Volunteer

I am looking for people to help install new political notes on the site. If you'd like to help me in this way, please write to rms at gnu period org.

French pun
22 May 2017

New french pun: Mines de charbon.

Urgent: Ban ivory trade
22 May 2017

Everyone: Call on Taiwan to ban ivory trade.

Urgent: Block Sinclair TV chain merger
22 May 2017

US citizens: call on the FCC to block the Sinclair TV chain merger.

Urgent: Condemn troll's attack
22 May 2017

US citizens: call on Congress to condemn the troll's latest attack against Assad's forces as illegal and impeachable.

Urgent: Special committee
22 May 2017

US citizens: call on your congresscritter to support a special committee to investigate the troll's ties with Russia.

Texas Latinos protest
21 May 2017

Texas Latinos have launched 100 days of protests and organizing in response to the Texas law that forbids cities to offer sanctuary to unauthorized immigrants.

The US practice of arresting them and deporting them when they get medical treatment, when they meet with government officials, and even when they appear in court, threatens public health and public safety.

Urgent: Move funds out of big banks
21 May 2017

Everyone: move funds out of the big banks that fund polluting pipelines and tell the banks that you're doing so.

Centuries of US racism
21 May 2017

The troll is the result of centuries of US racism.

The article presents Mumia Abu-Jamal's story of how he and friends were beaten up by contemptuous thugs after they protested peacefully at a campaign rally for white-supremacist candidate George Wallace.

US high school history
21 May 2017

US high school history teachers: devote the rest of the term to the question of how to remove a president that is incompetent, repeatedly breaks the law, and disregards the constitution.

Investigation of troll/Russia
21 May 2017

The Senate has not provided any resources for a real investigation of troll/Russia by the senate committees that are supposedly doing it.

Drug money laundering and deforestation
21 May 2017

Laundering drug money is responsible for large amounts of deforestation of protected land in Central America.

Troll endangers intelligence sources
21 May 2017

The troll shared secret information with Russian officials in a way that endangered intelligence sources.

More information.

Sharing secrets with Russia (or other countries) is not necessarily a bad thing. In some cases it is useful for diplomacy. However, endangering sources is a harmful practice; states do this at their peril.

One of the few criticisms of Wikileaks that I agree with is that sometimes it endangers intelligence sources (and other people) by failing to redact information.

Dubya was criticized for revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. He did this merely to score political points.

Loss of fossils
21 May 2017

When a fossil appears at the surface of the ground, we have a limited time to collect it before it erodes away or is crushed. We could remain forever ignorant of past species unless we have people collecting fossils as they appear.

Tory changes in voter registration
21 May 2017

Tory changes in voter registration have greatly reduced the number of newly eligible voters that are registered.

White supremacists embolden troll
21 May 2017

The troll has emboldened white supremacists in the US; they are becoming a real danger, just as the KKK was.

Violation of copyrights by copyright industry
21 May 2017

The copyright industry repeatedly violates copyrights in its campaigns to make copyright law more repressive.

Massive surveillance a UK campaign issue
21 May 2017

The Liberal Democrats in the UK have made massive surveillance a campaign issue.

I wish Labour would do that too.

Sadistic or cruel US deportation agents
21 May 2017

US deportation agents didn't obey Obama's orders to focus on the unauthorized immigrants that had committed serious crimes. In California, nearly half of those deported in the 9 months after that order had no criminal record.

Agents particularly picked on immigrants whose children were US citizens, which suggests that the agents were motivated by sadism or cruelty.

Callous undercover thug infiltrator
21 May 2017

A British antiwar activist describes her two-year relationship with an undercover thug infiltrator who was lying all the way.

If he didn't love her, he was callously lying when he told her he did. If he did love her, he callously tossed her aside.

Family values
21 May 2017

True support for family values means giving children everything they need to grow up strong and capable. And that should mean all children.

Lead exposure and crime
21 May 2017

Research from Sweden shows that reducing levels of children's lead exposure reduces subsequent crime, even when the level starts out rather low.

Diesel engine exhaust
21 May 2017

Diesel engine exhaust kills around 38000 people each year world-wide, a study estimates.

Right-wing extremism
21 May 2017

Each time right-wing politicians hurt millions of Americans, a fraction of the victims are so deluded about who to blame that they turn to right-wing extremism.

This started with the "farm crisis" caused by President Reagan and the Republicans.

Great inequality
21 May 2017

Great inequality makes life unhappy for everyone. Even for the rich — because each rich person thinks, "I don't have as much as I really deserve."

It is true that some people have more talents than others. Few people have as much of a talent for programming as I had in my prime. Does that mean I deserved to get rich? That it would have been unjust not to give me a chance to get rich that way? Would that have justified my using my talent to subjugate people, so that I could get rich?

I don't think so.

Tories take from the non rich
21 May 2017

The Tories offer to give back to the non rich a little of what they have taken, and say that is support for workers' rights.

Widespread prosperity and lesser inequality
21 May 2017

Right-wingers want people to think that the widespread prosperity and lesser inequality of the 1970s is a "fantasy", impossible in the real world.

Since we did it once, we can do it again — if we stop the plutocrats from getting in the way.

Troll's distractions
21 May 2017

The mainstream media's intense focus on troll/Russia and the firing of Comey has pushed all the political nastiness of Republican policies into the shadows. Could the troll have intended this?

Making announcements as distraction is his standard modus operandi. I don't think that was his motive for firing Comey; I think he considered the investigation a real danger and wanted to stop it. But it could be that his shocking way of firing Comey was a distraction operation.

Urgent: Protect national monuments
20 May 2017

US citizens: Protect Bears Ears and other national monuments.

Urgent: Protecting Sensitive Locations Act
20 May 2017

US citizens: support the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act, which would prohibit deportation raids on schools, hospitals, courthouses, and churches.

Urgent: Oppose causing famine in Yemen
20 May 2017

Everyone: call on UK Prime Minister May to stop helping cause famine in Yemen.

The values of most Americans
20 May 2017

The troll is the epitome of the values of most Americans. We should not be surprised he got almost enough votes to win the election.

The article assumes that people deserve the consequences of their foolish ways of thinking and acting. I disagree. Even when people are so foolish that they bring disaster on their country, they still don't deserve the disaster.

People get the government their behavior deserves.
People deserve better than that.

Comey
20 May 2017

Comey wanted to prosecute Assange and Wikileaks based on a newly invented criterion about his perceptions of a journalist's motives.

I disagree with the author on one point. I maintain that a US government employee's duty of loyalty to the US and its constitution must take precedence over any specific undertaking that the employee has made. That duty can morally require leaking information about injustices of the state. Drake, Manning and Snowden are the true patriots.

New president of South Korea
20 May 2017

New South Korea Leader Moon Jae-in Willing to Talk to Kim in North.

The new president is a former political prisoner and wants to bring peace to Korea.

Texas "child care facilities" prison
20 May 2017

Texas will try to negate a court ruling against keeping immigrant children in immigration prison by designating the prisons as "child care facilities".

China pushing to eliminate cash
20 May 2017

One of the most repressive states on Earth is pushing to eliminate cash.

I hope this convinces you to defend the use of cash. The way to do that is to insist on using cash.

FBI "study" based on thugs' opinions
20 May 2017

To justify Comey's claims that protests against killer thugs have inhibited thugs from doing their proper jobs, the FBI has released a "study" which only asked thugs their opinions.

US government torture
20 May 2017

Abu Zubaydah will testify about how he was tortured by the US government.

Ailments of impoverished British children
20 May 2017

Tory-imposed mass poverty is causing British children to suffer from ailments that were eradicated.

Marijuana research
20 May 2017

Since marijuana has great medical potential, we need research on how it affects humans.

Cholera spreading to Yemen
19 May 2017

Cholera is spreading in Yemen.

This is a consequence of the bombing campaign operated by Salafi Arabia with US help. Those countries did not directly bring cholera, but the bombing is what prevents it from being eradicated.

The bombing campaign has no moral justification. Its motive is nothing more than rivalry for power, which the US supports based on the bizarre claim that Iran threatens to take over the whole Middle East.

The right to protest
19 May 2017

The mainstream media must defend the right to protest.

Especially we must condemn Haymarket-style prosecutions that hold protest organizers responsible for any crime that occurs at the protest.

Russia arrests activists
19 May 2017

Activists on behalf of gay rights tried to deliver a petition to the Russian state. The state not only didn't accept the petition, it arrested them instead.

Barrett Brown speaks to press
19 May 2017

Barrett Brown was released from prison, then arrested (the thugs claimed he wasn't allowed to give interviews to the press), then freed a few days later (perhaps because legally he is allowed to give interviews to the press). Here is his interview with Democracy Now.

He talks about the way the US government helps plutocrats get private surveillance assistance from companies such as Palantir.

NSA made ransomware attacks possible
19 May 2017

The NSA made the wave of ransomware attacks possible by perpetuating vulnerabilities rather than fixing them.

US border thugs
19 May 2017

US border thugs are gratuitously cruel to refugees, for instance throwing all their medicine in the trash, and the troll is pushing them to be more cruel.

UK border thugs demand laptop password
19 May 2017

Muhammad Rabbani of Cage faces possible imprisonment for refusing to give the UK border thugs the password for his laptop.

Cage campaigns against torture and unjust imprisonment in various countries including the US. The laptop contained privileged legal work product that he had no right to reveal to anyone. Now Rabbani is threatened with unjust imprisonment, unless Cage succeeds in overturning that law.

Tory underfunding of ambulances
19 May 2017

Because of Tory underfunding, the UK's ambulances are barely operable, and their first aid equipment for people having heart attacks is rickety and slow. The experienced staff are quitting due to pension cuts.

Nurses are going to strike due to pay cuts.

In a few years, the Tories will admit that the NHS no longer functions, and replace it by privatized medical treatment that most people can't afford at all.

EU's proposed copyright directive
19 May 2017

The EU's proposed copyright directive would require all social media, all sites that let users post anything, to set up copyright censorship systems. Parodies and other fair use, not recognized in Europe as part of freedom of speech, would be rigorously eliminated.

Egypt drafts social media user law
19 May 2017

Draft Law Would Require Egyptian Social Media Users to Register With [Egyptian] Government.

Kansas law allows concealed guns on campus
19 May 2017

Professor Jacob Dorman explains his resignation from the University of Kansas because of the state's insistence on allowing concealed guns on campus.

He also reviews the statistics that show why this will kill students far more than it protects them.

EPA scientists resign
19 May 2017

Two scientists resigned from an EPA advisory committee in response to Saboteur Pruitt's dismissal of other scientists.

They say the dismissal shows that their recommendations will not be valued. In effect, their recommendations would be ignored and their names used to imply endorsement of the conclusions.

Unaffordable dental care
19 May 2017

Many Americans that work full time can't afford the dental work they need.

Volunteer

I am looking for people to write a recipe for how to connect to the WiFi in a New York City subway station without running its nonfree Javascript code. The recipe could include a free Javascript program I could run, or it could consist of instructions for what I would type into IceCat (our variant of Firefox). It doesn't have't be super convenient, it just has to work.

Urgent: Demand independent investigation
18 May 2017

US citizens: phone your senators and urge them to refuse to confirm a new head of the FBI until an independent investigation under a special prosecutor is under way.

Capitol Switchboard number: (202) 224-3121

Urgent: No platform for bigotry
18 May 2017

Everyone: call on NBC not to give Megyn Kelly a platform for bigotry.

Urgent: Reject Sessions' war on drugs
18 May 2017

US citizens: call on Congress to reject Sessions' war on drugs.

Urgent: Pledge to move off fossil fuels
18 May 2017

US citizens: call on congresscritters to pledge to move off fossil fuels.

Total surveillance
18 May 2017

Even total surveillance of everyone would not find all terrorists. The few real terrorists would be buried under a heap of false positives.

Saboteur-controlled EPA
18 May 2017

The saboteur-controlled EPA has withdrawn its objection to a giant mine in Alaska that would sooner or later poison the salmon of Bristol Bay.

Madagascar's endemic plants
18 May 2017

Madagascar's endemic plants are heading for extinction.

PCBs in the ocean
18 May 2017

PCBs were banned in the 1970s, but millions of tons were produced and used and they get into in the ocean, where they make dolphins and sharks sterile.

Doctors' conflicts of interest
18 May 2017

To Avoid Conflicts of Interest, Pay Doctors a Salary.

Worthless for-profit colleges
18 May 2017

Government-organized private loans keep worthless for-profit colleges going.

The companies that make the loans treat the borrowers terribly.

Worker-owned cooperatives
18 May 2017

Senator Sanders has introduced a bill to promote worker-owned cooperatives.

Torture in Pakistan
18 May 2017

UN urges Pakistan to "incorporate into its legislation a specific definition of torture."

Troll appoints voter suppression activist
18 May 2017

The troll has appointed a Republican voter suppression activist to run a phony "investigation" of nonexistent individual "voting fraud". This is meant to provide an excuse for more voter suppression.

It is clear what the troll's plan is. The Republicans know they can't win an honest election, so they plan to steal the 2018 election even more than they stole the 2016 election. The reports of the "investigation" will be a bunch of lies, and nearly all Republicans will pretend they are true, as an excuse for more voter suppression.

Total mass of insects falling
18 May 2017

Since 1989 the total mass of insects in Germany has fallen by 80%. And it's not just in Germany — this is an example of a widespread tendency.

I think the writer is obtuse about extinction. Concern about extinction is not a matter of "fetishizing" the last few individuals of the species. The species is different from its members, and the loss of a species is different from the death of any number of members of that species.

If a given species of frog has a million members, the death of a specific hundred of them would not concern me much. If those hundred were the only ones left, their death would still not concern me much; but it would mean the extinction of the species, and I would consider that a real loss.

An 80% decrease in insect biomass is a big ecological change, and I think we had better find out soon what we did to cause it.

Theresa May's epidemic of poverty
18 May 2017

Theresa May Is Creating an Epidemic of Poverty. Don't Give Her a Free Hand.

Troll admits reason for firing Comey
18 May 2017

The troll has admitted that he fired Comey because Comey was pursuing an investigation of the troll/Russia links.

Troll's attempt to destroy idea of truth
18 May 2017

Firing Comey for obviously bogus reasons was an example of the troll's attempt to destroy the very idea of truth and loyalty to truth.

His gesture said, "I can do anything I want and no one will dare stop me."

The troll has confessed to obstruction of justice.

Some Americans have the courage to refuse to go along with the Republican lie machine.

Our future depends on whether SCROTUS find the moral fiber to stand for truth rather than lines.

Cost of rent in the UK
18 May 2017

Millions of working people in the UK can barely pay the rent. Many sometimes have to borrow money to pay the rent.

Thatcher started this by allowing tenants in public housing the "right to buy".

Facebook censorship
18 May 2017

Thailand has ordered Facebook to delete posts that the state considers critical of the Thai monarchy.

Facebook has generally given in to demands for censorship of political views.

I think this shows that multinational social networks have a deep problem: each country can impose its own censorship on the whole world.

Comey wants to testify
18 May 2017

Comey wants to testify before Congress, but only if his testimony is public.

Comey says that the troll asked him to pledge personal loyalty, basically to put the troll above his country, and he refused.

Mothers
18 May 2017

Campaigning to free the US black mothers (and others) that are jailed, often for months, because they are too poor to pay bail.

Start impeaching
18 May 2017

Laurence Tribe: Congress must start impeaching the troll now, for his obstruction of justice (as well as plenty of other acts).

Patriotic House Republicans
18 May 2017

Are There 22 Patriotic House Republicans?

Comey wants to testify before Congress, but only if his testimony is public.

Republicans that shield the troll from punishment for blatant obstruction of justice, and investigation for possible treason, are associating themselves morally with those acts. They cannot be legitimate parts of the US government.

Trade route
18 May 2017

The Syrian Kurds would like to negotiate a trade route to the Mediterranean. That would involve an agreement with Assad. They also talk about capturing Idlib from the Islamists some day.

Liberating Idlib from the Islamists would be good, provided that the inhabitants are happy with it. That is easier said than done. Who would rule Idlib instead? The inhabitants probably don't want that to be Assad, and they (being Arabs) may not be comfortable with Kurds today (though they were content enough with Salah ad-Din).

Polar bears
18 May 2017

Our global heating, which melts Arctic sea ice, is forcing polar bears to live on land where they may fight with humans.

Beyond apartheid
18 May 2017

Beyond apartheid to ethnic cleansing: the rabbi that leads a significant Israeli electoral party calls for expelling all non-Jews from Israel.

Peace Now: Israel's New Settlement Policy an Attempt to "Fool International Community".

Sunscreens
18 May 2017

Some sunscreens contain a chemical that poisons coral even in very low concentrations.

Civilian casualties
18 May 2017

Airwars has found over 3000 civilian casualties from US bombing in Iraq and Syria, but the Pentagon acknowledges only 352 of them.

Airwars' method of counting tends to lead to a considerable underestimate. The real number must be a lot more.

We should note that the US bombing in Syria and Iraq is far less criminal than PISSI. Meanwhile, the US bombing in Yemen is entirely gratuitous.

Poverty
18 May 2017

Sanders: "A basic principle of American economic life should be that if you work 40 hours or more a week, you do not live in poverty."

Really our goal should be that no one lives in poverty, but Sanders is campaigning for a substantial step forward.

Drink bottles
18 May 2017

No system of recycling for drink bottles will be effective unless people get a refund on a deposit for turning in the bottles.