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.

Exit the EU
17 January 2017

It appears the UK will exit the EU with no agreement at all — a "train crash".

Britain still has hope. If the train is operated by a lousy privatized UK train company, such as Southern Rail, it may not run.

Mastercard
17 January 2017

Facebook provided personal data to Mastercard.

The data was provided in anonymized form, but Mastercard could reidentify the data by correlating it with other data.

Private prisons
17 January 2017

Sessions wants more private prisons.

He says privatization "seem to work better", but better for whom? Perhaps for his future employers, some years from now.

Ivory carvers
17 January 2017

Chinese ivory carvers are coming to grips with China's decision to ban the ivory trade.

It makes no sense to eliminate elephants so that Africa can accommodate more humans.

Shutting down the legal ivory trade will not stop the illegal trade.

ISP privacy rules
17 January 2017

The FCC's weak ISP privacy rules are too much for the trumpets. They plan to eliminate them.

ISPs should respect customers' privacy by not taking any note of their traffic, except pursuiant to a specific court order.

Robert Earl Lawrence
17 January 2017

Thugs in Alabama killed Robert Earl Lawrence for refusing to show identification. All he did was refuse.

He brought a stray dog to an animal shelter, but refused to show a driver's license, so the staff called the thugs. How gratuitous. They could just as easily said, "We won't take the dog from you without your identification, so just let it run loose outside the door." It would have been stupid, but no more stupid than what they did.

Under the control
17 January 2017

More US states have fallen under the control of Republicans and ALEC.

They generally gerrymander the districts so that they subsequently always "win" even when they don't get most of the votes.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
17 January 2017

SCROTUS want to eliminate or neutralize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, because it does a good job of protecting people from banks that would cheat them.

Congressional investigations
17 January 2017

SCROTUS have expanded their power to harass and intimidate Americans by giving congressional staff the power to interrogate people under oath.

Congressional investigations have a legitimate function, but Republicans are not interested in pursuing real abuses. Their goal is to crush despised climate defenders and abortion providers, by hook or by crook.

Dismissed for misconduct
17 January 2017

A US thug that is dismissed for misconduct can easily get another job as a thug, because there is no firm system to prevent it.

Many states do absolutely nothing, when thugs are fired for violence against the public, to stop them from getting hired somewhere else.

Sex offender
17 January 2017

Shawna, in her 19th birthday party, had sex with a younger teenager. She was sentenced to register as a sex offender for her whole life.

Charlie Hebdo
17 January 2017

Zineb El Rhazoui has quit working for Charlie Hebdo, rebuking the magazine for no longer daring to draw Mohammed.

Air pollution
17 January 2017

Roughly 10,000 people die in London each year from air pollution, much of it from diesel engines.

The UK government attacks everyone's freedom, supposedly to reduce the already tiny danger of terrorism. But terrorists would find it exceedingly hard to kill even 1% as many people as the diesels do.

Britons should demand that the government end to massive surveillace and focus on the greater danger of cars. But this lesson is not limited to Britain.

How many thousands do diesels kill every year in France? I don't know, but it must be thousands. So why have a "state of emergency" that tramples human rights supposedly to protect against the secondary danger of terrorists, instead of against car companies?

El Nino
17 January 2017

Now that El Niño has ended, 2017 may not set a new heat record. Denialists are likely to start spreading the myth that "global heating stopped in 2016."

Renewable energy
17 January 2017

China has become dominant in the manufacturing of renewable energy generation.

China is making a big investment, while its potential competitors are dominated by planet-roasters and denialists.

Urgent: Price
16 January 2017

US citizens: call on Senate Democrats to go all-out to block Tom Price from Health and Human Services.

Urgent: Resolution 6
16 January 2017

US citizens: phone your senators to oppose Resolution 6, which would condemn the recent UN resolution rebuking Israel for colonizing Palestinian territory.

Spat on and ignored
16 January 2017

Homeless people are "spat on and ignored."

TPP marching on
16 January 2017

Outside the US, the TPP is marching on, threatening to subjugate other countries to the power of foreign business.

Comfort Woman
16 January 2017

Japan Recalls Envoy after South Korea Puts "Comfort Woman" Statue Outside Consulate.

This is political posturing on both sides, but South Korea is posturing on behalf of a real injustice, while Japan is posturing on behalf of military nationalism.

Cold-blooded murder
16 January 2017

Most Israelis support cold-blooded murder of Palestinian suspects.

World Wildlife Foundation
16 January 2017

The World Wildlife Foundation faces accusations of helping to establish and patrol a wildlife reserve in Cameroon. The land was inhabited by hunter-gatherers.

As humans overpopulate Earth and overrun all wild areas, more and more the survival of some humans will come in conflict with the survival of specific species, and then the survival of entire ecosystems.

Human population growth will stop, one way or another, in this century, because too many factors stand to limit it. The question is, what will be left of the natural world at that point?

I think therefore that preserving species and wild areas has to take precedence over human claims, when they cannot coexist.

Local organizing methods
16 January 2017

Former congressional staff recommend local organizing methods to fight the right-wing agenda, learning from the success of the Tea Party.

In order for this to work, we must do another thing that the Tea Party did: replace nonprogressive Democrats.

President Do-dirty
16 January 2017

President Do-dirty of the Philippines joins lies to murder; his campaign to make Davao City by killing all the criminals, which he claims made it a safe place, actually left it with a high rate of crime.

Assassination
16 January 2017

UK thugs surrounded Yassar Yaqub's car as it was exiting a highway, then shot him dead. They said that the operation was pre-planned.

His father asks whether it was a pre-planned assassination.

If Yassar Yaqub was a gangster, that was grounds to arrest and prosecute him, but not to assassinate him.

Of course, the effective way to put an end to drug gangs is to get the War on Drugs off drugs.

LinkedIn
16 January 2017

Reasons not to use LinkedIn.

Resisting gentrification
15 January 2017

How Washington DC resists gentrification to protect low-income residents.

Keystone XL pipeline
15 January 2017

Canada plans to work with the loser to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline.

Law against adults in playgrounds
15 January 2017

Los Angeles proposes to follow New York City's absurd law prohibiting unaccompanied adults from playgrounds, but now there is resistance.

If the goal is to protect children from sexual abuse, it would be more effective to keep them away from adults in private places, since that is where abuse almost always occurs. For instance, there could be a law to prohibit children from spending time at home with just one adult. A single parent arriving home with children should call Child Protective Services and wait for an agent to arrive before entering the home. When the agent has to depart, the family must leave the house.

I had better state that the proposal above is meant satirically.

Urgent: Support Keith Ellison
15 January 2017

US citizens: tell the Democratic National Committee you support Keith Ellison as leader.

Urgent: UN resolution for Israeli annexationists
15 January 2017

Everyone: call on Senator Murphy to stop criticizing the UN resolution in support of Israeli annexationists.

Urgent: Resist pressure for military confrontation
15 January 2017

US citizens: call on senators Warren and Murphy to resist bipartisan pressure for military confrontation with Russia.

Putin is a smarmy tyrant, who has crushed opposition and the free press in Russia. He engages in military aggression, though in a more measured way than the US does. I think it is sick to suck up to him as the troll does, but that doesn't mean we need a military rivalry with Russia.

US workers with volatile, unstable incomes
15 January 2017

More U.S. Workers Have Highly Volatile, Unstable Incomes.

That means they are at risk of homelessness, hunger, and dying from lack of medicine. Their children are at risk of growing up under stress that will impair them for their whole lives.

Business-supremacy treaties
15 January 2017

Multinational megacorporations can used the forced arbitration of business-supremacy treaties to overturn even convictions for crimes.

They also invest in potential lawsuits to be arbitrated under these treaties.

With the help of business-supremacy treaties, corporations that made a deal with a corrupt dictator can force a democratic successor government to pay whatever the dictator promised. This encourages dictators to cheat their countries.

We need to change the legal system at all levels so that corrupt deals can be cancelled and even undone. For instance, a predatory privatization should be cancelled, and the privatizer should be compensated with the money it paid minus whatever profit it has extracted.

Most privatizations of state operations are predatory.

Urgent: National Popular Vote Act
15 January 2017

US citizens: support the National Popular Vote Act.

Pipeline company merger
15 January 2017

A proposed US pipeline company merger would reportedly create so much market power that the combined company could raise prices for oil and natural gas.

If it could do that, it might discourage consumption, but not enough: we need heavy taxes on petroleum products and an end to all subsidies to raise the price enough to avoid disaster.

The better reason to oppose this merger is that bigger companies have more lobbying power. We need to make large companies split up, except for those that are natural monopolies and ought to be regulated utilities.

HR 6421
15 January 2017

The ACLU warns that bill HR 6421, the misnamed "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act", would impose unconstitutional censorship on debate about Israel and its occupation policies.

Free Market
15 January 2017

The Free Market Isn't Working — And Labour Now Dares to Say So.

Growing authoritarianism
15 January 2017

The troll provides growing authoritarianism in the US an opportunity to potentially supplant democracy.

The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny — as seen through the troll.

Credit Reports
15 January 2017

People in the US are supposed to be able to buy copies of their credit reports, but Equifax and Transunion have been lying — sending people doctored reports that are not what businesses get.

National debt
15 January 2017

It's a fundamental mistake to make a fuss about the national debt, disregarding other systems that will make the public pay in the future, such as toll collection and drug patents.

Restaurant chains
15 January 2017

Pressuring restaurant chains to stop causing antibiotic resistance.

The Jack in the Box pledge is an example of, "We will stop using certain antibiotics in certain animals for certain purposes, several years from now." Which is more show than reality.

We shouldn't need to campaign to pressure restaurants or companies. A government that gives companies the value they deserve, and human health the value it deserves, would have made this a firm law many years ago.

Don't these legislators realize that antibiotic resistance can kill them or their children?

Tom Price
15 January 2017

Tom Price, the troll's choice for a cabinet post, appears to have committed insider trading.

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.

Military conscription
14 January 2017

The US abolished direct military conscription, but has replaced it with an indirect system of economic conscription: young people from poor backgrounds often see no opportunity to get ahead except through the army.

The article is mistaken on a couple of important points. First, Nixon did damp down the movement to end the Vietnam War, by pulling the US army out of Vietnam, but that was not the permanent effect that the article presents. The US antiwar movement was quite strong for the first few years of the occupation of Iraq.

It also omits another, deeper blindness about thanking troops for "serving their country" -- for the most part, that's not what they are doing. And, in Iraq, many of them figured that out; (then) Bradley Manning was far from alone. A soldier wrote to me, responding to what he saw in stallman.org, saying that the troops in his unit felt that they were in Iraq to support an empire.

I think we should offer troops condolences rather than thanks. Many of them joined up intending to serve their country, and they were cheated of the opportunity.

Simon & Schuster
14 January 2017

The Chicago Review of Books will boycott publisher Simon & Schuster because of its book deal with a hate guru.

Nuclear Experts Warn
14 January 2017

Nuclear Experts Warn [the troll]: Do Not Torpedo Successful Iran Deal.

It not only keeps Iran non-nuclear, it indirectly helps keep other countries non-nuclear.

School thug
14 January 2017

A school thug in North Carolina picked up a student, then threw her on the floor, momentarily stunning her.

We should refuse to call these thugs by the euphemism, "school resource officer". These thugs are the suction end of the school-to-prison pipeline, and their presence in a school creates a danger of more than physical injury.

Anti-Surveillance Clothing
14 January 2017

Anti-Surveillance Clothing Aims to Hide Wearers from Facial Recognition.

The idea is good, but does it do the job effectively? It may be hard to determine that. However, at least it will serve for public education about the danger of surveillance.

Sit-in
14 January 2017

NAACP activists held a sit-in in Senator Sessions' office to oppose making him Attorney General.