New pun
19 February 2020

wild horses cause cough

Urgent: Ban facial recognition in schools
19 February 2020

US citizens: call on Congress to ban face recognition in schools.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Call on judge not to extradite Assange
19 February 2020

US citizens: call on the judge presiding over Assange's extradition hearing not to extradite him.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Racial justice groups funded by Bloomberg
19 February 2020

US citizens: call on Bloomberg to fund racial justice groups instead of a presidential campaign.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Leading students away from hate
19 February 2020

An interview with Alan Singer about what schools can do to lead students away from hate.

Notably, schools can't do the whole job of eradicating racism and bigotry. That requires changing the conditions of inequality that people grow up in.

US hospital workers can't afford healthcare
19 February 2020

*"We can’t afford healthcare": US hospital workers fight for higher wages.*

Henry Ford famously paid the workers of his car factory enough that they could buy his cars.

Bloomberg aims to privatize public schools
19 February 2020

Bloomberg aims to privatize public schools, much like DeVos.

Class war against Bernie Sanders
19 February 2020

*The Escalating Class War Against Bernie Sanders.*

China censoring sick people
19 February 2020

China's medical system, overwhelmed by people sick with Covid-19 coronavirus, is unable to treat them all, so China is censoring people who talk about needing help.

To be ready to treat so many sick people is not easy. Are other countries stockpiling what they will need? In the US, Republicans tend to neglect such preparations because they don't care about non-rich people. The bully cares even less than usual.

Online purchasing and packaging waste
19 February 2020

The amount of online purchasing of goods has brought about mountains of additional packaging waste.

Impact of diet on memory
19 February 2020

*Researchers find a western-style diet can impair brain function. After a week on a high fat, high added sugar diet, volunteers scored worse on memory tests.*

Beavers work
19 February 2020

*Beavers cut flooding and pollution and boost wildlife populations — according to a five-year study of animals in Devon.*

The Volunteer
19 February 2020

*The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather review – the hero who sent himself to Auschwitz.*

Jan Karski infiltrated the guards of a Nazi murder camp, and since he was not a prisoner, he found it easy enough to leave to report on the murder methods. Later, in the US, he reported this to officials, who did not believe what he told them. He recounted this is in his book, Story of a Secret State.

Uighurs persecution
19 February 2020

Reasons to imprison Uighurs in brainwashing camps include *growing a beard, wearing a veil or accidentally visiting a foreign website.*

Startup idea
19 February 2020

(satire) *DNC Offers Startup $500 Million To Develop Pencil That Can Accurately Record Election Results.*

Resign Now
19 February 2020

*More Than 2,000 Former US Department of Justice Officials Tell William Barr: Resign Now!*

Why Taliban are fighting
19 February 2020

The Afghan government's soldiers say the reason they are fighting is for the pay. They can't find other work.

Meanwhile, the Taliban soldiers are fighting mainly because the US side has killed their relatives. That is not a deep commitment, but it is stronger than a salary. No wonder the Taliban keep gaining. But this suggests that if the US stops fighting them, in a few years they will not be motivated to fight the US any more.

No bottling for state waters
19 February 2020

Washington State is considering a law to put its waters off limits to bottling.

Farmicide
19 February 2020

Dicamba, Monsanto's latest herbicide, the next generation after Roundup, is meant to be used with genetically engineered resistant crops. But it drifts off the field and poisons nearby farms. Monsanto has been ordered to pay 15 million dollars in compensation to a large peach farm that has been destroyed, plus 250 million in punitive damages.

Will it be possible to rebuild the production there, or is it lost forever?

Support for attacks against constitutional order
19 February 2020

After the US-supported coup in Honduras in 2009, the country has suffered two more attacks against the constitutional order, both with US support of course.

Secret making of trade treaties
19 February 2020

The UK never set up a system for Parliament to review or approve trade treaties. Ministers and officials write them in secret and impose them.

Any bad law can be policy-laundered this way, and a trade deal with the US under any plausible president but Sanders or Warren will surely do great harm.

The article falls into the common error of talking about "intellectual property" as if that term referred to some specific thing.

Vape debate
19 February 2020

*The great vape debate: are e-cigarettes saving smokers or creating new addicts?*

No returning home
19 February 2020

The UK, France and other countries are blocking their citizens captured by Rojava (for supporting PISSI) from returning home.

The Kurds are now reluctantly trying them for their crimes, but are not in a position to reliably keep people in prison for decades.

Urgent: Gratis phone calls for prisoners
18 February 2020

US citizens: call on Connecticut to make phone calls for prisoners gratis.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Equal Rights Amendment
18 February 2020

US citizens: call on the Senate to extend the deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Ban local subsidies for Amazon Ring
18 February 2020

US citizens: call on Congress to Ban local subsidies for Amazon Ring snooping cameras.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Campaign against extradition of Julian Assange
18 February 2020

Politicians in the UK, Europe and Australia are starting to campaign against extradition of Julian Assange.

The sad thing is that Bogus Johnson has a pattern of contempt for everything that gets in his way. He does not care about Assange, one way or the other; he is negotiating a deal with the conman, so I expect him to offer Assange in exchange for some of what he does want.

Death penalty in Tennessee
18 February 2020

*Will Tennessee Kill a Man Who Saved Lives on Death Row?*

A Professor Was Called a Pedophile Because of His Work
18 February 2020

*A Professor Was Called a Pedophile Because of His Work.*

Children of immigrants in UK at risk of arbitrary exile
18 February 2020

*Deportations to Jamaica, the Shamima Begum case and Windrush betray a woeful regard for the notion of citizenship* in the UK. *negligence of a basic human right for many of its own citizens.*

This puts "all children of immigrants, all Jews and everyone from Northern Ireland" at risk of arbitrary exile.

Personal medical data
18 February 2020

Personal medical data is a special case, among data bases of personal data, because there is a pressing reason to collect it and a pressing reason to look for patterns in it. Perhaps the data can be made safe through a system where no company or researcher can have a copy of the data, or unlimited access to it; rather, they have to submit queries to be vetted.

Conman out-Nixons Nixon
18 February 2020

*In his assault on justice, Trump has out-Nixoned Nixon.*

Bloomberg and the conman
18 February 2020

*Bloomberg and [the conman] are two sides of the same sinister coin.*

Use of computers and software in elections
18 February 2020

The use of untrustworthy computers and software in elections — in other words, any computers and software — turns any mishap, even an accidental one, into a source of distrust. People worry that the system was "hacked" (that is, cracked).

There is a danger that Russian crackers will break the security and alter the results. But I am more worried about that the voting machine companies or election authorities will alter the results. They can do this without cracking the security — they simply step around it.

UK budget cut policy
18 February 2020

The UK's policy of budget cuts for everything except enriching the rich has undermined efforts to deradicalize terrorists.

Subsidized cattle ranching businesses
18 February 2020

The US government subsidizes some cattle ranching businesses by charging a pittance for letting their cattle graze on public land.

This subsidy to beef promotes eating too much beef, which is bad for individual health and for the survival of a livable climate. It should end.

Bloomberg's cut
18 February 2020

*Mike Bloomberg Claims He Cut Stop and Frisk by 95 Percent — After Increasing It Seven Fold.*

He misrepresents his past actions in several ways, and denies his documented past racism.

Lobbying IRS
18 February 2020

*Foreign-Funded Dark-Money Groups Lobby IRS to Repeal Remaining Reporting.*

This illustrates a standard phenomenon: the rich lobby to change the rules in their favor.

Worst-likely-case of climate disaster
18 February 2020

A worst-likely-case projection of climate disaster in 2050.

If you have a child this year, that's what per 30th birthday could be like. Per 40th would be even worse. Unless you want to do that to someone you love, don't have one!

Each birth avoided will make it a little less bad.

DCCC support for Rep.Cuellar
18 February 2020

The DCCC and Pelosi are supporting Rep. Cuellar, who is so plutocratist that the Koch brothers support him too.

Not the Onion
18 February 2020

(satirical title) After [the bully] Shoots Susan Collins In the Middle of 5th Avenue, She Says She's "Troubled" But Still Supports Him.

This is not the Onion. The title is extrapolation, but the article is serious criticism of Senator Collins.

Forcing bodyguards to stay at Trump's hotel
18 February 2020

The conman has the Secret Service pay exorbitant rates for his bodyguards to stay in his hotel when off duty.

This sort of corrupt self-dealing is the conman's basic MO.

Medical debt scheme
18 February 2020

A county in Kansas has a peculiar law that arrests people for unpaid medical debt, charges them $500 "bail", and never returns it. The money goes to the gougers, and to a lawyer who implement the scheme.

Urgent: reject the BURN IT act
18 February 2020

US citizens: call on Congress to reject the BURN IT act, which would let Barr ban services from supporting effective encryption.

"BURN IT" is not the bill's official name, but describes it accurately.

3 meters for 2C
18 February 2020

At most 2C of global heating, around 120,000 years ago, caused at least 3 meters of sea-level rise.

Centralization of globalization
18 February 2020

*Of course there’s a globalisation backlash. It has failed billions of people.*

Globalization of manufacturing is also a danger for society, because it eliminates redundancy. If only one company knows how to make an XYZ, it is easy for one local disaster to eliminate all the capacity and knowledge of how to make them. This is happening just as we are doing things that will make lots of local disasters.

The anybody vote
18 February 2020

(satire) *… moderate Democrats were worried Amy Klobuchar could split the crucial people-who-will-vote-for-anybody vote.*

Hear my pitch
18 February 2020

(satire) *Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign hired thousands of canvassers Friday to stop black men on the street and force them to hear his campaign pitch.*

Could we say his campaign is getting frisk-y?

Reducing recidivism
18 February 2020

One city in the UK has reduced recidivism rates by 15% by offering people charged with certain crimes the opportunity to participate in rehabilitation courses and win deferred prosecution.

This rehabilitation before prosecution is unusual, but US prisons used to provide rehabilitation programs for the convicted. That was eliminated in the 80s when US politicians found they could win elections by promising to be "tough". That is also how the US ended up with the world's highest percentage of population in prison.

Barr and Stone
18 February 2020

Senators to Barr: "The shocking action taken by you or your senior staff to seek special protections for Mr. Stone make a mockery of your responsibilities to seek equal justice under the law."

But Barr has done this more than once: he has a habit of subjecting political cases to special review of the prosecutors' actions, looking for excuses to intervene.

Prosecutors in the US have been known to break the law so as to make trials unfair. It might be a wise policy to give every trial a special review to see if prosecutors violated the defendant's rights — if that were done fairly.

However, special preference for cronies of the conman is not justice. The prosecutors in the Stone case resigned in protest.

Bizarrely, Barr claims that the conman is undermining his authority by tweeting about this. I cannot believe that Barr really wishes to be independent of the conman, or that he is so.

Extinction forecast
18 February 2020

Modeling that considers species' ability to move forecasts 30% of species on Earth could be wiped out in 50 years.

New pun
18 February 2020

Gossip about Julian Assange.

Urgent: Save the lifeline program
18 February 2020

US citizens: call on the FCC not to damage the lifeline program. (It provides phone and internet to poor people at low cost.)

If you sign, please spread the word!

Senate resolution to deauthorize fighting Iran
18 February 2020

The Senate passed the resolution to deauthorize fighting Iran. However, this is apparently a joint resolution (which requires presidential approval or else a 2/3 supermajority) rather than a concurrent resolution. Why did the Senate choose to do this in a form that won't have legal effect?

British immigration thugs
18 February 2020

British immigration thugs held Rahman Mahafuzer’s six-year-old boy for 10 hours, and refused to call a medic even though the boy was vomiting.

They seem to have blamed the father for the vomit, as if he had intentionally made his son sick just to annoy them.

This is probably indirectly related to leaving the EU, because the campaign stirred up bigotry and this look like an instance of that bigotry.

Big Spill worse than previously believed
18 February 2020

The oil leaked from the Big Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2010, spread below the surface much farther than was visible on the surface from satellites.

Since fishing was not banned in areas beyond the visible oil slick, that underwater oil could have got into fish which humans then ate.

I wonder if the dispersants that BP poured on the oil, which make the oil mix more with water, played a role in causing that. This response was criticized at the time.

Las Vegas makes it crime to live on sidewalk
18 February 2020

Las Vegas has made it a crime to live on the sidewalk. Someone campaigned for this cruelty because he did not like finding excrement on the street.

They could have addressed the ostensible problem by providing proper toilets instead. But if the real goal was to treat homeless people with contempt, that would not have sufficed.

As for squatting, if people suffer from homelessness and a house is uninhabited, I think they should take it.

Violence of French thugs
18 February 2020

The violence of the French thugs was derived from repression in African colonies. Now there is video to prove it, and the state is facing public reprobation.

Sanctions against countries that repress journalists
18 February 2020

Amal Clooney and others propose international sanctions against countries that repress journalists.

I am in favor of it. Don't forget the US and UK, for their treatment of Julian Assange.

Deported to live in hiding
17 February 2020

The UK deported 17 people to Jamaica last week, 7 of them are living in hiding, afraid of being murdered by gangsters who have threatened them or their families.

Offsetting carbon emissions
17 February 2020

Delta Airlines announced a plan to become "carbon-neutral". The plan involves ten years of spending. It is not clear whether it includes a specific target to complete the work in ten years.

The biggest weakness in the plan is that it depends on offsetting the emissions, and these offsetting plans are likely to have full effect only over ensuing decades — if they work at all.

Upgrading voters
17 February 2020

(satire) *the Nevada State Democratic Party announced Friday that it had addressed election security concerns by upgrading to a new system of electronic voters.*

Nils Melzer on Assange
17 February 2020

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, explains how the legal process against him was rigged from the start and violated legal norms over and over.

Why he is concerned about this case:

The case falls into my mandate in three different ways: First, Assange published proof of systematic torture. But instead of those responsible for the torture, it is Assange who is being persecuted. Second, he himself has been ill-treated to the point that he is now exhibiting symptoms of psychological torture. And third, he is to be extradited to a country that holds people like him in prison conditions that Amnesty International has described as torture. In summary: Julian Assange uncovered torture, has been tortured himself and could be tortured to death in the United States. And a case like that isn’t supposed to be part of my area of responsibility?

Melzer also explains how the legal procedures against Assange in Sweden and the UK were run corruptly all along, violating all norms of justice.

He also explains painstakingly how the Swedish state fabricated charges against Assange, twisting what the two women actually said. Rather than pursuing "justice" for them — supposed "justice" which they did not want — the Swedish state only used them as an excuse for bullshit.

Bloomberg in support for republican
17 February 2020

Bloomberg raised funds for a Republican congresscritter in 2018.

Domestic workers enslavement
17 February 2020

Nepal tried to protect Nepalese women from effective enslavement as domestic workers in Persian Gulf countries by prohibiting Nepalese from going there for such jobs. But it didn't stop them, and made them even more vulnerable once there.

Nepal's embassy could give them new passports and fly them back to Nepal. But since Nepal is so poor, maybe cannot afford the flights.

Is there a chance or organizing ship they will take them to India, perhaps once a month? They might have to wait a few weeks on the ship, but it would be better than being stuck in Kuwait as a slave.

The world powers could make these Gulf countries change their policies, if they got together.

In a few decades, the problem may solve itself — those countries probably won't exist any more, due to global heating and sea-level rise. If we can stop them from exporting oil and causing global heating, those countries may stop hiring foreign workers.

Immigrants without food and medical care
17 February 2020

Immigrants in California are going without food and medical care for fear of being denied residency for accepting them.

Promoting meat eating
17 February 2020

*EU spending tens of millions of euros a year to promote meat eating.*

It is one of many issues where the EU works for the interests of European businesses even to the detriment of Europeans' (and others') life, health, or freedom.

Anti-Bernie Sanders ads
17 February 2020

*AIPAC Is Helping Fund Anti-Bernie Sanders Super PAC Ads in Nevada.*

Risks of interfering
17 February 2020

*When Trump interferes with the proper exercise of power, as he did with Roger Stone, he puts at risk the life, liberty and reputation of every American.*

Escaping reality
17 February 2020

(satire) *Fox News Producer Knows His Work Formulaic But At Least It Helps People Escape Reality For Couple Hours.*

Deaths by toxic pollution
17 February 2020

Toxic pollution from fossil fuel is estimated to kill over 4 million people annually.

This does not count the number killed by global heating effects.

Oligarch
17 February 2020

Bloomberg acts like a true oligarch, using his money's power to reshape the political system so he can squeeze more money out of it.

The idea of “hate the game, not the player” is sometimes valid when the game is one that people play for recreation — because they can play some other game instead.

However, the idea is inapplicable when they treat our political system as their game and exploit people through it. Those who take advantage of a bad political system to exploit people are always personally culpable, even if the system is too.

*Bloomberg in 2014: "We Should Hope" the NSA Is "Reading Every Email".*

Destroying the climate
17 February 2020

Republicans propose to destroy the climate in order to "save" it. This is done in the most blatant possible way: by extending a tax cut on oil.

*How to Support Your Children in Turning Climate Angst Into Climate Action.*

The comparison with the "Keep America Beautiful" campaign illustrates a common paradigm: business change the system in a way that tends to create a problem, then tells the millions they deal with that compensating for that tendency is their responsibility.

Keeping academics silent
17 February 2020

UK universities are ordering academics to keep silent on social media about issues affecting their work environment.

New pun
16 February 2020

the diver was tickling

Urgent: Investigation based on Afghanistan Papers
16 February 2020

US citizens: call on Congress to investigate the conduct of the war in Afghanistan based on the Afghanistan Papers.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Urgent: Stop prosecution of Daniel Hale
16 February 2020

US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to stop the prosecution of drone whistleblower Daniel Hale.

If you sign, please spread the word!

Hottest January on record
16 February 2020

*Earth just had hottest January since records began, data shows.*

A temperature of 20C was observed in Antarctica. That's almost as high as the temperature I like to have in my office.

It feels like spring now in Boston, and it is only February. People with their heads in the sand may think it is comfortable. I find it frightening!

Bloomberg's repressive views
16 February 2020

Bloomberg is keeping his actual views out of the limelight, apparently so voters won't notice their disagreements with him. The mainstream media are helping. But he has shown his repressive views.

Obama also hid his views behind the vague slogans of "hope" and "change". I did not expect much of either from him.

Airplane crews that carried out war crimes
16 February 2020

Salafi Arabia has agreed to prosecution of airplane crews that carried out specific war crimes, such as attacking a hospital and a wedding party.

Ilhan Omar's proposals
16 February 2020

Ilhan Omar proposes laws to direct US foreign policy towards international cooperation and encouraging peace, and reducing the president's power of economic warfare.

Insect apocalypse
16 February 2020

The insect apocalypse has been measured in the UK and Denmark.

It was previously reported from Germany.

Bernie Sanders fights to un-rig the system
16 February 2020

*Bernie Sanders Isn't a Radical — He's a Pragmatist Who Fights to Un-rig the System.*

Troll wants to destroy Medicaid
16 February 2020

"Trump wants to destroy Medicaid while claiming to save it." This will kill thousands of poor and disabled Americans.

New Hampshire Democratic primary
16 February 2020

Sanders got the most votes in New Hampshire Democratic primary, but two corporate Democrats were close behind.

The desert locust in Africa
16 February 2020

*A humanitarian crisis looms in Africa unless we act fast to stop the desert locust.*

Freedom of expression
16 February 2020

A TV show in Pakistan showed an extramarital affair — unusually, involving a wife rather than a husband. The producer and actors are accused in court of misogyny, putting freedom of expression in danger.

I reject the assumption that monogamy is morally imperative. I refuse to use the words "cheating" and "unfaithful" to describe sex, or romantic love, in conflict with monogamy. I think people should be monogamous if they wish, and not if they don't. When I love a woman, I do not ask her to be monogamous, because I do not think of her as my possession. I simply wish for her to join me in keeping our love going well.

The article refers an the end to the violence in Tom and Jerry cartoons. Americans a few decades ago began to question whether it was a good thing to enjoy that violence. I read that point, and it made me aware of the pain that the violence depicted would cause in reality. I began to identify with the character suffering the violence. I am grateful to those who wrote about this.

But it must not be a crime to show violence in cartoons.

Selection of judges in the UK
16 February 2020

Bogus Johnson wants to politicize the selection of judges in the UK and limit their ability to overturn decisions of government agencies.

In effect, the UK has evolved something comparable to the explicit "checks and balances" of the US Constitution, and Bogus wants to weaken it so he can do whatever he wishes.

The trial of Stephen Ward
16 February 2020

In 1960, the UK framed Stephen Ward so he couldn't say that a minister had lied to Parliament. The trial was "a charade, presided over by a judge committed to a conviction." It was characterized by "manipulation of the trial by the lord chief justice."

The UK has not got any more honest. It is now doing something comparable to Julian Assange.

UK thugs set up face recognition cameras
16 February 2020

UK thugs set up face recognition cameras looking at the door of a shopping center. They put up signs saying "you are not legally required to go through this area", but that does you no good if you need to go there to shop.

They made a statement about what they would do with the videos, but did they promise not to save the videos and do other things with them later?

EU backs 32 gas projects
16 February 2020

*EU accused of climate crisis hypocrisy after backing 32 gas projects.* The amount spent will be over 30 billion dollars that should be spent on defending the climate rather than destroying it.

Damming off the North Sea
16 February 2020

Damming off the North Sea (and thus the Baltic too) would be a feasible and cost effective way of protecting large parts of northern Europe from inundation due to global heating.

However, it would not protect anyone from the other aspects of climate disaster — that should be the preferred solution.