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Mistreatment of women in Afghanistan
27 June 2017

Women in Afghanistan are treated so badly after a divorce (if they can get one) that they turn to suicide to escape from violent husbands. Some try to burn themselves to death.

Aisha is quoted as praying for death. Did she want treatment, or did doctors pressure her to accept it? If she really still wanted to die, compassion requires us to cooperate with that.

Smoke inhalation probably hurts a lot less than burns. A woman might be wiser to set the violent husband on fire, then inhale the smoke.

Divestment and sanctions against Israel
27 June 2017

A UK court overturned a government order banning local governments from participating in divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Koch brothers cut off Republican Party pay
27 June 2017

The Koch brothers have cut off the pay of the Republican Party until they pass some sort of medical care sabotage.

Republicans would sell their own children to get their pay — and Americans' children too. They know voters will hate them for this, but they will think they've already given up public approval. They are now owned by their corrupt masters, and will have to bet that their masters' money (plus voter suppression) overcomes public memory.

Liu Xiaobo's nominal release from prison
27 June 2017

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been nominally released from prison. This occurred a few years early because he is dying of cancer.

Prisons are known for denying prisoners needed medical care. Often by refusing to believe the problem is serious. US prisons do this, Australian prisons do this, and Chinese political prisons are probably even worse.

Activists say that China systematically (though deniably) limits political prisoners' medical care, hoping that prisoners will get sick and die.

They may not have knowingly refused to recognize Liu's cancer until it was too advanced to cure, but they shut their eyes just in case. Shall we call this Chinese Prison Roulette? It is a form of murder (though without actually breaking a law).

His supposed release from prison may be a sham. His hospital room may be a form of prison. Things the Chinese government says often have as little relationship to reality as things the troll says.

The US government ought to be a shining beacon of contrast to China's repression, but that is ever less the case.

Oceans getting hotter
27 June 2017

Correlating the different systems that have been used to measure temperature in various parts of the oceans, and overcoming various biases, a study confirms that oceans have been getting hotter.

London housing residents kept helpless
27 June 2017

The residents of London housing project that burned down were concerned about the danger of fire, but the Tories had limited legal aid funds so that there was no way they could demand action.

Great Barrier Reef's economic value
27 June 2017

A report assigning the Great Barrier Reef an economic value of 56 billion dollars might perhaps convince some Australians to take measures to curb global heating.

The murderous Dontcare bill
27 June 2017

If the Dontcare bill kills people, will that be murder?

When discussing whether something is or isn't murder, outside the context of a legal accusation, to cite laws is to miss the point.

The word "murder" has multiple related meanings. In law, it is the name of a crime, with a definition that varies between jurisdictions. Courts, trying someone for murder, should follow these definitions.

The word also has an everyday meaning that is more basic than laws, and is independent of the details of the laws of one place or another. It means knowingly killing people in the absence of certain morally valid justifications.

Unless "crushing the poor to give to the rich" is a morally valid justification, the Dontcare bill's killings will be murder by the ordinary meaning.

UK demonizing those who import sex dolls
27 June 2017

The UK is demonizing anyone that imports a sex doll with a childlike body shape.

It would be ludicrous to claim that some child was harmed by making the doll, so they don't bother offering any justification for the prohibition. The mere idea that these dolls are "sickening" is supposed to justify making it a crime.

Education for every child
27 June 2017

Here's an Idea: Guarantee Every Child an Excellent Education.

Coffee to be lost to global heating
27 June 2017

Half the coffee-producing land in Ethiopia will become unsuitable as a result of global heating.

Worst of all, the wild strains will die out. Their genetic resources will be forever lost.

Failure to stand for progressive change
27 June 2017

Progressives say that candidate Ossoff lost to a Republican, despite millions in support from the Democratic Party, for the same reason Clinton did: failure to stand for progressive change.

The progressive candidates for Congress lost too, but they got little support from the Democratic Party — because they were progressive.

Acquittal of murderous thug
27 June 2017

Philando Castille made every effort to comply with the thug's orders and assure safety. The thug's response — first incompetent, then violent, then dishonest — turned it into murder.

Video that was kept secret until after the trial shows this clearly.

The thug's acquittal shows the bias of our legal system on behalf of thugs. It bows down to them with more respect than we give ordinary citizens. That respect enables them to get away with murder.

How can we change that? One way is by setting a visible example of denying them the excessive respect they claim. That's why I call them "thugs". It is not just a way to vent emotions. It is a way to teach not to give them so much respect.

Urgent: Preserve the Johnson Amendment
26 June 2017

US citizens: call on Congress to preserve the Johnson Amendment: don't allow churches to spend money on election campaigning.

Proposed US car surveillance system
26 June 2017

A proposed US mandate for all cars to transmit information about their movements would make it easy to track all cars' movements, all the time.

The article explains why we must fight each new proposed surveillance system no matter how many others already exist.

Support for the disabled
26 June 2017

A universal basic income, in today's economic conditions, would not replace state-funded medical care or support for the disabled.

In a hundred years, if we avoid global disaster and we end human population growth, and if medicine advances so far that no treatment is very expensive, that may change.

The Dontcare bill
26 June 2017

Meet some of the Americans SCROTUS are trying to kill.

Mosque aims to reform Islam
26 June 2017

A mosque in Berlin that aims to reform Islam will not close even though its founder receives thousands of death threats.

Her relatives in Turkey fear they will be used as hostages, but she courageously refuses to let that defeat her.

Corbyn inspires activists
26 June 2017

Corbyn inspires activists in Mexico.

Fearful overprotection of children
26 June 2017

Should You Be More Afraid of Carjackers -- or the Zippers on Your Pants?

English "fishing villages"
26 June 2017

English "fishing villages" are turning into theme parks; there are few real fishermen, and the tourist-oriented restaurants don't buy fish from them, so fishermen cannot afford to live there anymore.

This is a world-wide pattern that every place that is interesting or special becomes more and more like a theme park.

Macron's labor "reforms"
26 June 2017

Mélenchon's party's small bloc in the French Assembly is going all out to oppose Macron's labor "reforms".

These "reforms" are intended, in France as elsewhere, to enable business to pay workers less and send plutocrats more.

Insufficient welfare benefits
26 June 2017

High rents and insufficient welfare benefits are projected to push a million British families out of their homes by 2020.

Prisoners put in permanent coma
26 June 2017

North Korea is not the only place where prisoners wind up in a permanent coma. It happened this year in New Jersey.

North Korea says little about how Warmbier got into a coma. New Jersey likewise says little.

North Korea should come clean, and New Jersey too.

California single-payer medical system bill
26 June 2017

The California single-payer medical system bill passed the California Senate, but was quashed in the lower house by the speaker.

Previously I thought it had been passed by both houses and that it was on the verge of becoming law. Sorry for the mistake.

Prisoners tortured by UAE for US agents
26 June 2017

In Yemen and Eritrea, forces of the United Arab Emirates torture prisoners to get them ready for US agents to interrogate.

Then the US agents say, "We didn't see any torture."

Use of "smart" meters for surveillance
26 June 2017

People are becoming concerned about "smart" meters as a surveillance system.

I understood the idea of a "smart" meter to include allowing the utility to query total energy usage at any time. That would allow moment-to-moment monitoring.

If French "smart" meters report electric usage only once per day, they are not much of a privacy threat with that limitation. The utility could determine whether someone was home, perhaps estimate how many people were home, but nothing more.

Are "smart" meters in other countries designed with that limitation?

The Republican Party
26 June 2017

The Republican Party is the party of ungovernment.

Special investigator Mueller
26 June 2017

The troll reportedly wants to get rid of special investigator Robert Mueller, but that would require a complicated procedure.

Jobs "saved" by troll now being offshored
26 June 2017

Remember when the troll "saved" jobs at Carrier by giving it a tax cut? The were not saved for long: they are being offshored now.

Being an off duty thug while black
26 June 2017

A black thug, off duty, came to assist a white thug. The white thug shot him.

Apparently no black is safe around white thugs.

The Siberian tiger
26 June 2017

Protection of the Siberian tiger since the 1930s has enabled its numbers to increase by 20 times. But the total is still only 500.

Thug shoots at dog, kills teenager
26 June 2017

A thug killed a teenager by shooting at a violent dog.

A biting dog is dangerous, but wouldn't a taser have done the job? Why did they pull out guns first?

Google's blacklist
26 June 2017

Google's blacklists give it tremendous power. It can cut off any website from being visited by nearly all internet users.

List of troll's lies
26 June 2017

A list of all the troll's lies since his inauguration.

Urgent: Oppose pro-coal ads
26 June 2017

US citizens: tell Senator Schumer to stop supporting pro-coal Senator Manchin with pro-coal ads.

Urgent: Infrastructure development
26 June 2017

US citizens: call on Congress to handle infrastructure development the progressive and useful way, rather than through privatization giveaways.

Saving coral reefs
26 June 2017

UNESCO says that local efforts can't save coral reefs; curbing global heating is the only way.

Requiring a pause before voting
26 June 2017

Senator Paul proposed a Senate rules change to require a pause before voting on a bill, of one day for each 20 pages of the bill's length.

I think it is a good idea.

Thug gets "qualified immunity"
26 June 2017

A thug was given "qualified immunity" by a US court even though it was proved he lied about facts to try to convict an innocent man.

That decision was perverse. Tentatively disregarding some discrepant facts is sometimes justified, but lying about them can never be excused.

Retaliation for criticizing a thug
26 June 2017

After a thug killed Philando Castile, prosecutors got his girlfriend's phone records to try to throw dirt on her for criticizing the thug.

The Brazilian Amazon
26 June 2017

Despite President Temer's surprise veto, the Brazilian Amazon is not safe yet from loggers and miners.

The Dontcare bill
26 June 2017

Parents of badly disabled children have brought them to Congress to show the staff what medical care those children need. The Dontcare bill would cut it off.

Medical care, Republican style
26 June 2017

Medical care, Republican style: give them less and make them think it's more.

Ireland sneaking in national ID law
26 June 2017

Ireland is effectively sneaking in a national ID card.

Troll and staff deleting communications
26 June 2017

The troll and his staff are illegally deleting their communications, which by law must be preserved.

If CREW wins its lawsuit, is there anything it can do to make the troll and his staff follow the law?

Asking Republicans to cooperate
26 June 2017

Reportedly the CIA told Obama about a range of Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 election, and Obama waited for Republican cooperation in responding.

These reports come from intelligence organizations that have their own antidemocratic agendas. The facts may not be 100% accurate. Recall that Assange said that some DNC email leaks came from insiders, not from Russian crackers. But let's assume they are broadly correct. What then?

Obama, as usual, asked Republicans to cooperate. When they showed their usual attitude, aiming to take control of the US by hook or by crook, he didn't understand the idea of fighting back. He waited for their cooperation until it was too late. What a sap!

Russian interference with the election was hostile to the US, but the damage it did is far less than what the Republicans did on their own: the big gerrymander and voter suppression. That was also hostile to the US, and it still is.

That was also hostile to the US, and it still is.

Mythical "clean coal"
26 June 2017

"Clean coal" is now even more mythical, as an experimental CO2-extracting power plant turns out to have to burn only natural gas.

A substantial part of the greenhouse gas emissions of using natural gas come from methane leaks before the gas gets to a power plant.

Spying on Mexican journalists
26 June 2017

Mexican journalists were spied on through their portable phones, which were turned into listening devices (as commonly occurs).

There is no proof of who did this, but the obvious suspect is the Mexican state.

Spread of deserts
26 June 2017

2C of global heating will spread deserts around the Mediterranean. The beginning of this is already visible. Other parts of the world face other broad disasters that are already starting.

Plutocracy makes public housing dangerous
25 June 2017

Tall buildings for public housing don't have to be dangerous. It is plutocracy and its child, dooH niboR, that make them dangerous.

Urgent: Protect world heritage sites
25 June 2017

Everyone: call on UNESCO to protect world heritage sites by pressure against locating coal mines near them.

Denying activists jobs and bank services
25 June 2017

A private blacklist database, accumulated from complaints that are hardly verified at all, causes activists to be denied jobs and bank services.

US military spending
25 June 2017

The troll wants to increase US military spending by 10%, by gutting activities that Americans depend on.

Since the US spends as much on the military as the eight other most powerful armies together, it could do with transferring a lot of this spending to activities that are really useful.

Tuskegee syphilis study
25 June 2017

Sessions wants America to forget about the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which blacks were left to suffer untreated syphilis even after we had a cure.

Oil pipeline protester sentenced
25 June 2017

Protester Ken Ward was sentenced to two days in jail for turning a value to shut down a tar oil pipeline.

Firing women for using birth control
25 June 2017

Missouri is moving a bill to allow employers to fire women for using birth control.

Women could also be evicted for using birth control or for not using birth control (i.e., getting pregnant).

The bill also hampers abortion with pointless harassment requirements.

Women will have to lie to employers and landlords about their birth control and abortion practices.

Injustice of today's copyright law
25 June 2017

Elsevier reaffirmed the injustice of today's copyright law by winning a lawsuit against the article-sharing site Sci-Hub. But it can't collect the 15 million dollars, since the site's operator isn't operating for a profit, and it can't shut the site down.

Please be careful not to use the term "pirate" to describe sharing. It requires special attention to avoid following someone else's example, such as after reading an article like that one.

Banning VPNs
25 June 2017

Banning VPNs is dangerous, in Russia or anywhere else.

Dontcare bill and insurance companies
25 June 2017

The Senate's Dontcare bill opens a sneaky method for insurance companies to gouge Americans with preexisting medical conditions.

Troll pushing to increase surveillance
25 June 2017

The troll is pushing to increase surveillance of the US and everyone in it, for the sake of deportation.

Chinese censorship in Hong Kong
25 June 2017

Chinese censorship descends openly on Hong Kong: signs criticizing China's repression or its repressive ruler have been banned from his parade route.

Dark money and elections
25 June 2017

Dark Money Turns Elections Into Trench Warfare.

TSA and reading material
25 June 2017

When the Theater of Security Agency makes travelers remove papers from their bags, that will lead naturally to unofficial censorship of reading material.

Potential terrorists
24 June 2017

Italy has a fairly efficient system of monitoring and discouraging potential ideological terrorists.

Disabled protesters arrested
24 June 2017

Killing People For Tax Cuts (for the rich only).

Iran nuclear deal
24 June 2017

The West must respect the nuclear deal with Iran, or that deal may fall apart. In particular, this means no more military provocations.

Neo-Ottoman ideals
24 June 2017

Turkey has surrendered to ignorance as well as tyranny: schools will no longer teach evolution.

Daily anti-terror drills
24 June 2017

China is turning Xinjiang into a totalitarian system of repression. This is presented as a scheme to crush Islamist terrorism (and Uygur separatism, which is not the same thing). But this sort of repression is much worse than terrorism.

Americans, take this as a lesson of what the US will be like if we don't stop it.

Homeless in heatwave
24 June 2017

The heat wave is causing physical injury to homeless people in Arizona.

A century from now, with higher temperatures everywhere, such injury could cover large parts of the US. In some places, heat waves could be fatal to all humans not protected by air conditioning or underground shelters.

Ralph Nader: [plutocrats are] Closing Democracy's Doors Until the People Open Them.

Logging Free-for-All
24 June 2017

House Logging Bill (HR 2936) Guts Federal Environmental Laws, Literally Privatizes Public Lands, Creates Logging Free-for-All.

Secret Health Care Bill
24 June 2017

Senators Drafting Secret Health Care Bill Backed by Insurance and Pharma Campaign Money.

Reactor autopsy
24 June 2017

The US should do an "autopsy" on a specific retired nuclear power plant, to see what flaws the other similar plants may have.

Urgent: Justice for Charleena Lyles
24 June 2017

US citizens: call for justice for Charleena Lyles, killed by thugs after she called for help.

Pro-Putin bots
24 June 2017

Almost half the accounts tweeting in Russian about politics are pro-Putin bots.

Drifting towards war
24 June 2017

The US is drifting towards war with Iran, encouraged by the troll.

Immigration checks on survivors
24 June 2017

Some survivors from the apartment building fire in London are afraid to go to the hosptal because they fear they will be deported.

Purge of EPA scientists
24 June 2017

Saboteur Pruitt of the EPA has fired most of the real scientists from its scientific advisory committees, and made them inactive.

Illegal face recognition
24 June 2017

The Department of Homeland Subjugation has illegally started submitting US citizens to face recognition as they board some international flights.

Very Urgent: Oppose the Dontcare bill
24 June 2017

US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the Dontcare bill.

It is useful to urge them to delay the vote until after the July 4 recess. More time, more public scrutiny of the bill, will improve our chances of blocking it.

The Senate's Dontcare bill is basically just like the one passed by the House of Representatives.

Its cuts to Medicaid start slower but eventually go deeper.

More information.

Arresting publishers in Hong Kong
24 June 2017

Hong Kong's non-democratically elected chief says that China can arrest or kidnap publishers whenever it likes. It's fine with her.

Clinton's fund raising leaders
24 June 2017

Some of Clinton's fund raising leaders are now lobbying for oppressive Republican policy proposals, such as abolishing network neutrality.

Given Clinton's pro-business (plutocratist) leanings, this doesn't surprise me. When I was young, we had a name for politicians like Clinton: "Republicans".

Reducing use of natural gas
24 June 2017

Natural gas is not a safe replacement for coal — to avoid global disaster, we will have to cut its use fast.

Instead of investing in use of natural gas, we should invest in renewable energy.

"Get rid of red tape"
24 June 2017

Just as the apartment house fire occurred, the UK was studying a plan to "get rid of red tape" by eliminating the fire-safety regulations about materials to use in construction.

In the UK, fire is potentially a far bigger danger than terrorists. It is not a bigger danger in practice today, simply because regulations have done a pretty good job of preventing fires.

Quashing convictions made under Nazi-Era law
24 June 2017

Guardian: Germany to Quash Convictions of 50,000 Gay Men under Nazi-Era Law.

Squeezing to keep nuclear plants operating
24 June 2017

A nuclear power plant operator is squeezing various states for billions of dollars to keep some nuclear plants operating.

If we spent the money on batteries to store solar power, we would be investing it in a better future.

The business of Amway
24 June 2017

The main business of Amway is not getting people to resell real products to their friends. It is getting people to pay high prices for seminars, that will supposedly teach them to be a success in reselling products to their friends, but really just say how to push their friends to pay for seminars.

It sounds like EST and its descendants.

Valedictorian speech terminated
24 June 2017

A high school valedictorian's speech was terminated by cutting off the microphone when he criticized in a general way some of the school's personnel.

He said the opposite of what he meant to say, by using the wrong word "authoritative" when he should have said "authoritarian". However, everyone understood the intended meaning.

What shocks me most is the comments that rebuke him for his mild criticism of the school authorities. Is this a sample of the authoritarian follower personality?

Troll's plan for drug prices
24 June 2017

The troll's plan to deal with the unpayable high prices drug companies charge for medicines is to let them do whatever they like.

Volunteer

I am looking for people to experiment to find good ways to attach fruits to a Grav-mass tree.

Norway condemns deforestation in Brazil
23 June 2017

Norway will eliminate its foreign aid to Brazil if Brazil does not stop deforestation.

That was on Friday. Perhaps that's why President Temer decided to let a model convince him not to sign the bill that would allow a lot more deforestation.

Copyright oppression
23 June 2017

The copyright industry want to use the renegotiation of NAFTA to increase copyright oppression in Canada, Mexico and the US.

You can tell they are up to no good by their use of the confusion-spreading term "intellectual property".

Civilian casualties from US bombings
23 June 2017

The Pentagon keeps its eyes firmly shut in regard to civilian casualties from its bombings, then reports that it has seen no evidence of any.

US election security
23 June 2017

Lessons of 2016 for U.S. Election Security.

Given the resistance that Jill Stein encountered when trying to get recounts in the 2016 election, we can't trust computerized optical ballot counters in the US.

Troll admits lying for intimidation's sake
23 June 2017

The troll admits that his talk of taping conversations with Comey was a lie for intimidation's sake.

Too bad. Those tapes could have inculpated him.

Beginning of end for PISSI's territory
23 June 2017

The beginning of the end for PISSI's territory in Syria and Iraq has unleashed a conflict between the US, Russia, Iran, and their various local clients over the spoils.

I would guess that the US participation in Salafi Arabia's bombardment of Yemen, and the provocations between Salafi Arabia + supports and Iran + supporters, are part of this.

I feel no sympathy for any of the groups of plutocrats that want to fight about this. It is not worth a war.

Raising minimum wage
23 June 2017

Seattle's law that raises the minimum wage has not led to reduced employment.