San Francisco surveillance state
19 February 2019

San Francisco’s Accidental Surveillance State and the Future of Privacy.

Structural racism
19 February 2019

"What's more offensive: a racist yearbook photo or structural racism?"

The way for Northam to atone for racist jokes is to commit to eliminating structural racism.

PISSI
19 February 2019

Reportedly PISSI is reorganizing as an underground movement in Iraq and might get strong enough to cause real trouble.

Later hours for students and workers
19 February 2019

Allowing students and workers to wake up at a later hour enables them to sleep better and concentrate better at school or work.

Bills to reduce prescription drug prices
19 February 2019

Sanders and Ro Khanna have introduced bills to reduce prescription drug prices in the US.

The measures are not radical.

DR Congo's presidential election
19 February 2019

The surprise "winner" of DR Congo's presidential election may have been chosen because of a deal with the old president, Kabila.

Amtrak
19 February 2019

Amtrak has reportedly dropped the requirement for passengers to show ID to buy a ticket. I think this means there is no longer a reason to refuse to ride Amtrak.

Christian extremist
19 February 2019

A Christian extremist who publicly insulted the homosexuals that had been murdered in the Pulse club has now resigned because he hired sex workers.

This is backwards. It was the insult that he should have resigned for.

Guantanamo
19 February 2019

17 years after it was set up, Guantanamo prison remains a threat to human rights.

Urgent: Ilhan Omar
18 February 2019

US citizens: call on congressional Democratic leaders to stand by Ilhan Omar against right-wing attacks.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Paid family leave
18 February 2019

In the US: call on Target to give its employees 12 weeks of paid family leave.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Taxes for rich people
18 February 2019

US citizens: call Democrats in Congress to make rich people pay their fair share of taxes.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Fossil fuel development
18 February 2019

US citizens: call for the Green New Deal to include ending fossil fuel development.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Tobacco fronts
18 February 2019

Tobacco companies, fighting public health measures (such as increased taxes) designed to reduce deaths from smoking, hire "free market" think tanks as lobbying and PR fronts.

To the extent that cigarettes are smuggled, the effects of the tax would be less. One way to reduce that is to make agreements with neighboring countries to increase the tax on tobacco.

Elon Musk's foundation
18 February 2019

How Elon Musk's Secretive Foundation Benefits His Own Family.

Assange's lawsuit
18 February 2019

Julian Assange is suing the US in the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, demanding to know whether he faces US charges.

Refugee eviction
18 February 2019

Italy is closing a refugee center and evicting the 500 refugees that live there.

Supposedly some of them will be housed elsewhere. The rest, who knows?

William Barr
18 February 2019

William Barr Has a Long History of Abusing Civil Rights and Liberties in the Name of "National Security".

Autonomous killer robots
18 February 2019

A survey of many countries found that people strongly oppose development of autonomous killer robots.

Melting Greenland ice
18 February 2019

Greenland ice is melting faster than before, suggesting 3 meters (10 feet) of sea level rise by 2100.

I have visited many cities which are likely to become sea as a result: most recently, Kozhikode and Kochi in India.

The actual rise is likely to be more. We don't know of all the positive-feedback cycles that will make global heating speed up.

Sewer cleaners in India
18 February 2019

Some workers that clean sewers in India don't get safety equipment, and fairly often have accidents that turn fatal.

TSA sick days
18 February 2019

10% of the TSA's workers took sick days on Jan 20. After a while, many would have to quit, and air travel in the US would grind to a halt.

FBI's mission
18 February 2019

A former FBI deputy assistant director said that the FBI defined its mission to include preventing the election of progressive and socialist candidates.

1960s assassinations
18 February 2019

Relatives and colleagues call for a new investigation of the assassination in the 1960s of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert Kennedy.

Single payer medical bill
18 February 2019

Democrats in Congress are weakening the single payer medical bill to make it more palatable to insurance companies.

Washington's teeth
18 February 2019

George Washington lost his teeth, so he bought teeth from his slaves.

Republicans in Florida
18 February 2019

Florida's Republican governor has "suspended" two officials in charge of counting votes in Miami and replaced them with Republicans.

Republicans in Florida have a history of unfair election practices.

Tracking in Moscow
18 February 2019

People on Moscow streets will be tracked using face recognition.

Urgent: Subsidies for movies
16 February 2019

Citizens of Massachusetts: call your state representative and senator to oppose subsidies for movies. States should not compete to attract businesses away from other states.

If we don't stop this, next thing you know they will want to offer twice as much money as New York City offered as a handout to Amazon.

If you phone, please spread the word!

Urgent: Paycheck Fairness Act
16 February 2019

US citizens: support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Repression in Indonesia
16 February 2019

Indonesia is accused of heavy repression in response to a guerrilla attack in West Papua.

I believe the accusation, both because Indonesia has done such things before, and because another article said Indonesia was not allowing journalists into the area.

Lincoln Memorial confrontation
16 February 2019

A verbal confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial between protesting right-wing white students and a group of protesting blacks became verbally nasty. It sheds light on the level of hostility in the US.

The students probably were bigots and racists, since they were wearing right-wing extremist symbols such as "MAGA". That is no ground to infer anything about their parentage, or to insult homosexuals by calling someone "faggot". Nor to insult them for their race. The right way to oppose them is to focus on criticizing the views they choose to advocate.

Car seat prosecution
16 February 2019

A mother faces prosecution in Minnesota because her child's car seat fell out of the car on the road.

Punishing parents for mistakes is stupid as well as unjust. The accusation itself causes stress to the family, which harms the children as well as the parents.

This is part of the overall US pattern of pressuring parents, even by threats, if they fail to be stiflingly overprotective. Antiabortionists even extend this to miscarriages.

It constitutes one additional secondary reason why it is better not to have children.

Energy democracy
16 February 2019

2019 Is the Year to Embrace Energy Democracy — Or Face Social and Climate Breakdown.

Enslaved workers in Thailand
16 February 2019

Thailand's supreme court upheld a legal victory for workers enslaved in a chicken farm.

MLK's views
16 February 2019

Martin Luther King held views that were labeled as radical.

Nowadays, they are not so radical — many of them are supported by most Americans.

Opposition news in Nicaragua
16 February 2019

Nicaraguan thugs raided an opposition news publisher; the editor has fled to exile in Costa Rica.

Muslims in the Philippines
16 February 2019

The Philippines government approved an "autonomous region" for the part of Mindanao inhabited mostly by Muslims.

The article does not say whether the agreement reduces freedom of religion and other human rights in that region. Islamic law tramples various human rights, so there is reason to be concerned about that danger.

Summit in Rwanda
16 February 2019

The British Commonwealth disregards its charter about democracy and human rights by hosting a summit in Rwanda.

Fundraiser t-shirts
16 February 2019

Globalization's irony: Spice Girls t-shirts, sold to raise money to campaign for equality, were made in a factory in Bangladesh by women getting paid around 30 cents per hour.

The book No Logo explained how business-supremacy treaties knocked down the unions that were starting to raise the wages of factory workers in some low-wage countries.

The article also shows, tangentially, how the practice of despising sex workers is tied into broader misogyny.

Prosecutor as president
16 February 2019

In an age when the US imprisons far too many people, a prosecutor as president (or other elected official) is in general a bad idea.

Spending money on Facebook
16 February 2019

Facebook staff discussed in a tone of cupidity how they were leading minors to spend their parents' money playing games. Facebook kept the parents confused about the situation, too.

Charter schools
16 February 2019

Charter schools are like tree roots growing into cracks in the building of public education. If not stopped, they will bring it crashing down.

Teacher's strikes are weakening the political support that charter schools have obtained in the plutocratist system.

Dropgangs
16 February 2019

Black markets are developing a sort of cell system by which the participants can't identify each other and can't betray each other. The customers never see any of them, and they can't identify the customers either.

As sale of prohibited goods becomes anonymous and safe, lawful sales of lawful goods are becoming a dangerous system of massive surveillance. When will we be able to buy those through a darknet, for our privacy?

If Tor sold its DRM-free contract-free e-books through a darknet, I would in principle (some details are crucial) be glad to buy them straight from the publisher that way.

Forced arbitration
16 February 2019

Google's employees have launched a campaign to end forced arbitration in the US. Not solely for cases of sexual harassment — the campaign includes all forms of mistreating workers.

Don't forget customers and clients!