
Ethically, this situation is complicated. Apple says it slows the phones so that they won't shut down unexpectedly. That, in and of itself, does not seem wrong to me.
However, the real fix for the problem of failing batteries is to replace them. It could be that Apple chose to slow down the phones so as to cover up the problem and avoid replacing them. That would be wrong.
There is also the ethical question of whether it is legitimate to build phones with batteries that can't be replaced — or removed, for privacy.
A dream wedding is not a good start for a real-life marriage.
If you are thinking of marrying a woman, and she is lost in a dream of a wedding, best wake her up first and see if you really get along together and then have a non-dream wedding.
The wedding dream may explain what seems so surreal to me in many Hollywood romcoms. All the characters are caught in the wedding dream/trance and nobody ever asks "why?"
Transplant Patient's … Plea: Talk to Your Family about Organ Donation.
I won't make a plea for anything in the name of Christmas, which means nothing to me, but any time is the right time to think about saving other people's lives with your organs.
I don't think relatives of the deceased should be consulted about organ transplantation. Corpse fetishism is not a valid reason to deny other people life-saving medical treatment.
However, if the laws where you live give your relatives authority, it is important to make sure that they won't block your last contribution to other people's well-being.
China: five years in prison for running a VPN.
Giving to Those in Need [at any time] Is Noble, But a Living Wage Would Be Better.
Senate Democrats voted for a temporary spending bill without DACA.
Catalan separatist parties won a narrow majority in the election for the Catalan parliament.
Since the turnout was very high, I think this election is a valid indicator of what the people want, and what it shows is that they are split. I don't think such a fundamental change should be made based on support from 52%, while 48% oppose it.
After the IRS profiled right-wing tax-exempt organizations for investigation, right-wing pressure weakened IRS enforcement to the point that it effectively gave up on policing political activity by tax-exempt organizations.
Naturally, right-wing corruption finds that useful.
The EU is almost powerless against national governments that seize nondemocratic power.
Facebook facilitates age-discrimination in employment ads.
The first six inauguration protesters, put on trial for "rioting", have been acquitted.
The repressors are nothing if not persistent. They seem to be planning to change their arguments somewhat for the next batch of protesters on trial.
A special unit in Facebook actively aids political campaigns in the US and other countries. These politicians are likely subsequently to protect Facebook from regulation afterwards.
We should not allow any company to be as powerful as Facebook.
The debt and deficit dance of plutocratist politicians.
A movie present a picture of the Washington Post's involvement in publishing the Pentagon Papers. It presents the publisher as heroic, omitting the union-busting and the previous support for the Vietnam War.
Running against the Republican tax attacks will give Democrats a great opportunity, if they dare to take it.
They need to lead the non-rich people's side of the class war that the rich have been fighting and winning.
New York City and New York State have decided to divest their pension funds from fossil fuels.
Actual divestment will take considerable time, and there is a lot of leeway to undermine the new policy with excuses.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, "Don't renew section 702, which authorizes massive surveillance of Americans. Stop using 'security' as an excuse for making our privacy insecure."
Some of the rapists have been identified and prosecuted.
Tech entrepreneurs fear out-of-control AI because they assume it will be a psychopath, like their corporations.
It would be foolish to assume that it won't be a psychopath. If a psychopathic, unrestrained corporation develops an AI, why wouldn't it make that AI a psychopath?
The final tax attacks bill is even more skewed to benefit the rich than the earlier versions.
China will require companies making driverless cars for use in China to work with a Chinese company.
China's policy goes in the right direction, but doesn't go all the way. To defend privacy rights, we should ban driverless cars no matter which companies make them, unless they are built so that they don't track people's movements.
The article uses the bogus term "intellectual property". It's always a mistake to use that term because it lumps together various laws that are so different that generalizing about them is misguided.
Everyone: call on Governor Brown of California to pay prisoners for fighting fires the same wage that non-prisoners get.
The UK subsidizes arms exports so much that they can't even be much of a profit. What rational reason could there be?
Israeli soldiers killed several protesters in Gaza, including Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who was disabled and sitting in his wheelchair.
The army says he "was not targeted". Apparently they were shooting wild.
China is imposing a greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme on power plants, and plans to extend it later to other heavy industry.
This has the potential to drive emissions down rapidly, if China manages it carefully. The EU's greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme was mismanaged, and efforts to correct the scheme's rules have been blocked. By planet-roasters' political influence, presumably.
I expect China will do a better job of resisting the fossil fuel industry's power.
"Non-lethal" bullets often cause injuries, including loss of an eye, even death.
If the shooter is close to the protesters, the bullet can easily kill. If the shooter is not close, these bullets can't be aimed carefully.
Austerity has brought millions to the edge of bankruptcy; now the bankruptcies are happening in the UK.
In the US, the millions of fraudulent foreclosures happened almost a decade ago.
Spikes attached to a tree branch, meant to keep pigeons from perching there and dropping shit on a car, are a minor issue that illustrates a dangerous general attitude towards nature.
If we recognize only the costs of nature, and only the benefits of cars, we will continue destroying the ecosphere we depend on.
The author made an unfortunate choice to use the term "anthropocene" to describe what humanity is doing to the Earth's geology.
Democrats have won enough seats in the Virginia legislature to block new plutocratist laws, if they are united in doing so.
But they don't have the majority that would be needed to pass laws to correct existing plutocratic injustices.
A new Swedish law would define millions of men and women as "rapists".
Republicans now regard all rules, and all democratic norms, as obstacles to converting the state into a mechanism for the dominion of the rich. But this is not new. Many of them thought the same in the 1970s, when the vote to impeach Nixon barely succeeded.
The bully threatened to punish the countries that voted in the UN to rebuke the US for moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
This will build up hatred for the US across the world.
Facebook increased its visible use of face recognition.
Nothing stopped, or stops, Facebook from privately recognizing all the faces in photos, and selling that data as part of "anonymizied" records to other companies that can reidentify them.
Legal and political challenges still prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from going forward.
US citizens: call on the US Senate to end Yemen intervention.
US citizens: phone your senators and tell them, "Keep warrantless mass surveillance out of the budget".
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
227 congresscritters voted for the tax attacks. Each one deserves your firm opposition.
Australia is protecting fossil fuel electricity even harder, so that its supposed carbon emissions targets will be impossible to meet.
Many renewable energy projects face cancellation as a result.
The right-wing government of Australia has been blatantly protecting fossil fuel use ever since it got in office.
Humans have eliminated 10% of Earth's wilderness in the past 25 years. The remaining wilderness is likely to be destroyed soon if we don't stop it.
The UK backed itself into a commitment to build an incredibly expensive nuclear power plant, and paying extra for power from it, apparently so as to be able to maintain an industry capable of building and operating nuclear submarines.
I wonder whether nuclear power plants built by French and Chinese engineers will have the intended effect. Maybe it will help only France and China build and operate nuclear submarines.
If they can't get the plant running by the current deadline of 2025, will that be a better outcome for Britain?
Neoliberal states operate by crushing the solidarity that enables individuals to thrive. Europeans see the need for more solidarity, and the way to get that is from democratic socialism.
The European Union stands in the way of implementing it, though, because it is undemocratic and its rules give business more power. People in Europe will need to make the EU democratic, and change those rules.
Then comes the WTO, which doesn't even pretend to be democratic and its rules give business more power. World-wide, we need to weaken it or eliminate it.
The Tories plan to try a voter-ID system, supposedly to prevent fraudulent voting. Surely it is a coincidence that such systems block legitimate voters that are not likely to support the Tories.
Is there convincing evidence that fraudulent voting happens enough to be worth paying a price to stop it?
Facebook faces the possibility of punishment in Germany for merging data from its WhatsApp tentacle into the Facebook tentacle.
The FBI Routinely Abuses Its Powers but the Trump Investigation Has Been By the Book.
We no longer have an Environmental Protection Agency; the bully has converted it into the Environmental Poisoning Agency.
The EPA tried to support the coal industry with a program to encourage disposal of coal ash as dirt wherever dirt was needed. It had not checked whether coal ask pollution would do damage, and was made to stop.
Now that coal ash has been verified to have poisoned land and drinking water, Saboteur Pruitt wants to start spreading it again.
Saboteur Pruitt is also replacing the Clean Power Plan with a scheme designed not to change much.
He has put the brakes on a plan to ban three toxic solvents.
The EPA is considering an application for spraying a neonicotinoid pesticide. Merely soaking seeds in it is poisoning bees and birds; spraying it could wipe them out.
Joinul Islam, refugee on Manus Island, was attacked with a machete for the second time by someone unknown.
It is not safe for the refugees to be in the town of Lorengau where they have all been forced to go.
The supermarket Marks & Spencer now publishes information about use of antibiotics in raising the meat it sells.
This is important as a nucleus for public pressure to eliminate the practice of regularly giving antibiotics to farm animals.
Even in Britain, drug companies sometimes demand prices so high that the medical system refuses to buy them.
It's much worse in the US where Congress, corrupted by the drug companies, tied the government's hands about negotiating prices with the drug companies.
The main reason drugs are so expensive is patent law, imposed by the WTO. This is one of many reasons we need to make big changes in the WTO or else get rid of it. However, the concentration of the drug industry, through many mergers, has given the drug companies greater clout (as has occurred in many other areas of business), and this contributes to the problem. We need to make big companies split up. My tax proposal would be one way to do that.
George Monbiot: "Each generation is normalising the erosion of our environment, and the devastating losses to fragile ecosystems mount up."
The speculation about bats and the evolution of moths has erroneous dates. According to Wikipedia, the oldest known fossil bat lived 52 million years ago, and wasn't capable of echolocation. Meanwhile, the oldest butterfly fossil dates from 56 million years ago. So it is possible that bats did affect the success of butterflies, albeit more recently than the article says.
An illuminating analysis of sexism, and misogyny, and how the two relate to each other.
The statement at the end about Clinton is ironically sad: she "won over" the bankers and the generals by surrendering to them, and that's why millions of us refused to vote for her.
The bully's UN ambassador threatened to punish countries that voted for the resolution to rebuke the US's move of its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. In response, all the other countries voted for the resolution.
The European Court of Justice ruled that each EU country can regulate Uber and other such companies.
In principle, this means a country can require such companies to offer an anonymous option. People will have to work hard to campaign for this.
An Australian was prosecuted for refusing to vote, but the judge accepted his reasons of principle as valid justification.
Australia's laws not only require each eligible voter to cast a ballot, they also require a valid ballot to list every party. (The voter's choice consists of assigning a numerical order to the parties.) As a result, it is not easy to vote for the minor party you support, without your vote's subsequently being counted for one of the major parties that you detest.
Albert Langer recommended a hack for voters to get that result, and was imprisoned for it.
Israeli soldiers frequently violently attack Palestinian journalists who are covering protests.
Does glyphosate cause cancer in humans? This has not been clearly established, but the EPA decided to let Monsanto be the judge.
Loneliness is a plague of modern life, and every change in technology and social institutions seems to make it worse.
The elimination of libraries makes it worse. Housing the disabled in rooms they are physically unable to leave makes it worse.
Making people take "Uber-like" rides instead of buses will make them more isolated, as well as tracked everywhere.
I am disappointed with the Guardian for publishing an article that takes this one-sided stance seriously.
Neo-Nazis intentionally confuse their serious message of hate with humor as a shield against serious criticism.
Knowing this, we should regard their humor as serious hatred in disguise.
The US government aims to crush press coverage of protests by prosecuting journalists for "conspiracy" if anyone commits an act of violence.
Even if they don't apply this to journalists, applying it to protesters alone is un-American tyranny.
Senator Cornyn admitted that the purpose of that special tax cut was to win support from senators who would personally benefit.
14 Republican senators will get lots of money from this change.
We knew they were not going to invest it, because big companies in the US mostly have lots of money on hand, but see no useful investment opportunities. The SCROTUS plan was bogus from the start.
We need taxes to take that money away from them.
Fatal overdoses on opioids don't usually happen to sick people taking them on prescription. They happen mainly to people who get them on the black market.
Some US politicians are eager to use Russian election-meddling as an excuse for censorship. Or even for the War on Sharing.
Big digital companies are pushing the WTO to give them dominance over digital life in all the signatory countries.
Crowd-control weapons, often used against protesters, are less likely than guns to kill, but they do kill, and they cause permanent injury too.
The Palestinian Authority Is Using a New Cyber-Crimes Law to Crack Down on Dissent.
In effect, Israel and Palestine are working arm in arm for this one unjust goal.
Burma's violent expulsion of Rohingyas has continued into December.
Farms for Christmas trees spray toxic pesticides while workers are planting trees nearby. The Republicans want to help them keep it that way.
Workers are also required to work 12 hours a day without access to drinking water. No wonder the only people they can hire are Mexicans, probably undocumented.
If they treated the workers decently and payed more, they could find US citizens to hire. The trees would cost more. Good! Let's make them do this, let's make all the employers in the US do this. Let's buy products that cost more because they aren't based on endangering workers.
Perhaps we won't buy quite so much goods — we could instead give the Earth a bit of a rest.
The PR campaign to smear the White Helmets illustrates how Russian propaganda professionals collaborate with credulous people and those who would like to see everything the US does as an evil scheme.
The US does participate in evil schemes, just as Russia does.
US gun nuts tell Mr Pring, "How dare you give up your guns? We will shoot you to teach you a lesson."
This raving evil shows up in all right-wing causes. People like that are the last ones we should allow to have guns.
Pring sought to reduce the number of guns in the US, but he chose an ineffective method to achieve it. It is pointless to surrender your guns to someone that will resell them. You need to destroy them instead.
More broadly, it is not very effective to eliminate a handful of guns while new guns of similar models are being sold every day.
A deranged congresscritter from Arizona claims that the right-wing violence at Charlottesville was a false-flag operation funded by George Soros.
US citizens: tell the DEA not to ban kratom.
US citizens: file a comment to oppose the Republican change in regulations for tipping that would give restaurants a legal excuse to steal part of waiters' tips.
Various studies show that clouds do not reduce global heating.
Reagan started the practice of letting businesses eat US government agencies from within. The Republicans now want to eliminate the Civil Service so they can fire any US government employee for any reason.
If they do that, they will be able to coerce the staff to act illegally on threat of firing them.
"Drug-free school zones" are excuses to make the war on drugs more harsh, in a semi-random way. In some cities, most of the land is part of some "drug-free" extra punishment zone.
Warsaw is "returning" public housing buildings to heirs of people that formerly owned part of the land they were built on, or claim to be heirs. They couldn't have inherited the buildings, though, because those were built later by the state.
The lucky new owners force the tenants out using cruel dirty tricks.
Even if one adopts a heartless 100% capitalist point of view, giving the buildings to them is unwarranted and unnecessary. All they are entitled to is the value of the land they have a claim to.
The former president of Honduras has finished stealing the election in which he was not supposed to be allowed to run at all.
Plantwatch: Wildflowers Lose Out Twice from Nitrogen (fertilizer) Pollution.
The article is unclear on one point: when it says "nitrogen", it evidently refers to nitrogen in compounds that plants can use. The air is full of nitrogen molecules, but those don't count, because plants can't use nitrogen in that form.
A hoax restaurant got first place in Tripadvisor on the strength of its hoax reviews. Real would-be customers went into a frenzy because they could never get a reservation.
Republicans are pushing a bill to put students that can't repay student loans at a further disadvantage.
Fast food workers that had won cases against companies such as McDonalds will immediately lose again under the rule change that the troll's saboteur in the NLRB plans to make.
The FBI sent an undercover agent to infiltrate protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, who seduced one of the protesters and gave her a gun. She now faces charges of firing the gun.
I suppose that's what the infiltrator wanted — to act as a provocateur.
Republicans have been working for decades to eliminate US laws that gave most people a decent life. If they pass the tax attacks, they will have totally wrecked them.
People who get seriously ill and are not rich will not be able to afford treatment. If they do get treated, they will starve after.
Black Americans are in danger of being convicted of crimes based on flawed face-recognition software that says they resemble a photo of the suspect.
What Public Libraries Will Lose Without Net Neutrality.
Cornel West says that Ta-Nehisi Coates' intense attachment to Obama has clouded his understanding of politics as it affects American blacks, blocking him from relating racism to militarism and plutocracy.
Obama showed that racism in the US has decreased to the point that a black can be elected president. Obama also showed that you can't assume a candidate is progressive just because person is black.
Chicago thugs have a special system for appealing against any sort of punishment they get for treating the public badly, and it reduces or eliminates the vast majority of punishments.
Philip Morris is indirectly offering money to people involved in efforts to reduce tobacco smoking, including many officials.
The only plausible motive for offering this money is as a scheme to undermine those efforts.
Archivists are preserving the digital publications of the US government so that we can see what the bully's saboteurs do to them.
Liu Xia, in effect imprisoned for 7 years without trial, is depressed from isolation.
What Do You Give to the Person Who Has Everything? How about Nothing?
I opted out of the practice of birthday and holiday gifts when I was around 14. I had outgrown the childish desire to receive gifts, and I couldn't think of anything to give to anyone else in my family. Then I recognized that the customs that pressure people to give gifts on certain occasions are really commercial schemes to convert people's money into waste.
If there is someone you feel a real wish to give something to, and person is short of money and has a pressing practical need, give per the thing person needs.
If person is not short of money, how about writing per a letter on paper? Nowadays, receiving a personal letter from someone you know is a rare and special experience. Don't even think of substituting a commercial card for the letter!
The scientist who proved that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer was subsequently paid by Monsanto and other chemical companies for 20 years, even being paid by them to investigate a specific chemical; he concluded that vinyl chloride did not cause cancer, a conclusion that was subsequently rejected. Was his conclusion influenced by his conflict of interest?
It is true that, when that was published, there was no rule about stating conflicts of interest. The rule was made in response to awareness that conflicts of interest such as these were undermining the integrity of research.
If the scientist did give all consulting fees to an academic organization that he founded, that doesn't mean he wasn't avid for more fees to make the organization bigger, or that he could not possibly have biased his research to get them.
Biasing research does not always mean lying. There are more subtle ways that involve fooling oneself. If he was convinced that the main causes of cancer were things that the victim had consumed, that too could have been a motive for bias in the same direction.
Wikipedia's article on vinyl chloride, as of 23 Feb 2017, footnotes a printed article from the Houston Chronicle that says chemical companies tried to manipulate research about the medical effects of vinyl chloride. When companies do this, they typically try many avenues of influence.
A scenario of a hurricane hitting Miami in 2037 illustrates the world-wide effects of sea level rise to come.
This is just one of the disasters that global heating will cause.
Mueller got the troll's transition team's emails from the federal agency that handled them. The troll's men are trying to pretend that this was somehow improper. The San Francisco SPCA has discontinued use of a security patrol robot.
Homeless people, and anyone walking in the area, are right to be suspicious that it is making and transmitting videos. If it wasn't actually doing that at the time, it could have been reprogrammed to start doing so at any moment. We must judge these systems by the worst they could do, and ignore the side issue of what they are doing today.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to vote to override the FCC and preserve network neutrality.
Everyone: Call on MGM to release the tapes of the bully's sexual harassment.
US citizens: call on the Democratic National Committee to adopt the Unity Reform Commission recommendations.
Australia is considering a law to imprison journalists for 20 years for publishing what whistleblowers tell them.
A list of 84 Republican congresscritters that were paid by telecommunications companies and then encouraged the FCC to abolish network neutrality.
There were 23 others, but their signatures on the letter were not clear.
Saboteur of Education DeVos has completely stopped the practice of cancelling the debts of students defrauded by private colleges.
Do not under any circumstances enroll in a private college!
Roy Moore advocated repeal of all the US constitutional amendments after the first 10. This would mean bringing back slavery and racist/sexist voting criteria.
It would also mean that the people would no longer vote on senators. I am sure Roy Moore would have preferred to let the Alabama state legislature choose him.
Insurance companies in Britain that monitor how a person drives also keep track of where.
I don't see any harm in monitoring a person's style of driving. However, any system that tracks where people go is a threat to democracy.
The fact that the UK tracks all car travel, through cameras on the street, does not make this new injustice any less grave. Britons must someday demand elimination of massive surveillance; the cameras should be modified so that they don't take notice of most cars, only those being sought for specific valid reasons. The existence of two independent systems for tracking people could be used to argue against any campaign to abolish either one of them.
If we want to end massive surveillance, we must fight against new system of surveillance.
In general, laws should prohibit the operation of systems that collect too much data about people.
People being deported by the US were kept shackled for 46 hours, in painful heat, and not allowed to use a toilet.
How can it be legitimate to deport people to Mogadishu anyway? It is a war zone.
The modern Republican "no bullshit is too absurd" approach applied to prosecution of protesters.
Harvey Weinstein punished actresses who wouldn't have sex with him by badmouthing them so they wouldn't get work elsewhere.
The blacks that gave Doug Jones the victory last week overcame powerful Republican voter-suppression efforts.
The Moral And Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
France's law making it a crime to read "terrorist" web sites "regularly" has been overturned as unconstitutional.
Any law prohibiting people from reading something, or having a copy of something, is an offense against human rights.
The UN special rapporteur says that the US is becoming the "world champion of extreme inequality".
It's not just the saboteur who is doing this. SCROTUS are hard at work at making it worse, with the tax attacks bill they are about to pass.
Genetically modified bananas could protect crops from the spreading bacterial infection, but they threaten farmers with patent pollution.
Australian charities don't dare advocate for the rights of the poor or homeless people they serve.
I suppose the saboteur figures this judge will simply decide the way Republicans and companies tell him to.
It will be interesting to see whether SCROTUS rejects him for this, or confirms him anyway.
The UK decided that the European Convention on Human Rights would no longer apply to what its soldiers do in wartime, to protect soldiers from charges that they violated prisoner's human rights.
The change turned out to be futile, because a British court ruled that the soldiers violated the Geneva Conventions as well.
Poverty in America Is a Moral Outrage. The new Poor People's Campaign has to confront the evangelical "Christians" for whom "Christianity" is another name for a hard heart.
Representative Schiff says that SCROTUS are planning to shut down the House of Representatives investigation into the cheater's relationship with Russia and that they also want to end the criminal investigation.
The president of Peru is likely to be impeached for corruption.
Uri Avnery explains the feelings of Palestinian teenagers who "uselessly" throw stones at Israeli occupation soldiers, with the example of his own protest at age 15 against the British occupation soldiers.
Paul Ryan has done plenty to make most American families poorer. Now he asks them to finish the job by having more children.
To reduce the extent of global disaster requires having even less children.
Salma Hayek: after she refused to have sex with Harvey Weinstein, he took revenge by repeatedly trying to sabotage the film "Frida".
Unions in Alabama see Doug Jones as a pillar of their campaign to increase union membership there.
US citizens: call on senators to stop considering judge appointments until Doug Scott is seated.
US citizens: call on the immigration thugs to stop taking babies away from from parents that bring them and ask for asylum.
The EU will make companies publish their true owners, but trusts will only have to provide the data to the state.
I am in favor of regulations like these. At the same time, I am against tracking what products people purchase. The two issues are similar in structure, but very different in practical consequences. Tracking people enables profiling them and denies their human rights. Tracking companies helps stop tax-dodging and other forms of massive cheating, and companies are not entitled to human rights.
However, the restrictions on buying using anonymous prepaid debit cards are an injustice.
NATO gave Gorbachev clear promises not to extend further towards the Soviet Union, over and over.
"Connected" driverless cars will report where they see a pothole.
This suggests they will also report where they take you.
The dishonesty of "crisis pregnancy centers" is revealed by a documentary. Even knowing that they are dishonest, I would never have imagined how far their dishonesty goes. The basis of it all is the idea that most people shouldn't have sex.
This is not the only campaign that demonizes sex. Plenty of prudes set a blanket cut-off age — perhaps 16, or 17, or even 18, depending on nothing but where you are located — and act as if even being attracted to someone under that age were a perversion.
The normal occupation of human adolescents is sex. People are ready for sex when they decide they are ready.
A digital attack defeated security computers used in many power plants, meaning that many power plants could be at risk of a cyber-attack.
State Attorneys General Line Up to Sue FCC over Net Neutrality Repeal.
New York AG Schneiderman shows the sort of frauds that the FCC is protecting from prosecution.
One of the victims of the fraud is Senator Leahy.
This didn't faze Pai. For Republicans, to lie with impunity about a Democrat is something to boast about.
The ACLU is campaigning for Congress to override the FCC's decision.
Upper-caste Indians have been convicted of murdering a Dalit man for daring to marry their relative.
I oppose the death penalty under all circumstances, but I applaud their conviction.
A Journey Through a Land of Extreme Poverty: Welcome to America.
Teaching people to make better sales pitches is a distraction from real issues.
Sales pitches presume there is a competition and only a few pitches will win. Basically, competition implies that some competitors lose. In many situations, it means that most competitors lose.
If we wish to make most people's lives better, we can't achieve that by teaching everyone to compete better. Rather, we must make it less bad to lose the competition.
Cryin'air has agreed to recognize its pilots' union.
What about other employees?
UK sex workers will hold a vigil to demand decriminalization of working in safe conditions.
Palau has created an enormous marine sanctuary zone. Such protected areas give fish a place to reproduce, and once they are well-established, they can refill surrounding non-protected areas with fish that people can catch.
However, if we continue acidifying and heating the ocean, the effect will wipe this out.
Even workers with stable jobs are likely to end up homeless in the UK.
Three tyrants that imprison lots of journalists are getting full support from the bully.
A campaign calls for replacing NAFTA to eliminate incentives for outsourcing and protect workers' rights and the environment.
I am in favor of this, but I am worried that this campaign does not mention the worst part of NAFTA: the ISDS or "I Sue Democratic States" provision.
US citizens: Tell Mitch McConnell: Seat Senator-elect Doug Jones Now.
Everyone: call on JP Morgan Chase and BlackRock to stop funding deforestation in the Amazon.
Security robots are being used in San Francisco to drive away homeless people.
Aside from the cruelty of driving them away without making a place for them to go, these robots will make more homeless people by replacing human security guards.
Providing services that have to be done in a particular locality is the last source of employment for most Americans, so if we allow these jobs to be automated, we will predictably get a lot more homeless people. We need laws to limit the robots' use so as to protect the jobs.
Most Muslim countries have officially recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Kelvin Fawaz was brought to the UK at age 14, where he was enslaved. The UK is so determined to deport him that it has imprisoned him. But this is impossible as no other country that will acknowledge him as a citizen. Given the UK's avid cruelty to immigrants, it could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
CO2 emissions from US airlines grew by 7% from 2014 to 2016.
The US major media consistently spread the idea that poor = black and welfare-recipient = black.
Burma has arrested two Reuters journalists, part of its general efforts to suppress journalism and dissent.
I can't see any way this could make sense as foreign policy. I think the troll regards North Korea as an opportunity to look tough to American supporters, and likes it so much he won't give it up.
The EU plans to surrender to the movie companies by requiring all communication networks to impose an automatic copyright censorship system.
DooH niboR forces 100 million people each year to choose between food and medical care.
The fossil fuel interests have been very successful at subverting governments to protect carbon emissions and a future of global heating. What is less well known is that they are doing the same thing to protect toxic air pollution.
Leftist parties are going down to defeat in Europe because they failed to challenge the supranational structures that impose plutocratic policies on them: namely, those of the EU.
This opens the door to triumph by right-wing parties whose platform is cruelty to some scapegoat. They don't really make things better for the non-rich; all they offer is a chance to feel better by beating down someone weaker.
Limiting freedom of speech on the internet is the wrong way to address the harmful general practices that Russia took advantage of.
Russia was able to use Facebook and Twitter for influence because they were designed to magnify the influence of anyone with money. Big "American" businesses, and "American" pressure campaigns they fund, do even more damage with those sites, and the fact that this is supposedly "not foreign" does not make it less harmful.
Médecins Sans Frontières says that at least 6700 Rohingya were killed by attackers driving them out of Burma.
EU Must Not Burn the World's Forests for "Renewable" Energy.
When Guantanamo prisoners go on hunger strike to protest their imprisonment without trial, the guards punish them with solitary confinement and refusal of medical care.
Imprisonment without trial is a terrible injustice, but the US government is not satisfied with committing that. It adds insult to injury, by demanding that the prisoners legitimize the injustice by not protesting it.
The US must free every one of these prisoners, or give him a fair trial.
US citizens: Call your members of the Senate or the House at (202) 224-3121, and tell them NO TAX VOTE UNTIL JONES IS SEATED!
The UK is building new nuclear power plants, which are needed because the Tories have put an end to solar and land-based wind power development.
Chinese thugs beat up a South Korean press photographer who was trying to follow the president of South Korea in his visit to China.
Extreme income inequality in the US results from bad policies. The Republicans' plan for even worse policies is the wild extension of what plutocratist politicians have been doing for 40 years.
Adopting good policies now can still reduce the problem.
We have only a rough idea of how many species of insects exist on Earth — perhaps tens of millions — but we are wiping them out faster than we can discover them.
A right-wing US propaganda company stirred up hatred of immigrants to influence the election in Kenya with a phony grass-roots campaign.
That was the election that was rigged by the incumbent.
I wonder what result the intervention aimed for. Did it benefit the incumbent? The opposition candidate? Neither?
Congolese Fighters Convicted of Raping Young Girls in Landmark Case.
Spies-for-hire that work for businesses to hamper organized criticism go beyond just snooping. Sometimes they try to stir up disputes within the organizations.
"While rightwing papers call for better regulation of social media, history shows us that when such crackdowns happen it is often the left that suffers the most."
Other agencies are giving the oil companies plenty of other gifts. This is the culmination of a decades-long lobbying campaign which includes government agencies set up specifically for the oil lobby.
If you are young, the goal they are working for will probably result in killing you. And they have reason to know this.
A zip code, a birth date, and a sex are enough to uniquely identify most people in the US. This defeats most data anonymization schemes. Many other collections of data also permit deanonymization.
I think there is a way to do crowdsourcing of recommendations without enabling any person to be identified. The trick is not to save a long list of things that one contributor liked.
Suppose each person anonymously contributes many separate triples of things which person liked. "I liked A, B, and C." "I liked A, B, and D." "I liked A, C, and D." (The software wouldn't have to submit all the n!/(3! * (n-3)!) combinations of three of the n things you liked.) This may be enough to make somewhat useful recommendations; but if the system does not know when various triples are from the same person, its data are not enough to identify any person.
I would rather have privacy than personalized recommendations. I reject Netflix entirely for several reasons, but preserving my privacy would be enough reason by itself.
There may be strong psychological reasons to forbid children and teenagers from using smartphones.
The article says "children", but clearly intends teenagers as well; the French prohibition on using smartphones in school includes high school. If we want teenagers to become capable people, we should not infantilize them by calling them "children".
I think the same kind of argument applies to portable phones. They may not be designed to be so addictive, but we should not get our children in the habit of letting Big Brother track them. We hope they will grow up to be activists for good causes, which means they will have something to hide, though not a shameful something.
The fire that burned some rich people's mansions in Los Angeles was started accidentally by a homeless person's cooking fire. Is this a reason to repress the homeless, or is it poetic justice?
Paleontologists are suing to prevent irreplaceable fossils of Mesozoic life in Utah from being destroyed for coal mining.
The Fight to Control the CFPB Isn’t Over Yet.
Global [heating] Made Hurricane Harvey's Deadly Rains Three Times More Likely.
In other words, global heating gets 3/4 of the blame.
Faux News is running a distortion/pressure campaign demanding the arrest of some of Mueller's team.
Governments talk about protecting the climate while they continue subsidizing fossil fuels. This charade must end.
Poland fined a TV station for broadcasting images of protests against Polish government policies.
Ironically, the protest was against a measure to interfere with journalism.
This is a step down the path to Turkish-style repression of the media.
Big public investment organizations are putting lots of money into building obstacles to decarbonization.
Note that the World Bank Group is not the same as the World Bank. I wonder if that name was chosen for its confusing nature, so as to obstruct public attention.
Arctic Permafrost Thawing Faster Than Ever, US Climate Study Finds.
In addition to the dangers mentioned in the building, this can lead to large leaks of frozen methane into the air, which would increase global heating for decades.
Egypt has imprisoned the makers of a music video for "depravity". From the description, it would not seem unusual in the US.
The Democratic National Committee has a policy of supporting incumbents against primary challengers, by making its voter data base available only to the incumbents.
I wouldn't say that the Democratic Party fails to support progressive values, because it doesn't claim to do so, but this is certainly an obstacle to making the Democratic Party worth supporting.
When I support political campaigns, I make sure to support progressives only. Most of them are in fact Democrats, but I don't give to organizations that support them just because they are Democrats.
Some Airbnb hosts, like some hotels, put hidden cameras in bedrooms.
The purpose of Democracy is to give the many non-rich a way we can unite and prevent the rich from dominating us. It is supposed to discriminate — against those who are so powerful that they are likely to take even more power.
Why Americans, in general, save so little money.
The World Bank says it will no longer fund searching for more oil and gas deposits. Since using them would cause global disaster, there is no point in searching for them.
Of course, oil is not used only for burning. Some of it is used to make plastics, which are causing a different kind of global disaster.
The related World Bank Group continues to fund fossil fuel "development" projects.
If we can convince big banks and investors to stop funding fossil fuels, that could avoid global disaster. But it is a shame that banks and investors dominate such decisions. A good political system would have the strength to save the world from disaster despite corrupt wreckers that would profit from the disaster.
Doug Jones won the senate election in Alabama. What does this imply for the Republican Party?
Whatever the voters' reasons for voting for him, we are well off that a progressive Democrat was elected, instead of theocratist bigot Moore.
However, the demonization of Moore as a "pedophile" makes it harder to draw conclusions about future races. If Moore had had the same bigoted, theocratist views, but had not dated teenage women, would he have won?
On the other hand, will the Republican Party's support for Moore work against future candidates whose positions are comparably cruel and unjust, but don't have personal scandals against their name?
Moore has refused to concede and demanded a recount. Perhaps he hopes to give someone else a chance to cheat. But perhaps this is a play to delay seating Jones in the senate. His presence there would make it substantially easier to block unpopular Republican bills, and Republicans may have asked Moore to please delay until they get the tax attacks through.
Massive waste: people buy "Christmas" clothing and wear it just once.
This is an additional reason to celebrate Grav-Mass instead — Grav-Mass is not associated with the idea that you're supposed to buy things for the sake of buying things.
Tests of rivers in Britain found that most of them are polluted with neonicotinoids — in some cases, at dangerous levels. These toxins can harm various kinds of wildlife.
Maya women in Guatemala have organized to sue a mining company for the pattern of repeated crimes carried out by miners.
If evictions for the sake of the mine were approved and carried out by the Guatemalan state, I don't think that lessens the moral responsibility of the mining company. That the mine was sold to a different company changes nothing at all.
The president of Tanzania wants to arrest pregnant teenagers to force them to testify about the men who raped them.
I am sure that other, kinder methods could achieve that goal.
Australia says that the refugees it has imprisoned in Papua New Guinea are its own property, to oppress as Australia sees fit. Therefore, when New Zealand offers to receive some as immigrants, that's blatant meddling in Australia's internal affairs.
This reminds me of what China says when its human rights violations are criticized. ISTR there has been criticism in Australia of the threat of Chinese influence. Is this an example of the danger of Chinese cultural influence?
Chinese Authorities Collecting DNA (and iris scans) from All Residents of Xinjiang (except children and old people).
I expect this is a pilot project, and they will extend it to everyone in China in a few years.
We must all fight against biometric identification in our countries. If you are in India, please campaign against Aadhar and for payment in cash.
Forget Mark Zuckerberg's charity -– We Need Corporate Tax Reform.
There is a plan to spend $17 billion to restore Puerto Rico's electric grid and make it more resilient.
What the article does not say is whether this would add $17 billion to the debt that Puerto Rico is unable to pay, and whether this would be used as a level for privatization — of the electric grid and other systems too.
The Grand Canyon and the Havasupai tribe that lives in it are still threatened by uranium mining nearby.
The fact that mining is even being considered for that area illustrates the plutocratic tendencies of our government.
US Ready for Talks with North Korea "Without Preconditions", Tillerson Says.
At last, a bit of sense. But it reaching an agreement depends on mutual trust, and if there is any government on Earth that is harder to trust than North Korea under Kim Jong-un, it is the US under the bully.
Bannon and Yiannopoulos organized a campaign to attack Twitter, through public condemnation, lawsuits, and driving down its stock price.
The saboteur running the National Labor Relations Board is canceling a reform that made union organizing less complex.
Republicans have been trying to handicap unions in the US for decades.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to impeach the cheater for collusion with a foreign country, specifically Israel.
It hasn't been proved (as of now) that the cheater colluded with Russia, but it has been proved that he colluded with Israel to interfere with US foreign policy (before he was president).
International jurists say that North Korean leaders should be prosecuted for holding tens of thousands of political prisoners and committing various crimes against them, including rape and murder.
A man who asked Starbucks for a discount, claiming to be a detective, was charged with "impersonating an officer".
More of concern to me, did he have any reason to think that a detective would get a discount from Starbucks? Does Starbucks give thugs special favors?
India's Hindu-theocratic government banned condom ads on TV during the day and evening. It's higher priority to protect "children" from sexual ideas than to protect them from disease and pregnancy.
A legal dilemma: to fire a star or executive for groping or harassment, and not pay millions for the length of the person's contract, requires the company to claim it has no prior complaints about the practice.
Over a quarter of the people in Silicon Valley have trouble paying for food.
The so-called "paradox" mentioned in the article is based on a misguided idea of what it means for the economy to get "better" — judging it by what things are like for the top 10%, or by totals.
Robert Mueller Is Closing in on [the cheater]. Congress Must Protect His Investigation.
Wildcats, Butterflies, Tortoises: all are endangered by the destroyer's border wall. Humans will find it far easier to climb over it.
The UK is bringing beavers to some areas as a flood control measure.
China is reportedly preparing to receive lots of refugees from North Korea.
The insurance company Axa will divest from coal and tar sands, and stop insuring oil pipelines in the US.
As investors realize that they can't make money from fossil fuel investments without destroying the society in which their profit would do them any good, they will stop investing in fossil fuels. The question is, can we enlighten them fast enough to avoid disaster? And what about the other sources of funds for fossil fuels, such as government subsidies and the "development" organizations that are corrupted by plutocratists.
The strange story of Shen Yun, a dance troupe that presents valid propaganda against the tyranny of the Chinese state.
I went to a Shen Yun performance once, and had a peculiar reaction: the propaganda annoyed me even though I agreed with its point of view. I told this to the friend who saw it with me, who said, "Yes, it preaches too much."
US jurors often won't convict people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, to the point where some thugs have decided to stop prosecuting it.
Which country supplied the helicopters and the ammunition? Either the US or the UK, I would guess. But it would be useful to know for certain.
A former vice president at Facebook says that the site's addictive "social-validation feedback loop" is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works".
EFF to Court: Accessing Publicly Available Information on the Internet Is Not a Crime.
A number of studies of the causes of childhood obesity were supported by Coca Cola Company and covered that up.
The studies pointed the finger at lack of physical activity and not at sugar. I am ready to believe that lack of physical activity (caused by computers?) was a big factor, but sugar surely was too.
ACLU Announces Nationwide Campaign to Support Movement to End Money Bail.
"America's super-rich are taking not only from their own nation, but also from the rest of the world." They took 70% of the world's growth in wealth since 2012.
The Democratic National Committee is using dirty tricks to obstruct progressive pressure for reforming its structure.
I look forward to publicizing grass-roots pressure for this.
Macron Awards US Scientists Grants to Move to France in Defiance of Trump.
This is just the beginning of what other countries must do to protect themselves from global heating disaster.
Everyone: phone JP Morgan Chase and say not to fund the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
While you are at it, you may as well say that funding any fossil fuel projects means pushing humanity and thousands of species to destruction, so the bank should stop doing so.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter, no uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.
New Yorkers have learned not to be terrorized by a small explosion from a terrorist's bomb, but right-wing extremists are trying to magnify the terror.
Even when a terrorist attack causes substantial casualties, we face the choice of aggravating the harm or not. Aggravating it may serve the interest of some political or commercial group. Not aggravating it serves the interests of Americans in general, and America. Whatever the problem is, dealing with calmly will help us avoid doing something stupid and destructive, such as occupying Iraq.
One tweet cited in the article used the contraction "who's" incorrectly. The contraction "who's" is short for "who is" or "who has", and neither of them fits grammatically there. The word that belongs there is "whose", the possessive of "who". Like all the other possessive forms of pronouns, it has no apostrophe.
They can still get cars and trucks, so there will still be some deadly attacks. Since the plans for such attacks take place within the attacker's mind, even total surveillance couldn't stop them. So enough with the plans to snoop on us all.
Mobile computers and data centers could cause 14% of global carbon emissions by 2040.
If all our electric generation is renewable by then, it won't be a problem — but we will have trouble achieving that if we allow unlimited computers.
Women that the bully groped or harassed call on Congress to pay the same attention to their accusations as it paid to Al Franken.
"Inappropriate behavior" is not a valid accusation against anyone, not even the bully, because it is too vague and weasely. If you can't spell out what you're criticizing someone for, and why it was wrong, then your criticism is not valid.
Argentina barred 60 civil society delegates from the WTO meeting for bogus reasons. It relented on five of the delegates after ministries from their countries went to bat for them.
Columbia Sportswear threatens to move its headquarters out of Portland unless the city kicks homeless people out of the neighborhood.
The company could easily donate to support a project to give them better alternatives to their annoying behaviors, perhaps inviting other businesses in the neighborhood to join forces. That would be solving the businesses' problem by helping poor people rather than by harming them.
The US is not training enough doctors to perform abortions. This is partly a result of pressure by theocratist Christians.
A German court rejected collective responsibility for ISP services: the official subscriber cannot be required to snoop on other residents and family members to see which one did forbidden sharing.
Nuclear war is "one tantrum away".
In Turkey, signers of a petition calling for an end to Erdoğan's civil war against the Kurds are on trial for "propaganda for terrorism".
Many of them have been punished already in various ways.
When your country proposes measures that would endanger human rights in the name of "fighting terrorism", remember that "terrorism" will mean whatever a future government says it means.
In the US and Europe, "anti-terrorism" measures have already gone much too far. Government attacks on human rights are potentially far more deadly than underground terrorism, because governments are stronger than underground terror groups. We need to make them strong so they can do their job, so we must keep them in check by defending human rights from them.
Maduro said he would ban three opposition parties from future elections because they boycotted the mayoral elections yesterday.
Since Maduro has effectively suspended the constitution of Venezuela, he can do this arbitrarily.
Harvard says it can't afford to subscribe to the paywalled journals any more, and urges its faculty to resign from their editorial boards.
Sad to say, professional organizations as journal publishers are little different from the commercial publishers. Consider, for instance, the American Chemical Society which is trying to force ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub.
The Department of Injustice plans to carry on the Senate investigation of Planned Parenthood, which found that the accusations were spurious.
After food prices rose, partly due to extreme weather that destroyed crops, the US changed its farming laws to subsidize production instead of non-production. Now the US is dumping cheap food around the world. That is good for some of the world's poor, since they can afford food, but bad for those who are farmers.
With a large harvest, farmers suffer from low prices. With a small harvest, prices go up and poor people go hungry. A good economic system for farming would need to avoid both problems. Meanwhile, we are using up topsoil around the world so a good economic system for farming needs to protect the soil. I fear that putting marginal land into agricultural use seems likely to damage it.
In the medium term, a few decades, agriculture faces many threats.
We will need a tax on meat to discourage people from eating so much of it.
How to have a conversation instead of talking at someone else.
The bully's saboteurs have cancelled a proposed rule requiring airlines to say clearly what they will charge for checking baggage.
A rise in the death rate suggest that the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico has killed thousands of people, though not immediately.
When African migrants head for Libya, they don't realize that they will be sold into slavery there.
The Polish government backed off when it tried to ban abortion entirely; but abortion was already illegal except for limited circumstances, so most women have to get very expensive illegal abortions.
JP Morgan was required by a court to aid homeowners by forgiving part of their mortgages. It cheated, by forgiving mortgages it had previously sold to others.
A bank should not be allowed to sell a building's mortgage to any buyer except another bank.
The authoritarian Polish government is considering a bill to eliminate the independence of the Supreme Court.
Giving witnesses false memories about events they saw is surprisingly easy; legal systems must take care to avoid it. Supposed "recovered memories" can hardly be trusted at all.
US soldiers were ambushed and some killed in Niger, but what were they doing there? The Pentagon gives conflicting statements.
I don't trust the companies that make the devices not to listen through them. And even if they don't specifically do so, the devices might have universal back doors that would let Big Brother listen through them at will.
Note that the article legitimizes other Internet of Stings devices that it is unwise to trust.
We don't need to investigate whether the election was stolen, because the thieves' suppression of the counts and the protest is enough to convict them of that.
Intel appears to be violating the BSD licenses that cover Minix by distributing it inside the Management Engine backdoor processor without the notices required by that license.
This is an ironic side issue, because the Management Engine is an injustice and including the required notices would not excuse that injustice.
The US and Canada must do more to protect North Atlantic right whales, and soon, or there will be none left.
A UN investigation found that US thugs use tasers without justification and sometimes in ways tantamount to torture.
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would have the FBI take statistics on terrorism committed by domestic extremists, typically right-wing extremists.
A debate about hostile architecture: designing buildings and outdoor objects to prevent some uses of them.
I think the crucial questions are, which people is it hostile to? And is it justifiable to mistreat those people? The purported justification offered here seems to be, "We were obeying orders from the organization that paid for the project." This gives carte blanche to screwing homeless people if a local government or landowner decides to.
If you don't want homeless people to sleep in your doorway, how about making some other place for them to lie down, where it won't get in your way.
Ethiopia seems to be attacking journalists and dissidents with fishware purchased from spy companies.
Right-wing fanatics are trying to sabotage public awareness of sexual harassment and rape by exaggerating and faking accusations.
They are also doing this by insisting that only Democrats should resign in response to such accusations, while Republicans ignore them.
The article explains that "believe women" does not mean women's accusations cannot be false or that we should rush to judgment of those accused. It means, rather, that we should take women's accusations seriously, not dismiss them out of hand as has so often been done.
I support that principle wholeheartedly.
The troll's men are launching a FUD attack against Prosecutor Mueller to prepare an excuse for his supporters to disregard all the hard evidence Mueller is digging up.
Legalization of marijuana in Uruguay has been a great success, marred only by interference by banks.
Twitter and Facebook have so much data that there is no feasible way to archive it for future study. But even if that were done, it would be impossible to determine in the future, from the data, what users would have seen in the past.
I disagree with the ho-hum conclusion of the article. Given the way these networks influence politics, the question of what they did will be important to study in the future. If we have in the future a political system that permits people to research such questions, the question of why we still have such a system will depend on it.
On-line banking makes bank depositors vulnerable to fraud — and gives banks an excuse to put the responsibility on the depositor. To be safe, don't do it.
Debt collectors harass Americans to pay debts they don't owe — millions of Americans. Many are intimidated into paying, or get convinced that the false debt was real.
Most of the article describes one exceptionally talented victim who identified some of the culprits, investigated them unceasingly, and set the feds on them. Bravo! But this is not something most of us could succeed at.
US hospitals charge thousands of dollars for a visit to the emergency room, as a "facilities fee".
If you meet an attractive woman at a wealthy company's holiday party this year, maybe she is a model being paid to pretend to be a guest.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter one more time to oppose the tax attacks bill.
Along with network neutrality, the FCC's Pai-in-the-face plan includes weakening the rules for ISPs to be honest about what they charge.
"Ajit Pai says an informed public (not Net Neutrality) will discipline ISPs (BTW, he's also killing the rules forcing ISPs to inform the public)."
The troll is not a normal kind of liar. He lies exceptionally often, even among big liars. Even more unusual, half of his lies are intentionally cruel.
Protesters held a sit-in in Senator Collins's office as it closed, demanding that she vote against the tax attacks.
GOP Tax Scam Attacks Renewables While Nurturing Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Industries.
UCS: USDA's Pledge to Allow Food Stamp "Flexibilities" for States Could Open Door to Misguided Eligibility Requirements.
Even reputable, and partly reputable, scientific journals accept some articles that are glaring pseudoscience.
A journal that accepts 90% of the offered papers, and is willing to retract one, is not in the lowest category. The truly predatory journals accept around 100% of the articles offered to them, and I doubt they ever think about retracting one.
Argentina claims that deportation of journalists and activists who were authorized to participate in the WTO is for the sake of "security".
I must wonder what sort of "security" issue this concerns. Securing ever-tightening plutocratic control over the whole world, perhaps?
I Was Banned From The WTO [based on lies] For Defending People’s Rights.
The WTO must be eliminated, because of the power that it gives to the plutocrats over supposedly-democratic states.
African hospitals often imprison patients that can't pay their bills. Many of them are women that came to give birth.
Aside from the injustice of what the hospitals do, we should notice that parents who can't pay for hospital care for the birth surely also can't pay to raise a child properly. It is irresponsible for them to have children.
Section 702 massive surveillance gives the FBI tons of evidence to go fishing for excuses to prosecute US citizens.
Six other ways that massive personal data harms society.
Glenn Greenwald: CNN published an incorrect story about an email that apparently indicated Wikileaks secretly offered DNC leaks to the bully's campaign. It appeared that way because CNN had the wrong date for the email.
Greenwald says that CNN should publish who told it about the email and gave it the wrong date, and reports that several news reports criticizing Russia or Putin appear to have been planted and false.
I saw some of those stories, and didn't know they were false — I have no practical way to check that — but I felt they were drawing big conclusions from small evidence, or exaggerating the significance of what was known. So I did not post about them.
Progressives must resist the pressure to criticize the tax attacks about increasing the deficit or the debt.
Atlanta Targets Good Samaritans Sharing Food with Homeless.
Open letter from economists to the U.S. Congress, published by the Sanders Institute.
Pipeline protesters barged into the "Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum" to deliver a petition for banks to stop funding the Keystone XL pipeline.
The name of the event seems to indicate a greatly distorted world view, as events in China about "Xi Jinping Thought" do.
The wildfires in Southern California are unprecedented; the head of firefighting for California said "There will be no ability to fight fires in these winds." The fires spread through forest and town as if through tinder.
This is because global heating has caused a persistent drought in the area for several years. It will get much worse over the decades.
US medical care nowadays is so horrible that mentally ill people get put in prison instead of treated. In prison they are beaten and tased instead of treated.
Should prisoners' human rights include in-person visits with family?
It might be very important for society to encourage such visits.
Disabled people (and people who will be disabled) are campaigning against the Republican tax attacks, which would cut off their medical care.
The Republican tax attacks bill would sabotage many government programs that Republicans' rich masters don't like. Plutocratist Democrats are not campaigning for a positive alternative.
Tax experts say that the SCROTUS tax attacks are full of confusions, loopholes, and provisions that would be hard to interpret.
The Grand Unifying Theory of the Republican Party is plunder.
Amnesty International: the troll has authorized secret permissive policies for drone assassinations nowhere near battlefields.
Arguing Over Art Is Right But Trying to Ban It Is the Work of Fascists.
Teaching everyone to program (or trying to) is of no particular benefit to most students, but it sure feeds a lot of money to computer companies while getting students hooked on those companies' proprietary software.
The biggest 10 US drug companies are pushing up drug prices very fast and dodging US taxes.
Leading Economists Demand that Not a Penny More Goes to Fossil Fuels.
It appears that US chicken farmers are using less antibiotics in their factory processes. The total used in agriculture declined 14% in 2016.
This will be significant if the trend continues, but that one decrease will not by itself change much.
The fact that the US has not adopted laws to drastically reduce the cause of a problem that kills over 20,000 Americans a year is worth contrasting with the harassment and tyranny inflicted on us in the name of saving us from the comparatively minuscule danger of terrorism.
The FCC Still Doesn't Know How the Internet Works.
A careful analysis of the legal jeopardy of the bully and his campaign team: what the evidence is, and what charges could be sustained.
Note the report that firing Mueller would not protect them, because he has arranged for New York State prosecutors to take over if he is stopped.
We have known since November 2016 that the bully did not win the election "fair and square" that month. The election was rigged by Republican voter-suppression, including voter-ID laws in several states.
There was also the "crosscheck" program which gave Republicans an excuse to remove a million Americans from voting rolls.
Republicans tried to rig previous elections, too, and they will try to rig the next one.
The US "economy" is "doing very well", so why don't Americans see much benefit?
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the "concealed carry reciprocity" bill that would enable one state to undermine another state's gun control laws.
Jewish Voice for Peace held an event about the difference between criticism of Israeli policies and antisemitism, including for instance the antisemitism of right-wing US supporters of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League defamed the organizers, and right-wing US supporters of Israel tried to interfere with the event.
Some Orthodox Jews opposed Zionism for a century or more, and perhaps still. They believed that Jews were supposed to wait for the Messiah to bring them back to Israel, so that Zionism was sacrilege. I think that idea is ridiculous, but it certainly isn't antisemitism.
The FCC Tried To Hide Net Neutrality Complaints Against ISPs.
Success would have helped ISPs such as AT&T cover up the ways they violated network neutrality.
Former Argentine president Fernandez may be prosecuted for treason, the specific occasion being that she made an agreement with Iran to help Iranians escape prosecution for a bombing at a Jewish community center which took place in 1994.
Her alleged actions don't fit the word "treason" as it is used in the US, but would constitute a coverup of crime.
Thatcher (a Tory) began selling England's public housing to the tenants, and not replacing it. 40% of them were eventually resold to private landlords that charge a lot more rent.
Tories regard poor people as a nuisance, and privatizing public housing offered an excuse to tell some of them, "We can't help you."
Gush Shalom: the bully has put an end to Middle-East mediation by the US, but since the US was nearly 100% on Israel's side, it was hopeless as a mediator. Now there is room for a new mediator, probably Putin, but perhaps the EU.
If the UK goes ahead with exiting the EU, it will carry all the requirements and burdens of EU membership without any say in what those will be.
If you want to reduce killings, reduce inequality.
Many poor men feel they have nothing to be proud of except maintaining themselves high in the pecking order, which means nobody dares to disrespect them.
Ralph Nader: "Slashing and burning in every direction, this legislation [the tax attacks] endangers the financial security of regular Americans of every age and every occupation."
Indigenous Climate Action, in Canada, has refused a prize from the insurance company Aviva because it invests heavily in fossil fuel companies.
A Sri Lankan family, trapped in the United Arab Emirates by ever-increasing debt, tried to commit suicide. The parents succeeded, but the daughters survived and now face punishment.
I can never understand why people who are oppressed hate themselves instead of hating their oppressors. If I were one of those daughters, I would dedicate my life to bringing shame and disgust on the UAE.
Half the coal-burning electric plants in Europe are running at a loss, but they all need to be closed and soon.
A woman writes about being groped at an office Christmas party, and how she has hated them ever since, and now is glad she can refuse to go.
I never was in a situation that compelled me to go to office holiday season parties, but I did sometimes go to them. I appreciate that they weren't designated "Christmas" parties, and sometimes I enjoyed conversing with people that were not drunk. The culture of Cambridge, Massachusetts, doesn't pressure people to get very drunk, the way it does in England.
I don't expect anyone would grope me at drunken parties, but I still find them horrid. I can't understand how anyone can stand them. I can't imagine letting other people pressure me into going to them, either. There is a limit to what I will do to "fit in" with others, a rather low limit.
I am glad the author of the article can now refuse to attend office parties, but she shouldn't have to justify or explain it either.
People with state permits to carry concealed guns have killed a substantial number of people.
After six months, most of the families made homeless by the housing project fire in London are still not living in permanent homes.
This is because of the UK's general policies that sell off public housing instead of building more.
The troll publicly called on Salafi Arabia to end the blockade of Yemen, but if he were serious about this he could just pull out of that "coalition" and make it end.
Arab leaders, both official and unofficial, condemned the troll's decision about Jerusalem.
Suggestions for policies that could really put an end to tax-dodging through tax havens.
I don't think we need to let concern for the possible poverty of small populations of the tax-haven islands deter us from fixing this enormous problem. The tax-dodgers include corrupt Africans stealing from countries whose populations are much poorer. If we put an end to this giant dooH niboR, the non-rich will benefit all around the world.
Kim told Russia he wants to negotiate with the US.
In a sense, this means that the bully's treatment of North Korea is what we would call a success. The only way to eliminate North Korea as a threat to the US, and to South Korea, is by negotiation, and it's clear Kim very much wants a deal, so it should be possible to get a good deal on peace.
Does the bully join us in calling this situation a success? Does he want to get a good deal, or does he just want to look and feel strong? If he wants a deal, why has he waited this long without negotiations? It's not as if it were news that Kim wants to negotiate. This is confirmation of what we already knew.
US citizens: support Sanders when he says that the SCROTUS tax attacks are class warfare.
Everyone: call on New York State to investigate the bail industry and end the system that jails and gouges poor people.
In the latest video games, "loot boxes" constitute a sort of networked slot machine. The player pays for a benefit and only then sees what it contains. The contents of the box are ostensibly random. In some places, these may violate laws on gambling.
It is invalid to argue that loot boxes are acceptable because it is the "next step" in a continuing progression towards increasingly exploitative games. Sure, they are that, but it doesn't follow that we should permit this slide down a visibly slippery slope. Some national legislatures are considering banning this practice.
Are the contents of loot boxes indeed random? We can't assume that. A game could be made even more manipulative by cheating — choosing the rewards to make them even more addictive. Since Volkswagen's software cheated, we should consider that games and game servers may also cheat.
In my view, any game with in-game purchases is primarily designed to addict and exploit those who play it. Don't let them make you a sucker. Play chess, or cards, or a board game, or a digital game which is free software and doesn't depend on a server.
An executive of Volkswagen has been sent to prison for 7 years for making cars cheat on emissions tests.
This job was done using proprietary software in the cars. We should never trust a proprietary program!
The UN Committee against Torture told Cameroon to stop using torture against prisoners suspected of working for Boko Haram.
Food and Water Watch petitioned for the US to bar imports of Brazilian beef because of repeated violations of safety rules.
UK thugs jailed a Polish couple after they reported being attacked by criminals in their own house.
Senator Franken will resign from the Senate for groping several women.
I suppose he will resign during a recess so that he can be replaced before the recess ends.
The thug that killed Walter Scott will spend around 20 years in prison for 2nd degree murder.
Pipeline companies are trying to sue a social movement called Earth First under the RICO law. The law says this is not allowed, and anyway a social movement has no address at which to serve papers. So they sent the papers to a magazine called "Earth First!".
I have always worried that the RICO law is too broad and could be used for repression.
The SCROTUS tax attacks are targeting the Earth's biosphere as well as non-rich Americans.
Many large companies are pushing Canada to make all ISPs block access to a list of sites that support sharing.
To defeat these proposals, of which they will generate an endless series, we have to go beyond opposing each specific proposed system or method. We have to condemn their goal. Canadians should demand the legal right to share copies. This means the noncommercial redistribution of exact copies of any published work.
Sharing is good. To stop people from sharing means dividing people to subjugate them.
Wildfires are threatening thousands of buildings in various parts of Los Angeles.
Global heating is drying out southern California, so the fires 30 years from now will be much bigger.
If they are armed enemies of the UK, in a failed state which can't arrest them, fighting them may be legitimate in some circumstances. But the idea of exiling them is outrageous. If they come to a British embassy and surrender, what would he do? Kick them out and then shoot them?
Protesters in Vancouver objected to housing for the homeless because it was in their backyard.
I do not sympathize with nimbyism. If they want to replace this solution, they should campaign for a solution that is better in general.
Christine Keeler's life was kept in the gutter by the twisted condemnation dished out to women for not being chaste.
It strikes me that affection may have been the most intimacy she knew how to cope with at that point in her life — and if she had been granted the continuation of that affection, it might have given her a basis to heal and take charge of her life.
Crisis of Honduras Democracy Has Roots in US Tacit Support for 2009 Coup.
Rosa Parks didn't unleash the Montgomery bus boycott by accident. She was an activist; the boycott was carefully planned and then carefully supported. That's what enabled the blacks of Montgomery to persist and win.
Australia has legalized same-sex marriage.
Republicans want to allow oil drilling in exactly the places that caribou have their calves each year.
China has banned the importation of plastic waste. Perhaps China now produces so much plastic waste of its own that its recycling capacity is now saturated.
Countries need pay for proper disposal of plastic waste, and make the cost of disposal part of the cost of plastic by taxing plastic accordingly.
A small claims court for copyright infringement might not be a bad idea, but the current US bill to create one would make it biased and useful for copyright trolls.
When an organization of large and powerful companies praises a measure that is supposedly meant to help small companies, we must suspect trickery.
The Tories are desperate to build heavily subsidized nuclear power plants even though those can't compete with simple and safe wind turbines.
A courier company has blacklisted a worker who won a judgment against another courier company. The courier workers' union will sue.
In this one way, the UK is better off than the US. US couriers find it almost impossible to unionize, and the law won't help their demand to be paid the minimum wage.
Germany is considering a law to require backdoors in all connected devices, including cars and computers as well as phones.
Are we really sure the German government will never do things like snoop on everyone, put dissidents in prison, and kill them?
Although the giant Adani coal mine in Australia seems to have been blocked by loss of bank support before it could endanger any endemic species, it demonstrated the weakness and inadequacy of Australia's environmental laws when planet roasters control the government.
If those planet roasters really lose 1.5 billion dollars, that will be a great victory because it will teach a lesson to coal extractors everywhere. It would have better to teach them that they will be blocked to protect the world from coal burning, but teaching them that they will have trouble getting loans is a lot better than nothing.
Due to human actions, the oceans are threatened as never before. Governments are not taking this seriously. Plastic companies are lobbying to "preserve jobs" in plastic factories no matter what damage that does.
There is a small error in the article. CO2 dissolving in water does not damage "the water". It damages various animals that live in the water. In particular, too much acidity kills corals and some other organisms with hard shells. Excess CO2 can confuse the thinking of some fish, making them vulnerable to predators.
This could wipe out thousands of species.
The Saboteur of Labor proposes to allow employers to confiscate part of waiters' tips.
After a neo-Nazi was interviewed in the New York Times, people began threatening violence against his employer and the other staff. Not only he, but his family as well, lost their jobs.
Threats and intimidation are unacceptable no matter who the victim is. Right-wingers already use this approach, and we need to strengthen businesses to resist such pressure. We can't succeed at that if we use the same pressure tactics.
Senator McConnell won Senator Collins's vote for the tax attacks by making several specific promises, which he has already broken.
The Senate needs to vote again on the reconciled bill. Will Collins vote for it again because of already-broken promises?
Some Honduran police are not thugs. They refused to repress protests against the attempted theft of the election.
The American Petroleum Institute lobbies for a weak voluntary methane leak reduction program, as a substitute for the current mandatory program.
Businesses always say, "Don't regulate us — let us do the job 'voluntarily." Do you trust them to really do it? Or will they save money by not really doing it?
Fracking companies have set up a pretend-movement in favor of fracking.
Given money, it it is possible to make any position appear valid and rally some people to it. The frackers' arguments will probably persuade some people, if only those who don't recognize what harm fracking does and can do. But that doesn't make it anything but a form of PR manipulation.
It should be noted that one of the reasons Fidesz remains popular is that it shuts down newspapers and institutions that don't bow down to it.
An Israeli minister said some of the leaders of the UK Labour Party are "antisemitic".
When Israeli officials say "antisemitic", they mean "critical of Israel's occupation of Palestine." Israel has no complaints about real antisemites, as long as they cooperate with Israel.
In some theoretical sense that might make it ok, but the world may not consider that enough to avoid the likely bad consequences.
Of Course Russian sport Is Corrupt, But Then So Are the Olympics.
So many women want to sue Harvey Weinstein that a class-action suit is proposed. [Please email me the specific URL of this political note after you post it.]
It would be good to end the traditional hostility between Greece and Turkey, now that almost 100 years have gone by since the last reason for it. But it would be a shame to legitimize the tyrant Erdoğan.
Greeks now have a chance to overwrite the traditional hostility with the friendship Turkey needs now. I suggest to Greeks that they organize a protest against Erdoğan in the name of Turkey. Imagine the banner, "Erdoğan, set Turkey free," with translations in Greek and Turkish. "Turks Deserve Human Rights." "Friends of Turkey = Enemies of Erdoğan."
Paris's snooping rent-a-bike system has broken down, leaving an opportunity for a competing system that almost surely snoops even more.
It is almost certain that the dockless system tracks riders all the time, everywhere they go.
France used to boast that its privacy regulator was so strict that the state had to prove justification to look at the personal data held by the bicycle system. Whoops, due to the state of emergency the state can look at any or all of them with no limits. Any system in France that gets your personal data is working for the "security forces".
Putin is so popular (after restricting opposition press) that he will almost surely win a free and fair election, but he's not willing to take the risk of having one.
US citizens: phone your senators (both of them) to demand they vote against the final tax attacks bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: Tell Congress to adopt a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons.
The troll's transition team colluded with Israel as well as with Russia.
A researcher who studies tracking and targeting of people with drones shows how scientists can find excuses to ignore the moral implications of their research. His topic: "What happens when a town has been so thoroughly destroyed, you can't recognize it anymore and get lost?"
As the song could go,
"I send the drones up, who cares if they attack?
That's not my department, says dense Yuval Zak."
Australia has an unofficial policy of using family separation to coerce refugees to give up rights.
The bully's regime is arresting 40% more unauthorized immigrants, and most of them have developed deep ties to the US including relatives.
Civilian volunteers in the Philippines are protecting endangered trees from illegal logging.
Of course, short-term fluctuations continue. Not every year sets a temperature record. But almost every year is hotter than the average for 10-20 years ago.
Random needles help back pain about as much as careful "acupuncture" needles. The placebo effect is a matter of making people feel they are being carefully treated.
Bolzano found a way to defang a fascist sculpture of Mussolini instead of removing it.
It appears Mr Kim is forcing fishermen to go out further to catch more fish, which he exports to China while starving North Koreans.
Homelessness in the US has increased in the past year, mostly because rents are too high and wages are too low.
The idea that "the economy has improved" is a fundamental error since it measures "the economy" by totals, which rise because the rich are richer. For poorer Americans, "the economy" is no better than it was 40 years ago, and more Americans are poor now than 40 years ago.
If we make the real economy improve for most Americans, we might have less homelessness.
The campaign for prudery now demands removal of paintings from museums.
They will drive us back to 1950 if they can.
The Tories are considering a voter-ID law which could stop millions of poor people from voting. Since there is no real reason to do this, they are tacking it on to measures to stop manipulation of elections, so that it won't be judged on its own terms.
A study suggests that millions of babies suffer prenatal damage to their lungs, and to their brains, from air pollution.
Trump Disbands Panel That Helped Cities Respond to Climate Threat.
A Democratic Socialist won election to the town council in a Republican-leaning suburb. His advice: focus on programs to help everyone.
Plastic manufacturers knew in the 1970s that plastic waste was a special threat to the oceans, and began coverup campaigns like those of the tobacco companies and the fossil fuel companies.
The EU has adopted some mild sanctions against 17 tax-haven countries and territories. 47 others have been spared sanctions for the moment because they have committed to reforming pertinent laws.
These sanctions are not enough, but the fact that the EU has adopted some sanctions is a signal step forward.
Stiglitz: The problem with the US's business-supremacy treaties is not that the US negotiators failed to get what they wanted. It's that they succeeded in serving multinational business against the people of all the countries involved.
I will add, to what Stiglitz says, that we can't expect retraining of workers for new jobs to counteract the injustice of globalization. We need global measures to make companies pay more to their employees, even their low-skilled employees, and to make them pay more taxes to give the low-paid and the unemployed a better life.
Finland's laws and policies help parents and parents-to-be, for the sake of healthy and capable children. Finland successfully encourages fathers to spend as much time with their children as mothers do, for the sake of the children.
In the US, by contrast, men can get fired for taking unpaid leave to care for their children or other relatives.
I want a world in which all children's families get this kind of help, for the well-being of all children. Would it be too expensive? Not if we bring the birth rate down to the level that the world can sustain. We need to reduce the human population by means of fewer births to avoid the coming disaster that is likely to kill billions of people painfully.
Everyone: call on UPS to quit ALEC.
Everyone: Call on MGM to release the bully's incriminating sexual attack tapes.
The proposed alternative route for the Keystone XL pipeline threatens water supplies for humans and wildlife, including endangered species. If US government agencies are honest, they probably have to reject the route.
We cannot expect the saboteurs that now run these agencies to be honest, since their mission is the contrary.
However, water pollution is a side issue anyway, compared with the global danger to civilization and hundreds of thousands of species that are not endangered yet.
China seems to have killed Australia's proposed mega coal mine by refusing to finance it.
Many other big banks have also refused. I suspect this is partly due to the fact that burning coal is becoming uneconomical.
The mine would have damaged the Great Barrier Reef as well as hastening global heating disaster.
The troll will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, thus endorsing Israel as an apartheid state.
The so-called "peace process" is a sham that Netanyahu uses to pretend he is willing to negotiate peace. He states publicly that he will not accept any sort of peace except the permanent apartheid state.
The US government is pulling all available strings to make Reality Winner's trial unfair.
Presidential candidate López Obrador in Mexico proposes to stop fighting the "war on drugs".
I think the proposed amnesty for gang leaders would not do much good, for reasons given in the article. However, legalizing drugs would do a lot of good.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001, and the result continues to be improvement on every dimension — except for drug dealers, whose business has declined.
Legalizing drugs would eliminate most of the fighting between Mexico's narco gangs because they would all lose most of the income that they now fight over. Likewise, it would eliminate a lot of their bribery of politicians because there would be no need to bribe them.
If you allow politicians to treat addicts with cruelty, next thing you know they will be treating minority groups, poor people and disabled people with cruelty. Those politicians win support by demonstrating cruelty towards scapegoats, and anyone that lots of people can be convinced to despise will function as a scapegoat.
Two visions of Puerto Rico's future: renewable power and prosperity, or corporate subjugation.
If the UK leaves the European Union, and desperately seeks "trade agreements" to attract business, they will involve surrendering sovereignty to business. That is much like surrendering sovereignty to the EU only with no democratic element whatsoever.
One example is that the UK will be compelled to accept low standards for food safety.
Red List: Thousands of Species at Risk of Extinction Due to Human Activity.
Farm antibiotics spread into surrounding land and create antibiotic resistance across wide areas.
Facebook's censorship rules are sometimes incomprehensibly strict. Many women's accounts have been turned off for posting "men are scum".
Some men are scum, but not all. It is unfair to generalize that statement to all men. People should ideally know better than to be sloppy in generalization, even if they are justifiably angry at grave crimes.
However, is it right to gag people for unkind sloppiness like that? Clearly not.
Loading a Website Should Not Be a Copyright Violation.
Farming, which in Europe and Asia stems from an invention around 10,000 years ago, was the cause of hierarchy and inequality.
I've read that farming of tubers in some islands in the Pacific has existed for 25,000 years. I don't know whether that farming also resulted in increased inequality and violence, but I suspect it did: in some places in the early 20th century, "big men" (and other would-be big men) competed to organize their relatives to produce a big surplus. Until European colonizers stopped this, they could use the surplus to recruit lots of followers as a war band to raid neighboring groups.
This doesn't prove that intergroup warfare was nonexistent before farming.
The cheater is considering setting up a private spying network that would bypass the CIA and could be used for kidnapings.
CIA agents were allegedly "failing to give the president the intelligence he needed," which could mean they were giving accurate reports instead of fake intelligence. Maybe they regret letting Dubya twist their reports to excuse the invasion of Iraq, the wreckage of the Middle East, and the resulting development of PISSI. Maybe the private spying network would give the bully the answers he wants.
I suspect that one side benefit of it would be to more easily bypass US laws that limit spying on Americans.
But we cannot be certain about any of this, and that shows the danger of secret operations by a government that spits on laws, human rights, and democracy.
China is planting trees massively to try to stop desertification. But the trees planted are not natural to the region, and not useful for the animals that live there. There are doubts about whether these trees are good in the long term for absorbing carbon from the air.
Are the trees they plant useful as lumber? If they cut down grown trees and use them for making houses or furniture, that wood will not return its carbon to the air any time soon. The forests could sequester lots of carbon if used as a plantation that way.
However, they still need to plant native trees in some places to host the other native species.
The cold-adapted birds that now have trouble living in Britain are not immediately going extinct. They can survive in colder places. But as global heating continues, those places may become too hot for them, and then they will go extinct.
Fish, plants, and insects are also globally moving away from the equator.
Registering as a medical marijuana user in Hawaii and some other states makes a person vulnerable to various sorts of unfair treatment.
Cloudflare plans to stop censoring political views.
I agree that we should not censor views, even views you or I consider odious. If such censorship is allowed, it will certainly be turned against the speech of Americans that criticize the politically powerful — which means, me, and you too I hope.
We need to redesign network communications somehow so that it doesn't encourage fake news and contempt for truth, but this must not be through censorship of certain views or we will leave the frying pan for the fire.
The New America Foundation advocates plutocratist politics such as making deficit reduction a priority. It is called "left-of-center" by right-wing activists. Their general strategy is to shift the overton window by labeling mildly right-wing views as "leftist", implying that the "center" is even more right-wing — somewhere between the Republicans and the plutocratist Democrats.
Most Americans agree with Bernie Sanders' politics; that's the real center.
The policy of infiltrating environmental groups was adopted based on the claim that they might commit crimes in their protests. It is true that sometimes they commit crimes. However, more powerful organizations such as banks, fossil fuel companies, and agribusinesses commit crimes too — and they tend to be far larger crimes, with human victims. Why not infiltrate those first?
US citizens: call on the FCC's inspector general to investigate Ajit Pai's moves to favor growth of the Sinclair TV chain.
Everyone: Call on the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban fracking in the Delaware basin.
US exports and export policies encourage obesity; watch out for treaties with the US, since they could block measures to limit obesity.
The coal mining will hasten the next mass extinction.
When foreign academics working for UK research institutions make work-related visits to other countries, the UK rigidly cites that as an excuse not to renew their visas.
I doubt anyone thoughtfully considered the question of how to treat people in that situation. I suspect, rather, that higher officials wrote down a simple policy, with no mention of this kind of situation, and told lower officials that "the priority is to find people to kick out".
Such rigidity generally leads to this kind of problem.
An FSF staff person wanted to work remotely and reside in Germany. Germany refused permission, due to laws intended to stop foreigners from coming there and taking jobs away from Germans.
I understand the reasoning behind that law, but this person did not want to take a German job; on the contrary, person had a US job and wished only to spend the money in Germany. By the same reasoning, Germany should have said, "Please don't leave!"
In just 20 years, Britain went from 80% of children going to school on their own, to just 9%.
Pepsico's joint venture in producing palm oil in Indonesia mistreats workers in many ways, including paying less than the minimum wage and not protecting them from toxic pesticides.
If we don't preserve wildlife habitats, the future of nature will be a manicured Disney theme park in which visitors get a taste of carefully designed nature while being tracked all the time. Disney is already building them.
Because of the tracking, I would refuse to go there if invited. Even if my best friends were going and asked me to come along, I would still decline, specifically because of this injustice to visitors. I hope you would, too.
The International Criminal Court will investigate accusations that UK troops in Iraq killed prisoners.
Too bad it can't investigate Dubya for the crime of aggressive war, which the allies prosecuted the highest Nazi leaders for.
An artificial intelligence might conceivably take over the world and destroy it. Corporations are already doing just that.
An AI might decide that all humans are superfluous. Corporations alone, without automation, need humans, both as employees and as customers. Their directors are human, too. So corporations would not intentionally wipe out humanity. Automation decreases their need for humans but doesn't eliminate it.
Nonetheless, corporations can well decide that most humans are superfluous, and make them die of hunger while living on the street.
Art made by prisoners in Guantanamo, exhibited in Brooklyn, carries the message that they are human.
The US government, loathing this message, responded by banning all removal of the prisoners' art from the prison. The government will destroy the art rather than let it speak.
The US has the obligation to give every one of the prisoners a fair trial or release him at once. If there is no place to release a prisoner to, the US should create a village inside Guantanamo Naval Base where they can live as free men under US law.
It's Time to Talk About Who Can Access Your Digital Genomic Data. I already find the danger sufficient to dissuade me from letting anyone scan my genome.
The article mentions a project to use a blockchain, somehow, to give users control over access to their genomic data. I don't see how a blockchain would help this. A blockchain is a means of verifiable decentralized publication, not a means of limiting access. If someone understands what good a blockchain could be for the latter, I would like to know.
Former President Saleh, who switched from the Houthi side to the Salafi Arabian side, has reportedly been killed by the Houthis.
Both Saleh and Hadi seem to have been nothing more than grasping opportunists, ready to compete to be Salafi Arabia's chosen pawn.
US soldiers killed 10 Somali civilians on Aug 25, then denied it with false reports and faked photos.
Bolivia has eliminated term limits, allowing President Morales to continue running for office.
By contrast, Honduras still officially has a term limits for the presidency, but the president has disregarded them and seems to be getting away with pretending to have won the election.
Thousands Protest in Honduras in Chaos over Contested Presidential Election.
The President of Honduras Is Deploying U.S.-Trained Forces Against Election Protesters.
I expect this is precisely what the US trained them for.
All four members of the UK's social mobility commission have resigned. The chairman said that the government has no political will to do anything to improve social mobility.
Social mobility is no excuse for policies that inflict poverty on people.
The UK is planning a censorship system for journalists' use of private information.
Republican Senator Hatch claims the CHIP program (medical care for children) has to be terminated "because we don't have money anymore".
Didn't he just vote for a big tax cut for the rich? Didn't he vote a few weeks ago for a big increase in military spending?
Income inequality appears not to be increasing in the UK, if you don't count most of the income of the rich.
Animal Agriculture Is Choking the Earth And Making Us Sick. We Must Act Now.
US citizens: call for medical insurance to cover birth control.
US citizens: call on the US to condemn the genocide of Rohingyas.
What data is enough to identify a unique person, and why?
It also shows clearly why it is possible to learn many things about a person (for instance, sexual orientation) from a few "what do you like" questions.
In regard to the case of trying to learn about movie preference associations from crowdsourcing, identifying a person from a data base that lists which movies each person has watched seems to be possible only if you know some set of movies the target person has watched. But I think that if you don't have a way of getting that starting data about a person, it is impossible to identify anyone.
Suspects have been arrested for the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who investigated corruption.
The opportunist-in-chief is downplaying his relationship with Kushner, his son-in-law, perhaps anticipating that Kushner may be prosecuted.
This suggests that the opportunist would not mind abandoning Kushner. Would Kushner be able to sell his testimony about the opportunist? Alas, I expect there is no chance of this. The opportunist can't be prosecuted by a court, only by Congress, and SCROTUS will stand by the opportunist no matter what crimes he commits.
If the lawyer's claims are factually accurate, would that mean the bully is not guilty of obstruction of justice? Or would he still be guilty?
We should not be surprised that Evangelical Christians support domineering men, even if they harass or even rape. Patriarchy is at the center of their religion.
Progressives should condemn this attempt to distort the word "progressives" to describe web apps that respond fast.
A lawsuit attempts to remove religion from the US citizenship oath.
I think the plaintiff's argument is valid. Even if Atheists are offered a different version of the oath, the assertion of the existence of a god (and that there is only one of them) in the standard oath is promotion of monotheistic religions, and opposition to other religions as well as to Atheism.
This violates the First Amendment.
Some states prohibit atheists from holding elected offices, and even some kinds of lower non-elected public offices. Free Inquiry has published articles about this. Courts use various twisted reasoning to refuse to consider lawsuits to overturn these unconstitutional restrictions — for instance, the excuse that "unless you have won the election, you don't have standing to sue."
Another threat to freedom: dockless bicycle rentals can seem very appealing, but they track the user everywhere.
It looks like they require a smartphone, which also (like all portable phones) tracks the user everywhere.
Governments, rather than promoting systems predicated on surveillance, should discourage and even prohibit them.
The UK covers up deaths (often suicides) in its immigration prisons.
The UK arranged to privatize many state schools, and led some of them to become part of larger businesses. These businesses are now dropping the schools that are unprofitable, in some cases after stripping them of their funds on hand.
The US has formalized some criteria for deciding whether to conceal a security hole (to attack computers with it) or help get it fixed. However, the practical procedure will tend to bias it towards the former.
The article doesn't say whether these criteria will be applied to the bugs in Windows that Microsoft shows to the US government.
Among the "evidence" in the prosecution of inauguration protesters for exaggerated charges is a video made by a right-wing group known for false testimony. Fake news is now joined by fake evidence.
Arguing that the internet should be a public utility, not private.
I see one possible counterargument: a public utility would make it easier for the state to block access to particular sites. However, if court orders start flowing to require all ISPs to block access to various sites, that would be just as bad.
Arguing that the stubborn and non-listening trap that online debate has fallen into is a self-reinforcing collective phenomenon, a sort of strange attractor, and people arguing for various positions contribute to reinforcing the phenomenon.
After reading this, I asked myself whether my political notes are part of the cause of the problem. I can't be an objective judge of myself, but I think I mostly avoid this. The reasons I think so are that I don't adopt wholesale the ideas of some group of people, and I don't adopt the terminology wholesale from some group even when I agree with its views.
Nonetheless, I wonder if I could write my political notes so that there'd be a better chance a person who disagrees with me would pay serious attention to them, in a way I wouldn't find unacceptable on other grounds.
US prosecutors make a habit of illegally concealing when they use PRISM to get evidence which they use in court against someone. Apparently they do this so as to avoid giving the ACLU an opportunity to argue that the law is unconstitutional.
Almost every aspect of how the US government interprets the FISA law is secret, meaning that they could be twisting it like Republican senators with impunity.
The battle over who will be the acting director of the CFPB is not over.
Meanwhile, the bully is disregarding various federal laws about acting directors of federal agencies.
The campaign against "fake news" is hitting left-wing independent web sites, as well as RT.
RT sometimes presents valid criticisms of the US — it's a surveillance state (though Russia may be even worse), it invades other countries, it overthrows democracy in other countries (most recently Honduras). Sometimes RT presents fake news. Doing one doesn't mean it can't do the other.
The traffic to gnu.org from Google Search declined drastically in May 2016, and declined further in 2nd quarter 2017. It is now just 1/5 of what it was in early 2016. Our other traffic has remained more or less unchanged.
Texas Prisons Ban The Color Purple — But Mein Kampf And KKK Books Are Fine.
US citizens: call on Senate Democrats to resist Republican plans to deregulate banks.
Shipping companies outsource the breaking and recycling of old ships to companies that do it in Bangladesh and disregard their workers' safety.
Pennsylvania legislators want to make it a crime for drug dealers to carry naloxone — a drug that prevents death from overdoses of opioids.
This scheme aims to discourage opioid use by making it more dangerous.
A woman hopes that fembots will satisfy men's shallow attraction so that men will leave her alone.
People have debated for decades whether a robot capable of humanlike thought and emotion would really be conscious. Applying the question to hypothetical sexbots with human mental capability, the question becomes, do they have real orgasms or faked orgasms?
If they don't have real orgasms and feel real delight, I can't see what the point of having sex with them would be.
WeWork: a scheme to merge people's non-work life into their work life and collect data about every activity in it.
I refuse to use Meetup.com because it requires running a nonfree app and identifying oneself.
Disinformation about HIV leads people to have unsafe sex because they think condoms don't prevent transmission. Then they don't dare get tested for HIV.
The plan to capture some vaquita porpoises so they could reproduce in safe circumstances had to be cancelled. It turns out that they cannot endure captivity.
How about sailing around and cutting the illegal nets that kill the vaquitas? It's better than giving up and letting extinction take its course.
This refers to the money that we will have to pay to make up for the Republican cuts in programs that we depend on.
Clinton's negotiations brought North Korea onto a path away from nuclear weapons through the Agreed Framework. If only Republicans had allowed it to continue, we wouldn't have to worry about North Korea's ICBMs.
One point in the article calls for correction. To make a contingency plan for how to attack North Korea does not constitute "planning to attack North Korea".
Warning: many advertised "anonymous" mailboxes aren't really anonymous.
New medications are becoming available to treat opioid addiction.
This on top of other cutbacks in cancer care that were caused, over the past 3 years, by the "sequester".
Americans, when your relatives or friends are killed by Republicans, denounce the Republicans in their funerals!
Parents should help children cope with the unfairness of life, not pretend life is fair.
Coping with unfairness does not mean being downtrodden. In order to fight against injustice, you need to understand that justice and injustice both exist in life. Sometimes the way to cope with an unfairness is to fight and change it. But in order to win you must be prepared to continue even though you lose some battles.
The false testimony Flynn pled guilty to concerned an effort by the troll to work for Netanyahu to sabotage then-president Obama's foreign policy. Obama had decided not to stand in the way of UN condemnation of Israel's annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu thought the troll could prevent the vote from taking place.
By offering to do this, the troll violated a law called the Logan Act. That violation is what Flynn was testifying about when he lied.
Senator McCain claimed a few months ago to have principles about proper Senate procedure, but he has completely forgotten them now.
An independent investigator says that the Charlottesville thug department did a very bad job of dealing with the white supremacist rally, and since then has tried to thwart his investigation at many levels.
Britons find it hard to admit just how much the bully is their enemy.
The article is basically right, but one interesting and sad point should be noted. The British opponents of exit from the EU have come to adore trade treaties uncritically, accepting the idea that "What's good for UK exporters is good for the UK". They completely ignore the injustice that these treaties will do to everyone.
The Houthis and the supporters of former president Saleh, who used to be allies, are now fighting each other.
The European Union is getting ready to fight hard against tax dodging through tax havens.
The Prime Minister of the UK is fighting to perpetuate tax dodging. Perhaps partly because her husband works selling tax dodging schemes.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to vote against gun control "reciprocity", which would deny each state the power to regulate carrying guns in that state.
US citizens: call on Congress not to force a reporter to show his notes.
US citizens: call on Congress to impose economic sanctions on Burma to stop its genocide against the Rohingya.
People with disabilities are especially likely to be arrested in the US.
Many NIH-supported cancer centers now promote quackery including homeopathy under the name "integrative medicine."
The promoters have rebranded exercise and diet as "integrative medicine", so they can prove that not all "integrative medicine" is bogus, and they pretend that that lends credibility to the other things that they label the same way.
The House and Senate versions are different, so to finish devastating millions of Americans' lives, the Republicans in the two houses need to agree.
This provides a small chance of derailing them.
As poverty in the US increases, many Americans who can't afford any home are now living in cars.
Often they work for Amazon, because Amazon pays so little. This is one of many reasons not to buy anything from Amazon.
The latter may be more shocking but I think the former is more dangerous.
The US Senate is considering a bill to prohibit "concealed ownership" of a bitcoin wallet. Or any other digital currency.
It would be only one small further step to prohibit concealed ownership of dollar bills.
Malta avoids investigating political murders.
The US has a lot at stake in making corrupt president Hernández win in Honduras.
I wouldn't expect the US to respect democracy in Honduras more than Republicans do in the US.
The bully has cancelled a plan to stop using cluster bombs that leave lots of unexploded submunitions that can maim children later.
Argentina has barred some activists from the WTO negotiations.
The WTO negotiations are potentially very dangerous because many governments will want to strengthen that business-supremacy treaty, and it is not certain that others will block this. Governments can easily be bought off if they look at the matter of trade in terms of maximizing exports, which in a plutocratic state is at best a secondary factor for people's wellbeing.
The bully tried to pressure Republican senators to shut down the investigation into his ties with Russia.
Walmart treats workers with contempt, as well as paying them very little. Now it has bought some clothing companies that sell online and appeal to wealthier patrons, who propose boycott.
Keep in mind that Amazon is just as bad — boycott them both.
The UN is investigating whether the extreme poverty now afflicting many in the US has the effect of denying poor people their human rights.
The Symphony for a Broken Orchestra is a way to show what budget cuts have done to music education in Philadelphia, and probably in most of America.
A judge decided to take children away for their parents and have them adopted, because their parents (who live together) have other sexual relationships.
While officials say they are not concerned with the parents' other sexual relationships, only with alleged "neglect", it is clear that they have defined "neglect" to include "having other sexual relationships." This shows their decision stems from monogamist bias.
The Labour Party says: Social Mobility Isn't Enough.
A Tory minister is accused of … looking at pornography??? So what?
As a Tory and a member of Parliament, he is directly involved in kicking the unemployed, the disabled, and low-paid workers out of their homes and making them go hungry. He is directly involved in undermining the National Health Service, thus denying medical care to all but rich people. He is directly involved in massive surveillance and censorship.
Looking at pornography may be the only thing he does in his job that doesn't harm most Britons.
"If Damian Green looked at porn at work, that’s not a police matter."
The saboteurs at the EPA held just one hearing about cancelling the Clean Power Plan, and that in a coal-mining area. But even though coal magnates made their employees attend, plenty of local people spoke in favor of the Clean Power Plan.
The opposition candidate Nasralla had a tremendous lead in the presidential election in Honduras; then the election computers mysteriously went down and the military's candidate asserted he was the winner.
Something similar happened in Mexico in a presidential election in the 1990s.
Hondurans should not allow their election to be stolen.
Wells Fargo overcharged hundreds of business customers for brokerage services. This happened because it gave its employees incentives to cheat.
US hospitals look for any excuse to do more tests and procedures that they will charge an arm and a leg for.
Chicago is offering over a billion dollars to get Amazon to situate its second headquarters there.
Offers like this undermine the tax revenue, not only of Chicago, but of other American cities and states.
A new 100-mwh battery is now operating in Australia to store excess power from a windfarm and distribute it at other times.
Gela, in Sicily, has an extremely high rate of birth defects. The executives of the oil refinery there have been charged with dumping toxic wastes into the nearby sea.
Graduate students protested at many US universities against ruinous tax increases for them in the Republican tax attacks.
Bias in the Department of Justice: it is more interested in punishing despised individuals for small crimes than in punishing multinational corporations for giant ones.
To be fair, this didn't start in January: Obama also shielded the rich and powerful.
Small farms do face economic problems, but not about the estate tax.
The Local FARMS act would help more of them sell food directly to the public.
A truce in East Ghouta, Syria, should include evacuation of sick and wounded people.
Corbyn responds to Morgan Stanley, "So when they say we’re a threat, they’re right. We’re a threat to a damaging and failed system that’s rigged for the few."
Let's threaten the banksters' dominion!
Bigots in the UK exult in being endorsed by the bully.
Italy has a peculiar plan to start the Giro d'Italia bicycle race in Jerusalem. Now Israel demands that Italy describe this with terminology that endorses Israel's annexation of the old city of Jerusalem, or else Israel will refuse to participate.
Regardless of politics, I don't see how it makes sense to include Jerusalem in an Italian road race. If the race organizers want to avoid foreign politics, they should hold the Giro d'Italia inside Italy.
A general of the Bosnian Croats committed suicide with poison just after hearing his 20-year sentence confirmed. Now investigators seek to find and prosecute whoever gave him the poison.
I don't think they did anything wrong, and it is silly to investigate anyone. I can respect a person's preference to die, rather than live in prison. That doesn't mean I disagree with the sentence.
A European court ruled that Guber and other companies owe their employees (which they pretend are "independent contractors") back payment for years of legally required holiday pay.
US Spends Twice As Much on Tax Break for Rich As on Rent for the Poorest.
The GDP is a bad way to measure how the economy does good for people. It counts many forms of waste, even harm. It also disregards inequality. Let's stop focusing on that.
Rohingya Girls As Young As 12 Compelled to Marry Just to Get Food. This is because rations for refugees are handed out "per family".
The root cause, however, is having too many children. Is this because we have failed to provide them with reliable birth control?
Why Do Ministers Do Nothing about Bosses Who Steal from the Low-Paid?
Because the victims are not rich?
The rate of litter from the sea arriving on British beaches rose by 10% in 2017.
Has Trump Made It Easier To Spy on Journalists? Lawsuit Demands Answers.
The only reliable way to make snooping on journalists any harder is to eliminate the systems that make it easy to snoop on anyone and everyone.
Some Argentine pilots who carried drugged prisoners to be thrown into the ocean have been sentenced to life in prison.
Nine Democratic senators, plus Sanders, wrote to Nehanyahu opposing planned expulsions of Palestinians.
Either he has suddenly developed a conscience, or he is a shameless liar like the troll.
Sea-level rise will affect the White House, Jamestown, and many historical and archaeological sites on the US east coast, in this century even with the lowest possible estimates.
Global heating denialists focus their disinformation campaigns on various specific consequences or indications of global heating. In the minds of susceptible people, those specific points act as stand-ins for global heating itself; convincing people that those consequences or indications are false (even fallaciously) helps them feel comfortable with the claim that there is no global heating.
One elementary school started giving the students four 15-minute play breaks each day, and discovered that the kids mostly did better.
A single experience is not proof that this method will improve every school, but does show it is not generally harmful. Why not try it elsewhere and see?
The UK has arrested 379 people for supposedly promoting terrorism in July 2016 to June 2017. Only 105 of them were subsequently charged with "terrorism offenses".
Some of these 105 were charged for preparing (or even carrying out) a real terrorist act, or trying to persuade others to do so. The state would like us to assume that all 105 were found doing those things, but we have every reason to doubt that. This is because the laws against "terrorism" are so broad that many sorts of other activities can be prosecuted as "terrorism".
The FBI has often prosecuted feckless fantasy terrorists, who dreamed of carrying out an attack but would never have tried anything outside their fantasies (and lacked the competence to try). I suspect the UK does likewise. Surely some of those charged in the UK are in the same category.
Surely some are being prosecuted for having a copy of a book that the state disparages. That is included in the laws against "terrorism".
Even being suspected of preparing terrorism has been defined as a crime in the UK. People can literally be prosecuted for the crime of being suspected.
By lumping these people together under a vague heading, the state directs attention away from the question of what these people were really accused of doing. This enables the state to magnify the danger (thus scaring people into parting with their freedom), make itself look efficient, and disguise whether those people are real terrorists or not.
US cable TV networks are saying nothing about impending network neutrality decision. Perhaps that is because most of them are also the ISPs that stand to profit from eliminating network neutrality.
The Koch brothers are spending heavily, and secretly, on an ad campaign for school vouchers in Arizona.
Americans have nearly always rejected school vouchers, which are a scheme for states to direct public money into religious education. The plan is typically designed so that a school voucher would not offer enough money to pay for an unsubsidized private school. (Those would remain limited to wealthy parents.) Thus, the only schools that the vouchers would enable parents to select would be religious schools, subsidized by a church.
The big US banks would get a 28-billion-dollar gift from the SCROTUS tax attacks.
SCROTUS are rushing in the hope of hiding the bill's consequences from the public.
That's what they did in their previous attempt to take medical coverage from millions of Americans (which this bill also would do).
The UK is deporting people who came there lawfully in the 1960s and have lived there ever since. Some of them were brought as children.
Electricity for an electric car is much cheaper in the US than the equivalent amount of gasoline.
Noa Gur Golan refused to enter the Israeli army and serve the occupation, and was jailed. Her mother stated support for her decision, so the Israeli extremist newspaper demands she be fired.
Israel and the Zionist Organization of America are allying in public with right-wing antisemites. This is not a joke.
Israel cares less and less about support from mainstream US Jews, since its lobbying power in the US now comes from rich Christians.
I forecast that a few more years will see Israel calling most American Jews "self-hating anti-semites" while saying that right-wing Christian billionaires and Bannon are not anti-semites. This is what Orwell referred to as "blackwhiting".
Israel's parliament is considering increasing the fees for Palestinians to file court cases. Israel's courts sometimes protect Palestinians' human rights when state agencies decide to trample them, and the right-wing ruling parties want to squelch that without overtly prohibiting it.
Israel has ordered the Palestinian inhabitants of Jabal al-Baba expelled from their homes to give their land to Israelis.
Former El Salvador Colonel Extradited to Spain over 1989 Murder of Jesuits.
This killing was done as part of a US-supported campaign to repress a guerrilla uprising against the repressive plutocratic state.
Britain's army has suffered from a specific psychological pattern of incompetence that has caused military disasters for over 150 years. We may be seeing the same thing in political leadership now.
Eating one seed of corn soaked in neonicotinoids is enough to cause some songbirds to have trouble navigating for their migration.
Mormon feminists are challenging sexual abuse in the Mormon church, which combines with scorn for women that aren't "chaste" to cause great suffering.
There are fathers that rape their daughters — and there are also "recovered memory therapists" that implant false memories of childhood sexual abuse that didn't happen. A priori, either one could have happened here. The fact that Carol did not remember the abuse until she worked with a therapist makes me suspect the latter. It seems that Carol's sister also need "help" to remember.
I hope there is a way to determine which one really occurred.
The UK government is still investigating journalists that worked on the documents that Snowden revealed.
The UK labels this journalism as "terrorism", demonstrating that even in pretend "free" countries we must be suspicious of policies labeled as being against "terrorism".
Young People Aren't Stalinists — They Just Wonder What Fairness Might Look Like.
Don't equate Socialism with Communism!
Once again, activists for Food Not Bombs are threatened with fines for giving food to homeless people.
The cited reasons for this law include discouraging people from living on the street, as well as bogus excuses.
Senators including Sanders and Warren proposed a plan to help Puerto Rico, both short-term and long-term.
The campaign that labels opposition to Israel's occupation policies as antisemitism got a musician kicked off the radio in Germany.
Since false accusations of antisemitism are being made systematically for political reasons, it is wrong to treat a person as suspect because of "accusations of antisemitism" without looking at specifically what the person was accused of doing. Was it real antisemitism, or was it defending Palestinians' human rights?
Wind turbines do not make people sick, but anxiety about them does.
There are so many endangered species now that it is impossible to fund efforts to protect all of them.
In 40 years there will be so many that it will be hard even to keep track of the ones that we drive extinct.
Uber operated a team to spy on competitors and to "impede, obstruct or influence" legal investigations, according to an ex-manager who was involved with the team.
Tillerson said that budget cuts for the State Department and foreign aid are predicated on the assumption that some of the world's main conflicts and disputes will be solved very soon.
This is an aspect of global heating denialism. Global heating has contributed to the conflict in Syria, which spilled over into Iraq, and we know it is going to create more.
Which candidate was going to increase US war — Clinton, or Trump?
The answer is, either one was going to be worse than Obama, and much worse than Sanders.
Puerto Rico: Urgently Needed Tarps Delayed by Failed $30m FEMA Contract.
Aside from the carelessness on the specifics, this approach is asking to lose.
Nowadays, even real commercial suppliers don't have a large inventory of their products on hand. A real supplier of tarps won't have a million in stock. How long does it take to produce a hundred thousand tarps and transport them to the US from wherever they are made?
To handle a large disaster, FEMA must maintain large stockpiles of tarps ready to hand out, not depend on purchasing them after the disaster strikes. Likewise for everything else that is needed fast after a disaster.
You can make disaster response a lot more efficient by aiming to handle only the smaller disasters. It looks like this is what the US has done — under pressure of budget cutting that should not be happening at all.
Mnangagwa, new president of Zimbabwe, announced a three-month amnesty for return of state funds stolen and sent offshore, after which he says he will energetically prosecute the corrupt rich people that did the stealing.
London's mayor says he will arrange to increase the number of public toilets, in particular those for disabled people.
This is very good, but I hope these toilets will be accessible to poor people with no money.
UNICEF says that 11 million children in Yemen need humanitarian assistance as a result of the war. While the statement doesn't say who is responsible, we know that those responsible are Salafi Arabia and its backers, primarily the US.
Since poverty increases the likelihood of death, some simple arithmetic shows that the Republican tax attacks would kill around 30,000 per year, while Sanders' tax plan would save around 30,000 per year, both compared with actual trends.
It also shows that going further than Sanders could save a lot more.
An actress is suing Harvey Weinstein, alleging events which would amount to rape. Strangely, the article describes this as "sex trafficking".
That's nonsense — she was not trafficked. Rape should be called "rape", and trafficking "trafficking", because they are very different issues.
Explaining to an American generation that has never known peace how the US could have chosen peace in 2001, and avoided disaster after disaster.
The US in 2001 could have got the Taliban's help in kicking out al-Qa'ida, in exchange for peace with the US. The Taliban had offered such a deal a short while before.
The history in the US since World War II has been a series of wars, massacres, and coups.
Ancient Greek democracy had problems too. Athens under democratic government converted its alliance into an extractive empire, fought a war to defend that empire, and eventually lost, partly due to mismanagement. Along the way, it too committed massacres.
7 Surprises That Climate Change Will Throw Us.
Humans may be too desperate to survive to keep track of these things. Less reproduction would be a good thing.
The Amazon Effect: How Deforestation Is Starving São Paulo of Water.
Indian thugs in Assam are kicking squatters out of an elephant refuge.
It is necessary to do this, but protecting any sort of wildlife will get ever harder as India's population increases. The only long-term solution is to reduce births and start to bring the human population down.
Amnesty Seeks Criminal Inquiry into Shell over Alleged Complicity in Murder And Torture in Nigeria.
China disappeared Lee Ming-cheh as he was visiting China, and only later admitted he had been arrested. Now he has been sentenced to five years in prison for supposedly planning to hand out subversive publications.
That it makes this a crime convicts China yet again of tyranny.
Argentine activists advocate a law to allow people to testify against their parents. Some want to testify that their fathers confessed to helping murder dissidents during the military dictatorship.
I would like those murderers to be convicted, but should it be possible to convict a person of a crime based on a witness's report that the defendant confessed to per? It seems to me that that would make it easy to frame anyone for any crime: just testify "he confessed to me that he did it."
Toxic chemicals used in nail salons make the staff really sick. Simple equipment, provided by the EPA, can protect them.
Turkey threatens to send millions of refugees to Europe if Syrian Kurds are allowed to participate in peace talks.
This means either there will be no meaningful peace talks, or Turkey and maybe other involved countries will try to crush the Kurds.
Vladimir Timoshenko was sentenced to prison for "insulting officials" in an internet post. This demonstrates the tyranny of the Russian regime.
Imprisoning people for insulting someone is tyranny.
Most large sea animals start out as tiny larvae which need a place to hide. Coral reefs and kelp are very important to shelter the larva.
It is cheaper in some places to build new renewable electric generators than to continue running existing coal or nuclear power plants.
However, the owners of the existing plants have money to spend on buying political support to keep running them and make the public pay.
"Each generation perceives the environment into which it's born, no matter how developed, urbanized, or polluted, as the norm."
Many of the Tory benefits cuts result in increased state expenditure. Does that make them irrational?
It does, according to their stated goal of reducing expenditure — but their real purpose is to demonize people that need help. That, they do achieve, however great the cost.
Romanians Protest Against Weakening of Anti-Corruption Powers (again).
Info about the previous time.
Over a million Americans have had their driver's licenses suspended because of fines they can't pay. They have to drive anyway so they get fined more for driving with a suspended license. This leads to a vicious circle of debt.
The only way to make fines achieve their supposed goal is to make sure everyone has enough money to pay a fine — and nobody has so much money as not to notice a fine.
US financial aid for students demands a long list of personal information. Even worse, it makes that information available to anyone who has the applicant's social security number.
This includes lots of crooks, as well as any government agency that wants information about people.
Religious fanatics in Pakistan are protesting to demand explicit repression of minority Muslim sects, effectively barring them from public office. The protests are so big that the government gave in.
The European Union has a "consumer protection" regulation that authorizes officials to order blocking of web sites without a trial.
The UK is holding an "investigation" of thugs that were sent to infiltrate protest groups and form sexual relationships with their members. The investigation carefully protects the thugs and reveals nothing.
"[The US is] spending $1.2 trillion on [nuclear] weapons that invariably make the world a more dangerous place."
Tobacco companies were ordered to publish apologies on TV for their lies that covered up the dangers of smoking. They have delayed this for 11 years with court pleadings, but ultimately lost (or decided to stop delaying).
Their delaying strategy was very effective, because the order from 11 years ago did not require them to publish apologies in Facebook, Google or Twitter.
Criminal convictions, even minor ones long ago, exclude many people from all but the worst kinds of jobs.
A copyright troll in Poland sneakily manipulated thugs into seizing the computers of 200 or more people. Some of them are accused of forbidden sharing in 2013. Some of them are merely mentioned as witnesses in the case.
EU citizens: help protect Europe from imposing a legal requirement for automated censorship.
Switzerland is considering a new copyright law with that same kind of requirement.
Myanmar Accused of Wiping Out Secret Network of Rohingya Reporters. Too many of them have disappeared for it to be a coincidence.
Zuckerberg seems to be planning to make himself president, and Facebook's personal data base and manipulative power could enable him to do that.
The Koch brothers are about to buy Time Magazine.
We must expect they will slant it to right-wing and planet-roaster propaganda.
The UK's policies make disabled people struggle to qualify for the benefits they used to get. Some of them think about suicide.
Many disabled people have been put in inaccessible apartments, so they can't get out unless people come to help them.
The effects of privatization are visible in the lack of training of their assessors. I suppose that the companies that contracted to do this committed to hire qualified people for the job. But the state does not sue them or punish if they don't carry out that promise. In practice, privatization leads to unaccountability, and it shows.
The value of bitcoin is shooting up in a speculative bubble.
Evidence suggests that fires in São Paulo favelas are intentionally set to force poor people off the land.
Privatization of government functions usually leads to doing them badly. One must not be surprised that privatized forensic analysis has put 10,000 British criminal cases in doubt.
Government forensic analysts are not guaranteed to do a proper job either, as shown by the bad work of the FBI crime lab, but that is no reason to create systematic incentives to do it badly.
Such Is the Poverty of Tory Ideas That They Deny Poverty Even Exists.
"When a government shows contempt for a group of people, it is hard to advocate for those people without showing contempt for the government. And then you’re not a charity: you’re a campaigner."
Yellow-eyed penguins are endangered by fishing nets.
Workers in Beijing are being evicted from their homes and onto the street, in many cases with just a few minutes notice so that they lost nearly all their possessions. They have nowhere to go.
The official plan says that millions of workers will be evicted from buildings that were built without permission.
It might be legitimate to tear down those buildings, but not in this way.
Hindu-nationalists falsify Indian history to make it support their nationalist myth.
Now they have imposed this on California; they convinced the state board of education to eliminate mention of the caste system.
Canada's finance minister is attacking workers' pension benefits for the benefit of the company he used to be an executive of.
SCROTUS made a last-minute change in the tax attacks bill to keep taxes on corporations low after 2026.
A small handout for poor people won't even bring them to the point where they can afford living expenses.
The DMCA forbids developing a tracking-detector for iOS apps, effectively forbidding anyone from informing the users how they are being screwed.
The only way users can estimate this is by assuming that proprietary iOS apps are at least as bad as proprietary Android apps.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cheating And Lying to Give the Internet Away to Big Telecom.
Although he is now ostensibly working for the US government, in fact he is still working for Verizon.
The bully regularly accepts bribes via events held at Mar-a-Lago.
Facebook still allows housing advertisements to be targeted in discriminatory ways.
The US government thinks that drone war is great. Few US soldiers are killed, and as for the civilian casualties, it can lie about those.
The US government is funding propaganda for GMOs, based on "science" from research that the seed companies chose to permit.
The latest climate conference resulted in small, incremental progress which if done 20 years ago might have been sufficient then.
Tracking software in popular Android apps is pervasive and sometimes very clever. Some trackers can follow a user's movements around a physical store by noticing WiFi networks.
Papua refuses to recognize as a refugee an Iranian it acknowledges is likely to be tortured or killed if he returned to Iran.
An MD says that fraud, incompetence, and the domination of medicine by pharma and food companies has made medical science untrustworthy; doctors have trouble using published research to determine the best way to treat patients.
I have suggested removing Pharma companies from any role in funding tests of the effects of drugs. But more change than that is needed.
U.S. Generals Might Stop Trump From an Illegal Nuclear Strike — But Who Will Save Us From a Legal One?
Alt-America: the Time for Talking about White[-supremacist] Terrorism Is Now.
US citizens: call on the Government Accountability Office to investigate the EPA's removal of independent scientists from advisory boards.
3 steps for stopping the Republican tax attacks.
These were intended for "before Thanksgiving", but you can still do them now.
US citizens: oppose SCROTUS's proposed abortion ban.
Zimbabwe Activists Fear Post-Mugabe Human Rights Crackdown.
Australia is constructing a data base to identify everyone in that country by face recognition. Now it plans to sell companies access to the data base, compounding the initial wrong.
The dispute between defenders of transgender females' rights, and the feminists who distrust them as males, is getting so heated that it is causing difficulties for various progressive and radical movements. The plutocratists must be chuckling.
In principle I think both sides have a valid concern. However, in practice the transgender people face a real problem, while the fearful feminists face only a theoretical problem.
There is indeed no formal obstacle to stop a straight male from putting on women's clothing and calling himself a transgender woman in order to visit women's bathrooms; but surely this must be very rare. Most straight males who might consider going to such lengths to peep at women would feel a horror of making themselves "effeminate" by dressing as women. They wouldn't consider actually doing that.
Papuan thugs are blocking Médecins Sans Frontières from visiting the refugees of Manus Island in their new prison.
There are ballot campaigns to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in California and Oregon.
The other jaw of the poverty vice is overpopulation. Marrying young is likely to increase population growth, driving the population into a spiral that leads to mass starvation.
Due to Tory cutbacks, most of the women in the UK that need to flee from a violent man can no longer find a place to flee to.
The "Iron Fist" Response to Terror Attacks in Egypt Never Works.
Aren't we mature enough to stop punishing people for viewing pornography?
The North Atlantic right whale was recovering in population due to protection from whaling, but now new fishing methods are killing them and the population is declining again.
Leveraged buyouts are looting many US retail companies, which leads to closing of stores and loss of employment.
I view this with concern because I don't do e-commerce (it does not respect privacy).
Chief Joseph's surrender speech was probably fabricated by the man who claimed to have written it down. Likewise many other famous quotes attributed to indigenous people in what is now the USA.
It should be noted that indigenous tribes did not live in general peace with each other or have a system of generally recognized land rights. It was common for tribes to fight other tribes and take land from them.
By present-day standards, what they did to each other was wrong, and it was wrong again when the European colonists did it to them.
These standards were brought by the colonists, who made treaties with various tribes, then upheld the treaties in a one-sided way (only when that advantaged the colonists). We can judge those colonists for their cheating, but it is a mistake to project present-day standards back to people of the past in an anachronistic way.
Leaks revealed that the bully's regime is manipulating the media by reports of crimes that it can attribute to Iranians, as a scheme to whip up support for further sanctions against Iran and destroying the nuclear deal.
This deal is why Iran does not have nuclear weapons.
The "crime" that is supposed to be horrible is hardly one we should care about at all. It does not harm or threaten the United States or its people. It only affects a corporation that imposes several injustices on its clients as standard practice.
Please join me in telling Netflix to go flick off.
The governor of Illinois promised to give information to Israel about "terrorist" suspects — which will probably end up meaning anyone that campaigns to end the occupation of Palestine.
Protesters against fracking in England face heavy punishment under the right wing's harsh laws.
A foundation that celebrates former Spanish dictator Franco succeeded in blocking Madrid from changing the names of streets that commemorate the dictator's "heroes".
I suspect that this success reflects the hidden power of his supporters that remain influential in the right-wing governing party and in the state.
I don't think it is right to try to ban ideas, but the state can legitimately cut off the mechanisms of influence that they use to promote tyranny.
Meanwhile, Spain has done little to commemorate Franco's victims — those that died fighting his coup, and those that his forces murdered or imprisoned afterwards. Many of them were used for forced labor, building monuments that say little about who built them.
A doctor who treats patients with great pain that no one else can treat is facing threats from the DEA.
The vote for Britain to leave the EU was procured with illegal campaign spending.
Uber is aggressively trying to make itself "too big to ban", but it can still be banned.
If a company is "too big to ban", it is too big to exist.
Arguing the need for managed deindustrialization.
I am skeptical of the claim that population increase is not one of the main drivers of exhaustion of the Earth. The article does not try to demonstrate that.
Saboteur General Sessions has taken aim at Justice Department guidance that instructs other government agencies in giving all Americans equal protection of the law.
Since Verizon is lobbying to abolish network neutrality, Americans will protest at Verizon stores on Dec 7.
The "Homeland Security" department's community liaison said he hated blacks and Muslims. Establishing cordial relations with American Muslims is a part of his job, but he's not going to be able to do it with those views.
Roy Moore saw Kayla Kisor soloing in a dance performance and she made such an impression on him that, after they subsequently met eight years later, they dated and got married.
The modern prudery movement would like us to find this disgusting, because she was 15 or 16 when she made a lasting impression on him.
Moore is a dangerous theocratic extremist. Please support the Doug Jones for Senate campaign, and help defeat Moore. Please do it in a way that doesn't inflict prudery as collateral damage.
Police officer Sean Suiter in Baltimore, waiting to testify about corruption in the thug department, was murdered. The thug department imposed repressive measures on the neighborhood for days, and a record-setting reward to get information about the killer, but has not found anyone. People wonder if the killer was a thug.
The Tories seem strangely reluctant to take any action to limit the tax-dodging revealed in recent links.
One may suspect that they want these rich companies and individuals to continue dodging taxes. After all, many of them support the Tory party and help it to get elected.
Amnesty: The government of Lagos has evicted 30,000 poor people by bulldozing their homes. Sometimes thugs shot people to chase them out. Sometimes the bulldozer operators did not wait for all the people to get out of the homes.
The low price of renewable electricity generators is leading to massive investments despite the efforts of planet-roasters to hold it back.
Electric power generation is, alas, only one of the sectors that cause greenhouse emissions. There is transportation, which usually means burning fossil fuels; there is deforestation; there is farming.
Converting electric generation to 100% renewable may not be enough to avoid global heating disaster, though it is a big step towards that goal.
Senate candidate Roy Moore tried to start dating/sexual relationships with teenagers some decades ago.
He tried to lead Ms Corfman step by step into sex, but he always respected "no" from her and his other dates. Thus, Moore does not deserve the exaggerated condemnation that he is receiving for this. As an example of exaggeration: one mailing referred to these teenagers as "children", even the one that was 18 years old. Many teenagers are minors, but none of them are children.
The condemnation is surely sparked by the political motive of wanting to defeat Moore in the coming election, but it draws fuel from ageism and the fashion for overprotectiveness of "children".
I completely agree with the wish to defeat Moore. Political Christianists such as Moore hold views that conflict essentially with human rights, just as political Islamists do. If Moore, with his extremist policies, gains public office again, he will harm millions of American women, and secondarily society as a whole.
Ms Corfman says she was hurt afterward, and attributes this to feelings of guilt based on the belief that she had done something wrong (which, of course, she had not). Is this is another sign of Christianity at work?
I sent a check to Doug Jones US Senate a few weeks ago. Please support his campaign too. You can mail a check here:
Doug Jones US Senate
PO Box 131025
Birmingham, AL 35213
Phone: +1 205-703-4785
Assad Regime's "Starve Or Surrender" Strategy Is a War Crime, says Amnesty.
"We'll never stop Brexit or Trump until we address the anger fuelling both."
The Bitcoin exchange Bittrex has "suspended" thousands of accounts, in many cases those of Iranians, and won't let them have their money.
It doesn't respond to their questions, either.
How Religious Sectarian School Voucher Extremists Made Useful Idiots of the Charter Movement.
Militarist American politicians trot out the "sacred soldier" to silence public debate about war and its consequences.
Several Republican candidates tried racist campaigns in the recent election, and lost.
The Vietnamese government now represses people for insulting visiting US politicians.
You'd never guess that this government came to power through a war to kick out US puppets. It has now become, more or less, a US puppet, in exchange for business opportunities.
Thousands of US citizens are wrongly deported from the US every year. Because being an unauthorized immigrant is not officially a crime — just treated like one — those accused are presumed guilty.
Regarding unauthorized immigrants working in restaurant jobs that Americans won't take: if the restaurants couldn't hire unauthorized immigrants, they might all have to pay higher wages, stop stealing wages, stop making work precarious and unpredictable, and then Americans would take these jobs.
The opioid carfentanil is so powerful that a tiny dose can be fatal. It is somewhat unpredictable, so it encourages overdoses. However, the effect it is used for is the same as the effect of larger quantities of other, less potent opioids.
The reason for interest in carfentanil is that it is smaller and thus easier to smuggle. Thus, the danger of carfentanil is the direct result of prohibition.
The rebellion in the Donbass region of Ukraine bubbles on with occasional shelling that sometimes kills civilians.
Putin no longer needs that war for his destabilization attacks against the west, but there seems to be no prospect of ending it.
No wonder the bully admires him.
Deforestation in the Congo region threaten to release the carbon stores in vast peat deposits.
Hundreds of thousands protested in Catalonia demanding that Spain release their leaders from jail.
I don't advocate independence for Catalonia, but I support this demand. Rajoy's power means repression, all across Spain.
Medical students' activism has helped convince various medical charities to stop holding fund raisers at the bully's resort, Mar-a-Lago.
The bully's approach to Afghanistan: more of the same strategy that has failed for 12 years or so, a little more harsh and cruel, and more covering up the details.
The troll is tightening US sanctions against Cuba, while fawning on the equally communist China as it becomes ever more repressive. There is no way that can make ethical sense.
EU countries are prosecuting people for helping refugees travel — or even simply giving them food — using laws that were meant to punish people-smugglers.
Britain and US Urged to Release Papers on Dag Hammarskjöld's Death.
There have always been suspicions that his plane crash was no accident.
Those targeted may indeed be corrupt, but not necessarily more than the others in the royal family.
Increasing numbers of young adults are quitting Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
While I wish they had taken up the principles of the free software movement, and defending privacy on principle too, this is a big step towards reducing the technological subjugation and it might lead them towards recognizing those principles.
There are other ways to remember your friends' birthdays. For instance, put them in a text file in calendrical order.
Due to cutbacks, the UK's National Health Service does not have enough ambulances. A woman died from waiting 85 minutes for one.
This was always the inevitable result of Tory budget cuts.
UK Prosecutors Admit Destroying Key Emails in Julian Assange Case.
It seems clear that this is part of a dishonest scheme.
The TSA plans to go beyond merely annoying air travelers more or less and start recognizing travelers by their faces and their iris scans. First step, some of us. Next step, all of us.
US citizens: Tell the EPA to continue the Clean Power Plan.
US citizens: call on Congress not to let kratom be banned.
Farmers in Queensland have gone wild on cutting down native forest.
Houston faces a political battle about how to rebuild: including minorities and immigrants, or (as Republicans wish) leaving them out of reconstruction funds.
Texas seems to need Reconstruction as well as reconstruction.
Many companies engage in veiled advertising by paying celebrities to promote their products and pretend to be disinterested.
Proposed order: a 1000-pound fine for sleeping in a tent on a street in a town in England.
Homeless people can show their contempt for this cruel order by daring the court to fine them again, again, and again — and each time, responding, "fat chance you'll ever get that money out of me."
Richard Cordray, resigning as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has named a deputy director who will automatically run the agency until Republicans formally install a saboteur to wreck it. Even then, the saboteur will face a fight.
The new prison for the Manus refugees is "still a construction site".
Since they were put there by force, and since envoys such as Costello are blocked from entering, it is clearly a prison.
The Tories policy towards disabled Britons amounts to war.
Bangladesh's government forces kidnap people and disappear them, and the government pretends they have simply gone missing.
Corrupt President Hernández of Honduras, chosen in an election managed by military coup leaders, is reported as leading in opinion polls run by pro-coup newspapers.
The supposed justification was that Zelaya wanted to hold a referendum about permitting reelection of presidents. The referendum would have taken place after he left office.
FEMA's attempt to aid Puerto Rico was not merely too little and too late. It was not even designed to function in those circumstances.
The cabin crew of Cryin'air have been crying, or will be soon. The airline said it will punish those who don't sell enough in the cabin.
I never buy what the crew sell in an airplane. Moreover, many airlines won't take the cash that I might pay with.
Please help defend privacy rights by refusing to pay for products and food with anything other than cash.
Some extremist Hindu-theocratic Indian agitators are making threats of violence against the female star of a film, offering bounties for mutilating her, and doing so with impunity. Perhaps this is because the Hindu-theocratic ruling party doesn't mind them much.
They are also threatening arson in the UK to suppress its release there.
This calls to mind the violent threats of Iran against those involved in publishing The Satanic Verses. In both cases, the threateners seem to be mistaken about what the work actually says, and not interested in correcting their error.
The UN should consider amending the rules of war to recognize the large chance of civilian casualties from even small bombing raids on soldiers in cities.
The Ghouta region of Syria, near Damascus, is still held by rebels. Assad's forces are starving them out.
The "crocodile" that seems to be making himself the new president of Zimbabwe was the strongest supporter of Mugabe's tyranny until recently.
City Council member Yuka Ogata brought her baby with her to the council meeting, to dramatize the shortage of childcare in Japan, but male council members forced her to leave the meeting.
Indian Newspapers Run Blank Pages to Protest Journalist Killing.
It appears that supporters of the right-wing Hindu-theocratic government are behind both murders.
Papua thugs hit refugees with metal poles to drag them away.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have been keeping journalists and aid workers away from the refugees, trying to cover up this violence. The thugs arrested Behrouz Boochani, the refugee journalist who works as a reporter for foreign media, and took him away, evidently with the same purpose.
Keep in mind that none of these refugees ever sought to enter Papua New Guinea. That country agreed to hold them on Australia's behalf.
"Behrouz Boochani exposed Australia's evil on Manus. The shame will outlive us all."
Boochani writes, Manus police pulled my hair and beat me. 'You've damaged our reputation,' they said.
We can expect him to try to help Republicans in future elections by undercounting poor people. That is easy to do — just don't try to find them.
80% of waitresses have experienced sexual harassment. And 70% of male restaurant workers too.
The statements made by restaurant representatives are examples of the way companies twist language and twist logic. They are not literally false, but they deceive by missing the point.
For instance, it is true that there is no (rigid) limit on what employees can receive as a tip. You might, in theory, get a thousand-dollar tip today, and each day for the coming year, then retire. But how likely is that? In practice, the income of most waiters is quite limited.
It is obvious that tipping makes waitresses more vulnerable, because they need to smile even when uncomfortable to get tips from the (mostly male) paying customers.
I wish that tipping were eliminated entirely and waiters received a decent wage.
The Massachusetts ACCESS Act would protect insurance coverage of effective birth control, in Massachusetts.
Efficient lamps are encouraging the spread of light pollution which can harm various species of life.
The queer community in Turkey fears that censorship is the harbinger of repression. The state has stirred up hatred and people don't dare admit they are gay.
Replacing a quarter of the sodium chloride in foods with potassium chloride could reduce strokes and heart attacks.
That law was passed to cater to the Republican pretense of horror of budget deficits, which was really just an excuse to stop the US government from helping non-rich people.
Governor Snyder of Michigan set up a "public health council", supposedly to prevent repetition of the Flint water lead poisoning, and appointed a head who is currently being prosecuted for allowing poisoning in Flint.
This confirms what I've thought for years: that Republicans are in favor of killing off poor people, just as long as they can pretend that they are not doing so.
Costa Rica has generated all its electricity from renewable sources for 300 days this year.
Not every country has the option of generating lots of hydroelectric power, but all countries can build wind and solar power facilities if they choose to invest.
But it didn't really do that. It was just bullshit.
One of the "valve turners" who shut off an oil pipeline as a protest was convicted of a felony after a trial in which he was forbidden to present a justification for his act.
Jurors should never convict anyone of a nonviolent protest.
The FCC refuses to cooperate with New York State's investigation of the fraudulent comments that favored of eliminating network neutrality.
These comments were fraudulent in that they gave the names of people who did not file those comments and do not agree with them.
I think Ajit Pai welcomes the fraudulent comments since, by denying that they were fraudulent, he can cite them as "support". This is the typical attitude of plutocratist politicians: no lie is too dirty for them.
The poll tax used to stop poor Americans from voting. Now some states stop them because they are caught up in the fines-for-fines system.
Bill O'Neill, candidate for governor of Ohio, was castigated for a post in which he summarized briefly his sexual history with adult women.
It takes a boastful attitude, which is un-cool, but it doesn't imply he mistreated any of his lovers. It makes no sense to demand that a candidate drop out of the race because of this — especially since that might enable a Republican to win.
I think the reaction to his post has proved his point.
Employees in offices spend half their day dealing with pointless management.
However, the same is not the case for today's low-paid employees that make up half the work force.
China Blocks Debate about Downfall of [head] Internet Censor, Lu Wei.
The US government subsidizes big farming corporations, because the subsidy was important to protect family farms 80 years ago (back when there were family farms).
Republicans lured family farms into debts they could not pay. Too bad the farmers and their descendants don't hold the grudge that this deserves.
They also took 40 others refugees prisoner and took them away. But they seized the phones of other refugees, and destroyed their meager possessions. They seem to be intentionally trying to cut off all word to the outside world, so they can do dirty work and go undetected.
Keep in mind that none of these refugees ever sought to enter Papua New Guinea. That country agreed to hold them on Australia's behalf.
A Canadian mining company can be sued in Canada for using slave labor in Eritria.
The government of Eritria regularly enslaves people for various kinds of work.
US citizens: call on Congress to prevent the bully from launching a nuclear war, by impeaching him.
US citizens: oppose Republican plans to subject Americans' birth control access to the boss's religion.
Here's what I posted.
The only person whose religion is pertinent to whether you can get birth control is your own. It would be as absurd for your employer to block you from birth control in the name of his or her religion, as it would be for that employer to impose birth control on you in the name of his or her religion. Please reject the absurd proposed regulation that would authorize this.This and other gratuitous problems come from connecting medical insurance with employment. If we give medical coverage to everyone, we can disconnect them entirely. By raising the funds from taxes on income and profits, not from payroll tax, we can end one pressure for employers to replace workers with machines.
US citizens: call on Congress to make sure crimes get reported for gun purchase background checks.
Netanyahu advocates a law that would forcibly shut down
organizations such as Breaking the Silence, in which ex-soldiers
report on war crimes they committed or witnessed. This would be
considered "working against the interest" of (criminal) soldiers.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
Another proposed law would put part of the West Bank under control of the Jerusalem city government. This would make Netanyahu's policy of rejecting peace with Palestine a part of Israeli law.
We must hold a debate on how to bring production down to a level that the Earth can sustain.
It will be hard to convince the people that live at a decent standard of living to accept the loss of many comforts. Thus, this debate needs to include bringing the human population down to a level the Earth can sustain. My guess is, around one billion people, roughly the number that currently live at a high standard of living. But perhaps it should be somewhat less.
Uber is being investigated in several countries for covering up a data breach instead of reporting it.
More important than this secondary outrage is the reason why Uber had so much data ready for crackers to steal: its practice of making users pay by credit card, thus providing the data to Uber.
If you ride an ordinary taxi, and have the common sense to pay cash, it collects no data about you, and no breach in the taxi company can touch you.
If we require all digital payment systems to pay the merchant anonymously, so that the merchant gets no information except "you have been paid amount X", this will prevent a large fraction of the data breeches that are likely to happen.
The University of Arkansas wants to fire tenured professors if they don't teach a subject the way they are ordered to.
Foreigners losing temporary protective status in the US are likely to start walking to Canada despite the risk of losing fingers and toes.
Raising total production is ineffective as a way to help the poor: almost none trickles down to them. Meanwhile, those who try to reduce their personal greenhouse gas footprint end up blowing all the savings. We need to change the system.
There is one form of personal greenhouse gas reduction that really does work: not reproducing. Each child multiplies your whole ecological footprint.
Wealthy people must reduce their reproduction because each wealthy child will consume a lot and produce lots of greenhouse gas. Poor people must reduce their reproduction because their children will have no prospects except desperation. (We have to give them reliable birth control to help them do this.)
Progressives should use disasters as opportunities for political campaigning at all levels for policies that reduce the danger of future disasters.
Ratko Mladić Convicted of Genocide And War Crimes at UN Tribunal.
Sexual Harassment Doesn't Just Happen to Actors Or Journalists. Talk to a Waitress, Or a Cleaner.
Hunting bears the way people usually do it fails to discourage bears from attacking humans and human property, because it targets the wrong bears.
Do right-wing politicians oppose renewable energy because those dirty hippies are for it?
Or do they oppose for pay?
Doctors "Overprescribe Drugs Due to Fears of Facing Complaints."
Android tracks location for Google even when "location services" are turned off, even when the phone has no SIM card.
The US government distributed proprietary spyware labeled as "protection for children".
Amazon wants to tempt US spy agencies into leaving their data in Amazon's hands.
The security of that is null.
FCC Will Also Order States to Scrap Plans for Their Own Net Neutrality Laws.
Neutrality, We Must Build Our Own Internet.
A sugar industry research foundation cancelled long-running experiments shortly before they finished, to cover up evidence that sugar was a crucial cause of obesity. This was in 1967.
Israel is making the occupation more harsh, and using state power to
crush criticism of it by attacking basic human rights on many fronts.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
13 nasty things about the SCROTUS tax attacks.
Everyone: tell IBM, "Live up to your commitment to support immigrants. Publicly reject Trump’s hate by refusing to build his Extreme Vetting Program."
Ajit Pai's plan to eliminate network neutrality rules is even more destructive than was expected.
British thugs put Ziad Najm on a "terrorist suspects" list, which immediately caused him difficulties in his life, and refused to say why. Now he is suing, but I fear the courts will only look for excuses to back up the arbitrary actions of the officials.
Anti-Semites feted by Zionist Organization of America.
Just as criticizing Zionism is not a form of anti-semitism, supporting Zionism does not imply rejecting anti-semitism.
Israel arrested Palestinian nonviolent protest leader Abdullah Abu Rahmeh again.
The Israeli army plans to demolish 140 apartments before Israeli courts have a chance to rule on whether to demolish them.
The supposed grounds for demolition are that the apartments are too close to the annexation wall. Well, who decided to put the wall there? Not the Palestinians.
The SCROTUS tax attacks could cause a recession if they knock down real estate prices by up to 17%.
The confused term "sex trafficking" undermines the campaign against the grave crime of enslavement and forced prostitution, by identifying that crime with the practice of paying for sex.
A Republican official who made a bogus accusation against Latin American immigrants in general — that they would traffic "children" into the US for prostitution — is now being criticized for supposedly doing that very thing himself. However, when you look at the details, he was not accused of enslaving or trafficking anyone. Rather, he is accused of nothing more than offering to pay for sex, to someone who was a minor. (No word on whether the official even knew that.)
I warned before that the term "sex trafficking" was apt to lead to injustice. Now we see it in action.
The term's confusion will undermine efforts to stop enslavement and trafficking of both adolescents and adults.
The private US medical system indirectly rations medical care, but some socialist medical systems (in capitalist countries) offer luxurious treatment to everyone that needs it.
Some Puerto Ricans are trying to build an autogenerated recovery, but others are fleeing to refugee camps in Florida. Some suspect that the American oligarchs want to depopulate the island so as to turn it into an expensive corporate-owned resort.
Seven trash "medical journals" put a dog onto their editorial boards.
On the internet, people still don't know you're a dog if they don't bother to check.
Don't Rehabilitate George W. Bush: Why the Enemy of Our Enemy Is Still a War Criminal.
Karen Fonseca, threatened by a Texas sheriff for having a "Fuck Trump" sticker on her truck, added another one about the sheriff.
Even the charter schools that are not explicitly "for profit" have numerous ways of diverting public funds to private profit. This may be the real reason why charter schools are allowed in the US.
In Latest Ethics Offense, NRCC Offers Supporter a Stay in Trump's Hotel In Exchange for Donation.
The real big donors negotiate a payoff in legislation.
US thugs raided stores that help people fill out orders for prescriptions from foreign pharmacies. They are enforcing a law that was purchased by the Pharma companies to make drugs very expensive for Americans.
Some Uber drivers are using a GPS-spoofing app to fool the Uber app and increase their fares.
This seems to be a response to a change Uber made to reduce drivers' pay.
The Medical Misinformation Mess: most medical research studies are low quality and neither patients nor practitioners know how to identify and disregard them.
This leads to wasted expense, continuing sickness, and sometimes death.
Many US states require licenses to practice professions such as "cosmetician" for which there is no evident rationale for requiring one.
There are a few cases in which licenses are required specifically to reduce competition, and it may be a valid goal. For instance, before taxi medallions were created, it is said, too many people tried to drive taxis and most of them lost money. The problem was serious because buying a taxi was a big investment, making it hard to enter the taxi field.
However, in other professions which don't require buying something so expensive as a new car, this reason would not be valid.
State schools in the UK propagate class inequality by giving the children of working class parents a markedly worse education.
A similar thing happens in the US, though it works using zoning: wealthier parents congregate in suburbs where the smallest lot size excludes anyone less wealthy, so their real estate taxes can fund a better school. The urban poor get lousy schools that can't afford anything.
To stop stunting the growth of children from poor families, we need to fund their schools as well as wealthy children's families. We need to spend a lot more money per child than we do now.
We need to get the money by taxing the rich and the corporations.
Unlike Most Western Leaders, Corbyn Demands End to US-UK Complicity in Yemen's Suffering.
Intel's intentional "management engine" back door has unintended back doors too.
Raping male prisoners is common in Syria, perhaps as common as raping female prisoners.
Privatization strikes again, this time in "manipulated" forensic tests affecting as many as 10,000 court cases in the UK.
The article begs the question of whether the false results were the result of dishonesty or merely mistakes.
The US will end temporary residency permits for Haitians in 2019, requiring the earthquake refugees to return to Haiti.
In principle, I see nothing wrong with accepting refugees from disasters temporarily. Is Haiti safe for them to return to? Three hurricanes have devastated Haiti since the earthquake, as well as the UN-installed cholera epidemic.
I don't know the facts well enough to judge the answer to that question. I don't have confidence in what the US government says about it, but I don't know of any unbiased judge either.
"You'll Never Work Again": Women Tell How Sexual Harassment Broke Their Careers.
Poland Faces €100,000-a-day Fines over Illegal Logging in Białowieża Forest.
After Iraqi soldiers capturing the last center of PISSI resistance in Mosul, they began killing all the men they suspected of being PISSI fighters. If the men said they were not PISSI fighters, the soldiers tortured them until they confessed or died. If they confessed, the soldiers tortured them from sheer hatred.
Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has been sentenced to prison after confessing to "inciting subversion of state power", which basically means exercising his human rights. This confession was probably squeezed out of him, though we don't know the details.
The Tory government wants to impose trade treaties without even a vote by Parliament.
Universities would have to pay them extra to cover the tax, and this would fall on research funders. But funders may not all increase their research support. Universities would have to cut the number of graduate students by a large fraction.
The troll has decided to label North Korea as a "state sponsor of terrorism."
Since the US already has almost total sanctions against North Korea, I think this is merely an act of name-calling.
It's also untrue. The assassination of Kim Jong-Nam was not terrorism, as the word is properly understood, because it was not meant as an act of political pressure. It was simply murder. The kidnapping of an unknown number of Japanese people to force them to teach Japanese was not terrorism; it was simply kidnaping.
Do we need to strain to call them "terrorism"? Aren't murder and kidnaping bad enough by themselves?
California prisons were sued and agreed to end long-term solitary confinement, but they have invented new pretexts for it.
Jared Kushner told Congress that he did not know of any meetings between the bully's campaign and Russians. This was false.
They have tentatively dropped the chapter that bears the incoherent label of "intellectual property", but they have kept many other harmful rules, worst of all the ISDS ("I Sue Democratic States") provision that gives foreign companies more rights than citizens.
If you are a citizen of New Zealand, please agitate against signing the TPP as long as it contains ISDS.
The EFF article encourages the confusion of the term "intellectual property" by using it as if it had a coherent meaning. Please take care not to do that.
Some Rohingya are trapped on the beach in Burma, with no path to flee.
Economics is a toolkit, not a physical law. We can fix parasitic drains (such as tax-dodging) by changing the system so that they are illegal and can be stopped.
Thirty Countries Use "Armies of Opinion Shapers" to Manipulate Democracy.
Plutocrats say they will help Puerto Rico "recover" by eliminating "structural barriers": minimum wage laws, labor rules requiring just-cause termination, paid sick days for employees, paternity leave, and overtime pay.
In other words, they want a fast recovery for business owners by making things worse for workers.
I wonder if the reason they fight for rapid global heating is to make more disasters they can use in this way.
A journalist used just metadata to tie Comey's pseudonymous Twitter account to him personally. This shows that we should not dismiss snooping on "just metadata" as unintrusive.
Everyone: call on Turkey to drop charges against encryption activists.
Partially burnt trees after fires in California's Sierra Nevada are vital for other species; we must not cut them down.
The UK's massive reshuffle of welfare benefits, called "universal credit", regularly leaves people with no money for food, heat, even rent. Many go hungry; many get evicted. Food banks can't cope. The new system is so rigid and bureaucratic that it leaves victims arguing with a computer.
Tories may have said that the purpose was to encourage people to work, or to make the system simpler, or other kinds of bullshit, but the real purpose of everything Tories do to the welfare system is to degrade the poor so that people with badly educated consciences will despise them and vote Tory.
"Universal credit" is simply a game of sleight of hand, in which benefits mysteriously disappear but people can't see where they went.
An inadequate proposal: taxing data brokers for using people's personal data.
Profiling people based on personal data makes it easy to cheat people, manipulate people, repress people, even manipulate elections. Taxing the companies a little would hardly make up for the harm that they do, but they would cite it as legitimizing their activities.
Putting minors in prison leads them towards a life of crime.
Maybe prison for minors cannot be entirely eliminated. There might be a few for whom sensible measures are useless, and who must ultimately be imprisoned as the last resort. But it would be a great step forward to avoid turning all the rest into hardened criminals.
Russian "Troll Army" Tweets Cited More Than 80 Times in UK Media.
A senator proposes to ban smoking in new French films.
Forget about the response that attacks a straw man (to ban showing old films where characters smoke, which nobody proposes); I ask, why do films show smoking? Is this because French directors just love to show smoking? Or is this paid "product placement"?
If it is the latter, that suggests prohibiting paid product placement, direct or indirect, and not censoring the films themselves.
Nebraska approved the Keystone XL pipeline. Earth defenders will still try to stop it with lawsuits and protests.
The Sackler chain of businesses can do all the stages of making money from a painkiller — from designing it, to getting approval of it, to marketing it, to organizing "the public" to campaign for access to it.
Now Sackler is turning the same methods to promotion of charter schools which he can own.
A system like this could reduce the harm done by global heating effects for some period of time — perhaps ten years. But if we fail to curb the emissions, this will be like compensating people on the sinking Titanic for their inconvenience during the sinking process.
Of course, the wealthy countries ought to pay for this. They ought to pay the costs of ending fossil fuel use, too.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject Pharma lobbyist Alex Azar as Saboteur of Health.
Everyone: ask the Norwegian Parliament to choose only people that support peace to vote on the Nobel Peace Prize.
Republican tax cuts are meant to block future Democrats from solving the country's problems, if those don't have the courage to make "Tax the rich!" their battle cry.
This approach has worked for Republicans before. Democrats must repudiate entirely the plutocratist principles that have governed the US for 20 years.
Many states and cities subsidize film production. It's a racket that benefits businesses at the expense of the public.
It's basically the same issue as public subsidies for sports teams or factories.
The US crushed animal rights protests by labeling them as "terrorism" and imprisoning the protesters as "terrorists". No wonder Republicans are now trying to apply similar repression to other kinds of protests.
A Lesson from Syria: It's Crucial Not to Fuel Far-Right Conspiracy Theories.
If the president of the US orders a nuclear attack, generals cannot
block the attack by calling the order illegal, since the order goes
straight to launch crews.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
"Have we reached zero tolerance for sexual misconduct?"
Since the term "misconduct" extends so far, zero tolerance of that would mean a oppression by prudery. The worst you can say about what Franken did is that it was not nice and he shouldn't have done it.
We need to improve recycling of discarded electrical devices, and this starts with replacing them less often.
I think that products designed to be hard to open and repair should be prohibited. Likewise other practices that impede repair, such as secrecy about the devices, or refusal to sell replacement components.
The refugees Australia dumped in Manus Island are getting sick, some from the lack of clean water as well as the lack of medical treatment.
The international system of asylum was designed to handle thousands of refugees moving between culturally similar countries, or dozens fleeing from very different cultures. Now that hundreds of thousands are fleeing to other continents, the system is breaking down.
What will we do when tens of millions are fleeing for their lives?
If Sinclair takes control of local broadcasting in large parts of the US, it could broadcast only fake news.
The men that use a domain of local power for sexual bullying often bully the others around them too, as part of a workplace pecking order.
One policy that keeps housing in the UK down is that the state can't buy unbuilt land based on the value of its current use. It has to pay market rates which are inflated by the idea of selling the land for development.
The supposed reason for offering "US" multinationals a tax break for bringing foreign profits officially to the US is that they would then invest it in the US.
The idea is totally bogus, because they already have plenty of money in the US, but they are not investing it because they see no opportunities.
We need to tax away a substantial amount of that money and invest it in society's needs — infrastructure, measures to reduce global heating (including birth control and abortion), and food and education for all children.
Online sales, a dangerous surveillance system, are wiping out sales jobs. About 8% of these jobs have been lost in Britain recently.
The Tories' response to this developing disaster is to push to eliminate jobs for drivers as well.
Once they have made millions unemployed, they will castigate those millions as "lazy".
Putin has tried to pin the blame for three murders (of people associated with a massive fraud scheme) on the people who have tried to expose the fraud.
The US has concentrated pollution sources in areas where poor or black people live. The troll and SCROTUS are eliminating the regulations to keep this in check.
Sometimes poor people are economically compelled to move near pollution sources because housing elsewhere is too expensive for them. Sometimes the pollution sources are built in areas that poorer people are moving into.
If the pollution affected everyone in the US equally, that would avoid one unjust aspect, but the pollution would still make people sick. Therefore I think we should give priority to reducing pollution and the harm it does, and spreading it more equally should be a secondary goal.
We need not argue about how to site coal-burning generators, when it makes no sense to build any new ones and we need to shut them all down as soon as possible. On the other hand, stored coal ash could be moved into safer facilities that are near fewer people, until we have the technology to render it harmless.
When we raise taxes on the rich, only a few of them move away.
Besides which, if a country raises taxes on income to the rich, even when they leave they will still have to pay the official tax rate on the income they visibly receive in that country.
Some schools and childcare facilities have adopted a policy against using plastic glitter.
I think this is wise. It will not only reduce plastic pollution directly, it will also teach children the gravity of the problem of plastic pollution.
The British Virgin islands are finding that removing the wrecked boats that now litter the land is an insuperable problem.
When stores know who you are, they can offer each customer a different price. The asymmetry of information means this generally benefits the store and hurts the customers.
Once the practice of price discrimination among customers gets big enough, there is no difference between "rewarding customers A, B and C with discounts" and "imposing a higher price on customers X, Y and Z" except presentation.
You can thwart this by paying cash, anonymously. Please join me in defending the right to pay cash, in insisting "cash or no sale".
The US has no justification for intervening in Yemen, and stands to gain nothing. It is doing this for the sake of alliance with Salafi Arabia, which is worse than Iran in terms of spreading an extreme and dangerous form of Islam around the world.
US citizens: call for firing Saboteur of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The US is closing Palestine's diplomatic office because Palestine has called for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel's crimes.
The only way it can be allowed to stay open is if Palestine enters "direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel." This is impossible because of Israel's extreme demands for starting negotiations, and because Netanyahu has already said he is not interested.
US claims to be interested in serious negotiations are a pretense since serious negotiations would require applying sanctions to Israel.
Palestine's claims to be working engaged in serious negotiations are also a pretense; those are not happening for the reasons stated above.
The ICC, if it investigates, would consider Palestinian crimes as well as Israeli crimes.
McDonalds workers are striking in the UK.
US intervention built up the violence that now forces thousands to flee their homes in Central America.
UK Trade Minister Lobbied Brazil on Behalf of Oil Giants.
"Republicans have delegitimized taxes in order to delegitimize government."
A BBC TV personality has been taken off the air due to vague, unstated accusations. They don't say what he allegedly did, only that someone considered it "inappropriate".
"Inappropriate" is not concrete enough to be a valid accusation. It stats a judgment call on which people can disagree.
Thus, my response when someone is accused of "inappropriate behavior" is, "Every accused deserves a concrete accusation, which has a clear definition. No one should be punished for a vague and insubstantial accusation. Those should be disregarded."
Flat-Earthers have jumped on the bandwagon of "Don't trust experts; believe only what you see." That approach entails giving up the benefit of science and going back to the ignorance of the stone age.
Almost half of millennials oppose banning assault weapons. Is this the influence of video games?
The GOP Has Done the Impossible: Make Tax Cuts Unpopular.
A study suggests that Tory cutbacks killed 45,000 people in Britain between 2010 and 2014.
This doesn't count people who die because their families can't afford food, heat, or a home.
Rule by plutocratist bullies is addictive to society: as their policies make life harder and more risky for most voters, many voters want to elect a strongman (i.e., a plutocratist bully) to "protect" them.
The bully's hotel in Panama proved an excellent vehicle for others to launder money.
Fake-news bullshit, organized by carefully planned insidious campaigns, is defeating truth.
The current economic system is badly designed, because it persistently leads to bad results. What would it mean to fix it?
Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans celebrated the downfall of Mugabe.
However, it may not make much difference for them except which thieves are in power.
Plastic has reached the deepest ocean trenches, and is damaging animals there.
Germany Bans Children's "Smart" Watches over Surveillance Concerns.
The right to privacy should be not limited to children. We should not allow businesses to tie important activities to snooping, thus to pressure adults to "choose" the snooping to participate in the activities.
Anti-Abortion GOP Congress Shrugs as Program That Helps New Mothers Expires.
In a loss for science, 105 skeletons that are thousands of years old have been "returned" to an indigenous group which will bury them in a secret location.
This skeleton was arbitrarily assigned to a specific indigenous group because it was found on their territory. Today's indigenous cultures did not exist when humans entered Australia; they therefore changed, moved, and subdivided, and some of them disappeared along the way. It is purely arbitrary to relate the 40,000-year-old skeleton of Mungo Man to any specific indigenous group that existed recently.
But what if we could? What if the skeleton were only 2,000 years old, and reliably assigned to a people whose writings we can read? We would say it is for archaeologists to study and belongs in a museum.
There is no reason to let religion triumph over science just because the corpse belonged to an indigenous person in the present-day US or Australia.
The primary value of old human skeletons is what they can contribute to human knowledge of the past. They can contribute this only through scientific study, and we should preserve them for that.
US citizens: Call on Facebook to stop helping antiabortionists spread lies.
Even if you're not a used of Facebook, as I hope you are not, you can still sign the petition.
Everyone: call on Jim Beam to resist the right-wing campaign against Mila Kunis.
An Egyptian is being prosecuted for saying that the water in the Nile is not safe to drink.
I am sure that statement is true, but it is no shame to Egypt. How could any large river that flows past cities be safe to drink from?
What is a shame to Egypt is that it prosecutes people for stating unpleasant facts.
A cartel of big drug companies have driven up the price of insulin in the US so that some diabetics can't afford it. The executive who presided over one of the companies has now been proposed as the Saboteur of Health.
Independent casualty investigators say the US discards information about bombing raids such that it is hard to investigate how many people they killed.
Documenting what various fossil fuel companies knew about the danger of global heating, and when, and how they covered it up.
This can provide a basis for suing them.
A small charge on plastic bags to put products in in the UK has cut the quantity used by 85%. Now there is interest in trying to cut the use of other kinds of packaging as well.
The idea may not work as well for other kinds of packaging that are put on by the store before purchase.
Most people condemn poor people that use tricks to get a little more benefits, even though that is likely to mean food for them or their children, but excuse rich people for dodging millions in taxes.
The survey was done in the UK, but I think it would be similar in the US.
The FCC has eliminated several rules that limited radio and TV consolidation.
The troll would like to have just one media company dominating the airwaves, and that one right-wing.
Australian doctors implore the Australian government to allow them to go to Manus Island and treat the boat people Australia dumped there.
Drug Traffickers Taught the Rich How to Hide Money in Tax Havens.
School "security" drills with imitation killers shooting imitation guns occasionally protect some students, but they expose millions of students experiences that can traumatize them.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been a model, showing how a government regulator can protect the public. Naturally, plutocratist politicians have been fighting to make it ineffective.
Senator Warner, plutocratist Democrat, proposes to deregulate payday loan lenders.
There may be a crash in commercial digital publication, and its visible form is conversion from text to video.
For me, publishing in video means effectively disappearing.
But even when there is no technical obstacle, there is always the inherent drawback of video: it takes too long! You can't skim over the uninteresting parts of a video. You have to slog through it.
I will do this, once in a while, when I think something is very interesting. Otherwise, I reject it straight off.
Some major European insurance companies are divesting from fossil fuels.
More than half the guns in the US belong to 3% of the population.
A lawsuit in California challenges the legitimacy of laws against prostitution.
Once, as an aside in a discussion of some other issue, someone used the old euphemism "selling your body". I asked, "If you sell your body, do you die? Do you have to find another body to inhabit?"
It is a mistake to refer to sex work as "selling" one's body, or even "renting" it. (There are science fiction stories in which people do rent out their bodies for others to operate, but that is not possible today.) Sex work is a kind of service.
I don't use that service because sex, for me, is no good unless it is part of an affectionate relationship. I don't need that relationship to be monogamous or permanent, but I need to feel confident that it will continue for a while. I could hardly persuade myself that a prostitute was making love with me from her affection and desire for me, so the service doesn't interest me.
These attitudes of mine are no reason for me to disapprove of the customers of sex workers.
Aung San Suu Kyi is complicit in the atrocities against the Rohingya.
People told me that that was her attitude when I visited Burma in 2015. At the same time, the military's power was quite visible.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the Republican bill, which is also designed to squeeze millions of Americans out of their medical care.
Also object to its attempts to ban abortion. And to tax cuts for the rich.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to drop bogus felony charges against inauguration protesters.
Would-be Latin-American asylum-seekers are suing the US for illegal, dishonest and sometimes violent practices designed to deny refugees the right to apply for asylum.
New South Wales's legislature came within one vote of legalizing assisted suicide, though limited to terminally ill people.
Anyone blocked from suicide by physical incapacity should have the right to ask for help in dying.
Senator Franken is accused of forcibly kissing a woman, and something else.
It is not clear to me what the second action consisted of. Was it grabbing her breasts, or was it making a photo which appeared to show him grabbing her breasts (but without actually doing so)?
I think it was the latter, because if it had been the former, describing the action would have been simple and straightforward.
Even if she found that annoying, it was not groping.
A woman said that Bush I squeezed her ass as they were part of a group photo, in 1992 when he was president and not in a wheelchair.
The (old) Keystone pipeline has leaked 200,000 gallons of oil. This is one reason not to build the larger Keystone XL pipeline.
The main reason not to build it is to keep oil in the ground. To avoid disaster we need to keep 80% of the known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, and we may as well start with the highly polluting tar sands oil that would be shipped through the Keystone XL pipeline.
Giving fairly small amounts of cash to poor people, with no strings, turns out to reduce illness and help children go to school.
The fossil fuel industry already has a lot of influence on the world climate negotiations, but Ukraine, acting for the US, thinks that is not enough. It wants to invite individual companies to participate directly.
Many dissenting views face being banned at US universities because others consider them "dehumanizing" of someone.
I disagree with most of those views (except those of Erika Christakis, who advocated only freedom of expression), but I defend the right to advocate them. Our respect for freedom of speech is measured by our willingness to defend the expression of views we disagree with.
The FDA approved a pill that permits a radio-based system to verify that the patient took the pill.
These pills suppress the patient's liberty. I consider them legitimate in the special case where the patient would otherwise be involuntarily hospitalized for psychosis.
Aside from that, it should be illegal to sell them.
Prime Minister Ardern of New Zealand did not kowtow to the bully.
Norway's state investment fund is considering divesting from oil and natural gas.
Israel is evicting Palestinian shepherds from their lands near the Jordan River. This could be preparation for annexing that land.
The ACLU made Sherwood, Arkansas, stop its practice of dumping fines and jail and more fines on poor people.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is prosecuting students, faculty and alumni for "trespassing" after a nonviolent protest on campus.
The UK's Human Rights Act is being as an excuse for various British territories to conceal who gets the income received by front companies established in them.
One corrective measure would be to tax income paid to foreign front companies that don't reveal this information. The tax can be levied on whoever pays them either dividends or business expenses.
However, the UK should revise its human rights act so it does not cover this issue.
Truth-defying discourse means anyone can claim anything, based on nothing but prejudice, and per influence is based on per identity rather than on any grounds.
I won't use the term "post-truth" because that declares truth-defying discourse the eventual victor. I think we should continue resisting it.
Deforestation in Queensland, permitted by a government bought by business, is endangering the Great Barrier Reef.
Politicians in several countries are now denying that air pollution makes people sick and can kill them.
Systems that try to do "extreme vetting" of immigrants to detect possible terrorists will flag a large number of false positives, and they will inevitably carry out racial, ethnic and religious profiling.
Hope Not Hate sued a UK right-wing politician for libel after he claimed, falsely, that the organization tended to "pursue violent and undemocratic means."
The politician was compelled to state publicly that that was not true.
Saboteur Zinke has undermined protection of elephants by allowing American elephant hunters to bring trophy heads back to the US.
Drought and famine in the Congo have forced 4 million people to flee.
As Africa's population is increasing rapidly, and global heating will soon start reducing agricultural production, it is clear that in a few decades Africa will not be able to feed its population. A big decrease in the birth rate is urgently needed to avoid mass starvation.
Cambodia has become a one-party state, terminating its attempt at democracy.
A four-day work week would reduce many of the problems people suffer, including stress, lack of sleep, and isolation in the family.
Alas, this goes in the opposite direction to what plutocrats want: to knock down wages and make poor people work long hours.
Women accuse Moore of hounding and pressuring them for dates.
Opium production in Afghanistan has reached a record level, and now Afghanis are becoming heroin addicts.
If Pence didn't know about the contacts, he should not have claimed to know.
House Approves $700B "Cash Cow for Weapons Companies" -— But Single Payer [Medical Care] "Too Expensive".
However, those who are guilty should not be executed. The death penalty is an injustice in itself.
Those found innocent should be freed, because imprisonment without trial is tyranny.
Along with marriage for same-sex couples, how about civil partnership for different-sex couples?
Now It's Official: the Less You Have, the More Austerity Will Take from You.
Freeing fundamentalist Mormon women from the power of the sect leader should not imply evicting them from their homes and leaving them isolated in penury.
I can't see anything about Iran that justifies war, or proxy war, against it.
The speaker of Indonesia's parliament has been accused of corruption.
He crashed his car and was admitted to a hospital with injuries.
Focusing on today's damage and helping today's victims is a fundamental mistake — the long-term damage will make today's damage look like a pin-prick.
If a tax established for the purpose of helping today's victims is heavy enough, it might have the effect of discouraging fossil fuel use. It might thus do the necessary long-term job; but we should not presume it will be heavy enough to achieve that.
If not, we had better tax the fossil fuel companies based on the damage that they will cause.
The bully toured Asia, and fawned on tyrants and killers that seem tougher than he is.
Note how the author of the article presented the TPP as something unquestionably desirable. Don't fall for that plutocracy!
However, Stiglitz agrees with the bully on one thing: that NAFTA is harmful.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject Brett Talley, evaluated as totally unqualified to be a US judge.
US citizens: Oppose SCROTUS's plan to exclude pesticides from the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
Pesticides endangered bald eagles and orcas.
The Israel lobby in Britain has recruited 4/5 of the Conservative MPs, but it normally exercises its power behind the scenes. The scandal of Minister Patel's "private" visit to Israel (part of lobbying her) shows its normal practices.
Israel refused to accept a visit by members of the European Parliament because they have considered the idea of sanctions against the occupation and blockade of Palestine.
"Jewish-American leaders are slowly beginning to understand just how vast the gap is between their values and those represented by the [extreme right-wing] Israeli government."
They are the Israeli equivalent of the bully and his supporters, but they can do more damage because only a small minority opposes them.
Now that real anti-semitism shows its face in the US, Congress must resist the pressure to mislabel criticism of Israel as anti-semitism.
Norway has given nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu and his wife permission to move there. Will Israel allow him to leave?
Israel has blocked the UN Special Rapporteur from visiting occupied
Palestine, but he has condemned the apartheid occupation regime (not
using that name) and the blockade of Gaza, and endorsed sanctions (not
using that name) to pressure Israel to end these practices.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-01 because the old link was broken.]
Israel is exporting its occupation tactics and systems to the US for use by the plutocrats' occupation of poor people and racial minorities.
A woman who was a client of lawyer Roy Moore says he grabbed her ass as she was leaving his office.
A lawyer's consultation with a client is not a sexual encounter in which one could tentatively take one more step. What Moore did on that occasion was simply wrong.
That Moore was married was irrelevant — this would have been equally wrong if he had been single at the time. Let's not support prudish pressure for monogamy.
Congress has set up a very inconvenient system for reporting sexual harassment, so inconvenient it seems to be designed to discourage reports. A bill proposes to reform that.
Republicans are exploring various excuses to kick some Americans off Medicaid.
GOP Tax Bill Would Trigger $25 Billion in Cuts to Medicare, Warns CBO.
That's 25 billion per year.
AT&T said that if it gets a 3-billion-a year tax cut, it will put one billion, just once, into domestic phone service.
Great deal for AT&T, bad deal for the USA.
Forget the Nordic Diet. Try their Tax Plan.
Congress is considering a bill to deny Israel the use of US funds to pay the military to mistreat Palestinian children.
That is a very narrow limitation, but it is a start.
I suppose Israel's lobbyists can defeat it, but by doing so they will reveal what they do with US funds.
SCROTUS have now decided to make individual tax cuts expire in 2025, but the corporation tax cuts would be permanent.
Roy Moore's wife posted an edited version of a letter of support for the primary in August and passed it off as recent.
If Roy Moore himself were not complicit in this, it would be his obligation to correct the falsehood.
Russia used an estimated 150,000 twitter accounts to send messages of ethnic hatred before the UK's referendum about leaving the EU.
Researchers have used genetic modification to create a variety of banana that is safe from an incurable and unstoppable fungus.
I have no objection to this kind of genetic modification, assuming the modified plant does no harm to people or wildlife — and the chance that it would do that harm is tiny.
However, I fear it will carry devastating patent pollution that would make it dangerous to grow other than for giant plantations.
Pakistani thugs attacked sit-in protesters.
The protesters demand harsh prosecution of blasphemy — a despicable policy because it tramples freedom of speech. However, they too have freedom of speech, including the freedom to peacefully advocate this policy.
Transcanada cancelled two planned pipelines in Canada. Short-sighted businesses say the cancellation was a disaster.
In fact, it could help avoid disaster, but only if it reduces the extraction of fossil fuels, especially tar sands oil. I have a sad suspicion that the reason for this cancellation was that Transcanada now believes it can build the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline, so it no longer needs a substitute.
A landlord company has preemptively prepared to evict all its tenants when impending changes in the welfare system cause many of them to fall behind on rent.
Wikileaks used to serve the cause of exposing corruption and lies. Assange has brought it down to the level of corrupt lies.
The bias in the electoral college is not specifically due to small Republican-leaning states.
That doesn't mean the electoral college doesn't slant presidential elections. We have seen two Republican presidents win in the electoral college while losing the popular vote. The only conclusion we can draw from this analysis is that the slant isn't specifically due to the small states.
It's possible that neither of those Republicans would have "won" the election if not for Republican voter-suppression.
Students protested in London demanding higher taxes on the rich.
A woman in London was ostracized by a religious sect; a court then denied her the right to see her children because they might be ostracized too if she did.
This ruling gave too much power to any group motivated to ostracize people. If other people hurt your children because they hate you, you are not responsible for that harm — those who do it are responsible.
A military coup has removed Mugabe from power in Zimbabwe. He will be replaced by his former "chief enforcer".
Perhaps this means only a change in the name of the tyrant.
The solidarity economy is making progress in the US, especially among minorities.
Australians voted by a wide margin to legalize same-sex marriage.
The UK is trying to block the ICC from prosecuting the crime of aggressive war.
A Brazilian supreme court judge calls for legalizing drugs to take away the power that drug gangs exercise.
"Russia is meddling in western politics as it has nothing to lose."
The US and Europe could do various punishing things to Russia, if they were united. But what is really needed is not punishment of Russia, but rather to pressure Russia into stopping this meddling. However, there is no way to make a deal with Russia that includes stopping, because there is never clear proof that Russia is doing this. It is always a matter of surmise and probabilities.
US prosecutors systematically pressure unauthorized immigrants to sign away the right to ask for asylum as part of plea bargains.
Congress has a sneaky bipartisan plan to reduce the regulation of some big finance companies.
The ostensible reason is to help the smaller community banks, but naturally it benefits the big banks more.
Appliances that respond to voice control manipulate people's feelings.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, prisoner of Iran, has become a diplomatic pawn.
I am concerned that elevating her importance to the UK might convince Iran that she is a valuable hostage for concessions.
I can't assume that she is innocent of the charges against her; but if Iran won't give her a fair and speedy trial, she might as well be innocent as far as justice is concerned.
A bribery scandal has hit the Indian Supreme Court.
Sessions is considering appointing a special prosecutor to investigate wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.
I don't find the idea inherently outrageous; the Clintons or their foundation could well have done something illegal or wrong. However, I don't trust Republicans to do this honestly. I expect they will twist the law to make mountains out of molehills — as they did with the Clinton emails.
A Peruvian farmer, whose farm faces the threat of flooding due to a melting glacier, has sued a fossil fuel company in Germany for contributing to that danger.
It is possible nowadays to estimate the fraction of present or likely damages due to global heating in any place that are the responsibility of any particular emitter.
AI security systems pipe video from cameras to servers which use machine learning programs to try to recognize threats. People worry that these secret, nonfree AI programs are biased.
A company that sends such data to someone else's server to be analyzed is making itself the victim of SaaSS (Service as a Software Substitute).This is equivalent, in denying that company the control of its own computing, to running a nonfree program.
The article doesn't mention the worst threat of these systems: videos transmitted to a server can be recorded by the NSA, which makes this a very dangerous massive surveillance system.
Of course, we know better than to trust the NSA to be "good guys". Don't be a sucker!
Operating a video camera that is connected to a network, or that can make the video available other than locally, should be forbidden by law except when authorized by a specific court order.
On the other hand, if the camera is locally connected to a computer that runs a free machine learning to analyze the video, and which doesn't send the video anywhere else, that seems basically legitimate as long as the program's behavior is not biased. Given that the program is free, it will be possible to check for bias and correct it.
Jacques Pauw, author of a book which accused South Africa's State Security Agency of crimes, is being prosecuted for revealing secrets.
No word yet of any intention to investigate the crimes described in the book.
Capitalism in its current form is totally broken: mergers have nearly eliminated competition, and unmeasured externalities are bigger than the total economy that's included in markets.
The rich divert so much wealth into tax dodging that they get most of the economic growth that occurs.
Under these circumstances, the rest of us have no interest in economic growth.
Bernie Sanders: We Must End Global Oligarchy.
Killer robots are an easier challenge than driver-less cars, say those proposing the UN set up a treaty to ban the development of the killer robots.
A book exposing Chinese lines of influence in Australia was dropped by its publisher from fears that the Chinese government might sue the publisher for defamation.
Is Australian defamation law too lenient towards plaintiffs? Why should Australia allow foreign powers to sue in this way?
"American Apparel" now makes clothing outside the US. Its new union-busting owner, Gildan, makes clothes in sweatshops that work people into the ground.
Everyone: call on REI to give its staff a raise to $15 an hour.
Greenpeace is suing Norway for plans to explore the Barents sea for oil.
Don't be fooled by Canada's green rhetoric: tar sands mining is the worst of the worst, combining CO2 pollution and toxic pollution.
We need to work out how humans will prosper in a world of robots.
The example of hunter gatherers shows that people can be contented with life without having to work very much or very hard. But they did that in a highly egalitarian society, with no billionaire oligarchs.
It has been cut back enough that it won't often lead to gross injustice.
Miniature farm robots could deposit pesticides only on specific infested plants.
If this enables the use of much less pesticide, I am for that. But that doesn't make it wise or safe to use neonicotinoids.
Making it easier for businesses and harder for people in wheelchairs — isn't that just what you'd expect from Republicans?
There was a time when I had trouble walking, due to a knee injury. There was a time when I broke an ankle and needed to use two crutches or else a wheelchair. These problems of mine were temporary, but they taught me to appreciate the importance of the ADA, for those who are temporarily disabled and even more so for those who are permanently disabled.
If teenage criminals are not afraid of being jailed, they won't be afraid of being jailed for longer. What we need to do is get them something better than crime to live for.
Washington DC's "independent consultant" to investigate violence by thugs at the bully's inauguration appears to be insufficiently independent of the thugs.
House GOP Tax Plan Would Hit Grad Students With Massive Tax Hike.
A woman accused Roy Moore of trying to push her into sex and then threatening to use his power as DA to silence her if she told anyone.
On this occasion he seems to have been too slow to take no for an answer, as the woman thought he was about to rape her.
Roy Moore, as an Alabama judge, often argued to interpret rape shield laws laws to favor the accused rapists.
I can understand how a person can become enraged and continue shooting someone threatening even after that person has ceased to be dangerous. But people should not do a job that involves carrying a gun unless they have enough self control not to do that. Once Zion was on the ground, he with his knife was not an immediate threat to anyone; Higgens should have stopped shooting immediately then.
The Republicans' tax attacks favor people who get money from investments over people who work for their income.
The UK itself has laws that serve great for tax dodging.
TSA employees fail to find weapons or bombs a lot more than half the time in tests.
New technology will lead to a large increase in US oil extraction in the coming decade. This will lead to economic pressure on the US government not to "throw away the investment" by not extracting all that oil.
Scientists forecast "widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity" if we don't cut back emissions.
Do we want to "throw away" all the investment we have made in our civilization? Burning the oil can do that. To avoid it, we need to leave 80% of the known reserves — as of a few years ago — in the ground.
The tax attacks would mean 72 billion dollars in tax cuts for the rich in 2018. Here are some other things the US could do with that money.
Sessions is not planning to name a special investigator for the Clinton Foundation.
US citizens: oppose the nomination of a saboteur to head the Council on Environmental Quality.
US citizens: call on Congress to let veterans have medical marijuana.
Polish President Condemns Far-Right Scenes at Independence Day March.
Donald Trump Jr. asked Wikileaks to help the troll's campaign, and Wikileaks responded by begging for some sort of deal.
The UK government wants parliament to approve a hypothetical future business-supremacy treaty with the US in advance, regardless of what the threaty might say.
These uniformed thugs are a menace to society. For our safety, we must prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
A remote-control sex toy was found to make audio recordings of the conversation between the two users.
If someone is served ads by phone from the major advertising networks, it is easy to buy ads that will tell you when that person goes to a certain place and how that person uses apps.
A single "like" on Facebook can give substantial information about the used who clicked on that.
The troll's nominee for Saboteur of Health is a pharma executive.
Pension funds should swear off fossil fuel investments, and some have done so.
Conservative Governments Really Do Kill People.
In the UK, this comes to tens of thousands of people.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says Australia must bring refugees to Australia from Manus and Nauru.
Information on that organization.
The latest UK veiled welfare cuts are pushing many families into losing their homes or going without food.
You shouldn't have a third baby, or a first baby, if you would need public assistance to take care of it. However, punishing children for being born in such families makes no sense, either in terms of justice (the children didn't choose) or in terms of future well-being (making them grow up stunted, physically or mentally, is bad for society as well as for them personally). Discouraging burdensome reproduction has to be done in other ways.
Many Britons will demand exit from the EU as long as UK austerity leaves them at a disadvantage compared with workers coming from other EU countries.
The root of this problem is that the EU favors business, on the balance, over workers. In an imaginary labor shortage, a Europe-wide labor market could pressure businesses to compete to offer high wages and benefits, but in the real circumstances the effect is to help businesses push wages down.
Polish neo-Nazis call for killing Muslims and the government smiles.
Cities in the Pacific Northwest are using zoning laws to block fossil fuel pipelines.
The US needs to limit ownership of some kinds of firearms and take them away from people.
The SCROTUS tax attacks run afoul of the "Byrd rule" which requires 60 votes in the senate for a law that would cause a lasting increase in the spending deficit.
It is ironic that this rule was imposed by Republicans who like to use the deficit as a tool to cut spending programs that help non-rich Americans. Their concern about the deficit evaporates when it comes to helping rich people.
Since refugees in Britain are kept destitute, even a fine for littering can cost more money than they have, and result in their being convicted of the crime of nonpayment, leading to their deportation.
It's like the US money machine that squeezes fines out of poor people for being too poor to pay fines.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter and senators to co-sponsor S. 1539, which would ban those convicted of domestic violence from buying or owning guns.
US citizens: call on Congress to renew the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment whereby the US government does not interfere with medical marijuana legalized by states.
Manus Island Police Begin Destroying Shelters Housing Refugees.
1/4 of the Rohingya children that fled to Bangladesh are so malnourished that they are likely to die from it.
Let's regulate Facebook and Google's addictive technology, especially now that it threatens privacy and democracy. We can impose requirements on such business to protect society's needs.
Their pressure is like a current that is hard to swim against, but you can swim perpendicular to the current and get out of it. You can come do as I do, getting your news and political commentary from other sites. Facebook and Google collect no data from me.
Egypt is arresting people and disappearing them; often that means killing them.
Estonia's new copyright "compromise" takes the extreme repression from France and Spain and calls it a "compromise".
US climate activists, representing states and cities, asked to be admitted to the Bonn climate conference as an alternative US delegation.
The conference ought to recognize that the official US delegation is there only for sabotage, and expel it.
Some fields of science have sunk to such low quality of research that most of the published results fail to replicate. For the sake of knowledge we need to fix this.
A secret appeals court decision ordered a site to identify the employees that posted reviews of a certain employer.
The motive is a good one — that employer is facing a criminal investigation — but the danger that employees will be identified to employers they criticize threatens to chill the system entirely.
UK thugs were fired for expressing their frustration by suggesting that they wished a troubled adolescent would be raped.
We must add this to global heating, which will continue leading to violence — the only uncertainty is whether any of the world will escape that violence.
The saboteurs want to drill for fossil fuels all around Alaska.
Citizens of Massachusetts: tell your state rep to support sentencing reform and reject increases in government surveillance.
US citizens: phone certain Republican congresscritters to oppose even one penny of tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations.
George Blake became a Russian spy after he saw how the US Air Force bombed civilians all across North Korea.
I can understand the feelings that this must have inspired. However, I know that the Communist regimes have often done even worse things.
Sanders calls for specific reforms in the Democratic Party.
Hunter-gatherers developed a finely-honed system for discouraging man from thinking they were superior to the rest of the band. We have forms of the same mechanisms, but we don't use them as effectively as our ancestors did.
Business privatized New Orleans schools after the hurricane there, and it was a disaster. Now they plan to do the same thing in Puerto Rico.
Teachers protested peacefully, demanding that the imposed government reopen schools whose buildings are sound. The imposed government arrested them.
FEMA has failed to hand out tarpaulins in Puerto Rico to cover the tops of the buildings whose roofs were torn off by the hurricane.
Winter in New Zealand is 1 month shorter nowadays than it was 100 years ago. This can knock everything out of whack.
The US has changed the same way.
America's Cruel Way to Punish Poor Debtors: Take Away Their Driver's License. This can mean a life sentence to debt bondage.
Young people are now suing to stop greenhouse gas emissions in several countries.
The US is running an event at the Bonn climate conference — to promote fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Increasing evidence shows that neonicotinoid pesticides endanger pollinators. A Tory minister now says he will further restrict their use and supports an EU-wide ban on using them outside of greenhouses.
US officials show no sign of understanding this.
US citizens: if your congresscritter is a Democrat, call on per to read the Democratic Party autopsy and respond to it.
Maybe some of them could use rehabilitation for some reason. But surely some of them are homeless and begging simply because they are poor.
Jelani Maraj (who I had never heard of) could be imprisoned for a long time for "sexual assault". What does that concretely mean?
Due to the vagueness of the term "sexual assault" together with the dishonest law that labels sex with adolescents as "rape" even if they are willing, we cannot tell from this article what sort of acts Maraj was found to have committed. So we can't begin to judge whether those acts were wrong.
I see at least three possibilities. Perhaps those acts really constituted rape — it is a possibility. Or perhaps the two had sex willingly, but her parents freaked out and demanded prosecution. Or, intermediate between those two, perhaps he pressured her into having sex, or got her drunk.
The Zetas drug gang massively bribed politicians and thugs in Mexico while carrying out lots of murders.
The "War on Drugs" fuels all this. Help get that poor war off drugs!
Atlanta is using eminent domain power to force blacks out of their homes, to support gentrification projects.
[The overreaction to] terrorism makes it hard for banks to get your money to people in crisis.
Muslim charities find it difficult to operate in the US. Even when they go to great lengths to follow the rules, they are shut down.
Whether his article was correct or flawed, Professor Mark Jacobson does wrong to sue the lead author of another article which claims it was flawed.
One UK MP has accused another of "inappropriate behavior", and the article gives us enough detail to see exactly what "inappropriate" means.
It means sending her a letter, once in a while, asking to go out with her. There was no pressure in them, as I see it. On the other hand, some might say that the high frequency of his letters — five in a mere 20 years — constituted pressure.
The vague word "inappropriate" makes it easy to put people in the wrong for asking for a date. We must reject vague accusations like that.
Aside from being a direct injustice to specific men, and sowing fear among many more, this distortion also wrongs the many women who have experienced rape, groping, or threats and pressure for sex. Surely most of those complaints are valid. Exaggerations like this one will undermine the response to those valid complaints.
By contrast, what he is accused of doing to another woman, rubbing his crotch against her, went too far. You mustn't do that to people who have not given a direct invitation.
One aspect of the fake news phenomenon is that people circulate articles on "social media" as a way of showing allegiance to an identity. Whether the article is likely to be true and correct is a secondary matter.
The difference between what they do on "social media" and what I do on stallman.org is that I'm not trying to win approval by demonstrating adherence to an identity. Also, I have some heuristics for avoiding false claims — not perfect, but they help.
What the author says "we" do nowadays does not apply to me, and I hope you know better than to act like that. I post about the things I want to tell people. What I wish to keep private, I don't post about.
It is too bad the article falls into the confused conceptual habits of referring to publications as "content" and to reading them as "consumption". I think people think using those terms makes them sophisticated. But that doesn't make the point invalid.
1000 immigrants who were given permission to work, under DACA, rallied in Washington for renewal of that program.
During the past 1500 years, natural climate changes caused social upheaval. We are on the path to cause heating bigger than any of those natural changes.
The effects will endanger everyone — even wealthy regions can encounter devastation it cannot cope with.
A rational allocation of funds to the climate danger would be to put almost all the funds into curbing the greenhouse gas level. (This in addition to cutting off all subsidies to fossil fuels.) When a region is devastated in a way that is likely to repeat in a few years, we need to move the population elsewhere rather than rebuild in place.
This gives us the best chance of avoiding global disaster, and that must be our priority.
Comcast, which profits from an effective monopoly on internet subscriptions in Colorado City, spent $200,000 to campaign to stop the city from even considering the possibility.
The city needed to have a referendum to begin considering the issue because of a Colorado law purchased by the main ISPs. This is an instance of how business corrupts our governments at every level.
Americans, when you see an expensive ad campaign for any political question, I suggest you suspect that the ad campaign advocates a course of surrender to business — so, if you're not an expert, vote against the ad campaign.
Dear Senators Portman & Blumenthal: What Should Blogs Do If SESTA Passes?
Tamil men say that Sri Lanka's prison thugs raped and tortured them when they were prisoners.
Former senator Feingold: US Campaign Finance Laws Resemble Legalized Bribery. We Must Reform Them.
The troll's Saboteur of Medicaid wants to encourage states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs.
Based on the UK's example, we can expect that these work requirements will be enforced in an intentionally error-prone way that errs in the direction of cutting people off.
The bully is dismantling the regulatory part of the US government, endangering the safety, health, and welfare of all Americans.
Some men that don't commit rape do encourage or tolerate rape, and that is a substantial part of the problem.
I agree with the overall point of the article, but I should make a few points.
Tax dodging is corruption and it makes democracy rotten.
Tax Avoidance May Be Legal But It's Bankrupting Our Social Order.
Tillerson, during his career at Exxon, was the manager of two different offshore subsidiaries that were set up for tax dodging.
US citizens: call on US bank regulators to cut off Wells Fargo.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 1-866-665-4470 and call for removing the clause in the tax bill that declares fetuses to be persons (and abortion to be murder).
A shortage of labor in some fields is starting to give some British workers a raise.
The WTO has issued guidelines for farms to reduce use of antibiotics. I think we need to make laws about this, rather than depend on farms to act voluntarily.
SCROTUS plans a "Public Lands and Waters Giveaway to Dirty Industry."
Nation That Says It Can't Afford Medicare for All Has Spent $5.6 Trillion on War Since 2011.
War can be though of as negative medical care, since it creates the sort of problems that medicine aims to correct.
Many employers give Equifax data about their employees, including their salaries.
This should not be allowed.
FEMA is unable to help people in Puerto Rico because its methods assume functioning infrastructure, and because its staff can't speak Spanish.
It seems that FEMA designed its methods for rather small disasters.
Britain kidnaped dissidents for Gaddafi, then based on what Gaddafi's torturers made them say, put various people under house arrest incommunicado.
Football fans in Hong Kong shouted their rebuke when China's national anthem was played. "We are Hong Kong."
If the football association demands fans give their names, Hong Kongers should boycott the football matches. A few months of low attendance will make the football association back down.
Senator Graham admitted that the SCROTUS tax plan is a gift to the billionaires that the Republicans work for.
It also includes a ban on abortions, although that has nothing to do with tax.
The American racial distinction between "black" and "white" was set up in 1676 so that all the poor people in Virginia wouldn't unite against the rich plantation owners.
By telling some poor people that they were "white", the plantation owners convinced the poor "whites" to identify with the masters, the plantation owners.
SCROTUS want to make Puerto Rico into a low-wage haven for companies, especially planet-roasting companies.
A former president of Facebook admits that the system was designed to exploit the "vulnerability" of users.
Please don't let yourself be used by Facebook. Especially, don't let it use you to get data about your friends. (Giving data about your enemies might be ok.)
The ACLU has accused the thugs of Kern County of frequent unjustified violence, sometimes deadly violence.
The bully is a coward at heart; in China he accepted Xi's demand for a press conference with no questions.
Asking the bully questions is about as useless as asking Xi questions, but it remains the case that a good US president would not have agreed to this.
Three Richest Americans Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom Half of US Combined: Report.
Progressive candidates won many races this week, showing that the Democratic Party must turn progressive in order to win.
Chinese dissidents face extra repression because the troll is visiting.
The right-wing bigots worked with billionaires, and perhaps with Russia, to make the bully president. Now they will work to protect him from Mueller's investigation.
The owner of the New England Patriots (a football team) owns a Bermuda company set up not to disclose his income.
Presumably this is tax dodging.
Bloomberg's war on coal now targets European coal-burning electric generators.
Ceasing to burn coal means at least less toxic pollution to breathe today. But in order for it to mean less greenhouse emission, we must avoid replacing it with burning natural gas.
Australian protesters face criminal charges for dropping banners from the roof of the Sydney opera house.
The repression of protesters in Australia is not as severe as what it did to the boat people, but it reflects the same general attitude.
Tax havens are not a fringe phenomenon. They are at the center of dooH niboR. We suffer lack of medical care, hunger, homelessness, occasionally even collapsing bridges, because haven't made rich people and businesses pay their proper share of taxes.
Sometimes their tax dodging is lawful; sometimes it is a crime. I consider that a secondary detail, because either way the primary point is that we have to put a stop to it.
Who is morally to blame — the system, or those who abuse it? Both are!
The citizens of Maine voted to adopt ranked choice voting. The legislators passed a law to get rid of it. Now the citizens are organizing to veto that.
The NHS Is Still Standing. But Underfunding Will Soon Bring It Down.
We need global standards for safety and minimum wage, to protect subcontracted workers.
But we also need global mechanisms for enforcing workers rights — for instance, their right to receive their pay. I think we need to limit imports from countries that don't effectively make employers pay their workers.
Sometimes the US doesn't adequately require employers to pay their workers. In some situations, we might want to require employers to post a bond to pay the workers if the company fails to. Or we might want to make the marketing front companies that sell the imported goods responsible for paying subcontracted workers.
Women who report sexual harassment often face harsh retaliation, even blacklisting.
The principal information obtained from the "paradise" papers.
Australia gave a coal plant a subsidy of $117 million, and the owner then moved a billion to tax-dodging investment.
It looks like the plant didn't really need a subsidy to keep operating.
Many prestigious US universities have invested in tax dodging.
Puerto Rico's imposed, unelected government is trying to use the hurricane's devastation as an excuse to privatize the schools. However, people in some towns are reopening their local public schools.
The troll is driving diplomats out of the foreign service. To make up for this loss will take many years, maybe decades.
Due to the hairtrigger mentality, when children are playing sports and collide and a hand touches what will someday be an erogenous zone, the staff treat this as a horrible incident.
We see the weasel-word "inappropriate" at work here.
Mexican women who miscarry a fetus can be imprisoned of murdering a baby.
Religious fanatics have done similar things in the US.
UK train companies are excited about new methods of selling tickets, that clearly will make users identify themselves.
The troll remains illegitimate as president. Merely not being impeached is insufficient to change that.
Ivory Coast and Ghana have made plans to curb deforestation for cocoa plantations.
US Military Consistently Fails to Report Domestic Violence to Gun Database, Senators Say. This is what enabled the recent Texas massacre.
Saboteur of Commerce Wilbur Ross appears to have exaggerated his assets in order to get onto Forbes magazine's list of the richest people.
The Charter of the Forest, in 1217, made the wilderness areas of England a commons that all could use.
A GOP congresscritter admitted publicly that the tax attacks are demanded by his rich funders.
A method for two parties to draw up fair electoral districts such that neither one gets an advantage from them.
This assumes that the parties are equally good at figuring out what is or isn't advantageous to them. That may be a valid assumption nowadays.
It also assumes that there are only two significant parties. In the US, some local officials are being elected by the Green Party and perhaps others.
Harvey Weinstein employed private investigators to pry into the lives of women he thought might accuse him.
The main effect was to frighten them, since they believed he could sabotage their careers.
US citizens: call on Mattis to make a plan for peace in Afghanistan.
US citizens: tell the Troll to send aid to Puerto Rico.
US citizens: endorse the "Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017."
Disney punished the LA Times for negative coverage by barring its reporters from movie previews. Many other reporters responded by saying they wouldn't go either, and Disney backed down.
The CEO of Disney seems to have political ambitions. Perhaps he was inspired by the bully. I don't think we should elect him.
The Labour Party grudgingly readmitted Moshé Machover, after many members protested that his support for Palestinians' rights is not antisemitism.
My mother told me about the antisemitism she experienced as a girl. After Easter, her fellow students, some of them normally her friends, would run after her as a mob shouting "Christ-killer."
In the 1930s, antisemitism in the US was not hidden. There were clubs that did not allow Jews in, and places Jews were not allowed to live. (This partially resembled the way blacks were treated.) After the holocaust, antisemitism became socially unacceptable, so I have hardly ever encountered it. Maybe the bully and his friends have brought it back.
Supporting the rights of Palestinians is not antisemitism.
Most massacres in the US are carried out with guns designed for war. Why does the US keep allowing people to buy and own them?
Thousands of South Koreans protested the arrival of the bully. They don't want him starting a war in their country.
An attempt to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions of meat and dairy companies shows they are in the big leagues, comparable with some wealthy countries.
Furthermore, they operate with government subsidies and undercut small farms around the world. These small farms aren't so dependent on fossil fuels.
Although Bono said he didn't know about his latest exposed investment in a tax-dodging scheme, U2 set up such a scheme for its own profits in 2006 and faced a protest for this in 2011.
The Country Music Awards threatened to eject any journalists that brought up issues such as gun control, or the murder with guns of country music fans.
Mexican soldiers carrying out the "war on drugs" are hardly ever prosecuted when they violate human rights, and those few who are prosecuted are hardly ever convicted.
Senator Sanders and some Democrats want to investigate the methods of tax dodging that are facilitated by the tax-dodging industry.
US citizens: call on Congress not to pass any tax laws before an investigation of the tax-dodging practices revealed by the "paradise" papers.
The "new home" for refugees that Australia dumped on Manus, which they are bring forced to move to, is not finished and has no running water.
Some US officials have taken up the policy of not mentioning the names of mass murderers, or hardly ever.
I support that policy — that's why I generally don't refer to the bully by name. He is a mass murderer too.
Big banks are involved in tax-dodging through tax havens.
The American Chemical Society won a US court order for ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub.
This won't stop determined users from reaching Sci-Hub, but it takes the US legal system one step further into general repression for the copyright industry.
The perpetrators of massacres are often guilty of domestic violence. If we stop those people from buying guns, it could mean fewer massacres.
South Africa's government is trying to quash the publication of a book exposing the corruption of the government.
What, then, were the thousands of bombs that Salafi Arabia dropped on Yemen? Could even a fool take such a biased accusation seriously?
Alas, I know of one fool who will.
Salafi Arabia has imposed a blockade on humanitarian aid into Yemen.
Spanish thugs have brought about prosecution against the humor magazine El Jueves for a satirical article. This shows that the arrogance of Spanish thugs is comparable to that of American thugs. It also demonstrates the repressiveness of the Spanish state.
As the article says, "Just because you're offended doesn’t mean you're right." That applies to any kind of offense.
The assassinated admiral Luis Carrero Blanco was the chosen successor of the dictator Franco, his comrade in rebelling against the Spanish Republic. After they won, their regime killed thousands of prisoners. Killing Carrero Blanco was as legitimate as killing Franco would have been.
Why does the Spanish state punish people for merely joking about this? My Spanish friends say that the right-wing ruling party, led today by Rajoy, is the descendant of Franco's party and includes many people who supported Franco's dictatorship.
Prosecuting people that joke about killing Carrero Blanco is the Spanish equivalent of putting up statues of confederate generals.
Syria has signed the Paris climate treaty, leaving the US as the only country openly opposed to saving the world from disaster.
Offshore Cash Helped Fund Steve Bannon's Attacks on Hillary Clinton.
This is not to say that Clinton is a great campaigner against tax-dodging. For that, we need President Sanders.
The Catholic Church is starting to face internal pressure to stop requiring priests to be celibate.
The argument against has lost its validity now that married women do not have to be dependent on their husbands.
Great as it is to use the internet to expose rapists, public shaming can become mob rule if it is used to deal with small annoyance that are not so clear cut.
If you decide not to rape people, it isn't very hard to recognize what you should avoid doing.
I've seen articles posted which say that men that show attraction to a women in a way the woman finds uncomfortable are culpable and deserve to be condemned. In effect, they treat a man as vicious if he does not have perfect judgment.
Asking a woman out too many times is one of the things that men can easily do because they are not mind-readers. I must have done it quite a few times.
I always believed that "no" meant "no." But many women wouldn't say "no" — instead they said things like, "Sorry, I have other plans for that evening". Believing them, I asked again for a different day. Each time, they were busy.
Eventually someone told me that the women who said this might mean they didn't want to go out with me. But even knowing that that message was sometimes a code, I could not determine in any given case whether it was a code or not. I agonized over that question with various women. The problem ended when I recognized that my asking for a date had never turned out well, so I stopped.
If some man is not entirely hopeless at dating, that doesn't mean he understands what to do. Most men are not powerful, nor polished. Many are flailing around in trial and error. Inevitably they hurt others' feelings as well as their own.
Instead of looking to jump down their throat when they get it wrong, calling them misogynists or abusers, how about helping them understand a good way to approach women? A way that won't offend, but also gives a hope of reciprocated interest?
Europe must stop extracting natural gas, as well as other fossil fuels, by 2035.
This is needed to stay within the Paris agreement limits, which as we know are too high to be almost sure of avoiding disaster.
The idea of natural gas as a "bridging fuel" has never made any sense except as an excuse to keep drilling and burning.
Egyptian TV hostess Doaa Salah has been sentenced to three years in prison for discussing the possibility of single women having babies.
Tories have struggled for years to protect tax dodging by the rich.
Part of the reason is that some of them engage in tax dodging.
A lobbying association for companies that help rich people dodge taxes boasted of having influence at the top of the UK government. This may be true, but perhaps the Tories would have served those companies even without lobbying.
The UK is subsidizing the Isle of Man so it can remain an aid to tax dodging.
Overprotecting your child is not a rational response to rare acts of random violence.
Suggestions for democratizing the Democratic Party.
Well, the idea that it breaks a "promise" made by the troll does not seem like much of a reason to me.
The advantage the tax attacks would give to rich people would grow as the years go by.
Hush money paid to silence people who have been raped or groped (or mistreated in any other way) should not be a tax deduction.
I do not use the term "sexual assault." Just because raping and groping are both wrong, and both related to sex, is no reason to lump them together.
When it comes to limiting US wars Congress has been a coward for a long time.
Shoppers at Zara stores found clothes with labels saying, "I Made This... But Didn't Get Paid".
Claims that the world has reduced extreme poverty rest on fishy statistics and failure to fully adjust for inflation. The world's median income has decreased drastically in the past 10 years, as global plutocracy cuts into everyone else's wealth.
I suspect that both global heating and increasing population play a part as well. The most important aid for poor countries' future is contraception.
Laws in the US set pitfalls for the poor such that it is almost impossible not to fall into them. Once you fall in, you are loaded down with debts that you can never finish paying.
Protests have spread around St Louis since the acquittal of the thug who killed Anthony Lamar Smith with explicit premeditation.
The thugs have repressed the protests fiercely, teaching many about what they really are.
Florida is running a megaproject to restore some of the natural water circulation of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.
To truly protect the Everglades requires curbing global heating before we cause so much sea-level rise that this whole part of Florida becomes ocean.
Bernie Sanders points to tax havens as the way the world's oligarchs rip off the rest of the world.
The UK fights stubbornly to preserve global tax-dodging.
I suspect that the bosses, aside from being hypocrites, expected retribution from government clients if they did not fire her. They support plutocratic rule out of their cowardice.
When Ireland made itself less attractive for tax-dodging, Apple nominally relocated some of its income to Jersey.
Over 250 billion dollars went along with that.
Nike funnels its money through various countries, through a path that includes a subsidiary that claims not to be located in any country.
These and other tax-dodging companies say they do this because it is lawful, but why is it lawful? Because their political power prevents governments from changing their laws to put a stop to it.
African families send their children to be smuggled into Europe because that's the only way the family can get food.
In other words, they have children because they can't feed the current population. That is collective suicide.
Many US mothers of teenage boys are terrified that their boys are being pressured into enlisting in the army, while also being seduced by military recruiters that they meet in their school.
If you think grooming teenagers to be prostitutes is bad, how about grooming them to be soldiers and fight for plutocracy around the world?
The lack of decision-making ability and character that is produced by denying American children the chance to play or move around on their own surely makes them more vulnerable to this.
Bonn Climate Talks Must Go Further Than Paris Pledges to Succeed.
The US is trying to sabotage the process.
If we have a choice between spending money effectively on adaptation, or resilience, or whatever you call it, or spending the same money effectively on curbing the increase of greenhouse gases, we should always choose the latter. The harm done by each increment of greenhouse gases affects the whole world, so avoiding it helps globally, while protection against the effects has to be done in parallel in every place we want to protect.
Tax attacks: while increasing the amount of the child credit, SCROTUS want to deny it entirely to parents that work for low pay.
ACLU: the bully is holding a US citizen prisoner incommunicado in Iraq and making absurd excuses to stop him from talking to a lawyer.
So many Tories face sexual accusations that their resignations might bring Tory rule to an end.
It is natural for male Tories to act this way, because using one's power to get someone into bed is entirely coherent with the party's political philosophy that the powerful should take what they want.
US citizens: support the athletes protesting for justice.
US citizens: demand that political ads identify the advertiser.
Oil spills damage human ova. In Nigeria, babies are twice as likely to die in the first month if the mother had previously lived near an oil spill, even as much as 5 years before.
State investigators say that Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered.
It could be that the latest investigation is an attempt to do dirt to the ex-president. I can't rule that out. But the early investigations seem to have so many anomalies that I trust the latest investigation more.
90% of plastic that enters the ocean comes through 10 rivers in Africa and Asia.
It might be possible to change the practices that put so much plastic into those rivers.
The Queen of England hides investments in abusive businesses via a front company.
Before Rosamaria Hernandez was released from immigration prison, the thugs stopped her from getting medical care.
The US government wants to develop technology to identify people visually even if they are looking away or part of their face is hidden.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to object to SESTA — the bill that threatens to make all web sites responsible for what users post. It was changed just a little, but the EFF says that it remains dangerous.
Some wise warnings from Joseph Weizenbaum in 1985.
In particular, what he says about computers and banks is interesting.
The planned vehicle-to-vehicle radio requirement for cars has been canceled.
In principle, this system will be a good thing if it can be designed to respect privacy. It was supposed to be designed for that, but there are flaws in the design that need to be fixed.
Plutocratist Democrats are spreading lies to discredit the revelations about the Clinton campaign's corruption of the DNC.
A running race in North Carolina is a protest to highlight the screwy Republican gerrymander.
"The only logical explanation was that businessmen, politicians, officials and financiers rape, or attempt to rape, hotel workers all the time. It’s just that normally, those assaulted know there’s nothing they can do about it."
SCROTUS ordered the destruction of a backup replacement satellite to measure the Arctic sea ice. As a result, there is no way to replace the one that just broke down, and a gap in coverage is now inevitable.
The US is waging climate war against more or less all other countries and the Earth's ecosphere.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown says that the US misled the UK government (even the ministers) about Iraq's fictitious "weapons of mass destruction".
That's what happens to you when your government enters into a "special relationship" with a great power, of the sort generally called "subservience".
The Himalayas have been an exception to the worldwide tendency of decrease in mountain ice.
Part one of the US National Climate Assessment has been published, and reports honestly on how human actions are causing global heating.
Apparently the troll's saboteurs were unable to interfere. I wonder what stopped them. Were heroic scientists quietly at work? Did a bureaucratic structure protect them?
"Stopping terrorism" is a new excuse for stopping you from changing the software in your car.
Since terrorism is insignificant as a cause of death or injury in the in the US and Europe, this would be the tail wagging the dog.
"Stop doing companies’ digital busywork for free." Many companies offload their own bureaucratic work onto their customers.
The same systems also snoop on users, which I consider nastier than merely using some of my time. They also typically require running nonfree software. So I generally reject those platforms. Even for medical companies, to which I have to give my name, I still refuse to talk to their web platforms.
The size of the universe, compared with the tiny part that humans occupy for such a short part of its existence, is an argument that there can't plausibly be a god that cares particularly about humans.
This is not a precise mathematical proof, but it is a strong philosophical argument nonetheless.
The Houthis in Yemen fired a missile at Salafi Arabia.
How many thousands of bombs has Salafi Arabia dropped on areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis?
Russian influence in British politics must be investigated. Some of the same people that were involved with the bully's campaign were also involved with the campaign to leave the EU.
The investigation of people that wish to immigrate to the US is already so strict that it would be foolish to demand more merely because one immigrant has committed murder.
The anti-immigrant bias and racism at the root of the US pledge of allegiance.
I agree with what the pledge of allegiance says, except for the words "under god" which I would say only under threat of force, but trying to force students to recite it violates the spirit of freedom that it endorses.
To the people that want to ban disrespect for the US national anthem: move to China and you'll find a tyranny to your liking.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 877-795-7862 to oppose the SCROTUS tax attacks.
Harvey Weinstein is being investigated for rape, because one of the many accusations is recent enough that it could be prosecuted.
What I find most shocking about this report is the total selfishness of his reported actions, lacking the slightest interest in intimacy with her.
I can't imagine having sex that way even with someone who asked me to. Without a feeling of shared intimacy, and the hope it will continue beyond that sexual act, what would be the point? If my hand on her head isn't comforting and exciting for her, and likewise her hand on my head, we aren't in a situation to consider going any further.
I suppose this is what is meant by the statement that rape is about power, not desire. Rapists, at least many of them, are not trying to force someone into an act of intimacy. They seem to want a sex act that has no intimacy in it, and that act is what I can't imagine.
US citizens: Call on Congress to impeach Sessions for lying to Congress.
Local people are blocking fossil fuel projects in 70 places.
Dianne Feinstein Wants Twitter To Just Hand Her A Bunch Of Private Communications.
A US bomb raid killed 40 or more civilians in Afghanistan, then Afghan thugs or soldiers kept the victims' families away, apparently stopping the public from getting any verification of what happened.
Both Spain and Catalonia are acting undemocratically.
Many UK workers are paid so little that they need to borrow for necessities.
It looks like Mueller is cooperating carefully with NY attorney general Schneiderman so that, if the troll were to pardon Manafort for federal crimes, New York could prosecute him for state crimes that the president cannot pardon.
Russian disinformation operatives invented a bogus person, "Jenna Abrams", to present bogus right-wing claims. This hoax had large political effects.
China serves as the testing ground for new technology for massive surveillance because it is so tyrannical that it doesn't need to disguise them. Then they get implemented in the US and elsewhere.
We have to train ourselves to reject the excuse that "this is to protect us", every time we hear it.
Volkswagen's CFO said that Volkswagen didn't do tax-dodging. That was not true.
The troll's bogus promises to resurrect coal mining are convincing many former miners not to learn to do something else.
There is no possibility that retraining will give all Americans prosperity, because the globalized economy creates only a few good jobs in the US. This is only a partial solution.
The SCROTUS tax bill would permit churches to endorse candidates.
The troll has withdrawn support for a program to limit bribery by fossil fuel companies.
Workers at Time Warner Cable have been on strike for over 6 months rather that accept cuts in their retirement and medical benefits.
Workers at Gothamist formed a union, and the owner shut down the company.
This sort of tactic is possible when businesses are owned by robber barons and good jobs are very scarce.
Hidden in the latest National Defense Authorization Act is a clause that would give Amazon dominance over federal purchases.
If private investment in renewable energy and efficiency continues, it could reach the Paris targets, which might avoid global disaster.
The planet roasters are not licked yet.
They are fighting hard to reduce the rate of investment by cutting various incentives for this investment, such as net metering and tax credits.
They may yet succeed in destroying civilization and killing billions of people.
Female Members of Congress Describe Sexual Harassment by Male Lawmakers.
When black lives really mattered — the history of reconstruction of the south is mostly ignored in teaching US history.
Some Thoughts On Gag Rules And Government Unmasking Demands.
US states and/or major cities should set up publicly owned banks.
These will avoid several of the dangers of today's large hardly-regulated banks.
Clint activists around the world will march for action to reduce global heating.
People regularly get arrested in Zimbabwe for insulting President Mugabe.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose Bridenstine as head of NASA. Here's a suggested call script.
Hi, my name is ____, and I am your constituent calling from _____. I am calling to demand that Senator ____ vote to oppose the confirmation of Jim Bridenstine for NASA Administrator. Bridenstine’s ties to the oil and gas industry, his lack of scientific background, his denial of global heating, and his bigotry are disqualifying. Will Senator ____ commit to voting no on Bridenstine’s confirmation?
Capitol Switchboard number: 202-224-3121
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and senators to ask them to support legislation to stop the troll from undermining Robert Mueller's investigation.
Capitol Switchboard number: 202-224-3121
US citizens: call on the FCC to block the Sinclair-Tribune merger.
Also call on the FCC not to change its rules to allow more media concentration.
Everyone: call on Florida to close the privatized juvenile prisons that are run to make prisoners fight each other.
US citizens: call on the DoE to protect net metering from a biased review.
That's more thuggish than most thugs.
The FBI may be investigating how tiny Whitefish Energy company won the giant contract to restore Puerto Rico.
There is every reason to suspect corruption in whatever the troll's saboteurs do.
I don't think the charges against Manaforte and Gates tie the troll to a crime. However, they may be offered lesser charges in exchange for testifying against others.
It also shows that Sessions lied to the Senate to cover up these contacts.
I fear, however, that his base have already insulated themselves against caring about proven ties to Russia. He could blow up the Statue of Liberty and have his fanatical supporters crash Air Force One into the Capitol, and they would still support him.
Paul Manafort: how decades of serving dictators led to role as Trump's go-to guy.
White supremacists rallying in Nashville punched a white woman who refused their invitation to leave her black boyfriend and join them.
Stop Letting Powerful Men Silence Victims with Confidentiality Agreements.
The appearance of the term "intellectual property" in the article shows that the author has fallen into the confusion which that term generally spreads. If he had said "trade secrets", he would have made a coherent and clear statement.
However, other confused people have taught him the habit of using the vague term "intellectual property", and he didn't know that he was bringing in other irrelevant laws. Nondisclosure agreements have nothing to do with copyrights, patents, trademarks, plant variety monopolies, or publicity rights. Including them here was a mistake.
I refuse to sign a nondisclosure agreement for generally useful technical information, such as software. They are a conspiracy to keep society in the dark.
A hypothetical "fourth industrial revolution" would supposedly make new good jobs in the UK.
If these predictions prove accurate, the UK might gain 175,000 good jobs — but that is minuscule compared with the millions stuck in McJobs, and the millions that might lose their jobs. The state will have to give them funds so they can have a decent life.
It's the same thing in the US. We should decide which technologies to allow to reshape society — not let companies compete to make them addictive.
Five former US presidents asked Americans to donate money for aid to repair hurricane damage. But why not ask Congress to provide the funds?
Killing armed enemies on the battlefield is legitimate because arresting them is not feasible. However, killing prisoners is unconscionable — the sort of thing that PISSI does.
Hindu fanatics in India hate the Taj Mahal because it was built by a Muslim.
They cite absurd fake history that would fit perfectly into the US lunatic right wing.
This would be funny if not for the fact that the ruling party comes out of that fanaticism, and it shows in things that affect Indians in their lives.
US citizens: Object to building a federal prison on top of toxic coal waste that would poison the prisoners.
US citizens: Call on the FEC to require disclosure of origin on internet political ads.
US citizens: phone 413-923-6120 to urge your congresscritter to defend Net Neutrality.
US citizens: Call on Congress to pass the USA Rights Act, which will limit some PAT RIOT Act surveillance.
The thugs were unwilling to look at his identification, which would have demonstrated the truth, until they had brought him to jail.
Later, when he went to complain, the thugs didn't care. So now he plans to sue them.
Ohio Republicans cheat to make Republican districts by counting prisoners (who can't actually vote) in drawing the lines.
Indiana removes voters from the voter list using a program that is wrong 99% of the time.
The program is called Crosscheck, but Indiana used to crosscheck its results before removing people. Nowadays, if the program says a person with your name and birthdate is registered in another state, Indiana will take you off the lists immediately. Even though most of the people the program accuses do belong on the list.
Being double-registered is not wrong, anyway. Voting twice is fraud, but having a registration in another state may only mean that you moved and the other state doesn't know. As long as you don't actually vote twice, you shouldn't be blocked from voting once.
Facebook’s 2016 Election Team Gave Advertisers a Blueprint to a Divided US.
Senator Warren affirmed that the Democratic primary election system was rigged in favor of Clinton, and demands that the party set up a system that won't be rigged.
Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy was investigating the murder of Giulio Regeni by the Egyptian government, so now they have jailed him.
Ironically, the big Republican gift to multinational corporations is coming at a time when they have more money than they have ways to invest it.
The Clinton campaign faces charges of disguising expenditures for lawful opposition research as legal services.
This misrepresentation should be investigated and punished, but I don't see it as a big deal.
The latest damage done by copyright law: preventing scientific study of AI systems.
Facebook and other companies regularly delete photos that show casualties of war because they are “too gory”.
This hampers efforts to document and investigate war crimes.
The bully dehumanizes enemies just as terrorists do.
He is involved with the ties with Russia that Mueller is investigating.
The Republican tax attacks bill would cut the clean energy credit, in a last-ditch attempt to keep us racing towards global disaster.
In 2015, the Democratic National Committee was broke, so it sold itself corruptly to the Clinton campaign.
Here's other information.
That is why Sanders is not president of the US.
SCROTUS aim to eliminate deductions for medical expenses.
If we had Medicare for All, we wouldn't have crushing medical expenses, so we would need deductions for them.
The troll's idiotic treats may have made a fair trial impossible for the New York truck terrorist.
He might get a mistrial; he might even get off.
We should know better by now than to respond to murder by destroying law and human rights.
SCROTUS' tax attacks will “deposit a trillion and a half dollars into the bank accounts of the richest people in the country and then hands the bill to the middle class.”
It is not true that the middle class will pay the price of this. It will pay a part, to be sure. But poor people will pay, too — not much through increased taxes, but greatly through cuts in the government help that they depend on.
An article argues that AI will eliminate half of all jobs in 10-20 years, and nearly all human work a couple of decades later.
It could happen.
However, that advance of technology will be in a race against global heating disaster that could destroy high-tech manufacturing entirely.
The article is too quick to conclude that we cannot either tax or ban robotic production.
There are tasks have to be done locally, and if we want to reserve those jobs for human workers, we can simply pass laws to do so. As for foreign robotic competition, we don't have to allow imported goods made by automation.
“Free trade” is just a trick to give power to the rich; we need to get rid of those treaties anyway.
We can also do as the Amish do: decide which technologies to adopt and which ones to reject.
I am not saying that limiting automation is necessarily the best option.
Nationalizing the robotic production, so that the former owners have to get their share of the robot-made bounty along with all the rest of us, might be better.
But if the robot masters stop us from doing that, the Amish option would be a good second choice.
The Amish show that it is possible for society to decide which technologies to adopt.
Once we start doing this, companies will find it hard to sucker people onto technologies that are designed as addictive malware.
We could even require — force — desirable technologies to be designed so that we control them instead of they us.
SCROTUS plan to ban abortion (almost entirely) and eliminate support for adoptive parents.
War has poisoned Mosul so much that we must regard the environment as a casualty.
The bully admires tyrants, perhaps because he sees them as champion bullies.
Legalizing marijuana is a good way to reduce the demand for opioids and antidepressive medicine, while providing considerable additional funding for other medical care.
Children need to grow up in families — orphanages stunt them, especially mentally.
Canada's supreme court ruled that a plan to build a ski resort can go ahead even though an indigenous tribe considers the lane sacred.
People are entitled to their beliefs, but people are not entitled to have whatever resources their religion says it requires.
Indigenous peoples have moved around quite a bit, and when they can't use their former sacred place, they designate a new one.
So I think it is valid that an important public interest can override anyone's idea of a sacred spot.
On the other hand, a ski resort is hardly an important public interest.
If nothing more than a ski resort is at stake, why not cater to the tribe's wishes?
I don't think people should have the power to stop other people from using their land, merely by calling it “sacred”.
On the other hand, maybe this land belonged to the indigenous group and Europeans took it away from them.
Ocean acidification can hurt a species' survival in synergy with a predator that isn't harmed by ocean acidification.
The precarious employment of most professors makes them afraid to say what they think about any issue.
3C of global heating will eventually raise the ocean enough to inundate 1/3 of Florida — not to mention many great cities around the world.
The cities include Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo.
The most powerful countries rejected the use of UN funds for Haitians that contracted cholera in the epidemic started by the UN soldiers that were sent there after Dubya had President Aristide kidnaped.
I think the UN should look ahead, not back.
Its primary obligation in regard to cholera in Haiti is to pay for the infrastructure that will put an end to cholera there.
Climate negotiators are starting to recognize the importance of indigenous peoples that manage the forests they live in.
Puppets of China quietly snuck a law punishing disrespect for China's national anthem into Hong Kong's constitution.
Criminalizing “desecrating” a flag, or disrespect for some official statement, violates the principle of freedom of expression.
I think state disrespect for that principle is far worse than an individual's disrespect for some symbol.
Interrogations by US immigration officials can reduce refugees to incoherence, so that they are unable to describe the torture that drove them out of their native countries.
Businesses tend to promote men for having characteristics that tend to go with sexual harassment.
Couples that met while homeless, or while at least one of them was homeless, tell how they met and what their lives are like.
The UK Parliament is imposing a very strict standard of sexual harassment.
I think it would be wrong to impose that standard on everyone.
However, Parliament is a special case.
Legislators and their staff have special status, which they compete hard for, so it can be legitimate to hold them to a stricter standard than everyone else.
This could be a change for the better.
However, every standard should be objective.
“If someone else took offense at you, you're wrong” gives arbitrary power to anyone who takes offense.
I suspect that Leadsome does intend an objective standard of what is offensive, but her words say there won't be one.
Spain has arrested most of the leaders of the government of Catalonia and they face imprisonment for decades.
I still think that Catalans' objections to paying taxes to help poor regions of Spain are churlish.
However, if a sizeable majority of Catalans want independence, they should get it.
Photojournalist Matthew Abbott was barred from Papua New Guinea, clearly because he had revealed embarrassing facts about the Manus Island camp where Australia has dumped refugees.
US border thugs have released 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez from immigration prison.
It was absurd to put her in one.
Since she is 10 years old, mentally disabled, and seriously ill, she could hardly be able to run away or live on her own.
The prosecution of security researcher Justin Shafer seems to be related to the prosecution of John Rivello for sending a video to Kurt Eichenwald which was designed to send him into an epileptic seizure.
I think it is legitimate to prosecute someone for doing that.
We might also want our software to detect such videos to detect them.
This ties up a loose end in the previous political note but doesn't address the issue of Justin Shafer himself.
The International Criminal Court wants to investigate all sides' war crimes in Afghanistan.
The Red Cross seeks to prosecute the staff that stole 6 million dollars from the funds for dealing with the Ebola outbreak.
KGB disinformation, now magnified by the internet, threatens every democracy.
It is interesting to contrast China's political censorship requirements with Germany's.
Denial of the mass murder of Jews was one of the first right-wing lie schemes, and it's despicable, but we must not use censorship to get rid of it.
US citizens: call on Congress to defeat the plutocratic deforestation bill.
US citizens: call on the Senate to require the bully to get Senate approval for new IRS head.
US citizens: Call on the Senate to reject the bully's extremist judicial nominations.
US activists must resist co-optation by Russia. As Russia infiltrates social movements, every social movement will become vulnerable to the suspicion it is nothing but Russia's tool — even when that isn't so.
After forcing unemployed Britons to spend lots of time in jobcenters, and to go hungry to afford taking a bus there, now the Tories are closing 10% of the jobcenters, which will make reaching them even harder.
Injured and sick people will have to hobble.
A first step to curb the power of Google and Facebook would be to ban them from buying other companies.
Nobody knows how to stop the murderous gang violence in Baltimore.
I wonder if replacing the thug department with a new department would provide an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
Korean-Americans consider the bully more of a danger to South Korea than Kim Jong-un is.
Are terrorists influenced partly by their own mental illnesses?
Even Israeli right-wing politicians and officials warn that Netanyahu is attacking democracy in Israel.
We need a plan to manage the end of most fossil fuel use. Here are the requisites for a good plan.
Verizon is asking the FCC to ban US states from protecting ISP customers' rights.
Many states are really trying to do this.
Americans: phone 866-OUR-VOTE if your state stops you from voting.
Unfortunately, this group of legal assistants cannot help when states are correctly interpreting unjust voter-suppression laws.
Russian political manipulators were very astute in stirring up hostility among Americans.
The article lists various false accusations that Russians supplied to right-wing Americans, many of whom are eager to snap them up without checking. However, for left-wing Americans and blacks, it was sufficient for the Russians to point out the truth.
South Koreans plan a massive protest against the bully when he visits.
Part of their demand is to get rid of the South Korea-US business supremacy treaty.
Eliminating this treaty is necessary for two reasons I know of.
DRM is an injustice and treaties like this prop up the injustice.
Every treaty with this requirement must be abolished.
An indigenous group has built houses with solar power on their land where the Unkinder-Morgan pipeline is supposed to cross it.
One thing that right-wing and Islamist extremists have in common is that they come from communities that are socially isolated, not integrated into society.
Springer has blocked certain articles on its web site for users in China, obeying the Chinese tyranny.
However, Springer's nastiest policy is what it does to everyone.
Paywalled scientific journals are an injustice in any country.
Plutocratist groups in many US states are campaigning to eliminate measures to promote renewable energy.
A new variety of orangutan has been discovered on the west coast of Sumatra, but it may not be around for long before humans wipe it out.
SCROTUS have published their tax attacks bill.
Some of these changes might be improvements, depending on details that someone would have to analyze carefully.
However, they can't make up for the giveaways to the rich.
This article does not mention the big giveaway to multinationals which would allow them to bring into the US the profits they have stored in tax havens, paying no tax on them.
The idea that cutting taxes on corporations would boost anything for the rest of us is known as “trickle down”.
It didn't work in the past and there is no reason to expect things to be different this time.
It is pure dooH niboR.
The troll and his family would save billions in taxes from this.
Calling for an EU investigation to find the murderers of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Maltese journalist that investigated the gangsters.
Uri Avnery: A hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapon would not put Israel in any real danger.
The leaders of Iran know better then to use the bomb as anything but a deterrent.
Notwithstanding that, I think it is better if Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
Continuing the nuclear deal with Iran is our best chance of achieving that goal.
Twitter has very little security against rogue employees.
They might even be able to start a war by faking tweets on the bully's account.
Hypersensitivity has reached the point where you can't cite a bigoted joke to condemn its bigotry, without getting rebuked for bigotry yourself.
It is impossible to discuss any subject thoughtfully if you are barred from citing examples.
In 1950 it was almost impossible to discuss the question of what is or is not pornography; you couldn't cite examples of pornography, so you were limited to abstract statements whose concrete referents were hard to be sure of.
Now the taboos have shifted: there is no obstacle to discussing what is pornography, but it is difficult to discuss what is bigotry.
Different people will always have different judgment about how to state a point.
As long as we agree on opposing bigotry, which is the substance, we should stay calm in disagreeing about the advantages and disadvantages of various ways of presenting this opposition.
You'll note that when I talk about the disrespectful practice of mislabeling the GNU system as “Linux”, which denies us credit for our work, I don't jump down the throats of people that do this, or even demand an apology.
I just ask them to please give us equal mention henceforth.
How will Europe deal with 20 million Africans global heating refugees trying to get into Europe rather than die of hunger or thirst?
Keep in mind that global heating won't be the Africans' fault.
We in wealthy countries are burning most of the fuel.
When pregnant sharks are captured, they often abort their young.
The FCC's fraudulent comments against network neutrality include dead signatories, as well as living people who didn't file “their” comments.
They were violent about it, too.
Deir ez-Zor has been taken from PISSI, leaving it with very little territory.
A British MP is being punished by his party for doing something “inappropriate”.
That should never happen.
“Inappropriate” means “not fitting for the circumstances, and causing annoyance.”
That is a vague and weak criticism.
Nobody should be reviled, let alone punished, for having “done something inappropriate”, because that is too vague.
I don't know what that MP is accused of doing.
So I won't say it was not a really bad thing to do.
Perhaps it was.
Or perhaps it wasn't.
“Inappropriate” fails to tell us.
What I do say is that anyone who is criticized has the right to a clear statement of the criticism.
The UK's new cuts in welfare will imprison women who say they got pregnant due to rape if they did not make a police report.
Women often don't make police reports about rape, because they rightly fear that they'd have to go through with a trial in which they are effectively the accused.
Should you reject an artist's work because you condemn something that artist did?
The US says it might label North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism.
This is not the case, as far as I know.
Assassination of a specific person, in this case Kim Jong-nam, is premeditated murder, but it is not terrorism.
Kidnaping of Japanese people, which North Korea did many times, is a crime but it is not terrorism.
Why do our politicians think that you have not really condemned a crime unless you call it “terrorism”?
Saboteur of Energy Perry said that fossil fuels were needed to reduce “sexual assault”.
The term “sexual assault” is not suitable for a serious discussion, because it covers crimes of varying severities which call for different responses, plus sexual harassment which is not a crime.
If we want to discuss why Perry's claim is mistaken, let's not let him sweep us into another confusion.
As far as I can see, it is mistaken because rapes are usually committed by someone who knows the victim, and that doesn't require darkness.
It is also mistaken because, to whatever extent light is useful, it is equally effective if made from renewable power generation as if made from fossil fuels.
If we keep burning fossil fuels as now, that could reduce the rate of rape by 50% by 2100, if it reduces the human population by 50%.
Papadopoulos has admitted that the Russian contact only wanted to meet with him because he was part of the bully's campaign, and that the purpose of the contacts was to get supposed dirt on Clinton.
The CO2 level in Earth's atmosphere increased last year faster than before, and has reached a level last experienced 3 million years ago.
That's before the Earth started the current series of glaciations.
It has also been reported that human CO2 emissions have been stable for a few years, that they are no longer increasing.
These two observations do not conflict.
It could well be that the natural absorption of CO2 from the air has decreased due to causes such as deforestation, as well as ecological changes.
The progressive “autopsy” of the 2016 Democratic Party defeat shows how it needs to stop seeking support from the plutocratic right-wing “center” and start appealing to the progressive majority of Americans.
This is also necessary for a more basic reason: unless it does this, the Democratic Party will not deserve support.
Demanding that immigration thugs release a 10-year-old handicapped and seriously ill unauthorized immigrant from prison so she can see her parents.
The bully's publicly visible policies focus on being tough to weak people so as to make authoritarian followers feel strong by identifying with him.
A handicapped 10-year-old who just needed surgery is a perfect target for that.
His other policies, those meant for their real effects, are aimed at helping businesses make more money and pay less tax, which imposes suffering on the non-rich.
Two thugs that had been shot and wounded tried to sue the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming the shooter was acting as a part of it.
The judge tossed out these suits because a social movement is not a specific group with members, it is just a point of view.
There was no need to mention the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement does not advocate shooting anyone.
Around half of black Americans, in a poll, report racial discrimination by thugs and courts.
1/3 have refrained from calling the thugs for help for fear that they will show their thuggish side towards blacks.
Six weeks after the hurricane, the inhabitants of Dominica mostly have no homes, electricity, work, school, or income.
If hurricanes will come every few years, there is no use rebuilding the place &mdash people will have to leave.
Big planet-roaster corporations have hijacked continuing negotiations under the Paris climate agreement.
The reorganization of welfare benefits in the UK hits disabled people hard.
A UK minister is accused of flirting with a party activist.
If the minister did what Maltby claims, what would it imply? In general, there is nothing wrong with touching someone's knee for a second, or sending a message hinting at sexual interest, as long as there is no pressure in it.
However, for a political leader to request a relationship with a party activist, if it risks offending the activist, risks harming the party.
Our society does not offer a way of expressing sexual interest in someone that avoids all risk of offending.
That is part of what makes starting a relationship so difficult.
What the Democratic Party needs to do, to be worth supporting and then to win.
They gratuitously attacked hundreds of protesters, then arrested them with no valid reason.
The Patriotic Millionaires warn the US middle class that Republicans are about to increase their taxes as a gift to millionaires.
An immigrant, inspired by PISSI, carried out a small terrorist attack in New York City.
A NYC thug responded well: he shot the truck terrorist, and even better, managed not to kill him.
Thus, it will be possible to interrogate him and try him.
He became a supporter of PISSI after immigrating to the US.
It will not be feasible to discover such people even with all the surveillance that the state will demand.
So let's strengthen ourselves now to reject the demand.
Our best shield against terrorism is to have the perspective not to freak out about it.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are really taking steps to make peace with each other.
Keith Wood was convicted for handing out Fully Informed Jury Association publications in front of his local courthouse.
His lawyer in the trial was forbidden to mention the First Amendment, which this conviction apparently violates.
Today's global capitalism produces ever more addictive goods that get society ever more screwed up.
I like this quote: “The logic of exchange-value follows its own path, its own mad dance, irrespective of the real needs of real people.”
John Kelly expressed regrets that the US didn't reach some sort of "compromise" about slavery in 1860.
The US Congress made a series of compromises over slavery in the decades preceding the Civil War. (See the Missouri Compromise in Wikipedia.) The effect of these compromises was to perpetuate slavery, and that would have been true in 1860, 1880, 1900, and 2000 if the North hadn't said "No more compromises."
A court in Mississippi banned a woman from contact with her baby because she had not paid fines.
The article makes it clear that this is part of the general US practice of loading down the poor with fines they can't pay. It is noteworthy that the mother was jailed while looking for work. It is clear that the system is designed so that the fines cannot be paid.
If you want to be able to fine any American, you must stop making millions of Americans so poor that they have to go to jail rather than pay.
A Portuguese ISP shows what the loss of network neutrality would lead to: separate fees for access to various services.
Medicare for All, by disconnecting medical care from employment, would free Americans from being stuck to a specific job.
If employers did not have to pay for employees' medical care — if that came from taxes not associated with employing anyone — that would also reduce the pressure to replace workers with automation.
The attack consists of setting up a study that seems designed to provide an excuse to eliminate net metering — the practice of buying electric power from owners of home solar power systems.
I met someone who said per business was "selling solar systems." So I asked, "How do people that buy solar systems travel to them? Have you got faster-than-light travel?"
US citizens: support the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act.
US citizens: Urge Republican senators that have criticized the bully to make Mueller's investigation independent.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the proposed ban on abortion after 20 weeks.
The bully is starting to lose approval even among his supporters.
Sanders would have defeated the bully, according to the bully's chief pollster.
Increasing concentration of the food industry harms workers, consumers, and soil.
North Korea's hydrogen bomb test seems to have destabilized the mountain it was conducted under. It has had repeated earthquakes since.
A study forecasts that global heating effects could drive a billion people from their homes by 2050.
Even if the study is off by a factor of two, and only half a billion become refugees for this reason, so many people won't find places that will let them in. A million or so refugees were enough to convinced the European Union to take firm measures to keep refugees out, even unjust measures.
However, many of the billion will be armed, and ready to fight for other people's land rather than sit down and die. We will see wars around the world.
Most European countries have prohibited giving shelter or giving food to unauthorized immigrants.
The US is proceeding with notable slowness in repairing the power and water systems of Puerto Rico.
Israeli colonists in Palestinian territory regularly steal olives from Palestinians' olive trees. This time, some of them poisoned the trees as well.
In some cases, the Palestinians can't monitor their trees because they need special permits from Israel even to approach them. But if they could stay near the trees to guard them, it wouldn't do much good, since the colonists can maim or kill Palestinians with impunity. Often Israeli soldiers stand by and allow the colonists to do this.
Afghan Women Beg Key Question: What on Earth Has This War Accomplished?
They don't appreciate any extra freedom that foreign intervention has given them, perhaps because it isn't much freedom, or because in practice they don't dare exercise it.
One thing that they desperately needed, but didn't get, is birth control so that they could avoid having the children that they now can't feed.
More about the Whitefish scandal.
Inhabitants of low-lying Pacific islands have implored Australia not to fund the proposed new giant coal mine.
This mine would also speed the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.
Frackers in the UK are seeking a sweeping injunction against all sorts of protesters, to imprison them.
When peaceful protests are broadly forbidden, you can't criticize people for turning to violent opposition.
US citizens: tell the FBI to stop supposing that Black Lives Matter supporters are likely to be terrorists.
Everyone: call on iHeartRadio to fire right-wing misogynist announcer Bill Handel.
Facebook has lured publishers into helpless dependence through collaboration in manipulating the public.
Perhaps the solution could take the form of a new anti-monopoly law regulating companies that have more than 1% of the US advertising market. The rules could require the site to identify every ad an ad, each time it is shown, along with the company it is an ad for, as well as what criterion it is targeted at. This would apply to articles reposted on behalf of other sites, when the articles are partly advertising.
In addition, the site should be required to publish (permitting anonymous access) all ads under the heading of the advertiser that paid for them, along with the price it paid for each one.
Further regulations might be required for the site's relationship with commercial publishers. Perhaps Facebook should not be allowed to repost any published articles or works, only links to them.
Facebook says it will do some of these things, but we should not leave the choice up to these businesses.
By shutting its immigration dump in Manus Island, Australia will close a "dark chapter" in its treatment of refugees, which will segue immediately into a new dark chapter.
20 Republicans voted against the dooH niboR budget, but that wasn't quite enough to stop it — that needed three more.
Nestle is looking for a "certification" of its water-bottling from an organization it helped to set up.
In the original affluent society of the Ju/‘hoansi, social equality is maintained by condemning those who look might come to think of themselves as above the rest.
If we develop robots that can do almost all the work we want done, maybe we will all be able to work only 15 hours a week. But if we want that society to be stable, we will need to adopt customs that effectively discourage anyone from trying to be above the rest. In other words, the post-scarcity society is the opposite of plutocracy.
I disagree with the use of the word "civilization" to describe hunter-gatherers. The word refers to living in cities.
Just 4% of What Australians Spend on Clothing Goes to Garment Workers.
This unfair division of the funds is quite standard. I think it occurs because the businesses have more clout than those workers.
Reports of the death of coal are anticipation of its wished-for demise.
Organic food produced in the US is being replaced by cheaper production that cuts corners on the rules. Due to regulatory capture, the US fails to enforce its standards fully.
I do not make a point of buying organic food; I do not know if it makes a big difference. Nonetheless, I object to falsification.
Inspection of food is one of the many jobs of the state. If we don't tax the rich enough, the state cannot do its jobs.
The real winner of the US presidential election was none-of-the-above, reflecting most people's disgust for both the major parties.
That's because the Democratic Party has been bought out by rich right-wingers and has ceased to stand for the progressive, liberal policies that most Americans want.
Will the party learn to be progressive again, or will it continue to be Republican Lite?
The bully's Orwellian PR: “We have always considered Paul Manafort unimportant.”
New Zealand may allow special visas for global heating refugees.
Mexicans have rejected the corporate holiday of Halloween by incorporating a parade into their celebration of the Day of the Dead.
An unconditional basic income, being tried in a part of Finland, has enabled some people who were previously dependent on welfare to start businesses.
Successful entrepreneurs love to emphasize that they took a risk — when it comes to arguing that we should not tax them much.
Then they argue that everyone should be more entrepreneurial, ignoring the point that you shouldn't gamble what you can't afford to lose, and most people can't afford to lose a dollar.
The basic income gives poor people some money that they can afford to lose, so they can rationally take a risk.
The basic income does not justify Finland's cuts in education and welfare.
Global heating effects are harming the health of hundreds of millions of people.
A steel plant in Australia will be powered by solar cells together with a large energy storage system.
Introduced nutria are overrunning southern Louisiana.
They can wipe out native species.
Louisiana encourages eating the nutria, which raises the question, is the nutria nutritious?
Another Chinese medicine superstition has arisen and is making donkeys unavailable to farmers.
Giving trigger warnings is not a sign of censorship — often it is just the opposite.
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.
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 Fast