Urgent: Corker-Kaine AUMF
26 April 2018

US citizens: Tell the Senate: Vote no on the Corker-Kaine AUMF.

Urgent: CFPB under threat
26 April 2018

US citizens: tell Congress not to let the saboteur in chief destroy the CFPB.

Urgent: Approval for military action
26 April 2018

US citizens: tell your congresscritter to sign the Lofgren-Amash-Lee-Massie letter calling on the bully to get Congress's approval for military action against Assad's army.

Tools for evading censorship
26 April 2018

Bad Decisions: Google Screws Over Tools Evading Internet Censorship Regimes.

Making combustible fuel
26 April 2018

Since Iceland generates all its electricity using renewable sources, next it wants to make combustible fuel using electricity and avoid the remaining fossil fuel.

90 companies
26 April 2018

Just 90 Companies Caused Two-Thirds of Man-Made Global [Heating] Emissions.

This is, of course, a sign of the dangerous concentration of industry into large businesses.

Facebook advertising
26 April 2018

Supposedly Facebook doesn't allow companies to arbitrarily add email addresses to the list of people they can advertise to. In practice, they seem to be doing it.

Instead of looking for ways to make small changes to put an end to this, we should aim to drastically reduce massive surveillance at all levels.

Vanishing ice
26 April 2018

What Happened to Winter? Vanishing Ice Convulses Alaskans' Way Of Life.

Knowing about Hitler
26 April 2018

Most young Americans don't know about Hitler's campaign to kill all Jews.

We would have an easier time teaching people to condemn genocide if Israel did not try to use it as an excuse for the occupation of Palestine. We could be more successful in campaigning against real antisemitism if criticism of Israel's occupation policy were not mislabeled as antisemitism.

The American dream
26 April 2018

"America first" was a slogan of American fascists. Some of the bully's associates used associated racist slogans such as "100% American", which was understood as meaning "100% Aryan".

But don't criticize the cheater for saying that the American dream was dead. The Horatio Alger dream, that by hard work you could get a good job and prosperity (not riches), was killed by plutocrats (of which the cheater was just one) years before he became a candidate.

Where he lied was in claiming he would try to reverse that. What he has actually done is help those plutocrats knock other Americans down.

Joking with the bully
26 April 2018

Comey joked with the bully about putting a whistleblower's "head on a pike", and reporters in jail.

He is doing the right thing (for whatever reason) by spilling facts to incriminate the bully, and we should appreciate that. But we must not lionize him, since his career has included wrong as well as right.

Opposing the NRA
26 April 2018

Opposing the National Rifle Association: introducing the No Rifle Organization or NoRA.

I enjoy the joke, but I fear it plays into the hands of the NRA, which will say, "See, they want to confiscate all rifles." US gun control advocates do not propose to go that far.

Bigots in India
26 April 2018

The mob of bigots in India now attacks those who try to stand for secularism or human rights for the discriminated-against.

Hidden illegal porn
26 April 2018

Reportedly, illegal porn images are hidden somehow on sites that are meant to contain legally allowed porn, and this puts innocent visitors in danger of being imprisoned for something they did unintentionally.

Any law that makes it a crime to have a copy of some published works is a terribly dangerous injustice. These laws must be eliminated.

Does anyone know more about the technical practice that the article describes? Merely using a shortened URL does not "hide" the page it refers to.

Disabled people in the UK
26 April 2018

Disabled people in the UK can't afford food and heating after all the aid cuts.

Syrian medics intimidated
26 April 2018

Syrian Medics 'Subjected to Extreme Intimidation' After Douma Attack.

I don't know anything about the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations. For all I know, it might be an arm of the Islamist rebels and as dishonest as Assad. But the Guardian reporters say they talked directly with doctors and victims. For Assad to push this hard to pretend there was no attack suggests he did the attack.

Government access to data
26 April 2018

Proposed EU laws for government access to data stored by services would require every company operating there to understand the details of each EU country's laws, and obey them even when forbidden by the laws of their own country. This burden would be crushing for small companies. In addition, companies would face almost irresistible pressure to sacrifice privacy to err on the side of compliance.

Paraguay
26 April 2018

After the constitutional coup a few years ago, Paraguay has fallen into the hands of supporters of the former military dictatorship.

I wonder whether the US or right-wing US oligarchs have played a role in this.

Urgent: Undo tax attacks
24 April 2018

US citizens: call on Democrats to fight to undo the Republican tax attacks.

Urgent: Protest if Mueller is fired
24 April 2018

In the US: sign up to join a protest if the corrupter fires investigator Mueller.

That page does not work with JavaScript totally disabled, but it works ok with LibreJS.

High-speed pig slaughter
24 April 2018

High-Speed Pig Slaughter Will Be Disastrous for Everyone Involved.

Journalists entering the US
24 April 2018

The Committee to Protect Journalists is asking journalists to report hassles with entering the US, including searches of their digital devices and (for those not US citizens) hassles in getting a visa.

Extraction Oil and Gas
24 April 2018

Fracking company Extraction Oil and Gas is suing protesters and a journalist.

Several states plan to make it a crime to plan a protest at a fossil fuel pipeline site.

Soldiers of Unit 731
24 April 2018

Japan has published the names of the soldiers of Unit 731 which experimented with chemical weapons using Chinese and Koreans as guinea pigs.

Millionaire's taxes
24 April 2018

"I'm a millionaire who creates zero jobs. Why do I pay less tax than you?"

Facebook is like herpes
24 April 2018

One of Facebook's first useds compares it to herpes, and says she was a fool to have trusted Zuckerberg.

Deporting for criticism
24 April 2018

Philippine President Do-dirty is deporting foreigners for criticizing him, even for being near others that criticize him.

What does deporting a (real or suspected) critic have in common with murdering a (real or suspected) drug dealer? Both attack the idea that people have legal rights.

Natural gas in Australia
24 April 2018

Australia is turning to the hype of fracking to pump lots of natural gas and overshoot its greenhouse gas targets by a factor of three.

Hustlers of the tech industry
24 April 2018

The digital tech industry considered as a pile of hustlers climbing over each other to become a billionaire by standing on the rest. All while looking for ways to atomize people's lives and turn their jobs into piecework.

Legalizing drugs in Canada
24 April 2018

Canada's ruling Liberal Party is considering legalizing possession and use of all drugs.

The US uses "Liberal" to mean what Europe calls "social-democratic", but the Canadian Liberal party is nothing like that. Nowadays it mainly seems to mean "let them drill and mine anything."

Russian journalist dies
24 April 2018

A Russian journalist that investigated mercenaries fell off his balcony and died. The state wants to say that he fell accidentally.

Political prisoner Ahmed Mansoor
24 April 2018

Citizens of Manchester hope to press Abu Dhabi to release political prisoner Ahmed Mansoor by naming a street after him.

The ruling family of Abu Dhabi has effectively purchased the support of the city's government by making a big investment there. It is dangerous for any government to treat the support of a specific company as indispensable; this is one of the reasons why we need to make large companies split into many smaller ones.

Facets of Comey
24 April 2018

Comey has become the most visible enemy of Americans' worst enemy. That doesn't mean he has been our friend all this time. Don't forget his campaign for more surveillance and against our right to privacy.

In the long term, unchecked surveillance will be almost as harmful as the bully.

Lawsuit by Florida youths
24 April 2018

Eight Florida youths are suing the state government for willfully disregarding the danger that global heating poses to life in Florida.

Military contractor profits
24 April 2018

The Onion: the US stands ready to escalate military contractor profits as much as it takes.

US: Trump TPP
24 April 2018

The cheater is thinking of undoing the principal good thing he has done: his rejection of the TPP.

or "Treacherous Plutocratic Poison" as I call it.

That treaty has the "I Sue Democratic States" provision which would give foreign companies more rights in the US than US citizens have.

The TPP would strengthen the grip of the business-dominated globalization that increasingly concentrates the world's wealth. The suffering that this form of globalization causes is opening the door to right-wing bigots such as the cheater.

US Senate more family-friendly
24 April 2018

The US Senate changed its rules to accommodate senators with babies.

US: Major editorials lack war opposition
24 April 2018

The New York Times has not opposed any US war or attack in 30 years. Other US newspapers generally agree.

Great Barrier Reef heat wave of 2016
24 April 2018

Great Barrier Reef: 30% of Coral Died in 'Catastrophic' 2016 Heatwave.

In the next decade there will be another, hotter heat wave and more of the coral will die.

Dramatic effect of Balkan Dam on fish species
24 April 2018

Balkan Dam Projects Could Result in Loss of One in 10 European Fish Species.

Urgent: oppose Pompeo's confirmation
24 April 2018

US citizens: phone your senators' offices at 877-591-6399 and tell them to oppose Pompeo's confirmation. You can mention that he has supported torture, is gung-ho for fossil fuels, and is likely to support more wars.

Political platitudes mask cruel policies
24 April 2018

"Rightwing politicians spout rhetoric with which no reasonable person would disagree, while we wait for a catastrophic injustice to expose the reality."

Pompeo confirmation uncertain
24 April 2018

Opposition to Pompeo puts his confirmation in doubt.

A week or so ago I posted a note that seemed to say he had been confirmed and criticized some Democratic senators for voting for him. I had that taken down because it seems to have been incorrect.

Mississippi delta mega-project
24 April 2018

Scientists are studying a mega-project to run more fresh water from the Mississippi through the delta wetlands. This would delay their loss to the rising seas.

I fear, though, that in the long term this will only give us a one-time reduction in the loss of those wetlands, after which each centimeter of sea-level rise will give us the same amount of loss it would have given us. The money would be used more effectively on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Comey whitewashes injustices of justice system
24 April 2018

Comey whitewashes the gross injustices of the US justice system, while lauding it and saying we should fear it more.

UK government destroyed citizen entry records
24 April 2018

The UK government had entry records for citizens that moved from Caribbean colonies in the 50s and 60s, and destroyed them in 2010 although staff warned that would lead systematically to injustices against people who had no proof of when they had come.

There is a clear and easy solution now: give those people the benefit of the doubt.

UCLA Forced labor study
24 April 2018

From 1850 to 1950, low-wage convict labor caused a substantial reduction in US wages, and it is surely doing the same today.

US: Sessions' marijuana crusade canceled for now
24 April 2018

The bully canceled Sessions' crusade against state-legalized marijuana. At least that's what he says for the moment.

The level of random discord between statements of high officials of the US government means that one takes a risk by relying on any of their statements.

US Syria bombings bolster propaganda
24 April 2018

Blowing stuff up is a great way for a US president to build public support, but in the long term it provides a bigger propaganda boost for the enemy (whoever that may be).

If we Americans don't want to be played via bombings, we have to learn to resist this technique of manipulation.

Elizabeth Pierce fraud charges
24 April 2018

Ajit Pai's "broadband adviser" has been charged with fraud adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars.

I don't suppose that Pai knew she was committing this fraud. But it makes sense that the kind of people Republicans admire would not have scruples against committing fraud.

UK: company registry prosecuted whistleblower
24 April 2018

The UK's company registry finally prosecuted someone for setting up a fraudulent company, but it's a whistleblower who told them he did it.

Canada: teen charged for downloading publicly accessible files
24 April 2018

A Canadian teenager downloaded publicly accessible files off a government web site, and was charged with "unauthorized use of a computer." This is absurd; it should never be a crime to look at what others are showing to the public.

The charge is, in effect, "We told you to look in _this_ direction. We never told you to look in _that_ direction, so we intend to imprison you for turning your gaze without authorization."

This is comparable to the companies that try to punish people for reporting the companies' security errors.

By seizing the family's computers the thugs have done them irreparable damage. If they don't have substantial savings, they could end up homeless from this blind act of injustice.

What makes me saddest is that the teenager fears being permanently stigmatized because of having been arrested. This reflects a social problem that affects a lot more people than the US CFAA and its Canadian equivalent. People who have been arrested, no matter for what, systematically face many kinds of repression. Wealthy people can avoid most of the painful consequences -- they don't need a job, they don't need public housing or welfare, they can pay for college, etc. But when these things happen to the non-rich, they will find that the only paths open to them are poverty or crime.

Urgent: Clean Power Plan
23 April 2018

US citizens: support the Clean Power Plan.

Urgent: Blank check for war
23 April 2018

US citizens, tell the Senate: Vote no on the Corker-Kaine blank check for war.

'Rednecks' fighting big coal
23 April 2018

One source of the term "redneck" was the neckerchiefs worn by striking miners in West Virginia, fighting big coal.

Trudeau and big oil
23 April 2018

Trudeau has openly taken the side of big oil against the environment.

Deregulating construction
23 April 2018

In construction as in other areas, deregulation sometimes leads to death.

The bully's profiteering
23 April 2018

Accounts show the bully is profiteering from his elected office, just as we thought.

Protesters at Starbucks
23 April 2018

Protesters came to the Starbucks where an employee had two black men arrested after refusing to let them use a toilet.

Responsible for global heating
23 April 2018

Who is legally responsible for the damage that global heating does and will do?

I think that the responsibility for harmful actions done by millions of people because they have been intentionally misguided falls on those who misguided them.

Homosexuals in China
23 April 2018

China seems to be starting to repress homosexuals.

The bully's buildings
23 April 2018

The bully is suing US local governments to reduce the tax assessments of his buildings.

The cities in question have to fear that he and his officials could retaliate in an underhanded way if they don't give in.

Defending the pussy-grabber
23 April 2018

A theory for why evangelicals defend the pussy-grabber: their belief system is primarily to reimpose patriarchy.

One point I don't see how to resolve is why patriarchalists don't became enraged that their daughters might get involved with the pushy males they defend.

UK's version of DACA issue
23 April 2018

The UK has its own version of the DACA issue, with a twist: the people threatened with expulsion were British citizens when they moved there from former colonies, and they are legally entitled to live there. They just don't have documents to prove this.

One MP knows of 16 victims in her constituency, which leads to a quick rough estimate that the victims number around 10,000.

Another pertinent secondary point is that they have paid taxes there for decades, so denying them medical and retirement benefits is robbery on top of exile.

The cause of all this is that the government has decided on the principle of giving all immigrants the short end of every stick. That's what the US is now doing. While the details are different, this attitude systematically leads to cruelty.

Neoclassical macroeconomics
23 April 2018

Economists are waking up to the biases in neoclassical macroeconomics and how that provides an excuse for plutocratist cruelty.

There is no such thing as "the free market" — every market is regulated somehow, and a market without proper regulation is likely to have instabilities (such as crashes).

Former Justice Department employees
23 April 2018

250 former employees of the US Justice Department signed a statement calling on the bully to obey the law, and called on Congress to protect against firing investigator Mueller.

Effects of pesticides
23 April 2018

It's not just mice — widely used pesticides were found to make human children weaker, less intelligent, and more aggressive.

The greater aggression could be a consequence of the lower intelligence. Lead exposure also makes children less intelligent, and more likely to be aggressive.

Going mad from racism
23 April 2018

Racism makes people go mad. Brennan Walker, a black teenager, knocked on a white couple's door to ask for directions. The couple freaked out, assumed he was a robber (knocking on a door?), and shot at him without engaging their common sense.

Walker says he looks older than his real age, which is 14. What if he looks 18? What if he really were 18 years old? I don't think that would change anything.

Gaza protesters
23 April 2018

Israelis that live near Gaza rallied to demand an end to the siege and to killing peaceful protesters.

World-wide criticism is having an effect: this week Gazans protested again, and this time the Israeli soldiers killed only one protester.

I would like to know how many protesters were wounded by sniper fire this time, because previously snipers wounded over a thousand protesters.

EU copyright proposal
23 April 2018

The EU's Latest Copyright Proposal Is So Bad, It Even Outlaws Creative Commons Licenses.

Confederate generals far from noble
22 April 2018

Confederate generals, including Robert E. Lee, were far from noble when they systematically killed black soldiers that their troops captured.

Republican bill ignores pesticides
22 April 2018

Common agricultural pesticides harm various endangered species. Republican response: a bill to ignore that problem when approving pesticides.

Australia: encryption back door
22 April 2018

Australia's government is continuing to draw up a bill to require back doors in encryption applications.

Oklahoma: Pruitt suppressed corruption report
22 April 2018

Saboteur Pruitt, as an official of Oklahoma, suppressed a corruption report that could have embarrassed Republican Senator Inhofe.

Wealth inequality soaring
22 April 2018

Wealth Inequality Is Soaring -– Here Are the 10 Reasons Why It's Happening.

The ultimate reason, the reason that these policies exist, is plutocracy.

China: Prisoner's scripted confessions
22 April 2018

The forced, scripted "confessions" of prisoners of China.

China: death penalty
22 April 2018

The death penalty is used less, world-wide, but China is keeping the practice going.

Criminal court Islamist prosecution
22 April 2018

The International Criminal Court is prosecuting an Islamist for enslaving women.

Offensive postings
22 April 2018

It is not feasible for communications companies to quickly delete all offensive postings. AI of today's sort can't come close to recognizing them.

Let's not assume that companies should be required to delete all offensive postings. A small site can decide arbitrarily what to let people publish, without really censoring people -- they can communicate elsewhere. Not so for a giant site.

When a private company grows to the point of dominating a large fraction of people's communication, censorship by that company is almost equivalent to censorship by the state. It is ludicrous for giants such as Facebook and Google to claim the right, as "private" entities, to impose rules about what people can say, all the while profiting from being perceived as "indispensable" by many people.

We did not allow telephone companies to censor conversations, and that's effectively what Facebook is doing.

By the way, please don't use the term "content" to refer to publications or works. It disparages them all.

McConnell, Trump, Mueller
22 April 2018

Senator McConnell will block any effort to prevent the bully from firing investigator Mueller.

I interpret this as an effort to help the bully get rid of Mueller. Republican elected officials have basically surrendered to him, and lost the will to resist. They serve the bully no matter what he does, or might do.

Global heating shifts
22 April 2018

Global heating is shifting the boundary between the arid US western plains and the rain-moistened Midwest. The boundary has moved 140 miles eastward so far, drying up a belt of land. It is likely to move a lot further in coming decades.

Urgent: MA budget bill amendments
22 April 2018

Citizens of Massachusetts: ask your state representative to support the ACLU's recommendations for the budget bill amendments.

I added this note at the front of my response:

My own personal note: it is vital to reduce the birth rate, in the high-footprint USA as well as other countries, but imposing poverty on children who are already alive is a stupid and vicious method which probably doesn't even achieve the purpose. Thus I support Amendment #1361.

Campaign messaging
22 April 2018

An A/B test that compared two messages Democrats could use for the 2018 election found that linking race and poverty won more support than talking only about poverty.

Syria peace talks
22 April 2018

The US, UK and France call for resuming the Syria peace talks.

Arrested in a Starbucks
22 April 2018

Two black men were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia for "trespassing", because they wanted to use a toilet while waiting for their friend to arrive. The friend did arrive but the thug chief thinks that doesn't matter.

One of the root causes of this incident may be racism. Another is that the store seems to have a policy of not allowing people to use the bathroom if they have not bought anything.

Compelling someone to excrete on the street or soil per own garments is cruel and degrading. Therefore, an establishment that admits the public and has toilets for some members of the public should not be allowed to deny use of those toilets to any orderly person, or to require any sort of payment for using them.

It looks like we need to resurrect CEPTIA, the Committee to End Pay Toilets In America. CEPTIA made itself look like a joke, but that was H.H.O.S. — its campaign was very successful against explicit pay toilets. However, that Starbucks operates a system effectively equivalent to a pay toilet, but with a different form.

If a restaurant owner complains, "There are too many people walking by our location, so it's unfair that we have to let so many use our toilet," the best response is, "How about moving to a location with less foot traffic, then?"

Rally in Barcelona
22 April 2018

Hundreds of thousands rallied in Barcelona to demand Spain allow independentist leaders to return home. Spain has imprisoned some and is trying to drag others back.

Facebook's voter button
22 April 2018

Facebook's "voter button" can increase election turnout by a small but significant amount. By showing the button to some people and not others, it could decide who wins.

Imposing systemic poverty
22 April 2018

Poor People's Campaign to US Christians: being poor is not a sin. Imposing systemic poverty is a sin.

I am not a Christian, and I don't use the concept of "sin". If you replace "a sin" with "nasty, destructive and inexcusable", then the statement becomes one I agree with.

Sexual violence by Burmese troops
22 April 2018

The UN Secretary General says that Burmese troops' use of sexual violence was a ‘calculated tool’ to force Rohingya to leave and not return.

Today's Israeli Army
22 April 2018

Uri Avnery, who joined the Israeli Army when it was first created, feels betrayed by today's army, in which the generals order snipers to shoot harmless civilians and reporters at a distance of hundreds of meters and they do so, gleefully and triumphantly.

Here is more info about that video.

UK vehicle inspections
22 April 2018

The UK's new strict vehicle inspections will make many diesel cars illegal and effectively unfixable. For their owners, this will be a disaster.

It is important to get these cars fixed or off the roads, but the cost should not fall on unsuspecting car owners at random. The rational way to handle this cost is to divide it among all owners of diesel cars, and/or the companies that made them.

Mediating US and Russia
22 April 2018

Corbyn calls for the UN to mediate between the US and Russia in regard to Syria.

I agree with Corbyn that this can't hurt.

Apple vs repair companies
22 April 2018

Apple sues independent repair companies in many countries, using trademark law to bully these small companies into settling at a disastrous price.

Not surprisingly, Apple uses the bogus concept of "intellectual property" to make the issue too vague and enormous to even try to confront.

The article describes one time that Apple lost the lawsuit.

Parliament's approval for war
22 April 2018

Corbyn wants to establish clearly and firmly that the UK government needs to get Parliament's approval to enter a war.

Terminating food assistance
22 April 2018

Republicans want to terminate food assistance to a million poor Americans.

Chlorine attack in Ghouta
22 April 2018

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warn that the chlorine attack in Ghouta may have been a false flag attack by the rebels that were under attack.

Puns and taboos
22 April 2018

Chinese take puns so seriously that they build them into taboos.

Gmail's 'confidential' emails
22 April 2018

Google plans to offer "confidential" emails which can't be downloaded out of Gmail.

This looks like an anticompetitive scheme to make suckers pressure others to use Gmail rather than anything else.

It doesn't provide any real security. It interferes only with the more convenient means to copy the message.

UK gang warfare
22 April 2018

The UK is experiencing an increase in gang warfare, sometimes deadly. One cause is budget cuts in programs that support troubled youth.

Authorization for bombing
22 April 2018

The US Constitution requires the president to get authorization from Congress before attacking. I see no doubt that Congress would have given it, but the failure to ask Congress before bombing Assad's forces undermines the constitution. This bad tendency has persisted under several presidents. Some Democrats in Congress criticized the bully for not asking for authorization.

The bully says he has a secret excuse which he won't show to Congress.

The UK government did something similar.

Media boosting military action
22 April 2018

The corporate media acted as boosters for military action, as is their general practice.

California privacy initiative
22 April 2018

Facebook and Google joined with ISPs to defeat a privacy initiative in California.