Very urgent: Hold off tax vote
15 December 2017

US citizens: Call your members of the Senate or the House at (202) 224-3121, and tell them NO TAX VOTE UNTIL JONES IS SEATED!

New nuclear power plants
15 December 2017

The UK is building new nuclear power plants, which are needed because the Tories have put an end to solar and land-based wind power development.

Photographer beaten
15 December 2017

Chinese thugs beat up a South Korean press photographer who was trying to follow the president of South Korea in his visit to China.

Extreme income inequality
15 December 2017

Extreme income inequality in the US results from bad policies. The Republicans' plan for even worse policies is the wild extension of what plutocratist politicians have been doing for 40 years.

Adopting good policies now can still reduce the problem.

Wiping out insects
15 December 2017

We have only a rough idea of how many species of insects exist on Earth — perhaps tens of millions — but we are wiping them out faster than we can discover them.

Kenya election propaganda
15 December 2017

A right-wing US propaganda company stirred up hatred of immigrants to influence the election in Kenya with a phony grass-roots campaign.

That was the election that was rigged by the incumbent.

I wonder what result the intervention aimed for. Did it benefit the incumbent? The opposition candidate? Neither?

Fighters raping girls
15 December 2017

Congolese Fighters Convicted of Raping Young Girls in Landmark Case.

15 December 2017

Spies-for-hire that work for businesses to hamper organized criticism go beyond just snooping. Sometimes they try to stir up disputes within the organizations.

'Regulation of social media'
15 December 2017

"While rightwing papers call for better regulation of social media, history shows us that when such crackdowns happen it is often the left that suffers the most."

Favors for oil companies
15 December 2017

American Petroleum Institute asked the EPA for a list of favors, and Saboteur Pruitt gave it almost all of them.

Other agencies are giving the oil companies plenty of other gifts. This is the culmination of a decades-long lobbying campaign which includes government agencies set up specifically for the oil lobby.

If you are young, the goal they are working for will probably result in killing you. And they have reason to know this.

Identifying information
15 December 2017

A zip code, a birth date, and a sex are enough to uniquely identify most people in the US. This defeats most data anonymization schemes. Many other collections of data also permit deanonymization.

I think there is a way to do crowdsourcing of recommendations without enabling any person to be identified. The trick is not to save a long list of things that one contributor liked.

Suppose each person anonymously contributes many separate triples of things which person liked. "I liked A, B, and C." "I liked A, B, and D." "I liked A, C, and D." (The software wouldn't have to submit all the n!/(3! * (n-3)!) combinations of three of the n things you liked.) This may be enough to make somewhat useful recommendations; but if the system does not know when various triples are from the same person, its data are not enough to identify any person.

I would rather have privacy than personalized recommendations. I reject Netflix entirely for several reasons, but preserving my privacy would be enough reason by itself.

Banning smartphones for children
15 December 2017

There may be strong psychological reasons to forbid children and teenagers from using smartphones.

The article says "children", but clearly intends teenagers as well; the French prohibition on using smartphones in school includes high school. If we want teenagers to become capable people, we should not infantilize them by calling them "children".

I think the same kind of argument applies to portable phones. They may not be designed to be so addictive, but we should not get our children in the habit of letting Big Brother track them. We hope they will grow up to be activists for good causes, which means they will have something to hide, though not a shameful something.

Los Angeles fire
15 December 2017

The fire that burned some rich people's mansions in Los Angeles was started accidentally by a homeless person's cooking fire. Is this a reason to repress the homeless, or is it poetic justice?

Suing for fossils
15 December 2017

Paleontologists are suing to prevent irreplaceable fossils of Mesozoic life in Utah from being destroyed for coal mining.

Excusing murder by thugs
15 December 2017

Juries must stop excusing murder by thugs just because a thug says, "I felt scared." We should demand that thugs take at least as much care before shooting as we expect anyone else to take.

Control over CFPB
15 December 2017

The Fight to Control the CFPB Isn’t Over Yet.

Global heating and deadly rains
15 December 2017

Global [heating] Made Hurricane Harvey's Deadly Rains Three Times More Likely.

In other words, global heating gets 3/4 of the blame.

Just as global heating effects are causing more damage, Republican saboteur politicians want to cut funds for climate research.

Campaign to arrest Mueller's team
15 December 2017

Faux News is running a distortion/pressure campaign demanding the arrest of some of Mueller's team.

State Department resignation
15 December 2017

A US diplomat resigned from the State Department, saying that Tillerson and the bully are driving it into the ground.

Climate charade
15 December 2017

Governments talk about protecting the climate while they continue subsidizing fossil fuels. This charade must end.

Polish TV station
15 December 2017

Poland fined a TV station for broadcasting images of protests against Polish government policies.

Ironically, the protest was against a measure to interfere with journalism.

This is a step down the path to Turkish-style repression of the media.

Obstacles to decarbonization
14 December 2017

Big public investment organizations are putting lots of money into building obstacles to decarbonization.

Note that the World Bank Group is not the same as the World Bank.

14 December 2017

More heinous activity by LinkedIn.

Thawing permafrost
14 December 2017

Arctic Permafrost Thawing Faster Than Ever, US Climate Study Finds.

In addition to the dangers mentioned in the building, this can lead to large leaks of frozen methane into the air, which would increase global heating for decades.

Pop singer imprisoned
14 December 2017

Egypt has imprisoned the makers of a music video for "depravity". From the description, it would not seem unusual in the US.

Democratic incumbents
14 December 2017

The Democratic National Committee has a policy of supporting incumbents against primary challengers, by making its voter data base available only to the incumbents.

I wouldn't say that the Democratic Party fails to support progressive values, because it doesn't claim to do so, but this is certainly an obstacle to making the Democratic Party worth supporting.

When I support political campaigns, I make sure to support progressives only. Most of them are in fact Democrats, but I don't give to organizations that support them just because they are Democrats.

Hidden Airbnb cameras
14 December 2017

Some Airbnb hosts, like some hotels, put hidden cameras in bedrooms. Public choice theory The "public choice theory" philosophy espoused by antisocialists to justify a state that lets the rich rule recapitulates the political philosophy of the famous defender of slavery, Senator Calhoun.

The purpose of Democracy is to give the many non-rich a way we can unite and prevent the rich from dominating us. It is supposed to discriminate -- against those who are so powerful that they are likely to take even more power.

American savings crisis
14 December 2017

Why Americans, in general, save so little money.

Oil and gas deposits
14 December 2017

The World Bank says it will no longer fund searching for more oil and gas deposits. Since using them would cause global disaster, there is no point in searching for them.

Of course, oil is not used only for burning. Some of it is used to make plastics, which are causing a different kind of global disaster.

If we can convince big banks and investors to stop funding fossil fuels, that could avoid global disaster. But it is a shame that banks and investors dominate such decisions. A good political system would have the strength to save the world from disaster despite corrupt wreckers that would profit from the disaster.

Roy Moore defeated
14 December 2017

Doug Jones won the senate election in Alabama. What does this imply for the Republican Party?

Whatever the voters' reasons for voting for him, we are well off that a progressive Democrat was elected, instead of theocratist bigot Moore.

However, the demonization of Moore as a "pedophile" makes it harder to draw conclusions about future races. If Moore had had the same bigoted, theocratist views, but had not dated teenage women, would he have won?

On the other hand, will the Republican Party's support for Moore work against future candidates whose positions are comparably cruel and unjust, but don't have personal scandals against their name?

Moore has refused to concede and demanded a recount. Perhaps he hopes to give someone else a chance to cheat. But perhaps this is a play to delay seating Jones in the senate. His presence there would make it substantially easier to block unpopular Republican bills, and Republicans may have asked Moore to please delay until they get the tax attacks through.

Christmas clothing
14 December 2017

Massive waste: people buy "Christmas" clothing and wear it just once.

This is an additional reason to celebrate Grav-Mass instead -- Grav-Mass is not associated with the idea that you're supposed to buy things for the sake of buying things.

English rivers polluted
14 December 2017

Tests of rivers in Britain found that most of them are polluted with neonicotinoids -- in some cases, at dangerous levels. These toxins can harm various kinds of wildlife.

Mining company sued
14 December 2017

Maya women in Guatemala have organized to sue a mining company for the pattern of repeated crimes carried out by miners.

If evictions for the sake of the mine were approved and carried out by the Guatemalan state, I don't think that lessens the moral responsibility of the mining company. That the mine was sold to a different company changes nothing at all.

Banning pregnant schoolgirls
14 December 2017

The president of Tanzania wants to arrest pregnant teenagers to force them to testify about the men who raped them.

I am sure that other, kinder methods could achieve that goal.

Resettling refugees
14 December 2017

Australia says that the refugees it has imprisoned in Papua New Guinea are its own property, to oppress as Australia sees fit. Therefore, when New Zealand offers to receive some as immigrants, that's blatant meddling in Australia's internal affairs.

This reminds me of what China says when its human rights violations are criticized. ISTR there has been criticism in Australia of the threat of Chinese influence. Is this an example of the danger of Chinese cultural influence?

DNA and iris scans
14 December 2017

Chinese Authorities Collecting DNA (and iris scans) from All Residents of Xinjiang (except children and old people).

I expect this is a pilot project, and they will extend it to everyone in China in a few years.

We must all fight against biometric identification in our countries. If you are in India, please campaign against Aadhar and for payment in cash.

Zuckerberg's charity
14 December 2017

Forget Mark Zuckerberg's charity -– We Need Corporate Tax Reform.

Puerto Rico's electric grid
14 December 2017

There is a plan to spend $17 billion to restore Puerto Rico's electric grid and make it more resilient.

What the article does not say is whether this would add $17 billion to the debt that Puerto Rico is unable to pay, and whether this would be used as a level for privatization -- of the electric grid and other systems too.

Uranium mining
14 December 2017

The Grand Canyon and the Havasupai tribe that lives in it are still threatened by uranium mining nearby.

The fact that mining is even being considered for that area illustrates the plutocratic tendencies of our government.

Talks with North Korea
14 December 2017

US Ready for Talks with North Korea "Without Preconditions", Tillerson Says.

At last, a bit of sense. But it reaching an agreement depends on mutual trust, and if there is any government on Earth that is harder to trust than North Korea under Kim Jong-un, it is the US under the bully.

Attack on Twitter
14 December 2017

Bannon and Yiannopoulos organized a campaign to attack Twitter, through public condemnation, lawsuits, and driving down its stock price.

Union organizing
14 December 2017

The saboteur running the National Labor Relations Board is canceling a reform that made union organizing less complex.

Republicans have been trying to handicap unions in the US for decades.

Urgent: Collusion with Israel
14 December 2017

US citizens: call on your congresscritter to impeach the cheater for collusion with a foreign country, specifically Israel.

It hasn't been proved (as of now) that the cheater colluded with Russia, but it has been proved that he colluded with Israel to interfere with US foreign policy (before he was president).

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Crimes by North Korean leaders
14 December 2017

International jurists say that North Korean leaders should be prosecuted for holding tens of thousands of political prisoners and committing various crimes against them, including rape and murder.

Discount for detective
14 December 2017

A man who asked Starbucks for a discount, claiming to be a detective, was charged with "impersonating an officer".

More of concern to me, did he have any reason to think that a detective would get a discount from Starbucks? Does Starbucks give thugs special favors?

Banning condom ads
14 December 2017

India's Hindu-theocratic government banned condom ads on TV during the day and evening. It's higher priority to protect "children" from sexual ideas than to protect them from disease and pregnancy.

Firing for groping or harassment
14 December 2017

A legal dilemma: to fire a star or executive for groping or harassment, and not pay millions for the length of the person's contract, requires the company to claim it has no prior complaints about the practice.

Poverty in Silicon Valley
14 December 2017

Over a quarter of the people in Silicon Valley have trouble paying for food.

The so-called "paradox" mentioned in the article is based on a misguided idea of what it means for the economy to get "better" — judging it by what things are like for the top 10%, or by totals.

Mueller closing in
14 December 2017

Robert Mueller Is Closing in on [the cheater]. Congress Must Protect His Investigation.

Endangered by border wall
14 December 2017

Wildcats, Butterflies, Tortoises: all are endangered by the destroyer's border wall. Humans will find it far easier to climb over it.

Beavers as flood control
14 December 2017

The UK is bringing beavers to some areas as a flood control measure.

Refugees from North Korea
14 December 2017

China is reportedly preparing to receive lots of refugees from North Korea.

Coal and tar sand divestment
14 December 2017

The insurance company Axa will divest from coal and tar sands, and stop insuring oil pipelines in the US.

As investors realize that they can't make money from fossil fuel investments without destroying the society in which their profit would do them any good, they will stop investing in fossil fuels. The question is, can we enlighten them fast enough to avoid disaster? And what about the other sources of funds for fossil fuels, such as government subsidies and the "development" organizations that are corrupted by plutocratists.

Shen Yun dance troupe
14 December 2017

The strange story of Shen Yun, a dance troupe that presents valid propaganda against the tyranny of the Chinese state.

I went to a Shen Yun performance once, and had a peculiar reaction: the propaganda annoyed me even though I agreed with its point of view. I told this to the friend who saw it with me, who said, "Yes, it preaches too much."

Marijuana convictions
14 December 2017

US jurors often won't convict people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, to the point where some thugs have decided to stop prosecuting it.

Bravo, jurors!

Yemeni fishing boats
14 December 2017

Salafi Arabia is systematically attacking Yemeni fishing boats. It seems to consider the existing famine insufficient.

Which country supplied the helicopters and the ammunition? Either the US or the UK, I would guess. But it would be useful to know for certain.

Social-validation feedback loop
14 December 2017

A former vice president at Facebook says that the site's addictive "social-validation feedback loop" is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works".

Accessing public information
14 December 2017

EFF to Court: Accessing Publicly Available Information on the Internet Is Not a Crime.

Childhood obesity causes
14 December 2017

A number of studies of the causes of childhood obesity were supported by Coca Cola Company and covered that up.

The studies pointed the finger at lack of physical activity and not at sugar. I am ready to believe that lack of physical activity (caused by computers?) was a big factor, but sugar surely was too.

Ending money bail
14 December 2017

ACLU Announces Nationwide Campaign to Support Movement to End Money Bail.

Super-rich wealth grab
14 December 2017

"America's super-rich are taking not only from their own nation, but also from the rest of the world." They took 70% of the world's growth in wealth since 2012.

Pressure on DNC reform
14 December 2017

The Democratic National Committee is using dirty tricks to obstruct progressive pressure for reforming its structure.

I look forward to publicizing grass-roots pressure for this.

US scientists to France
14 December 2017

Macron Awards US Scientists Grants to Move to France in Defiance of Trump.

This is just the beginning of what other countries must do to protect themselves from global heating disaster.

Urgent: Keystone XL pipeline funding
13 December 2017

Everyone: phone JP Morgan Chase and say not to fund the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.

While you are at it, you may as well say that funding any fossil fuel projects means pushing humanity and thousands of species to destruction, so the bank should stop doing so.

Urgent: Uranium mining
13 December 2017

US citizens: tell your congresscritter, no uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.

Not terrorized
13 December 2017

New Yorkers have learned not to be terrorized by a small explosion from a terrorist's bomb, but right-wing extremists are trying to magnify the terror.

Even when a terrorist attack causes substantial casualties, we face the choice of aggravating the harm or not. Aggravating it may serve the interest of some political or commercial group. Not aggravating it serves the interests of Americans in general, and America. Whatever the problem is, dealing with calmly will help us avoid doing something stupid and destructive, such as occupying Iraq.

One tweet cited in the article used the contraction "who's" incorrectly. The contraction "who's" is short for "who is" or "who has", and neither of them fits grammatically there. The word that belongs there is "whose", the possessive of "who". Like all the other possessive forms of pronouns, it has no apostrophe.

Arguably, the failure of recent terrorists suggests that PISSI no longer has the capacity to help terrorists, so they are not able to procure dangerous weapons.

They can still get cars and trucks, so there will still be some deadly attacks. Since the plans for such attacks take place within the attacker's mind, even total surveillance couldn't stop them. So enough with the plans to snoop on us all.

Emissions from computing
13 December 2017

Mobile computers and data centers could cause 14% of global carbon emissions by 2040.

If all our electric generation is renewable by then, it won't be a problem — but we will have trouble achieving that if we allow unlimited computers.

Attention to accusations
13 December 2017

Women that the bully groped or harassed call on Congress to pay the same attention to their accusations as it paid to Al Franken.

"Inappropriate behavior" is not a valid accusation against anyone, not even the bully, because it is too vague and weaselly. If you can't spell out what you're criticizing someone for, and why it was wrong, then your criticism is not valid.

Civil society delegates
13 December 2017

Argentina barred 60 civil society delegates from the WTO meeting for bogus reasons. It relented on five of the delegates after ministries from their countries went to bat for them.

Columbia HQ and the homeless
13 December 2017

Columbia Sportswear threatens to move its headquarters out of Portland unless the city kicks homeless people out of the neighborhood.

The company could easily donate to support a project to give them better alternatives to their annoying behaviors, perhaps inviting other businesses in the neighborhood to join forces. That would be solving the businesses' problem by helping poor people rather than by harming them.

Abortion training
13 December 2017

The US is not training enough doctors to perform abortions. This is partly a result of pressure by theocratist Christians.

ISP snooping
13 December 2017

A German court rejected collective responsibility for ISP services: the official subscriber cannot be required to snoop on other residents and family members to see which one did forbidden sharing.

One tantrum away
13 December 2017

Nuclear war is "one tantrum away".

'Fighting terrorism'
13 December 2017

In Turkey, signers of a petition calling for an end to Erdoğan's civil war against the Kurds are on trial for "propaganda for terrorism".

Many of them have been punished already in various ways.

When your country proposes measures that would endanger human rights in the name of "fighting terrorism", remember that "terrorism" will mean whatever a future government says it means.

In the US and Europe, "anti-terrorism" measures have already gone much too far. Government attacks on human rights are potentially far more deadly than underground terrorism, because governments are stronger than underground terror groups. We need to make them strong so they can do their job, so we must keep them in check by defending human rights from them.

Venezuela elections
13 December 2017

Maduro said he would ban three opposition parties from future elections because they boycotted the mayoral elections yesterday.

Since Maduro has effectively suspended the constitution of Venezuela, he can do this arbitrarily.

Harvard and paywalled journals
13 December 2017

Harvard says it can't afford to subscribe to the paywalled journals any more, and urges its faculty to resign from their editorial boards.

Sad to say, professional organizations as journal publishers are little different from the commercial publishers. Consider, for instance, the American Chemical Society which is trying to force ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub.

Planned Parenthood investigation
13 December 2017

The Department of Injustice plans to carry on the Senate investigation of Planned Parenthood, which found that the accusations were spurious.

Farming problems
13 December 2017

After food prices rose, partly due to extreme weather that destroyed crops, the US changed its farming laws to subsidize production instead of non-production. Now the US is dumping cheap food around the world. That is good for some of the world's poor, since they can afford food, but bad for those who are farmers.

With a large harvest, farmers suffer from low prices. With a small harvest, prices go up and poor people go hungry. A good economic system for farming would need to avoid both problems. Meanwhile, we are using up topsoil around the world so a good economic system for farming needs to protect the soil. I fear that putting marginal land into agricultural use seems likely to damage it.

In the medium term, a few decades, agriculture faces many threats.

We will need a tax on meat to discourage people from eating so much of it.

No celebration for PISSI defeat
13 December 2017

PISSI, as a state, has been defeated, but there is no celebration in the US. That's because Islamism is a useful right-wing boogeyman, replacing the previous boogeyman of Communism.

Having a conversation
13 December 2017

How to have a conversation instead of talking at someone else.

Airline fee disclosure
13 December 2017

The bully's saboteurs have cancelled a proposed rule requiring airlines to say clearly what they will charge for checking baggage.

Puerto Rico death rate
13 December 2017

A rise in the death rate suggest that the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico has killed thousands of people, though not immediately.

Migrants sold into slavery
13 December 2017

When African migrants head for Libya, they don't realize that they will be sold into slavery there.

Abortions in Poland
13 December 2017

The Polish government backed off when it tried to ban abortion entirely; but abortion was already illegal except for limited circumstances, so most women have to get very expensive illegal abortions.

Wildfires and global heating
13 December 2017

Governor Brown of California is connecting the unprecedented wildfires with global heating.


I am looking for people to help webmasters of various sites (not related to me or GNU) make simple but substantial changes in their web sites — for instance, to use the GNU Project's recommended terminology.

Forgiving mortgages
12 December 2017

JP Morgan was required by a court to aid homeowners by forgiving part of their mortgages. It cheated, by forgiving mortgages it had previously sold to others.

A bank should not be allowed to sell a building's mortgage to any buyer except another bank.

Polish Supreme Court
12 December 2017

The authoritarian Polish government is considering a bill to eliminate the independence of the Supreme Court.

False memories
12 December 2017

Giving witnesses false memories about events they saw is surprisingly easy; legal systems must take care to avoid it. Supposed "recovered memories" can hardly be trusted at all.

US soldiers in Niger
12 December 2017

US soldiers were ambushed and some killed in Niger, but what were they doing there? The Pentagon gives conflicting statements.

Listening devices
12 December 2017

Don't Buy Anyone an [Amazon] Echo!

I don't trust the companies that make the devices not to listen through them. And even if they don't specifically do so, the devices might have universal back doors that would let Big Brother listen through them at will.

Note that the article legitimizes other Internet of Stings devices that it is unwise to trust.

Oppression in Honduras
12 December 2017

Amnesty International says the tyrant of Honduras and his thugs are using various forms of oppression to gag the people whose election they have stolen.

We don't need to investigate whether the election was stolen, because the thieves' suppression of the counts and the protest is enough to convict them of that.

Intel license violation
12 December 2017

Intel appears to be violating the BSD licenses that cover Minix by distributing it inside the Management Engine backdoor processor without the notices required by that license.

This is an ironic side issue, because the Management Engine is an injustice and including the required notices would not excuse that injustice.

Right whales dwindling
12 December 2017

The US and Canada must do more to protect North Atlantic right whales, and soon, or there will be none left.

US thugs using tasers
12 December 2017

A UN investigation found that US thugs use tasers without justification and sometimes in ways tantamount to torture.

Domestic terrorism in US
12 December 2017

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would have the FBI take statistics on terrorism committed by domestic extremists, typically right-wing extremists.

Hostile architecture
12 December 2017

A debate about hostile architecture: designing buildings and outdoor objects to prevent some uses of them.

I think the crucial questions are, which people is it hostile to? And is it justifiable to mistreat those people? The purported justification offered here seems to be, "We were obeying orders from the organization that paid for the project." This gives carte blanche to screwing homeless people if a local government or landowner decides to.

If you don't want homeless people to sleep in your doorway, how about making some other place for them to lie down, where it won't get in your way.

Spying on journalists
12 December 2017

Ethiopia seems to be attacking journalists and dissidents with fishware purchased from spy companies.

Believing women
12 December 2017

Right-wing fanatics are trying to sabotage public awareness of sexual harassment and rape by exaggerating and faking accusations.

They are also doing this by insisting that only Democrats should resign in response to such accusations, while Republicans ignore them.

The article explains that "believe women" does not mean women's accusations cannot be false or that we should rush to judgment of those accused. It means, rather, that we should take women's accusations seriously, not dismiss them out of hand as has so often been done.

I support that principle wholeheartedly.

FUD attack against Mueller
12 December 2017

The troll's men are launching a FUD attack against Prosecutor Mueller to prepare an excuse for his supporters to disregard all the hard evidence Mueller is digging up.

Marijuana in Uruguay
12 December 2017

Legalization of marijuana in Uruguay has been a great success, marred only by interference by banks.

Archiving Twitter and Facebook
12 December 2017

Twitter and Facebook have so much data that there is no feasible way to archive it for future study. But even if that were done, it would be impossible to determine in the future, from the data, what users would have seen in the past.

I disagree with the ho-hum conclusion of the article. Given the way these networks influence politics, the question of what they did will be important to study in the future. If we have in the future a political system that permits people to research such questions, the question of why we still have such a system will depend on it.

On-line banking and fraud
12 December 2017

On-line banking makes bank depositors vulnerable to fraud — and gives banks an excuse to put the responsibility on the depositor. To be safe, don't do it.

Sanders on tour
12 December 2017

Sanders is touring to campaign for progressive politics, aiming to win over some of the voters that supported the troll.

Collecting false debt
12 December 2017

Debt collectors harass Americans to pay debts they don't owe — millions of Americans. Many are intimidated into paying, or get convinced that the false debt was real.

Most of the article describes one exceptionally talented victim who identified some of the culprits, investigated them unceasingly, and set the feds on them. Bravo! But this is not something most of us could succeed at.

US hospital fees
12 December 2017

US hospitals charge thousands of dollars for a visit to the emergency room, as a "facilities fee".

Hired holiday party guests
12 December 2017

If you meet an attractive woman at a wealthy company's holiday party this year, maybe she is a model being paid to pretend to be a guest.

Urgent: tax attacks bill
11 December 2017

US citizens: call on your congresscritter one more time to oppose the tax attacks bill.

ISP honesty
11 December 2017

Along with network neutrality, the FCC's Pai-in-the-face plan includes weakening the rules for ISPs to be honest about what they charge.

"Ajit Pai says an informed public (not Net Neutrality) will discipline ISPs (BTW, he's also killing the rules forcing ISPs to inform the public)."

Exceptional liar
11 December 2017

The troll is not a normal kind of liar. He lies exceptionally often, even among big liars. Even more unusual, half of his lies are intentionally cruel.

Sit-in for Senator Collins
11 December 2017

Protesters held a sit-in in Senator Collins's office as it closed, demanding that she vote against the tax attacks.

Attacking renewables
11 December 2017

GOP Tax Scam Attacks Renewables While Nurturing Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Industries.

Food stamp requirements
11 December 2017

UCS: USDA's Pledge to Allow Food Stamp "Flexibilities" for States Could Open Door to Misguided Eligibility Requirements.

Scientific journals
11 December 2017

Even reputable, and partly reputable, scientific journals accept some articles that are glaring pseudoscience.

A journal that accepts 90% of the offered papers, and is willing to retract one, is not in the lowest category. The truly predatory journals accept around 100% of the articles offered to them, and I doubt they ever think about retracting one.

WTO participants
11 December 2017

Argentina claims that deportation of journalists and activists who were authorized to participate in the WTO is for the sake of "security".

I must wonder what sort of "security" issue this concerns. Securing ever-tightening plutocratic control over the whole world, perhaps?

I Was Banned From The WTO [based on lies] For Defending People’s Rights.

The WTO must be eliminated, because of the power that it gives to the plutocrats over supposedly-democratic states.

Imprisoning hospital patients
11 December 2017

African hospitals often imprison patients that can't pay their bills. Many of them are women that came to give birth.

Aside from the injustice of what the hospitals do, we should notice that parents who can't pay for hospital care for the birth surely also can't pay to raise a child properly. It is irresponsible for them to have children.

Evidence from surveillance
11 December 2017

Section 702 massive surveillance gives the FBI tons of evidence to go fishing for excuses to prosecute US citizens.

Six other ways that massive personal data harms society.

Incorrect CNN story
11 December 2017

Glenn Greenwald: CNN published an incorrect story about an email that apparently indicated Wikileaks secretly offered DNC leaks to the bully's campaign. It appeared that way because CNN had the wrong date for the email.

Greenwald says that CNN should publish who told it about the email and gave it the wrong date, and reports that several news reports criticizing Russia or Putin appear to have been planted and false.

I saw some of those stories, and didn't know they were false — I have no practical way to check that — but I felt they were drawing big conclusions from small evidence, or exaggerating the significance of what was known. So I did not post about them.

Tax attacks and the deficit
11 December 2017

Progressives must resist the pressure to criticize the tax attacks about increasing the deficit or the debt.

Targeting Good Samaritans
11 December 2017

Atlanta Targets Good Samaritans Sharing Food with Homeless.

Letter from economists
11 December 2017

Open letter from economists to the U.S. Congress, published by the Sanders Institute.

Armed and dangerous
11 December 2017

When a thug decides you're armed and dangerous, and you're not, there is literally nothing you can do to assure your safety.

Pipeline protesters
11 December 2017

Pipeline protesters barged into the "Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum" to deliver a petition for banks to stop funding the Keystone XL pipeline.

The name of the event seems to indicate a greatly distorted world view, as events in China about "Xi Jinping Thought" do.

California wildfires spreading
11 December 2017

The wildfires in Southern California are unprecedented; the head of firefighting for California said "There will be no ability to fight fires in these winds." The fires spread through forest and town as if through tinder.

This is because global heating has caused a persistent drought in the area for several years. It will get much worse over the decades.

Mentally ill in prison
11 December 2017

US medical care nowadays is so horrible that mentally ill people get put in prison instead of treated. In prison they are beaten and tased instead of treated.

Family visits for prisoners
11 December 2017

Should prisoners' human rights include in-person visits with family?

It might be very important for society to encourage such visits.

Disabled people against tax attacks
11 December 2017

Disabled people (and people who will be disabled) are campaigning against the Republican tax attacks, which would cut off their medical care.

Sabotage of government programs
11 December 2017

The Republican tax attacks bill would sabotage many government programs that Republicans' rich masters don't like. Plutocratist Democrats are not campaigning for a positive alternative.

Tax experts say that the SCROTUS tax attacks are full of confusions, loopholes, and provisions that would be hard to interpret.

The Grand Unifying Theory of the Republican Party is plunder.

Drone assassinations
11 December 2017

Amnesty International: the troll has authorized secret permissive policies for drone assassinations nowhere near battlefields.

11 December 2017

Arguing Over Art Is Right But Trying to Ban It Is the Work of Fascists.

The learn-to-code craze
11 December 2017

Teaching everyone to program (or trying to) is of no particular benefit to most students, but it sure feeds a lot of money to computer companies while getting students hooked on those companies' proprietary software.

US drug companies
11 December 2017

The biggest 10 US drug companies are pushing up drug prices very fast and dodging US taxes.

Fossil fuel subsidies
11 December 2017

Leading Economists Demand that Not a Penny More Goes to Fossil Fuels.

Global heating's development
11 December 2017

Current measurements are following the harshest scenarios of global heating's development.

US chicken farmers
11 December 2017

It appears that US chicken farmers are using less antibiotics in their factory processes. The total used in agriculture declined 14% in 2016.

This will be significant if the trend continues, but that one decrease will not by itself change much.

The fact that the US has not adopted laws to drastically reduce the cause of a problem that kills over 20,000 Americans a year is worth contrasting with the harassment and tyranny inflicted on us in the name of saving us from the comparatively minuscule danger of terrorism.

How the internet works
11 December 2017

The FCC Still Doesn't Know How the Internet Works.

The Troll-Russia story
11 December 2017

A careful analysis of the legal jeopardy of the bully and his campaign team: what the evidence is, and what charges could be sustained.

Note the report that firing Mueller would not protect them, because he has arranged for New York State prosecutors to take over if he is stopped.

We have known since November 2016 that the bully did not win the election "fair and square" that month. The election was rigged by Republican voter-suppression, including voter-ID laws in several states.

There was also the "crosscheck" program which gave Republicans an excuse to remove a million Americans from voting rolls.

Republicans tried to rig previous elections, too, and they will try to rig the next one.

The US economy
11 December 2017

The US "economy" is "doing very well", so why don't Americans see much benefit?