Joe Biden and Social Security
16 January 2020

*Joe Biden Has Advocated Cutting Social Security for 40 Years.*

Iran's influence
16 January 2020

Iran's terrible mistake, on top of the death of Soleimani, has weakened Iran's influence without immediately sparking violence.

Language refuge
16 January 2020

New York City is a good place to document languages that are on the verge of extinction.

Urgent: Home for all
16 January 2020

US citizens: call on Congress to guarantee a home for every American.

If you call, please spread the word!

Giving up on recycling
16 January 2020

US recycling capacity for paper and plastic is so insufficient that many cities are considering ending their recycling programs.

A real solution for this requires limiting the commercial distribution of plastic to make it easy to recycle.

Urgent: Global Women's March for Human Rights for Human Rights
16 January 2020

On Jan 18, participate in the global Women's March for Human Rights.

It is not easy to see the list of events in the organizing site without running nonfree Javascript. I found a way: first, click the EVENTS button, then move the mouse onto the list of events and a scroll bar appears with which I believe you can see the whole list.

If you click on the word MARCH or ACTION in an event, you may get a page with some additional information. But in some cases, not enough. The crucial information to participate is where and when. Some of the events do not say precisely where, at least not in that page.

Perhaps you can see it if you run some nonfree Javascript code, but doing that is bad for your freedom.

If you can get in contact any event organizers and suggest adding the missing information directly in the event's own page, that would help some people find the event and participate.

If you go, please spread the word!

Children of the financial crash
16 January 2020

*This wave of global protest is being led by the children of the financial crash.*

Too dangerous to live in
16 January 2020

*Has the climate crisis made California too dangerous to live in?*

Has it made the main populated parts of Australia too dangerous to live in?

Will we stop greenhouse emissions before they make much of the Earth too dangerous to live in?

Investors against emissions
16 January 2020

BlackRock has joined other big investment funds to demand companies reduce emissions.

Winning election by stopping voters
16 January 2020

Kentucky Republicans hope to defeat the state's new Democratic governor by means of a stricter voter-ID law.

Urgent: keep protecting polar bears
16 January 2020

US citizens: call on the BLM not to strip polar bear habitat protections.

Iraq airspace
16 January 2020

The US militarily dominates Iraq, and its oil, from two large air bases. Iraq does not have a real airforce so it must obey.

This is challenged by the Shi'ite militias that Iran supports, and were the work of General Soleimani.

Sports fans against face recognition
16 January 2020

Sports fans in the UK protested against face recognition at a match, and covered their faces.

Scientists sense of loss
16 January 2020

*Scientists reveal how they are dealing with a profound sense of loss as the climate emergency worsens.*

We all need advice on this. Global heating disaster will be worse, in many places, than military conquest and occupation has usually been.

Malwares in malwares
16 January 2020

Android phones subsidized by the US government come with preinstalled adware and a back door for forcing installation of apps.

The adware is in a modified version of an essential system configuration app.

The back door is a surreptitious addition to a program whose stated purpose is to be a universal back door for firmware.

In other words, a program whose raison d'être is malicious has a secret secondary malicious purpose.

All this is in addition to the malware of Android itself.

Thug university
15 January 2020

Recordings show that the deportation thugs falsely accused visiting foreign students of seeking to enroll in their fraudulent university so as to cheat immigration requirements.

The students wanted to enroll in a real university, take real classes, and fulfill the requirements. Only the deportation thugs wanted them to cheat.

Spy Ring
15 January 2020

Amazon gets access to video from Ring devices.

This was highlighted by the fact that some Ring employees who were authorized to look at the videos used that access for personal motives and were fired. There will always be employees who do this, and with Ring the uniformed thugs often can do it too, which is far more dangerous.

Faking Facebook ads metrics
15 January 2020

Facebook gives video-publishing media sites exaggerated view counts to attract them to move from Youtube. Some of them borrow money to invest to profit from this increased popularity, and they go bankrupt.

Another drawback is that if you refuse to be a zucker, the site becomes inaccessible to you when it is on Facebook.

Attacking protesters
15 January 2020

Tulsi Gabbard's campaign staff attacked protesters who criticized the powerful right-wight Hindu extremist group, RSS.

Imaginary murder attempt
15 January 2020

A New York City thug has been convicted of perjury for trying to frame someone for an imaginary attempted murder.

The sentence, four years probation, seems too light to me. Will it succeed in deterring similar crimes in the future?

Power denied
15 January 2020

30,000 in Sydney demanded to get rid of the denialist prime minister who will defend fossil fuels at the expense of humanity.

Support for wealth tax
15 January 2020

Almost 2/3 of Americans support Senator Warren's wealth tax proposal.

Resisting criticism with murder
15 January 2020

There is a report that the bully had General Soleimani assassinated to help Republican senators stand up to criticism of protecting him blindly from impeachment.

Censorship from everywhere
15 January 2020

Freedom of humor is under attack from both political sides.

We all lose from censorship. You don't have to like every joke, and neither do I, but we must fight against censorship.

Judges protest
15 January 2020

International judges participated in a march in Warsaw for judicial independence, which the authoritarian government plans to eliminate.

Urgent: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
15 January 2020

US citizens: call on your congresscritter to cosponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

If you call, please spread the word!

Anti-public land sycophants
15 January 2020

*The [saboteur's] administration has filled the parks department with anti-public land sycophants.*

Helping avoiding war
15 January 2020

Lula and his foreign minister helped the US and Iran negotiate the nonnuclear deal. Their motive was to avoid a war.

Calling on Davos
15 January 2020

Greta Thunberg and associates call on the elite meeting in Davos to end the investment in destroying their future.

Pressures to cut public spending
15 January 2020

*Ballooning debt [and international pressure] forces poor countries to cut public spending.*

Democracy is not worse
14 January 2020

*Citizens' panels ready to help Macron set French climate policies.*

I don't know whether this is a good idea, but I suppose it can't make things worse.

Separating families
14 January 2020

*UK "deliberately" separating families in flagrant breach of international law, report finds.*

Can't deny it anymore
14 January 2020

Millions of people can no longer deny the global heating danger we all face. This will lead to anger — but if the anger fades with time, how do we go on?

Post-Truth planes
14 January 2020

Boeing employees' told each other in emails that the design of the plane was grossly disregarding safety.

"This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys." "I’ll be shocked if the FAA passes this turd." One message referred to "the very very few of us on the program who are interested only in truth."

Partisan Attorney General
14 January 2020

The New York City Bar Association called on Congress to investigate the US Attorney General for partisan use of his official powers.

Shooting planes by mistake
14 January 2020

*Iran admits shooting down Ukrainian airliner 'unintentionally' — state TV*

This mistake was very sad, but the only moral lesson to be drawn is that it would be good for the US and Iran to reduce tensions.

Benefits for Globalization
14 January 2020

Globalization has decoupled US companies from Americans. The success of the former means little for the latter. The "success" of the bullshitter's deal with Russia is entirely for the former.

Benefits for poison
14 January 2020

The Environmental Poisoning Agency (formerly Environmental Protection Agency) approved over 100 products using toxic pesticides it previously committed to eventually prohibit.

Saving life by raising wages
14 January 2020

Increasing the US minimum wage saves a few thousands of lives per year per dollar of increase, simply by reducing suicides.

People should have the right to kill themselves, and to get help. But a good society will avoid driving people to the despair that leads to suicide.

I am confident that the minimum wage increase saves even more lives by enabling people to afford food and medicine.

Impeach on all counts
14 January 2020

Ralph Nader: Democrats Need to Rip Off the Mask of Timidity and Impeach Trump on All Counts.

No War Against Iran Act
14 January 2020

*Sanders, Khanna Lead Dozens of Lawmakers in Introducing No War Against Iran Act.*

Urgent: trial for the bullshitter
14 January 2020

US citizens: phone your senators and insist on a real, proper trial for the bullshitter — not a rigged excuse to let him off.

Also sign this petition.

Proposing to not do enough
14 January 2020

Plutocratist Democrats proposed a climate protection plan which would be insufficient to avoid disaster.

It seems that their aim is to placate supporters who really want to protect the climate. Beta-testing inhumanity The border thugs started a "pilot program" to separate minors of all ages from their parents, a year before they made that the standard, blanket practice.

The blanket practice was cancelled, but they didn't really stop. Rather, they came up with various excuses to separate some minors from their parents, and still do this quite often.

Welcoming Hawks back
14 January 2020

*Corporate Media Welcome Back Iraq War Hawks To Make Case for Iran.*

Cost of online shopping
13 January 2020

Online shopping has cost thousands of jobs in the UK this year. It also costs heavily in tax revenue, and attacks privacy (which depends on anonymity). It would make sense to penalize online shopping.

Flora in Himalaya
13 January 2020

The flora is changing on high Himalayan mountains, perhaps due to global heating.

This could lead to flooding in India and neighboring countries.

Gun extremists
13 January 2020

Now that Democrats in favor of gun control govern Virinia, right-wing extremists there are threatening violent disobedience. Some sheriffs and some local governments have announced in advance they will defy whatever new gun control laws are passed, and threatening to start a civil war.

Comparing this violent mob to a "powder keg" is fundamentally wrong. It exempts them from responsibility from the violence they are planning to cause. (Powder kegs do not pack themselves with gunpowder.) The consequence is to presume, for the Democrats, a moral onus not to irritate the mob — in effect, to obey its orders.

A better analogy for this mob is a gang of terrorists with powerful suicide belts. I think we had better take their guns away.

Right-wing extremists used this approach in Oregon and intimidated the state government. Virginia must find the way to overcome the scheme. It must not let a violent faction impose its will by force.

Keeping a whole region incommunicado
13 January 2020

India's Supreme Court ruled that keeping Kashmir incommunicado indefinitely is unacceptable.

Will Modi take this as an opportunity to display his power through contempt for the court?

Social PTSD
13 January 2020

A study found that 1/3 of adults in Hong Kong are suffering from PTSD. Following the news on social media seems to increase the risk.

The study did not cover minors.

Smoke and birth
13 January 2020

The smoke from far-away wildfires subjects everyone to toxic pollution. It fills hospitals and makes some medical equipment unusable. It injures babies as they take their first breaths. Author Gemma Carey wonders whether the pollution caused her to miscarry.

She now doubts whether it is right and proper to get pregnant again.

If the fires next summer in Australia are not as big as this summer, don't let that fool you. As long as temperatures keep increasing, worse fires are inevitable. But ever-increasing temperatures may not be inevitable yet.

Global heating and Gulf Stream
13 January 2020

Global heating could cause temporary shutdowns of the Gulf Stream. This would make winter in Britain cold and snowy like winter in Scandinavia.

Bored
13 January 2020

The US Congress hardly bothers to scrutinize the warlike acts ordered by the bully.

Get ready for president Sanders
13 January 2020

A billionaire has warned other rich Americans to get ready for President Sanders.

Bolton's testimony
13 January 2020

It is unwise to assume that Bolton's testimony to the Senate will hurt the conman.

Sunrise Movement endorses Sanders
13 January 2020

The Sunrise Movement, youths campaigning for a Green New Deal, has endorsed Sanders for president.

College
13 January 2020

Overall, it is wise for society to encourage people to attend college.

The article argues that it is beneficial in the US to go to college. That may be true for most people, but there is a substantial risk of a bad outcome.

The article reports that college graduates earn a lot more, on the average. On the average, they can pay back their loans. But I suspect that a considerable fraction of graduates make much less than the average and can't pay back their loans. Especially those whose college degrees did not aim narrowly at a particular profession. And then there are all the people that didn't graduate from college, don't get the higher incomes, but do get the enormous debts.

And this doesn't take account of the graduates that do get higher incomes because they are doing evil things such as working on nonfree software products or on internet dis-services. They may avoid being trapped in debt, but their lives have been harmed anyway.

San Francisco houses
13 January 2020

*San Francisco has nearly five empty homes per homeless resident.*

This bespeaks the need for changes in the law that will get those housing units put into use. As a last resort, the city should be empowered to lodge people in those units without asking the owner's permission. However, other milder measures should suffice to achieve the job.

Reason for killing Soleimani
13 January 2020

The bullshitter's surely killed General Soleimani to manipulate the public. His critics' responses should be more emotionally powerful.

The bullshitter's effort has not worked with most Americans. Most Americans believe that the assassination of Soleimani made America less safe. Almost 2/3 believe it made war more likely. Likewise, a majority say that the bully's actions towards Iran were reckless.

However, the minority that supports the bully are surely jumping up and down and longing to see more blood flow.

Rumor has it that Iran is developing a tiny drone equipped with a cigarette lighter, which they will use to target the bullshitter's pants while he is not wearing them.

Lifetime appointments
13 January 2020

*"As long as the cloud of impeachment exists, it would be a grave mistake for the Senate to allow the president to continue making lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary."*

Imprisonment for nonviolent criticism
12 January 2020

Military occupation of conquered territory is not supposed to result in long-term repression of nonviolent dissent. A report from Human Rights Watch explains that Israel systematically imprisons Palestinians for nonviolent criticism of the occupation, and for journalism, on strained excuses.

Israeli thugs destroyed the homes and sheep-pens of Palestinian shepherds. People gave them tents, so thugs came back and took away their tents.

This is part of a slow-moving campaign of ethnic cleansing, described by Uri Avnery as aiming to make the West Bank "araberrein".

Chomsky on world's most powerful rogue state
12 January 2020

An interview with Chomsky on the world's most powerful rogue state and how the egoist has used its power to mess everything up.

I was surprised that he suggests that the downing of an airliner by the USS Vincennes was intentional. I find that theory implausible. Would Reagan have ordered a crime that would arouse hostility to the US, and gain nothing? I don't think so. It requires being worse than merely unscrupulous.

Corporate influence over Bloomberg
12 January 2020

*Mike Bloomberg Says He’s Immune to Corporate Influence. His Campaign Is Managed by Lobbyists.*

Traditional conservatives vs plutocratists
12 January 2020

Traditionally, conservatives advocate prudence to prevent a problem rather than waiting and fixing it. Plutocratists, even if they call themselves "conservative", are nothing like that.

They rediscover their conservative views each time they need an excuse keep poor people down.

Christian evaluation of the conman
12 January 2020

A Christian evaluation of the conman.

War profiteering
12 January 2020

Congress should limit profiteering on war. Capping CEO pay could be part of that, though I think more is needed.

Concentration of polluting industries in Detroit
12 January 2020

70% of people in one zone Detroit are black, and polluting industries have concentrated there. Life expectancy there is 10 or 15 years less than in the suburbs.

The residents of "Cancer Alley" in Louisiana have finally got some attention from their congresscritter, a thoroughly plutocratist "new Democrat".

Empty storefronts in San Francisco
12 January 2020

A new form of gentrification is filling San Francisco with empty storefronts. Perhaps empty condos. too. Landlords would rather have no tenant than a rent lower than their wildest dreams.

This calls for a heavy tax on housing units that are not anyone's primary residence. This may be blocked in California by the tax-limiting initiative adopted in the 1980s.

General strike in India
12 January 2020

India's unions held a 24-hour general strike in protest against Modi's policies that prioritize the rich over workers.

Unfairness to defendants
12 January 2020

Carlos Ghosn said he escaped from Japan because he was likely to remain in jail for years unless he confessed.

It's true that Japan does this to accused people. That doesn't imply he isn't guilty, but he might not get a fair trial.

Many non-rich defendants in the US face a similar unfairness due to the bail system and they are often effectively compelled to plead guilty.

Urgent: Fair impeachment trial
12 January 2020

US citizens: call on the Senate to hold a fair impeachment trial.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Failure of British prosecutors
12 January 2020

British prosecutors blame budget cuts for failing, in half of all trials, to hand over the evidence that defendants are entitled to.

"Briefing" about Soleimani
12 January 2020

The bully's officials presented a "briefing" about the "imminent threat" that supposedly required and justified assassinated General Soleimani, but when senators started asking probing questions, the officials walked out.

Urgent: Thunder Basin prairie dogs
12 January 2020

US citizens: call on Forest Supervisor Russell Bacon: Don't strip away protections for Thunder Basin's prairie dogs.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Cancel Netflix border thug propaganda
12 January 2020

Everyone: call on Netflix to cancel its program that is propaganda for the border thugs.

But do keep in mind that Netflix systematically shreds its customers' freedom. For your freedom's sake, join me in refusing to be a customer of Netflix.

Sharing is good. The only ethical way to watch a movie is a way that enables you to share copies.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump accused of lying to sell condos
12 January 2020

A book accuses Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump of intentionally lying to sell condos.

This could be fraud, which would be a New York State crime. The conman could not protect them from prosecution there.

The will to war in Washington and Tehran
12 January 2020

The will to war is so strong in Washington and Tehran that we cannot rely on them to keep stopping short.

*The thing about maximum pressure is that it normally causes things to explode.*

We can't expect the reckless US president to look for a way to de-escalate the conflict with Iran. But Congress can.

It would also be nice if Congress were to legislate that the US cannot refuse or delay visas to attend UN sessions, for foreign officials entitled to attend under the UN treaty.

Superfluous bureaucracy of US medical system
12 January 2020

The superfluous bureaucracy of the US medical system costs $2000 per year per person.

Medicare for All would eliminate this. It would also save costs in other ways. As much as $8000 per year per person.

"Golden age" of inequality and poverty
12 January 2020

Economist Thorsten Veblen, from 1890 to 1920, analyzed how the plutocrats dominated US politics in the first "golden age" of inequality and poverty. What he wrote illuminates this, the second such "golden age".

I just wish the author had not called this the "age of Trump". The conman wasn't the leader in creating today's inequality and poverty. What he did do was escalate the attack on the idea of seeking to know and state the truth. But he doesn't deserve to have us affix his name to the whole practice or to the age as a whole.

No evidence that Iran was chiefly responsible for arming Iraqis
12 January 2020

The US government has been claiming for 12 years that Iran was chiefly responsible for arming Iraqis to fight the US army, with no evidence for it.

Iran has backed the Shi'ite militias in Iraq, but they were not the Iraqis that fought the US army. On the contrary, those who did so were Sunnis. They regarded Iran and its Shi'ite militias as the enemy.

Invading a country to remove a dictator
12 January 2020

Biden, in 1998, already advocated attacking Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. He continued to advocate that in 2003 when he voted to support Dubya's invasion.

What I said in 2003: invading a country to remove a dictator is justified if (1) we are sure the people of that country want this sort of help, and (2) we can be confident the new government will be better than the existing one. I also said that I didn't believe either condition was true in Iraq.