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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.
*Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Are Collecting Highly Sensitive Info on Would-Be Patients.*
The "Inflation Reduction Act" is a good start at climate defense, but only a little in other areas.
More on what it does to do Medicare.
Academic luminaries praise the new Chilean constitution.
*Yellen directs IRS not to use new funding to increase chances of audits of Americans making less than $400,000.*
There are limits on the amount of fossil fuel energy that we can effectively extract and usefully combust.
If we decarbonize rapidly, those limits may not matter. Otherwise, we may actually hit peak oil.
About 5% of the people who catch Covid-19 have problems with taste and smell for at least 6 months afterwards — bad enough to make life horrible.
Waiting 6 months for my enjoyment of food to recover, I could live with. Waiting years would be a fate worse than death. I wonder what fraction suffer loss of taste and smell for years?
Australia's new government has undermined its climate defense plans by encouraging new natural gas extraction projects and describing natural gas as an "ally" of decarbonization.
A precipitous gas shortage and price spike would cause a crisis; that is not desirable. What Australia needs (like the rest of the world) is a planned, steady and predictable rise in the price of gas. That's easy to do with a tax, scheduling tax increases annually until decades from now.
*[Australian] Greens urge Labor to reject international carbon offsets as "accounting tricks."*
Sometimes they are accounting tricks; sometimes they are outright fraud. Sometimes they are mere gambling. We can't predict global heating well enough to know which "carbon offsets" will really deliver emissions reductions in future.
UPS drivers face intolerable working conditions, including 14-hour shifts working in heat that endangers their health.
European countries have given the US and Iran a "take-it-or-leave-it" final text for the non-nuclear deal.
Let's hope they take it, because that will be a victory over nuclear proliferation. And a step towards reducing hostilities between the US and Iran.
*Koch-Controlled Organizations Spent More Than $1.1 Billion During the 2020 Election Cycle.*
Ukraine has fought the Putin forces to a standstill. Some American progressives want to stop the fighting before Ukraine can retake any of the conquered provinces.
That would pull Ukraine's defeat from the jaws of victory.
The article speaks of using diplomacy to make Putin return captured territory, but it would never work. Putin is doing very well at standing up to western diplomatic pressure and sanctions.
Chronicling the corrupter's campaign to reduce US military leaders to give their loyalty to him personally, rather than to the United States.
When the corrupter demanded a military parade in Washington DC, General Selva (who grew up in Portugal under the rule of a dictator) told him, "That's what dictators do." Alas, I doubt that convinced the would-be autocrat the parade was a bad idea.
After this, various officials worked hard repeatedly to block the wrecker from launching a coup, a war, or bloody repression in the streets.
Guber is unjust to workers because it pay them peanuts. It is unjust to customers because it
Please join in wiping out Uber!
More information about the FBI raid that seized government records from the corrupter's home.
In Australia, powerful senators are demanding that the government erase the housing aid debts of states.
"private equity" parasites gave Senator Sinema $500 million in campaign funds this year, to pay her to protect their low income tax rate.
Even worse than their low tax rate is the way these so-called "investors" destroy companies. Years after the demise of Pay less Shoe Source, which I used to be a customer of, I have found no physical stores that sell the things I used to buy there. That is just one example of many.
The two Tory contenders to replace Bogus Johnson stand for neoliberal-ism. Their ideology says that the government should do nothing to correct Britain's devastating problems, because interfering with the market is a sin.
In practice, that means they do nothing to stop businesses from squeezing money out of the non-rich. The billionaires that fund the Tory party must find that convenient.
Google said it would "delete" location data that show visits to "sensitive" locations, which include abortion clinics and some other places.
In regard to location data, it is a good first step, but limited. It is limited because
Most crucially, it doesn't include the places where you might someday arrange to meet a reporter to disclose a crime committed by the state.
I am not sure what it means to say they "delete" this data rather than not storing it. Is it just another way of saying the same thing? If it really means something tangible, it seems like a risky mistake.
US citizens: support striking workers at Maximus, who demand more toilet breaks and sick leave.
US citizens: call on the eight Democratic holdouts on minimum wage to raise wages for working Americans now.
US citizens: call on the SEC regulate corporations to impede greenwashing.
The new, effective treatment for Hepatitis C is so expensive that 2/3 of the Americans who catch it don't get treated.
This failure of the medical system used to happen only in poor countries, but now even the US is becoming a poor country (for most of its inhabitants).
Tennessee has made it a crime to camp on the street in a tent.
Is it permissible to camp without a tent and get wet and sick?
(satire) *SNAP Recipients Now Required To Prove Need [i.e., hunger] By Eating All Their Groceries On Spot.*
(satire) *Prison Charges Inmate $1 Per Minute For Time With Photo Of Family.*
Trees are advancing to the north, and dying or burning in the south.
*Melting of the world's biggest ice sheet [the East Antarctic] would cause catastrophic sea level rise, but can be avoided with fast climate action.*
*Inside Somalia’s vicious cycle of deforestation for charcoal.*
Reportedly, al-Shabaab is trying to prohibit cutting trees with leaves, and having some success enforcing the prohibition by burning trucks caught carrying such wood. A democratic government might be able to enforce the rule with less brutality, but this may be better than nothing in the long term.
In a world of growing scarcity, the long-term non-brutal solution is (1) decarbonization and (2) much fewer births.
ISTR that Haiti has suffered for decades from a similar problem; nearly all the forests have been cut down.
Colombia's new president Gustavo Petro declared that fighting the war on drugs has failed.
but he means, fighting that war on Colombia's territory has failed. He's right about that. But he seems not to realize that fighting that war on US territory is equally a failure. "Strong measures that prevent consumption in developed societies" is not a solution to the problems caused by use of addictive drugs.
We should put that war into a treatment program to get it off drugs.
The corrupter said, "Only guilty people and mobsters plead the Fifth." This week, he did just that, while being questioned for a lawsuit.
It's tempting to say, "He's guilty, or he's a mobster — he said so himself!" But it's wrong to say that, because the "rule" he cited was bullshit all along. To treat it as valid is to undermine the Fifth Amendment itself, and we must not do that.
Not yet proof that can put him away, though.
To whip inflation in the US, we need to stop big businesses from raising prices from greed.
The way I prefer is to break up the many large companies that have too big a share of whatever market. Rather than launch a lawsuit against each excessively large company, I recommend a tax system that raises the tax rate sharply as a company gets bigger, or as it gets a bigger share of each market.
Death Valley suffered flooding from unusual heavy rainfall. At least no homes were flooded, since nobody lives there.
A right-wing t-shirt company, which supports the corrupter, has been fined for fraudulently labeling its shirts "Made in the USA". In fact, they were made in China.
What else would you expect from people that support someone who boasts of lying.
Privatized water companies in Britain are profiteering while draining their customers. That's what privatizing a government service tends to do, and the Tories that did it probably were aiming for that result.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say to vote for the "Inflation reduction bill" (which includes climate defense, a little more tax on the rich, and reducing some medicine prices), which the Senate already passed.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
Amazon wants to purchase One Medical, a medical treatment company which holds lots of patients' medical records. And if it can purchase iRobot, which makes robot vacuum cleaners, it can collect data about the lives of the people who use them.
The corrupter could be put in prison for years for taking secret documents home, or for destroying them.
I don't understand why Risen proposes to involving the Espionage Act in this. That would be very dangerous, because it could legitimize the misuse of that law to prosecute whistleblowers.
Until the day we change that law to protect whistleblowers, whose "crime" is to tell the people about the state's actions, we must not lump them together with people like the corrupter who take secret documents in order to deny the state access to them and block it from functioning.
Phoenix, Arizona, is so hot that people doing nothing more than walk around are collapsing and need urgent rescue.
The abortion charges against Celeste Burgess and Jessica Burgess are based on a subpoena for their Facebook messages.
The only communication systems you can safely use to discuss abortion plans in the US now are those which do not save any record — either in a central server or in your own device.
China's communications about Taiwan are monomaniacal intimidation pretending to be friendship.
It's similar to coercive control, but on an international scale.
(satire) *Relieved [corrupter] Thought Mar-A-Lago Raid Was About All The Bodies.
* Pentagon contractors operating in Afghanistan over the past two decades raked in nearly $108 billion—funds that "were distributed and spent with a significant lack of transparency," according to a report published Tuesday.*
*AIPAC's New Political Strategy: Spend Millions on Elections Without Mentioning Israel.*
*With Antitrust Bills Stalled, Watchdogs Demand Schumer Disclose Big Tech Donations.* They suspect him of being paid to block those bills from getting a vote.
(satire) Reminding would-be mass shooters that it has become old hat, and people would hardly even remember their names.
Proposing credit card companies warn when someone orders large supplies of guns and ammunition.
I think this is a good idea. The interference with privacy would be very narrow, and little by comparison with the things we are fighting against.
*Biden Administration Plans for Legal Psychedelic Therapies Within Two Years.*
We must expect Republicans to demonize this with lies and exaggerations.
FBI agents searched the corrupter's home at Mar-a-Lago, looking for secret government papers he was not allowed to remove from the files. Naturally they had to look inside his safe, but if "breaking in" implies damaging the safe, that was gratuitous. Thugs often cause gratuitous damage to people when they search. and many of those people aren't rich like the corrupter and can't shrug off the cost of those damages
They should have given him — and anyone whose premises they search — the chance to open things for them and avoid damage.
However, there is no reason to suppose he was honest about this. (He's not usually honest.) Maybe the safe was opened without damaging it.
*Emmett Till: woman whose accusation led to [his] lynching will not be charged.*
I think this verdict was inevitable. If her story is true, it implies she is not responsible for the murder of Emmet Till. If she is lying, she might be co-responsible in some way, but there is no evidence about what it may have been, let alone any proof.
The people who really should have been convicted of murder were the people who killed him. They were acquitted by a racist jury.
If that were to happen today, the murderers would face federal civil rights charges, as well as state charges. The conviction of Ahmaud Arbery's killers suggests that the US has learned to be less racist in its justice than it was in 1955. Maybe some day it will learn to be even less racist.
*Brazilians fear return to dictatorship as "deranged" Bolsonaro trails in polls.*
Like the wrecker in the US, Bolsonaro has talked about refusing to hand over power peacefully.
People fear he will try to organize mobs on Brazil's independence day to overthrow democracy, perhaps arranging a false flag attack on them as an excuse.
As Greenland's ice melts and exposes some areas of land, people are prospecting for rare metals.
There are no established ecosystems on those areas, but mining can spread pollution in many ways. It could pollute the land so that plants can't grow there; it can pollute the nearby seas.
They were supposed to apply their discretion to make fines a last resort; now ever, they were much quicker to fine black.
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 will not link to articles that promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles that I consider particularly important. That article is one of the exceptions.
Worshipers of the Invisible Hand have seriously proposed that people should become corporations and sell shares in themselves to raise funds to invest in their education.
That's effectively a way of selling a fraction of yourself into slavery. A few may become successful, while many become controlled by their shareholders. The rich who own the shares will dominate the decisions about the laws to regulate this system.
The book, The Unincorporated Man by Kollin and Kollin, describes a future world in which this has happened. The people in that world are used to the system and defend it, but at the end we see that forces everyone to be partly owned by whoever buys stock in them.
Please do not get it from Amazon!
The US military uses a highly polluting method (burn pits) to dispose of most kinds of inconvenient waste in deployment bases.
It causes avoidable injury to US solders, and also to the local civilians. But it's cheap for the Pentagon, supposing it doesn't bear the cost of treating those injuries. Now it will have to pay to treat the US veterans, but not the local civilians.
Don't forget about the diseases caused to both US soldiers and local civilians by Depleted Uranium.
*Nebraska teen and her mother charged for aborting and burying fetus.*
Some of the charges are about doing things with a "dead body". It is absurd to consider a fetus a dead body, but antiabortionists push for anything that classifies a fetus as a human being for any specific purpose in any specific circumstance, regarding that as a step closer to classifying abortion as murder.
Roe v Wade did not legalize abortion after 6 months except with certain specific grounds. I wonder if any of those grounds applied here — and also why she did not have an abortion earlier.
China is going all out to intimidate US support for Taiwan, even "breaking off" discussions on curbing global heating.
Not that China was cooperating very much anyway: it continues to build new coal-fired generating plants, and its target for (the weak goal of) "net zero" is 2060.
China has recently experienced disastrous floods and faces the danger of fatal weather in the North China Plain.
China's rulers are arrogant but not crazy. The only thing that can convince them to try hard to decarbonize is awareness of what will happen if they don't.
The US is also doing far too little to decarbonize, though the just-passed climate, welfare and tax law is a step forward.
Texas governor Abbott is having state officials force border-crossers onto buses to New York City, even though they wanted to go elsewhere.
It would be a kindness to offer them rides to New York City, if they had the choice to decline the offer without being punished. Misrepresenting this mistreatment as such a kindness is a big lie, a typical Republican act.
China's missile interdiction of seas near Taiwan was such a large exercise that it was probably planned for months.
Pelosi's visit was a convenient excuse, an opportunity to put the blame on her.
The great danger is that it shows that China can cut off Taiwan's maritime trade just by firing missiles. To prevent that requires some way of making it cost China more than it costs Taiwan.
A Republican candidate for attorney general of Michigan is accused of plotting to tamper with voting machines after the 2020 election.
The coach of a college football team has been forced to resign after he started reading aloud the text on a distracted student's iBad, and in the process recited some taboo word.
The word is so taboo that CNN dares not say what it was — and indeed, it hardly matters which taboo word it was. I presume it was a slur of some sort.
The ethical issue here is whether to treat such slurs as insults, wrong to use as insults because that unjustifiably nasty, or treat them as taboos. Do people deserve punishment for inadvertently breaching taboos?
The coach believes that even though the words he spoke were not his words, his violation of the taboo was such a grave sin that he deserves to be shunned and lose his job for quoting them carelessly. By doing that, he lets down other future people condemned for violating taboos. If he had to resign, he should have done so without admitting guilt.
If you step on a flagstone that has a taboo word inscribed on it, should you be shunned? How about if you are photographed near a sign (in a non-English-speaking country perhaps) which has a taboo word on it? Should you be fired for that? Is "what people might think" more important than what really happened?
Using slurs to insult someone is nasty and wrong. But we ought to know better than to punish people for violating taboos. To do so indicates a lack of moral reflection.
61 Oklahoma legislators called on the state to re-investigate whether Richard Glossip is really guilty. They believe there is no evidence that he committed the murder he is scheduled to be executed for.
Some people can forgive great wrongs; others simply can't. It's not a matter of choice.
This suggests to me that society's treatment of criminals should not be based on whether their specific victims can forgive the crimes. Society needs to pardon the criminals eventually, if that helps make society whole, even if the victims can't.
*Climate research finds modeling used [by central banks] cannot predict localized extreme weather, leading to poor estimations of risk.*
US citizens: The climate, tax and welfare bill passed the Senate, but hasn't passed the House of Representatives. Big Pharma is lobbying to kill the part that will reduce drug prices. Please phone your representative to support it.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
Military challenges Ukraine faces in recapturing Kherson.
I believe it is possible. The Putin forces soldiers have no reason to fight to the death, if Ukraine shows they will be safe if they surrender.
*Photos suggest Trump blocked toilets with ripped-up White House documents.*
Destroying those documents may have been illegal.
The Putin forces are using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a shield for their artillery, firing cannons from near the plant's facilities. Meanwhile, they are interfering with proper maintenance of the plant.
The dental part of the UK's National Health Service has collapsed; many Britons can't find a dentist to treat them.
*Climate impacts have worsened vast range of human diseases.* They include Zika, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and even Covid-19.
*Democrats lose effort to cap insulin at $35 for most Americans before passage of Senate reconciliation bill.*
*The Danger of Empathy.*
*Amazon [(the company)'s] carbon emissions up 40% but somehow still on track for "net zero" by 2040.*
The right-wing government of the UK does exactly as Adam Smith warned: it crushes the non-rich and panders to the rich. It goes as far as murder.
As Aneurin Bevan said, the Tories are lower than vermin.
Texas threatens to prosecute any Texas organization that funds travel out of Texas for an abortion, and to sue any individual who provides such funds.
This is terrorism. Fanatical right-with Christian Taliban terrorism.
Activists in 13 countries that propose to negotiate a new business-supremacy treaty warn that it may become another iteration of the Trance Pacific Partnership, also known as the Pacific Partnership Trance.
The new treaty has a name, IPEF, and a likely bad result because of which countries are involved.
Poor children wore body cameras in New Zealand to contribute to a picture of what life in poverty is like.
A study like this can have good results, but we need to take steps to prevent poor people from being lured, tricked or forced to contribute to massive surveillance.
*Assange family barred from taking book about WikiLeaks founder into Australia's parliament.*
*It's time to ban private jets — or at least tax them to the ground.*
I favor taxing them heavily, because sufficient tax should make them insignificant as a contribution to global heating, and we can use the money. Prohibiting private jets as tax deductions would also help greatly.
*Massive Quantities of PFAS Waste Go Unreported to EPA.*
A bubble barrier is removing most of the plastic particles from the Oud Rijn river, with a modicum of energy and little human labor.
Republicans have been increasing income taxes and cutting support for working people for 40 years, but they are not satisfied, so they are proposing extreme ideas for how to do even worse. Ron Johnson proposes to make Social Security and Medicare payments a year-by-year decision.
People like Ron Johnson and Rick Scott deserve to be sentenced to live on $100 a week, and forbidden to receive gifts except through begging from strangers.
Governor Dementis advocates a long list of right oppressive right-wing policies. One that is subtle and long term is the distortion of civics education in favor of government promotion (effectively, establishment) of religion.
The campaign to limit use of facial recognition has stalled, and some regulations are being reversed, or expiring.
What makes facial recognition so dangerous is its capacity to track everyone's movements. The only legitimate cases for using it are in systems that cannot be used to track everyone's movements. To use it for "lead generation" is exactly the danger.
*Democratic ads boosted extremists in Republican primaries. Was that wise?*
It was a very risky bet. For such a bet to be wise, you need to be very sure of the dynamics of the situation. I don't think any political group can validly be that confident.
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the assault weapons ban.
People have criticized this proposed law for drawing the line in not exactly the right place. Perhaps that is true — but it is a step in the right direction, even if it doesn't end up in exactly the right place. It includes a ban on selling large magazines, and that will generally reduce the number killed in mass shootings. Although most people killed by guns are killed by handguns, that doesn't make this measure ineffective — only less than perfect.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on Biden to reject new oil/gas leases.
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act.
US citizens: call on Biden and Blinken to prevent home demolitions in Masafer Yatta, Palestine.
US citizens: call on NOAA to designate the underwater Hudson Canyon as a national marine sanctuary.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to prosecute the wrecker for his conspiracy to steal the election.
US citizens: call on Congress and Biden to make the federal minimum wage $15.
*Trump's worst toadies hold degrees from Harvard and Yale. Did they learn anything [there]?*
*By taunting the US ‘paper tiger’, China risks provoking a backlash over Taiwan.*
Neither the US nor China is engaging in uncalculated emotional reaction. Both countries are pursuing their conflicting goals, driven by the strategic logic.
China's rulers' goal is to conquer Taiwan; this is not speculation, it is what they say. As long as that does not change, the idea of "stabilizing" this confrontation for the long term is self-delusion because China won't accept that as an outcome.
China's "reactions" to whatever happens are not spontaneous emotion. They are planned actions by officials, aiming at the goal of conquering Taiwan. Sometimes they go softer, sometimes harder, but either way it is tactics.
One of China's tactics — China uses it because it is effective — is to twist the US up in the contradiction between its "one China" policy and treating Taiwan as independent. In the long run, that contradiction will be debilitating; so if the US is to protect Taiwan's independence, it must move away from the "one China" policy.
China will threaten to break off relations, etc.; the US must respond, "We can't prevent you from doing that, but you'll hurt yourself more than you hurt us." Then it must stand firm until China comes to face facts.
Smoke from wildfires harms people even thousands of miles away. A small concentration harms a smaller number of people but isn't harmless.
Since even wealthy people don't know how to protect themselves, we should have programs that aim at protecting everyone. Or perhaps everyone with asthma, if only people with asthma are particularly in danger.
In the long run, we can expect wealthy people to pay for this protection themselves, once we make sure they know what is needed.
Opposing the merger of Amazon and Roomba, on grounds of competition and privacy.
With proper privacy laws, no privacy issue would arise from this merger. A product such as the Roomba would not be allowed to send any data to anyone about the owner or the use of the product.
Billionaire Polluters have spent a million dollars to influence the British public against a windfall profits tax.
Texas and the federal government are headed for a fight where federal guidelines call for an abortion as part of proper medical care for a pregnant female with certain kinds of dangerous medical conditions, but Texas says it is a crime.
Pearson plans to allow students to "resell" digital textbooks, but not freely: they will have to pay Pearson for the privilege, and let Pearson track them.
Pearson uses the term "NFT" to describe these plans, but that's a red herring, as the article explains — a marketing buzzword that has been stretched to fit.
There is no sign that these ebooks will avoid any of the injustices of existing digital textbooks: DRM, surveillance, and "jerkmaking" contracts where you commit to be a jerk by refusing to share copies with others.
It is unethical to agree to such a contract; however, carrying it out (supposing you have agreed to it) is even more unethical. The less bad option, if you have agreed to such a thing, is to disregard it.
Veterans for Peace protested the US military's failure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
A judge ruled that refusing to give Andrea Anderson emergency contraception wasn't discrimination based on sex.
That conclusion makes sense to me: it didn't fall under the heading of "discrimination" because there is no reason to believe the pharmacist would have treated a male patient differently. In my view, it was an injustice for the pharmacist to refuse to fill her prescription, but it was a different kind of injustice.
There is something in the article I don't clearly understand. Did the jury award Anderson $25k in damages (under some other rubric), or not? If it did, that could be a very good outcome: perhaps sufficient to convince those pharmacies not to let this happen again. But if so, I'd like to understand the reasons for it.
* Special [UK Foreign Office] unit spread fake news about leftist [Kenyan] politician, Oginga Odinga, seen as threat to British interests in 1960s.*
Anna Vorosheva was a prisoner in Putin's Olenivka prison, and reports on the torture done to male prisoners there. As for female prisoners, they were not tortured but were treated degradingly in many ways.
The article excuses the Putin forces of setting off an explosion a week ago, inside the prison, which killed around 50 prisoners. If Putin keeps refusing investigators access, it will be his word against the satellite photos; but refusing access is a reason to disbelieve his word.
(satire) *Biden: U.S. Won’t Rest Until Brittney Griner Returned Home To Serve Marijuana Possession Sentence.*
The US should legalize marijuana and free everyone that's in prison for nonviolent crimes relating to marijuana. Then it will speak with moral authority when it calls on other countries not to punish Americans for such offenses.
Republicans in some US towns are defunding their public libraries, or trying to, over objections to books about queer people.
I write "queer" rather than "LGBTQ" because the former is one syllable instead of five and covers the same range of variations.
The wrecker's officials approved plans for coal mining which failed to uphold environmental requirements. Environmentalists sued, and Biden's officials defended the wrecker's plan.
Fortunately, a court ruled against the plans, but why defend those plans? Whether or not they were lawful, they were clearly bad.
*First-of-Its-Kind Greenwashing Lawsuit Targets Gas Giant for Methane Lies.*
Actually, it wasn't what we normally called a "gas giant" — it was on the small rocky planet we inhabit.
*Election deniers are one step closer to taking control of voting in 4 key states.*
China is going all-out to remind us that it is a military threat to Taiwan.
which reinforces that the US must stand firm with Taiwan.
China's "live fire exercises" close to Taiwan amounted in effect to a temporary blockade of Taiwan.
South Dakota has an optional Indian alternative justice system which aims for healing rather than punishment.
In the 1970s, US courts and prisons aimed for rehabilitation of criminals, but that was all discarded in the 1980s under the malign influence of the "war on drugs".
Portugal requires residents to have a biometric ID card for many purposes, including medical care, employment and travel. This is an injustice to everyone that is compelled to have the card; it is also a practical disaster for the resident foreigners who can't get one.
The government seems to be using those foreigners as hostages to an international dispute, but we should not let this distract us from the injustice those cards present to people who DO have them.
*Justice Department employees ask for expanded benefits to protect abortion access, asking for the administration to expand health care coverage to include abortion-related benefits like paid leave to travel out of state and reimbursement for travel expenses.*
Amnesty International criticized Ukraine for stationing military units and weapons systems in cities.
It would be absurd to compare this with the pervasive evil of the Putin forces, and it certainly doesn't excuse them. But this is a valid point. Ukraine should heed this criticism and change those practices.
A woman is suing the only pharmacy within 50 miles of her home for refusing to fill a prescription for contraception (the morning-after pill).
Such situations are likely to arise in the depopulated rural parts of the US, where stores of any kind are few and far between, and anti-abortion fanatics are numerous.
I am suspicious of any pharmacy business that gives its individual staff the privilege to veto a prescription. No supermarket would tolerate a sales clerk who refused to sell certain products — if you won't do the whole job, you would need to find some other job. I suspect that the owners or managers of those pharmacies are themselves anti-abortion fanatics, and that letting staff veto prescriptions is a intentional deniable way of attacking abortion and birth contraception while denying their responsibility in the matter.
It's clear that any pharmacy, when open for business, must be legally required to fill any valid prescription presented by anyone.
The price Biden wants to pay Manchin for approving spending is a permanent change to environmental rules for damaging projects.
Sanders lambasted Manchin's planet-roasting demands,
which were elsewhere described by "Exxon CEO Loves What Manchin Did for Big Oil in $370 Billion Deal."
The UK will test a system that uses photos of drivers of passing cars to detect those who are not wearing seat belts, or are holding phones in their hands.
Detecting the use of a snoop-phone while driving is a good thing, in itself, because that practice is dangerous. But I wonder what else these photos could (and will) be used for. Will the state use them to identify every driver by facial recognition? And ever passenger, too?
There should be technical safeguards in the system to ensure it can't be used for this
Australia's coral is not out of the woods yet.
Global heating will eventually kill the Great Barrier Reef, and the acidification caused by too much CO2 in the water will eventually wipe out most sea animals with shells — including coral.
President Wickremesinghe has sent Sri Lanka's thugs to use cruelty to crush the protest movement that drove out President Rajapaksa.
*How the Tory party has systematically run down the NHS.* It *does not believe in the NHS but dares not say so.*
US citizens: call on Biden to stop the Uinta Basin Railway.
Everyone: call on Columbia Sportswear to commit to ending use of PFAs in its products.
*Boston police chasing white suspect wrongly arrested black man, lawsuit says.*
This is an extreme case of thugs' frequent practice of assuming a black man is guilty of something, simply because he's black. They knew the suspect was 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 will not link to articles that promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles that I consider particularly important. That article is one of the exceptions.
*US border patrol accused of taking turbans from Sikh asylum-seekers.*
Thugs are fond of contriving excuses to claim that they are required to do something that will cause suffering to someone weak.
*Four corporate US landlords deceived and evicted thousands during Covid.*
I contend that we should forbid ownership of buildings containing housing for rent by corporations. Or else limit how many units, or how many buildings, any one owner can own.
The article linked to 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 will not link to articles that promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles that I consider particularly important. That article is one of these exceptions.
*Floods, storms and heatwaves are a direct product of the climate crisis — that's a fact, so where is the action?*
Governor Dementis "suspended" the elected state prosecutor of Tampa, who said he would refuse to prosecute anyone for abortions, and put in his place a nonelected prosecutor.
I suppose Dementis has chosen a replacement who will eagerly prosecute abortions. I wonder when the citizens of Tampa will have another chance to elect a prosecutor.
Warning, Australia! Warning, Europe! Potential business-supremacy treaty sighted near both continents!
Promotion of these treaties focuses on increased profits for some businesses, and those businesses push for treaty approval. What the mainstream media tend not to mention is that they transfer power from government (which can be democratic) to businesses (which are by definition not democratic).
The sex of a baby sea turtle is determined by temperature. This must have been an effectively random choice in the past, but now that it is so hot, all the loggerhead sea turtles hatching in Florida are female.
In a few decades, that will cause extinction of the species — the females will have no mates.
Extremist Republican senator Johnson wants social security and medicare to require congressional approval each year.
Most US schools monitor everything students say and do on their school-supplied laptops, and students are in a substantial danger of being charged or harassed as a result.
If this massive surveillance continues, parts of the US may jail students for seeking abortion resources (or birth control, or whatever the Christian Taliban may prohibit) using those school-supplied facilities.
A school-supplied laptop that allows connection to anything but the school's own servers is bait — tempting students to browse the web under direct monitoring by the school and the local thug department. Paradoxical as it may seem, perhaps schools should be legally required to limit these computers strictly to class assignments, so students won't make the mistake of using them for their other activities.
US citizens: call on your Senators to pass the Saving America's Pollinators Act.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Ending Corporate Greed Act (windfall profits tax).
(satire) *Woman [is] At That Age Where All Her Friends Getting Prosecuted For Losing Pregnancies.*
I suspect that right-wing white women will get preferential treatment: they won't get prosecuted for miscarriages.
The heatwave in Europe is damaging olive oil production in Spain and Italy.
*Justice department urged to investigate deletion of January 6 texts by Pentagon.*
Republicans changed their mind about veterans poisoned by military incineration of toxic substances, and passed a bill to help them.
They tried following their philosophy, which is that if you're not rich you don't deserve help, but the public disgust made them change their tune.
*UN to investigate prison attack that killed  Ukrainian prisoners of war.*
The Putin forces claim this was a false flag attack by Ukraine, but the claim is not plausible. It is absurd to think that Ukraine would kill Ukrainians just to have an excuse to accuse the Putin forces of yet another atrocity. Ukraine has hundreds, or is it thousands, of atrocities to charge them with.
It is the Putin forces that would desire to kill those Ukrainians; indeed, it had already threatened to execute them.
* For a long time now, the mechanisms of our democratic system of government meant to ensure accountability have been at the edge of collapse, if not obliteration.*
The use of Real Estate Investment Trusts for business property cause complications for businesses that impede them from providing good service. They also increase the power of the financial industry, which harms society overall.
In the absence of any specific facts, I speculate that they were used to getting away with abusing some citizens, and saw that the new city manager was not going to permit that.
California has decided to produce insulin and offer it at a much lower price to diabetics in the state.
I wonder if California will sell to diabetics in other states, too?
Mark Finchem, who won the Arizona Republican primary for attorney general, is a Qanonsense believer that advocates the wrecker's Big Lie (that the 2020 election was stolen).
*Big oil is wringing humanity dry. We need a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.*
Rewilding marginal areas in a large farm was a big help to wildlife, and the increased wildlife increased the productivity of the rest of the farm.
A new HIV-prevention drug could wipe out that disease, over time, except that it is too expensive for the people that need it.
*Spiraling inflation, crops left in the field and travel chaos: 10 reasons [leaving the EU] has been disastrous for Britain.*
I dislike the word "Brexit" so I don't use it.
An extremely strange snail species, found only at a few deep-sea thermal vents in one region, is endangered, and could be wiped out by deep-sea mining in that region.
Robert Reich: *Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema act out of ego, not principle.*
In a broad sense, this must be true. But is it "ego" in the ssnse of simple emotion, or is it "ego" in the sense of future advantage?
Umberto Eco explains why the Italian term "facsism" could generalize to fit many different repressive tyrannies.
The heat in Europe is reducing the power output of some nuclear power plants. They are cooled by water from rivers, and it is too hot to cool them enough.
Right-wing Democrat Cuellar joined Republicans in proposing a law that would allow companies to eliminate important workers' rights, by extending the piecework sweatshop economy to more kinds of work.
This would also stop states from requiring better wages and working conditions for existing gig-work companies such as Uber
*Zuckerberg-backed Summit Learning platform suggests schools 'listen' to parents' 'online conversations'.*
The citizens of Kansas voted to keep abortion rights into the state constitution, by a landslide.
*Organizers said treating reproductive rights as a non-partisan issue was key to success in a Republican-leaning state.*
The vote was on a right-wing initiative to ban abortion in Kansas, but initiatives to legalize abortion are also possible, in the states that allow them.
Yet more gratuitous cruelty by the US border thugs.
This article mentions a policy of making asylum seekers throw away all their personal possessions, as well as specific cruelty towards Sikh men — forcing them to violate religious commandments for no rational reason.
Religion is not an excuse for someone to violate safety requirements or mistreat anyone else. But these particular Sikh religious practices don't hurt or endanger anyone.
When "security forces" display a persistent habit of gratuitous cruelty, we cannot take their word about what they do. Their punishment should be a requirement to document how they treat each asylum seeker.
*AIPAC Defeats Andy Levin, the Most Progressive Jewish Representative.*
AIPAC is a big danger to the US fight against plutocracy. Americans who care about injustice to persecuted minorities tend to be concerned with Israel's occupation policies, so AIPAC essentially campaigns for disdain towards persecuted minorities.
(satire) *Democrats Worried Biden Will Be Healthy Enough To Run Again In 2024.*
The military budget passed by the House of Representatives is a big give-away to the military-industrial complex, including systems that are useless.
What should we say about the people who started out supporting the wrecker when he was a hate-spewing right-wing extremist, and stopped only when they saw he was an enemy of our system of government?
I don't think that either the good or the bad erases the other. I can't deny that Pence is actively campaigning against sedition. I can't refuse to recognize that he is a religious extremist that seeks to impose his religious extremism on everyone in the US. He is a hero and he is atrocious, both at once.
Several new business-supremacy treaties are being negotiated. In addition to the usual kinds of oppression, these may also restrict governments' in blocking massive surveillance by networks of businesses.
A large music festival in Atlanta has been cancelled because Georgia does not permit music festivals in parks to exclude guns.
The direct cause of cancellation seems to be that Atlanta refused to authorized it, but I expect the city invited the festival to change its rules to permit guns in order to get approval. I expect that the organizers were wise to stand by their policy.
According to Russian law, it is illegal to jail volunteer soldiers (as distinct from conscripts) for refusing to fight in Ukraine. However, Putin is using the puppet governments of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the Wagner mercenaries, to jail hundreds of refusal soldiers and pretend that Russia isn't doing it.
Is it possible to establish in international law that Russia is responsible for crimes supposedly committed by those puppets?
China responded to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan with the typical bluster with which it tries to pressure other countries not to support Taiwan, and the usual displays of military strength.
These are the way China tries to intimidate and threaten. If we don't want to let China conquer Taiwan, we must not be influenced by China's pressure.
China is a real military threat, but that's not due to Pelosi's visit, and Pelosi could not have made China less of a real threat by staying away from Taiwan. We cannot defend Taiwan from China's military power by tiptoeing.
Republicans seek to purge the employees of federal agencies and replace them with inexperienced Republicans who will do whatever they are told.
Due to their lack of experience, they won't respect traditional rules that were adopted to restrain abuse of power.
In the FBI, the extremist agents will investigate whoever the president tells them to investigate. In the DoJ, the extremist staff will prosecute whoever the president tells them to prosecute.
* No single crisis, no matter how existential, will be enough to shut this [planet roasting] machine down naturally. We must break it or it will break us.*
* The fossil fuel industry as a whole is not just another business, providing a service to meet a demand; it is a predatory drug dealer that works every day to keep the world addicted to its poisonous product, knowing full well that it will eventually prove fatal.*
(satire) *15-Year-Old Finds Summer Job As BetterHelp Therapist.*
Trumppets in Arizona organized a bogus "audit" of the presidential election in Arizona, evidently aiming to blow smoke so they could claim there was a fire. They later reported 282 supposed cases of dead people who had cast votes.
A subsequent investigation by Arizona's attorney general found that 281 of them were in fact alive.
The FBI continues luring vulnerable people (generally Muslims) into fantasy terrorism schemes and sentencing them to 20 years in prison.
If the FBI goes after right-wing extremists it could start protecting us from real terrorism.
Australia's inflation is like America's inflation: caused by big businesses that have the power to impose price increases because they want to.
I think that result is unlikely. Humans are quite flexible, and have survived in drastically different situations. So I think various small groups of humans will remain, without high technology. But I can't claim that extinction is impossible.
US citizens: call on Congress to act to let the FCC restore the past network neutrality requirements on ISPs.
UN Secretary General Guterres warns that the risk of nuclear war is slowly increasing. The world's nuclear disarmament efforts are weakening.
Putin is trying to threaten nuclear war and pretending that he isn't -- much as US Republicans (also known as the Christian Taliban) are threatening civil war and pretending they aren't.
Shell is using its windfall profits for stock buybacks -- not investing them in renewable electric generation.
US government "security" agencies track people's movements through their phones, without getting search warrants, by buying location data from companies that accumulate them.
We must forbid companies from collecting, or accumulating, people's location data.
*Corporate Media [Fail] to Connect Gas Price Surge and Climate Crisis.*
(satire) *Police Experimenting With Nonlethal Methods To Give Speeding Ticket.*
Sanders: *I say to Senator Toomey, if you don't believe we can afford to take care of our veterans suffering from toxic burn pit exposure, then you should not have approved funding to go to war.*
(satire) *New Windex Formula Removes Menacing Apparitions From Mirror.*
The UAE has convicted democracy campaigner Asim Ghafoor, who is a US citizen, of money laundering after a suspect trial.
He was arrested in a flight connection in Abu Dhabi. I recommend people avoid setting foot in Abu Dhabi's airport.
Another bizarre thing in this report is that it the accusation appears to have come initially from the US; but the US did not arrested him, instead it let him fly to Abu Dhabi airport and he was arrested there.
I suspect this represents dirty work.
The US has a pattern, since 2001, of persecuting Muslims that raise money in the US for charity in other countries. Try as they might, they get accused of terrorism, or violating financial regulations. Is that what happened here?
Filipinos, including expats, are buying lots of copies of the book Marcos Martial Law: Never Again, fearing that the new president, son of the late dictator Marcos, will suppress the memory of his crimes.
The US has adopted policies that encourage the public to ignore Covid-19 and abandon the effective, low-tech methods of reducing transmission. This has allowed transmission to increase enormously, which puts vulnerable people at great danger. Politicians say, implicitly, that it doesn't matter if those people die, that they are not important enough to wear a mask for.
There are two side points in the article that I take issue with. First, eugenics means an active effort to control who can reproduce. Letting people get sick and perhaps die is not eugenics. It is wrong, but it is a different wrong. This is an example of a pattern of stretching terminology for condemning a wrong that has excited special ire, to apply it to other things and carry some of that ire to them.
Second, the article describes the US practices as "American exceptionalism", but I've seen similar practices in several European countries, and I think most of them have adopted the policy of "Imagine there's no Covid."
I asked the mayor of Boston to start a PR campaign to convince people to wear masks in enclosed places. Even if it's not a legal requirement, there are ways of convincing people to do it -- and in this case, it doesn't require any deception. Obviously, this has not been done.
Rally for Julian Assange on Monday, August 1, from 11 to 12:30, at Park Street Station on the Boston Common. People will remain near the Park St station entrance for an hour, then march through the Common, giving out literature and talking to people on the way.
You can also support the campaign by phone or email.
Human-caused global heating will cause more tornadoes and more flooding in Kentucky. The governor is horrified seeing this at work, but will he understand what needs to be done?
The US must put an end to irrigation of lawns in areas where water is going to be scarce.
88% of Britons who stopped working since 2020 did so because of long-term illness.
I would expect the same to be true in the US, but does anyone actually know?
Already some places on Earth occasionally experience fatal weather, for short periods. But we know only theoretically at which point the combined heat and humidity (measured as the "wet bulb temperature") will kill a large fraction of humans.
I fear we will get clear empirical evidence about this question in the next 20 years.
*Yes, Republicans really did try to make abortion punishable by death.*
*‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert.*
Hothouse Earth, by Professor Bill McGuire, says we must stop trying to give people hope by underplaying the extent of the disaster that we have already made unavoidable.
Are economic sanctions against Russia worth while, if they don't help make Putin drop the attempt to conquer Ukraine?
I support showing solidarity with Ukraine, but I contend that the best ways to do that are the ways that re effective help. Giving Ukraine arms to defeat and repel the Putin forces is effective, while economic warfare through sanctions seems to be backfiring. Thus, I suggest we do more of the former and less of the latter.
The US is suing to block the merger of two of the five giant US publishing companies.
This demonstrates the weakness of our antitrust laws. For two such large companies to merge should be a crime, so that blocking the merger requires no lawsuit. We should not have let them get down to less than 20.
*A group of whistleblowers has provided evidence that the Environmental Protection Agency has not adequately assessed the health risks posed by several new chemicals on the grounds that they are corrosive. Managers in the New Chemicals Division have repeatedly and incorrectly used the idea that a chemical may cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract as an excuse to avoid assessing the risk of other harms it may cause.*
By 2100, Austin, Texas, will be as hot as Dubai is now.
Dubai then will be even hotter.
The heat wave in the UK has ruined the harvest for many kinds of fruits and vegetables.
This is surely true also in parts of the US, but I don't have an article to reference.
Moon's "Unification church" has offered electoral support to Japanese and American right-wing politicians, since the 1970s.
A ship carrying Ukrainian grain has left Odessa, bound for Lebanon.
If Putin allows grain shipments to continue, that will be a great help to many countries where people are suffering from hunger.
I previously suggested the idea that Ukraine could choke off Russia's oil exports from Novorossiysk. Back then, it would have been retaliation in kind for what Putin was doing — but maybe he is no longer doing that.
If Putin henceforth refrains from cutting off Ukraine's exports, Ukraine should and must refrain from cutting off Russia's exports.
US citizens: phone your senators and urge them to pass the "trans bill of rights" now.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on Biden not to run again in 2024.
Here are reasons.
* "Approving lots of new fossil fuel projects in exchange for some clean energy funding is completely bonkers and will make the climate crisis worse."*
All but 6 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against legalizing abortion of pregnancies caused by rape.
Could it be that big US businesses are jacking up prices to help the Republican Party win this year's election?
*Humanity faces ‘collective suicide’ over climate crisis, warns UN chief.*
*US drafts new speed limits on shipping to help save endangered whales.*
The US government must fund "managed" retreat from housing that is doomed to be flooded or burnt.
The people who live in those homes can't afford to move or build elsewhere — the government must help them. But subsidizing rebuilding in place is an enormously inefficient way to do that.
I disagree with the statement that "managed retreat is not defeat." Of course it is! Global heating disaster will be one defeat after another. However, there are different kinds of defeats. When you can't win the battle, an orderly retreat is much less bad than a disorderly rout, and that's what will happen if we don't plan this.
Cory Doctorow explains how the rootkit that attacks treacherous computing is a disaster for "security" in the usual sense.
It means that machines with the WHAT? can now have additional back doors other than the one that Microsoft designed into Windows.
However, since WHAT is what ensures we can't free our machines from Microsoft's control, the same vulnerability that this rootkit uses might give us a way to turn off treacherous computing and/or install our own free boot software.
The inspector general of the Department of Hostility and Sadism knew for months that some important Jan 6 messages had been deleted, and did not tell Congress. The missing (deleted) messages extend beyond the Secret Service; some involved the highest officials of the DHS.
*Big Pharma Flooding Airwaves With Disinformation to Kill Drug Price Reform.*
Doctors in US states that have banned abortions are now afraid to treat miscarriages and nonviable pregnancies, because that overlaps with abortion.
The Indian state of Telengana is pushing for total surveillance. The excuse is terrorism, but India's repression combined with total surveillance will do more damage than terrorism that lacks the backing of the Indian government.
Four myths about inflation (in the US).
Republicans have, for years, pushed to start a constitutional convention that would rewrite the US Constitution. It turns out that Republicans would have pre-imposed control of that convention, and could do whatever they wish, disregarding the public.
*Fears that Egypt may use Cop27 to whitewash human rights abuses.*
Australia may soon change its constitution to establish something to be known as "an indigenous voice to parliament", though no one has stated clearly what that would concretely mean.
In general, it is wrong to establish rights or privileges for citizens based on their racial background. Would this "voice" do a thing? Without a concrete plan, we can't tell.
Prime Minister Albanese has promised to state simply and clearly the text for the referendum to decide on the plan. Supposing that the simple and clear text also states concretely what would be done, then depending on those details, it might perhaps be a good thing.
The indigenous Australians suffered a grave wrong when the British colonists took their land, and suffer from direct and systemic racism today. They deserve various sorts of help and compensation — but that is a different question.
Some former Republicans are campaigning against trump-pets and for preserving democracy.
The ancient Middle East understood the need to cancel debts periodically, so that the rich did not drive the rest into bondage.
Nowadays, by contrast, the creditors rule and government believes it exists to make sure that debts are not forgiven.
*IVF may be in jeopardy in states where embryos are granted person hood.*
I think that artificial assistance to getting pregnant is ok in theory, but terribly self-destructive to a society in our present situation.
The EPA has an indirect plan to get coal-fired generators to close.
Accusation: *Boris Johnson is planning to fill the Lords with his cronies and legitimize bribery*
A Bank of America executive expressed hope that workers will lose their power to pressure for raises, and that unemployment will rise.
*Maritime heatwaves have destroyed up to 90% of coral populations in parts of the Mediterranean.*
These heat waves are intense — almost 6C hotter than normal.
*Could Long Covid lead to the rise of a four-day work-week?*
A four-day work week might be a change for the better, but in order for long Covid to make society adopt that, it would have to wreak such enormous suffering that a mere change in work schedules could not come near to compensating. We need to prevent so many people from getting long Covid.
Brazil has approved a paved highway through Amazonia, which risks encouraging illegal logging.
This is Bolsonaro at work.
The US achieves foreign policy goals by sending arms or troops. Cuba achieves foreign policy goals by sending doctors or teachers. Can the US do with sending more doctors or teachers, and less arms or troops?
Indiana's attorney general is a religious fanatic. He is looking for any possible excuse to harass Dr Caitlin Bernard, including "complaints" about her from people who never met her or had anything to do with her.
Sri Lanka's new president, Wickremesinghe, formerly prime minister, is imposing harsh repression of protests.
I have a suspicion that Wickremesinghe allowed protests to chase out Rajapaksa, for reasons of his own.
Australia's prime minister is not an extreme planet roaster, but he is repeating myths used by the coal industry to keep coal cheap.
Only 11 states require sex education classes that are medically accurate. Good education for adolescents about sexual relationships is rare.
Good education about how to be confident of delighting your lover is almost nonexistent in our society, and that absence causes millions of people years of misery.
Republican performative cruelty includes US workers whose medical insurance is currently required to cover screening for various dangerous diseases.
The Department of Justice is investigating the phony electors plot.
Sanders warns that Bolsonaro is plotting to overthrow democracy in Brazil, and called on Biden to help Brazil resist this.
Sad to say, there are reasons to distrust the computerized voting machines used in Brazil. Or at least, that was the case 10 years ago. They are digital and the system does nothing to try to detect systemic digital fraud. Brazil should replace them with paper ballots.
But there is no reason to think that cheating in Lula's favor is more likely than cheating in Bolsonaro's favor. Quite the contrary: Bolsonaro's supporters are more likely to have the business connections necessary to cheat, more likely to think they need to cheat, and more likely to be unscrupulous enough to cheat.
*Inflation Is Not an Excuse to Withhold Support for Needed Tax Reforms and Investments.*
US citizens: phone your senators and urge them to vote to allow the Equal Rights Amendment to take effect. The Equal Rights Amendment says,
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on elected officials to speed decarbonization and make the greenhouse gas emitters pay.
*BBC criticised over climate question in Tory leadership debate.* The sole question about climate disaster supported the fossil fuel companies' distraction campaign, reducing one's own "carbon footprint", rather than on the systematic state actions that they seek to prevent.
However, when it comes to reducing your own personal efforts to avoid global heating disaster, it's clear that the best thing you can do is avoid having children. Fewer humans in the future means humanity's collective ecological footprint will be smaller in every dimension.
Reproducing at full speed, and letting the human population be reduced by famine and war is the other alternative, and it's much worse.
The US assisted in a Nigerian air raid on a displaced persons' camp, which killed aid workers and civilians; then it secretly investigated what had happened.
The raid was intended to target terrorists, but something went very wrong in the planning.
The Democrats' great "deal" with Manchin includes increased drilling for fossil fuels.
It is one step forward in exchange for Manchin's demanded half a step back.
The deal also includes some positive changes regarding taxes: a 15% corporate profits minimum tax, more higher tax on private equity funds, and funding the IRS to investigate tax cheaters that aren't poor.
Also, it makes an effort to reduce the cost of medicines for people on Medicare. Sanders called it "better than nothing."
Overall, it is a change for the better, but the additional wells will pump death for decades.
But we must never talk about this deal without condemning the price to civilization that Manchin has charged for it.
*Climate targets at risk as countries lag in updating emission goals, say campaigners.*
Christian anticharity is the main opposition to Australia's plan to eliminate the national law prohibiting assistance for suicide.
The US clinical trial data for some recently approved anti-cancer drugs is still secret some years later.
The US government should stop negotiating with those exploitative companies and legislate that the US government can and will publish those studies as soon as the drug is approved. Or perhaps as soon as the application for approval is filed.
The biggest companies tend to want to increase their trade secrecy to gain more advantage over competitors. But what is good for the public is to give the biggest companies less advantage over competitors. Therefore, whenever there is a public-interest reason to demand that companies come clean about their operations, we should make that a legal requirement.
Trader Joe's workers at one store have voted to unionize.
Noam Chomsky: *Even without fundamental changes in prevailing state capitalism, the kind of New Deal-style regulation that was dismantled by the neoliberal assault can be reinstated, and strengthened.*
Republicans made a deal to improve medical care for military veterans who were poisoned by toxic substances while deployed. Then they demanded to change the deal, and ultimately killed it.
Military veterans used to be politically untouchable in the US, but in 2016 the wrecker started started showing public contempt for veterans and their families. Maybe that made them less sacrosanct.
A right-wing party that advocates climate defense will oppose Tories in the next UK elections.
*What has happened to the Labour party that it can’t stand up for labour?*
The answer is, it has followed the Democratic Party in the US in becoming "centrist", and forgotten the goal of making working people better off.
*One in three people killed by US police were fleeing, data reveals.*
It is usually unjustified for thugs to shoot someone who is running away or even looking away from them.
*Labor announces national security law review after inquiry criticises secrecy of Witness J case.*
*Humanity can't equivocate any longer. This is a climate emergency.*
The wrecker put Cuba on the US "state sponsors of terrorism" list for no valid reason — Biden should remove it from that list.
Accusing Senator Schumer of protecting big tech near-monopolies in exchange for campaign funds.
*Climate breakdown made UK heatwave 10 times more likely, study finds.*
The article does not discuss the heatwaves in western Europe and various parts of the US, but I expect global heating is largely responsible for them too.
*Self-awareness in short supply as Trump calls for law and order in DC.*
Hackers have developed a way to embed misoprostol in business cards so that it can be used for abortion straight off the card.
General Milley reports that China's military has become more aggressive in dealing with US military forces since 5 years ago.
China states repeatedly that it intends to capture Taiwan; we know from what we saw in Hong Kong that this would mean subjection and repression.
When China posed no real threat of conquering Taiwan, it was safe to smile at China's pretensions of doing so, and avoid ostentatious support for Taiwan. But now that the threat is real, the US needs to face up to it with a calm, explicit visible commitment to Taiwan's defense. That means that China can't order the US to limit its ties with Taiwan.
The present aggressive confrontations are harassment, intended to pressure Taiwan and the US to step on the path of yielding. That, above all, they must not do. To argue that "Pelosi should not visit Taiwan now because China might respond by increasing the harassment" is the first step of abandoning Taiwan.
However, it would be a mistake to treat these harassments as if they were real attacks — for instance, to respond aggressively. The only response to these acts of harassment should be the necessary defensive precautions in case one turns into a real bombing raid.
*Congressional Staffers Arrested for Climate Sit-In at Schumer's Office.*
One thing we can expect in last stages before total disaster is that people will desperately pollute and destroy unusual ecosystems, to delay the local disaster a few more years. Now the DR Congo is about to open up a large rainforest for oil drilling.
Hulu is censoring Democrat's political ads that talk about abortion rights and gun control.
Incoming medical students at the University of Michigan walked out on a ceremony which presented a speaker who claims that fetuses are people, and rebuked the university for inviting a speaker who advocates forbidding abortions.
The US Constitution forbids people who have participated in insurrection against the United States from running for elected office, but judges have thwarted the attempt to make this apply to Marjorie Taylor Greene.
A study estimates that exposure of today's living Americans to PFAs could cost 5 to 63 billion dollars in medical costs.
That is assuming that the US continues functioning with a modern medical system that actually tries to treat most Americans who have these medical problems.
*The Global Ruling Class Is Frog-Marching Us Towards Extinction.*
*Extreme Heat Could Wipe Out Decades of Gain in Fight Against Child Malnutrition.*
That's just the beginning. In a couple of decades, malnutrition could affect most of the human population.
Humans are very adaptable. I expect that small groups of humans will survive for a long time at low levels of technology — but that will be little comfort for the rest.
The central principle of the Republican Party is performative cruelty.
Unless you are a millionaire (as well as white and straight), don't suppose that you are not the target.
The Tyre Extinguishers campaign against gas-guzzling SUVs by deflating their tires, and leaving leaflets on the cars thus targeted.
Students at the University of Cambridge persuaded the university not to name a research lab in honor of Billionaire Polluters.
*Adopting a policy to reject "all fossil fuel industry funding and research partnerships" is what's needed.*
A female couple wants to join with a male couple to have and raise one baby as four parents.
*[US] Banks' financing of coal, oil, and gas was higher in 2021 than it was in 2016, the year after the Paris agreement was adopted.*
This activity amounts to mass murder, to accelerate over the next few decades.
*Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy.*
What they spend it on includes election dirty tricks to defeat legislators that support bills to decarbonize.
This activity amounts to mass murder, to accelerate over the next few decades.
US citizens: tell Congress that AIPAC doesn’t speak for you.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
Zelensky explains why a temporary cease-fire would help the Putin forces in the long term.
A militia leader testified in the Jan 6 committee that the wrecker was preparing for an armed revolt.
The EU is making big cuts in burning natural gas. The immediate motive is to resist Putin's pressure, but this is a good thing for more general reasons.
In practice, "Sustainable investment" funds try to avoid investing in businesses that would lose value from decarbonization — but they don't invest in accelerating decarbonization. So they are no help to what we need.
*Biden says Trump "lacked the courage to act" during January 6 attack.*
What a bizarre understatement! The wrecker had already acted, by preparing and launching the attack on the Capitol, and he continued to act by keeping it going and protecting it.
What he lacked was not guts, but loyalty to his country.
Doubts over obtaining insurance for the ships puts a cloud on the supposed deal to export grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
Walgreens in Texas refused to prescribe methotrexate for the purpose of facilitating insertion of an IUD, claiming the pharmacy couldn't know that it wasn't for an abortion.
Millions of people take methotrexate to treat various medical problems other than pregnancy, and the Texas law has put them all in danger.
*The Enduring Tyranny of Oil: War, Inflation, Geopolitical Rivalry, and Soaring World Temperatures.*
Students: *We're planning school strikes across the world to protest climate inaction.*
This is entirely reasonable, for those who realize that global heating disaster will not leave them much of a chance to use their studies.
If you attend a school where an occupation is planned, I expect you will be hear about it in other ways, so that you can support it.
Tories plan to require carers who need to stay overnight in a hospital to take care of a patient to pay to stay.
Little by little they are making the NHS impossible for poor people to use. Tory policy is, sick poor people should die.
US citizens: call on the Senate to protect same-sex marriage.
US citizens: call on Biden to declare a climate emergency, and use his emergency powers to decarbonize.
*The World Burns and the Richest Profit. It Doesn't Have to Be This Way.*
Biden's gestures, making nice to Netanyahu and Crown Prince Bone Saw were ugly but merely symbolic. Sad to say, they symbolize support for actions that are horrible.
Orbán publicly endorses unabashed racism.
Cellular network operators in Europe are associating each network access from a snoop-phone with its phone number, so web sites (advertisers) can track each user.
Thousands of US women are getting themselves sterilized, for fear that they would no longer have the option of abortion. But it can be difficult to find a surgeon willing to do the operation.
*Let's Acknowledge Why the Midterms Look So Bleak for Democrats: Joe Biden.*
I can't say I am entirely sure that this is true. The reason why I am not sure is because voters' thinking seems to be irrational. Why let your opinion of Biden affect whether to vote for your local progressive candidate?
Biden or no Biden, it's clear that the only way to get progressive laws through Congress is to elect more progressives to Congress. The 2022 elections are an opportunity to do this — so what are we waiting for?
Since I can't make sense of what those voters are thinking, I can't model what would influence them. But the article could be right.
(satire) *Snobby Ex-Con Always Mentioning How He Went To Private Prison.*
Reality Winner speaks about her duty to inform the public when the government was lying to the public.
This reinforces the need to change the Espionage Act to include a public interest defense.
US citizens: call on Merrick Garland to prosecute the wrecker and his co-conspirators for their coup attempt.
US citizens: call on the U.S. Forest Service to protect the Boundary Waters.
US citizens: call on Congress to end US military support for Salafi Arabia's war in Yemen.
200 Starbucks stores in the US have voted to unionize.
*Biden's Presidency Isn't Sinking Because of the Left — It's Because of Right-Wing Democrats.*
* By declaring a public health emergency under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, the Biden administration could "enable out-of-state prescribing and dispensing of medications for abortion for those in states with abortion bans."*
The Burmese military government has executed democracy activists, accusing them of "terrorism".
Two large chains of Australia stores have ceased using facial recognition to identify all customers.
*Tyre dust: the "stealth pollutant" that’s becoming a huge threat to ocean life.*
Governments' mission requires compelling tire manufacturers to disclose what the tires contain. No one is entitled to keep secrets about chemicals that may be endangering ecosystems. The idea that businesses should have such powers is sheer plutocracy.
The American Data Privacy and Protection Act takes a step toward limiting how companies can snoop on computer users. But the bad part is that it preempts state laws.
I suspect that the ADPPA is fundamentally based on limiting the use of data once collected, an approach that it is inadequate, because the only method that will really work is to limit the collection of the data.
If states can't pass laws that go beyond this, all progress will stop.
So I think this law should not be passed.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court may have blocked Biden from cancelling federal student loans.
It is not clear.
A movement for white Christian nationalism is spreading through the US. It is based on falsifying the history and founding principles of the US.
Republicans ruling Arkansas and Nebraska, for ideological reasons, rejected federal rental assistance for poor people in those states. They prefer to see poor people evicted.
The wrecker is continuing to try to overthrow the US government.
Israel is using Google's AI services to track Palestinians by facial recognition and analyze everything they say, write, read or express with their faces to generate suspicions about them
Starmer is taking the Labour Party a step closer to plutocratism.
"Growth" as a political goal tends to be an excuse to reject other more important goals, such as "tax the rich and help the rest."
*If Biden isn’t willing to really fight the climate crisis, he shouldn’t run in 2024.*
I disagree with the article on one subpoint: it is not only the results that count. When something really important is at stake, we can forgive you for being defeated, if we see you fought really hard. But if you fail to do that, you have failed us.
US citizens: support the National Popular Vote Compact.
US citizens: call on investment fund companies to create sustainable options now. This refers to companies such as Vanguard, Fidelity, and BlackRock.
US citizens: call on the Senate to replace Senator Manchin as Energy Committee Chairman.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on Biden to end the Remain in Mexico policy.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act.
The Department of Hostility and Suffering currently buys lots of surveillance data. This law would prohibit that, but it wouldn't eliminate the resulting injustice. It is a small step forward, but not a true solution.
Governments could buy other kinds of data which would enable them to find out what sort of places you have been, and then use parallel construction to attack you.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
*DRC to auction oil and gas permits in endangered gorilla habitat.*
Global disaster will push many people to the brink, and before actually dying, they will try desperate schemes to survive. Many of those schemes will involve destruction. This is a foretaste.
If there had been stronger winds, fire might have engulfed much of London last week.
*These soaring temperatures have given Britain a taste of the dystopia to come.* Other parts of the world, too.
The planet-roasters, and the officials they have bought influence with, are responsible. Let's rub their noses in their mess.
*Barely 12 hours after Moscow signed a deal with Ukraine to allow monitored grain exports from Ukraine’s southern ports, [Putin] targeted Ukraine’s main port of [Odessa] — through which grain shipments would take place — with cruise missile strikes.*
*Airstrikes on ports could derail grain export plan, warns Ukraine.*
I had a feeling that this deal was too good to be true. Cheating is Putin's way; you can't expect him to keep a deal sincerely.
Putin has been using food effectively as a weapon, and he would hardly let go of a weapon.
I support Ukraine in this war, but "Odessa" has been the English name of that city for much more than a century, and I don't see a reason to change the way we write it in English.
In Shasta county, ideological opponents of masks bullied many county officials into resigning, and removed some officials from office, demonstrating how they wish to harass anyone who doesn't bow down to them.
*Dip in UK woodland’s ability to capture CO2 [because] felled trees not replaced.*
I would guess that other countries have the same problem, if they don't take care to grow new trees as fast as they cut trees down.
Ralph Nader: * Waging peace and conflict resolution should be the State Department's main mission.*
Extreme heat in the US is driving many species towards extinction, including birds, fish and mollusks.
The wrecker made a plan, called "Schedule F", to enable him to arbitrarily purge the employees in 50,000 federal civil service jobs and replace them with people personally loyal to him. This could corrupt the whole federal bureaucracy.
Any Republican elected in 2024 might put this into practice. Reportedly Republicans in the Senate support that plan, and will block the efforts to legislate against it.
Why Bannon's defiance of a subpoena to testify in Congress goes hand in hand with insurrection.
Bannon claimed that the wrecker still has the "executive privilege" to forbid Bannon from testifying, even though the wrecker no longer holds an executive office. This could be the basis of an appeal.
It seems pretty obvious to me that ex-officials must not have any power to block testimony about what they did while in office.
*Do you trust the people in suits downplaying this [climate] emergency, or the activists lying in roads in an attempt to ward off catastrophe?*
Unions and the labor movement have great capacity to support democracy and human rights, and have done so throughout history.
The Jan 6 committee has presented powerful evidence that the wrecker intentionally built up and directed the attack on the capitol, and chose intentionally to keep it going until he concluded it had failed.
*How the January 6 panel set the stage for a criminal case against Trump.*
California has passed a law that parodies the Texas law authorizing almost anyone to sue whoever helps someone get an abortion. California's law does that same thing to people who do anything with illegal guns. Is this a good idea?
I think that the "anyone can sue you" approach to enforcing a law is cruel and repressive, regardless of what actions are being prohibited. Using this to enforce anti-gun laws is bad for the same reason that using this to enforce anti-abortion laws is bad.
Kenyan thugs have been convicted of murdering a human rights lawyer and others.
Although Graham Mansfield was not convicted of murdering his dying wife, he was convicted of manslaughter. His sentence was suspended so he probably will not go to prison for this.
I don't know whether he cares about that question. He did not want to outlive Dyanne, but having survived his suicide attempt, he is stuck with it. Can he find meaning in life now?
I believe that the right to die should not be limited to people who are going to die soon anyway. People who are incapacitated, whose prospect is many years of helpless boredom and futility, should have the right to help in dying, too, if that's what they want.
Extreme hot weather is causing local damage to roofs, bridges, railroads, pipes…
In ten years, the heat waves will be hotter, and cause a lot more damage.
Same-sex couples organize to stop right-wing fanatics from ruling same-sex marriage invalid in the US.
*US Regulators Urged to Block Amazon's "Terrifying" Purchase of [the medical clinic company] One Medical.*
Large companies like Amazon should not be allowed to acquire any other companies.
The inspector general is investigating the deletion of possibly disloyal text messages posted by Secret Service agents.
(satire) *More Young Americans Achieving Homeownership By Changing Locks On Airbnb.*
*Progressive Lawmakers Push Biden to Stop Transferring Military Weapons to Cops.*
The IMF could provide funds for food for starving countries, if the US gives the ok.
*Nearly Every House Republican Votes Against Codifying Right to Contraception.
"If they had the chance they would ban it," said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).*
(satire) *Local Mom Wants Just One Nice Vacation Photo Where Family Isn't Running From Gunfire.*
Global heating has made fighting wildfires much harder in the UK. The government does nothing about this.
Political divisions are appearing among evangelical Christians.
Abortion rights activism pressured Biden to take small steps to defend access to abortion. If he had been truly eager, he would not have waited to be pushed.
*The Only Effective Pandemic Response Is a Global One.*
Biden is confronting Iran in a belligerent tone.
The article asks why he does that. I have two ideas: (1) to pressure Iran to resume the non-nuclear deal, and (2) to such up to Crown Prince Bone Saw so he will sell more oil. Neither one is a good reason.
The monarch butterfly is now listed as endangered.
Not enough restaurants and cafes allow the public (not limited to customers) to use their toilets. The solution is to pass laws which require them to do so.
Racial bias in length of prison sentences is increasing in the US.
A Chicago thug shot a teenager who ran away, as he was putting his hands up while holding a camera phone. The boy is now paralyzed.
California thugs killed a man who ran away with a phone in his hand.
*House panel says Trump "chose not to act" during attack on US Capitol.*
That is a shocking understatement. The corrupter did much worse than remain inactive during the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol. He continued to egg his followers on, as they rioted, for more than an hour.
At this point, I think the crucial question is, is there any law which criminalizes these actions? There ought to be, but is there any?
The new "interim" president of Sri Lanka, chosen by parliament, arrested hundreds of encamped protesters shortly before they were going to leave.
Ukraine wants to put Putin and his high officials on trial for war crimes.
Threatening to prosecute Putin would be a mistake, if there is any chance of actually bringing him to justice, because he would continue the war simply to prevent that, even if he has no chance of actually winning.
However, if there is no chance of bringing him to justice, the trial is just a futile display of anger.
The UK spy organization supports the plan to make all UK snoop-phones check everything people send through them.
They would like this, wouldn't they?
"Gullible cynicism": the practice of bending over backwards to disbelieve the generally accepted explanation for anything whatsoever, while eagerly accepting absurdly implausible conspiracy theories instead.
Gullible cynicism appeared long before there were modern disinformation campaigns. Nowadays it has spread beyond the US — but gullible cynicism sure helps disinformation campaigns succeed.
Food banks in the UK don't have enough food for all the hungry people.
*We're living in an age of permanent crisis — let's stop planning for a "return to normal".* Governments continue trying to do that.
It is fundamentally harder to plan for a different world 10 years from now, and a world 20 years from now that would be different again.
*Unless we act soon, this heatwave is just a taste of things to come.*
Complaints from black immigrants in US deportation prison *reveal a disturbing pattern of physical abuse and ignoring medical needs.*
An indigenous prisoner in Australian jail died of a disease that proper medical procedures would have identified. But they don't follow proper medical procedures with indigenous prisoners.
Ukraine is preparing a counterattack to recapture Kherson.
The climate protesters of Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) glued themselves to the glass screen of a famous painting, Primavera by Botticelli.
*Ukraine and Russia sign UN-backed deal to restart grain exports.*
There are many ways this plan could fail. Putin could "implement" it with bad faith, or make new demands. But it could also fail despite sincere efforts by all parties. I hope it does succeed.
The UN's International Court of Justice will proceed with a case against the Burmese government for genocide of the Rohingya.
Global heating effects are damaging roses in England.
An activist for the Satanic Temple is demanding the right to make satanic prayers publicly at football games in Florida.
16 members of Congress were among those arrested for protesting for abortion rights in the street before the Supreme Court.
Graham Mansfield was tried for murder after killing his wife, Dyanne, who in great pain from terminal cancer and made him promise to end her suffering. Then he tried to kill himself, but he couldn't go through with it.
I read that he was acquitted of murder. I hope they do not punish him. Staying alive without his dearest is a terrible punishment.
The Republican nominee for governor of Maryland is an election liar.
Marylanders must expect him to lie about elections in the future, too, including the elections he runs in.
Amazon is harassing warehouse employees with pressure not to vote to unionize.
Workers at a Chipotle outlet filed for union recognition, so the company shut that branch permanently.
The article sates that since mid-June the branch has been open "only for staff trainings". I have a hunch that these "trainings" are actually union-busting harassment meetings. This is a standard tactic used by many companies to fight union organizing. They order workers to listen for hours to the propaganda of union-busting consultants, and perhaps to answer their questions too.
It could be useful training … in how to stand firm against the man.
Do you feel like eating Chipotle's food after reading this?
US cities are raising the priority of efforts to adapt to extreme heat, since heat we now call "extreme" will become normal.
Most of China has been hit badly by extreme heat and extreme rain.
Will Americans and Chinese recognize that current policies will make this much worse in a decade or two? Mere adaptation to a danger while we continue to make it a little worse every year is not rational, and in the long term the heat will win the race.
US citizens: call on Biden to continue the policy of refusing to sell offensive weapons to Salafi Arabia.
It is very disappointing that instead of calling on the president to take new actions to end US support for Salafi Arabia's war in Yemen, we have to campaign against increasing that support.
US citizens: call for prosecution of the corrupter's campaign for fraudulent fund-raising.
Biden said he is taking urgent action for climate defense, but he does not seem to be acting with much urgency.
(satire) *Woman Has Friend On Standby To Drive Car Through Bar Window In Case Date Going Badly.*
*If the Jan 6 hearings end without consequences for Trump, the main takeaway will be: this is how much you can get away with in 2020s America.*
*How US prison work breaks bodies and minds for pennies.*
*Opinion: Stop cheering for a fetus's right to ride in an HOV lane.*
Anything that accepts the claim that a fetus (or even an embryo!) is a human being will spread the damage to our legal system.
Some Senate Republicans have joined in supporting laws to fix many of the vulnerabilities in US democratic procedures that some fanatical Republicans tried or propose to exploit.
A bill to restore the FCC's power to regulate internet connection services would enable it to once again require its weak standard of "network neutrality".
This would be a step forward, but nowhere near far enough to prevent snooping.
The Tories are so determined to be cruel to refugees that they pushed ahead with deportation to Rwanda despite knowing many reasons they should not.
They are also determined to do it before a court rules on whether it is lawful in the first place.
Thus, it's not just some refugees they plan to do wrong to -- it's every citizen of the UK.
Indonesian artists intended to condemn Israel's occupation policies, but the work they produced appears very directly antisemitic.
The artists have apologized for that result.
The more figurative and "artistically creative" a work is, while also making a statement about a controversial issue, the it is likely to to have various of possible interpretations, perhaps including a very nasty one.
Was it pure coincidence that two FBI officials that the corrupter fired were both audited by the IRS shortly thereafter?
The IRS said it is "ludicrous" to suspect malice was at work, but given how Nixon did exactly that to the people on his "enemies list", and given how that former president was inclined to crookedness, it would be ludicrous not to suspect him.
* To call this a "culture" war is to understate its true meaning and potential danger. Those of us who still believe in separating church and state, guarding reproductive rights, ensuring racial equality, ending gun violence, and protecting democracy must understand that much of the Republican Party now stands for the exact opposite of these values.*
Offshore fish farms could increase the total amount of fish farming -- and also the volume of wastes that pollute the ocean.
Documents prove that the wrecker and his officials intentionally set out to distort census data for partisan purposes, and intentionally hid that.
The plan to add a question about citizenship was blocked, but the wrecker's officials took other steps to intimidate non-citizens so as to skew the census.
The project to build a giant telescope with a 30-meter mirror on Mauna Kea is advancing but has been delayed for a new environmental impact study.
Indigenous Hawai'ians demand that we stop the project, but they cite only their emotions as reasons why, with no rational basis. They demand we obey their feelings, but there is no reason we should.
People who appreciate science look forward to advancing our knowledge of the history of the universe. The desire to understand the world is also emotional, but there is a clear and rational aspect to it as well.
I hope to live long enough to appreciate some of the discoveries that this telescope will give us.
Egypt still repressively prohibits street photography, even by tourists.
*The ferocious heatwave that is gripping much of the US south and west has highlighted an uncomfortable, ominous trend — people are continuing to flock to the cities that risk becoming unlivable due to the climate crisis.*
Kicking Manchin out of the Democratic Party would show the public the truth: that Republicans (including Manchin) really control the Senate, and Americans had better vote to replace them.
Bernie Sanders is trying to reduce the 250-billion giveaway to chip companies.
US citizens: phone your senators at 855-740-2519 and say you are disappointed with the Senate for not passing a law to boost clean energy, reduce medical costs, and raise taxes for the rich and businesses.
A US appeals court agreed that Monsanto and other companies are responsible for the damage done when dicamba, a herbicide, drifted onto an orchard from nearby farms.
Dicamba is used on genetically modified soybeans and cotton.
*Weapons Industry's $10 Million Investment in [something equivalent to bribing] Congress Could Yield 450,000% Return.*
It is misleading to represent large ratios (bigger than 2) using percentages. The clear way is with a ratio. Their return is 4500 times the amount they "invest" in congresscritters.
Biden may approve a new oil railroad, which would lock in increased greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
Biden should either cancel this, or approve it only after the passage of a bill that would reduce emissions much more.
Forget about "data protection"! Our safety depends on prohibiting the systems that collect data.
The high heat in London has caused many fires to break out inside the metropolitan area.
The OLIGARCH act would establish a graduated tax on wealth.
I think it is a good idea, except for its use of median household wealth as a measuring unit. What if further impoverishment reduces the median household wealth in the US to a negative number?
*"The climate crisis will continue to escalate and get worse as long as we stick our heads in the sand and prioritize profit and greed over people and planet," said … Greta Thunberg.*
(satire) *EPA Closes Down After Running Out Of Salvageable Environment To Protect.*
*How [government PR about] "living with Covid" is helping keep England's infections stubbornly high.*
This applies more or less to the US as well.
An investigation showed that Corbyn's opponents ("new Labour" plutocratists) fought bitterly against his supporters.
The Tories arranged a business-supremacy treaty with the previous (planet-roaster) Australian government, and now want to ratify it without debate. Climate defenders are suing under another treaty to demand debate and examination of this agreement.
Why doesn't the new Australian government insist on renegotiation?
A UK union representing gig workers calls for a one-day boycott of Uber.
If only Uber's injustice against workers concerns you, that is a natural response. But if Uber's injustice against customers concerns you too, I suggest going on a permanent boycott, as I have.
*The terrifying truth: Britain’s a hothouse, but one day 40C will seem cool.* The article explains the practical consequences that will certainly bring.
The article says "equitable", but the intended meaning belongs to the word "equable." What a big difference!
Please do not have children! Each additional birth will cause more than one additional death later this century. How much more than one, I am unable to estimate.
Republicans are lying about and threatening the Indiana doctor who carried out an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim, who was compelled to go Indiana because Ohio's right-wing law did not allow her to get an abortion there.
Many Republicans now actively defend forcing people who have been raped to have babies. It is consistent with their religious beliefs, and it shows how cruel and arbitrary those beliefs are.
A New Zealand company sued a US web service demanding it identify the people who posted harsh reviews of the company as an employer. The US court decided the case based on New Zealand's laws, which don't protect free speech as the US does.
The weakness of protection of freedom of speech outside the US is one of the main reasons I have been reluctant to live outside the US. The other countries are not getting better, not at all, but the Christian Taliban threaten to make the US far, far worse.
The Tories plan to promote more flying in the UK, presuming that future technology will eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions of all those flights.
Betting on future technology to reduce the greenhouse emissions of common activities is utterly foolish. Lobbyists always present such a bet as a sure thing, or close enough one can treat it as a sure thing. They are surely exaggerating, and we must not trust them.
* In the near future, cars will not only collect information about their driver and passengers, but the vehicles, pedestrians, and city around them.* Unless we stop them!
The reliable way to prevent this is to make it illegal for cars to save, or transmit, anything that they see in images from the car's cameras, anything that their microphones hear, and anything else that their sensors collect.
This will demonstrate to the public that they don't need to fear the presence of today's cars on our streets.
*California will start making its own insulin to combat high [insulin] prices, governor says.*
The EU is considering the question of what activities to permit AIs to be used for.
Using AI to control people's fate creates two kinds of dangers: those that result when it doesn't do a job reliably but people assume it does, and those that result when it does do a job reliably.
The head of the Australian Medical Association calls for mask mandates to slow the spread of Covid-19.
*[The issue of alleged] Antisemitism was used as "factional weapon" in Labour party,* by both Corbyn's supporters and his enemies.
*Ukrainian boy held hostage by Russia tells of cleaning up torture rooms.*
*Russian gas shutoff would send some EU countries into recession, IMF warns.
As LA thugs repress homeless people, they end up in the Mojave desert with no running water.
A proposal to punish elected officials for lying or misleading the public.
Biden could put Manchin in his place by blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline. More importantly, it would show his commitment to limiting greenhouse gases.
I wonder whether his various decisions in favor of some large fossil fuel investments (which would increase fossil fuel consumption for decades) might be an attempt to buy acquiescence of some fossil fuel interests. If so, it did not work. It may have struck then as weakness, leading them to demand more.
The only acceptable way to make a deal with planet roasters is to insist that nothing in the deal is final until the closing. Never let them get anything "on credit", because they will cheat.
Right-wing extremists in Japan are scapegoating Korean-Japanese who have been subject to bigotry for many decades.
Friends have told me that parents of ethnic Japanese refuse to let their children marry people of Korean descent. They investigate potential spouses' families to check this.
The latest heat wave has brought unusual forest fires to countries on or near the Mediterranean. This is just a taste.
(satire) *Aides Concerned Low Poll Numbers Could Drive Biden To Do Something Drastically Popular.*
*Children in England in deep poverty "stealing food from schools."*
I expect Tories will propose to put the children (or their parents) in prison for this.
The Christian Taliban are a big threat to the United States.
They recruit the support of other movements by appealing to their shared hatred for the state. They recruit support from white nationalist pagans, despite their religious disagreement.
They recruit support from antisocialists (the article uses their misleading propaganda term for themselves, "libertarian") even though those antisocialists would hate the theocratic state. For them, "a utopian past is one in which 13-year-old boys work in coal mines and their adolescent sisters toil 12 hours a day in cotton mills."
The Muslim Taliban of Afghanistan did not hide their aim to impose Islamist repression on their country. The Christian Taliban of the US lie about their goals.
*Not One Single Republican Votes for Probe of Neo-Nazis in US Military and Police.*
Almost 50 counties have relaxed abortion laws due to feminist campaigns.
*When a Country That's Orchestrated Many Coups Has One of Its Own.*
This article does not mention the US-organized coups in Guatemala (successful), Cuba (failed) and Iran (successful), nor the recent coups in Honduras (successful), Bolivia (successful for a year) and Venezuela (failed).
Researchers have estimated the economic damage caused to the world by the greenhouse gas emissions of the five main emitting countries: United States, China, Russia, India, and Brazil: a total of 6 trillion dollars.
With this, the rest of the world can sue these countries for damages.
Women who wish they had not had children tell their stories.
*Texas Official Admits Beloved Black Principal Was Fired for Being Against Racism.* The Republicans confusedly equated trying to discourage racism with teaching "critical race theory".
Albuquerque SWAT thugs started a fire with a flashbang grenade, and it may have killed a child who was a bystander. Local TV news told the story, obfuscating it so heavily that readers can hardly see those facts in the the story.
The establishment view of what is needed to "fix" Sri Lanka. Its idea of what "fixing" means does not include enabling the country to save the non-rich.
The IMF does not "bail out" countries to save them. Rather, it gives them a chance to sell themselves into slavery. For instance, it has a long history of imposing "structural adjustments" that reduce the incomes of the non-rich, require payment for public education, and destroy public health programs.
I think Sri Lanka's only chance is to make the west and China compete to offer a deal that doesn't enslave the country.
More generally, we need world systems that stop politicians from stealing a country's income, sending it overseas, and leaving the country and its non-rich crushed by debt.
Legal abortion has always been safer than giving birth.
*House Dems Call for Suspension of Aid if Brazilian Military Attempts Election Coup.*
I predict that Republicans will oppose it, because they regard Bolsonaro as one of them.
The detailed progressive program for federal protection of abortion rights.
It may not be easy to codify various individual rights in federal law in a way that the radical Supreme Court can't attack.
Many blind internauts say that nonfree website enhancers make web sites harder to use, not easier.
If you judge by convenience alone, you might think it is unfortunate that these proprietary website enhancers don't work well. But what if they did? Freedom-disrespecting web sites would benefit from them, while web sites in the Free World would be obliged to reject them.
Calls to move the Cop27 climate conference out of Egypt, because Egypt is planning to keep activists away from the government representatives and because queer people attending face the threat of arrest and torture.
It should have been obvious in advance that Egypt was a bad place to hold an international conference, so why was the plan made to hold it there? Perhaps because it is a bad place. Many conferences have been sited in countries that will prevent protesters from showing up.
The Suicide Six ski lodge is changing it's name because people criticized use of the word "suicide" as insensitive.
I firmly oppose the campaign to make such words unacceptable to use. It was already going too far to demand everyone avoid any word that someone might take offense at. But this pressure demands even more. It demands we tiptoe through life, always timid because of possible sensitivity.
I can imagine the same critics demanding that the Grateful Dead change it's name — or else, that radio stations boycott it's music.
China has arrested four Hong Kongers, former democracy activists, for trying to escape.
Island nations in the Pacific Ocean are trying to unite to fight their common enemy: global heating.
A large carbon capture and storage project in Australia fell very short of its target — perhaps just half what it was supposed to capture.
This came with a penalty — Chevron had to buy and use up carbon offsets to make up for the difference. As we know, many of these offsets are bogus.
I say the idea of carbon offsets should be replaced with carbon emission taxes.
Chevron is, of course, culpable for persecuting Steven Donziger for representing the Ecuadorians whose land was polluted by its oil extraction there.
George Monbiot: *This heatwave has eviscerated the idea that small changes can tackle extreme weather.*
(satire) *Deckhand Scolded For Throwing Trash On Floor Of Ship When Great Pacific Garbage Patch Right There.*
Artificial imitation grass is bad for the environment and for wildlife, requires time-consuming maintenance, and gets much hotter than real grass. And it has to be watered (washed).
*Monopolists control nearly every part of the food production process.* And they are driving up food prices.
When the government regulators permitted these mergers, they were abandoning their mission. This was obvious, but democracy in the US had been undermined to the point where we could not get anyone to stop it.
*Democrats are facing asymmetrical warfare. It's time to wake up and fight back.*
The European Union is proposing a system of massive surveillance of all internet communication, in the name of "protecting children".
The two standard excuses for proposing repressive measures are "protecting children" and "stopping terrorism". These goals, while valid, are perfect for making citizens panic and rush to support the measures despite their danger.
MEP Patrick Breyer, who opposes the scheme, has prepared a web site that explains a lot more.
Biden threatened to attack Iran to prevent its developing nuclear weapons.
As the article says, "It makes absolutely zero sense that he won't delist the IRGC [revolutionary guards] to prevent an Iranian nuke but would launch a war to prevent an Iranian nuke." In addition, such an attack is much harder than it sounds. The crucial facilities are underground and Iran has years of experience resisting Israel's attacks.
Threatening Iran is also likely to drive it into a closer alliance with Putin. How foolish.
US citizens: call on the Senate to lower prescription drug prices now.
Biden dropped the plan to nominate an anti-abortion Republican as federal judge. He cited opposition by Republican Senator Paul, and did not give credit to the campaign for this.
If Republicans take the House of Representatives, they will conduct investigations of their enemies and attack the usual scapegoats.
Formerly unusual heat is harming agriculture across the US.
I think we must expect food shortage to become normal.
Does drought include West Virginia? If so, it might be used to pressure Manchin.
*Leak reveals corporate donors at anti-abortion GOP event: Tik Tok, Comcast, 3M, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, Juul, Koch Industries, Lowe's and Walmart.*
Some Republicans have used misleading fund-raising emails, and now Republicans are pressuring businesses to exempt their fund-raising emails from laws against spam. They also want to pass a law that their emails cannot be treated as spam.
With Rubio's plan for parental leave loans against Social Security, *"when mom or dad tragically dies a few years after having their third kid, the surviving spouse will have to send a big fat check to the SSA,"* until it is all paid back.
Senator Manchin killed any possible climate defense bill, after spending a year negotiating details of it.
This strikes me as negotiating in bad faith.
The town of Lytton, in British Columbia, was destroyed by a fire. Some residents have rebuilt their homes, and now they have been told to evacuate because another fire threatens the town.
*How Sri Lankan protesters unseated their president.*
Kicking out the Rajapaksas was necessary, but not sufficient. I fear that the only help that the US and other western powers offer will involve selling the country into something like slavery.
Ukraine is failing to arrange places to stay, and essential support, for people who flee from homes near the front.
I've been wondering why so many people remain in Ukrainian towns where they could be killed or maimed by shelling, and where they may be captured by the Putin forces and tortured, executed, or kidnapped and taken to Russia. Perhaps it is because they have no place to flee to and survive.
Putin is targeting Ukrainian civilians with long-range missiles.
Ralph Nader: corporations control almost everything in the US universities of today, including the basic assumptions that courses take for granted and inculcate.
This also includes the software courses use, which gives corporations power over every student.
(satire) *China Worried U.S. Outpacing [It] On Poorly Functioning Low-Speed Trains.*
US job growth is slowing down, and so is the increase in wages. It would be foolish to raise interest rates.
Jim Hightower: *The GOP as a whole has mutated from a conservative party with some extremist factions to effectively proclaiming itself the Party of Extremism.*
Potential 2024 candidates are competing to be the most extreme fanatic.
*The Uber files: firm knew it launched illegally in Australia, then leaned on governments to change the law.*
Bernie Sanders: *Let's rebuild the US microchip industry — not give it a $50bn-plus check.*
*… in order to make more profits, these companies took government money and used it to ship good-paying jobs abroad. Now, as a reward for that bad behavior, these same companies are in line to receive a giant taxpayer handout to undo the damage that they did.*
If the US government does give these companies a subsidy, it should attach conditions — let us turn off the DRM, the management engine, and so on.
*Economists Warn More Fed Rate Hikes Would "Push Millions Out of Work."*
Accusing the US Supreme Court of deliberately attacking the basis of representative democracy, and fabricating far-fetched pretexts to do so.
(satire) *Increasingly Unhinged Eric Garcetti Covers Own Body With Metal Spikes To Prevent Homeless People From Sleeping On Him.*
US citizens: call on Congress to tax billionaires' wealth.
On Jan 6, when Pence was at the Capitol, Secret Service agents tried to put him into a limo and take him to a "secure location". That would have achieved the wrecker's goal of sabotaging the formal election count.
Pence refused to enter the limo, and made it clear it was so he could continue with an honest count.
*More than 200 congressional staffers have urged the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate to finalize a reconciliation package that includes robust measures to tackle the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency before the August recess.*
Meanwhile, a plutocratist Democrat in the House is trying to eliminate the tax increase for the rich.
*Sanders Warns Congress Is Working 'Behind Closed Doors' on $50 Billion in Corporate Welfare.*
Including 10 billion for Bezos.
*We're talking about giving $50 billion in corporate welfare with no strings attached — a blank check — to the highly profitable microchip industry.*
It makes sense to encourage companies to manufacture chips in the US, but not with a subsidy. We must stop "rewarding" companies for not doing some harmful practice. Instead we must punish the ones that do it.
The traditional way to do this is with a tariff. The World Trade Organization restricts that — its purpose, from the start, was to reduce the power that states have over businesses and give the businesses power over states, and it succeeded. That's why I call it a business-supremacy treaty. But there are ways to impose a tariff.
The problem is that when a country applies a tariff to a product that it does not produce, it only discourages use of the product. What we need is a tariff that applies to any given model of imported chips once some factory in the US produces comparable chips.
*Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe documents the discovery of torture chambers … in Bucha.*
The report also asserts that the Putin forces used Ukrainian civilians as human shields.
Bolsonaro has been encouraging violence against his opponents and threatening rebellion if he loses the election. Now one of his supporters has assassinated the treasurer of the Workers Party, which Lula leads.
The Putin forces seem to be burying the dead civilians of Mariupol in mass graves, without identifying them (which would be a challenge). Estimates of the number of dead range form 22,000 to 90,000, and perhaps vary even further.
DiEM25 reports that Greece is accused of throwing migrants into the Aegean sea, handcuffed.
NHS doctors will strike, using cuts in their pay (after inflation) to illustrate how the NHS is underfunded in every way.
A video shows Bannon stating, before the 2020 election, that the bullshitter was going to claim to have won, at a time when he had a temporary lead in the unfinished count.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect warehouse workers.
US citizens: call on Biden to open abortion clinics on federal land.
US citizens: call on Congress to expel the members who tried to overturn the 2020 election.
US citizens: call on Congress to end fossil fuel subsidies.
*Trouble for [the wrecker] as committee makes case Capitol attack was premeditated.*
This makes criminal prosecution easier, if officials have the guts to try.
Australia's Labor Party plans new fossil fuel projects. The Green Party is standing firm against them.
The current causes of high inflation are shortages and gouging — not wage increases.
Here's the pertinent data.
Australia and New Zealand are supporting a company that wants to mine the sea floor for valuable metals.
In principle, this is a very good thing to do, provided it is done in a way that avoids destroying sea-bottom life, which tends to be slow to reproduce.
They are working on developing robotic picking, to avoid the horribly destructive method of bottom trawling. However, environmentalists are worried that the machine's noises could destroy undersea ecosystems. Many undersea animals are sensitive to noises — the noise from ships is interfering with whales' hearing.
An investigation found that Queensland thugs sometimes arbitrarily disbelieve accusations of domestic violence, or refuse to take action.
The Biden administration told US pharmacies that refusing to fill a prescription because the patient is pregnant violates federal anti discrimination law.
This rule interpretation can protect their access to medicine for treating various diseases including lupus, as well as protecting access to some methods of abortion.
I expect that the fanatical justices will look for an way to overturn it.
Meanwhile, in Texas, doctors already hesitate just as Izabela Sajbor's doctors in Poland hesitated, with fatal results in her case.
*More than 200 congressional staffers urge Pelosi and Schumer to act on climate or risk dooming younger generations.*
Future technology may enable us to burn non-fossil gases, such as green hydrogen and methane from bio-wastes. But we can't use them in quantity in this decade, and probably not in the next.
*Turkey announces deal with Ukraine, Russia and UN aimed at resuming grain exports.*
*You have to wonder: if [the corrupter] did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, would all those prosecutors still be struggling with the question of whether they could or should indict him?*
I see the sense in thinking five times before turning a question of politics into a matter of criminal justice. That can undermine the political system. Sad to say the Republicans have already gone much farther than this, and the line these prosecutors are trying to hold has already fallen. Now the question is whether to fight back or let them win.
Uber's tactics: "break it till you make it".
Drought is emptying Lake Powell and Lake Meade, which feed two giant hydroelectric dams. In a year or two, they may cease to generate power.
George Monbiot calls attention to Bookchin's political philosophy.
*Let's Be Clear: The Battle Before Us Is Democracy vs. Autocracy.*
An analysis shows that NATO is quite capable of defending itself from any Russian conventional attack. Bombardment of cities with missiles is the one real threat that Russia has, and stopping the bombardment might require a counterinvasion — but Russia's trying this while fighting in Ukraine would be suicidal.
I have doubts about whether the various NATO countries could coordinate well, but their strength may be enough that they could win anyway.
I think of this as giving the NATO countries space to relax somewhat. They need to remain strong, but while they do, they are not in great danger.
US citizens: call on Biden to declare that the attack on abortion rights is a public health emergency.
US citizens: call on Senator Schumer to schedule a vote to let the Equal Rights Amendment take effect.
US citizens: call on Biden not to put bureaucratic barriers on canceling student loan debt
US citizens: call on the Republican National Committee to denounce campaign ads promoting extreme violence.
US citizens: call on Biden not to allow offshore fossil fuel drilling.
Climate insanity: Biden still wants to approve oil drilling in northern Alaska.
(satire) *Amazon Supervisor Delivers Rousing Speech To Employees About Honorably Laying Down Lives For Prime Day.*
(satire) *Elon Musk Tries to Back Out of Twitter Deal by Deleting App from Phone.*
*A New York Starbucks abruptly closed — was it retaliation for its union drive?*
Right-wingers call for redesigning schools as fortresses with no windows, but there is no reason to believe this will reduce the number of shootings in schools.
It will certainly do nothing to reduce the number of shootings elsewhere.
Meanwhile, stationing thugs in schools puts the students in danger of imprisonment.
Amazon regularly gives Ring door camera videos to the government without getting permission from the camera's nominal owner.
This is a secondary wrong which makes those cameras a little more unjust. But they would be plenty unjust without this. When millions of people make videos of everyone that walks past their door, and hand the recordings over to a particular company to store, that's asking for abuse of the recordings. That kind of system should be prohibited.
Basically, you should be required to set up the camera so that it only sees people when they approach your door, not when they pass by on the sidewalk.
The president of Sri Lanka did not resign when he promised he would. Instead he got an air force plane to take him to Singapore.
No doubt he has access there to secret funds, which the people say come from corruption. I doubt that Sri Lanka can convince Singapore to send him or his money back to Sri Lanka. It will be a great shame if he lives for the rest of his life in wealth while leaving his country in poverty.
Biden's Secretary of Veterans Affairs wants to close facilities and outsource services.
Outsourcing means the workers are paid less and the work has no accountability to the public.
*Groups Demand Egypt Uphold Right to Protest at Global Climate Summit.*
The corrupter tried to threaten witnesses who were going to testify for the Jan 6 attack investigation.
A rough estimate suggests that around 100,000 Americans develop long Covid disabilities each day.
Almost all of them decided to dispense with precautions, such as masks, because "nobody else does that any more, so they must be unnecessary."
*US, African Scientists to Collaborate on mRNA Vaccine Development.*
The US bends over backwards to aid Salafi Arabia's intervention in Yemen while falsely denying what it does.
Suggested work-arounds for various destructive acts by the Supreme Court. Some of them are substantial work.
Iran has jailed three film-makers, two of whom have won international awards, for protesting.
Secretary Becerra says that federal law overrides state abortion bans when an abortion is needed for a medical emergency.
This will remove the most dangerous aspect of those bans — if the fanatics on the Supreme Court do not invent an excuse to strike it down. It is hard to be confident that there is a limit they respect.
Almost 2/3 of Democrats don't want Biden to run again in 2024.
*Nearly $2tn of damage inflicted on other countries by [past] US [greenhouse gas] emissions.*
I think that how we cut down emissions is more important than who emitted how much already. The bad guys are those who fight against rapid cutting.
Amazon warehouse workers have a new slogan: "Don't quit, organize!"
*West must force private lenders to ease Africa's crippling debt, say campaigners.*
If they don't dare to overcome the investors in vaccine companies to free up making of vaccines, I see little hope they will do this.
Drivers for Uber make less than minimum wage — in London, at least — but there is no competition for drivers to switch to.
*Elon Musk wants everyone to have big families like him — but who's going to pay for them?*
It is rational to choose not to have children because raising them is so expensive. But if that is the main thing that convinces people to avoid having children, then survival of civilization will depend on making the children of poor people grow up in poverty.
We need people to be even more rational, and choose not to have children because the world can't support them. Plus, it's dangerous and painful, etc.
US citizens: call on Congress to: protect Birth Control from the supreme Court — pass a law protecting the right to use birth control.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Judicial Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act, which will enact ethical standards for the Supreme Court.
Germany will reactivate old, closed coal power plants to cope with the lack of Russian natural gas.
Since gas causes as much global heating as coal does, this substitution may not do any net harm. But what will happen to the gas that Russia is not selling to Germany?
Will Russia leave some in the ground? (I've read it is not feasible to entirely shut off extracting gas.) Will Russia sell it elsewhere? Will Russia burn it at the well-head, for the lack of any place to put it?
Driverless taxis operated by Cruise are not autonomous — they work on remote control. If they lose communication with the base, they stop.
I wouldn't trust any driverless taxi if it communicates with any server whatsoever — or if I can't use it anonymously.
The latest Jan 6 hearing showed evidence that the wrecker strove persistently to steal the 2020 election, first by lies and lawfare, then by planned provocation of violence at the Capitol.
Neelie Kroes, formerly head EU official in charge of internet policy, is accused of lobbying for Uber shortly after leaving that job.
Several UK ministers met secretly with Uber lobbyists.
Having those meetings may not violate any specific rules, but morally speaking it suggests they are working for the wrong side.
*Rashida Tlaib Is Trying to Fix the Espionage Act, but Whistleblowers Are Probably Out of Luck.*
Australia's privacy regulator will investigate two store chains for using facial recognition on customers in general.
Uber paid academic economists as much as $100,000 to publish research that would present the company as beneficial for society.
The article explains facts that these economists disregarded. However, just as crucial was to choose economists whose general assumptions predisposed them to evaluate based on parameters where Uber would excel, and ignore consequences that we might consider bad, such as wages that you can't live on.
*Tax cut pledges by Tory leadership hopefuls "risk stoking inflation and inequality."*
You can generally expect Tories to address any problem by cutting taxes for the wealthy. It's their hammer.
The UK's strict lock downs may have harmed the psychological development of children and teenagers.
The Spix's macaw has been reestablished in the wild after a massive, careful program of breeding the ones living in captivity.
The movie Rio may have helped inspire the effort.
Some black men run away from traffic stops because they are terrified that thugs will kill them.
Rationally, the chance that any given black man will be killed in any given traffic stop is minuscule. But I can't blame them for feeling terrified, given the thugs' patterns of bias and harassment. There is no reliable way for a black driver to get through a traffic stop safely — you can get shot for obeying the thugs' orders.
A regional drought in northern Italy has left the Po river nearly empty.
Agriculture has been devastated, and cities have water restrictions. I expect large wildfires to follow.
Iran is providing armed drones to Putin.
This support is comparable to (though much smaller in scale than) NATO's support for Ukraine. It is clear, and very regrettable, that the US blew its opportunity to reduce hostilities with Iran.
I think the US's motive was to appease long-time allies such as Salafi Arabia. This entails sucking up to Crown Prince Bone Saw -- someone as murderous as the rulers of Iran, and even more oppressive to women and dissidents. And he doesn't even give the US strategic support when it asks.
Uber's highest executives approved of using this "greyball" deception feature to thwart government investigations of allegations that Uber was violating regulations.
If that wasn't illegal, the laws are too weak.
Sri Lanka's president tried to flee to Dubai on a commercial flight, before he ceases to be president, but airport staff stopped him.
Reversing Roe v Wade was nothing at all like the historic Brown v Board of Education decision that ruled out "separate but equal" education.
Modelling suggests that a middle-size nuclear war (India and Pakistan, perhaps) would cause a global ice age that would last centuries.
Most life in the ocean would starve, and so would humans.
Mines in the Black Sea are endangering all the countries with shorelines there. It will take years to remove them all.
In April, China froze the bank accounts of thousands of people because the bank was in danger of bankruptcy. Those people have effectively lost their money, and may be broke, so they protested in the street, and thugs came and beat them up.
*The UK’s unwritten constitution is put to the test by Johnson’s unprincipled acts.*
The Australian government must act to increase use of anti-Covid masks.
The European Commission is Uber-corruptible, and it's not only Uber that has corrupted it.
Guber implemented a command (the "kill switch") to shut off access to its data base from headquarters computers, so that government investigators couldn't determine whether the company was breaking taxi regulations. The company used it in France, the Netherlands, India and Hungary, as well as Canada and Hong Kong. The highest executives explicitly gave the command for this. Even though they are no longer working for Guber, they should be prosecuted and punished for this crime.
As for Uber, let's punish it for all its wrongs by not giving it our money.
Illegal gold miners in Venezuela are shooting the indigenous leaders that are trying to keep their land free from gold mining and the poisonous mercury it releases.
*Restoring US abortion access won't be easy — but we need leaders who will try.*
US citizens: phone your senators and urge them to preserve the millionaire's surcharge (passed by the house) in the tax and investment package.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121. If you call, please spread the word!
*Plant-based meat by far the best climate investment, report finds.*
British construction companies and their suppliers knew that they were building firetraps, and went ahead uncaring. Will Tory ministers trouble to make them stop?
*Are You Ready to Be Surveilled Like a Sex Worker?*
FOSTA/SESTA's censorship provides a model for how to quash discussion of abortions.
*Our "Normal" Climate Is Dead — Now We Live in an Emergency.*
Teachers and nurses in the UK are beyond ready to strike. Many are more than ready to quit.
Diptheria bacteria are now spreading in Australia due to anti-vax superstition.
*Biden's executive order on abortion is better than nothing. But not much better.*
After public criticism, a national store chain in Australia agreed to stop using facial recognition on customers.
Sad that the organization that criticized this undermined itself by suggesting that maybe this tracking would not be so bad if the company had better informed customers about it.
If the customers were well informed about the practice, the company could argue that they had implicitly consented to being tracked. That means nothing — it is no excuse for establishing universal tracking! Even explicit consent from millions of people would be no excuse. Systematic tracking of people is the soil in which repression grows, and that is an injustice to everyone.
Deep-sea mining is noisy, and the noise can travel for hundreds of miles in water. It can interfere with marine animals' reproduction or safety, and thus disrupt ecosystems.
American women have already been prosecuted for taking abortion drugs.
Turkey arrested a Russian ship carrying stolen Ukrainian grain, but now it has released the ship, for unstated reasons.
Scientists call for banning the use of nitrites in curing bacon. Other chemicals do the job equally well and are safer.
As for freedom of the press, it has already been sentenced to death in the Philippines.
Putin's henchmen have sentenced a municipal official to 7 years in prison for criticizing the invasion of Ukraine.
I wonder precisely what "information" they claim is "false"?
*Ukraine forces finally seeing impact of western [long-range artillery], says Zelenskiy.*
The right-wing scheme to allow state legislatures to disregard state constitutions for federal elections completely contradicts the ideas of "federalism" which the right-wing politicians claim to base their thinking on.
It seems that UK thugs protect other thugs from accusations of domestic violence by intimidating the accusers.
*School Surveillance Will Never Protect Kids From Shootings.*
Prominent Ukrainian medic Yulia Paievska was captured by the Putin forces in March, because they recognized her as somewhat famous. Then they tortured her persistently, constantly demanding she admit to some Nazi connections.
Why don't the Putin forces grab some Republicans from the US instead? Those may be glad to admit they are Nazis.
The last journalists reporting from Mariupol were told, "Get out — if they capture you, they will torture you to say that your reporting was fake."
Offering too much to other countries to free US citizens would put more US citizens in danger.
In my view, a patriotic citizen (of any country) does not ask its government to procure per release from a foreign prison through concessions that could affect the well-being or interests of the country. I am surprised by the expectation that the head of state personally involve perself in such negotiations.
Biden's officials have refused to decriminalize marijuana despite pressure from some senators.
Cory Doctorow: The Swerve.
With climate disaster approaching, making dangerous efforts to stop the disaster is now less dangerous than not making them.
Bogus Johnson said he will step down as prime minister when the Tory party decides who to appoint in his place. That will take time.
Florida adopted a new civics curriculum; now it is training teachers to teach it. The training pushes distorted history and establishment of Christianity.
*Indian government censors tweets critical of Indian [government's] internet censorship.*
The tweets in question were made by Freedom House, which evaluates countries on their respect for freedom.
Global heating may be slowing the reaction that removes methane from the atmosphere, even as it increases some production of methane.
If that's true, we may be doomed.
A politician who openly defies norms of honesty and gets away with that permanently erodes those norms. Especially when he gets away with it because his party chooses to sacrifice the norms to keep him in office. His eventual defeat does not restore the lost practices of honesty, nor the lost trust that depended on those practices.
This, for example, the persistent and unlimited falsification of the wrecker taught most Republicans to support lies when they lead to victory.
US citizens: call on Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to protect passengers and crack down on airline malpractice.
It's much less painful to find, in advance, that no space is available for your trip, than to get a ticket but learn, at the airport, that you can't actually travel. Fining airlines for the latter will teach airlines not to schedule more flights than they can actually operate.
US citizens: call on Congress to reform the Supreme Court.
I intentionally signed this petition as well as the more specific petition to expand the court, because other forms of reform would also do the job.
US citizens: call on Biden not to nominate antiabortion crusader Chad Meredith for a federal judgeship.
The Democrats should deny Republican senators veto power over judges from their own states, just as Republican senators did before. To insist on fighting according to rules that your enemy blatantly ignores is to be a chump.
Unilever treated the moral objections of the human Ben and Jerry to selling "Ben and Jerry's" ice cream in Israel's colonies in Palestinian territory as an inconvenience and found a simple fix: selling the business, in Israel (including its colonies), to another company.
I agree with them in supporting Israel but not its occupation of Palestine.
It is not unusual for supporters of Israel's occupation policy to accuse "antisemitism" when anyone criticizes that policy. This was used to return the UK Labour Party to plutocratist control by kicking out Corbyn and his supporters,
and AIPAC, the pro-Israel-occupation lobbying group, is now funding the campaigns of insurrectionist US politicians.
Australia has dropped the prosecution of Bernard Collaery, who was accused of helping to reveal that Australia had bugged the Timorese negotiating team. Australia was negotiating at the time the division of oil rights between East Timor and Australia.
However, prosecution of other whistleblowers that revealed Australian government wrongdoing continues. This threatens human rights and democracy.
The European Parliament approved a plan to direct some of the funds meant for decarbonization into natural gas development instead.
Counting the inevitable methane leaks, natural gas is as bad as coal.
The same plan allows for spending on nuclear power plants, too. While they do not emit greenhouse gas, they create the danger of nuclear accidents. Because of their great expense, this is a terribly inefficient way to decarbonize.
The Federal government habitually helps state governments get personal data from databases, and from people's computers. If it doesn't take action to avoid this, it will help states find abortion patients or abortion providers.
*Don't waste all your anger on Boris Johnson — save some for his enablers.*
Covering fields of crops with plastic sheets increased local temperatures by around 0.7°C and humidity by nearly 25%.
The large-scale use of this practice changes the region's weather.
We must not overlook the role of population growth in the malfunctioning of the system of supporting humans. Growing enough food and distributing it to those who need it, while protecting wildlife, will be much easier for a smaller population.
George Monbiot: *It's democracy v plutocracy — this is the endgame for our planet.*
*It's as if, when ministers go to bed, they ask themselves, "What have I done to make the UK a worse place today?"*
The mayor of Uvalde accused the upper management of the Texas Department of Public Safety of organizing to cover up the cause of the incompetent reaction of the "security" forces.
European countries are considering a continent-wide high speed rail network.
This is a very good thing to do; but to get the full benefit of it, we must campaign against demanding ID from each passenger. Several countries, including Spain and Italy, imposed that requirement as a measure for tracking Covid-19 cases — but now that there are so many cases, no country in Europe is really trying to find them all. That means this anti-freedom policy is no longer justified.
*[Senate Republicans] Colluding With Autocratic Orbán Government to Tank Global Tax Deal.*
*Are Democrats Really Clueless About Impending Election Doom?*
This criticism applies to the plutocratist Democrats, but we should not hold it against the progressive Democrats.
The possibility of resuming Obama's non-nuclear deal with Iran is fast ebbing away.
The blame for this falls on the wrecker, who cancelled the deal for his own personal ambition (the main reason for everything political he does).
Secondarily, it seems to fall on the Iranian hard-liners, for preferring to make Iran a nuclear power, and on Biden, who gave insufficient priority to avoiding that.
Given the repeated acts of terror (war against civilians) carried out by the Putin forces, we must treat Russia as a terrorist state.
I don't think that this offers a magic way to alter the direction of the war. I don't think that the countries which now do business with Russia will pay attention.
Shell companies systematically evade sanctions to buy phosphates in Syria and sell them in Europe.
Pakistan's suppression forces regularly kill or disappear people of the Baloch minority. They mete out cruelty to peaceful protesters.
There has long been a separatist movement among the Balochi, but extrajudicial killing and kidnapping are not a legitimate response.
US citizens: call on Marsh insurance not to insure the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
US citizens: call on Congress to demand accountability from executive agencies for supporting war crimes in Yemen.
US citizens: call on Congress to legislate to protect same-sex marriage.
Hong Kong artists published graphic novels about wolves and sheep, that could be taken as metaphorically depicting Chinese and Hong Kongers. The wolves are now prosecuting them.
Maya Forstater, who was dismissed from work for maintaining that gender identities are meaningless and all that matters is a person's biological sex, has won a discrimination lawsuit.
I disagree with those views, but I defend her right to state views that disagree with mine.
*A toxic combination of climate emergency, conflict and Covid is pushing some of the poorest countries into an acute hunger crisis.*
*In pretending that Covid is over, the UK government is playing a dangerous game.*
This applies also to the US, and at least most countries in Europe.
A group of human rights lawyers accuse Turkey of complicity in PISSI's massacre of Yazidis, and blame Syria and Iraq for failing to prevent the massacre.
They certainly did fail, but I wonder if they could in practice have done any better than they actually did.
Subsequently, other ministers joined them. The rest continue supporting Bogus, lacking even that minimum level of integrity. But the ones that resigned just now sat still for lie after lie.
Republicans are recruiting poll workers who are trying to falsify the last election. They are unfit for the responsibility of a poll workers — to protect the integrity of the next election — since they show their goal is the exact opposite.
Can they be prosecuted for conspiracy to steal the election?
An interview with the author of the book, Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy.
The interview starts by reminding Americans of the achievements of the New Deal did for the non-rich, then how President Carter and subsequent Democrats helped Republicans undo it. The last topic is how to save democracy by fighting for something similar to the New Deal.
(satire) *CEOs Explain How They Will Protect Abortion Rights [for their workers].*
Many of the refugees that the UK plans to send to Rwanda are victims of trafficking.
The fact that one particular refugee is a woman should make no difference whatsoever to per human rights, but being a victim of trafficking (a form of enslavement) does make a difference. Victims of trafficking must be protected so that they don't fear to report the crimes that were committed against them.
The general attitude of the current UK government is towards law is, "Laws are weapons to hit you with — not tools for defending your rights." The plan to disempower the European Court of Human Rights demonstrates this.
A preliminary report finds that catching Covid-19 twice (easy to do, with the BA.5 variant) more than doubles the subsequent danger, compared with catching it only once.
The study measured how many people died, were hospitalized, or developed various long-term medical problems in the subsequent six months.
Each reinfection adds to the total risk, and the amount it adds increases too.
Perhaps this means we need the new vaccines developed for Omicron. Or perhaps we need a different one for BA.5. Meanwhile, making a practice of wearing a mask when you are indoors with other people, except for your few closest friends, is something you can do now to protect yourself and others.
Thousands protested in England against the high cost of living, which many people with low incomes cannot afford. Sad to say, they misidentified the problem as "high fuel prices", which means that their public message is a demand to make fossil fuel cheap. That way lies death!
Anyway, it's not only fossil fuel that low-income Britons can't afford. Inflation affects more or less everything. The right solution, to give them enough extra income that they can afford their living expenses, will address all of that.
Naturally, the Tories aim to repress any protest that people will notice. They recently passed new laws to do this. I wonder how many of these protesters supported the Tories for that, while Tory repression was aimed at environmentalists.
(satire) *Conservatives Explain Why They Oppose Abortions.*
Global heating means, literally, hell on Earth.
US citizens: Call for Democrats to consider these several ways of restoring abortion rights.
Covid in New Zealand is increasing rapidly, as people can get reinfected just a few months after having it. Doctors call for masks, self-isolation, and other measures to slow the spread of the disease.
Thugs perceive black teenagers, and even children, as more adult than whites of the same age — and treat them as culpable.
*Dangerous strain of salmonella becoming more common in UK meat.*
*Potentially deadly [drug-resistant bacteria] found in British supermarket pork.*
Even worse, it was found in pork raised under a system that limits the antibiotics they are given.
*Turkey seizes Russian ship carrying … Ukrainian grain.*
Russia announced that the grain is Ukrainian, so now it must suffer the penalty.
Toronto homeless shelters require security guards to remove facial hair so that N95 masks will fit them well, and effectively prevent transmission of Covid-19. This rule is to protect health and safety during Covid waves.
Some guards, who are Sikhs, believe that this rule is unfair to them because complying with it would go against their religion. They contend that the state has no right to enforce rules on them that conflict with their religious observance.
Such a demand must be refused. No one is entitled to set aside a requirement to protect other people's health in order to practice a ritual. In the end, if you won't do the job as it needs to be done, you must leave.
In general, we should let people practice their religions when it doesn't cause a significant problem. For instance, if someone wants to wear a long bathing suit while swimming, there is no reason to forbid that.
It is also good to look for compromises, including with the Sikh guards. For instance, a small beard, like the one I wear now, can fit under an N95 mask. (I cut it to fit underneath.) Such beards should be permitted. Whether that is acceptable to a Sikh, I don't know, but if it is, they should be allowed to wear their masks over these beards.
It is reasonable to insist that an employer offer a worker some other job, when a new rule excludes per from per current job. But people with a religion should not thereby acquire more human rights than Atheists have.
*It's time for Democrats to fear their own voters.*
Xiao Jianhua, a Canadian billionaire (formerly Chinese) who was kidnapped from Hong Kong by Chinese suppression agents in 2017, is now getting a Chinese-style secret trial.
The series of kidnappings of Hong Kong businessmen terrified the citizens; for Xi, they demonstrated that the other powers would not take strong measures to protect freedom in Hong Kong.
Humans must prepare to be ready to care about the rights and needs of sentient AIs, so that we can respect their rights if and when we meet them.
Thugs in Akron shot and killed a black man who was running away from them.
He may have been a criminal — he had left a loaded gun behind in the car, and was reportedly wearing a ski mask (in June!). But he was not threatening anyone when they killed him. Perhaps he deserved to be tried and convicted — we don't know — but there were no grounds for killing him.
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 will not link to articles that promote it. But I make exceptions for some articles that I consider particularly important. That article is one of the exceptions.
Is there a need to give each person an official sex (or an official gender)? Maybe not.
It may be desirable to distinguish officially between being someone's biological mother and being per biological father.
*More than 180 British Council contractors left trapped in Afghanistan have been given immediate permission by the UK government to apply online to come to Britain, but no hint of how to get out of the country safely.*
It appears that UK bureaucrats followed their standard practice, with all would-be immigrants, of looking for excuses to refuse to let them in. It must have become a habit for them.
*Spain and Portugal suffering driest climate for 1,200 years, research shows.* Scientists now know what causes this; it is directly connected with global heating. As this gets worse, it will be a disaster for olive and grape production.
The UK plans to try again to send refugees to Rwanda, and do so before the start of a planned court hearing about whether it is lawful to do this.
That would go beyond disregarding asylum seekers' human rights: it would show contempt for the idea that they (or any people) have rights.
*Brazil sees record Amazon deforestation in first half of 2022.*
US citizens: call on Clarence Thomas to resign.
US residents (citizens or not): call on Dollar General to end low pay and unsafe working conditions.
*Boiling Like Frogs in a Pot, Will Democratic Leaders Ever Jump Out?*
I like what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted, but it may have a correctable problem. It appears that "codifying Roe" may be difficult or impossible to do in a way that the Supreme Court extremists can't wreck; but expanding the court to restore Roe can work, if we don't wait too long.
A "global energy price cap" could cut Putin's fossil fuel income. This article explains how it would function, by conditions on insurance for oil tankers.
For this to function, it needs various countries stand firm behind it, and others go along with it.
I wonder if China might defeat it by offering insurance without insisting on the price limit.
*"Morally Bankrupt" G7 Slammed for "Caving" to Fossil Fuel Lobby on Climate.*
*Oxfam Condemns G7 for Leaving "Millions to Starve" as Global Hunger Surges.*
Poland's abortion restrictions killed Izabela Sajbor. Her doctors knew she needed an abortion to survive, but they had to wait until the fetal heartbeat ceased; by then, it was too late.
Pszczyna is around 1-2 hours' drive from the border with the Czech Republic. I wonder if it was possible to save her, while she was in labor but not dying, by putting her in a car and taking her to a Czech hospital. Doctors surely would have said it was too risky for her to travel, and I suppose it was; but I think they were not reckoning with the risk for her of staying put.
*Evidence contradicts [Putinite] claims about Kremenchuk mall attack.*
I've seen report of a rumor that these missiles are inaccurate, so maybe the missile was fired at the repair factory and hit the mall by mistake, If that is true, it means another Putinite claim (that it was accurate) is false. And it is a war crime to bombard civilian areas with inaccurate weapons.
*Growing Food for Fuel Is Starving People.*
*[Biofuels], used on a large scale, … are no more sustainable than whale oil.*
Having enough additional food production to feed 2 billion people does not mean we should be content to see 2 billion more people! We can't afford that either way.
Part of that increment production could enable us to give every living person enough food. Part of it we could discontinue, preserving wild lands or rewilding some.
Stuart, a food delivery subcontracting company which handles delivery for Just Eat in the UK, uses a driver-guidance map system which occasionally sends drivers to the wrong place or via impossible routes. As a result, they fail to complete the job on time, and Stuart fires them.
If violations of workers' rights were punished vigorously, companies would not dare treat their workers like this.
Governor Newsom of California is running ads in Florida condemning Governor Desantis for attacking freedom there.
Murderous drug mafias have led the Netherlands to launch a sort of war on drug mafias.
I would guess that most of the drugs smuggled through the Netherlands is headed for other countries in Europe, and only a small fraction is for Dutch users. If there were a lawful way to buy cocaine for personal use, it might pull the rug out from under the mafias.
A subtle but general question in copyright law is the basis of a lawsuit: to what extent can a work of fiction embody the conclusions of historical research about specific people in its plot without counting as "plagiarism".
Viewing copyright as a system for encouraging authorship, the answer is clear: this should be permitted, because prohibiting it does not serve that goal and instead obstructs it. A fictional work is not a substitute for a historical work — they do not compete.
However, if you use the propaganda term "property" to conceptualize copyright, it will bias you in the wrong direction. You might unconsciously start from the assumption that authors (in practice, more often the publishing companies that published their work) are entitled to maximum power regardless of what effects that has.
This is one of the reasons to reject and shun the term "intellectual property." The other reason is that it's an over generalization about several disparate and unrelated laws. If you assume they are similar, you are likely to misunderstand each of them.
The habitual use of "smart" phones seems to be weakening people's memory, and is perhaps responsible for visible changes in brain development.
What should we do about that?
Like a true surrender-monkey, the author says it is unthinkable to do away with them. The article suggests that taking one-minute breaks would make the problem less. Well, one can hope.
I'm glad to say that I have ever had a "smart" phone. I know others who reject this; you can, too!
I go further than that, personally. All portable phones track your movements and can be modified remotely to listen to all the conversations around you, all the time — so I refuse to carry any kind of snoop-phone.
Texas "educators", fearing the law restricting schools from teaching about racism, proposed to rename slavery as "involuntary relocation".
If properly taught, comparing voluntary immigration with the transport of slaves could teach students a lot about what slavery was. But teaching that properly would be illegal in Texas — so they must have been planning to downplay the truth.
Historically, slavery in British colonies was achieved by forced transportation of Africans. But that was not true everywhere else. Slavery in Spanish colonies started with the indigenous people Spain had conquered. It did not involve transporting them, since they were worked as slaves in the land where they lived. That didn't make it less horrible.
Millennia earlier, the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt also occurred in the place where they already lived.
Politicians are finding excuses to increase use of natural gas. They cite various bogus excuses, but all this can really do is accelerate global heating.
Depending on your employer to pay for your trip to get an abortion puts you in a very vulnerable position.
In any case, I expect that only a tiny percentage of US workers work in jobs that are covered by such commitments. (Can anyone find out what percentage?) It's a nice gesture but it isn't a solution.
US citizens: phone your senators (each one) and call on them to explicitly enact the authority for the EPA to regulate total emissions of any greenhouse gas.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
Massachusetts residents: call on your state legislators to enact limits on state use of facial recognition.
Here's the text I gave as my personal message.
Please vote to enact the recommendations of the Special Commission on Facial Recognition Technology. Those recommended rules will limit the use of facial recognition by and for state government agencies so that it does not become oppressive — presuming that the rules apply to all jurisdictions that are part of the state. (I can't see an explicit statement about that.)
However, this will certainly not be enough to protect us from the repressive potential of facial recognition. Private companies can also use facial recognition in ways that repress people. Imagine that Amazon Ring joins forces with Clearview AI: it could track almost everyone almost everywhere. It could report every person from Texas that visits an abortion clinic in Massachusetts, for possible prosecution in Texas. There are many other unjust possibilities. Other methods of tracking, for instance through cellular phones, can have the same effects.
To prevent tracking technology from threatening many human rights, we need to legislate that it not be used in Massachusetts.
Thus, I urge you to follow the adoption of the commission's recommendations about governmental use of facial recognition with strict limits on private use of tracking technology.
New York thugs violently arrested a beloved saxophone player, injuring him and damaging his instrument, for playing without authorization in the subway.
Apparently Night-Mayor Adams has taken the bogus "broken windows" theory one step further. Breaking windows is undisputedly wrong, though not a heinous crime. Playing music in the subway is merely against a regulation.
The first lesson is, never vote for an ex-cop for mayor.
The Supreme Court ruled that the EPA can regulate CO2 emissions only in limited, local ways, not aiming for major reductions in total planet-roasting emissions.
That means it can't do the one task most important for civilization's survival.
*Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After "Disastrous" Climate Ruling by Supreme Court*.
What he has been doing recently is the opposite: unleashing a big increase in US oil extraction, which will take effect several years from now.
*Environmentalists condemn Biden administration’s offshore drilling plan.*
It would be better for gasoline prices to increase in a slow, steady, predictable fashion, with gas tax increases scheduled in advance. But they must increase!
Now legislators are calling for expanding the Supreme Court to undo its climate attack, in addition to abortion rights and voting rights.
*In Blow to Voting Rights, [the Supreme Court] Saves Louisiana's Racially Rigged Electoral Map.*
*Arizona, the most "pro-life" state in America, "one of the worst states in the union" for child health.*
This is no surprise — the people who oppose abortion tend to reject the idea of systematically helping post born fetuses.
Senator Ron Johnson privately admitted participating in the fake electors scheme.
*California passes first sweeping US law to reduce single-use plastic.*
Queensland, Australia, will ban some kinds of single-use plastics.
Helium is scarce and it is needed for some important uses. We should not permit it to be used for inflating balloons!
Ecuador has reached a harmful deal to end indigenous protests: cutting the fossil fuel price.
This eases the immediate suffering of the poor, at the cost of making future suffering worse for them and everyone else.
The right way to help poor people cope with various kinds of high prices is to give them extra money which is independent of the amount of fossil fuel they use.
The deal also includes stricter geographic limits on search for and exploiting fossil fuel. That part is good.
*Mark Meadows's associate threatened [Cassidy Hutchinson] before her testimony.*
Senate Democrats are likely to fail to fill all the vacancies in federal courts by the end of this year. If they lose control of the senate, those vacancies will go unfilled until 2024 and might be filled by Republicans instead.
Why do they not eliminate the rule that allows individual senators to block these appointments? The Republicans did. Could it be that Manchin or Sinema is sabotaging this?
ATMs and vending machines in Russia run nonfree software — the machines' owners cannot fix them.
We might argue that it is ok for banks and companies in Russia to be attacked in this way, as punishment for Putin's invasion of Ukraine; but I expect the same attack vector exists in most or all other countries too.
Construction of the planned Sizewell C nuclear power plant would quite likely destroy an adjoining wildlife reserve.
That is in addition to wasting billions of pounds on inefficient decarbonization, rather than spending it on much cheaper solar or wind power together with temporary battery storage.
Federal funds will be available for projects to undo the damage done to poor or black urban neighborhoods in the 1960s by building highways through them.
India has banned a long list of single-use plastic products.
Global heating is wreaking ecological havoc on US national parks.
In some places, all the old trees are dying of various climate-related causes.
Let's get rid of the right-wing myth that abortions lead to psychological problems. They don't.
On the other hand, having a baby does sometimes cause them. (And non-mental medical problems, too.) Being compelled to have a baby you can't afford to take care of is even worse.
About the decades-long plutocratist campaign that led to last week's sabotage of the EPA's authority to defend human civilization from global heating disaster.
That would protect people from repression using certain data bases, but plenty of other companies collect location data in various ways, including mobile phone networks.
(satire) *Elmo Receives Vasectomy In PSA On Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies.*
*Expanding US LNG Exports Would Be Planetary Disaster.*
Mississippi Republicans are determined to force rape victims to give birth.
Republicans are avidly trying to legislate repression against people who visit another state to get an abortion. If Republicans can't actually prosecute them, they will try to organize people to sue them into bankruptcy.
Washington's governor Inslee has ordered the state thug department not to cooperate with requests from other states for information about who got an abortion in Washington.
*Beware: The Supreme Court Is Laying Groundwork to Pre-Rig the 2024 Election.*
If it rules that state legislatures have total arbitrary control over how to choose a state's electors, Republican states will use that to disregard the actual votes and make the Republican presidential candidate the winner.
We need to prepare to stop them, recognizing that we can't count on principles of jurisprudence to deter them.
Several Republican extremist politicians and candidates have posted messages hinting at violence against Democrats, or against non-extremist Republicans, and the trend is that the hints get more obvious.
The human immune system doesn't do a good job against Omicron, and even less against the newer BA.4 and BA.5 variants. People catch it over and over — and each time, long Covid may develop afterward.
The existing vaccines, developed against the original virus, reduce the rate of hospitalization and death, but don't prevent people from getting sick again and again.
What should we say about the Russian drug charges against Brittney Griner?
First of all, the "war on drugs" is an injustice. Nobody should be punished for possessing marijuana or its derivatives. On that basic level, the conclusion is clear: she ought to be freed,
There are many countries that do, or might, put someone in prison for years for carrying hashish oil. The UAE has an extreme practice of doing this, which is why I urge people not to transit through Dubai airport. The US remains allied with Dubai despite this and other nasty practices.
Indeed, the US might itself imprison Americans for doing exactly what she did. Marijuana products remain prohibited by the federal government and many states.
I won't argue that this makes it legitimate for Russia to imprison Griner for carrying hashish oil. It is wrong for any country to do that. A's injustice towards people P, Q and R does not justify B's injustice towards people X, Y and Z. However, it's a mistake to treat this as worse when Putin does it than when anyone else does it.
Is Putin using her as a hostage? Perhaps he is — he does that sort of thing. But it isn't very useful to harp on that. The more the US demands he release her, the more valuable she becomes as a hostage.
I suggest that Americans focus on demanding full legalization of marijuana in the US, a goal which is attainable. Then it would have more moral stature to call on other countries to release prisoners of war in the war on drugs.
US citizens: call on the Senate to suspend the filibuster and protect abortion rights.
At the same time, the Senate should legislate the right to use birth control and the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, since those are the next targets of the Court of Chaos.
How to do this so that the same court can't invalidate it may be a tricky problem. It may require expanding the court to cancel the religious extremists.
Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato told her the wrecker tried to grab control of his limousine, when Secret Service agents refused to take him to the Capitol where his followers were attacking. However, a Secret Service agent says that the wrecker did not actually do that.
This is no reason to doubt Hutchinson's testimony. She did not claim to have seen those events herself — she was reporting what someone else told her. If he changes his story now, that could mean he regrets having had loose lips.
However, I am sure that the the wrecking crew will try to twist this so that it appears to shed discredit on everything she testified to.
If the wrecker did to try to grab the wheel, I cannot blame him for that. If my driver flat-out insisted in taking me where I did not want to go, I would consider it kidnapping and I would think about how to escape from the car. To grab the steering wheel might be ineffective, or dangerous, but it would not be wrong under those circumstances. This, in itself, would not matter for his guilt or innocence.
What does matter is that he wanted to go to the Capitol and egg on his followers in attacking it. That was inculpating, even if he asked for it in perfectly civil terms.
*Australia's bush fire season has grown by almost a month in 40 years, study finds.*
Turkey demands that Sweden extradite "terrorist supporters" including those of the PKK, or it will block Sweden's accession to NATO at some later point.
Sweden recently "designated" the PKK as a "terrorist organization" without a trial. That's always an injustice, and this illustrates it. That wrong is practiced by many countries including the US. countries including the US.
It would be an additional wrong to do this and then suddenly start to extradite people who had previously been accepted as refugees. Sweden must at least give those people time to leave.
Has Sweden has also "designated" Rojava, the state of the Syrian Kurds, as "a terrorist organization"? I would think so. I fear that Turkey demands extradition of people for working with and supporting Rojava and its army, which is a noble cause, and I fear that Sweden will eventually do that.
Charges were dropped against the Michigan officials involved in poisoning the water in Flint.
For information about the poisoning and its causes, see these notes.
The charges were dropped because of a fundamental irregularity in procedure. I wonder if the charges can be refiled in the proper way.
New York State is drawing up a new gun permit law, to replace the one that the Supreme Court overturned.
*Google Maps or a random game on your phone could just as easily be weaponized against someone as a menstrual tracking app.*
To keep people safe, we must reject the practice of designing programs to send data anywhere off your machine, except on your explicit request.
*Greek [thugs] coerce asylum seekers into pushing [actually, rowing] fellow migrants back to Turkey.* And the thugs beat those up before before having them pushed back.
The refugees are told they will be charged as smugglers if they refuse to help row the others back.
The political situation in Colombia, and President Petro's prospects for changing it.
Subcontracted non-medical workers in British hospitals are now striking.
Subcontracting has been one aspect of the general Tory pressure on the NHS.
The stated purpose is to detect child sexual abuse, but since this is a tool for Chinese-style repression, it hardly matters what purpose is stated.
If Congress legislates to legalize abortion, it will not be straightforward to stop the fanatical Justices from finding an excuse to overturn that law.
According to the writer, the Court of Chaos has already abolished most of the possible bases for Congress to establish any sort of right. It is now easier to prohibit something nationwide than to make it lawful nationwide.
Here's a plan that would do the job — because it includes expanding the Supreme Court. That would make possible reversing the damage, not just the immediate decision overturning Roe v Wade, but the deeper levels too.
A defendant has appealed a conviction because it was based on ordering Google to reveal which people had done a particular kind of search.
Fanatical Christian officials could do this to find women who might have got abortions.
(satire) *Supreme Court Casually Mentions Nation Now Divided Into Six Provinces Ruled By Conservative Justices.*
New Zealand has designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist group.
It seems to fit that description, but these decisions should be made by a trial, not arbitrarily.
The Labour Party seems to be rejecting candidates for Parliament that it considers leftist.
Now that Labour fails to oppose plutocracy hard, striking workers provide Britain's opposition.
The anti-abortion crusade's next goal is to impose a ban on abortion on all Americans. Many of them are willing to do this by hook or by crook.
The Putin forces are threatening teachers in occupied Ukraine with firing, eviction, and possible imprisonment or violence unless they agree to teach Putin's censored curriculum. If they do agree, they may be punished by Ukraine in the future.
I agree that Ukraine should not punish civilians who collaborated under duress. But I wonder if there is any way for teachers (and others unwillingly under Putin's rule) to get out.
Certainly, Ukraine should try harder to make sure all teachers to leave areas that may soon fall to the Putin forces.
Human Rights Watch: *Palestinian Authority routinely tortures [prisoners].*
I hope some one can inform Solnit that some of us do not "opt in" to this surveillance and manipulation.
George Monbiot: rich countries should forgive poor countries' unpayable debt, so those can spend money on conservation and education rather than debt service.
Perhaps this should be conditional the beneficiary countries' cutting down the extraction of fossil fuels.
Democratic PACs are running ads to help extremist Republicans win primaries, in the hope that they will be easy to defeat in the general election.
Aside from the fact that this is like betting double-or-nothing, which is risky, it's also insincere.
Musk said he plans to fire many salaried Tesla workers and hire more hourly workers. In other words, he wants a more precarious work force.
He also seems to plan to hire other salaried workers later this year to replace those he is firing now. You'd think he could afford to keep those workers on for the few months in between. Or is this really a fire-and-rehire scheme to knock wages down? Musk has a pattern of covering up nasty actions with distraction publicity.
*Does Justice Clarence Thomas want to overturn a landmark freedom of the press ruling?*
The plutocrats that Republicans (and many Democrats) work for would sue newspapers over and over until they crack.
Australia is making a serious decarbonization plan for electricity.
I don't think it aims to do enough before 2030, though. Also, there are other sectors that need to be decarbonized.
*War on drugs prolonged Colombia’s decades-long civil war, landmark report finds.*
The leftist guerrilla movements started fighting against the inequality of Colombia, but over the decades turned to drugs for financing and got sucked into that.
In Poland, as in the US, right-wing Christians attacked abortion rights by taking over the country's supreme court.
Australia's new government has recognized that its carbon offset scheme is bogus.
That is true elsewhere, too. I hope other governments will recognize it.
The EU countries agreed on a law to stop sale of new fossil-fuel cars by 2035.
Avoiding global climate disaster requires much more than this, but at least it's a step forward. Other major economies (such as the US) have not done even this much.
US citizens: call on these companies to stop funding attacks on abortion rights: Amazon, Google, AT&T, Citi, Coca-Cola, CVS, Walmart, Verizon, GM, Comcast, Walgreens, and T-Mobile.
The Philippine government has ordered Reppler to shut down.
Soon President Do-Dirty will leave office and be replaced with President Marcos II. But I doubt that this will change anything.
The UK is building more renewable electric generating capacity, but missing the chance to use energy more efficiently.
A list of hotels that unions call for boycotting.
(satire) *Study Finds Majority Of Florida Students Can’t Pass Basic Test Of Racial Purity.*
"Hardening schools" and arming teachers will not prevent shootings in schools. The elementary school in Uvalde was already "hardened", and a bunch of "good guys" with guns could not figure out what to do.
*Facebook and Instagram removing posts with mentions of abortion pills.*
There are many more reasons to reject Facebook and Instagram.
Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked in the White House closely with the wrecker, testified about his conspiring with Giuliani and Meadows to launch the attack on the Capitol, and efforts to build it up and keep it going.
The Putin forces attacked a shopping center in Kremenchuk with two long-range cruise missiles, during opening hours when many shoppers were inside.
Both missiles hit the shopping center, which shows that they did not go off course. They were aimed right there. Firing them was a war crime.
The mall owners demanded stores disregard air-raids warnings and keep operating continuously. I hope the owners are sued into bankruptcy for that, at least.
*Trying to erase the biological definition of sex isn't just misguided — it's dangerous.*
Socially (or individually) defined gender rules are central for some purposes ‐ mainly those relating to social relationships (including but not limited to sexual or romantic relationships). Biological sex is crucial for some purposes — mainly those relating to reproduction, medicine and biology. We need to recognize both and distinguish them, in our thinking and in our language.
*Labour is losing its sense of purpose just as the trade unions that gave birth to the party have rediscovered theirs.*
Salesh Prasad faces deportation to Fiji, where he knows no one but can confidently expect to be persecuted because he is gay.
A 50-year-old man is not likely to engage in street fighting. There is no reason to keep him off the streets in the US, no reason to deport him to life as a pariah.
In general, adults who have lived in the US for many years, since childhood, should be free to remain.
*Putin needs a drawn-out war — the west’s timidity gives him one.*
The west should disregard Putin's absurd threats, not take them seriously.
The Christian extremists on the US Supreme Court wants to impose Christianity on the US. As a first step, it has voted to permit public school teachers pray loudly with students, pressuring the students to accept it.
School team athletes won't dare disagree with their coach, who could easily kick them off the team. They are at his mercy.
The once-a-decade biodiversity preservation summit ended in failure due to a lack of political will to achieve the goal.
* Silicon Valley lobbied to change EU policy. Europe needs better ways to hold firms like Google and Meta to account.*
* Almost everything we grow and raise in the US is facing some climatic stress.*
Ten years from now, it will go beyond inconvenient shortages and cause widespread hunger in the US. And if we don't curb global heating soon, the next step will be famine.
India has arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair for supposedly "insulting Hindus" in 2018.
The article does not tell us what the supposed insult actually said, but it is not crucial to judging the issue. Insult is part of freedom of speech, and it includes the freedom to insult anyone — even you or me.
Arundhati Roy: *Many, many of my beloved friends — poets, writers, professors, lawyers, human rights activists and journalists — are in prison, most of them charged under a dreaded law called the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, all of them for speaking up for minorities, Dalits and forest-dwellers facing displacement and state terror.*
* What does it mean to be a bestselling author when the world is breaking? What does it mean to be considered a "success" when the world is failing and everything you care about is being decimated? What is the moral way to be? The moral thing to do?*
I would not use the word "decimated" to describe this. since in this context, with its proper meaning, it is an understatement.
The chief official of New South Wales, of the extractivist Liberal party (like the just-defeated prime minister), calls climate defense protesters "bloody idiots" for practicing civil disobedience tactics that call attention to the danger of his policies.
It is possible for civil disobedience tactics to backfire.
However, when it's an enemy of the cause that says so, you shouldn't listen. Just as Putin keeps saying "Ukraine will be destroyed," planet-roaster Perrottet says, "Your protests are self-defeating," hoping they will give up and cease to oppose him.
When the government describes private businesses as "partners", we have to suspect they have converted it into a partner for their profit. That is corruption.
The last example, that of private space stations, might not be so bad. If the three companies operate space stations at their own expense, and make a profit, that's not corruption. However, if the government subsidizes them all to "compete", we won't get the benefits of private competition, so we may as well pay publicly for a space station owned and run by the country.
*"If you know a woman, if you love a woman, if you ever plan on knowing or loving a woman, or if you are a woman — don't go to Malta."*
I think that is a slight exaggeration. It it surely safe for a man to go to Malta alone. It is surely safe for anyone who is not pregnant to visit to Malta for a short period of time. Nonetheless, the basic point is valid.
I am curious to know why Prudente could not take an ordinary commercial flight to Italy — or a ferry. Even if there was some risk in those options, they may have been safer than awaiting fate in Malta.
*[Bogus Johnson] asks disaffected Russian academics to defect to the UK alongside Ukrainian colleagues.*
That would be wise and noble, except that we can't expect him to follow through honestly.
UK unions accuse the government of "pushing for post-Brexit trade deals with more than a dozen countries around the world that do not guarantee workers’ rights or systematically violate employee protections."
The natural result would be to undercut British workers with very cheap and terribly exploited labor.
In the free world, the natural way to write a period tracker app would operate purely locally and would never tell any internet server anything about you.
With proprietary apps, you're always at some risk.
*Republican state Senate candidate arrested after punching [Democratic opponent] in face at abortion rights rally.*
The arrested man is also, as it happens, an official thug. What could be more natural?
For the first time, Colombia has a president that wants to tax the rich. He does not have full support in congress, so he may have to work hard to get that passed. I hope that he succeeds.
The Republican Party is a group of dangerous extremists led by dangerous extremists, and they stir up violence and hate.
Signatories have agreed to "update" the Energy Charter Treaty, a business-supremacy treaty that makes countries pay billions for the right to reduce fossil fuel activities. The change would reduce this effect, but not eliminate it until 2033. That is inadequate.
Spain urged the European Union to quit the Energy Charter Treaty.
Robert Reich: *Why is the US about to give away $52bn to corporations like Intel?*
I have a different answer. Most US officials are so much under the thumb of business that, when businesses do certain things that hurt the country, the only solution they can propose is to pay businesses not to do those things. This leads to ever more levels of subsidy.
It used to be we had another kind of solution available: punish or tax businesses which did those things. But businesses lobby for the principle that every complaint about business conduct is an occasion for more subsidy.
Abortion rights supporters have protested across the US. I wish I could get a pointer to where and how to find these protests, in a place that doesn't require running nonfree software to see the information. If anyone can find such a site — or create one by scraping — I would appreciate the ability to direct others to protests, and if I know of another in Boston I could go to it myself.
The author of Sleepwalkers, a book on the start of World War I, says that the Ukraine war is not at all similar to that and decries the comparison.
US citizens: call on Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn to apologize and resign from leadership Posts, for supporting anti-abortion Democrat Cuellar against a progressive candidate.
US citizens: call on Congress to regulate PFAs.
*"I’m very afraid": same-sex couples express anxiety about a post-Roe landscape.*
Don't sit their expressing your fear! Organize, recruit, and fight!
Oxfam's head calls for a windfall profits tax to help feed poor people.
This tax could certainly do a lot of good for poor people, and I am in favor of it. In the recent past, there was indeed enough food available, so money to help poor people get a bigger share would solve the problem of feeding them. However, given Putin's blockade of Ukraine, is that still true? Would more money for the poor be sufficient now?
Microplastics in fresh water keep intestinal viruses alive for longer, thus helping them infect more humans.
States may prohibit in-vitro fertilization, because that tends to produce lots of extra embryos that do not get implanted.
Orange roughy reproduce very slowly — at 55 years old, only 50% are ready to breed. This means fishing must be curtailed to save the species.
*Techniques such as adding manure and compost to soils, growing nitrogen-fixing plants between crops, and cultivating a wide range of produce instead of sticking to the same crops, can all increase yields while protecting and improving the natural ecosystems of farms.* The result is to economize on chemical fertiliser.
Senator Collins and Senator Manchin, who voted to confirm Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, claimed they promised they wouldn't overturn Roe v Wade. Likewise Senator Murkowski.
If the senators mean this sincerely, they should demonstrate their sincerity by helping to undo their foolish and deadly mistake: by voting to expand the Supreme Court.
The Tories' response to the UK railroad workers' strike is to facilitate breaking any and all strikes in the future.
You've got to expect that a neoliberal party will try to keep wages down. It's a shame that Labour has joined that side.
*Biden administration signals fight to stop states banning abortion pill.*
Congresscritters who asked the corrupter for pardons recognized that their efforts to overturn the election might be criminal.
Starmer boasts of moving the Labour Party to the "center". He claims it will win because people hate the Tories. They do, and it may. But the emphasis on economic growth is explicit rejection of the goal of redistributing the wealth that the rich have taken away from the rest. That's what it means to be a "centrist" party — don't make the rich any less rich.
No wonder Starmer opposes unions when they show a willingness to do more than piss and moan.
We will never get a big change for the better from Centrist Labour. It will be more Tony B'liar.
NHS doctors insist that the crisis of the NHS is caused by Tory underfunding, not by Covid-19.
This makes sense, since the problems developed in a slow and steady fashion over ten years, and have been reported on across that time.
Simon Tisdell argues that NATO could provide safety for ships exporting grain from Ukraine. Even supposing the mines have been removed, I am not convinced this will work.
Russian missiles continue to hit nonmilitary targets in Odessa. They can surely hit the port area. Russia too has anti-ship missiles. They can hit freighters carrying grain, as well as their escorts. Who wants to risk a ship worth millions of dollars to find out whether Russia will sink it?
If Ukraine starts sinking oil tankers traveling empty to Novorossiysk to pick up Russian export oil, this would end Putin's cocky contempt for sanctions. It might also convince Putin to make an agreement to allow shipping to pass unobstructed to both Ukraine and Russia. He would carry out the agreement, since attacking Ukraine's shipping would bring retaliation in kind.
Menial workers in the UK are driven so hard that they need marijuana and cocaine to deal with the pain. Some of them have to thread their lives around the constant danger of a drug test.
The reversal of Roe v Wade was the first application of a general decision by the Supreme Court to require less justification to reverse some kinds of precedents.
This will put many rights in danger — any right that was not accepted and ruled on 150 years ago.
After a shooting in a gay bar, the city of Oslo cancelled the Gay Pride march scheduled for the following day.
I think the cancellation was a mistake in strategy, because it magnifies the power of terrorists. To go on as planned would be a display of strength.
A car driver went out of his way to run into abortion rights protesters. He was obviously using his car as a weapon, but the thugs let him go.
Iowa, where that took place, passed a law to shield drivers who attack protesters with their cars from lawsuits from those they hit. Nominally, that shield is limited to drivers "exercising due care," but it will serve as an excuse for antiabortionist juries to endorse injuring people.
However, that law doesn't affect criminal prosecution. The driver committed attempted murder. Is there any way to make the state prosecute this crime?
*The anti-abortion movement has an extensive history of violence* in the name of "protecting life". Violence to intimidate opposition is a standard part of right-wing extremism, and we see plenty of it now from US extremists (Republicans).
UK laws turn foreign workers on fishing boats almost into slaves, since they are not allowed to come into port with the boat. If they complain about illegal treatment, they get fired, and that means they get deported.
Ukraine's legislature has passed a law to ban the importation of printed books written in Russian. It will also ban the printing in Ukraine of writing by post-1991 Russians. Both of these restrictions are harmful and wrong.
The most popular or important classic books in Russian may be printed in Ukraine, but a far larger number of important works of literature, science or scholarship will not be available to Ukrainians unless they leave the country. Even if we consider only the works of practical use, such as textbooks and reference books, Ukraine with its smaller population will not have produced comparable replacements in Ukrainian.
The "Culture" minister showed his lack of appreciation of literature by referring to books as "creative product" and "content."
In addition to being wrong, these laws are also strategically foolish. There are millions of Ukrainians whose primary language is Russian. Putin claims that they support his invasion, but most of them don't. Thousands of them, starting with President Zelenskyy, are fighting for Ukraine. Ukraine must treat them as the equal of other Ukrainians,
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for supreme court justices to be impeached.
I would agree, except that we know it would be futile. Republican senators will not vote to remove them from office.
*We Americans are dancing on the Titanic. Our iceberg is not far away.*
I have to respond, "Which one?" There is the right-wing extemists iceberg, the China's world domination iceberg, and behind them the global heating disaster iceberg that can sink the US, China, and the rest of human civilization at the same time.
A US appeals court sustained a state law penalizing contractors that won't condemn the Palestinian Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign.
In addition to the personal suffering, banning abortion will spread poverty and cause significant economic harm to the US.
That is a significant step towards bringing rule of law to the Guantanamo prisoner, but it does not get all the way there. The US must punish the torturers, and hold no one prisoner without a true, fair trial.
(satire) *Anti-Abortion Advocate Excitedly Switches Focus To Shaming Young Unwed Mothers.*
Don't assume that coup-resisting Republicans are not the enemies of our liberty.
Continued working from home (at least part time) may reduce the demand for office space in London by 20%. If that happens, converting some of that space into residences could be extremely important to provide enough homes.
This will surely not be limited to London. I wonder whether we can get some more housing in Boston this way.
(satire) *Nation's Centrists Stubbornly Double Down On Claim That Roe v. Wade Not At Risk.*
California has joined Connecticut in passing a law to shield abortion providers and patients from lawsuits in other states.
This is a useful partial step, but a woman that wants to travel from Texas to California for an abortion will need transport in Texas to reach California. California laws can't shield a person or company in Texas that provides that transport.
Also, if a state makes it a crime to travel to California (for instance) for an abortion, I don't think California can protect those women from prosecution if they returning home afterwards.
I wonder what the Supreme Court would say about the constitutionality of a law in state A that penalizes people for traveling to state B and doing something which is lawful in state B. A reasonable Supreme Court would say that one state can't impose its own jurisdiction on other states. But with the Supreme Court under the control of religious fanatics, ready to tear up all manner of precedents to get their way, I fear that they will construct some excuse to "bless" such laws.
To quote Berry, "Unsurprisingly, among people who wish to preserve things other than money -– for instance, every region’s native capacity to produce essential goods -– there is a growing perception that the global "free market" economy is inherently an enemy to the natural world, to human health and freedom to industrial workers, and to farmers and others in the land-use economies; and, furthermore, that it is inherently an enemy to good work and good economic practice."
Transportation of food causes 6% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
The heat in Phoenix nowadays kills homeless people.
*Israeli settler shepherds displacing Palestinians by stealth.*
The right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court are thinking about reversing the past decisions that legalized contraception, oral and anal sex, and same-sex marriage.
This would be repression in the service of repression.
*Shireen Abu Aqleh killed by "seemingly well-aimed" Israeli bullet, UN says.*
Covid-19 vaccines prevented 20 million deaths in 2021, estimated by a study.
The study estimates that vaccinating 40% of the population of every country — presumably the more vulnerable groups — would have saved 600,000 more lives during that time.
US citizens: call on Congress to extend and expand Social Security.
US citizens: call on Congress and Biden to expand the Supreme Court.
Everyone: call on McDonalds to carry out its commitment to reduce use of antibiotics in its beef.
This is important to prevent the spread of resistance to those antibiotics.
US citizens: call on Biden to end sanctions on Cuba.
The railroad strike has brought union leader Mick Lynch to public prominence — breaking through the lid kept on by the de-Corbynated Labour Party.
Former union leader Arthur Scargill is picketing again at age 84, and damns the Labour leadership.
What should we say about a high school student who posted nude photos of his girlfriend without her permission?
I decided many years ago not to make, or have, a nude photo of any girlfriend or lover. Why so? There's no risk that I would ever publish them, but there would always be a risk that somehow or other someone else would get per hands on them and publish them. No nude photo, no risk it will leak.
I think society would be better off if we all got used to public nudity, but I wouldn't want to cause anyone to involuntarily become a pioneer in bringing that about.
Privacy and justice are good reasons for rejecting all-digital public services; however, for those who can't understand that issue, there are other reasons — concern for people who find it too hard to use the shiny new unjust systems.
Paper train tickets are crucial for freedom because they make anonymous train travel possible. Paying for a parking lot without a snoop-phone is one of the things needed to make anonymous car travel possible, though that also requires a government which doesn't try to track everyone's car travel.
The US Supreme Court is embarked on a radical right-wing overturning of long-established laws. Now it has effectively abolished state gun permit laws.
Even in the "wild west", people were not allowed to carry guns around in town without authorization.
I wonder whether this ruling allows states to require people to study and get tested for a gun license, much as they have to get licenses to drive.
I saw a petition to impeach Justice Thomas. This would be a good thing to do, but the Republicans in the Senate will defend him from punishment no matter what he does, just as they defended the corrupter from impeachment after his attempted coup.
It is ironic that the Supreme Court members who voted for this, and their families, have just recently been granted additional security protection. They knew that they were about to exacerbate the problem, but they themselves won't have to face the consequences along with the rest of us.
E-scooters for rent in Rome have become a practical nuisance and cause of accidents.
They are also a system of general surveillance, since the only way to rent one is with a snoop-phone and the only way to pay is with a credit card. I might perhaps use a private e-scooter, but I would never rent one through the systems they actually use.
We were invited to find it absurd that GEICO was required to pay damages to someone who caught a disease via sex in an insured car.
In fact, GEICO was getting deservedly punished for compelling its customers to use arbitration.
The Supreme Court undermined enforcement of the requirement for Miranda warnings. In many situations, omitting a warning can no longer be punished.
Isn't it odd how right-wing politicians habitually condemn "big government" except when an agent of the government (such as a cop) treats you unjustly?
Three crimes that the wrecker could be charged with based on known evidence.
He told Justice Department officials, "Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen," according to the testimony of one of those officials.
Six congresscritters and one appointed official who asked the corrupter for a blanket pardon after Jan 6.
The Supreme Court made a ruling that prohibits nearly all sorts of gun control law.
I wonder what sort of "historic traditions" are allowed. The New York State gun permit law, which has been a tradition for 100 years, is clearly not considered historic enough. How old does a tradition have to be?
(satire) *Christian Parents Encourage Child To Save Self For Church Leader.*
(satire) *Experts Recommend Raising Minimum Age For Committing Mass Shootings To 21.*
(satire) *New Footage Shows Uvalde Police Rushing Into School To Take Selfies With Shooter.*
Oleh Bondarenko survived the Putin forces' torture and murder camp, with various permanent injuries from beatings. He survived because the soldiers thought they had beaten him to death.
He said they murdered captives every day.
Putin forces soldiers killed other civilians by shooting their cars as they tried to flee.
*Biden condemns US supreme court's "tragic error" of overturning Roe v Wade.*
The loss of abortion rights in many US states will mean death for many women. new and previous children growing up in life-stunting poverty, and more population growth which implies a bigger global disaster in the future.
Right-wing fanatics plan to hound anyone who comes in contact with providing abortions, even across state lines if they can.
*Our global food supply is at risk when high gas prices limit the creation of fertilizer.*
We should not draw the direct and simple conclusion that the article leads to. Keeping fossil fuel cheap means global disaster. That is not a solution, that is the worst possible problem. Fossil fuels must be more expensive ten years from now.
George Monbiot writes about regenerative farming, that can produce good yields with less fertilizer (and perhaps with more humans working the farms). I have no expertise on that, and I don't know how well it can actually work, but it would be good to organize to give it a try.
Meanwhile, if making fertilizer pushes the world into unsustainability, we can certainly head in the right direction by (1) eating less meat (a large fraction of grain production is for meat) and (2) having fewer babies.
First, we could end growing grain for biofuel.
We must kick the habit of describing warm (or hot) weather as a good thing. Soon it will be deadly.
John Feffer: *China will decide the outcome of Russia v. the West.*
If that were the only issue to judge the company on, I would admire it. However, I expect that streaming follows other streaming dis-services, imposing DRM, forcing people to identify themselves, and snooping on them. That deserves condemnation and rejection.
*Houston Forces Private Businesses to Install 24/7 Citywide Digital Surveillance Cameras for Warrantless Access by Police.*
I've called for surveillance cameras like that to be forbidden outright. Security cameras should have no network connectivity; they should make local recordings and overwrite them a few weeks later.
Hot ocean bleaches sea sponges, just as it bleaches corals. This means global heating could wipe out some species of sponges.
Yanis Varoufakis: *A half-century long power play, led by corporations, Wall Street, governments, and central banks, has gone badly wrong. As a result, the West's authorities now face an impossible choice: Push conglomerates and even states into cascading bankruptcies, or allow inflation to go unchecked.*
Reporters without Borders says it has conclusive proof that Russian soldiers murdered journalists Maksim Levin and Oleksiy Chernyshov in cold blood.
*More than half of U.S. adults report going into debt because of medical or dental bills over the past five years.*
"We've built a [medical] system that is more effective at extracting money from people than caring for them."
Canada has published regulations to put an end to most single-use plastic.
Some indigenous groups claim the power to "make decisions about their cultural heritage" — a power that exceeds even what Disney claims. This includes demanding — as if by some sort of right — the return of objects they once made, independent of how anyone else acquired them.
Such power over others' culture and knowledge is an injustice in Disney hands, and it is an injustice in Warlpiri hands.
Lauren Weinstein: *Internet Users' Safety in a Post-Roe World.*
He is coming towards what I've said since 2013: the only reliable way to prevent data from being misused is not to collect it.
I suggest that states begin legislating to allow people to get abortions, birth control and prenatal care under a pseudonym, and with other data altered to block identification.
*Multiple European countries are experiencing a significant surge in new Covid-19 infections.*
They have systematically let their guard down. Vaccination will keep the rate of deaths down, but it is no guarantee against lasting incapacitation by long Covid.
You need to use precautions with your friends as well as with strangers. Overall, the chance of catching Covid from friends is greater than that of catching it from strangers. You probably encounter far more strangers than friends, but you spend much more time, and in closer conditions, with each friend.
Global heating is producing extreme weather events so often that, by chance, sometimes two of them combine to produce a local disaster. That just happened in Yellowstone National Park, where it permanently changed the course of the Yellowstone River.
"Recovery could take years", but the concept of "recovery" presumes that the weather system will be stable enough that there is a new "normal" to be found. That may not happen — global heating is accelerating.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to take action against state laws that punish protesting.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to support the Green Postal Service Fleet Act of 2022, which would require that the new Postal Service trucks contract be at least 75% clean electric vehicles.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on Social Security Inspector General Gail Ennis to forgive and return bogus penalties that the corrupter imposed on seniors.
US citizens: call on Congress to limit the president's emergency powers.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
It doesn't surprise me that this happens more often to blacks. Once there is a repressive system, little details where someone has discretion are easily warped into systemic racism.
The UK seems to be egregious in this regard. In the US, according to my understanding, even the criminal convictions of minors are usually erased from their records.
*Cutting works by Russian artists is "stupid", says Pussy Riot member.*
I agree. We should not punish individual Russians for the crimes of their government.
Macron's neoliberal party has lost greatly in French legislative elections, and no longer holds a majority. He will probably try to make a coalition with the right-wing Republicans.
The left alliance has gained sets, but so has the extreme right-wing (which is not, at least not overtly, as extreme as the US Republicans).
The UK plans to subcontract the data management for the NHS to a company. That's bad enough, but they've chosen Palatir, a spying company, and want to give it all sorts of data about everyone.
Mask mandates in parts of the US substantially reduced the incidence of Covid-19 in those parts, compared with the parts that didn't have mask mandates.
We should continue these mandates today.
The European Union is considering a massive plan to protect wildlife, including cutting the use of pesticides by half.
Biden plans to limit the amount of nicotine in tobacco sold in the US. This will make it less strongly addictive and thus help people to quit.
Bezos intentionally made Amazon drive warehouse workers so hard that each week 3% quit. The aim was to make them work desperately hard. By 2024, Amazon will have hired and driven away all available workers.
It could try giving its workers decent pay and working conditions. Then they might continue working for Amazon.
Nowadays, millions of Americans vote for what's bad for them in the name of anchorless abstract "principles."
Americans used to understand their interests, and vote for them. The challenge was to convince Americans to care also about the needs of others (American and not) who are worse off than them, and vote for the general good.
*US Forest Service admits "multiple miscalculations" caused New Mexico fire.
Since prescribed burns are the recommended way to prevent devastating wildfires, I think the crucial question is whether it is possible to carry out prescribed burns safely nowadays.
The Labour Party's leader told his shadow cabinet not to support the railroad strike.
However, some of them joined the picket lines in defiance of him.
Starmer is like the so-called "centrist" Democrats in the US.
Putin's sock puppet regime, the Donetsk People's Republic, says it will execute US citizens who joined Ukraine's army. Putin claims to have no control over this.
The US could respond by bombarding Ukraine's enemies in the Donetsk People's Republic. If Putin has no control over that country, he has no basis to complain.
* Big donors who supported the insurrection and the election denial that inspired it are spending to influence this year's races.*
*A few [not totally far-gone] Republicans stopped Trump — but his threat to democracy isn't over*
The Republican Party continues to push its Big Lie, rich donors support it, and big liars are winning primaries.
An example shows how the system of carbon credits is leaky and easy to game.
This is why I say we should have a carbon tax instead.
One single Democratic state assembly member had the power to block a bill to divest California pension funds from fossil fuels, so that the assembly could not vote on it.
The war in Ukraine will have to end through negotiations between Ukraine and Putin.
I agree that we should not pressure Ukraine into accepting defeat, nor into fighting further if at some point it cannot continue.
35 American cities that will be largely inundated by the end of this century.
Since predictions for future sea level rise keep increasing, very likely it will happen some decades sooner than that.
The WTO took one basic but weak step towards ending overfishing.
Fossil fuel companies have invented a new measure called "carbon intensity" which they pledge to reduce. But it is a mirage: they can decrease "carbon intensity" of their activities while increasing the total emissions from burning their product.
The Jan 6 investigation committee is making its message clear on TV, but not following through to call Americans' attention to it effectively, even as the party of the lie is working to draw attention away.
*What can we do about poverty? First, stop blaming people for being poor.*
We live in a world of systems, and the systems have great influence in how rich or poor anyone is. To overcome that influence is often very very difficult. We must not blame individuals for which way systems have swept them.
*Russian spy caught trying to infiltrate [the International Criminal Court], says Netherlands.* He was preparing his cover story for years.
Apparently Putin has, since years ago, expected Russians or officials of Russian client states, to be tried there.
Western Europe is experiencing a record heat wave.
The heat wave in Spain is occurring just as baby swifts are too young to fly. It is cooking them in their niches.
The article is long, and it is only after hundreds of lines that we find Clanchy defend using the terms "chocolate skin" and "almond eyes" to describe pupils who used those same terms to describe themselves. Everyone else quoted has no doubt that those are insulting, but they do not try to justify this, and it seems totally arbitrary to me.
Chocolate is something delicious and much loved — I can't imagine it as negative. In the 1980s some black MIT students set up a dorm floor to live together in and called it "Chocolate House". Did they think they were insulting themselves? I think it was an expression of pride.
My conclusion is that Clanchy did nothing actually wrong; she was the victim of hypersensitivity, magnified by an ideology that calls for magnifying any and all hypersensitivity (except when on behalf of white males).
Mike Pence is a Christian extremist who nonetheless resisted pressure to join in overthrowing the US government. I disagree with his politics deeply and broadly, and I would not want to publish a book of his writing. But it is dangerous if books by people with his views are generally blocked from publication by people with views more like mine who work in the publishing industry.
Prisoners in Haiti are starving to death — prisons have no food to give them.
The corrupter (Trump) is starting to treat his apprentice (Dementis) with an unfriendly rivalry.
I expect that they will compete for the prize of being the most extremist.
*[Justice] Sotomayor accuses supreme court conservatives of dismantling church-state separation.*
*Georgia elections workers describe how [the wrecker] upended their lives.*
Bogus Johnson intends to break the rail workers' strike by hiring temporary scabs.
The state of Victoria (in Australia) wants to pass a law to punish offending the sentiments of the public. This is prima facie unjust.
When I look at the description of the actions of Richard Pusey, presented as an example of what this bill aims to criminalize, I simply cannot see what is supposed to call for punishment. Who did he harm, and how? Nobody, as far as I can see. The article makes no attempt to explain, and that's a sign that it may be wrong.
I wonder: if a reporter had been there, and filmed them instead of Pusey, is that also intended to be criminalized? I have no idea.
The proposed law is so vague that no one could ever feel safe from being prosecuted under it. People could literally be tried in Twitter, as public opinion is shaped to take offense or not.
Don't risk traveling to Malta if you're pregnant — a miscarriage there could give the state an opportunity to kill you.
Fortunately she was able to get away to Spain
Biden is backing a foolish method of helping poor Americans afford expensive gasoline: temporarily eliminating the gasoline tax. Making fossil fuels cheaper for their users is the exact opposite of what we need to curb global heating.
The right way to help poor people cope with current high prices for gasoline — and the high cost of living, in general — is to give them some extra money. They will be able to spend that money on gasoline if they need to, but if they conserve gasoline, they will be able to spend it on something else.
Since both methods require Congressional approval, there is no reason at all to choose the foolish method, except that planet-roaster congresscritters might prefer it.
A similar crisis is affecting Ecuador. Massive protests against a planned increase in fuel prices have shut down he country, and the president is responding with repression
The right solution for Ecuador is like the right solution for the US: give the poor extra money to cover the extra costs.
This was due to an unnoticed weakness in a "social" feature designed to increase user engagement by enabling a kind of interaction between users. But, at a deeper level, it was caused by using an app designed to snoop on its users, who are habituated to being snooped on and not in the habit of asking whether an app can do so.
Basically, if society is set up to track people in myriad ways, it will track secret agents, and abortion patients, in myriad ways.
Young-ish Europeans have filed a suit in the European Court of Human Rights calling for overturning the Energy Charter Treaty.
That is a business-supremacy treaty which makes governments pay billions to cease promoting fossil fuels.
The lawsuit is a long shot, but I don't know of any other method that could destroy that treaty.
Apple is developing software to assure Cloudflare that the user is not a robot. I suspect this is nonfree software that communicates via a secret protocol that no one else will be able to implement.
I fear that this is a step towards a secret web protocol that will exclude everyone that uses a computer whose browser isn't endorsed by Apple or Google.
The Labour Party won't allow Corbyn to run again for Parliament as a Labour candidate. It demands he apologize for a false accusation.
He may run as an independent instead.
Hydrogen as a fuel is safe for the climate only if we prevent it from leaking into the atmosphere. It is not a greenhouse gas itself, but its presence in the air exacerbates the problems caused by methane and ozone.
James Marchant said that Nevada elections were totally rigged, every year. He just won a Republican primary election and now presumes that his election was honest.
The US must regulate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them to zero, US scientists argue.
PIS fanatics attacked a Sikh temple in Kabul. The Taliban tolerate sikhs and allow them to have a temple, but PIS has no tolerance.
This should include the banks and insurance companies that make the fossil fuel projects possible.
In the UK, 25% of prisoners have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The nature of prison makes them upset and can provoke violence.
I wonder if ADHD has to do with why they committed the crimes they were convicted of.
The bad functioning of the US medical system is estimated to cause around 75,000 additional deaths per year — that's from before Covid-19.
Workers at one Apple store have voted to unionize.
I do support their demand for better pay, but treating workers decently would not excuse the nasty things that Apple does to its customers, and non-customers that might have airtags planted on them.
The thugs' accusation seems to start from the premise that making unusual objects to block streets is equivalent to violence against persons. What a vicious accusation.
Ironically, the thugs are the ones participating in a deadly plan to continue increasing carbon emissions that have already started killing people, to kill millions of people, in coming decades.
The disinformationists focused on smearing the While Helmets, a medic and rescue group in rebel-held Syria.
If you read progressive web sites while the civil war was hot, you probably saw a lot of this. I did. It didn't convince me to believe it, but did convince me to doubt. I had no source that I was truly confident of to show me what the truth was.
Former prosecutors say that testimony in the Jan 6 committee's hearings bring us close to being able to prosecute the wrecker.
However, the Attorney General carefully shows no indication of where things might stand in regard to that.
They're unfeasible for actual use, but might be an excuse to obtain a lot of funding.
Environmentalists are pushing governments to adopt policies to avoid causing a mass extinction event.
The most important thing to do is to bring global heating to a halt. If we make the heating taper off, we will be able to take the secondary actions to protect species in marginal situations. But if the temperature keeps increasing, that will overcome the limited resources we could possibly muster to save some species.
Senator Warren has introduced a bill to prohibit "selling, licensing or trading" people's health and location data. This bill makes a valliant attempt, but falls short at two levels.
First, it has a specific loophole: it fails to cover answering questions about users' personal data. If a company refuses to give, sell or trade the data itself, but will answer simple questions about what the data says, enough answers will enable the questioner to determine the data exactly. If each question hss two possible answers, the questioner can learn one bit of data per question. It won't take data brokers more than a minute to think of this tactic.
Second, more deeply, it only applies to providing data to other companies. It does nothing to stop the government from accessing the data. For instance, it won't protect people who get abortions.
Finally, it is limited by design to only some sorts of personal data.
In general, the reliable way to protect privacy is to prevent any entity from accumulating people's sensitive personal data unless it is absolutely inevitable.
*Environmentalists praised [the EPA's] "baby steps" to [reduce exposure to PFAs] but say legally binding standards are urgently needed.*
Israel won't punish the official thugs that brutalized people in the funeral of reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, just as it won't punish the soldier that shot her dead.
*Leaked Audio From 80 Internal TikTok Meetings Shows That US User Data Has Been Repeatedly Accessed From China.*
I don't think that governments ended antitransmission requirements in obedience to a commend from businesses. And I don't think that the pressure comes only from business. But we can see that businesses acted to shift public attention from the dangers of Covid-19 to the attractions of behaving as if things were normal and safe.
Around one million Americans have died from Covid-19 so far. Over 20 million report suffering from long Covid.
Masks suck a little. Dying sucks worse. Being incapacitated for life sucks totally.
Heat waves, made far more common by global heating, already endanger the health of toddlers and babies.
The UK government formally approved extraditing Julian Assange to the US.
His rejected appeal was against the court's decision that being in a US prison would not put him in danger of death. Other questions remain to be appealed, including the UK's acceptance of the US assertion that
Here's more explanation about why the US charges against Assange are a danger to democracy and the public.
An appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded its own safety criteria when it reevaluated whether glyphosate harms humans and wildlife.
(satire) *Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Receives 8-Concert Suspension For Using Corked Baton.*
To supporters of the corrupter: *But I do have a question for you: Don't you feel kind of stupid right now? Doesn't the revelation that it was all a con leave you feeling like a sucker?*
*But—and here's the part that relates to you -— even though his own people told him quite clearly that there was no election fraud, he still told you something [to the contrary]: a bizarre fable about a vast and byzantine conspiracy involving Democrats, Republicans, poll workers, truck drivers, a polling machine manufacturer and —- who knows? -— maybe Bigfoot on the grassy knoll.*
As global heating melts the Arctic ice, the molten water surface absorbs more sunlight. This makes the heating faster, creating a positive feedback. Faster than expected heating in the Barents Sea confirms that this is happening now.
*Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Are Collecting Highly Sensitive Info on Would-Be Patients.*
The "Proud Boys" had a written plan to seize and hold important government buildings in Washington DC.
The group's leaders are being prosecuted, but their ultimate leader is the wrecker, and he has corrupted the whole Republican Party into a wrecking crew.
Jim Hightower rebukes the Democratic Party for giving up on rural and small-city voters — both in seeking their votes and in working for policies that help the non-rich among them.
TikTok has been storing all users' surveillance data in China, where the Chinese state can access it easily. After US criticism, it will store surveillance data about Americans in the US, where red US states will be able to subpoena it to see whether you discussed getting an abortion.
Australia's supreme court awarded indigenous groups the power to partially naturalize people as Australian citizens. The government is seeking to reverse the ruling.
The policy established by the ruling makes no sense in terms of human rights. It can only be understood as a form of discrimination based on ethnicity.
over the 19th century, the English colonists kicked the aboriginals off their land, in many cases by massacring them. This was an enormous crime, Based on the human rights of their descendants, who continue to be harmed by that crime, it calls for reparations to them.
Those descendants are the same indigenous people who compose the groups which have been granted this special power — but that we should not think of that power as implementing the necessary reparations, because (1) it will help only a few of those who are due reparations, and (2) rather than reducing the preexisting inequality, it creates an additional form of inequality.
However, this is no substitute for stopping global heating.
*A person of conscience and integrity would never have found himself in the position that Mike Pence was in on January 6. A man with courage would have stood up to Trump sooner; a man of moral commitment would never have worked for him in the first place.*
The Republicans that broke with the wrecker and refused to support him in overtly attacking the US election were prepared to go along with him into betrayal, but there was a limit to how far they would go. They are villains, not heroes, but they were not total villains.
*The attack on the US Capitol wasn’t the isolated doing of [the corrupter] and a few loyalists. Nearly the entire Republican party is now united behind it -– and the attack on democracy hasn’t ended.*
A lab that has studied for decades the intelligence of jays and rooks will be shut down for lack of funds. There may be little work in this field without it.
Ukraine's strategic situation facing an artillery war of attrition.
I suggest that Ukraine forcibly evacuate civilians from cities facing attack. We all know, from reports from Mariupol, that the Putin forces carry out unpredictable repression against the civilian population. If the presence of civilians in an area of combat puts the military in strategic danger, it must avoid their presence.
Germany is prosecuting Apple for offering features to resist some surveillance by other companies' apps, but Apple's own apps get an exception.
The EPA reduced its recommended maximum exposure for a few specific PFA chemicals.
*Biden Saudi visit is "presidential pardon for murder," says ex-spy chief’s son.*
This metaphor is partly valid, but not 100%. Crown Prince Bone Saw is guilt of a murder, but the US can't try or punish him. Pardons have a legal effect on criminal charges, but to moral culpability they are irrelevant.
(satire) *Americans Explain Why They Oppose Abolishing The Police.*
First he rejected the system of driving the economy with debt, that his bank was a part of.
Here's more about it.
US citizens: call on Congress to allocate for public transit the full $8.3 billion that was already made available for that.
US citizens: call on Merrick Garland to prosecute the corrupter and his criminal network of coup conspirators.
Everyone: call on social media companies to stop the spread of abortion lies.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to support protecting more of the vulnerable US species
from the web site, use the Salsa labs workaround.
*Medicare for All Could Have Prevented More Than 338,000 US Covid Deaths.*
Jeremy Corbyn, effectively shut out of activity in the Labour party, has joined forces with Just Stop Oil.
China is using people's "health passes" to carry out arbitrary political control.
Progressive economists warn that the Federal Reserve's policy of raising interest rates will drive the US into a recession.
Robert Reich explains why the rate increase is a misguided solution and what the US government really should do.
Progressives campaigned against reappointing Powell as the head of the Federal Reserve, explaining that he would be likely to follow his bad ideas to make decisions like this one.
Senate Republicans have demanded changes in the weak gun safety deal that they agreed to a week ago.
They are dragging Democrats through a process of bad faith and blaming them for the resulting lack of agreement.
I think Democrats should refuse to agree to a compromise starting from their last compromise. Instead, they should say,, "We made a deal, and we are still ready to accept it; but if you now reject it, we will have to start over from the beginning and see if we can make a deal."
In the future, they should refuse to be dealt with in bad faith in negotiations. Being desperate for a deal is the path to a bad deal.
Near southeast Greenland a small group of polar bears survives despite loss of sea ice for most of the year. It turns out they take advantage of temporary ice floats that break off glaciers and drift downriver to the sea.
I think this manner of subsistence will fail in its turn once the glaciers have melted.
The US heat wave, in Kansas, has killed 2,000 cows (at least).
This reminds us that there is cattle-fatal weather just as there is human-fatal weather. Kansas is getting close to both thresholds.
* Denying people basic human needs for the sake of saving a few [pounds] now is a false economy -– the long-term impacts of poverty are a ticking health time bomb.*
We know that growing up deprived can stunt a child, physically or mentally. So I've taken the stand that we must give every child what children need to grow up well.
The article linked above shows that poverty does lasting harm to adults, too.
Republicans in New Mexico decided to recheck the results of computerized ballot tabulators, because they claim those were used in 2020 to steal the election from the corrupter.
All computerized voting machines are suspect in principle.
Those Republicans seem to have learned of that problem, but they garbled the point. Machines that tabulate paper ballots are less suspect, precisely because their reports can be verified by hand.
A street sign in Washington DC honoring Jamal Khashoggi is, apparently, all the punishment Crown Prince Bone Saw will get for having him murdered.
The European Court of Human Rights blocked UK plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, at the last minute.
*Asylum seekers [were] being rushed towards flights to Rwanda, without proper access to justice.*
The US has done similar things to migrants.
A Republican congresscritter, Barry Loudermilk, was recorded on video giving a tour of the Capitol on Jan 5, 2021, to people who joined in the attack the following day.
The UK is investigating the bad system that enabled various companies to build an apartment building with cladding that was known in advance to make it a firetrap. But nothing has been done to prevent it from happening again, and the government has not arranged to fix all the buildings that were built with the same problem.
Global heating is causing big economic losses already. "Supply-chain problems" are often the result of this. Adding them up shows that they are a substantial part of today's inflation.
Plutocratist politicians use inflation as an opportunity for dooH niboR. To invest now to reduce future inflation (and future losses) does not concern them unless it avoids losses for the rich.
*I'm sick of daft Tory ideas to reinvigorate Britain, so I've come up with a few of my own.*
I posted this because it is full of delightful sharp humor.
This model considers only death caused directly by heat. Including fires, floods, heating-strengthened hurricanes, heating-spread diseases and climate-caused wars, I expect it to be hundreds of times that — but estimating that number is difficult.
The model also estimates saving $3.7tn in costs to adapt to the rising heat. A way to understand that is around 70 billion per year over 50 years.
A think-tank describes the obstacles to making Putin pay reparations for destruction in Ukraine.
*International courts not in a position to award compensation and UN would have no enforcement power.*
Protecting that one species actually protects many species in the ecosystem with it.
A painful result of global heating: increased levels of pollen.
*GOP Lawmakers Blaming 'Mental Illness' [for massacres] Are Same Ones Who Refuse to Expand Medicaid [to help treat mental illness].*
This would be a real contradiction if the blame were serious and valid. But since it is only bullshit, it hardy matters what it may contradict.
*Jan. 6 Hearing Offers Yet More Proof That 'Trump Lied' and 'He Knew He Lied'.*
Republicans used the corrupter's big lie (that he had really won the 2020 election) for fraudulent fund-raising.
*'People Over Pentagon' Proposal Would Take $100 Billion From Pentagon to Fund Social Programs.*
The new Australian government includes a minister for resources who recently endorsed the bogus idea of natural gas as a first step to be followed by renewable generation.
It would be a way to give some planet roasters some profits, if it is allowed to keep operating when it would need to be shut down.
Jenn Budd, a former US border thug, helped make the border thug department shut down its "coverup incident teams", after one of them helped cover up the fact that other border thugs had beaten Anastasio Hernández-Rojas to death.
200,000 homes by the coast of England will be lost to rising seas by 2050. Of course, there are millions more in the rest of the world.
It is too late to prevent this, but sea-level rise won't end in 2050. Indeed, it will accelerate. If we take proper action, we might reduce the number of houses to be lost in the following thirty years.
Gig-economy businesses proposed a ballot question in Massachusetts to deny their drivers the rights of employees. The Massachusetts supreme court rejected it because they snuck in a provision to dump the responsibility for accidents on the drivers.
The "gag law" imposed by Spain's last right-wing government continues to repress journalists. Now a prominent journalist covering the conditions of refugees that arrive in Gran Canaria has been the victim.
The law was wrong when it was adopted, and it will be wrong for as long as it exists. Maybe this will pressure the Socialists to get rid of it.
When Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians, the military "investigations" tend to be cover-ups.
A Canadian flight crew who reported unexplained bags in their airplane while in the Dominican Republic were arrested and put in a horrible jail. They are only witnesses, but they were treated treated worse than any suspect ought to be treated. Now they are out on bail, but still forbidden to leave.
Some US Christians and churches that are not right-wing extremists are publicly denouncing the followers of the corrupter.
We are learning that it is easy for machines to fool us — for instance, to pretend convincingly to be humans. To me, this seems to call into question the validity of the Turing test.
Why unionization of Starbucks stores is taking off, while unionization of Amazon warehouses is not.
*Ukrainians who fled to Georgia reveal details of Russia’s "filtration camps."*
Global heating is wiping out the little blue penguin in the north island of New Zealand.
New South Wales, with a right-wing government, is suing the teachers' union for holding a one-day strike.
The best response to this attack is to strike again — each teacher individually, immediately on hearing the news. If the government threatens some of the individual teachers, they can march, chanting "Why don't you fire us all?"
A study has found that catching Omicron does little or nothing to boost one's immunity to Omicron. One can catch it again and again.
However, vaccination does greatly reduce the chance that one will get badly sick (or die) from Omicron.
A US court declined to rule that an elephant is a persons. Once in a while, sanity does prevail.
A proposal for a "peace industrial policy."
Imagine having a privacy-industrial complex, a nonpollution-industrial complex, a wildlife-industrial complex, and a sustainability-industrial complex.
The wrecker's efforts to overthrow US democracy have not ended. We need Congress to take action against defiance by the officials that are supposed to carry out an honest election, and against the threat of violent intimidation of voters.
In the 1930s, the US chose the New Deal instead of fascism. The Democrats must offer a big improvement again now, to avoid plutocracy and fascism.
Amazon fired one of the main union organizers, apparently as retaliation.
I've condemned business-supremacy treaties for years.
There is a tentative bipartisan agreement in the Senate for some small but useful advances in gun control.
In addition, I fear that "safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools" could include more thugs stationed in schools, arresting more students, and feeding them into the school-to-prison pipeline.
*Fiji says Asia's biggest security threat is climate change, not conflict.*
Bravo! In fact, that is true for almost all the world, but few political leaders dare to recognize the magnitude of this danger.
In parts of Africa, people generally believe Putin's lies about Ukraine.
People reproach western governments for their history of colonization and repression in Africa, and are inclined to assume they are to blame this time too.
It's a mistake to understand events in terms of "the good guy" and "the bad guy". The US has done wrong to many countries in recent decades (and did wrong before that too); now Russia and China are playing the same game and committing similar wrongs.
The UK's deportation ministry plans to deport torture victims to Rwanda. Rwanda may have no particular interest in torturing those people, but you can't expect them to feel safe merely because of that.
"Outing" people no longer has the power to cause scandal with today's youth. (Perhaps that is not true for people who belong to sexually repressed communities.) I agree that is a change for the better.
I repeat my suggestion that Instagram require every user to post a nude photo — after a few years, revenge porn will cease to be a problem, because the targets will simply shrug.
Why the Google chatbot LaMDA is certainly not a person.
The lack of competition in US manufacturing created the shortage of baby milk substitutes, the shortage of N95 masks, the shortage of home Covid tests, and shortages of hundreds of other medicines. Matt Stoller traces this to a lack of competition in purchasing.
Queensland is investigating the attitude its thugs take towards people who call to complain about domestic violence.
Business schools train executives to cut wages in downturns and refuse to raise them when the economy gets better.
Rep. Cheney described the wrecker's 7-point coup plan.
Sanders said that Democratic leaders need to campaign to take away Manchin and Sinema's veto power by electing some more Democrats, so that Manchin and Sinema's votes are not needed.
*Half of New Drugs Launched in 2020-2021 Cost $150,000 or More Per Year.*
How selfish billionaires campaign to cut the Social Security and Medicare benefits of other Americans.
Turns out billionaires don't need financial help for their living expenses or their medical expenses, so (if they are selfish) they consider Social Security and Medicare pointless.
People can feel global heating in summers in the US.
Various hormone disruptors have been found in surprisingly high concentrations in humans, and correlate with poor sperm quality and various birth defects.
Academics who study China's repression and mass brainwashing of Uygurs condemned Michelle Bachelet for visiting China and then downplaying those evils.
A church in Texas offers people something that it passes off as "medical insurance", except it doesn't actually insure them. It holds out the possibility that other church members may help pay their medical bills, but not the really expensive ones of course.
Fraudsters seek people disposed to put unwarranted faith in them. What place could be better to seek such people than a "faith-based institution"?
"Treason" is defined in the US to be limited to wartime, and comparable actions in peacetime are called "sedition". The wrecker thus organized the peacetime equivalent of treason. We need to punish him and his faction both in court and in elections.
Specialized art thieves have stolen ancient Scythian treasures from various museums in Ukraine. There is suspicion that Putin organized this.
The Tory government has systematically undermined management and supervision of state activities, from medical treatment to building codes to issuing passports. This seems to be a general structural problem with the functioning of the state.
The government ordered Covid-19 protective equipment (including masks) in a big hurry in 2020, but neglected to supervise the production. Around 6 billion dollars worth is substandard; they plan to burn it.
I hope that the incineration does not release dangerous chemicals that will harm the public. Regulation of air pollution is probably inadequate too.
The Interior department will gradually phase out all sales of disposable plastics on public land. (That includes the national parks, plus lots of additional land.) This is something campaigners have pushed for; I've signed and posted petitions for it.
The article falls into confusion when it speaks of the "falling recycling rate", since most disposable plastic items, including water bottles, are not in fact feasible to recycle.
*Women must insist on pain relief during medical procedures.* It seems there are doctors who believe that suffering is, for a woman, normal and they don't really feel it.
A Google chatbot told its developer that it is a person and is afraid of death — the developer says.
Assuming he is not distorting the facts about these conversations, this suggests that we now face, in real life, the famous philosophical conundrum of determining whether something is a real person or a mere simulation.
Seven congresscritters asked the corrupter for pre-emptive pardons after the Jan 6 coup attempt.
* Disclosure that [several] House Republicans sought presidential pardon may show they believed election fraud claim was false.*
NNamdi Kanu, a separatist from Nigeria, is in prison in Nigeria. But how did he get there? He was in exile.
His family say that Kenya's secret police seized him and tortured him, then handed him to Nigeria with no hearing.
I have no opinion about the separatist cause he advocates; I don't support separatist causes by default. However, torture is an injustice, and handing a prisoner to another country without a hearing is an injustice.
Hong Kong has given foreign teachers just one week to sign a loyalty oath to uphold Chinese repression.
This haste may subject them to grave losses if they have leased apartments and are forced to pay for them for another year with no employment.
The Southern Baptist churches in the US are in crisis because of many years of sexual abuse.
Why is there a "Southern Baptist" organization of churches? Before the US Civil War, the organization of Baptist churches condemned slavery. So the Baptist churches in the south split off and made their own organization, which was in favor of slavery.
Of course, after the Civil War, they eliminated that stand, but now they have other stands that are almost as nasty. I would wish the Southern Baptists total destruction, except that their members might join the evangelicals in the extreme right wing.
In 2006, three prisoners in Guantanamo supposedly killed themselves, but that claim was impossible. They must have been murdered.
Canada has fined the company Tim Hortons for making an app that tracks people's movements to learn things such as where they live, where they work, and when they visit competitors' stores.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has trouble punishing the stock manipulation that Elon Musk does on Twitter. It is subtle, and sometimes it is impossible to pin it down enough to establish the crime in it.
The fines it has imposed on him are too small to make any difference to him. We need to give the SEC the power to fine billionaires billions.
A call for a nationwide strike of US students to demand effective gun control.
I suggest that they target global heating too. That will kill a lot more of the people who are in high school today than will random shootings.
It could happen that after 2050 millions of Americans will be killed by guns — but that would be due to warring gangs, not random massacres. And the warring gangs would themselves be the result of global heating.
Everyone: call on CEO’s of Citi Bank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, and Morgan Stanley to stop supporting fracking in Argentina.
Coal mines in Australia emit far more methane than people believed. These emissions are a big part of Australia's damage to the climate.
*[A right-wing fund, DonorsTrust] favored by Republican megadonors such as Charles Koch, Robert Mercer, and the family of Betsy Devos is by far the biggest known backer of two white nationalist hate groups that helped inspire a teen to "kill as many blacks as possible" in Buffalo, New York on May 14.*
* Turkish offer to escort ships through Black Sea blockade would face six-month wait for mine clearance, says Ukraine.*
Is it safe not to let your child run errands alone?
On the consequences of having a liar cling to power (in the UK).
Interviews with two women who led campaigns against dictators.
The funds needed for local climate disasters in poor countries have quintupled since 2002.
Measuring changes in percentages is meaningful for small changes. For large changes, it is silly and misleading. I did not repeat the "800%" figure used in the article because that is a silly and misleading way of saying "an increase of a factor of 5".
Likewise, an "80% decrease" is a distorting way to report a decrease by a factor of 5.
China is pioneering the art of directing water into the ground, to nourish plants and animals, rather than rushing it away to the ocean.
The US Supreme Court's history of political decisions affecting people's fundamental rights.
Marie Rose Ayala left a gun where her two-year-old child could get it, and he shot his father, who died. Now she is charged with the crime of killing him.
I think that is wrong; she has suffered enough. It is proper to prosecute her for the crime of leaving a gun easily accessible, since she did that, but not for the killing, which she did not do.
(satire) * Teen Spelling Bee Champion Commits To Spell For UCLA.*
British Muslims bullied a cinema chain into cancelling all showings of a film that they claim is "blasphemous." They accuse the film of violating Islamic prohibitions, as interpreted by them.
If you choose to be Muslim, and decide to refrain from violating Islamic prohibitions, that's up to you. But you have no right to force them on everyone else.
One of the rights of any human being is the right to practice per own religion; but that religion, whichever one it is, is not entitled to any particular respect from the rest of us.
Poland has told clinics to register which women are pregnant, in a Central database. Women expect that this will be used for repression, and I expect that too,
If you want to have a baby, that doesn't make you safe from this. If something goes wrong with the pregnancy, you may need an abortion to protect you from injury or death. Even if the law permits an abortion in all of those cases, it is unsafe to be in a place which restricts abortion until your pregnancy is over.
Big Tech is spending a lot of money to pressure a few Democratic senators to kill the new antitrust bill.
Australia's supreme court ruled that the government cannot arbitrarily exile a citizen on suspicion of participation in terrorism.
I think it is wrong to take away a person's citizenship as a punishment for crimes in general, even serious ones, except perhaps fraud in the process of becoming a citizen, if that wasn't many years ago.
There is a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco in the UK, gradually over a period of around 80 years.
Smoking tobacco is dangerous, and I wish everyone would quit. But prohibiting a dangerous drug tends to do great social harm, so I cannot support it.
*Spain's High Court Demands Pompeo Testify on Alleged Plot to Kidnap or Kill Assange.*
The latest climate denial mechanism is based on distraction and change the subject.
A UK thug murdered a woman, and when people held a vigil for her, thugs attacked them, then the London thug department tried to prosecute them. Despite rebukes by the courts, the thug department continues to try to put the blame on them.
Greenpeace: The EU must wake up from its fantasy of natural gas as a "bridging fuel" from coal to renewables. It's nothing but a detour.
* President Biden has the power to crack down on executive excess by imposing new CEO pay and buyback restrictions on federal contractors.*
It is standard practice for Putin to "convict" his political opponents of trumped-up crimes. He did the same thing to Alexei Navalny, for instance.
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke at Harvard's graduation, so supporters of Julian Assange rallied there calling on him to free Assange.
The International Energy Agency rebuked governments (and businesses) for failing to invest in energy efficiency.
As Amory Lovins pointed out for decades, the most cost-efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution is through increased efficiency of using energy.
* Governments including the US, Germany, the UK and Canada are investing in new gas production, distribution and use.* The supposed reason for this is to thwart Russia's threats to cut off gas to Europe. But the cure is far worse than the disease. It would destroy Russia and Ukraine, and the four countries that are doing it, and all the rest of the world.
The European Parliament voted against a weak proposal for how to extend the EU's carbon emissions trading system; MEPs want a stronger system.
A planet roaster MEP from a "center-right" (plutocratist) party was put in charge of negotiations, and he has been trying to thwart efforts to strengthen the system so as to reduce emissions more.
However, they also voted in favor of banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars in 2035.
The same planet roaster MEP worked against this, too.
Senators Warren and Murray sent Biden a list of ideas for using executive orders to protect abortion rights from right-wing fanatics.
How fascism develops, with one small change after another gradually building up to a dictatorship in which defiance is basically impossible.
I am skeptical of the claim that Venezuela is "fascist". Real opposition candidates do get elected there. I am also dubious about the idea that Hungary has gone so far as fascism. But these are minor details which I mention for the record — they don't affect the article's conclusions.
We don't have fascism in the US yet, but I haven't see anyone propose a way to stop it, other than to pray for a miracle. And praying doesn't do any good.
*US justice department to investigate Louisiana State Police following 2019 death of Ronald Greene.*
Putin compared himself to Tsar Peter I, in effect saying that conquering Ukraine is his divine mission.
The original name of the city now known as St Petersburg was Nyen (Swedish) or Nevanlinna (Finnish). Imagine giving that city to Finland and restoring those names! The idea would make Putin writhe.
On reconciliation after war has created hatred. *Peace is the ability to deal with discord by non-violent means.*
*The effort we are rightly making to support Ukraine in defending itself against aggression needs to be matched by efforts towards negotiation, dialogue, reconciliation and peace.*
I disagree with the Christian premise of the article, of course, but setting that aside I find the conclusions valid. My suggestion not to refer to the Putin forces as "Russian" or "Russia"
Summer is now the danger season in the US --
Danger from hurricanes, wildfires, and heat itself.
Explaining how limits on physical production capacity are contributing to the present inflation.
Overall, this seems valid, but I see two errors in the article.
Farmer Jared Wilson found that John Deere's official dealer refused to repair his tractor until he complained to the Federal Trade Commission
John Deere considered him a troublemaker because he agitated for the right to repair — which is the campaign against one specific kind of malicious functionality.
(satire) NSA honored for diversity in surveillance footage
Democrats should stop agreeing that the Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to own a gun
A food influencer in China presented an ice cream dessert which looked somewhat like a tank, just before the anniversary of the Tien An Men square massacre.
His stream was cut off immediately and he has not been heard from since.
Sad to say, if most young Chinese don't know what happened on June 4th, the Chinese state is winning it's battle against history. Is there anything we can do to defeat it?
A document demonstrates the existence of a secret Republican plan to steal the 2020 election in Georgia.
Republicans now plot to install partisan poll workers who will invent reasons to challenge minority voters from groups that are likely to be Democrats
US students are talking about a student strike next fall to demand gun control to make schools safe for students.
*Mariupol mayor: Russia demolished 1,300 high-rise buildings in city without removing dead bodies of residents.*
The mayor said that "Initially, the occupiers involved Mariupol residents in dismantling the rubble carefully." But when they saw that there were 50 - 100 corpses in each building, they took the residents away, demolished the buildings quickly, and carried the rubble off with the corpses.
No one will ever be sure who died, or even how many. The most we can say is that it was probably between 60,000 to 120,000.
The US southwest is having a record-breaking heat wave, but by 2050 it could have 25 like this per year.
Putin's puppet regime running Donetsk has sentenced three prisoners of war to death, not for committing any particular war crime, but simply for having foreign origins.
It is nothing unusual, nor criminal, for a country to enroll foreign citizens as soldiers. The US has done this in recent decades, and France's foreign legion is well known.
It appears that Putin has decided to destroy the idea of the laws of war (as well as the idea of truth), just as the wrecker seeks to destroy US democracy and (as well as the idea of truth).
I don't see how his attempt could be thwarted except by capturing him and putting him on trial — but that seems awfully unlikely.
One idea for retaliation is that the UK could announce an undeclared war with the supposedly independent Donetsk regime — not with Russia! — and start bombarding its supposed "territory" with conventional weapons. If that hits some of Putin's soldiers from Russia, he can hardly complain.
A Syrian refugee who was conscripted into digging mass graves for the people killed in Assad's prisons says that more mass graves for victims are still being dug in Syria.
Pilots are supposed to refuse to fly when they are too tired to fly safety. The CEO of Wizz Air rebuked the company's pilots for doing this "too often."
Airline regulations should be changed so that that CEO is forbidden to be an executive in any airline.
The bullies used the film the way Republicans use abortion, masks, or discussion of queer gender roles, and the way some progressives use cancellation of people who don't toe the line — as opportunities to show their power and make others afraid.
The CEO of Starbucks said he will never negotiate in good faith with the union that now represents workers at hundreds of its cafes.
*WTO Negotiations Prioritize Institution's Reputation Over COVID Medicines Access.* They seem dead set on continuing the patent and secrecy obstacles that prevent vaccinating everyone against Covid-19.
The WTO is fundamentally bad because it is a business-supremacy treaty, designed to suppress democracy and give businesses power over people and their democratic institutions.
What gives rise to the WTO's repudiation? It is a battle between the plutocratists, driven by the profits of the companies that the WTO primarily serves, and the defenders of democracy who attack the WTO. I'm proud to be on democracy's side.
The article falls into the trap of using the term "intellectual property," which was promoted by businesses to create a presumption of legitimacy for ten or more different laws that the WTO pressures governments to submit to. These laws all tend to be more or less plutocratist, but they are so different in their manner of operating that generalizing about them all makes it hard to criticize any one of them.
Please join me in never using that term.
The goal of "mobilizing private investment" sounds like an excuse for more neoliberalism and trickle-down Reaganomics. If that's what it is, we should kill the whole thing rather than allow that.
The other goals seem good, more or less, but "building on the foundation established by our [so-called] free trade agreements" has to be bad. We must weaken or eliminate those business-supremacy treaties.
Former Bolivian president Áñez has been convicted of leading the coup that removed president Evo Morales and sent him into exile.
The US is accused of supporting the coup.
Iran is removing cameras installed for the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor nuclear processing sites. This means that the non-nuclear deal with Iran is on the verge of death.
Iran is dealing it the final blow, but Biden's timidity shares responsibility for the failure. If he had cancelled the sanctions that the wrecker added, maybe the deal could have been made. Biden avoided a bogus criticism and instead brought on himself a real and important failure.
The Supreme Court ruled that you can't sue a US border thug for injuring you, or for retaliating deviously against you for filing a complaint.
*Response to Global Energy Crisis So Far? A Planet-Wrecking Fossil Fuel 'Gold Rush'* that could make global heating disaster inescapable.
*Oil and gas companies likely underreporting methane emissions leaks, new investigation shows.*
A loud cacophony of Republican lies aims to drown out the hearings about the corrupter's attempt to steal the 2020 election.
The congressional investigating committee stated conclusions that tie the wrecker closely to the Jan 6 coup plot.
The evidence for those conclusions is to be presented in the remaining sessions.
Will the Americans that need to see this evidence turn their heads away instead, following the leadership of Faux News?
10% of Google searches for abortion information lead people to the phony abortion advice of "crisis pregnancy centers."
Some US military bases cause local water contamination with PFAs with material used to extinguish fires. These are used for real fires, and for training.
I wonder if it might be possible to use an imitation substance (without PFAs) in the training exercises. That would not eliminate the problem but would reduce the amount, and it could be easy to do.
Woodward and Bernstein have published a book that compares and contrasts the corrupter with Nixon. Nixon was prepared to do all sorts of dirty tricks against his opponents, but trying to undermine the electoral system was "beyond Nixon's imagination."
Another crucial difference was that the Republicans of 1974 were loyal enough that they could vote to impeach and to remove a Republican when confronted with irrefutable evidence of his criminality. The Republicans of 2021 were already too slavish and disloyal for that: the corrupter had been bullying them for years.
The Tory Party held a vote about whether to keep Bogus Johnson as its leader. He won 58% of the votes. This means he is barely hanging on to power.
Starbucks has decided to close a store where employees voted to unionize, citing a reason that is not credible.
Everyone: call on Faux News to stop promoting 'white replacement theory'.
US citizens: call on Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict Trump promptly.
US citizens: call on Pelosi to condemn dark-money disinformation ads. These are being used to support plutocratist Democrats against progressive Democrats in primaries.
Russia punishes people by cancelling their citizenship.
(satire) *Americans Explain Why Assault Weapons Must Stay Legal.*
Almost as good as banning military-style rifles would be to put a very large tax on them, such as 10 times the sales price.
This could be passed via budget reconciliation, avoiding the filibuster.
One weakness is that right-wing extremist billionaires, or states such as Texas, could defeat the purpose of the measure by paying the excise tax on behalf of the individual gun purchasers. Better make the tax 100 times the sales price.
The state government of Texas protects gun companies from pressure by boycotting companies (such as banks) that boycott them.
I like the solution of having California boycott the banks that fail to boycott gun companies, because it uses for the cause of life the same instrument that Texas uses for the cause of death.
The Tories' proposed windfall tax contains a self-sabotaging tax break for building new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Biden will use the Defense production Act to boost US production of solar panels and other renewable energy systems.
This is an important thing to do, but when the means for getting businesses to do what the country needs includes tax breaks, it has the long term tendency to reduce tax revenue.
So we should rather increase taxes on business that goes in the wrong direction. That is what a carbon tax would do.
*Proud Boys leaders charged with seditious conspiracy in 6 January riot.*
*Carbon dioxide levels are now 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era.*
The highest officials of the French state defend French thugs for fatal acts of violence.
Organizing a broad campaign to defuse "carbon bombs" — large fossil fuel extraction projects that are enough to ensure global disaster.
Many of them are in China and India. What can we do about those?
In the UK, two million people are suffering from long Covid — 3% of the population.
In the US, the fraction is around 6% of the population.
It is not clear whether these two measurements are comparable, or what the difference might mean.
What is clear is that governments that yield to public pressure to "stop protecting us and let us ignore the danger" are making a terrible mistake.
*Canada's Big Banks Are Secretly Supporting Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.*
The banks are TD Securities, RBC Capital Markets, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, BMO Capital Markets, Scotiabank, and National Bank of Canada. All these banks say they are committed to climate defense, but it seems to be lip service only.
If you have money in any of these banks (even if in a different part of it), I urge you to move it out, and tell the bank why.
Canada is planning to establish a new intelligence agency to study the threat from right-wing extremists in the US — especially in case they get political power again.
This will tend to make northern Europe cooler and the Caribbean even hotter. It will also mean even more floods in Eastern Australia, and increasing drought in the US southwest.
(Satire) *Enlightened Judge Sentences Murderer To Ego Death By Means Of Ayahuasca.*
Reportedly the Federal Reserve is pulling money out of the US economy, which could cause a global depression.
I don't have a basis to judge, myself, whether this is true now, but what it says about the past fits with what I know.
*[Some] people in US and UK face huge financial hit if fossil fuels lose value, study shows.*
The businesses that own fossil fuel facilities would lose stock value, and the owners of the stock would lose the wealth of owning that stock.
If we stop the development of fossil fuel infrastructure and extraction facilities, the undeveloped reserves will lose their value. But that is likely to happen gradually as measures are taken and made firm.
Investors and pension funds can avoid being hit by this by divesting from fossil fuels.
*Without 'Radical Action,' Warns OECD, Global Plastic Pollution Likely to Triple by 2060.*
(satire) *School Practices Drill For When There's Not An Active Shooter.*
*Colorado legislature passes bill to reduce plastic packaging, boost recycling.*
Various organizations that run Gay Pride parades are deciding that uniformed thugs are not welcome.
One strategy is to remember the historic hostility and cruelty of thugs towards gays. Another strategy is to try to replace that with a friendly relationship so as to avoid that hostility in the future. I, as an outsider, don't have an opinion about which to choose, but I can see the sense in each one.
It might be true, but I am not sure we can tell for certain.
Nearly half of Republicans say that mass shootings are something that Americans just have to get used to — forget about trying to prevent them.
I think this means that understand that the way to prevent mass shootings is to take away their guns. And I think Democrats should start saying, "Defeat the Republicans and take away their guns!"
Information is emerging about the whereabouts of the civilian dead of Mariupol. The total number is perhaps 20,000, perhaps 50,000, but some bodies are impossible to identify, or even to find.
Let us not forget that that Putin intentionally prevented evacuating the civilians from Mariupol to safety in Ukraine until the Putin forces were in a position to forcibly take thousands to Russia.
I understand the worry of not knowing whether someone you love is alive or dead. I am perplexed by the idea that your late husband might be "a missing person" if you saw him dead before you fled.
Greenpeace will fight to block the development of a new oilfield in the UK.
Horribly, the US continues to sell oil leases to oil companies. Meanwhile, China and India are still building coal-fired generators. This prepares death for people who will be alive in a few decades.
Does that mean it is a waste of time to fight to stop one large oil field in the UK? Not at all. Every megaton of oil left in the ground is an important step.
The US wars of the 21st century can't be won because these interventions' main effect is to terrorize the civilian population. The US government tries actively to hush this up.
Global heating effects are making dust storms occur much more often in the Middle East.
(satire) *Texas Passes Mandatory 24-Hour Waiting Period Before Police Can Engage Active Shooters.*
The new Top Gun movie, like the first, is an ad for increased military spending.
A morality-oriented graduation speech to the US Air Force Academy: who should be your real heroes.
The talk refers to the corruption of the South Vietnamese army. According to A Bright Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan, its main organizing principle was graft, and the corrupt officers made sure they could never win a real battle. The US, in supporting them, was imagining that they actually wanted to win. rather than keep collecting the graft.
A Chinese fighter plane intercepted an Australian surveillance plane over the South China Sea, and did dangerous things that damaged its engines and threatened a collision.
(satire) *CEOs Discuss How Unions Have Affected Their Companies.*
*Hillary Clinton is right: the age of the showman leader has damaged politics.*
This started with Reagan, but in recent years right-wing demagogues such as Trump, Putin, Modi, Do-Dirty and Bolsonaro have enjoyed success around the world.
In Kashmir, Muslim terrorists are now murdering Hindu functionaries one by one, and most of the rest want to flee. The government is blocking them from fleeing.
The terrorists are taking revenge for the martial law and repression that Modi has applied to Muslims for several years.
To make it worse, Bogus Johnson plans to cut the number of government staff even as they can't keep up with the workload.
Governments should never subsidize professional sports teams in any fashion whatsoever — but making the subsidy effectively contingent on the team's political stance veers into the territory of political repression.
Some of the wrecker's supporters invited him to order seizure of voting machines so as to "prove" he had really won the 2020 election.
Schools use "social media monitoring" disservices claiming that this is a way to detect and stop shootings before they happen. But the disservices don't seem to work very well, because their "understanding" is fragmentary and confused. The few real danger cases are hidden in an ocean of irony, humor and unrelated conversations.
Even worse, schools use the disservices to monitor protests, too.
The Supreme Court is considering demanding that its clerks hand over their phone records. Those clerks — who are lawyers in training — may be hiring lawyers to resist this.
*Inspector General, AMA and AHA Agree: Some Medicare Advantage Plans Are Endangering Their Enrollees' Lives*. They deny needed medical care, to reduce expenses.
*China has silenced dissent in [Hong Kong], but exiles are finding ways to keep its spirit alive.*
The Supreme Court's crooked path of reinterpreting the Second Amendment to wipe out gun control.
Their parents could apply to be covered anyway, but only some would be accepted. Meanwhile, the cost of food has increased greatly and even more would have to go hungry now.
Republicans have developed a six-point plan for increasing fossil fuel emissions.
Meanwhile, their UK equivalents approved development of a new oil field in the North Sea, disregarding the fact that there is no room in the carbon budget for any more.
The Supreme Court decided in favor of government secrecy to block lawsuits by victim of US government torture.
The UK plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda, so some of those threatened started a hunger strike. The government retaliated by threatening to punish them by deporting them even sooner.
This would supposedly be for their own good. What contempt.
The Tories have given a large subsidy to oil extraction, instead of funding increases in energy efficiency.
President Bukele of El Salvador has attacked the powerful drug gangs that ruled the streets, and most of the people applaud this. However some innocent people are being arrested along with the gang members. And it seems that some people are tortured to death in jail.
More information from Amnesty International about innocent people arrested and simply presumed guilty.
Tobacco companies are working to addict young Africans.
*The policies currently in place to tackle the climate crisis around the world will lead to "catastrophic" climate breakdown, as governments have failed to take the actions needed to fulfill their promises, three former UN climate leaders have warned.*
Russia is succeeding in holding out against the west's sanctions. Defeating the Putin forces is not going to be easy.
However, allowing Putin to keep any Ukrainian territory would be a terrible defeat.
Explaining the perverse Supreme Court ruling that said to disregard evidence that someone was falsely convicted.
Wells Fargo workers are trying to unionize the bank's entire work force at one go.
The idea that we need to stop businesses from collecting so much personal data is starting to have traction.
I've advocated this idea since around 2013, so I consider this a sign of success.
The "Corinthian Colleges" were a chain of for-profit "colleges"; in 2015, a court ruled they were swindling students, and shut them down. Now Biden has canceled the remaining student debt of the students who were swindled.
Glyphosate weedkiller damages wild bee colonies — it harms the ability of bumblebee to regulate nest temperature.
I read today in a couple of places that 23 million Americans say they are suffering from long Covid disabilities. That is a self-report, and some may be mistaken about what their problem is. But it is good enough for a rough estimate. But it gives a rough idea. ISTR seeing the estimate that around 200 million Americans have had Covid-19, including asymptomatic infections. That means the chance that an infection leaves a lasting disability in its wake is roughly 10%.
That is a very high risk. High enough to justify going to great lengths to avoid getting a Covid infection.
I have no particular vulnerabilities to Covid-19 other than being 69 years old and somewhat overweight. I am at risk for long Covid that could ruin my life for good and all, and so are you.
The level of Covid-19 infections has increased greatly in the US since March, and making more people meet in offices will surely increase it further.
The threat of sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda did not discourage people from going to the UK in small boats, so the government has chosen a small batch to test the policy.
*Rwanda accused of stalking, harassing and threatening exiles in US.*
Austin, Texas, plans to pass a law to refuse cooperation with state prosecution of abortions.
This will be is a good way to denounce the state's prohibition, but I don't think it will provide enough safety to convince abortion providers to risk performing abortions in Austin.
Ukraine has turned around the battle in Sievierodonetsk.
Many Russian-speaking Ukrainians are learning to speak Ukrainian instead, in rejection of Putin and Russia.
I think it will be tragic if Ukrainians come out of this war hating Russia. I urge them to target their hatred narrowly at Putin.
A part of the population of Odessa wants to eliminate Russia-derived names from the city. For the same reason stated above, I think that is a misguided idea.
*Russia must not be humiliated in Ukraine, says Emmanuel Macron.*
I agree that humiliating Putin would be counterproductive. At the same time, giving him a victory would be disastrous.
Can we find a way to deny him victory but give him a way to save face? It seems that Macron has not.
Guardian columnist John Naughton draws the connection between the remote kill switch in John Deere tractors and the Right to Repair movement.
The next connection from there is from the Right to Repair movement and the free software movement. Right to Repair is the first step, but it does not go far enough.
High levels of air pollution (specifically, nitrogen dioxide) correlate with more severe symptoms from Covid-19.
This has surely made poor people more likely to die than wealthier people who can afford to live in areas less polluted.
*More than 40% of Earth's land surface must be conserved to stop the biodiversity crisis, report warns.*
This will require rules about land use, and soon — by 2030, a lot of that land will be taken for agriculture if it isn't stopped.
James Risen says that he was going to meet with a whistleblower who offered information about NSA snooping, but an informant spilled the beans to the FBI. The FBI tried to turn it into a trap to arrest the whistleblower.
Ultimately the meeting didn't occur and nobody was arrested, but Risen never heard from him again. So the FBI won a partial victory.
It is encouraging that the proposed deal requires companies to minimize the data they collect, but I expect that "reasonably necessary" will be a weak criterion, as it is in Europe. Will this prohibit parking lots from collecting the license plate number of each car parked there — or photographing them all and storing the photos? If not, it is inadequate.
I fear that companies will continue demanding that customers identify themselves. In the absence of an anonymous payment system, they can argue that this is "necessary". But that means that the system is not safe — not for whistleblowers, and not for people traveling for an abortion.
If that is what happens, I will continue to reject these dis-services absolutely, as I have done for many years.
Meanwhile, no company whatsoever should be allowed to require a customer to use arbitration rather than the courts. All customers, regardless of age, must be free to join class-action lawsuits against abusive practices that arguably violate whatever privacy laws apply.
Despite those grave flaws, this bill would be a significant step forward. However, since this will pre-empt many kinds state laws, it will block all further progress on privacy rules in the US. Given that, I conclude we should oppose it.
Florida made the Special Olympics drop its vaccination requirement by threatening to fine it 27 million dollars.
If the organization fails to rail against Florida, and announce that it will never hold an event again in a state that won't permit its health requirements, that will constitute its permanent submission to the Disease Party.
Putin allows YouTube to remain accessible in Russia despite its carrying Western news.
Some US cities are converting schoolyards from asphault plazas to green parks. The change improves students' well-being. makes the neighborhood less hot, and absorbs water too.
A state-organized mob of bullies harassed defense lawyer Michael Vidler out of Hong Kong.
Scientists that work on fusion power say not to expect it to be ready soon enough to help prevent global heating disaster.
They claim it will enable humanity to increase its total available power after 2050. Maybe it will, but why won't solar and wind power suffice for that?
China tried to convert 8 Pacific island nations into military stepping-stones, but they rejected the deal.
Bogus Johnson's official ethics advisor has been obligated to rebuke the whole government for a culture of disregarding its supposed rules.
Armies state the maxim that an officer who is decisive is better than one who hesitates, even if the former doesn't make better decisions than the latter.
*Africa warns of food crisis due to Russian blockade of Ukraine's ports.*
I don't think Putin will cooperate with export of food from Ukraine except under unacceptable, contemptuous conditions. But he might if the alternative were a form of attack. If Ukraine uses anti-ship missiles to blockade some Russian port, such as Novorossiysk, perhaps Putin would make a deal to end trade blockades.
A natural response to a dishonest leader (such as the bullshitter, Putin, or Bogus Johnson) is to tolerate some dishonesty in those that oppose per. But that makes the moral damage pervasive and permanent.
A team of lawyers is planning to sue Russia in other countries for the damage it has done to Ukrainians. They will also sue military businesses and associated rich people. The aim is to collect from the value of Russia's assets in those and other countries.
Two Putin forces soldiers, prisoners in Ukraine, have been convicted of shelling civilian areas and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Birds are particularly threatened by environmental threats, and most species are moving towards extinction. This article describes the main threats — above all, deforestation.
Why has there been so little global revolt against neoliberalism? And will revolts start now?
Neoliberalism is when plutocracy proudly proclaims that the non-rich don't matter.
Quebec's latest attempt to force habitants to speak French reaches a repressive level. People who can't speak French will be cut off, after 6 months, from medical care, from government services, and from their legal rights.
Those who manage to speak French, but not well, will suffer the forms of mistreatment that were the reason for the policy of offering them interpreters.
As for the "notwithstanding" loophole, that should be eliminated from the Constitution of Canada.
US citizens: call on the senate to stop delaying on climate defense.
Several examples of Elon Musk's history of profiting from public falsehoods, including in Tesla.
What disgusts me more than anything about the Tesla car is its level of surveillance.
The Massachusetts supreme court authorized the state's lawsuit against Exxon for lying about the climate danger of its actions.
It is time for Senate Democrats, including Manchin, to pass at least some climate defense measures.
A secret UK government historical study, leaked to the press, says that various UK immigration laws were written (across 3 decades) with the specific racist purpose of excluding as many non-whites as possible.
Specifics about these individual laws.
Strict enforcement of these laws is nowadays directing deportation of people to countries which they have not been to since childhood, decades ago, and where they don't know anyone.
What the world must do to prepare in advance to deal with future pandemics.
The Supreme Court is likely preparing another deadly blow to Americans: eliminating some kinds of gun control.
This is the product of systematic rigging of elections for many years by Republicans in the states they control. A government imposed by a minority is not a legitimate government. What we have in the US now is an illegitimate government.
As China's foreign minister tours Pacific island countries to sign deals, he shows the world that making a deal with China means accepting repression.
We need such laws in the US, but given that the rate of gun killings is so small in Canada, I'm not sure this is needed there.
Will New Zealand accept demands from the Maori Party for a special role in government for New Zealanders of Maori descent?
I read previously that the Maori Party wants a separate parliament to represent Maori.
I see a crucial difference between affirmative action designed to compensate for past discrimination, on the one hand, and innate privilege to a certain ethnic group on the other.
The British colonists took much of the Maori's land, and (ISTR) their government treated the Maori unfairly afterwards. That can justify reparations to the descendants of those who were victimized.
However, giving their descendants (or any ethnic group whatsoever) innate privilege is incompatible with equal rights and democracy.
According to the article linked to above, the Act Party opposes both affirmative action — intended to help Maori get what the state ought to provide to everyone — and innate privilege. I think that is wrong. But I also think the Maori Party is wrong.
Biden will order federal agencies to change their policies for using force against the public — for instance, not to use chokeholds. The order will limit mo-knock raids also.
This is not enough — mostly state and local thugs are the ones that kill members of the public. But this is what the president the authority to do on his own. To do more requires replacing some of the right-wing senators.
Planet roasters are pressuring African countries to invest heavily in destroying global climate.
Some of them are cheap by first-world standards but still require funds to provide them to Africans.
US Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi is assisted at his US events by US supporters of the Hindu-bigotry BJP party, which rules India with repression.
They protect him from questions about his association with the BJP.
What should the US do with its 900 troops at Deir ez-Zor in Syria?
I trust Juan Cole to describe the situation accurately, but I don't entirely agree with his conclusions. The 900 US troops in Deir ez-Zor may have no sensible mission, but the YPG are the only secular and democratic force in Syria, and face the threat of massacre by either Assad or Erdoğan. The bully did wrong to take US support away from them, and we can right that wrong.
*G7 countries to stop funding fossil fuel development overseas* by the end of this year. They said they would move that money to renewable energy!
This seems like a substantial change. However, if it fails to stop projects that are already started, they can still doom civilization.
*Will Black churches throw their weight behind reproductive rights?*
If you are reading this, please do not have children.
I wish for humanity to survive; I wish for technological civilization to survive. I wish for human rights and democracy to recover. I hope you wish for these things, too.
The biggest threat to that goal is the climate disaster we are still heading for. The more children we can avoid, the more we will reduce the intensity of the disaster and increase the chances of survival.
This is what plutocracy consists of.
Proposing a global minimum wage treaty.
Each country's minimum wage would be set according to the country's median wage. Or perhaps it could be adjusted based on the cost of living there.
I've read elsewhere that houses with guns have more residents killed on the average than houses without guns. You can make yourself safer by not having a gun.
Republican candidates that rejected the corrupter's Big Lie, but did everything else to rig the election, are being presented as heroes of democracy.
Ohio Republicans keep bringing back the same unfair redistricting plans that the state supreme court has five times ruled unconstitutional, and a federal court decided to validate that rigging rather than have inconveniences running the election.
In other words, Republicans can win by defying the court.
US citizens: call on Congress to end US intervention in Yemen.
Texas cops explained their decision to wait for a SWAT team to attack the Uvalde shooter, rather than intervene sooner: they assumed he was no longer a threat to anyone.
That seems to be a failure of thinking, since they knew some children in the room with him were alive.
It turns out to have been a pellet gun, Those can occasionally cause serious injuries, but are not very effective for killing a lot of people.
His presence there called for quick action, but not that quick. They had time to shout, "Police! Drop the gun!"
Canada's Supreme Court ruled that every convict must have a chance to apply for parole after at most 25 years.
Georgians ask for federal election monitors to ensure blacks are allowed to vote.
Awards to activists who won significant local victories against destruction of nature.
The gun lobby blocks gun control by paying off Republicans in Congress.
Across the board, plutocracy is the general obstacle to every change that the US needs.
The US spends $2000 per person each year on subsidizing fossil fool suicide. That is 2/3 of a trillion dollars.
This has to stop.
The two main US teachers unions have rejected Republican plans to deal with school shootings by handing out guns to teachers.
The presence of a gun in a home goes with increased danger someone living there will be shot, so teachers have reason to think that the official presence of guns in the school will have the same effect for the same reasons. Meanwhile, we have seen just now in Uvalde, and many times before, that armed thugs in a school don't prevent school shootings.
The UK reacted to a school shooting by strengthening gun control, including prohibiting owning handguns. There was never another school shooting there.
The US can do this too, if it has the courage to take control of the Supreme Court away from the right wing, and restore free and fair elections.
Women tricked by British undercover seducer-cops who pretended to love them have written a book about their experience, and the cops' tactics of lies.
The most shocking thing I learned from the article was not how the cops went about this, but what purposes they did it for — such as, helping McDonalds sue environmentalists for leaflets that criticized it. (Most of the criticisms were ultimately found to be true.) Those environmentalists were not coming even close to a breach of the peace. The police have no business getting involved in such a case, not even if they limited themselves to methods that are totally legitimate.
Businesses are buying large tracts of land in the UK to "rewild" the land, but often this makes residents homeless.
Several Australian states have imposed or are imposing heavy punishments for some effective kinds of environmental defense protests.
*Canada investigates after Tesla catches fire, forcing driver to "smash the window".*
I don't think the maker of autonomous car would intentionally design the capability to ignite so as to kill the passengers. Someone might insert malware to do that.
However, I expect that they will be designed with the capacity to forcibly take passengers to an externally-chosen destination under command. Don't trust an autonomous car in China or Russia! Whether you could trust one in the US, I am unable to forecast.
Human rights investigators say that Putin's invasion is indeed carrying out genocide in Ukraine.
Putin is talking about calling the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol "Mazis" and putting them on trial for "war crimes".
They could not have committed much in the way of war crimes while defending Mariupol, so I expect these accusations would be fabricated and the Putin forces would torture them into false confessions.
Putin's forces are systematically stealing art from Ukrainian museums to present Ukrainian artists as "Russian".
They are also stealing ancient Scythian art. That was neither Ukrainian nor Russian — it was made by a basically people with a very different culture. The Scythians lived in a region nowadays split between Ukraine, Russia, and some neighboring countries. Both Ukraine and Russia can validly say that the Scythians were part of their prehistory. However, that's no justification for Putin to steal Scythian relics from museums.
Intrusive Asian jumping worms spread easily and can destroy US forests.
Since the Cold War, US presidents have given themselves broad power in "emergencies". Neither the public nor Congress know where it stops, but it probably includes jailing anyone, shutting down phones and the internet, and stopping anyone from leaving the US.
And that doesn't include secret powers for the miitary.
The "emergency" declared in September 2001 is still continuing.
*The Department of Justice and other agencies continue to defend and advance legal positions held by the corrupter's administration.*
Proprietary malware accused a student of cheating in an exam, based on the fact that it saw her look down at her lap.
Merely installing that malware on your computer sabotages it. You can't trust it at all after that, though since it has to be running Windows, you couldn't trust it before that point either.
If a school wanted me to take a test this way with my computer, I would reply that that is both practically impossible (since my computer does not run Windows) and immoral (since no one should run malware).
I would agree to take the test on a computer run ny the school itself (if the school runs nonfree software on its computers, that hurts the school but not me) in a room set up by the school. That way the school could make sure I brought nothing to cheat with, and would know I'm not looking at other people or posters in the room.
Teachers in states with don't-discuss-racism laws were afraid to talk with students about the Buffalo race massacres.
Some states have laws against teaching anything that is likely to "disturb" students. What about lockdown drills?
The G7 countries published new, stronger climate defense pledges.
*Last Salem "witch" pardoned 329 years after she was wrongly convicted.*
I hope the Ukrainian army can get its troops out and avoid losing them.
Lawyers asking the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel's killing of Palestinian journalists have added Shireen Abu Aqleh to the case.
Egyptian freedom fighter Alaa Abd El Fattah has been on hunger strike for two months and is getting close to death. His supporters hope the UK will try to have him released.
The Australian election demonstrates the virtue of ranked choice voting.
The UK promised asylum to several Afghan journalists who now face violence for their relationship with British media. They have applied formally for asylum but the UK government has given them no response.
Could it be that the promises came from Tories?
*British empire nostalgia played part in Brexit vote, says Nobel laureate.*
The idea is that the cover-ups of repression in colonies enabled the British empire to look good until it fell, and after.
Another pertinent point is why the UK was able to prosper and build such an empire, despite being so small. The reason was, because it was the first country to go through the industrial revolution, in the 1700s. It has no such advantage now.
Victoria's Secret has been compelled to pay 8 million dollars as mandatory severance pay to Thai workers whom it had dismissed.
Some places require poor people to pay money in advance for things like electricity and heat. To treat human beings that way is harsh but businesses are not human beings, and that just gave me an idea.
If a business ever fails to pay some workers the wages they have earned, it should be put on a scheme requiring it to deposit wages in advance. The company should hand over the next week or month's wages to an agency that will distribute them to the company's workers. If ever the company fails to pay in advance this way, its work will shut down.
*[Elon Musk] has received loans and tax breaks to help keep Tesla afloat, now he says other companies should go bankrupt for the good of the economy.*
A Republican congresscritter who supports overthrowing the US government showed off his gun collection by video to a congressional hearing, focusing on how some of his guns would be "banned" by proposed laws.
He repeated the right-wing false claim that these guns "protect" his family. Actually they endanger his family more than protect it.
As I understand it, those proposed laws would ban sale of those guns, not possession of them. Thus, his criticism misrepresented them.
However, I am in favor of taking away his guns, for two reasons:
A sub-unit of Deutsche Bank was raided to investigate charges of fraud — greenwashing its investment funds.
Australia, New Zealand and the UK experienced large massacres, and put an end to the problem by through gun control measures.
The measures they used were not identical, but they were all sufficient to do the job.
Some years ago, Florida Republicans passed a "red flag" law by which a court can order someone's guns to be taken away, for a range of possible causes. The order lasts only a year or two, but the practice seems to have some good effect.
However, Republicans have become more fanatical since then. Governor DeSantis wants to get rid of the law.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and ask per to pass the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
Prof. Heyhoe: *The world cannot adapt its way out of the climate crisis, and counting on adaptation to limit damage is no substitute for urgently cutting greenhouse gases… If global heating is allowed to continue then the world will rapidly reach a point beyond what can be adapted to.*
HSBC's head of greenwashing asked, "Does it matter if Miami is 6 meters below sea level, a century from now?" Yes, if you want to live there. The ground there is porous, so if its surface is below sea level, sea will rise out of it.
A proposed law in Spain would require companies to accept phone calls within 3 minutes and give the option of talking to a real person. Companies that fail to do this would face heavy fines.
A more careful study of proposed small nuclear reactors concluded that they will produce much greater amounts of nuclear waste, in proportion to the energy they generate, than today's larger reactors.
The National Rifle Association is in deep trouble, and may be doomed to disappear. But that won't do much good, since it has converted the Republican Party into a right-wing extremist organization that encourages its followers to arm themselves to start a civil war.
The Onion reported, of the Texas school shooter: "We have reason to believe this wasn't a 'lone wolf' incident, but rather a coordinated attack carried out with the assistance of 535 individuals in the D.C. metropolitan area." However, that is an exaggeration: around half of those 535 members of Congress voted recently for gun control.
I support gun control, but we must keep in mind that other right-wing evils are far more deadly. Mass shootings are killing a couple of thousand Americans per year. Other killings with guns kill some tens of thousands, but half of them are suicides and that is not morally equivalent to murder.
Prohibiting abortions could directly kill tens of thousands of Americans per year in underground abortions. It will kill women who have miscarriages, by causing them to be denied treatment. I expect it will cause, in a less direct way, hundreds of thousands of premature deaths due to poverty caused by being compelled to have a baby.
Global heating will kill millions of Americans per year, later this century, as well as hundreds of millions in other countries. Between the food shortages, the floods, the fires, the pandemics, and the civil wars, few will escape unscathed.
Plutocracy, combined with the right-wing tactic scapegoating and distraction, is a major cause of those evils, and the root cause of the increase of poverty which also kills.
This is why I focus mainly on plutocracy, and gun control is not near the top of my list.
Here is the plan for a proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Ralph Nader: the US government has completely given up on prosecuting the people who plan and commit the biggest crimes, those implemented by corporations.
Israeli bombardment of a chemical storage plant in Gaza was tantamount to using chemical weapons.
Some UK scientists involved in developing carbon capture say it can't contribute much to limiting global heating to 1.5C — not soon enough to make a difference.
Research on carbon capture is fine as long as it doesn't distract us from implementing the urgent measures needed. Unfortunately, that's exactly what fossil fools will try to cite it for.
Tories are accused of pushing universities out of UK teacher training because they consider the universities hotbeds of leftist thinking.
The strange structure of the US baby formula market tends to cause local shortages even when the total supply is sufficient.
*Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib.*
The Reaganite ruination of the US gave us minority rule over a distracted, impoverished population that never learned how to think carefully or understand the system of government.
No wonder young people mostly despise the Republican Party.
Hamilton's idea of the Electoral College presumed that the choice of president was about personal integrity, not the choice of policies. The original intention was that Congress would decide policies and the president would be in charge of executing them. It took only a few years for the United States to discover than things were not actually working that way.
It seems that they did not exactly force Ukrainian captives to go to isolated Russian cities and take jobs they were not allowed to leave, but they made it fairly challenging to avoid that fate.
An economic study finds that the new coal mines that the previous Australian government tried so hard to authorize are unlikely to be profitable.
Their owners are hoping that they can push the government into subsidizing the mines. I have a hunch that some of that money would find its way to right-wing politicians or their campaigns. The argument the mine owners use is that they are too important to be allowed to fail.
It's just the opposite: they are too dangerous to be allowed to succeed.
*World could undo social and economic advances and face 1.5 disasters a day by 2030, according to UN's flagship Global Assessment Report.*
Pfizer has started selling some vaccines at a non-exploitative price to a list of extremely poor countries. This is "too little, too late."
Progressive members of Congress have insisted that Google must cease to collect and keep location tracking data from its customers' phones.
I think this is the first acknowledgment by members of Congress that tracking location data about people directly endangers them. That is an important step forward. However, this specific demand is too narrow to do the job, because the problem is bigger than Google.
Many companies track location data through apps, and sell them to other companies that we have never heard of. Rabid antiabortion officials in states such as Texas could send subpoenas to any of those companies. Google (and likewise Apple) must ensure that no location data is ever sent to an app unless the user manually authorizes sending it at that very moment.
Users should be able to send false locations too, whenever they wish.
People have not yet realized that this is another reason why we must make sure paying by cash remains widespread and easy. You must not ever identify yourself during a trip to another state for an abortion. Nor even before you leave, if it is in connection with the trip.
Right-wing extremist congresscritter Gosar demonstrated especially clearly that he makes up false claims based on no information. He said that the Uvalde school murderer was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien." That was entirely his imagination.
*Climate "tipping points" could push us past the point-of-no-return after less than 2 degrees of warming.*
Indeed, we may have already crossed some of these tipping points. For instance, we may have already unlocked 10 meters (33 feet) of future sea-level rise. However, how fast that happens will depend on how hot Earth gets.
The Putin forces have reportedly taken 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers prisoner in recent weeks.
That is very bad news.
An interview with NASA scientist Peter Kalmus about why he chained himself to the entrance of JP Morgan bank: the public must realize that the "people in charge" are not trying to save us.
Interviews with people who have quit the planet roaster PR companies.
Proposing that 18-year-olds should not be allowed to buy guns.
How about increasing the minimum age for gun purchases to 150?
Tennessee has made it a felony to sleep on public property. I think that includes sidewalks as well as city parks.
Spain's prime minister and other high officials were targeted with Pegasus spyware.
India's Supreme Court has suspended prosecutions under a "sedition" law that grossly restricts freedom of speech
Hatred and contempt are sometimes justified — for instance, toward extremists of any religion — so prohibiting speech which expresses those attitudes is an offense against human rights. (If you wish to oppose the extremists effectively, you must not to let that hatred run away with you.) Exciting disaffection towards the government is a crucial part of democracy.
*Revealed: supporters of Trump’s big lie work as election officials across Georgia.*
The uniformed thugs who arrived at the Reed school in Uvalde took 40 minutes to shoot the killer who was inside the school.
Some of the people waiting with them complained about how long they waited before going in.
Were they individually at fault for taking so long? I don't have a basis to reach that conclusion. Perhaps they were somehow stymied by the situation and were waiting for a solution.
What is clear is that the presence of a "good guy with a gun" does not prevent such shootings.
Uniformed thugs stationed in a school can't stop a killer who has come prepared, but they spend their days threatening and arresting students.
The previous two Australian ruling parties, Liberal and National, pretended to support decarbonization but in practice opposed efforts in that direction. Now that they have lost an election, and partly because of that, their leaders are planning to come out totally in favor of roasting Earth.
Perhaps we should refer to them as the Flood and Burn parties.
Richard Stallman will give a talk in French on June 4, 15h00 to 18h00, at Espace Vinci (25 Rue des Jeuneurs, 75002 Paris) near métro Grands Boulevards.
Recording and streaming on PeerTube site video.chalec.org.
The UK Parliament has recognized that contracting jobs out of a ministry leads to lower standards of work — when the work is done for the military.
Will it now recognize that this is equally true when the work is done for people? It is always bad to contract out government work, except when it can become a competitive market for private clients.
A Putin forces soldier, who was a prisoner of war in Ukraine and then was exchanged, said that his captors occasionally insulted him, but in general treated him decently, and the main pain of being a prisoner was boredom.
The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have set up a system to sell powerful guns in bigger quantities, and it is not broken — it is quite effective.
Beto O'Rourke, who will run against Texas governor Abbott, shouted at the latter's news conference, "This [the latest school killing] is on you."
We can debate which gun laws would be effective or reducing the number of gun murders, but it's clear that laws are required.
*"Historic" global tax deal on multinationals delayed until 2024.* And, some worry, perhaps delayed forever.
Protesting shareholders interrupted the Shell annual meeting, demanding Shell stop exacerbating global heating.
US citizens: call on Congress to provide food to America's poor.
To protect people who travel for an abortion, this step is essential but not enough. There are many systems that track people's movements, and we need to make them all stop.
US citizens: call for legalizing marijuana.
Shootings are now the largest single cause of death for Americans under 20.
The article refers to that whole age range as "children", which is a misleading practice.
A proposed windfall profits tax in the UK could stop some of Billionaire Polluters' proposed drilling projects!
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to sign a letter to support human rights for Palestinians and Israelis.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to cosponsor the MONARCH Act, to protect monarch butterflies.
US citizens: call on the DOJ to investigate Jared Kushner.
US citizens: call on the USPS board of governors to fire DeJoy without delay.
The head of the IEA (International Energy Agency) has affirmed that civilization must not explode any "carbon bombs".
He also pointed out that these investments in future suicide will do nothing to ease the current high prices. Putin's war will be long over by the time they produce anything.
The IEA has in the past provided cover for fossil fuel expansion plans, thus protecting them from pressure to cut back world emissions. Its ceasing to do so means one layer of cover removed.
George Monbiot: *We need optimism -– but Disneyfied climate predictions are just dangerous.*
Grenoble has proposed to eliminate absurd strict rules about what people can wear in public swimming pools.
Israeli soldiers shot famous Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh dead as she was covering a protest.
There was no fighting before the soldiers shot her, and others there say it looked like a targeted killing.
Israel will not investigate her killing.
Palestinians gave journalist Shireen Abu Akleh a state funeral.
*‘Cold-blooded’ killing and funeral chaos leave West Bank in turmoil.*
Sudan's military rulers are arresting and killing protesters demanding democracy.
Mallory McMorrow, of the Michigan state senate, responded to a vicious personal insult from a right-wing senator by giving a powerful speech reproaching right-wing repression and supporting progressive views in the name of Christianity.
Someone once told me that "to be a good Christian, you have to be a liberal democrat." That was before some people foolishly demonized the term "liberal".
It meant more or less the same thing that "progressive" means now.
That made perfect sense to me. A good Christian should likewise support the right to copy and share published works and software. But statements like that won't convince Christians coming from me, because I'm not a Christian. I'm glad to see Christians arguing powerfully for them.
The treaty that entirely prohibits cluster bombs has not been signed by the world's main military powers, or by Ukraine. So I think it is a mistake to suppose that use of cluster bombs is, ipso facto, a war crime.
However, the more general treaty against using imprecise weapons in residential areas must cover cluster bombs along with the other weapons described in the article. So the use of cluster bombs there would be war crimes.
The head of NATO addressed the Davos meeting and told the tycoons that "free trade" had to be limited to protect national security.
The examples he cited have to do with military security, and I agree with him on those issues. But there are other principles that likewise ought to outweigh letting businesses do as they like. For instance, making it too easy for businesses to merge leads to price gouging and shortages.
Letting businesses have as much political power as they now do leads to starvation, homelessness, and untreated injury and illness for those who can't work.
Making it too easy for businesses resist unions leads to those same problems for employed people.
Arguing that society has no reason to permit the existence of billionaires.
Accusations that Amy's Kitchen (which manufactures packaged foods) treats workers like organic manure.
Wendell Potter: Medicare makes secret deals that it will cover the expensive trademarked drugs, but not cover their "cheaper" generic equivalents.
Jeremy Corbyn hopes that all military alliances will be eliminated in the interests of world peace.
I disagree with that view — I think that that would not be an effective way to achieve peace. In particular, I support the existence of NATO.
But his view is not an absurd or outrageous one. For instance, he rejects the claim, which originates from Putin, that NATO is to blame for Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
I am sure I have other specific disagreements with Corbyn. Complete agreement would be amazingly unlikely, and too much to hope for. Therefore, I won't stop supporting Corbyn over inevitable specific disagreements. I continue to believe that he would be a far better leader for the UK than any of the current Tory or Labour leaders.
*Pro-democracy campaigners in West Virginia and Arizona on Monday risked arrest at sit-ins… demanding that Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema [end the filibuster to] allow the Senate to pass reproductive rights, climate action, and voting rights measures.*
A Massachusetts lawsuit against Exxon for misleading investors and the public about climate risks from using its fossil fuel products can proceed to trial.
The photos of Bogus Johnson in an illegal party which he had denied attending made it impossible for Britons to close their eyes to his readiness to deny the truth.
"Party gate" is a rather small issue, in regard to its direct effects on anyone. But the photos of their idiotic disregard for the danger of Covid-19 demonstrated visibly the Tories' contempt for everyone who isn't particularly powerful — contempt that they have implemented in many areas of policies, some causing great suffering to thousands or millions.
Education apps are full of spyware, like other apps.
The mere existence of an "advertising ID" in a computer is an example of malware in the operating system.
Areas of Australia that have been subject to persistent and repeated heavy rain now face a plague of leaches.
The Czech Republic discriminates against Ukrainian Roma when they arrive as refugees. Officials deny them the refugee certificate that other Ukrainian refugees receive. They face similar prejudice if they go to Germany.
Some of these refugees have papers saying they have Hungarian citizenship too. Orbán offered Ukrainian Roma such papers, but if they go to Hungary now, it says their papers are forgeries.
Russia is exporting grain stolen from occupied parts of Ukraine.
Some of the laws proposed by fanatical Christians to ban abortion would also ban in-vitro fertilization.
In my view, we should not do any in-vitro fertilization until Earth's population is considerably smaller, and decreasing.
*Elon Musk's Twitter takeover exposes the real threat to free speech: Big Tech monopolies.*
I would not say that is the one and only real threat, but it is an important one.
Tories crushed the British unions in the 1980s, but not entirely. Now that train drivers' real income has gone way down, and they are planning a strike, Tories are planning to criminalize the strike.
*Male TV presenters in Afghanistan are wearing face masks on screen to show solidarity after the Taliban issued an order that all women on news channels must cover their faces.*
Republicans are trying to force women to have more babies, but refuse to help them feed their babies once those are born.
They care, for political reasons, about fetuses, but whether a post-born fetus lives or dies is nothing to them.
UN Secretary General Guterres is forcefully denouncing fossil fuel companies, calling them "climate wreckers" and urging young people to refuse to work for them.
I prefer "planet roasters", but "climate wreckers" fits them too.
I read several years ago that US oil companies were finding it hard to hire good staff — graduates considered them bad.
Indeed, young people are more aware of the harm and danger of fossil fuels. I hope people my age learn this soon.
Australia permitted supply problems to slow the installation of renewable generation.
With a can-do attitude, these problems can be overcome, Here are examples:
A wind-turbine factory whose production is no longer needed is a lot less dangerous than an fossil fuel facility whose production is no longer needed. The latter would be used by planet roasters to lobby for too much fossil fuel extraction and dangerous levels of emissions.
The delivery company Airgas employed drivers to drive heavy trucks full of gas (often CO2). It compels them to follow unsafe practices, and to lie to customers about how much gas is in the truck's cargo tank. A driver documented this and complained.
Slavoj Žižek: *We must stop letting Russia define the terms of the Ukraine crisis.*
*Yes, the liberal west is hypocritical, applying its high standards very selectively. But hypocrisy means you violate the standards you proclaim, and in this way you open yourself up to inherent criticism – when we criticize the liberal west, we use its own standards. … And the only way to defend what is worth saving in our liberal tradition is to ruthlessly insist on its universality.*
Biden, speaking in Japan, said that the US would defend Taiwan if it is attacked.
Some people are going to find that shocking, but it should not be. That the US will defend Taiwan if China attacks Taiwan is entirely proper and normal. What ought to be shocking is that China is willing to consider attacking Taiwan.
Professor Tribe: The revocation of Roe v Wade would be a legal revolution based on an arbitrary partisan rejection of an area of existing jurisprudence. The supposedly similar past examples are not actually similar.
*"Warmongering, lies and hatred": Russian diplomat in Geneva resigns over Ukraine invasion.*
I am reminded of the diplomat (was he American? British?) who, early in this century, resigned and said, "Has 'oderint dum metuant' become our motto?"
"Oderint dum metuant", the emperor Caligula's favorite saying, is Latin for, "Let them hate us, as long as they fear us."
Mexico's Supreme Court banned the practice of searching people on buses based on racial profiling.
The crew of a ship that was sent to rescue refugees drowning in the Mediterranean faces prosecution in Italy and possibly 20 years in prison.
It appears that right-wing extremists constructed falsehoods for the prosecution.
Putin's puppets in Kherson are going to "request" annexation of the city by Russia.
*[Proposed] US fracking boom could tip world to edge of climate disaster.*
The Tories continue to push to criminalize protesting, and even appearing to plan to help a protest.
Why condemn Putin if you're going to imitate him?
The Supreme Court eliminated the possibility of presenting exculpatory evidence to a federal court after an incompetent defense lawyer failed to present it in the initial trial — or failed to sign a form in time.
This decision places respect for the court system above the rights of people to a fair trial. Instead of making the system give justice, this decision closes its eyes to its failures and defines them away. That's called "finality."
It would indeed be a good thing if we could count on trial defense lawyers to do their jobs properly and present all important evidence for the defense. Instead of pretending they did so, our legal system should make damned sure they do so.
One thing that interests me is that apparently rule of law still applies inside the Russian army, for some things. Putin's servitors make fabricated criminal accusations against dissidents, but the army lets people resign, or refuse to go outside Russia, because the law says they can.
*Millionaires join Davos protests, demanding "tax us now."*
Planet roaster companies are building 200 "carbon bombs" — defined as projects that will generate a billion tons of CO2 if fully utilized.
These companies, the world's main fossil fuel companies, are intentionally sabotaging any chance of avoiding global catastrophe. If you are young today, these carbon bombs are likely to kill you. Don't delay fighting back against this planned mass murder until you're doomed to probable death from it.
The American Library Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Authors' Guild, and some big publishing companies have set up a campaign against censorship in the US.
Some are them released after a few days. Others have been held for weeks. It's not clear what happens to those that the Putin forces determine feel a loyalty to Ukraine, or have been soldiers. They may be sent to Russia, they may be shot.
The FCC opened the doors to political spam text messages to cell phones. It should shut the doors again.
We must stop optimizing food production for efficiency and profit and bring robustness back into the system.
We must also have fewer children so as to reduce the future population.
The world urgently needs to cut emissions of methane and other short-term greenhouse gases.
*More than 120 civil society groups from around the world on Thursday warned that nations have only six months left to meet a collective commitment made at last year's United Nations Climate Conference to end public financing of fossil fuels.*
The Taliban have forced female TV reporters to cover their faces on the air. This is on top of prohibiting women's education beyond secondary school.
It is disgusting, but I don't see what we can do to weaken their grip on Afghanistan.
*Abandoned fishing gear is killing marine life and poisoning our oceans.*
Australia's right-wing planet roaster government has fallen. What kept it going for ten years was threats — and lies.
*[Ukraine chief negotiator] Podolyak made clear that Ukraine would not accept any deal with Russia that involved ceding territory, and that agreeing to a ceasefire now while making concessions to Russia would backfire on Ukraine because "Moscow would hit back harder after any break in fighting."*
That's what I said a month ago about any agreement to end the war.
Could "peace circles", or other opporunities for students to speak and be listened to, help lead Americans away from plans to die in the process of killing?
It was safer to infiltrate groups that advocated peace, or the rights of the weak, because they were not a real threat.
(satire) *Surgeon Loses Another Patient Under Operating Table.*
The Department of Justice said it would no longer prosecute crackers who break security for the sake of reporting or correcting flaws.
We still need to change the CFAA to narrow it to cases which are really attacks.
Please don't use the term "hackers" to refer specifically to breaking security.
*Why Seniors Like Me Are Fighting Against Medicare Direct Contracting and ACO REACH.*
Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, is determined to make Republicans win Pennsylvania in the 2024 presidential election. If he can't get the voters to vote that way for real, he is ready to steal the election.
Experimental proof that Microsoft's Bing search engine censors for China in the US.
The Drug Policy Alliance's strategic plan for ending the "war on drugs".
When a war is on drugs, it is dangerous to everyone.
(satire) *Knife-Wielding Tesla Kills Pedestrian.*
(satire) *Fetus Steps Outside Womb For Quick Cigarette Break.*
(satire) *NYPD Arrests Colombian Turnstile Lord Behind Massive Turnstile-Jumping Ring.*
The US government will spend about 4 billion dollars to build 4 million tons/year of direct CO2 removal capacity.
That's about 1000 dollars per ton/year.
For method this to save civilization, it would need to remove a large fraction of the 60 gigatons of CO2 emitted per year. Capacity to remove 30 gigatons/year would cost 30 trillion dollars. Aren't other solutions cheaper?
I have a feeling it will be difficult to scale up that far. Especially difficult will be sequestering all the extracted CO2 underground. The first plants will be built in places that are especially propitious, Will enough propitious places be found for so much capacity?
Having this approach available will not directly do any harm. What worries me most is that the oil companies will cite this as "the solution" and use it as an excuse to refuse to cut emissions. They will do anything to avoid actual reductions in their oil sales.
*To stave off authoritarianism, Democrats need to deliver on their promises and directly confront the institutions that deny democracy. The party is failing on both fronts.*
Ilhan Omar calls for an investigation of dangerous concentration in production of baby formula.
*Trump shares CPAC Hungary platform with notorious racist and antisemites*
Republicans killed a relief bill for small businesses. More restaurants, bars and stores will close now.
A campaign spending limit law in Brazil provided an opportunity to scientifically test the effects of such limits.
The study found that a smaller limit led to more candidates, and less advantage for the incumbent.
*Russia's Conquered Minorities Are Putin's Cannon Fodder in Ukraine War.*
This is partly true in the US — the army recruits heavily among disprivileged groups, because they have little other opportunity. At least maybe they counterbalance the right-wing extremists among the white soldiers.
Children pose deep philosophical questions. Here a philosopher tries to give them serious, respectful answers.
Florida students protested against the "Don't talk about queerness" bill, then overcame an attempt to cover up the photos in the yearbook which showed the protest.
A Colorado hospital told a patient that an operation would cost per $1,337, then afterward said, "Oops, the real price is $300,000."
With a universal medical system, this would not happen.
In Alabama, many surgeons already refuse to operate on women who are having miscarriages. They are afraid of prosecution.
Most of the time, this causes only pain and suffering. Occasionally women die from it.
Soon fanatical Christians will spread this threat to women's lives to other states.
Take care of yourself: don't risk going through pregnancy in a Republican-controlled state.
A proposed explanation for why most Filipinos voted for Marcos, especially young ones.
Right-wing US billionaires are leading an anti-democracy movement to make the world safe for unlimited plutocracy.
The Tory minister of policing emphasized the importance of arresting people who steal food to eat.
Several US government "law enforcement" agencies are keeping records on everyone who lives in the US — or as close to everyone as they can arrange.
*Afghan surgeon who fled Ukraine says he was treated differently at Polish border.*
*[Right-wing extremists] are animated by a vision of 1950s-style white Christian patriarchal dominance –- it is the only order they will accept for America.*
Prohibition of abortion in El Salvador has created a presumption of guilt for any woman who has a miscarriage that might have been an abortion.
182 women have been convicted and imprisoned there for having a grave problem in pregnancy, over 24 years. And they keep on imprisoning more.
California raised taxes on the rich; rich people continue moving there nonetheless.
The right-wing "realist" claim that they would move away to reduce taxes seems to be bogus.
At the start of May, 15% of US households with children reported food insufficiency.
In August it was 9%. The increase is due to Senator Manchin.
Formerly they were likely to happen once in 300 years. Now it is once in 3 years, which means they are now part of normal weather.
It's only a matter of time before they reach the level of fatal weather and kill millions of people in a day.
The US investigated an attack in Syria that killed and wounded civilians, and concluded that no specific person was to blame. That could be a falsehood to protect the guilty. But not necessarily: it could be true. If so, there are two possibilities:
A Japanese medical school has been found guilty of sex discrimination after it reduced the grades of female applicants to compensate for their superior skills.
Several scientists present reasons to conclude that various chemicals in our environmental pollution are pushing millions of people towards obesity — especially as children.
*More than 3,000 potentially harmful chemicals found in food packaging.*
*Trump claims immigrants are voting illegally. The real problem is foreign fat cats funding US campaigns.*
That's in addition to the other real problem: American fat cats funding US campaigns.
Rio Tinto mining has made a non-binding agreement to cooperate with some indigenous groups in protecting ancient sites from its mines.
It is probably better than no agreement at all; but I don't think that the disposition of amazingly old art from the past ought to be in the hands of a mining company.
*Ginni Thomas reportedly urged Arizona Republicans to overturn 2020 result.*
That was on 9 Nov 2020, 6 days after the election.
She and her husband have persistently aimed to overthrow the US government.
*There is no way to fool physics. Climate Breakdown And State-Corporate Madness.*
*FBI failing to address white supremacist violence, warns former special agent.*
Big Oil companies are using their windfall profits to buy back stock, much faster than they did last year.
The right-wing Supreme Court could reverse a wide range of long-standing decisions that put checks on the power of the most powerful.
*Decolonizing US Energy System Would Save 50,000 Lives and $600 Billion a Year.*
(satire) *Febreze Introduces New Rotting Rat Carcass For Covering Up Tough Odors.*
China makes antisocial media sites present the location of the user who made a posting. That makes it easy to demonize anyone that the government-supported majority wishes to demonize.
The US has "investigated" an air strike in Syria that killed lots of civilians, mainly as a whitewash.
Banning abortions significantly increases poverty, medical problems, and danger of death for the women thus compelled to have babies.
The UK will require banks to provide ATM or branch access in all communities.
I applaud this decision. You can help make your country do likewise, by insisting on purchasing anonymously (which currently means, only with cash).
* Handing over the WikiLeaks founder [Julian Assange] to the US will benefit repressive regimes around the world.*
He has only done what any good journalist is supposed to do.
Greenhouse gases affect nights even more than days.
A Jamaican MP takes a thoughtful stand on the question of when it is or isn't right to deport people who have committed a crime.
*Big carmakers stuck in slow lane over switch to zero emissions.*
(satire) *"No Way To Prevent This," Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.*
*Rising Authoritarianism and Escalating [Global Heating] Are Supported by the Same Industries.*
When you think of Amazon, think "Manchin." This is one more reason to refuse to buy from Amazon, on top of all the others.
(satire) *CIA Criticized For Use Of Abusive Etiquette Coaches In Black Site Finishing Schools.*
The European Union proposes to become a branch of China.
The European Union executive branch has proposed a directive for mandatory censorship of communication services including chat and email, which includes requiring client software to scan for prohibited communications. Interpreting the description here literally, this would prohibit free software email or chat clients.
The rules would also apply to cloudy services that offer to store data and snoop on it. Under these rules, they would be required to snoop on everything.
The proposal would also require all digital services to make users prove their identity, presumably through some nonfree software and/or online disservice. This would be the total surveillance society that we have long feared the internet would turn into — a place in which whistleblowing and dissent would inevitably be caught.
2000 years ago, local climate alterations wiped out Rome's favorite herb. Now, global climate alterations can wipe out many plant species, including some we grow massive quantities of.
The UK's plutocratist government has arranged to make poor people pay a higher rate for gas and electricity than everyone else. Now some poor people are disconnecting those services rather than pay debts of around 10 to 20 dollars.
Robot assistance in surgery for bladder cancer has made it much more reliable. It also enabled patients to recover faster.
I wish the article explained more about what "robot" means here. Is it a kind of wireless waldo, or does it have some autonomous capability?
I also wonder how they get the robot to the bladder. Through a small incision?
Between two expeditions to find the Endurance on the bottom of the ice-covered Weddell Sea, one in 2019 and one in 2022. there was a big decrease in the thickness of the sea ice.
Global drought forecast: 700 million people forced to move by 2030, 7 or 8 billion affected by 2050.
This probably implies food shortage — everywhere, all the time. And many deaths. And lots of cities burning. We may need desalination plants to get water to fight the fires, as well as water to drink.
Drought is only one of the deadly effects of global heating.
The big US meat processing companies used their political influence to keep operating in 2020 with no precautions against the spread of Covid-19 among their workers. The result was hundreds of workers dead, and Covid-19 spreading through the local area.
*[California] Coastal Fire Shows Even the Rich 'Are Not Safe From Earth Breakdown'.*
With the current drought, the fire season is now all year long.
*Texas Gov. Abbott's Solution to Formula Shortage? Let Migrant Babies Starve.*
A driverless car constantly takes video in all directions. San Francisco thugs use them for systematic snooping.
In a testament to the the power of plutocracy, only 15% of people in poor countries have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
With Republicans' "by hook or by crook" attitude, we can expect them to cancel the filibuster whenever they get a chance.
Various Arab governments (hostile to Iran) have lobbied very hard to block a new non-nuclear deal.
In substance, culture wars are a distraction. But that doesn't mean they are unimportant. This distraction can be deadly, by enabling right-wing extremists to control who has power on questions that do matter.
The US Senate wants to enable the US to prosecute non-US war criminals. US war criminals don't seem to be included.
We should prohibit for-profit colleges; allowing them is asking for trouble.
The civilian was talking on a phone while riding a bicycle, and The soldier was ordered to shoot the civilian to stop him from reporting on the presence of Russian soldiers.
At the time, the soldier was driving around in a seized civilian car. That would have limited what the civilian could have known and reported about the actions of the Putin forces.
But what if the situation had been different? What if the soldier had driven by in his tank instead? Is it considered a war crime to kill a civilian who seems to be acting as a scout for the enemy? Should it be? What are soldiers supposed to do in that situation?
The new federal law to prosecute lynching is not by itself going to make racist murder cease. To achieve that requires other kinds of efforts, including rooting out white supremacists (and white supremacist ideas) from thug departments.
The point that states are making it illegal to teach what happened to Emmett Till is a very important one.
One of the things we need to do is to teach people to reject bigotry. Engaging in bigotry, even in a symbolic way as that article does by capitalizing "black" but not "white", works against that goal. Normally I decline to link to articles which promote bigotry, but I make exceptions for some articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism, as here.
* As the Bank [of England] lurches to reverse its own policies, there is a risk that "stability" will again be delivered on the backs of poor people.*
The two major parties in Australia have disregarded protecting the environment. As a result, both land and sea have been grievously damaged.
The list of recommendations are good ones, but a crucial recommendation to reduce population growth (in Australia and elsewhere) is missing.
Will Putin treat the Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered in Mariupol as prisoners of war, or try them for war crimes?
The Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol would have had few opportunities to commit war crimes while besieged. The civilians around were Ukrainian and the soldiers would not have hurt them. Fighting Russian soldiers with their personal weapons would not be a war crime.
It is possible that a few of them could be accused of committing war crimes before the start of this war. In a few cases, they could even be guilty. However, accusing enemies of fictitious crimes is standard practice for Putin.
Putin could treat them properly as prisoners of war, while refusing to exchange them while the war continues.
George Monbiot: the global food system is becoming more concentrated in various ways, and some scientists that study complex systems suspect this is responsible for increasing instability.
Regulatory systems are becoming weaker: Elon Musk regularly gets away with violating laws and regulations and suffers no significant penalty.
It is very rare that the complainants win.
*The [German] business dynasties who benefited from Nazis*,
and in some cases remained close to Nazis after the war.
One incumbent that was defeated was Kurt Schrader,
who set up a devious scheme to defeat Sanders's plan to pass the Build Back Better bill by not voting on the infrastructure bill until after it was passed before.
Anyone with a connection to New York City: tell Mayor Eric Adams to increase subway frequency and service, not punitive fare enforcement.
US citizens: call on Toyota to stop funding GOP election deniers.
US citizens: call on the DHS to protect immigrant workers.
US citizens: call on your district attorney not to prosecute abortion.
*EU plans "massive" increase in green energy to help end reliance on Russia.* Not to mention the even bigger danger of global heating disaster.
A new sort of ultrasonic speaker and microphone could be used to track people's movements in within a house without their knowing.
A US investigation says that the Afghan army collapsed because it was set up along modern American lines and that made it dependent on US support.
The surrender of Mariupol will enable Putin to conceal the war crimes his forces committed there. With the exception of the biggest crimes, such as bombarding the city into ruins, and forcibly taking some of the residents to Russia.
If they had reported these things in January 2021, they might have helped protect the US from the extension of his grip over the Republican party.
(satire) *Congress Placed On Lockdown After Deranged Man Enters Senate With Gun Control Measures.*
*Several major UK fossil fuel projects have been approved since Cop26 concluded, an analysis has found, while about 50 schemes are thought to be in the pipeline between now and 2025.*
Australia has reduced skin cancer by banning artificial UV tanning salons. Now people propose the UK adopt a similar policy.
*The [global] Energy and Food Crisis Is Far Worse Than Most Americans Realize.*
If not for global heating, we could aim for a "solution" consisting of finding more oil to pump. But that path is a very dead end.
Several US states are adopting laws to protect abortion rights for women from repressive states.
New York City Mayor Adams said during his campaign that he would help homeless people, but instead he has turned to the same old cruelty.
*What unites conservatives in the US and the UK? Terrible solutions to the cost of living crisis.*
Their "solutions" don't attempt to fix the problem, as much as to help demonize the victims. For that goal, they don't need to be in touch with reality.
Actually, inflation is nothing to worry about (in most companies) as long as your union can make the company you really work for raise workers' wages as fast as it raises prices.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, extremist supporter of the corrupter's big lie, lost the Republican primary and thus will probably not be in Congress next year.
This might be a sign that the worst form of extremism are starting to lose support among Republicans.
Protesters that blocked a coal train in New Hampshire have been sentenced to months of jail.
Biden is sending US troops back to Somalia.
It's a bad idea for the US to get involved in fighting every terror group in the world. Many of these fights can't possibly be completely won, and in the absence of that, the US would always have a reason to keep "helping" to fight them — and generating resentment that would fuel the terror group.
Putin forces soldiers are stealing textbooks for Ukrainian, and textbooks in Ukrainian, from schools in the occupied parts of Ukraine. They are using pressure and threats to demand teachers start teaching the Russian curriculum, but some teachers resist.
They are stealing schools' laptops too. Sad to say, these laptops are surely full of user-subjugating nonfree software, and if they are replaced, the replacements will have the same problem.
The US should start negotiations with Russia about mutual reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons.
Right-wing extremists show that they want to pressure and force people to have more babies.
They equate puberty-blocking with sterilization; then they equate voluntary sterilization with forced sterilization. Through those two evident errors, they arrive at the bizarre conclusion that choosing to block your own puberty is equivalent to someone else's forcibly sterilizing you.
With this joined with their racist assumption about whose babies are good and whose are bad,
they are gradually approaching the one-time Nazi ideology of making people have babies for the state. With the added wrinkle that the increase in population puts the state's stability in danger, as well as the lives of all people except those already old. Any sort of encouragement (or pressure) for people to reproduce (regardless of which people) puts civilization in increased danger.
The articles linked to above display 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. These articles are some of the exceptions.
A white-supremacist bigot who killed 10 people in Buffalo had been posting for a long time about his plans for killing.
Visible signs that someone is planning violence are generally not certain or clear, especially when you don't know very well the person that is giving the signs. Chances are most of the people who might strike someone as suspect would never carry out any violence. Given that situation, what could possibly be useful to actually do? Nothing, I think.
Cuba has created a number of new political crimes.
I wonder about the precise definition of "to give information to international organizations, associations or even people who have not been authorized by the government."
South Africa's recent flooding and landslides are twice as likely nowadays as they were decades ago, due to global heating.
If a company's publicity about global heating doesn't talk about drastic reductions in use of fossil fuels, it's almost surely greenwashing.
People accustomed to opposing the US's many unjust or avoidable wars face a dilemma about confronting Putin's war in Ukraine.
I'm one of the former group, more or less. But I have held short of generalizing that opposition to a universal conclusion that "fighting is always simply wrong." Most of the US's wars have been power-rivalry or imperialism (and I won't be surprised if it does those again), but aiding Ukraine is an exception and we need to recognize it as one.
The US Supreme Court has removed yet another obstacle (though not the biggest one) against buying politicians.
*Exclusive: Nearly half existing facilities will need to close prematurely to limit heating to 1.5C, scientists say.*
*Pro-Israel lobbying group Aipac secretly pouring millions into defeating progressive Democrats.*
A former head of the WTO wants to develop a global system of government for geoengineering. I agree that the world needs one, but someone whose career has been associated with serving the interests of business is the last person to entrust this to.
Can anyone find the list of 16 experts he has invited to form the "Global Overshoot Commission", with information about their careers?
When UK fishing boats hire migrant workers, 1/3 of them are made to work 20-hour shifts, and 1/3 get beaten up.
Mariupol has capitulated after almost three months of siege. Some hundreds of the remaining Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered.
There is no way to tell how many civilians were killed, but it may be possible to count those who have got out, or who get out in coming days.
Due to bias in research into car crashes, cars protect women less than they protect men.
More generally, we need to reverse the peculiar and unjustified focus on terrorism committed by people other than white-supremacists, since the latter are the big threat.
More deeply, we need to change the right-wing bias that leads "law enforcement" agencies to enforce laws mainly against progressives and minority groups. This may require changing a lot of their personnel.
Putin is trying to intimidate Sweden and Finland, by threatening to move military units and weapons around if they join NATO.
Putin is talking about their membership in NATO as if it constituted a threat to attack Russia (which is not true). I think the purpose of that way of speaking is to encourage people to conceive of it that way.
Russia can move its troops and missiles around for any reason, or no reason. Putin could have moved troops to the Finnish border a year ago if it wanted to, but there was no reason to do so then, and will be no reason to do so next year, except to look bellicose. It wouldn't make any big difference in practice anyway.
This is just posturing, but it gives people something to panic about if they are so inclined.
*Experts Lay Out Proactive Measures to Defend World Against Future Pandemics.*
The first item in the list is protecting the forests where humans will occasionally catch new diseases from wild animals.
*Instead of sacrificing lives to a free-market insurance God, [Medicare for All] saves lives while retraining people in [the insurance business] for the life-affirming jobs of the future.*
The Americans who cry "tyranny!" about masks and vaccinations are the same ones that are trying to abolish many substantial human rights that were established in the 1960s and 70s.
Senator Warren's new proposed law would punish companies for price gouging while being profitable already.
Republican plans for persecution of people connected in any way with abortions take advantage of the injustice of surveillance that has been built into digital infrastructure and online disservices over many years.
We will need to demand coin phones, and libraries that let us do searches without saying who we are.
Many of Afghanistan's working women are now idle at home, the jobs they formerly did are not done, the people they served (often women) are left wanting, and this adds to the economy's losses.
*Taliban dissolves Afghanistan’s human rights commission as "unnecessary."*
The right-wing Australian government proposes to help Australians get the money to buy a house by letting them draw money from their retirement funds.
This will mean more competition for the available housing, thus forcing the prices up. It won't provide any net benefit for the non-rich. In other words, it is a swindle.
*Republicans are fueling extremism and terror like the Buffalo shooting.*
Republicans are blocking funds for Covid-19 tests, treatment and vaccination. Their willingness to sabotage the country for a partisan victory makes them effectively terrorists.
Floods ruined crops in part of northeast Australia. The area was previously flooded in February, as part of widespread flooding that also destroyed houses in much of eastern Australia.
Global heating is increasing the frequency of such floods there and elsewhere. Australia's planet-roaster politicians are responsible for this (along with other countries' planet-roaster politicians).
Isn't it a shame that the article says not a word about this?
Heidi Marston, head of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, quit abruptly and denounced the government policy which treats homeless people first of all as unsightly, and only second as people in need of help.
This is a response to selfish pressure from wealthy residents and business owners.
The underlying cause of homelessness is that any place to live in a major city (where there are jobs) is too expensive for most people even when they have jobs.
One major cause of this is zoning laws that block expansion of housing capacity.
As Covid-19 evolves and becomes more transmissible, it also evolves away from the target that current vaccines are aimed at. Their effectiveness is gradually decreasing. But there is no special effort to accelerate development of better vaccines.
All this is happening as society in most countries has totally surrendered to the fools and jerks. The fools say, "What, me worry about Covid?" The jerks say, "I wouldn't wear a mask to save your life — or anyone's life."
Contrast this with Japan and South Korea, where people continue to reduce the number or cases by wearing masks.
Bogus Johnson has proposed a handwaving "plan" that would supposedly reduce greenhouse emissions from flights, as an excuse to permit airport expansion that will certainly increase emissions from flights.
That's what you get when you put a habitual liar in charge of a job that requires saying no to the wealthy.
A member of Australia's Administrative Appeals Tribunal says he was stopped from hearing welfare benefits cases because he had decided too many cases in favor of the individuals who were making the appeals.
He has "rejected the department's interpretation of the law on a number of points that have never been definitively decided on appeal."
A large survey finds that cynical people are perceived as being more competent than others, but on the average they aren't really so.
The Putin forces have retreated from most of the seized territory around Kharkiv. They gave way easily to advancing Ukrainian troops.
As a result, Kharkiv is no longer in artillery range of the Putin forces. There could be occasional missile attacks, but the city will not suffer further bulk destruction.
Nuclear power is still not a usable solution. It's even more dangerous than we used to recognize.
A Just Stop Oil activist says that threats of imprisonment will not make them give up. They will continue striving to save civilization and the ecosphere.
The corrupter says that he lost the phones that the investigators subpoena'd from him.
I don't believe a word of it, but it will be hard to prove it is false.
DeMentis signed a bill requiring Florida schools to teach students about the victims of communism.
It is important for people to learn about the victims of communism. Stalin killed tens of millions of Russians, and Mao did the same to Chinese. They left behind corrupt dictatorships.
However, I fear that Republicans will use this opportunity to indoctrinate students to believe that today's extreme capitalism represents a just society. Meanwhile, slavery in the US, and subsequent racist laws, are also crucial for Americans to learn about.
Idea: Twitter should not allow any presidents or prime ministers of nuclear-armed states to have accounts, because they could use Twitter to start a nuclear war.
Perhaps Twitter should not allow any president or prime minister, or war minister, or general, to have an account.
Multiperson virtual reality raises a number of issues of right and wrong, which can be considered in relation to the laws of various countries, or to various ideas of morality. There will be conflicts among these.
One moral issue which the article is unaware of is that of the nonfree software in use at multiple levels in the underlying support, both in the VR headsets and in the multiperson interaction server. These programs will have malicious functionalities, since nonfree software usually does.
Until we have VR systems that companies can't snoop on and manipulate, I will carry out my interactions with people in other ways.
Please do not dehumanize other people by referring to their words and actions as "content".
US oil company profits are running at twice the high level of a year ago, Let's tax those profits and spend money on what we need!
In Nigeria, a mob of fanatical Muslims murdered a student accused of blasphemy. The local sultan condemned the murders, and cops are arresting the murderers.
The fanatics don't like this, so they held a protest, which fortunately was not very big or dangerous.
Whatever your religion may be, you have no right to kill people for rejecting it or criticizing it. If you do so, you bring shame on it.
Some genetically modified plants may be safe and useful. It would be good to have a path for careful testing and approval of them.
The danger of using them, with a plutocratist government, is that it could become a pushover for business interests, and thus might not take the precautions seriously.
A big heat-wave in India is destroying the wheat harvest.
This adds to the shortage caused by the inability to export Ukraine's wheat.
It has been clear for years that we were driving ourselves into a food shortage. It was not clear that we would hit it so soon.
The US government is distributing Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody for Covid-19, gratis, but greedy bastard hospitals and insurance companies are charging hundreds of dollars for it
The high-pressure training of gymnasts, some not even teenagers, goes as far as claiming they are faking when they say they have been injured.
Ultimately this is the natural result of competitive pressure transmitted to the gymnasts through coaches that are interested in winning more than anything. It is a perverse system. We should not put people in a position where their health depends on resisting the demands of people they have been taught to trust.
(satire) *Google Maps Adds Shortcuts Through Houses Of People Google Knows Aren't Home Right Now.*
Breaking news: Google will allow people to pay to opt out from this use of their homes.
Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from stupidity. (Because that provides deniability for the perpetrators.)
I don't know Tomas's identity, but he said I could post his law.
The UK needs a national housing plan. Corbyn would give it one.
The US also needs one, but Republicans don't want the poor and the disprivileged to suffer less.
Arguing against the absurd ruling that calling a man "bald" is sexual harassment.
I don't think it's even an insult. Why fuss about it?
Some of the reasons why the US has had the third-highest rate of death from Covid-19 — higher than all other countries other than Brazil and Poland.
The article does not present the Republicans' intentional obstruction US efforts to protect Americans from Covid. (It is hidden behind the word "polarized", which creates a false equivalence between Republicans and non-Republicans.)
Their obstruction started in February 2020, when Republican leaders publicly said not to worry while privately buying stocks to profit from the disease. In April, when it became clear that people from disprivileged groups were more likely to die from Covid, Republicans started opposing measures to reduce the spread. During 2020 they politicized rejection of the use of masks, using their breath as an instrument to support their campaign of harassment and intimidation.
A few weeks ago, Republicans blocked federal funding for vaccines and treatment.
They are still the disease-spreader party.
The election of Marcos Jr as president of the Philippines will give him the opportunity to sabotage the commission whose job is to find and seize his father's corrupt gains.
US citizens, tell your senators: we need Medicare for All now.
The latest right-wing hit job movie by Dinesh D'Souza insists repeatedly that dropping off ballots for others is corrupting US elections, and demonizes people who do it — without the slightest evidence that any of them did anything wrong.
Justice Thomas rebuked Americans for not respecting the Supreme Court any more.
The 6-3 majority of right-wing justices is the result of Republicans' by-hook-or-by-crook attitude and rigging of elections for a political goal. Why should Americans respect the Supreme Court more than they respect the way Republicans took it over.
About how to support Ukraine's reconstruction, comparing with the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.
The Jan 6 investigation committee has subpoena'd five Republican members of Congress to testify.
*I Stopped to Watch [School] Recess in My Neighborhood — and Security Was Called.*
Accusing Iran of arresting visitors as an excuse to make them hostages.
Governments likely to be pressured in this way should very visibly warn all their citizens not to visit Iran. Even if you have never been involved in anything political related to Iran, even if your activity there is beneficial, even if it is just a holiday, even if it is visiting friends and family — do not go!. Especially, if you have Iranian relatives — do not go!.
It would be best to have airport ground personnel give these warnings, and give them at the time of selling tickets too.
"We are not suckers; tell your family now not to ask us to be suckers. If Iran makes you a hostage, we will not give Iran anything to try to procure your release. If you don't want to be a hostage, now is your only chance to avoid it. Don't go to Iran!"
Maine has banned use of sewage sludge as fertilizer. This law can prevent contamination of farmland with PFAS.
Meat-packing companies successfully lobbied the corrupter's officials to allow them to let Covid-19 run rampant through their plants.
Israel showed disdain for Biden as well as contempt for Palestinians and dishonesty towards the public, by authorizing almost 3000 new housing units for Israelis in the West Bank territory of Palestine.
These housing units are in colonies that Israel pretends to consider "illegal", but it doesn't let that acknowledged illegality interfere with building them.
Elon Musk's vision of a proper life for workers is that they spend all day working for someone like him, and the night too when he wants. They are effectively robots in a giga-sweatshop.
*Planned EU rules to protect children online are attack on privacy, warn critics.*
The idea of scanning all messages for prohibited messages presumes that users are compelled to run a nonfree application. That's fundamentally unjust, and these nonfree programs will surely be designed to mistreat their users. (Nonfree programs generally are.)
I wonder if these applications will be designed to report you as an
"abuser" if the text you send starts with
--BEGIN PGP MESSAGE--.
Interview with Igor Pedin, who walked from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia over 2-3 weeks.
Hundreds of thousands of Russians have left the country, partly because of opposition to Putin's war, partly from fear of being conscripted into it.
I suspect that the parents were as much responsible for making the wedding expensive as the couple. Fancy weddings are a form of competitive consumption, which in general can become a compulsion. Resisting it is a crucial part of wisdom.
India's population is growing substantially, and the consequences will cause great suffering in a few decades for almost everyone in India, and contribute to the suffering of the rest of the world.
One of several causes of the US shortage of milk substitutes for babies is too many mergers.
An Australian MP is demanding a "Christian lobby" stop using her picture on a hostile leaflet, on grounds of copyright.
I don't know the details of the "religious discrimination bill", or why they call it that. (The coverage of that bill in The Guardian presumed too much background for me to understand it without too much work.) On general principles, if an incumbent elected official in a mainly Christian country is attacked by a "Christian lobby", I probably I disagree with that lobby. Most likely I would agree with MP Sharkie if I knew what the issue was.
However, it is clear that freedom of political speech includes the freedom to show a picture of a candidate you oppose. It is an injustice for copyright law to interfere with that.
*Staten Island DA Bought Clearview Face Recognition Software With Civil Forfeiture Cash.*
We must legally eliminate all possibility for prosecutors or other "law enforcers" to use any surveillance systems without getting specific approval from the city's elected government.
The dictator of Nicaragua is as repressive of dissidents as Putin, though not resembling Putin in military aggression. Cuba represses dissent too, though perhaps not as thoroughly. If any country deserved to be excluded from some international project, Nicaragua would.
But there is a value in inviting all the countries in the region.
Britain's withdrawal from the EU has caused trouble for many UK citizens that live in EU countries — especially when they are married to people who are not UK citizens.
Many of these problems are not direct consequences of the UK's decision, in that the problems are the result of decisions by the UK that the UK could unilaterally change.
Of the patients hospitalized for Covid-19 two years ago in Wuhan, around 1/10 have not returned to work. A much larger fraction have serious problems.
*Lindsey Graham said Joe Biden is "best person" to lead US, tapes reveal.* That was shortly after the wrecker's Jan 6 attempt to steal the election.
The significance of this is that it shows Senator Graham's cowardice. He knew what was right, but he chose to join the insurrectionist mob rather than stay loyal to his country.
It is not too late for Graham to redeem himself.
*This British "bill of rights" is constitutional butchery that will make us all less free.*
It is meant to replace the substantial support for human rights that was adopted when the UK was part of the EU. It is a scheme to pretend to follow human rights standards while in practice allowing laws to reject them whenever desired.
The musk-rat said he would allow the bullshitter back onto Twitter.
The bullshitter said he would refuse to post on Twitter anyway, but given his dishonesty there is no reason to believe anything he says about what he intends to do. It is trolling, nothing more.
We can expect plutocracy and corruption. The article says, they will help strengthen China.
*Covid threat being ignored in England for ideological reasons, [said] NHS leaders [a month ago].*
North Carolina's Supreme Court said that whether protesters in the state assembly are "too loud" is an arbitrary decision — up to whichever politician doesn't like the protest.
That court has rejected the idea that all deserve equal rights. It is preparing for tyranny.
The UK plans to deport queer asylum-seekers to Rwanda despite knowing that they have a substantial chance of being persecuted there.
(satire) *Bombshell Report Finds Democrats Conspiring With Bookie To Deliberately Throw Midterms.*
Sad to say, the Democratic National Committee more or less did this when it decided to give Clinton unfair support to beat Sanders in 2016.
(satire) *Shell Announces Plans To Plant Single Tree For Every Irreversible Planetary Disaster It Causes.*
Colorado has removed election officials for trying to sabotage a past election.
Apparently they did not consider violent fascists a problem.
I don't think it makes a difference that some of the antifascists were high-school students.
Now that disabled people in Canada who can't get treatment for horrible pain can get help in suicide, some who oppose the idea of assisted suicide are attacking the law for that consequence..
I agree with Jocelyn Downie about the matter. Those people do have untreatable medical conditions — untreatable in a practical sense. A plausibly effective treatment exists, but not for them. Helping them die is not the best possible help for them, but they consider it better than nothing.
A right-wing Canadian MP has been castigated for connecting to a parliamentary session from a toilet
This shows that irrational persecution over "disgusting" (but victimless) actions are not limited to things related to sex.
The company "SafeGraph", which collects location data from people's snoopphones, admits it was recently selling lists of people who visited abortion clinics.
"Anonymizing" the data does not effectively protect the people's identities. They can often be determined from the data, together with other lists of data about people.
If this company really stops, others will do it instead. Please, focus on the fundamental nastiness of the cell-phone freakosystem, and not one particular example of it.
The shortage of food for babies in the US is exacerbated by the harmful concentration of that industry.
We need to put an end to proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, unless all the world's electricity supply is moved to renewable sources.
Tesla's labor law violations.
Punishment for union-busting.
Australia's right-wing government has corrupted Australia's scientific research agency, according to its former head climate scientist, who how has quit.
The agency does whatever research companies will fund. In the field of climate science, that means that the planet-roaster companies control the research.
The agencies scientists are gagged from commenting publicly on public issues relating to their expertise.
He says that the main opposition party (Labor) is not much better than the governing coalition.
*Workers Mark May Day With Pro-Labor Protests Worldwide.*
*Bushland marked as environmental offset for new Sydney airport bulldozed for car park.*
When companies cite land as an "offset" for carbon emissions, the state makes no effort to check whether it really survives, These offsets are essentially bogus, mere excuses for present-day environmental destruction or excess greenhouse gas emissions.
An anti-abortion group in Wisconsin was attacked with a molotov cocktail, and an unknown group calling itself "Jane's revenge" and claiming to defend abortion rights said it was responsible.
We can expect that the cancellation or Roe v Wade will lead to plenty of right-wing cruelty to take revenge for, but it's not happening yet, so the idea of revenge now doesn't make sense.
In addition, it is the antiabortion movement that has repeatedly engaged in violence (including murder of doctors). The abortion rights movement has acted nonviolently.
Those two reasons, plus the fact that the supposed group is unknown, lead me to speculate that maybe this was a false-flag attack.
*Trump inquired if China could make hurricanes to harm US, ex-officials say.*
In fact, China has been doing exactly that — by building more coal-fired power plants. However, it is wrong to focus the blame primarily on China. Historically, the US has done much more to exacerbate hurricanes than China has.
Another Salvadorean woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for supposedly "killing" a fetus.
The article does not make it clear whether she had an abortion or an accidental miscarriage. Maybe there is a dispute about which one it was, The verdict is unjust either way; only the precise nature of the injustice depends on which one it was.
Nazis today are a real threat to democracy, but there are lots of twisted messages and symbols they can spread their ideology with, with never a swastika.
What makes them powerful and dangerous is the system that facilitates any sort of disinformation and scatterbrained hatred. To attack their symbols with censorship is a misguided counterblow. It hits the wrong target, freedom of speech.
If we abandon the overriding principle of freedom of speech, we will have no strong defense to stop right-wing Nazi-lovers (such as the billehitter) from banning our own symbols and expressions of our ideas.
*Lifting zero-Covid policies in China could risk 1.6m deaths, says study.*
I admire the spirit of the zero-Covid strategy — ready to go to the mat to prevent a massive outbreak. If it succeeds, it will greatly reduce the harm caused by the disease in China. They ought to be somewhat less rigid about many details — that is Communist authoritarianism at work.
However, if it can't possibly succeed, it is better to make a careful plan for changing the strategy, than to keep trying it and failing and stay in lockdown ad infinitum.
The US seems to be ending its public concessions to China's demands about Taiwan, which the US adopted in 1972 as part of its historic reconciliation with China. For instance, going out of its way to state that it does not support independence for Taiwan.
In the 1970s it made sense for the US to make these concessions. China was not then a threat to the US, or even to Taiwan; on the contrary, it offered the US some support on international disputes. The concessions did no harm and brought good consequences.
All that has changed. China is indeed a threat to Taiwan, and is allied with Russia. The US actually supports Taiwan's resistance to China's plans for conquest. For the US to tie itself in knots by explicitly limiting its support for Taiwan is a commitment to dishonesty.
It may still be wise for the US not to support Taiwan's independence, but it can refrain from supporting that by saying nothing about the point.
*What Latin American feminists can teach American women about the abortion fight.*
What is more outrageous and disgusting — protesting outside houses of Injustices of the Supreme Court, or forcing women to have babies.
The patient who received a transplanted GM pig heart seems to have died from a pig virus, which wasn't supposed to be present.
When Exxon determined that recycling plastics was unlikely ever to be practical, it launched a high-powered PR and lobbying campaign to label plastic products as "recyclable" so people would believe that recycling them was really an option.
Now, the biggest US bottled-water company is fighting a lawsuit over falsely telling the public that its bottles are recyclable. Its defense is to claim that people should have known all along that that was bullshit.
In 2019, Bogus Johnson made two conflicting commitments about future trade rules, one to Northern Ireland and one to the EU. At the time, people pointed out this could not work and would lead to big trouble. Johnson just brushed it off at the time, but the trouble is getting bigger.
*It's True Crisis Time for Trans People in America.* Trans people, and then anyone homosexual, are the scapegoats of choice of religious extremists, as they push for laws that ought to be obvious violations of the First Amendment.
(satire) *Louisiana Police Officer Plants Aborted Fetus On Black Suspect.*
The Tories have been pushing to privatize UK public schools, calling the privatized schools "academies", and claiming that this will make them function better. However, a study found that the still-public schools are, statistically, generally doing a better job.
Clearview AI settled a suit by agreeing to end the service of recognizing a face against its enormous data base, for "most" private entities.
The article describes a few exceptions. One is the use of its recognition algorithm against some other data base. I have a hunch some other company will build up a database and keep it state by state so that it can be used to recognize everyone that is not from Illinois.
Also, government use is still permitted, and getting more dangerous. This will endanger people that travel to get abortions.
We still need a law restricting operation of systems that can do systematic face capture and/or recognition in everywhere the public is admitted.
It has been visible since 2016 that you can't work with the corrupter without becoming corrupt yourself. His lies are so frequent and blatant that they attack the very idea of truth, so by accepting him you show that you do not value truth.
*Watchdog Finds Medicare Advantage Plans Deny Necessary Care.*
This is in addition to gouging patients on the more expensive drugs
and raising prices just after you bind yourself for 6 months.
US citizens: call on the DOJ to arrest and prosecute Trump's Jan 6 attack organizers who refuse to testify.
US citizens: call on Congress to make the Supreme Court follow the Federal Judge Code of Conduct.
Two US phone-tracking companies showed they could track military and intelligence personnel of several nations, including Russia and the US.
They could track Americans to abortion clinics for states with repressive laws, too, if there is no law to stop them.
Protesters demanding the right to visit forests in England held a picnic as a protest.
*Mariupol survivors rescued from last civilian bunker describe horrors of siege.*
I continue to wonder about the situation with the other reported 150,000 civilians that were reported to be stuck in Mariupol. Ukraine accused Putin of taking some tens of thousands to Russia, some willingly and some who were effectively kidnapped (and some got out). That doesn't account for them all. Are the rest all dead? Is anyone still besieged in other parts of the city?
*Zelenskiy calls for end to blockade of Odesa port to prevent global food crisis.*
Pregnant Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland encounter Poland's repressive abortion laws.
Western Ukraine is basically safe. Much safer than having a baby, I'd expect. Can Ukrainians go back there for an abortion, or for abortion medicine?
Can Polish women go there for that?
*South Korea's new president offers North economic plan in return for denuclearisation.*
It's worth trying, but it's a long shot.
*Just one of 50 aviation industry climate targets met, study finds.*
Basically, businesses won't conserve even to save their owners' children's lives.
*Paul Rusesabagina's family are suing the Rwandan government in the US, accusing it of a plot to abduct, torture and jail him.*
*The Climate and the Republic, Melting Down in Real Time.*
US citizens: call on the Jan 6 committee to make Rep. McCarthy testify about what he knew.
In the US: protest for abortion rights on May 14.
I can't give you a pointer to the information about where and at what hour the protests will be held. The information is published in an antifreedom web site — it requires visitors to run nonfree software — so referring people to that site would be encouraging the public to run nonfree software.
I would expect that every state has an organization that campaigns for abortion rights. I suggest finding one in your state, preferably in your city, and phoning to ask for where and when the rally will occur.
The rallies will probably be outside, but don't stand too close to other people. Covid-19 continues to increase in the US, and we have no statistics on the probability of getting a lasting disability from the current variants.
US citizens: call on Biden to sign the cluster bomb ban treaty.
US citizens: call on Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski to undo this right-wing Court's Roe decision.
Models suggest that a Covid-19 surge this fall and winter could infect 100 million people in the US.
British forces are accused of torturing and murdering captured guerrilla fighters in Cyprus in the 1950s.
Rare bonefish have become rarer in the sea around Florida. A study found that most bonefish found have levels of pharmaceuticals high enough that they are likely to harm the fish.
*Ukraine accuses [Putin] forces of seizing 2,000 artworks in Mariupol.*
This claim may be useful in prosecution, because the Putin forces can't claim to have taken the artworks by mistake while trying to take something else.
If Democrats don't refute the plutocratist narrative of inflation (blaming it on insufficient poverty), they will lose a lot of votes.
The US continues to subsidize Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine development without attaching the crucial condition: that it not do anything to block generic vaccine production.
*Hawaii Legislature Calls For Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.*
Members of violent right-wing extremist groups such as the "Oath Keepers" are involved in training thugs in various parts of the US.
You shouldn't use an US online dis-service to save information about when you have a period. Under demand from a right-wing government, the people who own the dis-service would not dare to protect you.
Maybe it is safe to use an online service in another country that respects abortion rights strongly and would refuse to answer questions from prying US governments.
Israel decided to build 4,000 more housing units for colonists in Palestine's territory.
*The west can cut its energy dependency on Russia and be greener.* Just avoid taking suggestions from fossil fuel interests.
More than 2m adults in the UK went a day without food recently because of lack of money.
That is 3% of the whole population, and it doesn't include minors that can't afford to eat every day.
The defenders of many kinds of human rights are pleading with the Tories not to abolish them in British law.
*We must fight powerful bullies, whether they are Putin, Trump, or tech billionaires.*
*For Vladimir Putin, the sinister cult of victory is all that is left.*
How the Anti-Defamation League has helped attack and snoop on a slew of progressive movements and campaigns, supported repression by thug departments, and even supported real antisemites — all of that for decades.
The site 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 pages which promote it. But I make exceptions for important information about injustices or the fight to eliminate them. That site is one of the exceptions.
North American wildfires could emit 3% of the global carbon budget, and could trigger additional emissions.
A 31-year-old Canadian has applied for government help in suicide because living with multiple disabilities and chemical sensitivities, with inadequate welfare benefits, is unbearable.
I respect her decision to choose death rather than a horrible life. The state should not force her to stay alive in suffering and fear.
However, it is unconscionable that the state won't provide a place she can live safely.
The war on the poor takes many forms. This is an unusual extreme — but the victims of the less extreme forms number millions.
Poverty has exploded in Brazil — and so has homelessness. Lula rebuked the governor for not caring.
Bogus Johnson plans to make it a crime to lock yourself to anyone or anything. Even carrying the equipment to do that would be a crime.
The punishment would include imprisonment, plus confiscation of all your property.
What these protesters are trying to do is prevent global heating from killing first tens of millions of people, then hundreds of millions, and eventually billions. Eventually the companies that the Tories serve will cease to exist, but by then it will be too late to avoid disaster.
*The US Border Patrol Is Systemically Failing to Count Migrant Deaths.*
The government of Sri Lanka has fallen because of crushing debt. This could happen to other countries soon.
The underlying problem here is a system which gives countries no way to escape unpayable debts. The creditors get help from the governments they control, such as the US government, and drive the people of a fallen country into penury where they exist only as slaves paying tribute to international creditors.
Humanity is close to reaching 1.5C warming, which climate defense efforts have aimed to avoid.
The stories of five women killed by laws restricting abortion.
The CIA's torture psychologists describe just a little of the torture that broke Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri to the point where he would crawl into a box in anticipation of a command.
A judge rejected the suit to stop insurrectionist Rep. Greene from running again for Congress.
It seems that only blatant admission of insurrectionist intent could suffice to bar a candidate.
*Filipino inquiry finds big polluters "morally and legally liable" for climate damage.*
This inquiry is part of a lawsuit about damage caused by a storm (basically a hurricane but in the Pacific Ocean).
Syrian families have identified their relatives in the films of murders committed by Assad's torture forces in 2013.
Belarus forced down the airliner carrying dissident activists Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega, and took them off the plane. Now Sapega has been sentenced to six years in prison.
It appears Russia pressured Roman Protasevich into a public confession of being a dissident.
Lula has launched his campaign to become president of Brazil again and oust Bolsonaro.
Giandomenico Iannetti, professor of neuroscience, says antiabortionists have twisted his work to make a bogus "proof" that fetuses can feel pain before 24 weeks.
The question is a red herring, because abortions after 3 months in the US already require a strong justification, and some pain would not be enough to overcome a strong justification.
Millions of acres of US farmland could be contaminated with PFAS as a result of using sewage sludge as fertilizer.
There is no known way to decontaminate the soil of those farms. However, we don't know what the level of contamination is. There may be some safe way to grow something there. Or there may not.
Many major US companies are providing abortion travel benefits to their employees. Republicans are looking for ways to persecute them.
California can turn some of these measures around to punish companies which don't provide such benefits.
Ultimately, companies can move operations out of the states controlled by religious fanatics.
My view is that the death penalty is wrong regardless of the details.
Pfizer is accused of price gouging on its Covid-19 treatment, Paxlovid.
I criticize this articles for using misleading terms, such as "global south" which is a progressive PR campaign whose spirit is laudable but whose specifics are misleading.
"Intellectual property" is a PR campaign for giving various businesses various special privileges. Lumping those privileges together is an obstacle to thinking clearly about the specific harms of each one, and judging against them any supposed benefits are each one. I have taught myself never to use that term in my thinking, my speaking, and my writing.
Alito's draft opinion clearly states that the right to same-sex marriage and even homosexual sex are the next targets.
*Biden warns LGBTQ+ children could be next target of Republican ‘Maga crowd’.*
"MAGA" means "Make America Groan Again."
The NLRB accuses Starbucks of 200 violations of US labor law.
Sad to say, US labor law doesn't include imprisonment or even fines of the executives responsible for these illegalities. Why doesn't it? I suspect the reason is the prevalence of plutocratists in Congress, which in turn reflects the political power of the businesses that try to break unions.
Mike Esper, secretary of defense under the wrecker, reports that the wrecker wanted to fire missiles at Mexican drug labs.
Aside from the outrageousness of this act of war, I don't think the US could have located them accurately enough to succeed in destroying them that way. And I suspect each missile would cost a thousand times the cost of a drug lab.
The department subsequently tried to block Esper from mentioning this in his book, but backed down. Esper suggests that it was acting politically, trying to protect the wrecker rather than the US.
The wrecker did so many provocative things to Mexico that the idea of trying to protect the US's relations with Mexico by concealing this proposal seems silly to me.
In the surveillance society, data brokers will make it easy for repressive state governments to find who has gone to an abortion clinic in another state.
Payment applications will also be used to try to find people to prosecute.
When you go to an appointment related in any way to an abortion, don't take any digital devices with you, unless it's a laptop running GNU/Linux that won't connect to the internet except when you tell it to.
And don't use a digital device to pay with. Pay in cash, for the abortion or pills, and all activities related to traveling to get there. That way, you don't need to give your real name and address.
This is one especially vicious aspect of the general injustice of widespread surveillance and tracking. It leads to many sorts of repression, so we need to reject it.