Urgent: Arrest and prosecute the wrecker's allies
1 December 2021

US citizens: call on Congress and the DOJ to swiftly charge, arrest and prosecute the wrecker's allies that refuse to testify.

The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

Prosecutors know the wrecker's crimes
1 December 2021

Michael Cohen says that prosecutors know about the wrecker's crimes and could "indict [him] tomorrow."

Arrest and prosecute the wrecker's allies
1 December 2021

US citizens: call on Congress and the DOJ to swiftly charge, arrest and prosecute the wrecker's allies that refuse to testify.

Urgent: Vote no on Jerome Powell's confirmation
1 December 2021

US citizens: call on your senators to vote against confirming Powell as head of the Federal Reserve.

Urgent: Stop AIG from investing in fossil fuels
1 December 2021

Everyone: call on Call on AIG to stop insuring and investing in fossil fuels.

Honduras presidential election
1 December 2021

In Honduras, the corrupt president Hernández cannot run again. His chosen successor is running against Xiomara Castro, the wife of former President Zelaya

Omicron in other countries
1 December 2021

People infected with the Omicron variant are showing up in various countries. The cases we hear about were detected on entry and have been quarantined, which means they don't imply that Omicron is being transmitted in those countries.

It may in fact be spreading in them, but we don't have evidence about it.

Omicron and Vaccine Inequity
1 December 2021

Here's an article whose premise is that the most important thing about the world's response to the Omicron variant is how it treats the people living in southern Africa where that variant emerged.

Of course, they should not be punished for Omicron. They did not do anything to cause or help its appearance there; in particular, it isn't their fault that they were not vaccinated. Unlike right-wing anti-vaxxers in the US, the Africans did not choose by preference to spread disease. It was the vaccine companies that caused Africans to remain unvaccinated, by chosing to limit the vaccine supply.

But neither is there any reason to applaud the people of southern Africa. They didn't do anything heroic. Not that that's a criticism of them. As far as I know, there was nothing that they should or could have done about Omicron.

So, how should we judge some countries' quick suspension of travel out of southern Africa? It was the right thing to do. It was absolutely necessary for protecting the rest of the world from the danger which Omicron may represent.

Not knowing yet whether Omicron is dangerous enough to require cutting off travel, nor whether Omicron was already spreading in their own countries, leaders were compelled to try this protective measure in case it could succeeded -- because delay would surely lose the opportunity.

Whatever disappointment or expense it may be for people in southern Africa to be blocked from travelling -- including citizens and visitors both -- that is a small thing compared with the danger that this measure may succeed in avoiding.

If it turns out that Omicron is not particularly harmful, these travel measures will not last long. If it spreads globally anyway, obstacles to international travel will be the least of the world's worries.

The important lesson to learn is that we must accelerate vaccination. When we know what vaccine will stop Omicron, we must vaccinate everyone before a worse variant has a chance to evolve.

Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters
1 December 2021

The US Department of the Interior recommended addressing the future of extracting oil and gas by charging companies a little more for it. That would enable the US to get a bigger share of the profits from destroying the world's future.

The people who wrote that report disregarded the matter at stake. I would speculate that their loyalty is to the fossil fuel industry.

We have to question Biden and Haaland's judgment, and loyalties, for leaving the report in the hands of those people -- and for continuing to authorize more drilling.

Uyghur genocide divestment movement
1 December 2021

One university has started the Uyghur genocide divestment movement.

Freedom to Protest
1 December 2021

*Police Aerial Surveillance Threatens Freedom to Protest.*

Republicans supporting threats of violence
1 December 2021

The Republican Party as a whole now supports threats of violence against officials that don't bow down.

*"A core threat to our democracy": threat of political violence growing across US.*

Ministries of Economy and Energy
1 December 2021

The German Green Party will get the ministry of Economy and Energy.

This should put the party in a good position to influence decarbonization.

Coal miners still on strike
28 November 2021

*Alabama Miners Are Still on Strike After 8 Months.*

Exploiting workers is always bad, but if a coal mine treats its workers well, it is nonetheless a danger to the ecosphere. What we need is not the establishment of good working conditions in that coal mine, it is to shut the mine and replace it with other employment with good conditions.

Thugs falsifying records
28 November 2021

Louisiana thugs appear to falsify records on the racial identities of drivers they stop, so as to disguise their bias in deciding who to stop.

Complex banking schemes
28 November 2021

The UK has reevaluated the tax implications of certain complex banking schemes that some people have used for many years, and sent them unexpected tax bills, some as much as hundreds of thousands of pounds. Many cannot possibly pay. Some responded by suicide.

Omicron variant in the UK
28 November 2021

The UK has required masks in stores and public transport, as a precaution against the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which has already been found in the UK.

This will slow the spread of Omicron, but since people are still allowed to eat together inside restaurants, the variant will surely anyway. Basically, this is not enough.

Omicron has also been found in other European countries.

(Satire) Families work Thanksgiving shifts
28 November 2021

(satire) *Amazon To Let Warehouse Employees' Families Work Thanksgiving Shifts Too.*

(Satire) Macy's parade balloons
28 November 2021

(satire) *Al Roker Reminds Macy's Parade Viewers All The Balloons They See Today Are Up For Adoption.*

Popularity
28 November 2021

Polls show that Biden's popularity has decreased, but the progressive parts of his agenda remain popular.

Dangerous Channel crossings
28 November 2021

The obvious way to stop most migrants from travelling to Britain on small boats is to set up a workable system to let them apply for asylum from elsewhere.

Given that 2/3 of them who reach Britain on boats do receive asylum, the goal of keeping them away is misguided.

Indian farmers continue protesting
28 November 2021

* [Indian] farmers will continue protesting until the government meets several other demands, including raising the minimum price of their produce, withdrawing legal action against some farmers, and paying compensation to the families of hundreds of farmers who have died as a result of the civil action.*

Bravo! People who are not rich can't trust Modi to keep a promise.

What Modi tried to do is Modi make individuals negotiate deals with giant companies that face only small amounts of competition. That puts the companies at a big advantage and leads the individuals to ruin.

Omicron variant
28 November 2021

May countries have restricted entry from southern Africa where the Omicron variant is believed to be spreading. The other African countries need to restrict travel, too.

That is, if it isn't too late already.

Credit card company claims to be green
28 November 2021

A credit card called "Aspiration" markets itself as a way to protect the climate, but its claims are full of cloud.

43% of white Harvard students are 'ALDCs'
28 November 2021

Affirmative action for university admissions could be thought of as partially counteracting the system that preferentially admits certain privilaged students -- mostly white.

The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing "black" but not "white". (To avoid endorsing bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism. That article is one of the exceptions.

Covid-19 vaccines and artificial obstacles
28 November 2021

The world might have avoided the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant, that seems to be more infectious than Delta, by removing the artificial obstacles to faster manufacture of vaccines.

There are threats of legal action against several countries which are blocking this: Canada, the U.K., Norway, and Germany.

The term "intellectual property" is a bogus concept which conflates several disparate kinds of imposed monopoly, of which patent law is just one. These laws are so different from each other that a statement which generalizes about all of them, as that term leads people to do, always spreads confusion.

Please join me in absolutely refusing to use the term.

Oil Wells Near Homes
28 November 2021

California plans to ban new oil wells within 3200 feet of homes, schools and hospitals, to protect people from toxic chemicals that escape into the air.

It would be more thorough to close the existing wells in those areas too. But it might be politically and legally more difficult.

Carbon Capture and Storage
28 November 2021

Oil companies plan to use Carbon Capture and Storage to get separate CO2 and pump that into oil wells to force out more oil. That cycle presumes that they keep pumping out lots of oil -- it doesn't end overemission, just reduces it a fraction.

(satire) Amazon Workers and Black Friday Exploits
28 November 2021

(satire) *Worst Ways Amazon Exploits Workers During Black Friday.*

(Satire) Boxed things
28 November 2021

(satire) *Conservationist Breaks Down Sobbing While Going Through Old Box Of Extinct Species' Things.*

Disaster Capitalism and Recovery Loans
28 November 2021

The US is slow to aid owners of rental housing to rebuild after a disaster, so private lenders use this as an opportunity for profiteering.

Legitimate Election in Venezuela
28 November 2021

The National Lawyers Guild in the US sent observers to monitor the election in Venezuela. They, as well as European observers, found that the system was basically legitimate.

The Europeans criticized the disqualification of some candidates before the election.

Ahmaud Arbery
28 November 2021

The conviction of Ahmaud Arbery's murderers shows that the US justice system can in fact work properly. What is needed is to make that outcome reliable.

The defense lawyers did everything possible to appeal to the jury's presumed bigotry, but the jury rejected the idea.

Unite the Right verdict
28 November 2021

The organizers of the 2017 Charlottesville rally, which was embued by them with the spirit of right-wing violence and inspired one supporter to commit murder, have been found liable for 26 million dollars.

Glasgow vacant homeless shelter
28 November 2021

Squatters in Glasgow took over an old, vacant homeless shelter and put it into use as a homeless shelter. (The city does not have enough of them.) Now they are fighting eviction.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
27 November 2021

The US government's Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is expected to forgive the college loans of half a million Americans.

That is a significant step, but what needs to be done is much more. I estimate that there are tens of millions of Americans who have college debt that they can't hope to pay.

(satire) Promo code "THANKS"
27 November 2021

(satire) *Janet Yellen Announces Americans Can Use Promo Code "THANKS" For 10% Off All U.S. Goods And Services.*

Pharma's vaccine greed
27 November 2021

*Biden Urged to Fight Big Pharma's Vaccine Greed at Key WTO Meeting.*

Jailed climate protester
27 November 2021

*The jailing of a young climate protester is a prime example of Australia's authoritarian drift.*

* There is an ongoing effort to restrict what is considered “legitimate” protest to that which is least effective.*

Ahmaud Arbery victim of systematic persecution
27 November 2021

Ahmaud Arbery fell victim to the systematic propensity to persecute black men, with methods that extend as far as murder. The conviction of his killers had to cross hurdles of systemic racism.

Shortage of nitrogen fertilizer
27 November 2021

The US has a shortage of nitrogen fertilizer, partly caused by global heating effects.

Claims on causes of society's problems
27 November 2021

As long as people interact, society as a system continues to exist; but the social fabric can become more or less protective, and more or less constraining. Various movements have made claims about the causes of society's problems.

It seems to me that the success of Nordic democratic socialism, with societies that still cohere, demonstrates that neither liberal democracy nor socialism is inimical to the social fabric. My hypothesis is that what tears apart the social fabric is oppressive power, but the entity that exercises the power varies from situation to situation.

UK law for violence against emergency workers
27 November 2021

A new UK law to increase the punishment for anyone that commits violence against emergency service workers which unpredictably proves fatal, is unlikely to have any deterrent effect.

The writer suggests it is only an occasion for value signaling.

Building houses closer together
27 November 2021

California has legalized building houses closer together, but various exclusive areas are taking action to negate its effect.

This law is a good step, but it won't do enough to correct California's housing shortage. That requires building apartment buildings — lots of them.

Garland to prosecute passengers interfering with flights
27 November 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland says he will rapidly prosecute passengers that interfere with flights. Most of these incidents start when someone refuses to wear a mask.

I wonder if Rep. Gosar or Rep. Green ever refuses to wear a mask on a plane. Probably they don't dare refuse, because they would really go to jail if they did. Photos of them wearing masks, like decent people, might show that they are not as heroic as they pretend to be.

Vaccinated believe they are completely safe
27 November 2021

People who are vaccinated against Covid-19 erroneously believe that they are completely safe, and that they can't ever transmit the virus. Both beliefs are incorrect.

Vaccinated people are less likely to catch Covid-19 when exposed, and less likely to transmit the virus if they are infected, but the probability is not zero. You still need to wear a mask to reduce those probabilities. You still need to keep distance from others.

These precautions can potentially drive R below 1 and make Covid-19 dwindle, if we keep doing all of them.

Russian threats against Ukraine
27 November 2021

The US must bet on deterring Russian threats against Ukraine, or decide to back down to them.

I think Putin is bluffing and will not attack if the US takes purely defensive actions. He is an opportunist and grabs whatever is easy to grab. Furthermore, all his threats are only hints; if he does not attack, he will not have lost face. Thus, I think the US should take the defensive actions, then negotiate.

A commitment not to invite Ukraine into NATO would not deny Ukraine sovereignty, so I think it is ok to include in a peace deal, provided this is matched with Russian concessions. The US could demand Russia respect Ukraine's sovereignty by withdrawing support from the Donbas separatists.

However, demanding return of the Crimea would be too much. It is too late to undo that act of aggression.

Trial of Ahmaud Arbery's killers
27 November 2021

*Justice prevailed in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers. In America, that’s a shock.*

I will not excoriate the defense attorneys for "playing the race card", since it is their responsibility to try to obtain an acquittal. What is significant is that they believed that appealing to racism was the way to win. We all know that it sometimes does win, and that reflects the fact that racism continues to be powerful and harmful in the US.

The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing "black" but not "white". (To avoid endorsing bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism. That article is one of the exceptions.

Federal worker vaccine mandate
27 November 2021

The vaccine mandate for federal workers has been very effective.

It is weakened a little by the policy of granting religious exemptions. A religious belief is no grounds to give permission to risk spreading disease. However, it appears that the magniture of this weakness is fairly small, in the case of federal workers, so perhaps it is not an important problem.

Spike in attempts to ban books in schools
27 November 2021

*US libraries report spike in organized attempts to ban books in schools.*